Search found 310 matches

by deskjockey
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank
Replies: 90
Views: 10690

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

OP here again. Today I got word from Ally (via a dozen emails--not kidding) that they had reactivated my account and ability to transfer to all of my linked banks... except Marcus. I called once more this afternoon to see what was happening and finally got a customer service rep to give me more inf...
by deskjockey
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank
Replies: 90
Views: 10690

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

OP here again. Today I got word from Ally (via a dozen emails--not kidding) that they had reactivated my account and ability to transfer to all of my linked banks... except Marcus. I called once more this afternoon to see what was happening and finally got a customer service rep to give me more info...
by deskjockey
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank
Replies: 90
Views: 10690

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

OP here. The money in theory should have shown up in my Ally account today, according to Ally's transfer tool (I made a note of that when I made the transaction) and the transaction initially showed up in the "future transactions" section of the web site. After the account got locked yesterday, the ...
by deskjockey
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank
Replies: 90
Views: 10690

Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

I'm in the middle of a problem with Ally and had to vent and (hopefully) get advice from other folks who have had this problem before. On Monday I initiated an ACH transfer from Ally (my hub account) to pull $50k from my Marcus account and deposit it in my Ally savings account. Yesterday, I logged i...
by deskjockey
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which prefab shower to get?
Replies: 3
Views: 587

Re: Which prefab shower to get?

Thanks, guys. That thread was useful.
by deskjockey
Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which prefab shower to get?
Replies: 3
Views: 587

Which prefab shower to get?

As part of our basement remodel, we're putting in a bathroom (using an existing rough-in) and have decided to use a prefab shower wall/pan combo. We've looked at the Kohler Choreograph collection and like the design, but want to make sure we're considering all the options. Does anyone have any speci...
by deskjockey
Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Oman - Any Suggestions?
Replies: 1
Views: 322

Re: Visiting Oman - Any Suggestions?

Oman is very pleasant and has a different vibe than other Gulf countries. There are plenty of places to get good food--your hosts will likely guide you well on that front. The Mutrah Souq is pretty quaint and a haggler's delight, although not my cup of tea. If you like museums, the National Museum o...
by deskjockey
Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Foreign Service Officer: Who do I talk to about State Domicile
Replies: 15
Views: 1663

Re: New Foreign Service Officer: Who do I talk to about State Domicile

As others have said, have your ducks in a row and, if you choose to move forward, cut all ties with Maryland--change your voter registration, register your cars in a another state, and get a new driver's license. I know Virginia's take on this type of situation pretty well--the state will come after...
by deskjockey
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with carbargains.org?
Replies: 7
Views: 798

Re: Any experience with carbargains.org?

It's always good practice to ask yourself "I'm adding a for profit business between me and the dealer. How is it that I'm going to walk away with a lower price?". We all know how TruCar takes $200 from the dealer who sells the car.....and that dealer is going to get that $200 from you. How much doe...
by deskjockey
Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with carbargains.org?
Replies: 7
Views: 798

Any experience with carbargains.org?

We'll be in the market for a new car in a couple of weeks and I'm not relishing going through the process, as we'll also be dealing with a ton of other stuff, including getting new carpets and painting the house, all at the exact same time (it can't be helped, unfortunately). I've been considering u...
by deskjockey
Wed May 15, 2019 10:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%
Replies: 361
Views: 64927

Re: Vanguard Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%

am wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 8:37 am

TEY for 35% fed, 5% state is now below prime mm. Thinking of switching, maybe short term muni fund?
If you want to switch without changing your risk profile, go with Prime MM or with Treasury MM. Higher yield and even safer.
by deskjockey
Sun May 12, 2019 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to make sure money in 529 helps divorced brother and not ex-wife?
Replies: 13
Views: 2411

Re: how to make sure money in 529 helps divorced brother and not ex-wife?

Could I transfer the funds to a new 529 owned by my brother? That way, if she asks, we can say that the money is now zero cause my financial situation changed, and I had to “move some money around”? That’s what I would do. Keep yourself out of it. Ex wife does not need to know where your brothers c...
by deskjockey
Sun May 12, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4157
Views: 803962

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I would posit that an even better process for cash back redemptions is never to redeem for a statement credit, but always to a high-yielding savings or money market account. This way, you can at least earn some return on the cash back rather than it just sitting on the statement until your due date...
by deskjockey
Sun May 12, 2019 3:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4157
Views: 803962

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa (Chase) This is almost a no-brainer if you shop at Amazon regularly, as it's easy to apply the bonus to purchases. But it'd also be a no-brainer to not buy crap from Amazon you don't need. :D If you want to squeeze as much value as possible from your Prime Rewards Visa (or...
by deskjockey
Sat May 11, 2019 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash - Throw it all on the table!!!
Replies: 182
Views: 33190

Re: Cash - Throw it all on the table!!!

