Search found 462 matches

by Swansea
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Lightbulbs - Recommended Brands
Replies: 26
Views: 1130

Re: LED Lightbulbs - Recommended Brands

I installed a Phillips 3 way bulb this week. Immediately it became a 2 way bulb as one option burned out. Are you sure it is not a problem with the socket contacts....those can get wonky in a 3-way lamp. I'm pretty much lost on electrical stuff. How would I check the contacts? Try another 3 way bulb?
by Swansea
Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Lightbulbs - Recommended Brands
Replies: 26
Views: 1130

Re: LED Lightbulbs - Recommended Brands

I installed a Phillips 3 way bulb this week. Immediately it became a 2 way bulb as one option burned out.
by Swansea
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018
Replies: 33
Views: 2302

Re: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018

Just got my form from HHS to drop Medicare Part B. I had to talk to a HHS rep who tried to discourage me from dropping it. He said in addition to the form, I need to call a number to stop withdrawals of the premiums from my checking account (I do not receive SS). I crunched the numbers over the pas...
by Swansea
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018
Replies: 33
Views: 2302

Re: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018

Just got my form from HHS to drop Medicare Part B. I had to talk to a HHS rep who tried to discourage me from dropping it. He said in addition to the form, I need to call a number to stop withdrawals of the premiums from my checking account (I do not receive SS). I crunched the numbers over the past...
by Swansea
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home voice dictation experience
Replies: 8
Views: 629

Re: Home voice dictation experience

My Mac Air has excellent dictation ability. I open a blank doc, then click on edit, and the drop down menu lets me select dictation.
by Swansea
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any red flags all stocks no bonds...
Replies: 64
Views: 2672

Re: Any red flags all stocks no bonds...

I did not move into bonds until I was in my mid 50s, so I like your plan. Now I did have a secure pension in the wings which I could have lived on if the market really tanked. I rode out the dot com crash, as well as the 2008 fall.
by Swansea
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare
Replies: 150
Views: 9430

Re: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare

I have BCBS standard as well as Medicare Part B. I ran the numbers in 2015 found that part Part B almost paid for itself because of picking up numerous PT visits. In a healthier 2016, I recouped very little benefit from Part B, so after evaluating what Checkbook has to say, I may drop it. Just need ...
by Swansea
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth changing 40 gal. to 30gal. hot water tank?
Replies: 90
Views: 4694

Re: Worth changing 40 gal. to 30gal. hot water tank?

I replaced my 40 gallon with another 40 gallon tank this year...same brand. The new tank did not fill my deep tub with enough hot water, while the old one did...same setting. My conclusion was that the normal setting was some degrees less in order to save energy, so I turned it up and all was well. ...
by Swansea
Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare
Replies: 150
Views: 9430

Re: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare

Hospitals are reimbursed for many services at a higher rate than physician's practices . That is one reason more docs are joining hospital affiliated groups. Why?? From a NYT article: But the government didn’t cut what it paid cardiologists who worked for a hospital and provided the same test. It a...
by Swansea
Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare
Replies: 150
Views: 9430

Re: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare

Hospitals are reimbursed for many services at a higher rate than physician's practices. That is one reason more docs are joining hospital affiliated groups.
by Swansea
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car battery?
Replies: 53
Views: 3454

Re: Car battery?

Good with an AGM battery. They are better for the newer vehicles with all the electronics.
by Swansea
Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair (new engine) 2005 Mazda 3?
Replies: 26
Views: 1298

Re: Repair (new engine) 2005 Mazda 3?

