Search found 277 matches

by FreemanB
Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I take possession of a certified mail?
Replies: 151
Views: 18192

Re: Should I take possession of a certified mail?

I see lots of posts stating they wouldn't accept the letter because it likely isn't anything good. However, I can't see a scenario where not accepting the letter would create a positive outcome and many scenarios where not accepting it would lead to a negative outcome. If it is a bill for services, ...
by FreemanB
Thu May 24, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decision points on new Iphone
Replies: 19
Views: 1455

Re: Decision points on new Iphone

Nope. When I hit send, my text goes. I never watch video on my phone. My battery easily lasts 24 hours. I receive emails. I can make and receive phone calls. I can search the web for answers. When I set the alarm for 6am, at 6am, it makes noise. I've yet to find anything that is slower than my eyes...
by FreemanB
Wed May 23, 2018 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Parents with pre-K kids and 529 target
Replies: 50
Views: 3615

Re: Parents with pre-K kids and 529 target

I wouldn't worry about coming up with an exact figure now. As others have stated, there are too many variables and it is too far out to really do more than guess. A few years ago, when I was deciding on a number, I faced the same problem. Many calculators were giving wildly different estimations. Fi...
by FreemanB
Tue May 22, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: French hotel amenities...
Replies: 15
Views: 1467

Re: French hotel amenities...

I wouldn't expect any of the items in particular, but you can generally check on Hotels.com or other websites to find out what specific hotels offer.
by FreemanB
Wed May 16, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off Debt vs. Investing
Replies: 25
Views: 2127

Re: Paying off Debt vs. Investing

I agree with all of this. I guess what I'm getting at, assuming the math is correct, is that in all of the pay off debt vs. investing commentary I have seen, I have never once heard anyone say that you have to put that debt payment towards some kind of investment once the debt is paid off in order ...
by FreemanB
Wed May 16, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off Debt vs. Investing
Replies: 25
Views: 2127

Re: Paying off Debt vs. Investing

I think you are mixing different questions, modifying variables without realizing it, and that's causing confusion. If you don't start investing any of the additional money after the loan is paid off, then you can simply remove the loan from the equation for your investment return. At that point, yo...
by FreemanB
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have a car w/o ABS?
Replies: 53
Views: 3149

Re: Do you have a car w/o ABS?

Maybe I'm being non-PC here, but a lot of that stuff seems to just help out bad drivers lol.. as in people not paying attention Even the best driver can suffer from a moment of inattention. To add to this, a driver can really only pay attention to one thing at a time, so the more active monitoring,...
by FreemanB
Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimating Future College Costs
Replies: 18
Views: 1885

Re: Estimating Future College Costs

I have a 4 year old and had the same issues trying to figure out how much I needed to save a few years ago. The calculators were all over the place, so I didn't really find any particular one that helpful. Ultimately, I decided that it wasn't worth worrying too much about this far away. I set a goal...
by FreemanB
Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: realtor wants to show house to buyer, no listing agent for me
Replies: 55
Views: 5781

Re: realtor wants to show house to buyer, no listing agent for me

Selling "as is" is for a fixer upper. Mine is definitely not one. While I agree with most, I don't understand why some people had an issue with this. Selling a house "as is" simply means that the seller(You) would not make any repairs prior to closing, regardless of what may come up during a home i...
by FreemanB
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electricity as home office deduction or direct expense
Replies: 7
Views: 507

Re: Electricity as home office deduction or direct expense

As phisher4 indicated, have you looked to see how much of a difference this will actually make? If the numbers work out in your favor, I would have a second meter installed for it. As long as the electrical bill is combined, trying to use numbers outside of the home office percentage will likely be ...
by FreemanB
Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition
Replies: 127
Views: 9023

Re: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition

It sounds like almost the opposite, since you have more control over a custodial account than over the grandparents. I.e. they could renege on the tuition and just take a 3 week cruise, while shares in a UTMA are completely controlled by the parent. Based on the citations so far, if people feel it'...
by FreemanB
Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition
Replies: 127
Views: 9023

Re: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition

Is this tax evasion or tax avoidance? Still unethical? The key is whether it is a quid pro quo arrangement. If they did not pay the tuition, would you still give them the gift? If the answer is no, then it isn't a gift, and the transaction is unethical and tax evasion. Increasing the time between t...
by FreemanB
Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which of these expenses can be claimed for child care expenses deduction (2017)?
Replies: 3
Views: 349

Re: Which of these expenses can be claimed for child care expenses deduction (2017)?

