Search found 6235 matches

by jeffyscott
Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]
Replies: 116
Views: 10672

Re: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]

The next chapter: We're out of state for several months in a location where maybe 30% of stores/restaurants do not take AMEX, and without a lot of access to cash.


I always take about 6 different credit cards and a couple debit/ATM cards when travelling. Why take just one (and an Amex at that)?
by jeffyscott
Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turn off water heater on vacation?
Replies: 66
Views: 5739

Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

But the water heater is only one thing that may leak. That sensor would do nothing if anything else in the house leaked. Also there is no pan under our water heater, it sits right next to a floor drain in the basement, so it's leaking while we are on a trip would not be a disaster just a big water b...
by jeffyscott
Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]
Replies: 116
Views: 10672

Re: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]

Actually you should get the details with the card.

Footnote 1 is about rewards at https://www.fidelity.com/cash-managemen ... ature-card, and says: Full details appear in the Program Rules new card customers receive with their card.
by jeffyscott
Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lottery Win...Could a Boglehead handle it?
Replies: 79
Views: 4557

Re: Lottery Win...Could a Boglehead handle it?

Somebody on FB asked what people would do if they won. The majority said buy a car. People have no concept of how much money this is. My wife told me people's comments on a non-financial forum were along those same lines...pay off mortgage, pay off car loan. Really, ya think? So assuming even a $50...
by jeffyscott
Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lottery Win...Could a Boglehead handle it?
Replies: 79
Views: 4557

Re: Lottery Win...Could a Boglehead handle it?

At this high amount, I actually think I would go with an annuity. First, at this high of winnings I don't think you need to worry about growing it, you have enough for generations. I think the annuity would give you the better insurance against all the beggars and scams. In addition the risk of pot...
by jeffyscott
Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card $50 statement credit .... FYI
Replies: 15
Views: 1818

Re: Credit Card $50 statement credit .... FYI

When my Chase United card came up for renewal I called to cancel. They offered me a $100 credit for keeping the card and paying the $95 fee, so I held on for another year. This has not always worked this way in the past, but it cannot hurt to ask! I always cancel by mail because I don't like to lis...
by jeffyscott
Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]
Replies: 116
Views: 10672

Re: Boston Globe > Fidelity, American Express are parting ways

Wikipedia shows "Elan Financial Services, a credit card issuer owned by U.S. Bancorp" under Companies & Brands on this page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elan Yup that's pretty much in-line with what I quoted from Fidelity. From a marketing perspective - this is an attractive way to ...
by jeffyscott
Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lottery Win...Could a Boglehead handle it?
Replies: 79
Views: 4557

Re: Lottery Win...Could a Boglehead handle it?

But I never buy "investments" with negative expected returns, so I'm not going to be the winner. In this case given pot size it does have a positive expected pre-tax return. Take the probability of winning x the payout. 1/292M x $900M = about $3. Yep $3. So $1 net after cost of ticket. Su...
by jeffyscott
Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accumulating air miles for trip to Vancouver
Replies: 2
Views: 320

Re: Accumulating air miles for trip to Vancouver

You can look up the miles needed on the site for the program. For example AA is here: http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/redeemMiles/american-airlines-award-chart.jsp You can also look up what would be currently available if you had the miles right now, just choose "award travel" on their r...
by jeffyscott
Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turn off water heater on vacation?
Replies: 66
Views: 5739

Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

I'm shocked I have not seen anything here like what I do when we leave home for more than a couple of days. We put the water heater on pilot and shut off the water valve to the water heater tank. Anyone see some flaw in this? I've had a old water heater start leaking when I was home and it isn't so...
by jeffyscott
Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best 2% Back VISA/MASTER Card
Replies: 51
Views: 4618

Re: Best 2% Back VISA/MASTER Card

However those who are willing (and able financially) to put up with the "hoops and hassles" of the B of A Travel Rewards card get 2.625%. This is definitely the best deal out there today, by a fair margin. I don't quite understand how B of A can offer this, since I think the total spread ...
by jeffyscott
Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Year in International-Stock Funds (by M*)
Replies: 10
Views: 1503

Re: The Year in International-Stock Funds (by M*)

Larry also wrote about investing in international stocks in general, as well as emerging merkets stock in particular, in this article: Swedroe: Look Abroad For Higher Returns Thanks for that link. Similar expected return (US at 1.1% real, EAFE at 5.3%, and EM at 7.9%) estimates here: http://www.res...
by jeffyscott
Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRECalc - Take Social Security Benefits Early is Better?
Replies: 51
Views: 3798

Re: FIRECalc - Take Social Security Benefits Early is Better?

