Search found 93 matches

by rterickson
Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance
Replies: 20
Views: 1650

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: 580

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: 2649

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: 899

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: 60
Views: 4746

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: 2633

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: 286

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: 467

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: 3740

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: 3740

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: 29
Views: 2714

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: 923

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: 974

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: 1364

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: 576

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: 617

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: 2793

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: 498

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: 7659

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: 24195

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: 1215

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: 833

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: 1482

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: 1680

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: 2136

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: 6196

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: 1427

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: 5792

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: 6000

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: 2867

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: 7018

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: 3407

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: 5327

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: 15552

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: 20595

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: 793

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.
by rterickson
Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA Cost
Replies: 85
Views: 10213

Re: AAA Cost

$137 for Plus membership for two drivers, Northern California. For some reason I'm kind of proud of the 35+ years designation on the corner of the card.

The biggest side benefit to me is that they can do a number of DMV services, and their line doesn't go out the door.
by rterickson
Wed May 31, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mexican Pacific Beaches
Replies: 52
Views: 5452

Re: Mexican Pacific Beaches

misterno wrote:
what is ennui?
French for boredom.
by rterickson
Wed May 24, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I transfer property from mother-in-law to wife and I?
Replies: 21
Views: 2478

Re: How do I transfer property from mother-in-law to wife and I?

Since it's in Arizona, I would look into a 'beneficiary deed'.
by rterickson
Wed May 24, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rewiring a knob and tube house
Replies: 15
Views: 2403

Re: Rewiring a knob and tube house

Argus714 wrote:
I would recommend hiring a reputable licensed electrician and not someone on the side. Have them pull a building permit, because it will need to be inspected during and after the upgrade.

.
+1
by rterickson
Wed May 10, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What newspaper or magazine do you pay for?
Replies: 107
Views: 7812

Re: What newspaper or magazine do you pay for?

Washington Post (digital)
Local Paper (Sunday + digital)
Slate Plus (digital)
Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine (30+ year subscriber)
by rterickson
Tue May 02, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a diamond ring
Replies: 57
Views: 5122

Re: Buying a diamond ring

+1 for Blue Nile.
by rterickson
Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Warranty
Replies: 12
Views: 1576

Re: Home Warranty

I would take some active steps to cancel.

I decided not to renew my warranty with AHS last year and just ignored it.

They sent it to collections.
by rterickson
Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grass trimmer
Replies: 67
Views: 5504

Re: Grass trimmer

Whatever you choose, make sure you get the type that has a belt or harness that lets you support the weight of the trimmer at your waist.

I have a (relatively) cheap Toro cordless trimmer that you support entirely with your upper body, and it's pretty hard on your back after just a few minutes.
by rterickson
Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy e-book, lend to foreign user. How?
Replies: 6
Views: 874

Re: Buy e-book, lend to foreign user. How?

First, find out how your friend obtains content for the Kindle. As far as I know, Amazon doesn’t operate in Russia yet. It may well be that he/she can only get access to public domain or pdf format e-books. If your friend does have access to the Kindle store, find out if the title you want to share ...
by rterickson
Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eating Healthy/Meals for One
Replies: 65
Views: 6485

Re: Eating Healthy/Meals for One

The late film critic Roger Ebert wrote a whole book about cooking for one with a rice cooker. I haven’t read the whole thing, but there is a humorous synopsis on his website: http://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journa ... -to-use-it
by rterickson
Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best crash course in Spanish?
Replies: 32
Views: 4396

Re: Best crash course in Spanish?

Another fan of 'News in Slow Spanish'.

They have a station on the TuneIn Radio app.
by rterickson
Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord requiring copies of SSN
Replies: 73
Views: 8624

Re: Landlord requiring copies of SSN

I would never consider renting to a prospective tenant (or adding one to a lease) without running a credit check. As far as I know, the SSN is required to do that.
by rterickson
Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Offer, Required to accept health benefit
Replies: 24
Views: 3191

Re: Job Offer, Required to accept health benefit

My wife is a teacher whose union negotiates health insurance at the district level and she is not permitted to opt out of health insurance. Her choices range from a zero-copay low deductible plan for $1400 per month to a 30% copay, $5000 deductible, no-dental, no-vision, self-only policy for $70 per...