Search found 833 matches

by FinanceGeek
Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best insurance company for auto, renters, umbrella insurance
Replies: 28
Views: 1931

Re: Best insurance company for auto, renters, umbrella insurance

yosemite_mountain wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:22 pm
I'm more interested in track record on paying claims?
Amica has been excellent for us in that regard - we have made claims on both home and auto policies over the years, and the claims were paid promptly and fairly in all cases.
by FinanceGeek
Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to live post-FIRE - taxes, ACA offerings, asset protection, weather
Replies: 6
Views: 1297

Re: Where to live post-FIRE - taxes, ACA offerings, asset protection, weather

>> ACA offerings on exchange: PPO option(s) with decent provider network available (vs. only HMO/EPO). I have the same concerns about RE on an ACA plan and being limited to very narrow networks and prescription formularies, and have researched this extensively. Here are 2 good sources of data about ...
by FinanceGeek
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance Options For FIRE Newly Diagnosed with Cancer
Replies: 22
Views: 2474

Re: Health Insurance Options For FIRE Newly Diagnosed with Cancer

Jessica, I think you're completely correct in the idea to move to a PPO plan. The whole purpose of any insurance is to protect against catastrophic events, and with a cancer diagnosis you've got one. You absolutely want access to the broadest network of providers possible. Its good you're in Oregon,...
by FinanceGeek
Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No out of network coverage
Replies: 61
Views: 3685

Re: No out of network coverage

The narrow networks of individual healthcare plans gives me pause to RE. There are a few states which still offer PPO-type plans. Florida is one, at least in some counties you can buy BCBS PPOs which have access to a nationwide network via the BlueCard. Has anybody chosen a state for RE based on the...
by FinanceGeek
Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Testing home drinking water
Replies: 7
Views: 690

Re: Testing home drinking water

Here's one for $70, $60 if you live in MI:
https://freshwaterfuture.org/services/water-testing/
by FinanceGeek
Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Testing home drinking water
Replies: 7
Views: 690

Re: Testing home drinking water

It depends on whether you're trying to test a private water supply like a cistern or well, or a public water supply. The public health department where you live should provide some rudimentary testing for coliform (bacteria), etc. at minimal cost. If you want something more in depth and are willing ...
by FinanceGeek
Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth In The Future
Replies: 4
Views: 722

Re: Roth In The Future

Its likely we'll have a Federal level sales tax (VAT) in the future. That will affect Roth and Traditional IRA monies equally.
by FinanceGeek
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Subrogation due to accident
Replies: 27
Views: 3357

Re: Subrogation due to accident

Our insurance company (Westfield) advised us to file a claim through their insurance (American Family) as they thought the process would be a lot smoother. Well it hasn't been. This is why I have Amica, they don't abandon their customers. +1. Part of the service you pay for and your insurance compa...
by FinanceGeek
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should Roth & Traditional accounts be invested similarly?
Replies: 16
Views: 1365

Re: Should Roth & Traditional accounts be invested similarly?

Tax-inefficient investments which yield non-qual dividends should generally be held in tax-deferred accounts like an IRA (traditional or Roth). But since Roth's have no RMDs, consider seeding those with assets that are both tax-inefficient and have the potential for significant gains: https://www.ad...
by FinanceGeek
Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage door openers - please compare Chamberlain B970, B980, B1381?
Replies: 24
Views: 5998

Re: Garage door openers - please compare Chamberlain B970, B980, B1381?

Welcome to the forum. In general, we are probably not the best forum to discuss detailed reviews of consumer products. You might check out Amazon reviews of the openers you're considering. Or these sites: https://www.consumersearch.com/garage-door-openers https://bestreviews.com/best-garage-door-ope...
by FinanceGeek
Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Retiring to USA from Australia
Replies: 22
Views: 1592

Re: Retiring to USA from Australia

Maybe a naive question, but does US medicare offer any reciprocity for those covered by the Australian version?

If not, I'd say the whole idea of retiring in the US is pretty much unworkable, unless they just stay for periods of time that can be covered with short-term medical policies.
by FinanceGeek
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Freezing credit reports and opening CDs
Replies: 22
Views: 2199

Re: Freezing credit reports and opening CDs

Eliminates pins. This is crazy dumb. Criminals already have the answers to all the security questions that they ask to verify identify, so without the pin, criminals could easily unfreeze my credit. Makes the whole process useless. If a criminal can hacks into a credit bureau they have the PIN too....
by FinanceGeek
Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is window replacement this expensive?
Replies: 27
Views: 5208

Re: Is window replacement this expensive?

