Search found 1425 matches

by Bfwolf
Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relatively "Safe" Place to Earn 2.5%-4%
Replies: 16
Views: 1881

Re: Relatively "Safe" Place to Earn 2.5%-4%

You can get 2.5% or so from CDs with 0 risk but the term would have to be lengthy. Does this money need to be available over the next 5 to 7 years to spend?
by Bfwolf
Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What To Do With My Car While in NYC
Replies: 32
Views: 2650

Re: What To Do With My Car While in NYC

For one year? I'm not so sure I'm in the sell it camp. That's a big pain selling a car and buying another one. And then you have no idea how the owner of the "new" used car treated it. I'd be more inclined to find a family member or friend who needs a car and just loan it to them for the y...
by Bfwolf
Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I just booked business class to Italy and the worst I paid for fuel surcharges was $280. Which is completely reasonable in my opinion for a decent business/first itinerary. I haven't looked a ton at other routes at other times, so it could be an issue, but the few times I've wanted to book with the...
by Bfwolf
Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford private school for my kids?
Replies: 67
Views: 4745

Re: Can I afford private school for my kids?

Here are some reasons we put our kids into private school, starting at the same income/expense level as the OP. (For reference, we live in CA which is known to have bad schools; I consider Finland to be a reference for a 'good' school) Allow me to translate some of the buzzwords thrown around, our ...
by Bfwolf
Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If a doctor takes your insurance, must they accept the negotiated rate?
Replies: 62
Views: 4427

Re: If a doctor takes your insurance, must they accept the negotiated rate?

We had an issue like this with a provider and also had UHC insurance. My wife called UHC and they confirmed the provider was not allowed to "balance bill" per their contract. The UHC rep then pulled the provider into the phone call to explain what was going on. In a multitude of way the p...
by Bfwolf
Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?
Replies: 82
Views: 6121

Re: Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?

Like the OP, I had lower income than in years past and also was surprised to see I got the retirement saver's tax credit. I was also surprised to see I would not receive the majority of my foreign tax credit. I was able to carry back most of it to 2015 but in future years I think I will just lose mo...
by Bfwolf
Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If a doctor takes your insurance, must they accept the negotiated rate?
Replies: 62
Views: 4427

Re: If a doctor takes your insurance, must they accept the negotiated rate?

OP here with an update. Apparently we were charged $205 with the following breakdown. $50 set up fee. $155/hr rate. Wife showed the doctor an EOB which states a $75 allowed expense and the doctor said "yes $75 allowed in insurance and my rate is $155/hr". She also wouldn't provide a bill....
by Bfwolf
Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford private school for my kids?
Replies: 67
Views: 4745

Re: Can I afford private school for my kids?

Thinking outside the box here: would you consider moving?

There's a premium on houses in good school districts. If you move to an otherwise nice neighborhood with poorer schools, how much money could you gin up to pay for private school?
by Bfwolf
Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Huh....I've had good success with Star Alliance international award availability. I also really like Aeroplan's 55K award price for biz between the US and Western Europe. Significantly cheaper than the 70K I'd pay for United partner awards, and I really have no way of getting more United miles at t...
by Bfwolf
Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

jh-1391 wrote:I have actually had decent luck with redemptions and availability on SkyTeam. Some of their itineraries aren't the greatest, but the points are easy to earn and availability has been good.


Don't the fuel surcharges on Skyteam get in the way of good redemption value frequently?
by Bfwolf
Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Star Alliance (United) has been eh for me lately. Economy availability is fine, but business/first anywhere has been subpar. Huh....I've had good success with Star Alliance international award availability. I also really like Aeroplan's 55K award price for biz between the US and Western Europe. Sig...
by Bfwolf
Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to be a good parent to an introverted kid
Replies: 29
Views: 2368

Re: How to be a good parent to an introverted kid

Anyone else have kids like this? Any advice? Should I continue to push him to go outside his comfort zone, invite kids over, chat with other kids. Or just leave it be and let him be himself without calling attention to something to where he thinks he has a problem. I'm assuming as kids get older, t...
by Bfwolf
Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

It's pretty much impossible to use them for flights to Australia, or to Europe without flying BA and paying huge fuel surcharges. Well, not impossible, but for the average person who doesn't know all the tricks it's essentially impossible. There is plenty of availability to Asia though, and South A...
by Bfwolf
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax woes - how to contact TT?
Replies: 22
Views: 1276

Re: Turbo Tax woes - how to contact TT?

