Search found 198 matches

by Exterous
Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on 1st international vacation
Replies: 106
Views: 5739

Re: Need advice on 1st international vacation

A quick suggestion - make sure you have a card that does Chip and PIN not just Chip and Signature. While there are a very few US credit cards that offer PIN as an option (Like the Barclays Arrival) for most people that means taking their ATM card. While its usually not an issue we have encountered a...
by Exterous
Mon May 28, 2018 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using Air Miles and Paying Fees and Taxes
Replies: 29
Views: 1834

Re: Using Air Miles and Paying Fees and Taxes

My advice for using frequent flyer miles for travel to Europe: 1. Avoid London airports. 2. Avoid British Airways. I flew from the US to Madrid (and back) a few weeks ago using United frequent flyer miles, and the taxes and fees were less than $100. Did you fly United, or use United awards for a di...
by Exterous
Wed May 09, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty
Replies: 33
Views: 1614

Re: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty

I don’t consider National second tier. I wish they were; usually they are more expensive than Hertz or Avis. Check this recent thread for recent discussion on choosing among rental companies: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=248682&p=3913128#p3912034 And use autoslash.com to se...
by Exterous
Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel rewards programs
Replies: 45
Views: 3878

Re: Hotel rewards programs

Which ones are useful will depend a bit on where you travel and how you travel. If you're traveling to popular cities in the US, Caribbean or Europe point values are likely to be quite high compared to nightly rates so your ROI is low. Asia, Oceania or Africa are easier to find good values although ...
by Exterous
Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the first 100k really the hardest?
Replies: 144
Views: 39213

Re: Is the first 100k really the hardest?

It would be interesting to see what the 2015 posters feel about whether the last couple of years were easier. Although the strong market probably helps the "yes" decision For me the money is growing faster but it doesn't seem mentally easier after the baseline habits were established. The multi-deca...
by Exterous
Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH travel tips?
Replies: 193
Views: 14565

Re: BH travel tips?

I would love to travel with no check in baggage. But how? There is the whole liquids thing issue - so I end up checking one bag that I could do without. I can see using substitute bottles for a weekend, but what about longer trips when you're going to places that are unlikely to have some of the pr...
by Exterous
Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay for travel? Redeem CC points vs cash vs apply for new card?
Replies: 10
Views: 1057

Re: How to pay for travel? Redeem CC points vs cash vs apply for new card?

A potential consideration on #1 or #3 would be travel insurance included with many travel related credit cards like your Chase Sapphire. I tend to put all my airline tickets on a card with travel insurance since that is where we encounter the majority of travel issues.
by Exterous
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH travel tips?
Replies: 193
Views: 14565

Re: BH travel tips?

I go to Europe or Latin America twice a year, and I always check a 50 pound suitcase with enough clothing for two weeks. I try to carry on as little as possible. After I take my seat on the aircraft, I amuse myself by watching all those folks with the oversized backpacks trying to squeeze them into...
by Exterous
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH travel tips?
Replies: 193
Views: 14565

Re: BH travel tips?

Navigation while walking has been possible with google maps and GPS for years. If you want directions while walking then you'll either need data, use the driving directions which may or may not be the best option, or a different app. Most folks are going to assume navigation on a cell phone app is ...
by Exterous
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend airline luggage fitting in overhead bin?
Replies: 23
Views: 2061

Re: Recommend airline luggage fitting in overhead bin?

First of all: you don't want a four wheel spinner. They are junk, and the wheels are garbage. That seems awfully presumptuous. I'm quite happy with my 4 wheel spinners which have done miles of travel over cobblestone roads without issue. It would perhaps be more useful to illustrate the pros and co...
by Exterous
Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend airline luggage fitting in overhead bin?
Replies: 23
Views: 2061

Re: Recommend airline luggage fitting in overhead bin?

Luggage that comes in around the standard carry on luggage dimensions won't work on: Bombadier CRJ200, 700 and 900 Embraer 145 They do work on pretty much anything else including the Embraer 170, 175 and 190 (Assuming the overheads aren't already full of someone else's luggage) Even if you get a sui...
by Exterous
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH travel tips?
Replies: 193
Views: 14565

Re: BH travel tips?

-GPS works just fine without cell service. -Download Google maps ahead of time for cell-less navigation Unless something has changed very recently Google Maps *walking* navigation requires data service, downloading the maps in advance does not resolve this issue. There are other apps that provide w...
by Exterous
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH travel tips?
Replies: 193
Views: 14565

Re: BH travel tips?

