Search found 197 matches

by alaskantraveler
Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Survivor Benefits
Replies: 21
Views: 3701

Re: Social Security Survivor Benefits

In researching I did find out that the windfall elimination provision does not affect survivor benefits. It only affects spousal benefits. So even though my mother was subject to a 50% reduction from WEP, my father's survivor benefits Will not be reduced by the WEP.
by alaskantraveler
Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Survivor Benefits
Replies: 21
Views: 3701

Re: Social Security Survivor Benefits

Jumping on this old thread because of a similar situation. This is in regards to my father. Wife passed away at age 61. Father currently age 63. He has the higher RIB. He has just retired. I believe he can claim survivor benefits now at a reduced amt, then claim on his own record at FRA? Claiming su...
by alaskantraveler
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get best deal on a rental car ?
Replies: 34
Views: 4228

Re: How to get best deal on a rental car ?

This is who I always use: https://www.autoslash.com/ - Ron +1 for autoslash, the difference with this site is the store a bunch of public promo codes for various rental companies and try to automatically apply them when you search for a vehicle. Often comes back cheaper than other options. They wil...
by alaskantraveler
Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I have enough to retire-retire from the military
Replies: 42
Views: 3758

Re: Do I have enough to retire-retire from the military

My opinion, you have more than enough to retire. You are estimating that you want to live on $90k per year. In many areas of the US this is more than sufficient. I live in a Medium COL area and my DW and I and one child have $48k per year of expenses. One of the biggest factors will be housing cost....
by alaskantraveler
Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Credit Card Bonus to fly to Japan (From west coast)
Replies: 5
Views: 521

Re: Best Credit Card Bonus to fly to Japan (From west coast)

If you have both a CSR and CSP, then you get the 1.5 multiplier for that person as you can combined UR from both your cards. Your wife having a CSR will not extend the multiplier to your UR accounts. I should note though that it is possible to combine UR points from one spouse to another. So inadver...
by alaskantraveler
Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long term car rental vs buying a used car vs leasing
Replies: 22
Views: 1529

Re: Long term car rental vs buying a used car vs leasing

Your friend is paying $1000 per month including insurance, as others mentioned it is quite possible to buy a used car, and resell leading to a much cheaper monthly expense. As with buying any used car, there is always risk involved. If it were me, I would look for a used car in the $3000-$5000 range...
by alaskantraveler
Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Credit Card Bonus to fly to Japan (From west coast)
Replies: 5
Views: 521

Re: Best Credit Card Bonus to fly to Japan (From west coast)

I'd agree mostly with the post above, except that you can just apply for the Chase sapphire preferred for the 50k bonus and avoid the $450 annual fee unless you will utilize the other benefits of the CSR including the lounge access, travel credit, global entry, etc.. Do the comparison for yourself. ...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retire early, live abroad until 65 and come back
Replies: 72
Views: 8430

Re: Retire early, live abroad until 65 and come back

There are a lot of great responses in this post that I second. A few other things to note. I am in 30s. My gf(now wife) and I were under employed for about 3 1/2 years and traveled long term to 30 countries in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. We love to travel, we are open minded, we love to experien...
by alaskantraveler
Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to the suburbs - how much can i afford?
Replies: 22
Views: 1126

Re: Moving to the suburbs - how much can i afford?

From another forum post about living in a boat to save money and reduce commute time, read this blog post from MMM. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/06/the-true-cost-of-commuting/ Most people who take on long commutes to work fail to understand the true cost. My wife and I bought a house in 20...
by alaskantraveler
Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit recommendations from Credit Karma?
Replies: 7
Views: 694

Re: Credit recommendations from Credit Karma?

Hello, Last week I opened an account with Credit Karma and something that caught my attention is how Credit Karma gives probabilities for getting approved for various credit cards. Does anyone have feedback on how accurate these assessments are? Two cards Credit Karma said I have a "very good" prob...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rewards Cards
Replies: 16
Views: 1643

Re: Rewards Cards

Is a credit score of 730 low enough to make a difference in mortgage rates? Even a fraction of a percent is worth more than $42k if the loan is big enough. I'm early, ok mid, 30s with a score over 800, though now that I have my mortgage I might start doing this more. The cut off to obtain the best ...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rewards Cards
Replies: 16
Views: 1643

Re: Rewards Cards

I am a churner. See reddit r/churning. Combined my wife and I have signed up for 29 new credit cards in the last 12 Months. Over that period we paid $940 in annual fees. We have a stash of over 2.8 million rewards points that I conservatively value is worth around $42,000. We plan to fly Cathay Paci...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living on a boat in HI to save money
Replies: 17
Views: 2921

Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

It's possible. A lot depends on the harbor space rent. You still have to pay for utilities like electricity, internet? If you have a car, you have to pay for parking. You have to be kind of a minimalist to live full time on a boat as the sq ft is so small. If he has run the numbers and he says he wi...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping MIL get to retirement
Replies: 12
Views: 1581

Re: Helping MIL get to retirement

1. I'm not totally sure about the SS on the exs record for in the past (you may not want to know), but going forward your MIL needs to go talk to the SS administration as soon as possible, they can advise the best path forward. Has she filed for medicare already? There are penalties for not filing a...
by alaskantraveler
Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pausing 401k to Pay Debts?
Replies: 48
Views: 2371

Re: Pausing 401k to Pay Debts?

As others have said switching 401k contributions to pre-tax will put 25% to 28% of the amount contributed back in your pocket in tax savings. Contribute up to the employer match. I also agree with others. How much are your cars worth, how much do you owe? You may be able to free up some cash and inc...
by alaskantraveler
Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family ski trip without breaking the bank
Replies: 39
Views: 3962

Re: Family ski trip without breaking the bank

This is going to seem like an outlier, but a ski trip to Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, AK near Anchorage, Alaska is a very affordable ski destination if you do it right. Because of its relative remoteness, Alyeska sees few non-locals during much of the season. Midweek lift tickets are $60 ea, weekend ...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)
Replies: 26
Views: 2846

Re: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)

Schwab has no commission low ER short term and intermediate term government bond funds available. I would consider splitting the excess cash between them. It sounds like he will be in the 15% marginal tax bracket, so I am not sure a tax exempt muni bond fund is the best. After 2017 he will be in a ...
by alaskantraveler
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying first class/ business......
Replies: 21
Views: 4187

Re: Flying first class/ business......

If the airline is the one that forces you to change your flights then they will make it good. Even up to refunding your money. When you book first or business class generally change fees are waived as well.
by alaskantraveler
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)
Replies: 26
Views: 2846

Re: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)

Op here. I added an update to the original post. My father has decided to move forward with retirement. Retirement assets now at $1 million. He has some excess cash available. I recommended that he keep one years cash in his checking account and make one withdrawal per year from his retirement accou...
by alaskantraveler
Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)
Replies: 26
Views: 2846

Re: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)

Are the fees on all those timeshares really only $4-5k a year? Sounds low. If you are going to help your father. the first thing to do (after he agrees to you helping him, of course) is a full, thorough assessment of his financial situation. That is necessary before any planning. The spending behav...
by alaskantraveler
Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)
Replies: 26
Views: 2846

Re: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)

What's wrong with a $60K sports car? I'm serious. Maybe he has always wanted one, and if he doesn't get it soon maybe he never will. I hope my kids don't think they have a say in my vehicle selection. I understand the multiple accounts are complicated, and the time shares are an issue if he doesn't...
by alaskantraveler
Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)
Replies: 26
Views: 2846

Re: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)

And I'm sure you know it but you can consolidate his 457s and other governmental savings plan into an IRA (but your mother's will need to remain separate from his). The big difference was that the governmental plans would allow access without penalty once one separated from service. Since he's olde...
by alaskantraveler
Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)
Replies: 26
Views: 2846

Re: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)

The timeshares thing is maybe the biggest red flag here. And it's not just about the fact that he has 5 of them, it's that he's kept buying them, and that, in the future, he may make comparably questionable purchases. Perhaps not more timeshares (though of course that's a possibility), but maybe it...
by alaskantraveler
Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: September short trip ideas
Replies: 32
Views: 2486

Re: September short trip ideas

With Just one week, and on a budget, I would look at what direct flights are available from your home airport. The Caribbean is close by. Cruises can be had cheaply check out vacationstogo (90 day ticker).
by alaskantraveler
Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)
Replies: 26
Views: 2846

Re: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)

Does he want your help? It sounds to me like you have capacity to help him, if he will listen to you. What does he say when you ask him why he keeps buying time shares he can't afford? He values my advice. As for buying the timeshares, he is pre-disposed to making emotionally charged financial deci...
by alaskantraveler
Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)
Replies: 26
Views: 2846

Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)

Details for my father My father wants to retire. His health is in question. He is currently on medical leave. Age: 63 Filing Status: 2017 Married Filing Jointly, Single after that (my mother passed in January from long term illness) 25% tax bracket Mortgage: $250k loan on $325k house. 15 year, 2.5% ...
by alaskantraveler
Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Residential Home for $125K. Rent for $1,400 / mo.
Replies: 43
Views: 2927

Re: Residential Home for $125K. Rent for $1,400 / mo.

