Search found 150 matches

by jaxxmjd
Fri May 15, 2020 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity HSA Investment
Replies: 27
Views: 2816

Re: Fidelity HSA Investment

I'm 37 and rolled over my HSA to Fidelity at the beginning of the year when we switched health plans. I'm currently 100% FXAIX, but will adjust over time to diversify more once the market stabilizes a bit.
by jaxxmjd
Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30 year mortgage under 3%
Replies: 284
Views: 42050

Re: 30 year mortgage under 3%

In 2012, I refinanced our two year old mortgage into a 30 year fixed @ 2.75% which included a small lender credit. The notary who came to our house to sign the papers said he had never seen a rate that low before. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for opportunities, including 20 and 15 year options, but I ...
by jaxxmjd
Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Replace the anode rod on your water heater every few years to prolong its life.
Replies: 83
Views: 6878

Re: PSA: Replace the anode rod on your water heater every few years to prolong its life.

I just completed this maintenance for my Bradford White with the noted complexities listed above. I watched a couple of YouTube videos in advance and was prepared for the steps that were necessary, so it wasn't a particularly difficult process. All of my lines are currently CPVC, so while I was doin...
by jaxxmjd
Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2020 FEHB HDHP - how to calculate vs. traditional plan?
Replies: 5
Views: 576

Re: 2020 FEHB HDHP - how to calculate vs. traditional plan?

Here is a link to the Aetna HSA investment options: https://imgur.com/a/laPWmH4 . I have been covered by Aetna's HDHP for nearly 10 years, but plan to make the jump to GEHA's HDHP during this open season. Aetna's premiums are increasing significantly to almost a third more than GEHA's while the annu...
by jaxxmjd
Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: idiot networking [Need more ethernet ports, replace cable modem?]
Replies: 38
Views: 3610

Re: idiot networking [Need more ethernet ports, replace cable modem?]

Most consumer routers these days have both simple and advanced setup modes. The simple mode will be more than enough to get the average customer up and running with basic features such as an SSID (the name of your wireless network) and setting up a wireless password. They also generally have a WAN E...
by jaxxmjd
Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 36615

Re: How did you feel about your 2018 tax returns?

The process took a bit longer as the new format took a bit of time to fully understand, but having invested that time, I agree with the changes that were made to the format (although there's probably still room for improvement). Without the bias of familiarity of the prior system, I think most peopl...
by jaxxmjd
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 36615

Re: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]

Federal: AGI up 8.5% Effective tax rate down 0.9% State: Same AGI change as above Effective tax rate increased by 0.9% Good old Maryland taking advantage of the tax law changes to boost income tax revenues without even having to lift a legislative finger. I'd like to see the state give residents the...
by jaxxmjd
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Tucson, AZ for 3 days - what to see?
Replies: 46
Views: 2185

Re: Visiting Tucson, AZ for 3 days - what to see?

- Chiricahua National Monument
- Kartchner Caverns
- Tombstone (O.K. Corral)
- Downtown Bisbee Shops / Mine Tour
Edit: - Biosphere 2 (from the movie Bio-Dome)

Source: lived in Sierra Vista, AZ for ~5 years.
by jaxxmjd
Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Military TSP and Roth IRA Help
Replies: 4
Views: 588

Re: Military TSP and Roth IRA Help

You should fully use all tax-advantaged space before investing in a taxable account. The priority order for you should be: 1. Get the 5% match in TSP 2. Contribute to HSA ($7000/year) - For this you need an HDHP. Read more in the wiki. If the HDHP works for you, the HSA is a tremendous deal. The go...
by jaxxmjd
Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disney visit
Replies: 28
Views: 4560

Re: Disney visit

My wife and I have brought our 8 year old daughter to Disney World on three visits now. The first time, we stayed on Disney property at the Grand Floridian. The second time, we stayed off Disney property at a nearby timeshare that my father owned. Our most recent trip, we stayed in a club level suit...
by jaxxmjd
Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employees: BCBS Basic or GEHA HDHP Health Insurance?
Replies: 65
Views: 24214

Re: Federal Employees: BCBS Basic or GEHA HDHP Health Insurance?

rascal7298 wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:56 am
Apparently DOD does not utilize hsa so hdhp is a no go.
I'm DoD with an HDHP & HSA.
by jaxxmjd
Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Engineering Discipline for the next 20+ years !!!
Replies: 168
Views: 19208

Re: Which Engineering Discipline for the next 20+ years !!!

