Search found 111 matches

by Super Hans
Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it a Five-Twenty-Nine or a Five-Two-Nine Plan
Replies: 29
Views: 1439

Re: Is it a Five-Twenty-Nine or a Five-Two-Nine Plan

We always cite the complete 26 U.S.C. § 529, unless we're in the company of tax friends only and then say IRC 529.
by Super Hans
Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Italy
Replies: 42
Views: 2365

Re: Trip to Italy

Flight costs are an empirical question for Kayak or the like, but I never tried pairing a mainline transatlantic flight with a low-cost carrier for continuing intra-European flights. From New York and Washington, I've found that the best deals almost always have been a single ticket with one connect...
by Super Hans
Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FEHB HDHP's CFBC vs GEHA
Replies: 7
Views: 541

Re: FEHB HDHP's CFBC vs GEHA

Are you sure you'd have to change doctors? At least in metro Washington, everybody I've found seems to be in the UHC/GEHA network.
by Super Hans
Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEHA HSA investment thru Fidelity
Replies: 6
Views: 601

Re: GEHA HSA investment thru Fidelity

You only get $150/month premium "pass through" into the HSA Bank account. I'd just do a trustee-to-trustee transfer to Fidelity each time the HSA Bank balance reaches ~$1000, assuming HSA Bank doesn't try to tack on fees.
by Super Hans
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation for single parent and 2 teens: Belize or where?
Replies: 29
Views: 2310

Re: Vacation for single parent and 2 teens: Belize or where?

Panama might be worth considering, too. We found there was a lot to do around Panama City, including some history and the curiosity of the canal. Granted, the beaches weren’t spectacular, but it sounds like that’s not going to be the focus of your trip anyway.
by Super Hans
Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th
Replies: 687
Views: 48902

Re: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th

I'm waiting to see how "Fidelity's stellar service" works out. I'm trying to transfer my HSA from a bank and the online application instructed me to print and mail the forms to Fidelity. I took them to an office on Monday so I could double-check they had everything right. So far, the tracking featur...
by Super Hans
Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning a trip to Iceland with kids
Replies: 12
Views: 1379

Re: Planning a trip to Iceland with kids

We did a 4 or 5-day summer trip to Iceland and loved it. It was before kids, but I think it would be a great family trip. Obviously it would disappoint if you're looking for Hong Kong. The geysers and waterfalls and glacial lagoons and geothermal power are pretty unique. We didn't camp but stayed in...
by Super Hans
Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FEHB BCBS Basic vs. GEHA HDHP – Advice Needed!
Replies: 46
Views: 3036

Re: FEHB BCBS Basic vs. GEHA HDHP – Advice Needed!

I think you have it right. Also, note that the GEHA HDHP includes preventive dental; I don't think that BCBS plan does. As far as networks, in the Washington, D.C. area, GEHA contracts through United Healthcare, and it seems like everybody is in-network with UHC except for those few fancy practices ...
by Super Hans
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?
Replies: 72
Views: 2794

Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Not an 11/12, but my HP-48G scientific calculator is something like 25 years old. Just swapped the batteries again for the first time in at least 5 years.I should find somebody else who has one to see if the infrared data sharing function (kind of like a 90's version of airdrop) still works ;) Come...
by Super Hans
Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?
Replies: 72
Views: 2794

Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

My 48G is 25 years old and is going strong. All the other kids had the Texas Instruments 85, but my engineer father knew better. Even so, somehow I went astray. None of my fellow lawyers have peer calculators. Watching them trying to figure out RPN is like seeing a millennial confronted with manual ...
by Super Hans
Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are We In A Real Estate Bubble?
Replies: 112
Views: 13615

Re: Are We In A Real Estate Bubble?

* * * * * I was hoping this was true, that prices would drop in my outer-borough neighborhood over the next two years, but it seems Amazon might ruin my plans. My point is that local factors can be hard to predict. I have the same problem. I've been holding out on buying in metro Washington for yea...
by Super Hans
Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?
Replies: 35
Views: 3119

Re: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?

