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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 10:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best health insurance plan for a bad year (cancer)?
Replies: 18
Views: 1044

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 9:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad Air 2 - 16 or 64 Gig?
Replies: 24
Views: 1611

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 11:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows XP
Replies: 62
Views: 2640

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 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the backdoor Roth IRA legal?
Replies: 13
Views: 1738

Re: When can I afford to buy a home?

Don't buy a house when you are 22 unless you have hobbies like woodworking or auto repair that really need a lot of customized space. Travel, save, spend time together with your wife before you have kids, complete your education, and establish your careers. I bought a house when I was 22 and it did ...
by stan1
Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When can I afford to buy a home?
Replies: 21
Views: 2520

Re: Buying a house without a realtor

Check to see if Redfin is operating in your area. I'd consider working with them as a buyer in a slow to normal paced market -- not so sure I would if I was selling or if I was buying in a fast paced market where a property would have multiple offers within days. If the market is moving fast I think...
by stan1
Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house without a realtor
Replies: 43
Views: 2803

Re: Help Choosing Investments and Coordinating Debt Paydown

I think you need to look closely at expenses. I think you need to figure out a way to put $4,000 per month towards paying off the credit cards, car, and student loans. It will take about 3.5-4 years. There I said it, and it should be possible if you are making $140K/year plus bonus. That's approxima...
by stan1
Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Choosing Investments and Coordinating Debt Paydown
Replies: 32
Views: 1478

Re: Has Anyone Found Great Travel/Vacation Deals Due To Ebol

It's a little too early. See how it plays out over the next few weeks.

Although good for people who want to travel and aren't in panic -- but not good for people who rely on travel/tourism to make a living.
by stan1
Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone Found Great Travel/Vacation Deals Due To Ebola
Replies: 5
Views: 814

Re: Benefits to a larger than necessary house (as children g

Having the parents across the street is very different than having them a mile away. Some people would not want parents across the street -- but in your case it sounds like your wife really appreciates it. Also I would not worry about resale if you are planning to stay in the house for many years (u...
by stan1
Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Benefits to a larger than necessary house (as children grow)
Replies: 31
Views: 3312

Re: Anyone cancelling travel plans?

Actually the opposite. I'm hoping this creates some good buying opportunities so we can go on some luxury vacations at a great price. We got some great airfare and cruise bargains back in 2009/2010.
by stan1
Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone cancelling travel plans?
Replies: 117
Views: 6286

Re: What tax software do you use and why

They all work. Most important thing for the user is to review what's in the return and validate the data entry rather than assuming it has been auto-downloaded properly. Math errors are unlikely -- missing data can easily happen. This is especially true if you skip around through the interview proce...
by stan1
Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What tax software do you use and why
Replies: 54
Views: 2554

Re: How does Vanguard shield ETF shareholders from turnover

Part of the answer is that modern indexes (such as the CRSP indexes Vanguard uses now as well as the MSCI indexes they used previously) have "buffer zones" which reduce turnover. The buffer zone avoids a see-saw condition where one year a company is in, next its out, next its in, etc. and ...
by stan1
Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does Vanguard shield ETF shareholders from turnover cost
Replies: 20
Views: 1428

Re: Dashlane App - Recommened or Not?

LastPass and Dashlane are very similar. I have been using LastPass for over 4 years and am very happy with it. They've made a lot of incremental improvements.
by stan1
Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dashlane App - Recommened or Not?
Replies: 4
Views: 369

Re: Airline carry on limits

You should be fine with the 22x14x9 bag so long as it isn't obviously bulging and overstuffed -- unless you are in the last boarding group then the aircraft might be out of overhead space and you'll have to gate check it to your final destination. A small backpack that easily fits under the seat in ...
by stan1
Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airline carry on limits
Replies: 59
Views: 3002

Re: Renting a car at St. Louis Airport

You might see if you can get a better rate from a downtown location and take the light rail to/from the airport.
by stan1
Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting a car at St. Louis Airport
Replies: 11
Views: 627

Re: Shed into gym?

