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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 change...
by stan1
Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find refundable airfare or open ticket ?
Replies: 8
Views: 451

Re: Paying my parents a salary not to touch their nest egg

Won't social security cover most/all of their needs if their living expenses are so low? Agree with the others. Invest the money now. If in 20 years they've spent down the $1M due to medical or other expenses then you can give them some assistance. No need to start gifting to them now. If they had $...
by stan1
Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying my parents a salary not to touch their nest egg
Replies: 50
Views: 3876

Re: Avoiding lifestyle creep

I would simply set up direct deposit such that the amount of pay raise in each paycheck goes into my investing account. Seems like a low drama approach.
by stan1
Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding lifestyle creep
Replies: 21
Views: 2627

Re: Huge salary increase...looking for guidance

I agree some introspection about what you want to do with the money is important -- especially if you think this will be happening for years to come: 1) Gifts to family 2) Education expenses 3) Start your own business 4) Retire early 5) Gifts to charity You might want to do some of all these -- but ...
by stan1
Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Huge salary increase...looking for guidance
Replies: 26
Views: 3217

Re: portfolio suggestions for the truly aged.

Is she living entirely off SS or other income (pension, family gifts)? If she is living off the stock dividends I would move her IRA to CDs and leave any highly appreciated holdings in a taxable account alone. Yes CD rates aren't great but she won't lose anything and they are liquid if she has home ...
by stan1
Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: portfolio suggestions for the truly aged.
Replies: 20
Views: 1962

Re: My Health care monthly premiums doubled after ACA

One way to look for savings is to choose a plan that has co-insurance for non-generic drug coverage. Some of the plans have up to a 50% co-insurance whereas more expensive ones have a co-pay of under $100 per fill. If you don't need an expensive name brand prescription you can save some money using ...
by stan1
Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Health care monthly premiums doubled after ACA
Replies: 46
Views: 3216

Re: Bumped out of first class at boarding - compensation?

Agree with FlyerTalk. The fact that you were flying award travel on USAir with United miles is going to make this a little more complicated for them to sort out. You'll have to be persistent and patient. It sounds like the gate agents and flight attendants did the best they could for you so I would ...
by stan1
Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bumped out of first class at boarding - compensation?
Replies: 41
Views: 4085

Re: Donating for a specific family

If you write out the check payable to the church, and verbally tell the church leader "I want this to go to the John Smith family", then how does the IRS ever know? If the donation was questioned for some odd reason, couldn't you just provide the IRS with the church's 501c3 certification?...
by stan1
Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating for a specific family
Replies: 43
Views: 2691

Re: What percent "Boglehead" are you?

Our overall annual expense ratio is below 0.10%, we have a 55/45 stock/bond portfolio, we save 30-40% of take home salary ever year, and spend money on things that give us enjoyment. We donate to charity and help out some family members who make less than we do. We'll likely leave our heirs several ...
by stan1
Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What percent "Boglehead" are you?
Replies: 119
Views: 6042

Re: Dog food - how cheap is too cheap?

We've found our dog gains weight very easily on some foods even with miniscule portions. We've had to move him several times to food that keeps his calorie intake down to a level where he doesn't gain weight. We go to a vet who is I would say "weight obsessed" and helps us select food base...
by stan1
Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dog food - how cheap is too cheap?
Replies: 62
Views: 3660

Re: Good books on Law to give to a teenager?

Novels by authors such as John Grisham or Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird"
by stan1
Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good books on Law to give to a teenager?
Replies: 12
Views: 940

Re: Retirees' Regrets

For my mom it was staying in a 2400 square foot house with 2.5 acres by herself until she was 80. She didn't want to leave what she was comfortable with, but within weeks after she moved out she told us she should have sold it 30 years earlier.
by stan1
Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees' Regrets
Replies: 23
Views: 2849

Re: repositioning cruise to Europe?

Transatlantic: Go east to west (Europe to US, usually Fall not Spring) so that you get 25 hour days instead of 23 hour days.

