Search found 1441 matches

by tbradnc
Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of tax preparation
Replies: 43
Views: 3173

Re: Cost of tax preparation

I keep good records and pay $285 total for federal and state returns. Our return isn't particularly complicated but it's more than I want to deal with.

It's quite possibly the best $285 I spend all year.
by tbradnc
Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?
Replies: 61
Views: 4703

Re: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?

Gmail is more than adequate for me. Now... if I had the *need* for some type of encryption, was a public figure/politician or someone who really needed to worry about it - then maybe I'd look into a service that offered whatever I needed. But as a regular Joe who gets 99% crap and 1% useful email......
by tbradnc
Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Payoneer?
Replies: 2
Views: 314

Re: Experience with Payoneer?

I can tell you that it's a legitimate company. In my former business we used Payoneer's prepaid Mastercard product to pay developers all over the world.
by tbradnc
Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Ways to Buy Time
Replies: 68
Views: 7354

Re: Best Ways to Buy Time

If you get up an hour earlier every 24 days you get a day free.
by tbradnc
Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best/ safest way to access Vanguard account online?
Replies: 16
Views: 2047

Re: Best/ safest way to access Vanguard account online?

One habit I've had to get into is logging out of gmail when I close my notebook. Most all of the accounts that I login into use that address as the "Lost your password? address. All someone would have to do is get my email address from an email and put it in the reset password field and they co...
by tbradnc
Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luck with DirectTV Now?
Replies: 35
Views: 4253

Re: Luck with DirectTV Now?

I'm pretty sure AT&T has the resources to work out the buffering issues.

Basically, they gave us the opportunity to be grandfathered into a lot of channels at a discounted price and an Apple TV to be beta testers for the first 3 months. :)
by tbradnc
Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luck with DirectTV Now?
Replies: 35
Views: 4253

Re: Luck with DirectTV Now?

I subscribed to DirecTV Now the same day my Vue subscription renewed so I could run them in tandem for a month - plus I got a free Apple TV and locked in the $35 rate that's soon going up to $60. We haven't experienced a single problem with DTVN but I follow a DTVN subreddit and it is clear that the...
by tbradnc
Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delayed Gratification In Life & its fallacies
Replies: 56
Views: 5901

Re: Delayed Gratification In Life & its fallacies

I'm 55, retired (mostly) for 3 years. During my late 20's I started a business and during my 30s/40s I worked a *lot* of 100 hour weeks. Almost every friend I had who worked a traditional job thought I wasn't "smelling the flowers" and more than a few told me I was crazy to work so hard. I...
by tbradnc
Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing State of Residency to Avoid State Income Taxes
Replies: 24
Views: 2751

Re: Changing State of Residency to Avoid State Income Taxes

We live in Tennessee with no state income tax. His company is based out of Washington (also no tax) and they do most of their work in Texas (also no tax - how lucky is that?). He paid the state of North Carolina thousands of dollars in tax for a few years for no reason. I also live in TN and can at...
by tbradnc
Thu Dec 29, 2016 7:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Picking Individual Stocks Is Dangerous
Replies: 58
Views: 5447

Re: Picking Individual Stocks Is Dangerous

A few years ago MF had an article titled "6 stocks to buy now!!" or something like that. I decided to create a contest with these stocks competing against Total Stock Market and post the results to my Facebook feed. At the end of 6 months I was feeling pretty smug due to the fact that liqu...
by tbradnc
Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing State of Residency to Avoid State Income Taxes
Replies: 24
Views: 2751

Re: Changing State of Residency to Avoid State Income Taxes

My son did exactly this. He travels year round and doesn't have a permanent address. His permanent address was North Carolina -basically that's where he was living when he got the job he has now. This summer he "moved back in with us" here in Tennessee meaning that he opened a local bank a...
by tbradnc
Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing credit card rewards, am I overthinking?
Replies: 15
Views: 1751

Re: Maximizing credit card rewards, am I overthinking?

