Search found 333 matches

by Bammerman
Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Seeking best website/other source for education about 529 plans
Replies: 6
Views: 374

Seeking best website/other source for education about 529 plans

My daughter, who lives in North Carolina, is preparing to start 529 college saving plans for her children, ages 9 and 4. I know very little about 529 plans, having paid for our children's college out of current income a long time ago. She's a busy, single working mom and I'm trying to save her some ...
by Bammerman
Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC check ups?
Replies: 46
Views: 3150

Re: HVAC check ups?

I've also been thinking about having a checkup on my heating system recently, since our last "checkup" was some eight or so years ago (no central AC in this house, just heating). But our natural gas-fired furnace and boiler (11 years old) and radiators (original to 1925 construction) keep on tickin'...
by Bammerman
Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Enlarge shower to include bench, walk-in tub, or both?
Replies: 40
Views: 2870

Re: Enlarge shower to include bench, walk-in tub, or both?

a temporary hand-hold that gripped the side of the tub to help her climb into the tub. But frankly it was less than satisfactory because it was still very difficult for her to get into the tub. Did that seem safe? I have thought about those, but I can just see them coming off. All I can give is our...
by Bammerman
Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Enlarge shower to include bench, walk-in tub, or both?
Replies: 40
Views: 2870

Re: Enlarge shower to include bench, walk-in tub, or both?

When my wife had her knees done we only had a bathtub on the ground floor (she could not go up the stairs to the bedroom for several weeks after surgery). We installed a hand-held shower wand on that tub, and a temporary hand-hold that gripped the side of the tub to help her climb into the tub. But ...
by Bammerman
Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If we visit Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Parkway, do we "need" to see Great Smoky Mtns. NP, too?
Replies: 52
Views: 5594

Re: If we visit Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Parkway, do we "need" to see Great Smoky Mtns. NP, too?

Two things re: the Blue Ridge Parkway: 1. Be aware that sections of the Parkway may be closed from time to time for weather or other reasons with little or no notice, especially this time of year. It pays to frequently check the National Park Service's Realtime Closure Map. https://www.nps.gov/maps/...
by Bammerman
Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple iPhone iOS 13 Discussion
Replies: 79
Views: 9675

Re: Apple iPhone iOS 13 Discussion

The general opinion, across many reviewers, is that iOS13 is one of the best operating system upgrades in years. I’m finding it chock full of improvements, myself.
by Bammerman
Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New iPhone or iPhone 7 for ~$130
Replies: 16
Views: 1477

Re: New iPhone or iPhone 7 for ~$130

The iPhone 7 is an excellent phone, in my opinion. I very happily used one for three years until two weeks ago when I upgraded to an iPhone 11 Pro. Unless you are very much into using your phone for photography (In which case, you might want to get an iPhone 11), I would go with iPhone 7 — of course...
by Bammerman
Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get a repair estimate for unrepairable items? (Extended warranty claim)
Replies: 21
Views: 1587

Re: How to get a repair estimate for unrepairable items? (Extended warranty claim)

MIcrowaves are disposable items. Send it to the landfill. No, don't do this, instead donate it to your Habitat for Humanity ReStore! They can sell non-working appliances, including microwave ovens, to metal recyclers for the metal content. My local Habitat makes thousands of $$ each year this way.
by Bammerman
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is "termite-proofing" your house (absent termites) an unnecessary form of insurance?
Replies: 15
Views: 1286

Is "termite-proofing" your house (absent termites) an unnecessary form of insurance?

