Search found 88 matches

by jcchen
Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: limo travel to nyc from nj
Replies: 14
Views: 1139

Re: limo travel to nyc from nj

You may want to purchase a family membership even though you will only be there for one day. The $150 membership includes admission for two adults & four children. Have fun! https://www.amnh.org/join-support/membership If you wish to visit the museum without any IMAX movies or special exhibits, you...
by jcchen
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Keeping my Co. 401k
Replies: 18
Views: 984

Re: Keeping my Co. 401k

I keep my index funds in my old co 401k because of enhanced creditor protection with 401k (vs ira) paying no tax for backdoor roth IRA conversion, where make traditional ira contribution then convert to roth ira. if fees are high or fund selection is poor in old company, consider rolling over to new...
by jcchen
Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to find the best credit card promotion?
Replies: 47
Views: 4069

Re: How to find the best credit card promotion?

The right answer is: multiple. Gas card, grocery card, restaurant card, everything else card. DOC seems to have the most comprehensive list at any given time. Also see /r/churning for sign up bonuses. Be mindful of what constitutes certain categories. I've found Amex does not recognize Fred Meyer a...
by jcchen
Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to find the best credit card promotion?
Replies: 47
Views: 4069

Re: How to find the best credit card promotion?

citibank doublecash gives 2% cash back. Fidelity does, too, if you have a brokerage account. Both cards have zero annual fees.
by jcchen
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diminshed value claim
Replies: 12
Views: 1141

Re: Diminshed value claim

carfax website will estimate value of your car post accident for free. give your vin. vin will indicate car has accident.
by jcchen
Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RESOLVED: Dual-use "dress" / comfy shoes: Matte Black, locally sourced--starting with Brown Rockport Pro-walkers
Replies: 24
Views: 2222

Re: Dual-use "dress" / comfy shoes: Matte Black, locally sourced--starting with Brown Rockport Pro-walkers

I suggest looking at Cole Haan. In particular, try the ones with leather uppers and rubber soles. They are known for comfort.
by jcchen
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boston travel ideas (was New England generally)
Replies: 51
Views: 3922

Re: Boston travel ideas (was New England generally)

if you wish to see a boat, I suggest going to National Park service's USS constitution. It is a 200 year old wooden sailing ship that you can board. It is docked at charlestown naval yard, near downtown. In the same naval yard is a WWII destroyer. If you wish to take a short cruise, charles river bo...
by jcchen
Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?
Replies: 53
Views: 4954

Re: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?

For lowes for a recent bath faucet, the plumber shows up to inspect beforehand ($35 detail fee). Then you return to Lowes to order faucet and pay for install.
by jcchen
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you buy a house without a garage?
Replies: 95
Views: 6663

Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

real estate is pretty local. If having a garage is common in your area, then I would NOT buy as this home will be hard to sell. If having a full bath on the same floor as the bedrooms is common, I would NOT buy. Homes are pricey around NYC so good to think of resale value and ease of selling. If you...
by jcchen
Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car is likely totaled, not at fault. Negotiate?
Replies: 31
Views: 2207

Re: Car is likely totaled, not at fault. Negotiate?

Agree better to go with one's own insurance co.

However, if OP does not have collision coverage and if OP's insurance feels it is clearly NOT OP's fault, OP's insurance will NOT get involved.
by jcchen
Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refurbished Nikon D750 + AF-S 24-120mm f/4G Nikkor VR lens
Replies: 37
Views: 1895

Re: Refurbished Nikon D750 + AF-S 24-120mm f/4G Nikkor VR lens

I wouldnt save 10% on a refurb. that's too little. New is a better value. As a data point, a long time ago, I bought a refurb directly from nikonusa website. This D600 dslr was $1500 refurb vs $2000 new. It was their father's day sale. The Nikon refurb was like-new (very few shots according to exif ...
by jcchen
Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AA cancelled flight - results.
Replies: 31
Views: 3004

Re: AA cancelled flight - results.

what are the reason for flight cancellation? eg, if weather, you have no recourse. you can change your dates of travel w/o penalty. If mechanical failure, it is AA's fault so you can get some miles or compensation.
by jcchen
Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary Question During Job Interview
Replies: 17
Views: 2545

Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Can you use glassdoor to get a sense of salary range?
by jcchen
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HMO vs HDHP/HSA. Should I switch?
Replies: 21
Views: 1183

Re: HMO vs HDHP/HSA. Should I switch?

re switching midyear, the deductibles are NOT prorated for my company's plans. I did take advantage of the last month rule for adding money to HSA. If you are happy with the HMO doctors, I would stay with HMO and NOT switch to PPO or HDHP, even after the birth. The premiums are more and with kids yo...
by jcchen
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mega Backdoor vs Backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 1721

Re: Mega Backdoor vs Backdoor Roth IRA

I would tend to leave your old company's 401k untouched, or rollover to new company 401k. This would keep your traditional IRA balance zero.
What if one day, you leave your new company and want to do a backdoor Roth?
by jcchen
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pending I-485 & Roth
Replies: 9
Views: 725

Re: Pending I-485 & Roth

Here is a link from IRS that defines US residency from IRS view. https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/determining-alien-tax-status Your spouse can qualify for as a resident (from IRS view) from substantial physical presence in USA or from marriage to US citizen (and jt filing of 1...
by jcchen
Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend lost job, getting a lump sum severance... What should we do next
Replies: 36
Views: 3309

Re: Girlfriend lost job, getting a lump sum severance... What should we do next

For a lease, you are legally liable until the landlord finds another tenant. The landlord is supposed to make a good faith effort to find someone. So, maybe you can help your landlord find someone?? For cobra, the cost is 2% over the sum of employee contribution and company contribution. You can fin...
by jcchen
Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: .
Replies: 52
Views: 4892

Re: New Car: No Collision/Comprehensive?

> For example, if someone hits your car and is likely at fault, can you call your insurance company for subrogation, so they can deal with the other > person's insurance company (since you have auto liability insurance)? That happened to my spouse. Spouse gave her insurance details of the accident. ...
by jcchen
Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to pay for upcoming medical / IVF expenses
Replies: 73
Views: 5493

Re: How to pay for upcoming medical / IVF expenses

First of all, when choosing a clinic, keep in mind that success rates vary. CDC publishes statistics at https://www.cdc.gov/art/artdata/index.html. These statistics include number cycles, number twins, maternal age, etc. Emotionally it is a hard process so try to get some support. On Sep 10's wall s...
by jcchen
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas leak detector?
Replies: 21
Views: 1338

Re: Gas leak detector?

I have a Kidde Nighthawk combo gas and CO detector (something like https://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en/us/products/fire-safety/co-alarms/kn-coeg-3/ ) placed in my basement near the gas furnace. A tradesman smelled a faint gas odor and called the gas company who verified the presence of a very small...
by jcchen
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice
Replies: 33
Views: 2330

Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

To save money, stay off site. Hotels are cheaper. We stayed in downtown disney area for about $70. This is 20 min drive to animal. prob need 45 min for magic kingdom due to shuttle bus from parking lot. If you are going to both Disney and Universal, you have to rent a car any ways. I agree with the ...
by jcchen
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Choosing a Used Car Model
Replies: 13
Views: 1634

Re: Choosing a Used Car Model

We also have 2 kids and dislike driving big cars so have 2 sedans.

Maybe you can also consider getting new car seats instead a 3 row SUV/minivan? Eg, Diono Radians are very narrow so can fit an adult and 2 car seats in the back row. Google 3 car seats in a row.
by jcchen
Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your one favorite Fidelity Fund??
Replies: 89
Views: 14544

Re: What is your one favorite Fidelity Fund??

I also have a fidelity 401k from work. I use two institutional index funds: one for US total stock market and and one for international. The institutional version is the same as the retail index fund but with lower expense ratio.
by jcchen
Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to buy a phone in 2018?
Replies: 73
Views: 9559

Re: Cheapest way to buy a phone in 2018?

re swappa, read the description and check the photos to see the justification for the condition rating. I like good quality or better. ebay is another place to look. only buy from those with good feedback and from listings with detailed descriptions. if buy used, try to activate with your carrier AS...
by jcchen
Wed May 30, 2018 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fitting three young kids in the car...
Replies: 76
Views: 6403

Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

here are some web articles on fitting 3 car seats in a CR-V. My suggestions is to forgo using the latch. Use seat belts to secure the car seats.

https://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3- ... tions-crv/

http://thecarseatlady.com/vehicles/suv/honda-cr-v/
by jcchen
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Honda Accord LX ... is this a good deal?
Replies: 44
Views: 5856

Re: 2018 Honda Accord LX ... is this a good deal?

