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Re: POLL: why carry cash?

I find myself frustrated waiting for the ones in front of me to dig pennies out of their pocket or purse, trying to find the exact change. . . . I can't say that my observations have concluded this, but I just don't understand why anyone wants to stand in line longer than they need to and walk away...
by WHL
Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: why carry cash?
Replies: 225
Views: 7401

Re: Can you please convince me to get a credit card?

I have roughly 800k frequent flyer points / miles across a few different programs. The vast majority of these have come from credit card usage and sign up bonuses. You're free to value these points as you wish, but at the typically agreed upon rate of $0.01 / point, I'm sitting on roughly 8k in &quo...
by WHL
Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you please convince me to get a credit card?
Replies: 97
Views: 5246

Re: Why pay off your house?

I love how people talk about losing the property tax deduction like its a big deal. Uh, I'd rather not pay interest in the first place.
by WHL
Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay off your house?
Replies: 119
Views: 8611

Re: water heater purchase from Amazon

I once ordered a rug from Amazon, 8x10.... and they sent me 10x12 .... TWICE. I was responsible for returning it, twice. Don't get your water heater from Amazon. Yeah, this isn't correct. If they made a mistake, they will NEVER charge for the product to be returned. Of course, you're responsible fo...
by WHL
Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: water heater purchase from Amazon
Replies: 12
Views: 1220

Re: Purchasing New Tires for Car and Need Suggestions

If you're an Amazon Prime member, make sure you check tire prices there. Shockingly, they were cheaper than Tirerack and very competitive with Discount Tire Co., who I ended up buying through. I purchased Yokohama Geolandar H/T-S tires for my truck. Good price (~$1200) and 60k mile expected life, wh...
by WHL
Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing New Tires for Car and Need Suggestions
Replies: 38
Views: 2043

Re: And suddenly, I'm done...

I've been this way for a few years now, but it got easier ~2 years ago when I moved to a traditional Boglehead philosophy. It's nice, not worrying about silly little things such as market movements, stock prices, bond bubbles, etc.

:sharebeer
by WHL
Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: And suddenly, I'm done...
Replies: 24
Views: 4972

Re: Health Savings Account - Is it right for my family?

You need to look into the terminology and what it actually means, as has been said already. The HSA really has nothing to do with your insurance. Either you have a traditional HMO / PPO plan with copays and such, or you have a HDHP where almost everything is out of pocket. The HSA is available to he...
by WHL
Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Savings Account - Is it right for my family?
Replies: 3
Views: 354

Re: Maintenance $$'s spent over the lifetime on your Car

If you spent $7700 over that time period for that little amount of maintenance, you need to pick up a Haynes book and learn how to do the work yourself. There's no point to being frugal (Bogle) if you're not going to do something so simple as auto maintenance. I just started ordering and receiving a...
by WHL
Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maintenance $$'s spent over the lifetime on your Car
Replies: 38
Views: 2388

Re: What was your dumbest financial decision?

Keeping upwards of 30k in a normal savings account for the past 3 years. Could have made an additional 15k if I had just stuck it in a total market or S&P fund. Assumuing that 30k is your emergency fund, you have to get past the feelings of "look what I could have earned" and into the...
by WHL
Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your dumbest financial decision?
Replies: 106
Views: 8389

Re: Free flights with Credit Card offers

Yup. Lots of threads here on the subject, search for them.

I just got the bonus offers for:

Citi AA biz (50k)
Amex hhonors surpass (75k)
Citi hhonors (40k)

And a few months ago did the BoA Alaska airlines and a few others I can't remember.
by WHL
Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free flights with Credit Card offers
Replies: 19
Views: 1474

Re: Please help me help my Mother with her investments

Livesoft - Thank you for your thoughts. From a fees perspective, there is a huge difference moving from Chase (~$14K annually in fees) to Vanguard (about ~$1K annually in fees for the Target Retirement Fund - VTINX). So we are getting 98% of the way there in terms of low cost. I think in her case, ...
by WHL
Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help me help my Mother with her investments
Replies: 18
Views: 1507

Re: First post. Here's my portfolio. Please advise Re:invest

Hold back some of the cash and make sure you are maxing out the 401k and IRA's. If your salary isn't enough to cover the bills while maxing out these accounts, use the cash surplus to supplement. There's no reason to have that much in a taxable account if you aren't taking full advantage of the tax-...
by WHL
Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First post. Here's my portfolio. Please advise Re:investing
Replies: 16
Views: 1871

Re: Best cheap Motel for overnight stay?

