Search found 1271 matches

by littlebird
Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of living comparison (HCOL vs LCOL)
Replies: 34
Views: 1579

Re: Cost of living comparison (HCOL vs LCOL)

30 years ago, my property tax on a small, but nice 3 bedroom, 2 bath house in a very distant suburb of N.Y.C was $11,000+/year. Now, 30 years later, my property tax on a much larger home on a larger lot, in a distant suburb of Phoenix, is less than $1200/year. The difference in homeowner's insurance...
by littlebird
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Humidifier input please
Replies: 46
Views: 2111

Re: Home Humidifier input please

In the winter when very cold, humidity can get down in the mid teens. That is dryer than the driest desert. Just a small point: Here in the Sonoran desert of Arizona - I don't know if our's is the driest desert - the ambient humidity in winter can be 6 or 7%. It's very comfortable at that humidity ...
by littlebird
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I got a Roomba and think you should too
Replies: 41
Views: 3581

Re: I got a Roomba and think you should too

I'm very happy with my iLife3 (I think it is), for $179 on Amazon. For that price, my threshold of satisfaction is fairly low and completely met by this gadget. It too goes in all different directions, but gets everything off the floor, even has a setting for edges, which works brilliantly. It needs...
by littlebird
Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AJ Madison?
Replies: 11
Views: 1073

Re: AJ Madison?

I purchased a European-style kitchen appliance from them that was not available locally. Everything went very well. The appliance itself has been very reliable and has not needed repairs. But had a locally-available appliance met my needs, I think I would have preferred that, even if the cost had be...
by littlebird
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you correct cashier mistakes?
Replies: 41
Views: 2166

Re: Do you correct cashier mistakes?

Yes! But just once. Last night I said to the cashier, while looking up at the register display: "Did you get the pineapples?" "Yes, I got them", he said. He didn't. I didn't say anything further.
by littlebird
Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Elder Law Plan for my Parents & Cost: Move forward?
Replies: 9
Views: 1072

Re: Elder Law Plan for my Parents & Cost: Move forward?

I think you need to educate yourself as to what Medicaid is and to get at least a rough understanding of the rules before your parents spend $8500. Also please disabuse yourself of the idea that your parents can direct their assets in such a way that the " facility can not get the money". Facilities...
by littlebird
Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Year 2000 retirees using the '4% rule' - Where are they now?
Replies: 354
Views: 33439

Re: Year 2000 retirees using the '4% rule' - Where are they now?

Nearly all the 80 years olds I know are far more focused on their families' needs than their own. I find this comment very strange. I live in a large "active senior" community and know many ~80 year olds. Maybe the type of people who leave their prior communities and, often, their families, to move...
by littlebird
Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1728
Views: 305417

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

With a 23/77 portfolio, a 90+ year-old spouse in self-pay assisted living, a new (large) roof, and a comparatively modest income and assets, investible assets (net worth less home) up 2.33%. Very satisfied.
by littlebird
Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: No earned income, how do you pay tax for pensions, SS and RMDs
Replies: 43
Views: 3600

Re: Retirees: No earned income, how do you pay tax for pensions, SS and RMDs

I like the flexibility of deciding on a withholding amount from our RMDs near the end of the year. This year, because of very high medical expenses, (and comparatively modest income) our tax obligation will be <$1000, so I had nothing withheld.
by littlebird
Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Appliance Install Issues
Replies: 40
Views: 2038

Re: Appliance Install Issues

Those heat issues is part of why I did not buy a new oven all these years. My old oven worked fine including the self cleaning cycle. It got hot and baked and broiled stuff fine. Plus the self cleaning high heat set up worked great. It always cleaned all the surfaces inside fine. It did not over he...
by littlebird
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LifeStrategy Income Fund - Only 20% stocks?
Replies: 20
Views: 2142

Re: LifeStrategy Income Fund - Only 20% stocks?

