Fatwallet.com Finance Our Mission - Serve consumers with knowledge, value and guidance. http://www.fatwallet.comhttp://www.fatwallet.com/rss_tv.php?c=52FatWallet.comhttp://www.fatwallet.com <![CDATA[Health Insurance just for accidents/emergency room visits?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379128/ Rating: 0 Posted By: Bizatch
Views: 155 Replies: 3

Currently have a high deductible health plan with a $10k deductible. I'm a married man with 2 young boys. I'm guessing that one of the most likely ways I get hit with a $10k bill is if one of our family members has some type of injury and needs to go to the emergency room.

Is it possible to get a supplemental health insurance policy that JUST covers accidents/emergency room visits? It would only need a $10k limit, as my regular HDHP would pay 100% after that. Can this be attained at a reasonable cost? Is it worth getting?

Question Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379128/ Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:13:48 -0500
<![CDATA[$125 Sun Trust new account offer]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379121/ Rating: 3 Posted By: phil4444
Views: 307 Replies: 1

Stumbled across this....


To qualify for the $125 promotional incentive, a new Everyday Checking account must be opened via the above "Open Now" link or by entering the promo code Summer14Everyday in the SunTrust online application in the New Account Center and then having a single qualifying Direct Deposit of $1,000 or more deposited into the Everyday Checking account within 60 days of account opening. A qualifying Direct Deposit is a Direct Deposit of your salary, pension, Social Security, or other regular monthly income electronically deposited into your account by your employer or an outside agency. Your Everyday Checking account must remain open when the reward is processed in order for you to receive the $125 reward, which will be credited to the Everyday Checking account within 8 weeks after the qualifying direct deposit is made. SunTrust clients who already have a personal checking account with SunTrust (as a primary or secondary account holder) are not eligible for this promotion. SunTrust clients who closed a personal checking account within 30 days of the promotion start date will not be eligible for the $125 promotional incentive. The offer is only available online. The offer is non-transferable and may not be combined with any other offers. Offer subject to change and may be discontinued at any time. Limit to one per household.3SunTrust Mobile Deposit is available for iPhone and Android Mobile Apps and iPad and Android Tablet Apps - only for use in the United States and its territories.4SunTrust does not charge a fee for the use of SunTrust Mobile Banking or Tablet Banking. If you do not already have a data plan with your wireless service provider, normal data rates will apply. A SunTrust Online Banking account is required to enroll in any of the Mobile and Tablet Banking servicesSunTrust Bank, Member FDIC 2014 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SunTrust is a federally registered service mark of SunTrust Banks, Inc. How can we help you shine? is a service mark of SunTrust Banks, Inc.

Deposits Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379121/ Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:48:25 -0500
<![CDATA[How to be qualified for Medicare with no payments?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379095/ Rating: 1 Posted By: fleetwoodmac
Views: 356 Replies: 11

I met this elderly woman who migrated to US 1996 and got her citizenship in 2005 or 2006. But she never worked in the US ever. She stays with her son.

Now she has medicare and she says she does not pay for medicare no monthly fees ever.

She is 82 years old now.

How is it possible to get medicare if you never paid for it in the first place? Is there some way that I am not aware of?

General Economics Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379095/ Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:29:20 -0500
<![CDATA[Slimy pop-up from Paypal for paying w/Credit card]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379087/ Rating: -16 Posted By: yurgreat
Views: 452 Replies: 4

when you pay with paypal, it defaults to your bank acct.
the only other option on that page is Bill-me-later.

You have to click to a different page to select credit card. (and I think this is also slimy too.)
There's no way to default to your credit card.

but Paypal has gone to a new low.
there's now a pop-up when you select credit card:

"Save money when you pay with your bank account:
If you use a credit card to pay for your international purchase, your card issuer might charge you a fee (typically up to 3% of your purchase amount). That's about $1.35 USD for this purchase. Use your bank account and you won't have to pay this fee."

get charged 3%?!?! WTF sleezeballs!?!
my credit card gives me 2%

hm.. International? the website I bought from used US dollars. dontthink they're overseas??
anyway, Should not be any different from buying from China suppliers that use US dollars?

Discussion Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379087/ Fri, 25 Jul 2014 08:51:25 -0500
<![CDATA[ Fund manager: Random stock picking will beat S&P]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379075/ Rating: 0 Posted By: RisingSun361
Views: 375 Replies: 4

Investing Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379075/ Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:24:56 -0500
<![CDATA[How to maximize rewards from this situation? (or get any at all)]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379060/ Rating: 0 Posted By: evercl92
Views: 465 Replies: 4

I bought house #2 with a HELOC on my first house($50k ish). I also have a vehicle loan through the same bank ($16k ish). I'm selling house #2 shortly and had planned to pay onto both of these pretty heavy (thus the hopeful potential of a lot of bonus rewards). I checked with DiscoverCard and Chase (my account is showing offers for 0% transfers), to see if I a balance transfer or cash advance counted toward getting reward points. Both said that they didn't give points for those.

That said, is it typical for a bank to accept a credit card payment ? Any other options to get some bonus out of this?

Credit Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379060/ Fri, 25 Jul 2014 04:50:08 -0500
<![CDATA[Maximum Time To Issue Refund]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379050/ Rating: 1 Posted By: Airking21
Views: 841 Replies: 6

Hey guys and gals, new here and recently found myself in a bad situation regarding getting credited for a refund. Hope someone can give me some advice or guidance on what I should do next. I know there are probably laws out there to help someone like me but I can't find anything specific. I recently had a charge go bad where the merchant was doing a terrible job with a service, sloppy with their work and were impossible to get on the phone. I was losing time and more money cleaning up their mistakes. Luckily I got the service canceled (in writing) and they agreed to issue a refund (in writing) but are telling me I have to wait 30 days before they submit the refund (this is not and does not include processing time). I paid with a credit card and know a little about my time limits to request a charge back (60 days I think). I'm uneasy about giving the company 30 days to issue the refund because I have never had an issue like this before where it would take so long to even put the request in, and two it puts me really close to my 60 day window for a chargeback if I wait. The amount in question is a couple $1k's. Any advice on what is an acceptable time for a company to issue a refund, is 30 days excessive? I know sometimes they say wait 7-10 business days for it to show up on your statement, but that is usually after they issued the refund and that is not what is happening here. The company mentions a "money back guarantee" on their site but does not describe their cancellation or refunds process, nor do they describe the money back guarantee in any detail other than those words. The receipt I was emailed doesn't mention much other than transaction date/time, customer name, address and email, and total amount. I feel like I'm being lead on and don't want to get burned.

