Search found 254 matches

by Nearly A Moose
Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nanny Tax?
Replies: 26
Views: 2826

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: 1783

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: 1557

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: 2826

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: 925

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: 1557

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: 925

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: 1557

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: 1557

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: 1290

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: 1321

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: 2387

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: 1321

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: 1321

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: 1321

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: 1321

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: 1321

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: 1321

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: 1321

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: 1321

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: 2387

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: 2387

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: 1321

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: 5417

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: 3299

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: 3299

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: 2835

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...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Matching children's Roth IRA contributions
Replies: 41
Views: 3826

Re: Matching children's Roth IRA contributions

This is a very generous thing you're doing. Your kids should be grateful. I would be. You might be giving them just the breathing room they need to get on a good financial footing. Family transfers of wealth--if well coordinated and if the recipients are good with their money--can be extremely valua...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you track your portfolio's performance?
Replies: 40
Views: 2835

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

I like metrics and spreadsheets, so I run a few. There is a great multi-account internal rage of return spreadsheet for download from the wiki. You can find it under a page called tracking investments or something like that. (I'm too lazy to get it on my phone...) I doesn't take long to set up, and ...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preparing to buy a house
Replies: 15
Views: 1851

Re: Preparing to buy a house

Pulling a credit report does you no good. I disagree with that. The sooner you know of a problem on a report the sooner you can start fixing it. You are entitled to one free report each year from the credit reporting companies. You don't want to wait until you fail to get your pre-approval to find ...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying house. Best mortgage option?
Replies: 22
Views: 2549

Re: Buying house. Best mortgage option?

Off subject a bit..... My mom (in her mid 70s) is considering selling her house and moving into a retirement community - one of those Del Webb type places. She was thinking of purchasing the house prior to selling her current one, but would require a mortgage until hers sells. In fact, depending on...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying house. Best mortgage option?
Replies: 22
Views: 2549

Re: Buying house. Best mortgage option?

Hard to say with the info provided, but intuitively a middle ground option sounds right. I would be a bit reluctant to super-aggressively throw $800k into illiquid home equity in only a ten year period, unless you're just raking in the income. (Yes, you can get the money back using a Heloc, but ther...
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in CVX for the sake of dividends
Replies: 25
Views: 1983

Re: Investing in CVX for the sake of dividends

Ask your friend how that strategy worked out for all the Brits holding BP stock that still hasnt returned to pre Deepwater Horizon levels. At least there's a movie about it, right? Also how about Enron? That was a great stock for a long time, until it wasnt. And how about Coke, Pepsi, Proctor and G...
by Nearly A Moose
Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's going on with REITS this week?
Replies: 26
Views: 4145

Re: What's going on with REITS this week?

We have been REIT investors for many years and wills tay the course. Many years ago we added the Vanguard International REIT fund and this has been performing well and helping to offset the U.S. REIT fund. Tune out the noise! Not to hijack the thread, but are you talking about Vanguard Global ex-U....
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Johnnie Walker Blue worth the cost?
Replies: 70
Views: 5609

Re: Johnnie Walker Blue worth the cost?

Nobody ever lost a friend over Macallan 18 ^^^This. This a hundred times over. Although a few bottles ago I splurged and treated myself to a bottle of Macallan 21. Made going back to 18 harder. Macallan also at least at one point had a 15 year old special cask oak variety. I forget exactly what it ...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond allocation in Roth
Replies: 11
Views: 1102

Re: Bond allocation in Roth

I have my REIT allocation in my Roth in hopes that I will see appreciation and tax protection.
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need accidental death and dismemberment?
Replies: 18
Views: 1445

Re: Do I need accidental death and dismemberment?

I have a $500k (or so) policy through work. Automatically provided as a benefit. Probably wouldn't seek this out on my own, I'm a desk worker.
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interest Checking Account - Credit Union
Replies: 20
Views: 1737

Re: Interest Checking Account - Credit Union

Suggest setting an internal benchmark to look at a year down the road. For example, were you able to get the 4.5% each month (i.e. Did you get through all the hoops), were there any particularly time intensive aspects of this over the year, did you find jumping through the hoops irritating such that...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's going on with REITS this week?
Replies: 26
Views: 4145

Re: What's going on with REITS this week?

