Search found 795 matches

by TBillT
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Who has the best (easiest) Donor Advised Fund
Replies: 57
Views: 3119

Re: Who has the best (easiest) Donor Advised Fund

I am planning to start a DAF at Fidelity this year.
by TBillT
Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil to natural gas conversion anyone?
Replies: 43
Views: 2325

Re: Oil to natural gas conversion anyone?

We did this in NJ years ago and very happy. Went with high efficiency gas unit. Due to very high elec costs in NJ in those days, we had switched to oil hot water. We kept the oil hot water...which is wonderful, fast heating of the water. So we did not have the tank disposal issue. The tank was in ou...
by TBillT
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delay on SS restricted App Approval
Replies: 0
Views: 201

Delay on SS restricted App Approval

After 3 near-instant approvals for online applications (Medicare/SS) I am finally seeing a delay for my online SS restricted application. Bottom line, it appears that SS requests up to 30 to 60-days to approve in the normal case. My online restricted application was handled by a certain agent. We go...
by TBillT
Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Company Stock at discount - immediate sell
Replies: 16
Views: 1060

Re: Company Stock at discount - immediate sell

One unknown for me in this scenario is what is cost basis of the stock and purchase date of the stock?
Seems to me sometimes companies can hand out shares that were purchased at a prior time.
by TBillT
Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Grandparent 529s
Replies: 29
Views: 2538

Re: Grandparent 529s

I presume some 529's are better for financial option such as Vanguard. We have Virginia with a tax credit and pretty good funds, but takes a lillte research to understand. Bogleheads just want a 500-index and total bond and a few other things. so not sure who here is complaining about 529 fund choic...
by TBillT
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Voya Financial roll over process
Replies: 8
Views: 1020

Re: Voya Financial roll over process

Yes (2) we both did Voya rollover...both of us spouses had Voya 401ks, different employers. No real complaints...yes both cases we got a check and drove to Fido office with it...could have mailed it. In the one case, where we had a more complex NUA involved, the Voya reps knew the best how to do tha...
by TBillT
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: hybrid or plug-in electric car
Replies: 106
Views: 9774

Re: hybrid or plug-in electric car

I am not going to try to talk somebody in or out of their preconceived desires as that never works. Something like a Prius Prime might be a good choice, my Prius is 13-yr old. I would love to know average life of BEV is USA but I do not know that we have that data. I am thinking life is not so long,...
by TBillT
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Oil Companies
Replies: 15
Views: 1308

Re: Investing in Oil Companies

What a nice discussion above of a sensitive topic. I'll try not to mess it up.
by TBillT
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can an HOA ARB legally deny a request to install motion sensing SPOT lights
Replies: 19
Views: 2533

Re: Can an HOA ARB legally deny a request to install motion sensing SPOT lights

Is this a Virginia question? ...'cause we got whacky structure of "localities" .
Bottom line I believe HOA have some legal rights, since many of us do not have typical town hall and mayor etc.
by TBillT
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffet says no to bonds - recommends equities and cash
Replies: 91
Views: 14671

Re: Buffet says no to bonds - recommends equities and cash

On bonds I follow A. Gary Shilling who is again bullish re: TBonds
I (a scaredy-cat) finally started a small TLT position yesterday.
by TBillT
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Buffalo,NY / Niagara Falls area - things to see and do?
Replies: 46
Views: 2810

Re: Visiting Buffalo,NY / Niagara Falls area - things to see and do?

Born in Buffalo...but grew up elsewhere but get back a lot. We went to Falls a few years back, I think it was the Hilton (not positive) but we asked for room with view of Amer Falls, and we also had a tiny peice of Canadian Falls view out the window. So great view especially at nite with the colored...
by TBillT
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Restricted SS Application - Language Check
Replies: 52
Views: 6359

Re: Filing Restricted SS Application - Language Check

I expect to hear today...I did the online process, and had some minor but unexpected delays. Apparently the agent I got assigned in Boston was trying to be super careful and he wanted to talk to us. He then said OK he was going to approve, but then I got another email from him saying he needed to ad...
by TBillT
Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can Spousal SS Benefit EVER be greater that 50% of Spouses PIA??
Replies: 18
Views: 1653

Re: Can Spousal SS Benefit EVER be greater that 50% of Spouses PIA??

