Search found 368 matches

Return to advanced search

Re: Blood work for cats

I wouldn't do blood work in this situation, but I'm definitely somewhat of an outlier in terms of vet care for pets. Since being spayed/neutered, our two cats have made a grand total of one vet visit in 17 years. The one visit was for removal of a cyst. The vet wanted to send the cyst out for pathol...
by curmudgeon
Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blood work for cats
Replies: 44
Views: 1800

Re: Australia and New Zealand

Having been to both over the years, I'll throw in a few thoughts. Recognize that different things appeal to different people, so apply your own filter to what you get here... If flying on Air New Zealand, think about adding a stopover in the Cook Islands (Rarotonga). Interesting place, very laid bac...
by curmudgeon
Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Australia and New Zealand
Replies: 32
Views: 2247

Re: Employer stock options

I personally probably wouldn't do it for 5% discount. The gains on the 5% discount are not short-term capital gains, but ordinary income, subject to SS and medicare taxes, and also state income tax. Gains or losses after the stock is purchased are short/long term capital gains depending on how long ...
by curmudgeon
Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer stock options
Replies: 7
Views: 502

Re: New Laptop, need help

I've spent a career working on leading-edge, highest performance computer systems, but I really find very little point in paying much more than the minimum for a laptop. For typical home usage, there's just no point. Battery life could be a reason for some folks, but that's about it. The laptop I'm ...
by curmudgeon
Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Laptop, need help
Replies: 33
Views: 2157

Re: Quit/retire - should I do this?

I'm in a similar place, and so I've been considering various factors along your lines lately. A few thoughts: 1) The layoff thing can vary widely. Sometimes companies formally ask for volunteers (offer ER packages to encourage people to leave sooner). Sometimes an informal offer/discussion with your...
by curmudgeon
Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quit/retire - should I do this?
Replies: 41
Views: 3770

Re: Jacuzzi Thoughts

I think that the usage patterns for hot tubs are very bimodal. Some people who have them use them a lot, many others use them almost never. And it's not easy to tell which you will be before you buy it. We have one which we use several times a week, year-round. It helps that we keep it always hot, s...
by curmudgeon
Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jacuzzi Thoughts
Replies: 7
Views: 439

Re: Besides pay and mobility, great job: What to do?

a Federal gov't job or something. This might be just the ticket to working in law or related work if she is interested! Yep, that is the one employer she keeps trying for, although it seems to be tough to land a job with the Feds Has she looked at Social Security Administration? They seem to have a...
by curmudgeon
Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Besides pay and mobility, great job: What to do?
Replies: 11
Views: 1133

Re: Calculated Spending: Cars

I consider cars to be a consumption item, and so I tend to think of them in terms of annual expense rates. I don't generally aim to "drive it into the ground" these days, but I do usually plan to keep them for 100,000 miles or so. For my usage model, I've decided that buying new usually ma...
by curmudgeon
Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculated Spending: Cars
Replies: 42
Views: 2873

Re: The Calculus of DIY

For me, DIY is a somewhat amorphous subject. I can do most things myself if I really want to, but there are various tradeoffs that come into play. It can also depend on how busy/harried I'm feeling about other things competing for my time, so the choice might differ from one time to another. One vec...
by curmudgeon
Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Calculus of DIY
Replies: 9
Views: 1165

Re: College-bound teens and finances

My kids all had their own checking accounts by the time they started high school (generally no-fee, with our credit union). About the time they got their drivers license, they got fairly low-limit credit cards which we co-signed. Getting a credit card just as they head off to college and all the oth...
by curmudgeon
Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College-bound teens and finances
Replies: 35
Views: 2446

Re: Need good bank for 84y.o. ma who doesn't want online ban

One minor point. When you have found an appropriate bank, ask them how they set their statement dates. When my late-80's mother moved and opened a new local bank account, the bank was quite convenient and helpful (US Bank), but they set their monthly statement closing not by calendar month, but by t...
by curmudgeon
Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need good bank for 84y.o. ma who doesn't want online banking
Replies: 16
Views: 920

Re: Anyone use Legal Zoom for LivingTrust?

For the simple situations, which probably refer to less that 50% of the population, I think that Legalzoom or a similar canned format will be fine. My mother went through something of this nature 30 years ago, and we had no problems when she passed away. My own trust was prepared by a specialist att...
by curmudgeon
Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use Legal Zoom for LivingTrust?
Replies: 75
Views: 4858

Re: Once your house appreciates +$250k, sell it?