As a Millennial Electrical Engineer, my money would be on Software Engineering/Computer Science as the area with the greatest potential for the next 20 years. EE is still on the fringe of this and will be fine, but as many others said, we are reaching some technological limits (such as an atomic tra...
by jaxxmjd
Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road Trip; Denver, Casper, Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore
Replies: 16
Views: 2684

Re: Road Trip; Denver, Casper, Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore

I grew up in South Dakota and have always enjoyed the Black Hills as my favorite part of the state. A lot of the sights in the Midwest require a decent amount of driving to get between, so I hope you're up for some time in the van. I'm very familiar with the Hills and recommend these activities (in ...
by jaxxmjd
Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So Is Now The Time To Buy?
Replies: 21
Views: 1588

Re: So Is Now The Time To Buy?

Some people here are so programmed to say anything against market timing that they'll respond before even fully reading your initial comment. They are also unable to imagine that you'd utilize spare cash laying around for anything other than retirement planning. Bogleheads is a great forum, but the ...
by jaxxmjd
Fri May 29, 2015 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employees - New HSA process?
Replies: 7
Views: 1209

Re: Federal Employees - New HSA process?

Edit: After I posted this, I realized that I had made the assumption that you work for DoD. You obviously wouldn't have access to myPay unless you're DoD as myPay is the Defense Finance and Accounting Services's portal to pay issues. Perhaps whatever agency you work for has a similar portal, though?...
by jaxxmjd
Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Hills SD, where to stay?
Replies: 17
Views: 1999

Re: Black Hills SD, where to stay?

I grew up in South Dakota, but on the other side of the state. I always enjoyed staying at the Hillside Country Cabins (13315 S. Highway 16 Rapid City, SD 57702, http://hillsidecountrycabins.com/ ). If they're in your price range and available, I can't recommend the location enough. Nice cabins, fan...
by jaxxmjd
Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: XP to 7--please spell out what I buy, where, how much
Replies: 42
Views: 7896

Re: XP to 7--please spell out what I buy, where, how much

One more vote here for a clean installation. Unless you're a power user who needs a ton of computer resources (I'm going to guess you're not based off of the nature of your question), you can get a more than capable, new machine running Windows 7 for a reasonable cost. Fresh hardware and software wi...
by jaxxmjd
Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Back Up Computer Options
Replies: 50
Views: 4054

Re: Back Up Computer Options

If you have a lot of data ( > 2 TB), I'd suggest setting up a home NAS. Most of them these days are pretty easy to configure and maintain. Plus, there can be additional benefits such as streaming video to portable devices on demand by installing an applicable program (such as Plex). I maintain 8 TB ...
by jaxxmjd
Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clone backup to restore dead laptop hard drive?
Replies: 13
Views: 1614

Re: Clone backup to restore dead laptop hard drive?

Clonezilla. Google "Hiren's BootCD". Read up on how to create a bootable CD with Hiren's tools (which includes Clonezilla), then boot to the CD to run the program. Clonezilla can make an exact duplicate of the source hard drive on the target hard drive, which is what it sounds like the OP wants.
by jaxxmjd
Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parent refuses to release Coverdell ESA funds
Replies: 34
Views: 4796

Re: Parent refuses to release Coverdell ESA funds

I'd agree with attempting to have Student fax a copy of the divorce decree (or at least the pertinent section) to the custodian financial institution to bypass Parent B's obstructions. I'd be as bold as to insinuate legal consequences for failing to honor the terms of the divorce decree if I were th...
by jaxxmjd
Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: King sized mattress recommendation?
Replies: 49
Views: 11099

Re: King sized mattress recommendation?

Comforpedic x 5 years. It's a much cooler (not hot) version of Tempurpedic and doesn't have sinking issues. I know you weren't looking for foam, but I wasn't either when I laid down on one 5 years ago. The "number" mattresses are quite comfortable but not like mine. Pros: Outrageously comfortable C...
by jaxxmjd
Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expenses?
Replies: 84
Views: 8499

Re: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expen

Expenses do not have to be approved when you make a tax-free withdrawal from an HSA, they don't have be be approved when you report the withdrawal on your tax form. The only time they would get "approved" is if your tax form was audited, that is when you would need records of the expenses. What's t...
by jaxxmjd
Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I move to California from Midwest?
Replies: 153
Views: 13058

Re: Should I move to California from Midwest?

