Jump to content


Super User
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


FDNYOldGuy last won the day on October 19 2018

FDNYOldGuy had the most liked content!


Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

FDNYOldGuy's Achievements

Flight Lead

Flight Lead (3/4)



  1. That's huge! I didn't know that had happened. Thanks for the SA! Just makes sense that they don't force you to take it; the taxes are already paid, so you taking it doesn't benefit Uncle Sam at all. Thank you for this info, as well. I had thought that could potentially be the case, but I don't have any airline/real world experience with Roth 401ks, so was a little ignorant and going off of what the TSP/NYC Deferred Comp allows...which is not much. NYCDCP does have a self-directed option with TD for up to 20% of the amount in the plan, but even that only allows you to buy mutual funds, which doesn't make it that worth it. Great to hear the airlines let you boogie down with some riskier stuff and individual securities, though.
  2. @ryleypavhas it. I am also just speaking for heavies, as I have no clue what pointi bois can do in-house vs at a school house. PIQ = Pilot Initial Qualification. The course, which you go to at the FTU. You learning to fly your newly assigned jet. FTU = Field Formal Training Unit. The schoolhouse and physical location you go to train. You'll go (mostly) go here for every big qualification/upgrade training related to your airframe; the number of times which varies greatly by airframe/qualifications/upgrades required.
  3. 100% this. As @nunya said, you can still do the backdoor option (sts) and it is legal, through the recent IRS paper, but it's got a few extra steps, one that could end up closed through legislation, and could potentially raise a red flag for audit radar purposes. But, definitely worth doing, if you're up for the extra hoops to jump through. That said, making sure you at least open a Roth IRA ASAP and working on pumping money into a Roth 401k that you one day roll over into the Roth IRA is clutch. You get (most of) the best of all worlds, with the exception being Roth 401k's don't really allow for as risky/nuanced/particular single stock investments and are usually whatever the Large/Medium/Small/etc funds are your company offers. But, no income limits, easy to put money in without a hassle, and usually reasonable fees, with the option to bail out and roll it into a Roth IRA upon retirement that helps you avoid RMDs and pick individual securities.
  4. I also agree with this and usually try to convince new hires on FD to put money in Roth while they’re new/until they get to higher pay-grades. This is certainly one of my concerns, too. That said, if it gets to this level, we likely have much bigger financial/economic problems, this might be akin to throwing deck chairs off the Titanic. Bottom line, I’m a huge fan of Roth. 96.69% chance tax rates are higher in the future than they are now; which, in the scheme of things, are certainly on the low end of the spectrum. The unknown is how high taxes may be; the known is that you know exactly what they are if you pay now and use Roth. I’m a big fan of the demographics game, which leads me to believe taxes will have to go up because there just won’t be enough meat bags in the future to pay for us old meat bags’ entitlements/infrastructure/Mil/etc. at current tax %s, so they’re gonna have to go up. This is a bingo. All retirement accounts (401/IRAs/etc.) must be liquidated within 10 years of being passed down. At least with the Roth, your heirs can do so tax-free, so it still is a great option, but they just can’t keep it growing forever.
  5. Used Bread Financial (Comenity Bank) savings account for about 6 months and worked fine. Paying 4.25% right now. They do have the $5k daily ACH out limit, if you're slinging big amounts back and forth. Guessing you can use whatever institution you're transferring it to's ACH feature and pull more, but never pressed to test. I just wired the money when I needed over that limit and it was processed the same day and fairly painless. Cost $25 to wire it, but the higher interest rate for 6 months more than made up for that cost.
  6. Unless it's changed, you usually you go to Randolph for 5-7 days, 2-4 weeks before you start OTS for an admin spin up. Then 2-4 weeks later you'll start the whole 2.5+ year CONTINUOUS pipeline of orders with OTS.
  7. Looks like it's all thumbs up there at the highest levels when it comes to handling classified documents... Classified Documents Found at Mike Pence's Indiana Home
