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Lending money to a Real Estate Investor?
Added on : Monday September 22nd 2014 08:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ssquare
Views: 91 Replies: 2 Wanted to get your opinion on what all one should be thinking about if one is loaning some amount to a real estate professional (< 40K). I have not done it before, but I have a lead currently that someone interested in borrowing money for a year at 10% APY. As a collateral, second lien on a house owned by the professional is being offered.

I don't really have any insight into which project or how this money will be used by the investor. The questions that comes to mind is

1. Is a simple promissory note and second lien provide good enough security?
2. If you were offered the same deal, would you take it?
3. Any good/bad experiences
4. What kind of questions one should be asking before proceeding with something like this?
5. A one year loan at 10% in current environment is obviously a very high risk loan. Is the collateral quality good enough to minimize the risk? Are lawsuits too messy/expensive that it is not a practical option for this sum of money if things go bad.

Appreciate your feedback.
Discussion Deals
Is buying land a good investment?
Added on : Sunday September 21st 2014 02:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: butler21
Views: 45 Replies: 1 I graduate college and have been working for approximately 8 months. I was able to land a great job and have been looking into buying some investment property/hunting land. While browsing I came across about 43 acres for sale in a prime hunting location. They are asking a hair over $63,000 for the property. 22 of the 43 acres have been clear cut about 3-4 years ago. The price per acre comes out to be around $1,400. All the property around here is selling for north of $2,300. I come to you guys to see if this is a good idea. I am on the road a lot for work and won't be stable for a while so I don't plan on buying a home anytime soon. I was thinking about putting $5k down on the property and financing it over 15 years. This would give me a rough note around $5-600 a month. The only other loans that i currently have are a student loan that has a balance of around $7,000 and a truck loan that has a balance around $26,000. I currently have $4,000 in savings and $2,000 in checking. (I just put $10,000 down on a new truck) I currently make approximately $1,800-$2,000 a week and $7,500-$8,000 a month. I rent an apartment for $900 a month and after all bills and notes i usually end up paying around $2,000 a month. Should I jump on this property? I feel it is a great investment. I will have a great place to hunt and spend weekends in the woods and also make a profit in the long run. The feel the reason the property is selling so low is due to it just being clear cut. I plan to let it grow back up and then sell the timber when its ready in 10-15 years. I came to this site to find some helpful hints and some honest opinions. I know I don't have much in my savings yet because I just bought a new truck but I feel I am financially stable enough to put down some money on this property by the end of the year. What do y'all think?
How I finally Managed to Ditch Fiat Currency Without Embracing Bitcoin.
Added on : Sunday September 21st 2014 09:00:08 AM
g: -1 Posted By: eddierd
Views: 131 Replies: 2 I came across this article (I am not the person who wrote it). I wanted to get the opinion the FW's regarding this way of paying your bills. Sounds quite interesting. Here is a piece of the article and (because of copyright issues) I give you the link where the article continues:

Well, I stopped using greenbacks for the most part. This is how. There is an organization in my state called UPMA and they convert my FRN into gold and allow me to spend it in any denomination that I want. They can legally do that because Utah has reauthorized gold and silver as legal tender. Let me explain how it works.Every month I deposit over $1,000 of Federal Reserve Notes into my United Precious Metals Association account and those are converted into "U.S Treasury" Golden dollars. $50 gold dollars is the face value of one ounce of gold so one gold cent is worth about a quarter. My $1,000 from work turns into about $43 in gold.With this account I can pay people and businesses directly in gold. I can withdraw gold in denominations of $50 (or one golden eagle). Chase bank and Discover accept gold payments. So do hundreds of other merchants. I can pay everything with gold and for the services where they don't accept it I can use a credit card and pay that off with gold. What this does is that it turns the money that I use everyday back into gold. Gold is money when it is used as money. It is an asset when it sits around. To open an account or to check out the details I recommend going to their website. The Attorney General of Utah has thrown his weight behind this. It has been really great. You can use it out-of-state and you can even use it to pay merchants that want FRNs without much of a penalty. You need to login to read the user agreement. That is where many of the details are regarding costs and whatnot.If you make 10 or fewer transactions and hold less than $50 in gold and make no more than 1 transaction from gold dollars to FRNs then it is a free account. The fees a very reasonable. For example, it costs 10 gold cents (like $2.50) as a service fee if you have more than $50 in your account.

Short Article Continues:http://www.dailypaul.com/326494/how-i-finally-managed-to-ditch-f...

PS FRN means Federal Reserve Notes i.e.US Dollars
Discussion Deals
Penfed Real Estate Rewards - any opinions?
Added on : Saturday September 20th 2014 12:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Miniwallet
Views: 37 Replies: 0 Does anyone have experience using Penfed as a realtor in order to get help with closing costs/waived origination fees? Wondering if this is a good option or if it could get complicated.


Up to $10k towards closing costs for the ARMs
Waived origination fees for the fixed rate mortgages
Question Deals
Dispute with property mgmt company
Added on : Monday September 15th 2014 02:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: fwfaltid
Views: 22 Replies: 0 Long-time member, sorry for the alt-id, but my privacy is important in this matter. Here is my situation that I need advice on. I'm short on details not because I'm trying to hide something, but because I want to keep this short and factual.

-I used a property mgmt company to manage a rental house
-Tenant stopped paying rent, got evicted
-Security deposit was not enough to pay for damages to the house, let alone back rent, and whatever fees the property mgmt company is charging
-Tenant's account was sent to collections
-Dispute is over how the security deposit is to be used. The property mgmt company wants to take out their fees first, including a several hundred dollar late fee that they are charging the tenant.
-I have agreed to pay everything I owe them except for the several hundred dollar late fee. My reason is that courts in the state usually do not allow for late fees to be collected, therefore if the courts won't allow it, then why should I have to pay it, especially when the security deposit is not enough to cover damages.
-Contract is not specific enough to address this exact situation, however it does say they can take out fees from the security deposit.
-Both sides have dug in pretty hard into their respective positions. Negotiation is heated. Property mgmt company is threatening additional fees if I do not pay promptly.
-There is an arbitration clause in the contract. From what I understand, arbitration costs somewhere between $1200 and $2000. Cost is split equally.

We are at an impasse. I am considering going for the nuclear option, which is formally requesting arbitration. I am hoping escalating this will cause them to back off and waive the fees. If it were to come down to it, I would have no problem with paying for my share of the arbitration, but I obviously want to make sure I don't open myself up to additional liability and charges.

Any advice or opinion on this matter? Should I just suck it up and pay everything, including the late fees? Or should I continue escalating it?
Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: zmaster
Views: 115 Replies: 2 Just receive email from Savingstar.

Dear SavingStar Member,

Important Account Change:
Kroger, Dillons, Baker's, Gerbes, Fred Meyer, Fry's, JayC, King Soopers, City Market, Payless, Owen's, QFC, Ralphs, and Smith's.
The way you save at Kroger-owned stores will soon change. Starting October 1, Kroger will transition from an "automatic" (loyalty card) retailer and instead participate as a receipt-scanning retailer. This means that you will redeem SavingStar offers at all Kroger-owned stores by submitting a picture of your receipt instead of linking SavingStar offers to their loyalty card. This change impacts all Kroger-owned stores, including: Kroger, Dillons, Baker's, Gerbes, Fred Meyer, Fry's, JayC, King Soopers, City Market, Payless, Owen's, QFC, Ralphs, and Smith's. This was a corporate decision made by Kroger.

All SavingStar offers redeemed at Kroger-owned stores using your loyalty card must take place by September 30 (rewards will post to your account on or before October 9). Starting October 1, all redemptions will be credited when you submit a picture of your receipt, either through the SavingStar app or SavingStar.com.To learn more go here.Get the iPhone app here Get the Android app here

New Retailers
We are pleased to announce that also starting in October, you'll be able to redeem SavingStar offers at new stores Safeway, Vons, Food 4 Less and H-E-B by submitting a picture of your receipt using the SavingStar app or through SavingStar.com.Get the iPhone app here Get the Android app here.

Other recently added retailers include: WalMart, Target, Kmart, BJs, Costco, Sams Club, Walgreens, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Meijer, and WinCo.

Thank you for using SavingStar!
The SavingStar Team

I don't know if this is good thing or bad. Kinda upset since it was nice to have automatic report.
In my opinion it is more work on my part, more time
Discussion Deals
What is my Best Option For Our Health Insurance?
Added on : Wednesday September 03rd 2014 10:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: justignoredem
Views: 21 Replies: 0 Okay so I'm in a bit of an interesting situation. I have never had an HSA, nor do I know much about it other than general reading on it (Vanguard, bogleheads). So I still feel like I do not know enough about the account. A lot of people seem to advocate HSA accounts in the finance forums, so I figured this would be an ideal place to get different opinions. Below are the general options between my wife and I at our careers going into the next 2 months.

Wife:Her Company is about to split off, long story short, she will have to pick new benefits when the new fiscal year comes (October 1). She will have 2 options - 1. a standard PPO, covers ~80% for a decent amount per month. or 2. an HSA that covers the basics but gets company supplementation. Also has the option for FSA.

Myself:I'm currently on break. I will be joining a big 4 company shortly. As you can guess, they have tons of choices. Everything from an incredibly expensive option that covers everything 100% (but is expensive every month), to one that covers the basics for very cheap, to an HSA that covers the basics, to a standard PPO that covers 90% for a decent amount. Also has an FSA.

The kicker? We see a baby entering our lives in the next year. It will be happening soon, so that will be a major factor. This is what makes me feel an HSA is not an option, because funds will obviously be needed on the spot for hospital visits for the kiddo and pregnancy/delivery basics. HSA would obviously be the option when you foresee healthiness that you can save up for, correct?

1. Am I correct in that assumption that HSA is not a viable option with a child on the way shortly?
2. Considering a baby would be on the way, would it at all make sense EVER to get the 100% coverage option? Obviously it's not going to cover 100% of all costs (Prescriptions for example). We're talking something like $300/mo vs. $200/mo for 90% PPO.
3. What do you guys see as the ideal path? Consider the FSA accounts as well.
4. Lastly, is there maybe some kind of Hybrid situation I'm not seeing? Maybe getting a PPO on my side but also getting the HSA on the wife side for the company match would be beneficial?
Personal Finance Deals
Family Financial Trouble - In Law Home Foreclosure
Added on : Friday August 29th 2014 09:00:13 AM
g: -2 Posted By: altidagain
Views: 173 Replies: 8 Good afternoon. Yes, this is an alternate ID. Yes, I am a senior member and have been around for over 10 years and continue to read the forums daily. I love the members here and the valuable advice shared. That being said, I would like some objective opinions of my current family situation. It is always difficult to think clearly and rationally when you and your family are involved. I apologize if any details are sketchy as this is a fluid situation and I'm hearing most of it second and third hand.

Summary: Sister/Brother In-laws are in default, which will place a lien on my father in-laws property. They are requesting financial assistance from my family.

My in laws own ~60 acres in the rural Midwest. They live on this property. They have carved off deeds of land to their children who have a interest in living and building on the land. One sibling "A" was deeded some property and now owns 7 acres. At some point in the last 15 years "A" borrowed against the property to build a construct a house on the said 7 acres. The father who owns the rest of the land cosigned (gasp) for this loan. The loan for "A's" property is now in default and they have until Tuesday to pay in full. The loan has a balance of approximately $65k on a property value of approximately $70k. It is the family's understanding that the rest of the acreage and property is at risk with a lien since the father cosigned for the loan. In addition the way the property is designed, my father in law doesn't want the "disturbance" of having other people using his access road and living on what was his property.

Of course my wife came to me to help. My first reaction was no, no, and no again. I don't want to get involved. We have already contributed significantly to "A" before to prevent this from happening about a year ago. We helped our one time. I think my wife is in agreement, except due to the impact of her father and his property being involved. I know we *shouldn't* help. However, if I were to consider helping I would only do it to help her father and protect my immediate family's assets. That being said here are the options I'm wrestling with:

Do nothing - we helped you once, why are we to believe this will be last time you need help. (my favorite)

Would consider bidding a diminished price at an auction

Provide $20k to her father to place as a down payment on a $45k loan thathe would finance on "A's" property(less capital invested, but you may as well consider that a gift as I don't own anything) - I considered asking him to update the his will to reflect this loan
Obtain a mortgage for the property, and offer the bank something south of $65k (protects her dad and stops foreclosure - and something to show for our investment)

I'm not sure if the bank would except anything less, could I really obtain a loan remotely over a holiday weekend in enough time to stop the foreclosure?
I would want to kick "A" out, which doesn't make the family situation much easier but it does help her dad
My wife would rather ask for a monthly rent payment from "A"- my concern is that this will happen again, if "A" won't pay the bank they certainly are going to expect a long leash with us - then you start over with the emotional dilemma of eviction

In both scenarios I'm not sure her family would be supportive if immediate eviction or eviction over missed payments. Thus why I don't want to get involved as I can't control the situation.
Additionally I worry about the liability factor, there are ponds on the property and I don't believe the house was built to code. Hunting also takes place on the property. Heaven forbid, but I'm worried if something goes wrong on the land or in the housethat my immediate family would be held liable.

What am I missing or not considering?

I appreciate the help in advance. I will do my best to answer/track down any questions that I can. Fun Friday...

Personal Finance Deals
looking to get into real estate investing in the Southwest
Added on : Thursday August 28th 2014 08:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: nwill002
Views: 35 Replies: 0 I am interested in doing a <100K real estate investment and am beginning to research the rental markets of SoCal, Vegas, and Phoenix areas. I know this is ground zero of where cash investors ran in after the crash which inflated the market and put more rental inventory up but its where I live. I prefer SoCal as thats whats closest to me and where I feel is a more stable market. However inventory in my price range is scarce which is why I'm considering Vegas and Phoenix.
So I would like to get other people's opinions of the rental market in this region. I am not looking for a quick flip but more looking for a stable rental market.
Real Estate Deals
Changing Careers and Decreasing Salary - Opinions?
Added on : Tuesday August 26th 2014 04:00:59 PM
g: 0 Posted By: elrp
Views: 183 Replies: 7 This was me a few months ago. Now back to work at my data-analyst job of 25 years after a huge health scare.


I hate my current job. Was not happy when I went out on leave but now that I am back, I dread every hour of the work day. I am bored writing SQL queries and being tied to a desk 8 hours of the day.

I am considering taking a new job doing something I am well-qualified for and that I would enjoy doing. It's not a desk job. I would do local travel and meet people. The kicker is that it's a huge pay cut -- the average salary is $48,000. I don't have an offer for this job, at least not yet (it's not even an official opening yet) but it could be if I inquire (again, huge match for my skills). There is the logical part of me that says life is short, you got a second chance, do what you makes you happy and then there is the FWF side of me that thinks we need the larger salary and that it might kill me to take that pay cut.

Any advice from the FWF crowd?

New User Question Deals
Advice for Student Loan Overage Check
Added on : Tuesday August 26th 2014 07:01:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dwchief
Views: 107 Replies: 1 Hi all -
Pretty sure I know the answer to this one but wanted to run it by some others. Just got my loan overage money, which is about 6K. This is 4x my normal overage amount I have been getting. My first thought is to just return the check and get the loan reduced. I'm at 6%, deferred right now. This is what I am leaning towards.

Wanted to get your opinion on other options:

Use this to pay off $130/month loan. This is a 0% interest, equal monthly payment, furniture loan. About3K left on the loan. Could payoff and return/pay down the balance of the check guys.
Use this, and sell Employee Stock Purchase Plan stock to payoff car. Finally convinced wife we needed to reduce car payments. Couldn't get her to go the Crown Vic route but reduced our monthly by about $200 + small insurance reduction. Should have enough money between the two to fully pay off car, net $215 back, could also "return" the warranty on the car (or just the GAP portion) + reduced insurance. Oregon requires full coverage for cars you have a loan on.

Edit for stock note. My $2500 investment got me an extra 16% due to the plan. Stock currently worth $3,260, haven't held for a year yet so paying full tax bracket %, currently at 1 year high and hovering there.


Let me know what you think everyone, thanks for any input.
Personal Finance Deals
reviews of mutual fund broker managed
Added on : Tuesday August 26th 2014 06:00:42 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mephrules
Views: 27 Replies: 1 just looking for investing opinions...
currently have approx 15k in a brokerage my parents set up for me when i was born.
it has amecx & cwgix - split 50/50
from googling both funds are rated highly but have high load fees of 5.75%
and the brokerage charges me $100 on top.
performance has been greet and nice 500$ dividends a year but i was thinking about taking the money and managing myself in no load mutual funds
Investing Deals
How do you guys track finances?
Added on : Monday August 25th 2014 08:02:32 AM
g: 0 Posted By: SimpleIX
Views: 132 Replies: 5 Hello - I've been really wanting to crack down on tracking finances and building my savings/knowing where I spend and what I spend on. I've been thinking of just creating a simple excel sheet, however I just wanted to get your opinions on what you use to track and manage finances?

General Economics Deals
$70 (gift card) for opening Amazon.com credit account
Added on : Saturday August 23rd 2014 11:00:34 PM
g: 0 Posted By: CPenn
Views: 49 Replies: 0 I searched through the forum and didn't see this specific question. If I missed it, please accept my apologies and blame it on the late hour, which is the only time I can get peace and quiet to take care of such things as opening a new credit card. My question is whether it is worth it, the $70 is nice, but it could be so severely restricted that I wouldn't be able to use it on something I actually need or want.

I'd really appreciate hearing others' opinions and experiences with this card. I'm a bit concerned about opening another credit account, especially if I end up cancelling it after a while. I usually keep my accounts a long, long time, even if they aren't active. Which probably isn't wise, but,,,for now I have the question about Amazon's offer. Any ideas/experiences? I love Amazon and use it a lot.

Thanks, all

Here are the details on the offer from Amazon's website:Current Total:$ 31.32Gift Card:- $ 70.00Cost After Savings:$ 0.00Savings Remaining:$ 38.68Three Easy StepsClick the button below to sign-in to your Amazon.com account and complete a short form.If you're approved, your new credit card and a $70 gift card will be added to your Amazon.com account.Use your gift card and get $70 off your purchase today!E-mailassword:New Amazon Customer?Start here=14pxAmazon.com Rewards Visa Card from Chase.=21.021020889282227px$70 OffA $70 Amazon.com Gift Card will be instantly loaded into your Amazon.com account upon the approval of your credit card application*

=21.021020889282227pxInstant CreditYou can start using your card today on Amazon.com upon approval.*
Get rewarded on every purchase
Your % Back rewards are earned as points. You get one point for every penny you earn in % Back rewards.
Redeem for instant savings at Amazon.com checkout*During checkout, you can see your rewards balance and choose how much to use. There's no minimum to redeem. 100 points = $1.00 when redeemed at Amazon.com towards eligible purchases.
=20pxYou can also redeem for Cash Back, gift cards and travelRedemption minimums may apply for Cash Back and gift cards.
Credit Deals
g: 0 Posted By: amhidogha
Views: 26 Replies: 0 Recd a letter from a collection agency for $140 for an ER visit in 11/2012. In my recollection, we had paid it off in 04/2013, so sent a certified letter disputing it and to validate. Recd a bill from them for same $150 charge on 11/2012 minus a $10 pmt (not made by us) on 03/21/14.

History below
ER visit in 11/2012.
11/2012 stmt had incorrect amt due. Called to ask what happened, they were missing some insurance info, gave insurance info again.
01/2013 stmt - showed correct co-pay of $150
02/2013 stmt had this balance and another charge (for a separate visit, that IMHO was expected to have been covered in full by insurance) for ~$78
03/2013 stmt - same as 02/2013 stmt
04/17/2013 stmt - yet another charge (for a separate visit, that also IMHO that was also expected to have been covered in full by insurance) for ~$72. 11/2012 charge not on stmt.
04/22/2013 - called and asked for a discount, was given 15% off, so paid $127.50 and thought the 11/2012 charge was now paid in full
05/2013 - no stmt - Since no stmt - assumed that the 2 other charges were settled by insurance and the 11/2012 once was paid off
05/2013 - recd a letter from collection agency for $150 - informed them about 04/22/2013 pmt
06/2013 - recd another letter from collection agency for $150 - ignored as pmt was supposed to have been paid in full, assumed delay from Hospital side to inform them.
No activity for 1+ year
07/2014 - recd a letter from a different collection agency for $140. Sent certifiedletter disputing it and to validate
07/2014 - recd a bill from them for same $150 charge on 11/2012 minus a $10 pmt on 03/21/14 that I had not made
08/2014 - Called ERs billing dept and was told that 11/2012 bill was already sent to collections in 03/2013 and hence did not appear on account and that $150 pmt (minus discnt) was applied to the other 2 accounts. Was never informed during 04/22/13 call that it was already sent off to collections and that the pmt was (incorrectly, in my opinion) made to the other 2 accounts (that should have been covered in full). They claim they have a 90 day policy to send to collections, though we never recd a letter to that effect or it was never mentioned on their monthly statements. They are unwilling to fix things and recall it from collections, if there is even such a thing.

Any suggestions on how best to proceed? Thanks.
BTW, this is a huge hospital/physician network that we always use and was also spouse's last (recent) employer.

Recd letter for collection agency for old ER visit, pmt for it then was misapplied by Hospital to a different charge and hence shown unpaid. How to proceed? Thanks.
Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: Gauss44
Views: 125 Replies: 4 I'm about ready to go back to school to do some post bacc work before applying to graduate school. Last time I was enrolled as an undergraduate student I had a lousy experience where half way through the semester, I was told (by my financial aid adviser from my college's financial aid office) that a mistake was made (the financial aid adviser goofed and overlooked something) and I was NOT eligible for over $10k that was promised to me before the semester began.

Even though the mistake wasn't on my end, I did everything I could think of to catch problems like this. It happened even though I read every piece of mail and every message that was sent to me regarding financial assistance, and even though I did substantial research about the process in my own time. (My school also has a policy where you are ONLY allowed to meet with YOUR assigned financial aid adviser, so you cannot get second opinions there.) Hopefully this was a one-time rare incident, but I definitely cannot afford to have that happen again.

I just want to know what ways there are to protect oneself from this sort if issue?

Question Deals
Which is better swapalease or leasetrader
Added on : Wednesday August 20th 2014 06:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: traderneal
Views: 114 Replies: 3 Hoping to get some info on swapalease or leastrader

I have a lease I need to get out of, so if anyone can be so kind to let me know their opinion on the sell side, it would be greatly appreciated.

Upon checking the reviews of both sites on the web, there really isn't much to go on; just a small sample.

Has anyone used Craigslist to get out of a lease?

For the record, it is my father's car:

2013 Buick Lacrosse
7600 miles
1 year into a 39 month lease (roughly 27 months left)
10k miles a year
$210 a month
Car is almost spotless and runs perfect (some minor scratches)
Will split the cost of the transfer. (The lease is with USB. The transfer fee is $500, so I will split it $250 and $250)
Philadelphia area

In case anyone is interested

It would cost over $3,000 to have the dealer buy the car back, and over $5k to just turn the car in and end the lease.

Personal Finance Deals
Custodial account or not?
Added on : Tuesday August 19th 2014 05:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ChinaRider
Views: 94 Replies: 2 We're saving money for our kids. They already have 529 accounts. The additional "savings" is nothing more than money in our various accounts that's earmarked for them. It's still our money. Should we move it into custodial accounts?

So far I see the following considerations:

Kiddie tax
Reduced financial aid availability for college
Control (I'd like to think they'll be wise enough not to blow it when they cease being minors but who knows...)

What else should I consider? Saw the thread about manipulating the kiddie tax for overall tax savings but I'm not really thinking along those lines. I'm just looking for your opinions on whether the money is better kept in our accounts or custodial accounts.


Personal Finance Deals
g: -1 Posted By: pj737
Views: 197 Replies: 13 The point of this ridiculously long-winded analysis is to determine the true cost to OPERATE (not own) an average-priced vehicle with average depreciation (per mile driven) and average fuel efficiency. Long story short, I did this analysis to convince my best friend to not buy a home in the suburbs... he is looking to buy a home that's about 30 miles from his place of employment. His wife also commutes into town for work. He owns a 2011 Toyota Tacoma and she drives a 2010 Lexus ES - they own them F&C. Between both cars, they average about 20 mpg. I'm trying to convince him to buy in town or close to town to cut his commute to <5 miles. However, the home that's 30 miles away is about $200K less for essentially the exact same size home in town (safety/crime is similar in both areas); the home in town is older but is in move in condition. He can afford the $200K price difference based on his earnings. Their daughter also attends private school in town so there is no benefit from a school district perspective. The commute time if they lived in town is <10 minutes each way. The suburbs is 75 minutes in each direction and that's with no stalled vehicles or accidents.

Most of the blogs I've read online (and I've forwarded to him) that argue the insane cost of commuting take into consideration the operating cost AND ownership costs into one figure. In addition to depreciation due to mileage put on the car, fuel, maintenance, etc, they would also factor in things like financing, depreciation due to vehicle age, parking, registration, motor vehicle taxes, etc and then come to a general cost per mile of ownership based on X miles driven (typically it's 15,000 miles). Those numbers vary but generally come in at about 61 cents/mile. Obviously, that number is seriously flawed if you only want to know what it costs to operate that vehicle and drive it X miles. I believe it's impractical for most people to not own a car; knowing what it costs to own it is one thing... but understanding what it costs to pull it out of the driveway and drive it X miles is critical when making decisions about investing in a home many miles away from ones' place of employment.

For sake of argument this applies to those that MUST own a car simply because they don't want to rely on bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles or any form of public transportation to commute. This applies to those that are looking at the true financial costs of commuting longer distances to work/entertainment/etc as a trade off to having lower cost housing in the suburbs/"commuter" neighborhoods.

The first consideration is depreciation... and not the kind of depreciation due to your car getting old but rather depreciation due to miles being put on the car itself. First, we need to determine the cost of an "average" car... and that comes to $31,800 as of last year. I specifically searched on KBB the resale value of cars including Toyota, Ford, Honda, Lexus, Kia and GM that were close to the $31,800 in value as new in 2013. The zipcode entered into the KBB site is in Los Angeles. For sake of ascertaining an accurate depreciation per mile we will use the "baseline" mileage at 3,000/miles per year (i.e. this is the minimum mileage I'm assuming anyone that owns a car will drive and all costs incurred per mile in this analysis are over the 3,000 mile baseline). I used 2011 model year cars for examples on each one; this would mean the car was on the road for roughly 4 years on average. I used 12 different models from 6 different makes all priced (today) at around $32K new. I inputted 3K, 8K, 10K, 12K, 14K, 16K, 18K, 20K, 22K and 24K miles and recorded the difference in value for each. Drivers that put only 3 - 8K miles year only depreciated by 8.1 cents per mile over 3,000 miles. I found that the mileage depreciation between 8,000-12,000 miles averaged about 10.6 cents/mile but when we jumped from 12,000 miles to 16,000 miles the extra 4,000 miles a year cost the owner 11.8 cents/mile hit on value ($472 depreciation). Between 15,000 and 18,000 it jumped up to 12.7 cents/mile average. Over 18,000 miles/year the cost per mile plateaued and was fairly linear in the mid 12-cent/mile range through 24,000 miles. A very conservative average between all the cars and all mileage ranges came in at about 11.4 cents so we will use this figure as the true depreciation per mile driven for all cars that have at least 3,000 miles a year being put on them. Note that older economy cars will realize depreciation rates as low as 7 cents/mile... However the same can be said on the upside where newer luxury cars will see an average 15-22 cent/mile depreciation (I tried to input some luxury cars as well that were priced at $50-$60K). I think 11.4 cents mile is on the low side but let's stick with that for the purpose of this analysis. COST OF DEPRECIATION PER MILE DRIVEN FOR CARS THAT TRAVEL MORE THAN 3,000 MILES ANNUALLY - 11.4 cents

Fuel - yes, I know you can buy a Prius that gets significantly better mpg than an average vehicle but there are many vehicles that get more than 20-30% lower mpg than the average car. I owned a Prius and only averaged 37 mpg which is no where near the EPA estimate of 50. So one needs to consider the TRUE mpg to ascertain the cost per mile in fuel consumption The average car gets 24.9 mpg and this is based on EPA estimates; in reality people will be putting well over a gallon of gas in to travel 24.9 miles. In fact, sitting in slow-moving bumper-to-bumper traffic kills EPA estimates by a good margin. But to stay conservative, we'll use that figure 24.9 figure. 24.9 mpg translates to 15.1 cents per mile at $3.77/gallon (national average). I pay over $4.35 for fuel where I live but again, averages trump real world for the sake of argument. COST OF FUEL PER MILE - 15.1 cents

Average maintenance cost for a vehicle is roughly 5.3 cents/mile. There are countless studies that break this data down and this is simply an average. It varies from as low as 4.1 cents to as high as 6.8 cents with the most common coming in at about 5.2-5.5 cents. This includes tire replacement, wiper replacement, oil changes, filter changes, wear and tear/maintenance of vehicle components, etc. COST OF MAINTENANCE PER MILE - 5.3 cents

Insurance costs are slightly lower for those that commute less. There are insurance companies that base their rates on miles driven and others that give discounts for those that put a relatively low number of miles on their cars. I had to check with my Allstate provider to see if there would be a difference and it was small... an increase of about $85/year if I doubled my mileage from my current 6,500 to 13,000 (I felt a little ripped off when I was told this). Based on that information, I would assume it's safe to say that one could save at least $85/year on premiums if they cut their commute by 6,500 miles. This translates to 1.3 cents/mile in hard costs. COST OF INSURANCE FOR MILES DRIVEN - 1.3 cents

Driving infractions/tickets/etc... Now this one is a tough one. Obviously the more you drive the more likely you are to be pulled over and be ticketed. While some people have never received a ticket in their lives others get tickets every year. According to national law enforcement statistics, of the 195 million licensed drivers on the road in the US, 41 million of them are getting ticketed every year on average. That's roughly a 1 in 5 chance of getting a ticket every year. The average cost of a ticket is $155. Insurance rates increase an average of $320/year based on one speeding ticket going 15 miles over the speed limit. So if there is a 1 in 5 chance you'll get a speeding ticket in a year and that cost will run you $475 that translates to an "average" of $95/year on speeding infraction costs. If the average driver traverses 13,476/miles of roadway in a year that translates to 0.7 cents mile for infractions and this means getting a ticket only once every 5 years... which I could imagine is pretty low and conservative. COST PER MILE FOR TICKETS FOR DRIVING INFRACTIONS - 0.7 cents

Accidents - here is another tough one. Personal costs of injury and property damage are extremely hard to average as they can vary by a huge margin. Especially because some people can go decades without a single incident. The car industry purports that the average driver only gets into a "significant" car accident every 17.9 years or roughly 3.5 times in a lifetime. The average cost of these accidents is $23,450 of which only a small portion (assuming you're insured) comes from the driver's pocket. Assuming deductible costs, time lost, personal injury, repairs/rental not covered by insurance, etc, we'll very conservatively peg this cost at $1,000/per "significant" accident as a direct cost to the driver.That's $3,500 over a lifetime. Over 843,600 miles (what the average person drives over a lifetime), that comes to 0.4 cents/mile. Again this is a very low figure and does not take into account countless minor fender benders which can easily cost several hundreds up to a couple thousand to repair especially if you didn't want to report this to insurance in fear your rates will go up. COST PER MILE FOR ACCIDENTS - 0.4 cents

Toll roads - Depending on where you live and work, toll roads can easily add 5-10 cents/mile on to your commute... possibly much more. However, this isn't applicable everywhere (we have no toll roads in my state) so I am leaving this one out of the equation. If you live in an area that requires you to traverse toll roads you'll have to include this in your calculations.

Total cost to OPERATE a vehicle PER MILE (over 3,000 miles/year) not including toll roads - 34.2 cents per mile.

The point of getting this average is so people can better calculate their finances should they decide to live in a commuter city/neighborhood or suburb vs living in or near the urban core. One could point out that you could save much more if you don't buy a car at all. That's very true. The 34.2 cents/mile operating cost is only about half the cost of total ownership and operations but this is the cost of the mileage applied to a car you already own and need. Note that if you own a newer luxury model that gets not-so-stellar fuel efficiency, the 34.2 cents/mile can easily exceed 50 cents/mile on operating costs only. To be fair, I did an analysis on an older (12 years old) more fuel efficient economy car (35 mpg) with an original purchase price of $20,000 and the cost to operate dropped to a low of 21 cents/mile. But this is an extreme example on the low end and not realistic for most. I think most people that can afford to buy a home will own cars that are at least "average" priced and aged.

Now that I know what it costs to take the average car one mile on the road, I wanted to see just how this impacts housing prices and rents. To be fair, the overwhelming amount of people that live in town also commute shorter distances to entertainment venues, restaurants, places of interest, etc etc. So if there are 241 work days in a year it's fair to add another 52 days of commuting into town per year (that's one extra drive into town PER WEEK, which is very conservative, in my opinion). That means 293 days of commuting into town for the average person (driving into town an average of 5.6 times/week). If that average person lives 30 miles from town, that's 293 days x 30 miles x 2 trips = 17,580 miles. If one lived in town, and had a 5 mile commute, this comes to 293 days x 5 miles x 2 trips = 2,930 miles. So while the person living 30 miles from work is commuting 12,050 MORE miles every year (work commute only) than the person that lives 5 miles from work, they are also driving an additional 2,600 miles year because of their proximity to places they need to drive to that are outside of their place of employment. So for every individual mile one lives further from work (2 mile round trip commute) it translates into $200.41/year in direct costs for ONE car (293 days x 1 mile x 2 trips x 34.2 cents = $200.41/year). If it's two cars commuting (which is more common in households these days), you are looking at double that or $400.82/year.

$1,000 in mortgage costs @ 4.5% amortized over 30 years is $4.21/mo or $50.52/year. So for every one mile you live further from work/play, this translates into $3,966 in additional home purchase price you can afford or $16.70 in additional rent you could afford. If you have two cars making the same commute, double that to $7,934 in home value or $33.40 in rent for every single mile you live further from work. Many people in my place of employment chose to live ~30 miles or more away where housing is cheaper. If the difference from my 5-mile commute is 25 miles traveled (50 miles/day), it comes to $99,150 in mortgage and $835/mo in rent. and you'll have to double that to $198,300 in additional mortgage they could afford and $1,670/mo in additional rent they could afford if they had a two-car household. This does not even consider that of your mortgage payment roughly 1/3 of the payment goes back to your pocket in principal payments (i.e. forced savings) and the other 2/3 of the mortgage payment is (at least for now) 100% tax deductible. Arguably, if you look at the bottom line (forced savings + tax deduction benefit assuming a conservative 30% state and fed combined tax rate), each mile you live further from work translates to roughly $7,100 in additional mortgage payments one could afford for each and every car attached to that home that makes that work commute. All while your mortgage is fixed and your car's operating costs continue to increase over the years. Assuming the above assumptions are accurate, living 10 miles closer to your job can allow you to afford $71K more in a house purchase and that's just with one car. Double that for a two-car commuting family and quadruple it to $284K for the same family living 20 miles from work.

These numbers are absolutely staggering to me and I can't help but think my math and/or assumptions are off somewhere. But it definitely enforces my argument that my friend should buy in town. For those that managed to make it through all this, please chime in and offer any corrections to my reasoning. Yes, I understand there are many assumptions made here but again, the purpose of this post is to get an average figure most people can relate to. I think very few people actually consider the real cost of driving and they end up making mistakes by either buying or renting far distances from their place of employment and other desired activities because they assume they are saving money by doing so. This analysis only takes into account the direct financial costs of driving longer distances... it doesn't take into account the plethora of other considerations (which I find vastly more important) like compromised health and well-being, increased stress, quality time away from family/friends/gym/activities/alone time/relaxing/sleep, etc etc. Sitting in traffic for hours on end every day is a huge quality of life issue for me personally, money aside. If the 30 mile commute was FREE, I would still pay the $200K difference.
Discussion Deals
Free Kindle Book - The 50 Greatest Bacon Recipes of All Time
Added on : Monday August 18th 2014 05:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 116 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MQHIIT0

Bacon goes well with everything! Those succulent fatty parts make your mouth water just by
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bacon is when it's smoked. The bacon fat stores almost all the flavors. Bacon is delicious
when cooked as is but when you incorporate it in dishes such as appetizers, sandwiches,
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Totally Free Deals
Credit markets opening back up?
Added on : Sunday August 17th 2014 08:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Tyoneon2
Views: 90 Replies: 0 Here we go again: stated income loansare back. 0% no-fee BTis back. CC sign-on bonuses are up. Good for us, but what about for the rest of the country? This thread is not meantto discuss specific deals, because those are all well-covered. Just postif you have any opinion of the general state of the credit market, what it means,and where it's headed, or maybe just a quick note about the combined results of a recent AOR compared to a year or two ago. I think it's easier now. My general experience this week:Mini-AORyielded 5 CCs with 10k+CLs instant,onedeferred, one declined. Seven new checking accounts, buttwo arefrozen. Not sure I could have done that 2 years ago. They were busy trying to shut me down.

Discussion Deals
Current TigerDirect FAR thread
Added on : Saturday August 16th 2014 03:00:02 PM
g: 0 Posted By: VivYip
Views: 3 Replies: 0 Hello, at the suggestion of SuperOcean here I am going to try to start and maintain a main(?) FAR thread for TigerDirect.

My only disclaimer is that since I am still hesistant in doing TigerDirect rebates, please bear with me if I ask for help and contributions in keeping this thread alive. (shipping info and sources are always appreciated) (It's hard to source the deals for this store, in my opinion)

Thank you all in advance for your help and I hope this thread will be a good source of info for people. Thank you for reading.

Please check Quick Summary below
I'll try to keep the list up to date, but feel free to add if you find some new ones
Computers Deals
Wegmans' potential listeria contamination issue
Added on : Thursday August 14th 2014 07:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: cga
Views: 146 Replies: 0 I'm not sure if this belongs here or in Off Topic, but I think it deserves some attention, and since it concerns a well known grocery chain, I'm posting the topic here. If it needs to be moved, that's fine.

Recently, some possibly tainted fruit was recalled.Read this article for details.Wegmans sold some of this fruit, which was possibly contaminated with listeria..

I live in the Rochester, NY area and although there are other grocery stores in the area, none compares to Wegmans, so it's the de facto only game in town.

To its credit, Wegmans apparently computer called all of its known customers who were on record, via their shopper's club card, as having bought some of the possibly dangerous fruit, I received one of these calls and finally got around to going to my local Wegmans after getting the call.

What I learned there regarding Wegman's store policy on refunding/crediting customers' for their purchase of the potentially bad fruit truly shocked me. Wegmans is known for being the best super market chain in the country, and also one of the best places to work. For several years, actually. They are generally extremely customer oriented.

What are they doing about the possibly dangerous fruit, which can severaly sicken or even kill? They are offering refunds (with receipt) or store credit to customers who admit they have not eaten the fruit. Now, I had long since eaten all of the fruit, and don't recall getting sick. So she said no refund/credit for you. At that point I admit I lost my cool and raised my voice a bit...something you almost never see/hear happening in a Wegmans.

It seems logical to me that since everyone who bought the possibly tainted fruit ran the same risk of getting sick, everyone deserves a refund or credit. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe those who ate the fruit deserve even more consideration. It seems truly ludicrous to penalize everyone who ate the fruit.

Unless Wegmans issues a public apology (not likely) I'm definitely going to spend more of my grocery money at my local WalMart Superstore, which has a very good super market section.

I felt like bringing this to light, and am hoping others give it a little thought and perhaps express their opinions, even if it's to disagree with mine.

Wegmans Deals
Just opinions please- Employer not paying for travel
Added on : Thursday August 14th 2014 04:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: regor1000k
Views: 33 Replies: 0 Hello,

I am travelling for a conference (round trip $300) where I am a speaker and representing my company in my presentation. My conference fee of $3500 and hotel for all days is waived as I am a speaker. This is a pretty prestigious industry conference.

My company (Billion $ company) is saying they will not pay for my travel and per-diem for those 3 days.

They are asking me to either not go to the conference or do whatever but they would not pay for the travel.

I will learn things as well as present in the conference and gain some experience on public speaking for which I don't mind spending $300 out of pocket.

This makes me feel stupid to represent my company in my presentation when they cannot even pay $300 for my travel.

If any of you were in my shoes, what would you do about the conference?
Condo Investment/Rental
Added on : Monday August 11th 2014 12:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: minorthreat1
Views: 114 Replies: 3 Long time lurker, deeply respect the opinions and evaluations of the posters on FWF so I thought I'd ask for some guidance before taking what, to me, is a large investment.

I'm trying to diversify my investments and I've always been interested in rental properties. I found a condo in my area that appears to be a good starter for someone with my risk tolerance and experience. Since I don't have any experience in this arena I don't know what red flags are waving in my face that I can't see.

My information:
$190k stocks/bonds ~$50k retirement, $70k steady employment
$20k cash/cash equivalent
~770 FICO

Property Facts:
Columbus Ohio area
$38K listing, $110 monthly HOA fee, ~$450 annual property tax
900 Sq/Ft 2br/2ba
Built in the 1970s, fair condition but it looks as if it was last updated in the 90s. Good curb appeal, units are brick and well kept on the outside.
Similar condition units are renting for ~ $600+

Assuming it's reasonable:
1. How low can I offer them without being insulting? Does it matter? I'd be more comfortable picking it up for $32-33k
2. Is this rent range (~$600) asking for problems or will background/credit/employment checks give reasonable assurance?
3. Would making significant updates (aside from paint, carpet) be foolish in a condo where the other units likely haven't?

Appreciate your insights on any of my questions, thanks in advance.

Question Deals
g: 1 Posted By: cga
Views: 275 Replies: 0 Jomashop via eBay

Tag Heuer Formula One Grande Date Mens Watch WAH1011.BA0854, $589.99

This is a mainly white dial, discontinued quartz sports type watch. 200m water resistance, titanium bezel, stainless steel case and bracelet. With two year JomaShop warranty, which by the way I discovered is transferable to new owners.

The black version is $599.99, and in my opinion not as attractive as the white version, but this is strictly a matter of taste:

Black version

I don't think this deal will last. JomaShop will probably run out soon, as these prices are well below current market prices, and these two models are hard to find, and will probably not depreciate very much. I've purchased many watches from JomaShop, and they are first rate. Only issue is they charge sales tax for shipments to NY.

Watches Deals
Wife and Child Moving to UK - Car Advice
Added on : Saturday August 09th 2014 02:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: regularlurker
Views: 111 Replies: 0 Hello FWF,

I am in need quite a bit of advice spanning several topics. I will limit it to just one for this post. Of course FWF is the first place I turn. I've also found the Expat Forum, a great site (not affiliated), haven't posted anything there yet - but will about some other topics. So much going on with business and otherwise it will be good to get the collective unbiased opinions. So, thanks in advance

For business reasons, my wife and child are moving to the UK for a period of time - either ~6 months to 5 years or longer. I am staying in the US for I think at least 6 months. After that it is likely I will join them, or they will join me. It's not tax evasion or anything, this is just how the cookie crumbled.

We both have cars (completely paid for) values. My daily driver (according to KBB) would fetch $20k. Wife's (mom-mobile) would fetch $9k - both sales to private parties, again according to KBB if you believe that site.

My questions: Should I try to sell one of these vehicles, use the $$ to buy another vehicle in the UK for wife? Or, store one of them with a relative (it will be stored outside) and sell or keep it later once plans are firmed up? Meanwhile, lease a car in the UK, or borrow money in UK to buy a car? I have enough cash to buy a $10k or $15k used car but don't really want to do so. Would rather keep the cash as I may need it for other things (lots of uncertainty in the next 6 - 12 months). Or, some other things that are not listed above... ?

Thanks again!

Discussion Deals
Does anyone here not keep a budget or balance their checkbook?
Added on : Thursday August 07th 2014 05:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: timgodsil
Views: 116 Replies: 7 I feel no reason to, for two reasons..

Budgeting: doesn't make sense in my opinion, you budget $20 a month for clothing, but what if you don't spend that amount? Breaking your money into categories which you may or may not spend seems silly.

Checkbook register: I find it weird a lot of people my age (20s) still do this. I have the ability to check my balance 24/7, I live below my means, so I don't run out of money, and I log into my bank every week to see if any transactions popped up I didn't know about.

Anyone else in the same boat as me?
Discussion Deals
Rosetta Stone French Level 1-3 Set @Amazon $239 FS
Added on : Tuesday August 05th 2014 08:00:02 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Goldie53
Views: 7 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/Rosetta-Stone-French-Level-1-3/dp/16082999...
List Price: $399.00 Price: $239.00&FREE Shipping.Details You Save: $160.00 (40%)

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Software Deals

Amazon Coupons
g: -1 Posted By: ionelpapusoi
Views: 51 Replies: 3 Also posted a topic in Deal Discussion, but think also can get some opinion here. I took the decision to go for a prepaid plan and one guy says H2O is good for GSM and Pageplus for CDM. Still, H2O is not a reseller of Verizon as far as I see herehttp://www.allprepaidplans.com/network/verizon... And I want one of those normally. But if you guys also think H2O is a good service, it will help me a lot to take a decision easier. So, what can I see? Thank you from now!

Discussion Deals
Hisense Sero 7 Pro $39 - Acer ICONIA W3-810 $81
Added on : Thursday July 24th 2014 04:00:03 PM
g: -1 Posted By: annaconda
Views: 70 Replies: 0 Found the following Deals. I thought i would share, in my opinion excellent prices!

Hisense Sero 7 Pro Android Tablet $39 or Acer ICONIA W3-810 Windows 8 Tablet $81
Tablets & iPads Deals
Bank abusing customers and breaching arbitrator's rules. Pt 2
Added on : Tuesday July 22nd 2014 05:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: emcdemc
Views: 106 Replies: 0 The original was archived and is here:http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1286095/

The latest:

Upon intake, the AAA is supposed to perform an administrative review to determine the arbitration agreement's compliance with the AAA's consumer protocol and other rules. If the agreement is non-compliant, the AAA is supposed to decline jurisdiction. The AAA rules require the consumer to be able to access small claims court.

In my case, the AAA performed a superficial review of the agreement and concluded that the agreement was compliant because it seems to allow small claims (the same conclusion I made when I reviewed the agreement). The language of the agreement is as follows:

Disputes Excluded from Arbitration. Disputes filed by you orby us individually in a small claims court are not subject toarbitration, so long as the disputes remain in such court and
advance only an individual (non-class, non-representative)claim for relief.

Seems compliant. That is, unless you are familiar with Arizona law. In Arizona, either party to a small claim can have the claim removed to a higher court automatically by statute (A.R.S. 22-504). All either party has to do is unilaterally motion the small claim to a higher court and it will be instantly and automatically granted without review.

So, what Citibank does is motion the small claim to a higher court and motion to compel arbitration. The court grants the motion to compel because the agreement (as cited above) plainly states that claims that do not remain in small claims court are subject to arbitration.

I filed a small claim. Citibank motioned it out and compelled arbitration. I argued that this made the arbitration agreement unconscionable because the agreement leads one to believe he has access to small claims while, in reality, the clause contains its own defeat (but is unclear to that effect). Thus, in practice, the "Disputes Excluded from Arbitration" clause exists only to mislead. I also argued that the agreement was clearly in violation of AAA rules because there is no way for the consumer to access small claims court.

Anyways, the AAA's intake review of the agreement to determine compliance with AAA rules found it compliant. The issue is that the AAA only looked at the agreement and did not ask for the details of the case or Arizona law. And, as we know, simply looking at the agreement does not necessarily reveal the loophole. There are many reasons why a claim may not remain in small claims court that have nothing to do with one party's unilateral removal (improperly filed, hearing officer orders it out, etc).

So, I am trying to get the AAA to re-review the agreement within proper context. Presumably, if the AAA refuses to re-review or determines the clause compliant (which would mean the consumer can always be barred from accessing small claims in states with automatic removal statutes), would I have to get an injunction against the AAA?

I am getting opinions from lawyers. Just thought I'd update and tap the FatWallet community. Something is very wrong here. JAMS and AAA have the same rules.

Another point is: until recently, we were completely unaware that the AAA administrative staff performs this review. We thought it was a determination that the arbitrator made. None of the documents that we were provided, the case manager nor the arbitrator mentioned that these decisions are for professional AAA staff. So we wasted a lot of time and resources making these arguments to the arbitrator when we did not need to. I am not happy with the AAA. All of their documents tell consumers that they cannot be prohibited from accessing small claims. I then try to access small claims, am prohibited and the AAA effectively says. "yeah, our rules do not matter."

Well, that's the latest.


General Economics Deals
Financial considerations of lasik eye correction surgery
Added on : Monday July 21st 2014 06:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: JrcWy
Views: 200 Replies: 4 I'm thinking about getting lasik to correct nearsightedness I've had since childhood. I wouldn't base such a decision solely on price but want general advice and tips from the FWF crowd with experience in this area. I've considered the strategy of loading an FSA in advance to cover the cost tax free. What are opinions on the warranties offered to touchup later on? Do you have to incur the cost of regular check-ups to get this option? Is a doctor that is offering some unique or new technology with a price premium worth it or is a lot of this just a way of harvesting money over the standard procedure? Are there any ongoing costs you didn't foresee?

More than these questions, I'm just looking for advice and thoughts you might have with your (now 20/20) hindsight that I haven't even considered.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 7 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KVWH5O6

A woodcock hunters abstract -- and sometimes opinionated -- perspective for hunting in the 21st century. Although the tips and strategies are beneficial to all woodcock hunters, it is geared mostly toward those that already have a basic understanding of this misunderstood bird.
Books & Magazines Deals
Switching utility providers for fun and profit
Added on : Wednesday July 16th 2014 01:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: CowbellMaster
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Various companies offer promotions for switching, presumably they make money off higher priced commodity. Costs nothing to switch, does anyone ever take advantage of these promos?



I have solar panels and use 0 kWh per month. Any opinion on whether I can snag a Nest for next to nothing?
Bioshock Infinite (Xbox 360 or PS3) - $14.99 @ Amazon (FSSS/Prime)
Added on : Monday July 14th 2014 01:00:02 AM
g: 0 Posted By: st4rdust
Views: 79 Replies: 0 Amazon hasBioshock Infinite(Xbox 360 or PS3) on sale for$14.99with Free Super Saver Shipping on orders of $35 or more.

4.4/5 stars based on 652 customer reviews.

Rating: 9.4/10 at IGN.

Coming from experience, I love love love this game. I plan on getting tattoos inspired by it. The storyline is unreal and completely engrossing. If you are a fan of Bioshock and haven't played this, I highly recommend that you do so. The first game was amazing and the second was lackluster at best. In my opinion, Bioshock Infinite totally makes up for everything that went wrong with the second game. The DLC makes it even sweeter and gives it tons of replay value.
PS3 Deals

Amazon Coupons
100k AA miles how do i utilize the points in best possible way!
Added on : Saturday July 12th 2014 11:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ganeshwar
Views: 95 Replies: 1 100k AA miles how do i utilize the points in best possible way!

I would like to cancel my card in next few months, as I don't travel much from what i anticipating.so my miles will not go towards flying..

If i try to order Giftcard i could get only 400$ only,is there a better possibility other than this to redeem my miles 110K miles?

Appreciate your opinions.
Air Travel Deals
Small Pension Buyout
Added on : Tuesday July 08th 2014 08:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: mythosaz
Views: 30 Replies: 0 OK folks, I'd like to borrow upon your wisdom for a moment.

I've looked at a couple of calculators, and they seem to confirm what IthinkI'm seeing, but I'd like a second opinion.

When I left a long-term job last year, I was surprised to find I had earned a small pension. For purposes of this discussion, lets call it $325/mo, eligible in 2035. It has a lump sum option today in the 13-14k range, which seems to jive what what calculators tell me. It has no survivor benefits, so it's good for me alone, from 65 until death. I don't have any unusual medical conditions.

I'm in a position now where I need a new (to me) car, and a used crown vic doesn't quite meet with my needs. I drove my last 20k 2007 vehicle into the ground with almost 200,000 miles on it, and I'm weighing my options.

I try to look at things like this: If I had $13k cash now, would I use it toward/for/as-part-of a new (to me) car, or would I buy a 13k annuity with a 325/mo payout at 65? I know that it's worth much more should I survive to 70, but would I buy said annuity today versus dealing with more pressing issues.

Some minor background, as it might help determine the real value of the pension to me and my family. Because of numerous troubles in the last, well, decade, my wife and I have little cash or retirement savings, but we're both employed in good jobs, and we've got three properties. [A rented condo owned lock stock and barrel, a rented home about half way through the mortgage breaking even, and a primary residence in year 10.] After losing my long-term job, I've been contracting, so it hasn't always been easy to keep cash between gigs.

The wife and I plan to keep using bonuses and excess salary (is there such a thing) to keep paying down the rental house, and then attacking our real mortgage. I know that isn't strictly the best plan, but I enjoy the feel of ownership. Owning a house is more valuable to me than playing a game with mortgage interest or keeping it liquid to invest. This is the primary reason I'm conflicted about a small pension. Iownthat, so to speak.

I don't want to turn this too much into a car discussion. I'd just like to know the pros and cons of what to do with 14k today versus having a $325 pension.
Investing Deals
Load fee funds through employer retirement plans
Added on : Wednesday July 02nd 2014 08:00:11 AM
g: 2 Posted By: kenyanboy
Views: 127 Replies: 7 FWFers,

I'm a Bogleheads lazy portfolios follower, investing in Vanguard no-load, low expense ratio funds, through my employer 401(k) plan. However, this is about kenyangirl, aka ze wife. I've searched the FWF finance forums and learn a lot about this category. Thank you contributors!

Her employer plan (IRA) offers a 100% match on her first 3% contribution. However, the IRA is through American Funds, and is offering Class-A and Class-C funds, which have load fees aka sales charges, plus high expense ratios. (It's a small company and the owner's friend is a fund chappie, hence you know how the story goes).

I'm against the wife investing through American funds as their Class A sales charges are 5.75%. The Class-A expense ratios range from 0.58% to 1.13%, with the average being 0.70% over the various asset classes (excepot money-market funds). Class C has a 1% sales charge if sold in the first year, but ER are over 1.3%. Her opinion is that since she's getting a 100% match, this will offset the load fees(she won't be contributing any more since we diversify our investments through local RE, etc).

What has your experience been with fee-loaded funds through employers, when you don't have any other choice? Do you take the free money and absorb the high costs, or do you decide to not participate and open a Roth IRA?
Investing Deals
One of payee account blocked in my Evolve
Added on : Monday June 30th 2014 09:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jolapo
Views: 52 Replies: 0 I have been using Evolve to pay my mortgage. A couple of thousands each month. Due to Evolve's daily limit, I have to send more than one payments, and occasionally use DH's evolve account to send one extra. I'm not abusing it and have never tried to abuse it.

But today I got an email saying "due to the volume processed and/or use of multiple profiles to pay into this single account", I will not able to make payments to my mortgage account any more.

This really surprised me. I want to call the customer service to figure it out, but wonder if it's worth the effort. I'm now hesitate to use DH's account for the mortgage payment because I'm afraid they will block it too.


Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 43 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/Most-Influential-Rock-Stars-1960s-ebook/dp...

In 1964, girls all across the United States filled venues, almost literally screamed their heads off, and fainted en masse. Almost from the second they played the first note, The Beatles would be hit with the resounding screams, which made it impossible for them to even hear themselves sing. When they made their American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in early 1964, they were greeted by young fans who whipped themselves up into such a frenzy that some of them fainted. Beatlemania had struck North America, creating a musical and pop culture phenomenon unlike anything the world had ever seen. At the center of it all was John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the principal songwriting duo who were instrumental in creating the soundtrack of the 1960s, while producing some of the worlds most timeless classics. Together with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, Lennon and McCartney propelled The Beatles to unprecedented heights, sparking Beatlemania on two sides of the Atlantic and experimenting with their sound in ways that revolutionized rock and inspired bands across various musical genres.

In the space of just a few years, Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, rose from the obscurity of a small Minnesota town to a position of royalty atop the folk music landscape of the 1960s, with a universal esteem and status on a par with Elvis Presley and The Beatles. In the 1960s, Blowin in the Wind and The Times They Are A Changing became anthems of the anti-war and civil rights movements, but long after the transition from the 50s to the late 60s and 70s was accomplished, the initially baffling young folk singer who appeared out of nowhere was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize for his profound impact on popular music, and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power. Over the span of his career, he has received Grammy Awards, Golden Globes, Academy Award Oscars, and he has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, not to mention the Pulitzer Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom.

It is rare in the world of music for a general consensus to form over who was the best at anything. Many would call The Beatles the greatest rock band, but its easy to find strongly opinionated dissenters. However, when it came to playing a guitar and laying the soundtrack for the psychedelic era, just about everyone agrees there was Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) and then there was everyone else. Anyone arguing otherwise either never heard his music or saw him perform. In fact, Jimi Hendrix is one of the few musicians known primarily for his sound and what he could do with a guitar than for his discography.

Dubbed by many as the First Lady or Queen of Rock & Roll, Joplin both invented and installed the rock mama paradigm into the American rock consciousness, a patriarchal and fraternal industry that, much like the societal traits it protested, restricted women to a narrow and conservative criteria for entrance. With only a very few kindred spirits, such as Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane, she pioneered a new range of expression for white women.

In the mid-1960s, an era on the CUSP of change from the musical and social norms of the previous decade, the emergence of Jim Morrison, the charismatic poet/musician of The Doors, helped to transform the subgenre of rock n roll as a stylistic flavor to the full-fledged institution of Rock Music. Morrison accomplished this transformation by avoiding membership in any of the known categories of modern rock music during the age of protest, but at the same time, he became the general symbol of anti-authoritarianism for his generation and the next.
Totally Free Deals
g: 0 Posted By: teddibear703
Views: 186 Replies: 0 32GB Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2" WiFi Android 4.4 Tablet in White (Refurbished) $380+tax, free 14 day returnsYesterday the Black one made the Front page. Here is a deal for the white one.

Groupon has the 32GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 12.2 in WHITE for $399.

If you use either FW or Shop Discover, you get 5% back, netting it out to $380.

This comes with a 90 day warranty.

This is better than the eBay deal in my opinion because Groupon has a 14 day Free Return policy for any reason and Groupon covers the shipping.

Since these are refurbs, if your unit comes more scratched than you like, you can easily return it, no questions asked.

Only negative is that you need to pay tax.

Click here for the link
Android Tablets Deals

Groupon Coupons
Penfed 5/5 ARM Closing Cost Help
Added on : Sunday June 22nd 2014 04:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: SiltyKinect
Views: 114 Replies: 0 I am in the process of closing a home in Montgomery County, Maryland and trying to see if I can benefit from 10,000 closing cost.
Couple of Questions:
Assuming a purchase price of 550000 and 20% down I have received the following Cost Illustration from wells Fargo and Penfed Online calculator.

Can anyone with experience on this let me know which one is more accurate?

Also will I get the full benefit of 10,000 from Penfed for this loan amount?

Wells Fargo estimates 17,000 and Penfed estimates 11,000 which I think is wrong.


SURVEY 340.00
Total 17,782.68

Penfed's Closing Fees

PenFed's origination charge $65.00
Your charge for this interest rate $0.00
Required services we select $432.50
Appraisal Fee $350.00
Credit Report$ 16.50
Flood Certification Fee $7.00
Tax Service Fee $59.00
Title services and lender's title insurance $2,112.00
Owner's title insurance $2,008.50
Government recording charges $175.00
Transfer taxes $6,350.00
Total Estimated Settlement Charges $11,143.00

Let me know if you need any further info.
Real Estate Deals
g: 1 Posted By: SieSilverStars
Views: 85 Replies: 0 Groupon is offering a $40.00 voucher to PersonalizationMall on Personalized Gifts for $19.00

Groupon Link
Click here to go to PersonalizationMall

"Shoppers can personalize a variety of gifts and items for the home, from picture frames and albums to apparel and accessories. Other customizable items include phone cases, mugs, blankets, and barware.

Voucher expires 12/14/14. Limit 1 person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per order. Not valid until 24 hours after feature ends. Must use in one visit. Shipping not included. Valid for sale items.

Received a 4.5/5 stars based on 811 customer reviews from Epinions.com
Garden Deals

Groupon Coupons
How much of net worth should go into primary house
Added on : Friday June 20th 2014 01:00:05 PM
g: -1 Posted By: David415
Views: 169 Replies: 2 Hi Guys,

Just wanted to see what people's opinions are on this topic. Some background first. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where house prices are expensive. My wife and I make combined 250k/yr. Me and my wife are in our mid-late thirties.

Here's my general situation:

200k cash savings
825k stocks
580k retirement accounts
250k investment condo with a 250k mortgage (I exactly breakeven on this condo each year. so don't really need to figure this in really)
890k primary house with a 500k mortgage
No other debts
Assume no inheritance money in future

I'm thinking of upgrading to a bigger house and renting out my current one. I believe I can rent out my current house and it will cover all expenses such as mortgage, insurance, taxes. Here is where I would like to see what you guys would do. The house I'd like to move into is 1.5M. If I got a house like that I would be happy staying there forever, but a big chunk of our monthly income would go towards mortgage. We could do it but probably would have very little to invest in other things. Or I can buy a slightly smaller house at around 1.3M or just stay in my current house a little longer like 3 years and then buy when I've saved a little more.

To me I think a house is a relatively safe investment over the long term. Since I plan to live here for a long time I don't see it as much risk at all and it might be good to just get the house you want early and enjoy it for a very long time.

What do you think?
New User Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: BigBoyMichigan
Views: 236 Replies: 1 STARTING SEPTEMBER 01, 2014

I Got word today that McDonalds in the USA will be starting their McDonalds Monopoly in September, So here is a sneak preview!

McDonald's Monopoly Sweepstakes is here again! Enter the 2014 Monopoly Game at McDonald's for your chance to win thousands and thousands of prizes like a million dollars cash, $100,000 cash, free McDonald's food prizes, and much, much more!


* While the giveaway is essentially identical in each country where it is available, game pieces collected in one country cannot be used in another country.
* For all versions of the online game, players are allowed to enter 10 codes per day.
* Note that the official rules state: "The purchase, sale, trading, or barter of Game Pieces, Game Stamps, FREE Codes or Game Codes via Online or live auctions, or any other methods, does not constitute Legitimate Channels and is expressly prohibited.
* If you are related to, or romantically involved with a McDonald's Employee you are unable to participate in the game.
* Participants with Disabilities: If you have a disability that you believe prevents you from participating in the Game, or if you are a Guam or Saipan resident who needs assistance in redeeming a Prize, contact (866) 375-0638 for assistance.


* .................4 peels
* .................4 peels

* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels

* Check with store as once the peels runs out on a certain product, They will NOT be resupplied.

**** COMING SEPTEMBER 2014 ***

McDonalds Monopoly 2014 Rare Pieces:
* Mediterranean Ave
* Vermont Ave
* Virginia Ave
* Tennessee Ave
* Kentucky Ave
* Shortline Railroad
* Ventor Ave
* Pennsylvania Ave
* Boardwalk

if you use a code, please let others know! It saves us all time, and it makes our code donors feel good. RBM stands for Redeemed by me and RNBM means that you tried the code, but it was Redeemed, Not By me

And finally, if you WIN something, POST IT! Everyone loves hearing about the big wins!

■DISCLAIMER:All logo's, trademarks and other material is copyright of their respective owners. This site is not owned, operated or run by McDonald's and is in no way affiliated with any of its companies. The use of McDonald's or Monopoly images are for illustration purposesonly.The Content included in this Web site has been compiled from a variety of sources and is subject to change without notice as are any prices, products, programs, offerings, or technical information described in this Web site. BigBoyMichigan makes no representation or warranty whatsoever regarding the completeness, quality, or adequacy of the Web site or Content, or the suitability, functionality, or operation of this Web site or its Content. By using this Web site, you assume the risk that the Content on this Web site may be inaccurate, incomplete, or may not meet your needs and requirements. IN NO EVENT WILL BigBoyMichigan BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES EVEN IF COMPANY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. BigBoyMichigan page is not endorsed by or affiliated in any way nor The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect with the thoughts and opinions of McDonalds, Mickey D's nor any other products / companies listed on this site.

Totally Free Deals
g: 0 Posted By: BigBoyMichigan
Views: 27 Replies: 0 STARTING SEPTEMBER 01, 2014

McDonald's Monopoly Sweepstakes is here again! Enter the 2014 Monopoly Game at McDonald's for your chance to win thousands and thousands of prizes like a million dollars cash, $100,000 cash, free McDonald's food prizes, and much, much more!


* While the giveaway is essentially identical in each country where it is available, game pieces collected in one country cannot be used in another country.
* For all versions of the online game, players are allowed to enter 10 codes per day.
* Note that the official rules state: "The purchase, sale, trading, or barter of Game Pieces, Game Stamps, FREE Codes or Game Codes via Online or live auctions, or any other methods, does not constitute Legitimate Channels and is expressly prohibited.
* If you are related to, or romantically involved with a McDonald's Employee you are unable to participate in the game.
* Participants with Disabilities: If you have a disability that you believe prevents you from participating in the Game, or if you are a Guam or Saipan resident who needs assistance in redeeming a Prize, contact (866) 375-0638 for assistance.


* .................4 peels
* .................4 peels

* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels
* .................2 peels

* Check with store as once the peels runs out on a certain product, They will NOT be resupplied.

**** COMING SEPTEMBER 2014 ***

McDonalds Monopoly 2014 Rare Pieces:
* Mediterranean Ave
* Vermont Ave
* Virginia Ave
* Tennessee Ave
* Kentucky Ave
* Shortline Railroad
* Ventor Ave
* Pennsylvania Ave
* Boardwalk

f you use a code, please let others know! It saves us all time, and it makes our code donors feel good. RBM stands for redeemed by me and RNBM means that you tried the code, but it was Redeemed, Not By me

And finally, if you WIN something, POST IT! Everyone loves hearing about the big wins!

■DISCLAIMER:All logo's, trademarks and other material is copyright of their respective owners. This site is not owned, operated or run by McDonald's and is in no way affiliated with any of its companies. The use of McDonald's or Monopoly images are for illustration purposesonly.The Content included in this Web site has been compiled from a variety of sources and is subject to change without notice as are any prices, products, programs, offerings, or technical information described in this Web site. BigBoyMichigan makes no representation or warranty whatsoever regarding the completeness, quality, or adequacy of the Web site or Content, or the suitability, functionality, or operation of this Web site or its Content. By using this Web site, you assume the risk that the Content on this Web site may be inaccurate, incomplete, or may not meet your needs and requirements. IN NO EVENT WILL BigBoyMichigan BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES EVEN IF COMPANY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. BigBoyMichigan page is not endorsed by or affiliated in any way nor The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect with the thoughts and opinions of McDonalds, Mickey D's nor any other products / companies listed on this site.

Totally Free Deals
g: 0 Posted By: slovell
Views: 150 Replies: 5 Around 4-5 years ago, we were going to do a cash out refi with Oxford Lending. The day that we were supposed to attend the closing, an employee from Oxford called to tell us that our loan would not be going through. He said that underwriting had taken a second look & decided not to approve our appraisal after all because there hadn't been a comparable house sold in our area in the last 3 months (we live in a very rural area). We were shocked, but this guy had been inefficient from the start. We dropped the plan to refi. Fast forward to now & we were offered a rate reduction from Chase (our original mortgage co.) We decided to go ahead with the process due to it being no cost. We were shocked when their underwriting called & told us that we had a $1000 bill with the local title company that was scheduled to close the previous loan. They recommend that I call them. When I contacted them, they stated that it was due to such things as abstracting fees, attorney opinions etc. I was shocked & couldn't believe they hadn't contacted us earlier or why Oxford Lending had even had those things done if they weren't going to proceed with the loan. My question is, are we legally responsible for these fees? If not, is there anyway to make Oxford pay them?
New User Question Deals
Is it better to pay off debt or hold cash for home purchace
Added on : Monday June 16th 2014 08:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Dassage1313
Views: 168 Replies: 3 We are trying to get everything in order so that we can make a home purchase in the next couple of years. We wanted to get opinions on what we should do in regards to paying off our debt or saving the extra cash we have. We are keeping up with our car/credit-card payments. We do have some extra cash at the end of the month. Would it be prudent to pay off our debt faster by making larger monthly payments, or save the cash for when we want to make the home purchase?
Personal Finance Deals
Cloud Hashing - Opinion?
Added on : Sunday June 15th 2014 02:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: burgerwars
Views: 93 Replies: 1 I'm willing to throw $299 into Cloud Hashish's bronze contract. Since I can pay with Bitcoin (I got a couple I purchased for a cheap price last year) it's nothing new out of my pocket. Just play money.

How much do you think I'll lose or maybe earn? I've never been a fan of bitcoin, but since it exists, maybe I shouldn't totally ignore it.
Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: j129
Views: 105 Replies: 0 A little backstory.
I am a foreign Medical graduate with a green card (will get my citizenship later this year).
I've decided that I don't want to pursue medicine as a career. I want to try something Managerial and based on research, have decided to do a Masters in HealthCare Administration.
All that I've read, seems to say that this is a growing career path with a lot of potential.

My financial situation.
Used to work as a pharmacy tech while I was preparing for the USMLE,but after a lot of procrastination and doubtI have finally decided that I didn't want to take the USMLE.
I don't want to be a doctor.
I don't have much saved (been in the US of A for 3 years), have about $4k in my bank account.
Live with my parents but I don't ask them for any money. They put a roof over my head and food on the table for no cost, and that is more than enough for me.

Plans for the future.
After spending a lot of time trying to figure out what I want to do with my life (am also really interested in stuff like Advertising, Media, things of that nature, but have no idea how to get into that, since I don't have any background in media whatsoever)
and decided on the MHA program.
I live in CT and there are two universities here that offer the MHA program.
The one that I like is the University of New Haven.

The cost is $825 per credit (42 credits) = $34,650. I have spoken to the Financial Aid officer at the university and he told me that I can easily get a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan (and it's not need based).
FA can pay a maximum of $20,500 per year, so for the first year (27 credits = $22,275) I'd be short a few thousand + cost of books. So there's another loan called the Graduate Plus Loan that I can get, which will pay for the rest.
Interest Rate for the former loan is 6.21% and for the latter is 7.21%.

My questions.

1. Is financial aid taxable?

2. The Median salary for someone with a Masters in Healthcare administration is about $70-80,000. A faculty member I spoke to, said that I should easily be able to start off with a $55,000 salary at least. And it'll go upwards from there.
Does taking a loan of $40,000 (assuming books etc) make sense?

3. Hoping to get an assistantship that'll cut the tuition cost by 50%. If it does get cut, would it be possible for me to hold on to the surplus FA I'm getting? Because....

4.. I'm single right now...But the plan is to get married next year. Yes...I won't have a permanent job, and I know all the problems I'll face getting married before I'm able to stand on my own feet, but it's complicated and it needs to happen by next year, or it'll never happen.
My fiance will not move here until she received her green card, and that's not going to happen till we get married, so it's going to be a while before she comes here, and hopefully by then, I'll be really close to completing. (Begins in Sept 2014. Ends in March 2016).
Iwill need about $15k..if I save that from FA, can i just use that? The reasoning behind that being, that I would not have to pay off the loan till 6 months after I graduate giving me enough time to find a job and start paying it off.
As opposed to taking a personal loan (also something I know nothing about) but which I think, I'd have to pay back sooner and the interest rate would be higher?

4. Do local universities carry more weight in their home towns? I asked local folk. Friends of my mother from church, and they all seem to have a high opinion of the University of New Haven.
It is ranked #101 here.I couldn't find a ranking for it's MHA program but I've heard that a lot of universities pay for these rankings so I don't know how much attention to pay to it.
I guess my main worry is, is it worth it? Am I getting into something that's not good for me?

5. A friend I know from medical university who later moved here to do her Masters in Public Health (she was always passionate about it), says that in her opinion $35k is a lot (no subsidized in-state costs because UNH is private) and if I'm spending that much, I'd rather go to a better university.
Problem with that reasoning is, that I'd have to move to a different state. Have to take a bigger loan to pay for housing and food and end up in even more debt. It's easy for her to say because her tuition was paid for by her parents.
But what do you guys think?

6. What's a better way to get jobs? Networking or interning? I have no problem doing tons of internships but I would rather try and find some part time work that'll put some money in my pocket.

I would highly appreciate any help that I can get.
I never went to high school or undergraduate college in the U.S so I really don't know how all this functions.
Would appreciate any suggestions, ideas that you'd provide.

Thank you.
Personal Finance Deals
how to dispose clunker for top dollar
Added on : Tuesday June 10th 2014 12:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: bobaldie
Views: 110 Replies: 5 My 01 Altima, single owner is currently with 120k and good body. Recent service visit mechanic said one cylinder is bad and have to replace engine. 120k is nothing for this car but replacing engine is not worth in my opinion.
While service engine light on, how can i get a top dollar for it?

I know i have to buy another car - surely used one - but not decided if i will buy from a dealer.
Question Deals
Mazda3 2014 private party
Added on : Sunday June 08th 2014 07:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: sultansana
Views: 142 Replies: 5 Wanted to get FWF opinion on this. I was looking at a mazda 3 2013 itouring at a dealership. I was looking for an OTD price of max $16200 +taxes. Dealer had it listed at $18000. He didn't budge so I walked. Price on their website is down to $16800. I still have about 2 months before I need a car so I am waiting. According to cargurus this is a fair-good deal. Car has 42miles on it.

I now have come across a private party deal on a mazda 3 2014 isport with 450miles on it. The person who bought it has passed away (not in the car) and the daughter (sorry no pictures) is selling it. She listed a price for $17700. I offered $16500, we are settling around $17000. Dealer trade-in-value for this car is $15000. Fair purchase is $18000 and per carguru anything less than 17300 is a good deal. Car has 2.5 years on the warranty left and I believe transferable, title is clean.

Three questions:
1) Would you go for the private deal or wait out the dealer deal till I get the price I want
2) Carfax is clean, would you still have a mechanic check this out?
3) Will I still have taxes to pay, even though this car was bought in Jan (state is MA)

Discussion Deals
g: 0 Posted By: MH
Views: 25 Replies: 0 I did a quick search and didn't find this posted.

$65 each, shipped either FSSS or prime.

Pioneer speakers on the cheap. According to camel camel camel, this is the lowest price (by $5) ever.

Reviews are positive... posts on speakers tend to degenerate to opinions on whether such and such speaker sounds better than/worse than some other speaker. To each their own, but I think most would agree that at $65 shipped these are a steal.

Help Me choose a Brokerage (Taxable Account)
Added on : Sunday June 01st 2014 07:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: iyrishraven
Views: 60 Replies: 0 Hello,

Thanks in advance for all your inputs. Heard that you all are really helpful here.

I want to open a taxable investment brokerage account. in my opinion, I would like to invest in low ER ETFs, Indexed ETFs or tax-free muni mutual funds. I would not be trading too much in this account. Starting with $25k, hopefully contributing more.

1.I found Schwab, Fidelity, Vanguard, TD Ameritrade all have commission free, low cost ETFs and very competitive with each other.
2.Between all their commission free lineups is one brokerage's funds better than the other?
3.I went over the funds and for my objective, all brokerages are quiet neck-to-neck! Schwab ERs are at 0.07%, not sure of spreads in Schwab ETFs
4.At this point, I believe the tools they offer, customer experience, ease of use and other features might help me choose one over the other.
5.Any other good reason/s to choose the better of all these?

Any an all help appreciated!

Related Question: I see the market brewing again (without a reason), should I wait for a dip (not correction) or start dollar cost averaging slowly?
Question Deals
Getting screwed on a special assessment
Added on : Saturday May 31st 2014 11:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NYC-606
Views: 111 Replies: 2 Hey guys,

So I think I'm getting screwed here on a special assessment. I'm being charged $7,200 on balcony repairs when in my opinion they knew about the repairs coming and knew they would be a special assessment. I bought my place in May 2012 and the 22.1 provided said this:
22.1 Disclosure said: Except as noted on budget, in meeting minutes or stated here, no additional capital expenditures/specials are currently being discussed.

When I asked the management company about the special assessment, they claimed they knew about it since 2008.
Management said: The 2008 Reserve Study [updated in 2013] recommended that the balconies be addressed in 2014. [This study was updated in 2013 to say that it was still needed and then they started planning the assessment]

Management said: Check the documents provided as part of your buyer package. Minutes of meetings, the 2008 Reserve Study, and budgets should be part of that package.

Management said: Balconies are limited common elements and the responsibility of the unit the balcony is associated with. The Association has no responsibility in paying for balcony repairs, and cannot use capital reserve funds to pay for the repairs.

As I've stated, these documents were not provided and the only thing I see is a document actually saying that there is nothing planned.

I called the management out on this, and they then changed their tune to this:
Management said: Paid assessment letters state only whether special assessments are being discussed or planned for a finite period. They do not address what will funding will be expended beyond what is stated in the budget for that year, or is present in minutes.

It is not reasonable to expect that there will never be a special assessment. To determine costs of ownership, it is the responsibility of prospective unit owners and their advisors [lawyers and realtors] to request any documents which will assist in determining those costs, and then use those documents to determine whether special assessments will be required.

They are claiming that since it wasn't official, that they don't have any liability in this, but I feel that they have claimed they knew they would need to be addressed, and also that it would always be a special assessment.

I'm trying to contact my real estate lawyer, but he isn't responsive so far. Any help on these forums? Do I have a case to not pay this?

Discussion Deals
Financial planners to help with college aid, etc.?
Added on : Thursday May 29th 2014 05:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Dougmeister
Views: 124 Replies: 3 We have a financial planner (Edward Jones) and we're satisfied, but he doesn't know all the "ins" and "outs" of applying for aid, scholarships, grants, loans, etc.

This is our first time around with college (our oldest is finishing his junior year in high school).

We heard about one of these companies that supposedly "specializes" in this type of thing. The particular company is called "Ivy League Wealth Strategies", and even the name *screams* "run away" to me.


They want to charge hundreds and hundreds of dollars for their services. I can't find any reviews on this company (yet) by Googling. Might call the BBB.

