Search found 307 matches

by ND Fan 1
Fri May 10, 2019 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Replies: 19
Views: 1121

Re: Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

I just done researching this topic and I went with the below Toro. The SmartStow technology allows it to be stowed vertically, and the gas won't leak into the engine. Pretty nifty design and saves a ton of space. It is front wheel drive but it also has large back wheels, makes it a bit easier for tu...
by ND Fan 1
Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soon to be dad, how to prepare
Replies: 127
Views: 7415

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Just wanted some feedback on how to prepare myself Start by waking up from a sound sleep every 2-4 hours. Don't worry, that phase only lasts for 18 years or so. Good luck. Thanks for the good laugh, we are expecting baby #4 in August and just keep resetting the clock, haha. Somehow you just survive...
by ND Fan 1
Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card to get after using up bonus offers due to 5/24 rule?
Replies: 45
Views: 2764

Re: Credit card to get after using up bonus offers due to 5/24 rule?

Our friends over at r/churning put together a pretty good flowchart for CC decisions. If you are at 5/24, my recommendation would be the Barclays Arrival +. Right now it has its highest bonus of 70K miles with the annual fee waived the first year. Barclays has a 6/24 rules, so do that one first bef...
by ND Fan 1
Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card to get after using up bonus offers due to 5/24 rule?
Replies: 45
Views: 2764

Re: Credit card to get after using up bonus offers due to 5/24 rule?

Our friends over at r/churning put together a pretty good flowchart for CC decisions. If you are at 5/24, my recommendation would be the Barclays Arrival +. Right now it has its highest bonus of 70K miles with the annual fee waived the first year. Barclays has a 6/24 rules, so do that one first bef...
by ND Fan 1
Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Primer on Paying Taxes With a Credit Card
Replies: 80
Views: 11515

Re: Primer on Paying Taxes With a Credit Card

If you want to meet some minumum spend of credit cards, you can "overpay" your taxes, then float the difference until you get your refund. I was already in line for a $1K refund based on W-4 withholdings. I have then made about $8K in payments to the IRS to knock out a couple of Min spend requiremen...
by ND Fan 1
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card to get after using up bonus offers due to 5/24 rule?
Replies: 45
Views: 2764

Re: Credit card to get after using up bonus offers due to 5/24 rule?

Our friends over at r/churning put together a pretty good flowchart for CC decisions. If you are at 5/24, my recommendation would be the Barclays Arrival +. Right now it has its highest bonus of 70K miles with the annual fee waived the first year. Barclays has a 6/24 rules, so do that one first befo...
by ND Fan 1
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card to get after using up bonus offers due to 5/24 rule?
Replies: 45
Views: 2764

Re: Credit card to get after using up bonus offers due to 5/24 rule?

Our friends over at r/churning put together a pretty good flowchart for CC decisions. If you are at 5/24, my recommendation would be the Barclays Arrival +. Right now it has its highest bonus of 70K miles with the annual fee waived the first year. Barclays has a 6/24 rules, so do that one first befo...
by ND Fan 1
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is our household budget crazy?
Replies: 141
Views: 13245

Re: Is our household budget crazy?

Yeah, some of the numbers are high, but in aggregate you are spending less than 1/4 of your gross income, so what's the problem? You're right, it's not like we're living beyond our means. Yet I have this nagging feeling that we could cut our spending by a significant amount without reducing our qua...
by ND Fan 1
Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn care schedule
Replies: 75
Views: 7408

Re: Lawn care schedule

I'm no expert, but I buy the bags of fertilizer at Menards, labled, 1-4. Timline is early spring, late spring/early summer, mid/late summer, late summer/early fall. Seems to do a pretty good job, keeping the weeds away. My kids play in the yard all summer so it does the job. 1. Is Crabgreass Preven...
by ND Fan 1
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any credit cards that can beat the Citi doublecash?
Replies: 72
Views: 10077

Re: Any credit cards that can beat the Citi doublecash?

