Search found 124 matches

by Super Hans
Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?
Replies: 178
Views: 10538

Re: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?

Apple Pay seemed mostly like a silly gimmick to me, but I use it whenever possible to get 4,5% back with US Bank's Altitude Reserve Visa. Along the way, I discovered Apple Pay (or contactless) is much better than swipe or chip cards outside the United States. It's almost universally accepted and av...
by Super Hans
Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?
Replies: 178
Views: 10538

Re: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?

Apple Pay seemed mostly like a silly gimmick to me, but I use it whenever possible to get 4,5% back with US Bank's Altitude Reserve Visa. Along the way, I discovered Apple Pay (or contactless) is much better than swipe or chip cards outside the United States. It's almost universally accepted and avo...
by Super Hans
Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSBC checking bonus
Replies: 17
Views: 1504

Re: HSBC checking bonus

I wrote a few years ago about my bad experience trying to get the $750 HSBC bonus on a thread about banks fulfilling bonuses; sorry I don’t know how to link correctly: 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 P...
by Super Hans
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap vs Advantage: Which did you select?
Replies: 199
Views: 10177

Re: Medigap vs Advantage: Which did you select?

I'd prefer not to risk being subjected to medical underwriting if I were to initially opt for an Advantage Plan here and then end up in a state with sub-par Advantage networks AND then want to go back to a supplement policy instead. This deserves an attention. When you try to move from an MA to an ...
by Super Hans
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WaPo: "Mobile Passport" is the best-kept secret in air travel
Replies: 47
Views: 8206

Re: WaPo: "Mobile Passport" is the best-kept secret in air travel

I have GE, but I can’t use it when traveling with my daughter. I don’t trust CBP with her biometrics and will let her decide whether to enroll when she’s older. We successfully used the Mobile Passport app at IAD a handful of times but then got the unhappy surprise when arriving in May to find it no...
by Super Hans
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One Medical as Primary Care Provider
Replies: 14
Views: 1335

Re: One Medical as Primary Care Provider

My carrier offered me One Medical membership for free, but you get what you pay for. They seem to push para-professionals and the physicians largely trained in family practice rather than internal medicine (which is fine conceptually, but in practice doesn’t attract the top HMS grads). The few with ...
by Super Hans
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which shaving cream / oil?
Replies: 58
Views: 4188

Re: Which shaving cream / oil?

Are you Proraso fans finding the product in the States? I have no problem finding it on Amazon for $8 to $10 a tube. Is it that much cheaper in Europe? JT I’ll concede my ridiculousness. It’s five times more expensive on AMZN than at a grocery store in Rome, but especially for a soap that seems to ...
by Super Hans
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which shaving cream / oil?
Replies: 58
Views: 4188

Re: Which shaving cream / oil?

Are you Proraso fans finding the product in the States? I load up when in Italy, where it’s cheap, but I never see it in the USA. Obviously anything is available online, but for a price. I check out shaving supplies wherever I go. My favorite shave soap so far is Barbus from Slovakia. I don’t know i...
by Super Hans
Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Marcus-13 month no penalty CD
Replies: 6
Views: 1032

Re: Marcus-13 month no penalty CD

And there are savings accounts paying more than Marcus Goldman's 13-month, in any case.
by Super Hans
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings account for child?
Replies: 35
Views: 1664

Re: Savings account for child?

Has anyone succeeded in opening an account with a real, physical passbook in recent years? I think this would be the ideal way to introduce kids to the power of investing their tuppence wisely in the bank. It worked for me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxyB29bDbBA
by Super Hans
Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quiet, friendly hotels in Vienna and Krakow
Replies: 4
Views: 379

Re: Quiet, friendly hotels in Vienna and Krakow

Hotel Copernicus (https://copernicus.hotel.com.pl/) in Krakow is fantastic, right at Wawel Castle--Relais & Chateaux but the price was reasonable when I stayed last summer.
by Super Hans
Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with law school decision
Replies: 78
Views: 5953

Re: Help with law school decision

Having gone straight through from college, I'd strongly advise taking some time off and thinking more on this law business. I raced through school, taking no time off and was the youngest in my law school class. I would've gotten much more out of the experience had I spent even a year or two in the ...
by Super Hans
Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to stay in Naples, Italy and along Amalfi coast
Replies: 36
Views: 2237

Re: Where to stay in Naples, Italy and along Amalfi coast

I stayed at the Excelsior Hotel in Napoli, principally because I enjoyed retracing the steps of T, Chrissy, and Paulie from an episode of the Sopranos when they took a trip to old country. I wasn't disappointed, and it was a good base for eating lots of classic pizza around town and for a Pompeii da...
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: 1654

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: 2809

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: 681

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: 912

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: 2537

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 [2018]
Replies: 1057
Views: 102765

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: 17
Views: 2272

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: 50
Views: 4969

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: 3173

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: 3173

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 has peer calculators. Watching them trying to figure out RPN is like seeing a millennial confronted with manual t...
by Super Hans
Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Are We In A Real Estate Bubble?
Replies: 114
Views: 15319

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: 36
Views: 3611

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: [2018 Open Season] FEHB HDHP options for Federal Employees
Replies: 38
Views: 4155

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: 4809

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: 3275

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: 1322

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: 6806

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: 648

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: 232
Views: 30293

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: 142
Views: 10220

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: 27461

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: 1724

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: 10354

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: 6517

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: 7510

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: Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors
Replies: 31
Views: 6816

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: 2836

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: 11393

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: 1305

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: 8411

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: 5517

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: 3682

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: Personal Investments
Topic: Another Roth vs. Traditional debate, but for high-income Feds
Replies: 15
Views: 2551

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: 8610

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: 3513

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: 4129
Views: 789069

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: Personal Investments
Topic: Starting a 529 with no children on the horizon?
Replies: 15
Views: 1876

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...