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by rixer
Sat May 30, 2015 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carpeting stairs
Replies: 5
Views: 495

Re: Carpeting stairs

Carpet is sold in 12 foot wide rolls. When measuring for stairs, the proper way is to take the width of the step, divide that into 12 (the width of the carpet roll) and you know how many equal strips of carpet you can get from a 12 ft wide roll of carpet. Now measure the entire length of the stairs ...
by rixer
Thu May 21, 2015 12:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Medicare supplemental insurance
Replies: 71
Views: 4712

Re: Medicare supplemental insurance

I did a lot of research on this as I was getting ready to go on Medicare. I chose the Plan F Hi-Deductible and it's worked out great.
by rixer
Tue May 19, 2015 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's so great about simplicity?
Replies: 118
Views: 8973

Re: What's so great about simplicity?

For me, the problem is that I will let some things drift, afraid to pull the trigger. I have let too much of my FI portfolio sit in cash because I expected losses with coming rate increases. If I were all in a LS or TR fund, it would be kept in balance automatically. It's not that it's too difficult...
by rixer
Tue May 12, 2015 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retired and putting some Lifestrategy CG fund in Taxable?
Replies: 3
Views: 402

Retired and putting some Lifestrategy CG fund in Taxable?

The wife and I are now retired. She is 63 and drawing early SS and I am close to 67 and drawing spousal for 3 more years until age 70. We have been supplementing our SS income with some savings we have in taxable and don't plan on drawing from IRA's until RMD takes effect. We will be receiving an in...
by rixer
Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It's Official - We're Done
Replies: 38
Views: 8231

Re: It's Official - We're Done

Some say it's better when both don't quit work at the same time. I've heard that. I'd love to hear from the "some" who have actually done it - particularly where the high-income husband retires before the lower-income wife. I was the higher earner and retired 2 years earlier than the wife...
by rixer
Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kotlikoff: When Should you Take Social Security?
Replies: 242
Views: 26232

Re: Kotlikoff: When Should you Take Social Security?

In my case, I am delaying because which ever one of us survives, there will only be one SS benefit from there on forward. Delaying gives us a better chance for the lone survivor.
by rixer
Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Your opinions on my portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 1723

Re: Your opinions on my portfolio

If I'm not mistaken, the Lifestrategy Fund er is simply what the individuals index funds in it add up to. It's the same expense as if you held each one separately. So you're not really paying extra.
by rixer
Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please recommend a good travel agent for cruises
Replies: 8
Views: 887

Re: Please recommend a good travel agent for cruises

You might check the 90 day ticker at "Vacations To Go".
by rixer
Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When will / did you claim Social Security benefits?
Replies: 152
Views: 13053

Re: When will / did you claim Social Security benefits?

I'm married and have the larger benefit. The wife claimed early SS at 63 and I filed restricted application at 66 and claimed spousal on hers. I will wait until age 70 to claim unless for any reason it becomes a hardship. I'm not going to sacrifice any living standards or forgo any travel to do this...
by rixer
Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PBS NewsHour segment on Social Security
Replies: 27
Views: 3962

Re: PBS NewsHour segment on Social Security

Both of us having had full working careers, I always figured the best strategy was for both of us to delay until 70. Wife is 2 years younger than me and we both have the roughly same benefit amounts. Then I tried the free Bedrock SS calculator mentioned in a couple other threads. I was surprised by...
by rixer
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PBS NewsHour segment on Social Security
Replies: 27
Views: 3962

Re: PBS NewsHour segment on Social Security

Both of us having had full working careers, I always figured the best strategy was for both of us to delay until 70. Wife is 2 years younger than me and we both have the roughly same benefit amounts. Then I tried the free Bedrock SS calculator mentioned in a couple other threads. I was surprised by...
by rixer
Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree's withdrawing from a taxable account... question.
Replies: 2
Views: 359

Re: Retiree's withdrawing from a taxable account... question

a better option? Unless you need the $100K mentioned in #2 above to live on, you might consider placing all $175K in the TSM and have the quarterly dividends sent to your checking account. That way you would have a small income increase (~$3500/yr ) but could draw on your TSM account in an emergenc...
by rixer
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree's withdrawing from a taxable account... question.
Replies: 2
Views: 359

Retiree's withdrawing from a taxable account... question.

