Search found 6291 matches

by jeffyscott
Sun May 01, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy the Retirement House?
Replies: 17
Views: 1717

Re: Buying the Retirement House

Would your plan be better than just having a house with no mortgage in TX? You could then set up a HELOC on the TX house, so that you can borrow against it at any time, should anything turn up in CA. Ah, now this is something that I hadn't thought of... What are the interest rates on a HELOC? Are t...
by jeffyscott
Sun May 01, 2016 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is It Time to Ditch Ibonds?
Replies: 10
Views: 1925

Re: Is It Time to Ditch Ibonds?

If I have this right, on Aug 1st, 2015, the time to sell began for bonds purchased in May of 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. You would have forfeited 3 months of zero interest as of that point. I think this is an incorrect analysis for this situation. Yes, the penalty would have been 0% but only because...
by jeffyscott
Sun May 01, 2016 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Couples: Are you and your significant other on the same page financially?
Replies: 49
Views: 3293

Re: Couples: Are you and your significant other on the same page financially?

We are pretty similar on spending. We saved a large percentage of our income for many years and paid off mortgage when we were in early 40s. She then quit working at 50. I will retire at about 56. Excluding taxes and health care, our spending has been averaging about $2000 per month over the past se...
by jeffyscott
Sun May 01, 2016 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy the Retirement House?
Replies: 17
Views: 1717

Re: Buying the Retirement House

Would your plan be better than just having a house with no mortgage in TX? You could then set up a HELOC on the TX house, so that you can borrow against it at any time, should anything turn up in CA.
by jeffyscott
Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost to replace furnace
Replies: 8
Views: 820

Re: cost to replace furnace

We paid about $6500 for 60,000 BTU furnace and 2.5 ton A/C last summer. This was a Carrier Infinity 96.7% efficiency, 2-stage furnace with with variable speed (ECM) blower and a fancy communicating wifi touch screen thermostat. The A/C was the cheapest basic model and would have been around $2800 on...
by jeffyscott
Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is It Time to Ditch Ibonds?
Replies: 10
Views: 1925

Re: Is It Time to Ditch Ibonds?

Doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me to borrow at 3%+ in order to invest in I-bonds earning a rate equal to inflation. Looks like the variable rate is going to about 0.16%, so I believe that your I-bonds are going to be earning between 0.16% and 1.64% for at least the next 6-12 months. Also the...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will Chip + Sign CC work in Europe?
Replies: 27
Views: 2011

Re: Will Chip + Sign CC work in Europe?

If it doesn't work at first or prompt for a pin, try 0000 or more depending on the length of the input field. Does this actually work? Are you taking the chance of the ultimate nightmare of having the machine "eat" your card? I would guess that would only happen after multiple failed atte...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Income AMount
Replies: 10
Views: 1609

Re: Retirement Income AMount

According to this: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-livi ... ted-states
most places they show in FL have cost of living similar to or lower than Anchorage. There are also a lot of other cost of living calculators available online.
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to make sure the IRS received my 1040?
Replies: 12
Views: 1034

Re: How to make sure the IRS received my 1040?

File electronically and within a day or two you get an email with something like: "Congratulations! Your Federal return for 2015 Tax Year was accepted by the IRS."

In my case this message and a similar message for my state return came on the same day that I transmitted the return.
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will Chip + Sign CC work in Europe?
Replies: 27
Views: 2011

Re: Will Chip + Sign CC work in Europe?

Agree with above, I would get Barclay Arrival or Arrival+ so you will have a PIN in case you need it. Worked great for train tickets in Italy for us last fall. We saw a lot of people waiting in line to buy tickets at the counter, don't know if some were stuck doing that due to not having a PIN card?...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS cashed unsigned check
Replies: 40
Views: 4229

Re: IRS cashed unsigned check

And the correct response rarely happens. The first impediment is; as an example, if you have been going to the same grocery store every week for years all the cashiers recognize you as a regular and don't ask. I don't think that is even much of a factor. It is pretty rare to have a cashier ask for ...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you take a part time job for discounted travel?
Replies: 17
Views: 1231

Re: Would you take a part time job for discounted travel?

