Search found 412 matches

by BeneIRA
Sun May 20, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2583
Views: 492503

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

An FYI for those responding in comments on the IHG card changes.... My research appears to show that those of us with the existing IHG card will be grandfathered in with the annual fee at $49 and it won't go up. The only change we have is that going forward, the free night is limited to hotels at 4...
by BeneIRA
Sat May 19, 2018 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2583
Views: 492503

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

So if I get 120,000 points (100k with bonus and 20k through spending) it will be only worth 2 x (20,000 + 5,000) = 50,000 miles ? Doesn't sound very good. Chase Ink still offers 80k just with the bonus and its transferable 1:1 to lots of airlines. I think I'm going to pass on the Marriott card just...
by BeneIRA
Sat May 19, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Priceline hotels?
Replies: 11
Views: 1161

Re: Priceline hotels?

I use Express Deals somewhat regularly. Make sure you stick with 8+ guest rating, for sure. Some great deals to be had, especially in expensive cities.
by BeneIRA
Fri May 18, 2018 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2583
Views: 492503

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I want to get CSR . - I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago. - I am under 5/24. - I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs. Question-1 : After I cancel CSP, how soon will I be able to get CSR with bonuses? - One of the bloggers had a recent discussion on this topic...
by BeneIRA
Fri May 18, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2583
Views: 492503

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Any thoughts on IHG devaluing the free night to just those under 30,000 points and I think the annual fee is going up to $89 from $49? Also, thoughts on changes with SPG starting 8/1? should you convert your spg miles before then? I'm okay with the IHG devaluation. 30k points is still a good deal i...
by BeneIRA
Tue May 15, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card with no credit history
Replies: 15
Views: 790

Re: Credit card with no credit history

Discover IT is a good place to start since the rewards are competitive and Discover is not too strict about approving people with little credit history. American Express is also very loose with their standards for approving someone, so you also may want to start there. Capital One is another one tha...
by BeneIRA
Thu May 10, 2018 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B sticker shock - should I appeal
Replies: 7
Views: 1320

Re: Medicare Part B sticker shock - should I appeal

Have you looked into dropping your and spouse's coverage with the former employer, since your portion will be effectively useless and you are only keeping the coverage for her, then using a qualified life event, since your spouse is losing group health coverage under that scenario, to hop onto ACA f...
by BeneIRA
Thu May 10, 2018 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which City to spend 4-6 weeks?
Replies: 47
Views: 4436

Re: Which City to spend 4-6 weeks?

I would probably take London since it has quite a few low cost carriers which would make plane travel easy, but you would probably want more than a day wherever you go from there. Rome would be great as far as things to do and some day trips are possible from there. In Italy, I would take Florence ...
by BeneIRA
Tue May 08, 2018 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which City to spend 4-6 weeks?
Replies: 47
Views: 4436

Re: Which City to spend 4-6 weeks?

I would probably take London since it has quite a few low cost carriers which would make plane travel easy, but you would probably want more than a day wherever you go from there. Rome would be great as far as things to do and some day trips are possible from there. In Italy, I would take Florence o...
by BeneIRA
Mon May 07, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: COBRA: Anyone know if you qualify if you resign?
Replies: 13
Views: 1197

Re: COBRA: Anyone know if you qualify if you resign?

If your company offers COBRA, yes, you will be eligible if you resign. The only exception is “gross misconduct.” In all my years, I have seen that used one time. Let’s just say that person earned the designation through more than one illegal action. If that is not you, you will be offered COBRA as l...
by BeneIRA
Mon May 07, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can COBRA coverage be extended indefinitely?
Replies: 13
Views: 1262

Re: Can COBRA coverage be extended indefinitely?

It’s not COBRA, it is retirement coverage. COBRA is for 18 months, possibly 29 months, and sometimes 36 months.
by BeneIRA
Sun May 06, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best cash-back credit card right now?
Replies: 42
Views: 4571

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

I don't really want to travel anymore than I currently do, so I don't want airline points. I believe that mostly just leaves me with cash-back credit cards as a second best option right? So, for cash-back cards, and a person who has an annual CC spending of about $15,000, what gets you the most cas...
by BeneIRA
Thu May 03, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to find out the beneficiaries, if any, of a 401K
Replies: 12
Views: 1427

