Search found 2898 matches

by carolinaman
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vested in pension... leave it in or take it out?
Replies: 10
Views: 799

Re: Vested in pension... leave it in or take it out?

I'm a retired government executive, and when I was working, I saw a lot of folks return to government service after having left. That meant that they had to return the retirement funds they had taken out when they left. That was often a major stumbling block. If there is any chance whatsoever that ...
by carolinaman
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary Negotiation gone sour
Replies: 98
Views: 9485

Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

My experience from both sides, employee and hiring manager. Unless you are an exceptional candidate or the need is great. It is not so much a negotiation as it is, Offer -> Counter Offer -> Final Offer. The candidate only has their own decision to make. Companies are different. Once you start jerki...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Alternative to a Pension (DB )
Replies: 12
Views: 957

Re: Best Alternative to a Pension (DB )

You need to compare your options. One is to buy the 7 years of time at $90k and two is to buy an SPIA with that money. How do they compare? Does your pension have a COLA? COLAs are very expensive in SPIAs. Will buying this time back enable you to retire sooner? That is often a consideration. Does th...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual bonds versus bond funds.
Replies: 11
Views: 773

Re: Individual bonds versus bond funds.

I use very low cost bond index funds that are well diversified. One thing that can hurt individual investors is the spread between buy and sell. Bond funds and institutions get more favorable spreads than individuals and this can be significant in the long run and commissions can add up too. You can...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long does a will last? [Time to settle the estate]
Replies: 42
Views: 3417

Re: How long does a will last?

When I handled my mother's small estate, I did it without using an attorney except I had one review everything. He advised to hold back some of the money for a year to assure that all estate obligations were identified. Often medical bills are slow to arrive and there may be unexpected liabilities s...
by carolinaman
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Updated w2 from 2013-2017
Replies: 6
Views: 517

Re: Updated w2 from 2013-2017

Most individuals operate on a cash basis, meaning they recognize the income when it is received according to IRS rules. Therefore, the income should be recognized in the year received. The error should not have required revised W2s for past years.
by carolinaman
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?
Replies: 76
Views: 3474

Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

But as I was driving on the highway, I realized that, without my husband, I have no clue what to do if I have a flat or a breakdown or an accident. Is AAA still the thing to do? AAA is an expensive and bad idea. 30 yrs ago they were the only game in time and people are stuck in old habits. Any auto...
by carolinaman
Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much can mom spend on a house?
Replies: 11
Views: 1710

Re: How much can mom spend on a house?

Life after 70 can change on a dime; a home becomes more difficult to manage with age and more and more services may need to be hired as time passes. What seems easy at 70 may be quite difficult or impossible by age 80. That is tying up a lot of her money in a house, whether it has a mortgage or not...
by carolinaman
Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Factor in evaluating Physicians
Replies: 86
Views: 4531

Re: Factor in evaluating Physicians

One of my docs got $42k. He has given no indication of influence to me. When insurance dropped one of my meds, he recommended I try OTC drugs. I asked whether an expensive medical procedure would help my condition. He felt my current treatment with the aforementioned med was more appropriate. I do n...
by carolinaman
Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy new or used cars?
Replies: 109
Views: 6221

Re: Do you buy new or used cars?

I normally buy new because the cars I like do not depreciate much and it is usually better to buy new, i.e Toyota Camry. However, we bought my wife's Toyota Avalon used. It was 2007 LTD with 38k miles when we bought in 2010. I did not buy it from Carmax but they told me that Avalon's depreciate a lo...
by carolinaman
Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinion on Vanguard Personal Advisor Services
Replies: 12
Views: 1506

Re: Opinion on Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

One way to get around the re-balancing issue is to invest in a LifeStrategy fund from Vanguard. These are similar to target date funds but they maintain a relatively constant ratio of equity to fixed income. There are several different ones. Two that you may be interested in are: Life Strategy Growt...
by carolinaman
Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Factor in evaluating Physicians
Replies: 86
Views: 4531

Re: Factor in evaluating Physicians

The issue, it seems to me, is the bias (especially woth drugs) of receiving compensation related to prescribing expensive drugs from the manufacturers. Do you really think that the average physician is going to be influenced adversely by a pizza or sub-sandwich lunch for him/her and some of the off...
by carolinaman
Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial planners [looking for one]
Replies: 26
Views: 1962

Re: Financial planners [looking for one]

