Search found 1306 matches

by guitarguy
Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Opp Tax Credit - 4 year rule?
Replies: 10
Views: 868

Re: American Opp Tax Credit - 4 year rule?

See IRS.GOV (it's a wealth of information) { https://www.irs.gov/individuals/aotc } and IRS Publication 970 To be eligible for AOTC, the student must: -Be pursuing a degree or other recognized education credential -Be enrolled at least half time for at least one academic period* beginning in the ta...
by guitarguy
Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Opp Tax Credit - 4 year rule?
Replies: 10
Views: 868

Re: American Opp Tax Credit - 4 year rule?

Thanks everyone for the replies so far. We have done some digging on this in regards to investigating how many total credits she has completed thus far. In summary, at the start of 2016 she had completed a total of 95.5 credits. At the start of 2017, she will have completed a total of 112.5 credits....
by guitarguy
Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to mimic Vanguard Total Stock Market Index?
Replies: 6
Views: 719

Re: How to mimic Vanguard Total Stock Market Index?

I've been doing it with and 85/15 split between the SP500 index that's available in my 401k, and VSMAX.

Might not be perfect but I figure it's close enough and still fairly simple.
by guitarguy
Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement asset allocation critique
Replies: 6
Views: 465

Re: Retirement asset allocation critique

I suggest having one or two funds in all accounts except one. Do ALL rebalancing in only one account. Would you mind elaborating on this? Do you mean to just hold bonds in one account? Why have one account with more than just 1-2 funds? Are you suggesting to overlap in one account for rebalancing p...
by guitarguy
Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Closing very old bank account - Credit Score?
Replies: 5
Views: 292

Re: Closing very old bank account - Credit Score?

livesoft wrote:You are right, but sometimes a credit card is somehow tied to a checking account for overdraft backup and I was thinking the whole thing would be closed including any credit cards.


Gotcha. :beer
by guitarguy
Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Closing very old bank account - Credit Score?
Replies: 5
Views: 292

Re: Closing very old bank account - Credit Score?

livesoft wrote:No impact if you don't have a credit card at the bank. Checking accounts do nothing for you.


Why would it matter whether or not you held a credit card at the bank? Closing a checking/savings account should have no impact regardless as far as I know.
by guitarguy
Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! How are we doing?
Replies: 14
Views: 886

Re: Help! How are we doing?

Since you want a grade as indicated in the OP, I think you just want to have a benchmark to compare with. Here you are: One useful benchmark from, The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko, is: Multiply your age times your realized pretax annual household income from all sources...
by guitarguy
Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash vs Investments in HSA
Replies: 11
Views: 714

Re: Cash vs Investments in HSA

Thanks for the replies everyone. For now, I invested a chunk of our HSA in Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Fund (VIPSX) (ER 0.2%) and left our new monthly contributions going to cash. Right now this seems like a good choice for conservatively generating a small return. Down the road we'll pl...
by guitarguy
Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Checkup / What to put in new Roth IRA?
Replies: 7
Views: 655

Re: Portfolio Checkup / What to put in new Roth IRA?

You do need to keep a list somewhere (paper or computer) of every contribution, rollover, conversion, re-characterization, etc. with dates and amounts for all your IRAs. Other than moving this account, I don't think we'll run into any other rollovers or anything as I can't see a realistic scenario ...
by guitarguy
Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash vs Investments in HSA
Replies: 11
Views: 714

Re: Cash vs Investments in HSA

I think you have to make a decision one way or the other about whether or not to pay health expenses out of pocket to the extent possible. It sounds like you are leaning in that direction but you don't come right out and say it. Well...long term I think that's the route we would like to go. Assumin...
by guitarguy
Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash vs Investments in HSA
Replies: 11
Views: 714

Cash vs Investments in HSA

We have been maxing our HSA for a couple years now, but we haven't invested any of it...just left it in cash. We have also used some to reimburse for medical expenses. Right now the balance is about $7k. Not huge or anything, but I'm wondering if we should be investing some of this money or not. Up ...
by guitarguy
Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity 401k - proposed change
Replies: 10
Views: 662

Re: Fidelity 401k - proposed change

Age 33 Single No Debt. Frugal and comfortable with risk. . . . . . 27 Fidelity funds are available through my employer, but only these seem attractive: 1. Fidelity 500 Index FXSIX. Expense ratio .035% 2. Fidelity Contrafund Pool. Expense ratio 0.43% 3. Baron Asset Inst'l BARIX. Expense ratio 1.04% ...
by guitarguy
Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Checkup / What to put in new Roth IRA?
Replies: 7
Views: 655

Re: Portfolio Checkup / What to put in new Roth IRA?