On the surface it would appear to be a good environment to invest in rentals. In my city, a house that rents for $1400 would sell for more like $200k. Here is a mortgage calculator that I love and use all the time. https://www.vertex42.com/Calculators/home-mortgage-calculator.html A good rule of thu...
by alaskantraveler
Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I on track, or just crazy...
Replies: 38
Views: 6041

Re: Am I on track, or just crazy...

We actually currently live on $75 / week for food. We are planning on anchoring all the time unless we have a repair and need to dock for it. Healthcare is much cheaper outside the US. Our current monthly budget is $2000 which includes PITI for house and all other expenses. Maintenance is an unknow...
by alaskantraveler
Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I on track, or just crazy...
Replies: 38
Views: 6041

Re: Am I on track, or just crazy...

So you estimate your net worth to by about 800k in 2020. How much do you plan to spend on the boat? $18-20K per year, does that include maintenance, mooring fees, fuel for the boat when not sailing? Where do you plan on parking your boat? Mooring fees can easily exceed $30/day. So unless you always ...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: storing loyalty/membership cards digitally?
Replies: 10
Views: 512

Re: storing loyalty/membership cards digitally?

I use awardwallet to track all of my loyalty programs.

You don't need to keep the loyalty membership cards. I have mine in an old cigar box.
by alaskantraveler
Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Having someone else pay our mortgage
Replies: 13
Views: 2753

Re: Having someone else pay our mortgage

Proximity to your rental is important. If you have maintenance issues or tenant issues are you close enough to reasonably drive there? If not, will you hire a property manager? Is the rental market strong enough where the rents will pay for the mortgage? Most people far underestimate the cost of rep...
by alaskantraveler
Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't decide how to get [paid: W-2 or 1099?]
Replies: 15
Views: 1547

Re: Can't decide how to get pay.

If you decide to take the 1099 you will have to pay 15.3% payroll taxes on top of your income tax. As a W2 employee you pay 7.65% and the employer pays the other 7.65%. So you make 7.65% more with the W2. This math is not quite right. As an employee if you made $100k, you would pay $7,650 and the e...
by alaskantraveler
Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't decide how to get [paid: W-2 or 1099?]
Replies: 15
Views: 1547

Re: Can't decide how to get pay.

If you decide to take the 1099 you will have to pay 15.3% payroll taxes on top of your income tax. As a W2 employee you pay 7.65% and the employer pays the other 7.65%. So you make 7.65% more with the W2. If your goal is to maximize tax advantaged space, then the 1099 may give you access to a SEP IR...
by alaskantraveler
Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to book multi-city international airfare itinerary?
Replies: 23
Views: 2181

Re: Best way to book multi-city international airfare itinerary?

I was able to price out your itinerary for $1466. Looks like the cheapest flights to SCL are through Miami. So find one round trip ticket from MIA to SCL ($688) with skyscanner or google flights (found the cheapsest with skyscanner) then I found a multi stop itin from XNA-PDX then pdx-mia, then mia ...
by alaskantraveler
Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase hotel credit cards / IHG Anniversary Free Night
Replies: 38
Views: 5082

Re: Chase hotel credit cards / IHG Anniversary Free Night

gunn_show : Those Hawaiian vacations of yours sound great! As lovely as Hawaii was in my brief stay in Honolulu years ago, admittedly a different proposition from the places you stayed, it's not a *priority* relative to other destinations on SO's and my list. Maybe one day, but for now we haven't d...
by alaskantraveler
Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase hotel credit cards / IHG Anniversary Free Night
Replies: 38
Views: 5082

Re: Chase hotel credit cards / IHG Anniversary Free Night

If you are still under 5/24 you should make sure to apply for the sapphire, sapphire reserve, ink preferred etc before signing up for the hotel ccs. If you are new to churning, best to start with the chase UR cards first, then move on to others because once you are over 5/24 you are excluded for a w...
by alaskantraveler
Thu May 25, 2017 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best way to buy tires
Replies: 61
Views: 5880

Re: best way to buy tires

I'll throw another option in there. Go on craigslist or facebook market place. Know your tire size. I frequently find a good set of tires $100-$200. This is with 70% + tread left. I live in a cold area so many people have multiple sets of tires. When they sell a car they frequently forget to include...
by alaskantraveler
Wed May 24, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to calculate tax benefit of owning a home
Replies: 34
Views: 2623

Re: How to calculate tax benefit of owning a home

You may be interested in this New York Times article on the societal effects of the mortgage interest deduction. I think this paragraph sums it up pretty well, "There is another reason most MID benefits accrue to the top, even among homeowners: You have to itemize your deductions to claim it. Most ...
by alaskantraveler
Wed May 24, 2017 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone ever live/living on a boat?
Replies: 46
Views: 6263

Re: anyone ever live/living on a boat?

