Search found 3678 matches

by mikep
Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disneay Aulani (Hawaii) vacation planning
Replies: 14
Views: 1314

Re: Disneay Aulani (Hawaii) vacation planning

I booked the Aulani renting DVC points with www.dvcrequest.com. This gets you a larger timeshare unit from a DVC owner and free parking. We are going in June, booked this last July so I can't say how it went for us yet but there were good reviews. You need to book 11 months in advance for the best a...
by mikep
Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car was totaled, next steps?
Replies: 18
Views: 968

Re: Car was totaled, next steps?

You're entitled to the value of your car before the accident, which was a 2012 Ford Edge with 232,000 miles. The check from the insurance company should be enough to go out and purchase a 2012 Edge with 232,000 miles. This. Also since you'll have to pay sales tax on another vehicle, your check from...
by mikep
Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct and alternatives
Replies: 119
Views: 11557

Re: TaxAct and alternatives

For the people that used FreeTaxUSA: there was a comment made a few months ago about last year's version (for 2016 taxes) not having the sufficient forms/inputs to adjust ESPP prices. Has anyone encountered this for tax year 2017? That's good to know I also saw that issue. Now the other issue I fou...
by mikep
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Freedom Card 5% - any paypal tricks?
Replies: 12
Views: 3209

Re: Chase Freedom Card 5% - any paypal tricks?

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:21 pm
Gift cards won't work. They figure them out and if I remember right, I got 1% on them. I tried it out specifically to get 5% on a $500 gift card purchase. Denied.
where?
by mikep
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Freedom Card 5% - any paypal tricks?
Replies: 12
Views: 3209

Re: Chase Freedom Card 5% - any paypal tricks?

You can send to your wife but you will pay paypal fees of 2.9% + $0.30 which is not optimal. A few options I found are: Pay taxes at payusatax.com .. 1.97% fee Gift cards through Paypal digital gifts.. seems like this would count for the freedom category (this used to count for ink cash). Sometimes ...
by mikep
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Deluxe: How to report HSA interest/capital gains in CA
Replies: 3
Views: 282

Re: H&R Block Deluxe: How to report HSA interest/capital gains in CA

can you use the 'view forms' feature and enter it in the right spot? No, it is greyed out not letting me enter in anything :annoyed My HSA is in Fidelity's TIPS index fund which threw some capital gains so I need to report those somewhere. With their annoying $19.95 state efile fee I may just print...
by mikep
Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Deluxe: How to report HSA interest/capital gains in CA
Replies: 3
Views: 282

H&R Block Deluxe: How to report HSA interest/capital gains in CA

First time user of H&R Block deluxe.. appears there is no way to add in CA additions for interest and capital gains in an HSA on line 8 / line 13 of schedule CA as I have previously done with taxact. The only thing I can do is put it under "Other" and it also forces the description to "other" on lin...
by mikep
Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it time to dump high yield savings for prime money market?
Replies: 128
Views: 19909

Re: Is it time to dump high yield savings for prime money market?

Staying put with my CCU reward checking. Prime MM still doesn't even come close to 3.09% with minimal requirements.
by mikep
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Global ex-US Real Estate Fund - Fees
Replies: 4
Views: 663

Re: Vanguard Global ex-US Real Estate Fund - Fees

Any reason to not use the ETF version instead?

With Vanguard, the fees are paid back into the fund, so you benefit from everyone else paying those fees if you are a long term shareholder. This is probably a good thing in the long run, as the fund is not hurt from short term churning.
by mikep
Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase sapphire reserve versus BOF premium rewards
Replies: 48
Views: 6310

Re: Chase sapphire reserve versus BOF premium rewards

I am all for maximizing credit card benefits (and I have lots and lots of credit cards for this reason), but moving six figures of assets to Merrill (or anyone else) just to get a few extra basis points in cash back (or points) is a bridge too far for me. YMMV. If you spend a lot, it might be worth...
by mikep
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase sapphire reserve versus BOF premium rewards
Replies: 48
Views: 6310

Re: Chase sapphire reserve versus BOF premium rewards

I am all for maximizing credit card benefits (and I have lots and lots of credit cards for this reason), but moving six figures of assets to Merrill (or anyone else) just to get a few extra basis points in cash back (or points) is a bridge too far for me. YMMV. If you spend a lot, it might be worth...
by mikep
Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2688
Views: 518275

