Search found 125 matches

by bhtomj
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing Machine is loud - replace the bearings?
Replies: 9
Views: 513

Re: Washing Machine is loud - replace the bearings?

We just had the bearings replaced in our Kenmore washer. Basket replacement was also required per Sears Home Services. This was luckily done right as our extended warranty was ending so cannot give yoù cost. But i can offer this: - cost of basket per technician: ~$200 - two technicians spent 2 hours...
by bhtomj
Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CalSTRS - California Teachers' Pensions
Replies: 19
Views: 2109

Re: CalSTRS - California Teachers' Pensions

You should call CALSTRS and ask if they can run the options. They are very open and helpful.
by bhtomj
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: More than one Investment Company
Replies: 21
Views: 1509

Re: More than one Investment Company

I assume most of us end up with multiple companies because of our employers choice for 401k, HSA,etc.
Wife's 403b is at Vanguard as was my 401k . When my company was acquired it moved to Fidelity where I had an IRA.
But neither have ESA so we have accounts at TD Ameritrade. :!:
by bhtomj
Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 or Coverdell?
Replies: 3
Views: 662

Re: 529 or Coverdell?

OP,
For the reasons you state in the original post, I suggest the Coverdell ESA. Two kids means $4000 of your planned $5000.

FWIW, We used TDAmertrade for my 2 kids ESAs.
by bhtomj
Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Home" Cell Phone
Replies: 40
Views: 3559

Re: "Home" Cell Phone

For simplicity we bought a Tracfone with 1500 texts/1.5G? data/unlimited calls for $100.
Purchased on HSN for $49 initially for LG smartphone with similar 3 month plan as above.
by bhtomj
Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I and EE bonds
Replies: 17
Views: 2265

Re: I and EE bonds

RamblinDoc,
Related to the rate question, EE fixed is .10%, I is .50%. Here are two useful links to Treasury Direct:
https://www.treasurydirect.gov/news/pre ... atespr.htm
https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/re ... s.htm#past
by bhtomj
Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA fee
Replies: 5
Views: 409

Re: HSA fee

Include the $3000.00 as part of emergency fund. Invest the rest.
by bhtomj
Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money Deposited into my bank account in error
Replies: 10
Views: 1179

Re: Money Deposited into my bank account in error

As stated above, report it. Just think about the your name on the headlines / news. You want be the one who discovered the error, not the one who benefited from someone's mistake. Last year I was on the other end of this: had a check clear our account that was not ours. Our bank corrected it after c...
by bhtomj
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I close a Roth IRA account?
Replies: 20
Views: 1348

Re: Should I close a Roth IRA account?

#3. No brokerage account until all tax advantaged space maxed.
by bhtomj
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: EE bonds doubling date
Replies: 12
Views: 1162

Re: EE bonds doubling date

I converted all our paper bonds in 2012. Split then up into 5 manifests to mail with regular first class postage. One envelope was never received - I called after waiting several weeks. TD was very helpful in recovering them. They just pulled the manifest I created.
by bhtomj
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Robot vacuum cleaner - need recommendation
Replies: 13
Views: 1149

Re: Robot vacuum cleaner - need recommendation

We have 3 Debots. We bought them all on Amazon at various sales for less than $150. No navigation but different run modes. Performance is just as good compared to the two Roomba we had before.
by bhtomj
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is it time for a new smartphone?
Replies: 66
Views: 4571

Re: When is it time for a new smartphone?

I am a fan of the Samsung J phones (on Verizon) J3 is $168; J7 $240 is my current phone. No guilt in replacing when needed. I had the J3 for 3 years and was having similar issues, so decided in Sept. to get the larger J7 as I use my phone for everything. I just dropped the old J3 in the e-waste bin....
by bhtomj
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Roth IRA - What to do with cash?
Replies: 4
Views: 727

Re: Fidelity Roth IRA - What to do with cash?

You did not mention Fidelity funds as options. Did you consider FUMBX or FUAMX?
by bhtomj
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Visa Rewards - Do you move the cash out of Fido?
Replies: 48
Views: 4264

Re: Fidelity Visa Rewards - Do you move the cash out of Fido?

I buy MF in my rIRA, which I had at Fidelity long before the CC. At year end i will transfer additional money to the account to max it out, since December points redemption goes as new tax year contribution in January.
by bhtomj
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Switch to Ally or just Keep more in Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund
Replies: 28
Views: 5178

Re: Switch to Ally or just Keep more in Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund

Is it worth the FDIC insurance to open a new (assumed) account to manage?
Not for me. I like to keep it simple, especially in case my wife or kids end up managing our money.
by bhtomj
Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: comparing cell phones Moto X, Samsung Galaxy J3 and Moto G6
Replies: 15
Views: 1163

Re: comparing cell phones Moto X, Samsung Galaxy J3 and Moto G6

My Samsung J3 is going on 3 years now on Verizon. When the crack in the screen becomes too big - I will get another. I like the Samsung phones.
by bhtomj
Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prescription Price Shopping?
Replies: 37
Views: 2564

Re: Prescription Price Shopping?

