Search found 1504 matches

by 02nz
Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3824
Views: 703876

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

If you have the no-AF Amex Hilton card, check this link to see if you qualify for an "upgrade" to the Ascend card. 150K Hilton points for $3K spend in 3 mos., $95 AF. https://online.americanexpress.com/dapply/partner/preacq/hil/hhac-upg-51/cmupgrade/carddetails#/cshop I was approved immediately. Ame...
by 02nz
Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walking Cities, potential for retirees
Replies: 92
Views: 7057

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

DC has a high crime rate, according to a friend who is there frequently for business. DC is certainly not free of crime, but most areas are reasonably safe from violent crime. Like anywhere else, you need to exercise common sense, and nowhere in this country is one entirely safe from gun violence. ...
by 02nz
Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review 37yo Post Divorce
Replies: 8
Views: 1812

Re: Portfolio Review 37yo Post Divorce

According to Fidelity (https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/how-much-do-i-need-to-retire), you should have about 3x your annual salary saved by the time you're 40. You look to be on track for that, and contributing 15% or so should keep you on track or get you ahead a bit. The "tax-free gr...
by 02nz
Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 15K CAR with comfortable seats and quiet
Replies: 51
Views: 3868

Re: 15K CAR with comfortable seats and quiet

I have an '18 Chevy Volt that I really like for commuting. 50-60 miles of electric range, works like a regular hybrid after that (40+ MPG), so no range anxiety. Charging overnight is usually enough even on just 110V. Running in electric mode (90% of my miles so far), my per-mile cost is less than h...
by 02nz
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting a car in Europe across countries
Replies: 20
Views: 904

Re: Renting a car in Europe across countries

Sounds like there's no benefit to trying to book through a local operator for the rental car. My default is to just price and book through Expedia. Check Kayak for car rentals, it will check a bunch of sites, including some that specialize in Europe. I've usually found my cheapest international car...
by 02nz
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting a car in Europe across countries
Replies: 20
Views: 904

Re: Renting a car in Europe across countries

Prague is only a couple of hours by train from Dresden,Germany. I would suggest you consider separate rentals for Czech Republic and Germany. One way rentals within the same country often have little or no extra charges. This is an excellent suggestion. My experience is also that one-way rentals wi...
by 02nz
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 15K CAR with comfortable seats and quiet
Replies: 51
Views: 3868

Re: 15K CAR with comfortable seats and quiet

I have an '18 Chevy Volt that I really like for commuting. 50-60 miles of electric range, works like a regular hybrid after that (40+ MPG), so no range anxiety. Charging overnight is usually enough even on just 110V. Running in electric mode (90% of my miles so far), my per-mile cost is less than ha...
by 02nz
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance immediately after new home purchase?
Replies: 24
Views: 1958

Re: Refinance immediately after new home purchase?

In m opinion, it doesn't make sense at all to refinance in this situation. You'll have to pay closing costs all over again (obviously) and you likely won't recover that money for quite some time. With that being said, if you plan to stay in the house and pay it off slowly over 30 years, you might c...
by 02nz
Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP modernization implementation date: 9/15/2019
Replies: 24
Views: 2700

Re: TSP modernization implementation date: 9/15/2019

New update as of May 30: https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tspfs10.pdf I only skimmed through it, but it provides more details on implementation of new withdrawal options. Current options in place through Sep 6, no withdrawals Sep 7-14, new options in effect Sep 15. Apologies if this was already cov...
by 02nz
Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prius vs. Ioniq (Toyota vs. Hyundai)
Replies: 10
Views: 1113

Re: Prius vs. Ioniq (Toyota vs. Hyundai)

I prefer the Ioniq’s styling, not just the exterior but especially the interior, which is functional and well-laid out, rather than the spaceship control center that Toyota seemed to aim for. The Ioniq has CarPlay and Android Auto, while the Prius still doesn’t, incredibly. The plug-in Prius Prime w...
by 02nz
Fri May 31, 2019 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 - May 2019 Update (1903)
Replies: 39
Views: 3063