This USA.gov article mentions 7 days to issue a refund, but that is for physical items and says another rule applies to services (which is my case) but doesn't say which rule that is or where to look for it:

I placed the order over the phone and the company is in a different state.

Any advice on what my next steps are/should be?

Question Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379050/ Fri, 25 Jul 2014 02:58:44 -0500
<![CDATA[How to manage this CC debt? Any 0% APR offers?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379016/ Rating: 0 Posted By: rza1
Views: 707 Replies: 12

I racked up $7500 in CC debt after a history of carrying no debt. It was from a combination of necessary purchases, required deposit costs, etc.

I don't want to open another CC card as I already have 4 (AMEX Blue, AMEX Blue Cash, BoA Visa Signature, & Fidelity AMEX). I owe the $7500 on my BoA Visa while the rest are at 0. I am paying about $80 in monthly interest charge. I am not going to be able to work until next year and need to manage this somehow. Is the best option to open a new CC with a 0% APR offer and balance transfer there? Any promotions to be aware of?

Question Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379016/ Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:03:31 -0500
<![CDATA[May be targeted - US Bank LinuxFund Visa 2500 bonus points for 3 purchases totalling $300+]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379000/ Rating: 1 Posted By: curtster
Views: 417 Replies: 2

I just found this buried in the "Important Messages" section on Page 2 of my July statement:

Use your U.S. Bank Visa Card to make at least 3 net purchases totaling $300 or more between now and
September 30, 2014, and earn 2,500 bonus points. Reward redemption starts at just 1,500 points! See
insert for details.

It isn't a whole lot but 25 extra bucks is 25 extra bucks. My electronic statement doesn't include the referenced insert - does someone who gets paper statements have the insert from which they can post the details? Does anyone else even have this card?

Deposits Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1379000/ Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:25:58 -0500
<![CDATA[How to Pick a Mutual Fund (or Funds)]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378989/ Rating: 0 Posted By: hurricanedarby
Views: 427 Replies: 13

Hello all! I've been investing in mutual funds for about 1.5 years now. I started with JP Morgan Chase but I read a bit more into the percentages and realized their costs were too high. I then used Future Advisor which recommended going with Vanguard which I switched too about 3 months ago. The fund appears to be doing well; are there any other tips or places I should be looking for mutual fund advice? Thanks!

Question Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378989/ Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:47:32 -0500
<![CDATA[New Tutorial: Shopping for Life Insurance]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378970/ Rating: 16 Posted By: dshibb
Views: 982 Replies: 3

Carryover from discussion elsewhere and big thanks to RBirns who referenced the last important piece to put this strategy together.

Today when you buy insurance from any independent agent out there (whether if they're life only, life and securities, etc.) you don't really realize it, but you're actually working with a small number of insurance brokerage wholesale operations in the US. They process all of the cases, give all of the insurance advice to the agents(in most cases), deal with the insurance carriers, handle contracting, etc. All the agent does is turn it over to them right away: client --> agent --> life brokerage --> carrier.

Now these life brokerage firms go by several different names, but they essentially mean the same thing: Insurance Marketing Organization (IMO), Field Marketing Organization (FMO), Broker General Agent (BGA), and Managing General Agent (MGA) are all insurance life brokerage agencies. They are all in the business of providing back end support to those with insurance licenses and their segment effectively dominates the insurance industry as practically every agent uses them and almost every carrier sells through them.

This also means that a very small number of insurance firms are actually at the epicenter of all insurance information. The people that work at them know the most knowledgeable insurance agents in very large networks, they have staff that are on a first name basis with the underwriters/case managers at many insurance carriers, out of sheer volume they've processed they know all the health related and process related quirks at the different insurance carriers, etc. They are also much more likely than retail agents to post their carrier list on their website so you can check quickly what carriers any agent that uses them has access to.

For the first time(I think anywhere online) I'm actually suggesting that customers (not agents) call these firms directly for referral or better yet if there is someone at their offices that will do personal production on the side then just use them since you'd likely get more efficient processing than going any other route.

The new method:

Step 1: (assuming term): Go to term4sale.com for quotes from the largest term insurance public aggregator

Step 2: (thanks to RBirns): Go tohttp://nailba.org/,click "Membership", and "Member Search". Pick your state (or potentially near by state(s) and click "apply". You will see a surprisingly small number of firms listed for an entire state. That is likely at least 50% if not 75% of the life brokerages in that state (not all pay for membership apparently).

Step 3: Go to each companies website where you will see information targeted not to attract insurance customers, but to attract agents. And usually there is a place on the website to view their carrier list and typically if there isn't you should be able to find the parent firm somewhere on their website (Crump, CPS, Brokers Alliance, LifeMark, Partners Advantage, Dunhill, etc. that are the national life brokerage firms). From there you can compare the best term results from term4sale.com with the carrier list they have on their website. You also may be able to pick up certain details about the types of agents that would pick such a place to handle their backroom. Do they mention having their own underwriters on staff? Do they provide support for advanced markets cases(that is code for they have smart people on staff)? Do they have template medical questionnaires on their website(if you have health issues that is a pretty good sign that they actively try to screen carriers based on how they look at particular health issues)? Do they mention "informal underwriting" on their website or mention that they order parameds on their website (valuable if you have health issues and you're above certain medium sized premium thresholds--think like $1.5-2+ million term insurance).

Step 4: Once you've picked out a couple life brokerage firms that seem appealing call them directly. Since this has never been done in mass before I can't attest to how this is going to go in every case, but I think it should work just fine. Just to make sure you don't get odd responses I would say/do one of the following:
--Look up on their website to see if there is a list of names/titles, etc. and if any of them say "wholesaler", "marketing", "sales support", or something like that then just ask for that person.
--"Hi do you have a wholesaler available right now by any chance?"
--"Hi can I get sales support, please?"

If you just say you're a customer and not an agent to the first person that picks up it's possible a receptionist could say something dumb like "we only work with agents here not customers."

