Search found 678 matches

by TBillT
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history
Replies: 12
Views: 1239

Re: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history

So I finally made the assumption the SSA email was safe and correct. I called SSA and per their request, divulged my SS no. on the phone to them (why can't we instead use the case no assigned?) The reason SSA is questioning my online application: (1) My Earnings History (Alert flags in their data ba...
by TBillT
Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history
Replies: 12
Views: 1239

Re: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history

Another problem I am having, yesterday I tried to sign onto MySocialSecurity.gov to get apllication status. After one login attenpt, it said you have failed 3 times to logon so your account is suspended for 24-hrs. I think it could be a faulty mouse sending extreme rapid extra clicks, but you'd thi...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A. Gary Shilling on Treasuries (TBond Bull)
Replies: 10
Views: 911

Re: A. Gary Shilling on Treasuries (TBond Bull)

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. Apparently we may already be in a recession. or at a minimum, all the posts over the last year stating that "interest rates have nowhere to go but up" may have been wrong. The first post I've personally made note of that said Interest rates can only go up was m...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Prius Inventory-change strategy?
Replies: 26
Views: 1225

Re: Low Prius Inventory-change strategy?

I'd say some drivers instinctively try to get ahead of me in a Prius, but I am usually going at least speed limit. Might be location dependent but in northern Va. we have lots of Prii.
by TBillT
Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Prius Inventory-change strategy?
Replies: 26
Views: 1225

Re: Low Prius Inventory-change strategy?

2006 Prius here...best car ever. Orig brake shoes here at 185k miles. Not sure what we do next, but probably hybrid Cmary. RAV4 or Prius...maybe Corolla was not aware that one. Actually Prius v "wagon" would be my clear choice, but that would have to be used now. If you do not need cargo space you c...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history
Replies: 12
Views: 1239

Re: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history

Another problem I am having, yesterday I tried to sign onto MySocialSecurity.gov to get apllication status. After one login attenpt, it said you have failed 3 times to logon so your account is suspended for 24-hrs. I think it could be a faulty mouse sending extreme rapid extra clicks, but you'd thin...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history
Replies: 12
Views: 1239

Re: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history

Just submitted restricted application online for SS to get spousal amount, and got an email asking me to go to office or call to review my earnings record. I pretty much gave the max over the years, but it should not even matter since I am not asking to start my own benefit. Also the email seems le...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A. Gary Shilling on Treasuries (TBond Bull)
Replies: 10
Views: 911

A. Gary Shilling on Treasuries (TBond Bull)

Often times I quote economist A. Gary Shilling re: Bonds. He is well-known bull on Treasuries since the early 1980's. Rates still falling he figures to 1% on 10-yr and maybe 2% on 30-yr. Not too often we get an up-to-date article from him to post, so here is a new one. https://www.bloomberg.com/opin...
by TBillT
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC Options
Replies: 19
Views: 1367

Re: HELOC Options

I am thinking under the new itemization rules, HELOC interest is not deductible unless it is for home purchase or cap improvement If the HELOC is used for the downpayment on a home , would it be deductible ? Not sure. My house years ago we got $30k HELOC bundled with $330k mortgage to cover the tot...
by TBillT
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history
Replies: 12
Views: 1239

Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history

Just submitted restricted application online for SS to get spousal amount, and got an email asking me to go to office or call to review my earnings record. I pretty much gave the max over the years, but it should not even matter since I am not asking to start my own benefit. Also the email seems leg...
by TBillT
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turkish Airlines ?
Replies: 31
Views: 1857

Re: Turkish Airlines ?

The loss of Malaysian MH370 in 2014 was probably in part due to lack of security by the airline. For example, USA airlines have 2 in cockpit rule to help prevent pilot sabotage, whereas international airlines have balked at that. After the Germanwings crash/suicide 2015, some EU airiines finally add...
by TBillT
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filling Concrete Driveway Cracks - Best ways?
Replies: 8
Views: 1659

Re: Filling Concrete Driveway Cracks - Best ways?

I've used the epoxy (home depot) because I wanted to bond the concrete together as much as possible (it was a small corner crack). It is a grey color, but it's still obvious. I like epoxy because it's strong, and durable. (I coated my garage floor w/it, and it's nearly indestructible). I like the i...
by TBillT
Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard Treasury Money Market yield so high?
Replies: 28
Views: 6585

Re: Why is Vanguard Treasury Money Market yield so high?

Vanguard Treasury as my fav MMF at the moment, also state tax exempt for most of us.
We had some since 2008 recession.
by TBillT
Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filling Concrete Driveway Cracks - Best ways?
Replies: 8
Views: 1659

Filling Concrete Driveway Cracks - Best ways?