I know I'm coming across as an HDHP evangelist on several threads, but my analysis is that the HDHP always wins--at least with my employer's scheme (US Government FEHB). Here are my 2019 numbers: GEHA HDHP: $146 x 26 = 3796 p.a.; $3000 deductible - $1800 pass-through HSA contribution = $1200 ded. BC...
by Super Hans
Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FEHB HDHP options for Federal Employees
Replies: 28
Views: 2499

Re: FEHB HDHP options for Federal Employees

Sounds to me like you plan to underinsure your little family to save a few bucks. I'm also puzzled by this comment. I don't understand how I'm underinsuring through my choice of the GEHA HDHP over Blue Cross. I pay lower premiums, but I'm not aware of any network advantage with BC/BS. In fact, we h...
by Super Hans
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning first international trip - London/Paris
Replies: 74
Views: 4119

Re: Planning first international trip - London/Paris

Because I've often enjoyed transatlantic long weekend trips, I'm not so hostile to the proposition of a six-day London/Paris adventure. The day in Paris doesn't seem ideal, but it would be hard not to have a fun time spending three days in London and three days in Paris. That should give you enough ...
by Super Hans
Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Major Medical Expenses under HDHP
Replies: 31
Views: 3133

Re: First Major Medical Expenses under HDHP

I'm not sure I understand the reimbursement process discussion. Can't you simply write yourself a check from the HSA to pay your credit card bill, withdraw cash from the HSA at an ATM, etc.? It's not like an FSA with a gatekeeper. The gatekeeper is a potential IRS audit.
by Super Hans
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grands to London/Paris w/Smithsonian Journeys (Perillo Tours)
Replies: 12
Views: 1228

Re: Grands to London/Paris w/Smithsonian Journeys (Perillo Tours)

A tour sounds kind of terrible to me, but I've never tried it. I wonder if the ones with the Smithsonian marketing are an especially bad deal. Needless to say, no Smithsonian curatorial staff has contributed to the content--it's just a matter of the tour operator paying a licensing charge to use the...
by Super Hans
Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull kids from school for vacations?
Replies: 136
Views: 6096

Re: Pull kids from school for vacations?

When I was in third grade, my parents took me to spend six weeks in the old country over Christmas. In high school, my dad took me on business trips to Europe every year for one or two weeks each time. All these experiences were transformative, and I missed much of nothing back in public school.
by Super Hans
Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NAVY 2 year CD
Replies: 3
Views: 597

Re: NAVY 2 year CD

I saw brokered CDs from JPMC at 3% on a 2-year this morning (sold in $1k increments), so this Navy Federal offer isn't especially hot.
by Super Hans
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades
Replies: 75
Views: 9278

Re: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades

There are VAST factor differences among those countries: This click bait reeled me in, but I found it to be an useless and arbitrary list. I don't know how they came up with the cost of living numbers. I suppose in the poorer countries on the list, they might be looking at special expat-type accomm...
by Super Hans
Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?
Replies: 139
Views: 8887

Re: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?

I'm amazed there are so many B&M banks around our neighborhood; and they keep growing. A new bank branch in Harvard Sq. in just the last couple of months. I don't know how they can be justified as there's never anyone in them. I'm sure most of the students at the couple of small, no-name colleges w...
by Super Hans
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 293
Views: 25793

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

Being too timid to implement my investment plan and largely sitting out the decade-long bull market.
by Super Hans
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Overnight near Atlanta?
Replies: 30
Views: 1662

Re: Overnight near Atlanta?

It may not work out with the 6 pm to 5 am plan, but we enjoyed stopping by this National Park Service site in Macon last year:

https://www.nps.gov/ocmu/index.htm
by Super Hans
Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Supermarket are you?
Replies: 155
Views: 9479

Re: Which Supermarket are you?

I scan for deals at Giant and Harris-Teeter and Safeway somewhat regularly, but nearly all the food I eat comes from Whole Foods. I’m super cheap and this thread makes me feel like I’m in the $5k watch camp. But what do you buy that’s more expensive at WFM than at other stores? Comparing apples to a...
by Super Hans
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 6 hour layover on Heathrow
Replies: 54
Views: 5617

Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

With four hours last year, I went through immigration to take a shower and change clothes in the LHR Sofitel. I was connecting on to Europe from the US, and it was great to arrive freshened-up in my destination. On the return, I had ~20 hours and enjoyed a bit of sightseeing in London with the famil...
by Super Hans
Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me choose a top law school!
Replies: 65
Views: 6759

Re: Help me choose a top law school!

