Search found 538 matches

by snowman
Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loan with mortgage refinance?
Replies: 10
Views: 932

Re: Pay off student loan with mortgage refinance?

I did exactly that 20 years ago. I see nothing wrong with it.
by snowman
Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental 'Discount Plans' for uninsured
Replies: 22
Views: 1728

Re: Dental 'Discount Plans' for uninsured

I'm not saying it happens everywhere and it probably rarely happens. But somebody has to be keeping these cheap labs in business. Please do not scare the poster who asked legitimate question - will the dentist offer lower quality of care if I have lower end insurance plan he accepts? And the answer...
by snowman
Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental 'Discount Plans' for uninsured
Replies: 22
Views: 1728

Re: Dental 'Discount Plans' for uninsured

MIL has no dental insurance. (Medicare HMO plan for health) She needs some dental work done. I'm looking at something like this Dental Discount Plan for her. Looks like you still pay 100%, but you pay 100% of the insurance negotiated rate, which is often 50% of cash rate. ( I already called our den...
by snowman
Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just released ratings steering me from Legacy to Camry
Replies: 35
Views: 2605

Re: Just released ratings steering me from Legacy to Camry

strafe wrote:Absent a bona fide need for all wheel drive (Subaru generally) or cargo space (Outback specifically), I would buy the Camry. Don't overthink this.

Very well put.
by snowman
Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Simple Path to Wealth" -- A Gem
Replies: 27
Views: 7453

Re: "The Simple Path to Wealth" -- A Gem

I rented the book from my local library, mostly because I enjoy author's blog (though I rarely visit) and his writing style and wanted to see how this translates into book-writing. I have to say that I was impressed, and that the book is even better than his blog. It's very well written, entertainin...
by snowman
Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2017 ACA plan previews
Replies: 172
Views: 11047

Re: 2017 ACA plan previews

Does anybody have any idea what is causing the spike in these prices? Is it basically because the pool of people that the insurers have to insure now include those with pre-existing conditions and the fact that insurers cant just drop clients? First, the rate "spike" impacts only a tiny p...
by snowman
Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical insurance for green card holders who come and go from the US
Replies: 5
Views: 366

Re: Medical insurance for green card holders who come and go from the US

Here is a link you may find helpful. I just googled your question, not sure how credible the source is, but it's a start.

https://www.medicareresources.org/faqs/ ... e-over-65/
by snowman
Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental 'Discount Plans' for uninsured
Replies: 22
Views: 1728

Re: Dental 'Discount Plans' for uninsured

MIL has no dental insurance. (Medicare HMO plan for health) She needs some dental work done. I'm looking at something like this Dental Discount Plan for her. Looks like you still pay 100%, but you pay 100% of the insurance negotiated rate, which is often 50% of cash rate. ( I already called our den...
by snowman
Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2017 ACA plan previews
Replies: 172
Views: 11047

Re: 2017 ACA plan previews

For us, ACA has been a godsend. Our silver plan went up 26% for 2017, after similar hikes over the past 3 years, yet we still pay less now for better coverage (even before subsidies) than we did in 2013 (last year before ACA). However, I agree with other posters that this is a race to the bottom and...
by snowman
Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2017 ACA plan previews
Replies: 172
Views: 11047

Re: 2017 ACA plan previews

For those with currently 2016 Silver Plans and planning on getting another 2017 SP, have you easily figured out the differences when you have multiple SP's available from same provider ? Case in point, we just estimated a Blue Cross (BCBS) SP where the only discernible difference is monthly premium...
by snowman
Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Declining Service Expectations. Are there any excellent companies still out there?
Replies: 81
Views: 6295

Re: Declining Service Expectations. Are there any excellent companies still out there?

Supermarket lines are a dream in the US. There is no place on earth with such short lines. In Latin America, the grocery has almost nothing worth buying, high prices and even if you are so lucky as to be third in line at the register, you are looking at fifteen minutes wait as the checkout lady pla...
by snowman
Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement Windshield Wiper Blades
Replies: 38
Views: 3022

Re: Replacement Windshield Wiper Blades

Many years of experience, multiple cars, harsh environment for rubber blades (Colorado). Not very good: Trico, Goodyear (from Costco), Bosch MicroEdge, Nissan OEM Mostly good: Bosch Icon, Honda OEM Consistently very good: Bosch Excel+ They each have their pluses and minuses - how well they clean, ho...
by snowman
Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portable battery jumpers
Replies: 14
Views: 1295

Re: Portable battery jumpers

I have the big one from Costco, it generally costs around $75. Had it for many years, I like it a lot. I bought it as an emergency jump start when we are camping and far away from civilization (no AAA, no cell signal, no friends' car, no help whatsoever). Had to use it only once, jump started my SUV...
by snowman
Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 193
Views: 17537

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

All in all, Merrill Edge is the best deal when that offer is available because of the extras you mention, plus slightly lower required amounts with shorter holding periods. Things can and likely will change. How often does the $1K offer come online? Is it fairly regular, or only once a year? As rep...
by snowman
Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Laid off at 40 - What to do?
Replies: 42
Views: 6603

Re: Laid off at 40 - What to do?

