Search found 1171 matches

by centrifuge41
Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers
Replies: 41
Views: 4638

Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Moorea to Tahiti is a ferry ride away (Aremiti). Runs a few times a day, takes a bit over an hour. It was $15 one way when we were there.

Either island to Bora Bora is a short 1 hour flight away on Air Tahiti (not Air Tahiti Nui), but it can cost $350+ round.
by centrifuge41
Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers
Replies: 41
Views: 4638

Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Yeah, I've spent a few days on Tahiti (the main island), and stayed at the then-Radisson resort. But back then, you could pull a free stopover between Auckland and LAX with Delta Skymiles. Went to Moorea for a day trip. Beautiful island. Tahiti main island is kind of run-down. Papette is a dusty sma...
by centrifuge41
Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do after maxing out 401k, IRA, and HSA?
Replies: 23
Views: 3249

Re: What to do after maxing out 401k, IRA, and HSA?

Check if either employer allows after-tax 401k contributions, those can later be rolled into a Roth IRA. I had this option at my last employer and didn't understand it until I left. :oops: Or, taxable. Yeah, we call it the "mega backdoor Roth IRA". It is astoundingly good if it works well. Ideal ca...
by centrifuge41
Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do after maxing out 401k, IRA, and HSA?
Replies: 23
Views: 3249

Re: What to do after maxing out 401k, IRA, and HSA?

Your gf contributes traditional IRA and immediately converts to Roth, correct? (Backdoor Roth IRA). I think 155k income is too much to contribute natively to a Roth IRA, even if 18k + 3350 is contributed to 401k and HSA. In a way, Roth 401k does pack more money into the account than a Traditional 40...
by centrifuge41
Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds bad in ROTH? Infographic:
Replies: 59
Views: 5871

Re: Bonds bad in ROTH? Infographic:

Yes, the nature/behavior of bonds (the interest is all short term, rather than long-term dividend/capital gain) makes bonds quite tax inefficient by nature. But interest rates are low now, and in an absolute sense, bonds don't spit out very much interest, so there's not much tax anyhow. If you want ...
by centrifuge41
Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan
Replies: 30
Views: 3973

Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Freedompop is totally free, though it's data only (you'd have to use something like google hangouts, burning into your data bucket, for voice). Also, you may need to do some social networking with Freedompop friends to get a bigger free data allocation.
by centrifuge41
Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BofA HSA dropping Vanguard Funds
Replies: 65
Views: 11025

Re: BofA HSA dropping Vanguard Funds

If you would like to establish balance, then you still can.

HSA: Blackrock S&P 500 fund
Elsewhere, such as your Roth IRA or 401k: load up on small caps or extended market indices.

Link
by centrifuge41
Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BofA HSA dropping Vanguard Funds
Replies: 65
Views: 11025

Re: BofA HSA dropping Vanguard Funds

Just use the Blackrock S&P 500 fund, and fill out the rest of your portfolio elsewhere. Super cheap! If you really want to ditch the BofA HSA, I think that HSA Bank is a good choice. HSA Administrators charges 25bps on top of whatever Vanguard charges. HSA Bank charges no fees if the main interest-b...
by centrifuge41
Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What happens to company 's profit?
Replies: 11
Views: 1654

Re: What happens to company 's profit?

A dividend could get voted on and approved.

The company could sit on a hoard of cash, in which case the market value includes that cash.

The company could reinvest the (operating) profits, and seek new markets & earnings.
by centrifuge41
Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should we participate in ESPP?
Replies: 16
Views: 1917

Re: Should we participate in ESPP?

15% discount is equal to 17.65% gain. All for 9 trading days of hold. Over 10% of your income, that's a 1.765% raise. 17.65% in 9 trading days (minus some fees). Vs a typical investment that gives you an 8-12% return in 252 trading days (one year's worth of stock market activity). What do you think?...
by centrifuge41
Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 24 hour stop over at LHR, what all can I visit in London?
Replies: 31
Views: 2184

Re: 24 hour stop over at LHR, what all can I visit in London?