Follow the contact link and you'll eventually get to a place where you can call them and talk to somebody.
by Bfwolf
Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dream vacation spots?
Replies: 73
Views: 6713

Re: Dream vacation spots?

2. Tanzania (Arusha) and Serengeti campout during the migration I am planning a trip to East Africa in February that will include flying into Arusha/Kilimanjaro and going to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti. You mention Arusha....was there anything you did in the area besides safari?
by Bfwolf
Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's in your ADP 401(k)?
Replies: 19
Views: 1209

Re: What's in your ADP 401(k)?

It's not my plan but I'm familiar with it. Yes, I imagine they have a fairly large number of participants and AUM.

Many folks here speak highly of Employee Fiduciary for small company 401ks.

https://www.employeefiduciary.com/
by Bfwolf
Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's in your ADP 401(k)?
Replies: 19
Views: 1209

Re: What's in your ADP 401(k)?

A major health care provider here in Chicago uses ADP for their 401k and it is loaded with low ER choices like Vanguard Total Bond, Vanguard Total Stock, and the Vanguard Target Retirement series.
by Bfwolf
Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with college choice
Replies: 125
Views: 5124

Re: Help with college choice

Count me among the "Vandy is a no brainer" crowd. 17/18 year olds are, for the most part, too immature to make a decision like this on their own. They don't appreciate money like a "real" adult does. When I finished high school in California, I was deciding between Michigan (in t...
by Bfwolf
Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Question for those familiar with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus: I see the standard arrival is gone from the website for new applications. Does anyone know if it's still available for downgrade? And just as important, can anyone confirm that you can *keep* your miles earned with the Arrival+ and they...
by Bfwolf
Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lending a scooter to a friend for 3 months
Replies: 19
Views: 1575

Re: Lending a scooter to a friend for 3 months

I understand that in America, anybody can sue anybody over anything. I'm curious though what would be the basis of a lawsuit if you loan a scooter to someone and then something malfunctions in the scooter and they injure themselves? Assuming the owner had no knowledge of any issues with the scooter,...
by Bfwolf
Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lending a scooter to a friend for 3 months
Replies: 19
Views: 1575

Re: Lending a scooter to a friend for 3 months

Maybe I'm way under-thinking this, but couldn't your friend just get insurance and that would be the end of it?
by Bfwolf
Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young-ish bogleheads: How much (if any) social security do you expect in retirement?
Replies: 88
Views: 4152

Re: Young-ish bogleheads: How much (if any) social security do you expect in retirement?

I hear from people all the time: they expect nothing from Social Security. That POV is on full display on this thread. I think that's highly unlikely and will lead to people over-saving and not enjoying their money in their youth. Some action will certainly have to be taken to keep SS solvent--proba...
by Bfwolf
Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weird house buying experience
Replies: 123
Views: 5963

Re: Weird house buying experience

OP, I am just echoing everybody else, but the list price is an irrelevant number. When I've gone to purchase a new car, I did not care AT ALL what the list price was. Totally irrelevant to me--it's a made up number. My goal was never to pay 5% or 10% less than list--my goal was to pay as a little as...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

No, I was talking about calling in. When I said United computer, I meant the computer the CSR rep was using to create the itinerary. If you book an award ticket, no flight system will let you book an illegal route whether you do so by calling in or by using the website. The only time a not-possible...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

