Search found 1431 matches

by michaeljc70
Wed May 24, 2017 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of electronic access
Replies: 41
Views: 2977

Re: Risks of electronic access

I think that telling people that are not that technologically oriented and are thinking about giving up all online access to start using linux or some other convoluted method is not the solution. I work in IT (as a developer) and am not going to start using Linux or whatever to access my financial a...
by michaeljc70
Wed May 24, 2017 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone ever live/living on a boat?
Replies: 20
Views: 2052

Re: anyone ever live/living on a boat?

Though boats do depreciate, it is at a much slower rate than a car. I bought a 1 year old cabin cruiser and sold it 10 years later for 2/3rds of what I paid for it. I am not familiar with marinas in the NW. but slips in good locations tend to be expensive where I live (Chicago). It might limit your ...
by michaeljc70
Tue May 23, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of electronic access
Replies: 41
Views: 2977

Re: Risks of electronic access

This to me is like saying you aren't going to drive because the risks are too great. Just be careful. As other posters said, things can go wrong (on the vendors side) even if you take every precaution you can.
by michaeljc70
Tue May 23, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?
Replies: 90
Views: 6958

Re: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?

There's a lot of anecdotal comments, but Subaru ranked 19th in the JD Power 2017 reliability survey. They came in 11th in the Consumer Reports survey. As someone else said, cars overall are very reliable, but Subaru seems to be middle of the pack or lower in terms of reliability.
by michaeljc70
Tue May 23, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: % Roth vs. % traditional
Replies: 91
Views: 3103

Re: % Roth vs. % traditional

The short answer is that if your marginal (top) tax bracket will be lower in retirement than it is now, you should be 'all in' with the traditional tax-deferred accounts if you want to maximize your after-tax income. If your concern extends to heirs and such, it gets a lot more complicated. If you ...
by michaeljc70
Tue May 23, 2017 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it spending money to keep your house looking sharp?
Replies: 37
Views: 3558

Re: Is it worth it spending money to keep your house looking sharp?

anoop wrote:Personally, if I cannot maintain something in the way I consider acceptable, then I will not own it.


I agree.

You don't have to go crazy about maintenance, but I think there is a minimum threshold.

Where I live (Chicago), no one pressure washes their driveway either.
by michaeljc70
Tue May 23, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice from FF miles experts
Replies: 23
Views: 1530

Re: Need advice from FF miles experts

I don't use them unless I am getting near 2 cents a mile or more. Some people don't travel places that you can get that much. I do. I used 60k miles for a last minute ticket to Europe this spring and 60k for a ticket to Argentina last fall that would have cost $1300. They are very useful for non-rou...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 22, 2017 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TDBank promo just started easy $600
Replies: 109
Views: 16760

Re: TDBank promo just started easy $600

Looks like they are offering the $300 bonus again: "Online only, open a TD Bank Premier Checking℠ account today and earn $300 when you receive direct deposits of $2,500 or more within 60 days of opening your account. TD Premier Checking℠ features a $0 monthly maintenance fee with $2,500 minimum...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 22, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of electronic access
Replies: 41
Views: 2977

Re: Risks of electronic access

All credit cards I know of in this country (USA) have fraud protection so I have zero concern about them although I do check them a couple times a month. I do zero financial transaction by smartphone. Don't even have their apps on my phone. I use long strong passwords (14-16 aLpHa numeric) characte...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 22, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping credit score up
Replies: 20
Views: 1365

Re: Keeping credit score up

The way I understand it is that everyone over 780 is in the same boat. I thought it was 760? Depend on the context. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have a single credit score. There are specific scores lenders can use for specific purposes and they aren't all on the same scale. Yes. I have a...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 22, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computing device for elderly relative
Replies: 34
Views: 1365

Re: Computing device for elderly relative

Is there a reason this device needs to be portable? If not, look into a chrome box , along with a large monitor, full-size keyboard and mouse. Should be way easier on elderly eyes than a 10" iPad or 11" Chromebook. As I said before, why are people locked in on portability. The good ergono...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 22, 2017 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping credit score up
Replies: 20
Views: 1365

Re: Keeping credit score up

adam61 wrote:Am I overdramatizing the long-term effect on my credit score?