It is certainly worth thinking about selling as you start to run past the gains exclusion limit. The income tax bill can be significant. My mother was quite annoyed at both the income tax, and the fact that the high income pushed up her medicare premiums for a couple of years when she sold her house...
by curmudgeon
Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Once your house appreciates +$250k, sell it?
Replies: 42
Views: 3657

Re: Do you take all of your allowed paid vacation time?

Different folks have different priorities about vacation time. Some just don't feel the need to alter their routines and go somewhere. For myself, I generally use all my vacation time, and have occasionally taken unpaid leave as well. I think on most of my jobs I've been able to carry over up to one...
by curmudgeon
Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you take all of your allowed paid vacation time?
Replies: 88
Views: 5725

Re: Buying a home with aluminum wiring?

jcb3030 wrote:This could impact my ability to get a mortgage? Whoa...


I doubt that it would be as extreme as "no mortgage", as long as you have your insurance in line, but it might be an issue with some lenders, or with getting the best rates.
by curmudgeon
Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a home with aluminum wiring?
Replies: 73
Views: 4732

Re: Buying a home with aluminum wiring?

Another thing you will have to watch out for is whether you might run into an issue with mortgage lenders. They've been getting really picky in recent years, and AL wiring might come into play there as well. Personally, I long ago resolved to avoid houses with AL wiring if at all possible, and I've ...
by curmudgeon
Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a home with aluminum wiring?
Replies: 73
Views: 4732

Re: How to Minimize Taxes: Family Selling Farm (Estate Plann

Don't jump to conclusions about being able to use the $500K capital gain exclusion for principle residence. You want to look more specifically for references about how that applies to a family farm. This is one of those things where the details may matter. There is an IRS farm tax guide for details,...
by curmudgeon
Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Minimize Taxes: Family Selling Farm (Estate Planning)
Replies: 21
Views: 1644

Re: Home loan processing

One of the problems I've seen with loans going through brokers is that the lenders who are giving the best terms (whether to the broker or to you) usually want the loan to be absolutely squeaky clean in terms of documentation and qualification, because they plan to immediately package and sell the l...
by curmudgeon
Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home loan processing
Replies: 4
Views: 461

Re: Considering buying a Prius or a Volt

I thought the green HOV stickers (for plug-in hybrids) were about to hit their max limit allowed in the law. I don't follow that closely; maybe there has been an extension. It would be pretty annoying to buy with the expectation of a sticker and then find it is no longer available.
by curmudgeon
Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2603

Re: Daily Telegraph: World War One Archive

Fascinating to see this. It gives some perspective to those times to see the events in a contemporaneous manner. There definitely seemed to be, at times, an awareness of the potential breadth of the war in the days leading up to it. Brings back memories of playing the old board game "Diplomacy&...
by curmudgeon
Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daily Telegraph: World War One Archive
Replies: 115
Views: 8948

Re: US car rental insurance for foreign tourist ?

My understanding is that most (all?) foreign credit cards don't offer the car rental coverage that *some* US cards do. One solution would be to to rent through a consolidator that packages insurance and rental in one price; do some searching on the tripadvisor forums for references on this. It's pro...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US car rental insurance for foreign tourist ?
Replies: 9
Views: 840

Re: How much energy does water heater use when I'm not home?

Water heaters have added more insulation in the past few years, so I'm sure newer ones are more efficient than they were 20 years ago. There's still definitely some heat loss, though. Rather than turning off the breaker, I'd just turn the temp setting all the way down to the lowest value when you ar...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much energy does water heater use when I'm not home?
Replies: 32
Views: 2797

Re: 2 days in San Francisco

Here's one for both art and a great view. A nice change from the typical SF tourist stuff. http://untouristsf.com/2013/05/12/16th-avenue-tiled-steps/ Oh, and I'll second the farmer's market at the Ferry Building. Lots of great food items. Some good shops there even when the market is not on, as well.
by curmudgeon
Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 days in San Francisco
Replies: 25
Views: 1728

Re: Poll - Do You Read Businessweek?

If I was going to subscribe to a business magazine it would be The Economist. One of the few really literate publications left. I subscribed to the Economist for many years, but gave it up a while ago. It seemed to have drifted into becoming to much of an opinion magazine, and I just wasn't that in...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll - Do You Read Businessweek?
Replies: 30
Views: 2237

Re: Wife has no retirement options- is breadwinner

It can be quite straightforward and low cost for an employer to set up a "Simple IRA". I think you can shelter up to $12K that way. A drawback to this is that once you've got that set up, you can no longer do simple "backdoor Roth" when your income gets over the Roth contribution...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife has no retirement options- is breadwinner
Replies: 36
Views: 3368

Re: Insurance Inflation ?

