Search found 977 matches

by littlebird
Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: whole house water filter --your thoughts?
Replies: 23
Views: 1479

Re: whole house water filter --your thoughts?

I don't know the current water softener technology today, but I recall that (years ago) water softeners greatly increased the sodium (salt) content of water. Depends on the initial hardness. Not much according to Mayo Clinic. Actually, I believe the article is incorrect when it states "Some wa...
by littlebird
Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Designing Your "Glide Path"
Replies: 18
Views: 1339

Re: "Designing Your "Glide Path"

I didn't think that it was possible to have a decent lifestyle living only on SS. We both have very good pensions and early SS and that covers all our expenses and desires with money left to invest but, could not possibly live carefree on SS alone. I don't see why not. For those who had maximum tax...
by littlebird
Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revokable Living Trust without telling the executor & beneficiary(s)?
Replies: 14
Views: 704

Re: Revokable Living Trust without telling the executor & beneficiary(s)?

I'm currently single, never married. Mid-career. Currently mid-six figures in total assets, including my home that I own free and clear. I'm planning to set up a revocable living trust in case the unexpected happens in my near future. However I would prefer not to inform the potential beneficiaries...
by littlebird
Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need title insurance?
Replies: 22
Views: 1326

Re: Do I need title insurance?

Anyone buying a title policy should carefully read the terms of the policy. They usually exclude utility bills, but some now also exclude actual liens levied by utilities for unpaid bills. I once bought a property that had over $4500 in such liens. I accepted the policy exclusion on utility bills, ...
by littlebird
Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Primary residence mortgage over the 1.1M mortgage interest deduction cap ... what to do?
Replies: 13
Views: 970

Re: Primary residence mortgage over the 1.1M mortgage interest deduction cap ... what to do?

. If there is no magic bullet so be it but worth researching. Hedge fund guys up the block get carried interest, so why not something for working professionals. Hate to seem to be defending hedge fund guys, but if, as a working professional, you need to pay interest as part of your profession, you'...
by littlebird
Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?
Replies: 18
Views: 1274

Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

fantasytensai wrote:
Dude...sorry to derail this thread but it's totally not cool to declaw a cat.


In one of the 14 or 15 posts you appended, the OP says that the cats were declawed when he adopted them.
by littlebird
Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need title insurance?
Replies: 22
Views: 1326

Re: Do I need title insurance?

To the OP: yes you need it, but it is a major scam of our system. Can anyone cite a case they know of where title insurance actually paid out some cash? I do remember a case in New Mexico and in trying to find it, came upon this, which should answer your question more authoritatively: https://books...
by littlebird
Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you do your income taxes?
Replies: 85
Views: 2743

Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Pencil and paper. edited to add: for the 57th year. Not consecutive, since the first year after I married (at 19), my then husband's friend, a CPA, did ours. When he handed it back he said to me sternly: "from now on, you do it yourself. Just follow what I did." So I did. Also just found o...
by littlebird
Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite consumer product?
Replies: 287
Views: 35608

Re: What is your favorite consumer product?

I seem to have reached the age where vacuum cleaner wires and hoses snaking around me as I clean have become a hazard. Bought an iLife robotic vacuum and now it and my tomcat are my favorites. As long as they're not both on the floor at the same time.
by littlebird
Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?
Replies: 32
Views: 2098

Re: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?

In NYC, the descriptor to watch for is "pre-war". That's WWII. :shock:
by littlebird
Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gross Yearly Income needed in Retirement (Speculation)
Replies: 194
Views: 20859

Re: Gross Yearly Income needed in Retirement (Speculation)

Off my topic, but I just read in another post above of someone paying $26K/year in federal income taxes ??? Here's my experience: except for the year in which I sold enough appreciated shares of TSM to buy a new house for cash, I've averaged less than $400/year in federal income taxes. Less in stat...
by littlebird
Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..
Replies: 27
Views: 4030

Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

I have never understood this total abdication of responsibility for one's financial future - it's like saying you don't want to deal with air. Or food. Or ever choose your own clothes.... day after day... The long term hit for high expenses will keep many people on worse budgets than needed. That's...
by littlebird
Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rhoad Scholar Travel Tours/Etc.
Replies: 11
Views: 974

Re: Rhoad Scholar Travel Tours/Etc.

