Search found 1714 matches

by SimonJester
Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken External Transfers
Replies: 20
Views: 705

Re: Quicken External Transfers

If you are not going to track the brokerage account, then I would not categorize the transaction as a transfer. Just create a category called Inventing and record the transaction as you would any other spend from the account.
by SimonJester
Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get umbrella liability insurance?
Replies: 53
Views: 4204

Re: Should I get umbrella liability insurance?

What you need is excellent car insurance with high coverage amounts. We have $1M liability and uninsured motorist through USAA with a $1K deductible. It is uncommon for liability or uninsured motorist coverage to have a deductible. Is it possible that your insurance company quoted you comprehensive...
by SimonJester
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you solve the pre-medicare healthcare riddle?
Replies: 81
Views: 5555

Re: How did you solve the pre-medicare healthcare riddle?

In the past couple of years many of the PT jobs no longer offer health insurance. My wife's past two employers it was not even an option to purchase if she wanted to... No benefits for PT employees beyond 401K with matching.
by SimonJester
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?
Replies: 49
Views: 8452

Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Storage is cheap. 5 Gb is nothing. No bait and switch, just marketing. Will the online storage last forever? I don't know. Will Fidelity be around in 50 years? Google? Apple? Cloud copies have their place for ease of access, but not for archival. OTOH, if you burn your data onto a high quality Blu-...
by SimonJester
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get umbrella liability insurance?
Replies: 53
Views: 4204

Re: Should I get umbrella liability insurance?

The other thing that an umbrella policy does is it incentivizes your insurance company to provide the very best lawyers they have in the case of any lawsuit against you where they might have to pay up. Your agent may well ask a question along the lines of: "how many assets are you protecting?" and ...
by SimonJester
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast didn't deliver as promised
Replies: 16
Views: 1659

Re: Comcast didn't deliver as promised

I got a resolution to my complaint. Comcast issued (is supposed to issue) me a credit for the difference of what I am currently paying and what was promised for this year. I found a few execs email addresses and sent them the play by play of the issue + the escalation ticket number that was created...
by SimonJester
Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off Mortgage...what to do next
Replies: 32
Views: 2681

Re: Paid off Mortgage...what to do next

I have seen mention of obtaining a HELOC in case of emergencies. I have not thought of that as a preemptive measure mostly because I have seen a lot of mention of HELOC's being closed down in economic downturns. Should we look into one anyway? The reason that many people lost their HELOC a decade a...
by SimonJester
Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k Withdrawal to pay debt or keep hacking away
Replies: 13
Views: 790

Re: 401k Withdrawal to pay debt or keep hacking away

You would be essentially borrowing money at 10% (IRS penalty) Plus your tax rate. So you are looking at 20%+ loss on that money. You mention not seeing your retirement savings go up, but you are wanting to wipe out all your retirement to pay off this debt? No, cut all your spending possible and try ...
by SimonJester
Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 / Office 2019 headache
Replies: 24
Views: 1575

Re: Windows 10 / Office 2019 headache

People have just over a year before the last security update will occur for Windows 7 (January 14, 2020). After that point they will be running at risk.

I would suggest updating to windows 10 if your PC can run it, it has been pretty stable for my PCs.
by SimonJester
Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?
Replies: 158
Views: 8227

Re: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?

I do not count savings / investment contributions / retirement as "spending"
But here are my current heavy hitters:

Taxes: 30%
College DS #1: 16%
Groceries: 13%
Insurance: 6%
Bills: 5%
Healthcare: 4%

DS #2 starts College this fall, so perhaps college will surpass taxes, is that good or bad?
by SimonJester
Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Evaluating my 2018 Spending
Replies: 32
Views: 2292

Re: Evaluating my 2018 Spending

Uggg Taxes made up my highest spending category @ 30% followed by College expenses :(
by SimonJester
Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken Alternatives
Replies: 61
Views: 5691

Re: Quicken Alternatives

For those still interested in Quicken, Amazon has the 14 month subscription Deluxe version on sale for $27.50. My local Sams club also had it on sale for $29.99 as well. How does that work? Once you are on the subscription cycle, are you subject to whatever they want to charge? Or can you buy these...
by SimonJester
Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken Alternatives
Replies: 61
Views: 5691

Re: Quicken Alternatives

For those still interested in Quicken, Amazon has the 14 month subscription Deluxe version on sale for $27.50. My local Sams club also had it on sale for $29.99 as well.
by SimonJester
Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?
Replies: 108
Views: 5465

Re: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?

