Search found 671 matches

by THY4373
Fri May 25, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 64
Views: 4115

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

We save 65% of after tax pay. Trying to rent a $800 2 bdrm apartment instead of a $1600 4 bdrm house for 2 adults, a cat, a dog, 2 teenagers, a home office and a home gym sounds penny wise and pound foolish (electromagnetic interference in an apartment makes our VPN connections run slow, pain to tr...
by THY4373
Fri May 25, 2018 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mango card hacked and drained! Help!
Replies: 4
Views: 814

Re: Mango card hacked and drained! Help!

I have not dealt with Mango but in my credit card arbitrage side gig I deal with a lot of similar vendors with various issues over time. You will almost certainly be made whole of that I have little doubt but you will probably also have to work for it. My advice is to use Google and see if you can f...
by THY4373
Fri May 25, 2018 12:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 64
Views: 4115

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

Again, I'm not saying that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between home ownership and being a millionaire, but the fact that over 90% of the millionaires Stanley studied were home owners should not be dismissed out of hand. There is clearly something going on here. I guess the issue I fund...
by THY4373
Fri May 25, 2018 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 64
Views: 4115

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

I just turned 70 and we have lived in our house for almost 44 years. As I age I am tired with home ownership that has served me well. Keeping up with the maintenance, landscaping, snow shoveling, leaf raking, gutter cleaning,etc. is getting old fast. Outsourcing those tasks is not the answer to me....
by THY4373
Fri May 25, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 64
Views: 4115

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

That's why I specifically said "correlation does not equal causation." That being said, there's probably a reason that so many of the millionaires Stanley studied 20 years ago were shying away from imported vehicles. I seem to recall that he discussed it but don't recall his explanation. You put th...
by THY4373
Fri May 25, 2018 9:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 64
Views: 4115

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

Do a ton of people really rent horrible little apartments/homes that they don't really want to live in? That seems very counter-intuitive. I certainly would not call where I rent horrible not by a long shot but there are some things that would prevent me buying here: House are cheap builder grade s...
by THY4373
Fri May 25, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 64
Views: 4115

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

As others have noted, renting often looks cheaper than owning because people aren't comparing apples to apples. You can't rightly compare a small apartment to a typical single family dwelling. There is a huge middle ground beyond tiny apartment vs 3000 square foot house. I rent a single family home...
by THY4373
Fri May 25, 2018 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 64
Views: 4115

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

The tax benefits I was referring to (imputed rent not being taxed) comes from owning the house. It does not assume a mortgage. Say you have a $500K house, with $300K left on the mortgage. The imputed rent tax benefit applies to the $200K home equity you have. The tax benefit from the $300K mortgage...
by THY4373
Thu May 24, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America ATM card not working internationally
Replies: 14
Views: 696

Re: Bank of America ATM card not working internationally

Like Sperry8 this is why I travel with multiple debit and credit cards spread across the Visa/MC/Amex spectrum. I also make sure I have the PINs for several credit cards so I can get a cash advance if debit cards fail or are lost or stolen. I also keep a separate set of cards and extra cash stored e...
by THY4373
Thu May 24, 2018 7:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 64
Views: 4115

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

On point one i am reminded of the old saying that the plural of anecdote is not data. Also if one is truly willing to rent something less than they are willing to buy then that is truly the comparison they should be making in my opinion. I wouldn't buy the place I rent because the house is very chea...
by THY4373
Wed May 23, 2018 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help needed to restore data
Replies: 12
Views: 839

Re: help needed to restore data

If it's not a communication issue and truly a data recovery issue, try Recuva for free. https://www.ccleaner.com/recuva That is basically a file carver (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_carving) and there are many, many tools out there that do this. Keep in mind if the failure is a hardware failu...
by THY4373
Wed May 23, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help needed to restore data
Replies: 12
Views: 839

Re: help needed to restore data

If you send it off to a service you will likely pay several hundred dollars or more depending what they need to do to recover the data (if that is possible). Also you don't necessarily need to use Seagate's recovery service. They may or may not be better and likely won't be cheaper (a lot of these c...
by THY4373
Tue May 22, 2018 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: International travel for Christmas
Replies: 26
Views: 1288

Re: International travel for Christmas

We've traveled to Europe a dozen times since 2003, and I disagree. Unless you like hot weather without AC, lines and crowds, and higher prices many areas in Europe are better in the fall thru spring. Agreed southern Europe is even nice in the winter. I went Portugal, Italy, Monaco and San Marino th...
by THY4373
Tue May 22, 2018 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2619
Views: 498643

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I also monetize my credit another way, but won't get into that here as I think its against the forum rules. If it is what I think it is I'd be careful with that. A number of folks I know have been shutdown by banks for doing it. I assume you are only doing it with banks where you are willing to sac...
by THY4373
Mon May 21, 2018 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emirates Airlines Skyward Miles - transfer?
Replies: 1
Views: 194

Re: Emirates Airlines Skyward Miles - transfer?

