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Re: Do you plan trips on your own or use a [travel agent]?

A good starting point would be to get the Rick Steve's books and then just look at booking the hotels he recommends yourself. It is way too early to be booking hotels for next summer unless there is some big event where you are going to. You will have a much more enjoyable trip if you don’t stay at ...
by Watty
Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you plan trips on your own or use a [travel agent]?
Replies: 36
Views: 1537

Re: Australia and New Zealand

My advice would be to pick one country or the other. If you are an outdoors person, I tell people that they shouldn't go to New Zealand unless they can take five weeks. We did it in three and it felt rushed. We didn't get to spend near the amount of time we wanted to in any location. We went as bac...
by Watty
Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Australia and New Zealand
Replies: 34
Views: 2576

Re: Traditional 401k vs ROTH 401k? (hear me out!)

ROTH IRA: $52K Liquid $63K What are your annual expenses? You already have $115K in those account so most of that would be available to in a real crunch. You also have three sources of income. Even if you lost the two higher ones I would suspect that you could still last a long time on one income a...
by Watty
Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional 401k vs ROTH 401k? (hear me out!)
Replies: 2
Views: 282

Re: Lump Sum Offer

A few questions to ask; 1) Do you have to take one or the other, or could you take half the lump sum and half the pensions. 2) What happens if you die before you start the pension? The lump sum would go to your estate but the pension might just go away if you don't have a spouse or your spouse dies ...
by Watty
Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum Offer
Replies: 25
Views: 2825

Re: Am I in over my head?

One thing that I thought of what that now that you have some assets you should make sure that you have ample car insurance since you are now more prone to getting sued if you are in an accident. An umbrella policy would be worth looking into too but I don't know what sort of umbrella policy would be...
by Watty
Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I in over my head?
Replies: 51
Views: 4659

Re: Tiny house movement.

Am I being unrealistic? Yes. A lot of the building costs is site preparation, utilities, plumbing, electric systems, kitchen, bathroom, etc that have little to nothing to do with the square footage of the house. A lot of the labor is also related to getting the work ready to start and cleaning up a...
by Watty
Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [can my family live in a] Tiny house
Replies: 60
Views: 4075

Re: Can You Build Your Retirement Portfolio Young, then Coas

Work hard for ten years during one's 20s/30s. During this time, save $100,000/yr in a mix of tax-deferred + back door Roth + taxable accounts for a total of $1 million contributed. Then quit that job, maybe go back to school to do something else or take a lower-paying job (such as working part-time...
by Watty
Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can You Build Your Retirement Portfolio Young, then Coast?
Replies: 58
Views: 7354

Re: Reliable Portable CD Player Needed

I saw this post the other day and remembered the problems my wife had finding a CD player for the audible books she listens to. I checked Amazon and found this referbished one for $35 do I ordered it. It arrived today and it looks and works like new. http://www.amazon.com/Sony--J017CK-Walkman-Refurb...
by Watty
Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reliable Portable CD Player Needed
Replies: 28
Views: 1409

Re: Am I in over my head?

Everyone keeps telling me I should just speak with Financial Advisors and find one who has been doing it for a long time. I feel like I could just make a Vanguard account and do something like 40% total stock, 20% international stock, and 40% bonds. What would the benefits be of me finding a FA tha...
by Watty
Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I in over my head?
Replies: 51
Views: 4659

Re: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean

We were in the Greek Islands in the middle of September to very early October a few years ago and the weather was wonderful and it was not crowded at all. By late September we could get nice mid-range hotels near a beach for about $50 a night on the lessor visited Islands like Naxos and Paros. From ...
by Watty
Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean
Replies: 28
Views: 1393

Re: You may want to rethink the odds of ever needing LTCi

You also need to consider the difference in long term care costs and what your normal retirement budget is since many(but not all) of your other expense will be reduced if you go into a nursing home. If you end up having to pay $70,000 a year for nursing home (or whatever it cost in your area) but h...
by Watty
Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You may want to rethink the odds of ever needing LTCi
Replies: 89
Views: 8703

Re: Inherited tIRA-benefits to liquidating?

A few things; 1) Are you maxing out all your deductible retirement accounts like 401k's ? If not then you could do something like increase your monthly 401K payroll deduction but $1,000 a month and also withdraw $1,000 a month from the inherited IRA. Those would basically offset each other on your t...
by Watty
Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inherited tIRA-benefits to liquidating?
Replies: 14
Views: 890

Re: Is my computer monitor going bad?

