Search found 868 matches

by Austintatious
Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings
Replies: 27
Views: 2891

Re: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings

What about maxing out on EE bonds and/or I bonds? Considering your current age, maxing out on EE bonds for a couple of years would provide a very safe investment with a guaranteed 3.5% rate (as long as allowed to reach maturity in 20 years) that could start paying off just about your retirement time...
by Austintatious
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: very low income - Roth IRA contribution?
Replies: 7
Views: 523

Re: very low income - Roth IRA contribution?

Congratulations on directing your son down one of the roads to Dublin so early in his life. Here's a link to an IRS page that offers some insight.

https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/re ... tributions
by Austintatious
Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:56 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Just started with P2P lending (Mintos). How risky is it?
Replies: 27
Views: 2204

Re: Just started with P2P lending (Mintos). How risky is it?

I was making 12 - 18% for several years but then had lots of defaults and also one of the holding companies went into administration. If your’re going to lend, wait until banks are closing their wallets again. At the moment, only the lowest quality borrowers are paying 12% Hyman Minsky, the Nobel P...
by Austintatious
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overpaying Medicare Part B when first collecting Soc Sec
Replies: 10
Views: 1067

Re: Overpaying Medicare Part B when first collecting Soc Sec

Thanks for the detailed answers. I'll just pay the Sep bill and wait for the refund Curious, applied in july for an Oct begin date (first check Nov) , and got one phone call Aug asking about something from 20 + years ago . That was answered , but they still show the original July processing msg as ...
by Austintatious
Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overpaying Medicare Part B when first collecting Soc Sec
Replies: 10
Views: 1067

Re: Overpaying Medicare Part B when first collecting Soc Sec

It seems that this happens frequently. I would anticipate that the first benefit payment will be dinged for 2 months Medicare premium since they deduct premiums in advance of the corresponding month. And that you'll subsequently receive a check for a full refund of your overpayment. Look for a lette...
by Austintatious
Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CD Rates_Terms advice
Replies: 20
Views: 2239

Re: CD Rates_Terms advice

Assuming that the funds are thought not to be needed for the next 3 years or so, I believe I'd lasso those rates in excess of 3% and feel just fine about it. The early withdrawal penalties are not excessive, imo, and a 3% for 3 years bird-in-the-hand in today's environment. Consider purchasing multi...
by Austintatious
Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your thoughts on USAA for checking? Insurance? Banking in general?
Replies: 44
Views: 2272

Re: What are your thoughts on USAA for checking? Insurance? Banking in general?

DW and I have used USAA for about the last 10 years for checking, credit cards and auto insurance. We've found them to be quite satisfactory. One's personal usaa page makes handling all one's banking and insurance transactions easy and fast. Their mobile deposit application works quite well, imo, an...
by Austintatious
Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying credit card "current balance" vs. "statement balance"
Replies: 48
Views: 4495

Re: Paying credit card "current balance" vs. "statement balance"

Would you please explain why you've concluded that always paying off one's current balance in full as opposed to one's statement balance "isn't ideal"? I ask because I've been paying my current balance twice a month for years and had thought that practice to be the better one, at least for me. Payi...
by Austintatious
Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying credit card "current balance" vs. "statement balance"
Replies: 48
Views: 4495

Re: Paying credit card "current balance" vs. "statement balance"

i used to always pay off the current balance in full. apparently, this isn't ideal. i now pay off my statement balance, which means I generally still have a balance, ie, the transactions that i have made since the previous statement period ended which will be due in the following period. your situa...
by Austintatious
Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4019
Views: 1152302

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie . This is a first person description of life on the American frontier from 1824 through 1830, trapping and mining in New Mexico, his overland travel to California, where he was imprisoned, vaccinated Californians against small pox, participated in a revolut...
by Austintatious
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trail running shoes for light hiking
Replies: 48
Views: 3290

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Comfort is important. I am fond of Altras. Wide toe box and zero drop from heel to toe. Their trail models have an aggressive tread and can be found for reasonable prices online. Yep, the tread gripping capacity is amazing on my Altra Lone Peaks, and the wide toe box is a real comfort plus for me. ...
by Austintatious
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for
Replies: 31
Views: 2806

Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

On Jonathan Clements' Humble Dollar this morning: ACT August 14, 2019 CHECK YOUR Social Security statement to get an estimate of benefits and make sure your earnings record is correct. The easiest way to do this: Set up a “my Social Security” account, preferably adding two-factor authentication. Thi...
by Austintatious
Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spousal benefits and SSA
Replies: 6
Views: 679