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Discover 5% is also possible by purchasing at Costco via Google Express. Google express also has a promotion for 20% off right now. -> so you can actually get 25% off. Not quite 25% off.... Let's say you start with $100 of purchases. First, the 20% off promotion from Google Express would drop that ...
by mikep
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Combining Chase Credit Cards
Replies: 3
Views: 410

Re: Combining Chase Credit Cards

Keep the freedoms separate in order to get 2 quarterly limits. That's basically 5x points on up to $3000 on mobile pay this quarter alone. I don't see what advantage combining the cards has. Rather than a hard pull to combine, I'd suggest to apply for another chase card. Such as the freedom unlimite...
by mikep
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why paying off loans would be better than fully funding 401k?
Replies: 97
Views: 7804

Re: Help with what to do, pay debt, fund 401k, EF? TLH of taxable to fund one of these

No, very open to criticism. We need any advice we can get. And I do agree we went overboard on the spending. Delayed gratification from school and not getting real jobs until in 30s. Pretty much what the White Coat Investor preaches. We are a prime example of the kinds of mistakes that can be made....
by mikep
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalance after today's drop?
Replies: 32
Views: 4698

Re: Rebalance after today's drop?

I'm confused.. that is not rebalancing. Rebalancing would be buying more stocks after they dropped? Adding more bonds now is not sticking to the plan.

I rebalanced in January after stocks got too high and bought bonds that went low.
by mikep
Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA 529 - free $225 if AGI < 75K
Replies: 0
Views: 182

CA 529 - free $225 if AGI < 75K

http://mgp.scholarshare.com/

Up to $200 match on contributions before 12/31
$25 match for setting up automatic contributions

Qualify if you are CA state resident with AGI < 75K.

Looks like a good deal. Trying to open for nieces and nephews but the parents have to do it. :annoyed
by mikep
Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's advice on bond portion of portfolio
Replies: 42
Views: 6811

Re: Vanguard's advice on bond portion of portfolio

I think getting more international exposure on the equity side is more efficient since you save the costs of hedging the international bond fund. I think those are around 0.2%. I hold 50% of equities international stocks, so I feel I can leave out international bonds. Also factoring into that is I d...
by mikep
Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest in another rental property, pay debt, or index funds?
Replies: 5
Views: 754

Re: Invest in another rental property, pay debt, or index funds?

At least refinance the car if you don't pay it off. Many credit unions offer 2.5% or less.
by mikep
Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue
Replies: 15
Views: 1106

Re: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue

The only reason I'm switching is because taxact wanted to charge me $64. I got H&R block deluxe from amazon for $19.95. Annoyed to pay $19.95 to e-file the state so I will print and mail it instead.
by mikep
Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue
Replies: 15
Views: 1106

Re: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue

It doesn't.. as soon as I enter it it goes to this screen that says "State or Local Refund is Tax-Free" since I took standard deduction in 2016. I even expanded to "Whole Form" and checked the box that says I itemized.... I have Deluxe.. is that what you have? I'm using premium, but I can't imagine...
by mikep
Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue
Replies: 15
Views: 1106

Re: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue

It doesn't.. as soon as I enter it it goes to this screen that says "State or Local Refund is Tax-Free" since I took standard deduction in 2016. I even expanded to "Whole Form" and checked the box that says I itemized....

I have Deluxe.. is that what you have?
by mikep
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue
Replies: 15
Views: 1106

H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue

This is my first year using H&R block deluxe after the taxact price increases. So far not impressed.. I imported a pdf return from taxact and it saved only the basic personal information. I'm starting with income and get to the page where it asks for my 1099G/ state tax refund. For my $28 refund, I ...
by mikep
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!
Replies: 151
Views: 9651

Re: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!

I was all in favor of the OP's keep-using-the-old-phone attitude, until... I have an iPhone 6 that is running painfully slowly. I went to get the battery replaced and the Apple store guy ran a diagnostic and concluded that my battery was fine; he said I'd only see a tiny increase in performance by ...
by mikep
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!
Replies: 151
Views: 9651

Re: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!

