Search found 6296 matches

by jeffyscott
Sun May 15, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon Mitigation System
Replies: 24
Views: 1712

Re: Radon Mitigation System

Don't rely on just short term tests. After foolishly ignoring this for 19 years, we did a 3 day test in December and level was 2.1, I was relieved thinking my negligence had not caused a problem. Recently a co-worker bought an electronic meter, Corentium. Running this in the same location that had r...
by jeffyscott
Sat May 14, 2016 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Happy with Barclays savings account?
Replies: 49
Views: 15794

Re: Happy with Barclays savings account?

60 days of statement release so you have to keep looking at statements Also note that it says: "you may not get back any funds you lost after the sixty (60) days. So even if you didn't notify within 60 days, it sounds like you should still get back all but $500 of whatever was taken during the...
by jeffyscott
Sat May 14, 2016 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Happy with Barclays savings account?
Replies: 49
Views: 15794

Re: Happy with Barclays savings account?

Your Liability for Unauthorized Transfers During account set-up, you will be invited to create a user name and password to protect your account from unauthorized access. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality and security of your user name and password. Tell us immediately if you b...
by jeffyscott
Mon May 09, 2016 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frequent Flyer Miles - taxable?
Replies: 21
Views: 2302

Re: Frequent Flyer Miles - taxable?

What I think is the simplest and safest, is to enter a negative amount under other income and call it a prize or reward adjustment. Never had this questioned. I only entered to get the free 700 miles, which are of value to me as I scrounge for my last ~1000 miles, but thanks for the plan in case I ...
by jeffyscott
Sun May 08, 2016 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frequent Flyer Miles - taxable?
Replies: 21
Views: 2302

Re: Frequent Flyer Miles - taxable?

One case where people routinely get issued 1099s for frequent flyer miles is when they win them in some contest/raffle. E.g., American Airlines's current 35 anniversary (of AAdvantage) raffle: https://secure.fly.aa.com/milesformilestones/?cc=1 The fine print states: "PRIZE DETAILS: Thirty Five...
by jeffyscott
Sun May 01, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy the Retirement House?
Replies: 17
Views: 1847

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: 2020

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: 65
Views: 5801

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: 1847

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: 876

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: 2020

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: 2127

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: 1738

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: 1082

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: 2127

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: 4330

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: 1314

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: 4330

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: 1602

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: 1921

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: 8022

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: 8022

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: 8022

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: 8022

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: 2306

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: 8022

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: 1133

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: 2306

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: 3584

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: 2632

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: 2632

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: 2682

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: 3361

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: 17092

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: 2632

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: 160
Views: 18357

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: 2632

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: 17092

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: 3994

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: 5079

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: 901

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: 1089

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: 3994

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: 6504

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: 16631

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: 16631

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: 6504

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: 6504

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: 2532

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: 6504

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...

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