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Re: Pool gas heater makes banging noises

I had concerns with a pool guy fiddling around with the propane, so I called several places and it turns out that the local propane company will give me the best price - installed - for a new heater - by a lot! Oddly, it worked just fine today - but I was standing nearby in case it started acting up...
by Swampy
Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pool gas heater makes banging noises
Replies: 6
Views: 449

Re: Pool gas heater makes banging noises

It's in ground and part of the pool, but is isolated for heating purposes. I guess I'll just get a specialist to come and look at it. If it's not too pricey, I'll fix it. Otherwise I'll just replace it. I've heard that gas heaters are more efficient now. Maybe I'll partially recoup the costs with lo...
by Swampy
Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pool gas heater makes banging noises
Replies: 6
Views: 449

Re: Investing Mortgage Payments

I've always been of the thought of getting rid of a mortgage as soon as possible. That meant getting a 15 year loan and prepaying it, while building up equity rapidly. It was my version of a forced savings plan. In retrospect, looking back at the last 30 years, I sometimes wonder if I was a fool. I'...
by Swampy
Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing Mortgage Payments
Replies: 11
Views: 1006

Pool gas heater makes banging noises

I have a 250K BTU Hayward propane gas pool heater which I use to heat the hot tub. I turn it on for 20-30 minutes on cooler days (costing about $3-4/day - depending on outside temperature and water temperature) most days and the tub stays toasty all day long. I have solar backup and spend about $1 a...
by Swampy
Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pool gas heater makes banging noises
Replies: 6
Views: 449

Re: Best Place To Buy Actual Gold Coins

Thanks for a lot of good suggestions. US Mint is too expensive for what they're selling. At $250 EXTRA per one ounce gold coin - not what I'm looking for. On the other hand, I suppose 'junk' silver could be useful, too. Pre-1964 silver coins are an option and certainly less expensive per unit purcha...
by Swampy
Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place To Buy Actual Gold Coins
Replies: 28
Views: 2216

Best Place To Buy Actual Gold Coins

I'm considering purchasing some gold coins. I don't care if they're American Eagles, Krugerrands, Maple Leaves, Saint Gaudens, etc. All I care about is the gold content, not how 'fine' or how 'rare' they are as collectible pieces. The places I've looked at seem to have a huge markup with all sorts o...
by Swampy
Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place To Buy Actual Gold Coins
Replies: 28
Views: 2216

Re: Retiring early, but where dump 401k for yearly withdrawa

I suggest you read Otar's work sometime in the next four years, especially the book entitled "High Expectations and False Dreams."
by Swampy
Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring early, but where dump 401k for yearly withdrawal?
Replies: 32
Views: 3152

Why not a portfolio of equity index funds and CD's?

With the prime interest rate at 3.25% and the potential for the fed to raise interest rates, hence negatively affecting bonds and bond funds, wouldn't it be prudent to shift asset allocation from bonds to CD's? When interest rates rise, bonds will get whacked. The longer the term of the bond, the wo...
by Swampy
Fri Oct 03, 2014 5:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not a portfolio of equity index funds and CD's?
Replies: 27
Views: 2634

Re: LED Flashlights

I like the free 27 LED flashlight from Harbor Freight Tools.

Bright, has a hook to loop on belt and a small powerful magnet to attach to metal surface. Battery lasts a long time.

I use mine daily in the early AM when I go outside so I don't accidentally step on a snake.
REALLY!
by Swampy
Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Flashlights
Replies: 51
Views: 3667

Re: Solar Panel company recommendations - San Diego/ Souther

How much are you paying, including taxes per kilowatt of electricity? I'm right around $0.16. Installers will often quote the total output per panel per day, hence they will tell you what the system (more often than not an overly optimistic number) will generate. So, if someone is quoting a 20Kw sys...
by Swampy
Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Panel company recommendations - San Diego/ Southern CA
Replies: 11
Views: 816

Re: IRA Beneficiary - Should a Trust ever be the beneficiary

So, assuming one doesn't have a great future need for the money in an IRA, is there a way to make one's spouse AND children co-beneficiaries? IE 50% goes to spouse and 25% to each kid, distributed according to their ages. When the beneficiary spouse dies, the remainder of what's left in the benefici...
by Swampy
Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA Beneficiary - Should a Trust ever be the beneficiary?
Replies: 23
Views: 1737

