Search found 415 matches

by Diogenes
Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer
Replies: 30
Views: 3284

Re: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer

Just received the 100k bonus. Now what to do with it? After the $300 yearly bonus, and covering my Global Entry renewal this year, as well as the Priority Pass access at no charge. I'll come out at least $350 ahead when the dust settles. I like the service they provide and the other small benefits, ...
by Diogenes
Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Affordable home exercise
Replies: 91
Views: 6427

Re: Affordable home exercise

Most home exercise equipment quickly ends up in a corner. I suggest pulling on some running shoes and drive if you must to a large park where long runs are safe. Most will have some sort of paracourse equipment for pull-ups etc. Far better to get out. Your local YMCA may be cheaper than you think al...
by Diogenes
Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial Independence is not the Holy Grail
Replies: 85
Views: 8986

Re: Financial Independence is not the Holy Grail

I enjoyed the White Coat investor's insights, which he himself describes as a rant ( I thought it to be entertaining and for me educational as to defining financial independence to further your life's happiness). I enjoyed the link he provided regarding the IRP (Internet Retirement Police) as well....
by Diogenes
Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help choosing a mattress
Replies: 38
Views: 2912

Re: Help choosing a mattress

I went through all of this earlier this year. Lots of research. Learned that going to a mattress store is not the way to go. We have had a fantastic experience with our purchase of a Zenhaven mattress. They are owned by Saatva, a well established company, and produce high quality natural latex prod...
by Diogenes
Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help choosing a mattress
Replies: 38
Views: 2912

Re: Help choosing a mattress

I went through all of this earlier this year. Lots of research. Learned that going to a mattress store is not the way to go. We have had a fantastic experience with our purchase of a Zenhaven mattress. They are owned by Saatva, a well established company, and produce high quality natural latex produ...
by Diogenes
Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What site do you prefer for online doc storage?
Replies: 18
Views: 1150

Re: What site do you prefer for online doc storage?

Dropbox with an encrypted folder for the documents. For that I have found Viivo interfaces easily with Dropbox and the encryption (AES-256) takes place before the files arrive at Dropbox. That would make it harder for the hackers, as I'm sure DB will be again hacked in the future. Once a year or so ...
by Diogenes
Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child
Replies: 114
Views: 6669

Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Although you didn't say, is the trip just a short vacation? If so, I would think of the kid (he will have no memories of the trip, but will be uncomfortable), and think of the other passengers also. I have been on a long full flight where a parent sitting next to me didn't want to buy the extra tick...
by Diogenes
Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: World Travel Insurance, Worth it?
Replies: 35
Views: 3296

Re: World Travel Insurance, Worth it?

Many of the travel insurance products sold are not worth it, in my opinion. They make a great deal of money for travel agents and other travel providers. These include baggage insurance, trip interruption, trip delay, trip cancellation, auto CDW, Medevac (except for Medjet, discussed below), and gen...
by Diogenes
Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If I Knew Then What I Know Now
Replies: 80
Views: 21585

Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Very good summary by Michael. I too will send it along. I will add something however which he touched on but bears emphasis in the conclusion: Don't choose a career solely based on money. Success is not about how much money you have in the bank, how big your house is, or a rush to financial independ...
by Diogenes
Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iWatch, FitBit or...?
Replies: 15
Views: 1320

Re: iWatch, FitBit or...?

I like my Fitbit Flex 2. Nice solid low profile device that records runs, walks and swims with surprising accuracy. I used a first generation Flex for a long time (mostly to track runs) and generally liked it for that purpose. The 2 is better since you wear it also in the pool. If you turn off 'all ...
by Diogenes
Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wiring funds abroad from Vanguard
Replies: 33
Views: 5248

Re: Wiring funds abroad from Vanguard

Banks routinely make significant money on the spread from the spot rate in currency transfers. Vanguard has no control over that. Banks on the other end do as well (frequently more so, plus fees) if you send the funds in Dollars. As mentioned, there are other far better options like TransferWise. Th...
by Diogenes
Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve: Too good to be (completely) true
Replies: 186
Views: 25053

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve: Too good to be (completely) true

Sounds like an odd airport out. In the 3 years or so I've used GE, I never had a need to use the card and stopped carrying it long ago. As mentioned, it is primarily designed for land and sea entry points. Normally I plan flights that connect directly to AMS/CDG/LHR. Easier that way. Some years ago ...
by Diogenes
Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve: Too good to be (completely) true
Replies: 186
Views: 25053

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve: Too good to be (completely) true

So I don't understood this thread. Is this a good card to keep and pay the recurring monthly fees, or collect and then dump? I would say no. I won't pay a $450 annual fee unless I am using $450 in benefits. You get the $300 travel credit. It applies to a lot of things (like public transportation an...
by Diogenes
Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use of TransferWise to move money - my experience - your thoughts?
Replies: 18
Views: 1517

Re: Use of TransferWise to move money - my experience - your thoughts?

