Search found 310 matches

by amarone
Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast Offers-whats the catch?
Replies: 26
Views: 2403

Re: Comcast Offers-whats the catch?

As others have said, as long as you are alert to when special offers end, take advantage of the offers for bundled services. I have a second home for which we wanted just Internet (Netflix is fine for our TV viewing needs). I started with just Comcast Internet, but now have Internet plus a few TV ch...
by amarone
Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Commission
Replies: 11
Views: 1055

Re: Real Estate Commission

The process is mostly up to the buyer in my state. They have to provide the offer and earnest money. How did you handle the earnest money, given that is normally held in a separate account by the agent's company? I have been involved in buying a house without an agent, and in that case we simply di...
by amarone
Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Commission
Replies: 11
Views: 1055

Re: Real Estate Commission

The process is mostly up to the buyer in my state. They have to provide the offer and earnest money. How did you handle the earnest money, given that is normally held in a separate account by the agent's company? I have been involved in buying a house without an agent, and in that case we simply di...
by amarone
Thu May 07, 2015 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non traded REITs and indexed annuities
Replies: 49
Views: 2802

Re: Non traded REITs and indexed annuities

I know someone who was persuaded by an Ameriprise advisor to invest in two non-traded REITs. Over a period during which VNQ gained 60%, these each lost about 30%. Both disallowed redemptions until one of them eventually went public, allowing an exit at considerable loss. She still owns the other and...
by amarone
Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marginal benefit of spending more on car
Replies: 83
Views: 7613

Re: Marginal benefit of spending more on car

You can spend an extra $10k by buying a more expensive make/model of car or even luxury options on the same car, or you can spend $10k by buying a newer version of the same car. These are very different. If you are thinking of buying used, bear in mind that there have been significant safety improve...
by amarone
Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Savannah
Replies: 28
Views: 3949

Re: Savannah

If you do a walking tour, I suggest Savannah Dan. It is entertaining and not taxing.

And another recommendation for The Olde Pink House.
by amarone
Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beepi - a new way to buy a used car?
Replies: 32
Views: 4561

Re: Beepi - a new way to buy a used car?

I disagree and think that test drives are quite important. In 2000 I found out that the cars I thought I liked, 1998 VW GTi, celica, civic Type R, were not the driving style and experience I wanted. I ended up going with an Acura GSR which I still wish I had. In 2012 it was again a competition betw...
by amarone
Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Financial Planning Service ?
Replies: 11
Views: 3651

Re: Vanguard Financial Planning Service ?

amarone: In your second link, go to Benefits-at-a-glance and then look at the 5th line. That only says "Access to a financial advisor" is "included" (if I am looking at the right part). No mention of a financial plan. In the description of the Flagship benefits it states: Consul...
by amarone
Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Financial Planning Service ?
Replies: 11
Views: 3651

Re: Vanguard Financial Planning Service ?

I know this is an old thread, but I am wondering if the ability to get a free financial plan for Voyager Select clients and higher still exists. By following the link in the Wiki I can see a description of the financial plan: https://personal.vanguard.com/us/whatweoffer/advice/financialplanningservi...
by amarone
Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beepi - a new way to buy a used car?
Replies: 32
Views: 4561

Re: Beepi - a new way to buy a used car?

When I entered a pretty common car as a candidate for our teenager, it could not find any but suggested "other cars I might like". One of these was a Porsche 911 convertible. Yes, I do indeed like it, but it is a tad outside our budget.
by amarone
Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time within which employer must remit 401(k) contribution
Replies: 46
Views: 3490

Re: Time within which employer must remit 401(k) contributio

I've thought of calculating the total gain to our employer of a rolling 4 day loan from 15,000 employees' worth of 403b and 401a contributions... how would I do that? Start by pulling up your employer's Form 5500 (linked above) and see what the reported net assets were. Perhaps something like repor...
by amarone
Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: garbage disposals - are these still used?
Replies: 52
Views: 4212

Re: garbage disposals - are these still used?

