Search found 156 matches

by CardinalRule
Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriott Starwood Security breach - 500 million guests
Replies: 26
Views: 3443

Re: Marriott Starwood Security breach - 500 million guests

I had a similar reaction. I started the enrollment process, and found that Kroll was asking me for information that Marriott never had in the first place. Seems risky - I'll need to think more about this. :confused I love how the free monitoring service gives you the option of adding your social sec...
by CardinalRule
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spotify or Amazon Music?
Replies: 39
Views: 2900

Re: Spotify or Amazon Music?

I've subscribed to Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, and Spotify at times over the past couple of years. I currently subscribe to AMU. I have not tried Google Play - yet. They are all good, with similar catalogs of music, overall. I mainly listen to albums on these services. If you're into curati...
by CardinalRule
Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 257
Views: 18347

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale

No problems here, although I just ended up ignoring the instructions about installing this old piece of software, which doesn't appear to be compatible with Windows 10: https://www.amazon.com/gp/swvgdtt/help/install.html/ref=dsv_short_upgrade I used Chrome for the Block download. First time buying H...
by CardinalRule
Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ESPN plus subscription question
Replies: 10
Views: 1046

Re: ESPN plus subscription question

I also think that ESPN+ is a good value (I was a longtime ESPN Insider subscriber who got migrated over when Insider went away). For me, though, most of the appeal comes mostly from the editorial content and data-driven tools, as opposed to the live sports (although you can see some MLB and NHL game...
by CardinalRule
Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 257
Views: 18347

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale

Thanks. I just bought the Block software for $17.50 on Amazon. It seems to have imported my 2017 TT return easily. Very much a work in progress, in terms of IRS forms, but I'll definitely be trying it out for tax planning in coming weeks. I generally get a copy of TurboTax Premier for free from my b...
by CardinalRule
Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 257
Views: 18347

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale

Thanks for sharing the Black Friday deals for H&R Block. The only thing keeping this longtime TurboTax user from pulling the trigger so far is the ease of importing last year's return. I still might make the change...
by CardinalRule
Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Navigating Venice Italy Transportation System
Replies: 19
Views: 1413

Re: Navigating Venice Italy Transportation System

We just visited Venice last month. From the airport, the vaporetti (link below) are the way to go. Just 14 euros and there is a stop at San Marco (by all means avoid the expensive 'private' water taxis). You can buy tickets at the airport or at the dock right outside. Look for signage from baggage c...
by CardinalRule
Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon says TurboTax 2018 will be released November 12
Replies: 85
Views: 9882

Re: Amazon says TurboTax 2018 will be released November 12

https://www.fidelity.com/tax-information/turbotax-discount/overview I was looking at the Fidelity ‘discount’ page, not the not-yet-available free offer, and saw that I could “start now” and not pay until I file. Does this mean I can do all the analysis now on TurboTax and just wait to file until I h...
by CardinalRule
Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon says TurboTax 2018 will be released November 12
Replies: 85
Views: 9882

Re: Amazon says TurboTax 2018 will be released November 12

:wink:
marcopolo wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:52 am
Queue the thread about free copy from Fidelity :happy
by CardinalRule
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wells Fargo PMA Fee Avoidance (Portfolio by WF)
Replies: 4
Views: 1969

Re: Wells Fargo PMA Fee Avoidance (Portfolio by WF)

Old thread, but helpful. Wells Fargo recently announced promotional rates for NEW deposits, and it got me to thinking of how little my Portfolio savings were earning in interest. One $10,000 savings account earned 50 cents last month, and another $10,000 account earned 9 cents. :oops: Last month, I ...
by CardinalRule
Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%
Replies: 86
Views: 7816

Re: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%

Our household's emergency funds are in Capital One 360 and American Express Personal Savings. I believe that the current rates are 1.85% and 1.90%, respectively, and of course the balances are very liquid and not limited to $10,000 per year. I am eager to buy I-Bonds on January 2, 2018. Just not as ...
by CardinalRule
Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Snowbird- Tucson AZ
Replies: 21
Views: 3391

Re: New Snowbird- Tucson AZ

Totally agree - a beautiful, scenic desert in that area. The drive from Apache Junction to Superior is also very pretty, once the OP does find a place to stay. For a scenic drive, go past the Oracle area, past the giant copper mining pit, to Superior then turn right towards Miami & Globe. In Miami t...
by CardinalRule
Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question about Market Cap and Shares Outstanding
Replies: 1
Views: 154

Re: Question about Market Cap and Shares Outstanding

Share repurchases actually impact the market capitalization calculation (although in your example, the market price would be expected to increase as a result of the 20% repurchase). The market capitalization of the company would be 800 shares x market price of the stock. Market capitalization also i...
by CardinalRule
Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amex premium car rental insurance not kicking in
Replies: 31
Views: 2616

Re: Amex premium car rental insurance not kicking in

I no longer have this coverage (it was attached to the Fidelity Gold Card that was phased out earlier this year), but this is consistent with my previous experience. When I rented from Hotwire, I needed to call Amex to get the coverage. Evidently the card issuer - or at least the insurance arm - can...
by CardinalRule
Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How can I buy ALIBABA and TENCENT stock?
Replies: 29
Views: 2674

Re: How can I buy ALIBABA and TENCENT stock?

