Search found 645 matches

by Swansea
Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investment Records
Replies: 3
Views: 557

Re: Investment Records

I checked with my CPA regarding record keeping for my IRA, and he said that there was no need to keep records. Mine is a deductible IRA. I don't know the rules for a non-deductible IRA.
by Swansea
Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree fell against house. Assess possible damage?
Replies: 17
Views: 1362

Re: Tree fell against house. Assess possible damage?

You may want to check on any local ordinances regarding who is responsible. Some localities, if the tree was diseased/damaged , it may shift the repair burden upon your neighbor.
by Swansea
Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid high vet bills?
Replies: 110
Views: 6484

Re: How to avoid high vet bills?

If your heart is not set upon owning a dog, consider fostering a rescue dog. Now you will need to be prepared to surrender the dog if an approved adopter come forward, but you will have helped out a pet in need. The two rescues I have volunteered with, have both picked up medical care for their fost...
by Swansea
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reservations about purchasing a 16 year old house
Replies: 65
Views: 4710

Re: Reservations about purchasing a 16 year old house

16 years is well at the end for an air conditioning system. Mine fail around 10 to 15 years.
by Swansea
Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: inkjet printer recs
Replies: 34
Views: 1479

Re: inkjet printer recs

I am very happy with my Cannon MX922. When it is first started, it takes a minute to get ready, but other than that I am very happy.
The one time I called Cannon for advice, they were extremely helpful.
by Swansea
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CSRS VCP annuity
Replies: 10
Views: 473

Re: CSRS VCP annuity

But a CSRS retiree already has a substantial annuity. So the decision will usually turn on the numbers rather than on the need for an annuity. Substantial? I know very few people in that league. Their regular pension may be adequate, but hardly substantial. To the OP, you can compare your VCP annui...
by Swansea
Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Fed Employee Health Insurance Plan?
Replies: 39
Views: 2502

Re: Which Fed Employee Health Insurance Plan?

We use BCBS Basic (as employee and retiree.) It has worked fine. One thing you might want to keep in mind is that if you have a “schedulable” high-dollar procedure (major joint replacement, etc) coming up, especially if it involves a lot of pre-op and post-op rehab, you might switch to the higher p...
by Swansea
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Allocation for Retirement
Replies: 12
Views: 1254

Re: TSP Allocation for Retirement

While the winner between G and F will be determined by the future rate of interest rates, my examination of the total performance of the two funds over a ten year period clearly favors F. G will beat F some years, but long term F has done better. Data can be found on the TSP website.
by Swansea
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FIOS cost after initial deal ?
Replies: 10
Views: 977

Re: FIOS cost after initial deal ?

My two year contract with FIOS is up soon. Called to check on a renewal price, best offer was 15 bucks higher than what I pay now. Comcast has a deal, but my experience with them is poor. I may just call and cancel,rely on the phone for a week or so and see if they can do better.
by Swansea
Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I get the new customer rate from Verizon Fios? Or should I switch to Spectrum?
Replies: 30
Views: 1674

Re: Can I get the new customer rate from Verizon Fios? Or should I switch to Spectrum?

I don't know all the details because my wife did all the negotiation (for me, life is too short to deal with Verizon!). We were going on vacation in the summer, so she cancelled the service. There was no equipment to return because we never had TV, just Internet. Actually, she says the cancellation...
by Swansea
Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid high vet bills?
Replies: 110
Views: 6484

Re: How to avoid high vet bills?

Quit taking the dog to the vet. I wish. He has to stay up to date with rabies in order to keep his dog license. And this visit was follow up from his Lyme disease. Spacing out our trips after this Isn't rabies every 3 years? And a follow up for lyme? Was the dog sick? First rabies shot is good for ...
by Swansea
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car cylinder ignition coil - replace only nonfunctional one or all of them?
Replies: 22
Views: 1015

Re: car cylinder ignition coil - replace only nonfunctional one or all of them?

This issue may be model/engine specific. My car would need all coils replaced if one went bad. You may want to visit a forum specific for your car, and ask how others have proceeded. I've never heard of that before. May I ask what model car do you have that needs all coils replaced if 1 is bad? The...
by Swansea
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep 12 yr old bmw?
Replies: 22
Views: 1698

Re: Keep 12 yr old bmw?

