Search found 156 matches

by NewOldGuy
Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "One year into retirement!"
Replies: 4
Views: 1707

Re: "One year into retirement!"

I've belonged to that forum for many years. This one and that one are pretty much all the smart people I know. ;)

The Politics and Religion forum is spicy and pretty much unmoderated except you have to log in to see it. The disclaimer is don't go there if you have thin skin.
by NewOldGuy
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BofA credit card compromised, but they won't say how
Replies: 15
Views: 1283

Re: BofA credit card compromised, but they won't say how

Couple years ago, BofA sent me a fraud notice, to cut up old cards, and new cards "are already in the mail". They arrived and I was activating them and got a "contact us" notice. I called and they said my cards were already compromised. They weren't even activated, yet they were compromised. Say what?
by NewOldGuy
Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA 2020 pricing [What's your 2020 pricing?]
Replies: 38
Views: 4046

ACA 2020 pricing [What's your 2020 pricing?]

Recently read an article that stated ACA national pricing is dropping 4% on average. When comparing same policy(Blueshield Silver70) in California, ours is $70/mo more and our deductible rose from $5k to $8K, and the pharmacy deductible doubled. So paying more, getting less. Sounds about right.
by NewOldGuy
Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying a 60 or 65 inch tv this weekend. which one?
Replies: 74
Views: 4060

Re: buying a 60 or 65 inch tv this weekend. which one?

What are you more likely to say,

"Wish I had bought a bigger TV" or

"Wish I had bought a smaller TV"

I always buy bigger if there's decent viewing distance. There is a "too much TV for the room" possibility.
by NewOldGuy
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge
Replies: 112
Views: 15506

Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

I opened a Merrill Edge account more than two months ago with a transfer from Vanguard of > $100K and have yet to qualify for any tier of Preferred Rewards. The Merrill Edge and Bank of America accounts are both joint with my wife and me. I wonder if that is the problem. I secure messaged Merrill E...
by NewOldGuy
Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge
Replies: 112
Views: 15506

Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

I opened a Merrill Edge account more than two months ago with a transfer from Vanguard of > $100K and have yet to qualify for any tier of Preferred Rewards. The Merrill Edge and Bank of America accounts are both joint with my wife and me. I wonder if that is the problem. I secure messaged Merrill E...
by NewOldGuy
Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge
Replies: 112
Views: 15506

Re: Moving from Vanguard to Merrill Edge

I'd recommend not carrying a combined balance beyond $250,000. The reason is that in the past couple years, some people who had a combined BofA balance > $250,000, were 'upgraded' to Merrill Banking Rewards with Wealth Management. This overlaps significantly with Preferred Rewards with the exceptio...
by NewOldGuy
Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth 401K or traditional 401K and ACA subsidy
Replies: 11
Views: 1117

Re: Roth 401K or traditional 401K and ACA subsidy

If you choose a HDHP HSA eligible ACA plan, you and your wife can both contribute $4500 each year, therefore reduce $9000 from MAGI amount. My wife doesn't currently draw a salary. We are together in a non-qualifying ACA silver plan, but I could move to Bronze HDHP. If I'm in the Bronze plan for mo...
by NewOldGuy
Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth 401K or traditional 401K and ACA subsidy
Replies: 11
Views: 1117

Re: Roth 401K or traditional 401K and ACA subsidy

I think you may be missing something… Please show your math on the 72k 25K pension 17K SS 30K SS Disability <-- this is the supposition of my wife qualifying for SS disability and me quitting my job. 72K for 2020. If I can't trim a little off (5K), I may as well keep working. Hopefully, the limits ...
by NewOldGuy
Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth 401K or traditional 401K and ACA subsidy
Replies: 11
Views: 1117

Re: Roth 401K or traditional 401K and ACA subsidy

Next year I don't see any subsidy as there's no place to deduct enough even if I quit we're still at $72K. Am I missing anything? Thanks. You can suspend your own SS and restart it at a later time. Thanks tfb. Yes, I have 12 months from onset of benefits to suspend, that leaves me just two months t...
by NewOldGuy
Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth 401K or traditional 401K and ACA subsidy
Replies: 11
Views: 1117

Re: Roth 401K or traditional 401K and ACA subsidy

Not sure I can answer your question, but a few observations: - The 401k max for those over 50 is $25k. But it makes no difference if your earned income is $15k. - the portion of social security that counts against ACA is the untaxed portion. https://help.ihealthagents.com/hc/en-us/articles/22454062...
by NewOldGuy
Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth 401K or traditional 401K and ACA subsidy
Replies: 11
Views: 1117

