Search found 814 matches

by FinanceGeek
Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Ford Escape drivers in Boglehead-land?
Replies: 23
Views: 2349

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: 6296

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: 6296

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: 5549

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: 8751

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: 8751

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: 96
Views: 9664

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: 2017

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: 1725

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: 3988

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: 2609

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: 6312

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: 6312

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: 6730

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: 4468

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: 5762

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: 637

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: 2299

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 o...
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: 3690

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: 3690

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone have experience with Vanguard Flagship?
Replies: 28
Views: 4162

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: 1971

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: 2068

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: 4288

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: 19
Views: 1829

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: 8281

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: 8281

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...
by FinanceGeek
Sat May 07, 2016 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rebuilding a Deck
Replies: 15
Views: 2173

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: 17
Views: 2864

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: 6017

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...
by FinanceGeek
Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card FICOs and other Scores
Replies: 7
Views: 1148

Re: Credit Card FICOs and other Scores

Vantage indicates having too many new accounts in the last 2 years (i.e. credit cards ) as one of the main factors for the lower score. My FICO 8 score from Amex averages 800, but bounces +/- 30 points every month despite no change in my finances. It says I'm getting dinged for 2 reasons: - Lack of...
by FinanceGeek
Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How To Find My (retirement) Number?
Replies: 64
Views: 6126

Re: How To Find My (retirement) Number?

new2bogle2 wrote:
The Wizard wrote:Much of the answer depends on related topics:
1) many of us have SS coverage; do you and how big a monthly amount will it be?


How can I find this answer please?


https://www.ssa.gov/retire/estimator.html

As to your question of how much to save, here is a tool that can give you an idea of how much a high savings rate can help:

https://networthify.com/calculator/earlyretirement
by FinanceGeek
Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coin Collecting (will coins increase or decrease in value?)
Replies: 36
Views: 4198

Re: Coin Collecting (will coins increase or decrease in value?)

My parents and grandparents got badly burned collecting and investing in rare coins during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Looking back at it, there were several key issues: ⋅ Highly subjective grading, coupled with a market tendency towards very high price premiums among the highest grade...
by FinanceGeek
Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TLH: Just down lots or all? Does it matter?
Replies: 14
Views: 1386

Re: TLH: Just down lots or all? Does it matter?

I'm just going to have to get used to have a few funds representing an asset class. So much for simplicity... By the way FinanceGeek the last time I did a TLH and sat out for 31 days the fund (and all similar) shot back up. I won't do that again. That mistake cost me over $20k, ouch. I haven't been...
by FinanceGeek
Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TLH: Just down lots or all? Does it matter?
Replies: 14
Views: 1386

Re: TLH: Just down lots or all? Does it matter?

I think another best practice for TLH is to be willing to forever hold two funds in taxable covering the same asset class. #4. Yes, that's why it's a best practice to have two funds. If you are harvesting from Fund A to Fund B, then chances are you are short that asset class to begin with, so new c...
by FinanceGeek
Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best use of tax losses
Replies: 11
Views: 1106

Re: Best use of tax losses

If you own funds/ETFs, many of them pay out dividends once a year. You can find out in advance what these distributions will be and when. By selling right before the ex-dividend date you won't receive the dividend. On the ex-dividend date, the price of the fund should fall by approximately the value...
by FinanceGeek
Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy H&R block download, disk, or online
Replies: 7
Views: 816

Re: Buy H&R block download, disk, or online

Not storing your tax data in the cloud. If the tax prep programs get to the point where that's the only way they are offered, I'll go back to filling the forms out by hand and mailing them in.
by FinanceGeek
Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: phone bloop
Replies: 11
Views: 2195

Re: phone bloop

>> bloop electronic sound

Like a fax machine? I get called by faxes sometimes, they keep trying for awhile if they don't get through.
by FinanceGeek
Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I less protected with chip-and-signature?
Replies: 58
Views: 5008

Re: Am I less protected with chip-and-signature?