Yes

If you need a mortgage, your credit score will still be plenty high if everything else stays equal.
by michaeljc70
Mon May 22, 2017 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of electronic access
Replies: 41
Views: 2977

Re: Risks of electronic access

I wouldn't worry about it if you take adequate precautions. 2 factor authentication is important, especially on brokerage accounts or accounts with big balances. I had fraudulent charges on a credit card last weekend. I still have the card. Who knows how they got the number. Could be from a site I o...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 22, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computing device for elderly relative
Replies: 34
Views: 1365

Re: Computing device for elderly relative

I think a Chromebook is a good way to go. It is hard to screw things up and easy to restore if you do. You can remote in using Chrome Remote Desktop. The only thing I would say about the R11 is the screen is kind of small. I would go with a 13" or bigger screen unless they have great vision.
by michaeljc70
Sun May 21, 2017 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1609
Views: 248089

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I've seen the Prestige mentioned. I was thinking of getting one. If I get the annual travel credit twice that is $500 and then you get $400/$500 in points ($500 if used for travel). AF is $450. Also lounge access and no foreign transaction fees. I already have Global Entry so that reimbursement doe...
by michaeljc70
Sun May 21, 2017 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1609
Views: 248089

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I've seen the Prestige mentioned. I was thinking of getting one. If I get the annual travel credit twice that is $500 and then you get $400/$500 in points ($500 if used for travel). AF is $450. Also lounge access and no foreign transaction fees. I already have Global Entry so that reimbursement does...
by michaeljc70
Fri May 19, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs
Replies: 44
Views: 3087

Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

It seems like not everyone in the area is having their roof replaced (OP originally) and therefore it is not a universal thing. Certainly the type of roof, age of roof, positioning (trees, protection from other homes, etc.) vary. I don't see how you get a claim free discount when you have filed a c...
by michaeljc70
Fri May 19, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs
Replies: 44
Views: 3087

Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

When we had hail damage we were told by insurance agent that this is considered "an act of God" and a claim does not affect individual rates. Also the claim has already been made, it is just a question whether it is denied or not at this point. A denied claim is still a claim and can affe...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 18, 2017 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs
Replies: 44
Views: 3087

Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

I don't know, but as you note it is kind of silly to not make a claim because the cost of your insurance may go up. The way to avoid claims is by having a high deductible. My insurance company allows up to $25,000 deductible. Yes, but the OP had an adjuster out twice and they said the roof was fine...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 18, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs
Replies: 44
Views: 3087

Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

When we had hail damage we were told by insurance agent that this is considered "an act of God" and a claim does not affect individual rates. Also the claim has already been made, it is just a question whether it is denied or not at this point. A denied claim is still a claim and can affe...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 18, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs
Replies: 44
Views: 3087

Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

I am not sure I would be in a big hurry to get a roof that isn't needed. Your premium will go up for years to come and if you have another claim they likely will drop you. Have you looked at the roof? Different insurance companies have different policies and adjusters. I'm surprised hail would ruin ...
by michaeljc70
Tue May 16, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?
Replies: 34
Views: 17159

Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

This is dicey. If the owner charges more than the other employees, that could be justification for not tipping. However, if you are a casual customer, how do you even know they are the owner? I don't get this concept if it is someone you would normally tip. And I know people in this situation and th...
by michaeljc70
Tue May 16, 2017 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle
Replies: 30
Views: 2457

Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

I didn't read any of the posts. Any post that says "convince me" makes me think it is a ruse to try and convince /justify someone to do something that isn't in their best interest. If it clearly makes sense, no one needs to convince you.
by michaeljc70
Tue May 16, 2017 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?
Replies: 90
Views: 6958

Re: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?

After considering those, I got a Mazda CX-5. I much prefered the way it drove. I think it looked better too. We'll see on the reliability. Probably won't match Honda or Toyota, but I drive 6k miles a year and probably will keep it 10-12 years only. 2 1/2 years into it, I still really like it. The RA...
by michaeljc70
Tue May 16, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1609
Views: 248089

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I'm kind of surprised at how low some of these bonuses are. I don't bother unless it is worth $500+ to me. If I am going to put in the time, take the credit hit and hit that might prevent me from getting a good bonus card, I won't do it for $100 or $200. Most recently I got an AA for 60k miles and U...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 15, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?
Replies: 67
Views: 4788

Re: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?