Roth 401K or traditional 401K and ACA subsidy

I'm 63 working part time at about $15K/yr. and putting 10% into a Roth 401K. I could theoretically put my entire salary into a 401K, up to $19K? Is that correct? I'm struggling a little bit figuring out my options to stay below the subsidy requirements for the next 2 years, this year especially. I h...
by NewOldGuy
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Highest % cash back credit card
Replies: 77
Views: 6688

Re: Highest % cash back credit card

Preferred BofA cash rewards X2 one set to dining, one set to online purchases. This includes purchasing Costco Cash cards online to get 5.25 off grocery and gas. Chase Freedom 5% off groceries this quarter. Paypal MC for 2% off everything else. Going to app soon for BofA Travel Rewards to get 2.62% ...
by NewOldGuy
Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid high vet bills?
Replies: 110
Views: 7502

Re: How to avoid high vet bills?

Yes, age of pet and quality of life plays a big part in end of life decisions. Congrats on your pup reaching 15!
by NewOldGuy
Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merrill Edge and Preferred Rewards
Replies: 60
Views: 6973

Re: Merrill Edge and Preferred Rewards

I went into a local BofA branch in January to open Advantage Relationship Banking Checking account. That got me $350 sign up bonus. They offer like 5 free checking accounts and a safe deposit box. After a phone call with my Merrill Edge rep, I received 300 free trades the day the money funded, and c...
by NewOldGuy
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC Options
Replies: 19
Views: 1646

Re: HELOC Options

We just closed, last week, a no cost $50K loan with US Bank, 20 years @ 4.94% fixed rate and fixed amount. This is not a HELOC.
by NewOldGuy
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?
Replies: 53
Views: 4696

Re: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?

Home Depot isn't cheap but they're thorough. Pan, straps, vent, hoses, expansion tank, city permit, are all included. They use a company called Fast Water in Southern California. https://www.fastwaterheater.com/service-areas/ca-los-angeles/orange-county/?utm_source=google&utm_campaign=gmb_orange&utm...
by NewOldGuy
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pension Lump Sum amount drops after age 65
Replies: 20
Views: 1416

Re: Pension Lump Sum amount drops after age 65

My wife's MegaCorp pension calculator would default to larger interest rates, sometimes 1.5-2x the current rate, and that would crash the lump sum benefit 6 figures. Took a while to ignore that...
by NewOldGuy
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid high vet bills?
Replies: 110
Views: 7502

Re: How to avoid high vet bills?

There are good vets and bad vets. Good vets are worth whatever they charge. Do you "replace" your kids if they have high medical bills? How about the spouse, is he/she out the door if they get costly? Dogs are not "children", nor are "children" dogs. I value people much more than animals. On the ot...
by NewOldGuy
Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How have your homes as investments done?
Replies: 212
Views: 23583

Re: How have your homes as investments done?

We bought our first and only home near the height of the skyrocketing prime rate in 1981 (~20%). We offered $127K on a $140K listing and they took it. We were lucky to assume the sellers first mortgage of $45K at an unbelievably low rate of 8.5%. We then had to get a 2nd mortgage of $60K at 16%. We ...
by NewOldGuy
Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 796551

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

+1 Yep, Airline bag fees and in-flight kids meals were reimbursed by BoA platinum for us last year for $200 which makes up for 2 cards AF of $190 The premium card has an annual fee while the BofA Travel rewards card offers 1.5% cash back on everything plus the .75 bonus without the annual fee. Am I...
by NewOldGuy
Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: With hindsight, what signs indicated you were about to lose your job?
Replies: 127
Views: 13181

Re: With hindsight, what signs indicated you were about to lose your job?

I've been lucky my adult life, but when I was 18 unloading trucks manually one hot summer, the new employee to help me was the company VP's nephew. Being new myself, I knew my days were numbered... looking back, I think that number was about week. Pay was great, but the work environment was intolera...
by NewOldGuy
Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 796551

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

BoA denied my second BoA premium card - the manager of BoA Credit approval dept says Visa put that restriction for BoA Visa Platinum... Thanks for the update and correction, FrugalProfessor. Next I suppose BoA could deny multiple cards from earning Platinum Honors benefits. I hesitate relying on on...
by NewOldGuy
Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Zelle functionality different between banks?
Replies: 13
Views: 1814

Re: Is Zelle functionality different between banks?

