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Re: A fund to go with VWINX/VWELX

Our IRA accounts are divided between VWIAX and Life Strategy. That accomplishes two objectives:
1) An AA of 50/50
2) Some international exposure.
by ddunca1944
Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A fund to go with VWINX/VWELX
Replies: 5
Views: 450

Re: Proper Money management and itinerary for Europe trip

Invest in a money belt and familiarize yourself with some of the common scams around pickpocketing. Very common in big cities here. Rick Steves books are outstanding in that in they also cover traveling advice on the things like currency conversions, credit cards, phones, etc. etc. Public transport...
by ddunca1944
Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proper Money management and itinerary for Europe trip
Replies: 36
Views: 1731

Re: Proper Money management and itinerary for Europe trip

Disclosure-I've only spent a brief time in Germany But went to Italy in 2012. 3 days in Venice wasn't enough. Don't skip the gondola ride. Do it at night. Yes, it costs more at night, but it was magical. We had 5 days in Rome. Plenty of time for everything on your list and we did a side trip to Osti...
by ddunca1944
Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proper Money management and itinerary for Europe trip
Replies: 36
Views: 1731

Re: You have more than enough invested, now how to protect i

scooter wrote:My plan to use an irrevocable trust was to get below the Mass estate tax and to protect it from nursing home.


What is your plan if you need long term care?
by ddunca1944
Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You have more than enough invested, now how to protect it
Replies: 9
Views: 1236

Re: 180K and no clue

I am sorry about the divorce. I agree with previous posters: while you are invested conservatively, it's not bad at all (we have both Wellesley and Wellington, but we are retired). Also agree that you need to figure out what Asset Allocation you want - that's a very personal decision and no one can ...
by ddunca1944
Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 180K and no clue
Replies: 8
Views: 1671

Re: Best Medicare F Plan in Florida

Once Medicare pays, your Medigap has to pay. Since all the Medigap plans are standardized, benefits are the same. Customer support could vary. In NJ, AARP rate includes 30% discount and every year, the discount is reduced 3% points; thus discount is eliminated over 10 years. There are three types o...
by ddunca1944
Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Medicare F Plan in Florida
Replies: 3
Views: 173

Re: Expensive hobbies and possessions? (B/c you can...)

I have a top of the line sewing/embroidery machine. It cost nearly $5000 5 years ago. I do a lot of sewing. Embroider my granddaughter's clothes for fun. I have a passion for antique sewing machines and have 14 of them. The oldest dates back to the 1890's. They all still work. Sometimes, for the fun...
by ddunca1944
Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive hobbies and possessions? (B/c you can...)
Replies: 126
Views: 9187

Re: Spouses that struggle with budgets

While my spouse is not a spendthrift, he has different spending priorities than I do. He also has no interest in planning a budget, or dealing with finances. We have a joint account that all money goes into. Out of that, each of us gets a set amount of spending money. That money goes into our own pe...
by ddunca1944
Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouses that struggle with budgets
Replies: 27
Views: 2242

Re: Buying a house with a partner, not married

A good friend of mine purchased a home with her long term boyfriend. The boyfriend had terrible credit. The friend had great credit. She got the mortgage in her name only. Both their names were put on the deed. They broke up 5 years later. She wanted to sell - he did not. She could not force him to ...
by ddunca1944
Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house with a partner, not married
Replies: 23
Views: 1327

Re: Do you work part time in retirement?

What is dispatching for an eldercare agency? I worked for an eldercare agency that sent caregivers to client's homes. At the end of each day, the phones were transferred to me and if a caregiver called in sick, I'd find someone to take their place, Or if a caregiver was on duty and something happen...
by ddunca1944
Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you work part time in retirement?
Replies: 59
Views: 3900

Re: Do you work part time in retirement?

I retired from a mega corp at age 55. I had a pension, but it was about 1/2 my salary. So I worked part time for a number of years. I did substitute teach. I loved the flexibility. I figured out that I only needed to work 10 days a month to supplement my pension, so each month I accepted assignement...
by ddunca1944
Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you work part time in retirement?
Replies: 59
Views: 3900

Re: Credit cards during and after college.

You need to apply for a Secured Credit Card. Bank of America has a really good one. Once you get started with that for about 6 months, it'll allow you to get better cards. Please, please, please don't ever get a credit card from Capital One. They are worthless. Worthless for what? Building credit? ...
by ddunca1944
Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit cards during and after college.
Replies: 19
Views: 625

Re: Savers remorse ?

