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Re: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?

2stepsbehind wrote: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?


Unfortunately, no.
by madbrain
Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?
Replies: 15
Views: 915

Re: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?

wageoghe wrote:I don't have anything to offer re plane tickets, but I do want say that I am sorry to hear about your MIL.


Thank you . And happy Thanksgiving !
by madbrain
Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?
Replies: 15
Views: 915

Re: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?

I fly a lot for work and have never found a refundable ticket to be worth the price. The 200 (domestic) or 300 (international) change / cancellation fee is always more cost effective. Sorry! This certainly appears to be the case. The prices for "fully refundable" airfares appear to be the...
by madbrain
Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?
Replies: 15
Views: 915

Re: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?

I usually do searches on airline websites. It does mean spending an hour or so with a dozen browser windows open comparing prices but every airline website I've ever looked at has offered full fare refundable/changeable economy tickets. Make sure you pay attention to any change fees even on a chang...
by madbrain
Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?
Replies: 15
Views: 915

Re: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?

I recall when making a recent reservation online that I was prompted with something like "Make this ticket refundable, add $150" or something like that. Would you happen to know which site this was on ? I have never seen this. All I have seen was offers for travel insurance, which unfortu...
by madbrain
Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?
Replies: 15
Views: 915

How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?

I'm wondering how to find open or refundable airfares . Most travel engines used to allow searching for refundable airfares, but it appears this option is gone now. And what about buying a ticket with open dates ? The situation here is that my mother-in-law was diagnosed with leukemia about a year a...
by madbrain
Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?
Replies: 15
Views: 915

Re: Bogleheads, any "Black Friday" [recommendations]

crg11 wrote:I rather spend time with the family than buy anything on Black Friday. Got that bug out of me a long time ago.


I am not planning on going out shopping to a retail store this friday either, if I end up buying things on that day it will likely be all online.
by madbrain
Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, any "Black Friday" [recommendations]
Replies: 59
Views: 5029

Re: Bogleheads, any "Black Friday" [recommendations]

SSD hard drives are at a great point of the depreciation curve right now. 250GB for ~$80 Newegg has one for $70 after rebate. This is as good a deal as I have seen for that size SSD. I'm considering upgrading the 64GB SSD in one of my two HTPC which is nearly full and doesn't run optimally. SSD hav...
by madbrain
Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, any "Black Friday" [recommendations]
Replies: 59
Views: 5029

Re: Bogleheads, anyone doing "Black Friday"

95% of Black Friday "deals" are just smoke and mirrors. Not actual deals at all, just products designed and marketed to capture the frenzy of the day. I bought a refrigerator a few years ago the Monday before Thanksgiving. On Black Friday, the same refrigerator was on sale for $150 more t...
by madbrain
Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, any "Black Friday" [recommendations]
Replies: 59
Views: 5029

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

We saw "The theory of everything" last night, the Stephen Hawking biography. It was really emotional and very well done movie.
At times, it is hard to watch the progression of his delibitating ALS disability, but the director still manages to also come up with some funny situations.
by madbrain
Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 222
Views: 18697

Re: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?

Obviously, it depends on what crowd one hung out with. I disagree that they didn't know more. Some absolutely did. The ballmer video in which he laughs at the phone shows that there was a large crowd that didn't believe in the iPhone. But there was a young crowd that knew that it was going to chang...
by madbrain
Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?
Replies: 116
Views: 10929

Re: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?

An above person wrote: That would be me, can't you even be bothered to quote appropriately ? It was not a bet at all. it was obvious to us. A sure thing. And sure enough, it was a sure thing. You can keep telling yourself that in retrospect, but the reality is that there were significant things tha...
by madbrain
Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?
Replies: 116
Views: 10929

Re: 15 vs 30 mortgage on a condo I plan on renting after 5 y

the 30 year interest compared to 15 is like 60k more, which I would like to avoid. Total interest on a $127,300 loan (95% of purchase price) at 4.125% 30 year is $94,804.96 . At 3.125% 15 years it is $32,320.78 .. However, if you choose the 30 year, and make the same monthly payment as the 15 year,...
by madbrain
Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 vs 30 mortgage on a condo I plan on renting after 5 years
Replies: 15
Views: 1170

Re: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?