I've learned so much from just reading these posts here that I have a great respect for Bogelheads. So I wanted to get some of your input on our situation. I retired 2 years ago and the wife just retired at the first of the year. The wife is 63, I'm 66. The wife has filed for early SS and I am drawi...
by rixer
Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with selling and clean out of older relative's home
Replies: 19
Views: 1973

Re: Help with selling and clean out of older relative's home

We moved my f/l in with us when he got to where he needed constant help. Before we sold the house, the family went through and chose items that they wished to keep. After that, we turned it over to an estate sale company that was highly recommended. It worked out very well as it was too emotional fo...
by rixer
Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security statements
Replies: 52
Views: 3459

Re: Social Security statements

I am collecting spousal benefits right now. When I log into Social Security website and go to the Retirement Estimator, it displays what I would get if I claimed myself at current age and also at age 70. You can also view all years up to age 70.

Maybe it's different if you're under FRA.
by rixer
Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fear and investing
Replies: 12
Views: 808

Re: Fear and investing

How have you used fear to make you a better investor? I'm not sure the fear factor helps. Fear has caused me to be more conservative than I should have when I was still working. Fear has made me keep a big amount in brokered cd's and money markets instead of placing all the FI in a bond fund. That ...
by rixer
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I just filed a Restrictive App at the SS office
Replies: 39
Views: 2635

Re: I just filed a Restrictive App at the SS office

Cody, we did the same thing. The wife is 3.5 years younger so when she retired at 63, I was just a few months past 66 so I filed restricted application for spousal on her benefit. I plan to delay till 70 but knowing that I can file for my own benefit any time is comforting. It's nice to get paid whi...
by rixer
Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice
Replies: 31
Views: 2708

Re: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice

If you do take a trip to Hana you'll enjoy some breath taking views along the way with waterfalls and rainbows through a beautiful rainforest. It's something I'm glad I didn't miss. When you get to Hana, go just a little further to the Seven Sacred Pools and take a dip just to say you did. :beer Fro...
by rixer
Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 318
Views: 40657

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

Really confused by people who think having no mortgage means no debt. So you don't have any more house insurance payments or property tax payments? As others have mentioned, property taxes/insurance are carrying or operational costs. Also, there is no interest inherent in those charges although in ...
by rixer
Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 318
Views: 40657

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

I paid my house off in 2007 and when the economy turned, work dropped off and we were able to skirt through the mess in good condition. We all need a home to live in and it's comforting knowing that even in a bad turndown, we could survive through it reasonably well. Since then the wife and I have r...
by rixer
Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap Plan G vs Plan F?
Replies: 70
Views: 11422

Re: Medigap Plan G vs Plan F?

.... After those charges are reduced way down, the 20% left over is usually a very small amount. I had medical issues this past year and with Plan F-HD, my payments didn't even come close to hitting my deductible. Even if it were major, the out of pocket expense for the year would be close to the r...
by rixer
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap Plan G vs Plan F?
Replies: 70
Views: 11422

Re: Medigap Plan G vs Plan F?

...... Why shouldn't I choose plan F, HD? Talk me out of it. The problem with taking High-deduct F (or any other Plan lesser than regular F) is that unless you live in NY state, or the handful of other places where everyone pays the same rate, if your health takes a turn for the worse and you want ...
by rixer
Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood
Replies: 29
Views: 2980

Re: Engineered Hardwood

Bustoff wrote:Anyone know whats cheaper per square foot to have installed, Carpet or Laminate ?


carpet.
by rixer
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap Plan G vs Plan F?
Replies: 70
Views: 11422

Re: Medigap Plan G vs Plan F?

Stampchick, you're right, everybody's situation is different. I think you would qualify for free Medicaid with such a low income. That's what it's there for. Check into this, it may help. How to apply for Medicare Savings Programs If you answer yes to these 3 questions, call your State Medicaid Prog...
by rixer
Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Let's Celebrate! Which funds are you buying in 2015?
Replies: 48
Views: 3907

Re: Let's Celebrate! Which funds are you buying in 2015?

