Search found 275 matches

by TBillT
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First visit to Hawaii (flight, Amex Plat benefits, extend stay?)
Replies: 50
Views: 3004

Re: First visit to Hawaii (flight, Amex Plat benefits, extend stay?)

We are also dreaming a Hawaii vaca possibly with AMEX points. I don't immediately see it mentioned above, but don't forget if you have AMEX points you can sometimes convert them to Hotel points. We've saved up a bunch of points but having trouble seeing how to use them in Maui, with Grand Wailea in ...
by TBillT
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Phone Calls/Mailings from Vanguard Proxy Tabulator
Replies: 1
Views: 280

Phone Calls/Mailings from Vanguard Proxy Tabulator

Do we have a thread on the blitz of phone calls and mailings from the Vanguard proxy vote handlers?
I could use some guidance if there is an important issue that needs a vote.
by TBillT
Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable value fund
Replies: 27
Views: 1977

Re: Stable value fund

3% would be good as <2% has been the SVF norm (have not checked rates lately)
by TBillT
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: DC Bogleheads Meeting in Ballston with Sita Slavov
Replies: 23
Views: 1998

Re: DC Bogleheads Meeting in Ballston with Sita Slavov

Oh wow sounds like a good presentation ...maybe next time...did not realize we had a chapter
by TBillT
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transferring I Bonds to Son
Replies: 14
Views: 697

Re: Transferring I Bonds to Son

Gee need to check ... I thought you could make a transfer, and one reason you might want to is because a parent can use the proceeds for education expenses thereby saving taxes. That's limited and benefits the parent. Parent has to be at least 24 when the bond was purchased and have an income limit...
by TBillT
Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transferring I Bonds to Son
Replies: 14
Views: 697

Re: Transferring I Bonds to Son

Gee need to check ... I thought you could make a transfer, and one reason you might want to is because a parent can use the proceeds for education expenses thereby saving taxes.
by TBillT
Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Distressing news -> Flight to Safety ?
Replies: 75
Views: 6986

Re: Distressing news -> Flight to Safety ?

There are Treasuries, and then there are TREASURIES If you are very brave you would buy 20-30-year Zero coupon long term Treasury Bonds. If the market tanks and the 30-year goes from 2.7% yield to 2% yield, you could have a huge capital gain. Gary Shilling (economist) has discussed this concept for...
by TBillT
Sat Sep 16, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Distressing news -> Flight to Safety ?
Replies: 75
Views: 6986

Re: Distressing news -> Flight to Safety ?

There are Treasuries, and then there are TREASURIES
If you are very brave you would buy 20-30-year Zero coupon long term Treasury Bonds.
If the market tanks and the 30-year goes from 2.7% yield to 2% yield, you could have a huge capital gain.
by TBillT
Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Redeeming high yielding I-Bonds / financing pre Social Security
Replies: 5
Views: 781

Re: Redeeming high yielding I-Bonds / financing pre Social Security

Wow and I thought my 1% I-Bond was good! I am same age as you, but right now I am selling some stocks. After that, my plan is to defer SS and max out (within reasonable 25% taxes) IRA withdrawals and convert to Roth IRA/cash. In other words, we need to look ahead to the age 70.5 required minimum dis...
by TBillT
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which Bond Fund Will Perform Best With Rising Rates?
Replies: 27
Views: 3183

Re: Which Bond Fund Will Perform Best With Rising Rates?

Perhaps somebody already mentioned Bank Loan Funds such as Fidelity FFRHX, which I use to balance against rising rates.
by TBillT
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Resources to understand self-employed retirement savings options
Replies: 4
Views: 290

Re: Best Resources to understand self-employed retirement savings options

There are a lot of ideas on the threads here if you can find them.
I used SEP IRA but it was just me no employees, there are better options in some cases.
The nice thing on SEP IRA was you can delay until tax form filed so basically up to October for the prior tax year.
by TBillT
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Harvesting of capital gains
Replies: 7
Views: 367

Re: Harvesting of capital gains

You are not giving us too much help as far as your tax bracket, your age, filing status, and amount$ we are talking about. I am currently harvesting cap gains due to lower income tax bracket in retirement. Based on current tax laws (forbidden topic but obviously change is in the air) one target to d...
by TBillT
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pimco PONDX increasing fee in 3 weeks - stay in?
Replies: 10
Views: 901

Re: Pimco PONDX increasing fee in 3 weeks - stay in?