I too have what I consider a less than flattering story about Roadscholar from what seems like a few years ago, but was actually quite a long time ago. We were RVing in a magnificent California State Park while an Elderhostal group was staying there. One day while biking, we came across the Elderhos...
by littlebird
Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: facing unexpected capital gains - tax loss harvesting options...
Replies: 44
Views: 1675

Re: facing unexpected capital gains - tax loss harvesting options...

If you regularly make charitable contributions, or if you'd like to start doing so, you might consider setting up a donor-advised fund at Fidelity or Schwab and consolidate several (many?) years worth of contributions this year, get the deduction this year, and "grant" out the contribution...
by littlebird
Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab vs Vanguard
Replies: 54
Views: 10398

Re: Schwab vs Vanguard

I was very happy with Vanguard during our accumulating years and recommended them to family and friends, and still do, but only to younger ones. In the distribution phase and especially once I needed to act in a representative capacity - POA and Trustee - they fell very short of what was required, b...
by littlebird
Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suspicious organic products
Replies: 100
Views: 4964

Re: Suspicious organic products

They can avoid all the pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and whatever else they want, but unless they're growing it in some kind of special kind of 'organic' soil how can they say it's organic? From what I've read, to get the organic certification, crops must be grown on soil that has not been trea...
by littlebird
Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suspicious organic products
Replies: 100
Views: 4964

Re: Suspicious organic products

I owned a produce stevedoring, handling, packing, re-packing, and delivery operation for over a decade, along with produce importation and a day labor operation. Things I've seen point to organics are marketing, only, (IMO) I cannot list all the nonsense (label-re-label) I've seen w/organics, other...
by littlebird
Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quiet Bedroom overhead fan
Replies: 25
Views: 1393

Re: Quiet Bedroom overhead fan

My Casablanca fans don't wobble. Nonetheless, I'm not a big fan (pun) of bedroom fans since the steady wind disturbs the hairs on my arms and keeps me awake... Make sure your fan direction switch (located on the motor) is in the up position, sometimes called the "winter mode". This change...
by littlebird
Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat Wanting to Invest in Vanguard
Replies: 4
Views: 365

Re: Expat Wanting to Invest in Vanguard

I'll only address question 2: yes, they do call out of the blue when they have a question about something, and I suspect eventually they'll notice something about your transactions which will pique their interest. Because they do have an interest in not dealing with expats. And when they call, they ...
by littlebird
Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of Attorney Issue/Question
Replies: 62
Views: 3569

Re: Power of Attorney Issue/Question

Your understanding of what POA is and does is outdated. We had a very similar wake-up call on this a few years ago when my husband had POA (or we thought he did) for a close friend who was terminally ill and we needed to invoke it while taking care of him in his last weeks of life. . . . It's simpl...
by littlebird
Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of Attorney Issue/Question
Replies: 62
Views: 3569

Re: Power of Attorney Issue/Question

I recently went through the exercise of executing agent authorization forms for Vanguard (on their form), despite the fact that by PA law they must accept my attorney-prepared forms. At least only notarization, not medallion guarantee, is needed. And you have to get it to them within 30 days of the...
by littlebird
Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Specific Book Recommendations - passing the time on Amtrak
Replies: 13
Views: 551

Re: Specific Book Recommendations - passing the time on Amtrak

Look out the window. Oh, I see it's overnight. On the east coast there's plenty to be seen even at night. You can read any time; take the advice of the poster above, and go to the dining or club car and strike up a conversation. I've met the most amazing people, from all over the world, on Amtrak tr...
by littlebird
Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Temporarily registering new car at friend's address -- anything wrong?
Replies: 39
Views: 2093

Re: Temporarily registering new car at friend's address -- anything wrong?

If you have to ask I think you really know what the answer is.
by littlebird
Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividends Vs Annuity
Replies: 32
Views: 3060

Re: Dividends Vs Annuity

It's convertible preferred at the issuer's option. Pass - buy a CD and either S&P calls or S&P fund. There's your upside. I wouldn't bank on WFC rising to $179 per share anytime soon. I don't understand this and neither will my friend. Too complicated. We are simple investors. Back to the o...
by littlebird
Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 215
Views: 15938

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Homeowners: Is there anything that you thought would be an asset when you bought your home and later found it to be gratuitous? For example, my husband wanted a pool. After 8 years, I find it to be a waste given the amount of $$ in water charges to maintain the water level, the fact that he uses it...
by littlebird
Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of Attorney Issue/Question
Replies: 62
Views: 3569

