Search found 278 matches

by Bammerman
Thu May 17, 2018 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant
Replies: 209
Views: 12351

Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

real men drink beer I drink wine with dinner at home but always order beer with dinner when I dine out. I think that wine prices in restaurants are just too much of a rip-off, and I won't pay it. Also I live in a town bursting with terrific craft brewers so there's never a lack of superb craft beer...
by Bammerman
Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Rating sites for TVs
Replies: 22
Views: 1617

Re: Best Rating sites for TVs

keinodoggy wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:21 am
https://www.rtings.com/tv
+1 (they have good YouTube videos too)
by Bammerman
Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Buy, $3k TV, should I buy warranty?
Replies: 24
Views: 1653

Re: Best Buy, $3k TV, should I buy warranty?

It's possible you might already have a 4-year warranty without knowing it. Some credit cards (like my USAA card) will double the benefits of a 2-year warranty purchased with that credit card. I suggest you read through your credit card's guide-to-benefits booklet and look for something like "extende...
by Bammerman
Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to buy a TV
Replies: 33
Views: 2850

match

I bought my expensive tv from Best Buy. When they reduced the price by $100 within a week, I went in and got that $100 back too. And I also immediately started searching online for the exact brand/model tv I'd just purchased, and found it advertised somewhere for several hundred dollars less. So I f...
by Bammerman
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LG 75" vs OLED 65" TV or Wait?
Replies: 44
Views: 4371

Re: LG 75" vs OLED 65" TV or Wait?

FYI, I have found the information about tv's at rtings.com to be very helpful. We went from a 11-year-old, 42" 1080p LCD tv to our 55" LG OLED tv. The picture is vastly better -- for a number of reasons. 1. It's a lot bigger than our old tv. We could't go any larger than 55" due to the configuration...
by Bammerman
Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LG 75" vs OLED 65" TV or Wait?
Replies: 44
Views: 4371

Re: LG 75" vs OLED 65" TV or Wait?

I confess, I don't have an opinion about your specific question (sorry) -- but I did buy a 55" LG B7A OLED tv at Thanksgiving (thanks, spouse!) and I LOVE IT. Just in case you missed that, I REALLY LOVE IT A LOT . I originally spent about $1500 for it (worth it at that price) but reduced that cost b...
by Bammerman
Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rome-Florence-Venice-Prague summer vacation
Replies: 54
Views: 3450

Re: Rome-Florence-Venice-Prague summer vacation

I lived 9 months in Florence a long time ago when I was about 21. A magical place. Don't even think of skipping it. One thing I haven't seen mentioned in this thread so far: in the hills just above Florence there's an ancient town, originally Etruscan, I believe, called Fiesole. You can take a city ...
by Bammerman
Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bailey Settlement question -- of interest only to NC residents
Replies: 16
Views: 1278

Re: Bailey Settlement question -- of interest only to NC residents

Of course all of this is academic anyway because I plan to live forever.
by Bammerman
Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bailey Settlement question -- of interest only to NC residents
Replies: 16
Views: 1278

Re: Bailey Settlement question -- of interest only to NC residents

Thanks, retiredjg, I saw this covered on the Wiki, and have summarized the concern for my wife so she is aware of the choice she would have to make. Basically, that there might be tax advantages to her from keeping the money in the TSP (because TSP disbursements to her would presumably be exempt fro...
by Bammerman
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bailey Settlement question -- of interest only to NC residents
Replies: 16
Views: 1278

Bailey Settlement question -- of interest only to NC residents

I've been researching financial issues that my wife should be aware of in case I predecease her, and one of these is the effect of North Carolina's Supreme Court's Bailey Settlement on survivors of federal annuitants and TSP account-holders. The answer to the first part of the question (i.e., would ...
by Bammerman
Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: used Prius (or Chevy Volt?)
Replies: 50
Views: 4216

Love my Volt

We have two cars, a 2010 Prius and a 2013 Volt, both purchased new. The Prius is a fine car (ho hum yawn). The Volt is a more powerful, more comfortable, better driving and more economical car -- the last point depending, of course, on the type of driving being done. Since I get 35-45 miles out of a...
by Bammerman
Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP fails secuity audit
Replies: 19
Views: 3106

