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Re: Fraudulent Charges Mystery

I've had situations where a physical card was present that wasn't mine as well as online purchases. I've stopped asking is this or that kind of stuff possible, it's really an irrelevant question. I just call my card company or they call me and cancel the account and get a new card and move on. Anyt...
by Rupert
Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraudulent Charges Mystery
Replies: 21
Views: 2662

Re: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?

Everybody keeps saying Zillow is awful. If Zillow is really bad, why not suggest a different website so that one can estimate the value? If there's no other website, then can you propose a method to estimate the values in 2007 and 2014? Since I don't know what else to do, I used Zillow. I would've ...
by Rupert
Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?
Replies: 82
Views: 4052

Re: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?

Don't forget that old houses are full of old lead paint and/or asbestos. Asbestos was sometimes mixed into plaster and joint compound. Those bumpy ceilings that people hate so much these days also often contain it as well. (I shudder every time someone tells me they just had their ceilings "scr...
by Rupert
Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?
Replies: 53
Views: 2761

Re: USAA Homeowners Insurance

Thanks to all for the replies thus far. I recently increased my coverage to take into account a significant renovation/remodeling that is currently underway. However, I am comparing apples to apples in this situation because the new limits went into effect before the the new premiums were determine...
by Rupert
Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA Homeowners Insurance Rate Hike
Replies: 10
Views: 2159

Re: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?

I live in a 25 year old house and if I had your income and the ability to do all the work in a few days, I'd knock it down tomorrow and build a new one. Well, ok, I'd actually rather be in a slightly different location, but that's not the point, I'm talking about the quality of the house itself - a...
by Rupert
Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?
Replies: 53
Views: 2761

Re: Lawyer Up? Advice Needed

Do you personally know any lawyers? If you do, regardless of their specialties, ask them if they know any reputable personal-injury attorneys with experience in products liability and/or medical malpractice. Either should be a good option. This is likely a very easy case from a liability standpoint...
by Rupert
Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obtaining Legal Counsel?
Replies: 51
Views: 3093

Re: Steps to take to prevent ID theft?

Unfortunately, no, they don't always show up immediately. I found out in June that my identity had been used to open a fraudulent account last November. Fortunately, I had signed up for free credit monitoring offered by Target after their data breach last year. The monitoring service alerted me when...
by Rupert
Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Steps to take to prevent ID theft?
Replies: 22
Views: 1959

Re: 2014 Honda Civic EX-L vs 2014 Acura ILX(Base)

Get a slightly used Acura TSX instead.The TSX is a really great car. I've been driving one for 10 years. (And, btw, it's the Acura most comparable to an Accord, not the TL). If you want the smaller engine/better gas mileage of the ILX/Civic, I'd vote for the ILX. You'll get some of the price differe...
by Rupert
Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014 Honda Civic EX-L vs 2014 Acura ILX(Base)
Replies: 48
Views: 3122

Re: Steps to take to prevent ID theft?

The PP was correct -- the credit card fraud is nothing. The credit karma/potential ID theft is a much bigger issue. New accounts may have been opened using your identity. Usually thieves buy cellphones and open cellphone accounts and/or open new credit card accounts with stolen identities. You need ...
by Rupert
Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Steps to take to prevent ID theft?
Replies: 22
Views: 1959

Re: Need advice re hearing aid for small child

Please seek advice only from a qualified healthcare professional. Make sure you ask one that gets commission/kick backs for each hearing aid they sell. :oops: This is a problem I'm discovering. Audiology services are often bundled with the price of the hearing aid. How can you tell you're getting g...
by Rupert
Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice re hearing aid for small child
Replies: 22
Views: 1187

Re: Need advice re hearing aid for small child

As for your questions concerning whether we really need the aids, I'm not 100% sure right now. The ENT said that it has been his experience that most hearing-impaired kids need an aid of some sort in the classroom setting. He thinks she'll do fine without aids in most other settings. When your ENT ...
by Rupert
Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice re hearing aid for small child
Replies: 22
Views: 1187

Re: Need advice re hearing aid for small child

Thank you all for replying. My insurance, BCBS, doesn't pay anything for hearing aids or audiologist visits for the purpose of fitting hearings aids. So we're on our own. The university audiologist referred us to a state-run program that offers pediatric audiology services on a sliding scale. I'm ce...
by Rupert
Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice re hearing aid for small child
Replies: 22
Views: 1187

Re: What is reasonable for 403b fees?