I have "Zelled" money to 3 different banks from BofA and they were all instantaneous. I do it monthly for payment on loans that I received a discount for auto-debiting the accounts. These 4 accounts all have my name attached, so you'd think it would be seamless. The one time I tried to Zelle back to...
by NewOldGuy
Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 120
Views: 10206

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

Up until this year, we've always used my wife's company HDHP as I was self employed. The deductible was $2500 and the company contributed $500 match to HSA. She was laid off, so this year we on the ACA Silver plan $450/mo. that has deductible 3x of her old companies, but miraculously does not count ...
by NewOldGuy
Wed May 22, 2019 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Income and lowering AGI
Replies: 2
Views: 472

Re: Retirement Income and lowering AGI

Here's California's income explanation for ACA https://www.coverhealthca.com/site/page/view/covered-CA-FAQs In CA, it looks like an HSA contribution will lower your AGI to qualify for ACA. Thank you! I knew deductions if there is earned income, but new to the "unearned" income scene. ;) I found som...
by NewOldGuy
Wed May 22, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Income and lowering AGI
Replies: 2
Views: 472

Retirement Income and lowering AGI

Soon my wife may be collecting SS disability and this will put us over ACA subsidy limit by a few grand. Our total income would be both SS and a pension that would put us at $71.5K/yr. No salaried income. Can we still contribute to HSA to lower our AGI being as we chose high deductible health plan? ...
by NewOldGuy
Tue May 21, 2019 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer speed question which computer is faster and why?
Replies: 22
Views: 1596

Re: Computer speed question which computer is faster and why?

i7 and i3 have many iterations. Here's a comparison of like chips respectively. https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-8700K-vs-Intel-Core-i3-550/3937vsm632 SSD drives are really fast and can make booting 20-40 seconds instead of 3-5 minutes. But after the boot, you are not going to enj...
by NewOldGuy
Sun May 05, 2019 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn experts? - roots showing up above ground
Replies: 9
Views: 1376

Re: Lawn experts? - roots showing up above ground

Our city planted ficus trees along new sidewalks. Things looked beautiful until the ficus roots started lifting the concrete creating trip and insurance hazards. They spent another bundle removing the trees. If the roots you are seeing are just a few surfacing, you can chop them out. You could add t...
by NewOldGuy
Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit card to pay for cell phone bills online?
Replies: 21
Views: 1476

Re: Best credit card to pay for cell phone bills online?

While you may get cash back for a phone purchase, BofA excludes "utilities" which would include phone bills. Currently Amex is offering a promotion of 10% back on your monthly cell phone bill through June. Think there is a $15-20 limit.
by NewOldGuy
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?
Replies: 177
Views: 11422

Re: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?

Same dilemma here. We've both been in So Cal for 50 yrs and have lived in the same house for 37 years. Lately we've talked about the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. Nevada is favorable retirement and pensions. Still have 3 yrs before full retirement, but dreams of having an acre and a few farm animals so...
by NewOldGuy
Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer
Replies: 18
Views: 1194

Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

I have used Kaspersky Total Security and Malware Bytes together for a decade or so. Costs $40/yr for 5 devices. One PC, two laptops, two phones.
by NewOldGuy
Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Women, How Much Do You Pay for Haircut
Replies: 94
Views: 6435

Re: Women, How Much Do You Pay for Haircut

Every 4-6 wks we're $100 poorer. Color the "skunk stripe" and highlights.

For myself, I bought a Flowbee for $75. I haven't paid for a haircut in 25 years.
by NewOldGuy
Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can an employer restrict 401k rollovers for terminated employees?
Replies: 19
Views: 1857

Re: Can an employer restrict 401k rollovers for terminated employees?

My wife was laid off early March of 2018 and given 42 weeks of severance (twice monthly just as tho she was working) with health benefits. In all that time she was not allowed collect pension benefits nor contribute to nor rollover her 401K. Limbo for 10 months.
by NewOldGuy
Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are 2004 Ford Rangers Reliable?
Replies: 20
Views: 1502

Re: Are 2004 Ford Rangers Reliable?

The Rangers changed in 2001, so a lot of reviews of models prior to that, especially for the 4-cylinder, wouldn't apply to a 4x4 2004 model. Does it have the 3.0L or 4.0L V6? The 4.0L had issues with timing chain tensioners failing. Were they replaced already? It's an engine-out procedure to replac...
by NewOldGuy
Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are independent garages cheaper than dealer?
Replies: 58
Views: 4697

Re: Are independent garages cheaper than dealer?

