Search found 914 matches

by ddunca1944
Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1205
Views: 148915

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

CSR question: If you get the CSR and the 100k points, what airlines can they be used for? How do you redeem those cards.
Do you use their website to search for flights? Or book flights on your own and use the points to pay? (I'm accustomed to the CapOne card....
by ddunca1944
Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any downside to Grandparent 529
Replies: 20
Views: 2014

Re: Any downside to Grandparent 529

There is a potential downside if you expect the grandkids to qualify for need-based aid.... Grandparent 529 may be treated differently than parental 529, reducing aid. I don't think this is correct. My understanding is that grandparents' 529 balances are not reported at all for a grandchild's finan...
by ddunca1944
Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Financial Moves You've Made
Replies: 141
Views: 16184

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

My best financial move was to. marry a debt adverse saver. Obviously that was not the main reason I married him, but it turned out tobe a great financial decision.
by ddunca1944
Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23293

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

We are a retired couple. We live on pension/SS income and spend our RMDs on one international trip a year 3-4 weeks long. Around $20K
by ddunca1944
Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer
Replies: 40
Views: 5362

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

The annual fee is $450! That take a chunk from the benefits from tne bonus not really. You get $300 in travel credits per calendar year, so you get $600 less $450....plus another $1,000-$1,500. You will never see another CC offer like this in your lifetime which is exactly why Chase is nerfing it. ...
by ddunca1944
Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer
Replies: 40
Views: 5362

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

The annual fee is $450! That take a chunk from the benefits from tne bonus
by ddunca1944
Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer
Replies: 40
Views: 5362

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

I'm very interested in this card. Can someone tell me how easy it is to redeem the points? Am I limited to specific airlines? Or is it similar to the Cap One Venture card?
by ddunca1944
Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are your portfolio/investments?
Replies: 38
Views: 2538

Re: What are your portfolio/investments?

Retired couple (72 & 68) in our 10th year of retirement

All investments are in IRA accounts
51%. VG Wellesley
21% VG Life Strategy Conservative Allocation
21% VG Life Strategy Income Fund
6% VG Short Term Bond Indx
2% cash

VG's Portfolio Analysis shows 30/68/2 (stocks/bonds/cash
by ddunca1944
Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it safe to use debit cards? Anybody here have one compromised?
Replies: 67
Views: 4867

Re: Is it safe to use debit cards? Anybody here have one compromised?

Would love to hear what others have to say about this. I have heard it is a nightmare if one is compromised. This is my only checking account. Last July, we made a trip to Canada where I used my debit card twice to withdraw cash. After I returned, our credit union called me about possible fraudelen...
by ddunca1944
Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly Expenses in line or too much
Replies: 81
Views: 7057

Re: Monthly Expenses in line or too much

Still 2 days left for 2016 and according to YNAB app we spent: Electricity and gas average $1440 annually Water and garbage $720 Internet and cable $840 Cell phones $660 Car insurance $1860 Life insurance and disability insurance $1930 Food $6600 Gasoline 921 Restaurants $2980 Entertainment $532 Mi...
by ddunca1944
Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly Expenses in line or too much
Replies: 81
Views: 7057

Re: Monthly Expenses in line or too much

The only person that matters is you. +10 BTW, and not to derail anything here, but what exactly defines a "HCOL", "LCOL" or "MCOL" area? High/Medium/Low Cost of Living (Sometimes you'll see VHCOL for San Fran/NYC....) I guess I wasn't clear... I understand what the acr...
by ddunca1944
Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many of you invest 100% at Vanguard?
Replies: 118
Views: 7664

Re: How many of you invest 100% at Vanguard?

100% at Vanguard (joint taxabke & each of our IRAs). Retired and trying to Keep It Simple
by ddunca1944
Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax Deluxe on sale at Amazon
Replies: 49
Views: 6401

Re: Turbotax Deluxe on sale at Amazon

I was just at Costco last night and it was $49.99 for Deluxe. Did they change it today? Last year Costco's orice for TT Deluxe was $39.95. In late Dec they had $10 off and I purchased it fir $29.99 I just went to costco,com and it is 39.99 - 10. With 3.60 for shipping. (Federal + efile, no state) T...
by ddunca1944
Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track your finances?
Replies: 79
Views: 6370

Re: How do you track your finances?