Re: Windows 10 - May 2019 Update (1903)

Problems with the update on two home laptops. Spouse has problems with intermittent wireless connectivity. Web search indicates others with the same problem. Advised to download the latest driver from the OEM website. OEM website doesn't have an update (Lenovo). I get an error message on my laptop ...
by 02nz
Fri May 31, 2019 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 - May 2019 Update (1903)
Replies: 39
Views: 3063

Re: Windows 10 - May 2019 Update (1903)

I’m also running 1903 with no problems. Microsoft seems to have learned its lesson from the previous update, and they left this update in the final testing phase for far longer (over a month) than previous updates.
by 02nz
Fri May 31, 2019 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 - May 2019 Update (1903)
Replies: 39
Views: 3063

Re: Windows 10 - May 2019 Update (1903)

If you can now decline updates (not defer them), then that's another hurdle out of the way to finally prying Windows 7 from me. However, I read in the article something about signing into Windows with a phone number rather than a password? Is there no option for neither? To you Win10 users out ther...
by 02nz
Thu May 30, 2019 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a free Carfax available?
Replies: 21
Views: 1302

Re: Free or Cheap Carfax ? Buying a used car

Ask the seller to pull the Carfax. That way the seller pays once rather than having each prospective buyer pay. When I’ve sold cars privately I always paid for Carfax.
by 02nz
Wed May 22, 2019 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation for HSA
Replies: 5
Views: 242

Re: Asset Allocation for HSA

It depends on when you expect to draw from the HSA. Some people withdraw from it as they incur expenses, in which case you'd probably want to keep a significant portion or all of the HSA in cash equivalents. If like me you don't expect to take money out until about 30 years down the road (tax-free w...
by 02nz
Tue May 21, 2019 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement Bridge Approach
Replies: 18
Views: 2781

Re: Early Retirement Bridge Approach

XtremeSki2001 wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:13 pm
I can only pretend to know what my lifestyle will be at 55. I expect my spending to stay the same as it is today ... house/kids/college will be replaced with cruise/vacation home/hobbits.
What are you doing with hobbits? :D
by 02nz
Tue May 21, 2019 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer speed question which computer is faster and why?
Replies: 22
Views: 1519

Re: Computer speed question which computer is faster and why?

An SSD makes a much bigger perceived difference - especially on the tasks that take longest (starting computer, launching programs). i3/i5/i7 is more branding than anything else. Particularly on laptops, there's often little difference between i5 and i7 in the same series - e.g., between the i5-8250...
by 02nz
Tue May 21, 2019 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement Bridge Approach
Replies: 18
Views: 2781

Re: Early Retirement Bridge Approach

The right approach is to combine a Roth conversion ladder and taxable. The problem with starting Roth conversions 5 years before retirement is that you're likely paying high tax rates, possibly the highest in your life if your your income peak comes at the end of your career. If that does not work y...
by 02nz
Tue May 21, 2019 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discount off list price of new Lexus RD 350
Replies: 6
Views: 635

Re: Discount off list price of new Lexus RD 350

Truecar shows an average of about $3200 below MSRP in my area; the dealers that provide a quote through Truecar look to be about $4000 off MSRP. This will of course vary by region but $600 below MSRP is definitely a terrible deal. Truecar isn't even the absolute best deal you can negotiate.
by 02nz
Tue May 21, 2019 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Hardware Help - KVM Switch
Replies: 29
Views: 936

Re: PC Hardware Help - KVM Switch

Another way to go is Bluetooth, which of course has the advantage of being wireless. Some Bluetooth keyboards (e.g., Dell WK717, which I have) and mice (e.g., Logitech M720) have a switch for multiple connections. I use these two peripherals with two different PCs, switching is seamless.
by 02nz
Thu May 16, 2019 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?
Replies: 18
Views: 1761

Re: Usefullness of 2 in 1 laptops?

