Search found 510 matches

by German Expat
Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have Nexus but not able to use tsa precheck
Replies: 16
Views: 1301

Re: Have Nexus but not able to use tsa precheck

Only domestic airlines partner with TSA on the program (and a few of the smaller ones still don't participate) There are now a couple international airlines as well, e.g. Lufthansa https://www.tsa.gov/news/releases/2016/08/31/tsa-partners-lufthansa-offer-tsa-precheck-0 Other airlines are Aeromexico...
by German Expat
Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any advantages to multiple citizenships?
Replies: 33
Views: 2142

Re: Any advantages to multiple citizenships?

I have 2 passports, USA and Germany. I did not find any investment advantages yet and now have the privilege to pay extra taxes in the US (tax rates where I live in Switzerland are lower then the US). From an investment side they still don't like me here at the banks and won't allow me to buy many i...
by German Expat
Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for recommendations on aerobic exercise equip.
Replies: 55
Views: 2340

Re: Looking for recommendations on aerobic exercise equip.

Why do you not like the elliptical? I tore my MCL and ACL last year skiing and the ACL was not replaced. I work out about twice a week for 45 minutes while watching a good TV show (Sopranos recently) and works very well for me. I do use a sleeve for the knee as well. I also went back to skiing last ...
by German Expat
Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wiring funds abroad from Vanguard
Replies: 32
Views: 4656

Re: Wiring funds abroad from Vanguard

I never used Vanguard to wire so can't really add my experience with Vanguard per se. I transfer the money to my Charles Schwab account and wired from there to Europe (Switzerland) when we moved there to get setup. Recently I am sending monthly money to the US to Vanguard (via Charles Schwab) and Sc...
by German Expat
Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have experience with au pairs?
Replies: 13
Views: 2551

Re: Anyone have experience with au pairs?

We had 4 Au Pairs and had no major issues. We did change the first Au Pair though because our son was very young at the time and she was a better match for an older child. Was no problem with the agency and we stayed a bit in contact with her and it was the right choice for her and us. It did work o...
by German Expat
Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you store your paper documents?
Replies: 36
Views: 2640

Re: Where do you store your paper documents?

We bought a fire and waterproof safe from Costco a couple years ago and use it for important documents. Rest either scanned or just in a regular (locked) filing cabinet. We also store some cash in it. I do not see it as a deterrent for a thief, this is only for a building fire but also to have a spa...
by German Expat
Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapskate for not flying business class?
Replies: 81
Views: 6089

Re: Cheapskate for not flying business class?

I live in the petro Middle East where there is no personal income tax but we do get free medical, education, etc. Main headache is the ever present spectre of political instability... Frankly, there is enough money available to design a political system that shares better and assures long term stab...
by German Expat
Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapskate for not flying business class?
Replies: 81
Views: 6089

Re: Cheapskate for not flying business class?

Do you mind telling us where you live, at least the general area and how you like it? Sounds like you are somewhere in Asia and the 14 hour flights are back to the US?
by German Expat
Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapskate for not flying business class?
Replies: 81
Views: 6089

Re: Cheapskate for not flying business class?

I would say the answer depends a bit how much of your money this would take out and what else you plan to do with it. Also how often a year do you travel that far? 14 hours is a long time and there is a chance for deep vein thrombosis ('economy class syndrome'). Also it is much more comfortable, the...
by German Expat
Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Best Air Miles Rewards Program
Replies: 29
Views: 3150

Re: The Best Air Miles Rewards Program

Best is to collect points with Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi Thank you Points and Amex Membership Rewards rather then straight inside the airline programs. This gives you more flexibility and the cards (e.g. Chase Saphire Reserve now with 100k sign up bonus) tend to be better. As an example Chase tra...
by German Expat
Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card Airline Miles for infrequent traveler
Replies: 11
Views: 1221

Re: Credit Card Airline Miles for infrequent traveler

Go for cards with points that can be converted to airline or hotel programs. In those you can also get cash value out. e.g. the new Chase Saphire Reserve (did you reach 5/24 recently already?) card offers 100k Chase points which you can e.g. convert to 100k United Miles. It does have a large yearly ...
by German Expat
Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: has anyone leased a luxury/sport car to get it out of their system?
Replies: 44
Views: 3636

Re: has anyone leased a luxury/sport car to get it out of their system?