There are various products for filling driveway cracks: (1) Straight mortar or concrete repair (so filling the crack with cement) (2) Flexible stretchy type concrete repair (3) PC Concrete - which is more expensive, hard epoxy I am not sure what the goal is. Presumably the crack will further expand ...
by TBillT
Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC Options
Replies: 19
Views: 1367

Re: HELOC Options

I am thinking under the new itemization rules, HELOC interest is not deductible unless it is for home purchase or cap improvement
by TBillT
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Petroleum pipeline on property
Replies: 27
Views: 2181

Re: Petroleum pipeline on property

I think you are correct to question that, but I am not sure the answer. Need to hear from other property owners with pipelines, and insurance cos. if that is an issue. Believe there is a new law proposed to make it a criminal act to sabotage the pipelines, which I think some eco-groups had done a fe...
by TBillT
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy Mini-Van Tomorrow or No?
Replies: 59
Views: 3203

Re: Buy Mini-Van Tomorrow or No?

I have an earlier (2009 VW Routan) version ...very roomy. Got mine during cash 4 clunkers so I did not pay as much. I guess it's my 4th Chrysler minivan. It is a big vehicle....minivan being a misnomer these days. My wife used to love our prior minivans but she feels less car-like in this one perhap...
by TBillT
Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security Retirement Age
Replies: 20
Views: 3380

Re: Social Security Retirement Age

"The maximum monthly Social Security benefit at full or normal retirement age is $2,788 for 2018 and $2,861 for 2019. " I am a litle surpirsed there is a value for future out years...my full retirement year is 2019, and even though I contributed max amount for 35 years, I get about 97% of the max PI...
by TBillT
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury Finishes Rules Ending State Tax-Cap Workarounds
Replies: 6
Views: 1144

Re: Treasury Finishes Rules Ending State Tax-Cap Workarounds

I should have posted a version of the article I saw.
Sounds like there are still some SALT work-arounds out there, some companies are paying the State tax for the employee, and then the company can deduct the tax paid. Some other stuff business owners can do.
by TBillT
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of LifeStrategy Mod Grwth in Taxable VS Three Fund Portfolio plus VPAS
Replies: 25
Views: 1557

Re: Cost of LifeStrategy Mod Grwth in Taxable VS Three Fund Portfolio plus VPAS

I agree Vanguard Life Strat Mod Growth is attractive all in one fund.
by TBillT
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance tax question
Replies: 9
Views: 962

Re: Inheritance tax question

We are in the middle of inheriting some stocks. We will sell the stocks and pay the tax (actually take a loss). My understanding if the trustee sold the stock for us, which is actually our preference, we would still have the tax liability, unless the sale was prior fiscal year, in which case the est...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security [Earnings Test Question]
Replies: 5
Views: 601

Re: Social Security [Earnings Test Question]

Lot's of us are using Mike Piper's OpenSocialSecurity.com tool which will give you a recommendation. You can probably fiddle with life expectancy to see the differences in what might be suggested.
by TBillT
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy a house in Nova/DC area?
Replies: 23
Views: 2066

Re: Should I buy a house in Nova/DC area?

On the pro side, interest rates are low for mortgage. On the con side, strikes me some of the road expansion projects in NoVA, the elected officials want to change the status quo, they want to give preference to long range commuters and reduce local access to highways, so in other words what seems l...
by TBillT
Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 403(b) Stable Value vs Bond Funds
Replies: 4
Views: 647

Re: 403(b) Stable Value vs Bond Funds

One historically good SVF is T Rowe Price SVF. Looks like it is about 2.1% annual at the moment. So not too exciting right now. A few lucky folks have had access to 3% SV funds so that would be great. The stable value funds are cash, and they were more interesting when interest rates were going down...
by TBillT
Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Prime Money Market Fund 7 day yield change
Replies: 7
Views: 1871

Re: Prime Money Market Fund 7 day yield change

The prospect is presumably for continued lower MM yields if the economy is slowing. Stock market is marching to diffrent drummer than the Bond market, and some people are wondering if the Bond market is smarter.
by TBillT
Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Panasonic LUMIX DSC-FZ35 camera.
Replies: 34
Views: 1815

Re: Panasonic LUMIX DSC-FZ35 camera.

