Search found 656 matches

by BeneIRA
Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a house now or in the next 3 years?
Replies: 33
Views: 3376

Re: Buy a house now or in the next 3 years?

Just looking at the numbers, take out the bonuses since if the economy goes south, those will go the way of the dodo. The general rule is 3 times your base income is the amount of the mortgage you can actually afford. Base you make $270,000. Multiplied by three gets us to $810,000. Maybe you can get...
by BeneIRA
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Laid off - 59yo - advice please
Replies: 44
Views: 6871

Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

If the only thing tethering you to that area is your job and you no longer have said job, then at the very least, move further away from town and get that cheaper rent. Even if it is five or ten miles further away and you are not prepared to make a bigger move, that is a small step you can take when...
by BeneIRA
Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?
Replies: 33
Views: 1959

Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Take the NYC Airporter. It’s the official transfer and it’s cheaper than Uber. I did and it was seamless.
by BeneIRA
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find a reliable car service center?
Replies: 45
Views: 2304

Re: How to find a reliable car service center?

Spend some time looking through the reviews and you should be able to tell if a place is good or bad. The more in-depth reviews are the most helpful. I reached out to various places that were highly rated and only one got back to me and they quoted me a reasonable price. I went with them and they ac...
by BeneIRA
Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4078
Views: 753570

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I leave the Amex at home. In most places in Italy, Austria, Republic of Georgia, France outside of Paris, Ukraine, Hungary, Netherlands and on, I haven't been able to use Amex. I do have to say domestically, it is extremely rare that Amex isn't accepted, It is not that rare. There are many places t...
by BeneIRA
Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4078
Views: 753570

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

You can't do Amex for international, and even internal. Many places don't take it. It's true that not every vendor accepts Amex, so one should also have a VISA or MasterCard. (Their consumer protections are usually much better in case of problems.) But I don't understand the "can't do Amex for inte...
by BeneIRA
Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4078
Views: 753570

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I'm curious about the best methods to use rewards points once earned - i.e., what are some of the best values? As background, we have about 600k Chase reward points, and I'd like to use them for a multi-week vacation sometime in the next couple years. Are they best used through the Chase portal? On...
by BeneIRA
Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4078
Views: 753570

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

You can't do Amex for international, and even internal. Many places don't take it. It's true that not every vendor accepts Amex, so one should also have a VISA or MasterCard. (Their consumer protections are usually much better in case of problems.) But I don't understand the "can't do Amex for inte...
by BeneIRA
Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lots of changes at work. How best to proceed?
Replies: 9
Views: 1239

Re: Lots of changes at work. How best to proceed?

Ask yourself if you think you will be at this company a year from now.. I do not. I see way more ways that you are out of this company in a year than ways you are still there and even fewer where you are where you want to be. My first instinct was they don't want to fire you but want to push you out...
by BeneIRA
Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Car Recommendations for Active Retired Couple
Replies: 31
Views: 2030

Re: Used Car Recommendations for Active Retired Couple

The 2020 Ford Escape (not out yet) looks promising. The Escape starts around $25K, about twice what OP is looking to pay. And I wouldn't buy any Ford until they demonstrate they've moved on from this: https://jalopnik.com/ford-knew-how-defective-its-fiesta-and-focus-transmissi-1836273922. It didn't...
by BeneIRA
Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renter Forever?
Replies: 68
Views: 6216

Re: Renter Forever?

I understand the fixed cost of home ownership, but it isn't truly fixed. As stated by Klangfool above, property taxes continue to increase. Where I am, property owners got a double whammy last year when property taxes went up and there was a "reevaluation" done where, somehow, everyone's house was r...
by BeneIRA
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?
Replies: 55
Views: 6476

Re: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?