In general with very few exceptions you cannot transfer from one airline to another. Some airlines to permit you to transfer to hotel programs but Emirates does not appear to allow this. For some airline programs you can exchange through points.com albeit at horrible values but Emirates does not app...
by THY4373
Mon May 21, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering Buying a Home, Seeking Advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1164

Re: Considering Buying a Home, Seeking Advice

This house is going to have limited appear due to size and being next to a motel. I think the number of people looking to buy or rent such a place is going to be very small and thus unless you get some sort of insane deal I really think this is going to be a good investment. Also if an older couple ...
by THY4373
Sun May 20, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering Buying a Home, Seeking Advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1164

Re: Considering Buying a Home, Seeking Advice

As noted above 550 is very small for a house. My first condo which was a 1 bedroom was 848 square feet. You are still young and it is quite possible things will change a lot in your outlook over the next few years (marriage, living together, kids, awesome new job opportunity elsewhere, whatever). I ...
by THY4373
Fri May 18, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lucrative careers?
Replies: 318
Views: 22553

Re: Lucrative careers?

2 words: Government Job (if you are lucky enough to find one; you normally need to have an insider connection because these jobs are the Holy Grail of Job Security, Quality of Work Life, and pensions/benefits and even competitive salary and definitely long-term happiness). This is drawing some huge...
by THY4373
Wed May 16, 2018 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2018 401k limit is $55K - do you max it out? Why/why not?
Replies: 110
Views: 9959

Re: 2018 401k limit is $55K - do you max it out? Why/why not?

My plan allows both after-tax (non-Roth) contributions and in-service withdrawals and in-plan rollover to Roth 401k (this is more recent). I have been maxing out contributions for a number of years. When I have been unable to completely max out from current income I will use some cash from re-balanc...
by THY4373
Wed May 09, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need to unfreeze my credit before applying for a new card?
Replies: 50
Views: 3154

Re: Do I need to unfreeze my credit before applying for a new card?

Most of the time the credit card company will tell you the single credit reporting agency you are required to unfreeze. Last month I applied for a new CapitolOne card. They required that I unfreeze all three. I argued with them about having to go to all the trouble, as I have my credit score is aro...
by THY4373
Tue May 08, 2018 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United Mileage Plus CC - worth it?
Replies: 32
Views: 2955

Re: United Mileage Plus CC - worth it?

While this is a little late, that is why I *always* take a screen capture of the offers (with the task bar and date/time included). That said you can try a few things: 1). Review all the paperwork you got with the card and any emails, etc. See if any make mention of the offer. 2). Google Chase Execu...
by THY4373
Fri May 04, 2018 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old is too old for a vehicle, even for a well running one ?
Replies: 83
Views: 4924

Re: How old is too old for a vehicle, even for a well running one ?

Secondly, it is possible to get good deals on new or late model preowned cars which have a history of slow depreciation ( unless somebody has to buy something quickly in an emergency situation when an old car breaks down completely). In my opinion if you buying new low depreciation is your friend b...
by THY4373
Tue May 01, 2018 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fiber cable on front lawn
Replies: 39
Views: 2591

Re: Fiber cable on front lawn

My uncle was president of a large HOA in NoVA some years back. Comcast (not CentruyLink) was the problem in that neighborhood. Basically as the neighborhood aged the Comcast coax started die and their fix was to come out and route and bright orange coax cable from the junction box to a house across ...
by THY4373
Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH travel tips?
Replies: 192
Views: 13734

Re: BH travel tips?

Train travel in Europe: blades longer than 3" I just saw last night that trains (not sure whether all or just a few lines) do not allow knives with long blades. We have a chef's knife in our checked bag, which will be carried on the trains. Anyone have experience on this? No direct experience with ...
by THY4373
Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving - should I rent or buy?
Replies: 24
Views: 1591

Re: Moving - should I rent or buy?

