Search found 1072 matches

by bberris
Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental car totalled - amex insurance issue
Replies: 19
Views: 3199

Re: Rental car totalled - amex insurance issue

My rental car got stuck in a flooded road and was totaled. I rent on American Express card and pay for amex premium coverage as primary and assumed it will all be taken care of. After a couple of months I heard from the car rental company that amex is paying for approx 90% of the net ACV ( actual c...
by bberris
Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My ACA premiums went up 128% in 2019 anybody else get hit with big increases
Replies: 21
Views: 3351

Re: My ACA premiums went up 128% in 2019 anybody else get hit with big increases

With a heavily subsidized plan, you are paying the small difference between two large numbers, the premium on the plan you choose, and your subsidy. That difference is going to be volatile, even when there are smallish changes in the two large numbers.
by bberris
Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Retirement Is Broken And Needs To Be Reinvented
Replies: 174
Views: 11978

Re: Why Retirement Is Broken And Needs To Be Reinvented

What does it mean "overpromised" ? Why it is so difficult to account for deferred compensation ? Pensions don't necessarily have to be funded by contributions. If an employer offers a 150k/yr. salary, nobody bats an eye, but if they offer 100k/yr. plus 5k/yr. per year of service starting at age 65,...
by bberris
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Realize Losses vs Pay More Taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 672

Re: Realize Losses vs Pay More Taxes

.. the logic. Why would I want to realize a $30,000 loss instead of just paying an extra $6,000-$8,000 to the IRS? Sure, nobody wants to pay more taxes but to take a loss that is more than 3 times bigger than what I would have to send to Uncle Sam doesn't make sense to me. Is there something I'm no...
by bberris
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How far back can HSA Expenses go?
Replies: 14
Views: 1525

Re: How far back can HSA Expenses go?

I am a retiree using an HSA that I built up by deferring reimbursements while working. I can tell you that this concern about keeping receipts forever is a non-issue. First, I used a substantial portion of the HSA to fund COBRA premiums. Then high deductibles, dental, glasses, easily eat up the rest...
by bberris
Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing ACA income with a Vanguard Variable Annuity
Replies: 17
Views: 1385

Re: Managing ACA income with a Variable Annuity

Another possible plan is to change the CDs to lower yielding stock index funds in the taxable account, while changing to bonds in tax deferred account (so as to keep the same allocation). In 2019, a couple over 55 can put 9,000 per year into HSAs with a compliant plan. Of course, you can withdraw ta...
by bberris
Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Steak Dinner Annuity Pitch"
Replies: 60
Views: 7172

Re: "The Steak Dinner Annuity Pitch"

Even an article critical of FIAs can make a word slip that is misleading. The author says that the insurance company "adds money to your account" according to a formula. They don't add any money. They change a number on a computer. (OK, that's also what a bank does when they give you a loan). But th...
by bberris
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this annuity a good deal?
Replies: 9
Views: 1206

Re: Is this annuity a good deal?

That's an amazingly great deal for an annuity. That monthly amount is normal for an SPIA that is fixed for life. The 3% bump each year is basically *free*. That's awesome. I don't now how they can afford to give you that. (Well, they basically don't want to give you a lump sum for some reason, beca...
by bberris
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much will my T-Note be worth?
Replies: 14
Views: 1030

Re: How much will my T-Note be worth?

I think you want the yield-to-maturity.
Use the YIELD function on google sheets or Excel.
by bberris
Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mailing lithium ion battery internationally - how ?
Replies: 8
Views: 810

Re: mailing lithium ion battery internationally - how ?

samsdad wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:18 am
Where was that battery made? Surely it wasn’t born here, i.e., it was shipped before.

Also, looks like you can buy them on eBay.
It was shipped on a ship.
by bberris
Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows to Android file transfer over Wifi?
Replies: 7
Views: 414

Re: Windows to Android file transfer over Wifi?

ASUS file manager app.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... r&hl=en_US
Despite the name, it will go on any android phone.
Use the PC file transfer button
by bberris
Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High premiums on life insurance from financial advisor?
Replies: 13
Views: 947

Re: High premiums on life insurance from financial advisor?

Why did you sign up for YRT? This was my financial advisors idea and I didn't understand it fully at the time. My understanding however is that at my age I can get the full $3MM benefit cheapest by mixing GLT and YRT for the next, say, 10 years then switching the YRT to GLT at a later date. I don't...
by bberris
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA cliff and MAGI; to ACA or Cobra?
Replies: 9
Views: 795

Re: ACA cliff and MAGI; to ACA or Cobra?