I'm in my mid-70's and, with a large bill every month for a spouse in self-pay assisted living, I'm comfortable with about 23% in stock. At your age I was about 60%-40%. Unless you're very conservative, or very financially comfortable, I would say that's a bit too bond-heavy at your age. You should ...
by littlebird
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: variable annuity cancellation tax question
Replies: 6
Views: 327

Re: variable annuity cancellation tax question

If you are within the 30-day "free look" cancellation period, any loss is just like a loss on the sale of stock or a mutual fund. After 30 days, I don't believe it's considered a cancellation. You can withdraw your money in several different ways - consult with the annuity department at V. - and you...
by littlebird
Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 316
Views: 23375

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I bought 2 Amazon Dots on sale for $30 each today and saved TWICE as much! :D
by littlebird
Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Cities that don't interest you
Replies: 187
Views: 11803

Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Others will probably call me small-minded in that international travel holds little appeal to me. Me too. And spouse. Maybe because grandparents had to scramble to get out, hated their countries of origin, with good reason, and adored the U.S. Also grew up in the era of "westerns" and the romantici...
by littlebird
Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 878
Views: 48888

Re: Tax Bill Omnibus Thread

Alan S. wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:12 pm
joe8d wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:48 pm
Does anyone know if this tax plan continues the exemption for being over 65?
Yes, that additional standard deduction is preserved, and also for the blind. It will be added to the 12k/24k new standard deduction.
So if you itemize, it will be lost to you?
by littlebird
Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Availability of health care providers - how to factor this in a move?
Replies: 77
Views: 4041

Re: Availability of health care providers - how to factor this in a move?

When we retired (early and very early, respectively) we were attracted to the rural lifestyle, but chose instead a large senior community with a healthcare situation very much like your current one. Although we were in excellent health at the time, the availability of healthcare was a large factor i...
by littlebird
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those retired at least 10 years, what about the money?
Replies: 47
Views: 7182

Re: For those retired at least 10 years, what about the money?

Almost 30 years in, now "blowing it" on spouse's assisted living care. Live comfortably, but don't forget: very old age is as different from early retirement as going off to college is to toddler-hood. :wink: Care to elaborate on your analogy? Be interested in your observations, particularly any su...
by littlebird
Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those retired at least 10 years, what about the money?
Replies: 47
Views: 7182

Re: For those retired at least 10 years, what about the money?

Almost 30 years in, now "blowing it" on spouse's assisted living care. Live comfortably, but don't forget: very old age is as different from early retirement as going off to college is to toddler-hood. :wink:
by littlebird
Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Random package from Amazon - early warning of identity theft?
Replies: 19
Views: 3096

Re: Random package from Amazon - early warning of identity theft?

They do make mistakes sometimes. I once received, out of the blue, a pair of running shoes,in my very common size, but of a brand I'd already determined doesn't fit me well, in a color I'd never have chosen. They professed to be unable to tell me how it happened, or who had placed the order. No one ...
by littlebird
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heater Install $1,800!
Replies: 84
Views: 12493

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Just got an estimate for an 55 gal. electric heater/tank of $850 plus $150 for an extra "guy" to help remove my 36 year old, 80 gal. very heavy solar/electric from a garage. As an aside, the plumber told me that continuing to use the electric portion of my current heater (the solar has become inoper...
by littlebird
Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone had a POA rejected? [Power of Attorney]
Replies: 45
Views: 3849

Re: Anyone had a POA rejected? [Power of Attorney]

How would a revocable trust avoid some of the issues? I'm only vaguely aware of how things are set up with MIL's trusts. DH is a trustee (MIL also is, but wants nothing to do with any finances any more). DH also has DPoA, so I'm not entirely sure when he would be operating as trustee, vs PoA. But h...
by littlebird
Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone had a POA rejected? [Power of Attorney]
Replies: 45
Views: 3849

Re: Anyone had a POA rejected? [Power of Attorney]

vested1 - Check with the skilled nursing facility to see if they have a (possibly state-mandated) picture taken of your mil at the time of her admission. Perhaps that, along with a statement from the administrator would be acceptable as a substitute picture ID. I have no other suggestions, assuming ...
by littlebird
Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Regrets for taking SS at 62 or waiting?
Replies: 100
Views: 9509

Re: Regrets for taking SS at 62 or waiting?