I don't understand why you are not retired or very close to it right now.. Because his wife doesn't want him to be retired. She doesn't think it is "fair" for him to not work while she does. She uses socialization at the day care as the excuse. Yep, that's the way I see it too. This situa...
by snowman
Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Budget car advice; so so tired of the noise levels
Replies: 75
Views: 6877

Re: Budget car advice; so so tired of the noise levels

You already got many good suggestions, I would just summarize for you from my perspective: 1. Small cars will generally be the loudest cars; they will also generally be the worst performers on pothole ridden roads. 2. Older cars will generally be louder compared to newer cars, across all product lin...
by snowman
Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement/Mobile Lifestyle
Replies: 24
Views: 2315

Re: Early Retirement/Mobile Lifestyle

Rick. I am pretty sure a "toad" is a type of frog. But I have been told that a "towed" is a small car that is towed behind a RV motor home. :happy :happy Good Luck. All this time I though a "towed" car was called a "toad". Dah! LOL We are preparing for this l...
by snowman
Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru window treatment
Replies: 9
Views: 960

Re: Subaru window treatment

I have it on my Honda and love it, I think it's 30% (whatever was legal in my state). Should have done it right when I bought it, it made such a positive difference! It will help on getting the car cooler on hot days, as well as keeping it cool (AC doesn't work as hard). It also helps with night dri...
by snowman
Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Advice... Girlfriend and I are looking to buy our first home in Denver (super hot seller's market)
Replies: 80
Views: 5330

Re: Need Advice... Girlfriend and I are looking to buy our first home in Denver (super hot seller's market)

I appreciate all the advice... What's really tough is my parent's house is extremely small (2 bed, 1 bath about 900-1000 sq ft). We are living in the garage-turned-living space. We really need space and our own place and that's what is making this decision so rushed and hard. Don't get me wrong, I'...
by snowman
Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Advice... Girlfriend and I are looking to buy our first home in Denver (super hot seller's market)
Replies: 80
Views: 5330

Re: Need Advice... Girlfriend and I are looking to buy our first home in Denver (super hot seller's market)

Do it right: 1) Marry the girlfriend 2) Continue living @ parents house; Rent if you can't do that 3) Pay off her $50k debt 4) Save up for the down payment (20%) 5) Buy the house This would be my advise as well if you were my son. I would not entertain buying right now in your situation. You also m...
by snowman
Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you stop yourself from checking your balances?
Replies: 66
Views: 4174

Re: How do you stop yourself from checking your balances?

A good bear market will be your best friend in this regard! You will learn that the best way to avoid pain is to not see the carnage at all. After it's all over, your obsession will subside, but you will still want to login at least weekly to make sure there are no screw-ups in your accounts.
by snowman
Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which city to start early retirement?
Replies: 128
Views: 12299

Re: Which city to start early retirement?

Of the 3 places on the list, Boise wins hands down. However, as others have said, there are other options. Since you are renters and seem to be very flexible, I don't think it matters that much where you start your ER. Wherever you initially settle, it's going to be your home base for making trips n...
by snowman
Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Currently in Austin, TX and New Job Opportunity in NJ - Good to take?
Replies: 26
Views: 2307

Re: Currently in Austin, TX and New Job Opportunity in NJ - Good to take?

I thought the headline was wrong when I saw it... I am familiar with both places (especially NJ). The only potential advantage I would see in NJ is climate - if you absolutely hate hot and muggy TX weather. Plus, if you love the snow and skiing and really miss it in TX. That's about it. If the TX cl...
by snowman
Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance w/ Aimloan?
Replies: 25
Views: 2034

Re: Should I refinance w/ Aimloan?

I guess experiences vary. Aimloan aka Dovenmuehle was the worst. The origination of my loan with Aimloan was okay, but the servicing was miserable. On two different occasions, they swore up and down that they paid my property taxes but failed to do so. Even after multiple phone calls and letters, i...
by snowman
Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: College bubble - any good articles or books on this?
Replies: 57
Views: 4750

Re: College bubble - any good articles or books on this?

goodenyou wrote:I like Bill Bennett's book "Is College Worth It?". It is well written, and the arguments against excessive debt, overpriced colleges and worthless degrees are compelling.