I hate the things. Hardly ever use them, but that is still apparently enough to cause them to barf occasionally and leave me out $300+ for a new one (with installation - I'm not handy enough to do it myself). Perhaps this is somewhat down to being English and never having one for the first nearly 40...
by amarone
Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much do I save if I buy house with cash?
Replies: 11
Views: 1622

Re: how much do I save if I buy house with cash?

I looked up the transfer tax, paying with cash is no an exemption in my state. amarone: How do I negotiate the closing fee with the bank? Do I show them that we have enough cash to pay for the house, so it will be their loss for not lending to us with little to no closing cost? I had two companies ...
by amarone
Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much do I save if I buy house with cash?
Replies: 11
Views: 1622

Re: how much do I save if I buy house with cash?

Two points: ⋅ check the transfer taxes. In my state (Georgia), the tax paid by the buyer is only applicable if you have a mortgage, so you would save this on a cash deal ⋅ Negotiate hard on the origination fee. My last origination fee was -$2,054, i.e. they paid me to get a mortg...
by amarone
Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Homes in Retirement?
Replies: 38
Views: 3830

Re: Two Homes in Retirement?

I will expand on the $29k in case it helps anyone considering a second home: Repairs & Maintenance: $5,000 HOA: $1,600 (gated community) Household, $1,400 (including occasional cleaning; you don't want to spend half your weekend visit cleaning) Insurance: $3,600. It's coastal. Includes flood ins...
by amarone
Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Homes in Retirement?
Replies: 38
Views: 3830

Re: Two Homes in Retirement?

Two homes gets quite expensive. We have two homes about an hour apart, one in the city, the other in the country. And it's exactly what everyone above said: you are maintaining two residences. Two electric bills, two sets of homeowner's insurance, two sets of clothes, kitchen goodies, yada yada. Pr...
by amarone
Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Homes in Retirement?
Replies: 38
Views: 3830

Re: Two Homes in Retirement?

Two homes gets quite expensive. We have two homes about an hour apart, one in the city, the other in the country. And it's exactly what everyone above said: you are maintaining two residences. Two electric bills, two sets of homeowner's insurance, two sets of clothes, kitchen goodies, yada yada. Pr...
by amarone
Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: On average, how often do you check your investment balances?
Replies: 53
Views: 3666

Re: On average, how often do you check your investment balan

Like a few others, I have automatic download into Quicken daily. As the Quicken home page shows my net worth, I have a pretty fair idea what has happened to my investments that day through noticing the change in net worth, and I will often click through to see the portfolio. However, I have a few ac...
by amarone
Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D
Replies: 223
Views: 32964

Re: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D

To get the Schedule C, (for a sole proprietorship), one apparently must move up to the Home and Business version which, for Flagship customers, is $54.99 (for the Online version with the state income return at no further charge). An increase from prior years but not as bad as I first thought. Accor...
by amarone
Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D
Replies: 223
Views: 32964

Re: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D

On that same page with the red "COMING SOON" message is a red TURBOTAX logo. I clicked right on that logo and it took me to the page to purchase/download it. Well I tried this, and ALL I can see is the online version, not the download version, and I see no where to get the download. If I ...
by amarone
Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?
Replies: 115
Views: 23024

Re: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?

I have always used it on two PCs--one at home, one at my weekend home. I use Google Drive to keep a single synced file. Sorry to hijack this thread, but do you have any advice on making this setup work? I have just tried it for exactly the same reason as you - two homes. All seemed well at my main ...
by amarone
Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician Assistant - Employee or Independent Contractor?
Replies: 25
Views: 2969

Re: Physician Assistant - Employee or Independent Contractor

dhodson wrote:Most people want to be 1099 in this situation assuming the pay is increased to offset no health, mal practice, retirement.

And having to pay both halves of social security/Medicare.
by amarone
Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?
Replies: 115
Views: 23024

Re: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?