Anyone have informed opinions on whether or not these companies are worth it or not?
General Economics Deals
g: 0 Posted By: Xenocrates
Views: 236 Replies: 0 Lenovo P950 Headset w/ Noise-Cancelling Mic- $8.99 AC FS @ Lenovo

Coupon Code:USP1MA546605 - $21 Off

Driver Unit:2 x 27 mm
Frequency Response:125Hz-20kHz
Impedance:32Ω10%@ 1kHz
Sound Pressure Level (SPL):1033dB /1mW @ 1kHz
Rated Input Power : 10mW
Maximum Input Power : 30mW
MIC Muting: Yes
Frequency Response: 100Hz-10kHz
Impedance: 2.2kΩ10% @ 1kHz
Sensitivity: -385dB @ 1kHz 0dB=1V/Pa
Plug: 3.5mm x 2
Cord Length: 1.8m​

Note: These headphones have very hit or miss reviews on the product page and it seems the most lacking part is the mic quality, although a couple reviews said that it was fine. Amazon reviews had about the same score 3/5 starswith a similar set of opinions.

The next best priceis $20.27 @ ShopBLT (or 19.19 @ Amazonbut FSSS or Prime)
Lenovo Deals

Lenovo Coupons
Staples Karston Chair, Black $50 YMMV
Added on : Friday May 23rd 2014 03:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dazviking
Views: 72 Replies: 0 Staples Karston Chair, Black
SKU 923281
$49.50 (was $169.99)
Found this in Bangor, ME (not sure if national).

No as hotl as this, but still a good price in my opinion. Display model was very comfy, bonded leather. Not shown in current or next weeks ads.

Link for brown. Not sure if it is on clearance too.
Furniture Deals

Staples Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: VivYip
Views: 144 Replies: 1 the Staples ad for 5/25 is up; nothing much in my opinion, but anyway:

front page related
20% back on $200 HP toner
10% back on $60 HP ink
$12 for 2 Iris 54-quart Stack & Pull storage box - blue 781454

3.99AR hammermill ream (limit 4?) (praying for coupons at this point)
$59.98 for 2 multipurpose case

copy/print promo
$3 24" x 36" engineering prints

Poppon & notebooks
20% coupon

tech ish (some mention of a $30-300 for trade in event.)
199.99 1000328 Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7"
349.99 1000329 Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Lite 10.1"

hoping for decent coupons to show up, but doubtful these days
Office & School Supplies Deals

Staples Coupons
New driver with $5k car damage. Please help me decide what to do.
Added on : Tuesday May 20th 2014 08:00:08 AM
g: 1 Posted By: vholic
Views: 202 Replies: 9 I'm a driver in my 30s, however I only got my driver license recently (Oct 2012). I live in MA with a full coverage insurance for $3,033/yr with $1,000 deductible.

Car info:
2009 Mazda 3 S Touring Hatchback 41,500 miles
Purchase used in Jan 2013, paid cash OTD $16K (incl tax & everything)
Blue Book value as of today: Trade in to dealer in fair condition $10K
Recent repairs: $1K for one new tire, one new axle/CV joint, all new rotors (Apr 2014)

I got into an accident in an underground parking lot last Sunday. I hit the cement support beam when backing up and had some damage to the left side of my car. All lights are still functioning after the accident. Pic attached.
I went to 2 reputable body shops. Body Shop A quoted me $5,500 (big shop, everything is guaranteed). Body Shop B (mom&pop) but also reputable quoted me $4,200 insurance or 10% disc if I don't do insurance.
The car needs a new quarter panel, bumper and rear lights-left side.

Please help me decide what to do:
1. Do nothing. Knowing that I'm a new driver, I don't think this will be my last accident. I will use this car as my "training wheel" for 3-4 years.
2. Claim my insurance. I will get 4 points in my record for 5 years. Insurance will incr to $3,917/yr. My out of pocket will be $1K ded + 2 weeks of rental car (found out that I don't have rental coverage).
3. Pay the repair out of pocket.
4. Go to a cheap/somewhat shady place looking for a repair that costs half as much (~$2K).
5. Sell my car as is (maybe ~$6K?) and get a crown vic.

I'm leaning toward option 1 right now. Need some opinions on pros & cons. Thanks in advance.

Pic: http://i.imgur.com/DhdxvdO.jpg

Personal Finance Deals
Neptune Society Preneed Cremation Service
Added on : Friday May 16th 2014 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: BananaQ
Views: 89 Replies: 2 is $2350 reasonable? this is with neptune.
packagecomes with urn and anywhere in the world transportation (remains handling and shipping).

help fw bros. and sis'. need your opinions. thanks.
i want to know first that i did not get gouged before buying another one for my wife.

Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: ctgolfer

1. Includes all 8 Seasons (102 Episodes) of the Show

2. "Glowing" acrylic case packaging

3. All previously-released bonus material

4. New bonus material exclusive to this set:
- Weeds Cast Roundtable: A lively cast discussion about the evolution of the series, their favorite moments on the set, and the cultural impact of Weeds.
- They Came, They Smoked, They Left: Recurring, fan-favorite cast members talk about being a part of the iconic series.
- Nancy's Sexcapades: Cast members share what it is that makes Nancy Botwin so desirable, and why her sexual prowess was such a key element of the show.
- Suburban Black Widow: Cast members offer their opinions on why many of Nancy's lovers met an early demise.

Blu Ray Deals

Amazon Coupons
g: 1 Posted By: remick
Views: 89 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K5I3L0S

*Includes pictures.
*Includes the stars' own quotes about their lives and careers.
*Includes suggested playlists and analyses of their music.
*Includes bibliographies for further reading.
*Includes a table of contents.

It is rare in the world of music for a general consensus to form over who was the best at anything. Many would call The Beatles the greatest rock band, but its easy to find strongly opinionated dissenters. However, when it came to playing a guitar and laying the soundtrack for the psychedelic era, just about everyone agrees there was Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) and then there was everyone else. Anyone arguing otherwise either never heard his music or saw him perform.

In fact, Jimi Hendrix is one of the few musicians known primarily for his sound and what he could do with a guitar than for his discography. A part of that is due to his untimely death and entry into the 27 Club, but it is also due to the fact that he was so revolutionary with the use of an electric guitar and so skilled at playing it that the effects have largely not been duplicated since. It was heavy, loud, and completely raw, and yet he was a pioneer in genres as varied as blues and heavy metal. As Pete Townshend famously put it, With Jimi, I didn't have any envy. I never had any sense that I could ever come close.

The life and career of Janis Joplin marks such a stark departure from the blues, rock and soul traditions as American society has come to know them that her brief and tempestuous career defies artistic analysis, if only because there is so little precedent aside from the great African-American blues and jazz singers that influenced her. For a woman born in 1943 and coming into her professional prime in the 1960s, Joplin stood as a mesmerizing and baffling foil to the female tradition in non-classical music, which had previously been symbolized by pure, mellow voices singing thoughtful texts. The American music scene was entirely unprepared to witness the emergence of a white woman who could sing the blues with such authenticity, force, and depth of feeling.

Of course, for all the mention of Joplins career, there is nearly as much focus on her untimely death at the age of 27, particularly because she died just a few weeks after Jimi Hendrixs death at the age of 27 and was followed in death by Jim Morrison at the age of 27 less than a year later. Those three all died as a result of alcohol and drug abuse, and they formed the starting point for the legendary 27 Club, which memorializes rock stars who died at the age of 27. Morrison, the charismatic poet/musician of The Doors, helped to transform the subgenre of rock n roll as a stylistic flavor into the full-fledged institution of Rock Music, and he accomplished all of this by being extreme, in every sense of the word. His poetry was assaultive, blatant and graphic, a sign of the times, and his voice was mystical and haunting, lacking any sense of what was previously or typically considered vocal beauty. Whether intentional or not, Morrison also led the charge of excessive defiance toward anything hierarchical or rule-laden, and the acting out of his subconscious urges on public stages around the world amazed and shocked everyone who saw or heard about it.

Kurt Cobain later noted that he tried to model his most famous song after one The Pixies might have done, but Smells Like Teen Spirit and its accompanying music video ushered in rocks grunge movement at the start of the 1990s, and the song, ironically named after a deodorant, captured the culture in its entirety. A reaction to the likes of the previous decades yuppies and acts like M.C. Hammer, grunge became a sound and culture for angst-ridden teens and the disaffected youth who were proud to be plain. Whether Cobain intended for it or not, grunge became the most popular music of the decade, and the look and sound both became trendy fads, even as he personally struggled with the lifestyle.
Books & Magazines Deals
Teacher Appreciation Day Deals 2014
Added on : Thursday May 01st 2014 05:00:04 AM
g: 2 Posted By: pianomaster
Views: 281 Replies: 1 Inspired by this post Chipotle Teacher Appreciation May 6 (BOGO),I thought it would be great to have a combined post about all Teacher Appreciation Day deals this year.

So please post below what you thinks its worth in your opinion.

I will start with this McDonald's giving free eats for Teacher Appreciation Day.Not sure if it is nationwide, but I assume so.

Also check this linkfor a nice summary (with video) of last years food deals as an inspiration!
Restaurants & Entertainment Deals
Auto Loan Refinance - 1.24% or 1.74% Incredible Rates DCU.org
Added on : Wednesday April 30th 2014 05:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Ignatzs
Views: 124 Replies: 0 Wanted to share a HOT automobile refinance deal with my fellow FW community. Digital Credit Union Automobile Loanshas automobile refinance rates at 1.24% with direct deposit to credit union account (or 1.74% without) for 60 month automobile loan refinance. Main page showing refi special banner Digital Credit Union DCU loan banner Your experience may vary for your rate, but it's very worth checking out. Within a period of 24 hours, I was approved and had refinanced my loan online. My credit is 'good' in the mid to upper 600's..not excellent or superior. You will need to join the credit unionand open an account. They open up at 8AM EST, which I wasn't aware of, so surprised to get a call at 9 AM to finalize. I'm not a lender or an actor who plays one on TV, so please don't ask me about all the nitty gritty and just see their website with the link.
Very easy process to do it too. Overall, either email or upload your current paystub, provide your info basics (name, address, employer, monthly income, current car loan info/vehicle info), and that's mainly it. SO impressed that I had to share my experience. I shopped around for similar automobile refi loans and no other rates compared to this unless you had excellent credit, so again, I'm very impressed with them and highly recommend.
These are the type of businesses to support, and DCU is like the Chik-Fil-A or Discount Tire (both businesses are consistent in their quality service no matter where you visit) of financial institutions in my opinion...they know customers are what make the business, and they delivered an excellent product and amazing customer service. Kudos to Carol B in the loan department.
Deal Deals
Invest in REIT as hedge for down payment savings?
Added on : Sunday April 27th 2014 03:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: dblevitan
Views: 99 Replies: 2 My wife and I are looking to buy a house in 6 months to a year. We currently have about $60k saved up for a down payment, and should have over $100k by the end of the year (plan is to buy a house for about $500k; Seattle area). The money is currently sitting in Ally earning 0.85%. Putting it in stocks, even an index, is in our opinion too risky given the short time frame and the fact that RE is not tied to equities. On the other hand, housing here is in high demand, and prices can easily go up by much more than we earn at Ally over the year.

So what about putting the down payment (or some portion of it) into an REIT that focuses on the Pacific NW, or at least west coast, as a hedge against rising housing prices? Ideally, the REIT correlates well to the local housing market, hence our down payment remains the same as a fraction of house prices. On the other hand, the only semi-local REIT I've found is ESS, which is one that owns apartment complexes on the west coast, from San Diego to Seattle. I'm not sure how well apartment complex values correlate with single family homes.

Any thoughts?

Question Deals
The Fundamental Investment Discussions Thread
Added on : Wednesday April 23rd 2014 10:00:10 AM
g: 4 Posted By: dshibb
Views: 143 Replies: 1 This thread needs to be created separately from the Individual Stock Discussions thread.

The Individual Stock Discussions thread has been overrun by:

Day Trading
Insane volume of options trading
Excessive turnover
Pop culture herdstocks like GOOG, AAPL, AMZN, NFLX, FB, etc.
A gambling culture

This is likely due to the fact that those that day trade the most and care the most about minute by minute prices will post the most. For this reason, I'm creating this thread to separate out a discussion about individual investments that are longer term in nature.

Reason for Creating Thread

Like it or not, there are a lot of people coming to FWF looking to know where to invest money without reading much before. This is evidenced by all of the "What do I do with $x" threads.
Like it or not, many wont agree to "set and forget" index or mutual funds for all of their money
Maybe others will agree, but I don't like the only thread here devoted to individual positions being one that shows day trading exclusively in a Yahoo message boards sort of way.
If FWF is going to have discussions about individual investments/trades than it will be an improvement to also foster a thread focused on longer term ideas than just short term activity.
I think that the current Individual Stock Discussions thread fosters an image of active investing asbeing sexy, simple, and thoughtless.Thislikely encourages novices to fall into a false, naive sense of security about trading. A longer term focused investment thread would likely produce the opposite effect of discouraging novices from actively picking positions by displaying investment selectionas hard, complex, time consuming, dry, and dense.

What this thread is not

This is not a thread for extolling the virtues of index funds there is an entire forumBogleheads,devoted to that.
This is not a thread to just post each and every buy or sell order you execute
This is not a thread to drop your opinions on each and every quarter about whether abc company will surprise higher or lower
This is not a thread to repeatedly post pricing activity on positions because such short term pricing should be irrelevant to the discussion

A few notes

Unless quoting and discussing previous ideas all new ideas should involve longer posts typically written in thesis form
Investment ideas can involve any asset class, an entire sector, country, strategy, pair, etc. The only criteria is that:

It bespecific enough to discern a unique viewpoint from the general market and thencommunicate that
That it be for a viewpoint that that has at least a half a year time horizon

An example of a solid initial idea postwould involve ( in practicecover as many as you can):

A discernible investment idea
A time horizon by which you are looking at the idea (i.e. many ideas can be both bad in lets say a6 month time horizon andgreat in a 3 year time frame)
A clear summary rationale as to why it is represents an attractive investment to make
A series of facts, numbers, etc. that back up thethesis
An acknowledgement of what risks you are intentionally choosing to bare
Metrics or fact pattern by which you see the thesis as playing out as suspected
Pitfalls you see that could prevent the thesis from playing out and why you think they wont happen
What you define as a successful realization of your thesis and subsequent exit strategy
A general explanation as to how much the ensuing circumstances would have to deviate from your thesis in order for you to drop the thesis

Maybe this will work. Maybe this will flop, but given how the Individual Stock Discussion thread has gone I thought this was worth a shot.

Investing Deals
Family farm dispute
Added on : Friday April 18th 2014 04:00:03 PM
g: 0 Posted By: skagen
Views: 49 Replies: 1 My wife's father and grandfather had a falling out some time ago. Her father had helped save the family farm by contributing a good amount of money starting back in 1986. There was a lot of animosity that arose when there was discussion about paying him back around 1997. Basically, the borrower (grandpa) wanted to pay $50,000 as payment in full, and the lender (wife's father) wanted $100,000. As is common with many family arrangements (or so I hear) there wasn't a great deal of documentation. Things went rather sour, and basically all relations ended.

Fast forward to 2014, and grandfather is in his mid 90s, and there appears to be some wish to reconcile at least this difference.

Here are the details.

During the period of 1986 through probably no later than 1992, there were somewhere between $36k (reasonably substantiated) and $50k in payments fromwife's father to grandpa("it could have been as high as this").
In 1997, an offer was made from grandpa to wife's father in the amount of the $50k. Wife's father, wanting $100k, disagreed. Things clearly got heated and relations broke off. No money changed hands.

I've generally been seen as a fairly objective and logical person, and so I was asked to put together my thoughts on what would be fair. I told my wife that the folks on fatwallet would likely have a lot of good insight, so please don't let me down.

While I don't know the exact payments and when they occurred (I have just $36k-$50k basically, starting from 1986 and going for a few years), I gave them a spreadsheet to work with and my opinions on the interest rate that would be reasonable. There was already some recognition by the executor of grandpa's trust that interest would be paid as he had initially stated "4.7% seems like a fair interest rate" with respect to the 1997 payout offer.

My suggestion was this -
Use annual mortgage rate averages from 1986-1997 against the principal. 1997 was when the payout was not accepted, and I think it changes the way I'd think interest should be calculated.
Post 1997, even though other asset classes would have outperformed, use inflation. While CPI may or may not be a great gauge of inflation to some, it's a gauge and it'd be a way of trying to pay him today the same amount that would have been paid in 1997.

The funny thing is that if they had just split the difference at the time, it'd have been about right based on my calculations.

Any input? I would really like to help find a fair solution for wife's family.
Question Deals
Boat Repair Scam?
Added on : Thursday April 17th 2014 06:02:01 AM
g: 0 Posted By: joemah
Views: 127 Replies: 2 Morning FW,

I have a predicament and wanted some advice. I have a 17 ft center console boat that the floor is getting soft on. I went to a local boat repair shop to get a price on fixing the floor. Was told 3k to redo the fiberglass floor. The guy told me he had another option also. He said I could purchase a 20 ft center console boat that another customer was working on, but ended up buying anew boat after installing a new gas tank and redoing the floor on the 20 ft boat. It was the same model as mine but 3 ft longer. It just needed some touchup fiberglass work done and for it to be painted. I was told the boat would be $500 and to get it all finished would be an extra $1500 for parts and labor. I would just need to buy a motor to go on the boat. I was having problems here and there with my motor starting so I decided I was going to go ahead and get the bigger boat fixed up and sell the 17 ft boat. When I told him a week later that I would go that route, he said OK, he would need $1000 to start to get boat paid for with original owner and start fiberglass work. Wrote a check for the amount and waited. He said he would start in about 2 weeks because he had some other jobs in front of me.
I stopped by after 3 weeks and boat hadn't moved. He said he would get to it the following week.
I stopped by again after 2 weeks and boat hadn't moved. He said he would get to it the following week.
I stopped by again after 2 weeks and boat hadn't moved. He said he would get to itthat week.
I received a text from him the following week saying he needed more money to get started on the boat. I called him up and asked what happened that he needed more money. He said boat cost $750 and that he needed more than$250 to start. We went back and forth about the price of boat supposed to be $500, not $750 and how it had been 2 months already. Of course everything was verbal. At the end of the phone call, I told him I would bring some starting money but needed everything in writing prior to and that I wanted the boat title and trailer title.
I arrived the next day and he had written out fiberglass repair and paint in details for a total of $2200+, $1500 of it being labor and an extra $750 for the boat already paid. I asked him what happened to the $2k total since we are at just under 3k now and he said he had never mentioned those prices. At this time I was pissed but just wanted to get this over with. I gave him another $800 check and made sure we were on the same page with what exactly the boat was going to look like when completed including trimmings, hatches and cleaning out the hull.
I located a motor on another boat and contactedboat repair guythe following week to see how he wanted to handle getting the motor. He said bring the boat by and he would get the motor off and get it ready for the new finished boat.
I stopped by after 2 weeks and boat had moved to inside his shop but hadn't been touched. He said his paint guy had a hurt leg. We discussed the fiberglass and all the sanding that still needed to be done prior to painting.He told me the motor was a pain and took him 3 hours to get off the other boat. I told him we were coming upon 3 months and I was getting frustrated.
He called me 1 week later and said he was finished fiber glassing and painting and I needed to get him the rest of the money to true up. I stopped by yesterday and the paint job looked terrible. I could see paint brush marks everywhere and there were lines where fiberglass was laid down. I asked him what was going on and he said there was nothing he could do about the fiberglass lines and he rolled the paint so there is no way I could see paint brush marks. I asked him several times to stand next to me and look at the paint brush marks but he wouldn't move. He then told me I owed him $300 for removing the motor from the other boat because it took him 5 hours and he charges $60 per hour. My jaw hit the floor. I told him I never would have brought the motor over on theboat if I knew he was going to charge me to remove it and that he had previously told me it took him 3 hours. He said he was tired of me questioning every dollar and that I needed to pay up in CASH and remove the boat from his property within 3 days.

I know there were a lot of mistakes on my part not getting a lot of stuff in writing prior to starting anything. I wanted to get opinions on what I should do. He wants a total of $1500 cash now. If I pay him the remaining balance, I am stuck witha terrible looking fiberglass and paint job for way too much money. If I request my $1800 back, I guarantee he will say no. He has the motor also that I paid $2000 for and I don't want to lose that either.

Should I just pay the $1500 and take him to court for the terrible product he produced?
Should I request my money back and try to get the motor also and deal with going to court to try and get my $1800 back?

Any similar experiences? Any other suggestions?

Personal Finance Deals
Should I buy this car
Added on : Sunday April 13th 2014 06:00:03 PM
g: 0 Posted By: sultansana
Views: 63 Replies: 1 =12pxHi there fellow FWs. This is my first time buying a car on my own (I moved to the US a few years back but now need a car for work purposes). I am looking to buy a used car and a co-worker is off-loading his Honda Accord Coupe V6 1998 model. Shitty exterior with paint scraped off at many places and dents on the right back bumper, but nice interior with cruise control, power windows and seats, sunroof and stereo. He had the axel and brakes changed 2 months ago and it was certified for this year last month. He says he has been on top of oil change and maintenance. I took it for a test drive and didn't hear any weird noises/knocking, it handled well and the I did not identify any gross engine problems. It has 150K miles on it. I am basically in need of a car which for 2 months I will be driving 75 miles/week (Cambridge to Burlington, MA) and after that less than 25miles/week. He is asking for 2K. I am looking for a car just to get me from point A to B and likely only need it for a year. I have never taken care of a car before in terms ofmaintenance etc and it is my first car in the US so I am trying to keep insurance costs low. Should I pull the trigger or scrape together a few K more and buy something a little newer? I am just worried about it breaking down on the interstate leaving me stranded.
Thank you for your opinions in advance,
Question Deals
Life (Attenborough-version) BluRay for $25 @ Amazon
Added on : Friday April 11th 2014 10:00:03 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Yuyak
Views: 109 Replies: 0 http://www.amazon.com/Life-David-Attenborough-Narrated-Version-B...

It's been quite a while since this version has been this price, as far as I'm aware. Much easier to find the Oprah version for cheaper than this, but in my opinion this version is SOOO much better. Amazon rating is about 3.5 stars with very polarized voting (many 5 stars and 1 stars) but if you look at the 1 star reviews, they're all complaining about Oprah.
Blu Ray Deals

Amazon Coupons
How much of annual income to spend on Vacation
Added on : Thursday April 10th 2014 06:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: chakangt
Views: 25 Replies: 0 I did a little searching and have found a few article on this, but wanted to ask your opinions.

I am self-employed. I take work when I can, as often as I can and I hate turning down work. That being said, I have had consistent work for about 10 years running my own business. I am lately feeling a little burned out, and thinking it has to do with me trying to work so much and not taking enough vacation. Part of the hesitation is I don't want to miss income opportunities. But I think I am over that, and now am wondering just how much is appropriate (or wise) to spend on vacations on an annual basis? as a function of Net Income?

for example, there are other benchmarks we (or others) use as percentages to guide us (e.g. Don't spend more than %33 of monthly income on housing, keep 6 months rainy day fund... ). Of course this is all relative to your unique situation, but thought I would ask if there is rule of thumb.

a couple of articles I found:


and this


however, I trust this forum's community and experience...

I am single, no kids.

I am curious, how much do you spend on vacations every year?

Many thanks for your thoughts...
Discussion Deals
Nationwide Paid Military Study - $160
Added on : Wednesday April 09th 2014 01:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: badsister
Views: 12 Replies: 0 Hoping this can help someone out!

I've done studies with Elliott Benson before - they are reputable and pay very quickly.

If interested, respond ASAP, as their studies fill up quickly.

Best of luck - and thank you for your service!
Elliott Benson Research is currently conducting a PAID study for those affiliated with the military.

The study is taking place April 21-24 and is paying $160 for your participation.
If you, or anyone you know is interested, please click the link below to take a brief survey. If you qualify, you will be contacted by an Elliott Benson representative.

Please no calls on this project at the time, we will contact you!

Keep in mind that at no time will anyone try to sell you anything. Instead, our clients want to pay you for your opinions! All information given will be kept strictly confidential.
For more information on our company, please visitwww.elliottbenson.com/
Link to screening survey to see if you qualify: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ProjectEMPIRE
Discussion Deals
Nationwide Paid Military Study - $160
Added on : Wednesday April 09th 2014 01:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: badsister
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Hoping this can help someone out!

I've done studies with Elliott Benson before - they are reputable and pay very quickly.

If interested, respond ASAP, as their studies fill up quickly.

Best of luck - and thank you for your service!
Elliott Benson Research is currently conducting a PAID study for those affiliated with the military.

The study is taking place April 21-24 and is paying $160 for your participation.
If you, or anyone you know is interested, please click the link below to take a brief survey. If you qualify, you will be contacted by an Elliott Benson representative.

Please no calls on this project at the time, we will contact you!

Keep in mind that at no time will anyone try to sell you anything. Instead, our clients want to pay you for your opinions! All information given will be kept strictly confidential.
For more information on our company, please visitwww.elliottbenson.com/
Link to screening survey to see if you qualify: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ProjectEMPIRE
New home - what builder option to choose?
Added on : Friday April 04th 2014 04:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: arouncoumar
Views: 49 Replies: 0 I am looking at add only those options that are difficult to do using a contractor after I purchase the home or wherein the builder price is similar to what I will get from the contractor. Please provide your opinion by looking at the option listhttps://app.box.com/s/ea83sfmmaxmtd6qgb63l

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Cheap source to update your vehicle NAV DVD for $49
Added on : Monday March 31st 2014 12:00:02 PM
g: -3 Posted By: z3n
Views: 790 Replies: 5 If you are like me and have an older car with a NAV and want to update to 2014 maps, then you should considerNAVDVDS.COM

Most makes look to be $49 + shipping ($8.01 for me)...

I bought the2014 Infiniti Navigation System DVD v7.9for my 2006 M35, which was $149 from Infiniti's website (same exact graphic on the DVD).

Sure, I can use my cell phone's Google MAPS, but this is easier and don't have to worry about unlocking the phn every few mins...


A lot of hot opinions on vehicle navs on the Honda/Acura Nav thread

Updated: Fair points on legality,legitimacy, and authenticity of this site... Updated thread to remove those statements... Buyer beware...

BTW, a 'hot sports opinion' aka "HSO" is a "ticketism" from a sports radio station in Dallas...

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Cheap (Legal) source to update your vehicle NAV DVD for $49
Added on : Monday March 31st 2014 09:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: z3n
Views: 311 Replies: 1 If you are like me and have an older car with a NAV and want to update to 2014 maps (legally), then you should go to NAVDVDS.COM

Most makes look to be $49 + shipping ($8.01 for me)...

I bought the2014 Infiniti Navigation System DVD v7.9for my 2006 M35, which was $149 from Infiniti's website (same exact graphic on the DVD).

Sure, I can use my cell phone's Google MAPS, but this is easier and don't have to worry about unlocking the phn every few mins...


A lot of hot sports opinions on vehicle navs on the Honda/Acura Nav thread

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BiLT Helmets 50% Off Regular Price FS Above $99 @CycleGear
Added on : Monday March 31st 2014 08:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: KGar13
Views: 242 Replies: 0 BiLT is their in-house brand. Decent quality, great price in my opinion.
Great for casual riders or beginners who need decent helmets.

The have full face, full face with bluetooth, half face, and more.

50% is great discount.


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Giant Food Store Brand K-Cups $3.99 for 12-pack
Added on : Saturday March 29th 2014 07:00:10 AM
g: -1 Posted By: carnahanski
Views: 121 Replies: 0 This week Giant Food has their store brand K-Cups on sale for $3.99 for the 12-packs. In store seems like any variety. I bought the dark roast. These are comparable in my opinion to Eight O'Clock brand K-Cups.

That's just $0.33 per k-cup. Pretty good deal without any price matches or coupons I couldn't post a link because the circulars are store-specific, so you have to go to GiantFood.com and pick a store to see its circular.

I know that this is not for people who do not live near a Giant Food, but I hope others will be able to use it. Enjoy!
Mushkin Chronos 2.5" 240GB SSD - $106 @ Newegg FS
Added on : Friday March 28th 2014 04:00:10 AM
g: 1 Posted By: ChinaRider
Views: 168 Replies: 0 Newegg Link

Posting this because the price per gigabyte is the lowest I've seen yet for an SSD in the 240GB category ($0.44 / GB), but also because I'm interested in opinions on Mushkin SSDs. Haven't seen or heard much of them...

Edit to add: 'Promotion' expires today...
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Inheritance coming - What should I do with it? - Next Steps
Added on : Thursday March 27th 2014 10:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dd564
Views: 652 Replies: 11 New here and seeking some opinions.

I am married. I am 41, wife is 36.
We have three kids, ages 10, 6, and 4.
We have a combined income of about $120-130k which has been pretty much the same (due to job changes on my behalf (loss of job, working contract, down time, etc).

We have two houses. One we live in. Value about $450-500k. The other house is our old house which we rent out. Value about $250-300k.
We owe about $315-320 on our primary residence, and about $165k on the rental.

Mortgage payments are both 30 year.
Primary 3.5% payment of about $1460
Rental / investment house 5.5%(?) payment of 1190.
We have two vehicles both of which we bought brand new. One is a 2005 minivan. Paid off. The other is a sedan bought in 2011. Making payments of $350 a month. 1% interest.

Rental Income
Income on the rental is $1850 per month on a 2 year lease.

We have about 90k in IRA's. 20k of that in a ROTH IRA.
We have another 100k in investment accounts.
We have another 25k in an emergency cash fund.

Both her an I both contribute to a 401k at company match levels. (6% for me. I think 4% for her)

Our monthly payments are mortgages, taxes, insurance, etc.
We eat out once or twice a year for an actual dinner out.
Otherwise a few $5 meals when traveling going through a drive thru.

We just stated saving $800 a month to go into investments monthly now that our cash reserve is where it is.

I've been notified that I'm likely to receive a sum of money through an inheritance. (Say maybe $50k).
What would be your next steps?

Pay down the rental property at 5.5%
Invest more in investments and pay off the mortgages slowly. (Tax deductions and the lower rate seem traditionally low).


Mortgages are $1450 on the one we have
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g: 0 Posted By: VivYip
Views: 224 Replies: 0 $19.99 for 52 Weeks of The Washington Post Sunday Home-Delivery with Free Digital Access
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Read Pulitzer Prizewinning reporters.
Access exclusive online content and blogs.
Join live discussions on timely topics.
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Hope this might help someone. Thank you for reading.
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Next Steps
Added on : Thursday March 27th 2014 05:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dd564
Views: 72 Replies: 0 New here and seeking some opinions.

I am married. I am 41, wife is 36.
We have three kids, ages 10, 6, and 4.
We have a combined income of about $120-130k which has been pretty much the same (due to job changes on my behalf (loss of job, working contract, down time, etc).

We have two houses. One we live in. Value about $450-500k. The other house is our old house which we rent out. Value about $250-300k.
We owe about $315-320 on our primary residence, and about $165k on the rental.

Mortgage payments are both 30 year.
Primary 3.5% payment of about $1460
Rental / investment house 5.5%(?) payment of 1190.
We have two vehicles both of which we bought brand new. One is a 2005 minivan. Paid off. The other is a sedan bought in 2011. Making payments of $350 a month. 1% interest.

Rental Income
Income on the rental is $1850 per month on a 2 year lease.

We have about 90k in IRA's. 20k of that in a ROTH IRA.
We have another 100k in investment accounts.
We have another 25k in an emergency cash fund.

Both her an I both contribute to a 401k at company match levels. (6% for me. I think 4% for her)

Our monthly payments are mortgages, taxes, insurance, etc.
We eat out once or twice a year for an actual dinner out.
Otherwise a few $5 meals when traveling going through a drive thru.

We just stated saving $800 a month to go into investments monthly now that our cash reserve is where it is.

I've been notified that I'm likely to receive a sum of money through an inheritance. (Say maybe $50k).
What would be your next steps?

Pay down the rental property at 5.5%
Invest more in investments and pay off the mortgages slowly. (Tax deductions and the lower rate seem traditionally low).


Mortgages are $1450 on the one we have
Personal Finance Deals
Dropping out of a PhD program - how to explain resume gap to employers?
Added on : Wednesday March 26th 2014 03:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: magika
Views: 106 Replies: 1 I am strongly considering dropping out of my PhD program, but am concerned with how to explain the huge "resume gap" between my master's degree and now (4 years). I'm not actually dropping out because I'm not capable of doing the work, I am doing well on the metrics academics use to measure success (publications). The subject is in the public policy area, and the issue I am coming to terms with is that if I continue to graduation I am limited to academia and think tanks, and while policy has a lot more faculty openings than other subjects (especially when compared to the liberal arts) getting a tenure track job these days is a bit like winning the lottery. Also, the fact is I am looking at $50k starting salary and would probably cap out at the end of my career at $80k-90k. I am also not looking forward to the tenure and promotion process, which despite rumors of academics having it easy results in most people working 60 hours a week on their research for 5-7 years to get tenured.

My masters degree is from a highly ranked policy program and I am pretty confident I could use the alumni network and the name brand to get a public sector job without much difficulty, especially in my state. Of course, public sector jobs in my area (I could do any of the following: policy analyst, management analyst, economic development, personnel) also start out in the $50k range but I like the immediate job security, 40 hour a week 9-5 schedule, and the fact that senior management positions later on pay much more than I could ever get in academia. My concern is this: How do I explain to potential employers about my resume gap? I do have "work products" to show via my publications (4 peer reviewed articles, 3 book chapters, 10 or so conference papers) these are work products that are of limited value to potential employers unless its something like a legislative research office.

A side issue here is that I do a lot of part-time work as an arbitrator, which pays well ($2k for 1-3 days worth of work) but the work is completely unreliable (I made $25k from this last year, but the year before that it was only $10k). If I remain in academia I can still do this, although not while I am trying to get tenure, and over time I can raise my fees (senior arbitrators with 20+ years of experience charge double or triple what I do). Most public sector jobs would prevent me from doing this due to conflict of interest concerns and/or the 9-5 work schedule.

My options are:
(1) Continue for the PhD which will take 2-3 years, but limits my employment to academia or policy research organizations. I would then be "overqualified" for a vast majority of public sector jobs. Keep up the arbitration work which could be 50% or more of my salary in 10 years or so.
(2) Quit now and find some way to explain a multiple year resume gap, hoping the gap doesn't make finding a job impossible to do. Quit the arbitration work or limit my job search to positions that offer telecommuting and have no conflicts of interest with the type of clients I work with.

Edit: I forgot to add that I'm not paying anything for my PhD (you'd have to be crazy to pay for a PhD, in my opinion), so continuing down this path doesn't "cost" me anything out of pocket - its just opportunity cost.
Question Deals
Curious on Mutual Funds...
Added on : Monday March 24th 2014 01:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: hurricanedarby
Views: 85 Replies: 2 Hello everyone! I started playing the Mutual Fund game last year after my company let employees get into their mutual funds and they said they'd waive the sales charge (I can't say what company it is unfortunately). I got a great return last year (12% according to the final docs) and I'm getting rouhgly 6% so far this year. I don't know much about mutual funds though so I'm not sure if this is good compared to some of the other funds I'm seeing. What is everyone's opinion on the best funds at the moment? Also, is the sales charge being waived that important? I blindly thought so.....not sure if I was on the mark or not. Thanks!
Personal Finance Deals
North Dallas-Real Estate-Worth?
Added on : Sunday March 23rd 2014 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: cognocube
Views: 117 Replies: 1 Hello,
-We are young couple and a family of 3! - Both in IT consulting- HHI ~150k. We hve about $40k saved for a down payment
-Are contemplating on purchasing a property in north Dallas suburbs - McKinney, Allen, Murphy or generally north of or near Plano TX.
-Are seeing all our known friends and acquaintances buying/bought new 3500+ sq.ft houses in this area in the 400k+ price range (new homes)
-Are also seeing re-sales homes (~10yrs old) in same sizes for about $300k
-New homes have a relatively smaller lot and not sure how the neighborhoods and schools are yet say at Allen or McKinney etc.
-Is it justifiable to buy a new property dropping about $450k (that's what is final cost as of yesterday with Khovanian, First TX, Grand, Pulte etc) for a 3500 sq.ft home.
-it looks like the market is hot for the new homes and builders are almost sold out in many locations!
-will these homes hold value in the future
-Does these Dallas suburbs have a strong economy to support these prices?
-How easy or hard will it be to sell these homes if it needs to be?
-Does a family of 3 need a 3500+sqft home or it it too much for us?r we trying to keep up with the jones?

In a nutshell we will be thankful for a general opinions on buying new homes in these suburbs of TX both from an investment and personal property perspective.

Personal Finance Deals
Need Advice on Renter's Insurance
Added on : Saturday March 22nd 2014 06:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: hurricanedarby
Views: 30 Replies: 0 I currently have renters insurance through USAA at $112 a year including replacement cost. I was looking around at other options; it is getting frustrating applying for quotes only to find out that the company does not offer replacement cost coverage (then they bombard my e-mail and my phone via the info I provided on the quote). In an effort to avoid more unwanted ads, I wanted to ask if anyone here had any advice/opinions on good options for renters insurance. Thanks!
Discussion Deals
How to hold title for home in Ca
Added on : Tuesday March 18th 2014 08:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: 07pilot4me
Views: 128 Replies: 1 searched for this in FW, did not really get a definitive answer.

what in your opinion is the best way to hold title in Ca

1) the loan will strictly be in my name (wife has athin credit file)
2) confused between the difference between community property with right of survivorship vs community property as far as the state of Ca is concerned
3) would like to consider tax implications and also protecting ourselves if unforseen circumstances arise

any help/feedback appreciated.
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Free Ebooks 3-12-14
Added on : Wednesday March 12th 2014 04:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jhall1822
Views: 97 Replies: 0 Note: As always check the price of the books before you purchase, they do not stay free forever! I am posting any books rated 4 stars or higher from FreeEbooksToday

Real Estate Investing: How to Find Cash Buyers and Motivated Sellers
Rating - 4.3 (28 Reviews)

Real Estate Investing: How to Find Cash Buyers and Motivated Sellers teaches real estate investors and those interested in learning to invest in real estate how to define and Target ideal cash buyers and motivated sellers. The book covers absentee owners, rehab investors, Section 8 landlords, and other buyer types. Some of the marketing topics include mailing lists, postcards, both online and offline marketing strategies along with examples. Anyone who wants to wholesale a house or is curious about flipping houses should pick this book to get educated on cash buyers and motivated sellers for their real estate investing.

The Myth of the Garage
Rating - 4.3 (60 Reviews)

From Chip and Dan Heath, the bestselling authors of Switch and Made to Stick, comes The Myth of the Garage and other minor surprises, a collection of the authors best columns for Fast Company magazine. There are 16 pieces in all, plus a previously unpublished piece entitled The Future Fails Again.
In Myth, the Heath brothers tackle some of the most (and least) important issues in the modern business world:
- Why you should never buy another mutual fund (The Horror of Mutual Funds)
- Why your gut may be more ethical than your brain (In Defense of Feelings)
- How to communicate with numbers in a way that changes decisions (The Gripping Statistic)
- Why the Next Big Thing often isnt (The Future Fails Again)
- Why you may someday pay $300 for a pair of socks (The Inevitability of $300 Socks)
- And 12 others . . .
Punchy, entertaining, and full of unexpected insights, the collection is the perfect companion for a short flight (or a long meeting).

The Diary Of An Inexperienced Father: months 4-9
Rating - 4.6 (5 Reviews)

Things were looking up for Graham Peterson in both his career and his love life at the end of the last book, The Diary Of A Hapless Father: months 0-3′, but things were never going to stay sweet in Grahams garden for long. Having had his proposal to Alison refused and at risk of losing his new job before he even starts, 2013 isnt off to a good start at all. One of the only things keeping poor old Graham going is knowing that the first three terrifying months of his son Charlies life are behind him.
Over the course of six months, in The Diary Of An Inexperienced Father Graham realises just how inexperienced he is not only at being a father, but also in his other relationships and outlook on life.
The only question is, can Graham get his life on track before Charlie is old enough to form an opinion of his dad?

Unleashed (A Sydney Rye Novel, # 1)
Rating - 4.1 (244 Reviews)

The Sydney Rye series of mysteries feature a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, dont mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!
UNLEASHED is the first book in Emily Kimelmans best selling Sydney Rye series of mysteries.
When the series begins Sydney Rye is named Joy Humbolt. She does not like people telling her what to do, so it comes as no surprise that she was just fired from her last job. When she buys Charlene Millers dog-walking business on Manhattans exclusive upper east side, it seems like the perfect fit: Quiet environment, minimal contact with people.

But then one of her clients turns up dead, and Charlene disappears. Rumors say Charlene was having an affair with the victimand of course, everyone assumes Joy must know where she is. Joy begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity then out of anger when there is another murder and threats start to come her way.
When police detective Mulberry is assigned to the case, Joy finds a kindred spiritcynical and none-too-fond of the human race. As they dig deep into the secrets of Manhattans elite, they not only get closer to the killer but also to a point of no return. One last murder sends Joy Humbolt hurtling over the edge. Her only chance of survival is to become Sydney Rye.

FLINDERS FIELD (a murder mystery and psychological thriller)
Rating - 4.5 (13 Reviews)

With a quarter of a million downloads, the bestselling author of Max and The House of the Wicked, D. M. Mitchell has been compared to Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Ruth Rendell, M. R. James, Linwood Barclay, Umberto Eco, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens and many others. Discover for yourself why D. M. Mitchell is being regarded by some as one of the UKs most original and exciting writers of psychological thrillers and murder mysteries.
In November 1974, a young woman called Sylvia Tredwin goes missing. Nobody has the faintest idea where shes gone. She was wearing only a light skirt and T-shirt, didnt take anything with her, no suitcase, nothing. Simply went out one dark evening and never returned.
Some say she went off with another man, because thered already been talk in the small Somerset village of Petheram that shes that type of woman attractive, flirty with it, dressed too provocatively. But her husband, Bruce Tredwin, doesnt believe a word of the callous whisperings of the locals as they gossip about his outsider wife. So he never gives up searching for her. A fortnight later on a stormy winters night he finds her. Shes naked in a place called Flinders Field, wandering aimlessly, badly bruised and in total shock. But what she says to him will astound everyone.
She says shes been abducted by aliens, and she was never to be the same again, with tragic consequences
Forty years later and George Lee is coming back to Petheram, the village of his birth. His estranged father has died and there are things his mother would like him to sort out. George hates the village, couldnt wait to get out and make a life for himself as a writer of cheap and gory thrillers. He notices that Adam Tredwin, Sylvia Tredwins son, has also returned to Petheram. As children, the two used to be friends, briefly, before Adams father was killed in the 1980s by a hit-and-run driver and Sylvia took him away from the village.
But its when George begins to tidy out his fathers loft and slowly begins to learn more details about Sylvia Tredwins disappearance that he starts to uncover dark secrets and hidden truths discoveries that will peel back the decades to reveal a labyrinthine world of madness, jealousies, deceit, lies and murder. He little knows his idle quest to find out the truth behind Sylvia Tredwins abduction will have profound and dangerous consequences for all concerned.
D. M. Mitchell pens yet anther taut psychological thriller and murder mystery, set in the claustrophobic world of a small Somerset village, with a bevy of believable characters and a plot that twists and turns in Mitchells inimitable style to a deliciously shocking and unexpected conclusion.

Blood Dahlia A Thriller (Sarah King Mysteries)
Rating - 4.8 (11 Reviews)

A serial murderer nicknamed the Blood Dahlia has been terrorizing the quiet suburbs of Pennsylvania. Brutally mutilating his victims in the fashion of the most famous murder in Hollywood, the killer leaves no trace behind.
The FBIs elite Behavioral Science Unit, the section responsible for the study and investigation of serial murder, has little evidence to go on. Believing the killer to be beyond their reach, the agents in the BSU decide they must simply wait for the killer to make a mistake until they meet Sarah King.
Sarah, a mysterious outcast of the Pennsylvania Amish community, claims she has a unique ability: she can speak to the dead. And the victims of the Blood Dahlia are calling out to her.
When the FBI enlists her help, special agent Giovanni Adami is skeptical of her abilities, but begins falling for the young woman. His feelings for her are clouded with his distrust of psychic phenomena, but as the Blood Dahlia grows in his barbarism, he knows the FBI has little choice but to explore every avenue available.
Whether or not Sarah can speak with the dead ultimately doesnt concern Giovanni. He is interested in results, and when Sarah begins providing some, he must question everything he knows about the world and his place in it. She is either the cleverest fraud he has ever met, or a true psychic with an unexplainable gift.
But when the Blood Dahlia takes an interest in Sarah personally, it will take every ounce of strength she has to survive. And as she prepares for him to come for her, she realizes that not everyone is what they seem
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g: 0 Posted By: LeonWhite38
Views: 221 Replies: 6 Im asking this for my mom so Ill try to explain her situation the best that I can. My mother owns her home outright, but she lets my brother and his family live there rent free while her and her husband rent a small basement apartment in town. I know thats extremely ignorant, but it is what it is. With that being said, shes about $20,000-$25,000 in debt right now and behind on her rent as well. Garnishments from a ghetto loan company called Springleaf Financial nearly wipes out each of her paychecks which just makes this whole mess that much harder on her.

She talked to a bankruptcy attorney and he told her that if she filed a chapter 7 she would lose her home as it would be sold to pay off her debts. She asked if she could put the home in one of her kids name and then file, but he said no as the bankruptcy court sees that as fraud and would instantly deny the bankruptcy. Her other option the attorney said would be to file under chapter 13 which is where her debt would be cut in half and she would be put on a payment plan through the court to pay back the rest of the debt.

The plus side obviously being that she would keep her home going this route. She asked me what I thought about her taking out a home equity lone or line of credit and I told her that Ive always heard that you NEVER EVER borrow money against your home for ANY REASON if its paid off. What do you guys think? To me going the chapter 13 route makes the most sense for her, but I wanted to get your opinions first. She's really hurting here folks and the rest of my family (I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters) really couldn't give a damn.
Personal Finance Deals
Looking for Advice on Affordability of Home Purchase
Added on : Sunday March 02nd 2014 09:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: BillRHIT
Views: 182 Replies: 7 Hi all, I have run a lot of numbers and am on the verge of making an offer on a home. I believe we can comfortably afford it, but would like to hear others opinions and see if I have missed anything. I acknowledge that we don't "need" this fancy/large of a house, but I would prefer to buy our "dream home" now as opposed to buying an intermediary home and in 5-10 years moving up. We live in the midwest (not Chicago), so housing is cheap here.

My wife and I make a combined $250K. ($200 for me, $50 for her). My job is as stable as I could hope for. My income could fluctuate year to year, but should generally increase over time. I'm a new partner in a well established mid size law firm.

We currently live in a $140K home and owe about $80K on it. In addition to that $50-60K equity, we have $450K in liquid funds and $300K in retirement savings. Both of our cars are worth about 25K each and are paid off, and we have no debt other than the mortgage. We currently have a two year old son, and hope to have one more child in the near future. Our current home is too small for a second child. We spend $1000 a month on child care and will send our kids to the local public schools, which are very good.

Home would be 600K, maximum. Property taxes are roughly 5.5K annually with $500/yr HOA fees. With a 200K down payment and a 4.125% 30 year mortgage for the rest I figure the payment (all in) would be $2500/month.

Our net income is about $160,000. This accounts for taxes, health insurance, HSA contributions, and maxing out retirement savings. Obviously this would go up if we were to take on the larger mortgage.

Based on this, the mortgage described above would be ~19% of our take home pay. We would still have 300K in savings (provided our current home sells quickly, which we expect based on it being in great shape and the cheapest home in a desirable neighborhood/school district). I expect to spend about 20K furnishing the new home in the next few months.

Am I missing anything? Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I know many may think this is too much house, and I hear that, but you could spend it in worse ways, right?
Personal Finance Deals
e.l.f. Cosmetics: 50% Off Studio Collection Makeup AC on $25+; FS $35+
Added on : Thursday February 27th 2014 09:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: heyyl0w
Views: 189 Replies: 0 E.L.F. Cosmetics is currently offering 50% off their studio collectionon orders of $25 or more. Use coupon code "STUDIO50" to get 50% off your studio items. Shipping is free on orders of $35 or more, no coupon needed.

In my opinion, their studio line is the most versatile. Their cream eyeliner($3) lasts literally all day when combined with a primer($3). If you're in need of brushes,most of theirs are only $3 if you buy them individually. They're the only kind I use.
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Plight of the overeducated, starving scientist. Advice?
Added on : Thursday February 20th 2014 02:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Rommie2k6
Views: 117 Replies: 4 First, I would like to share my experience as an overeducated, starving scientist, and then I hope to solicit some feedback and advice from fellow FWF readers (who I assume have some level of financial literacy) on how to get out of this hole that I have dug myself into.

Foremost, let's examine on why people pursue a graduate or professional degree after getting the basic Bachelors, so we're talking PhD, MBA, PharmD, MD, etc... The high minded bullshit aside (I want to save lives, it's intellectual challenging, etc...), it's all for money. Generally, the higher your education level, the higher your salary. Most people with professional degrees easily hit $100k/yr shortly after graduation and peak at $200k-500k/yr depending on your profession.

All except me. I'm an overeducated (PhD), starving scientist, working at the interface of chemistry and biology, which is unfortunately overcrowded. I did NOT know this until I was 3 years into my degree, that I had joined an overcrowded field, where supply is way more than demand. In about a year, I'm going to graduate, and I feel royally screwed.

Here's the hole that I have dug myself into. For the past 4 years of my life, I have been preparing myself for a career in the ivory tower, i.e. professor. To be honest, a professor's salary ain't too bad, most of them earn >$100k/yr. The problem is:
a) Intense competition to get a professor position that pays well (we're talking about tenure-track positions at R1/R2 institutions for those who know the lingo, not instructor positions, not teaching positions and definitely not adjunct). In today's world, I'd say you have a 10% chance of getting it.
b) Extremely long times of temporary underpaid "holding pattern" positions between graduation and landing that coveted professor position, also known as postdoc positions. As a grad student, I earn $25k. As a postdoc I earn $40-50k. In comparison, a tech with only a bachelor degree doing "grunt work" in industry gets $50k/yr. Hell, I bet most blue collar jobs earn as much or more than I do!!! In my field, it is the norm that fresh PhD graduates do not get hired as professors. Instead, they spend 5 to 7 years postdoc-ing to get more scientific publications and just hang around until they get a job. To illustrate this problem, I know of a rising superstar in my field, he spent 17 years as a student and postdoc before he finally landed a position at a R1 institution.
c) Combining (a) and (b) together, I am taking a tremendous financial hit to my earnings and retirement. I have run "salary projections" on hypothetical scenario of academic vs industry jobs, based on what information I could gather from sources like glassdoor. I won't bog down with details, but I'll highlight two scenarios:
- For a career in industry that is equally successful (in terms of salary growth) as academia, the industry path will have AT LEAST $1 million more at retirement, which is equivalent to about $300k in today's dollars. The number is conservative, I've only used base salary for these calculations, and not bonuses which are common industry but not in the academy.
- A successful academic career (no more than 5 years postdoc, no more than 10 years for promotion to full professor) will yield the same amount of money at retirement as an industry career that is mediocre (never hitting $100k/yr, some unemployment years).
If these highlights startle you, yes I was dumbfounded as well. Numbers don't lie. The reason for the huge discrepancy comes from the first 5-10 years after graduation. A high paying industry job from the start allows one to save more, and magic of compounding interest works in your favor. Not so, if you are an academic.

Now, here is the REAL kicker. I am GOOD at doing what professors do. Going by metrics like number and quality of papers published (which is how academics are evaluated), I am one of the best students to come out from the lab, I'll say top 10% to give it a number. I've got awards/fellowships that are extremely prestigious (less than 10% success rate). For all my success and good performance, what I am getting in return? NOTHING! If I stick onto the academic path, I'm salary capped below $50k for the next 5 years, regardless of how well I do, and it's unlikely I won't hit a six figure salary until 10 years after I graduate. When I compare myself to others with professional degree, PharmD, PhD in engineering, etc..., those careers make $100k almost immediately after graduation. For those who are not in the ivory tower, I'm sure this comes off as puzzling. I've read a number of finance/career blogs on how to present yourself to get raises and stuff, and it is truly another world inside the ivory tower. There is this perverse culture in the ivory tower that we all do science because we love it and not for money. Yes, I love my work, but screw it if I am not going to see tangible returns anytime soon. The anti-money culture in my opinion is religious and cult-like within the academic world, and it's really frustrating because unlike other clueless PhDs, I am financially aware of the price I am paying.

So why not go to industry then? After all, I have been doing salary comparisons between industry and academic jobs haven't I? That's tricky, here are the considerations:
- From what I have figured, preparing for an industry career is very frequently at odds with preparing for an academic career. I have to chose. Industry values skills, academe values accomplishments and papers. To give an example, let's say that I invented a new cool method to do some sciency stuff. The smart academic will basically milk this method for all its worth and publish a gazillion papers out of it. But that would mean that I have specialized in only 1 thing for the last 5 years, and unless it so happens to fit into the needs of an industry position, that ain't going to cut it. To maximize odds of getting an industry job, one would need to have diverse set of skills with some level of depth, but that would translate to less papers, since the time spent learning new and diverse skills is time taken away from using those skills to get results and publish more papers.
- A likely scenario is that I may not get any industry job offers. What do I do then? Do a postdoc, bide my time and retool/reinvent myself as the industry guy? That's a sound plan, BUT the longer I do a postdoc, the more it makes sense to go into the academic route, especially since I am already doing so well as an academic. Remember that the source of the huge financial differences comes from the first 5 years after graduation. If I can't get an industry job immediately after graduation, and spend the next 3 or so years retooling and rebranding myself for industry and finally get a job in my 4th year after graduation, the salary numbers will look pretty similar as the academic path. Sure industry salary may be a bit higher, but the fact is that 4 years of underpaid postdoc has already happened and the damage is done.

I'm going to stop here now. I'd really appreciate comments and advice from the board. Even if you are not in this field, an outside perspective is going to be a refreshing change.

Lastly, as bit of service to the FWF community, if you know of any young idealistic punk who wants to pursue a PhD in Chemistry/Biology, tell them to run salary projections on possible career path. Honestly, I wish I did it in my first year. If I had, I would have developed myself for an industry position from day 1. But as of now, I'm way deep into the academic hole, and I can't really see any easy way out.

Question Deals
g: 0 Posted By: sherryillk
Views: 224 Replies: 1 I remembered answering a survey for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition last year so on a lark, I downloaded this year's edition on the iPad and lo and behold, another link to a survey for a $5 Amazon gift card. It was on the 2nd to last page of the magazine, right before the credits and clicking on it takes you to a page to put in your email to receive the link to the survey. I got the email to the survey immediately and the survey itself was pretty much exactly like last year's (asks you if you remember certain articles, pictures and ads, and your opinions on them) and took me about fifteen minutes to answer.

After that, the email to the Amazon gift card came pretty immediately after as well. The link I was given to the survey was specific to my IP address so I doubt it'll work for anyone else. But if you have a subscription to Sports Illustrated, you get the digital editions free so I would check if guys find the same offer.
Movies & Music Deals
Have your cake + Eat it too / Cancel ShopRunner = get FREE 1 YEAR
Added on : Monday February 17th 2014 06:00:05 AM
g: 1 Posted By: ClearanceItem
Views: 311 Replies: 4 In short:
- Bought jacket
- 30d Shoprunner w/CC
- Got free S/H instantly
- Got track # in morning email
- Quickly went to cancel antorenew
- Got two SWEET offers on cancellation page:
1. 90 days free with NO auto renew, and
2. BONUS make 3 purchases within 90 days = FREE ONE YEAR

This happened 10 minutes ago: I had to share with FWF
If you enjoyed the short version, please give green.

"Cut to the chase"
Thanks to everyone who includes a short-version in their topic
I like to read long stories with details sometimes, but starting with a condensed version has big benefits
We should all try to "cut to the chase" instead of burying key details in long paragraphs

I've included a more in-depth review with opinion & fine print below.
If you're through reading, have a great week!!!!!!!!

Shoprunner's fine print is amazing:

"We hope you've been enjoying your FREE 90-Day Shoprunner Membership.
Remember, if you use Shoprunner three times during your 90-day membership,
we'll give you a FREE 1-Year Membership! No strings attached.If you do not make three purchases during the 90 days, your membership will automatically be cancelled.
Please note that you will NOT be billed at the end of your 90 days. If you choose to cancel today,
your Shoprunner benefits will end and this promotion will not be valid for future transactions.

Personal notes:
- I had Shoprunner years ago to get free delivery on Domino's Pizza (no fee = more tip for driver)
- I cancelled it before the free trial ended
- Last night, I realized they've listened to customers about greasy $79 "free trials"
- They've improved the sign-up:
- It's a breeze,it'sseamless, it's simple, and the terms are clear & concise
- The immediate offers on the cancellation page: smart

Opinion of what Shoprunner is:
At a whopping $79, Shoprunner is essentially Amazon Prime for stores who:
1.Don't automatically offer free shipping
2. Aren't on Amazon

I can't imagine spending $79 for a year's worth of complimentary shipping.Could you?
Then again, that's how many people felt about Amazon Prime back in the day.
A company that listens and adjusts to what consumers want deserves a positive review.
Well done Shoprunner.

Now I have to hurry and make 3 purchases in stores you've partnered with
Everybody wins.
Services Deals
Balancing Student Loans, Retirement Funds, and life's expenses
Added on : Friday February 14th 2014 05:00:21 AM
g: 0 Posted By: itslikepaper
Views: 49 Replies: 0 Hello,

First of all, thank you in advance for any and all advice. I've been reading and learning quite a bit on FWF for a long time now, but this is my first time posting. FYI - I wish I knew about this forum before I took out these damn student loans.

Main Question: How should I allocate my income in order to responsibly pay off my student loans while still saving for retirement and other life expenses?

26 years old
Employed, Full-Time, earning $48,000 per year - company does not match 401(k)
Married (26 years old, earning $25,000 per year)

$27,718 - 6.8% Unsubsidized
$4,357 - 5.6% Subsidized
$5,512 - 6.0% Subsidized
$22,202 - 6.8% Subsidized
$2,627 - 2.35% Subsidized

Other expenses:
Rent & Utilities $1,100/month
No credit card debt
No auto loans

$11,000 in Savings Account

Here's my two lines of thinking

1. Max out Roth IRA as an emergency fund up to $11k (2014 & 2015)
2. Keep $3k in Savings, but put the remaining $2,500 (11k - 5.5k Roth contr - 3k savings) into the 6.8% Unsub student loan.
3. Pay minimum on lower interest rate loans while throwing everything else at the 6.8% Unsub loan.
5. An option (please give your opinion) is to enroll in an online course at a local Comm College to postpone interest on Subsidized loans.
6. Work hard and earn more money.

Fastest way to pay off student loans.
Simplicity (no BTs and no crossing fingers for some kind of student loan bailout)

No room to save on down payment for house
No retirement savings


1. Max out 401(k) to lower our AGI
2. Pay minimum on student loans
3. Get a job in the public sector (and probably a pay cut) to take advantage of PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness - forgives all loans after 120 monthly payments)
4. Continue to keep AGI as low as possible using 401(k).

Paying min on student loans gives me more flexibility with my money
Significant retirement savings

PSLF, like anything else the government does, is not guaranteed to be around in 10 years
Taking a pay cut
I'm sure there are more cons, but drawing a blank right now

So, it feels like to me that these are my only two options and that they are mutually exclusive i.e. I can't really do a hybrid of both options to take advantage of the PROS. Any other ideas and suggestions are appreciated!

Thank you all again for any advice you can contribute!!!!!!

Personal Finance Deals
Car accident, rejection 1, small claims win, rejection 2, ....???
Added on : Wednesday February 12th 2014 01:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Marlin1975
Views: 229 Replies: 3 ~~Ok thought this was going to take time but not be this mess so here Iam asking for outside opinions on something that happened in 2012.

In late 2012 lets say Bob was driving a 4 door car and sideswiped my car. The car belonged to Bob's girlfriend but he had permission to drive it. He said he was not at fault and tried to fight it. It was obvious he was at fault due to road layout and signs. His insurance company Penn National said they could not decide who was at fault, again it was very obvious.

I filed a complaint with the State Insurance Review. I knew it was a long shot but they said they can't help on deciding fault. So between what they said and Penn Nationals adjuster I sued Bob since he was the driver.

Went to small claims and I had the estimate, insurance rejection letter, and pictures of the road/signs/cars. The judge was very swift in deciding Bob was at fault, again its that obvious. He looked at the estimate and pictures and felt it did not sound obscene or out of line. He found for me for roughly $1600 plus court cost.

Bob said he would send me money himself and I gave him a copy of the official court record showing he was at fault to give to the insurance company. Bob sent $200 which covered the court cost. I never heard from him or the insurance company, this was late 2013 by now. So I gave time for holidays but they came and went with no one sending the payment for repairs.

I then send an e-mail to Penn National to the original adjuster and the general inbox. I gave them a month (over 30days). I do not hear back. I forward the original message back to them again saying this is well past due this time. I receive a message from a 2nd adjuster today. He now gives a 2nd reason for rejecting the claim. He states that their position is that their insured does not have coverage for this matter. I wrote back asking how that was since that never came up and this is a completely different rejection from the first.

That is where I am at now, just received their replay and sent my replay today.

Just in case anyone is wondering Bob is dirt poor. Bob's girlfriend may have some money but I sued him since he was the driver. Bob did have permission to drive the car as I spoke with her as she was trying to make a claim with my insurance, as you can guess they said no.I'm thinking my next course of action is file another clam with the State Insurance board since I now have a valid claim per the courts action. I don't have a copy of the insurance policy of the other driver so not sure if I can get that easily.

So what would you do next that I may be missing?


Personal Finance Deals
Lease vs buy new vehicle
Added on : Wednesday February 12th 2014 10:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: RobInBoston
Views: 208 Replies: 5 I have been one to always buy a used with cash. No hassle, no finance charges, I own the vehicle and can do what I want with it, drive as much as I want, don't have to worry about dings and dents, etc. However, I recently got into a new career field, started making a lot more money, and have decided we no longer need to deal with the "hassle" of a used van, for example, whose sliding door gets stuck/frozen every winter, or having to bring to the mechanic a few times a year, breaking down on the side of the road, having to invest in new tires and brakes, etc. Whatever peoples reasons are, some, like me, now choose to own new cars. And yes I realize this isn't the Fatwallet way, theres usually a huge hit in depreciation the first year but stick with me here...

So Ive looked into leases and have found there are some really great deals locally. Was wondering feedback / thoughts / opinions, would you buy new or lease?

Needing a family sedan Im using a 2014 Camry LE as my example. To purchase, with destination, title, doc fees, out the door price is about $24,000. Expected depreciation is $1800-$2000 the first year, $1700 the 2nd, and tapers off after that.

Now lets compare to leasing the same car, 2014, Camry LE. A local dealership has a $1999 due at signing, and $69/month lease. When factoring in the down payment, this comes out to $124/month, or $1488 per year. So for me this is the cheaper way to own a new car, as it costs $4464 over 3 years vs the depreciation of $5200 for the first 3 years of ownership.

Again, the obviously cheaper method is to buy a 3-5 year old Camry, with depreciation of $800-$1400 per year, and pay for the necessary upkeep as you go, but this is for those who want to own new, do not want to put down a lot of money, etc.


Cheap Lease

Average depreciation for a 2012 Camry

Personal Finance Deals
So, I have exhausted my resources...(Another PDC thread)
Added on : Tuesday February 11th 2014 01:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jakemarionmusic
Views: 100 Replies: 0 Let me begin by thanking anyone who shall read this for their time.

In my search for an answer, i have found this forum to be the only real help.

I used the search function and found these threads:



And though they were helpful and informative, I could not find a solution to my issue.

I have about 8500 in PDCs.

2 Greendot, 2 Bluebird, and a Netspend.

I would like to rid myself of these useless things and put them in my checking acct.

I have considered using them instead of my checking acct for bills, but it would take me almost a year to empty the cards.

The only way I could diminish the balances would be to spend frivolously (<---opinion).

I have tried using Flint, Square, Paypal and Amazon but they offer me no better option.Flint and square do not accept PDCs and PP and Amazon Payments have such low limits that it would take me quite some time to access all of my funds.

USAA, my current bank, will not apply the PDC balance to my checking either.

So I ask of you, what can I do?

Again, thank you for your time, Jake.

New User Question Deals
Any opinions on Gigwalk for extra income?
Added on : Thursday February 06th 2014 06:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: lowpricewanted
Views: 4 Replies: 0 I am looking into Gigwalk after seeing it on ABC news today. It looks like you apply for gigs to go to stores and take pictures of shelf displays or count some inventory. I downloaded the app from Google play but to even get in you need to give GPS access. They do use your location to verify the pictures you take so you can get paid.

There is one gig near me that has you go in and count the floor inventory in a mattress store. They say it will take less than an hour and pay you $30. When I see that kind of pay it almost feels like a scam.

Discussion Deals
Car Accident Law suit?
Added on : Sunday February 02nd 2014 01:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: AMV75
Views: 4 Replies: 0 My wife was in a accident a week ago, she was traveling home from work on the expressway and was rear ended, she was behind a salt truck moving at 45 mph, the car that struck her was moving at 60 mph, she spun out of control hitting the side rails several times, our 2013 Kia was a complete loss. payoff amount $13,500. The cops came on seen and sighted the other driver 100% in fault of the accident. I took my wife to the emergency room where she had a M.R.I. and x-rays. She suffers from severe whip lash and bruising from the airbag impact. Her doctor took her off work for at-least 3 weeks and recommended physical therapy. Her 1st day of therapy will be on Monday. She earns a salary of $80,000 annually. I contacted an attorney and he really wants the case, but they take 33% and I would like to get a settlement without the use of an attorney... according to my research this is what attorneys do....

Obtain and review the Accident Report
Speak to the investigating officer
Locate witnesses
Obtain photographs of the vehicles involved
Review your medical records
Speak to your doctor
Review your medical bills
Communication with the insurance company
Review potential lost wages
Review the at-fault drivers driving record
Review the at-fault drivers criminal record
Negotiate a settlement
File a lawsuit only if necessary

and in the state of Ohio where the accident happened these are the different things we can go after money for.....I am reaching out to anyone who wants to offer an opinion on how much I should ask for or accept from the insurance company (Progressive) in total for all of these items, I have included estimated cost for what I know so far..

Medical treatment expenses ($5,000)
Income loss from missing work ($6,000 and counting)
Pain and suffering (????)
Emotional distress (????, she is terrified to drive in snowy weather)
Loss of enjoyment (????,she will not be able to see her son wrestle in at-least 3 big tournaments,)
Property loss ($13,500)
Punitive damages (????)

thanks in advance, and ask any questions you need to help me figure this out.

Personal Finance Deals
accrued interest - tax question
Added on : Saturday February 01st 2014 07:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: xerty
Views: 31 Replies: 0 Let's say I lend money to a business, and the interest compounds / accrues over time until some agreed repayment date far in the future. For example, I lend $100 at 10% interest, and in 5 years I expect to get paid $161.05 (=$100 * 1.1^5), so my $100 principle and another $61.05 in interest. In particular, during the first 4 calendar years I will accrue some interest, but not receive any payments. Assume both the lender and borrower are cash-basis taxpayers, and that there's no present concerns about collectability of the debt. Then,

1. when does the lender report the interest on his taxes?
2. when can the borrow take an interest expense deduction?

My best guess presently is that both 1 & 2 happen each year for the amount of the accrued interest, despite the fact that nothing has been paid out (again, barring doubtful debt issues). I found some discussion of this here:


but would welcome other opinions or confirmation. Thank you!
Tax Deals
g: 2 Posted By: jaytrader
Views: 234 Replies: 14 I'll be the first to admit that this is not directly related to finance, but rather indirectly. I just got hit by a potentially huge issue last night, after connecting some dots.

See facts below.

Fiancee's father opened LLC in her name in 2004 (she was/is the sole member) because the father is in a union and cannot have his own company (to bill out side jobs) doing the same line of work he performs in his union.
Fiancee and I are getting married toward the end of this year (2014). Fiancee's father recently contacted her to help him write up an invoice for a decently high valueside job.
I dug a bit deeper and realized no income has ever been reported on behalf of the LLC, nor has any of her tax returns shown business income. It is unknown if he's ever utilized the company for billing purposes before recently.
Her father claims he "gets a W2 from [his] clients and puts it on [his] tax return." Anyone with half a brain knows this is impossible (he's not a member of the LLC), not economical for the client(s) (1099 vs W2), and would prove that he's doing side work to his union if he were ever "audited" by the union.
I looked online last night, and the state government site says the LLC is "ACTIVE" and she is listed as the DOS Process contactand Registered Agent.
In my opinion, the fact that there is now an invoice with the LLC name on it shows that there was work done by the company and poses an insurance liability.
Based on what I know about her father, the company has no insurance at all.

I know damn well that I'm not paying taxes on revenue that I didn't see/create. Not to mention, there is possible tax evasion/fraud that has happened in the past (whether intentional or not, doesn't matter). Also, there is now a potentially huge risk/liability, should any of the work her father (or his laborers) performed become faulty or fail and cause injury or death.


What do I do? I want to protect myself (meaning, want her off the company before we're married) as well as her ASAP.
Is thererisk regarding the work failing and causing injury or death, or am I incorrect? If so, who's at risk? The company or her father directly?
Is there past tax evasion/fraud risk? She had no knowledge about his use of the company up until the last week. She knew she was once on the company, but was told last year that her father "thinks she's no longer involved."
Am I paranoid? I know people do this type of thing often, but involving your kids for ten years and then billing on behalf of the child's company (legally/technically) is shady (IMO, of course).

I am prepared to dissolve the LLC and let her father be butt hurt over it, if I have to. The alternative is to push off the wedding until this is resolved. I told my fiancee that I'm not going to willingly marry her when she's part of this. I know she would never do something like this intentionally, and she told me that she didn't know any better when she signed the paper work in 2004. However, she now knows, and I told her this could potentially be a huge issue for her and her father, should anyone get audited or his clients get audited.

Thanks in advance.

Personal Finance Deals
What drives success?
Added on : Sunday January 26th 2014 01:00:10 PM
g: 0 Posted By: monohydr4te
Views: 80 Replies: 0 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/26/opinion/sunday/what-drives-suc...

three qualities that drive success. Thoughts?
Discussion Deals
Tax Planning Strategies, 2014
Added on : Sunday January 26th 2014 07:00:06 AM
g: 2 Posted By: EricGo07
Views: 179 Replies: 3 FatWalleters,It is the season to think about taxes even more than usual; and specific to this thread, tax planning. I thought it might be informative to read stories of how people reduce their tax burden(s). Im personally less interested in those that pick up receipts off the floor at drugstores or other fraud games, and more interested in legal long-term tax reduction strategies. No doubt, circumstances differ and what works for one person will not work or be available to another. Even so, being able to consider is that something I could do too? is worthwhile.A note about SS: I have posted in another thread the mechanics behind SS payback. Please refrain from discussing general SS opinions in this thread, although I completely understand if a person embarks on strategies to reduce SS payments. Im one of them, since I have passed the second inflection point.

My strategies are for small business operations. Summary of the 2013 tax year:
~ 225 - 250k income + Roth conversion
Total taxes (SS+Fed+State) ~ 7,500 all SS

My business is organized as an LLC and taxed as an S-corp. My wife and I are the employees.The business had the following expenses that reduced pass-through profit:
1. Defined Benefit pension plans for each of us. This year > 100k contributed
2. 401(k) contributions to each of us as 6% of W-2 wages
3. Travel expenses (reportable amount is ~ 3x actual cost)
4. Health reimbursement account (HRA)
5. Accounting/Actuary costs ~ $3000
(1-5) cancel fed, state, and SS.

6. 401(k) employee contribution for each of us
7. IRA contributions for each of us.

The mojo behind the final tax liability is a combination of the defined benefit (DB) plan and W-2 wages calculated to be as low as possible to cover our home, and income requirements of the DB plan.Going forward, I plan to manipulate my AGI so that the maximum tax savers credit can be utilized to convert IRA savings to Roth without cost. My low combined W-2 has the additional benefit of maximizing my federal ACA credit for health insurance.
Tax Deals
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 389 Replies: 1 http://www.amazon.com/What-You-Think-Why-Care-ebook/dp/B00F5KX8S...

4.7 out of 5 stars (16 customer reviews)

Tired of Trying to Win Approval and Escape Rejection?

Peer pressure, codependency, shame, low self-esteem; these are just some of the words used to identify how people are controlled by others' opinions. Why is it so important to be liked? Why is rejection so traumatic?

Edward T. Welch's insightful, biblical answers to these questions show that freedom from others' opinions and genuine, loving relationships grow as we learn about ourselves, others, and God. This interactive book includes questions for individual or group study and is suitable for teenagers and young adults.
Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He has counseled for over twenty-five years and is the best-selling author of many books including When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Blame It on the Brain?; Depression: A Stubborn Darkness; Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Addiction; Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest; and When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety. He and his wife Sheri have two married daughters and four grandchildren.
Books Deals

Amazon Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: remick
Views: 251 Replies: 1 http://www.amazon.com/What-You-Think-Why-Care-ebook/dp/B00F5KX8S...

4.7 out of 5 stars (16 customer reviews)

Tired of Trying to Win Approval and Escape Rejection?

Peer pressure, codependency, shame, low self-esteem; these are just some of the words used to identify how people are controlled by others' opinions. Why is it so important to be liked? Why is rejection so traumatic?

Edward T. Welch's insightful, biblical answers to these questions show that freedom from others' opinions and genuine, loving relationships grow as we learn about ourselves, others, and God. This interactive book includes questions for individual or group study and is suitable for teenagers and young adults.
Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He has counseled for over twenty-five years and is the best-selling author of many books including When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Blame It on the Brain?; Depression: A Stubborn Darkness; Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Addiction; Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest; and When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety. He and his wife Sheri have two married daughters and four grandchildren.
Books Deals

Amazon Coupons
Thoughts on significant other staying in school for masters degree?
Added on : Saturday January 18th 2014 08:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NonReturnable
Views: 21 Replies: 0 My wife will be graduating from Penn State World Campus (online college, but same degree as if she went to Penn State in person) with a B.S. in Human Resources.

We have twin girls who turn 3 in March.

She is debating about staying in school for another 2-3 semesters to finish a Masters program in Human Resources / Employee Relations.

The cost would be about 20k, which would have to go on student loans.

She would finish her Masters. She's worried if she stops now, she may not want to go back.
We wouldn't have to pay for a babysitter, she can do the degree online and stay home with the kids. When she graduates is about when the kids would be going into kindergarten, so daycare cost would go from $250 a week to $100-$150.
Better job prospects and more money when she graduates.
Kids have a mom at home, instead of spending all day at a daycare.

More student loans.
She could potentially find a job where they pay for her degree, but it could be a long ways off, and she would have to work + go to school. Doing it without working means she could keep her GPA higher.
We stay a single income family. I have a very stable job with a well known company, and am not worried about a layoff. But, shit happens.

I don't believe we could pay for the school out of pocket, but I will be picking up book costs, etc. For her BS, books cost around $500 a semester, it hurt pretty bad.

What are your thoughts / opinions?
Do it now and get it out of the way and have a longer higher standard of living?
Or make due with the BS? She has friends with BS degrees that make as low as $15 an hour that are all suggesting she just get the masters over with because she could come out of it and land a job right out of school making 50-60k a year.

Personal Finance Deals
Money..Max 401k vs Brokerage
Added on : Tuesday January 14th 2014 05:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: cedricloil
Views: 56 Replies: 2 Hello, I wanted to get a general opinion on if it's better to:

1) contribute as much as possible monthly to 401k

2) contribute enough for matching and then invest rest in brokerage account. I understand this option will be less of an initial investment since it's not pretax.

Obviously my reasoning here is that I feel very comfortable with being able to get a higher rate of return in individual stocks vs the funds available in my 401k.

Investing Deals
Tax Help - Complicated
Added on : Monday January 13th 2014 09:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: roboaflower
Views: 145 Replies: 0 I will be contacting a professional soon, but wanted to hear your opinion first regarding this situation

I have an IRA account and I recently bought 200 shares of "GOOG" (stock GOOG as an example)

I have a non retirement brokerage account which already have 200 shares of the same "GOOG"

I wanted some cash, but did not want to cash out from my IRA account but I also do not want to pay capital gain tax by selling shares from non retirement account and incur capital gain tax.

If I roll over 200 GOOG from IRA account to my non-retirement account (technically a distribution, but more of a short term loan), move the original 200 shares of GOOG from non-retirement account to IRA account (in the process reversed the rollback within 60 days in the IRA account), sell 200 GOOG I just moved from IRA account and cash out ( with recent purchase date in IRA brokerage account and have almost no stock appreciation). Can I save capital gain tax ? Or does it fall under "wash rule" ?

Tax Deals
Family member likely being laid off...sort of
Added on : Friday January 10th 2014 08:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: chaster86
Views: 127 Replies: 0 So this is going to come as kind of a unique situation (sorry, it's kind of long), and I'd appreciate any insight as to how this can be handled in the best way and potentially to get the most payout (from the severance).

My mother started working for a company in February 2011 or thereabouts, in California. She was an executive assistant for 2 senior VPs (medium-sized company). She liked working there, liked her bosses, never had any real issues and always received great feedback and excellent performance reviews. Around Spring of last year I started hearing grumblings from her about the job, a couple of executive assistants and other employees were let go, younger and younger people started coming in as replacements. The company had really become quite different than when she started, in her opinion, and it wasn't treating employees well.