I have that camera, and it has some mixed. It is very light weight, ultra zoom. You can stand there and get a 100x close up photo of the Moon, hand held. When it came out it got dinged for less than stellar JPEG quality (internal processing issue of some kind). But if I am wanting super zoom for wid...
by TBillT
Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Camry Questions
Replies: 54
Views: 2532

Re: New Camry Questions

TPMS I guess you are saying it provides visual access to the data on a screen. Lots of Toyotas have TPMS but you cannot access the data unless you have a reader tool. I have a 2006 Prius with TPMS, but most Prius do not give easy readout of the tire pressure data, which is an inconvenience. Camry ca...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Really Bad 403(b) Options
Replies: 8
Views: 599

Re: Really Bad 403(b) Options

If you want to know what a really bad 403b looks like, my wife had to pay 5% load for stinky funds. Hopefully not too many like that anymore, but a few small companies do that.
by TBillT
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocating to Ft Belvoir, VA
Replies: 14
Views: 1128

Re: Relocating to Ft Belvoir, VA

Well one of my neighbors works there...were are in Burke/Springfield area. I get there every year for the Ocktoberfest we have a little band. I am under the impression the active military lives inside the base, but don't quote me on that, I do not really know where they are all living. PS- welcome a...
by TBillT
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Maximum amount of Tax Loss Harvesting advisable per year?
Replies: 27
Views: 1502

Re: Maximum amount of Tax Loss Harvesting advisable per year?

We are expcting to inherent shares with losses, so we will probably have more losses than we need. Those shares will likely get a step-up basis (actually a step-down basis), so that you will not get to harvest a tax-loss yourselves on those investments. Well, I am saying we have a decent sized loss...
by TBillT
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Maximum amount of Tax Loss Harvesting advisable per year?
Replies: 27
Views: 1502

Re: Maximum amount of Tax Loss Harvesting advisable per year?

We are expcting to inherent shares with losses, so we will probably have more losses than we need. I guess that will give us that more ($3000) leeway to do Roth conversion over the next many years. Maybe I bump up our Wellesly VWINX to get more cap gain distributions tax free. Close to admiral anywa...
by TBillT
Thu May 30, 2019 10:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jim Cramer
Replies: 59
Views: 5447

Re: Jim Cramer

I am probably the outlier in that I enjoy his show. He has a sharp wit and his book "Confession of a Street Addict" is hilarious. I haven't read his financial books, nor would I ever follow his financial advice!!! However, as entertainment he is good value. Yet, I also loved the character George Co...
by TBillT
Wed May 29, 2019 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying treasuries other than ultra short term?
Replies: 45
Views: 2969

Re: Buying treasuries other than ultra short term?

If you follow economist (and TBond king) A. Gary Shilling the 30-yr rates could go as low 2% from where we are today. So if the stock market goes down 20-30% chances are you might see 30-40% cap gain on 30-yr Treasuries if you invested in the zero coupon. I made up the 30-40% as I do not have the e...
by TBillT
Wed May 29, 2019 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying treasuries other than ultra short term?
Replies: 45
Views: 2969

Re: Buying treasuries other than ultra short term?

If you follow economist (and TBond king) A. Gary Shilling the 30-yr rates could go as low 2% from where we are today. So if the stock market goes down 20-30% chances are you might see 30-40% cap gain on 30-yr Treasuries if you invested in the zero coupon. I made up the 30-40% as I do not have the e...
by TBillT
Wed May 29, 2019 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AmEx rewards points
Replies: 15
Views: 1359

Re: AmEx rewards points

Our approach (when Fidelity ended their AMEX option last year) we got our own AMEX account to continue points.
We tend to use them for Hilton points which is easy instant transfer.
by TBillT
Wed May 29, 2019 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying treasuries other than ultra short term?
Replies: 45
Views: 2969

Re: Buying treasuries other than ultra short term?

If you follow economist (and TBond king) A. Gary Shilling the 30-yr rates could go as low 2% from where we are today. So if the stock market goes down 20-30% chances are you might see 30-40% cap gain on 30-yr Treasuries if you invested in the zero coupon. I made up the 30-40% as I do not have the ex...
by TBillT
Sat May 25, 2019 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prius Prime plug in
Replies: 22
Views: 2039

Re: Prius Prime plug in

By all accounts Prime is a very nice car and cost effective with rebates. Not to mention free HOV in Ca. Main thing be aware you lose cargo space in the back and spare tire due to the HV battery. also there is only 2 seats in the back (can't recall if the newer ones are full back seat). For me I wil...
by TBillT
Thu May 23, 2019 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows for Noise Reduction
Replies: 36
Views: 2581

Re: Windows for Noise Reduction

I have given much thought to noise reduction windows but have not made progress.
Looked at the Milguard.
We have already have Simonton Prism which in theoiry I could switch out the glass but my insatller went out of business which has hampered my ability to modify or repair the existing windows.
by TBillT
Mon May 20, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 4.50% Callable CD vs Bonds
Replies: 11
Views: 2343

Re: 4.50% Callable CD vs Bonds

I had a lot of fun with these sorts of offering up to about 5 years ago. I had a lot of callable bonds and CD's and if they paid 4-5% but were called 2 months or 2 years later, who cares? Well they all got called, and I did OK re: % return. All I have left are the non-callable bonds, some of the cor...
by TBillT
Sun May 19, 2019 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: why buy any bonds in your portfolio?
Replies: 24
Views: 3098

Re: why buy any bonds in your portfolio?

