Search found 592 matches

by susa
Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I checked my reward points from Whole Foods...
Replies: 4
Views: 1300

Re: I checked my reward points from Whole Foods...

We use Amex Preferred at WF with 6% bonus but scan the Prime app for member discount items.
by susa
Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase closed my accounts and banned me and I don’t know why
Replies: 48
Views: 7564

Re: Chase closed my accounts and banned me and I don’t know why

.. purpose of opening multiple bank accounts? I think OP already wrote that reason was taking advantage of bank promos. We (family) opened more than dozen bank accounts last 12 months, including the $600 (300+300+100) Chase bonus for Savings and Checking, parked funds for 3 months, moved everything...
by susa
Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maintenance and Repair of HVAC, Water Heaters, etc
Replies: 28
Views: 2453

Re: Maintenance and Repair of HVAC, Water Heaters, etc

Vinegar is definitely the easier of the two to rinse out of the drain line. Bleach should not be used for drain lines that are made of PVC or ABS plastic. ... Using vinegar for preventative maintenance throughout the year will keep not only keep your drain clean and clear, but it also will not damag...
by susa
Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maintenance and Repair of HVAC, Water Heaters, etc
Replies: 28
Views: 2453

Re: Maintenance and Repair of HVAC, Water Heaters, etc

Between the dual units at home, my rental, and my parents' house, it seems like every year we need a visit from an HVAC guy. Condenser and Evaporator coils are simple and easy DIY to clean. Replacing filters is not enough, coils need clean air to operate efficiently. All our systems are mini-splits...
by susa
Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maintenance and Repair of HVAC, Water Heaters, etc
Replies: 28
Views: 2453

Re: Maintenance and Repair of HVAC, Water Heaters, etc

.. draining it once/year, unscrewing the drain valve (you can buy a replacement brass valve if yours is plastic) and then using a wet/dry vacuum via that opening to remove any sediment accumulated at the bottom. This is so simple, even an old granny can do without help. The wet/dry vacuum can be sk...
by susa
Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Go for the Honda 0.9% APR loan or pay cash? 35k minivan
Replies: 51
Views: 4047

Re: Go for the Honda 0.9% APR loan or pay cash? 35k minivan

Before you buy or lease and before you finance a car, check out his advice

https://www.youtube.com/c/KevinHunter/videos
by susa
Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is cash really king?
Replies: 35
Views: 3714

Re: Is cash really king?

Since so many referenced car purchase, these are worth the watch

https://www.youtube.com/c/KevinHunter/videos
by susa
Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marcus Offering 1.1% No-Penalty CD to AARP Members
Replies: 50
Views: 5018

Re: Marcus Offering 1.1% No-Penalty CD to AARP Members

Not sure why anyone would do this as several FDIC insured banks offer money market or savings accounts online that pay 1.30% or little below. The CD rate can easily be beat. Affirm is 1.30% and Varo is 1.21% and many more.
by susa
Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too much cash is making me panic
Replies: 29
Views: 4335

Re: Too much cash is making me panic

sergio wrote: We have about $125k in cash. This is about 1.5 years worth of expenses. When it was earning 1.5-2% I was okay holding the cash.
We park about same with Affirm which is still paying us tax free 1.30% interest. No sweat
by susa
Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA and generational tax burden
Replies: 11
Views: 801

Re: IRA and generational tax burden

Once we are on Medicare, we plan on taking out 25k from IRAs for which we pay no income tax and we are not taking Social Security. Otherwise we live off zero income. We give this amount in full to kids accounts in effect, as everyone has full joint access to all our bank accounts as all names are li...
by susa
Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A few things that points blogs don't tell you about credit card points
Replies: 67
Views: 9133

Re: A few things that points blogs don't tell you about credit card points

Useful link https://www.doctorofcredit.com/deal-cal ... iry-dates/

Last year, we did as a family, 46 individual cards, same with business credit cards, many with offers like spend 500 get 200 or spend 3000 get 300 or get 500 and all these were cash back.
by susa
Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion Planning for Inheritance (not the usual!)
Replies: 16
Views: 1052

Re: Roth Conversion Planning for Inheritance (not the usual!)

