Search found 847 matches

by TBillT
Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question on Social Security and Spousal Strategy
Replies: 25
Views: 1858

Re: Question on Social Security and Spousal Strategy

Same ages approx as OP and we did the "Mike Piper Shuffle" last August. 1953 birth year last ones to qualify for the so-called double dipping. we did everything online, which worked great until it didn't (we seemed to get a confused agent for the last step when I took the spousal). There was a recom...
by TBillT
Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LG dishwasher broke again! Advice..
Replies: 25
Views: 1196

Re: LG dishwasher broke again! Advice..

In general repair is so expensive. I paid like $300 to fix a $15 part that took 5 minutes to replace. So next time we got a new DW. I feel like if we are serious about sustainability and carbon emissions, gov't should somehow subsidize repairs so it is not so stupid to get the life out of our limite...
by TBillT
Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)
Replies: 109
Views: 9213

Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Southwest we got $200 back on a nominal $300 ticket for my 90yr oid mother.
The other tickets we took credit for a future flight to FL, god willing.
by TBillT
Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help Choosing Money Market Funds (Schwab, Fidelity, Vanguard)
Replies: 5
Views: 633

Re: Help Choosing Money Market Funds (Schwab, Fidelity, Vanguard)

My game plan this year in taxable was muni market funds/non taxable in the FiDo Premium. With the COVID crisis I've abandoned and hedged into more of the Treasury MMF funds, but not 100%, but a lot. Generally VG seems better than FiDo re: % return so I keep an eye on that and maybe shift more to VG....
by TBillT
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics
Replies: 36
Views: 2314

Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Terro is fine for small ants. Last year we had bad attack from big Carpenter Ants and had to go nuclear with Fipronil (Termidor, Taurus). But that was last resort as I am very concerned about homeowners improperly using these types of chemicals which in trace amounts devastate bees, etc. Less nuclea...
by TBillT
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bond funds and coronavirus.
Replies: 48
Views: 3640

Re: Bond funds and coronavirus.

We got burned in muni funds last week. I had thought munis were benefiting from the Trump tax cuts, but I guess that was not strong enough plus to offset risks. Just sold my VWLUX position, which I had recently beefed up and was looking good until COVID19. Basically my investment premise was wrong....
by TBillT
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%
Replies: 455
Views: 76469

Re: Vanguard Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%

I recall in 2008 when taxable MMF went to zero, the tax free MMF had a month or of two looking great before they also went to zero.
anyways I've been moving to Treasury MMF but do have Fido and VG tax free MMF but worried about it a little.
by TBillT
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: use credit card checks and margin@2% to buy EM bond VWOB and MUB ?
Replies: 28
Views: 1172

Re: use credit card checks and margin@2% to buy EM bond VWOB and MUB ?

I sold my MUB the first day it went down 5% it wiped out 5 years of small gains. The interest rate is too low for the risk factor. The NAV would have to come down a lot to make the interest rate attractive. As someone here said, interest rates are so darn low on munis. Think I was getting under 2% w...
by TBillT
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying Silver for apocalypse
Replies: 63
Views: 3280

Re: Buying Silver for apocalypse

I would go with 90% silver US pre-1964 "junk silver" coins (https://www.jmbullion.com/90-silver-coins-10-face-value/). They are instantly recognizable to anyone of a certain age :D or to coin dealers, and wouldn't need to be assayed or anything like that in an emergency. I always wanted a bag of si...
by TBillT
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Safety of Money Market Funds Currently
Replies: 149
Views: 12099

Re: Safety of Money Market Funds Currently

I've already entered an order with Fidelity to switch my core account to their "Treasury-only" MMF. It's not really Treasury-only, having a lot of repos in it, but it's the closest thing they have to that for the core account. The rest of my holdings at Fidelity are very short T-bills, which are mo...
by TBillT
Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Income Annuities Now?
Replies: 10
Views: 767

Re: Income Annuities Now?

Thanks for the comments above...
Yes we were taught (in our retirement class) to use the ImmediateAnnuities.com calculator (mentioned above), so that's what I am looking at.
by TBillT
Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Income Annuities Now?
Replies: 10
Views: 767

Income Annuities Now?

I wonder if this might be a good time for 5-yr income annuity before RMD's start in retirement. My investment premise (perhaps I should say my perception) is that the annuity interest rates lag, so they are still up at 3-4%. So instead of money market fund you could pay yourself say $5000 a month. W...
by TBillT
Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bond funds and coronavirus.
Replies: 48
Views: 3640

Re: Bond funds and coronavirus.

