Search found 181 matches

by ikowik
Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have FEHB. Do I need Medicare Part B? The New Answer is Yes!
Replies: 24
Views: 2153

Re: I have FEHB. Do I need Medicare Part B? The New Answer is Yes!

Just a general observation
United Health is notorious among healthcare providers for being "difficult", meaning lots of paper work, hoops to jump through and general obstructiveness.
by ikowik
Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Vietnam, Thailand, or India
Replies: 88
Views: 7694

Re: Travel to Vietnam, Thailand, or India

Haven’t been to India but I’ve been to the other two and enjoyed them both. I think the north part of Thailand has a lot of what you’re looking for. One data point to share: I lived overseas in Asia for a number of years and traveled all over the continent. In all my travels, people of every countr...
by ikowik
Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Advantage - What's the Deal?
Replies: 140
Views: 10104

Re: Medicare Advantage - What's the Deal?

You want to sign up for Medicare when you turn 65, even if you are still working and covered by your employer's health insurance . This was my mistake. I thought I didn't need to sign up while I was still working. Luckily I signed up just in the nick of time and will not be penalized. Surprised to ...
by ikowik
Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Advantage - What's the Deal?
Replies: 140
Views: 10104

Re: Medicare Advantage - What's the Deal?

You want to sign up for Medicare when you turn 65, even if you are still working and covered by your employer's health insurance . This was my mistake. I thought I didn't need to sign up while I was still working. Luckily I signed up just in the nick of time and will not be penalized. Surprised to ...
by ikowik
Thu Mar 25, 2021 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have a gas log insert in your fireplace?
Replies: 21
Views: 1534

Re: Do you have a gas log insert in your fireplace?

We live in the Northeast with long cold winters. The house is centrally heated using two gas-burning furnaces. Five years ago, we replaced our wood-burning fireplace with a gas insert in the living room. Brand name Napoleon. Wife never tires of telling me that it is the best purchase we have made. V...
by ikowik
Sat Mar 20, 2021 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Romaine Lettuce & bagged salads - concerns
Replies: 45
Views: 4487

Re: Romaine Lettuce & bagged salads - concerns

Where can I buy Canadian lettuce?
by ikowik
Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New IRS 2FA app- IRS2Go
Replies: 0
Views: 247

New IRS 2FA app- IRS2Go

When I logged on to my IRS account, there is an extra method-option for 2-Factor Authentication that I had not seen before. I have been using SMS texts to my cell phone (with misgivings especially with recent news on insecurities of this method). The new option is an app called IRS2Go which can be d...
by ikowik
Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phones have been hacked
Replies: 18
Views: 2263

Re: Phones have been hacked

I think Yahoo is set up with a text code too. If I try to and it get's messed up, I would lose the only way of communication that I have right now. Can you/ have you tried logging on to your Yahoo account? If you can, and it is set up to receive 2FA codes, try changing passwords on all websites whi...
by ikowik
Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password manager
Replies: 94
Views: 8372

Re: Password manager

I've been in the security industry for a while and this is something I feel very passionate about. Thanks for chiming in. I appreciate it when professionals bring their expertise to the table. After using Bitwarden for a while, and being very pleased with it, I have a question. How does one handle ...
by ikowik
Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password manager
Replies: 94
Views: 8372

Re: Password manager

I use a Firefox add-on. Tried again this morning and I was actually able to see my password on the screen! About to switch on 2FA. I find it hard to understand what you are seeing. I also use the Firefox extension. When I type in the master password, it shows only dots, not letters or numbers. I re...
by ikowik
Sat Jan 23, 2021 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password manager
Replies: 94
Views: 8372

Re: Password manager

All, Getting there, but it's going to take time :-) I asked about 2FA because somewhere within my profile 1Password actually revealed my PW to me! Even hotmail or yahoo mail don't do that!! But then - the secret key is not asked for when I log in? So, how is it 2FA? Are you mistaking the secret key...
by ikowik
Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password manager
Replies: 94
Views: 8372

Re: Password manager

All, Getting there, but it's going to take time :-) I asked about 2FA because somewhere within my profile 1Password actually revealed my PW to me! Even hotmail or yahoo mail don't do that!! But then - the secret key is not asked for when I log in? So, how is it 2FA? Are you mistaking the secret key...
by ikowik
Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: life insurance for funding cryonics
Replies: 63
Views: 3245

Re: life insurance for funding cryonics

OP, I have no useful suggestion on your question, but thank you for opening up a fascinating area that is new to me. Wishing you the best
by ikowik
Thu Dec 10, 2020 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BIG downloads (MacOS), slow internet. How to handle?
Replies: 17
Views: 9561

Re: BIG downloads (MacOS), slow internet. How to handle?