Do me a favor and go to Morningstar.com and look at performance and ratings. On the growth chart compare to VWINX Wellesley. We have a 5-star fund rated at Below Average cost performing extremely well. You could also chat on the Morningstar site to see if others or Morningstar itself are concerned. ...
by TBillT
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is tall Fescue really tall?
Replies: 12
Views: 1435

Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

All - OK thank you - I have some backyard areas where it might work best. I have about an acre in tall fescue with a little perennial rye mixed in. Normally keep it cut at 4.25 inches for most of the season - a little shorter in cooler weather -- especially if it is rainy. Never water. Very sparingl...
by TBillT
Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is tall Fescue really tall?
Replies: 12
Views: 1435

Is tall Fescue really tall?

I was a pretty good lawn expert in my day, but we never used Tall Fescue.
Now that's about all you can buy, although I usually avoid it if possible.
Are the new tall fescue varieties better(shorter) or something than the old days?
Need some help here.
by TBillT
Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yes Virginia, you can lose money in bonds
Replies: 36
Views: 4824

Re: Yes Virginia, you can lose money in bonds

You have to put this (misleading?) thread in perspective- A 30-yr TBond purchased in 1982 at 15% interest has out-performed 5.5x times better than the S&P index (per gov't bond bull A. Gary Shilling). And a few threads ago we verified his math. So there. Let's hope for 1982 all over again. Lemme se...
by TBillT
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yes Virginia, you can lose money in bonds
Replies: 36
Views: 4824

Re: Yes Virginia, you can lose money in bonds

You have to put this (misleading?) thread in perspective-
A 30-yr TBond purchased in 1982 at 15% interest has out-performed 5.5x times better than the S&P index (per gov't bond bull A. Gary Shilling). And a few threads ago we verified his math.

So there.
by TBillT
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electric car in evacuation situation
Replies: 61
Views: 4236

Re: Electric car in evacuation situation

As far as emergency situations, flexibility wins. So if gasoline is unavailable, electric wins, and vice versa. I believe electric vehicles helped in Japan for the tsunami recovery. Hybrids such as Prius can be very handy for running an inverter to get back up power for the home. I thought you were ...
by TBillT
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 8957

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

I am not a huge EV supporter, but I call attention that NISSAN is apparently giving add'l $10k off 2017 LEAF in some markets thru your utility. So we are talking after discounts/rebates as low as $10k net new LEAF cost in some markets. This apparently to clear 2017 inventory. Check the web pages,
by TBillT
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: things to do during lean patch of income
Replies: 4
Views: 951

Re: things to do during lean patch of income

Well $150k is not too shabby. Without recalling all the rules, the things I did in that Self-employed bracket was Roth IRA, SEP IRA. Currently I am even lower income in retirement and now selling stocks with long term gains because we have really low long term cap gains tax. I always felt $150k self...
by TBillT
Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm won't insure my rooftop solar
Replies: 10
Views: 1836

Re: State Farm won't insure my rooftop solar

I assume you live in a pro-solar state as evidenced by the net-metering agreement. I'd check in with the state to see if they are aware of the issue and which insurance cos. they are suggesting. Allstate ruled out covering our house for some technicality unrelated to solar, so we had to go with Stat...
by TBillT
Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sitting on the sidelines...for now
Replies: 32
Views: 3849

Re: Sitting on the sidelines...for now

I am sitting on the sidelines too. But Boglehead's recommend it's usually best to invest the lump sum right away in a 3-fund portfolio. Something like VG Life Strategy Moderate would be an all-in-1 total market fund approach. That uses 4 funds. For sitting on the sidelines you have VG money market f...
by TBillT
Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eclipse Traffic: predictions vs reality?
Replies: 64
Views: 4837

Re: Eclipse Traffic: predictions vs reality?

We were near but outside Carbondale IL. Not much traffic, although we used WAZE to work around one traffic jam on the way home. Probably we went around the main Carbondale traffic. My neighbor in northern VA reports extreme traffic 18 vs. 5 hours getting home from SC I think he said it was I81 was a...
by TBillT
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DC 529 Plan vs other states'
Replies: 17
Views: 1188

Re: DC 529 Plan vs other states'

We might have a winner!. This is what I needed to hear. This makes the most amount of sense I think. However, theoretically if I somehow do not find a lower cost plan after I move, naturally I assume I'm still allowed to contribute to the plan (but give up the tax benefit) since it's irrelevant whe...
by TBillT
Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Core position in Fidelity
Replies: 24
Views: 2676

Re: Core position in Fidelity

I have recently changed to my Fidelity core accounts to money market funds to get more interest. I am willing to take more risk than the gov't money market fund. I ended up with a variety of money market fund tickers, depending on balance size and sometimes they let you have certain funds if you his...
by TBillT
Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?
Replies: 70
Views: 6133

Re: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?

