Search found 205 matches

by BackOfTheNet
Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?
Replies: 39
Views: 2474

Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

I have the GEHA family plan and it is a really good deal for us: Annual cost: $3,770 - tax savings $829 - passthrough $1,500 - basic dental ~$500 - basic vision ~$250 -------------------------------- Final cost is around $1,500 per year. Plus the opportunity to add money to hit the HSA max every year.
by BackOfTheNet
Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for good leather shoe?
Replies: 43
Views: 3914

Re: Suggestions for good leather shoe?

If you want to get really crazy you can get Allen Edmonds "3rds" on eBay for dirt cheap. Check out the seller "dabondo1". That seller has an agreement with AE and sells rejects at a deep discount. The nice thing is that you can see pictures of the actual shoe you will be buying and can determine if ...
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?
Replies: 72
Views: 4886

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

As far as health insurance goes, the GEHA high deductible plan with HSA can be a pretty good deal.

Also, you might be eligible for a flexible spending account (dependent care or health).
by BackOfTheNet
Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the most secure way to encrypt a PDF?
Replies: 9
Views: 592

Re: What's the most secure way to encrypt a PDF?

I find it pretty funny when banks "encrypt" files with the last 4 digits of a SSN. Like, there are only 9999 possibilities .... :oops:
by BackOfTheNet
Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to import children’s winter coats?
Replies: 10
Views: 1440

Re: How to import children’s winter coats?

What's a "good price"? Costco currently has a kids puffer jacket for $27.
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are you finding "no cost" refis?
Replies: 20
Views: 2376

Re: How are you finding "no cost" refis?

We never had a no-cost refi. My guess is that people call it that when they roll the closing costs into the new loan. I will warn you that you might not find a rate lower than what you currently have for your 30 in a no cost 15. It's certainly worth looking into, but I would not expect anything in ...
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you refinancing now?
Replies: 73
Views: 6957

Re: Are you refinancing now?

AZAttorney11 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:13 pm
BackOfTheNet wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:05 pm
Locked a 15 year fixed about a week ago. 3.25% with a $4,860 lender credit. Should cover all costs plus a bit towards prepaid items.
Solid. Mind sharing who the lender is?
LOFI direct. They seem fairly responsive so far but I've not closed yet.
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you refinancing now?
Replies: 73
Views: 6957

Re: Are you refinancing now?

Why do people refi to a 30 year? Is it to get lower payments? Cash out? Reduce current mortgage % and lower payments? Or are they in ARMs that are about to jump? I don't understand the point. I am looking to cut my 23 years remaining on a 30 year conventional to 15 years if it's not a huge jump in ...
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you refinancing now?
Replies: 73
Views: 6957

Re: Are you refinancing now?

Locked a 15 year fixed about a week ago. 3.25% with a $4,860 lender credit. Should cover all costs plus a bit towards prepaid items.
by BackOfTheNet
Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?
Replies: 619
Views: 60289

Re: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?

This thread in meme form.

Image
by BackOfTheNet
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Federal employee ... Choosing Healthcare
Replies: 19
Views: 1537

Re: New Federal employee ... Choosing Healthcare

I think GEHA HDHP is a great deal. These are some rough numbers I used when thinking about which plan for my family. $3,770 Annual premium cost for family (This is pre tax with premium conversion) -$829 tax savings on premiums (22% tax bracket) -$1,500 Credit to HSA == ~$1450 annual cost Plus you ge...
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Basic HSA question
Replies: 6
Views: 695

Re: Basic HSA question

I think it depends on what type of coverage you have. I do something similar to get the family contribution limit.

Me. Covered by HDHP only, through my employer.

Spouse + kids: Primary is PPO through Spouse's employer. Secondary is HDHP.

