Search found 740 matches

by Swansea
Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feds: FEHB + Medicare Part B?
Replies: 18
Views: 671

Re: Feds: FEHB + Medicare Part B?

I had FEHB BCBS standard, then for two years I added Medicare Part B and was subject to IIRMA. I crunched the numbers and found that the premiums under Part B exceeded the benefits for no co-pays, etc by a good bit. So I dropped it. Fortunately if things go south, I still have catastrophic protectio...
by Swansea
Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic
Replies: 54
Views: 24296

Re: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic

I've been on the Standard for a large number of years. One reason for me is that it is more generous with PT visits, up to 75 per year. I forget how may Basic will spring for.
by Swansea
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I retire now?
Replies: 13
Views: 2005

Re: Should I retire now?

An increase of 1K a month by waiting to age 62 is way too good to pass up.
by Swansea
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water hammer
Replies: 27
Views: 2113

Re: Water hammer

About every 5 or 6 hours, I hear the sound of water being pumped, usually 3 bursts, then followed by water hammer in the pipes. This occurs during periods where I have not used water for a number of hours. I suspect maybe a slow leak, as no real change has happened in my water bill. Does the water ...
by Swansea
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water hammer
Replies: 27
Views: 2113

Re: Water hammer

Do you have an expansion tank installed on your cold water line near water heater? If not that may fix thermal expansion issue. If it is a few years old, check with a tire gauge that it still has air pressure in it equal to water pressure. Internal bladder fails over time. When banging starts, crac...
by Swansea
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water hammer
Replies: 27
Views: 2113

Re: Water hammer

Swansea wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:09 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:03 pm
Probably not. Check toilets for leaks.
Good point...I will get some dye to put in the tank to see if I can find a leak
Note to self: use less dye next time
by Swansea
Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP question
Replies: 6
Views: 670

Re: TSP question

As has been mentioned above, he should first determine post retirement expenses. Then estimate his FERS pension, https://retireinstitute.com/fers-calculator/ Also, the income from TSP under different allocations. I was under the CSRS system, which was more generous in the pension provided, but less ...
by Swansea
Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water hammer
Replies: 27
Views: 2113

Re: Water hammer

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:03 pm
Probably not. Check toilets for leaks.
Good point...I will get some dye to put in the tank to see if I can find a leak
by Swansea
Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water hammer
Replies: 27
Views: 2113

Re: Water hammer

About every 5 or 6 hours, I hear the sound of water being pumped, usually 3 bursts, then followed by water hammer in the pipes. This occurs during periods where I have not used water for a number of hours. I suspect maybe a slow leak, as no real change has happened in my water bill. Does the water ...
by Swansea
Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water hammer
Replies: 27
Views: 2113

Water hammer

About every 5 or 6 hours, I hear the sound of water being pumped, usually 3 bursts, then followed by water hammer in the pipes. This occurs during periods where I have not used water for a number of hours. I suspect maybe a slow leak, as no real change has happened in my water bill. Does the water h...
by Swansea
Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed. Employees - Tammy Flanagan Consult?
Replies: 7
Views: 770

Re: Fed. Employees - Tammy Flanagan Consult?

Retired NIH HR Officer here: I can't speak for Tammy's organization, but her reputation as a benefits expert is outstanding.
Now if your Agency has a good benefits specialist, as NIH did some years ago, that should be your first point of contact.
by Swansea
Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Organization supporting Veterans - Donation
Replies: 19
Views: 783

Re: Organization supporting Veterans - Donation

Which ever group you consider, please check their IRS 990 form to see how they spend their monies. You'd be surprised at the number of organizations who spend a small fraction of their revenue on programs.
by Swansea
Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New thermostat for mid-late 70’s parents?
Replies: 27
Views: 1627

Re: New thermostat for mid-late 70’s parents?

Bogle7 wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:49 pm
As a 71-year-old-fart, I say: a Honeywell programmable for $40.

