Search found 106 matches

by rterickson
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPO vs HDHP + HSA
Replies: 25
Views: 1464

Re: PPO vs HDHP + HSA

The $7000 HSA contribution limit must take into account the $1400 employer match so your contributions can only be $5600.
by rterickson
Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving house to kids with a surviving spouse
Replies: 16
Views: 1837

Re: Leaving house to kids with a surviving spouse

Read 'Beyond the Grave' by Jeff Condon.

He talks about all of the things that can and do go wrong in leaving property to heirs, and how properly devised trusts can help. You'll see your situation in several of his examples (second marriages, multiple 1st families, kids who can't handle money).
by rterickson
Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good flip flops
Replies: 46
Views: 3453

Re: Good flip flops

recently picked up a pair of Puma 'slides' at Costco (on sale, natch!). Much better than flip flops for this guy who pronates. Also, enables me to walk around with no pain as broken toe heals. Great cushioning. Of course, not really flip flops, but for ~$15, you might check them out. +1 Bought thes...
by rterickson
Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SS survivor benefits - only 30 days out of the country?
Replies: 6
Views: 1015

Re: SS survivor benefits - only 30 days out of the country?

There are many countries which do not have social security treaties with the US.

If you stay in one of those countries more than 30 days, SSA may withhold your benefits until you return. There are additional conditions which apply to survivors.

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10137.pdf
by rterickson
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?
Replies: 55
Views: 6446

Re: Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?

No problems on my Roku Ultra either.
by rterickson
Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Landlord Nightmare
Replies: 90
Views: 9630

Re: Landlord Nightmare

Can't you delete FB posts from your own page? I know you can with a personal account.
by rterickson
Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth seeing comedian live if already saw their Netflix special?
Replies: 20
Views: 1877

Re: Worth seeing comedian live if already saw their Netflix special?

I've been a fan of Bob Newhart since I was a little kid (in the 60's). Many of his jokes/routines are older than me.

I'm really glad that I got to see him live twice in the past 10 years. He won't be doing this forever.
by rterickson
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which diet soda pop do you enjoy?
Replies: 110
Views: 4911

Re: Which diet soda pop do you enjoy?

Just heard on the news recently that Canada Dry are being sued because their ginger ale doesn't have any ginger in it.

I miss Tab.
by rterickson
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Become Portugal tax resident ... pay no tax on US pension income for 10 years?
Replies: 25
Views: 8410

Re: Become Portugal tax resident ... pay no tax on US pension income for 10 years?

I would suggest consulting both a tax attorney and an immigration attorney before embarking on this scheme. You might end up still owing US taxes and not be able to visit again, much less re-establish citizenship. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/travel-legal-considerations/us-citize...
by rterickson
Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)
Replies: 67
Views: 4481

Re: Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)

In some of the places I've lived in California, these seems to be a way for developers to build a number of nicer homes in less-nice areas. I'm sure that can be profitable, especially in the initial sales. My ex-DW (DXW, XDW?) lived in one for a while. The homes were beautiful and the neighborhood w...
by rterickson
Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension and Social Security Eligibility
Replies: 1
Views: 368

Re: Pension and Social Security Eligibility

1) The GPO will reduce her potential benefit (based on your record) by 2/3 of her non-SS pension amount. Depending on your definition of 'decent', she may well be entitled to nothing.

2) If you paid Social Security taxes for at least 30 years, WEP does not apply to you.
by rterickson
Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Heresy: is using a SP500 index still a valid strategy ?
Replies: 28
Views: 4731

Re: Heresy: is using a SP500 index still a valid strategy ?

verbose wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:24 pm
I use the 500 index in my 401k because it’s the only low-cost US equity index offered.
+1
by rterickson
Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?
Replies: 55
Views: 6446

Re: Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?

htdrag11 wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:39 pm
DW is watching less TV now, so she is willing to compromise.

Besides $40 for new subscribers, are there any surcharges or taxes? In other word, what is the total monthly payment? TIA.
I signed up with PayPal and pay exactly $40 per month.
by rterickson
Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance
Replies: 20
Views: 1790

Re: Health Insurance

It really depends on her employer's policy. Some employers require all employees to take the company health plan with no exceptions. Others allow you to refuse their insurance if you can document coverage by another plan (ACA requirement). Some will even pay you a few bucks because they save in prem...
by rterickson
Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: health insurance double coverage - what do I need to know
Replies: 3
Views: 617

Re: health insurance double coverage - what do I need to know

Keep in mind that you cannot use your family HSA to pay medical expenses for your dependent child, he would need his own. The IRS doesn't care who contributes to it, but it has to be a separate account.
by rterickson
Tue May 08, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k Stable Value Fund Rates?
Replies: 35
Views: 3009

Re: 401k Stable Value Fund Rates?

Hartford General Account (MassMutual) 4%
by rterickson
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Skype on Windows?
Replies: 25
Views: 1100

Re: Skype on Windows?

