Search found 229 matches

by Van-Guard23
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Active duty family allocation advice please
Replies: 6
Views: 564

Re: Active duty family allocation advice please

Nooblet, First of all, thanks for your service. I am a retired Army officer married to another retired Army officer. There are a lot of knowledgeable and helpful folks on this forum who would come along shortly. By the way, if you haven't checked out Doug Nordman's blog, The Military Guide (https://...
by Van-Guard23
Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else have problems with Fitbit products?
Replies: 19
Views: 922

Re: Anyone else have problems with Fitbit products?

But what would have happened if the devices failed after one year? I'm wondering if the warranty doubling (available with most credit cards) would have also gotten me the replacements. Mud, I am inclined to believe they will offer you a 25% discount good for 30 days, just as they offered me and my ...
by Van-Guard23
Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else have problems with Fitbit products?
Replies: 19
Views: 922

Anyone else have problems with Fitbit products?

My wife has pretty much turned us into a FitBit family...with both of us owning a FitBit Charge HR, as well as son and daughter. Problem is, the Charge HRs we have don’t seem to last all that long. My wife’s original Charge HR’s charging port broke (preventing it from charging) within a year of purc...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?
Replies: 26
Views: 2473

Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

We are still considering other communities but having a new house built to our wishes appeals to us...not to mention possibly younger residents. One of the "complaints" I have read about established 55+ communities is the almost daily presence of ambulances, presumably due to older residents. This ...
by Van-Guard23
Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?
Replies: 26
Views: 2473

Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

(1) With a twelve year community build-out there is lots of risk. Check the contract they'll ask you to sign. You will be promising to commit to a million long-term things and in all odds in return they'll be telling you that they can change the lot sizes, homes, clubhouse or anything else in the c...
by Van-Guard23
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?
Replies: 26
Views: 2473

Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Is this Kissing Tree in San Marcos? I can't answer your questions but that is going to be a beautiful community (I ride my bike near that area) and live in a community that has Brookfield Residential as a builder. Their houses are are very nice. San Marcos is also a pretty neat town in and of itsel...
by Van-Guard23
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?
Replies: 26
Views: 2473

Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

Van-Guard 23, One thing to consider in making such a large investment is in the event you decide this is not the right place for you, all of the concerns you voice now as a buyer will become your obstacles once you are a seller. In addition, a 55+ community restricts your pool of potential buyers a...
by Van-Guard23
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?
Replies: 26
Views: 2473

Re: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

I know this isn't the answer you're looking for, but faced with the same issues, though on a much reduced financial scale, we opted for an established, but extremely well maintained community. Vastly better value. Have been here 24 years with not a moment of regret. Edited to add: HOA fee now $404/...
by Van-Guard23
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?
Replies: 26
Views: 2473

Questions about home purchase in a 55+ community?

My wife and I are in the preliminary process of purchasing a possible "forever home" in a new 55+ active adult community in Central Texas' Hill Country and would like to ask a few questions of those esteemed forum members who may have gone through the process we find ourselves going through. We are ...
by Van-Guard23
Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen knife set. Good quality - Recommendations
Replies: 55
Views: 4895

Re: Kitchen knife set. Good quality - Recommendations

Wusthof Classic. +1. About 4 to 5 years ago, DW and I decided to upgrade our cutlery set to Wusthof Classic knives and we've been quite happy with them...well, more so with me since I do most of the cutting and cooking at home. My wife insisted, however, that in addition to the 7-piece cutlery set ...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Barcelona Hotel Recommendations
Replies: 30
Views: 2387

Re: Barcelona Hotel Recommendations

When my wife and I, with our daughter, visited Barcelona a couple of years ago in December, we decided not to stay around La Ramblas to avoid the noise. We opted instead to stay closer to the La Sagrada Familia neighborhood in a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom place in Hispanos 7 Suiza (considered an apartment...
by Van-Guard23
Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How far off are Zillow's estimates?
Replies: 82
Views: 8420

Re: How far off are Zillow's estimates?

I use Zillow for estimating our house's value as part of our net worth calculations. I would normally compare values on Zillow, Redfin and Realtor.com and while the values on Zillow and Realtor.com are quite close to each other, Redfin's figures are about 9% above the other two. I just use whatever ...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barclays increases interest rate
Replies: 14
Views: 2748

Re: Barclays increases interest rate

student wrote:Barclays has now increased it to 1.2%.
Yeah, just saw an email from Barclays regarding the APY increase to 1.20%, supposedly as of the 25th of July. I wonder how long before Ally and others follow suit.
by Van-Guard23
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assistance with a retiree's (FIL's) portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 829

Re: Assistance with a retiree's portfolio

ralph124cf wrote:With his tax bracket, there is no reason to use a tax exempt fund. The tax savings are not high enough to make the lower return of the tax free fund worthwhile.

