Search found 172 matches

by Exterous
Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Personal milestone (And a thanks)
Replies: 4
Views: 950

Re: Personal milestone (And a thanks)

Smart decision to enjoy life NOW too. Some people save for retirement and never live long enough to enjoy it or their health declines. I am a big saver but lately I have also been trying to spend a little bit of money to enjoy things now. Thanks for sharing and best of luck! :sharebeer Yeah a good ...
by Exterous
Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Winter (Dec/Jan) Vacation in Europe. Any suggestions please!
Replies: 26
Views: 1723

Re: First Winter (Dec/Jan) Vacation in Europe. Any suggestions please!

Our Citi Costco Visa card has Travel Insurance for up to $3,000 per person (air tickets). I am assuming if we have to cancel our trip due to illness of one family member. Also covers CDW (collision damage waiver and theft up to $50,000). No personal insurance though. Our Chase Freedom Visa has some...
by Exterous
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Personal milestone (And a thanks)
Replies: 4
Views: 950

Personal milestone (And a thanks)

Getting to the two comma club early this year didn't have as much of an impact on my feelings compared to my recent promotion. I think thats partly because I know that a change in the market can quickly move me out of that club whereas my particular job is more stable. Anyway the milestone is not so...
by Exterous
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Winter (Dec/Jan) Vacation in Europe. Any suggestions please!
Replies: 26
Views: 1723

Re: First Winter (Dec/Jan) Vacation in Europe. Any suggestions please!

We've done a couple of winter trips to Europe (Including last April, smack in the middle of that spring blizzard) and have had a great time. You probably won't need a rail pass as buying individual tickets is likely cheaper. I use the site below all the time to plan our trips and to find out what tr...
by Exterous
Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is the new Chevy Equinox any good?
Replies: 58
Views: 5436

Re: Is the new Chevy Equinox any good?

Lots of hate for Chevrolet here from Bogleheads. The 2018 equinox is redesigned. Its reliability is yet to be determined. GM made many lemons in the last century but IMO the GM quality has greatly improved. At least for me the dislike comes from having been burned before. I also have several friend...
by Exterous
Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes vs Home Depot
Replies: 60
Views: 7152

Re: Lowes vs Home Depot

I think perceptions are going to be more influenced by your local stores than overall brand. Where I used to live Lowes had far better customer service but where I live now the closest Lowes is pretty bad. I also have 2 lowes, 3 Home Depots and 1 menards within in a 15 minute drive. The closest Lowe...
by Exterous
Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 187
Views: 20649

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

Because of this thread, I called and instituted two-factor authentication and voice print security protocol with my retirement firm. So I just looked into my voice print options and read the FAQ. If the voice print validation isn't accepted the fall back is to be asked "security questions". I tried...
by Exterous
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 187
Views: 20649

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

OP - I hope things work out well for your father and thanks for posting this thread. Its certainly an unfortunate situation but there is a lot of good information in here to help keep others safe. On a side note I can't help but think this is a potential benefit to a local AUM adviser. My mom contin...
by Exterous
Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel tips for first time visitors to England and France?
Replies: 55
Views: 5050

Re: Travel tips for first time visitors to England and France?

FWIW the GPS in most (all? At least the major players like Samsung and Apple) US based smart phones will work without using data. We did quite a few trips navigating with our data turned off. If you want search-ability you can download sections of Google Maps for offline use before hand. We still u...
by Exterous
Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black and white laser printers
Replies: 43
Views: 2770

Re: Black and white laser printers

Brother hands down. They have a good reputation for reliability, generally play well with third part toner cartridges and don't require new toner cartridges for every new model (*cough* HP *cough*). Their biggest weakness is feature set. They have more than enough for home use but business use can b...
by Exterous
Mon May 15, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The recent WannaCry ransomware
Replies: 60
Views: 7586

Re: The recent WannaCry ransomware

At last count, I had about 70 accounts that require passwords. So you have to use a service such as Lastpass or you have to write things down. It's not unreasonable for people to fear companies such as Lastpass being vulnerable to hackers now or in the future. 70, what a slacker, my count is 324 an...
by Exterous
Mon May 15, 2017 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel tips for first time visitors to England and France?
Replies: 55
Views: 5050

Re: Travel tips for first time visitors to England and France?

