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by 2stepsbehind
Sun May 17, 2015 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: adversarial inheritance situation - advice needed.
Replies: 23
Views: 3246

Re: adversarial inheritance situation - advice needed.

Tough situation. Not sure the grandchild really has any cause to start hiring legal counsel at this point. It doesn't even seem that he knows whether he's a beneficiary. In many cases, only children directly inherit. At this point the grandchild should probably just focus on enjoying the rest of the...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat May 09, 2015 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel trailer (on my wish list)
Replies: 8
Views: 917

Re: Travel trailer (on my wish list)

consider renting it at least 2-3 times before you decide whether a purchase is warranted.
by 2stepsbehind
Wed May 06, 2015 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 152601

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Redbird dying or dead...on to the next white whale. I think there will be smaller, more labor intensive opportunities, but no white whales. This was the easiest, most lucrative manufactured spend method of all time. Many people, myself most likely included, will stop MS altogether. From now on I'll...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed May 06, 2015 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 152601

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Redbird dying or dead...on to the next white whale.
by 2stepsbehind
Sun May 03, 2015 6:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Savings vs. Down Payment - Placement & Priority
Replies: 10
Views: 1237

Re: Retirement Savings vs. Down Payment - Placement & Priority

I think I'm with eviltyb. Given you plan to move out of state within the next few years, I'd just rent and use the VA loan for your home when you move. Lets put it this way--would you save up a 75k downpayment and pay market interest rates on a rental property in Georgia?
by 2stepsbehind
Sat May 02, 2015 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax LLM: worth it?
Replies: 19
Views: 1541

Re: Tax LLM: worth it?

Thanks for the responses. I attended a top-three law school. Students were not required to take any tax courses, but many of us took basic Taxation. I took that class in the spring of my 3L year and did fine, although at the time I thought I wanted to practice criminal law so I was far more focused...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-sign on spouse's student loans?
Replies: 47
Views: 3313

Re: Co-sign on spouse's student loans?

Family can have multiple definitions depending on the context. Within the scope of this thread family is appropriate. Well for that matter so can roommates so your juxtaposition of the two was largely unhelpful. Anyway as can be seen in this thread, whether or not someone should take on additional ...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-sign on spouse's student loans?
Replies: 47
Views: 3313

Re: Co-sign on spouse's student loans?

I think not. It's about family vs. roommates. Even though you retracted it, I'll just note that your comment wasn't particularly helpful. Children, parents and siblings are family not roommates and we routinely counsel against cosigning for loans for them. The comment was within the context of a sp...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-sign on spouse's student loans?
Replies: 47
Views: 3313

Re: Co-sign on spouse's student loans?

cheese_breath wrote:I think not. It's about family vs. roommates.


Even though you retracted it, I'll just note that your comment wasn't particularly helpful. Children, parents and siblings are family not roommates and we routinely counsel against cosigning for loans for them.
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage and splitting expenses
Replies: 112
Views: 7640

Re: Marriage and splitting expenses

It seems there are a lot of different opinions on this expanding thread. They appear to boil down to 2 or 3 camps. "Two becomes one". All assets, income, and expenses should be considered part of a single pot. What's mine is ours, what's yours is ours. For better or for worse. "I Me ...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle for tall people/Spouse wants 50k car help!
Replies: 77
Views: 5826

Re: Vehicle for tall people/Spouse wants 50k car help!

If the car is primarily for your wife, then what does it matter that you'd be uncomfortable in it after 2 hours of driving? If you are unlikely to drive it that often, you might just consider getting a cheaper luxury vehicle that fits her well and rent a car for other situations.
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with tourists taking photos. Etiquette question.
Replies: 34
Views: 3844

Re: Dealing with tourists taking photos. Etiquette question

On my most recent trip I was amazed at the growing trend of "selfie sticks" in use. Kinda pathetic if you ask me. :? Would you prefer for solo travelers to always have to inconvenience others to have pictures from the trip or do you prefer the more "authentic" selfie look of onl...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to allocate inheritance proceeds?
Replies: 16
Views: 1292

Re: How to allocate inheritance proceeds?

Your plan looks like a good one. Just want to add sorry for your loss and don't feel like you need to do everything right away. Take time to grieve and when you are ready, figure out what the plan should be going forward. What are the exact funds on your 401k? That may give people ideas on what shou...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 152601

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Glad to hear you booked! LoL: regarding the dangers of flying. I am also tempted by those offers a lot, but I can't really say I was ever able to take advantage of those: (1) it is hard to make those trips when working, (2) up until recently I was not a US Citizen, and traveling pretty much everywh...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools
Replies: 304
Views: 17598

Re: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools

At the end of the day, if you make under 100-120k and your kid gets HYPS, it is an excellent deal. On the other end of the spectrum, if you have the money and you can't imagine any more creative uses for it, there is nothing wrong with pulling full freight for HYPS or any number of other highly rega...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is Sammy Savers net worth?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: What is Sammy Savers net worth?