I've used ozforex/usforex https://www.ofx.com/en-us/ several times for 5 figure amounts. Their rates are better than XE.com. You still lose >0.5% compared to interbank rates, and you may do better with your ATM and credit card. I know nothing about TransferWise. USFOREX is a very interesting option...
by Diogenes
Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use of TransferWise to move money - my experience - your thoughts?
Replies: 18
Views: 1517

Re: Use of TransferWise to move money - my experience - your thoughts?

Thanks LateStarter and Kd, I took a quick look at both Zoom and WorldRemit. Unfortunately the upper limit for Zoom appears to be $2999 and for WorldRemit, $2000. I did note the low fees with interest, and I liked that Zoom was a Paypal company. If it wasn't for the low transfer max, WorldRemit would...
by Diogenes
Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assistance Requested: Candidate to be CEO of a Small Business
Replies: 23
Views: 2195

Re: Assistance Requested: Candidate to be CEO of a Small Business

Mikestorm, Can you tell us a little about how you were 'approached' for this position? Does the business any way relate to what you were doing at your current job? Have you had experience as a Senior Officer in a small or medium company? Are they asking you to 'buy in' in any way? Are you familiar w...
by Diogenes
Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use of TransferWise to move money - my experience - your thoughts?
Replies: 18
Views: 1517

Re: Use of TransferWise to move money - my experience - your thoughts?

I have questions! Can you open a bank account abroad and then use transfer wise to deposit funds from USD to XXX? That would solve a problem I have. When you say larger amounts --> Transferwise, smaller amounts --> AMT, what is a "larger amount"? I've only used ATMs abroad for daily expen...
by Diogenes
Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use of TransferWise to move money - my experience - your thoughts?
Replies: 18
Views: 1517

Re: Use of TransferWise to move money - my experience - your thoughts?

Here's a website to compare money transfer services: http://moneytransfercomparison.com This is a very interesting, thanks. Many of these companies I had not heard of. I just looked at one, Currencies Direct, and it appeared I would need to get the funds to their UK bank. As I'm sending from a acco...
by Diogenes
Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use of TransferWise to move money - my experience - your thoughts?
Replies: 18
Views: 1517

Use of TransferWise to move money - my experience - your thoughts?

In previous topics concerning ways to move funds overseas, TransferWise was one option mentioned. I recently used them for two significant transfers and my experience is below. If anyone has any negative experiences with this company I would like to hear about it. I plan to use them frequently. TW i...
by Diogenes
Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Join AARP
Replies: 56
Views: 3404

Re: Join AARP

How about AMAC as an alternative to the crazy side of AARP?

Http://WWW.AMAC.US
by Diogenes
Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List
Replies: 275
Views: 36068

Re: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List

Global Entry (long flights + long immigration lines are no unbearable) You might try Global Passport. You can get the official app and now with those new kiosks at many points of entry it's another alternative. I've recently seen it be sometimes faster than when I use Global Entry... I would add to...
by Diogenes
Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2430

Re: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

Valuethinker, You make good points about the crime corruption, and infrastructure, but those issues are far worse elsewhere in Africa. Living in Cape Town you really see few of those problems. It is a first world city with a first world infrastructure, continually ranked as one of the top global cit...
by Diogenes
Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2430

Re: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

To the OP: I live in Vietnam and have been faced with similar conundrums. On the one hand, local term deposits are yielding 7%. There hasn't been 7% depreciation in the past year. (Today the exchange rate is 22,301; a year ago it was 22,150 or a 0.6% depreciation.) And my costs are determined by lo...
by Diogenes
Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2430

Re: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

If you make 1% on US account, pay 30% tax say then that is 0.7%. If you make 6% on SA account, after tax that's 4.2%. And then inflation is 5.5%, so you wind up losing money. You don't pay tax on the interest if it comes from a South African bank. (Well, tax free on the first $1,800 of interest.) S...
by Diogenes
Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2430

Re: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

Very interesting comments, as expected. If the Fed increases the discount rate in the U.S. After the election, which seems to be the expectation, an immediate loss of value of the ZAR to the USD would result. That's according to the SA financial gurus, which makes sense. Perhaps I will do nothing un...
by Diogenes
Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2430

