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Re: iPhone upgrade

boroc7 wrote:How old is yours? I used my original iPhone for four solid years. That's longer than I use my laptops. I could've kept going, too, but I got a great deal on a new one. Never even had a case for it, either.


Had it about 3.5 years.
by prudent
Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade
Replies: 14
Views: 942

Re: iPhone upgrade

I feel your pain. I was pretty late to the smartphone party and now that I see my iPhone has IMHO an enforced limited lifespan due to software, I'm also torn about how to get an upgrade done. Just seems to me that for what these devices cost, they ought to be usable for a longer time. When I looked ...
by prudent
Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade
Replies: 14
Views: 942

Re: Self-directed 401(k) Option

Our 401k has a self-directed brokerage account (SDBA) option within the plan. The 401k plan is run by a large insurance company and the base plan is similar to yours - mostly high (up to 1.2%) ER funds with a couple index funds included. But the SDBA open opens the door to low-cost options and that'...
by prudent
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Self-directed 401(k) Option
Replies: 9
Views: 563

Re: Are remote starters bad for cars?

I know that on my wife's next car she'll want remote start as it's her car that sits outside. But I dread the idea because what she does in the winter is go out to start her car, and come back in. Sometimes she gets sidetracked and might not go back out for 15 minutes, but at least she has her coat ...
by prudent
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are remote starters bad for cars?
Replies: 41
Views: 2424

Re: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?

For retirement? Nothing. My total net worth was probably less than $5K at age 30.
by prudent
Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?
Replies: 168
Views: 11059

Re: Help with selling and clean out of older relative's home

My wife's close friend had this issue. Her mother moved into a care facility and the mother lived in the house for 40 years and was a 4-star hoarder. My reasonable estimate is that my wife and her friend have worked close to 500 hours going through stuff and cleaning, and they are just about done wi...
by prudent
Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with selling and clean out of older relative's home
Replies: 19
Views: 1802

Re: Aprilaire Humidifer - won't get above 22%

Could it be that the furnace is simply not on long enough to raise the humidity? You could try running the fan (not the furnace) manually to get more humidity in the house. This does become more of an issue when the outside temperature is higher because the time between calls to the furnace get lon...
by prudent
Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aprilaire Humidifer - won't get above 22%
Replies: 18
Views: 810

Re: Tesla S

The Tesla representative claims that in 2015, not only will auto parking become an available download, but it can do it without a driver. It sounds crazy, but he says the P85D has the capability (when the firmware is released) to let out its passengers, circle a parking lot until it finds a spot, p...
by prudent
Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla S
Replies: 610
Views: 73448

Re: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex

2tall4economy wrote:Not sure why people don't know about it but capital one has had a 2% cash back (at time of purchase) auto-deposit card for years now. And it only costs $59. And it has no fx fees.

Spark 1 cash.


That's a business card, not personal. That's probably why it doesn't get talked about very much.
by prudent
Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex
Replies: 20
Views: 1887

Re: Are banks required to deposit third party endorsed check

I will add something else that I've always wondered about. On checking deposit slips, there is usually a blank to the left of the little boxes where you enter an individual check's value. What information is supposed to be entered on that line? I always leave it blank. You know that little fraction...
by prudent
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are banks required to deposit third party endorsed checks?
Replies: 52
Views: 2605

Re: On line product reviews vs Consumers Reports

I always check Consumer Reports even though I might not find reviews for what I'm looking for. Their consumerist.com website is also very good for stories about corporate behavior that I find repugnant - things that won't ever show up in a product review. (I'm looking at YOU, Comcast, and your most ...
by prudent
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On line product reviews vs Consumers Reports
Replies: 37
Views: 2564

Re: Prom budget for teenage girl?

