Search found 647 matches

by Gray
Sat May 18, 2019 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit union for mortgage?
Replies: 26
Views: 1441

Re: Best credit union for mortgage?

Anyone can get a loan with Ally (assuming they have good credit).

If anyone wants the details for the Ally loan officer that worked with me, send me a PM.
by Gray
Sat May 18, 2019 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit union for mortgage?
Replies: 26
Views: 1441

Re: Best credit union for mortgage?

I had the opposite experience with Navy. Good customer service. Granted, they let you search for a loan officer and read real customer reviews before you choose one. I also worked with Ally and their customer service was even better. I used them to get Navy to lower their rate (I had locked with Nav...
by Gray
Sat May 18, 2019 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit union for mortgage?
Replies: 26
Views: 1441

Re: Best credit union for mortgage?

Navy Federal used DocuSign for everything. I never had to physically sign a document until closing.
by Gray
Fri May 17, 2019 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit union for mortgage?
Replies: 26
Views: 1441

Re: Best credit union for mortgage?

I have a jumbo with Navy Federal. They hold their jumbos and service them for the life of the loan.
by Gray
Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why I don't think I should get long term care insurance right now
Replies: 87
Views: 4554

Re: Why I don't think I should get long term care insurance right now

My wife waited, then got diagnosed with MS and RA. Now she can’t get it.
by Gray
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hybrid Rental
Replies: 21
Views: 1461

Re: Hybrid Rental

I always use USAA for the agreement with unlimited miles. I figure I can shoot for a vehicle that gets relatively good mileage. I’ll ask around if they have any sites with hybrids.

https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/products ... ection.jsp
by Gray
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hybrid Rental
Replies: 21
Views: 1461

Re: Hybrid Rental

Great advice. Thanks
by Gray
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hybrid Rental
Replies: 21
Views: 1461

Hybrid Rental

I’m thinking about doing a road trip from Northern Virginia up through New England to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, over to Labrador during the second half of June, over two weeks. The imperative for the trip will be comfort and fuel economy. I typically use USAA’s site to find a rental with unlimit...
by Gray
Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Canceling escrow account
Replies: 25
Views: 2301

Re: Canceling escrow account

I told my lender (Navy Federal) I wanted to manage escrow and given our down payment (25%), income, and credit score, they didn’t raise an issue. I use Ally for property taxes, but USAA insurance is paid out of our bill paying checking. Side note: I chose this lender because they hold their jumbo lo...
by Gray
Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will and trust....software or attorney?
Replies: 41
Views: 3064

Re: Will and trust....software or attorney?

I used Legal Zoom for my mother in law for durable power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, and a will. For my wife. It worked just fine. No need to waste money on an attorney. It has a simple, TurboTax like interface. Her house was sold and all of her assets bypassed probate when she died ...
by Gray
Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will and trust....software or attorney?
Replies: 41
Views: 3064

Re: Will and trust....software or attorney?

I used Legal Zoom for my mother in law for durable power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, and a will. For my wife. It worked just fine. No need to waste money on an attorney. It has a simple, TurboTax like interface. Her house was sold and all of her assets bypassed probate when she died b...
by Gray
Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which of these Online Savings Accounts (high-yield) are reliable?
Replies: 41
Views: 4592

Re: Which of these Online Savings Accounts (high-yield) are reliable?

Ally has an uber fast ACH transfer—1 day in some cases.

I’ve moved $225K with them before without a hitch.
by Gray
Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I switch my daily banking business to Ally?
Replies: 51
Views: 3510

Re: Should I switch my daily banking business to Ally?

I use Ally, Navy Federal, and USAA for banking. I like USAA’s advanced features the best, Navy Federal—the company the best, and Ally for what it does—speed, simplicity, and good interest. I can move money between them all, easily. I’m not jazzed about USAA so much as before, but they have good capa...
by Gray
Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Underpayment penalty or not? please help me figure
Replies: 40
Views: 1529

Re: Underpayment penalty or not? please help me figure

Whenever I’ve owed federal tax in any given year, I immediately adjust my withholding to compensate (and then some) for the following year. I’ve never used payment vouchers ever. I ignore the payment vouchers that TT prints out.
by Gray
Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 30764

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

SALT: $34K
SALT Deduction: $10K

Used IRS withholding calc, but still owed $2K

(Thank God I didn’t use Intuit’s withholding calc!)
by Gray
Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: More Bad News for USAA Bank
Replies: 61
Views: 10174

Re: More Bad News for USAA Bank

USAA has handled our auto claims just fine. We have accident forgiveness and after 3 years, they drop off. They paid for my car to be repaired by my dealer’s auto collision shop using brand parts (vs third party). I’ve long read that USAA’s outsourced mortgage business is a disaster so I stayed away...
by Gray
Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who does their own taxes?
Replies: 111
Views: 7435

Re: Who does their own taxes?