We've got $100k in VMMXX and $7k in a checking account. Our second tier of less-liquid assets is $53k in T-bills and I bonds, followed by $25k in a 12-month CD and $15k in an 18-month CD. All of these are part of the fixed income portion of our 70/30 AA. Our goal is to keep 3 months of living expens...
by deskjockey
Sat May 11, 2019 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on Capital One $450 bonus offer
Replies: 12
Views: 1415

Re: Question on Capital One $450 bonus offer

I'm only seeing a $300 bonus for Savor. Can you point me to $450? EDIT: I found a $500 link and did a screen save and was approved for the card. Will a screen save be enough proof, are are they likely to tell me that it was an old link and the new bonus is less? The $450 appears to be a targeted of...
by deskjockey
Sat May 11, 2019 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best month to visit London?
Replies: 40
Views: 3352

Re: Best month to visit London?

Another vote for May or September. Also agree that April and October are good alternatives, but I would make sure not to go during the Easter school recess--tourist stuff is swamped, too, although not as bad as in August. If you don't mind the chill and short days, November and December are good tim...
by deskjockey
Sat May 11, 2019 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on Capital One $450 bonus offer
Replies: 12
Views: 1415

Re: Question on Capital One $450 bonus offer

I got Capital One's offer in my email a couple of days ago ($450 bonus for transferring $50k or more and keeping it there until 8/20) and am looking to take advantage of it, but I'm not sure of whether a pull is necessary to qualify or whether I can push funds to the account. I ask because the mone...
by deskjockey
Sat May 11, 2019 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on Capital One $450 bonus offer
Replies: 12
Views: 1415

Question on Capital One $450 bonus offer

I got Capital One's offer in my email a couple of days ago ($450 bonus for transferring $50k or more and keeping it there until 8/20) and am looking to take advantage of it, but I'm not sure of whether a pull is necessary to qualify or whether I can push funds to the account. I ask because the money...
by deskjockey
Thu May 09, 2019 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%
Replies: 361
Views: 64927

Re: Vanguard Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%

Well, the party is over for me--today the ATY on VMSXX is likely to drop below that of VUSXX (calculated using accrued dividends). It was just a hair higher yesterday (and ten basis points lower than the SEC yield), so I've gone ahead and moved everything back to VUSXX.
by deskjockey
Thu May 02, 2019 1:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My silly question: what $20-50 gift should I ask for?
Replies: 20
Views: 1546

Re: My silly question: what $20-50 gift should I ask for?

How about a nice meal out? Doesn't need to be steak and lobster, but I'm sure having someone take you out to lunch or dinner would be a welcome gift. Another option--gift certificates to a restaurant/coffee house. Or a ticket to a museum/amusement park/other venue that interests you. Finally, how ab...
by deskjockey
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%
Replies: 361
Views: 64927

Re: Vanguard Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%

Yes, but my thoughts depend on the amount of money you intend to transfer. :D For me, the tax-free yields are just probably just at or slightly under the taxable yields. I could maybe make a $5-$25/year in extra after-tax income if I switch. But eh, I'm lazy. I'd rather take those few minutes and w...
by deskjockey
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%
Replies: 361
Views: 64927

Re: Vanguard Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%

The TEY of VMSXX just exceed that of VUSXX for me today. I wonder if I should switch the funds I have in VMSXX to ride the crest or not. Last year the crest for me lasted under a month, so it wasn't exactly worth it. Any thoughts?
by deskjockey
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare B only vs FEHB only
Replies: 47
Views: 1996

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

What is FEHB? It stands for Federal Employee Health Benefits--the health care coverage for Feds. A good number of different plans are available within FEHB, you can keep it once you retire (at the same cost as current employees) at full retirement age (57 for most folks), and it's generally conside...
by deskjockey
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smoke detectors
Replies: 36
Views: 2015

Re: Smoke detectors

To my knowledge, you can't buy a combination ionization / photoelectric / CO detector. Yes, they exist, although not common. I've been looking at different units to replace our existing ones and came across this one (and a few others): https://www.universalsecuritystore.com/store/products/hardwired...
by deskjockey
Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads privacy warning
Replies: 61
Views: 5841

Re: Bogleheads privacy warning

Thanks did you ever visited Spoeko.com? That and one address you can pretty much guess who lived there and who the folks that lived there before. County government role is to record deeds, majority of this is public, very hard to live legally anonymously, this is the social contract agreement in a ...
by deskjockey
Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Making the plunge into 529s
Replies: 26
Views: 2862

Re: Making the plunge into 529s

I would slow things down. You don't know that the benefit for private school is going to continue. Above the tax deduction, you only get a real benefit if you invest and the market goes up, but with a short timeframe, there is a high risk of the market going down. Then you will either have to sell ...
by deskjockey
Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: can i use turbotax without paying a fee?
Replies: 26
Views: 1947

Re: TurboTax making me pay for deluxe?