Your fees are not reasonable, and your small plan can do better. But I'd be willing to bet that the folks who set it up know next to nothing about retirement plans and investments. They likely chose Nationwide because Nationwide promised to do everything for them -- choose investments, fill out the ...
by Rupert
Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is reasonable for 403b fees?
Replies: 21
Views: 1081

Need advice re hearing aid for small child

Has anyone here had to buy a hearing aid for a small child? If so, do you have any advice for me as I begin shopping for a hearing aid for my five year old daughter? What's a reasonable price (or reasonable range of prices) to pay for a single BTE aid for a child? What other questions should I be as...
by Rupert
Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice re hearing aid for small child
Replies: 22
Views: 1187

Re: Income change budget adjustments

What does "58k in automobile equity" mean? Do you still owe anything on your automobiles? Is there a good reason you own so many and/or such expensive automobiles, i.e., is it necessary for your business? If not, and given that neither you nor your wife commute, I'd recommend exchanging so...
by Rupert
Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income change budget adjustments
Replies: 16
Views: 1058

Re: Retirement Plan Review

I don't think you're too conservative. You did well in choosing funds but you might want to rethink holding all your bonds in a Roth IRA, especially when you have a decently priced bond index option in your 457. Most folks prefer to hold high growth potential stocks in their Roth because the growth ...
by Rupert
Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Plan Review: How'd we do???
Replies: 2
Views: 460

Re: A question for the Bogleladies or those who can consult

First, are you sure she'll appreciate this gift? Some women do not like fancy underthings. They wear Jockey for a reason. Second, are you sure this gift is not for you, instead of her? On many an occasion I have encountered men shopping in stores like Victoria's Secret and thought to myself: "O...
by Rupert
Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A question for the Bogleladies or those who can consult one
Replies: 70
Views: 5606

Re: Newbie whole life insurance policy question

IMHO, a 28-year-old single guy really doesn't need life insurance at all, let alone whole life. But if you're planning a family in the foreseeable future, it might make sense to buy term while you're still young and healthy.
by Rupert
Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie whole life insurance policy question
Replies: 30
Views: 2339

Re: Rebalancing question - where to buy bonds

Are those taxable accounts also for retirement? If not, do want 80/20 in your entire portfolio or just in your retirement portfolio? Answering these questions will help us help you.
by Rupert
Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalancing question - where to buy bonds
Replies: 6
Views: 549

Re: Review the 401k proposal i received

There are so many questions to ask. These are just off the top of my head: Do you have a plan now, or will this be your first plan? Is Paychex just the TPA? If so, who is the custodian? Does the setup fee include drafting the plan document? What if the plan document needs to be amended down the road...
by Rupert
Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Review the 401k proposal i received
Replies: 10
Views: 848

Re: need guidance with 401k and taxable account

Can you do Roth IRAs at all or is your income too high? As for your 401ks, I'd invest solely in the S&P 500 Index fund and the intermediate bond fund. I would use Roth or taxable space to invest in: (1) small and mid-cap US stock index funds (or a single extended market index fund, which is comp...
by Rupert
Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: need guidance with 401k and taxable account
Replies: 6
Views: 1181

Re: Family cabin planning

I wouldn't try to ditch it; I'd try to own it. Personal vacation homes in national parks are rare and special. But legally this is a really complicated situation. I would consult an attorney to see if there is some way to force a sale/settlement within the family. Hate to say it because suing family...
by Rupert
Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family cabin [Estate] planning
Replies: 25
Views: 1986

Re: Inservice distribution 403b

I believe that linked article is wrong. You have to be 59.5 to do an in-service rollover without it being a taxable event, unless a qualifying event occurs (e.g., termination, disability, hardship).
by Rupert
Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inservice distribution 403b
Replies: 14
Views: 488

Re: Affordable health insurance

Are your health issues serious enough that you might qualify for social security disability payments? If so, you might also qualify for Medicare early.
by Rupert
Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affordable health insurance
Replies: 33
Views: 2953

Re: Term Life Rate vs. Age

Your wife should buy term life before she gets pregnant because she may develop conditions during pregnancy, e.g., pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure) and gestational diabetes, that will forever affect the price she pays for insurance. Women who are perfectly healthy and not overweight before becomi...
by Rupert
Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term Life Rate vs. Age
Replies: 4
Views: 416