Another question about the rollover, will the rolling over have any impact on differentiating contributions vs earnings or anything like that should the worst possible circumstances occur and we need to withdrawal contributions? No. You're just moving assets from one custodian to another. You do ne...
by guitarguy
Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Checkup / What to put in new Roth IRA?
Replies: 7
Views: 655

Re: Portfolio Checkup / What to put in new Roth IRA?

Thanks for the feedback! Is there any good reason not to switch both of my 401(k) bond funds to this BLKRK US DEBT INDEX fund? No. It follows the same index as Vanguard Total Bond Market and unless the Stable Value fund is paying more than 2%, BlackRock is the way to go. Done as of this morning. Thi...
by guitarguy
Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Checkup / What to put in new Roth IRA?
Replies: 7
Views: 655

Portfolio Checkup / What to put in new Roth IRA?

Hi all...whelp I haven't posted in here since circa 2012...so here goes! Figured a checkup for our overall picture was in order. Also had a couple questions at the bottom. Would appreciate any feedback or advice on the questions or anything in general that we could do differently or better. :beer He...
by guitarguy
Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you track your net worth? How long have you done so?
Replies: 110
Views: 7653

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

We look at it at the end of every calendar year. Been doing it that way since 2011. Don't take into account cars or anything...not really interested in that. Our ballpark figure is calculated using 4 main items, 2 main assets and 2 main debts: 1. sum of retirement savings 2. sum of cash 3. mortgage ...
by guitarguy
Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Synchrony vs Ally
Replies: 37
Views: 3207

Re: Synchrony vs Ally

gclancer wrote:No experience with Synchrony but I'm a happy Ally customer. I would recommend Ally without hesitation.


+1.
by guitarguy
Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102024

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Careful... This is exactly why the points/rewards are offered. I view my cards as rebate cards carefully researched and maximized in tandem with a 3% checking account. Really, it is a yawn. Not getting me too excited. I started to look for even more and had to stop myself. It is a game for both the...
by guitarguy
Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Corvette to Hybrid
Replies: 55
Views: 4696

Re: Corvette to Hybrid

Brokepilot wrote:Currently car: 2012 Base Corvette LT2 6-Speed Manual.

Wife's Car: 2003 Eclipse 130k, new paint, however has large oil leak from cam seal, randomly shuts off...Wife has never had a new car and has been begging for a new car for the last 6 years.


This literally made me LOL.
by guitarguy
Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102024

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Any new success stories with your strategy? I've found this hobby to be quite addicting - I daydream of where my points will take me and I am always thinking of points when I spend money. I'm also constantly looking for new offers, but realizing that I need to temper the applications - patience is ...
by guitarguy
Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly grocery costs? How do you keep it low?
Replies: 155
Views: 14481

Re: Monthly grocery costs? How do you keep it low?

In your opinion, do you find it to be healthy to obtain your calories from a chocolate bar? What's wrong with dark chocolate? It has almost zero sugar in it and comes with fiber. I am not a health nut. I don't like the taste, nor the mouth feel of dark chocolate. I don't care if milk chocolate is h...
by guitarguy
Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102024

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I'm hoping to downgrade my Chase Sapphire to Freedom as well, but I've read that sometimes that does not work - they only will downgrade to the Freedom Unlimited. Anyone have success downgrading to Freedom recently? Yes, I downgraded from CSP to Chase Freedom within the past few months. No problem....
by guitarguy
Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House Rental - Current issues and how to market it
Replies: 7
Views: 783

Re: House Rental - Current issues and how to market it

I intentionally stayed away from Craigslist as I associate CL with scammers. In this case I would agree with this. I have had nothing but great experiences on Craigslist in other situations like selling music gear and cars and stuff. However I wouldn't ever do anything on there that gave away my ho...
by guitarguy
Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly grocery costs? How do you keep it low?
Replies: 155
Views: 14481

Re: Monthly grocery costs? How do you keep it low?