I think it is a good idea and a good time to get some good financial advice from a fee only financial planner, especially for retirement planning at your age. There are a lot of things that can go into a good financial plan. IMO, the investment part is the easier part. Tax planning, SWR, will my mon...
by carolinaman
Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Total Cost of Car Ownership over 10 years
Replies: 40
Views: 3189

Re: Total Cost of Car Ownership over 10 years

I am a longtime Camry owner and have surpassed 150k on a 1992 and 2004 Camry LEs. Great cars and very reliable. That said, some of your costs appear low to me. You will likely need at least 3 sets of replacement tires and I would recommend buying better tires which will cost more than $500 per set. ...
by carolinaman
Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Rating sites for TVs
Replies: 22
Views: 1434

Re: Best Rating sites for TVs

TVs are the one thing I like to see in person rather than trust ratings. It's personal. I go to Best Buy and stare at them carefully. I ended up liking Sony pictures the best (more natural colors, especially greens and reds and just overall easier on the eyes and relaxing). The ratings liked Samsun...
by carolinaman
Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me explain why pre-tax investing can help when retiring in same bracket
Replies: 83
Views: 6572

Re: Help me explain why pre-tax investing can help when retiring in same bracket

I have the same marginal rate in retirement as I did when working due to a nice pension and social security. Also I was in the 25% marginal bracket, now 22% which is a very large bracket and explains why some people's marginal bracket does not change even though their income may be less in retiremen...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to put TV in living room?
Replies: 12
Views: 957

Re: Where to put TV in living room?

Our LR is 23' x 13' and similar to yours. Fortunately, our doorway, using your layout is at top right which enables us to put TV on top center wall. One other consideration is viewing angles. LCD TVs side viewing angles are not good (plasma and OLEDs do not have this problem). If you have an LCD, yo...
by carolinaman
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PayPal fund request from unknown person?
Replies: 19
Views: 1492

Re: PayPal fund request from unknown person?

A few years ago some unknown party in the UK pulled $1,000 from my bank account for a Paypal transaction. I alerted Paypal and my bank and my funds were restored. I disconnected Paypal from my bank. I rarely use Paypal so I never reconnected it to my bank.
by carolinaman
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard vs Independent Certified Financial Planner
Replies: 15
Views: 1338

Re: Vanguard vs Independent Certified Financial Planner

If you are looking at primarily investments and whether you are on track, Vanguard will do fine. However, if you are looking for more comprehensive advice and perhaps a full blown retirement plan, then I think a fee only CFP is best as from my experience, Vanguard will focus on investments.
by carolinaman
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Rating sites for TVs
Replies: 22
Views: 1434

Re: Best Rating sites for TVs

I think just about every reputable site has named the LG OLED's tops for picture quality. We have a 65-inch LG OLED from a couple of years ago, and the picture quality is phenomenal and way superior to LCD, LED, QLED, or whatever gimmick they're using today to market LCD. All the LG OLEDs in any gi...
by carolinaman
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is an 80/20 Asset Allocation Appropriate?
Replies: 20
Views: 2355

Re: Is an 80/20 Asset Allocation Appropriate?

A big question is how much of your investments will be required during retirement. You will still have SS but not the LTD income ($49k). It seems if you will need to replace the LTD during retirement with your investments. Hence, you will be vulnerable to the sequence of returns risk. I suggest you ...
by carolinaman
Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Appropriate to ask co-worker when retiring?
Replies: 35
Views: 2284

Re: Appropriate to ask co-worker when retiring?

Retirement plans are something most people keep close to their vest. It is not a good idea to ask her as she would likely feel you were being intrusive.

I worked in public sector for 28 years. The last few years of work, I was often asked this question which was annoying. I usually gave a non answer.
by carolinaman
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unaffordable prescription drug
Replies: 42
Views: 3494

Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Canadian pharmacies? I too have used Canadian pharmacies. You can save a lot of money but you need to be careful if you decide to do this. Some are very credible whereas others are not. I used onlinecanadianpharmacy.com. My prescription was filled in Canada. Most of these prescriptions are filled o...
by carolinaman
Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Rating sites for TVs
Replies: 22
Views: 1434

Re: Best Rating sites for TVs

Thanks to everyone for their responses. My research led me to either the Sony 930e or 900e. Most reviewers consider them to be the best pictures in the high mid range. Rtings and other sites said the 930e was not worth the extra cash ($500). However, some Amazon reviewers were pretty critical of the...
by carolinaman
Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Rating sites for TVs
Replies: 22
Views: 1434

Re: Best Rating sites for TVs

I think just about every reputable site has named the LG OLED's tops for picture quality. We have a 65-inch LG OLED from a couple of years ago, and the picture quality is phenomenal and way superior to LCD, LED, QLED, or whatever gimmick they're using today to market LCD. All the LG OLEDs in any gi...
by carolinaman
Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Buy, $3k TV, should I buy warranty?
Replies: 24
Views: 1522

Re: Best Buy, $3k TV, should I buy warranty?