If you have a light weight monitor - bring it to a friend's house to try when they first boot up their computer. Could be monitor (most probably) - could be video card. Or attach the monitor to a laptop to see if it works OK on the laptop. Since the green light is flickering I would also try pluggi...
by Watty
Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my computer monitor going bad?
Replies: 12
Views: 748

Re: Rental property with in-laws: please help!

They were nice about it and let us deduct the interest since they couldn't because it was under my wife's name. We deduct the interest, but I'm assuming their property management company that they own is deducting other items such as the cost of management and depreciation. Maybe they are using it ...
by Watty
Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental property with in-laws: please help!
Replies: 128
Views: 7812

Re: Could you sleep with all your money in Berkshire Hathawa

I don't want any of it; in my opinion too much of the value is tied to one man and while it it a pessimistic view I think the value will sink like a rock when he is gone. I guess we will find out if I am right some day. Good luck with that, if you have a total stock market index fund then about 1% ...
by Watty
Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Could you sleep with all your money in Berkshire Hathaway?
Replies: 49
Views: 3893

Re: The Annuity Puzzlement

Also, I have never understood - and will never understand - why people are willing to take market risk for decades to build up a portfolio. Then, give a big chunk of it away at the end in form of a risk premium payment to an insurance company. I don't understand what changes so drastically in someo...
by Watty
Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Annuity Puzzlement
Replies: 95
Views: 6359

Re: Ethics of Multi-Generational Tax Optimization

One thing to be very careful about is that even if he understands it and approves today if he declines farther he might not remember what was going on and there could be a misunderstanding about what had happened to the money. I have known several people that had to help out with managing their pare...
by Watty
Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of Multi-Generational Tax Optimization
Replies: 23
Views: 1827

Re: Is USD the best currency to choose for index fund invest

I found that I can open an account with interactive brokers. I am not familiar with that brokerage but if they are US based then I would be very cautious about keeping your money in the US if you live outside the US and are not a US citizen. The problem is that in addition to constantly changing ta...
by Watty
Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [from Euro country, use USD to invest in US index funds?]
Replies: 19
Views: 1217

Re: The Annuity Puzzlement

So what am I missing? Right or wrong, inflation is the reason that I am skeptical of annuities. The typical person retiring today can remember double digit inflation in the late 1970's and early 1980's. I'm not retired yet but I can still remember being excited when the interest rates dipped the da...
by Watty
Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Annuity Puzzlement
Replies: 95
Views: 6359

Re: Is there a "catch" in this Xfinity offer ?

I would have to change my email which is a major hassle but I am wondering if it is worth it. The rated speed is only one of many factors that determines your response time. Unless you are having problems now or have a lot of people using the internet at the same time then you not notice much of a ...
by Watty
Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a "catch" in this Xfinity offer ?
Replies: 23
Views: 1608

Re: Suggestions /Advice for a fresh college graduate

He needs to do some research about what his job prospects are if he goes into law. http://www.forbes.com/sites/emsi/2014/01/10/the-job-market-for-lawyers-side-work-on-the-rise-amid-continuing-glut-of-new-grads/ Getting career counseling at his university would be a good thing to do but he might not ...
by Watty
Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions /Advice for a fresh college graduate
Replies: 29
Views: 1575

Re: Clean, quiet, safe and cheap. Is there such a travel pla

Do you have suggestions? Not a specific suggestion but many college towns have very inexpensive housing available for subleasing in the summer when school is out. Many, but not all, resort areas are very seasonal so finding an inexpensive summer condo in a ski area, or a winter condo in a beach are...
by Watty
Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clean, quiet, safe and cheap. Is there such a travel place?
Replies: 75
Views: 5750

Re: Why COULDN'T we just retire on Social Security?

The SS retirees would also be ahead $2300 in payroll taxes, $1000 in income taxes, have their own house and not have to work, so not that close an equivalence in standard of living. It is hard to compare since with a home there would also be property taxes, maintenance, and utilities that they woul...
by Watty
Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why COULDN'T we just retire on Social Security?
Replies: 66
Views: 6016

Re: Quit/retire - should I do this?

What else should I be considering? I thought I was ready to do this but keep feeling like there’s things I’m not thinking of. It would be good to get a very good physical before giving your notice. Ask your doctor if there are any additional screening tests that they would recommend even if the ins...
by Watty
Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quit/retire - should I do this?
Replies: 41
Views: 3795

Re: Why COULDN'T we just retire on Social Security?