Re: TSP fails secuity audit

Not very awe-inspiring, I'll grant. At least there are promises to improve: "...the agency is moving forward with plans to implement Williams Adley’s recommendations, and it will strengthen its contractor oversight policies. She provided a roadmap that projects the agency will reach a Level 3 score—...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Knob and Tube rewire cost
Replies: 28
Views: 2992

Re: Knob and Tube rewire cost

My situation is very similar to Pajama's. When we bought our 1925 house with K&T (with upgrades over the years), our insurance company (USAA) had no problems with that at all. We've had no problems with wiring since we bought the house 11 years ago, and as far as I know, the K&T wiring has been fait...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pick up a part-time to get to FI faster or use that time to pursue my dream?
Replies: 11
Views: 1199

Getting to Florida

Maybe it's because I hadn't had my second cup of morning coffee yet, but at first I thought this thread was about getting to Florida. I pondered, "I've seen Fla. and FL used as abbreviations, but never Fl ...." then I thought, could that be a capital "I" after the "F" ?? At that, a dim bulb began to...
by Bammerman
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who has had a pool?
Replies: 79
Views: 4797

Worth it for us

I grew up in Florida in (for a number of my younger years) a house with a pool, and I swam all the time. Now we live in North Carolina. We bought an old house with an in-ground pool. Because of the climate, and the fact that ours is not a heated pool, the swimming season is only (part of) May throug...
by Bammerman
Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 51
Views: 4827

What I did

Just to close the loop, I ended up deciding to file a restricted application and (as the higher-paid spouse) am taking spousal benefits only for now. If things work out as planned, I will make my own application at age 70. We will be using money in our remaining tax-deferred funds to cover the incom...
by Bammerman
Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace TVs with Smart Tvs or not?
Replies: 57
Views: 5149

Re: Replace TVs with Smart Tvs or not?

I "cut the cord" five or seven years ago and have been using successive generations of Apple TV's to stream content to my "dumb" lcd tv since then, very happily. Until last week I'd have echoed what nearly everyone here's been saying: never mind smart tv's, just get a (Roku, Apple TV, whatever) stre...
by Bammerman
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you budget for vacation?
Replies: 94
Views: 7127

Re: How much do you budget for vacation?

My dad was a manufacturer's representative and traveled frequently. Here is his advice on packing for a trip:

"First, lay out on your bed, all the clothes you plan to take with you. Next, lay out all the money you think you will need. Finally, take away half of the clothes, and double the money."
by Bammerman
Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sunscreen: use it all the time? (And what's a good one w/o sting?)
Replies: 58
Views: 4527

Re: Sunscreen: use it all the time? (And what's a good one w/o sting?)

I buy the CVS (cheaper) version of Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF100+, then I water it down 50% so it ends up being SPF 50. The pharmacist confirmed that the result is actually the maximum SPF protection that your skin can use (the SPF 100 product is 50% wasted money).
by Bammerman
Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Include whole life policies as "retirement investment"?
Replies: 5
Views: 736

Include whole life policies as "retirement investment"?

Many many years ago my wife and I took out (small) whole life insurance policies from The Equitable (when there was such a thing). We finished paying premiums on them long ago, and they are paid-up, and/or premiums are being paid from dividends. Their cash value is now about equal to their life insu...
by Bammerman
Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two Nights in Quebec City - Must See Suggestions, anyone?
Replies: 16
Views: 1587

Re: Two Nights in Quebec City - Must See Suggestions, anyone?

My wife and I spent some days in QC two years ago -- really enjoyed just walking around in the old city and using our rusty French, which the locals actually seemed to appreciate (and to enjoy).
by Bammerman
Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking word-of-mouth on financial advisors in Asheville, NC
Replies: 1
Views: 380

Seeking word-of-mouth on financial advisors in Asheville, NC

I am seeking personal recommendations of fee-only financial advisors in Asheville, North Carolina. If you have comments (pro or con) based on your own experience that you are willing to share with me about any financial advisors in Asheville, I would appreciate your sending them to me in a private m...
by Bammerman
Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 51
Views: 4827

Re: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?

It's amazing how much useful information there is in this forum, or should I say, how many helpful people participate here. That's not to say that I understand everything, but that's par for the course. I am leaning toward making a "restricted filing" just for social security spousal benefits as soo...
by Bammerman
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 51
Views: 4827

RMDs - so what?