There are so many ways to get 5% back from Amazon it's not even funny. Who can keep up with them all? You can get 6% back on Amazon for up to $6000 by buying Amazon gift cards at the grocery store with an American Express Blue Cash Preferred card ($95 annual fee, 6% limited to $6000, then 1%.) Most ...
by tbradnc
Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA (ObamaCare) - MAGI prediction
Replies: 15
Views: 1407

Re: ACA (ObamaCare) - MAGI prediction

...then 2 months ago I realized enough capital gains to fill up the 0% capital gains space. I'm choosing to fill the remainder of my 0% tax space with a Roth conversion. I think thats a better bang for the buck unless you actually need those capital gains to meet spending needs. My reason was to se...
by tbradnc
Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA (ObamaCare) - MAGI prediction
Replies: 15
Views: 1407

Re: ACA (ObamaCare) - MAGI prediction

I'm in the same situation and am in a bit of a bind around all this... Last year during open enrollment I estimated our annual income to be $30k this year for ACA purposes, then 2 months ago I realized enough capital gains to fill up the 0% capital gains space. I might have to pay back all or most o...
by tbradnc
Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AMEX Blue Cash Everyday vs Preferred offers
Replies: 13
Views: 1357

Re: AMEX Blue Cash Everyday vs Preferred offers

I've had a Blue Cash Preferred card for several years and watched as the benefits erode over time. Originally there was no limit on purchases or benefits. The grocery limit was then introduced at $6000 per year to receive 6% cash back. Now the annual fee has been bumped up to $95. As a result I am ...
by tbradnc
Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card plans and thoughts?
Replies: 10
Views: 1129

Re: Credit Card plans and thoughts?

I use several cash back cards: Elan Visa (aka Fidelity), Citi Double Cash, Capital One Spark, and Capital One Quicksilver. The Capital One Spark is my favorite. It has a $500 bonus for spending $4,000 over 3 months. There is also a $95 annual fee, waived the first year and the bonus covers the next ...
by tbradnc
Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone hiding out in short term CDs while rates rise?
Replies: 47
Views: 4421

Re: Anyone hiding out in short term CDs while rates rise?

Talking about bonds and rates and assuming most use them for safety or ballast this thread reminds me of a saying in golf describing a mistake golfers often make by trying to do things a little too close to perfect. The saying goes "If you are going to lay up, lay up" translated into the ...
by tbradnc
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone hiding out in short term CDs while rates rise?
Replies: 47
Views: 4421

Re: Anyone hiding out in short term CDs while rates rise?

I have to say.... there seems to be a lot of confusion around these CDs. Between our accounts, my wife and I have four 3% six month certificates and three 3 month 3% certificates. Only the first 3 month certificate was subject to the $15k max because it was a "Black Friday" special. The $1...
by tbradnc
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: How much cash do you keep?
Replies: 103
Views: 9248

Re: Retirees: How much cash do you keep?

Timely topic - I received the last payment from the sale of my business this month and beginning January 1 will begin living off my nest egg. I've got the (projected) cash we need to get through 2017 in Ally and on the 15th of each month will make an xfer from Ally to our Fidelity Cash Management ac...
by tbradnc
Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone hiding out in short term CDs while rates rise?
Replies: 47
Views: 4421

Re: Anyone hiding out in short term CDs while rates rise?

Yes, anybody can join. Click on this link and follow the instructions carefully. https://www.andrewsfcu.org/join-andrews-federal-credit-union.html Here's a tip from Uncle Ben on a previous thread: To qualify, you can join the American Consumer Council and use promo code "consumer" to have...
by tbradnc
Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone hiding out in short term CDs while rates rise?
Replies: 47
Views: 4421

Re: Anyone hiding out in short term CDs while rates rise?

I moved a 6 figure amount out of Vanguard's short term bond index into 6 month, 3% CDs at Andrews. Seemed reasonable - harvested a small loss and will likely get a better return for 6 months. Who knows... in 6 months maybe there will be better CD rates available.. maybe not. Regardless I don't feel...
by tbradnc
Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone carriers (looking to switch)
Replies: 34
Views: 2129

Re: Cell phone carriers (looking to switch)

With Verizon our 3 lines with 4 GB data, total with tax is $114.43. We own our phones outright so it's $20 per line and $44 for the plan. Do the math and the rest is tax/fees. Generally we use 3 GB of data - maybe a wee bit more - so we start each month with close to 5 GB data now that unused data r...
by tbradnc
Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone hiding out in short term CDs while rates rise?
Replies: 47
Views: 4421

Re: Anyone hiding out in short term CDs while rates rise?