Any response outside of $1 million is nonstandard. If sammy died tomorrow he could leave $1 million to charity, not more or less. No, he could leave $1 million + the proceeds of the sale of his house minus any associated real estate fees. I think the $1 million figure listed above understates his n...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prenup Poll
Replies: 5
Views: 424

Re: Prenup Poll

I think it would help if you made the potential responses less loaded. What does it is a financial, not a marriage relationship issue mean? I happen to think it is both a financial and a marriage relationship issue in the sense that it will test their ability to communicate and their ability to comp...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prenup
Replies: 80
Views: 5264

Re: Prenup

The irony is right now on the board another (somewhat less popular) thread exists https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=163312 where the following advice appears to be de rigueur: "Get a will. Do you really want the state determining your personal representative and the dispo...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prenup
Replies: 80
Views: 5264

Re: Prenup

Most of the agreements I have seen are not designed to 'make the partnership work" , that is why they are routinely "sprung" on the weaker party right before a wedding. That certainly does not represent best practices and any good lawyer in this field should know that proximity to th...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prenup
Replies: 80
Views: 5264

Re: Prenup

Its just a procedural example. I'm actually trying to see if there is a analytical middle ground between the " Its all MINE MINE MINE you worthless Baggage !!! on the one side and " any prenuptial agreement is a bad idea and a corruption of marriage " on the other IMHO people work ha...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prenup
Replies: 80
Views: 5264

Re: Prenup

I apologize for lack of clarity in the question and fully accept that this is a fair answer albeit not to the question I thought I asked I was actually asking the question of whether it was possible to reduce the uncertainty by providing for post hoc analysis, not merely provide an arguably fair so...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools
Replies: 304
Views: 17598

Re: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools

Case in point: law. Potential employers aren't going to pay one iota of attention to where you got your BA. Yes and no. Law school is absolutely a filter and cut-off for law firms in a way that undergraduate school is not. But undergraduate school is still considered. All other things being equal, ...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prenup
Replies: 80
Views: 5264

Re: Prenup

There are plenty of existing threads on the subject, and the community is divided on the subject. I think a little over half the people here are in favour of prenups for a number of reasons. The other half are against prenups for sentimental / ideological reasons. . Wow, does that go with "fai...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best US city to spend Xmas
Replies: 40
Views: 2463

Re: Best US city to spend Xmas

SJG wrote:Know a guy who tried Bethlehem at Xmas. No rooms anywhere. Ended up staying in a manger.


Well played.
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prenup
Replies: 80
Views: 5264

Re: Prenup

There are plenty of existing threads on the subject, and the community is divided on the subject. I think a little over half the people here are in favour of prenups for a number of reasons. The other half are against prenups for sentimental / ideological reasons. . Wow, does that go with "fai...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools
Replies: 304
Views: 17598

Re: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools

I have taught at HYPS . . . and the difference in resources, faculty attention, and the student body is tremendous. Yes, many students at other universities are impressive, but virtually all of the students at HYPS are. Yeah that was not my experience as a TA leading several sections of undergradua...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 152601

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

If you looked at the Freedom terms and conditions for last quarter you would have seen that Walmart and Target were specifically excluded from the grocery store promotion.
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [how to handle a $100] purchase from Guatemala?
Replies: 24
Views: 1669

Re: [how to handle a $100] purchase from Guatemala?

gasdoc wrote: (I don't have a way to call international.). :happy


Skype? A good ole fashioned phone card from the grocery store, drug store, or local bodega?
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 109
Views: 10391

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

You don't consider getting 4 credit cards/year, a big deal? You sentence The miles must be strategically accumulated with the airlines and suitable flights must be found. is the key. Have you actually added up the time you have spent doing this? Including all the time spent asking questions here an...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Credit Card Game
Replies: 32
Views: 3124

Re: The Credit Card Game

Hi 2stepsbehind... I've received close to 20 cards since starting with this. I use the Frequent Miler blog for guidance. He and his team list the most lucrative sign up offers...I've been applying for those offering north of 25K in points. If you have a different source that might include cards mis...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Failed Aeroflot booking: What to do?
Replies: 48
Views: 2911

Re: Failed Aeroflot booking: What to do?