We got burned in muni funds last week.
I had thought munis were benefiting from the Trump tax cuts, but I guess that was not strong enough plus to offset risks.
Just sold my VWLUX position, which I had recently beefed up and was looking good until COVID19.
Basically my investment premise was wrong.
by TBillT
Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Will price of new car pricing increase or decrease?
Replies: 12
Views: 1484

Re: Will price of new car pricing increase or decrease?

All of a sudden we seem to be in possible deflationary period (poss cost decrease).

However, we just got a new car RAV4Hy anyways because our 2006 was getting costly, and we wanted the new car safety items.
by TBillT
Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are bonds falling?
Replies: 236
Views: 5748

Re: Why are municipal bonds down 5% today?

First, some people are selling everything, so there are more sellers than buyers. I heard a similar story on CNBC, that institution are selling their performers, including highly rated munis and gold, to either make margin calls or re-invest in safe treasuries. Sure enough, I saw muni bonds show up...
by TBillT
Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BND Fell Today
Replies: 143
Views: 13076

Re: BND Fell Today

today is extraordinary...even long term TLT is down, Gold down, Market in bear territory
I thought the money had to go somewhere.
by TBillT
Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wellesley catching up to Wellington
Replies: 7
Views: 1292

Wellesley catching up to Wellington

I am getting cold feet even with super conserv VWINX.
I see as of yesterday on the 1-yr return VWINX is beating out Wellington.
But I am worried VWINX is not so hot for long term.
Do we need to go back to Gov/Treas Money Market Funds before long?
by TBillT
Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Est benefits question
Replies: 11
Views: 1246

Re: Social Security Est benefits question

I paid max amount of SS for 35 yrs and still only gets me about 97% of max PIA. The shortfall due to early years in the 1970s do not count as much as later years, because the inflation adjustment on those early amounts does not add up to as much as later years. I used Social Security's PIA calc tool...
by TBillT
Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Federal Farm Bonds
Replies: 3
Views: 280

Re: Federal Farm Bonds

You have to be very specific on agency name, Fed Farm Credit Bank Bonds? but yes I have a few and they are performing very well. I have a lot of trouble seeing good buys today though. When interest rates were a higher I could pick out the good deals. I had a pretty good eye for good deals. One possi...
by TBillT
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Andrews 3%CD 84-mo Good? (non-retirement accts)
Replies: 12
Views: 1341

Re: Andrews 3%CD 84-mo Good? (non-retirement accts)

I just bought a new car cause our 2006 Prius battery finally died at about 14yr and 200k miles.
Andrews was offering 2.39% auto loan at 36-month which was great starting point, but I ended up getting Toyota loan to approx. match it
by TBillT
Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Andrews 3%CD 84-mo Good? (non-retirement accts)
Replies: 12
Views: 1341

Re: Andrews 3%CD 84-mo Good? (non-retirement accts)

hmmm I bought $50k of that in 2016. Are they offering it again? 3% for 84 months seems very attractive. Yes I also jumped at the time, got some IRA CD and regular CD. Seem to recall only 180-day penalty at that time. Holding up pretty well with time...I was worried there for a moment when rates wen...
by TBillT
Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Andrews 3%CD 84-mo Good? (non-retirement accts)
Replies: 12
Views: 1341

Andrews 3%CD 84-mo Good? (non-retirement accts)

The Andrews 3% 84 month looking pretty good to me, although that is for non-retirement accounts.
It has 360-day penalty so that is less attractive I suppose.

What are others thinking on CD's at this juncture?
by TBillT
Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Claimimg plug-in electric vehicle tax credit
Replies: 17
Views: 1129

Re: Claimimg plug-in electric vehicle tax credit

Not to hijack this thread, but is it credit dead as of the end of 2019? Too bad I seem to have missed this one. :oops: The credit expired at the end of 2018. At the end of 2019, "they" (I assume Congress) extended it at the very last minute to include 2019. This was along with a few dozen other thi...
by TBillT
Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?
Replies: 94
Views: 6365

Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

chalet wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:42 pm
my standard advice is ME, EE, CE


in this case CE does not fit, so it's

BS in Mechanical

or

BS in Electrical.


get concentration in biomed.
I would tend to say ChE too as a generic degree for biomed focus. ChE has become quite a stepping stone for various fields.
by TBillT
Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yellowstone trip beginning of June
Replies: 23
Views: 2077

Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Yellowstone Lodge is great place, last time 10 yr ago we had room with Old Faithful out the window, just fabulous. And there are many Geysers and ponds in that area you can walk to. I am partial to Yellowstone as much to do there. We got rained out of the Snake River raft trip so we did not have as ...
by TBillT
Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fidelity landing page - accounts randomly missing
Replies: 37
Views: 2101

Re: Fidelity landing page - accounts randomly missing

Service alert: We are experiencing website difficulties. Try logging back in, and if the problem persists, please try again later. We apologize for any inconvenience.
by TBillT
Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fidelity landing page - accounts randomly missing
Replies: 37
Views: 2101

Re: Fidelity landing page - accounts randomly missing

Same here....only my DAF is there
by TBillT
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Claimimg plug-in electric vehicle tax credit
Replies: 17
Views: 1129

Re: Claimimg plug-in electric vehicle tax credit

Not to hijack this thread, but is it credit dead as of the end of 2019? Too bad I seem to have missed this one. :oops: The credit expired at the end of 2018. At the end of 2019, "they" (I assume Congress) extended it at the very last minute to include 2019. This was along with a few dozen other thi...
by TBillT
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Claimimg plug-in electric vehicle tax credit
Replies: 17
Views: 1129

Re: Claimimg plug-in electric vehicle tax credit

Not to hijack this thread, but is it credit dead as of the end of 2019? Too bad I seem to have missed this one. :oops: Not dead for Toyota! You might be confused that there is a 200,000 sales limit per manufacturer that Tesla and GM have reached, so now they are in the phase out period with partial...
by TBillT
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on Charlie Munger's recent comments?
Replies: 84
Views: 10571

Re: Thoughts on Charlie Munger's recent comments?

When he was talking about China companies being stronger, I was thinking about Boeing and other USA companies seemingly losing their mojo

I am hoping those crazy investors are investing in USA markets though., perhaps they are not exposed to the fads of USA investors
by TBillT
Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Oil?
Replies: 124
Views: 10235

Re: Best Oil?

In the USA we tend to change oil often so that tends to equal the playing field. I get the impression that Europeans may go for more expensive long drain synthetic oils. I would look at specs looking for A1/B1 A5/B5 which can be hard to find in the lower 20W visc range. If you find it the question b...
by TBillT
Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Brokered CDs - Weak Rates vs Marcus and Ally
Replies: 3
Views: 590

Re: Brokered CDs - Weak Rates vs Marcus and Ally

Interest rates on a down-swing right now. Year or 2 ago we were getting 3% I wanna say.
Tax Fee Money Market down to 0.7-0.9%.
by TBillT
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bloomberg Will Revive ‘Wall Street Week’
Replies: 38
Views: 4438

Re: Bloomberg Will Revive ‘Wall Street Week’

Back in the day, our car pool would take bets on our own year-end Dow Jones predictions.
Now, what's a car pool? More popular before flex time.
by TBillT
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Vanguard (or Non-Vanguard) Tax-Exempt Bond Funds
Replies: 14
Views: 1748

Re: Best Vanguard (or Non-Vanguard) Tax-Exempt Bond Funds

In past I used the intermediate and short term, but now I just hold the Long Term Tax Exempt and also just established a VG Tax Exempt Money Market fund position instead of Prime. I am shifting to tax exempt this year to carve out as much space as possible for Roth Conversion income.
by TBillT
Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Broken Teeth Covered by Medical (Not Dental) Insurance?
Replies: 9
Views: 1183

Re: Broken Teeth Covered by Medical (Not Dental) Insurance?

Once fainted while jogging, knocked out my 2 front teeth. Believe corporate medical plan did pick up some cost in addition to the dental coverage. One tooth was gone completely so that's an implant, and the other had just enough left to cap. Really great, strong repair but now after some years the l...
by TBillT
Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 701
Views: 79809

Re: Fidelity Free Turbotax 2019

So it says I'm Fidelity Premium Services and have a person assigned to me (picture and phone number). I don't see anything about Private Client? Is this the same thing. BTW I do have a link to free Turbo Tax but the link is broken (using Firefox browser). I had a problem with the link at first. I h...
by TBillT
Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 701
Views: 79809

Re: Fidelity Free Turbotax 2019

I see it!
by TBillT
Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why all the angst about RMDs and taxes?
Replies: 177
Views: 13040

Re: Why all the angst about RMDs and taxes?

