Search found 79 matches

by GeoffD
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best bank for frequent travel friendly international wire transfers?
Replies: 13
Views: 1723

Re: Best bank for frequent travel friendly international wire transfers?

Haven't use them but what about https://transferwise.com Fee seem to be about 1% for currency transfer or $1.30 if not transferring. There is a list of supported currencies and countries on the site. There is a USD limit of $10k after which they say they have to ask questions... but they yearly lim...
by GeoffD
Thu May 02, 2019 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: I'm not going to run out
Replies: 62
Views: 8755

Re: Retirees: I'm not going to run out

My Social Security check will be a bit more than $45K/year tax free if I delay until age 70. As someone said above, with Social Security, I'm never going to run out of money even if the current fear-mongering happens and I see a 20% Social Security cut at age 77 in 2035. My mother has dementia and I...
by GeoffD
Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Money Market Account - tell me about your experience
Replies: 25
Views: 2553

Re: Ally Money Market Account - tell me about your experience

The Ally MM account is pointless. Just open a checking account and 2 savings accounts. Transfer money to the checking account as needed via Ally app. Takes 30 seconds. The checking account has unlimited transactions and free ATMs. The second savings account is so you can do 11 transfers a month ins...
by GeoffD
Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing Hitch on my Subaru Outback
Replies: 51
Views: 2482

Re: Installing Hitch on my Subaru Outback

Subaru dealerships are likely compelled to install only the factory hitch which, although attached in the structurally strongest fashion at the bumper bar's own structural mount points for Gen4 and Gen5 Outbacks, also sports a 1-1/4 inch receiver (at least, the early Gen5 got this, but I see its pa...
by GeoffD
Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing Hitch on my Subaru Outback
Replies: 51
Views: 2482

Re: Installing Hitch on my Subaru Outback

Subaru dealerships are likely compelled to install only the factory hitch which, although attached in the structurally strongest fashion at the bumper bar's own structural mount points for Gen4 and Gen5 Outbacks, also sports a 1-1/4 inch receiver (at least, the early Gen5 got this, but I see its pa...
by GeoffD
Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing Hitch on my Subaru Outback
Replies: 51
Views: 2482

Re: Installing Hitch on my Subaru Outback

You want a 2” EcoHitch receiver hitch. It installs the same way the factory hitch does. It’s part of the rear bumper. You have to remove and cut the vinyl bumper cover to create clearance for the hitch. The install directions including cutting the bumper cover are identical to the factory hitch. You...
by GeoffD
Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement - hypothetical
Replies: 58
Views: 5791

Re: Early retirement - hypothetical

This all sounds like an emotional response to a stressful job. I wouldn't make life-altering decisions based on that. .. .. This probably requires some planning, reducing of expenses, reshuffling of household responsibilities, and a lot of discussions. You sound like you need a vacation, tbh. I too...
by GeoffD
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3887
Views: 721398

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I need to book a hotel for the first Saturday in May. I’ll look at the Sheraton Heathrow, Sheraton Skyline, and the Marriott next to the Skyline first since I have Marriott status and get the room upgrade. The Sheraton Heathrow on the first Saturday in May is 60 pounds including tax for a prepaid a...
by GeoffD
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash back credit card w/o annual fee and w/o foreign transaction fee
Replies: 24
Views: 1760

Re: Cash back credit card w/o annual fee and w/o foreign transaction fee

I use a Citi DoubleCash 2% card in the US and a Capital One 1.5% card with no international transaction fees outside the country. Neither card has an annual fee. I’ve never had any issues with either bank but I automatically pay in full every month so my issues are the usual lost/stolen wallet, frau...
by GeoffD
Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3887
Views: 721398

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I am curious about churning cards. Let's say you get 50,000 miles to an airline card after you spend 3k. First year is free for the card, then $95 year. You spend the 3k, get your miles to your account and then what? Does the airline honor those miles if you cancel your card so as not to get the $9...
by GeoffD
Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3887
Views: 721398

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

BTW, since you posted earlier about LHR hotels: I strongly recommend the Hilton attached to T4 (not to be confused with other Hiltons at LHR). It's very nice and I believe it's the only terminal-attached hotel; for all the others you have to use the ridiculous (and ridiculously overpriced) Hoppa bu...
by GeoffD
Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance policy
Replies: 140
Views: 4816

Re: Long term care insurance policy

Well I'm familiar with the 100 day Medicare limit. I made a poor assumption that this discussion was about "assisted living" and "long term nursing home" situations that went beyond the initial 100 day stay. My bad. While the ratio of men to women in "assisted living" is about 1:7, the ratio in "nu...
by GeoffD
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Money Market Account - tell me about your experience
Replies: 25
Views: 2553

