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Re: We made our own Will

We prepared our first wills using NOLO years ago when the kids were small. I studied all I could, but in the end I got cold feet and decided to take it to an estate lawyer to "look over and approve" - thinking by doing it myself I would save some bucks. The lawyer asked me several questio...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: We made our own Will
Replies: 32
Views: 2080

Re: Helping out family members

You cannot help any person if you don't know what went wrong with one's finance. Until s/he explains her/his situation and plan to get out of the trouble, you shouldn't rush to help him. Really? So before you donate to charity or volunteer at a soup kitchen you demand a proper accounting of the rec...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping out family members
Replies: 64
Views: 4293

Re: Best travel rewards card for my unique situation

There is no "best" card. Apply for cards that you think provide value. You certainly can't go wrong with Barclay Arrival +/Chase Sapphire Preferred/Capital One Venture for flexibility, but many of the hotel cards come with points or two free nights which can come in handy when traveling in...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best travel rewards card for my unique situation
Replies: 11
Views: 1480

Re: switching main credit card

A lot of needless snipping above. People value their time differently--I, for example, see no need to stick with a 2% cashback card when one can sign up for several cards over the year with large sign up bonuses and get a bigger bang for the buck, but other people don't want to juggle multiple cards...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4205

Re: How to teach young kids to be frugal?

Why don't you take the list of books the kids wanted and take them to the library to see which of those books are there and which can be ordered via inter-library loan. Make it a game "searching for literary treasure!" If there are any books that aren't available you tell them to rank thei...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to teach young kids to be frugal?
Replies: 65
Views: 4134

Re: switching main credit card

A number of issuers have attempted to clawback miles if the card is closed within six months , but of course ymmv. In general I think the responsible churner would not want to draw attention to him/herself. When I call to cancel the cards I've had thus far (one Southwest VISA, at least three Delta ...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4205

Re: switching main credit card

If you spend a lot on your credit card each year and you'd rather have a Visa or MasterCard than Amex, you might consider the Fidelity Visa, which also give unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases with the exception of the first $15,000 of annual spending (which only earns 1.50% cash back). This di...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4205

Re: switching main credit card

Perhaps your gf should consider getting the Sallie Mae :D Dude, she is NOT into these credit-card games. It took a LOT of arm-twisting to get her to accept a Delta AMEX offer that gave her 60,000 miles as a signup bonus; yeah, there's a $195 annual fee, but she only has to spend $1000, and I'm fair...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4205

Re: switching main credit card

Maybe a SallieMae too, but not sure worth it to have another card just to save 3% extra (over the Citi 2%) on the small amount I spend on gas and grocs (GF buys grocs in lieu of rent, and I don't drive to office these days). Perhaps your gf should consider getting the Sallie Mae :D Dude, she is NOT...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4205

Re: High(ish) earner; spending too much?

This may be off subject but it does apply. I'm also a passionate traveler. I may be a novice investor but I'm a professional at traveling cheap. I haven't paid for a flight in 3 years. I've been to over 20 countries and 40 states in the past 5 years as well. We just took an 8 a country European tri...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: High(ish) earner; spending too much?
Replies: 66
Views: 7025

Re: switching main credit card

The critical issue for getting the companion pass is all points earned have to be done in a calendar year. There are 2 personal cards (I believe one has a $69 annual fee, the other $99) and 2 business cards. If you get two of these cards (any combination) with the 50k bonus offer attached on each a...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4205

Re: switching main credit card

when did you get the Southwest card and how much have you spent on it? It would have been better for you to get two southwest cards so that you could get a companion pass. It might not be too late, but you'd be cutting it very close on qualification. +1 Check the timing of your spending carefully. ...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4205

Re: switching main credit card

when did you get the Southwest card and how much have you spent on it? It would have been better for you to get two southwest cards so that you could get a companion pass. It might not be too late, but you'd be cutting it very close on qualification.
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4205

Re: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?

