Search found 289 matches

by Taz
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Echo Dot 2nd Gen: What do I do with this gift?
Replies: 12
Views: 1114

Re: Echo Dot 2nd Gen: What do I do with this gift?

Alarm clock. Timer. Voice reminder. Link to your gmail calendar. Keep your shopping list (add to it via voice & use the app on your phone to see what you need while shopping). If you have Amazon Prime (or a Spotify or Pandora account) you can play music & tell Alex to "Stop playing in 14 minutes" if...
by Taz
Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sous Vide?
Replies: 64
Views: 8902

Re: Sous Vide?

Couldn't sleep so I was up a 4:30 am and saw this thread (I'd looked at other ones before). Surfed over to Amazon and they had a Magicelec SV model as a lightning deal for $45 (was $63). Unless you add all the bells and whistles, I figured these are pretty much the same so why not try a non-brand na...
by Taz
Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Florida prepaid college plan. Dumb or undumb?
Replies: 33
Views: 11029

Re: Florida prepaid college plan. Dumb or undumb?

I'm glad we bought (lump sum) prepaid university plans in Dec 2006 for our two kids. Yes, I may have been able to recover post-2008 crash but who knows. In Jan 2009 my wife lost her job for 5-6 months so at least part of college was not going to be a problem. There is something to be said for peace ...
by Taz
Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to Forum - Currently at Edward Jones
Replies: 8
Views: 1340

Re: New to Forum - Currently at Edward Jones

My main concern is the tax liability on the Joint-1 account when should I move and sell, Is there a better time to move? /SNIP/ I believe I should move everything in kind and sell at Vanguard, I have spoken with Vanguard and I believe they said everything could move in kind except for the 529 plans...
by Taz
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your favorite Costco wines?
Replies: 40
Views: 3946

Re: Your favorite Costco wines?

I just rejoined Costco after a 20 year break because of the free Navy Federal Visa promotion. Haven't tried the Kirkland onesyet but I remembered that in addition to the typical popular wineries, they would had bring in less-well know ones. Last week I found a number of Wine Spectator 92-94 rated Sp...
by Taz
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts about wearing a "uniform"/same thing everyday?
Replies: 140
Views: 9397

Re: Thouhgts about wearing a "uniform"/same thing everyday?

When I attended the Naval War College we worn slacks and coats instead of uniforms four days of the week. (The idea was to encourage more open discourse by minimizing service and rank influence.) About 80% of the males (including me) seemed to look a bit uncomfortable. Lot's of ill-fitting blue jack...
by Taz
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee
Replies: 51
Views: 3991

Re: Coffee

While nothing compares to the dregs of the pot coming onto the mid-watch, there is something to be said for a nicely roasted small batch of coffee from a local coffee shop. Our UF daughter brought home a bag of medium roast beans from Opus Coffee in Gainesville as a present. Even my not so sophistic...
by Taz
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Smart Phone Thread, Low/Mid priced phones and carriers
Replies: 53
Views: 3585

Re: Another Smart Phone Thread, Low/Mid priced phones and carriers

One thing to consider & research is the track record of a company to provide OS & phone system updates. I have a 2015 Moto X Pure with an Android security patch dated Dec 1, 2016 which was provided in Feb 2017 (Verizon). Google provides the core update but the manufacturer has to build their specifi...
by Taz
Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Coverdell logistical questions
Replies: 5
Views: 564

Re: Coverdell logistical questions

Not a lawyer but according to the same IRS Pub: "However, you can make unlimited transfers from one Coverdell ESA trustee directly to another Coverdell ESA trustee because such transfers aren't considered to be distributions or rollovers." The estate ought to be able to transfer to a new custodian/t...
by Taz
Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Coverdell logistical questions
Replies: 5
Views: 564

Re: Coverdell logistical questions

It seems that you could simply change the beneficiary or transfer to an eligible family member as listed in the link below. From IRS Pub 970 (https://www.irs.gov/publications/p970#en_US_2016_publink1000178449): " Rollovers and Other Transfers Assets can be rolled over from one Coverdell ESA to anoth...
by Taz
Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA costs arrived
Replies: 88
Views: 10845

Re: 2018 ACA costs arrived

FL Blue small business HMO plan for 8 participants had a 14% increase (last year was 18%, year before about 20%) plus the total out-of -pocket increased $1000. Example of premium cost: Employee only - 9,988 per yr (of which company pays 50%) Premiums are higher since the average age of the covered p...
by Taz
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]
Replies: 203
Views: 15806

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

I've periodically browsed MMM. Apparently sprinkling F-bombs around is a mark of one's writing ability and commitment to the cause. I appreciate that Bogleheads (or at least the moderators & software) are able to find other words to more precisely communicate their thoughts. I will say that the MMM ...
by Taz
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k Loan and Employer Match
Replies: 6
Views: 600

Re: 401k Loan and Employer Match

The employer match will not count. Also, remember that the loan repayment is made with post-tax dollars.
by Taz
Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart Home: Google, Apple, or Amazon?
Replies: 15
Views: 1546

Re: Smart Home: Google, Apple, or Amazon?