Did AAPL have more risk? That is debatable. Single stock risk is usually considered much higher than an index fund. There are some exceptions, but Apple is not a diversified investment like, say, Berkshire Hathaway. This is certainly the case with Apple . You only need to look at price charts of AA...
by madbrain
Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?
Replies: 116
Views: 10929

Re: 15 vs 30 mortgage on a condo I plan on renting after 5 y

the interest rates were 3.125 and 4.125 as of couple days ago. I like the idea of having a condo paid off as a rental property, I realize it is not necessarily a great investment, but I will already be maxing out my 401k and roth IRA and I am only 22, so I am not really too worried about retirement...
by madbrain
Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 vs 30 mortgage on a condo I plan on renting after 5 years
Replies: 15
Views: 1170

Re: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?

Meh, Apple hasn't released a truly great or even very good product since well before Steve Jobs died. I don't think the "greatness" of the great products is always obvious right away. "greatness" is also a very subjective thing. There were tons of MP3 players before the iPod. So...
by madbrain
Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?
Replies: 116
Views: 10929

Re: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?

Well, I did end up getting into AAPL Jan 2013 at the $513 a share that seemed like such a deal. It is now up to $594 and while everything is saying get out and grab the profit, I can't help but keep looking at this stock and saying 3.29% dividend, PE of 14, and still the standard in tablets/phones....
by madbrain
Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?
Replies: 116
Views: 10929

Re: The mathematics of recouping loss

Browser wrote:Thought this graphic was an interesting depiction of the escalating impact of portfolio losses.

Image


The graph forgot to depict the 100% loss case :)
by madbrain
Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The mathematics of recouping loss
Replies: 11
Views: 1253

Re: 15 vs 30 mortgage on a condo I plan on renting after 5 y

I can afford a 15 year mortgage or a 30, but the monthly cost (mortgage,insurance,hoa,taxes) will be $1230 a month for the 15 and $1500 a year for the 15 year mortgage. What is the difference in interest rate between the two ? The $270 difference in monthly payment is partly principal, partly inter...
by madbrain
Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 vs 30 mortgage on a condo I plan on renting after 5 years
Replies: 15
Views: 1170

Re: What do you splurge on?

A private jet Hookers Coke Just kidding :) - A really nice house. I think I'm set for life now though. - High quality musical instruments - though at this point, I also believe I'm set for life - Home theater . Actually hadn't done any notable upgrades to it for 7 years - I finally decided to add/up...
by madbrain
Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you splurge on?
Replies: 150
Views: 9631

Re: Paid off our Mortgage this evening!

I am with Amica, which allows a $2500 deductible, and even $5000. I used $2500 previously but am now dropping it entirely because my car is too old. Thanks ! I will check with them what the overall rates are for my situation, since I now have a paid-off Prius 2011. I probably wouldn't go for $5000 ...
by madbrain
Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off our Mortgage this evening!
Replies: 75
Views: 7577

Re: Paid off our Mortgage this evening!

This is a more common issue with auto insurance; the lender will require collision and comprehensive, often with a low deductible such as $500, to protect its own interest. When the car loan is paid off, you can drop collision and comprehensive, or keep them with a $1000 or $2000 deductible to redu...
by madbrain
Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off our Mortgage this evening!
Replies: 75
Views: 7577

Re: smartphone over wifi - still possible?

Look for a feature called Wi-Fi Calling . My T-Mobile phone has that built-in. As soon as I enable wi-fi, the phone routes all calls to wi-fi (not the cell network). T-Mobile does not lock you into a contract. Indeed. However, be aware that doing so still use your plan minutes / SMS limit, whatever...
by madbrain
Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smartphone over wifi - still possible?
Replies: 31
Views: 2402

Re: Trapped deciding between 2 Jobs: Can I renege on my offe

You tell both companies that you are towards the final stage of the interview. They need to give you what your salary is and benefit information. Your salary range is too widefor both companies. Don't turn down a company until you have an actual letter with the salary and benefits stated. I agree. ...
by madbrain
Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trapped deciding between 2 Jobs: Can I renege on my offer?
Replies: 36
Views: 2926

Re: Poll: Net cost of your checking account annually?