Quicken did seem a little high-pressure to me too. Didn't care for the attitude that I had to complete the application process to get a quote and fees. Not gonnadoit. I know this is an old thread but i just walked away from quicken because of their pressure tactics. I swear it felt just like a scen...
by BeneIRA
Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Never had a credit card
Replies: 6
Views: 587

Re: Never had a credit card

Get an American Express like the Blue Cash Everyday or Preferred, they'll probably approve you and use it for groceries and some other things. Or just grab a Double Cash or something and put all of your spend on it, but American Express approves most people with a pulse.
by BeneIRA
Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US debt moving forward
Replies: 9
Views: 903

Re: US debt moving forward

Zero Hedge is great if you're having one of those days where the world seems dark and you just want to cuddle up with Black Mirror and sadness. Zero Hedge hasn't exactly ever been a shining beacon of optimism.
by BeneIRA
Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4078
Views: 753570

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I'm curious about the best methods to use rewards points once earned - i.e., what are some of the best values? As background, we have about 600k Chase reward points, and I'd like to use them for a multi-week vacation sometime in the next couple years. Are they best used through the Chase portal? On...
by BeneIRA
Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4078
Views: 753570

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Could I avoid the need to get the additional card by just “loading” her card onto my iPhone wallet? You could certainly do that, but I've found ApplePay acceptance to be far from universal. In US ApplePay is not universal, but in Europe is everywhere. In Western Europe it has pretty high acceptance...
by BeneIRA
Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car to buy?
Replies: 42
Views: 3681

Re: Which car to buy?

Thank you all, Based on your suggestions, I'll probably go with all-weather tires (Nokian) (mentioned by stoptothink) on my civic and see how it goes. Thanks for all your time and inputs! While I second the recommendation for all weather tires, if you do choose to go with snow tires, I highly recom...
by BeneIRA
Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job
Replies: 157
Views: 9749

Re: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job

I have seen some things over the years in HR/Benefits World. I've seen high level executives receive some pretty outlandish things and if they didn't fulfill their contract, it was usually on a case by case basis if they would be pursued. There were a few wink wink, nudge nudge things that happened....
by BeneIRA
Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Be aware of Verizon!
Replies: 34
Views: 4365

Re: Be aware of Verizon!

This is extremely common across all businesses. The quality of CSRs is generally not very high across the board. Retention rates in that role are abysmal across most companies. If the contract says one thing and they say another, then the contract supersedes. Most insurance carriers even put that in...
by BeneIRA
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Leasing Question
Replies: 22
Views: 1476

Re: Car Leasing Question

All things equal, if I was the type of person who wanted a new car every three years, I would lease. I would also look for the vehicles with the crazy lease incentives, such as last model year in December, type of deals to split the difference a bit. In the midst of a cycle, one car year to the next...
by BeneIRA
Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2019 Honda Fit - Anyone experiencing horrific whistling sound when front windows open >45mph?
Replies: 35
Views: 2102

Re: 2019 Honda Fit - Anyone experiencing horrific whistling sound when front windows open >45mph?

I traded in what was truly a lemon that I bought from Honda a year ago (used Honda Civic that no matter what they "fixed" on it, it repeatedly wouldn't start, also had a terrible AC issue) and bought a 2019 Honda Fit. It has a horrific whistling sound over 45mph when either of the front windows are...
by BeneIRA
Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Login for citicard-Citibank [login problems]
Replies: 19
Views: 1323

Re: Login for citicard-Citibank [login problems]

Citicards.com works. For a long time, years, when I used my Mobile device to log onto Citicards.com, I would have to login twice, but now it works the first time. The app is also adequate. Citi IT is not the leader in the industry by any means.
by BeneIRA
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment
Replies: 93
Views: 8423

Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

I am sure there have been meetings that the company needs to cut staff and if they don't do it by a certain date, there will be a layoff. The goal is to get everyone possible to quit so the company doesn't have to pay out severance or deal with unemployment benefits. They are clearly trying to push ...
by BeneIRA
Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 417
Views: 38653

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Gardener wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:25 am
Update:
Thanks
Hi OP, I hope all is well on the housing front. Here's to hoping for a positive update.
by BeneIRA
Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blockbuster
Replies: 34
Views: 3213

Re: Blockbuster

OP, if you haven't already, pick up The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen. It is from 1997, but the principles are still true today. The author is currently a professor at Harvard. Essentially, it all has to do with disruption. Entrenched companies are the last to see beyond their creati...
by BeneIRA
Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vision Insurance for ONLY (dependent) Spouse
Replies: 11
Views: 458

Re: Vision Insurance for ONLY (dependent) Spouse

Check your SPD, but in all likelihood, you have to enroll in order for your spouse to be able to enroll.
by BeneIRA
Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RESOLVED: Orlando area: good , low-pressure discount / clearance furniture stores? IKEA, American Freight, At Home, etc?
Replies: 25
Views: 1839

Re: Orlando area: good , low-pressure discount / clearance furniture stores? IKEA, American Freight, At Home, etc?

