Search found 377 matches

by Nearly A Moose
Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Quarterly Taxes Work for Bonus
Replies: 4
Views: 537

Re: How Quarterly Taxes Work for Bonus

Thanks, folks. I'll dig into the safe harbor a bit, appreciate the reference. I'm fortunate in that my income will be a lot higher this year than last year, along with my withholdings, so it seems like this will likely be a non issue.
by Nearly A Moose
Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic
Replies: 40
Views: 3451

Re: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic

fundseeker wrote:Oh, and while we are here discussing these things, I assume you will be maxing out the FSA?


Absolutely (doing that through my employer, which is apparently allowed). Healthcare and dependent care.
by Nearly A Moose
Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic
Replies: 40
Views: 3451

Re: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic

Your wife's department/agency may provide free online access to this publication: https://www.checkbook.org/newhig2/hig.cfm I used it a few years ago to make my choice, and found it very helpful. I feel that I need to point out the BCBS Standard employee premium is twice as large as that for GEHA S...
by Nearly A Moose
Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "E-E bonds" or "Double E bonds" ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1149

Re: "E-E bonds" or "Double E bonds" ?

walkindude wrote:I'm a double E (electrical engineer), so I say E-E for the savings bonds!


At my school, you would have been an "E-E"...
by Nearly A Moose
Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic
Replies: 40
Views: 3451

Re: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic

Thanks, all, this is very helpful, although not surprisingly there doesn't seem to be a clear consensus. It seems that people are liking both Standard and Basic, whichever they have. We're transitioning from a very expensive (my employer's) plan that is set up very much like Standard but with low fi...
by Nearly A Moose
Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Quarterly Taxes Work for Bonus
Replies: 4
Views: 537

How Quarterly Taxes Work for Bonus

This is new tax territory for me. I'm fortunate to be getting a substantial bonus this December. This will be more than twice as large as any bonus I've received, and I want to make sure I understand what if anything I need to do from a tax perspective. The bonus will push us from the 35% to 39.6% f...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic
Replies: 40
Views: 3451

Re: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic

When I changed from Blue Cross standard to Blue Cross Basic I called the providers I used or looked them up on the Blue Cross site to ensure they were a preferred provider. That is my suggestion on what you should do. Thanks. Yes, we've confirmed that everyone we currently use is under either plan....
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not happy with my realtor
Replies: 48
Views: 4741

Re: Not happy with my realtor

I'm a buyer and he's shown me 5 or 6 houses. I'm looking in a particular and relatively small neighborhood. Would it be unreasonable or inappropriate for me to ask him to contact the homeowners there to see if any might be interested in selling? It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while I ...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic
Replies: 40
Views: 3451

Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic

Greetings, I'm hoping some of the current or former federal employees may be able to help me here. We have decided we are going to consolidate my entire family (me, wife, one toddler, one soon-to-be newborn) onto one insurance plan available to my wife as a federal employee. We've narrowed it down t...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Personal Capital.com
Replies: 16
Views: 2515

Re: Personal Capital.com

Also also, it does seem to confuse cash in my savings accounts (e.g. E fund, vacation fund) as part of my investment portfolio, so it's always telling me I have too much cash in my portfolio (I have $0.06 in cash in my investment portfolio...). Why is it loading data from those accounts if you don'...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Personal Capital.com
Replies: 16
Views: 2515

Re: Personal Capital.com

I wouldn't sweat the cash allocation being off by $150. It could be something internal to the fund or confusion about a dividend, etc, as otherwise mentioned. I use personal capital and find it informative. I pop in occasionally to get a rough snapshot of where things stand, but it's not my only too...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax available
Replies: 12
Views: 2621

Re: TurboTax available

Thanks for the heads up. When historically is the cheapest time to buy, assuming you don't have some special discount through another company?
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When is the best time to get into Bond Market?
Replies: 30
Views: 3898

Re: When is the best time to get into Bond Market?

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Nearly A Moose wrote:... (duration may not be quite the right word) ...