Lots of reports on Cruise Critic. Probably want to search for the cruise line you are interested in.
by stan1
Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: repositioning cruise to Europe?
Replies: 11
Views: 1361

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

A major issue for me would be whether I wanted to be in NYC/NJ or Tennessee (especially other than Nashville e.g. Oak Ridge). Are you sure you don't care? Put your interests ahead of the companies. When your interests align with the companies things will work out. When your interests don't align wit...
by stan1
Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trapped deciding between 2 Jobs: Can I renege on my offer?
Replies: 36
Views: 2923

Re: Should we tip the caregiver

Your wife should go with what she feels is right. I know I would be very appreciative of a competent caregiver especially if it is a long term relationship. It's possible your wife appreciated the caregiver more than her mom (the patient). Agree it should be a gift -- although depending upon the cir...
by stan1
Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we tip the caregiver
Replies: 26
Views: 1870

Re: Cost to furnish a condo

$2,000 to $50,000+ -- depending upon what you choose.
by stan1
Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost to furnish a condo
Replies: 29
Views: 2668

Re: Dealing with pressure for "social donations" at work

Ganacel, are you a contract physician? If so seems like they are asking the contract docs to behave like partners which is a little strange.
by stan1
Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with pressure for "social donations" at work
Replies: 167
Views: 9163

Re: Retiring Parents Set in Risky Ways

I would try the tact that you as the heir would rather have parents pay some capital gains taxes now in order to diversify than inherit all of the stock with stepped up basis. See if the will start on a 5 year plan to convert 25% of their holdings in this stock to an index fund. Also, sit down and c...
by stan1
Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring Parents Set in Risky Ways
Replies: 46
Views: 4197

Re: Should I claim this damage

Thanks for this thread. I scraped our 2013 Camry with a plastic garbage pail several times, car has shallow scrapes now. Toyota dealer wants around $1,500, deductable is $500, same as poster has. Therefore I also question what to do. Per this post I will go to another body shop and see what their p...
by stan1
Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I claim this damage
Replies: 26
Views: 3150

Re: Does anyone use mozy (off site computer backup program)

I triple protect myself: 1) My Dropbox account is linked to my Documents folder so everything that goes into that folder is backed up to Dropbox. Likewise photos go to Google Drive. 2) Changes to these folders are also backed up to Mozy every hour 3) Changes to these folders are also backed up to a ...
by stan1
Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone use mozy (off site computer backup program)
Replies: 13
Views: 1206

Re: Messy baby restaurant etiquette

We'd like to get him used to eating at the same time as us. Having dinner together as a family was important to us as children, and we would like to continue that sentiment with our family. We don't want him to get in the habit of having his food in front of him as soon as he sits down, before we h...
by stan1
Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Messy baby restaurant etiquette
Replies: 75
Views: 4518

Re: Attend new car "launch event" for free meal?

I would RSVP with a disposable email address.
by stan1
Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attend new car "launch event" for free meal?
Replies: 10
Views: 854

Re: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??

Just curious: does anyone know if the physician reimbursement rates are different between the four "medal" levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum? I have an employer plan but have looked at my state's marketplace. I would be going with a BCBS Gold plan if I needed to buy insurance from an ...
by stan1
Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare vs. Private Insurance??
Replies: 105
Views: 9727

Re: When do you buy a new home computer?

The last two laptops I've replaced were due to display failures. Both were over 4 years old so I bought a new one without even pricing a display replacement. As for backups I have important data backed up 3 ways: Mozy, Dropbox, and local USB drive. Both times the display failed I did the restore wit...
by stan1
Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you buy a new home computer?
Replies: 52
Views: 4199

Re: War on Debt

You probably won't like what I'm going to suggest below and will give a dozen reasons why you can't do it, but given the high rate student loans you need to do something extreme if you want to get this situation taken care of before your kids are in college. You have physician-level student loans bu...
by stan1
Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: War on Debt
Replies: 247
Views: 27159

Re: War on Debt

Are you and your wife looking for jobs that will get your pay bumped faster? With the baby your wife might want a job with less time in the car as well (also cutting back her $6K/year gas expenses)!
by stan1
Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: War on Debt
Replies: 247
Views: 27159

