Search found 97 matches

by RetiredAL
Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question on applying for SS benefits
Replies: 16
Views: 1491

Re: Question on applying for SS benefits

Both I and DW filed for SS online, she filing one year after me. When she applied, they did call and talk to both of us, but nothing had to be sent in. I assume they already had enough in their records to confirm our marriage. DW got spousal benefits since that was higher than her benefit. We had ma...
by RetiredAL
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New AC Unit broken or "feezing". HVAC company says it's my fault for "running it too hard". What can I do?
Replies: 55
Views: 5140

Re: New AC Unit broken or "feezing". HVAC company says it's my fault for "running it too hard". What can I do?

They are lying to you to avoid a warranty claim. There is no such thing as "running it too hard." In an ideal world, A/C systems are sized so that they run 100% of the time. Running continuously causes less wear and tear than cycling. A frozen evaporator coil indicates one of three things: 1) low r...
by RetiredAL
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schwab.com login trouble?
Replies: 21
Views: 3016

Re: Schwab.com login trouble?

System maintenance. They've posted this as a banner for the last several days.
by RetiredAL
Thu May 17, 2018 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY AC freon for car or professional fill up
Replies: 15
Views: 1616

Re: DIY AC freon for car or professional fill up

Update I went to a local small shop that I always go for inspection sticker. They inspected and found no leak So I asked "if there is no leak so howcome freon is low?" He said " it is the coil inside the car that always leak alittle bit no leak in the front. That can not be fixed. He had this devic...
by RetiredAL
Tue May 15, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY AC freon for car or professional fill up
Replies: 15
Views: 1616

Re: DIY AC freon for car or professional fill up

First find a black light and look around for dye on the hose connections, compressor, condensor, etc. I'm not sure how a shop can say the Freon "is full to the top" since there is no visible gage on most systems as far as I know. Also there shouldn't be any "valve behind the dash board" unless it i...
by RetiredAL
Mon May 14, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeing a rocket launch in FL
Replies: 15
Views: 1541

Re: Seeing a rocket launch in FL

Around 15 years ago, we stayed at a hotel a mile or two south of Port Canaveral before a cruise. The Air Force Station launched a GPS rocket while we were there. We were in the back of the hotel complex. It looked like that launch was made from the front lawn of the hotel. DW and I were amazed by th...
by RetiredAL
Mon May 14, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?
Replies: 15
Views: 2085

Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Update: My Dad did call VA Benefits this morning and I can confirm that his Direct Deposit was was being hijacked - the new Routing and Account numbers were not his. Since this was mid month, no actual $ was involved. They spent extra time confirming he was the real owner and now his account is now ...
by RetiredAL
Mon May 14, 2018 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?
Replies: 15
Views: 2085

Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Nate79 -- Yes, the phone number matches the VA's listed benefits number. The backside of the letter lists all kinds of mail contact points, which also check out. This is an actual letter, not an email. It's not asking to validate anything. It just states there was a change made to the Direct Deposit...
by RetiredAL
Sun May 13, 2018 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?
Replies: 15
Views: 2085

Re: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Thanks all. I'm not looking for suggestions at this point. The post was made many as a PSA. Livesoft - Let hope its something as simple as that, but he's been with the same often talked about Mega bank for 40+ years and the account number has not changed within the last 15 years, or has the bank cha...
by RetiredAL
Sun May 13, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?
Replies: 15
Views: 2085

Military Retirement Direct Depost hijacked?

Heads up to retired military people -- While at my elderly Dad's yesterday, a letter came from the Dept of Veteran Affairs stating that his Direct Deposit Information had been changed. The letter was dated 5/4, and arrived 5/11. At this point, we consider this to likely be a hijacking, as he did not...
by RetiredAL
Fri May 11, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Paying Roth conversion taxes with IRA funds
Replies: 7
Views: 678

Re: Paying Roth conversion taxes with IRA funds

Don't know if this would be a factor for OP, but if there is a spouse involved there might be an added reason to convert earlier. Surviving spouse likely will be forced into a higher bracket when RMDs are being withdrawn from TIRA. +1 to Looking4Answers post. In my case, when either I or DW die, th...
by RetiredAL
Wed May 09, 2018 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ETF's vs. Mutual Funds in Market Panics
Replies: 21
Views: 1723

Re: ETF's vs. Mutual Funds in Market Panics

Risk in ETF's was dramatically illustrated in the so-called "flash crash" on May 6, 2010. The Dow fell almost 800 points in 25 minutes. The Wall Street Journal reported that while the Dow lost 9.2% of its value at its worst, many ETF shares lost almost all their value, some dropping to pennies per ...
by RetiredAL
Wed May 09, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty
Replies: 33
Views: 1610