While I agree that it's nice to have a national chain because you know roughly what you're getting into....realize that even national chains can vary in the room quality in some cities, since a hotel property could be rebranded with another brand without undergoing much (or any) renovation. Given t...
by WHL
Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cheap Motel for overnight stay?
Replies: 72
Views: 5393

Re: Health Savings Account investment choice

I'm not investing mine. I have it in a credit union account making 1.7% interest with no fees. I felt that I didn't want to pay fees for the next two or so years until I had the minimum required for fee-free investing.
by WHL
Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Health Savings Account investment choice
Replies: 5
Views: 418

Re: Financial Advice - Revolving Debt 0%

Pay it off, then pay off the student loans before you take on any additional debt. No debt = safer. May not be the optimum approach for everyone, but it's my preference. edit: I also don't think it's very practical for you to think about buying a house in the next few years. You have basically zero ...
by WHL
Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Advice - Revolving Debt 0%
Replies: 5
Views: 461

Re: FINRA Investor Complaint

My parents (father, really) bought into these based on some radio talk show (Ray Lucia, who I believe is under investigation now) he used to listen to promoting them. I got involved in their finances 1-2 years ago, saw this garbage, and sold it. I believe my mom told me it was somewhere around a 50%...
by WHL
Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FINRA Investor Complaint
Replies: 7
Views: 683

Re: Which of these 2 portfolios would you choose?

A strictly for simplicity. I don't even know what the Wellington fund contains.

Cut all of the BS tilts out of portfolio B, stick with the standard 3 funds, and I'd take it.
by WHL
Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which of these 2 portfolios would you choose?
Replies: 24
Views: 1244

Re: Schwab Making It Difficult to Switch to Vanguard

Now, I open Word, write my password, then Copy and Paste it into Vanguard. Microsoft Office has been a point of attack before. Maybe an expert can answer, but it may be a little safer to use Notepad for this instead? Or Clipboard--would that work? Some people like to use special software that keeps...
by WHL
Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab Making It Difficult to Switch to Vanguard
Replies: 23
Views: 2632

Re: Small Portfolio, Which 401K Choices?

I assume no other retirement assets? I'd just keep it simple until you have enough money to really get into a 3 fund portfolio. As everyone else here will tell you, your new contributions have much more of an impact than any potential earnings. Keep it simple and keep contributing. Fund a Roth IRA, ...
by WHL
Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small Portfolio, Which 401K Choices?
Replies: 3
Views: 254

Re: Ideas for keeping cell number while not in use for month

I second (or third, whatever) the vote for Google Voice. This is exactly what I did about 9 months ago with my Verizon number. It now forwards to my work cell phone number. I've had zero issues. Just beware that GV does not support MMS, so that could be a change for you when you go back to using the...
by WHL
Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for keeping cell number while not in use for months?
Replies: 13
Views: 811

Re: What is your winter thermostat setting (while you are up

I don't turn the heat on. In the five years I've lived in Texas, I've had the furnace on once - when my parents were visiting at Christmas a few years ago :mrgreen:

60 isn't cold to me, so I'm fine with it being that temperature inside.
by WHL
Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your winter thermostat setting (while you are up)?
Replies: 116
Views: 8055

Re: New cars for life with annuity income?

This is probably one of the oddest ideas I've ever heard.

Just invest the money with the rest of your funds. When you actually need a new car, buy it outright, and be done with it.
by WHL
Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New cars for life with annuity income?
Replies: 21
Views: 605

Re: $23K 2009 Lexus IS 250 AWD V-6 Miles 33K Certified.

Dave76 wrote:You can get a similar sized Japanese sedan brand new for the same price. It may not be a Lexus, but, still...


Uhm, while I understand what you're trying to say, you should probably be aware that Lexus IS a Japanese brand. Their parent company is Toyota :)
by WHL
Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $23K 2009 Lexus IS 250 AWD V-6 Miles 33K Certified.
Replies: 18
Views: 1813

Re: EE bond cash-in frustration ...

That sucks :(

No local bank you could have taken them to? When I cashed in ~5k worth of EE bonds about 6 years ago (wish I would have kept them now!) I just took them to the credit union I had an account with. They deposited them into my account with no issues.
by WHL
Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EE bond cash-in frustration ...
Replies: 9
Views: 1213

Re: Official 2014 IRA is DONE sign-up

Just made my rIRA contribution, adjusted my 401k funds, and rebalanced everything.

