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Re: Paid off home as LTC Insurance?

The problem is that using the home as LTC insurance sort of assumes that any care will be provided outside the home. As indicated, it is very common with a married couple that care is provided in home as long as possible. But, doing so requires money. If the source of money for LTC is the home then ...
by katsmeow
Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off home as LTC Insurance?
Replies: 38
Views: 2002

Re: How much to retire

Percentage of income is not how we did it at all. We looked at future expenses, which in our case is far below what it was before retirement.
by katsmeow
Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to retire
Replies: 21
Views: 2919

Re: Budget or create saving buckets?

I use YNAB. I also use Quicken for a couple of particular uses. Yes, they both cost money but I find them (especially YNAB worth it). Couple of comments. When people talk about YNAB being manual to get info, well, not exactly. I actually do usually type in checking out transactions because those are...
by katsmeow
Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget or create saving buckets?
Replies: 109
Views: 7371

Re: % of expenses in retirement

I put less than 50% because that is what it has been. The primary drivers of the decrease are (1) we moved to a smaller house that was vastly less expensive to maintain, (2) child related expenses dropped (and will drop even more once all are out of college -- I that point we will be at about 30% of...
by katsmeow
Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: % of expenses in retirement
Replies: 47
Views: 3266

Re: Recommendation to blood pressure monitor?

Have the new Withings which uses bluetooth and uploads your readings (can use for multiple people). Works great.
by katsmeow
Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommendation to blood pressure monitor?
Replies: 9
Views: 560

Re: New car for improved safety

I looked at the Outback with Eyesight, but ultimately decided against it. They only bundle it with their inferior navigation system. It's a lot of money to get adaptive braking and lane departure warning. These things are becoming more common on less expensive cars. I have my eye on the 2015 Hyunda...
by katsmeow
Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car for improved safety
Replies: 33
Views: 2441

Re: Pondering retirement

If you plan to take SS at 70 you should also calculate that you take spousal at your full retirement age (not before then) and then switch to your own benefit at 70. That is what I'm leaning to doing.
by katsmeow
Mon May 19, 2014 10:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pondering retirement
Replies: 24
Views: 2619

Re: Questions about filling out PenFed IRA CD forms

We mailed papers to Penfed on Satuday, 1/4. A few days ago I wasn't seeing nothing on the PenFed site. Now, I see an entry for IRA Share Traditional with a zero balance. So, I guess that means they got our paperwork. I haven't seen anything on the Vanguard side though.
by katsmeow
Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about filling out PenFed IRA CD forms
Replies: 118
Views: 6784

Re: Adding in International

I will probably not be semi-retired much longer so not a lot of additions will go into my 401k. I do like the Wellesley so don't want to get rid of it entirely although I would be amenable to reducing it some. I would be OK with selling 25% or so of it. One option I have is to do that to get some of...
by katsmeow
Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:29 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Adding in International
Replies: 5
Views: 726

Re: Adding in International

OK, the current is: His IRA Wellesley - VWIAX - ER-.18 - 14.9% of Portfolio Vanguard High-Yield Corporate - VWEHX - ER .14 - 6.4% Vanguard Short-Term Investment Grade - VFSUX - .16 - 10.6% Vanguard Extended Market - VEXAX - ER - .14 - 14.5% PenFed 5Yr CD 0 - 14.4% (this is in process, we are selling...
by katsmeow
Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Adding in International
Replies: 5
Views: 726

Re: Adding in International

Seeing as this has received no responses but has had 150 views, is there additional information that would be helpful. At this point, what I am thinking of doing is: Well a little over about 1/3 of VWEHX and buy the international bond fund. In my 401k Sell about 30% of my PEOPX and buy the strategic...
by katsmeow
Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Adding in International
Replies: 5
Views: 726

Adding in International

DH is retired and I am semi-retired. We have 2 kids in college and will have unusually high expenses for the next 3 years which require larger portfolio withdrawals than typical. We expect our portfolio to shrink over the next 3 years due to the higher expenses, but this was planned so are OK with i...
by katsmeow
Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Adding in International
Replies: 5
Views: 726

Re: New PenFed CD rates!

Thanks for posting. That is helpful. I think I'll do the same. I did go ahead and become a member of Penfed online (they set it up and mail you the application to sign).
by katsmeow
Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New PenFed CD rates!
Replies: 313
Views: 34973

Re: New PenFed CD rates!