Lease a sports car and combine it with European Delivery to drive it at least once close to its maximum speed. e.g. a M series BMW, RS Audi, Porsche etc. There used to be excellent lease specials available and combined with European delivery the lease of a M3 would not be that much more then leasing...
by German Expat
Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to play the points in Marriott-Starwood merger
Replies: 23
Views: 2225

Re: Best way to play the points in Marriott-Starwood merger

The best way to spend Marriott points is on vacation packages because you do get miles as well. So for 90k SGP points you could get 7 nights at a cat 1-5 Marriott and up to 132k miles (United, American is 120k miles).

https://www.marriott.com/rewards/usepoints/morepack.mi
by German Expat
Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which city for part time home during retirement?
Replies: 86
Views: 6028

Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Booulder, CO was probably the most liberal town I was ever living at. Also weather is great in the winter, most of the time sun but it is cold. What is your definition of good weather? Warm? I am ok if its cold as long as its sunny, the rest is just a matter of proper clothing but in fairness I do l...
by German Expat
Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Replies: 53
Views: 6628

Re: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Just opened this card for the 50,000 bonus points and have the option of adding wife for another 5,000 points. Planning to close the account after I get the bonus. I HAVE A QUESTION! If I add my wife as an authorized user, then she opens her own card in 6 months for her 50,000 points, will she qual...
by German Expat
Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Efficient way to build credit
Replies: 21
Views: 1001

Re: Efficient way to build credit

Your action of using the credit cards for all purchases and paying them at the end of the month are not good. This will show a high utilization on her cards because the limits are so low. What you should do is that she is an authorized user on your cards and mainly uses them (also I assume you have ...
by German Expat
Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on purchasing a new Honda CRV
Replies: 26
Views: 2544

Re: Advice on purchasing a new Honda CRV

I bought a new Honda CRV almost 3 years ago. Unless I lived in the snow or planned on going up to the snow I wouldn't (and I didn't) buy a 4-wheel drive. And if you are short emergency cash I wouldn't get the higher end. We bought the cheapest CRV and it has been a good vehicle. I did go online to ...
by German Expat
Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calling all real estate gurus [condo rent vs sell]
Replies: 7
Views: 666

Re: Calling all real estate gurus [condo rent vs sell]

Sell, the rent per month is less then 0.5% of the value of the property, your target should be closer to 1%. Not attractive at all. It is even with your low mortgage balance barely cash flow positive and if you consider 1 month out of 12 empty then it changes to negative. Your return on your 213k eq...
by German Expat
Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taking back a mortgage
Replies: 27
Views: 2817

Re: taking back a mortgage

I got a mortgage on my (at the time) L1 Visa very shortly after we arrived in the US. We actually did pick the house before we moved since it was new construction. Moved in about 10 weeks after our arrival (took also about the same time for the furniture to ship). This was in 2001 though so things m...
by German Expat
Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you tip Uber drivers?
Replies: 49
Views: 5660

Re: Do you tip Uber drivers?

I do not tip on either Uber or Lyft and find this one of the bigger advantages of the platform. I also don't see why I should tip a cab driver, the company should pay them a decent wage and yes I know it is a separate discussion. Most people I know do not tip and I don't either and my rating is stil...
by German Expat
Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email compromised: How serious?
Replies: 45
Views: 3665

Re: Email compromised: How serious?

I guess it is not that LinkedIn compromised your e-mail password which LinkedIn would never have known in the first place, right? It is that your e-mail was used to identify you to LinkedIn and your LinkedIn password was compromised? This is what I'm assuming, but it isn't quite clear from the exch...
by German Expat
Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email compromised: How serious?
Replies: 45
Views: 3665

Re: Email compromised: How serious?

Does your email system offer 2 factor authentication? e.g. if you use google mail (gmail) I would strongly recommend you turn it on. I doubt your password was compromised, it might have been just from some other hack. But unrelated to it for email I would always have 2 factor on, see here for gmail:...
by German Expat
Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying Agent works for same company that represents Seller
Replies: 8
Views: 667

Re: Buying Agent works for same company that represents Seller

I had the same setup when we bought our last house. Just happened to work out this way, our buyers agent did not even push the house and it was above the limit we had set. We happened to drive past on the way to a different home and decided to look at it because we liked it from the outside. It did ...
by German Expat
Mon May 23, 2016 5:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?
Replies: 58
Views: 4059

Re: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?

If you pick somebody exclusive make sure you don't get locked in too long. Even with the best interview ahead of time you might not like your agent anymore after they worked with you for a while. Personally I think the 6% realtor model is outdated, they might be worth it for customers that need a lo...
by German Expat
Sun May 22, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?
Replies: 59
Views: 4196

Re: How do I invest in artificial intelligence?

The companies that seem to be ahead of the curve are either pretty big (Google just showed a lot at their IO conference and also developed their own processor) or smaller startups you can't really invest in. Larger companies leading in the field are Google, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, Baidu, Microsoft, A...
by German Expat
Sun May 22, 2016 4:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do Bogleheads TRAVEL?
Replies: 81
Views: 9266

Re: How do Bogleheads TRAVEL?