BREAKING NEWS! A blogger MillionMileSecrets has recently recommended a new cheap airline WOWAir. For the fun of it, I checked flights from Baltimore to Berlin and Copenhagen. Berlin is not available on the dates I want, but a round trip BWI-CPH can be mine for mere $635,77. These are direct flights...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Failed Aeroflot booking: What to do?
Replies: 48
Views: 2911

Re: Failed Aeroflot booking: What to do?

when is this flight? my go to response would be earn more miles.
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 109
Views: 10391

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

As I stated above, I think the low hanging fruit is worth picking in the MS game -- 5% card spend on sales/deals (esp VGCs), Are you referring here to getting a 5% rebate when using a credit card to buy Visa gift cards? only way I know to do that is with Chase Ink? others? thanks chase freedom had ...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Credit Card Game
Replies: 32
Views: 3124

Re: The Credit Card Game

Barefootgirl wrote:At this point, I think I've applied for and received every card out there with a decent sign up bonus (25K to 80K mostly)
....

Anyone see something here that I do not? comments much appreciated...


Something tells me you haven't. Which cards have you gotten?
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts
Replies: 33
Views: 3170

Re: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts

Thanks for the pointers, but I already have enough to do with my hobbies and interests and don't care to spend time trying to manage credit card miles on three alliances. That's fine, but just like some people prefer not to manage their own investments, there will be a cost associated with that dec...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts
Replies: 33
Views: 3170

Re: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts

Hotels can be a great value as well. Spending on my SPG card is essentially getting me 8.3% back on every purchase since the rooms I'll be booking in NYC early 2016 are $999/night or 12,000 points. I'm getting back 2.9% on my Hyatt card for the rooms I'm booking in Hawaii this fall (5.8% at restaur...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts
Replies: 33
Views: 3170

Re: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts

The last time I used AA miles (last May) I couldn't get seats from Miami to Atlanta for a trip to the Smoky Mountains. To use the miles we had to fly to Charlotte with a three hour layover and then fly to Asheville. Took almost nine hours to get to the Inn (checking bags would have delayed getting ...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts
Replies: 33
Views: 3170

Re: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts

Interesting exercise.... it seems to me that unless a card pays cash back rewards on your purchases there isn't much reason to have or use it. Well here is a fairly common example: the Citi AAvantage Platinum Visa-- when signing up the first year you get 50,000 AA miles for $3,000 worth of spend; t...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts
Replies: 33
Views: 3170

Re: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts

IMHO if you're misplacing "a few" cards you have too many. I wonder how well someone who misplaces the physical cards will regularly monitor all the accounts. I might even wonder if (s)he even knows all the accounts (s)he has. But maybe that's just me. :shock: If you collect miles/points ...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts
Replies: 33
Views: 3170

Re: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts

... 1a) Locate the physical card ... This one causes me a bit of consternation. Are you implying you don't know where all the cards are? Hopefully that's not the case. But if it is it's questionable if you should have any credit cards. Meh if you have enough cards it is not uncommon to misplace a f...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 152601

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Lots of places to buy Redbirds online safely. Well yeah for $30 mostly. Not worth it for me. Anyway, seems like they'll be limited to being loaded with an AMEX soon. Thankfully I didn't invest $30 in that. Well your mileage may vary. If one does the 5k max per month even just using a 2% card you'd ...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 109
Views: 10391

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

Now we're engaging in the absurd. I strongly disagree that you have to be generating 100k of spend per month to be "manufactured spending." I think if you did a poll on flyertalk you'd see that most people are in the 5-25k range.
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 109
Views: 10391

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

You have quoted the wrong post, JeffroZ. I clearly agree with you. See my posts.
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: College funding
Replies: 10
Views: 1103

Re: College funding

They reside in Indiana and while I am not privy to their financial situation, they both have very good paying jobs, my guess is they will be on track in 18 years for their daughter not to be eligible for financial aid. Ed Indiana has a great tax credit offered (20% of contributions to a CollegeChoi...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 109
Views: 10391

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

Interesting. I have cards from BOA and Discover and have never received a 1099.
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 109
Views: 10391

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

Some sign up bonuses will 1099 you. It's hit or miss who does it but check other forums. As far as I know no credit card issuers have issued a 1099 for credit card sign on bonuses; the bonuses are considered a rebate on purchases. Bottomline OP, if you have to ask/aren't comfortable with what you'v...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 152601

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Let me look on my end. What dates? I saw it for 19-23 August. Victoria Yeah I see it on my end, odd. United is known for their phantom availability, but I see it on Aeroplan as well. It could just be the csr. For fun, you may just want to call again and see if someone else can find it. :twisted:
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 152601

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Let me look on my end. What dates?
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 152601

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Congratulations, Victoria. I'll just add that you've learned another big rule in the frequent flyer community--when a csr doesn't see what you see, you HUCA--hang up (politely of course, also recheck your work) and call again. ETA: Surprises me that the second csr found flights you were not able to ...

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