Its a pain but many of the merit based scholarships require it just to apply for them as well. Once the FAFSA is accepted it will generate a SAR report which some of the scholarships wanted a copy of when applying :( Also your son will be the one filling it out asking your for that personal financia...
by SimonJester
Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Tax Credit and H&R Block Software 2018
Replies: 9
Views: 517

Re: Child Tax Credit and H&R Block Software 2018

Also worth noting for those with College kids, H&R Block does not seem to be calculating the Tax credit for other dependents yet. Also if you compare their worksheet to the draft IRS 2018 instructions they are vastly different. I am waiting for the Jan 3rd update to see if it begins calculating the ...
by SimonJester
Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental implants - fair price for teeth 23 to 26?
Replies: 30
Views: 2817

Re: Dental implants - fair price for teeth 23 to 26?

I am in the middle of a dental implant procedure right now, and in fact just had the implant uncovered and healing cap placed today. I needed bone grafting as well which was not covered by my insurance at all. They do cover the implant, abutment, and crown at 50%. The cash cost from my DDS for the i...
by SimonJester
Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Further fund 529 or move to IBonds/CDs?
Replies: 4
Views: 419

Re: Further fund 529 or move to IBonds/CDs?

Keep an eye on your tax situation for the AOTC, you will want about 4K per year of non 529 money in order to claim those tax credits. For my two kids CDs and IBonds fit this need nicely.
by SimonJester
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can't get Quicken 2010 to work on new computer- Help! Alternatives (eg CountAbout), or??
Replies: 32
Views: 1804

Re: Can't get Quicken 2010 to work on new computer- Help! Alternatives (eg CountAbout), or??

Thanks to Kenbat. I purchased a copy of Quicken 2017 Premier, supposedly new in original packing, on ebay for $33 plus $3.50 shipping. Hopefully it will work. It will work. (I did some research, as my Quicken will expire soon. I decided to keep using my 2016 version instead of paying subscription f...
by SimonJester
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying house - Advice requested
Replies: 39
Views: 3951

Re: Buying house - Advice requested

- it's possible to take a loan from Fidelity on one's 401k to pay towards down-payment and then pay the interest which will go in to our own account. This may be possible but is not a good idea. You then essentially have two loans and the 401K interest is not tax deductible. Lenders may also look d...
by SimonJester
Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need Norton Virus Protection?
Replies: 30
Views: 2826

Re: Do I need Norton Virus Protection?

Apple claims you don't need it. I believe that is only their IOS devices, not the MAC devices running MAC OS. Something else to consider, we are seeing more and more vulnerabilities and exploits in the side applications vs the OS itself these days. Also most of the my antivirus catches are when I c...
by SimonJester
Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma about 529 and computer
Replies: 7
Views: 745

Re: Dilemma about 529 and computer

From Pub 970: The purchase of computer or peripheral equipment, computer software, or Internet access and related services if it's to be used primarily by the beneficiary during any of the years the beneficiary is enrolled at an eligible postsecondary school . (This doesn't include expenses for comp...
by SimonJester
Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with strange USPS Priority Mail
Replies: 14
Views: 2015

Re: What to do with strange USPS Priority Mail

Lawsuit? Debt collection letters? Christmas card with cash inside? Distant relative's executor of estate notifying you of your vast inheritance?

When do you have to loose by opening it, the main has already been marked as delivered by USPS.
by SimonJester
Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it make sense to pay off this mortgage?
Replies: 41
Views: 4639

Re: Does it make sense to pay off this mortgage?

I also think a paid-off home is over-rated for most folks. Especially if the equity of the home would be more than 25% of your net worth. Once it *is* paid off, great! But a concerted effort to pay off quickly at the expense of other balancing acts with your personal finance is an emotional activit...
by SimonJester
Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need Norton Virus Protection?
Replies: 30
Views: 2826

Re: Do I need Norton Virus Protection?

Wow, while I agree virus outbreaks (on the computer) are rare, I liken this to the medical field and that we have reached this point due to herd immunity. In my early days of PC repair works I saw some of the worst virus attacks against Mac OS. I have had great luck with Avast, its free and they mak...
by SimonJester
Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making Large Purchases with Credit Card and Immediately Paying Off- Bad for Credit Score?
Replies: 44
Views: 3880

Re: Making Large Purchases with Credit Card and Immediately Paying Off- Bad for Credit Score?

Hello, I have some big ticket purchases to make over the next few months (wedding venue related) where I need to make multiple payments of $5000. I get 2% cash back with citi so I was going to use that card to pay. My citi card has a credit limit of $7.5K. I was going to try to use this card to get...
by SimonJester
Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it make sense to pay off this mortgage?
Replies: 41
Views: 4639

Re: Does it make sense to pay off this mortgage?