California would be awesome if it weren't for all of the Californians. I'm (mostly) kidding. Having grown up in the Midwest and after spending a lot of time in different parts of the country, I'd caution you against making a hasty decision to move. The salary bump is indeed enticing, but the cost of...
by jaxxmjd
Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Army First Lieutenant unwilling to open TSP account
Replies: 71
Views: 8057

Re: Army First Lieutenant unwilling to open TSP account

'04 USMA here. I refused to contribute to the TSP while I was active (I did consistently max out my Roth IRA), but there was no Roth TSP available during the time of my active duty service. If there was, I would've maxed out my contributions. How many chances in life do you have to put tax-free inco...
by jaxxmjd
Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences
Replies: 95
Views: 8493

Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Are you seriously suggesting that a 110k income might result in a homeless family? This seems perhaps a bit unlikely. Yes, I am. 50% of marriages end in divorce. $110,000 income divided by two? Or maybe leaves single spouse/mother with NO income. She doesn't even have a house to lay claim to in the...
by jaxxmjd
Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shiller Thinks Owning a Home is a Terrible Investment
Replies: 255
Views: 28107

Re: Shiller Thinks Owning a Home is a Terrible Investment

I'd rather build equity in a property I owned than in an property someone else owned.
by jaxxmjd
Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tivo subscription monthly or lifetime
Replies: 19
Views: 7091

Re: Tivo subscription monthly or lifetime

Lifetime. I have two boxes. The first is already well beyond the breakeven point, while the second will reach it in the next year or two. There's plenty of guides out there on how to upgrade/replace hard drives if yours fails, so you can be assured that you'll get a lot of life out of your box as lo...
by jaxxmjd
Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA Homeowner Insurance Increase
Replies: 35
Views: 5511

Re: USAA Homeowner Insurance Increase

I tend to agree with rotorhead that USAA appears to be losing its way. I always recommended USAA to my Soldiers and felt proud to be a member, but the significant drop off in quality vs. price over the last few years has left me disheartened. My premiums went up 25% last year and an additional 18.6%...
by jaxxmjd
Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rollovers as Business Startups (ROBS) - Opinions?
Replies: 5
Views: 1018

Re: Rollovers as Business Startups (ROBS) - Opinions?

I would tend to agree with your points for most scenarios, but ours is unique in many ways. Basically, it's my in-laws using the funds to purchase property for a hobby automotive shop. There's no risk of the company failing because the company isn't interested in generating revenue. The approach is ...
by jaxxmjd
Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rollovers as Business Startups (ROBS) - Opinions?
Replies: 5
Views: 1018

Re: Rollovers as Business Startups (ROBS) - Opinions?

Perhaps I restricted the conversation too much. So please feel free to provide feedback even if you haven't had any experience with a ROBS.
by jaxxmjd
Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rollovers as Business Startups (ROBS) - Opinions?
Replies: 5
Views: 1018

Rollovers as Business Startups (ROBS) - Opinions?

In my previous thread , I mentioned financing options for real estate. Upon further research, I came across the concept of Rollovers as Business Startups (ROBS). A ROBS essentially involves the creation of a C Corporation which is funded through the purchase of the C Corp's stock by using tax deferr...
by jaxxmjd
Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financing a Commercial Property (edit: through an IRA)
Replies: 8
Views: 974

Re: Financing Options for a Commercial Property w/No Revenue

As an update to this, I came across some ideas that mention the ability to transfer IRA funds to either a C Corporation or a Self Directed IRA LLC for such a purchase. It looks like the process would allow the property to be purchased by funds within a tax deferred account which would mean that they...
by jaxxmjd
Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cell tower in front yard
Replies: 14
Views: 2257

Re: cell tower in front yard

Inquire whether public safety considerations have been accounted for due to the constant radiation the tower will emit onto the neighborhood. Ask who you should contact when health issues become apparent to begin the process of filing a claim. Nothing stops government action faster than a potential ...
by jaxxmjd
Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Update re Problems adding Grantee Online [with Vanguard]
Replies: 19
Views: 2509

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

I added myself as a Grantee to my wife's VG account about 2 weeks ago. It was done, with her permission, to make managing two accounts easier by doing so through a single login. I completed the entire process online. I considered it to be very simple. After approximately 3-4 days of completing the p...
by jaxxmjd
Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financing a Commercial Property (edit: through an IRA)
Replies: 8
Views: 974

Re: Financing Options for a Commercial Property w/No Revenue

Yes, my FIL would pay the mortgage, but it wouldn't really qualify as a business since he's not allowed to earn income. Rather, it'd be used as primarily as a hobby shop for now. That could change in the future, hence the desire to have it on commercial property.
by jaxxmjd
Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financing a Commercial Property (edit: through an IRA)
Replies: 8
Views: 974