Re: Power of Attorney Issue/Question

Yes. The use of a POA has become fraught with monsters since the "Patriot" Act (PA) and allied legislation. Even before the PA, banks and other financial institutions (f.i.) were nervous about their exposure and many demanded that only their own forms, vetted by their own lawyers be used. ...
by littlebird
Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen cabinets
Replies: 73
Views: 5638

Re: Kitchen cabinets

With regard to drawers in the lower cabinet, I agree that they are great for heavy pots and pans. However, drawers only look right if all the drawers in a row are the same height. This is only true if you can see the row of drawers head-on. In my galley kitchen which is entered from either narrow e...
by littlebird
Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Die
Replies: 167
Views: 22558

Re: How to Die

My opinion is that the usefulness of a healthcare power of attorney, living will, advanced directive etc is dramatically overblown in society and particularly by the legal profession. . I don't think much of the idea behind a "living will", but as the spouse of a now-90 year old, I have a...
by littlebird
Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too much house to buy in cash?
Replies: 14
Views: 1583

Re: Too much house to buy in cash?

I think you're probably in the ballpark of what it's reasonable to spend. If you need a rule of thumb, I would say a third of your net worth would probably be one. Of course much depends on factors other than such a "rule", but you and your spouse are best positioned to evaluate the reason...
by littlebird
Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Joys Of Tax Season! :(
Replies: 55
Views: 3842

Re: The Joys Of Tax Season! :(

Choy wrote:This is going to sound crazy, but I actually enjoy doing taxes for the most part. :shock:


Doesn't sound crazy to me. I've always enjoyed it too. This will be my 58th year of annual enjoyment. 8-)
by littlebird
Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Group to Reimburse Clients After Website Outage
Replies: 6
Views: 1958

Re: Vanguard Group to Reimburse Clients After Website Outage

asset_chaos wrote:Don't trade, didn't notice. But good to see that when they mess up, they try to make amends some way.


That has not been my experience. Quite the opposite.
by littlebird
Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for Retired Members--life mistakes
Replies: 64
Views: 8400

Re: Question for Retired Members--life mistakes

My parents had a failed retirement in that my mother started working later in life and enjoyed the social aspects of her part-time, non-professional job, while my father, 10 years older, saw his industry collapse and had to retire early. Therefore he was home, somewhat depressed, while she was worki...
by littlebird
Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Protecting Aging Parrents - Advice Please
Replies: 25
Views: 2565

Re: Protecting Aging Parrents - Advice Please

see if FIL is willing to see a doctor with you &/or spouse present to get an opinion of cognitive state. keep all the paperwork from this aborted transaction as evidence of suceptibility, in case it's needed later giving someone a POA does not prevent a person from conducting his own affairs als...
by littlebird
Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Service problems in the news
Replies: 24
Views: 3200

Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

I don't understand the comment in the article "we've heard a lot of complaints about required minimum distributions and reinvesting distributions". I have never experienced any problems in either of those areas. We are taking RMDs and do reinvest dividends. Perhaps because you haven't rea...
by littlebird
Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood floors vs Wood Look Tile?
Replies: 68
Views: 5573

Re: Hardwood floors vs Wood Look Tile?

I put the wood tile down on one side of a rental 2 years ago. I was trying to go for durability as well as not have plain ceramic tile. In retrospect, I wish I hadn't. The tiles are too small to look much like anything besides tile plus now I have to maintain grout. Or rip it up eventually to repla...
by littlebird
Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer and dryer - upstairs or downstairs?
Replies: 52
Views: 3043

Re: Washer and dryer - upstairs or downstairs?

The best way to install the unit would be with a pan with a drain that connects into the house plumbing. This addresses water damage concerns. Ours are upstairs. Very convenient (the dryer is sort of a whole-family closet), but makes me nervous. The pan helps in theory (and we have one) but the lea...
by littlebird
Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer and dryer - upstairs or downstairs?
Replies: 52
Views: 3043

Re: Washer and dryer - upstairs or downstairs?

RudyS wrote: Basement is probably the least convenient of all options.


With the possible exception of the garage, in the Phoenix metro. :annoyed Really. They do this here. I moved mine into the master bath area. I love it there, but it's all one level
by littlebird
Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refusing to sign or altering hospital billing admission forms?
Replies: 79
Views: 5984

Re: Refusing to sign or altering hospital billing admission forms?