The original windows in our home were faulty and warped within ~10 years to the point they leaked and we couldn't open/close them easily. We replaced them with Milgard casement fibreglass/woodclad. The windows were of varying sizes, but from what I recall it was ~$1500 per window including removal o...
by FinanceGeek
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How safe are retirement accounts?
Replies: 19
Views: 2069

Re: How safe are retirement accounts?

In many countries that have instituted a VAT, it has largely replaced is in addition to the income tax. In this scenario, withdrawals from Roth IRAs (assuming they are "consumed)" would be taxed just like withdrawals from a Traditional IRA. Fixed it for you. Income taxes haven't gone away in Europe...
by FinanceGeek
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security at age 62 perhaps?
Replies: 57
Views: 6774

Re: Social Security at age 62 perhaps?

My mother lived to be 69, that number always weighs on me when I think this question...
by FinanceGeek
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Report; best method
Replies: 17
Views: 1274

Re: Credit Report; best method

This article explains the methods of obtaining reports: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports. I think calling is better than using the web interface (which the last time I tried to use them demanded my email address, which I prefer not to give out). But since you're calling...
by FinanceGeek
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Someone spoofing my phone number?
Replies: 66
Views: 7266

Re: Someone spoofing my phone number?

tibbitts wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:50 am
This happens all the time. My cell phone block list is full and I can't add any more entries.
I think the system needs to move from a black list model (list every number who can't call you) to a white list model (only authorized phone numbers get through, everyone else gets voicemail).
by FinanceGeek
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Savings - Is it enough?
Replies: 38
Views: 5087

Re: 529 Savings - Is it enough?

Another aspect of funding 529 plans versus keeping money for education, in taxable, UGMA accounts, iBonds, etc. is that 529 plans have Federal and in many cases State asset protection features that protect the funds against claims made on the Donor, Owner, or Beneficiary. Depending on the state, the...
by FinanceGeek
Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Ford Escape drivers in Boglehead-land?
Replies: 23
Views: 2976

Re: Any Ford Escape drivers in Boglehead-land?

I have a 2017 Escape AWD as a work vehicle. I've only put 10k miles on it so far but no complaints here. I am averaging 24mpg combined city and highway driving. I do a good deal of highway driving though. I drive a lot and have had many different vehicles and can be nitpicky. If I had to nitpick it...
by FinanceGeek
Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Security
Replies: 66
Views: 10896

Re: Fidelity Security

AAA wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:26 pm
Okay, but just to confirm (as I'm not sure a Fidelity rep would necessarily know or share): Symantec doesn't know your Fidelity password, right?
As far as I know, Symantec only provides the second factor: a 6 digit number which changes every 30 seconds.
by FinanceGeek
Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Security
Replies: 66
Views: 10896

Re: Fidelity Security

I am also interested in how this works especially if one has both Fidelity and Etrade. Etrade also use Symantec VIP access. It works great, just give both vendors your Symantec VIP key. With Fidelity you type the 6 digit code into a separate web page after putting in your password. With Etrade you ...
by FinanceGeek
Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the main purpose of holding your current job?
Replies: 66
Views: 7483

Re: What is the main purpose of holding your current job?

1.5 --> it provides access to large group health insurance, with a much better provider network than I could get (at any price) with individual HI
by FinanceGeek
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare 2018
Replies: 74
Views: 11781

Re: ObamaCare 2018

With my insurance, even though the deductible doesn't kick in until $7500, I typically get 30-90% off. Doctors tend to be on the lower end, but blood work and CT scans tend to be closer to 90% off. I've always wondered why the insurance companies don't sell "membership" in their negotiated pricing ...
by FinanceGeek
Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare 2018
Replies: 74
Views: 11781

Re: ObamaCare 2018

It's going to be a race to the bottom in most states this year. Which company can provide the worst network at a price that people still find halfway reasonable? Exactly. What's missing from the KFF's otherwise excellent article is a discussion of the range of provider network sizes and out of netw...
by FinanceGeek
Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it still worth buying a house in a state with insane property taxes
Replies: 106
Views: 14361