YNAB for budgeting,& spending. A simple excel sheet for an annual budget & forecasting. Another excel sheet to track actual returns of retirement accounts (and % withdrawals - which vary annually)

Trying to KIS
by ddunca1944
Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The True Cost of Owning a Dog
Replies: 176
Views: 13564

Re: Cost of dog ownership.

I still think a dog is worth it. I've always had a dog since I was a kid. I can't see giving it up. I rather do something like go on cheaper vacations and save $1100 a year that way instead of not having a dog. +1 - I couldn't agree more. I spend about the same for my one year old Golden Retriever ...
by ddunca1944
Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Cash Equivalents" ?
Replies: 21
Views: 2095

Re: "Cash Equivalents" ?

I would include I Bonds, EE Bonds and Treasury Bills held to maturity... I wouldn't. I Bonds and EE Bonds cannot be sold for the first year of ownership. That's a serious liquidity restriction. T bills have a maturity up to 1 year, and can move quite a bit with interest rates. Maybe a 3 month T bil...
by ddunca1944
Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Cash Equivalents" ?
Replies: 21
Views: 2095

"Cash Equivalents" ?

Please help me understand what the term "cash equivalents" refers to I assume it would include money market accounts, savings accounts and CDs. But would it also include short term bonds and/or short term treasuries? What else might be considered "cash equivalents"? If thus is co...
by ddunca1944
Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dad's Retirement Account
Replies: 19
Views: 2138

Re: Dad's Retirement Account

He could consider -- LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX) ER 0.12%, 20/80 stocks/bonds Target Retirement Income Fund (VTINX) ER 0.14%, 30/70 stocks/bonds Wellesley Income Fund Admiral Shares (VWIAX) ER 0.16%, 40/60 stocks/bonds +1 We are retired. Our IRA accounts are divided between Wellesley and Life ...
by ddunca1944
Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Wellesley Fund VWINX
Replies: 10
Views: 2336

Re: Vanguard Wellesley Fund VWINX

Retiree here. We' have 1/2 our retirement funds in Wellesley. We have held Wellesley for 12 years now and are very happy with it. I have a Roth IRA in Wellington.
The rest of our retirement funds are in VG's Life Strategy funds (Conservative Allcation and Income Fund).
by ddunca1944
Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recharacterizing Roth to Traditional worth it?
Replies: 13
Views: 961

Re: Recharacterizing Roth to Traditional worth it?

I've recharacterized several times. A few minutes on the phone with Vanguard. Very easy.
by ddunca1944
Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on AA for the retired
Replies: 44
Views: 5272

Re: Thoughts on AA for the retired

Remember, at some point, it becomes more important to protect what we have than to take more risks to get more! THIS thought is the main reason I'm thinking of dialing back the stock portion. Our accounts have been divided between Wellesley and the Life Strategy Moderate funds. Thinking of keeping ...
by ddunca1944
Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on AA for the retired
Replies: 44
Views: 5272

Re: Thoughts on AA for the retired

We are in our 9th year of retirement (ages are 67 and 72). Until now, we've kept our AA at about 50:50 by dividing our IRA accounts between two VG balanced funds. So far, I've been happy with our decisions. I am now thinking that perhaps it's time to dial back our risk level and go to 40:60 or 35:6...
by ddunca1944
Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA for adult children?
Replies: 50
Views: 4378

Re: IRA for adult children?

I would like to set up IRAs for my adult children; if I give them money they just waste it. Is there a way to do this so I control the accounts until I'm no longer able? I was thinking of a ROTH IRA to keep it simple but a traditional would make it more expensive to take money out and may be a bett...
by ddunca1944
Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on AA for the retired
Replies: 44
Views: 5272

Thoughts on AA for the retired

We are in our 9th year of retirement (ages are 67 and 72). Until now, we've kept our AA at about 50:50 by dividing our IRA accounts between two VG balanced funds. So far, I've been happy with our decisions. I am now thinking that perhaps it's time to dial back our risk level and go to 40:60 or 35:65...
by ddunca1944
Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you track your net worth? How long have you done so?
Replies: 110
Views: 8497

Re: Do you track your net worth? How long have you done so?

Yes. Annually when I do the taxes, I figure the nw on Dec 31

Began doing it 12 years ago (4 years before DH retired). We were talking to a FA about DH retiring and he suggested it. At his suggestion, I also began budgeting.