Using any premium credit card would have likely gotten you a two year warranty for no cost. What is the cost for another 3 years? $30, go for it....$300 I'd pass. What could actually break on a TV? It is either DOA or dies shortly after turning it on....or it will last for 20 years. Seems very rare...
by carolinaman
Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Rating sites for TVs
Replies: 22
Views: 1434

Best Rating sites for TVs

I am in the market for a new 65 inch 4k TV. I am looking more in the mid to upper price range. I have researched reviews and ratings from numerous sources including rtings.com, consumer report, CNet and others. I find some notable variations in ratings of specific models. Which websites are most rel...
by carolinaman
Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bridging Income Gap Using Roth IRA
Replies: 3
Views: 372

Re: Bridging Income Gap Using Roth IRA

This link explains withdrawal rules from a Roth in case you decide to use it for the stated purpose. https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/investing/retirement_and_planning/understanding_iras/roth_ira/withdrawal_rules Once you are age 59 and have had Roth for 5 years, there are no restrictions and no...
by carolinaman
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling ageism in tech
Replies: 56
Views: 4404

Re: Handling ageism in tech

The problem is not age discrimination. The problem is that, as we mature, we typically make more money. The folks who pay the salaries want to get the job done as cost effectively as possible. The key to staying employed as we get older is to figure out ways to be worth the increasing salary they’r...
by carolinaman
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax basis for an inherited property
Replies: 10
Views: 656

Re: Tax basis for an inherited property

... Probate was done in 1989 by my wife's sister who is now deceased. She gave my wife information about the property before her death but she provided nothing about probate or property value. We will check with Clerk's Office for probate records. This was a small estate with total property at the ...
by carolinaman
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prescription drug costs
Replies: 22
Views: 1220

Re: Prescription drug costs

Try Good RX, a free online discount company, that essentially gives you all of the negotiated "cash" prices of all of the pharmacies in the area you designate. I've also used Canadian companies for asthma inhalers. gasdoc Good RX offers good discounts over retail prices. Also, you can use manufactu...
by carolinaman
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax basis for an inherited property
Replies: 10
Views: 656

Re: Tax basis for an inherited property

Was there an estate tax return? The Federal exempt amount was only $600,000, and some states had lower exempt amounts, or had inheritance taxes. If not, was there a probate court inventory? Some states have them but others don't. If not, whether the property tax assessment is a good approximation o...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax basis for an inherited property
Replies: 10
Views: 656

Tax basis for an inherited property

My wife and her siblings inherited a timber property upon the death of her mother in 1989. The family is now selling the property and each sibling will get a 1099 indicating proceeds from the sale. I know that property had a step up in value to FMV at the time of her mother's death. No one bothered ...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Too much Bogleheads.org?
Replies: 79
Views: 10162

Re: Too much Bogleheads.org?

Once you buy into the boglehead philosophy, there is only so much investing information that you need. I tend to ignore most investing posts nowadays and find personal finance and consumer topics much more interesting. There is a lot of knowledge on many topics in the forum and I learn a lot from ot...
by carolinaman
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wanting to start medical info blog- things to consider
Replies: 5
Views: 340

Re: Wanting to start medical info blog- things to consider

He needs to consult an attorney about liability issues. IMO, that is beyond the scope of this forum.

Should he inform his employer? IMO, absolutely yes. His employment agreement may require it, but if not, he should inform them anyway.
by carolinaman
Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Move: Please convince me why I should not work in tech
Replies: 59
Views: 4651

Re: Career Move: Please convince me why I should not work in tech

You know your current industry in terms of opportunity, stability, etc. I spent 44 years in tech, the last 30 years as an IT executive who hired many techs for a large IT services firm and later for internal services to a sizable organization. You are correct that there can be huge opportunities in ...
by carolinaman
Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it time to retire
Replies: 23
Views: 3633

Re: Is it time to retire

The finances look fine. The question of "What will you do when you retire?" is sort of a red herring since you will have that transition if you retire today, or five years from now. It sounds like you are in some sort of relationship. A big consideration would be if that person is going to be able ...
by carolinaman
Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Microwave - what to select?
Replies: 11
Views: 848

Re: New Microwave - what to select?