I just replaced the battery in my dying 5s DIY. Now it runs like a new one without a bulky battery case. cost for the battery: $20. Where did you buy the battery? what equipment did you use to perform the swap. I am in precisely this situation with my 5s. I bought a battery for my 5s at one of the ...
by mikep
Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity charging new fee on Vanguard funds held in 401Ks
Replies: 4
Views: 653

Re: Fidelity charging new fee on Vanguard funds held in 401Ks

Is there a link? I would like to send it to my employer to see if we are affected. However maybe not since they have been using Fidelity for many years.
by mikep
Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Tax Bill: State tax refunds
Replies: 4
Views: 543

Re: New Tax Bill: State tax refunds

Is there anything in the bill about how refunds from 2017 are treated for 2018 taxes? I deducted at 25%, would I add back as income in this year's 22% bracket? Seems like some arbitrage opportunity there.
by mikep
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car accident - was directed to sign release
Replies: 71
Views: 5455

Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Why would you assume the car seat needs to be replaced? Was it damaged? Car seats typically sell for $50 to $100, so .... unclear on your basis for that claim. You can google car seat accident and see that it's common to replace them when a car has been in an accident. I'm not sure where you pick u...
by mikep
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: REIT or No REIT
Replies: 98
Views: 12643

Re: REIT or No REIT

What a coincidence it is near a 52 week low and most want to get rid of them. Here's a different opinion when they were booming: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52866 Stay the course, folks. If they were good back then they are still good now. I am rebalancing in since that's what m...
by mikep
Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2688
Views: 518275

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Chase Freedom includes internet/cable/phone services this quarter. Is there any reason not to prepay $1500 today on those? Good idea- I had switched my accounts to this card to pay for the three months of payments, but had not considered prepaying anything. I wonder if they will let me do this.... ...
by mikep
Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 Withholding Tables
Replies: 88
Views: 12339

Re: IRS announces new withholding tables for 2018

Does this take into account the increased child tax credit?
by mikep
Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large Purchase / Chase Sapphire Question
Replies: 21
Views: 1819

Re: Large Purchase / Chase Sapphire Question

Chase changed the $300 travel credit for the CSR from calendar year to card-member year for new applications as of May 2017. No more double-dipping. I got mine just before then. You can still double dip as it renews on your card anniversary date instead of calendar year. http://pointsyak.com/benefi...
by mikep
Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large Purchase / Chase Sapphire Question
Replies: 21
Views: 1819

Re: Large Purchase / Chase Sapphire Question

CSR all the way. You earn another 5500 UR on your $5500 travel purchase with CSP which covers the difference in fees at least for the first year. Also at the beginning of your 2nd year you can earn another $300 travel credit within 30 days then downgrade the card if you want. So you pay $450 annual ...
by mikep
Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?
Replies: 39
Views: 5316

Re: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?

Here's another perspective on why I decided against it (for now). Spending $48k per year would get you another 1% or $480 the first year over the fidelity 2%. Then future years would only be $240- $59 fee = $181 per year. Certainly not insignificant, but there are only so many cards one can get if ...
by mikep
Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it a bad idea to have TIPs in Roth IRA?
Replies: 12
Views: 1243

Re: Is it a bad idea to have TIPs in Roth IRA?

In 2009 in a bad bear market many here were suggesting half TIPs and half nominal bonds for your fixed AA. I have kept that allocation and I am in my 30s. I hold TIPs in my HSA and 401(k) though, I don't think it matters if you put it in your Roth IRA. I would if they didn't have it available. There...
by mikep
Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Phone Plan for 1 person
Replies: 86
Views: 4168

Re: Best Phone Plan for 1 person

+1 for cricket. If you can find a group over at reddit.com/r/CricketGroups you can get their Unlimited 2 plan at $25/mo. This is unlimited but capped at 3mbps which is fine on a phone screen. Otherwise 5GB is $35/mo on autopay. I run a group and routinely get the $60 refills for $52.30 from Best buy...
by mikep
Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash-out refinance to REDUCE equity?
Replies: 18
Views: 1683

Re: Cash-out refinance to REDUCE equity?

I think with a cash out mortgage would not be tax deductible under the new Trump law, especially over 750K so that's definitely a negative. Only purchase mortgages are tax deductible now up to 750K. So maybe sell your house and buy another with minimum down? I would think refi's are as well. A refi...
by mikep
Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off mortgage - what is my effective rate now?
Replies: 12
Views: 953

Re: Paying off mortgage - what is my effective rate now?