No regrets for spouse and I taking at 63 and 65 respectively. It was the only way we could finance our early (very early in my case) retirement and do the traveling and activities that the early retirement was in aid of. We did postpone taking spouse's SS for about 1 1/2 years after retirement, and ...
by littlebird
Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Got $1 million to retire? Here’s how long it will last, by U.S. state"
Replies: 50
Views: 10845

Re: "Got $1 million to retire? Here’s how long it will last, by U.S. state"

We retired with a lot less than a million and we've lived comfortably, quintupling our original nest egg -- over the course of 30 years. With very modest pension and SS. Of course we could have spent it all in the 19 years assigned to our state if we had really tried.
by littlebird
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a new solar hot water heater?
Replies: 1
Views: 279

Should I get a new solar hot water heater?

My 36 year old solar hot water heater with back-up electric resistance heating, has finally succumbed. I'm only getting electrically-heated water now. The brand is no longer being made. My plumber doesn't want to touch it. I'm wondering if anyone has advice on the newer solar hot water systems and/o...
by littlebird
Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: I got this!!
Replies: 82
Views: 10274

Re: Retirees: I got this!!

I was comfortable right from the beginning, although I was young enough (46) to go back to work if it turned out to be necessary, which it was not. This was 30 years ago, before the internet, and my decision as to feasibility was based on my own estimate of return on assets and a "back of the envelo...
by littlebird
Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Swedish Death Cleaning [De-clutter your home]
Replies: 63
Views: 7312

Re: Swedish Death Cleaning [De-clutter your home]

My mother, who never owned much anyway, pared down her possessions when she was in her 70's and now that I'm there also, I'm doing the same, although I never had much clutter either. I find it easy because one of the happiest times of my life was when, newly retired, we traveled around the west in a...
by littlebird
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone understand Permanent Press washing machine cycle?
Replies: 7
Views: 875

Re: Anyone understand Permanent Press washing machine cycle?

"Permanent press" is just an older term for what you call "wrinkle free". In order for the clothes to remain permanently pressed or wrinkle free, they should not be washed in hot water, should be rinsed in cool water, not be agitated too long or too fast and removed from the washer promptly. The per...
by littlebird
Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emotional impact of spending down assets?
Replies: 100
Views: 10736

Re: Emotional impact of spending down assets?

I think I am steeled to seeing our net worth decline. I feel sure I can tolerate it. We are in the exact situation where we should expect our net worth to decline. It's what we planned on. Yet our net worth stubbornly refuses to decline! :D My spouse is in his very early 90's, in assisted living, wh...
by littlebird
Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting A Winter Escape For A Month
Replies: 26
Views: 2641

Re: Renting A Winter Escape For A Month

When I didn't have a returning tenant, I would list my seasonal rental on Craig's List. It's getting late in the season, however, if you're looking for February or March in AZ. January may still be widely available. Mid-January is not a bad time in AZ. You have to look not only at the snowbird popu...
by littlebird
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting A Winter Escape For A Month
Replies: 26
Views: 2641

Re: Renting A Winter Escape For A Month

When I didn't have a returning tenant, I would list my seasonal rental on Craig's List. It's getting late in the season, however, if you're looking for February or March in AZ. January may still be widely available.
by littlebird
Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: On selling home to a child
Replies: 25
Views: 1976

Re: On selling home to a child

Example of "family friction": My late father offered to refinance my brother and sister-in-law's mortgage at a favorable interest rate. They took him up on the offer and my father-in-law wanted and got a lien recorded for this mortgage. It turned out that my sister-in-law was "insulted" or "hurt" b...
by littlebird
Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turn fridge off when gone or leave it running?
Replies: 40
Views: 53820

Re: Turn fridge off when gone or leave it running?

