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Re: Newly Widowed, what to do with the life insurance money.

Very sorry for your loss. I would encourage you to be quiet about the life insurance money and distrustful of kind offers to help. I support the idea to park it in your high yield account, and then when you are ready, come back here to learn about investments. Its really not that hard when you have ...
by sesq
Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly Widowed, what to do with the life insurance money....
Replies: 28
Views: 3215

Re: The slackening...

This is personal because I see in my daughter a fair amount of ennui. I do not consider that we spoil her, and she is only seven I loved this, and have felt this about my 8 year old. I also know I inflicted this upon my parents, as I was always tough to motivate. So far so good for me, and I watche...
by sesq
Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The slackening...
Replies: 57
Views: 5814

Re: Your thoughts on vacation home or second home

I used to live in NH. The beach and the mountains are about 1-2 hours apart. I used to imagine myself in retirement having a beach house and a ski condo. Only I'd rent out the high seasons for each and live in the other during the low seasons. I have since married and I doubt that my wife would be i...
by sesq
Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your thoughts on vacation home or second home
Replies: 61
Views: 3605

Re: Withdrawal Limit At Capital One Savings Account??

I thought it had to do with the Fed wanting to calculate M-1 and M-3 money supplies where savings accounts were presumed to be long term (could be wrong). I ran into this a couple years ago when I set up multiple savings accounts for my kids at Cap1-360. I set them up to do weekly automatic allowanc...
by sesq
Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withdrawal Limit At Capital One Savings Account??
Replies: 9
Views: 670

Re: Gas Grill - Natural Gas vs Liquid Propane

We like to grill steaks, pork, burgers, salmon, and occasionally chicken (has been the toughest for me to get right). This is my go to for chicken. I make the rub in quantity since we use it so often and even bought the fancy pan they sell after a while (regular cans are fine too, tallboys aren't n...
by sesq
Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Grill - Natural Gas vs Liquid Propane
Replies: 46
Views: 6715

Re: Paying Taxes Owed Using Credit Card

ajcp wrote:
Ok yea if you want to do that that's fine. But there are no cards that will give say 3% back on income tax payments.


If you live on the west coast (I don't), this one might.

https://www.jcbusa.com/for_consumers/
by sesq
Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Taxes Owed Using Credit Card
Replies: 10
Views: 1134

Re: Bogleheads Stance on Home Buying

I agree with the comment to think hard about the commute. The cost in time and fuel is not a trifle. If you work 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year a ten minute commute each way is the equivalent to 80 hours (5x48x10x2/60). Admittedly that is a bit less than 1% of the year (365x24 = 8760), but now imagi...
by sesq
Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads Stance on Home Buying
Replies: 61
Views: 4582

Re: "Getting Real About Retirement"

I personally like the George E.P. Box quote All models are wrong, but some are useful. Hopefully the Boglehead models prove to be the latter. I recently saw this quote along the same lines (probably here): "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is ind...
by sesq
Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Getting Real About Retirement"
Replies: 27
Views: 3045

Re: best cash back credit card

We buy our groceries at Walmart. How does Amex and other class that? We use our discover, but with an avg monthly bill of more than 6K, I wonder if there is a better option. Anyone make a tool that you can plug your spending types in and get a recommendation ? There are a couple out there. If you a...
by sesq
Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20358

Re: Maximizing bonus on new credit card offers

Curious what types of cards you buy at 7-11? :) Prepaid reload cards and/or debit cards with pins that can be cashed out via money orders or loaded to other services and cashed out. Requires some time and effort, but can be profitable. I didn't think you could use cards with pins on Evolve. I am no...
by sesq
Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing bonus on new credit card offers
Replies: 25
Views: 1442

Re: Opinions on our situation? Very Long Post!

I think you are in great shape. Feeding the retirement space and killing the loans would be my priorities also. I would go out of my way to make sure you are the model son-in-law to your mother-in-law as the rent she is charging you is a gift and gifts deserve gratitude. But really, all in with a bi...
by sesq
Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opinions on our situation? Very Long Post!
Replies: 21
Views: 2400

Re: best cash back credit card

One to two PER BANK (rinse and repeat up to quarterly) is considered okay by heavy credit card churners. Just to confirm: I can apply for two different cards on the same day and the applications would not negatively affect one another? Yes. You will most likely have to call the reconsideration line...
by sesq
Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20358

Re: Maximizing bonus on new credit card offers

tj wrote:
Curious what types of cards you buy at 7-11? :)


Prepaid reload cards and/or debit cards with pins that can be cashed out via money orders or loaded to other services and cashed out.