I’ve become a US Bank shill. Altitude Reserve. 4.5% cash back on Travel and Mobile Wallet (Apple/Samsung/Google Pay). Pair with Doublecash for when you can’t use mobile wallet. Net $75 annual fee means you just need to spend $250/mo on travel and mobile wallet to beat a straight 2% cash back card a...
by ND Fan 1
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn care schedule
Replies: 75
Views: 7408

Re: Lawn care schedule

I'm no expert, but I buy the bags of fertilizer at Menards, labled, 1-4. Timline is early spring, late spring/early summer, mid/late summer, late summer/early fall. Seems to do a pretty good job, keeping the weeds away. My kids play in the yard all summer so it does the job. 1. Is Crabgreass Prevent...
by ND Fan 1
Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HYSA vs Stable Fund for 529 "Buckets"
Replies: 0
Views: 232

HYSA vs Stable Fund for 529 "Buckets"

I researching 529 accounts, and have some questions between the difference of the returns on the Stable Value and High Yield Savings options in the Indiana Plan. I'm a resident so I get a $1000 tax credit and plan on using the funds for K-12 education. So I'm looking at my options for the funds to b...
by ND Fan 1
Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: More Bad News for USAA Bank
Replies: 61
Views: 11376

Re: More Bad News for USAA Bank

I use USAA for my primary checking mainly since it was my first account and it is so intertwined with all my other accounts. Plus, I have the account info memorized so it makes it easy to use. It doens't earn any interest but I only keep around $5K or so in it. I did recently open a Memory bank acco...
by ND Fan 1
Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Glide Path Computations for College Savings
Replies: 9
Views: 697

Re: Glide Path Computations for College Savings

This is an interesting topic and something i have dived into recently. I have 3 kids, 5,4,2 and 1 on the way. Right now I only have 2 529 accounts, but will open 2 more for the younger ones. What complicates mine is that I plan on using 529 funds for k-12 due to the recent law change. So I'm trying ...
by ND Fan 1
Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is anyone's portfolio not tanking???
Replies: 129
Views: 14117

Re: Is anyone's portfolio not tanking???

Stocks go up; stocks go down. If you have the proper asset allocation, you just ignore it and life goes on. This is a good point and I've always wondered why some people track their portfolio against benchmarks or know what %+/- they are for the year. If we are supposed to "stay the course", "time ...
by ND Fan 1
Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I Elect to Withhold Nothing From Paycheck?
Replies: 13
Views: 1948

Re: Can I Elect to Withhold Nothing From Paycheck?

Could you just raise your exemptions to like 10 to minimize how much is withheld
by ND Fan 1
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4154
Views: 803208

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Your SPG card is earning Marriott Rewards points, not Membership Rewards. I know that the Amex SPG earns Marriott points :wink: . What I meant was (obviously it wasn't clear) was that I don't have any other Amex cards for now (Platinum, PRG, EDP, etc) that would earn Membership Rewards points becau...
by ND Fan 1
Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 for Private Elementary School? Minimize capital gains?
Replies: 11
Views: 1254

Re: 529 for Private Elementary School? Minimize capital gains?

I plan on dumping money into 529 plans to pay for K-12. I could cash flow it, but night as well get some tax free growth. With 3 kids, it would be hard to over fund. I've looked at some stable fund options to put the next few years' tuition in. Won't earn a ton, but still tax free
by ND Fan 1
Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Max you should invest in a 529?
Replies: 181
Views: 11312

Re: Max you should invest in a 529?

This is subject to your state allowing it as well. Only if you claim a tax deduction or credit from your state. So I'm an IN resident, and IN allows a 20% tax credit up to $1000. I put in $5K a year to max out that credit. IN then passed a law stating any funds you put into a 529 and received a cre...
by ND Fan 1
Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Max you should invest in a 529?
Replies: 181
Views: 11312

Re: Max you should invest in a 529?

529 can only be used for college. So don't over do it even it is tax free on earning. Max your retirement 1st, then 529. I believe this is incorrect. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law in December 2017, allows families to use 529 plans to pay for up to $10,000 in tuition expenses ...
by ND Fan 1
Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Max you should invest in a 529?
Replies: 181
Views: 11312

Re: Max you should invest in a 529?

