Search found 1103 matches

by serbeer
Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I get a mortgage if retiring?
Replies: 37
Views: 5080

Re: Can I get a mortgage if retiring?

Got it--misunderstood your response, thanks for clarifying!
by serbeer
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I get a mortgage if retiring?
Replies: 37
Views: 5080

Re: Can I get a mortgage if retiring?

I'm a lender at one of Chase/wf/boa. ... Written over 200 conventional mortgages in the last 12 months... Written Zero asset depletion loans. Very hard to get those done. Need several million to even have a shot. For a conventional investment property loan you need 20% down and debt to income ratio...
by serbeer
Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tornadoes in Iowa,Nebraska,KC In August
Replies: 46
Views: 2441

Re: Tornadoes in Iowa,Nebraska,KC In August

The Wizard wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:16 pm
OP forgot about Kansas, where I went to high school.
Kansas is a great place to find tornados in the April, May, June season.
After that, less so.
Enjoy...
Ah, I suspect I now know how you got your username :)
by serbeer
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole Foods -- any drop in prices after Amazon takeover ?
Replies: 31
Views: 3874

Re: Whole Foods -- any drop in prices after Amazon takeover ?

WF has very good produce and it is not more expensive than standard supermarkets. Sorry, but have to disagree. Very good produce? Definately. But prices can be 1.5-2x of those in my local supremarket (Jewel) and I don't think anything is cheaper at all. I buy very little in WF as a result, though w...
by serbeer
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole Foods -- any drop in prices after Amazon takeover ?
Replies: 31
Views: 3874

Re: Whole Foods -- any drop in prices after Amazon takeover ?

I don't buy many things in WF, but for nearly 10 years I've been buying their brand of Almond Milk for my kids weekly. The price went up twice over the the years to $3.99 per 64oz carton. After Amazon purchase, the price dropped to $2.99 per the carton. So, "any drop in prices"? Definately. I believ...
by serbeer
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you own just 5% of anything?
Replies: 65
Views: 4921

Re: Do you own just 5% of anything?

Yes, of REIT and Emerging markets, 5% each.
by serbeer
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports?]
Replies: 31
Views: 2875

Re: [Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports?]

Used to subscribe, both paper and website. My library now offeres electronic access to their website for library patrons, so I can check ratings online anytime I want.
by serbeer
Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others
Replies: 42
Views: 3351

Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

..What this means is that if you are trying to decide between Amica and State Farm, for instance, and the contractual coverage options are identical, you'd be insane to pay $1,000 more for Amica... It only seems insane -- until you have serious accident or damage to your property and discover that ...
by serbeer
Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: MoviePass vs AMC
Replies: 3
Views: 504

Re: MoviePass vs AMC

Also, AMC plan, while not being equally good deal, allows web ticket purchases and this is VERY valuable for weekend showings in major urban areas as where I leave newer movies are nearly impossible to watch on weekends without buying tickets in advance--or if you can get in, you would be in the fir...
by serbeer
Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 63
Views: 12401

Re: New Capital One 360 ACH limits

This time I couldn't find a Live Chat button where the Facebook guy said it would be, so I went back to Facebook and they said in the Hipster talk, "If chat's a no go, give us a call on our secure line and we'll dish the deets". Dish the deets? What is this, high school? This disturbs me. Me too, e...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC: Social Security buying power has slipped by a third for retirees
Replies: 95
Views: 7077

Re: CNBC: Social Security buying power has slipped by a third for retirees

I'm going to call partial BS on the original article. Among the top items they have "home heating oil" - how many people use home heating oil as a primary source? ... "About 5.7 million households in the United States use home heating oil as their main space heating fuel..." Source: https://www.eia...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is day trading profitable?
Replies: 36
Views: 3207

Re: Is day trading profitable?