Wait until you have a wholesaler on the phone to explain you're a life insurance customer "and that it was suggested to call a life brokerage directly since they're the ones that know the business the best and know everybody. So if anybody at your office is interested in processing a personal production term case(or whatever product you're interested in) that would be great otherwise I can take a referral to one of your agents who you think is [state desired quality such as easiest to work with, most knowledgeable, least pushy, etc.]. Most life brokerage wholesalers probably work with at least 150 insurance agents so their networks are pretty wide and that is just 1 wholesaler at 1 of these firms. If they have 4 wholesalers than that little office probably has at least 600 around the country.

A few additional points. If you are:
1) A normal small term case without any known health issues: You're probably looking for signals on their website of good case management at the firm. For you the best possible situation is to probably land someone at the office to take your case on the side. Why? Because the guy/gal is probably only one cube over from the case manager that processes everything and this is likely a nice little bonus commission to a person that either is salaried or doesn't make much override commission on each wholesale(as opposed to retail) case run through. This means that you're case will probably process in record time because it'll be the wholesaler's #1 priority who will probably bother the case manager daily about having everything go through as fast and smooth as possible.

2) A larger term case with known health issues:You're looking for references to informal underwriting or "ordering their own parameds" on their website. If they mention that it means they will in certain cases take possession of the health records. If they do that then that means they have the capacity to submit them informally to a bunch of carriers and get health classes/ratings back from each of the carriers. If you have health classes/ratings from carriers than you no longer have just "quotes" you have the actual end prices. Then they can compare the best end prices and have the client resubmit an app one more time to the carrier that gave the best price and they take the records and paramed from the first application (to somewhere else) and submit that to this carrier for very quick turnaround. The nice thing being that you don't have to do underwriting/physical/etc. a second time.

An analogy of this would be applying to ABC bank and getting one hard pull and then being able to take the credit report from ABC bank and sending this to as many banks as you liked to see if what they would hypothetically give such a person. Then knowing the exact terms of every bank you submitted to you then pick the one you want and apply only with them. The only difference of course being that medical underwriting sucks a lot more than a hard pull for credit.

3) A smaller term case with known health issues:You want references to health/underwriting questionnaires, "underwriting guides", "underwriting tools", etc. on the life brokerage's website. It's a signal that they'll at least attempt to screen for carriers that are likely to be more forgiving of whatever health issue you have. But since it's a smaller case the carriers wont participate in informal offers so they can't do what is mentioned in #2. This is also a case where you likely will receive a financial benefit if you work directly with a person at the physical life brokerage. Why? Because these people are practically the only people in the country that "build up favors" with insurance carriers. I.e. in certain cases they can really bring pressure on a senior underwriter to move a client from one health rating to another. They typically only can get away with really pushing a few times a year (as opposed to only sort of token pushing because they have a pissed off agent that has written only 3 cases with them on the phone). Guess what if it's their own personal retail case they'll push a lot harder than if it's wholesale case with an agent they're working with.

4) Business/Estate/Trust case: You want references to advanced markets on their website. If it's something ongoing like COLI, BOLI, deferred comp, etc. you want to ask them who they use for an advanced markets TPA. If they say they are their own advanced markets TPA then ask if they provide ongoing reporting services to the companies. If they say no than ask them if they work with an advanced markets TPA that does (regardless if you need it). Also, if you're a big Business/Estate/Trust than M Group needs to be one of the life brokerage firms in the mix since they're basically the only major life brokerage in the business (that I'm aware of) that has been granted proprietary carrier pricing instead of just proprietary access that many advanced markets TPAs are capable of getting.

Discussion Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378970/ Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:14:47 -0500
<![CDATA[Inherited IRA]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378888/ Rating: 2 Posted By: annemv
Views: 991 Replies: 18

My mother recently passed and I have received an IRA for $25K. I am trying to figure out if I should take the disbursements- in 5 years or lifetime. Unless I am seeing this wrong, it makes no sense to stretch it out for my lifetime as the disbursements would be so low I would never accomplish much. If I took the 5 yrs I could just put it all in a Roth over the 5 years. But then on the other hand, you have 5 years of crossing your fingers that the 5K does not up your tax bracket.
Any thoughts?

Personal Finance Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378888/ Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:51:22 -0500
<![CDATA[Ending $1 a share for some money funds]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378872/ Rating: 0 Posted By: GoldenSacks
Views: 769 Replies: 7

Limiting floating prices to the funds favored by big investors could lead those investors to exit quickly at a time of stress and leave "retail investors holding the bag" in other funds that could be damaged.

Investing Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378872/ Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:47:17 -0500
<![CDATA[Staples great deal (if you are a NY State agency)]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378858/ Rating: 5 Posted By: stormdog123
Views: 1804 Replies: 22

wall street journal said: Staples Inc. made the State of New York quite a promise: Buy your office supplies from us, and we'll sell you a bunch of things for a penny apiece. This unleashed a rush on the retailer as government offices and qualifying organizations across the state gobbled up the one-cent items. A Brooklyn charity benefiting disabled people ordered 240,000 boxes of facial tissue and 48,000 rolls of paper towels, according to documents obtained in a public-records request. Rome, N.Y., wanted 100,000 CD-Rs. A State Department of Motor Vehicles office ordered 8,000 rolls of packaging tape.

I think someone is going to be fired.

Discussion Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378858/ Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:35:49 -0500
<![CDATA[Business Loan or Crowd Fund?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378795/ Rating: 0 Posted By: surfn2live
Views: 984 Replies: 12

FW Friends,
Looking for some advice on starting a business. Any direction, whether it is a point to another forum or personal experience, is greatly appreciated.

As with most businesses, initial capital is required. I have 30K on hand for my business for which I need a minimum of 47k- and ideally 55k to accomodate for appropriate promotion.

Bottom line, is the cost of interest on a loan worth the reduced time and effort of a crowdfunding campaign (kickstarter, indiegogo, etc...)

A loan for 25k through the SBA with veteran status will cost me $3,200 (3 year term/8% interest). I am over estimating interest rates to be worst case. With my credit, I would realistically expect prime plus 2.25 which today comes out to 5.5%.

Regarding the crowdfunding campaign, building a pool of supporters is a plus, as they will be a captive audience (400 supporters). With a loan, the same effort required for successful crowdfunding will be applied to a product vice the anticipation of a product. For example, "here try my product" vs. "donate $1 to try my product when it is complete."