We have generally had good luck avoiding crowds by getting to tourist spots around the time they open. That is not always a guarantee - we tried it with the Musée d'Orsay and the line was huge (But it was also free that day). But other times, like Stonehenge, it was just us and about 8 other people ...
by Exterous
Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer and dryer - upstairs or downstairs?
Replies: 52
Views: 3938

Re: Washer and dryer - upstairs or downstairs?

The pans tied in to the house drain lines are good in theory but, since its a laundry room, can often get clogged up\covered with lint, dryer sheets or socks. Are we referring to the same drains? I have never seen a washer drain into the drain that sits under the pan itself, rather, they drain into...
by Exterous
Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer and dryer - upstairs or downstairs?
Replies: 52
Views: 3938

Re: Washer and dryer - upstairs or downstairs?

FWIW I have a friend who owns a plumbing and water damage remediation company and he gets a decent amount of business from upstairs laundry rooms. The pans tied in to the house drain lines are good in theory but, since its a laundry room, can often get clogged up\covered with lint, dryer sheets or s...
by Exterous
Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to maximize redemption of Chase Sapphire points?
Replies: 16
Views: 3117

Re: Best way to maximize redemption of Chase Sapphire points?

Depends on what you want to do and where you want to go. With the UR portal you get a fixed $/UR point. By transferring to partners you would instead use that partners award chart. There are situations where one will be better than the other. For example if you want to fly from NYC to Paris in May i...
by Exterous
Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a good commuter car fairly soon
Replies: 86
Views: 7378

Re: Need a good commuter car fairly soon

I don't think you can beat a toyota for cheap reliable transportation but I cant' stand camry's... they're so bland and lifeless(and they sound like a lawnmower) that I'd pick an Accord any day over a camry. I don't consider subcompact/compact cars to be safe(safe until you get smashed by a SUV or ...
by Exterous
Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax is playing games again.
Replies: 52
Views: 10591

Re: TurboTax is playing games again.

FWIW if you are a small business owner that really only needs Schedule C for reporting I have had far better luck with Turbo Tax Deluxe than both H&R block and TaxAct. Tried TaxAct two years ago and it was a PITA but I stumbled through it. Tried H&R block last year and that was worse. Not on...
by Exterous
Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best CC for Travel
Replies: 82
Views: 8195

Re: Best CC for Travel

Obviously, it depends upon the route one wishes, and probably a lot upon which airlines are at airports nearby. For us, it was $5.60 each way per person (so 4x that) for first class seat/beds to Asia from the USA East Coast, on JAL and Cathay Pacific. We had to change the date to a day or two diffe...
by Exterous
Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best CC for Travel
Replies: 82
Views: 8195

Re: Best CC for Travel

Regarding the stingy AA award space, we've had very good luck with AA *partner* airlines, which for international premium travel, are much nicer anyway. There is a separate "awards chart" for the partner redemptions, and there isn't any "extra point" charge for different travel ...
by Exterous
Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best CC for Travel
Replies: 82
Views: 8195

Re: Best CC for Travel

As a few others have mentioned, we really need to know - 1. Can your wife pick an airline or hotel chain typically? 2. How long is the typical stay? Thanks. 1. She can usually pick the air line but generally will be flying in the Midwest. So either a direct flight from regional airport. Or, fly to ...
by Exterous
Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 28103

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

Unless folks are independently wealthy and have already won the game and retired - for the most part - these are ridiculous numbers to spend on vacations. I may be one you consider "ridiculous", but I'm sure there are things you spend money on that I would deem ridiculous. Travel is somet...
by Exterous
Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 28103

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

I think 'On the way to winning' is more than sufficient. I think on ones way to winning has more risk than having made it - depending on how far away it is. Therefore, I'd hedge my bets and get to the goal - rather than spend some of these numbers every year ($10k, $15k+). Hit the beach or the moun...
by Exterous
Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 28103

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

FWIW there are a lot of studies out there about Hedonistic adaptation\treadmill in terms of valuing experiences over items. Over time you tend to revert to a baseline level of happiness despite new 'things' while the transient nature of experiences prevents adaptation which, frequently, makes their ...
by Exterous
Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 28103

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

It varies by year and 2017 is shaping up to be an expensive year. With what we typically spend we're at around a projected 12% of income. (We save around 33%) That will go up if more ~$350 RT airfare deals to Europe keep popping up. I'm going to go broke saving money on these absurdly low airfares!
by Exterous
Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska cruise - Help me convince my family
Replies: 60
Views: 5024

Re: Alaska cruise - Help me convince my family

We did an Alaskan cruise 1.5 years ago which left me a bit surprised at some of the comments in this thread but I think most of them come down to ship and itinerary variances. One poster mentioned you only get about 20 hours of total port time on a 7 day cruise. For our cruise the ship spent over 40...
by Exterous
Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?
Replies: 61
Views: 11842

Re: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?