I'm wondering what the real inflation rate of health insurance is for budgeting? I have read it's more than 3% per year and have even read 6%. So, what do you guys see for the inflation rate with your own insurance in retirement before Medicare kicks in and THEN what is real inflation of Medicare r...
by curmudgeon
Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance Inflation ?
Replies: 14
Views: 835

Re: Other forums of same high Quality?

I like the tripadvisor forums, though they have a lot of repetition. I've looked at cruisecritic once or twice, but I've been turned off by the poor attitudes and interactions that seem too common on the board. Citydata forums can be a possibility.
by curmudgeon
Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Other forums of same high Quality?
Replies: 6
Views: 1592

Re: Your net worth/investments when you started saving less

We've always tried to keep a sense of balance in our lives, so our spending habits have undergone a gradual change. While it's not an explicit decision we made, I suspect we have naturally followed the mode of splitting income increases into some for increased savings and some for spending. Relative...
by curmudgeon
Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Your net worth/investments when you started saving less
Replies: 17
Views: 2448

Re: Retiring soon setting aside 3 years living expenses

I wonder how much cash for retirees do those free Vanguard investment plans advocate? Here's a link to a study that cash reserves don't work: http://www.kitces.com/blog/Research-Reveals-Cash-Reserve-Strategies-Dont-Work...-Unless-Youre-A-Good-Market-Timer/ I found that posting somewhat interesting,...
by curmudgeon
Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiring soon setting aside 3 years living expenses
Replies: 49
Views: 5479

Re: Capital Gains Tax Question

Unless you can establish that you are in the business of buying and selling watches (with reasonable expection of profit), the watch is personal property and the loss is not tax deductible. Same thing applies when you go to sell your car.
by curmudgeon
Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital Gains Tax Question
Replies: 3
Views: 796

Re: When you retire you plan to?

Our current thinking is to move not long after retirement. Someplace closer to at least some of the grandkids. Probably a somewhat smaller, but similar quality house (but maybe half the price because we would be leaving HCOL area). It's possible we'd do a deeper downsizing; to a condo, for example, ...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When you retire you plan to?
Replies: 44
Views: 3424

Re: POLL: How Old is Your Newest Motor Vehicle?

8, 9, and 13 years old. The newest one has the most miles, and is also the usual road trip car, so it may get replaced in a year or two.
by curmudgeon
Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: How Old is Your Newest Motor Vehicle?
Replies: 37
Views: 2454

Re: Please Help Me Plan A Trip To Italy

I'm planning a trip to Italy in October. I'm curious what people suggest. We're going for a wedding, but plan to arrive a few days early. We'll be in Tuscany, so we'll visit Florence but not Rome. Flight plan is JFK to Pisa with a layover in Munich. I really enjoy Venice (which was somewhat to my s...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please Help Me Plan A Trip To Italy
Replies: 26
Views: 1928

Re: Please Help Me Plan A Trip To Italy

With a week after the cruise, I'd probably just stick to Rome and Venice. You could possibly add in Florence, but it would be somewhat rushed. You can't do any of the cities you mention as reasonable day trips from Rome. Each of those cities is well worth three days if you can work it. Monaco is one...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please Help Me Plan A Trip To Italy
Replies: 26
Views: 1928

Re: Do you set financial goals annually?

I don't really set much in the way of financial goals each year: 1) I generally have an idea of how much I'll likely donate. 2) I max the 401K. 3) I take advantage of any other reasonable tax deferrals. 4) We tend to pay some extra principal on the mortgages (primary and rental) "just because&q...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you set financial goals annually?
Replies: 44
Views: 2429

Re: stamp collection

My dad thought that collecting plate blocks from stamps issued in the 50's and 60's was going to be his special retirement booster. As others noted, it was a waste of time and effort, because he didn't understand the volumes involved. Same thing with "proof sets" from the mint. The stamp c...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: stamp collection
Replies: 19
Views: 1201

Re: what is my tax bracket after retirement

If the money is in a nondeductible IRA for several decades, hopefully the majority of what you withdraw will be taxable earnings rather than principal. You can also collide with the added taxation of SS benefits as your income increases (a whole 'nother topic, which only applies to some set of folks...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what is my tax bracket after retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 1575

Re: POLL: Mortgage as a negative bond

I don't really let this drive my decision making, but I take a general view that yes, a mortgage has many characteristics of a negative bond. In counter-balance, though, I view the overall home ownership as having some characteristics of a long TIPS position. The house provides an inflation-protecte...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Mortgage as a negative bond
Replies: 89
Views: 2995

Re: Washington state retirees?