I am trying to be short and to the point, I realize there are additional intricacies. Just looking for some big picture feedback.



Credit Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378795/ Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:08:31 -0500
<![CDATA[HELOC Spreadsheet?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378760/ Rating: 0 Posted By: JoeRobb
Views: 611 Replies: 2

I've been to the end of the Internet and back and still can't find a suitable spreadsheet to track and future plan against an interest-only HELOC. I've developed something very crude and not pretty, but can't quite get the exact interest amounts as the statements. The PNC HELOC is interest-only with a variable rate (currently @ the floor of 3.25%) for a 20-yr term (currently in year 6).

Anybody got anything that would help?

Discussion Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378760/ Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:15:54 -0500
<![CDATA[Trademark Registration question]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378684/ Rating: 0 Posted By: reverseorder
Views: 801 Replies: 6

My wife and I are working on a startup in fashion design industry. We will design and sell exclusive clothes. We are working as a freelancers for 5 years now and we are thinking to make it an official business. After establishing the LLC, we would like to trademark our brand name, logo and domain name. We asked few lawyers but they told us they don't deal with trademark as it is very complex process. We greatly appreciate if FWs can provide us any kind of advice or suggestion on what to do to get trademark registered. Thanks.

Personal Finance Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378684/ Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:36:39 -0500
<![CDATA[Chase Ink Plus 70,000 Bonus Point Offer, $5k Spend in 3 Months (in branch only)]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378674/ Rating: 20 Posted By: argor
Views: 3020 Replies: 34

Chase is offering a 70,000 point sign-up for the Ink Plus card if you apply in a Chase branch. $5,000 spending requirement within 3 months, $95 annual fee is not waived first year. Confirmed that the offer is available in branch, but not online yet.

Credit Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378674/ Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:02:15 -0500
<![CDATA[Mobile / manufactured home converted to real property - decent rental investment?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378662/ Rating: 0 Posted By: cyberfire
Views: 1315 Replies: 29

I did some searching on older threads and didn't see much in the way of topics around renting, mainly around ownership, so I'm hoping some members with recent experience can lend some insight here...

I wouldn't normally look at mobile / manufactured homes in my market as a rental property, but a situation just came up with someone we know that is currently renting one, and the owner is selling it, which made me wonder about this. Here are some of the specifics:

  • It's been converted to real property, the land and unit are both owned, which qualifies for traditional mortgage lending (in theory anyways)
  • Located in a desirable area of town, centrally located
  • Was built in 1984, in immaculate shape, dated interior
  • Asking price is 70K - majority of the cost is from the land
  • Current tenants are paying about $550 / mo
  • If they ever decided to leave, new tenant rent would go up to $650-700

With 20% down, after all expenses it would still cash flow, although not by much, around $150 / mo.

Getting $1,800 / yr return on $14K would be 12.8% - doesn't seem terrible, but is that the best way to look at this?

Has anyone else bought and rented out mobile or manufactured homes? What was your experience like? Was it worth it?

Real Estate Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378662/ Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:48:36 -0500
<![CDATA[PayPal expands to Nigeria]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378640/ Rating: 25 Posted By: xerty
Views: 3006 Replies: 61

You think I'm making this up? I guess this is what you get when big companies like eBay pursue "growth" regardless of how smart it might be.


"PayPal signs "ten of thousands" customers in Nigerian launch"
I don't know about customers, but lots of accounts anyway. Perhaps lots of accounts is so that those pesky validated-account withdrawal limits don't get in your way of cashing out whoever's money might end up sent via PP to you.

"Citizens of Africa's most populous nation could not buy goods directly from foreign merchants before the launch by PayPal"
I think they meant with their own CCs, as opposed to say, your CC.

At least the locals are probably familiar with fraud freezes. If you ask me, PP and Nigeria deserve each other.

Discussion Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378640/ Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:19:00 -0500
<![CDATA[contingent basis lawyer question in california]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378578/ Rating: 1 Posted By: xlawabidingcitizenx
Views: 961 Replies: 9

My sister had a slip and fall accident over the weekend at a local spa and broke her arm. And she hired a personal injury lawyer on Monday. She got a call from our uncle today saying that he's friends with the spa owner and asked her to stop with the lawsuit and break the retainer agreement with the lawyer since he'll have his friend pay for all the medical bills and any other expenses arise due to the injury.
But I'm thinking it's not as easy as it sounds since she's retained the lawyer on a contingent basis. I've told our uncle about it but he's saying that it should not be a problem at all if any fees or expenses incurred since Monday is paid in full.
Is this true?

Question Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378578/ Wed, 23 Jul 2014 02:07:00 -0500
<![CDATA[Life insurance - where to start?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378545/ Rating: 2 Posted By: peteron
Views: 2735 Replies: 54

Hi Fwers, the other day I read an article on the cost of raising a child in the states, and the article has the idea of buying life insurance, so that the financial security of a family wont get hurt if anything bad happens to the parents. My wife and I are both in the 25-30s, and I recently started to work. My wife is in her final year in graduate school. We have a 2 year old. I never had any experiences in life insurance, and I donot think my parents have ever had it for themselves or me. My wife and I donot have health problems, but I had a chronic disease when I was little. I was treated but not cured (since it is not curable), so there might be a chance it may come back. And you know, bad things could happen to good people...I feel I (and mybe my wife as well) need to get into the life insurance market.I sometimes get ad booklets from my bank (alliant credit union), but I never looked at it. I want to hear about what people here say about buying life insurance. Where should I start? Are there any good options now?

Question Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378545/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:27:42 -0500
<![CDATA[Paying mortgage with cash]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378504/ Rating: -1 Posted By: sam008
Views: 2005 Replies: 35


Is it okay paying one's mortgage with cash i.e. walking up to the bank and giving them actual cash? Would that raise any red flags?

The source of the cash is a relative who has a cellphone business purely based on cash (don't me how because I don't know). He's been helping us temporarily on home payments in return for an arrangement to help him in another country. Previously, we simply deposited the cash into a bank account and made a payment from there but I'm afraid the frequent cash deposits of $3000 a month would raise red flags


Question Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378504/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:38:18 -0500
<![CDATA[Amex Offer ($50 off $599 at Dell.com)]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378485/ Rating: 0 Posted By: hpmax
Views: 1030 Replies: 2

I got it on 2 of my 4 cards, but got it on the other 2 with Facebook, so I'm guessing this one is non-targeted.

