SpartanHiker

27 Contributions 65 People Helped Top Contributor

Member Since: October 2014

About Me: Retired Army Officer (~28 years) who also finished a Spartan TRIFECTA in 2016.
Huuah!

Most Helpful Contribution

Credit Karma score compared to FICO score. If my CK score is 730 what would my FICO score be?

Oct 06, 2017
Aloha, VANTAGE Scores are a good PROXY
Helpful to 33 out of 38 people

Aloha Folks,

VANTAGE Scores are helpful tools, but you have to 'take them with a grain of salt'. YES, it's not the same score as your FICO score, but it's close enough to be helpful for the majority of folks out there looking to keep score with their credit score. I see some folks here complain, and other folks here praise this helpful tool. The bottom-line truth is, if your VANTAGE score is going down over time, your FICO score will be hurting too, but if your VANTAGE score is going up over time, you can believe that your FICO score is too. That's what the Vantage score is good for, as a PROXY to your real scores to help you keep tabs on how you're doing. If you're that concerned about accuracy, then it might be worth it to sign up for EXPERIAN's credit monitoring services to see what your actual FICO scores look like.

As for me, I find that my VANTAGE score and my FICO score are very close most times, and not that far apart. So for me at least, getting a FREE VANTAGE score is a good deal.

Take care and stay awesome folks.

Activity (27 Total Contributions)

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Retirement Planning Software

Dec 07, 2017
Aloha Friend, I strongly recommend this
Helpful to 8 out of 8 people

Aloha Friend, I strongly recommend this tool that sfbrown suggested. The retirement calculator on market watch .com is AWESOME. If you are a visual person, it takes your normally boring spreadsheet and puts every thing into easy to see graphs. What I like about their method is that it becomes child's play to tease out and see what the relationships are between the various factors that come into play in retirement, such as investments, pensions, Social Security and so on. You can see what happens if you decide to draw SS as soon as you're eligible, or if you wait to 65, or if you wait till 67 for full benefits for example. I even wanted to see what happened if I drew my SS when I hit 62 and if my wife waited till 67 for her full benefits. You can very easily play around these scenarios to see exactly what happens to your bottom line. An amazing tool considering it's 100% free. Please take it from me, free is a heaven sent gift in this case.

As always, take care, and stay awesome folks!

:)

v/r,

SpartanHiker

should I close seldom used credit cards?

Dec 01, 2017
There is -1- exception to this rule
Helpful to 8 out of 8 people

Aloha Friends,

There is only -1- exception to this rule! As in many things in life, there are always pros and cons to everything. I agree 100% that I would also keep the credit card(s) and lock them up under normal circumstances for reasons that are already very well explained here in other posts. The only exception being if that card has an enormous annual fee attached to it. I regret it now, but once upon a time I had an AMEX Gold and Plat card that I had zero balances on. Their annual fees are ridiculous and because of that I opted to cancel them so I didn't have to pay $600 per year just to maintain my good credit. I took a hit for a while, but eventually I worked my way back up from there. Last tip I'll leave here is always go for credit cards with no or very low annual fees, preferably with no. That will keep your hard earned money where it needs to be, in your -POCKET- and out of the bank's pockets.

So this is just my humble 2 cents, and of course your mileage may vary.

Take care and good luck!

v/r,

Spartan Hiker

best savings account

Sep 15, 2017
Aloha Friends, I second that thought.
Helpful to 8 out of 8 people

Aloha Friends, I second that thought. A credit union is often a much better and competitive place. I've been a CU member for almost 20 years and for a little while I was even a member of their committee, and it surprised me how much better their car loan, savings, checking, etc. etc. was compared to my local commercial banks. The credit unions are concerned with taking care of their members, as opposed to a commercial bank which is concerned with making a profit. Last tip I'll leave here is that a credit union staff or manager is more accessible than a banks, if you have unique issues, you can sit down with your credit union staff or manager and talk one on one to get their advice or even help. I've never chatted with my regular commercial banks managers, but I chat with my credit union manager all the time and we're on a first name basis.

So this is just my humble 2 cents, and of course your mileage may vary. 

Take care and good luck!

Credit Karma score compared to FICO score. If my CK score is 730 what would my FICO score be?

Oct 06, 2017
Aloha, VANTAGE Scores are a good PROXY
Helpful to 33 out of 38 people

Aloha Folks,

VANTAGE Scores are helpful tools, but you have to 'take them with a grain of salt'. YES, it's not the same score as your FICO score, but it's close enough to be helpful for the majority of folks out there looking to keep score with their credit score. I see some folks here complain, and other folks here praise this helpful tool. The bottom-line truth is, if your VANTAGE score is going down over time, your FICO score will be hurting too, but if your VANTAGE score is going up over time, you can believe that your FICO score is too. That's what the Vantage score is good for, as a PROXY to your real scores to help you keep tabs on how you're doing. If you're that concerned about accuracy, then it might be worth it to sign up for EXPERIAN's credit monitoring services to see what your actual FICO scores look like.