Strange, it didn't ask me to log in or register before and now does. Use this and just click on the first link: https://www.google.com/search?q=Rate-of-return+analysis+shows+value+of+delaying+Social+Security I'd certainly not expect 5.24% real from 50/50, or even from 100% stocks, so it does sound l...
by jeffyscott
Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRECalc - Take Social Security Benefits Early is Better?
Replies: 51
Views: 3798

Re: FIRECalc - Take Social Security Benefits Early is Better?

Thanks Epsilon Delta and randomguy. I now have a better idea of corrections that would be needed to my analysis. I ran across a more general analysis, which concludes that real returns of delaying Social Security benefits from 62 to 70 are: 3.58% for men, 4.57% for women and 5.24% for the last spous...
by jeffyscott
Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRECalc - Take Social Security Benefits Early is Better?
Replies: 51
Views: 3798

Re: FIRECalc - Take Social Security Benefits Early is Better?

How are you getting 2-3%, inflation adjusted? I am using my FRA of 67 and for a benefit of $1000 per month at 62, with annuity factors I am using, I get a PV of about $161,000. At 63 the benefit would increase to (inflation adjusted) $1086 and PV of about $171,000, with the annuity factors I am usin...
by jeffyscott
Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRECalc - Take Social Security Benefits Early is Better?
Replies: 51
Views: 3798

Re: FIRECalc - Take Social Security Benefits Early is Better?

Another consideration may be the expected returns from your investments compared to the increase in the value of the SS benefit with delay, at the time you must make this decision. With the elimination of the ability to game the system with complex strategies, this analysis is now much easier. The i...
by jeffyscott
Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency Funds Are Bad! [Investopedia article]
Replies: 25
Views: 2685

Re: Emergency Funds Are Bad!

Since the official unemployment rate is 5% wouldn't it be 95% of those who want jobs have them? No, some who are not officially counted as unemployed still want jobs. Not sure where 7% comes from, but it is within the range between U-5, which include "persons marginally attached to the labor f...
by jeffyscott
Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GMO's 7 year predictions
Replies: 8
Views: 2066

Re: GMO's 7 year predictions

June 30, 2013 (~1.5 years ago) their return forecast was: US Large -1.2% US Small -2.7% Intl Large 3.0% Intl Small 3.1% Emerging 7.0% Based on that it seems like the future expected returns of foreign and especially emerging should have diverged more from US, not less. In the past 1.5 years foreign ...
by jeffyscott
Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential price appreciation of townhouse vs. single family house
Replies: 25
Views: 1792

Re: Potential price appreciation of townhouse vs. single family house

...single family detached home has much higher maintenance requirements in terms of time, unless you pay someone else to do it all. Paying someone else to do it all is, of course, exactly what you are doing in a condominium type of ownership (townhouse, in this case). The $133 per month is paying f...
by jeffyscott
Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday tipping: letter carriers
Replies: 120
Views: 7606

Re: Holiday tipping: letter carriers

I didn't bother reading it when it was posted, since it seemed like the thread had run its course. I generally only tip workers who are paid less than minimum wage. Working conditions don't factor into my decision at all. Same here. Whinging by writer turned carrier about how the job is actually wo...
by jeffyscott
Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Check-In on Emerging Market Sentiment
Replies: 57
Views: 4771

Re: Check-In on Emerging Market Sentiment

ray.james wrote:Here is the link: https://www.gmo.com/docs/default-source/public-commentary/gmo-quarterly-letter.pdf
No more procrastination :)


Thanks, it's an interesting one. (I actually read it yesterday :happy )
by jeffyscott
Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best fixed portfolio based on average 30-year total returns?
Replies: 24
Views: 1653

Re: Best fixed portfolio based on average 30-year total returns?

David Jay wrote:100% equity. No debt instruments. Far and away the best 30 year bet.


Or maybe 100% emerging markets small cap value equity? :wink:
by jeffyscott
Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accruing Credit Card Points & Miles on Autopilot?
Replies: 18
Views: 1668

Re: Accruing Credit Card Points & Miles on Autopilot?

I think the only other 2% card is the Citi double cash. Don't have it but it says you can redeem for statement credit, whether or not that can be automated I don't know. In any case, to me this sounds easier than having to create a Fido account. Our Capital One MC does automated redemption for us ev...
by jeffyscott
Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a Roth IRA right for me?
Replies: 9
Views: 1283

Re: Is a Roth IRA right for me?

Thanks for the replies. Yes, convert some of regular IRA to Roth, just enough to stay in the low brackets. Another option I was made aware of is a SEPP Substanial Equal Periodic Payments, however I believe the maximum yearly withdrawal on 500K would be well below what I could put in a Roth and stay...
by jeffyscott
Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best fixed portfolio based on average 30-year total returns?
Replies: 24
Views: 1653

Re: Best fixed portfolio based on average 30-year total returns?