What is the fundamental problem with having to take RMDs? Sorry to ask a probably ignorant question.
by Bammerman
Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 51
Views: 4827

Re: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?

"...so your RMDs will be smaller."

And, I guess, there will be less tax to pay.
by Bammerman
Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 51
Views: 4827

??? about " Tapping TSP earlier will reduce RMDs as well" and more info

Regarding MRC 's comment that " Tapping TSP earlier will reduce RMDs as well" : I don't really understand this idea very well at all. I know what RMD's are and that it means I must at least start tapping my tax-deferred funds at 70 1/2. But I don't understand how I can control or mitigate this, such...
by Bammerman
Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 51
Views: 4827

Re: how long do we plan to live

We're both "planning" to live to ripe old ages. We both have LTC insurance, btw.
by Bammerman
Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 51
Views: 4827

Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?

Hi and here's what I'm wondering. I'm 66 and considering starting social security (my wife will be 66 in a few months and has not started yet either). Assuming we want to increase our monthly income (mostly my government COLA'd pension) by $3,000 -- Should we (a) both start taking social security be...
by Bammerman
Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A request to authors of investing advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1656

Re: A request to authors of investing advice

I apologize for what apparently was a confusing post. Maybe I erred in not providing more specifics regarding my personal situation. Actually, I began composing this post with a short description of my own situation, but then I decided not to make this post about me , but about what I see as a gener...
by Bammerman
Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A request to authors of investing advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1656

A request to authors of investing advice

Thank goodness for this website and all the people who've been writing on it. I discovered it a dozen or so years ago when I was floundering around trying to figure out how to even begin to educate myself about investing. Thank goodness also for people like William Bernstein, whose Four Pillars book...
by Bammerman
Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Places worth seeing in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Montreal in mid September
Replies: 6
Views: 680

Re: Places worth seeing in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Montreal in mid September

We visited Halifax last year and had a good time there. It's a walkable city. One very interesting place we visited was the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, which has an art exhibit in the basement that includes the entire (little) house that Nova Scotia "primitive" artist Maud Lewis once lived in with h...
by Bammerman
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should $100K for remodeling come from savings or from refinance?
Replies: 14
Views: 2258

Re: Should $100K for remodeling come from savings or from refinance?

Already I have benefited from some very helpful replies! "I would agree that a cash out refinance seems unlikely if you're living on 'a pension and some small side jobs.'" Why is that? I'm unclear on the connection between these two things. We have refinanced before but never a "cash-out" refinance,...
by Bammerman
Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should $100K for remodeling come from savings or from refinance?
Replies: 14
Views: 2258

Re: Should $100K for remodeling come from savings or from refinance?

No. I thought I'd start here first for suggestions and comments. What do you mean by the "burden" of a cash out refinance? Do you mean the costs/fees of the refinance? The extension of the mortgage payments?
by Bammerman
Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should $100K for remodeling come from savings or from refinance?
Replies: 14
Views: 2258

Should $100K for remodeling come from savings or from refinance?

The subject line pretty much sums up my question. After living in our old (1925) house for 10 years, just doing basic maintenance, we're ready to do some larger repairs, remodeling (bathrooms, kitchen) and painting. We are just beginning the process and do not have a contractor or cost estimates yet...
by Bammerman
Fri May 26, 2017 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off car loan?
Replies: 17
Views: 2080

Pay off car loan?

A Bank of Mom and Dad loan is about to be paid off (whoopee!) and I was thinking of using the cash infusion to pay off a car loan. I only have nine car payments left -- but the interest rate is only 1.09%. Is paying this off even worth the trouble? I'll probably just keep this cash in my credit unio...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 330
Views: 40330

"50 mile commute and will probably do some road trips"

Seconding other posts here, I too suggest that the OP's neighbor consider the Chevy Volt (vice Bolt). I have a 2013 Volt and could almost do a 50 mile commute in it just on battery power without charging (I get about 43 miles from my Volt's battery in the summertime, about 33 miles in the winter). (...
by Bammerman
Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making prints from iPhone photos
Replies: 12
Views: 1409

Re: Making prints from iPhone photos

I've used Shutterfly and Walgreens, and have found both fine, but since Walgreens is just down the street from me, I tend to go there. Usually I upload my files from home and the prints are ready by the time I drive to Walgreens.
by Bammerman
Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely
Replies: 169
Views: 33419

WSJ subscription "for free"

FYI, you can "buy" a WSJ subscription with frequent flyer miles. I have been doing that for years.
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?
Replies: 74
Views: 11458

Thanks, everybody!