Ralph
Thanks Ralph! Venkman made the same point and I am inclined to agree.
by Van-Guard23
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assistance with a retiree's (FIL's) portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 829

Re: Assistance with a retiree's portfolio

We are looking at a fairly conservative portfolio (not concerned about leaving anything to heirs and just want to make sure he has enough to support him), with an AA of 50/50 (equity/fixed income). We would be selling the individual stocks and replacing them with VG mutual funds...ever mindful of I...
by Van-Guard23
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assistance with a retiree's (FIL's) portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 829

Re: Assistance with a retiree's portfolio

When did he move out of the house and turn it into a rental? He moved out of the house in February and rented out the house in late April. I would consider selling the house and investing the funds to take advantage of the capital gain exclusion before it is lost due to rental. That's what I recomm...
by Van-Guard23
Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assistance with a retiree's (FIL's) portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 829

Re: Assistance with a retiree's portfolio

Nate79 wrote:When did he move out of the house and turn it into a rental?
He moved out of the house in February and rented out the house in late April.
by Van-Guard23
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assistance with a retiree's (FIL's) portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 829

Assistance with a retiree's (FIL's) portfolio

I am assisting my wife, a co-trustee of a living trust with my FIL (her father) after her mom passed away, with developing a portfolio for the trust. As a background, FIL is 78 and in relatively poor health. He currently lives with BIL and SIL in Arizona. From his 2016 income tax (was MFJ), he was i...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally raised their savings account rate to 1.15%
Replies: 18
Views: 3451

Re: Ally raised their savings account rate to 1.15%

I have online savings accounts with Ally and Barclays...and Barclays has followed suit raising their online savings account APY to 1.15% as well. Now, if the banks would just start raising APYs for longer term CDs.
by Van-Guard23
Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vue/Sling tv users--what do you miss?
Replies: 43
Views: 3407

Re: Vue/Sling tv users--what do you miss?

We've had SlingTV and digital antenna(s) for a while now and I can't say I miss anything. When I had cable TV, we mainly watched ESPN, CNN, HGTV, History, Travel, AMC, A&E, DIY Network, Food Network, and occasionally Golf, TNT and TBS...come to think of it, since SlingTV doesn't carry the Golf chann...
by Van-Guard23
Wed May 10, 2017 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treatment of inherited stocks from ESPPs
Replies: 2
Views: 300

Re: Treatment of inherited stocks from ESPPs

I don't understand why they would issue a W-2. The discount is taxed as compensation in the year that the purchase is made. After that, any additional profit from the sale is capital gains, and should not generate a W-2--which is for wage income. She should have gotten a 1099-B. That's what I thoug...
by Van-Guard23
Wed May 10, 2017 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treatment of inherited stocks from ESPPs
Replies: 2
Views: 300

Treatment of inherited stocks from ESPPs

My wife became a co-trustee of a Living Trust set up for MIL and FIL when MIL passed away in December. We are in the process of transferring her mom's assets (stocks from former employer as well as individual company stocks which issued paper certificates) from multiple brokerages (beneficiary was n...
by Van-Guard23
Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are my concerns valid about homeowners insurance?
Replies: 16
Views: 2461

Re: Are my concerns valid about homeowners insurance?

Just an update for those who might be able to benefit from additional information regarding this matter. After trying to speak with the local JAG officer (military lawyers) here in Hawaii, they deferred to lawyers in AZ for answers to our questions about additional liability stemming from my wife's ...
by Van-Guard23
Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:35 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Hawaii Bogleheads, where are you?
Replies: 26
Views: 3390

Re: Hawaii Bogleheads, where are you?

Just to update, based on responses to this thread, I count the following BHs on Oahu: bgrpph (Hawaii Kai) Cunobelinus (Kailua) Nords (Mililani) *novicemoney (Salt Lake) *t3ztam3nt (Mililani) Van-Guard23 (Ocean Pointe) 808surfboy (HNL) brother7 (HNL) *AgentHoopla (HNL) *mikesaurus (Kaneohe) * denotes...
by Van-Guard23
Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA and Haven Life (Mass Mutual) Life Insurance Quotes
Replies: 12
Views: 1904

Re: USAA and Haven Life (Mass Mutual) Life Insurance Quotes

Just updating everyone here.... USAA came back with double the quote for my 30 year 500k policy. They said that my asthma pushed me into the $79/month range. I was provided no opportunity to clarify that my condition has been under control since 10th grade and this was allergy related. Haven Life s...
by Van-Guard23
Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:23 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Hawaii Bogleheads, where are you?
Replies: 26
Views: 3390

Re: Hawaii Bogleheads, where are you?