I really don't understand this: Every once in a while we sit down as a family (small and we get along - key!) and update a letter of instruction for various inheritance scenarios. We also do this in our family and our parents did this with us. It was an open, no limits, no question is too stupid to...
by susa
Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: on emailing car dealers
Replies: 14
Views: 1484

Re: on emailing car dealers

No need to unsubscribe. Just mark it as spam. Even easier method is to temporarily forward from the NEW email address to a primary email. Once negotiations completed, purchase completed or changed mind, simply stop the forwarding and either abandon or delete the gmail address. You can also setup a s...
by susa
Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost of Mazda CX-5 Touring?
Replies: 69
Views: 4252

Re: cost of Mazda CX-5 Touring?

For some ideas on what to do vs. not to do & how-to do

https://www.youtube.com/c/KevinHunter/videos
by susa
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off Phone Bill via Amex Platinum or Debit Card?
Replies: 40
Views: 2957

Re: Pay off Phone Bill via Amex Platinum or Debit Card?

We use Amex Business SImplyCash which pays a 5% rebate, ATT gives us another one for having Autopay enabled and we get another 10% discount by having AARP membership (which was at a 33% discount from an offer originating via Bank of America)
by susa
Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Taxes on Unemployment?
Replies: 22
Views: 1431

Re: Estimated Taxes on Unemployment?

dodecahedron wrote: ..Confirmed with users.nber.org/~taxsim/taxsim27 ..
That is a very handy calculator ! Easy to forecast next 2 years out.
by susa
Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Poverty Level Guidelines: Medicare
Replies: 1
Views: 320

Federal Poverty Level Guidelines: Medicare

Read about it on https://q1medicare.com/PartD-The-2021-Medicare-Part-D-Outlook.php? Almost at bottom of page, under the section header: Federal Poverty Level Guidelines: LIS Qualifications The LIS qualifications using the 2020 Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines are shown below. MFJ (2) shows val...
by susa
Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes when both on Medicare but not collecting SocSec
Replies: 2
Views: 279

Taxes when both on Medicare but not collecting SocSec

Having searched various ways, could not find a thread that discussed the situation where both (MFJ, 65++ but <70) on Medicare in 2021, not collecting Social Security and how to plan around IRA " withdrawal income without income tax ", without actually having any income (no dividends,no interest,no W...
by susa
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401K/Roth401K Drawdown Tax Calculation
Replies: 5
Views: 404

Re: 401K/Roth401K Drawdown Tax Calculation

Just another twist to this, we have *all* of our 401k in a rollover IRA and have not paid a penny of income taxes for several years How ? By taking standard deduction for MFJ, having no income and taking our just 24.5k (average) annually, setup via automatic money market sale monthly at VG and trans...
by susa
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need to Pay Estimated Taxes for Social Security?
Replies: 31
Views: 2551

Re: Need to Pay Estimated Taxes for Social Security?

While they do not owe anything, in case situation changes, all our "elderly relatives" do everything online Create logon and enter 1040, then select 1040ES from the dropdown at https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/ No need to visit any place and no need to mail anything. Before we retired, we settled all our...
by susa
Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Replacement - 4 Ton $9,500?
Replies: 7
Views: 1115

Re: HVAC Replacement - 4 Ton $9,500?

On all our homes we install only direct current (DC) variable speed inverters which typically provide 25 SEER and sometimes higher energy ratings. Mitsubishi makes excellent systems. Another way to use inverters is to install two or three mini-split systems and you are no longer dependent on a singl...
by susa
Mon May 25, 2020 5:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Enrollment 7 month window vs ACA
Replies: 17
Views: 1128

Re: Medicare Enrollment 7 month window vs ACA

When you switch to Medicare, you simply tell your ACA insurer and you stop paying them. It doesn't have to be an end of year. It can be any month. The goal in mind was to not to apply for ACA during Nov-Dec enrollment for the next year. Now the plan is to apply for Medicare in October and then it b...
by susa
Sun May 24, 2020 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Enrollment 7 month window vs ACA
Replies: 17
Views: 1128

Re: Medicare Enrollment 7 month window vs ACA

If you do not sign up for Medicare by the month of your birthday, then there is a two-month delay from your actual enrollment month until Medicare coverage begins. So in your case, you need to enroll no later than December 31. In that case your Medicare coverage becomes effective March 1. Since I h...
by susa
Sun May 24, 2020 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Enrollment 7 month window vs ACA
Replies: 17
Views: 1128

