Search found 2020 matches

by fortfun
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wiki - How to campaign for a better 403(b) plan
Replies: 5
Views: 309

Re: Wiki - How to campaign for a better 403(b) plan

Thank you LadyGeek and EdLaFave!
by fortfun
Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Teacher 403B Plans
Replies: 30
Views: 2013

Re: Teacher 403B Plans

How? I've been trying for years... Can you please provide some details? Every district is different and I don't pretend to have all of the answers, but I'll lay out my general recommendations based on my experience. Do Your Homework 1. Fully understand the vendors/plans currently approved by your d...
by fortfun
Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon and More In October
Replies: 25
Views: 1508

Re: Grand Canyon and More In October

Hi All, I am flying to Phoenix and driving to Las Vegas for 8 nights in October with 8 year old and 11 year old boys and my wife. We will rent car from Phoenix and drop in Vagas( I understand charges :) ). Must do in our list is Grand Canyon and Death Valley. Vegas we don't care (have seen in pat) ...
by fortfun
Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Teacher 403B Plans
Replies: 30
Views: 2013

Re: Teacher 403B Plans

This list has several “great” to “reasonable enough” options: Vanguard, documented here Security Benefit’s NEA DirectInvest, documented here . Lincoln’s PDP Aspire, documented here . PlanMember Direct, documented here . Remember, you can always get your district to add Fidelity and/or Vanguard to t...
by fortfun
Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why Shouldn't I Switch to Low Carbon/Fossil Fuel Free Index Funds
Replies: 43
Views: 1995

Re: Why Shouldn't I Switch to Low Carbon/Fossil Fuel Free Index Funds

Shell and other mega fossil fuel companies are already investing in alternative energy. Since they have so much money, power, lobbyist, etc. I probably wouldn't ditch them.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles ... #gs.oowqb5
by fortfun
Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Drop DW's HSA and get onto my own PPO?
Replies: 7
Views: 321

Re: Drop DW's HSA and get onto my own PPO?

FIREchief wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:05 pm
I would make the switch. If you're over 55, you'll lose the HSA catchup contribution for yourself. Other than that, I don't see a downside.
Thanks firechief!
by fortfun
Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Drop DW's HSA and get onto my own PPO?
Replies: 7
Views: 321

Re: Drop DW's HSA and get onto my own PPO?

Disadvantages: 1. I'd have to pay $30/month for my PPO but only the first year. If you are planning on remaining with this employer, this is a trivial expense. 2. DW and two children could still contribute 7k/year without me on HSA. Is this correct? Yes, the HSA family plan contribution limit is fo...
by fortfun
Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Drop DW's HSA and get onto my own PPO?
Replies: 7
Views: 321

Re: Drop DW's HSA and get onto my own PPO?

2. DW and two children could still contribute 7k/year without me on HSA. Is this correct? This is correct. As long DW has a high deductible plan covering at least herself and one other person (either a spouse or a dependent), she qualifies to make the $7K contribution. If I were you, I would go wit...
by fortfun
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:20 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: I can't find the edit button
Replies: 4
Views: 339

Re: I can't find the edit button

Strange. Make sure it is your post and not the one he is quoting.
by fortfun
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Drop DW's HSA and get onto my own PPO?
Replies: 7
Views: 321

Drop DW's HSA and get onto my own PPO?

I've been on DW's high deductible HSA, with our two children, for the past 1.5 years. I'm wondering if it make more sense for me to switch back to my employer's PPO, that has a much lower deductible and co-pays. My cost would be $30 per month, for the first year, and then free as long as I jump thro...
by fortfun
Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...
Replies: 37
Views: 3893

Re: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...

DW wants to move up to three row SUV to haul around grandkids. Love the Ascent but dealership 60 miles from home and Toyota dealerships 15 miles from home. Any thoughts here? Have you tried sitting in the third row of the Highlander? It’s a joke of a third row. My wife has Ascent and we love it. De...
by fortfun
Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing in Multiple Streams of Income? (NOT get rich quick)
Replies: 89
Views: 7383

Re: Investing in Multiple Streams of Income? (NOT get rich quick)

You might want to read responses to this thread. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=269901 I think the main concern with rental properties is unexpected costs that could wipe you out (new roof, etc) and bad tenants. However, it has worked well for many. I finished my basement and r...
by fortfun
Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard?
Replies: 48
Views: 3618

Re: Vanguard?

