Search found 363 matches

by lhl12
Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High credit card rebates for "Travel Credit"
Replies: 14
Views: 1020

Re: High credit card rebates for "Travel Credit"

I am not asking about travel "points" or "rewards", which are redeemable with the airlines and hotels for travel and hotel stays. I am asking about "Travel Credit", which is a direct credit to my credit card bill. This is effectively equivalent to cash back, except it ...
by lhl12
Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High credit card rebates for "Travel Credit"
Replies: 14
Views: 1020

Re: High credit card rebates for "Travel Credit"

I am not asking about travel "points" or "rewards", which are redeemable with the airlines and hotels for travel and hotel stays. I am asking about "Travel Credit", which is a direct credit to my credit card bill. This is effectively equivalent to cash back, except it i...
by lhl12
Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is Your Plan B if Quicken dies? [Intuit selling Quicken unit]
Replies: 56
Views: 5693

Re: What is Your Plan B if Quicken dies?

I moved from Quicken to QuickBooks a number of years ago and never regretted it. QuickBooks has much greater functionality and customizability (if you are willing to invest some time in learning it). Is Quickbooks as advanced as Quicken or Mint for personal budgeting / cashflow? If so, I would cons...
by lhl12
Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High credit card rebates for "Travel Credit"
Replies: 14
Views: 1020

High credit card rebates for "Travel Credit"

Why is it that the rebates from the credit cards with the highest level of rebates are usable only for "Travel Credit" (rather than cash)? Examples are the B of A Travel Rewards Card and one of the Capital One cards (I forget the name). Do travel charges (airlines, hotels, etc.) generally ...
by lhl12
Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: help me understand how this "correction" helps me in the long run
Replies: 3
Views: 559

Re: help me understand how this "correction" helps me in the long run

For so long as you are in accumulation mode -- especially the early years -- you want prices to be as low as possible so you can buy equities cheaply. It is only once you shift into decumulation mode that you want prices to be as high as possible (since you will be selling). In reality, these mode s...
by lhl12
Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is Your Plan B if Quicken dies? [Intuit selling Quicken unit]
Replies: 56
Views: 5693

Re: What is Your Plan B if Quicken dies?

I moved from Quicken to QuickBooks a number of years ago and never regretted it. QuickBooks has much greater functionality and customizability (if you are willing to invest some time in learning it).
by lhl12
Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Accounting for Cash Balance Plan in asset allocation?
Replies: 14
Views: 1002

Re: Accounting for Cash Balance Plan in asset allocation?

When I retire in a few years, the cash balance in my plan will roll over to an IRA. At that point everyone would agree that the amount in the account should be part of my asset allocation, right? Since that path is clearly known, and since the current account value and future (fixed income) return a...
by lhl12
Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Accounting for Cash Balance Plan in asset allocation?
Replies: 14
Views: 1002

Re: Accounting for Cash Balance Plan in asset allocation?

I count mine as part of my fixed income allocation. To me, this is clearly the right treatment. There is an additional factor in my case, which is that the cash balance in any given year earns a guaranteed return that is higher than an open market fixed income return. As a result, I believe $1 of ca...
by lhl12
Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying title insurance from seller's attorney
Replies: 3
Views: 502

Re: Buying title insurance from seller's attorney

Title insurance premiums are high and the attorney's commission on the sale is a large percentage of the premium - often large enough that on a simple closing the attorney will represent you for little to no fee.
by lhl12
Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Inherited jewelry and have no clue how to liquidate
Replies: 27
Views: 2906

Re: Inherited jewelry and have no clue how to liquidate

PoppyA wrote:As a general rule (very general) jewelry sells for 300 times it's value.


Huh? Do you mean 300% (or 3x)?
by lhl12
Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast wants me to buy a new modem (I think)
Replies: 53
Views: 2840

Re: Comcast wants me to buy a new modem (I think)

FYI- internet only modems are different than internet and telephone. The OP needs one that also handles telephone. Those are different and much more expensive than internet only. EMTA's (which handle both voice and data) are more expensive than cable-only modems, but not much more expensive. I thin...
by lhl12
Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast wants me to buy a new modem (I think)
Replies: 53
Views: 2840

Re: Comcast wants me to buy a new modem (I think)

The new piece of equipment that Comcast wants you to install is an EMTA - not just the cable modem but also the voice modem. The reason they want to do this is because their new EMTA's include a built-in wifi hotspot called "xfinity". I am not understanding this. A built-in wifi hotspot? ...
by lhl12
Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast wants me to buy a new modem (I think)
Replies: 53
Views: 2840