Re: Medicare Enrollment 7 month window vs ACA

“Example 1. Ellen was enrolled in a qualified health plan with APTC. She turned 65 on June 3 and became eligible for Medicare. Ellen must apply to Medicare to receive benefits. She applied to Medicare in September and was eligible to receive Medicare benefits beginning on December 1. ... This conce...
by susa
Sun May 24, 2020 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Enrollment 7 month window vs ACA
Replies: 17
Views: 1128

Re: Medicare Enrollment 7 month window vs ACA

So December it is then, despite turning 65 in September. Makes it easier on wallet. Assuming December application also means that Medicare starts Jan 1 the next year. For the supplemental, there is some mention about a December 7th deadline so not sure if Ok to wait "..until middle of month.." or be...
by susa
Sun May 24, 2020 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Enrollment 7 month window vs ACA
Replies: 17
Views: 1128

Re: Medicare Enrollment 7 month window vs ACA

ACA Silver Plan (Blue Cross costs me $15/month)
by susa
Sun May 24, 2020 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Enrollment 7 month window vs ACA
Replies: 17
Views: 1128

Medicare Enrollment 7 month window vs ACA

The initial enrollment period. When you turn 65, you have a seven month window to enroll in Medicare. This includes three months before the month you turn 65, your birth month, and three months after the month you turn 65 Source: https://www.aetnamedicare.com/en/understanding-medicare/medicare-enro...
by susa
Sun May 03, 2020 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?
Replies: 61
Views: 5077

Re: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?

... you also have the option of *suspending* your retirement benefits at any time after FRA. This will allow delayed retirement credits to start running again (but not retroactively) and does not require repaying anything. So filing "now" but immediately "suspending" and then waiting until 70 would...
by susa
Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally 1.9% or Vanguard Treasury MM 1.51%? I live in CA
Replies: 36
Views: 3862

Re: Ally 1.9% or Vanguard Treasury MM 1.51%? I live in CA

Why not CFG Community Bank ? Still pays 2.05 APY as of today.
by susa
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If selling/buying house: Termite Warranty for Tenting
Replies: 2
Views: 258

Re: If selling/buying house: Termite Warranty for Tenting

We have homes in multiple states/locations and do not use national chain retailers. Best to use someone who sells both wholesale and retail and has all required state licenses for hazardous materials. Typically we have contracted with family owned businesses for continuity where they have been in op...
by susa
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If selling/buying house: Termite Warranty for Tenting
Replies: 2
Views: 258

If selling/buying house: Termite Warranty for Tenting

There are other threads on this topic but wanted to give a buyer/seller report on the subject of having an annual renewal/warranty for Termites. If you are selling a house and there has *ever* been evidence of termites (this would show up in the buyers inspection), the in-force termite warranty cove...
by susa
Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TotalDirectBank offering 2.10% APY for online savings account - But are they safe?
Replies: 12
Views: 1500

Re: TotalDirectBank offering 2.10% APY for online savings account - But are they safe?

For Florida, this is a better alternative - 2.25% APY money market ($25,000 minimum; guaranteed through 6/30/20)

https://www.customersbank.com/ascent/
by susa
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shopping for car insurance anonymously and privately
Replies: 33
Views: 2637

Re: Shopping for car insurance anonymously and privately

.. always been pleased with State Farm - and have never shopped rates. Used to be...... after decades and 3 or more cars went online (it took 24 minutes) to Progressive and cut 800.00 off annual bill with identical coverage. Called our SF agent and asked .. Can you match this? The response was, Tha...
by susa
Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire checking 1000$ offer
Replies: 170
Views: 25495

Re: Chase Sapphire checking 1000$ offer

I just went with the $600 offer when opening a checking and savings account and keeping a balance in it. I moved over $15K to savings and $2K for checking. Was there a reason you moved 2k into checking as the terms for the $600 bonus specify only fee-free requirement avg of 1.5k ? I understand the ...
by susa
Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Costco CASH Cards at Automotive section
Replies: 31
Views: 2364