I have not used it; I wouldn't necessarily recommend it unless you have more than 5-6 programs you are trying to keep track of (and as someone new to the game, I wouldn't recommend having that many). As far as I know, AwardWallet isn't set up to track nuances of credit card rules so much as whether ...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?
Replies: 83
Views: 5863

Re: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?

It is one bonus per card per person (not including business cards). So a person could get bonuses for spg, delta, Hilton etc, but could not get another bonus for an spg if they closed a previous account. This is accurate. I have received bonuses on 2 different Amex products in the last year. The pe...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?
Replies: 83
Views: 5863

Re: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?

It is one bonus per card per person (not including business cards). So a person could get bonuses for spg, delta, Hilton etc, but could not get another bonus for an spg if they closed a previous account.
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?
Replies: 83
Views: 5863

Re: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?

A related question. Just got a MC Arrival+ that requires $3000 spend. Read the fine print where it states no bonus for prior holders. I had forgotten that I cancelled the same card only 6 months ago. Now I wonder what my status is. Will I be spending on the card and not get the bonus? Or do they ch...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?
Replies: 83
Views: 5863

Re: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?

Now you can only get one sign-on bonus per card for life (at least on personal cards). What many churners used to do is apply for a card for the sign on bonus such as amex spg and then one year later close it to avoid the annual fee and then a few months later would reapply for the amex spg and get ...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?
Replies: 83
Views: 5863

Re: Advice for lock-boxing inheritance for 20 years

On another note: I don't know the details and don't need to as that is your business. I will just note that I have known some real loser kids who eventually turned things around. You don't want to let this kid suck the life out of you, your mom or others, but if you can find a middle ground between...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Dec 06, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for lock-boxing inheritance for 20 years
Replies: 45
Views: 3649

Re: Advice for lock-boxing inheritance for 20 years

And 2step, regardless of how he turned out to be such a bad person, he is. And he's an adult now, things keep getting worse, and his guardian is my mom, who is 85 and has just about had it with him (the woman is an angel, and it's the only reason he's not out on the street). There are a lot of reas...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for lock-boxing inheritance for 20 years
Replies: 45
Views: 3649

Re: Advice for lock-boxing inheritance for 20 years

Wait is it any wonder that the grandchild who lost his mother at a young age is a problem child? He may be acting out in grief. I don't know that the right response from the family is the divest the grandchild from the vast majority of his right of representation distribution rather than getting him...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for lock-boxing inheritance for 20 years
Replies: 45
Views: 3649

Re: I think I might have goofed.........

$400 for a good and solid will is not too much. It isn't, but it isn't clear what the $400 encompassed and why he needs to see the attorney again for the vanguard forms and how many more times he may need to see the attorney. Because the OP is ESL he doesn't seem to understand the process and may i...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I think I might have goofed.........
Replies: 15
Views: 2700

Re: Giving money to your alma mater: Have to vent

My neighbor went to one of the top business schools in the US, which is also known for its undergrad programs. When casually asking where he would like his kids (his kids were around 8 years) to go to school, he mentioned his Alma Mater. He said, not verbatim, but something to the effect, "the...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving money to your alma mater: Have to vent
Replies: 166
Views: 16517

Re: I think I might have goofed.........

Hi: Many thanks for your prompt replies............. I have already paid $400 + on the first visit,and today it will be to pay for him to check e-mail and reply to Vanguard in reference to my beneficiaries.The service offered by The senior center is a free kind of referral,one talks to the lawyer a...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I think I might have goofed.........
Replies: 15
Views: 2700

Re: I think I might have goofed.........