I contribute up to the family limit to my HSA.
by BackOfTheNet
Thu May 30, 2019 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $3k for teen club soccer
Replies: 104
Views: 7604

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

I had a great time in high school playing a less popular sport (water polo). No experience needed to join the team and had a very positive impact on my life. My kids have tried a few sports very casually (soccer, tee ball, hockey) but I would love if for high school they picked a sport where they co...
by BackOfTheNet
Wed May 22, 2019 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best small AWD to 'drive into the ground'
Replies: 87
Views: 6652

Re: Best small AWD to 'drive into the ground'

What about a used Suzuki SX4? They are dirt cheap, reliable (only USA Suzuki made in Japan, other Suzukis are re-badged Daeweoos), and can be had with lockable 4wd.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKpDIqE4WAc
by BackOfTheNet
Mon May 06, 2019 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fun-ish Used Boglehead Car
Replies: 86
Views: 6334

Re: Fun-ish Used Boglehead Car

Fiesta ST
by BackOfTheNet
Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: save on interest by paying down mortgage principal
Replies: 70
Views: 6874

Re: save on interest by paying down mortgage principal

triggerfish10 wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:17 pm
To me that looks like an 80% return on my money, but it can’t be that straight forward, can it? Am I looking at this correctly?
What if you bought a 30 year CD instead? A $10,000 CD at 2.00% would be worth $18,113 after 30 years. Would you count that as an 80% return on your money?
by BackOfTheNet
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?
Replies: 95
Views: 8855

Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

The credit cards may have hefty annual fees but they can still be worthwhile. For example, the Chase Sapphire reserve has a $450 annual fee. BUT it comes with a annual $300 travel credit (and other benefits).
by BackOfTheNet
Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I suspect I may have equity in my car lease. Help?
Replies: 31
Views: 2139

Re: I suspect I may have equity in my car lease. Help?

I have heard of people selling a lease to both of these:

vroom.com

carvana.com

Supposedly it is pretty straightforward, they give quotes online.
by BackOfTheNet
Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tech Support needed - moving Google Drive contents to New computer
Replies: 9
Views: 1032

Re: Tech Support needed - moving Google Drive contents to New computer

A 128 GB flash drive can be had for about $20. Something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Cruzer-G ... 007YX9OGW/

Absolute fastest way would be to copy to this and skip downloading from the cloud.
by BackOfTheNet
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 34066

Re: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]

2018:
Income: $171k
Fed Tax: $23k
Rate: ~13.5%

2019:
Income: $185k
Fed tax: $23k
Rate: ~12.5%

Made a little bit more money but owe about the same. Main difference is $4k in child tax credits that we previously did not qualify for.
by BackOfTheNet
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2019 Hedge Fund Contest
Replies: 227
Views: 18512

Re: 2019 Hedge Fund Contest

The Big Apple

Long

AAPL
AAPL
NFLX

Short
TSLA
by BackOfTheNet
Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need An Online Phone Number
Replies: 19
Views: 1028

Re: Need An Online Phone Number

neilpilot wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:58 pm
Google voice
Seconded.
by BackOfTheNet
Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2019 Hedge Fund Contest
Replies: 227
Views: 18512

2019 Hedge Fund Contest

[Current standings are here: Current standings - 2019 hedge fund contest --admin LadyGeek] Again, I meant to get this up earlier, but this is the thread for the 2019 hedge fund contest. You can find the previous year's contest (2018) here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=236514 Pick a fancy name for your hedg...
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEHA HSA investment thru Fidelity
Replies: 6
Views: 877

Re: GEHA HSA investment thru Fidelity

Directly from HSAbank it looks like there are two options, TD Ameritrade and DEVENIR. Not sure if you could transfer from one of those to Fidelity though.
by BackOfTheNet
Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 11/28 Today Only, buy a phone on Google FI and get travel gift card of same value
Replies: 101
Views: 7123

Re: 11/28 Today Only, buy a phone on Google FI and get travel gift card of same value

I took advantage of the Project Fi (now Google Fi apparently) Black Friday deal for a Pixel 3 ($200 off the phone, and $200 Project Fi credit). Now I'm seeing this better deal. I get why they're doing this to create some buzz for the rebranding to Google Fi. But come on Google, not fair! Saw this o...
by BackOfTheNet
Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I Risking My Life to Sell My Car?
Replies: 37
Views: 5018

Re: Am I Risking My Life to Sell My Car?

