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by tbradnc
Fri May 15, 2015 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight camping gear
Replies: 41
Views: 2663

Re: Lightweight camping gear

Tarps are great if you're experienced in site selection and different pitching techniques with your tarp. They're not as forgiving as a tent, which is an enclosed shelter - when it comes to wind and rain protection. Also, some people don't like tarps because creepy-crawlies can get on you since you'...
by tbradnc
Thu May 14, 2015 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight camping gear
Replies: 41
Views: 2663

Re: Lightweight camping gear

I'm a long distance hiker with a 8 lb summer base weight - here's what I recommend.

Tent: www.tarptent.com
Pack: www.ula-equipment.com
Sleeping Bag: www.westernmountaineering.com
by tbradnc
Wed May 06, 2015 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX
Replies: 89
Views: 5402

Re: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX

Spent a few days in Armarillo. Good bbq. That's about it.

Check out east Tennessee. No income tax but we have the Hall Tax on interest/dividends $2500 exemption, MFJ. 6% on everything above that. Oh.. and a 10% sales tax.
by tbradnc
Tue May 05, 2015 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card for 16 Years Old
Replies: 20
Views: 1055

Re: Credit Card for 16 Years Old

I got both of my children Capital One secured credit cards with a $200 limit when they turned 18. Prior to that I was a joint owner of their checking account and gave them the debit card. My 20 year old daughter just got a pre-approved Amex Simply Cash offer with $250 signup bonus a few weeks ago an...
by tbradnc
Tue May 05, 2015 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replace Fidelity AMEX with Citibank Double Cash
Replies: 14
Views: 1747

Re: Replace Fidelity AMEX with Citibank Double Cash

I'm not BUT I have the no longer available Fido 2% mastercard as well as the 2% amex. I also do the quicksilver for non US purchases since both fido cards have the foreign txn fee (among a gaggle of others for specific purposes, like amazon etc - read anything > 2% :D). While the FIA website is pat...
by tbradnc
Tue May 05, 2015 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replace Fidelity AMEX with Citibank Double Cash
Replies: 14
Views: 1747

Re: Replace Fidelity AMEX with Citibank Double Cash

I also used a combo of Fido 2% AMEX paired with a Quicksilver 1.5% for places that didn't accept AMEX. Switching to the Citi Double Cash allowed me to retire both of the other cards, simplifying things. Also no longer have to use FIA's terrible website, a big bonus. Now I just have: 1. Citi Double C...
by tbradnc
Mon May 04, 2015 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DIY distance moving
Replies: 37
Views: 2567

Re: DIY distance moving

I didn't read the entire thread but I've told many people that the best money I've ever spent was to hire movers to take our stuff from North Carolina to Tennessee when we moved. They set up the beds, put the furniture where we wanted it and sorted boxes into the proper rooms. Self-moving is for 20 ...
by tbradnc
Mon May 04, 2015 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA contribution Strategies for early/semi-retired person
Replies: 5
Views: 507

Re: HSA contribution Strategies for early/semi-retired person

Since retiring I'm downsizing our dedicated emergency fund and one of the ways I did that this year was fully found our HSA with it. I'll do that every year since I now see our entire portfolio is a gigantic emergency fund. Be sure to save receipts if you pay medical expenses with non-HSA funds. Tha...
by tbradnc
Mon May 04, 2015 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NFCU Military Appreciation Month
Replies: 3
Views: 451

Re: NFCU Military Appreciation Month

As posted elsewhere. There's some fine print that's pretty important on the 3.50% cert: Certificate owner(s) age 18 and older must have a Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) Direct Deposit of Net Pay or a DFAS Allotment within 90 days of the certificate issue date. If these requirements ha...
by tbradnc
Sun May 03, 2015 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Navy Federal Credit Union May Specials
Replies: 4
Views: 1241

Re: Navy Federal Credit Union May Specials

There's some fine print that's pretty important on the 3.50% cert: Certificate owner(s) age 18 and older must have a Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) Direct Deposit of Net Pay or a DFAS Allotment within 90 days of the certificate issue date. If these requirements have not been satisfied...
by tbradnc
Sat May 02, 2015 5:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0% Interest Car Loan
Replies: 24
Views: 1925

Re: 0% Interest Car Loan

I always equate "self-insured" with "uninsured"....
by tbradnc
Fri May 01, 2015 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIA Card Services website
Replies: 18
Views: 1677