Any ideas how to use this other than spend a lot of money at Dell?

Question Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378485/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:54:42 -0500
<![CDATA[Mortgage Broker / Lender Fees]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378480/ Rating: 0 Posted By: krystle920too
Views: 1015 Replies: 5

We are in the process of shopping around for a mortgage broker / lender to use for a home purchase in the next couple of months. We have not found a home yet, but we just wanted to have someone lined up in case we find a house and need to put in an offer quickly. We are in the LA metropolitan area (Burbank/Studio City specifically). I just wanted to ask what we should be looking for in order to get the best possible pricing on our mortgage. I know people have mentioned online lenders in the forums, but we would prefer someone we can meet in person as it would be a first home purchase.

This is what we found so far. One mortgage broker said their fee on the no-point option is paid by the lender and typically 1.75% of the loan amount. Appraisal is $525. Credit check is $30. Underwriting/Admin is $695-895. What should we be asking for?Another mortgage lender who apparently is also a broker said they just charged a flat fee of $1295.

Thoughts? It would be relatively straightforward 30-year fixed with a 50% down payment.

Personal Finance Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378480/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:27:56 -0500
<![CDATA[Shady Gas Stations?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378475/ Rating: 3 Posted By: naranja
Views: 5914 Replies: 116

I've been pumping my own gas since that became a thing back in the 1970s. I always buy "regular". Within the past month I've been "tricked" into buying premium at two stations.

The first was at a QT. I swear I hit the regular but after filling up I saw I was charged for premium. I chalked it up to operator error maybe the hose hit premium or something. A week later at the same station a family member had it happen only they caught it before they started pumping, reset and all was ok. I suppose it could have been operator error twice but we just avoid that station now.

Cut to yesterday at an Exxon station. Unlike every other station I've been to "Premium" is the first button to the left where one would instinctively hit for "Regular". Luckily I was paying attention and caught it before I started pumping. I bet lots of folks are fooled. Pretty sneaky in my book.

Discussion Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378475/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:20:15 -0500
<![CDATA[Why such a huge price difference for this bond?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378411/ Rating: 0 Posted By: BrunoB
Views: 1525 Replies: 6

Customer sells @ 112 and another customer buys @ 82 today?
Edit: Seems it was mispriced. Removed now! (See attached trade.)

Investing Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378411/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:11:25 -0500
<![CDATA[Bank abusing customers and breaching arbitrator's rules. Pt 2]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378410/ Rating: 12 Posted By: emcdemc
Views: 2269 Replies: 22

The original was archived and is here:http://www.fatwallet.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

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378410/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:50:45 -0500
<![CDATA[W2 vs. Corp-to-Corp, Single member LLC w/S Corp election]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378380/ Rating: -1 Posted By: mnwa
Views: 1151 Replies: 21

I live in Washington state and I have a fulltime w2 salaried job with full benefits (health, retirement, etc.) and say I make about 150K in salary+bonus. I am starting a second job as a hourly contractor where I am expecting to make say about another 150K if I go for corp-to-corp or 140K if I go w2. Both jobs are WFH/telecommute. What would be the most beneficial / tax saving option for me to start the second job as? I was thinking of going for corp-to-corp and opening a single member LLC with S Corp tax election. Any advice?

Tax Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378380/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:43:17 -0500
<![CDATA[Just got an auto loan for 18k, can I get another one AND do an AoR?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378320/ Rating: 0 Posted By: crazytexan
Views: 2758 Replies: 135

Back story: I bought a 2014 Camaro for 18k in late April and got it financed. I am paying 1.29% APY (thank you FWF). Now my fiancee needs a new car but she has no credit. So basically I need to buy it for her and she can make the payments. After her trade in and all is said and done we are looking at another auto loan of about 9k-12k.

My details: FICO is 695, Experian 745, not sure about the other two but last I checked Equifax 780 and TU 740
Income is 38k a year
I'm 22 years old with no kids
No mortgage, I rent.
Current budget allows for $855 a month in disposable income. That is after factoring in all expenses and savings.
Current car payment is $349 a month
Credit utilization on revolving accounts is 5%

I'm not so worried about qualifying for the loan. What I am worried about is that I have made a decent amount of money from AoRs because my company reimburses me for flight expenses. Basically I turn every point I get into cash. I am averaging almost $1000/mo and have done a total of two AORs, one February 5th and the other May 7th, and would like to do one in August. Will adding this other installment loan screw up my potential for getting new cards? If not, should I apply for the auto loan before or after the AoR. Another route I was thinking of taking is to just do the AoR and apply for some 0% interest cards, and just charge the entire amount of the new car to said cards. Thoughts?

Let me know if I left out any vital info and I will post it asap.

Credit Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378320/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:21:50 -0500
<![CDATA[Art Collector racks up 422 million in rewards on Amex Centurion]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378280/ Rating: -1 Posted By: RedCobra
Views: 2350 Replies: 16


I wonder how long it would have taken him had he cleaned out every supermarket in China

Discussion Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378280/ Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:09:21 -0500
<![CDATA[How does mutual funds recover their expenses?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378260/ Rating: 0 Posted By: salilsurendran
Views: 1359 Replies: 14

I own a mutual fund that has a very high expense ratio of over 2%, however, it also returns to me a high return of about 10-15%/year. I wanted to know as to how does mutual funds recover the expenses? Do they sell some shares of my funds at a regular basis? But I don't see any transactions in my account with sell? Will they recover cash when I sell all/some stake in their funds? Basically what I am interested in knowing is if I bought 5 shares of $10 and after a year the shares are $15 is it $15 after recovery of expenses or will it be recovered?

Question Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378260/ Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:38:31 -0500
<![CDATA[Difference between 3 different foreign stock tickers]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378213/ Rating: 3 Posted By: brettdoyle
Views: 2111 Replies: 6

With all of the recent Russian events I am looking to park a small amount of money in the Russian oil corporation LUKOIL. This is obviously a risky investment... I am not recommending anyone go out and buy since it may not be suitable for many.

With that out of the way here was my question... My brokerage (interactive brokers) offers three different ways of buying it that prompts many questions...