I would definitely go to the lawyer offered by the Senior Center if free. Unless your estate is particular complicated or large, chances are such attorney would be able to get you squared away and/or you could ask him about the other attorney to see what his reputation is in the area. I am somewhat ...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I think I might have goofed.........
Replies: 15
Views: 2700

Re: Which degree makes more sense for a late starter

More information is needed. Exactly how much do you have left on your GI bill? Is the idea that you'd stay at your current institution for the MBA? If so, what institution is it? Generally the value of the mba is in networking. Consider whether you can get to know some of the mba students without th...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which degree makes more sense for a late starter
Replies: 54
Views: 3981

Re: Helping adult child understand investing

Why don't you post her situation here and ask her to follow along to see what kind of advice she gets. You do the writing and she can read along. Tell her there are many federal employees here who can help with all of her retirement and other benefit questions. Laura What a wonderful suggestion! Di...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping adult child understand investing
Replies: 23
Views: 1854

Re: Helping adult child understand investing

Have her read the Boglehead's Guide to Investing or the Boglehead's Guide to Retirement Planning. Both books have a ton of information for such easy reads. There is no way in the world I would recommend those books to someone who is reticent to dig deep on personal finance topics-neither would I de...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping adult child understand investing
Replies: 23
Views: 1854

Re: Retirees activities won’t deplete the nest egg.

I'm presently beginning plans for a trip in late February or March... Check out The Points Guy . You may be interested in $250 round trips to Hawaii (Cyber Monday sale). Victoria Not that great of a deal if you are on the east coast. You may, however, want to check out the Virgin America cyber Mond...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees activities won’t deplete the nest egg.
Replies: 20
Views: 2270

Re: Get up to $30 back per Amex card (Small Business Sat, 11

TIAX wrote:Any thoughts on whether an authorized user's card would qualify as a separate card?

They do as long as it is a true amex not FIA etc.
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Get up to $30 back per Amex card (Small Business Sat, 11/29)
Replies: 76
Views: 7164

Re: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?

These are the type of situations where frequent flier miles provide great value (relatively easy to change dates and even destinations for free or a modest cost $150). Do you have any friends/family with a stash of miles?
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?
Replies: 17
Views: 1468

Re: Private college counselor

It is a good competitive magnet school but only 2% , around 7 or 8 go to Ivies, I think the councelors are too busy to give any good advice in school. I am not absolutely fixated on Ivies, but looking for a strong academic school where kids can learn from each other Thank you all This describes mos...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Private college counselor
Replies: 76
Views: 4554

Re: Girlfriend with a LOT of Student debt.

I'd continue to enjoy my time with her, but write her off as a long-term partner. There's another thread warning about co-signing on a loan. If you were to marry her, you're effectively co-signing her outrageous debt. Love may be blind, but it shouldn't be foolish. That is extremely selfish and in ...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend with a LOT of Student debt.
Replies: 166
Views: 13619

Re: Where to invest end of year bonus

Biglaw bonus, but no associated law school debt? Impressive. I guess I'd devote a chunk of money to the car and then dca the remaining into taxable. Make sure to take some percentage say 5% of the amount after tax to treat yourself.
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where to invest end of year bonus
Replies: 16
Views: 1493

Re: Girlfriend with a LOT of Student debt.

If a 10 year old had bad manners, chewed with their mouth full, and made rude comments, would you also say don't blame the parents? These are essential life lessons that all parents should be teaching their kids. Your GF was presumably an adult, not 10 years old, when she made the decisions to take...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend with a LOT of Student debt.
Replies: 166
Views: 13619

Re: Vacation in France

You guys are hijacking the poor Op's thread. Start a new thread for flyer talk lite
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation in France
Replies: 96
Views: 6667

Re: Dealing with pressure for "social donations" at work

All these pseudo Perry Masons. There is nothing illegal about what is going on at the OP's job. You know how I know? Because basically every large law firm has a similar scheme by which associates (some of whom are sporting well in the six figures of debt) are expected to give their assistants (who ...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with pressure for "social donations" at work
Replies: 167
Views: 10756

Re: Obligation to Parents?