I'm not sure if this is a personal finance issue or a consumer issue. We own and live in an old home that hasn't had a termite inspection since we bought it some 12 years ago. I'd thought about this fact every now and then, wondering if I should have the house inspected again, when a friend told me ...
by Bammerman
Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?
Replies: 129
Views: 9366

Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

RudyS wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:26 pm
If you use your card to buy it outright, then many credit cards will give you an extended warranty benefit.
+1
by Bammerman
Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep garage 'cooler' during summer
Replies: 31
Views: 3934

Re: Keep garage 'cooler' during summer

If the garage has a dark, flat "membrane" type roof, you could paint it with a white elastomeric roof paint. This is what I did, and it reduced the heat inside/under the roof significantly. A can of this stuff is about $25 at Lowes and is enough to cover a one-car garage.
by Bammerman
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you approach tipping at carry-out restaurants
Replies: 111
Views: 8627

What about places where you order at a counter and they bring you your food?

I admit that I didn't read through every single post here, and that this is slightly different from OP's question, but what about places where you order at a counter and they bring out your food to your table when it's ready? We visit various restaurants like that. That takes just a small fraction o...
by Bammerman
Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are they pushing me to buy ETFs?
Replies: 6
Views: 1540

Re: Why are they pushing me to buy ETFs?

[Post removed by admin LadyGeek]

I'm blaming that glass of wine. Sorry if I'm using up valuable cyberspace.
by Bammerman
Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are they pushing me to buy ETFs?
Replies: 6
Views: 1540

Why are they pushing me to buy ETFs?

I have a feeling that I'm going to get slammed for this question but I'll go ahead anyway. I feel like Vanguard, and now USAA, are really pushing ETFs. I'm happy with mutual funds. What's the big advantage, if any, of Exchange Traded Funds over mutual funds? And Vanguard also keeps pushing me to cha...
by Bammerman
Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Find my iPhone battery drain when checking someone's location?
Replies: 2
Views: 406

Re: Find my iPhone battery drain when checking someone's location?

Not an expert, but I don't think so. I've never heard of this being raised as an issue anywhere.
by Bammerman
Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you have an allocation more conservative than 50/50 ?? What is it? Why? How Bogleheads are getting it done.
Replies: 153
Views: 17024

I guess I do feel like I've won the game

My asset allocation has been essentially the same since I retired 12 years ago: 27% equities, 10% bonds, 63% cash (actually the TSP G fund). The bulk of the investments are in the TSP L "Income" Fund, and the rest are spread across a number of balanced index funds, and the too-good-to-miss Vanguard ...
by Bammerman
Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Risk of burn in with OLED TVs
Replies: 9
Views: 1314

Two ways to limit burn-in of logos

One other thing you can do to avoid burn in of logos in some situations: on the LG B7 anyway, and perhaps other models, you can "zoom" into the picture, and I use this feature to exclude/crop out the PBS logo when I watch the PBS News Hour. And, for what it's worth, on my LG OLED, there's also a fea...
by Bammerman
Fri May 31, 2019 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you missing a $15,000 payment from CRB FREEDOM?
Replies: 28
Views: 4925

Re: Are you missing a $15,000 payment from CRB FREEDOM?

Sending that letter was very nice of you. Very very nice. Above and beyond nice. [/i] I don't see it that way -- just as basic golden rule stuff. I had nothing to gain by not sending the letter, and by sending it, the proper recipient got his/her money quite a bit sooner. No, I didn't make any inte...
by Bammerman
Thu May 30, 2019 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you missing a $15,000 payment from CRB FREEDOM?
Replies: 28
Views: 4925

Re: Are you missing a $15,000 payment from CRB FREEDOM?

Just to close the loop: the credit union took out the mistaken deposit today, finally. They called me day before yesterday and said the money had been intended for another credit union member whose account number was one digit different from mine. They asked me to send them a signed letter stating t...
by Bammerman
Thu May 30, 2019 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Risk of burn in with OLED TVs
Replies: 9
Views: 1314

Also: avoid direct summer sunlight on OLED screen

As others here have said, it's been shown (e.g., by rtings.com, here: https://www.rtings.com/tv/learn/real-life-oled-burn-in-test ) that people who use their OLED tv's for "normal" viewing -- i.e., a mix of stuff, and no hours-long static screens with logos in the same place -- will not have any bur...
by Bammerman
Sat May 25, 2019 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you missing a $15,000 payment from CRB FREEDOM?
Replies: 28
Views: 4925

Re: Are you missing a $15,000 payment from CRB FREEDOM?