My mom has had serious issues with her knees due to being a semi-pro, rated tennis player in her younger years.Fast forward to summer 2013.She decided it was time to have knee replacement surgery on the worse of the two knees last September. Shefollowed all the right procedures with HR and notifying her bosses that she'd be out for an extended period of time of around 3 months (under FMLA provisions, I think). The surgery went ok, but there was more damage than the surgeon anticipated, including some additional nerve damage that prevented my mom from walking (her foot dragged). So instead of 3 months recovery it would take maybe an extra month or so. She's been doing physical therapy and the process has worked great, she's walking much, much better now.

During the recovery my mom moved back into the house she owns (she was renting previously, and renting out her house) which is about 45 minutes away from said job. During her period of disability from September to December, a family member asked her if she would like to be his employee as his personal/executive assistant (he does a great deal of financing for house flipping partners, and flies his plane around to scope properties around the Western states).

All the while she did keep in touch with her then boss; she was honest with him in telling him she had moved back for the recovery. He commented point blank 'you're not coming back are you...?' to which she responded that it hadn't been decided yet. She ultimately did decide to take the job with our relative, and was going to put in her two-week notice to her employer once she had her 'back to work' date from her doctor when she goes to the appointment on January 16th.

Earlier this week the company's HR department called her asking if January 16th was her back to work date. She said no, that was the date of her doctor's appointment, and she would likely get her back to work date at that time (she said this was a suspicious call the way they phrased the question). Interestingly enough, today my mom got a phone call from a colleague of hers in the Chicago office asking if she had read her email, and my mom said no, she hadn't read emails for weeks. When she did she saw an email from yesterday announcing a MAJOR 'reorganization' of the company. Many in the executive suite were let go, including BOTH my mom's bosses (who had been with the company 24+ years). So, you do the math...

What my mom wants to do now is try to call their bluff, rather than give her notice. On January 16th she expects the doctor will tell her she can go back to work 2 weeks later. She will communicate the same to her employer. She thinks the employer will either straight up tell her she is being laid off, or will send some sort of certified letter to that effect in the two week time period, offering a severance package as well. If they don't she says she will tell them the day before she is to re-start that she will not be coming back. She really doesn't want to go back to the office, and plans on shipping back her iPad and cell phone to them rather than going in person, regardless of what happens.I chimed in and said she really should go back in person regardless of the outcome because I've been laid off before and they did it in person, not via letters or phone calls. She thinks it would be humiliating and embarrassing which I understand. I also told her it's not good to burn bridges in case she needs a job in the future, that not giving proper notice (in case they call her bluff) would be recorded in her file. She's close to retirement age anyways and says she won't need a job in the future after this new one. Keep in mind they ELIMINATED her position by laying off her bosses.

So, my question is what course of action should she take? Should she:

1) Put in her two week notice once she has the back to work date, and forfeit any severance package
2) See if they really are going to lay her off and offer a package
3) Same as 2, but they want to do it in person on her first day back, to which she won't go and she'd put in her notice one day prior to re-start date
4) Same as 3, but try to get her to go back on the first day to see what happens

Another thing I see with this is the company may be smart and think if they lay her off right away that it will look really suspicious (having been off work for 4 months due to legal disability) and put them at a legal crossroads. I don't know how the FMLA works, my mom seems to think she outside that protection but I haven't researched it yet.

Now, yes ethics comes into play here. My mom was fully intending on doing the proper thing by quitting with two weeks, but I don't feel sorrow for what the company has done with this restructuring. The company was not performing badly at all, performance and profit sharing bonuses were given out the two years my mom was there. The guys replacing my mom's bosses are out of the Houston office, hired 2 months ago in their 30s (as told to her by her counterpart in Chicago). I told my mom JOKINGLY just to go with the nuclear legal route, but in reality I would like her to just play her unique situation to her advantage and get a nice payout from company. But I don't want her to burn bridges at the same time.

What would you do in her shoes? I appreciate any insight.
Discussion Deals
Mortgage on primary home or rental?
Added on : Thursday January 09th 2014 06:00:14 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Kinasharma01
Views: 111 Replies: 8 We live in a paid off condo. Now we are looking to buy a similarly priced single family home and rent the condo. The options we have are -

1. Get a mortgage on the SF house when we buy it.
2. Do a cash-out refinancing on the condo and buy the house outright with cash.

Any opinions, thoughts on which option is better and from what perspective? Any benefits of mortgaging the rental property vs primary home? From what I have read on other threads, the mortgage interest is deductible on both properties, so it may not matter. Any other factors to consider?
Personal Finance Deals
CP-2000 on 2012 PayPal 1099-K
Added on : Wednesday January 08th 2014 11:00:05 PM
g: 0 Posted By: mm1g
Views: 99 Replies: 0 Hi,

In 2012 I sold a large amount of used items that I had accumulated throughout the years and this resulted in Paypal issuing a 1099-k. Since I

- Sold nearly all of this personal property at a loss
- Have never generated a yearly profit (don't do much selling, hence the accumulation) and don't expect to in the future (these losses aren't startup expenses)
- Don't rely on the sale of personal property for income
- Put as little effort as possible into the sales of the items (basically just listed everything on eBay in chunks)
- etc etc

it didn't seem appropriate to claim myself as a small business and file schedule C on the 2012 taxes. Instead, I found as many of the receipts as possible for the items and determined that out of the ~250 transactions, a whopping 25 or so individual sales managed to generate a profit. I deducted the eBay/paypal fees and shipping fees for these specific transactions and listed them via schedule D as short/long term gains, depending on when the item was originally purchased. The remainder of the 1099-k income wasn't declared as I understood from irs.gov that "yard sale" transactions of personal property that result in losses are not declared/documented.

Seems that wasn't what they were expecting. Received a CP-2000 early this week indicating they expected a schedule C entry for the 1099-k.

Seems funny that people are likely to get audited for claiming to be a small business and deducting all kinds of illegitimate expenses, and here I am trying to convince the IRS that I'm not a business and my losses shouldn't be deductible.

Anyhows, my question is -- now what? I've attempted to contact my local LITC by phone for support in writing the response but they haven't been responsive. There's no way that I'll be able to itemize a bunch of dvds and video games I bought 10 years ago and sold for a fraction of what I spent on them. There was no intent to profit there, so no need to keep the receipts around. I'd rather not get yelled at for claiming to be a business and then not being businesslike so does that make this a hobby business, thus use schedule A? Doesn't seem logical to claim a selloff where things all generate a loss as a business of any sort, hobby or otherwise.

Would it be a mistake to contact the IRS agent via phone and get their opinion? Am worried this is one of those situations where anything you say can and will be used against you...guess I'm just dreaming that they'd go "oooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh, ok, yeah, you did that right. Let me just click this box here aaaaaand ok, you're good to go. Sorry for the inconvenience!"

Question Deals
Interpreting Early IRA Distribution Rules for Education Expenses
Added on : Tuesday January 07th 2014 12:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Gauss44
Views: 53 Replies: 0 I withdrew money from an IRA to pay for expenses that may or may not be considered "educational expenses" by IRS's standards.

The IRS's rules are here:http://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch09.html

The most relevant part seems to be this line: "Qualified education expenses.For purposes of the 10% additional tax, these expenses are tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution."

My situation: I have 2 kinds of educational expenses. 1. The first kind of expense is preparation for the MCAT exam. IMO, any tutoring, books, prep courses, etc. to prepare for the MCAT might be "required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution" because you cannot go to medical school without a satisfactory score on the MCAT. However, I suspect that while this might fit IRS's definition, it might not be what they meant when writing those rules. 2. The second type of educational expense I had in 2013 includes tutoring, a calculator, pens, and notebooks required to complete free online courses offered by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). I looked up the definition of "enroll" online and it didn't say that paying tuition is a requirement for "enrolling." Since I registered for these classes on the website, I wonder if I was "enrolled" for tax purposes. Since it says "enrolling or attending" I'm wondering if "attending" classes virtually by watching the classes online and taking part in online discussions counts.

I suspect that this is a "gray area" that IRS reps won't be helpful with or will have conflicting advice. Before checking with a tax attorney, I figured I would post this here to see if anyone else has had these questions in the past, in 2012 or whenever, and if you have an opinion about whether or not any of this qualifies as an "educational expense" by IRS's standards.

Tutoring was from Wyzant: www.wyzant.com
Free online courses were from MIT here:http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/
Investing Deals
Amex Platinum Delta and adding my wife
Added on : Sunday January 05th 2014 04:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NielS81
Views: 36 Replies: 0 I've been scouring for past month or so for information but all threads are a bit disconnected and scattered for my situation. So need your opinion.

I want to add my wife to my card. She also has Amex Gold Delta and it's a bit irresponsible if I didn't cancel one of the cards and save in annual fee.
I used to travel a lot in my early days as I consulted and my delta miles are considerably high. But since I've changed jobs and don't travel as much, I'd like to entertain some options.

I've looked through ' what card is right for me' an some other forums but seems like I may be late late to the game and don't have as much latest information on the sites.
Personal Finance Deals
Paying for grad school with credit card?
Added on : Friday January 03rd 2014 02:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: brfitzp
Views: 98 Replies: 1 Hi, I just wanted to get some opinions on this.
I want to get my masters degree and the school i want to go to costs 3250 per 6 month term, a flat fee

I was considering getting a 0% for 18 months card like the citi simplicity in order to pay for school and pay about 542 a month for the next 18 months and walk away from school with a degree that's paid for without any interest.

I work a full time job and shouldn't have much of a problem paying that much per month, my idea is even if i don't pay the full 542 but instead pay 442, that would leave me with 1800 left to pay with intrest which wouldn't amount to much if i continued paying for another three or four months.

It seems like a much simpler and possibly cheaper method than paying for a student loan. Any input on this?
Credit Deals
Stubhub.com 5% Rewards starts today, 12/21/13 thru 12/25/13
Added on : Saturday December 21st 2013 01:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: DaysFan
Views: 195 Replies: 0 http://www.stubhub.com/

The 5% rewards promotion period starts on December 20, 2013 12:00 AM PST and ends on December 25, 2013 11:59 PM PST
Must be enrolled in StubHub Fan Rewards prior to purchase.
Offer applies only to gift certificates purchased on stubhub.com to receive the 5% in rewards. Other event purchases will earn rewards at the standard rate for your level of membership.
Offer only applies to gift certificates purchased in the same order and cannot be combined with other offers, discounts, promotions or gift certificates.
Offer does not apply to previous gift certificate purchases.
Offer is non-transferable, void where prohibited, not redeemable for cash and has no face value.

Except as set out above, all other terms and conditions of the StubHub Fan Rewards program apply to this promotion. Promotion is subject to change without notice.
These are the StubHub Fan Rewards Program Terms & Conditions ("Program Terms"). These Program Terms are effective on September 16, 2013, or upon acceptance for all eligible StubHub users who have successfully registered for the Program.StubHub Fan Rewards Program Terms & ConditionsThe StubHub Fan Rewards Program ("Program") is designed to reward StubHub users for purchasing tickets on www.stubhub.com. Eligible Participants will receive Rewards based on a percentage of their Eligible Purchase or through other promotional offers and have an opportunity to redeem Rewards in accordance with the following Terms and Conditions:

Eligible Participants. An "Eligible Participant" means a StubHub user who meets, and continues to meet during participation in the Program, the following criteria:

1.1 Is a registered member of www.stubhub.com with a StubHub account in good standing (no hold or suspension) and is a legal U.S. or Canadian (excluding Quebec) resident who has reached the age of majority or older in their jurisdiction of residence, with a U.S. or Canadian (excluding Quebec) registration address tied to his/her StubHub account;
1.2 Accepts these Program Terms;
1.3 Receives confirmation of registration in the Program from StubHub;
1.4 Has not been previously terminated from participation in the Program by StubHub.

Earn Rewards Toward Rewards FanCodes. The Program allows Eligible Participants to earn Rewards on every Eligible Purchase they make on www.stubhub.com. These Rewards will then be converted into a Rewards FanCode when the Eligible Participant accrues $10 in Rewards.

2.1 Eligible Purchase. "Eligible Purchase" means a purchase made by an Eligible Participant that meets the following criteria:

2.1.1 The Eligible Participant purchased tickets, gift certificates, parking passes, hospitality, packages, and service and delivery fees after confirmation of Program registration on www.stubhub.com.
2.1.2 StubHub has verified delivery of the purchase via a courier, the ticket is available for download on PDF/email format, or Last Minute Services (LMS) has confirmed ticket pick-up (collectively, "Verified Delivery").
2.1.3 The amount of an Eligible Purchase does not include any gift certificate redemption, Customer Service credit, any FanCodes, whether issued as Rewards under this Program or through other StubHub channels, partial refunds, free items, purchases that fail to comply with applicable StubHub Terms and Conditions, past purchases, and non-shipped, undeliverable or returned items.
2.1.4 For canceled orders and refunds, StubHub will reduce an Eligible Participant's Rewards balance (even if the purchase was returned or refunded after the Eligible Participant already redeemed Rewards for such item) and this may result in a negative Rewards balance. StubHub reserves the right to place a hold or suspend an Eligible Participant's StubHub Fan Rewards account in the Program if the Negative Rewards Balance is not reversed within 6 months.

2.2 Rewards. "Rewards" means a U.S. dollar amount which may become redeemable in the form of a Rewards FanCode (see Section 2.3 below) attributed to the Eligible Participant's StubHub account. Rewards will be calculated as follows:

2.2.1 Once StubHub receives Verified Delivery of an Eligible Purchase, it will issue Rewards based on the Eligible Participant's membership status to the Eligible Participant within 72 hours. The Rewards earned will be displayed on the Eligible Participant's "Rewards Summary" within "My Account". Star Status. "Star" is the status designated to an Eligible Participant who completes fewer than 10 purchases or spends less than $2,000 in a calendar year. Eligible Participants at this status will earn Rewards at the rate of 2% on the amount of their Eligible Purchases. When an Eligible Participant enrolls in the Rewards Program, they will automatically be set at Star status. Superstar Status. "Superstar" is the status designated to an Eligible Participant who completes 10 or more purchases or spends $2,000 or more between January 1, 12:00 am PST, and December 31, 11:59 pm PST, of each calendar year. Eligible Participants at this status will earn Rewards at the rate of 3% on Eligible Purchases. Once an Eligible Participant achieves Superstar status, their Superstar benefits begin immediately upon qualification in the current calendar year through December 31, 11:59 pm PST, of the following calendar year. For example, if an Eligible Participant makes their 10th Eligible Purchase for the calendar year on August 1, 2011, their Superstar status will begin on August 1, 2011 and remain intact through December 31, 2012. Eligible participants with Superstar status may also receive additional benefits at StubHub's sole discretion.

2.3 Rewards FanCode. "Rewards FanCode" means an electronic certificate that is awarded to an Eligible Participant after the Eligible Participant earns $10 in Rewards.

2.3.1 StubHub will endeavor to issue an Eligible Participant a Rewards FanCode within 72 hours after an Eligible Participant has earned $10 in Rewards, but StubHub may take longer to issue a Rewards FanCode. StubHub reserves the right to withhold issuance of a Rewards FanCode if StubHub is investigating an Eligible Participant's compliance with these Program Terms or any other of its policies.
2.3.2 Any earned Rewards FanCode, including its expiration date, will be displayed in the StubHub Fan Rewards section of My Account and on the Rewards summary page. You will also see any unused, unexpired Rewards FanCode in the checkout flow when you make a purchase.

Rewards FanCode Redemption. An Eligible Participant may redeem any Rewards FanCodes issued by StubHub in accordance with the following requirements:

3.1 The Rewards FanCode is valid and redeemable by an Eligible Participant for six (6) months after StubHub issues the Rewards FanCode.
3.2 Rewards FanCodes may only be redeemed on www.stubhub.com.
3.3 An unused or partially used Rewards FanCode is forfeited when the Rewards FanCode expires.
3.4 Rewards FanCodes may be redeemed together, unless StubHub specifies otherwise.
3.5 To use a Rewards FanCode, the Eligible Participant must place an order before the expiration of the Rewards FanCode. During checkout, the Eligible Participant must select the checkbox for the Rewards FanCode they want to use.
3.6 The Rewards FanCode will be applied to the total purchase price and any unused amount remaining on a Rewards FanCode, if any, will continue to be available to the Eligible Participant until that Rewards FanCode expires.


4.1 Rewards Restrictions

4.1.1 Expiration of earned rewards. Rewards totaling less than $10 that have not been converted into Rewards FanCodes are forfeited if the Eligible Participant cancels their membership in the Program, the Eligible Participant's StubHub account is terminated or suspended, StubHub terminates the Program or the Eligible Participant's participation in the Program, or the Eligible Participant has not made an Eligible Purchase on www.stubhub.com within 12 months.
4.1.2 Earning limits per transaction. Subject to these Program Terms, there is no limit to the total Rewards an Eligible Participant may earn for each Eligible Purchase transaction or in a calendar year.
4.1.3 Rewards may only be earned on Eligible Purchases made on www.stubhub.com.
4.1.4 Rewards may only be earned on one StubHub account per Eligible Participant, regardless of the number of StubHub accounts used by such Eligible Participant.
4.1.5 Rewards will be tied to the StubHub account of the Eligible Participant and Rewards cannot be combined across any other StubHub accounts.
4.1.6 StubHub reserves the right to hold back or otherwise suspend Rewards after purchase in its sole discretion to investigate compliance with StubHub's policies. Consequentially, Rewards may not be earned or may be removed from the Eligible Participant's account during StubHub's investigation.
4.1.7 StubHub reserves the right to fix any processing errors it discovers resulting in adjustments to Rewards after posting.
4.1.8 If an order is canceled, the Rewards earned for that purchase will be deducted. If the order resulted in a Rewards FanCode, the Rewards FanCode will be voided if unused. If the Rewards FanCode has been used, the Rewards deducted may result in a negative Rewards balance.
4.1.9 If an Eligible Participant cancels their membership in the Program with a negative Rewards balance in their account and subsequently decides to rejoin the Program, the negative Rewards balance will remain.

4.2 Rewards FanCode Restrictions

4.2.1 Rewards FanCodes are not transferable, have no cash value and cannot be redeemed for cash. Rewards FanCodes will be cancelled and become null and void if sold, purchased or transferred, whether for value or not, except as expressly provided in these Program Terms.
4.2.2 Rewards FanCodes cannot be used retroactively for prior purchases.
4.2.3 Rewards FanCodes cannot be used to purchase gift certificates.
4.2.4 Rewards FanCodes can only be applied during online checkout, and cannot be applied retroactively by LMS or StubHub Customer Service.
4.2.5 StubHub reserves the right to hold back or otherwise suspend Rewards FanCodes in its sole discretion to investigate compliance with StubHub's policies. Consequentially, Rewards FanCodes may not be redeemed during StubHub's investigation.
4.2.6 StubHub reserves the right to fix any processing errors it discovers resulting in adjustments to Rewards FanCodes after posting.
4.2.7 Unredeemed Rewards FanCodes are not forfeited if the Eligible Participant cancels membership. However, these Rewards FanCodes may be forfeited if StubHub terminates the Eligible Participant's membership or terminates the Program.
4.2.8 If an Eligible Participant uses the Rewards FanCode towards the purchase of an item that is later refunded or credited, StubHub will credit back and reissue to the Eligible Participant the Rewards FanCode used on the refunded item with its original expiration date. If the FanCode's original expiration date has passed or is less than 30 days away from the date of reissuance, StubHub will issue the FanCode with a new expiration date of 30 days from the date of reissuance.

Other Terms and Conditions.

5.1 Modification and Termination.

5.1.1 StubHub reserves the right to modify or terminate this Program, in whole or in part, at any time by posting amended terms or a termination notice on the Eligible Participant's "Rewards Summary" section within "My Account", by sending an email notice to the email addresses tied to the Eligible Participant's StubHub accounts, or by any other means it deems sufficient ("Notice"). Except where stated otherwise by StubHub or as required by applicable law, all amended terms will be effective three (3) days after Notice. If any modification is unacceptable to you, your only recourse is to cancel membership of the Program by going to the StubHub Fan Rewards page, clicking "Cancel Membership" and then clicking "I'm sure" to confirm your cancellation. Without limiting the foregoing, StubHub may suspend an Eligible Participant's participation in the Program indefinitely to investigate potential violations of StubHub's policies without prior notice to the Eligible Participant. If StubHub in its sole discretion believes an Eligible Participant has or is using existing StubHub accounts or creating new accounts in order to circumvent or undermine these Program Terms, or is otherwise engaging in any activity not in keeping with the letter and/or spirit of the Program and these Program Terms, as interpreted by StubHub in its sole and absolute discretion, StubHub reserves the right to terminate the Eligible Participant's participation from the Program and their StubHub account.
5.1.2 To cancel membership in the Program, please go to the StubHub Fan Rewards Page under My Account and click the link "Cancel Membership". By cancelling, you forfeit all accumulated Rewards.

5.2 Other Restrictions. The Program is void where prohibited. All Rewards and Rewards FanCodes are subject to verification at any time. StubHub reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to invalidate any Rewards or Rewards FanCodes it deems to have been awarded in error, or as the result of any fraudulent activity, or any activity not in keeping with the letter and/or spirit of these Program Terms, as interpreted by StubHub in its sole and absolute discretion.
5.3 Combination with Other Programs. Rewards FanCodes may be redeemed with Gift Certificates, Discounts, Other Rewards FanCodes, and Customer Service credits as may be permitted by StubHub in its sole and absolute discretion. StubHub reserves the right to disallow the combination of certain Rewards FanCodes with any of the above listed or any other promotions it may offer from time to time.
5.4 Promotions. StubHub may in its sole and absolute discretion and from time to time, offer supplementary programs, rewards, benefits or promotions related to the Program. These Program Terms shall apply to such offers, along with any additional terms and conditions that accompany the offer, unless you are notified otherwise.
5.5 Limitation of Liability. TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, STUBHUB, INC. ("STUBHUB") STUBHUB SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIMS, ACTIONS, INJURY, LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH, RESULTING FROM THE PROGRAM. THIS LIMITATION OF LIABILITY IS A COMPREHENSIVE LIMITATION OF LIABILITY THAT APPLIES TO ALL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING (WITHOUT LIMITATION) COMPENSATORY, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES; LOSS OF DATA, INCOME, OR PROFIT; LOSS OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY; AND CLAIMS OF THIRD PARTIES. ELIGIBLE PARTICIPANTS OF THE PROGRAM AGREE THAT STUBHUB HAS NOT MADE NOR IS IN ANY MANNER RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY WARRANTY, REPRESENTATION, OR GUARANTEE, STATUTORY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, TITLE, AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE), IN FACT OR IN LAW, RELATIVE TO THE PROGRAM. WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, STUBHUB DOES NOT MAKE ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS WITH RESPECT TO WWW.STUBHUB.COM OR THE PROGRAM, AND STUBHUB SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF ANY INTERRUPTIONS OR ERRORS RELATED THERETO. THESE TERMS GIVE YOU SPECIFIC LEGAL RIGHTS. StubHub is not responsible for printing or typographical errors in any Program related materials; for stolen, lost, late, misdirected purchases; or for transactions and/or emails that are lost, misdirected, fail to enter into the processing system, or are processed, reported, or transmitted late or incorrectly or are lost for any reason including computer, telephone, paper transfer, human or other error; or for electronic, computer, or telephonic malfunction or error, including inability to access any web site associated with the Program, or process any transaction thereon. If in StubHub's opinion, there is any suspected or actual evidence of electronic or non-electronic tampering with any portion of the Program, or if computer virus, bugs, unauthorized intervention, fraud, or technical difficulties or failures compromise or corrupt or affect the administration, integrity, security, fairness, or proper conduct of the Program, StubHub reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual connected therewith, to modify or suspend the Program, or to terminate the Program. In all matters relating to the interpretation and application of any rule or phase of this Program, the decision of StubHub shall be final. StubHub reserves the right to cancel, amend or revoke the Program or any portion thereof at any time due to business considerations or circumstances beyond its control. Any attempt by an Eligible Participant or any other individual to deliberately damage any web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the Program is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, StubHub reserves the right to revoke any Rewards or Rewards FanCodes, and seek damages and other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Any attempts by an individual to access any web site associated with the Program via a bot script or other brute force attack or any other unauthorized means may in the sole and absolute discretion of StubHub will result in the IP address becoming ineligible. Use of automated devices or programs to access, accrue, or redeem any Program benefits is prohibited.
5.6 The waiver by StubHub of a breach of any provision of these Program Terms by an Eligible Participant or other individual shall not operate or be construed as a waiver of any other or subsequent or preceding breach by an Eligible Participant or other individual. No waiver by StubHub of any right under the Program shall be construed as a waiver of any other right. StubHub shall not be required to give notice to enforce strict adherence to all terms of the Program.
5.7 Governing Law. For purchases made at www.stubhub.com these Program Terms and the Program will be interpreted, construed and enforced, and governed in all aspects in accordance with the exclusive jurisdiction and laws of the state of California. Any cause of action arising under or relating to these Terms and Conditions will be brought exclusively in a court in San Francisco County, CA. Any claim or dispute arising under or relating to these Program Terms will be brought exclusively in a court in San Francisco, CA.
5.8 In the event that any provision in these Program Terms is determined to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable, such determination shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any other remaining provisions of these Program Terms.
5.9 All Eligible Participant personal information will be subject to the StubHub Privacy Policy available at http://www.stubhub.com/privacy-policy/ as may be amended from time to time in accordance with its terms. Without limitation, Eligible Participant personal information may be used to administer the Program

Services Deals
g: 0 Posted By: ryeny3
Views: 150 Replies: 0 The government has added a new "hardship exemption" from the individual mandateto people who received an insurance cancellation notice and consider the alternatives unaffordable. Although I am not advocating not buying any insurance, this exemption would allow the purchase of the catastrophic plans by people30 and older.

In some states the catastrophic plans may not be cheaper than other options. In NY, Empire offers a catastrophic plan for about $2,200 per year and a bronze plan for about $4,300 per year. One feature that this catastrophic plan offers are 3 PCP visits for $40 each BEFORE the deductible. Although the catastrophic plan has the least out-of-pocket costs, it also has the lowest maximum cost defined here as premium plus maximum out-of-pocket payments. In the best case the catastrophic plan costs less and in the worst case, it still costs less than Empire's cheapest bronze, silver, gold or platinum plans.

Link to announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from Avik Roy's article:


Link to hardship exemption form:


I linked articles from Avik Roy and Ezra Klein about the latest change in the administration of the ACA. Although both write for Forbes, they have very different opinions of this law

General Economics Deals
Do you think I have a case to sue my employer?
Added on : Thursday December 19th 2013 08:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: 77Rus
Views: 32 Replies: 0 Sorry for long story, tried to make it as short as possible but it is still too long. Just need your opinion what to do, if anything to do. Thank you.

Im Russian-American, naturalized citizen, speak Russian at home. Wasone of 12IT technicians,the rest of the guys are Americans.In July Ive complained to our new CIO (ex-military from Cold War time, chief warrant officer, served 12 years) about porn and violent behavior of one of the company owners (700 people law firm with large internal IT; I dont care about porn, have seen tons of it at work, but in that case a senior partner was just driving me crazy pointing on his desktop XXX files, screaming and beating the desk why, why they keep getting rearranged!!!). Anyway, I email and tell CIO, he investigates, tells me that Im right, did a good thing to complain and that he told the guy to behave properly and to remove porn. He asked me if Ive told anybody else. I tell him 2 names of IT folks (another tech and our senior tech). Next day Im told not to work on that PC, it is too much for you to handle, then me and 2 guys Ive told about porn get Final warning to improve work performance" within 120 days (bogus reasons, never had any warnings, CIO has put some crap in it Ive never did, like reinstalling programs trying to fix them, bad customer service not a single example , did the same to the other guys). Im probably the best tech of the firm at that time tons of positive feedback from users, everybody likes me, no kidding here that idiot with porn was the only issue Ive had for 8 years . I ask CIO WTF, he points on his army medals on the wall and tells me that he wants me to succeed, that he has trained hundreds of folks in the military and will do it to me. OK, shit happens, whatever.
I work like never before (Alabama, single income with a wife a 3 yo, scared to lose my job), run around pleasing everybody, positive feedback skyrockets to the point senior partners call CIO and email the whole firm saying how good Im.
One day had to work on printer of the secretary of the guy who had porn (Ive complained about), went to his PC to print and saw all the porn still there. Whatever.Sometime in August Ive emailed HR about new gun law in Alabama (do they need a copy of concealed carry or not if we keep it in cars in closed container), never ever said that I have a pistol in my car just asked what their policy is. 2 weeks later CIO comes to department and says in front of other folks that he will be the first one I will shoot in the office one day. No kidding. WTF I say. Why? Russians have serious weapons in their possession. Dung, OK, whatever.In September I bring him his new phone and he asks me how Im doing. Working like crazy, pleasing everybody. Yeah, he replies, I get emails about you every day. But you know what, it is not about customer service, it is about tech skills. OK, whatever.In October an attorney Ive upgraded with Windows 7 months ago (finally, he was on broken XP and didnt want to move), calls CIO and screams on him because his PC drives him crazy and he never wanted Windows 7. Attorney is a patent guy, often mad, but actually a very nice person did that crap many times, but never so loud I get a call for him, run, he says that all is good, he called CIO to bitch for no reason, Helpdesk was slow to unlock a document, he is sorry. OK, whatever.
I email my manager (new guy who doesnt know the attorney) that attorney is always like that, he is frustrated with his patenting crap, gets mad often, but it goes away quickly. Say I will deal with it.
Next day talk to that patent attorney again. He says my CIO is sending bad emails about me, he is so sorry, can talk to CIO to tell him that it is not my fault and not to use it against me. WTF?Later on that day I work on IT committee leader PC (CIOs boss). Outlook issues nobody can fix, told by Microsoft girl to check his emails blah-blah-blah see my email first thing. CIO forwarded it to CEO, IT Board guy etc that basically Im an idiot cant write emails properly, dont have skills, frustrate users. Dont see a single email about anybody else, only about me. I say WTF, it is too much.10/4/13 I go to CEO and tell the Man that CIO is hostile towards me without any reason. Sends emails with lies about me, gives bogus final warnings, says he gets tons of emails from happy users but still I dont have freaking skills, our system shows I have tons of positive feedback, said in front of all that I will kill him first one day.
CEO listens and says that the only resolution he sees is for me to talk to CIO like man to man. He says he sees cultural differences, he will arrange meeting. He says CIO is like that because he (CEO) is giving him hard time. Crap, whatever.10/8/13 I print that email for meeting. Microsoft girl is there - a witness from HR CIO says. Cant talk like man to man, CIO refuses to talk until I tell him how I found about the email. An attorney told me about it. No, I called everybody Ive emailed it to, they didnt tell you. Did you see it on a computer while you were working on it? Sure thing I did. I printed it for you. He is happy, tells me he sent it because there were 6 follow up after upgrade, nobody else has so many, I dont have skills, most of the positive feedback I have is solicited blah-blah-blah. Tells me to go and check tickets. I tell him that everybody except him likes me, how the hell I can solicit 100+ feedback from users when some of them I barely know, that I cant sleep and eat because of all his lies and I just dont understand why he is throwing me under the bus like a dog. I was a little bit loud and was crying, yes, but I didnt call him names or anything of that sort. Like I said Microsoft girl was there all the time.10/9/13 I check the tickets of the patent guy. 6 calls, none is my problem. Web site didnt work, Java didnt run, document was locked crap like that. Talk to managers (nice people, were always saying Im their best tech) they also say there was nothing wrong I did. I put everything into I nice email and email CIO the results. hey, sorry blah-blah-blah, here are the results, nothing wrong I did, Sir.
2 hours later Im called to HR, CIO smiles to me and CEO tells me to be terminated or to resign. It is bad to print emails without permission and we just cant work together with CIO. If resign, they will keep me on payroll for another 3 weeks and I will be with the Firm, but dont need to come to work. Whatever, screw them, I resign.
No threats, no firearms on me or in my car, no violence, never had a single complaint of that sort, never arrested, didnt have a freaking traffic ticket. They bring my things from IT and an armed security takes me to my car with a facility manager. Always in a case like that it is just a manager, but for me they arranged an armed security. For 8 years I have never seen an armed security in our building, nobody else did, Ive checked later on. We go to the car, security is holding his hand on his handgun, and the whole freaking firm (10 floors) stares through the windows to see what is going on before I drive away. Im not kidding, it was the most humiliating thing I ever had in my life. 8 years over there, zero complaints, and they called a freaking guy with a revolver.
Ive got 45 very nice feedbacks on LinkedIn after Ive left, including from company owners (freaking CIO himself only has got 10 in his life). People I still talk to say they were in shock to see what has happened.
Ive send a letter to HR 2 weeks ago about CIO (mentioned porn and him saying I will start killing people one day, asked to investigate), CEO called me and said that they will investigate it internally since Im no longer with the Firm, and they will not inform me on the results. They cant hire me back because CIO manages IT and it is his decision blah-blah-blah.
Called an attorney I found in yellow book for a free consultation, but he said he doesnt deal with voluntary resignations and advised to contact Equal employment opportunity commission. Thats basically my story.
Thank you all for reading it
Question Deals
Square Enix Android Sale Final Fantasy 3, 4, and 5 for $7.99 each
Added on : Thursday December 19th 2013 03:00:02 AM
g: 1 Posted By: View
Views: 127 Replies: 1 I've beenchecking this dailyand it looks like they finally give in. Square Enix seems to have been unwilling to participate in holiday sales since Thanksgiving 2013.
Apps by Square Enix on Google Play
In my opinion those are all good solid games but paying 15.99+taxes on old IP seems excessive to me.
If you have promotional credits you may be able to get them free without taxes. (Taxes do not apply on promotional credits that have expiration dates--usually 90 days.)

One nice thing about those games is that they are full games without In-App Purchases(aka IAP). So it's pretty safe to give them to kids. (just make sure they don't play games for the whole day!)

Apps Deals
Melissa Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards $5 @ Amazon [add-on item]
Added on : Wednesday December 18th 2013 06:00:06 AM
g: 3 Posted By: sweenepj
Views: 202 Replies: 1 My daughter loves these things. This set seems to be selling elsewhere for about $15, so this is a good deal if you're in the market and already ordering $25 from Amazon. Add-on item only though, which makes it a little less hot in my opinion.

Game Deals

Amazon Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: jnaks4
Views: 218 Replies: 1 Hi all, I was hoping to get some advice from you who are extremely more knowledgeable when it comes to money management and financial advice.

Here's the basics of my situation:

-Recently graduated in 2011, so there are still 8 years left on my student loan repayment plan. total monthly payment of $2032.
-11 loans that total just about $145k at either 7.65% or 6.55%
-$19652 @ 7.65%
-$15702 @ 7.65%
-$9492 @ 7.65%
-$26165 @ 6.55%
-$25007 @ 6.55%
-$22273 @ 6.55%
-$7179 @ 6.55%
-$7179 @ 6.55%
-$7178 @ 6.55%
-$2559 @ 6.55%
-$2217 @ 6.55%
-Gross income of $121,430, net of $2820 per biweekly paycheck
-currently contributing just 5% to my 401k to maximize the company match
-employee stock purchase plan option at 15% discount, but currently not investing anything here
-Rent and all other living expenses total $1200-$1500 per month.
-Savings at 35,000

I was thinking about my situation the other day and don't especially care for the thought of dumping most of a paycheck toward my student loan debt for the next 96 months. I have been considering making more than the standard loan payments to expedite the process, but have heard differing opinions with regards to investing vs. paying down debt early. Any input regarding my situation would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much in advance.
Investing Deals
g: 0 Posted By: jnaks4
Views: 97 Replies: 0 Hi all, I was hoping to get some advice from you who are extremely more knowledgeable when it comes to money management and financial advice.

Here's the basics of my situation:

-Recently graduated in 2011, so there are still 8 years left on my student loan repayment plan. total monthly payment of $2032.
-11 loans that total just about $145k at either 7.65% or 6.55%
-$19652 @ 7.65%
-$15702 @ 7.65%
-$9492 @ 7.65%
-$26165 @ 6.55%
-$25007 @ 6.55%
-$22273 @ 6.55%
-$7179 @ 6.55%
-$7179 @ 6.55%
-$7178 @ 6.55%
-$2559 @ 6.55%
-$2217 @ 6.55%
-Gross income of $121,430, net of $2820 per biweekly paycheck
-currently contributing just 5% to my 401k to maximize the company match
-employee stock purchase plan option at 15% discount, but currently not investing anything here
-Rent and all other living expenses total $1200-$1500 per month.
-Savings at 35,000

I was thinking about my situation the other day and don't especially care for the thought of dumping most of a paycheck toward my student loan debt for the next 96 months. I have been considering making more than the standard loan payments to expedite the process, but have heard differing opinions with regards to investing vs. paying down debt early. Any input regarding my situation would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much in advance.
Investing Deals
$10 from Serve for completing a short survey
Added on : Friday December 13th 2013 10:00:04 AM
g: -2 Posted By: maydepot
Views: 271 Replies: 0 Check your email... took 5 mins to complete for me.


Your participation will provide valuable information that can help us better serve your needs.

At American Express, we recognize that listening to the opinions of our customers is one of the most important things we can do. We invite you to participate in a survey as part of our continuous effort to understand customers' needs and improve the quality of our products and services and your experiences with them.

As a token of our appreciation, we will give you a $10 check if you qualify and complete the survey. You will be asked to provide delivery information to be used for shipping purposes only. If you do not qualify you will not be able to complete the survey.

This survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete depending on your answers to the questions. Please note that this survey will be closed once we've received a sufficient number of responses for analysis1.

Estranged wife making medical and financial decisions for dying husband
Added on : Monday December 09th 2013 04:00:09 AM
g: 4 Posted By: Herb
Views: 520 Replies: 2 My father in law recently had a cardiac arrest and is currently in a coma and not expected to survive. His current wife and him were estranged prior to this and divorce proceedings have been filed although nothing has been finalized. He is survived by three adult children, none of whom are related to the current wife. Despite the estrangement, his current wife is representing herself as the primary decision maker in all matters, both medical and financial. The children and his wife have serious differences of opinion. I guess I have two major questions:

1. Is the wife legally correct that she is the sole medical decision maker, even though they are estranged and had filed for divorce? Are there legal grounds for them to contest this? As far as I know, he never completed an advanced directive or durable power of attorney document. My wife and her family would like to pursue hospice but her Dad's wife is talking about a tracheostomy and continuation of aggressive care.
2. Does the pending divorce make any difference in the division of the estate? My father in law left no will. We assume the community property will be hers but are worried that she will rightfully claim all separate property as well.

Of course we have an appointment with an attorney tomorrow but I wanted to see if I could get any further insight into a messed up situation. This is in California by the way, which likely matters a lot. Thanks in advance for your time.

Edited to change title
Question Deals
Probate Question
Added on : Sunday December 08th 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: Herb
Views: 11 Replies: 0 My father in law recently had a cardiac arrest and is currently in a coma and not expected to survive. His current wife and him were estranged prior to this and divorce proceedings have been filed although nothing has been finalized. He is survived by three adult children, none of whom are related to the current wife. Despite the estrangement, his current wife is representing herself as the primary decision maker in all matters, both medical and financial. The children and his wife have serious differences of opinion. I guess I have two major questions:

1. Is the wife legally correct that she is the sole medical decision maker, even though they are estranged and had filed for divorce? Are there legal grounds for them to contest this? As far as I know, he never completed an advanced directive or durable power of attorney document. My wife and her family would like to pursue hospice but her Dad's wife is talking about a tracheostomy and continuation of aggressive care.
2. Does the pending divorce make any difference in the division of the estate? My father in law left no will. We assume the community property will be hers but are worried that she will rightfully claim all separate property as well.

Of course we have an appointment with an attorney tomorrow but I wanted to see if I could get any further insight into a messed up situation. This is in California by the way, which likely matters a lot. Thanks in advance for your time.
Question Deals
Flight to China - Is this a good deal?
Added on : Sunday December 08th 2013 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ranman1973
Views: 30 Replies: 0 I came across a flight to China, direct from Seattle, and I'm wondering if this is a 'good deal' or not, relative to normal or typical prices.

September 2014
Direct flight, Seattle to Shanghai, $675 return
Direct flight, Seattle to Beijing, 875 return.

These seem like amazing deals to me, but I have no prior knowledge of flight prices. Is this such an amazing deal that I should grab these while they last? Or are these prices a dime a dozen, and there's no rush to book this far in advance?

Opinions appreciated.
Air Travel Deals
Polk I-Sonic iPhone Dock/Clock/Radio $49 AR from Newegg
Added on : Saturday December 07th 2013 04:00:08 AM
g: 2 Posted By: fatgempler
Views: 259 Replies: 3 Newegg has the Polk i-Sonic for $99 less a $50 mail-in rebate and shipped free.
That's just $49!
The i-Sonic is a powerful audio system that in my opinion outshines any Bose unit.
It originally sold for over $300 but has been discontinued and these are obviously closeouts.
It has the older style 30 pin Apple iPhone/iPod Touch connector.
It doesNOT have the newer Lighting connector of the iPhone 5/5S/5C or the newest iPod.
But if you an iPhone 4S or older or an iPod Touch with the 30 pin connector then this thing rocks.
It will beat the pants off of any other speaker system out there costing under $250.
And it does function as a clock and a radio too.
Thinking they could sell it direct to the public like Cambridge Soundworks or Bose, Polk did a terrible job marketing this product when it first came out by not selling it in retail stores.
So not many people know about it.
And now with all the power speaker manufactures using Bluetooth to make their products more universal (Droid/Blackberry/iPhone) they have lowered the potential sound quality as Bluetooth connections are not nearly as good sounding as a direct connection.
You can still connect newer iPhone or other devices via the RCA type AUX connectors so this unit has years of life left in it.
But it is certainly nice to drop your iPhone into this unit, have it charge, and be able to use the i-Sonic remote to manipulate tracks and volume.
The unit is bigger than most of today's speaker systems and really kicks out the jams.
Buy it at Newegg for $99 with free shipping (be sure to tick the free shipping box at checkout) and $50 rebate that comes as a Visa card.
Product detail available on Polk's website...

Headphones & Speakers Deals

Newegg Coupons
CenturyLink raising standalone DSL rates $2/mo
Added on : Tuesday December 03rd 2013 02:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: medion
Views: 0 Replies: 0 I know that CenturyLink got slammed on various sites about this last time. I even made a thread about it here. However, there are two key differences this time. First, notices are actually being sent out BEFORE the hike. With the last rate hike, all we got was a modified contract that, with fine print, said that CenturyLink can change the terms without notice to the customer. The second change is that, unlike last time, the $2 fee is offset by promotions. So, if you're on a $50 plan with a $20 credit ($30 effective), that will now become a $52 plan with a $22 credit for the duration of your promo. I know that CenturyLink needs to offset their losses as they're in an industry that is in steep decline. It's just nice that they didn't screw over promotional users like last time. I'm of the personal opinion that their last stunt was illegal, but A) I'm not expert, and B) no one tells a telecommunications company that they can't do something. Below is the full text of the notice sent out this past week;
CenturyLink Mailer said: Our goal at CenturyLink is to provide you with the best possible service and timely information regarding changes that impact your account. Effective with your December bill, the monthly recurring charge for your pure broadband service will increase by $2.00. If you currently receive a discount as part of a new customer promotion, your monthly discount will also be increased to offset the monthly rate increase for the duration of your promotion. Rates will remain unchanged for customers with existing Price Lock or Price for Life promotions. If you have any questions, please contact a Customer Care Representative at the telephone number printed on your bill. Thank you for choosing CenturyLink for your communication needs - we value you as our customer.

whats your take on this ?
Added on : Sunday December 01st 2013 12:00:09 PM
g: 0 Posted By: vistaluck
Views: 5 Replies: 0 The speaker is well known "Peter Schiff" I also like Gerald Celente but he is kinda angry so his opinion is not very clear. Peter on the other hand, has a clear mind

General Economics Deals
Whats your take on economy direction
Added on : Friday November 29th 2013 11:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: VAIndigo
Views: 184 Replies: 2 I heard strong opinions on both sides. Some articles and personal opinions suggest we are on a strong footing while there are other respected analysts believe things are largely covered up and economic and financial future here is ugly.
Which side of the fence are you and what is your reasoning?

You see articles in papers stating housing recovery is great while you see some analysts saying its doomed. I am in no means saying this guys is a reputed and noteworthy but the sentiment is there.

Has housing market in up trend or not yet? My personal experience from Northern Virginia area is ... builders are saying "Good you want to buy a house .. let me put you on waiting list .. sorry i am oversold for this month. I can't sell anymore until next month..." .. Hmmm
Discussion Deals
Two incense deals. Nippon Kodo and Essenceof ages
Added on : Friday November 29th 2013 06:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: kingaroonie
Views: 74 Replies: 0 Nippon Kodo has some gift bag deals today on incense
Also, Essence of Ages is having their popular 12 days of Christmas sale
While I'm mentioning sites, http://www.japanincense.com/new1.html has a few things on sale that you might want to check out.

If you're uncertain what to buy, go over to independent review site Olfactory Rescue Service and do a search.Although I'm a serious incense aficionado, The guys at Olfactory Rescue Service really have golden noses, and I'd trust their opinions.

Home & Garden Deals
Sony Xperia Tablet Z 16GB (BB return) @ Cowboom - $299
Added on : Monday November 25th 2013 04:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: infinitemonkeys
Views: 226 Replies: 0 One of Cowbooms better deals in my opinion. They are offering the Sony Xperia Tablet Z model=12pxSGP311U1/B for $299, down from $499 new. This is a nice latest gen table in its own right, though released months ago. It has three features which recommend it in a field of look-alikes. First, it is the only tablet which is submersible. It can get wet or even be dropped in water and not only not be ruined, but still function. Second, it has an ir emitter which makes the tablet useful as a remote for media devices. Third, it is thinner and lighter than most competitors of its generation, though perhaps no thinner than the current round. Still, it's an excellently engineerred piece of gear.

=12pxNote that the wear indication is that there will benoticeablescratches. All original components (charger, cable, etc...) are indicated to be included.

I did not see this particular table on any BF list and even older posts rarely had it below $450, so it's a nice savings if you can accept signs of wear.

Of course, there are two camps about CowBoom, those who like being able to buy BestBuy returns at significant savings and are willing to accept signs of wear and those who do not believe a returned item (not refurbished) is a value. I have made several purchases from CowBoom and been happy that they were all completely functional and showed less wear than indicated.

Android Tablets Deals

CowBoom Coupons
Help: Issues with a Mechanic
Added on : Friday November 22nd 2013 12:00:08 PM
g: 0 Posted By: fongo61
Views: 172 Replies: 0 Hey FatWallet I need your help in figuring out my next step I was recently in the market to purchase a car. I asked my friend who's knowledgeable about cars for help and he recommended a guy that his coworker deals with. The coworker has purchased several cars from him in the past and continues to do business with him.

The mechanic basically buys cars at an auction and repairs them. Being highly recommended I found a car and put down $3,000 (cashiers check) to have him fix the car. He wrote out the contract for the car stating that he would sell it for $10,500. We verbally agreed that I can have the car looked at by a second opinion and he would fix any issues. I checked on the car 2 weeks later and he completed some of the work and paid him another $1,000 and got preapproved for a loan for the remainder. He said that the car would be done in two weeks. I go to the shop on that date and he said that his kid was sick and he had to take care of him/her. So I gave him a few weeks and proceeded to follow up with him.

He said that the car would be complete last week. I told him I would take the day off of work to get the car looked at, and pay him the remainder of the balance. So I called him up that morning at 9am and 10am and he didnt reply and went to the shop to check to see if he was there. When I arrived at the shop he wasnt there and the car was in the same shape it had been the last time I visited him. I told his workers to let him know I came and called him (he didnt pick up).

In total Ive been without a car for about 10 weeks; I dont really need one, but I want to get this thing squared away. Right now Im looking at legal options and trying to figure out my next step. If you can help in any way I would greatly appreciate it.

Edit: Right now I'm looking at small claims court. I was given wrong information and thought that the amount was over the needed amount for small claims cout.

Paid $4,000 (paid in cashiers check) to a mechanic to fix a car
Drafted a crude document stating the terms(price, car, vin, company name)
Mechanic is not being responsive
Need suggestions on next step
Personal Finance Deals
Sitting on cash with a student loan decision to make...
Added on : Wednesday November 20th 2013 05:00:15 PM
g: 0 Posted By: jd2010
Views: 161 Replies: 0 Time for another installment of "pay your student loans, deadbeat."

Backstory: Over the past 2.5 years my financial picture has gone like this:
Then Now IRA 0 15000 401k 0 30000 Cash 0 25000 CC Debt -20000 0 Student Loans -140000 -125000
I am juggling a lot of variables and want to rely on the wisdom of FWF to help me make the best decision. There are multiple issues at play making the right call here murky (at least in my opinion)

As of today, all student loans are consolidated on Income Based Repayment (IBR) at a weighted 7.2%. My monthly payment is around $900, which covers interest but makes near 0 dent in principal.

1) Employment - Employment and promotion prospects are murky due to bureaucracy and being under the sales dept umbrella at Fortune 500 employer. I could be out on my ass in a month if we miss #s and mgmt wants the stock to go up a penny or two. Job is also semi unique and am not sure how easily I could find similar employment at a similar comp level. Changing comp changes my monthly loan payment, and thus, the entire game if something should happen to jobby.

2) House - I missed the bottom by a lot and am not in any rush to buy now, but I'd like the liquidity to take advantage of the next crash when helicopter ben runs out of steam, along with any other FWF shenanigans that require some capital to scale.

3)Car - Has several issues and the carfax is ugly to where I am probably best served driving it into the ground. I may need to make a vehicle purchase in next year or in 5 years, depending on how long bubblegum and duct tape holds it together.

4)Bailout possibilities/point of no return- I have been hesitant to start going hard at my loans so far. I am at the income and loan amount combination, where if I don't see a jump in pay, I am probably better off doing the status quo for a while and seeing what comes down the chute from govt. Once I commit $ to loans I am basically opting out of whatever bailout may come in the future because my debt/income will likely be too low to benefit. If I get a promotion I'll likely be making enough to where I can knock them out in 5 years or so and procrastinating won't make sense. But as it is now I feel stuck.

Wildcard: GF will be graduating with 200k in debt in 1.5 years and taking job in health sector, with potentially much more lenient student loan forgiveness terms. We have no plans of getting married or having kids. However, we would consider a paper marriage should it behoove us from a student loan perspective where my loans may be able to be shell-gamed in combination with hers to maximize forgiveness benefits and start attacking the ones that make the most sense jointly.

As I see my options, they fall into varying degrees of the following two scenarios...

Continue to stockpile cash and pay the IBR minimums, which will cover interest and wait for the house of cards to fall and pray for free $.
1) Will be in good shape if I get canned
2) if my car takes a dump
3) if at some point I want to do a house
4) Most notably, am positioning myself as well as I can to take advantage of apotential wide-reaching student loan bailout when the whole higher ed bubble goes boom.

1) Passing onrisk-free guaranteed 7+% return (assuming no bailout)

Throw most of the 25k at student loans
1)7% return and I am a responsible FWF citizen who PHBDB.

1) Shoots all liquidity to hell, limited ability to do house or car for foreseeable future
2) Once I go down the path of actually paying back my loans, my loan total will shrink to where I will be far less likely to qualify for any govt cheddar. It is basically a 10 year decision if I decide to start paying them down.

Would appreciate outsider input as to whether Im overcomplicating this. If I do keep stockpiling, how aggressively do I then invest it ranging from 1% CD to putting it all on black in vegas?
Personal Finance Deals
A halooween party(a very late party)
Added on : Tuesday November 19th 2013 04:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: g4015
Views: 22 Replies: 0 Hello guys,i am sorry for this thread here but this is the only forums where i am active,and sorry for this thread bcz its late but we are having a halooween party in 22 and its late bcz of exams at schools and uni.
Guys i am thinking of making michael jackson personality,what do you think?do you have better ideas for making another better personality?
Really appreciate every single opinion shared.
I am sorry again and thank you all
Totally Free Deals
g: 0 Posted By: billybluth
Views: 93 Replies: 0 Rocky Patel Royal Vintage 10 CIGARS for $37.50 at Cigars International Free Shipping. Great tasting cigars in my opinion. This 10 pack is normally $96
Grocery Deals
Jabra Solemate $99 at Sams Club
Added on : Tuesday November 12th 2013 03:00:02 PM
g: 0 Posted By: necostanzo
Views: 5 Replies: 0 I've been looking for a bluetooth speaker and was planning on getting the $200 Bose Mini Soundlink until I was in the Sams Club store today. During the month of November, they have a $30 instant savings on the Solemate, which brings the price from $129 down to $99. For that price, it's probably the best buy in portable bluetooth speakers.

Sams Link:Sams solemate

Amazon Link:Amazon solemate

I know that there are tons of opinions, but understand that the reviews of this product are from when it was originally priced at $199 and at Amazon it's still $149 and is favorably reviewed against the jambox. If you consider that you are getting it for about $100, it makes it a no brainer. Loud, good sound quality, rugged, and something not mentioned anywhere...great customer support from Jabra. I just looked at their support website and they just released a firmware update for this device. Complaints about Iphone pairing (fixed in the latest firmware) and stupid voice prompts (can be turned off) are issues that are resolved. Enjoy...I'm buying several for xmas presents.
Headphones & Speakers Deals

Sams Club Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: mulanijem
Views: 125 Replies: 1 Current situation:
- Own 250k on note at 4.6 percentfor 30yrs (purchased for320 and put 20 percent down)
-Based on latest taxassesment home only worth 275 so no longer at80 perventLTV

Based on currentincomeand savings I would be able to pay the note off in 5 yrs and have good cash reserves.Was eyeing the penfed 5/5
refi howeverI know I'll have tobring cash to table to get to 80 percent LTV and not pay PMI. But if my intentisto pay off the note anyway
I'mthinkingit'seither pay now or pay later.Also penfed convering closing cost's on the 5/5is big incentive. The con's arebasiclyif
everythinggoes's tohell Ibasiclyam stuck in the house and loose ability to cut losses and just walkaway. But at same time over 30 yrs
the amount of intrest paid is huge andearning more then4.6 percenton cashlikely will not happen againas fed has locked into zirp to infinity.
Seem's like doing the penfed 5/5 refi is a no brainer, but wanted some input from the fwf crowd tosee if I'm missing something.

Personal Finance Deals
g: 1 Posted By: SUy81
Views: 279 Replies: 1 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android...

I installed this on my phone today, did an opening 8 question survey (2 minutes), then I was able to do another 8 question survey (about 2 minutes) immediately after and earn $1. Took my wife's phone and did it on her phone with the same result and earned a $1 credit.
Surveys & Rewards Deals
g: -2 Posted By: mxmaniac
Views: 142 Replies: 5 Just looking for some opinions. We know there are a lot of very corrupt people in power, who are able to use their money and power to influence and change many things in their favor, and halt things against there favor. They have to have their money invested somewhere. So do you think there are stocks out there that will always have great gains, and never fail because those in power will absolutely control them?

Or perhaps stocks rooted too deeply in the government that will never fail or loose major value, because if they were struggling, the government would simply print more money, or else provide a bailout.

I'm sort of torn on this subject, as I find this sort of corruption unethical, and supporting it would be an atrocity. However on the other hand, since it does exist, and there is no stopping it, perhaps piggy backing off of it is the only way to avoid being run over by it.

Investing Deals
Zoogue iPhone 5/5s/5c Ultra Clear Screen Protector $0.01+$2.98 Shipping
Added on : Thursday November 07th 2013 07:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: dsp282
Views: 237 Replies: 0 I have a couple of these and can't say enough about the quality and clarity of the these protectors. Most people I show this to can't even tell there is a screen protector on my 5s. It's very smooth and doesn't have the orange peel effect that some other screen protectors have. It comes out to $2.99 a piece for a protector with S&H, but at that price it is well worth it in my opinion.

iPhone 5/5s/5c Ultra Clear Screen Protector

I'm not sure how long there promo is going on for as it isn't listed on their site. But they do seem to run this from time to time.
Cell Phones Deals
Rollover out of my old 401K to Regular or Roth IRA?
Added on : Tuesday November 05th 2013 07:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: DrewR
Views: 82 Replies: 4 I have about 33K sitting in a John Hancock 401K from a job I left about 6 weeks ago. I would like to get it out of the current account due to high expense ratios and into a Vanguard account, but I can't decide between a Roth IRA and a regular IRA.

I can afford to pay the extra 3k or so in taxes I will face at the end of the year due to the Roth conversion out of pocket, and I was pretty sure I was just going to do a Roth conversion until I read a blurb on Vanguard's site about tax diversification (https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insights/article/bruno-ira-tax-diversification-062013). I already have a Roth with about 5K in it that I will be attempting to max out each year going forward, so by keeping my 401K proceeds in a traditional IRA, I would get some diversification by holding both types of IRA's.

I already understand the considerations of Roth vs Traditional as far as estimated tax bracket when I retire, minimum required distributions, etc, so I guess my question comes down to: How important is tax diversification really? I'd really like to put everything into my Roth but I'm wondering if having it all in one basket is a bad idea.

Any opinions are appreciated. Thanks.
Personal Finance Deals
Starting New Job, Working Out Logistics and Seeking Opinions
Added on : Tuesday November 05th 2013 04:00:12 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Dus10
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Well, an opportunity and its timing have finally worked themselves out for me to make an employment move. I have been working at my current employer for nearly 4 years and it has been a tremendously positive experience. When I started, it was a 15% pay increase and had some requirements for higher end industry certifications for which they funded training. Over the years, I received good reviews with a carrot of promotion which eluded me because I took on our biggest project and it left me without any time for some of the new duties I would have in addition to it. In addition, they paid for about 4/5 of a masters degree for me and most of that has rolled off of the tuition payback timetable. Each year I have had at least one job offer that was for significantly more money, but the benefits were less; while it came out positively for the move, I decided to stay because of the short-term costs of paying back my tuition that would have been more significant and I felt I was doing good work that would benefit me into the future. This year, I have had three job offers and this latest is a good opportunity, I believe. The pay is slightly less than other opportunities, but it has a better bonus potential and benefits that are very close to what I have now.

So, I have some logistics to work out assuming I accept the offer (which is my plan). First, the new employer has a 30-day waiting period for insurance. This is a big deal for me as my wife has been ill for many years. The last time I had a small gap in insurance, it was a big deal. The new recruiter thought that perhaps my current employer would have my coverage through the end of the month, so I could have my last day be at the beginning of the month and it would give me that month to absorb those 30 days. The timing isn't working out well, though, as the next orientation opportunity would be Dec 2nd, making my last day Nov 29th. Is the "through the end of the month" common? I will definitely get the information from my insurance company to see. I would hate to do it, but perhaps I should schedule my last day to be the end of the first week, and just call in that week? Honestly, I don't like it, but the insurance is a big deal. What other options, besides COBRA do I have? COBRA is ridiculously expensive. Maybe ask for a sign on bonus that would cover COBRA, or leaving something equivalent to the premiums I would be paying with the new insurance?

Now, I still have some tuition reimbursement to pay back, but it is relatively small compared to what it would have been earlier in the years ($12k then, about $3k now). I have a full month of PTO accrued which will be enough to cover that and still give me a few thousand after taxes are taken out... so it mostly works out like a bonus.

Now, both companies offer professional services, though my new company also sells products (for which my current employer is in a partnership with them for). In these situations, how amenable do you think be current and future employers would be to working out an arrangement for my old employer to subcontract my new employer for me to continue work with them? My current employer is a federal contractor and I have privileged access that would be active for several more years. They need someone to fill my role for the next several months until the system I am supporting is outsourced. The contract they are on expires next year, so perhaps it is in their interest to have me continue to work (perhaps 50% instead of 100%) with them. My current employer offers this same kind of service and they have plenty of work, but my current utilization is 100% (meaning I must be billable for 8 hours a day each working day of the month or use flex time or PTO to cover the difference), but my new employer only requires a 65% utilization to meet bonus. I could walk in the door and have 50% of my time full utilized and take on the new work that they have for me and effectively be at 100+% utilization (more than full-time). This would have me exceeding my standard bonus requirements and get me the maximum eligible bonus. Granted, these two companies are in partnership... so they work together already, and my current contract is a foot in the door that is leading to a much broader partnership. I would like to pursue this, but if anyone has experience diving off of something like this, I would greatly appreciate your insight. I would imagine I should ask my new employer first if they would even have interest in that (I can't imagine they wouldn't... they are in business to earn money). Then, if things are doable, as the current employer when I hand in my resignation.

Now, there is a chance that when I hand in my resignation that they will walk me out. However, this has never been the case so far with folks that are leaving on good terms. It would actually work out favorable for me if they did, as they would be terminating my employment at that point, meaning I pay back none of the tuition reimbursement and I get severance. This happened to a former coworker as he gave them a resignation that was two months into the future, and they ended it within two weeks, but things were going downhill for him for a while, which is the reason he left. The difference for me is that I am on good terms and my boss has actually been hoping to get me to work on another contract with him. If I could get them to have me work with them on a continued basis on this current contact, perhaps that could extend to a new contract.

What are your thoughts? Thanks FWF.
200 mb Of Free Data Per Month On Tmobile
Added on : Monday November 04th 2013 07:00:02 PM
g: 0 Posted By: gmsisko1
Views: 57 Replies: 0 T-Mobile 200mb Free Data Per Month
I searched FW before posting to try to avoid a re-post.

Step One You will need a tablet that will work on Tmobile.

(I am told it must not have ever been previously used on Tmobile.)

Step Two: you will need a brand new fresh Tmobile SIM card that fits that tablet.

Step three: Turn off wifi in settings, insert fresh new Tmobile SIM card and go to the cellular settings in tablet:

Follow prompts to set up account.
It did NOT ask for a social security number.
Does NOT require a credit card unless you want to purchase more date.
This worked for me, it is a deal and a half in my opinion!
Services Deals

T-Mobile Coupons
Misdiagnosed Pumbing Work: Should I pay?
Added on : Monday November 04th 2013 08:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: AWSimpson
Views: 185 Replies: 8 Friday morning, I discovered that our home had no water. I called Plumber #1. He diagnosed the issue and said I need to replace my well pump, and that I would need a crane to pull it up. They said the pump needed replacing, the wires needed replacing, and the pipe needed updgraded from PVC to the flexible stuff. The crane was scheduled for Monday. I paid them $350 for the diagnosis.

I then called Plumber #2, to get a second opinion. They replaced the control box, and we now have water. The control box was the issue all along and there was no need to pay the estimated 4-5 thousand dollars to have a crane pull the pump and replace everything.

Question: Should I have to pay for the misdiagnosis, given that Plumber #1 did not diagnose the problem correctly, and their time spent here was not useful at all to solve the issue? Their diagnosis/solution would have ended up costing over $4000 when it was all said and done. No work order was signed, no estimates were given. I just recieved the $350 total (all labor) as they left on Friday.
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: boblc123
Views: 33 Replies: 0 Sams Club currently has the HP ENVY 15-J007CL laptop in store for $649 and you will receive an additional $100 off at the register until the end of November. This makes the laptop $549.

It's a great deal in my opinion. I don't think the website lists it, but this laptop also has a backlit keyboard. Here's the link to the website if you want to look at the specs.

Sams Club
Laptops Deals

Sams Club Coupons
Rollover Roth IRA into Variable Annuity
Added on : Saturday November 02nd 2013 11:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: thesamba
Views: 2 Replies: 0 Hi FW,

First time posting here. I (currently age 36) have this Roth-IRA for 5 years and a financial adviser recommend to rollover Roth-IRA into a Variable Annuity. What I was told is that the features in Roth-IRA remains unchanged even when rollover into a VA.
The only difference is VA offers a minimum growth protection of 6%. The VA fee is 1.25% annually.
Is there a need to do this rollover or just better to leave my Roth-IRA..... hope to seek your opinion...

Thanks in advance!
Investing Deals
g: 9 Posted By: solarspin
Views: 746 Replies: 4 I'm the old man. There I said it. And I have liked flashlights all my life. I've always asked for flashlights for gifts for the last 40 years. I've tried several other Cree flashlights and I like this one. It is simply the brightest, fit easily in your coat pocket one I own. The larger head seems to give the beam a wider useful illumination in my opinion.These haven't been listed in hot deals for a few months, and with time change coming up.. Hey, it gets stupid dark early next week!

These don't use regular AA batteries. Some people don't like that. But I like the big rechargeable batteries these use. So get it with the charger and two batteries.

Link at Amazon. CREE LED 1000 Lumen FlashlightI always pick the unit that ships with Prime. And don't forget Cash Back!

Part Number K8-T6 Item Weight 6.9 ounces Product Dimensions 6.3 x 0.9 x 1.7 inches Origin Imported (China) Item model number K8-T6 Color Black Material metal

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Amazon Coupons
g: 6 Posted By: solarspin
Views: 326 Replies: 1 I'm the old man. There I said it. And I have liked flashlights all my life. I've always asked for flashlights for gifts for the last 40 years. I've tried several other Cree flashlights and I like this one. It is simply the brightest, fit easily in your coat pocket one I own. The larger head seems to give the beam a wider useful illumination in my opinion.These haven't been listed in hot deals for a few months, and with time change coming up.. Hey, it gets stupid dark early next week!

These don't use regular AA batteries. Some people don't like that. But I like the big rechargeable batteries these use. So get it with the charger and two batteries.

Link at Amazon. CREE LED 1000 Lumen FlashlightI always pick the unit that ships with Prime. And don't forget Cash Back!

Part Number K8-T6 Item Weight 6.9 ounces Product Dimensions 6.3 x 0.9 x 1.7 inches Origin Imported (China) Item model number K8-T6 Color Black Material metal

Sports & Outdoors Deals

Amazon Coupons
What is the best beach of the Peruvian Coast
Added on : Thursday October 24th 2013 12:00:15 PM
g: 0 Posted By: intisur
Views: 13 Replies: 0 I would like opinions from people that have been in Peru, about which are the best beaches in the country
Discussion Deals
Need advice on cell plane: AT&T or T-mobile
Added on : Wednesday October 23rd 2013 06:00:06 PM
g: -1 Posted By: mooseranger
Views: 82 Replies: 0 I'm interested in hearing from FW members' opinion on ATT vs T-moble contract/plan. My contract with ATT is up next week and I can't decide if I should switch from ATT to T-Mobile or not. I've been with ATT forever, my current family contract consists of 590 minutes a month with rollover and unlimited data (stutter after 3bg) with no text. Unlimited data only apply to one phone, the second phone is a flip phone, thus only voice. My monthly bill after taxes and discount and all come to $82.

T-Mobile Bliss ad looks interesting with the simple plan with international text and data. I look at T-Mobile family plan and it costs $90 before taxes for 2 lines with 2.5 gb one phone and 500mb second phone. I can't decide if it's worth switching to T-Mobile or not since I have no experience with T-Mobile beside AT&T. Any thoughts and suggestions?
Discussion Deals
Should I pay off mom's credit card?
Added on : Monday October 21st 2013 06:00:17 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Marsavings
Views: 78 Replies: 3 My dad died in 2005. I am an only child and live 2 hours away. He had always handled all of the money in the family, so I was concerned about how my mother would deal with it. He left a couple of small life insurance policies (one thru MetLife and one thru his former employer where he retired at age 57 in 1985). She gets a small pension payment (half of the pension he used to receive when he was alive) from his former employer, along with SS. When my dad died I paid for the cremation myself and I also paid the remainder of their car loan off for my mom so she wouldn't have that to worry about. I believe she has spent all of the life insurance monies except a small amount (less than $2000) that is left in one account. She does not want to spend that money - I don't know if it's an emotional attachment to my dad, or if it's the security of having that money available. She claims it's because it earns a higher interest rate (maybe 6%??). After my dad died she opened a checking account (my dad didn't believe in checking accts or cc's - he paid for everything in cash unless he needed a car loan, etc.) as well as a Chase Freedom card that got 5% CashBack on Gas/Groceries/DrugStores at the time. They have since changed that program so the categories are revolving every quarter. I told my mom at that time the the only way she should get this credit card is if she pays it off in full every month. Otherwise the interest charges will eat up any CashBack she might get. She also has a Discover card that she uses (supposedly) just for her medication that she has to buy thru mail order. Over the years she has bought several things that I did not agree with, but when I said anything, she would say "I needed it" or "I've never had xxxx, I deserve it", etc. Examples are new carpeting, new linoleum in the kitchen/bath, new toilet, new stove, new bedroom suite, new couch. Some - like the toilet - were a necessity. But others like the flooring and furniture were just "I want it, I deserve it" situations. For about the past year she has made casual comments to me such as "I want to get that credit card paid down," etc. But I never asked, as I didn't want to butt in. If I made a comment about something she had purchased, she would get defensive and justify it. I figured if she needed help she would ask for it.

This weekend she called and asked for my opinion. She wanted to know what I thought of taking out a loan at the bank to pay off the credit card. She said the bank has 12 months interest-free and she would pay it off in that year. I kept telling her that didn't sound right as I've never heard of a bank that doesn't charge interest...credit card companies - yes. Stores - yes, 12 months interest-free. But never banks for a loan. I asked her how much is her credit card bill, that this "loan" would be for? She said about $5,000 (I was actually afraid it would be more, but still a daunting amount). So this morning I called my local brach of that same bank for clarification. I was told they have a bank CREDIT CARD with a balance transfer deal of 12 months interest free. But not loans. So I don't know if my mom realizes it or not, but she is looking at getting yet ANOTHER credit card to pay off the Chase with a balance transfer, etc.

I think at the very least, she should take the remaining money in that life insurance account and pay down her cc bill to at least reduce it. But she doesn't want to. But it makes no sense to earn some small amount of interest on a small remaining balance of life insurance money, when you have $5K in cc debt that is probably accruing close to 30% interest every month! And maybe then contact Chase and see if they will settle the account for a less amount. I know she would take a hit to her credit for doing that, but she probably doesn't have that high of a credit score to begin with anyway. She told me that her minimum payments to Chase are $150/month right now.

And to top it all off, I asked her if she'd ever cashed in any of her CashBack rebates from the Chase card, and she said no. !!! So for 7-8 years she has never contacted Chase to get any of her CashBack sent to her or credited from her bill. I don't for for sure, but I doubt ALL of the CashBack that she would have accrued during this time would still be available, as I know most of the time the points or CashBack rewards expire after a certain period of time. But I told her to contact Chase using the 1-800 number on the statement, and askabout her CashBack rebates status. She might even have CashBack money available from Discover too. I don't know which Discover card she has.

We are in good financial shape - no kids, no car payments, mortgage paid off, pay our credit cards in full every month. I am wondering if I should let her "live and learn", or should I pay off her credit card in full for her so she doesn't have to worry about it anymore, and have her cancel the account so she can't continue to use it.

I just don't know if I should bail her out or not. She is 77 years old and this time since my dad died has been the first time in her life, I think, that she has had total control of her own money. I helped her out right after he died by paying off the car and the cremation costs, and tried to pound it into her head about paying off the cc's every month. At first I thought she was doing alright because she would take the checkbook to the bank to have the teller help her balance it every month, and she assured me when I would ask that she was paying off the credit cards every month. But then she started getting all this other credit from Lowe's, and the furniture store, as she purchased bigger items, and she knew how I felt about that.

I know it's hard for her living on such a small fixed income. Her mortgage is paid off, but she still has to pay the taxes and all of the monthly bills plus medication costs,and I know she's not rolling in dough. I just don't want her to repeat this all over again if I come to the rescue and pay it off.
Personal Finance Deals
Significant cash - how/where to invest at this time?
Added on : Saturday October 12th 2013 02:00:11 PM
g: 0 Posted By: quana
Views: 35 Replies: 1 As you will see from below, I did something that has turned out be the lifetime pinnacle of financial stupidity albeit in retrospect. I have experienced enough pain to realize that I need to go to a financial planner and I am meeting few over next two weeks to select one (I am considering only fixed-fee planners). I am posting here to prepare myself for these meetings to be able to have a somewhat educated discussions. Browsing this forum as a lurker for quite sometime, I am hoping I will find a broad spectrum of useful opinions and suggestions. Thank you in advance for your help. And since I have already accepted my stupidity, I would appreciate only constructive remarks to stop and mitigate the damage already done. As far as beating on me, I do that enough of it myself and need no help

I was able to get through the worst of the Great Recession but finally panicked in July 2010 and went to all cash in my investment accounts. S&P that day closed at 1024. I am a news junkie and the sky-is-falling cry not only got to me then but has kept me out of the market since. The fear of the recession was replaced by the fear of QE-fueled bubble. My brain chemistry, torched by the tech and housing bubbles, has not dealt well with the prospect of a QE bubble, imaginary or real. So here I am with significant cash in my accounts (no stocks or bonds whatsoever). Everyday market goes up, I feel the pain that is almost physical now. Hence, the decision to finally seek help. So I have a simple question for the savvy crowd here: if you were sitting on significant amount of cash and nothing else and this accounted for all your savings, how would you deploy it at this point in time when the stock market is at a historic high and a bond market that is just waiting to be crushed at the mid-to-long end once the QE fumes subside? I understand the status quo can continue for a very long time, but would feel very foolish to invest in with now and lose 20-30% in coming years.

Having sat out the biggest rally of my investing lifetime, here are the choices confronting me:

(1) Should I just sit on sidelines for this bubble to eventually burst? That is, is it too late to get into the market for now? Isn't my upside much lower than downside (although one can only speculate)?
(2) Should I dollar cost average into risky assets (stocks and bonds) over next few months at market dips such as the on seen earlier this month? This would entail investing my savings and then just close my eyes and let everything go on autopilot until I retire about 15 years from now. If I go this route, what should be my asset allocation to cash, stocks and bonds (for reference, most target date funds for my age are currently recommending 80% stocks and 20% bond funds). I understand that bond funds have lower volatility but what is the rationale of owning them right now if they can only go down in value. Wouldn't QE bubble burst finally take away the flight-to-safety argument that supports bond valuations and make the two asset classes (stocks and bonds) very much correlated on their way down if and when this happens?

Am I over thinking?

Investing Deals
Does IRS enter all my numbers manually?
Added on : Saturday October 12th 2013 06:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: ToddC
Views: 155 Replies: 1 I am filing paper returns in excess of 15 pages of various forms with many, many numbers. I am wondering if they enter all these numbers manually into their system, which would be a colossal job in my opinion?
Discussion Deals
g: -1 Posted By: VivYip
Views: 142 Replies: 0 credit bradsdeals

QVC has this item for $167.32 with $20.72 shipping

Snow Joe Electric Snow Thrower w/13.5 Amp Motor & Halogen Light
Requires UL-listed extension cord, not included.

Model: Ultra SJ621
13.5 amp motor
Front 20W halogen lamp
Moves up to 650 lbs of snow per minute
Throws snow up to 20'
Cuts a swath 18"W x 10"D
180-degree adjustable chute
Corded electric design for easy starting and maintenance
Push-button starter
Safety On/Off switch
Durable plastic housing; four blades, metal rotor
Minimal assembly; no tools required
Amount of snow removed depends on condition and weight of snow
Thrower measures approximately 50-1/2"L x 18"W x 24"H; Handle 36-3/4"H; weighs 33.5 lbs
ETL listed; 2-year Limited Manufacturer's Warranty
Made in China

Personal opinion: the price is sorta okay, but minor note that this is almost toy level IMO. (My personal preference is around 21" intake and at least 2 stages and a decent amount of HP for around 200-300 dollars, but i admit that is hard to find during regular season...)

Thanks for reading
Home & Garden Deals

QVC Coupons
g: 0 Posted By: VivYip
Views: 193 Replies: 0 OfficeMax has this item for $29.99

PNY Attache 64GB USB Flash Drive
Item #: 23433964
Manufacturer #: PFD64GATT2GE

the larger size is for $49.99

PNY Attache 128GB USB Flash Drive
tem #: 24183241
Manufacturer #: PFD128ATT2GE

free shiping for orders over $50

possible filler: Scotch Single Use Super Glue Gel for $1

other items sorta okay in my opinion:
myCharge Trek 2000 Portable Power Station $9.99

Hope this might help someone. Thanks for reading
USB & Flash Drives Deals

OfficeMax Coupons
30;45 day security deposit return window (IL) opinion poll
Added on : Tuesday October 08th 2013 10:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: zacwashington
Views: 63 Replies: 1 A friend (referred to as 'Tenant' from here out) moved out of an 8 unit apartment building in Illinois on Aug 31. Original lease was for 12 MO and went month to month on verbal agreement after 12 MO. Tenant notified landlord 30+ days prior to vacate and left at 14 Months. Security deposit was 625$ at onset of lease. Lease has no extra details on security deposit rules or restrictions. Tenant requested final walkthrough prior to vacating, landlord refused verbally stating no walkthrough would be needed as she was sure tenant did no damage (moot point). Tenant notified landlord of new mailing address in writing prior to vacating. (I am assuming tenant has receipt proving deposit was paid, can verify later as this could be a show stopper on a small claim potentially).

Just FYI landlord was decent, upkeep of property was average, no issues during occupancy. Tenant bought a house in an area an hour away and needs no rent reference and will likely never cross paths with landlord again.

As of today (day 38 since vacating property): No security deposit refund, no receipts or itemized statement of charges (no contact at all). So past 30 day window, tenant is entitled to full deposit refund. Past 45 day window tenant can be entitled to 2X deposit plus court and reasonable attorney fees. Figuring a 6 hour investment time (estimation of court prep and small claims time?) Potential to net 100 / hour in a small claim. Other potential to offer buyout to landlord to pay 2X without incurring court cost/attorney fees?

Just on an opinion level, what would you do? Go after money you are entitled to (even though its only profit of 625$)? Or play the nice person card and remind the landlord and accept the refund of only the original deposit of 625$?