P.S. 70s, no apostrophe
+1 I just adjusted my Honeywell...very easy for this 72 year old.
by Swansea
Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hard Wired smoke alarms. Recommendations.
Replies: 34
Views: 1887

Re: Hard Wired smoke alarms. Recommendations.

In Maryland, you are now required to replace smoke detectors with ten year batteries.
At least a couple of counties in Maryland have fire departments who provide free smoke detectors. Mine does for folks over 60 or so.
by Swansea
Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CPO BMW 5 Series
Replies: 21
Views: 1854

Re: CPO BMW 5 Series

I was a big BMW fan till they put in electrical steerings. I probably won't ever own another one, because with the steering feel gone, the value is just not there. The price does seem too good to be true. It is lower than the residual from a lease return, typically around 55-60% of MSRP. Even if th...
by Swansea
Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items
Replies: 36
Views: 3330

Re: Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items

Squeaking is usually a loose belt or a failing belt tensioner. Get another estimate. Coolant, as with brake fluid and engine oil, deteriorates with age. I replace mine every 3 years. You can always go on a Toyota forum to see what others have done. Three years on coolant life is out of date informa...
by Swansea
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items
Replies: 36
Views: 3330

Re: Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items

Personally not a fan of letting belts linger. They will break/fail at the most inopportune time. And when they do, the car is looking for a tow. It is a rather simple job and I'd ask your mechanic why the labor is so high for that replacement. Yes, the labor for replacement is quite high. I once ha...
by Swansea
Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stock market at its peak
Replies: 32
Views: 4620

Re: Stock market at its peak

Thanks again! The cash we have available for investment is $105K. Both my wife and I are investing in 100% stock--I am investing in Vanguard Total stock market and my wife is in Vanguard S&P 500. There's almost no point in differentiating between the two, they're so closely correlated. There are ot...
by Swansea
Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I Negotiate After Receiving the Official Offer for a Government Job?
Replies: 17
Views: 1562

Re: Can I Negotiate After Receiving the Official Offer for a Government Job?

I've been out of the HR game for a good bit, but I seem to remember that relocation monies are paid only to current employees.
However, first time employees who are in tough to fill positions, may be eligible for a recruitment bonus.
by Swansea
Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I Negotiate After Receiving the Official Offer for a Government Job?
Replies: 17
Views: 1562

Re: Can I Negotiate After Receiving the Official Offer for a Government Job?

If I read the OP's post correctly, looks like the salary was already negotiated...the feds call it Appointment Above the Minimum. If so, I would not re-open the salary negotiation at this point.
by Swansea
Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for Feds re: liability insurance...
Replies: 20
Views: 1228

Re: Question for Feds re: liability insurance...

It would be useful to find the data on how many feds were actually personally sued and were then supported by this company. My google search was fruitless, but the company would have the data.
by Swansea
Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for Feds re: liability insurance...
Replies: 20
Views: 1228

Re: Question for Feds re: liability insurance...

I do not know anything about the insurance. But before relying on it or paying for it, she should know how she is covered without the insurance. A federal employee is covered for any action that occurs properly within their scope of employment as long as the action is supported by her training and ...
by Swansea
Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do You Pay For Financial Advice?
Replies: 76
Views: 4328

Re: Do You Pay For Financial Advice?

I do it myself and don't pay an advisor.
Interestingly, a friend ,whose asset allocation is very similar to mine, and I compared performance figures over the past 10 years. He pays 1% for advice, yet our performance outcomes were identical. I felt good about that.
by Swansea
Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who does your tax returns?
Replies: 103
Views: 5195

Re: Who does your tax returns?

Independent CPA.
Used to do it by hand, but made errors not in my favor...so it was time to change.
by Swansea
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas cap door on a 1995 Chevrolet cavalier has a problem
Replies: 24
Views: 1262

Re: Gas cap door on a 1995 Chevrolet cavalier has a problem

My door did not close completely, so I sprayed it with white lithium grease and it closed all the way.
by Swansea
Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?
Replies: 60
Views: 5575

Re: Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?

