Search found 706 matches

by THY4373
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recent Trip to Naples, Italy
Replies: 9
Views: 1094

Re: Recent Trip to Naples, Italy

I like Naples too and I think it gets a bit of a bad rap. I went there with my son, my parents (in their 70s/80s), my sister and niece as part of a long trip to Italy last year. Yes it is rough around the edges in places but we never felt insecure (we used the metro and the well worn Circumvisuviana...
by THY4373
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beating $55K annual 401K limit?
Replies: 7
Views: 1960

Re: Beating $55K annual 401K limit?

The employee (YOU) can only contribute 18.5K total to all plans in 2018. You might be able to increase your contributions by 6k if you are over 50 (catch-up contributions). To reach 55K you would need your employer(s) to kick in a lot of money. 18.5k is the combined limit on traditional pre-tax and...
by THY4373
Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SPG rewards....sucks?
Replies: 24
Views: 2654

Re: SPG rewards....sucks?

The love affair with SPG points always baffled me, too. The actual redemptions at SPG hotels never seemed worth it and I always ended up transferring them to airline programs. I still have some that have been sitting around for a while and I will probably end up using them at a Marriott at some poi...
by THY4373
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SPG rewards....sucks?
Replies: 24
Views: 2654

Re: SPG rewards....sucks?

thanks to everyone that replied....I think I have a better understanding now. It does take some "homework" to squeeze out the best redemption value. The points required for a particular hotel doesn't change with demand/season. For example a category 5 in NY cost 14K points. If the market rate is $1...
by THY4373
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint Ownership of home with second wife
Replies: 184
Views: 11789

Re: Joint Ownership of home with second wife

this is your real problem. The first marriage did not work but you think the second will. Not that I am against a second marraige but why not wait until the kids are adults. Why put you kids in a situation with another wife/mom. Then if there is a must be married bucause can't live without a wife, ...
by THY4373
Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SPG rewards....sucks?
Replies: 24
Views: 2654

Re: SPG rewards....sucks?

Funny, I've had a lot more luck with Marriott properties -- probably depends on where you travel. I care a lot more about "butt in bed" travelers for any loyalty program (hotel/airline/auto). I don't like any program parts that place more importance on credit card spend than actually using the prop...
by THY4373
Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SPG rewards....sucks?
Replies: 24
Views: 2654

Re: SPG rewards....sucks?

To my eyes, the merged programs are better for SPG people and devalue the Marriott Rewards people. I would argue it is way more nuanced than that. Those who principally earned their SPG points by credit card spend are taking a a huge hit (especially for airline redemptions). Marriott CC spenders ar...
by THY4373
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint Ownership of home with second wife
Replies: 184
Views: 11789

Re: Joint Ownership of home with second wife

This thread reminds me of Dr. Samuel Johnson's observation that second marriages are "the triumph of hope over experience." OP if I were you I'd step back and try to define what are your life goals and objectives and how this marriage supports them (or not). When I got divorced I thought I would get...
by THY4373
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older Camrys - Hybrid vs regular?
Replies: 25
Views: 1557

Re: Older Camrys - Hybrid vs regular?

My ex-wife has a 2010 Fusion Hybrid we bought (when we were married) new. That car has been 100% reliable. It has about 120k miles on it now and still has the original brakes (due to the regenerative braking the regular brakes don't get much use) and it sill gets 40+ MPG. Awesome car. I believe the ...
by THY4373
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?
Replies: 160
Views: 7860

Re: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?

I always buy evacuation insurance. I generally go through USAA who outsources to another company. I always reduce the trip cancellation component to close to zero though I keep the travel delay as this lowers the cost greatly. For 18 days in Asia with $100k medical coverage (my insurance covers me o...
by THY4373
Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you start flying business class?
Replies: 155
Views: 12103

Re: When did you start flying business class?

I would love to see a "Deals on luxury services and items" subforum which would include how to get basement prices on business class tickets, how to best purchase an entry-level luxury car, and how to get the best deals on vacations in exotic locations. :) Mining the knowledge of the boglehead comm...
by THY4373
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you start flying business class?
Replies: 155
Views: 12103

Re: When did you start flying business class?