1) OTC Pink sheets ADR ticket
2) London stock exchange
3) Moscow stock exchange

The big different I see is that the Pink sheets pays dividends in USD whereas the others are in RUB. The other exchanges operate at different hours. From my own research it seems Russia has a 15% tax rate on dividends which will then be taxed again by Federal US tax. When I compare the price movements in all 3 instruments they are almost identical meaning that market participants are doing a good job arbitraging any price differentials between the three.

What are some of the other advantages and disadvantages to each option? Are there different legal, taxation, reporting, fees & costs, and risk advantages? Would the London stock exchange ticker also be subject to UK taxes and regulations?

Investing Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378213/ Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:34:57 -0500
<![CDATA[Financial considerations of lasik eye correction surgery]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378177/ Rating: 6 Posted By: JrcWy
Views: 4336 Replies: 81

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

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378177/ Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:32:48 -0500
<![CDATA[M&T Bank $150 Bonus for MyChoice Checking]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378152/ Rating: 2 Posted By: cjlaver
Views: 2087 Replies: 14

I received this offer in the mail for M&T Bank (scanned and attached).


  • Open a mychoice checking online at mtb.com/checking using promo code "QC"
  • $100 minimum direct deposit - restrictions say it cannot be a bank transfer or credit
  • Deposit credited within 90 days "to an account in good standing"
  • Need $500 minimum balance (or other qualifications like a certain size direct deposit or number of debit card transactions) to avoid monthly service fee
  • Reportable as 1099 income
  • Open to "new accounts opened between 7/11 and 8/15
  • User RyeWhiskey points out that this bonus, according to a CS rep, is available only where M&T has branches (MD, DC, NY). I am in VA, so some parts of VA must also be eligible.

Not Known:

  • If there is a hard pull
  • If there is a restriction on past M&T account holders
  • If open-able without the flier (I assume it works since there is a promo code and an option to complete the transaction online).

Deposits Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378152/ Mon, 21 Jul 2014 07:43:41 -0500
<![CDATA[Corp To Corp versus 1099 Sole Prop Consulting? Pros/Cons?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378095/ Rating: 0 Posted By: robronson
Views: 999 Replies: 2

I'm currently doing 1099 consulting. I've considered doing Corp To Corp (C2C) consulting such that I can form an S-Corp, hire myself as a W2, pay for things such as HSA Contribution pre-FICA tax, retain some of the money in the business to avoid SE Tax, and also to enroll in state unemployment because I believe my line of work will be dying out in the next 6 to 36 months. I see UI as a net positive given the tax-deductible cost of enrolling a single employee compared to 6 months of payouts when my consulting work eventually dries up.

Further, I work through third-party consulting firms through a loose relationship where they land me gigs, and a few of these consulting firms do not offer 1099 relationships, only W2 (through them) or C2C. I refuse to be someone else's W2.

Third point is I started a thread earlier this year that fizzled out, where I suggested it may be beneficial to have two separate entities to perform consulting through, such that you may be able to reduce state income tax. For example, perhaps you can do work in NY/CA through your S-Corp, max out your HSA contribution, Employee and Employer 401k Contribution, etc, through that S-Corp, and then the second part of the year, if you do work in TX/FL, you do it through your Sole Prop without any deductions. In theory, if you did everything through one entity, you'd have to reduce your 401k contributions/etc across all income equally such that you only get to deduct a portion of your deduction against your NY/CA income versus if you separated entities, you could say the S-Corp got all of those tax benefits and reduce taxes owed to the high-income tax states.

Fourth point is the ability to mess with income tax withholding through your S-Corp. Suppose you work Jan through August as a 1099 and decide to pay nothing in quarterly taxes. But then you withhold your entire paycheck from your W2 September through December and mail those to the IRS biweekly. I know married couples do this trick where husband does 1099 and underpays quarterly taxes and wife adjusts her withholding the last few months of the year to compensate. No penalties. Not sure if this works as an individual.

My biggest concerns with using an S-Corp are:

1) If I have to register as a foreign entity in each state I do consulting in. That seems like a hassle, and expensive. I think California was $500 to register as a foreign entity per year. I am nearly certain as a sole prop this is not necessary.

2) How difficult doing payroll for myself as a W2, filing UI payments with the state, etc. I've never used an accountant. I prefer learning things myself and handling as much as I can, and so far as a 1099, it's cake. I prefer this because as a true fatwalleteer, I use my understanding on a daily basis to plan the year out. I don't wait until April of the following year to talk to my accountant only to learn I should have done something differently the previous year. Doing things myself has a huge net positive benefit that exceeds the cost savings of paying for the accountant.

3) Anything else I missed?

Tax Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378095/ Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:03:21 -0500
<![CDATA[Get an inspection on new construction home?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378073/ Rating: 0 Posted By: jaykull
Views: 1597 Replies: 24

I am closing on the 30th and our realtor recommended we hire an inspector. is it common to get an inspection for new construction home? do you guys suggest I get one?

Real Estate Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378073/ Sun, 20 Jul 2014 21:40:13 -0500
<![CDATA[If I can't clear 10 per year, I'd rather hold gold with that money]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378032/ Rating: -65 Posted By: nicj4070
Views: 2652 Replies: 33

We've averaged 5% per year inflation, since I started watching it in 1970. Gas was 40c a gallon, folks. A new Colt gov't model .45 was $135, rent was $50 per month, at most. A brand new, 400+ Cubic inch car, with AC, etc, was $4000, Ford or Chevy.

So any "investment" that doesn't make 6% minimum (before tax) is just losing money. Sure, gold CAN take a nose dive, but it can also double in price in a very few years, too. In 2004, I bought gold at $450 an oz. It went all the way to $1800, fell off, found support at $1200 an oz, and has been $100 or more over that price ever since. A lousy5% (after tax and inflation) just aint worth tying up much money into.

Investing Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378032/ Sun, 20 Jul 2014 16:19:37 -0500
<![CDATA[Real estate license not worth it for two personal transactions?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378031/ Rating: 3 Posted By: konstante
Views: 2971 Replies: 19

I'm about to sell a house for ~$120K and buy another for ~$280K in a different area.

It costs less than $1500 and 60 hours of online training to become an agent in my area, join the two pertinent associations, and associate with a broker.