Re: Is it still worth buying a house in a state with insane property taxes

Property taxes per se don't matter. The question is whether the overall cost - mortgage payment, insurance, and taxes - is worth it. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter to you how much of the check goes to the government and how much goes to the bank. It is possible that a house with higher ta...
by FinanceGeek
Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house in FEMA flood zone X
Replies: 30
Views: 12231

Re: Buying a house in FEMA flood zone X

From the FEMA website http://www.floodmaps.com/zones.htm Zone X - Areas determined to be outside 500-year floodplain determined to be outside the 1% and 0.2% annual chance floodplains. We are concerned about the flood zone X. Should we buy it or not? Any advice. We are currently under attorney revie...
by FinanceGeek
Tue May 23, 2017 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance Company "Case Manager"
Replies: 15
Views: 3625

Re: Health Insurance Company "Case Manager"

Anybody who works for any company is either there to make money or save money. If you are being contacted by someone who isn't trying to sell you something, its the latter!
by FinanceGeek
Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best vacuum cleaner for pet hair?
Replies: 38
Views: 6343

Re: Best vacuum cleaner for pet hair?

About 20 years ago, I bought a Miele White Pearl canister vacuum with a motorized power head to deal with pet hair. It's needed a couple of belt changes and one replacement of the power cord winder over the years, but still works great. It wasn't cheap, and I don't think its made any more. I'd defin...
by FinanceGeek
Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip Ideas - San Francisco & Northern CA
Replies: 31
Views: 3719

Re: Trip Ideas - San Francisco & Northern CA

rob wrote:- Love coastal cliffs & rock pools.
Point Lobos in Carmel. Try to go on a weekday to avoid the crowds.
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=571
by FinanceGeek
Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a rental car.. Any new experience?
Replies: 76
Views: 10187

Re: Buying a rental car.. Any new experience?

What about Enterprise that, apparently, acquires a lot of its used cars for sale at such auctions? Do other car rental companies acquire cars for sale that are nor their former rentals? This is a very serious claim. Do you have any evidence that Enterprise sells vehicles which were not part of thei...
by FinanceGeek
Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a rental car.. Any new experience?
Replies: 76
Views: 10187

Re: Buying a rental car.. Any new experience?

I have bought several SUVs from Enterprise Car Sales over the years. They were one of the first to offer a 7 day period in which we could unwind the sale if we changed our mind. Never did that, but the option to do so was very much an influence in buying from them versus a used car generally. The ve...
by FinanceGeek
Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity drops equity trade fee to $4.95
Replies: 69
Views: 9117

Re: Fidelity drops equity trade fee to $4.95

I don't trade often, so a $3 savings on commission is not significant. Not getting a good price execution versus current bid/ask can easily wind up costing more than the commission...
by FinanceGeek
Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Reaches $4 Trillion for First Time
Replies: 25
Views: 5320

Re: Vanguard Reaches $4 Trillion for First Time

Its great that Vanguard (and passive investing generally) have achieved such preeminence.

That having been said - I choose to hold my Vanguard ETFs at Fidelity. This combines the superior player in passive investing with the superior player in customer relationship management. Best of both worlds.
by FinanceGeek
Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best car rental website?
Replies: 50
Views: 6766

Re: Best car rental website?

I have used rentalcars.com for finding rentals in foreign countries and it has always come back cheaper than booking directly through the vendor's website. Sample size of 2 rentals, but it worked great for me.
by FinanceGeek
Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommenations for Travel 220 to 110V transformer
Replies: 11
Views: 938

Re: Recommenations for Travel 220 to 110V transformer

Virtually all electronic items such as you mentioned work on both input voltages, check your gear to confirm required input voltage. Usually all you need is a few plug converters...plug the US appliance into the plug converter and then into the foreign wall socket. There are many folks who sell what...
by FinanceGeek
Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: need advice: How can housewives get credit cards?
Replies: 15
Views: 2760

Re: need advice: How can housewives get credit cards?