I've found that winning the lottery is exceptionally easy. Simply buy the winning ticket. Day trading is also exceptionally easy. Buy stocks in the morning that will double by afternoon and then sell them. If they're not going to double by the afternoon, then why would you buy them? This is very go...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 16775

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

One of the great joys of my life was when we finally had enough money (and tax complexity) to hire a real CPA to do our taxes for us -- not an H&R Block or some similar outfit. They are shuffling the forms around, but the tax calculations will still be done by software and electronically sent to th...
by serbeer
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 63
Views: 12401

Re: New Capital One 360 ACH limits

I guess that's my answer to your question - if the bank cannot fix a problem, you move. Simple as that. The only reason I have not moved yet to Fidelity (my backup checking account) is CapOne ACH speed. It's 24 hours at the most in either direction, and many times almost instant, so it's a perfect ...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 63
Views: 12401

Re: New Capital One 360 ACH limits

...it has been 5 full months now as I've been trying to add my wife as secondary account owner to my Capital One 360 Money Market account and to no avail. I called literally several dozens of times, talked to many customer service representatives and their managers, and got absolutely nowhere. Just...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air conditioner compressor replacement cost
Replies: 31
Views: 3065

Re: Air conditioner compressor replacement cost

Just don't tell them what the 1st HVAC company said, let's them diagnose it themselves.
by serbeer
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 63
Views: 12401

Re: New Capital One 360 ACH limits

I like their rates and ease of use, but it has been 5 full months now as I've been trying to add my wife as secondary account owner to my Capital One 360 Money Market account and to no avail. I called literally several dozens of times, talked to many customer service representatives and their manage...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air conditioner compressor replacement cost
Replies: 31
Views: 3065

Re: Air conditioner compressor replacement cost

In case it help, here in Chicago area I just had 23 yo entire outside condenser AC unit and evaporating coils in the furnace replaced with 3.5 ton American Standard Silver unit (the least legally allowed efficiency-wise 13 SEER) for exactly $3K. The unit came with 10y warranty on it.
by serbeer
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too much house vs. just enough
Replies: 38
Views: 3575

Re: Too much house vs. just enough

And extra $110K for $1M house is no brainer. An extra $110K for $250K house is a no-go.
by serbeer
Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Looking for ways to reduce taxes and keep more of my income]
Replies: 91
Views: 9068

Re: [Looking for ways to reduce taxes and keep more of my income]

This locked thread contains pretty comprehensive list of nearly all your real options IMO:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=105229
by serbeer
Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping HVAC installers?
Replies: 22
Views: 2050

Re: Tipping HVAC installers?

I tipped today when they replaced my AC unit, $15 to installer and $5 for his helper. Helper was appreciative, installer was supprised and appreciative Yes, they are paid rather well, the reason I tipped is that they checked and added freon to my 2nd AC unit for free saving me over $100 in regular c...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]
Replies: 287
Views: 48183

Re: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]

I've been searching for an alternative to Yahoo Finance for almost a year, and just now discovered this Thread... It contains some great information, and I have tried a number of the solutions posted here, but so far, none seem to be able to replace what I was previously using: A simple Excel 2010 ...
by serbeer
Tue May 29, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawyer instead of buyer's real estate agent? Experience anyone?
Replies: 54
Views: 5236

Re: Lawyer instead of buyer's real estate agent worked great!

The thing is, you still must offer 2.5% buyer agent comissions to attract buyer agents to bring in their clients. So negotiable portion is really sellers agent comissions. When I sold the house I negotiated 1.5% (for a total of 4%) but that probably worked because I also bought new house with the sa...
by serbeer
Tue May 29, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is a reasonable amount of time to spend cleaning a house prior to showing
Replies: 17
Views: 1424

Re: What is a reasonable amount of time to spend cleaning a house prior to showing

I had 2 cleaning ladies work for 6.5 hours before putting a house on the market. After that, was doing daily maintenance myself, about 15-20 mins each day and actively prompting my young kids to put in extra effort in not messing up the house. Did not prepare for showings specifically. Luckily, sold...
by serbeer
Fri May 11, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS tax form [Rejected as photocopy, signature must be in blue ink]
Replies: 41
Views: 3631

Re: IRS tax form [Rejected as photocopy, signature must be in blue ink]