It's a personal preference. Some people will see it as a plus (for the buyer it could be a gym, workshop, storage, office, pool hall, teen room); some will be neutral; and some will see it as a negative (too big). Are they putting in a bathroom? If they do it I'd recommend pulling a permit for a job...
by stan1
Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shed into gym?
Replies: 23
Views: 2024

Re: Sale of house-closing tomorrow, buyer is backing out

Stuff happens. Move on. Don't take it out on the Realtor. Have her contact the other potential buyers who were previously turned away to see if they are interested.
by stan1
Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sale of house-closing tomorrow, buyer is backing out
Replies: 60
Views: 5081

Re: How would one negotiate with daycare?

I don't think you should feel entitled to any compensation. It's a known risk when you sign up for anything that's not open yet. Construction and certification delays happen. Finally -- you always want to stay on good terms with your day care provider.
by stan1
Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How would one negotiate with daycare?
Replies: 34
Views: 3100

Re: Just read All About Asset Allocation by Mr. Ferri.. Help

I think the regional breakout is a theoretical exercise at this point that's not overly practical for many people to implement. When that book was originally written back in 2006 Total International Stock Market didn't exist in its current form: today it has a low expense ratio, ETF share class, sin...
by stan1
Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Just read All About Asset Allocation by Mr. Ferri.. Help!
Replies: 12
Views: 1348

Re: What's the best Comcast phone and cable deal?

It is going to vary by location. If you can get basic cable and internet for under $100 (including all fees/taxes) you are in better shape than many of us. You may need to switch back to AT&T when the introductory offer is over to keep it that low.
by stan1
Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the best Comcast phone and cable deal?
Replies: 15
Views: 972

Re: Do you every turn your smart phone off?

The power off button on my iPhone has failed twice; therefore I do not use it except when I must because it costs about $30-60 to get it fixed by the hacker/cracker guys down at the little kiosk in a strip mall.
by stan1
Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you every turn your smart phone off?
Replies: 36
Views: 1909

Re: Credit Card Issue

My goal these days is to never talk with anyone at a financial institution. I've found their computers to be more accurate and friendly than their people. I've had Chase rewards cards for about 10 years now and I'm pretty sure I'm close to scoring 100% towards meeting that goal. Unfortunately I'm n...
by stan1
Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Issue
Replies: 26
Views: 1835

Re: Credit Card Issue

My goal these days is to never talk with anyone at a financial institution. I've found their computers to be more accurate and friendly than their people. I've had Chase rewards cards for about 10 years now and I'm pretty sure I'm close to scoring 100% towards meeting that goal. Unfortunately I'm no...
by stan1
Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Issue
Replies: 26
Views: 1835

Re: Portfolio Check Up

Just curious, why do you want just 10% of your equity allocation in international? Typical is anywhere from 25% to 50%. I have no reason to believe Ford will do better than Toyota, Apple will do better than Samsung, or that Exxon Mobil will do better than Shell. All are large multi-nationals but con...
by stan1
Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Check Up
Replies: 6
Views: 653

Re: Mortgage question (yes another)

When you retire do you envision staying in a $2.6M home or downsizing? If you would move into a $1.5M home I would NOT pay down the mortgage. This would also help you achieve greater diversification away from having more than half of your net worth tied up in primary residence equity. Back in 2009/2...
by stan1
Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage question (yes another)
Replies: 8
Views: 1218

Re: CD ladder

One thought: you are putting a lot of "rungs" on your ladder. You might find it enjoyable and a challenge to search around for the best rate, but your heirs might not. There may be little benefit to the added complexity. If you had a clean slate I think you'd be fine with a 1 year, a 3 yea...
by stan1
Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CD ladder
Replies: 3
Views: 601

Re: First meeting with real estate agent

It does help if you can narrow down to some specific "must haves", especially with condos because there are many very similar units on the market. It will help a lot if you take some listings from the internet of properties you like when you visit the realtor. DualIncome already listed som...
by stan1
Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First meeting with real estate agent
Replies: 14
Views: 1217

Re: New B of A visa chip card, no pin needed?