Re: FIA Card Services website

One of the best things about the Citi Double Cash card is that you get to use Citi's website instead of FIA's....
by tbradnc
Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Citi Double Cash Card
Replies: 15
Views: 2570

Re: Question about Citi Double Cash Card

I tried to convert my Hilton Honors Visa to the Double Cash and they wouldn't let me because it was a branded card - whatever that means. More annoying than that was not being able to consolidate my 2 Citi cards under a single login. I had to create a new Citi login for the Double Cash card. Overall...
by tbradnc
Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Citi Double Cash Card
Replies: 15
Views: 2570

Re: Question about Citi Double Cash Card

Also got a $8000 credit limit with an 800+ credit score.
by tbradnc
Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Raising well-adjusted children when you're "rich"?
Replies: 43
Views: 3588

Re: Raising well-adjusted children when you're "rich"?

Maybe a little TMI in this but nobody knows who I ams so... I grew up in an upper-poor class family. We weren't dirt-poverty-poor but we definitely weren't middle class. As a reference point we didn't have a phone until I was in the 3rd grade. I think one answer to your question isn't want children ...
by tbradnc
Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me choose: HDHP/HSA or Regular Health Care Plan
Replies: 13
Views: 1160

Re: Help me choose: HDHP/HSA or Regular Health Care Plan

How is heath coverage for $0 a bad plan? Prescription drugs are only covered at 35% or 20%, after deductible . I have never seen any real insurance plan where it is that low. I'm wondering if the prescription percentages are incorrect. That seems awfully low - I've looked at a lot of insurance plan...
by tbradnc
Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?
Replies: 54
Views: 4635

Re: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?

I use the dealership for scheduled services that are above and beyond oil/filters/tire rotation.j Like someone above wrote, I can change all the air filters (cabin and engine) and I let a local shop where I buy my tires handle rotation and oil changes. One thing I did do is arrange a permanent 10% d...
by tbradnc
Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Datapoint for credit score after applying for a new card
Replies: 0
Views: 173

Datapoint for credit score after applying for a new card

35 days ago I applied for and was approved for a Citi Doublecash card. My credit score before applying was 817. 34 days ago my credit score dropped from 817 to 779 and the "new account" record appeared on my credit report. Today my credit score jumped from 779 to 796. I mention this becaus...
by tbradnc
Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone semi-retired? What's it like?
Replies: 16
Views: 2566

Re: Anyone semi-retired? What's it like?

I'm semi-retired at 53. I have another 18 months of buyout income coming from a company that I sold then I'm on my own. I love it. I haven't regretted selling for a nanosecond. I'm crossing things off my bucket list that I'm young enough and most importantly, healthy enough, to do that I have dreame...
by tbradnc
Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How smart are thermostats?
Replies: 43
Views: 3135

Re: How smart are thermostats?

Ecobee SmartSi here, very happy. Had a Nest and sent it back.

Here is the thread on it from January 2, 2014. http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 1&t=129619
by tbradnc
Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One getting out of cash rewards credit cards?
Replies: 12
Views: 2772

Re: Capital One getting out of cash rewards credit cards?

I stopped using my Quicksilver card long ago. Just keep my monthly gym membership on it to keep it active. There are plenty of cards offering more than 1.5%. I prefer travel rewards nowadays anyway. I quit using mine when I received my Citi Double Cash card. The Quicksilver 1.5 was used when I coul...
by tbradnc
Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One getting out of cash rewards credit cards?
Replies: 12
Views: 2772

Capital One getting out of cash rewards credit cards?

A statement from Capital One, which declined to go into detail about the products and the number of customers affected for commercial reasons, said: "The implications of significantly lower interchange revenue has also meant Capital One has had to review its cashback and rewards products for e...
by tbradnc
Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9911

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

For those who have cut the cord, how much does your monthly internet service end up being? I recall inquiring about an internet only plan from verizon a few years ago, and it really wasn't that much more expensive to lump in the phone and tv. I guess I'm wondering what range a decent internet-only ...
by tbradnc
Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9911

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

You don't need anything else besides a decent internet connection. Her costs now: $34.99/mo for up to 50Mbps internet This is the issue I'm up against. I would love to join the rest of the thread in only having Internet and one or more of the group of [Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc]. Comcast is ...
by tbradnc
Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9911