What about a 2013 BMW X-5 with 130k miles? No problems. Expensive maintenance! Wouldn't buy another however (poor gas mileage, too expensive to maintain). Sorry to butt in on conversation but you guys seem expert! Thanks The 3 series is different in performance and handling from the 5 series, and w...
by Swansea
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep 12 yr old bmw?
Replies: 22
Views: 1698

Re: Keep 12 yr old bmw?

Keep it, my 1998 328i with 94K has been extremely reliable. It has never burned a drop of oil and the only thing that does not work is the sound system.
by Swansea
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid high vet bills?
Replies: 110
Views: 6484

Re: How to avoid high vet bills?

Do you board him? If not he doesn't need the kennel cough. Other than that I would say it is the cost of responsible pet ownership and the fee's seem in line with what I pay. Edit: Also, if he has been on heartworm preventive I would question the need for the heartworm test. I strongly disagree wit...
by Swansea
Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car cylinder ignition coil - replace only nonfunctional one or all of them?
Replies: 22
Views: 1015

Re: car cylinder ignition coil - replace only nonfunctional one or all of them?

This issue may be model/engine specific. My car would need all coils replaced if one went bad.
You may want to visit a forum specific for your car, and ask how others have proceeded.
by Swansea
Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?
Replies: 53
Views: 4202

Re: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?

Check your local government for any needed inspections. The previous time my water heater was installed, the plumber did not arrange for an inspection ,and I did not know one was required. The issue was the plumber in my county was supposed to pay a $50 fee, so he chose not to.
by Swansea
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Sienna tire replacement at 12k miles
Replies: 72
Views: 4124

Re: Toyota Sienna tire replacement at 12k miles

"Type" of tire has a lot to do with mileage received. On a previous small car, it came with "High Performance" tires. The original tires did not last a long time. I learned that "high performance" tires cost twice as much as "normal" tires and last half as long. Lose - lose (; Yes, performance tire...
by Swansea
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Sienna tire replacement at 12k miles
Replies: 72
Views: 4124

Re: Toyota Sienna tire replacement at 12k miles

Read your treadwear grade on the tires' sidewall to get an idea how long them last. Also keep the tires inflated as per the recommendations inside the driver's door.
Tire Rack has excellent information on what to buy, etc.
by Swansea
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of leasing bmw 3 series
Replies: 56
Views: 4324

Re: Thinking of leasing bmw 3 series

My 2009 535i with 162,000 miles on it (purchased brand new; ordered it): 4 high pressure fuel pumps 2 fuel pumps 2 turbo waste gates 1 water pump 2 batteries 1 transmission 1 set of fuel injectors 1 set of ignition coils 2 sets of spark plugs 4? sets of brake rotors Hopefully your mileage was ok to...
by Swansea
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Federal employee ... Choosing Healthcare
Replies: 19
Views: 1475

Re: New Federal employee ... Choosing Healthcare

Washington Consumer Checkbook has an excellent guide to federal health plans. I think the cost is about $15.
I was a federal HR Officer for years, and found it to be an excellent source. A trip to the OPM site, opm.gov would also be helpful...
by Swansea
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of leasing bmw 3 series
Replies: 56
Views: 4324

Re: Thinking of leasing bmw 3 series

My 2009 535i with 162,000 miles on it (purchased brand new; ordered it): 4 high pressure fuel pumps 2 fuel pumps 2 turbo waste gates 1 water pump 2 batteries 1 transmission 1 set of fuel injectors 1 set of ignition coils 2 sets of spark plugs 4? sets of brake rotors Hopefully your mileage was ok to...
by Swansea
Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sports classes in Universities
Replies: 60
Views: 3476

Re: Sports classes in Universities

Duke offers a variety of PE classes. I took many of them when I attended in the 60s. They greatly helped my GPA.
by Swansea
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to Purchase Defined Benefit Plan
Replies: 14
Views: 1620

Re: Where to Purchase Defined Benefit Plan

You may want to check on the impact of buying a defined benefit plan in a low interest rate environment.
by Swansea
Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Chewy IPO
Replies: 43
Views: 3285

Re: Chewy IPO

We've used Chewy for 3 years and have never received a shipment that has been damaged. Makes me wonder if someone locally is damaging your shipments. Do other retailers have damaged goods when you order? I order from them about twice a month. I have had 2 or 3 shipments of canned food where numerou...
by Swansea
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Company requiring salaried employees to clock in?
Replies: 92
Views: 4860

Re: Company requiring salaried employees to clock in?