I do too. I think it should be required reading for every family considering college education for their kids.
by snowman
Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 193
Views: 17537

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

How often does the $1K offer come online? Is it fairly regular, or only once a year? I don't have a good answer for that. It's been a few distinct times. If you have 250k, then TD Ameritrade also has a $1000 offer running through September I think. Earl Thank you, Earl. I will check periodically. F...
by snowman
Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 193
Views: 17537

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

Sometimes both the $600 and $1000 offers are simultaneously ON but you need make sure that you search for the link with the bigger bonus and set up the transfer from that link. The $600 offer is always on. The link for the $1000 offer right just redirects to that one. All in all, Merrill Edge is th...
by snowman
Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cricket Wireless - Selecting a Smartphone
Replies: 46
Views: 3403

Re: Cricket Wireless - Selecting a Smartphone

Thanks all for the additional information. A Google search turned up several articles on the best phones for Cricket Wireless. It is really too much information to process. Here is a fairly recent article with the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 and Samsung Galaxy Amp Prime fairly high in the rankings. htt...
by snowman
Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any advice---Toyota 4 runner vs. Honda Pilot--2016 cars
Replies: 75
Views: 5859

Re: Any advice---Toyota 4 runner vs. Honda Pilot--2016 cars

I don't understand why the "trucks" are getting so similar to the minivans. They already have an excellent minivan in the lineup with the Odyssey. Why make the Pilot look just like it? Because that's what customers demand. Car companies are in business to make money, and the best way to d...
by snowman
Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance w/ Aimloan?
Replies: 25
Views: 2034

Re: Should I refinance w/ Aimloan?

I used AimLoan in the past, no issues whatsoever. Highly recommended.
by snowman
Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any advice---Toyota 4 runner vs. Honda Pilot--2016 cars
Replies: 75
Views: 5859

Re: Any advice---Toyota 4 runner vs. Honda Pilot--2016 cars

You want a Pilot, it will handle snow and ice you described, it's bigger, more comfortable, more versatile, better gas mileage. You will be much happier in it. I would give Highlander a second look - it's Pilot's direct competitor. Both are great family vehicles, mostly designed for people who want ...
by snowman
Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Capitulating on Windows Phones
Replies: 14
Views: 1008

Re: Capitulating on Windows Phones

I never had issues with Here maps or Here drive like you just described. However, you can download it as an app on Android phone, and you can download entire US/Canada on your SD card. In windows 8.1, you are limited to phone memory; you can save to SD card if you upgrade to W10. I have a Lumia 635...
by snowman
Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Capitulating on Windows Phones
Replies: 14
Views: 1008

Re: Capitulating on Windows Phones

I have had smartphone for only 6 months, so I am not super experienced user. I bought a windows phone because it was excellent value (unlocked GSM Lumia 640 for $30); anything comparable in Android world would have been $200+. I figured I can always upgrade in the future if need arises. I love the p...
by snowman
Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small Pension vs. Small Lump Sum
Replies: 18
Views: 1625

Re: Small Pension vs. Small Lump Sum

OP, I was in your shoes years ago. Don't remember the amount but it was small and non-COLA. I took the lump sum and put it into my rollover IRA, did not even consider the other option. I had 2 reasons for doing that: 1. my company was being acquired after being badly mismanaged for years (the main r...
by snowman
Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just got back from Europe...ready to sell my International...
Replies: 82
Views: 10031

Re: Just got back from Europe...ready to sell my International...

No disrespect to OP, but every week a new thread pops up questioning the value of international equities in one's portfolio. People look back, see a disaster of a performance compared to US stock market over the last 10 years, and are ready to sell them all. It just makes me wonder if we are nearing...
by snowman
Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jason Zweig: Sorry, You're Just Going To Have To Save More Money
Replies: 16
Views: 4167

Re: Jason Zweig: Sorry, You're Just Going To Have To Save More Money

No, you don't "have" to. If real interest rates are negative, meaning that the "reward" for forgoing consumption of $1000 today is the ability to spend $900 in real terms 20 years from now, some people will respond by consuming more now and accepting a lower standard of living i...
by snowman
Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Private vs State School?
Replies: 116
Views: 7079

Re: Private vs State School?