Can't believe I'm going to write this, but anyway... I have seen some heartbroken young women who didn't have the prom they hoped for when their parents clamped the wallet shut. Wasn't a question of "could they afford it". And I'm not talking about a $1,000 evening either. Some girls want ...
by prudent
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prom budget for teenage girl?
Replies: 82
Views: 4628

Re: Music / Song Help

Some Grateful Dead ballads:
(Walk me out in the) Morning Dew
Row Jimmy
China Doll
Black Peter
Must Have Been the Roses
by prudent
Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Music / Song Help
Replies: 52
Views: 2241

Re: Credit Score got hit hard

The credit bureaus only record, report and analyze the information reported to them. You have to get the creditors to pull that black mark off your record. Plead your case with the issuer of the cards. But the one that's two months late is the big hitter on your record. They may not be too understan...
by prudent
Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score got hit hard
Replies: 41
Views: 3844

Re: Advice needed to re-kajigger my entire financial life

A couple observations. You have a whole lot of money in AAPL. If you intend to be diversified to reduce risk, I don't think you can justify holding about 33% of your investment assets in one stock (notwithstanding that AAPL has been very good to you). Yes, the 15% cap gains tax will sting but it's a...
by prudent
Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice needed to re-kajigger my entire financial life
Replies: 31
Views: 2688

Re: Health Insurance Debacle, need advice...

Wow, that is a nightmare and I feel for you, OP. I hope the Insurance Division steps up for you. Every time I read of a situation like this I just can't believe it. These companies can choose to go back in time (All those bills we paid because you were covered? We made a discovery! That means we are...
by prudent
Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance Debacle, need advice...
Replies: 35
Views: 2588

Re: Home-visit computer repair options

After a few years of maddening efforts to troubleshoot my parents' PC issues on the phone from hundreds of miles away, we gave them a Chromebook and haven't had an issue since. They only wanted email and web browsing anyway and never used any software applications. Did you go in person to set the C...
by prudent
Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home-visit computer repair options
Replies: 29
Views: 840

Re: Home-visit computer repair options

After a few years of maddening efforts to troubleshoot my parents' PC issues on the phone from hundreds of miles away, we gave them a Chromebook and haven't had an issue since. They only wanted email and web browsing anyway and never used any software applications.
by prudent
Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home-visit computer repair options
Replies: 29
Views: 840

Re: 401k SDBA option - is it good ?

I use the SDBA in our 401k in order to get low-cost Vanguard funds. The 401k fund choices, although there are many to choose from, have ERs from 0.5% up to 1.2% other than the one index fund with a low ER of 0.17% (S&P 500). Cost for the SDBA is $50/year and $20 per trade. The company and the 40...
by prudent
Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k SDBA option - is it good ?
Replies: 6
Views: 364

Re: gold bar

I would try a coin shop first. Pawn shop would be my last resort. I'd see if any family members or close friends were interested before I'd go to a pawn shop.
by prudent
Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gold bar
Replies: 11
Views: 1143

Re: gold bar

Here's why I ask. Bars with recognized refiner names and marked fineness (and chances are that's what you have) are quite easy to sell for very close (within 3-5%) to melt value if they are one troy ounce or half ounce bars. Very small bars are discounted more from melt value. But if you have bars f...
by prudent
Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gold bar
Replies: 11
Views: 1143

Re: gold bar

Could you describe them a bit? What are the various weights, does it have a fineness and refiner's name marked on them?
by prudent
Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gold bar
Replies: 11
Views: 1143

Re: Understanding tax brackets

I knew that I wouldn't be anywhere near the top of the 25% bracket with the raise, but I wasn't sure if I would be punching through the 15% or not with it. Makes sense now. But I am only being taxed at 14.5%, so I will have to try and figure out why. Might be worth getting some real education on th...
by prudent
Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Understanding tax brackets
Replies: 13
Views: 1276

Re: How to make this fair: gifting to kids with different me

I can imagine that a child who is quite well-off might not mind if others got more, particularly if it wasn't life-changing money. If someone has a net worth of $2 million and growing, it's pretty easy to take the high road if a share of $50,000 is divided unequally. However I don't think that would...
by prudent
Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to make this fair: gifting to kids with different means
Replies: 108
Views: 8887

Re: More evidence that we are dopey investors

Which fund has the best 3-year return? I was always amused when looking at aggregate money flows in a 401(k) plan that I was associated with. Money always went to the fund with the best past 3-year performance. Just had a sit-down with a co-worker a couple weeks ago to try to explain some concepts ...
by prudent
Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: More evidence that we are dopey investors
Replies: 19
Views: 2066

Re: Switching electric companies--your thoughts?