I've never encountered this. I've certainly never signed in blue ink. I can confirm what inbox788 said: ironically, once upon a time, blue ink was a big no-no because some photocopiers would not copy it--you would intentionally use a light blue pencil to make marks that would vanish in photocopies....
by serbeer
Fri May 11, 2018 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Ally online savings now at 1.80%]
Replies: 214
Views: 33976

Re: Ally online savings now at 1.60%

Capital One 360 Money market is also 1.6%
by serbeer
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Caribbean [add-flights, cut price in half... too good to be true?]
Replies: 28
Views: 2304

Re: Cheap Caribbean [add-flights, cut price in half... too good to be true?]

Also e-mailed a few private travel agents. One just got back to us for $2505, exact room we want, non-stop flights at great times, and transport included. Some association with Funjet (similar type company). Sounds familiar--my wife does exactly the same thing for her clients: if they come to her w...
by serbeer
Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Caribbean [add-flights, cut price in half... too good to be true?]
Replies: 28
Views: 2304

Re: Cheap Caribbean [add-flights, cut price in half... too good to be true?]

The site is legit. Other major providers (eg Apple Vacation) can price-match their packages if they have the same hotels in their network, but you need to use their travel agent network to do that. Then you'd have the same package through major provider if dealing with cheap caribbean directly makes...
by serbeer
Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cedar Roof
Replies: 27
Views: 1880

Re: Cedar Roof

Saying goodby to Amsterdam? Welcome to Chicago! I also just purchased a house with cedar shakes roof. The roof has reached its end of life, in only 22 years. I don't think it was maintained much, if at all, the house was rented out for the past 7 years. HOA prohibits asphalt shingles and only allows...
by serbeer
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Non-deductible IRA make sense
Replies: 7
Views: 748

Re: Does Non-deductible IRA make sense

Whether non-deductible IRA is useful is good question, maybe not unless can be converted through back-door Roth if possible to move some of the money from it to 401K account at certain point in the future, sooner rather than later. My wife had NDIRA and when she started little side business a few ye...
by serbeer
Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Staying Motivated: How do you ward off hopelessness?
Replies: 59
Views: 7660

Re: Staying Motivated: How do you ward off hopelessness?

By taking actions.
How do you eat an elephant? One piece at a time...
by serbeer
Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amica Increase
Replies: 59
Views: 6518

Re: Amica Increase

Amica is among the most expensive in my experience. Got to an agent and let them do the work for you of finding the best price - they certainly will find something cheaper than Amica. Amica was 30%-40% more than most plans I looked at last time I shopped around. Depends on the situation I guess, bu...
by serbeer
Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amica Increase
Replies: 59
Views: 6518

Re: Amica Increase

health teacher wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:17 am
Just got the 2018 price.

2017 yearly price: $685
2018 yearly price: $885

Ouch.

I'll shop around, but I'm not very optimistic.
Ouch indeed but it would help if you stated whether it is house, auto, or umbrella insurance that you are quoting.
by serbeer
Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?
Replies: 41
Views: 2759

Re: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?

Homeschooling was definately excluded in final law per article I linked above, so this has to be outdated version of the amendment
by serbeer
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?
Replies: 41
Views: 2759

Re: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?

That is correct, public schools in IL do have registration fees, materials fees, trip fees, bussing fees, etc. And the discussion was about "eligible expenses", not pure tuition so theoretically those could be covered if public schools were eligible.
by serbeer
Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?
Replies: 41
Views: 2759

Re: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?