Re: How to find out the beneficiaries, if any, of a 401K

Thanks to all; there were a number of good suggestions. We did check with my brother-in-law’s company, but seems they didn’t have any record of beneficiaries being assigned to his 401K, but there was the possibility that he had assigned them directly with Fidelity. He had designated beneficiaries o...
by BeneIRA
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score and Credit Cards
Replies: 20
Views: 1539

Re: Credit Score and Credit Cards

Credit Karma’s score is pretty worthless. If you want get approved, I would recommend Discover IT or any American Express card. They approve mostly everyone. Amex is actually accepted most places. Open an incognito window on the site and maybe apply for the no fee Blue Cash Everyday.
by BeneIRA
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees
Replies: 168
Views: 10041

Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

OP, I had a destination wedding. I knew what the downsides were, but my now spouse and I liked that much better than the alternative. We knew people wouldn’t be able to come and we were fine with that. We also had it on a weekday to further cut the cost. It ended up being, all/in, around $5,000 . I...
by BeneIRA
Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees
Replies: 168
Views: 10041

Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

OP, I had a destination wedding. I knew what the downsides were, but my now spouse and I liked that much better than the alternative. We knew people wouldn’t be able to come and we were fine with that. We also had it on a weekday to further cut the cost. It ended up being, all/in, around $5,000. If ...
by BeneIRA
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring soon - health insurance planning Cal-COBRA
Replies: 19
Views: 2111

Re: Retiring soon - health insurance planning Cal-COBRA

It will be hard to have this discussion without going off into politics. Please keep in mind forum rules prohibiting political discussion and proposed legislation. I am looking to retire in the next few months. My megacorp is one that does nothing for retirees beyond a minimal 401K match, so we wil...
by BeneIRA
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charles Schwab international ATM (worth the hard credit pull)
Replies: 25
Views: 1698

Re: Charles Schwab international ATM (worth the hard credit pull)

Lol... Dude... A hard pull affects scores a few points temporarily at most... Trust me on this one. I pull & review credit reports for a living Thanks. Wasn't sure how it might interact with frequent churning and number of open cards. Transunion doesn't seem affected but equifax seems to not like t...
by BeneIRA
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best CashBack creditCard with no foreign transaction fee.
Replies: 10
Views: 808

Re: Best CashBack creditCard with no foreign transaction fee.

If you want cash back and no foreign transaction fees, then pretty much you're down to the Capital One Quicksilver. I am assuming your foreign bill payments would earn 1% on any card, so may as well make 1.5%. The Freedom Unlimited makes no sense because of the foreign transaction fees of 3% complet...
by BeneIRA
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2583
Views: 492503

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Next month, I will finally be under 5/24. I plan to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve. That will put me back at 5/24 again. I am wondering about any great cards in the past 24 months I have missed out on that I should be looking at now? Perhaps cards that count toward 5/24, but are still approve...
by BeneIRA
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much salary did you negotiate?
Replies: 20
Views: 2628

Re: How much salary did you negotiate?

In a standard salary negotiation, it isn't unreasonable to try and move up 10%, especially if you are worth that much. If the minimum salary you are willing to work for is higher than that, I would just throw it out there and be straight with the hiring manager/recruiter. If they say they can't do i...
by BeneIRA
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2583
Views: 492503

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

The Barclay Arrival Premier looks awful. I fully expect to cancel my Arrival+ when the annual fee comes due. Barclay perfectly created a card that is worth it to abuse in the first year and utterly worthless in year 2 and beyond. 2 Miles back that are hard to redeem versus a Citi Doublecash? Now it...
by BeneIRA
Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund Investing
Replies: 24
Views: 1920

Re: Emergency Fund Investing

The wiki is a good resource for emergency fund information. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Emergency_fund
by BeneIRA
Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Rewards/Prague/Budapest
Replies: 14
Views: 843

Re: Travel Rewards/Prague/Budapest

In Budapest, the Gellert Baths are the more touristy, fancy for the sake of being fancy, baths. My wife and I very much preferred the Sizechenyi baths. They were one of our best experiences in Budapest, I could not recommend doing a bath enough. For dinner, Hungarikum Bistro on the Buda side is very...
by BeneIRA
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it very hard to learn Spanish?
Replies: 65
Views: 4298

Re: Is it very hard to learn Spanish?