I moved a 6 figure amount out of Vanguard's short term bond index into 6 month, 3% CDs at Andrews. Seemed reasonable - harvested a small loss and will likely get a better return for 6 months. Who knows... in 6 months maybe there will be better CD rates available.. maybe not. Regardless I don't feel ...
by tbradnc
Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Seattle (weekend trip)
Replies: 21
Views: 1412

Re: What to do in Seattle (weekend trip)

Just wanted to follow up and say thanks for the suggestions. We returned from Seattle last night after spending 2 full days exploring as much of downtown Seattle as our feet would allow. We landed at SEA Friday at 2:45 and ubered to our hotel (Crowne Plaza), checked in and ordered Chinese delivered ...
by tbradnc
Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cellular Service Surcharges, Taxes, and Fees
Replies: 26
Views: 3822

Re: Cellular Service Surcharges, Taxes, and Fees

All 3 of our iphones are now out of contracted or owned outright. Around here in the sticks it's Verizon or nothing so 3 lines, $20 each plus 5 GB data runs $108.43/month taxes included. (also reflects a 8% employee discount on one line) One nice thing about the latest Verizon plan gyration is that ...
by tbradnc
Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone still upgrading their PC build? (Not replacing the machine)
Replies: 41
Views: 2498

Re: Anyone still upgrading their PC build? (Not replacing the machine)

I used to but these days upgrading a PC is like growing your own vegetables. You can do it and there's a certain amount of satisfaction to it if you find it enjoyable but it's cheaper and easier to just go to the grocery store.
by tbradnc
Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%
Replies: 184
Views: 22710

Re: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%

.............................................................. I'm waiting for the transfers to clear, but I intend to do just that. The rep I spoke with over the phone said that I could open as many CDs as I'd like. Just curious how long folks have to wait for transfers to clear and method of tran...
by tbradnc
Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%
Replies: 184
Views: 22710

Re: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%

Does anyone know if I can have multiple CD's in my name instead of only having one. I have about $300K and I want to put them in multiple CDs instead of one. Is this allowable? I'd assume the answer is yes, but please post here if someone knows for sure, I'd like to know too Yes, my wife has two 3 ...
by tbradnc
Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%
Replies: 184
Views: 22710

Re: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%

Opening up my account was a lot easier once I had a feel for how they work. 1. Submitted my application. 2. Waited until I saw the money to fund the account leave Ally (means my account was setup even though I received no notice at all from Andrews) 3. Called and got my account number. (With the acc...
by tbradnc
Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relocation to Asheville, NC
Replies: 14
Views: 1822

Re: Relocation to Asheville, NC

I was just in Asheville an hour ago - my daughter lives there and my wife and I live about an hour north. When I retired and we left the coast (Wilmington, NC Asheville was at the top of our list of places to move but we found we liked the area north there better so we're just over the line in Tenne...
by tbradnc
Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Seattle (weekend trip)
Replies: 21
Views: 1412

Re: What to do in Seattle (weekend trip)

Thanks for all the replies and great suggestions! Even though this is primarily an investing oriented forum I've gotten some amazing tips on things to see and do from forum members. A few years ago there was a thread on "the best pizza in New York" that was supremely helpful when we visite...
by tbradnc
Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Seattle (weekend trip)
Replies: 21
Views: 1412

Re: What to do in Seattle (weekend trip)

Thanks for the suggestions so far. We live in east Tennessee. We enjoy a wide variety of activities - tours, museums, local fare. We're in our latter 50s and can walk several miles a day without any difficulty We're landing Friday afternoon and leaving Monday morning. So far we've got reservations f...
by tbradnc
Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Seattle (weekend trip)
Replies: 21
Views: 1412

What to do in Seattle (weekend trip)

My wife and I find ourselves in downtown Seattle next Saturday and Sunday - I think we're at the Crowne Plaza.

Besides the Space Needle does anyone have any suggestions for any touristy things we can do without a car?
by tbradnc
Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%
Replies: 184
Views: 22710

Re: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%

I opened a 3 month certificate in my wife's account using their online interface (SmartConnect). Everything appeared to work and the certificate is showing up in her online accounts. This then is the way to go... Just open the basic savings account required for establishing a membership, push money ...
by tbradnc
Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%
Replies: 184
Views: 22710

Re: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%

Just a word of warning on something I found out about yesterday... If you open the Andrews account with the minimum of $5 you'll get hit with a $29 fee (from Andrews) if your bank makes the typical 2 small deposits and then withdraws them when you link an external account. Something about the order...
by tbradnc
Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%
Replies: 184
Views: 22710

Re: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%

Just a word of warning on something I found out about yesterday... If you open the Andrews account with the minimum of $5 you'll get hit with a $29 fee (from Andrews) if your bank makes the typical 2 small deposits and then withdraws them when you link an external account. Something about the order ...
by tbradnc
Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 Gifts each under $50
Replies: 23
Views: 3186

Re: 2 Gifts each under $50

I would be excited to get this $40 Grundig shortwave radio. :) http://www.cabelas.com/product/ETON-GRUNDIG-MINI/2309062.uts?productVariantId=4640898&WT.tsrc=PPC&WT.mc_id=GoogleProductAds&WT.z_mc_id1=04479630&rid=20&gclid=CjwKEAiAjvrBBRDxm_nRusW3q1QSJAAzRI1tpv_4cDcVRe-RhopYHhjy8zI...
by tbradnc
Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Zenni Optical
Replies: 39
Views: 4605

Re: Zenni Optical

It's been several months since I started this post but wanted to follow up.