Have you ever been to London before? If you haven't and you only have a day, I'd take one of those organized bus tours. Tacky, I know, but it really is a good way to "skim" the sights. Then on your second visit, you'll won't feel any pressure to see a famous sight that you're not deeply interested ...
by centrifuge41
Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ft. Lauderdale
Replies: 8
Views: 1249

Re: Ft. Lauderdale

In addition to what others have offered, you can choose from some of this:

Go down to Miami and go to Vizcaya, Miami Beach, Wynwood Walls. Go up to West Palm area and go to Lion Country safari.
by centrifuge41
Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Kona, Hawaii - Suggestions
Replies: 44
Views: 3572

Re: Trip to Kona, Hawaii - Suggestions

Speaking of food, the pizza at Ohelo Cafe in Volcano (the town) was ridiculously good. They have an awesome oven for firing up those crisp thin crusts!
by centrifuge41
Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Kona, Hawaii - Suggestions
Replies: 44
Views: 3572

Re: Trip to Kona, Hawaii - Suggestions

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau Park is worth a quick look. The volcano is far away from where you're staying. Ideally, you book some time at Volcano or Hilo so that you don't have to pull off a lengthy day trip to get over there. Granted, there's not a lot of hotels/resorts in Hilo, since it's on the rainy si...
by centrifuge41
Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laundry lifestyle creep
Replies: 84
Views: 16434

Re: Laundry lifestyle creep

student wrote:I used to use Tide. Now I just use the cheapest one and cold water. I don't see much of a difference.
Can anyone else attest? Tide is like ~$6 a bottle. I can get other brands for ~$1-2 a bottle with relative frequency. E.g. Xtra, Sun, Wisk, etc.
by centrifuge41
Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Bad was 2008, really?
Replies: 224
Views: 22654

Re: How Bad was 2008, really?

I remember the particular point that really terrified me was after a major money market fund "broke the buck" and suddenly it seemed like nothing was safe anymore. The federal government stepped in and temporarily guaranteed money market funds and for deposit accounts increased the FDIC limit to $2...
by centrifuge41
Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Bad was 2008, really?
Replies: 224
Views: 22654

Re: How Bad was 2008, really?

Yeah, every week, another few thousand laid off from various big name companies, many of which weren't financial firms. Sun Microsystems lays off thousands, HP lays off thousands, GM lays off thousands, Dupont lays off thousands. Tons of people weren't sure if their job, or their family & friends' '...
by centrifuge41
Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which country in Africa to visit?
Replies: 65
Views: 5014

Re: Which country in Africa to visit?

Avoid Egypt. I found Egypt to be quite chaotic. After I collected my luggage at the airport I found that my suitcase was cut open and some belongings were stolen . Cabs are a nightmare because of language issues. Service at even some of the best hotels and restaurants are sub standard. Traffic is a...
by centrifuge41
Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is American Funds 20xx Target Date Retirement a good fund?
Replies: 10
Views: 1351

Re: Is American Funds 20xx Target Date Retirement a good fund?

Sorry to pile on what might be a bit tangential. Given an expensive 401k with 1.5x% Target Retirement funds from American Funds (R2), and Growth Fund of America at 1.4% (R2), what would be the better choice? I had always thought Growth Fund of America is a closet S&P 500 fund, that costs too much (u...
by centrifuge41
Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Southwest...getting the miles by year end
Replies: 30
Views: 3454

Re: Southwest...getting the miles by year end

Possibly consider a mileage run. Monitor the FT forum for opportunities. Doesn't exactly work in the traditional sense, since with Southwest, you earn points per dollar spent. 6 points/dollar for Wanna Get Away, and up to 12 points/$ for Business Select. Do you have a copious amount of Starpoints/M...
by centrifuge41
Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Least expensive iPhone
Replies: 65
Views: 6690

Re: Least expensive iPhone

Least expensive? Probably a used iPhone 1 on eBay or something. Just kidding :) I don't recommend getting something older than a 5 or 5s, if you are going with the new route. Disregard the iPhone 6 unless you need the 4.7" screen. The iPhone SE is cheaper and has the speed of the 6s (and the screen ...
by centrifuge41
Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?
Replies: 55
Views: 5192

Re: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?

Mileageplus Explorer and Sapphire Preferred are the only $95 cards I know of that have primary auto rental collision damage waiver. That's really good. Of course, so does the Sapphire Reserve, and effectively, it is only $55 more than either card above, and comes with way more benefits for that price.
by centrifuge41
Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?
Replies: 55
Views: 5192

Re: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?

Citi Double Cash
Amex Blue Cash Preferred for 6% groceries, but only up to 6k/year of spend
Sam's Club mastercard for 5% gas and 3% dining, but only up to 6k/year of spend
by centrifuge41
Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?
Replies: 55
Views: 5192

Re: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?

I closed my Sapphire Preferred ($95/yr) and replaced it with a Sapphire Reserve ($450/yr). I expect to get the full $300 travel credit every year, making that a $150/yr fee (and, because annual fee is based on sign-up date, and travel credit is on calendar year, I'll get an extra $300 credit in the...
by centrifuge41
Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k question
Replies: 3
Views: 392

Re: 401k question

If you make 100k a year, and you contribute 6k (or more a year), the company will contribute in an additional 1200 a year into your account.