If you like China and these two companies in particular, consider the China MSCI ETF for a little more diversification. These two stocks are the biggest holdings. https://www.ishares.com/us/products/239619/ishares-msci-china-etf How can I buy ALIBABA and TENCENT stock directly? I know for sure I'm n...
by CardinalRule
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping my dad with his IRA
Replies: 16
Views: 1289

Re: Helping my dad with his IRA

Wow - that's quite a rate from an NCUA-insured credit union. I might be more comfortable if I lived in one of those Florida counties with physical branches, but that's probably just me, with institutions I don't know. Given that this would be an IRA rollover, it might be worth asking whether the rat...
by CardinalRule
Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Parent's variable annuity - rollover?
Replies: 6
Views: 374

Re: Parent's variable annuity - rollover?

There have been many disbursements over the years. For example, I can see that they took out $500 a month from 2003-2005 and plenty of irregular disbursements in other years, like $11,000 in 2008. OP. If you don’t care to answer-fine. How can the value be so very little? It is just stunning.
by CardinalRule
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Parent's variable annuity - rollover?
Replies: 6
Views: 374

Parent's variable annuity - rollover?

So I'm continuing to get a handle on my parents' finances, and I came across a contract with a smallish balance that my father (who is in his 80s) had entered into years ago (evidently via Raymond James) and had made withdrawals over the years. I got online access with the annuity company, Genworth,...
by CardinalRule
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Paying off mortgage with 87K left on it
Replies: 69
Views: 6379

Re: Paying off mortgage with 87K left on it

Congrats to the OP also! We're $60k away (we have made lots of extra-principal payments on our 2012 loan) and could pay it off easily with funds in a brokerage account. We keep telling ourselves that the rate is only 3% and cheap money, but I do think that there is a big psychological benefit to get...
by CardinalRule
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ print edition renwal time - any discounts?
Replies: 68
Views: 4986

Re: WSJ print edition renwal time - any discounts?

:happy Good point. I wonder how the Amazon print+digital deal linked above works. The page says that the offering is from "Dow Jonesss," (sic) but if you drill down further, the third party seller is someone called Honest Buckeye. I wonder if he is? OP wants the print edition, as his post makes clea...
by CardinalRule
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone insurance
Replies: 25
Views: 1956

Re: Cell phone insurance

You're right. Per the Wells terms and conditions: Cellular Telephone Protection can reimburse the eligible Wells Fargo Consumer Credit Card cardholder for damage to or theft of a cell phone. This benefit does not cover cell phones that are lost (i.e. disappear without explanation). I think it might ...
by CardinalRule
Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Paying off mortgage with 87K left on it
Replies: 69
Views: 6379

Re: Paying off mortgage with 87K left on it

The real issue is the higher standard deduction. With $7,000 in property taxes and a smallish mortgage balance, no interest deduction seems likely. That said, I tend to agree with the posters who think you might be overanalyzing this a bit. I am not seeing a lot of downside to paying it off. You cou...
by CardinalRule
Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Paying off mortgage with 87K left on it
Replies: 69
Views: 6379

Re: Paying off mortgage with 87K left on it

I don't think it would change your analysis that much, but are you sure that you will be itemizing this year, given the changes in tax law? Now to the question. With just 87K left on the mortgage, I've hit the paradox point where despite the fact that the majority of mortgage interest is already in ...
by CardinalRule
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping aging parents (in another state) with housing and care?
Replies: 11
Views: 1314

Re: Helping aging parents (in another state) with housing and care?