The Ashley Furniture in Kissimmee isn't too bad, actually. Yes, they stick to you like glue sometimes, but if you go during a busy time, the ratio of salespeople to customers is skewed much more towards customers, so when I went on a Saturday, it wasn't too bad. They also negotiated pretty aggressiv...
by BeneIRA
Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4078
Views: 753570

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Cashback Monitor is a lifesaver. Search any website and check Cashback Monitor to see the different cash back/points options.
by BeneIRA
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turkish Airlines ?
Replies: 38
Views: 2651

Re: Turkish Airlines ?

I have flown Turkish Airlines, including directly after the coup attempt, and it is a very good airlines. I agree it is better than all U.S. Airlines in terms of food and general experience. Note that they are very strict on the carry ons. In Boston, they weighed everyone's carry-on to make sure it ...
by BeneIRA
Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: With hindsight, what signs indicated you were about to lose your job?
Replies: 127
Views: 12428

Re: With hindsight, what signs indicated you were about to lose your job?

Great thread. Signs, in no particular order: * CEO/Leadership announces "reorganization." * Whispers of a potential layoff circulate. * Division or company badly misses sales targets. * Mass exodus of senior leadership. * Mass exodus of lower level employees. * Company you are working for is purchas...
by BeneIRA
Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: User reviews - How do you use them?
Replies: 33
Views: 1401

Re: User reviews - How do you use them?

Here is something I posted on another thread, edited slightly, but it applies here. Also, big props to fakespot and Reviewmeta: The problem with review sites, even assuming everyone is being honest, which is a large assumption, is that most people who have everything go well won't post a review. If...
by BeneIRA
Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: User reviews - How do you use them?
Replies: 33
Views: 1401

Re: User reviews - How do you use them?

Here is something I posted on another thread, edited slightly, but it applies here. Also, big props to fakespot and Reviewmeta: The problem with review sites, even assuming everyone is being honest, which is a large assumption, is that most people who have everything go well won't post a review. If ...
by BeneIRA
Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Bad Experience With Angie's List
Replies: 36
Views: 4356

Re: My Bad Experience With Angie's List

The problem with review sites, even assuming everyone is being honest, which is a large assumption, is that most people who have everything go well won't post a review. If I go to a McDonald's and everything is exactly what I expect from a McDonald's, I am not posting a 5-star review. I expect McDon...
by BeneIRA
Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 417
Views: 38653

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Thanks all. Well we sent notification to terminate the contract. Although it stinks that we will have to relist, so glad to be done with buyers. I can only imagine how final walk through would have went. A lot of lessons learned here. Congratulations! A big step in the right direction. Thank you fo...
by BeneIRA
Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I rent a car in Croatia? And other recommendations?
Replies: 11
Views: 895

Re: Should I rent a car in Croatia? And other recommendations?

Oh my goodness. 10 days in Dubrovnik sounds torturous. I was there less than a year ago for four days with a couple of day trips and it was too many. I stayed right in the old town. The prices are exorbitant for what you get and the food, while good in some places (check out Taj Mahal and Tabasco), ...
by BeneIRA
Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 417
Views: 38653

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

No. No. No. And no. I will repeat what I write upthread: WALK. You knew this buyer was going to continue being a problem child. I don’t comprehend why you continue to play his game. I had a big response about sunk cost fallacy and that the $475,000 isn't real because it comes with more strings than...
by BeneIRA
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign on bonus suggestion
Replies: 32
Views: 3150

Re: Credit card sign on bonus suggestion

Sell a few things on craigslist or ebay and, bam, you're a sole proprietor. Chase Ink Preferred. I'm guessing you're joking here.. or are you serious? I mean with income of couple hundred dollars as a shell eBay "business"... what would be the chance of approval? It would be zero because the OP is ...
by BeneIRA
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anything you wish you had spent money on when you were younger?
Replies: 73
Views: 7458

Re: Anything you wish you had spent money on when you were younger?