Some merchants in the US are moving to chip readers which (as I recall reports here) will reject swipe attempts from chip enabled cards. I first came across this at a newly constructed Walmart in a rural part of Virginia in August. I swiped the card at the customer data entry device by the register...
by stan1
Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New B of A visa chip card, no pin needed?
Replies: 35
Views: 2530

Re: Tell me about Berlin :-)

Reading this thread with interest as I have an opportunity to visit Berlin next March on business with an option to bring my wife along and expand the trip for pleasure. Not sure I want to do it given the weather at that time of year. We enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities and would enjoy the ...
by stan1
Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Berlin :-)
Replies: 36
Views: 2324

Re: Tell me about Berlin :-)

Interestingly I am also going to spend 6 days in Berlin over a long Thanksgiving break. Main thing is expect cold, rain, and likely some snow. Dress accordingly so you can still proceed with your plans. Also you'll have 8 hour days: sunrise about 8 am and sunset about 4 pm. But with the cold and wet...
by stan1
Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Berlin :-)
Replies: 36
Views: 2324

Re: Kitchen Cabinetry Lines

If you are looking at high end semi custom cabinets you should also look at a local, small, independent custom cabinet maker. You may find that the costs are within 10%, and having the craftsmen design and measure the kitchen will give you something you'll cherish for as long as you own the house. I...
by stan1
Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Cabinetry Lines
Replies: 19
Views: 1226

Re: Optimum # of Funds in a Portfolio ?

This might be easier if words like "optimum" are avoided. There is no way to predict the future so there is no way to optimize a portfolio. Saying you want to optimize expected returns makes no sense because as soon as the assumptions associated with the expected asset allocation change th...
by stan1
Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Optimum # of Funds in a Portfolio ?
Replies: 17
Views: 1506

Re: Voluntarily Declining Pay Raise

The whole scenario is bizarre and it makes me wonder if there is more going on that isn't being mentioned. Don should be able to look up raises himself (assuming he really is the supervisor not a team leader in a matrix organization). If he is a team leader in a matrix organization he should be havi...
by stan1
Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Voluntarily Declining Pay Raise
Replies: 43
Views: 4119

Re: Changing a flight date

if you travel a lot and have status on any of the majors, you'll likely find SW an inferior option. I thought I would feel the same way, but it turned out I did not find SW to be inferior at least for domestic travel. I previously flew over 200K miles per year total on American, Delta, and United (...
by stan1
Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing a flight date
Replies: 24
Views: 1557

Re: Am I crazy to try to tackle all 4 issues at once?

I would contribute to your 401K to get matching contributions, build your emergency fund up to $5K ($1K isn't enough to cover major house or car repairs), and then pay off the CC/car debt focusing on highest interest rate first. I'd contribute to the Roths before you put more into the 401K (especial...
by stan1
Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy to try to tackle all 4 issues at once?
Replies: 29
Views: 3120

Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Some points to ponder first: - Since you are single do you really want to care for a large house/yard? - Your future spouse may not want to live on a lake. - If there are a lot of lakefront houses listed but not selling they might be over-priced or there could be an environmental problem with the la...
by stan1
Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lakefront property with small children?
Replies: 44
Views: 2108

Re: Should I pay off my sisters student loans?

I think you are mistaken about gifts. Paying her tuition is not a gift for gift tax purposes but paying off her student loans is. Given the background information in your linked post ($25M windfall -- thanks for letting us know about that) I would plan to gift her the maximum exclusion amount each y...
by stan1
Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay off my sisters student loans?
Replies: 49
Views: 3581

Re: Obese airline passenger

Southwest has a very fair policy, but it is not very consumer friendly and my guess is many people who could use it do not. It requires the "customer of size" to book (and pay for) two or three seats in advance -- with reimbursement for the extra seats after the flight. http://www.southwe...
by stan1
Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Obese airline passenger
Replies: 62
Views: 4867