Re: IRA Beneficiary - Should a Trust ever be the beneficiary

Once again, thanks everyone for all your input.
by Swampy
Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA Beneficiary - Should a Trust ever be the beneficiary?
Replies: 23
Views: 1737

Re: The Villages Retirement Community Near Orlando

Why limit yourself to the Villages? Florida is a big state. It's not all Disney and the beaches or swamps and alligators. Contrary to popular belief, it does get cold here. I live about 125 miles due south of the Villages and where I live, it has gotten into the 20's at night in winter. Yes, 20's. P...
by Swampy
Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Villages Retirement Community Near Orlando
Replies: 72
Views: 7747

Re: IRA Beneficiary - Should a Trust ever be the beneficiary

DonCamillo, thanks for sharing the experience.
by Swampy
Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA Beneficiary - Should a Trust ever be the beneficiary?
Replies: 23
Views: 1737

IRA Beneficiary - Should a Trust ever be the beneficiary?

I've received some conflicting information regarding titling all assets, including IRA's, into a revocable trust. Apparently, having the trust as 'beneficiary' is not such a good choice as it would be paid out as a lump sum, creating a large taxable event. This is something I want to avoid. If I kee...
by Swampy
Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA Beneficiary - Should a Trust ever be the beneficiary?
Replies: 23
Views: 1737

Re: Notice From Vanguard About Impending Transfer

Are you sure it's really from Vanguard??? I usually click the 'forward this email' button and see where it really came from. Of course, I don't forward it to anyone. I would bypass the email and separately log into your Vanguard account or call them about it. If they have an internet fraud division,...
by Swampy
Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Notice From Vanguard About Impending Transfer
Replies: 17
Views: 2095

Re: Trust Company Fees

It is my concern with the fee's that is making me tread very cautiously. .75% here, .9% there, ETF or mutual fund expense ratios, etc - all add up to a trust that eventually costs more to administer and manage than the money it distributes to the beneficiary. With the kind of asset mix I'm looking a...
by Swampy
Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust Company Fees
Replies: 22
Views: 1486

Re: Could one theoretically be 100% stocks your whole life?

Could one theoretically be 100% in stocks your whole life?

Yes, of course.

You could also theoretically be destitute for the rest of your life.

It all depends on your annual withdrawal rate.
by Swampy
Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Could one theoretically be 100% stocks your whole life?
Replies: 43
Views: 2793

Re: Trust Company Fee's

Gill said If the trust declines to $100K you're still paying $2,000 or 4% of the trust. I think 4% of a $100K is $4000. Even so, I think you meant to say that if the trust dropped to $50K, an annual fee of $2000 is 4%. So, the point then is to make sure the assets in a trust never go below a certain...
by Swampy
Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust Company Fees
Replies: 22
Views: 1486

Re: Trust Company Fee's

Let me get this straight.

If a trust company states there is a minimum fee of $2000 and a .75% 'management' fee (or whatever they call it),

on a $300K SNT, what would the fee be? $300K x .75% = $2250 - or - would it be $2000 + $2250 = $4250?
by Swampy
Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust Company Fees
Replies: 22
Views: 1486

Re: Amount to set aside for Special Needs Trust

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful and reasoned insight and responses. I'll probably end up funding the SNT with more than the expected minimum, especially if it reverts back to his siblings/direct heirs on his death. Since I am hoping that the trust is capable of lasting at least 60 years, I've...
by Swampy
Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amount to set aside for Special Needs Trust
Replies: 11
Views: 1063

Re: Trust Company Fee's

I'm not convinced Vanguard is the answer. I know that there are some trust companies out there that have lower minimums and lower management fee's. I recall hearing of some with minimums as low as $1000/yr with fee's that were 1% - a deal killer. Others have minimums of $3000/yr and fee's were in th...
by Swampy
Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust Company Fees
Replies: 22
Views: 1486

Re: Trust Company Fee's

I'm hoping to find a corporate trust company that will do it for at or under 0.5% max.
by Swampy
Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust Company Fees
Replies: 22
Views: 1486

Trust Company Fees

I'm in the process of setting up a Special Needs Trust as well as an Irrevocable Protective Trust. That said, does anyone have suggestions on where to look for a low cost corporate trustee that doesn't charge an onerous fee? My concern is that with all the extra layers of fee's involved, between ass...
by Swampy
Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust Company Fees
Replies: 22
Views: 1486

Re: When did you feel "Out of the Woods"?

