Search found 370 matches

by amarone
Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Missed Payment Impact on Credit Score
Replies: 12
Views: 1039

Re: Missed Payment Impact on Credit Score

From my experience a missed payment is a big deal, score went from around 780-800 to 730-740 overnight! :annoyed So once upon a time I fell for the "10% off if you get our card today!" offer at a prominent department store. I saved $150 so I thought it was worth it. Paid the full balance ...
by amarone
Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ameriprise - Transition to Vanguard
Replies: 12
Views: 963

Re: Ameriprise - Transition to Vanguard

No need to repeat the excellent advice you have already got, but will hone in on one aspect: Hines Global REIT. I helped someone escape from Ameriprise and was shocked to discover that they put 25% of her money into two unlisted REITs (one was Hines REIT - a different fund from the Global REIT). The...
by amarone
Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop - Touch Screen?
Replies: 22
Views: 1522

Re: Laptop - Touch Screen?

I am embarrassed to admit that I recently bought a laptop (Asus Zenbook) without realizing it would have a touch screen. I thought I would not use it, but have ended up liking it. If I am doing serious work, or plenty of typing, I am plugged into a docking station with real keyboard, monitor and mou...
by amarone
Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?
Replies: 101
Views: 4155

Re: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?

Used downloaded version of Turbotax. e-filed Federal (IRS said my return was incorrect by $1.25 as Turbotax rounded my estimated tax payments - yes, I paid estimated taxes not in whole dollars; I will not do that again). I would have mailed my state tax returns anyway rather than pay the extra fee t...
by amarone
Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me pick a tax software [Form 8938 - Specified Foreign Financial Assets]
Replies: 12
Views: 1371

Re: Help me pick a tax software [Form 8938 - Specified Foreign Financial Assets]

I have five foreign accounts and TurboTax Deluxe handled Form 8938 with no problem and I e-filed.
by amarone
Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Has anyone funded a Vanguard IRA by transfer from Mutual Fund account?
Replies: 8
Views: 477

Re: Has anyone funded a Vanguard IRA by transfer from Mutual Fund account?

This gets weirder all the time. I just noticed that the transaction I did a week ago for my wife did not complete successfully, so I was mistaken about that. The fund in the Mutual Fund account was sold, and now sits in the PMM fund in that account. It did not make it to the IRA. In my previous effo...
by amarone
Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Has anyone funded a Vanguard IRA by transfer from Mutual Fund account?
Replies: 8
Views: 477

Re: Has anyone funded a Vanguard IRA by transfer from Mutual Fund account?

I have funded IRA contributions from a taxable vanguard mutual fund account in the past and was able to specify dollars. Be aware that you're actually selling shares of the fund that you're exchanging from so there will be capital gains tax issues unless you're exchanging from a Money Market Fund. ...
by amarone
Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Has anyone funded a Vanguard IRA by transfer from Mutual Fund account?
Replies: 8
Views: 477

Re: Has anyone funded a Vanguard IRA by transfer from Mutual Fund account?

I have funded IRA contributions from a taxable vanguard mutual fund account in the past and was able to specify dollars. Be aware that you're actually selling shares of the fund that you're exchanging from so there will be capital gains tax issues unless you're exchanging from a Money Market Fund. ...
by amarone
Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Has anyone funded a Vanguard IRA by transfer from Mutual Fund account?
Replies: 8
Views: 477

Has anyone funded a Vanguard IRA by transfer from Mutual Fund account?

A week or two ago I funded my wife's tIRA by exchange from her Vanguard mutual fund account into her Vanguard tIRA. This worked ok apart from the issue that I had to enter a number of shares to exchange (i.e. sell), and I could not calculate exactly what would be needed to get $6,500. So I went a li...
by amarone
Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast negotiations
Replies: 19
Views: 2145

Re: Comcast negotiations

Would you be happy with the $120 rate? Take the triple play and just do not use the phone number. Do not port your current phone to them. You get the $120 triple play and a phone number you do not use. That doesn't seem like a great solution. At the end of the year they probably get raised to $200 ...
by amarone
Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What insurance/warranty products do you consider a waste of money?
Replies: 64
Views: 4504

Re: What insurance/warranty products do you consider a waste of money?

betterfinances, Am I correct to assume that you do not carry umbrella insurance? I do not believe that insurance company will sell you umbrella insurance if you do not carry comprehensive car insurance. I don't think that is correct. They will require you to have a high level of liability/property ...
by amarone
Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Blue raised my interest rate to 29.5%?!
Replies: 19
Views: 2496

Re: Amex Blue raised my interest rate to 29.5%?!