Fidelty's fine print reads as follows: Please note, there is a foreign transaction fee of one percent that is not waived, which will be included in the amount charged to your account. Fidelity's fine print does not match reality, based on my experience looking at exchange rates for the days I made ...
by madbrain
Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Net cost of your checking account annually?
Replies: 44
Views: 2267

Re: Banking Culture Breeds Dishonesty?

I hope a banker can chime in and make this thread personal so it doesn't get locked :)
by madbrain
Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Banking Culture Breeds Dishonesty?
Replies: 7
Views: 788

Re: Heads up best reward credit card I've seen.

Keep in mind to check your various grocers and call to see if they still are exempting places like Costco, Sams Club, and Walmart as "not grocery stores" for the 6%. The main reason I don't get it is that literally no one counts as a grocer around here, except for one store that only take...
by madbrain
Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Heads up one of the better reward credit card I've seen.
Replies: 54
Views: 6286

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

I saw Rosewater last friday. It was a great movie and I highly recommend it.
by madbrain
Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 222
Views: 18697

Re: 10% off Target GiftCards - Black Friday Preview

Eh if it's online I may look into it . but I barely shop at Target. But there's no way in Hell that I am going to frequent any store that is open on Thanksgiving. Shame on stores who are disrupting a family holiday and forcing people to work on Thanksgiving. I do shop at Target, yet I wholly agree ...
by madbrain
Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 10% off Target GiftCards - Black Friday Preview
Replies: 24
Views: 3325

Re: 10% off Target GiftCards - Black Friday Preview

TheTimeLord wrote:Excellent Target is where I buy Cat Litter. Who knew that was the expense part of owning a cat.


You can get a much better deal on cat litter at Costco. The annual savings will easily cover the membership.
by madbrain
Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 10% off Target GiftCards - Black Friday Preview
Replies: 24
Views: 3325

Re: Toyota Class Action Settlement Check, Cash or Not

unintended acceleration (caused by floor mat lodging esp.) can be handled immediately with putting car in neutral. Some of these unintended acceleration problems had nothing to do with floor mats. Toyota hid these issues from the public and was fined earlier this year. http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter...
by madbrain
Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Class Action Settlement Check, Cash or Not
Replies: 16
Views: 2402

Re: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.

Obviously, then, we can agree to disagree that this was a scam. Yes, we certainly can. But since you like to quote definitions, let me quote the one for "consumer scam" : http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/C/ConsumerScam.aspx Consumer Scam Legal Definition: A deceptive sale of goods o...
by madbrain
Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.
Replies: 89
Views: 8002

Re: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.

Although I know that is not how it is used today by many, the non racist definition is: "Any source of heckling, unwelcome commentary or criticism, especially from a know-it-all or of an inexpert nature" http://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/peanut_gallery I doubt Bfwolf meant the racist term, ...
by madbrain
Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.
Replies: 89
Views: 8002

Re: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.

HawkeyeJD, Back on topic, the OP has already spent a lot of time on this just posting repeatedly and with the phone calls, all to save $27 and some change. Clearly, the OP can spend her time on whatever she wants, but I see no reason "pay and move on with life" is not a perfectly valid opi...
by madbrain
Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.
Replies: 89
Views: 8002

Re: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.

What a crummy scam, madbrain. I am glad you were able to get the charges removed. I find it humorous that there are a couple of folks from the peanut gallery who say "well, it was in the rental agreement." I mean, do you guys actually sit there and read through every line item on the rent...
by madbrain
Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.
Replies: 89
Views: 8002

Re: Just signed up Obamacare again.

I checked the new rates on coveredca.com . I compared them with last year's rates. The rates for a Kaiser Platinum 90 plan are down 5%, and this is considering that we are both one year older. The other terms of the plan appear to be the same, identical copays and deductibles. The other plans (Bronz...
by madbrain
Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just signed up Obamacare again.
Replies: 41
Views: 3311

Re: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.

MrWinky, For EZPass customers in the northeast US, EZPass will charge $25 in admin fees for any toll not paid in 30 days, per toll. I found this out the hard way when I got onto a toll road in MD by mistake, and a month later had to pay $54. If you don't have an EZPass you can't pay the toll online ...
by madbrain
Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.
Replies: 89
Views: 8002

Re: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income

Absent some insight in how this works, I'm just going to going to assume their is a bias in who is responding. The poll clearly asks about "current value of the car" relative to income, not "original purchase price" relative to income. I think the Bogleheads who answered it read...
by madbrain
Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income
Replies: 93
Views: 6071

Re: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income

BrandonBogle wrote:Am I missing something?


