Search found 470 matches

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: 1112

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: 1112

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: 876

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: 2419

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: 112
Views: 10164

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: 1547

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: 1175

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: 703

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: 703

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: 1068

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...
by German Expat
Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any opinions on a ventless dryer?
Replies: 16
Views: 1068

Re: Any opinions on a ventless dryer?

I am currently in Switzerland and the dryer we have is ventless. Works well with no problems, only additional thing is you need to clean the lint filters (main one after each use, the secondary one once in a while). Never had one in the US so can't answer about brands. I used to have a Miele ventles...
by German Expat
Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ATM use in Europe
Replies: 31
Views: 1728

Re: ATM use in Europe

Schwab still works very well. I would just use the ATM's at the banks (usually its 24 hour access to the ATM area) in the German cities. There are banks all over the place. I would also get a 2nd option to avoid problems. e.g. I had issues in Japan 3 years ago and had to use my Chase debit card (ins...
by German Expat
Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which Fidelity funds own start ups?
Replies: 2
Views: 402

Re: Which Fidelity funds own start ups?

Just saw another article on Reuters about 2 Fidelity funds owning snapchat:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/ ... m3EYEEt.97
by German Expat
Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which Fidelity funds own start ups?
Replies: 2
Views: 402

Re: Which Fidelity funds own start ups?

Based on this article below seems to be Contrafund is one of them. http://www.wsj.com/articles/mutual-funds-flail-at-valuing-hot-startups-like-uber-1446174018 Also interesting how they then value them (from the article) and the differences between the companies since there is no easy way to establis...
by German Expat
Sat Nov 07, 2015 4:54 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: [Looking for Bogleheads in] Switzerland
Replies: 4
Views: 893

Re: Switzerland

I am in the Zurich area. Don't know of any group myself but let me know if you find any.
by German Expat
Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: % Net Worth Change Since New Year's 2015
Replies: 95
Views: 8629

Re: % Net Worth Change Since New Year's 2015

Up 9.3% but mainly through accumulation (and a small profit on a condo we sold) on a low 7 digit portfolio.
by German Expat
Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family of 5 with 3 kids under 5...3% SWR?
Replies: 58
Views: 3422

Re: Family of 5 with 3 kids under 5...3% SWR?

I would also look into the Mr. Money Mustache blog. Its a bit different since he is tackling the spending side rather then the investment side and he is a bit on the extreme end. But it gives an idea what you really need to spend. In your age future spending will make at least as big a difference as...
by German Expat
Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kindle Unlimited
Replies: 10
Views: 864

Re: Kindle Unlimited

The books will stay until the next payment cycle.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/ ... =201588170

Not sure what they do if you never go online, maybe they do expire and need a regular connection (the prime videos do after a while).
by German Expat
Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my husband become a US citizen?
Replies: 102
Views: 7306

Re: Should my husband become a US citizen?

I made the decision a couple years ago and applied for US citizenship but also kept my German citizenship (the application being able to keep it was way more complicated then applying and getting US citizenship). My wife is US citizen and our son is too. At the time we had no plans to leave the US a...
by German Expat
Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I walk away? (In escrow)
Replies: 23
Views: 2630

Re: Should I walk away? (In escrow)

If its only 5.5 estimated repair costs then the issues can't be that big or your estimations are way off. How did you end up with this amount? How many tiles are cracked and why? If its just a couple its an easy fix and you can just silicone them. Any water intrusion because of it? Termites one spot...
by German Expat
Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Inexpensive idea(s) for organization contact phone number?
Replies: 8
Views: 380

Re: Inexpensive idea(s) for organization contact phone number?

Another vote for Google voice, you can forward the number to any other number and it will receive voice mails. Only drawback is that you will have to sign up for a google account and then trust the people that know the password. Never looked into a business account what it exactly offers. Google for...
by German Expat
Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: relocating to boulder, CO from NYC suburb
Replies: 27
Views: 2428

Re: relocating to boulder, CO from NYC suburb

Moved away from Lafayette (near Boulder) a little more then 1 year ago and we sometimes still miss it. Most has been said already, one of the questions you will need to answer is if you want to move into the city or go to Louisville / Lafayette etc. Boulder has a very limited housing stock available...
by German Expat
Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Affordable tablet for watching downloaded movies
Replies: 19
Views: 2062

Re: Affordable tablet for watching downloaded movies

I have a Kindle Fire HDX 3rd gen 64GB and bought it almost 2 years ago. Still works well and use it mainly to read newspapers (Washington Post), surf the web and watch movies. We have Amazon Prime and Netflix and I watch both of the Fire. For book reading I still prefer the Paperwhite. I have a firs...
by German Expat
Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Affordable tablet for watching downloaded movies
Replies: 19
Views: 2062

Re: Affordable tablet for watching downloaded movies

Amazon Fire, I like mine, the user interface is a bit 'different' but works well for my purposes. Movie download is good but keep in mind if you want a lot of movies or tv shows you will need quite a lot of storage on the device. I would also go for lower quality. Do keep in mind though that the pri...
by German Expat
Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Formal Dinnerware
Replies: 76
Views: 4350

Re: Formal Dinnerware

I have a bit of a different opinion. I never liked my mothers fine China sets that were only unpacked a couple times a year for visitors. So we decided to buy something timeless we really like and just buy enough of them, e.g. we now have probably 25 small plates and close to 20 dinner plates. We us...
by German Expat
Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your best time-savers?
Replies: 108
Views: 12510

Re: What are your best time-savers?