House 1:
The 6% commission would come to $7200, but I'd have to put $3600 of that to the buyer's agent and then take a cut for brokerage of, I don't really know, maybe 25% if I shop around? I've heard as much as 50%. So as little as $1800 to owner/agent on my first transaction ever and work the whole thing from 50 miles away. Yuck. Pretax yuck. Plus I have to be honest and say that it would suck to be the first line on lowball "give me a $10K discount because I don't like the paint color" offers on my first home.

The local market is stable but not on fire so I think that is will sell quickly if priced and marketed properly but could linger if either are significantly off Target.

House 2:
Buyer's agent commission would be $8400, but that's before the broker's cut. There is also a rebating agency in the area who will give a kickback of 1.5%. So I do most of the work with a rebating agency and get back $4200 or all of the work with my own license and get back $4200 to $6300.

I've heard of people getting their license for their own transactions but I'm thinking that their transactions are of much more significant value than what I'm talking about. Is there any point to getting a license instead of just using the rebating agency on the purchase and letting someone else handle the first home sale?

Real Estate Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1378031/ Sun, 20 Jul 2014 15:52:48 -0500
<![CDATA[Suggestions & advice requested for my financial situation]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377999/ Rating: 0 Posted By: peps2004
Views: 1490 Replies: 9

Me:Earn approx $40k as contractor for non-US company (telecommute) and have additional income of approx $10-$15k from websites & book sales
Wife: Earns 32k working for local government

I'm trying to work out whether there's any benefit in setting myself up as an LLC, S-Corp or something like that. n.b. I'm not from the US, so I'm not as clear as I'd like to be on the tax rules here.

As I'm self-employed and the company I work for is based overseas, I don't get a W2 or 1099, meaning I have to pay the 15.2(?) tax myself - from what I'm aware there's no way round this (or is there?).

We currently file taxes jointly and I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle and expense of setting up a business for my income unless there are some kind of clear tangible benefits. This could be in the form of reduced tax, but also possibly other benefits.

For example, if setting up as a business, would I then be able to double dip on credit card rewards? e.g. Could I use the business revenue to apply for business reward cards, then use the same income to apply for personal cards? I'm not looking to do anything shady or fraudulent, but didn't know if this is a common workaround that's allowed.

Any other suggestions or advice gratefully received.

Personal Finance Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377999/ Sun, 20 Jul 2014 13:01:48 -0500
<![CDATA[Credit History]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377979/ Rating: 0 Posted By: sachinsharma
Views: 1233 Replies: 9

Hi All,
I am new to USA and I don't have any credit history. I am buying a new car and the interest rate that honda is offering me is as high as 10%. I have another option of making my cousin, a co-buyer as he has a great credit history. If I get it financed thru my cousin then the rate of interest comes down to 1-2%. I was wondering, if my cousin becomes a co-buyer and I continue paying the monthly installments then whose credit history will build?
Will the payments build on my credit history or my cousin's credit history?



Credit Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377979/ Sun, 20 Jul 2014 11:13:50 -0500
<![CDATA[Full Travel Insurance on Credit Card]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377944/ Rating: 0 Posted By: europea
Views: 1477 Replies: 7

Can anyone confirm a US credit card which offers full medical travel insurance? I'm late 20s and have been working overseas since college. I've gotten quite used to the full insurance on my Australian card
http://www.anz.com.au/resources/1/e/1e671c004451aa4a80a2eefb15aa... : said: We will cover you for: (a) medical, hospital and ambulance expenses you incur as a result of an illness, injury or death; or (b) dental treatment expenses you incur as a result of an injury to healthy natural teeth; that you suffer while you are overseas, or onboard a cruise that includes a scheduled stopover at an international port.

Since I'm heading back to the states next year I've been looking through all the usual banks and posts here (and some of the less usual ones) but have not had any luck. All the travel insurance seems to be limited to "common carrier" insurance. For instance, the ML benefits description is as follows:
[S=https://card.ml.com/cms/published/root/rps/pdf/Online_MERRILL_Pl... said: https://card.ml.com/cms/published/root/rps/pdf/Online_MERRILL_Plus_Insurance_Benefits_July_2014.pdf:]"As[/S] a Cardholder, you, your spouse or domestic partner and your dependent children will be automatically insured up to one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) against accidental loss of life, limb, sight, speech or hearing while riding as a passenger in, entering or exiting any Common Carrier on which passage has been purchased for the Insured Person;"
(Emphasis mine)

My first post

Credit Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377944/ Sun, 20 Jul 2014 07:20:31 -0500
<![CDATA[Moving to TX update : Picked Austin ]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377864/ Rating: 6 Posted By: needhelpplease
Views: 3490 Replies: 21

Can't post in my OP here http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1316596/

Thanks for the great replies there. After much deliberation we picked ATX.

Will be renting for some time to avoid buying during the summer rush and try out the neighborhoods...Are there any property tax "deals" in the "top" schools http://childrenatrisk.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/2014-Greater-Austin-District-Rankings.pdf

Looking for an apartment/condo rental in the same elementary school while we look/build. Wife wants master planned community and I need public transportation access to the triangle area (hate ATX traffic!!)

Also looking for a new build rebate realtor and/or someone who "specializes" in REO/Foreclosures?


Discussion Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377864/ Sat, 19 Jul 2014 22:07:58 -0500
<![CDATA[Micro-transactions not being processed at gas station.]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377857/ Rating: 0 Posted By: tedteddy
Views: 2154 Replies: 35

One of the banks I signed up with has a $100 bonus for new accounts if you do 15 debit card transactions.

I went to a gas station and did 18 transactions that ranged from 10 cents to about $1.50. I kept the receipts.

I went online to look at my account about a week later. I noticed something odd right away. None of the transactions under 70 cents appeared. I obviously did get the gas, so what is happening here? Did the gas station simply not process the small transactions because of processing fees? Did my bank void the small transactions?

I told my wife about this and she flipped out! She mentioned that there is a law in my state that you automatically lose your driver's license if you drive off without paying for gas. I'm not too worried about it, as I attempted to pay.

I realize this post is dangerously close to breaking the Chipotle rule, but I am genuinely curious about how all of this works. Anyone care to share your thoughts on this?

