Search found 629 matches

by SRenaeP
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I have to report a thank-you dinner as income to the IRS?
Replies: 15
Views: 2081

Re: Do I have to report a thank-you dinner as income to the IRS?

You are legally allowed to gift an individual $14k a year. So you can gift them your service and they can gift you their appreciation. You can't do this if you are doing the service for their business. It's called personal not business gift. There is a business gift exception of only $25.00. I'm pr...
by SRenaeP
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best places to stay/visit in Panama
Replies: 6
Views: 600

Re: Best places to stay/visit in Panama

I have heard they have a canal that goes between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean (more or less). That would be something to see. Meh. I found the Panama Canal mildly interesting but not particularly enthralling. I second the recommendations for Boquete and Bocas del Toro. I wouldn't spend ...
by SRenaeP
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you budget for vacation?
Replies: 90
Views: 4844

Re: How much do you budget for vacation?

We don't budget for anything except saving/investing. We spend 6-7% of gross income annually on travel. For reference, we're early 40s DINKs who love to travel. We typically do (per year) one international trip, one long weekend skiing, one weeklong ski trip, one weeklong beach trip and a couple of ...
by SRenaeP
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrading a flight - what are your rules?
Replies: 40
Views: 3563

Re: Upgrading a flight - what are your rules?

My rule of thumb is asking myself what I could do with the cost of the upgrade when I arrive at my destination and if that is worth more to me than a few hours of discomfort. $1000 in Hawaii could make a lot of memories for a family. I've seen a few posters make similar statements. Are you saying t...
by SRenaeP
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrading a flight - what are your rules?
Replies: 40
Views: 3563

Re: Upgrading a flight - what are your rules?

BV3273 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:48 pm
Personal preference. For me anything over 3-4 hours is worth the upgrade. I find it miserable having someone's seat reclined and in my face.
Ditto. I upgrade to economy plus for anything more than ~3 hours unless I am able to book the exit row or bulkhead when making my reservation.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Smart Phone Thread, Low/Mid priced phones and carriers
Replies: 53
Views: 3387

Re: Another Smart Phone Thread, Low/Mid priced phones and carriers

Try Google Fi with a Google Nexus 5x phone (by LG). Great phone, great service, and it works in 135+ countries or so. Pay as you go: my bill is usually am under $30/ month; of course I'm not streaming videos all day. I was with Verizon for over 25 years (it was Airtouch back then), and have had man...
by SRenaeP
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why make more money?
Replies: 134
Views: 12868

Re: Why make more money?

Maybe we can also ask: why NOT make more money? Because after a certain level of need is met, many people value their time more than money. If that were not the case, many many people would have one or two part-time jobs in addition to their full-time jobs. For a lot of people, the goal is not to m...
by SRenaeP
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PayPal alternative?
Replies: 47
Views: 2403

Re: PayPal alternative?

But after finding out about the terrible PP customer service, I'm wondering if there's a good alternative. This is an issue for eBayers -- your family members aren't likely to claim that they never got the cash, are they? :happy Not sure where customer service would even factor in here. My kids swe...
by SRenaeP
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PayPal alternative?
Replies: 47
Views: 2403

Re: PayPal alternative?

But after finding out about the terrible PP customer service, I'm wondering if there's a good alternative. This is an issue for eBayers -- your family members aren't likely to claim that they never got the cash, are they? :happy Not sure where customer service would even factor in here. My kids swe...
by SRenaeP
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why make more money?
Replies: 134
Views: 12868

Re: Why make more money?

Reading from this thread, there are folks that wouldn't want to be at their job if not for money. They rather spent time at home and/or other leisure activities. It's sad that this group cannot find purpose and fulfillment with their career. It's horrible if you spend your entire working life witho...
by SRenaeP
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Declaring Tutoring Income
Replies: 16
Views: 2426

Re: Declaring Tutoring Income

there are several ways to avoid income tax on tutoring. ... 2. If she has a dedicated area such as a room that she uses to tutor students she can deduct up to $5 x the square feet of the room (up to $1500) as a home office deduction under IRS safe harbor. ... Note that dedicated really means dedica...
by SRenaeP
Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Smart Phone Thread, Low/Mid priced phones and carriers
Replies: 53
Views: 3387

Re: Another Smart Phone Thread, Low/Mid priced phones and carriers

I see the G5 Plus 64GB/4GB is on newegg for $225 as well, with a free Bluetooth speaker. https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16875209506&cm_re=g5_plus-_-75-209-506-_-Product Good point on the updates and security. I am probably oblivious to these, as I am on Android 4.something wit...
by SRenaeP
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why make more money?
Replies: 134
Views: 12868

Re: Why make more money?