I asked about that, but with interest rates these days it's not worth fiddling with. But: in 1983 I moved to France and bought a car there (a new Peugeot) with an $8,000 check in francs from a local bank account. After a week or so and the car dealership hadn't yet cashed the check, I had the bank m...
by Bammerman
Sat May 25, 2019 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you missing a $15,000 payment from CRB FREEDOM?
Replies: 28
Views: 4925

Re: Are you missing a $15,000 payment from CRB FREEDOM?

As of May 25 the money is still there, but I noticed that it's not "available" to me (to spend). Presumably the credit union has put some kind of hold on it. I think I'll write them and ask for a status update.
by Bammerman
Wed May 22, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you missing a $15,000 payment from CRB FREEDOM?
Replies: 28
Views: 4925

Are you missing a $15,000 payment from CRB FREEDOM?

Yesterday morning I checked my credit union checking account and had quite a surprise: the balance was almost $15,000 higher than it should have been! Talk about a nice surprise! Until, that is, I had time to think for a moment and to remember that I don't have any rich uncles or aunts who've died r...
by Bammerman
Sat May 18, 2019 5:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP modernization implementation date: 9/15/2019
Replies: 24
Views: 2933

TSP modernization implementation date: 9/15/2019

It looks like the TSP Modernization Act will be implemented on September 15 of this year, according to this TSP bulletin: https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/bulletins/19-03.html. I hadn't seen a specific date previously. Sorry if somebody else has already posted this.
by Bammerman
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 17th Century Bond That’s Still Paying Interest
Replies: 14
Views: 3399

CONSOL, not consul

Yeah. They're consuls , as stated in the article. In the United States there can't be any, because contracts must have an end date, and bonds are contracts. That doesn't mean US people can't buy foreign bonds, unless the issuing sovereign is under sanctions. Consuls do not fit into the Yield to Mat...
by Bammerman
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA Transfer into TSP
Replies: 17
Views: 1064

If a NC resident, possibly not a good idea

FYI, according to my recollection, if you are a resident of North Carolina, and benefit from the Bailey Rule, transferring the Roth into the TSP may render all of your TSP disbursements subject to NC income taxation. Normally, TSP disbursements would be subject to the Bailey Rule and exempt from tax...
by Bammerman
Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody know the answer to this tax question?
Replies: 5
Views: 714

Anybody know the answer to this tax question?

I've always done my own taxes and this year, for the first time, I need to file an amended return (stupid error of forgetting to enter one 1099-R). On the return that I filed electronically I owed taxes, and so I set things up so that the IRS will take the money out on April 15 in an electronic fund...
by Bammerman
Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to make a good, accurate map of a small village
Replies: 17
Views: 1624

Re: How to make a good, accurate map of a small village

How about this: (1) select the area of interest in Google Earth; (2) print out that area (maybe using four area selections = four print-outs); (3) use tracing paper to trace the outlines of the roads, houses, streams, etc. (if necessary, glue/tape the tracing paper sheets together); (4) photograph, ...
by Bammerman
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Generational Wealth Transfer
Replies: 25
Views: 3621

Re: Generational Wealth Transfer

You would need to accumulate wealth before you worry too much about how to transfer it. I'd say the best investments in the next generation would be (in order of priority): 1. Quality of childhood and parenting: - Having happy parents who are able to spend time educating and passing values to their...
by Bammerman
Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please
Replies: 118
Views: 6492

Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

I haven't read through all the posts here, so please excuse me if someone else has said this already. I used to score and rank-order candidates for foreign service appointments, and to that end, read many, many of their personnel applications. I never cared where someone started their education. Wha...
by Bammerman
Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Crypto Exchange goes bankrupt after owner dies with only password
Replies: 90
Views: 11864

Is this event ....