Re: Changed Lawyers - Won't Transfer File

Are the new firm and the old firm in the same town? If so, why doesn't the new firm just send a runner over to pick it up after your mother has signed a waiver authorizing its release? That's how it's typically done in my town. Legal files can be huge, you know. That thing might cost a small fortune...
by Rupert
Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changed Lawyers - Won't Transfer File
Replies: 29
Views: 2274

Re: Building a home

It's almost always more expensive to build a custom home than to buy a comparable existing home. There are a lot of variables though; that's why the estimates you find online vary tremendously. One option that I haven't noticed anyone mention yet is what I call the "semi-custom home" optio...
by Rupert
Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a home
Replies: 17
Views: 1492

Re: Our 401k Adviser's defense against high 1.5% expense ...

Ask him why an ERISA rider for your company's general Directors and Officers liability policy wouldn't protect the company better or as well as his services in the face of a lawsuit.
by Rupert
Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Our 401k Adviser's defense against high 1.5% expense ...
Replies: 7
Views: 885

Re: real estate fraud?

A few years back, Zillow said my house sold for $38,000 in 2005. I have no idea where that number came from. I refinanced my mortgage in 2005 but didn't sell or buy the house and the number $38,000 had no role to play in the refinance. Today, Zillow says my house sold for $224,000 in 2005. Again, th...
by Rupert
Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: real estate fraud?
Replies: 33
Views: 2648

Re: How do you afford to travel?

I know we all save and invest, but I think the bulk of the population here also loves to experience new things and travel. There is obviously a monetary cost of vacationing, but there is also the process of getting off work, leaving priorities behind, ect. Personally, I hate to fly, and typically o...
by Rupert
Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 68
Views: 6210

Re: Contractor Messed up

What's the price difference between oak and maple cabinets? Does the $1000 really make you whole or is the contractor still making a profit pushing oak on you?
by Rupert
Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contractor Messed up
Replies: 45
Views: 2965

Re: Personal Development Books

Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (his TED talk on the same topic is also worth watching)
by Rupert
Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Development Books
Replies: 39
Views: 2793

Re: Fed up with ATT

Walmart's BasicTalk VOIP service costs $10-15 a month (depends on taxes where you are), and they let you port your old number.
by Rupert
Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fed up with ATT
Replies: 47
Views: 3748

Re: Auto insurance fraud, id thief

You need to cooperate with your insurance company. They're being pursued by another insurance company and have to have evidence -- not just your expressed outrage -- to defend against the claim in court. I have worked as a lawyer for insurance companies, and you would not believe the number of outra...
by Rupert
Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto insurance fraud, id thief
Replies: 10
Views: 812

Re: having trouble getting homeowners insurance

I third the recommendation to seek out an independent agent. I live in a hurricane area and had similar trouble finding a policy after hurricanes Ivan and Katrina in 2004-05. All of the big insurers - State Farm, Allstate, Alfa, Farmers, etc. - stopped writing new policies and cancelled policies alo...
by Rupert
Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: having trouble getting homeowners insurance
Replies: 17
Views: 1111

Re: buying home with life partner, need advice!

You need to consult a tax lawyer before you make a decision. There are not only income tax issues in your fact pattern (who gets to deduct the mortgage interest) but also estate & gift tax issues lurking. There are benefits to doing a joint tenancy in your situation, but there are also benefits ...
by Rupert
Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: buying home with life partner, need advice!
Replies: 17
Views: 1259

Re: home owners ins. (wind and hail deductible)

Don't rely on home values for purposes of property taxes when deciding how much insurance to buy. Comparable sales in your neighborhood, i.e., market value, also isn't the best measure of value. You want to base insured value on how much it would cost you to rebuild the house, i.e., replacement valu...
by Rupert
Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: home owners ins. (wind and hail deductible)
Replies: 12
Views: 776

Re: Vacationing in Seaside Florida?