Didn't Keynes predict that we would all be working 15 hours a week due to productivity gains? Perhaps that is exactly what we are seeing? However, instead of working their entire lives work 1/3rd the hours each week, we are seeing people choosing to work the full 40-45 hours, but do it for only 1/3...
by SRenaeP
Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why make more money?
Replies: 134
Views: 12868

Re: Why make more money?

"Thou Shall Prosper" by Rabbi Lapin has an interesting non-Boglehead take, recommending never retiring. He says getting paid shows someone values your work, you are adding value, so you should continue adding value to society by working. I recently finished this book (it took a couple of years to r...
by SRenaeP
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEP-IRA vs backdoor
Replies: 7
Views: 533

Re: SEP-IRA vs backdoor

Thanks for your responses! A couple of follow-up questions: 1) I understand now that the effective max contribution for a SEP IRA is 20%. 2) Can I do a SOLO 401K if I already have a 401K through my W2 earnings? 3) It sounds like it's not a good idea to do both a SEP-IRA and a backdoor conversion ("...
by SRenaeP
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?
Replies: 164
Views: 14922

Re: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?

The few times I've ever entertained using an FA, I always leave the meeting disgusted. I always know more than they do and they seem rather useless. However, I plan to meet with a fee-only CFP once the mortgage is paid off in order to get a sanity check as to if DH and I can semi-retire at that poin...
by SRenaeP
Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it possible to have a Traditional 401(k), Roth 401(k), Traditional IRA, and a Roth IRA account at the same time?
Replies: 23
Views: 1253

Re: Is it possible to have a Traditional 401(k), Roth 401(k), Traditional IRA, and a Roth IRA account at the same time?

A while ago I asked a question about Mega Backdoor Roth, and long story short I was told that I could open a Roth 401k account within my company, and contribute a maximum of 10% of my income to my 401(k) as after-tax contributions, then roll over the after-tax contributions to my Roth 401k along wi...
by SRenaeP
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling Tradelines
Replies: 37
Views: 2247

Re: Selling Tradelines

I wouldn't do it. I don't want a stranger with bad credit associated with my name, address or credit.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2304
Views: 411481

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Does closing a credit card after 1 year impact my credit in a significant way? Am I better off keeping these reward cards open? My score is around 820, no debt other than mortgage If we're talking just one card, probably not. I'm a light churner (hit the 5/24 wall) and my score has dropped to the 7...
by SRenaeP
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First visit to Hawaii (flight, Amex Plat benefits, extend stay?)
Replies: 53
Views: 3811

Re: First visit to Hawaii (flight, Amex Plat benefits, extend stay?)

Hi All, We're planning a 5-night stay at the Grand Hyatt in Kauai for my friends wedding in Sep 2018. Very excited!! For the HI folks...I have a couple of questions: 1. Re: the flight - we have enough Delta miles saved up to book C+ seats...have never flown anything but regular economy before on an...
by SRenaeP
Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Temporary Job Relocation
Replies: 8
Views: 784

Re: Temporary Job Relocation

As far as finances are concerned, I would also like the input from others here. I feel that I am in good shape but could always improve. I have been told that my employer would pay for my housing during this project (apartment rental). Two things I would like to get negotiated are my employer reimb...
by SRenaeP
Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card with large cash (or cash-equivalent) sign-up bonus
Replies: 25
Views: 3063

Re: Credit card with large cash (or cash-equivalent) sign-up bonus

The Citi Prestige currently has a 75K bonus on $7.5 spend. The points can be converted to statement credit at 1 cent per point. It does have a $450 annual fee. It also has a $250 airline credit you can "double dip" the first year, so potentially another $500 in cash back. If you don't spend on airl...
by SRenaeP
Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tips on helping spouse feel that we are truly FI?
Replies: 18
Views: 1631

Re: Tips on helping spouse feel that we are truly FI?

What's your end goal here? To convince your wife she should quit her job? If she doesn't want to, why push? Like another poster suggested, if she's okay with continuing to work and you quit, just do that. DH is more conservative than I am about what it means to be FI. In addition, he doesn't mind wo...
by SRenaeP
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2304
Views: 411481

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Thanks! We have (and will keep long term) a CSP already...so we get 2X on travel/dining and primary rental coverage. I've done the math and the jump to 3X for the CSR is not good for us long term. The higher AF plus the fee for an A/U (so we can transfer UR points to each others loyalty accounts - ...
by SRenaeP
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2304
Views: 411481

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Thanks! We have (and will keep long term) a CSP already...so we get 2X on travel/dining and primary rental coverage. I've done the math and the jump to 3X for the CSR is not good for us long term. The higher AF plus the fee for an A/U (so we can transfer UR points to each others loyalty accounts - ...
by SRenaeP
Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2304
Views: 411481

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

We're traveling in Dec and then to HI in Sep 2018 (to, from, plus an island hop) for sure...plus probably another flight mixed in there somewhere. Right now I'm eyeing cards that offer the GE or precheck credit because I'd like to nab that for all these flights coming up, and not eligible for the C...
by SRenaeP
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: School Redistricting - What should we do?
Replies: 96
Views: 7739

Re: School Redistricting - What should we do?