I agree that 2-in-1s add more value if you draw, for text it's much faster to just type. I have used HP, Lenovo, and Dell 2-in-1s. With any brand you'll get people who say "this brand is crap, never buy it." The truth is at any price point they're pretty comparable. The corporate lines are what your...
by 02nz
Wed May 15, 2019 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American Funds Propaganda. Help me understand.
Replies: 25
Views: 2683

Re: American Funds Propaganda. Help me understand.

Over the past 10 years the Growth Fund of America has returned less than 15% CAGR. Not bad, but you would've done better with Vanguard U.S. Growth Index or PRIMECAP (both about 16% CAGR over the same period, which comes out to about 12% higher balance). The chart looks great, as you suspect, because...
by 02nz
Wed May 15, 2019 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fair price for new Subaru Outback?
Replies: 20
Views: 1729

Re: Fair price for new Subaru Outback?

Looks like a good price to me. Those are popular cars so I'm surprised you got that much of a discount. As already mentioned here Outback is redesigned for 2020. First year models are always "interesting". That might be a selling point for the 2019. X years in and most of the kinks worked out. The ...
by 02nz
Thu May 09, 2019 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard HSA anyone?
Replies: 13
Views: 1658

Re: Vanguard HSA anyone?

I'm also happy with the Fidelity HSA. Main advantage of Vanguard would be the tax efficiency of their index funds, as a few states (CA in particular) do not treat HSAs as tax-advantaged.
by 02nz
Thu May 09, 2019 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New smartphone recommendations
Replies: 20
Views: 1811

Re: New smartphone recommendations

The Moto line (G7 is the latest) is always an excellent value. The main thing the G series lacks is NFC, so you can't use mobile payments like Google Pay. And no wireless charging. Also keep an eye out for the Moto X4, often on sale for the same price as the G series but with more features. Slickdea...
by 02nz
Wed May 08, 2019 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard HSA anyone?
Replies: 13
Views: 1658

Re: Vanguard HSA anyone?

No one is talking about it because it doesn’t exist.

The page gives general info about HSAs. The links on the right are to HSA providers that offer Vanguard funds. But you cannot open an HSA sith Vanguard.
by 02nz
Wed May 08, 2019 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I Don't See Great Benefits to ROTH Conversion for Us. Help Me
Replies: 52
Views: 5803

Re: I Don't See Great Benefits to ROTH Conversion for Us. Help Me

If you do not do your own taxes I would buy some tax prep software to model my taxes over the next few years. You will be amazed at how many moving parts there are and how many variables can be tweaked to your advantage. For this purpose, TaxCaster (free) is usually good enough: https://turbotax.in...
by 02nz
Wed May 08, 2019 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I Don't See Great Benefits to ROTH Conversion for Us. Help Me
Replies: 52
Views: 5803

Re: I Don't See Great Benefits to ROTH Conversion for Us. Help Me

If I were you, I would contribute to Roth IRAs for both yourself and your spouse for your remaining working years. You are both over 50, so that would be $7000 each/year, this could be direct contributions or back-door. Agree with this suggestion, but OP stated retirement accounts are largely in IR...
by 02nz
Thu May 02, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reviews on Honda Insight
Replies: 30
Views: 1708

Re: Reviews on Honda Insight

This next car is for DH, and I'm pleased he is considering an option other than gas exclusively. DH has driven an Accord or Civic since the '80s, so the Insight would be a familiar, comfortable choice for him. I'm glad there is an option between gas and EV, one that does not have the inconvenience ...
by 02nz
Thu May 02, 2019 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reviews on Honda Insight
Replies: 30
Views: 1708

Re: Reviews on Honda Insight

The average electrical bill was about $3.00 a month in the 1950's. I remember my father saying it was almost free. Now, we have three time rates with charges tripling during 5PM-8PM. Electricity costs range from $150 in the winer to almost $400 in the summer. We have a canopy of trees which preclud...
by 02nz
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reviews on Honda Insight
Replies: 30
Views: 1708