I like to point out options are age-dependent with the SS rules changing for those under 65 as of 2-Jan-2019. For those of us with one of more spouse over 65 by then we still have a "double dip" option and I like OpenSocialSecurity.com for the calcs. Meanwhile I am hoping to hear today that our pers...
by TBillT
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yellowstone guidance
Replies: 12
Views: 1512

Re: Yellowstone guidance

We had a room at Yellowstone Lodge adjacent to Old Faithful out the window, some of my best photos are Old Faithful. But just walking from the Lodge path are many many geysers and features. Beehive geysers etc etc...if I recall I am thinking SteamBoat geyser is on that walk too and that has been in ...
by TBillT
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Spousal Benefits
Replies: 12
Views: 2269

Re: SS Spousal Benefits

I am in the middle of filing online for the restricted application right now.
by TBillT
Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard Treasury Money Market yield so high?
Replies: 112
Views: 31986

Re: Why is Vanguard Treasury Money Market yield so high?

For comparison, Fidelity Treasury Only Money Market has yield of 1.91% and ER of 0.42%, so gross yield would be 2.33%. So it is close to Vanguard's 2.35%, I don't know if they've been consistently close as I never looked at this comparison before today. At first I misunderstood what you are saying,...
by TBillT
Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard Treasury Money Market yield so high?
Replies: 112
Views: 31986

Re: Why is Vanguard Treasury Money Market yield so high?

Vanguard Treasury as my fav MMF at the moment, also state tax exempt for most of us. We had some since 2008 recession. Why do you say most of us? We have quite a bit in Vang. Prime MM fund that yields 2.35% vs 2.31% for VUSXX Vang. Treasury MM. Low tax bracket. But still seems like a no brainer to ...
by TBillT
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history
Replies: 12
Views: 1575

Re: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history

So I finally made the assumption the SSA email was safe and correct. I called SSA and per their request, divulged my SS no. on the phone to them (why can't we instead use the case no assigned?) The reason SSA is questioning my online application: (1) My Earnings History (Alert flags in their data ba...
by TBillT
Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history
Replies: 12
Views: 1575

Re: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history

Another problem I am having, yesterday I tried to sign onto MySocialSecurity.gov to get apllication status. After one login attenpt, it said you have failed 3 times to logon so your account is suspended for 24-hrs. I think it could be a faulty mouse sending extreme rapid extra clicks, but you'd thi...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A. Gary Shilling on Treasuries (TBond Bull)
Replies: 11
Views: 1504

Re: A. Gary Shilling on Treasuries (TBond Bull)

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. Apparently we may already be in a recession. or at a minimum, all the posts over the last year stating that "interest rates have nowhere to go but up" may have been wrong. The first post I've personally made note of that said Interest rates can only go up was m...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prius vs Prius Prime (plug-in)
Replies: 78
Views: 5087

Re: Low Prius Inventory-change strategy?

I'd say some drivers instinctively try to get ahead of me in a Prius, but I am usually going at least speed limit. Might be location dependent but in northern Va. we have lots of Prii.
by TBillT
Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prius vs Prius Prime (plug-in)
Replies: 78
Views: 5087

Re: Low Prius Inventory-change strategy?

2006 Prius here...best car ever. Orig brake shoes here at 185k miles. Not sure what we do next, but probably hybrid Cmary. RAV4 or Prius...maybe Corolla was not aware that one. Actually Prius v "wagon" would be my clear choice, but that would have to be used now. If you do not need cargo space you c...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history
Replies: 12
Views: 1575

Re: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history

Another problem I am having, yesterday I tried to sign onto MySocialSecurity.gov to get apllication status. After one login attenpt, it said you have failed 3 times to logon so your account is suspended for 24-hrs. I think it could be a faulty mouse sending extreme rapid extra clicks, but you'd thin...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history
Replies: 12
Views: 1575

Re: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history

Just submitted restricted application online for SS to get spousal amount, and got an email asking me to go to office or call to review my earnings record. I pretty much gave the max over the years, but it should not even matter since I am not asking to start my own benefit. Also the email seems le...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A. Gary Shilling on Treasuries (TBond Bull)
Replies: 11
Views: 1504

A. Gary Shilling on Treasuries (TBond Bull)

Often times I quote economist A. Gary Shilling re: Bonds. He is well-known bull on Treasuries since the early 1980's. Rates still falling he figures to 1% on 10-yr and maybe 2% on 30-yr. Not too often we get an up-to-date article from him to post, so here is a new one. https://www.bloomberg.com/opin...
by TBillT
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC Options
Replies: 19
Views: 1662

Re: HELOC Options

I am thinking under the new itemization rules, HELOC interest is not deductible unless it is for home purchase or cap improvement If the HELOC is used for the downpayment on a home , would it be deductible ? Not sure. My house years ago we got $30k HELOC bundled with $330k mortgage to cover the tot...
by TBillT
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history
Replies: 12
Views: 1575

Restricted Appl- SS asking to review my earnings history

Just submitted restricted application online for SS to get spousal amount, and got an email asking me to go to office or call to review my earnings record. I pretty much gave the max over the years, but it should not even matter since I am not asking to start my own benefit. Also the email seems leg...
by TBillT
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turkish Airlines ?
Replies: 49
Views: 4055

Re: Turkish Airlines ?