PA has a site where you can compare costs among suppliers - http://papowerswitch.com . Your electric utility has a "price to compare" which is your benchmark to use when looking for lower rates. I'm guessing you have electic heat? Looks like your price to compare is 9.07c per kWh. We live ...
by prudent
Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switching electric companies--your thoughts?
Replies: 13
Views: 883

Multiple old 401k accounts to single IRA?

A relative asked me if he can consolidate three old 401k accounts from different employers into a single IRA. I thought there was a reason not to merge separate 401k accounts into the same IRA but can't seem to find any such discussion - or a discussion that specifically says it's OK to do that.
by prudent
Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Multiple old 401k accounts to single IRA?
Replies: 8
Views: 619

Re: Forget the Hindenburg Omen -- it's the dreaded Triple To

The linked page is kind of confusing. The story that talks about the dreaded Triple Top is dated Feb 2015, but it looks like the chart ends in early 2013. Then there's a link to the "5 signs the stock market will collapse in 2013". And the S&P has gained 35% since the time where the ch...
by prudent
Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forget the Hindenburg Omen -- it's the dreaded Triple Top!
Replies: 11
Views: 841

Re: How do you balance frugality and life?

Keep in mind that when reading the "frugal sites", you are reading the combined efforts of what many, many different people are doing. No one is doing ALL of them. You're always going to see something that you're not doing. And frugality has diminishing returns also. Don't focus on that ex...
by prudent
Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you balance frugality and life?
Replies: 50
Views: 5378

Re: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked

I believe this is the TIP of the ice berg when it comes to future hacks. To many companies haven't the right people in charge of online security. They'd best wake up and do something, or they will find themselves without a job. It's cost/benefit analysis. Cost of ever more vigilant security is high...
by prudent
Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked
Replies: 99
Views: 7985

Re: Personal line of credit for a vacation?

Any time I get an analysis of my credit score, one of the negatives is not enough different types of credit (i.e. mortgage, car loan, HELOC, etc.) - only credit cards are left. Yet my score is high enough that I don't need to try to boost it. Your situation sounds similar. I am not shy about getting...
by prudent
Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal line of credit for a vacation?
Replies: 14
Views: 855

Re: Preventing Ice Build up in my roof gutters

It wasn't a miracle cure-all, but we had a major decrease in this problem after putting more insulation in our attic plus the addition of a roof vent over the bathroom. I look around the neighborhood and it seems many with no snow on the roof are the ones with more prominent iced-up gutters. Houses ...
by prudent
Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventing Ice Build up in my roof gutters
Replies: 23
Views: 1842

Re: Taking a giant pay cut - what steps to take?

I sense it would help your peace of mind to have more cash now, so I would stop contributing to retirement accounts for the time being. And absolutely plan for those irregular expenses - they are just as important as the monthly ones. I assume your new budget stops paying 3x on your mortgage and dro...
by prudent
Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking a giant pay cut - what steps to take?
Replies: 26
Views: 2841

Re: How to fire a client?

I once worked for a guy like that. He got that way by learning that bullying people is what got him what he wanted. The people he dealt with who were decent and polite got run over (in my situation, it was co-workers). In this case, he ignored the agreement regarding when to contact you, and yet you...
by prudent
Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to fire a client? [software ownership issues]
Replies: 69
Views: 4888

Re: Mistake on W2 question

You may have earned some of your pay in the last week of December, but it wasn't paid until January. The withholding for the 401k for that pay period therefore occurred in January.
by prudent
Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mistake on W2 question
Replies: 17
Views: 972

Re: giving money

Well, giving someone money with no expectation of being repaid is pretty much the definition of a gift. In fact it could be a good idea to make sure everyone knows it's a gift, so the IRS doesn't wonder why your friend didn't pay income tax on the money. If less than $14,000 in a calendar year, the ...
by prudent
Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: giving money
Replies: 13
Views: 783

Re: Your Minimum Annual Expenses

I think in that situation (big sacrifices but not 4-alarm emergency mode) we'd be at 30K expenses. We'd cut most of the eating out costs, charitable contributions, hobby expenses, and assuming neither of us is working we'd try to cut down on driving both cars. We (by "we", I mean she ;) ) ...
by prudent
Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your Minimum Annual Expenses
Replies: 37
Views: 3681

Re: Success stories of NOT buying more/too much house

Our "starter home" was 1200 sq. ft. Much pressure from friends and family to move up after some years. I was too afraid of having a mortgage that required both incomes so I dragged my feet. About 15 years in, my wife's job situation deteriorated and for her own mental health I encouraged h...
by prudent
Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Success stories of NOT buying more/too much house
Replies: 65
Views: 6136

Re: Would you use MaskMe?