Especially if you're including products and non-food items, I don't think that's high at all. We just have my wife and I, no kids. We spend about $850/m...but to be fair that does include all non-food items, products, pet supplies and food for 2 dogs and a cat, the occasional trip to bed bath and be...
by guitarguy
Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102024

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Any new success stories with your strategy? I've found this hobby to be quite addicting - I daydream of where my points will take me and I am always thinking of points when I spend money. I'm also constantly looking for new offers, but realizing that I need to temper the applications - patience is ...
by guitarguy
Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AppleCare on MacBook Pro?
Replies: 40
Views: 2998

Re: AppleCare on MacBook Pro?

I did not buy AppleCare for our three mid 2012 MacBook Pros. This is a very different MacBook than yours. AFAIK, my MacBook is the last model that allows for user upgrade of the hard drive, RAM, battery, optical drive. This allows for easy repair or replacement of those components if they failed. M...
by guitarguy
Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AppleCare on MacBook Pro?
Replies: 40
Views: 2998

Re: AppleCare on MacBook Pro?

I purchased a MacBook Pro just shy of a year ago. I'm coming up on my one year mark in just a few days, which means I need to decide by then if I'm going to purchase the additional AppleCare warranty. It is a maxed out Mid-2015 15" MacBook Pro. I believe I paid right around $3,000.00 for it. A...
by guitarguy
Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?
Replies: 31
Views: 1668

Re: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?

Whelp...getting this Whirlpool whatever delivered today. Gonna give it a shot. The more I read the more terrified I am of it sucking just as badly as this other one. Consumer reports has reviews around 2 stars, but then the big box store has 7k reviews averaging 4.5 stars. Evidently a bunch of fake ...
by guitarguy
Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?
Replies: 31
Views: 1668

Re: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?

Keep in mind these are "sale" prices. The one we bought at $350 was "normally" $550. I only use the quotes because it seems like if you shop at big box stores like we do, there is usually some kind of sale going on. The 350 is a lot closer to the average sale price than 550. Tha...
by guitarguy
Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?
Replies: 31
Views: 1668

Re: high-efficiency top-loader washers ridiculously LOUD?

Top loader. Consumer Reports gives very low to lowest ratings for HE top loaders. Your Maytag is rated a 50. Worse than average noise. Washing performance is average. A Maytag Maxima MHW8200FW front loader $1150 list price is rated an 86. Quieter than average. Washing performance is excellent. Our ...
by guitarguy
Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?
Replies: 31
Views: 1668

Re: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?

If you machine is abnormally loud or normal for it's model isn't something any of use will be able to answer. Based on the OP's description that it sounds like gears grinding, I would lean towards abnormal. We have new washer/dryers that would undoubtedly be considered low end on this forum (Whirlp...
by guitarguy
Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?
Replies: 31
Views: 1668

Re: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?

CAsage wrote:Not sure OP has a front load at $350?


Top loader. Wife (most important) and I both prefer a top loading machine.
by guitarguy
Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?
Replies: 31
Views: 1668

Re: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?

I have a one year old LG front load high efficiency model. I don't think it's anywhere near as loud as the 15 year old unit it replaced. With a heavy load, during the spin cycle the old one would sound like somebody was hitting it with a hammer. I don't notice the LG unless the laundry room door is...
by guitarguy
Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?
Replies: 31
Views: 1668

Re: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?

Based on the comments here I'm going to exchange the washer.

The sounds during the wash/agitation part of the cycle are ridiculous.

I don't expect a dead quiet spin cycle for $400-500 machines...but I don't expect it to be THIS bad either when our 1992 Kenmore wasn't even close to this bad.
by guitarguy
Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?
Replies: 31
Views: 1668

Re: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?

Is this only or primarily on the spin cycle? Are you *sure* it is fully/properly leveled? We've had one for about 15 years, and there's never been a problem with too much sound, although I wouldn't want it right in a room that is being used. Ours is in a utility room on the lower level, but that's ...
by guitarguy
Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?
Replies: 31
Views: 1668

Are all high-efficiency washers ridiculously LOUD?

So my wife and I recently purchased a Maytag high efficiency washer...nice sale price of $350 down from $550. In our kitchen we've had pretty good experience with Maytag...so figured we'd give the washer a shot too. Wanted something simple without all the bells and whistles that would simply wash ou...
by guitarguy
Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much home can/should one buy?
Replies: 144
Views: 8576

Re: How much home can/should one buy?