Based on what you posted without any rent/buy numbers I'd be inclined to rent given you life is still very much in flux (as I would expect at your age). If you time horizon is around five years that doesn't give you a lot of time for appreciation to offset the transactions cost of real estate. Howev...
by THY4373
Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential risk with Chase URs [Ultimate Rewards]
Replies: 20
Views: 2563

Re: Potential risk with Chase URs [Ultimate Rewards]

Citi Prestige which offers similar rewards but has much better perks, like 4th night free While we are on the subject of rumors. There are rumors again of the 4th night benefit being tweaked. Over on FT somebody got yet another survey recently and many of the questions were around limits on this fe...
by THY4373
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel rewards programs
Replies: 45
Views: 3765

Re: Hotel rewards programs

As for most of the rest, I guess since we have so obtained more airline miles/points than we need just from credit card sign up bonuses, I haven't seen the value in the transfers to airlines. We only fly once or twice per year an have not paid airfare in the past 7 years and currently have about 60...
by THY4373
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel rewards programs
Replies: 45
Views: 3765

Re: Hotel rewards programs

For us the best value was transfer at 3:1 to Marriott ... The ratio from SPG"MR is actually 3:1. :confused Sorry I messed up like you. 1 SPG trasfers to 3 MR so 1:3 not 3:1 as you and later I put. This goes away 8/1 when all existing SPG points will be converted 1:3 to MR and the new earn rate on S...
by THY4373
Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel rewards programs
Replies: 45
Views: 3765

Re: Hotel rewards programs

I don't know what is changing with SPG, but have never understood some people's love affair with SPG points, anyway. For us the best value was transfer at 3:1 to Marriott and the card was not worth keeping with it's $95 fee. Have not gotten it yet, but the Marriott card might be one I would keep, a...
by THY4373
Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel rewards programs
Replies: 45
Views: 3765

Re: Hotel rewards programs

Yeah I’m so :annoyed about this. So much for my Starwood card that I’ve had for ages. What other cc are you looking at? I want a cc that gives luxury hotel rewards. For me my focus is going to be on Amex MR and Chase UR. I like Citi TYP but they don't really have a good option for unbonused spend s...
by THY4373
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ikea Quality
Replies: 37
Views: 2779

Re: Ikea Quality

Honestly is my experience it is pretty variable. Bought some of their better computer desks and office chairs back in 2009. The chairs which I think were like $400 each did not hold up well at all and I feel were a waste of money. The desks have held up great and I am still using them and feel I got...
by THY4373
Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel rewards programs
Replies: 45
Views: 3765

Re: Hotel rewards programs

I focus on flexible programs - Starwood, Chase ultimate rewards and Amex membership rewards. Just to point out the possibly obvious Starwood is going to take a 33% hit on the earn side for unbonused credit card spend come 8/1. Put another way it will take 50% more spend to earn the same as you do t...
by THY4373
Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel rewards programs
Replies: 45
Views: 3765

Re: Hotel rewards programs

Honestly unless you are a road warrior or can put a *lot* of spend through credit cards you are better off being something of a free agent in my book. You mention you have the Club Carlson and Marriott cards. CC which is Raddison Rewards now is not really good for credit card spend unless you have v...
by THY4373
Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any use in keeping Alaska Airlines card ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1333

Re: Any use in keeping Alaska Airlines card ?

:oops: Forgot about that. The new transfer rate would be .83. Still, I don't run up enough of a spend (4K/year max) to justify the fee if the companion fare has low value for me. 4k * (1- 0.833) = 667 points, which at a value of around 2c/p = $13 < $75 fee. Yeah honestly once I stock up prior to 8/...
by THY4373
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nomadic lifestyle in their 50s
Replies: 101
Views: 10427

Re: Nomadic lifestyle in their 50s

I am still in the very early planning stages of thinking about this about seven years hence. I have not decided whether to go full-on vagabond and just travel around almost continuously or do something more like Victoria mentions and take extended trips while keeping a base of operations in US. I am...
by THY4373
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a home with water damage
Replies: 21
Views: 1776

Re: Buying a home with water damage

I have to agree with most others and say walk. The only reason I can think they want to do this is they are somehow going to profit. I'd be worried of them cutting corners, etc. I have see some of the shortcuts folks take that when selling a place. It looks good at first but doesn't age well. Too co...
by THY4373
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any use in keeping Alaska Airlines card ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1333

Re: Any use in keeping Alaska Airlines card ?