The reason I was selling the Total Bond was that there is a little less in that account (a few thousand) than I want to put in the CD, but if I sell the total bond then I have enough if I put it in the money market (which has a little bit in it). Also, if I tell them to withdraw from the total bond ...
by katsmeow
Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New PenFed CD rates!
Replies: 313
Views: 34973

Re: New PenFed CD rates!

Thanks for the feedback. It looks like the course of action then would be to: 1. Join PenFed. 2. Fill out pages 12-13 of the IRA info at PenFed. 3. Mail that to PenFed so they have the original signature (mail one original - not 3) to send to Vanguard. 4. In the meantime sell my Total Bond that I wa...
by katsmeow
Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New PenFed CD rates!
Replies: 313
Views: 34973

Re: New PenFed CD rates!

What is the step by step process to do this if you have an IRA at Vanguard with money in the Total Bond Market that you would want to put in the CD. I am gathering that there is a form that has to be filled out and sent to Vanguard with original signatures. Who sends the form to Vanguard? Do I send ...
by katsmeow
Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New PenFed CD rates!
Replies: 313
Views: 34973

Re: Career advice for niece (without College degree)

Not everyone is cut out for a 4 year B.A. Some aren't capable to do that type of academic and others are profoundly disinterested. My daughter just graduated high school and did not want to pursue a 4 year degree. What I would tell the OP is to look into community college programs for your niece. Lo...
by katsmeow
Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career advice for niece (without College degree)
Replies: 55
Views: 4128

Re: Amex Gift Cards

What American Express card do you have? I have a Blue Cash Preferred and before that had a Blue Cash. I often use my rewards to buy gift cards for various places (often restaurants) that I regularly shop at. These cards are either the same cost for what you get. That is, a $25 card costs 25 points. ...
by katsmeow
Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Gift Cards
Replies: 13
Views: 615

Re: Anyone use You need a Budget

I am not entirely sure what you are asking. I've used YNAB for several years and also use Quicken. Conceptually, the answer to your question probably depends on what you mean by "savings." Savings can take several forms: 1. Savings of money that you are investing and plan to never spend (w...
by katsmeow
Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use You need a Budget
Replies: 26
Views: 3185

Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

In respect to "following one's passion" in college, we are on the way to install that passion for math into our bright 10 yr old grandson. I and my son are mechanical engineers, I also have an MBA, and always found good paying jobs. My wife has a Master in music education and experienced ...
by katsmeow
Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best careers for people about to enter college?
Replies: 69
Views: 5133

Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

My daughter is not academically inclined at all. She does not want to obtain a bachelor's degree (I know - that is something that almost can't be admitted in polite company). We talked about some possible careers she was interested in. We looked at the career programs offered by the community colle...
by katsmeow
Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best careers for people about to enter college?
Replies: 69
Views: 5133

Re: Best careers for people about to enter college?

The problem with these kinds of threads is that they always seem to assume that (1) everyone is capable of doing anything and everything (2) the only thing that matters is what job pays the most and (3) personal interest in your work means nothing. I do think that looking in job prospects in various...
by katsmeow
Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best careers for people about to enter college?
Replies: 69
Views: 5133

Re: Lawyer Fees

Lawyer, but not in DC. I'm not sure what an associate partner is. There are associates - who are non-partner lawyers. How much they bill depends on a lot on level of experience. That is, the hourly rate for a fresh out of law school associate is less than that for one who is experienced. There are p...
by katsmeow
Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lawyer Fees
Replies: 9
Views: 1222

Re: Appealing Medicare Parts B,D Premiums

A couple of years ago, we were entitled to a reduction due to DH retiring during the year. He took to the local SS office a copy of the tax return and I think a copy of his last pay stub and talked to them and the reduction was approved.
by katsmeow
Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Appealing Medicare Parts B,D Premiums
Replies: 7
Views: 902

Re: Save Child’s Social Security Benefit

We have children who did or are receiving SS benefits. (For those curious, DS was 62 and collecting SS which means that 1/2 of his FRA PIA is paid to the kids (subject to family max)). Anyway, as I understand it, if you have saved money for your child who then turns 18 you send the save money to SS ...
by katsmeow
Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Save Child’s Social Security Benefit
Replies: 33
Views: 3141

Re: Hobby or Self-Employment on Income Tax Return?

I used to sell on eBay. I started out mostly selling books. I liked to read and found some books in a used bookstore - paperbacks being sold for 25 cents apiece that I knew would sell for a profit. I bought them and sold them on eBay. Once I did that I started looking for books like that and would s...
by katsmeow
Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hobby or Self-Employment on Income Tax Return?
Replies: 17
Views: 1549

Re: Affording stay at home parent

I am a mother of 3 children, the youngest a senior in high school. Currently I am working minimal hours from home and we homeschool our youngest child. At other times I've either worked full-time or reduced hours. I do think that for a woman not to work enough hours to qualify for significant SS on ...
by katsmeow
Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affording stay at home parent
Replies: 74
Views: 7278

Re: Do you budget for expenditures or saving?

