Search found 52 matches

by Rocco Sampler
Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired Feds - Can You Move TSP to IRA to Backdoor Roth
Replies: 8
Views: 605

Retired Feds - Can You Move TSP to IRA to Backdoor Roth

Retired Feds,
Can you move a portion of the TSP to an IRA and then do a backdoor Roth if you are no longer working at all?

Rocco
by Rocco Sampler
Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How high of a Hurricane Deductible in FL? And is all Flood Insurance created the same?
Replies: 27
Views: 2144

Re: How high of a Hurricane Deductible in FL? And is all Flood Insurance created the same?

You can contact Tower Hill directly if you can't find an independent agent - https://www.thig.com/ . The home page has a "Find An Agent" search link on the right side, half way down of home page where you can search by zip code.
by Rocco Sampler
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How high of a Hurricane Deductible in FL? And is all Flood Insurance created the same?
Replies: 27
Views: 2144

Re: How high of a Hurricane Deductible in FL? And is all Flood Insurance created the same?

You might want to check out Tower Hill. They have been there for me and for my neighbors and are very nice to work with and have reasonable rates (at least for us). I am renewing this year and they are offering a $1000 hurricane deductible for almost exactly the same price I was paying for a 2% hurr...
by Rocco Sampler
Mon May 20, 2019 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you liked “They Shall Not Grow Old” - “Cold Blue” coming May 23
Replies: 13
Views: 2045

Re: If you liked “They Shall Not Grow Old” - “Cold Blue” coming May 23

If this type of thing interests you, the National Might Eighth Museum near Savannah, Georgia is a very interesting museum dedicated to the Eight Air Force of WWII. I was there almost 30 years ago and they had actual WWII pilots volunteering as guides. I knew it was a privilege then and listed to eve...
by Rocco Sampler
Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: physics/math major looking for programmer/analyst job?
Replies: 111
Views: 10514

Re: physics/math major looking for programmer/analyst job?

I think physics teaches non-intuitive problem solving skills that would be in demand in today's environment. These days with big data, analytics, etc. I would think it is just a matter of time before a job offer is in the works. Government may be an option. NASA, DoD, NSA, FBI, CIA or even the State...
by Rocco Sampler
Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with craigslist scammers
Replies: 22
Views: 2019

Re: Dealing with craigslist scammers

My neighbor specifies that the deal be made in the parking lot of the local police department, which has cameras. The police will also come out if you ask them to.
by Rocco Sampler
Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: English /Spanish dictionary suggestions ??????
Replies: 15
Views: 761

Re: English /Spanish dictionary suggestions ??????

The Oxford Spanish Dictionary at 2032 pages is a very good large book type dictionary with comprehensive definitions. There are also other sources that would supplement it or are just plain easier to use for personal learning: Linguee.com provides word meanings with a lot of examples of actual use. ...
by Rocco Sampler
Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: COPA Airlines
Replies: 13
Views: 1282

Re: COPA Airlines

Good airline. On time. Luggage allowance is good. Movie selection might be more limited. Food is like all airline food. Free beer and wine in coach. Was even better until a year or two ago when they started the surcharge for desirable seats like exit rows. Passing through Panama on the way out is ea...
by Rocco Sampler
Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise
Replies: 17
Views: 1852

Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Very good advice and information from all. Thanks! I did live in another country in the '90's for a couple of years for a temporary job and was being paid in dollars deposited into my American bank. Easy to get a bank account there and write checks that were converted to local currency. I was just r...
by Rocco Sampler
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise
Replies: 17
Views: 1852

Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

typical.investor wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:07 am
Will you be paying to carry Medicare part B?

Would there be a penalty if you don’t and return to the US, or are you excluded?
As I understand it, I would have to pay for it or accept the penalty upon return. Thanks for bringing that up.
by Rocco Sampler
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise
Replies: 17
Views: 1852

Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

I don't plan on keeping much money in the bank there - just transferring in periodic sums under $10k to live on to avoid FBAR paperwork. Structuring transactions to avoid reporting requirements is generally a bad idea. I won't need much to live on. Avoiding transactions that are unnecessary when ac...
by Rocco Sampler
Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise
Replies: 17
Views: 1852

