Search found 49 matches

by ustf
Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions about cellphones used internationally
Replies: 23
Views: 1095

Re: Questions about cellphones used internationally

We have T-Mobile service. Works in the USA. Works in western Europe when we land at the airport. We do nothing; it just works. We pay nothing for texts and data. We pay 25¢/minute for phone calls which is approximately $1/day. We use Wi-Fi enabled Facetime for chatting with relatives in the USA. ^^...
by ustf
Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mail Order Pharmacy
Replies: 16
Views: 924

Re: Mail Order Pharmacy

It's also worth seeing if GoodRx has a coupon that would get you a lower price, although it wouldn't count against your deductible. +1 To make it count against my deductible, I filled out a Express-Scripts online "Prescription drug reimbursement form" after my Goodrx purchase and they wen...
by ustf
Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts about Employer-paid 401K investment advice...?
Replies: 1
Views: 188

Thoughts about Employer-paid 401K investment advice...?

I received several calls/ emails from Fidelity, telling my that I have access to "financial planning" from a Fidelity consultant that my employer is paying for under their 401k plan. I decided to give it a try, entered my overall investments into Fidelity's FullView tool and talked to the ...
by ustf
Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Global Entry [wait time for interview]
Replies: 70
Views: 5032

Re: Global Entry [wait time for interview]

Once in a while they add overtime to clear backlog. When that happens they tend to send out an email as they did in my case. If you are one of the lucky few to jump on that email and schedule an interview you might still be able to get that approval before your travel. In the meantime, if you are tr...
by ustf
Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best insurance company for auto, renters, umbrella insurance
Replies: 28
Views: 2450

Re: Best insurance company for auto, renters, umbrella insurance

runner3081 wrote: Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:43 pm I would advise against AAA. Continued 10% increases with no accidents or changes to credit score.
+1

Switched from AAA to Geico and saw a large drop in premium for same coverage and in spite of adding another teenage driver to the policy.
by ustf
Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tour company for Egypt
Replies: 2
Views: 295

Re: Tour company for Egypt

We used https://www.egyptonlinetour.com/why-us/ a few years ago. They were reliable and reasonably priced. We asked for a car, driver and a guide in Cairo/Aswan-Abu Simberland devised our own itinerary on the go, paying for site tickets ourselves for flexibility instead of going with their pre-packa...
by ustf
Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best pricing for multi-city flights in ANY order?
Replies: 8
Views: 746

Re: Best pricing for multi-city flights in ANY order?

Yes indeed, heavily weigh taking the superb rail in Europe. Investigate www.raileurope.com in advance - you may have to use placeholder dates to replicate the days of the week you anticipate, rather than the actual dates, if you are researching more than a couple of months into the future. Stations...
by ustf
Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smaller iPhones have worse reception?
Replies: 11
Views: 792

Re: Smaller iPhones have worse reception?

Two years ago I bought an iPhone 8Plus, replacing my smaller iPhone 6. Although the larger screen was nice, I don't use my phone for much more than text. The larger size is awkward for me to handle and rubs against my leg when I have it in my front pocket. With the introduction of the new iPhones l...
by ustf
Wed May 29, 2019 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to save on prescription drug costs?
Replies: 60
Views: 5448

Re: How to save on prescription drug costs?

I have used GoodRx for my last 2 prescriptions. Celebrex from $205.- down to $38.- for 3 month supply Cancer meds from $86.- down to $40.- also for 3 month (You can get the meds even cheaper if you join their monthly membership, around 10.- or so) Go on-line, type in the name to find out which phar...
by ustf
Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest place to get a replacement Subaru key
Replies: 7
Views: 1003

Re: Cheapest place to get a replacement Subaru key

Used a full service locksmith called Action Locksmith in my area. Branded key and programming together cost $150 for one car and $175 for another. It was possible to purchase key fob from Amazon and have the locksmith program for a little less but decided to go with the locksmith alone so he can gua...
by ustf
Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Avoiding Dealership for Replacement Honda Pilot Key
Replies: 6
Views: 985

Re: Avoiding Dealership for Replacement Honda Pilot Key

I did not go to the dealer. I had them done at a full service locksmith for half the cost. About $180 for one car and $120 for another car. While it is possible to buy the key fob over the internet for even less and have it cut and programmed at the locksmith, they say they can guarantee their work ...
by ustf
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foreign Currency
Replies: 24
Views: 1334

Re: Foreign Currency

He can also use the ATM card and withdraw the amount once he reaches Japan, most banks charge around 1% fee and need to inform them in advance. ^^^^ I have been doing this for more than 10 years. Bank ATMs at foreign airports have the current market exchange rate and don't seem to charge higher fee...
by ustf
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Memberships/Subscriptions Are Most Valuable To You?
Replies: 68
Views: 5758

Re: What Memberships/Subscriptions Are Most Valuable To You?