Thanks for all the feedback. We definitely have some more ideas to think about now, including downsizing possibilities, house-purchase alternatives, and a little more focus on what the parents themselves really need and want.
by CardinalRule
Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finding rental house or apartment in Redmond, WA
Replies: 3
Views: 334

Re: Finding rental house or apartment in Redmond, WA

So true. :happy Pho places have seemingly become as common as teriyaki places. And in the greater Seattle area, that's really saying something. :wink:
Whakamole wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:07 pm

I don't think there is a location in the greater Seattle area that does not have a pho place within ten miles.
by CardinalRule
Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $200 cash bonus offer from Citi
Replies: 57
Views: 5333

Re: $200 cash bonus offer from Citi

That's remarkable. I'm assuming that none of these institutions does a hard credit pull? I recently took advantage of a bonus deal with Key, which didn't do a credit check, as far as I could tell. I don't know if that is Key's policy, or the result of my having had a Key account four years ago (when...
by CardinalRule
Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping aging parents (in another state) with housing and care?
Replies: 11
Views: 1314

Helping aging parents (in another state) with housing and care?

This is something I've been struggling with for a little while, and I would love some input or shared experiences. My parents are 75 (mother) and 80 (father) and live in New Mexico. They are in reasonably good health, other than my father's arthritic ankles which are making it increasingly difficult...
by CardinalRule
Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need recommendation for home alarm system
Replies: 48
Views: 4437

Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

We were already with Comcast for phone, TV, and internet, and adding home security caused our price to go down. Typical of Comcast's weird pricing - we once asked how much our bill would go down if we were to drop the phone service, and they told us it would actually go up. :oops: We only use the do...
by CardinalRule
Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you replace a working desktop computer?
Replies: 27
Views: 2112

Re: When do you replace a working desktop computer?

If you do replace your desktop, consider getting an SSD drive. This will extend the time for your next purchase. I replaced our two desktops about 18 months ago. For me, the analysis was similar to the one for cars. Our computers were well-maintained, running OK, and capable of running for quite a w...
by CardinalRule
Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone insurance
Replies: 25
Views: 1956

Re: Cell phone insurance

That's what I use - a Wells Fargo credit card: https://www.wellsfargo.com/credit-cards/features/cell-phone-protection/ Never have had a claim, but it's good to know there is some coverage. The protection does not cover "lost" or stolen phones. Get insurance if it’s free. Wells Fargo credit cards off...
by CardinalRule
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +
Replies: 137
Views: 18532

Re: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +

Wow. That's crazy. :o Your state (Illinois) has an absolute incredible pension for teachers who are tier 1 (2010 and before). My high school baseball coach and PE teacher makes 130k a year from his pension and it goes up every year by 3% at least. It’s truly an incredible benefit, that unfortunately...
by CardinalRule
Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free Tire Change of Flat
Replies: 21
Views: 1762

Re: Free Tire Change of Flat

Ironically the percentage I was remembering seems to have originated with AAA itself. I wonder if the percentage is based on the number of brands and models, rather than the number of vehicle units on the road? :confused I was shopping for a BMW 3-Series last year (ended up not getting one) and they...
by CardinalRule
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?
Replies: 29
Views: 1550

Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

I know that the little Sol Duc resort closes at some time in October.
letsgobobby wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:15 am
Kalalich, quinault, lake crescent, hoh river are all near sea level and all are open year round. Not sure about Sol Duc hot springs but that is fun for the whole family.
[/quote]
by CardinalRule
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free Tire Change of Flat
Replies: 21
Views: 1762

Re: Free Tire Change of Flat

I wonder what AAA (or roadside assistance from insurance companies or credit cards, for that matter) does for cars that don't have a spare?

My recollection is that perhaps one-third of all new cars don't come with a spare tire.
by CardinalRule
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?
Replies: 29
Views: 1550

Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

A couple of these have been mentioned, but my list, if you are willing to get out of Seattle proper would include: Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma https://www.pdza.org/event/zoolights/ The aforementioned Christmas Ship Festival (don't wait until the last minute; spots on the lead boat go q...
by CardinalRule
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...
Replies: 42
Views: 2648

Re: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...

Also if you need a different correction for each eye.
Bengineer wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:15 am

If you have significant astigmatism, you'll likely be better served by prescription glasses for near vision.
by CardinalRule
Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Junk Mail
Replies: 28
Views: 2747

Re: Junk Mail

For our household, by far the most common source of bulk mail is the non-profit world. We have given pretty regularly over the years to about 8 charities engaged in poverty fighting, medical research, environmental protection, and animal welfare, and these groups have apparently shared our address w...
by CardinalRule
Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Joint checking accounts.
Replies: 26
Views: 2184

Re: Joint checking accounts.

The same is true for us, and substantially all of our household expenses come out of our joint account. The three pots is just the way we have chosen to manage our finances and discretionary spending. We were both established professionals, and in our early 30s when we married. That may be part of w...
by CardinalRule
Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Joint checking accounts.
Replies: 26
Views: 2184

Re: Joint checking accounts.