We have only 1 child but are (still are a bit) in the same boat you are with both of us having demanding jobs. On top of it I used to travel a lot. The good news is that things will get easier. Our son is now 10 and things are much easier, e.g. mornings is a 30 minute event and only thing he needs n...
by German Expat
Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Applecare+ for new iPhone?
Replies: 22
Views: 2326

Re: Applecare+ for new iPhone?

I always self insure for anything I can afford to just rebuy it I damage it. All those protection plans have a large margin built in, sure there will be plenty of people who tell you how they came out ahead but the (usually silent) majority does not. The companies are in the business of making money...
by German Expat
Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best current ATM card for low fees in Europe??
Replies: 13
Views: 1212

Re: Best current ATM card for low fees in Europe??

I use Schwab for ATM and have several credit cards with no foreign transaction fee (Capital One and some of my Chase). Credit cards are taken in most European countries it is not as common to pay for smaller amounts with credit cards. Also in some instances you might need a chip and pin card (e.g. t...
by German Expat
Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just sharing my journey with credit cards
Replies: 3
Views: 1124

Re: Just sharing my journey with credit cards

This is the wrong forum here, better to head over to flyertalk. Make sure you understand why the credit card companies are giving away the big sign up bonus. They look for people who do not pay their balance back in full every month. Also free is a bit borderline, you will have to pay some taxes and...
by German Expat
Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How many years of tax loss carry forward do you keep?
Replies: 2
Views: 514

How many years of tax loss carry forward do you keep?

After 2015 we still have approx. 9k of tax loss carry forward left to offset ordinary income. We are still in the accumulation phase for a couple more years (at least 5 most probably more like 10-15). I have a chance now to tax loss harvest another 12k but won't be able to use them the next couple y...
by German Expat
Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fractional Ownership [Property]
Replies: 24
Views: 1924

Re: Fractional Ownership [Property]

I have friends who bought a similar condo in Colorado (part of a 5 star hotel), pricing looked about the same, their yearly fee is even higher. Really nice place and they do enjoy it when they can go. But situations change, they moved from Colorado back to the East Coast and now go maybe twice a yea...
by German Expat
Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When do you notice the compounding at work?
Replies: 52
Views: 7582

Re: When do you notice the compounding at work?

I don't think the OP is really asking about compounding. He is probably more worried about the changes in his already invested balance and their influence vs just saving more. I felt that the changes in my invested balance (going up or down) started to really make an impression on me when my investe...
by German Expat
Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen/expat living in Belgium - investment advice
Replies: 18
Views: 1645

Re: US citizen/expat living in Belgium - investment advice

The 100 Euro arrived yesterday (August 6th 2015) at Schwab and the amount credited is 108.68. Oanda shows 108.763 for average exchange rate for yesterday with a minimum of 108.470 and a maximum of 109.282
Forgot to add the 100 Euro left my German account on the 5th.
by German Expat
Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen/expat living in Belgium - investment advice
Replies: 18
Views: 1645

Re: US citizen/expat living in Belgium - investment advice

Seems like they have a 'Global' account and an 'international account'. Which one do you have? I asked them for wire instructions (just for my information) and they gave me a SWIFT code for Citibank in London. Neither, I have a normal US account. I sent the money to Citibank in Germany (or for Swis...
by German Expat
Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen/expat living in Belgium - investment advice
Replies: 18
Views: 1645

Re: US citizen/expat living in Belgium - investment advice

I sent 100 Euro to my Schwab account in the US via Citibank Germany (their transfer bank account in Euro is there). It will be sent tomorrow and should arrive before the weekend. I will report back what rate I got.
by German Expat
Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen/expat living in Belgium - investment advice
Replies: 18
Views: 1645

Re: US citizen/expat living in Belgium - investment advice

Are you sure the regular Schwab transfer with their exchange rate is not cheaper? If you can wait I can send 100 euro this week as a test and let you know what exchange rate I get. From Switzerland it is less then 1% for sure and they give you a good rate. Just let me know if you want me to test it ...
by German Expat
Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen/expat living in Belgium - investment advice
Replies: 18
Views: 1645

Re: US citizen/expat living in Belgium - investment advice

Schwab's Euro rates were quiet good since they have an account inside Europe where you just send the money to via a SEPA transfer. I sent some a while ago but forgot what exchange rate I did get. I wired 3000 CHF on July 31st and got $3,114.78. On June 30th I got $3,180.43. Comparing on Oando for th...
by German Expat
Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: So you think 2-factor authentication is safe? Think again.
Replies: 14
Views: 2971

Re: So you think 2-factor authentication is safe? Think again.