It is the right word: duration.
PJW


Thanks
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When is the best time to get into Bond Market?
Replies: 30
Views: 3898

Re: When is the best time to get into Bond Market?

I believe the general rule of thumb is that if you are planning to hold the bond for longer than than the average duration of the bonds in the fund (duration may not be quite the right word), you will come out better for having experienced a rate hike. Vanguard did a paper on this you can find refer...
by Nearly A Moose
Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?
Replies: 104
Views: 7168

Re: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?

I love the aesthetic but am not a conniesour. I have a handful of cheap ones ($25 a much cheaper than some here think of as cheap) that I keep in my office and briefcases. They're cartridge style, so perhaps that explains why they don't leak on me? But I do put them in their own space in my briefcas...
by Nearly A Moose
Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Have Experience With Filing Complaint With FDA?
Replies: 22
Views: 2991

Re: Anyone Have Experience With Filing Complaint With FDA?

Just to clarify, FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has jurisdiction over the formulation, manufacturing, labeling, and importing of animal drugs (but not biologics, which are regulated by a USDA agency, APHIS). The state in which the vet operates will have a veterinary medicine board of som...
by Nearly A Moose
Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ph.D. Student seeking Investment Advice
Replies: 12
Views: 1600

Re: Ph.D. Student seeking Investment Advice

I guess if you really want Roth space, you could try to line up a side hussle that provides enough income to open a Roth? No idea whether that affects your grant eligibility or is even a good use of your personal capital. It seems some fields are better than others at creating these types of opportu...
by Nearly A Moose
Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you buy a house for your college kid?
Replies: 46
Views: 4194

Re: Would you buy a house for your college kid?

A lot of this depends very much on the college and the kid. Very hard to give general advice. Where I went to school, it was common to live in campus for two years then to move off campus. It was rural, and the college town has since grown a bit, so anyone from a HCOL area probably wouldn't have bli...
by Nearly A Moose
Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Double Check Figures: Affording $1M Home
Replies: 81
Views: 7471

Re: Double Check Figures: Affording $1M Home

FWIW, I have a mortgage almost identical to what you are contemplating, but put 20% down. Your projected numbers are about what I'm paying (my prop taxes and insurance are a touch more, interest a bit less). I live in a HCOL on the other coast from you. We had a combined pre tax income of about 350k...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Son has some cash to invest
Replies: 37
Views: 2646

Re: Son has some cash to invest

:idea: This is a perfect opportunity to help your son learn about investing and money management. If you're able and willing to "insure" his investment, instead of doing that, just be prepared to give him a gift of some sort toward his down payment in 6-7 years. Tell him or don't tell him,...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newborn on an HSA plan
Replies: 9
Views: 890

Re: Newborn on an HSA plan

If it is truly a $6k out of pocket maximum, they cover the premiums, and give you $6750 in HSA it seems like a no brainer, no? You have free medical care plus a minimum of $750 extra to invest for later. Agree with this thought process. I'm not a health insurance expert, but this looks like a fanta...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo
Replies: 88
Views: 11512

Re: Amazon Echo

The echo is great. Going to be on sale for Black Friday. Buy one. Just beware that Amazon will hear everything you say. Really.
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax withholding on bonus when at high tax bracket
Replies: 8
Views: 1108

Re: Tax withholding on bonus when at high tax bracket

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I just figure out what my marginal tax rate should be for the bonus, figure out what that means I would ultimately be paying in taxes (without regard to an withholding), then, if I think my employer under withheld (which happens when you're in a higher bracket), I ...
by Nearly A Moose
Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nanny Tax?
Replies: 26
Views: 3034

Re: Nanny Tax?

We use care.com / homepay / breedlove (all the same company, just not sure what they're branding themselves as now). Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. We pay somewhere around $1,000 in fees each year for the full service - payroll, taxes, etc. Worth every penny. I don't have to rese...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which New Thermostat?
Replies: 15
Views: 1929

Re: Which New Thermostat?