Re: Using Costco CASH Cards at Automotive section

As a paying member of Costco, I think Costco should not allow nonmembers to shop there. It is free lunch for them and that raises the cost for all of us. There is nothing to stop a Cash Card holder to join Costco. ...and pray tell, what shall I say to all associates for whom I purchased as a member...
by susa
Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Costco CASH Cards at Automotive section
Replies: 31
Views: 2364

Re: Using Costco CASH Cards at Automotive section

OP is not returning merchandise, just considering cancelling membership after purchase. I am the OP and you should not attribute such a consideration to me, especially since I make nor made no such claim or suggestion! My only question was about using Cash Cards for everything, inclusive of the aut...
by susa
Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Costco CASH Cards at Automotive section
Replies: 31
Views: 2364

Re: Using Costco CASH Cards at Automotive section

Yes, I am a member but the whole idea and what Costco online website states is that the Costco Gift Cards are for just this type of purchase --- no need to be a member but just use it as a Guest and good as CASH. Bewildered! As to batteries, their Interstate (there are only 2 manufacturers in the US...
by susa
Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Costco CASH Cards at Automotive section
Replies: 31
Views: 2364

Using Costco CASH Cards at Automotive section

Anyone run into this at Costco using their CASH CARDS which work fine for non-member shopping consumables/goods at the warehouse. To make purchase as non-member a manager just has to key in a code at register since there is no membership. Works fine and I use that feature regularly. Tried to purchas...
by susa
Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Xfinity cost comparison?
Replies: 30
Views: 1908

Re: Xfinity cost comparison?

I pay $50/month for the bare bones 25mb/s. I was paying $35 but my promo expired. I may try to haggle them back to $35. We have 100 mbps internet and bare bones basic TV service and no equipment from comcast (if we watch evening news live, we use stream). Our total bill is 60 and another 5 for tari...
by susa
Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare: Just Starting Down The Rabbit Hole
Replies: 53
Views: 4439

Re: Medicare: Just Starting Down The Rabbit Hole

The only thing I found that was difficult was the transition from "Me + Wife both on ACA plan" to "Me on Medicare, Wife on ACA plan". The Healthcare.gov rep on the phone messed up the transition. It popped my wife into the Medicaid queue. If you don't mind, can you share if you now know Why this ha...
by susa
Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 441
Views: 35625

Re: Retirement Friendly States

Outside the States, several places. All you need is dual passport and you even get almost free healthcare with world class doctors/nurses.
by susa
Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Social Security not sending verification code
Replies: 20
Views: 1562

Re: My Social Security not sending verification code

We have officially Google as our cell phone provider (paid $40 to export ATT phone to Google).

None of the texts arrived and the verification to claim new code in mail requires phone which now fails verification so no letter is sent, no new code
by susa
Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth vs Roth Brokerage
Replies: 11
Views: 782

Re: Roth vs Roth Brokerage

Update: After a couple accounts were updated/upgraded from non-brokerage Roth to Brokerage Roth, several family members lost their Full Agent view/execute access despite granting same to ALL at the time of the update and the grantee having signed online eConsent. Had to send multiple messages and sp...
by susa
Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth vs Roth Brokerage
Replies: 11
Views: 782

Re: Roth vs Roth Brokerage

Krhmm... last night VG automatically proceeded to propose upgrade/update for all non-brokerage Roths and also automatically preserved the Full Agent Authority access for each family member for these new brokerage Roths.

Funny timing ! :sharebeer
by susa
Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Trouble logging in to PNC Bank - wonder if they’re being attacked]
Replies: 10
Views: 1257

Re: Looks Like PNC Bank Under Cyber Attack (yet again)

Downdetector shows PNC had massive problems from 12noon for couple hours

Similary, last night Bank of America had massive logon outages, mobile included, graph shows it also
https://downdetector.com/status/bank-of-america/
by susa
Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marcus bonus: Timing of withdrawing funds
Replies: 32
Views: 3423

Re: Marcus bonus: Timing of withdrawing funds

I know for a fact, the account must contain at least one dollar, 1.00 How do I know that... it just happened that I had a large cash balance there at one time and balance was moved via intermediate steps to Northern Bank which still pays 2.50 interest. Some remnants of interest remained at below 1.0...