Excerpt from Security Deposit Return Act:

[code](765 ILCS 710/1)[/code][code](from Ch. 80, par. 101)[/code]
[code]Sec. 1. [/code][code] [/code][code]A lessor of residential real property, containing 5 or more units, who has received a security deposit from a lessee to secure the payment of rent or to compensate for damage to the leased property may not withhold any part of that deposit as compensation for property damage unless he has, within 30 days of the date that the lessee vacated the premises, furnished to the lessee, delivered in person, by mail directed to his last known address, or by electronic mail to a verified electronic mail address provided by the lessee, an itemized statement of the damage allegedly caused to the premises and the estimated or actual cost for repairing or replacing each item on that statement, attaching the paid receipts, or copies thereof, for the repair or replacement. If the lessor utilizes his or her own labor to repair any damage caused by the lessee, the lessor may include the reasonable cost of his or her labor to repair such damage. If estimated cost is given, the lessor shall furnish the lessee with paid receipts, or copies thereof, within 30 days from the date the statement showing estimated cost was furnished to the lessee, as required by this Section. If no such statement and receipts, or copies thereof, are furnished to the lessee as required by this Section, the lessor shall return the security deposit in full within 45 days of the date that the lessee vacated the premises.[/code][code] [/code]
[code][/code][code]Upon a finding by a circuit court that a lessor has refused to supply the itemized statement required by this Section, or has supplied such statement in bad faith, and has failed or refused to return the amount of the security deposit due within the time limits provided, the lessor shall be liable for an amount equal to twice the amount of the security deposit due, together with court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.[/code]
[code](Source: P.A. 97-999, eff. 1-1-13.)[/code]

Full act: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2202&ChapterID=62

Personal Finance Deals
g: -1 Posted By: AntDog505
Views: 276 Replies: 1 Dell LaserAll-in-One Printer New in box I used $25.off $75 Coupon had to add a box of pens total cost with tax was $56.68 With Cash Back and Staples rewards cost comes in at under $50.00 got to love it.

Cons: No Fax or ADF but still a screaming deal for laser in my opinion


All in one printers Deals

Staples Coupons
Dropping Health Insurance. Options to Minimize Risk.
Added on : Monday October 07th 2013 05:00:18 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Bizatch
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Background:

We're a family of 4, earn a decent income, so no subsidies/welfare for us.
Our health care has been a HDHP with an HSA. $10k deductible. Blue Cross. Premiums average $325/month.
In 2014, our lowest cost insurance option is $747 month, with a $11k deductible.
Since we're a healthy family (typical health care expenses of under $1k a year), we will be going without health insurance starting Jan 1st of 2014.
We have $20k already in the HSA, so we can cover a good portion of unexpected health care expenses. If we start putting that $747/mo premium into our own back account, we'll quickly grow a large emergency fund.

I'd like this thread to be about ways to reduce our risk, by using other insurance options, that hopefully come at a small premium expense.

Here Is Our First Step:
My first thought was auto accidents. That is our most likely cause of a major health care expense. Typical auto insurance comes with a $5k 'Medical Payments' coverage. Meaning, have an accident and your auto insurance will cover $5k in medical costs. That's usually enough to cover health insurance deductibles. Since we won't have health insurance next year, I called to inquire about raising this coverage. I was told that I could raise our policy to $100k, per person, per accident, no fault coverage, for a grand total of $13.54 for the YEAR. I was going to start this coverage on Jan 1st but decided to make it take immediate effect. This is very cheap insurance in my opinion.

Other ideas for other coverage? Anyone have experience with someone like Aflac? Insurance where you get a cash payout when you develop a specific disease like heart attacks or cancer?

Overpayment at doctor's office; won't issue refund
Added on : Sunday October 06th 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: chedv
Views: 61 Replies: 2 Hi all, this is a fairly minor issue but I can't get it resolved. About 10 months ago I went to a podiatrist. The total that day came to $370, and at their request, I paid the bill in cash. They sent it to BCBS of IL and they wrote the bill down to $270 because the Dr. was a participating provider thus offering a discount.

I have called the doctor's office 3 times requesting the $100 refund and also mailed a letter with a copy of the BCBS explanation of benefits. They always say they switched computer systems, the accountant has my info, etc. Any opinions? Thanks
Personal Finance Deals
DEAD! Free Kindle eBook: The Human Race to the Future (usually $2.99)
Added on : Friday October 04th 2013 03:00:05 PM
g: 2 Posted By: keithdt
Views: 1025 Replies: 0 10/4 - I see the book is no longer free.

I just noticed this was free when checking my Amazon shopping list. Normally it is $2.99.

The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen - and What to Do by Daniel Berleant
"Do you wonder about the future... what things will be like some day, how long it might take, and what we can do about it?
This book strives to be substantive yet imaginative, readable and occasionally humorous, and science oriented. It proposes possible future scenarios spanning from the current century to nearly eternity. Most chapters offer a concluding section with recommendations and often, agree or disagree, the author's occasionally inimitable opinions. Some of the recommended actions can be done by individuals, others by nations or other groups, and still others by the entire world. Over 300 references"

Totally Free Deals
Help me choose best investment option for my kid's education
Added on : Friday October 04th 2013 09:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: valvo23
Views: 89 Replies: 0 Hello. I have 2 kids, currently 3yrs and 1 yr old. We are 36. I've done pretty well so far saving for my wife's and I retirement and now looking to get a better grip on our kid's college fund. Our goal is to save somewhere in the 150 - 200K range total to give the kids. I know that won't cover it all but it would be a good start. We expect to increase the investment amt in future yrs. but let's assume we don't. I currently have a NY 529 account setup for each child that last yr. returned~ 17% RoR. I don't fund these accounts that well at this point. In 20 yrs, this would have around 30K - 40 K in it.
We met with my brother-in-law who works for NE Financial on options. This is 3 he suggested all assuming a rate of 8% interest and paying $300/mo

#1 - Open a variable life insurance policy.Each of use would open a $100K policy. He assumes after 20yrs it would result in about 123K in cash value plus theaddtl life insurance should something were to happen to 1 of us. We already have term life insurance on each of us. This would put us at around 150K for their education. (this option + personal 529)

#2. - Open a Roth IRA in 1 of our names. We could pull out what what's put in w/o penalty which would be 72K in 20 yrs for theiruse and then have around 70K in earnings in the Roth. This would put us at around $105K for their education. (this option + personal 529)

#3 - Open a professionally managed 529 for each kid. After 20yrs, have around $148K in 529.Per B-I-L, thistype of fund is not sheltered when looking for aid so it would beworth at about132K with his figures.This would put us at around $162K for their education. (this option + personal 529)

Which of these would you suggest? I'm not fond of option #1but won't throw it out until I hear others opinions. I'm leaning towards #2. That way if the kids don't go to college, don't need all the funds, etcthe money can be redistributedelsewhere. For #3, is there any advantage w/ having them managea 529 versus mejust sticking with the personal 529s already created?
Any other options that we should look at besides these 3?
Investing Deals
Buying a new car in cash vs loan to build credit score
Added on : Thursday October 03rd 2013 09:00:06 AM
g: 0 Posted By: crazee85
Views: 86 Replies: 3 I am planning to buy a new car right now.. 2014 Mazda3 Sedan or 2014 Honda Accord Coupe.. Both turn out to be almost the same price for the features that I want, and I might end up going for Accord..

I had heard about all these 0% APR loans, but now when I am in market, I just can't find them for some reason.. My savings account at Alliant gives me 0.7%, and I am a still newbie in putting my money in stocks..

So,I wanted to get an opinion on what would FWF'ers do while buying a new car if they have enough cash in hand, and have never taken a loan till now.. Would you just buy the car in cash because it turns out to be cheaper (savings interest rate is lesser than loan interest rate)? Or would you take the loan and just eat the extra cost to build your credit score?

Personal Finance Deals
Free Kindle eBook: The Human Race to the Future (usually $2.99)
Added on : Thursday October 03rd 2013 07:00:07 AM
g: 1 Posted By: keithdt
Views: 75 Replies: 0 I just noticed this was free when checking my Amazon shopping list. Normally it is $2.99.

The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen - and What to Do by Daniel Berleant
"Do you wonder about the future... what things will be like some day, how long it might take, and what we can do about it?
This book strives to be substantive yet imaginative, readable and occasionally humorous, and science oriented. It proposes possible future scenarios spanning from the current century to nearly eternity. Most chapters offer a concluding section with recommendations and often, agree or disagree, the author's occasionally inimitable opinions. Some of the recommended actions can be done by individuals, others by nations or other groups, and still others by the entire world. Over 300 references"

Totally Free Deals
Mortgage underwriting - sourcing and seasoning of cash to close
Added on : Wednesday October 02nd 2013 09:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jmac2287
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Hi all,

Long-time reader, first time to post.

Quick question for those familiar with residential mortgage underwriting:

Wife and I will be purchasing a home with financing through a broker, or possible community bank. Conventional mortgage at 95% LTV with third party MIP.

The down payment is to come from a family gift, but to get around contributed equity/gift limitations, I'm providing verification of retirement assets with the indication of using an IRA withdrawal for cash to close.

Other than brokerage statements to verify available retirement assets, what would typically be required in this situation? Will the underwriters need confirmation of the indicated IRA withdrawal/deposit/availability prior to closing, or will the verification of funds held in the brokerage suffice? I could always contend that I am holding off on the distribution until the last minute, to mitigate any prospective penaly/tax liability in the event the closing doesn't materialize.

Your opinions are appreciated.

Thank you.
Advice on getting child support
Added on : Saturday September 28th 2013 01:00:05 AM
g: 0 Posted By: NoChildSupport
Views: 28 Replies: 1 Can't believe it's taken me thins long to post here and see if there are other ideas, but here goes....

* Living in Hawaii in 2010
* Sent daughter to overseas boarding school in SEP 2010 because marriage imploding, and we wanted to get her out of the situation.
* Divorced in OCT 2011 in Hawaii family court. Not amicable, but not terrifically nasty either.
* Divorce decree stipulates the following:
1. I pay alimony: $2K/month until I retire, at which point ex gets 1/2 military retirement and no alimony
2. No child support paid by anyone to anyone as long as daughter in boarding school
2. When daughter returns from boarding school, joint decision made among all parties re: who she lives with. That person assumes physical custody.
4. At that point, non-custodial parent pays custodial parent child support. No specific amount decreed.
* I am relocated to Virginia. Ex moves to Texas.
* Daughter leaves boarding school and comes to live with me in Virginia in SEP 2012. All parties agree to this arrangement.
* Ex refuses to pay child support in any amount. Ex is not hiding or running; I know precisely where she lives/works. She just refuses to pay.
* I took ex to court in Hawaii to enforce the order and set an amount. At trial in March 2013, Hawaii judge asserted Hawaii no longer had jurisdiction in the matter of child support as none of the parties reside in Hawaii (!)
* I open a case with the TX Child Support Enforcement Agency. After *many* months of back and forth, case finally sent to a "processor" who promptly tells me that because I live in Virginia, this is difficult and I should work thru the process in Virginia.
* I engage the VAChild Support Enforcement Agency. They have told me that because an order already exists (the original divorce decree stipulating that child support will be paid, but not specifying an amount), they cannot create a new order. And since no amount is specified, there's nothing to collect.

So here I am over a year later, and the ex has paid no child support. She has plenty of money; I know what her resources were when we divorced two years ago, and besides, I send her $2K/month in alimony. She's not under any particular hardship. It's galling (at a minimum) that she is a deadbeat mom and none of the agencies that are supposed to do something about this seem to care. Like I said: she's not hiding. She just refuses to pay.

If I could get a court order specifying an amount, I could simply cut that amount out of the alimony I pay. I was thinking that one or the other of the child support enforcement agencies could do that for me, but apparently not, or at least not easily. I think the term "valueless" properly describes those agencies.

So it appears that my next step is to sue her in Virginia court for alimony. Lawyers and moneyWasted; here we go again. I'm gonna do that, but I wondered if perhaps the FW community had any ideas?

I'm not sending any pics or more personal info, so please don't ask. I'm not really interested in anyone's opinion about what I wouldaCouldaShoulda, so don't waste your time. And if it starts to get nasty, I'll simply disengage and no longer respond to anything. That said, if anyone has advice or ideas, I'm all ears....

Personal Finance Deals
getting threatened by out of state party for posting factual review
Added on : Thursday September 26th 2013 04:00:11 AM
g: 0 Posted By: fatwalletsforall
Views: 130 Replies: 3 I am curious if anyone had been involved or threatened to be sued by a business for posting a review. I have posted some factual content about a faulty item that I bought with a warranty that was not honored. I put it on rip off report, Yelp, google + and dex and now they insist I remove my posts or sue. Just curios if they have to come to my state to proceed which I doubt they will and will they have a case that they can proceed with. Thanks for any suggestions or thoughts

Discalimer: nothing here is legal advice all discussion in this thread is opinion
Personal Finance Deals
Builder wants additonal monies for landscaping
Added on : Wednesday September 25th 2013 11:00:09 AM
g: 0 Posted By: joeH1974
Views: 1 Replies: 0 My wife and I have entered into contract for new construction. The forms were laid yesterday, and the home is slated to be completed around mid-January.

The home is in a gated community, and the land parcels are quite large (1.28 acres for ours). On the original price breakdown, the builder quoted $4k for the front yard landscaping work. We agreed to the construction price, and signed off on the contract. The builder did as well. When we received the plans, we didn't like the placement of the home on the land, and asked that the front of the home be rotated around 10 degrees further to the south. The builder agreed, and we signed off on the plans.

Today I received an e-mail from the builder stating that the neighborhood architectural review committee requires that not only the front yard landscaping be completed prior to moving in, but side landscaping must be completed as well. This comprises around 10,000 sq feet of land between the street and the rock wall enclosing our yard. The builder is stating that they will eat the additional cost of landscaping for the front of the yard due to the home rotation, but that I need to advise them how I want to pay for the additional $8,000 in landscaping expenses for the side. (Change order, out of pocket, hire own landscaper). Apparently they did not know of the proposed requirement until it was levied on them at another home in the community they just finished building. The other homeowner apparently paid for the additional cost without issue.

My question is: can the builder ask me to pay for the side yard landscaping after a contract has been signed agreeing on construction price? Isn't it the responsibility of the builder to understand the covenants prior to determining an agreed price? Or should this really be my responsibility, as when we signed the contract they hadn't heard from the committee yet on the other home and therefore couldn't have known about the additional landscaping needed. So far, we've had a good working relationship between us and the builder, but $8k is something we definitely weren't expecting.

Private Health Insurance - New Premium for 2014 through the roof! +120%
Added on : Monday September 16th 2013 05:00:09 AM
g: 1 Posted By: bNeta86
Views: 104 Replies: 2 I searched for health insurance and didnt see a related thread so thought I should start one up.

I got my renewal letter from BCBS of Nebraska today and my premiums for January 1 have gone from $360 / month for my family plan to $790 / month. This is for a HDHP with HSA and a $12,000 Family deduct. No more single deduct + family style so that hurts too.

I am being forced to pay for maternity coverage despite the fact that our family is done growing. There are lots of other "included" benefits but at the end of the day I'm not sure how I'm going to handle eating this increase in cost. I havent started substantial searches for replacement options but I also have been reading a lot about companies pulling out of the game and stopping their health insurance offerings for private individuals.

I work at a small software company which has always been in a situation where it is cheaper to have the employees own their own health care stuff rather than pay 2x at the company level.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on what you've done?

Wait for the health exchanges to come online? Obamacare has left me pretty uneasy since its initial passing and this is just cementing my opinion but I dont want to jump to conclusions just yet...and I need to spend some time researching but I figured I should see if you all are seeing similar situations pop up.

It might actually be better to just go without insurance until someone gets really sick then apply after the fact since they have removed the pre-existing conditions stuff right? What a cluster...
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g: 0 Posted By: VivYip
Views: 234 Replies: 0 Newegg has this item for $4.99 after a $10 MIR exp 9/16/13

Cooler Master NotePal X-Lite Silent Laptop / Notebook Cooling Pad, up to 15"
Stylish "X" design.
Full range mesh for great cooling performance.
140 mm silent fan for superior airflow.
Compatible with all 9"-14" laptops (up to 15.4").
USB port extender for power in.

FWIW, the rebate processor is the same for Newegg rebates, so it takes time...but the processor seems to be improving in my opinion these days...

Thank you for reading
Laptops Deals

Newegg Coupons
Small Business Loan Ideas
Added on : Thursday September 05th 2013 10:00:13 AM
g: 0 Posted By: SmBizJames
Views: 193 Replies: 1 My wife and I are going to undertake our first small business venture, a gas station c-store, and are looking for ways to get the necessary capital. We are going to purchase an existing station which is highly favorable to both us and the bank. We knew that we needed to put down 20% but news that we will most likely need to put down 30% is a serious downer. We dont have that kind of cash. We have excellent credit and zero debt accept for a mortgage we are current on. What are the best methods to get an additional loan or advance of about 30k-50k? Ideas we have been looking into are local credit union, second mortgage, home equity line, and credit card adv.

We plan on throwing as much business profit at the secondary loan as we can to pay it down in short order. What would be the best method in your opinion to help fund this business purchase in addition to a standard small business bank loan?
Personal Finance Deals
Buy flight around NYE'14 now and settle?
Added on : Thursday August 29th 2013 05:00:16 PM
g: 0 Posted By: BuRaKCHI
Views: 29 Replies: 0 Hey everyone!

Sorry to bore you with this opinion poll. I have specific dates (12/26 Chicago to FLL and 1/5/2014 FLL to Chicago) I need to buy tix for. Right now its about $550 (with connection and undesirable flight times). Should I buy now, settle or wait? Will they add more flights and lower rates you think?

Thank you!
Air Travel Deals
g: 0 Posted By: VivYip
Views: 83 Replies: 0 the ad is up for Office Depot. I apologize if this is a repost.

BTS items:

1 ea
Item #806-413 Slider Pencil Box (limit 3)
Item #681-080 Office Depot Brand 2-Pocket Folders (limit 10)

25 ea
Item #546-154 Personal Care Hand Sanitizer With Clip, 1.8 Oz. (limit 3)
Item #283-966 2-Hole Manual Pencil Sharpeners (limit 3)
Item #179-487 Office Depot Brand Beveled Erasers, 3-PK (limit 3)

Item #563-753 Dell Wireless Mono Laser Printer $49.99
Prints up to 21 ppm black
Wireless networking
Model B1160W

(personal opinion: cheap printer, toner might be an arm and a leg)

Item #418-097 HP Pavilion Laptop Computer with Intel Core i3 Processor $349.99AR
Item #374-618 Texas Instruments TI-84+ SE Graphing Calculator $119.99 (free 8gb usb)

in progress
Electronics Deals

Office Depot Coupons
Account Closed, NOT notified!!! Bank of Anti America
Added on : Tuesday August 20th 2013 06:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: TruckerGuy
Views: 88 Replies: 5 I have done some research online. Within an hour of searching, I realized that many have had a similar situation to mine and in fact for most, much worse. I use been using a small, local, community owned bank for many, many years. I am a Professional Truck Driver, and not having access to a bank while on the road is very inconvenient. I have been a customer of Chase within the past and would not do business with them again. After this issue with B of A this week, I also will not be doing business with them again. The small town I live in only have two national banks, not even any regional ones, only a Chase, B of A, and the rest are all local (1-3 branches each).

=8ptI opened a B of A MyAccess Checking the first week of August 2013. As stated before, I am a truck driver which keeps me on the road for 1-2 weeks at a time. When I finally arrived home and obtained my mail all the pertinent account documents had arrived i.e.; debit card, pin, temporary online banking password and welcome packet. My initial $100.00 opening deposit was funded via ACH with my current checking account with the small, local bank as referenced above.

08/17/2013: I receive mail, activate debit card, register for online banking

08/19/2013: In Illinois (not my home state) I visit a B of A ATM and make a personal check deposit in the amount of $350.00 ($450.00 Balance, $100.00 Available Balance, $350.00 Processing, $150.00 On Hold)

*Personal Check was from my roommate for household expenses. He is also a truck driver thus; we do not see each other often. This is our typical way of paying each other, writing personal checks and then leaving them in a designated spot in the house. NOTE: His check has the same address on it as mine, as we live together.

08/20/2013: In Illinois, same branch, same ATM. Withdrawal of $300.00. Personal check deposit in the amount of $300.00. ($450.00 Balance, $0.00 Available Balance, $350.00 Processing, $250.00 On Hold)

*Personal Check from same roommate, forgot to deposit it the previous day.

08/20/2013: Later this same day, online banking log-in attempt unsuccessful. Telephone banking states account is overdrawn. (-$8,888.88 Balance, $650.00 On Hold)

08/20/2013: Contacted B of A via online secure chat. "Account is being handled by a different department." Referred to contact via phone next business day as their office was already closed. Online CSR would give no further information on account stating, "With your account in this status, I cannot access it from my system, which is why you have to contact the other department."

I have been doing research and have come to the conclusion that this is some type of Risk Management/Fraud/Investigations account closure department. I am SERIOUSLY HOPEING that the -$8,888.88 Balance is just some sort of code for within the B of A. There is NO POSSIBLE WAY that I have overdrawn my account to that extent, or any for that matter.

WHY? What is B of A's fraud matrix, so on so forth. Why would this type of legitimate transactions be considered suspicious? I spoke to a friend who works in banking. This type of activity may seem "unusual" in her opinion. And apparently in the banking world "unusual" automatically = fraud. She works for Chase and said that her BIG BANK as she called it, will shut people down at a moment's notice as well. Chase however typically places a freeze on the account and doesn't just close it all willy nilly.

I HATE large banks, because none of them seem to give a darn about Joe working man. They have much more high end personal and business customers in which they can make their money off of. I understand that banks need to make money in order to stay in business, but they shouldn't be trying to do it with deposit accounts. That's what LENDING is for. Now with my account locked out, I am stuck 500 miles away from home with no access to any money. My other bank account with the small local bank hasabout enough money left in it to buy a cheeseburger or two, as I planned on closing it after a few weeks with B of A. Not anymore!!! I may be able to get an advance on my pay check from my company in the morning and I am simply lucky to have that option to fall back on. From the information I can gather online with others who have had a similar experience, me trying to get any answers from B of A is practically pointless if it is a fraud case.I will be the %95 percent of customers who get screwed by B of A and just don't have the time nor energy to fight them.

I just want my money back...plus the other questions I asked,any suggestions??? Thank you!
Personal Finance Deals
Amazon FREE eBooks for Kindle (repost, edited link)
Added on : Tuesday August 20th 2013 09:00:15 AM
g: 0 Posted By: jaarons
Views: 62 Replies: 0 I found this on another Deal site, apologies for the formatting:

Free For Now Kindle Books - Posted on 8-20 with most expiration dates and genreOne, Two ... He is coming for you (Rebekka Franck #1) by Willow Rose
Ends 8/23
Genre Mysteries


30 reviews, 4 of 5 stars

Publication Date: April 14, 2011

Another serious page-turner from Scandinavian Mystery Fiction.
Once you start One, Two ... He is coming for you - there is absolutely no turning back.

Book Description:
Set in the Danish coastal town of Karrebaeksminde, journalist Rebekka Franck returns to her hometown with her six year old daughter. She is trying to escape her ex-husband and starting a new life for her and her daughter, when the small sleepy town experiences a murder. One of the kingdoms wealthiest men is brutally murdered in his summer residence in Karrebaeksminde. While Rebekka Franck and her punk photographer Sune try to cover the story for the local newspaper another murder happens on a high society rich man. Now Rebekka Franck realizes that the drowsy little kingdom of Denmark has gotten its first serial killer and soon a series of dark secrets - long buried but not forgotten - will see the day of light.
One, Two ... He is coming for you is the first book in Willow Rose's mystery-series about the reporter Rebekka Franck and her photographer Sune. The second book is called Three, Four ... Better lock your door.
This ebook also includes an excerpt from Willow Rose's newly released shortstory Rock-A-Bye Baby.

The Teacher's Billionaire (The Sherbrookes of Newport Book 1) by Christina Tetreault
Ends 8/20
Genre Romance


409 reviews, 4 of 5 stars

Publication Date: March 18, 2012
Callie Taylor's life is turned upside down when she learns the truth about her birth following the death of her mother. Not only is her father alive, but he's none other than presidential candidate Senator Warren Sherbrooke.

Billionaire and confirmed bachelor, Dylan Talbot, is devoted to his family. When his stepfather Warren Sherbrooke receives a letter from a past love telling him they have a daughter together, Dylan is instantly suspicious. In order to keep the media vultures away and protect Warren's political aspirations, Dylan convinces Warren to let him handle the situation.

As Callie and Dylan spend time together, they can't resist the feelings that blossom between them. However, when Callie learns the real reason he has been spending time with her their fledgling romance is put in jeopardy and only complete honesty can save it.

This is a Contemporary Romance.


Some of the authors favorite lines:

I'm not sure. Maybe that is how you Englishman say hello to your friends. I've never been to England, Callie teased as she moved her hands to his shoulders. I might need more convincing, she said her voice all business.

There's no place I'd rather stay especially if it means more of your apple cinnamon pancakes for breakfast. Preferably served to me in bed by you completely naked, but I'm flexible.

Sounds like a challenge to me. One I look forward to undertaking.

Chasing the Lost (The Green Beret Series) by Bob Mayer
Ends 8/24
Genre Thrillers


37 reviews, 4.5 of 5 stars

Publication Date: April 18, 2013
NY Times Bestselling Author, former Green Beret and West Point Graduate, Bob Mayer.

"A pulsing technothriller. A nailbiter in the best tradition of adventure fiction." Publishers Weekly ref Bob Mayer

Horace Chase arrives on Hilton Head Island to pay his last respects at the Intracoastal Waterway where his late mothers ashes were spread and to inspect the home his mother left him in her will. Hes been recently forced into retirement, his divorce is officially final, and now hes standing in the middle of the front yard of his new house where a tree has crashed right through the center of it.

What could possibly go wrong?

Within six hours of arriving on Hilton Head, Chase is exchanging gunfire with men whove kidnapped a young boy and tried to grab the boys mother, Sarah Briggs. Soon hes waist deep in an extortion plot to funnel a hundred million dollars of Superbowl on-line gambling money into an offshore bank account or else the boy dies.

Dave Riley has long retired from the military and living peacefully on sleepy Dafuskie Island off the coast of South Carolina. Sort of. Actually hes bored, feeling old, and just a bit cranky running his deceased uncles small-time bookie operation.

Horace Chase, meet Dave Riley. Riley-Chase.

Chase and Riley assemble a team of misfits and eccentrics as they take on the powerful Russian mob in the lawless tidal lands of the Low Country to get the boy back.

Meet Erin: Chases long-ago summer fling, now a veterinarian and not interested in men any more, at least that way. But her suturing skills and her knowledge of the island bring assets the team needs. Especially after Chases first visit with the Russian requires a bit of the former.

Meet Gator: an ex-Ranger, iron-pumping, fire-breathing hulk of a redneck, with a soft spot in his heart for Erin, and steroids burning in his muscles to hurt people. As long as Riley and Chase point him in the right direction, the rest of the populace should be all right.

Meet Kono: a Gullah, descendant of the free slaves who fled to the barrier islands in the 19th century and developed their own culture. He nurses his own pain and secrets, but heeds Chases call to renew their childhood friendship. Especially when he learns the target is the Russians.

It adds up to a fiery confrontation to rescue the young boy, and settle some old scores.

But Riley and Chase need to remember a basic tenet from their days in covert operations: Nothing is ever as it appears.

Eternity Base by Bob Mayer and Steven Cooper
Ends ???
Genre Thrillers


19 reviews, 4.5 of 5 stars

Publication Date: January 21, 2012
From the NY Times Bestselling Author, former Green Beret and West Point Graduate, Bob Mayer.

Maverick federal employee Sammy Pintella, obsessed with uncovering the fate of her MIA father, makes a startling discovery while rifling through some inactive government files. A dozen, faded black and white photos seem to point to the existence of a secret US Military base built in the frozen wastelands of Antarctica during the height of the Cold War.

Aided by Special Forces veteran Dave Riley, she heads for Antarctica. But they arent alone. Spies, North Koreans and other shadowy forces are also en route, because deep inside Eternity Base is something people will go to extreme lengths to get: a cache of nuclear warheads.

A federal employee intent upon discovering the truth about her missing in action father stumbles upon a closely-held secret about an Antarctic military base - a base illegally constructed and which has been kept a secret by a serious of murders. When she and her reporter sister fly to the base for an in-depth probe, murder begins to stalk them in this tense novel. Unlike most military stories this will appeal to general audiences as a fine thriller. Highly recommended, indeed. -- Midwest Book Review

The Green Beret Series:
Eyes of the Hammer
Dragon Sim-13
Cut Out
Eternity Base

And Introducing Horace Chase in:
Chasing the Ghost
Chasing the Lost

Chasing the Lost: The Green Beret Series, Book 3 by Bob Mayer and Jeffrey Kafer
Ends ???
Genre Thrillers


37 reviews, 4.5 of 5 stars

Publication Date: April 18, 2013
NY Times Bestselling Author, former Green Beret and West Point Graduate, Bob Mayer.

"A pulsing technothriller. A nailbiter in the best tradition of adventure fiction." Publishers Weekly ref Bob Mayer

Horace Chase arrives on Hilton Head Island to pay his last respects at the Intracoastal Waterway where his late mothers ashes were spread and to inspect the home his mother left him in her will. Hes been recently forced into retirement, his divorce is officially final, and now hes standing in the middle of the front yard of his new house where a tree has crashed right through the center of it.

What could possibly go wrong?

Within six hours of arriving on Hilton Head, Chase is exchanging gunfire with men whove kidnapped a young boy and tried to grab the boys mother, Sarah Briggs. Soon hes waist deep in an extortion plot to funnel a hundred million dollars of Superbowl on-line gambling money into an offshore bank account or else the boy dies.

Dave Riley has long retired from the military and living peacefully on sleepy Dafuskie Island off the coast of South Carolina. Sort of. Actually hes bored, feeling old, and just a bit cranky running his deceased uncles small-time bookie operation.

Horace Chase, meet Dave Riley. Riley-Chase.

Chase and Riley assemble a team of misfits and eccentrics as they take on the powerful Russian mob in the lawless tidal lands of the Low Country to get the boy back.

Meet Erin: Chases long-ago summer fling, now a veterinarian and not interested in men any more, at least that way. But her suturing skills and her knowledge of the island bring assets the team needs. Especially after Chases first visit with the Russian requires a bit of the former.

Meet Gator: an ex-Ranger, iron-pumping, fire-breathing hulk of a redneck, with a soft spot in his heart for Erin, and steroids burning in his muscles to hurt people. As long as Riley and Chase point him in the right direction, the rest of the populace should be all right.

Meet Kono: a Gullah, descendant of the free slaves who fled to the barrier islands in the 19th century and developed their own culture. He nurses his own pain and secrets, but heeds Chases call to renew their childhood friendship. Especially when he learns the target is the Russians.

It adds up to a fiery confrontation to rescue the young boy, and settle some old scores.

But Riley and Chase need to remember a basic tenet from their days in covert operations: Nothing is ever as it appears.

The Highlander's Hope by Cali MacKay
Ends ???
Genre Contemporary & Historical Romance


270 reviews, 4 of 5 stars

Publication Date: November 7, 2012
When Dr. Catriona Ross discovers clues to a long lost highland treasure, her only hope of finding the jewels is to obtain the help of Scotland's most eligible bachelor and playboy, Iain MacCraigh.

Iain can't believe his luck when he finds out the jewels are hidden away somewhere on his land-- and it doesn't hurt that the historian looking for them has curves to go with her smarts. With his brother betting the family fortune, this is the life line he desperately needs.

The odds are against them, and with word getting out about the jewels, they're not the only ones on the hunt. Time's running out, but can they learn to trust each other, or will they lose the jewels and true love in the process?

* This is Book One in the series. *

Amelia's Story by D.G Torrens
Ends 8/21
Genre Bios & Memoirs


165 reviews, 4 of 5 stars

Publication Date: November 4, 2011
A life of pain and rejection.
This is a powerful true story of one young girls struggle to survive the state care system in the 70's and 80's. Amelia has just one wish, to make it to adulthood, to hold her destiny in her own hands. This is a harrowing true story, one of survival and human strength. Amelia has been separated from all her siblings never to see them again for many years, she is moved from one children's home to another, until finally it's just too much for her to bear. Amelia starts to wonder about the peace and finality of her own death.

Evan Burl and the Falling by Justin Blaney
Ends ???
Genre Fantasy


87 reviews, 4.5 of 5 stars

Publication Date: May 20, 2013
Discover #1 bestselling novel, Evan Burl and the Falling
My father abandoned me when I was an infant.
My friends have turned against me.
My uncle beats me.
The most powerful men in the world want me dead.
They all have one thing in common.
They think I'm turning into a monster.

I'm starting to worry they're right.

An excerpt from Evan Burl and the Falling
I found myself in a kingdom of stars and clouds. Endless. Deadly. And blue as blood.

Stretching without blemish from one side of the world to the other, the sky was perfect but for one single black speck.

If anyone was watching, they might have wondered whether I was merely napping on a pillow of thin air.

But it was nothing so pleasant.

This was a falling.

For what felt like hours, the whole world seemed frozen below me. Except for the wind, everything was silent. It seemed as if I could stay up there forever. It was beautiful really, whenever I managed for a few moments together to ignore the fact that I was hurtling toward the ground at about 214 miles-per-hour.

I didn't really even feel sick to my stomach.

Until the last thirty seconds.

First, the rolling mountains and hills, which always seemed so solid and unshakable, lumbered toward me like hulking bullies begging for a fight.

Then houses and barns. They popped out of the ground, like grasping hands from a fresh grave. Pulling me down. Into the earth, where I belong.

Ten seconds later, what seemed like a bit of lint stuck to my eyelash transformed into a living human. Then more. Dozens, hundreds of people. Working, eating, anything but looking up to see me plummeting through the sky like a shooting star.

Another ten seconds--far too soon--and the whole world was rushing up at a speed that turned my stomach to acid.

It was the last hundred feet that really tested what I was made of.

Gasping one last lung full of air, I realized in that moment that I was far less brave and far more foolish than I could possibly have imagined.

And right before the end, I closed my eyes.

Because no one can watch a falling.

Praise for Evan Burl and the Falling
"Amazing!" -- Melissa Williard

"The best fantasy book I've ever read" -- Mitsy Princell

"I want more! It just isn't right that's over. Evan Burl is every bit as good as the top YA fiction out there right now, in my opinion, better. The characters are brilliant, each story line is captivating, the content is complex and unpredictable, and I am intrigued to read more." -- Bethany Canfield

"I'll never view a clear, blue sky the same! This book took ahold of my imagination and guided me through the forgotten hallways and secret rooms I've always dreamed of finding. A fantastic story about the burden of knowing one's destiny, and desperately trying to avoid it." -- Eric Nienaber

"Wickedly complex villains so entertaining and terrifying they'll get under your skin and never let go. Evan Burl's world will fascinate you, creep you out and leave you begging for more." -- Mary Weber

"This eerie world and amazing cast of characters grabbed my heart from the first page and never let go. I can honestly say I would do anything to get an advance copy of Evan Burl's next chapter." -- Natalie Medina

"I'm hooked. So many threads of greatness, I can't wait to see how the series ends." -- Annie Biondi

"Justin Blaney creates a wonderful world of intrigue, mischief, and magic that comes alive through vivid storytelling. This is a struggle of good and evil at its finest ... it will have your mind on edge as you race to the end." -- Kari Skinner

"I read Evan Burl and the Falling when I was supposed to be working on my homework. That should speak for itself, it was a fantastic distraction from reality." -- Jessie Crowthe

The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships by Mali Apple & Joe Dunn
Ends 8/21
Genre Religious & Inspirational


119 reviews, 4.5 of 5 stars

Publication Date: April 26, 2011
2012 International Book Awards Gold Medal Winner in the "Relationships" category
2012 Living Now Awards Silver Medal Winner in the "Relationships/Marriage" category

Create the Love of Your Life--Keep the Life in Your Love

Single, in a relationship, or married: people of all walks of life and all ages are finding this new book on enlightened relationships inspiring, accessible, and truly transformational. This revolutionary guide will help you create and sustain a relationship that is intimately connected on all levels--emotional, intellectual, sexual, and spiritual--and a continual source of love, inspiration, and joy.

In Part 1, chapters like "Loving Your Body," "Reducing Your Baggage," and "Raising Your Soulmate Potential" will help you release anything that might be preventing you from experiencing a deeply connected relationship. As you read, you will quickly begin to feel more loving and compassionate toward yourself, more connected to those around you, and more confident about and creating your own soulmate experience.

In Part 2, chapters such as "Creating a Context," "Turning Expectations into Invitations," "Transforming the Energy of Jealousy," "Exploring the Edges," and "Connecting on a Soul Level" will give you everything you need to approach even the most challenging aspects of relationships in ways that will actually deepen your experience of love and intimacy. You will discover the secrets to keeping the love, passion, and connection in your relationship fully alive--every single day. And you will learn how to lovingly guide each other to release limiting beliefs, heal the past, rise above perceived limitations, and unlock the potential in every area of your lives.

Whether you're on a quest for your soulmate, looking for deeper connection in the relationship you have right now, or just want to experience much more love in your life, the ground-breaking ideas in this book--and the many stories of real people putting them into practice--will fill you with love, inspiration, and possibility. Because The Soulmate Experience isn't just a book. It's a great way of living life.

About the Authors
Mali Apple and Joe Dunn host the very popular community "The Soulmate Experience" on Facebook. They have dedicated their relationship to discovering how to create magical relationships and keep the magic in any relationship alive. Their greatest joy is inspiring others to bring more of the soulmate experience into all their relationships.

The Pursuit of Happiness: 21 Spiritual Rules to Success by Jennifer O'Neill
Ends 8/21
Genre Advice & How-To


91 reviews, 4 of 5 stars

Publication Date: April 3, 2012
What do most people desire in life? It is not money, it is not even love, it is happiness!

Praise for The Pursuit of Happiness: 21 Spiritual Rules To Success:
One of the best inspirational books I have read in a long time. -- Aulani
These tools help shift your thinking, commit to your dreams and show you anything is possible -- Linda H.
If I find myself in a slump or needing motivation, it's a great resource to get me back on track. It really gave me a sense of peace and clarity -- Annette
The author uses personal example as a means of getting her message across, as well as provides exercises at the end of Spiritual Rules to assist the reader in better accomplishing their personal goals. Her key insights, into different situations, really hit home for me. -- Lamanda A. Nance
The Book:
Learn how unnecessary negativity in your life can be avoided.
Discover how to shift negative thinking into positive thinking.
A positive attitude will change your life, keeping a positive attitude
can be easier then you think when following these simple rules.
Everyone is searching for happiness. This book is a mini-course outlining 21
spiritual rules to finding success when you are in "The Pursuit of
Happiness." The book was designed with a specific purpose, as a guide to
help you tap into your natural ability to be happy. Everyone has the
ability to find happiness in his or her life, yet sometimes you need a
road map. "The Pursuit of Happiness" is your spiritual road map.
Buy a copy and learn to enjoy the journey!

Goddess Legacy: Goddess Series Book 1 (Young Adult / New Adult Series) by M.W. Muse
Ends ???
Genre Romance


88 reviews, 4 of 5 stars

Publication Date: January 31, 2013
**An updated file was loaded April 23, 2013, to fix grammatical and conversion issues with the initial book file**

Legacy Kore is an average seventeen year old with your basic insane crush on the hottest guy in school... rather Adin Shepard was the hottest guy in school before he graduated a couple of weeks ago. Now it's summer vacation and she's not sure when she'll get to see him again. Until he shows up at her surprise seventeenth birthday party. Cue saliva glands--it's time to drool.

But her giddiness is cut short when her guardian delivers an emotional blow, telling Legacy her mother hadn't died when she was baby, but that she'd left for Legacy's protection all those years ago. After the initial shock, she expects some story about how her mother was in the Witness Protection Program or something else just as crazy, but when she's told that her mother is a Greek Goddess and that Legacy is changing into one too, she thinks her guardian needs a trip to a mental hospital. Legacy a goddess? Um, yeah. Right. And her BFF is the Easter Bunny.

While trying to make sense out of something that was impossible to believe, Adin asks Legacy out on a date. She is thrilled that her fantasy might become a reality, but when she meets the new guy in town, River, she discovers everything isn't always as it seems, and the legacy she wants just might not be the legacy she is destined to have.

Order of Goddess Series:
Goddess Legacy
Goddess Secret
Goddess Sacrifice
Goddess Revenge
Goddess Bared
Goddess Bound (Releases Early June 2013)
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g: 2 Posted By: archena
Views: 2818 Replies: 1 Please note only guaranteed to be FREE at time of posting. Please verify before you click and purchase.The Diverse Schools Dilemma: A Parent's Guide to Socioeconomically Mixed Public Schools [Kindle Edition] was $9.99Michael Petrilli (Author)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009F32Z2EPublication Date: September 21, 2012Publisher: Thomas B. Fordham Institute12 Reviews - ★★★★#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Education & Reference > Schools & Teaching > Education Theory > Education Policy & Reform#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Education & Reference > Schools & Teaching > PolicyMany of today's parents yearn to live in or near the lively, culturally vibrant heart of the city--in diverse, walkable neighborhoods full of music and theater, accessible to museums and stores, awash in ethnic eateries, and radiating a true sense of community. This is a major shift from recent generations that saw middle class families trading urban centers for suburbs with lawns, malls, parks, and good schools. But good schools still matter. And standing in the way of many parents' urban aspirations is the question: Will the public schools in the city provide a strong education for my kids? To be sure, lots of parents favor sending their sons and daughters to diverse schools with children from a variety of racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. But can such schools successfully meet the educational needs of all those different kids? How do middle class children fare in these environments? Is there enough challenge and stimulation in schools that also struggle to help poor immigrant children reach basic standards? Is there too much focus on test scores? And why is it so hard to find diverse public schools with a progressive, child-centered approach to education? These quandaries and more are addressed in this groundbreaking book by Michael J. Petrilli, one of America's most trusted education experts and a father who himself is struggling with the Diverse Schools Dilemma.About the Author
Mike Petrilli is one of the nation's foremost education analysts. As executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, he oversees the organization's research projects and publications and contributes to the Flypaper blog and weekly Education Gadfly newsletter. He is also a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and Executive Editor of Education Next, where he writes a regular column on technology and media, as well as feature-length articles. Petrilli has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post, and wall street journal and appears regularly on NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, and Fox. He's been a guest on several National Public Radio programs, including All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, and the Diane Rehm Show. He is author, with Frederick M. Hess, of No Child Left Behind: A Primer. Previously Petrilli was an official in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement and a vice president at K12.com. He started his career as a teacher at the Joy Outdoor Education Center in Clarksville, Ohio, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Honors Political Science from the University of Michigan. He lives with his wife Meghan and sons Nico and Leandro in Bethesda, Maryland.
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g: 0 Posted By: trauma233
Views: 182 Replies: 6 So I just got my first after college job and before taxes my salary is $57,000. I wanted to ask people for any feedback regarding how to handle the money considering my situation at the moment:
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My fiancee is going to school full time this year and he will have ~$40K of loans at the end of the year. However, if all goes well, the minimum salary for those who have graduated in the past few years from the program has been $85K so we are hopeful. Next year we'll be moving in together.So I have a bunch of questions considering that I am not in a stable living situation and my fiancee currently has no income.
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- I can open a Roth IRA through my company, I can have a 401K and company matches up to 6.2%. Should I pursue either of these.
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- Credit card - I have a Discover with 1% CashBack on everything and 5% on selected items, no annual fee. I have never missed a payment in the last 3 years that I have had had it so my credit should be good to very good. Is there a credit card with better rewards?
Any feedback from your experience would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all!
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g: 0 Posted By: archena
Views: 0 Replies: 0 Please note only guaranteed to be FREE at time of posting. Please verify before you click and purchase.The Diverse Schools Dilemma: A Parent's Guide to Socioeconomically Mixed Public Schools [Kindle Edition] was $9.99Michael Petrilli (Author)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009F32Z2EPublication Date: September 21, 2012Publisher: Thomas B. Fordham Institute12 Reviews - ★★★★#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Education & Reference > Schools & Teaching > Education Theory > Education Policy & Reform#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Education & Reference > Schools & Teaching > PolicyMany of today's parents yearn to live in or near the lively, culturally vibrant heart of the city--in diverse, walkable neighborhoods full of music and theater, accessible to museums and stores, awash in ethnic eateries, and radiating a true sense of community. This is a major shift from recent generations that saw middle class families trading urban centers for suburbs with lawns, malls, parks, and good schools. But good schools still matter. And standing in the way of many parents' urban aspirations is the question: Will the public schools in the city provide a strong education for my kids? To be sure, lots of parents favor sending their sons and daughters to diverse schools with children from a variety of racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. But can such schools successfully meet the educational needs of all those different kids? How do middle class children fare in these environments? Is there enough challenge and stimulation in schools that also struggle to help poor immigrant children reach basic standards? Is there too much focus on test scores? And why is it so hard to find diverse public schools with a progressive, child-centered approach to education? These quandaries and more are addressed in this groundbreaking book by Michael J. Petrilli, one of America's most trusted education experts and a father who himself is struggling with the Diverse Schools Dilemma.About the Author
Mike Petrilli is one of the nation's foremost education analysts. As executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, he oversees the organization's research projects and publications and contributes to the Flypaper blog and weekly Education Gadfly newsletter. He is also a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and Executive Editor of Education Next, where he writes a regular column on technology and media, as well as feature-length articles. Petrilli has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post, and wall street journal and appears regularly on NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, and Fox. He's been a guest on several National Public Radio programs, including All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, and the Diane Rehm Show. He is author, with Frederick M. Hess, of No Child Left Behind: A Primer. Previously Petrilli was an official in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement and a vice president at K12.com. He started his career as a teacher at the Joy Outdoor Education Center in Clarksville, Ohio, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Honors Political Science from the University of Michigan. He lives with his wife Meghan and sons Nico and Leandro in Bethesda, Maryland.
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Discount RE Broker - Good or Bad Idea?
Added on : Wednesday August 07th 2013 07:00:07 AM
g: 0 Posted By: DrewR
Views: 213 Replies: 2 FWF,I just received a job offer this morning in a different part of the state (7 hours away). Job starts in two months, so I need to sell my home in a hurry.I've been doing a lot of research the past few weeks because I was confident that I was going to get an offer. I've been looking into selling FSBO with a 3% commission offer to buyer's agents + flat fee MLS listing + paying an attorney to help with paperwork. I was pretty confident that I was going to go with this option until I stumbled upon a local discount RE broker. This broker claims to provide all of the traditional full service features of MLS listing, signage, flyers, lockbox, etc for 3.5% total commission. They give 2.5% to the buyer agent and keep 1% themselves. In comparing cost, this option is pretty close to what I was considering with FSBO once you factor in all of the costs. It may be $500 or so more, but the full service aspect would be worth it to me, especially since I need to sell in a hurry and I'll have a lot going on in the next 2 months. This broker has a few positive reviews online, zero negative reviews, but I can't find a whole lot in general. I think they are a pretty small shop.My question: What do you think, is this a good idea or bad one? Does anyone have experience with this type of broker? Also, since they are only offering 2.5% commission to the buyer's agent, am I risking getting skipped over by some agents?Any and all opinions are appreciated. Thanks.
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Career Advice/Direction
Added on : Tuesday August 06th 2013 04:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: thesearchable
Views: 5 Replies: 0 Hello FW, long time reader.I know a lot of consultants, hr managers, software engineers, etc post on this board, I was hoping you all could share your thoughts with me regarding my situation. ( only person in family to go to school, not many people in my network to really ask these sort of questions to.Quickly
24 Years Old (25 within the month). BS in Bus Admin from a top public school + few programming courses from another local university. Currently Employed as a a Bus. Analyst/SQA Engineer II. ( maybe the term 'Technical BA' would better fit what I do, anyway).Graduated at 21, took a job as a BA with a fortune 50 company - wasn't making anything special, just over 40k in a COL neutral area. After just under 2 years I was faced with a pay freeze/ movement freeze for up to the next 3 years, so I left. In this role I worked predominately in software process improvement. I left for a very interesting and exciting position as a BA for a hi-tech research subsidiary of a mega-corp. Been about 1.5 years, was promoted after 1 year to my current title. Currently make 70k in a COL neutral to slightly high area. Live very comfortably. 0 debt almost 100k networth. Currently I work within the software group, doing the usual requirement gathering a BA would. I am also heavily involved in the actual test automation (as low-level as writing unit tests in C# testing the actual code) and integration of the software..Unfortunately it appears that within the next 6 months our funding from our parent company will run dry.So my question for everyone isWhat direction should I take? I have 0 ties to any area and am willing to move anywhere. My entire work experience ( will be 3.5-4 years depending on when the hammer drops) has been within the process improvement software - SDLC type work.I am marginally concerned I will have trouble getting another role as a BA II when the bulk of my functional knowledge is completely in proprietary company software programs/algorithms ( comments on that?).I do believe my technical knowledge is far superior to the bulk of BA's out there ( which I do feel is a strong advantage). However, I do not think it would be strong enough to go to a straight development role, nor is that something I feel I really want to do.My main passion is Finance, I would love to work in high finance- with 0 finance experience and no connections is this unrealistic? Thinking something along the same lines SDLC within a hedgefund or Large Bank, Ideas?I have considered getting my MBA, however the idea of going back to school doesn't really excite me - id do it part time and most of the even better part time mba programs, grads are only looking at 80k salaries coming out. Since I have kind of swung and missed on building a career within one company in my first two jobs, I really would like to try and pick an industry with readily transferable skills going forward. Thinking along those lines I can think of something like software work in the healthcare or finance industry. Best Skills : BA work ( documentation, use cases, etc) Technical Skills, Great SQL, decent C#, decent VBA. I am very proud of where I have come from (basically complete poverty growing up) to doing very well at the age of 24. I am just at a bit of a loss as to where I should try and take my career. I know there are a ton of very successful people on this board and Id love to hear everyone's opinions on a possible direction.
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Menthol (3% or 4.5%) I am a user of fancy, expensive e-cigs, but these disposable ecigs are as close to one can get to the real thing in my opinion.Note: No payment method is required. Edit: NJOY is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, so AZ SD'ers will be charged tax unfortunately. Thanks leviwill.  daon op
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Early Lease Termination due to move (Ohio), where to find this info?
Added on : Thursday August 01st 2013 08:00:10 AM
g: 0 Posted By: Muscle
Views: 47 Replies: 2 My girlfriend will be moving closer to me for work and needs to terminate her apartment lease.A little background:-Her original lease was from October 2012 - October 2013.
-In January of 2012 her apartment flooded, multiple times, and she had to relocate to a different unit. Instead of 'switching' over the lease, they started a brand new one from January 2013 - January 2014.
-She will be moving for work to a different city. She'll be working/living ~30 miles from her current place of residence.In the lease agreement, there's no termination clause for people who are moving a certain distance, but I thought there was one. The early termination clause is 60 days notice + 2 month's worth, so basically 4 months .... which is the same as her just staying there til January ... except she won't be there and is not allowed to sublease.She's contacting some people she knows who may know the laws surrounding a situation like this, but I wanted to get an opinion here, or at least have someone point me in the right direction where I can find Ohio laws surrounding this and how to proceed, if she needs a lawyer for this, how to give her complex proper notice, and generally what the correct/effective way of early termination is.Having been on both sides of the fence (a tenant and a landlord), I understand that landlords don't want tenants to break leases without some reasonable cushion, but at the same time this is too big of a cushion, it's an originally over-extended lease, and she won't even be living in the same city.Thanks in advance.
Personal Finance Deals
1 year Emergency Food $900 free ship Ebay deal Augason Farms
Added on : Wednesday July 31st 2013 01:00:04 PM
g: 0 Posted By: obeydacracka
Views: 245 Replies: 4 1 year Emergency Food $900~ free ship eBay deal
It says "limited quantities"
Augason Farms~ 1 Person~ 1 Year Kit, I've seen this For $1000 on sale at Costco.com, but you don't need a card here. Listing has details of the contents.LinkMy opinion, all the 1 year deals, no matter who makes them, are just the bare minimum calories to sustain you for a year. Either add to them, or buy extra.Other eBay deals on emergency supplies here:
Food Deals
FREE Kindle Book - The Devil's Double Original Book was $9.99
Added on : Tuesday July 30th 2013 07:00:13 PM
g: 0 Posted By: archena
Views: 42 Replies: 0 Please note only guaranteed to be FREE at time of posting. Please verify before you click and purchase.The Devil's Double Original Book, (which was made into a feature film of the same name, This Book Sold Over 6.7 Million Copies Worldwide in Twenty Languages.) [Kindle Edition] was $9.99Latif Yahia (Author)http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009SFWLXMPublication Date: October 15, 2012Publisher: Arcanum Media Group10 Reviews ★★★★#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Presidents & Heads of State#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > History > Americas > United States > Military History > Operation Desert StormTHE DEVILS DOUBLE:
is the first of 3 autobiographical books chronicling Latif Yahias incredible life story.
It vividly describes how Latif was forced to become Uday Husseins fidai (body double) and gives a unique insight into the extreme extravagance and cruelty of the Saddam regime.
Latif survived assassination attempts and witnessed Udays psychotic temper, rapes, orgy parties, torture atrocities, and sadistic murders. The book has recently been made into a highly acclaimed movie.THE BLACK HOLE:
gives a fascinating account of what happened to Latif in Europe after he escaped from Iraq. How he was treated by western governments and the CIA. How Uday sought revenge on Latif and vice-versa. How he was offered a British passport by Saudis to murder a dissident and how they beheaded Latifs Saudi princess lover. How Latif made and lost a fortune. How he strived in vain for a peaceful life and survived 4 more assassination attempts.Forty Shades of Conspiracy:
brings Latifs story right up to date by detailing his time in Ireland. His run-ins with drug-dealers, Corrupt Irish Garda officers and Irish politicians who continually denied him Irish citizenship.
His despair as a beggar on the streets and the happiness he found after he met the love of his life. His reaction to Uday and Saddams deaths and his opinion on the current political situation in Iraq all makes fascinating reading.Book Description:
In 1987, Latif Yahia was taken to Saddam's headquarters to meet Uday, Saddam's eldest son, and told that a great honour had been bestowed upon him: that because of the great likeness between them, he had been chosen to be Uday's double.
For many Iraqis it would have been the highlight of their lives, but for Latif, a peace-loving man who did not agree with Saddam's brutal regime, it was not. He refused. Following a week of torture, and realising he would be killed if he continued to refuse, Latif was forced to accept the role.
After a gruesome training programme during which he was made to watch over thirty films of torture, hours of tapes of Uday, and undertake a final remodelling of his appearance, Latif was deemed ready.
But it was only after the final test, a meeting with Saddam himself, that Latif made his first public appearance. And so began his life as Uday's double - a life on the perimeter of the inner circle of Saddam's eldest son, a witness to the horror of his insane life of debauchery, excess and brutality, and an experience for which he almost paid with his life on more than one occasion. From The Publisher:
Latif Yahia has never attained citizenship from another country, still stateless since his flight from Iraq in 1992, he attributes this to the fact that he refused to work with intelligence services against his country. There should be a distinction made between Saddam and Iraq, being against the invasion of Iraq in 2003 did not mean that he was for Saddam, he opposed the war because he knew what it would do to the Iraqi people and the country as a whole and also who would be appoionted Iraqs new leaders and what they too were capable of. At the beginning of the invasion, Latif Yahia warned the American led forces that they may remove one Saddam but they would create one hundred and they may remove one Uday but make one hundred more. This has been proved by recent events in Iraq, After his flight from Iraq Latif Yahia was considered by Saddam and the regime to be a Traitor, now within the new government he is considered to be a collaborator.
A no win situation.You may or may not be aware that Mr. Yahia is donating his royalties from all sales of the book, to the Iraqi children Orphaned by the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent warA note from the Author This book was written in 1992, originally it was 1,000 pages long with even more facts and details than contained in the pages herein, because of it's size the original publisher trimmed it down to the 300 or so pages that it is today. After the fall of Saddam Hussein and his regime in 2003 the facts in this book were confirmed. Many of Uday Hussein's employees found new masters over the years since my flight from Iraq, some work for the US intelligence services, some for the UK, but no matter how they may try to discredit me and my story the facts remain and as you now know I had already put them on paper in 1992, eleven years before the regime fell. I did not have a crystal ball to know all these things, I knew them because I was there, that was my life. Uday's employees have admitted in the Western media to being Pimps for him, they also admit to working as spies against him for the US and the UK intelligence services in return for citizenship of the respective country, what I ask is this, If a man is willing to sell women to a man that he knows to be a sadist, if he is willing to sell his country and himself, is it not then conceivable that he will sell his soul and say anything for money? I have paid a high price for my refusal to co-operate with the intelligence services, the CIA in particular, after twenty years in the West I am still stateless, I cannot return to Iraq because the new Government consider me a colaborator of the Hussein regime, although while they were in oppossition to Saddam they found my book to be a useful tool against him and his regime. Saddam while in power considered me a traitor. I do not regret my decision to leave Iraq or write my story, but I have not found the Western governments to be as open and democratic as they were portrayed to us in the Middle-East. In my search for a new counry to call home, I have found that those whose story is a fabrication are given the protection of the state as they are no threat, money is their only goal in life so they will not rock the boat', while I, who have an opinion and voice it openly (that is probably my biggest problem) am ignored, refused and while not told to leave am not made especially welcome either, I am tolerated. I do not nor did I ever seek fame, I have not made money from my story and if I do it will go to charity. It amuses me how the tables turn, when Saddam was in power my book was held up in the US Congress and given as a reason for Saddam's removal, now that Saddam is gone those that once used my story for their benefit have tried to denounce me, I have been interviewed by the world's biggest and best names over 1,800 TV, Print and Radio, journalist's who do their research and know who to ask for opinion, the old guard who took pride in their work and valued their reputation. While there are still some true journalists out there many work to order if their editor wants a specific story they make it, true or not, there is no oversight. Although it was never my intention, this book has been used as propaganda for the War on Iraq, my intention when I wrote it was to open the eyes of the world to the horrors and atrocities committed by the regime and to spur the Iraqi people into action. It will always disturb me that the Iraqi people never had a chance to participate in The Arab Spring and depose Saddam and his regime themselves, It may be a very different place today if they had had the chance to do so. Best regards to all, Latif Yahia . --A note from the Author.In Iraq, where political leaders have traditionally been the targets of assassination, there exists an institution called fidai (body double). The author, who bore a remarkable resemblance to Saddam Hussein's oldest son, Uday, was pulled out of the front lines during the Iran-Iraq War and transformed into an exact likeness of Uday. From that va --D. Smith, wall street journal.In Iraq, where political leaders have traditionally been the targets of assassination, there exists an institution called fidai (body double). The author, who bore a remarkable resemblance to Saddam Hussein's oldest son, Uday, was pulled out of the front lines during the Iran-Iraq War and transformed into an exact likeness of Uday. From that vantage point he was, he reports, privy to all the machinations and horrific excesses perpetrated on the Iraqi people by the family and government of Saddam Hussein. After serving in that capacity from 1987 to 1991, Yahia was imprisoned and tortured before being released?then fled to Europe, where he still lives. The author's message seems to be a warning to the rest of the world: If you thought Saddam was a cruel tyrant, just wait until Uday takes over! Although this work is easy enough to read, it is filled with graphic details of torture, murder, and rape. Recommended only for large collections in the subject area.? --David P. Snider, casa Grande P.L., Ariz. Library JournalThis is The Story of A man who knows too Much... He Looted Kuwait, Survived Assassina - Tion Attempts, and was at his Boss Uday Hussein's Side During Some of Iraq's Grisliest Moments. --D. Smith, wall street journal.
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Pay Off The Mortgage Or Invest? The $500K Question...
Added on : Monday July 29th 2013 12:00:07 PM
g: 0 Posted By: IrateConsumer
Views: 168 Replies: 5 My cousin John called and asked a financial question I thought Id get opinions on from fellow fatwalleteers before answering. It is kind of an interesting conundrum. John owes approximately $500,000 on a $650,000 house he purchased a few years ago. The home has appreciated in value to $750,000. The current mortgage rate on the residence is 5.25%. The monthly mortgage payment is $3,722.64.John has repeated tried to refinance to a lower rate, but due to a few mortgage late pays and being unemployed, no one will refinance his mortgage. Here is the twist one where I thought getting opinions from fatwalleteers might prove helpful. John sold his business a few years ago and is sitting on $750,000 cash - in the bank. I think hes like 52 or 53 years old. John asked if I thought it would be wise to pay off his $500,000 mortgage entirely. That way he would save the 5.25% compounding interest rate. Frankly, I didnt have a great answer.There is of course the ability to make money in the market with his savings. However, would the return exceed the 5.25% compounding interest on $500,000 John is currently paying? John is slightly risk adverse, preferring to invest in his own businesses, hes owned a few though for now, hes been taking time off for a couple years. Ive never been in Johns position; but I think that the mortgage interest deduction won't be beneficial for him, as John is not receiving an income. John is divorced without alimony or children.My natural inclination is to advise John to get into an income property then I realized - oh yeah John is not be able to get a loan given his circumstances. So, now I am leaning towards telling John to pay off his residential mortgage. Yes, his liquid assets would be reduced to $250,000 but absent the mortgage, he would save heartily on expenses. Any ideas? Kind of an interesting dilemma; what do you think?
Personal Finance Deals
g: 0 Posted By: HPFanatic
Views: 14 Replies: 0 Today's e-mail special from Classic Firearms. Get a Waffen Werks AK-74 Semi-Auto Rifle W / Chrome Lined Barrel for $799 and for a limited time also get a Bonus AK Scope and Mount Package including a UTG AK Side Rail Mount and A Barska 3x9x40 Scope, and a free shooters package which consists of a new Bulldog brand Tactical Carry Case and 3 additional 30 round mags for a total of 4 mags.These are by far the nicest ones yet, and in our opinion the nicest AK-74's available in the country. These rifles are proudly built by Waffen Werks, one of the premiere rifle builders in the U.S. These high quality AK-74 rifles are built from all matching Bulgarian AK-74 parts sets. Rifles are built to exacting standards on a new U.S. made Waffen Werks receiver. Each rifle features a Brand New Chrome Lined , U.S. made barrel properly chambered for the 5.45x39 round. They have been extremely accurate. Rifle features a Tapco G-2 trigger set and a U.S. grip and is fully 922r compliant with all AK-74 mags regardless of country of origin. Rifles also incorporate a side rail for easy installation of scope rails or accessories. Waffen Werks AK-74 Semi-Auto Rifle with Scope and Shooters Package
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Invasive bookkeeper. Is this legal?
Added on : Tuesday July 23rd 2013 12:00:12 PM
g: 0 Posted By: LightHearted
Views: 94 Replies: 4 My wife works for a small nonprofit and gets reimbursed for purchases that she makes for the organization by submitting receipts to a part-time contracted bookkeeper. We decided to get my wife a credit card in her name that she can use to make all/most of her purchases for work. Yesterday, the bookkeeper asked to see her credit card statement to confirm that the money she was reimbursing was indeed being paid to the card. This is my wife's personal credit card. Is that appropriate or even legal for her to require that? Of course we do use the reimbursed funds to pay off the card, but is that any of the bookkeeper's business, or is she overstepping her bounds?Your opinions are greatly appreciated.Thanks,
Personal Finance Deals
Advice needed: where to discuss business related questions?
Added on : Saturday July 20th 2013 07:00:08 AM
g: 0 Posted By: chaliu
Views: 6 Replies: 0 My previous post here was removed for no reason, but my guess is that it was mistaken for commercial post/ad campaign. I simply wanted to ask for opinion on how to expand business in certain countries, and i included the website for our business as a reference. So does anyone know a more appropriate forum or web site, where people discuss business related questions?
Bank abusing customers and breaching arbitrator's rules?
Added on : Thursday July 18th 2013 07:00:06 PM
g: 1 Posted By: emcdemc
Views: 108 Replies: 0 Hi All,I have posted on and off over the years. I have been dealing with something recently that I thought you all would find interesting:In Citibank's non-negotiated consumer agreements (i.e. checking accounts, overdraft accounts, etc.) there is a mandatory arbitration clause. That clause names AAA and JAMS as the consumer's choices for arbitrator. AAA and JAMS consumer due process rules are binding on the drafting institution. Failure to abide by those rules renders AAA and/or JAMS unable to arbitrate the matter.AAA and JAMS rules grant the consumer a right to small claims that cannot be precluded. Preclusion of said rights should result in a denial of jurisdiction.Specifically, AAA and JAMS impose the following rules on anyone that seeks to use them for dispute resolution in consumer cases:AAA Consumer Due Process Protocol, Principle 5: Consumer ADR Agreements should make it clear that all parties retain the right to seek relief in a small claims court for disputes or claims within the scope of its jurisdiction.;AAA Review of Consumer Cases, Page 1: If the AAA has determined that the arbitration clause does not comply with the standards contained in the Protocol, and the business does not comply, the AAA will not handle your claim. However, you may pursue whatever other remedies you choose in another forum;JAMS Policy on Consumer Arbitrations Pursuant to Pre-Dispute Clauses Minimum Standards of Procedural Fairness (1B): JAMS will administer arbitrations pursuant to mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses between companies and consumers only if the contract arbitration clause and specified applicable rules comply with the following minimum standards of fairness. These minimum standards for arbitration procedures are: 1. The arbitration agreement must be reciprocally binding on all parties such that: A) if a consumer is required to arbitrate his or her claims or all claims of a certain type, the company is so bound; and, B) no party shall be precluded from seeking remedies in small claims court for disputes or claims within the scope of its jurisdiction. [Emphasis added]I filed a small claim against Citibank. I live in Arizona. In Arizona, if you motion a small claim to a higher court, it is automatically granted. Well Citibank not only motioned the claim to a higher court, it simultaneously motioned to compel arbitration. I replied by pointing out the above arbitrator rules. Nonetheless, the court granted Citibank's motion to compel arbitration. (I later hired an attorney and he has mentioned that the courts are extremely biased towards arbitration - and towards not making tough decisions).Anyways, Citibank effectively precluded my right to small claims.Here is what the contract says, in the section entitled "DISPUTES EXCLUDED FROM ARBITRATION":
"Disputes filed by you or by us individually in a small claims court are not subject to arbitration, so long as the disputes remain in such court and advance only an individual (non-class, non-representive) claim for relief."So, really, when you get down to it, the court was right in interpreting that clause as it did. The claim was no longer in small claims and therefore it did not have to be excluded from arbitration. Fine. Stupid technicality.The problem is that this limited view fails to take into account the rules of AAA and JAMS. AAA and JAMS both should, when presented with this information, reject arbitration. AAA and JAMS should determine that the aforementioned clause as drafted does not grant the consumer a right to small claims court - as my experience clearly demonstrates.One would assume that if AAA and JAMS agree with me (and I have a hard time seeing them completely ignore their own rules), then a great many if not all of Citibank's consumer agreements have arbitrators named that cannot arbitrate these disputes.Finally, the arbitration provision includes the following clause:
If any portion of this arbitration provision is deemed invalid or unenforceable, the entire arbitration provision shall not remain in force."Thus the entire arbitration provision should be struck from the agreement.Opinions? Thoughts? Advice?
Discussion Deals
Detroit files Chapter 9
Added on : Thursday July 18th 2013 02:00:06 PM
g: 0 Posted By: ImNew
Views: 179 Replies: 5 http://www.freep.com/article/20130718/NEWS01/307180107/Detroit-f...Thoughts? Opinions? What are the implications?Bonds in your portfolio? Little interest, a lot of risk?
General Economics Deals
How hard is it to get a Blue Cash?
Added on : Wednesday July 17th 2013 09:00:19 PM
g: 0 Posted By: myndreamland
Views: 40 Replies: 0 Hi all,I'm planning on getting a BCP for my SO. I know that it sounds a bit crazy but there is some nice thing where I live for which I can profit nicely from a BCP so I'm willing to go to great lengths on this. I'm already writing the recon letter to be faxed in and mentally prepared for a FR. Her credit profile is pretty thin.
-First card was Discover More with $750 CL from Oct 2012.
-AU on a Citi Forward with $2k CL, a Visa with $4k CL and a Priceline with $750 CL. They all reported about 3 months ago.
-Currently 7% Utilization, 727 CK score, 707 CS score (my bad for mistiming my payment) and a 745 TU Lending Club FICO score.
-1 inquiry on TU, none on the other 2.
-AAoA is only 5 months. What do you think of her chance to get the BCP? I've been reading forums and forums for the last 2 days and it seems the chance is slim. However, the profit is good so it's a worthwhile risk-return trade-off for me. She will be gardening after this for a long time so I won't be worrying about the long-term effect of this. Just want to get the card approved. Thank you for your wise opinions. Y'all have a great day!
Question Deals
Credit cards for a recent grad working full-time
Added on : Monday July 15th 2013 05:00:06 PM
Hi all. I wanted to see if I could get some opinions on a couple credit cards I want to get. Just some background, I just graduated in May and now I am currently working full time with a yearly income of 60k. I am completely debt free as well. I just checked my credit score and it was 721. I only ran one report, but I'm guessing my scores for the other two credit rating companies should be similar. The credit cards I'm thinking about getting are - 1. US Bank Cash+: I've used the US Bank student rewards card for the past 4 years and I figured I would upgrade it to the Cash+. I also like how I can choose my Cash Back categories. 2. Fidelity American Express: I like the 2% back on everything. I started a 401k and figured it would be nice to divert some rewards to my investment account.3. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards card: I believe they are still doing a deal giving 50k miles away upon signing and if I spend at least 2k in 3 months. 4. Chase Freedom: I am considering getting this as well. I figure when the 5% categories run for gas or something, I could use it over my Cash+ card. 5. AMEX Blue Everyday: I may or may not get this. The rewards are pretty awesome and could replace the Fidelity one. Besides the card looks sweet too  Any advice is greatly appreciated!Cheers!
Umbrella Insurance Question
Added on : Monday July 15th 2013 02:00:08 PM
Hi all, I am debating to add umbrella insurance and wanted to get your opinions on what is the best route to take. I currently have home owners and auto insurance from Geico and pay 1,900 for both. For the auto insurance I have 4 cars (a 2013 Mercedes Benz which raises the price the most, a 2007 Lexus, 2008 Hyundai, and 2004 Volvo), 4 drivers (ages are 49, 47, 22, and 20), and numerous tickets/claims (5 tickets total and 2 not-at-fault claims). My coverage is 100/300 bodily injury, 100K property damage, 10K medical payments (deductible for our health insurance is 3K per person), 100K uninsured/underinsured, each car has a 500 deductible for comprehensive and collision and I also have rental coverage on each vehicle. My house is worth approximately 600K. I also own numerous businesses of which my share is worth about 1 million.Sorry for the very long background but just wanted to try and include all the information I thought would be relevant. I contacted Geico and they quoted me $500 per year for 1 million in umbrella coverage. Is this a good rate? Would you guys recommend getting umbrella coverage or increasing my auto/home coverage to higher levels. I was also told that I would need to increase my auto/home coverage slightly to be eligible for umbrella coverage but only $20 more per month. Also, I just called Geico back again today and was told that I am not eligible for Umbrella coverage because of my driving record and they gave me another company that I can contact. For most of the major companies do you need to have home/auto coverage from them in order to be eligible for umbrella insurance. This is my first time purchasing so any advice would be appreciated. Again, sorry for the long post.
Taking a loan from an Irrevocable Trust as a Mortgage?
Added on : Monday July 15th 2013 07:00:08 AM
I did a search for this on Google and the forums with no luck. Makes me think this is either something so rare no one does it... or so stupid that no one does it.I am the Trustee and Beneficiary of an Irrevocable Trust. There are 7 figures in the trust. The trust contract allows investment in pretty much anything.I am looking to buy a home and starting a family. I have saved for many years living the Fatwallet way and have ample cash to make the down payment. Here are the pertinent details:Age: 31
State: MD
Current Net worth: $850k
House: $535k
Down payment: $200k
Annual income: $180k exclusive of trust income (Girlfriend makes about 55k as well making total income a bit higher)
This leaves $335k of mortgage. Though I have the funds to cover this amount in the trust, I would prefer to leave money there for future generations to use as I cannot add more to it - outside of investment income of the trust itself taxed at very high rates.Here is the question:
Should I take a mortgage loan from the Trust for the $335k?Rationale:
I would have the house in my name so I can claim the mortgage interest deduction and the interest the trust makes would be income. I could then distribute the interest income back to me to be taxed as income... effectively returning the principal back into the trust and leaving the interest returned back to me with an effective tax rate of 0.Am I thinking about this wrong? Is this even a possibility or am I waving a big red flag for a sure fire audit. Not sure how many folks have any experience with this but looking for some opinions.
American Home Shield and my HVAC
Added on : Sunday July 14th 2013 08:00:07 AM
So I'll just throw out the obligatory:1) I told you so
2) Those home warranties are a scam
3) The contractors suckOkay I'm sure there's more but here the story. Blower stopped on the furnace; ergo no cool area flowing out the vents; the AC was functioning and if left on would quickly ice the coil over. I did my own diagnostics check (multimeter) of the furnace and narrowed it to the blower or blower speed relay. I also ran the diagnostics check and there were no codes being "thrown".Invoked warranty company at this point because the board -- that contains the relays -- is quite expensive and I assumed (yes, yes, yes....) they would come to the same conclusion as me and replace the board. I treat the warranty company like my pre-paid legal plan, one must have some expectation management and understand the fine print. Yes I'm aware of my plans limitations:1) They only pay $10 a pound for refrigerant (R-22 or R-410a)
2) They will only pay up to $1500 for any HVAC related repairs
3) They don't cover the cost of recapture/recycled refrigerant
4) Et ceteraBecause I know AHS tries to reason their way out of any repair, I complete most diagnostics myself to weight the options of paying the deductible and the cost of repairing stuff myself. I really have it for the bigger stuff, water-heater, HVAC, annoying plumbing.So they come out, diagnose the same thing as me. And instead of replacing the board they jerry-rig (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jerry-rigged) some relay that bypasses the board and brings my multi-speed fan furnace down to a single-speed. And to top it off the board is left to "dangle" by the wires alone right next to the blower itself. By the way, if you energize the system the 115AC is not guarded at all and I'm surprised the hi-voltage side of the relay doesn't contact the blower cover.So.......what should I do.1) Contact AHS
2) Contact Company
3) Start blog and complain
4) Sit on thumb and spin
5) Drink beer until all seems wellOpinions
Car Insurance Mess, What to Do?
Added on : Friday July 12th 2013 05:00:07 PM
In December 2007, my mother bough a new car. The car was financed with a local bank. In my state, you buy insurance for the car upfront. That is, you pay your coverage for the whole time the car is financed at once, when you buy the car. She paid $1,700 for a policy that would last until she paid off her car. She financed the car to 6 years. That means that she would have insurance coverage until December 2013, or so she thought until this week. A couple of weeks ago, she got a crack in the front windshield. It probably was a small rock in the road, as I can see where it impacted the glass. The crack grew to 3-4 inches before we even noticed it (it was in the lower passenger side, and there is a black tint). After noticing it, she called the insurance company to put the claim and see if they would cover a replacement of the windshield, or if it could be fixed. They told her she had to take the car to one of the shops that do business with them, and they would take a loot at it. When she took the car to the shop they told her that it has to be replaced, can't be fixed.The story gets interesting next. When she called the insurance, they were surprised that she was making a claim, since they had the policy cancelled on their end. She told them that she paid for insurance until December 2013. They told her that the insurance was cancelled on 2010, and that they send notification to the bank. The bank was the one that made the original paperwork for the insurance coverage, etc. But it was the dealer, where she bought the car, who offered her the insurance, and who took the information of my mother, and gave her a copy of the insurance policy she was buying. Apparently the insurance was cancelled because the physical address on the insurance policy was different from the address she lives. They found that out back in 2010 because my mother had a claim for some small accident, which they covered. Apparently the policy is more expensive where my mother actually lives, vs what they had in the policy. But that mistake was not my mother's fault. My guess is that the dealer made the error, but it could have been the bank too. And the address error is only in the TOWN where she lives. Everything else is correct. Also, the insurance company has the correct postal address, the physical address is incorrect. They should have noticed that the two addresses were the same, it was an error they could have noticed. Back in 2010 the insurance sent notification, to the bank, not my mother, that my mother had to pay $400 on top of what she already paid (change of address price increase), to continue with the same coverage, or the policy was getting cancelled. Since my mother did not receive this notification, she did not pay the money. And I don't think she has to pay it, since this mistake is the dealer's or the bank. She was given a price for a policy, in which she gave her correct address, and she paid what they said the policy was worth. The insurance company extended her the policy until July 15, 2013, since they at least understand that they did the mistake of not notifying her that the policy was being cancelled. They are letting her put the claim on the broken windshield (since now the policy is valid until July 15, 2013), but they are paying for a substitute windshield, not the original one. Basically the insurance will pay for a $300 job when if they had approved the manufacturer windshield, it would all cost $900. My mother is upset because she wants the windshield that came with the car. They claimed the car was old, which is B.S (car has 30k miles). My mother said the car is not even paid off. She also mentioned that the original one is safer. My mothers deductible is $250, so basically the insurance would cover only $75. That and the previous claim would put the insurance out of pocket at $175. My mother thinks it's unfair since she paid $1,700. I agree with her, she should get the same windshield that came with the car.My mother just wants two things: to have her insurance valid until December 2013, as prior agreement AND to have the insurance replace the cracked windshield with the exact one (not a cheap one). So what should she do to achieve this? So far the insurance has been playing hard and have been taking too long to resolve it. Extending the policy until July 15, 2013 is not going to fly with me, and paying $75 while my mother puts $250 deductible for a cheap windshield is also out of the question. It seems like the insurance should determine who made the error in the address of the policy (the bank or the dealer) and reach an agreement for the $400 extra. They do business all the time, particularly the dealer, who brought my mother as a client. Regarding the windshield, I don't know how insurances determine if the cheapest windshield is fine or if they have to cover the same part. My mother has a mess and can't find the paperwork, and I'm sure that if she asked the insurance for the paperwork, they would give her the wrong ones. I don't trust them anymore. Maybe the answer is that the windshield has to be what they say, maybe not. I want your opinions. Also, funny thing, the representative of the insurance who talk to my mother said that if she got a lawyer, she would win the case. I would like to avoid that, but sometimes it is the only way to move forward and make this company do the right thing.I know it is a Friday and all, so sorry for the long post. But it had a lot of details that I'm sure I would get asked down the thread. So there it is. Thanks for any help in this issue. Have a nice weekend everybody.
In the long run should I worry about how many miles I put on my car?
Added on : Thursday July 11th 2013 05:00:09 AM
Based off the upgrade my car for work thread; I am asking this because my wife is always bugging me about how many miles I put on my current vehicle. She even suggest not going out of town or bugs about going out of town stating the number of miles that will be added to the car. I have a 2008 Honda Accord 4 Door LX. It is getting close to 90,000 miles. She has also brought up the fact that being close to 90K miles I will soon need to dump alot of money into repairs. Even more reason not to drive out of town and long distance in her opinion.The bottom line is will extra miles on my accord affect me financially when I decide to sell it or trade it in? If so will it be a few $1000 or maybe just $500 bucks? The car is averaging about 15,000 miles / year.Thank you all.
http://www.amazon.com/Human-Accomplishment-ebook/dp/B000OVLJSC$0.99Regular Kindle Edition price is $24.95 (96% off).
Paperback version is $18.94It's a really good deal on this book. Please do not give red because of political differences of opinion.Book DescriptionPublication Date: October 13, 2009
A sweeping cultural survey reminiscent of Barzun's From Dawn to Decadence."At irregular times and in scattered settings, human beings have achieved great things. Human Accomplishment is about those great things, falling in the domains known as the arts and sciences, and the people who did them.'So begins Charles Murray's unique account of human excellence, from the age of Homer to our own time. Employing techniques that historians have developed over the last century but that have rarely been applied to books written for the general public, Murray compiles inventories of the people who have been essential to the stories of literature, music, art, philosophy, and the sciencesa total of 4,002 men and women from around the world, ranked according to their eminence.The heart of Human Accomplishment is a series of enthralling descriptive chapters: on the giants in the arts and what sets them apart from the merely great; on the differences between great achievement in the arts and in the sciences; on the meta-inventions, 14 Crucial leaps in human capacity to create great art and science; and on the patterns and trajectories of accomplishment across time and geography.Straightforwardly and undogmatically, Charles Murray takes on some controversial questions. Why has accomplishment been so concentrated in Europe? Among men? Since 1400? He presents evidence that the rate of great accomplishment has been declining in the last century, asks what it means, and offers a rich framework for thinking about the conditions under which the human spirit has expressed itself most gloriously. Eye-opening and humbling, Human Accomplishment is a fascinating work that describes what humans at their best can achieve, provides tools for exploring its wellsprings, and celebrates the continuing common quest of humans everywhere to discover truths, create beauty, and apprehend the good.
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Mercedes Benz FACTORY Extended Warranty
Added on : Wednesday July 10th 2013 06:00:04 AM
I know some of you drive a Mercedes and most of you will have different opinions on extended warranties.I just got the deal done through:***
Mercedes of ***The phone # is ***Anyways, for a 2013 E350 Sport the price was $2,880. This is to extend a factory 4/yr 50K mile warranty to a total of 7/yr 100K mile warranty. The MSRP on that was $4,389This warranty is through MBUSA and is called the MB ELW. There is NO DEDUCTIBLE and valid at ALL Mercedes Dealerships over the United States.It was painless and quickDon't blast me! I'm just trying to help those who might be interested.Sorry guys I can't post referral information so you will have to do your own research but there are Mercedes dealerships out there willing to do this deal.Moderator: Let me know if I am allowed to post at least the dealership's name.
Mercedes FACTORY extended warranty
Added on : Tuesday July 09th 2013 06:00:02 PM
I know some of you drive a Mercedes and most of you will have different opinions on extended warranties.I just got the deal done through:Erin Mahre
Mercedes of Santa RosaHer cell phone is 707-217-5017For a 2013 E350 Sport it was $2,880. This is to extend a factory 4/yr 50K mile warranty to a total of 7/yr 100K mile warranty. The MSRP on that was $4,389This warranty is through MBUSA and is called the MB ELW. There is NO DEDUCTIBLE and valid at ALL Mercedes Dealerships over the United States.It was painless and quickDon't blast me! I'm just trying to help those who might be interested.
Dental coverage issue
Added on : Monday July 08th 2013 04:00:09 PM
My gf went to the dentist for the first time in ages. She asked them if they take Delta Dental and they do, so she provided them with her insurance card etc. She got a cleaning, filling, and some impressions done on her teeth. They called her today saying they don't take that version of Delta Dental and she owes $400. She came to me all worried what to do. Unsure of the exact process is I feel like this is their fault as she was under the assumption insurance was taking care of this but I suppose it could be her responsibility to call the insurance beforehand and call. Opinions?Sidenote: I go to the same dentist and have Dental Dental Premier PPO, she has a different version but has a state job so I feel like her insurance should def work. She will be calling both offices tomorrow for more info but just seeing if anyone here has run into similar issues in the past.
600 United Airlines MileagePlus Miles (join & complete survey)
Added on : Monday July 08th 2013 10:00:11 AM
Dispute Resolution Mediation Addendum
Added on : Monday July 08th 2013 08:00:08 AM
In our region, there is a real estate sales contract addendum that is becoming more and more popular: the "Dispute Resolution/Mediation Addendum." In fact, the local realtor association recently released a template version which they recommend to be used.It's attached, as well as the associated propaganda.I struggle with whether or not it's a good idea. Maybe it's always a good idea for the seller, because the buyer is usually the one that breaks the contract? Maybe it's pointless, because the prevailing party should expect to have attorney's fees awarded to them anyway? Therefore, perhaps your position is watered down if the threat of a mountain of legal fees can't be used against the breaching party? Maybe it's a good idea for all parties involved to have a less-costly alternative to battling it out in court? I was hoping to get some expert opinions.
http://www.kygunco.com/taurus-model-809-9mm-pistol-4-black-tenni...( Lifetime warranty ) This new pistol has all the features you expect to find on what is, in our opinion, the most advanced semi-auto pistol in the world. It is derived from the successful "Taurus OSS" pistol they designed for the U.S. Armed Forces, but adds an external hammer that has been requested by so many of our valued customers. "STRIKE TWO" CAPABILITY - The Taurus 800 Series is now ready with "Strike Two" capability. If you have had a hard primer and the gun misfires, the 800 Series senses this and automatically gives you instant "Strike Two" capability by resetting the trigger for automatic double action re-strike. No need to do anything else, simply pull the trigger. Research indicates a 93% or better chance the round will fire on re-strike. When it fires, the 800 will automatically revert to single action by itself. If it falls on a dead primer, simply manually recharge and keep going. boksaman op
ASUS VivoBook S400CA-DH51T 14" Touchscreen Ultrabook Gray
on sale at New Egg for $649 w/ free shipping.Best deal I have seen on a touchscreen laptop with a hybrid drive + touchscreen. All you whiners saying that there's no good deals on a touch screen laptop.... well here's your chance!Some of the specs:
Intel Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz
14.0 HD (1366x768) display with capacitive touch panel and multi-touch functionality
500GB HDD with 24GB SSD for smooth computing and ample storage for all your media files
ASUS SonicMaster technology, delivering surprisingly full sound from built-in speakers
2-second Instant On resume time from hibernate mode
32GB x 3years free ASUS cloud storage (valued at $49.99)
Worry free auto back up when battery life falls below 5%
1 year Accidental Damage Protection
Intel HD Graphics 4000
Wireless b/g/n
USB 2.0 x 2
USB 3.0 x 1
HDMI and VGAThe part that impresses me is that they give you 1 year Accidental Damage Protection with 30 days Zero Bright Dot Guarantee. Most manufacturers charge you through the nose for "Accidental Damage Protection" which would include things like accidental spills & such. Atleast an additional $150 & upwards for such coverage.The memory is on the light side for my tastes. 6 or 8 GB would make this deal much sweeter. There's no sense in using a 64-bit OS when you only have 4 GB RAM - but that's just my humble opinion only. And yes, after all it's the "ultrabook" class so expecting more than 4 GB RAM is not very realistic.
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Curian as financial planner
Added on : Thursday July 04th 2013 08:00:08 PM
Hello Friends,
I have a financial advisor right now who justs takes the money from me and puts it in a bunch of mutual funds and then takes 1% of the total money invested with them every year.
Another financial planner approached me and this person works with Trilogy Financial services and offered to do better financial planning for me including advising how much to invest in my 401K to reach my retirement goals, tax harvesting etc. How it will cost me 2.25% of my investment account every year. Trilogy uses Curian capitals tools for financial planning. I was wondering if anyone has any opinions about Trilogy and Curian? Are there any other financial planners in the Bay Area, CA that would be worthwhile to look into?
Subsidized Student Loans Will Be Variable Rates Soon
Added on : Tuesday July 02nd 2013 07:00:05 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323393804578555143...I can usually tell how a bill will shake out just based on the leverage of different players and those that are lining up on different sides.The compromise legislation will probably be something like 10 year treasury +.5%. It's possible that either side could get the other side to go their way with treasury +1%(or higher) or treasury +0%, but the people trying to stop this or actually even decrease fixed rates even more will lose since not doing anything means that they shoot up to double the rate fixed. Thought this was material enough financial information to some people especially those looking at going to school or back to school to post.
P.S. I particularly laughed hard at the idiocy of Elizabeth Warren in this situation.
WSJ said:
If you think the federal student-loan program looks like a bad deal for taxpayers, imagine how it would look with honest accounting. And now you don't need to imagine thanks to a new report that's receiving far too little attention. Turns out that the official "savings" for taxpayers of $184 billion over the next decade really add up to $95 billion in losses.

