Search found 1284 matches

by Carl53
Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wood burning stoves - do you leave home with it burning?
Replies: 13
Views: 1742

Re: Wood burning stoves - do you leave home with it burning?

We did the same in the early 80's. Load of good dry oak in the morning, when I got in from work in the evening when I opened the air inlet a little and topping it off before bedtime while readjusting the air inlet. From the morning load until return from work typically spanned 11+ hours. Seldom did ...
by Carl53
Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me decide if I should Invest or Payoff Loans?
Replies: 15
Views: 1290

Re: Help me decide if I should Invest or Payoff Loans?

If you get the match with a only a two or four percent contribution, get it. It still is a 50 or 100% return in e first year. Lobby your employer as appropriate for better investment options. Pay off the school and car loans with your cash. Long term, do you see yourself married, and will you still ...
by Carl53
Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax 2016 purchase source
Replies: 86
Views: 10507

Re: Turbo Tax 2016 purchase source

New low price for those who haven't purchased (or can return to Costco) -- Staples. TurboTax Deluxe plus state is $39.89, then get $10 off TurboTax with code 18450 for a total of $29.89 with free in-store pickup or download. Premier is $60.19, $50.19 with coupon. Deluxe without state is $31.49, so ...
by Carl53
Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with paying off debt
Replies: 52
Views: 3977

Re: Help with paying off debt

Jack- you suggest not contributing to the Roth even though I have zero in that account now? Granted, I have my employer's pension fund with about 6K into that and my wife contributes to her 401(k). I can't wait for all of this to be gone! I expect Jack's response to be YES. With no PMI, the $95/mon...
by Carl53
Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with paying off debt
Replies: 52
Views: 3977

Re: Help with paying off debt

Ramsey's snowball plan is generally ok, but in this case most of these loans are very low interest rates. The OP is not short of funds to make payments just contemplating what is best. I equate best as with what will generate the most money in his pocket. Getting rid of the PMI first is way more imp...
by Carl53
Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued
Replies: 110
Views: 9924

Re: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued

I stopped using my Sallie Mae when this announcement came out as I had just redeemed my rebate and had only 66 points balance. Going to miss it. Still have another Barclay Bank issued card, Priceline Visa that pays out 2% on all purchases (no longer available under those terms), Amex BCP for most gr...
by Carl53
Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with paying off debt
Replies: 52
Views: 3977

Re: Help with paying off debt

Your PMI is raising your effective home loan interest rate to about 5%. Generally I would go along with most of the other suggestions made here, but in your case plunking down 16k and knocking out the PMI saves $95 per month. This is considerably more than the sum total of monthly interest in all o...
by Carl53
Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with paying off debt
Replies: 52
Views: 3977

Re: Help with paying off debt

Your PMI is raising your effective home loan interest rate to about 5%. Generally I would go along with most of the other suggestions made here, but in your case plunking down 16k and knocking out the PMI saves $95 per month. This is considerably more than the sum total of monthly interest in all of...
by Carl53
Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed CC Rewards (hidden advantage if you like points to cash)
Replies: 11
Views: 1797

Re: Penfed CC Rewards (hidden advantage if you like points to cash)

I have the Signature Platinum Rewards since they convinced me to switch a few years ago and then downgraded the point value. That said, over the weekend I redeemed points for a $500 Visa card. I just checked to see if I can find the Visa card by entering Visa in the search box once on the rewards pa...
by Carl53
Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you recommend using credit karma's tax product?
Replies: 17
Views: 1273

Re: Do you recommend using credit karma's tax product?

Tax free filing is available to folks who use HRBlock tax software with the 10% of refund rebate. The rebate more than pays for our purchase of the software. It's like buying a short-term CD that pays 10%. And it has already been pioneered. Other than slick deals I do not see this offer for this ye...
by Carl53
Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you treat 401k Match for IRR Purposes?
Replies: 46
Views: 2101

Re: How do you treat 401k Match for IRR Purposes?

While I am no longer contributing to a 401k, looking back at my 2008 spreadsheet, I considered my match as a part of the overall return. My thinking was that if I did not invest in the 401k but did so elsewhere, that those employer contributions would be lost. Contributing got a very large return on...
by Carl53
Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: About to get married, help with finances please
Replies: 6
Views: 1010

Re: About to get married, help with finances please

His 401k I am unsure of where my money in my 401k is invested. I know that I put in 7% of my pre tax income, and my employer matches 2:1. My current balance is just over 30,000 (without employer match). It is through Texas Municipal Retirement System. This link, http://www.tmrs.com/down/presentatio...
by Carl53
Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Whats your number to walk away?
Replies: 245
Views: 27046

Re: Whats your number to walk away?