Use The Google to figure out how to remove Skype For Business from Windows 10.

Then download the Skype program (not the app).
by rterickson
Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to buy a safe "power bank" to replace my recalled AmazonBasics unit?
Replies: 63
Views: 5937

Re: How to buy a safe "power bank" to replace my recalled AmazonBasics unit?

Relatedly, has anyone gotten any followup? I submitted my claim and don't believe I've received any indication of what will happen next. I received a bunch of packaging material and a prepaid shipping label to mail the old battery back yesterday, but have heard nothing from Amazon about a replaceme...
by rterickson
Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lower Payroll Withholding - What are you doing with it?
Replies: 32
Views: 2950

Re: Lower Payroll Withholding - What are you doing with it?

I'm saving it to pay the state and local taxes (California) that I'm no longer able to deduct.
by rterickson
Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job offer. Supplemental retirement (tax deferred annuity plan). How valuable is it?
Replies: 1
Views: 304

Re: Job offer. Supplemental retirement (tax deferred annuity plan). How valuable is it?

You probably need to ask a couple of questions.

I once had a supplemental retirement plan with a govt employer that did not pay into social security. It required a 5% mandatory (plus 1% optional) contribution, fully matched by the employer. It was classified as a 401(a) plan.
by rterickson
Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphone or Similar Device Just for Pandora Music?
Replies: 4
Views: 503

Re: Smartphone or Similar Device Just for Pandora Music?

FWIW, Android phones run Pandora (and many other apps) just fine.
by rterickson
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Fund vs. Stable Value
Replies: 34
Views: 4152

Re: Bond Fund vs. Stable Value

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:14 pm
What is the net rate on the stable-value? I use 50/50 at Megacorp, because their fund is decent.
Mine (MassMutual/Hartford) is 4%.
by rterickson
Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Fund vs. Stable Value
Replies: 34
Views: 4152

Re: Bond Fund vs. Stable Value

I have a similar choice in my 457 plan (different funds though).

The 1-year and 10-year returns were slightly better for the bond fund, the stable value did better over 3-year and 5-year time frames.

I ended up putting half of my total allocation in each.
by rterickson
Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Poland, Estonia, Lithuania: is it worth it?
Replies: 37
Views: 3673

Re: Travel to Poland, Estonia, Lithuania: is it worth it?

Since last year, residents of 80 countries can visit Belarus for up to 5 days visa-free if you fly in and out of Minsk airport.

http://www.belarus.by/en/press-center/p ... 51199.html
by rterickson
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact of "name change" on financial accounts?
Replies: 13
Views: 992

Re: Impact of "name change" on financial accounts?

Back when my wife and I were dealing with USCIS, we found a lot of useful advice at visajourney.com
by rterickson
Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: spouse social security after divorce
Replies: 6
Views: 1014

Re: spouse social security after divorce

The GPO reduces the spousal/survivor benefit she might be entitled to (based on your social security earnings) by 2/3 of the amount of her government pension.

For many government retirees, this completely eliminates any spousal benefit.
by rterickson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driver without insurance - NJ
Replies: 15
Views: 1415

Re: Driver without insurance - NJ

Auto insurance is per vehicle, not per driver. So if she drives your car occasionally, she is covered (per your agent).

If she has her own car in the state where she lives, she needs to insure it there.
by rterickson
Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare choices unclear while still employed
Replies: 7
Views: 614

Re: Medicare choices unclear while still employed

Does your employer require you to enroll in Medicare at 65? Typically when you are still working and have employer-provided health coverage,you don't need to sign up for Medicare until you lose that coverage (i.e. retire).
by rterickson
Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please help me understand the SS - WEP (Windfall Elim. Provision)
Replies: 5
Views: 676

Re: Please help me understand the SS - WEP (Windfall Elim. Provision)

The WEP only applies if you have a pension from a job where you did not pay into social security. In that case it reduces, but does not fully eliminate, your social security benefit. For 2017, the maximum WEP is $442.50 for someone who contributed to social security for 20 years or less. If you cont...
by rterickson
Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Concert Decision and Advice
Replies: 41
Views: 2893

Re: Concert Decision and Advice

I live about 80 miles from Oakland, but inland, so the drive is ~90 minutes each way at that time of night. The Fox is a great place to see a show. Plenty of (paid) parking a short walk from the theatre. The venue seats 2800 - small enough that their aren't really any bad seats, and you'll be back a...
by rterickson
Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does this make sense (457B)
Replies: 5
Views: 528

Re: Does this make sense (457B)

My employer pays for unused vacation and 30% of unused sick leave. It's common for outgoing retirees here to use these payments to max out their 457(b) and HSA accounts before taking any (taxable) cash payments.