Re: Financing Options for a Commercial Property w/No Revenue

In-laws are from New York, but property purchased would be in Maryland. The property would not be owner occupied as it's an auto shop and not a residence.
by jaxxmjd
Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financing a Commercial Property (edit: through an IRA)
Replies: 8
Views: 974

Financing a Commercial Property (edit: through an IRA)

I’m interested in suggestions for how to finance the purchase of a commercial property which will not generate income for the foreseeable future. The ideal form of financing would require no more than 20-25% down payment and has the longest terms possible (ideally 20-30 years). I’d be more than happ...
by jaxxmjd
Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 25 isn't too late to start......right? [Military]
Replies: 17
Views: 2410

Re: 25 isn't too late to start......right? [Military]

The TSP is more synonymous to a 401k than a Roth IRA. It has recently added the Roth feature, but again that mirrors a Roth 401k, not a Roth IRA. You can actually contribute up to $17,500 toward your TSP account and an additional $5,500 in a Roth IRA if you have the funds to spare (as well as the re...
by jaxxmjd
Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experiences with Zillow-listed mortgage lenders\brokers?
Replies: 9
Views: 1737

Re: Experiences with Zillow-listed mortgage lenders\brokers?

I refinanced through BNC National Bank in October. I found them through a Zillow search at the link below. I stumbled onto the search when I was looking for ways to get specific rates for VA refinances (VA IRRRL), which is not often found easily. Zillow provided a list of current rates available spe...
by jaxxmjd
Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Was asked to be a trustee for a child
Replies: 20
Views: 2165

Re: Was asked to be a trustee for a child

If your friendship is so intimate that your friend has asked you to be responsible for a significant investment designated for their child in the event of their passing, then they are close enough for you to share your concerns with. Money is always a sensitive subject, but the discussion will help ...
by jaxxmjd
Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Generator or No Generator
Replies: 82
Views: 20575

Re: Generator or No Generator

I've set mine up so that I can plug the output of our generator directly into our main electrical service panels (after cutting the main breakers to prevent back feeding into the grid). FWIW: if you can connect the generator in such a way that you have to remember to throw the main breaker (vs. a m...
by jaxxmjd
Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Generator or No Generator
Replies: 82
Views: 20575

Re: Generator or No Generator

After we lost power during Irene, my wife and I chose to purchase a generator. We weighed the options (whole home versus portable, size requirements, etc.) and decided to go with a 5.5k portable generator. As an electrical engineer, I'm pretty comfortable working with electrical lines, so I've set m...
by jaxxmjd
Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying at Costco with gift cards
Replies: 54
Views: 16584

Re: Paying at Costco with gift cards

The entire point of the Costco Cash cards is to allow members to give gifts of Costco purchasing to non-members. For example, if a grandparent with a membership gives a card to a grandchild who does not possess a membership, the grandchild will not be forbidden to use it due to the lack of membershi...
by jaxxmjd
Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Direct Rollover into TSP
Replies: 7
Views: 1192

Re: Direct Rollover into TSP

Pardon me if I missed something, but are you currently maxing out your TSP contributions? If not, why not just increase these to lower your AGI?
by jaxxmjd
Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:48 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?
Replies: 100
Views: 10596

Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

I doubt you offended anyone by asking a perfectly reasonable question, particularly on a subject with such high stakes. I'd argue that there is indeed a bias here, but it's a bias that has been developed individually by the members through their personal experiences. Personally, I invested the "conv...
by jaxxmjd
Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I have term life insurance? (SGLI, AD military)
Replies: 17
Views: 1521

Re: Should I have term life insurance? (SGLI, AD military)

SGLI is one of the cheapest forms of term life insurance available. If you have anyone in this world that you care about (sibling, parent, etc.), you should strongly consider keeping the coverage and naming them the beneficiary for now. You can always update your beneficiary later if you get married...
by jaxxmjd
Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen countertops
Replies: 36
Views: 3884

Re: Kitchen countertops

Granite.
by jaxxmjd
Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scuba diving - to do or not to do
Replies: 41
Views: 5171

Re: Scuba diving - to do or not to do

however, ultimately i need to do this myself to make it worthwhile (ie with a buddy but no instructor to help) a) how much does gear cost. decent stuff, nothing cheap or extragavant. both one time as well as money spent every dive (i guess for the tank) b) how much time do u actually get to spend i...
by jaxxmjd
Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi Router (Long Distance)
Replies: 18
Views: 3035

Re: Wifi Router (Long Distance)

Epsilon Delta wrote:On the other hand it may make sense to have a different guest network with a throwaway password you can give to guests.
Many modern routers support a secondary, guest SSID that you can secure with that throwaway password. That way, you're not dedicating an entire access point to a guest logon.