You can take another 2,000 hsa deduction if you are both over 55.
I think you are better off taking PTO in 2018. Are the taxes on that sum more than the difference between cobra and ACA after subsidy?
by bberris
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Navigating Venice Italy Transportation System
Replies: 19
Views: 1413

Re: Navigating Venice Italy Transportation System

A water taxi is a custom ride at a high price. Just like it sounds. A vaporetto is a bus on water, still kind of expensive, but it is mass transit. And a traghetto is a quick cheap ride across the canal. Eating in Venice does not have to be expensive, and in some places is downright cheap. Just don'...
by bberris
Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Navigating Venice Italy Transportation System
Replies: 19
Views: 1413

Re: Navigating Venice Italy Transportation System

It's hard to imagine how small Venice is. If you want to save some money, and you are traveling light, you can walk from Piazzale Roma (where the airport bus drops you off) to St Marks in 30 min, faster than the boat. There are steps and little bridges (and the Rialto Bridge) so luggage could be a p...
by bberris
Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Falling off the ACA subsidy cliff
Replies: 62
Views: 5064

Re: Falling off the ACA subsidy cliff

... Strats that leave you poorer: Go to the doctor and spend enough money to generate deductible medical expenses (if you are itemizing, which is getting more rare nowadays). Donate to charity. Charitable deductions do not reduce your ACA income. Only medical expenses in excess of 10 % of your inco...
by bberris
Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Falling off the ACA subsidy cliff
Replies: 62
Views: 5064

Re: Falling off the ACA subsidy cliff

If less than 60 days have elapsed since your IRA withdrawal you can redeposit it (rollover, even to the same account). Make sure you specify rollover deposit to the broker. If you have earned income (from working) you can deposit to an IRA. If your health plan is HSA compliant, you can make a deposi...
by bberris
Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: First U.S. Penny Will Be Auctioned for 100 Million Times Its Monetary Value
Replies: 13
Views: 2447

Re: First U.S. Penny Will Be Auctioned for 100 Million Times Its Monetary Value

F150HD wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:01 pm
Thats one heck of an investment.....for 1 cent.

...
8.5 % annual return
by bberris
Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to Minnesota
Replies: 28
Views: 2892

Re: Moving to Minnesota

I assume a promotion means more money, and since we have a 7-9% state income tax, we're happy to have you! Not sure if I should send congrats or condolences. We also have higher sales tax. Can you move to Hudson, or stay on the WI side, since you're already a resident? White Bear Lake is 5-10 miles...
by bberris
Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Return of Capital Transaction - should I opt in or out
Replies: 5
Views: 625

Re: Return of Capital Transaction - should I opt in or out

There is a tender offer for the stock, at about $45, the current market price. Me, I would sell it all and diversify, unless this would be a big tax liability.
by bberris
Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Level Premium Term Life is Whole-Life Lite
Replies: 2
Views: 304

Level Premium Term Life is Whole-Life Lite

When arguing against whole life policies, the alternative is usually level-premium term. I realized that level premium term has a little savings account aspect to it, albeit one you cannot access as easily as whole life. To see this, realize that your risk of dying increases each year, but your prem...
by bberris
Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advise on term vs whole life
Replies: 31
Views: 2267

Re: Advise on term vs whole life

... 4) Arguments that money is "being thrown away" in term life are specious. Insurance is insurance. Nobody argues that you are "throwing money away" in your homeowner's or auto insurance even if you never make a claim. The argument doesn't come up with other kinds of insurance protection because ...
by bberris
Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advise on term vs whole life
Replies: 31
Views: 2267

Re: Advise on term vs whole life

After running the number for term vs whole the monthly cost difference was not much but I'm in excellent health. This is hard to believe - monthly cost difference between term and whole life is not much? Many times, whole life is about 10 times as expensive as term for the same amount of coverage. ...
by bberris
Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: COBRA clarification (loophole?)
Replies: 13
Views: 1022

Re: COBRA clarification (loophole?)

For those that advocate immediate COBRA enrollment, you should know that it is usually not even possible. After termination, the forms are sent to your house with some delay, so that at least one month without coverage will pass in any event. Yes, you can wait two months to see if your benefits woul...
by bberris
Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lufthansa Premium Economy
Replies: 47
Views: 8506

Re: Lufthansa Premium Economy

For cheapskates, before you buy premium economy, check seat selection to see how many empty seats there are in the back. You can stretch out and sleep in those center seats, 3 or 4 wide, on a typical off-season flight.
by bberris
Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you include this in a will?
Replies: 23
Views: 3608

Re: Can you include this in a will?