I'm am somewhat familiar with large boats. I live in Alaska and have been around vessels all my life. I spent 10 days on a 64 ft Power Yacht during a hunting trip in Alaska. It was owned by an anesthesiologist. He wanted a boat that was capable of cruising around the world. He had $1.5 million into ...
by alaskantraveler
Wed May 24, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suits: best bang for your buck?
Replies: 64
Views: 9671

Re: Suits: best bang for your buck?

I went on a trip to Thailand in 2008, and had two suites tailored for me. Cost me $150 per suit. It came with two tailored shirts and two ties. I still have both suits and they both still fit. There is something about wearing a tailored suit that fits you perfectly. Makes you never want to wear an u...
by alaskantraveler
Wed May 24, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to calculate tax benefit of owning a home
Replies: 34
Views: 2623

How to calculate tax benefit of owning a home

I frequently here people talking about the tax advantages of owning a house. From my situation there is very little tax benefit from owning a home. My mortgage interest, property taxes, and home insurance add up to $14,000 per year. I am married so the standard deduction that we give up is $6350x2=$...
by alaskantraveler
Thu May 18, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Return visitor in need of a little assistance
Replies: 13
Views: 1231

Re: Return visitor in need of a little assistance

As you get older, and your need to take risk reduces because the size of your nest egg has increased you could consider increasing your bond allocation. for someone your age, 30% bonds is not unreasonable.
by alaskantraveler
Thu May 18, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris private tours
Replies: 12
Views: 1336

Re: Paris private tours

Just heard about this app recently. Try Withlocals App. It works in Europe and Asia. Basically it's like the Airbnb for tours. Find a local to give you a private tour. I haven't used it myself, but like the idea.
by alaskantraveler
Thu May 18, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying balance of costly ambulance ride
Replies: 18
Views: 1340

Re: Paying balance of costly ambulance ride

In the city that I live in, we have very few private ambulances, infact I don't believe the would ever respond to a 911 call. The city firedepartment would respond. They do not charge directly for their services. That is why I pay $500/ year in property taxes to support the fire department. OP also ...
by alaskantraveler
Thu May 18, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying balance of costly ambulance ride
Replies: 18
Views: 1340

Re: Paying balance of costly ambulance ride

I would try to find out if they have your SSN. Seems like the only way they would is if the Hospital gave it to them (Not sure they are allowed to do that). You can try to get set up on a payment plan. Tell them you can pay $10/month. Should take will take about 9 years to pay the balance. Try to ne...
by alaskantraveler
Thu May 18, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Death in family a week before cruise
Replies: 30
Views: 4006

Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Another option.... Many credit cards offer trip insurance as long as the full amount of the trip was charged to the credit card. Find out what credit card was used and see if you card issuer offers travel insurance.
by alaskantraveler
Wed May 17, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New member retirement Check Up
Replies: 12
Views: 1227

Re: New member retirement Check Up

You didn't tell us your income, but if your income is below the threshold you would be better off putting $5500 each for you and your spouse into a traditional IRA where you can pick the funds. You said your work doesn't even match the 401k.
by alaskantraveler
Tue May 16, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering new approach to credit card churning
Replies: 45
Views: 7454

Re: Considering new approach to credit card churning

Isn't it bad for credit score to apply for multiple credit cards ( hard credit inquiries)? The answer is Yes and No, Hard credit inquiries will bring down your credit in the short term. 5-15 points per hard inquiry. Most of the impact of inquiries goes away after 90 days and completely gone after 2...
by alaskantraveler
Wed May 10, 2017 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering new approach to credit card churning
Replies: 45
Views: 7454

Re: Considering new approach to credit card churning

My strategy is to cancel all cc after one year unless the annual fee is waived. Not sure I totally follow this. I understand not wanting to pay the annual fee, but if you don't cancel and just keep the card, won't that likely preclude you from getting another sign-up bonus? Example: I get Citi Adva...
by alaskantraveler
Wed May 10, 2017 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer health insurance - traditional vs. high deductible
Replies: 17
Views: 1397

Re: Employer health insurance - traditional vs. high deductible

It's just about open enrollment time and I'm taking a closer look at our health insurance options. My main consideration is whether to swap from our current traditional plan with a $750 individual /1500 family deductible and 20% co-insurance, with reasonable co-pays for doctor visits to a high dedu...