-Look at the public transportation options where you'll be visiting. It will usually be cheaper than driving or a cab and can often be faster. Google maps does a great job with public transportation time tables too if you have service. We'll frequently book hotels near train or metro stops which mak...
by Exterous
Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AmEx Delta Gold is now Honoring Bonus
Replies: 87
Views: 7461

Re: AmEx Delta Gold Not Honoring Bonus

The customer support person doesn't know for sure, but says I applied for the card a couple of years ago, which I did . I had the card a couple of months. I didn't get a miles bonus then. Moreover, there's nothing in the language of the application or terms/conditions that states you can't apply ag...
by Exterous
Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Zealand - Bucket list trip
Replies: 22
Views: 2070

Re: New Zealand - Bucket list trip

We made the trip in January so I'll throw in my $0.02 which matches some of the other recommendations. -If you can, do Doubtful Sound. The weather is very unpredictable in this area and rain can move in and out quickly. Doing the longer Doubtful Sound cruise will increase your chances of good weathe...
by Exterous
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving a rental car in Western Europe
Replies: 46
Views: 1854

Re: Driving a rental car in Western Europe

4. Listen to the local radio! Save your own music and podcasts for the plane flight. You're there to experience another culture, and this is a fun way to do it. We try to do that but its been our experience that american music dominates the airwaves so finding local music is difficult. We can get s...
by Exterous
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving a rental car in Western Europe
Replies: 46
Views: 1854

Re: Driving a rental car in Western Europe

When driving between countries in a rental car you may need to make additional stops to purchase required passes or equipment. For example you need an Vignette (Toll) pass in Austria which you won't get if you rent your car in Germany. You also need a reflective safety vest which may or may not be i...
by Exterous
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?
Replies: 77
Views: 7132

Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

It does seem like easy to get to warm spots are noticeably more expensive these days. I blame a good economy but not the worst problem to have. Its worth it for us although we're looking at going to less popular spots due to the increased costs Just to add....if you have airline miles with the airli...
by Exterous
Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k millionaires
Replies: 158
Views: 25274

Re: 401k millionaires

I wonder what percentage of people with access to a 401k are maxing it out though? It's got to be low single digits. According to to Vanguard , in 401(k)s administered by it: Maximum contributors During 2016, only 10% of participants saved the statutory maximum dollar amount of $18,000 ($24,000 for...
by Exterous
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best TurboTax (or other) offering for a filer with an sole proprietorship LLC?
Replies: 5
Views: 428

Re: Best TurboTax (or other) offering for a filer with an sole proprietorship LLC?

I've used turbo tax deluxe for the last couple of years for my sole proprietor llc without issue. (not the online version which apparently has less options for some reason). Admittedly it's a fairly straightforward tax situation - all schedule c, small home office, milage deductions, no inventory an...
by Exterous
Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Trouble [NY Times: TIAA pushes clients to high fee products]
Replies: 50
Views: 5588

Re: TIAA Trouble [NY Times: TIAA pushes clients to high fee products]

Interesting. This matches my anecdotal experience when I first started at a place a little less than 3 years ago that offered TIAA. During new employee orientation a TIAA rep was there to answer questions. I came up to him and wanted to talk about their index fund options. He couldn't have been more...
by Exterous
Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?
Replies: 249
Views: 35024

Re: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?

I use a AUM manager. My parents used him so he didn't charge me anything until I hit $50,000. Even now it's 'only' 0.67% on everything above that. About 1/3 of my money is with him and while I don't see that money changing anytime soon all new money goes into index funds. He's become a close family ...
by Exterous
Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you worry about linking external accounts?
Replies: 6
Views: 1154

Re: Do you worry about linking external accounts?

Link for online bill pay? Sure.

Provide actual login in information? Not a chance. I'd rather manually something than provide my credentials to a service that would automate it. Too many companies suck at security.
by Exterous
Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many miles/years do you keep your car?
Replies: 108
Views: 9266

Re: How many miles/years do you keep your car?

I always buy used, low mileage cars and try to get a model near the end of that generation. Most of the bugs are ironed out and there is already an established parts market. Popular models help since it makes parts and service even easier. I was able to find a replacement cluster and ac fan for my 0...
by Exterous
Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone else not liking the new cars?
Replies: 158
Views: 17116

Re: anyone else not liking the new cars?

Would love to see the opinions of the Toyota/Lexus grille based on age group and car enthusiast. My take is that the younger crowd will like the grille. I really like the look of the new Camry as I think they mad is sportier looking upfront. My wife and I are 34 and hate the look of the 2014-2018 s...
by Exterous
Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting the Great Barrier Reef
Replies: 20
Views: 1622

Re: Visiting the Great Barrier Reef

You really need to get out of the 'day trip' areas of the reef to really see it as the currently better preserved areas are farther off the coast. And a lot of the 'day trip' ones cater to the casual diver who is more looking to check the GBR off their bucket list. That said you can still have a gre...
by Exterous
Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Personal milestone (And a thanks)
Replies: 6
Views: 1766

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: 2312

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: 6
Views: 1766

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: 2312

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: 59
Views: 7288

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: 62
Views: 9243

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: 392
Views: 64665

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: 392
Views: 64665

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: 6035

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: 3560

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: 8550

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: 6035

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: 4740

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: 4740

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: 3416

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: 8413

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: 11747

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 only was i...
by Exterous
Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best CC for Travel
Replies: 82
Views: 9278

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: 9278

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 dates, etc. We were ...
by Exterous
Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best CC for Travel
Replies: 82
Views: 9278

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: 31667

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 something I enj...
by Exterous
Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 31667

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: 31667

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: 31667

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!