The new Amazon Echo Plus, in addition to supposedly better speakers & voice recognition, incorporates a Zigbee radio so that some home automation devices (lights, outlets, motion sensors, etc) will not need a separate hub as long as they stick with "works with Alexa promoted products". The lack of a...
by Taz
Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?
Replies: 95
Views: 6638

Re: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?

Knob Creek (not the Maple stuff)
Four Roses Small or Single
Maker's Mark
Bullit rye
1792 (w/ a touch of water)

And if you want to try something different (sweeter & spicy): Alberta Rye Whiskey Dark Batch
by Taz
Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation for mid 50 age group
Replies: 35
Views: 2740

Re: Asset Allocation for mid 50 age group

54 (retired military but work part-time; DW full-time) 60 equity / 40 fixed Current breakdown: TSM 70%, SCV 10%, REIT 4%, INTL 16% G Fund 58%, F Fund (TBM) 5%, Interm Bond 20%, TIPS Fund 12%, Cash 5% -- Still vacillating on whether to drop to 55/45. Will probably drop REITs since they are now in TSM.
by Taz
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....
Replies: 68
Views: 5363

Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

Need no, but there are lot of not necessary devices that make life a touch easier (and somewhat whimsical). I have 1 Echo, 2 Shows, and 2 dots. I initially bought it to interface with my home automation/smart home stuff to control lights, thermostat, etc. Here's a useful thing that someone else hasn...
by Taz
Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation for 40yo Military Member
Replies: 10
Views: 1029

Re: Asset Allocation for 40yo Military Member

JTBX - Yes you can change the beneficiary of the 529. Be aware of the rules on who would qualify beyond your children. You can also gift them the unused portion of the 529 later for grad school expenses. I did that for my son who got married last year. (Also, you can withdraw up to the amount of the...
by Taz
Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with series EE savings bonds?
Replies: 28
Views: 3108

Re: What to do with series EE savings bonds?

The Savings Bond Wizard is a handy tool to manage your EE Bonds, particularly to figure out how much interest you will receive on a particular bond, maturity date, and current yield.

https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/to ... wizard.htm
by Taz
Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: School District Quality
Replies: 15
Views: 1586

Re: School District Quality

States vary in how they aggregate data. In our state, the county is the district so you have to narrow your search down to individual schools within a district. Our county is the top ranked district in the state, yet the top schools are congregated in the northern part of the county. The nearby metr...
by Taz
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?
Replies: 18
Views: 1822

Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Jumping into the briar patch here: My wife became a SAHM with the birth of our son and several years later, our daughter. We felt strongly that one parent should stay at home. I took my turn after retiring from the navy and we "swapped." Of course she did all the hard work so I didn't ruin them. Eas...
by Taz
Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I have enough to retire-retire from the military
Replies: 42
Views: 4107

Re: Do I have enough to retire-retire from the military

Retired navy almost 11 years -- I think you'll be fine. Random thoughts: - Rather than speculate on your particular specialty, I'll just say that it might be nice to come back to CONUS for a short tour so you can figure out where to live long term and perhaps situate yourself for a job. You might no...
by Taz
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?
Replies: 84
Views: 7739

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

One data point: Toro Personal Pace with larger Briggs & Stratton engine. Three years zero problems & one day it decided not to run for more than 2-3 seconds. I replaced the carburetor & it works fine. Just remember to securely reattach the governor spring. If this happens again, you might just try ...
by Taz
Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?
Replies: 84
Views: 7739

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

One data point: Toro Personal Pace with larger Briggs & Stratton engine. Three years zero problems & one day it decided not to run for more than 2-3 seconds. I replaced the carburetor & it works fine. Just remember to securely reattach the governor spring.
by Taz
Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: which to get?
Replies: 41
Views: 3422

Re: Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: which to get?

so it sounds like music integration and playback is the MOST significant and used feature of these devices? It's like any non-essential piece of technology - how much effort and expense do you want to put into it. I've always dreamed of having a house computer that I could talk to. I use it to play...
by Taz
Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income Tax Calculation?
Replies: 18
Views: 2162

Re: Income Tax Calculation?