Is this guy's death a BLACK SWAN ???????
by Bammerman
Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would a heat pump or gas furnace help?
Replies: 19
Views: 1679

Re: Would a heat pump or gas furnace help?

Seems like the first step is establishing whether there is a leak or not. I have no experience or knowledge to contribute there*. I do have electric heat tape (controlled by a thermostat) wrapped around water supply (metal) pipes at one point in my old house, and that simple technology does work to ...
by Bammerman
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any good reason to get a smartwatch?
Replies: 93
Views: 4695

Re: Any good reason to get a smartwatch?

I have been thinking of getting an Apple watch 4, because of the health-related features it has. I even asked my doctor about it and he said he too is interested in one for the same reasons. I'm not all that interested in the various other possible reasons for having one. One possible first-world ob...
by Bammerman
Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Furloughed Fed Employee - How to make best use of time
Replies: 60
Views: 6427

Re: Furloughed Fed Employee - How to make best use of time

I spent one very long government shutdown down in our half-finished basement, stripping bright royal blue paint from the knotty pine paneling, and then refinishing the paneling. It was hard work but I was proud of the results. Maybe you can find something similar to do around your house. I also spen...
by Bammerman
Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When does my fund rebalance? (Does "daily" mean the day after?)
Replies: 8
Views: 613

"I don't care and you shouldn't either"

Interestingly, after posting this question a few days ago, I found that I had posted a related question about rebalancing about 11 years ago, (https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8703) which also garnered few responses. I would note that the last person to respond there said something t...
by Bammerman
Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When does my fund rebalance? (Does "daily" mean the day after?)
Replies: 8
Views: 613

When does my fund rebalance? (Does "daily" mean the day after?)

I was listening to the news tonight and it talked about another "wild ride" that took the Dow down 400 or so points before it ended up 14 points. That led me to wonder about my TSP-L Income fund, which, like all the L finds, rebalances daily. But WHEN does it do that rebalancing? If we take today, f...
by Bammerman
Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to afford a sports car?
Replies: 128
Views: 9954

Re: How to afford a sports car?

[/quote] You can pick up a 1996 era Mazda MX-5 Miata for $2,000. Make that a gift to yourself after you max out your retirement accounts. [/quote] That's just what I was going to say! The Miata is a great, fun, and reliable sports car. I owned one for seven years and still regret selling it. Get you...
by Bammerman
Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is anyone's portfolio not tanking???
Replies: 129
Views: 14174

Effect of daily rebalancing now

My TSP Lifecycle Income fund has dropped about 6% over the last couple of weeks. That fund makes up the bulk of my investments; the rest are in a variety of balanced passive index funds, and I haven't looked to see how they're doing. They'll do whatever they'll do. I certainly don't plan to make any...
by Bammerman
Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New TV Recommendations Please?
Replies: 80
Views: 6497

Re: New TV Recommendations Please?

OP: You made a very good decision when you bought the LG OLED. I bought my LG OLED a year ago (B7a) and have not regretted the high cost one moment. I had my previous lcd tv 10 years, and expect to have this one that long as well. Amortize the cost of the OLED tv over a decade of 2 to 3 hours OF YOU...
by Bammerman
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart thermostat issue - do I redo the wiring or add a transformer?
Replies: 14
Views: 1254

Re: Smart thermostat issue - do I redo the wiring or add a transformer?

My preference for a smart thermostat was to be able to check everything remotely and make changes as necessary. If that is the main reason, perhaps you should consider a device like the Leeo (https://www.leeo.com/product). I have had one of these for a year or so and have found it useful. Using the...
by Bammerman
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart thermostat issue - do I redo the wiring or add a transformer?
Replies: 14
Views: 1254

Re: Smart thermostat issue - do I redo the wiring or add a transformer?

