Search found 469 matches

by Taz
Thu May 13, 2021 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Power of Working Longer - Hiking side discussion
Replies: 30
Views: 1081

Re: The Power of Working Longer - Hiking side discussion

A few years back, I decided to hike the state of Virginia (AT) by doing day hikes, slackpacking, and section backpacking. Took me about 4 years to do the 600 miles and I extremely enjoyed it, although it was a bit logistically challenging. Their is a saying in the hiking community that states "...
by Taz
Sat May 08, 2021 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frustrating candidate experiences in job search
Replies: 79
Views: 6066

Re: Frustrating candidate experiences in job search

I recently retired from a small but growing company which began to use assessments to create "ideal" job profiles based on successful employees. Some profile traits were personality based (outgoing, task focused, people focused), others were accuracy or analytical. The assessments were onl...
by Taz
Wed May 05, 2021 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need a retirement focused mother's day present for wife!
Replies: 39
Views: 2166

Re: Need a retirement focused mother's day present for wife!

Come on -- be romantic! How about a basket with a few travel guides and brochures of the places that she has talked about going or that you might take her to when you retire? Perhaps add a bottle of wine or some regional food as well. Cook her a dinner from that region.
by Taz
Wed May 05, 2021 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: St. Augustine, FL
Replies: 25
Views: 3239

Re: St. Augustine, FL

Food & drink: - Old Coast Ales on Anastasia Island is very good. Small taco place beside it is quick and tasty. - Michael's St Augustine (formerly the Tasting Room) in the Old Town area is very good for Spanish food. - The Ice Plant Bar (nest to the St. Aug Distillery) is good. Make sure you loo...
by Taz
Wed May 05, 2021 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dumb question RE (temporarily?) leaving federal employment.
Replies: 10
Views: 955

Re: Dumb question RE (temporarily?) leaving federal employment.

All you are really doing is separating (resignation) from service -- not applying for a deferred/postponed retirement annuity. Your HR ought to know what to do since you are not applying for an annuity. Do not fill out Form RI 92-19. They should have a version of Standard Form 52 for you to request ...
by Taz
Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio
Replies: 392
Views: 50917

Re: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio

Just received a SIriusXM email offer: "For the first time ever, we're offering a package of ten, free ad-supported SXM channels in the car, including previews of some of our most popular ones." I can't find anything on their web site for it but the add mentions The Highway (Country Hits),...
by Taz
Sun Mar 28, 2021 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio
Replies: 392
Views: 50917

Re: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio

Just received a SIriusXM email offer: "For the first time ever, we're offering a package of ten, free ad-supported SXM channels in the car, including previews of some of our most popular ones." I can't find anything on their web site for it but the add mentions The Highway (Country Hits), ...
by Taz
Wed Mar 17, 2021 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you tell if you should be making charitable contributions to reduce taxes?
Replies: 33
Views: 3352

Re: How do you tell if you should be making charitable contributions to reduce taxes?

I used a simple spreadsheet to forecast income & taxes since as aristotelian pointed out "If you are committed to a certain level of charity, you can think about how to do it most efficiently. That can be saving you money or maximizing your donation, depending on how you look at it." ...
by Taz
Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Live on a lake in Florida?
Replies: 40
Views: 5476

Re: Live on a lake in Florida?

Many are simply retention ponds to regulate drainage. Pros: Most of the time they are a nice feature to look across; can see wildlife; increases value of house; often can fish in it (DON'T EAT). Cons: Water moccasins; gators; deer eat your plants on the way to the pond; pets & kids are attracted...
by Taz
Mon Mar 15, 2021 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you tell if you should be making charitable contributions to reduce taxes?
Replies: 33
Views: 3352

Re: How do you tell if you should be making charitable contributions to reduce taxes?

I used a simple spreadsheet to forecast income & taxes since as aristotelian pointed out "If you are committed to a certain level of charity, you can think about how to do it most efficiently. That can be saving you money or maximizing your donation, depending on how you look at it." Y...
by Taz
Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:29 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2021!
Replies: 236
Views: 27578

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2021!

On to the honey do list! :wink: That's quite an impressive Honey-(Now-That-You're-Retired)-To-Do List :shock: By any chance does your Honey want you out of the house? Here's our solution ==> call in the experts for the soffit repair, rescreening pool enclosure, replacing water damaged flooring, rep...
by Taz
Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:58 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2021!
Replies: 236
Views: 27578

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2021!