Peep this everyone: people's situations all vary and much of this thread reads like snippets of a pile of jaded diaries. :oops: OP: buy a house that you can comfortably afford while saving a good chunk for retirement. Be sensible. Sleep well at night. My personal opinions for whatever they're worth:...
by guitarguy
Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance - Unhealthy
Replies: 28
Views: 3847

Re: Personal Finance - Unhealthy

The above post reminded me of a great, tiny, little pdf booklet by a recommended author, written just for new investors: https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf There is some info on personal finance, as well as investing, and of being aware of salespersons who want your money, in Dr. Bernstein's gre...
by guitarguy
Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance - Unhealthy
Replies: 28
Views: 3847

Re: Personal Finance - Unhealthy

The above post reminded me of a great, tiny, little pdf booklet by a recommended author, written just for new investors: https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf There is some info on personal finance, as well as investing, and of being aware of salespersons who want your money, in Dr. Bernstein's gre...
by guitarguy
Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance - Unhealthy
Replies: 28
Views: 3847

Re: Personal Finance - Unhealthy

I want financial security and health NOW but I don't know the best route to take from here. I am looking for concrete advice. Welcome. You will get advice here in spades. There is a wealth of knowledge on these forums. Dude you're young. And you have a high income. You've dug yourself a hole yeah.....
by guitarguy
Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Opp Tax Credit - 4 year rule?
Replies: 10
Views: 868

Re: American Opp Tax Credit - 4 year rule?

The college should be able to tell you. For example, you were considered a sophomore on Jan. 1 of year 2016 if you had successfully completed xx number of credits. It has been a while since I was in college, but that's what I remember. And if, like my wife's situation, you happened to take some cla...
by guitarguy
Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Opp Tax Credit - 4 year rule?
Replies: 10
Views: 868

Re: American Opp Tax Credit - 4 year rule?

A student has completed the first 4 years of postsecondary education before 2016 if the educational institution has awarded the student 4 years of academic credit at that institution for postsecondary coursework the student completed before 2016. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8863.pdf Thanks, th...
by guitarguy
Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Opp Tax Credit - 4 year rule?
Replies: 10
Views: 868

American Opp Tax Credit - 4 year rule?

I'm hoping someone can explain this because I have been looking online and can't find a clear answer. My wife graduated HS in '03. Went to a 4 yr university for a year, decided the program wasn't for her, took a break. Over the next several years she took a few classes here and there (need to get wi...
by guitarguy
Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 96
Views: 11633

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Here is an interesting question, what if you are not planning to travel for two years, would you grab the card now (or early 2017) or wait and see if the card is still around towards the end of 2017 / 2018? I would get it now, just don't expect the points to be worth as much in two years. When do t...
by guitarguy
Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stundent loan transfer in 2012 hurting my credit and costing me thousands..
Replies: 23
Views: 1963

Re: Stundent loan transfer in 2012 hurting my credit and costing me thousands..

Are you putting 20% down on this mortgage by the way? No. OK I wasn't sure if the score was the difference between PMI or not, even with a conventional loan. So the score is hurting you in terms of the amount of PMI then I take it. Is there any chance you could save up the 20% over the next year or...
by guitarguy
Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stundent loan transfer in 2012 hurting my credit and costing me thousands..
Replies: 23
Views: 1963

Re: Stundent loan transfer in 2012 hurting my credit and costing me thousands..

Are you putting 20% down on this mortgage by the way? No. OK I wasn't sure if the score was the difference between PMI or not, even with a conventional loan. So the score is hurting you in terms of the amount of PMI then I take it. Is there any chance you could save up the 20% over the next year or...
by guitarguy
Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tackling Student Loan Debt v. Saving and investing
Replies: 25
Views: 1904

Re: Tackling Student Loan Debt v. Saving and investing

If I opt to consolidate with a private lender, if I get a substantially lowered rate with a variable rate loan would anyone recommend the variable rate? I'm not sure what others experiences are...maybe mine is different...and/or lucky...but: I have had private variable rate student loans for years,...
by guitarguy
Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tackling Student Loan Debt v. Saving and investing
Replies: 25
Views: 1904

Re: Tackling Student Loan Debt v. Saving and investing

We actually just sold a house and moved due to a new job. Rent is about 1600 my previous mortgage was 1400 so I'm not as concerned about buying a house since we keep our housing costs low and housing is relatively affordable in the area. I figure rent/mortgage is essentially a fixed cost but with a...
by guitarguy
Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102024

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I'd say Amex MR points are close behind UR points. They have plenty of airline transfer partners, and if you have the Business Platinum you can essentially get 2 cents per point booking flights through their portal. The Business Platinum also currently has a 100,000 point signup bonus, although the...

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