My son has installed hundreds of microwaves in apartments and condos. The companies he works for use primarily GE at price point around $300 to $350 for OTR MWs. They are very reliable. It is rare for any to require service. I have GE OTR MW too and is has performed well. It replaced a more expensiv...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: “We’re not making enough money off you”
Replies: 62
Views: 10669

Re: “We’re not making enough money off you”

I haven't been tracking corporate management fads lately. For a while in the early 1990s I worked at a Fortune 500 company that among other things had a corporate library with all the things like Harvard Business Journal, and assorted $495/year newsletters, etc. At one time it was a management fad ...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retire at 55, what's the magic number
Replies: 90
Views: 10005

Re: Retire at 55, what's the magic number

25 times whatever living expenses are not covered by social security. Or thereabouts. Some here say 30x. Since you’re retiring before you can collect SS, add in cover the extra pre-SS expenses. I think that since the OP is postulating retiring at 55, they wouldn't want to plan on 25x, that will onl...
by carolinaman
Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Percentage to Retirement
Replies: 13
Views: 1989

Re: Percentage to Retirement

I do not count the mandatory contribution to a pension as "my" savings, since I cannot roll it into an IRA upon leaving service. So I save 18% of gross income into the 403(b), plus the required contribution. If you can afford to do so, since it's a state program and possibly not well-managed, I wou...
by carolinaman
Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy or not to buy pension credits
Replies: 5
Views: 538

Re: Buy or not to buy pension credits

Based upon what you stated, I would recommend purchasing the extra 5 years. You could possibly do better with an aggressive portfolio, but you could also do a lot worse. As you approach retirement, many people consider a less aggressive portfolio. A guaranteed return (one poster stated it was 4.8%) ...
by carolinaman
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LG 75" vs OLED 65" TV or Wait?
Replies: 44
Views: 3776

Re: LG 75" vs OLED 65" TV or Wait?

It is not just size but other features than can provide much higher quality pictures. In November issue, CR talked about the "high dynamic range" (HDR) feature which supposedly produces much higher quality pictures. It is mostly available in higher priced TVs but its quality varies a lot by brand an...
by carolinaman
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: Do you spend all your "income"?
Replies: 46
Views: 4265

Re: Retirees: Do you spend all your "income"?

We spent 78% of MAGI which includes all taxes. I backed out Roth conversion before calculating.
by carolinaman
Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Denver to Salt Lake City
Replies: 12
Views: 1230

Re: Denver to Salt Lake City

Flying to Denver. Renting a car and driving around Colorado to SLC. Two week trip in June. Plan on spending 2 days in Denver and then drive to SW Colorado and spend 5-6 days. Then to Albuquerque for 2 days, then finish up in SLC. Any ideas on things to do, places to see, restaurants, etc. We do not...
by carolinaman
Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Father's Pension - Advice
Replies: 13
Views: 1920

Re: Father's Pension - Advice

It is troubling that your father's employer is so lacking in records for his pension. I seriously doubt that is the case because a fundamental requirement of any pension system is to keep records that enable them to calculate pension payouts for every pensioner. It sounds like they are purposely wit...
by carolinaman
Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Savannah or Charleston?
Replies: 49
Views: 4065

Re: Savannah or Charleston?

I live in SC. Been to both towns many, many, many times. Charleston...hands down is better to visit. So much to do, so much to eat. Take a ghost tour, go on a horse drawn carriage ride, go out drinking, eat, and eat some more. +1. Been to Charleston many times and Savannah only once. Charleston has...
by carolinaman
Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing previous years of service. Use tax deferred or taxable funds
Replies: 5
Views: 494

Re: Purchasing previous years of service. Use tax deferred or taxable funds

I bought time back from NC pension system. At that time, the only option was to use taxable money. I paid $63k for 5.3 years of service. In my case, it was clearly beneficial to do this. In addition to increasing my pension there will added benefits such as increased vacation and increased longevity...
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to Israel need help planning
Replies: 12
Views: 1116

Re: Going to Israel need help planning

What are you looking to get out of your trip? If you could share more about your expectations it would be helpful. Do you want to visit ancient religious (Christian, Jewish, Druze, Islamic, Bahai), Roman, Napoleonic, general cultural or modern (post 1948) Israeli historical sites? The country is an...
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Computer Security
Replies: 55
Views: 3487

Re: Computer Security

What do you intend to use your home computer for? That makes a difference in terms of recommendations.