TurboTax desktop app since 1995. TurboTax online and since 2007-2008. I love that I can access all my prior (TurboTax Online) returns online. (I store them elsewhere as well). TurboTax works with the LastPass and Google Authenticator apps for MFA. If you know how to access the print center (hard to ...
by Gray
Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to ensure USPS mailed tax return makes it to IRS
Replies: 52
Views: 3389

Re: Best way to ensure USPS mailed tax return makes it to IRS

It’s been over 12-15 years since I filed any physical return. eFile all the way baby!
by Gray
Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Close my AT&T Universal Card?
Replies: 43
Views: 2756

Re: Close my AT&T Universal Card?

When you have a branded card, the brand owns your card contract. That is why, as in my example above, I had no options regarding my Citi card being transferred to BOA and then Barclays. I keep it because of the benefit to my average age of accounts. I only have theee cards. 92, 93, and 09. The Doubl...
by Gray
Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Close my AT&T Universal Card?
Replies: 43
Views: 2756

Re: Close my AT&T Universal Card?

Your account history will be carried over. I got a Citi Card in 92 and later upgraded it to a gold card (remember them?), then Platinum, then I transferred it to the uPromise card (contract held by Citi). Upromise then made Bank of America the contract holder for a few years (surprise!). Now, the co...
by Gray
Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is a Boglehead funeral/burial?
Replies: 153
Views: 8327

Re: What is a Boglehead funeral/burial?

Bob was here, and now he’s gone,
He left his name to carry on,
Those who knew him, knew him well,
Those who didn’t can go to ....
by Gray
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength
Replies: 21
Views: 1573

Re: How to capture wifi and boost signal strength

I set this model up for my parents to use at their cottage (using a neighbor’s connection). They have their temperature monitors, Nest, and Security Cams hooked up to it. That way they have year round coverage. When they go up for longer periods, they enable their own cable internet+cable tv, but th...
by Gray
Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Value of old computer magazines?
Replies: 24
Views: 2245

Re: Value of old computer magazines?

I wish I still had my computer magazines from the 1980s. They bring back such good memories.
by Gray
Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Really need help with new computer purchase!
Replies: 89
Views: 3818

Re: Really need help with new computer purchase!

Much of this advice includes unnecessary complexity. Building computers, etc, isn’t always desirable. Sometimes folks seeking simplicity want a computer where they can go to a store and get real help based on expertise. That’s more Microsoft Store than Geek Squad.
by Gray
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Really need help with new computer purchase!
Replies: 89
Views: 3818

Re: Really need help with new computer purchase!

Depending on your affinity groups, you may have demographic or group discounts with various companies. I recommend a Microsoft Surface class laptop (you can get the 2017 model, aka 5th Generation, to save some money) and the dock that will connect to your existing monitor, keyboard, mouse, and print...
by Gray
Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans
Replies: 28
Views: 3787

Re: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans

BTW, the MD prepaid plan has carry forward deductions for 10 years (for excess contributions).
by Gray
Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans
Replies: 28
Views: 3787

Re: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans

I’m glad I moved to VA where it’s $4,000 per 529 account. I pursued the College Savings and Prepaid Tuition plans in Maryland. I got in before the prices on the prepaid got jacked up (in Aug 2002) and paid for a 5-year contract (for a 4-year school) ($28K) before my daughter started kindergarten. Sh...
by Gray
Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email Accounts - How Many / Security / Best Practices
Replies: 46
Views: 3661

Re: Email Accounts - How Many / Security / Best Practices

I would never use an ISP email account. I use Google, Apple, and Microsoft, and I have subscriptions with each for various services, multi factor authentication enabled, recovery keys, recovery email, and registered phones. I see no almost no spam in my email because I act on every single vendor/oth...
by Gray
Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface
Replies: 15
Views: 1699

Re: iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

I just bought two new (direct from Apple) 2017 iPad 10.5” Pros 256GB + Cellular as they’re the last generation with a headphone jack, and my family does not like dongles or the charging hassle of Bluetooth. No premium for the latest iPad. These replaced two IPad Airs from several years ago. No keybo...
by Gray
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax: online vs download
Replies: 10
Views: 2019

Re: TurboTax: online vs download

With the online version, you can print as a pdf all the forms and worksheets before you file. In other words,you can scrutinize the forms and worksheets. The only difference is that if you find something on the form you need to change, you have to make that change using TurboTax’s easy to use interf...
by Gray
Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax: online vs download
Replies: 10
Views: 2019

Re: TurboTax: online vs download

I’ve used TT from 1995 to present, and online only from about 2007 to present without issues. I upload my return artifacts to the TT vault as a (just in case) backup for my existing archive. TT has different online license tiers for different capabilities based on your needs.
by Gray
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to deposit cash in online account with no local branch
Replies: 45
Views: 4872

Re: How to deposit cash in online account with no local branch

I just use my bank’s photo cash deposit. Works like a charm.