Re: Obese airline passenger

Southwest has a very fair policy, but it is not very consumer friendly and my guess is many people who could use it do not. It requires the "customer of size" to book (and pay for) two or three seats in advance -- with reimbursement for the extra seats after the flight. http://www.southwes...
by stan1
Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Obese airline passenger
Replies: 62
Views: 4867

Re: Solar Panel company recommendations - San Diego/ Souther

This is not a recommendation since I do not have any first hand knowledge with them or any other company, but Vivint has been doing a lot of selling and installations in my area. This is not a recommendation, either, but be aware that Vivent does employ door to door, multi-level marketing sales tec...
by stan1
Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Panel company recommendations - San Diego/ Southern CA
Replies: 11
Views: 820

Re: favorite brand name products

Marriott (to include its extended family of hotel chains). Consistent products, decent frequent stay program and perks for frequent travelers (lounge access and free "enhanced" internet), and flexibility in working with me when I've been a few stays shy of maintaining Gold status. I've bee...
by stan1
Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: favorite brand name products
Replies: 58
Views: 3003

Re: How to pay for Home Addition

1) Make sure you budget to move out of the house (for longer than you think it will take) 2) I would consider using taxable accounts to pay for much of this work. Calculate the actual tax that would be due before you assume it would be a lot of money if you would be paying 15% long term capital gain...
by stan1
Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to pay for Home Addition
Replies: 23
Views: 2154

Re: Home improvement or max out retirement savings?

I'm inclined to say you should max out your retirement accounts, get the items on the house taken care of ASAP especially if there is any chance of water/ice damage, and once that's done pay off your mortgage early. Of course if you feel your employment is not secure or there's another issue you hav...
by stan1
Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home improvement or max out retirement savings?
Replies: 10
Views: 1053

Re: 3-Fund vs. Target Fund

Here's the discussion on the wiki:
http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Vanguard ... ment_funds

Pros and cons are both discussed.
by stan1
Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3-Fund vs. Target Fund
Replies: 7
Views: 1082

Re: Help! Are we making a huge mistake?

Actually, it is not that making money is the goal. Rather, the question is whether it is irresponsible to walk away from the possibility of saving as much in 3 years, which is not a long time. Thank you so much for your kind advise. Irresponsible? No one has a "responsibility" to accumula...
by stan1
Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Are we making a huge mistake?
Replies: 39
Views: 5133

Re: Should I step in to help my in law pay off credit card d

If you can afford to pay the bill -- do so with no strings other than taking care of family. Caveats: I would spend a lot more than $3K on my dog if it would keep him happily with us for a few years longer and I contribute money every month to help my mom live in a retirement apartment with a noon m...
by stan1
Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I step in to help my in law pay off credit card debt
Replies: 31
Views: 2672

Re: Strange Billing Practice by Medical Provider

Need to clarify: is the doctor asking your relative to pay a fixed co-pay at the time of visit ($20-50, depending upon insurance) and then the insurance covers the rest? My BCBS PPO plan documentation states that I am supposed to pay the co-pay at the time the service is provided. If its not a co-pa...
by stan1
Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strange Billing Practice by Medical Provider
Replies: 38
Views: 2851

Re: Best Outlook app for iPhone

Can anyone recommend a good Outlook app for the iPhone? I am getting tired of using Safari to access my work email. Thanks! Are you accessing it through Outlook Webmail which you log in through Safari? If so your employer may or may not support another email client. Suggest you ask your IT guys/gal...
by stan1
Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Outlook app for iPhone
Replies: 11
Views: 706

Re: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean

Have not done it, but here's a suggestion: Dubrovnik, Croatia
by stan1
Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean
Replies: 28
Views: 1430

Re: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean

Swampy wrote:Duly noted. I was in Italy one June and, not only was it hot (like Miami in June), they don't believe in AC.


It's not just that they don't believe -- energy is imported and expensive in Italy and other Med countries.
by stan1
Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean
Replies: 28
Views: 1430
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