Are you using the CD/downloadable version, or the online version? If online, yes, you found the gotcha. The CD/download version does not have this problem, so if you haven't paid and don't mid redoing your taxes, I suggest you get the CD or download version. In addition, if you itemized your deducti...
by deskjockey
Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Making the plunge into 529s
Replies: 26
Views: 2862

Re: Making the plunge into 529s

And yes, you can open a 529 account with you as the beneficiary and fund it, then later on switch the beneficiary to one of your kids. You can also open a 529 in your spouse's name (if you have one) so as to have two additional accounts to fund. Thanks for the info. Does changing beneficiaries trig...
by deskjockey
Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:41 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Making the plunge into 529s
Replies: 26
Views: 2862

Re: Making the plunge into 529s

Are you married? If so, your spouse has a separate $15K gift tax exclusion amount, so both of you combined can give $30K per year to each of your kids without having to file a gift form every year. For this specific situation, that means the two of you together can deposit $150K per child in a 529. ...
by deskjockey
Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TVs: OLED vs. QLED
Replies: 52
Views: 4706

Re: TVs: OLED vs. QLED

The many typos, grammatical errors, broken links, and incorrect apostrophes littered throughout the site further fuel my suspicions. I don’t know about the company, but I think it’s sometimes dangerous to extrapolate from things like the “grocer’s apostrophe.” Do you apply that standard here? By it...
by deskjockey
Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TVs: OLED vs. QLED
Replies: 52
Views: 4706

Re: TVs: OLED vs. QLED

Thanks! Is $2500 a good price for the LG OLED65C8 model? No. My dad purchased at Costco less than a month ago for $1,950. They have since jacked it to $2.5k. The C9 will be in stores in a month so they’ll have to drop the price on the C8 to clear them out. Good info. Thanks! FYI: If you are comfort...
by deskjockey
Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tattoos and Bogleheads
Replies: 180
Views: 10032

Re: Tattoos and Bogleheads

No tats, no interest in getting them, and not going to let my kids get them while they're minors (unlike a work colleague of mine who paid for her 16-year-old to get a tattoo last week). DW and I are on the same page on this, which is definitely a plus. I've got enough involuntary bod mods already w...
by deskjockey
Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 11-year old with iPhone - advice on how best to manage?
Replies: 68
Views: 5181

Re: 11-year old with iPhone - advice on how best to manage?

I'd go ahead and call the parents of all of your kid's friends. Ask them why they gave their kids phones (not in a hostile way, but ti understand the rationale) and how they control/monitor the use of these phones. Ask what their biggest concerns are, whether they have seen any negative impacts, and...
by deskjockey
Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ireland & Scotland Do I Need Cash?
Replies: 24
Views: 2046

Re: Ireland & Scotland Do I Need Cash?

You can circumvent some of the problems of not having a contactless chip and pin card by using Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay on your phone. It works quite well for contactless payments and avoids the whole hunt for pens at restaurants. This is maybe not a smart question, but if my phone is ...
by deskjockey
Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ireland & Scotland Do I Need Cash?
Replies: 24
Views: 2046

Re: Ireland & Scotland Do I Need Cash?

You can circumvent some of the problems of not having a contactless chip and pin card by using Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay on your phone. It works quite well for contactless payments and avoids the whole hunt for pens at restaurants.
by deskjockey
Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: USAA
Replies: 18
Views: 2933

Re: USAA

See this thread for a previous discussion: viewtopic.php?t=263290
by deskjockey
Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring or Honda CR-V EXL
Replies: 69
Views: 6374

Re: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring or Honda CR-V EXL

For anyone with a CX-5... did you opt for Mazda Mobile Start, an aftermarket remote start system, or are you just not using remote start at all? Mazda Mobile Start has terrible reviews and hasn't been updated in years. I've read some people (and dealers, optionally) just install an aftermarket syst...
by deskjockey
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Any advantages to holding a TSP if I plan to retire overseas?
Replies: 8
Views: 877

Re: Any advantages to holding a TSP if I plan to retire overseas?