Re: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

Thinking about Colombia. I am retired with a pension, therefore not earning income there unless wife, who is has dual citizenship, decides to work. I will have to play Colombian income tax if over some threshold on my pension and any income from wife. All investments will remain in the U.S. I know V...
by Rocco Sampler
Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise
Replies: 17
Views: 1852

U.S. Expats - What To Be Aware Of Tax Wise

I am thinking of relocating overseas. Other than the FBAR and continuing to pay taxes in the U.S. are there any other legal/financial aspects that I would need to be aware of that are not obvious? Thanks!
by Rocco Sampler
Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spain Vacation
Replies: 21
Views: 1579

Re: Spain Vacation

by Rocco Sampler
Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spain Vacation
Replies: 21
Views: 1579

Re: Spain Vacation

Lots of choices. Here are some suggestions. Madrid: Museums Prado (classic art - pay for a guide - they are experts, worth every penny) and Reina Sofia (modern art); Casa de Sorolla is the home of the artist Sorolla, day trip to Toledo. Cordoba: The ancient Mezquita (mosque). If you're going in May ...
by Rocco Sampler
Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Executor - American Living Overseas with U.S. Accounts
Replies: 0
Views: 150

Need Executor - American Living Overseas with U.S. Accounts

We're American and my wife and I plan on living overseas for the next several years without a real U.S. address other than a mail forwarding address like TravelingMailbox. My accounts will be maintained in the U.S. (IRAs, 401k's, non-tax deferred, no property) and my heirs are foreign citizens of th...
by Rocco Sampler
Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 293
Views: 27743

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

I spent a lot on booze and women. The rest I just wasted. 8-)
by Rocco Sampler
Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replace old central AC unit?
Replies: 32
Views: 2878

Re: replace old central AC unit?

Keeping a house at 70 degrees in the summer is difficult to impossible for any AC. If your unit is not cooling as it did, have it checked. It may be a simple matter of adding a little Freon. I live in Florida and have a very well insulated home. The best my unit can do in the summer is 75 degrees in...
by Rocco Sampler
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: South Florida for 2 days - Agenda?
Replies: 13
Views: 1066

Re: South Florida for 2 days - Agenda?

You might want to try John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is a state park out in the ocean, around Key Largo not too far from Miami. You can take a boat out to go scubadiving there if you are certified or snorkeling if not, which is just as good since the water is not too deep. Either way yo...
by Rocco Sampler
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dryer vent cleaning--your thoughts?
Replies: 44
Views: 7123

Re: dryer vent cleaning--your thoughts?

I used the leaf blower method for many years and still do. There was always a blast of dryer lint that came out onto the roof from the exterior vent when I turned on the blower. However, once I was on the roof inspecting the dryer vent and noticed that dryer lint was coalescing to form a cardboard l...
by Rocco Sampler
Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living Abroad - Who's done it?
Replies: 90
Views: 11684

Re: Living Abroad - Who's done it?

There is no other experience to match living in another country. I have been on extended trips to many countries, lived in another country for two years and have a home in South America that I visit frequently. The friendships I have with “foreigners” have been some of the best of my life. I adopted...
by Rocco Sampler
Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any aerospace engineers? Pros v. cons of working for NASA v. private sector
Replies: 50
Views: 6155

Re: Any aerospace engineers? Pros v. cons of working for NASA v. private sector

My two cents. It’s true that a lot of NASA work is contract administration and it’s not very scientific. NASA pays Space-X (Space Station), Orbital ATK (Space Station), Boeing (Space Station, SLS), Lockheed Martin (Orion), etc. to do the work. An advanced degree in applied physics teaches abstract t...
by Rocco Sampler
Wed May 16, 2018 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New motorcycle rider
Replies: 106
Views: 6978

Re: New motorcycle rider

I would also advise you to reconsider as well. How many times have you been driving behind a car that inexplicably veered off the pavement for a second or two while the driver was not paying attention? That tells me a lot about the state of today's drivers. I rode as a young adult and then several y...
by Rocco Sampler
Thu May 03, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bucket List Adventures/Activities
Replies: 126
Views: 14382

Re: Bucket List Adventures/Activities

Not that I've done all these: Climb the Grand Tetons (with a guide and some training) Stay at an Ice Hotel Learn to fly an airplane Hike the Appalachian Trail Drive from the tip of South America to the Tip of Alaska Go to Spain and stay in some Paradores Go to bull riding school Visit as many nation...
by Rocco Sampler
Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home reroofing
Replies: 4
Views: 1432