New thread incoming :) edit: meh. I got 75% done with creating a new "here's my 2014 portfolio" thread and scrapped it. I know I'm doing the right thing, I don't need to waste time.
by WHL
Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Official 2014 IRA is done. Sign-up
Replies: 47
Views: 2728

Re: Flying American

Also depends on how far you travel. My primary destination is about 2350 miles each way from my home so I need to fly 6 round trips per year to maintain Gold status. If you aren't flying transcontinental or international flights it takes a long time to get status. I would say there are more EXP's w...
by WHL
Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying American
Replies: 11
Views: 1259

Re: The stereotypes credit card companies use to target us

"I am disturbed by the evidence showing that that data brokers segment Americans into categories based on their incomes," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.). "I want to know how and why data brokers are putting Americans consumers into categories like these." This makes absolu...
by WHL
Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The stereotypes credit card companies use to target us
Replies: 11
Views: 1076

Re: Best way to contribute to HSA?

My company doesn't do any payroll deductions and they don't contribute to my HSA. It's frustrating. I have to do an after-tax, "cash" contribution, and get some deduction at the end of the year. I'm not looking forward to it, but it's better than the alternative.
by WHL
Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to contribute to HSA?
Replies: 9
Views: 869

Re: Tips for a One-Way U-Haul Move

Not to hijack the thread, but does anyone know of companies other than U-Haul that do rental trailers? I'll be moving in a few months and want something like a 5' x 10' or 6' x 12' enclosed trailer.

Thinking about just buying one for 3 grand and reselling it once I get to my new, undecided location.
by WHL
Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for a One-Way U-Haul Move
Replies: 39
Views: 1624

Re: Job offer

Be careful with the working from home thing...I do it about 25% of the time when I'm not traveling, so it's different for me, but I've heard a lot of horror stories about people being basically forgotten about, passed over for promotion, etc. because they don't have a presence in the office. If you ...
by WHL
Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job offer
Replies: 19
Views: 1092

Re: Wandering in a sea of "what do I do?"

I take it that the general view is that tax-deferred investments are the logical path even if you're phased out of the deductions? I don't know about the general view, but it's certainly mine. You're only phased out for a Roth IRA - $5500 a year. You sure look like you could do a Backdoor Roth - li...
by WHL
Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wandering in a sea of "what do I do?"
Replies: 12
Views: 1354

Re: Wandering in a sea of "what do I do?"

Max every tax-deferred option you can: 401k's, IRA's, HSA, I and EE bonds. Immediately pay off the 401k loan, WTH?!? You might be paying yourself interest, but look at what that loan has actually cost you this year in lost gains! Save your down payment in a savings account or 1-2 year CD's, the best...
by WHL
Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wandering in a sea of "what do I do?"
Replies: 12
Views: 1354

Re: Using cash

Credit card for 99% of my purchases

I try not to use my card for small things, ~$2, because it hurts the retailer.

I keep ~$5 in change in the ash tray of my truck and about $15 in cash in the center console that I use only for tolls.
by WHL
Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using cash
Replies: 56
Views: 2824

Re: Amex Gift Cards

I don't think there is an option to use them to pay for general charges. Allan It certainly is an option, but since I'm not an Amex member, I can't see how expensive it is. https://rewards.americanexpress.com/myca/loyalty/us/rewards/edrredemption/shownonsecureeducationpage?request_type=notloggedin&...
by WHL
Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Gift Cards
Replies: 13
Views: 559

Re: Amex Gift Cards

Never knew about this! Is this for strictly domestic flights, or just those connecting with international? We'll look into this. Thanks! Any other "special hints" like this? RM I can't answer that. I'd assume domestic (this is all I've used it for) but maybe able to connect to an internat...
by WHL
Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Gift Cards
Replies: 13
Views: 559

Re: Amex Gift Cards

So, I checked, and yes, you can transfer them 1-to-1 (or better) to airline programs. If you, or a family member or friend, needs a flight that could be a good option. I use all of my points exclusively on travel because I typically receive better than 1 cent per point value. There is better value ...
by WHL
Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Gift Cards
Replies: 13
Views: 559

Re: Amex Gift Cards

So, I checked, and yes, you can transfer them 1-to-1 (or better) to airline programs. If you, or a family member or friend, needs a flight that could be a good option. I use all of my points exclusively on travel because I typically receive better than 1 cent per point value.
by WHL
Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Gift Cards
Replies: 13
Views: 559

Re: Amex Gift Cards

Allan, what options do they give you for redeeming them for travel? Can you transfer the points out to an airline frequent flyer program? Use them before they eliminate the program entirely. Does AMEX have the option to convert the points into payments on your account? I would do that and start gett...
by WHL
Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Gift Cards
Replies: 13
Views: 559

Re: Got my first gold bullion coin!