Even if you had 90 years of data, that would still be only 3 independent time periods or data points.
by jeffyscott
Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Much better approach than traditional AA ratios if you have enough?
Replies: 39
Views: 3868

Re: Much better approach than traditional AA ratios if you have enough?

If you have enough money and you want more than "just enough to get by" (an aside...my lifestyle is great...I buy anything I want and I spend considerably less than $60K/yr), increase your "as secure as possible bucket". eg factor spending $80K/yr. This is basically our plan. En...
by jeffyscott
Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Infaltion rate
Replies: 2
Views: 559

Re: Infaltion rate

I think other factors can affect the difference between TIPS and nominal bonds. Philly Fed forecast is 2.15% inflation over next 10 years, despite 10 year bond minus 10 year TIPS showing a difference of just 1.46%. https://www.philadelphiafed.org/research-and-data/real-time-center/survey-of-professi...
by jeffyscott
Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Check-In on Emerging Market Sentiment
Replies: 57
Views: 4771

Re: Check-In on Emerging Market Sentiment

Latest GMO quarterly update does talk about EM in specific and also the economist article. I guess I better get around to reading that, got the email notification a couple days ago. I have been adding to EM, by shifting within foreign, based on the more favorable valuations per GMO's 7 year return ...
by jeffyscott
Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday tipping: letter carriers
Replies: 120
Views: 7606

Re: Holiday tipping: letter carriers

Should I give a tip (gift) to the technician who fixes my car? What about the guys who installed furnace and A/C in our house this year? How about the guys who put in the new carpeting and vinyl for us? The guy who cut down a partially fallen dead tree for us? The other guys who treated our large oa...
by jeffyscott
Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday tipping: letter carriers
Replies: 120
Views: 7606

Re: Holiday tipping: letter carriers

It's true that giving mail carrier Christmas money or whatever is really a gift, rather than tip. In most social situations involving Christmas gifts, there's a mutual exchange. Since I also hate that custom, I am glad that no postal employees, garbage collectors, etc. have ever given me a gift, as ...
by jeffyscott
Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday tipping: letter carriers
Replies: 120
Views: 7606

Re: Holiday tipping: letter carriers

With a median income of $55,000 for letter carriers, I'm not adding a tip to that, never have. We have never had any problems with service. As far as I am concerned, it should be illegal for them to accept anything of value from postal customers and soliciting gifts (if that's what the card is about...
by jeffyscott
Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential price appreciation of townhouse vs. single family house
Replies: 25
Views: 1792

Re: Potential price appreciation of townhouse vs. single family house

Since most buy based on monthly payment, I think the future mortgage rates will be an important factor. If you are paying $200 per month in association fees that's equivalent to borrowing an additional an additional $42,000 at 4%. Back in ancient times we thought 9.5% was a great interest rate on a ...
by jeffyscott
Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Uncle Sam Loves Active Mutual Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 1250

Re: Uncle Sam Loves Active Mutual Funds

Of course, this is only applicable to taxable accounts and, I assume, is based on being in the highest tax bracket.

I'm nearing retirement and have never paid a penny of taxes on our retirement investments as all is in 457, 403b, Roth, I-bonds, and EE bonds.
by jeffyscott
Sat Dec 05, 2015 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security strategy for couples
Replies: 10
Views: 1040

Re: Social Security strategy for couples

"I think it is just saying if A has a lower benefit it's less valuable for A to delay, because A's benefit is essentially temporary or has a shorter term, it effectively ends when the either member of the couple dies. The lower benefit is only paid until one member of the couple dies the highe...
by jeffyscott
Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security strategy for couples
Replies: 10
Views: 1040

Re: Social Security strategy for couples

However, delaying retirement to generate a larger survivor benefit is a moot point if the survivor already has a larger benefit of their own. In fact, a higher-earning spouse makes it less valuable to delay at all, as the other person’s survivor benefit may overwrite the delayed benefit altogether,...
by jeffyscott
Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Long-Term bonds: do you use them in your AA?
Replies: 12
Views: 912

Re: Long-Term bonds: do you use them in your AA?

I use vanguard long term investment grade. I don't have a permanent allocation, depends on yield spreads and what other alternatives are available. Reasons are: 1. Don't really trust corporate management, so prefer being a lender to being an owner. 2. While the yields are low, I think they are worth...
by jeffyscott
Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Demographics the ERP and the risk free rate [Equity Risk Premium]
Replies: 31
Views: 1790

Re: Demographics the ERP and the risk free rate [Equity Risk Premium]

Nisi, life expectancy in 1960 vs today is up 10 full years and second to die is obviously bit higher, that's a huge difference. From 1970 it's up about 9 years. And what is missing from that is people should believe that it will continue to rise as medical advances keep raising it. http://www.cdc.g...
by jeffyscott
Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eyeglasses - Costco Changed Policies - Help!
Replies: 41
Views: 7440

Re: Eyeglasses - Costco Changed Policies - Help!