No saver's remorse here. Partly because during my working career, I did a lot of things I enjoy. I did take trips (just every few years and shorter ones). Now, in retirement, I am pleasantly surprised to find that our financial picture is better than I had thought it was going to be. Much better tha...
by ddunca1944
Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savers remorse ?
Replies: 91
Views: 11171

Re: Supporting Family Members

I understand the caution. It's 85% mortgage, 10% car, 5% for my tuition. I've been given access to all of these accounts and can verify them. We're selling the house as soon as my mom retires. If you are in a position of being able to afford a monthly gift of $2000, why not take on the 5% that is y...
by ddunca1944
Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Supporting Family Members
Replies: 30
Views: 1697

Re: question on Inherited Traditional IRA RMD

For future reference, I'd set up an automatic distribution with Vanguard.
by ddunca1944
Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: question on Inherited Traditional IRA RMD
Replies: 8
Views: 380

Re: How to handle family money on fin aid forms

If you are listed as a co-owner, I would think you'd need to list it with your assets. But if your Dad's reason is to simply make sure you and siblings get it when he dies, I think you both would be better served using a Transfer on Death form.
by ddunca1944
Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to handle family money on fin aid forms
Replies: 1
Views: 259

Re: Joint or Separate Accounts? - Married Couples

Everyone does what works for them. When we married, we kept our accounts separate for a while. Over the years (23 now) our system evolved into what it is now. Joint account -all income goes into it His account gets $500 mo for his personalfun money My account gets $500/ mo for my personal fun money ...
by ddunca1944
Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint or Separate Accounts? - Married Couples
Replies: 82
Views: 3366

Re: Medigap Plan G vs Plan F?

I see some value in a zero-deductible option, as a safeguard against future mental impairment. If the deductible is zero, I can follow a simple rule: I shouldn't have to pay anything at the doctor's office. (This assumes that Plan F does in fact cover all charges.) If the deductible is more than ze...
by ddunca1944
Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap Plan G vs Plan F?
Replies: 32
Views: 3944

Re: Would you retire like this?

If it was just me and my husband, I'd strongly consider it. But with kids in school, I'd only consider it if I could afford to send them elsewhere for their education.
by ddunca1944
Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you retire like this?
Replies: 72
Views: 6721

Re: How early to purchase plane tickets?

I realize that the importance of this question is low, but I am curious. I have a large family and need to purchase 7 plane tickets to our preferred Christmas break destination. Based on years of travel to this locale, I know that roundtrip tickets range from $540.00 to over $1,000. Currently, tick...
by ddunca1944
Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How early to purchase plane tickets?
Replies: 15
Views: 1520

Re: What to say to Non-Savers

I just smiled and shrugged.
by ddunca1944
Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to say to Non-Savers
Replies: 71
Views: 5178

Question about 529 owned by grandparent

A statement on another (now closed) thread got me to wondering... Student income protection (2013/14 entry year) is $6130. This means that if the student has a job and earns only this amount, it's counted as zero towards the expected family contribution (EFC). Beyond this amount, the expected contri...
by ddunca1944
Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about 529 owned by grandparent
Replies: 1
Views: 275

Re: FOUR years till oldest child begins college -

Not to hijack the OP, but as a grandparent of a 16 year old, I have a question: Jack FFR1846 Student income protection (2013/14 entry year) is $6130. This means that if the student has a job and earns only this amount, it's counted as zero towards the expected family contribution (EFC). Beyond this ...
by ddunca1944
Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FOUR years till oldest child begins college -
Replies: 31
Views: 2031

Re: AARP Medicare Supplement Ins (United Healthcare

In my opinion, AARP (technically United Healthcare) Medicare plans are overrated. Some consider AARP as the holy grail only because they see it more times on TV and in the mail. All companies pay claims the same because they have to - its the law! I would agree that their marketing is amazing, but ...
by ddunca1944
Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AARP Medicare Supplement Ins (United Healthcare
Replies: 34
Views: 2172

Re: custom build home financing

During our build, each month, the builder sent the bank a statement listing the items that had been completed. The bank sent the statement to us for a signature. When we signed, the bank then sent the builder the draw. Kept the builder on track and we had some leverage. We chose a bank that had a go...
by ddunca1944
Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: custom build home financing
Replies: 8
Views: 733