If you make 100k a year, and you only contribute 3k, then the company contributes in an extra 600 a year. You'd be leaving the other 600/year on the table.
by centrifuge41
Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?
Replies: 55
Views: 5192

Re: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?

I have some that aren't keepers. Just part of last round of churn: e.g. business gold, Chase BA card, Amex SPG card. These, I will close when the AMF comes up again. I have some that are keepers and I pay the AMF loyally. Barclay Aviator Red: $89/year. I got the US Airways card early enough that eve...
by centrifuge41
Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 162
Views: 19235

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

Advance auto often has 35 or 40% online coupons. Sometimes it comes in the form of 50 off 125. My battery died recently. I got a jump, drove right to Advance Auto, and used my phone to order a battery for in-store pickup. There was no installer at that late hour (7-9pm range), so I just installed it.
by centrifuge41
Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter will study abroad in ireland need advice
Replies: 28
Views: 4141

Re: Daughter will study abroad in ireland need advice

Freedompop has a free global plan for 200 minutes talk, 500 text, and 200MB data a month. Ireland is covered. I am not sure what it costs to bump up the plan to a larger size. Bring some credit card/s with no foreign transaction fee as mentioned. Maybe a no foreign transaction fee ATM card/checking ...
by centrifuge41
Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations
Replies: 60
Views: 5334

Re: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations

It's always a debate as to what is the best deep dish pizza: there are fans of Lou Malnati's, and Giordano's. Fewer fans of Gino's East. True, Uno's invented deep dish, but the inventors moved on to Lou Malnati's. Debate away!
by centrifuge41
Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hawaii anniversary trip suggestions
Replies: 33
Views: 3701

Re: Hawaii anniversary trip suggestions

Maui is most popular with a lot of people, but it is also really expensive. The beaches by Kanaapali and Wailea/Makena are nice, but they are not very white! They are more of a golden brown. Hawaii (Big Island) is not known for its beaches, but the beaches at Puako (Hapuna Beach State park, or the M...
by centrifuge41
Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Savings?
Replies: 23
Views: 3368

Re: Gas Savings?

If you have Amexes, sometimes there are good Amex Offers. E.g. 5 off 25 Bed Bath Beyond, 5 off 25 Dollar General, etc. I'll use those to go buy fuel gift cards (often Shell or BP). I also enjoyed using discounted eBay gift cards to buy fuel gift cards on eBay, but they've taken away that ability a f...
by centrifuge41
Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Credit Score] Should I be opening up more credit card accounts?
Replies: 8
Views: 997

Re: [Credit Score] Should I be opening up more credit card accounts?

If you're not getting a mortgage anytime soon, then you might as well as use your good credit to your advantage. Maybe some big signing bonuses would be in order. Example: getting a Citi AA card for 50k points with no 1st year fee. Once the fee for 2nd year hits, change card to Citi Double Cash, whi...
by centrifuge41
Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Think Oregon 529 is *clearly* better than Roth - what am I missing?
Replies: 13
Views: 1702

Re: Think Oregon 529 is *clearly* better than Roth - what am I missing?

Don't forget that money in a Roth IRA is immune to FAFSA EFC (if that affects you), while 529 money is not.
by centrifuge41
Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is Etrade so slow? Transactions take 3-5 days
Replies: 10
Views: 6597

Re: Why is Etrade so slow? Transactions take 3-5 days

Same experience. ESPP via E-trade at a fortune 100 company. I think it's deliberate that it takes ~5 days from the buy date to showing up in the account (ready for sale). Then it takes a few days from when the sale is fulfilled to sitting in E-trade as liquid money. Then another few days to move the...
by centrifuge41
Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Canary Islands for a Wedding
Replies: 5
Views: 683

Re: Canary Islands for a Wedding

From BWI? Considering that the only tatl flights are KEF on WowAir, Heathrow on BA, and Frankfurt on Condor (charter/seasonal), I'd say BWI-LHR on BA, and then Las Palmas/Mallorca/Tenerife on Iberia Express. You could (theoretically) do one stop through Frankfurt too, but that's farther and you migh...
by centrifuge41
Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Fresh Diet closing down, owes us thousands of dollars
Replies: 32
Views: 5944

Re: The Fresh Diet closing down, owes us thousands of dollars

Don't discourage the OP. We used SunRocket for VoIP services when they went under. We charged back for the amount of services not yet rendered. Chase refunded the entire year's worth of service to us, for some reason.
by centrifuge41
Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE bonds vs 5 yr CD's vs iBonds
Replies: 10
Views: 2469

Re: EE bonds vs 5 yr CD's vs iBonds

Buffetologist wrote:So basically, it's a 20 year bond, with limited down protection in the case of rising rates. A twenty year treasury would get trounced in a rapidly rising interest rate environment.
Yep, think of it as a 20 year CD, with a huuuuge early cash-out penalty!
by centrifuge41
Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to Buy New Tires
Replies: 10
Views: 1285