For a family getaway cabin (used one or two weekends a month) - Turn the frigde temp control all the way to off Unscrew the lightbulb Shove a towel in fridge and freezer doors to keep them propped open. An empty live socket would bother me. A quick check doesn't turn up medium socket base safety ca...
by littlebird
Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations on quartz countertops
Replies: 9
Views: 1065

Re: Recommendations on quartz countertops

I have Viaterra brand and have no problems or complaints, except that it hides dirt so effectively that counters appear clean when they are demonstrably sticky to the touch. The only solution seems to be to sponge down routinely after every food contact. Otherwise they are as maintenance-free as For...
by littlebird
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 105
Views: 10841

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

Well, I never felt it was necessary for me to feel productive in retirement. Retirement was for doing the things I wanted to do in life that I couldn't do if my spouse and I were working. We wanted to move to the southwest, live modestly on our modest means in a lower cost environment, see the sight...
by littlebird
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 105
Views: 10841

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

It's been almost a year for me and I still can't get used to it. The problem is that now that I have so much time, nothing seems very urgent. When I was working, every minute of free time was precious so I would try to cram in all my exercise, all my projects, all my socializing into those very pre...
by littlebird
Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuities-when and why?
Replies: 94
Views: 14524

Re: Annuities-when and why?

Littlebird, Did you ever have the option of partially annuitizing your VVA? No, it was all or nothing. But I must have known that years ago when I set it up, because I did set up 2 separate contracts, and added to them both as the years went by, although I honestly don't remember any more if that w...
by littlebird
Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuities-when and why?
Replies: 94
Views: 14524

Re: Annuities-when and why?

Because of my age and work history I had very little tax-deferred space. And I wanted more. I started investing in a Vanguard Variable Annuity ( functionally almost indistinguishable from a regular Vanguard mutual fund account) when I was 58 1/2, so that if I were to change my mind and want out, th...
by littlebird
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting Beneficiary vs. Revocable Trust (probate)
Replies: 4
Views: 439

Re: Setting Beneficiary vs. Revocable Trust (probate)

pshonore wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:32 am
The Probate Court does not get involved in the asset distribution but they do, in effect, collect taxes on them.
The executor is under the, at least, nominal supervision of the Court, to whom the executor must turn if there are any problems or questions involving asset distribution.
by littlebird
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Growing old without kids or younger caring relatives
Replies: 106
Views: 20475

Re:

Hello, I'm coming out of very occasional lurking because of this post. I'm married, no children by choice, siblings with A question following up on posts above, which have touched on this-- I'd like to get some ideas for *specific* resources or ways to locate financially and ethically trustworthy f...
by littlebird
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Growing old without kids or younger caring relatives
Replies: 106
Views: 20475

Re: Growing old without kids or younger caring relatives

After several years of living here in comfort, I identified a caregiver who knows the facility and local hospitals well, and made him my DPOA for Health Care in case of a medical emergency. He is the on-site person when I have minor surgery w/anesthesia who knows my wishes until my relatives who ha...
by littlebird
Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What specific changes have you made post-Equifax?
Replies: 52
Views: 4564

Re: What specific changes have you made post-Equifax?

Nothing. Completely unimpressed by recommendations of media.
by littlebird
Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do with your empty inkjet cartridges?
Replies: 22
Views: 1745

Re: What do you do with your empty inkjet cartridges?

HP used to enclose a little "return and recycle" post-paid envelope with each new cartridge. That lasted about a year. Now I just throw them out, for lack of a reasonable alternative.
by littlebird
Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roof shingles do not match - Neighbor sent notice
Replies: 44
Views: 6015

Re: Roof shingles do not match - Neighbor sent notice

I don't have an HOA either but still have covenants... I'm unclear about how you can have "covenants" without a legal body (HOA) to enforce them. Whoever the covenants are intended to benefit can sue to enforce them. It should be clear from the deed who those parties are. There used to be deed cove...
by littlebird
Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Growing old without kids or younger caring relatives
Replies: 106
Views: 20475

Re: Growing old without kids or younger caring relatives

I can say as a physician it is a BIG deal. It isn't just about caring for oneself if not able to do it by oneself. My sister has had a few medical procedures done requiring sedation and had to have my father drive her home and stay with her for a day. What is she going to do for even for simple thi...
by littlebird
Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 392
Views: 58411

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

In Missouri I've never had a notary ask for more than a Driver's license. No thumbprint. I have had stuff notarized in CA and Oregon, and in both cases ID and thumb print were recorded in the notary's book. And I believe the OP mentioned that the notary in this case was allegedly (if real) in CA. H...