Search found 455 matches

by Polaris
Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard SEP Contribution with Tax Extension
Replies: 2
Views: 324

Re: Vanguard SEP Contribution with Tax Extension

I've done this with my Vanguard SEP contribution during years when I filed for an extension of my S Corp returns, but I did it by mailing a check with a deposit slip from a paper statement and a prepaid envelope. Looking at my records it looks like the last time I did this was in July 2011 when I ma...
by Polaris
Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to buy bike parts
Replies: 22
Views: 3080

Re: Best place to buy bike parts

I've never bought used bike parts and never will. I can't imagine buying a used bottom bracket or gears. I might try "unused" bike parts, say those someone took off a new bike and replaced with something else. I realize that the OP didn't have much luck there, but I bought an unused stock front der...
by Polaris
Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What auto loan do you have?
Replies: 14
Views: 2582

Re: What auto loan do you have?

Have you experience with their car buying service? I got quotes from the Penfed (TrueCar) buying service when I bought a new car a few months ago. I was able to negotiate a lower price myself that worked out to be a better deal with their "regular" auto financing than the car buying service price u...
by Polaris
Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I think rolling over 401ks to IRAs is often a bad decision
Replies: 56
Views: 6971

Re: I think rolling over 401ks to IRAs is often a bad decisi

My 401(k) from my previous employer offers S&P500 fund at 2.5 bps, "completer" index at 7 bps, and a stable value fund that at times offers a superior risk/return profile to TBM. Additionally, creditor protection. I am in no hurry to roll it into an IRA although Fidelity calls me every month encour...
by Polaris
Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed auto loan issue
Replies: 6
Views: 798

Re: Penfed auto loan issue

I applied for a Penfed auto loan before car shopping last year and my understanding was that the interest rate would be whatever was current when I actually handed the dealer the check. Penfed's rate went up to 1.99% APR after I applied so I ended up going with Alliant Credit union @ 1.49% APR inste...
by Polaris
Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newly married - setting up finances
Replies: 23
Views: 2599

Re: Newly married - setting up finances

We've pretty much been doing what you're currently doing now for about 19 years now. We have his and hers checking and savings accounts and CDs (local and online) with each other as the POD beneficiary on everything. We also have joint savings/checking accounts at Penfed and a local credit union (in...
by Polaris
Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What interest rate did you get on your car loan?
Replies: 71
Views: 7427

Re: What interest rate did you get on your car loan?

Where would I invest the money in the sinking fund and what interest rate could I get for it? If I can't get > 3% guaranteed for it, then a sinking fund doesn't make sense for my situation. I could set aside $25k for my sinking fund and make say 1% on it. In 5 years, that will grow to $26,275 (even...
by Polaris
Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I Bonds or PenFed 2.02% CD for a 70+ year old?
Replies: 10
Views: 1275

Re: I Bonds or PenFed 2.02% CD for a 70+ year old?

FWIW, there is a rumor of 3.00% APY 5 & 7 year CDs at Penfed on 12/1/13. It might be worth waiting a week for that, but if the rumor is wrong the current 2.02% APY could also go *poof*
by Polaris
Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: looking at solo 401k and SEP options - which and where
Replies: 27
Views: 2622

Re: looking at solo 401k and SEP options - which and where

Trying to figure out the best place to open a solo 401 k and whether it would be good to also have a SEP in the mix. 1) Realize it has been commented in other threads that one may not need a SEP if one has a solo 401 k. Yet, have heard that Vanguard's solo 401 k does not offer admiral shares and do...
by Polaris
Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pent Fed Platinum Rewards - another way new card is worse
Replies: 19
Views: 2314

Re: Pent Fed Platinum Rewards - another way new card is wors

I've been using the amazon electronic gift cards too. While it's not as convenient as the auto cash back, we buy enough stuff there where it's pretty painless.
by Polaris
Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Sad news - Pat Larimore]
Replies: 225
Views: 23109

Re: [Sad news - Pat Larimore]

I'm so sorry for your loss Taylor. Best wishes to you and all friends and family. :(
by Polaris
Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Timing Belt Change - Months or Miles if car is old?
Replies: 104
Views: 39327

Re: Timing Belt Change - Months or Miles if car is old?

