Search found 266 matches

by alaskantraveler
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: extra $2000/month?
Replies: 14
Views: 2857

Re: extra $2000/month?

I agree. 4.75% risk free return is pretty good. You are already maxing out all of your tax advantaged space and have a good emergency fund. Pay down the mortgage. If you have access to an HSA, this is another option for tax savings.
by alaskantraveler
Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend A Travel Site
Replies: 16
Views: 1471

Re: Recommend A Travel Site

Your best option for cheap business class is going to be Using MR points and transfer to BA then to Iberia. Iberia flies MIA-MAD. This would cost 34k miles one way in business. Award availability is generally sparse on this route. No need to hop through BA to get to Iberia as MR transfer straight t...
by alaskantraveler
Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend A Travel Site
Replies: 16
Views: 1471

Re: Recommend A Travel Site

Your best option for cheap business class is going to be Using MR points and transfer to BA then to Iberia. Iberia flies MIA-MAD. This would cost 34k miles one way in business. Award availability is generally sparse on this route.
by alaskantraveler
Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy parts for DIY Auto repairs
Replies: 46
Views: 3446

Re: Where do you buy parts for DIY Auto repairs

Not sure if in this case you can just use ordinary coolant, but when I buy auto parts I look at Napa, O'reilleys, Autozone, whichever. Find the cheapest price online. Then use a site like giftcardwiki to find resale gift cards to get an additional discount (be aware that some online gift cards can o...
by alaskantraveler
Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Plan for 2 Incomes to 1 and Mortgage Payoff
Replies: 15
Views: 1118

Re: Plan for 2 Incomes to 1 and Mortgage Payoff

You have significant taxable and cash reserves, you are interested in paying off your mortgage in 5 years or so, but you financed into a 30 yr loan? You can refinance to a 15 year for around 3.375% today. It is probably worth refinancing if you plan to keep the home. Seems like now is the time for y...
by alaskantraveler
Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Chase Sapphire Reserve Cards or one CSR + 1 other
Replies: 12
Views: 1380

Re: Two Chase Sapphire Reserve Cards or one CSR + 1 other

Another thing to add. The Hilton Aspire is literally one of the best cards out there if you can maximize the value. Signing up in November will allow you to triple dip the $250 airline credit ($750 value). You can also likely double dip the $250 resort credit ($500) at month 13. For example, I was a...
by alaskantraveler
Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Chase Sapphire Reserve Cards or one CSR + 1 other
Replies: 12
Views: 1380

Re: Two Chase Sapphire Reserve Cards or one CSR + 1 other

a different idea from a seasoned churner... My partner and I have just one CSR. Every 13 months you rotate out who has the CSR. One person downgrades to the freedom unlimited the other person upgrades to the CSR. The reason to do this is because it is possible to get two $300 travel credits and pay ...
by alaskantraveler
Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting while working, buying at retirement?
Replies: 12
Views: 1404

Re: Renting while working, buying at retirement?

This topic comes up a lot. It's perfectly reasonable to rent. Owning isn't all its cracked up to be. Those people living in areas that have seen significant appreciation are in good shape for now, but historically US housing prices have increased at less than the rate of inflation. A recent experien...
by alaskantraveler
Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Laid off at 62; need to move some money to cash from retirement account
Replies: 21
Views: 4665

Re: Laid off at 62; need to move some money to cash from retirement account

Seems reasonable that you should consolidate all of your old 401ks into one Traditional IRA. Since DH is over age 59.5 you have access to penalty free withdrawals. A lot of unanswered questions here. Are either of you working or planning on going back to work? Do you have any other sources of income...
by alaskantraveler
Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 29 yr old - looking for advice - open to all
Replies: 1
Views: 524

Re: 29 yr old - looking for advice - open to all

You say you are putting $1075/month or $12,900 per year into your 401k and you say you are in the 24% tax braket. I'd be maxing out the 401k every year with $19k. What about your spouse? If they dont have a 401k from work you can also contribute $6k to Traditional IRA for them.
by alaskantraveler
Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card miles or cashback for travel to wedding
Replies: 20
Views: 1278

Re: Credit card miles or cashback for travel to wedding

All depends on how far you want to go. First I would check out google flights and see who has the best schedule from your home airport to the wedding destination and collect points accordingly. It shouldn't be that hard to acquire enough credit cards to cover 7 rt tickets on the same flight. I be lo...
by alaskantraveler
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sedona and ________ trip In February with 3 and 5 year old
Replies: 12
Views: 921

Re: Sedona and ________ trip In February with 3 and 5 year old

I was going to add, that snow is possible in Sedona that time of year. Its likely to be cold.
by alaskantraveler
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Review 45yo
Replies: 5
Views: 1152