TSR wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:37 pm
If it were me I would drive to CarMax and tell them about the tire.
Agree with this, honesty is best. I'd say there is a good chance they say "Thanks, for the heads up" and send you on your way with the full $2,500.
by BackOfTheNet
Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too good to be true; what am I missing?
Replies: 19
Views: 4854

Re: Too good to be true; what am I missing?

One time 5k payment against mortgage saves little over 5K in interest over the period of loan And over this same time you will pay interest to M1 at 4% to borrow the money. Yes, crowd sourcing to look for errors in the math :happy The error in the math is that you are borrowing money at 4% to pay b...
by BackOfTheNet
Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing Fed vs. Contracting Job Compensation
Replies: 11
Views: 669

Re: Comparing Fed vs. Contracting Job Compensation

There are lots of rules and special situations with a FERS retirement but big picture is you are eligible at 5 years. https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/fers-information/eligibility/ Again, big picture, It's 1% of your salary times the number of years of service. https://www.opm.gov/retirement-...
by BackOfTheNet
Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing Fed vs. Contracting Job Compensation
Replies: 11
Views: 669

Re: Comparing Fed vs. Contracting Job Compensation

One data-point for you. I'm a GS-13 and make ~$101,000. Every year we get a benefits statement that that shows our total comp that includes retirement, health care , etc. My number last year was $134,000.

Edit. Also, 160 hours of annual leave and 104 hours of sick leave.
by BackOfTheNet
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How real is cyber risk?
Replies: 176
Views: 13038

Re: How real is cyber risk?

You can buy a physical key if you want additional protection on your Vanguard (or google) account: Something like this: https://www.yubico.com/product/yubikey-neo/ https://investor.vanguard.com/security/security-keys Once configured, someone would need to steal the key to gain access to your Vanguar...
by BackOfTheNet
Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durable Dress Shoes for Commute
Replies: 36
Views: 2800

Re: Durable Dress Shoes for Commute

shoebank.com has been a life saver for me. High quality Allen Edmonds Factory seconds (I have 4-5 pairs and have not once been able to see or notice any type of blemish). Outstanding value. A few pairs I've had for 7-8 years. The next rung down on the Allen Edmonds totem pole is to get "3rds" on eB...
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy new Nissan Leaf?
Replies: 35
Views: 2780

Re: Should I buy new Nissan Leaf?

I'd buy one for $13k for sure.
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 375
Views: 23854

Re: What are your property taxes?

North Alabama.

Property taxes are ~$2,800 on $550,000. If we were in the county it would be about half that.

We get what we pay for though, services are not great.
by BackOfTheNet
Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Flawed?] Paying off mortgage in 5 years
Replies: 39
Views: 4184

Re: Using HELOC to pay off mortgage in 7 years?

I think your mortgage being amortized is what makes the difference. Even if your HELOC rate is higher than your mortgage, your principle is being reduced way faster and the amount you borrowed from HELOC is getting paid back faster. Beating a dead horse at this point but ... what? So you are claimi...
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Flawed?] Paying off mortgage in 5 years
Replies: 39
Views: 4184

Re: Using HELOC to pay off mortgage in 7 years?

Instead of making it more complicated with a HELOC, here is a comparison between paying an extra $30,000 per year vs $2,500 per month on a mortgage. This is a $200,000 loan with a 4% rate. Pretty close to the same, and as you would think, paying the $30,000 in one lump sum does save some interest. B...
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Flawed?] Paying off mortgage in 5 years
Replies: 39
Views: 4184

Re: Using HELOC to pay off mortgage in 7 years?