529 can only be used for college. So don't over do it even it is tax free on earning. Max your retirement 1st, then 529. I believe this is incorrect. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law in December 2017, allows families to use 529 plans to pay for up to $10,000 in tuition expenses ...
by ND Fan 1
Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Grade School Strategy, all excess Cash to 529?
Replies: 2
Views: 291

Re: 529 Grade School Strategy, all excess Cash to 529?

Indiana really has a great tax benefit, but before making long term plans I would suggest taking a good look at Indiana house bill 1039 that appears to have quite broad support from both sides of the aisle. https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2018/bills/house/1039 My kids are a bit younger at 3 and 2 mo...
by ND Fan 1
Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Grade School Strategy, all excess Cash to 529?
Replies: 2
Views: 291

529 Grade School Strategy, all excess Cash to 529?

We are planning on sending our children to private school so the 529 reform was a game changer for us. We currently have 3 children (ages: 5,3,and 1) and will have at least 1 more. We already started 529 plans for them and have $150K in there, plus I've transferred 4 years of Gi Bill benefits to my ...
by ND Fan 1
Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why have a savings account at all?
Replies: 153
Views: 13720

Re: Why have a savings account at all?

I keep around $25-30K in liquid cash, that I then moved around to qualify for bank bonuses. A lot of accounts will pay you $200 after doing a Direct deposit, but you have to keep a min balance of say $500-$1500 for 6 months before you can close. So I receive the bonus ,then leave the min balance in ...
by ND Fan 1
Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: General Electric
Replies: 77
Views: 11592

Re: General Electric

I have some good buddies who work at GE and can attest to cost cutting measures going on much to the dismay of employees. Their aviation division is on of the few profitable divisions left, possibly look for that to be sold off to raise much needed capital.
by ND Fan 1
Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Easy way to meet minimum monthly transaction thresholds
Replies: 8
Views: 732

Re: Easy way to meet minimum monthly transaction thresholds

If I know I'm need to do a Amazon purchase, I buy reload my amazon gift card balance in $.50 increments. The gas pump is another good one, or individual bananas at the self checkout at the grocery store.

I like the Venmo idea as well, good call.
by ND Fan 1
Thu May 31, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?
Replies: 210
Views: 52125

Re: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?

I just compared USAA with AMICA for Home and Auto. Same coverage limits for both USAA Auto cheaper by $364 annually and USAA Home cheaper by $480 annually. This for a 2 driver/2 car and roughly $215K house. I have been with USAA for 8 years, and haven't shopped around a ton, but haven't found anyth...
by ND Fan 1
Wed May 30, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?
Replies: 210
Views: 52125

Re: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?

I just compared USAA with AMICA for Home and Auto. Same coverage limits for both USAA Auto cheaper by $364 annually and USAA Home cheaper by $480 annually. This for a 2 driver/2 car and roughly $215K house. I have been with USAA for 8 years, and haven't shopped around a ton, but haven't found anythi...
by ND Fan 1
Tue May 08, 2018 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you pay baby sitters?
Replies: 53
Views: 6371

Re: What do you pay baby sitters?

We usually pay between 12$-15$ an hr for 3 kids age, 5,3,1 in a LCOL. Some factors we consider. What time of day is the babysitter coming over? Morning routine, nap time, bed time. Basically how much extra work is involved. We normally, use them when our work schedules don't line up, since my wife i...
by ND Fan 1
Sat May 05, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you quit eating sugar? Tell me how!
Replies: 129
Views: 14535

Re: Have you quit eating sugar? Tell me how!

Fruit will hurt you much more than help you. Veggies yes, but fruit no. Not my understanding at all, from many things I believe very credible - www.nutritionfacts.org See what "the science says" This is why this topic is so frustrating. I try and eat healthy and the best way for me to do that is fr...
by ND Fan 1
Thu May 03, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fifth Third Bank $200 bonus for a new $50 checking deposit?
Replies: 8
Views: 1477

Re: Fifth Third Bank $200 bonus for a new $50 checking deposit?