Re: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

We assume that the rand has weakened, and that the conversion rate, 1 year later, is 5% worse, i.e. 15.75:1 So, if you'd kept your money in dollars, and only made the conversion at the end, with the weakened rand rate, you'd have 50035 * 15.75 = 788,051.25 rands So, better to keep the currency in d...
by Diogenes
Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2430

Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

Ok, help me see what I'm missing on this. I'll be living in Cape Town for the next couple of years, maybe longer. Currently the South African Rand (ZAR) is at a near historic low against the USD, perhaps 13.5 - 15.5 to 1. Also the local bank savings accounts have interest fixed at 5.5 percent. I pla...
by Diogenes
Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How does one transfer US savings into a foreign currency
Replies: 35
Views: 3110

Re: How does one transfer US savings into a foreign currency

I need to regularly transfer funds from the U.S. to South Africa to pay property expenses for a property in Cape Town. I looked at Schwab Global as I have accounts there, and also IB based on recommendations here. Neither allow ZAR (South African Rand) transfers to my SA bank. I want the funds conve...
by Diogenes
Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat and overseas funds
Replies: 21
Views: 1870

Re: Expat and overseas funds

Getting cash from ATM's is no problem, however currently I need to pay local bills related to a property in Cape Town. I can't pay them with a credit card without significant fees. The ATM's here have fairly low daily limits, and then you are charged if you deposit cash (funny I know). I have a loca...
by Diogenes
Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Investments while living overseas
Replies: 10
Views: 967

Re: Vanguard Investments while living overseas

Most expats deal with that by setting their mailing address to a friend or relative. Some other situations where they aren't explicitly anti-expat but just have a US-centric view: - Often have no notion of non-US phone numbers, which causes problems with any kind of SMS verification. (Wells Fargo, ...
by Diogenes
Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: leaving vanguard due to math errors / poor customer service?
Replies: 107
Views: 13612

Re: leaving vanguard due to math errors / poor customer service?

I wish the mutual funds were available without significant charges at other brokerages. Me too. Fidelity won't even allow Wellesley admiral to be transferred in. They charge $75 to buy Wellesley Investor shares. Pure indexers may be okay at other brokerages but I am not a pure indexer mainly becaus...
by Diogenes
Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab vs Vanguard....I know, it's been discussed!
Replies: 23
Views: 2987

Re: Schwab vs Vanguard....I know, it's been discussed!

It's also an easy decision to keep using Schwab as if you have a good rep and a significant balance you can buy all Vanguard funds commission free in the Schwab account. The rep just attaches a code to your account and you are good to go. It's good marketing as I now wonder, why do I need an account...
by Diogenes
Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving 4M from Goldman. retired and needs 200K/Y
Replies: 55
Views: 9454

Re: Moving 4M from Goldman. retired and needs 200K/Y

Does the 200 or 280K you require for living expenses include health insurance/care for all of you?

You live in NY? Any thoughts to getting out as part of the retirement plan?


_D_
by Diogenes
Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to sell a home in Florida
Replies: 32
Views: 3551

Re: Best way to sell a home in Florida

Do you know a realtor in your home town that you trust/like? Ask them for a recommendation. And, that gated community aspect makes it sound like you do need someone local to do all that legwork for listings. Likely there are other options besides paying a listing realtor excessive fees merely to op...
by Diogenes
Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expat Teacher considering pulling the plug
Replies: 15
Views: 2045

Re: Expat Teacher considering pulling the plug

I assume you have been paying into Medicare and will qualify? How does an expat "pay into Medicare"? Usually quite easily actually. The spouse is a USCIT working overseas, correct? That means that they required to pay U.S. income tax on her earnings, both if he also has U.S. status. If yo...
by Diogenes
Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expat Teacher considering pulling the plug
Replies: 15
Views: 2045

Re: Expat Teacher considering pulling the plug

Have you compared the cost of living in both places? I think from expat reports that NZ is generally higher than most non-urban areas in the U.S., but I might be wrong. If you decide to retire in the States carefully look at the current situation re ACA before you pick a destination State. Even if y...
by Diogenes
Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ric Edelman's The Truth about Retirement on PBS
Replies: 142
Views: 13414

Re: Ric Edelman's The Truth about Retirement on PBS

Would anyone have a link where we could watch the PBS broadcast? From what I've seen with friends and colleague, there are two types that intentionally take a mortgage into retirement. 1. Those that are forced to by circumstances, divorce, job layoff, etc. 2. Those that use the mortgage as a piggy b...
by Diogenes
Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to sell a home in Florida
Replies: 32
Views: 3551

Re: Best way to sell a home in Florida

Here is a recent thread:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=198053

There are lots of options. Good luck and don't feel the need to use a realtor under the old 6 percent pricing model. That pretty much is history in active markets.
by Diogenes
Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: leaving vanguard due to math errors / poor customer service?
Replies: 107
Views: 13612

Re: leaving vanguard due to math errors / poor customer service?