Yes, the medical insurance is worth its weight in gold. I am the widow of a fed employee and because I and my daughter had been covered under the fed health plan when he passed away at the tender age of 51 we were able to continue without an interruption in medical coverage. I am able to continue c...
by Swansea
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Impact of filing a claim under home owners policy
Replies: 10
Views: 872

Impact of filing a claim under home owners policy

My current deductible for the homeowner's policy is 4K. One of the reasons I have it that high is I have heard that when one files a claim, your premium goes up. If that was not true, I'd consider lowering the current deductible. My carrier is State Farm. Has anyone seen an impact upon their premium...
by Swansea
Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone work in Compensation/Benefits? (Math teacher looking for a career switch)
Replies: 26
Views: 1993

Re: Anyone work in Compensation/Benefits? (Math teacher looking for a career switch)

As a former federal HR officer and briefly a federal labor relations specialist, I do not see a good fit for you in the federal sector where the qualifications will require years of specialized experience. Your current salary is at the top of the GS scale and the 150K would be comparable to the fede...
by Swansea
Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 501(c)(3) Public-Charity or a Private Foundation?
Replies: 38
Views: 2348

Re: 501(c)(3) Public-Charity or a Private Foundation?

I had looked into setting up a 501 (c) 3 in Maryland. Link below is what I found. Note that it requires a Board of Directors, if one wants total control, that would be a non-starter. Obviously, other states are probably different.

https://grants.maryland.gov/Documents/C ... Profit.pdf
by Swansea
Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employee Retirement & Timing
Replies: 5
Views: 804

Re: Federal Employee Retirement & Timing

Taken to the extreme (under FERS), retiring on the 1st of the month would result in the loss of a full month pension check in exchange for only 1 day of additional compensation versus retiring on the last day of the prior month. Also within any given month there is a unique day (depending on your d...
by Swansea
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applying to a Federal Job
Replies: 28
Views: 2828

Re: Applying to a Federal Job

As far as the resume goes.... you have 2 audiences, the HR official, and the hiring official. For the HR official, you need *everything* in there. Resumes 10 pages or longer are common. You must get past the HR official to get your resume into the hands of the hiring official. But for the hiring of...
by Swansea
Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 403b/457 vs TSP
Replies: 11
Views: 1064

Re: 403b/457 vs TSP

Small Savanna wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:20 am
What is your TSP money invested in? C fund would have given you a much better return.
As would the S fund (assuming one holds it for a long enough period.)
by Swansea
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applying to a Federal Job
Replies: 28
Views: 2828

Re: Applying to a Federal Job

There is usually an initial screening based on how you answer a set of questions during the application process. These questions usually ask you to rate your skill or knowledge about certain topics or areas of expertise. I may be wrong but I don't think anyone even looks at your resume unless you r...
by Swansea
Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applying to a Federal Job
Replies: 28
Views: 2828

Re: Applying to a Federal Job

1) There is no advantage given to folks who have local government experience, except that the experience, just as if it came from the private sector, matches the skills for the federal job. 2) You should get a copy of the position description for the job, if possible. Then use that information to hi...
by Swansea
Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)
Replies: 28
Views: 2831

Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Last time I tried to sell my car to a private party, it was an unsatisfactory experience. I prefer to take the hit of some $$ and sell to a dealer.
by Swansea
Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Inspector vs Independent Contractors
Replies: 9
Views: 753

Re: Home Inspector vs Independent Contractors

The information below is from a regional consumer rating group.

"undercover shoppers paid for 12 inspections we were astonished by how poorly many of them performed. Of the 28 problems we deemed any inspector should catch, as a group they caught them only half the time."
by Swansea
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about calling around for car insurance quotes
Replies: 17
Views: 1423

Re: Question about calling around for car insurance quotes

Asking a bogus question often results in a bogus answer. Don't assume that you would be the first to try a tactic like this. And don't assume that the insurance company you call won't be able to pull up your driving record. I called an agent to check on prices. He asked if I had any speeding ticket...
by Swansea
Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP: Moving out of G Fund to F?
Replies: 49
Views: 3440

Re: TSP: Moving out of G Fund to F?