I would favor a re-manufactured engine over a rebuilt one depending upon the price difference and how long you want to keep the car. A rebuilt motor only replaces defective parts.

http://reman-engine-dcvamd.com/remanufa ... d-new.html
by Swansea
Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Birth Certificate/Name Issues
Replies: 20
Views: 1731

Re: Birth Certificate/Name Issues

This is not directly analogous, but my birth certificate had the suffix Jr., but driver's license and work documents for the feds had the suffix III. I notified the SSA about the conflict and I was covered using the III without any issue.
by Swansea
Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord LX with no transmissin dipstick
Replies: 31
Views: 2436

Re: Honda Accord LX with no transmissin dipstick

Wait until there's no oil dipstick to check the engine oil, there are several cars like that now. My Mercedes C240 has no oil dipstick, and it's a 2002! Yes, no dipstick seems to be the trend. My BMW 535XI 2008 does not have one, so I must rely upon the sensor which shows oil levels via the I Drive...
by Swansea
Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare
Replies: 150
Views: 9430

Re: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare

From what I've read, it's this: "When you are age 65 or over and do not have Medicare - Under the FEHB law, we must limit our payments for inpatient hospital care and physician care to those payments you would be entitled to if you had Medicare. Your physician and hospital must follow Medicare rule...
by Swansea
Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare
Replies: 150
Views: 9430

Re: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare

I'm in the same boat as delamer and will need to decide starting in January 2019 whether to take Part B or not. Currently I'm on GEHA standard (after having been in HDHP for five years or so), but I'll be looking around and using Checkbook Guide this Open Season to see what plan to be on during my ...
by Swansea
Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?
Replies: 27
Views: 2463

Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Schwab provides lots of information via email and videos. While I don't deeply read them all, most are very well done.
by Swansea
Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Red Flag with Canceling Federal Employee Health Insurance?
Replies: 11
Views: 1108

Re: Any Red Flag with Canceling Federal Employee Health Insurance?

It was not unusual for a fed to be carried on a spouse's health plan in my experience. Then the fed would switch over five years prior to retirement in order to carry FEHB into retirement.
A comment on TriCare: once in retirement with TriCare, one must sign up for Medicare Part B.
by Swansea
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joining Federal Service - A No-Brainer?
Replies: 20
Views: 2484

Re: Joining Federal Service - A No-Brainer?

Also, there is no eligibility of FEHB under this action. Could you expand on this information? I have 4 years of fed work from the past (VA hospital, really enjoyed it), and am considering applying to a fed job in order to qualify for FEHB. What are the requirements to become eligible for FEHB? Tha...
by Swansea
Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joining Federal Service - A No-Brainer?
Replies: 20
Views: 2484

Re: Joining Federal Service - A No-Brainer?

Depending upon how close you are to retirement when you leave, greatly affects the benefit of a deferred annuity. It will be computed by your high three salary, and there is no inflation adjustment until the annuity is drawn. Also, there is no eligibility of FEHB under this action.
by Swansea
Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone else not liking the new cars?
Replies: 135
Views: 10695

Re: anyone else not liking the new cars?

I dislike the automatic engine shut off when you come to a stop that some new vehicles have. It saves very little fuel and puts extra wear on the starter and battery. On some cars you can shut it off, others only the dealer may have that option.
by Swansea
Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: contributing to friend's non-profit?
Replies: 36
Views: 2002

Re: contributing to friend's non-profit?

A remember that donations to a 501 c 3 are deductible, unless there is some value provided to the donor, such as the price of the dinner.
by Swansea
Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anybody read the Medicare and You booklet?
Replies: 16
Views: 1008

Re: Does anybody read the Medicare and You booklet?

I read the sections that were of interest to me. That did not take long.
by Swansea
Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper checks, how safe are they?
Replies: 31
Views: 1970

Re: Paper checks, how safe are they?

People who come into your home can also steal one or more of your checks. The experienced thief takes them from the bottom, so one would not notice that a check was missing for a while. That happened twice to my elderly Mother. Fortunately the checking account was joint in her name and mine. I monit...
by Swansea
Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Senior citizens can lose everything [to professional guardians via court rulings]
Replies: 111
Views: 9569

Re: Senior citizens can lose everything [to professional guardians via court rulings]

If you don't have anyone suitable, and you want a bank to act as agent, you'll probably need to do a revocable trust with the bank as a trustee, since banks prefer to act as trustee than as agent under a power of attorney. That's my situation. I don't have anyone suitable. I am 67. I have no childr...
by Swansea
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employee looking to move to Private sector..!
Replies: 34
Views: 2380

Re: Federal Employee looking to move to Private sector..!