Re: Comcast wants me to buy a new modem (I think)

The new piece of equipment that Comcast wants you to install is an EMTA ("Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter) - not just the cable modem but also a combined voice modem for phone service (whether you use it or not) and wifi gateway. The reason they want to do this is because their new EMTA's ...
by lhl12
Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I consider Social Security Benefits as Assets
Replies: 44
Views: 2863

Re: Should I consider Social Security Benefits as Assets

For asset allocation purposes, I consider the capitalized value of social security (calculated as an annuity) and the balance in a cash balance pension plan as part of my fixed income allocation. I don't have a defined benefit pension plan or life insurance policy with cash value, but if I had eithe...
by lhl12
Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you hate your vehicle infotainment system?
Replies: 73
Views: 6238

Re: Do you hate your vehicle infotainment system?

I have a 2011 VW Touareg and I'm pretty happy with its system. I love Bluetooth in general - both for phone and music - and this car seems to handle it pretty well. Be aware that there have been a number of reports of Bluetooth incompatibility between iPhones and many car systems for the newest vers...
by lhl12
Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family trust woes
Replies: 34
Views: 3599

Re: Family trust woes

This is not about legal issues. This is about the grandmother and the OP's mother had some real personal relationship issues or problems. And those issues are living on even thought one is dead. The OP's mother is getting back at her mother, "You think you are so smart with that generation ski...
by lhl12
Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal accounting software
Replies: 23
Views: 3170

Re: Personal accounting software

I use QuickBooks (rather than Quicken) because I find it gives me a finer level of detail and control over certain things. For example, I like that it lets me set up my chart of accounts and balance sheet exactly the way I want them to look. This would be overkill for most people, though.
by lhl12
Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Private Banking ever useful for simple Bogleheads
Replies: 35
Views: 4455

Re: Is Private Banking ever useful for simple Bogleheads

If you like debt, real Private Banks offer extremely low rates. They will do interest only mortgage loans with a relatively small spread over LIBOR. They will also offer portfolio based loans that are well below broker's call and not subject to Regulation T, as they don't characterize them as margi...
by lhl12
Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Private Banking ever useful for simple Bogleheads
Replies: 35
Views: 4455

Re: Is Private Banking ever useful for simple Bogleheads

I have found that the Private Banking arms of some banks can offer mortgage rates that are a little (0.25%) lower than those offered by the "regular" arm of the same bank.
by lhl12
Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me choose an EXPENSIVE* red wine for a gift
Replies: 22
Views: 2579

Re: Help me choose an EXPENSIVE* red wine for a gift

Caymus, Silver Oak and Cakebread are all good Cabernet options. I also agree with the suggestion of multiple bottles. If your budget is $250, then I think two bottles at $125 is better than one at $250. That way when he has a special bottle for a special occasion and really likes it, he can repeat t...
by lhl12
Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you keep your to do list?
Replies: 60
Views: 5775

Re: Where do you keep your to do list?

I use Microsoft Outlook, organized using the "Take Back Your Life" methodology in this book: http://www.amazon.com/Take-Back-Your-Life-Microsoft/dp/0735623430/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1434320239&sr=8-1&keywords=take+back+your+life&pebp=1434320243324&perid=ADEF5A8B80544282...
by lhl12
Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are there any merchants that accept only Amex?
Replies: 25
Views: 2442

Are there any merchants that accept only Amex?

Are there any merchants that accept Amex but not Visa or MasterCard? I have had an Amex card as a backup for a number of years, but I can't remember the last time I used it and would like to get rid of it (unless there are some merchants that accept only Amex, at which I could envision myself shoppi...
by lhl12
Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance and Economic Outpatient Care for a Boglehead
Replies: 70
Views: 5208

Re: Inheritance and Economic Outpatient Care for a Boglehead

I am curious to understand approximately how big or small are the components of inheritance and economic outpatient care for a Boglehead. Please do the following for me: 1. Add all your inheritance money you have received throughout your life (inheritance) 2. Add all your economic outpatient care (...
by lhl12
Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Big life changes and large lump sums about to appear
Replies: 16
Views: 2310

Re: Big life changes and large lump sums about to appear

First I would pay off mortgage, credit cards, car, and set aside cash for her education. . What is the benefit of paying off a 0% car loan? I'm certainly not Warren Buffet but I'm pretty sure that I can come up with investments that can beat 0% over the 2 1/2 years remaining on the loan. Am I missi...
by lhl12
Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should you pay down mortgage if you think home value will drop?
Replies: 13
Views: 1465

Re: Should you pay down mortgage if you think home value will drop?