Re: Review 45yo

Your porfolio is way to complex, includes way too may funds, is not very transparent. 80/20 allocation is reasonable for someone your age. Common advice is to keep your bond allocation out of your taxable accounts. Your wife should consolidate her old 401ks into a single institution like Vanguard, S...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.
Replies: 58
Views: 3023

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

We got almost $7k, IIRC, in cash and miles in 2017 by churning CCs. But once we hit up against Chase's 5/2 rule, we largely stopped. Next year, most of our 'new' cards will fall off our credit report, and we'll start churning again. I've been over 5/24 since the day it became a thing 3 or 4 years a...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.
Replies: 58
Views: 3023

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Here are the details of what I've redeemed with miles, excluding hotels: These are things I would never actually pay *cash* for but I find there's something thrilling about getting them for pennies on the dollar. Time to start planning the next one! I'm jealous, but at this point in my life I dont ...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.
Replies: 58
Views: 3023

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

We got almost $7k, IIRC, in cash and miles in 2017 by churning CCs. But once we hit up against Chase's 5/2 rule, we largely stopped. Next year, most of our 'new' cards will fall off our credit report, and we'll start churning again. I've been over 5/24 since the day it became a thing 3 or 4 years a...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.
Replies: 58
Views: 3023

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Sky is the limit. There are alot of people more gung ho then me. My spreadsheet says I redeemed 1,956,473 points last year for an estimated $29,168 value in flights, hotels, rental cars, cash etc... That's almost exactly what you would have gotten as "cash back" with a 1.5 cent per point (cpp) char...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.
Replies: 58
Views: 3023

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

Sky is the limit. There are alot of people more gung ho then me. My spreadsheet says I redeemed 1,956,473 points last year for an estimated $29,168 value in flights, hotels, rental cars, cash etc...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.
Replies: 58
Views: 3023

Re: Real Life Experience. Credit Card Rewards and Transfer Bonus.

j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:53 pm
It’s pretty annoying when you get to the end of cards, though. I hit this wall a few years ago and haven’t “played the game” since.

I'm a seasoned churner, and there are still some options out there, that are very lucrative even for those who have been in the game a while.
by alaskantraveler
Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help, Single Filer try to maintain 0% LT capital gains tax
Replies: 7
Views: 883

Re: Help, Single Filer try to maintain 0% LT capital gains tax

OP here. So the standard deduction of $12,200 reduces taxable income right? I used the wording "taxable income" in my scenario but I'm not sure if the way I interpret taxable income is the same way the IRS does. So the standard deduction reduces taxable income right for the purposes of calculating t...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help, Single Filer try to maintain 0% LT capital gains tax
Replies: 7
Views: 883

Help, Single Filer try to maintain 0% LT capital gains tax

I have a friend who works seasonally in the USA (USA citizen) then travels mostly in SE Asia for the rest of the year. He made a small investment in a hostel. He and his partners recently sold the hostel and now he has a capital gain in the range of $20k-$30k. Originally he was expecting to work mor...
by alaskantraveler
Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a home; Very HCOL Area
Replies: 40
Views: 4041

Re: Buying a home; Very HCOL Area

New York times has the most comperhensive buy vs rent calculator.

Code: Select all

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator.html
One of the biggest questions is how long do you plan to live in the area.
by alaskantraveler
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: applying for business credit card
Replies: 10
Views: 861

Re: applying for business credit card

When you apply for a business credit card as a sole proprietor you are usually asked about your total income. You put your income from your W2 on the application. The do want to know your "business income" though. Consider a Chase Business Preferred. Its got one of the best signup bonuses out there.
by alaskantraveler
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Refinance
Replies: 25
Views: 1930

Re: Home Refinance

The change in the interest rate from 3.875% to 3.625% is a savings of $750 in interest per year on $300k. That isnt much savings, and often the cost of refinancing can be hard to flesh out. Make sure you are aware of all of the fees and costs. As others have said, it is probably not worth it.
by alaskantraveler
Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated SS and Windfall Elimination Provision
Replies: 17
Views: 1547

Re: Estimated SS and Windfall Elimination Provision

This is actually fairly easy to calculate. In your ss.gov profile you should be able to pull your earnings record. Once you've got this, get the index factor table from the social security website. Mulitply each of your years of social security earnings by the index factor for that year. Then sum up...
by alaskantraveler
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help choose COLA Pension or Not
Replies: 25
Views: 1489

Re: Help choose COLA Pension or Not

Katie wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:36 pm
Does he have a wife who'll get a survivor benefit? The COLA advantage will be higher the longer the pension is collected, so if there are two people, you increase the chances that one of them may still be collecting in 20-10 years.