Re: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty

I generally rent from Avis and have found this tip will generally save me money. Having made the initial reservation many weeks to months out, I always about 10-14 days ahead of the rental check via "change reservation" to see if the rate has dropped, which it usually has, even though I'm staying wi...
by RetiredAL
Thu May 03, 2018 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Gap in financial literacy widens for couples the longer the relationship lasts, study suggests"
Replies: 13
Views: 1831

Re: "Gap in financial literacy widens for couples the longer the relationship lasts, study suggests"

True for me and DW. Just today, I had to drag her over to Fidelity to add her as Power of Attorney to a Roth Conversion account I had created in December. Not quite kicking and screaming, but she didn't see the value of doing it until I told her that if I became incapacitated, that gave her access t...
by RetiredAL
Wed May 02, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you quit eating sugar? Tell me how!
Replies: 129
Views: 10507

Re: Have you quit eating sugar? Tell me how!

What helped you get over the hump (say, the 3pm craving or that time of the month craving (if you are a woman) or just a "i've got to have it now or I'll die feeling")? What worked for you and how long have you been sugar -free? Thank you. Thanks to Singlemoi for posting topic this in a format that...
by RetiredAL
Tue May 01, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for problem firm holding my inherited funds
Replies: 21
Views: 1459

Re: Advice for problem firm holding my inherited funds

Cara, Sounds like you won't be staying with them. Be aware they will likely charge a closure fee on each of the new inheritance accounts when those accounts are closed, not just one fee based on the closure of your aunt's. Also, they'll likely ding you for a quarterly management fee as soon as they ...
by RetiredAL
Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Must See in South Dakota
Replies: 58
Views: 4218

Re: Must See in South Dakota

We're talking about the giant 1/20th finished competitor to Mt. Rushmore, right? We walked through the buildings near the parking lot. I was unaware there was a museum. So I went on the website to see if there was something I missed. Nope. I hardly think anything there was worth seeing, especially ...
by RetiredAL
Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing Tax Advantage of UTMA
Replies: 16
Views: 1293

Re: Maximizing Tax Advantage of UTMA

wholeinone04.... I do this for my grandson's UTMA each year. By what's been posted here, some have gotten a rude surprise with their now college age child is a facing huge Cap Gain Tax bill at a much higher tax rate than they expected, all because they had not been booking these gains each year when...
by RetiredAL
Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First credit card
Replies: 21
Views: 1260

Re: First credit card

Here's what I did with my three kids when they turned 18 - I opened a joint card with them. They immediately got a higher credit score, and I could help them manage their financial affairs. After this joint card is open 6 months, have them apply for a card in their name only, and guess what, the hel...
by RetiredAL
Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: COMCAST - Modem / Router recommendation
Replies: 28
Views: 1794

Re: COMCAST - Modem / Router recommendation

Various technicians played along with amplifiers, splitters, and all kinds of things, but nothing helped until they finally got the message they just had to fix their network. My house is in the hills and the very last one on their line. I don't claim to fully understand the architecture of their n...
by RetiredAL
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aftertax 401K rollover to Roth IRA
Replies: 10
Views: 1123

Re: Aftertax 401K rollover to Roth IRA

Zonian, When I retired two years ago, I had about $10,000 of After-Tax in my 401K. Fidelity was the custodian of the 401K and the IRA's. Many bucket types were in the 401K account identifying the source type. They were readily accessible via their website. Upon retirement, they first rolled the Afte...
by RetiredAL
Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: COMCAST - Modem / Router recommendation
Replies: 28
Views: 1794

Re: COMCAST - Modem / Router recommendation

1. Don't waste your money going for a Docsis 3.1 ( vs 3.0 ) unit, unless you need/want and Comcast can provide real GB+ speeds. The 3.0 spec supports speeds up to at least 800 MB. Not all 3.0 modems are created equal. The number of channels will vary. I said that. Eventually, Comcast will stop supp...
by RetiredAL
Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Desktop PC
Replies: 43
Views: 1947

Re: DIY Desktop PC

bampf OP Two comments: 1. Since you want dual boot, make sure the BIOS supports both EUFI and Legacy Boot simultaneously. Many Linus Distro's are not EUFI compliant because that costs money. I understand the current Mint Linus does, but have no experience with it. To compare, I have an ACER laptop ...
by RetiredAL
Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: COMCAST - Modem / Router recommendation
Replies: 28
Views: 1794

Re: COMCAST - Modem / Router recommendation

RMO87,

You didn't say anything about you having Comcast Voice-Telephone. If you do, that throws a monkey wrench in the works.