Re: Home reroofing

I just got a new shingle roof in Florida, so I can't contribute on the price of a cement tile roof. My company had done several in my neighborhood in two or three days. They took two weeks on my home because they got behind schedule. Things I wish I had known beforehand: 1. The crew did not speak En...
by Rocco Sampler
Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spain in May end
Replies: 32
Views: 2851

Re: Spain in May end

I'd do a day in Madrid to see the Prado and Reina Sofia museums. Take a guided tour of the Prado, where for a bargain price you will learn so much more about Spain and its art. The bullet train runs from Madrid to Cordoba to Seville and takes a couple of hours to get from Madrid to Seville. Once rel...
by Rocco Sampler
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spain in May end
Replies: 32
Views: 2851

Re: Spain in May end

curmudgeon wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:24 pm
voodoo72 wrote: ↑Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:07 pm

I will be in Andalucia in October, how is it driving around Seville, Cordoba, Granada?
You can always take the bullet train, the AVE, between Seville and Cordoba if that suits your plans.
by Rocco Sampler
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it very hard to learn Spanish?
Replies: 65
Views: 5950

Re: Is it very hard to learn Spanish?

Although Spanish is considered one of the easier languages to learn as compared to say, Arabic, it is still very hard to learn to speak it well, especially for someone learning later in life. Learning to say some phrases as a tourist is totally different from being able to speak with and understand ...
by Rocco Sampler
Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roof Shingle Recommendations
Replies: 26
Views: 3610

Re: Roof Shingle Recommendations

Thanks everyone for the replies so far. Deed restrictions make asphalt architectural shingles my only option and I shouldn't be in this house for more than seven more years. Underlayment will be "peel and stick" type. All of my potential installers are large reputable roofing companies with A+ ratin...
by Rocco Sampler
Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roof Shingle Recommendations
Replies: 26
Views: 3610

Roof Shingle Recommendations

I'm in the process of getting a new roof and was wondering if anyone could recommend the best shingles. I have estimates from companies that use Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration, GAF Timberline Architectural, and Certainteed Landmark. All are rated to 130 mph and each company seems competent as ...
by Rocco Sampler
Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Michelin or Bridgestone?
Replies: 67
Views: 11882

Re: Michelin or Bridgestone?

I am on my second set of Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus tires. These are very quiet, do great in the rain, handle and track as good or better than any Michelins I have owned, and I have owned many Michelins. I only buy great tires and these are great. First set lasted 55k miles. Can't comment on ...
by Rocco Sampler
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee
Replies: 51
Views: 5322

Re: Coffee

Here's the truth. I travel to Colombia frequently and have access to spectacular coffees. However, I can go tent camping in the U.S. and drink instant made from a little propane stove served in a plastic cup from my mess kit and it's just as delicious and enjoyable, perhaps even more so. It's the mo...
by Rocco Sampler
Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portugal Trip, any suggestions?
Replies: 38
Views: 3422

Re: Portugal Trip, any suggestions?

If you're able to, try a short trip to San Miguel island in the Azores. Amazingly beautiful.
by Rocco Sampler
Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was the main reason you retired?
Replies: 210
Views: 21013

Re: What was the main reason you retired?

The first half of my career was a dream job. I can literally say that almost all my dreams came true. I traveled all over the world and got to do things and meet people that were incredible, including my DW. I stayed in modest hotels and only took a Sony Walkman with a few cassettes of music, along ...
by Rocco Sampler
Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 105
Views: 14828

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

I can’t believe what I’m reading. Buck up, people! I’m not retired yet, but I know I’m going to love it when I get there next year. Here are some suggestions. 1. Adopt a cat or a dog from a shelter. If the unconditional love you receive from one of those guys doesn’t make you happy, you’re a lost ca...
by Rocco Sampler
Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you rise into the Executive Ranks?
Replies: 19
Views: 4770

Re: How did you rise into the Executive Ranks?

1. Most important thing is "knowing" your company mission and "knowing" your customers. If you don't believe in either - get out. Chances are you will never succeed. I learned this very hard way. Theseus, you are absolutely right! All your points were right on, but this is fundamental and one of my...
by Rocco Sampler
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why would anyone buy long term bonds Now?
Replies: 33
Views: 4422

Re: Why would anyone buy long term bonds?