Excellent! They are pretty to look at, and nice and hefty :D Remember that the gold Maple Leafs are .9999 gold (24 karat), so they are soft and scratch easily. Keep it protected! Right now, its just held in a plastic sleeve. Are there any particular cases you recommend? If it rattles around in a pl...
by WHL
Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Got my first gold bullion coin!
Replies: 37
Views: 3093

Re: Best cheap Motel for overnight stay?

Just checked into a Hilton garden inn. God I love our corporate rate - $84.95 a night is fantastic (and what these hotels SHOULD cost!).
by WHL
Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cheap Motel for overnight stay?
Replies: 72
Views: 5393

Re: Best cheap Motel for overnight stay?

I used to use kayak and hotels.com for finding the cheap rates in the past, but it's just not worth it to me anymore. I like staying at a national chain where I know exactly what I am getting.

For that reason, I only stay at IHG brands (HIE, Candlewood, etc.) and primarily Hilton Garden Inns.
by WHL
Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cheap Motel for overnight stay?
Replies: 72
Views: 5393

Re: Rental Cars. Worth the premium?

I check the prices of all rental companies on Kayak for personal rentals. Due to the benefits I get through our Avis corporate account (car upgrades, preferred service, etc.) I typically go with Avis, even if it is a dollar or three more per day. If it's a work rental, I typically book through our A...
by WHL
Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Cars. Worth the premium?
Replies: 6
Views: 749

Re: Buying snow tires

The Nokian Hakkapeliitta has topped the list of best winter tire for a LONG time, IIRC. I've never ran winter tires so I can't really comment - I just keep a set of cam-lock style chains.
by WHL
Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying snow tires
Replies: 55
Views: 2904

Re: What's your definition of "drive it into the ground?"

I've got a 2005 Silverado with 145k. Owned it since November 2005, bought CPO with 6k miles. Just put over 3k miles on it in the last three weeks, no issues. I love this truck. I'm ashamed that I am somewhat behind in routine maintenance (tranny filter / oil, rear diff fluid, coolant change, brake f...
by WHL
Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your definition of "drive it into the ground?"
Replies: 50
Views: 3299

Re: best time to use frequent flyer miles

I've always used mine for last minute flights when costs are prohibitive. I, like you, find myself paying for most flights in an attempt to preserve my miles. I think I am going to change that in 2014, though - United has just completely devalued their miles, some hotel programs have devalued their ...
by WHL
Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best time to use frequent flyer miles
Replies: 5
Views: 790

Re: Help with new company 401k choices

100% of new 401k to VINIX
Roll old 401k to tIRA
Use tIRA to complete desired AA

Why are you not making any Roth IRA contributions?
by WHL
Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with new company 401k choices
Replies: 8
Views: 399

Re: 23 yr old just starting

Do you have earned income for 2013? If so, contribute to a Roth IRA. Definitely max the Roth IRA early in January 2014 also.

The rest should go towards the debt - sorry it's not what you want to hear, but it is the right thing to do.
by WHL
Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 23 yr old just starting
Replies: 16
Views: 890

Re: Gift Suggestions - for a 9 year old girl

savings bonds. Seriously. I gave these as gifts way before I became a Boglehead.

Kids have too many cheap, throwaway Chinese crap toys as it is.
by WHL
Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift Suggestions - for a 9 year old girl
Replies: 25
Views: 1331

Re: Looking to invest smart at a younger age, looking for ad

Good investment advice has already been posted - aside from recommending you stick with a simple 3-fund portfolio, I'll stay away from that. Not to be overly critical, but unless you're going to be paying cash for a $70k house, I don't see how you can even think about affording a home purchase on a ...
by WHL
Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking to invest smart at a younger age, looking for advice
Replies: 8
Views: 446

Re: Elderly parents heavily invested with Edward Jones- help

Well done WHL! I dearly love this wonderful financial planner explanation of the driving reason behind insane fees paid to high cost advisors like EJ..... On the other hand, financial planning in the retail space is tricky because I've found (as have Merrill Lynch, Edward Jones, etc.) that most ret...
by WHL
Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Elderly parents heavily invested with Edward Jones- help
Replies: 28
Views: 5180
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