First check to see if your hardware will support Big Sur. If you are running Sierra, it is likely the computer hardware is too old to support it. Apple's website lists system requirements. Even if the computer barely meets the requirements, it may be wise not to upgrade and make the system slower.
by ikowik
Fri Dec 04, 2020 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need An Online Phone Number
Replies: 36
Views: 2535

Re: Need An Online Phone Number

I wonder if using an authentication app like Authy, or a hardware token like Yubikey would eliminate the need for text-based 2FA (and hence the need for a US number) while abroad. Does anyone have any experience with this approach?
Of course this assumes the financial company allows these methods.
by ikowik
Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Easiest way to buy bit coin/cryptocurrency index fund
Replies: 185
Views: 15606

Re: Easiest way to buy bit coin/cryptocurrency index fund

Here is some interesting news. Never heard of S&P Dow Jones Indices, and no idea what will be in the index other than it might track 550 (!) cryptocurrencies.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin- ... es-in-2021
by ikowik
Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance Tracking Software
Replies: 35
Views: 3614

Re: Personal Finance Tracking Software

Can someone confirm that MoneyDance can't calculate asset allocation? From their website it seems like it cannot. That looks like a great product if it could do that. Yes it can, but that requires input from you when you initially set up a fund or ETF or share to track. The program has to be inform...
by ikowik
Wed Dec 02, 2020 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USPS Lost Paper Bank Statement - Should I Worry?
Replies: 21
Views: 1743

Re: USPS Lost Paper Bank Statement - Should I Worry?

If it was so easy to steal money with information from a statement, banks would have eliminated paper checks long ago. Don’t sweat the lost statement. It is really easy to do an ACH to a checking account. It is traceable to another bank, but easy and requires no pre-approval. Many commercial transa...
by ikowik
Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can I max out $19.5K pretax to both a 403b and TSP at the same time?
Replies: 12
Views: 1287

Re: Can I max out $19.5K pretax to both a 403b and TSP at the same time?

This isn't an answer to your specific question, but tangentially related. Where there are 403(b) plans, usually there are also 457(b) plans. If you have access to such a 457(b) plan, and you have the ability to do so, you can defer an additional $19.5k (and catchup contributions, depending on your ...
by ikowik
Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Banking-2FA, etc.
Replies: 6
Views: 528

Re: Online Banking-2FA, etc.

Does anyone know if I set up security via a phone app, will that carry through if I logon with a computer? (ie; 2FA code will be sent to the phone, which I can enter via the desktop? Thanks for the link to the 2FA site. That is a great resource! I think you are referring to 2FA by text messages. If...
by ikowik
Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Banking-2FA, etc.
Replies: 6
Views: 528

Re: Online Banking-2FA, etc.

Check out https://twofactorauth.org/ It lists what financial institutions support various 2-Factor authentication methods. Only a few support the more secure methods of hardware token or authentication apps. A text message is less secure, but better than no 2FA. I use 2 banks; one does not use any 2...
by ikowik
Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP: G and F fund
Replies: 30
Views: 4279

Re: TSP: G and F fund

Check out these two post from Bogota1972 and renegade06. It's a thoughtful analysis of the and G and F Fund. This is my position as well... https://www.arthursteinfinancial.com/bl ... most-sense. Go to link then go to blogs. https://www.fedsmith.com/2019/11/12/f-f ... field-tsp/ That is funny! Do y...
by ikowik
Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TreasuryDirect scammed me? :-)
Replies: 25
Views: 3148

Re: TreasuryDirect scammed me? :-)

1. VBTLX does not hold TIPS. 2. You are not being scammed. 3. If you buy a CD on the secondary market at a price that is above par, you will only get back par at maturity. All you've done is to buy up the interest rate you are getting . I think this can have tax consequences with respect to what in...
by ikowik
Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TreasuryDirect scammed me? :-)
Replies: 25
Views: 3148

Re: TreasuryDirect scammed me? :-)

I clearly didn't know what I was doing, so bought $500 worth of TIPS on TreasuryDirect. Here are the details: Security Type: 10-Year TIPS Par Amount: $500.00 Inflation-Adjusted Value: Not available Price per $100: 111.032606 Investment/Interest Rate: 0.125% 10 year - maturing in 2030. Issue Date: 0...
by ikowik
Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP - Fund Yields?
Replies: 6
Views: 441

Re: TSP - Fund Yields?