+1. This is basically my analysis, too. You probably know this, but you are in a great position to succeed in life no matter what you pick. FWIW, Top 3 schools - YHS are in a league of its own. The following 3 schools - Columbia, Chicago, and NYU, are in another league. The difference is visible, as...
by Super Hans
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors
Replies: 31
Views: 5419

Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Delta Neutral is describing the Bank of America card with a $95 fee, the Premium Rewards Visa. It comes with, among other things, a $100 airline incidental credit each year, so I don't mind paying for this one. If you're opposed to paying an annual fee regardless, though, you can get the same rebate...
by Super Hans
Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any reason to keep my Life Insurance (FEGLI)?
Replies: 17
Views: 2096

Re: Any reason to keep my Life Insurance (FEGLI)?

At the water cooler, I try to spread the word that FEGLI is a bad deal--unless your health isn't great. For about the same price as the basic FEGLI premium, I bought a $1 million/20-year policy.
by Super Hans
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does it make sense to drop health insurance?
Replies: 198
Views: 10593

Re: Does it make sense to drop health insurance?

It seems like moving outside the United States would be a viable alternative for those too squeezed by health insurance premiums. This is a problem peculiar to the US, and I suspect a nice private policy in another country must be considerably cheaper.
by Super Hans
Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance Advice for New Grad (HCOL, comp better than expected)
Replies: 9
Views: 1246

Re: Personal Finance Advice for New Grad (HCOL, comp better than expected)

In my high-flying days just out of school, I lived in Manhattan and enjoyed myself, tried not to think much of the city tax, joined a private club, never used the apartment kitchen, vacationed around the world &c. For the most part, though, I was a prodigious saver. A complexity for me was that I ne...
by Super Hans
Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any BLACK FRIDAY deals for Bogleheads?
Replies: 51
Views: 8120

Re: Any BLACK FRIDAY deals for Bogleheads?

Each of us scored a Service Credit Union Black Friday 3-month certificate at 10% APY. There's a $1k max., but it's still better than buying things we don't need!
by Super Hans
Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash in a local bank or credit union
Replies: 54
Views: 5034

Re: Cash in a local bank or credit union

Conveniently, a local credit union has "rewards checking" that pays 2% on up to $20k. This works out nicely for easy access. Of course, I have to contrive ~15 micropurchases on my debit card monthly to qualify for the rate.
by Super Hans
Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast
Replies: 37
Views: 3371

Re: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast

I won't repeat a lot of the great insight that others have shared already, but I wanted to weigh in by pointing out that I thoroughly enjoyed Naples and Pompeii in January 2017 with my family. Along with my wife and toddler, we rode out the 2017 US Presidential Inauguration in Italy for about ten da...
by Super Hans
Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another Roth vs. Traditional debate, but for high-income Feds
Replies: 15
Views: 2329

Re: Another Roth vs. Traditional debate, but for high-income Feds

I'm paying AMT now, so I'm looking for every opportunity to reduce my AGI. Also, the prospect of avoiding state tax forever by retiring in a more tax-friendly jurisdiction helps keep me 100% tTSP. The scales might tip for those who carry guns and get the "super" pension.
by Super Hans
Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Guns in Estate [how to sell]
Replies: 56
Views: 7412

Re: Help with Guns in Estate [how to sell]

To the extent it takes a long time to figure out how to dispose of guns properly, is it critical to clean them or do other maintenance? I have some potentially high-value guns my grandfather once loved. Ideally I'd learn to shoot them correctly, but for the past few years they've been sitting in the...
by Super Hans
Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oregon personal Trip
Replies: 25
Views: 3095

Re: Oregon personal Trip

No votes for Crater Lake here? That was the highlight of my one trip to Oregon.
by Super Hans
Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3112
Views: 605170

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I just received an offer from the Fidelity/Elan card that I had to read twice. In a nutshell: for any spend above $1.4K during an upcoming six week period, each dollar spent will earn an additional point up to a maximum of $20. Call me very underwhelmed. I'm even more underwhelmed: I get the bonus ...
by Super Hans
Tue May 23, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting a 529 with no children on the horizon?
Replies: 15
Views: 1736

Re: Starting a 529 with no children on the horizon?