There is also an offer for $250 but the deposit requirement is $500 for 60 days Review https://www.doctorofcredit.com/fifth-third-200-checking-bonus-fl-ga-il-ky-mi-nc-oh-tn-wv/ I personally chase these bank bonuses, but keep detailed notes so I don't lose track of my money. I have calendar notices t...
by ND Fan 1
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Summary of Emergency Fund Options
Replies: 16
Views: 2786

Re: Summary of Emergency Fund Options

I have a decent chunk of cash in an "emergency fund" ($20-$30K) that I use to chase bank bonuses. Some bonuses require minimum deposits to get the bonus or keep the account fee free. So I might park $5K in 1 account for 3 months, then another $5K in a separate account, and keep moving it around. Las...
by ND Fan 1
Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPO vs. HDHP w/HSA for Pregnancy decision
Replies: 16
Views: 5952

Re: PPO vs. HDHP w/HSA for Pregnancy decision

As far as how the baby is covered, usually if its a routine birth, no NICU, etc... I'm pretty sure everything will be covered under the mother as 1 delivery/birth. I know my 2 babies, that ended up in the NICU has separate EOBs, and bills. My 3rd baby, everything was smooth and we all left the hospi...
by ND Fan 1
Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPO vs. HDHP w/HSA for Pregnancy decision
Replies: 16
Views: 5952

Re: PPO vs. HDHP w/HSA for Pregnancy decision

An important aspect to look at is how are maternity visits covered? For our PPO plan, maternity is covered with no co-pay, that includes, labs, sonograms, etc... For the HDHP, maternity is 100% covered after meeting the deductible (including birth). It also depends when you get pregnant during the 1...
by ND Fan 1
Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your AA, given your age? and, Why?
Replies: 246
Views: 30061

Re: What is your AA, given your age? and, Why?

Wife and I are 33. We are 85/15, which breaks down to Total US Stock- 30% Small Cap- 10% Small Cap Value- 20% Total International- 15% International Small- 10% Bonds (G-Fund)- 15% With the G fund, a pretty safe bond fund, I take additional risk on the equity side. I have real good job security and w...
by ND Fan 1
Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Tax Law- Out of State 529 Plans
Replies: 11
Views: 1244

Re: New Tax Law- Out of State 529 Plans

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance issued a Preliminary Report to the Governor on H.R.1, indicating that K-12 distributions may not be considered qualified distributions under New York statutes and may require recapture of any New York State tax benefits that accrued on contribut...
by ND Fan 1
Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Tax Law- Out of State 529 Plans
Replies: 11
Views: 1244

Re: New Tax Law- Out of State 529 Plans

Question about the changes to 529 qualified distributions. It seems states are now adjusting policies due to the new tax law. When I log into my New York 529 plan website, I get the below message: On December 22, 2017, new federal tax reform "legislation (H.R. 1) was signed into law. This legislati...
by ND Fan 1
Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Tax Law- Out of State 529 Plans
Replies: 11
Views: 1244

Re: New Tax Law- Out of State 529 Plans

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance issued a Preliminary Report to the Governor on H.R.1, indicating that K-12 distributions may not be considered qualified distributions under New York statutes and may require recapture of any New York State tax benefits that accrued on contribut...
by ND Fan 1
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Tax Law- Out of State 529 Plans
Replies: 11
Views: 1244

New Tax Law- Out of State 529 Plans

Question about the changes to 529 qualified distributions. It seems states are now adjusting policies due to the new tax law. When I log into my New York 529 plan website, I get the below message: On December 22, 2017, new federal tax reform "legislation (H.R. 1) was signed into law. This legislatio...
by ND Fan 1
Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help my wife when I die.
Replies: 37
Views: 4997

Re: Help my wife when I die.