No, wife passed away 2 years ago.
by alaskantraveler
Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help choose COLA Pension or Not
Replies: 25
Views: 1489

Re: Help choose COLA Pension or Not

dknightd wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:11 pm

Will he get SS? That has some inflation protection.
Yes, he has SS of $1850/month starting at age 66. It is lower because of the Windfall Elimination Provision.
by alaskantraveler
Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help choose COLA Pension or Not
Replies: 25
Views: 1489

Help choose COLA Pension or Not

My father is 64 soon to be 65. He will be eligible for his pension at age 65 beginning Sept. 1, 2019. He has two Options: a) $2650 per month beginning Sept. 1, 2019. No cost of living adjustment. b) $1946 per month beginning Sept. 1, 2019 with Cost of living adjustment. The COLA is this.. It is tied...
by alaskantraveler
Tue May 28, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding the Wiki - Traditional versus Roth
Replies: 10
Views: 826

Re: Understanding the Wiki - Traditional versus Roth

I am currently in the 12% marginal tax bracket and my contributions to a T-IRA provide 12% tax savings. During early retirement I plan to do $40k per year of Roth Conversions with no other earned income ( I plan to live off of taxable accounts). My tax rate on the first $40k of Roth Conversions und...
by alaskantraveler
Tue May 28, 2019 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding the Wiki - Traditional versus Roth
Replies: 10
Views: 826

Re: Understanding the Wiki - Traditional versus Roth

Doing Roth conversions during early retirement is definitely a good tax strategy, but it's not the same thing as "taking contributions from the bottom". Every year you make Traditional withdrawals, those withdrawals stack up next to the tax bracket structure just like when you're working. If you ma...
by alaskantraveler
Tue May 28, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding the Wiki - Traditional versus Roth
Replies: 10
Views: 826

Re: Understanding the Wiki - Traditional versus Roth

As noted by celia, the wiki editors are discussing updates to this (and a related) article. The discussion is here: Seeking comment on proposed revisions to Marginal Tax Rate and Traditional v. Roth wiki articles To new investors - The wiki is created with contributions from the Bogleheads communit...
by alaskantraveler
Fri May 24, 2019 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding the Wiki - Traditional versus Roth
Replies: 10
Views: 826

Understanding the Wiki - Traditional versus Roth

Im looking at one particular paragraph in the Wiki: "A common misunderstanding about traditional accounts is "contributions are taken from the top while withdrawals come from the bottom": in other words, that one saves a marginal rate when contributing but pays only an average rate (starting at 0% f...
by alaskantraveler
Thu May 23, 2019 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Platinum Annual Fee
Replies: 20
Views: 2376

Re: Amex Platinum Annual Fee

The 75k offer is pretty good, if you do not expect to get a 100k offer. Why are you so set on this premium card? There are other good premium cards out there. Have you had the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred?
by alaskantraveler
Thu May 23, 2019 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing from owning to renting a home for retirement
Replies: 23
Views: 2188

Re: Changing from owning to renting a home for retirement

I currently own and have to rentals as well. I dont particularly like owning. In fact we plan to sell our house when we retire, if not sooner. A few of the motivations. - If we rent, it will allows us to move more easily to put us in the best school districts for our child. - Repairs and maintenance...
by alaskantraveler
Thu May 23, 2019 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I need HSA advice!
Replies: 14
Views: 1775

Re: I need HSA advice!

You cant combine it with any other accounts, but just because you no longer have a HD plan doesnt mean you cannot use funds from and HSA just cant contribute any more. So just use the funds for your medical expenses. If you are intent on keeping the funds invested you can just leave the funds there....
by alaskantraveler
Thu May 23, 2019 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Evaluate my choices
Replies: 13
Views: 929

Re: Evaluate my choices

Unless you are currently employed at all 3 companies, you can transfer your old 401ks into your own Traditional IRA at an investment bank of your choice. Vanguard is the favorite here, but Schwab and Fidelity are also good. This way you can get access to lower costs funds in one place. As for your a...
by alaskantraveler
Thu May 23, 2019 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Getting much closer to retirement... now what
Replies: 13
Views: 2291

Re: Getting much closer to retirement... now what

A few thoughts. I am not near retirement age, but as a finance person, I assisted my father who retired from a State government job and had funds in a 457 deferred comp plan. If you are concerned about volatility, then you can rebalance to a more conservative allocation. Maybe 60/40 or 50/50. This w...
by alaskantraveler
Tue May 07, 2019 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backpacking/study abroad for young folks
Replies: 31
Views: 2289

