Search found 904 matches

by littlebird
Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eclipse viewing
Replies: 33
Views: 1520

Re: Eclipse viewing

On 8/21, there will be total solar eclipse across the United States. https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/nation/ I live in Chicago, which is approximately a 0.9 magnitude according to the map on the link above. I think it's unlikely I'd drive 5 hours to be in the total eclipse path, but I'm curiou...
by littlebird
Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any particular oven toaster you preffer????
Replies: 23
Views: 1570

Re: Any particular oven toaster you preffer????

Tycoon wrote:Low and behold, I was just about to start researching this. My wife wants one of these for Christmas.

Does anyone have experience with the Breville brand?


I've had one for several years. It's adequate for my needs. I can prepare meals for 2 and bake brownies.
by littlebird
Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?
Replies: 25
Views: 2645

Re: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?

Is this like white rice/brown rice. Where it costs less to buy the product that costs more to process :) No. Brown rice is fit for human consumption. Raw sugar is not. Sugar cane worker do chew the raw cane as it comes from the fields, but this is not raw sugar, which is minimally processed in the ...
by littlebird
Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?
Replies: 25
Views: 2645

Re: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?

When I worked in the cane sugar industry a long time ago, "raw sugar" meant unprocessed sugar right off the boat. While I've eaten it and served it to others after careful inspection, I wouldn't consider it suitable as a consumer product in the U.S. Possibly if it were packaged in the cou...
by littlebird
Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who will run my Ethernet Cables for me?
Replies: 25
Views: 2574

Re: Who will run my Ethernet Cables for me?

I would think a handyman could do it, as long as you provide the appropriate cabling.
by littlebird
Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?
Replies: 25
Views: 2645

Re: Why is actual raw sugar hard to find?

When I worked in the cane sugar industry a long time ago, "raw sugar" meant unprocessed sugar right off the boat. While I've eaten it and served it to others after careful inspection, I wouldn't consider it suitable as a consumer product in the U.S. Possibly if it were packaged in the coun...
by littlebird
Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?
Replies: 81
Views: 8723

Re: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?

I don't find them stingy at all. Of course, it never crossed my mind to expect a free month of Prime if something goes awry. Generally as soon as I tap the return link and start to type in in the problem, they offer me a pre-paid return or another shipment if a sufficient number of days have elapsed...
by littlebird
Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not happy with my realtor
Replies: 48
Views: 4266

Re: Not happy with my realtor

I'm a buyer and he's shown me 5 or 6 houses. I'm looking in a particular and relatively small neighborhood. Would it be unreasonable or inappropriate for me to ask him to contact the homeowners there to see if any might be interested in selling? It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while I ...
by littlebird
Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card for HNW Retirees
Replies: 12
Views: 963

Re: Credit Card for HNW Retirees

Since retirement I've always considered my "income" to be my SS and pension plus the average total return on a 50/50 investment portfolio: ~ 7.5%/year over the past 90 years or so. Now that my actual allocation is not 50/50, I adjust for it . This is my income when I need to report such to...
by littlebird
Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift To Self
Replies: 49
Views: 4151

Re: Gift To Self

A 10 year old big tomcat from Petsmart shelter program. A real gentleman.
by littlebird
Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare billing question
Replies: 16
Views: 1703

Re: Medicare billing question

In the 25 years my DH has been on regular Medicare, they refused to pay for a test once, but I called the doc's office and they added a code to explain why the test was ordered and Medicare paid. In my 9 years on Medicare I had a similar situation once with a similar resolution. Ordinarily we don't ...
by littlebird
Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Variable Annuities
Replies: 8
Views: 580

Re: Vanguard Variable Annuities

As far as I know that's the only cost, unless you want certain guarantees or insurance-like features. Vanguard is transparent about its costs and will not try to bamboozle you if you call and ask. I've had VVAs for many years (have even annuitized one) and have been very satisfied. I previously had ...
by littlebird
Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Testamentary Trust As Beneficiary/POD/TOD Avoid Probate? [FLORIDA]
Replies: 18
Views: 1257

Re: Does Testamentary Trust As Beneficiary/POD/TOD Avoid Probate? [FLORIDA]