My wife received her Zenni Optical glasses last week and is very happy with them. The total price was just under $40, including shipping. She says they're every bit as good as her last pair - which cost about $400.
by tbradnc
Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stupid question on Emergency Fund
Replies: 21
Views: 3308

Re: Stupid question on Emergency Fund

My entire portfolio is my emergency fund. I don't keep a separate fund just for emergencies. I've got a HELOC from a local regional bank on my mortgage-free home that's sitting there waiting to be tapped. I've got credit cards and plenty of unsecured credit. I've got some money in Ally. Nightmare sc...
by tbradnc
Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%
Replies: 184
Views: 22710

Re: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%

I just opened the savings account and want to ACH money into that account to fund a CD. But at first glance, it appears I can only ACH in $5,000 per day. Am I reading that right? That seems low. What you need to do is connect an external bank and then push the money into Andrews from the external b...
by tbradnc
Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%
Replies: 184
Views: 22710

Re: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%

Just a quick followup - I did get a call Saturday afternoon from a CSR and got the account opened. As I explained above the most efficient way to do it is to open the savings account only, then when that is setup have the money to open the CD wired or sent via ACH into the savings account and create...
by tbradnc
Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unrealized losses in traditional IRA?
Replies: 10
Views: 797

Re: Unrealized losses in traditional IRA?

Well... this has all been very enlightening. Always good to learn something but looks like it's not going to work for me.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.
by tbradnc
Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unrealized losses in traditional IRA?
Replies: 10
Views: 797

Re: Unrealized losses in traditional IRA?

Thanks for the info... I'll start with the link above and see what I can find out.
by tbradnc
Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unrealized losses in traditional IRA?
Replies: 10
Views: 797

Re: Unrealized losses in traditional IRA?

The things you learn. Hopefully this isn't TMI - pertinent info has been redacted - but are you saying it's possible I might be able to TLH this even though it is a tIRA? http://imgur.com/a/00abL This is relevant because I realized some LTCGs in our taxable account and we're on the verge of losing o...
by tbradnc
Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unrealized losses in traditional IRA?
Replies: 10
Views: 797

Unrealized losses in traditional IRA?

I just noticed something interesting looking at our IRAs on vanguard.com. I have a Roth and tIRA - both hold the same bond fund. I would have figured neither the Roth or the tIRA would list any data when "cost basis" was viewed. When I view cost basis of my Roth the fields are blanked (tha...
by tbradnc
Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%
Replies: 184
Views: 22710

Re: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%

My application has been pending since November 18th. I did upload a copy of my license, utility bill, and ACC member number at the time of application.
by tbradnc
Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What does a bond bear market look like?
Replies: 91
Views: 8763

Re: What does a bond bear market look like?

This thread is a good segue to a question i've wanted to ask for a while. I've owned an intermediate bond fund for many years. Interest is always reinvested into the fund. The cost basis for the fund is showing a hefty unrealized long term loss (as well as short term loss, reflecting interest reinve...
by tbradnc
Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Experiences Buying Mattress Online
Replies: 47
Views: 10287

Re: Any Experiences Buying Mattress Online

all the cool kids are getting the casper mattress. $850 (i think) for a queen before a $50 coupon easily found on the web. you get to sleep on it up to 100 nites and can return for a full refund if ya don't like it. thats what i'm doing next. There is also a $75 off $350 American Express offer. I u...
by tbradnc
Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's the best Cashback CC for "general" uses?
Replies: 27
Views: 3135

Re: What's the best Cashback CC for "general" uses?

I'd say the Citi card is best. It's really a 1.99% cash back if you want to get super-technical. Not really so. If you redeem the accumulated cash back as statement credit, yes it comes out to be 1.99% cash back card. But you can also redeem the accumulated cash back as direct deposit to your bank,...
by tbradnc
Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's the best Cashback CC for "general" uses?
Replies: 27
Views: 3135

Re: What's the best Cashback CC for "general" uses?

I've got three 2% cash back cards. 1. Citi Double Cash 2. Fidelity Rewards 3. Capital One Spark (Business) I'd say the Citi card is best. It's really a 1.99% cash back if you want to get super-technical. The Fidelity card website isn't as good as Citi's and you can't cash out less than $50. Capital ...

Go to advanced search