If B was required as a condition of attendance/enrollment, then it should be deductible as well, since any fees necessary for enrollment are considered qualifying expenses. For C, it will definitely be considered an expense, but I'm not sure when it would normally be taken. I would lean towards incl...
by FreemanB
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting an Apple Watch
Replies: 82
Views: 9784

Re: Thinking of getting an Apple Watch

I had no plans on getting a smart watch, but my wife insisted on it last December. Her reasons, although I've never seen them listed here, are likely relevant to many on this board, given the demographics. I would frequently have my cell phone in a pocket or jacket while out of the house, and in a n...
by FreemanB
Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Caribbean Cruise 1st timer Cash or Card?
Replies: 32
Views: 2257

Re: Caribbean Cruise 1st timer Cash or Card?

This is different than our experience a few years ago on two different Bermuda cruises. My understanding that all such tips (waiters, cabin attendants, etc.) were in these envelopes in cash. I'm sure it varies by cruise line. On our most recent cruises(Both Disney), we could either use cash or have...
by FreemanB
Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cut down on retirement savings to build emergency fund
Replies: 20
Views: 1724

Re: Cut down on retirement savings to build emergency fund

I did not realize this was the case. This changes things. I was under the impression that you could just withdraw Roth contributions within the year and could contribute again if able. Looking further, I may be wrong about this. I think you could put back your contribution for that specific year. I...
by FreemanB
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cut down on retirement savings to build emergency fund
Replies: 20
Views: 1724

Re: Cut down on retirement savings to build emergency fund

We are in a similar situation. We've have several large expenses that have depleted our savings recently(Home improvement project plus home repair, combined with a large vet bill coming up on Wednesday), but in less than one year, our cash flow will increase significantly due to no more daycare and ...
by FreemanB
Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 3657

Re: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance

After having USAA for years, we switched to Geico less than a year ago. USAA's customer service was always excellent when we dealt with them, but Geico's quoted rate almost half of what we were paying, even after increasing some coverage levels.(I recall it saved us over $600/year) We considered the...
by FreemanB
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How would you be compensated for running a Facebook group
Replies: 6
Views: 799

Re: How would you be compensated for running a Facebook group

I would probably go with contract for a monthly fee that covers all duties up to a maximum number of hours.(Exact fee and number of hours will depend on duties and workload) That way, you will be paid for being available, regardless of actual workload, and also for the periodic monitoring that will ...
by FreemanB
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I take a 401k loan or personal loan?
Replies: 4
Views: 771

Re: Should I take a 401k loan or personal loan?

All else being equal, you should use a personal loan over a 401k loan. Make sure that the personal loan does not have any other significant fees above and beyond the interest payments. I lean more in the opposite direction, where all else being equal(Payback period, costs, etc), the 401k loan is be...
by FreemanB
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In a rising rate environment, do banks offer incentives for early pay off?
Replies: 12
Views: 1716

Re: In a rising rate environment, do banks offer incentives for early pay off?

I think the more common response from lenders in general in that type of environment is to try to sell good customers on refinancing or taking on additional loans. The selling points will usually be something like lower payments(For longer term, of course) or cash-out for home improvements/upgrades/...
by FreemanB
Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Survivor Benefits Question related to Life Insurance Planning
Replies: 15
Views: 1552

Re: Social Security Survivor Benefits Question related to Life Insurance Planning

If you log into your ssa.gov account(Or your spouse does, in this case), it will show the survivor benefits if you were to die this year. I use that as one factor while planning my insurance needs. There are some caveats that you should be aware of though, that it took me a little more reading to fi...
by FreemanB
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney Cruise Shore Excursions
Replies: 11
Views: 1128

Re: Disney Cruise Shore Excursions

My wife and I have done several Disney cruises(With two more planned for next year). For Castaway Key, our favorite activity has been the fishing trip, where they take you out on a boat fishing along the reef. You get to see lots of exotic fish up close, and we even had a pod of dolphins swimming al...
by FreemanB
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet Speed 15Mbps okay ?
Replies: 27
Views: 3404

Re: Internet Speed 15Mbps okay ?

15Mbps can handle Netflix easily up to HD movies. But, I think Netflix recommends 25 Mbps for Ultra HD contents. You can always try and switch back to higher speed if it does not work for you. I saw this as well, but I noticed while watching UltraHD content, the download rate never exceeded 15.xx M...
by FreemanB
Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 1243
Views: 125766

Re: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show

My wife and I recently watched "The Toys That Made Us", and we really enjoyed it. Each episode is a documentary covering the history of a different toy line, from its creation up to the present day. There are tons of interviews with everyone involved in the process, and it is an entertaining behind-...
by FreemanB
Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $300 Cash Card - Can I Sell It, or Should I Use It for a Large Purchase?
Replies: 13
Views: 1363

Re: $300 Cash Card - Can I Sell It, or Should I Use It for a Large Purchase?