I have a large chunk of retiremement savings in the TSP. A couple of years ago I got tired of all the personal hand-wringing about C vs F and G vs S funds and decided to park 100% of it into the Target Date 2030 fund which is currently 33% G fund and 7% F fund giving me a nice even 40% fixed income...
by Swansea
Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mouse in the house
Replies: 46
Views: 4430

Re: Mouse in the house

delamer wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:06 pm
A mouse did $1000 worth of damage to my husband’s car (in our garage) when it chewed through wiring.
Yes, they can really hurt your cars. A mouse chewed my car's vacuum hoses.
by Swansea
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP: Moving out of G Fund to F?
Replies: 49
Views: 3440

Re: TSP: Moving out of G Fund to F?

Where you should choose is largely rated on your time horizon. F has out performed G 7 of the 10 last years. Of course, predicting the future performance is beyond my skill level. Check out the url below.

https://www.tsp.gov/InvestmentFunds/Fun ... turns.html
by Swansea
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my BMW
Replies: 48
Views: 3539

Re: Should I sell my BMW

Do not follow the recommended 12K or 15K oil change schedule - that's designed to break cars and force folks to buy a new car every 3-4 years. Having opened the head on a 100k+ mile N52 engine that had only had 7 oil changes (all per the maintenance indicator), I wholeheartedly disagree with this. ...
by Swansea
Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my BMW
Replies: 48
Views: 3539

Re: Should I sell my BMW

Keep the BMW. My 1998 328i has 95K miles and is running quite well. I did have the rear wheel bearings replaced, and the radiator, but other than that all is just routine maintenance. My 2008 535Xi with 33k, has never had a repair issue, save for the HPFP and 5 injectors, all of which were covered ...
by Swansea
Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my BMW
Replies: 48
Views: 3539

Re: Should I sell my BMW

Keep the BMW. My 1998 328i has 95K miles and is running quite well. I did have the rear wheel bearings replaced, and the radiator, but other than that all is just routine maintenance. My 2008 535Xi with 33k, has never had a repair issue, save for the HPFP and 5 injectors, all of which were covered u...
by Swansea
Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jewellery Insurance
Replies: 5
Views: 452

Re: Jewellery Insurance

I have this insurance also, with SF. I did an internet search and SF pricing was about average.
by Swansea
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wheel Alignment?
Replies: 18
Views: 1580

Re: Wheel Alignment?

Check all four tires for their wear pattern. If the wear seems to be evenly distributed, I would not do the alignment.
by Swansea
Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for good leather shoe?
Replies: 43
Views: 4234

Re: Suggestions for good leather shoe?

I have several pairs of AE. They last forever and can be recrafted. They are the only dress shoe my EEE feet are comfortable in.
by Swansea
Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creditable service for federal employment
Replies: 5
Views: 559

Re: Creditable service for federal employment

I am completing the forms to retire from federal employment. :sharebeer I have been given inconsistent answers to this question, so thought I'd see if any Bogleheads (be they fellow feds or other) have bumped into this scenario. Prior to becoming a regular, fulltime, permanent federal employee, I w...
by Swansea
Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP in retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 2882

Re: TSP in retirement

I'd also be interested to hear what people have done for moving the money out of TSP, where did you move it to and why, what companies and what type of funds, possibly any good type of annuities outside of TSP. I rolled my TSP over to Vanguard. This was 12 years ago. I liked the better withdrawal f...
by Swansea
Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?
Replies: 72
Views: 5225

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

also, be aware that things can change (and have done so even retroactively! {Yes, FERS itself was made retroactive when it was implemented}) so you need to pay attention. Also pay attention to how your state (or future state if you plan on relocation in retirement) taxes fed benefits... it's not un...
by Swansea
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?
Replies: 72
Views: 5225

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

+1 on opting out of FEGLI. Of all the employees I had counseled on this issue and told them to shop the private sector, not one came back to say FEGLI was a better deal.
Employees with pre-existing health conditions may find it competitive, particularly if they can not secure private life insurance.