Capital gains? I thought 403b accounts once rolled over to an ira is only taxed when I take it out? I'd call Vanguard and have them step you through the process. There may be surrender fees from the 403b but Vanguard should be able to help you minimize fees/taxes, etc. Yes, I would switch to Vangua...
by fortfun
Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...
Replies: 37
Views: 3893

Re: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...

Love our Highlander. 10 years old with 106k miles--zero problems. Change the oil and filters once a year--that's it!
by fortfun
Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Waiting to prepay mortgage until you can pay the whole thing off?
Replies: 28
Views: 3335

Re: Waiting to prepay mortgage until you can pay the whole thing off?

If someone has a lot of equity in the house - they can just sell if hard times comes - and then use the proceeds to downsize into a full cash purchase. Of course you have to have consider the shock to the family to do that. Of course it's a similar shock to the family if "mom lost her job, all of y...
by fortfun
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing Your Own Taxes
Replies: 36
Views: 3320

Re: Doing Your Own Taxes

If you have rentals, try Turbo Tax deluxe. I've really enjoyed it the past three years and got much bigger refunds than when I paid a "professional." I'd be interested in hearing what errors and/or omissions you found in the "professional" tax return. I prepare a lot of returns for TaxAide and we s...
by fortfun
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing Your Own Taxes
Replies: 36
Views: 3320

Re: Doing Your Own Taxes

If you have rentals, try Turbo Tax deluxe. I've really enjoyed it the past three years and got much bigger refunds than when I paid a "professional."
by fortfun
Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon levels in home
Replies: 50
Views: 4363

Re: Radon levels in home

Is your basement plumbed with a passive radon pipe leading out the roof? If so, you can put a $150 fan, in the attic, to pull the air out through the roof. I did that to mine, it was about a half day job, including adding a 110V plug near the power fan.
by fortfun
Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 120
Views: 9257

Re: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math

The other problem with HDHPs, which was emphasized in the article, is that people with HDHPs are discouraged from using medical services, whether those services should be used or not. Yes, and sadly, if you bring up anything during the "free" annual physical, you are almost always billed for a sepa...
by fortfun
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 120
Views: 9257

Re: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math

The other problem with HDHPs, which was emphasized in the article, is that people with HDHPs are discouraged from using medical services, whether those services should be used or not. Yes, and sadly, if you bring up anything during the "free" annual physical, you are almost always billed for a sepa...
by fortfun
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For the wiki: HSA as an emergency fund
Replies: 22
Views: 2212

Re: For the wiki: HSA as an emergency fund

HSA can already be used for medical emergencies. So in that sense very good idea to keep money there for medical expenses. But keeping all the old receipts is too complex. There is software out there that can keep track of these receipts for you, but it's really not difficult to just scan the recei...
by fortfun
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 120
Views: 9257

Re: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math

The other problem with HDHPs, which was emphasized in the article, is that people with HDHPs are discouraged from using medical services, whether those services should be used or not. Yes, and sadly, if you bring up anything during the "free" annual physical, you are almost always billed for a sepa...
by fortfun
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teacher - Disability Insurance Plan
Replies: 9
Views: 577

Re: Teacher - Disability Insurance Plan

My teacher pension has a built in disability coverage once vested. You should check your pension before you buy a 3rd party. The disability that comes with my pension is actually quite good but the district still offers Afflack (I guess for employees that are not vested??)
by fortfun
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currently Viable Refinance Options when 30-YR Mortgage is Currently at 3.875%?
Replies: 23
Views: 1755

Re: Currently Viable Refinance Options when 30-YR Mortgage is Currently at 3.875%?

or did you mean, they are rolling those costs into the loan so you're paying interest on them? Hi F150HD, Sadly, the link didn't update when I entered the new info. I think it was for a 30yr loan. You/he would need to punch the numbers into the website to get accurate information. I'd even call the...
by fortfun
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investments for Children - equity percentage
Replies: 11
Views: 441

Re: Investments for Children - equity percentage

My very generous mother is currently putting money aside for my 8-year-old niece. A sum of 25k is currently sitting in a savings account and she is continuing to contribute. I have decided to intervene and will sit with her and open a Vanguard account with a view to placing the sum in a life strate...
by fortfun
Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 50 or 75 gallon water heater?
Replies: 67
Views: 4186

Re: 50 or 75 gallon water heater?