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

Speaking of which, Woot has refurbed Roku 3's today for $59.99...

http://www.woot.com/?utm_campaign=Commi ... -+woot.com
by tbradnc
Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9911

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

Is anyone going to bite on the $14.99 HBO subscription? I received an email from Apple today notifying me of a 30 day free trial opportunity. The thing about the cord cutting is leaving it cut. Once you start adding back - Netflix, Hulu, Sling, HBO, etc. you may as well just stay with the cable comp...
by tbradnc
Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why pay more than face value for a gift card
Replies: 19
Views: 1933

Re: Why pay more than face value for a gift card

The other thing that frequently occurs is buyer fraud. They buy the gift card, then they report to EBay that the item contained no value when it was delivered to them. EBay (as PayPal) often sides with the buyer in such a case and refunds their money. Then the buyer has all their money back and the...
by tbradnc
Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I part of the problem??
Replies: 73
Views: 8932

Re: Am I part of the problem??

We're all hypocrites, to some extent. Since I own the total market, I'm profiting from companies that do some pretty heinous things. I struggle with this as well. But to the OP, I would say that on one level, yes - you are part of the problem. If you have to ask the question you know the answer. On...
by tbradnc
Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why pay more than face value for a gift card
Replies: 19
Views: 1933

Re: Why pay more than face value for a gift card

Since there appears to be little or no legit reason for gift cards to sell above face value, I don't understand why eBay doesn't flag these transactions. After thinking about it and reading this thread this is the conclusion I have arrived at as well. There's really not a good reason to spend $450+...
by tbradnc
Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why pay more than face value for a gift card
Replies: 19
Views: 1933

Why pay more than face value for a gift card

I was browsing gift cards on eBay and I noticed that it's very common for Visa gift cards to bid higher (sometimes much higher) than the face value. Why would anyone pay $125 for a $100 Visa gift card? Here are 2 examples: http://www.ebay.com/itm/VISA-Gift-Card-Debit-Card-100-New-Unopened-US-Nationw...
by tbradnc
Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 109
Views: 10293

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

Hmm. I mentioned I got the prepaid Target Amex. I stopped in this morning and tried to load $1000 with my Citi Double Cash card and the transaction was repeatedly denied. My CapitalOne Quicksilver card went through, no problem. I'm not sure what the difference might be. Check if you have a Fraud Al...
by tbradnc
Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 109
Views: 10293

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

Hmm. I mentioned I got the prepaid Target Amex. I stopped in this morning and tried to load $1000 with my Citi Double Cash card and the transaction was repeatedly denied. My CapitalOne Quicksilver card went through, no problem. I'm not sure what the difference might be. At any rate no big deal, I'm ...
by tbradnc
Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: early retiree, ACA "obamacare" MAGI ? but which numbers ??
Replies: 26
Views: 3570

Re: early retiree, ACA "obamacare" MAGI ? but which numbers

uh, so are there people who purposely tweak their income to be just OVER the cutoff to qualify for medicaid, in order that they DON'T have medicaid as their primary insurance? and reasons why / why not ? thanks Yes, there are people who do that. We haven't but will for 2016. For 2015 we have a priv...
by tbradnc
Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 109
Views: 10293

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

Truth be told, I think most of the serious MSer's have left FT since MS and the FT MS forum have simply become too main stream lately. I'd be willing to bet that core group are now collaborating underground, likely in some invite-only setting. I spent the better part of 2 hours reading the 2015 Red...
by tbradnc
Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy riding mower or hire service to cut grass?
Replies: 56
Views: 4165

Re: Buy riding mower or hire service to cut grass?

The yearly cost of that service will be well in excess of $1,000. Over 10 years, you are likely looking at paying someone over $10k to mow your lawn. That's an awful lot of money from my perspective at least but it ultimately comes down to what you want (or do not want) to spend your money on. Yep....
by tbradnc
Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit card for me???
Replies: 18
Views: 6651

Re: Best credit card for me???