Officially called it yesterday. :D Will remain available for periodic questions. Congratulations! The answer to their Q is NO, I'M NOT COMING BACK IN :D On to the honey do list! :wink: Now we're talking serious stuff! Please share your "Honey-(Now-That-You're-Retired)-Do-List" - some clas...
by Taz
Sun Feb 21, 2021 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reporting EE US Savings Bonds Interest
Replies: 15
Views: 1244

Re: Reporting EE US Savings Bonds Interest

Timely post. I didn't know (or remember) and I have a few that matured in 2020 as well. Good thing I didn't submit my return yesterday as planned.
by Taz
Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:52 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2021!
Replies: 236
Views: 27578

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2021!

Officially called it yesterday. :D Will remain available for periodic questions.

On to the honey do list! :wink:
by Taz
Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Advice on "Starting Over" on our Company 401k Plan
Replies: 20
Views: 1461

Re: Advice on "Starting Over" on our Company 401k Plan

The company is supposed to make available the annual report on the assets held and fees paid on the 401(k) plan annually as well as the fee structure, summary plan descriptions, default investment, etc. However, most folks don't look at the annual notices or their statements. I oversaw the admin and...
by Taz
Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: State of CA ending all but one index fund in Saving Plus Program
Replies: 31
Views: 4288

Re: State of CA ending all but one index fund in Saving Plus Program

The Federal TSP is an excellent program. California should ask the feds to allow state funds like theirs to be folded in? It would also lower costs overall. Intriguing. Is this something other states have done? Seems like a great option if it’s possible to do since people speak highly of TSP. It’s ...
by Taz
Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:09 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2021!
Replies: 236
Views: 27578

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2021!

Miriam2 - Please revise my date to mid-February. Best laid plans of mice and men ....
by Taz
Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concerned in GA
Replies: 21
Views: 4210

Re: Concerned in GA

Two comments:
(1) Your military pension will be reduced upon your death so it is important to build up your taxable investments while you can.
(2) Simplify your holdings. Consolidate them when you can to Vanguard, Fidelity, or Schwab.
by Taz
Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your favorite reasonably priced gin?
Replies: 119
Views: 9504

Re: What's your favorite reasonably priced gin?

We found a local distillery (Manifest) that makes a barrel-aged gin. The profile would overwhelm a delicate gin cocktail but it would be an interesting base for martinis or some of the "classic" cocktails which have become popular.
by Taz
Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to expect when retiring to NC?
Replies: 43
Views: 4032

Re: What to expect when retiring to NC?

It isn't what you would call rural by any means. Continuation of suburban sprawl from Raleigh and Cary. Red clay of Raleigh begins to turn sandy. Lot's of arts and concerts in Raleigh. My remaining family lives east of Holly Springs. "Too many Yankees move down and taxes go up." That being...
by Taz
Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?
Replies: 71
Views: 5547

Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

In my area, Home Depot farms it out to Progressive Plumbing. I wanted the Rheem 80 gal heat pump model as my 21 year old was getting "not quite right." The local guys who came out for the estimate and did the install were great. I am very happy with the new system but getting the quote bac...
by Taz
Sun Dec 27, 2020 5:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for Frugal Living
Replies: 284
Views: 27289

Re: Tips for Frugal Living

Speaking of life-time National Park passes, since Nov 11, 2020 entrance fees are waived going forward for veterans and Gold Star families at National Parks and other participating Department of the Interior agencies, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers sites. ( https://www.np...
by Taz
Sat Dec 19, 2020 5:57 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2021!
Replies: 236
Views: 27578

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2021!

Retirees, I’d love to know what your financial circumstances are that have you feeling ready to retire this year. Financial circumstances? These apply regardless if my wife retired tomorrow. Last child graduated, moved out, self-sufficient. Military pension would cover basic living expenses (w/ no ...
by Taz
Sun Dec 13, 2020 8:30 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2021!
Replies: 236
Views: 27578

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2021!

Looking like mid to late January 2021 when I'll finally be able to phase out of my part-time job. Decided I no longer want the responsibility as the company & headaches grow. Still training my full-time replacement so ..... I'm 57 & this is my second "retirement" (21 years active m...
by Taz
Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving $ on my coffee habit
Replies: 95
Views: 6142

Re: Saving $ on my coffee habit

Most days we make simple drip coffee (grind beans from Costco or supermarket) & take to work in insulated 16-20 oz stainless tumblers from Walmart. Stays nice & hot. Sometimes we use an Aeropress to make cuban style cafe con leche (Cafe Bustelo or similar). Might even foam the milk with a 2....
by Taz
Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?
Replies: 278
Views: 32252

Re: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?