As mentioned above, goodrx.com is a good resource. My local Walgreens is always willing to check a coupon against my insurance.
by bhtomj
Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bond Logistics
Replies: 14
Views: 2117

Re: I-Bond Logistics

Every purchase made in Treasury Direct creates a new I-Bond.
I purchase using the TD "Payroll Investment" method by direct depositing to buy one I-Bond per month. At the end of the year I have 12 bonds.
The listing in Current Holdings is pretty long. :D
by bhtomj
Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Savings Bond Refresher
Replies: 1
Views: 459

Re: Savings Bond Refresher

Treasury Direct has the current rates: https://www.treasurydirect.gov/news/pre ... atespr.htm

I-Bond rates are currently better than 2011. EE not so much, doubling every 20 years to get around 3.5% if you can wait.

I am still a fan of both, but am only buying I-Bonds.
by bhtomj
Sat May 05, 2018 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Open-ended question about vacationing in Yosemite or a different national park
Replies: 49
Views: 4543

Re: Open-ended question about vacationing in Yosemite or a different national park

I will suggest two less crowded NPs that we have enjoyed:

Theodore Roosevelt NP, ND.
Badlands NP, SD.
by bhtomj
Wed May 02, 2018 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Bond Wizard replacement is available
Replies: 28
Views: 14422

Re: Savings Bond Wizard replacement is available

I prefer the calculator and converted to it a few years ago.
Once you save your inventory to an HTML file, you can reconnect to update values and bonds.
The problem is if you miss entering a bond they get out of sequence.
by bhtomj
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA Public School Teacher - Union Dues, Pension Contribution
Replies: 17
Views: 3035

Re: CA Public School Teacher - Union Dues, Pension Contribution

My wife pays just over $1000 PER year for union dues.

Here's a link for CalStrs on the contribution rates: https://www.calstrs.com/calstrs-2014-funding-plan
I did not realize the teacher contribution was over 10%. Better check a pay stub.
by bhtomj
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy I-Bonds before May 1 or After?
Replies: 16
Views: 2282

Re: Buy I-Bonds before May 1 or After?

I buy monthly via payroll plan so both for me. But he is an opinion from a blog I follow: https://tipswatch.com/2018/04/12/i-bond ... able-rate/
by bhtomj
Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Custom-Made Orthotics: Digital Foot Imaging vs. Foot Mold
Replies: 2
Views: 689

Re: Custom-Made Orthotics: Digital Foot Imaging vs. Foot Mold

Last month I recieved new orthotics made from a digital image from my original foot mold. Initially the new inserts were too large and caused issues with my toes. My podiatrist trimmed them so they fit better, but so far I am more comfortable with the original. Time will tell. I only have only had t...
by bhtomj
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TreasuryDirect website and 1099-INT taxable bonds
Replies: 12
Views: 2068

Re: TreasuryDirect website and 1099-INT taxable bonds

I received an email in late January from TD saying "tax forms are available." But I cannot find it now.
by bhtomj
Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take loan off net worth?
Replies: 17
Views: 1455

Re: Take loan off net worth?

Think of it this way. You have an asset with liquidation value and a loan obligation. A corporation would report it.

I include significant ($ value) assets in my net worth calculation. That includes my house and current valuation of vehicles.
by bhtomj
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Movies of 2017
Replies: 42
Views: 5162

Re: Best Movies of 2017

Steelersfan wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:12 pm
It's animated so targeted to kids, but Coco is spectacular, even for adults.
I truly enjoyed Coco more than any of the other very good movies i saw.
by bhtomj
Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung J3 or J7
Replies: 21
Views: 1981

Re: Samsung J3 or J7

I have had a J3 for 15 months with no issues. I recommend it but cannot say how it compares to J7 mentioned.
At $168, I paid for it up front.
by bhtomj
Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit protection for children?
Replies: 5
Views: 681

Re: Credit protection for children?

You cannot freeze a minors credit, or request a report online. You must mail in certain documents to the credit bureaus.

I am working on getting this together for my kids (12 yes old) as my daughter was listed on an Anthem breech..
by bhtomj
Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What the best identity theft co.?
Replies: 21
Views: 2223

Re: What the best identity theft co.?