I contributed to a 529 in Washington, D.C., before I had a kid, because I wanted to max out the tax break. There's no recapture beyond a few years there. I ended up having a kid and leaving the District later. I transferred the money out to a better plan. But I also would've been ahead if I just cas...
by Super Hans
Mon May 01, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to hold cash at Fidelity
Replies: 13
Views: 6649

Re: How to hold cash at Fidelity

Some of the bank CDs Fidelity brokers are decent, though even 1-month CDs might defeat the purpose for having the money at Fidelity (i.e., cash ready to invest right away).
by Super Hans
Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trouble with LMCU transactions coming in as "bill pay"
Replies: 7
Views: 1260

Re: Trouble with LMCU transactions coming in as "bill pay"

Although I dont' fully understand the economics of rewards checking accounts, I don't think LMCU will be sympathetic to the plight of those of us who are satisfying their requirements through micro-transactions. Rather than pursuing the Comcast processing issue with them, I might change your strateg...
by Super Hans
Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching HSBC accounts
Replies: 1
Views: 494

Re: switching HSBC accounts

If I set up a HSBC Advance Checking account, could I switch to Choice Checking, which has only a $1,500 minimum balance, without paying the early account closure fee? I would guess so, though I don't know for sure. I changed from Premier to Choice, and it only took a "Bank Mail" message. The accoun...
by Super Hans
Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Changes to NYS Deferred Compensation Plan
Replies: 117
Views: 18725

Re: Changes to NYS Deferred Compensation Plan

https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/irc-457b-deferred-compensation-plans ^^ See if this link answers your question. Thanks! I think the answer is that it's well worth it to stay in a governmental 457 plan. Even though there are some nickel-and-dime recordkeeping charges I'd save with a rollover to...
by Super Hans
Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Changes to NYS Deferred Compensation Plan
Replies: 117
Views: 18725

Re: Changes to NYS Deferred Compensation Plan

More broadly, I've been debating for more than a decade whether to rollover my money in this plan to the federal TSP. Besides figuring out whether the expenses are a good deal, are there advantages to having a 457 like this in the mix?
by Super Hans
Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%
Replies: 247
Views: 38420

Re: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%

I just opened an 84-month, non-IRA certificate online, notwithstanding the website notice that online account opening is unavailable.
by Super Hans
Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouse Health FSA can pay for HDHP expenses?
Replies: 4
Views: 562

Re: Spouse Health FSA can pay for HDHP expenses?

My understanding is that you're not eligible for an FSA if you're covered by an HDHP (and take advantage of the HSA benefit). You would still qualify for a limited FSA, which I believe covers only vision and dental but not the core medical expenses subject to the high deductible.
by Super Hans
Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Singapore Sling (Raffles Hotel) or Suntory Whisky (Park Hyatt Tokyo)?
Replies: 13
Views: 1659

Re: Singapore Sling (Raffles Hotel) or Suntory Whisky (Park Hyatt Tokyo)?

The Singapore sling at the Raffles seemed like an overpriced tourist trap, and I didn't partake though I set out to do so initially. It's well-advertised all over the hotel and marketed to passers-by with prominent signage. I enjoyed the "Night Safari" at the Singapore Zoo. I realize that's not an o...
by Super Hans
Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Banks not honoring bank bonuses on time
Replies: 30
Views: 3376

Re: Banks not honoring bank bonuses on time

Of the many bank bonuses I've set out for through the years, the only bank that truly behaved irresponsibly was HSBC with the HSBC Premier $750 promotion that ran in the last quarter of 2015 and for which payouts were due around the end of May 2016. HSBC is just terrible. They offshore customer serv...
by Super Hans
Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UPS Store Notary (legit)
Replies: 18
Views: 6856

Re: UPS Store Notary (legit)

In any event, the likelihood of there being consequences from a false notary seems remote. E.g., even if the notary's commission expired, it wouldn't invalidate the document.
by Super Hans
Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citigold minimum increasing to $200,000
Replies: 39
Views: 26107

Re: Citigold minimum increasing to $200,000

Even assuming Citi is convenient for you, you can get "basic checking" with no minimum and no fee, so long as you pay a bill and have a direct deposit each month. I converted over to this bottom-of-the-barrel account after getting kicked out of the Private Bank. I don't really see a difference, exce...
by Super Hans
Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are there any dental insurance worthwhile?????
Replies: 31
Views: 4738

Re: Are there any dental insurance worthwhile?????

The premium for my dental plan through FedVIP (not employer subsidized) is less than the cost of two routine checkups/cleanings. The plan pays these visits, plus x-rays as often as annually, at 100%. My dentist gives the carrier more than a 50% discount but didn't budge in my gentle efforts to negot...
by Super Hans
Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bereavement flight discounts
Replies: 8
Views: 1809

Re: Bereavement flight discounts

Sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, I think bereavement fares belong to a kinder and gentler era of air travel. Last time I had to call United and USAirways in such circumstances, they basically told me I was out of luck. Updated with some links that might help, though it looks like only Delta is of...