I'm hoping someone might vet my thinking and my calculations here. With the new tax bill, and the standard deduction rising to $24,000, the value of itemizing diminishes. In my scenario, I have the following deductions available to be under the new tax bill: Mortgage Interest - $21,000 Property Tax...
by mikep
Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct and alternatives
Replies: 119
Views: 11557

Re: TaxAct and alternatives

I filled both freeTaxUSA and TaxAct, and they gave me the same number. So I switched to FreeTaxUSA for cheaper price. Did you return need any additional Schedules etc, or pretty straight-forward? Different poster, but I did FreetaxUSA last year, including multiple Schedule C's, Schedule D, and item...
by mikep
Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: H&R Block Deal of the Day
Replies: 1
Views: 334

Re: H&R Block Deal of the Day

Other thread is here:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=236758&p=3701508#p3701508

It's cheaper from H&R block directly though, see link in other thread.
by mikep
Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: H&R Block Deal of the Day on Amazon (1/4)
Replies: 15
Views: 1849

Re: PSA: H&R Block Deal of the Day on Amazon (1/4)

Better deal here is still alive and 9% back through ebates https://www.hrblock.com/tax-software/lp/camry.html?otppartnerid=9462&campaignid=cm_mcm_9462_0001 From this thread https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=234099 I didn't buy there though, I bought it on the last amazon deal Nov. 29....
by mikep
Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card with Good Bonus for Car Rentals?
Replies: 9
Views: 481

Re: Credit Card with Good Bonus for Car Rentals?

Since you don't like Chase UR, I think amex has some good car rental coverage? I think you can pay extra for the coverage per rental. It’s not that I don’t like Chase UR; it’s that I’ve already got Chase Sapphire Preferred, and don’t think Reserve would be a good value for me. I am highly satisfied...
by mikep
Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash-out refinance to REDUCE equity?
Replies: 18
Views: 1683

Re: Cash-out refinance to REDUCE equity?

I think with a cash out mortgage would not be tax deductible under the new Trump law, especially over 750K so that's definitely a negative. Only purchase mortgages are tax deductible now up to 750K. So maybe sell your house and buy another with minimum down?
by mikep
Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card with Good Bonus for Car Rentals?
Replies: 9
Views: 481

Re: Credit Card with Good Bonus for Car Rentals?

Capital One venture is really just a 2% back card disguised as "miles" and only redeemable for travel. Aside from the sign up bonus, I don't think its better than Fidelity visa which is a 2% cash back card. I use Chase Sapphire Reserve for all car rentals to earn 3x chase UR for the primary rental c...
by mikep
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Buy Bonds If You Have A Mortgage?
Replies: 187
Views: 19120

Re: Why Buy Bonds If You Have A Mortgage?

All my investments are in tax advantaged accounts. I can buy bonds in my IRA/401k, but can't pay down my mortgage with that money, is why I own bonds and have a mortgage. I suppose I could borrow from my 401k to pay down my mortgage 50k and treat the 401k loan as part of my bond AA but that has othe...
by mikep
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA - Californians
Replies: 13
Views: 1092

Re: HSA - Californians

One option is, if you like to or don't mind separating your bonds, to use a treasury bond fund whose dividends are state tax exempt. +1. I use Fidelity TIPS index fund in an HSA at Saturna. Costs me $14.95/trade/year. Throws a capital gain at the end of the year, but dividends are state tax free.
by mikep
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage due to new tax law
Replies: 39
Views: 7257

Re: Pay off mortgage due to new tax law

I have 4.5 years left on 74K at 3%. Total interest remaining on the loan is $5800. I'm actually not paying it off. I will be able to bunch deductions every other year with about 12K of charitable contributions. I will switch this to 0 one year and 24K the next year. That along with 10K of state and ...
by mikep
Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Tax Law Impact on Roth 401K
Replies: 21
Views: 2650

Re: New Tax Law Impact on Roth 401K

What is your tax bracket and state taxes? I was thinking the same thing, however I will be at 22% + 9.3% state taxes is not that much different than what I had before at 25% + 9.3% deductible state taxes. About the only improvement is the 5% I don't lose from the child tax credit. However a full 31....
by mikep
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making Roth Conversion Today - how will it be treated?
Replies: 30
Views: 1766

Re: Making Roth Conversion Today - how will it be treated?

If its 2018, be aware it is irreverisible, you are unable to recharacterize it.