Option 5. Rent an apartment in a good school district. For example, a 1-bedroom apartment for $1,500/month, or $18k/year, will be cheaper than 2 x $25k = $50/year for a private school. School administrators already know about this trick (and the PO box). They can do a visit to the student's listed ...
by SRenaeP
Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LLC + tax deductions
Replies: 5
Views: 561

Re: LLC + tax deductions

Hello wise sages, I plan to quit my full-time day job and get into consulting and contracting work. In preparation, I have opened an LLC to help me protect my personal finances. The next thing I need to do is to research deductions, depreciation, tax benefits etc. Is there any good (hopefully free)...
by SRenaeP
Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to give money to relative traveling int'l - options?
Replies: 19
Views: 1261

Re: Want to give money to relative traveling int'l - options?

I wasn't aware it was no longer sold. However, when I scroll down the page you linked - "Have you heard about our new prepaid card? We’ve now launched our Travelex Money Card! Read more about all the great benefits and get yours now." -Steph 5.5% foreign exchange fee. Ouch. The fee seems to only ap...
by SRenaeP
Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to give money to relative traveling int'l - options?
Replies: 19
Views: 1261

Re: Want to give money to relative traveling int'l - options?

A younger relative of mine is taking an extended international trip. DW & I want to give them several hundred dollars in spending money, but don't want to give it in cash due to the impracticality of traveling with cash. I started looking for prepaid Mastercard/Visa debit cards with low/no foreign ...
by SRenaeP
Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to give money to relative traveling int'l - options?
Replies: 19
Views: 1261

Re: Want to give money to relative traveling int'l - options?

A younger relative of mine is taking an extended international trip. DW & I want to give them several hundred dollars in spending money, but don't want to give it in cash due to the impracticality of traveling with cash. I started looking for prepaid Mastercard/Visa debit cards with low/no foreign ...
by SRenaeP
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mega Backdoor Roth IRA - what to do with gains?
Replies: 19
Views: 2447

Re: Mega Backdoor Roth IRA - what to do with gains?

I like kicking the tax can down the road. I would put it in your trad IRA then roll the trad IRA back into your pre-tax 401k. -steph I'm just trying to follow what you're saying: since the gains from your after tax contributions are "pre-tax" you say roll them into a tIRA then roll them back into t...
by SRenaeP
Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Metro Atlanta Bogleheads Local Chapter
Replies: 59
Views: 9473

Re: Metro Atlanta Bogleheads Local Chapter

Is there anyone who is willing to take over as the coordinator for the Atlanta group? I recently started a new job which requires more business travel so life has gotten busy for me.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there anything I need to know before investing in an HSA?
Replies: 4
Views: 449

Re: Is there anything I need to know before investing in an HSA?

My HSA had a relatively high flat monthly fee for having the investment account open. It made it so that it only made sense to invest with ~$6K+ in the HSA. There was no additional fee for only using the base account that provides checking account level interest. Your company's HSA provider might b...
by SRenaeP
Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there anything I need to know before investing in an HSA?
Replies: 4
Views: 449

Is there anything I need to know before investing in an HSA?

My employer recently announced that for next year, we will be switching to only HDHP options for health insurance. Accordingly, I will be eligible to contribute to an HSA now. DH and I currently max out our 401ks and backdoor Roth IRAs as well as contribute a small amount to a taxable account. Our o...
by SRenaeP
Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mega Backdoor Roth IRA - what to do with gains?
Replies: 19
Views: 2447

Re: Mega Backdoor Roth IRA - what to do with gains?

I like kicking the tax can down the road. I would put it in your trad IRA then roll the trad IRA back into your pre-tax 401k.

-steph
by SRenaeP
Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: kids think lazy if retire?
Replies: 70
Views: 8453

Re: kids think lazy if retire?