It gives me an overall picture of how we are doing.
by ddunca1944
Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Admirals Club
Replies: 19
Views: 3063

Re: Admirals Club

We have the GOES card and it's a great benefit when returning from international flights. But it hasn't gotten us TSA Pre status and I was told it could not be used for TSA pre lanes on domestic flights. Do you input your Known Traveler Number at the time you make your airline reservation? You can'...
by ddunca1944
Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Admirals Club
Replies: 19
Views: 3063

Re: Admirals Club

GOES Interview is nonexistent, that means, literally in the case of all family members having these steps 1. Completed online app 2. Paid 100 fee online which was refunded back by CC provider 3. Status approved in about 2.5 months with proposed Interview 4. Showed up on said date and location and.....
by ddunca1944
Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning options for tricky family situation
Replies: 28
Views: 3390

Re: Estate planning options for tricky family situation

I'd take a second look at Vanguard. According to their fee schedule
https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/eptsb.pdf

The minimum is $500,000

And I second the suggestion of simply treating everyone the same.
by ddunca1944
Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions on withdrawing retirement $'s
Replies: 15
Views: 2164

Re: Questions on withdrawing retirement $'s

I would like Vanguard just to take that 2.25 % yearly equally from each fund across the board. Or would they wish me to be more specific in dollar amounts wanted and from where ? Does this withdrawal plan make sense to you people ? Their website (under Account Maintenance) lets you set up automatic...
by ddunca1944
Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mini retirement- RV around country
Replies: 21
Views: 2373

Re: Mini retirement- RV around country

Try taking a two week RV vacation before deciding anything. This. DH and I are retired. We have a small travel trailer and just got back from 3 weeks on Vanvouver Island. The reality is that in RV parks, you are close to your neighbors and sometimes they are great and sometimes they are noisy into ...
by ddunca1944
Wed May 25, 2016 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1205
Views: 148915

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Goals: Our goals are to achieve rewards with maximum simplicity. Keeping it simple is more important than wringing out the last dollar. Cards. Two cards: The Cap One Venture (2% when redeemed for travel expense), no foreign exchange fees. The other is the Costco Amex (to be replaced by the Costco Ci...
by ddunca1944
Tue May 24, 2016 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on trips/vacations?
Replies: 74
Views: 5921

Re: How much do you spend on trips/vacations?

We're retired and travel is a priority. We spend about 15% of our gross on an international trip every year. In addition, we take short trips during the year with a little camping trailer. The international trip has its own budget line. The short trips come out of the monthly expenses.
by ddunca1944
Thu May 05, 2016 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you check credit card statements?
Replies: 79
Views: 5247

Re: Do you check credit card statements?

lagflag wrote:Because I use YNAB, I am able to reconcile daily with my CC account. There is no way that they can charge me something behind my back

This is what I do as well. Takes a few minutes every few days.
by ddunca1944
Wed May 04, 2016 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my Mom take a large distribution from her IRA before I inherit it?
Replies: 22
Views: 2660

Re: Should my Mom take a large distribution from her IRA before I inherit it?

I wouldn't let the tax tail wag the IRA dog. If you have tax software, like Turbo tax, you could run some "what if" scenarios. If you (and your sister) are in a smaller tax bracket than your Mom then it would not make sense for her to take a large distribution and pay the tax. The only way...
by ddunca1944
Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving Too Much in Retirement Accounts?
Replies: 35
Views: 5576

Re: Saving Too Much in Retirement Accounts?

I think you are right and your friend is wrong. Often you are financially better off renting and investing what you do not put into a house in an index fund. Homes increase in value not much more than inflation on average. Stocks on average do much, much better than real estate. I suspect your frie...
by ddunca1944
Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why have a formal budget?
Replies: 106
Views: 10594

Re: Why have a formal budget?

While working we never had a formal budget, we are both fairly frugal. We operated on a "pay yourself first" basis, I contributed xx% each pay period to 401k and we lived on the rest. My pay was highly variable, so I adjusted contributions to investing upwards in any month that the payche...
by ddunca1944
Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will Chip + Sign CC work in Europe?
Replies: 27
Views: 2553

Re: Will Chip + Sign CC work in Europe?

We were in the Baltic area last summer. Our chip+sig cc worked everywhere. We did not need to use a kiosk, so cannot address that issue.