If you decide to hang in for 3 years for reinstatement rights, be sure to keep a copy of your appointment SF-50 (notice of personnel action), and a copy of your resignation SF-50. This would speed your re-entry into the government. The figure of 22% over base pay is what the budget people add to the...
by Swansea
Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Caught by speed camera
Replies: 49
Views: 2811

Re: Caught by speed camera

I've received a couple of photos of the back of my car from these cameras. There are 167 of them in my county in Maryland, and the ones in my town of 34,000 bring in over one million dollars. I just paid the 40 bucks, got no points and my insurance company was not notified. Maryland holds the owner ...
by Swansea
Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3 months left to contribute and max TSP
Replies: 25
Views: 2311

Re: 3 months left to contribute and max TSP

I've been out of the Fed HR biz for years, but if your matching TSP monies start in 2018, the rule was to space out your contributions so you don't hit the max until the end of the year, and the govt. match is designed so that it will stop if you hit for limit too early. Thanks, will keep that in m...
by Swansea
Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3 months left to contribute and max TSP
Replies: 25
Views: 2311

Re: 3 months left to contribute and max TSP

I've been out of the Fed HR biz for years, but if your matching TSP monies start in 2018, the rule was to space out your contributions so you don't hit the max until the end of the year, and the govt. match is designed so that it will stop if you hit for limit too early.
by Swansea
Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for Quality Landline Phone Manufacturer
Replies: 14
Views: 1322

Re: Looking for Quality Landline Phone Manufacturer

I've had my Panasonic, answering machine plus two remotes for 7 or 8 years and it has been flawless.
by Swansea
Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads monthly costs of dog ownership?
Replies: 83
Views: 5364

Re: Bogleheads monthly costs of dog ownership?

Just did a home visit for the rescue I volunteer with. The woman works 3 days a week, six hours a day. She was approved for adoption the day after I submitted the report. She is interested in a 2 to 4 year old. A eight week old puppy would require greater attention and an arrangement would have to b...
by Swansea
Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I retain check writing on bond fund?
Replies: 21
Views: 1865

Re: How do I retain check writing on bond fund?

I received a message from Vanguard today telling me check-writing on my Short-Term Investment Grade Fund will be terminated Oct. 31 unless I take action. I have never written a check on this fund, but I want to retain the option. The message said: "If you don’t plan to write any checks soon but sti...
by Swansea
Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads monthly costs of dog ownership?
Replies: 83
Views: 5364

Re: Bogleheads monthly costs of dog ownership?

Anyone else here have dog at home all day while working? One frustrating thing to me is rescues expect homeowners to somehow "be at home all day". Unless retired or work from home, just not realistic. Last I checked they are in kennel at rescue center. Our dog stayed home all day by himself when we...
by Swansea
Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads monthly costs of dog ownership?
Replies: 83
Views: 5364

Re: Bogleheads monthly costs of dog ownership?

About $2400 annually with no major events, such as orthopedic surgery, etc. Plan on heartworm and flea and tick preventatives, as well as necessary vaccinations.
by Swansea
Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just Need Encouragement to Stick with TSP G Fund over F Fund
Replies: 14
Views: 1169

Re: Just Need Encouragement to Stick with TSP G Fund over F Fund

In only two of the past ten years has the G fund out performed the F fund. I think the choice depends upon how close you are to pulling out the monies.
by Swansea
Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund VS GNMA
Replies: 7
Views: 888

Re: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund VS GNMA

I hold both funds. Total bond fund holding is about twice the GNMA fund holding.
by Swansea
Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Maintenance App
Replies: 14
Views: 1017

Re: Vehicle Maintenance App

I use a spreadsheet also, but I don't record costs on it. Mileage and dates of service are more important to me. My vehicle has a tracking app called Conditioned Based Service. On some things it works well, on others, it fails. For instance, the motor is due for spark plug change at 45K miles. I wen...
by Swansea
Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD Dates
Replies: 9
Views: 834

Re: RMD Dates

AMT determination: Unfortunately IRS will not provide this tool for 2017, but the below may be of help.