OK...so far, I count the following BHs on Oahu: bgrpph (Hawaii Kai) Cunobelinus (Kailua) Nords (Mililani) novicemoney (Salt Lake) t3ztam3nt (Mililani) Van-Guard23 (Ocean Pointe) 808surfboy (HNL) brother7 (HNL) If everyone is interested in meeting and forming a local BH chapter, I would be more than ...
by Van-Guard23
Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are my concerns valid about homeowners insurance?
Replies: 16
Views: 2461

Re: Are my concerns valid about homeowners insurance?

What about personal liability insurance. Assuming you have that already, would it already (and if not could it be extended to) include this property and could the limits be increased to a level where you feel adequately covered for all likely risks? We do have an umbrella insurance policy (indirect...
by Van-Guard23
Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are my concerns valid about homeowners insurance?
Replies: 16
Views: 2461

Re: Are my concerns valid about homeowners insurance?

Iridium, Thanks for your feedback...I don't know if I would be able to answer all the follow-up questions you posed as I wouldn't be able to contact USAA until Monday to discuss this arrangement as well as how it may impact our own insurance policies, if it does at all.With the trust as the insured,...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are my concerns valid about homeowners insurance?
Replies: 16
Views: 2461

Re: Are my concerns valid about homeowners insurance?

dbr and littlebird,
I am hoping someone could shed some light on this and assuage my concerns about the whole arrangement...but as you both wrote, there's just something unsettling about an unknown that could potentially be problematic.

VG23
by Van-Guard23
Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are my concerns valid about homeowners insurance?
Replies: 16
Views: 2461

Are my concerns valid about homeowners insurance?

My wife was named a co-trustee with her father of a house in a 55+ active adult community in AZ (and other assets that are part of a living trust) after her mother passed away last December and with her dad's ongoing issues with dementia. The house, which is currently being prepared for rental, need...
by Van-Guard23
Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:29 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Hawaii Bogleheads, where are you?
Replies: 26
Views: 3390

Re: Hawaii Bogleheads, where are you?

Nords and I are both on Oahu...I think he told me he previously tried to start a BH chapter here but there wasn't enough interest in it. I can't recall how long ago that was though.
by Van-Guard23
Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: instant xray at Morningstar
Replies: 18
Views: 1727

Re: instant xray at Morningstar

My local library has a M* account and I just log on to M* using my library card number and get full access. Try that.
by Van-Guard23
Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Italy - 3 weeks in 2017, advice appreciated
Replies: 124
Views: 11724

Re: Traveling to Italy - 3 weeks in 2017, advice appreciated

I am looking at the options of booking a few tours. Family of 4, two kids 12 and 14. Looking for advice on tours that you really liked while in the following places: Venice: 3 nights - probably no tours, just get acclimated Florence: 4 days - bike tour? trip to Siena? Lucca: 2 nights - no tours, bi...
by Van-Guard23
Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:42 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Sad News About a Respected Forum Member
Replies: 118
Views: 22256

Re: Sad News About a Respected Forum Member

I, personally, have been a recipient of Ole Meph's sage advice when it comes to all things related to insurance...not just from his well thought out posts but through PMs. His vast experience and expertise in the insurance industry were exceeded only by his generosity in sharing his knowledge and ti...
by Van-Guard23
Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any reason to delay using Turbotax to file taxes?
Replies: 13
Views: 2014

Re: Any reason to delay using Turbotax to file taxes?

If you are military, have you tried using H&R Block software for free via militaryonesource.com? I've been doing my taxes through H&R Block software for free from militaryonesource for a few years now...then sometimes take it to the VITA tax volunteers on post for a second set of eyes. Invar...
by Van-Guard23
Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 100% Stock Portfolio? - 20s Military Investor
Replies: 13
Views: 1902

Re: 100% Stock Portfolio? - 20s Military Investor

Link948, First of all, thank you for your service. Congratulations on being ahead of your peers with regards to financial planning...I imagine most of them are more focused on partying than financial management. I know I was when I was a 2LT. Both my wife and I are now financially independent retire...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vietnam
Replies: 31
Views: 3324

Re: Vietnam

Visited Vietnam back in 2009 with wife and daughter. We spent just over a week there and went to Saigon/HCMC, Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. Ha Long Bay was by far the highlight of our trip and well worth visiting. We went on an overnight cruise aboard a luxurious junk boat and our Vietnam vacation remains ...
by Van-Guard23
Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I want to ditch the cable company's modem
Replies: 51
Views: 4534

Re: I want to ditch the cable company's modem

I replaced my modem a while ago. I don't know if your ISP is similar to mine but mine had a list of modems that would work on their network. You might want to check your ISP's website to verify the modem you are considering is on their "preferred" list of modems before purchasing one.
by Van-Guard23
Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Modest Inherited IRA - cash out or keep as Inherited IRA?
Replies: 5
Views: 1043

Re: Modest Inherited IRA - cash out or keep as Inherited IRA?

