Search found 3796 matches

by madbrain
Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Plastiq?
Replies: 24
Views: 2989

Re: Using Plastiq?

Just following up on this - my $20 payment from 7/12 posted about 1 week later . The $200 payment which they claim was mailed by check on 7/13 still has not posted. This is quite a long time. I hope it will post next week.
by madbrain
Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do chipped ATM only cards offer more protection vs unchipped?
Replies: 21
Views: 1462

Re: Do chipped ATM only cards offer more protection vs unchipped?

Are there many ATM-only cards? My Chase and Citi ATM cards double as debit cards. My local Citi ATM reads the chip (I have to dip so it can read the magstrip, then reinsert for it to read the chip). I don't know. You have to request one from your financial institutions, and not all will offer it. A...
by madbrain
Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do chipped ATM only cards offer more protection vs unchipped?
Replies: 21
Views: 1462

Re: Do chipped ATM only cards offer more protection vs unchipped?

No way a chipped card provides more security. My chipped credit card was stolen (not physically, so I am not sure how they got my numbers) and used at walgreens, a fast food restaurant and a grocery store. These must have been physical swipes since the fast food restaurant and grocery store showed ...
by madbrain
Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix increasing prices. Will you keep it?
Replies: 73
Views: 9594

Re: Netflix increasing prices. Will you keep it?

It looks like a lot of people thought the price increase was too much, and cancelled. Netflix stock is down 13% today because of it.
by madbrain
Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: discount cards for prescriptions?
Replies: 27
Views: 1514

Re: discount cards for prescriptions?

[ The pharmacy isn't ripping you off, your insurance company has inaccurate/outdated pricing data. Who does the copay go to in the end if the copay is higher than the pharmacy's cash cost for the medication ? If it is a chronic med that you get every month I would suggest using your insurance even ...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Savings Gap Between Women and Men: What Is Your Plan?
Replies: 46
Views: 3987

Re: The Savings Gap Between Women and Men: What Is Your Plan?

JPH wrote:1. Invest more
2. Start investing earlier
3. Earn more
4. Work longer
5. Cut expenses
6. Win the lottery


They forgot to mention :
7. female-to-male gender reassignment.

I'm not sure if this would close the earnings gap, though ;).
by madbrain
Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: discount cards for prescriptions?
Replies: 27
Views: 1514

Re: discount cards for prescriptions?

Yes, it works. In some cases, it is cheaper to pay out of pocket via goodrx versus paying via your health insurance. So, you should check all your prescription price via goodrx if it is greater than $20. With my HMO, if the prescription cost is less than the co-pay, I get charged the actual price, ...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: discount cards for prescriptions?
Replies: 27
Views: 1514

Re: discount cards for prescriptions?

Yes, it works. In some cases, it is cheaper to pay out of pocket via goodrx versus paying via your health insurance. So, you should check all your prescription price via goodrx if it is greater than $20. With my HMO, if the prescription cost is less than the co-pay, I get charged the actual price, ...
by madbrain
Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filed Flexible Spending Account Late - Being Denied $5K spent
Replies: 20
Views: 2041

Re: Filed Flexible Spending Account Late - Being Denied $5K spent

so now double whammy of losing the $5K we spent on child care and paying taxes on this.. Could you clarify what the "double whammy" is? I'm not familiar with the ins and out of an FSA. If you're losing the $5K that sucks. I don't think you're paying any more in taxes as a result, are you?...
by madbrain
Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Plastiq?
Replies: 24
Views: 2989

Re: Using Plastiq?

dontlikebeinganeng wrote:Step 2: Liquidate VGC (non-vanilla) via MO at Walmart, $1000 worth for $0.75 transaction fee


Can you do this at any Wal-Mart ? None of the Wal-Marts in the SF bay area have money centers, or money center kiosks.
by madbrain
Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Loss / Health insurance
Replies: 5
Views: 694

Re: Job Loss / Health insurance

Is this is a small employer (<20 employees), and is that the reason why COBRA is not offered ? That is quite a gap to have, IMO. I would not want to be 1 day without coverage. I guess I should never work for a small company. Just make sure you have new coverage lined up BEFORE you give your two wee...
by madbrain
Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC for emergency and when you would use it
Replies: 38
Views: 2425

Re: HELOC for emergency and when you would use it

hand wrote:I personally wouldn't want to depend on a bank loaning me money after I lost my job, after my house was destroyed, or after an economic upheaval.