Requires some time and effort, but can be profitable.
by sesq
Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing bonus on new credit card offers
Replies: 25
Views: 1442

Re: Maximizing bonus on new credit card offers

In terms of the repeatability of a bonus for a you or your spouse it varies by product and bank. Some can be churned (that's the name for getting a bonus multiple times) several times a year. How do you go about repeating? Call up a card rep and say sign me up again? With some issuers you cancel fi...
by sesq
Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing bonus on new credit card offers
Replies: 25
Views: 1442

Re: Vested RSU's - I didn't sell them, now what

Be aware your company may have limited windows when you can sell without creating insider trading issues (typically right after earnings release).

My company has an additional incentive to hold after vesting, but I generally liquidate once that period lapses.
by sesq
Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vested RSU's - I didn't sell them, now what
Replies: 16
Views: 1065

Re: Maximizing bonus on new credit card offers

You and your spouse are different people, and both are eligible for as many bonuses as the banks will give. Lots of people have matching cards for bonuses or to get around caps (e.g. BCP has a $6k cap on grocery spend). In terms of the repeatability of a bonus for a you or your spouse it varies by p...
by sesq
Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing bonus on new credit card offers
Replies: 25
Views: 1442

Re: Pre-paying credit card, then taking cash advance?

There are a few credit cards with very attractive bonuses (5% category spend bonuses that can be monitized for less than 5%) where the banks give skimpy lines of credit. Some folks try to turn over the line rapidly and many get their card shut down. A cash advance fee is different than an interest c...
by sesq
Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pre-paying credit card, then taking cash advance?
Replies: 11
Views: 868

Re: best cash back credit card

Thank you, it sounds interesting, too! Do you know if I should apply for one card at a time, or I could apply for two cards at the same time? Victoria One to two PER BANK (rinse and repeat up to quarterly) is considered okay by heavy credit card churners. Clearly better than quicksilver FIA Cardser...
by sesq
Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20358

Re: Amazon Prime Increase

They initially picked $79 since it was a prime number. I wish they had kept that quirk alive and priced it at $97 (or $101).

I like the service, I'll pay the $99 when we renew next January.
by sesq
Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Increase
Replies: 185
Views: 7627

Re: Farmers Auto, house, umbrella insurance

coffeehubcap wrote:Steelerfan,

Thanks so much for steering me to the J.D. Powers research site.


+1. USAA just came in high on HO for me, and I shopped Amica and Erie, both beat USAA on price by 20%, and it looks like all three are among the better regarded companies per JD Powers. Helpful.
by sesq
Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Farmers Auto, house, umbrella insurance
Replies: 9
Views: 818

Re: 401K loan or PenFed HEL for high % rate mortgage payoff?

I'd do the 401(k) loan personally. Unless the loan origination fees are greater than any appraisal fee's Pen Fed may require.

No bad answers here.
by sesq
Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401K loan or PenFed HEL for high % rate mortgage payoff?
Replies: 8
Views: 683

Re: Dwelling Coverage

Why do you prefer USAA? My understanding is that Amica is a very good company, and generally conservative. I have heard good things about Amica which is why I picked them to quote. We've had USAA for ten years and we are very comfortable with their claims process from a minor issue just after we bo...
by sesq
Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dwelling Coverage
Replies: 4
Views: 240

Dwelling Coverage

I got my HO insurance renewal info and the premium was up 24% (USAA, Central PA). I have HO, auto and a $2M umbrella with USAA. I called Amica, car and umbrella were comparable, but for HO it was down $459 less, and across all three policies it is $508 less. The biggest difference in the policies wa...
by sesq
Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dwelling Coverage
Replies: 4
Views: 240

Re: What kind of mortgage should I get?

I use a penfed 5/5, but my prior two re-fi's were with FirstIB.com. Its a hassle, but do the online app and talk to a broker since the rates on the web aren't always accurate. Something to keep in mind, I am pretty sure in Texas you can not do HELOC's, so that argues for your plan to put some cash i...
by sesq
Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What kind of mortgage should I get?
Replies: 9
Views: 828

Re: Early Retirement and ObamaCare

Some have suggested that it may be beneficial to be above 133% of the poverty line to avoid being in the medicaid expansion, as coverage from medicaid may not be great compared to the exchange policies.
by sesq
Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement and ObamaCare
Replies: 26
Views: 2542

Re: Social Security Statement Now Online?