Here is a long time update on this post. Wrote the payoff check today for the mortgage. Surreal that it did not take as long as we thought. 7.5 years in total. Got a couple good raises and put it down quickly. Budgeting is key. Looking forward to the next chapter in our life. Thanks Toons. Always e...
by SimonJester
Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare (ACA) Ruled Unconstitutional by Texas Federal Court
Replies: 190
Views: 14486

Re: Obamacare (ACA) Ruled Unconstitutional by Texas Federal Court

Can someone direct me to an explanation of how we got here from the very start? I am given to understand it began with WWII wage & price controls. Workers were very discontented (it was feared the public would accept less than unconditional surrender if the war went on) so the Feds allowed companie...
by SimonJester
Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving on Home Improvement Repairs
Replies: 29
Views: 1747

Re: Saving on Home Improvement Repairs

My family members have been in construction for their entire lives earning their master craftsmanship, now semi retired. Some professions are licensed by the state and no one licensed is going to risk their license telling you how to do their job. For others again it takes many times longer to expla...
by SimonJester
Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I file an insurance claim?
Replies: 6
Views: 882

Re: Should I file an insurance claim?

So I think you risk your insurance company dropping you right after you file the claim. Then having two small claims on your CLUE report which drives the rate up from other insurers. I imagine RV insurance is already a niche produce in the insurance industry.
by SimonJester
Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Credit score experts in here?
Replies: 8
Views: 862

Re: Any Credit score experts in here?

Thanks for the reply's. IMHO this credit score is a bunch of BS. Like buying insurance, I have a daughter that never had a wreck or ticket but does have bad credit. She cant afford insurance because her bad credit score. She would love to have insurance but she has to feed her family too . Hopefull...
by SimonJester
Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I file an insurance claim?
Replies: 6
Views: 882

Re: Should I file an insurance claim?

I would be also worried you may get dropped completely from your insurer. I agree with grasshopper check your CLUE report as this will follow you between insurance carriers.

Personally I would probably just pay out of pocket...
by SimonJester
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Airbnb as side gig
Replies: 44
Views: 3032

Re: Airbnb as side gig

So I wonder how many smaller incidents Airbnb refuses to resolve on behalf of hosts when there's a need to get a payout from that insurance policy they promised upfront. As a disclaimer, I previously used to host. I've discontinued it because I've found that they ALMOST ALWAYS side with the guest w...
by SimonJester
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 vs American Op credit & living at home
Replies: 28
Views: 879

Re: 529 vs American Op credit & living at home

<< As per my understanding, OP can pay the Spring 2019's tuition in 12/2018. >> << I believe you have stated this correctly. AOTC and 529 withdraws are based on the year in which they are paid. >> That was my point. As long as OP pay the 2019 Spring tuition in 2018, he could claim the 2018 AOTC cre...
by SimonJester
Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 vs American Op credit & living at home
Replies: 28
Views: 879

Re: 529 vs American Op credit & living at home

<< As per my understanding, OP can pay the Spring 2019's tuition in 12/2018. >> << I believe you have stated this correctly. AOTC and 529 withdraws are based on the year in which they are paid. >> That was my point. As long as OP pay the 2019 Spring tuition in 2018, he could claim the 2018 AOTC cre...
by SimonJester
Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 vs American Op credit & living at home
Replies: 28
Views: 879

Re: 529 vs American Op credit & living at home

^There are many ways the live-at-home cost could exceed the published suggested cost, but so what? So why should the IRS have any issues with someone who simply claimed the full amount of the school's published at-home living cost? I know this is a somewhat rhetorical question, and directed more at...
by SimonJester
Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 vs American Op credit & living at home
Replies: 28
Views: 879

Re: 529 vs American Op credit & living at home

Just an FYI, Room and Board do not count as qualified expenses for the AOTC only tuition and "certain related expenses". See Pub 970 from the IRS: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf However this is all ok since you had the 529 pay you and you paid the school. Per Pub 970 you use the schools al...
by SimonJester
Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare (ACA) Ruled Unconstitutional by Texas Federal Court
Replies: 190
Views: 14486

Re: Obamacare (ACA) Ruled Unconstitutional by Texas Federal Court

There has been a big drive by employers over the last few years to do “wellness checks” of their employees. The employers offer screening tests such as lipid panels, serum chemistries, PSAs on their otherwise asymptomatic employees with the idea of promoting a culture of wellness and of improving t...
by SimonJester
Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choose gold or silver health insurance plan through work?
Replies: 4
Views: 362

Re: Choose gold or silver health insurance plan through work?