Though, like I said above, we tipped, it didn't seem to help in some cases. The mixed drinks were very weak. We tipped the bartender well and they were still very weak (mostly- we befriended one bartender). We were not looking to get bombed or anything, but I'd rather have 3 drinks that are 25% alc...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 15, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?
Replies: 67
Views: 4788

Re: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?

Having not been to any Caribbean / Mexico AIs, are you tipping in US Dollars, or converting to local currency. I'd think US Dollars would add a hassle-factor for the service people. +1 I was thinking that too. To me intentionally using dollars or anything when you are in a foreign country seems odd...
by michaeljc70
Sun May 14, 2017 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?
Replies: 67
Views: 4788

Re: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?

I think the approach taken on most cruises now would help some of the issue brought up above. Typically they add a service charge per day to your bill at the end that goes to the people that wait on you in the restaurants and clean your room. I don't think it is that big of a hassle to bring a bunch...
by michaeljc70
Sun May 14, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?
Replies: 67
Views: 4788

Re: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?

I tip. What is an extra 50 bucks over a 3-4 days to me? I will typically give a 10 to the bartender at the pool at the beginning and coast for several hours. I especially tip the servers that do the beach service. It looks extremely challenging to be trekking through the sand in pants and a long sl...
by michaeljc70
Sun May 14, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars: Expense or Asset?
Replies: 84
Views: 4430

Re: Cars: Expense or Asset?

An asset is an asset. It has nothing to do whether it goes up or down in value or has expenses associated with it. My mutual funds have expenses associated with them. So I should not count them in my net worth? From a practical standpoint, it is most likely not worth tracking low cost items (relativ...
by michaeljc70
Sun May 14, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars: Expense or Asset?
Replies: 84
Views: 4430

Re: Cars: Expense or Asset?

EnjoyIt wrote:I don't fully understand the purpose of this exercise. Does it really matter?

Unless you have a classic car, that car probably shouldn't be in your net worth calculation as it dubiously inflates it.


How does a car at market value (what you can sell it for) inflate your net worth?
by michaeljc70
Sun May 14, 2017 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?
Replies: 67
Views: 4788

Re: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?

My husband and I just came back from vacation in DR at an AI resort. We always bring money to tip everyone, but we noticed that a lot of people do not tip. For example, this is what we would typically leave for tips: Drinks - $1/drink Buffet Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner - $3-$5 Sit down dinner - $10 Just...
by michaeljc70
Sat May 13, 2017 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars: Expense or Asset?
Replies: 84
Views: 4430

Re: Cars: Expense or Asset?

I've always felt adding your car to your net worth was engaging in mental gymnastics. Do you add the value of all the furniture in your home? What about TVs? How about that old 2 channel stereo receiver? All of these things are depreciating assets. Just because the car is the largest ticket item at...
by michaeljc70
Sat May 13, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars: Expense or Asset?
Replies: 84
Views: 4430

Re: Cars: Expense or Asset?

This isn't an either/or situation - a car is both an expense (at least it creates expenses including depreciation) and an asset, just like your house and yes your couch and clothing. The meaningful question here is what is the most useful way to treat it for personal finance decision making and tha...
by michaeljc70
Sat May 13, 2017 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?
Replies: 67
Views: 4788

Re: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?

Though, like I said above, we tipped, it didn't seem to help in some cases. The mixed drinks were very weak. We tipped the bartender well and they were still very weak (mostly- we befriended one bartender). We were not looking to get bombed or anything, but I'd rather have 3 drinks that are 25% alco...
by michaeljc70
Sat May 13, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?
Replies: 67
Views: 4788

Re: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?

I don't know about the DR but I have heard in that in Mexico that the maids often do not get any pay and just work for the TIPs that they get. Even at an all inclusive I would still tip the maid. Buffet Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner - $3-$5 Why would you tip at a buffet? I never tip at a buffet unless the...
by michaeljc70
Sat May 13, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?
Replies: 67
Views: 4788

Re: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?

Sandals is pretty pricey, so if their staff doesn't accept tips, then there is no issue there. I was at a nice, but relatively inexpensive, all-Inclusive in Mexico in January and it said "service" was included. However, we tipped. We saw other people tip, but not everyone did. We tipped a ...
by michaeljc70
Sat May 13, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars: Expense or Asset?
Replies: 84
Views: 4430

Re: Cars: Expense or Asset?