Don't worry about it. Just use it somewhere that you deal with an actual person(Grocery stores, Target, etc) until it is used up. I use them all the time, often in small values($5 or $10 rewards), and I've never run into a cashier that didn't know how to handle it. They'll use the gift card as long ...
by FreemanB
Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Board game for 3 year old
Replies: 36
Views: 2448

Re: Board game for 3 year old

We've had a lot of luck with the Peaceable Kingdom cooperative games. Competitive games are fun too, but sometimes you want to avoid conflict :) http://www.mindware.orientaltrading.com/games/cooperative-games-a1-555711-1.fltr We have Count Your Chickens and Race to the Treasure. Robot Turtles is a g...
by FreemanB
Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do we need an emergency supplies kit (go bag)?
Replies: 65
Views: 6497

Re: Do we need an emergency supplies kit (go bag)?

The only real answer is whatever satisfies you enough to help you sleep at night. I probably would have only had a small bag with some useful tools/supplies, but my wife wanted a more fleshed-out "bug-out" bag, a supply of water and dried foods, and some other emergency equipment. There aren't any p...
by FreemanB
Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?
Replies: 31
Views: 2999

Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Personally, if the camera is your number one priority, then I would recommend the Pixel 2.( I have the regular one, not the XL.) A few months ago, I was on the lookout for a new phone with an excellent camera, and I decided to go with the Pixel 2. I have been continually amazed by the camera, and I ...
by FreemanB
Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: solo 401k questions - add spouse, loans
Replies: 6
Views: 635

Re: solo 401k questions - add spouse, loans

Thanks for the replies. This advisor did have some unusual advice so I’m glad I’m vetting it out. He also recommended I go all stocks (no bonds) which seems a little risky. I’m 15-20 years from retirement. In regards to Roths I’ve been able to contribute here and there but haven’t made it a priorit...
by FreemanB
Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of 401k Employer Match vs. Salary Equivalent
Replies: 34
Views: 4900

Re: Value of 401k Employer Match vs. Salary Equivalent

Personally, I'd consider a match to be a 1-1 equivalent to salary. The exact account it goes into(401K or checking) wouldn't be a huge factor to me, since there are pros and cons to both sides, tax implications, and lots of other details that could factor in. At the end of the day though, those deta...
by FreemanB
Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Michelin or Bridgestone?
Replies: 67
Views: 9785

Re: Michelin or Bridgestone?

https://tires.costco.com/Home.aspx?whs=337 It is not free. It is one cent installation per tire. But, it is available until 11/16/2017 at my Costco. Please login to www.costco.com and check your Costco location. KlangFool After the 16th, the deal switches to Michelin tires, but is the same otherwis...
by FreemanB
Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Michelin or Bridgestone?
Replies: 67
Views: 9785

Re: Michelin or Bridgestone?

Can anybody confirm this? I have not seen free installation in years at Costco. They just ping pong $70 rebate between Michelin and Bridgestone every few weeks. Technically, it isn't free, just $.01/tire. I don't recall the current end date, but it is a fairly common promotion. I think it is usuall...
by FreemanB
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?
Replies: 141
Views: 13533

Re: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?

Thank you. The main issue specific to the Pixel 2 I was waiting to hear more about was a microphone issue affecting some users where the mic would cut off during calls: https://www.phonearena.com/news/Google-Pixel-2-now-has-a-microphone-issue_id99690 There's some conflicting info on it because some...
by FreemanB
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?
Replies: 141
Views: 13533

Re: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?

DiggleRex wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:51 pm
For those using the smaller pixel 2, is it pretty problem free?
I haven't had a single problem with mine, before or after the update. I got it on release day, so I've been using it for nearly a month now. I'd definitely recommend it.
by FreemanB
Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?
Replies: 141
Views: 13533

Re: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?

Oh perfect, then you can answer a question for me (I'm on verizon too). Does the Verizon version come with any bloatware/pre-installed Verizon apps? Fear of that was one of the reasons that if I were to get this phone, I was considering getting it unlocked from google and just putting in my current...
by FreemanB
Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?
Replies: 141
Views: 13533

Re: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?

Oh perfect, then you can answer a question for me (I'm on verizon too). Does the Verizon version come with any bloatware/pre-installed Verizon apps? Fear of that was one of the reasons that if I were to get this phone, I was considering getting it unlocked from google and just putting in my current...
by FreemanB
Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?
Replies: 141
Views: 13533

Re: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?