Of course, when the clerk handed us the receipt to sign, we were identified as Americans..... since Europeans simply punch in their pin.
by ddunca1944
Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?
Replies: 101
Views: 6226

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

Gill wrote:Done myself with Turbotax and filed electronically. Don't miss the days when I used to type out all the forms and Mail the return.
Gill


+1. We owed money, so I opted to have the tax due debited from our checking account on Apr 1.
by ddunca1944
Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Diminished Value Auto Claim
Replies: 2
Views: 393

Re: Diminished Value Auto Claim

I did this last year with another company. After the car was repaired, I took it to a dealer and asked for a written appraisal for the car's value. I told them what it was for. Their written appraisal clearly stated that the reason for the low appraisal was the accident. I sent a copy of tne letter ...
by ddunca1944
Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to draw down accts in retirement
Replies: 9
Views: 1763

Re: How to draw down accts in retirement

I keep it simple. Our retirement accounts are divided between Wellesley and Life Strategy Moderate. So if the market is up, I take withdrawals from Life Strategy funds. If the market is down, I take withdrawals from Wellesley.
by ddunca1944
Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision! was: Can I retire in 2017?
Replies: 53
Views: 8679

Re: Can I retire in 2017?

I think you need to consider that your retiree health care benefits may cover a smaller percentage of your medical expenses each year and that out-of-pocket expenses will rise. You seem to be assuming that the plan will continue to look exactly like it does today ou already realize that by retiring...
by ddunca1944
Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When was the most stressful financial time in your life?
Replies: 94
Views: 12740

Re: When was the most stressful financial time in your life?

My first divorce. I was young, had two children to support, limited skills & education. Eventually I got a good job, but even after remarrying, did not quit. I had learned that life is uncertain and my own paycheck was the best security. I learned that financial security, was necessary for me to...
by ddunca1944
Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?
Replies: 79
Views: 8110

Re: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?

DH retired completely in 2008. I was retired from full time work, but still worked part time til mid 2009 Our withdrawal rate has varied: we live on SS/pension income and use withdrawals for an annual international trip and other large expenses. It is easy to cut back when necessary since we don't ...
by ddunca1944
Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?
Replies: 79
Views: 8110

Re: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?

DH retired completely in 2008. I was retired from full time work, but still worked part time til mid 2009 Our withdrawal rate has varied: we live on SS/pension income and use withdrawals for an annual international trip and other large expenses. It is easy to cut back when necessary since we don't n...
by ddunca1944
Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Portfolios
Replies: 24
Views: 3779

Re: Retirement Portfolios

DH and I are retired. He doesn't want to be involved in the investment decision making, so it's on me. My goal is to keep it as simple as possible because if I die first, he won't make any changes. I wanted an AA of 50:50 (a little aggressive because our regular expenses are covered by SS & pens...
by ddunca1944
Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any states that tax Roth withdrawals?
Replies: 49
Views: 4149

Re: Any states that tax Roth withdrawals?

Washington has no income tax at all (and in particular, no tax on IRA withdrawals, Roth or otherwise). However, they do have an onerous estate tax that takes 10 to 20% of your estate over about $2,000,000. There is an exemption for inheritance by a spouse, but when that spouse dies, he or she will ...
by ddunca1944
Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Firecalc, really?
Replies: 58
Views: 7464

Re: Firecalc, really?

Our healthcare premiums are almost $700/mo. That is for Medicare, Supplemental, Part D and dental.
by ddunca1944
Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: do you do airbnb ??
Replies: 64
Views: 5534

Re: do you do airbnb ??

We use airbnb or vrbo for most of our travel (including in Kona Hawaii). We have not had any problems with it. We do make a point of only using places that have several reviews, all of them positive. +1 While I have no personal experience with Air B&B, we've used vrbo a lot. In Venice, Rome &am...
by ddunca1944
Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pay for yardwork?
Replies: 61
Views: 6607

Do you pay for yardwork?

We are getting to the point where we can no longer stay on top of the yardwork. It isn't the lawn (that is very small and easily mowed with an electric mower). A large side yard on a steep hill needs to be weeded, mulched and shrubs pruned. I'm considering hiring someone but have no idea how much is...
by ddunca1944
Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe Trip in August
Replies: 99
Views: 6819

Re: Europe Trip in August

The State Department is warning Americans about travel to Europe. YB The State dept issed a travel alert, not a warning. there is a big difference. "Travel Alerts We issue a Travel Alert for short-term events we think you should know about when planning travel to a country. Examples of reasons...

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