My wife is a SAHM. Over the years, she and I have applied for several credit cards as joint applicants, listing my salary income under the part of the application that asks about "household income". Got approved no problem, we each received cards, and the payment history shows up on both of our indi...
by FinanceGeek
Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving ownership of Vanguard Brokerage account to revocable living trust
Replies: 28
Views: 9676

Re: Moving ownership of Vanguard Brokerage account to revocable living trust

Is there a fee to buy/sell those ETFs? Are these expenses the same as the Admiral Funds? The old adage you get what you pay for sometimes applies. Due to the scale of their business and nature of Vanguard (it is owned by the funds themselves) you tend to get more than you pay for. At Fidelity, I pa...
by FinanceGeek
Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving ownership of Vanguard Brokerage account to revocable living trust
Replies: 28
Views: 9676

Re: Moving ownership of Vanguard Brokerage account to revocable living trust

It is in the interest of some of us that Vanguard not spend money on customer service and continue the downward evolution of fund costs. The question is what is the best method to make the product available to investors without getting into the business of servicing accounts . Maybe there should be...
by FinanceGeek
Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone have experience with Vanguard Flagship?
Replies: 28
Views: 8390

Re: Anyone have experience with Vanguard Flagship?

IMHO: Fidelity is better than Vanguard in terms of their website, 24x7 customer service, breadth of offerings, and availability of walk-in centers Vanguard is better than Fidelity in terms of offering a wide variety of low cost index funds and reasonably priced, well performing active funds My perso...
by FinanceGeek
Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cancer Insurance
Replies: 23
Views: 2378

Re: Cancer Insurance

Let me preface this with I'm pretty green when it comes to medical insurance options. It was my understanding that typically, most health insurance plans have an out of pocket maximum for both in network facilities and out of network facilities. This amount is capped to be the most you would have t...
by FinanceGeek
Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some urgent health insurance questions
Replies: 22
Views: 2738

Re: Some urgent health insurance questions

michaeljc70 wrote:COBRA will almost surely be more expensive than an ACA plan.
This is because individual plans typically have narrower networks (e.g. HMO) than COBRA continuation of large group plans (e.g. PPO). Investigate this if there is a need or desire to be able to see docs outside the "network".
by FinanceGeek
Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Big move to Texas Hill Country (Round Rock/Georgetown area)
Replies: 55
Views: 6420

Re: Considering Big move to Texas Hill Country (Round Rock/Georgetown area)

1. Be prepared for high property taxes. The money not collected in state income taxes has to come from somewhere to run state government and very expensive schools so it is largely funded via high property taxes. I would favor an area with high income taxes but low property taxes for retirement. Pr...
by FinanceGeek
Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: White list +CAPTCHA type solutions for land-lines?
Replies: 22
Views: 2431

Re: White list +CAPTCHA type solutions for land-lines?

Here's my current solution. Can block 250 numbers, you can also specify patterns that block multiple numbers.

The biggest issue is that a significant percentage of junk calls contain phony Caller Id.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ISKW534
by FinanceGeek
Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career path and cost of living.
Replies: 63
Views: 9722

Re: Career path and cost of living.

Obviously appreciation is all about timing. Your FL home would have been a good investment in 2009:) Good point. Appreciation of your primary residence isn't desirable unless it can be monetized. You can sell your home and buy a cheaper one, or borrow from the equity and invest it in some way, or l...
by FinanceGeek
Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career path and cost of living.
Replies: 63
Views: 9722

Re: Career path and cost of living.

The "I'm an engineer, HCOL or LCOL?" question has been discussed a lot on this site. I've lived in both types of areas. My viewpoint is quite simple. The salaries in both areas are not much different, especially when adjusted for the cost of housing. The main/only advantage of an HCOL area is the em...
by FinanceGeek
Sat May 07, 2016 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rebuilding a Deck
Replies: 15
Views: 2958

Re: Rebuilding a Deck

Synthetic materials are great, but there are some caveats I learned the hard way with a ~600 sq ft deck built over 10 years ago with first generation Trex. The Trex we used (first generation, untextured) is VERY slippery when wet and darker colors get VERY hot in the sun. So be careful walking on it...
by FinanceGeek
Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For those of you who immediately sell employee stock from ESPP…
Replies: 18
Views: 5522

Re: For those of you who immediately sell employee stock from ESPP…

In my mind, I was thinking participating and then selling immediately was almost a sure thing b/c I didn’t think stocks dropped that much that quickly unless during a total market crash. However, in looking at some data, it happens more often than that. Yes, stocks seem to be able to move down much...
by FinanceGeek
Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you stop robo-calls/unwanted calls?
Replies: 60
Views: 10118

Re: How do you stop robo-calls/unwanted calls?

I have Century Link landline. There is a *60 service that is bundled with my plan that is supposed to block calls, but in reality it only works for a small subset of phone numbers in my LATA. In reality most of the robocalls come from toll free area codes and don't qualify. In practice the *60 featu...