You can also have a mix. My former Agency required those salaried workers on alternate work schedules to clock in, those who did not participate, did not clock in.
by Swansea
Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resources for Federal Employees
Replies: 16
Views: 1161

Re: Resources for Federal Employees

Govexec.com has good information, especially the Retirement Planning columns: https://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/retirement-planning/ Tammy Flanagan is really good: https://m.govexec.com/voices/tammy-flanagan/2340/ Generally, feds are as well-informed about their benefits as they want to be. Ther...
by Swansea
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resources for Federal Employees
Replies: 16
Views: 1161

Re: Resources for Federal Employees

Retired federal HR officer...I agree, quality of advice is variable. If your agency has a a good retirement specialist, you are in luck.
OPM's site has a wealth of info: for example https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services ... -handbook/
by Swansea
Tue May 28, 2019 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bored Eleven Year Old Patient in Walking Cast
Replies: 26
Views: 1732

Re: Bored Eleven Year Old Patient in Walking Cast

I had an extended period on crutches from an athletic injury. I found excelling at my studies and tutoring other students a good diversion.
by Swansea
Sun May 26, 2019 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation to individual stocks/bonds
Replies: 13
Views: 783

Re: Allocation to individual stocks/bonds

Until I reached 60, I had 10% of my portfolio in individual stocks. Then I moved to 90% index funds and 10% actively managed (one fund). I enjoyed the research on stocks and learned a lot. Evaluation of my performance was that I pretty much matched the market. Former Washington Post writer James Gla...
by Swansea
Sat May 25, 2019 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?
Replies: 24
Views: 2355

Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

While not directly analogous, a number of my neighbors claimed their siding was hail damaged. While I saw no damage on the house next door, her claim was paid. I had no damage, so did not make a claim. My next premium took a jump up, and my agent said it was because of the claims filed in my neighbo...
by Swansea
Thu May 23, 2019 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Termite Control - worthwhile or a scam
Replies: 11
Views: 1263

Re: Termite Control - worthwhile or a scam

I had a termite treatment one time after seeing evidence that they were active. No further issues or treatment over the past 20 years. I do check annually for signs.
by Swansea
Sun May 19, 2019 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another car question- repair or buy
Replies: 9
Views: 766

Re: Another car question- repair or buy

Be aware that there was a recall which may include the tranny they are proposing to replace.

Recall Number
11V273000
Recall Date
05/06/2011
Component
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:GEAR POSITION INDICATION (PRNDL)
by Swansea
Thu May 16, 2019 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reservations about job offer
Replies: 65
Views: 4183

Re: Reservations about job offer

I've offered hundreds of jobs to folks, but never made an offer quite like this. Time you should look for another opportunity.
by Swansea
Wed May 15, 2019 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Do you have working carbon monoxide detectors?
Replies: 44
Views: 2383

Re: PSA: Do you have working carbon monoxide detectors?

All of our smoke detectors are high up on the wall or in the ceiling. For those that are installing combo units (smoke/CO), are they located at a high height? I thought you wanted CO down low to the ground because that's where it starts to accumulate and if it was high up on the wall it's already o...
by Swansea
Tue May 14, 2019 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on Schwab
Replies: 37
Views: 3752

Re: Thoughts on Schwab

I have both Schwab and Vanguard. Schwab's customer service is superior.
by Swansea
Sun May 12, 2019 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed Employee/Retirement Issues
Replies: 24
Views: 1847

Re: Fed Employee/Retirement Issues

I am assuming you are FERS so pick your retirement date carefully. In most cases you should pick the last day of the month for FERS. Your estimated retirement check will be in about 30 days. For example, you retire on May 31st, your first estimated check will come on July 1st. You will fill out pap...
by Swansea
Sat May 11, 2019 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed Employee/Retirement Issues
Replies: 24
Views: 1847

Re: Fed Employee/Retirement Issues

it's been some time since i have processed a retirement, but see if hr will give u a copy of sf 2810
https://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/opm2810.pdf
by Swansea
Tue May 07, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you donate?
Replies: 100
Views: 7578

Re: How much do you donate?