Discussion Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377857/ Sat, 19 Jul 2014 20:53:12 -0500
<![CDATA[Citi Visa vs. Amex for big-ticket electronics?]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377850/ Rating: 3 Posted By: Tony1337
Views: 3566 Replies: 36

I currently have a Citi Visa and an Amex and I'm trying to decide which one to use for my next major online electronics purchase (e.g. DSLR camera). Both have 1% Cash Back, 90-day purchase protection (against thefts/accidental damage), and 1-year extended warranty. Based on what I've heard, the Amex extended warranty program is much more hassle-free than the Visa (haven't heard anything about the purchase protection). However, the Visa card offers Citi Price Rewind, which refunds the difference if you buy an item and in the next 30 days, it is being sold for at least $25 cheaper by any retailer, which is not available for the Amex.

Based on these details, which card do you think I should use?

Credit Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377850/ Sat, 19 Jul 2014 19:31:34 -0500
<![CDATA[Job Resignation Cirumstances]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377813/ Rating: 1 Posted By: Dus10
Views: 1872 Replies: 10

To keep a long story short, my wife has had significant health issues for seven years. At times they are worse and they are currently getting there. She is a nurse and as things have gotten worse she has missed some work and despite stellar performance and accolades from the doctors she works with was placed on a sort of probation due to some absences (all backed up with medical documentation). She has an upcoming surgery and she was planning to take leave for that period and had approval for that time off. She changed her mind as she found out she would have subsequent unrelated surgeries in the following months and put in her two weeks notice. She worked through the notice and it was obvious that she was being treated poorly because they had her floating to other departments every day. On her last day, she was signing her paperwork finalizing her resignation and it was stated in the documentation that she would be ineligible for rehire; as her boss wasn't present, nobody could give her an explanation other than her boss indicated she would know why.

Normally, I would be concerned with such a thing, but she works for a very large health system and this will significantly reduce her employment options going forward, should she decide to return to the workforce. Since all of this is due to her health, it really seems inappropriate. What sort of direction should be take? Should we consider speaking with an employment attorney to get this removed from her employment record? All of the doctors loved working with her as she was competent and hard working... I could easily see them being appreciative of having her as a nurse on their staff in the future as they work at multiple hospitals (all within the same system) and she could simply work in a different office.

It really seems like they were trying to get her to quit prior to her notice so that they could have a more legitimate reason for the statement in her employment record. As we have little desire to move elsewhere, this sort of thing will be very problematic as there are only three other major health systems in the area and they all pretty much control everything in the area, whether that is nursing homes, doctors offices, etc.

UPDATE: She has only worked for the employer for about 9 months; FMLA requires 12 months of employment with the employer (but does not have to be consecutive).

Question Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377813/ Sat, 19 Jul 2014 13:49:34 -0500
<![CDATA[Government pension roll over]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377810/ Rating: 0 Posted By: uberndc
Views: 1171 Replies: 3

I was hoping to get some advice. After 6 years with a county government, I am leaving to go back to school. I have contributed approximately $30,000 to my county's retirement plan. As I have over 5 years of work credit, I am not obligated to withdraw the funds or roll them over. I am 32 years old. If I choose to leave it with the county, I will be eligible to draw a pension at 65 (I am not sure what amount). Until that time, the money left will earn 5% interest, compounded twice a year.
I don't know how to figure out, or what to think about, with regard leaving it where it is or rolling it over to a traditional IRA.
Any advice would be appreciated!!

Question Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377810/ Sat, 19 Jul 2014 13:08:58 -0500
<![CDATA[Making money on the side at foreclosure sales.]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377801/ Rating: -2 Posted By: atikovi
Views: 2064 Replies: 34

I was watching HGTVs Flip It To Win It show about flipping foreclosures. It shows buyers bidding against each other to win a house. Say you know another bidder really wants a house that is worth about $500,000 and you are pretty sure he will bid that high and so will you. Why not make a deal with him that if you stop at $450,000, and he gets the house for the next bid, he pays you $10,000? He gets the house for $40,000 less than what he would have to pay if you had kept on bidding, and you get a quick $10K. Is this a realistic proposition?

Investing Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377801/ Sat, 19 Jul 2014 11:39:40 -0500
<![CDATA[Virtual personal assistant]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377711/ Rating: 0 Posted By: therivler1
Views: 2211 Replies: 21

I saw some old threads on this, but nothing recent.

I am looking to frame a piece of art. I want someone to call around all framing shops within a 50 mile radius and get me a quote.

I am sure there are places that I can outsource this to. Anyone have experiences with stuff like this?

Question Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377711/ Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:04:13 -0500
<![CDATA[Lousy MassMutual 401k options strategy]]> http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377686/ Rating: 0 Posted By: Krazen1211
Views: 1532 Replies: 12


Me: 27, financially stable, own a home. unmarried, no kids. Philadelphia metro.

I'm enrolling in a new 401k plan at a new job.

1. Match up to 5%. 100% vested.
2. ~13% of salary/bonus annually takes me to the IRS limit.
3. I already have an IRA at vanguard that I cap out each year.
4. I don't need the 8% of income for expenses, so if I don't 401k that money, it would be going towards some sort of taxable investment.
5. 25% marginal tax bracket this year. 28% next year.
6. (almost certainly) no in service withdrawal.

So, the plans are all awful. 2-2.6% expense ratios annually. Various assortment of large caps, small caps, Target retirements. Apparently Massmutual is beingsuedfor this kind of thing.

There might be one exception. I see a 'fixed account' fund that states that it provides a 'fixed' 3% return, presumably after all fees/expenses. Of course that particular fund looks like its the subject of the lawsuit.

I see this clause in the documentation, which I am trying to figure out what it means.

Certain special rules apply to the Fixed Account investment option upon contract discontinuance. If your employer discontinues the contract and moves the plan's
assets to another provider, amounts invested in the Fixed Account may be subject to a market value adjustment, which may alter the amount paid at
discontinuance based on the formula set forth in the contract, or may be paid out over a set period of years as specified in the contract. Please contact your
employer for more information.

So, what's the strategy here? The 11k tax deferral is a use it or lose it type of thing; I can never get 11k income tax deferred in future years if I bypass it now.

1. Put 5% in, and head for the taxable world.
2. Put 17.5k into that 'Fixed Account', take the 3%, and figure out the above clause.
3. Put 17.5k into whatever set of investment options I would otherwise pick, eat the fees, and roll it out whenever I move on.
4. Profit

Question Deals

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1377686/ Fri, 18 Jul 2014 17:01:28 -0500