As others have mentioned. Freeze your credit at all agencies. My wife had problems twice previously but not since we froze about ten years ago. 'Thawing' your credit to open a new account is just as easy as freezing it once you know which agency will be used for the credit check (just ask). We just ...
by bhtomj
Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public vs Private Elementary
Replies: 57
Views: 5314

Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Our kids were in private Catholic school up to 4th grade. We just did not see the value in it so they switched to the local public school last year. Our kids loved it. More opportunities, our twins could be in separate rooms and larger class sizes meant more diversity. Starting public middle school ...
by bhtomj
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wooden flooring in kitchen
Replies: 51
Views: 6380

Re: Wooden flooring in kitchen

We added Oak floors in our kitchen remodel in 2008 after removing carpeting throughout the house (prev owner). We really use our kitchen so the floors can get messy. The shark steam mop does a nice job cleaning those stuck on messes. Roomba gets the rest.
by bhtomj
Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coyote control
Replies: 66
Views: 5928

Re: Coyote control

Fencing in your yard should keep them out if you are doing the normal prevention of not leaving pet food out and keeping trash cans closed. I also live in the LA area and our city only provides the warnings to keep pets and small children inside in the evening and night. :idea: This reminds me to as...
by bhtomj
Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payment to Dr's office
Replies: 11
Views: 1504

Re: Payment to Dr's office

I have UHC like the OP. My DR tells me they are the slowest of all insurers to pay.
I am in Southern CA.
by bhtomj
Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California State Teachers Pension
Replies: 4
Views: 840

Re: California State Teachers Pension

The annuity is the only choice for payout.

Check out 403bcompare.com for 403b plans for your district.
by bhtomj
Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Educate me on Ibonds
Replies: 6
Views: 1558

Re: Educate me on Ibonds

I have found that any of my 'how' and 'what' questions are answered on the TreasuryDirect.gov site.
by bhtomj
Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you redeem your credit card cash rewards?
Replies: 54
Views: 5412

Re: How often do you redeem your credit card cash rewards?

My Fidelity Rewards Visa transfers automatically to my IRA every month.
by bhtomj
Thu May 25, 2017 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suits: best bang for your buck?
Replies: 64
Views: 38757

Re: Suits: best bang for your buck?

I needed a suit for a funeral and of course did not have much time. We found a nice gray one at Kohl's for just over $100.00.
I have not worn a suit for work since 1997 but this is the least expensive suit I have ever worn and one of the nicest.
by bhtomj
Sun May 21, 2017 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convert EE Savings Bonds at Treasury Direct?
Replies: 8
Views: 2222

Re: Convert EE Savings Bonds at Treasury Direct?

The conversion process works as easy as the TD instructions indicate. I converted all our paper bonds to TD in 2014. I split ours into 5 manifests and just dropped them as standard mail in 5 envelopes. One envelope never arrived at TD. I filed a report on the site, received a phone call a day later,...
by bhtomj
Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Fire HD 10" tablet
Replies: 8
Views: 1325

Re: Amazon Fire HD 10" tablet

I don't know about the current version but my kids have a prior version of 10" Fire HD tablets and they have held up well. Very solid with a beautiful display. If the Amazon app store is not good enough, the Google framework can be installed to get the Play store. I did this on my new 7" Fire. Just ...
by bhtomj
Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spin scrubbers
Replies: 4
Views: 1056

Re: Spin scrubbers

I have not used one but my in-laws love the one they received as a Christmas gift. It makes reaching and scrubbing easier for them. They are almost 78 years young.
Not sure what brand they have.
by bhtomj
Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince Wife for Honda Odyssey
Replies: 48
Views: 4441

Re: Convince Wife for Honda Odyssey

As a owner of both vehicles in question I will say they both have benefits. The Tahoe is riding in luxury and nice in winter or rougher conditions and you sit much higher. The Odyssey is the ultimate utility vehicle. It it easier to load and reconfigure, has more cargo room and has better MPG. The t...
by bhtomj
Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best sweeping accounts
Replies: 4
Views: 715

Re: Best sweeping accounts

Fidelity Government Cash Reserves (FDRXX) says it returned .09 % over the last year. .86% over 10 years. It has paid me nothing over 16 years.
by bhtomj
Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying BND vs. Paying Down HELOC
Replies: 14
Views: 1245

Re: Buying BND vs. Paying Down HELOC

If liquidity is not an issue in this scenario pay off the HELOC. BND future return is unknown but loan interest savings is guaranteed.
by bhtomj
Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing Machines
Replies: 12
Views: 2079

Re: Washing Machines

We just replaced our 10 year old high end GE front loader - that was leaking - with a middle of the road Kenmore front loader. We do a lot of laundry with 2 pre-teens. The new Kenmore (and I assume most new brands) does not have the issues of the older GE. It is very quiet even when out of balance, ...
by bhtomj
Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Earthquake insurance
Replies: 12
Views: 2275

Re: Earthquake insurance

I live in the LA area and have had CEA insurance through AAA for several years. Mine currently osts about the same as my homeowner's insurance. I will be checking on the new different CEA policies in January before I renew. Is it worth it? I won't know until we have earthquake damage but it gives me...
by bhtomj
Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?
Replies: 90
Views: 15654

Re: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?

Yesterday we experienced nearly the exact same issue as the OP. The shipper was USPS and the tracking info was not consistent with Amazon. Even the Amazon support associate could not figure it out after she put us on hold twice. They ask we give them until Monday to figure it out which was not an is...