Re: custom build home financing

When we built our custom home, we used a local mortgage co. It was a "convertible" loan in that after construction was complete, it automatically became a conventional loan. I think that has become pretty common. What kind of rate does the builder offer? I's it higher than a conventional c...
by ddunca1944
Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: custom build home financing
Replies: 8
Views: 733

Re: AARP Medicare Supplement Ins (United Healthcare

In my opinion, AARP (technically United Healthcare) Medicare plans are overrated. Some consider AARP as the holy grail only because they see it more times on TV and in the mail. All companies pay claims the same because they have to - its the law! I would agree that their marketing is amazing, but ...
by ddunca1944
Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AARP Medicare Supplement Ins (United Healthcare
Replies: 34
Views: 2172

Re: California vs. Texas

You get what you pay for. +1[ Nothing financial here, but I think that it comes down to what you really prefer. I have an online business, yet I live in New York. Why? Because my friends and family are here, restaurants are good, educated people, art scene, etc. There is nothing in New York that I ...
by ddunca1944
Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California vs. Texas
Replies: 32
Views: 2815

Re: Consolidating credit card debt?

No, she is currently not saving, which is what stresses her the most. She has little no to emergency fund available. We live together and split everything pretty evenly. We split rent, alternate weekly grocery, even alternate on who drives (we commute to work together as we work very close by to on...
by ddunca1944
Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consolidating credit card debt?
Replies: 27
Views: 1072

Re: Can my grandfather take out his IRA and buy a house to r

I am 20 years younger than your grandpa. Last year we sold a rental house because it was simply too much work and hassle. I cannot imagine the headache at age 89.

I think your grandpa would be much better off moving that IRA to Vanguard and putting all or most into a fund like Wellesley.
by ddunca1944
Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can my grandfather take out his IRA and buy a house to rent?
Replies: 42
Views: 2442

Re: best cash back credit card

For those using the Capital One cards, are you getting high credit limits? I've heard that they are quite stingy with credit lines compared to some other issuers. Are you getting credit lines of $10,000 or more? We opened ours last August. They gave us a credit limit of $10K (much less than our oth...
by ddunca1944
Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20313

Re: best cash back credit card

Has anyone had any experience with the following card? Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases Great sign up bonus. I think the min spend just went from $1k to $3k, but still, $400 sign on bonus for travel. Their travel category is pretty broad, which is nice. I like it...
by ddunca1944
Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 20313

Re: Child heading off to college next year; banking checklis

My grandson is attending a local community college. The financial aid he receives goes directly to a Higher One checking account (fee free for students). It is a debit card, but requires a signature instead of a pin (so merchants must process as a charge). I am able to transfer money into his accoun...
by ddunca1944
Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child heading off to college next year; banking checklist
Replies: 29
Views: 1000

Re: Your strategies, decisions, actions - Retirement 5 years

DH retired in 2008 (I had retired before then, but was working part time to supplement my pension). Although we had saved pretty diligently, we had no real picture of what retirement would look like financially. We knew essentially nothing about investing (our 401K plans had some balanced funds whic...
by ddunca1944
Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your strategies, decisions, actions - Retirement 5 years out
Replies: 19
Views: 1926

Re: Medicare coinsurance increase with ACA???

"Coinsurance"? Do you mean a Medigap plan? What kind of coverage does he have? Medigap? Medicare Advantage? Did the company have no explanation? We are pricing Medigap plans right now, and in my state (WA), I can get a Cadillac plan (Plan F) through Regence (Blue Cross) for $160/mo or AARP...
by ddunca1944
Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare coinsurance increase with ACA???
Replies: 25
Views: 1185

Re: Cash - Should we combine accounts into one?