I appreciate the comments and the suggestions. So many options, so many choices ... reminds me of the cereal aisle in the grocery store. Considering how rare it is nowadays for me to receive a "real" email -- I mean, a personal email from a person, not a commercial/spam email -- it hardly makes sens...
by Bammerman
Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?
Replies: 74
Views: 11458

Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?

I am somewhat embarrassed to write this, especially to Bogleheadians. For years now I have been paying Earthlink $5.95 per month for an email address (okay, actually two: mine and my wife's). That's $72 each year for the privilege of sticking with Earthlink, while (nearly) everybody else on the plan...
by Bammerman
Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a problem with my new glass solar roof tiles?
Replies: 7
Views: 1059

Is there a problem with my new glass solar roof tiles?

Well, to be honest, I don't actually have Elon Musk's fascinating solar tiles on my roof yet, although I've been thinking about re-roofing with them in a few years when my present roof is worn out, and when my Boat Comes In. I really do like the concept a lot (take a look at the video of Musk announ...
by Bammerman
Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Products to cope with other drivers' LED headlight
Replies: 66
Views: 10210

condition of your windshield

The only thing that I have not seen mentioned so far here is the possibility that your windshield has become eroded or "crazed" by sand or other tiny impacts over several years. I don't recall if you mentioned how old your car, or, more specifically, your windshield is, but this is at least a possib...
by Bammerman
Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What podcasts do you listen to?
Replies: 67
Views: 9135

The History of English

I have listened to and enjoyed the history of Rome and the history of Byzantium, and I'm currently listening to The History of English. Fascinating and very well done. Funny how people change. When I was in the accumulation phase, and, by the way, when the market was generally more up, I used to enj...
by Bammerman
Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What iPhone podcast application do you use?
Replies: 40
Views: 3531

Re: What iPhone podcast application do you use?

I'm quite happy using Apple's podcast app to listen to The History of the English Language. I only listen in my car, and all I have to do to start the podcast when I get into the car is to select Bluetooth as the source from my car's infotainment center.
by Bammerman
Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best iPhone warranty value
Replies: 15
Views: 2207

Re: Best iPhone warranty value

Re: (kjvmartin) If you're getting a Macbook Pro or an iMac, go for AppleCare and use a credit card with a +1 year warranty. That's 4 years of warranty coverage, a beautiful thing. I'm aware of the doubling of the manufacturer's warranty offered by some credit cards but had not thought about this asp...
by Bammerman
Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??
Replies: 30
Views: 3831

Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

I route all power to my home theatre setup through a switched surge protector and I only turn the power on when it's time for the evening news and I turn it off when it's time to go upstairs to read and sleep. =No electrical path for surges, strikes, etc. while the setup is not in actual use.
by Bammerman
Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Was my fund buying or selling on Brexit-bust Friday?
Replies: 4
Views: 897

Was my fund buying or selling on Brexit-bust Friday?

My TSP L-Income fund "is rebalanced daily to maintain its target investment mix" -- so, was it buying stocks (=good) or selling stocks (=not so good) on Friday?
by Bammerman
Tue May 31, 2016 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator Water Filters -- OEM or Generic?
Replies: 26
Views: 44609

Re: Refrigerator Water Filters -- OEM or Generic?

I replaced the filter that came with our refrigerator exactly once. When that replacement died I just removed it. That was about ... say, five years ago. Everything's still working well and nobody's been sick. We have very good municipal water. Why do you bother with these refrigerator filters?
by Bammerman
Tue May 17, 2016 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My silly math skills
Replies: 25
Views: 2744

Re: My silly math skills

At this point I feel like Dr. Frankenstein.
by Bammerman
Tue May 17, 2016 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My silly math skills
Replies: 25
Views: 2744

Re: My silly math skills

After reading the previous post I decided I had to revisit my arithmetic and must now, in the interests of honesty, confess that my first calculation was a tiny bit off. It seems that my L fund actually grew by 37% over the 9.5 years! For whatever that is worth... I had not seen this tspfolio.com we...