It is still safer then other alternatives. Even if you use a hard to guess password the average user can still too easily be tricked by good phising attacks. Just saw this a while ago at work with very well made google attacks where google actually hosted the documents (in google apps) and the login...
by German Expat
Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PenFed 5/5 ARM closing costs of $3900?
Replies: 10
Views: 1267

Re: PenFed 5/5 ARM closing costs of $3900?

First the 2150 are not closing costs, those are just your taxes / insurance. Same for interest. But the rest is closing costs and as somebody else stated already that Penfed does not cover the closing costs anymore (they used to). This should have been clear during the application process and now it...
by German Expat
Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm a spender?
Replies: 44
Views: 6138

Re: I'm a spender?

Since you are a physician you probably know that the type of shopping you describe releases endorphins and dopamine so it makes you happy on the short term. After a bit more time regrets will set in. My rule is pretty simple, anything below a certain amount I will just buy, anything larger I would m...
by German Expat
Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advisors
Replies: 12
Views: 1244

Re: Advisors

When we moved to the US in 2001 I used somebody to do our taxes (CPA, friend), learned to do it myself and kept doing it until we moved to Switzerland last year. Now using KPMG for taxes until we return to the US.
Also used an attorney for our will a couple years ago.
by German Expat
Sun Jun 28, 2015 5:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Under the sink reverse osmosis water filter recommendations?
Replies: 20
Views: 2461

Re: Under the sink reverse osmosis water filter recommendations?

Just curious what the opinions are of reverse osmosis vs a regular water filter under the sink (or in the fridge). I know arsenic is one of the contaminants that can be an issue. But even with reverse osmosis you can't remove all contaminants, e.g. some pesticides will still stay. The biggest issue...
by German Expat
Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Under the sink reverse osmosis water filter recommendations?
Replies: 20
Views: 2461

Re: Under the sink reverse osmosis water filter recommendations?

Just curious what the opinions are of reverse osmosis vs a regular water filter under the sink (or in the fridge). I know arsenic is one of the contaminants that can be an issue. But even with reverse osmosis you can't remove all contaminants, e.g. some pesticides will still stay. The biggest issues...
by German Expat
Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: diesel luxury cars - any owners?
Replies: 11
Views: 1940

Re: diesel luxury cars - any owners?

After I moved to Switzerland I got a 525 BMW diesel (2 liter, 240hp). I like it quite a lot, drives well and got plenty of torque. I had a 535 in the US before (both cars all wheel drive) and I don't feel a real difference in daily driving. The biggest advantage is that I don't need to get gas as of...
by German Expat
Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest for a house downpayment in 10+ years?
Replies: 17
Views: 2220

Re: How to invest for a house downpayment in 10+ years?

We sold our house and are renting at the moment but will eventually buy again (horizon is 5 years or longer). We are just staying with our normal asset mix and let it ride out. We have a 9 month emergency fund and just accept the risk for the higher return. It is not like we must buy in 5 years so i...
by German Expat
Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do your children cost per month?
Replies: 83
Views: 7544

Re: How much do your children cost per month?

It really depends how you count it and if you also add in opportunity costs, e.g. my wife only worked part time for 2 years. Currently our expenses are very high because of private school and also part time Nanny. Per month for 1 child: 2800 private school 1200 part time Nanny (including taxes etc.)...
by German Expat
Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your Home Equity / Net Worth Ratio?
Replies: 119
Views: 8698

Re: Your Home Equity / Net Worth Ratio?

Used to have 2 properties, sold the house last year, the Condo is now under contract. We did move to Switzerland. Used to be 25% before we moved, then went down to 8%. So the answers are now: 1. 0% 2. no At my peak home equity (when buying the first house in Germany) many years ago the answer to 1. ...
by German Expat
Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your opinion on realistic income to live in a $1 million home?
Replies: 144
Views: 13684

Re: Your opinion on realistic income to live in a $1 million home?

We had a house with 5500 sqft and sold it last year when we moved to Switzerland. We did really like the house and still miss it but as others have said it costs a lot more money to maintain and a lot of the space was never or not much used. Taxes were 8k, insurance was close to 2k and we got it cle...
by German Expat
Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to furnish a new residence, completely from scratch
Replies: 35
Views: 3540

Re: How to furnish a new residence, completely from scratch

Had to do this for a Condo a while ago and used Ikea for all furniture except the mattress. I did buy a mattress at Costco (memory foam) and just used a SUV to drive it back and slept on it. Had 1 bar chair for the kitchen counter that I used until the table arrived. This was a 2nd home though just ...
by German Expat
Mon May 18, 2015 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Huge Problem With First Home
Replies: 28
Views: 5514

Re: Huge Problem With First Home

When we bought our last house in 2007 (sold again now) the realtor specifically told us to get a separate stucco inspection done by a specialist rather then the general inspection. This was a very long (probably 30 pages) report focusing on the Stucco and the realtor told us that there were plenty o...

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