As for me, I find that my VANTAGE score and my FICO score are very close most times, and not that far apart. So for me at least, getting a FREE VANTAGE score is a good deal.

Take care and stay awesome folks.

Should we buy an annuity

Dec 07, 2017
Aloha Montana1980, call Dave Ramsey
Helpful to 5 out of 5 people

Aloha Montana1980, call Dave Ramsey for vindication on this one. If you're looking for a tie-breaker between you, your spouse, and your old and new financial planners, go and call Dave Ramsey's free hotline and ask on the air. He'll give you a good solid and sound financial answer which I suspect will have nothing to do with annuities and CD's. Think index mutual funds and money market mutual funds. If not, you can also give his book a read, I borrowed my copy from my local library before upgrading to a used copy that I bought for next to nothing off of Amazon books. Take care and God bless.

v/r,

SpartanHiker

Retirement Planning Software

Dec 07, 2017
Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Aloha sfbrown,

     Good morning. Holy smokes, that was an awesome tip! I went online and plugged in some numbers. I then took it for a drive around the block and to kick the tires in a bit. What an awesome tool, and 100% free to boot. I will definitely be using their retirement calculator as one of my weekly planning tools, that's how impressed I am by it. I have you to thank for it, so THANK YOU good sir. Your awesomeness is greatly appreciated.

:)

v/r,

SpartanHiker

Does anyone know a small bank or lender that i can go to to ask for a small loan, of 3000 or less?

Jan 17, 2018
Aloha Dester30, I'll second that thought
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

Aloha Dester30, I'll second that thought. A credit union is often a much better and more competitive place to shop for small loans. I've been a CU member for about 20 years, and for a little while I was even a member of their supervisory committee. It surprised me how much better their car loan, savings, checking, etc. etc. was compared to my local commercial banks. They almost always beat them in each and every category that I checked on. The credit unions are concerned with taking care of their members, as opposed to a commercial bank which is concerned with making a profit off of you. In there lies the magic. Last tip I'll leave here is that a credit union staff or manager is more accessible than a banks, if you have unique issues, you can sit down with your credit union staff or manager and talk one on one to get their advice or even help. I've never chatted with my regular commercial banks managers, but I chat with my credit union manager all the time and we're on a first name basis.

So this is just my humble 2 cents, and of course your mileage may vary. 

Take care and God Bless Dester30.

v/r,

SpartanHiker

solo 401k providers

Jan 16, 2019
Aloha Jai9951, yours is a great question

Aloha Jai9951, yours is a great question.

I would recommend you browse your local Costco for said services. They have many products that are geared and priced to the small business solo owner to include 401k's with Costco's immense pricing power and world famous customer service to match.

Good luck and best wishes Jai9951.

Very Respectfully,

Spartan Hiker

do i need to put more away in my 401k? i already put 4% in . not sure if i want to put more in cuz o...

Jan 16, 2019
Aloha cinbonz, that is a great question

Aloha cinbonz, yours is a great question.

I would like to expand a little on jwsister's answer. Are you getting any kind of EMPLOYER MATCH in your 401k? If you are, for example let's say your employer matches your first 5% of contributions dollar for dollar, then bump up your own contributions to 5% to make sure you capture the FULL employer match. That is -FREE- money on the table and you can never get a better deal than free. Always get the match! After you accomplish that, you need to take a more wholistic approach to your retirement that takes into account your own financial situation. Do you have debt? Student Loans? Car Loans? etc etc. you may want to redirect your available dollars to put down your debt for good.

I highly recommend something called the debt snowball method of paying down your bills. Look up Dave Ramsey in your local library and bsorrow some of his books. I highly recommend them.

Good luck and best wishes cinbonz!

Very Respectfully,

Spartan Hiker

is it smart to get loans from 401k to invest in other areas

Jan 15, 2019
Aloha 1977M****erson, that is playing

Aloha 1977M****erson, that is playing with FIRE. I would warn you against it. The most often overlooked detail on this is that if you leave your employer, you will have to pay the total amount in FULL or it will be counted as INCOME and TAXED as such. Bad bad juju in my opinion. There are better ways to get ahead in life. This is not one of them.

Good luck and best wishes.

Very Respectfully,

Spartan Hiker

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