My 2005 Honda Pilot owner's manual says 105,000 miles or 7 years - whichever comes first. Same with my 2004 Pilot. I waited a bit longer than recommended and had my timing belt & water pump replaced after 9 years with 84k miles. While those parts were OK, the belt tensioner was leaking oil and coul...
by Polaris
Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Generator or No Generator
Replies: 82
Views: 20552

Re: Generator or No Generator

Interlock switches can be a great solution and they do eliminate the life-safety concern for line workers, however there may be a minor downside for non-engineers and the forgetful. Small transfer switches that make you choose 6 or 8 circuits are less flexible than an interlock switch, but they hel...
by Polaris
Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Generator or No Generator
Replies: 82
Views: 20552

Re: Generator or No Generator

... I can plug the output of our generator directly into our main electrical service panels (after cutting the main breakers to prevent back feeding into the grid). ... Yes, you and I know how to do this safely, but... if we make a mistake (steps out of sequence), or someone else (spouse, friend,.....
by Polaris
Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Your Adult Children Understand Inheritance?
Replies: 26
Views: 4094

Re: Do Your Adult Children Understand Inheritance?

My daughter is a research scientist with a PhD and my son is a corporate systems administrator. Both are well past the multiplication-table stage. Still they view an inheritance as something in the distant future. They are co-executors so I sent each a book to guide them through that process. If I ...
by Polaris
Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford this luxury car?
Replies: 133
Views: 13055

Re: Can I afford this luxury car?

I agree with the sentiments that an SUV is not the best choice for hauling around two kids and all their stuff? I have seen this repeated several times here and couldn't disagree more. We've been using a Honda Pilot as our family car for nine years now and it has been excellent. When the kids were ...
by Polaris
Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: area under the deck
Replies: 29
Views: 3901

Re: area under the deck

Wouldn't a 3" x 5" deck be about the size of a dollar bill? :confused Our 14' x 16' deck has gravel under it. Weeds and ants aren't much of a problem, but bees and wasps do seem to enjoy creating nests on the joists. That can be quite a surprise when I have to go under there to get something. :o
by Polaris
Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A remarkably candid column [from a hedge fund manager]
Replies: 5
Views: 2061

Re: A remarkably candid column [from a hedge fund manager]

Wait, I thought he said that beating the market was easy ( link )?: I regularly trounce the market. So does my brother, who co-manages Clipper and Selected American Shares funds. So do some friends and dozens of professional acquaintances. I find it very easy to select fund managers who will beat th...
by Polaris
Thu May 24, 2012 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 8 ??
Replies: 27
Views: 2451

Re: Windows 8 ??

After messing around with the free Windows 8 Consumer Preview in a virtual machine, I plan on buying my new laptop with Windows 7. I believe that the new tablet-like interface will lead to slow adoption by businesses because many workers will have a difficult time navigating around windows since it ...
by Polaris
Thu May 17, 2012 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone and plan for 6th grader
Replies: 73
Views: 8954

Re: Cell phone and plan for 6th grader

ataloss wrote:T-mobile has unlimited texting for $15/month and 10 cents / minute talk. 14 year old daughter texts almost exclusively so this works well for her
Thanks, did not even know such a beast existed.
by Polaris
Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend on groceries?
Replies: 134
Views: 16488

Re: How much do you spend on groceries?

I have absolutely no idea. Yeah, be smart about the house and the car, and you don't have to sweat the small stuff. We don't have a budget, and I frequently put things in the grocery cart just because "yum, that sounds good" Interesting how we all have different perspectives of what the small stuff...
by Polaris
Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Advisor
Replies: 29
Views: 3511

Re: Fidelity Advisor

I received 3 cold calls from Fidelity in the last three years. One was a week ago and I was immediately asked "Tell me about yourself." I took a "charm school" course with a former employer about using open ended questions to funnel people for information, feelings, etc. Maybe I am a little defensi...
by Polaris
Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend on groceries?
Replies: 134
Views: 16488

Re: How much do you spend on groceries?

I have absolutely no idea. Yeah, be smart about the house and the car, and you don't have to sweat the small stuff. We don't have a budget, and I frequently put things in the grocery cart just because "yum, that sounds good" Interesting how we all have different perspectives of what the small stuff...
by Polaris
Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend on groceries?
Replies: 134
Views: 16488

Re: How much do you spend on groceries?