The only scenario in which it might make sense not to pay down the mortgage would be if you think the value of the house will fall lower than the value of the mortgage and you then intend to declare bankruptcy and turn the house over to the bank. In that scenario, you might be better off not paying ...
by lhl12
Mon May 25, 2015 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Bogleheads plan to utilize Independent Living facilities?
Replies: 61
Views: 4486

Re: Do Bogleheads plan to utilize Independent Living facilities?

Munir wrote:$3K/month for a CCRC unit is pretty low. We pay close to $5k/m in Independent Living with an 80% refundable huge entry fee. Maybe it's location, location, location- I dunno.


Similar pricing for my mother's (in Massachusetts).
by lhl12
Sun May 17, 2015 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Post tax investing or Pay off 2.95% Mortgage?
Replies: 39
Views: 4136

Re: Post tax investing or Pay off 2.95% Mortgage?

I would refinance into a HELOC, with the same balance drawn to start. Your interest rate will be lower, and you can pay off (or re-draw) the debt whenever you'd like in the future. If interest rates rise to an uncomfortable level, then pay off the HELOC in full.
by lhl12
Wed May 13, 2015 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT: 2% rebate credit cards; will they last?
Replies: 30
Views: 3839

Re: NYT: 2% rebate credit cards; will they last?

If you're going to consider cards with an annual fee, as the author does, then Fidelity VISA should be in the mix too. If you spend at least $15,000 per year, the rewards structure is equivalent to a 2% card with a $75 annual fee. For those seeking a non-AMEX card @ 2% the Citi MasterCard at 1% + 1...
by lhl12
Fri May 08, 2015 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX
Replies: 89
Views: 6620

Re: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX

OP, as I said earlier, there are some nice, very livable communities in Texas. For the big cities, Austin, San Antonio and Fort Worth (FW really is a great place to live, for a big city.) are possibilities, while Dallas and Houston are out of the question. For smaller towns that might work for you,...
by lhl12
Fri May 08, 2015 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX
Replies: 89
Views: 6620

Re: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX

I love how distances get shrunk in the west because there's nothing else in between. Upstream someone mentioned proximity to Santa Fe as a plus. In point of fact, the distance to Santa Fe from Amarillo is about 280 miles which is about 65 miles farther than the distance between Boston and New York....
by lhl12
Tue May 05, 2015 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX
Replies: 89
Views: 6620

Re: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX

You get to go hiking in and around the Palo Duro Canyon.

Also, you're only about a 1:45 drive from Lubbock so you can go watch Texas Tech games.

And, you're about a 4:00 drive from Santa Fe, which is a wonderful place to visit.
by lhl12
Tue May 05, 2015 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Merrill Edge anyone?
Replies: 98
Views: 17450

Re: Merrill Edge anyone?

Similar story here - I have the relationship just for the 2.625% credit card. No complaints on any front so far...
by lhl12
Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring in two months - what to do with TSP?
Replies: 11
Views: 1564

Re: Retiring in two months - what to do with TSP?

See this article from the same website, which describes how beneficial it is to wait until age 70 before commencing SS: http://www.nasi.org/discuss/2012/04/world’s-best-investment-delaying-social-security You should examine how/whether this might be possible for you. It might make sense to live off ...
by lhl12
Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes are killing me
Replies: 21
Views: 3218

Re: Taxes are killing me

Sounds like you need to make estimated tax payments. Join the club. Second that. Many on this forum pay a lot of taxes. Maximize tax advantaged space. Focus on tax avoidance. After that pay your fair share. Third that. "Rightful taxation is the price of social order. In other words, it is that...
by lhl12
Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Single best piece of personal finance advice ever received?
Replies: 90
Views: 7793

Re: Single best piece of personal finance advice ever receiv

"Never a lender or borrower be." W.S. This is dangerous advice! "Don't be a borrower" is very sound, conservative advice, but "don't be a lender" means having a 0% allocation to fixed income and (by implication) having a 100% allocation to equities. That might be an ap...
by lhl12
Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need some help please with Estate question
Replies: 23
Views: 2640

Re: Need some help please with Estate question

My father recently passed away .... ... He has a large estate (4 M) at least we believe. ... ... We currently have an elder care attorney who we established with prior to Dad's death. ... For a $4 million estate, a trusts and estates lawyer might be a better fit. +1. You will likely consult with th...
by lhl12
Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in the medium term say 15 years. Same principles?
Replies: 7
Views: 1003