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-bu ... ndividuals
by Swansea
Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD Dates
Replies: 9
Views: 834

Re: RMD Dates

Non-CPA here. I am a month older than you. Your plan is consistent with my understanding of the RMD requirements.
I also asked my CPA if my RMD would trigger the AMT...a point to consider.
by Swansea
Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any "average Joe" here actually make out well with individual stocks?
Replies: 108
Views: 12959

Re: Any "average Joe" here actually make out well with individual stocks?

I owned a few individual stocks in my IRA for ten years plus. When I evaluated the performance, it pretty much matched the S&P 500. So I moved to the Vanguard Total Stock Market to spread out the risk. But I learned a lot and had some fun doing it.
by Swansea
Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Battery
Replies: 31
Views: 3034

Re: Auto Battery

Consider getting a battery tender, not a trickle charger. Also make your next battery an AGM (absorbent glass matt).
by Swansea
Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice about portfolio, especially bonds
Replies: 21
Views: 1369

Re: Advice about portfolio, especially bonds

I think you should consider more holdings in mid-cap and small-cap stocks in your equity side. I've held and sold Vanguard Extended Market and think it is a good fund.
by Swansea
Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Badly Needed---Meeting with Financial Advisor
Replies: 49
Views: 4068

Re: Advice Badly Needed---Meeting with Financial Advisor

My insurance agent (auto and home) only called me once in 20 years. He brought up life insurance. I told him I was single. He responded "You don't need it." I appreciated his candor.
by Swansea
Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can not decide between washing machines
Replies: 47
Views: 2764

Re: Can not decide between washing machines

Consider getting stainless steel braided hoses for longevity. I always do.
by Swansea
Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Cotton Blankets Good For Winter?
Replies: 21
Views: 1695

Re: Are Cotton Blankets Good For Winter?

Cotton will be too cold. Wool blankets are good for winter, but never put them in the dryer after washing them...they shrink.
by Swansea
Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The 10 year car ownership "rule"
Replies: 95
Views: 11017

Re: The 10 year car ownership "rule"

I buy my cars new. One is 19 years old, the other 10 years old. I don't put much mileage on either now, but maintenance has been minimal on the vehicles. If the 19 year old, which has 94K miles, needed an expensive repair, it would be sold.
by Swansea
Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm won't insure my rooftop solar
Replies: 10
Views: 1898

Re: State Farm won't insure my rooftop solar

Is State Farm treating the oversized panels as a business, not subject to homeowner's insurance? Just a thought.
by Swansea
Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury car: perception vs reality
Replies: 118
Views: 6876

Re: Luxury car: perception vs reality

The sales person at the BMW dealership told me that in affluent Fairfax County Va. 90% of the vehicles were leased.
I prefer to purchase my cars and hold them for a long time.
by Swansea
Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Take car to dealer before warranty expires?
Replies: 10
Views: 1240

Re: Take car to dealer before warranty expires?

Yes, dealerships do make mistakes. About 12 years ago I was told I needed a new value cover gasket by the $$tealership. I declined...I have yet to add any oil whatsoever, save for oil changes, since their faulty diagnosis.
There are good dealerships and poor dealerships.
by Swansea
Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep or let go of my car?
Replies: 44
Views: 3551

Re: Keep or let go of my car?

Agree, search for an indie (independent mechanic)...use this website as a start, but do your own research. https://www.bimmershops.com
Consider joining Bimmerfest to get opinions and information on your BMW. $$Stealerships are expensive and vary in quality.