Search found 269 matches

by autolycus
Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30 year mortgage under 3%
Replies: 284
Views: 42121

Re: 30 year mortgage under 3%

For those who've never used an online bank, how much of a hassle is the paperwork and lack of a brick and mortar office? Where did you physically close on the refi? These rates look very attractive for sure. You upload all the documents to a website. Notary comes to your house. I've never done a re...
by autolycus
Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3
Replies: 921
Views: 80557

Re: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3

Personally, I wish all EV cars had a fuel tank and a gas generator right on board. Not the type of hybrid where it still has a gas engine, but the hybrid where the car is fully electric, but when the battery runs down, it can burn gas and recharge the battery. That way you get all the advantages of...
by autolycus
Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:00 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here
Replies: 1406
Views: 190078

Re: Net Worth Milestone

Well done! It's all about making a plan and sticking with it for the long haul.
by autolycus
Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: True-up 401(k) match - 2019 or 2020 415 limit?
Replies: 2
Views: 318

Re: True-up 401(k) match - 2019 or 2020 415 limit?

Contributions made in connection with compensation received in 2019 will be attributed to 2019. Employer contributions are realized on an accrual basis. Essentially they apply to whichever year they're declared for. In this case, you're talking about contributions being made as a match related to 20...
by autolycus
Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I pay off mortgage or invest?
Replies: 25
Views: 1871

Re: Should I pay off mortgage or invest?

I would pay it off. I would also make sure to max any tax-advantaged space (401k and IRA) you can while you're still working. That may mean re-allocating all of your previous mortgage payment toward retirement savings AND possibly "tapping into" the investments that are leftover from this windfall. ...
by autolycus
Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: maximizing TSP contribution (YTD for PP 23?)
Replies: 5
Views: 498

Re: maximizing TSP contribution (YTD for PP 23?)

Fellow BHs: My agency is paid via USDA, so I think we have 26 pay periods in 2019. To maximize my agency contribution, I set my bi-weekly contribution at 730, 730 x 26 = 18980 (almost the 19k limit). Today, I looked at my YTD TSP contribution as of PP 23, and the YTD number is 17,502. Is this where...
by autolycus
Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Catch Up Contribution: Newbie Question
Replies: 7
Views: 761

Re: 401k Catch Up Contribution: Newbie Question

Next year I'll turn 50 and thus become eligible to make an extra $6,000 in 401k catch-up contributions. This may seem dumb, but do I have to do that as a lump sum at some point in the year? Or can I just increase my per-paycheck 401k contributions such that it hits the higher limit on auto-pilot? Y...
by autolycus
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax breach settlement update?
Replies: 49
Views: 4714

Re: Equifax breach settlement update?

In my opinion, the judge should throw out this settlement. They offered people $125 in lieu of credit monitoring and folks might get $3. I think that is incredibly scammy on part of the attorney's and the judge should reject it. I don't see the value of "credit monitoring". I do get alerts through ...
by autolycus
Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax breach settlement update?
Replies: 49
Views: 4714

Re: Equifax breach settlement update?

I wonder if they will accept the free creditkarma monitoring I've had for years and still have. Don't know. I would try it and see what happens. I do not know, BUT I really doubt they will go to the trouble and expense of verifying all such certifications. It is clear, though, that they want to "se...
by autolycus
Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance out of the ARM? Are the fees worth it?
Replies: 11
Views: 895

Re: Refinance out of the ARM? Are the fees worth it?

Option 2: Relock now at 3.25. Payment would likely go down since the mortgage gets recast to current balance so more of the 4K we pay will go towards principal, but rate is higher. If you're paying a constant $4,000 each month, the amount that goes toward principal is only affected by the interest ...
by autolycus
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?
Replies: 51
Views: 4426

Re: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?

Or, if the airline pays for a petty item maybe the mechanic gets fired for slowing the plane down so the next guy overlooks the issue for fear of his job. It’s safety. Don’t be ridiculous. I honestly think you're the one being ridiculous with your leap. An airline has committed to carry passengers ...
by autolycus
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?
Replies: 51
Views: 4426

Re: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?

By making, I meant revenue. Even factoring in costs, I would think the airline did quite well on the flight. I'm guessing you flew Norwegian. Their biggest aircraft type has about 350 seats. Assuming an average of $500/passenger (your $1000+ ticket was presumably roundtrip), that's less than $200K ...
by autolycus
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?
Replies: 51
Views: 4426

Re: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?