Walked away with about $1.4MM in 08, no more college expenses and a paid off house while in mid 50s. Had two pensions that I was able to front load due to SS leveling until 62 that fully covered living expenses. Now the pensions cover 50-60%, we've recovered from the market drop in 08, but the eleph...
by Carl53
Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift Card received in mail?
Replies: 3
Views: 478

Gift Card received in mail?

My spouse received a $24 prepaid visa "reward card" from Rewards Center issued by Metabank. The letter has a Kohl's coupon attached and claims the card is provided by Visa.. We have no knowledge of what the reward is for although quite a bit is spent at their stores/website. Thoughts appre...
by Carl53
Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mifi / Hotspot Alternatives?
Replies: 16
Views: 2026

Re: Mifi / Hotspot Alternatives?

I have Straighttalk hotspot Z289 LTE (ATT network) with good signal here but will move to an area with only verizon tower nearby, so I'm looking to switch to a different hotspot as well. Straighttalk hotspots (att or verizon towers depending on z289 or z288?) at walmart $40? for device only. Avail ...
by Carl53
Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mifi / Hotspot Alternatives?
Replies: 16
Views: 2026

Re: Mifi / Hotspot Alternatives?

Been considering a hotspot for my inlaws that only have a very poor intermittent dialup ISP available. We know that the sprint signal is very poor and that ATT signal shows a few bars on an iphone. Verizon cellular reception at some level is available. The only alternative seems to be a satellite se...
by Carl53
Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio review - and pension/SS question
Replies: 8
Views: 580

Re: Portfolio review - and pension/SS question

Questions: 1. I have a “frozen” pension worth $60K annually at my planned retirement age of 64 (2025) – QUESTION: with pension and S/S – do I really need a bond or stable value fund? Consider these as annuities - thoughts on being 100% stock in market? 2. I am currently diversified across many fund...
by Carl53
Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How old is your vehicle?
Replies: 200
Views: 13468

Re: How old is your vehicle?

I have a 1997 Ford F150 and took it to the shop today because the "Check Engine Light" is illuminated. I noticed the sticker on the inside of the door jam indicates the truck was made 12/96 so that means my truck is 20 YEARS OLD! I bought it used in 2000 for $10,000 and figure I've saved ...
by Carl53
Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Father's Group Life Ins. Policy cost ?
Replies: 3
Views: 234

Re: Father's Group Life Ins. Policy cost ?

Is the annual insurance cost guaranteed on an ongoing basis? If so it probably is a good deal. I think insurance companies count on a number of elderly folks in letting their policies lapse in their later years due to cognitive decline. I know of two such instances. If you will be able to keep an ey...
by Carl53
Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional IRA account gone after "upgrading"
Replies: 3
Views: 816

Re: Traditional IRA account gone after "upgrading"

My rep warned against upgrading because of automatic account consolidation.
by Carl53
Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage recast strategy - Feedback needed
Replies: 54
Views: 4408

Re: Mortgage recast strategy - Feedback needed

You could do a roll-your-own recast given your numbers. Given your balance of $244k you are 20 months into your loan since you have made extra principal payments and thus have 18 years and 4 months left if you just pay the minimum. Goal 1. As others have suggested your lender may not want to do a re...
by Carl53
Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion/Reconversion Strategy
Replies: 21
Views: 1106

Re: Roth Conversion/Reconversion Strategy

Your starting to sound more like a reporter than someone with a situation. Nevertheless, of course looking at it as you are is a reasonable approach with a 100% sure gain reducing the effective tax rate from 28% to 14%. In the case of the 43% gain it is reduced from 28% to 20% and for the 27% gain i...
by Carl53
Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion/Reconversion Strategy
Replies: 21
Views: 1106

Re: Roth Conversion/Reconversion Strategy

Are you in a no income tax on retirement distributions state?
by Carl53
Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase $500 Bonus For New Checking/Savings Accounts - Worth It?
Replies: 28
Views: 3304

Re: Chase $500 Bonus For New Checking/Savings Accounts - Worth It?

