Search found 143 matches

by bhtomj
Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing in CA
Replies: 5
Views: 662

Re: Refinancing in CA

Owning was pretty smooth for me in March. I went with Intelliloan this month and they seem a bit disorganized. I had to attend a "credit conference call" where they called two previous creditors to verify two old accounts - never asked me a thing. This week they forgot docs for the notary. Sent a se...
by bhtomj
Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 8 years into 30 year fixed mortgage - refi?
Replies: 9
Views: 1168

Re: 8 years into 30 year fixed mortgage - refi?

Nothing else to worry about, especially if it is a no-cost refi. Did the same in April down to 3.25%. Now I am wondering if I should redo again to knock off another ~$100.00/month.
by bhtomj
Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing 15 year fixed mortgage at 2.25%/2.375@
Replies: 8
Views: 1368

Re: Refinancing 15 year fixed mortgage at 2.25%/2.375@

Owning did well for me (in April) on a 30 yr at 3.25%. Very easy, quick, no cost. Quicken wanted points to go to 3.375%.

Rates are even lower now, so I may go right back to Owning soon.
by bhtomj
Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Notes from an RV road trip in the year of coronavirus
Replies: 4
Views: 1779

Re: Notes from an RV road trip in the year of coronavirus

Thanks for sharing. We are trying to find time to head out of LA to Oregon for a few weeks. Had all the RV Maintenance complete early too. :(
by bhtomj
Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevrolet Tahoe?
Replies: 22
Views: 1843

Re: Chevrolet Tahoe?

Our 2004 Chevy Tahoe runs very well and has had no issues since we purchased it new. I love the vehicle - it has the expected 16 year cosmetic issues. I cannot say anything about the new Tahoe's since i a driving this until it dies which it may not. :D Related to the comments on minivans, our 2007 H...
by bhtomj
Fri May 29, 2020 12:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which type of RV to rent to drive up the California coast?
Replies: 6
Views: 789

Re: Which type of RV to rent to drive up the California coast?

If you have never rented an RV then give it a try. I suggest a class C motor home no longer than 25 feet. 25 ft max for ease of driving(switch backs) and parking. This class and size should be easy to find as a rental. Class C over B since you have a party of three. My DW and I have had a Thor 23U (...
by bhtomj
Sat May 16, 2020 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What are your star funds or ETFs?
Replies: 5
Views: 712

Re: What are your star funds or ETFs?

Fidelity FFNOX.
by bhtomj
Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with HSA funds?
Replies: 4
Views: 628

Re: What to do with HSA funds?

I have a similar situation and live in CA. I invested Fidelity HSA in auto-roll Treasury notes. This will be my EF for any unexpectedly high healthcare expenses.
by bhtomj
Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: List of Bond Security type from Safest to Riskiest
Replies: 8
Views: 749

Re: List of Bond Security type from Safest to Riskiest

0) U.S. Savings Bonds

If differentiating U.S. Treasury issues.
by bhtomj
Thu Mar 12, 2020 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What does your Crystal Ball say?
Replies: 96
Views: 4937

Re: What does your Crystal Ball say?

Last week it said look at the 1 year chart. Today it says look at the 5 year.
by bhtomj
Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How long does it take to receive money after cashing out an Ibond?
Replies: 7
Views: 730

Re: How long does it take to receive money after cashing out an Ibond?

Treasury Direct will send you an email notification next year. Something like "You have a tax document".
The redemption should show in the bottom left of "Manage Direct" now under the calendar year..
by bhtomj
Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA in CA - Tax Reporting
Replies: 1
Views: 204

Re: HSA in CA - Tax Reporting

I think $0.48 rounds to zero if you enter it in TT.
by bhtomj
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Registration Fee tax deduction
Replies: 4
Views: 816

Re: Car Registration Fee tax deduction

It took me a few years after moving to CA to figure this out too. It seems unlikely a ~ $100 difference would be much if an issue.
But I am no tax expert.
by bhtomj
Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is ibond always better than taxable?
Replies: 42
Views: 2869

Re: Is ibond always better than taxable?

Back to the original question...
I cannot say most investors should but I invest in I-bonds before taxable.
by bhtomj
Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Tips: Building an auto-rolling US Treasury ladder for EF or HSA in California
Replies: 21
Views: 2164

Re: Fidelity Tips: Building an auto-rolling US Treasury ladder for EF or HSA in California

Thanks mervinj7. Great timing on your post.
I am in CALIFORNIA also with a UMB to Fidelity transfer in progress. I wanted to do something like this so now I have instructions :happy
by bhtomj
Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I/EE Bond Investment Schedule Question
Replies: 10
Views: 777

Re: I/EE Bond Investment Schedule Question

I have used the "Payroll Savings Plan" for at least 10 years this way for I-Bonds:
Set the purchase amount to $1000 and get 10 bonds per year.
Direct deposit $10,000/24 each paycheck.
https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/pr ... llinfo.htm
by bhtomj
Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bond doubling feature
Replies: 3
Views: 553

Re: EE bond doubling feature

IMHO, Treasury Direct would be the authority.
https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/re ... electronic
by bhtomj
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing Machine is loud - replace the bearings?
Replies: 9
Views: 578

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: 2364

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: 1659

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: 743

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: 3671

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: 2781

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: 428

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: 1212

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: 1384

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: 1228

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: 1229

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: 5031

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: 818

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: 4461

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: 5379

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: 1219

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: 2623

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: 2172

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: 474

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: 4740

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: 17585

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: 3174

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: 2325

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: 703

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: 2222

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: 1503

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: 5314

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: 2072

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: 701

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..