Bogleheads
Amazon Prime
Costco
Netflix
PBS passport
Washington Post digital
New Yorker
Time
NYTimes digital
National Geographic
ACLU ( since 2016 )
Global Entry
AAA
Google Fiber
by ustf
Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth --> Filling out FAFSA
Replies: 8
Views: 904

Re: Backdoor Roth --> Filling out FAFSA

For Q2, considering I converted this traditional IRA to Roth should I say "Yes" ? For Q3, is it then correct to put in the total conversion amount ? I believe yes and yes. E.g., see The IRS Data Retrieval Tool Returns for the 2018 – 2019 FAFSA® | Edvisors . It appears the FAFSA folks are ...
by ustf
Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth --> Filling out FAFSA
Replies: 8
Views: 904

Re: Backdoor Roth --> Filling out FAFSA

Thanks FiveK, Celia.
I called the school and the FAFSA support staff. They were unable to help and referred me to the IRS.
I think I will go with FiveK's advice/ article and call it good.
by ustf
Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth --> Filling out FAFSA
Replies: 8
Views: 904

Backdoor Roth --> Filling out FAFSA

Hello, My wife and I made a non-deductible contribution to a traditional IRA ( $11,000 total ) and converted it to a Roth IRA ( backdoor Roth ) I am trying to see how this event plays out in filling out the following questions on FAFSA application... Q1. Untaxed portions of IRA distributions from IR...
by ustf
Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Costa Rica
Replies: 19
Views: 2473

Re: Travel to Costa Rica

Where did you fly in ? Where did you stay ? How did you move around ? What places did you travel ? What is the best part of you vacation ? What should we be careful about ? Flew in to San Jose, flew out of Liberia San Jose:Hotel, Arenal:cottage, Monteverde:farm, Playa Grande:apartment City to city ...
by ustf
Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lg refrigerator vs Samsung refrigerator.
Replies: 37
Views: 26614

Re: Lg refrigerator vs Samsung refrigerator.

Have an LG freezer on the bottom model. The compressor failed right outside the standard warranty period. Luckily had a extended warranty through store that allowed compressor to be replaced at no extra cost to us other than food going bad and having to replace it. The repair person said that that m...
by ustf
Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Airline Transfer in Paris (CDG)
Replies: 13
Views: 1888

Re: Help with Airline Transfer in Paris (CDG)

If your flight to CDG and your flight from CDG to to Warsaw are on the same ticket ( Not purchased as two separate tickets ), you should be able to check your baggage in through to your final destination, which is Warsaw, without having to pickup and drop them off again. That was the case with us, g...
by ustf
Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Asia travel
Replies: 13
Views: 1980

Re: Asia travel

I agree with the idea of purchasing your outermost itinerary as a single ticket and then purchasing the in between segments separately. On some of my journeys, I found that when airline partner's hubs/routes don't mesh with my chosen cities countries, I pay a higher price. Best to go with the most f...
by ustf
Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which cell phone for 13 year old?
Replies: 59
Views: 7704

Re: Which cell phone for 13 year old?

Windows phone. Helps a little with kids not spending too much time on the phone if that is one of your goals. A smartphone that works great for basic texting and phone usage. Not many of apps very popular with teens are available or are well supported... which might translate to teen spending more t...
by ustf
Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Europe Trip
Replies: 31
Views: 3281

Re: Family Europe Trip

I second the suggestion about Rick Steve's book. You can buy them separately for France and England or a condensed Europe version. We found it very helpful. Paris is great but after 4 days, we wanted to get out of the bustle of the city. So we took the train to Lyon and rented a car to drive from th...
by ustf
Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T cell usage in Canada
Replies: 26
Views: 3035

Re: AT&T cell usage in Canada

If you don't mind or can switch, I would recommend tmobile. Free data and texting in 140+ countries. Calls are 20 cents per min. Tried it in Singapore and Japan,.. Works great.
Not so great in India where it depends on what network your phone catches unto whole there.
by ustf
Fri May 20, 2016 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why does Vanguard insist on Medallion signature guarantee on an Indiv to Joint transfer ?
Replies: 4
Views: 1173

Re: Why does Vanguard insist on Medallion signature guarantee on an Indiv to Joint transfer ?

