Search found 3915 matches

by michaeljc70
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my "tax guy" unqualified?? Preparers vs advisors.
Replies: 10
Views: 1057

Re: Is my "tax guy" unqualified?? Preparers vs advisors.

Someone telling you to do something illegal because you probably won't get caught is not good advice. You can switch to the accrual method. Then when you book a hotel and pay for it in December and use the room in January you will not get the expense until Jan. The whole idea is matching expense to...
by michaeljc70
Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my "tax guy" unqualified?? Preparers vs advisors.
Replies: 10
Views: 1057

Re: Is my "tax guy" unqualified?? Preparers vs advisors.

Someone telling you to do something illegal because you probably won't get caught is not good advice. You can switch to the accrual method. Then when you book a hotel and pay for it in December and use the room in January you will not get the expense until Jan. The whole idea is matching expense to...
by michaeljc70
Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my "tax guy" unqualified?? Preparers vs advisors.
Replies: 10
Views: 1057

Re: Is my "tax guy" unqualified?? Preparers vs advisors.

Someone telling you to do something illegal because you probably won't get caught is not good advice. You can switch to the accrual method. Then when you book a hotel and pay for it in December and use the room in January you will not get the expense until Jan. The whole idea is matching expense to ...
by michaeljc70
Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confused by cruise gratuities
Replies: 40
Views: 2455

Re: Confused by cruise gratuities

I would be suspect of any prepayment or any payment of tips that is a lump sum to the cruise line. How would you know it gets to where it is supposedly going to go? It is all a charade so that the cost of your cruise is bargained down and portrayed as a deal. It is the same thing as the resort fees...
by michaeljc70
Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confused by cruise gratuities
Replies: 40
Views: 2455

Re: Confused by cruise gratuities

I have been on probably 15 cruises. I go with the recommended auto-charge on my ship account. I supplement that sometimes when the service goes above and beyond. On my last couple of cruises the martini bar staff went above and beyond so I gave them cash tips occasionally on top of the tip automatic...
by michaeljc70
Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my "tax guy" unqualified?? Preparers vs advisors.
Replies: 10
Views: 1057

Re: Is my "tax guy" unqualified?? Preparers vs advisors.

You cannot just change accounting methods willy nilly. Generally, you need to file and ask permission from the IRS. I wouldn't change accounting methods just because you may have to pay more one year. The situation could be reversed in the future. I am not sure what your "tax guy" is getting at with...
by michaeljc70
Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When has being frugal or cheaping out bit you in the rear?
Replies: 107
Views: 7203

Re: When has being frugal or cheating out bit you in the rear?

For me, it's paralysis by analysis. When I'm buying anything (whether a product or service) I want the best possible, and at the best possible price. In other words, I am a maximzer, not a satisficer. The plus side of this is when I do pull the trigger on the purchase, I'm almost always very happy ...
by michaeljc70
Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage and separate accounts - how does it work?
Replies: 88
Views: 4119

Re: Marriage and separate accounts - how does it work?

Married 5+ years and have never combined accounts. It hasn't been difficult. 1) We don't have a joint account. 2) We each save in our own accounts. 3) We split up recurring expenses by ability to pay. We don't have the same incomes. For example, Spouse A pays the mortgage, Spouse B pays for utiliti...
by michaeljc70
Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When has being frugal or cheaping out bit you in the rear?
Replies: 107
Views: 7203

Re: When has being frugal or cheating out bit you in the rear?

Sometimes (not every time) when eating out I'll choose a menu item that is cheaper than what I really feel like eating. My regret is compounded when a dining companion chooses that item and raves about it. This! Most restaurants have a fairly narrowish range for the price of entrees, say $30-$40, h...
by michaeljc70
Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When has being frugal or cheaping out bit you in the rear?
Replies: 107
Views: 7203

Re: When has being frugal or cheating out bit you in the rear?

goingup wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:01 am
Sometimes (not every time) when eating out I'll choose a menu item that is cheaper than what I really feel like eating. My regret is compounded when a dining companion chooses that item and raves about it.
This!
by michaeljc70
Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare (ACA) Ruled Unconstitutional by Texas Federal Court
Replies: 184
Views: 13095

Re: Obamacare (ACA) Ruled Unconstitutional by Texas Federal Court

Being in my 40s and relatively healthy, my educated guess would be my premiums would go down. I've carried my own (individual) coverage for almost 26 years. The premiums, like just about everything, have gone up every year. After the ACA, they accelerated. The deductibles and out of pockets maxes sk...
by michaeljc70
Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire
Replies: 126
Views: 9568