So let's say a combined $2500 in today's dollars. That is $30,000 a year( if both of you are still surviving, which is a big “IF”) For comparison two people working full time at the federal minimum wage($7.25) would earn $30,160 a year. If you have a paid off house by then and Medicare for health i...
by Watty
Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why COULDN'T we just retire on Social Security?
Replies: 66
Views: 6016

Re: How much value can an advisor add for the average invest

In that case, wouldn't the services named above be worth the 1% AUM fee they may charge? Doing that sort of stuff might take 10 or less(probably less) hours per year for the sort of "average" person that you are talking about. At $100 and hour that might have a fair value of $1,000 to be ...
by Watty
Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much value can an advisor add for the average investor?
Replies: 71
Views: 4725

Re: Do I invest or pay higher mortgage downpayment?

If it is a jumbo loan and a bigger down payment would get you a better interest rate then that might be a good idea. If you the house will not be paid off by the time you will retire then getting a shorter mortgage to have it paid off by them could be a good idea. Maxing out any deductible retiremen...
by Watty
Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I invest or pay higher mortgage downpayment?
Replies: 55
Views: 3305

Re: Remove Cigarette Smoke Smell from House?

Unless you are unusually sensitive then you need to watch out about getting too paranoid about the smoke. My first house had a smoker in it and it really was not all that bad. I was planning to paint it all anyway and of course I had the carpets cleaned. Just doing normal painting and carpet cleanin...
by Watty
Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remove Cigarette Smoke Smell from House?
Replies: 20
Views: 1426

Re: Employer finding out you have a financial cushion?

When pensions were common it was not unusual for the employers knowledge of how locked into the pension people were to be used in deciding to give meager raises or make excessive work demands for people that would lose a large pension if they left the job early or if they got fired. Until recently w...
by Watty
Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer finding out you have a financial cushion?
Replies: 72
Views: 8132

Re: Credit Card Account [Automatically Closed] due to inacti

I am curious to see whether you had similar experiences and whether we should be given any notifications before the bank automatically closes our credit card without our knowledge. If you were given notification before it was closed then many people would go out and charge $5 on it and then not use...
by Watty
Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Account [Automatically Closed] due to inactivity
Replies: 29
Views: 1970

Re: Please Help: I am eligible to participate in my first 40

Except for the Bettermint it sounds like you have a good plan. I agree that contributing enough to the 401k to get as much of a match as possible should be a high priority. You may also be able to get a retirement savings credit on your federal tax return of ten to fifty percent of the first two tho...
by Watty
Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please Help: I am eligible to participate in my first 401K.
Replies: 11
Views: 1042

Re: Drawing down a windfall...

The situation sounds very similar to many professional sports players that end up with a large sum of money that soon run out of money. In addition to the problem with spending too much, it was not clear why there was not any significant growth in the money that shou;s have been invested when the st...
by Watty
Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Drawing down a windfall...
Replies: 55
Views: 4166

Re: Vanguard Lost $50k

One thing that I ran into when I needed to get a large correction made with a large utility company, was that one of two or three people that that needed to approve it was out on vacation for a few days. This was an unusual transaction so there was no-one else that was authorized to do it until they...
by Watty
Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Lost $50k
Replies: 103
Views: 10752

Re: POLL: Has a financial firm made a mistake with your mone

Over the years I have had several checks cleared for an incorrect amount. One was for a full credit card payment where the dropped the fifty cents off the end of the amount which caused interest to be charged for that month. When I called the 800 number it was interesting that the first person I tal...
by Watty
Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Has a financial firm made a mistake with your money?
Replies: 52
Views: 2647

Re: Social Security Delayed Retirement Credits

Am I missing something? Someone pointed out in a PM that I missed the part that said; your delayed retirement credits for months from the month of attainment of full retirement age through the end of the year prior to the year of filing will be included in the computation of your initial benefit am...
by Watty
Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Delayed Retirement Credits
Replies: 43
Views: 3508

Re: Social Security Delayed Retirement Credits

I found a helpful explanation at this link: http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/20/404.313 In that link it says; (3) Credits earned prior to entitlement. If you are full retirement age or older and eligible for old-age benefits but do not apply for benefits, your delayed retirement credits for mont...
by Watty
Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Delayed Retirement Credits
Replies: 43
Views: 3508

Re: Couples of diff ages: how do you handle asset allocation

For retirement planning there are two main dates that you are working around. 1) The date when you stop working and your income stops coming in. This does not directly depend on your ages unless you will retire in different years. For example a Target Date 2020 invests assuming that you will retire ...
by Watty
Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Couples of diff ages: how do you handle asset allocations?
Replies: 13
Views: 1181

Re: buying a house in france

Yes, I've read the caveats... However life sometimes gets in the way!


