Search found 1015 matches

by littlebird
Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Game of "Who is responsible"
Replies: 41
Views: 1847

Re: A Game of "Whose responsible"

My rule-of-thumb is - If I pay for a part/appliance and pay someone else to install it, any issues with the part/appliance are going to be time & materials on me. If the vendor provided the part/appliance and there are any issues, they are going to fix it for no additional cost. Yes, this is a ...
by littlebird
Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: need advice on sale of a 55 or older retirement listing
Replies: 7
Views: 568

Re: need advice on sale of a 55 or older retirement listing

reachmed I agree if he has good credit to take a smaller mortgage I also agree to get this place sold,I'm thinking of reducing price to $175,000 and see if he will mortgage the rest to close out this transaction. 55 or older retirement places are hard to sell as compaired to regular community house...
by littlebird
Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing Machine Hook-up to Kitchen Sink
Replies: 6
Views: 529

Re: Washing Machine Hook-up to Kitchen Sink

70 years ago, my parents had a washing machine (with a wringer on top) in a NYC apartment, which they hooked up to the bathroom sink, with the outflow going into the bathtub. The machine itself stayed in the hallway outside the bathroom. Since it's a co-op, could you ask permission of the board to i...
by littlebird
Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?
Replies: 83
Views: 4438

Re: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?

Just make sure the raccoon has easy access in and out and wait for the cubs to leave the nest and then seal them out. There is no need to try to catch or kill raccoons, and especially the cubs. They probably won't cause any real problems if you just wait them out. If you feed the mother raccoon scr...
by littlebird
Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best surface for garage, epoxy, polished concrete, something else?
Replies: 24
Views: 2555

Re: Best surface for garage, epoxy, polished concrete, something else?

Garage and driveway epoxying was very popular here in senior enclaves west of Phoenix. My garage was done professionally, including a rollered-on design, about 35 years ago. It's still in good condition except for a spot or two where something must have spilled and remove the finish. It's certainly ...
by littlebird
Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Insurance Have to Pay an Out-of-Network Ambulance Bill in Full?
Replies: 46
Views: 2805

Re: Does Insurance Have to Pay an Out-of-Network Ambulance Bill in Full?

EMS Subscription Some towns offer yearly subscription services that you PAY to belong to the local EMS service. You can select individual, couple, family. BUT -- no visitors, only residents of the home. Then if you or member needs to use the ambulance they will accept whatever your insurance is wil...
by littlebird
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Insurance Have to Pay an Out-of-Network Ambulance Bill in Full?
Replies: 46
Views: 2805

Re: Does Insurance Have to Pay an Out-of-Network Ambulance Bill in Full?

That is the difference. Emergency services usually accept in-network payment amounts. In some cases I think it might be mandated. However, not all ambulance rides are considered emergencies. Intra-facility transfers are not usually considered emergencies. Unfortunately, many of these are done by am...
by littlebird
Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Alert Services
Replies: 11
Views: 787

Re: Medical Alert Services

I have this one: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007U07UG/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I bought this direct from the manufacturer, which I recommend if you were to buy it. It's an extension landline phone and has no monthly fees. It doesn't need to be charged and works off a ...
by littlebird
Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 229
Views: 22377

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Unless/until the day comes when 1 spouse needs to act for the other, or a child needs to act for the surviving spouse. Then problems really begin at Vanguard. littlebird, I'm interested in what issues you've had. I have full agent authorization to act on behalf of my wife and haven't had any issues...
by littlebird
Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 229
Views: 22377

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

blevine wrote: Once done, yes easy to set it and forget it with Vanguard.


Unless/until the day comes when 1 spouse needs to act for the other, or a child needs to act for the surviving spouse. Then problems really begin at Vanguard.
by littlebird
Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are my concerns valid about homeowners insurance?
Replies: 14
Views: 1527

Re: Are my concerns valid about homeowners insurance?

This is interesting, but above my competency and ability to research. But one thing I'm pretty sure of is that your wife should be an additional named insured on the h.o.policy and the adequate umbrella insurance your FIL should purchase.
by littlebird
Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will - what is complicated?
Replies: 72
Views: 3913

Re: Will - what is complicated?