Re: Can I retire

I spend around $50k/year, but would have no problem spending $250k/year. Of course, if I was spending $250k I would want to be making 3 times that. But that is not how everyone lives. In fact, it is not how the vast, vast majority of people live. Given the average household income in the US is aroun...
by michaeljc70
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008
Replies: 231
Views: 17933

Re: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008

I was in Canada at the time and luckily we escaped most of the carnage that was happening here, plus I stayed gainfully employed. I’m frankly terrified of what’s in store when the next recession hits. For those of you familiar with Peter Schiff, I was listening to a podcast the other day where he s...
by michaeljc70
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire
Replies: 126
Views: 9568

Re: Can I retire

I'm going to go a little higher than some and say you can retire if you can live on around $100k-$110k a year. I'm using around $2.5M in retirement convertible assets and your SS to come to that number. If you are risk averse, then I'd lower that number as you aren't likely to have enough if you go ...
by michaeljc70
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you pay for cable/internet/cellphone
Replies: 61
Views: 2983

Re: How much do you pay for cable/internet/cellphone

Just made a change on the internet last week: $20/mo (Comcast) Cable (streaming) : $45/mo (PS Vue) Cell: $250/year (Mint) I am amazed when I hear people spending $250+ for cable/internet and over $75 for a single cell line. I switched from AT&T for internet to Comcast due to an offer running out. I'...
by michaeljc70
Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 552
Views: 55773

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I bought over 30 pounds of meat for around $45. Pork shoulder 99 cents/lb, boneless skinless chicken thighs $1.79/lb, boneless beef short ribs $2.99/lb. I bought 3 huge pork shoulders. I've got a lot of things I make with them that are really good (carnitas, pulled pork, pork mole, porchetta, smoke...
by michaeljc70
Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008
Replies: 231
Views: 17933

Re: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008

I was in Canada at the time and luckily we escaped most of the carnage that was happening here, plus I stayed gainfully employed. I’m frankly terrified of what’s in store when the next recession hits. For those of you familiar with Peter Schiff, I was listening to a podcast the other day where he s...
by michaeljc70
Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Law school without practicing law
Replies: 79
Views: 5575

Re: Law school without practicing law

I think if you've earned a PhD you can be called a doctor. Being called “Doctor” is fine. Calling yourself “Doctor” is gauche. A lawyer, that is a stretch. In fact, I believe some states prohibit it. A JD is not the highest degree in law. A PhD or MD is in their respective fields. Doesn’t “JD” lite...
by michaeljc70
Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Law school without practicing law
Replies: 79
Views: 5575

Re: Law school without practicing law

In my opinion, calling oneself “Dr.” is acceptable only if one is a medical doctor, since disambiguation is important in that case — e.g. to make it clear one is authorized to write a prescription or perform surgery. Other kinds of doctors (PhDs, DPhils etc.) should never call themselves “Dr.,” tho...
by michaeljc70
Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?
Replies: 76
Views: 4860

Re: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?

I'm surprised no one has mentioned bidet attachments...I've seen them as low as $30. I've looked into that lately. I'm accused of using an excessive amount of TP :shock: . The thing is, if you didn't plan for it and have hot water run (and electric if it has a lot of "perks"), then it seems like yo...
by michaeljc70
Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question on dryer vent cleaning
Replies: 29
Views: 2491

Re: Question on dryer vent cleaning

Agree with Critical . I bought one of these from the local big box store, and was amazed about the amount of lint that was in the vents once I started cleaning. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-Dryer-Vent-Cleaning-Kit-DVBRUSH12K-6HD/205047060 Spent $20, saved some money, and took about an hour ...
by michaeljc70
Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a New Car Okay if Driven 15+ Years?
Replies: 92
Views: 7189

Re: Is a New Car Okay if Driven 15+ Years?

My assessment is that the current auto safety advances are still pretty rudimentary, and in some cases potentially counter productive to safe driving. My guess is that this field will continue to rapidly advance towards a fully autonomous and reliable self drive feature over the next 10-20 years bu...
by michaeljc70
Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008
Replies: 231
Views: 17933

Re: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008

I had some leverage, too many individual stocks (particularly in the banking sector) and my investments fell 80%+. I was also between work projects and had no income. To make a long story short, I added more leverage (triple ETFs), focused on banking and came out to have more than at my prior peak. ...
by michaeljc70
Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Law school without practicing law
Replies: 79
Views: 5575

Re: Law school without practicing law

How much will this cost in time and money? Probably more than you'd spend in legal fees in a lifetime. I assume this will detract from you actual business. And if you aren't a practicing attorney with experience it isn't the same. Reviewing a contract because you have a law degree and reviewing a co...
by michaeljc70
Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a New Car Okay if Driven 15+ Years?
Replies: 92
Views: 7189

Re: Is a New Car Okay if Driven 15+ Years?