> How do you book travel: all-inclusive packages or piecemeal? Piecemeal and I keep checking prices. Just got our hotel in China down by 400$ for the stay. > How do you book flights: cheapest available on kayak or with specific airlines based on loyalty/credit card programs? I use kayak to check for...
by German Expat
Wed May 18, 2016 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Side hustle: blog/podcasting
Replies: 12
Views: 1748

Re: Side hustle: blog/podcasting

Biggest money makers currently are credit card referrals. Because of this all the travel blogs are getting worse and worse with hard sells to sign up for credit cards.
by German Expat
Mon May 16, 2016 11:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For those of you in the Accumulation Phase - How often do you check?
Replies: 62
Views: 5618

Re: For those of you in the Accumulation Phase - How often do you check?

I also check my google spreadsheet daily. I do the same for my accounts and credit cards (via yodlee). Its just a habit and I do not react on it but it helped me also understand how swings are going. I do also use the information to decide where to put my after tax contributions. Before tax are on a...
by German Expat
Tue May 10, 2016 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House 'For Sale By Owner' - Can One Do It Alone?
Replies: 26
Views: 3872

Re: House 'For Sale By Owner' - Can One Do It Alone?

We sold our house without a realtor but did use an experienced real estate attorney. She helped quite a lot because the buyer was out of state and had to explain them a couple things. I would spend the money on an attorney to make sure all the paperwork is correct. Also you will need a good closing ...
by German Expat
Tue May 10, 2016 3:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard advisor at 0.03% [actually 0.3%]
Replies: 53
Views: 8675

Re: Vanguard advisor at 0.03%

As an American who happens to live abroad, I had a terrible experience with Vanguard. They were like, oh, you have a passport and live abroad, we don't want your business. It was bizarre. Their fear of me suing them because their advice would cause issues with the Japanese taxes I pay was pathetic....
by German Expat
Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scheduling Flight for Minimal Jet Lag
Replies: 17
Views: 1395

Re: Scheduling Flight for Minimal Jet Lag

1. Get up earlier but not extremely early. You still want to get a decent amount of sleep so you don't have 2 nights with lousy sleep (you won't sleep too much on the plane). Also if I have the time I try to get in a work out before the flight. 2. Eat at the airport before you go on the plane and pi...
by German Expat
Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scheduling Flight for Minimal Jet Lag
Replies: 17
Views: 1395

Re: Scheduling Flight for Minimal Jet Lag

I have a different opinion. I prefer the earlier arrival and just push through the day using coffee and day light. Drawback will be that you might not have a hotel room yet but you can store the luggage at the hotel and take a walk. I would sleep on the flight a bit though (and if needed use a sleep...
by German Expat
Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab for Taxable?
Replies: 9
Views: 632

Re: Schwab for Taxable?

I have both accounts. I like Schwab for their ATM fee reimbursement and also use the ATM card a lot international. No reason not to keep Schwab and open an account at Vanguard. I would not pay 9$ at Schwab to buy a Vanguard fund. But also some Schwab funds have very low expense ratios. Some people o...
by German Expat
Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long can I drive my car that needs repairs?
Replies: 22
Views: 1790

Re: How long can I drive my car that needs repairs?

Was this a Nissan shop? Try to go to some NIssan forums and ask for help there. If you are a bit handy you could do some of the work yourself or find an independent guy you can trust. You can check out rockauto for replacement parts and a bushing costs not much (but would be easier to just replace t...
by German Expat
Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k
Replies: 93
Views: 16968

Re: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k

Does anyone know if legacy money markets will automatically be converted? They only announced a collection of new rates today. But my "360 Savings Account - ING Money Market" is listed as having a .75% APY. Either they're making me jump through hoops or it just hasn't caught up. From the ...
by German Expat
Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k
Replies: 93
Views: 16968

Re: Capital One 360 New Money Market Account, 1% on over 10k

Thanks a lot, took only a couple clicks to open it because I already had an account and transferred the money.
by German Expat
Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Could negative interest rates be the Black Swan?
Replies: 31
Views: 4719

Re: Could negative interest rates be the Black Swan?

I moved to Switzerland 1.5 years ago and we are in negative interest territory here since more then 1 year. Not much happened except the inflow of money slowed down and the currency stopped going up. My sister is in Denmark and not much happening their either. Real estate in Switzerland stopped goin...
by German Expat
Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to move money internationally?
Replies: 24
Views: 2106

Re: Best way to move money internationally?