Re: Reviews on Honda Insight

The current Insight has gotten excellent reviews. It is essentially the hybrid Civic (Honda used to sell a Civic hybrid, but the current Insight is that in all but name). The Civic gets 26 mpg combined (32 mpg highway, but in stop-and-go traffic you'll be lucky to hit the combined figure). Hybrids g...
by 02nz
Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is the United Airlines Online Reservation System Confusing, or Is It Me?
Replies: 17
Views: 1212

Re: Is the United Airlines Online Reservation System Confusing, or Is It Me?

I then select Business/roundtrip - there's no obvious way, at this point, to pick different classes for different legs of the flight. So, I can't arrange for her to fly economy from Frankfurt to Prague. United forces her to fly Business class on both legs of the trip to Prague. OK, maybe that's OK....
by 02nz
Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocating Across Country - Vehicle Situation
Replies: 22
Views: 1236

Re: Relocating Across Country - Vehicle Situation

I would give the reliability data on the XC60 a very hard look. It's been a long time since Volvo built cars with bulletproof reliability. For a 75 mi/day commute (I'm assuming this is in Seattle not Baltimore), fuel economy is a big consideration. A plug-in hybrid or EV makes a lot of sense, and it...
by 02nz
Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations
Replies: 116
Views: 5101

Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

That said, I am convinced that the performance and control of the Ubiquiti APs exceed that of the Orbi. Apple has a powerful and inexpensive word processor, as long as you want to do what they think you should want to do. I tried to write a book with a TOC and index years ago using Pages; I gave up...
by 02nz
Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help/Suggestions Buying Car next Week
Replies: 40
Views: 1373

Re: Help/Suggestions Buying Car next Week

She asked about Hyundai Kona. It's was rated high in the sub compact SUV rankings. The Kona is a solid car. I would also look at its twin, the Kia Niro. The exterior of the Niro looks a lot better to me, without so much of the Kona's chunky black plastic cladding. The Niro and the Kona are not rela...
by 02nz
Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan alternatives?
Replies: 48
Views: 3111

Re: Minivan alternatives?

The new 2020 Highlander looks good and there's a hybrid version that gets 33 mpg combined. Some people refuse to buy the first year of a redesign, but this is Toyota, and the underlying platform (TNGA) has been in several models for 4+ years now.
by 02nz
Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is the Subaru Outback a safe car?
Replies: 9
Views: 1243

Re: Is the Subaru Outback a safe car?

Never heard of this site. IIHS crash tests are the most rigorous measure of crash safety. IIHS's Top Safety Pick ratings take into account both crash safety and safety features. NHTSA conducts tests, too, but not as rigorously. I find fatality stats fairly meaningless - sure, a Corvette has more fat...
by 02nz
Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American Funds vs Vanguard
Replies: 69
Views: 4397

Re: American Funds vs Vanguard

op Have you ever heard of PrimeCap? "Primecap’s founders learned the process at Capital Group, the publicity-shy firm behind the American Funds . The trio—Howard Schow (who died in 2012), Mitch Milias (who stepped down from day-to-day management duties in 2014) and Kolokotrones—left Capital Group i...
by 02nz
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: YouInvest Account
Replies: 9
Views: 1042

Re: YouInvest Account

Yes it is available on You Invest. I don't have the 50K available to invest, so I can't get to the screen that would show me whether a fee applies and if so how much. My experience with You Invest has been fine (there was an issue with Chase not correctly calculating the average balance that qualifi...
by 02nz
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Net Worth where it should be?
Replies: 49
Views: 6819

Re: Net Worth where it should be?

