Search found 1071 matches

by serbeer
Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amica Increase
Replies: 45
Views: 3456

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: 45
Views: 3456

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: 2334

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Homeschooling was definately excluded in final law per article I linked above, so this has to be outdated version of the amendment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: 2334

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: 2334

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: 1772

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: 3790

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: 4025

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: 695

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: 695

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: 2272

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: 3173

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: 273
Views: 36174

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: 45
Views: 3456

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: 45
Views: 3456

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: 1015

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: 1857

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? :)
:)
by serbeer
Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Barcelona Trip
Replies: 23
Views: 1857

Re: Barcelona Trip

Barcelona, Spain? You surely meant Barcelona, Catalonia?
;)
by serbeer
Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]

I think this move by TDA/SSGA could have a silver lining. I believe the AUM for the new SPDR Portfolio funds would grow significantly, and this would give us more choices of ETF TLH partners. Which partners? SPDR would be the only one comission-free , so you will not be able to not exchange into an...
by serbeer
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]

I think this move by TDA/SSGA could have a silver lining. I believe the AUM for the new SPDR Portfolio funds would grow significantly, and this would give us more choices of ETF TLH partners. Which partners? SPDR would be the only one comission-free, so you will not be able to not exchange into any...
by serbeer
Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 16417

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

I am curious why rates for my family drop tremendously, eg from $1600 to $600 if "Eligible for Healthcare insurance at job" checkboxes for me and my wife are checked. In fact, the ACA costs for Gold plan becomes only 1/3 more than cost of similar insurance I buy for my family though my employer, tho...
by serbeer
Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magic Jack Go vs Obihai obi200- which one as landline replacement?
Replies: 10
Views: 953

Re: Magic Jack Go vs Obihai obi200- which one as landline replacement?

Using Obihai for the past 5 years with no issues. Pay $15/year for emergency service provider, they make it easy to sign up for it.
by serbeer
Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]

Looks like not only consumers but also financial advisors are affected by this change and evaluating their options. http://www.etf.com/sections/features-and-news/td-ameritrade-drops-major-no-fee-etfs?nopaging=1 Myself, I am close to completion of personal evaluation. My number one choice, probably w...
by serbeer
Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]

There is a third option to keep their current holdings and use new commission-free alternatives for new purchases - and voila no capital gains and no ETF fees. That 3rd option would not work for those of us who want to be able to TLH when it becomes possible (definately will be the case at some poi...
by serbeer
Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]

It's as if you bought a jar of cookies. You worked hard all week to earn your money, and spent time going to the store and picking out your favorite cookies for your jar. Then one evening you feel hungry and head to your kitchen. Right when you reach for your cookie jar, it disappears! Before you f...
by serbeer
Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]

is there a glaring reason NOT to expect the new funds to perform similarly to the corresponding vanguard ETFs? seems like if the funds are tracking the same things, then they should perform similarly in the long run. Similarly, yes. But if you invest for very long run, even small difference in perf...
by serbeer
Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a crash coming soon?
Replies: 64
Views: 6256

Re: Is a crash coming soon?

Here is Kiplinger article that attemps to answer this question:
http://www.kiplinger.com/article/invest ... t-end.html
You can choose whether to believe it or not :)
by serbeer
Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]

This is a giant pain my neck more than anything else. I use commission-free ETF's at TDA for my retirement and taxable accounts, mostly because my 401k provider does self-directed portfolios there, and its easy to see aggregate percentages across all accounts. (In response to some questions above, ...
by serbeer
Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]

Anyone planning to leave TD Ameritrade because of this? If you are planning to leave where will you be going? I will have to see what TDAmeritrade does for me. First, I have a taxable account of ETFs that will leave the no-commission list that I simply don't make trades in. The dividends go to my c...
by serbeer
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads

I think the clients will be happy if they got more choices. If SPDR funds have lower ER and reasonable volume and commission-free I won't mind investing in them. However, I believe that the way TDA (and SPDR) is doing now will just upset their clients. More choices is good but only as long as these...
by serbeer
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads

I just sent message to TDA telling them how disappointed and annoyed with this change I am. I think everyone who uses TDA and does not like this change should let them know. Simply put, this change makes TDA non-competitive in the area of comission-free ETF trading and will force my household to mo...
by serbeer
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads

I just sent message to TDA telling them how disappointed and annoyed with this change I am. I think everyone who uses TDA and does not like this change should let them know. Simply put, this change makes TDA non-competitive in the area of comission-free ETF trading and will force my household to mov...
by serbeer
Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads

After logging into my HSA account at TDA, I saw a link to a PDF for the list of free ETFs as of 10/17/17. Also posted on the public site: https://www.tdameritrade.com/investment-products/etfs.page I only use VTI here and it is still an option. There are a total of 30 Vanguard ETFs available. I beli...
by serbeer
Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads

I haven't had a chance too look through the list yet, do we still have the ability to make a low-cost three fund portfolio? I used to use VTI, VEU&VSS, and BND. There are equivalents to VTI, VEU, and BND (and VWO), but not VSS. VTI = SPTM (3 bp) VEU = SPDW (4 bp) BND = SPAB (4 bp) VWO = SPEM (11 bp...
by serbeer
Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 57605

Re: TD Ameritrade Drops Vanguard From Revamped Commission-Free ETF Lineup TD Ameritrade will nearly triple its overall c

Wow, that would be very very disappointing indeed. I hope they are at the very least keep comission-free the sale of currently owned Vanguard securities that were bought comission-free. I always hated that they had VGK comission-free but not VPL--as these are two sides of the same coin IMO and usual...
by serbeer
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does everyone keep track of your portfolio?
Replies: 171
Views: 17394

Re: How does everyone keep track of your portfolio?

Fidelity has FullView tool that allows you to keep track of all accounts, including the ones external to Fidelity
by serbeer
Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2016 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances released
Replies: 4
Views: 970

Re: 2016 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances released

Hm, 35-44 age group had the biggest growth of medium networth of all age groups and, at the same time, biggest drop of mean networth.
Not quite the same with income, but also the only group with signifiant drop in mean income while growth in medium income.
Any ideas how to interpret that?
by serbeer
Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Solo 401k Electronic Transfers
Replies: 11
Views: 800

Re: Fidelity Solo 401k Electronic Transfers

I just mail a check once per quarter. Not big deal though inconvenience for sure.
by serbeer
Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did it take for Equifax to email you a security sign up?
Replies: 69
Views: 6059

Re: How long did it take for Equifax to email you a security sign up?

My email took 11 days to come. Since then I've had the same experience that a few others have had. When I go verify my identity it claims that I already have the product. I have tried doing the password reset but they have yet to send me an email to reset it. :annoyed My wife's experience exactly!
by serbeer
Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did it take for Equifax to email you a security sign up?
Replies: 69
Views: 6059

Re: How long did it take for Equifax to email you a security sign up?

I never got one from my first attempt. I went back in today and was able to sign up. All the other three agencies where handled within about 3-5 minutes max. What a mess. Wait do you mean you went back and did the process again, then instantly got an email? It never sent an email. I got a confirmat...
by serbeer
Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience selling car to Carmax?
Replies: 85
Views: 99388

Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Got quote from Carmax last year and it was bad low-ball, $6.2K if I recall correctly. Did not even consider it.
Did trade-in at dealer instead, they agreed to go up as high as $9+K (though their initial offer was $6.5K)
by serbeer
Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience finding gas pump card skimmer?
Replies: 46
Views: 4774

Re: Experience finding gas pump card skimmer?

Gas pumps do not use chip function of CCs yet, at least in my area. Most of the stores now do. I think if chip transaction is used, skimmer would be useless since you need chip to be present to run the card. Not 100% sure though, perhaps one can get enough info to make the card usable at non-chip lo...
by serbeer
Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Percentage CASH are you?
Replies: 90
Views: 7574

Re: What Percentage CASH are you?

About 1.2% is kept intentionally as emergency fund. Plus, most of bond funds, REITS and many stock funds/ETFs keep some of assets as cash in reserve. It can reach 2-3% at times for some funds/ETFs! When this portion is summed up accross all our investments, even though we do not have direct access t...
by serbeer
Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backpack qualified expense for 529 plan?
Replies: 19
Views: 1825

Re: Backpack qualified expense for 529 plan?

Oh, please. Like IRS is going to go after you for buying a under $50 backpack for taking books and laptop to classes.
Common folks, the question is not even worth discussing.
by serbeer
Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it Safe to Get Your DNA Tested?
Replies: 84
Views: 9628

Re: Is it Safe to Get Your DNA Tested?

Just wait some and you will have this test done for you totally free--by your friendly government.
by serbeer
Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you say when you cancel an account that you only opened for bonus?
Replies: 64
Views: 6071

Re: What do you say when you cancel an account that you only opened for bonus?

Simple evasion. You don't need to give a reason and if they ask for one they may not even care--they may just be asking to slow you down and impede you on the off chance you'll change your mind, or give them an opening for an "account retention talk." Just say, basically, "I'm closing this account ...