Re: Backpacking/study abroad for young folks

I can speak from my own experience. I did not get to travel right out of high school as I did not have the means to do so. I worked summer jobs through college years to help pay it. After college I got a job to pay of student loans, a car, etc... It wasnt until I was 28, that I was sick of my job. M...
by alaskantraveler
Mon May 06, 2019 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aulani Disney resort
Replies: 15
Views: 2258

Re: Aulani Disney resort

I did a quick check. The basic 2 br villa is going for $6k/ week. Is it worth it?
by alaskantraveler
Thu May 02, 2019 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Platinum Annual Fee
Replies: 20
Views: 2376

Re: Amex Platinum Annual Fee

Hmm bummer, it looks like the 100K amex offer is usually only for those who have never had an Amex card. I was under my parents account back in college so it doesn't look like that offer is available to me using the creditcards.com website after i signed up :/ That is not true. Its for people who h...
by alaskantraveler
Thu May 02, 2019 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Platinum Annual Fee
Replies: 20
Views: 2376

Re: Amex Platinum Annual Fee

Not sure why you want to delay paying the annual fee, but if it is to delay the expense, I'm not sure you should be applying for a credit card with a $550 annual fee. A few other things, AMEX has a one bonus per lifetime rule (actually 7 years). So it is best to make sure you get the highest possibl...
by alaskantraveler
Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: alaska cruise
Replies: 14
Views: 2172

Re: alaska cruise

Local Alaskan here, I've spent time in all these locations. I'm not a big van of overpriced shore excursions promoted by the cruise ships. Here are some affordable do it yourself options. Ketchikan If you want to go for a hike, Deer Mountain is accessible. You can likely use a taxi to drop you off a...
by alaskantraveler
Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Sapphire Preferred: Cancel/Downgrade Question
Replies: 13
Views: 1799

Re: Chase Sapphire Preferred: Cancel/Downgrade Question

I'll second what others said, yes you can downgrade and you will not lose your points. Down grading to the freedom unlimited can make it a pretty good card for unbonused spend when combined with the CSR. You are basically get 2.25% on all unbonused spend when using points through the Chase travel po...
by alaskantraveler
Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with kids' frequent flyer miles?
Replies: 11
Views: 739

Re: What to do with kids' frequent flyer miles?

There are lots of things you can do to keep your points active. The most common is just to use the shopping portal for the airline and earn a few miles. This will keep the account active. Also you can try booking an award ticket, then cancelling within 24 hrs for a full refund. This may renew the ex...
by alaskantraveler
Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use Turo as Side Income?
Replies: 11
Views: 1897

Re: Anyone use Turo as Side Income?

Turo has a presence in my city. We have very seasonal demand. Right now you can get a regular rental car for about $18/day all in. In the summer time the same car jumps up over $100/day. So there is money to be made in the summer. Our city has not yet started to force Turo to collect rental car taxe...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good value 4 day beach trip from Baltimore?
Replies: 5
Views: 361

Re: Good value 4 day beach trip from Baltimore?

A quick look tells me that there are direct flights from BWI on Southwest to Cancun, Aruba, Montego Bay, Nassau,Punta Cana, San Juan, and a bunch of destinations in Florida. Take your pick. I think there is value to be found at all of those destinations. With a relatively short trip an all inclusive...
by alaskantraveler
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Late start but hopefully not too late.
Replies: 5
Views: 1236

Re: Late start but hopefully not too late.

I have access to a 457 as well. You have access to $19k in the 401 and $19k in the 457 each per year. So if you have the ability to max out both of these, I would do this first before contributing to any after tax accounts.
by alaskantraveler
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best uses of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Replies: 18
Views: 2560

Re: Best uses of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

First 200k Ultimate rewards is worth about $3,000. So we aren't talking about that much value. The way to get the greatest outsize value would be to transfer to an airline partner and book a business class international ticket. 200k points will not even get you two round trip business class tickets ...
by alaskantraveler
Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Consolidate to Schwab
Replies: 24
Views: 2783

Re: Consolidate to Schwab

my father consolidated everything with Schwab and he is happy with it. Make sure to look out for brokerage bonuses.

http://content.schwab.com/web/retail/pu ... o-ski.html
by alaskantraveler
Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those who do not fly coach, where do you buy your tickets?
Replies: 30
Views: 5236

Re: Those who do not fly coach, where do you buy your tickets?

Google flights is one of my favorite sites for searching for flights. You can search for Business/ first class fares only and search by price. Many of us who do fly first class do so by collecting large sums of loyalty points. Also watching out for super sales or mistake fares for premium class. The...