Last month I bought a 2018 Accord EX for 23.8k (which includes destination, dealer fees) and 25.5k otd (boston). This price is about $1000 less than the lowest truecar exceptional nationwide. Your price is decent but maybe you can get another $500 off. I also considered the LX trim but wanted the bl...
by jcchen
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New to FSA and Planning a baby
Replies: 12
Views: 960

Re: New to FSA and Planning a baby

yes, birth is a qualifying event so can elect to enroll in a FSA.

but in my experience, you can only withdraw from FSA for costs that were incurred AFTER the birth. any costs BEFORE birth are not allowed, because you didnt not have a FSA before birth.
by jcchen
Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want a Safe Car, Feel Guilty
Replies: 72
Views: 7009

Re: Want a Safe Car, Feel Guilty

could consider avalon. This month Toyota is offering $3500 cash incentive on 2018 models.
by jcchen
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?
Replies: 82
Views: 18512

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

another vote for fidelity or vanguard. They pay more for funds waiting to be invested.

Bank america reward money market pays .07% interest for platinum. think 0.14% for merill sweep??
Vanguard and Fidelity pay alot more, around 1%.
by jcchen
Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven
Replies: 22
Views: 2529

Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

If you havent got a new microwave in 30 years, almost any modern model would heat food much faster.

agree with the others re panasonic inverters. They heat food more evenly than other types.
by jcchen
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: COBRA alternative for 1 month? (it's $2,400 per month!)
Replies: 69
Views: 6673

Re: COBRA alternative for 1 month? (it's $2,400 per month!)

to clarify dm200's post, my employer deducts premiums monthly so if i quit a few days into the month, I am covered til month end.
Eg, last day is Feb 2 so have old job's subsidized (non cobra) insurance til Feb 28. Then start work at new job Feb 5.
by jcchen
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best strategy for selling cell phone on Ebay?
Replies: 33
Views: 2606

Re: Best strategy for selling cell phone on Ebay?

check the prevailing prices for your phone on the swappa, crraiglist and ebay. then subtract fees and shipping. on ebay, goto advanced search and check completed sales over $50. that will filter out sales of accessories like cases. if you never sold on ebay, this would NOT be my first choice. buyers...
by jcchen
Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Desktop PC
Replies: 87
Views: 7629

Re: Advice on Desktop PC

The dell you mentioned is overkill. You are paying a big premium for the best and latest technology. To save money, I would get a mid tier desktop. That is, look for i5-6xxx CPU (or i5-7xxx or i7-5xxx or i7-7xxx) with 8 Gb memory and 256 Gb SSD. You dont need a graphics card for watching TV or movie...
by jcchen
Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High Income Earner Humbly Seeks Advice
Replies: 83
Views: 24225

Re: High Income Earner Humbly Seeks Advice

If you are donating to your church, you can consider opening a charitable gift fund. And then donate appreciated stock or mutual funds to the CGF; you can deduct today's stock value and avoid paying capital gain tax. And then have the CGF give money to your church. The CGF's gift to your churcch can...
by jcchen
Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will cars be autonomous in three years?
Replies: 225
Views: 19428

Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Self driving cars are a long long way off. Definitely not in 3 years. I would be surprised to see full level 5 autonomy in 10 years. The only technology that can produce high resolution 3D map of the car's surroundings is lidar, which right now costs a lot. Eg, see velodynelidar.com. The cost needs ...
by jcchen
Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will - what is complicated?
Replies: 72
Views: 6675

Re: Will - what is complicated?