I use Sensi thermostat. They say it works with 9 out of 10 homes. It is programmable and has wifi + free app to remotely monitor and control. It can be set to manual or pre-programmed schedules in case you change you mind later. Also, it can run on battery too. And customer support was very helpful...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employee- Leave without pay considerations
Replies: 12
Views: 1659

Re: Federal Employee- Leave without pay considerations

Leemiller wrote:
My husband gets 18 weeks paid paternal leave in the private sector, I get zero as a fed.


Thanks. We are in a similar boat as you guys are it seems - it's terribly unfair.
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nanny Tax?
Replies: 26
Views: 3034

Re: Nanny Tax?

We use care.com / homepay / breedlove (all the same company, just not sure what they're branding themselves as now). Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. We pay somewhere around $1,000 in fees each year for the full service - payroll, taxes, etc. Worth every penny. I don't have to resea...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: G Fund as Rising Interest Rate Hedge?
Replies: 7
Views: 1020

Re: G Fund as Rising Interest Rate Hedge?

White Coat Investor wrote:I've been using the G fund as a rising interest rate hedge for a decade. So far it has worked out very poorly for me as rates have no risen.


Does that mean you regret it, or that you just anticipate it will be useful somewhere down the road?
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employee- Leave without pay considerations
Replies: 12
Views: 1659

Re: Federal Employee- Leave without pay considerations

Thanks for the replies so far. Can anyone confirm that the 1% TSP contribution gets suspended during LWOP? (And, yes, exploring all the usual options for getting more/advanced leave)
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: G Fund as Rising Interest Rate Hedge?
Replies: 7
Views: 1020

G Fund as Rising Interest Rate Hedge?

There's obviously a lot of talk about the potential for rising interest rates. That's also been talked about the last 5 years. I plan to hold my bond funds past their average duration, so if I understand things correctly, I actually should be just fine long term if rates go up. If, however, I wanted...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employee- Leave without pay considerations
Replies: 12
Views: 1659

Re: Federal Employee- Leave without pay considerations

I am pretty sure she can get advanced leave for maternity/childbirth. ETA: link to OPM advanced sick leave webpage, which mentions pregnancy/childbirth as a reason for getting up to 30 days advanced sick leave. https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/leave-administration/fact-sheets/adv...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employee- Leave without pay considerations
Replies: 12
Views: 1659

Federal Employee- Leave without pay considerations

I think I'm right but am looking for confirmation (having a hard time finding this on the TSP website). My wife is a federal employee. FERS. We're expecting a child next year. We exhausted all her leave with our first child a couple years back, and it hasn't built up enough to cover her full materni...
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small Windfall Ideas
Replies: 10
Views: 1356

Re: Small Windfall Ideas

My condolences on your father's passing. Sounds like you can't go wrong. Do you have grandkids? Might you later? Nieces or nephews? Grand nieces or nephews (O think they're eligible)? If you don't think you need the money, you could decide you want to share your father's legacy with future generatio...
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?
Replies: 27
Views: 1477

Re: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?

You might also consider the other federal plans. In particular, Blue Cross doesn't offer a high-deductible plan, but several other insurers do. And the way the FEHB subsidizes health plans (75% of premium, up to 72% of the average premium) makes high-deductible plans particularly attractive; if a h...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching Basic Person Finance
Replies: 37
Views: 2585

Re: Teaching Basic Person Finance

I'm not crazy about your subject list. I'd go up a few thousand feet. Something like: Why do we want to pay attention to personal finance? --Be able to pay our bills --Not be in debt forever --Be able to someday retire --Have money saved for cool stuff like emergencies, houses and cars How do we do...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?
Replies: 27
Views: 1477

Re: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?

Nearly A Moose: I have been covered by Federal Blue Cross for nearly 50 years. Never had a problem. Together with Medicare after age 65, all our medical bills have been paid in full without argument! I understand the federal government subsidizes a significant part of the premium which helps make i...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?
Replies: 27
Views: 1477

Re: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?

If I follow, the premiums come out of the payor's salary pre-FICA, and the "benefit" of sheltering that income from FICA withholding ends when you pass the cutoff? So, if I hypothetically passed the SS wage base at the end of July, and she would pass the base in December or possibly not a...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?
Replies: 27
Views: 1477

Re: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?