Somewhat similar situation happened to me about 10 years ago. I was flying Southwest and the plane got rerouted due to a snowstorm. We had to spend the night in the airport. I wasn't expecting any refund since it was weather related (didn't even ask), but after a couple days they sent one. I've alw...
by autolycus
Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight, durable, laptop bag
Replies: 29
Views: 1864

Re: Lightweight, durable, laptop bag

I will always recommend Tom Bihn bags for anyone looking for well-made, durable bags. They have a couple designs that might meet your needs. On a slow mobile connection or I would link the specific bags, but www.tombihn.com is easy enough to browse through. Second the rec for Tom Bihn - I have one ...
by autolycus
Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight, durable, laptop bag
Replies: 29
Views: 1864

Re: Lightweight, durable, laptop bag

I will always recommend Tom Bihn bags for anyone looking for well-made, durable bags. They have a couple designs that might meet your needs. On a slow mobile connection or I would link the specific bags, but www.tombihn.com is easy enough to browse through.
by autolycus
Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can I transfer from one 401(k) provider to another at same workplace?
Replies: 8
Views: 918

Re: Can I transfer from one 401(k) provider to another at same workplace?

Not sure if 401k is the same, but my organization is transitioning from one 403(b) provider to another, and we have a choice if all, some, or none of our assets get transfer to the new provider. We were told that the employer cannot legally tell employees they have to transfer everything. 403b plan...
by autolycus
Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k fee disclosure question
Replies: 6
Views: 804

Re: 401k fee disclosure question

I asked my wife’s 401k plan to disclose fee information and this is a part of the response I received. "Any fee questions you have can be handled through your HR department. They will be able to give you the detail about different types of fees charged and the amounts or percentages they charge." B...
by autolycus
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does saving 20% towards retirement starting in your twenties allow you to retire early?
Replies: 144
Views: 16256

Re: Does saving 20% towards retirement starting in your twenties allow you to retire early?

How do you live above your means your entire life? I mean, people do it for a chunk of time, then have to pay the piper and get themselves out of debt. Living below your means does not mean not enjoying life, it just means not spending all your money. Someone making 100K and saving half of it is th...
by autolycus
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to obtain contracted rates for medical procedures?
Replies: 97
Views: 4813

Re: How to obtain contracted rates for medical procedures?

It's not that they charge different prices, it's that they have different negotiated reimbursement rates with the insurance company. Since in the HDHP you pay the costs up front until you hit the hospital, you will be the one paying the negotiated rate. So, for example, you are saying that if you h...
by autolycus
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to obtain contracted rates for medical procedures?
Replies: 97
Views: 4813

Re: How to obtain contracted rates for medical procedures?

It's not that they charge different prices, it's that they have different negotiated reimbursement rates with the insurance company. Since in the HDHP you pay the costs up front until you hit the hospital, you will be the one paying the negotiated rate. So, for example, you are saying that if you h...
by autolycus
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sandals with arch support
Replies: 30
Views: 3493

Re: Sandals with arch support

Have you tried Keen or Chaco?
by autolycus
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FIRE question
Replies: 12
Views: 2108

Re: FIRE question

Another option HC Sharing ministries (not insurance!) ~$400 / month. I have many friends and relatives on this for yrs... Cancer, Brain surgery, ICU... has all been covered (eventually). Highlighted a very important part of this. Also, lots of entities are popping up that are trying to look like a ...
by autolycus
Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does saving 20% towards retirement starting in your twenties allow you to retire early?
Replies: 144
Views: 16256

Re: Does saving 20% towards retirement starting in your twenties allow you to retire early?

MMM also assumes that people won't be slaves to the 4% number. In other words, they will have the flexibility to spend/withdrawal less if things take a turn for the worse. Or possibly find a job. That makes a huge difference in outcomes, but is a lot harder to model with simple calculations. Right,...
by autolycus
Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Improving the TSP [for current participants]
Replies: 420
Views: 66483

Re: Improving the TSP [for current participants]

Unfortunately, spousal consent does still seem to be a statutory issue for the TSP. See https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/8435

However, I do think there might be some wiggle room for a single waiver of the spousal annuity covering all future withdrawals.
by autolycus
Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shopping for Mortgage - Question re ARMs
Replies: 16
Views: 1457

Re: Shopping for Mortgage - Question re ARMs

I would do the 5/1 ARM. 3 years goes by very fast. We have a 5/1 ARM now. Got it in 2011, re-locked our rate at 4.5 years in for another 5 years at same rate and will likely re-lock again when the time comes. Interest rates will likely be higher but probably not that much higher (I hope). Even thou...
by autolycus
Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Spousal Consent Required for 401(k) Plan Withdrawals or Rollovers?
Replies: 30
Views: 2740

Re: Spousal Consent Required for 401(k) Plan Withdrawals or Rollovers?

MichDad wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:51 pm
Autolycus,

This is very helpful. Thank you!