I don't see much of a difference financially. It is a depreciating asset which means an asset and an expense (the depreciation). I am not sure why it matters as a car is certainly not an investment. I don't know your reasons, but a lot of these type of posts strike me as people who are trying to jus...
by michaeljc70
Fri May 12, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does a new car purchase make sense?
Replies: 38
Views: 2485

Re: Does a new car purchase make sense?

The safety of an 8 year old car would not cause me to buy a new car unless that specific model was known to have some safety defect. Are you sure that isn't an excuse? The chances of you being in a major accident and it making a difference are very small.
by michaeljc70
Fri May 12, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cities for older tech workers?
Replies: 51
Views: 4072

Re: Best cities for older tech workers?

I think, with those smaller cities, that if you lose your employer/ main client, then you are going to have to move to another city. There are just not other companies around. The OP is some sort of web developer so there will be some demand for that type of work in any place large large enough to ...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 11, 2017 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cities for older tech workers?
Replies: 51
Views: 4072

Re: Best cities for older tech workers?

I recommend looking into getting into remote working position. 1) Less/No agism and need to fit in with younger co-workers 2) Complete flexibility in where you live and the cost of living you want 3) No commute I've worked from home mostly for several jobs, but it was after the client knew me and m...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 11, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cities for older tech workers?
Replies: 51
Views: 4072

Re: Best cities for older tech workers?

I live in Chicago and work in tech and am (barely) over 45. There is a lot of work, especially for larger companies and contracting. I've been contracting for 20+ years. The cost of living depends where you live (different city neighborhoods vs city vs. suburbs). I think relative to the salaries, i...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 11, 2017 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cities for older tech workers?
Replies: 51
Views: 4072

Re: Best cities for older tech workers?

Hello, I work in the tech industry and am looking to relocate to increase the chance of becoming financially independent sooner. I am looking for a metro area that meets the following criteria; 1. Reasonable cost of living (housing, taxes, etc.) 2. Employment and networking opportunity in tech (esp...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 11, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My plan to use policy loans to fund first five years of retirement
Replies: 61
Views: 3373

Re: My plan to use policy loans to fund first five years of retirement

The current rate is 5%...but that can change from year to year. But, whatever the interest is, it is offset by the gains in other instruments. Especially if that's a time when equity markets are low, I'd rather let my assets grow. Sounds like market timing. What would be the criteria to know if the...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 11, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My plan to use policy loans to fund first five years of retirement
Replies: 61
Views: 3373

Re: My plan to use policy loans to fund first five years of retirement

The current rate is 5%...but that can change from year to year. But, whatever the interest is, it is offset by the gains in other instruments. Especially if that's a time when equity markets are low, I'd rather let my assets grow. The proceeds of course are tax free, which is another advantage. For...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 11, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My plan to use policy loans to fund first five years of retirement
Replies: 61
Views: 3373

Re: My plan to use policy loans to fund first five years of retirement

The current rate is 5%...but that can change from year to year. But, whatever the interest is, it is offset by the gains in other instruments. Especially if that's a time when equity markets are low, I'd rather let my assets grow. Sounds like market timing. What would be the criteria to know if the...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 11, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My plan to use policy loans to fund first five years of retirement
Replies: 61
Views: 3373

Re: My plan to use policy loans to fund first five years of retirement

The current rate is 5%...but that can change from year to year. But, whatever the interest is, it is offset by the gains in other instruments. Especially if that's a time when equity markets are low, I'd rather let my assets grow. The proceeds of course are tax free, which is another advantage. For...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 11, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My plan to use policy loans to fund first five years of retirement
Replies: 61
Views: 3373

Re: My plan to use policy loans to fund first five years of retirement

The downside is the interest. What is the rate? You have 10 more years to save. I'm not sure why you are so against taking out of your retirement accounts. That is what they are for.
by michaeljc70
Thu May 11, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most Common Financial Mistakes
Replies: 108
Views: 13605

Re: Most Common Financial Mistakes

jlcnuke wrote:1. Insufficient savings rate.
2. Overspending.
3. Market timing.
4. Paying too much for investments.
5. Letting emotions make financial decisions (big contributor to #2 and #3).



This would be my list and I'd add thinking you can beat the market.

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