I've done the savings promo twice about 15 months apart. Took about 30 minutes on the front end to chat with the banker and the same on the end. Same guy both times I closed it and one of the opening times. He got it that I would not be sticking with them unless they made it worth my while. Both tim...
by Carl53
Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AMEX Blue Cash Everyday vs Preferred offers
Replies: 13
Views: 1263

Re: AMEX Blue Cash Everyday vs Preferred offers

We have the Preferred card and was charged a $75 membership fee in November. Does this new fee start in 2017? My June 2016 statement, in which I was billed the $75 annual fee, had a Notice of important change to account terms stating that annual renewal fees were increasing to $95 for renewals on o...
by Carl53
Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AMEX Blue Cash Everyday vs Preferred offers
Replies: 13
Views: 1263

AMEX Blue Cash Everyday vs Preferred offers

I've had a Blue Cash Preferred card for several years and watched as the benefits erode over time. Originally there was no limit on purchases or benefits. The grocery limit was then introduced at $6000 per year to receive 6% cash back. Now the annual fee has been bumped up to $95. As a result I am c...
by Carl53
Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone carriers (looking to switch)
Replies: 34
Views: 2066

Re: Cell phone carriers (looking to switch)

I live 20+ miles outside of a major city and the cell coverage maps usually show less than best at our residence. ATT is the current carrier and often the service makes it to LTE two bars on an iphone in the house, but sometimes it is just 4G. I would like to test out service before I switch to a ne...
by Carl53
Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion/Recharacterization - how many accounts?
Replies: 11
Views: 1026

Re: Roth Conversion/Recharacterization - how many accounts?

Rather than continually open new accounts, I've transfer the horse race winner to my main Roth account whenever I've decide, usually very early in the next year. The newly emptied account is then ready to participate in the new race.
by Carl53
Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion/Recharacterization - how many accounts?
Replies: 11
Views: 1026

Re: Roth Conversion/Recharacterization - how many accounts?

If you don't convert into different empty Roths, then the forms you get back from VG or whomever will show that your conversion/recharacterization will not reflect what you intended to do, but instead you will see a composite $ figure that is prorated across all of the holdings in that account. Rec...
by Carl53
Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion/Recharacterization - how many accounts?
Replies: 11
Views: 1026

Re: Roth Conversion/Recharacterization - how many accounts?

If you don't convert into different empty Roths, then the forms you get back from VG or whomever will show that your conversion/recharacterization will not reflect what you intended to do, but instead you will see a composite $ figure that is prorated across all of the holdings in that account. Rech...
by Carl53
Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What temperature for house for long winter absence?
Replies: 70
Views: 77691

Re: What temperature for house for long winter absence?

I made the mistake of telling my insurance agent about several extended trips we had taken and they advised me that if 30 days elapsed since either my spouse or I spent a night there that our insurance coverage was in jeopardy. We usually drop the thermostat to 55, shut off the water and open a fauc...
by Carl53
Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you save copies of your tax forms and supporting docs?
Replies: 27
Views: 1976

Re: How do you save copies of your tax forms and supporting docs?

I have a couple of boxes with 40 years of returns and pertinent papers. About 5 years ago I pulled out returns back to 1986 and scanned them to PDFs. 1986 was just before any shuffling of funds between IRAs, savings plans and the like occurred.
by Carl53
Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Plan / Portfolio Critique Requested
Replies: 34
Views: 2499

Re: Retirement Plan / Portfolio Critique Requested

So, the questions: 1) Does this plan hold water? 2) What are the holes? 3) We will be well within the 15% tax bracket. Roth conversion or Tax gain harvesting to fill the bracket in our situation? 4) We will likely have excess funds in the 529 plans. Current plan is to leave in place for next genera...
by Carl53
Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Process for Roth Conversion at Vanguard
Replies: 32
Views: 2777

Re: Process for Roth Conversion at Vanguard

The reason why you'll likely want an upgraded account is this is the only way that mutual funds can be transferred directly from one to the other on-line or by phone. If they are on different platforms the transfer can only be done with a paper form through the mail. This is not true. One of our ac...
by Carl53
Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Upgrade Options?
Replies: 8
Views: 1385

Re: Vanguard Upgrade Option

It won't create a taxable event. It will change your mutual fund account into a brokerage account, allowing you to buy etfs, stocks, bonds, etc in one account. I did it with all my accounts with no problems, but I didn't have any automatic settings activated. You mention having done it with all of ...
by Carl53
Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery Stores Employing Customers
Replies: 59
Views: 4702

Re: Grocery Stores Employing Customers

Over the last two months, we've had perhaps seven trips to the store, with one to three errors. I try to watch whie the items are rung up, but usually find most of the errors after studying the receipt. Once they gave me the item free, but usually I'm jut inconvenienced. Three different companies ha...
by Carl53
Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loan with mortgage refinance?
Replies: 10
Views: 983

Re: Pay off student loan with mortgage refinance?