Another user of the original Blue Cash here. I got $1,550 cash back in 2015 and $1,650 in 2014.
by amarone
Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Blue raised my interest rate to 29.5%?!
Replies: 19
Views: 2496

Re: Amex Blue raised my interest rate to 29.5%?!

Are you sure you read the letter correctly? I received a letter that sounds like yours and it said that IF I did something such as fail to make a payment, then the penalty rate they may apply has been increased to 29.49%
by amarone
Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Banned from Home Depot Returns
Replies: 100
Views: 16935

Re: Banned from Home Depot Returns

Something is strange about this scenario. The key here is that the purchase was made using a gift card. It seems that HD treats receipted returns of items purchased with gift cards the same as no-receipt returns. I think this is an HD specific twist in how they implemented their TRE verification sy...
by amarone
Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Banned from Home Depot Returns
Replies: 100
Views: 16935

Re: Banned from Home Depot Returns

Anyone have any experience with this? Super disappointed in Home Depot, and very confused. This happens when you return without a receipt and want a gift card - they take your info and when it hits a certain threshold, you can no longer return for a period of time. I purchase something from Home De...
by amarone
Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Banned from Home Depot Returns
Replies: 100
Views: 16935

Re: Banned from Home Depot Returns

I am retired now, but my previous company developed a refund management product (not the one used by Home Depot). Returns are a huge deal for retailers. About 10% of them are fraudulent. Here is how our system worked, which answers/confirms some of the comments in this thread: I understand the valu...
by amarone
Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Banned from Home Depot Returns
Replies: 100
Views: 16935

Re: Banned from Home Depot Returns

I am retired now, but my previous company developed a refund management product (not the one used by Home Depot). Returns are a huge deal for retailers. About 10% of them are fraudulent. Here is how our system worked, which answers/confirms some of the comments in this thread: Details of the existin...
by amarone
Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a house with pool & What to look for?
Replies: 20
Views: 1684

Re: Buy a house with pool & What to look for?

I have an inground pool, and do the maintenance my self. Noway, nohow do I spend anywhere near what amarone mentions, but he/she is using a pool service. I spend no more than $300 a year on chemicals and the occasional water topping off. I replaced the pump a few years ago, and I think that was $20...
by amarone
Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi Thermostat??
Replies: 39
Views: 4729

Re: Wifi Thermostat??

I bought a couple of Honeywells 2 - 3 years ago and have been happy with them. However, if I were starting now I would not look at thermostats in isolation. I would determine the best home automation system or standard and then choose thermostats compatible with that.
by amarone
Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home WiFi extender
Replies: 20
Views: 1487

Re: Home WiFi extender

Wifi extender aka repeater aka booster do work, but they are not the best solution if you want high performance wifi. I would only use an extender if there was no other workable solution. What an extender does is connect to the wifi router as a single wifi client and rebroadcast the signal. Because...
by amarone
Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime: doing the math...is it worth it?
Replies: 92
Views: 8474

Re: Amazon Prime: doing the math...is it worth it?

It is difficult to work out the benefit in pure dollars (doing the math). We get a free Kindle book per month. Value $60 (only otherwise cheap books are available). Free shipping - as others have said, we could mostly get free shipping simply by choosing the slower option that is free to non-Prime m...
by amarone
Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a house with pool & What to look for?
Replies: 20
Views: 1684

Re: Buy a house with pool & What to look for?

