Search found 944 matches

by littlebird
Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Service problems in the news
Replies: 22
Views: 2552

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: 5252

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: 2865

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: 2865

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: 5893

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: 9006

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: 5893

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: 5893

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: 5621

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: 5925

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: 1963

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: 2804

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: 4596

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: 4596

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: 4596

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: 1028

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: 1123

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 ...
by littlebird
Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many $ to self fund long term care?
Replies: 73
Views: 5087

Re: How many $ to self fund long term care?

My spouse is getting excellent care in an assisted living group home (algh) licensed by my retirement-home state to care for up to 10 patients in a home-like setting. After many years of needing increasing help from me - and near the end of this time occasional supplemental help from a home health a...
by littlebird
Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: spousal disagreement over how much house to buy
Replies: 99
Views: 6494

Re: spousal disagreement over how much house to buy

This isn't what you asked, but I see the being "next to a large park" as a potential problem rather than an unalloyed positive. Parks attract teen-agers late at night as well as serving as the venue for loud concerts and events, sometimes all day and looong into the night.
by littlebird
Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: V. annuity asset allocation
Replies: 7
Views: 636

Re: V. annuity asset allocation

You will be paying tax at the ordinary income rate for any gains from this annuity. The gains will be pro-rated with your return of principle if you annuitize, and will be paid out first if you simply withdraw. For this reason I didn't keep equity funds (which normally get the lower capitol gains ra...
by littlebird
Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A kitchen timer made in the USA.........
Replies: 22
Views: 1804

Re: A kitchen timer made in the USA.........

mouses wrote:
I have my mother's. I wouldn't be surprised if it was sixty years old and still works like a charm.


Hang on to it. I can assure you that the ones made in the past 20 years or so are worthless. Much as I hate the digital ones, they are now the only ones that work.
by littlebird
Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choice Of Bond Funds For Retirees Late In Life
Replies: 11
Views: 1673

Re: Choice Of Bond Funds For Retirees Late In Life

I think the important sentence in your post is this: " I plan to be drawing on these bond funds." At any age, if your plans include drawing down your bond funds in this rising interest rate environment, I would shorten the average duration by substituting some short term bond funds for the...
by littlebird
Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on this inverse living floor plan and building a home in general
Replies: 30
Views: 2347

Re: Thoughts on this inverse living floor plan and building a home in general

I would make sure the stairway is wide enough to install an inclinator someday if needed I know you're young, but accidents can happen to anyone, even the person responsible for cooking in an upstairs kitchen. It can also be useful for bringing heavy purchases upstairs. As long as you're building a ...
by littlebird
Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Complicated Estate/Trust Questions
Replies: 22
Views: 1807

Re: Complicated Estate/Trust Questions

This sounds to me like the deceased retained what's called a "life estate", allowing him to remain in the house during his lifetime, while transferring the ownership of the house to the person you're calling the "owning heir". Is this what the owning heir thinks it is? Does s/he ...
by littlebird
Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: credit card fraud
Replies: 49
Views: 5856

Re: credit card fraud

Every card I get including a renewal requires that I call an 800 number taped on the card on my home phone which is the number on the CC co records to activate the card. Just having the CC card number is not enough. If the card is not being swiped you need the 3 or 4 digit access code to make a pur...
by littlebird
Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Paying myself a salary for investment and tax management?
Replies: 71
Views: 4449

Re: Paying myself a salary for investment and tax management?

Only if you incorporate yourself, with some kind of business purpose, then pay yourself a salary.
by littlebird
Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing State of Residency to Avoid State Income Taxes
Replies: 24
Views: 2744

Re: Changing State of Residency to Avoid State Income Taxes

Both times that I moved interstate, the state that I left eventually wanted to see a copy of my income tax return filed with the state I moved to. Both times the state I moved to also had a state income tax, so I had a return to show. I don't know what they would have asked for had I legitimately mo...
by littlebird
Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing State of Residency to Avoid State Income Taxes
Replies: 24
Views: 2744

Re: Changing State of Residency to Avoid State Income Taxes

Where will you receive mail - including mail from CA taxing authority - after your 1 month lease is up and you're traveling in Europe?
by littlebird
Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!
Replies: 176
Views: 29344

Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

The theory is that your mother must revoke her POA and notify her son-in-law that he is no longer her attorney-in-fact. She also notifies every financial institution where her POA has been, or may be, used that she has revoked the POA and it should not be honored any further. How exactly to do this ...
by littlebird
Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Variable Annuity - Need advice
Replies: 14
Views: 1366

Re: Vanguard Variable Annuity - Need advice

Yes, you can just withdraw from a VVA, but you'll be withdrawing gain first and paying capitol gains tax on the entire withdrawal until you deplete Are you sure about this? I've read elsewhere on this forum that the tax code can impose ordinary income tax rates on some capital gains (even long term...
by littlebird
Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Variable Annuity - Need advice
Replies: 14
Views: 1366

Re: Vanguard Variable Annuity - Need advice

Yes, you can just withdraw from a VVA, but you'll be withdrawing gain first and paying tax on the entire withdrawal as ordinary income until you deplete the gain. Then you'll be withdrawing principle and current gain and paying tax only on the current gain. If you do eventually annuitize it, your pa...
by littlebird
Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sudden increase in VG TSM dividend
Replies: 19
Views: 2786

Re: Sudden increase in VG TSM dividend

Artsdoctor wrote: Equity fund dividends are really are not celebratory events.


As I told the "nice young man" at the bank, when he saw I had two checking accounts and asked "Wouldn't you like to have a savings account?: " I've done my savings. Now I'm doing my spending." :)
by littlebird
Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: End of year distribution estimates-Vanguard
Replies: 4
Views: 728

Re: End of year distribution estimates-Vanguard

I usually just go to their news section and these estimates can be found there a month or so in advance.
by littlebird
Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sudden increase in VG TSM dividend
Replies: 19
Views: 2786

Re: Sudden increase in VGTSM dividend

The year-end dividend is generally the highest of the year, but this one is higher than recent year-end dividends. Happy to have it! :D If you're happy I'm happy, but why are you happy? PJW Because now, 29 years into retirement and with a spouse in an assisted living group home, I need more than ju...
by littlebird
Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sudden increase in VG TSM dividend
Replies: 19
Views: 2786

Re: Sudden increase in VGTSM dividend

The year-end dividend is generally the highest of the year, but this one is higher than recent year-end dividends. Happy to have it! :D
by littlebird
Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My "sleep well at night" number seems to be changing
Replies: 49
Views: 8067

Re: My "sleep well at night" number seems to be changing

Yes. With a spouse in assisted living (self-pay), and in anticipation of volatility, the conservative dollar value of equities that made me feel secure up until now no longer does. Lowered myself into the lowest end of generally recommended equity allocation. About age +5 in bonds
by littlebird
Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: anyone else moving into bond funds
Replies: 30
Views: 3437

Re: anyone else moving into bond funds

Yes. I've been doing that also. With a spouse in assisted living (self-pay) and in anticipation of volatility, the conservative dollar value of equities that made me feel secure up until now no longer does. Lowered myself into the lowest end of generally recommended equity allocation. About age +5 i...
by littlebird
Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What happens to those who don't invest?
Replies: 70
Views: 4442

Re: What happens to those who don't invest?

Medicaid nursing homes :shock: Are they different? My grandma shared a nursing home room, paid for by selling her house, with someone on medicaid. They were treated exactly the same. Yes, they can be very different. The nicer homes ( with private rooms ) generally don't take Medicaid. I recently sh...
by littlebird
Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gas cooktop question
Replies: 12
Views: 1165

Re: gas cooktop question

mouses wrote:
So it looks like I will be buying a new cooktop unless I find a part in a few days.


Since you use only the one burner, why not swap out the part from one of the other burners (you might have to check to make sure it's oriented the same way).
by littlebird
Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab brick-and-mortar store
Replies: 11
Views: 798

Re: Schwab brick-and-mortar store

I found Schwab's nearby office very convenient when transferring a trust account and an IRA account with a POA from Vanguard to them. Was able to sit down, ask questions about the forms, hand over the docs and have them make the copies. Once when I had a large check to deposit, I drove over and hand...
by littlebird
Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eclipse viewing
Replies: 34
Views: 1964

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 prefer????
Replies: 23
Views: 1831

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: 34
Views: 3447

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: 34
Views: 3447

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: 2816

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: 34
Views: 3447

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: 90
Views: 11094

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: 4534

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: 1081

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: 69
Views: 7674

Re: Gift To Self

A 10 year old big tomcat from Petsmart shelter program. A real gentleman.

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