My assessment is that the current auto safety advances are still pretty rudimentary, and in some cases potentially counter productive to safe driving. My guess is that this field will continue to rapidly advance towards a fully autonomous and reliable self drive feature over the next 10-20 years bu...
by michaeljc70
Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 552
Views: 55773

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I bought over 30 pounds of meat for around $45. Pork shoulder 99 cents/lb, boneless skinless chicken thighs $1.79/lb, boneless beef short ribs $2.99/lb. I bought 3 huge pork shoulders. I've got a lot of things I make with them that are really good (carnitas, pulled pork, pork mole, porchetta, smoked...
by michaeljc70
Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...
Replies: 182
Views: 19785

Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Costco is a great retailer.They offer very good quality,the best return policy and excellent prices.Nobody is selling high quality food/merchandise at the lowest price on everything.Their prices are very fair and they have very good deals on clothes that are not mentioned often.The free samples,sna...
by michaeljc70
Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question on dryer vent cleaning
Replies: 29
Views: 2491

Re: Question on dryer vent cleaning

The device that JustDumb points to above is certainly a possibility, and I considered it before I called for outside help. But note that it only extends to twelve feed, so if your duct run is longer, you'll need to do something else. Mine was a bit longer, so this device would not have done the ent...
by michaeljc70
Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowner Insurance Deductible Amount?
Replies: 19
Views: 1174

Re: Homeowner Insurance Deductible Amount?

Insure only what you can't afford to lose. If an extra $2,500 deductable ($5,000 in total) wouldn't be a hardship in the case of a disaster take advantage of the $600 / premium reduction. In all liklihood, you'll break even in just over 4 years by choosing the higher deductable and lower premium. W...
by michaeljc70
Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question on dryer vent cleaning
Replies: 29
Views: 2491

Re: Question on dryer vent cleaning

I am surprised anyone will show up to do anything for $80. I cannot get people to come out and give estimates for things costing $1k+. I have my washer and dryer in a closet also. I bought a thing that hooks to my drill and cleans the vent tube. I had to buy an extension as the vent is around 30 fee...
by michaeljc70
Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?
Replies: 76
Views: 4860

Re: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?

This is a marketing gimmick. In fact, it is really hard to determine if you are getting a good value on tp or paper towels. Some say look at sq ft in the pack. That doesn't really work since that doesn't take into account thickness. You really should go by weight, which I have never seen listed on t...
by michaeljc70
Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it
Replies: 71
Views: 5563

Re: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it

3 weeks ago, we used Lyft to go to the SFO airport. Just before we got there, the driver rear-ended another car. There was no damage to our driver's car, but significant damage to the other car. Both drivers parked to the side of the freeway and tried to exchange information. Turned out the other d...
by michaeljc70
Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a New Car Okay if Driven 15+ Years?
Replies: 92
Views: 7189

Re: Is a New Car Okay if Driven 15+ Years?

Acting like a 10 year old car is a death trap is laughable. Most of the new safety things being added nowadays are tech related and only help compensate for bad/inattentive drivers. It is true that big strides were made with crumple zones, airbags and things like that in the past. 33k die in the US ...
by michaeljc70
Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3113
Views: 605536

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

The Barclays Arrival Plus is offering 70k points. I don't open credit cards that give puny rewards... nothing under $500 worth of rewards. You’ll reconsider once you’ve gone through the big ones and get over the the thought that hard pulls are the end of the world. If you’re willing to do multiple ...
by michaeljc70
Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3113
Views: 605536

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

How do you know if for the AA and UAL cards you will get the bonus? Obviously, if you are turned down you won't. But I believe there is language in the terms (which I believe might vary when comparing an unsolicited application vs. an offer you receive in the mail) that allow a bonus every 24 months...
by michaeljc70
Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3113
Views: 605536

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I use the Citi Double Cash for almost all purchases. Unless I am doing bonus spends on reward cards. I prefer the reward cards that give miles on airlines I travel (AA/UAL) because I can get more than 1 cent per point. I just went to Europe on two one way tickets (different arrival/departure cities)...
by michaeljc70
Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a New Car Okay if Driven 15+ Years?
Replies: 92
Views: 7189

Re: Is a New Car Okay if Driven 15+ Years?