MichDad
I'm sure it's not nearly as helpful as your TSP updates!
by autolycus
Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Spousal Consent Required for 401(k) Plan Withdrawals or Rollovers?
Replies: 30
Views: 2740

Re: Spousal Consent Required for 401(k) Plan Withdrawals or Rollovers?

ERISA/revenue code requires any plan that has an annuity as the default benefit form must provide a joint and survivor annuity as the default for any married participants. That's any DB (defined benefit) plan as well as some types of DC (defined contributions) plans--money purchase pensions and "ann...
by autolycus
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do 401k's limit investment options?
Replies: 30
Views: 2416

Re: Why do 401k's limit investment options?

Do you know, offhand, if this applies to SIMPLE IRAs? My wife has such a plan with American Funds, and I don't recall VG funds being offered. Hence why we make monthly transfers from that plan to a VG frozen SIMPLE IRA account. There are sort of two components to this question for SIMPLE IRA's. Fir...
by autolycus
Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightest weight backpack for laptop?
Replies: 37
Views: 2714

Re: Lightest weight backpack for laptop?

I can see that. A narrow strap is less comfortable. The width of the strap distributes the weight. I see most people with backpacks just using one strap. The other dangles. Free the dangling strap to roam in the wild! :wink: Well that's just dumb! When I was a kid it was "cool" to wear a backpack l...
by autolycus
Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightest weight backpack for laptop?
Replies: 37
Views: 2714

Re: Lightest weight backpack for laptop?

A sling has 1 strap. 50% less straps compared to a backpack. You can carry it on one shoulder or put it over your head in sling mode. Just 1 strap but it's a much bigger strap than most backpacks. That's probably a push between the two designs. A sling is no better than any other style of shoulder ...
by autolycus
Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightest weight backpack for laptop?
Replies: 37
Views: 2714

Re: Lightest weight backpack for laptop?

I can add a x3 for the Tom Bihn bags. My daily carry bag is a Synapse 19. It's not ultra-light at 1lb 9oz. but it is by far the best designed backpack for day to day use I've every bought, and it will easily last a decade if not more. Most packs end up with all sorts of awkward pockets that are har...
by autolycus
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightest weight backpack for laptop?
Replies: 37
Views: 2714

Re: Lightest weight backpack for laptop?

Probably want to add some padding to this one: https://www.tombihn.com/collections/backpacks/products/daylight-backpack?variant=7080229830719 If it’s a 13” or smaller laptop, this may also work and has a padded pouch already: https://www.tombihn.com/collections/backpacks/products/luminary-15?variant...
by autolycus
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A 401k only partially vested
Replies: 10
Views: 1204

Re: A 401k only partially vested

There is typically is a 5 break in service requirement. This means your unvested employer contributions will remain accountable to the plan for 5 years. Indeed, the revenue code requires qualified plans to credit all service for vesting purposes as long as the participant never has more than 5 cons...
by autolycus
Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Check my reasoning: prepaying mortgage makes *more* sense if you don't plan to stay long
Replies: 8
Views: 1070

Re: Check my reasoning: prepaying mortgage makes *more* sense if you don't plan to stay long

The conventional wisdom is that it doesn't make sense to pay extra on your mortgage unless you plan to stay a long time. But isn't it actually the opposite? Paying extra on your mortgage is like buying a bond with duration equal to the time you will have the loan. If you plan to move soon, prepayin...
by autolycus
Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lodging and restaurants in Boone, NC.
Replies: 21
Views: 1687

Re: Lodging and restaurants in Boone, NC.

Those not from the south may want to try the Daniel Boone Inn for one meal. There the food is served Family style. You sit at a big table with others and pass the bowl. Truly a learning experience. Well, yes, it's family style service, but my wife and I have eaten there at least a dozen times and h...
by autolycus
Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it Wise to Remove Escrow if Bank Allows it?
Replies: 87
Views: 6442

Re: Is it Wise to Remove Escrow if Bank Allows it?

two bi-annual property tax bills Pet peeve of mine... Unless you're paying property taxes once every 2 years, you should be saying semi-annual. I know that common usage in American English has created a second meaning for "bi-annual", "bi-monthly", etc., but it is really an incorrect usage that cau...
by autolycus
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Extra Payments on Monthly Mortgage Considerations
Replies: 37
Views: 3722

Re: Extra Payments on Monthly Mortgage Considerations

One thing this thread, and a couple others recently, have taught me is that grabiner paid better attention during middle school and high school math classes than a lot of other people. The properties of multiplication (specifically associative and distributive properties) show that grabiner is right...
by autolycus
Thu May 30, 2019 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help understanding health insurance for a 4 month gap
Replies: 6
Views: 778