If you don't, everything said so far applies.
by RetiredAL
Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: COMCAST - Modem / Router recommendation
Replies: 28
Views: 1794

Re: COMCAST - Modem / Router recommendation

1. Don't waste your money going for a Docsis 3.1 ( vs 3.0 ) unit, unless you need/want and Comcast can provide real GB+ speeds. The 3.0 spec supports speeds up to at least 800 MB. 2. The Motorola Surfboards are now ARRIS Surfboards. 3. The top speed of a Surfboard unit varies depending on the number...
by RetiredAL
Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have a car w/o ABS?
Replies: 53
Views: 2340

Re: Do you have a car w/o ABS?

My thoughts: ( in general ) 1. On dry straight ahead stopping, ABS does little to stop you sooner. The condition of your tires and the tires traction characteristics are far more important. Driving at an appropriate speed also important. 2. On ice/snow, with ABS you will be less likely spin, but it ...
by RetiredAL
Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New retirees: so whatdayathink ?
Replies: 97
Views: 11600

Re: New retirees: so whatdayathink ?

I retired 2 yrs ago the end of this month...... 1. I am happy with my when decision - age 66. 2. I left not pissed off nor burnt out. Basically I came to the decision "42 years is enough, its time to make the leap". 3. I've adjusted better and quicker to retired life than I thought I would. 4. I've ...
by RetiredAL
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long for irs to pull from checking
Replies: 13
Views: 1685

Re: How long for irs to pull from checking

Write a check and mail it if you need a few more days. The IRS takes their ach on the day you designate. If you mail in a check, it has to be postmarked at midnight on the day taxes are due. It won't be cashed for a time after that. "... won't be cashed for a while ...." -- Careful with that though...
by RetiredAL
Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suddenly I had a weird bill go to collections - what's my course of action?
Replies: 36
Views: 3378

Re: Suddenly I had a weird bill go to collections - what's my course of action?

At this point, do not deal with or communicate with the collections people. Never call them.This letter is an attempt to bully you into settling with them. Do not let it stress you. Clarify with Heath People what the amount due is, telling them they made no attempted to contact you. Write a check to...
by RetiredAL
Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement Mechanics
Replies: 13
Views: 1833

Re: Retirement Mechanics

Bnjneer, Here's what I do. I took my retirement as a lump sum and withdraw approximately what my retirement payment would have been. Also, my 401K was rolled over into an separate IRA. DW was a stay-at-home mom so she had little income over the years. We both have contributed to Roth's since they we...
by RetiredAL
Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New faster DNS - 1.1.1.1 by CloudFlare
Replies: 97
Views: 8033

Re: New faster DNS - 1.1.1.1 by CloudFlare

What you are missing by doing yourself with pfSense or similar, is the professional list management, where badboy Addresses/Names are blocked ( not resolved ) because somebody already knows that address is a trouble-maker. Not in this case. pfSense #1) blocks all inbound unless allowed or requested...
by RetiredAL
Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New faster DNS - 1.1.1.1 by CloudFlare
Replies: 97
Views: 8033

Re: New faster DNS - 1.1.1.1 by CloudFlare

I agree Google or Cloudflare DNS are probably the way to go for most consumers. But if anyone is still concerned about relying on a 3rd party, you can actually resolve all of your queries without a public DNS server if you have the right router. With the default install of pfSense, you get a fantas...
by RetiredAL
Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New faster DNS - 1.1.1.1 by CloudFlare
Replies: 97
Views: 8033

Re: New faster DNS - 1.1.1.1 by CloudFlare

A good DNS source is important to all users. Businesses are willingly pays big bucks to get a managed/secure DNS service 1) to protect their systems from potentially harmful sites that serve up malware, 2) to prevent employees from going to Intellectual Property Sites, movies, music, Ect., that coul...
by RetiredAL
Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prescription drug costs
Replies: 22
Views: 1387

Re: Prescription drug costs

One way my wife and I save a little on several continuing prescriptions (Kaiser) is mail order refills. We can just request the refills online (or by phone). One thing that greatly puzzles me is friends/acquaintences who absolutely refule to do mail refills. In our case, this is super convenient - ...
by RetiredAL
Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water pressure regulator sanity check
Replies: 7
Views: 758

Re: Water pressure regulator sanity check

Two months ago I had a water pressure regulator installed on our house. ....... wanted to confirm my idea that this has nothing to do with installing the pressure regulator. Does that seem right? Thanks! You are correct. Water meters measure by volume, usually CuFT, but could be gallons. The water ...
by RetiredAL
Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax implications on UGTMs beyond the "Kiddie Tax"
Replies: 23
Views: 1283

Re: Tax implications on UGTMs beyond the "Kiddie Tax"

Are you aware of whether tax loss harvesting would make any sense or be of any benefit within a UTMA/UGMA account? jaj, So far, I'm only doing annual year end harvesting in Dec, mechanically on a schedule like I do for asset allocations. I do not intend to micro-manage this account to every little ...
by RetiredAL
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax implications on UGTMs beyond the "Kiddie Tax"
Replies: 23
Views: 1283