Re: Ally Money Market Account - tell me about your experience

The Ally MM account is pointless. Just open a checking account and 2 savings accounts. Transfer money to the checking account as needed via Ally app. Takes 30 seconds. The checking account has unlimited transactions and free ATMs. The second savings account is so you can do 11 transfers a month ins...
by GeoffD
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance policy
Replies: 140
Views: 4816

Re: Long term care insurance policy

For rehabilitation purposes... if you're not making progress in your rehab you'll be booted off Medicare's dime, with very limited rights of appeal. I just went through this for the relative mentioned in my other post, who IIRC got all of 14 days paid for by Medicare...after that the custodial side...
by GeoffD
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance policy
Replies: 140
Views: 4816

Re: Long term care insurance policy

When you say "Most men who land in nursing homes die before their Medicare coverage runs out." I have 2 questions: [1] when does someone's Medicare coverage "run out"? [2] What does Medicare coverage have to do with your nursing home expenses? [1] Medicare pays 100 days of nursing home coverage. Yo...
by GeoffD
Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings/Money Market for parking cash
Replies: 19
Views: 2419

Re: Money Market for parking cash

I've got 200k sitting in a .25% retained asset account. I don't have any need for the money now, but I'd like to have access to it if I do. I'm looking into Marcus (2.25%), Capital One (2%), and VMMXX (2.45%). They all seem fine, so is there a clear winner? I'd add Ally 2.3% no penalty cd. Complete...
by GeoffD
Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance policy
Replies: 140
Views: 4816

Re: Long term care insurance policy

I don't own medical insurance because the average doctor visit is $200. I own medical insurance for the catastrophic medical expense. I don't own long-term care insurance because of the average cost of care. I own it to protect against the catastrophic long-term care loss. If I have a catastrophic ...
by GeoffD
Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you think are (some of) the best states to live in?
Replies: 144
Views: 13506

Re: What do you think are (some of) the best states to live in?

I didn’t realize Mass stacked up so “middle of the road” tax wise. I, lazily, think of FL and TX and think everywhere is better than NJ, MA, NY, CT; thanks for the stats. I noticed state income tax went down 5 basis points, to 5.05%, about half as much as NJ for high income earners. We pay only sli...
by GeoffD
Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are we at "Peak FI"?
Replies: 93
Views: 10262

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

FIRE has always been here. The only thing remotely new is the acronym. Yep. In 1981, I worked with a hardware engineer who did all the extreme frugality and save/invest stuff. Tiny studio apartment with one light bulb. I remember we all went out to lunch at a deli quite a bit. We'd order sandwiches...
by GeoffD
Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 790
Views: 108005

Re: How much money do you want to retire?

Thanks for mentioning that Geoff. Using the SSA "quick calculator" -- Our estimated S.S. collection at age 67 (real dollars, not inflated) is about 19% more than we spend now on living expenses now (My benefit is calculated at about $38,000 in real dollars then) and right now our largest household ...
by GeoffD
Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security question hindsight
Replies: 65
Views: 5083

Re: Social Security question hindsight

It would be interesting to see if more Bogleheads defer receiving Social Security until 70 than the general population. I've seen statistics somewhere that most folks start benefits at or before their FRA, and only a tiny percentage wait until age 70. I believe that the better informed choice for m...
by GeoffD
Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security question hindsight
Replies: 65
Views: 5083

Re: Social Security question hindsight

We both took SS later (DH at 70; I started Spousal earlier, then at 70, switched to own). We remain pleased that we did this. Our goal was as longevity insurance: IF we live longer than average (and we have parents who lived beyond "life expectancy", but that's obviously no guarantee), we'd want to...
by GeoffD
Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?
Replies: 482
Views: 52165

Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

I was a metro Boston telecom-oriented tech startup guy. Software Engineer with some Electrical Engineering training. A bunch of years as the lead technical guy/individual contributor in a startup with job titles like Chief Architect. That all vaporized to Asia at the Great Recession and I've been wh...
by GeoffD
Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 790
Views: 108005

Re: How much money do you want to retire?