I'm not retired quite yet, but already do have an extra part-time "job" that provides discounted travel. The job entails applying for and managing credit card sign-up bonuses. Currently have about 450,000 miles/points stock piled and have not paid airfare (aside from fees that are charged ...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS cashed unsigned check
Replies: 40
Views: 4229

Re: IRS cashed unsigned check

I get a kick out of the store credit card processors that require an onscreen signature for amounts over $25. No matter how badly I sign the screen it goes through. I have used straight up and down lines or even "John Hancock" yet it always goes through :oops: LOL, sign it the same way yo...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Contributions - taxable or not taxable?
Replies: 20
Views: 1521

Re: HSA Contributions - taxable or not taxable?

I am leery to do taxes myself as I have never done them before. I also work in a different state than where I reside - it can get complicated. I would rather pay someone to do a good job and advise on tax planning. Well, your family CPA, who does not understand how HSAs work, appears to not meet th...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: new Vanguard paper on active management
Replies: 28
Views: 1798

Re: new Vanguard paper on active management

Vanguard active funds have lower expenses than 70% of index funds! Vanguard active funds have a fairly small cost hurdle to overcome relative to Vanguard index funds. As noted above, according to the October 2015 research paper, Vanguard active funds have beaten costless benchmark indexes over the p...
by jeffyscott
Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus
Replies: 85
Views: 7710

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus

Southwest point values are slightly reduced by the points you would have earned from southwest (in addition to your CC points earned) having paid cash for the flight instead of paying with points, but those points are worth less due to the future redemption of forfeiting point earning there.. there...
by jeffyscott
Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus
Replies: 85
Views: 7710

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus

You likely do. But here's the crux of the matter I think most points enthusiasts disregard. Just because you're redeeming for X value doesn't mean the points are worth X. I just cashed in 125,000 UR points for a 5 night stay at a Hyatt which would have cost me $1000/night. Now you can say I earned ...
by jeffyscott
Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus
Replies: 85
Views: 7710

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus

It isn't that hard to figure out if it is a good deal. Just take your grocery spend times .06 subtract 75 for the annual fee and then divide by your grocery spend. That will give you your cash back after the fee. If that number is higher than what you normally use for groceries then you should get ...
by jeffyscott
Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus
Replies: 85
Views: 7710

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus

Is there a best bang for the buck re UR points? Wife and I have a bunch i.e. Over 100k+ and we were wondering whether it makes sense to use them for short haul flights or save for an extravagant trip? Also, if I buy a plane ticket through Chase without using the points, do I get more points than go...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: T. Rowe Price Active Management Betters Benchmarks
Replies: 24
Views: 2153

Re: T. Rowe Price Active Management Betters Benchmarks

Dodge and Cox appears to be #4, is that right? I have also used them. Some time ago, I kind of settled on restricting ourselves to considering funds only from Vanguard, T. Rowe, and Dodge and Cox. We actually originally started with T. Rowe Price on our own long before my wife had the job with the 4...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus
Replies: 85
Views: 7710

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus

We value the Chase ultimate rewards since we travel alot and hope to eventually trade out the Citi DC for the new Freedom Unlimited. Havent paid cash for a flight in a long time thanks to ultimate rewards (southwest has the best transfer ratio) If not for the $95 fee to keep a Sapphire preferred ca...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spousal SS question
Replies: 15
Views: 1069

Re: Spousal SS question

I would not project getting your projected full benefits 20 years from now. One way or another there will be changes. If there are no other changes, those benefits will be reduced by about 25% under current law. After 2019, Treasury will redeem trust fund asset reserves to the extent that program co...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: T. Rowe Price Active Management Betters Benchmarks
Replies: 24
Views: 2153

Re: T. Rowe Price Active Management Betters Benchmarks

We have used T. Rowe for a long time. It was the best option that my wife's employer had offered for her 403b. I often think maybe we should transfer that money over to Vanguard, but T. Rowe seems to keep earning their somewhat higher fees. I will be very interested to see Larry's review whenever he...
by jeffyscott
Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another reason why delaying SS is a good idea (from Jonathan Clements)
Replies: 22
Views: 3533

Re: Another reason why delaying SS is a good idea (from Jonathan Clements)

Not to mention, sure, waiting till 70 to take ss will get you the maximum payout, but what if you only need half or 2/3 of it to live on anyway? You only need ENOUGH, not MORE than enough. Right? We won't need more than we would get at 62, in fact pensions plus my wife's age 62 SS will probably be ...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening multiple credit cards for bonuses?
Replies: 30
Views: 2464

Re: Opening multiple credit cards for bonuses?