I would assume that includes the very different French inheritance laws that I have seen an occasional post about.
by Watty
Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: buying a house in france
Replies: 15
Views: 1613

Re: cell phone for kids

With pay phones being almost non-existent now I can understand the need for one sooner rather than later since there can always be things like a missed school bus or confusion about who was going to pick her up. I don’t use my “dumb” cell phone much and I use Virgin Mobile with an old plan where I o...
by Watty
Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cell phone for kids
Replies: 25
Views: 1264

Re: Rental Car Insurance

Another thought, even if the credit card insurance will cover you for damage to the car(not liability) there is a limited number of days that the coverage is good for limited number of days (15 ? 30?) so you may need to drop off that rental and pick up another one to start a new rental period. For $...
by Watty
Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Insurance
Replies: 18
Views: 1282

Re: Rental Car Insurance

You might have better luck getting liability insurance that would cover them with a short term lease instead of a rental. If you rent the car with your credit card then there could be a question of your liability if someone is hurt while they are driving and there is a big lawsuit. If you don't alre...
by Watty
Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Insurance
Replies: 18
Views: 1282

Re: Hidden car key a thing of the past?

One thing to watch out for that your insurance may not cover you if your car is stolen and you did not at least try to keep the keys secure. This is especially true of rental cars.
by Watty
Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hidden car key a thing of the past?
Replies: 26
Views: 2570

Re: Suggestions on where to put an extra $4k/year

So we plan our projections that neither of those things will be there, which is probably over conservative, but better than being caught without it, no? It might be more reasonable though to consider the worst case to be that combined the pension and social security would be reduced by some percent...
by Watty
Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions on where to put an extra $4k/year
Replies: 12
Views: 1071

Re: Suggestions on where to put an extra $4k/year

I've recently uncovered a moderate amount (for me) of money that I am not quite sure what to do with. .... and have a desire to travel, You didn't say a lot about what your total savings and expenses are but with the company match you are already saving almost $40,000 a year. Eventually you will ha...
by Watty
Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions on where to put an extra $4k/year
Replies: 12
Views: 1071

Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Look at how old is your A/C is what was its SEER rating was when it was new. (If it is old it is likely less efficient now)

Even if it is working OK but older then it could make sense to buy a new more efficient one now instead of waiting a few more years for it to die.
by Watty
Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you keep your electricity bill low?
Replies: 123
Views: 9201

Re: Offered Promotion, but longer commute

Is there anything I am not considering? A 45 mile one way minute commute probably means an an hour to an hour and a half or so on a good day. A couple it times a month it will likely be much longer, a couple of times a year it will be the commute from hell, as if it isn't already. Every couple of y...
by Watty
Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Offered Promotion, but longer commute
Replies: 37
Views: 2997

Re: Travel Insurance for a "trip of a lifetime"

You should likely buy it soon since they often have a period of one or two weeks where they wave any exclusions for pre-existing conditions. After that is you have to cancel for some health reason they may not pay if you have a history of that health problem.
by Watty
Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Insurance for a "trip of a lifetime"
Replies: 36
Views: 2424

Re: Checklist of info to have on elderly parent?

When my Mom passed away one thing that we were short on information on was knowing who to let know about the funeral arrangements in case they wanted to attend. Many of her friends had moved around as they aged so it was difficult to know who was still alive and how to contact them.
by Watty
Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checklist of info to have on elderly parent?
Replies: 16
Views: 1488

Re: Take slightly better job if you had to wait 1 year for 4

Take (or keep) the job that gives you the most satisfaction and has the best future for growth. The 401k is just noise. +1 If you can't make 401k contributions from say October of 2014 to September of 2015 then you would would still have October to December of 2015 to load up the 2015 contributions...
by Watty
Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take slightly better job if you had to wait 1 year for 401k?
Replies: 19
Views: 912

Re: Retirement Investment Advice needed.

Please suggest me the followings: 1. How should I shuffle my investments on my retirement accounts so it helps in tax and also better funds? You can set up a three fund portfolio where you use the best(or least bad) options in your current 401k then get the other funds in your other accounts like t...
by Watty
Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Investment Advice needed.
Replies: 4
Views: 817
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