Not to be critical to OP, but this is not a discussion about the private vs. state school. I assume that discussion happened couple years ago before final decision was made. It’s possible though that discussion never happened because it wasn’t necessary – someone living on $180K annual income with $...
by snowman
Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting rid of international funds
Replies: 83
Views: 7204

Re: Getting rid of international funds

This whole thread made me think of Allan Roth, a financial writer and contributor on this forum. Here is his observation: "For well over a decade, I’ve been recommending that U.S. clients keep a constant mix of two-thirds U.S. and one-third international. When international stocks are surging, ...
by snowman
Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting rid of international funds
Replies: 83
Views: 7204

Re: Getting rid of international funds

OP, Your AA looks good to me and there is no reason to change it. S&P 500 companies already having international exposure is not new information - it's been the case for years, before you probably started investing. What was the reason you chose to have international equities in your portfolio? ...
by snowman
Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I express my inheritence thoughts to my father?
Replies: 78
Views: 6130

Re: Should I express my inheritence thoughts to my father?

I do want to be clear that in no case would I be trying to ask for a greater share. That wouldn't be right of him as well as against my principles. Then what exactly do you want? Maybe a note in his will chastising your siblings for their lavish lifestyles and praising you for your more moderate on...
by snowman
Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA investment options
Replies: 8
Views: 611

Re: HSA investment options

I would just leave it in cash and consider it a part of my fixed income AA. I would adjust 403b accordingly to keep your overall AA in check. You can always transfer HSA later on when you leave the company so you get better investment options.
by snowman
Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: General Negotiating Tips
Replies: 72
Views: 7924

Re: General Negotiating Tips

Interesting topic, as negotiations was my corporate career. It really wasn’t that hard – you need to know the product you are selling, you need to know the competition, you need to fully understand buyer’s needs, and you need to know your own bottom line so that company remains profitable and sustai...
by snowman
Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Truck?
Replies: 46
Views: 3484

Re: New Truck?

I don't think recommending different brands/size truck solves OP's dilemma. Here is the description of the problem: http://www.nissanproblems.com/trends/coolant-leaks-destroy-transmission/ Unfortunately, as I said before, once the coolant enters transmission, it's too late - it's only a matter of ti...
by snowman
Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Firecalc inconsistent ?
Replies: 18
Views: 1758

Re: Firecalc inconsistent ?

For those of you who use firecalc, have you noticed that the results are inconsistent at times ? For example, I am currently seeing my failure rate higher with some savings per year vs without any savings ( all other parameters remaining the same) Any reason why that would that be the case ? Yes, I...
by snowman
Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Truck?
Replies: 46
Views: 3484

Re: New Truck?

Only question I would have be to check to make sure that the issue hasn't caused some issue that will shorten the life significantly that the planned repair doesn't address. At that kind of price, it seems like you would be getting some significant transmission work done so you are probably good. T...
by snowman
Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Truck?
Replies: 46
Views: 3484

Re: New Truck?

I like the way you think! I read that they extended the warranty to 10 years or 100,000 miles so I am out of luck on that front, and I didn't think about the no-trade in possibility. I would call Nissan and ask for financial assistance, since you are only 3K miles over the limit, and they know it's...
by snowman
Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Crazy housing market
Replies: 77
Views: 9476

Re: Crazy housing market

The demand in Seattle is a byproduct of very high population growth and very high economic growth/job growth. There are many people moving there and a lot of them are for good, high paying jobs. Thus demand is outstripping supply and prices are rising rapidly while inventory stays very low. That's ...
by snowman
Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Truck?
Replies: 46
Views: 3484

Re: New Truck?

Get it fixed. It is a very reliable truck and will last many years and miles. Your particular issue is not a symptom of things to come - it's a well known design problem. Nissan first addressed the issue by extending the warranty on coolant and transmission, but as more and more trucks were affected...
by snowman
Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Smartphone to use on Cricket?
Replies: 9
Views: 726

Re: Best Smartphone to use on Cricket?

You could buy ATT GoPhone 5" Lumia 640 for $30 (saw it at local Target couple weeks ago for $15), or 5.5" ZTE Zmax 2 for $100 (was on sale for $50). Email ATT to have it unlocked, takes 2 business days to get the code. Then switch to Cricket and get a signing bonus for bringing over Sprin...
by snowman
Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Smartphone to use on Cricket?
Replies: 9
Views: 726

Re: Best Smartphone to use on Cricket?

You could buy ATT GoPhone 5" Lumia 640 for $30 (saw it at local Target couple weeks ago for $15), or 5.5" ZTE Zmax 2 for $100 (was on sale for $50). Email ATT to have it unlocked, takes 2 business days to get the code. Then switch to Cricket and get a signing bonus for bringing over Sprint...

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