Not sure if I am answering your question..


Try https://www.tsp.gov/fund-performance
Select the funds you want to see the returns for.

Or on the page you listed in your post, other funds can be selected on the left side column. Each fund has its own page here.
by ikowik
Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS/LMP Concerns
Replies: 41
Views: 1828

Re: TIPS/LMP Concerns

Thank you dbr, jeffyscott and FIREchief. Very helpful. My hesitation was due to looking at the negative yield on TIPS without considering the break-even inflation rate compared to Treasury bonds. It is a mental mistake and deep-rooted dislike for the concept of paying someone to hold my money.
by ikowik
Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS/LMP Concerns
Replies: 41
Views: 1828

Re: TIPS/LMP Concerns

I'm not sure what the "other potential TIPS negatives" are. I can't think of any. To your questions: Deflation: if a person buys individual TIPS at auction, there is no concern with deflation if held to maturity. The original principle will be received even if there has been five, ten or ...
by ikowik
Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8947

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

Someone switched your wipers with their wipers, but messed up the installation on your car in their haste. It was the old switcharoo gone wrong. There is an old poem about that which many may not be familiar with: An Ode to my Windshield Wipers: One day I turned my wipers on And noticed something h...
by ikowik
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash Covered Puts instead of High Yield Savings for Cash
Replies: 79
Views: 6112

Re: Cash Covered Puts instead of High Yield Savings for Cash

Interesting thread. I have also thought about this strategy, but am cautious by nature. There have been other threads with similar ideas, the OPs rarely come back to report how it went. I suspect many do not carry out their plan. It is fine to say one would be happy to buy VTI at 140 when others are...
by ikowik
Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moderna
Replies: 45
Views: 5196

Re: MODERNA

More than half had adverse reactions...... https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/experimental-covid-19-vaccine-safe-generates-immune-response That is selective picking of parts of the report. The exact words which addressed adverse reactions in the report reads "Regarding safety, no se...
by ikowik
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moderna
Replies: 45
Views: 5196

Re: MODERNA

More than half had adverse reactions...... https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/experimental-covid-19-vaccine-safe-generates-immune-response That is selective picking of parts of the report. The exact words which addressed adverse reactions in the report reads "Regarding safety, no se...
by ikowik
Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Jackson National-Fixed Annuity
Replies: 9
Views: 762

Re: Jackson National-Fixed Annuity

Hello, I'm helping someone look into a Jackson National Fixed Annuity. They have been told it is a guaranteed 5% a year. However, the few threads I saw all seemed like horror stories with a lot of fees. The information on Jackson's website is limited and doesn't have much mention of fees. Anyone ha...
by ikowik
Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Vanguard partners with Infosys for Defined Contribution recordkeeping]
Replies: 265
Views: 17420

Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Although they obviously don't advertise it, Fidelity is also a client of Infosys. Major companies will not pay more to retain employees out of some sense of loyalty. Those days are long gone. If it can be outsourced, it will. And if the outsourcing backfires, the jobs come back. Either way, it's al...
by ikowik
Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sudden loss in battery life: iPhone 7
Replies: 30
Views: 1824

Re: Sudden loss in battery life: iPhone 7

This does not help with your current problem, but to lessen the pain as an iPhone 7 owner you can claim $25 from Apple

https://www.macworld.com/article/356614 ... et-it.html
by ikowik
Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Rightful owners" of stocks and the pandemic
Replies: 22
Views: 2187

"Rightful owners" of stocks and the pandemic

Interesting, thought provoking writing from William Bernstein (as usual).

http://www.efficientfrontier.com/ef/0adhoc/Rightful.htm

I wonder what others think about his view that "unimpaired capital" means treasuries. He does not mention any other.
by ikowik
Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard statements missing
Replies: 16
Views: 873

Re: Vanguard statements missing

Perhaps different for mutual fund vs. brokerage accounts? I actually topped retaining the statements any longer as I feel they are worthless. Everything is tracked and reported to the IRS. I'm working on a refinance and need them. Otherwise, I'm with you. I learned that: -My Roth IRA and taxable br...
by ikowik
Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Amazon ever called you to verify a purchase?
Replies: 28
Views: 2413

Re: Has Amazon ever called you to verify a purchase?

I wonder if my Amazon account is not safe. Do others see this ==>> If I am on my computer that I use to order Amazon - If I go on Google & click Amazon.com - up comes Amazon & a cheerful "Hello Miriam2!" I click on Accounts & Lists - up comes Your Account - I can click on Orde...
by ikowik
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Amazon ever called you to verify a purchase?
Replies: 28
Views: 2413

Re: Has Amazon ever called you to verify a purchase?