Similar situation, except that I had only one old round Honeywell thermostat (i.e., one "zone"). I solved the situation by buying a $20 programmable thermostat (uses AA batteries that last at least a year). It is only smart enough to change the set temperature several times a day 7 days a week, but ...
by Bammerman
Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data
Replies: 33
Views: 3158

Re: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data

I can't believe that no one here has mentioned that absolutely guaranteed method, EMP (electromagnetic pulse). But, more seriously, how about subjecting the phone to a powerful magnetic force? I remember, as a boy, constructing an electromagnet by wrapping many turns of insulated copper wire around ...
by Bammerman
Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS benefit increase from one additional year past FRA delayed until 2019 -- Why?
Replies: 4
Views: 811

Re: SS benefit increase from one additional year past FRA delayed until 2019 -- Why?

Actually, I think the agent misspoke, or I misunderstood, because the amount I'm to receive matches what I had calculated that I would receive plus almost exactly 8%. It's a little complicated because I am subject to WEP. But I still have no idea what the agent was referring to when she talked about...
by Bammerman
Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS benefit increase from one additional year past FRA delayed until 2019 -- Why?
Replies: 4
Views: 811

SS benefit increase from one additional year past FRA delayed until 2019 -- Why?

I delayed filing for my social security benefits until age 67, one year past my full retirement age (FRA). When the SS agent took my application over the phone she told me what my benefits would be, based on my FRA, and said that they would start in September (one month after I turn 67). She then sa...
by Bammerman
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone using a Dolby Atmos-capable sound bar?
Replies: 6
Views: 625

Anyone using a Dolby Atmos-capable sound bar?

I've been reading a lot lately about Dolby's "spatial" sound effects from their new Atmos technology, and I'm wondering if I should spend the high premium for a Dolby Atmos-capable sound bar. My new tv is capable of passing Dolby Atmos through to capable sound systems. We've been using a fairly inex...
by Bammerman
Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to make opened bottles of wine last longer
Replies: 38
Views: 3367

Re: How to make opened bottles of wine last longer

I like a glass or two of red wine in the evening, but my wife doesn't drink, so making a nice bottle of wine last longer is important to me. I've been using rubber stoppers with a vacuum device for years (like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000GA3KCE/ref=dp_cerb_2) and have been satisfied. I would...
by Bammerman
Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggest an electric car: Volt? Alternative?
Replies: 49
Views: 4876

Re: Suggest an electric car: Volt? Alternative?

I am very happy with my 2013 Volt, and would recommend that you consider a used Volt for your commuting purpose. With a Generation 1 Volt (such as mine) a 25 mile round trip commute would be no problem. Even in the middle of winter, I get at least 33 miles out of my Volt's battery (batteries don't l...
by Bammerman
Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for recommendations on a cordless electric mower
Replies: 21
Views: 2143

Re: Looking for recommendations on a cordless electric mower

I'd been using a very, very heavy Black and Decker cordless mower that I bought, used, at the nearby Habitat ReStore about five years ago. But recently I decided to buy something lighter, and went with a Kobalt that I picked up from Lowes for $287. It has a 40 volt, 5 amp battery. I've only used it ...
by Bammerman
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Soon to retire Fed in the TSP
Replies: 20
Views: 1878

Re: Soon to retire Fed in the TSP

Hi Ken, welcome (soon) to retirement. I'm a retired Fed and have wrestled with TSP decisions myself. I would say, first of all, don't make any sudden decisions about what to do with your TSP -- take your time, you have plenty of it. Personally, I'm a big fan of the L Funds, and have used them for qu...
by Bammerman
Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?
Replies: 501
Views: 58876

Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

I was a U.S. foreign service officer for 26 years. A great career. In my case, I spent about 14 of those years overseas, in a variety of cities/countries/continents. That's the key word, in fact: variety : Job variety, location variety, boss/subordinate variety, cultural variety. Variety can be bad ...