Honda and Toyota are usually considered the paragon of reliable vehicles yet even in a nascent thread like this you already have numerous horror stories in the form of poster anecdotes. Whether it's issues with Honda's new transmission, or extensive problems with a '14 Toyota, I have a hard time tu...
by Exterous
Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?
Replies: 61
Views: 11842

Re: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?

Honda and Toyota are usually considered the paragon of reliable vehicles yet even in a nascent thread like this you already have numerous horror stories in the form of poster anecdotes. Whether it's issues with Honda's new transmission, or extensive problems with a '14 Toyota, I have a hard time tu...
by Exterous
Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12
Replies: 121
Views: 15908

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

My wife is a jr. high public school teacher in Michigan and has a 403b. Before I became aware of the Boglehead way, we were dumping maximum paycheck amounts into her account at Ameriprise every two weeks. The yearly account fee was only $19 but all the options were high ER funds with front end load...
by Exterous
Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 350
Views: 39465

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

Current vehicles: 2005 Honda Civic 225k 2008 Audi TT 190k 2011 Honda Civic 80k Starting to see a lot issues coming up with the 05 Civic so it will probably be getting replaced soon. Probably related to a lot of winters parked outside and a lot of driving on terrible Michigan roads. I was talking to ...
by Exterous
Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years
Replies: 113
Views: 20958

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

2b) Hungry in Spain before 9pm? Hopefully you can find a McDonalds. I spent two months on the Camino de Santiago in each of 2015 and 2016. Small places along the Camino keep schedules to accommodate pilgrims. In larger cities such as Pamplona, Burgos, Leon, Astorga, and Santiago all kinds of meals ...
by Exterous
Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Karma to offer free online filing of federal and state tax returns
Replies: 17
Views: 2975

Re: Credit Karma to offer free online federal and state tax filing

The more competition the better for consumers. Is ridiculous how much personal tax software cost. I like free I like free too but, personally, not at the expense of my tax information being used for this Credit Karma will be able to round up the information housed on tax returns. This is huge. Perh...
by Exterous
Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CBP (INS) Global Entry program worth it?
Replies: 38
Views: 2647

Re: CBP (INS) Global Entry program worth it?

It may not save as much time as you expect -- getting through the immigration check faster may just mean more time standing around waiting at baggage claim. While true I would still say its a resounding yes although we do travel quite a bit. I'd rather wait on baggage than the teeming mass of human...
by Exterous
Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: closet organizing system
Replies: 33
Views: 4996

Re: closet organizing system

Exterous, Did you assemble these yourself? I looked at the .pdf assembly files for some of the components I would be interested in, and there was no text instructions, only picture based instructions? Tried to see if I could follow the picture instructions, and it looked pretty confusing. Were ther...
by Exterous
Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"
Replies: 331
Views: 61391

Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

I think the objection to stealth wealth is strictly based on the idea of doing something because you are worried about what other people thing. You like driving a pickup truck instead of a BMW? Go for it. But not buying something you want and can afford because you are worried about the neighbors i...
by Exterous
Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Best Air Miles Rewards Program
Replies: 29
Views: 3568

Re: The Best Air Miles Rewards Program

You won't find another program as easy to use as SWA. The upside of going with someone else is that you get access to an array of partners and a much larger international market. The downside is you have more restrictive redemption availability. From my personal experience United has much better awa...
by Exterous
Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?
Replies: 55
Views: 4801

Re: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?

IHG Card. ... and I have been able to use the Platinum status to match into Hilton Diamond a few times. How did you manage that? just an email or something or called them up? Hilton seems to run a promotion once a year or so for matching other hotel statuses. The qualifications vary a bit but usual...
by Exterous
Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?
Replies: 55
Views: 4801

Re: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?