I use mint.com, which is a useful tool for hindsight purposes, and I find it good for estimating how much needs to be saved to reach a certain goal. But...meh. If I'm being entirely honest, I would say that I don't follow a budget very well. I try to live on what is "left over" in my chec...
by katsmeow
Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you budget for expenditures or saving?
Replies: 30
Views: 2239

Re: My firecalc need for certainty

No, you are not the only one. I've fiddled with it so that I can get it to 100%. I REALLY need certainty. However, even with Firecalc returning 100%, that is no certainty 1. Per previous posts on this forum, Firecalc has not been updated in years, so it does not include any data from the 2008 meltd...
by katsmeow
Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My firecalc need for certainty
Replies: 20
Views: 1558

Re: Question for those who self insure (LTC and medical)

So, imagine that after deducting DH's SS that we need to fund an extra $30,000 a year. The important this is to pay that $30,000 while not impoverishing me particularly if he were to need very long term care so that Medicaid would be required. So funding that $30,000 shortfall my first thing is to ...
by katsmeow
Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for those who self insure (LTC and medical)
Replies: 18
Views: 1488

Re: Do you budget for expenditures or saving?

Since I'm retired, I don't budget. DH is retired and I'm semi-retired. For us, we budget more closely now. When we were both working full-time, it was always easy to get more money and you could always decide to work longer if you wanted to spend more (theoretically). Retired, though, you have what...
by katsmeow
Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you budget for expenditures or saving?
Replies: 30
Views: 2239

Re: College ... [Funding college tuition without a loan]

Well, I condensed not to have a too long post, but I'm not really basing it just on one person or one course. It was meant to be an example illustrative of the larger point. I'm not saying that expensive private colleges are bad overall. There are some people who may be so low income that they can a...
by katsmeow
Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Re: College ... [Funding college tuition without a loan]
Replies: 24
Views: 2638

Re: Just applied for Social Security

Yes...I am concerned about the RMD bumping me up into a higher Medicare Part B payment, and right now SS goes back two years (our highest income years) and calculates you Part B payments. Cost of doing bidness, I guess. And an option is to suspense blue cross blue shield until a later date, which w...
by katsmeow
Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just applied for Social Security
Replies: 36
Views: 3014

Re: Do you budget for expenditures or saving?

I keep a budget (DH is retired and I am almost completely retired, doing some very part-time work). I use a budgeting program called You Need A Budget see http://www.ynab.com. I find that doing this adds structure and makes it easy for me to stay on track. Basically with YNAB each month you budget t...
by katsmeow
Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you budget for expenditures or saving?
Replies: 30
Views: 2239

Re: Question for those who self insure (LTC and medical)

I am still planning this out for LTC. Here are my current thoughts. First, I start with looking at the costs on my state. I live in a state that is one of the lowest cost. Then I basically deduct from it the SS for the person going to care (in practice, we mostly assume it would be DH since he is se...
by katsmeow
Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for those who self insure (LTC and medical)
Replies: 18
Views: 1488

Re: College ... [Funding college tuition without a loan]

I haven't filled out FAFSA for my kids (I played around with a calculator and determined it would be a waste of time). But, a few comments. 1. Not all aid requires FAFSA. DS just transferred to the 4 year university from CC. When I went to see his account to pay his tuition I was startled to see he ...
by katsmeow
Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Re: College ... [Funding college tuition without a loan]
Replies: 24
Views: 2638

Re: Potential liability from adult children?

There is a lot of confusion in this thread about two things that aren't the same thing. One is whether or when you have to cover an adult child on your insurance policy. In my experience, many carriers require that if the child is your dependent that you must cover the child on your policy. You can'...
by katsmeow
Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential liability from adult children?
Replies: 22
Views: 4422

Re: Taking a "loss" on a home

We sold a house a couple of years ago for about 10% less than we had paid for it several years earlier. And, of course, closing costs just added to it. We even had to bring a check to closing. We don't regret it at all. In our case, we were downsizing (fewer people living in the house) and what we w...
by katsmeow
Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking a "loss" on a home
Replies: 31
Views: 2878

Re: What Happens to Credit Score When You Stop Using Credit?