I've used Chip + Signature cards in Europe earlier this year. I noticed that it took 20-30 seconds to authorize my card, whereas here in the US the mag strip stuff seems to take < 5 seconds. Perhaps European cards authorize faster through European merchant banks than US cards do. But, if C+S systemi...
by FinanceGeek
Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Colorado Circle Tour
Replies: 28
Views: 2704

Re: Colorado Circle Tour

The PP auto highway is completely paved (although the parking lot at the top is dirt and often muddy). Its a safe enough drive IMHO and suitable for passenger cars, no need for an SUV. Make sure you have at least 1/2 tank of gas at the bottom. Definitely keep your eyes on the road, there are some na...
by FinanceGeek
Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical insurance policies ? ACA or the market ?
Replies: 28
Views: 2651

Re: Medical insurance policies ? ACA or the market ?

The new law changed the market. PJW In what ways? It caused price to go up for sure, but brought about other good for consumer changes as well. The new law was a game changer for millions of Americans who might want to retire before medicare eligibility. This is no small point given the nature of t...
by FinanceGeek
Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical insurance policies ? ACA or the market ?
Replies: 28
Views: 2651

Re: Medical insurance policies ? ACA or the market ?

All policies must comply with the ACA. Choosing a plan that's sold on the exchange permits you to receive a subsidy, if your income qualifies. Choosing a plan that isn't sold on the exchange bars you from receiving a subsidy. But at least in my state, there are many more plans sold off exchange than...
by FinanceGeek
Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Premium Car Rental Protection--Worth it?
Replies: 20
Views: 13903

Re: Amex Premium Car Rental Protection--Worth it?

I use the Amex premium car rental policy also. I agree that this policy will not prevent your personal driving record or insurance company from having a record of any accident you have. I think the advantage of using Amex is this: it avoids me having to pay what is otherwise a high deductible on my ...
by FinanceGeek
Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with $200,000.
Replies: 7
Views: 2340

Re: What to do with $200,000.

Maybe keep $65k in a CD ladder so that you can max out the Roth each year for the next 10 years, and invest the rest in a taxable 3-fund portfolio/Target Retirement Date fund. Eligibility for a Roth contribution is based on one's total income, but you also must have earned income to be eligible so ...
by FinanceGeek
Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tech jobs - is job-hopping the best way to get ahead?
Replies: 92
Views: 16405

Re: Tech jobs - is job-hopping the best way to get ahead?

Go into any company offices and see how many over 50 guys you can find doing coding. I bet you won't see many unless they are ones who hung around in the same job for decades. Unless they went on to management or some other line of work, they are probably not working. I see them at the gym during t...
by FinanceGeek
Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best European Cities for families, the outdoors and cycling
Replies: 58
Views: 8986

Re: Best European Cities for families, the outdoors and cycling

- lots to do outdoors (I love the mountains, lakes & ocean, being able to bike places) - great weather, i don't mind the heat, but don't like the rain or extreme cold - easy to get around by bike and public transportation - great for kids (public parks, safe, possibly good pre-K schools) - able...
by FinanceGeek
Sun May 17, 2015 5:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones
Replies: 155
Views: 40855

Re: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones

To go from $0 to $1M, one needs an infinite gain. To go from $100K to $1M, one one needs a 9X gain. To go from $1M to $2M, one needs a 1X gain. To go from $2M to $3M, one needs a 0.5X gain. In reality, once people hit a certain level of wealth they don't compound at the same rates they have in the ...
by FinanceGeek
Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Engineer's Guide to Investing
Replies: 32
Views: 4539

Re: The Engineer's Guide to Investing

This site's a bit old, but much of the advice he gives is still valid. Its definitely written from an engineer's perspective m Other posters dismissed the idea that engineers somehow have different financial investing needs than the average person. I would disagree. For engineers the ability to reti...
by FinanceGeek
Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds, REITs, Utilities, Commodities and Stocks down - Wow
Replies: 66
Views: 6280

Re: Bonds, REITs, Utilities, Commodities and Stocks down - W

One thing I have been thinking about for a while is the diversification benefit, if any, of having various asset classes. Sometimes it feels as if the correlation benefit has disappeared somewhat over the years. Perhaps a simple Target fund would be best. I still S+D, but only because it offers mor...