Thank you for the update, I appreciate it. What network are you using it on? Did you get the carrier version (Verizon) or unlocked? I'm using it on Verizon, and I got it from them directly, so it should be the locked version. I've been on Verizon 10+ years now with no plans to change, so it wasn't ...
by FreemanB
Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?
Replies: 141
Views: 13533

Re: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?

How are other aspects of the phone so far? Overall happy? Very happy overall. Although I am definitely a techie, I'm not a power user by any means. My primary phone activities include surfing the web, reading email, listening to music, occasional navigation, tracking my running, and just generally ...
by FreemanB
Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Morningstar names best 529 college savings plans for 2017"
Replies: 17
Views: 3976

Re: "Morningstar names best 529 college savings plans for 2017"

Anyone know why NY State Direct 529 was downgraded? Looks like the downgrade report is up. The full article is here: http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=831727 The last paragraph explains the New York downgrade. A NY law limits the amounts of certain investments(International equ...
by FreemanB
Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?
Replies: 141
Views: 13533

Re: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?

For me the draw is the camera. the 6P has a nice camera but I look back at my pictures and the newer they are the better they look. I have young kids and I'd prefer to continue to get better and more pictures of them. I've only had the Pixel 2 for about 6 days now, and I have to say, I think the ca...
by FreemanB
Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Morningstar names best 529 college savings plans for 2017"
Replies: 17
Views: 3976

Re: "Morningstar names best 529 college savings plans for 2017"

metacritic wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:25 am
Anyone know why NY State Direct 529 was downgraded?
No idea, but I read in another article that Morningstar will publish a follow-up report addressing 529 plans that were downgraded on Thursday, October 26, so we should find out the details tomorrow.
by FreemanB
Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?
Replies: 141
Views: 13533

Re: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?

Just wondering if you'll use the Pixel 2 for GPS in the car, and if so, if you think the screen is big enough for that use? Both of my vehicles have built-in navigation systems, so I only occasionally use my phone for navigation.(Usually if I want to tell it to navigate somewhere after I've already...
by FreemanB
Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?
Replies: 141
Views: 13533

Re: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?

I picked up a Pixel 2 on Thursday, replacing my Droid Turbo due to issues with GPS performance and general aging of the phone. I went with the smaller one since I often carry my phone in my front pockets. While I like the idea of getting timely updates, my two biggest factors were a good camera and ...
by FreemanB
Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Xmas bonus for Honorably discharged veterans
Replies: 11
Views: 2565

Re: Xmas bonus for Honorably discharged veterans

After I signed up a couple of months ago, I hadn't paid much attention to it until my wife started looking at an iPad Pro. If anyone is thinking of buying a 10.5 inch one, they have a really good sale right now on the 256gb version. https://www.shopmyexchange.com/apple-ipad-pro-10-5-in-256gb-with-wi...
by FreemanB
Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is 529 right for this situation
Replies: 5
Views: 686

Re: Is 529 right for this situation

Hello Everyone, My spouse is thinking about making a career change and getting into teaching. They would plan going back to school in 3-7 years. We have the cash for this and our retirement accounts are already in place. Would it be prudent to start a 529 account to supplement this future expense? ...
by FreemanB
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer reimbursement for plugin hybrid charge cost?
Replies: 14
Views: 1899

Re: Employer reimbursement for plugin hybrid charge cost?

It doesn't make sense to me why a company reimburses actual gas receipts instead of mileage. Well, I guess that makes sense for the company. It doesn't make sense to me as an employee. I could see it being somewhat more beneficial to the employee in the situation that the OP described, a highly con...
by FreemanB
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Xmas bonus for Honorably discharged veterans
Replies: 11
Views: 2565

Re: Xmas bonus for Honorably discharged veterans

Nice info. It took about two minutes to be verified, now I (Okay, really my wife) can add that to her normal shopping routine.
by FreemanB
Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreclosure No Longer on Credit Report
Replies: 4
Views: 966

Re: Foreclosure No Longer on Credit Report

I'm no expert, but those are really questions that only your mortgage broker/provider can answer. Given the time since the foreclosure, I suspect that the biggest factor will be your credit history since the foreclosure. If you haven't had any other negative reports since then and have an excellent ...
by FreemanB
Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I hold bond fund for period equal to duration?
Replies: 16
Views: 1500

Re: Should I hold bond fund for period equal to duration?

Therein lies my conundrum - what are the consequences if I change jobs and liquidate my 403b bond fund in say 2 years? I have no intention of leaving this money with my employer's 403b administrator due to their fees. At that point, I would surely liquidate and move that money to my rollover IRA an...