If you don’t want heirs fighting over your will, can you add a condition that any one who challenges it, forfeits their bequest? Some states allow it. If the will is determined invalid, all of the provisions, included terrorem, are invalid. So, you have to bequeath something of significant value to...
by bberris
Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Heavy Loss in Stable Value Fund of 401k investments
Replies: 32
Views: 4270

Re: Heavy Loss in Stable Value Fund of 401k investments

The stability is only offered, and only offerable, if the investment is continually available to participants. The scheme works because participants are more or less trapped into the option while they are employed. So withdrawals can be met with new deposits, or a small amount of borrowing by the f...
by bberris
Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is dividend yield a part of expected future returns
Replies: 15
Views: 1152

Re: Why is dividend yield a part of expected future returns

But in all these dividend threads, isn't it agreed that the share price of the stock goes down by the amount of the dividend leaving a net zero gain? I guess I'm still confused. Right. So if no dividend was paid, what would have been the dividend would appear as a price/value increase. The point is...
by bberris
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do index funds do when firm's market cap drops?
Replies: 17
Views: 1550

Re: What do index funds do when firm's market cap drops?

An index fund does not have to rebalance because one component is revalued against another by the market. The components are cap-weighted, so changes in value are changes in total capitalization. The fund would only need to trade if the index itself is changed.
by bberris
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Heavy Loss in Stable Value Fund of 401k investments
Replies: 32
Views: 4270

Re: Heavy Loss in Stable Value Fund of 401k investments

The part that is disturbing to me: I had heard of stable value funds loosing money when the employer or an insurance company providing the insurance wrapper had gone out of business. I hadn't heard about a case of stable value funds loosing money (and having the loss passed on to the investors in t...
by bberris
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buyers commission on a condo purchase
Replies: 29
Views: 1847

Re: Buyers commission on a condo purchase

The $400 is probably the Broker Admin fee. This a fee that goes to the Brokerage to cover admin support plus just general office expenses . (Ours is $499). I will waive the fee for the client, and pay it myself, for larger sales. Like staples, paper clips and coffee creamer? Sounds like the doc fee...
by bberris
Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Treasuries safe?
Replies: 33
Views: 1712

Re: Treasuries safe?

How safe are they? If China starts to sell as well as Saudi Arabia what will US do to insure treasuries are stable and safe? Treasury securities are safe in the sense that you will always get paid at maturity. Ignore anyone who says things like "normal underwriting ...". This just does not apply to...
by bberris
Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gore-tex warranty experience
Replies: 7
Views: 887

Re: Gore-tex warranty experience

Try washing and putting it through the drier on high. Directions should be on the coat.
by bberris
Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Argument for taking social security before 70. Comments?
Replies: 134
Views: 10388

Re: Argument for taking social security before 70. Comments?

No matter how you refine mortality statistics, they are of little use in predicting when you will die. The average, or median is just that. The range of mortalities is broad and disperse around the median or mean. To me, it is more important to have a plan that will allow you to live the life you wa...
by bberris
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State taxes on income after moving? Double taxation?
Replies: 4
Views: 558

Re: State taxes on income after moving? Double taxation?

Some states (MN and LA) only tax part year residents on the investment income earned while resident, and earned income while working in the state. But the overall tax rate is determined by total taxable income in all states. You can look at the part-year/non-resident tax forms to see how this works.
by bberris
Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What purchase saved you the most money?
Replies: 136
Views: 13073

Re: What purchase saved you the most money?

No one volunteering "Prenup?"
by bberris
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: REI Adventures
Replies: 16
Views: 1960

Re: REI Adventures

I have enjoyed going on Sierra Club outings. They have backpack, basecamp, hotel .. But I could find no trip to Banff right now.
by bberris
Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Windows 10 Update might cause data loss [Build 1809]
Replies: 22
Views: 2353

Re: Microsoft Windows 10 Update might cause data loss

Update corrupted my video drivers, and no way to reinstall them or roll back. Restore point would not work. I had to restore from a system backup.
by bberris
Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Shorting and buying a stock in two accounts (one is retirement account)
Replies: 19
Views: 1387

Re: Shorting and buying a stock in two accounts (one is retirement account)

quantAndHold wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:50 am
It’s gambling. If any of us actually knew that we could reliably gain/lose $5k between now and the end of the year, don’t you think we would all do it?
The gamble has a 4:1 payoff. He wants to generate a loss in taxable to gain the ACA subsidy.
by bberris
Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Take the hit or ride it out?
Replies: 21
Views: 3727

Re: Take the hit or ride it out?