I have always used it on two PCs--one at home, one at my weekend home. I use Google Drive to keep a single synced file. Sorry to hijack this thread, but do you have any advice on making this setup work? I have just tried it for exactly the same reason as you - two homes. All seemed well at my main ...
by amarone
Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should you use a 401k if you'll def. be in a higher bracket?
Replies: 18
Views: 3055

Re: Should you use a 401k if you'll def. be in a higher brac

Let's work through a simple example. Say that I'm in the 15% tax bracket and am certain that I'll be in the 25% bracket at retirement. I have $100 in pre-tax income. If invest it in taxable, I'll pay $15 in tax, so will have an $85 investment. When I retire, I'll then pay 15% on any gains. If I put...
by amarone
Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should you use a 401k if you'll def. be in a higher bracket?
Replies: 18
Views: 3055

Re: Should you use a 401k if you'll def. be in a higher brac

But isn't it really a no brainer to put away as much as you can into tax sheltered investments, whether or not you plan to be in a higher bracket. Taxes are the biggest drag on on investments. My wife will be in a higher tax bracket when she retires and I have run some numbers, obviously having to ...
by amarone
Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D
Replies: 223
Views: 32964

Re: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D

Still don't understand the footnote. It wasn't true last year and its not true this year from what I've read. Are you sure it was not true last year? I got the desktop version of TT Deluxe (via Vanguard) and was able to use it for Schedules C and D. It looks as if that may not be the case this year.
by amarone
Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does retirement company make money?
Replies: 31
Views: 3895

Re: How does retirement company make money?

My wife's 401(k) is with an insurance company - Nationwide - and details of the fees can be seen in Form 5500, which is produced annually. Her company's plan (and form 5500) are available on brightscope.com. This shows that for a plan with about $10m in funds: Nationwide collected $561 from the plan...
by amarone
Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Peer to peer lending as a investment
Replies: 22
Views: 2439

Re: Peer to peer lending as a investment

Is it easy to import the information to TurboTax? It seems like it would get frustrating to have so many different micro-loans. Lending Club sends out a 1099-OID with a consolidated total - it does not show each individual loan. I cannot remember if I imported that or manually entered it, but it wa...
by amarone
Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Peer to peer lending as a investment
Replies: 22
Views: 2439

Re: Peer to peer lending as a investment

I looked into it but the returns were low compared to the risk. Like with most schemes the middle man makes the most money wile taking on none of the risk. The only people who have to borrow this way can't get a load any other way so they are higher risk. These statements, IMHO, are grossly oversta...
by amarone
Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you change your car's oil?
Replies: 168
Views: 14773

Re: How often do you change your car's oil?

I am a little surprised in the Bogleheads forum that people would be wasting so much money by changing oil twice or more often than recommended by the manufacturer. Would you throw out a gallon container of fresh milk when it is 50% consumed? I don't believe your analogy makes sense. You don't chan...
by amarone
Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you change your car's oil?
Replies: 168
Views: 14773

Re: How often do you change your car's oil?

Every 7,500 miles, just like it says in the manual. And I remove the sticker placed in my windshield by the service place that tries to get me to come back after 3,000.
by amarone
Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing for those in the 15% tax bracket
Replies: 38
Views: 3041

Re: Investing for those in the 15% tax bracket

This may be a minor point, but putting money in tax deferred space over taxable might qualify the individual for the saver's credit and/or the earned income credit. And can increase the Obamacare subsidy, if the person is getting one. And a fairly good sized one at that, take a look the post from J...
by amarone
Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing for those in the 15% tax bracket
Replies: 38
Views: 3041

Re: Investing for those in the 15% tax bracket

avburns wrote:This may be a minor point, but putting money in tax deferred space over taxable might qualify the individual for the saver's credit and/or the earned income credit.

And can increase the Obamacare subsidy, if the person is getting one.
by amarone
Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer from Ameriprise to Vanguard, concerns?
Replies: 6
Views: 1362

Re: Transfer from Ameriprise to Vanguard, concerns?

Variable annuities have additional recurring expenses and are generally not recommended . When I discussed the wisdom of using a VA to expand my tax deferred investments I was discouraged by a Vanguard CFP who felt that there would be little advantage and significant more recurring expense. So I wo...
by amarone
Tue May 06, 2014 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru vs Mazda
Replies: 17
Views: 3147

Re: Subaru vs Mazda

I have a 2011 Subaru Legacy with the 2.5L engine. I've read that the Subaru "Boxer" engine is prone to burn more oil than inline 4 cylinder engines, but I've had no such issue with mine. Even if it did burn a little, checking the oil every 1000 miles or so and adding accordingly is no big...
by amarone
Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: why carry cash?
Replies: 243
Views: 16646

Re: POLL: why carry cash?

sscritic wrote:And no one has yet mentioned cocaine?