]1.[/b] is your suggestion that we name the minor as beneficiary of bank/brokerage/retirement/RealEstate accounts INSTEAD OF or IN ADDITION TO a Testamentary Trust? 2. would naming the child as beneficiary and with NO Testamentary Trusts avoid probate if child is still minor at the time of death of...
by littlebird
Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Testamentary Trust As Beneficiary/POD/TOD Avoid Probate? [FLORIDA]
Replies: 18
Views: 1257

Re: Does Testamentary Trust As Beneficiary/POD/TOD Avoid Probate? [FLORIDA]

Just to make sure: I did Not mean Titling the accounts/assets in the Testamentary Trust's name. But designating the Testamentary Trust as Beneficiary on death. Does this change any of what you said above? No. Since it seems there's no way to avoid probate with a Testamentary Trust, what would yo sa...
by littlebird
Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Testamentary Trust As Beneficiary/POD/TOD Avoid Probate? [FLORIDA]
Replies: 18
Views: 1257

Re: Does Testamentary Trust As Beneficiary/POD/TOD Avoid Probate? [FLORIDA]

No. By definition, a testamentary trust is set up in a will and comes into effect only when the will is adjudicated to be valid, i.e,. "probated". From a practical point of view no trust can be set up without trust documents. The trust documents here are in a will and no financial institut...
by littlebird
Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Barbell strategies?
Replies: 14
Views: 1880

Re: Barbell strategies?

I assume BH AA implementations are based on taking a middle-of-the-road approach to investing, e.g., some mix of total stock and total bond markets. This is in contrast to barbell strategies such as those espoused by Taleb and others that supposedly place greater emphasis on avoiding black swan eve...
by littlebird
Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "No Referral Needed" Medicare speak
Replies: 32
Views: 1612

Re: "No Referral Needed" Medicare speak

I have regular Medicare with an employer supplied supplemental plan. I did not had a p.c.p. for many years and occasionally self referred without any problems.
by littlebird
Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for folks who early retired - Approx 50 or earlier
Replies: 11
Views: 2723

Re: Question for folks who early retired - Approx 50 or earlier

C'mon in the water's fine. Retired in mid-forties (spouse much older) in what was ( from the point of view of 2016) a different era: 1987. Had much less money than most folks on this forum are planning on, but had an easier social climate. 1 modest pension, ( full) healthcare insurance for 2, potent...
by littlebird
Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Planning (90 and 93 year old)
Replies: 23
Views: 2050

Re: Estate Planning (90 and 93 year old)

It is possible that they don't wish to "hide" assets. Have they asked about it? I don't think they care so long as their children get more of their money than a nursing home would - lol. The nursing home gets paid in any case. The question is: does the money come from the people who can a...
by littlebird
Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling my mother's home
Replies: 4
Views: 512

Re: Selling my mother's home

No "answers" but a few "thoughts": 1. Depending on all the facts, circumstances and place of residence, she may be better able to qualify for some benefits if her income and/or assets are lower. This might, for example, include Medicaid down the road.. Just keep in mind that the...
by littlebird
Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do insurance advisors exist?
Replies: 7
Views: 841

Re: Do insurance advisors exist?

Shop for an Independent Insurance Agent in your area. Talk to two or three. See how they answer their phone. Tell them about your insurance needs. Find out how many companies they represent.
by littlebird
Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sears car purchase inspections?
Replies: 7
Views: 691

Re: Sears car purchase inspections?

I'd guess they're not going to actually certify anything about the car for that price. I imagine the inspection will be more like "hmm, four wheels, engine runs... Yup, it's a used car alright!" Many years ago, I brought a car to Sears and told them what I wanted done - don't remember, bu...
by littlebird
Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Declining Service Expectations. Are there any excellent companies still out there?
Replies: 81
Views: 6262

Re: Declining Service Expectations. Are there any excellent companies still out there?

I try to only go to businesses with good service Even when paying more. Toyota service seems to have a bad rep here. The dealership I go to is bright, clean and comfortable. If waiting for service there are iPad internet stations set up for your use, comfortable seating, a large screen tv, and dail...
by littlebird
Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aldi doesn't accept phone calls
Replies: 36
Views: 4263

Re: Aldi doesn't accept phone calls

yangtui wrote:Did you try emailing them like their website says to do? Generally speaking, dealing with customer service over email/online chat is almost always superior than trying to talk with someone over the phone.