  8. So, very much what @brabus said. If they advertise a limit, it might not be worth your efforts to head out, as time is not your friend and you should focus your energy where it'll have the greatest effect...with squadrons that will be fine with Centrum Silver. Secondly, in regards to your interview and the jaws dropping about your age, best course of action is to EXPECT that and practice your response to why your age is an ASSET, not a hinderance. You certainly don't want to hide your age, but there should also be quite a few examples and supporting lines for how your greater life experiences through time on the planet will help you overcome obstacles, interact with others, etc. It's not a bug; it's a feature. Third, being old usually comes with extra entanglements that young folks don't have. You might have a sig other/kiddos that add to the expense or just general struggles with PCS-ing between schools, spending time studying, staying focused if they don't enjoy life/can't find employment in the middle of nowhere UPT bases are located, etc. You may be single and have no attachments, but you'll also have probably made more money/accumulated more expenses that can be tough to swing on a 2Lt salary; you wouldn't be the first to be "shocked" at how little military pay is. You may also not be as keen about getting berated at OTS or at UPT after a shitty sortie. It's not the easiest for many folks to swallow getting crushed by someone that may be 6-9 years your junior that never lived life outside of the military. The elderly are less keen to play the game and just shut up and color. Lastly, realize that a main reason many do not want to process a waiver is that it's extra work that they don't have to do if they go with a younger candidate. It's a lot of paperwork, explanations, and risk that, if you bomb out, the hiring board/squadron could be beat over the head with. "See, we did all that work and they failed out or quit." At the very least, it's a lot of paperwork to push a waiver (called an ETP), so you can certainly help your cause by figuring out what that paperwork is and promising the squadron you will do everything in your power to help complete it and push it along. Most people don't want extra work, so if you can show you're willing to minimize the extra work required to push an age waiver, then you'll help them feel a lot better about considering someone requiring one. Good luck!
  9. I know these rates seem crazy, but we're still below normal for any time prior to 9/11. This chart showing rates since the late 50s and, besides for a ~3 year stretch in the early 90s, rates weren't below the 4% they currently are for any real sustained period from 1965-2001. The chart is also a little misleading, as the way rates have been established has changed a few times and they've gotten tighter (sts) on the range rates are in and frequency they're changed. (This is a good writeup about the recent history.) Rates just seem high because, like a junkie, we're addicted to low rates we've had post 9/11 and require them to continue to grow as we have. The low rates have made us feel rich; corporations borrowed a lot of money to spend on growth and stock buybacks to push up stock prices, mortgages were cheap and allowed housing prices to turn into investments and grow at rates not seen in the ~75 years proceeding, and consumer debt just kept growing because it didn't cost much. Our new normal wasn't sustainable and, yes, this is a pretty abrupt raise pattern that's gonna hurt, but we've been at new-pilot-on-final levels of throttle-rowing for the past couple decades in regards to interest rates and it's just not sustainable. It spans parties/administrations/Fed talking heads/etc.; no one wanted to take away the punch bowl and have things correct on their watch.
  10. On one hand, it's an app/site that you can connect most (maybe all?) your bank(s)/investment/retirement accounts/credit cards/debts to and it'll show you all your ca$h monie$ in one spot. It can be used to track expenses to help budget/catch where you may waste money and it can show your net worth. It can be useful, if you find yourself in need of such things. DISCLAIMER: I've not used it in quite a few years, so maybe it'll wash your car now, too, with all the new features since I last messed with it. On the other hand, you're allowing one huge financial corp (Intuit, who owns TurboTax, Quickbooks, and who knows what other financial stuff) to have ALLLLLLL of your financial information. I'm guessing they use it to track enough of your metrics that would to make your head spin with that much access to your complete financial picture. Your net worth, spending habits, when/where/what you spend your money, debts, etc. that I'm sure is quite the valuable swath of info on a consumer you're allowing them access, track, and sell to others. On that end, I steer clear, cause Gator don't play.
  11. FDNYOldGuy