It seems to me that, except for some unusual gross screwups, the heirs (and other interested parties) either would not know or could not document that the will did not conform to the stated desires and intents of the deceased. Suppose, for example, that the deceased had three children, bit only nam...
by littlebird
Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Married filing separately and tax fraud
Replies: 18
Views: 1413

Re: Married filing separately and tax fraud

If I understood your post correctly, the IRS has already caught the fraud and has notified spouse A of the fact. If this is the case, any action now to change the ownership of any property in which spouse A has an interest could be seen as evidencing intent to defraud the government further, could i...
by littlebird
Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard is requesting a certified power of attorney
Replies: 7
Views: 873

Re: Vanguard is requesting a certified power of attorney

In my experience, Vanguard is difficult to work with as a representative, that is as a Trustee and especially as an agent under a POA. I moved my spouse's IRA and our long-held Trust assets from Vanguard to Schwab for that reason since I foresaw a fairly long tenure as a Trustee and POA. Evaluate yo...
by littlebird
Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage: Husband died, now what?
Replies: 13
Views: 3935

Re: Mortgage: Husband died, now what?

Perhaps you need a consult with a local general attorney who will be familiar with your state's laws. Unless you made a typing mistake, your husband's been dead for over a year. Have you had any trouble accessing your and his joint property? Or any property solely in his name, like IRA accounts, fin...
by littlebird
Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laundry lifestyle creep
Replies: 67
Views: 10544

Re: Laundry lifestyle creep

Using "pod" formats does not improve performance, It improves my performance. I throw in a new pod as soon as I take a load out of the washer. I don't have to reach for the measuring cup, dip out detergent and estimate the size of the load before putting in the powder. All I have to do wh...
by littlebird
Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Difficulty reconciling Amazon charges to Chase Amazon Visa
Replies: 11
Views: 1197

Re: Difficulty reconciling Amazon charges to Chase Amazon Visa

OP, I'm skeptical. I've always seen charges matched exactly one-to-one with shipments , regardless of card, whether Chase Amazon Visa or something else. Just compare your Amazon orders page (see specifically the amount charged) to the charges on your card. But the shipments don't always align with ...
by littlebird
Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not schlepping furniture down 2 flights of stairs, so what's an economical way to move?
Replies: 35
Views: 2019

Re: Not schlepping furniture down 2 flights of stairs, so what's an economical way to move?

I thank those persons who suggested tossing/donating everything rather than moving. Of course, this is an option, and I have thought about it. Certain things I would feel obliged to replace at the destination. My thought is to get moving estimates and compare that to the cost of toss/donate/buy new...
by littlebird
Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lending a scooter to a friend for 3 months
Replies: 19
Views: 1628

Re: Lending a scooter to a friend for 3 months

I understand that in America, anybody can sue anybody over anything. I'm curious though what would be the basis of a lawsuit if you loan a scooter to someone and then something malfunctions in the scooter and they injure themselves? Assuming the owner had no knowledge of any issues with the scooter...
by littlebird
Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Early retirees - how did you inform your loved ones and friends?
Replies: 54
Views: 5631

Re: Early retirees - how did you inform your loved ones and friends?

Since we were retiring - in large part - to move across the country to an interesting and LCOL area, I simply framed it as "we're moving!"
by littlebird
Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Difficulty reconciling Amazon charges to Chase Amazon Visa
Replies: 11
Views: 1197

Re: Difficulty reconciling Amazon charges to Chase Amazon Visa

Yes, it's very difficult if you're a heavy Amazon user. And if you use "subscribe and save" it gets even worse, since the item may appear on your "Order" page nearly a full month before the date it's charged against your card. :annoyed After a couple of years of tedious monthly m...
by littlebird
Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you and your spouse have different opinions on retirement income need?
Replies: 31
Views: 2433

Re: Did you and your spouse have different opinions on retirement income need?

As far as different opinions between spouses - a constant source of friction between my wife and myself is 'not having a paycheck' in retirement. Actual paychecks, pension (not eligible for any) checks, and SS (not taking it yet) checks count as paychecks, income from multi-million dollar investmen...
by littlebird
Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: nursing home & medicaid
Replies: 21
Views: 1613

Re: nursing home & medicaid

The 5-year "look-back" period is not a fallacy; it's the law. I think what the lawyer was saying is that it can be worked around. I think what he's planning to do is to set up an annuity/irrevocable trust to convert assets to income stream. Income in your name only - as the so-called "...
by littlebird
Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cars - possible recession indicator?
Replies: 21
Views: 3338

Re: Cars - possible recession indicator?

Some people were discussing this very topic just now on another forum I frequent, noting poor results at a Las Vegas auto auction last week and the effect of Uber and the like on young people's car buying (or non-buying) habits.
by littlebird
Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!
Replies: 67
Views: 4292

Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

I beg to differ. I made 2 small transfers to Vanguard in the last 2 years and both times Vanguard required a medallion signature. One transaction (as I described before) was moving a Roth IRA from Janus. The Vanguard reps told me that Janus required the medallion signature. After excessive delays i...
by littlebird
Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stay the course, always?
Replies: 55
Views: 4366

Re: Stay the course, always?