Would the IRA distribution plus any dividends and cap gains be large enough to make any of his SS taxable? No, it shouldn't...again, we are talking about minimal amounts If not, moving the IRA and keeping up with RMDs seems like a lot work relative to any potential benefit you FIL would get out of ...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Modest Inherited IRA - cash out or keep as Inherited IRA?
Replies: 5
Views: 1043

Modest Inherited IRA - cash out or keep as Inherited IRA?

I have previously posted about my MIL's death prior to Christmas and how she left my FIL, who has dementia and is 76 years old in poor health, with a modest taxable account in the low six-figures (which sadly has to go through probate since she didn't designate any beneficiaries) and an IRA (in an a...
by Van-Guard23
Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank with EWPs on CDs significantly higher than the paid interests/dividends?
Replies: 31
Views: 2281

Re: Bank with EWPs on CDs significantly higher than the paid interests/dividends?

Should be the last update. Wife went to the bank this morning to break the CD and transfer funds to FIL's checking and was not charged any EWP at all. She spoke to the bank manager who attributed the "mistake" to a new employee who needed additional training. Of course the bank manager did...
by Van-Guard23
Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card
Replies: 253
Views: 44204

Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Finally! Been keeping track of this for a while and it is finally available in Hawaii. Should get mine in a few days.
by Van-Guard23
Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank with EWPs on CDs significantly higher than the paid interests/dividends?
Replies: 31
Views: 2281

Re: Bank with EWPs on CDs significantly higher than the paid interests/dividends?

OP here. Just an update, my wife was re-looking my in-laws' pile of old paperwork and just happened upon the original Deposit Account Disclosure for the Flexible CD from back in April 2005 (so I would imagine the CD was "automatically" renewed probably 7 or 8 times since it was opened). Lo...
by Van-Guard23
Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Banking ATM card with no international ATM fees and foreign exchange fees
Replies: 15
Views: 1749

Re: Banking ATM card with no international ATM fees and foreign exchange fees

I use Schwab's High Yield Investor Checking Account for my international travels. It is linked to a Schwab brokerage account but you don't have to fund it. No ATM fees worldwide (reimbursed), no minimums, no maintenance fees and have used it all throughout Europe and Asia with no issues. It even ear...
by Van-Guard23
Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I use Effective or Marginal Tax Rate to Decide on tIRA vs Roth?
Replies: 26
Views: 2329

Re: Do I use Effective or Marginal Tax Rate to Decide on tIRA vs Roth?

DH maxed out the Roth TSP (deployment is tax free so I've just kept his in the Roth) Sophia, In case you didn't know, and if your DH is still deployed in a combat zone, higher TSP contribution limits apply, to the tune of $54k per calendar year for 2017! When my wife and I were both deployed to Afg...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about probate and tax returns after MIL's passing
Replies: 15
Views: 1880

Re: Questions about probate and tax returns after MIL's passing

Sorry for your loss. I have been through and are wrapping up the process of wrapping up my father's estate/ estate income tax return. I know you said it- definitely make sure you get a good CPA, and consult with a reputable attorney as well.When my father passed the life insurance policy granted us...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank with EWPs on CDs significantly higher than the paid interests/dividends?
Replies: 31
Views: 2281

Re: Bank with EWPs on CDs significantly higher than the paid interests/dividends?

I would first investigate the effect of one of the owners dying on the withdrawal penalty. If there is no way around this, I would either take the financial hit if they really need the money now, or I would hold the CD until maturity, and in either case then never darken the door of that bank again...
by Van-Guard23
Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank with EWPs on CDs significantly higher than the paid interests/dividends?
Replies: 31
Views: 2281

Re: Bank with EWPs on CDs significantly higher than the paid interests/dividends?

Unfortunately, according to a bankrate article, high EWP's are a new phenomenon. The article cites several banks paying low interest rates, 0.15% to 0.25%, but with EWP's of 2.5%. One bank even charged 4% of the withdrawn amount if you took a partial withdrawal. m Thanks for the link to the article...
by Van-Guard23
Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about probate and tax returns after MIL's passing
Replies: 15
Views: 1880

Re: Questions about probate and tax returns after MIL's passing

Just an update. After my wife's meeting with the estate lawyer, she was named a co-trustee of the living trust with her father (my FIL)...for an additional $850! When she inquired about the pour-over will and any expectations of that will transferring assets into the living trust upon my MIL's death...
by Van-Guard23
Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank with EWPs on CDs significantly higher than the paid interests/dividends?
Replies: 31
Views: 2281

Re: Bank with EWPs on CDs significantly higher than the paid interests/dividends?

This doesn't make sense. One would think that the maximum EWP would be 18 months of interest, the full term of the CD. I've never seen an EWP that was greater than the earnings potential of the CD. I would ask the bank exactly how they are calculating the EWP and also about the withdrawal on death ...