Number of accounts is listed as a low impact factor. So it's not surprising that you can have an excellent credit rating regardless of the number of accounts.

It's like the number of new accounts, my rating remained high even when the number of new accounts was classified as "poor".
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening multiple credit cards for bonuses?
Replies: 30
Views: 2464

Re: Opening multiple credit cards for bonuses?

Credit Karma says 0-5 accounts is poor, 21 or more is excellent. Accounts includes loans as well as credit cards.

According to that site, I have 35 (or 41) total with 13 (or 14) being open and this is rated as excellent.
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace auto wiper blades vs inserts
Replies: 31
Views: 2623

Re: Replace auto wiper blades vs inserts

Discovered the new "beam" or "bracketless" type blades when my wife's 2005 VW came with them as OEM. My 2007 came with the old style blades, switched over after 6 months. Inserts are not really an option for the beam style blades. Beam type blades are much better, IMO. Especially...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Under kitchen cabinet LED lighting
Replies: 29
Views: 3217

Re: Under kitchen counter LED lighting

When DH did under cabinet lighting in our kitchen, the best thing he did was do put a motion detector. When I wandered in in the middle of the night to get a glass of water, the soft lighting turned on, then switched off when I left. A luxurious, but not expensive, touch. We had an electrician but ...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liking the new Citi CC at Costco
Replies: 69
Views: 16726

Re: Liking the new Citi CC at Costco

I'm just happy Costco is switching to VISA because it means one less card I need to deal with. If they take the Costco VISA then they will have to take any of my VISA cards and I'll no longer need to be carrying a separate credit card just for use at Costco as I do now with the AMEX. Well, if you d...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening multiple credit cards for bonuses?
Replies: 30
Views: 2464

Re: Opening multiple credit cards for bonuses?

Just paid bills on time, I guess. Never made a late payment and never bounced a check, but have never tried to manage credit scores beyond just doing those things. After double checking actual scores according to credikarma and credit cards are 825 and 837. IIRC, was in the high 700s when began taki...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]
Replies: 152
Views: 16024

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

I'm confused by the thraed here - are people saying the new card is not a true 2% cashback card? It's always 2% cash back if you redeem it back into a Fidelity account like the free Cash Management account. The previous card issued by FIA had the option to get 2% cash back through a check or statem...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening multiple credit cards for bonuses?
Replies: 30
Views: 2464

Re: Opening multiple credit cards for bonuses?

I've been doing the bonus game for years. Not to the level of some, did about 5 new cards in last year and credit score remains high, around 850. One issue did come up a few years ago with an insurance company wanting to raise our rates based on their "insurance credit score". They were gi...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liking the new Citi CC at Costco
Replies: 69
Views: 16726

Re: Liking the new Citi CC at Costco

and add in the 6% CASH back on groceries AMEX Blue Cash Preferred. Well, if you shop for groceries mostly at Costco, as we do - and I suspect many in this thread also do, this card would not give you 6% back on groceries. And of course, you won't be able to use AMEX after june. The only 2 Amex I ha...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a 25% price decline for US stocks possible?
Replies: 25
Views: 3914

Re: Is a 25% price decline for US stocks possible?

Nonsense, the government can create $20 trillion and pay that debt any time it so chooses.

Even if a foolish political choice were made to default, it would be a temporary delay in making payments.
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery budget too high? Are there threads here on this? I tried searching
Replies: 62
Views: 4980

Re: Grocery budget too high? Are there threads here on this? I tried searching

By my calculation, for a couple plus one adult male, you are just above the "thrifty" ($609) level according to Dept. of Agriculture.

http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/ ... 2016_0.pdf
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Insurance article. (New methods.)
Replies: 4
Views: 893

Re: Long Term Care Insurance article. (New methods.)

1) Short-term care insurance. These plans are similar to long-term care insurance policies, but benefits are typically capped at one year. Not only are they less expensive, but they may also be available to older seniors or those who aren't otherwise eligible for long-term coverage. Pay for long-te...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Looking for Audible (audio book) recommendations
Replies: 14
Views: 1055

Re: Looking for Audible (audio book) recommendations

I have no Audible recommendations, but for public domain books you might try LibriVox for free audiobooks, there's a free android app.
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a 25% price decline for US stocks possible?
Replies: 25
Views: 3914

Re: Is a 25% price decline for US stocks possible?

It was only about 7-8 years ago that we had over a 50% decline from, I think, similar valuation levels.