I have opportunistically "over-rebalanced" in several sharp downturns, but used a pre-determined discipline to divest myself of those shares after recovery. I have also, after many years of gradually reducing equities from 80% in my 40's to 30% in my early 70's, reduced them even further i...
by littlebird
Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Salvaged Wood Furniture and Table
Replies: 36
Views: 2555

Re: Salvaged Wood Furniture and Table

My salvaged wood dining room table has been disappointing. It looked great at first, but the first time it came into contact with anything remotely warm it developed white heat stains. If, for example, I were to get a plate of hot spaghetti and put the plate on a placemat on the table, the table wo...
by littlebird
Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Daughter maxed out credit cards, needs help from me
Replies: 92
Views: 4698

Re: Daughter maxed out credit cards, needs help from me

\\ . When your lives are intertwined, then you should know when the other is living beyond their means. Is she hiding the debt so that she can pretend to be as rich as he is? Is he pressuring her to share a lifestyle that only one of them can afford? Yes, this struck me too. I think the OP should p...
by littlebird
Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Daughter maxed out credit cards, needs help from me
Replies: 92
Views: 4698

Re: Daughter maxed out credit cards, needs help from me

If she has a job that does not pay a decent wage, gift her some money ($28k or less) each year. Some women are lucky enough to get by with that extra family support, rather than suffer all their lives and get a lump sum at the end. Parents should support their adult daughters with an annual stipend...
by littlebird
Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYS medicaid Pre 65 - no asset test?
Replies: 17
Views: 1031

Re: NYS medicaid Pre 65 - no asset test?

Also, with a projected income that low, he will also be eligible for the energy assistance program. They don't count assets either. Just goes strictly by whatever monthly income you had in the 30 day period prior to putting in application. He will get considerable help to pay for both winter heatin...
by littlebird
Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you have enough? How I realized yeah I do.
Replies: 75
Views: 12214

Re: Do you have enough? How I realized yeah I do.

I had my epiphany in my mid-forties (OK maybe it was actually a mid-life crisis?) when my commuting buddy (in a verrry long commute) announced one frigid morning that he was moving his business and young family to Florida. He shocked me when he told me what he was asking for his house. I had not bee...
by littlebird
Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Replace total bond idx with high yield?
Replies: 18
Views: 1253

Re: Replace total bond idx with high yield?

I have about 18% of my fixed income portion in Vanguard High Yield and have for many years. I'm extremely satisfied with this holding, but my equity allocation is very conservative.
by littlebird
Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 3401
Views: 876734

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

harvestbook wrote:Were people this nutty before the Internet? What did they do when they only got to see yesterday's stock prices in the newspaper once a day?


I sure you've read what some unhappy people did in the Depression, long before the internet.
by littlebird
Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 3401
Views: 876734

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

dwickenh wrote:You can't harvest without losses............Dan


I prefer to harvest gains.
by littlebird
Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYS medicaid Pre 65 - no asset test?
Replies: 17
Views: 1031

Re: NYS medicaid Pre 65 - no asset test?

Also, with a projected income that low, he will also be eligible for the energy assistance program. They don't count assets either. Just goes strictly by whatever monthly income you had in the 30 day period prior to putting in application. He will get considerable help to pay for both winter heatin...
by littlebird
Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYS medicaid Pre 65 - no asset test?
Replies: 17
Views: 1031

Re: NYS medicaid Pre 65 - no asset test?

This is all extremely enlightening to me, having just wrapped up my 2016 taxes and paying in excess of 100k in total state and federal tax my brain hurts a bit over it all and I have some serious moral/ethical reservations about it. However my mind is also working overtime thinking about how easily...
by littlebird
Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to pay for mother's dementia care...retirement accts versus other investments
Replies: 12
Views: 1302

Re: how to pay for mother's dementia care...retirement accts versus other investments

I don't know how we can help without knowing much more about your parents' assets and expenses. Every family is different. What other posters are hinting at here is Medicaid planning. I don't know whether that's appropriate in your case or not. You have to figure out whether your parents can sustain...
by littlebird
Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Designing Your "Glide Path"
Replies: 25
Views: 3139

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 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: whole house water filter --your thoughts?
Replies: 26
Views: 1989

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: 25
Views: 3139

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: 22
Views: 1474

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: 37
Views: 2426

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: 1115

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: 1457

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: 37
Views: 2426

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: 96
Views: 4395

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: 290
Views: 37086

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: 33
Views: 2512

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: 21492

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: 31
Views: 5484

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...

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