For age 50+, the 457(b) contribution limit for 2018 is $24,500.
by rterickson
Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House on the market less than a day. Did listing agent commit fraud?
Replies: 56
Views: 7869

Re: House on the market less than a day. Did listing agent commit fraud?

Our house (buyers) listed on a Thursday, we made an offer on Friday, and had it under contract on Monday.

The contractor who installed the 'for sale' sign showed up about a week later.
by rterickson
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do people still use AAA?
Replies: 293
Views: 25384

Re: Do people still use AAA?

As it says on my card, 35+ years.
by rterickson
Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggested reading for Norwegian coast trip
Replies: 18
Views: 1301

Re: Suggested reading for Norwegian coast trip

Anything (actually everything) by Jo Nesbø.
by rterickson
Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help:w holiday gift: Tv or cheap laptop to watch movies with these requirements
Replies: 14
Views: 933

Re: Help:w holiday gift: Tv or cheap laptop to watch movies with these requirements

A android tablet might be an option, and all of the video services you mention have free apps.
by rterickson
Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Benefits at 55
Replies: 7
Views: 1517

Re: Benefits at 55

At 55 you are eligible to contribute an additional $1000/year to an HSA.
by rterickson
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cellphone Battery
Replies: 14
Views: 1782

Re: Cellphone Battery

Personally I would And Have(for an S5) Purchase an Anker replacement battery https://www.amazon.com/Anker-2200mAh-Replacement-Battery-Samsung/dp/B00A44JSFK :happy Thank you for this. I have purchased supposedly-OEM Samsung batteries twice in the past from Amazon and Ebay, and neither worked properl...
by rterickson
Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone have an account with Charles Schwab?
Replies: 12
Views: 2313

Re: Does anyone have an account with Charles Schwab?

Schwab also has some good index funds with competitive ER's.
by rterickson
Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toilet Woes
Replies: 46
Views: 6348

Re: Toilet Woes

When you push the flush lever and the flapper valve lifts, the water stored in the tank is directed to a hole in the bottom front of the bowl. This stream is directed straight back to push the waste out the back of the bowl toward the drain. At the same time, fresh water from the supply is forced th...
by rterickson
Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing: Appraisal Value Lowered During Underwriting
Replies: 14
Views: 1490

Re: Refinancing: Appraisal Value Lowered During Underwriting

I think the key issue may be "multiple negative findings".

I would try to find out what this is about.
by rterickson
Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sonoma in October
Replies: 56
Views: 6093

Re: Sonoma in October

Sixty I am going to give away a local secret. There are great wines in El Dorado county around Plymouth. This is way over east of Sacremento. They do great old vine zinfidels and other reds. Places like Sobon, Terra d'oro, Shenendoah, and others. Then drive up to Apple Hill and pick apples off the ...
by rterickson
Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi [extender]
Replies: 57
Views: 6313

Re: WiFi

Updated to Google WiFi early in the summer. 3 nodes. So far it has exceeded my expectations. Quite easy to set up. We have a node on each floor and I spaced them out for maximum coverage. Speed has been very good. I haven't had to reboot the Google router once. But I did have to reboot the cable mo...
by rterickson
Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Married, owning two homes, file as HOH?
Replies: 43
Views: 2976

Re: Married, owning two homes, file as HOH?

You could always look on the bright side.

In 1986 the top tax rate was 50%.
In 1981 the top tax rate was 70%.
In 1963 the top tax rate was 91%.
by rterickson
Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coyote Defense
Replies: 69
Views: 7311

Re: Coyote Defense

Carrying a golf club will get you fewer funny looks than a baseball bat.
by rterickson
Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to move? New job, considering Nevada...
Replies: 28
Views: 3563

Re: Where to move? New job, considering Nevada...

hicabob wrote: Carson City would seem to be a possibility. Not too fancy but Reno access w/out actually being in Reno?
Minden is also quite nice.
by rterickson
Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi Thermostat?
Replies: 59
Views: 5667

Re: WiFi Thermostat?

I have had the Nest for over 5 years and am happy with it.

I really like being able to log in to my account and program it from a web browser while sitting at my computer, rather than fumbling through the instruction book trying to remember how the program functions work.
by rterickson
Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books not to read.
Replies: 155
Views: 16126

Re: Books not to read.

I wish I could get back the time it took me to read "House of Leaves".
by rterickson
Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Sam's Club, Costco, BJ's, and other wholesaler clubs]
Replies: 274
Views: 21549

Re: Costco with a "gentle" bump for membership

After her enthusiasm for 24-packs of jumbo blueberry muffins and 100-pc sushi platters wore off, my wife realized that we didn't shop at Costco enough to make the membership fee pay off for us and let our account lapse several years ago. But I still get their emails, and once or twice a year I still...
by rterickson
Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Name change possibly not recorded - what to do
Replies: 4
Views: 831

Re: Name change possibly not recorded - what to do

If you have a local office nearby, I would make an InfoPass appointment and try to speak with a real person.