There is quite a variety on Amazon.
Ditto above however, Amazon emailed me yesterday to say some of the ones I bought there could no longer be verified as certified.
I suspect this recent issue may have the result of creating a backlog in Amazon for the properly certified glasses/viewers.
by TBillT
Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DC 529 Plan vs other states'
Replies: 17
Views: 1188

Re: DC 529 Plan vs other states'

main reason for sticking with the DC plan is the probably tax deduction. PS- in your case, planning to move, not sure DC plan is in your long term interest. Usually you have to give any tax deduction back if you transfer out later. Since the tax deduction is an attractive feature, would it potentia...
by TBillT
Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DC 529 Plan vs other states'
Replies: 17
Views: 1188

Re: DC 529 Plan vs other states'

main reason for sticking with the DC plan is the probably tax deduction. PS- in your case, planning to move, not sure DC plan is in your long term interest. Usually you have to give any tax deduction back if you transfer out later. Since the tax deduction is an attractive feature, would it potentia...
by TBillT
Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DC 529 Plan vs other states'
Replies: 17
Views: 1188

Re: DC 529 Plan vs other states'

There are some good experts here, but the main reason for sticking with the DC plan is the probably tax deduction. I belong to Virginia 529 for the same reason. If that was not a big benefit, then you'd be free to pick a generic plan such as Vanguard that might be best overall, not considering the t...
by TBillT
Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is an appropriate lower risk asset allocation once one has "won the game"
Replies: 50
Views: 6225

Re: What is an appropriate lower risk asset allocation once one has "won the game"

Did anyone say look at Jack Bogle's holdings -- but I think it's muni bond funds and stuff like that
by TBillT
Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me pick a car
Replies: 54
Views: 4395

Re: Help me pick a car

It is hard to beat a Liftback for space such as Prius. In some ways the newer Gen4 Prius has a little less cargo room because it is more sedan-like in style. So the used Gen3 Prius 2015 vintage would be roomy for Cargo. If you get the newer Gen4 Prius, you can go for the option without a spare tire ...
by TBillT
Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any website to get paid carpooling?
Replies: 12
Views: 1037

Re: Any website to get paid carpooling?

Casual Carpool has hugely popular in the Bay Area since the 1970s: http://sfcasualcarpool.com/ Also a great article on it: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/casual-carpool-san-francisco-rideshare/ You won't get paid, but you will save a lot of time using the carpool lanes. Plus, some riders carry cash to...
by TBillT
Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy EZ Pass transponder for road trip?
Replies: 45
Views: 2883

Re: Buy EZ Pass transponder for road trip?

Many of the EZ Pass programs are local, so for instance, you would need a special Virginia EZ Pass to qualify for the discount (free HOV3+) on the I495/95 HOT Lanes in Virginia. If you just have any other EZ Pass, then you pay full tolls. Cash not accepted. So some people who travel a lot get more t...
by TBillT
Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which 3 funds at Fidelity ?
Replies: 4
Views: 692

Re: Which 3 funds at Fidelity ?

I seem to recall a recent thread saying a new Fidleity fund which might be good for a 3 funder, International Total I think.
by TBillT
Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?
Replies: 27
Views: 2019

Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

The CO problem is of lower concern (CO is heavier than air), but if enough fills up the garage and is forced up into the house, it is deadly. CO is not heavier than air however. Molecular weight of CO 12+16=28 MW is about the same as air (29 MW). Interesting topic though as I have an intentional ho...
by TBillT
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?
Replies: 90
Views: 9875

Re: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?

What bond bubble?
There could not possibly be a more unpopular asset class that get bad-mouthed so regularly by stock market advocates.
by TBillT
Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dimensions for a Toyota Camry Hybrid battery
Replies: 3
Views: 420

Re: Dimensions for a Toyota Camry Hybrid battery

If you cannot find that info, you can ask the question on PriusChat.com and you may get some help there. There is a Camry Hybrid sub topic. Not to be intrusive, but why are you interested? I am curious if you are interested in the battery itself, which (don't quote me on this) but it consists of 32 ...
by TBillT
Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Colorado Vehicle Registration fees
Replies: 20
Views: 1715

Re: Colorado Vehicle Registration fees

I've lost track but about 15-20 states charge "car" tax which is annual property tax. Hard to beat northern Virginia for pain and suffering in this regard, but misery loves company. In Va it is effectively a progressive car tax, so it really hits more expensive cars like hybrids. I feel it hurts new...
by TBillT
Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TSA Pre-check for free
Replies: 75
Views: 5818