Just a little confused. I have a pen fed card which USED to give me 5% on gas, but they changed that on me a couple of years ago. Are you truly getting 5% on gas, and if so, what happened to me. BTW, it's a PenFed Visa card. Yes sir/mam.... I have the "Plus" card - you can read about it h...
by tbradnc
Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: early retiree, ACA "obamacare" MAGI ? but which numbers ??
Replies: 26
Views: 3570

Re: early retiree, ACA "obamacare" MAGI ? but which numbers

...what would happen if a person just purchased insurance via healthcare.gov by entering the exact amount necessary to qualify for the maximum subsidy and then did the best they could to hit that number by next year's tax filing date? ...I'm not clear on why people try to be precise. ...HOWEVER, if...
by tbradnc
Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: early retiree, ACA "obamacare" MAGI ? but which numbers ??
Replies: 26
Views: 3570

Re: early retiree, ACA "obamacare" MAGI ? but which numbers

Tangential followup - what would happen if a person just purchased insurance via healthcare.gov by entering the exact amount necessary to qualify for the maximum subsidy and then did the best they could to hit that number by next year's tax filing date? Worse case you would miss it by a few thousand...
by tbradnc
Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9911

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

I thought an internet connection was required for all those? It is a common figure of speech that represents ditching cable/satellite. Yes, I think it is safe to assume that near 100% of the people reading this forum have a broadband connection at their primary residence with or without cable TV ma...
by tbradnc
Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit card for me???
Replies: 18
Views: 6651

Re: Best credit card for me???

If you can deal with 3 cards:

1. Pentagon Federal Cash Rewards - 5% cash back on gas.
2. Amex Blue Preferred - 6% cash back on groceries.
3. Citi Double Cash - 2% cash back on everything else.
by tbradnc
Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9911

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

An old thread but I just wanted to report that we're now in week 3 of our DirecTV-less life and I couldn't be happier. Now instead of paying $76 a month for 200 channels with nothing on we pay $0.00 per month and have 18 channels with nothing on.... :) An interesting thing is that I'm happy with our...
by tbradnc
Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do sofas really last
Replies: 46
Views: 4712

Re: How long do sofas really last

We purchased a Lazy Boy sofa about 15 years ago but it has been through 3 teenage children growing up and about 500 of their friends sleeping on it over the years.

I'm going to guess that equal to 323 years of use by 2 middle or senior age adults who mainly sit and watch Netflix. :)
by tbradnc
Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MacBook Air or MacBook Pro
Replies: 27
Views: 1931

Re: MacBook Air or MacBook Pro

What are you going to use it for?

If you're going to be doing mostly internet related activities the Air is way more than plenty. I've used a Macbook Air for years and never not even once have I wished I had a Macbook Pro.
by tbradnc
Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 109
Views: 10293

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

I'm guess I'm happy with my 2% cash back cards. I had a friend in Charleston, SC send me a RedCard and it's still sitting on my desk. The truth is, I simply don't spend enough money and I don't owe enough money to make the circus worth the effort. The only things I really pay that I don't already ge...
by tbradnc
Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Minimizing income taxes in retirement
Replies: 54
Views: 5403

Re: Minimizing income taxes in retirement

Toons wrote:Move to Tenneesee for starters :happy


Then you can enjoy the Hall Tax and 10% sales tax.... But hey... we don't have a state income tax.
by tbradnc
Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Bank for Checking Account
Replies: 29
Views: 2929

Re: Best Bank for Checking Account

Another satisfied Fidelity Cash Management Account user here. Check it out.
by tbradnc
Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is PagePlus Cellular Being Shut Down?
Replies: 16
Views: 3009

Re: Is PagePlus Cellular Being Shut Down?

We're paying for 4 phones with Verizon, 10 GB shared data, unlimited talk/text: Total with tax - $262.35 or $65.59 for each line.

Still have between 2 months and 20 months on contracts on the 4 iphones.
by tbradnc
Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A great shave at a great price
Replies: 53
Views: 7056

Re: A great shave at a great price

Jack FFR1846 wrote:I recently decided to stop shaving. At 5 minutes a day, that's 30.4 hours a year. I have better things to do with that time. I will also save money.


What are you going to do with all that free time? :)
by tbradnc
Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening a new credit card AND improving credit score
Replies: 5
Views: 824

Re: Opening a new credit card AND improving credit score

My Equifax credit score was 808 until I opened a CIti Doublecash rewards card last month and it dropped to 779.

I'm not concerned since I won't be needing to apply for credit anytime soon and 779 is still pretty good.
by tbradnc
Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearse as daily driver?
Replies: 58
Views: 4294

Re: Hearse as daily driver?

I no longer feel like my questions are strange. :)

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