My case is similar to OP's. My child is a minor so I wanted to setup a trust and guardian in case my spouse and I both passed away. Nolo Willmaker didnt have a problem with this. My family is close and wont contest the will. I think it is a simple case common to many Americans. I dont pay for financ...
by jcchen
Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question: cost basis on rental real estate
Replies: 5
Views: 579

Re: Tax question: cost basis on rental real estate

condos have a useful living of more than 7 years, so I dont think you can take 200% declining balance depreciation. I think you are supposed to use 27.5 yr straight line at 100%.
by jcchen
Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 73
Views: 34161

Re: Citi Costco Visa vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Costco Visa has NO annual fee so it does not hurt to have the card. Plus it rebates 4% on gas. Why not have both cards?
by jcchen
Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to make my old MacBook to work?
Replies: 20
Views: 2214

Re: How to make my old MacBook to work?

I have an old macbook that is slow, too. we are thinking of installing chrome os and turn it into a chromebook.
by jcchen
Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camcorder recommendations
Replies: 44
Views: 3644

Re: Camcorder recommendations

I like your initial suggestion of getting a canon vixia. Canon is a well respected brand with a long history of making camcorders. Eg, the R70 has an external mic input and costs $250 new at B&H photo. I think you can also buy from Costco/ BJs. Compared to the $150 model you are considering, this mo...
by jcchen
Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used German Luxury vs New Japanese
Replies: 89
Views: 13653

Re: Used German Luxury vs New Japanese

I would get a new Accord / Camry with the optional 6 cylinder engine. This engine would provide some fun factor. Or a used Lexus or Avalon. I can see the appeal of a German car, but dislike spending time in repair shops.
by jcchen
Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking at refurbished desktop PCs
Replies: 25
Views: 3458

Re: Looking at refurbished desktop PCs

if you are comfortable fixing and troubleshooting, refurbs are a good way to save some money. That said, I dont think these refurbs are a good deal. These refurbs are approx 5 years old so probably seen a lot of use. For about the same price I think you can buy a 1 year old refurb directly from Dell...
by jcchen
Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Honda: buy new or used?
Replies: 29
Views: 2588

Re: Honda: buy new or used?

Honda Sense suite of safety features is an option for 2016 Accord and later. Might be hard to find that in a used car.
by jcchen
Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a Computer
Replies: 33
Views: 4620

Re: Building a Computer

The advantage of building your own is longer warranty (3 yr vs 1 yr) and quality parts. and you can customize the PC to your wants. Eg, you can get a very quiet PC. But building your own PC will cost more today. I dont think it will save any money even over the long run either. Technology changes v ...
by jcchen
Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Replacement Strategy
Replies: 8
Views: 1845

Re: Car Replacement Strategy

about 2 yrs ago, I had a Honda dealer put new timing belts and water pump in a Civic for $750. This is in Boston, a HCOL area. imho, a $1000 is way too high. Try calling around a few dealers and independent shops.
by jcchen
Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 plan for unborn child
Replies: 24
Views: 5649

Re: 529 plan for unborn child

I am a big fan of Vanguard, too, with its low fees. However, 529 plans are different from retail mutual funds. Though the underlying vanguard funds in a 529 have a v small expense ratio, the state board that sponsors the 529 plans tack on sizeable fees. For my child, I used NY's 529 rather than Vang...
by jcchen
Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Someone wants to pay me with a credit card.
Replies: 10
Views: 4672

Re: Someone wants to pay me with a credit card.

For paypal friends and family, using a credit card involves a fee of 2.9% + 30 cents. Either you or the client would pay according to this link https://www.paypal.com/us/selfhelp/article/What-are-the-fees-for-PayPal-accounts-FAQ690 There are no fees if the money comes from paypal balance or linked b...
by jcchen
Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 216
Views: 50664

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Since hotel bills are normally charged after the stay, I bought a Marriott gift card mid Dec to insure use of my 2016 $300 travel credit. I plan to apply the gift card towards a future 2017 stay. And if the hotel stay doesnt pan out, I can sell the gift card. I can attest that a physical gift card i...
by jcchen
Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally
Replies: 34
Views: 2843

Re: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally

I also suggest buying a super-reliable car rather than a warranty. With the miles you drive, it is unlikely you will collect on a warranty. If the brand is reliable such as Honda or Toyota, there shouldnt be any repairs in the first 10 years. For AWD wagon/suv, I would suggest Honda CRV / Pilot or T...