You might be able to get around it by opening an individual account at Vanguard. Vanguard would have no issues receiving the shares in this case. After receiving the shares, request to transfer the shares from the individual account to joint account (all within Vanguard). The last time I did such a...
by ustf
Fri May 20, 2016 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why does Vanguard insist on Medallion signature guarantee on an Indiv to Joint transfer ?
Replies: 4
Views: 1173

Why does Vanguard insist on Medallion signature guarantee on an Indiv to Joint transfer ?

I am trying to transfer some shares from an Individual Etrade account to a Joint Vanguard account. I am the sole owner on the Etrade account and also the primary owner on the Vanguard joint account. One of the 3 reps I talked to at Vanguard says that Etrade might require a medallion guarantee. I che...
by ustf
Wed May 11, 2016 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Car Rental-Any Experience
Replies: 25
Views: 10621

Re: Costco Car Rental-Any Experience

+1 for Costco.
What you are quoted is what you pay. No gimmicks. No extra charge for additional driver. Almost always the lowest price with no uncertainty about any added charges at the desk. I have rented with them for over 3 years without any problems.
by ustf
Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Help
Replies: 29
Views: 2929

Re: Rental Car Help

+1 on Costco. You will most probably make up the $55 annual membership fee in just 2-3 of 3-5 day rentals with the rental discounts they offer.
The past few times I rented with them, they usually had great rates for Alamo.
by ustf
Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transportation arrangements in Europe
Replies: 25
Views: 3674

Re: Transportation arrangements in Europe

Tickets for TGV train can be purchased through this website. This is France Railways official site and I have purchased tickets from this website a few years ago without any problems. You can print out or save pdf files of your e-tickets. Just print at home and board the train. http://www.sncf.com/e...
by ustf
Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to decide how much to spend on a house?
Replies: 22
Views: 4335

Re: How to decide how much to spend on a house?

If it were me, it comes down to weighing the value of (time saved + non-bedroom city feel ) vs the (extra $300K + the need for a big house) I would try to look for a new, smaller house that costs a little less if it meets other criteria of a good neighborhood that is not a bedroom city, much closer ...
by ustf
Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age 29; stay in smaller house or buy a bigger house?
Replies: 44
Views: 6270

Re: Age 29; stay in smaller house or buy a bigger house?

Toons wrote:I would stay put for a while .
Reassess once the children arrive.
^^This^^
by ustf
Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: So, about health insurance...
Replies: 18
Views: 2981

Re: So, about health insurance...

I would start with healthcare.gov and look at the options available to you at your projected yearly income.
Should give an idea of premiums plus deductibles and max out of pocket for a high expense unforeseen health event in the future.
by ustf
Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Best Price for a Prescription Drug
Replies: 71
Views: 17959

Re: Getting Best Price for a Prescription Drug

Question about how GoodRx works in general with high deductible insurance. Can a Rx be run through the primary insurance first and then through GoodRx in some order so that what you end up paying counts towards the deductible on a high deductible health insurance plan. This is for medicines that cos...
by ustf
Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Travel....anyone used them?
Replies: 18
Views: 5321

Re: Costco Travel....anyone used them?

Used both Costco Travel and AAA. Liked them both as far as value for money goes. Liked Costco better for customer service.
Car rental through their travel website is a no-brainer most of the time. No-nonsense great rates almost always, compared to other car rental sites.
by ustf
Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recent Egypt Travel Experiences ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1822

Re: Recent Egypt Travel Experiences ?

Thanks everyone for the very helpful posts. We are using an Egyptian travel agency based in Cairo that has been in business for a while and will be using a local car driver and guide for a mix of independent and organized travel.
Thanks again !
by ustf
Fri Oct 30, 2015 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recent Egypt Travel Experiences ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1822

Recent Egypt Travel Experiences ?

Hello, We are planning on traveling to Egypt in Dec 2015. Planning on doing the standard trips in and around Cairo, Alexandria, Abu Simbel, Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor, all with local guides that has already been arranged. Wondering if anyone travelled to Egypt in the past one year and are willi...
by ustf
Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: White Noise/Sleep/Sound Therapy
Replies: 62
Views: 7713

Re: White Noise/Sleep/Sound Therapy

Marsona TSCI-330 Travel Sound Conditioner on Amazon.com Works with both 110 and 220 volts if you want to use it for international travel. Has sounds of fan/waterfall/surf. We have had this for several years and it works well. White noise without a fan or other moving parts. No display lights interfe...
by ustf
Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a color printer [inkjet] or black and white [laser] for light home use?
Replies: 106
Views: 9586

Re: Should I buy a color printer or black and white for light home use?