That is a good point, but 3% AND completely ignoring SS (which for high earners will be a fairly big chunk of that $120k) is probably more conservative than necessary. I'm 60 1/2. My girlfriend/domestic partner is 58. My defer-to-70 Social Security check will be a COLA-protected $44K/year. My girlf...
by GeoffD
Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?
Replies: 49
Views: 3327

Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

I'm Hertz Five Star. I can get a Hertz 'F' car for $29/day and I normally get upgraded to the best non-premium car on the lot. I always rent when I'm driving for business. On long personal drives, it kind of depends. I have AWD and snow tires. If I think I might need those, I'll drive my car. For a ...
by GeoffD
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for Remodel
Replies: 9
Views: 1231

Re: Paying for Remodel

I did $200K+ in remodeling over four years out of cash flow. Remodeling is discretionary spending. I think it's foolish to borrow money for any kind of discretionary spending. Repairs are a different story. Water heater, furnace/boiler, A/C, roof, I'd 'borrow' from my emergency fund and pay it back ...
by GeoffD
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: early retirement for health reasons- pension option ss income leveling?
Replies: 46
Views: 2250

Re: early retirement for health reasons- pension option ss income leveling?

My income leveling option is calculated is based on SSNRA (66 years and 8 months for me). There seem to be quite a few different ways to take my pension, and that's what brought me here with my question. It doesn't seem to make adjustments for inflation, however. If I take a monthly annuity of $235...
by GeoffD
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: early retirement for health reasons- pension option ss income leveling?
Replies: 46
Views: 2250

Re: early retirement for health reasons- pension option ss income leveling?

I thought CA law required up to 3 years of COBRA? If so, maybe you can tough it out one more year? Then you would be covered until Medicare age. Plus you would build up more breathing room budget wise. I can't afford to retire and live in the COBRA service area. I will need to leave California. Can...
by GeoffD
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 155
Views: 13050

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

Also probably, age is important. Obamacare policies cost more as you get older. Age 60 Myself and 2 kids Kaiser policy with no out of network option. 19000 premium per year, no subsidy deductilbe 4700 I work in health care This is crummy, obamacare policy Try not to get sick Not in VT. Every age pa...
by GeoffD
Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS 2019 COLA could be close to 3%
Replies: 55
Views: 6284

Re: SS 2019 COLA could be close to 3%

When does the SSA update SSA publication no. 05-10070 so I can update my spreadsheet and their benefit estimates on their web portal?
by GeoffD
Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a bigger home
Replies: 7
Views: 1181

Re: Buying a bigger home

Interest rates are going up. Keep your CD maturity at 1 year. You can get 2.5% without looking too hard. Ally Bank pays that among others. You don’t want to be locked in at 3.1% for 5 years. Assuming you own a house in the town with the best school system in your area, a bigger house is not the way ...
by GeoffD
Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is Home Part of NW [Net Worth]
Replies: 98
Views: 7081

Re: Why is Home Part of NW

What does Net Worth have to do with your ability to retire next year? Very little. What actually matters is: your level of Investible Assets... So owning a home free and clear rather than renting an equivalent home doesn't matter in retirement? I would rephrase it to say that what matters is whethe...
by GeoffD
Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 estimated taxes
Replies: 8
Views: 767

Re: 1099 estimated taxes

I just did a cocktail napkin 2018 tax liability calculation to figure out what I need to set aside for taxes on my 1099 income. I had really low income years in 2017 and 2018 will also be low but higher than 2017. My 2017 Federal taxes were only $10K. For 2018 W-2 income, I've already had $11K withh...
by GeoffD
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 790
Views: 108005

Re: How much money do you want to retire?

A typical suburban house with 2500 sqft and 4 bedrooms will have taxes around $12K in Bostom Metrowest area *WITH* good school system. I live about 40 miles from Boston and my taxes for that house are over $13K. The assessed price is around $700K. My RE portion had been always higher than PI since ...
by GeoffD
Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 790
Views: 108005

Re: How much money do you want to retire?

...I Cannot speak for Jwood but our core costs for retirement are near $60K a year. Another $60K a year will cover all kinds of 'elective' activities including travel , boating, winter home rental, etc . The balance we would like to gift to family each year. Similar for me, the proportions anyway. ...
by GeoffD
Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 790
Views: 108005

Re: How much money do you want to retire?

I’m a career high earner. I restructured my life so I’m ok with $0 at age 70 when I start collecting a near-max Social Security check. $43,524 per year. I’ve been divorced twice. That “life happens” stuff puts a big dent in your net worth. I’m 60 now. Paid for house with relatively low ownership cos...
by GeoffD
Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 estimated taxes
Replies: 8
Views: 767

Re: 1099 estimated taxes

Some good news. If you're going to earn a lot more next year via 1099, you can pay estimated taxes based on this year's tax. That means that come April 2020 you'll owe a bundle, but if you plan for it you'll earn money on that money. My 2018 is going to be significantly better than my 2017, and I w...
by GeoffD
Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 estimated taxes
Replies: 8
Views: 767

Re: 1099 estimated taxes

I had a 6 month income break in Q2 and Q3 with nothing coming in but an unemployment check. I put $12k into a Roth 401(k) with my Q1 comp. I’ll look at my tax situation in December and decide about retirement funding. It’s an off income year. I might have $10k of 24% bracket money. It’s not like I’m...
by GeoffD
Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 estimated taxes
Replies: 8
Views: 767

1099 estimated taxes

I'd appreciate some advice on estimated tax filing. I've always worked for W-2 money. I'm going to be getting paid 1099 for some work on a 6 month contract. I start next week (1 work week in September). They're paying me monthly on the last business day of the month so I'll have trace income in Q3 p...
by GeoffD
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's the best early retirement strategy for us?
Replies: 39
Views: 3275

Re: What's the best early retirement strategy for us?