I keep the hard copies just in case. :greedy
by Gray
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?
Replies: 82
Views: 8348

Re: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?

Christmas presents

I always go to https://www.bfads.net
by Gray
Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Don't buy a big house
Replies: 248
Views: 26514

Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

http://mcmansionhell.com

You’re welcome
by Gray
Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Term Life Insurance Query
Replies: 9
Views: 846

Re: Another Term Life Insurance Query

I got a 30 year level $1M term policy from USAA for about $67/month about 10 years ago.
by Gray
Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate dropping like a rock in U.K. - can the U.S. be far behind?
Replies: 68
Views: 12539

Re: Real estate dropping like a rock in U.K. - can the U.S. be far behind?

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:56 am
Gray wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:56 pm
It’s all based on location. The 1951 house next door to mine with 1500 square feet is getting its list at $770k.
Granted there is this "proximity to Gray" factor which lifts housing prices ;-).

But where in the USA (metropolitan area) is this?
Falls Church City, Virginia
by Gray
Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate dropping like a rock in U.K. - can the U.S. be far behind?
Replies: 68
Views: 12539

Re: Real estate dropping like a rock in U.K. - can the U.S. be far behind?

It’s all based on location. The 1951 house next door to mine with 1500 square feet is getting its list at $770k.
by Gray
Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?
Replies: 42
Views: 4423

Re: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?e

I went with Navy Federal, all online.

Ally beat Navy, so Navy matched.

Quicken was woefully uncompetitive.
by Gray
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?
Replies: 34
Views: 3319

Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Backup your data

Do a format of your hard drive and a scratch install of the latest OS from USB. That can sometimes resolve issues.

After you wipe it, reset the pram and smc before reinstalling the OS.

Install the latest version of your apps.

Update everything
by Gray
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PenFed or Navy Federal?
Replies: 30
Views: 3744

Re: PenFed or Navy Federal?

I’ve used them all. USAA is my go-to, but I would switch to Navy if I had to choose an alternative. USAA’s ATM relationship with CVS is advantageous. Ally - 5+ years money market liquid savings USAA - 25+ years - car insurance, life insurance, Property, Umbrella, credit, primary banking, credit card...
by Gray
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: looking for a new (online) savings account home
Replies: 23
Views: 2507

Re: looking for a new (online) savings account home

I have found Ally to be pretty good. More services than GS.
by Gray
Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term life contract
Replies: 6
Views: 663

Re: Term life contract

We got ours as 30 year level term via USAA

Covers through full SS
by Gray
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 375
Views: 22791

Re: What are your property taxes?

Property tax for house $17,974.08
City of Falls Church, VA
High School (George Mason) is ranked #2 in the State
by Gray
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing DNS service to provide more security
Replies: 14
Views: 1686

Re: Changing DNS service to provide more security

I’ve been using open DS for years. It’s a great layer of security, and a filtering option if you have kids.

Cisco bought the company and is now marketing some additional cheap/free security-related services.

Opendns.com
by Gray
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boring Job
Replies: 64
Views: 8068

Re: Boring Job

Boring jobs can be a gift. Study on the clock (not overtly) for certification exams. Work on an graduate degree. Get some exercise on the clock (go speed walking or something—do it every day).
by Gray
Mon May 21, 2018 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it time for me to change jobs or should I stay put?
Replies: 70
Views: 7552

Re: Is it time for me to change jobs or should I stay put?

Certs get you though HR screening. It’s up to you to make the sale.
by Gray
Thu May 10, 2018 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it time for me to change jobs or should I stay put?
Replies: 70
Views: 7552

Re: Is it time for me to change jobs or should I stay put?

Stay where you are unless you can find a gov't job (in which case, take it without further thought). Private sector IT jobs are a minefield, and being in your 40s makes it much more dangerous. Stay where you are and do your best to become part of the woodwork where you are and keep your head down a...
by Gray
Sun May 06, 2018 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: most compelling TV character ever
Replies: 260
Views: 26651

Re: Most??

GIS Guy wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:12 pm
I immediately thought of Alan Alda, MASH.
Concur
by Gray
Wed May 02, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US citizen living in Australia - brokerage?
Replies: 8
Views: 1262

Re: US citizen living in Australia - brokerage?

If you get a Keezel, you can establish a virtual private network connection to pretty much any country in the world and access the Internet from there. https://keezel.co I have one and it works. I got it for trips so our multiple devices using WiFi wouldn’t be exposed to shared (and potentially comp...