Here's the scam: Lawmakers peddle what is a massive subsidy for universities while claiming that student loans generate a windfall for the taxpayer. This phony windfall is conjured by creative accounting that politicians mandated via the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990. Specifically, the law requires a deliberate under-counting of the cost of defaults.

This is partly how a Democratic Congress and President Obama managed to enact ObamaCare in 2010 while claiming that their big entitlement expansion would reduce costs. The health plan was paired with legislation that made the U.S. Department of Education the originator of roughly 90% of all student loans, which in turn generated billions in imaginary budget "savings."

To its credit, the Congressional Budget Office has noted on various occasions that while the law forces it to use this Beltway math, CBO knows it's not accurate under fair-value accounting. And in a new report on the costs of student loans made in the decade ending in 2023, CBO quantifies the size of this discrepancy at $279 billion. CBO adds with its typically wry understatement that Washington's mandated accounting method "does not consider some costs borne by the government."

That's for sure. Now keep in mind that the $95 billion net loss for taxpayers happens under current law. This includes Monday's doubling of rates that pushed subsidized Stafford loans for undergrads up to 6.8% from 3.4%. Politicians on both sides of the aisle say they don't want the rate increase to stick, and they are working on a bipartisan compromise that would be retroactive to July 1.

It's too much to hope that the politicians will swear off fraudulent accounting or try to reduce defaults. But one positive development is a growing bipartisan consensus that student-loan rates should rise as the government's own costs of borrowing rise.

The House has already passed a bill that would prevent student rates from doubling but would also protect taxpayers in the future by floating the rates at some spread above the 10-year Treasury note rate, depending on the type of loan.

Senate liberals like Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) came into the debate demanding that subsidized Stafford loans remain at a fixed 3.4%. Freshman Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) even introduced a plan to lend to kids at the Federal Reserve's discount window rate, currently 0.75%. Senator Warren claims to understand finance, by the way.

Refreshingly, someone at the White House budget office figured out that offering low fixed rates to students could be disastrous as the Treasury's own borrowing costs start to go north. Since Mr. Obama and Democrats have driven private firms almost entirely out of this market, the private lenders can't be squeezed anymore to pay for the next round of subsidies. So the President's budget also calls for tying rates to the 10-year Treasury note, though his plan is more taxpayer-unfriendly than the House bill.

The President's baby step toward fiscal sanity seems to have caught his liberal allies by surprise. Hence the recent hilarious spectacle of Ms. Warren, a Democrat, resisting a GOP effort to force a vote on the President's proposal.

Ms. Warren feared the vote because moderate Democrats increasingly accept that rates have to be tied to something resembling economic reality. Last week Senators Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and Tom Carper (D., Del.) joined Maine Independent Angus King and Republicans Lamar Alexander, Richard Burr and Tom Coburn to introduce a compromise plan that ties rates to the 10-year Treasury.

But bitter-enders including Majority Leader Harry Reid still want to gore the taxpayer with a fixed 3.4% rate, financed by tax increases. When Congress returns after this week's recess, expect Mr. Reid to force a vote on a one-year extension of his sweetheart rate for colleges. Fortunately for taxpayers, the Senate will also likely vote on the bipartisan plan that moves toward market rates.

If Mr. Reid wins, a $95 billion taxpayer hit will look like a lowball estimate. Either way, you can count on politicians like him to keep claiming they're saving you money.
Ethics of Churn: Should the merchant be made aware
Added on : Monday July 01st 2013 02:00:07 PM
I'm struggling with ethics of this deal. In my area a regional grocery chain introduced a new loyalty program. Without going into all the details, the loyalty program allows $500 variable load gift cards to be purchased for $406.95 - and CC rewards are earned on this discounted balance.My struggle is the program is new and the retailer is having a significant loss on each sale. The dilemma - hit this churn hard, or notify the retailer of what I'm certain is an unintended consequence of this aspect of the loyalty program. This retailer has not posted full T&C anywhere for this new program that is being test marketed. They have programs in other areas that specifically exclude gift card purchases from accruing points.This is currently available in a half dozen stores in a limited test market area which may be expanded. This is not a limited time offer - but rather a regular offering as part of a grocery store loyalty program.Please provide any opinion or insight with regard to the ethics of churning this deal.Thanks in advance
Buying Car Out of State
Added on : Saturday June 29th 2013 11:00:06 AM
I am in process of buying a car from a private party in MD. I live in SC. The seller has the title in hand. I will be using a Penfed Auto Loan Draft. Every one of these posts I found when searching is confusing and is filled with opinions and experiences (e.g. well I got pulled over with no tags but the cop let me off so do it like this).Asides from getting insurance, going to a notary and getting a signing a bill of sale and title signed over, I'm lost. She will be taking the plates off the car. Here are my questions:1. Do I need a transit tag? If so which state should give it to me?
2. Do I need to go to the MD DMV for anything?
3. Do I need a "Notice of Security Interest Filing"?
4. Will I need to pay MD any state taxes?
5. Are there any other forms I'm missing?
Free Meal for whole family at Hometown Buffet
Added on : Friday June 28th 2013 01:00:05 PM
If you sign up for the email club you should receive an invitation to come try the macaroni and cheese on July 2nd.
Friends, family and children are welcome and invited to join you! From 11 am to 4 pm on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 only, we will be hosting a taste test for macaroni and cheese - you are welcome to stop in and participate at any time during those hours to give us your opinion on a short survey. There is no purchase necessary to participate in the taste test. If you do participate, you (and all that participate) will be given a pass for a free meal to use that day. Restrictions apply and are printed on the pass. Free tasting is for macaroni and cheese only and does not include any other menu or buffet items.
Automobile:Buy Vs Lease
Added on : Thursday June 20th 2013 10:00:05 PM
I am new to this forum. I want to know how to decide between buying or leasing a car. I thought this was a frequent query but could not find anything in the FAQs or sticky threads. Please point me to a discussion on this topic if it already exists. If this is a new topic, I would love to hear your opinion. I am considering a luxury brand car in the $35K-$45K range and am still researching which brand to choose. I live in California's San Francisco-San Jose bay area.Thanks in advance.
How did you achieve a six figure salary?
Added on : Thursday June 20th 2013 08:00:15 AM
I've enjoyed reading the archived employment discussion thread and I'm curious how people have achieved a six figure salary. I'm in the camp that prefers to increase salary over increasing savings.

Do you run your own business or work "for the man"? Do you have multiple jobs or streams of income? What sort of education did you have to get? Is your high salary negated by being located in a high cost of living area or large student loan debt or working every waking hour? Was it just hard work climbing the corporate ladder?How old are you? Was there anything significant in your career that you feel has allowed you the ability to hit six figures? Or was it just dumb luck?
Myself, I'm in my mid 30s working as the Director of IT for a large nonprofit in Ohio. Didn't finish my college degree but worked in IT since college, working my way up from Help Desk. I'm currently attempting to finish my degree (online distance learning) and my salary is in the mid $80k range. I'm just trying to figure out how I might break into the six figure salary club and from the job postings I've seen I think at least my BS will help, but I often see MBA preferred listings. I'm not sure I'll go that route since the FWF consensus seems to be that the networking aspect of an MBA program is more important than the MBA itself and more than likely I'd lean toward an online MBA program (two kids and full time job make online more attractive). Anyone care to weigh in with their thoughts and opinions?
Allen Edmonds shoes tent sale (very good deals) ends 6/23
Added on : Monday June 17th 2013 03:00:03 AM
Link to salehttp://content.allenedmonds.com/pdf/AllenEdmonds_TentSale_Mailer...This is nationwide. Ordered 2 pairs via phone, no tax or shipping to NJ. Free returns. I've been searching for about 7 months now for a good deal, these are the cheapest prices I've seen in that time by a good margin. They do have several pairs that are not advertised on flyer, i would suggest you ask while next to an internet connection.Incase you are unaware of the Allen Edmonds
reputation and build quality, it is actually one of the most cost effective shoes money can buy. I'm not an expert by any means, but I have done a lot of research and asked the opinions of a few 80 yr old shoe repair shop owners. Allen Edmonds
is known to the entry level shoe that is built to a standard of much more expensive shoes. The 360 degree welt construction is something in particular to look for, but I'd be willing to bet any shoe with their name on it is going to be very high quality. The reason they are the best value in shoes in my opinion is because between the very high quality of the materials, and the fact that much of the shoe can be repaired and replaced, means you will have them for a very long time. While I'm not sure on the specifics, a quick google search will tell you popular brands like johnston and murphy, and cole haan, are essentially laughable in comparison to material and construction quality.I must confess, I am a complete cheapskate, and that is the reason I'm buying these. The fact that they look good and are comfortable is just a bonus. For the last 20 years I've been buying name brand dress shoes at ross for $30-$40, and I have come to the conclusion these Allen Edmonds
will last more than 5x longer than the cheaper shoes I've been buying. They just make sense from every angle.I ordered 2 pairs, the delray, which is not listed on the flyer. I bought them in black and brown. If you do a quick comparison search, you will see they retail most places for $345 a pair. I paid a grand total of $258 for both pairs. $129 each, no tax, no shipping. Amazing price.One caveat I can't stress enough, know your shoe size, length and width. I actually went to Nordstrom to try some on to make sure I had it right. I tried on several in my size (10.5) that were totally unwearable because they had the wrong width, it is nothing like tennis shoes where one size fits all and all you need is your length. If you get the width wrong you will be extremely unhappy.Disclaimer, please disregard spelling mistakes, made this post from my phone because i was excited to let fatwallet know after I got such a good deal!
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Opinions Please: How Do You Feel Life Insurance For Kids?
Added on : Sunday June 16th 2013 04:00:04 PM
Do you have life insurance for your kids or did you think about insuring them?My wife and I are researching it and trying to decide if it's something worth doing.
Allen Edmonds tent sale (very good deals) ends 6/23
Added on : Sunday June 16th 2013 02:00:02 PM
Link to salehttp://content.allenedmonds.com/pdf/AllenEdmonds_TentSale_Mailer...This is nationwide. Ordered 2 pairs via phone, no tax or shipping to NJ. Free returns. I've been searching for about 7 months now for a good deal, these are the cheapest prices I've seen in that time by a good margin. They do have several pairs that are not advertised on flyer, i would suggest you ask while next to an internet connection.Incase you are unaware of the Allen Edmonds
reputation and build quality, it is actually one of the most cost effective shoes money can buy. I'm not an expert by any means, but I have done a lot of research and asked the opinions of a few 80 yr old shoe repair shop owners. Allen Edmonds
is known to the entry level shoe that is built to a standard of much more expensive shoes. The 360 degree welt construction is something in particular to look for, but I'd be willing to bet any shoe with their name on it is going to be very high quality. The reason they are the best value in shoes in my opinion is because between the very high quality of the materials, and the fact that much of the shoe can be repaired and replaced, means you will have them for a very long time. While I'm not sure on the specifics, a quick google search will tell you popular brands like johnston and murphy, and cole haan, are essentially laughable in comparison to material and construction quality.I ordered 2 pairs, the delray, which is not listed on the flyer. I bought them in black and brown. If you do a quick comparison search, you will see they retail most places for $345 a pair. I paid a grand total of $258 for both pairs. $129 each, no tax, no shipping. Amazing price.One caveat I can't stress enough, know your shoe size, length and width. I actually went to Nordstrom to try some on to make sure I had it right. I tried on several in my size (10.5) that were totally unwearable because they had the wrong width, it is nothing like tennis shoes where one size fits all and all you need is your length. If you get the width wrong you will be extremely unhappy.Disclaimer, please disregard spelling mistakes, made this post from my phone because i was excited to let fatwallet know after I got such a good deal!
Allen Edmonds Coupons
http://www.classicfirearms.com/cz9999compCustomer ReviewsFantastic pistol Review by Eric on 5/31/13
A great deal. Fantastic pistol, very well built and extremely accurate. Bought 2 of them.
Classic Firearms is the best online dealer I have ever used. Buy one NOW !!! Review by Snakeyes on 5/12/13
Shot 1st 100 rounds thru today. Can't recommend it enough. this guy is awesome. Feels like i had a trigger job done on it straight from the factory, light smooth crisp break. highly accurate out of the box. put 5 rounds thru the same hole out of the gate. best gun for the money ive ever bought Quick Comments Review by Colin on 5/5/13
Compares favorably to my 20 year old Sig 220 (.45). Finish work on the slide is good enough but not perfect. But then at this price I'm looking for something to use, not collect. Not sure what differentaites this pistol from other production runs but I got a serial# under 100, pistol manufactured 12/2012. I have read about this pistol being a Sig 229 clone and not having one of those I can't comment, but it feels as good in my hand as the Sig 220. Shipping with a 2nd Mag is nice also! I'm not a big gun guy but I spent enough time at cops and robbers that I know (maybe) the difference between crap and a carry weapon (ditched a Glock and bought the Sig). Don't have rounds through it yet but impressed by construction.
Would not be writing this before they sell out but wife says only one more gun this spring and it is either a Kimber 1911 or another one of these, and as she did not ask about the price, the Kimber be calling rather than 2 more or so of these.
I'm happy with what I know and don't know at this point. Big pistol, not a compact. Hopefully there will be a side by side pic of My 220 and the 999 up soon. great gun!!!!! cant recommend enough Review by jp on 4/30/13
have the ez 9 which is basic same gun, have shot 1000s rounds -no jams ( had one issue with reloads) absolutely no regrets with mine, would give 6 stars if I could! this is an honest unsolisited opinion.
Thanks Mark
Free Donut at Winn-Dixie Today
Added on : Friday June 07th 2013 02:00:05 AM
http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/423471/gary-mills/2013-06-0...Winn-Dixies in-store bakeries are offering customers a free jumbo doughnut hole (cake, powdered or cinnamon) while supplies last. The offer is limited to one per person per store visit.
Lending Club IRA?
Added on : Wednesday June 05th 2013 07:00:10 AM
I've got a small, active Lending Club account with pretty good returns. I've been debating opening a Lending Club IRA and I was wondering if anyone out there had experience with or opinions about it. My two hesitations are the account minimum ($5,000 for the first year and $10,000 after that or a $100 annual fee) and the inability to quickly liquidate should I decide that its no longer the best investment option for me. Thoughts?
Aliph Jawbone JAMBOX Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (Refurbished) $79.99 + Free Shippinghttp://www.all4cellular.com/dailydeal/I wouldnt have known it was refurbished if I received it as a gift, it is that "fresh" looking. The sound is very impressive for such a small box. When you receive your Jambox, go online to their website and create an account. There are several features I had no idea were available to me for free. These hidden gems just are added bonuses in my opinion.
T-Mobile classic family plan: $20 controversy
Added on : Saturday June 01st 2013 05:00:04 AM
Calling all lawyers out here. If you saw evidence like this (see messages ## 26 and 20 at http://support.t-mobile.com/message/244052#244052 ) where on one side TMobile online account says the classic (legacy) family plan has total monthly recurring charges $124.98, while on the other side the TMobile online bill shows monthly recurring charges $144.98 (both figures are before discounts/ surcharges/ taxes/ incidental usage charges), what would be your opinion? TMobile explains that the reason of this discrepancy is a $20/month charge for unlimited texting that is in addition to the $124.98 monthly plan fee.Any potential to win $20/month in a court of law? Anyone to bite on the class action opportunity?
Help me out with some housing decisions
Added on : Friday May 31st 2013 08:00:06 AM
Ok - I come to my FWF with open ears for some advice. This is a bit lengthy, so if you'd rather not read please move on. Those of you with real-estate experience, families, and the inner struggle of trying to be frugal but still wanting quality of life are most appreciated (though all constructive thoughts are welcome).
I'm currently in Chicago condo which I bought for $335K in 2006 and is now, if I'm lucky, worth about $250K. The condo is a 3BR - ~1300 sq ft, occupied by my wife and I (1 room), my 1 year old (1 room), and the 3rd room (which is legally a bedroom, but has french doors) acts as my office. This latter fact is important - as I work from home (company based in another state). We plan to have a second child (at least in my wife's belly) by the end of the year. We need (want?) to move. At first it was because we know we will need more space for the second child. Things are also a bit cramped with my working from home and getting a bit more space will be less of a distraction.
We also wanted a better school district and place to raise our kids, maybe a yard, and a place to play with toys that isn't in the middle of our living room.I've been looking around the suburban areas which are within the radius of where we want to be (that is no more than 45-60 mins from O'hare and some other suburbs where family lives). I've been using sites like Redfin and Zillow - I haven't actually engaged any realtors and gone out looking yet. What I am finding - exclusive of school districts - is that a place just the size and style I would prefer it at minimum $450K. Even moving up to $600K I wouldn't be getting what I would be fully happy with.Now let me stop and state to anyone not in the Chicago Suburban area - prices are ridiculous. Everyone who doesn't want to live in the city wants to live in the north, north-west, and western suburbs. They don't want to go too far out because either they commute to Chicago or they don't want to live out in the sticks. I honestly wouldn't mind living in the sticks, but we are beholden to these same higher-price areas because of where our family lives and my need to get to the airport with some regularity. There are of course some less ideal suburbs scattered throughout and their prices are lower, but it usually isn't just a matter of location - the houses just aren't as nice either.I am doing ok financially. I make low six figures (my wife is a home-maker), and we have pretty good savings (both retirement and otherwise). I would have ideally $250K from the sale of my condo (the mortgage to which I am good with, and should be even better when I take out a new one on the house). My father is planning to provide a very generous gift to the purchase of a new home - perhaps $200K. So, between these two sums I can meet my $450K no problem. I could even plunk down another $100-150K and while it would deplete a nice portion of my liquid savings, it wouldn't create any major financial stress.BUT...I hate the idea of a mortgage...the idea of debt and being tied down to it. Although I know that my life now means I can't run off and join the circus, or backpack through the Himalayas - I still don't like the idea of knowing I will be living to pay this off. However, I do have a family - they need a place to live - I'd like to make that place comfortable, safe, and perhaps a bit luxurious (or at least not sparse). So I have a couple of options right now. I am trying to weigh the financially responsible thing to do with the most livable options for me and my family. I'd love to hear your constructive comments:Option One - Buy as much as I can afford (without emptying my bank accounts)
This means spending close to $600K (with the various funds mentioned above).
Pros - Good sized house (2500-3000+ square feet) in a well rated suburb. Close to airport, family. In short, my laundry list above.
Cons - It still won't be what I want. I would be spending everything I could comfortably do and still only be getting a 3000 sq. ft. house in a location with some of the amenities I would want, but not all. I might have to buy a house that is 50+ years old (as opposed to newer construction), it might be too "suburban", etc. In short, I'd probably have to increase my spend closer to 800K+ which I am unable to do. Option Two - Buy something to match my current situation
This means spending about $450K with the sale of my condo and my father's gift
Pros - Probably a smaller house (max 2500 sq ft) in a slightly lower quality suburb. Still close to airport family - as this is pretty much not debatable.
Cons - Amplified cons of #1 above. However I'm spending less, and won't feel as "strapped" - my savings stay where they are and work for me.Option Three - Buy something closer to what I sell my condo for
This means spending $200-250K with the funds from the sale
Pros - I will likely get a better mortgage rate than I have now. After taxes and home maintenance increases with a home I would likely be about the same as I am now. This is a totally comfortable situation for me financially.
Cons - Amplified even more of #1/#2 above. What I am looking at doing is just saying "to heck with a nice suburb" and to a lesser extent "to heck with a nice place." I would probably get a place in an ideal location (geographically) regardless of the quality of the suburb (as long as it isn't a dangerous neighborhood). The house would most likely be 50+ years old, ~2000 sq. ft. It would, in effect give us the room we *need*, but not the space of quality we would really desire.Option Four, Five, Six????-With Option Three I am likely discounting good schools under the assumption that we will likely only stay there about 5 years and move again once my kids are ready to start elementary. I can also get a better ARM rate under this plan. Of course this means in 5 years home prices and mortgage rates may have gone up again and it will only be more expensive to find an ideal place. Of course, at this time, I hope my savings will have also increased.If I am considering option #3 then I also have to think with a renter's mentality. If my goal is to stay there for only 5 years - should I really buy?
What about buying it flat out so I have no mortgage? Should I just pay $250K straight out or is the mortgage debt better to keep?
If I am going to buy it flat out - should I keep my current place to rent until the value recovers? Or just get out now.
Another concern I have is my job. I've only been here a year and don't plan on leaving - and so far they seem very happy with me. However if I were to lose my job not only would it hurt financially, but I may have moved to an area that makes commuting to a job in the City, or a more populated burb more difficult.I'm sure none of these scenarios are new...but they are new for me. I'm hoping to get some balanced opinions other than just the standard FWF approach of "just live in a crown vic in your family's driveway."Let me close by saying that my wife and I are mostly home-bodies...so a comfortable living environment has always been appreciated. I look at a house as a home and not an investment - that being said I don't want it to be a poor financial decision.
Why your house is a terrible investment...
Added on : Thursday May 30th 2013 01:00:08 PM
Recent blog post that brings up interesting points regarding using a home as an investment. Some folks will have strong opinions about this. What are your thoughts about some of the points that are touched on?LinkPS:I like this guys writing; clear and concise and makes a lot of sense much of the time. It's a good place to learn about finances and investing for those that are new. Check out his several part series regarding investing here and his post about Why you need F-you money
Chevron/7-11 Gas Mishap (On & IN car)
Added on : Wednesday May 29th 2013 12:00:06 PM
Girlfriend pulls up to pump to fill up her tank (which she has done hundreds of times). Puts her CC in and selects the gas she wants. Lifts nozzle (not by handle) and gas starts spraying everywhere in her excitement gas gets in her rolled down back window and all over her car. 2 gentlemen (they left after they helped so I can't use them as witnesses) run over and help her unclick the handle. 7-11 Employee says the manager will not be in until tomorrow morning and he can't help with the situation at all. Proceeds to give her the 7-11's public phone number and asks her to call back in the morning when manager is around.I arrive, I let the employee know we think the pump was faulty or someone had tampered with the pump prior to us using it and we would like the car placed back in the state it was prior to this accident. As expected 7-11 employee says people spill gas all the time and he cannot and will not help us any further than to give us the phone number of the manager. I called the police to check and see if there was any way I could get a police report made to use as evidence or something (excuse me as I'm really new at taking care of situations like this) and they explained since it wasn't malicious that they couldn't send a car. I didn't argue that and moved on.I've sent the girlfriend directly to the dealership to have them do whatever they need to do to make sure the gas doesn't damage the outside of the car or the leather interior, also asked her to obtain a receipt. I believe my best option from this point forward is to call the manager and let them know the situation and ask them to cover the total amount of the dealership receipt. (I would have been open to have the manager's opinion on a better way to remedy this if he had been available on site) but since he wasn't I didn't want to let the gas soak into the paint (I don't even know how exactly gas damages paint? or into the leather as it really stinks in the car now)I'm looking for advice on how to proceed?What if the manager tells me to kick rocks? Am I missing anything? Should I contact my car insurance?Thanks in advance!
HP ElitePad 900 at Office Depot for $361.99
Added on : Sunday May 26th 2013 05:00:03 PM
Office Depot has this online at
$650 - $288HP ElitePad 900 G1 D3H88UT
10.1" 32GB Slate
PC - Wi-Fi -
Intel - Atom Z2760 1.8GHz I ordered one since I had a $200 gift card to OD.
Will see how it performs. Any opinions?
Office Depot Coupons
Real Estate Inheritance Issues - BK related
Added on : Sunday May 26th 2013 02:00:04 PM
Hello, I am in an active chapter 13. When we entered this, my father changed his trust to make my children his beneficiaries so that his home (no mortgage) would not be test due to my financial misjudgments. My father was is relative ok health until recently. He is now living with me on home hospice with 6 months per doctors...every thing is overwhelming to begin with but now I am worried we are going about it wrong. My parents worked too hard to see it all go because of naivety. . Does anyone know if this it still the right direction? And, what if, after our BK is completed, they transfer it back to me. I need to contact the attorney that put the trust together but wanted to get other's opinions in the meantime. I don't know FMV but the last county taxes listed its worth around 160k although its more like 250k. I live in CA.
Thanks for any advice given in advance.
Buying a Property in Las Vegas NV
Added on : Wednesday May 22nd 2013 08:00:06 PM
Hello Folks,I respect each and everyone here that gives great advice!Its a great place to learn a lot of things. I am in a situation and I need some inputs from you.My situation:
Place: Las Vegas NV
Myself: 29 YO, Married, no kids yet!
Pay: ~150k/year together
Current monthly expenses about $2100Currently, we own a small SFR property. We bought this in 2011 for a good price and I believe prices have gone up to a decent level where if I sell this, I can nett about ~$45k.Currently, we feel we need a bigger house (>2500<3000 sq.ft) house. The prices are raising day by day and the houses this size in nice neighborhoods are in the range $350k-$400k.We have saved up some money and I for sure want to put at least 21% to avoid the PMI crap!I see that prices are going up just because of low inventory and not really because of great economy (my opinion)??Questions:
1.Is this the right time to buy a property? Will we see any more dips to buy, stability in price in latter part of the year? (Its Las Vegas NV!)
2.Should I sell my current property and put all profits from it into the other or keep my existing (save more for 21%) (current monthly mortgage is $600)? Can rent it for Say $1000/month
3.The interest rates are low now, if I wait for say a year will it remain low? or is it poised to go up and I would feel I missed the boat?
4.Having a rental property and primary residence will also help us take mortgage interest deductions, we already pay quiet some taxes!
5.Or stick with my current low mortgage and invest savings in ETFs/Mutual funds/REIT's and Stocks? Not sure about the stock market's direction either!
6.Wait for 2 more years and save lot more and buy something like this @31, afraid, if the prices would have gone up considerably!
We like the idea of a bigger home, but we also enjoy our current $600 mortgage and saving money! As we are not that old we are not sure what the future holds for us.
Ultimately, I do want to have a place for myself and not loose money by doing so.What is best in long term?
Need help with a massive dental quote
Added on : Monday May 20th 2013 04:00:11 PM
So I went to the dentist today for the first time in 3 years. Yes, I know, it was an atrocious oversight that I will never repeat. Several things immediately turned me off about the place. First is that they ask my occupation on the in-take form. I know this is common on medical forms, but why is this relevant? I feel like this is only to gauge a patient's ability to pay. Second is that the hygeniest peppers me with questions about my job, what part of town I live in, etc. Again, maybe she's just extremely chatty (and I know they are trained to interact with patients to keep them calm), but why the personal stuff? After many x-rays and examinations, I am told that I need a) 13 fillings, the cost of which will be, at $192 per, almost $2500, and b) Invisalign and a retainer to fix my bite, which will be $6600. I looked at all the x-rays and the dentist explained most things pretty thoroughly, so I'm not too worried about being charged for unnecessary work/procedures. However, should I get a second opinion? Assuming I need all this work, should I 1) negotiate the bill down, and if so what strategies should I use other than offering to prepay all the fillings in cash (which the web site says will offer a 5% discount), or 2) go overseas/to Mexico to get the work done? If anyone has experience with the latter, I would love to hear about it. I could even make a vacation out of it because I have boatloads of airline miles/points, so that aspect of the cost is not a concern.
Need help with a massive dental bill
Added on : Monday May 20th 2013 12:00:05 PM
So I went to the dentist today for the first time in 3 years. Yes, I know, it was an atrocious oversight that I will never repeat. Several things immediately turned me off about the place. First is that they ask my occupation on the in-take form. I know this is common on medical forms, but why is this relevant? I feel like this is only to gauge a patient's ability to pay. Second is that the hygeniest peppers me with questions about my job, what part of town I live in, etc. Again, maybe she's just extremely chatty (and I know they are trained to interact with patients to keep them calm), but why the personal stuff? After many x-rays and examinations, I am told that I need a) 13 fillings, the cost of which will be, at $192 per, almost $2500, and b) Invisalign and a retainer to fix my bite, which will be $6600. I looked at all the x-rays and the dentist explained most things pretty thoroughly, so I'm not too worried about being charged for unnecessary work/procedures. However, should I get a second opinion? Assuming I need all this work, should I 1) negotiate the bill down, and if so what strategies should I use other than offering to prepay all the fillings in cash (which the web site says will offer a 5% discount), or 2) go overseas/to Mexico to get the work done? If anyone has experience with the latter, I would love to hear about it. I could even make a vacation out of it because I have boatloads of airline miles/points, so that aspect of the cost is not a concern.
Must be an email special only so it becomes a YMMV
Easy Canvass is running a special again, but for a much larger print this time. A 30x40 3/4 inch stretcher canvas wrap. I went for the 1.5 inch for another $39 bux because I was matching another print on the wall. This is a very impressive print size and media... My opinion of course Canvas Special
I have used them 3 times in the past and am very happy with their work. I am very color and finish picky...[/L]
Dell Chat LinkDell Inspiron 17" laptopInsipron 17r Special Edition
i7-3630QM (up to 3.4 GHz)
GT 650 M 2 GB
8 GB DDR3-1600
1 TB 5400 RPM HDD
Total $716 incl. Tax and Shipping.
I found the same thing on Newegg for $750. Sorry, I lost the link.I've been looking for a laptop for moderate gaming while away from my desktop.I had such trouble navigating the Dell store that I used the chat tool.I told the guy I wanted an 15.6", i5, with a GT 730M for $500-700. He found that, but with a AMD 7630 for $600, which is perfectly fine, but I preferred the NVIDIA for mobile. I asked for a NVIDIA, and he found this 17" for $716. Both offers came from the outlet, and both included a 20% off discount (no code was given to me, he just applied it). He said the 20% off is good through this weekend only, and that stock varies.Based on the 3 weeks of searching for a new laptop, this is a good deal, but of course you opinion and mileage may vary. I asked about the 4% Cash Back from Fatwallet, but he couldn't help me apply that, and I wasn't going to push too hard for $25. Happy deal hunting!Copy-Paste dump from my confirmation e-mail below:Dell Outlet Inspiron 17R Special Edition Laptop
Quantity: 1
Mod NumberMod Description
130W A/C Adapter, 3P
125V Power Cord
Windows 64 Bit
Windows 64 Bit
Dell Outlet Inspiron 17R Special Edition Laptop
Processor: Intel Core 3rd Generation i7-3630QM Processor (6MB cache, up to 3.4Ghz)
8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz
1 TB 5400 RPM SATA Hard Drive
8X Tray Load CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW Drive)
Nvidia GeForce GT 650M 2GB
Intel Centrino Wireless 2230, 2x2 bgn + Bluetooth
Processor Label
Service Software
Shipping Material
Service Software
Service Software
Cyberlink Media Suite Essentials DVD
17.3 Inch High Definition+ (900p) WLED Display with Truelife
Windows 8
1.0 MP HD Camera with MIC
6 Cell Lithium-Ion Primary Battery
English Backlit Keyboard with Multi-touch Touchpad
Inspiron 17R Special Edition : 90 Days Premium Phone Support + 1 Year Basic Support (1 Year In-Home Service after Remote Diagnosis (Included in Price)
Quantity: 1
Item NumberItem Description
Inspiron 17R Special Edition : 90 Days Premium Phone Support + 1 Year Basic Support (1 Year In-Home Service after Remote Diagnosis (Included in Price)
Subtotal: $663.20
Shipping & Handling: $0.00
Tax: $53.06
Total Price w/Discounts: $716.26
Dell Consumer Coupons
500 Mbps Powerline 4-Port Gigabit Switch
Blazing-fast 500 Mbps* speeds for lag-free HD video streaming and gaming
Plug-and-play connection for to up to four media devices at Gigabit wire speed
IEEE1901 compliant and compatible with HomePlug AV
QoS enhances media streaming quality
Power-saving mode reduces wasted energy
Package contents:
(2) PLA4205
Quick Start Guide
Warranty Card
3 Ethernet Cablesthis is HOT in my opinion as the 4 port adapter (PLA4225) + 1 port adapter (PLA4205) kit is $100. This is an additional 1 port adapter (PLA4205) for free.
Rakuten.com Shopping (formerly Buy.com) Coupons
Graduate Education in Real Estate
Added on : Saturday May 11th 2013 10:00:09 AM
Hello FW members, I would like to solicit your opinions on the value of pursuing further education in the field of real estate/banking. From what I can tell, it seems that most in this field advance through the use of their connections, however, as my employer offers a very generous tuition reimbursement program, I would like to take advantage of it and further my education. One of the few requirements is that the company must see it as a degree that would benefit the company (so dance and art degrees for instance, would be out...while degrees in business would be acceptable). I currently work at a bank as a mortgage underwriter and received my BA in Econ 3 years ago. The problem: I have had difficulty finding a graduate degree program that would directly correlate with what I am doing. UCLA's 36-unit certificate program in Credit Analysis is the closest match I could find, and though the unit requirement exceeds some other Master's degree programs (e.g. prerequisites aside, Masters in Accounting / Taxation programs seem to require only 30 units of coursework for the Master's degree), certificate programs in general don't seem to carry much weight. That said, I've toyed with the idea of MRED programs (Masters in Real Estate Development)...while it is in Real Estate however, it doesn't quite line up with what I'm currently doing. Additionally, while knowledge of accounting and taxation could be argued as useful in general for those looking to further their career in business, I'm not quite sure I could convince my employer to cover the expenses for a Master's in Accounting / Taxation. I've also toyed with the idea of an MBA, however, with my limited work experience (2-3 years), I'm not sure I'm quite ready for that. I would also be shooting for a relatively top-tier MBA program, and as the cost for those seems to be more often than not quite high, I doubt my employer would be willing to pay $50k+ in tuition for a "lowly underwriter" (as opposed to a manager or a VP applying for similarly ranked/priced MBA programs). I'd like to omit discussions about Big 4 talk and transition into a career into Accounting/Taxation for this thread please. That said, input and opinions on what degree you believe would be useful in advancing my career in this field would be much appreciated, thank you FW members.
fha 203k or conventional home loan?
Added on : Friday May 10th 2013 11:01:15 AM
Looking at foreclosed houses in need of a little repair (need roof, maybe siding, nothing inside the house), the issue of financing comes up.FHA has a higher interest rate, not exactly sure how much but doesn't require too much to qualify. Repairs have to be done by a licensed contractor. Conventional, higher requirements and you can do as you wish.I think I have those right.So my question is whether its ever better to go with the 203k loan over conventional? I want more opinions than just the guy at the bank.
Generac pressure washer $539 (cat pump) home depot
Added on : Wednesday May 08th 2013 07:00:24 AM
ends 5/15, online purchase only, but free shipping
I think it has 3% Cash Back, bringing it to $523.7
the sale is also on other generac models, but this is the best bang for the buck in my opinion. I could not find a single CAT pump power washer under $600 except this one. Even at $599 it seems to be a good deal.After a couple hours of searching and doing research, I just ordered this. Great reviews everwhere I could find. Listed on Amazon for well over $600. This really isn't a top secret deal like so many of the posts hereLittle backround on some of the info I found during research.The two most important things are the engine and the pump. Well, most small engines if maintained are going to far outlast the pump, so I pretty much concentrated on the pump. Generac is an american company that makes some large industrial/commercial equipment as well as small residential stuff. Generac is owned by briggs and stratton, and from everything I could find, Generac products with small engines are just rebranded briggs. There are a few different pump designs when it comes to pressure washer pumps. By far the two most common are axial cam pump and the triplex CAT pump. The axial cam pump is what you usually find on pressure washers $500 and under. There are different grades of quality, but most sources say the pumps are rated for about anywhere from 60-150 hours of use.The triplex CAT pump is typically used on commercial pressure washers, all sources seem to indicate they have atleast a 1000 hour rating. This model uses a Annovi Reverberi (commonly referred to as "AR") pump, which from what I can see is one of the best brands on the market. It is used on many of the more expensive machines. It seems the only thing this is lacking from the higher end models is the engine power. So I've come to the determination this unit is essentially residential power (high end of residential) but commercial grade quality.The pressure rating was something that I didn't really look at; as if spraying water at 3000psi is going to be that much better than 2700psi. It seemed more like a figure used for marketing because the tim allen in us wants an easy way to measure the performance, akin to speaker wattage ratings. I'm sure it is important for some applications, but none that I have found over the years.Anyway, I think this is the first deal I posted after reading for years.
Home Depot Coupons
Generac Power washer $539 (cat pump) home depot
Added on : Tuesday May 07th 2013 07:00:02 AM
ends 5/15, online purchase only, but free shipping
I think it has 3% Cash Back, bringing it to $523.7
the sale is also on other generac models, but this is the best bang for the buck in my opinion.After a couple hours of searching and doing research, I just ordered this. Great reviews everwhere I could find. Listed on Amazon for well over $600. This really isn't a top secret deal like so many of the posts hereLittle backround on some of the info I found during research.The two most important things are the engine and the pump. Well, most small engines if maintained are going to far outlast the pump, so I pretty much concentrated on the pump. Generac is an american company that makes some large industrial/commercial equipment as well as small residential stuff. Generac is owned by briggs and stratton, and from everything I could find, Generac products with small engines are just rebranded briggs. There are a few different pump designs when it comes to pressure washers. By far the two most common are axial cam pump and the triplex CAT pump. The axial cam pump is what you usually find on pressure washers $500 and under. There are different grades of quality, but most sources say the pumps are rated for about anywhere from 60-150 hours of use.The triplex CAT pump is typically used on commercial pressure washers, all sources seem to indicate they have atleast a 1000 hour rating.The pressure rating to me was not something that I didn't really look at; as if 3000psi is going to be that much better than 2700psi. It seemed more like a figure used mostly for marketing because the tim allen in us wants an easy way to measure the performance, akin to speaker wattage ratings.Anyway, I think this is the first deal I posted after reading for years.
Oakley Jupiter Sunglasses 49.99 from Oakleyvault.com
Added on : Sunday May 05th 2013 06:00:02 PM
OakleyVault.com has this sweet looking (in my opinion) pair of sunglasses at $49.99, normally $100. They are here.Shipping is $3.93 but they do offer free shipping at $50 or more. You can use filler here. The cheapest thing to add is a pair of wristbands which in essence would only add a few cents to the total price if you were to take shipping into account. I added a tee shirt for $7.99 which technically made it about $4.If you have an Oakley store near you then you'll get charged tax, but on the bright side you can return your purchase to the store for a full refund if it turns out you don't like them. Otherwise they offer free returns via mail.I've been looking for a cool pair of sunglasses and I am hoping these are them.
Until recently I've only had my one local bank's credit card-- but I've branched out lately and signed up for a three new credit cards to maximize my rewards (PenFed platinum, Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire). I think I'm at a point where I'm not missing out on a whole lot as far as cash-back opportunities go. But there's still a lot of cards out there that have attractive sign-up bonuses. I'd jump on these while I'm at it, but I know signing up for new lines of credit frequently will mess with your credit rating, so I have held off. I understand there's no hard and fast number for how frequently you should be enrolling for new credit. But I'm sure many of you have opinions and experience in this area, so I was hoping to hear how many credit cards you'd feel comfortable signing up with in a span of a few months before you decided to cool it. Thanks!P.S. I don't believe in carrying a balance and I am very meticulous (and frugal) about my money management. The concern about having too many credit cards to keep straight, or the opportunity for mismanaging credit is not a concern here.
Advice on how to sell partial ownership to family member ..
Added on : Friday May 03rd 2013 09:01:18 AM
I own 50% of 2 family home with another family member. I need to sell my 50% to family member who then will own 100% of the property (price etc. is agreed up). The home has HELOC with very little balance, with both our name on HELOC. Wanted to know what is the most cost effective, legal way of doing this ... without too much pain/paperwork.Option 1 is to draw on the heloc to take the sell amount for myself. And then do a transfer (at that point no money exchange involved, as i already took the money from heloc)- he'll refinance and take a new mortgage to payoff heloc which has both of our name. Other option is he takes a new mortgage and pay off helocs plus me and does the title transfer.Can someone comment, which option is better .. or whether bothoption is legal or not. I spoke with my laywer and mortgage guy (as i'm purchasing new home) .. and they gave me bit conflicting answer. Lawyer thinks either option is fine. Obviously you always would think lawyer knows more. Mortgage guy says you must withdraw money form heloc first and then to the transfer - he is saying I cannot "sell" and take money to another person who is already in the deed. SO take money out form Heloc first.So, looking for any opinion or any prior experience form any forum member? My objective is to minimize hassel, but also do everytihing by the book, so no issue with IRS etc.
Known Problem with Air Conditioner, Now Out of Warranty
Added on : Thursday May 02nd 2013 02:01:19 PM
I have a pretty severe leak in the coil of my air conditioner, which is bad a very bad thing for those that may not understand how an air conditioner works. It was installed in my home when it was built by the builder (low quality, now bankrupt). The installer is still in business and they provided a warranty on the system. During the warranty period, they came out to service the unit and had to fill the freon (R-22). Not being an HVAC expert (but being fairly astute), I began noticing that the air conditioner was not performing very well. Some of it I attributed to the system being under-sized for my home (a suspicion, on my part). Anyhow, this past summer it was performing horribly and began to freeze up. I quit worrying about it just turned it off as the weather started to cool down.Fast forward to today: I called another company to come out and take a look, hoping to get the thing operating. The service technician checked the pressure and found that it was EXTREMELY low... maybe just about 20% of the freon it should have in it. He also asked how many square feet the house is and noticed the system is about 25-50% under-sized. I had him perform a leak test and he found only one leak in the coil (and noted that the it is a common problem for the model of coil for the year it was manufactured). From research and verification of the technician, the company that installed and warrantied the system should have addressed the leak when they filled the freon while it was under warranty.I have the company that serviced the system coming back out tomorrow to give me two estimates: 1) repairing the system: likely ~$2k or more, 2) installing a new system that is properly sized and can use the newer freon replacement as the R-22 cannot be sold as of 2015: likely ~$5k or more.So, here is the crux of the situation. The company that installed was negligent in not addressing the leak while the system was under warranty. Professional opinion is that it should always be addressed... the system isn't going to leak and then just fix itself, it will continue to leak causing poor performance and eventually will cease to operate and these gasses are regulated because they are bad for the ozone layer (if that is an important consideration for you). So, as with other warrantied items, what experience have you all had getting a company to address something (completely or partially) when it is out of warranty due their negligence during the warranty period?I would be satisfied if they would pay for the system to be repaired, or just cut a check to me for the cost. This issue has certainly cost me more in terms of discomfort and inefficiency, but I would be willing to settle for just the money to repair. This is also considering that they under-sized the system. I would then take the money and put it towards replacing the system with one that is adequately sized and is ready for the newer freon. I am also not intimidated by the notion of taking them small claims court, either... I successfully represented myself last year (if you read and remember the thread about my dog being attacked). I have legal service but it doesn't cover small claims court (but it does cover consultation and pre-court "planning").If they do not want to cut a check for the cost of another company to repair and would want to perform the repair themselves, then I would only be satisfied with them installing a completely new system at cost (with me being willing to pay the difference from a comparable system to an adequately sized system).What would satisfy me and what may happen in reality may not even come close to meeting up, obviously. I am not being naive. I am just looking for those that have tried and either failed, partially succeeded, or completely succeeded in having a similar situation addressed and advice from those folks. Thanks in advance.
Condo Association powers question
Added on : Thursday May 02nd 2013 07:01:20 AM
So our HOA Board is moving ahead with plans to borrow 5+ million dollars for repair work. We have 1m in reserves. As it is, our old condo complex has some of the highest dues and with the new loan we'd have dues comparable to million dollar condos with condo values about an eighth.
The repairs are necessary but the planning is rather extravagant, in my opinion. The 40,000 sq ft roof is going to be replaced at a cost of $2.5 m. Fees to project management team is about 500k.
The Declarations say:
The Board's power hereinabove enumerated shall be limited in that the Board shall have no authority to acquire and pay for out of the maintenance fund capital additions and improvements (other than for purposes of restoring, repairing or replacing portions of the common areas) having a total cost in excess of Ten Thousand Dollars, without first obtaining the affirmative vote of the owners holding a majority of the voting power present or represented at a meeting called for such purpose, or if no such meeting is held, then the written consent of voting owners having a majority of the voting power; provided that any expenditure or contract for capital additions or improvements in excess of Fifty Thousand Dollars must be approved by owners having not less than seventy-five percent of the voting power.No such meeting has been called nor has there been a vote, but my understanding is that the contracts have been signed and work is to begin shortly.Do I have a case to challenge them?TIA
Buy house for mother to rent - What could be the problem?
Added on : Tuesday April 30th 2013 07:01:18 PM
Dear Fatwalleters,I am looking for opinions and advise on possible pitfalls that could come with the following situation:My mother is currently living in a rental because she moved to be closer to the family. She would like to move into a more permanent place but does not qualify for a home loan. To help her out I would like to purchase a home under my name and let her live there. The idea is that she would pay "rent" equal to the cost of mortgage + taxes + insurance. What could go wrong? Obviously she could fail to pay her rent and I would be stuck with the bill but I know she would do whatever she could so that didn't happen.
Random concerns we have:
1. She wishes there would be a way to structure the set up so she could still build some kind of equity that would be hers since this could be a long term deal.
2. The other siblings could feel a little resentment that at the end of 30 years I have a paid off house that wont be part of a shared inheritance.
3. Are there any legal/ownership issues we should worry about? Would it be better if both of us are on the title? Pro's and Con's?As one more bit of info, this house is really too expensive for her which also makes me nervous. $1100 + Utilities and only $1800-1900 in take home pay. Problem is, $1100 is also what rents cost in the area and she has been paying that for two years. She is an older women with two dogs so getting a roommate isn't an easy option. I don't doubt so much that she will pay, it's more that I feel she is sacrificing too much of the rest of life just for housing.What would you do? Buy the house so your mother can have a stable place to live, or keep waiting for a miracle deal that may never come?Thank you for any responses.
Financial and id theft risk of lease guaranty
Added on : Tuesday April 30th 2013 06:01:26 AM
I would like community opinion re my concerns.
Situation: daughters moving out of college campus housing for next year.
A place they toured and picked as No. 1 has to me a strange requirement.
I presume that due to the fact that despite they are adults (20, 21) but have no income, parents are asked to be guarantors on the lease.
That is fine with me in principle but the text of the "agreement" obviously prepared by their lawyers basically abdicates responsibility for everything (still somehow acceptable) but their require SSN, copy of driving license and income plus my permission for what I understand would be a hard pull
on my credit.
With the staff in the office being maybe students or whoever, I feel very uncomfortable releasing this info. Of course, they can just deny the rental I suppose.
Am I paranoid?
Taxation of CC Rewards
Added on : Monday April 29th 2013 10:01:29 AM
Since no one wants to talk about it in the HH thread, here's a place to talk about it. Some say CC rewards are not taxable; some say they are. I have seen very little evidence to actual opinions of the IRS that it would be either way. Let the discussion begin.
OK FW'ers, I'm about to open your eyes to a super cheap and robust media center. I personally have 3 of these bad boys setup around my house. This requires some very light computer skills to take full advantage of it.If you remember the Belkin N300 router with Tomato firmware thread, this is one of those deals.Linky right here for the MK808
OR Linky for the MK808B (BlueTooth) @ $49.27This is a remote I'm buying for it ($20), but you can use virtually any wireless keyboard/mouse or wired keyboard/mouse, or just an XBMC phone app (iphone/android/etc) once you have it setup.This product currently has a big underground following and I'm barely Android-savvy, but I've been having a blast learning about it.This blows the Apple TV and Roku out of the water in my opinion.
Amazon Coupons
Slab Foundation Crack, Should we break contract?
Added on : Monday April 22nd 2013 01:01:06 AM
Hi Everyone,We are searching for our first family home in Mountain View. Inventory is extremely low and it is very hard to get your offer accepted with contingencies. Our offer has been accepted for a house. We wrote an offer that was con-contingent, 21 days close, picking seller's closing costs. We always believed that we had written a really high offer (14% higher than list) but we also feel that it is necessary in this market and the way prices are going up we are better off if we get a house as soon as we can. Another reason we believe that it was an higher offer is that house needs floors, kitchen, bathroom, dual pane windows, LARGE fruit tree removal (we want plane playarea for kids). But anyway, we were still happy until we saw a crack in slab foundation right at the bathroom door. The strange thing is that carpet had been cut open from that area before house was put on the market. We never sat down to have a peek what is inside until yesterday (15 days into contract, 7 more to go). The crack does not look very wide but it is not hairline crack either. It runs through the ground to the outer wall. We suspect that as carpet had been cut open from that place, then someone at some point suspected something and opened the carpet to check (may be a potential buyer?). That specific door does not close on jamb properly, and there is a crack in the top side of the door which looked minor before. We suspect that owner/seller agent were aware of the foundation crack but failed to mention it in disclosure. I mention this because that it may help us get our 3% deposit back if we break the deal. We have no claim because we wrote a non-contingen offer but if we could prove that seller intentionally shied away from disclosing structural fault then do we have a claim? We are first time home buyers with no experience of construction or remodeling. So, this looks like deal breaker to us. We don't want to deal with structural construction. In past we passed on houses which needed a wall removal. This looks huge to us in comparison to a wall removal etc. Please advise, do you think it is a deal breaker or should we close the deal? We are not looking forward to be back in market again anytime soon. Should we negotiate a price decrease to accommodate repair and future reselling problems because of structural fault? We are meeting structural engineer tomorrow to his opinion.
In your opinion, for a high school senior who's choosing a career path, which of the following requires the 1st most, the 2nd most, and the 3rd most:1. Training or education
2. Luck or abnormally high IQ
3. Overall likelihood of getting richA doctor, lawyer, investment banker, or something else (real estate, investing well, being thrifty, etc.)? Feel free to discuss specific specialties or practice areas in your response. Background: A bunch of us have been debating this lately, so I want to know what you think. Career counselor isn't helpful. Student has an A average and is a high school senior. He's well-rounded and kind of likes all school subjects equally.
2 days in Rome - suggestions please
Added on : Friday April 19th 2013 11:02:44 PM
Well I'm not a history buff and so I don't know what are the "must see" attractions from the many, many others. I don't have a lot of time, so I need your opinion: what are the must see, not to be missed attractions in Rome?
I am a frequent reader and contributor here, so I am aware of all the caveats with buying vs leasing. That is not what this thread is for. I want to lease because of my low mileage requirement and I get bored with my vehicle(s) after only a couple of years. Details below.Current vehicle is a 2007 BMW X5 4.8 with almost every option available. I bought it in January 2011 as a CPO with 39k miles on it. It has 57k miles now. Great condition aside from two minor door dings (of which I got insurance money and diminished value checks for; the FWF way). I truly enjoy this vehicle but the fact that it's almost six years old (in-service date is 8/15/07) and my extended warranty runs out in August, I am a bit hesitant on keeping it much longer. No mechanical issues with it, yet. New radiator due to a cracked one about six months ago (covered under CPO).Anyway, the lease "down payment" deal is that the dealership will match my down payment, up to $8500. In other words, if I put $8500 down towards cap-cost reduction, the dealer will give me a free $8500 cap-cost reduction on top of that. A total of $17,000. The payment on this Jeep (2012 SRT/8) is approximately 42% higher than my current payment. That is at their asking price, which is the same as a 2014 SRT/8 MSRP, which is insane. I plan on using that as some ammo when approaching them. It's also their last 2012 Jeep on the lot, and they have 2014's surrounding it. One would assume they would be eager to get rid of it.They're asking $63k for the Jeep, and I plan on trying to get them down to approximately $54,000. A pretty big feat, if I do manage it. That puts the new net payment at approximately 18% (or $113) higher than my current one. Over the course of 36 months, that's about $4100. My loan on my X5 has between two and three years left on it. Yeah, I shouldn't have taken a 5-year note out on a 2.5 year old used car, money was cheap--shoot me. I need new tires on the X5 before winter, that's $1300. So just after tires, I'm already $1300 into my $4100 extra. Toss in a brake job and a few other things, and I'm damn-near spending that $4100 on the X5. Justification? Logic? Not sure if I'm tricking myself here.Lease is 36 months. 12k miles per year, which is fine for me since I have a 10-mile round trip commute. Now, I am definitely a vehicle enthusiast and I get much enjoyment out of driving and maintaining my vehicle(s). In other words, in my low-responsibility life, I tend to splurge a bit on vehicles. Some will disagree with that, but to each their own--don't hate.
TL;DR: The ultimate question is, should I get into this SRT/8 to have the peace of mind of a warranty and "new-fast-car" enjoyment factor? The $4100 over 3 years seems worth it to me at the 30,000-foot level. However, laying out $8500+tax+dmv doesn't sound appealing on a lease. Questions, comments, concerns?ETA: The money factor and residual that I used for my rough calculations were from a few hours of research earlier today. I was reading what others have posted in the last couple of months on various forums and the like. It seems like Chrysler no longer services leases and loans, but they outsource to Ally. From what I could find, Ally has a 46% residual for the 2012 Jeep SRT/8 and a .0362 money factor. These variables could change, without a doubt.
Property insurance for a college student
Added on : Monday April 15th 2013 09:01:10 PM
I have been looking at property insurance for my children when they are at college. Although I wanted coverage for theft, I also wanted a policy that covered damage due to accidents. More of my friends' children have dropped or spilled something on their laptops or phones than had items stolen at school. Options:1.Homeowners policy. I decide against this option because I have a deductible that exceeds the value of every possession any of my children will have at school. Although I could reduce the deductible, the cost of doing so didnt make sense. Also, I am unwilling to risk losing coverage due to making small claims.2.Rental insurance. Although rental insurance might be a good option, most policies I found (HO-4) did not cover accidental damage.3.Separate policies for electronics. Most policies for phones and laptops are in my opinion overpriced and do not cover spills.4.Specialized insurance. There are at least two major firms, CSI and NSI that tailor their policies to college students. Each of these companies offers plans that cover the same perils that the rental insurance plans I considered plus accidental damage.Once I decided on option 4, I compared CSI and NSI. I selected CSI because for as little as $1 more per year than NSI, its policies offered more coverage for bicycles and jewelry plus identity theft insurance. Although there may be better options, I thought this might at least help someone at FWF considering insurance for a college student. CSINSI
Termination!! Obviously sob stories.. What to do next?
Added on : Saturday April 13th 2013 06:02:20 PM
Hello, I hope that you are having pleasant day. I've been learning a lot from FW finance forum- today, I humbly ask for your honest opinion of what I should do next. Since I didn't want to get this issue known to anybody(though this is anonymous forum... crazy, I know), I used Alt-ID and for that, I am genuinely so sorry about those who don't like to see Alt-ID: never knew I would be the one that would be using it. After the graduation of college, I decided to stay at college town so that my fiance could finish her degree. (I majored in Economics, for those who care). Since I wanted to do something useful while waiting, I started my first career as a teller in a local bank. Even though I knew that being a teller wasn't going to strengthen my resume, I worked really hard as if becoming teller was my destiny. I quickly reached incentive level and reached top 10 percent of tellers among five states, which was all good. The cash flow from being a teller wasn't big enough, but I was able to put food on the table along with some nice gift for my gal. I was a happy man back then. Then the cookie started to crumble. The relationship between my fiance and me went south- after breakup, I realized that I do not have any connection or friends. While I don't want to say that the time that I spent with her was a waste, I certainly should have had my personal life. I was floating in middle of nowhere in geographic sense(not in a big city like Boston, Chicago, San Francisco etc) either. I was stressed as is and this was what happened after a week of breakup. I was preparing to move to another big city so that I can finally start my second beginning albeit it was without her. We, as retail tellers, occasionally help the commercial tellers because there is so much for the commercial tellers to do. That day was the day that commercial room wasn't able to handle the workload that they are given. After 5:00PM, I realized that I was 5.14 dollars short from the drawer and the commercial room asked for the help they needed. Grudgingly any available retail tellers started to help them out. At 7:00PM, everybody was tired and wanted to go home. At the very last deposit, I found a deposit slip where they did not write down the amount of deposit. THIS WAS WHERE IT WENT WRONG. For some reason, I put 5 dollars less than what the actual deposit was (not 5.14!!!). I did not know what got into my head- the balancing wasn't my motive to put that money into my drawer since I ended up writing off 14 cents. My balancing rate was more than 95 percent so I knew for sure that my supervisor would not mind me being off 5.14 dollars let alone 14 cents. My coworkers saw me underwriting from the deposit and reported to supervisor that I shorted them for 5 dollars. Few minutes later, managers available at 7PM all gathered up and asked me whether I did that terrible act. He asked me whether I really did that since he could not believe the fact that I, who were so enthusiastic and friendly about this bank, would commit this serious issue. I told them the truth as I wouldn't lie. They asked me that whether I have been doing that more than once and I told them that I did not. If that was the case, I would've denied the fact that I shorted commercial deposit at the first place instead of admitting it. They agreed that I am not the character like that and yet were deeply shocked by this incidence. They told me to correct the transaction and come back tomorrow for further action. Feeling terrible and befuddled about the motive of force balancing, I showed up to my work after that day. I have concluded that the recent crumble with the relationship that went south interfered with the clear thinking that I always had. They took the whole day to investigate whether I shorted other customers to balance myself. Of course, they was not able to find the supporting evidence as I never did such act prior to this. After escalating this issue to vice president and HR, they decided to terminate me. I was asked to sign the paper where it read as "the bank has lost trust to employee XXXXX for this action and has decided to terminate his position". However, the head of HR told me that the bank and supervisors do not believe that I did this in any malicious way- but they have to follow the compliance. Long story short, I was terminated with free of charge(no, they did not call police), which was fortunate. The head of HR further told me that they will only verify the start date and duration of employment, the tile as a teller- they would not answer the question of eligibility of rehire. She added that they use the term terminated for every single person who leave the bank: whether it is their own accord, retired, or terminated. I honestly think that this is the end of line for me- I lost everything that I took pride and loved. I lost my fiance, and now I lost my career where I once took my pride and excelled at. With the big termination mark at teller job, I do not think that any financial institution would hire me. I wanted to apply asset management careers after getting myself married and moving to a big city but all those dreams turned into ashes. Honestly, who would hire me after hearing this story? While I certainly don't hope that this would lead to depression or any sort, I would like to ask for your opinion. Am I done for the life? Would I be better off throwing myself from the building? <-Okay, that was little bit extreme, but I really, really don't know what to do. I don't even know whether I should be posting this. Please share me your thought.
Selling Car, to fix bumper or sell with out fixing bumper??
Added on : Wednesday April 10th 2013 01:01:11 PM
Hey Guys, I know car buying/selling advice is seen alot on FWF and mostly its a matter of personal opinion. But I feel this is more financial than most posts which are simply I want a new car or should I keep an old one. I plan on selling my car, an 09 Lancer, The driver side Fender and Bumper need to be replaced, a shop quoted me about $1500 for the repairs, should I pay for the repairs than try to sell the car or should I just try and sell the car the way it is. These are only cosmetic damages does not effect driving or anything like that. I also have a lot of scratches on the car, (used to park in my college town and I guess drunk people thought it would be funny to key my car??). So if I replace the bumper/fender I will still not be able to list the car in PERFECT/AWESOME condition... any advice?Thanks!
I thought about creating an alt ID to post this, but I hate when other people do that, so I decided to post on my real username. This involves my GF of several years, whom I am likely to get married to (thus why this might become "my problem"). She was sick a few years ago and racked up huge medical bills during a two year time frame when she did not have any health insurance. She used CCs to live off of and paid off her medical bills with her (meager) salary. She now knows this is a bad idea, as she could have negotiated down the medical debt easily and never had to use CCs, but thats not something that can be fixed now. The CC debt over the period of a few years was large but not insanely large until she could no longer float it on 0% or low interest cards, now its exploded to about ~80k. She has never missed a payment on any CC and everything is current. Her job situation is that shes a graduate student and isn't expected to get her PhD for 3-4 more years. She now is under the university health plan so while she still has some medical expenses, the cost is now manageable even on a TA salary.Once she graduates she will probably start at 70-85k, but she also has about 55k in student loans from undergraduate (subsidized stafford). However, she will almost certainly get a tenure track job at a public university, so those will be forgiven after 10 years through the public service forgiveness program (thanks taxpayers!). I am aware of three options:
(1) Bankruptcy - Wipe it all clean, deal with the 10 years bad credit. My question is - if she does something like gets a secured credit card that reports to the bureaus and keeps it at $0 balance, will the credit recover enough to where its impact will be more manageable in a few years? Or is the 10 years of bad credit basically just that - no credit of any kind from anyone until its off the credit report?
(2) Stop Paying - This will from my understanding result in 7 years of bad credit or so once the balances get charged off. However, in the mean time she gets to deal with debt collectors and given that some of the individual balances are large (1 card is a 20k balance) - will she be sued for the larger amounts?
(3) PAY YOUR BILLS DEADBEAT - Always the preferred (and in my opinion, the best option) but realistically not feasible. She would not even be in the position to negotiate a pay off for deletion type strategy until she gets a job, which again is at least 3-4 years down the road. She is currently throwing every dime she has from her $20k/year TA salary at keeping current, her only other expenses are rent and food, and its not enough to decrease the debt at all. She called all the CC companies a few months ago to ask if they would be willing to lower interest rates or work out some sort of lower payment plan, but all of them refused to do so until she was delinquent with the payments. Which option is best here? I am leaning towards recommending she pursue bankruptcy (cost: 1.5k, according to the lawyer she talked to) just to get it over with, but it may be better dealing with debt collectors for 7 years if it means 3 years sooner where she can get credit (and use it responsibly, this time). We are of course both reading credit boards about this, but I wanted to get the FWF opinion (with all the negative that will include) as well.
Hi Guys,Long time lurker--first time poster. As I have found the FWF community to always be quite thoughtful and helpful, I would like to hear some thoughts, opinions and advice.I'm currently in a top 3 MBA program ready to graduate in May. I've received a few offers and I am concerned whether I am maximizing the potential income that I will be receiving.Let's me just say first that I know income isn't the only part of jobs, but let's assume that the other factors such as growth opportunities, culture, people, work life balance, etc., are satisfactory.Some details on me: I'm 30 years old (which is slightly old for a typical MBA grad). I have a prior Masters degree in statistics from a top program (done right after undergrad) and an undergrad in Computer Science from a state school, where I received a full scholarship. I have 5 years of work experience at a Fortune 100 large corporate healthcare company, located in a very low cost of living city, doing big data / analytics consulting. I moved into a Manager role / title, including hiring, performance reviews, managing clients, project work, etc., after the first 3 years. I've gone through a leadership development program at that company. Upon leaving, I was at a salary of $100,000 with bonus of usually 10%, but often a bit more. I thought that was very competitive, especially given the extremely low cost of living.So, the question is, what should someone with my background be commanding? Assume a corporate setting or a high growth small business. Assume healthcare industry, non-finance. Assume data / analytics management responsibilities.Some data points I received:
Typical entry level data scientist in the West Coast (eg. Facebook): $115K
Typical consulting MBA grad associate level (eg. McKinsey, Bain): ~$130K base with 20% bonus
Typical Director level salary at my old company: $150K-$160K base with unknown bonusSome offers I received:
Typical consulting firm in Chicago: $125K base with 20% bonus
Fortune 100 healthcare company in Boston: $120K base with 5% bonus
Small business consulting-like company in Washington D.C.: $135K base with 20% bonus, up to 30% bonusCost of the MBA:
I assume this to be around $450K+ when including the opportunity cost. It's around $100K a year when including tuition, fees and living expenses. On top of that is the $110K salary not earned each year (2 year program) plus yearly increases unearned.So, the feedback I am seeking: are these offers fair? Should I take any of them? What should I be expecting in terms of numbers? Should I keep looking? Should I strive to find something I love that might potentially have a much lesser salary (say $100K)? I feel like with 2 Masters degrees from top schools, 5 years of experience including formal management experience, a fairly high previous salary, I should be doing a bit better than average median graduating salary no? And certainly, it should be significantly higher than entry level data scientist? I just feel like with all those education / opportunity costs, I gotta make the next job pay well.I welcome your thoughts and responses. Thanks in advance.
Hello All,I have already posed this question in GMAT Club forums and Wall Street Oasis. I have only received limited feedback, so I thought that I would ask the most financially savvy community on the internet their opinions about career and school guidance. If this is too big a favor to ask by all means give me red.Let me apologize in advance for the length of this post. It is a hybrid of career choice and school questions- I am considering the necessity of MBA school / chances / where to apply and believe I understand the nuances of most schools inside the top 20.I am an Air Force Captain with about 7 years' service. Undergrad double major in Supply Chain/Econ from one of the better Big Ten schools with a 3.7 GPA. Also have an MSc in Quant Finance from an average Pac-Twelve School (not in California!) but with a fairly robust curriculum and 3.8 GPA.My AFSC (MOS) is in the Finance arena, but have had some very atypical assignments, have checked the blocks on deployments to both major AORs in ways that were not standard Bob on the Fob G-8, and am currently working at an Embassy assignment... fair amount of breadth and I'm reasonably sure that for a non combat arms role my profile is strong - would be grateful for feedback on my Linkedin/Resume and would happy to provide on a PM.I have also passed my CFA Level 1 exam and will be sitting for the Level 2 in June.BLUF: I want to work at a hedge fund full stop, first as an analyst, and progressing to a portfolio manager-global macro long/short go anywhere fund. I am not interested in working at a long-only asset manager or mutual fund. Eventually I want to run my own fund and if all goes well (yes that's an optimistic assumption but you have to have goals) I have some longer term plans about how I would want to build out the fund and turn it into more of a venture philanthropy/ emerging mkt micro venture capital endeavor - this would be the crux of any essays I would put in for MBA schools. I would also attempt to parlay my international experience in essays. This plan has evolved, but for the most part it is what I've wanted to do since my junior year of college. The career progression I've sought is pretty self-explanatory to any school with the Master's degree concentration and the CFA, and my rationale would be the school as a natural pipeline for a career change and network exposure. My dilemma is as follows: I am questioning the necessity of attending MBA school at all, because last year I was seriously considering getting out and managed to land interviews at several of the BB banks in NY, which at the time I viewed as a critical stepping stone to the alternative asset space. Managed to land one job offer in the market reg side in oil futures surveillance, but the salary offered was on par with a first time job out of undergrad. I have a spouse with grad school debt and we could not make the numbers work in NYC. I worked closely with Veterans on Wall Street to get to these interviews, but the industry was in such flux with Dodd-Frank at the time that 4 firms asked me to wait until summertime. That said, I've maintained contact with my interviewers and hope/think that they will keep me in mind down the road.In parallel I was offered this very unique Embassy job opportunity; my wife is in the NGO/Int'l Development arena and we had to jump at the chance. In the Air Force you only have 5 days to accept an assignment selection or you have to establish a date of separation and no deferral of an offer. Fast forward to today and we have another year left here, but possibly up to two years if I put in for an extension. Leading up to the week that I accepted the overseas job, I had been cultivating relationships with a few hedge fund managers and sought their counsel - a common piece of advice I got was get the international/life experience, skip the MBA completely, pursue the CFA, and learn Python programming. They also recommended trying to start directly at a HF rather than try to navigate the as-of-yet uncertain maze of what Sales/Trading desks at the big banks will look like post the major regulatory changes. Although they personally said they would speak to me when I returned home - 2 years is a long time and there are no guarantees.Since before I was commissioned I've been trading equities/options on my own and have managed to grow the portfolio to a fairly comfortable level (market hours are friendly in SWA); I have all of my transactions documented and can verify performance figures- I absolutely realize that this is close to irrelevant in hiring for institutional money management but only offer it to further emphasize my dilemma. As an undergrad I was also active in my school's investment association which at the time was running the largest student run fund in the world, and studied in the UK my junior year that concluded with a short internship in London at the LME and a week survey at the Bank of England.Back when I was applying for the Master's program I didn't do as well on the GMAT as hoped and got a 660 which I attribute to poor time management. But that was 7 years ago meaning it is off the books at this point, and I am quite confident I could push above 700 with a reasonable amount of prep. First, given all the above details, is there an overly compelling need for me to go to MBA school? The fact that I was offered an analyst/undergrad position is a concern I have because an analyst's salary will not work for me in either NYC or SF as family planning is going to be a reality in the very near future. The other big banks seemed to be hinting at a senior analyst level or even associate position, but likely for a summer internship offer. I certainly understand the risk they are assuming with an unproven person coming into a new industry. Since that time many of the large firms have come out with military specific programs, which they may have known about when we were speaking, but were not public at that point. Believe me, I have heard and understand the "You're taking the difficult path" rather than the natural one by NOT going to MBA school.Although there are differences between top MBA salaries over the course of career by most normal metrics, in my specific case I'm wondering if the lost opportunity cost is worth it... I will be a little older than your standard post Academy/ROTC guy and low 30s should be prime earning years, even if I am able to attend school cheaply or even for free with Post 9/11 and Yellow Ribbon. I remember looking at Cornell Johnson's 1 year program but the issue with that is no opportunity for an internship and you're left to your own devices at graduation- could be stated from a position of ignorance but I spoke with a few of the military guys there at the time and they recommended going for the 2 year one. With 1 year, the time isn't automatically built in so most of your school experience would be trying to get recruited.Second, If school is absolutely the way to go, for hedge fund specific positions, are there any other schools to seriously consider than Columbia, Wharton, NYU, and Booth? MIT certainly has a lot of academia in that realm with Andrew Lo's finance lab, but I perceive it to be more an operations/quant/management place. For West Coast, I would think both Haas and Anderson are well represented, but Stanford (impossibly tough to get into) seems to be much more tailored to the VC/PE/Startup set.Finally, Is there any factor that I am not thinking about that I should give more consideration? With a 700 GMAT & reasonable quant is there anything more that you would recommend in terms of application approaches other than what I've already mentioned?Thank you very much in advance for any advice you can offer, and once again I apologize for the length of this post.
In my town (north of Chicago), we have Sam's Club and Lowes close by. Sam's Club sells the highly rated ProForce commerical grade concentrated carpet cleaner (1 gal) for around $7. It is equivalent to the $20 solution normally sold with rental machines. The undiluted-50/50 dilution of the ProForce cleaner also can be used to remove stubborn spots.ProForce carpet solutionLowes rents the Bissell Big Green machine. I've used this and the RugDoctor units and in my opinion, the Lowes unit does a nicer job. Bissell now has a $5 off coupon for a 24 h rental from Lowes which normally costs about $22.Bissell cleaner couponSo if you have both stores nearby and a membership with Sams Club, you can do a pro job at a relatively low cost.
Sams Club Coupons
Federal taxes: AOTC for graduate study?
Added on : Monday April 01st 2013 04:01:00 AM
Can I claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) for my grad school expenses this year? Before you say no, hear me out. According to IRS pub. 970, to claim the AOTC, one must not have "completed the first 4 years of postsecondary education." Their language surrounding this definition is as follows: IRS said: Completion of first 4 years.
A student has completed the first 4 years of postsecondary education if the institution at which the student is enrolled awards the student 4 years of academic credit at that institution for coursework completed by the student before 2012. This student generally would not be an eligible student for purposes of the American opportunity credit.