I guess I don't follow how this is any better than just occasionally paying an additional $10k towards your mortgage. HELOC interest rate is around 5.5%. Mortgage interest rate is ~4.0%. Why would someone borrow $10k at 5.5% to pay down 4.0%? Is the idea that your paycheck starts "earning" 5.5% as s...
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buyer tips/ mortgage rates
Replies: 13
Views: 3951

Re: First time home buyer tips/ mortgage rates

Check out Penfeds "Real estate rewards program". Bottom line, if you finance with them and use their realtor, you get a 1.5% credit at closing. I just finished the process last week and indeed got a $6,000 credit on my closing. The $6,000 was a true credit also, since our closing costs were less tha...
by BackOfTheNet
Thu May 17, 2018 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Benefits and FSAFEDS
Replies: 4
Views: 391

Re: HSA Benefits and FSAFEDS

My understanding is that you cannot contribute to a health care FSA when you have an HSA/HDHP. You can however contribute to a dependent care FSA.
by BackOfTheNet
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K
Replies: 81
Views: 7978

Re: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K

How about a "new" 2016 Audi Q5 TDI. Really great engine and they are deeply discounted.
by BackOfTheNet
Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Las Vegas hotel
Replies: 44
Views: 4975

Re: Las Vegas hotel

No matter where you stay, make sure to tip $20 at check in!

http://www.frontdesktip.com/

This website has reports of success or failure from each hotel.
by BackOfTheNet
Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I being unreasonable? [Send daughter to private kindergarten]
Replies: 70
Views: 5021

Re: Am I being unreasonable?

What about at least trying the public school first? Obviously all schools are different, but we have a kindergartner in a middle-of-the-road public school and have been thrilled with it. In fact, my wife and I often remark that if we had the exact same experience but were paying private school price...
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New faster DNS - 1.1.1.1 by CloudFlare
Replies: 97
Views: 11201

Re: New faster DNS - 1.1.1.1 by CloudFlare

Sort of related to this is a neat project that allows you to block all ads on your home network. You just need a pretty inexpensive Raspberry Pi.

https://pi-hole.net/
by BackOfTheNet
Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco delivered a broken bed (threshold delivery)
Replies: 11
Views: 1412

Re: Costco delivered a broken bed (threshold delivery)

What about hiring someone to take the stuff and make the return in-store? Not an amazing outcome, but beats the 2 weeks of a broken bed in your room.
by BackOfTheNet
Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Present Value of a FERS Pension with a Spousal Benefit
Replies: 7
Views: 1282

Re: Present Value of a FERS Pension with a Spousal Benefit

I played with some numbers on immediateannuities.com . 1.2M buys $5,100 per month for life. Somewhere around there? Maybe more?
by BackOfTheNet
Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tires on a 15 year old car....Replace or not?
Replies: 79
Views: 7148

Re: Tires on a 15 year old car....Replace or not?

I just ran a quick quote at Costco and 4 new tires is $270 installed for a 2003 Buick Century. Not worth the risk, get them replaced.
by BackOfTheNet
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice re: Flat Fee Real Estate Brokers.
Replies: 59
Views: 4624

Re: Advice re: Flat Fee Real Estate Brokers.

Our arrangement was that to list on the MLS we needed to agree to pay 3% to a buyers agent if they had one. If somehow someone approached us without a Realtor, we would have saved the 3%.
by BackOfTheNet
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice re: Flat Fee Real Estate Brokers.
Replies: 59
Views: 4624

Re: Advice re: Flat Fee Real Estate Brokers.

I sold a house with a flat-fee type service. The selling agent charged something like $499 and that included putting the house on the MLS and providing a lock box. We also paid for professional pictures of the house. This was around $300. The way it works around here is that there is a hidden sectio...
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who Has a Low Hour Post-Retirement "Job" with Good Health Insurance?
Replies: 10
Views: 1909

Re: Who Has a Low Hour Post-Retirement "Job" with Good Health Insurance?

Federal employees can (in theory) work part time. You get a proportional amount of pay and benefits.

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversig ... b-sharing/
by BackOfTheNet
Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $500 gift card, what to do?
Replies: 42
Views: 4094

Re: $500 gift card, what to do?

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:08 pm
Wal*Mart. Go to the money center. If it still has $500 on it, ask for a money order for $499.30.
To me this is the best option. Second would be a $500 credit to Amazon (never expires, can't be lost). Don't mess with eBay, too many scams.