No, I was talking about calling in. When I said United computer, I meant the computer the CSR rep was using to create the itinerary. If you book an award ticket, no flight system will let you book an illegal route whether you do so by calling in or by using the website. The only time a not-possible ...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/amex-fires-another-shot-at-chases-sapphire-reserve-1490802710 AmEx in coming days is expected to increase the points bonus to 60,000, from 40,000 , according to a person familiar with the matter. But there is likely to be catch: To get the larger amount of points, card ...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Side question...when using partner airline miles (Flying Blue) to book an award flight on Delta, does anyone know if the benefits associated with the Delta Skymiles credit card (free checked bag and priority boarding) will be carried over since it's a Delta flight? I know in the reverse situation, ...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Andaz does offer up award availability, I was able to find some for Nov 2017 last week. BUT...they have quietly instituted a 7 night minimum on award stays as that article may allude to. Whatever. I've read up a lot on comparing the 2 resorts and from what I've found, Andaz is kind of like it "...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Interesting. So you would have to add up the miles required for 2 separate flights together? How would the number of miles required work? Make sure you have enough time to get to your next plane? I wonder if the layovers would be especially long doing it this way. I assume if they strung the legs /...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Guitarguy, Everything I've read about the Hyatt card says not subject to 5/24 as well. At first, I was wondering why you'd chosen the Hyatt Regency in Maui over the (seemingly nicer) Andaz. Then I did an award search for the Andaz and couldn't find anything. For ANY dates during the year. So I did a...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

As long as award space is available, this will be part of your ticket to Japan and included in that award price. This leg will be included in your award ticket price from Seoul to USA...you just have to find award space. Just make sure you include your flight to Seattle as part of the award ticket....
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

My wife and me are planning our Asia trip this Fall from October 18-November 9th to Seoul, Tokyo and Okinawa. We currently have about 300K combined UR points from Chase between the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited and 2x CSR cards. What are some recommendations to achieve the most effective use our UR po...
by Bfwolf
Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I stick with 401K funds or choose a self directed account?
Replies: 14
Views: 1184

Re: Should I stick with 401K funds or choose a self directed account?

What do you think based on this information? Same answer as above. Do not use the SCA. A self directed account can be a good thing when your 401k choices are poor and when using the SDA does not cost you anything. Neither of those is true for you. You have 2 adequate choices and the SCA costs a min...
by Bfwolf
Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we take 0.9% auto financing?
Replies: 27
Views: 1946

Re: Should we take 0.9% auto financing?

Given your tax bracket, you probably need to earn 1.4% or so to beat the 0.9% financing rate. I don't know the length of the loan, but looking at 5 year CDs, beating 1.4% is a piece of cake.

https://www.depositaccounts.com/cd/5-year-cd-rates.html
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean
Replies: 52
Views: 4026

Re: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean

Hello, I wanted to update the thread about what's going on, and thank y'all for the advice so far! I have news today from friends seeing their advisors explaining the changes, and it turns out the new degree plan will address several issues students have had for years. Also, talking to faculty who ...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Bank Fees
Replies: 11
Views: 1146

Re: HSA Bank Fees

I leave 0 balance in the HSABank cash account (all invested with TDA), and I am charged $3 investment fee each month, no $2.5 fee. Each month, after they charge the $3 fee, I transfer $3 back from TDA to cash account to bring the balance back to 0 from $3 debit. If the expected investment return is...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell our house in hot market?
Replies: 14
Views: 1435

Re: Sell our house in hot market?

I think you've identified the biggest risk in your plan: the significant likelihood that prices are higher in a year. What's the contingency? 1) Buying at the higher price? 2) Trying to wait out the market by staying longer at your in-laws? 3) Waiting out the market by renting a house somewhere? 1 s...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean
Replies: 52
Views: 4026

Re: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean

A number of people have mentioned budget cuts as the driver behind these changes, but neither Raymond nor Tuesdayagain made any mention of that. Maybe that's the reason, maybe not. I have found in life that a person can get oneself all twisted in a knot unnecessarily by assigning motives and negativ...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell our house in hot market?
Replies: 14
Views: 1435

Re: Sell our house in hot market?