Thanks to all for taking the trouble to reply to my question. I’m 48 and intend to settle in the USA permanently. Converting in excess of £1 million into USD at a 30 year low exchange rate just feels like bad business to me,when I do have the option to hold it sterling denominated UK equities and t...
by bberris
Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tesla Class Action Lawsuit..... Should I Join ?
Replies: 18
Views: 2452

Re: Tesla Class Action Lawsuit..... Should I Join ?

All you have to do to join the suit is ... nothing. In a few years after a settlement is reached, you will file a claim, probably online, stating your loss. This should only take a few minutes. You are in the class automatically if you qualify (sounds like you will). In a few years, you might get a ...
by bberris
Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accepting a Contingency Offer
Replies: 24
Views: 1517

Re: Accepting a Contingency Offer

No. Nope. No.
You are giving the buyer a free option to buy with no expiration. They could take forever to sell their house (how do you know it is priced right?).
Counter without the contingency.
by bberris
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is it so much cheaper to borrow money in Euros?
Replies: 19
Views: 2187

Re: Why is it so much cheaper to borrow money in Euros?

OECD data from 2017 https://data.oecd.org/conversion/purchasing-power-parities-ppp.htm shows PPP of 0.750 for the Euro using-countries. That means an exchange rate of 1.333 dollars per euro gives you equal purchasing power in the US and Euro zone. The current exchange rate is 1.17. In order to buy t...
by bberris
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is it so much cheaper to borrow money in Euros?
Replies: 19
Views: 2187

Re: Why is it so much cheaper to borrow money in Euros?

euro loans have also much lower rates. euro bank accounts offer lower rates as well What I cannot understand is why USD value respect euro doesn't decrease at the difference of the rate. It would seem you can arbitrage the whole thing (get a loan in euros, invest in USD, pay back in Euros) As I thi...
by bberris
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using 401k loans to max tax advantaged accounts early in career
Replies: 29
Views: 1974

Re: Using 401k loans to max tax advantaged accounts early in career

It seems like an unnecessarily complicated way to increase your risk. ... Risk is not increased. The 401k loan does not generate leverage, because it is not really a loan; it's a withdrawal. On the other hand, you are not really increasing your 401k balance. When you take out the loan and make cont...
by bberris
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA - AGI and MAGI ... The cliff ahead. need deductions
Replies: 5
Views: 756

Re: ACA - AGI and MAGI ... The cliff ahead. need deductions

... I've had some experience with wash sales. I will probably buy some of the losses back after allowing enough time to pass ... ? If you close out the position with the wash sale (sell what you bought that created the wash) during the year, you will keep that tax loss. That erases the wash. Buying...
by bberris
Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% Bonds to boost returns?
Replies: 61
Views: 6690

Re: 100% Bonds to boost returns?

It looks like you are comparing nominal (after inflation) stock returns with absolute (before inflation) returns from bonds. Assuming an efficient market, bonds would not offer expected returns higher than stocks.
by bberris
Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hard Credit Inquiry from Credco
Replies: 10
Views: 1375

Re: Hard Credit Inquiry from Credco

I had an inquiry from Credco when I applied for a mortgage from one company. Then my mortgage company wanted an explanation of who this Credco was and why did they check my credit.
by bberris
Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to exchange dollars to euros?
Replies: 49
Views: 4204

Re: Best place to exchange dollars to euros?

michaeljc70 wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:47 am
I don't want to hijack the thread, but does TDA reimburse international ATM fees? I know they do domestically.
I think so, but there should not be any in Europe. If they don't do it automatically, call them and they will probably credit you.
by bberris
Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to exchange dollars to euros?
Replies: 49
Views: 4204

Re: Best place to exchange dollars to euros?

ATM at the airport in Europe to get your initial money and then other ATMs in europe Yes and no. Some airport ATMs (Travelex) dispense a variety of currencies and have awful fees/exchange rates. On the other hand, a bank ATM located in the airport should be fine. In my experience, European ATMs own...