While I'm very happy you were able to get bargain-basement prices on business class, I believe you are mistaken about the emphasis of airlines and their marketing. The premium cabins subsidize the entire flight, and revenue from the premium cabin surprisingly and significantly exceeds that of the e...
by THY4373
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you start flying business class?
Replies: 155
Views: 12103

Re: When did you start flying business class?

FWIW, the difference in flying to Asia on a US Airline, such as American or United or flying Qatar or another countries flag airline is enormous. I've done Asia on Korean Air, Qatar and China Air and was treated so much better than a US carrier it was shocking. We just did a Ukraine Cruise and went...
by THY4373
Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you start flying business class?
Replies: 155
Views: 12103

Re: When did you start flying business class?

We traveled economy to Europe once and never again. Overnight flight, 30" seat pitch, entertainment box taking my leg room and a crying baby 3 seats away left an indelible scar across my cerebrum. Since then we have traveled Premium Economy or Business (usually with miles). While is certainly helps...
by THY4373
Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you start flying business class?
Replies: 155
Views: 12103

Re: When did you start flying business class?

There are no instances that I can think of -- other than in the airline industry -- where the masses have been convinced to spend $1000/hour or more for temporary comfort. The "masses" have been convinced of nothing of the sort. The majority of plane real estate is still dedicated to economy and if...
by THY4373
Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ways to Protect Assets Without a Prenup
Replies: 69
Views: 6814

Re: Ways to Protect Assets Without a Prenup

As somebody who has been through an ambicable divorce my advice is get a prenup and or stay single if this is a concern. Failing that keep documentation of all of your assets prior to marriage. In my divorce we had a neutral financial advisor who worked through separating my ex's and my premarital 4...
by THY4373
Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13912

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

I think you are mixing some apples and oranges. If you rent a house, aren't you responsible for maintaining the yard? That is pretty typical. You can hire someone to maintain the yard or house if you own. Isn't that essentially what you are doing with a landlord? I've only owned nice, newer places ...
by THY4373
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13912

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

There are intangible benefits to owning. It is yours. You can (pretty much) do what you want with it. It provides stability and continuity for your family. Speaking of projection :-). There are also intangible benefits to renting. I am not tied down to a particular location (my job is relatively lo...
by THY4373
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13912

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

Isn't the "high property tax" comment really just another comment on owning "more house" than one would rent? As I think I said earlier, ownership includes paying for the potential of a home, and the use of that potential over a long period. I think that's a valid reason for why people are willing ...
by THY4373
Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AADvantage Aviator RedWorld Elite MC
Replies: 8
Views: 607

Re: AADvantage Aviator RedWorld Elite MC

It is a decent offer it also still give you a 10% refund when you redeem AA miles up to 10k miles a year. For example I did AUH > JFK using AA miles on Etihad which cost 115k miles but after the 10k miles refund it was "only" 105k. The only catches I can think of are. AA saver space is very hit or m...
by THY4373
Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel advice for an engineer
Replies: 65
Views: 4462

Re: Travel advice for an engineer

Some places I have found very cool when I visted: Ancient temples of Cambodia. Amazing. Make the effort to get to some of the more remote ones, I loved Koh Ker and had the place almost entirely to myself at the height of tourist season. Amazing. Petra Jordan. Buildings that were not built but rather...
by THY4373
Thu May 31, 2018 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you guys do on the side?
Replies: 299
Views: 30718

Re: The Side Hustle

Can you elaborate on your "targets" for manufactured spending? The vast majority of what I do is well documented on Flyertalk, Reddit Churning and other public forums. But I work to expand on what is published. Don't just rely on Walmart find other places, hit the streets, develop other locations, ...
by THY4373
Thu May 31, 2018 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you guys do on the side?
Replies: 299
Views: 30718

Re: The Side Hustle

The days of manufactured spending are pretty much over. I dont know of any "easy" MF methods anymore. Im a frequent churner of credit cards...but since MF has died and chase implemented the 5/24 rule...the good ol days are over. I still fly for free and make $1k-$2k in gift cards a year...but its s...
by THY4373
Wed May 30, 2018 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13912

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

Admiral wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 7:30 am
Why would I not want to a) have an inflation-protected, cost-controlled asset as my largest monthly payment each month
Personally I like my savings/investments to be my "largest monthly payment" each month but to each their own.
by THY4373
Wed May 30, 2018 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13912