I've been kicking around retirement in that area. Traffic (and the potential worsening) is very definitely something to keep in mind. If you expect to fly out (or pick up visitors) much, being on the north side of Seattle will subject you to a lot of traffic getting to/from the airport. Once you get...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washington state retirees?
Replies: 29
Views: 1812

Re: Paid off home as LTC Insurance?

So what happens if there is a downturn in the housing market and it takes you two or three or ten years to sell? Are you prepared to let your house go at rock bottom prices? I'm not too concerned about market timing for selling a house. At the first order, even if health deteriorated quickly, my st...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off home as LTC Insurance?
Replies: 38
Views: 2023

Re: Low Exp. Ratio 0.0018% - Am I missing something

If this is just company stock, then it is quite possible to have a very low expense ratio. But having your retirement investments heavily into a single company stock is generally a bad idea; ask the folks who were working at Enron how that turned out...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low Exp. Ratio 0.0018% - Am I missing something
Replies: 23
Views: 2557

Re: Best way to send money quickly to parents in Florence, I

I haven't had to do this, but I'd probably look into services from American Express. I tend to think of them as more global in their reach than Western Union.
by curmudgeon
Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to send money quickly to parents in Florence, Italy
Replies: 18
Views: 1559

Re: % of expenses in retirement

It was a bit interesting for me to think between the lines on this one. I gave the common 100-110% answer, but working my way towards a number wasn't completely straighforward, because expenses and cash flow are not identical. This made me realize that I don't really consider my mortgage payment as ...
by curmudgeon
Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: % of expenses in retirement
Replies: 47
Views: 3294

Re: It is time to retire when you .......

4) ...my cat dies and I am free to travel Had to laugh at that one, but it did sort of strike home. We plan to do more traveling when we retire, as well as likely relocating, and I'm not sure our older cats would do well with that. I used to strike a fairly utilitarian view about pets, and how they...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It is time to retire when you .......
Replies: 104
Views: 9862

Re: Considering Paying off Home

I don't know that I would fully pay it off, but I would look into what kind of interest rate I could get for a 15-yr refi (or maybe even 5/1 ARM). If you could save 1% on interest, especially on a no-cost refi, it might be worth the trouble (the paperwork for a refi can be a pain these days, though).
by curmudgeon
Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering Paying off Home
Replies: 17
Views: 1183

Re: Long Distance Walking

I too found this thread very interesting. I've been using this year to work on my weight and conditioning with some of these types of walks as potential options when retired. We'll see how this pans out. For now, the immediate goal is to be able to enjoy more local backpacking and skiing.
by curmudgeon
Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Distance Walking
Replies: 143
Views: 15613

Re: Home Warranty education needed

I've never been very impressed by home warranties. They typically contract with bottom-feeder service organizations, and will generally try to patch things up (with a substantial service fee each time). Lots of exclusions and fine print. Generally I'd rather stick the money into my emergency fund an...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Warranty education needed
Replies: 10
Views: 692

Re: Shopping at Costco

It's a naive question, but I'll ask anyway. Is there a way you can shop at Costco even though you're not a member? I wanted to buy a few things from there, but don't think I'll use the membership regularly. Is there a way around for people like me? Thanks. Yes. Find a friend who is a member, and pa...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [can you] shop at Costco [without a membership?]
Replies: 68
Views: 5297

Re: On the Road/Air/Water Retirement

I've thought about this in various forms. I think one factor to keep in mind is the various expense ratios to help decide what is worthwhile. In my case, I don't think my wife will let us be out of the country for more than three months at a time, because she won't want to be that long away from the...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On the Road/Air/Water Retirement
Replies: 57
Views: 5274

Re: The 2 comma paradox

I feel some of the same concerns. It was a number of years ago that I started noticing more the big daily swings, but maybe because I wasn't seriously contemplating retirement at the time I could still view them more complacently. Now that I'm contemplating ER in the next year or two, it seems to ha...
by curmudgeon
Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The 2 comma paradox
Replies: 155
Views: 14638
Next

Return to advanced search