    Depends a lot on your need for brick and mortar/cash handling, as well as (unfortunately just recently) bill pay. I’ve used TDAmeritrade for my checking and investing mix for about 10 years. I love the investing platform (I use ThinkorSwim, but they’re tied together), they offer unlimited ATM reimbursements (seriously, used a $10 fee ATM in Vegas once and they paid me back), and they’ll send you checks/handle ACHs like any normal bank account. You can also photo deposit checks up to pretty hefty amounts and they clear pretty quick. Downsides are there are very few brick and mortar (mostly one or two locations in bigger cities), no savings account/they pay abysmal interest on cash balances (although, you can buy CDs or build a bond ladder and get higher than savings account interest), and they just killed bill pay a month or so ago with seemingly no replacement. It sucks USAA has gotten so bad, as it is about the only one stop shop with banking, investing, and insurance. There just aren’t many other solid options. But, TD offers at least two of them and have been good to me for awhile.
  12. I don’t think you’re wrong on the bump. These things (usually) also take much longer to shake out than we think. Sept 2008 when Bear/Lehman collapse and bailouts started is when most believe was the GFC collapse. But, markets had actually peaked in late 07 and declined to their lowest point in March 09. It took a year and a half to shake out and head the other direction; with MANY crazy up and down swings in there. And it got better due to ~1.6T in stimulus. Trump and Biden combined threw ~$4T at COVID and it’s collapse lasted a few months before those injections drove a huge boom that brought us to late last year. I don’t think we politically have the stomach for those bailouts again, but who knows? Pepper in some very high (for us) political discord, a war in Europe, their energy crisis, housing imploding, consumer debt getting pummeled by high interest, that same interest likely slowing the corporate-debt-funded stock buyback binge, and whatever “supply chain” BS companies use to gouge the shit out of us for higher profits hurting consumerism…well, I don’t feel too rosy going forward. But, what do I know? Best bet is to not try to time it and just keep plugging away in TSP/CIV job match and hang on for the ride. We could go back to 4500 S&P next; or below 2500. Or anything in between.
  13. I think this is the case, as well. I’m hard pressed to believe we don’t end up with much larger declines than that. Many houses in my neighborhood have flippers that have bought places 6-9 months ago and are now trying to sell them for 100% price increases. Ain’t no way they put that level of renovation work in over that short of time. Slapping a coat of wax, a new radio, and new tires doesn’t make a car worth double its value; people will realize the same when they’re not “forced” to buy whatever is available because what’s on the market is so sparse. That’s gonna be changing; interest rates continuing up or not. Spot on driver inbound that will be complimented by one other HUGE difference between now and ‘08: institutional investors and AirBnB investors. Institutional investors acquire/renovate a lot of these properties using lines of credit and shorter-term (5-12 year) commercial portfolio loans with balloon payments upon end of term. They’re staring down the barrel of refinancing at rates DRASTICALLY higher than they were in the past few years. Also affecting LoCs. AirBnB is the other = to ‘08 subprime issue inbound. I know there are some folks that said on this thread that they’re doing very well and have safely built their business; but there are certainly a lot of folks that haven’t that will quickly get in over their heads. The fundamental change AirBnB brought to the market has created an artificial housing supply constraint. *(BTW, they pay a metric fuckton of money to ensure they don’t get in the spotlight for this). These properties are rented short term for far more than they could be rented long term with a traditional renter and that higher potential income means those willing to take on the uncertainty are willing to pay a much higher than market price than a traditional buyer would. So, realistically, I don’t think we actually have a much-touted supply shortage of physical housing *(in most areas); we have a supply shortage of long term rental and owner-occupant purchase housing due to flippers and AirBnB investors. The very rapid and drastic (albeit brief) drop in housing/rental prices in March (until around July/Aug) of 2020 was a sign of these folks coming under strain. Having short-term rentals (STRs) when the world shut down scared the balls out of a lot of people into selling/longer-term rental offerings and flooded the market. A lot of these were rented at steep discounts that have since turned in non renewals (back to AirBnB) or massive rent increases at lease end. Are we likely to have another shutdown like that again? Probably not. But, what happens when the first few investor folks (AirBnB, flippers, or institutional) or Boomers that are not sure-footed/think they missed the boat start to break and unload properties? What about when the economy slows and we hit an actual recession? Or if (when) the stock market dips lower and 401k balances look less fortifying? Will it create a stampede toward the door and a chain reaction collapse similar to the times around the Financial Crisis? I think yes, but that’s just my smooth-brain opinion. EDIT: just to clarify, I’m not trying to bag on any of the folks that run AirBnBs. It’s hard to justify renting long term when you can make that much more as an AirBnB. I’ve noticed folks advertising properties where I’m a slumlord at 2-3 times what I’m getting monthly for LTRs, so it makes complete sense for landlords and I’ve certainly considered it. That said, I don’t know if I can square AirBnB being good for the average person looking to buy a home or rent long-term. It inflates demand and price above what the market can/would normally pay (without massive salary increases). But, it is here and a very profitable thing for many, so it’s hard to see it going away. It has likely just driven a fundamental shift in property demand that we haven’t adjusted to yet. How that plays out over booms and busts, I dunno.
  14. Everyone's favorite...it depends. BLUF: Maybe get a quote on what the Term would cost you and compare that cost to what you'd pay in SBP reduction of your check. The SBP type coverage is usually very costly. If a comfortable Term amount costs less than the SBP, you might be better off with that route. Obviously when you keel has a big piece, but that's uncontrollable. The controllables that will make the biggest variations are: what are your other retirement/rainy day savings, spouse/heirs' income needs, your spouse's income earning potential, and what are your costs for a Term Life policy that would cover your family's needs? The last big one that is sometimes hard to ask and the most important...what is your spouse's FINANCIAL APTITUDE? Would they have the wherewithal to smartly invest a lump sum that a Term policy would pay out vs are they not great with money and be better off with an "allowance" that the SBP would provide? If the former, the Term life is usually a much better deal (depending on your insurability) and, if the latter, it's probably better to go for the SBP. I am trying to avoid going deep down the rabbit hole of the above questions, because it gets convoluted and focused on each individual scenario, but 96.69% of the time it's better to get the Term policy (*depending on your insurability/health and what that Term policy costs) over the SBP. Pensions take a pretty costly bite out of what your full monthly benefit would be to act as your "insurance." You are usually much better off to take the higher monthly payment and INVEST the difference between that payment and what your reduced SBP would be in an IRA (if you're continuing working) or even just using it to pay the Term policy costs, but that requires discipline and also ties great into your spouses' money handling capability asked about in the paragraph above. Lastly, one big further positive to the Term vs SBP: The Term payout is tax free; the SBP is (likely) going to be taxable income. Again, if your spouse is capable of managing a large sum of money showing up, the Term payout could grow to quite a nest egg for her later years. If she's gonna use it to buy a new boat/big house/diamonds/new gardner/whatever, it might not be the best option. FWIW, I am basing a lot of my knowledge on pension options off of my civilian equivalent of an SBP (albeit, they're all basically similar calculated annuity contracts) and I was never AD, so I do not know if there are major differences with the AD Mil SBP. That said, generally, it is usually way more costly to "pay" a pension to act as your insurance over purchasing a Term policy. YMMV, of course.
  • Create New...