I think the answer is- it depends. Are these loving parents who overspent for the benefit of their children (taking out huge loans for college etc.) or were they neglectful/abusive? In the latter scenario I certainly don't begrudge a child from disclaiming any responsibility, but if these were other...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obligation to Parents?
Replies: 77
Views: 4230

Re: Store or cut up un-needed credit cards?

We repeatedly turn down offers to increase our lines of credit because we don't want to be responsible if something goes wrong (e.g. identity theft). Well you wouldn't be responsible if something goes wrong. The major card networks offer zero liability protection for unauthorized transactions so if...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Store or cut up un-needed credit cards?
Replies: 28
Views: 2600

Re: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?

Flyertalk can be intimidating at first but I think a lot of people come here and think that too. VTSMX? What the heck is that? What about my AA? How did you know I go to those meetings? Well said. Here's the thing: yes, it takes time to figure out what is going on/understand the lingo on flyertalk....
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?
Replies: 73
Views: 4732

Re: Store or cut up un-needed credit cards?

We repeatedly turn down offers to increase our lines of credit because we don't want to be responsible if something goes wrong (e.g. identity theft). Well you wouldn't be responsible if something goes wrong. The major card networks offer zero liability protection for unauthorized transactions so if...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Store or cut up un-needed credit cards?
Replies: 28
Views: 2600

Re: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?

Exterous, 2stepsbehind, et al, Thank you very much! I have one more question, which is rather critical: Apparently, there are various ways to qualify for the initial bonuses in the absence of high expenditures. Someone said that this is covered on the Fliertalk site, but I could not find relevant d...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?
Replies: 73
Views: 4732

Re: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?

I always thought this would truly harm your credit score. Has anyone else on the forum done something like this without repercussions? What "repercussions" are you concerned about? As autonomy noted unless you are planning to apply for a mortgage, car or student loan within the next year ...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?
Replies: 73
Views: 4732

Re: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?

Wow, and I thought I churned a lot! I'm assuming you and your wife live at the same address. Do you apply for different cards? I would think you couldn't apply for the same card for two different people at the same address, no? Not Exterous, but why would you think that? As far as I know, no issuer...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?
Replies: 73
Views: 4732

Re: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?

I always thought this would truly harm your credit score. Has anyone else on the forum done something like this without repercussions? What "repercussions" are you concerned about? As autonomy noted unless you are planning to apply for a mortgage, car or student loan within the next year ...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?
Replies: 73
Views: 4732

Re: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?

How many miles do you have in delta vs. other frequent flier programs? Chances are if you just have a vague sense that one day you'd like to travel internationally then you should probably use the miles now. However, if you know that next fall you plan to go to Paris, then I'd suggest holding on to ...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?
Replies: 73
Views: 4732

Re: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?

I have averaged 1.7 cpm on Delta redemptions over the past few years, but those are all international flights and involve far more than 50,000 miles. I suspect your return is probably about average. Pointsguy.com gives 1.2 cpm as the Delta average for domestic flights. I think the best I have ever ...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?
Replies: 73
Views: 4732

Re: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?

How much are flights on other airlines (both in terms of miles and cash)? While this does not appear an ideal redemption, if you don't have any other plans for the miles, you could do worse. As someone mentioned, miles are a depreciating asset so it is better to use them judiciously (and as I've sai...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?
Replies: 73
Views: 4732

Re: Anyone cancelling travel plans?

Now, if I was scheduled for a photo safari in Africa, maybe I would, but ONLY that. I'm not sure why you would cancel even then. The primary areas for safaris are in East Africa and southern Africa, while Ebola is currently a problem in West Africa. Would you cancel a trip to Florida because some p...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone cancelling travel plans?
Replies: 117
Views: 6482

Re: Estate planning - big firm or solo practitioner?

J295 wrote: Generally, I'd want someone with ... typically high law school class ranking (top 10%)


You've got to be kidding me--10-20 years of experience under their belt and you are concerned about how they did in crim 13+ years ago? That sounds like overkill.
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning - big firm or solo practitioner?
Replies: 22
Views: 2233
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