Well, you won't have to worry about that - if your house is destroyed, your HELOC will probably be cancelled ;)
by madbrain
Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC for emergency and when you would use it
Replies: 38
Views: 2425

Re: HELOC for emergency and when you would use it

But is it true that people who lost their jobs had their HELOC's cut back or eliminated? How would the bank even know that? They would probably know this if you started being late on credit accounts, have collections, etc. I think some lenders cut credit lines because they were financially squeezed...
by madbrain
Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any wealthy bogleheads NOT use credit cards??
Replies: 88
Views: 4588

Re: Any wealthy bogleheads NOT use credit cards??

normaldude wrote:In fact, I know one restaurant that ONLY accepts credit cards, and physical cash is not allowed.


I believe you can't buy meals with physical cash on an airplane anymore, either.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/34331231/ns/t ... your-cash/
by madbrain
Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any wealthy bogleheads NOT use credit cards??
Replies: 88
Views: 4588

Re: Any wealthy bogleheads NOT use credit cards??

It is much easier to track spending using credit cards. My transactions all download into Quicken automatically. Cash I need to record manually and generally forget. I guess if you are worried about spending too much, leave your wallet at home or don't leave the house. lol Sure thing buddy He is ri...
by madbrain
Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any wealthy bogleheads NOT use credit cards??
Replies: 88
Views: 4588

Re: Any wealthy bogleheads NOT use credit cards??

Fair enough, just never actually happened to me or anyone I know. Happened to me with an iPhone - the screen failed at 18 months , only 1 year warranty. Amex paid for it, in cash, after providing the original receipt and repair quote from the Apple store. We were free to do whatever we wanted with ...
by madbrain
Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Loss / Health insurance
Replies: 5
Views: 694

Re: Job Loss / Health insurance

A friend of mine gave his two weeks notice mid-June, effective June 30th. It wasn't until tonight that he realized he also lost his health care coverage. I recommended he talk to a health insurance broker and get insured through the exchange or off of it (his annual income is pretty good) until he ...
by madbrain
Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Plastiq?
Replies: 24
Views: 2989

Re: Using Plastiq?

This afternoon, I had $200 fee free dollars. I then made another $200 payment towards the mortgage, with no fee. ... I will report on what date those credit card payments actually post to my mortgage account. So, this afternoon, I got an email from Plastiq saying that the $200 payment to my mortgag...
by madbrain
Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Active Managers having their worst year ever!
Replies: 19
Views: 2121

Re: Active Managers having their worst year ever!

quantAndHold wrote:By definition, active managers, in the aggregate, get the market return, minus expenses.


By whose definition ?
by madbrain
Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taking back a mortgage
Replies: 27
Views: 2602

Re: taking back a mortgage

The recourse is that the OP gets to keep the house. That said, I would be cautious too. Exactly. Primary residential mortgages usually have clauses that you must be using the home as your primary residence. If the lender finds out you are not living there, they could technically call the loan in fu...
by madbrain
Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 364
Views: 34095

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Airline miles don't seem the way to go for you given your reasons for not wanting to book far in advance. That doesn't mean you can't play the signup bonus game though. There are lots of hotel credit cards and cash back cards that give generous sign-up bonuses. Correct, overall, with the infrequent...
by madbrain
Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 364
Views: 34095

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

As you're probably aware, you can get really excellent value on United points if used for International business class. Even if you don't really value the flights at the full business class price, you can get good value. But yes, seat availability is limited. It is often best to find the flight you...
by madbrain
Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]
Replies: 266
Views: 31384

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

Yes, I received the same - paper statement says "auto pay active". Surely if they don't process the auto-pay, one could hold them responsible for the mistake. Sigh. So, I called FIA. My paper statement says the autopay will deduct on August 1st. But FIA said they will transfer over the ba...
by madbrain
Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Plastiq?
Replies: 24
Views: 2989

Re: Using Plastiq?

Great. Thank you for sharing your experience and glad to hear you haven't experienced the headaches that others have. Apart from the promotional offers you referenced (which seemingly aren't as frequent now), using Plastiq to satisfy CC spends doesn't make as much sense as other easier/cheaper MS m...
by madbrain
Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 364
Views: 34095

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

With Southwest you are virtually guaranteed 1.5 cents a point vs any cash flight, so you just replace the cash flight you would've done with a points flight (there are no blackouts) and you'll get 1.5 cents/point in value. CSP to United and Southwest are both instant. I can't speak for their other ...
by madbrain
Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 364
Views: 34095

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

We will each earn 59,000 points (50000 signup + 5000 for authorized user + 4000 for regular spending), which can be redeemed for $590 cashback, or $737 in travel, each . Downside is that it will take 2 statements for the points to actually post. I do expect we will get them in time for our next vac...
by madbrain
Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 364
Views: 34095

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Any good sign-ups out there right now? Or rumors of ones that are coming up? I saw an article (can't remember where) that I believe stated that the best sign-ups occur in the fall. A bunch of them are here : http://www.doctorofcredit.com/credit-cards/master-list-of-credit-card-sign-up-bonuses/ I do...
by madbrain
Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Plastiq?
Replies: 24
Views: 2989

Re: Using Plastiq?