Thanks for the reply. Want to double check the premise, though. If we went all through my employer (self + family), we would be paying between $1,000-$1,300 per month (depending on the plan options). If we went all through Fed BCBS Standard (self + family), we would be paying about $550 a month. Ob...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?
Replies: 27
Views: 1477

Re: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?

[Duplicate post deleted]
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?
Replies: 27
Views: 1477

Re: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?

It would be a mistake to assume the Fed BCBS plan is better just because it’s through the federal government and it’s more expensive. A higher price does not make something a better product. Some quick and dirty math tells me you would be paying $6600 a year for the Federal family insurance or $560...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?
Replies: 27
Views: 1477

Re: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?

Obviously you haven't provided details of your current plan, but FEHB is almost certainly better coverage for less cost. Don't limit yourself to only analyzing BCBS. Also, assuming you're over the social security wage base ($127k for 2017) your spouse stands to save an additional 7.65% on the premi...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?
Replies: 27
Views: 1477

Re: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?

You can rest assured when it comes to most benefits federal employees will have the best, as they share them with Congress. The Fed BC/BS is outstanding and is offered at two levels. I feel that's true for basically everything but paid maternity leave. The gap between private practice and governmen...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?
Replies: 27
Views: 1477

Re: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?

At the point when you both start thinking of retirement, it would be wise to consider meeting the requirements to carry FEHB into retirement. Premiums are the same as for active feds. Some info is below. Federal retirees and their surviving spouses retain their eligibility for FEHB health coverage ...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching Basic Person Finance
Replies: 37
Views: 2585

Re: Teaching Basic Person Finance

I threw out Millionaire Next Door just as a suggestion. There could be other good books. Maybe something by Suzy Orman? The broader point is that by using a book, pamphlet, finance blog, etc., to do the "lecturing", it puts a bit of a firewall between you and your SO. It's not you saying s...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching Basic Person Finance
Replies: 37
Views: 2585

Re: Teaching Basic Person Finance

Every relationship dynamic is different, so I could be way off base here, but I sense a bit of a "lecturing" tone on your part (and I'd be tempted to do that myself...). Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think you each first need to understand what the other person (1) thinks personal finance means...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?
Replies: 27
Views: 1477

Federal Blue Cross - Good Value?

This is an imprecise question, and I'm just looking for a quick reaction to check myself. My wife and I (soon to be a family of 4) probably need to get consolidated into a single health plan. I've historically used UHC through my employer (private law firm). My share of monthly premium is around $1,...
by Nearly A Moose
Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When have you given enough?
Replies: 65
Views: 5826

Re: When have you given enough?

Your kids have graduate degrees and apparently little to no debt. They will be just fine. You don't need to worry about protecting them. My parents are retired. If they told me they were passing on a fun vacation because they wanted to make sure my inheritance is a couple thousand dollars larger 25 ...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to co-own and co-occupy home with in laws
Replies: 34
Views: 3460

Re: How to co-own and co-occupy home with in laws

How are their finances? Would you be made more or less while upon their passing through inheritance? If so, you might just think of this as your way of contributing to intergenerational wealth. Yes, you'll be out some money, but you will have a house you can use down the road and a lot of goodwill ...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to co-own and co-occupy home with in laws
Replies: 34
Views: 3460

Re: How to co-own and co-occupy home with in laws

How are their finances? Would you be made more or less while upon their passing through inheritance? If so, you might just think of this as your way of contributing to intergenerational wealth. Yes, you'll be out some money, but you will have a house you can use down the road and a lot of goodwill f...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you track your portfolio's performance?
Replies: 40
Views: 3055

Re: How do you track your portfolio's performance?

Is there another easy/safe way aside from those sites and being an Excel expert that I’m not thinking of? Wade, I use the Bogleheads Wiki Calculating personal returns spreadsheet which calculates returns across multiple accounts. The spreadsheet also provides a growth of $10,000 chart. It is very e...

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