I travel enough that its worth it to me to keep the following 3 annual fee cards: Chase Sapphire Preferred. Totaling up just the reimbursements for delayed luggage\cancelled flights it has more than offset the total annual fees charged since I got the card (which was right about when it was introduc...
by Exterous
Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?
Replies: 78
Views: 8067

Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

private schools may have much smaller class sizes they can also have much smaller student populations. This can make student activities challenging. Sports programs can suffer from a lack of participants.... This varies widely by the school. Some are small and have exactly this problem. Others are ...
by Exterous
Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?
Replies: 78
Views: 8067

Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

The people mentioning that it will depend on the schools involved are right. Too many variables to know for sure for your situation. The good news is that it sounds like you care about your child's education. There are plenty of studies out there showing that this is one of the most important indica...
by Exterous
Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: closet organizing system
Replies: 33
Views: 4996

Re: closet organizing system

We used Ikea. I think they're pretty good value for the price. Didn't quite fit the dimensions of our room but it was also far far less http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v170/exterous/d%20closet%20after%20hdr-1.jpg The holes are not actually that noticeable unless you are lighting it to take a pictu...
by Exterous
Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell my Apple stock?
Replies: 45
Views: 4728

Re: Sell my Apple stock?

cfs wrote:IF you sell = Apple stock price will go UP big time.
IF you hold = Apple stock price will SINK big time.


The OP should definitely sell then. This recommendation is, in no way, influenced by me owning some Apple stock :wink:
by Exterous
Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Help
Replies: 29
Views: 2330

Re: Rental Car Help

My rentals are always at airports. I don't ever remember seeing Cosco, Expedia or Kayak booths there. Renting cars is a dirty, low margin business. It is common for the counter agents to sneak in the insurance if you are not paying attention. Some of the lower cost rental companies will charge you ...
by Exterous
Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruise trip - Money saving tips
Replies: 32
Views: 3494

Re: Cruise trip - Money saving tips

We've book excursions through the cruiseline and by ourselves and have always enjoyed the ones we booked outside the cruise line more (although we utilize cruisecritic, tripadvisor etc beforehand). From what I have seen these independent tours know where their bread and butter is and how important g...
by Exterous
Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement help for an uncle
Replies: 16
Views: 1900

Re: Retirement help for an uncle

Thanks for all of the replies. I already told him to not really let anyone know. I'm not sure its a good sign he told me. I haven't been able to get any more info out of him. Some of that may be the doctor appts but he is also pretty flaky in general. There is a chance he may just not have been inte...
by Exterous
Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement help for an uncle
Replies: 16
Views: 1900

Retirement help for an uncle

My uncle is getting $750,000 in a settlment and was looking for some advice on what to do. Currently he is 60 and wanting this to help him quit his job now and tide over until he starts drawing SS. I don't know how much he spends per month but did ask if he feels comfortable letting me know. He has ...
by Exterous
Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax - Deluxe or Premier?
Replies: 20
Views: 1974

Re: Turbo Tax - Deluxe or Premier?

Toons wrote:Thanks :sharebeer


You're welcome. I agree with livesoft that their marketing isn't clear and I was concerned that the version I bought wouldn't be able to do what I needed so I'm happy to share in case it helps anyone else out with their decision
by Exterous
Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax - Deluxe or Premier?
Replies: 20
Views: 1974

Re: Turbo Tax - Deluxe or Premier?

I just did my taxes this weekend with the desktop version of Turbo Tax Deluxe. I had stock sales resulting in gains, qualified and unqualified dividends, interest, foreign tax income (minimal) and was able to import everything from my broker. Once imported TT took care of entering all the correct da...
by Exterous
Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYTimes on inadequate pre-purchase house inspection
Replies: 30
Views: 4021

Re: NYTimes on inadequate pre-purchase house inspection

While I think there are a lot of home inspectors who don't do a good job I think a lot of people place unrealistic expectations on their home inspector. They aren't (usually) structural engineers, they cant see through drywall, they likely can't anticipate every ingeniously dumb idea homeowners will...
by Exterous
Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Banned from Home Depot Returns
Replies: 131
Views: 56546

Re: Banned from Home Depot Returns

Glad it got resolved. Are they sending you a $25 gift card for your trouble? The last thing I want is another gift card. Kinda funny I didn't even want to pursue that channel , just simply wanted to make my return. Thanks for all of the insight everyone. A Glad it worked out for you in the end!
by Exterous
Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Banned from Home Depot Returns
Replies: 131
Views: 56546

Re: Banned from Home Depot Returns

I am just using logic and experience managing financial and technical business processes for a fortune 500 tech company. There's no way that outsourcing a function like that is cost effective. The level of system integration and data sharing between TP vendor and the company simply wouldn't produce...