I do regret not opening an IRA sooner. My first few jobs I had no 401k option, so it would have had to have been an IRA. Man, how different life could have been. Luckily I eventually got my hands on The Little Book of Commonsense Investing and it went on from there. Separate from investing, I will c...
by BeneIRA
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are destinations weddings a new trend?
Replies: 8
Views: 699

Re: Are destinations weddings a new trend?

Personally, I think it's presumptuous for the bride and groom to expect their relatives to go on a forced vacation because they want to be married in some tropical paradise. Maybe some would love to see them married but can't afford the travel, or can't take time off work. Why not just go on the ho...
by BeneIRA
Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency fund to pay debt
Replies: 25
Views: 1819

Re: Emergency fund to pay debt

I wouldn't go lower than three months as a general rule. However, it is variable. Are these interest rates very high, such as on credit card debt or is it low interest rate student loan debt? I have worked with people who have gone down to under $1,000 to eliminate high amounts of credit card debt a...
by BeneIRA
Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: This market just scares me...
Replies: 43
Views: 4387

Re: This market just scares me...

Nobody knows anything. This article from January 2016 still gets me: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/12/sell-everything-ahead-of-stock-market-crash-say-rbs-economists . Obviously the next three years did not experience a market crash. The answer for you is to Dollar Cost Average. Break...
by BeneIRA
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 417
Views: 38653

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Man, if this is a seller's market and for an on demand house, this buyer seems to be wielding a lot of power, real or imaginary and from a few doors down no less! I think the odds you do not hear from them again after the sale is low. That is fantastic that the buyer has said they are motivated to b...
by BeneIRA
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental & Vision Coverage
Replies: 16
Views: 1419

Re: Dental & Vision Coverage

For Vision, most employers don't pay any percentage for it, so the main benefit is that it is pre-tax money versus post-tax dollars that you would pay the eye doctor directly. Sometimes the cost of Vision through an employer in my experience has been cheaper than an individual plan, but usually not ...
by BeneIRA
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Vermont/New Hampshire
Replies: 34
Views: 2265

Re: Trip to Vermont/New Hampshire

We really enjoyed our visit about 10 years ago to the Shaker Village in Canterbury, NH. Had a nice lunch at the restaurant there. We also enjoyed our day in Portsmouth, NH. In Greater Boston, a trip to Concord (Walden Pond, the writers corner at the cemetery, the obelisk) is a lovely trip into the ...
by BeneIRA
Mon May 27, 2019 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on buying cars?
Replies: 15
Views: 2635

Re: Thoughts on buying cars?

OP, for the reason already mentioned above (slow depreciation), I would just buy a new Camry, Corolla or Civic and be done with it. ...I don't worry about my tires getting stolen or people stealing my car because there are always much better ones around. Don't be too sure that thieves won't want yo...
by BeneIRA
Mon May 27, 2019 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express green card
Replies: 18
Views: 1692

Re: American Express green card

The Green cars is allegedly getting a refresh sometime soon since it is woefully outmatched in the market right now. You can see the rumored updates here: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/rumor-american-express-to-refresh-green-card-4x-on-gas-3x-on-streaming-more/ If you value those changes, then may...
by BeneIRA
Mon May 27, 2019 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express green card
Replies: 18
Views: 1692

Re: American Express green card

The Green cars is allegedly getting a refresh sometime soon since it is woefully outmatched in the market right now. You can see the rumored updates here: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/rumor-american-express-to-refresh-green-card-4x-on-gas-3x-on-streaming-more/ If you value those changes, then mayb...
by BeneIRA
Mon May 27, 2019 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on buying cars?
Replies: 15
Views: 2635

Re: Thoughts on buying cars?

I have only every bought used cars except once for my now ex. To me for the models you are interested in, I would probably just buy new. Buying used makes a lot of sense when there is significant depreciation and you buy around the time it levels off. Honda's and Toyota's in my experience don't dep...
by BeneIRA
Mon May 27, 2019 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on buying cars?
Replies: 15
Views: 2635

Re: Thoughts on buying cars?

Hey all, Looking to buy a used car - got some help earlier so figured I'd ask again. Am looking to buy a dependable car that will last (I'm pretty tied to corolla, camry or civic so would just like thoughts on those). Ideally hold until it dies. I can pay cash pretty much up front. Am not sure abou...