Re: Investing in Art, Antiques, and Collectibles and wines

WIth the internet the marketplace for this stuff has become a lot more transparent, which has resulted in prices coming down for most items that aren't museum quality (or equivalent). Brokers/dealers kept prices high by limiting supply and strong-arm marketing tactics ("there are only 1000 of t...
by stan1
Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Art, Antiques, and Collectibles and wines
Replies: 53
Views: 3793

Re: Vanguard Tax Managed Capital Appreciation Fund

Total Stock Market and Tax Managed Capital Appreciation are both excellent choices. I would not say Tax Managed Capital Appreciation is preferred. Total Stock Market is the best way to hold small cap stocks in a taxable account. Total Stock Market has 3772 holdings whereas TM Cap Appreciation has 80...
by stan1
Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Tax Managed Capital Appreciation Fund
Replies: 5
Views: 834

Re: Track your car's fuel use (mileage)

I use Fuelly for to track mileage on my current car and love it for that purpose. I find it less useful for benchmarking because there are a lot of factors impacting mileage: city/highway, different fuel formulations, topography, driving style. Many people create Fuelly accounts and use it for for a...
by stan1
Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Track your car's fuel use (mileage)
Replies: 31
Views: 1956

Re: Should I refi with MAX cashout????

Just curious, why are you doing the refi? If you want the lower mortgage payment in order to help meet the increased expenses with children the last thing you would want to do is borrow even more. You are doing great and are on track to have your house paid off before your kid(s) are in college, the...
by stan1
Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I refi with MAX cashout????
Replies: 9
Views: 739

Re: Short term reserve question.

Uncle Pennybags wrote:
mickeyd wrote: a $5000 CD NFCU (APY 5%)
I'm going to have to check with my credit union about a CD. Is that 5% or 0.5%?


One time special offer back in September. Navy Federal Credit Union had a one year 5% (five percent) CD limited to $5,000.
by stan1
Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short term reserve question.
Replies: 22
Views: 1436

Re: Being laid off soon: Thinking of changing my AA

Based on your assets ($1.1M) and expenses ($35-40K per year) and age I think you are at the point where you need to manage your risk to a level you are comfortable with, so yes you might go down to 40% or 30% equities. Preserving what you have is more important than making more. You also might want ...
by stan1
Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Being laid off soon: Thinking of changing my AA
Replies: 11
Views: 1340

Re: where to place dividends in taxable acct.?

I don't reinvest any dividends in a taxable account. They go to a money market fund and then I buy whatever I need to buy to maintain my asset allocation. Also, I use December dividend payouts (swept to my money market account) to fund my IRA contribution in January.
by stan1
Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: where to place dividends in taxable acct.?
Replies: 9
Views: 812

Re: Washington DC Condo - Rent or Sell??

DC rental market has been crazy the past few years. For me I would use the location and desirability as a measure of how well the property will stand up as an investment in the future. If it is within a 5-10 minute walk to a Metro station and restaurants/stores I'd be more inclined to keep it than i...
by stan1
Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Washington DC Condo - Rent or Sell??
Replies: 7
Views: 884

Re: iPad Air 2 - 16 or 64 Gig?

I got the ipad air 64 gig last year, at about 30% full now. :( I wouldn't count on icloud - icloud only has a small space for free, more costs more, per month! And if you back up some stuff you consider essential there (apps) it quickly eats up all the small free space they allow you. Why back up a...
by stan1
Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad Air 2 - 16 or 64 Gig?
Replies: 42
Views: 3161

Re: Coupons? Do you live by them?

We seldom see coupons for things we buy. We don't buy items at the grocery store that contain lots of sugar or artificial sweeteners so that rules out most of what I seem to see coupons for. There are very few things I would buy just because I had a coupon for it.
by stan1
Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coupons? Do you live by them?
Replies: 66
Views: 4047

Re: Would you use TurboTax in this scenerio?