We have a travel checking account and our workhorse, everyday checking account both at the same bank. I do not have an ATM card anymore for my everyday checking account and don't need it since I do not use an ATM in my local area. I load up the travel account with about $500 before I go on a trip, ...
by ddunca1944
Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash - Should we combine accounts into one?
Replies: 18
Views: 1212

Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

I bet there is no correlation between having a big ring and having a really good partner. +1 DH and I are going on 23 years of marriage. He tells me that marrying me was the smartest thing he's ever done. I've never had a big ring; a simple gold band was all I wanted. We are enjoying our 8th year o...
by ddunca1944
Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring
Replies: 152
Views: 7229

Re: What to do with small prepaid credit cards

I use them to pay my telephone/cell/DirecTV bill (which is bundled with CenturyLink). They will accept any amount and credit my account which frees up funds to use elsewhere.
by ddunca1944
Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with small prepaid credit cards
Replies: 47
Views: 1826

Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

A ring is not an investment. It's a purchase. Have you discussed this with her? If not, I'd do that before making a decision.
by ddunca1944
Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring
Replies: 152
Views: 7229

Re: IRA Exit Strategy

+1 Good Forbes article .......... You can analyzed this IRA conversion tactic in great quantitative detail using BigFoot48's outstanding Roth Conversion Decision spreadsheet. http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=97352 JW +1 I used BigFoot48's spreadsheet to help me figure out whe...
by ddunca1944
Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA Exit Strategy
Replies: 21
Views: 1817

Re: Do you balance your checking account?

Yes, of course I balance my checking account. I no longer keep a paper register, but I keep a register in YNAB (You Need A Budget software). Between debits, auto payments and checks, I am anal that way.
by ddunca1944
Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you balance your checking account?
Replies: 114
Views: 4898

Re: Estate Planning- Attorney fees $5.5K

Does anyone know how much it would cost in WA state? This would be a will to start off with. It will involve assets in another country as well, and an existing will in that country (which would be no problem to change if needed) I live in WA. We paid $750 for wills (his and mine), Healthcare Direct...
by ddunca1944
Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Planning- Attorney fees $5.5K
Replies: 34
Views: 3917

Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

My MIL will be in a similar place when she finally retires. No assets and will have to live on SS and very small pension. Though benefits are regionally dependent, does anyone know how to best find out what resources are available to low income families? Senior Linkage Line may be a source: http://...
by ddunca1944
Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when a parent's money runs out?
Replies: 135
Views: 15213

Re: She's going to do it!

I'd suggest one of Vanguard's Life Strategy funds if she want a consistent AA (either moderate or conservative).
by ddunca1944
Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: She's going to do it! [Mother-in-law decides to invest]
Replies: 26
Views: 3043

Re: How do I decide whether/how to fix up a house for sale?

I doubt anyone loves solid black granite, but few people hate it either. And remember, the most important thing is that the kitchen and bathrooms look clean - very very clean. Fresh paint on everything helps with that. I would have to be madly in love with a house to accept black granite countertop...
by ddunca1944
Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I decide whether/how to fix up a house for sale?
Replies: 23
Views: 1351

Re: How do I decide whether/how to fix up a house for sale?

a. I could get new cheap cabinets – not sure yet what they would cost and Formica countertops. Do I really need to put in granite or quartz? Look at similar houses that have sold recently. What did they have for counters? (Some of the new formica looks really great, but it does depend on buyers' ex...
by ddunca1944
Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I decide whether/how to fix up a house for sale?
Replies: 23
Views: 1351

Re: Freezing Credit - Should I?

A number of years ago I froze my credit after receiving a letter saying my information might have been compromised. There was no charge to freeze it (perhaps because of the letter), but a year later, I wanted to unfreeze it. The credit reporting companies wanted $10, each, to unfreeze it. I left it ...
by ddunca1944
Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Freezing Credit - Should I?
Replies: 23
Views: 1878

Re: Advice on first time selling a home (condo)

On finding an agent, yes, word of mouth. In addition, interview a minimum of 3.
by ddunca1944
Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on first time selling a home (condo)
Replies: 6
Views: 822

Re: Financial Advisor - This good so far?

In our last meeting (she flew from MA to VA to meet with them and us. To me and husband out to dinner), I was so overwhelmed with talk about our current finances (not good) and talk about bonds, funds, etc that I didn't even know what to ask. Red flag, red flag, red flag. Line up the checkbook with...
by ddunca1944
Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Advisor - This good so far?
Replies: 46
Views: 2483

Re: Help with health insurance for my 60 y.o. mother.

Well, if the OP's mother does not qualify for Medicaid (as appears to be the case), the discussion of the merits/drawbacks of Medicaid are irrelevant and not helpful to the OP.

It does seem that she needs to go to the New York website and find out.
by ddunca1944
Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with health insurance for my 60 y.o. mother.
Replies: 25
Views: 1167
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