1998

Not long after that I got creamed!
by Swampy
Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you feel "Out of the Woods"?
Replies: 42
Views: 5447

Re: Are SPIA's fairly priced? - A quick and dirty analysis

The longer I'm around, the more I realize that annuities are a great deal for insurance companies.

Not so for the average annuitant.
by Swampy
Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are SPIA's fairly priced? - A quick and dirty analysis
Replies: 75
Views: 3638

Re: Time Has Gone Quickly, 3 Months Till Retirement

A 7 year cash reserve of funds seems prudent at this time - at least to me. I think you should look at your portfolio, as a whole to see what percentage you have in equities, etc. If it interferes with your sleep, you know the answer. Back in 2000 I was within a few months of retirement. Due to extr...
by Swampy
Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time Has Gone Quickly, 3 Months Till Retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 3962

Re: Amount to set aside for Special Needs Trust

It is hard being the parent of a kid with special needs. This is just one more burden that the average person, fortunately for them, has no clue about. I'm reading a book called "Beyond the Grave' currently, which describes some nightmarish scenarios. It's an eye opener. All we can do is plan f...
by Swampy
Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amount to set aside for Special Needs Trust
Replies: 11
Views: 1063

Re: Amount to set aside for Special Needs Trust

PS

Since the term of the Special Needs Trust payout could exceed 60 years, I'm looking at an annual payout of no more than 2% after expenses. My concern is that the expenses may be ridiculously high, too.
by Swampy
Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amount to set aside for Special Needs Trust
Replies: 11
Views: 1063

Amount to set aside for Special Needs Trust

We're finally meeting with an attorney regarding setting up a Special Needs Trust for our mentally handicapped 17 year old son. Since this trust would be a part of a larger living trust, it wouldn't be funded until after both, my wife and I, pass. He will be eligible for aid and living in a subsidiz...
by Swampy
Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amount to set aside for Special Needs Trust
Replies: 11
Views: 1063

Re: Real Estate Question

Septic systems, not so much. :P

Happily, the septic system and field are fine. Especially since two went away to college.
by Swampy
Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Question
Replies: 21
Views: 1689

Re: Creating a permanent legacy?

I guess the goal would be to provide a baseline amount of income for all my future generations so that they could pursue whatever aspirations they have without having to worry about falling into poverty. It's also quite possible that by providing a minimum baseline of assistance to your heirs, you ...
by Swampy
Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Creating a permanent legacy?
Replies: 46
Views: 3359

Re: Creating a permanent legacy?

Gee, I worked my @$$ off to get ahead in life. I plan on leaving something to my kids when I die, especially my special needs child. Beyond that, I'm less concerned about the future of great-great grandkids with who knows how many spouses and ex-spouses mixed into the fray. I'm lucky to have a few b...
by Swampy
Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Creating a permanent legacy?
Replies: 46
Views: 3359

Re: Real Estate Question

Over the years, I've used several 'property managers' and, to say the least, I'm less than impressed. To say they were anything above mediocre would be a lie. The only one worth anything found the tenants and took her cut, then I managed it. I know more about property management than many of these s...
by Swampy
Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Question
Replies: 21
Views: 1689

Re: Real Estate Question

I had the exact opposite experience with property management people. I found them to be utterly useless and they skimmed the cream off of the top. It's no different than paying a money manager 1-1.5% for assets under management. The absolutely worst tenant I ever had was from one such 'professional....
by Swampy
Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Question
Replies: 21
Views: 1689

Re: How to best adjust asset allocation as years pass

I don't think asset allocation has to do with age. It has more to do with the stage of life you are in. Some people retire at 40 while others keep working well past 70. Personally I think, at retirement, a person should be between 20-40% equities and gradually increase as time passes. You avoid the ...
by Swampy
Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to best adjust asset allocation as years pass
Replies: 21
Views: 1819

Re: Why Invest in Bonds in your early 30s?