We have been REIT investors for many years and wills tay the course. Many years ago we added the Vanguard International REIT fund and this has been performing well and helping to offset the U.S. REIT fund. Tune out the noise! Not to hijack the thread, but are you talking about Vanguard Global ex-U....
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding not to refi... Have I missed something?
Replies: 20
Views: 1743

Re: Deciding not to refi... Have I missed something?

$3000 cost and $500 savings. You only have six months till you break even, right? This, if I understand correctly. Don't see why you wouldn't refinance. Also agree $3k seems high. Query whether you would want to funnel the $500/month savings into prepaying the loan versus just investing in the mark...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0% Financing on new car (Subaru)...how much to put down upfront?
Replies: 13
Views: 1424

Re: 0% Financing on new car (Subaru)...how much to put down upfront?

As long as you trust yourself to manage the cash flow, no reason to prepay a 0% loan (aside from credit card points or some similar scheme). If you don't trust yourself, like the idea of the equivalent of more monthly cash flow, or tend to like to split to difference on decisions like this, you coul...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: when to stop contributing to 529
Replies: 34
Views: 3863

Re: when to stop contributing to 529

I funded the expected cost of each child at a private college, tuition plus room and board. Figured if there were excess, it could be used for grad school for either. If there is residual money, it can be used for grandkids, other close relatives, or yourself. Not worried about paying a penalty to ...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How closely do you check your credit card statements?
Replies: 58
Views: 3195

Re: How closely do you check your credit card statements?

Hardly at all. I periodically pop into Mint to see where we are in the budget, and if a category looks weird, I dive in and quickly skim the transactions to see if a vendor looks funny or an amount of particularly large. Have never had a fraud problem, and frankly, even if I did, I'm willing to risk...
by Nearly A Moose
Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Three Full Days in Asheville, NC - Help for First Timers
Replies: 30
Views: 2451

Re: Three Full Days in Asheville, NC - Help for First Timers

Hard to go wrong with any of these suggestions. If you're able bodied, I'd strongly suggest a hike. Lots of options of varying skill levels nearby. I would absolutely recommend the Biltmore. It's not the cheapest thing in the world, but if you give yourself a full day there (which you can easily do)...
by Nearly A Moose
Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling house sale proceeds, am I being paranoid?
Replies: 6
Views: 590

Re: Handling house sale proceeds, am I being paranoid?

Are you in a rush for the money? If not, then just do the ACH pull if it makes you feel better. 2 weeks of missing out on 1% APY is not material. I don't have a credit union, so perhaps there are different rules, but isn't this over the FDIC insurance threshold? That would make me more nervous than ...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can adult child gift money back to parent?
Replies: 31
Views: 3832

Re: Can adult child gift money back to parent?

If we want to help an adult child with a house down payment, but the child does not want a gift and would rather pay us back over time (yes, basically the child would prefer a loan rather than gift), could we gift the $28,000 limit to the child and allow child to gift money back at a later date or ...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total Stock Market Index
Replies: 24
Views: 3705

Re: Total Stock Market Index

This might be obvious, but I *think* people early on were saying wait until you have at least $10,000 in the account before adding a second find because many vanguard funds (and I believe the one you're in) require a minimum balance of $10,000 to buy Admiral shares, which have a slightly lower expen...
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: major remodel: regrets or things you'd do again
Replies: 68
Views: 7314

Re: major remodel: regrets or things you'd do again

paper200 wrote:Nice job mss. Looks very good.


+1 :beer
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warm January Vacation?
Replies: 19
Views: 1883

Re: Warm January Vacation?

San Diego +1. Went here when wife was pregnant with our first. Also plenty to do with a young child (I'm assuming not so young that you're just dragging it wherever you go). I'm assuming FL (and the Caribbean, but you mentioned the US) are off limits due to Zika. AZ/Scottsdale also nice, but it sti...

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