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

I also often get free pre-check...I am under 65 and do not fly much so I duuno why.
My wife does not get it as quite often as I do...which makes sense she always getting caught with knitting needles and sewing stuff she should leave home. Even last minute emergency flight I get it.
by TBillT
Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Toyota Marketing Fund
Replies: 10
Views: 1108

Re: Toyota Marketing Fund

I don't think I am hearing that for Prius, must be you picked a model that is selling well?
by TBillT
Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to View Total Eclipse? - Kansas City / Nashville et al
Replies: 98
Views: 6772

Re: Where to View Total Eclipse? - Kansas City

I have a reservation in Ft. Collins CO and am expecting to drive up the interstate in the direction of Casper WY. I would appreciate thoughts about how realistic this is. The room is cancellable. Rooms in Casper are either unavailable or at truly astonishing prices. Good idea, I also saw that Ft Co...
by TBillT
Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the portfolio role of a leveraged bond fund like PONDX?
Replies: 55
Views: 3018

Re: What is the portfolio role of a leveraged bond fund like PONDX?

I use PONDX in Fidelity...the chart looks a lot like Wellelsley VWINX which I use in Vanguard. The concern with PONDX is nice growth of inflows, more or less benefiting from PTRAX's downfall, but somehow it still performs well. It is nice to grab these funds before everyone gets the idea, which tend...
by TBillT
Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on capital gains
Replies: 11
Views: 1229

Re: Taxes on capital gains

I use TurboTax as an estimator to see how much I want to sell. This year I am trying for zero Fed tax, I think will be my 2017 strategy. Last year I wanted to sell more as a bear on the stock I had, so I was willing to pay some smaller cap gains tax. As you get into bigger sales I was trying to keep...
by TBillT
Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it still worth buying a house in a state with insane property taxes
Replies: 96
Views: 9715

Re: Is it still worth buying a house in a state with insane property taxes

I did not immediately see someone else say these taxes are Tax Deductible as an itemized deduction. In some ways, states are smart to boost property taxes as that means Uncle Sam has to give the residents a partial rebate due to the deduction. Unless the ability to deduct this for Federal tax retur...
by TBillT
Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it still worth buying a house in a state with insane property taxes
Replies: 96
Views: 9715

Re: Is it still worth buying a house in a state with insane property taxes

I did not immediately see someone else say these taxes are Tax Deductible as an itemized deduction.
In some ways, states are smart to boost property taxes as that means Uncle Sam has to give the residents a partial rebate due to the deduction.
by TBillT
Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 55 Year Old Rule with Rolled Over 401k
Replies: 5
Views: 528

Re: 55 Year Old Rule with Rolled Over 401k

That's interesting. It is new? I do not recall that option in 2009. In any case, we did not need to take the early withdrawals. I was planning NUA which requires lump sum withdrawal per IRS rules, so I was anxious to not mess that up with partial withdrawals. My 401K allowed $50,000 loan pre-retirem...
by TBillT
Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 4-6% a year
Replies: 28
Views: 5945

Re: 4-6% a year

The bond fund PONDX pays about 5%. Another fund PTIAX is also about 5%, and the two funds PONDX/PTIAX are different enough so they are complimentary as a pair. As always market risk of loss is your problem, you have to do what you are comfortable with. I would also consider (and use myself) individ...
by TBillT
Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MAGI and Medicare
Replies: 29
Views: 2046

Re: MAGI and Medicare

Besides the increased Medicare premium that is paid monthly, high income taxpayers may be subject to an Additional Medicare Tax when they file their Form 1040. Higher income (MAGI) if high enough gets you 2 ways: there is the (1) Medicare premiums based on income (which I had initially overlooked) ...
by TBillT
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MAGI and Medicare
Replies: 29
Views: 2046

Re: MAGI and Medicare

I am only 63 but my MAGI from last year 2016 will be used for my 2018 Medicare premium, when I eventually join. 2016 I sold some stocks at Age 62 so that bumped up my MAGI. I did not realize a mistake by selling stock at Age 62 I was increasing my future Age 65 Medicare Premiums. I will probably app...
by TBillT
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 4-6% a year
Replies: 28
Views: 5945

Re: 4-6% a year

The bond fund PONDX pays about 5%. Another fund PTIAX is also about 5%, and the two funds PONDX/PTIAX are different enough so they are complimentary as a pair. As always market risk of loss is your problem, you have to do what you are comfortable with. I would also consider (and use myself) individu...