Yup. I had to use self-restraint one time when I was sitting at the dealer. Lady calls and subject turns to brakes. Dealer recommends changing them. Lady says, no thanks, hubby will do it. Dealer says, oh, your husband probably doesn't have a lathe that is needed to turn the rotors which is require...
by NewOldGuy
Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car insurance
Replies: 17
Views: 1486

Re: Rental Car insurance

kaneohe wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:39 pm
NewOldGuy wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:34 pm
My agent (Mercury) says I'm fully covered anywhere in US. .............................
Did you ask specifically about loss of use?
Absolutely.... not! But I will next time we speak.
by NewOldGuy
Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car insurance
Replies: 17
Views: 1486

Re: Rental Car insurance

My agent (Mercury) says I'm fully covered anywhere in US. Hopefully between them and CC I'm covered and I never have to find out otherwise.
by NewOldGuy
Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are independent garages cheaper than dealer?
Replies: 58
Views: 4697

Re: Are independent garages cheaper than dealer?

One of the perks for using an indy is they will usually agree to install parts you purchased. That part install may come with a limited warranty or no warranty, but you can save $100's and use the best parts without paying the markup price. Just today, I took our older BMW to our local indy garage f...
by NewOldGuy
Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawnmower(s)
Replies: 43
Views: 3559

Re: Lawnmower(s)

Yooper16 wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:22 pm
Does yours kick into high gear when you hit high grass etc? Sounds like its going to take off when it does.
[/quote]

Yes, wish it would run in overdrive on demand. I've also killed it by overload. Take about 10 seconds to allow restart.
by NewOldGuy
Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toilet Tanks
Replies: 18
Views: 1898

Re: Toilet Tanks

A lot of times the markup on a tank alone would justify purchasing a whole new toilet.
by NewOldGuy
Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawnmower(s)
Replies: 43
Views: 3559

Re: Lawnmower(s)

After using a gardener for 25 years, I bought into the Ego battery driven system for our .28 acre which about half is grass. The Good: Battery life No Gas No Oil No Air Filter No Spark Plug Starts every time Easy Storage The Bad: Clogged chute if grass long or wet Not enough suction if grass is long...
by NewOldGuy
Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Age for starting kindergarten
Replies: 61
Views: 4187

Re: Age for starting kindergarten

Just for reference, I grad HS at 17 turned 18 two months later and I was not the youngest in my class by several months. Your grandson will be more than year older than many of his classmates if there is a wait to enroll which isn't the end of the world. Allow his parents to decide what is best for ...
by NewOldGuy
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?
Replies: 79
Views: 4865

Re: Teen got into auto accident, fight ticket or pay fine?

$100 tickets went the way of the dodo bird in California. Run a red light and its $500+.

This ticket could be for anything from inattentive driving (texting) to reckless driving resulting in property damage. Key info is missing.
by NewOldGuy
Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: lawn care cost
Replies: 70
Views: 6624

Re: lawn care cost

We were paying $50/mo mowed weekly for 1/4 acre lot with half of it grass. They would mow and edge, we did the pruning, hedges, weeding. Landscaping very competitive in Los Angeles. If you want a decent price ask your neighbors gardener for a quote. When they're doing surrounding houses, the price c...
by NewOldGuy
Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best cheap printer
Replies: 80
Views: 6047

Re: best cheap printer

I switched to mono Brother lasers 10 years ago. Now we have two wireless laser printers in different parts of house for laptops. Almost free to print when averaged over how long the original toner cartridge lasts. The 1-3 times a year color is needed we take a flash drive to walmart.
by NewOldGuy
Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Start Social Security at year end, or in new year?
Replies: 27
Views: 2359

Re: Start Social Security at year end, or in new year?

Not sure I'd have seen the increase if my first check had arrived in January. That's incorrect. That's where the "Not sure..." part comes in. It wasn't a statement of fact. Thank you. 8-) 62, FRA and 70 are milestones in retirement. Perhaps they are mentioned more often due to their significance.
by NewOldGuy
Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Start Social Security at year end, or in new year?
Replies: 27
Views: 2359

Re: Start Social Security at year end, or in new year?

The wheels turn slowly at SSA.GOV

I applied in May, 3 months prior to my birthday in August last year. First payment came last Wednesday in October. First raise came in January 2019. Not sure I'd have seen the increase if my first check had arrived in January.
by NewOldGuy
Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA wants to install speed bumps that my car won't clear
Replies: 50
Views: 5597

Re: HOA wants to install speed bumps that my car won't clear

Signatures on a petition may be your only recourse if they don't listen to reason. Have they done a speed survey on the stretch of road in question to justify bump(s) ?