I'm newly retired and though a little nervous, I'm planning on making my last fund purchase ever. Lifestrategy Conservative Fund. I will only be making withdrawals in the future.
by rixer
Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 849
Views: 119299

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

We rented "The Equalizer" from Redbox. It stars Denzel Washington as an ex agent trying to live a normal life in society. He works at a Home Improvement center like Home Depot. A prostitute he speaks with at a diner is beaten and left for dead by a mob boss and there's nobody to help her. ...
by rixer
Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap
Replies: 9
Views: 847

Re: Medigap

I have Anthem BCBS, Hi-Deductible Plan F and it works out very well for us. It's much cheaper to purchase than a regular Plan F and the out of pocket expenses are capped so it's really not much difference in coverage if problems arise. Also if you pay in one annual payment, you get a 10% discount. I...
by rixer
Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: retirement coming, health insurance?
Replies: 26
Views: 3042

Re: retirement coming, health insurance?

The wife just retired and isn't yet eligible for medicare. She was able to get ins. through the AHA with subsidies. The Silver Plan seems to be best for the money.
by rixer
Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare & medigap before age 65
Replies: 15
Views: 1733

Re: Medicare & medigap before age 65

Jan, another thing to keep in mind is that if he pays the Anthem in full annually, he can also get a 10% discount.
by rixer
Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare & medigap before age 65
Replies: 15
Views: 1733

Re: Medicare & medigap before age 65

Ultimately what I'd like to do is shop for a better Medigap plan for him. I was able to find him a Rx drug plan that will cut his costs almost in half over the plan he had. That's when I decided a review of his current Plan F might be in order. I'm starting to get the feeling, though, that he actua...
by rixer
Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Social Security Check After Turning 70
Replies: 9
Views: 2172

Re: First Social Security Check After Turning 70

I will turn 70 on June 21, 2014. Three months prior to that date, I will apply for my maximum Social Security benefit, to begin at 70. My benefit will be based upon my own work record. Will I receive my first check in July? Or in August? (i.e., must I wait one complete calendar month AFTER turning ...
by rixer
Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance - Retiree questions
Replies: 16
Views: 2468

Re: Health Insurance - Retiree questions

Is there anyway you can adjust your income lower to get a subsidy? Maybe not drawing as much from tax sheltered accounts that count as income and taking from taxable savings instead (not income).
by rixer
Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How have elderly parents affected your retirement?
Replies: 13
Views: 1571

Re: How have elderly parents affected your retirement?

My first two years of retirement was spent being a 24/7 caregiver for my f/l. He was unable to care for himself so we took him in with us a year before I retired. I'm glad we were able to help him but it became more than we could do. His failing health along with dementia/alzheimers was difficult. H...
by rixer
Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Christmas day ACA health insurance stress
Replies: 30
Views: 3416

Re: Christmas day ACA health insurance stress

I also had huge problems signing up my wife for AHA. The online site froze up and wouldn't let me go any further. I made an appointment with an authorized AHA counselor and she couldn't get anywhere. Fortunately, she did have a contact with a free legal aid service in my area that is just for health...
by rixer
Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much notice to give prior to Retirement ?
Replies: 62
Views: 4882

Re: How much notice to give prior to Retirement ?

The wife is retiring Dec 31. Although she didn't have to, she gave them two months notice so she could get and train her replacement. Her boss has treated her well and she feels good about doing it this way.
by rixer
Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for Pellet Stove, 40,000 BTU Output
Replies: 4
Views: 1005

Re: Recommendations for Pellet Stove, 40,000 BTU Output

We've had a Lopi Pioneer Bay insert for about 12 years now. It has an igniter and works well for us. This is the smaller insert from Lopi and it only has about 30,000 btu's but they make a bigger one that will fit your needs. At any rate, I don't have experience with other brands or models but am ha...
by rixer
Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Using balanced funds to avoid rebalancing
Replies: 30
Views: 2677