Re: Spousal benefits and SSA

My wife filed for benefits early at 63, she is the lower earner, Ifiled for restricted spousal benefits and am FFA, age 66. I thought I was eligible for 1/2 of her FRA benefit of $900, but matrix is only showing $375. Since she filed early do I receive reduced benefits too? The fact that your spous...
by Austintatious
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Colorado 529 - 1 year out
Replies: 8
Views: 602

Re: Colorado 529 - 1 year out

I'd move all of it to very conservative positions now. A relevant article:

https://thefinancebuff.com/529-plan-cds ... -fund.html
by Austintatious
Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Good CD Rates Over the Long Haul
Replies: 13
Views: 1740

Re: Good CD Rates Over the Long Haul

Navy Federal CU is offering 3.5% on their 5 year CDs. I'd call that a relatively good rate, considering current rates generally. They also seem to have relatively flexible parameters for qualifying for membership. Hmm... share please? I am not military or have any family members who are military. N...
by Austintatious
Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Good CD Rates Over the Long Haul
Replies: 13
Views: 1740

Re: Good CD Rates Over the Long Haul

Navy Federal CU is offering 3.5% on their 5 year CDs. I'd call that a relatively good rate, considering current rates generally. They also seem to have relatively flexible parameters for qualifying for membership.
by Austintatious
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone recommend a cheap cell phone service for text and calls?
Replies: 24
Views: 2275

Re: Anyone recommend a cheap cell phone service for text and calls?

DW and I have used Consumer Cellular for several years and we have been satisfied with the service they provide.

https://www.consumercellular.com/Plans
by Austintatious
Tue May 21, 2019 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best time to go to Europe
Replies: 8
Views: 884

Re: Best time to go to Europe

My personal favorite time in Europe is after (our) Labor Day. Vacation crowds start to go down (both local and international tourists) and the weather can be glorious. This year I will again be going to France for September. Can't quit the habit. What parts of France are you most fond of, pray tell...
by Austintatious
Tue May 21, 2019 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best time to go to Europe
Replies: 8
Views: 884

Re: Best time to go to Europe

My personal favorite time in Europe is after (our) Labor Day. Vacation crowds start to go down (both local and international tourists) and the weather can be glorious. This year I will again be going to France for September. Can't quit the habit. What parts of France are you most fond of, pray tell...
by Austintatious
Tue May 21, 2019 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best time to go to Europe
Replies: 8
Views: 884

Re: Best time to go to Europe

My personal favorite time in Europe is after (our) Labor Day. Vacation crowds start to go down (both local and international tourists) and the weather can be glorious. This year I will again be going to France for September. Can't quit the habit. What parts of France are you most fond of, pray tell?
by Austintatious
Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do most people hate/dread learning about money and is there a good book for helping them?
Replies: 78
Views: 5521

Re: Why do most people hate/dread learning about money and is there a good book for helping them?

I think Jonathan Clements has written just such a book. It's easy to understand, covers a wide range of money/financial matters and discusses much of the psychology that we're all affected by as we make (or fail to make) those important decisions about our money. https://humbledollar.com/book/how-to...
by Austintatious
Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Call from SSA office
Replies: 22
Views: 2597

Re: Call from SSA office

My wife received a call from SSA last year when she filed for her own age-70 benefit, after she filed on-line. It was legit, asking her the question if she wanted her "bonus" of six months backdated benefits. Of course she knew about the situation of receiving a lump sum but also giving up benefits...
by Austintatious
Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Friday Harbor to SeaTac Airport
Replies: 19
Views: 1092

Re: Friday Harbor to SeaTac Airport

DW and I spent a week exploring the San Juans (stayed on Orcas Island) in late September/early October of 2014. We made the return trip to SEATAC on Sunday, October 4. Our departure time was scheduled for later in the day - 3:45p - just because I was worried about experiencing some kind of hiccup en...
by Austintatious
Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apply for Social Security's restricted application
Replies: 12
Views: 846

Re: Apply for Social Security's restricted application

Soon after reaching FRA, my spouse began collecting his SS benefit and I filed a restricted application to collect on his record. I am still working and plan to file for benefits on my record when I reach 70, at which time he will switch to collecting the spousal benefit. How can I obtain a stateme...
by Austintatious
Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apply for Social Security's restricted application
Replies: 12
Views: 846

Re: Apply for Social Security's restricted application

Please keep in mind that, unlike sscritic or Mike Piper, I am not an expert on Social Security benefits, though I know a little about the restricted filing for spousal benefits only, since DW and I have recently done just that for her. I offer no opinion as to whether the proposed plan is the best ...
by Austintatious
Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apply for Social Security's restricted application
Replies: 12
Views: 846