Any academic credit awarded solely on the basis of the student's performance on proficiency examinations is disregarded in determining whether the student has completed 4 years of postsecondary education.My situation:
- Completed undergraduate degree in 3 years. This includes 42 credits, 6 of which were granted based on proficiency exams.
- Enrolled fall 2012 in graduate program. In my opinion, the IRS language is clear that my undergraduate degree should not be considered 4 years of postsecondary education, since 6 of the 42 credits came from proficiency exams. In which case my first year of graduate education would be eligible for the AOTC. Of course, I'd like to have something to back up my opinion if they don't agree.There are a lot of third-party garbage websites claiming the AOTC can only apply to undergraduate study, but I don't see any of them citing direct language from the IRS or any relevant legal rulings.Anyone encountered this issue or could point me to meaningful information resolving it? There's about $1000 at stake which is meaningful in my broke grad student world.
12 Kohl's Holiday items at 90% OFF + Today's Codes
Added on : Sunday March 31st 2013 11:00:12 AM
ALL items are available at time of posting and at the price quoted!ALL CODES EXPIRE TODAY: FORU50SHIP - Free shipping with $50 PurchaseEveryone gets an extra 20% off when you spend $100 or more*
Promo Code TULIPORextra 15% off everything
Promo Code LILYHalloween "Enter If You Dare" Haunted House Dcornow $1.99
original $19.99
Make a playful statement with this Halloween haunted house decor. The "Enter If You Dare" caption and spooky house are perfect for showing your holiday spirit. Shop our full selection of Halloween decor at Kohl's. In black/orange.
Haunted house lends seasonal charm.
"Enter If You Dare" caption completes the look.
Hanging loop makes decorating easy.
15 1/4"H x 10 1/2"W x 1/2"D
Attached hanging loop
Wipe clean
Halloween Spiderweb Cutout Placematnow $0.79
original $7.99Fun and frightening. This creepy Halloween placemat features a cutout spiderweb in one corner. Shop more spooky dinner accessories at Kohls. In black.
Polyester construction offers long-lasting wear.
13" x 18"
Spot clean
ImportedPumpkin 4" x 6" Halloween Framenow $1.59
original $15.99This picture frame adds a festive touch to your decor.Featuring a cutout design, this frame gives your favorite picture the perfect display. Shop our full selection of frames at Kohl's. In orange/black.
Cutout pumpkin design offers an unique look.
Durable construction ensures long-lasting beauty.
8.11"H x 6.1"W
Holds one 4" x 6" photo
Vertical display
Attached easel
Wipe cleanHalloween Tree 4" x 6" Framenow $1.79
original $17.99This frame gives your favorite Halloween photo ghoulish style. The picture hangs from the tree with spider and pumpkin accents surrounding it. Shop our full selection of frames at Kohl's. In black/multi.
Unique frame gives your photo a fun display.
Durable construction ensures lasting beauty.
8 3/4"H x 8 1/8"W x 2 7/8"D
Holds one 4" x 6" photo
Vertical display
Wipe cleanBlack Rose 4" x 6" Halloween Framenow $2.49
original $24.99TOO CUTE for OVER THE HILL BIRTHDAY PARTIES!!! My Opinion!This picture frame shows off your festive style.Featuring a metal flower accent, this frame is the perfect place for a Halloween photo. Shop our full selection of frames at Kohl's. In black/multi.
Durable construction offers long-lasting use.
6 3/8"H x 8"W
Frame holds one 4" x 6" photo
Horizontal or vertical display
Attached easel
Metal/glassHalloween "Come In For a Spell" Wall Decornow $1.99
original $19.99Welcome your guests with this Halloween "Come In For a Spell" wall decor. The playful caption and spooky crow are perfect for showing your holiday spirit. Shop our full selection of Halloween decor at Kohl's.
"Come In For a Spell" caption lends seasonal charm.
Crow detail completes the look.
Hanging loop makes decorating easy.
8"H x 14 1/4"W x 3/8"D
Attached hanging loop
Wipe clean
Halloween "Enter If You Dare" Wall Decornow $1.99
original $19.99Make a playful statement with this Halloween wall decor. The "Enter If You Dare" caption and skull detail create the perfect finishing touch to your seasonal decorations. Shop our full selection of Halloween decor at Kohl's.
Skull and crossbone detail lends spooky charm.
"Enter If You Dare" caption completes the look.
Hanging loop makes decorating easy.
10 3/7"H x 12 2/7"W x 3/5"D
Attached hanging loop
Wipe clean
Halloween "An Old Bat Lives Here" Wall Decornow $1.99
original $19.99Make Halloween decorating fun with this "An Old Bat Lives Here" wall decor. The playful caption and spooky bat add a great seasonal touch to your home. Shop our full selection of Halloween decor at Kohl's.
"An Old Bat Lives Here" caption lends clever charm.
Dashed border detail completes the look.
Hanging loop makes decorating easy.
8"H x 14 1/4"W x 3/8"D
Attached hanging loop
Wipe clean
"Halloween" 4" x 6" Framenow $1.79
original $17.99This frame brings a fun touch to your home. Featuring a simple caption, this frame makes any festive Halloween photo look great. Shop our full selection of frames at Kohl's. In cream/multi.
"Halloween" caption adds charm.
Durable construction offers long-lasting use.
7 3/4"H x 9 1/2"W
Frame holds one 4" x 6" photo
Horizontal display
Attached easel
St. Nicholas Square "Joy" Holy Family Decornow $2.49
original $24.99This St. Nicholas Square holy family decor will warm your heart. Featuring baby Jesus cradled in the word "Joy," it's a timeless addition to your home during the Christmas season. Shop our full selection of Christmas decor at Kohls.com.
Dangling star lends seasonal charm.
"Joy" background completes the look.
4 3/4"H x 8 1/8"W x 2 1/4"D
Wipe clean
St. Nicholas Square Sparkling Amber 3" x 4" Metallic Beaded Pillar Candlenow $1.29
original $12.99Embellish your space with this crisp St. Nicholas Square pillar candle. In white.
Product Features:
Metallic beads add charm.
Product Details:
3" x 4"
Burns up to 30 hours
Hand-poured paraffin wax
Lead-free cotton wicks
SONOMA life + style 6-ct. Valentine Cupcake Magnet Setnow $1.19
original $11.99Heartwarming style. This SONOMA life + style magnet set will add a delicious touch to your decor. The cupcake and heart graphics are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Find all your holiday needs at Kohl's.
Cute messages and graphics create festive fun.
Vibrant colors provide a radiant look.
1 3/8-in. diameter (each)
Wipe clean
Kohl's Coupons
JVC BlackCrystal 47-Inch 1080p 60Hz LCD TV 449.00 @ Costco
Added on : Friday March 29th 2013 02:00:04 PM
Bought this TV JVC 47" at local Costco in Oxnard CA For 449.00 + 3year warranty 29.99 + tax 8% = 520.98.
We were looking for a dumb no frills tv and this fit the bill. Simple set up and about 10 - 15 minutes of picture tweaking and I think we have a winner. We tried the Vizio 47" Class 1080p LED TV E470-A0 60HZ which was not a good TV in our opinion (edge lighting, darks, and colors, screen). I know this isn't a smoking hot deal but I think it was a good one. This tv is not on Costco website so it must be in store only.
link to opinions
Kindle Books 3/29/13
Added on : Friday March 29th 2013 07:00:37 AM
As always, only guaranteed free at time of posting.The Rules of Life, Expanded Edition: A Personal Code for Living a Better, Happier, More Successful Life (Richard Templar's Rules) [Kindle Edition] 4 star - 74 reviews
Pub. 11/11/10The first edition of The Rules of Life: A Personal Code for Living a Better, Happier, More Successful Life became a global phenomenon, topping bestseller charts around the world. This revised edition includes nine new rules to take you further, faster. Author Richard Templar brings together 106 practical rules that happy, successful people follow, even if they've never thought about it. These are realistic, commonsense things you can do differently, starting today... small things that make a powerful difference. Templar offers real wisdom on:Deciding what's important and what isn't
Focusing on changes you really can make
Using your intuition
Learning positive lessons from your regrets
Having great dreams and making practical plans
Staying young
Forgiving without becoming a pushover Follow The Rules of Life. You'll feel better. You'll be a better friend, partner, and parent. And you'll leave the world a better place
=============================Cavelady Cooking: 50 Fun Recipes for Paleo, Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Diets [Kindle Edition] 3.5 stars - 19 reviews
http://www.amazon.com/Cavelady-Cooking-Low-Carb-Gluten-Free-eboo...Whether you're new to a paleo or gluten-free lifestyle, or just looking for some new ideas, this book has you covered: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. If you're seeking for new recipes that are free of grains and gluten - this is the perfect book for you. If youre familiar with Hilah Cooking, you know I dont focus my show recipes on any particular diet I just like to keep things simple, good, and pretty much Texas by default but my cookbooks can be something else. I know this one wont automatically appeal to everyone who watches the show and uses my recipes, but I think it will appeal to anyone whos following the gluten-free, low-carb, or Paleo diets, as well as anyone who just wants some new ways to cook vegetables and meat!Cavelady Cooking covers breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, snacks and desserts.Some breakfast highlights are: Crabcakes Benedict; Potato-free hash; Counterfeit Lara bars; plus several more recipes, not even including 6 funky smoothies!For lunch, I got real. Real life. So were talking lots of make-ahead soups and salads and re-purposing leftovers into deliciousness! Plus some pretty brilliant ideas on making sushi rolls sans rice and tuna salad sans mayonnaise.The chapter on dinner is ten brand-new recipes including easy homemade Italian sausage (so you can avoid added sugar and preservatives), Cuban chicken, Indian kofta, and pesto-olive roasted chicken. Each main dish recipe offers serving suggestions from the side dishes chapter, which is my personal favorite of all the chapters!These side dishes are anything but pedestrian. Simple but unusual ways to prepare familiar vegetables like chard, cabbage, spinach, and okra will brighten up your plate and then your face! I even included a recipe for mushroom-stuffed acorn squash that could double as a vegetarian main-dish, should you ever need one.I also offer a quick chapter on snacks and desserts. From no-cooking-snacks to baba ganoush, I got your snacking needs covered. For dessert, how about some plantain fritters or a peach crumble!All of the recipes offer shortcuts and substitutions when possible to keep it as easy as possible on you, the cook!=========================================Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds [Kindle Edition] 4 stars - 95 reviews
Pub. 4/8/10The frequently quoted classic exposition of the madness and folly of "popular opinion". Extensive discussion about history's most infamous speculative investment bubbles - the Tulipmania, the South Sea Bubble, and more. Additional coverage and debunking of delusions including alchemy, witch-hunts, The Crusades and duels. Present day writers on economics, such as Andrew Tobias, laud the chapters on economic bubbles.
============================================49 Slow Cooker Paleo Recipes for the Caveman Diet [Kindle Edition]
Pub 1/27/13
The author lost 100 pounds with the caveman paleolithic diet. What is the caveman diet? No, don't flinch, it's not another worthless weight loss plan. It's a diet plan for paleo food that isn't just about low calorie recipes. This paleo cookbook is chock full of recipes for healthy meals that actively promote healthy eating habits, but they're also slow-cooking recipes for convenience in a busy world. The caveman crockpot revolution is about listening to the primal nutrition needs of our millions of years of evolution while taking advantage of modern conveniences. Crockpot meals too often mean unhealthy eating patterns. This collection of slow cooker recipes is largely gluten-free but still innovative and resourceful. If you're tired of the same dull beef and veggies (though we have some of the best crockpot recipes for those, too), you'll find a little bit of everything in this collection -- literally from soup to nuts. Paleo adherents will know that some say paleo people can eat wild rice -- and that wine isn't off the diet. Paleo cookbook recipes aren't hard to find. What's hard to find are recipes that add variety to our lives. Nothing is more boring than a dull Neanderthal diet. These are not only great hunter-gatherer recipes, they're also some of the best crockpot recipes available.Since they're not the same old, boring fare, there are some extra work steps with a few of them, but most are pretty cut-and-dried for a hard-to-please family. So party with your family like it's 1999 BC. You will lose weight with this plan you will succeed. You're falling back on millions of years of the wisdom of the human species to support your efforts. If you thought paleo recipes reduced you to crappy-tasting bread and a future with no rice, think again! Paleo is a very adaptable plan. Here are some of the recipes within:* Chicken Vegetable and Nut Butter Soup
* Primal Vegetable Wild Rice Soup
* Easy Caveman Breakfast Torte
* Yowza Wayleo Paleo Nut Pot
* Crockpot Antelope Steak
* Chicken and Shrimp la Neanderthal
* Paleo Slow Cooker Squash with Cinnamon, Cranberries and Apples
* Barbecuus Neanderthalus and many more.So join the caveman diet evolution revolution. Cavemen ate many more things than we think! Paleo recipes and the Paleolithic diet plans don't have to be hum-drum any longer. These recipes for the paleo slow cooker nutrition plan constitute one way to build healthy meals around a busy lifestyle. The paleolithic diet lends itself well to the crockpot since the appliance harkens back to the campfire of our most ancient ancestors. Paleo cookbooks that involve the slow cooker in them allow the future and the past to wrap around and meet each other. No matter what we choose to call it the caveman diet, the paleo diet plan, the caveman paleolithic Stone Age diet or the hunter gatherer recipes, it doesn't have to be a hunger-gatherer diet! Satisfy your inner caveman with these fun and innovative recipes. If you're new to paleolithic, the good news is that hearty meat-eaters will love this diet. Weight loss plans and healthy meals used to mean green veggies and fruits plus a little lean meat but very little else. We now know a lot more about human physiology, about the capacity for people to incorporate foods humans have eaten for centuries, such as fatty meats, in a healthy eating way, so long as the meats are carefully chosen and prepared. But vegetarians are welcome, too. The emphasis is always on raw and unprocessed foods.This isn't just any other gluten free or low carbohydrate diet. It's a very special one that was designed to meet the evolved needs of our species. Recipes for healthy meals no longer need to filch food out of a rabbit's hutch. This paleo cookbook provides paleo breakfast recipes for the slow cooker, along with caveman approved complete meats, paleolithic ethnic recipes, and many more. We've tried to create the best paleo slowcooker cookbook that we can.
-----------------------------------------------The Addicted Brain: Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and Nicotine (FT Press Science) [Kindle Edition] 4.5 stars - 31 reviews
Pub. 10/31/11Addiction destroys lives. In The Addicted Brain, leading neuroscientist Michael Kuhar, Ph.D., explains how and why this happensand presents advances in drug addiction treatment and prevention. Using breathtaking brain imagery and other research, Kuhar shows the powerful, long-term brain changes that drugs can cause, revealing why it can be so difficult for addicts to escape their grip. Discover why some people are far more susceptible to addiction than others as the author illuminates striking neural similarities between drugs and other pleasures potentially capable of causing abuse or addictionincluding alcohol, gambling, sex, caffeine, and even Internet overuse. Kuhar concludes by outlining the 12 characteristics most often associated with successful drug addiction treatment.Authoritative and easy to understand, The Addicted Brain offers todays most up-to-date scientific explanation of addictionand what addicts, their families, and society can do about it.-----------------------------------------Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer [Kindle Edition] 4.5 stars 19 reviews
Pub. 9/15/10Dr. Tabors FIGHT NOW book provides information on lifestyle choices that might improve breast health and overall health. The purpose of Dr. Tabors medical research is to empower you to become proactive against breast cancer now with specific food and lifestyle choices. We can make specific food and lifestyle choices to lower the risk of getting breast cancer, risk of recurrence, and risk of dying from breast cancer. The only alternative is to be reactive after you get breast cancer or have a recurrence of breast cancer. The choice is clearWhether you are currently fighting breast cancer; are a survivor; or, simply trying to lower your risk, Dr. Tabors FIGHT NOW book will give you concise, critical information that you can start using today. You dont have to read hundreds of pages, or have a medical degree to reduce your cancer risk. Spend just a few hours reading this book and you will be empowered to Fight Now.
================================================Keep Calm and Stretch: 44 Stretching Exercises To Increase Flexibility, Relieve Pain, Prevent Injury, And Stay Young! [Kindle Edition] 4.5 stars - 25 reviews
Pub. 11/13/12Now The #1 Bestselling Book In Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation!You Could Be Feeling A Million Times Better Right Now If You Only Knew How To Stretch Properly! It is a simple answer that is often overlooked, but stretching has the ability to Rid your body of pain
Heal past injuries
Prevent future injuries
Keep you flexible and active
And make you look and feel young!
As a yoga instructor, author Julie Schoen understands the power of stretching. In fact, she used it herself to heal her body after a serious car accident left her broken and depressed. But you don't have to do yoga in order to benefit from stretches! Schoen has compiled Keep Calm and Stretch as your guide to the 44 best stretches to do on a regular basis, each with photo demonstrations and step-by-step instructions for stretching effectively. Discover the secrets to getting more flexible and you will be amazed at how good your body and mind start to feel. Keep Calm and Stretch has the potential to change your life.
=====================================More coming later...and feel free to add!
How much does someone need to earn, to be better off than welfare?
Added on : Thursday March 28th 2013 11:01:14 AM
Looking for some opinions on how much you guys think a person or family must earn, in order to be better off, and have a higher quality of living than being on welfare.I'm sure most people know, there is a gap, where many of the people working and paying for welfare, are worse off than the ones receiving the welfare.If your not familiar, I'll use myself as an example. Most of my life I've worked hard, and not made much money. Spent it very frugally, never had cable TV, never took vacations, never wasted money on any of the bad habits many people have.
I met a lot of people on welfare, and they were much better off than me. Their food stamps provided them with all the groceries they needed, even delicious steaks and lobster, while I could only afford cheap stuff like bread, noodles, etc. While I was paying all the costs to rent a cheap apartment, they were living in actual houses, paying only about $25 to rent an entire house. While I generally had little or no medical benefits, and would have gone bankrupt if anything ever happened to me, they had 100% coverage.Fast forward in time a little, I currently make a little bit more, and own a house, yet still seem worse off than welfare people. I pay over $1700 a month for my house (and would probably rent for about the same price), well a couple other almost identical houses on the street are being subsodized for almost nothing to welfare people. I still can't afford as nice of food as them. I've developed a medical problem that might be permanent, since my work health insurance wasn't good enough, I couldn't afford to steep copays/deductables, to get care when I needed it most, and now it may be too late, whereas had I been on welfare with 100% medical coverage, I'm sure it would have been taken care of fine. I'm getting to the age where if I don't have kids soon, it will be too late, but as a working man I can't afford the daycare. Whereas people on welfare have daycare provided.Enough examples, bottom line, they can sit back, not work, and raise kids, while having a better living, and getting more things provided to them, than many of the people providing them can afford themselves.So what's your opinions? How much income do you think a person or family must make, in order to exceed the benefits of being on welfare? Think it can be a financial benefit to quit your job when your about to have kids, in order to be better off than if you were working?
Kids Birthday Liability
Added on : Tuesday March 26th 2013 09:01:07 PM
I'll admit...I only did a cursory search for this on the forums. Looking for guidance, opinions, experience on liability for a kids birthday party.Givens:1) I don't have substantial assets (~$200K-$300K of net worth, +$100K income)
2) Kids birthday party will be at local park, all permits signed for an approved by county
3) Bounce house will be present and was pre-aproved by permit (see #2). Rented from a company this has state inspections and has its own liability insurance (I understand this doesn't do anything for me)
4) I have a homeowners/umbrella ($1M) insurance
5) I really don't want parents to sign waiversQuestions:1) Are waivers even worth anything?
2) Does my homeowners/umbrella cover me in situations should something go wrong and if so what situations (e.g., only gross negligence)? This one is more for discussion; understand reading my contract and calling up insurance company will provide me with answers more specifically suited to my policy.
3) Am I being overly-concerned about litigious parents?
4) Do I just not worry about it and make sure the kids have a blast?
5) Do I pull a policy out specifically for event?Thanks in advance!
Chase Ultimate Rewards - Did not receive points for purchase.
Added on : Tuesday March 26th 2013 08:01:10 PM
Recently, I purchased tickets on Expedia.com using Chase Ultimate Rewards mall link for Expedia. However, I did not use the Chase credit card for purchase. Do I get the UR points or is it only if we use Chase card.
The customer representative says points are awarded only if Chase credit card has been used. Any opinions?
Can I afford this mortgage?
Added on : Friday March 22nd 2013 05:01:09 PM
Hello all, I am looking for some opinions regarding an acceptable level of mortgage debt for someone in my position. Currently we (GF and I) are looking at a small farm where the asking price is $300,000. GF and I have been together for 8 years and are very committed. The reason we are looking at agricultural properties is due to a business we run on the side selling produce at local markets and restaurants. This year we should see 5k-10k of profit from this venture and if this property is purchased we could expand. Regardless of the side business we would desire this type of property anyhow. Mortgage payment would be $1550 a month PITI. This includes a low interest loan from family member for the remainder of the 20% down. Home is REO and would otherwise be unobtainable to me. I feel I need to take advantage of this opportunity while it presents itself. Here are my stats...$100,000 combined income
$70,000 remaining on existing home valued at $115,000
No debt whatsoever besides mortgage
After down payment we will have a 20k safety cushion and 7k to spend on home repairs/updates
Rent of existing home will be $800/month versus a $670 month mortgage (13 years left on loan). House will rent easily.
Combined retirement plans worth $140,000
Age is early thirties
No children (yet) (free daycare down the road)I am seeking input due to the monthly PITI payments exceeding the 24/36 guidelines most people endorse (net or gross???). I am very conservative financially and am concerned about a mortgage payment equaling my biweekly paycheck. My employment is fairly safe.Cheers
Original thread was here.Supreme Court has decided 6-3 in favor of the student.Article overview:
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/supreme-court-backs-student-disp...Actual decision:
Surprised there already isn't a thread about snap tax , was curious if anyone had used it and your opinion?Is it only good if you have a w2 and no interest income or brokerage account to report ?
Free Amazon eBook- The Da Vinci Code
Added on : Monday March 18th 2013 11:00:03 PM
Free Amazon eBook- The Da Vinci Code
For those who haven't read this one yet go on over to Amazon and get the digital copy free. It's a great read in my opinion. Good through 3/24/13.
Also on sale is the digital box set of Detective Elliot by Bob Avery. Org $5.99 but it's on sale today for $1.99 for all three full length novelshttp://www.amazon.comDetective-Elliot-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B00BJPN... Amazon
Amazon Coupons
I stumbled upon this site, barchart.com, that provides technical analysis of stocks, and pools together all sorts data on short term, medium term, and long term indicators, and other analytics to try and form buy/sell/hold opinions on stocks, as well as organize them for which ones are likely to be hot buys. I know tradeking also has a little bit of technical analysis that picks out bearish events, and also pools analyst ratings together for a consensus rating.Just wondering if anyone uses sites like barchart.com, and what their opinions are of them? As well as if there are other similar or better sites out there?Yeah I know, you can't predict stocks. That even if barchart determines its a 100% buy, based on all their technical algorithms and market indicators, that it doesn't necessarily mean anything, but I'm thinking if a ton of indicators are all lining up right, it may at least have some good odds.
Should I Re-negotiate Job Offer? If So, How?
Added on : Wednesday March 13th 2013 05:01:00 AM
I'm a recent college graduate, unemployed, and live with my parents.
I received my first job offer in writing today.Salary.com & Glassdoor reports a median of $57,000 ($27/hr) base salary for this sales position.During the interview, I gave a weak (in my opinion) negotiation on my salary. I was asked how much I was looking for and I suggested $27/hr based on market research for this position. They countered by saying that they were only planning to offer $14-$18/hr. I responded with an offer of $20/hr ($42,000 salary - bottom 10th percentile) and they accepted. Now that I have the offer in writing, I'm having second thoughts of whether I should have been able to negotiate higher. Should I re-negotiate? If so, how?Pros:
Short commute
Interested in career path
Performance evaluation in 6 months (pay raise?)Cons:
No health, dental, or vision insurance.
No 401K or any retirement plans.
1 week vacation + 1 week sick days don't kick in until after 1 year of employment.
No commission until 6-month training period is over.
At-will employment (can be a pro? No idea)
Didn't see any pretty women working there.Thanks.
I know FWF loves followups, so here is mine from http://www.fullofdeals.com/forums/finance/1125911/Recap: Young child is injured at daycare. Conflicted on what actions to take. FWF opinions ranged from "get over it" to "lawyer up."We lawyered up. It took until now to get final resolution and the result is a settlement. I can say that the entire process was boring and painless - our lawyer went through the motions with the insurance company and they finally agreed to an amount of around $100K.The daycare didn't bat an eye - I'm not sure any of the workers even knew about it, apart from the corporate office (who, as I mentioned briefly, actually urged me to file an insurance claim). The safety issue was removed, along with other safety improvements.I'm now faced with a dilemma in how to handle the settlement. I told my attorney my intention is for the funds to go to my daughter with no possibility of my, or anyone else, being able to touch it. I trust my wife and I, but not anyone else were we to no longer be in the picture. The insurance company has presented several settlement disbursement scenarios, with varied amounts, years, and types (monthly, annual, lump sums, mixtures). My attorney tells me that only A+ rated institutions ie. Prudential, etc are considered. As I understand it, I don't have any say in the underlying investments; The payout amounts are guaranteed so it looks like the funds earn modest interest that looks to counteract inflation.IE, One suggested plan is for a 1/4 split along four years starting at 18, for college: $36K per year for four years.
Another includes a $20K per year payout for four years, then monthly payments until funds are depleted.
Another has $30K at 18, 40K at 24, and 50K at 28.My question, for those that have dealt with structured settlements for a minor:Do I have any choices in the way the settlement is invested? Should I even explore those, considering there is higher risk?
Are there any questions I should be asking? The final amount was agreed on and I'm being presented with a list of disbursement options, wondering if there's anything else I should looking into before picking an option.
How can I best protect this amount, from myself (assuming my future self becomes crazy and greedy), some other guardian, and my daughter?That leads me to a less 'finance' oriented question. My daughter is 5 yrs old. I will raise her with every ounce of commitment possible, and hope she will grow into a responsible, prudent, and financially wise young lady. I'm also a realist, and know that there is the possibility she will not be those things despite my best efforts. Further, I have had some insight into the damaging effects of a windfall, like an inheritance, on a young person's life. My origins are from very meager, poverty-line means, and I believe that history is responsible for much of my current success. I don't believe in handouts, yet I'm also intrigued at the prospect of giving my child such a substantial advantage, especially in the form of potentially a free education.My knee-jerk reaction was "100% payout at 18, which she will use for college and invest in a solid portfolio". But I will have no legal authority over those funds, and she is not me, so the prospective pitfalls with such a plan are probably obvious for this crowd.For those that are wondering, she's doing great - beautifully healed, happy and healthy. She will require scar remediation at a later age.Any advice or knowledge transfer is much appreciated.
Simplifying life: Living With Less. A Lot Less.
Added on : Monday March 11th 2013 11:01:06 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/opinion/sunday/living-with-les...Inspirational story from a tech entrepreneur about why he simplified his life. As someone who's trying to declutter the home and put a halt to all the junk I waste my money, this is a good example of the results. Of course, the point is not to give up what you need. Rather, it's to remove what you don't need so you don't have to stress about it.
Rigid Foam Insulation / Spray Foam Insulation
Added on : Thursday March 07th 2013 11:01:08 AM
Didn't know where to post or may be it needs its own forum under Energy.I was looking at insulating my walk up attic and making it a conditioned space under the roof. That makes that space usable for stuff like office or may be a bedroom as it is a reasonable space at about 18x18 sq.ft. Stand up space may be about 12x18.
That said i looked up the option and went thru traditional fiberglass and rigid foam panel and spray foam.
Roof rafter are 2x6 and wall studs are 2x4.
If i have to get to near some code requirements here in NJ. The roof is R38 and wall is R19.
after going thru my personal study i ended up with closed cell foam insulation which is the only thing that can get me close to the minimum required in the space i have in the roof rafters and wall studs without building in to increase the space.
That said i looked up some info on costs and the contractor cost of spray foam i got was $3/sqft per inch.
I also looked up the option of DIY rigid foam panels and that would come to about $1.25/sqft or a little more with waste and inexperience. Also the DIY spray foam costs about the same.
My plan is to go 2 in rigid panels in roof rafters ans then 1 inch DIY spray foam over to create a tight seal which by specs would be about R18 and similar in walls.
The discussion of code wrt to fiberglass and spray foam is everywhere and as i believe some of it true.
paper backing air movement barrier + fiberglass R38 + plastic moisture barrier = 12 inch
still it may not be perfectly sealed. closed cell spray foam is R6 in 1 inch which a moisture barrier and air barrier. So if comparatively and inch of spray foam may be equivalent to about R10 or R15 of fiberglass insulation.
There is also another code or something which says if spray foam it has to at least 1/3 of the space available.
so in my case 2x6 i should do 2 inch and then top it off with fiberglass but i want to a little further and go 1/2 to 3 inch and may be top it off with fiberglass and radiant barrier.Looking for opinion from anybody who has gone with spray foam and their experience during/after the job is done. Also looking for some info from DIYer who may done the job themselves with the DIY kits like tiger foam or touch n seal kits.MOD feel free to move to any suitable forum or create a forum.
Trade down my car?
Added on : Tuesday March 05th 2013 10:01:13 AM
In January 2012 I bought a new Hyundai Elantra for $20000, because my 2003 Audi A4 was going to cost ~$5000 to fix. Six months prior to this, I had it fixed for $1800, so I didn't want to keep throwing money at it, plus it was so expensive to fix relative to other cars. I shopped around for used cars, specifically Hondas and Toyotas, but had a very hard time finding anything less than 8 years old that was not $15000, so I decided to just buy the new car, since my commute is 45 miles each way to work 5 days a week, which in Houston traffic, generally takes at least 1 1/2 hour.
My circumstances have changed and I am looking to move much closer to work (within 10 miles). I can afford both the car payment and rent, but it would be tight and I'd rather not have to do both, so I have been thinking of turning in my car and getting a 2002-2005 Honda Civic or Toyota Camry/ Corolla using the equity I have in my car (put down 1/4 of the car cost). I will also most likely be moving within the next 2 years overseas and obviously, won't be taking my car with me, which means I'd probably have to sell it before it is paid-off anyway (the payments are for 48 months). I currently owe $12,468 on the car with a 5.6% interest rate. I have also thought of refinancing since my credit has drastically improved over the past year. Basically, I didn't have much credit when I bought the car and had to have a cosigner.
I just really don't want to be forced to make a car payment anymore, but also realize I run the risk of having a major repair on a car that is 10 years old and has >130,000. What do you think is the best move? I am just trying to solicit as many opinions as possible so that I make sure I see every angle before I do anything. I also have the option to stay where I am at, continue the commute and keep my Elantra.
In my opinion, a good and inexpensive laptop for web surfing and word processing.
Regardless, I've tried to post deals before and I got a lot of red, so I may be wrong about it.http://http://outlet.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/outlet_...
After eCoupon:$220.50
After eCoupon: DOORBUSTERS
Free ShippingIdeaPad N585-Part number: 7510XF1
Condition -Refurbished
Processor -AMD Fusion Processor E1-1200 (1.4Ghz, 1MB L2, 1.0GHz FSB)( )
Operating system -Windows 7 Home Premium 64 - English
Graphics -ATI Radeon HD 7310
Memory -4GB PC3-12800 DDR3 1600MHz SDRAM SODIMM Memory
Display -15.6" WXGA (1366 X 768) LED Backlight w/ 0.3MP Camera"
Pointing device -Industry Standard Touchpad
Hard Drive -320GB, 5400RPM Serial ATA 2.5" Hard Drive
Optical Drive -DVD Recordable 8x Max Dual Layer
Battery -6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (Up to 6 Hours Run Time)
Network Card -11b/g/n Wi-Fi wireless
Warranty -1 Year Standard Depot Warranty
Deducing foreign Home Loan Interest in Taxes
Added on : Saturday March 02nd 2013 12:02:03 PM
Hello,I took a home loan in a foreign country and paid Interest on the loan in 2012. I also have a home loan in US and paid Interest on the loan in 2012. I deducted the US Home loan interest in my taxes. I am allowed to deduct the foreign country home loan interest I paid form my US Tax returns ? I also made some interest income in the foreign country and I converted it into USD and showed it as Interest Income in my US Tax returns. I was reading about this in a few forums and there are mixed opinions. Please let me know. Thanks.
Help with maximizing travel rewards
Added on : Thursday February 28th 2013 05:04:09 PM
This might have been well covered inside individual threads. Kindly pardon the inconvenience. I would like to ask FWF community opinion on how to maximize the rewards during my two week travel. I am going to Austin, TX (1 week trip) and followed by another 1 week trip to Los Angeles (LAX) in the end of March and beginning of April. I am flying out of IAD. Currently, I am a member of Mileage Plus (United airlies) and Hilton honors (Gold status offer from a year ago). I will get 2x miles on airfare when flying on United using my explorer credit card. For my stay, I plan to use Freedom card to book Hotels.com through Ultimate rewards (5x?). My questions are
a). Is Ultimate rewards the best way to maximize the Hotels.com purchase?
b). Should I stay in Marriot (United hotel partner) or to stay with Hilton Honors?
c). Am I missing another better opportunity to maximize rewards?I guess, I have little bit of time if I need to apply for a new credit card. I prefer not to (planning to buy a home soon). I already have Disc0ver, United Expl0rer, Ch@se Freedom, AMEX blue cash everyday card, Citi thank you card (regular). Thanks in advance.
GUL Cash fund
Added on : Wednesday February 27th 2013 12:01:00 PM
Other day I called Metlife and asked about Cash fund. They told that I could deposit the amount from my payroll tax free.
I was interested in getting opinions about whether people here think this would be a good place to put emergency money or savings.Here are some of the plan details:- The GUL cash fund is a way to save money. A cash accumulation fund is cash that you choose to contribute to your Group Universal Life insurance program over and above the cost of your life insurance coverage. Contributions earn tax-deferred interest. - The interest you earn in the cash accumulation fund is not taxed until it is withdrawn. - Withdrawals from the cash accumulation fund are often paid out tax-free. If the withdrawal does not exceed the total amount of contributions, including cost of insurance, the withdrawal is generally tax-free.- The interest rate credited to the entire account balance will never be less than a guaranteed interest rate of 4% and rate depends on the market. No Bank pays that rate of interest at this time or in near future.- I am told u can withdraw amount any time. Or get a loan( not clear why I would do that)
Did any FWers considered depositing in Cash fund? If so whats ur thought.
Stupid price in my opinion for a still cased ammo.. But it is a closest "buy-on-click" availability. Expected in warehouse on March 13, 2013.Shipping is a rip off $20 unless you are a member.publishing it just for a reference where market is going. Hornady training Ammo is loaded to the same specifications with the same propellant as duty ammunition, with a quality lacquer-coated steel case. It has match reliable function and accuracy, but is more economical for honing skills on the practice range. Berdan-primed, non-corrosive. Pistol rounds with Hornady Action Pistol (HAP) hollow-point bullets. 50 rounds per box.
Fiance having issues with her boss (principal)
Added on : Friday February 22nd 2013 09:01:26 AM
So, my fiance is a teacher, in her 10th year. Teaches elementary grades.
I'm trying to keep this a tad vague for identity reasons, but enough details to get decent advice.
I feel this is legit for FWF as it can directly affect our finances.She just relocated from one state to another. (This is first year in this state as she moved down with me).
She is degreed, and has a masters, and nat. board certified.
She has 9 years of exemplary positive reviews. She was even used as a model classroom in her previous state a few years ago for some nationally renowned educational speaker/program that came through her state. People came from around the state to observe her classroom. I'm just trying to set the ground for the type of teacher she is.
Her possible one fault is that she is naturally soft spoken so she has to work hard to command attention (so to speak) from the kids. (I'm not a teacher so I don't know the lingo).So, this school year, she has been getting flack from her principal, repeatedly coming to Her Room throughout the fall and after christmas commenting that its too loud, and basically saying her class is out of control and not a good learning environment, etc etc. She contends that this principal doesn't understand the difference between constructive learning noise, and plain noise.I should add that the princple was in a traumatic car accident in the late summer and she didn't come to work again till later in the fall. Still doesn't seem 100% based on things she has said done and forgotten.They have had sit downs a couple times where the principal has basically threatened her job, saying I don't know if you'll make it through the year, or through Christmas. No matter what my fiance does its never good enough or quiet enough. Very early grade classrooms aren't gonna be quiet as church mice in our minds. Her previous principals had no issues with her and she has years of positive reviews to put on the table.She has been observed by several people, probably 8 observations at least. She got feedback on 2 of those in the fall. She was rated insufficient on these disciplinary type points in the fall and had to repeat the observations and procedure work for this program in the spring. Again, she just got feedback on that and was deemed insufficient.
The other 4 or 5 reviews, she got nothing. She has attended classroom management courses at their request, etc.It came to a point after Christmas that the principal was gonna call for a meeting with HR. Suddenly that meeting just never happened. She has tried reaching out to HR at the district but they wont talk to her until she goes through the principals boss first. The principals boss came and did an observation a few weeks ago and suddenly everything got quiet, no more attacks from the principal. (no more walking in her door yelling about ow its too loud, etc)During this quiet time, the principal removed a VERY disruptive student from Her Room at the mothers request (Not because the mother doubted her son was learning, but because the mother said her son and one other boy in the room feed off each other and she wanted them separated). The child once told my fianc that he didnt have to listen to white people.Hes now in a African American girls room, and he doesnt listen to her either.
Also during this quiet time, one child brought in a lighter, and set a piece of paper on fire in his desk. She said they were in the middle of a lesson, all kids in their seats, appeared to be doing the right things, when she saw smoke rising. She called for help, help came, put out the piece of paper, all ok. Just a little smoke. The child got suspended for several days. The mother had a meeting with the principal and said she felt her child was in the wrong, but she questioned how he could have gotten as far as to use the lighter if the teacher were doing heer job. This information was typed in a letter the principal gave my fianc the other day. The principal went on to say in this letter, that she continues to be concerned about the childrens safety in her classroom, and about how the mother expressed the above concerns, and that the principal felt my fianc acted insufficiently to prevent this from occurring. Then told her she is going to put this letter in her permanent file. We strongly disagree with this action and honestly we dont feel like the principal can take her opinionated letter, that shows no direct procedural fault on my fiancs behalf and put that In her permanent record file. My fianc has called for a meeting with the principals boss to discuss this. But Im thinking we may have to take this all the way to the school board or beyond.She is trying to find a spot at another school, but its very competitive out there now.
Im posting this looking for advice on actions to take and if we have grounds to demand this letter be removed or more.
I could see if my fiance had done something clearly negligent/not by the books. But she didnt. The incident was bad, and was resolved, but it was not her fault. To ding her record with this hearsay, opinion, and untruth seems to me to border on personal slander that could affect her career.Thank you for reading.
Advice welcomed!
JBL NP 35 (EC35, PC35) true 3-way center channel speaker - $169 shipped
Added on : Thursday February 21st 2013 01:00:03 AM
LinkedBuy direct online for $169.00 shipped. This is a very good price for this level of center channel performance, and these have not been this easily available before.This is a pretty big center channel, check the dimensions before you buy. Having said that, it is also a true 3-way center channel, which is not very common. Much less at this price point.This center is very similar if not exactly the same as the EC35 produced for many years. When JBL stopped making the EC35 they renamed it the PC35 and now the NP35 and marketed under the Synthesis brand.This is a very good center channel that mates up very well with any 0.75" tweeter JBL loudspeaker. With a tool like Audyssey, it can be calibrated to work well with the 1" full titanium models, including older models that didn't have a center channel in the lineup. It is a good enough center channel to keep up with higher end JBL's.JBL's next best true 3-way center channel is the ~$300 LC2. I have had both and consider them very closely matched. The LC2 has better drivers and technology but is crippled by the smaller wall mount enclosure. This guy has the big box working for it and it shows. 60-80Hz crossover at high volumes is no problem.True 3-way center channel speakers are not very common, but in my opinion the benefit of them is very obvious.Prior to my current PC600 (arguably JBL's best dome tweeter center channel) I used a EC35 with many different sets of JBL's and was very pleased with it. In a home theater system you are listening to the center channel more than your mains. A good one is critical.This price and online availability suggests they are clearing it out.
Update: Need some advice from older people (since im 25 now)
Added on : Monday February 18th 2013 11:00:57 PM
Original PostWow does time fly. Its been a while since Ive been on fatwallet. I just wanted to get some more opinion's and give an update. Here is my message for those too lazy to click Date Posted: Sep/11/2006 9:00 PM
Im 25 now, make around 60k, single. I have about 8k in CC loans at (2.99 apr), 15k in school and about 10k of car loans. I have about 3k in savings in 3k in stocks. I live at home but do pay part of the mortgage, about 800 a month. Ive been telling my self I have till im 30, to have fun, try to get rich, etc. I just feel instead of being at or around where a 30 year old should be in terms of stocks, cash etc im more around a 22 year old. TAXES ARE KILLING ME
Should I be more concerned about paying off my bills or playing around with stocks, I dont plan on getting married anytime soon.
I just think in this day of age with all these open doors you have no reason not to have your wallet padded.
Looking for some guidance, I just dont wanna look back 10-15 years from now and fell I didnt try hard enough or didnt take enough risk in trying to get to that 1 million dollar figure.
Please note since then I have bought a house with my parents so I do get back SOME money from the IRS but nothing near what they take.
Here is an update:Now I'm soon to be 32, Still single, still own the house with name on title. Sadly we paid somewhere around 380k back then, I just checked the value and it's estimated to be worth around 240k. I was laid off from that job around 2010 and was able to get back into my industry in Sept of 2011. While unemployed I used up all my savings, maxed out my CC to pay bills and came within a month of tapping into 401k. Thankfully I know make 120+ a year and can feel my life is starting to go from red to green. With that said here is where I stand financially.CC debt is around 18k
House mortgage is around 300k
College loan is 10k
401k is about 40k
I have about 2k invested in lendingclub
2k in savingsMonthly check after 6% 401k is around 7k
-2000 taxes, help with parents mortgage -2000, leaving me $3k for rent, food, cable, phone, gym, etc with anything left over going towards savingsGoal for Dec 2013 is to be 1) Pay off CC and a good chunk of college loan. Also my current car is over 10 years old and is on its last leg. Its currently in need of about 4k in repairs so I might as well get a new one. I am debating between buying or leasing a hybrid. With gas going north of $4 a gallon I think it would be a wise choice to go with hybrid. I estimate this will cost around $300 a month.My question for the forum is what should I start thinking about once I have paid off the CC and college loan? I'd love to buy some real estate and put it up for rent but I think at my age and with upcoming expenses (marriage, kids in the next 5 years that might be hard to save up for)
Petco Clearance Dog Food up to 50% off B&M YMMV
Added on : Sunday February 17th 2013 09:00:04 AM
Petco has three premium brands of dog food on clearance - Pinnacle, Holistic Select and Eagle Pack. There may be others at your local store as well. These are not expired, but rather Petco is going to stop carrying them and introduce some new brands including a BARF frozen brand. Appearantly corporate evaluates food sales around this time of year and they usually cut three or four brands which are not selling enough in their opinion, this was from a store manager I talked to the other day.This is a good deal if you go through as much dry dog food as I do with Danes.
PETCO Coupons
Office Depot FAR software for the week of 02/17/2013 (one each $10 and $15 AR)
No FAR titles again this week. I hope this is just an aberration. The titles below reflect those titles that are 80% back or better after rebate. If you have an opinion on the standard feel free to let me know. ====================
McAfee Total Protection For 3 Users [830-788]
$9.99 After $10 Instant & $60 Mfr. Mail-In Savings
Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security For 3 PCs [220-795] $89.99
$14.99 After $45 Mfr. Mail-In & $30 Mfr. Current User Upgrade Mail-In Savings
====================NOTE: There is breaking news on the subject of Symantec/Norton rebates. Apparently, high volume submitters are having their rebates invalidated on account of the dreaded "Your rebate request did not pass our audit process". Please see the thread: "Symantec Rebates - "Your rebate request did not pass our audit process" http://slickdeals.net/f/5817376====================****ALERT ON McAfee REBATES****McAfee enforces a one per product limit on its rebates. It does not matter if the rebate has a different rebate number or offer period. The rebate invalidation message is "Your rebate request did not pass our audit process".UPDATE:
--- While it appeared from several posts over the past year on FW and SD that McAfee was no longer enforcing the one rebate per product limit, it now appears that the "Your rebate request did not pass our audit process" invalidation has returned. LINK
--- There is one poster on FW who had not submitted a McAfee rebate since falling victim to the Summer 2010 debacle until June 2012. The rebate submission was invalidated. After failing to get the rebate processor to valid the rebate, the poster was able to convince a McAfee representative to make good on the rebate. Not sure what to make of this but it is possible that at least some of those black listed during the Summer 2010 debacle are black listed for life.====================NOTES:--- Link to Office Depot's rebate website: LINK
--- "FAR": free after rebate
--- "completely new rebates": the goal of my Office Depot rebate threads is that the rebates of any title listed in the "completely new rebates" category can be submitted without concern for past rebate submissions.
--- "standard rebate": all rebate proofs can be satisfied with the purchase of the title.
--- "upgrade rebate": at least one rebate proof requires providing a certain proof of owning a previous version of the product or a competitors' product.
--- "CONTINUING rebate": the rebate was not offered for the first time during this offer period. Please check your rebate submission history to determine whether you have submitted this rebate in the past.
--- "onbox" or "inbox" rebate: the rebate form or the information for submitting the rebate are found on or in the product box. If known, a link to a pdf version of the rebate or the pre-submission information for the rebate are provided.====================The following search should return most earlier "Office Depot FAR software" threads: SEARCH LINK====================
Office Depot Coupons
Concerns about car repair after accident
Added on : Thursday February 14th 2013 10:01:00 PM
My car was hit by another car yesterday. This is in Illinois and the other driver admitted fault and was ticketed. I had car towed to my dealership who said they didn't do body work and highly recommended a shop and I chose to have the car taken there. Soon after the owner of the Body Shop called and was wanting to get started on things immediately and wanted to get me hooked up with a rental car. I told him that I hadn't heard from the insurance company yet and needed to wait to hear from them. Insurance company soon after that called and arranged rental car and got the info they needed up to that point. This morning the Body Shop called and said the appraiser had been by and had approved the repair amount of $7300 and that he just needed me to give a verbal OK and he would go ahead and order the parts and he would fax me an approval form to sign and send back so that they could get started on the repairs as soon as the parts came in. I said I should talk to the adjuster first but he assured me there was no need to do that and all was ready to go. I called adjuster anyway and she said it had not all been approved and not to approve or sign anything. At this point I have serious doubts about this repair shop. The car is a 2010 Hyundai Sonata with about 47000 miles and according to Kelley blue book worth at most $11,700. The adjuster said they were wanting to send someone else out there to look at the car because I quote "that is a lot of money." I think the actual repairs will be even more because the Body Shop guy was telling me he was going to get used parts, and when I said no I wanted new, he said the insurance company wouldn't let him. I didn't like a lot of what he was telling me about the repairs and will not agree to most of what I was told.I haven't really had time to discuss much with insurance company and am thinking they may total the car. Body guy says no way because his estimate is only 52% of value and no way they will total. He is valuing the car for more than KBB, so I really wonder what his game is. He keeps telling me he is trying to look out for my interest and not let the insurance company run over me, but I feel like he is trying to do that himself. I've never dealt with this type of thing and feel like the Body Shop is just a little too helpful. I feel like he is trying to get to me early and get me to agree to work that may not be in my best interest and if I am given the option to fix the car or have it totaled, it will be too late and I will have to go ahead with the repairs. I would like to hear opinions from those who have been through this before about the behavior of the Body Shop. I'm sure at this point I will not use this Body Shop but I need some advice on how best to find a reputable shop. I don't know anyone who is able to give me any advice in this area.The driver who hit me is with the same insurance company, different agent. I have not had an auto claim with this company for anything but a windshield, but have had a homeowners claim with them and felt they took very good care of me. I am hoping this claim goes as well, but it hasn't started out very well because of the Body Shop. He keeps warning me that they are trying to drag it out as long as possible and are going to try to demand that he make repairs in too short of time and deny me rental car coverage after a certain number of days. He seems to think they will not pay for rental car after two weeks, and if he gets started right now, it will take him at least two and a half weeks. The accident just happened yesterday and think they need some time to make decisions because I agree with the adjuster, it's a lot of money!
http://www.livingsocial.com/cities/1845/deals/599990-tampa-bay-t... Tampa Bay Times is a Pulitzer Prize-winning paper -- and a must-have publication for all Tampa Bay residents: $15 ($65 value) for 52 weeks of Sunday delivery
$20 ($130 value) for 52 weeks of Thursday through Sunday delivery
Dig into world, national, and local news; political coverage; and opinion pieces
Enjoy sports coverage, laugh-out-loud comics, and a Sunday crosswordPAID VALUE DOES NOT EXPIRE
LivingSocial Coupons
Course of action to dispute foreign transaction fee
Added on : Tuesday February 12th 2013 11:00:58 PM
Hi All,I recently purchased airline ticket from Emirates Airline using my Macy's AMEX card to take advantage of an offer. Later, I found out that I was charged 3% foreign transaction fee on my statement. I had a chat with a customer rep and later spoke with another rep who insisted that the fee is valid since Emirates airline is a foreign airline. This is what the FAQ on Macy's credit service says:"The International Transaction Fee is a fee on any international transactions submitted to us in a foreign currency. When you use your Macy's American Express card outside the USA, excluding Puerto Rico and Guam, you will be charged an International Transaction Fee of 3% on purchases and cash advances made in a foreign currency. We do not charge an International Transaction Fee if the transaction receipt clearly states the transaction has been conducted solely in USD, or US dollars."I made the purchase while I was in US and I paid in USD so I don't see any justification for the fee. Do you guys have a different opinion ? If not, then what can I do to get the fee removed ?-NA
sorry if this is a repost (I only received email today)The coupon must be used online or in-store. Since the coupon must be used, I don't think a person can combine other coupons with this. (but that's just my opinion)
coupon below
http://www.officedepot.com/speciallinks/us/od/docs/promo/wlr_coupon_45457376_email.pdf100% Bonus Rewards Coupon: Valid February 10 - 16, 2013 11:59 PM ET for Worklife Rewards and Star Teacher members in-store, online at www.officedepot.com, by phone or fax. Must present coupon to
cashier in-store at time of purchase. Use the coupon code for phone or fax orders or enter the coupon code to cart online at checkout. Bonus Rewards valid on binders, writing instruments, labels, presentation easels
and easel pads, presentation boards, overheads and transparencies, and office essentials including clipboards, scissors, rulers, self-stick notes, Post-It flags, stapling, rubber bands, and hole punches. Bonus Rewards
will not exceed $50. Cannot be combined with Store Purchasing or Procurement Cards. Coupon is good for one-time use only, is not transferable, is not for resale or auction and cannot be combined with other offers
or promotions. While supplies last. No rain checks. No Cash Back. Void where prohibited. Limit 1 coupon per household/business. Allow up to 6 weeks for bonus Rewards to post to your account. Subject to Program
Terms & Conditions. Coupon Code 45457376.pdf file (if available) will be up ASAP
minor reminder to NOT use rewards certificate to purchase FARewards. Rewards will NOT roll!
(in progress)
Office Depot Coupons
Is there a good time to sell a used car
Added on : Monday February 11th 2013 08:01:03 AM
I have always been told that once you pay your car off it is best to just keep on maintaining it and keeping it until it dies or the repairs to fix it do not make it worth it (or the thing looks so ugly/rusty that your pride makes you buy a new one). I was wondering about the FWF views around this.My specific scenario is that I have a 2005 Camry XLE with about 110K miles on it. There is really nothing wrong with it it seems to be sound. I bought it in 2008 or 2009 and I owe nothing on it. Do I hold on to it until it gets 200,000+ miles on it (my understanding is that it should run at least this long), or sell it while it has some value and buy another similar (Camry etc) 3 year old vehicle (~2009/2010). I am mostly interested in the financial aspect of this decision (ie. get some $ for my used car to put down on new car and reduce the out of pocket for new-used car I will buy). However, having a newer car with some of the new technology could be seen as a benefit as well. BTW, I could pay cash (and probably would) for the difference in cost between the car I would sell and the car I would buy.Opinions/ Experiences?
My CPA is uncomfortable with a travel deduction I want to deduct. I'd like to hear FW opinions.Details:
I own a professional services LLC that currently has me as the only employee. All of the contracted work is at one workplace about 200 miles from my home. I travel there once or twice a week, and use a hotel for overnight stays. The first year I worked there I deducted travel expenses, and now cannot since the IRS calls it a permanent workplace after one year.For the past few months my wife has been driving me there since I find the combination of driving and subsequent work to be difficult. It occurred to me that I could benefit by placing her on my company payroll. I would have to pay payroll taxes we will not collect down the road (long story,) but she would gain a higher 401k deduction that would more than offset the payroll tax; it would allow me to open an HRA (health retirement account); and most profitably, I thought I could then recompense her business travel expenses -- if not indefinitely, at least for a year.My CPA reasons that if I cannot deduct a specific travel expense, then neither can my wife even though she is treated as a separate employee.What say ye, collective FW wisdom ? Is my CPA spot on, or unduly conservative ? Or perhaps there is a variation to this game I have not considered ?Thanks!
Roof/Insurance - Call an adjuster?
Added on : Sunday February 03rd 2013 04:01:10 PM
Our roof is original to our house, about 16 years old. There are a few missing shingles and most of the neighborhood has already replaced theirs, so we were planning on replacing ours this spring.I had three roofers out yesterday - the first said it needed to be replaced because there are no soffit vents and heat/moisture had damaged the shingles, didn't think there was hail damage (when I asked). The second said most of the roof was hail and wind damaged and that he was sure that our insurer (Travelers) would replace most if not all of the roof, to call an adjuster and have him there as well (and of course wants the work if he's the one there to meet with the adjuster). The third didn't actually go up on the roof but was skeptical of the hail because didn't see any damage to guttering/metal from the ground and most home owners around our neighborhood who had their roofs replaced with insurance had just gotten lucky, but that he'd be happy to meet with an adjuster if we wanted.The first company is the most respected, was the most thorough and is who I would use if I was paying out of pocket (about $7K). I'm thinking about having an adjuster to come out just to check things out without any roofers present. My policy only covers hail events within 1 year I think, but there are two events for my city/ZIP listed on the weather database within the past year. Do I risk having someone come out and nothing being wrong? What would that do to my rates/CLUE report? Or should I call the first guys back and ask their opinion about it and whether they would recommend calling an adjuster/meeting with them? I'm very confused by the whole thing.
Tax Software, which one?
Added on : Sunday February 03rd 2013 11:01:02 AM
I was sure this would already be a topic so I did a search on here and I apologize if this is a duplicate. Assuming you do your own taxes using software, how does everyone determine which tax software to use? Is it based on price? Features? Does it even matter? I've used TaxAct in the past and wanted opinions on if its worth looking into other products or continuing on with what always has been.Thanks!
Money Transfer to India
Added on : Saturday February 02nd 2013 05:01:01 PM
Hi All,I know this topic has been discussed periodically and typically SBI remit turns out to be the best option available given superior exchange rate offered and low fees. I noticed that SBI remit for tx is down until further notice. I need to make monthly small payments lets say ~ 400$ monthly towards student loan, what would be the next best alternative till SBI remit is up and running again. I would appreciate if you can share your opinion about this,l.g.
I have been reading through various articles and websites, including the official government website "Healthcare.gov", because I am pretty confused about the new healthcare law and what it is actually going to change about health insurance in the US starting in January 2014. I'm wondering if anyone on FWF can help me understand certain details of it and possible scenarios for the future.I am particularly interested in how the new law is going to change "individual" health insurance policies (those not offered by an employer), but I'm also interested in learning how it will affect employer-provided coverage.[Of course, I don't mean this to get into politics, ethics, or anything of that nature. I have my opinions, others will have theirs, but this post is about the actual law and how it looks like it is going to work in practice.]The extra consumer protections and benefits brought in by the law sound nice, and there is the happy implication that the new protections and benefits will simply apply to everyone and every insurance plan, but in the details, it says that most of these protections and benefits will only apply to plans that were founded after March 2010. It is my present understanding - although perhaps I am wrong? - that plans founded before March 2010, even if you do not join them until January 2014 or later, apparently are "grandfathered" and don't have to obey most of this healthcare law.I should imagine that most employers that have over 50 employees and that have been in existence for a few years will have company health insurance plans that were founded before March 2010. That would surely be the case for most major employers in America - no? Will most employer health plans thus be exempt from the new law? Even if you get a new job in 2014 or later years, will your employer's health insurance plan not have to provide you the protections and benefits of this new law?Have most individual health insurance plans that are on the market today been going from before March 2010? Surely many or even most of them were in place then? If they were started before March 2010, these individual plans will be considered "grandfathered" and will never have to abide by the new law, is this right?What most concerns me is: What if most of the (few) insurance companies that offer individual health plans simply had decided in March 2010 that they will not start any (or not start many) new plans after that date, in order to force new customers (especially those joining a plan after the full law comes into effect for new plans on January 2014) to join a grandfathered plan (because the customers would have no other, or few, alternative plans to choose from).What if most of the benefits and protections of the new healthcare law that the government is promising do not come true for many people, because there will not be any (or many) new-plan insurance choices available for individual consumers / company employees?The govt is claiming that an "insurance marketplace" containing many new insurance plan options will be fully in place by October 2013, but as of January 2013, it's mainly a concept and not a reality, and a number of states have said they won't be ready for it -- or even that they will *refuse* to create one for their citizens.What are insurance companies doing to prepare for this new marketplace? Are they making new insurance plans to offer customers for 2014, or are they mostly sitting on their hands and planning to trot out their older plans (in existence since before March 2010) that will be not be much affected by the new law?What if this 2014 "marketplace" is nearly devoid of newly-created (after March 2010) plans that one can join (especially on the individual level)? Does that mean that most of the people looking for insurance in 2014 and later years won't get any of the benefits and protections that the new law is meant to give them? Is it possible that the insurance market post-2013 is going to be as messed-up, expensive, unfair, and unhealthy as it was prior to this new healthcare law's having been passed? (At least for a number of years, until new plans simply have to be created by the insurance companies, and older plans have to be retired for one reason or the other?)If I've missed some key information somewhere, or am not viewing this logically, please let me know.===
Sorry that this post is already quite long, but here are some selected quotations from Healthcare.gov. My questions are in brackets and capital letters:
from: http://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/about/index.htmlWhen key parts of the health care law take effect in 2014, therell be a new way to get health insurance: the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace is designed to help you find health insurance that fits your budget, with less hassle. Every health insurance plan in the new Marketplace will offer comprehensive coverage, from doctors to medications to hospital visits. You can compare all your insurance options based on price, benefits, quality, and other features that may be important to you, in plain language that makes sense.
from: http://www.healthcare.gov/using-insurance/understanding/services...No matter what kind of coverage you have, its important to know whats covered and whats not. Starting in 2014, certain essential health benefits will be covered under all policies.
[THEY SAY "ALL" ABOVE, BUT JUST BELOW, THEY SAY IT'S ONLY "NEW" PLANS THAT COVER ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS.]Starting in 2014, new individual plans and plans purchased in an Affordable Insurance Exchange will have to cover essential benefits like hospitalizations, doctor services, prescription drugs, rehabilitation and mental health services, pregnancy, and newborn care. Also, there will be limits on how much you have to pay out-of-pocket each year for covered services....[N]ew individual insurance policies (and job-based plans) are not allowed to exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions or disabilities
[BUT WHAT ABOUT OLDER INDIVIDUAL INSURANCE POLICIES THAT ARE STILL IN EFFECT AND STILL BEING SOLD IN 2014? IF YOU JOIN THEM IN 2014 OR LATER YEARS, CAN THEY EXCLUDE PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS LIKE THEY ALWAYS DID?]Note: In 2014, for job-based plans, waiting periods for coverage of pre-existing conditions will be limited to 90 days.
from: http://www.healthcare.gov/using-insurance/understanding/costs/in...Starting in 2014, new individual insurance policies (and job-based plans) wont be allowed to charge you more based on your health status, pregnancy, or disability. Also, insurers wont be allowed to charge you more based on your gender, and there will be limits on how much premiums can vary based on age.
[BUT THIS DOESN'T APPLY TO ANY INDIVIDUAL POLICIES OR JOB-BASED PLANS THAT WERE IN EXISTENCE BEFORE MARCH 2010? AND WON'T MOST INSURANCE POLICIES BE AT LEAST THAT OLD?]For job-based health plans, its up to employers to decide how much of the premium to pay on behalf of you and your family. Your employer will tell you how much of the premium for health coverage you must pay.
from: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/grandfathered-plan...The Affordable Care Act exempts most plans that existed on March 23, 2010 the day the law was enacted from some of the laws consumer protections.If you have health coverage from a plan that existed on March 23, 2010 and that has covered at least one person continuously from that day forward your plan may be considered a grandfathered plan.This is true whether you are covered by an individual health insurance policy that you had on that date, or you are covered by a job-based health plan that your employer established before March 23, 2010. This is true even if you enrolled in that job-based plan sometime later.
[AND WHAT ABOUT AN INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY THAT EXISTED BEFORE MARCH 23, 2010, BUT YOU DID NOT JOIN IT UNTIL 2014? ARE YOU THEN NOT COVERED UNDER THE NEW HEALTHCARE LAW?]A grandfathered health plan isnt required to comply with some of the consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act that apply to other health plans that are not grandfathered. Heres a look at which consumer protections do and dont apply to grandfathered plans:
Consumer Protections in the Health Care Law that DO Apply to Grandfathered PlansMany of the laws consumer protections that took effect on September 23, 2010 apply to all plans, whether they are grandfathered or not. Please note that these consumer protections will be added to your plan when it begins a new plan year or policy year on or after September 23, 2010.ALL health plans:
-are prohibited from applying lifetime dollar limits to key health benefits.
-are not permitted to cancel your insurance coverage solely because of an honest mistake that you or your employer made on your insurance application.
Consumer Protections in the Health Care Law that DO NOT Apply to Grandfathered PlansUnlike other health plans, job-based plans and grandfathered plans are not required to:
-provide certain recommended preventive services at no additional charge to you.
-offer new protections when you are appealing claims and coverage denials.
-protect your choice of health care providers and your access to emergency care.
Consumer Protections in the Health Care Law that also DO NOT Apply to Grandfathered INDIVIDUAL PlansGrandfathered individual health insurance policies not the kind you get through work in addition to the exclusions above are not required to adopt the provisions of the law that:
-phase out annual dollar limits on key benefits.
-eliminate pre-existing condition exclusions for children under 19 years old.
Check your plans materials. Beginning with the first plan or policy year starting on or after September 23, 2010, health plans must disclose their grandfathered status in any plan materials describing the plans benefits that are distributed to beneficiaries or primary subscribers. These materials must also contain contact information for questions and complaints.Check with your employer or your health plans benefits administrator. If you are in a group health plan, the date you joined may not reflect the date the plan was created. New employees and new family members may be added to a grandfathered group plan after March 23, 2010.
http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/doctor-choice/inde...The Affordable Care Act helps preserve your choice of doctors by guaranteeing that you can choose the primary care doctor or pediatrician you want from your health plans provider network. It guarantees that you can see an OB-GYN doctor without needing a referral from another doctor. The law also ensures that you can seek emergency care at a hospital outside your plans network without prior approval from your health plan.These rules apply to all group health plans and individual health insurance policies created or issued after March 23, 2010.[BUT] These rules do not apply to grandfathered health plans.
http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/rights/preventive-care/in...Under the Affordable Care Act, you and your family may be eligible for some important preventive services which can help you avoid illness and improve your health at no additional cost to you.This preventive services provision applies only to people enrolled in job-related health plans or individual health insurance policies created after March 23, 2010.[BUT] Grandfathered plans: If your plan is grandfathered, these benefits may not be available to you. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/costs/limits/index.htmlBefore the health care law, many health plans set an annual limit a dollar limit on their yearly spending for your covered benefits. Many plans also set a lifetime limit a dollar limit on what they would spend for your covered benefits during the entire time you were enrolled in that plan. You were required to pay the cost of all care exceeding those limits.Under the law, lifetime limits on most benefits are prohibited in any health plan or insurance policy issued or renewed on or after September 23, 2010.The law restricts and phases out the annual dollar limits that all job-related plans, and individual health insurance plans issued after March 23, 2010, can put on most covered health benefits.[BUT] If you have a grandfathered individual health insurance policy, your health plan is not required to follow the new rules on annual limits. (A grandfathered individual health insurance policy is a plan that you bought for yourself or your family; that you did not receive through your employer; and that was issued on or before March 23, 2010.) If youre not sure whether your plan is grandfathered, ask your insurance company.
Gathering Opinions on How to Invest Funds...
Added on : Friday February 01st 2013 12:00:54 PM
Hello all! For the first time in my life I have a savings account with a healthy balance ($3500...I know it's low compared to most but it's healthy for me). I have it in an AMEX Savings account which gets about 0.9% interest. My grandfather (who is admittely out of touch with the finance world now but at one time did very well) said I should invest these funds or find a way to make a higher interest rate on them while keepign the funds liquid. Any ideas? Thanks!
Opening new financial firm to replace high deposit institution?
Added on : Monday January 28th 2013 05:01:19 PM
A bank branch with a high amount of deposits is shutting down and merging with another branch close by. The branch has a total net deposits which is extremely high and could have been even higher if the institution made it more worthwhile for the depositors. Obviously the bank is shutting down a location that they didn't know nor care to manage and want to let it go. While total deposits is not net profit, it does show that the validity of the location is rock solid and a new tenant should be able to either redevelop the entire building profitably with a new ground floor tenant or rent the existing bank branch space to utilize it for something that will bring in a lot of profit either a financial related firm or other business since significant population exists in the area to target for profit. I figure with business partners, this location could be very lucrative and drive in significant profits if done right with a related business to drive in profit at ground level and I don't believe the space will be vacant long. One other property exists which has been vacant but the location is poor and a side property while this one gets very high amounts of vehicular traffic and has a very noticeable footprint.Would like to hear from others regarding this and their opinions. It sounds like a prime investment opportunity and if the property is still available I believe substantial income is possible from this.
Free credit report
Added on : Sunday January 27th 2013 09:00:57 PM
Can anyone suggest a reliable & safe website to get credit report for free? Any opinion about www.annualcreditreport.com ?
Considerations for Changing Jobs
Added on : Sunday January 27th 2013 08:01:02 PM
I know a lot of people, including me, have started posts about changing jobs in the past. I am in the position again, but this time, I thought that maybe we could discuss things that are important when considering a job change, especially when a huge motivation is overall compensation. Many folks tend to focus on base salary, perhaps bonuses, and some of the big benefits, like medical insurance... but there are many of other factors and just because you get an increased base salary does not mean you are coming out ahead. In addition, there are considerations related to career path/growth and how well you fit with the organization and its mission, but those are not part of this conversation.1) Base salary - This is obviously the big one... we leave whatever else we could be doing in order to earn money to support ourselves, our loved ones, and hopefully enjoy life. However, there are other reasons to focus on increasing your base salary. For instance, other benefits and bonuses are often a percentage or multiple of your base salary. Unless I just really need a job (out of work or truly and dissatisfied) I will not move for anything less than a double-digit percentage increase, and most likely above 15%. My personal ability to do this is likely diminishing as I am getting up there for my market.2) Medical/dental/vision - This is important for most people I have to think, except the healthy and young that don't see the point in buying. There are several factors, like whether all or some of the benefits are available (vision may not be important as the others as it covers the least and some folks have good vision, and potentially even dental as it is similar but usually provides a better value proposition than vision since everyone has teeth... unless you don't). Also, there is the cost of the premium you pay, the deductible, co-pays, network, flexibility, etc. When employers provide benefits summaries, they don't tend to outline most of this information... usually just premium and maybe the deductible. With the advent of high deductible plans and health savings accounts, some employers contribute to the HSA, as well.2) Retirement savings - this is Crucial for folks that earn more than the limit for contributing to IRAs and folks that want to contribute more than an IRA allows. Also, employers (perhaps a decreasing amount) offer some sort matching program that may or may not have a vesting schedule. In my opinion, since I work in IT and the tenure at each employer seems to be a few years, a lower or non-existent vesting schedule is preferable. This is also one of those benefits that is a derivative of the base salary... the higher your base salary the higher the employer match. Also, when you exceed the social security cap each year, some employers offer the 6.5% employer side as a contribution.3) Life/disability - Again, this is another one that is a derivative of your base salary... normally a multiple. I remember a conversation with my mother-in-law who said that at some point you have to feel like you have made enough... I could have screamed for so many reasons, but life insurance was a huge one. I figure that my mother-in-law would understand that as her father died when she was young and my risk aversion comes from me experiencing the same thing. Many employers either state that they offer life insurance and they may state how much they provide, but I have not witnessed any providing information on cost and ceiling on supplemental life insurance. The same holds true with AD&D. (no, definitely nothing to do with role-playing games). I am married with multiple children... it matters greatly to me. I am maxed out with my current employer which allows me to have 5x my base salary in life insurance and 10x my base salary in AD&D... so, if I were to die in an accident, my family would have 15x my base salary. Some folks are okay to buy this coverage on their own, but I prefer buying through my employer as they don't tend to require medical examinations and it has been less expensive, at least for me.4) PTO and holidays - The value of this benefit varies greatly from each employer. Some let you carry over, others don't; some pay out, some don't; some have separate vacation and sick days, some don't; some offer flexible working arrangements that mean you can make up time; some situations leave you not using your PTO. I tend to build up my accrue my PTO close to the maximum before I use any, and even then I don't tend to draw it down much. I like to use it as an extra cushion in case something happens to my job or as a bonus when I leave. Employers can actually be fairly flexible with PTO when you are negotiating salary. In four of my six past salary negotiations, I have increase my PTO beyond the standard, usually by five days.5) Tuition - This one has always been important to me. I worked full-time throughout my undergrad work and my employers throughout paid for 50% of my tuition. Also, my current employer paid for 2/3 of my masters degree. Now, it isn't as important to me as I don't really plan on going to school for a while unless it is a trade class (like welding, which I can do inexpensively at the local community college and wouldn't likely meet company policy for reimbursement) or something for fun (which I could take for free as audit credit at my alma mater). Another consideration is tuition pay back if you leave. None of my previous employers sought these funds, as I left two before getting past that point... but now that my current employer is rather large, I think they would actually pursue it.6) Work schedule/location - Flex schedule? Telework? Shorter commute? I personally like being able to go into the office, but I prefer being able to work from home a day or two a week. I tend to have a roundtrip of 30 miles as my shortest possibility (currently it is 60 miles, and it looks to be extending to 70). The fewer days I have to commute, the less time I spend commuting, the less fuel I consume, the less wear and tear on my vehicles, and the less risk of an accident or getting a traffic ticket. Also, I like to adjust my daily schedule frequently. For instance, I used to go in later so I could see my kids off to school in the morning; now that the wife is done with school (well, the first part), I go in early so I can come home early.So, my current situation is offering an almost 14% increase in my base salary... but comparing many of the benefits, it isn't as great as it might appear (some may not even think that the 14% is even worth it). The retirement match is a lower percentage, but when I considered all of the stipulations between the two, it actually came out to be the same nominal value, so at least it is about a wash there. PTO was negotiated to improve the disparity. Some other benefits are no longer useful to me.Anyhow, what are some other considerations that you all have found important? Some offer stipends for mobile phones, gym memberships, food in the break room or subsidized cafeteria, discounts for various items (whether at other companies or an employee discount).
Send 1099 for personal loan interest paid?
Added on : Thursday January 24th 2013 01:00:57 PM
I have some personal loans and paid interest to my lenders during 2012. Am I required to issue a 1099-Int to my lenders? I read the instructions for 1099-INT and it suggested I was exempt, although I welcome additional opinions. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1099int.pdfIRS said: Report only interest payments made in the course of your trade or business...

Exceptions to reporting. No Form 1099-INT is required to be filed for payments made to exempt recipients or for interest excluded from reporting.