Many folks on this board buy CDs and I bonds. Paying ahead on a 2.95% school loan would be very attractive compared to virtually all available CDs and government bonds. If you do, make sure the extra funds paid are directed to the principal and not future payments.
by Carl53
Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SimpleIRA - Unfriendly business owner IRS rule...
Replies: 21
Views: 1321

Re: SimpleIRA - Unfriendly business owner IRS rule...

I'm not sure I follow. If a person joins in October for 1/4 of the year, and they only contribute 3%, then your overall contribution should be capped at that amount rather than 3% of salary. Say they make $100k. For 1/4 of the year then they make $25k. So for a 3% contribution they are putting in $...
by Carl53
Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 243
Views: 22750

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

I checked into refinancing my car with autopay just so I could see all my options. Two options: 1750 down either way with a 6.25 % interest rate. Current rate is 13.24% 72 months: 308.65 a month 66 months: 348.90 a month First payment due December 10. Likely better option is just finding a differen...
by Carl53
Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I think it's final approach
Replies: 21
Views: 3675

Re: I think it's final approach

Marital status, age, SS PIA?
by Carl53
Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 243
Views: 22750

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

Current monthly set expenses: 895 rent 700 child support 433 my car 320 her car 427 Navient (private) 245 Great Lakes (federal) 400 child care for 4 month old 160 towards hospital bills from 4 month old birth not covered by insurance 75 after-school at Y for youngest step daughter 49 Internet 250 V...
by Carl53
Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 243
Views: 22750

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

Current monthly set expenses: 895 rent 700 child support 433 my car 320 her car 427 Navient (private) 245 Great Lakes (federal) 400 child care for 4 month old 160 towards hospital bills from 4 month old birth not covered by insurance 75 after-school at Y for youngest step daughter 49 Internet 250 V...
by Carl53
Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 243
Views: 22750

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

Agree with others that your cars represent too much monthly expense and interest. I would keep your E-fund until your wife regains employment. Have an honest discussion with your spouse about expenses, future expectations, and her job prospects. I suspect that she had a fairly good income given the ...
by Carl53
Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 962
Views: 121046

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Amex BlueCash Preferred 6% back on groceries ($6k limit), 3% at dept stores, 1% on everything else $75 annual fee Used for groceries only except for the first grocery trip of the month Sallie Mae Barclaycard (Discontinued) 5% back on gas ($250 max/month), 5% back on books (including Amazon.com for ...
by Carl53
Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Received a gift of unwanted land
Replies: 23
Views: 3659

Re: Received a gift of unwanted land

Myself and two siblings inherited a long time family parcel. A couple of years later one tired of it and had their share deeded to the remaining two siblings, with their agreement.
by Carl53
Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio overhaul - please critique
Replies: 10
Views: 1139

Re: Portfolio overhaul - please critique

I'll try to add a few thoughts. First, I wouldn't worry too much about your exact portfolio composition. I think that your overall plan is good in terms of 3 fund portfolio, 80/20 stock/bond with 30 percent international, emphasis on choosing lowest cost options available in each account. I think y...
by Carl53
Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: paydown strategy for mortgage
Replies: 43
Views: 5136

Re: paydown strategy for mortgage

Not to hijack, But I have a similar question. I have a 5 year, 5.5% balloon loan from a credit union. I am hoping to pay off the entire loan before the balloon is due. I have had people question why I want to pay it off...they think I should just pay the minimum payment and in 5 years refinance the...
by Carl53
Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit
Replies: 56
Views: 5585

Re: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit

The home my son purchased had one of these installed just prior to his closing on the home in the 3rd floor, a converted attic. Despite the area being less than adequately insulated, the area was tolerable this hot summer. It did require using a box fan to better distribute/mix the air. Prior to doi...
by Carl53
Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security System
Replies: 43
Views: 5328

Re: Simplisafe Home Security System

My son installed a SS system in his new 100 year old three story brick home. Numerous phone calls to SS could not resolve why the system could not be made fully functional. Eventually before the 60 days was up the system was boxed up in the original packaging and returned. On Wednesday this past wee...

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