My wife and I both work and we have separate checking accounts to which direct payroll deposits go. Twice a month,we each transfer 50% of our take-home pay to our joint checking account.

I think what we do is sometimes called the "three pots" system.
by CardinalRule
Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you check your brokerage accounts
Replies: 77
Views: 5346

Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

This is basically my situation also, although doing a Quicken one-step update is part of my morning routine. For the brokerages, I am basically "checking" to see that transactions are accurate and authorized each day, rather than reviewing performance. Depends on the meaning of "check". We download ...
by CardinalRule
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Fire 8 HD tablet with Alexa 32 GB for $59.99 (limited time offer)
Replies: 17
Views: 1696

Re: Amazon Fire 8 HD tablet with Alexa 32 GB for $59.99 (limited time offer)

I agree with the comments regarding the inherent imitations of Amazon's tablets. However, if one is looking for a bargain tablet, the Amazon tablets are a good choice. I would definitely go with a Fire 8 HD over the 7, however. I have an 8 HD and briefly had the 7. The 8 HD's storage, display and ba...
by CardinalRule
Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Fidelity Money Market Account to Hold Cash?
Replies: 21
Views: 3804

Re: Best Fidelity Money Market Account to Hold Cash?

I'm interested in this fund and am looking further into it. Currently I am parked in a Fidelity muni money market fund (FTEXX), but FZDXX is looking like a better choice, even after taxes. Fidelity has several institutional money market funds but for the non-institutional investor, the prime money m...
by CardinalRule
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy
Replies: 34
Views: 2260

Re: How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy

I used his audiobook for a trip to Spain last year. I found it easy to listen to and quite useful. I'll probably get Noble's Italian audiobook soon, as we have an Italy trip this fall. Our Italy trip, like the Spain one, will follow well-traveled tourist routes, with English spoken quite a bit, I'm ...
by CardinalRule
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to send flowers out of town
Replies: 21
Views: 1333

Re: Best way to send flowers out of town

I've had even worse luck with FTD. Some customers say that FTD stands for "Failed to Deliver," and this happened to me on two consecutive Mothers Days. After the second incident, never again. I've had good luck with the websites of researched, local florists, in addition to calling them direct. Look...
by CardinalRule
Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone living in central america?(Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize...)
Replies: 33
Views: 7048

Re: anyone living in central america?(Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize...)

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal this past week (July 20 I think), entitled "‘Pack Up and Get Out’: Nicaraguan Unrest Shakes U.S. Expat Community." The subtitle is "Thousands of Americans flocked to Nicaragua in search of a cheap, safe and tropical locale. A violent uprisi...
by CardinalRule
Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Missed RMD - IRS penalty waiver process?
Replies: 13
Views: 1419

Re: Missed RMD - IRS penalty waiver process?

So my parents' missed RMD saga seems to have come to a happy end. First, I used TurboTax to prepare an amended Form 5329. (Why I didn't use TurboTax in the first place, rather than just manually filling the form in, I'll never know. The program inserts "RC" and "see statement" in an appropriate plac...
by CardinalRule
Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ex-dividend days: Is there typically anything out of the ordinary?
Replies: 34
Views: 3035

Re: Ex-dividend days: Is there typically anything out of the ordinary?

One thing that I have noticed repeatedly - early exercises of in-the-money call options on the night before the ex-dividend date. This most often happens when the call I have written has an expiration that is just a few days away (i.e., there is not much time value).
by CardinalRule
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Missed RMD - IRS penalty waiver process?
Replies: 13
Views: 1419

Re: Missed RMD - IRS penalty waiver process?

Aargh - I was not aware of the specific instructions highlighted by Katietsu. :oops: I just filled out the form, as put it, by looking at it. And so I'm guessing the accompanying letter of explanation was never looked at. Hopefully someone else can learn from my mistake. I wonder if it is possible a...
by CardinalRule
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Missed RMD - IRS penalty waiver process?
Replies: 13
Views: 1419

Missed RMD - IRS penalty waiver process?

I have been begun helping my elderly parents with their finances over the past couple of years. At the very end of 2017, I realized that they had not taken an RMD from their IRA during the year. I went to the custodian's website on the last business day of the year to process the RMD and realized th...
by CardinalRule
Fri May 25, 2018 1:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken Alternatives
Replies: 10
Views: 1062

Re: Quicken Alternatives

Money Plus Sunset Deluxe is indeed available. It's not for me, as I rely quite a bit on Quicken's online capabilities and use the program daily. MS Money is a free downloadable software package for Microsoft Windows that does what Quicken does. It was not mentioned in this thread yet. I use MS Money...