There's a huge amount of variation in net worth among individuals on this board, and that skews higher than average. You have more than average at your age, esp. at the income level. But instead of this (frankly rather useless) exercise, make sure you've set your financial goals and stick to them.
by 02nz
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need vacuum recomendations
Replies: 41
Views: 4007

Re: Need vacuum recomendations

I have the Dyson V7 and like it a lot. The Wirecutter recommends as the best cordless stick vac: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-cordless-stick-vacuum/ The freedom of not being tied down by a wire is almost life-changing. The downside of course is needing to charge the battery - a full charge...
by 02nz
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small backup battery for Lenova YOGA laptop?
Replies: 4
Views: 332

Re: Small backup battery for Lenova YOGA laptop?

The very recent models support USB-C Power Delivery. But you need to make sure the power bank puts out enough power (probably 45W minimum - check fine print on your Yoga's power adapter). Otherwise you'd need something like this: https://www.amazon.com/RAVPower-20100mAh-External-Battery-Compatible/d...
by 02nz
Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Central Asia. Do you need a CC?
Replies: 44
Views: 3286

Re: Trip to Central Asia. Do you need a CC?

Credit cards are very widely accepted in major cities in Kazakhstan, less so in the other two, though hotels catering to foreigners will certainly take them. Back in the day, there was a large black market in Uzbekistan for foreign currency, so it was much cheaper to change on the black market and p...
by 02nz
Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth TSP vs. Regular TSP?
Replies: 14
Views: 1333

Re: Roth TSP vs. Regular TSP?

At over 32% marginal taxes (fed + state combined), I think you'd be nuts to do Roth. You could pay a much, much lower tax rate in retirement (esp. if you move to a lower-tax state, as you plan on doing, or even more if you retire early). When your traditional balance goes high enough to bump you int...
by 02nz
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: You Invest by JP Morgan Chase
Replies: 159
Views: 21501

Re: You Invest by JP Morgan Chase

Adding to the earlier comments about partial transfers, which can't be done online Do they not ask for the quantity when doing the transfer? Wondering if you could say "full transfer" but don't enter the full quantity in the form. No, if you do a full transfer then they don't ask you for the quanti...
by 02nz
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?
Replies: 95
Views: 8344

Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

That article sounds like fluff, probably pushing credit cards. I've been to a lot of lounges all over the world - few are truly "luxurious." The best lounges are those restricted to international first class passengers (e.g., Lufthansa's first class lounges), although U.S. airlines have also recentl...
by 02nz
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?
Replies: 148
Views: 20677

Re: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?

I just discovered the smoked wild sockeye salmon "ends & pieces" at Trader Joe's - just as tasty as the regular smoked sockeye at half the cost.
by 02nz
Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Porsche Cayenne Base Model vs Premium Lexus RX or GLE?
Replies: 23
Views: 1726

Re: Porsche Cayenne Base Model vs Premium Lexus RX or GLE?

Have you considered the 2019 BMW X5? It has the handling of a Porsche yet appears to be reliable (not as reliable as a Lexus but up there). We love it! Maybe I'm misreading this, but if the implication is that Porsche isn't reliable, that's not correct. Porsche consistently ranks among the most rel...
by 02nz
Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Porsche Cayenne Base Model vs Premium Lexus RX or GLE?
Replies: 23
Views: 1726

Re: Porsche Cayenne Base Model vs Premium Lexus RX or GLE?

Get the Macan, lightly optioned. Even the base 4-cylinder is plenty powerful and reasonably efficient, and it rides and handles better than anything else in the luxury SUV segment. Not that much smaller than the Cayenne, and looks a lot better IMHO. No comparison with the MB and Lexus in terms of ho...
by 02nz
Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best card bonus for $500 in spend in 3 months
Replies: 23
Views: 2025

Re: best card bonus for $500 in spend in 3 months

Let me think. I just got a US Bank cash something or other. $150 for $500 spend. I got it in my mail box the same day as my car insurance bill. Bam....one day done. I have this card (US Bank Cash Plus) and like it. Each quarter you can choose two categories where you get 5% cash back. You choose fr...