No, never a call from Amazon. I am a regular, though not heavy, user.
by ikowik
Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are all Structured Notes Bad?
Replies: 30
Views: 1897

Re: Are all Structured Notes Bad?

Fascinating thread. Nigerian scam artists have nothing on structured notes. Bordering on unethical, criminal; the buyer plays a big role by being "sophisticated" enough to think he/ she understands these things better than the seller. See: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-06...
by ikowik
Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Market-Linked CD’s – Your opinions?
Replies: 15
Views: 788

Re: Market-Linked CD’s – Your opinions?

Two word opinion - Run away! Any particular reason? I MAY get a better rate than a traditional bank CD. At worst, I get my principal back because of FDIC coverage. I don't plan on redeeming it before maturity - so no penalty. These are extremely complex products (think structured = structured to be...
by ikowik
Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tea supplier comparison
Replies: 74
Views: 6232

Re: Tea supplier comparison

Loose leaf tea advice needed I drink a lot of tea and usually use tea bags. However, it seems that the BH tea connoisseurs tend to prefer loose leaf. I've tried it a few times and it seems messier and takes a bit longer to make, but I'm trying to learn more about how to make a better cup. I tend to...
by ikowik
Thu May 28, 2020 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to grow food indoors
Replies: 16
Views: 1825

Re: How to grow food indoors

After giving up on this hobby several years ago, this pandemic has been an opportunity to start again. I use two shop light fixtures with grow light tubes; two of these fixtures are attached to a frame. This can be rigged up with some effort, or bought from some garden centers. Think I paid $70 or s...
by ikowik
Sat May 23, 2020 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CIT and Rollover
Replies: 5
Views: 322

Re: CIT and Rollover

Thanks to retired@50, anon_investor, JoMoney and Horton. That makes sense.
by ikowik
Sat May 23, 2020 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CIT and Rollover
Replies: 5
Views: 322

CIT and Rollover

I have a rather sparse selection of investment options that are low-cost in my Deferred Compensation (457b) plan. This is a governmental 457b. Recently they changed the few index mutual funds they had to Collective Investment Trusts (CIT) which track the same stock and bond indexes. I have been hesi...
by ikowik
Mon May 11, 2020 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password vault or generator?
Replies: 110
Views: 7523

Re: Password vault or generator?

My vote is for KeePassX. It's not only free and open source but also available for Linux, MacOS, and Windows. Thus, I'm covered not only in my preferred platform (Linux) but other platforms as well. KeePassX is not actively developed anymore. KeePassXC is, and is also open source and available for ...
by ikowik
Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Brighthouse Shield Annuity Pitched to Parents - check my work?
Replies: 23
Views: 1837

Re: Brighthouse Shield Annuity Pitched to Parents - check my work?

bberris, thanks. I do not own one of these products nor do I ever intend to. But I see it as a chess game. Even though I know it is deceptive or plain lying, it is a challenge to spot how it is hidden. The basic themes are usually there, but they come up with myriad ways to obfuscate. Considering it...
by ikowik
Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Brighthouse Shield Annuity Pitched to Parents - check my work?
Replies: 23
Views: 1837

Re: Brighthouse Shield Annuity Pitched to Parents - check my work?

It is very easy to duplicate these popular products yourself at no cost. One of the insurance companies that sell these things is public and discloses the method. (Bonds + equity index options). Yet I have never heard of someone actually doing it. These are obviously intended for unsophisticated ma...
by ikowik
Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: All the upside of the S&P with 10% downside protection "Free"?
Replies: 116
Views: 8455

Re: All the upside of the S&P with 10% downside protection "Free"?

This is an excellent thread, very educational. I have not bought one of these, but was curious about how these companies and salespeople could confuse people so much and sell these lousy products. Neurosphere, good to see you are active and posting. The COVID situation in NYC appears to have turned ...
by ikowik
Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP: G and F fund
Replies: 30
Views: 4279

Re: TSP: G and F fund

striker79 wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:58 pm G fund is a cheat code for gauranteed 2% return, and you can jump in and out of it however you like. It cant go down...
The 2% return is not guaranteed. It can go below.
See https://www.tspfolio.com/tspgfundinterestrate
by ikowik
Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inflation/I Bonds
Replies: 7
Views: 730

Re: Inflation/I Bonds

OP, another thread on this forum which discusses market expectation of inflation in coming years, started by SimpleGift, might be of interest

viewtopic.php?p=5174004#p5174004