In the last few years my spouse was taken to the emergency room several times. They use electronic signing, but there are several separate forms. I sign - with POA on file there - all the forms except the one that has me agree that if Medicare won't pay, we will. My position is that If Medicare won...
by littlebird
Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dow hits 20,000. What next? Share your strategy
Replies: 107
Views: 9164

Re: Dow hits 20,000. What next? Share your strategy

Since I am in a different place in life than most here, I guess it's not surprising that I'm in a different state of mind also. I have a spouse in assisted living and I am comfortably remaining, for now, in our last, largish, home. I'm meeting all our expenses - including this month a new, largish, ...
by littlebird
Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refusing to sign or altering hospital billing admission forms?
Replies: 79
Views: 5984

Re: Refusing to sign or altering hospital billing admission forms?

Could you explain in more detail how you were able to put a POA on file and also how you were able to not sign the form where you have to pay if Medicare won't? Did you have to negotiate this with the ombudsman type of person? How did that transpire? POA- Hospital admitting person asks if I am spou...
by littlebird
Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refusing to sign or altering hospital billing admission forms?
Replies: 79
Views: 5984

Re: Refusing to sign or altering hospital billing admission forms?

In the last few years my spouse was taken to the emergency room several times. They use electronic signing, but there are several separate forms. I sign - with POA on file there - all the forms except the one that has me agree that if Medicare won't pay, we will. My position is that If Medicare won'...
by littlebird
Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.
Replies: 41
Views: 5692

Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

adamthesmythe wrote:When I had a house in the east I decided there was no good solution. I have moved to Arizona where we do not have gutters. Problem solved.


I live in Arizona and I have gutters; very large ones, in fact. What I don't have much of, however, is leaves. :D
by littlebird
Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Those silly lotion containers
Replies: 39
Views: 5996

Re: Those silly lotion containers

Is there any way of pouring all of the contents and use it that way? If it is a liquid, you can try the following: Start a new container, and use it until there is some empty space available. Remove the pumps from both bottles. Invert the "empty" bottle and carefully place it on top of th...
by littlebird
Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: U.S. brokerages and retiring abroad
Replies: 24
Views: 2017

Re: U.S. brokerages and retiring abroad

Would it be possible to buy a cheap plot of land and use that for residence mailing address? Especially in places in the middle of nowhere, eg. Minnesotta, I imagine that it would both not expensive and nobody (either your "neighbors" or Schwab/Vanguard) would go out there to check on you...
by littlebird
Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone rent toys?
Replies: 27
Views: 2875

Re: Anyone rent toys?

My in-laws provided a steady stream (almost a torrent) of new toys. :annoyed The local women's shelter and hospital thrift shop provided an outlet.
by littlebird
Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retired, expenses covered but still growing portfolio, why?
Replies: 46
Views: 4689

Re: Retired, expenses covered but still growing portfolio, why?

With one modest non-COLA-ed pension and one and a half SS, and starting with an embarrassingly small nest egg on first retiring, and not pinching pennies, after 29 years our portfolio is respectable, even by Boglehead standards, and still growing. Amazingly enough, even in 2016 with my spouse now i...
by littlebird
Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retired, expenses covered but still growing portfolio, why?
Replies: 46
Views: 4689

Re: Retired, expenses covered but still growing portfolio, why?

With one modest non-COLA-ed pension and one and a half SS, and starting with an embarrassingly small nest egg on first retiring, and not pinching pennies, after 29 years our portfolio is respectable, even by Boglehead standards, and still growing. Amazingly enough, even in 2016 with my spouse now i...
by littlebird
Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retired, expenses covered but still growing portfolio, why?
Replies: 46
Views: 4689

Re: Retired, expenses covered but still growing portfolio, why?

The first thing that comes to mind is that these portfolios are being used to self insure against future medical and assisted living expenses. Most of the projections that I have run show retiree portfolios increasing during the first decade or so of retirement but then declining. Inflation is rele...
by littlebird
Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing an intra-family loan
Replies: 18
Views: 1112

Re: Doing an intra-family loan

Research the issue of whether a bank will give her a mortgage with an outstanding $200,000 loan. It is my understanding that they probably will not.
by littlebird
Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for asset protection for 70+yr old inlaws, one with advancing dementia
Replies: 13
Views: 1144

Re: Advice for asset protection for 70+yr old inlaws, one with advancing dementia

All good advice for a very difficult situation, thanks. The driving situation is particularly scary, as giving up driving is one thing he absolutely refuses to do and he'll go as far as quit family events instantly in anger if you even suggest that someone younger like myself drive everyone to the ...

Go to advanced search