That's the complete opposite of my experience.
by littlebird
Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to co-own and co-occupy home with in laws
Replies: 34
Views: 3208

Re: How to co-own and co-occupy home with in laws

Yes, the likelihood of intra-familial strife when one or the other marital unit needs or wants to make a change in their circumstances.
by littlebird
Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sibling's destination wedding?
Replies: 137
Views: 11487

Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

KyleAAA wrote:
People who choose destination weddings know most people won't be able to attend. That's part of the attraction.


What ever happened to eloping? :wink:
by littlebird
Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Older Tupperware Safe
Replies: 48
Views: 3754

Re: Is Older Tupperware Safe

Am I understanding correctly that old Pyrex may have harmful amounts of lead in it, and new Pyrex does not but may shatter due to heat? No, that is not correct, there is no lead in Pyrex. Older Pyrex----back when it was made by Corning Glass---was a borosilicate glass which handled heat/thermal sho...
by littlebird
Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)
Replies: 47
Views: 3369

Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

A possible solution, especially as you have a sizable asset base already, is to set up the trust now, with a regional bank as co-trustee, with enumerated or simply stand-by duties while you're competent physically and mentally. Since you intend to move, there could be a provision for a transfer in t...
by littlebird
Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is information a bad thing for returns??
Replies: 42
Views: 2007

Re: Is information a bad thing for returns??

erik265 wrote:House prices were very cheap you have to look at big picture
For example in 1981 a house going for 85,000 would be worth about 700,000 in NY today far outpacing inflation

Mortgage interest rate was 16%. :(
by littlebird
Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Older Tupperware Safe
Replies: 48
Views: 3754

Re: Is Older Tupperware Safe

We found ourselves completely confused about what was or was not safe in the way of plastics for food storage. We replaced all our containers with glass Pyrex in an assortment of sizes and shapes. Of course, the snap-on lids are still plastic, but, unless the containers are filled to the rim, the l...
by littlebird
Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel question
Replies: 44
Views: 3334

Re: Kitchen Remodel question

I took out the over-the-range microwave oven when I bought my house and replaced it with real range hood and a pair of small countertop microwave ovens. Love it!
by littlebird
Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books to help prepare us for the inevitable aging process
Replies: 32
Views: 2667

Re: Books to help prepare us for the inevitable aging process

Observing neighbors. fellow volunteers, relatives and friends older than you, getting to know them with their strengths and their burdens, seeing them make the choices they make as their abilities narrow, is more powerful than any book
by littlebird
Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Received a gift of unwanted land
Replies: 23
Views: 3577

Re: Received a gift of unwanted land

Is it just me that thinks it's odd that property would be deeded to the kids without asking them first? One can just do that without the receiver's permission? Make it and the taxes, liability, etc, someone else's problem. If you and your wife really don't want it, or want it now, you should have a...
by littlebird
Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aging and Spending
Replies: 54
Views: 9084

Re: Aging and Spending

I am 65 and so is my wife. We have not changed anything and are still saving and investing. We enjoy walking sports gardening keeping fit and music. I too do not like the hassle of crowds and travel. I am encountering the same problem as others in going from accumulating to spending and as others h...
by littlebird
Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Line of Credit to My Mother
Replies: 22
Views: 1637

Re: Line of Credit to My Mother

My mother is mentally competent in the morning. I do worry that her competency to enter into a loan will be challenged. I plan to have her long time lawyer discuss it and vouch for her competency. So your other 2 siblings are not joining in this consortium? This makes me queasy. What will happen wh...
by littlebird
Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Line of Credit to My Mother
Replies: 22
Views: 1637

Re: Line of Credit to My Mother

You say you "would like". What are your mother's feelings in the matter? Is she mentally competent to make a contract?
by littlebird
Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resolving Trust Distribution Issues
Replies: 6
Views: 577

Re: Resolving Trust Distribution Issues

Issues that I see:

How long ago was your father's estate closed?

Is her CPA also a lawyer? Or do CPAs have the right to practice law in your state?

Did your lawyer say why there's "no statute of limitations" ?