Interest excluded from reporting. You are not required to file Form 1099-INT for interest on an obligation issued by an individual, ...
In case this matters, I plan on deducting this on my taxes as investment interest expense. I do not have a business, these are personal investments in stocks and the like. Thank you.
Auto Loan Strategy
Added on : Sunday January 20th 2013 01:01:03 PM
Hello,I have negotiated a price for a all new Honda with a dealership online. I have come to a point where the dealer is agreeing to sell the thing for $100 over invoice+doc fee+tax+title+registration. I believe its a decent deal, not really sure though.Honda does not have have any offers on financing at least in my region (Southwest USA), so I am thinking of Penfed @1.49% for 48 Months.I have done all negotiations online(I have not told the dealer, about what i will be doing -finance or lease), I just want to go in to the dealership, test drive the car and close the deal, for which I want to get the financing ready before I go there. This is the first time, I am having to go for financing outside of the dealership, so new to that.1.Whats the process to arrange financing from Penfed before I finish/close the deal? Will they send me a check that I can give the dealership? not sure..
2.Do I have any other nationally available financing options better than the deal at Penfed -1.49% for 48 Months?
3.How easy/difficult is penfed to approve new auto loans? I have a good credit 740+, but as I refinanced a month ago, I have many mortgage inquiries (10+)..Shopped around a lot!!!!
4.This is my second car, on my primary car, I have about $4.5k loan with an equity of about $9000.00I would also appreciate if guys can give your opinion on the price I have negotiated (invoice+100) on the 2013 Accord EX-L without nav.As always, thankful to you guys here!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A5B8SSUWhat Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and MoreLance Johnson (Author)
This unique book paints a revealing picture of America and its people for those foreigners who will benefit from a better understanding of America. It will also inform Americans who want to learn more about the U.S. and how it compares to other countries around the world. World traveler and teacher Lance Johnson studies cultural differences and the difficulties foreigners have understanding crazy America, as some call it. Foreigners might come to the U.S. to work for American employers, to open branch offices or factories for their homeland employers, to start their own businesses, or go to school. Others might work for American organizations in their homelands or have American teachers there. An understanding of American culture and language will contribute to their success. As the title suggests, this book is for foreigners. Dictionaries say they are people who are not citizens of a country. For this book they are defined as anyone who is not sufficiently familiar with American culture to achieve success. This includes the multitudes of foreign-born, naturalized citizens who have lived in the U.S. for years and still struggle with the ways and the language. A foreigner could also be a first-generation American whose immigrant parents did not fully expose their children to American culture and they now pay the price in mainstream U.S. There are lots of other examples, too. FORMAT Each of the 26 chapters brush strokes contributes to the final painting of what America is all about. For ease of understanding, the chapters are grouped into four sections. (The sections are available as individual books as well.) Section I America's Heritage. This defines the historical background of why America and its people became who and what they are today. Section II America's Culture. This section describes everyday life in America, ranging from customs and etiquette, to whats on the minds of Americans, to education. Practical advice is provided for the one million foreign applicants who seek and gain admission to U.S. colleges and universities each year. Pointers are provided on the cultural differences students should expect, and how to get the most from their education. Section III America's Business. This explains the complex business environment, operations, and people-related customs and why the U.S. is an economic juggernaut. Information is provided for starting a business of your own in the U.S. as well as how to increase the chances of your getting hired by an American firm in the U.S. or abroad. Section IV America's Language. These chapters discuss practical ways to improve English grammar, speech, writing, communication skills, and reducing accents. Common English grammar and speech errors made by foreigners are identified and simple tips are provided for overcoming them. ENDORSEMENTS I congratulate you on writing this timely work. This will promote better mutual understanding between America and Asia." - Tommy Koh, Singapore Ambassador to the U.N. and U.S. Your book covers a broad range of topics that I am sure manywill find very useful. - Clark T. Randt, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to China. I greatly appreciate your efforts in sharing with other people your opinion and experience on the exchanges between different peoples and cultures. It is so important for us to better understand each other while striving to build a better world for all. - Zhou Wenzhong, China Ambassador to U.S. I found this book refreshingly different from the general run of books in this genre. - Mohammad Vazeeruddin, India journalist. The A to Z chapters are nicely written and...the language is simple and lucid. - Jay Gajjar, India language professor. I love this books generous use of helpful hints. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about America like I did." - Sarah Kim, Korean American business owner.
Moped Theft - Thief arrested - Moped damage and towing expenses
Added on : Friday January 18th 2013 11:01:09 AM
Someone stole my moped that was parked in front of my apartment couple months ago. So, I got a call last week from the police department saying that the Moped has been found and an arrest has been made for it. The police department is at another city and I was told to get the moped within 5-10 minutes. Otherwise, it will be towed. I live 30-40 minutes away from the city where I need to pick it up, so my only choice was to have it towed temporarily.
I was asked to pay for the towing fee, which is $150+. After some reasoning with the police department, I was told that i could actually be paid back through the court, making the thief pay for the towing. I don't have a truck. So, if the moped is damaged, my only option would be to get it towed to my apartment.
It is in fact partly damaged. The total towing cost to my apartment was $250.Now, the moped is in bad shape. The ignition and storage key hole has been pried open and rewired so that no key is needed. The fuel cap which also required a key to open was yanked off. There are a lot of white smoke coming out from the exhaust and it smells bad when I turned it on. Battery is dead now as well. Body was badly scratched and one of the mirror was broken. It was a brand new moped (less than 2 months old).
The cost of repair was $350 or so.Now, I was told by the officer that I have to be present in court if I need to get the person to pay. Now, I have a really pack schedule that day (1 week from now) and it is very likely that I might not be able to make it. I told the officer, so he said that he will ask his superior. He is a nice guy and I am very thankful that he made the arrest. I haven't heard back from him. So, I thought I should make this post to see what your opinions on this.
Renting out a RV for fun and profit
Added on : Tuesday January 15th 2013 04:01:08 PM
So my wife and I are thinking about buying an RV. After analysis, while we might be able to get a good deal on a used unit, due to the number of times that we would use it each year, it still does not make financial sense.While at an RV show last weekend, I ran across a booth where they were recruiting RV owners to consign their RVs for rental through there RV rental operation. This got me thinking that if we rented out our RV (if we bought one), this would help defray the operating costs and make it a better financial choice. While I think I will ultimately run this past a CPA, I wanted to get the opinions of the FWF brain trust.So here is an overview:I have two choices for renting an RV out. Do it myself where I screen, clean, rent and store the RV. I would keep all the income. The other option would be to use a service like the one I found at the RV show. They basically handle all aspects of the rental including storage when its not rented. We could use the RV anytime. They charge 50% of the rental income. This seems rather high to me, but after some googling, this sounds like the going rate.I would have two choices for purchasing an RV. I could buy a used one or I could buy a new one with the specific features that would be desirable for the rental market. A Class C is the most widely used unit in the rental market and that is the type we want to buy anyway.Some here are some of my concerns:Insurance How would I insure a personal RV that would also be a rental?Depreciation There seems to be a great deal of confusion on how you can depreciate a RV since it is both a vehicle and a form of lodging. And can a RV be Section 179 expensed?Business structure Could I just report it as Schedule C income or should I incorporate or LLC for the liability protection?Avoiding it being classified as a hobby business I know there are rules for profitability of a business. If I depreciate too fast, I probably would not make a profit any time soon as the depreciation would be higher than the income from rentals. Maybe if I was able to 179 expense it in a year or two, that would allow me to show a profit in later years. Im also concerned that if I took the hands off approach by using a service to rent out the unit, that would affect how the IRS looked at it as a hobby vs. a real business.Thanks
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A5B8SSUWhat Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and MoreLance Johnson (Author)
This unique book paints a revealing picture of America and its people for those foreigners who will benefit from a better understanding of America. It will also inform Americans who want to learn more about the U.S. and how it compares to other countries around the world. World traveler and teacher Lance Johnson studies cultural differences and the difficulties foreigners have understanding crazy America, as some call it. Foreigners might come to the U.S. to work for American employers, to open branch offices or factories for their homeland employers, to start their own businesses, or go to school. Others might work for American organizations in their homelands or have American teachers there. An understanding of American culture and language will contribute to their success. As the title suggests, this book is for foreigners. Dictionaries say they are people who are not citizens of a country. For this book they are defined as anyone who is not sufficiently familiar with American culture to achieve success. This includes the multitudes of foreign-born, naturalized citizens who have lived in the U.S. for years and still struggle with the ways and the language. A foreigner could also be a first-generation American whose immigrant parents did not fully expose their children to American culture and they now pay the price in mainstream U.S. There are lots of other examples, too. FORMAT Each of the 26 chapters brush strokes contributes to the final painting of what America is all about. For ease of understanding, the chapters are grouped into four sections. (The sections are available as individual books as well.) Section I America's Heritage. This defines the historical background of why America and its people became who and what they are today. Section II America's Culture. This section describes everyday life in America, ranging from customs and etiquette, to whats on the minds of Americans, to education. Practical advice is provided for the one million foreign applicants who seek and gain admission to U.S. colleges and universities each year. Pointers are provided on the cultural differences students should expect, and how to get the most from their education. Section III America's Business. This explains the complex business environment, operations, and people-related customs and why the U.S. is an economic juggernaut. Information is provided for starting a business of your own in the U.S. as well as how to increase the chances of your getting hired by an American firm in the U.S. or abroad. Section IV America's Language. These chapters discuss practical ways to improve English grammar, speech, writing, communication skills, and reducing accents. Common English grammar and speech errors made by foreigners are identified and simple tips are provided for overcoming them. ENDORSEMENTS I congratulate you on writing this timely work. This will promote better mutual understanding between America and Asia." - Tommy Koh, Singapore Ambassador to the U.N. and U.S. Your book covers a broad range of topics that I am sure manywill find very useful. - Clark T. Randt, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to China. I greatly appreciate your efforts in sharing with other people your opinion and experience on the exchanges between different peoples and cultures. It is so important for us to better understand each other while striving to build a better world for all. - Zhou Wenzhong, China Ambassador to U.S. I found this book refreshingly different from the general run of books in this genre. - Mohammad Vazeeruddin, India journalist. The A to Z chapters are nicely written and...the language is simple and lucid. - Jay Gajjar, India language professor. I love this books generous use of helpful hints. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about America like I did." - Sarah Kim, Korean American business owner.
Need master bath minor remodel, best way to pay later?
Added on : Sunday January 13th 2013 05:01:02 PM
So I need to do a minor master bathroom remodel and the contractor I want to use doesn't accept anything but cash or check. I can understand this and want to use him anyway do to reviews and quality of work. I have the cash to pay now but would rather finance this out to 12 months or less in payments. What is the best way to accomplish this? 0% balance transfer card that allows checks to go to bank account? Perhaps just a signature loan? Amount is $6,000. Opinions?
Career Path - Finance / Legal
Added on : Friday January 11th 2013 07:00:59 PM
Hello FWF, I have exhausted everyone I personally know and have asked for their opinion, my head is spinning, and I turn to you, unknown but wise internet FWF folk. Hopefully some of you may have some related experience.Stats:
Age: 29
Certs: CPA
Job: Audit Department at a Fortune 500I have been offered a promotion to a Regulatory Compliance position (not financial regulatory) in my company's the legal department. I am not a lawyer, nor do I plan on going to law school at any point. I have always been in an accounting/finance position, as my previous employer was one of the Big 4. While the promotion would be a big step up in responsibility and overall career growth, I tend to believe stepping out of a finance/accounting role would hamper my long term growth as a finance professional, should I eventually want to return to a finance role.Here is a short and to the point run down of pros and cons I have come up with to taking the promotion:Pros:
- Better title, more $ (~15% bump), immediate promotion
- Exposure to different tasks, responsibilities, and individuals (very, very senior leadership) within the organization Cons:
- Not my planned career path
- Limited growth within the legal department unless I pursue a law degree
- Longer term plan would likely be back into finance, where I would likely have to take a lateral move to get back and not a promotion
Would I be crazy to pass on a promotion? Would I be crazy to take a dead end job even if there is fairly significant immediate payoff?If anyone has followed a similar career path and could provide some insight, that would helpful!Thank you FWF!
Lowering mortgage rate without a refi
Added on : Thursday January 10th 2013 07:00:54 AM
In researching some refinance options, I came across some opinions that banks will lower the rate on your existing loan to keep your business and then you can avoid the refi process. It sounds reasonable that they would do it, but real world practices are not always rooted in common sense. So before I call some random person at the bank, I'm wondering if anyone has done this successfully and how they attacked it. Do banks really care about keeping the business? Obviously it will be YMMV to an extent. Bank is BB&T, mortgage has been there for a few years on a 30 year note, payments have all been on time, and it isn't a jumbo. Last I checked, credit score was over 800. Loan isn't underwater and I'm not looking to cash anything out. A regular refi should go just fine, I'm just trying to pick the cheapest/quickest option. Based on current rates, I'd be looking for a 1-1.25% reduction. Also, would this show up on a report as a "modification" with a potentially negative effect?
Irrevocable Trust As A Landlord?
Added on : Monday January 07th 2013 03:01:03 PM
This is building off of a previous thread regarding trusts: Here is the threadI have recently been appointed trustee and beneficiary of my own trust. I have been thinking about how the trust and I can interact for financial benevolence. These are things I have been considering and would like to get some other views and opinions.1) I recently sold an investment property and I currently rent. I am just getting into the market for some real estate and wanted to know if I were to buy a home, would it be better to buy the house myself or let the trust buy it and I can pay the trust rent?
A) The trust would treat the house as an investment property and pay taxes on the gains/losses of the house. I assume I could make the trust "break even" with my rent amount. I would most likely have to pay cash for the home due to few banks liking to have mortgages with irrevocable trusts.
B) If I buy the house, I am able to get the interest deductions of the mortgage and property taxes which could help reduce my taxable income such that any distributions from the trust could offset my deductions from a taxable income perspective.
C) Is there an angle I am missing? There has to be an optimal way of working with the trust for the best arrangement. Anyone else have any direct experience with this situation?
2) If the trust buys the home, does the trust have liability if anything were to happen in the home? For instance, a lawsuit of the home owner (i.e. the trust)? I am assuming yes.Thanks in advance for any feedback.
HELP- NEED INSIGHT- Sell and buy or continue to live in current house
Added on : Saturday January 05th 2013 08:01:03 PM
Hi there, long time lurker, first time poster here. I'm facing a specific situation i'm very new to and wanted to solicit some of your opinion here. I live in a suburb in houston, tx. My inlaws live in houston too and they own a house which is 50% paid off (they have about $90K remaining @ 5.75% IR). Due to work related reasons, they had to relocate to another state and as a result, me and my wife moved into their house and took over their payments (around $750 per month). We're essentially 'house-sitting' until we decide what to do. Currently, i face the following options:1. Sell the inlaws house, and buy our own house.

PRO: This is our preferred option since we do want to get a new house in a different area in houston.
CON: trying to sell the inlaws house. We do not want to buy a house until the inlaws house is sold, but given the market, not sure how long it will take to sell the house or if we will get a fair offer.
Primary motivation of getting a new house is also because of the current low interest rates.
2. Continue to live in the inlaws house

PRO: i will take over the mortgage and refi at a low rate (3.X %)
CON: we will be stuck in this house
CON: we will miss out on the low interest rates offered currently to buy a new house.
  The ideal situation would be to get the house sold @ a decent amount and buy a new house @ a good low interest rate. But this doesn't seem very realistic. If anyone has been through a similar situation or has any insights, would greatly appreciate it. Also wanted to note- renting is not an option since we both work full time and just don't have the time to deal with any additional hassles. As i said, this is my first post, so if i didn't include details or am missing information, please let me know.
1500mg Spirulina Tablets 300ct @ costco $16.99 free shipping
Added on : Saturday January 05th 2013 01:00:05 PM
http://www.costco.com/.product.619673.html They might have it in-store, but it's definitely online.My dad asked me to look for spirulina because he started eating it...after his original stash expired. (He apparantly bought it during his vacation in China) Anyway, I told him I could check costco before goitn to GNC, cvs,rite-aid and whatnot.I checked online and saw the costco price. So, I decided to check in the warehouse. My local warehouse did not have it, so I placed an order and to my surprise, there's no shipping and handling for me!I tried using google to search for comprable spirulina, but most of the others' offering were around 500 tables with 500mg for around the same price, which makes this a deal in my opinion.Hope this might help someone. Thank you for reading this post
Your Advice is Needed: Infinite Banking Concept
Added on : Wednesday January 02nd 2013 12:01:03 PM
I am asking for your advice and opinions on Nelson Nashs Infinite Banking Concept/ Pamela Yellens Bank On Yourself Concept. Please only comment if you are familiar with these concepts. I started this dividend paying, whole life policy with these concepts in mind in April of 2010 (@23 years old). Now in a long-term relationship I want to make sure that this money is going to the right place with our best interests in mind. Now 26 years old, marriage, travel, being a new homeowner, and kids appear to be in my future. And the financial stress is starting to weigh in.
The idea of having this policy is to help finance mostly cars, and maybe travels and have cash on hand for burdens should they occur. And from what Nelson says in his book there will be money to pull from to help pay for retirement. However, this will not be my sole retirement plan.Basic Amount of Insurance: $187,951 Life Paid-Up At 95
Interest Rate for Basis of Values for:
Reserves 4.00%
Cash Values 4.50%
Net Single Premiums 4.50%Gross Premium is $286.23
Cost of Insurance is $129.65 (?)
Riders Included:
*Accelerated Benefit Rider
*Level Premium Paid-Up Additions Rider
*Ten Year Term RiderCurrent Dividends are used to buy Paid-Up AdditionsCurrently the totals are:
Total Death Benefit: $437,775.29
Available Loan Value: $4,838.67
Net Cash Surrender Value: $5,317.83Monthly Premium $286.23 x 32 months =$9,159.36So as you can see my available loan value is about $4,000 less than what I have paid in. Ouch. I knew that this would be a long-term investment going into this, but this becomes a hard sell to the significant other. So it will be a few more years before I would break even. So the question is: Is this worth my time and money and should I stay on the long path or- Should I end it now, take the loss and find something else that is a better investment?*I would attach the Table of Guaranteed Values, but it doesn't account for the riders and Paid-Up additions. For example, I'm almost to end of year 3 and it says Guaranteed Cash Value $0, but I'm already at $4,838.67I appreciate your feedback! Thank You!
Bulls on Wallstreet - $25
Added on : Sunday December 30th 2012 01:00:14 PM
I have been seeing this deal on Groupon. I need 2nd opinion is it worth the $25. I don't do day trading and not a active stock trader but interested in learning about it and a beginner stage. Deal linkReviews - good ones then there are some negative one.. hard to read for a beginner
Groupon Coupons
Bulls on Wallstreet - $25
Added on : Sunday December 30th 2012 12:01:10 PM
I have been seeing this deal on Groupon. I need 2nd opinion is it worth the $25. I don't do day trading and not a active stock trader but interested in learning about it and a beginner stage. Deal linkReviews - good ones then there are some negative one.. hard to read for a beginner
Contractor charges and didn't fix problem
Added on : Sunday December 30th 2012 10:01:22 AM
I had a sewer gas odor in my kitchen after a bathroom remodel. I called the contractor that did the remodeling because I thought the remodel might have something to do with it. The contractor came out and ran a smoke test along with a few other test. He said he didn't think it was related to the bathroom and suggested it might be due to atmospheric conditions. (Gas forced back into the house due to weather). He recommended a whole house trap on the septic line or extending our vent pipes on the roof. He said these options might not work and the whole house trap would cause problems by getting clogged. He then gave me a bill for $200. . I got a second opinion from a plumber who suggested having our septic tank pumped to eliminate that as a possibility. It was pumped the next day, and we haven't had an odor ever since (for 2 weeks). The contractor fixed nothing and recommended fixes that would not have worked and cost me money. $500 -$1000 is what he quoted for the whole house trap. I feel like I am getting ripped off. He didn't seem to know what he was doing, didn't fix anything, and almost cost me more money for nothing. I feel like I should pay him for showing up, but I also feel like $200 is too high. It seems he is charging me for nothing. I will pay if it is the right thing to do. What do you think?
Medical Collection - Advice Sought
Added on : Sunday December 30th 2012 09:01:07 AM
I'm involved in what appears to be a collection and made some mistakes. If there's no recourse, I'm more than willing to suck it up and move on. However, I'd like to get your opinion/advice. Here are the details:1. October: Visited XXX University urgent care. Paid copay at the time of visit.
2. December 20: Received call from XXX University Hospital requesting I call back.
3. December 26: Called the 877 telephone number given in the voicemail. The following occurred/was discussed:
a. The recorded answer stated that the number belongs to XXX University Health System.
b. I was told that I owed $122 for the visit in October.
c. My address was recorded incorrectly in their system (was an old address). I updated it.
d. I explicitly asked if the balance was in collections since they had been unable to contact me and the answer was no.
e. I paid the $122 via credit card and requested a receipt to be emailed.
4. December 30: No receipt received, called the 877 number (closed), so I directly called the urgent care office. They have no record of payment.After doing phone number seaches, it's reasonably clear to me that I paid a collection agency. I'll confirm this very soon when I speak to someone else in XXX University billing. Assumng this is true, is there any recourse considering:1. The collection agency misrepresented itself as having been part of XXX University Health System
2. The person I spoke with explicitly stated that the balance was not in collectionsLike I said, if I need to suck it up as a life lesson, so be it. Your advice is appreciated.
Amazon - Shogun Assassin - 5 Film Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] - $23Shogun Assassin - 5 Film Collector's Edition [Blu-ray]
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0074JODEYLone Wolf & Cub Complete [Blu-ray] (1972)
http://www.amazon.com/Lone-Wolf-Cub-Complete-Blu-ray/dp/B008H1Q3... Amazon has Shogun Assassin - 5 Film Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] [Amazon.com] for $22.99 + Free Shipping for Prime Members.

Once a noble samurai, he is now the most feared assassin in Japan, known as Lone Wolf. Along with his young son and a heavily-armed baby cart, Ogami Itto travels the back roads of feudal Japan in search of vengeance. This blu-ray collector's set contains the complete series that brought new life to blood-drenched death. From the explosive first film that became a cult-classic, to the snow-capped finale, there is never a dull moment for this loving father and son, the greatest team in the history of mass slaughter! In my opinion this is the greatest series of samurai films ever made. Also known as Lone Wolf and Cub, these films were a major influence on modern Kung Fu filmmakers and can even be seen playing on the television in Kill Bill Vol. 2.

Comparative Pricing
WalMart - $49.63
Deepdiscount.com - $51.24
Target - $57.69
Fry's - $60.98 schmizz op
Amazon Coupons
I suspect that a large number of people on here have a website or blog. My own website currently gets 6k unique visitors a month and 10k pageviews a month (although I am not sure if my reasonably active forums are counted in these stats). Adsense did not do much for me since my keywords are not particularly lucrative. I do have two decent private advertisers, but still make only $650 a month from them combined despite being on the web for 6 years.Lately, I have seen a number of bloggers in the frequent flier arena offer links to credit card applications. It seems like certain cards (e.g., Chase Ink) offer large (50k points) sign-up bonuses for the applicant, and up to $150 or even more for bloggers who succeed in getting an applicant to click on the affiliate link and get approved for the credit card.At first I though that this would not work on my site since it does not deal with finance or flying. However, I have very few banners on my site, and just one products to purchase page with two banners/products on there at the moment.I am hoping to add a third banner on that page with a link to a great credit card offer that gives at least 50k points to the applicant and at least $100 to me for each successful clickthrough plus application.Any opinions on which affiliate marketing companies to contact for this or which credit card companies to contact for this? I assume most will reject me based on the subject matter of my site, even if I tell my site visitors that this part of the product page is for improving their financial standing? I also intend to post other offers on that part of the site down the road (e.g., where to get discounted gift cards etc...).
Citi VAN (Virtual Account Numbers) change woes
Added on : Sunday December 23rd 2012 05:01:04 PM
A week ago I received an email from Citibank that they were going to discontinue the downloadable version of their Virtual Account Numbers application which can be used to get a one-time use credit card number for use online.I had used the web based version in the past, but I found the downloadable version to be much more convenient, so I was a little upset.But now that I have tried to use the web-based version today, my upset has turned to anger.They have implemented new security measures on the web-based app that makes it almost unusable for it's intended purpose.Aside from the fact that you need to log in TWICE to use it (once on the web site and a second time within the app that pops up), aside from having to click on several buttons and check boxes to get to it, aside that the web-app itself lacks some very useful functionality that the downloadable version has (like drag and drop, always one top, etc.). The biggest, most ridiculous issue I have with the web-based VAN is that every time you launch it IT HAS TO CALL YOUR PHONE TO GIVE YOU A SECURITY CODE THAT HAS TO BE ENTERED ON THE WEB SITE!!!!!Are you kidding me? Every time you need a VAN, you have to allow the system to call you or send you a text message with a code that you need to enter on the web site to allow the VAN app to run.I use VAN all the time, this is just not acceptable to me.I called and had a long discussion with the supervisor for the Citi website, and he was very courteous and took my complaints and said he would notify the people that needed to know. He also said that he did not think the verification would happen every time I tried to start the app, but it did for me. Try it out yourself and let me know if you have the same issue.
If you also have a problem with this, please call or otherwise notify them to let them know!Supposedly, the downloadable app will be disabled starting tomorrow, so call now to give them your opinion!Thanks!
Request opinions/help (Do not know whether this belongs here)...Theft!!!
Added on : Saturday December 22nd 2012 11:01:24 AM
The incident - This could be an eyeopener for many but this is what happened to me.
I bought a laptop (by online reservation with store pickup) from Staples. Two hrs after placing the order I go for pickup. The Manager- followed by two employees - brings the package and even before I can see the package starts of the warranty/ insurance talk. I initially find that to be perfectly OK and in his line of duty since I faced this earlier. I politely refuse with the only thing in my mind being take the lapotp and go home since it was nighttime/dark and inclement weather. He does not relent and pursues on and on for almost 10 mins. He also siad that " Take the warranty/ insurance now and return it within a month" I knew immediately he wa sfranctic to increase his sales but I told I am not interested in doing returns in this way.
He then changes topic and asks if I have a cell phone/ tablet etc etc etc.. Like an idiot trying to impress I rant out all the gadgets that I have. Till now I can only see the package and see the box is fine etc. I give him my rewards printouts that has my name and address. It also had the specific reward numbers but without the bar code (failed to print). So he told me to print all the rewards .. a substantial number) from the Staples website in the store. Meantime he takes the package and goes inside and comes out by the time that I finish printing.. maybe 1 min(sounds fine to me). But then I am ready with my rewards and he picks up the phone and started and started talking which was a good 7-10 min talking with someone. I am on tenterhooks that I want my laptop by my side while the employes keep telling me that it is their policy to keep the laptop inside till the transaction is done. OK with me but the time taken a bit bit too much with me trying to attract the Manager's attention that I am done and ready. Strangely it seems that only he is allowed to do the transaction while the others stand by and watch. He does the transactio quickly and then only goes inside and gets the laptop...now a good half an hour that it was inside. I get a bit nervy and feel the box to see that parts of the box are damaged in terms of possible man-handling. I could not control myself and opened it in front of the employees to see if eveything was OK (First time I ever did this).
I saw the battery was out of its cover and the electrical cords hanging out of the plastic giving me asense that the package was not new and looked liek a refurb. I politely asked him if I could get a new peice to which there no answer (maybe because he was with anothe customer)...I waited a few minutes and resigned to the fact that if everything was not right then I would return it.
I come home and though I bough a new laptop was not happy. And I would be even more sadder the next day.
My house got broken into and the laptop get stolen just 12 hours after the purchase (when nobody is at home).
Along with that a few more laptops and all the gadget that I meantioned vanished.
I call Staples and they tell me to call Staples Presidents office where I was told that it was the case for the police.Questions:
1)Can I call the manufacturer (which I going to just now) and have him track the laptop. I have no doubts I am not going to get it.
2) The other laptops were even better than the new one. But my main problem is that had all my tax filings etc from previous years ...meaning all my social security etc of me and my family was on the laptop. It has an adminstrator password but not a very strong one. How likely is my SS at risk and what should I do? Who all should I contact so that my credentials are not compromised. Will the thief just erase the hard drive and sell it or could more harm be done. How can I protect myself.
Throughout the write up I tried to keep calm so any mistakes in my expression / writing may please be pardoned.
Thanks in advance.
Need help evaluating my first job offer, and switching jobs etc.
Added on : Thursday December 20th 2012 12:01:06 PM
Hello FWFI got my PhD in Electrical Engineering this summer and had been looking for jobs about my field. I worked at the university research center while I was a grad student. About 2 months ago the research center asked me if I would like to join back to them for a different position and after discussing about this new position they said they'd get back to me with an offer. It was before thanksgiving they said they're writing an offer and that offer finally came yesterday. Living in AZ, having a decent high tech industry I'm aware of some numbers. They're offering 71k. I am well aware it's such a low ball offer but there was no other job.However just yesterday I received a second phone call interview from a very big Silicon Valley company that is looking for someone with almost exactly with my experience and education. I told the guy in the end that I had just received an offer and was evaluating it and asked how fast their decision process is. He said he'll call the hiring manager right away to give his feedback and they are quite fast.I have interviewed with other Silicon Valley companies. One personal interview went so awesome (6.5 hours of technical interview with 7 people, only 1 question missed, everything answered correctly) I said "this is it, it's done. I should start packing" but couldn't get the job (No reason was given).So I'm scared to reject this very low ball offer and end up with having nothing in my hands. And it would be so unprofessional and I'd feel very guilty to say I'm leaving a week after starting this job at the research center.Cons of research center:
The reseach center is slowly fading and the funding is slowly ending. They are trying to stretch the money. There's no long future there.
Pros of research center:
I'll be in the manufacturing and yield engineer and that experience will enable me to work in any high tech fab (Especially the Intel fabs in Phoenix area).
Got friends and family here, good connections etc.
Very cheap to liveCons of Silicon Valley company:
In Silicon Valley (I don't really like San Fransisco area crowd and weather)
It's ridiculously expensive compared to Phoenix
Of course still no offer from there yetPros
Very well known big research company with tons of patents
Will be a design job vs a manufacturing job. They are better paying, more respected I'd like to get your opinion about what I should do:1. Accept the offer, and see another offer comes from the Silicon Valley company. If offer too good to pass, say bye to research center
2. Try to postpone signing the reseach center offer as long as possible to see if SV company will offer anything
3. Flat out say that I'm in talks with a SV company and might get an offer, and if good I'll be leaving because what you're offering is really low.
4. Any other suggestions?It's my first job after graduation and I don't know how the etiquette is.Thanks in advance for your helpTos
Gaming Glasses ClearOptix $4.99 FS Prime
Added on : Wednesday December 19th 2012 01:00:09 PM
Product Features
Reduces eye strain and fatigue from gaming
Increases visual accuracy
Enhances visual gameplay performance
Rugged and scratch resistantSmall Aviator $4.99
Small Wayfarer $4.99
Large Aviator $14.99
Large Wayfarer $14.99
My friend has a Gunnar expensive one, I have the Large Wayfarer and let him borrow it, he said same effect, I have not use a Gunnar he is arguing about Gunnar looks great on him than this one, I said I care about the purpose not the looks, and I just use it infront of my computer in my room. If you want my opinion it works for me. No more drying eyes by forgetting not to blink.
Amazon Coupons
There are some very incredible offers on these Flamekiss Pans. I have tried these pans myself and these are premium quality (In my humble opinion, better than Le Creuset) pans. These are Ceramic Coated Pans.The Discounts are the following on top of the already reduced price.Get $5 OFF an order of One or Two Pieces.
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Deal lasts 24 hours only!Laptop is $399.99 + 4.99 shipping = 404.98Condition: New
Packaging: Retail
Warranty: 1 Year
Manufacturer: ASUS
Model: Q200E-BHI3T45Features Include:11.6 HD widescreen Touchscreen LED display (1366x768)
Second Generation 1.4 GHz Intel Dual-Core i3-2365M Processor (3MB Cache)
Intel UMA HD Graphics
4GB DDR3 dual channel SDRAM (upgradeable to 8GB max)
500GB hard drive, 5400 RPM, Serial ATA
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Fast LAN
Genuine Windows 8 64-bit OS
Built-in SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC card reader
Built-in speakers
Webcam and microphone built-in
Ergonomic chicklet keyboard
ASUS Palm-Proof Technology prevents accidental input by intelligently distinguishing between palm and finger contact
Connectivity: HDMI, VGA, USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 ports, RJ-45 network interface
QWERTY keyboard
Touchpad interface
Energy Star Qualified
Dimensions (Width x Height x Depth): 11.9 x 0.9 x 7.9
Weight: 2.9 lbs.LinkGood deal for a touchscreen in my opinion.
1SaleADay Coupons
Bulova Men's Precisionist 96B129 wristwatch on bracelet, $99 shipped
Added on : Wednesday December 12th 2012 11:00:12 PM
Bulova Precisionist 96B129, $99 shippedFrom another deal site:"Ashford offers the Bulova Men's Precisionist Stainless Steel Watch in Silver, model no. 96B129, for $175. Coupon code "AFFPRECIS99" cut it to $99. With free shipping, that's $28 under our September mention and the lowest total price we could find by $98. It features a stainless steel band and case, Japanese quartz movement, date display, and water resistance to 100 feet."The identical watch was recently offered with a leather strap for $89. Bulova generally puts great bracelets on their watches, so in my opinion this is the better deal of the two.The Precisionist line by Bulova is new and Bulova claims an accuracy of 10 seconds per year. The movement on this watch is identical to the other, more expensive, Precisionist models. I'm not a quartz watch enthusiast, but I do occasionally buy one if I think it's a good watch for the money. This is definitely a very good watch for the money.One of the features I love about the Precisionist line is the bracelets are very long. I have a large wrist and need a long bracelet. Chances are you will have to remove links to make this watch fit. It's not a big deal, but is something to be aware of.FEATURESThree Hand
Finish:Polished and Brushed
Material:Stainless Steel
Width:44 mm without crown
Water Resistance:30 m (100 feet)
Crystal:Mineral Crystal
Thickness:13 mm
Case Back:Snap Back Closed
Case Length with Lugs:50 mmDIALAttributes:Engraved Circle Pattern
Hands:Silver Tone Hands Luminescent
Markers:Arabic Numerals Silver ToneBEZELMaterial:Stainless SteelMOVEMENTType:Japanese Quartz (Battery-Powered)
Calendar:Date at 3 o'clock
Crown:Pull and Push CrownBANDBand Type:Bracelet
Band Material:Stainless Steel
Band Color:Silver
Width:21 mm
Length:9 inches
Clasp:Double Folding Clasp with Push Button
Ashford Coupons
Where to make money in 2013?
Added on : Wednesday December 12th 2012 05:01:00 AM
Hi there, Lana James here.. Nice to be here As the title suggests, just want to know your opinions about this. With the super-low interest rates, do you think you can still make decent money on your investments in 2013? How? Thanks
Theft at vacant rental property - insurance claim or not?
Added on : Saturday December 08th 2012 10:01:06 PM
There was a theft at my friend's rental property. The lockbox was broken and all appliance stolen (Fridge, range, microwave, dishwasher). The damage is about $2500 with $1000 in insurance deductible. Normally a claim would have been a no-brainer. However he has 11 properties so is a bit worried that a claim would raise insurance rates on all of his properties. The properties are all in his name,no LLC yet. What is the general opinion of folks here, to claim or not? PS: The said properties are in Phoenix AZ and the property was vacant for less than 30 days.
When I login to the Citi bank accounts website I get an offer for the Thank You Preferred.It gives 15000 points after 1000 spend in three months. 5 points per dollar on gasoline, drug stores, and groceries for the first twelve months. Zero interest on purchases and balance transfers for twelve months. No mention of a cap for the amount of points so it appears this could be very lucrative for some people. The standard offer is 10000 points after 500 so this is a little better. I know most people on here only do $300+ bonuses, but the 5 points per dollar is really good in my opinion.I also see no mention of it not being transferable and only intended for certain people.Link
Betting on Bit Coins - what is the best way?
Added on : Saturday December 08th 2012 12:01:03 AM
Hello Fatwalleters,First off, if you do not know what a bitcoin it is essentially a digital security (or currency for the most part) that allows anonymity among payments, and eases transaction costs for peer to peer payments. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin.In my opinion, mainly for regulatory reasons, I believe that the USD/Bitcoin rate is going to increase dramatically in the next 18 months. The question for the people of FW is how can you take advantage of this? OOf course I can buy bitcoins at the current market rate, however I would rather not have to own any actual bitcoins due to digital theft among the bitcoin wallet providers. Does anyone know of a broker that accepts forwards or FX trades on bitcoins? Is there some other way to invest in the bitcoin based economy? If it matters I want to invest ~50k USD.TIA,
New or Used in todays Market and Mfg Incentives
Added on : Wednesday December 05th 2012 09:01:06 PM
We need to replace our 2002 after 11 years of use.Looking at a new car, comparing to a year old used car. Not sure about the math concerning the first year effects.Looking at 2013 new, Ford offering $3k in rebates/discounts, so net purchase price would be about $35k
1 year old used models, with 20-25k miles are selling for about $29k after sales taxes..No trade in, just trying to figure out if buying new and paying another $6k is worth the full 3 year/36,000 mile warranty.While I like the idea of the lower car payment, am I being too short-sighted by giving up the 'new car feel' and warranty?Thanks for your opinions
Pioneer Elite VSX-40 - $199 - BestBuy - In-Store Clearance YMMV
Added on : Monday December 03rd 2012 12:00:04 AM
I was just in BestBuy in Oak Park, KS this evening and got a Pioneer Elite VSX-40 receiver on clearance at $199 new in box. http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/AV-Receivers/Elite+R...It is last year's model, originally listed at $450 and currently selling on Amazon Marketplace for $330 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005FAREJ0/ref=olp_product_deta... and recently at CostCo for $270 according to FW forums. At $199 a pretty solid option for an entry-level 7.1 3D-capable HDMI receiver with 2 year warranty in my opinion. Obviously, availability and likely pricing will vary with each store (2 were left at Oak Park) so call first to check and the associate at this store had to spend 20-30 minutes just locating it in the computer to verify the price and availability/location in storage. Computer showed the markdown to $199 started today (12/2/12).Haven't set it up yet but thought others in the market might want an early Christmas present. A few significant features:
560 watts (80x7)
4 HDMI inputs
Auto-calibration mic
2 Year Warranty (up to 4 years with GeekSquad protection for $35 more)
A/B speakers
Ipod ready
USB Connection

Best Buy Coupons
Car damaged after oil change - Best Option
Added on : Saturday December 01st 2012 09:01:04 PM
I drive a preowned car bought a year back for ~4000
Just got oil changed and drove the car for 3-4 miles, took a U-turn and drove for few seconds max at 15-20 mph
The hood just jumped open, smashed my windshield, dented my roof.Fortunately there was no traffic, even though could not see anything in front, i could get out of the road and settle in parking lot on the side.I spoke to the oil change auto shop (it is a national /atleast a state wide chain), their immediate response is mechanic did proper job and closed the hood.
Store doesnt do Body Shop work, so manager didn't commit anything, just mentioned, get 3 quotes and then we will take it from thereI have liability only and insurance has confirmed they will not cover this.
The first quote is for ~ 2300 to replace hood, hinges, hood lock, wiper blade, windshield, and repair roofBefore i venture out and get more quotes, wanted to get opinion of fellow board members.
What is the best option in this situation ?
Ongoing battle with Amex - charge on a stolen CC
Added on : Saturday December 01st 2012 11:00:58 AM
I need some expert opinion on an ongoing battle with AMEX on a stolen CC Charge.My wallet was pickpocketed last year when I was in Portugal, lost everything including my AMEX card; I reported to AMEX and canceled the cc right away. We had a horrible experience - no cash, no cc, etc. AMEX sent the replacement after my trip. I flew by Continental then.About 4 months ago, I got an email from United.com for a confirmed e-ticket for a roundtrip ticket to Portugal for 2. So I logged in into United.com and saw the confirmed booking with AMEX (reported stolen last year). I was on united website few days before browsing tickets to Switzerland and I checked the price to Portugal for comparison purposes. Prices were steep and I didn't book anything; closed the site moved on. So I called united and told them this should have been a mistake and I didn't book any flight; the charges are on a CC reported as stolen. I didn't enter any CC or security code and confirm any purchase. I was told that my CC information in on their file and it is still valid.I called AMEX to verify on any united charges and they didn't have any after 4 days of that e-ticket email. AMEX confirmed me that since it is on the CC reported stolen, I WILL NOT be responsible on any charges.
The rep was nice and informed me that she wrote a note in their system so that AMEX will NOT let any United.com charge to go since its reported. But, the charge appeared on my next AMEX statement (new CC). This time AMEX told me that they will dispute it with United.com and I don't have to pay. As the dispute will take up to 8 weeks, I was advised to call United.com and cancel the ticket, which I did and they canceled the ticket and credited nothing since it was nonrefundable.The charge 2.5K was under pending investigation section for 2 months then I got a letter from AMEX saying that they lost the dispute and I have to pay the money effective immediately. I called AMEX again and asked why it has to be disputed with United while AMEX let the stolen CC charge to go through in the first place. This time I heard a different answer from the CS - AMEX will let the charges on CC, reported lost/stolen in the past to go through and will pass the charges to the new CC for cardholder's convenience, if the cardholder had done business with them in the past. What are my options here?
Canon 110HS Bundle - Case Logic Case & 8GB SD Card - $129 shipped
Added on : Friday November 30th 2012 05:00:08 PM
I just ordered this bundle from WalMart, it's the best deal I've seen (ignoring tax...) at $129 w/ free shipping for the 110HS, an 8GB SDHC card, and a Case Logic camera case. All colors are currently in stock. You may be able to find the bare camera for a few bucks less or without tax, but this is still a pretty hot deal in my opinion since it's from an authorized retailer and they have everything in stock. I cancelled my JR order for the bare camera @ $120 because they were back-ordered. If you need this for a Christmas gift, it's a pretty nice bundle and you'll be sure to get it in time for the holidays.Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS 16.1MP Digital Camera w/ 5x Optical Zoom Value Bundle with 8GB SD Card and Case Logic Camera CaseCanon 110HS Bundle w/ 8GB SD Card and Case Logic Case - $129 shipped or picked up in-store
Walmart Coupons
Consequences of ignoring doctor's bill? Or just pay it?
Added on : Wednesday November 28th 2012 04:01:09 PM
Summary:1. I called a doctor's office (specialist I wanted to see for a 2nd opinion) and said: this is the type of insurance I have, will there be any problem?
2. The doctor's office told me that was no problem so I made an appointment. Then I got a referral from my primary care doctor as required by my insurance (HMO). I saw the doctor.
3. 2 months later my insurance rejects the claim from the doctor because it's out of network. I call the doctor's office and they claim they have never accepted my insurance and never would have told me that. So the bill ($500) is my responsibility.Of course I don't have anything I was initially told in writing, and I probably signed a "financial responsibility" form at the doctors.I have a 770 credit score. I can afford to pay the bill but I feel that I was misled by the office staff about whether they would take my insurance. Should I:a. ignore this bill and let them send it to collections if they want.
b. just pay it and call it a lesson learned.
c. try to negotiate for a lower bill.
Cheapest I've ever seen it. Still sort of overpriced in my opinion but might be worth it for someone.Link
Amazon Coupons
Choosing HSA vs PPO
Added on : Saturday November 24th 2012 09:01:14 AM
My best friend is here for the holidays and I am helping her complete her open enrollment. Her company just started offering an HDHP/HSA in addition to two levels of PPO. I have an HDHP and she understands the differences, but when we tried to figure out the financial difference for her historical usage we cant be certain if the HDHP is the best choice, we think it technically is, but wanted a different opinion.Here are the basics based on her historical usage. All amounts are based on the EOBs and the actual amount allowed by the Ins. Both plans are offered by the same Ins and are pretty simple (very few differing co-pays, etc) and everything is in network, she doesnt anticipate any need for out of network and the plan is BCBS so not hard to stay in network.Current PPO:
Annual Premium: $1200
Non-preventative care visit: $35 (copay 1x per year)
Specialist Visit : $100 (4x per year at $25 copay each)
Allergy Serum: ~$500 (1x per year usually, so this is the deductible, an additional serum would be ~$166 20% coins)
Allegry Shots: $46 (~20 visits at $2.30 per 20% coins)
Prescriptions: $40 annually (generics are $10 for a 90 day supply, preferred brands would be $70 per 90 days but she doesnt take any of those)
Anticipated OOP for everything: $1921Office Visits $25copay
Urgent Care $50 copay
Preventative care no charge
Emergency Room $250 copay + 20% after meeting deductible
Hospital/Outpatient/supplies 20% after meeting deductible
OOP Max $3000 (it appears copays apply to OOP max, but would continue after reaching OOP max, so in her historical scenario she would have about $2300 of exposure in OOP max left) 
Annual Premium: $120
Non-preventative care visit: ~$108 (1x per year)
Specialist Visit : $832 (4x per year at $208 each)
Allergy Serum: ~$832 (1x per year usually, an additional serum would put her over the HDHP deductible)
Allegry Shots: $460 (~20 visits at $11.50 per)
Prescriptions: $40 annually (priced prescription @ costco)
Anticipated OOP for everything: $2392 *LESS* $600 employer contribution to HAS, net out of her pocket $1792. She would have approximately $600 left under her deductiblePreventative care no charge
Deductible - $3000
OOP Max $3000 with no coinsurance after reaching Deductible
Assuming we havent missed anything, she is about $130 better under the HDHP, but that could easily be eaten up with one additional office visit or another minor non-planed event. It is unlikely that she would used much less than the planned, although she may be approaching maintenance on the allergy shots, which might allow her to move to 1x per month instead of usually 2x. This would have a larger impact on the HDHP costs than the PPO since her PPO visits only cost $2 each (compared to $11.50). She is the type that doesnt go to a regular dr unless she absolutely has to. If she had some major issue require emergency care or surgery, she would obviously be better under the HDHP because she only has about $600 left before hitting her OOP max compared to $2300 under the PPO.Given these, we think she should choose the HDHP but are we missing anything? If we arent, we figure that barring a major expense, both plans will probably end up within a few hundred dollars for her. Other considerations:
The PPO is less hassle but the HDHP offers an opportunity to save more in an HSA
If she choose the HDHP she will fully fund the HSA
Uncertainty of Obamacare impacts on HDHP after next year
Canon G12 + PIXMA Pro 9500 II + Photo paper = $298 AR @ B&H
Added on : Thursday November 22nd 2012 07:00:04 AM
Canon Powershot G12 is on sale for $299 here at B&H.Canon Pixma Pro 9500 II printer + Canon Photo Paper Pro Luster (13x19" - 50 Sheets) $499 here at B&H.$500 AMEX reward card rebate form .pdf here.It says you need to buy the printer and the camera on the same receipt. I know the market has been saturated with these printer / rebate offers, but the price on the G12 is what (in my newbie opinion) makes this deal.
B&H Photo & Video Coupons
Brave 5 disc 3d set, John Carter 3D $8 + tax, SH from Sears 3rd party
Added on : Thursday November 22nd 2012 04:00:12 AM
http://entertainment.sears.com/brave/786936825695http://entertainment.sears.com/john-carter-3d/786936819076Amazing price if it's legit, definitely worth taking a gamble on in my opinion.
Sears.com Coupons
Brave 5 disc 3d set $8 + tax, SH from Sears 3rd party
Added on : Thursday November 22nd 2012 03:00:11 AM
http://entertainment.sears.com/brave/786936825695Amazing price if it's legit, definitely worth taking a gamble on in my opinion.
Sears.com Coupons
Samsung 55" UN55EH6050 REAR-LIT LED LCD Costco $849 till 11/26
Added on : Sunday November 18th 2012 06:00:05 PM
Just got Samsung 55" model UN55EH6050 Rear-Lit LED LCD for $849.00 (was $1369) from Costco.
I think its great deal for rear lit set.
Any opinions??
Attaching pic form price posting.
Will appreciate anyone share settings.
Went browsing around the Samsung website and noticed Samsung has lowered the price on their Samsung UN40EH6030 40-Inch 1080p 120Hz LED 3D HDTV (Black) down to 499.99 BEFORE Black Friday (until 11/26). This is one of the Black Friday TVs coming up at Best Buy and Tiger Direct, but you can have it right now for the price from MULTIPLE Retailers.I just placed an order from Amazon.com for 497.99! It is a VERY hot deal in my opinion, particularly for people who do not have access to Frys.http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0083KGX96/Here is the link to the Samsung page that has the deal and all the retailers you can buy from:http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN40EH6030FXZA
Amazon Coupons
Looks like a very sweet deal for an entry-level FULL CARBON FRAME bicycle with some nicely upgraded components.http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=PRODUCT&OPTION=LOA...I have SRAM Rival group and couldn't be happier. Very precise and a nice step up from Shimano 105, maybe even Ultegra. (differing opinions accepted. )And if you haven't ridden carbon yet, well, you don't know what you're missing.Competitive Cyclist is a very solid seller with a LIFETIME, NO QUESTIONS ASKED return policy.
Pay Now or Finance 18 Months?
Added on : Wednesday November 14th 2012 10:01:00 AM
I'm pretty sure I know the answer...But wanted your opinion.I'm buying an iPad for $499.99. Actually, I already bought it. I am considering an alternative:1. $499.99 + 6.75% tax = $533.74. Paid with credit card financed for 18 months.2. $499.99 + No Tax - 5% CashBack = ~$475. Paid all at onceNotes: I can pay it off now. I don't need to finance for any reason other than just having emergency funds.
I would make $15 in interest before taxes if I saved the money now and financed, bringing the total more to like ~$520 on the card.What would you do? Does it always make sense to save money now or would it make more sense to spread the extra ~$50 over 18 months?
REQUEST - Advice on Staying at a Disneyland Hotel
Added on : Tuesday November 13th 2012 11:01:36 AM
My wife and I are flying out to northern California to be with family over Christmas and will be driving down to San Diego. We thought we'd spend a couple of days at Disneyland. It looks like our schedule will have us arriving by car at DL before noon. We are both members of AAA and I'm a senior but we've always enjoyed Disneyland, though its been years since we've been there and never at Christmas time.I was looking at the hotels and we need a room for two, and the smallest rooms can accommodate up to 5 or so. We've stayed at the DL Hotel before and there used to be access to DL park from the hotel via the Monorail. I have found no mention of that anywhere in the park's online information. Is that still available? The Grand Californian mentions access to California Adventure Park.I also noted in another thread someone commenting that the CA Adventure Park is very disappointing and not worth the time. I'd appreciate opinions on this. Comments on the thrill rides in CA Adventure will be appreciated.Mousesavers reports the senior discount is 30% and is better than AAA. I'm wondering if there will be any discounts at all in this "high" season?Does DL food packages like they do in Disneyworld? So far I've not seen any mention of that.Any comments in general improve our experience will be appreciated, whether they be for discounts or how to make the most of our time in the Park or the best places to eat or .... Speaking of eating, it's possible we might allow ourselves one splurge meal, so recommendations in that areas are also recommended.Just thinking off the top of my head, areas of comment might be (but not limited to) : Best place to watch Xmas parade, best live shows in park, how maximize ride time, best rides. Comment on anything that might be helpful. We both have iphone 4s. Are there apps that would help us in our DL experience?
This thread will hopefully encourage insightful and educated responses to be debated in regards to our most recent election and moving forward. I say most recent since the country is clearly divided, per the popular vote. The goal of the thread is to lay out the facts of a lively debate centered around fiscal policy and monetary matters from both sides. Bringing up abortion/gay/etc opinion is not the objective and not within the scope of the vision I see for this thread since humbly feel this country has bigger issues to address.As a start, I'd like to say that for policy, I'm financially leaning-conservative. I feel very disheartened and have a loss of confidence because of how I envision the way things are headed in this country. We have piled on 6 trillion more debt in 4 years, half the country supports the other half with an equivalent of 60k per family of 4 (obamaphone, etc etc) which is obviously unsustainable, 40 months of high unemployment, sending our money overseas to countries that are either apathetic or feel hatred for us, and the spending will continue with more government programs. I also believe we are close to another down-grade of US debt, which will cripple the stock market again.Going forward, I do not see how tax increases and spending increases will lead to a better economy while the economy is currently in a depression. Personally, I would be in favor of 1 dollar of tax increase for every 5 of spending cuts. This is also for you to debate.As a post-script, I do feel that either candidate doesn't really capture what the bulk of America believes in. In one corner, you have a rich evangelical Republican that few can relate to. On the other hand, you have a President whom ultimately doesn't instill a reason to WANT to get a job since you come out ahead by NOT. But hey, that's just how I see things. What say you? Are you better financially than you were 4 years ago? Has the president made business better/easier for you? Did not the FW offices move a couple years back to a low tax state? Are you scared of where this country is headed (i.e. Texas wanting to peacefully secede.)? Do you worry about the impending fiscal cliff? Lets go!
Aliph Jawbone Jambox (Refurb) -- $99.99 shipped
Added on : Monday November 12th 2012 01:00:08 PM
At eBay Deals.Not worth its retail price ($199) in my opinion, but a solid Bluetooth speaker for under a Benjamin.
eBay Coupons
Was in my local Wally World and spotted this laptop, which.. in my opinion an i3 with Windows 7 is much better than what I was looking at picking up on BF:Looks like model # on receipt is: ACAS 5733-6426Didn't see a post on this, I know the clearance deal on Windows 7 lappy's can be iffy, but I have seen several of these at every WalMart within 30 miles of me the past week continuing to go down in price. This one was in Camillus, NY... but there have been reports of this model as low as $250-270 in some Walmarts, making it insanely competitive (Core i3) with BF prices, especially if you rather enjoy W7 over W8.Updated Link as I found the exact model, so reviews are available, this one from Newegg.Also: I placed it on Layaway, so if it drops down, and continues to go down, when I pick it up (By Dec. 14th) I will get whatever the price is then.
Walmart Coupons
Why would I want to pay AT&T $5 to suspend my service?
Added on : Tuesday November 06th 2012 01:01:03 PM
The $5 charge is for putting service on suspension.I am someone who only lives at my house a few months every year (I go out of the country), and am a subscriber to AT&T U-verse internet. (I'd like for the local cable company to provide internet, so I would have competition, but that is not the case.) Anyway, AT&T has always allowed me to get service without a hookup charge (they tried to force it on me this go round, but I objected and they waived it), but it looks like the only benefit is if they would charge that fee - but since the standard hookup charge is $50, I would just about be paying that if I did the suspension, and with on possibility of getting them to waive the fee. Another minor effect is that I wouldn't get hit with a hard credit pull, which if you do a search on my old threads, you will see is a very important issue (although not worth me paying extra for.)BTW, it is my opinion that this $5 seems like a BS charge just to rake in revenue. I get charged about $8 & $12 by my electric & gas utilities as a base rate, but at least they are still delivering service to me. (I typically cut off the electrical as it costs me about $48 is hookup & inspection, and I am away for 8-9 months, and suspending the gas is a real pain in the azz, requiring that someone be at home to allow an inspection, and a net cost of about $120 total hookup & inspection.)
Car Accident Need Advice
Added on : Sunday November 04th 2012 11:00:55 PM
Hey y'all,I know this isn't a finance question but I've seen many posts on here about car incidents, so I thought this might apply. If not, I apologize and please move to the appropriate forum.So here's my situation...I live in the NYC area, and as many of you know we were hit with hurricane Sandy recently. Well this past weekend, I decided to line up for gas early in the morning. As I was making a left turn onto a 1 way street, I struck a pedestrian's push cart and the pedistrian possibly as well while crossing the street. I initially thought I hit the person but I think i hit the cart which in turn hit the person.A more detailed look at the situation... The street I was turning into had a row of double parked cars with their lights off. They were there in line waiting for gas, with many of their cars turned off. As I was making the turn to loop around the block to get to the back of the line, I was paying more attention to the double parked cars than people crossing the street (I had to make a wide left turn). It was early in the morning so there was no sunlight peaking yet. As I was making the left turn I heard a metal crunching noise (the sound you make when u make contact with another vehicle) on the right side of my car. I looked and it turned out to be my worst fear, a person. I immediately got out of the car and asked if the person was alright. The person was not on the ground but I appeared to have struck her leg. I called the police immediately. A quick glance at the scene, it looked like I dented the shopping type cart (more of a push cart, the ones you may see people put their laundry in) and that cart felt over and I hit that person's leg too?? Moments later the police and ambulance came. Before the police came the person was helped over to the side by another person who was in a car behind me. The injured person seemed more concerned about the possesions in the cart than anything else. That person did also constantly complain about his/her leg. As the cops/ambulance attended to her I tried to replay the incident over in my head. It was obvious I wasn't paying too much attention to anyone crossing. I was tired, it was early in the morning and I was more concerned with having to make a wide left turn b/c of hte double parked cars. As the situation settled down more, it appeared that the person did not go into the ambulance and was helped away and he/she appeared to have walked away just fine even after complaining about his/her leg. After talking to the police after he/she was helped away. They said he/she appeared to be fine and did not want to go into the ambulance and only wanted a police report. He said I shouldn't have a whole lot to worry about and since there was no trip the hospital I should be ok. Also after replaying the incident in my head and explaining to the police, they are saying that its possible I didn't make contact with the person. I'm thinking that is more of what happened also (not because I'm trying to make myself feel better, I still feel horrible). The noise I heard was the cart, which was being pushed in front of the person from what it seems. I must have made contact with the object and maybe that hit the person. I'll never know what happened, I guess.Now my question is ... what happens now? Am I suposed to call my insurance? The police said the police report will be sent over to them? Does this taint my driving record in terms of having a clean driving record or being red flagged for jobs? The title of their police report says "pedestrian struck". Any possibility of getting sued? As I was walking around the area again a few hours later, I did see the person walking fine. Now, I didn't stop and stare. I'm just more concerned of what I should brace myself for. I know it was my fault.Any advice or opinions would surely help. Thanks all.
Mortgage for second property (Primary Residence)
Added on : Sunday November 04th 2012 12:00:53 PM
Hello All,Firstly, thank you for having such a great forum with wealth of information on saving money!I would like your advise/opinion on this one...10/2011 - Bought 1st home for 115k with conventional mortgage of 104k@4.0% APR - Paid it down to 100k as of now(10/2012)11/2012- Now myself and wife thinking of buying larger house (Primary Residence) in a top class neighborhood in the price range of 280k max with 10% down We can rent the first home at a minimum of $1000 a monthI believe stable jobs (No job is stable in the world!), yearly gross could be 150k for husband+wife.How easy/though is it to get a mortgage for the second home (Primary Residence) now as we bough our 1st home just over a year ago. We want to expand the family, have a larger home and live in a top class neighborhood with great schools.Want to buy one now as we are seeing the prices are going up already here..Always thank You for the inputs!CognosCube
BCU Crdit union - States: IL, WI
Added on : Monday October 29th 2012 01:00:59 PM
Anybody discussed BCU in that forum?
They have decent Rates (1.50% APY) for Saving account.Any comments, opinions, review.
State Wants More Money From Early Roth IRA Withdrawal. Is It Legal?
Added on : Sunday October 21st 2012 01:00:50 AM
Back in 2008, I opened a Roth IRA, but then I closed it in 2009 without realizing the full consequences. As a result, I was penalized for almost $2k on a $5K account. Now, I receive a letter from the state saying that because I under-reported my income in 2009, meaning I did not report the withdrawal amount of that Roth IRA which was about $5K, that I need to pay about $650 back to the state. This includes the interest that has accumulated until now. My thought was, since the money used to open Roth IRA was after tax. How can they tax me again as a source of income? I had already paid a huge penalty, but now the state wants more. Do I have legal ground to protest this, and how? Thanks for you opinion!
The following theories and conclusions (aka opinions) are based on my own personal observations. So, for the last 2 years, I have been noticing a trend in my neighborhood (a neighborhood that is/was riddled with foreclosures and short sales). More and more, I have been noticing that neighbors who are not current and have not paid their mortgage in at least 9 months (some close to a year) still have not been officially "foreclosed" by the bank. In fact, one house that is a few doors down, sits vacant because the owner strategically defaulted and walked away almost 1 year ago. However, all that is happened to that house is the bank has sent someone over to change all the locks, repaint certain interiors, and put a lock box on the doors. The house has NO sign of having been foreclosed other than a montly visit by caretakers who spruce up the yard, cut the grass and take care of odds and ends. In fact, the house even remains in the old owner's name according to property records, even though he has stopped paying and has not been to the property in almost 1 year. Back when the housing bubble burst in 2008, a house like this would have been quickly labeled a "foreclosure" and put up on the market (signs and stickers on the house would have immediately given away that it was a foreclosure). Today, this house sits vacant with no signs (other than the ones mentioned) that it is in the bank's control. It's not even listed for sale yet. It may not have even gone through the process of being transferred to the bank's name yet.A few doors down from this house sits another house where the owner occupant refuses to pay his mortgage. It's been going on for approx. 9 months and the owner has accepted that they will eventually be foreclosed, but as of right now, they are just waiting patiently and living for FREE!Presently, there is only 1 home (that is a foreclosure) listed for sale in the neighborhood. This home has been on the market for the better part of 6 months. It's paltry asking price is 1/3 of what many of the homes would be valued at if the foreclosure was NOT on the market. Normally at this time of the year, there would be at least 4 - 5 foreclosures in listed for sale in my neighborhood alone. However, oddly enough, there is only 1 for sale. After talking with a few agents who sell homes in my city, I realized that short sales are taking over 1 year to close in some cases and it's not unusual for the process to drag out over 9 months in most cases. What's more is that a lot of homes that are currently on the market (foreclosures, short sales, etc.) are receiving multiple offers on the lower end of the market, sometimes exceeding the asking price by about 10% and still not closing for another 9 - 12 months (this is true esp if it was a short sale). In fact, I would say that there are more short sales these days than there are foreclosures (which is very odd).Based on all of this, I have concluded that banks are engineering a stealth shadow inventory of homes by NOT foreclosing on homes as rapidly as they once were, thereby giving the market a sense of a rebound and a false sense of urgency to buy now before inventories dry up. They are prolonging the short sale process by taking longer to review short sales and in some cases out right rejecting the short sale only after months and years have passed. This in effect takes the property "off the market" during the review process and further drives up bids on the properties that are still listed for sale. Foreclosures are being stalled (at least the official bank control of houses that have been abandoned). These empty homes remain empty for the better part of 12 months and remain "off the books" of the bank by remaining in the previous owner's name until the bank is ready to put the house up for sale. The banks are controlling how many houses they put up for sale (again to give the appearance that inventories of foreclosures have dried up). Where before they would have 4 foreclosures on the market at any given time, they now only have 1 (even though there may be 3 or more ready to go up for sale).For deadbeat homeowners, they are allowing an owner to remain in their homes much longer than before even if he/she has stopped paying the mortgage. This again keeps the inventory at bay and creates the illusion that there are NOT that many homes available for sale. For short sales, they are dragging out the process and allowing homeowners (some of whom are no longer paying their mortgages) to remain in the house while they play the "review" game and take an abnormally long time to approve or reject a sale. And to top all that off, agents are now encouraging buyers who are in the market (most of whom are speculators and investors who are buying up a "portfolio" of homes with the expectation of a rebound) to bid more than the asking price of a house to ensure the closing of a sale. Some neighborhood listings have 1 official foreclosure and 5 short sales. Almost all go into a "pending sale" or "pending lender approval" status within a few days of being listed. Some (I would say a majority) return to market a few months later for not having closed for a bunch of reasons. When they do return to market, they may be listed at a slightly higher price (or lower price if the sale was too high to begin with). The listing agents take longer than usual to return phone calls or inquiries into bank controlled properties (again building a false sense of urgency in the under-educated public). We've returned to the days where a "credit" bidder is bidding against a "cash" bidder. The credit bidders are over bidding for properties they would never be able to afford under normal circumstances and will probably end up strategically defaulting some day in the not too distant future (if given the chance to close). It is my opinion that banks want cash buyers, but they are entertaining credit bidders in an effort to inflate closing prices on their properties and get cash buyers to pay more for the property. Welcome to the new bubble. Buyer beware! With QE infinity, expect a lot more bankster games in the near future.
"Family" Lawyer - The Fat Wallet Way?
Added on : Wednesday October 10th 2012 01:00:46 AM
As I get into my mid 30s I'm starting to consider the need (and have the means to pay for) a "family" lawyer. I'm not a criminal and I don't work in a high liability job so I never felt the need to keep anyone on retainer but as I get older, there's a bunch of "little" things that I'd like to have a professional real-deal lawyer for. 1) "Official" source of a living will and advanced medical directives. I don't want to be attached to tubes on life support and I don't want my parents in their old age to have to make that decision in the event of some disaster like a massive car crash. I've appointed a trustworthy friend as my medical power of attorney but my parents don't know him, and if he rolls into the hospital with a notarized piece of paper claiming to be my power of attorney, that will look fishy. If, however, I have an actual real-deal JD Lawyer that's officially representing me, to show up to the hospital with a copy of that documentation, along with my friend who will be making the decision, I feel that will turn out better.2) "Safe Storage" of documents. I keep various documents in various locations for safe keeping, but I'd like to be able to drop off a USB thumbdrive at my attorney's office once a year to have him put in his safe for me. For example, I carry a licensed handgun for self defense and I want me training documents in my lawyers office. If I am involved in a situation and am arrested, it will be a challenge to get those training documents (I'm single and live alone). It'd be nice to have a thumb drive with various firearms classes I've taken each year, maybe my financial information like account names/numbers so that if I die, my parents won't have to fish around the various credit unions and brokerages I have accounts with. I don't keep paper documents at home, but if my attorney was instructed to hand over this information upon my death, it would make things easier.3) An immediate point of contact in a bad situation. It would be nice if anything bad happens that I can "call *MY* attorney, even if it's not going to be the attorney who eventually represents me (because I'll need a specialist). And my family lawyer can recommend the right type of specialist, and maybe even a specific local lawyer, rather than me trying to call the state Bar office the day after a crisis.4) A second opinion for specialized legal deals. I am involved in some intellectual property creation with an IP lawyer. There's a contract involved and while it's "my" IP lawyer, I'm sharing a lawyer with other people I'm working with and it would be nice to have someone who is only loyal to me (my family lawyer) take a skim through the contracts and see if there's anything overtly horrible.Basically I want the equivalent of a "primary care physician"/family doctor but for legal stuff. A PCP doesn't know much of anything, but he can do basic stuff like prescribe antibiotics. In theory a family lawyer can do basic stuff like review a basic contract or review trust documents. The PCP will refer out more complex things and knows who to refer me to. In theory a family lawyer can do that with legal things. If I had cancer and went to a cancer doctor, I might take the information back to my PCP to get his second medical opinion. My PCP isn't an expert in oncology but knows more about medical stuff than me and knows me as a person for longer so can better advise me. I want the same with a lawyer.I don't really know if this is what Family Lawyers do or if I am off base. I also don't know the best way to find one, contract with them (a retainer involved or just fee for service?), etc. I'm also concerned that a lawyer may be part of a practice and then move on, and hopefully I get to keep the same lawyer and he can just transfer any files/thumbdrives he has of mine to his new office. I figure since I'm in my mid 30s I should find a lawyer in his late 20s/early 30s so I don't need to worry about my lawyer retiring or dying before me. What should I be looking for? Lots of lawyers on this board so I figure I can get some good answers.
Buying a house from a convicted fraudster that has filed Chap 11
Added on : Friday October 05th 2012 05:00:54 PM
Note: I've left out details and the long story to start, if it strikes some interest I'll fill in more. I've started with nothing too identifying to start, if it seems like anyone has reasonable knowledge/opinions on this and it might make sense to move forward I'll put details although that would "out" the location instantly. Short Story: Probably close to a year ago, we went to look at a house that my wife found interesting. Something didn't seem right and digging around through deeds etc. I quickly found something wasn't. The listing didn't match the deed. The story didn't make any sense, and part of the property was illegal and the township etc. didn't seem too enamored with the owners. I got a bit cranky and the house changed realtors (sort-of) and the listing better represented reality. Fast forward to more recent times. The price has dropped again recently, and some of the township items seem to be at least attempted to put in order (2nd sewer on property for 2nd "house", etc). I had known who the owner was and that they lived out of state and had a relatively large collection of odd real estate (which looked like it was sort-of business related). Digging a bit deeper, I found between the time we first looked and today the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) had closed an investigation and fines in the significant millions against the individual (and others). Sept 24th he filed for Chap 11 and his assets are way lower than liabilities. The house is still listed. My wife loves the house, so I'm half tempted to put a low-ball offer just for kicks but this is such a mess (and risk) I'm certain something would come bite me significantly somewhere so I'm not touching it unless it's a "hot deal". (we're fine where we're at so no rush either). Is this worth even looking at, or run run and hide.
Saw this WVC210 Wireless-G PTZ Internet Color Video Camera with 2-Way for $99 with free shipping.Reviews @ Amazong are mediocre but at $99 bucks the savings mitigates the shortcomings in this poster's opinion.I'm in for one. Go ahead and trash it
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The Flood Insurance and Flood Plain Thread
Added on : Wednesday October 03rd 2012 03:00:52 PM
[NOTE: This is a rough attempt at a project I have been wanting to do for some time. For now, please consider this post to be only a work in progress in much need of revision and correction, I'm sure. As more knowledgeable individuals chime in, I will try to add/correct/update this OP accordingly.]My goal with this thread is essentially to be the resource I wish I had 6 years ago. Flood insurance is an annoying and potentially costly issue that can affect many homeowners when they least expect it. Even worse, my experience has been that finding information on it can be a very time consuming and challenging task, as small tidbits of information are sprinkled here and there (including here at FWF), but rarely is the big picture all in one place. For me, the end result was that my lack of education cost me thousands, first in flood insurance premiums, then in PITI (well, at least the ITI) while my house sat empty on the market for a year because no one would touch something that required flood insurance. Hopefully the ramifications and remedies presented here can serve as a one stop shop for anyone who is confronting this issue for the first time, whether due to house hunting, modified maps, recent home purchase/refinance, or in my case, a mortgage that is sold off.A brief overview of flood insurance requirements:
If any portion of a property lies in the Special Flood Hazard Area (aka SFHA or flood plain), federally insured lenders MUST require the property owners to maintain flood insurance on all structures (presumably just dwellings) on the property. The only way to avoid flood insurance requirements in this situation is if an exception is granted for the structure. If the exception is granted, the lender CANNOT require flood insurance (unless there is some very unusual clause in the mortgage), as flood insurance is for the structure only, not the property.General rules about flood insurance that would have helped me greatly:
-Do NOT trust anything your realtor says about flood insurance. (They will likely minimize the probability you will need it or the premiums or both.)
-Do NOT trust anything your insurance agent says about flood insurance. (They will be happy to help you obtain a lower flood insurance rate, but they may not be as willing to tell you that you may not need the insurance at all.)
-Do NOT assume that because the current owners of a potential home purchase dont pay flood insurance, you wont either. (Some people manage to fly under the radar for years, but those numbers seem to be dwindling rapidly.)
-DO realize all three of these people are trying to sell you something.
-DO perform due diligence.Addressing flood insurance concerns:
1) Go to floodsmart.gov to determine the propertys flood risk according to FEMA. You want it to be Low-to-Moderate risk: unless there is some highly unusual clause in the mortgage, these mortgages will not require flood insurance. If it is high risk, more work is necessary. Regardless of risk level, proceeding to step 2 may be useful in order to get a good overview of the lay of the land, if only for future reference.2) Go to FEMAs Map Service Center (https://msc.fema.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/FemaWelcomeView)
and type in the address of interest. From this point, you can view the map (click the globe icon with the magnifying glass under View). Gray areas on the map represent the flood plain; the numbers represent the base flood elevation (BFE) at that location. Finding the property of interest on these maps can be challenging due to the horrible and inefficient interface, but once done, the map can lend insight into your prospects for getting the structure out of the flood zone (if currently in it) or assessing the risk of a future map revision drawing the property in (if currently out of it).3) Assuming the property is in the flood plain, the task now is to see if the structure has already received an exemption via a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). You can see all of the different LOMAs for a particular map panel at the Map Service Center by clicking the blue plus sign under Show LOMC. This will open up a list of PDF files that will need to be opened individually. In areas of high population density, this process can be particularly tedious, but the hope is that a LOMA for the structure in question already exists. Most of the time, it is one property per PDF, but there are instances (central FL for example) where LOMAs were granted en masse for certain development projects or map revisions. These bulk LOMAs can be dozens of pages long and contain hundreds (or thousands) of houses that need to be scanned through manually. If a LOMA for the structure in question is found, it does not require flood insurance. If it is not found, proceed to step 4.4) Assuming a LOMA does not already exist, an Elevation Certificate will be necessary. The primary purpose of this certificate is to determine the Lowest Adjacent Grade Elevation (LAGE), a number that can not only help one obtain a LOMA but also lower insurance rates. It is slightly possible an Elevation Certificate has already been done on the structure, so check with the county or city to see if one is on file. If not, one should be obtained from a qualified engineer, especially if there is a reasonable chance the structure is above the flood plain (a conclusion reached by using maps, visual inspection of the property, altitude apps, etc.). This would include any SFHA home one is considering purchasing. If FEMA has the property in the flood plain, and no LOMA or Elevation Certificate exists, my suggestion for any potential buyer would be to treat the Elevation Certificate similarly to a home inspection: make any offer contingent on obtaining a satisfactory Elevation Certificate. These can vary widely in cost though: some on FWF have indicated it can cost a couple of thousand dollars; mine was $100. In my opinion, the seller should bear the cost for obtaining this, but if they arent paying flood insurance now, they probably feel it is frivolous (it is not).5) If the LAGE is below the BFE, the structure is indeed in the flood plain and will require flood insurance. To my knowledge, the only possible recourse at this point would be to bring in fill dirt to increase the LAGE (if even logistically possible), but that raises other considerations that go beyond the (current) scope of this post. This is the worst case scenario, because one has incurred the expense of the certificate, with no benefit to obtaining it.6) On the other hand, if the LAGE is above (or equal to?) the BFE, then the structure is NOT in the flood plain and a LOMA can be obtained from FEMA. The engineer will need to complete an MT-EZ form or an eLOMA at hazards.fema.gov When I applied, eLOMA did not yet exist, and even though law requires FEMA to respond within 60 days of application receipt, they wouldnt acknowledge receipt of my application until almost 60 days after I sent it. So for me it was almost 120 days total. In theory, the eLOMA process should be much faster.7) Once the LOMA is granted, one is entitled to any insurance premium already paid for the current year (past years are not eligible). Sending the insurance company a written request for a refund along with a copy of the LOMA will likely suffice in accomplishing this. Since obtaining the LOMA can take significantly longer than the deadline imposed by the lender for purchasing insurance, paying that initial premium will likely be necessary. Still, submitting a copy of the Elevation Certificate to the insurance company prior to purchasing the policy should yield a much lower premium (even if it all gets refunded eventually anyway).For now, thats all I can think of. Im very open to suggestions from others, but hopefully this at least can spark some discussion and ultimately save people a bunch of money.Future information I would like to add:
-Any special provisions for coastal regions if they exist (I have no knowledge of these personally)
-Information on obtaining preferred rate policies for those either outside the flood plain or with a LOMA.
Young Investor Looking to Get Started....
Added on : Tuesday October 02nd 2012 11:00:47 PM
Hello everyone. As the title states, I am 23 and have roughly 5k I would like to invest. I wanted to ask where should I be looking to park my money. Roth IRA? Mutual Funds? Keep in mind I have student loans that I will look to take care of after getting out of school and might need access to these funds. Any thoughts/opinions/reading materials would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Best medium-high risk/payout investments for a beginner with $10K?
Added on : Monday October 01st 2012 02:00:46 PM
So heres my story. Most of my life I've never made very good money, so I've never been comfortable with any investments with risk. I do have a couple forms of investments right now, one is a rewards checking account which pays roughly 3% interest up to a certain dollar amount, also I own a house which I put a lot of extra money towards in order to pay it off faster. House is currently at 3.375% fixed, so I figure I'm "saving" 3.375% on whatever extra I apply to principal.However last I checked, the inflation rate is probably around 2%-3%, so really it seems like whatever interest I earn or save, I'm just mostly treading water, and roughly breaking even with inflation. I'd like to find some new investments that at least have the possibility of making much more money.Right now I'm at a point where I think I would be comfortable risking $10K in a higher risk investment, and getting my feet wet in the stock market or similar world. I have done a little studying, got books from the library, searched the internet, etc, but have really just been overwhelmed by all the different options, stocks, re-its, various funds, etc. Would like to hear some opinions from other fatwallet members about what may be the best way for someone like me, totally new to the game, to get a good start. Any advice?
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Sharebuilder & ING Direct = parts of Capital One
Added on : Tuesday September 25th 2012 04:00:57 PM
What does this mean ? Hopefully not much .. but I never had a good opinion on Capital One, and now that it absorbed Sharebuilder & ING
Dear invisible:So what does that mean for you? It means we'll have the same commitment to helping you save time and money as we always have - only now as part of Capital One. You will access your account the same way you always have. Last February, ING DIRECT and ShareBuilder Corporation became a part of the Capital One family, but there's still some official stuff we have to tidy up, like consolidating our legal structure. What's that mean in real life? It just means that on November 1, 2012 subject to regulators giving us the final go ahead ING Bank, fsb (that's ING DIRECT's official name) and Capital One, N.A. will legally become one bank - and unless you hear from us, assume they gave us two thumbs up. It also means that the coverage on the FDIC Insured Cash Balance in your ShareBuilder account will stay as-is until 6 months following that date (or, May 1, 2013). Then, your FDIC coverage will be based on your total combined deposits at Capital One, N.A., ING DIRECT, and in your ShareBuilder account up to the FDIC max of $250,000 per depositor or $500,000 for joint depositors. Keep in mind, the coverage extension won't apply to any deposits made after November 1, 2012. Money that's invested in securities in your ShareBuilder account is insured by SIPC - not FDIC - so it doesn't count toward the FDIC limit. We look forward to sharing more information with you over the coming months.
The ShareBuilder Team
College tax credits - filing amended return to maximize?
Added on : Friday September 21st 2012 12:00:48 AM
As we're heading into the final quarter of 2012, I was doing some tax status reassessment for the year last night and noticed something. One of our sons graduated from college this spring (in 4 years), and we are going to claim him as a dependent for one final year this year. As you know, 4 years college impacts 5 tax years. You are allowed to claim Hope/American Opportunity tax credit for 4 undergraduate years. We claimed the full Hope/Am. Opportunity credit in 2008 for his freshman fall semester, then again in 2009 (freshman spring, sophomore fall), 2010 (soph-junior), and 2011 (junior-senior). For his senior spring semester in 2012 we had always planned to take the Lifetime Learning credit, having used up the 4 years of Hope/American Opportunity.However, it turns out that since I went back to work full time (after many years as a SAHM), our 2012 income will disqualify us from Lifetime Learning Credit. However, American Opportunity has a higher disqualification threshold which we will still be under in 2012.