I won't dissuade you from your thoughts. I just want to know what if your plans change and you want to either leave the workforce, travel, find time to 'discover' yourself, or any one of a thousand other possibilities that potentially leave you dependent, whether temporarily or permanently, on your ...
by Swampy
Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Invest in Bonds in your early 30s?
Replies: 43
Views: 3633

Re: BEWARE - Phony IRS call from 202-750-1631

If that fails, I'll try another language.

Maybe they really are calling from Texas?
But it doesn't sound like a Texas drawl to me.

LOL
by Swampy
Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BEWARE - Phony IRS call from 202-750-1631
Replies: 16
Views: 1748

Re: BEWARE - Phony IRS call from 202-750-1631

Hah! "Legal allegations?" They are mightily persistent and keep calling. Since I'm fluent in a few other languages, I carried on a conversation with 'these IRS agents in Texas' in a foreign language. I got a good laugh. In their clipped Indian or Pakistani accents they asked "Can't yo...
by Swampy
Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BEWARE - Phony IRS call from 202-750-1631
Replies: 16
Views: 1748

Re: Air Purifier for Allergies

I have three Brookstone Pure-Ion Pro air cleaners in the house. They really make a difference for this allergy sufferer. No filter replacement needed. When the unit starts 'zapping' and sizzling, I pull out the metal grid, hose it off and let it dry out in the sun before inserting it again. I bought...
by Swampy
Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air Purifier for Allergies
Replies: 29
Views: 1957

Real Estate Question

My tenant of several years called and gave notice that he is leaving at the end of his lease by the end of the year. This was a good tenant, unlike some real nightmares in the past. I rent for below market rates and have had better success obtaining better quality tenants than trying to push for mar...
by Swampy
Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Question
Replies: 21
Views: 1689

Re: Trip to Greece

What would you say the affordability index of travel to Greece was this trip compared to before the financial crisis?

Failing that, what would you say your expenses were compared to London, Paris, Rome (if you've been to any of these)
or Chicago or NYC here?
by Swampy
Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Greece
Replies: 10
Views: 725

Re: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean

North Africa is not on my list at this time. The best way I can describe what I want to do in the Mediterranean would be similar for a northern snowbird to visit Miami for a few months and visit points within a 1-2 hour drive. Repeat following year at Fort Myers, repeat in St. Petersburg, repeat in ...
by Swampy
Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean
Replies: 28
Views: 1420

BEWARE - Phony IRS call from 202-750-1631

Just received a phone call from 202-750-1631. A man with a very heavy Indian accent identified himself as agent 'Patrick Cane' from the IRS and needed to speak to Swampy about serious IRS legal problems. (Yeah, right) So far, I called the FBI, who referred me to the FTC and then to my state attorney...
by Swampy
Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BEWARE - Phony IRS call from 202-750-1631
Replies: 16
Views: 1748

Re: Tiny house movement.

Would you raise 3-4 kids in a small 500 square feet home?


NO

Am I being unrealistic?


YES

Even a singlewide has more room than that.
by Swampy
Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [can my family live in a] Tiny house
Replies: 60
Views: 4203

Re: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean

The entire area is rich with history and culture.

All one needs, besides the desire, is time and money to pursue these interests.
by Swampy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean
Replies: 28
Views: 1420

Re: Do I need to hold my emergency fund in cash?

Just to be the devil's advocate: Suppose an individual has investments and owns a home free and clear - what's to stop that person from establishing a HELOC on the primary residence and using that for emergency funding? In other words, have a zero loan balance until the need arises, borrow from the ...
by Swampy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need to hold my emergency fund in cash?
Replies: 29
Views: 3353

Re: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean

So, has anyone done this?
by Swampy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean
Replies: 28
Views: 1420

Re: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean

I'm not in the inner circle of their travel plans, nor do I care to be.
by Swampy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean
Replies: 28
Views: 1420

Re: Am I in over my head?

dbr write And just because you pay for it does not mean it is good. Sigh, how true. I paid dearly for some of the worst advice and planning. Over a decade later, I'm still paying for it. That said, forward, educate yourself. You are in an enviable position. The absolute worst thing you can do is loo...
by Swampy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I in over my head?
Replies: 51
Views: 4711
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