Re: Apply for Social Security's restricted application

Please keep in mind that, unlike sscritic or Mike Piper, I am not an expert on Social Security benefits, though I know a little about the restricted filing for spousal benefits only, since DW and I have recently done just that for her. I offer no opinion as to whether the proposed plan is the best o...
by Austintatious
Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help Convincing Spouse
Replies: 60
Views: 4773

Re: Help Convincing Spouse

slam, someone up there recommended Bill Bernstein's short, simple and right to the point piece "If You Can". I agree with the recommendation. But there's another option that I think could be even better for your situation. It's Dan Solin's "The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read". Though it's...
by Austintatious
Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: SS Benefits estimate seems too high?
Replies: 20
Views: 1606

Re: SS Benefits estimate seems too high?

I think it's still the case that those having contributed to Social Security should receive a statement from SSA every 5 years until age 60 and each year thereafter, explaining their projected benefits for ages 62, full retirement age and 70. You might look for your last-received statement to see wh...
by Austintatious
Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: local CU_3.25% - 24 mo. CD opinion
Replies: 6
Views: 672

Re: local CU_3.25% - 24 mo. CD opinion

If I was reasonably confident that I could do without the money for two years, I'd take the 3.25 percent deal at your local cu and never look back. I do, however, think you should know what the early withdrawal penalty would be.
by Austintatious
Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too early to start on my taxes?
Replies: 45
Views: 3584

Re: Too early to start on my taxes?

Per this article, very large numbers of furloughed IRS workers ordered back to work are not showing up in advance of the annual tax return barrage. Taxpayers expecting timely processing and prompt refunds may be in for a longer wait than usual. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/over-14000-irs-worker...
by Austintatious
Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too early to start on my taxes?
Replies: 45
Views: 3584

Re: Too early to start on my taxes?

Already submitted mine and they were accepted. Not really. IRS electronic filing does not open until January 28. Check back on the status after that. Right now, they are in the “waiting room” of Intuit or whoever you used. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-confirms-tax-filing-season-to-begin-january...
by Austintatious
Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wild Planet Sardines quality problem [Review of sardine brands]
Replies: 36
Views: 4554

Re: Wild Planet Sardines quality problem [Review of sardine brands]

While we're on the subject, what are the recommended practices for serving/eating them and, no, I'm not asking whether one uses a fork, spoon, knife or chopsticks? I typically eat them with crackers and freshly ground black pepper, same as I do with smoked salmon or herring. Delicious but not very c...
by Austintatious
Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife
Replies: 65
Views: 3194

Re: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife

Consumer Cellular: - the current "plan" services smart phones for DW and me - unlimited text and talk -2 GB of data (typically much more than necessary for us since bulk of our online activity is via wifi) - no contract - can easily increase or decrease data, as frequently as month to month - occas...
by Austintatious
Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax for 2018
Replies: 9
Views: 1408

Re: TurboTax for 2018

We've not used TurboTax before, though we're contemplating doing so for 2018. It seems that there are actually two ways to file for free via TurboTax. There's their option under the IRS Free Alliance (mentioned above) which I think comes with limitations on the incomes and ages of the taxpayer that ...
by Austintatious
Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife
Replies: 65
Views: 3194

Re: Cell Phone Plans - Question Re Best Plan for Combining Husband & Wife

Consumer Cellular: - the current "plan" services smart phones for DW and me - unlimited text and talk -2 GB of data (typically much more than necessary for us since bulk of our online activity is via wifi) - no contract - can easily increase or decrease data, as frequently as month to month - occasi...
by Austintatious
Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stay the course is hard
Replies: 74
Views: 8317

Re: Stay the course is hard

Last year has been very interesting. US equities did quite well in the beginning, and because of that, I put money into bond and international to keep my AA correct. In October, international YTD return was negative while I think US equities made money. Sometimes I was wondering if did the right th...
by Austintatious
Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital One 360 MM for $500 bonus
Replies: 32
Views: 3758

Re: Capital One 360 MM for $500 bonus

Is there a minimum holding period? https://www.capitalone.com/celebrate200/ Bonus payout based on balance maintained for 90 days. Because of that language that it's based on the crucial balance being maintained for the first 90 days following the Initial Funding Period , which appears to be that ti...
by Austintatious
Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital One 360 MM for $500 bonus
Replies: 32
Views: 3758