Spanish is the easiest. I tried learning French and it was quite a bit more difficult. I haven't become fluent because I have refocused on improving my Spanish. I highly recommend the Duolingo app for some more fun, at least to me, learning of languages to mix in with anything you're doing.
by BeneIRA
Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 6537
Views: 1401143

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

700 point DOW drop over time: January 20, 1995: 3,863. 700 point drop would be an 18% drop. January 14, 2000: 11,722. 700 point drop would be approximately a 6% decline. January 28, 2005: 10,427. 700 point drop would be a 6.7% decline. January 29, 2010: 10,067: 700 point drop would be a 6.9% decline...
by BeneIRA
Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2583
Views: 492503

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

With three children at home, our credit card strategy is currently for airline miles for travel. After years of using American Airlines and American Express cards for such, we finally made the best credit card decision ever and switched to Southwest Airlines credit cards (from Chase). We have perso...
by BeneIRA
Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2583
Views: 492503

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

No argument from me on the CSP. Even if someone doesn't care about travel and only wants to redeem the URs for a statement credit, that is still $500. A lot of people can't meet the $4,000 MSR, though.
by BeneIRA
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2583
Views: 492503

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

We use credit cards for absolutely everything that we can. We pay our monthly balances in full. We have quite a few cards (some we keep open due to longevity or in case something goes wrong with our other cards when out of the country) but we currently use: Sams Club Credit Card for 5% cash back ga...
by BeneIRA
Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2583
Views: 492503

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

The Barclay Arrival Premier looks awful. I fully expect to cancel my Arrival+ when the annual fee comes due. Barclay perfectly created a card that is worth it to abuse in the first year and utterly worthless in year 2 and beyond. 2 Miles back that are hard to redeem versus a Citi Doublecash? Now it...
by BeneIRA
Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2583
Views: 492503

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Churning Chase bonuses is, in my opinion, the most lucrative way to earn money on everyday spend. Since August of 2016, my SO and I have amassed 500K Chase points, which is worth at least $7,500 in travel (more if we decide to transfer the points to a partner airline). That is all from normal spend...
by BeneIRA
Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it time to retire
Replies: 23
Views: 3702

Re: Is it time to retire

Health Insurance is a concern but I have access to an employer offered plan that allows domestic partners to be included for far less than the open market. My concern is I work 4 days a week, enjoy what I do for the most part, earn $120K per year, have benefits, I am still maxing my 401K, life is g...
by BeneIRA
Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wireless phone use in Italy
Replies: 18
Views: 1284

Re: Wireless phone use in Italy

Get a SIM card from TIM. They are the biggest carrier in Italy. I did it myself less than a year ago and I had service throughout Italy with very few dead spots. I was there for two weeks. Here is the page for TIM for Visitors. Just take it to an official TIM store to get your SIM card and they will...
by BeneIRA
Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applying for Medicare - now or later?
Replies: 20
Views: 1718

Re: Applying for Medicare - now or later?

CAREFUL! When I turned 65 I wasn't sure what to do about Medicare so only signed up for Part A (it's free), figuring I'd deal with the Part B decision once I knew a more about it. That COULD have been a big mistake! When I studied a bit more and decided I DID want to sign up for Part B, I could not...
by BeneIRA
Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asking for a raise/promotion with another offer in hand
Replies: 103
Views: 6943

Re: Asking for a raise/promotion with another offer in hand

+! to the comment from Pajamas. Approach your manager or whoever the decision maker is and spell out why you want a raise and/or a promotion. If they balk or say no, then accept the other company's offer and turn in your two weeks notice. Do not bring in the other offer because you will become publi...
by BeneIRA
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applying for Medicare - now or later?
Replies: 20
Views: 1718

Re: Applying for Medicare - now or later?

I am in the field and here is how you should do it: You are actually late in signing up for Medicare Part A. You should have signed up the first of the month you turned age 65. For instance, if you turned age 65 any day October 2nd thru 31st, October 1st would be the date. If your birthday is the fi...
by BeneIRA
Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resign from job or possible termination
Replies: 76
Views: 9303

Re: Resign from job or possible termination

OP, First, if you have any sick time, Personal Days, Floating Holidays, or any time that is not explicitly PTO or Vacation, it will not be paid out to you. I would recommend taking those days immediately or else they will be lose. PTO I would not take because you want it paid out to you. As others h...
by BeneIRA
Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Co-worker told me 401k/403b is a bad idea.
Replies: 52
Views: 5925

Re: Co-worker told me 401k/403b is a bad idea.