Re: When to Buy New Tires

Sam's club also repairs tires for free for members - you don't have to have bought your tires there.
by centrifuge41
Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Alternatives to Retirement accounts
Replies: 4
Views: 866

Re: Alternatives to Retirement accounts

Roth IRA's allow for full withdrawal of principal (anytime any reason), and an extra 10k, for the purchase of a first home. No penalty. Better to heavily fund these tax-advantaged accounts, and bail some $ out later, than to have underfunded them. BTW, you can start withdrawing from 401k at age 50 w...
by centrifuge41
Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Move to Denver (Job) or stay in NoVA ?
Replies: 53
Views: 6022

Re: Move to Denver (Job) or stay in NoVA ?

jupiter_man, I would not take the new job. Financially, it does not make any sense. You get 3 years (300%) worth of salary NOW Versus 40% more money per year with NO GUARANTEE of how long you will last? If you can get a job with the same pay in NoVA, you immediately get 300% more money in your pock...
by centrifuge41
Tue May 31, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to North Carolina from NYC
Replies: 66
Views: 8850

Re: Moving to North Carolina from NYC

Definitely Morrisville. Same. If the job is in RTP, I recommend Morrisville or Cary. Apex is great too, but a little bit farther. There are fans of Chapel Hill (the town), but it's a bit more expensive than Morrisville/Cary, and last I checked, the crime rate is higher. That's a bit misleading thou...
by centrifuge41
Fri May 27, 2016 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I want a house with a pool?
Replies: 96
Views: 9242

Re: Do I want a house with a pool?

Long time ago, we lived in a house with a pool. The pool was "free" when comparing the house to comparables. We hired a person to come and dump chemicals in the pool every ~2 weeks or so. It was about $70 a month. Not sure about liability/insurance impacts. With a young child, be aware that pools ar...
by centrifuge41
Thu May 12, 2016 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Plans
Replies: 22
Views: 2607

Re: Cell Plans

Do you have to be on the AT&T network? Is Sprint ok? Sprint plans are given away for free nowadays (e.g. Ringplus and Freedompop). There's currently a Ringplus plan that's 3750MB, 3750 text, 3750 minutes, and you only have to pay a first time fee.
by centrifuge41
Thu May 12, 2016 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need barest, skeleton, almost non-existent cell plan.
Replies: 22
Views: 2195

Re: Need barest, skeleton, almost non-existent cell plan.

Ringplus Truly Free maybe? https://ringplus.net/ Anyway, Ringplus gives away free plans as large as 3750MB data, 3750 minutes, 3750 text. You just have to pay an initial load fee, and let them top you up if you hit 0 again. The difference with Truly Free is that you don't have to give them a credit ...
by centrifuge41
Tue May 10, 2016 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anxious About First Home Purchase
Replies: 12
Views: 1872

Re: Anxious About First Home Purchase

Ah, from seeing that both of you are federal gov't employees, I had assumed you were in NoVA or MD. But seeing the tax parity 529 state part rules that out! I'm not a personal fan of home ownership. Renting an apt has been super easy. If there's an issue, I go online and file a ticket. The next day,...
by centrifuge41
Mon May 09, 2016 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable Value Fund vs. Total Bond
Replies: 14
Views: 1959

Re: Stable Value Fund vs. Total Bond

1.23% is far too low. SEC yield on Vanguard's total bond market index (investor shares) is 1.96%. Go with the total bond fund.
by centrifuge41
Thu May 05, 2016 8:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is participation in this ESPP worth it? [Employee Stock Purchase Plan]
Replies: 13
Views: 1585

Re: Is participation in this ESPP worth it? [Employee Stock Purchase Plan]

It's definitely worth it. Once you establish a pipeline, it's not nearly as risky as you think. E.g. if you're there for 5 years: month 1 through 12: contribute, but not sell Month 13: you're buying at 15% discount off market price, while selling month 1's allocation at the market price. Month 14: y...
by centrifuge41
Wed May 04, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Things to do in Cincinnati
Replies: 13
Views: 1484

Re: Things to do in Cincinnati

Eat Skyline Chili, Graeter's ice cream, and Dewey's pizza. Go scope out the Mt. Adams neighborhood, and see the art museum!
by centrifuge41
Wed May 04, 2016 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Short visit to Toronto
Replies: 33
Views: 2592

Re: Short visit to Toronto

Casa Loma, Ontario Place, Hockey hall of fame, Chinatown. Just some ideas. Not saying these are must-do's, and are more worth your attention than CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, etc.