It seems like a reasonable plan. Hot housing market aside, is there a reason you want to do this now vs 2 years from now? You say the current house doesn't support the # of kids you want to have. Do you already have kids?
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean
Replies: 52
Views: 4026

Re: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean

I'm the daughter in question, hello! To give some more info, I'm currently president of a student club that's related to my major and I've gotten a few other presidents interested in making voices heard. We're going to meet with an assistant dean this week to discuss the issues my dad stated, and I...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean
Replies: 52
Views: 4026

Re: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean

My oldest daughter is a sophomore in a Texas public university. The new dean of the school which includes her major (which I won't specify here for anonymity, as there are very few of these programs in-state) has recently made major changes (without any input from faculty or students): - Mass non-r...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Massive Student Loan Debt - Girlfriend
Replies: 86
Views: 7115

Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Girlfriend

Let me start off by saying I am definitely not a relationship expert! But I think the general consensus on the thread is about right. Yes, it's perfectly reasonable for this to be a valid concern to you, and it doesn't make you shallow. $175,000 is an awful lot of money. I forced myself to consider ...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I stick with 401K funds or choose a self directed account?
Replies: 14
Views: 1184

Re: Should I stick with 401K funds or choose a self directed account?

If your portfolio is reasonably modest (< $100,000), I agree with using VINIX in your 401k and bonds/Int'l stocks in your other accounts, trying to put bonds as much as possible in your Roth and int'l stocks as much as possible in your taxable account. However, if we're talking about more than $100,...
by Bfwolf
Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1436
Views: 207181

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

In asking my question this week about the use of points to fly from the East Coast to Europe, I'm getting feedback that often fares are low enough, that I may want to pay cash instead - and save the points, presumably for more expensive routes, etc. So here's the follow up question - I'm not crazy ...
by Bfwolf
Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merriman Bonds vs. horrible 401k bonds . . .
Replies: 29
Views: 1605

Re: Merriman Bonds vs. horrible 401k bonds . . .

I agree @Grabiner about the 4k vs 3k due to taxes. I guess because I'm not doing my allocation based on after-tax net amounts, I was weighing: $100k in bonds in my roth vs $100k in my 401k. vs. $100k S&P500 in my roth vs. $100k S&P500 in my 401k. The $100k stock has the potential to grow to...
by Bfwolf
Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks
Replies: 21
Views: 2107

Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

I went to Zion for 2 days last April. Loved it. Angel's Landing is a great hike with spectacular views but certainly not for anybody with a fear of heights as it gets quite treacherous at places and you have to hold on to the chains to prevent yourself from falling to your death. I also did the Emer...
by Bfwolf
Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America bogus late payment fee.[temporary software glitch, gone now]
Replies: 41
Views: 2246

Re: Bank of America bogus late payment fee.

I can see where some people are misunderstanding the mechanism. I'm not talking logging in barely before the deadline, to manually enter a one-off payment. I'm talking about setting up ongoing automatic payments, pulled from a bank account, meaning the payments could have been set up months or year...
by Bfwolf
Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America bogus late payment fee.[temporary software glitch, gone now]
Replies: 41
Views: 2246

Re: Bank of America bogus late payment fee.

I can see where some people are misunderstanding the mechanism. I'm not talking logging in barely before the deadline, to manually enter a one-off payment. I'm talking about setting up ongoing automatic payments, pulled from a bank account, meaning the payments could have been set up months or year...
by Bfwolf
Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merriman Bonds vs. horrible 401k bonds . . .
Replies: 29
Views: 1605

Re: Merriman Bonds vs. horrible 401k bonds . . .

Very kind of you to chart the two funds @Bfwolf I am very much comforted that the intermediate bond fund is ok given the impending rise in rates. I'm frustrated by 401k selections are so limited. However, I have the impression this will change soon so this won't be forever. I didn't want to buy the...
by Bfwolf
Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merriman Bonds vs. horrible 401k bonds . . .
Replies: 29
Views: 1605

Re: Merriman Bonds vs. horrible 401k bonds . . .

Before I pull the trigger and execute, any issues with all 20% of my bonds being in my 401k's "total bond" fund, especially with rates on the rise? Paul normally suggests a combo of short and intermediate. Thx Mike Assuming you have a long time horizon, you should be fine with an intermed...

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