I wish the mutual funds were available without significant charges at other brokerages. Me too. Fidelity won't even allow Wellesley admiral to be transferred in. They charge $75 to buy Wellesley Investor shares. Pure indexers may be okay at other brokerages but I am not a pure indexer mainly becaus...
by Diogenes
Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 6352

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

[ I don't work in the million dollar market so it's hard to answer that question. I'm currently representing a young school teacher who's buying a $70,000 condo. She was a referral from my partner so the partner get's 35%. 2.7% x $70,000 is $1890. My partner gets 35% off the top so that's $661.50. ...
by Diogenes
Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ $99 for 6 months -- worth it?
Replies: 62
Views: 4702

Re: WSJ $99 for 6 months -- worth it?

I like the WSJ, it's clearly one of the few remaining papers that is worth a read. I kept the subscription active for a couple years after I moved out of the U.S. They make it easy to suspend delivery for long periods, which stops the delivery clock but at that time still allowed access to the onlin...
by Diogenes
Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ric Edelman's The Truth about Retirement on PBS
Replies: 142
Views: 13414

Re: Ric Edelman's The Truth about Retirement on PBS

Maintaining a mortgage when you are in retirement seems mostly to be an excuse for overconsumption before and after retirement, and a way for some 'advisors' to get access to more money to 'manage' that otherwise would pay off said mortgage...
by Diogenes
Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which state to establish LLC for foreign earned income?
Replies: 8
Views: 661

Re: Which state to establish LLC for foreign earned income?

There will be no assets. I don't really need the liability protection. I will be the sole owner. All income will be earned out of the country in Euros (most of my income will be earned in the U.S.). My goal is to minimize costs and hassle. Any recommendations for a state in which to incorporate? Mo...
by Diogenes
Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best software for financial planning
Replies: 60
Views: 8293

Re: best software for financial planning/ look at Retirees Model Portfolio

Some knowledge of Excel is helpful to get the most from this calculator. This must have been where I fell short previewing the Retiree's Model Portfolio... :oops: I wanted to enter different types of accounts (457/403B/) as well as many more of them. Couldn't figure an easy way to do that. Also wan...
by Diogenes
Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best software for financial planning
Replies: 60
Views: 8293

Re: best software for financial planning

check out Wealthtrace: https://www.mywealthtrace.com/ I have investigated the program and plan to purchase in Sept. They offer a free trial period of several weeks. At $209, plus a yearly fee of $139, a bit pricey. Also, it seems this involves sending your personal information to the company. I can...
by Diogenes
Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 6352

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

I actually enjoy these real estate agent bashing threads. It reminds me that the world Bogleheads live in has little resemblance to the world most of us live in. My average sale is around $220,000 The average buyer's rep commission is 2.7% Of that $5940 I'm lucky to see half of it. Then out of that...
by Diogenes
Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 6352

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

Just out of curiosity, have you considered an auction? If the market is as hot as you believe, you should have multiple bidders, find the right match, hire a real-estate attorney, etc. I'm thinking out of the box on this one and have never been involved with an auction of a house before. Thanks for...
by Diogenes
Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 6352

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

My observations on reasons why a house isn't selling: 1) Overpriced 2) Undesirable location 3) Not offering 3% commission to buyer's agent Number 3 seems to be the view proposed by realtors frequently, without corroboration. I would summarily fire any Buyer's Agent working for me if he refused to p...
by Diogenes
Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 6352

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

Doctors, lawyers and CPA's are not salesmen. You seek their advice when you need it. They are not trying too sell you a product. If they were, they would get paid on a commission basis, like all salesmen. For most people in sales, getting a percentage of the sales price is common practice. And an a...
by Diogenes
Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 6352

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

A good agent does provide value. Especially to people who aren't familiar with the process. But 6% is excessive. You can and should negotiate it down. Thanks for the responses. I too believe that there will be a technology or new company model that will finally put an end to all of this. Yes, there...

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