Search found 260 matches

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: 772

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: 4058

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: 4058

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: 4058

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: 1365

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: 1365

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: 759

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: 490

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: 14134

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: 3952

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: 3952

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: 2612

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: 1821

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: 14134

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: 314
Views: 51719

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: 1254

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: 24
Views: 2129

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: 24
Views: 2129

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: 2283

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: 35
Views: 2003

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: 35
Views: 2003

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: 35
Views: 2003

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: 35
Views: 2003

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: 1099

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: 1036

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: 1479

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: 5935

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: 3615

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: 743

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: 2290

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: 2290

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: 3450

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: 2787

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: 4044

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: 1488

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: 2366

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: 554

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: 7195

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: 2191

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: 2316

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: 217

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...
by autolycus
Thu May 02, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Free/Zero Funds
Replies: 43
Views: 4470

Re: Vanguard Free/Zero Funds

The original industry disruptor (Vanguard) is now being disrupted, especially as it relates to attracting the younger generation. They will need to do what it takes to adapt and offer value to consumers, whether it means matching the competition's race to the bottom (easy way out) or new creative s...
by autolycus
Thu May 02, 2019 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: save on interest by paying down mortgage principal
Replies: 70
Views: 6732

Re: save on interest by paying down mortgage principal

No, I understand that. I could save more now, but then need more in the future. Wait, are you saying you'll need more in the future because you'll need $600k + mortgage balance or because you'll need >$600k to have the same amount net taxes when you withdraw from the retirement plan/account? If the...
by autolycus
Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Noise-canceling headphones.
Replies: 19
Views: 1776

Re: Noise-canceling headphones.

I will give my usual pitch for in-ear monitors rather than active noise-cancelling headphones. When you find a pair and tips that work for your ear, they seal into your ear like earplugs. It blocks out ALL noise, not just certain frequencies or just constant background noises like the active headpho...
by autolycus
Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Folding bikes: Go Brompton or cheaper?
Replies: 27
Views: 2064

Re: Folding bikes: Go Brompton or cheaper?

I don't have a folding bike, so I don't really have an answer. I have researched folding bikes and nearly bought one. Big thing though: I would recommend that you avoid Tern bikes. They have a history of cracks in the frame and have had multiple recalls over the years.
by autolycus
Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pension Govt vs a High match job with higher pay.
Replies: 16
Views: 1865

Re: Pension Govt vs a High match job with higher pay.

Does your current job pay into SS? Would your new one? If one does and the other does not, you may run afoul of WEP and GPO down the road. If you get 30 years under SS then there should be no reductions. My current job has no social security. The new one would. Then you'll have to add that to the c...
by autolycus
Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: River cruise, Avignon to Lyon, France
Replies: 36
Views: 2447

Re: River cruise, Avignon to Lyon, France

FWIW, we dropped our car off at the Avignon train station after taking all of our luggage to the boat. It’s on the edge of town, so we had planned to take a cab back to the boat. Once we found the specific rental company’s office, the drop off was very easy and quick. Unfortunately we were there rig...
by autolycus
Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: River cruise, Avignon to Lyon, France
Replies: 36
Views: 2447

Re: River cruise, Avignon to Lyon, France

If you’re starting in Avignon, consider flying into Marseilles, renting a car, spending a night or two in Aix-en-Provence and then drive yourself to Avignon. That’s what we did and it was very easy. Aix-en-Provence was really nice and IIRC less than an hour drive from the Marseilles airport.
by autolycus
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare B only vs FEHB only
Replies: 47
Views: 1785

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

I see now. The biggest benefit is that I could retire at 62 instead of 65 without worrying about how to keep health insurance. That’s right. Don’t assume that just because you don’t need Part D now that you won’t in the future. Plus, you do want some kind of supplement to Medicare once you hit age ...
by autolycus
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: SIMPLE IRA contribution is missing
Replies: 10
Views: 828

Re: SIMPLE IRA contribution is missing

I would definitely keep on top of the monthly deposits to make sure this really was a one-time thing. Stuff happens, and this is probably just stuff, but I’ve seen some really random bs excuses for late deposits. When it’s bs, “stuff” will happen again. Why don’t they consider shifting to ACH for th...