I wasn't a teenager at the time but my mother retired early when she was 53. Older brother was already launched, I was in grad school and younger brother was in undergrad. I don't believe any of us thought she was being lazy. She had put in 30 years which seems long enough to me. If anything, it ins...
by SRenaeP
Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2304
Views: 411481

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

How long do you have to wait before you can reapply and get the signup bonus again? I closed and reopened in a bit more than three months, am pretty sure I will get the bonus, but only will know for sure in a few months when I am finished with the minimum spend. Checking back in. Did receive the Ba...
by SRenaeP
Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mobile phone SIM advice for multiple countries in Europe
Replies: 30
Views: 1878

Re: Mobile phone SIM advice for multiple countries in Europe

I just wanted to update this thread with my results on my current trip. I am using a FreedomPop Global SIM bought from Best Buy for $5. So far it has been great. I got service in the U.S., Dublin, Paris, Normandy, Brussels, Amsterdam, and London. It takes a few minutes to connect at first and somet...
by SRenaeP
Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?
Replies: 79
Views: 5749

Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

I had a 2004 Z4 3.0 for 6 years. It was a complete blast to drive and was generally trouble free. This car was therapy for me to drive to/from work. Living in AZ, the top was down at least 1 way to/from the office for 9 months out of the year. My wife did not like it as it sat too low for her and s...
by SRenaeP
Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else gotten totally bored with investing?
Replies: 127
Views: 15373

Re: Anyone else gotten totally bored with investing?

I've gotten bored with my investing as well. So I went out and bought a rental property! I'm definitely not bored anymore but only time will tell if it's a good investment. Ha. :P I think the boredom was a combination of always needing some type of 'project' to occupy my time and the fact that count...
by SRenaeP
Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please review my tax saving strategy
Replies: 17
Views: 1529

Re: Please review my tax saving strategy

I would choose B unless you also make significant cash donations each year. If so, donate appreciated shares and use the cash to pay for college.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Delta Air - various classes of service
Replies: 59
Views: 3917

Re: Delta Air - various classes of service

I frequently fly Delta but rarely check bags. That said, these days I would suspect the odds of your bag going missing have decreased. Delta (and you via their app) can track/monitor your bags. You can get a notification when it gets on the plane, off the plane, etc. In addition, they have a 'guara...
by SRenaeP
Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Delta Air - various classes of service
Replies: 59
Views: 3917

Re: Delta Air - various classes of service

I frequently fly Delta but rarely check bags. That said, these days I would suspect the odds of your bag going missing have decreased. Delta (and you via their app) can track/monitor your bags. You can get a notification when it gets on the plane, off the plane, etc. In addition, they have a 'guara...
by SRenaeP
Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Delta Air - various classes of service
Replies: 59
Views: 3917

Re: Delta Air - various classes of service

Premium Economy on Delta amounts to 5-6" extra legroom (which is huge if you are 6'2" like me) and free alcohol when the drink cart comes by. It isn't as nice as first class but, personally, I don't think first class is better enough to be worth paying that much extra for on a 6 hour flight (for a ...
by SRenaeP
Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Delta Air - various classes of service
Replies: 59
Views: 3917

Re: Delta Air - various classes of service

I was flying quite a bit from Orlando to Memphis for work. The first couple of flight were AirTran, but then they got bought out by Southwest. The only real option remaining was Delta. Since Delta charges for checked bags, the overhead bins tend to fill up quickly. This leads to having bags checked...
by SRenaeP
Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?
Replies: 170
Views: 14088

Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Encourage her to become well-educated so she and her spouse won't expect you to pay for it? (My wife and I paid for our own wedding.) I fully agree. If a couple can't afford the wedding they want, I think they should either go for a cheaper wedding or hold off on getting married until they can affo...
by SRenaeP
Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?
Replies: 170
Views: 14088

Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

Encourage her to become well-educated so she and her spouse won't expect you to pay for it? (My wife and I paid for our own wedding.) I fully agree. If a couple can't afford the wedding they want, I think they should either go for a cheaper wedding or hold off on getting married until they can affo...
by SRenaeP
Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hilton Vacation Getaways
Replies: 11
Views: 1349

Re: Hilton Vacation Getaways

Call the fraud line of your credit card. They can reverse the charge and prevent any more charges. No need to cancel the card. This isn't fraud or a scam though. It's what the OP's wife agreed to. Where she went wrong was just 'ignoring' the original e-mail. I've done these deals in the past with b...
by SRenaeP
Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Fi? pros/cons? anyone using it?
Replies: 53
Views: 5266

Re: Google Fi? pros/cons? anyone using it?

I tried Google Fi for a while but didn't like it. I also don't like the Nexus 5x but am somewhat making myself pay penance by waiting to get another phone. Unless you frequently travel internationally to numerous countries, I don't think the international capabilities are worth the hassle. I went b...