Yeah - you can't snort through a rolled-up credit card.
by amarone
Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401K: why unvested?
Replies: 2
Views: 601

Re: 401K: why unvested?

I ran into a kind of strange issue: my wife had a 401K from her former company. After she left the company (more than 7 years ago), we found that part of her 401K balance is still unvested. We were never able to figure out why. It has only a few hundreds dollars so we kind of let it go.. Now I ran ...
by amarone
Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I ask my employer to split a bonus?
Replies: 26
Views: 1684

Re: Can I ask my employer to split a bonus?

Seems like a bit of effort just to save yourself $1,500. In bigger companies, deferring compensation like this from one fiscal year to the next is not easy since it is (essentially) lying to shareholders about how much money was spent in a given year. Joe - I can certainly appreciate the fiscal yea...
by amarone
Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy new vs used RX 350
Replies: 29
Views: 5194

Re: Buy new vs used RX 350

We had a Sienna and changed it for a 2004 RX330 that we got cheap from a relative. We hated it. Boring, unresponsive, and full of "luxury" gadgets that didn't work very well. Maybe you are not thinking of a car that old, but I have to think that all the gadgets are a lot better now, so I w...
by amarone
Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: King sized mattress recommendation?
Replies: 49
Views: 7230

Re: King sized mattress recommendation?

Personally, we bought a mattress from the Original Mattress Factory in 1998 and the mattress feels like it is brand new. It was about 30% less than the brand names on sale. http://originalmattress.com/ We bought a latex mattress from the Original Mattress Factory early last year. We did not want me...
by amarone
Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much was your total 2013 credit card rewards
Replies: 51
Views: 5261

Re: How much was your total 2013 credit card rewards

$1,699 on $90,120 spent on Amex Blue. So 1.9%.
by amarone
Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A tip on TIPS allocation
Replies: 73
Views: 9710

Re: A tip on TIPS allocation

I'm often asked what percentage of a fixed income portfolio should be allocated to Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS). My answer is about 20%. Twenty percent of what and when? A person with say a 50/50 AA and a TBM type FI portfolio with maybe ~40% Treasuries would have about 20% of his...
by amarone
Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken and Vanguard - Download Problem
Replies: 219
Views: 21015

Re: Quicken and Vanguard - Download Problem

All worked fine for me today. Downloaded 8 accounts (including linked MM accounts) using Direct Connect with no issues, other than getting the pop-up telling me about the error that turned out not to be the case.
by amarone
Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken and Vanguard - Download Problem
Replies: 219
Views: 21015

Re: Quicken and Vanguard - Download Problem

kenschmidt wrote:Any idea when this problem started? I did not have any issues last month but Sept. month end is approaching.

I download automatically every day and it looks as if the last successful one was Sep 23.
by amarone
Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A quick warning about an annuity company [RiverSource]
Replies: 14
Views: 1674

Re: A quick warning about an annuity company [RiverSource]

Is sending a check through regular mail really such a problem? I don't believe I have ever had a check from a financial company sent any other way. btw, for those that don't know, RiverSource is part of Ameriprise and therefore provides expensive funds with expensive annuity fees on top - a bigger i...
by amarone
Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help switching Insurance - anyone use Geico??
Replies: 30
Views: 2701

Re: Help switching Insurance - anyone use Geico??

I swapped my auto/home/umbrella from All State to GEICO when All State's premiums went up significantly, although I had never had a claim with them. I also have never had a claim with GEICO. Note that GEICO does not actually provide home insurance - they resell for several other companies. The first...
by amarone
Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: do you charge everything to 1 credit card?
Replies: 60
Views: 4437

Re: do you charge everything to 1 credit card?

I use a grandfathered old-style Amex Blue Cash for everything except where Amex is not accepted. I get 5% on groceries, gas & drugstore, except the first $6,500 each year where the amounts are lower, but I've already passed that mark this year. I got $1,400 cash-back last year.

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