We bought a house with a pool almost exactly 3 years ago. It had been neglected somewhat and I don't think we have reached "steady state" costs yet, but we have spent $17,000 in 3 years, excluding the additional electricity for pumps (it is not heated) and water bills. They probably boost ...
by amarone
Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car
Replies: 68
Views: 3960

Re: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car

As far as the insurance issue mentioned above, in MY STATE (it varies) if you have a policy it automatically covers any new vehicle you acquire for up to 30 days with the same coverage as your other highest level insured vehicle. Your old insurance card is just fine. It also varies by dealer policy...
by amarone
Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car
Replies: 68
Views: 3960

Re: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car

I would be shocked if a reputable dealer would accept actual cash that large. Most wouldn't. Is that something you know or are assuming? A dealer would have to report any payment of $10k or more to the IRS, but the IRS says: auto dealerships frequently receive cash in excess of $10,000 and are requ...
by amarone
Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car
Replies: 68
Views: 3960

Re: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car

Like others, I pay with a personal check. However, last year the dealer refused to accept my check - I was using a check that draws on one of my Vanguard funds. It was the first check I was writing against that fund. The dealership refused it, citing a rule the owner put in place that they will not ...
by amarone
Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on groceries?
Replies: 109
Views: 7992

Re: How much do you spend on groceries?

To all the Bogleheads here and the philosophy of index funds and the low costs of such. When you see the large amount that some people spend on groceries you have to wonder how that fits in with the philosophy. Saving percentages per year on index funds verses other funds is contraindicated by the ...
by amarone
Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on groceries?
Replies: 109
Views: 7992

Re: How much do you spend on groceries?

According to Quicken, $875/month for 2 adults and one teenager. That is Supermarket spending, so will also include non-food items such as cleaning and paper goods, beer, shampoo/soap/toothpaste/deodorant etc.. It excludes eating out.
by amarone
Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me
Replies: 53
Views: 5060

Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

I am wanting an XPS 13, but its support for Windows 10 was delayed compared to most other models, so I waited. Now it is available with Windows 10 but many recent reviews have reported issues with the Windows 10 support, so I will continue to wait until it stabilizes.
by amarone
Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Realtor Negotiating Advice
Replies: 44
Views: 4281

Re: Realtor Negotiating Advice

I used to be a Realtor. I never negotiated my fees. But I think my reasons were sound. First, I would take into account the value of the home and time I thought it would take to sell to determine the commission I would charge. In your 5.5% example, 1/2 that goes to the buyer's agent, leave 2.75%. R...
by amarone
Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Subarus reliable?
Replies: 81
Views: 6136

Re: Are Subarus reliable?

So those of you with late model Subarus......I'm curious, do you have manual transmissions or CVT (Continuously variable transmission)? I've never driven a CVT car but I know most of the import manufacturers are phasing out the traditional automatic tranmissions and going with the CVTs. I have hear...
by amarone
Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with $10k bonus
Replies: 34
Views: 2929

Re: What to do with $10k bonus

Well no, I'm not sure... but I got bonuses for about 6-7 years and they were ALWAYS taxed around 35/40%. ""The problem with this approach is that instead of being taxed at a flat 25% – and having that 25% rate apply only to the bonus amount – you get taxed at what is almost certainly a hi...
by amarone
Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Subarus reliable?
Replies: 81
Views: 6136

Re: Are Subarus reliable?

Again, self-reported data, but truedelta.com provides repair data by make & model. Here is the Outback and repair trips for the last six years' models: http://www.truedelta.com/2015-Subaru-Outback/reliability-trends-253 You can see how different year models rate. Looks like 2009 and earlier Outb...
by amarone
Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Subarus reliable?
Replies: 81
Views: 6136

Re: Are Subarus reliable?

We can all swap anecdotes, but Consumer Reports rates Subaru in the top 5 for reliability in their 2015 survey. I do not have access to the CR site, but the headline of their press release is: Lexus, Toyota, Audi, Mazda, and Subaru Most Reliable Brands The full report is in the December issue, which...
by amarone
Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Subarus reliable?
Replies: 81
Views: 6136

Re: Are Subarus reliable?

We have a 2012 Outback, 135k miles. Total maintenance cost including tires = 3.5 cents/mile.

Only issue is I have to put a quart of oil in after 5,000 miles of the 7,500 mile service interval.
by amarone
Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you hold international bonds in your tax-advantaged space?
Replies: 43
Views: 2716

Re: Do you hold international bonds in your tax-advantaged space?

I have some pension funds in the UK. As anything non-international would mean "UK only", I went with a Global Bond Fund. However, 40% of that is in US bonds.
by amarone
Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have?
Replies: 91
Views: 7553

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have?