Turbo Tax will work fine -- as long as you enter the data correctly. As others have said print out the return and review it at least twice before you send it in to make sure you haven't entered something incorrectly. Math errors in TT software are very rare; data entry errors are very common.
by stan1
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you use TurboTax in this scenerio?
Replies: 11
Views: 963

Re: Company force moving me to headquarters -what to expect

There is no industry standard; it's going to be very situation dependent. It's hard to plan for this until it happens so I'd recommend patience until the company is ready to make a specific offer. I would not call HR to ask about relocation because they will give you a generic answer (if they give o...
by stan1
Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company force moving me to headquarters -what to expect ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1142

Re: New appliances - Stainless Steel or not?

We went with white appliances when we bought our house in 1999. Dishwasher and refrigerator have been replaced with new white appliances. I don't think we'll lose many prospective buyers when we sell because we don't have stainless appliances. At some point people will find the cabinets and granite ...
by stan1
Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New appliances - Stainless Steel or not?
Replies: 56
Views: 3383

Re: Closing a house on Thursday but...

Take a deep breath and enjoy the new house.
by stan1
Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Closing a house on Thursday but...
Replies: 21
Views: 2184

Re: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?

But in terms of use of my existing miles, if we trust that Delta is in fact going to offer more seats at Level 1 (ie. the best deal) in general, then my miles should have more leverage/value. Nice to know the one-ways are also going to be available. I always felt Delta miles were overall a good dea...
by stan1
Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?
Replies: 73
Views: 4583

Re: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?

I'm in agreement with most of the others: use them when you can, especially if you don't travel very often. Airlines are being managed as businesses now and the privileges that come with "loyalty" are rapidly declining for people who don't spend a lot of money. If you travel frequently and...
by stan1
Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?
Replies: 73
Views: 4583

Re: Vanguard total international

You've linked to an index that is an all world index --including US equities. Total International does not include U.S. equities -- but does include Canada. If you want to look at an all-world fund Vanguard offers Total World (VTWSX/VT). The issue with China and some other emerging market economies ...
by stan1
Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard total international
Replies: 6
Views: 1281

Re: LASTPASS Password Program

I use LastPass and think it is great. I'm no uber-techie like some on this list but one does have to step back and consider what the real risks are here. Unless you are a billionaire who has gained the specific attention of hackers who are trying to break into your accounts specifically because the...
by stan1
Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LASTPASS Password Program
Replies: 46
Views: 4549

Re: Home Sale Disclosure Advice

When I sold my mom's 45+ year old house I included a list of all the work she had done on it with the year the work was completed. That way it was clear to the buyer that the roof over the house was new and everything had been repainted, the roof over the garage was done 10 years ago, the deck was r...
by stan1
Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Sale Disclosure Advice
Replies: 7
Views: 953

Re: LASTPASS Password Program

I use at least 3 different computers on a daily basis plus a smart phone. I need access to passwords at work and while travelling for work and pleasure. There is no way to eliminate risk. LastPass does what I need it to do, which is lets me use a unique, 16+ character password on 100+ sites that I v...
by stan1
Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LASTPASS Password Program
Replies: 46
Views: 4549

Re: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?

Yes, you need to look at the co-pays for name brand drugs. Hopefully you'll see something like $30 or $50 per prescription, not 50% of cost.
by stan1
Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?
Replies: 30
Views: 2354

Re: iPad Air 2 - 16 or 64 Gig?

32 vs 64 would be a reasonable debate but that's not a choice; 16 vs 64 is easy. Get the 64 unless you need to put a lot of videos on the device then you'll need the 128.
by stan1
Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad Air 2 - 16 or 64 Gig?
Replies: 42
Views: 3161

Re: Windows XP

If you understand the risks such as phishing and downloads from the web and believe you know what you are doing, fine. I would not recommend that you let your family members who might be less careful use this computer (especially if they don't understand the risks).
by stan1
Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows XP
Replies: 62
Views: 3051

Re: Is the backdoor Roth IRA legal?

Because the law doesn't allow high income earners to contribute directly to a Roth IRA. The law does allow high earners to make Traditional IRA contributions and the law does allow high income earners to convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA (this generates revenue). Best not to ask why the law is...
by stan1
Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the backdoor Roth IRA legal?
Replies: 13
Views: 1824
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