Of course 25% or much more is entirely possible. We'll probably either see that or have a long period of low returns. CAPE (aka Shiller P/E) is around 24, a 25% decline would still leave it at 18.
by jeffyscott
Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upping my mileage/points game
Replies: 72
Views: 6247

Re: Upping my mileage/points game

Delta miles do not expire, no activity is required to keep them.

There's usually fairly easy ways to earn a few points/miles for the others and prevent expiration, though. Hilton has a no fee Visa, I'd guess all you had needed to do was get that and make a purchase once in a while.
by jeffyscott
Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco and AMEX
Replies: 57
Views: 16366

Re: Costco and AMEX

Maybe if the credit card companies had reasonable fees, they'd accept them all.

Costco is paying Amex about 0.6%, they'll be paying Visa about 0. What do other retailers pay?

Many customers, like myself, get their annual membership fee and more back with the 2% rebate for executive membership.
by jeffyscott
Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco and AMEX
Replies: 57
Views: 16366

Re: Costco and AMEX

● Beginning June 20, 2016 Costco will no longer accept American Express cards in its warehouses, gas stations or online at Costco.com . Looks like Costco is /really/ cutting off from American Express. Costco.com currently accepts VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express. Thanks for highlighting...
by jeffyscott
Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upping my mileage/points game
Replies: 72
Views: 6247

Re: Upping my mileage/points game

Yep, I know those upgrades will never be available for a price anywhere near what I'm willing to pay.
by jeffyscott
Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upping my mileage/points game
Replies: 72
Views: 6247

Re: Upping my mileage/points game

But then something happened: I discovered international business class. Wow, I’m hooked on actually being able to sleep on a plane! To me points/miles are money. I will never be willing to spend 100,000 miles (rather than the normal 60,000) for that, the extra 40,000 miles is worth at least $400-60...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Coming Costco AMEX Rebate Problem
Replies: 19
Views: 2407

Re: The Coming Costco AMEX Rebate Problem

Looks like that's an older product and you never converted to the newer one, see last question here:
http://mytrueearnings.com/answers
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upping my mileage/points game
Replies: 72
Views: 6247

Re: Upping my mileage/points game

But then something happened: I discovered international business class. Wow, I’m hooked on actually being able to sleep on a plane! Using 100,000 miles I was able to get a business class trip to Munich for Oktoberfest, a ticket I would never be able to afford with cash. I earned 50,000 of those mil...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Coming Costco AMEX Rebate Problem
Replies: 19
Views: 2407

Re: The Coming Costco AMEX Rebate Problem

I don't know what card those tiers relate to, but the Costco "TrueEarnings" Amex does not have those, rebates are at least 1% on everything: You will earn an annual reward of: 3% on the first $4,000 of purchases each annual reward period (1% thereafter) of gasoline at Costco and at gas sta...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Effective Tax Rate
Replies: 16
Views: 1863

Re: Effective Tax Rate

I'll add a bonus question: Did anybody get more cash-back from their credit cards than they paid in Federal income taxes? Not cash, but based on valuing American and United miles at 1.5 cents, our total rebates in miles and dollars exceeded our Federal tax liability. The majority was sign-up bonuse...
by jeffyscott
Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saver's tax credit with pension - joint return
Replies: 11
Views: 662

Re: Saver's tax credit with pension - joint return

Jeffy, If you never made any voluntary contributions to the DB plan, you should not have to reduce the Saver's tax credit by benefits from such a DB pension. I think that position can be defended. I have come to the same conclusion. So that will be my plan. The law, 26 U.S. Code § 25B (d)(2)(A), sa...
by jeffyscott
Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saver's tax credit with pension - joint return
Replies: 11
Views: 662

Re: Saver's tax credit with pension - joint return

Thanks, Alan. I will research this further. It's actually going to be a potential future situation. I was doing some planning to maximize our future tax credits. It did seem odd to me that pension would be treated that way. It'll only be a one year issue, with a mid-year retirement. Huey, I never ma...
by jeffyscott
Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saver's tax credit with pension - joint return
Replies: 11
Views: 662

Re: Saver's tax credit with pension - joint return

Sorry, wrong code. The form instructions also say that line 4 is to include: "Qualified retirement plans as defined in section 4974(c) (including the federal Thrift Savings Plan)." 4974(c) says: "For purposes of this section, the term “qualified retirement plan” means— (1) a plan desc...

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