Aside from the cost-savings, I have to agree with the relatively hassle free operation of a laser printer. Purchased a Brother BW laser printer about 8 years ago and the only thing I have done is replace the toner cartridge twice for about $40 each. No messing with jammed inkjet cartridges no matter...
by ustf
Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a color printer [inkjet] or black and white [laser] for light home use?
Replies: 106
Views: 9586

Re: Should I buy a color printer or black and white for home use?

We have done the B&W printer for home and Kinkos for the occasional color prints for the past several years and it has worked very well. Kinkos expenses haven't been more than about $7-$10 per year when you keep color prints down to the absolutely needed. But it totally depends on how much you n...
by ustf
Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Prescription Glasses
Replies: 17
Views: 4351

Re: Costco Prescription Glasses

You might want to check your provider list again. Costco optical shows up in our VSP provider listing for glasses/ contacts. The benefits/ allowances are slightly different as spelled out in VSP's benefit listing when done through costco but they have always come out ahead compared to others for the...
by ustf
Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel insurance - worth it?
Replies: 96
Views: 22482

Re: Travel insurance - worth it?

I have used Allianz travel insurance through AAA by searching for "Allianz", "CSAA" on google. Their link is hard to find and may differ based on which state you live in. They have had reasonably priced policies with good medical coverage. I made a claim once to cancel internatio...
by ustf
Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you do to relax just after returning from work
Replies: 80
Views: 13099

Re: What do you do to relax just after returning from work

Park the car a mile or two away from work and walk from and back to it from work.
Vary the distance based on time, health and weather.
Avoid the smartphone and computer at home.
by ustf
Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA timing with existing IRA balance
Replies: 13
Views: 1346

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA timing with existing IRA balance

Check and see if your new employer allows you to roll the money into their 401k plan. A lot of employers allow this. This would eliminate your IRA balance and allow you continue making backdoor roths. +1 We were in the same situation. We transferred an old employer's 401K to a rollover IRA and then...
by ustf
Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: another 529 question
Replies: 7
Views: 989

Re: another 529 question

....And forgot to mention that Utah's UESP plan offers Vanguard funds in it's portfolio mix.
by ustf
Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: another 529 question
Replies: 7
Views: 989

Re: another 529 question

I don't know about the costs being the lowest but Utah's UESP plan is among the top 5 in terms of lowest costs, is consistently ranked among the top 5 plans nationally according to Forbes and Morningstar. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/morningstar-names-best-529-college-050000011.html http://www.forb...
by ustf
Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kids and TV Viewing - Your Thoughts?
Replies: 28
Views: 4130

Re: Kids and TV Viewing - Your Thoughts?

We have one TV in the house. No subscription to cable or dish. Our two preteen and teen kids decide on a show and watch it for an hour or two on one weekend night. No tablets at home so we don't need to fight that battle about screen time. Phones are off limits for all in the house during dinner and...
by ustf
Wed May 20, 2015 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip Insurance
Replies: 35
Views: 3703

Re: Trip Insurance

If medical insurance is your main concern, you might already be covered if you have Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage in the US. Many of their plans come with the BlueCard program that covers overseas medical care through their worldwide network when travelling. http://www.bcbs.com/already-a-member/co...
by ustf
Wed May 06, 2015 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Vacation
Replies: 28
Views: 7351

Re: Florida Vacation

We were in Florida a few years ago in Dec and had a great time. If I were to do it again, I would pay more attention to purple flags on the beach that warn of dangerous marine life, which during our trip happened to be Jellyfish. Our 9 year old son had a bad case of being stung by several jellyfish ...
by ustf
Fri May 01, 2015 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 Days in Bangkok
Replies: 17
Views: 4908

Re: 2 Days in Bangkok

The Chatuchak market, a foot massage while there.
Wat Arun...Climb up the steep steps, especially close to sunset.
The street food is great and very inexpensive.
by ustf
Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on 529
Replies: 15
Views: 1364

Re: Thoughts on 529

Utah's 529 plans are a great choice given their use of vanguard funds and low fees. I have been investing in their age based aggressive plans for the past 14 years and have been happy with them. I am aiming to cover about two thirds of an average private school tuition with our 529 savings. I am hop...