BTW, anyone who signs up through a referral link and makes a $20 payment will earn $200 fee-free dollars. I did a search for one on google before I signed up, and made a $20 payment towards my Wells Fargo mortgage last night, which incurred a $0.50 fee. This afternoon, I had $200 fee free dollars. I...
by madbrain
Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]
Replies: 266
Views: 31384

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

Yes, I received the same - paper statement says "auto pay active". Surely if they don't process the auto-pay, one could hold them responsible for the mistake. Sigh. So, I called FIA. My paper statement says the autopay will deduct on August 1st. But FIA said they will transfer over the ba...
by madbrain
Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Positive experiment with Purse.io for 15-25% off Amazon.com
Replies: 64
Views: 10253

Re: Positive experiment with Purse.io for 15-25% off Amazon.com

Did you succeed ? I'm unable to add a credit card to Coinbase. Emailed their support about it. I haven't tried creating a purse.io account because of this. Might try some of the other bitcoin wallets. 3.75% fee for using a credit card on Coinbase is steep, in any case. Nope - I didn't want to give ...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Positive experiment with Purse.io for 15-25% off Amazon.com
Replies: 64
Views: 10253

Re: Positive experiment with Purse.io for 15-25% off Amazon.com

Thanks Jonathan - I just signed up for Purse+Coinbase and will update on how it goes. I buy a ton of stuff on Amazon, and a 15-30% discount would come in handy! Did you succeed ? I'm unable to add a credit card to Coinbase. Emailed their support about it. I haven't tried creating a purse.io account...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making money at home (not your primary job, possibly)
Replies: 13
Views: 2492

Re: Making money at home (not your primary job, possibly)

I have a relative who makes a nice supplemental income by buying and reselling items on the Internet. The important thing is to evaluate what can quickly and easily be resold for a significant profit. He generally makes more from this "hobby" than from his full-time engineering job, but o...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you have any retiree healthcare benefit from your employer?
Replies: 76
Views: 3684

Re: Do you have any retiree healthcare benefit from your employer?ag

I'm an early retiree and have health insurance through my former employer until age 65. I pay the full unsubsidized cost. If I had waited until turned 55, I could have had health insurance at the same subsidized rate I paid as an employee. I left early and so have to pay about $4,800 a year more th...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you have any retiree healthcare benefit from your employer?
Replies: 76
Views: 3684

Re: Do you have any retiree healthcare benefit from your employer?

Like marketwatcher, I could have it for the full unsubsidized cost but only to age 65. That's the only option, and not an actual benefit. I haven't run the numbers but I believe the ACA options would be cheaper (pre-65). That is a benefit, IMO. I wish I had that option. For us, the ACA options woul...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's a new, 70 yr old European investor to do [France]
Replies: 3
Views: 384

What's a new, 70 yr old European investor to do [France]

So, this post is about my mother, who is not quite 70, but will get there in a few months. She currently has a small pension that barely covers all her living expenses. However, there is no cost of living adjustment - or it is very small and not actually keeping up with the actual inflation on her e...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making money at home (not your primary job, possibly)
Replies: 13
Views: 2492

Re: Making money at home (not your primary job, possibly)

I have a relative who makes a nice supplemental income by buying and reselling items on the Internet. The important thing is to evaluate what can quickly and easily be resold for a significant profit. He generally makes more from this "hobby" than from his full-time engineering job, but o...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liking the new Citi CC at Costco
Replies: 182
Views: 29455

Re: Liking the new Citi CC at Costco

Now Citi indicates I have to pay a $37 late fee. As of today there is still no statement showing online and I have not received one. Is this normal? I noticed that Citi had given me a credit for the late. Yea! :D But they still charged me a few bucks interest. :shock: Bankers do love their fees and...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you have any retiree healthcare benefit from your employer?
Replies: 76
Views: 3684

Re: Do you have any retiree healthcare benefit from your employer?