Good morning Bogleheads! Sorry for the morbid title, everything is fine as far as I know. I am a long-time reader of the forum, but have only just now made an account. I really wanted to thank everyone here for the amazing discussions and advice on a variety of subjects. I have been trying to becom...
by ND Fan 1
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working in the real world
Replies: 118
Views: 11342

Re: Working in the real world

Wanted to chime in on this interesting thread. Wife and I are early 30s, living in a Midwest state very close to Ohio. We live back in our hometown after being away for 7 years while I was active duty. Separated and now am a Full Time National Guardsmen, so government employee. Wife is an nurse who ...
by ND Fan 1
Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Blended Retirement System Opt In Decision
Replies: 4
Views: 593

Re: Blended Retirement System Opt In Decision

I'm eligible to opt in, but as a full time Guardsmen, I plan on making it to 20, will hit 10 this year. I like your reasoning, I tell my troops, if you don't see yourself doing 20, the new system is great as long as you get the full match. If one knows for sure they will do 20, then the old system i...
by ND Fan 1
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using 529 for grade school- help with strategy
Replies: 45
Views: 5137

Re: Using 529 for grade school- help with strategy

[Changed to reflect Rupert's Edit] Because this change undercuts the public school systems, I suspect many states will push back on this 529 change. So I'd hold off on doing anything for now and see what your state does. I'm also expecting some push back from the states, and how each state responds...
by ND Fan 1
Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations
Replies: 54
Views: 11173

Re: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations

In 2017 we switched to GEHA HDHP after 2 years on the BCBS and are very happy with it. We have 3 children 4 and younger and have been blessed to only do preventative doctor visits, so we came out way ahead this year. In 2016, we have baby #3 a full year of maternity on the BCBS PPO plan, which invol...
by ND Fan 1
Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP vs PPO (baby in 2017) [High Deductible vs. Preferred Provider plans]
Replies: 20
Views: 6111

Re: HDHP vs PPO (baby in 2017) [High Deductible vs. Preferred Provider plans]

I have a question as I'm thinking about this for my next year in case we decide on expanding our DINK family. Her employer provides 1000/2000 HSA seed money (I think it's paid as a lump sum), whereas my employer provides 650/1300 (paid per payroll period, so joining mid-year means you get only half...
by ND Fan 1
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 566
Views: 75862

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]

I must confess, I'm a little surprised by the strength of many people's reaction to this. But we know that folks hate a losing something more than they love getting something new. So removing something that folks already have is not commensurate with giving them something they don't have. VictoriaF...
by ND Fan 1
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Convert Roth IRA to Traditional IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 2028

Re: Convert Roth IRA to Traditional IRA

...I did some planned capital gain harvesting, thinking I was easily going to be in the 15% bracket. ... I'm projecting to be about $2000-$3000 above the 15% tax bracket. Now, my last option is to re-characterize my Roth IRA contribution. Never done it before, so trying to understand the process. S...
by ND Fan 1
Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Convert Roth IRA to Traditional IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 2028

Re: Convert Roth IRA to Traditional IRA

You can do either but if you have no other TIRAs with taxable amounts then the usual practice would be to recharacterize to TIRA then convert to Roth. Ok thanks. One benefit that I can think of is say you're in the borderline 15%-25% tax bracket. You contribute to a Roth at the beginning of the yea...
by ND Fan 1
Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?
Replies: 68
Views: 24501

Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Another question for the group, would it make sense to try and convert paper bonds that have already matured? I just opened a Chase bank account for my wife to try and cash out her bonds, but with 3 small children, she really doesn't have time to go sit in a bank and try to redeem. I was hoping to ...
by ND Fan 1
Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card with large cash (or cash-equivalent) sign-up bonus
Replies: 25
Views: 3863

Re: Credit card with large cash (or cash-equivalent) sign-up bonus

The Citi Prestige currently has a 75K bonus on $7.5 spend. The points can be converted to statement credit at 1 cent per point. It does have a $450 annual fee. It also has a $250 airline credit you can "double dip" the first year, so potentially another $500 in cash back. If you don't spend on airli...