I used Charles Schwab quite often and did get a good exchange rate. There are wiring fees but it was always for larger sums.
by German Expat
Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are index funds a guaranteed return?
Replies: 42
Views: 3301

Re: Are index funds a guarantee return?

The short answer is no, there is no guarantee and not even in the long run. Example are the Japanese stock market, it is nowhere close to its highs from 1988 / 1989. Also you have to define return, for me a positive return is inflation adjusted so even if you would stuff the money below your mattres...
by German Expat
Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone travel without hacking?
Replies: 103
Views: 13368

Re: Anyone travel without hacking?

I do light credit card hacking, if I see a really good offer with a nice sign up bonus I will sign up for it but I am not doing manufactured spend. I also do get quite a lot of airline miles and hotel points just for business travel. One problem you will face is that airlines change their award char...
by German Expat
Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maxing out then quickly paying off credit cards?
Replies: 18
Views: 1379

Re: Maxing out then quickly paying off credit cards?

Yes you are wrong to understand how it works. It is not a short term snapshot with immediate access to all your credit lines. The credit bureaus get information from your credit card statement so only one time per month. If you run your credit card up to the limit and then pay it before the statemen...
by German Expat
Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maxing out then quickly paying off credit cards?
Replies: 18
Views: 1379

Re: Maxing out then quickly paying off credit cards?

If you are worried you can also run it through your credit card and pay it (or most of it) before the statement closes.
by German Expat
Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you set a limit order when the quote frequently changes?
Replies: 10
Views: 1131

Re: How do you set a limit order when the quote frequently changes?

I place all my orders with a limit but pick a larger spread. e.g. if I buy something I add or subtract 10 cents (most of my orders are in the range of 100 - 200 shares because I am in the accumulation phase). They usually still get filled around the ask, its more for my own protection in case there ...
by German Expat
Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Credit Card For Monster Hotel Bill
Replies: 23
Views: 2741

Re: Best Credit Card For Monster Hotel Bill

Some cards to think about: Chase Sapphire Preferred 2 points per dollar on travel spend. Specific hotel chain cards, e.g. if it is a SPG property then you get at least 3 star points per dollar. Various 2% cash back (or close to cash back like Barclaycard arrivals, Capital One Venture, Fidelity 2%) c...
by German Expat
Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filled up brand new minivan with DIESEL?? We don't think so. Next steps, need input ASAP
Replies: 113
Views: 12374

Re: Filled up brand new minivan with DIESEL?? We don't think so. Next steps, need input ASAP

I had the same issue many years ago (late 90's) in Germany. Drove only for a couple of miles from the gas station when the car stopped. Garage found Diesel mixed in (was easy even for me to smell when they showed it to me). I still did have the receipt and when calling the gas station they declined ...
by German Expat
Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: early retirement, alternative lifestyles, etc, with kids
Replies: 9
Views: 1752

Re: early retirement, alternative lifestyles, etc, with kids

How old are your children? Extensive travel outside school holidays will get harder in the later years of school. We have a now 5th grader and we only took him out of school once for 6 weeks and I can't imagine taking him out long term. Home schooling could be an option though, I personally did not ...
by German Expat
Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help redeeming frequent flyer points for good value?
Replies: 19
Views: 1533

Re: Help redeeming frequent flyer points for good value?

I also recommend going to flyertalk and learn as much as you can. You can also read some of the boardingarea or other blogs how to redeem miles or search for award space on other airlines. Just keep in mind most of those blogs are nowadays pushing credit cards. Here are some American specific things...
by German Expat
Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newspaper for Someone with poor vision
Replies: 11
Views: 884

Re: Newspaper for Someone with poor vision

Another addition to the Kindle Washington Post App. It is quite simple to use, more or less click and swipe, automatically updates. Next article is just swipe to the left and you do have headlines for the sections (e.g. sports, business etc.)
by German Expat
Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newspaper for Someone with poor vision
Replies: 11
Views: 884

Re: Newspaper for Someone with poor vision

I read the Washington Post on a Kindle Fire tablet. There is (maybe was?) a promotion for 6 month free access (if you have Amazon Prime) and afterwards it will cost 3.99 per month. The app is extremely simple and the newspaper automatically refreshes (as long as you are connected via Wifi). The App ...
by German Expat
Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any opinions on a ventless dryer?
Replies: 16
Views: 1523

Re: Any opinions on a ventless dryer?

I am so happy having a vented dryer. How would we ever be able to handle the washing and drying of daily multiple loads for 4 people, some with the habit of many towels, with a slow ventless dryer....You need to be around when drying clothing to protect the house/apartment against a dryer fire, whi...

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