When interest rates are high and you expect them to decrease. When I first started working in 1987, my checking account was yielding 9%. That was a good time to buy long bonds...or stocks.
by Rocco Sampler
Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Ever Jackhammered a Concrete Patio?
Replies: 27
Views: 2297

Re: Anyone Ever Jackhammered a Concrete Patio?

It's been over 30 years, but I had a job actually replacing concrete patios. A pneumatic jackhammer makes quick work of it, but requires the large air compressor to go with it. I loved using it, so satisfying. The effort comes in raising it up for the next pass, not in the downward jacking of the co...
by Rocco Sampler
Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Career Advice for those over "50"
Replies: 60
Views: 8971

Re: Best Career Advice for those over "50"

On my small street one husband dropped dead at 60; one 50-ish wife went to the hospital for minor surgery got MRSA and died; next door neighbor waited until ’65 to retire, got a brain tumor diagnosis one year later and died within two months; guy in 50’s across the street went crazy - divorce; beaut...
by Rocco Sampler
Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with unused paint?
Replies: 38
Views: 3737

Re: What to do with unused paint?

My county recycles paint. They mix what people bring them and offer it for free.
by Rocco Sampler
Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP to Vanguard?
Replies: 128
Views: 24355

Re: TSP to Vanguard?

TSP has a mandatory minimum 20% tax withholding on distributions, other than special cases. If you are in a lower tax bracket, that would be something to think about. https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tsp-536.pdf
by Rocco Sampler
Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle himself is saying we will expect like 3% for the next decades
Replies: 141
Views: 20254

Re: Bogle himself is saying we will expect like 3% for the next decades

IMHO an overvalued market is the norm until interest rates rise to where you can get a reasonable return for little risk. Also, we are in a time of astounding technological and social change. World population continues to grow and consume. Who knows?
by Rocco Sampler
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dish network
Replies: 21
Views: 2058

Re: Dish network

I have Direct TV. Con: It goes out momentarily during a heavy rain. Pro: It was still functioning after Hurricane Irma while friends' cable didn't work for a week (power was restored to the neighborhood the morning after the hurricane). Proved very valuable for post-hurricane information and enterta...
by Rocco Sampler
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:19 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Retirement Class of 1998
Replies: 62
Views: 10763

Re: Retirement Class of 1998 (Sheepdog's Experience)

Sheepdog, congratulations! I would love to hear some details on your tax plan.
by Rocco Sampler
Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogota and the Coast of Colombia travel
Replies: 57
Views: 10275

Re: Bogota and the Coast of Columbia travel

Anyone been to Columbia recently? Safer than before given the agreements with FARC? My wife, son and I are looking to go somewhere in December for about two weeks and Columbia seems interesting. Son has taken a few years of Spanish so it could be a nice chance for him to practice his speaking. We l...
by Rocco Sampler
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogota and the Coast of Colombia travel
Replies: 57
Views: 10275

Re: Bogota and the Coast of Colombia travel

I have been to Colombia 25 times and will go again before the end of the year. I have only been to the area around Medellin and to the coffee region of Quindio, both of which I recommend. I may retire there. Safety depends on the region, but it has been no different for me than traveling to any othe...
by Rocco Sampler
Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flood Insurance when not in flood plain?
Replies: 41
Views: 5265

Re: Flood Insurance when not in flood plain?

In the case of a major storm, there is the possibility that your normal home insurance company would try to deny your claim saying it was flood damage: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/homeowners-win-katrina-damages-case/ There is also the possibility that your flood insurance company would try to deny ...
by Rocco Sampler
Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?
Replies: 141
Views: 17559

Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Bottom line is: as soon as there is a threat, make a hotel reservation on the other side of the state so that you have options. As a 40 year resident of Florida, I've been through a few of these but, of course, nothing like Irma appears to be. As for making a reservation on the other side of the st...
by Rocco Sampler
Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?
Replies: 141
Views: 17559

Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

It's really hard to know what to do, but I will offer my experience from 30 years on the east coast of Florida FWIW. I have a house that was built to post-Andrew codes about 12 miles from the east coast and have hurricane shutters. Hurricane Frances was a Cat II when it hovered over my house for a L...