Why does an additional $20,000 distribution increase the total tax by so much ... ? Because the extra $20,000 income makes $17,000 more of your Social Security benefits taxable. This makes your tax go up $5,550 (37000 * 15%), 27.75% of the extra income. See the Wiki's Taxation of Social Security be...
by Taz
Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30 Year Mortgage from Navy Federal Credit Union
Replies: 10
Views: 1645

Re: 30 Year Mortgage from Navy Federal Credit Union

2. When a lender reports to credit bureaus, there are very specific and strict rules about reporting any and everything accurately. Because of such rules, regulations, credit bureau contracts, etc. NFCU probably had no flexibility in this matter. The agent may have been accurately conveying the req...
by Taz
Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30 Year Mortgage from Navy Federal Credit Union
Replies: 10
Views: 1645

Re: 30 Year Mortgage from Navy Federal Credit Union

They may or may not keep the loan in-house. We refinanced a 30 yr loan to 15 yrs with a much lower rate. Soon after the close they sold it but continued to service the loan. They do a good job with that. I did have one negative incident which soured me a little on NFCU. My wife was laid off during t...
by Taz
Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Construction Buying Advice
Replies: 24
Views: 2213

Re: New Construction Buying Advice

Visit the site often during construction and look over everything that they are doing to make sure it is going well. Do not accept shoddy construction or any significant unwanted variation from the model plan that you purchased. They will of course promise to make it right in the end, but unless yo...
by Taz
Sat May 20, 2017 6:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maximizing Deployment
Replies: 7
Views: 974

Re: Maximizing Deployment

You may want to see if you are in the window for any retention or reenlistment bonuses that can be paid while you are in the qualifying AOR. We had some of our aircrewmen reenlist while across the magic line to get their bonus tax-free. Caveat: I've been out for 10+ years while so I'm not sure if so...
by Taz
Fri May 19, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fixing 20 Years of Mistakes
Replies: 9
Views: 1623

Re: Fixing 20 Years of Mistakes

No idea what "Hedgable" is. It doesn't sound good. Maybe start with Vanguard or Fidelity and consider (once you do some reading/learning) consolidating to a single, low cost, DIY firm. http://www.hedgeable.com - a robo advisor Concur with bloom2708. Hedgeable will charge you 0.75% on an account les...
by Taz
Fri May 19, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Best to Give?
Replies: 8
Views: 890

Re: How Best to Give?

If you want to help with operating expenses, gradual might be best. Good advice. Some organizations such as churches publish the total amounts received for the week/month (although not the names) which may result in others reducing their giving if budget vs. income for that particularly year would ...
by Taz
Fri May 19, 2017 6:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For those with $500k-$1m in investments...
Replies: 138
Views: 15001

Re: For those with $500k-$1m in investments...

40% taxable 60% tax advantaged (28% Roth / 72% TSP+TIRAs) Taxable from early contractual plan contributions + extra money in savings over the years. TSP = rolled over my TIRAs after navy retirement + 8 years of wife TSP contributions Asset allocation is about 55/45 with SCV tilt (currently 15% of st...
by Taz
Mon May 15, 2017 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo (Alexa)
Replies: 91
Views: 17050

Re: Amazon Echo (Alexa) -- AMAZON SHOW

Has anyone taken a look at the Echo Show and might preorder it? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01J24C0TI/ I went ahead & preordered two ($100 off if you buy two) as my Father's day present :D . I think the Amazon Show will add some value to the normal Echo functions & home automation integration we alr...
by Taz
Fri May 12, 2017 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fitbit Blaze vs Apple Watch
Replies: 24
Views: 2644

Re: Fitbit Blaze vs Apple Watch

My wife has the Charge 2 (on sale for $130) & likes it. Besides the fitness tracking functions, she uses it for sleep monitoring, appointment, notifications and to glance at incoming text messages. While she hasn't used the feature, the Fitbit will sync with the Amazon Echo. We are not in the Apple ...
by Taz
Mon May 01, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please Evaluate my portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 2055

Re: Please Evaluate my portfolio

Tiredof work, I didn't see "401K is $200,000 @ 65% VIPIX / 35%VINIX" You gave this: His 401k 126,000 VIPIX 0.07% Vanguard Inflation-Protected Secs I Contributing 8% VINIX 0.04% Vanguard Institutional Index I Her 401k 76,000 VIPIX 0.07% Vanguard Inflation-Protected Secs I Contributing 8% VINIX 0.04% ...
by Taz
Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please Evaluate my portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 2055

Re: Please Evaluate my portfolio

retiredjg asked a few good questions - particularly about how much you actually have available to save outside of your 401k. That will determine if you can afford to go the 529 + taxable account. If your expenses are $140k a year now then I can't see how you can reach your goal to stop working in 10...
by Taz
Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please Evaluate my portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 2055

Re: Please Evaluate my portfolio

Tiredofwork, From your first post, you had $202k in your 401k all in TIPS (future contributions to an Index 500 fund) and $50k in the Roths in an 85/15 stock/bond fund). That is roughly a 20/80 asset allocation. Perhaps you are very risk adverse but I don't see that getting you where you want to be....
by Taz
Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I choose and Financial Planner and what can I expect?
Replies: 16
Views: 1931

Re: How do I choose and Financial Planner and what can I expect?