The loss of Malaysian MH370 in 2014 was probably in part due to lack of security by the airline. For example, USA airlines have 2 in cockpit rule to help prevent pilot sabotage, whereas international airlines have balked at that. After the Germanwings crash/suicide 2015, some EU airiines finally add...
by TBillT
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filling Concrete Driveway Cracks - Best ways?
Replies: 8
Views: 2043

Re: Filling Concrete Driveway Cracks - Best ways?

I've used the epoxy (home depot) because I wanted to bond the concrete together as much as possible (it was a small corner crack). It is a grey color, but it's still obvious. I like epoxy because it's strong, and durable. (I coated my garage floor w/it, and it's nearly indestructible). I like the i...
by TBillT
Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard Treasury Money Market yield so high?
Replies: 112
Views: 31986

Re: Why is Vanguard Treasury Money Market yield so high?

Vanguard Treasury as my fav MMF at the moment, also state tax exempt for most of us.
We had some since 2008 recession.
by TBillT
Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filling Concrete Driveway Cracks - Best ways?
Replies: 8
Views: 2043

Filling Concrete Driveway Cracks - Best ways?

There are various products for filling driveway cracks: (1) Straight mortar or concrete repair (so filling the crack with cement) (2) Flexible stretchy type concrete repair (3) PC Concrete - which is more expensive, hard epoxy I am not sure what the goal is. Presumably the crack will further expand ...
by TBillT
Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC Options
Replies: 19
Views: 1662

Re: HELOC Options

I am thinking under the new itemization rules, HELOC interest is not deductible unless it is for home purchase or cap improvement
by TBillT
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Petroleum pipeline on property
Replies: 27
Views: 2721

Re: Petroleum pipeline on property

I think you are correct to question that, but I am not sure the answer. Need to hear from other property owners with pipelines, and insurance cos. if that is an issue. Believe there is a new law proposed to make it a criminal act to sabotage the pipelines, which I think some eco-groups had done a fe...
by TBillT
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy Mini-Van Tomorrow or No?
Replies: 59
Views: 3840

Re: Buy Mini-Van Tomorrow or No?

I have an earlier (2009 VW Routan) version ...very roomy. Got mine during cash 4 clunkers so I did not pay as much. I guess it's my 4th Chrysler minivan. It is a big vehicle....minivan being a misnomer these days. My wife used to love our prior minivans but she feels less car-like in this one perhap...
by TBillT
Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security Retirement Age
Replies: 20
Views: 3642

Re: Social Security Retirement Age

"The maximum monthly Social Security benefit at full or normal retirement age is $2,788 for 2018 and $2,861 for 2019. " I am a litle surpirsed there is a value for future out years...my full retirement year is 2019, and even though I contributed max amount for 35 years, I get about 97% of the max PI...
by TBillT
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury Finishes Rules Ending State Tax-Cap Workarounds
Replies: 6
Views: 1210

Re: Treasury Finishes Rules Ending State Tax-Cap Workarounds

I should have posted a version of the article I saw.
Sounds like there are still some SALT work-arounds out there, some companies are paying the State tax for the employee, and then the company can deduct the tax paid. Some other stuff business owners can do.
by TBillT
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of LifeStrategy Mod Grwth in Taxable VS Three Fund Portfolio plus VPAS
Replies: 25
Views: 1930

Re: Cost of LifeStrategy Mod Grwth in Taxable VS Three Fund Portfolio plus VPAS

I agree Vanguard Life Strat Mod Growth is attractive all in one fund.
by TBillT
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance tax question
Replies: 9
Views: 1058

Re: Inheritance tax question

We are in the middle of inheriting some stocks. We will sell the stocks and pay the tax (actually take a loss). My understanding if the trustee sold the stock for us, which is actually our preference, we would still have the tax liability, unless the sale was prior fiscal year, in which case the est...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security [Earnings Test Question]
Replies: 6
Views: 936

Re: Social Security [Earnings Test Question]

Lot's of us are using Mike Piper's OpenSocialSecurity.com tool which will give you a recommendation. You can probably fiddle with life expectancy to see the differences in what might be suggested.
by TBillT
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy a house in Nova/DC area?
Replies: 23
Views: 2346

Re: Should I buy a house in Nova/DC area?