If you want to see Seaside but stay somewhere slightly more secluded, try Grayton Beach, which is just down the highway. Personally, I love Seaside and all the little beach towns along Hwy 30A. To each his own, I guess, but I don't understand the PP who said Seaside wasn't walkable and safe for kids...
by Rupert
Sat May 31, 2014 10:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacationing in Seaside Florida?
Replies: 13
Views: 1353

Re: Commute to elementary school

I do not think you're crazy for wanting to send your kids to a private French school. But I do think you're a bit crazy to consider sending them to a school an hour away. I only live and work 15 minutes from my kids' school, and I'm constantly running back and forth to carpool, to school functions d...
by Rupert
Fri May 30, 2014 11:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commute to elementary school [French language spoken]
Replies: 37
Views: 2730

Re: Florida/Orlando vacation

Skip south/central Florida altogether and do Savannah, GA, and the southern Sea Islands instead, e.g., St. Simon's, Jekyll, Cumberland and Amelia Islands.
by Rupert
Thu May 29, 2014 10:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida/Orlando vacation
Replies: 5
Views: 600

Re: When to open 529

We opened a 529 six months before our son was born. We opened in my wife's name and then changed the beneficiary to our son when we received his SSN. However there was some time urgency to open the account as it was a prepaid tuition plan and I expected prices to rise substantially if we missed a c...
by Rupert
Wed May 28, 2014 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to open 529
Replies: 34
Views: 1785

Re: question about Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

The "highly compensated employee" (HCE) restriction comes from the IRS and Dept of Labor. Your employer likely has to limit contributions from HCE's in order to pass discrimination testing. If you opt out of your employer's FSA, I think your wife may be able to contribute the full $5000 to...
by Rupert
Wed May 28, 2014 11:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: question about Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
Replies: 7
Views: 568

Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box..??

I keep a small stash of cash at home because I live in a hurricane area. As a pp mentioned, many gas stations stop accepting credit cards during hurricane evacuations because they can process cash transactions faster and the credit card processing systems are overwhelmed. Also, in the days leading u...
by Rupert
Wed May 28, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash in Safe Deposit Box..??
Replies: 52
Views: 2921

Re: Child Care - 2 or More Children and Strategies to Pay

I'm sorry to tell you that daycare is the least of your future financial worries. Seriously?? The OP is considering paying $40k a year on daycare and that's the least of his worries? What is going to cost more than that for his children that he/she will need to pay? Hopefully college isn't mentione...
by Rupert
Fri May 23, 2014 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Care - 2 or More Children and Strategies to Pay
Replies: 46
Views: 3283

Re: Child Care - 2 or More Children and Strategies to Pay

Daycares do generally charge less for older children because state law generally allows a higher student/teacher ratio for toddlers as opposed to infants. I've never heard of a multi-child discount though. Good daycares have such long waiting lists where I live that they can charge whatever they wan...
by Rupert
Fri May 23, 2014 11:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Care - 2 or More Children and Strategies to Pay
Replies: 46
Views: 3283

Re: [Visiting] Destin, FL

Are you staying in Destin proper or in the Sandestin Resort? If the latter, no need to leave the resort. If the former, I recommend driving east out of town to Hwy 30A: Seaside, Grayton Beach, Alys Beach, etc. are all worth a visit. Destin itself is a very crowded beach town. There's not much to say...
by Rupert
Fri May 23, 2014 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Visiting] Destin, FL
Replies: 21
Views: 1804

Re: Best source for cheap airfares?

Tentatively planning a Phila - Cancun trip in June. Of the various "fare seekers" (Orbitz, Priceline, Expedia, Kayak, etc) any one comes more highly recommended over the others? Thank you in advance! I use those services as a starting point, especially Orbitz. But I generally find that if...
by Rupert
Wed May 21, 2014 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best source for cheap airfares?
Replies: 11
Views: 1261

Re: City Driver Hit My New Car. Diminished Value Advice?

I'm not sure what state you're in, but in some states you cannot make diminished value claims, which is probably why some people have never heard of them.
by Rupert
Tue May 20, 2014 12:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: City Driver Hit My New Car. Diminished Value Advice?
Replies: 33
Views: 3129

Re: Recommended Parenting Books

NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman: debunks many commonly-held beliefs/myths about parenting using actual evidence
by Rupert
Mon May 19, 2014 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended Parenting Books
Replies: 30
Views: 2110

Re: Need a little help designing a 401(k) wishlist

Thanks for the feedback! I agree, I've positioned myself into a wonderful position. Thankfully, I do have some industry education in my background (I used to be a registered representative with my Series 6 and 63 before I decided sales wasn't for me), so I'm hoping that between that and my vested i...
by Rupert
Wed May 14, 2014 6:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need a little help designing a 401(k) wishlist
Replies: 12
Views: 549
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