Tiredofwork, I think you'll find quite a few retired military folks here on the forum. Some of us had previous not-so-good relationships with financial advisers/insurance firms and decided we could do a better job on our own, especially after spending some time here AND getting smarter. 95% of this ...
by Taz
Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice needed: Ibonds for College vs 529?
Replies: 6
Views: 967

Re: Advice needed: Ibonds for College vs 529?

Edited to add: I have no idea, but for the education tax credits, it would be interesting to find out if you could double dip by "paying out of pocket" with the I bonds and also claiming the credit...Anybody know if that's ok? You can't use 529, Coverdell ESA, or the tax-free savings bonds to pay t...
by Taz
Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have sod installed?
Replies: 16
Views: 2120

Re: Anyone have sod installed?

If you live in Florida check out the University of Florida's turf program http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/yourfloridalawn/

BTW, dealing with my lawn is the biggest downside to living in Florida.
by Taz
Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Same branded components for home theater?
Replies: 35
Views: 2517

Re: Same branded components for home theater?

Pretty knowledgeable folks here. Perhaps I missed this but many new TVs no longer have separate analog outputs. Long winded but perhaps useful when considering upgrading to the latest and greatest : My new Samsung 4k TV uses the One Connect box which receives an HDMI output from the TV. It has an op...
by Taz
Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to withdraw income from the Nest Egg?
Replies: 10
Views: 1610

Re: How to withdraw income from the Nest Egg?

It would be helpful to know if you (or spouse) are old enough that you must take RMDs.
by Taz
Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low income investor...Federal Help via Tax Return ?
Replies: 14
Views: 1114

Re: Low income investor...Federal Help via Tax Return ?

According to the instructions on Form 8880, she might not qualify if: You were a student if during any part of 5 calendar months of 2016 you: • Were enrolled as a full-time student at a school, or • Took a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school or a state, county, or local government a...
by Taz
Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best deals using restaurant apps
Replies: 4
Views: 795

Re: Best deals using restaurant apps

Starbuck's app. So many stars per dollar spent plus they entice you to spend more with "dashes" promising extra stars. Effective marketing.

edit: my daughter built her free reward once with 3 flavors, whipped cream, 2 types of spinkles and 6 expresso shots.
by Taz
Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are We on the Right Financial Path?
Replies: 5
Views: 894

Re: Are We on the Right Financial Path?

Couple of obvious ones for me:
- I question the need for universal life, especially at $1,000 a month. It is a cash cow for the financial planner. Buy more term if needed.
- Since you do not have a 401k (& his pension isn't guaranteed), I'd make sure you go ahead & max out IRAs.
by Taz
Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding a good financial planner
Replies: 12
Views: 1385

Re: Finding a good financial planner

I like Joshua Sheats of "Radicalpersonalfinance.com. If you go to his website you will find a link where he will talk to you by phone for 5 dollars a minute. I've listened to 20 or so of his podcasts. Generally provides good advice*** and is very personable. I've noticed that he takes a very long t...
by Taz
Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Re: Where to buy a Vanguard hat? An Update and good news
Replies: 110
Views: 17707

Re: Where to buy a Vanguard hat? An Update and bad news

Glad I just received my replacement free coffee mug. That's # 3. :beer Love the mug. I've seen folks on Twitter thanking Vanguard for sending them one. I wonder what is the secret to getting one? Wouldn't mind buying one either. I figure I've saved quite a bit in expenses since escaping from contra...
by Taz
Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How should I evaluate these Vanguard funds?
Replies: 14
Views: 1624

Re: How should I evaluate these Vanguard funds?

OP - I don't think you need to have all 4 of the funds in your tax-advantaged portfolio. Expenses do matter and they are one thing you can control. For example Prime Cap has an ER of 0.33%; VTSAX 0.04%.
by Taz
Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hands free music for the home - Amazon or something else?
Replies: 7
Views: 1073

Re: Hands free music for the home - Amazon or something else?

iHeart Radio is supported on Alexa. The Echo sounds much better than the Dot but does not have a wired output nor can it link to a Bluetooth speaker. The challenge with linking the Dot to a BT speaker is that all responses will come out of the connected speaker. Google Home just added iHeart Radio c...