Two, and only because not everywhere takes Amex. Main card is Amex Blue Cash - the original one and grandfathered into its cashback. $1,600/year cash back in each of the last two years. CDC Visa. Chosen mostly to maintain a relationship with the credit union as may not qualify if we closed the accou...
by amarone
Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?
Replies: 75
Views: 6358

Re: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?

So I just found the Grok's tips series, and I found #6 interesting (and prudent): https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=67727 The summary would be: Don't invest in products where the incentives aren't aligned with your goals. Does anyone have thoughts on how the incentives are lined up f...
by amarone
Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?
Replies: 75
Views: 6358

Re: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?

Regarding taxable accounts, a friend did this a few years back and told me the tax reporting was nighmarish (maybe because things were reported loan-by-loan so he had a bazillion individual accounts he had to enter). Has that aspect improved? Just looked at my Lending Club 2014 tax statement. The i...
by amarone
Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?
Replies: 75
Views: 6358

Re: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?

What time spent researching? I spend no time at all and have my spare cash automatically invested into a diverse range of notes. You literally spent zero minutes researching your automated investment, zero minutes setting it up, and zero minutes checking out Lending Club? I think you're ignoring th...
by amarone
Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?
Replies: 75
Views: 6358

Re: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?

seems to me that the percentage of ones portfolio that should be put into P2P would be so small that any "extra return" would not be worth the time spend researching. What time spent researching? I spend no time at all and have my spare cash automatically invested into a diverse range of ...
by amarone
Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?
Replies: 75
Views: 6358

Re: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?

I've been using Lending Club for over 4 years and have about $17k in there now. I have made about 9% annually. I invest very passively - they have a feature called Automated Investing which automatically reinvests interest according to criteria you set. I do not monitor notes for going bad. I invest...
by amarone
Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much info. to share with estate planning attorney
Replies: 20
Views: 2478

Re: How much info. to share with estate planning attorney

I went through this process earlier this year and had an 8-page questionnaire to fill in. However, it did not ask for details of individual accounts, or account numbers or SSN. We just had to provide totals, ownership (husband/wife/joint), and beneficiaries (where relevant) by asset type. I would th...
by amarone
Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Disappearing account on Vanguard
Replies: 19
Views: 2156

Re: Disappearing account on Vanguard

I opened this thread thinking it might be the same as just happened to me. It is not, but I thought I would add my experience in case it helps anyone else. Recently, my automatic download into Quicken failed, saying that Vanguard reports that my tIRA account does not exist. I could not find it on th...
by amarone
Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying a used car from a dealer - fees etc
Replies: 12
Views: 1380

Re: buying a used car from a dealer - fees etc

We had a dealer hiding a fee in the taxes. The quoted price included a single line item for tax. I thought it looked a little high, but in Georgia the tax on a used car is not simply a percentage so you cannot instantly tell if it is correct - you have to look it up for your particular car on a web ...
by amarone
Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suspend (and Repay) SS Benefits ?
Replies: 28
Views: 2487

Re: Suspend (and Repay) SS Benefits ?

If someone starts collecting at 62 but then becomes disabled and can claim disability until normal retirement age, does that have the same effect on the retirement sum as suspending? On the SSA site I have seen mention that when retirement payments resume, they will be higher than before swapping to...
by amarone
Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint Finances as a newlywed couple?
Replies: 29
Views: 2317

Re: Joint Finances as a newlywed couple?

We didn't discuss it very much before marriage either. We talked about goals and plans and dreams, but not the nuts and bolts of handling the family finances. Looking back I think that's because we intuitively knew we'd just throw it all together in joint accounts. We had nothing (I mean nothing!) ...
by amarone
Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my husband become a US citizen?
Replies: 102
Views: 7778

Re: Should my husband become a US citizen?

I became a citizen last month after nearly 19 years in the US and being married to a US citizen for 10. I had been procrastinating about become a citizen because, although the US is now my home and I want to participate fully, I was struggling with the oath under which I renounce all other allegianc...
by amarone
Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2853

Re: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?

the cost of an inspection is literally a drop in the bucket compared to the other costs associated with selling one house and buying another. We are talking small change here. Does the relative cost really matter? We are talking $400 (or whatever). Is it really relevant how much the rest of the tra...

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