I think it depends. On the one hand, some cars depreciate little in the first year or two (Honda/Toyota/Lexus) so I don't know that it is worth it buying newer used. If you buy a car a year or two old, the way I view it is that is a year or two earlier you can get a new car next time (or saving a fe...
by michaeljc70
Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Uber Cash Discount
Replies: 4
Views: 1143

Re: Uber Cash Discount

I haven't tried the GC route. I often get emails where Uber gives me 40% of rides for a week. They are pretty erratic. Sometimes it will be 3 weeks in a row and then nothing for a month or two. I suspect it is based on usage. I also wonder if they are able to know if I am taking Lyft (through my pho...
by michaeljc70
Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it
Replies: 71
Views: 5563

Re: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it

Does the Lyft app record a start time and end time for the ride? If so, perhaps you could point to that as being abnormally long and the reason for that is the accident the driver denies having. That's what I was thinking. If you were stopped for more than a few minutes, it wouldn't be a light or a...
by michaeljc70
Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th
Replies: 716
Views: 50593

Re: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th

I have my HSA at Optum (acquired from Wells Fargo). I don't pay any fees and have it all (except $1k that has to be in "cash") in the Vanguard TSM Institutional. The ER is .04% so I see no reason to change. I haven't contributed for years, but have almost 6 figures in there.
by michaeljc70
Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health insurance outside Obamacare exchange
Replies: 12
Views: 924

Re: Health insurance outside Obamacare exchange

I live in the 3rd largest city in the US and there are only 3 providers on the exchange and 25 plans. I haven't find any other company offering ACA compliant plans off the exchanges. You can find short-term plans that have more holes in them than swiss cheese though. Yea- Further research revealed ...
by michaeljc70
Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need recommendation for new washing machine
Replies: 45
Views: 2369

Re: Need recommendation for new washing machine

I had a top loader my whole life. I switched to a front loader around 4 years ago and would never go back. They use less water and clean better and you can fit more and are easier on your clothes. I have a Samsung.
by michaeljc70
Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental car totalled - amex insurance issue
Replies: 19
Views: 3234

Re: Rental car totalled - amex insurance issue

My rental car got stuck in a flooded road and was totaled. I rent on American Express card and pay for amex premium coverage as primary and assumed it will all be taken care of. After a couple of months I heard from the car rental company that amex is paying for approx 90% of the net ACV ( actual c...
by michaeljc70
Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Italy
Replies: 42
Views: 2373

Re: Trip to Italy

Fly to Ireland first. Get in the EU then take cheap flight from Dublin to Italy. Down side to this is concept is baggage. This is similar to my advice. Get to whatever major city you can the cheapest and then take a cheap flight on something like Ryan or EasyJet to Italy. Or if the international fl...
by michaeljc70
Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired in your late 40s or early 50s?
Replies: 87
Views: 14039

Re: Retired in your late 40s or early 50s?

I keep dreaming about retiring (hopefully soon). Will be great to hear some lessons learnt here. What are the things that you would not do if you relived the retiring experience. To me the major question mark is healthcare though ACA provides a solution. Just worried about how long before it gets d...
by michaeljc70
Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filing a complaint against AmeriHealth
Replies: 7
Views: 545

Re: Filing a complaint against AmeriHealth

A440 wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:43 am
We have had much trouble with this company with coding issues, reprocessing delays, and repeated billings from providers.
Isn't Amerihealth an insurance company? Isn't the coding done by the providers? Repeat billings from providers....come from providers.
by michaeljc70
Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 552
Views: 55773

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

It was a few days ago, but installed a new water heater in my place with my Father. I figured it saved me around $1000 versus if I hired a plumber.
by michaeljc70
Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?
Replies: 309
Views: 21723

Re: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?

OP, I do not count my house as part of my net worth. If someone is counting the house as part of their net worth, they had bought too much house. KlangFool Actionably: I cannot pay my retirement expenses with the home I live in. And, it's not counted as net worth. And, is not related to my allocati...
by michaeljc70
Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?
Replies: 309
Views: 21723

Re: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?

Only on Bogleheads are people rushing to pay off their mortgage to not count it in their net worth :shock:.
by michaeljc70
Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?
Replies: 309
Views: 21723

Re: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?

ponyboy wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:16 pm
I dont include my home as part of my net worth.

Those who do typically have lower savings/investments...and it just sounds better when you include your home.
Or they are following the definition of net worth....assets minus liabilities.