Work for a Megacorp in Silicon Valley - no retiree health care benefits.
by madbrain
Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solving poor cell coverage: Microcell or booster?
Replies: 25
Views: 1341

Re: Solving poor cell coverage: Microcell or booster?

In an AT&T micro-cell video, they talk about the "hand-off" from the cell tower to the micro-cell and vice versa. I suspect that if one is using WiFi calling at home, starts a phone call, then gets in the car while still on the call and drives away that interesting things happen. Also...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solving poor cell coverage: Microcell or booster?
Replies: 25
Views: 1341

Re: Solving poor cell coverage: Microcell or booster?

Do you live in a single family home ? Most likely, since you say you are on a hill. I'm with T-mobile and facing the same issue. T-mobile sent me a free cell phone booster for my home. It still doesn't cover 100% of the home, as it is 4600 sq ft, but it's getting better. Recently, the old booster fa...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Plastiq?
Replies: 24
Views: 2989

Re: Using Plastiq?

Paying the fee makes sense only if you have a rewards rate higher than the fee. This can be helpful for example for credit card introductory offers where you need to satisfy minimum spending during a given period of time to earn a bonus, if you don't normally charge that much to your card. There are...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consolidate Vanguard Into Fidelity (And Get $300 Cash): Good or Bad?
Replies: 8
Views: 801

Re: Consolidate Vanguard Into Fidelity (And Get $300 Cash): Good or Bad?

To put this into perspective, $300 out of $150k is only 0.2% . Often, when you do an asset transfer, your funds are out of the market for several days, sometimes weeks. This can end up costing you much more than $300 / 0.2% . It is not really that much of a good deal unless it happens same-day.
by madbrain
Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Less than 24 hour delivery with Amazon & on Sunday
Replies: 41
Views: 2500

Re: Less than 24 hour delivery with Amazon & on Sunday

It is a bit insane. As I live in Los Angeles, Amazon Prime Fresh is going to make it even more convenient for things like eggs, tomatoes and milk. The prices are quite competitive. I really don't know how a B&M store can compete. Recently I find my wife and I make a conscious choice to go mom a...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet where there is no (good) internet
Replies: 16
Views: 1553

Re: Internet where there is no (good) internet

3) My current solution, in-home LTE (mentioned above by several). Verizon built a cell tower about 1.5 miles from our house, and I happen to be a Verizon user. I added in-home LTE for $10/month. That includes a free super-antenna, router and installation. Also included an extra 2GB of data, and sha...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Rebuilding Cost Estimate
Replies: 24
Views: 1866

Re: Home Rebuilding Cost Estimate

I have the opposite problem. My insurer will not increase their estimate and I cannot get more insurance. They may be right on the estimate but I tried to point out my home had several 'features' that wouldn't be obvious from a drive-by appraisal: heated floors, jetted tub, potfilling station at th...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about adding new wife to my credit cards
Replies: 16
Views: 1320

Re: Question about adding new wife to my credit cards

I STRONGLY advise not to do this. In my opinion, credit profiles should be kept separate even between husband and wife. Joint accounts are fine for checking accounts to pay for household expenses, but joint credit cards are simply ticking time bombs. Once a credit card is made joint, it is extremel...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 Upgrade, the saga continues
Replies: 14
Views: 1653

Re: Windows 10 Upgrade, the saga continues

smartinwate wrote:Interesting that you got this as a July update but the Windows 10 "free" upgrade allegedly ended in June. Is there no end to MS malfeasance?


Your info is incorrect - the free/highly suggested upgrades are going on through July 29, 2016.
by madbrain
Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International Stock has hurt me
Replies: 15
Views: 2453

Re: International Stock has hurt me

I looked tonight at a couple of accounts that I have where I had small 5 in International stock. It has hurt me but I'm up some from where stock market has closed. Market is up from when I did some checking and I was considerably more money then now with market close in numbers of recent days. I ha...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Rebuilding Cost Estimate
Replies: 24
Views: 1866

Re: Home Rebuilding Cost Estimate

You WANT to be insured to value. Carrier tools improve all the time; hopefully yours has too. Yes, that's what I want also - to be insured for market value. But carriers do not allow it - they force you to insure for rebuilding cost. Unfortunately, you do not have an option to insure for market val...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about adding new wife to my credit cards
Replies: 16
Views: 1320

Re: Question about adding new wife to my credit cards

IMO, the best way is to apply for a new card, jointly. The bank will ask for both your SSNs, and it will build credit for both of you. In addition, there are tons of rewards for new credit card accounts going on right - you could easily get $500 backif you spend $3000-$4000 in the first 3 months wit...

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