Right now 30-yr TBond I believe is about 2.84% TBond king Gary Shilling I believe still looking for as low as 2% if we get into recesssion. If you go for that idea with gusto (zero coupon) like he does, you could turn a whale of a cap gain assuming interest rate goes further down. I think thats the ...
by TBillT
Sat May 18, 2019 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $ Decisions: environmental, save the planet, organic, etc
Replies: 32
Views: 1733

Re: $ Decisions: environmental, save the planet, organic, etc

I have a personal sense of environmental stewardship that I go by, developed over a lifetime of expereince. I am an engineer so my attiitudes, which used to be liberal, but the lIberals have gone way left of me. We bought a Prius in 2006 because it was reliable, cheap to own, got 50 MPG, and had ood...
by TBillT
Sat May 18, 2019 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Fund Calculator?
Replies: 18
Views: 1059

Re: Donor Advised Fund Calculator?

I think you are just asking how to estimate next year's taxes so you know how much itemized deductions you need. TurboTax or other tax calculator spreadsheet can help you decide how much you need to put into DAF to itemize deductions. For me it is doubly important because Va./Md. taxes are much less...
by TBillT
Sat May 18, 2019 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Synthetic oil or not for very low mileage auto?
Replies: 47
Views: 3103

Re: Synthetic oil or not for very low mileage auto?

Synthetic is not really synthetic anymore. Years ago Mobil lost a court case where the lawyers in their wisdom decided Castrol had the right to call "synthetic" certain higher quality refined oils. So you have to try really hard to buy special stuff like maybe Royal Purple to get what we used to cal...
by TBillT
Sat May 18, 2019 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do plumbers get paid so well?
Replies: 84
Views: 6225

Re: Why do plumbers get paid so well?

I recently asked a diswasher repair guy why it costs $300 to take 5-minutes to replace a $15 water valve? He said his firm has enormous insurance bills on water and elec projects as they are liable for any water damage or personal injury in those cases if they are found liable in court of making a m...
by TBillT
Fri May 17, 2019 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I replace Prius Hybrid Battery?
Replies: 44
Views: 3548

Re: Should I replace Prius Hybrid Battery?

Serious question. With the Prius battery, is its lifespan dictated by time or miles driven? (Or both?) Thanks Both. And where you live matters a lot. Batteries tend to prefer temperate climates to high heat and cold weather. In general high mileage/low years tends to be a result of lots of highway ...
by TBillT
Fri May 17, 2019 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I replace Prius Hybrid Battery?
Replies: 44
Views: 3548

Re: Should I replace Prius Hybrid Battery?

McDougal wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 7:03 am
Serious question. With the Prius battery, is its lifespan dictated by time or miles driven? (Or both?)
Thanks
In some cases, I believe there is so-called limp mode where you can go maybe 20-25 MPH to get to a dealer.
Dunno have not had it happen to me.
by TBillT
Fri May 17, 2019 3:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tIRA => Roth IRA or 401(k), now or later?
Replies: 9
Views: 797

Re: Another tIRA => Roth IRA conversion thread

401k has some legal protection vs. tIRA, so that has some merit. You are in high tax state and I guess likely bumping in to Obamacare surcharge on MAGI, so withdrawal/convert from IRA seems less advantageous to me. The amount you have in 401k is still modest, so I think I'd be socking it away for no...
by TBillT
Thu May 16, 2019 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Confused re taxable accounts yields in various MM options
Replies: 5
Views: 551

Re: Confused re taxable accounts yields in various MM options

each year they publish data on how much interest is Treasury related, and thus free of state tax burden (for each fund). For California, funds must meet certain minimum requirements for any portion of the dividend to be state deductible. Last year Schwab's Value Advantage (SWVXX), Government (SNVXX...
by TBillT
Thu May 16, 2019 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pre-RMD Retirement Sweet Spot - Accelerating IRA Withdrawals vs. Roth Conversion
Replies: 51
Views: 4036

Re: Pre-RMD Retirement Sweet Spot - Accelerating IRA Withdrawals vs. Roth Conversion

After listening I heard no change for our siutation. We have quite too much $$ in IRA due to 401K and pension lump rollovers. So we need to take some $$ out probably to Roth conv to minimize RMDs. If you just have a little $ in tIRA, then you may want to keep it to make contribs or generate taxes fr...
by TBillT
Thu May 16, 2019 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Confused re taxable accounts yields in various MM options
Replies: 5
Views: 551

Re: Confused re taxable accounts yields in various MM options

I am not familiar with Schwab, but I assume like Vanguard and Fideity, each year they publish data on how much interest is Treasury related, and thus free of state tax burden (for each fund). At the moment I am in Vanguard Treasury becuase I feel on state tax free basis that equates to Vanguard Prim...