Probably known by all, but be careful ordering a pour at a bar without asking the price. DW took me out for dinner at a place that specialized in craft cocktails and bourbon. They had at least three different Whistle Pig Rye bottles at the bar. When we sat down to eat and asked for a listing for rou...
by Taz
Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your age and asset allocation ?
Replies: 595
Views: 56570

Re: What is your age and asset allocation ?

Both 57. Me: working part-time for another 1-2 months; military pension DW: working for another 8-12 months?); very small pension @62 56% Equities (85% TSM, 10% SCV, 5% Intl) 44% Fixed (20% TBM/F Fund, 40% Intermediate bond, 40% G Fund) Portfolio is 65% tax-advantaged Planned 3.25% withdrawal rate w...
by Taz
Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SE US road trip-SC to FL to TX to OK then east
Replies: 17
Views: 914

Re: SE US road trip-SC to FL to TX to OK then east

The Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL (on the Naval Air Station) is top-notch.
by Taz
Fri Nov 20, 2020 5:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: End of year cheer
Replies: 43
Views: 3125

Re: End of year cheer

If you aren't religious you might consider giving to local food banks, foster family support groups (in our area it's Family Integrity), Angel Tree, and crisis pregnancy organizations which help with adoptions, because there are other options.
by Taz
Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Photos
Replies: 56
Views: 4219

Re: Google Photos

If you have a Pixel: "High-quality uploads from your Pixel device will continue to be free and unlimited. This exemption only applies to uploads made from your Pixel device, not uploads from other devices or via photos.google.com." WRT Amazon photo storage, we select certain photos for a f...
by Taz
Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social security. Take it at 62 [Motley Fool article]
Replies: 222
Views: 20589

Re: Social security. Take it at 62 [Motley Fool article]

I think we are going to split the difference I don't understand a "split the difference" strategy. Have you checked out https://opensocialsecurity.com/ ? I ran our rough numbers through it. It had me taking it at 65 and her at 70. My calculated breakeven is (of course) 85. However, I don'...
by Taz
Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social security. Take it at 62 [Motley Fool article]
Replies: 222
Views: 20589

Re: Social security. Take it at 62 [Motley Fool article]

I think we are going to split the difference, especial since my military pension will be reduced when I die. We are the same age. I'll claim at 62 (or so depending on Roth conversions) and she will wait until 70. Our assumptions are that my wife will live longer and our individual benefits are rough...
by Taz
Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Science Fiction Movies
Replies: 179
Views: 9149

Re: Favorite Science Fiction Movies

The Fifth Element
The Andromeda Strain
Galaxy Quest
Blade Runner (original)
Interstellar

I wish someone would make a movie of:
-The Mote in God's Eye
- Citizen of the Galaxy
- The Honor Harrington series (just the first one at least!)
and too many more to mention.
by Taz
Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing 401(k) plans as employer
Replies: 6
Views: 543

Re: Comparing 401(k) plans as employer

If you are being told that active funds will do better than passive funds then their broker advisory service at 0.75% is going to cost your employees more in the long run. We switched to Vanguard/Ascensus and love their services. They act as the TPA and are very pro-active reminding of us of require...
by Taz
Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What fund(s) are in your taxable account?
Replies: 138
Views: 11865

Re: What fund(s) are in your taxable account?

VTSAX - Vanguard Total Stock Market
VMRXX - Vanguard Cash Reserves Federal Money Market Fund

Boring but it works for us.
EDIT: Forgot about a bunch of EE Bonds bought while I was in the Navy. Probably need to start cashing them in.
by Taz
Fri Oct 02, 2020 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visible Wireless vs Total Wireless
Replies: 19
Views: 3134

Re: Visible Wireless vs Total Wireless

I switched from TW or Visible. Learned the hard way not to rush the switchover. I posted this in May: I jumped the gun on my wife's new Pixel 3a figuring that the sim was there and the app told me next step was to insert the sim, so why bother waiting for the next email to say it's ready. Stuck in t...
by Taz
Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?
Replies: 278
Views: 32252

Re: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?