Twin 50 gal in series is the answer Unlimited hot when you want it Throttle back to one on when you don’t Seems like real "overkill" to me. I have two 75 gallon tanks. Overkill maybe, but the other benefit is that you will never be without hot water if one tank fails as they are daisy-chained toget...
by fortfun
Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 50 or 75 gallon water heater?
Replies: 67
Views: 4186

Re: 50 or 75 gallon water heater?

We have 2, 40 gallon tanks. The set up works very well. 40 gallon tanks are much less expensive than 50 and 75 gallon tanks. For an extra $100 you could add all the additional plumbing necessary (if you are handy). It would take up a bit more space though. Despite the popularity of tank-less heaters...
by fortfun
Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currently Viable Refinance Options when 30-YR Mortgage is Currently at 3.875%?
Replies: 23
Views: 1755

Re: Currently Viable Refinance Options when 30-YR Mortgage is Currently at 3.875%?

30yr. 3.625 with $478 points. 3.75 with $1,500 cash back. https://www.provident.com/QuickRatesCalculator?base=2&Product=A1010&state=CO&LoanPurpose=1&LoanAmount=383000&apprvalue=700000 20yr. 3.625 no closing costs. https://www.provident.com/QuickRatesCalculator?base=2&Product=A1010&state=CO&LoanPurpo...
by fortfun
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign on bonus suggestion
Replies: 32
Views: 3033

Re: Credit card sign on bonus suggestion

Cap 1 venture and savor (500 each, 1k total).
Citi Thankyou Premiere. (use their travel site to book).
Citi AA (lots of flights and partners).
United Explorer

If married, get a his and hers.
by fortfun
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: used car advice
Replies: 20
Views: 1535

Re: used car advice

The only car I'd buy on that list is the 2016 Honda Accord Touring. I'd worry about reliability issues and maintenance costs too much on the others. I'm a bigger fan of Toyota though...

I also don't care too much about the "fun" to drive factor, so there is that.
by fortfun
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you repair your own appliances?
Replies: 65
Views: 3591

Re: Do you repair your own appliances?

Yes. For me, there's really nothing to lose. If I can't fix it, I'll just buy a new one rather than pay someone nearly the price of a new one to fix it. So far about a 90% success rate. I do prefer buying older appliances off of Facebook market place and Craigslist. They were definitely built better...
by fortfun
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refi Options Question
Replies: 4
Views: 403

Re: Refi Options Question

hayhayday wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:00 pm
5k = 0.5% for a 0.125% reduction so payback is more like 4 years rather than 2 if that changes your decision. If your planning on possible multiple refis no cost route maybe better as will eliminate sunk cost apprehension if rates drop again
+1
by fortfun
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How safe are pensions in the U.S.?
Replies: 87
Views: 9055

Re: How safe are pensions in the U.S.?

I read a lot of articles about pensions failing, benefits getting cut, etc. But my understanding is that most pensions are guaranteed by the PBGC, so participants generally won’t lose their promised benefits if the company goes bankrupt or can’t meet their obligations. I am not sure about benefits ...
by fortfun
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC Options
Replies: 19
Views: 1487

Re: HELOC Options

How much will grad school cost? How long would it take you to save up that amount? How much will completed grad school raise your salary/income? I'd avoid the HELOC, if at all possible. Sorry not a better answer to your question.
by fortfun
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on 529 allocations
Replies: 2
Views: 512

Re: Advice on 529 allocations

I used Vanguard age based. I used aggressive until about age 10 and then switched over to moderate. It has served us well. Seems like your age based choice is good.
by fortfun
Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Checking vs Capital One 360 Checking
Replies: 16
Views: 1513

Re: Ally Checking vs Capital One 360 Checking

I use Ally but DW and I opened and closed Cap One accounts for the 500 bonus. Cap One didn't have any way to list beneficiaries at the time, which was a big problem for us. Maybe they do now. Ally works amazing well--better than my experience with the Cap One account that we sat up for the bonuses, ...
by fortfun
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Excel to Outlook - need some Visual Basic assistance
Replies: 3
Views: 544

Re: Excel to Outlook - need some Visual Basic assistance

I would recommend Google Sheets with autocrat add-on. It can do exactly what you are asking for, very easily.