I have a Citi credit card that offers single-use numbers and I use it frequently for online purchases. If I didn't have that available, I'm not sure if I'd use a third-party service to accomplish that.
by prudent
Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you use MaskMe?
Replies: 12
Views: 1610

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Just finished "Flash Boys" by Michael Lewis. Lewis has a real talent for making arcane technical information understandable. I found the story of how Wall Street firms pull computer-based shenanigans in order to milk a penny per share on trades to be fascinating. And the drive of the main ...
by prudent
Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 503
Views: 67670

Re: Newly retired, seeking wisdom

I like the laddered CDs idea for the cash.
by prudent
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly retired, seeking wisdom
Replies: 10
Views: 1545

Re: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?

According to my friends who have them, it's for the wide variety of flavors + fresh coffee on demand + they don't drink coffee by the pot (like I do).
by prudent
Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?
Replies: 120
Views: 9224

Re: One milestone achieved, 2 commas

Congrats on your milestone! Great way to start a new year. Did you even imagine getting to that point when you started out?
by prudent
Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: One milestone achieved, 2 commas
Replies: 4
Views: 1179

Re: Real or Fake Website - Need Your Opinion

After some review, my gut tells me there are two possibilities. 1. It's a scam. 2. It's not a scam, but everything they sell is a made-in-China unauthorized counterfeit. Either way I would avoid. First, the site is full of tortured English. Not professional. Second, the company logo on their site do...
by prudent
Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Real or Fake Website - Need Your Opinion
Replies: 13
Views: 1406

Re: Custom branded USB flash drive

My thoughts are to buy from someone like Vistaprint or Staples. I'd rather spend a little more so in case of a problem I have someone here in the US to deal with, and they would have already vetted their Chinese suppliers for quality. The overall cost is only a few hundred dollars anyway. IMHO not w...
by prudent
Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Custom branded USB flash drive
Replies: 4
Views: 837

Re: Amex Fidelity CC 2% Cash Back

BTW, I had an "opportunity" to "buy back" (for lack of better terms) a year of SS last May and restart at age 65, vs. 64. SS actually took the card and FIA Card Services (they are the administrator of the card) helped me make sure it wasn't bounced for amount. LOL, the "rew...
by prudent
Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Fidelity CC 2% Cash Back
Replies: 60
Views: 11228

Re: Where do you shop for groceries?

Supermarket 50% (meat/produce mostly), Sams Club 40% (some meat, mostly non-perishables and staples), Whole Foods 10% (the seeds, nuts and spices she likes). I can't shop at Walmart. Ours is a miserable experience and the savings isn't worth the misery. And she doesn't like Aldi's because according ...
by prudent
Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you shop for groceries?
Replies: 97
Views: 8157

Re: Amex Fidelity CC 2% Cash Back

Anyone use the Blue Cash Preferred Card from Am Ex? It does have an annual fee of $75, but you get 6% cash back on groceries (capped at $6000 per year, after which it is 1%), 3% back on gas and eligible department stores, and 1% on everything else. We use the heck out of it! Remember the 6% applies...
by prudent
Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Fidelity CC 2% Cash Back
Replies: 60
Views: 11228

Re: Home Owners insurance pricing ???

You have to shop around for a package of homeowners/auto/umbrella. The "disappearing deductible" and "claims-free discounts" are just gimmicks to keep people from switching insurers. Remember, if you don't have an accident, it isn't saving you any actual money anyway. Insurance p...
by prudent
Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Owners insurance pricing ???
Replies: 14
Views: 1567

Re: This topic is causing stress in marriage we need some he

Please clarify a couple things:

1. Is she making contributions every paycheck to the tax-deferred account?
2. If the credit card was paid off, would it stay paid off?
3. What is a rough estimate of your combined annual income in 2015?
by prudent
Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: This topic is causing stress in marriage we need some help
Replies: 81
Views: 7619
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