Re: Using balanced funds to avoid rebalancing

Schwab is coming out with the "SIP" Schwab Intelligent Portfolio. Apparently it's a robo advisor that uses low cost etf's, keeps in balance, performs tax harvesting and at no extra charge. This might be another good option.
by rixer
Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: We made our own Will
Replies: 52
Views: 3973

Re: We made our own Will

I did a DIY will. I am 75, wife is 70. My wife does not have a will yet. All accounts have beneficiaries assigned. When I die everything including the house will go to my wife, when she dies everything will go to me. After we are both dead, everything goes to our son, otherwise to our grandson. I d...
by rixer
Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does a larger portfolio offer benefits when rebalancing?
Replies: 12
Views: 1085

Re: Does a larger portfolio offer benefits when rebalancing?

One thing I don't understand. If you are retired and withdrawing money once a year for income, how do you know what to sell if you don't rebalance?
by rixer
Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carrying alternatives for phone, credit cards, money
Replies: 25
Views: 2803

Re: Carrying alternatives for phone, credit cards, money

I use this hand crafted wallet sleeve and carry 4 cards. Driver's lic, bank card, visa card, amex/costco card.
http://www.saddlebackleather.com/walletsleeve

I have a money clip for any cash.
by rixer
Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacuum cleaner recommendation?
Replies: 71
Views: 11817

Re: Vacuum cleaner recommendation?

The Bissle Cleanview sells for around $75 and will out suck a Dyson. We have one and it's worked fine for about 7 years.

You don't have to mortgage the farm to buy a vacuum cleaner.
by rixer
Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 23 year old... Can I afford a Rolex?
Replies: 167
Views: 18156

Re: 23 year old... Can I afford a Rolex?

I bought my Rolex in Cabo for $25...
by rixer
Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy question
Replies: 8
Views: 976

Re: ACA subsidy question

Remember that in addition to premium subsidies that are reconciled at tax time, there also can be cost-sharing subsidies that are not reconciled. (explained at http://www.healthinsurance.org/obamacare/the-acas-cost-sharing-subsidies) Its probably not a good idea to deliberately misstate your income...
by rixer
Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy question
Replies: 8
Views: 976

Re: ACA subsidy question

If you make too little money to qualify for a subsidy can you buy a policy through the ACA website anyway? Make more money and qualify for a subsidy by converting some money from traditional 401k/IRA to Roth. That is easy to do in reality but difficult for their website to understand apparently. Pl...
by rixer
Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy question
Replies: 8
Views: 976

Re: ACA subsidy question

If you make too much money, you won't qualify for a subsidy and you'll pay the full price. If you make too little money, you will be not be offered a plan but you'll be directed to Medicaid . If you make more than what you estimated, you may owe them instead . If you buy a plan and you make less mon...
by rixer
Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consider freezing your credit
Replies: 45
Views: 5392

Re: Consider freezing your credit

The wife has her own credit as do I. Would we both have to freeze our credit separately or would freezing it cover both of us?
by rixer
Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixing Social Security Earnings Mistake Advice
Replies: 11
Views: 1896

Re: Fixing Social Security Earnings Mistake Advice

Sounds like making an appointment with the local SS office is the way to go. Hopefully that means she can be in and out of there fairly quickly. Thanks for the responses! When making your appointment with Social Security, make it for first thing in the morning (9am). This way, there won't be a wait...
by rixer
Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The 4-year mortgage payoff plan
Replies: 121
Views: 20675

Re: The 4-year mortgage payoff plan

If I were planning to pay off my mortgage in the next 4 years I'd do a no-cost refinance into an ARM that has a rate that varies every month. Even if interest rates skyrocket, well, you've only got 4 years of payments to make. You could get a rate under 1% like that. Sometimes the best laid plans c...
by rixer
Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone successfully file restricted app for spousal online?
Replies: 12
Views: 1488

Re: anyone successfully file restricted app for spousal onli

Apparently you can do it online as somebody here mentioned. When I called to ask, they told me that if I was filing for spousal, I had to come in to the office. The wife and I scheduled their first 9AM appointment and got right in without waiting more than 5 minutes. The wife was filing for early SS...

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