I logged in earlier today no problem.
by sesq
Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security Statement Now Online?
Replies: 32
Views: 3456

Re: Santandar Bank advertisement

I recently opened an account under this promo and I am using it as a mechanism to fund my kids 529 plans via billpay. Once you add a biller you can then set re-occurring payments. Combined with monthly direct deposits its all on autopilot. Still waiting for my first $20 deposit, but I just got it se...
by sesq
Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Santandar Bank advertisement
Replies: 14
Views: 1640

Re: Home remodel - need confirmation that we can afford it

How is your LTV? If you can keep the HELOC below 75% Hanscom FCU has prime minus 0.5% (or 2.75%). https://www.hfcu.org/personal/loans/home_equity_lines_and_loans.html Also, some folks find cheap financing by taking a loan against paid off cars in the 2% to 3% range (Penfed, Navy FCU, local CU's). Yo...
by sesq
Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home remodel - need confirmation that we can afford it
Replies: 51
Views: 3121

Re: best cash back credit card

Has anyone had any experience with the following card? Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases Great sign up bonus. I think the min spend just went from $1k to $3k, but still, $400 sign on bonus for travel. Their travel category is pretty broad, which is nice. I like it...
by sesq
Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20358

Re: Consolidating credit card debt?

Doesn't require a financial genius to see that 14 is less than 17 & 21. The problem with this is she is likely to run up the cards again when presented with the opportunity. Also, there may be fees with the loans that offset the interest reduction. She probably would be best served by going over...
by sesq
Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consolidating credit card debt?
Replies: 27
Views: 1072

Re: Fee Only Planner for Parents in Boston Area

I could see the high stock allocation if pensions / ss covered the bills. My biggest question would be to determine if the military pension provides a spousal benefit if your father pre-deceases your mother, and if so how much, and how would that compare to her potential budget as a single person.
by sesq
Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fee Only Planner for Parents in Boston Area
Replies: 14
Views: 781

Re: How has frugality impacted your marriage/LTR?

I answered "no effect". Us being comparable on the topic of finances was a pre-requisite to marriage.
by sesq
Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How has frugality impacted your marriage/LTR?
Replies: 37
Views: 2817

Re: Moving from midwest to Australia

We are US citizens so we may still have to US taxes for any income over 90K. Don't let the tax tail wag the dog. There are foreign tax credits that are designed to put you no worse off. There may be a bit of leakage but that shouldn't be the deciding factor. Australia has a wonderful climate and I ...
by sesq
Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving from midwest to Australia
Replies: 46
Views: 2294

Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

If you do go shopping with her, I would do it to just get a sense of her tastes. Tell her any purchase will happen later, possibly much later. In your pricepoint you should ask the jeweler to show you a stone that is at the desired size, and just under (say its a carat and .95 carat). You'll see tha...
by sesq
Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring
Replies: 152
Views: 7260

Re: Stop funding retirement to pay off student loans?

Yes the $17,500 per year would be $1,458 per month. Assuming 25% federal and 3.07% state income tax, you would get to defer paying $4,912 taxes for the year, $409.35 per month. Doesn't really change much, but in PA contributions to retirement accounts are not deductible. Good news is distributions ...
by sesq
Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stop funding retirement to pay off student loans?
Replies: 56
Views: 2488

Re: 25 Years old, Please review my Financial Outlook

I'd liquidate the collectibles and apply the proceeds to the debt. I'd also sell the individual stocks and buy more of the target date fund.

Do you have a plan where the MBA will contribute to your career?
by sesq
Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 25 Years old, Please review my Financial Outlook
Replies: 19
Views: 1239

Re: What to do with small prepaid credit cards

Target will reduce for the amount.

You can usually partial pay cell phone or cable companies.

I generally just dump them on my amazon gift card balance. I usually have 100 - 300 on account with them since I buy gift cards to amazon at office supply stores for 5X rewards on my Ink card.
by sesq
Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with small prepaid credit cards
Replies: 47
Views: 1833

Re: Lease or buy new if given company car?