Family of four, includes all groceries, toiletries, cleaning products, etc: 2008 $510/month 2009 $449/month 2010 $510/month 2011 $589/month 2012 $604/month (though Q1) I've noticed constant food price inflation since I've been tracking our grocery spending data and I shop sales and coupon pretty agg...
by Polaris
Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed 1.99% 5-year HEL
Replies: 27
Views: 2341

Re: Penfed 1.99% 5-year HEL

Heck, I could leave the $120k I took out for my current mortgage in a savings account earning 1.5% and earn ~$30k in compound interest before taxes after 15 years as opposed to paying roughly the same amount in mortgage interest over that same period. My point is that by pre-paying the mortgage you ...
by Polaris
Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed 1.99% 5-year HEL
Replies: 27
Views: 2341

Re: Penfed 1.99% 5-year HEL

Think of all the money you'd have for possible 6.25% CDs in the future if you were mortgage-free. As of right now, there's a 24k hurdle to jump, hopefully those high-yield CDs come back soon. Huh, I would have even more dry powder for potential high yield investments by _not_ paying off my cheap mo...
by Polaris
Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed 1.99% 5-year HEL
Replies: 27
Views: 2341

Re: Penfed 1.99% 5-year HEL

I think you missed my point. I was commenting on Polaris not wanting to pay his/her loan off early period. The same would hold true if we were talking 40 year loans - the longer duration means you pay more interest over the life of the loan. I already understand how to compare two loans of differen...
by Polaris
Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed 1.99% 5-year HEL
Replies: 27
Views: 2341

Re: Penfed 1.99% 5-year HEL

That is a great deal, but I'm not in a hurry to pay off our 15 year @ 3.125%. :) Calculate how much you'd save in interest and you might change your mind. We could buy a luxury car with the interest savings, and our current mortgage is only at 3.25%. Looks like it would save us about $24k. If I rea...
by Polaris
Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed 1.99% 5-year HEL
Replies: 27
Views: 2341

Re: Penfed 1.99% 5-year HEL

That is a great deal, but I'm not in a hurry to pay off our 15 year @ 3.125%. :)
by Polaris
Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone already received paper I-Bonds from Tax Refund?
Replies: 46
Views: 5031

Re: Anyone already received paper I-Bonds from Tax Refund?

I've been wondering about this myself. I recently e-filed and haven't received any I Bonds or spillover via ach to my bank account yet, but it seems like I shouldn't be surprised if the entire refund ends up in my checking account with zero I Bonds. :( I guess I spoke too soon, the spillover portio...
by Polaris
Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone already received paper I-Bonds from Tax Refund?
Replies: 46
Views: 5031

Re: Anyone already received paper I-Bonds from Tax Refund?

I've been wondering about this myself. I recently e-filed and haven't received any I Bonds or spillover via ach to my bank account yet, but it seems like I shouldn't be surprised if the entire refund ends up in my checking account with zero I Bonds. :(
by Polaris
Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reporter Doing Story. Got a CD Maturing?
Replies: 4
Views: 742

Re: Reporter Doing Story. Got a CD Maturing?

I just had a Penfed CD mature, although I hate talking on the phone. 8-)
by Polaris
Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are people still using 529s?
Replies: 29
Views: 2999

Re: Are people still using 529s?

I'm in my mid 30s, about to get married, and no kids (yet). I've been putting in about $1,800 for the past 12ish years into 529s and only have about $18,000 to show for it. Basically, I've lost money on my investments (I've been in aggressive growth for the entire contributions). Interesting data p...
by Polaris
Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refi- worst experience ever!
Replies: 26
Views: 3377

Re: Refi- worst experience ever!

I'm self-employed and have typically found that refi's are a PITA. However, this fall I applied to refinance with a local credit union and I ended up closing within 30 days after my initial application. There were some bumps along the way, but it was a walk in the park compared to the nightmare that...
by Polaris
Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PenFed CD rates in January?
Replies: 7
Views: 1730

Re: PenFed CD rates in January?

Just got off the phone with a PenFed CSR and she said that she wasn't aware of any CD promotion this coming January. The key phrase is "not aware of" and that could mean (1) no we won't have one, or (2) yes we may have one, but we can't tell you until after January 1. I worked in banking for 20-yea...
by Polaris
Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: are these good mortgage rates
Replies: 17
Views: 2476

Re: are these good mortgage rates

Those rates are pretty competitive with the small credit union I just refinanced with, but closing costs matter too. You could also try running a screen at Mortgage Marvel for your zip code as a sanity check.
by Polaris
Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bank of America already stopped selling paper I-Bonds
Replies: 13
Views: 1454