1) I can get better spend miles on SPG/Mariott with the bonus on transfer (i.e. spend on SPG, then transfer to Alaska). Keep in mind on 8/1/18 the spend on SPG credit cards is being devalued for non-bonused spend. Today you earn one SPG point per dollar of spend which transfers 1 or 1.25 (in 20k ch...
by THY4373
Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: estate planning with animals
Replies: 28
Views: 2298

Re: estate planning with animals

And that's another reason to get a reputable attorney to set up the pet trust and to be careful in selecting who oversees the trust, if that is the route the OP chooses to take. A pet trust only works as intended if there is someone to enforce its rules, which means either a very trusted friend/rel...
by THY4373
Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: estate planning with animals
Replies: 28
Views: 2298

Re: estate planning with animals

Good for your mother's friend. I would have looked in the animal shelters, but I suspect the guy didn't even go to that trouble, just drove the cat somewhere and dumped it. If I had my way, anyone who harmed an animal would be teleported into the sun, and that's probably too good for them. She actu...
by THY4373
Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Planning for Health Care Costs
Replies: 22
Views: 2156

Re: Retirement Planning for Health Care Costs

I think 23-26 years out is way to far to try to predict this in any meaningful way. At this stage, I would just save as much I comfortably could while still enjoying life along the way. Re-evaluate as you get closer and such predictions become more meaningful. +1 it is a fools errand to try to pred...
by THY4373
Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: estate planning with animals
Replies: 28
Views: 2298

Re: estate planning with animals

This actually reminds me of a sad story. My mother's best friend lived in a high-end neighborhood in the DC area. It had been modest when she moved in 40-50 years before but it became a place where folks tore down houses and built 8 figure mansions due to great location. One of her neighbors was a v...
by THY4373
Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?
Replies: 94
Views: 5153

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Thanks for the repsonse. Mariott Business Preimier doesn't give you gold status, does it ? I just checked my Mariott status and discovered to my surprise that I'm Gold Elite. I barely stayed at Starwood/Mariott last year. I did have Amex Platinum card for a while (now cancelled) -- would that have ...
by THY4373
Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Way to Decline an International Job Assignment
Replies: 23
Views: 1698

Re: Best Way to Decline an International Job Assignment

Sorry. The destination country (middle east) may be the reason there have not been any volunteers. If safety is a concern there are many safe countries in the Middle East I know many westerners feel the whole region is a den of terrorists and failed states but there are plenty of safe countries. I ...
by THY4373
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?
Replies: 94
Views: 5153

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Getting back to the Credit Card changes -- it looks like Mariott/AMEX is adding a free night award to the current SPG card ? I can't see any change announced for the Mariott Premier Rewards Business Card. My renewal is coming up. I don't really expect to make use of 2 free night awards, so I'm thin...
by THY4373
Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?
Replies: 94
Views: 5153

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Yeah I feel sorry for Amex. They will probably do ok with me because I'll move about half of my SPG spend over to EDP (kicking myself for cancelling that late last year now after holding it for years) for 1.5 MR (with 30 transactions/month). I'll move the rest over to the Chase Freedom Unlimited whi...
by THY4373
Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?
Replies: 94
Views: 5153

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

6x points on in-hotel and 3x on restaurants/air I have to admit I am not too impressed with the 3x bonus category especially for a premium card. There are lots of cards that give bonuses in those categories. Amex Plat (which I hold) gives me 5x Amex MR on airline purchases which to me is much bette...
by THY4373
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?
Replies: 94
Views: 5153

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

Interesting then the value of the premium card to me would really come down to what value is extracted from the 50k free night. I am not sure I want to hold a $450 card to collect say a $250 free night + $300 refund. But if one is staying at SPG anyway I can see the appeal. For me without status (fr...
by THY4373
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH travel tips?
Replies: 192
Views: 13734

Re: BH travel tips?

One way we have reduced travel stress is to rigorously avoid tight connections. I agree and attempt to do this every time but it doesn't always work out. We purchase tickets months in advance online and by the time the day of our departure has rolled around, our well thought out schedule has been a...
by THY4373
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?
Replies: 94
Views: 5153

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

I have the spg AMEX and it's been a good all-purpose card for nearly 2 years. However, my annual fee ($95) is due to hit on Friday and AMEX does not seem interested in offering any loyalty or retention bonuses at this time. Given the changes that have been announced and the relative devaluation of ...
by THY4373
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?
Replies: 94
Views: 5153

Re: Termination of transfers from SPG and Marriott to airlines?

sperry8 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:51 am

(2 nights paid to get the $300 credit)
It is not clear to me that the credit can be used for your lodging costs. If it is I agree this card may have value but if it is for incidentals (meals, spa treatments, whatever) then it has a lot less value to me at least.