On the pro side, interest rates are low for mortgage. On the con side, strikes me some of the road expansion projects in NoVA, the elected officials want to change the status quo, they want to give preference to long range commuters and reduce local access to highways, so in other words what seems l...
by TBillT
Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 403(b) Stable Value vs Bond Funds
Replies: 4
Views: 714

Re: 403(b) Stable Value vs Bond Funds

One historically good SVF is T Rowe Price SVF. Looks like it is about 2.1% annual at the moment. So not too exciting right now. A few lucky folks have had access to 3% SV funds so that would be great. The stable value funds are cash, and they were more interesting when interest rates were going down...
by TBillT
Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Prime Money Market Fund 7 day yield change
Replies: 7
Views: 1934

Re: Prime Money Market Fund 7 day yield change

The prospect is presumably for continued lower MM yields if the economy is slowing. Stock market is marching to diffrent drummer than the Bond market, and some people are wondering if the Bond market is smarter.
by TBillT
Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Update in post 1: Panasonic LUMIX DSC-FZ35 camera.
Replies: 40
Views: 2352

Re: Panasonic LUMIX DSC-FZ35 camera.

I have that camera, and it has some mixed. It is very light weight, ultra zoom. You can stand there and get a 100x close up photo of the Moon, hand held. When it came out it got dinged for less than stellar JPEG quality (internal processing issue of some kind). But if I am wanting super zoom for wid...
by TBillT
Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Camry Questions
Replies: 101
Views: 6621

Re: New Camry Questions

TPMS I guess you are saying it provides visual access to the data on a screen. Lots of Toyotas have TPMS but you cannot access the data unless you have a reader tool. I have a 2006 Prius with TPMS, but most Prius do not give easy readout of the tire pressure data, which is an inconvenience. Camry ca...
by TBillT
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Really Bad 403(b) Options
Replies: 25
Views: 1447

Re: Really Bad 403(b) Options

If you want to know what a really bad 403b looks like, my wife had to pay 5% load for stinky funds. Hopefully not too many like that anymore, but a few small companies do that.
by TBillT
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocating to Ft Belvoir, VA
Replies: 15
Views: 1442

Re: Relocating to Ft Belvoir, VA

Well one of my neighbors works there...were are in Burke/Springfield area. I get there every year for the Ocktoberfest we have a little band. I am under the impression the active military lives inside the base, but don't quote me on that, I do not really know where they are all living. PS- welcome a...
by TBillT
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Maximum amount of Tax Loss Harvesting advisable per year?
Replies: 27
Views: 1655

Re: Maximum amount of Tax Loss Harvesting advisable per year?

We are expcting to inherent shares with losses, so we will probably have more losses than we need. Those shares will likely get a step-up basis (actually a step-down basis), so that you will not get to harvest a tax-loss yourselves on those investments. Well, I am saying we have a decent sized loss...
by TBillT
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Maximum amount of Tax Loss Harvesting advisable per year?
Replies: 27
Views: 1655

Re: Maximum amount of Tax Loss Harvesting advisable per year?

We are expcting to inherent shares with losses, so we will probably have more losses than we need. I guess that will give us that more ($3000) leeway to do Roth conversion over the next many years. Maybe I bump up our Wellesly VWINX to get more cap gain distributions tax free. Close to admiral anywa...
by TBillT
Thu May 30, 2019 10:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jim Cramer
Replies: 59
Views: 6015

Re: Jim Cramer

I am probably the outlier in that I enjoy his show. He has a sharp wit and his book "Confession of a Street Addict" is hilarious. I haven't read his financial books, nor would I ever follow his financial advice!!! However, as entertainment he is good value. Yet, I also loved the character George Co...
by TBillT
Wed May 29, 2019 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying treasuries other than ultra short term?
Replies: 45
Views: 3154

Re: Buying treasuries other than ultra short term?

If you follow economist (and TBond king) A. Gary Shilling the 30-yr rates could go as low 2% from where we are today. So if the stock market goes down 20-30% chances are you might see 30-40% cap gain on 30-yr Treasuries if you invested in the zero coupon. I made up the 30-40% as I do not have the e...