Part of the angst is not paying taxes per se, but let's say you do Roth Conv on 31-Dec, you now just volunteered to pay a ton of taxes for 2019 tax year. So you have to worry about how to pay that tax, what forms to file, and penalty for under-payment withholding of you are retired. Lots of strategy...
by TBillT
Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternative to stairs?
Replies: 38
Views: 3327

Re: Alternative to stairs?

Couple thousand bucks gets you a stair lift...more for curved. We just put one in for Mom.
by TBillT
Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 701
Views: 79809

Re: Fidelity Free Turbotax 2019

Re: CD ...fairly cheap investment is to buy a external CD reader for laptop, whereas laptops today often do not have Very handy tool is the Excel shareware tax calculator by Glenn Reeves, probably easier than TurboTax for making a lot of rapid test cases. That's what I ended up using for deciding Ro...
by TBillT
Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA - so who hit 'enter' at 12:01AM this morning?
Replies: 113
Views: 10939

Re: Roth IRA - so who hit 'enter' at 12:01AM this morning?

...did it 30-Dec made the plunge well into 22% tax bracket into second IRMAA tier
I do wish we had 30-day grace period to review numbers and reverse if necessary.
by TBillT
Sun Dec 29, 2019 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can someone explain to me how NUA works?
Replies: 20
Views: 926

Re: Can someone explain to me how NUA works?

I did the NUA thing a few years years ago. What is most useful is lower cost basis shares. Prior to retirement, I sold off except I saved low cost shares for NUA. We were taught to accumulate after tax dollars, in the amount of the cost basis of the NUA shares. Which you then withdraw the after-tax ...
by TBillT
Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 701
Views: 79809

Re: Fidelity Free Turbotax 2019

Fidelity is a pain in the butt on this matter.
Last year was the first year I took advantage but by then I had already purchased my own copy.
It is too late, we need it now.
When I talk to my advisor on it, he has no clue.
I may buy it today from Amazon.
by TBillT
Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to 401(k) and IRAs, SECURE Act - It's signed
Replies: 292
Views: 23380

Re: Changes to 401(k) and IRAs, SECURE Act - It's signed

Sounds like we are still wating for the dust to settle on Roth Conversion methods/impacts/advisability. Let's assume some baby boomer couples have by now accumulated sizeable IRA's, facing RMD issues at 72. It is still better to use cash from taxable accounts to pay the taxes? Or are you better off ...
by TBillT
Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An IRMAA Question
Replies: 29
Views: 2229

Re: An IRMAA Question

I think that the link I posted above from "fedsmith" is not accurate for calculating MAGI for IRMAA purposes. Take a look at this link: https://www.fiphysician.com/magi-calculation-deep-dive-for-irmaa-and-premium-aca-tax-credits/ Seems more definitive. Experts, please take a look and let us know. I...
by TBillT
Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Injured at work, should I bill my employer?
Replies: 57
Views: 4350

Re: Injured at work, should I bill my employer?

A couple issues here. I worked for big company under OSHA scrutinty and all accidents no matter how minor (paper cuts) basically had to be reported. No wiggle room. Also though ( I fell once on my community jog path) and I submiited Xrays to my insurance comany, They asked me if this happened on som...
by TBillT
Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to 401(k) and IRAs, SECURE Act - It's signed
Replies: 292
Views: 23380

Re: Changes to 401(k) and IRAs, SECURE Act - It's signed

Nice that we get a couple more years for Roth Conversion What was "shocking" was the immediate impact, whereas earlier leaks had suggested there might be cut-off like 1954 and younger. I'd say 1953 birthyear was a good year in hindsight, we got last chance at Social Security double dip (restrticted ...
by TBillT
Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Hacked 3 times - What is happening?
Replies: 23
Views: 2715

Re: Credit Card Hacked 3 times - What is happening?

I've been having to replace my AMEX quite often.
Nice that AMEX quickly sees fraud activity.
Gone are the days when I had my account number memorized for so many years.
by TBillT
Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Grace Period on Roth Conv reversal?
Replies: 7
Views: 576

Re: Any Grace Period on Roth Conv reversal?

Sorry to ask FAQ, but we have difficult 2019 year end to predict income. I know we cannot recharacterize anymore, but is there any grace period (30 days?) to reverse Roth conv if we accidentally convert more to Roth (from IRA) than we wanted to? Not real clear what problem your actual expected inco...