I have experienced both too high and too low and the significant improvement that even a 2 mm change in seg height can make with the same frame. So even with being measured by an optician, for whatever reason an individual might prefer a couple mm higher (or lower) than what the measurement had indi...
by jeffyscott
Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eyeglasses - Costco Changed Policies - Help!
Replies: 41
Views: 7440

Re: Eyeglasses - Costco Changed Policies - Help!

Second, I myself have ordered several pairs of glasses from Zenni, and they're just fine. The problem with Zenni is that you cannot modify any of their "standard" optical measurements, particularly segment height--how high or low your lined bifocal or invisible bifocal (progressive) is lo...
by jeffyscott
Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What car would you buy today for $6000?
Replies: 57
Views: 4301

Re: What car would you buy today for $6000?

BTW, for about an additional $7000 to $8000, it appears that she could get a new 2015 Versa.

Several other new 2015s can also be purchased for under $15K, so not more than $9K, in addition to the $6K from insurance. (e.g. Accent, Fiesta, Focus, Forte, Rio)
by jeffyscott
Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What would you estimate for return?
Replies: 28
Views: 2733

Re: What would you estimate for return?

For our planning I use 1% real as a worst case. I had once seen a statistic that the worst case, historically, for a moderate portfolio had been about 1.3% real. With assumption of 2.5-3% inflation, those figures would mean around 3.5-4.5% nominal. As of Sept. 30 our trailing 5 year return was 34% c...
by jeffyscott
Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best way t o purchase euros
Replies: 16
Views: 1204

Re: best way t o purchase euros

I'd ask them if they can waive the fee. I'm surprised they would charge you for euros. Our Chase branch and a local bank (work account) didn't charge us anything. Actually, they charged you about 5% by giving a lower exchange rate. For example when we wanted a few euros in September, just to have a...
by jeffyscott
Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What car would you buy today for $6000?
Replies: 57
Views: 4301

Re: What car would you buy today for $6000?

Actually, EmergDoc, it was a 2009 Versa, but your point stands. The insurance company says she can buy the same car for $6000. The previous car was 2009 Nissan Versa. If she wanted new, put $6000 down, and the payments would not be a problem for her, nothing wrong with that either. Might get a deal ...
by jeffyscott
Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What car would you buy today for $6000?
Replies: 57
Views: 4301

Re: What car would you buy today for $6000?

benne77 wrote:I would just shoot out emails to sellers on Craigslist and offering less then asking price.


How can you make an offer without even seeing and driving a used car?

When I have been on the selling end, I would just see that as jerks trying to get two shots at negotiating the price.
by jeffyscott
Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to purchase Volkswagen vehicle?
Replies: 21
Views: 3196

Re: Time to purchase Volkswagen vehicle?

In contrast to the standard anti-VW talking points, we have had a Jetta for 10.5 years and have had to pay for just one repair of about $250 and no reliability issues. Also it does not feature a killer air bag. It was an early build of a newly redesigned model and there were a number of issues fixed...
by jeffyscott
Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What car would you buy today for $6000?
Replies: 57
Views: 4301

Re: What car would you buy today for $6000?

The problem with used Hondas and Toyotas is everyone thinks they will run forever with never a repair bill, thus the prices are inflated for what you get, IMO. For example KBB gives a value of about $5000 (private party sale) for my car in good condition, 2007 Mazda6i sport value edition with 60,000...
by jeffyscott
Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eyeglasses - Costco Changed Policies - Help!
Replies: 41
Views: 7440

Re: Eyeglasses - Costco Changed Policies - Help!

My Rx is very strong, so I require the high index plastic to get them to an acceptable thickness. My Rx is very strong too, around -9 for distance, but I actually can't tolerate the poor optics of high index materials. So no Costco for my eyeglasses. I've been getting Trivex, it is not the thinnest...
by jeffyscott
Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental Insurance
Replies: 53
Views: 4589

Re: Dental Insurance

My main concern, once I retire, are situations I hear about where the bill is huge. I think I recall one on this site, and I know one in my local newspaper, where work cost $20K or $30K. I know that is probably rare but higher chance as I get old. I doubt any policy would cover that degree of work ...
by jeffyscott
Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental Insurance
Replies: 53
Views: 4589

Re: Dental Insurance

I think nearly all dentists in my state take delta dental, they have two networks PPO and premiere. This plan uses DeltaCare network, which doesn't exist in my state at this time. The plan has a $15 enrollment fee so you would pay $160 total for office visits with exam and cleanings, plus a set pric...

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