Age 43, $90K household income, minimal wealth, wants to retire at 55. Sell the house. Rent a cheap studio apartment. Live 12 extremely frugal years with your pre-tax retirement contribution maxed and investing a large chunk of your post-tax income. Even then, you'd need a miracle to happen with your...
by GeoffD
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay-off or keep mortgage with 2018 interest deduction changes?
Replies: 17
Views: 1792

Re: Pay-off or keep mortgage with 2018 interest deduction changes?

4. Pay down the mortgage over time with income from SS, pension and RMD's that exceeds spending; I think it depends on the mix of these three income sources. If you can live comfortably on your SS and pension income making a mortgage payment and that would continue if you're married and have a deat...
by GeoffD
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Frustration w/ Ally Bank, Trust Account, and Paperless Statements
Replies: 28
Views: 2612

Re: A Frustration w/ Ally Bank, Trust Account, and Paperless Statements

Holy first world problems, Batman. If you have a mail theft problem, get a PO box. I have my emergency fund at Ally. 1 day transfers with my brick & mortar bank. They answer the phone without a huge queue. The person at the other end of the phone call typically speaks American English as their first...
by GeoffD
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Puerto Rico as legal tax Haven?
Replies: 20
Views: 3899

Re: Puerto Rico as legal tax Haven?

If you're earning the money in Puerto Rico maybe... if you're earning money from elsewhere in the U.S. (i.e. from stocks, bonds, retirement account ... a decent job) then you've got income taxable to the Feds. Maybe read the article? If you get your 180-something Puerto Rico days, you dodge Federal...
by GeoffD
Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 293
Views: 26587

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

Ex-wife v1.0 was “divide by 2” divorce math. $500k.

I’ve made plenty of other life mistakes that combine to more than that but that’s a clear #1.
by GeoffD
Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3887
Views: 721398

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

By looking at the map, Ibis Styles is the closest to T1/T2/T3 and the cheapest. If I stayed there, I could walk to the Indian restaurant you recommend without luggage after settling in. And to confirm: The public buses from T1/T2/T3 to Bath Road hotels are free? Victoria This is a massive thread hi...
by GeoffD
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheap Flights
Replies: 23
Views: 2425

Re: Cheap Flights

My personal preference is to fly on Southwest Airlines whenever possible. Why The big advantage of Southwest is you can throw $20 at the flight and know you’re going to get an aisle seat. I’m 6’3”. On short notice, it’s often impossible to get an aisle seat on a major carrier within a week of depar...
by GeoffD
Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America credit card “feature” (be careful with autopay)
Replies: 45
Views: 3502

Re: Bank of America credit card “feature” (be careful with autopay)

So you’re saying you had auto-pay in full configured on the account but also went to their web portal and paid manually? If that’s what happened, how many days separated the manual pay and the auto pay? If they were weeks apart, that’s a really lousy process by BOA. If they’re only a day or two apar...
by GeoffD
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3887
Views: 721398

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

This is wonderful information, I greatly appreciate it! I found nonstop UA flights (on Lufthansa, Austrian) IAD-LHR, 0820 AM - 0855 PM, with nonstop afternoon returns, in summer, for just over $1,000. To catch an early flight, I can spend a night near IAD for about $100. To spend a night at LHR upo...
by GeoffD
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get financially ready for death of parent
Replies: 22
Views: 2722

Re: How to get financially ready for death of parent

A few months ago, I attended an excellent retirement planning seminar given by an Elder Law attorney. Here’s the list, organized into 4 areas plus a list of professional advisors at the end to help you with planning and implementation. Team of Advisors Financial advisor Elder law attorney Business ...
by GeoffD
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get financially ready for death of parent
Replies: 22
Views: 2722

Re: How to get financially ready for death of parent

How should her kids' names be attached to her financial accounts, if at all? Your mother should designate beneficiaries on each account. 50%/50% would be typical in that situation. Assuming you are both power of attorney, you want at least one of you on the accounts so you can do banking/write chec...