Depreciation, I think. The cars may well be worth higher multiples of monthly income when purchased new, but since they depreciate, the multiples shrink rapidly. And of course, not everyone buys new cars.
by madbrain
Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income
Replies: 93
Views: 6071

Re: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income

Thanks to all we will keep it open The average age of cars on the road has been steadily increasing for decades.. It's at an all time high of 11.4 years. So if your car is only 10 years old its newer than average. http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transp...
by madbrain
Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income
Replies: 93
Views: 6071

Re: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?

Seriously, 24 years is a long time from now. Save aggressively and don't give a reverse mortgage much thought until you're much closer to age 62. The laws pertaining to them may be completely different at that future date. Think about it... 24 years ago was 1990 and you were 14 years old. How much ...
by madbrain
Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?
Replies: 50
Views: 2704

Re: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?

MN-Investor wrote:24 years from now? Shoot, California will have slid into the Pacific Ocean by then. That'll solve your valuation issue! :D


My home is on a hill at about 600 ft above water, so I believe this won't be an issue ;)
by madbrain
Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?
Replies: 50
Views: 2704

Re: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??

Personally (and I know others may disagree), I don't consider letting people keep their own money a subsidy. Giving people someone else's money is a subsidy. There is a big difference. From http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/subsidy.asp A benefit given by the government to groups or individuals us...
by madbrain
Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??
Replies: 105
Views: 10733

Re: Very old Chinese bond; worth anything?

This appears to be an old bond issued by the Chinese government in 1914. Amusingly enough, it is therefore exactly 100 years old! Worth 500 French Francs at the time. Could it be that... it is actually worth something?[/img] As a collectible, maybe, as you found out. But surely not the face value. ...
by madbrain
Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Very old Chinese bond; worth anything?
Replies: 18
Views: 1843

Re: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income

The 2011 Prius 4 is worth between 1 and 1.2x income. We own it outright.
The 2012 Nissan Leaf that is leased for a very low price due to govt subsidies would also be worth between 1x and 1.2x if one were to purchase such a vehicle used.
I rounded the total down to 2x.
by madbrain
Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income
Replies: 93
Views: 6071

Re: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?

so I knew you were under 50 . But whatever your retirement age if you have a house worth the same as your portfolio you generally considered to be over-housed or house poor. I.e. you are putting too much of your wealth into housing Right - I do have a lot of my wealth tied up in the house at this t...
by madbrain
Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track the value of your illiquid assets ?
Replies: 50
Views: 2704

Re: If your networth is over $3 million, how did you do it?

But madbrain, you just told us that you don't pay much for your expensive health issues since insurance covers them for you. That means that the collective "we" are paying for it even while we are not whining and investing for our own futures and health issues. Indeed, I don't pay much fo...
by madbrain
Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If your networth is over $3 million, how did you do it?
Replies: 269
Views: 29523

Re: If your networth is over $3 million, how did you do it?

Someone made the comment that the vast majority of Americans can't save $3 million because their income is too low, and I said "That is not a problem, because the vast majority of Americans don't NEED $3 million dollars to retire comfortably". I did leave unstated, "at a normal retir...
by madbrain
Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If your networth is over $3 million, how did you do it?
Replies: 269
Views: 29523

Re: If your networth is over $3 million, how did you do it?

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Give him your address in Kansas, you can show him how to make it on a measly $2MM or maybe tell him to go live in the Ozarks of Missouri for even cheaper.


Did we just go from arguing about living on $1M to $2M ?
by madbrain
Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If your networth is over $3 million, how did you do it?
Replies: 269
Views: 29523

Re: Any Legal ways to lower MAGI for ACA signup?

Just received the 2015 Open Enrollment package. My monthly premium has tripled for the same Silver plan and coverage. My premium on my Kaiser HMO plan through my employer went up 1% from last year. However, several of the copays actually went down, so the costs will be about the same. I haven't see...
by madbrain
Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Legal ways to lower MAGI for ACA signup?
Replies: 34
Views: 4217
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