Re: Tax implications on UGTMs beyond the "Kiddie Tax"

Don't mean to hijack this thread but it seems there are a few knowledgeable people looking at it. I started a UGMA (South Carolina) for my daughter with credit card cash back rewards. For 2017, I proactively TLH'd to the tune of $130 of short-term cap gains and $355 of long-term cap gains. It was m...
by RetiredAL
Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax implications on UGTMs beyond the "Kiddie Tax"
Replies: 23
Views: 1283

Re: Tax implications on UGTMs beyond the "Kiddie Tax"

I agree with the previous replies that these funds would have received a stepped up basis on the date of the decedents death and only the gains since then would be subject to capital gains tax rates, Which brings up the most important point. UTMA accounts should always be pro-actively tax-gain harv...
by RetiredAL
Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help with Morgan Stanley tax statement
Replies: 15
Views: 679

Re: help with Morgan Stanley tax statement

Montana, You can lump multiple entries of a single non-covered securities together as long as you separate LT vs ST while labeling the date as "various". However, if there are multiple non-covered security, each must be listed. You cannot mix security A and B into a single lump. For non-covered secu...
by RetiredAL
Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help with Morgan Stanley tax statement
Replies: 15
Views: 679

Re: help with Morgan Stanley tax statement

Montana... As said by Livesoft, there are short cuts. Any "Covered" transactions only needs to be entered as the 1 line summary for that category for that broker, NOT the many many lines of detail. The IRS only matches your total to the reported total. Since "Covered" reporting started 6 years ago, ...
by RetiredAL
Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax bill for an account I don’t know by the IRS every year
Replies: 21
Views: 3149

Re: Tax bill for an account I don’t know by the IRS every year

I don't think there's SSN stealing going on here. The tax ID number for an LLC would generally be an EIN, a 9 digit number assigned by the IRS with the format XX-XXXXXXX. The problem is that SSNs also have nine digits, but formatted differently XXX-XX-XXXX. Further problem, as I understand it, is t...
by RetiredAL
Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downloading 1099s into H & R Block
Replies: 12
Views: 620

Re: Downloading 1099s into H & R Block

H & R Block needs access to my Vanguard account to download 1099 data into their software on my computer. To do so they need my user name and password. This is my first time doing this - seems risky to me. How to others handle this? I'm using the Deluxe package. The solution is simple: Just change ...
by RetiredAL
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is anyone using a bill paying service?
Replies: 16
Views: 1619

Re: Is anyone using a bill paying service?

Does your relative's bank have a "bill pay" function?

If yes , all you may need to do have him/her declare you to the as their "agent" with the bank, then you can do it online at that bank.
by RetiredAL
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank reports address change for all joint account holders
Replies: 4
Views: 738

Re: Bank reports address change for all joint account holders

MRC, I've also run into this, in a slightly different way. After my Mom passed away several years back, my elderly Dad did not want to be bothered with his financial affairs, which my Mom had always done, so he made me the trustee of their trust with the clause that he could reclaim the trustee-hood...
by RetiredAL
Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 Updated IRS Withholding Calculator Released
Replies: 32
Views: 3318

Re: 2018 Updated IRS Withholding Calculator Released

Head up: Check your new withholding $.. I was at my elderly Dads yesterday doing prep work for meeting with his tax person this week. In his new mail, was a statement relating to his Military Retirement, stating that under the new withholding formulas, they were reducing his Fed Withholding by $160 ...
by RetiredAL
Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AC/Furnace Questions- 1 stage or 2 stage?
Replies: 45
Views: 2807

Re: AC/Furnace Questions- 1 stage or 2 stage?

DVA79, If you don't have enough air flow to the most distant location, you will never achieve a decent comfort level, heat or cool. In general, the larger the heater size, the higher the air capacity it will have. Air capacity is reduced by the AC's coils. In general, the larger the AC is, the large...
by RetiredAL
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA...let me get this straight
Replies: 36
Views: 4063

Re: HSA...let me get this straight

I posted earlier and didn't get any response. Can you have FSA and HSA in same CY if you switch health plans on your companies open enrollment that occurs in FY (JUL-JUN) not CY? Yes, you can do that Yes, however the year amount is prorated by the number is months you had the high deductible plan.
by RetiredAL
Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Backup Software With Accompanying External Drive
Replies: 14
Views: 1531

Re: Computer Backup Software With Accompanying External Drive

LadyGeek, There are many ways to skin the backup cat and I take interest in other peoples ways. I've used Clonezilla for many years and have been happy with it. With Win10, you must do a full shutdown via the command line before you make a Clonezilla image. Do note that Clonezilla will not restore t...