Re: Capital One 360 MM for $500 bonus

This seems to be a regularly offered bonus opportunity at Cap One. Deposit the minimum of 10k in your new Cap One deposit account, keep it there for 12 months, and you've essentially had a 1 year CD earning a bit less than 4% but without the early withdrawal penalty. What's not to like? Actually, i...
by Austintatious
Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital One 360 MM for $500 bonus
Replies: 32
Views: 3758

Re: Capital One 360 MM for $500 bonus

This seems to be a regularly offered bonus opportunity at Cap One. Deposit the minimum of 10k in your new Cap One deposit account, keep it there for 12 months, and you've essentially had a 1 year CD earning a bit less than 4% but without the early withdrawal penalty. What's not to like?
by Austintatious
Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle has died at age 89
Replies: 856
Views: 56122

Re: John Bogle has died at age 89

I learned the news yesterday while on the forum. Five minutes later, as I'm trying to absorb the loss that we've all been feeling, my son-in-law texted "RIP Jack Bogle". And shortly thereafter, my older daughter and spouse of SIL texted "Oh no! Mr. Bogle died? Well I appreciate him today. I hope he ...
by Austintatious
Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth contribution with the HEART act
Replies: 8
Views: 859

Re: Roth contribution with the HEART act

Penfed and Navy Federal credit unions are among the institutions offering competitive rates for IRA CDs, as are a number of online banks. You can find many other options here:

https://www.depositaccounts.com/

https://www.bankrate.com/
by Austintatious
Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 5 year CDs @Penfed mature 1/22/19
Replies: 30
Views: 3361

Re: 5 year CDs @Penfed mature 1/22/19

I finally pulled the trigger to renew my CDs on1/22 at Penfed to their 5 yr 3.4% IRA certificates. 5 and 10 yr treasuries are in low 2.70% range so this seems like a pretty good deal for fixed income money. Thanks to everyone who responded to my post. Thanks for the follow up. Based on all the cons...
by Austintatious
Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CIT savings builder account ?
Replies: 14
Views: 1201

Re: CIT savings builder account ?

There have been posts on the forum saying that CIT did not automatically adjust the rate on one's account when the rate being offered is increased. That's something one might want to look into before doing business with CIT.
by Austintatious
Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I'm the noobiest noob
Replies: 16
Views: 1787

Re: I'm the noobiest noob

Don't sell yourself short, Mike. Those 2017 investments were excellent choices, as far as stock funds go. What you two need to do is educate yourselves on the basics. There's an incredible amount of material available to you right here on the forum, both in the Wiki and in the various threads. I sug...
by Austintatious
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: One book for my neice, a young mom.
Replies: 20
Views: 1373

Re: One book for my neice, a young mom.

https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf Very easy to digest and directs the reader on how / where to learn more should they choose to do so. +1 I've sent this to all of my employees and dozens and dozens of other people. For someone who knows nothing, it is an easily digestible start. Yep, it makes f...
by Austintatious
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: One book for my neice, a young mom.
Replies: 20
Views: 1373

Re: One book for my neice, a young mom.

Investing Made Simple by Mike Piper https://www.amazon.com/Investing-Made-Simple-Index-Explained/dp/0997946539/ref=asc_df_0997946539/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312175933381&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=672205837700294254&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9027366&hvtar...
by Austintatious
Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Opinion: Half of investment-grade bonds are only one step away from junk status
Replies: 23
Views: 2707

Re: Opinion: Half of investment-grade bonds are only one step away from junk status

If you're afraid to own VCIT, then you shouldn't own BIV because the same bonds are in both. But BIV is greater than 50% U. S. government while VCIT is greater than 50% BBB, a meaningful difference, surely. Only a meaningful difference if VCIT is a person's only bond holding, and that's unlikely. I...
by Austintatious
Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Opinion: Half of investment-grade bonds are only one step away from junk status
Replies: 23
Views: 2707

Re: Opinion: Half of investment-grade bonds are only one step away from junk status

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:22 am
If you're afraid to own VCIT, then you shouldn't own BIV because the same bonds are in both.
But BIV is greater than 50% U. S. government while VCIT is greater than 50% BBB, a meaningful difference, surely.
by Austintatious
Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Opinion: Half of investment-grade bonds are only one step away from junk status
Replies: 23
Views: 2707

Re: Opinion: Half of investment-grade bonds are only one step away from junk status

OP, here's how S&P describes the quality of the bonds your'e concerned about: "An obligor rated 'BBB' has an ADEQUATE capacity to meet its financial commitments. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its f...