I do get lab tests so the question is if it is worth the $1800/year; generally its not. Another important factor is it seems that things that are subject to co-insurance my payment would be only 20-30% with Gold and 40% with Silver . This would only be significant if I needed to be hospitalized, et...
by SimonJester
Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have credit monitoring do you need to freeze credit?
Replies: 41
Views: 2222

Re: If you have credit monitoring do you need to freeze credit?

Thanks. All fair points, even if they hurt a little. haha. So next question is how awful is it to freeze your minor children? This is a felony in most US jurisdictions. :P What are you talking about? Here is the process from the three main credit agencies: https://www.experian.com/freeze/form-minor...
by SimonJester
Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should you always use a 529?
Replies: 55
Views: 5961

Re: Should you always use a 529?

Just keep in mind money in the kids name is weighted the heaviest for financial aid. In order words you are better off having the money in your name as the parent or a 529. In all of this keep in min your time horizon, you have 4 years until you need to make a withdraw and between 0 and 4+ years in...
by SimonJester
Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should you always use a 529?
Replies: 55
Views: 5961

Re: Should you always use a 529?

Would you put money into a 529 for a 14yo? He is highly likely to go to college and has siblings. We get no state deduction though. The other alternative seems to be to put the money he got for college from his grandfather ($10K) into a stock account, and then sell every year to up-the-basis as lon...
by SimonJester
Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 form 1040 released
Replies: 26
Views: 3480

Re: 2018 form 1040 released

I still dont get the change in format to a 1/2 sheet vs full sheet.
by SimonJester
Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grandfathered T-mobile plan, change SIM
Replies: 8
Views: 427

Re: Grandfathered T-mobile plan, change SIM

If you have a t-mobile store try going in and talking to them. years ago I was on the same prepaid grandfathered plan and was able to move service to a new SIM without any issues. I later moved from prepaid to post paid and converted the prepaid balanced over. That was an adventure, but my local t-m...
by SimonJester
Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying used car
Replies: 36
Views: 2117

Re: Buying used car

Also use the Car FAX report to determine how many owners it has had. Ideally try and find a single owner vehicle with maintenance records reported, where it has been registered in your local area. I agree with others seems like too many miles per year, could be a lot of highway miles, or perhaps it ...
by SimonJester
Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Donate to homeless?
Replies: 84
Views: 4086

Re: Donate to homeless?

Just to echo what other said, I give to the organizations that support the homeless. They can take that same dollar and stretch it much further to help many more people then just the one singular person you give it to. This way you also know its truly helping the homeless and you are not being scamm...
by SimonJester
Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance through employer or third-party?
Replies: 21
Views: 1145

Re: Health Insurance through employer or third-party?

I just picked up a new job, and with it comes health insurance. So now it's decision time. My wife still has her old pre-ACA health insurance. With my previous job, we just kept her on that plan and put me and our toddler on my work plan. But changing jobs means it's time to revisit it. Here are th...
by SimonJester
Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Suggestions
Replies: 39
Views: 3040

Re: PC Build Suggestions

What's a good sound card for gaming these days? My current build has the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fata1ty. I've been planning a new build since 2016 but haven't got around to doing it yet. I'm sure what I had spec'ed out then is out of date or at least, a lot cheaper now :mrgreen: Most of the hardcore ga...
by SimonJester
Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Christmas Tree Fire: Watered Tree vs. Dry Tree
Replies: 18
Views: 2301

Re: Christmas Tree Fire: Watered Tree vs. Dry Tree

Christmas tree water recipie, all ingredients approximate volume depending on size of container: 1 quart water 1 cup vinegar 1/2 cup sugar 1 copper penny Have used this for years and a real tree lasts a long time. Be sure to cut off the bottom two inches of the trunk immediately prior to submerging...
by SimonJester
Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED light bulbs
Replies: 130
Views: 15987

Re: LED light bulbs

I have had 6 or 8 of the Costco FEIT bulbs burn out prematurely. I have been using them for about two years now. I am curious are you returning them to Costco or warranting them through FEIT? I have been going to FEIT to get my replacements. I took mine back to Costco and exchanged for a new bulb(s...
by SimonJester
Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Suggestions
Replies: 39
Views: 3040

Re: PC Build Suggestions

I think its a good build. What OS are you planning to run? If windows and you do not currently have a retail copy you will need to purchase the OS. The Windows OEM OS does not transfer between PCs. If windows your OEM license will tie itself to the motherboard so think about the best processor bang ...