Maybe I am missing something here, but isn't she just stating a Roth 401k/IRA would be better than Traditional at her age? Is there something wrong with that assumption? At that age, assuming she already has had an open Roth IRA, if she contributes to it, isn't it effective like a savings account? S...
by BeneIRA
Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unused Dependent Care FSA - Loss of Job
Replies: 7
Views: 506

Re: Unused Dependent Care FSA - Loss of Job

Unfortunately, if that is the date the coverage ended, and it sounds like it is, then all claims had to be incurred on that date or before. Now, if you have any expenses incurred but have not filed, then you have until the filing deadline to submit for reimbursement, but it sounds like in your case,...
by BeneIRA
Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Request for career advice
Replies: 5
Views: 784

Re: Request for career advice

Sounds like, from your post, you already have made the decision and clearly want to leave your current company. If you feel that strongly about it, I say go for it. 13 years of good will in today's corporate America (even though I don't know how Asia works) doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot. It's a...
by BeneIRA
Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CBP (INS) Global Entry program worth it?
Replies: 65
Views: 5160

Re: CBP (INS) Global Entry program worth it?

Just got my Global Entry card in the mail and activated it. Application and interview process was very easy. In fact, the interview was not much of an interview at all....only thing they asked was my address. Just a few questions: 1) I only need the card for land crossings for Canada and Mexico. Do...
by BeneIRA
Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beneficiary Advice
Replies: 25
Views: 1270

Re: Beneficiary Advice

Many thanks for all of the thoughtful and helpful suggestions. I'll try to address a few questions that were raised: 1. I have mandatory life insurance as part of my benefits package. Also, I was in a long-term relationship when I began my current job and opted for additional life insurance at the ...
by BeneIRA
Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Credit Card for airline tickets
Replies: 10
Views: 1173

Re: Best Credit Card for airline tickets

Keep in mind that using miles is getting a lot harder than it used to be for tickets and that you are still on the hook to pay cash for taxes which in some EU places is super high (UK is insane). I'd take a look around for airline ticket deals in addition to using points. This from someone who has ...
by BeneIRA
Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beneficiary Advice
Replies: 25
Views: 1270

Re: Beneficiary Advice

I would leave maybe $20,000 to your parents for "final" expenses such as burial, service, etc. The rest can go to a charity if you would like. It is easier to leave it all to your parents and tell them what you would like them to do with it. The issue with leaving it to a charity is that some compan...
by BeneIRA
Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Credit Card for airline tickets
Replies: 10
Views: 1173

Re: Best Credit Card for airline tickets

Currently, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a better value than the Reserve since there is a 60,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus + 5,000 for adding an authorized user. The Reserve has 50,000 and nothing for adding an authorized user. If you are pushing it, you can double dip in an incognito window and get ...
by BeneIRA
Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 6537
Views: 1401143

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

On down market days, this article always makes me laugh: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/02/11/rbs-cries-sell-everything-as-deflationary-crisis-nears/ Definitely make sure to sell everything. That is the only solution. When the market goes down, sell, when the market goes up, buy! Wait a m...
by BeneIRA
Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HMO vs HSA
Replies: 20
Views: 1201

Re: HMO vs HSA

A quick correction. The IRS just lowered the family HSA maximum to $6,850, so, that lowers the amount you can contribute by $50. Either way, go with the HSA plan. If you barely go to the doctor, the HSA is an even better deal. HMO: $2,352 per year HSA: $2,952 per year (+$1,500 HSA Contribution, eff...
by BeneIRA
Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA family max contribution lowered to $6850 for 2018 [and changed to $6900 again]
Replies: 128
Views: 13675

Re: HSA family max contribution lowered to $6850 for 2018

If your employer has a benefits administrator managing benefits, it is possible the ongoing deduction has already been changed and it will be reflected down to the new limit over the next two pay periods. Enough time has passed that the better ones will have it updated by mid April at the latest. If...
by BeneIRA
Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HMO vs HSA
Replies: 20
Views: 1201

Re: HMO vs HSA

A quick correction. The IRS just lowered the family HSA maximum to $6,850, so, that lowers the amount you can contribute by $50. Either way, go with the HSA plan. If you barely go to the doctor, the HSA is an even better deal. HMO: $2,352 per year HSA: $2,952 per year (+$1,500 HSA Contribution, effe...
by BeneIRA
Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: COBRA dental coverage
Replies: 10
Views: 771

Re: COBRA dental coverage

You can probably drop the dental at any time. Check and if so, go to your next appointment, ask for a thorough check-up with an eye to any potential problems, and then decide. Dental coverage is usually more of a pre-paid plan that only is worth it if you have a lot of expensive dental work that it...