Was not aware of this development. This may have more ripples not obvious at the first sight, as this article explains: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/your-money/529-plans-taxes-private-school.html Do I understand correctly that only private schools are affected by this, so that no expenses of a...
by serbeer
Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No more TDA Apex?
Replies: 19
Views: 2592

Re: No more TDA Apex?

ved wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:05 pm
Can you do a free "partial" transfer of everything in your account, except may be a $1 or so?
That's a good question. I have an IRA account with $5 in it (used for annual Roth conversion). Would make no sense to me to pay $75 to get $5 out.
by serbeer
Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: E-reader for ebooks - Pros and Cons
Replies: 74
Views: 4483

Re: E-reader for ebooks - Pros and Cons

Kindle Paperwhite if you are frugal or Kindle Voyage if you want to splurge a bit (by paying twice as much you mostly get exactly the same screen but slightly smaller overall size and weight--only worth it for the most avid readers like myself who literally carry the reader in their pocket everywher...
by serbeer
Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Policy - 1M or 2M
Replies: 43
Views: 4456

Re: Umbrella Policy - 1M or 2M

I had this question a few years ago and called my insurance company (USAA) to find out the additional cost. They showed me that, by increasing the liability coverage on the underlying policies (auto, homeowner, etc.) to $1m each and retaining the $1m umbrella, I could have the same result - $2m of ...
by serbeer
Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact on State Taxes given AMT and property tax prepay
Replies: 4
Views: 796

Re: Impact on State Taxes given AMT and property tax prepay

Of course, if they refund it or credit it back to you in 2018, it counts as taxable income, so they suck that 5% back out. It's a wash, I believe. Not worthwhile. Could you elaborate on it please CAsage? Why would they (I assume you are talking about local county government) refund it or credit it ...
by serbeer
Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact on State Taxes given AMT and property tax prepay
Replies: 4
Views: 796

Impact on State Taxes given AMT and property tax prepay

I took last year TT and simply added nice large round number of $10K to actual amount of property tax paid in the last year to see the exact impact on my taxes. I was not surprised that it had no effect at all on federal tax liability, given that I am subject to AMT, but... state taxes dropped by ~$...
by serbeer
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you prepaying real-estate taxes this year?
Replies: 16
Views: 2470

Are you prepaying real-estate taxes this year?

Just read this article https://chicago.suntimes.com/chicago-politics/county-treasurer-offers-online-prepayment-for-property-tax-bills/ Pending legislation itself should not be discussed per forum rules, but let me ask you a practical and very actionable question with potential to save thousands of d...
by serbeer
Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: service life of (walk behind) lawn mower?
Replies: 45
Views: 3720

Re: service life of (walk behind) lawn mower?

Not 100% sure what brand mine is, but I purchased it 14 years ago at Menards for $99 on sale. I changed oil once, 2 years ago I think. My parcel is very small, 0.15 acre, so I use it once or twice per month for 20 mins or so. Burn less than a gallon of gas in a summer. The only regular maintenance I...
by serbeer
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]
Replies: 287
Views: 48183

Re: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]

My first post in a LONG time. :) With Yahoo! quotes defunct, my spreadsheet was broken. I needed a simple call that I could invoke from sixty cells in Excel that would allow me to download closing prices for stock and mutual funds one cell at a time, just like the =StockQuote() macro I had been usi...
by serbeer
Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amica Increase
Replies: 59
Views: 6518

Re: Amica Increase

I have car and home with Amica, I've never even heard of this dividend. strange. you should call and discuss. you do have to choose the dividend paying policy which is slightly more upfront, but more than makes up for it on the back end. Dividend policies are only offered in some states. Not in IL ...
by serbeer
Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amica Increase
Replies: 59
Views: 6518

Re: Amica Increase

My Amica policies package (house/condo/2 autos/umbrella) went up 11% total this year. I was actually very happy since they just settled my "at fault" auto claim that resulted in over $100K worth of payments and I was afraild to be dropped alltogether. All claims I ever had were handled very professi...
by serbeer
Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Illinois Income Taxes Online
Replies: 11
Views: 1172

Re: Filing Illinois Income Taxes Online

Do it every year. Actually use TTax, but file State taxes online afterwards to avoid electronic state filing fee of TTax (federal filing is included with sofware). It is really trivial and results always agree with TTax.
by serbeer
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Barcelona Trip
Replies: 23
Views: 2156

Re: Barcelona Trip

jeffyscott wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:48 am
serbeer wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:35 pm
Barcelona, Spain? You surely meant Barcelona, Catalonia?
;)
You surely meant Barcelona, Catalunya? :)
:)