Re: Help understanding health insurance for a 4 month gap

I'm eliminating the indemnity policy as it's not an ACA policy and doesn't count as "full" health insurance. 4 months of COBRA would cost $2400, but that's only $1200 more than buying a catastrophic policy on the ACA marketplace. Good decision, IMO. Indemnity policies generally aren't worth much, i...
by autolycus
Wed May 29, 2019 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New babies, NICU stay, post-partum complications & Insurance
Replies: 24
Views: 2382

Re: New babies, NICU stay, post-partum complications & Insurance

I work for a very large financial services company and am on the company's employer sponsored plan. My wife is a teacher at a public school. Perfect. Then I think you're taking the right steps to make sure you know what services are covered through your employer's plan. If you don't currently have ...
by autolycus
Wed May 29, 2019 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New babies, NICU stay, post-partum complications & Insurance
Replies: 24
Views: 2382

Re: New babies, NICU stay, post-partum complications & Insurance

EDIT: Looks like I needed to hit refresh before posting. I think your AM update answers these. Continue to follow-up with your employer's plan to make sure they have everything they need. Pay attention to the special enrollment rights for when your wife loses eligibility on her plan. It might help a...
by autolycus
Thu May 23, 2019 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage almost paid off
Replies: 31
Views: 3642

Re: Mortgage almost paid off

I would just go with the payoff procedure to be sure, but I would not expect the mortgage holder and/or your bank to withdraw more monies then needed. Also make sure you contact you municipality tax office after you have paid it off and ask what paper work is required; may sure that taxes are send ...
by autolycus
Tue May 21, 2019 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP modernization implementation date: 9/15/2019
Replies: 24
Views: 2970

Re: TSP modernization implementation date: 9/15/2019

Talking to a TSP representative, she said they will charge you a fee when you make a withdrawl. Currently, they charge you a flat $50 every time you get a TSP loan. They will do something similar for withdrawls. Again, this is unacceptable to me. I am not aware of anything in any of the board meeti...
by autolycus
Tue May 21, 2019 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Good fund to accumulate for mortgage payoff
Replies: 37
Views: 4346

Re: Good fund to accumulate for mortgage payoff

If you're concerned about liquidity because of risk to an income stream that would put you in danger of not being able to pay ongoing bills, including the mortgage, there is another option to consider: Pay the extra principal and then recast your mortgage either routinely (once a year, perhaps) or a...
by autolycus
Tue May 21, 2019 7:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401(K) presentation - are actively managed funds appropriate?
Replies: 19
Views: 1568

Re: 401(K) presentation - are actively managed funds appropriate?

I think the most reasonable approach would be to offer a mix of index funds and low cost active funds across all of the major asset classes. There could really be no questions as to suitability from anyone under that approach. Be very careful using that word in the context of ERISA-covered plans. W...
by autolycus
Sun May 19, 2019 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 4%rule
Replies: 18
Views: 2439

Re: 4%rule

willthrill has stated it pretty well. The practical side of this discussion is that if you’re using the 4% “rule” as a guideline for planning, you would first figure your total expenses in retirement, subtract expected fixed income from sources like SS and pensions, and then need your investments to...
by autolycus
Sun May 19, 2019 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions about Cobra
Replies: 5
Views: 578

Re: Questions about Cobra

I concur with the others. If you voluntarily drop COBRA before required, you will not trigger a special enrollment event and would have to wait until open enrollment.
by autolycus
Thu May 09, 2019 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reversion to the Mean Is Dead?
Replies: 63
Views: 7684

Re: Reversion to the Mean Is Dead?

Isn't the response to this type of column the same as the response to all discussions about investing, industry, etc., "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"? :wink:
by autolycus
Thu May 09, 2019 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mega-Backdoor Roth strategy wrong everywhere?
Replies: 17
Views: 2397

Re: Mega-Backdoor Roth strategy wrong everywhere?

I'm amazed at the number of people who are convinced they'll be in a higher tax bracket when withdrawing from there retirement accounts. If it's anything less than the bracket my current income puts me in, i'm better off getting the tax break now, and paying taxes on traditional IRA/401k withdrawal...
by autolycus
Thu May 09, 2019 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Surge Protection
Replies: 22
Views: 2489

Re: Whole House Surge Protection

Our power company offers whole house surge protection. They lease it to us. $5 a month. They install it for free. It's an addon to the electrical meter. They pop off the electrical meter, plug this surge protection unit in it's place, and plug the meter back on top of it. Then they handed me a big ...
by autolycus
Tue May 07, 2019 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Intersection of Medicare Part A and COBRA
Replies: 2
Views: 238

Re: Intersection of Medicare Part A and COBRA

I would definitely speak with CMS to see why they backdated the Part A enrollment. There may be a legal reason that it had to be backdated. Make sure you understand that side of the equation as well as you can. You can do some research ahead of that call/appointment here: https://www.medicare.gov/si...