I would go with rolling the SEP and TIRA into the TSP--given the TSP's upcoming more flexible withdrawal options, it marries safety (from the ex-pat account liquidation problem) and simplicity. As for the tax treaty angle, it may be worth letting folks know which countries you're considering, as I d...
by deskjockey
Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Escrow Question
Replies: 14
Views: 880

Re: Escrow Question

That's one of the reasons I paid a bit to get out of escrow when we refinanced. You're giving the lender a loan they can then make money off of. How much will it cost you to get out of escrow?
by deskjockey
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Any advantages to holding a TSP if I plan to retire overseas?
Replies: 8
Views: 877

Re: Any advantages to holding a TSP if I plan to retire overseas?

Not sure about tax treaties being an issue (positive or negative), but I would point out that a lot of financial firms have been closing the accounts of ex-pats with no U.S. address to their name over the past few years. The TSP will never do that, so that's something to keep in mind. Do a search of...
by deskjockey
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need to ethically reneg on a large eBay purchase
Replies: 39
Views: 5298

Re: I need to ethically reneg on a large eBay purchase

Here's eBay's policy on unpaid items . Technically, your bid is a contract, so failure to pay puts you in breach of that contract and of eBay's polices. That said, the penalties don't seem that onerous. You get an unpaid item strike against your account and, if that get gets to be a pattern, eBay co...
by deskjockey
Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me in/out of $35k Tesla Model 3
Replies: 286
Views: 22461

Re: Talk me in/out of $35k Tesla Model 3

have you ever tried biking those two miles to the train? i bike to an express bus, it's delightful even when -34F. FYI, trying to convince people that biking in -34F is no big deal defeats your entire message. You will convert LESS people this way, as they will discount the rest of your testimony, ...
by deskjockey
Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What's up with so many fixed income (FDIC, TBIL, CD, MM, Treasury, Muni) questions in early 2019?
Replies: 4
Views: 424

Re: What's up with so many fixed income (FDIC, TBIL, CD, MM, Treasury, Muni) questions in early 2019?

I think it's partly due to the rise in interest rates--now that there is more differentiation between fixed-income returns, people want to know what to do. When all options were paying next to nothing a couple of years ago, there was little to discuss. Also, as Flyer24 noted, there are always fixed ...
by deskjockey
Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring or Honda CR-V EXL
Replies: 69
Views: 6374

Re: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring or Honda CR-V EXL

Would you consider an American car? https://www.get.com/blog/5-good-reasons-buy-american-car/ https://www.eliomotors.com/born-in-the-usa-the-importance-of-buying-an-american-car-trending-topics/ Sorry, but the first article is a bunch of misleading innuendo. Of the five reasons, 1, 3, and 4 are fla...
by deskjockey
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice for 88 year old
Replies: 18
Views: 1585

Re: Portfolio Advice for 88 year old

Actually I don't thinks she pays any taxes at this point. If she doesn't pay any taxes, a tax exempt fund would not be a good choice. She would get a lower yield and no tax benefits. A much better option would be Vanguard's Prime Money Market Fund, VMMXX, which currently yields 2.46%. EDIT: Forgot ...
by deskjockey
Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: H&R Rep says Backdoor Roth closed/changed..now what?
Replies: 25
Views: 2909

Re: H&R Rep says Backdoor Roth closed/changed..now what?

Duckie, thank you. Three questions: You can't recharacterize a conversion anymore. That's the only thing that has changed. If you don't have a current employer plan can you create some self-employment income and open a solo 401k? 1. Can you please explain: "You can't recharacterize a conversion any...
by deskjockey
Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do We Need to File State Income Tax Returns?
Replies: 21
Views: 1513

Re: Do We Need to File State Income Tax Returns?

Just google each state's tax filing requirements and they will tell you in no uncertain terms whether you have to file or not. I believe you must file in NY and possibly VA, but not sure about the others.
by deskjockey
Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth
Replies: 5
Views: 413

Re: Backdoor Roth

The Wiki has a very thorough description of the mechanics of the backdoor Roth: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Backdoor_Roth As far as what trips people up (at least from what I have seen in the last few years), the big ones are: 1. Not emptying out other TIRAs by the end of the calendar year. This...
by deskjockey
Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find inexpensive unlocked phone
Replies: 56
Views: 4357

Re: Where to find inexpensive unlocked phone

Amazon has dirt-cheap unlocked phones, including feature phones like this one . It should be pretty easy to active one of these feature phones on any network--pop in the SIM card and you're done. If you truly are looking to use this phone only as a bridge to then move the number to Google Voice (and...