My question:
Any reason I can't file an amended return for a prior year (likely 2011) where we were under the Lifetime Learning threshold and claim Lifetime Learning instead of American Opportunity for that year, then take our 4th year of American Opportunity in 2012? We would owe back taxes of $500 for the difference between Lifetime learning credit of $2000 and American Opportunity credit of $2500, plus perhaps some level of interest and penalties. But we'd still come out way ahead by being able to take the $2500 American Opportunity credit in 2012 (as opposed to no credit).I've researched this and haven't found anything that indicates I can't do this. American opportunity/Hope can only be claimed 4 times per student, for undergraduate only, toward a degree program. I didn't find anything that indicates it must be used in 4 consecutive years.But I'm looking for some second opinions or affirmations. Thanks!
last night I saw this HP 13.3" Folio Ultrabook Laptop PC with Intel Core i3-2367M Processor and Windows 7 Home Premium Option at local WalMart store for $498. Marked down from $798 for clearence.LinkyOnline also shows the same price but not available for shipping. Some stores shows limited availability.In my opinion this is a warm deal for this older generation( SandyBridge) ultrabook just under 3.5lb and 9hr battery.
Key Features and Benefits:
Intel Core i3-2367M processor 1.40GHz, 3MB L3 Cache

4GB DDR3 SDRAM system memory
128GB solid state drive
10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN
13.3" HD BrightView LED-backlit display Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 1696MB total graphics memoryAdditional Features:
HD webcam with built-in microphone
2-in-1 memory card reader
1 x USB 3.0 port, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x headphone/microphone combo jack, 1 x RJ-45 Ethernet port, 1 x HDMI port
6-cell lithium-ion battery, up to 9 h battery life
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Alex Emma DVD (Full Screen Edition) (2003) $2.55 on Amazon
Added on : Monday September 17th 2012 02:00:07 PM
Alex & Emma DVD (Full Screen Edition) (2003) $2.55 on AmazonLinkProduct Description
Romantic Comedy. Alex (Luke Wilson) is an author whose writer's block and gambling debts have landed him in a jam. In order to get loan sharks off his back, he must finish his novel in 30 days or wind up dead. To help him complete his manuscript he hires stenographer Emma (Kate Hudson). As Alex begins to dictate his tale of a romantic love triangle to the charming yet somewhat opinionated stenographer, Emma challenges his ideas at every turn. Her unsolicited yet intriguing input begins to inadvertently influence Alex and his story and soon real life begins to imitate art.
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Why is the stock market doing well while the economy is still poor?
Added on : Saturday September 15th 2012 01:00:53 PM
I am currently in microeconomics and won't get to macro til next semester, though I'm not sure something like this will be covered in that class. I keep seeing the stock market going up while everything else economy related appears lousy.I tried reading about this through google but you only get peoples blogs/opinions with no opposing ideas and it's a very subjective topic. So I thought I'd bring it to my favorite forum for some knowledge. Why is the stock market doing significantly better than the job and housing markets? And what does that say about the economy in general? Should the individual be doing anything to safeguard themselves or watching for any indicators?
For nonprofits only Mobile Citizen is reselling Clear's WiMax service ("upto" 6M down/1M up) for $120/year plus equipment costs. This is cheaper than the original iSpot promotion Clear did years ago of $25/month. I and my friends haved been using that service for years and it is a delight.Mobile Citizen appears to have a generous definition of non-profit, along with a generous definition of what the user's association with the non-profit might be. Possibly any non-profit club could coordinate a group buy via Mobile Citizen.Clear is a troubled company, so there is some risk that they will implode. Opinions vary a lot about that. I think that risk is declining. Even if they implode I doubt that would lead them to turn off the service, that would take time.
Scrip Fundraising - opinions and suggestions
Added on : Thursday September 13th 2012 02:00:49 PM
Hi not sure if this is the right forum or not, but was wondering if anyone had any experience organizing scrip fundraising for a not for profit organization. I really hate fund raising and am looking for a fund raiser that does not negatively impact those that are supporting our non for profit organization. Scrip fundraising sounds intriguing but would like some other points of views from people that have run one.Any opinions/suggestions are welcome including good scrip companies to work with. Are there any scrip companies that have little to no shipping fees? it seems like everyone I have seen you need to pay a minimum of $7.50 to ship the gift cards.Thanks in advance.
Proscan 32" LED 720p TV $199 Free Ship @ Kmart
Added on : Tuesday September 11th 2012 01:00:05 PM
Would like opinions on whether or not this is a good deal.Comments regarding 720p are unnecessary.LinkyAFAIK, most deals on 32s under $200 are not LED.Proscan name is owned by Thompson (RCA) I think but manufactured by Curtis?
Expires 9/15.
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Trust Question
Added on : Saturday September 08th 2012 10:00:49 AM
So I know the answer to this will be get a lawyer cheapskate and Im
in the process of doing so, but wanted to see if others had some
opinions or experience to share.I have an interest in a trust and Im not sure I quite understand the
roles of all involved. The trust holds some real estate assets that
have been used and operated by the donor (grandparent) and the
trustees / beneficiaries of the trust (the children).
Its my understanding that when the creator of the trust passes the
trust is supposed to be liquidated and distributed to the
beneficiaries according to the last will and testament. This was done
for estate planning purposes however since the trustees are
currently getting benefits from the assets of the trust (i.e. using
the real estate for their personal benefit) I believe they intend to
prevent this so they can continue operating the trust and taking
advantage of the assets.My parent passed before me so I (grandchild) am listed as the
beneficiary in the will, but have no voice in the trust and am not a
trustee. My only interest is to be out of the trust. Do I have any
rights as the beneficiary to make this happen? Is there anything I
should be looking out for as a minority beneficiary?
Just Curious.. . "are you better off today than 4 years ago"?...
Added on : Wednesday September 05th 2012 09:00:47 PM
I've been hearing this on the news for sometime now, and I thought this would be interesting to hear other people's views, opinions. Thank you for sharing... the answer for me is "NO". We have lost so much money that I don't think my husband and I will ever recoup our losses due to stockmarket, no raises for the last 2 years, higher prices "everything"; and of course we pay 23% in income tax.... what say you?
$10 credit (first 1000) AT&T GoPhone for completing survey
Added on : Tuesday September 04th 2012 05:00:03 PM
Got this on one of my PAYGO linesATT FREE MSG: $10 credit for 1st 1000 customers completing GoPhone customer opinion survey now thru 9/7. Use your computer to take survey at go2op.com. ThanksNOTE: The following - you will be asked if the cell phone is your primary phone - answer NO and you know what happens. Requires cell number and they Cache it...The site redirects you to the survey page administered by KS&R. This matches the whois info for the site...who is info
SX HAWK - Electric Guitar - $79+S/H
Added on : Tuesday September 04th 2012 11:00:14 AM
http://www.rondomusic.com/hawkmnashna.htmlI know everybody has their own opinions on knockoff guitars, and no-name brands, but I LOVE the SX I have.
Store will not reclaim riding mower after credit card dispute in my favor
Added on : Sunday September 02nd 2012 03:00:52 AM
So about nearly 3 years ago, I ordered a mower online from a major national/local retailer. The mower arrived defective and dangerous in my opinion. I had a service guy come out and said he could fix it but that it was better just to leave it as it was and to drive it carefully. This was not acceptable to me, and I requested a return. The return was denied both by the service guy, the local store, and the 1-800. Disputed the charge and the credit card company ruled in my favor. Offered to take the mower myself to the local store but they declined. The 1-800's never picked up on it. Now almost 3 years have passed, and the item is sitting unused with near 0 hours on it. I'd like to just get rid of it, but wonder what my best option is. Selling it for profit seems slightly wrong for a number of reasons but certainly would fatten the wallet. Donating it and not writing it off would be an option. Abandoning the item at the store parking lot would not close things out in my account that would still show that I never paid for the item due to winning the dispute. If I do get rid of it in any of the ways above, I foresee the call finally asking for it back. At which point, I would state "you pay the storage fee of $50/month, and you can have it back." Seems fair but again, I want to get rid of this thing.
Yet another S Corp Finance topic, please give your 2 cents
Added on : Friday August 31st 2012 12:00:49 PM
So here it is; I'll start with a little background and then move on to the actual question so you know where i am coming from. I've owned an s corp for about a year. When i first started, a tax professional(owns his prep business) has told me that if i report my income on a K1 (100%, only owner/emp) every year that will be sufficient and i wont have to pay SE tax. Just State Fed but that will be on my personal return via k1. This seemed too good to be true but he convinced me it was fine. Now i have consulted with others as well but it was a split decision. I even called IRS and they knew even less(or so it seemed).Later i've done some reading and as some time has passed this started to worry me quite a bit. After reading other posts here and other places the above just sounds downright wrong. Or maybe i am confused to hell...
This post was helpful "How to give yourself a W-2 when owning an S-Corp?" but didnt have all the info. To the questions:
I know i CANT pay myself salary as my business is sales commission based and if i pay myself a base salary of say 1,000/mnth no way in hell will IRS consider it "reasonable" for the amount of work im doing.So the way i see it i have to pay myself in a form of cash dividends each month depending on sales. So far i have just been paying myself from bus to pers accounts X$ each month. Does anyone know if i have to make each months dividend payment official in any way , such as a form " so and so corp is paying dividents on such date with x amount to blah blah "? Or just total up at the end of the year and put down on the K1?What worries me and what i want to do is to pay back-due taxes from what i've paid myself, most just say i need to put myself on payroll, but that is not what works best in this case(IMO) I would greatly appreciate it if you have no worth opinion ... dont tell me to see a pro...this is what got me in it to begin with...All input appreciated thanks!
Newb to finance. Need some investing advice
Added on : Thursday August 30th 2012 04:00:52 PM
Greetings all, it's my first time at the site and it seems to be a great community here. I'm 22, and I have some questions about my future investments.I would like to know y'all's opinions on some options I can do with my money to maximize my return. I have no investments started.Here is some background about me:
I'm finishing up my last college semester, and because of two wonderful, loving parents, I will be graduating with no debt. I'm 22 years old, and work as a salesman at a local music shop.Besides my checking, I have a fair amount of money in my savings and about an equal amount of money in a CD earning a butt-low rate.I live at home, and have no expenses at the moment, after recently paying my car off.I have no credit cards or loans, but some bad habits on spending money as I like to go out to eat a lot and get beers at bars.As experienced financial wizards, what would you suggest I do? Invest in stocks, bonds? Is there something else I can do to maximize my return? I am thinking about doing something with my savings, or when my CD expires, doing something with that. either way, I'd be looking to invest around $2000.Any ideas?Thanks!!!
Pentax Q camera $349 at Groupon.com - exp 11pm MDT 8/31
Added on : Thursday August 30th 2012 04:00:19 AM
I saw this on techbargains, but it was not posted here. Pretty good deal, the lowest it has been on Amazon was $375. It comes with a prime lens, not a zoom which may be a negative for some people, but given it's oddity as a camera, it makes sense to me.Pentax QHere is a video review which shows how tiny this camera is:Viedo review 1A more in depth look at the camera and it's functions:Video review 2Neither of the above are super critical reviews, the first is almost an ad, but it does showcase the lenses and what it can do. Google a bit and you will have no problem finding critical opinions on this camera.This is not a DSLR, though it is an interchangeable lens camera and very unique due to it's small size and backlit sensor. There are as many reasons to buy it as there are not to. UPDATE - The Groupon expires 11PM MDT on 8/31 (was extended from the 29th).
Groupon Coupons
Opening 529 plan in grandparents name; any downsides?
Added on : Wednesday August 29th 2012 11:00:55 AM
Hello everyone, I am finally getting around to opening a 529 plan for my 3 year old. I have been reading a lot about this, expecially on FW. It seems that one of the suggestions is to open one in grandparent's name which allows these funds not to be listed on FAFSA forms, etc. Does anyone see any downsides to this method? I honestly don't. Just want to get some opinions.
Sharp 60'' Aquos LED Smart TV - LC60LE640U Sears 1,399
Added on : Wednesday August 29th 2012 11:00:05 AM
http://www.sears.com/sharp-60inch-aquos-174-led-smart-tv-lc60le6...OK, There are 2 deals on this TV. Sharp 60'' Aquos LED Smart TV - LC60LE640U
Sears $1399
Dell $1549-$150 (X6L1GQZ0S3TCTZ)Coupon =$1399Here is the dif.
Sears 3 year in Home protection is $299 and it is in home service.
Dell uses TV warrenty for 1st year then for additional 2 years $36 (limited time deal). This is NOT in home. They do pay shipping to and from your house tho.Both have free delivery and 30 day return policy (again temp deal for Dell and Sears)So the final cost is
Sears $1700 plus tax with 3 year in home protection....or
Dell $1436 plus tax with 1 year TV warrenty and additional 2 year warrenty (for 3 years)I want opinions on what you think the better/smarter deal is or if you think there will be better labor day sale on 60".(and I do not live in state with Fry's)
Thanks, Justin
Sears.com Coupons
Pentax Q camera $349 at Groupon.com - exp 11pm MDT 8/29
Added on : Tuesday August 28th 2012 11:00:05 PM
I saw this on techbargains, but it was not posted here. Pretty good deal, the lowest it has been on Amazon was $375. It comes with a prime lens, not a zoom which may be a negative for some people, but given it's oddity as a camera, it makes sense to me.Pentax QHere is a video review which shows how tiny this camera is:Viedo review 1A more in depth look at the camera and it's functions:Video review 2Neither of the above are super critical reviews, the first is almost an ad, but it does showcase the lenses and what it can do. Google a bit and you will have no problem finding critical opinions on this camera.This is not a DSLR, though it is an interchangeable lens camera and very unique due to it's small size and backlit sensor. There are as many reasons to buy it as there are not to. The Groupon expires 11PM MDT on 8/29.
Groupon Coupons
Request - Means of transportation in London
Added on : Friday August 24th 2012 01:01:16 AM
Hi, I am travelling to London this month for a 2 week stay on a work related trip, and i needed suggestion on which mode of transportation is most common in London. I heard people mostly use buses, but taxis are faster and hassle free. Please tell me your opinion.
Description: Package includes: 1 X flashlight
Technical Details: CREE XML T6 with 900+ Lumen output, NO Holster.
3 Mode Output, Aluminum alloy casing with o-rings for water resistant design
Can be mounted on tactical rail with 1" ring mount
Rugged, anodized, CREE LED designed to last 100,000 hour28 5-star reviews out of 59 total. LinkI have no personal opinion on the flashlight, but between the cheap price, the CS of Amazon and the brightness claims, it seem worth trying.
Discover Card updates
Added on : Saturday August 18th 2012 04:00:48 PM
Thanks to Fat Wallet I have signed up for far too many credit card offers and now have a pretty broad experience. One of my first credit cards was Discover. What I like about this credit card is the online interface and reward redemption options. Chase has emulated Discover's CashBack rewards to some extent but Discover remains superior in my opinion.The disadvantages to Discover are as follows
-Not everyone except it
-Limited use overseas
-No purchase protection
-No Extended warrantyThose are pretty major negatives and I had planned to cancel my credit card today now that the Priceline Rewards Visa has become my primary.However, a few things have changed regarding Discover and I thought the Fat Wallet community should be aware:
-Through Union Pay (China) Discover can now be used in China without any FOREX fee. Other countries have been added too, see this page for more details https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/help-center/account/intern...
-They now offer an extended warranty for free (one additional year on warranties of 36 months or less)
-Purchase protection for damage/theft for 90 days after purchase
You are automatically protected for 90 days and up to $500 on stolen or damaged purchases when your entire purchase is made with your Discover card.One negative still remains: A non-trivial amount of vendors still do not accept Discover.Any other thoughts regarding Discover? Positive or negative.
Extended Warranty: Mercedes Benz, C350, 2008
Added on : Thursday August 16th 2012 10:00:57 AM
Hi,I wanted to get some opinion and suggestion for getting extended warrant on my MB C350 2008 (47,000 miles) car. This is my first time buying extended warranty, so wanted to understand the pitfalls / suggestions before committing myself to it. The current factory warranty expires on 08/31, and I have spoken to a few companies and received the quotes as in the attached image.I drive about 10,000 miles/year, and other than 2 tire replacements (both due to pot holes), I haven't had anything else wrong with the car. I may cell the car in about 2 years, but not sure yet.
Some Amazon Apps for Droid, Free PLUS Get $1 in MP3s
Added on : Monday August 13th 2012 06:00:32 PM
Buy Select Free Apps for Android, Get $1 in MP3s
How to Qualify for This Offer:
Purchase at least one qualifying free app offered in the Amazon.com Appstore for Android in the webstore or on an Android device. The apps that qualify are apps for Android offered in the Amazon.com Appstore for Android that display the offer message on their webstore product information pages. Qualifying apps will not display promotional messaging on their Android on-device product information pages.
After completing your purchase, you will receive an e-mail indicating that a $1 credit for Amazon MP3 music downloads has been applied to your account automatically. The e-mail will also provide instructions on how to redeem your credit.
Promotional offer limited to one promotional credit per customer.
Promotional offer is valid from June 6, 2012, through June 30, 2012, and subject to change. You must redeem the credit by July 31, 2012.I got some useful apps: IP Cam Viewer Free, connects to the DOT traffic cams so you can see what kind of traffic you have to look forward to.In case the traffic is bad, you can use: Scanner 911 Free to listen to EMR and figure out what caused the problem and perhaps how long before it gets better. There is another scanner: Scanner Radio but I haven't tried that one yet. I'd be interested in peoples opinions on these scanners. I haven't quite figured out the recording feature on the scanner 911.
Amazon Coupons
Some Amazon Apps for Droid, Free PLUS Get $1 in MP3s
Added on : Monday August 13th 2012 05:00:04 PM
Buy Select Free Apps for Android, Get $1 in MP3s
How to Qualify for This Offer:
Purchase at least one qualifying free app offered in the Amazon.com Appstore for Android in the webstore or on an Android device. The apps that qualify are apps for Android offered in the Amazon.com Appstore for Android that display the offer message on their webstore product information pages. Qualifying apps will not display promotional messaging on their Android on-device product information pages.
After completing your purchase, you will receive an e-mail indicating that a $1 credit for Amazon MP3 music downloads has been applied to your account automatically. The e-mail will also provide instructions on how to redeem your credit.
Promotional offer limited to one promotional credit per customer.
Promotional offer is valid from June 6, 2012, through June 30, 2012, and subject to change. You must redeem the credit by July 31, 2012.I got some useful apps: IP Cam Viewer Free, connects to the DOT traffic cams so you can see what kind of traffic you have to look forward to.In case the traffic is bad, you can use: Scanner 911 Free to listen to EMR and figure out what caused the problem and perhaps how long before it gets better. There is another scanner: Scanner Radio but I haven't tried that one yet. I'd be interested in peoples opinions on these scanners. I haven't quite figured out the recording feature on the scanner 911.
Amazon Coupons
Ballistic case for Samsung Galaxy SII Epic Touch 4G $16.88 @ Amazon
Added on : Sunday August 12th 2012 01:00:02 PM
Free ship with Amazon Prime, or free super saver for nonmembers if you want to pad the order to over $25. Five star case. Excellent drop protection. Easier on and off than an OtterBox. In my opinion, better looking than an OtterBox. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0069SNXBU/...Price is only 73 cents higher than the all time low of $16.07, according to camelcamelcamel. http://camelcamelcamel.com/Ballistic-SA0774-M005-Case-Samsung-SP...Ballistic cases for other Galaxy SII models at similar prices, although many are sold by third parties and shipped by Amazon.
Amazon Coupons
Advice on car purchase/trade-in
Added on : Friday August 10th 2012 10:00:49 AM
Hello all! I'll get right into it:Married couple (2 yrs) in mid 20s is expecting baby in November. Just moved states and bought house. Wife demands that one of us have four-door car for easier transport of said baby.We're a FW kind of group: shop online, don't buy in excess, maximize tax returns, CC bonuses, banking bonuses, etc. We thank you all for the deals and advice you share. It makes a huge difference for us!Here's our current car lineup:2009 VW Rabbit (sunroof, winter weather package)
106,000 miles (90% highway)
car runs excellently and has needed only oil changes, brakes, spark plugs, and tires thus far.
car currently will need 4 tires, 1 new tpms sensor, and windshield to pass impending inspection. car also has a broken motor mount that would eventually need to be replaced.
estimated services needed: $1,000
Amount owed on vehicle loan: $4474.13 @ 3.79%, $309.34 mo. payment
car has 2 rock chips on hood, 1 small dent in door from thieves breaking in my car, and some cosmetic scratches on trunk from removable bike rack. carfax report would show one collision in drivers' door - all damage repaired to oem specs.2003 Honda Accord EX-V (w/leather seats)
72,000 miles (standard mix of highway/city)
car runs well, needs nothing besides windshield wipers at this point.
We own this car outright and have title in hand.
FWIW, we bought this car from a family member for $1,600 (them doing us a favor when wife totaled her car in ice storm)
Significant body damage in the form of dents and paint scraping on each side of the car (mentioned as this will lower trade-in value). Driver's window sticks in heat. Aftermarket stereo replaces non-working 6-cd changer.
Carfax would show one collision, significant body damage and some frame damage.
So here's why I need your help. I love my VW - it's been a great car. The seats slide forward far enough so that one could get in the back and handle a car seat and baby without much fuss. Back seats also fold down so little hatchback can perform as light-duty hauler. But, since my car is newer, it's wife's "turn" to refresh her car. There's a lot of life left in both these vehicles. We just want to maximize our value in any car purchase situation.Note: selling all cars and purchasing 2+ crown vics is not likely an option. bubble king is tempting but also out of the equation. H&B is also probably not going to fly.Wife "wants" smaller SUV (VW Tiguan, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape are ones she's agreeable towards). I'm pushing vanilla sedan. Regardless, we'll be buying a 1-4 year old car with less than 60k miles on it. I would imagine our purchasing range would be 10k-20k depending on the value we find.Besides any trade-in value, we'll likely have around 1k cash we could fork over towards purchase price if needed.So, here's where I need you all to weigh in:Do we:
1) trade in the VW to give wife "new" car and I take Honda?
2) trade in the Honda for new car, I keep VW?
3) keep Honda as 3rd vehicle with liability only coverage and the low-mileage extra car plan?
4) your option?Thanks for reading, and I genuinely appreciate everyone's opinions!
Is It Worth The Effort To Switch Banks?
Added on : Thursday August 09th 2012 04:00:45 PM
I've been with BoA(previously LaSalle, previously Standard Federal) for over 30 years. I also set up Citi checking and savings accounts 4-5 years ago to hold AoR money and squeak out some extra TY points. I've only got around $1000 left in the citi accounts. I had maintained the checking for a backup ATM account since they are local in 7-11s, but rarely use it. I'm thinking it may be time to shift around my accounts. I'm not really unhappy with BoA, but I do find their online banking kinda quirky. Citi's site also seems to be a pain and often down when I need it.Unfortunately unemployment and under-employment since early 2009 have substantially reduced my liquid assets. Career is back on track where it should be with a new job that I just started, so it is time to rebuild an emergency fund and also pay off some debt. What I want/need:
* Checking account for day to day use
* Online bill pay
* Savings account for emergency fund
* Access to no-fee ATMs - metro Detroit (99% of what I purchase is on a credit card, but I do hit the ATM roughly once a week to have a bit of cash on hand)
* A national ATM network would be nice since I travel a bit.
* No need to maintain 10+ debit card transactions, but will have my paycheck direct deposited.
* Ability to write 1-2 checks a year for that odd transaction that can't handle electronic payment.Other info:
* I have/had credit card accounts with just about every bank out there during the AoR days.
* Open cards with Citi, BoA, Chase, Discover, US - still have some 0% money out there.
* IRA fund with VanguardShould I switch to Chase and grab the $150 bonus for a new account? Find a local credit union? Stay where I am?Thanks in advance for opinions on whether or not the grass will be greener on the other side.
Looking for a legal opinion - relocation company/home purchase trouble?
Added on : Thursday August 09th 2012 01:00:48 PM
Looking for a legal opinion - relocation company/home purchase trouble?So i put an offer for this town home while back, and the seller a relocation company sat on it for month as they were dealing with another buyer who couldn't close (some money issue). Finally they agreed with me last week - Friday, and told me i need to colose in 2 months or there is no deal. They sent us a copy of contract cancel letter with the other buyer. The wanted to start attorney review same day, but i couldn't do it as there were loads of paper works to sign. SO, they send boat load of papwer to review, sign etc. (something special about this company). And monday i fax everything in, line of an attorny (didn't pay anything yet), and researched home inspector etc. All set, but they stopped responding. After much trying by my agent (whose company are both buyer and seller agent) dug out that Recol company lawyer still pursuing with the other buyer, and now claim they supposedly can close tomorrow.
My question is can i legally do anything to the reloc company? Those guys are total fraud - i spent hours preparing docs, calling up bank for mortage etc etc. All my docs i scanned and agent forwarded them i'm cc-ed. They don't say antying that they don't want to proceed. NOw all of a sudden they pull this. I'm still not 100% sure if the other buyer can close today, but this is such a blatant bs. They could've just told me upfront.
Financial planning for future
Added on : Monday August 06th 2012 08:00:53 PM
Hi FW guys,
I have been silent reader of FW ever since.
FW has helped me save more money. Here is a peek at my life.Fresh grad from graduate school, joined a reasonable company in Texas, salary, 58K before tax. Married since 2 years. <5K in savings.
My line of work has more salary jobs in other states, but not made a mind to switch. Newer job offering 90K in CA.
Here is the real problem. Wife has decided to join Medical school. With the amount of money i earn, it is very hard to pay for medical school.
Everything is so expensive in Med school including application fees, tests etc.Need your opinion on what to do. Should i switch to new job with high salary? Should i completely rely on loans to plan finance?FAFSA is not an option. I need to borrow money from bank. what are the current interest rates you guys know, and from which bank?I have planned to open a private clinic after schooling. I figured that is the only way to make more money than working for someone.I will really appreciate your help to plan my life and not to broke everything we ever dreamed of.
Am I too late for financial salvation? Need your brutal opinion.
Added on : Sunday August 05th 2012 09:00:46 PM
Hello, I hope you are having a good day.Obviously, I have another Fatwallet account... however, I chose to be anonymous since my life in general was in absolute mayhem and am ashamed of it.I know that the members of Fatwallet community can surely enlighten me, so I need your "brutally honest" opinion. Much appreciated All right- here it goes. I am 27 year old male who lives in the Great Plains (middle of Illinois, which is nowhere). When I was young, I was very irresponsible and naive. Since I majored in business in undergrad state school, I thought that I would earn 50k without a problem. So I partied, did not study for the exam, etc. Of course, I wasn't aware of 2008 financial crisis,even though I was majoring in business. Even worse, I was paying out-of-state student loan: I wanted to get out from my parent's authority, which was total failure. I was a total stupid redneck back then.After graduation of 2009 (with shameful GPA of mid 2s), I wasn't able to find a job for a year or so. My tuition and credit card debt was racking up like crazy: parents kicked me out from their house. When they are kicking me from their house, my dad said one thing: "A man choose to become what he chose to be." That's when I realized that I needed the change. From since, I started to work as a teller, even though I was waaay overqualified for the job. However, I thought myself as "as good as no degree" because I honestly don't think that I deserve Bachelor's degree. I sold my car to consolidate my debt- the car itself wasn't worth that much, but I was saving a lot from a) not paying for the gas and repair and b) insurance because of one minor accident I had. I chose myself to withdraw myself from partying out crew- they weren't getting jobs anyway. I started to eat in, live humble, and no drink whatsoever. No gal/galfriend since gals are the moneysuckers. Instead, I got myself gym membership and spent my excess time to kill. In 2010, I was 6'0 250 pounds- now I am 180 pounds.Enough of this sob drama queen story. One thing that I am proud of is that I am a debt-free person as of yesterday. For 4 years, I have been patiently paying off the mess I created. I just got back on my feet. However, I think I am too late now for the greater myself... or am I? Here is my financial situation:--------Credit---------------
Salary: 33k, Private Client Banker
Credit Card: 0/2000 dollar, 0/1500 dollar, 0/4500 dollar (never asked credit card company to increase my limit, since I wasn't going to use them anyway)
IRA: Traditional IRA of 5 percent (our bank match 5 percent, making it 10 percent). Think I have 10k there.
Savings: No savings at all- all my savings were geared to pay off my loans ASAP.--------Debit----------------
Rent: 250 dollars per month (I share 2 bedroom with my roomate)
Utility : 100 dollars per month (water, electricity, internet)
Cell phone: 25 dollars per month from Virgin Mobile (Thank you Fatwallet )
Dine-out Costs: 100 dollars per month (Yes, all for just myself. No Gals and pic, move along )
Food: 300 dollars per month
Entertainment: 100 dollars per month
Clothing: 100 dollars per month (I can't help this since I work with private client in banking. I usually save up per month to buy a suit)No auto, tuition debt. No debt whatsoever. I am clean.I need your opinion on this:1) Am I too late than norm? How could I improve my cash flow from the credit/debit form I mentioned above?2) What should I do in order to maximize my savings? (I started to study myself for CFA examination ,read little bit of investing books, read fatwallet forums about rental but they require at least 100k to show sizable ROI) 3) What car should I get? My boss were saying to me: "I need you to buy a car since I want you to meet your clients outside of the bank." Disgruntled, I was going to buy a beater (Crown Vic, anyone?!) but my boss strictly restricted me from buying a beater: "I know what you are thinking- if you get a beater, I am going to fire you(laughs)" He said in jokingly way, but I got an impression that he wants me to get a decent car in order to give out some formal looks. Thinking of buying some car at 10k aboutish range. What car should I get? Hyundai? Kia? Ford? Chevy? I have to admit, a part of me was telling me: "hey, you deserve BMW/Merdedes. You killed off all debt and walked to your walk rain or snow. Do it now"- but I don't think I should go for that route and get auto debt.4) Should I take CFA, CFP credential exam? Or do you think that those exams are just worthless?5) With my GPA from undergrad (weeeeee! I am weeping in joy), I don't think I can ever get into MBA school that are worth getting into/paying or any masters degree. Any inputs?Thank you for your time to read this. I sincerely await your honest yet brutal opinion. Bash me.
Seeks Advice on home improvement
Added on : Sunday August 05th 2012 03:00:44 AM
I am planning to redo my kitchen; and change my bathromm from tub to shower. My top requirements are durability and ease of maintenance.I am looking for advice -- brand names and where to buy -- on all the kitchen appliances, kitchen countertop, cabinets, shower control and shower head, kitchen and bathroom sinks, faucets, toilets, lighting fixtures for kitchen & bath, etc.Kitchen appliances: 30" refrigerator (bottom freezer with non-wired baskets), 24" wall gas oven, 30" gas cook top and strong suction hood; non-stainless steel kitchen sink (preferrably double sink).Kitchen cabinets: The wood cabinets I have seen have the inside (drawers and cabinets) color different than the outside color. The inside is not painted. I was told that it costs a lot more if the inside is painted. Anyone know how much more -- in terms of percentage? What other materials are there, besides formica?Countertop: I am thinking Ceasar Stone. Any opinions one way or other?Also, I am redoing the baseboard (along the floor) and am thinking of hiding all the telephone and cable wiring behind the baseboard. My concern on this is ease of maintenance. If the wires need to be tested, repaired or replaced, how will the repaireman get access to those wires?TIA
Financial situation decision!
Added on : Thursday August 02nd 2012 11:00:45 PM
1.) Pretend you are the CFO of a company that has paid a steady dividend for the past forty years and your recently hired, brilliant, freshly minted UTA Finance graduate who managed to pass Advanced Business Financial Analysis sends you a text message on your mobile phone while you are in the middle of yoga class that reads: Dividends are irrelevant. Why dont we quit paying them? On your way home from class and experiencing inner peace, you decide to prepare a response to your newest colleague, who many not know much about your company, but is well versed in theory. How would you reply?

2.) The new brilliant, freshly minted UTA Finance graduate, excited to have her text messages answered by a CFO who had experienced inner peace, follows her question with a suggestion that the company undertake to raise private equity for the purpose of purchasing all public shares. What reasons would she give for taking the company private?

3.) The CFO, having rejected the idea of the company going private, believes that a large share repurchase program funded by issuing long-term debt would please the shareholders and raise the stock price. Impressed with the vast knowledge of corporate finance exhibited by the brilliant freshly mined UTA Finance graduate, the CFO asks the graduate for her opinion on the share repurchase idea. Overconfident about her ability to criticize the CFO the brilliant graduate does not believe it is a good idea. What are her arguments?

4.) What information would the newly hired UTA Finance graduate need to provide the opinion (that would not damage the reputation of UTA)?

5.) Having agreed with the CFOs idea for the share repurchase, the brilliant freshly minted UTA Finance graduate remembering what she just learned in FINA 4315, recommends two strategies below for raising the debt. What reasons did freshly minted UTA Finance graduate provide for considering each of the strategies?
&νβσπ;A 10- year Japanese yen denominated (Samurai) bond.
&νβσπ;A 10- year bond convertible into the company stock.

6.) What information will the she need on each of the two to select among the strategies?
Bought House, Issues Found with Contractor Work, Options?
Added on : Thursday August 02nd 2012 01:00:45 PM
I'm posting this under a new name to remain anonymous. There's a long background story, I'll try to include the relevant info and leave out what doesn't matter.In April 2011 I bought a home that the previous owners (using a local licensed contractor) had built an addition onto in 2009. It was my first home purchase and I foolishly used the realtor recomended inspector instead of getting my own done. No major issues were found in that inspection. Since then some long, discomforting cracks have developed in the ceiling. After talking to some neighbors I learned some interesting information. The couple who previously owned the house had gotten divorced, she won the house but couldn't afford the mortgage so had to sell it. Additionally her father was the contractor who did all the work.The guy from the divorced couple happens to be a licensed plumber in town who I have used for service calls in the past so since I needed to have some plumbing work done anyway I called him out and asked his opinion on it while he was there. He thinks that the contractor (his ex-wife's dad) who did all of the framing messed something up. According to him since a city permit was pulled for the work and the contractor was licensed and insured the contractor was liable for the work for 5 years. He said I need to call the contractor, ask him to fix the issues, and if he refused call the city and ask for his insurance information that he would have filed with the permit. Then call the insurance company and get them to send an adjuster out to verify it was faulty work and then supposedly they'd pay to fix it.I called the contractor, he claimed he is only liable for 2 years so not his problem now.Called the city, they sent their inspectors out to look at the work and they verbally confirmed it looked liek a faulty framing job. They said they would call the contractor and get in touch with me. 9 days later I called them back to check on the status. I spoke with the city "Chief Building Inspector" and he claimed that unless my contract from the home purchase stated that the house was covered by a warranty I couldn't go after the contractor. When I asked him to look at the permit and give me the contractors insurance information he said he would call me back later. He called me back at about 4:45PM and said he didn't keep records that far back and doesn't have it. He then started to get very loud and vocal (I stayed calm and courteous) and asked me why I was going after a man who did all the work just to try to help out his daughter. He went on to say that inspections weren't done when they were supposed to have happened so they had no proper information to prove faulty work. Then he said they had pictures of the framing that showed the problems (from an inspection they didn't do?). Then he said the city had no way of knowing which parts of the work were done by the contractor, the contractors daughter, or the plumber. The plumber claimed the contractor did all the framing work. Also when I called the contractor he did not deny doing the work. In fact he said he knew what the issue was and would be glad to tell me what needs to be done but wasn't willing to do the work himself.I continued to tell the inspector I just needed the contractor's insurance information so I could ask them to come out and tell me if I have any options. He persisted in saying he didn't have the records anymore but if I had my lawyer call him he would give him everything he had (I don't have a lawyer, he brought that up on his own). He then told me that I didn't have the right to keep him after hours (it was now about 5:15pm) and he didn't have time for this and hung up on me. From the way that conversation went I'm guessing he has some sort of relationship with the contractor.So that all brings me to my questions. I don't know yet if we're talking about a few hundred dollars to repair the framing problems or a few thousand. I have a structural engineer scheduled to come out in a week and a half to inspect it and estimate what a contractor should charge for the work (the inspection is going to cost $280).In the meantime is there anything else I should do? If the inspection comes back saying I need more than $1,000 of work done then I'll definitely want to pursue the contractor if I have any legal ground. I also know there's a certain point where it's not worth it to bring lawyers in.
Roth IRA and/or Tax Advice
Added on : Monday July 30th 2012 04:00:46 PM
Hi FW Finance members,I have been a FW lurker for years and now seeking some advice. Please do not red me for stupidity or similar opinions.About 3 months ago, I cleared out my Roth IRA to help a friend. It was the only option I had left as I had depleted all conventional and creative (at least I think so) means of attaining funds. Several weeks before liquidating, I changed my Regular IRA into Roth IRA. I know that within two months, there are no penalties pending that you transfer same amount to a different brokerage. I will take the tax hit and penalty. However, I was wondering if it was possible to put back the 2 years worth of contributions or no? Anyone have advice on how to proceed?I will also try to consult professional tax advice (from a CPA) when I get a chance. Just seeing if the members here have encountered similar issues or have creative/great ways to proceed and best ways to make use of current tax and IRA laws. I'm sure many heads are better than one Thanks in advance.
Free $10 Amazon gc from SmartMoney / WSJ survey
Added on : Monday July 30th 2012 12:00:31 PM
I'm not quite sure what exactly triggered it, but I was on SmartMoney.com reading some articles and suddenly got a pop-up window prompting me to answer a survey in exchange for a $10 Amazon GC.survey text said:
Smart Money Wants Your Opinion
We invite you to take part in a survey about some leading consumer brands. Please take a few minutes to share your opinions with us. Your answers will be kept in strict confidence. As a token of our thanks for completion of the survey you will receive a $10 gift certificate.
Maybe spend a few minutes clicking around SmartMoney.com (with pop-up windows turned on) and see if the same thing happens to you?
I'm 32. Should I put my life on hold to make 190k in Afghanistan?
Added on : Saturday July 28th 2012 01:00:48 PM
I am 32 years old. I am single and have no kids. I was recently offered a contractor job in Afghanistan. Keep in mind there are many benefits with working overseas including taxes (I think about 92k is tax-free), 100% free medical, no mortgage (free private apartment and bathroom), and I believe the cafeteria serves free food. I would be working "behind the wire" on a major contractor base near the airport and embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. The annual pay is a whopping $190,000. But, I'm also at the point in my life where I would like to settle down and have kids. I'm not getting any younger. I know that once I leave to Kabul, it will be nearly impossible to date, lol. I will have to put my social life on hold for at least another 1-2 years depending on how long I want to stay out in the sandbox.I'm hoping to get a range of opinions here about what you would do in my situation. Should I forgo the social life and head out into this world of adventure and live experiences worthy of a story around the campfire some day and make enough to buy a house with cash (as well as a nice financial boost to the retirement account)? Or, should I be like every other guy and just go work an 8-5 job with the rest of the rat race in a metro with hopes of getting a white picket fenced cookie cutter home in somewhereville, USA? As monotonous as that sounds, it really is the American Dream and a wife and kids is better than money in most cases....or is it?So, those of you that married before age 35, was it worth it or do you wish you would have made the big bucks BEFORE age 35 AND THEN settled down? Does it get harder for a guy to date younger women (no kids, no baggage) when he's into "grey hair" territory? Btw, I do have some other job offers in the States, but they are 70k.Thanks,
-JBP.S> Study and study again shows that anything more than 60k makes no difference in the happiness levels of people.
REQUEST: Visiting San Antonio with small children?
Added on : Tuesday July 24th 2012 07:01:18 PM
I found a nice Groupon deal for a 2 night, three day stay in S.A. (I bought two). http://www.groupon.com/deals/ga-riverwalk-plaza-hotel-suites?dl=... It's going to be me and 4 kids (18mos-8yo). I want to hit the Alamo, the Riverwalk and Hemisfair Park, El Mercado/Market Square, the Tea Gardens.....and what else as far as attractions/activities? What about non-fast-food recs in the area - ideally with one+ free kids' meal per adult entree?The kids are well behaved, but I don't think I can logistically do the big theme parks without another adult to help me out. Any opinions on this?Budget? It costs what it costs, but discounts are always welcome.
Dates of travel? First half of August, precise dates undetermined.Does anyone have any other suggestions for a kid-friendly budget-friendly trip? Thanks!
Loan repayment advice
Added on : Sunday July 22nd 2012 11:00:52 PM
First off, great forum. Been reading for years and have really learned a lot. If anyone ever needs a doctor's note, you got it!Similar to some other threads before, I thought I would ask for opinions on what people would do in my situation.Background: 34 year old physician,
$160k in med school loans consolidated at 2.25% for 30 years
$20k on a car loan at 1.99% for 3 years
live in manhattan.
getting married in a year to a girl who also has $125k in med school loan.
retirement plans maxed out every year
$150k in cash, $50k in stock.
earned $350k last year, this year on track for closer to $400k.do not own a house, but probably won't buy until after getting married so maybe 1-2 years away. question is:
once upon a time i thought my loans were low interest and I would just make the minimum payment for 30 years (back when you could get 5% in a bank)
now, i am earning 0.75% if that, and stocks are hit/miss. I have been following the advice of bogleheads and investing in index fundsshould i stop collecting cash and start to payoff the loans faster considering that the savings rate will remain low for a while? i was thinking of putting $50k towards my medschool loan. or should i sit tight as the savings rate won't remain this low for 30 years? should i pay off the car loan first, but that is a lower rate?I want to be one of those few physicians that are actually smart financially. I've even completed a few app-o-ramas in the past from what I learned here!Thanks in advance.
Fox vs Payless vs Advantage: Opinion?
Added on : Sunday July 22nd 2012 10:01:18 AM
I've never rented from these companies, which seem to be pretty cheap. Any opinions on them? I have the AMEX rental car extra coverage and am just looking for a few days of rental (non-weekend) so other car agencies are pretty high even with discount codes, not much of a discount if any.
Thanks.Edit: I looks like only Fox and Advantage are located at the airport, not Payless and Fox seems to be a lot cheaper than Advantage.
Keurig k cup new vitamin burst flavors 7% off
Added on : Friday July 13th 2012 02:00:59 PM
first post ever so I hope it's good..keurig has two new k-cup flavors - strawberry pomegranate and acai berry. they are supposed to be "iced fruit brews". here is the link to the descriptions from the keurig website:
strawberry pomegranate - http://www.keurig.com/coffee/stra...e-k-cup-vb
acai berry - http://www.keurig.com/coffee/acai-berry-k-cup-vbAt www.mykup.com they have them cheaper than keurig does ($15.95) plus I used discount code SUMMER7 and it gave me 7% off my order. shipping is free if you order over $60 otherwise $6.95 flat rate. It is not exactly the greatest deal i've gotten on k-cups before but these were pretty good (and refreshing) in my opinion...especially the strawberry pomegranate (the acai berry was a little on the sweet side i had to dilute it with more ice)enjoy
529 College Savings Plan Thread
Added on : Friday July 13th 2012 02:00:46 PM
Been reading about 529 savings plan for the kid. I know about the flexibility of opening one in any state. So much info that my head is spinning. A lot of info on the web is not up to date. Hence, I wanted to get fellow FW opinions on which state offers the best 529 plan as there are so many nuances for each state.Overall, from what I've read is that Utah (low fees), New York, Georgia seems best.Please chime in, thoughts?(Our specific situation, live in California, six figure income, Coverdell not an option).
Official 529 College Savings Plan Thread
Added on : Thursday July 12th 2012 01:01:30 PM
Been reading about 529 savings plan for the kid. I know about the flexibility of opening one in any state. So much info that my head is spinning. A lot of info on the web is not up to date. Hence, I wanted to get fellow FW opinions on which state offers the best 529 plan as there are so many nuances for each state.Overall, from what I've read is that Utah (low fees), New York, Georgia seems best.Please chime in, thoughts?(Our specific situation, live in California, six figure income, Coverdell not an option).
Paying Off Private Student Loans v. Federal Student Loans v. Investing
Added on : Wednesday July 11th 2012 02:01:01 PM
Hello, I recently consolidated my student loans, and was hoping for a bit of advice on the best way to move forward. Background:I currently have just over $80,000 in private student loans at variable 3.5% interest rate. While this rate will hopefully stay this low, it will not go above 5.5% in the next 4.5 years (thank you Service-member's Civil Relief Act), but has the potential to go much higher once I leave the military. I also have just over $57,000 in federal student loans (law school is way too expensive), with a fixed interest rate of 4.625%. I have about $60,000 currently saved up, and will have an additional $75,000 or so by next summer. These two amounts combined would give me enough money to completely wipe out my student loan debt (which was my original plan before I reconsolidated at such a low rate on my private loans). The $60,000 includes a $25,000 emergency fund, but I have enough additional liquid cash, a stable job, and a good safety net (thank you Mom and Dad), that I'm not worried about using the whole fund (Please note that I have also been fortunate enough to be able to max out both my Thrift Savings Plan (401K) and my Roth IRA the past few years, and should be able to continue to do that regardless of the strategy I choose regarding my loans).I just enrolled in the Federal Government Loan forgiveness program (about 4 years late), and would benefit from VERY low Income based repayment (IBR) plan for the next few years thanks to a deployment which spanned the portions of the past two years and knocked my Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) to an obscenely low number. Even after I lose the VERY low AGI, thanks to all the tax free benefits of the military I would still have a relatively low payment for the next 2.5 years. At that point I will most likely get out of the military, and while there is a possibility I will get out of public service, it is likely I will find a civilian government job (thereby continuing with the loan forgiveness program). Getting out of the military would put me on the standard 10 year repayment plan that I would have been on all along had I not switched to the IBR. In the end, assuming I stayed in government service, but got out of the military, I would pay about $6000 dollars less in total on the federal loans ($51,000+), than the amount I owe today ($57,000+). If I were to get out of the public sector altogether, I would end up paying significantly more due to the large amount of interest that would accrue during these first few years.Potential Plan (and where I hoping for your invaluable input):Because the rates are currently so low on the private loans, I am considering making my minimum payments ($403 a month) on those loans for the time being. I would then take the $60,000 I currently have saved and pay off my Federal Loans in their entirety. Once the pay-off was complete, I would only have a monthly private loan payment of $403, as compared to the $1310 monthly payment I was making prior to my consolidation and the pay-off. I could then take the $900+ dollar difference and invest the money each month/rebuild my emergency fund. I could also invest the other $75,000 dollars I will accumulate by next summer. Then if the interest rates were ever to sky rocket on the private loans, I could just take the investment money and pay off a large chunk, if not all, of the private loans. In general I feel like I've thought this through pretty thoroughly, but I hate carrying all this debt, and something about paying off the public loans while keeping the private loans just seems wrong. Are there any reasons (besides the Forgiveness Program) to pay off the private loans over the federal loans, or would it be even better to just keep both and invest all of the money? It seems to intuitively make sense to keep both and invest, particularly when the public loans will be forgiven after 10 years, but because I will accrue so much interest by making such low payments at the beginning on the 10 years, I really have to be committed to staying 10 years in government service. If anything changes with that plan, it could end up costing me quite a bit more, and considering the direct benefit of paying off the loans today v. the approximate amount I will pay over the 10 years (again, only about $6000), I'm just not sure the risk is worth it. Does anyone else have any thoughts?I'm sorry for writing a book, but this issue has been "keeping me up at night," and I would really appreciate some second opinions.Thanks.
This arrived via email today, and the deal was actually incredibly good, so I thought I'd pass it along. (Note that this offer appears to require that you use an AMEX card. If you are able to get this deal using a different CC, please update the Wiki.)http://store.fijiwater.com/private/amex-summer-2012.html
Imagine the smooth taste of FIJI Water that you love, automatically delivered to your home or work every month. Sign up for a refreshingly convenient monthly delivery plan, and take 50% off the 1st month, plus 20% off subsequent months, when you use any American Express card.Enter Promo Code: AMEX50Offer expires 12/31/12. Savings valid on monthly recurring delivery plans only. 50% discount
good towards first month of delivery only, subsequent months will be charged at the starting rates of $29.95
(a 20% discount off of the retail price per case). No commitments. Cancel any time after your first month.Pricing works out to $14.97 Shipped per case (You can buy multiples) with FREE shipping at 50% off! There are two bottle sizes (more water) that come with a $10 surcharge that come out to $19.97 shipped. You can cancel at anytime after the first month, so you do not have to continue receiving water from Fiji Water. However, if you decide to continue receiving water, you will get 20% off per case from then on. At 20% off per case, this deal is better than Amazon's current sale price, so in my opinion if you drink this brand of water, this is a pretty Slick deal!Just for giggles, I put in 1,000 cases, and sure enough it took $14,000 off the regular price. For people with a C-Store, restaurant, or bar this could be a particularly attractive deal, as this price might beat your wholesale costs!
Single working professional needs advice on investing money saved
Added on : Friday July 06th 2012 01:00:46 AM
Hello - I am looking to get some opinions and creative ideas from fellow FWer's on how to invest my money. I have been a sitting on the sidelines accumulating cash for a while now.I am 28, single and work in an IT consulting firm in CA and am getting about $120k/yr
I have saved up about $250K in cash over the past 7 years of working.
I have absolutely no debt (no college loans, car payments etc)
I have minimal expenses (cell phone, car is paid for by the company) and my biggest item is $300 for rent (including utilities).
and I end up saving about $4500 a month (after 401K deductions of 6%, health insurance, state and federal tax, food, buying stuff for my hobbies, miscellaneous expenses etc.)My ultimate goal is to be able to generate a steady stream of passive income so I do not have to work full-time anymore.What should I do with my money? Let me know your thoughts and comments.
Close or Transfer Credit Card
Added on : Wednesday July 04th 2012 02:00:46 PM
Hello FWF.I'm looking for advice on whether or not it makes sense to close down an existing credit card.#1) I currently have a Chase United Mileage Plus Credit Card for over 8 years. I've had no late fees, nor carried any balances, and used it primarily to collect/accrue airline miles through standard purchases and bonuses.#2) This card carries an annual fee of about $60. #3) This is an older card, and I've recently received a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which costs a little more annually, but is the right card for me.#4) Since I have a newer card with better benefits, I am thinking about closing out the original credit card, but maybe not good from a credit score perspective. #5) Not sure it makes sense to give away "free money" annually just for the "benefit" of having a long standing credit card with no late payments.#6) Is there such a thing as keeping the old card "dormant"?#7) Since they are both from Chase, do they offer a type of "rollover" for credit history?#8) Any other ideas/suggestions?Thanks for your opinions.
My 21 year old cousin works in the construction field installing flooring. He has potential for upward movement, however they have put pressure on him to get a college degree. (Any bachelors degree). They've indicated the degree will make it much more likely to be moved up to certain positions. He wants to pursue a generic "business Management" degree because it would be one of the easiest ways to meet the qualification of "any degree".I may be biased because I didn't feel like a business management degree did anything for me. I started out majoring in "business management" and ended up doing a double major of finance / accounting to increase opportunities out of college. My opinion is that business management (generic degree) is typically a waste of one's time and money. A job that requires "any degree" is often a job you shouldn't be aiming for (I'm sure there will be exceptions for this with gov't jobs, or jobs that will be landed with your connections.) Could I be wrong about the value of a management degree, since he already has work experience? He should qualify for a lot of financial aid due to low income. (He made $20,000 which is higher than his single parent mother's income) - I helped him complete FAFSA and EFC was $0. But, I don't think this should keep him from looking at majors that will provide value. If it was about playing / partying that would be one thing, but I think he legitimately thinks this is going to help him.I realize this isn't a new topic on FW, as I frequently see the value of various college degrees analyzed on here. However we come from a stubborn family, so I really would appreciate anyone that wants to weigh in to this specific topic. If he listened to anyone, it would be me or perhaps the FW community (I believe I'm the first and only person in my family to get a college degree, and he respects me greatly.)
EVGA GTX 480 - Newegg - $199.99 shipped! No rebate!
Added on : Saturday June 23rd 2012 09:00:06 AM
In my opinion, right now this is the best deal for a video card, period. Get it while you can!http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130759Edit: Forgot to mention - free Duke Nukem Forever with purchase. Although this may sway some people to NOT purchase this card...lol
Newegg Coupons
Shopping variable (1-5%) foreign currency exchange fees at ATM's
Added on : Wednesday June 20th 2012 05:00:44 PM
For the international traveler using FOREIGN ATMs, one important variable is the foreign currency exchange fee (1-5%) charged by the bank supporting a particular machine. This would be separate from the ATM fee a particular location owner might charge ($5. for example) per use. This cost would also be separate from the, "Visa" type daily set rate of exchange. Also, I am not talking about foreign conversion fee (1-3%). The foreign currency exchange fee is "kind of a secret."Conversations on shopping for the lowest cost machine to use when say, arriving at a foreign airport are important. Discussing the wise buying of ATM machine services has been rather limited, and to the disadvantage of the consumer. Some have expressed the opinion, "just ask around." So, Have you found any resources to shed light on the subject? How do you experienced foreign ATM users select the "cheapest" machine in the area?
1. ~2002 Had a root canal procedure done on one tooth with Dentist-A
2. ~2007 (4-5 years later) i noticed some pain on the root canal tooth, and went to Dentist-B for a check up. Dentist-B 's diagnosis was the root canal was done properly which caused the inflammation.
3. a week later from #2, i went to Dentist-A for an explaination and reassurance. He took some x-rays and told me that I was fine and the root canal was done correctly. I was sent home with some ibuprofen and that kinda did the trick.
4. ~2012 went to orthodontist-C for a regular check up due to gum discomfort and question regarding invisible braces. He said the tooth with the root canal done before needs to be extracted due to root-infection (possibly the adjacent tooth too). The infection also caused significant bone loss on my jaw.
5. So orthodontist-C quoted ~$4000, for bone graft, and 2 implantswhat I have done so far:
Spoke to my insurance agent, he says most lawyers wont take my case because the amount is too little and it has been too long. If I insist on getting a lawyer, I would have to pay the lawyer ~5k to 10k in advance before they would take any action on my behalf with no guarantee.Took the X-rays & CT scan from orthodontist-C to another dentist for a second opinion. Same old same old.Questions: Do I have a case if I want to sue to Dentist A for the $4000?What kind of lawyer should I seek? If no lawyer willing to, what can I do? thanks. Other Facts:
Why didn't I go in for regular check-up more often? I have pretty healthy teeth besides that One with minimal plaques. I hate going to the dentist. Thank you for reading and the help.
MicroCenter: OCZ Synapse Cache drive (64GiB) for $50 AR
Added on : Friday June 15th 2012 07:00:02 PM
Microcenter is at it again and have a sale on their SSD.
Included in the sale is the OCZ Synapse.
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_...After reading multiple reviews, this seems like a great way to boost up speed on an older system.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/ocz-synapse-cache-ssd-review/16It's supposed to be transparent, easy to use and works on any computer (with Windows 7).
SSD space is only half of advertised (30GiB in that case) for reliability and durability.
For $70 + $20 rebate. This seems like a steal. Less than $1/GiB with the caching software.
I'll report how mine works in my system.Grab them while they are hot!PS: they also sell normal SSD for cheap if caching is not for you. The 128GiB version is still >$1/GiB so less interesting in my opinion...
Suing Political Opinions of America
Added on : Thursday June 14th 2012 02:00:47 PM
I'm sure many of you are getting the robocalls from "Sara at Political Opinions of America" purporting to be a political survey but which are, in fact, a pitch for selling cheap cruises to the Bahamas. These robocalls to cellphones are illegal under Texas law, where I am, and accrue a $500 per call fine ($1,500 in intent in calling the cell phone can be proved).No contact details on these guys on their website, but I have their lawyer's contact.What's my first step in trying to sue these guys for the $500 a pop violation?
Save on Airfare by taking Amtrak partway--my story in MSP
Added on : Saturday June 09th 2012 07:01:09 PM
I wanted to share what I recently learned, in case any of you are thinking about trying something similar. I needed to make a one way trip from St. Louis, MO to Minot, ND. Time was not really an issue for me.First, I booked a plane ticket out of St. Louis that stopped in Minneapolis - St. Paul. I got off at the MSP airport instead of proceeding to the next stop (sometimes you can find a cheaper ticket that way). However, you will need to rely on your carry-on bag alone and pray that your flight won't be cancelled and rebooked stopping somewhere else. At the airport, I really didn't know where to go, so I wandered. It just so happened that I wandered in the right direction and arrived at the underground Light Rail Station at the airport. In retrospect, I should have used a map like this one: http://www.mspairport.com/App_Themes/MSP/maps/img/maps/07_ht-L-l... .As you walk into the light rail station, there are electronic ticketing stations--where you can purchase a 6 hour "Event Pass" that is good for both bus and rail. It is actually sold every day, not just during events. Once you enter the light rail station, there are two tracks--one on the left and one on the right. The one on the left will take you where you need to go--towards "Downtown/Minneapolis". If you miss your train, it isn't a big deal, since they come every 15 minutes or so. Times are posted between the tracks.In order to cross the city to get to the Amtrak, I followed some simple, written directions I had jotted down from Google Maps ( http://goo.gl/maps/uTLN ), which told me that I could take the light rail (line 55) to bus route 16 to the Amtrak station. Light Rail route 55 was fun. It is fast, clean, and smooth. It is not as glamorous as the light rail line in St. Louis, though, in my opinion. Unfortunately, the 55 Rail was shut down just before my stop for construction. They simply de-boarded the train and made everyone go to a (slower) bus that stopped at each of the light rail tracks. Although inconvenient, the only cost was time.It is easy to find the right stop off of the the light rail...you get off at the Metrodome Station stop--which is actually at a platform just past the Metrodome. It is huge and impossible to miss. There is a short walk ( http://goo.gl/maps/gv3g ) , less than a block, down to a nearby bus stop. I took the stairs, but others took a nice-looking elevator down.The Metrodome platform is a cross route for many buses. You can search for the correct bus by looking on the electronic signs on the buses until you find one that says 16 & St. Paul on the sign. The Route 16 bus partly goes down university avenue. When getting on the bus, you simply scan your 6-hour pass in the machine. The bus driver helped me. It is a large bus with a joint in the middle to accommodate long turns. You won't want to sit in the back, like I did. Sit as close to the front as you can. It is impossible to see street signs from the back of the bus. Although the bus driver calls out all major stops, it is difficult to hear because there is no amplification. There is a small, inexpensive electronic sign in the front of the bus, but it is not used to announce stops.I was very fortunate that I didn't miss my stop. An elderly woman who was also going to the Amtrak station just happened to ask for a stop on the University & Cleveland Avenue intersection. By this time I had moved to the front of the bus, so I could see the street sign. Don't expect any help from others riding the bus. While the light rail riders were familiar with the different stations, the bus riders were not terribly familiar with the bus stops. I would recommend getting off at Vandalia St. instead. It is only one and a half blocks prior to the Cleveland stop. Vandalia is a major stop that a number of the other riders used. If you get off at Vandalia, cross University right away to avoid the construction further down and so you can stop at the Subway, or, if you prefer, the McDonald's (a little further back). I got two subs--one for dinner and the veggie one for breakfast on the train. If you ride the 16 bus past your Cleveland stop, you can get off on the Snelling intersection in order to visit Rainbow Foods. One might even walk or take the bus down there while waiting for the train ( http://goo.gl/maps/rL2J ) . That way you can eat on the train w/out paying high prices.After getting off the bus, it is easy to walk to the Amtrak station. Simply cross University Ave. A little past the Subway there is an SPI Printing and Graphics building on the corner. This is the intersection between Cleveland and University. However, the portion of Cleveland that you want to walk down is not called Cleveland--it becomes Transfer Road. By taking a right past the SPI Printing building you can walk down Transfer Rd. Although it looks kind of industrial there is a sidewalk for the 0.2 miles to the Amtrak.Waiting for the train was okay. The station was pretty empty, but it filled up fast before the train. If you want to drop your carry-on bags off at the counter so you can roam the city while you wait, they will charge you $3. I just hid mine under some of the cheap-but-comfortable plastic chairs and went for a short jog while waiting. Since the station was empty, I wasn't afraid of theft. I got some work done on my laptop, but there was no internet at the MSP Amtrak station. If you have a longer period of time between getting off at the MSP Airport and the departure time for the Empire Builder, I would recommend hanging out at the MSP airport where there is free Wi-Fi everywhere.I enjoyed my ride on the Empire Builder. It came on time at 11:15 PM. Although I sat down in an empty two-seat section, another rider had to sit next to me. I noticed some oil workers coming back from their breaks. They get off at Minot, & Williston. We were delayed by about an hour and a half while waiting for a freight train.In the morning I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep--especially with all the loud calls over the intercom announcing when people could come to sit at their tables. If sleep is a priority for you--get the roomette. I really enjoyed the observation car. I chatted with a friendly man who lived out in the mountains in NY.The Minot station was utterly destroyed by the flood last summer (I was there and it was unbelievable. Much of the city was destroyed.). They have fixed up only a small area, but are making quick progress on the rest of the station. The station is centrally located, so I walked to the MSU campus, but one could also call a cab--they have a phone book at the window you can borrow.A few lessons I learned about this kind of trip:First: 1. Attempt a connection during anticipated "decent" climate conditions. You don't want to fly with heavy winter gear--but you certainly don't want to walk or wait around the Twin Cities or North Dakota without it. The Twin Cities bus stops actually have small glass chambers with heat lamps on them.Second: I really should have brought a GPS, or at the very least, a map of the Twin Cities. Watching a GPS makes finding your bus/train stop much easier. Although relying on street signs worked for me, it would have been easy to get lost on the Route 16 bus.Third: Don't worry about the times for train or bus. They run every 15 minutes, so just wait until the next one comes.Fourth: Make sure you pack the type of carry-ons you don't mind walking with. For me, I packed a bit heavy out of necessity, but I could handle it. I am glad I didn't pack any more.Fifth: This is a great way to save money:Cost:Air Ticket: Delta, STL to MSP to MIL: $90.60 from a discount carrier website. MSP is a hub for Delta, so many of their flights stop or take off there.
Six Hour Pass for the Twin Cities transit system: $3.50
Train Ticket: booked a few days in advance, Empire Builder from MSP to Minot, ND $63
Subway: $10 for two footers, plus taxTotal: Just under $168, compared to $518 to fly between St. Louis and Minot.
I'm in Michigan and probably filing a hail damage claim with homeowners insurance for my roof. I've had one contractor say that he cannot do any "price breaks" on upgrades or the deductible because that would be insurance fraud. He seems pretty convinced of this and claims to have talked to adjusters from multiple insurance companies about it. I think he does believe this and isn't just saying it because he doesn't want to take less money, but I can't be sure. He isn't able to cite any specific laws but says it just falls under the umbrella of "insurance fraud".On the other hand, I've had another contractor insist that this is perfectly legal in Michigan though illegal in some other states. He also seems to fully believe this and isn't saying that it's overlooked with a wink but is in fact completely legal in Michigan.I do intend to ask a Prepaid Legal lawyer, but also wanted to get opinions from people here.Note that I do understand why price breaks /can/ be considered insurance fraud (insurance company should be getting the discount not me), just wondering whether it legally is fraud in Michigan because I know in some instances that sort of thing isn't legally fraud (for example every windshield replacement company around here waives deductibles).Thanks!
Lenovo Ideapad U400 @ $499
Added on : Wednesday June 06th 2012 05:00:02 PM
Yeah, warm at best.I would've jumped in if I could upgrade the memory, but it seems changing the memory or HDD is almost impossible to avoid damaging, according to YouTube video.I wanted to get some second opinion. Is i3 with 4gb memory enough for high internet usage (20-30 tabs open) while watching video? (Wife shopping while watching video....
Lenovo Ideapad U400 Intel Core i3-2330M 2.2GHz 14in Laptop (4.4lbs & 0.89in Thin!) $499.99 Lenovo has the sleek & thin Lenovo Ideapad U400 Intel Core i3-2330M Dual-Core Sandy Bridge 14" Notebook Computer for a low $499.99 Free Shipping after Coupon Code: "USPU4280531" (Exp Soon). Tax in most. [Compare Prices]
This laptop has looks, portability and power. Constructed from a one-piece aluminum shell and measuring a 0.89" height and only 4.4lbs. Features nice 6 to 7-hour battery and a nice large glass trackpad. 4.4lbs & 0.89"; 14" 1366x768; Intel Core i3-2330M 2.2GHz Dual-Core Sandy Bridge; 4GB RAM; 500GB HDD; 802.11n + bluetooth; Windows 7 Home Premium; AMD Radeon HD 6470M 1GB; HDMI; 4-cell 6hr battery; glass trackpad; 1yr warranty
From Techbargains
iCache Geode Digital Wallet
Added on : Tuesday June 05th 2012 09:00:48 AM
I'd love to hear FWF's opinion on this product:http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/01/icache-geode-now-available/Anyone think this is really a viable product that could potentially attain widespread adoption? Anyone trust the company enough to allow fingerprint and financial info storage?
iChache Geode Digital Wallet
Added on : Friday June 01st 2012 09:00:43 PM
I'd love to hear FWF's opinion on this product:http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/01/icache-geode-now-available/Anyone think this is really a viable product that could potentially attain widespread adoption? Anyone trust the company enough to allow fingerprint and financial info storage?
Ken Zahn Review for CFP Exam
Added on : Friday June 01st 2012 09:00:58 AM
Please take a minute to read this entire post. I know its long, but it will help anyone considering taking the CFP exam. I took the CFP exam last year and failed. I took it again this past March and passed. As part of my preparations, I took the Zahn CFP review, which was recommended to me by a colleague. I wanted to pass along feedback about my review experience. Often times you hear or read testimonials or recommendations, which are based on opinion and not fact. I wanted to provide feedback, based on facts. I took the Zahn CFP review course and my overall opinion is that students should beware of the Zahn review. There are three main problems with the review. #1 - During the review he gives a false sense of confidence that he knows whats on the exam and it just wasnt true. There were plenty of times he would say, this will be tested and it wasnt or this wont be tested and it was tested. #2 The no free repeat policy should make anyone question why you would take a review from a company that doesnt guarantee results. #3 - The materials and database are totally inadequate to prepare for the exam. The CFP exam questions are long, with 4-5 sentences in the question stem. Zahns questions are just the opposite. Here are some examples:Lame Zahn Database Questions:
What is DNI?
What is a simple trust?
What is a marital trust?
What is a totten trust?I never saw a question on the exam that was 5 words or less. There were plenty of questions that were 4-5 sentences long, but not 4-5 words.Poorly Written Questions:
When will the spouse qualify for the unlimited marital deduction?Are you asking about a citizen spouse or non-citizen spouse? Which spouse? The deceased spouse or the living spouse? What does when mean? Are you asking about the property to qualify for UMD?
Which of the following is true?
A. It is better to pay the "kiddie" tax than trust tax rates if the taxable income is $2,000.
B. It is better to pay trust tax rates than the "kiddie tax" if the taxable income is $2,000.
C. Neither A or B is correct because it depends on the parents marginal tax bracket.
D. PuntThis is a true/false question. There are zero true/false questions on the exam. This is also an example of a lazy question. Answer choice D is punt. Thats a lazy question writer who doesnt care about their materials. The Zahn review actually charge their customers for this nonsense!Two Directly Opposite Statements Asserting both are True in the Explanation:
Answer explanation to a question regarding a simple trust: A simple trust requires that all income must be distributed. The trust is treated as a separate tax entity subject to a $300 personal exemption.
Answer explanation to another question regarding a simple trust: The trust does get a $300 personal exemption. The simple trust is not considered a separate tax entity...Well which is it? Is it a separate tax entity or not? There are plenty of other examples as well.There are a Limited Number of Practice Questions in the Database:
200 questions per subject
No mini cases
No cases at allThe exam had about 12 mini cases, 3 major cases on the November exam and 2 major cases on the March exam.Overall Assessment
The problem is if you score well on Zahns database of questions, you are simply getting a false sense of security about your depth of knowledge. Many of the questions are poorly written and few simulate CFP exam questions, which tend to have long stems, difficult answer choices and tend to be of a cognitive level above simple knowledge. For most students, practice questions with strong answer choice selections that are incorrect are important in the learning process. Zahns answer choice selections are obvious which answers are incorrect, like the punt example. Most of Zahns questions are at the knowledge level, not application, evaluation or synthesis. I cannot recommend the Zahn review given my experience with the instruction, no free repeat policy and poor materials and database.By the way, What is DNI? Do Not Invest Time or Money with Zahn!
Private company investment, dilemma and opinions sought
Added on : Monday May 28th 2012 11:00:47 AM
Happy Memorial Day everyone, let me get to the facts:There is an opportunity for me to invest into an already running private tech company (corporation). I will keep all pertinent things I need to anonymous (obviously.)1. Company is 4 years old, started with 2-3 employees in a basement, moved to a 2000sq office with 14 employees, now has 38 employees in a 5500 sq office. Plans to add 40 more jobs in next 2 years.
2. Company's board of directors are all 35-65 in age with extensive successful experience.
3. Company has received a 2 million $ 9 year loan from the city (company does not plan to move to Silicon Valley etc, it wishes to stay.)
4. Company has received 400k seed money last year from 2 VC firms.
5. Company has signed a deal with a major Fortune 500 in the last year, as well as a smaller area business in as different state to provide its services.My friend and his family were one of the first accredited Angel investors (and my friend is going to be engaged to his son soon) and this is how I got to know of the investment. I met with a board member for 3 hours and they answered my questions very thoroughly. However, my one major hiccup was this: The board member is selling off a portion of their personal shares to us.Now when I was talking to this person, this was the only question I didn't quite get the warm and fuzzy feeling on. They said they were selling some of their stake because "I'm in a unique position in time to sell some of my stake to better help the business, myself, and you." The company has (changing numbers to keep anonymity) 8 million shares at 3$ each. All directors and investors have the same common shares, no preferred etc. I asked "Why are we not buying some outstanding shares; why are we buying YOUR shares?" Again, this person seemed clueless until I showed them public companies in which directors dump their shares while they were worth something. The director indicated this is not the case. They said "Because of who I am, I have a small window where I can liquidate some of my shares for the greater good of everyone (more or less.)" My thinking was this: The cash needed in a timely fashion is still a big roadblock. Selling your shares offers no advantage to yourself unless you think the company has stagnated. If you think company will take off, sitting on your shares seems like a no brainer. If you think company is leveling off/wont be bought out, selling your shares is only advantageous to yourself by selling a stagnant and illiquid stock (not personal to [company], but any private company. If have lots of friends/aquaintances who are wealthy and you need fast cash, why not skip all this and ask for a loan?"I talked to my friend who is already invested and will be investing more, and this person said "The director obviously needs money for something. They did not tell me why either. Frankly, I do not care. If I am getting common shares for money given, that is all I care about." After playing devil's advocate for awhile, it seemed as if my friend and the family were brainwashed into thinking this was a no fail investment. The company plans to get bought out eventually for their extremely tailored service which should be appealing to a larger firm. However, I am skeptical because in the chain of events from initial investment -----> cashing out and everyone walking away rich, there are a lot of roadblocks. VC share dilution, bankruptcy, scamming, never getting bought out, etc.... Sometimes I feel they are throwing away good money after bad, but I could be wrong.The director also told me of a handful of patents that they sent out, a couple have been issued thus far (allegedly of course.) Now, I went to the patent search box for the USA and saw nothing when I searched for any query (directors, company name, etc). However, I did find trademarks issued. I don't know if the director knew exactly he was referring to trademarks, because that is what I found. The director texted me saying "Each one of the patents are clearly around a seperate aspect of the Company. Our attorneys have reviewed IP heavily over the past months."FWIW my investment would be 15-20% of my net worth, if I decide to. I would also be under the umbrella of my friends' family with a seperate contract with them, since I am not accredited, and that would be a whole 'nother issue (I do trust this family life and limb though.)Thoughts? I will try to add more info to this that's needed if I think of it.
Saw this deal at Amazon, good price in my opinion.
Amazon Coupons
Being an Ownerbuilder - new residential construction
Added on : Saturday May 26th 2012 08:51:06 PM
Hello All,I plan to start the process of owner building a house acting as a general contractor and contracting out the individual tasks one by one. I know it will involve a lot of time, energy & effort but I hope it will be save me lot of $'s.I highly value the opinion of the experienced & knowledgeable people on this forum and would appreciate the feedback from people who have gone through this process and their suggestions.I hope to keep updating this topic on a regular basis as I move along in the process.------
Lot has been purchased and it is ready for building. Starting to get in touch with architects about building plans. Fees for architects are quite high.
Best deal i've seen in a while on GOOD climbing shoes..$49 for 5.10 Supermoccs, like the original moccasyms - better heel, more sensitive sole, new rubber.. SIZE 8 and UP
http://www.campsaver.com/supermocc-climbing-shoes-men-s$54 for Evolv Pontas Velcros. ALL SIZES
http://www.campsaver.com/pontas-climbing-shoe-men-suse 10% off code "outlet10"
as the code implies this is for 10% extra off outlet items.both great shoes - supermoccs are very very sensitive and built specifically for crack but just like the originals (except with better heels) supermoccs can be a great all arounder if sized right... pontas are evolvs performance sport shoe but can be used for everything too.recommend sizing
supermoccs like original moccasyms, maybe half size larger than original moccs. They are leather so plenty of stretch. I am 10.5 street shoe, have 8.5 supermoccs and can wear these on a 50ft vertical/slight overhanging route no problem. - but i like shoes tight.
For newbies, realize that buying shoes online is not always the best choice. For supermoccs - best to go 0-1 size down from street shoe depending on what you think you will be comfy in. can you handle pain lots of pain and willing to suffer pain for marginal performance? you can probably go 2 or even 3 sizes down. Pontas - I don't own these but have worn many evolvs - I understand these to be just slightly tighter than defys and other evolvs (which are fairly consistent in sizing across the board) the tightness is in my opinion due to the higher performance(slightly more agressive) nature of the shoe, and not an inconsistency. I like em tight and get evolvs 1 size down. most experienced climbers i know will go 0.5 for an nice fit. These are synthetic like all evolvs so it wont stretch (and yes will stink like all evolvs if you have stinky feet. and probably even if you dont..)
Newbies here should go 0 - 0.5 down from street. again tough if you don't know your sizes.. but best deal ive seen for all sizes lately - will probably disappear fast.There are a few other shoes that are good deals too, but these two are the best by far. Evolv defys are also same price as the pontas. They are evolv's basic entry-level-but-still-performance shoe - very popular for all around use among beginners and experienced climbers alike. May be more appropriate for beginners than Pontas - but the pontas are by no means too agressive shoe for beginner all around use..keep climbing.
Boingo Overseas?
Added on : Saturday May 19th 2012 03:00:34 AM
We're heading to Europe in June (Spain and then Paris) and are looking at our cell phone options. We have an iPhone 4s, unlocked on the Verizon network, and I know we can grab a local sim but even that way data is a little expensive. We don't really care too much about making calls and, if we wanted to, we could always use our Ooma account or Skype or something like that.I was looking at Boingo but have read great and horrible reviews of them. Their hotspot plan is only $9.95/month and it looks as though they've go a bunch of place near where we'll be. (Plus we can always just use the wifi in our hotels at night.)Anyone every use Boingo? Got an opinion? Also, if you recommend a local sim for data, anyone actually use a specific model in an iPhone 4s and like it?Thanks for your help,stu
Zecco and Tradeking to merge
Added on : Tuesday May 15th 2012 03:11:04 PM
More of a FYI if you didn't check your email already:https://www.zecco.com/c/zecco-tradeking-merger-questions.aspxWhy have Zecco and TradeKing chosen to merge?

TradeKing and Zecco share many strengths and very similar philosophies and cultures. Both firms have worked hard to deliver on values such as transparency, accountability, and making sure investors get a square deal and have a place where they can feel free to share ideas and opinions on investing.

By joining forces we aim to deliver all of this and more, and continue to challenge the business-as-usual approach of the current major players. Well challenge them by relentlessly pursuing better service, innovative products and superior tools all at our signature low and transparent pricing.
I received a CP12 from the IRS stating that I had made a mistake when calculating my taxes. I had claimed a refund of 'x' dollars and now I am getting back 'x+y' dollars. I am expected to get more than I expected.What do you advice is the course of action in this matter. Do I need to call them and ask/say anything or just wait for the check to arrive ?Thank you for your opinions. And please be serious with your responses.RRS
I am in a bit of a dilemma with Bank of America. This post is rather long as I did not refrain from adding excessive detail. I hadn't used my BoA. Checking account for several months. I ended up making two cash deposits into my forced closed account (didn't know at the time) recently due to being misled by BoA's crappy CS rep. BoA won't give me all my money back sooner than 10 business days or straight up admit that this is their fault and expedite their services. I will be traveling to another country for two months and NEED the money back for expenses. Otherwise I wouldn't mind waiting for it so much. Of course, BoA doesn't seem to care. This is what has happened so far: On April 10, 2012 I called BoA's customer service number and spoke to a rep to ask about my account balance and also to reset my online passcode. The rep assured me that my account balance was $0.00 and still active. She then assisted me in resetting my passcode. From this conversation, I rightfully assumed that my account was in good standing and ready to use. On May 2, 2012 I made a cash deposit of $860 at a BoA ATM on the way back home from school. The ATM accepted my debit card, accurately counted all of the bills and issued a receipt for the deposit. The next day, I made another cash deposit of $800 at the same BoA ATM. Again, the ATM accepted my debit card, accurately counted all of the bills and issued a receipt for the deposit. I noticed that my balance was still $0.00, and even though it was probably too soon to assume it was a bank error, I called customer service anyway to inquire on this. The customer service rep I spoke to stated that my account had been FORCED CLOSED on APRIL 10, 2012 "probably" due to an overdrawn balance. She said that was all she could tell me because information on my account was limited so she transferred me to the "California" office for further assistance. The rep for "California" pretty much told me the same thing and that there was nothing he could do. He advised me to call the Recovery Unit the next day and/or go into the branch I had made the ATM deposits. I was livid- why did the ATM accept deposits for a forced closed account? Why was I given false information? If I had known that my account was negative, I would have immediately replenished the account with funds. Then I wouldn't have been in this situation. SO, the next day I went into the branch and was told by a teller and his rude manager that I would receive a cashier's check in 10 business days for the deposited amount(s). They refused to make any phone calls or thoroughly look into my account. I explained to the manager that I will be traveling overseas in 10 days. The manager was very edgy and yelled "I CAN'T GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY!!!" to me. Immediately after I exited the branch, I phoned the Recovery Unit. The rep I spoke to also refused to look into my account and told me the same 10 business days for a cashier's check crap. I demanded to speak to a higher up. She transferred me to CUSTOMER SERVICE, which has less control on the situation. I had to reiterate the entire situation to the CS rep who then transferred me back to the Recovery Unit but on this occasion the rep I spoke to actually seemed interested in helping me. She took responsibility and waived the overdraft fee to boost my chances of having my account reactivated for the recovered funds. She advised me to file a claim with the Electronic Claims Services department and transferred me to them. After being put on hold for 15 minutes, I was redirected to CUSTOMER SERVICE. I demanded to be transferred to Electronic Claims Services, but the CS rep I was speaking to wanted me to reiterate the entire situation to her so that she could take matters into her own hands. Even though I explained to her that there was absolutely nothing she could do, she insistently pushed for details. After she realized that she was useless, she transferred me to her supervisor who I had to reiterate the situation to again. FINALLY, he transferred me to the Electronic Claims Services department. The rep I spoke to from there assisted me in filing a claim to recover the ATM cash deposits and requested that I fax over the ATM receipts. She suggested that I go into my local branch to speak to the manager and reactivate my checking account so that the recovered funds could be directly credited. After that 2 hour phone conversation, I went into my local branch and the manager was very helpful and reactivated the account. She also had me purchase a cashier's check to cover the negative balance which she said she would mail to the Recovery Unit. I felt better after this, but called the Electronic Claims Services department a couple hours later just to check on the fax retrieval and claim status. The rep I spoke to reprimanded me for reactivating my forced closed account. She said forced closed accounts are never reactivated and recovered funds always need to be deposited into a newly opened account instead. She called the branch manager I had dealt with earlier to verify all this. After that she informed me that they have decided to make an exception and that she has sent out an urgent request to the investigator to credit the funds into the forced closed account. She said it may take two business days for the investigator to get the message and that the investigator has to physically go to the involved ATM to verify the cash surplus. Later that evening, my online checking account information was accessible again and reflected a balance of $800. It has been two business days and there have been no other credits- I am still missing the $860. Has anybody else had any experience with something like this? I'm going to call BoA tomorrow but am curious as to what your opinions on the situation are.What should I do? I am so exhausted from dealing with BoA! It is s