To make things interesting I may be getting a company car in the spring, which will be used for all my work-related driving as well as some local errands after work . That leaves me using my personal vehicle primarily on weekends, some evening driving, and trips. I'd find out where the line is draw...
by sesq
Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lease or buy new if given company car?
Replies: 12
Views: 589

Re: How do you define "emergency fund?"

The only emergency that counts for me is losing my job. If that is the case, I can use savings and generally hustle for probably six months, maybe more. A lot more with severance. After that hopefully the house will have sold (moved here for a job, limited alternatives) or we start dipping into the ...
by sesq
Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you define "emergency fund?"
Replies: 32
Views: 2731

Re: Your mortgage type, if any [POLL]

I checked the ARM box because that is what I have now.

I have had -
2004 4.25% 15 year fixed
2008 4.875% 15 year fixed (moved)
2010 - 3.625% 5/1 ARM
2012 - 2.75% - 3/1 ARM
2013 - 2.625% 5/5 ARM
by sesq
Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your mortgage type, if any [POLL]
Replies: 63
Views: 3510

Re: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?

Just ran into the forced upgrade issue for my $894 gain. I've used the online version dating back to 2003. Won't be using it in 2013 or thereafter.
by sesq
Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?
Replies: 302
Views: 28826

Re: How long did it take to realize compounding interest

Year 11 I saw growth>contributions. That was 2007. We all know what happened in 2008.

These past two years 2012 and especially 2013 it felt like I was in the slipstream as the growth trumped contributions.

Be patient, be consistent (relentless?).
by sesq
Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did it take to realize compounding interest
Replies: 45
Views: 4048

Re: Mortgage shopping? Online vs local?

How do you handle that situation with an online broker? Do you get assigned an individual or? Do they have people available at off hours? how does the whole process work? When I was house hunting I had pre-approval letters from a couple of lenders on hand that had a price cap way beyond what I'd pa...
by sesq
Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage shopping? Online vs local?
Replies: 23
Views: 1054

Re: Asset Location/Allocation - 401K Plan Quirk

I tried to move my Roth 401(k) account to be all stock and have the bonds be the tax deferred balance last year. Fidelity's system couldn't (or wouldn't) do it either. Since I have a decent amount in Roth IRA's I switched those to being all stocks and bumped up my bond allocation in the 401(k) plan ...
by sesq
Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Location/Allocation - 401K Plan Quirk
Replies: 9
Views: 474

Re: Mortgage shopping? Online vs local?

So your offer looks stronger? Absurd. I would suspect the realtor gets kickbacks from referrals.
by sesq
Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage shopping? Online vs local?
Replies: 23
Views: 1054

Re: Early "retirement" considerations

Your reasons not to rely on your wife's income are the same as any SAHM or SAHD. Your skills and contacts atrophy or at least cease to grow (professionally) and divorce and other disasters do happen in life. That said, lots of people see those risks and still do it (including my wife). I am with the...
by sesq
Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early "retirement" considerations
Replies: 25
Views: 2275

Re: Rent and save for next 5 years or stretch now?

Kudos for being open to the advice you got. With the costs so high I'd try to hold out as long as possible. Your choice in what you want in a home could change a lot before your child hits school age, and/or you could have another kid or two. I am in a LCOL area with good pay (20 years into my caree...
by sesq
Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent and save for next 5 years or stretch now?
Replies: 38
Views: 2666

Re: Which debt to pay off first and why?

I would focus on maxing out retirement accounts first. +1, then I would chose the one with the higher tax adjusted interest rate. Which, assuming your student loan isn't deductible would start in the 25% bracket (4.5% * (1-.25)=3.375%, tie goes to the debt that can't be discharged in bankruptcy).
by sesq
Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which debt to pay off first and why?
Replies: 19
Views: 1565

Re: Churning credit cards for air miles, need help

Thanks for the responses, very helpful. I think I'll choose an airline and get started on this later this year. I just got the Fidelity AMEX and VISA so probably should stagger getting new cards. Since we will be retired when this travel occurs in a few years I hope getting a couple of points rewar...
by sesq
Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Churning credit cards for air miles, need help
Replies: 35
Views: 2904

Re: A home purchase as a gift

No reason he couldn't use part of his lifetime exclusion and file a single gift tax return. If your sister (or her spouse) is lousy with money he may want to buy it in a trust or something to limit her ability to borrow against it. Be aware if he winds up in a nursing home on medicaid there are some...
by sesq
Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A home purchase as a gift
Replies: 8
Views: 1073
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