Never met a regional BBQ I didn't like. You might have to reconsider that statement if you ever try Alabama white BBQ sauce. Alabama white sauce is amazing! Tried it twice. Must be an acquired taste. The second time I ended up using it to make coleslaw which was ok. To bring this back to bourbon, h...
by Taz
Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?
Replies: 278
Views: 32252

Re: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?

wfrobinette wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:04 pm Never met a regional BBQ I didn't like.
You might have to reconsider that statement if you ever try Alabama white BBQ sauce.
by Taz
Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off sub 4% mortgage interest rate early
Replies: 167
Views: 15166

Re: Paying off sub 4% mortgage interest rate early

Had 30yr 6.25% in 2006; refinanced to 15 yr 3.25% in 2012. We've paid extra principal over the years. Current balance is $70k and it is calling out to me to make it go away. We have a $13k NFCU CD (special 3% rate that no longer available) maturing in a couple of weeks. Our plan is to use that and k...
by Taz
Sat Sep 05, 2020 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walmart+ service ($98/year = free delivery w/ $35+ order). Thoughts?
Replies: 122
Views: 8899

Re: Walmart+ service ($98/year = free delivery w/ $35+ order). Thoughts?

She gets her groceries. I don't know if product selection is reduced, but she keeps a running list on a Walmart app.
by Taz
Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Florida - Cost Categories
Replies: 15
Views: 1549

Re: Moving to Florida - Cost Categories

Well, here a few numbers for you. In NE FL south of Jacksonville, gas is between 2.05 to 2.19 except for Costco which is about 1.89. My homeowners's insurance is about $189 a month for 2280 square foot home with enclosed pool. I buy flood insurance although I don't have to. Not in a mandatory evacua...
by Taz
Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walmart+ service ($98/year = free delivery w/ $35+ order). Thoughts?
Replies: 122
Views: 8899

Re: Walmart+ service ($98/year = free delivery w/ $35+ order). Thoughts?

It has been very beneficial for my sister who is the defacto mother of an at-risk disabled child. Her health is not the best either. Perfect for groceries and all the other stuff there.

Well worth the annual fee, even if doubled next year.
by Taz
Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k vesting? How does this work?
Replies: 7
Views: 608

Re: 401k vesting? How does this work?

Check the plan summary. Often there are different rules for the type of employer contribution. Our plan: (1) 100% vested immediately for employer matching safe harbor contributions . (2) Profit sharing contributions (in the plan but not used so far) are vested based on years of service.
by Taz
Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401K plan: what/who is a fiduciary?
Replies: 3
Views: 484

Re: 401K plan: what/who is a fiduciary?

We use Vanguard/Ascensus without an investment advisor to take their 0.5 to 1.0 slice of the pie. We have a 401(k) committee which reviewed the selection of the 401k company and the recommended Vanguard menu of funds. Pretty sure there is no way anyone can fault either. Our plan administrators are s...
by Taz
Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you talk to your friends/family/coworkers about this stuff?
Replies: 210
Views: 17181

Re: Do you talk to your friends/family/coworkers about this stuff?

Since I'm involved with the company's financial stuff, I can't offer advice to folks - even off the clock - other than to highly recommend signing up for the 401(k), point them to the educational articles and tools provided by Vanguard, and explain the options (loans, distributions, and limitations)...
by Taz
Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What price range for Daughter's first car?
Replies: 122
Views: 5953

Re: What price range for Daughter's first car?

Daughter (22) decided on a 2020 Hyundai Kona AWD. $21k. Good safety features standard unlike Honda and Toyota. Solid warranty. She paid half and is financing the rest through the Bank of Dad.

She moved out of state so I worry less with a new car.
by Taz
Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Estimated cost for employer to have 401k plan?
Replies: 21
Views: 2375

Re: Estimated cost for employer to have 401k plan?

Not sure what you mean. Some companies will pass on some of the administrative costs to employees. EF and Vanguard will structure the plan that way if you want. We chose not to when we moved from ADP to Vanguard. Vanguard/Ascenus costs are essentially per participant. EF is flat fee plus 0.08% of pl...
by Taz
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Estimated cost for employer to have 401k plan?
Replies: 21
Views: 2375

Re: Estimated cost for employer to have 401k plan?

We've been with Vanguard/Ascensus (1 year now). Customer service is outstanding. More expensive than Employee Fiduciary but the company felt more comfortable with going with the Vanguard connection. We are paying about $1000 a quarter with 27 participants. Participation percentage has increased. We ...