Re: Bank of America already stopped selling paper I-Bonds

I also tried to buy I Bonds at BOA earlier this month and was given a handout indicating that they stopped selling them as of 10/1/2011. What concerns me is how we're going to redeem these in 2041 since most banks may not have employees still working there that actually remember selling them in the ...
by Polaris
Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Top Long Term CD...like Penfed's 7 Yr MM
Replies: 5
Views: 980

Re: Top Long Term CD...like Penfed's 7 Yr MM

Well, "best" and "good" aren't necessarily the same animal. ;)
by Polaris
Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Top Long Term CD...like Penfed's 7 Yr MM
Replies: 5
Views: 980

Re: Top Long Term CD...like Penfed's 7 Yr MM

Lots of good info on CD rates at depositaccounts.com: link.
by Polaris
Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphone Case. Rugged, but thin.
Replies: 6
Views: 934

Re: Smartphone Case. Rugged, but thin.

Which Otterbox does the phone currently have? The Otterbox Defender is pretty big, but you can also drop your phone off a building and have it survive. :) I have an Otterbox Reflex on my new iPhone and it's not terribly bulky, but doesn't provide the level of protection that the Defender does. Have ...
by Polaris
Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Questions about SEP's and other possibilities
Replies: 5
Views: 411

Re: Questions about SEP's and other possibilities

I am the only employee of my S Corp and currently have a SEP IRA at Vanguard and my company contributes 25% of my annual FICA income to my SEP every year. What I like about it is that there are no additional expenses, minimal record keeping, and I fund it by simply by writing a check from my busines...
by Polaris
Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2012 Health Insurance Increases Thread
Replies: 32
Views: 4356

Re: 2012 Health Insurance Increases Thread

~2%, the smallest increase I've had in more than a decade.
by Polaris
Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WWYD: My mortgage refi may have cost originator their job!
Replies: 10
Views: 1395

Interesting that the poll consensus is to do nothing and have a clear conscience, which if nothing else is certainly the path of less resistance. I'm finding that easier said than done though, but that's probably more driven by emotion than logic. :)
by Polaris
Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WWYD: My mortgage refi may have cost originator their job!
Replies: 10
Views: 1395

All, thanks for the input. I can't help but think something fishy is going on here. It just seems to more than a coincidence when someone who is very prompt and professional and has been with the same organization for 30+ years tells you that they'll be in the office Wed, Fri, and Sat if you need to...
by Polaris
Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WWYD: My mortgage refi may have cost originator their job!
Replies: 10
Views: 1395

WWYD: My mortgage refi may have cost originator their job!

This is a bit long, but please bear with me because I'm having an ethical dilemma and am unsure of how to proceed. Last month I applied online for a mortgage refinance with a local financial institution I've had my eye on for a while. A couple of days later a mortgage originator called me and we met...
by Polaris
Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice on Amex card I didn't apply for & FICO score
Replies: 19
Views: 2853

I've read about Bank of America employees doing this type of thing on various financial forums. Apparently, they're evaluated on how many of these things they can get customers to sign up for and get bonuses for doing so. I think in some cases the customer was "pre-approved" for a credit card and th...
by Polaris
Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No more paper savings bonds
Replies: 207
Views: 36815

How sad. This is even worse than discontinuing credit card savings bond purchases at the end of 2003. :( The Treasury has been hacking away at savings bonds for several years now, so I wouldn't be surprised if the electronic I/EE bonds are phased out completely at treasurydirect within the next few ...
by Polaris
Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Very un-Boglehead article on Vanguard's web
Replies: 55
Views: 8499

I'm always struck by the fact that people don't do surgery on themselves, or do their own legal or dental work. Most people don't even fix their own cars. Yet many people seem to think they can do their own investing. How silly. I'd be curious to know the percentage of doctors that perform surgery ...
by Polaris
Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you use 0% interest cash-advance to make money?
Replies: 62
Views: 18106

Ah, the good old days when you could borrow cash at 0% and put it in an FDIC-insured savings account earning 5%. Unfortunately, those days are long gone... :(
by Polaris
Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Everyday Purchases: Credit, Debit, or Cash?
Replies: 105
Views: 14464

Re: Everyday Purchases: Credit, Debit, or Cash?

... Interesting, I thought you were of the opinion that there was no positive side to credit card use. Has something changed or do I have you confused with someone else? :) Let the record show that I'm a big fan of credit cards and always have been. Maybe you confused me with... Dave Ramsey? :P :?:...