Google "autocrat addon"
by fortfun
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Salt Lake or Az to Vegas November
Replies: 8
Views: 743

Re: Road trip Salt Lake To Vegas November

We could also start and return to Vegas.I guess Zion is the best bet but uncertain about the other parks. You could get Zion and Bryce very easily from Las Vegas. Probably the easiest to do. However, if it is important, you could certainly see all of the Big 5 over a six day period. Utah does a nic...
by fortfun
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Quitten" - Replacing Quicken with Google Sheets
Replies: 39
Views: 4216

Re: "Quitten" - Replacing Quicken with Google Sheets

So for any analysis sheet I care to create, such as summary report on spending for specified time period, I can simply use that "All transactions" sheet's range as the source for queries, easy peasy. This is probably not the most efficient way to go, but so far I haven't found the performance to be...
by fortfun
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to donate to a non profit organization anonymously?
Replies: 22
Views: 1758

Re: How to donate to a non profit organization anonymously?

sksbog wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:18 pm
hello,

Any thoughts on How to donate to a non profit organization anonymously?

Thanks
Send them a prepaid credit card.
by fortfun
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone recommend a cheap cell phone service for text and calls?
Replies: 24
Views: 2106

Re: Anyone recommend a cheap cell phone service for text and calls?

My father-in-law needs a cheap cell phone and service. He is not a senior citizen (age 55) but has early on-set Alzheimers. Anyone have any suggestions on a cheap cell phone plan for someone like him ? He just needs it for emergencies and staying in touch with family. The ability to also text would...
by fortfun
Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Having both Vanguard Target and TIAA-CREF Lifecycle funds
Replies: 16
Views: 1193

Re: Having both Vanguard Target and TIAA-CREF Lifecycle funds

Thanks for the replies. Student -- good point on potentially learning something by comparing the two. The Fees are: TIAA .1% Vanguard .09% https://www.tiaa.org/public/investment-performance/mutualfunds/profile?ticker=21066478 https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/profile/pe/fees/1669?dbOnly=fa...
by fortfun
Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for rent is throwing away money...myth?
Replies: 302
Views: 19295

Re: Paying for rent is throwing away money...myth?

I own my home but rent the basement, which pays the mortgage (with depreciation, I'm able to show a loss). I'm pretty handy and can do all the maintenance/repairs. Homes in my area have appreciated nicely. I purchased my home before I knew about Bogleheads and it was probably a good investment for m...
by fortfun
Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Top Carrier
Replies: 18
Views: 1301

Re: Car Top Carrier

I own a Toyota Rav 4. Next month, I need to transport some household items to a relative living 350 miles away. I will not be able to fit everything into the relatively small cargo area of the RAV4. I have never used a car top carrier before, but this vehicle came with a rack for a carrier. Any rec...
by fortfun
Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell us your side hustle success stories.
Replies: 68
Views: 7000

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Rent out basement that I finished myself (approx 1k/month). Usually show a loss with depreciation. Only advertise through my local university. Can be super picky on tenants due to "shared" space, even though there isn't any shared space. Churning credit cards for DW and I (approx 5k/yr). Pay no taxe...
by fortfun
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Having both Vanguard Target and TIAA-CREF Lifecycle funds
Replies: 16
Views: 1193

Re: Having both Vanguard Target and TIAA-CREF Lifecycle funds

According to this PDF https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/ffs/886315597.pdf fees on the TIAA are significantly higher than Vanguards. Would you mind posting the fees on both funds? That way, we can compare apples to apples. It appears that TIAAs fees are .4% higher, which will add up to a big difference...
by fortfun
Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Salt Lake or Az to Vegas November
Replies: 8
Views: 743

Re: Road trip Salt Lake To Vegas November

Any thoughts on driving from Utah to Vegas the beginning of November?Any road/weather problems at that time.We would like to see some of the National Parks briefly along the way.We have 6 days.No hiking just some photos and a general sense of the area.Thanks Roads will probably be okay that time of...
by fortfun
Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy more life insurance?
Replies: 25
Views: 1380

Re: Should I buy more life insurance?

Your salary is 5 times mine but your life insurance is less than 2 times what I carry. If you family needs the full 550k/yr salary replacement, you should at least double what you have. So, I think your suggestion is inline with that. What insurance company sold you a policy of 30 times plus your i...
by fortfun
Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy more life insurance?
Replies: 25
Views: 1380

Re: Should I buy more life insurance?

Your salary is 5 times mine but your life insurance is less than 2 times what I carry. If you family needs the full 550k/yr salary replacement, you should at least double what you have. So, I think your suggestion is inline with that.