Your credit score will go down and be less than it would have been had you been using an occasional credit card (it is fine to pay it off each month). First, my understanding is that your credit score is better if you use a mix of types of credit. If all you have is a paid off student loan you won't...
by katsmeow
Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Happens to Credit Score When You Stop Using Credit?
Replies: 18
Views: 1348

Re: Cash Rewards Credit Cards

For the OP: I have the Amex Blue Cash Preferred. I don't often shop at Walmart but I checked the last couple of transactions - one was groceries. Anyway, the Walmart is classified as Discount store and it says "Category: Merchandise & Supplies - Wholesale Stores". Therefore, I do not b...
by katsmeow
Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash Rewards Credit Cards
Replies: 76
Views: 12512

Re: What do I owe my children?

I would do one of these alternatives: 1. Figure the loan and give $32,000 to Son 1. The fact he has a wealthy wife is irrelevant. 2. Don't forgive the loan. If you want to give money to your children, annually for a few years give equal gifts to both sons. I don't like the true up through the estate...
by katsmeow
Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do I owe my children?
Replies: 119
Views: 9585

Re: 'my' retirement or 'our' retirement?

I compute it with my DH for the reasons others mention. However, he is 7 years older than me so I do compute mine if I were to be a widow at some point. I have read somewhere that an individual requires 40% more than 50% of a couples expenses to live a similar life ... so a couple retiring w/ 100k/y...
by katsmeow
Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 'my' retirement or 'our' retirement?
Replies: 18
Views: 2386

Re: Is there any way to shield elderly mother from phone sca

You haven't mentioned how old your mother is or her overall functioning. However, I don't think that just being elderly would make someone prone to accept this kind of thing, particularly if she hasn't been unduly credulous in the past. The point is that you might want to have her evaluated for deme...
by katsmeow
Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there any way to shield elderly mother from phone scams?
Replies: 46
Views: 2433

Re: Anybody who bought a Kindle go back to regular books?

No. I did, however, transition from using my actual Kindle (one of the early ones) to doing most of my reading on my iPad using Kindle software or occasionally on my phone. In fact, I actually replaced as many of my existing books as possible with Kindle format books. I've been recently re-reading s...
by katsmeow
Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody who bought a Kindle go back to regular books?
Replies: 74
Views: 4613

Re: How to handle children's SS benefits?

Tomato, Are you sure your kids will get SS benefits? I am under the impression they may have to have special needs and pass a means test. (I may be wrong. I have never encountered this angle before.) .... I have decided to defer SS to age 70. We get reasonable relief by taking my wife's entitlement...
by katsmeow
Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to handle children's SS benefits?
Replies: 28
Views: 1496

Re: How do you handle "budgeted annually" expenses ?

You seem to talking about two different things. One is budgeting and the other is what accounts to keep money in that you plan to spend. For budgeting I use YNAB (you need a budget). In YNAB, typically if you have an annual expense you would divide it by 12 and budget it over the annual time period....
by katsmeow
Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you handle "budgeted annually" expenses ?
Replies: 18
Views: 1611

Re: [Can I afford a] New Car Purchase

I do not necessarily think a new car is a waste depending on the specific vehicle and what you need. I do think it is imprudent to buy a new car if you can't afford to pay cash for it. (I'm not saying you have to pay cash - sometimes loans are a reasonable deal in the current environment but I do th...
by katsmeow
Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Can I afford a] New Car Purchase
Replies: 48
Views: 3105

Re: FIRECalc Question

I believe Firecalc has data through 2010. If you do a 30 year plan and look at the spreadsheet of year by year results, the last one in the spreadsheet is based upon a retirement in 1981 which would go through 2010. It doesn't bother me that Firecalc doesn't account for taxes. Taxes are accounted fo...
by katsmeow
Sun May 05, 2013 1:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRECalc Question
Replies: 15
Views: 2210

Re: Keeping Receipts When You're a Homeowner

I do one of 3 things: 1. Minor receipts once they have posted to the credit card and there is no chance I will want to return them - I discard them. 2. I keep 12 folders in hanging files labelled with each month of the year. I put in there receipts that I don't need to keep forever or that I don't w...
by katsmeow
Fri May 03, 2013 9:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping Receipts When You're a Homeowner
Replies: 14
Views: 2346

Re: American Express Blue Credit Card

I had the grandfather Blue Cash card but after analyzing the numbers switched to the preferred a few months ago. The only negative is somewhere around the end of summer we will max out on the 6% for groceries. Still, it is a great card and I use it any time I can.
by katsmeow
Fri May 03, 2013 1:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express Blue Credit Card
Replies: 42
Views: 4935
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