10% of annual income.
by Swansea
Sun May 05, 2019 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Extended Market Index Fund?
Replies: 20
Views: 2449

Re: Extended Market Index Fund?

I had the same concern with the FANG stocks having outsized influence, so I started putting money last year into VEXAX, Vanguard Extended Market Index Admiral.
by Swansea
Sun May 05, 2019 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can anyone give me a ball park estimate on this roof repair?
Replies: 19
Views: 2247

Re: Can anyone give me a ball park estimate on this roof repair (pictures included)?

adamthesmythe wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 9:46 pm
In the circumstances, I would negotiate a price reduction, pleading difficulty of getting a contractor. 500 is a good round number.
+1
A friend had a very similar situation, and this is how he resolved it.
by Swansea
Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: update 70s kitchen or nah?
Replies: 49
Views: 3705

Re: update 70s kitchen or nah?

I had a master bath remodel that took over 3 months. I don't think these major remodels are a walk in the park. Sometimes they go well, sometimes not.
by Swansea
Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury car recommendations?
Replies: 107
Views: 9788

Re: Luxury car recommendations?

I’d respectfully disagree. Bought a bmw 3series CPO and it was a total pain. Didn’t matter what the issue was the dealer charged $800+ for the repair. The AC magically quit working the week after the warranty expired on a 100 degree day. BMW's aren't exactly at the top of the reliability list eithe...
by Swansea
Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple MacBook Air - what to do next.
Replies: 45
Views: 2808

Re: Apple MacBook Air - what to do next.

My beloved Apple MacBook Air is starting to struggle to hold a charge. I suppose the next move would be to take it to the Apple Genius bar (not sure if that is the right name or not lol) and they might either service it there or send it out. Where I live, this is something of a huge hassle due to d...
by Swansea
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare B only vs FEHB only
Replies: 47
Views: 1727

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

As a former federal HR Officer, I often cited the ability to carry FEHB into retirement to folks I was recruiting. It is a major benefit.
by Swansea
Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thrift Savings Plan expenses rising
Replies: 50
Views: 4361

Re: Thrift Savings Plan expenses rising

However, if you separate from service during or after the year you reach age 55 (or the year you reach age 50 if you are a public safety employee as defined by section 72(t)(10)(B)(ii) of the Internal Revenue Code), then the 10% early withdrawal penalty tax does not apply. I was a Fed in my 20's so...
by Swansea
Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thrift Savings Plan expenses rising
Replies: 50
Views: 4361

Re: Thrift Savings Plan expenses rising

I rolled my TSP into Vanguard after I retired.
by Swansea
Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thrift Savings Plan expenses rising
Replies: 50
Views: 4361

Re: Thrift Savings Plan expenses rising

One basis point is significant? My feelings exactly! For those eligible, this seems like a great plan - far, far superior to almost anything offered by employers in the private sector. FERS is a good retirement system, but the TSP portion? What is special about its equity funds? The their ERs are n...
by Swansea
Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thrift Savings Plan expenses rising
Replies: 50
Views: 4361

Re: Thrift Savings Plan expenses rising

Last time I checked, Schwab's index 500 fund expenses were lower than TSP. Now, unless you have a huge amount in the account, the reduction of .01% or so, makes little difference.
by Swansea
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AGI and withholding estimation for retired federal employees
Replies: 4
Views: 419

Re: AGI and withholding estimation for retired federal employees

I don't know the withholding default, if any. If u wish to make changes, use TSP form 78.
https://www.tsp.gov/forms/withdrawals.html