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

Yes, of course, an enjoyable life is in the eyes of the beholder, and much depends on the composition of one's household and the location and prices. And certainly we, renters, are not trying to convince others that renting is a universally best course of action. However, the general wisdom about r...
by THY4373
Tue May 29, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you guys do on the side?
Replies: 299
Views: 30718

Re: The Side Hustle

If you're willing to share, I would be curious in learning how you arbitrage credit rewards without "churning". The general gist is well known. The colloquial term is manufactured spending. Basically you find loops whereby you can put spend on a card to generate points and then pay off the credit c...
by THY4373
Tue May 29, 2018 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best retirement places for shy senior singles
Replies: 32
Views: 3998

Re: Best retirement places for shy senior singles

I am younger than you by about 20 years and also introverted and single (divorced). I have started thinking about some of this myself. Some random ideas: Since you are blue maybe look at locations in blue states that are near universities (given your background). You might meet more blue seniors tha...
by THY4373
Tue May 29, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheap options for retirement?
Replies: 17
Views: 2548

Re: Cheap options for retirement?

I would only move overseas if you want to not because you have to. I love travel and I am pretty location agnostic compared to most but I don't underestimate the challenges of living overseas (i have done it when I was younger). There have been plenty of threads here on retiring internationally so d...
by THY4373
Tue May 29, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you guys do on the side?
Replies: 299
Views: 30718

Re: The Side Hustle

I do credit reward arbitrage to fund my passion for travel (note: I don't "churn" cards as that just doesn't scale the way I want it to). I won't put a figure on it but I make good "money" this way. This has the following advantages for me: Tax free (I am a single and my day job earns well so not pa...
by THY4373
Mon May 28, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using Air Miles and Paying Fees and Taxes
Replies: 29
Views: 1912

Re: Using Air Miles and Paying Fees and Taxes

Sounds about right for BA fees one direction. BA fees are so high when I fly them I'll usually watch for cheap fare to Europe (there are quasi frequent sales) and buy the business class ticket outright and use miles to upgrade to First. I am doing that next year. A couple of years back BA had a busi...
by THY4373
Mon May 28, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13912

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

For the vast majority of households in the US, their home is their most valuable asset by far. What does that tell you? What it doesn't tell you is that there are tens or scores of millions of households with large (mid to high-six figure) portfolios that they accumulated by renting, saving the dif...
by THY4373
Mon May 28, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please help. Private school contract woes.
Replies: 21
Views: 3377

Re: Please help. Private school contract woes.

My son goes to a private school. A $1k deposit is due in February and full payment (unless on a payment plan) is due by July 31. Between February and May 1 you can withdraw and forfeit only the $1000 deposit, after May 1 you are no the hook for the full tuition for the following year. The school sen...
by THY4373
Sun May 27, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13912

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

What would be your household income in order to buy the 800+K condo? My 250K income statement is in response to OP's post that it is harder to beat the tax-deferred account's investment if someone cannot max the tax-deferred account in order to buy the 800+K condo. In any case, I will no longer com...
by THY4373
Sun May 27, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13912

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

You had stated that the calculation does not work if the household does not max out their tax-deferred accounts. Let's assume that it is 2 X 401K = 37K. So, that assumption immediately requires the household's income to be way above 250K or more. KlangFool I am curious why a couple would need that ...
by THY4373
Sun May 27, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Temporary living arrangements
Replies: 6
Views: 767

Re: Temporary living arrangements

You likely have no choice but I did something similar once. Sold a condo, stored my stuff, moved in with my parents a month before my soon-to-be-wife at the time both moved into a town house we bought together. I did not use a moving company but did store stuff in storage and at my parents' place. I...
by THY4373
Fri May 25, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13912

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: 7
Views: 1874

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: 166
Views: 13912

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: 166
Views: 13912

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: 166
Views: 13912

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: 166
Views: 13912

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: 166
Views: 13912

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: 166
Views: 13912

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: 38
Views: 2640

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: 166
Views: 13912

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: 1033

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: 1033

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: 1591

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: 2721
Views: 541709

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: 255

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...