Is your lawyer a trusts & estates specialist?
by littlebird
Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Vanguard Management
Replies: 21
Views: 2241

Re: Help with Vanguard Management

It is not credible that Vanguard would force a person to take a distribution from an IRA by insisting on mailing them checks. That would probably be illegal, actually. Conclusion: There is something messed up here where there is miscommunication and misunderstanding most possibly on both sides. Act...
by littlebird
Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Arms-length sale of home to child
Replies: 4
Views: 532

Re: Arms-length sale of home to child

"his" appraiser

"child's" appraiser

"tie breaker" appraiser chosen by the above two
by littlebird
Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Form 4562 Need to be filed for Rental Property Every Year
Replies: 3
Views: 575

Re: Does Form 4562 Need to be filed for Rental Property Every Year

Responding just to bump this up; surprised no one more knowledgeable than me has answered. My answer would be "yes". This form keeps track of your yearly depreciation. How will you know what figures to use next time you do put a new piece into service and decide to fill out the form if you...
by littlebird
Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Maximizing log wealth
Replies: 4
Views: 1169

Re: Maximizing log wealth

Oh. I thought you were going to discuss how to put by as many logs for the winter as possible. :)
by littlebird
Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remodel blunder: kitchen design flaw. What can I do now?
Replies: 43
Views: 4758

Re: Remodel blunter: kitchen design flaw. What can I do now?

Can anyone tell me why I can't see the pictures posted by the OP? All I see is the word "image" 2x.
by littlebird
Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How closely do you check your credit card statements?
Replies: 58
Views: 3019

Re: How closely do you check your credit card statements?

When I bought/charged a large number of items each month, I checked each against a receipt. Now that my family situation has changed and I buy/charge far fewer items, I just review without actual reconciling. How careful you need or want to be depends on your situation. I agree that Amazon make it v...
by littlebird
Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I make a legal last will/testament by myself?
Replies: 61
Views: 6542

Re: Can I make a legal last will/testament by myself?

You can totally do it yourself. Why spend money on an attorney when you can do it yourself!? Heck, it might work fine. We will find out after you die how good you did. Good luck! Thank you for pointing out this essential fact. I did the same, months earlier in this thread, in a less blunt manner an...
by littlebird
Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: People with living spaces that could be featured in magazines, what is your secret?
Replies: 18
Views: 2260

Re: People with living spaces that could be featured in magazines, what is your secret?

Go to the library every month. Take home an Architectural Digest magazine. Try to arrange your furniture so that it's convenient and comfortable for your family while absorbing the "look" of a house you wished was yours. Shop in consignment stores for furniture and decor items. Pay attenti...
by littlebird
Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Christine's article today on RMD's...a question to bogleheads
Replies: 37
Views: 3571

Re: Christine's article today on RMD's...a question to bogleheads

I've also considered doing a donor advised fund (but know the RMD can't go to one directly) but I do so many donations less than say $100 at a time. I'd have to cut out some charities or be very disciplined in fewer and larger single donations to go the donor advised route in my charitable donation...
by littlebird
Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing to Avoid the Consequences of Being Wrong
Replies: 27
Views: 3518

Re: Investing to Avoid the Consequences of Being Wrong

The trick is to find that stock/bond allocation where you feel at those points about half the time each. Let’s say your allocation is 60% stocks/40% bonds. If half the time you feel bad that you don’t have enough in stocks and half the time you feel bad that you don’t have enough in bonds, then you...
by littlebird
Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cosigning a new car lease for sister out of state
Replies: 71
Views: 4072

Re: Cosigning a new car lease for sister out of state

Not advising you one way or another, but in AZ it is usual to give the dealer limited POA to obtain your title and registration for you. In AZ it is also usual for the dealer to urge you to take the car home with you at the earliest possible moment, before payment, but after the dealer has convinced...
by littlebird
Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: Bank Balance better predictor of happiness than Total Wealth
Replies: 43
Views: 6499

Re: WSJ: Bank Balance better predictor of happiness than Total Wealth

I can't even imagine pre-internet days when you had to mail a check or wire funds to a broker and received paper statements. I think that would have made it harder for me to stick to a disciplined saving/investment plan. It just seems like it would be so nebulous. I can assure you that paper statem...
by littlebird
Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [500 million Yahoo accounts hacked, what should you do?]
Replies: 86
Views: 5857

Re: Yahoo says hackers stole info in 500 million user accounts

Because the simplicity of knowing an answer you'll never forget is replaced with the necessity of having a cheat list someplace (on another accident prone site? in your wallet? hidden in an innocuous fine on one computer? ). Phooey. KeePass O? Is that site hacker proof? Guaranteed? When they hack t...

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