Re: Investing in the medium term say 15 years. Same princip

I think it depends in part on why your time horizon is 15 years. For example, if you were saving for a child's college tuition that you knew would start in 15 years, that would be one asset allocation. If you were saving for a house purchase, that might be another. If, on the other hand, you were se...
by lhl12
Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Edge Question
Replies: 21
Views: 2030

Re: Merrill Edge Question

One nice benefit of Merrill Edge is that if you have $100,000 in assets there, then you get a 75% bonus on your rebate for a Bank of America Travel Rewards card, which makes your effective cash rebate 2.625% (with no upper limit). This is the best deal around (by a lot) for credit card rebates, so i...
by lhl12
Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does My Daughter Need A Prenup?
Replies: 175
Views: 7876

Re: Does My Daughter Need A Prenup?

Why don't her parents and grandparents provide for her in trusts that she can control, rather than outright. This will protect her inheritance against her creditors and spouses, and will also keep it out of her estate for estate tax purposes. Almost all of our clients do this. Exactly. You and her ...
by lhl12
Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lumber Liquidators Safety Issue
Replies: 19
Views: 2180

Re: Lumber Liquidators Safety Issue

Although I have never met or spoken with him, I believe Whitney Tilson is a first-rate individual who does an enormous amount of research on his companies and operates his business in a first-class, highly ethical way. Yes, he is short the stock of LL, but that is because he believes it is a complet...
by lhl12
Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance to be held in expensive trust for ~10 years
Replies: 55
Views: 7168

Re: Inheritance to be held in expensive trust for ~10 years

If you're serious about removing the current bank as Trustee, why not first approach them and see if they will lower their annual fees? If they know they really can lose the accounts, they may well be willing to give you a better deal.
by lhl12
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: List of favorite accounts
Replies: 44
Views: 12193

Re: List of favorite accounts

Credit Card: Bank of America Travel Rewards card combined with maximum possible bonus from Merrill Lynch or US Trust. Net result is a 2.625% rebate on all charges, as long as you have travel charges (airfare, hotel, etc.) to apply the rebate against. If you charge a lot to your card annually, then t...
by lhl12
Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex
Replies: 23
Views: 3494

Re: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex

If you're getting an average of $75/month deposited into your Fidelity account then you are spending $45,000/year on the card. At that spending level, you could use the Fidelity Visa instead of the Fidelity Amex. You get the same 2% rebate/month as the Fidelity Amex, except that you get only 1.5% on...
by lhl12
Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is Risk?
Replies: 27
Views: 1693

Re: What is Risk?

The riskiness of an investment is not measured by beta (a Wall Street term encompassing volatility and often used in measuring risk) but rather by the probability – the reasoned probability – of that investment causing its owner a loss of purchasing-power over his contemplated holding period. Asset...
by lhl12
Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: why do some people like Fidelity?
Replies: 92
Views: 11679

Re: why do some people like Fidelity?

And let's not forget the 2% cash back AMEX credit card and the no fee ATM card. +1 and the 1.5% cash back Visa (Actually, it's a 2% cash back Visa for all charges except the first $15,000/year, which only give 1.5% cash back. If you charge more than $15,000/year, this is equivalent to 2% cash back ...
by lhl12
Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a general U.S. history book
Replies: 22
Views: 1463

Re: Recommend a general U.S. history book

"The American Pageant" is one of the standard AP US History textbooks. They make an abridged version, which would probably be a better choice for your purposes.
by lhl12
Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security as a bond?
Replies: 47
Views: 3730

Re: Social Security as a bond?

I would happily buy the Social Security revenue stream of anyone who wanted to sell. Similarly, I'd happily buy the pension revenue stream of anyone who wanted to sell. I doubt the price I'd be willing to pay is a price that the seller would accept, but I'd certainly pay more than zero. Said another...
by lhl12
Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pensions and Asset Allocation - How to Balance?
Replies: 17
Views: 1328

Re: Pensions and Asset Allocation - How to Balance?

A pension is an income stream, it is not part of your portfolio. SS is an income stream, it is not part of your portfolio either. Your budget requires an income stream to provide you with the funds you need for your retired life. As an example, if you need $80K a year for expenses and your pension ...
by lhl12
Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rules Of Thumb For Personal Finance?
Replies: 20
Views: 2961

Re: Rules Of Thumb For Personal Finance?

When it comes to personal finance, I've always taken a by the book approach. So I am wondering in addition to the things I below. What other rules thumb can you think of as it relates specifically to personal finance? Note: I am not referring to investing in this post. 1. Live below your means 2. S...

Go to advanced search