Search found 117 matches

by smitcat
Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying at Disneyworld
Replies: 29
Views: 2690

Re: Staying at Disneyworld

"Why not just not go? Seems like such a waste of time. I suspect most of us didn't go because it wasn't open yet (me) or parents couldn't afford (me and others I'm sure). And we survived who cares why the OP wants to go? Is everyone required to share the same interests as you? Wow. My opinion i...
by smitcat
Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a 4% plus CPI withdrawal rate actually aggressive?
Replies: 232
Views: 9814

Re: Is a 4% plus CPI withdrawal rate actually aggressive?

"Assuming a 0% real return is possible over 30 years is pretty pessimistic (You're basically planning for the next 30 years being the worst 30 years in modern history - worse than the Great Depression)." I am admittedly and certainly nowhere near an expert on any of this subject matter - b...
by smitcat
Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying at Disneyworld
Replies: 29
Views: 2690

Re: Staying at Disneyworld

"I plan to go first weekend of may. From my research, this looks like a good time between end of spring breakers and before the summer season." Does not look too bad but the exact days matter and crowds vary by each day in each park. Please learn to read and use the crowd calendar for the ...
by smitcat
Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying at Disneyworld
Replies: 29
Views: 2690

Re: Staying at Disneyworld

"We just got back from a stay at the Dolphin. Parking is free at each of the four theme parks, and extra magic hours are included. You're correct that you cannot charge to your room on a magicband." Yes a good option - or use the timeshare points as indicated above to stay next door at the...
by smitcat
Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Implications of Drawdown from Different Account Types
Replies: 13
Views: 690

Re: Tax Implications of Drawdown from Different Account Types

"Are either of these correct (and that Social Security Retirement Benefits used to be untaxed)?"
Yes- originally untaxed with a number of changes made since then starting in 1979, here are the details.

https://www.ssa.gov/history/taxationofbenefits.html
by smitcat
Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Requesting tax efficient investing advice
Replies: 28
Views: 2143

Re: Requesting tax efficient investing advice

"Why bother when you get to choose? Why pay more than 0% LTCG tax? You get to decide your own tax bracket too. KlangFool" This certainly makes a lot of sense. What happens to those folks that have annuities and also wait till 70 to collect 2 - SSA benefits? Are they not at 'risk' of losing...
by smitcat
Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?
Replies: 116
Views: 6108

Re: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?

Here is a cut and paste from the article linked below, There are many statistics like these that cane be researched and reviewed on individual college before you visit so you can form your own best plan with the school.... "According to the 2012 Tuition Discounting Study published by the Nation...
by smitcat
Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boats
Replies: 36
Views: 3066

Re: Boats

"Even with that, when I sold the boat, 4 years after buying for 1/2 of what we paid new, it had all of 20 hours on the engine" Interesting - We have had boats where we put more than 10 hours on the engine in a single long weekend. Even more of a reason to make sure you know how you are goi...
by smitcat
Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boats
Replies: 36
Views: 3066

Re: Boats

We have had plenty of boats over the years (all used) and some were moored and some trailered- none were ever in a slip unless we had taken them on a longer trip and were visiting other areas. Most all of our boating is in salt water with a few trips up large rivers that are fresh for a week or two ...
by smitcat
Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?
Replies: 116
Views: 6108

Re: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?

Read the admissions section carefully and look for what they can qualify for. Visit the schools on your final selection list and meet with an admissions counselor with your specific questions and goals. Set up a spreadsheet showing which potential schools offer which grants, scholarships and work op...
by smitcat
Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on when to take Social Security.
Replies: 6
Views: 925

Re: Question on when to take Social Security.

This is in a similar post right now in this same forum.... Re: Social Security - Seeking Advice - When To Claim Report this post Quote Postby simplesimon » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:09 am smitcat wrote: Maybe someone can confirm the idea whether you can lose potential spousal survivor benefits or not. In ...
by smitcat
Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boats
Replies: 36
Views: 3066

Re: Boats

There just does not seem to be a perfect boat for both fishing and skiing so deciding which one takes the preference is likely the key to your best fit. If it were 50/50 I would look at the larger bow riders with outboards from the major builders as they typically swallow up a lot of people. That wo...
by smitcat
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?
Replies: 116
Views: 6108

Re: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?

Our daughter just finished undergrad a couple of years ago and the FAFSA was instrumental in setting up talks with various potential colleges to determine which financial help 'tools' might be available to her. We went to each school and met personally with admissions to learn which exact scholarshi...
by smitcat
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Years to Retirement – Please review and comment
Replies: 53
Views: 6669

Re: Two Years to Retirement – Please review and comment

"You can also get the numbers on the Social Security web site where you enter different scenarios to see what the benefit amount will be. https://www.ssa.gov/retire/estimator.html. That is really great advice - we have used that estimator to simulate a number of options including earlier retire...
by smitcat
Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?
Replies: 116
Views: 6108

Re: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?

"Hey Folks, I have a kid in the way shortly for later this year, and I'm trying to prepare as best as I can for inevitable expenses like college savings. First thing I want to emphasize is my intent: -I INTEND to have a semi decent size fund for my kid to use on College expenses such as Tuition...
by smitcat
Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?
Replies: 116
Views: 6108

Re: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?

"I have no trouble seeing that coming from a poor family will lead to lower graduation rates; I can think of many reasons why. However, I didn't see graduation rate included in OP's list of bad decisions I wouldn't chase after OP's opinion except that it was made in a context of claiming strong...
by smitcat
Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?
Replies: 116
Views: 6108

Re: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?

"Source that backs up this "statistically speaking" fact?" I just googled family income vs college graduation per cent and there were dozens of 'hits'. Here is the one that was on the top of my page from 2015 in the WSJ... https://www.wsj.com/articles/big-gap-in-college-graduatio...
by smitcat
Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?
Replies: 45
Views: 4023

Re: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?

Before you cruise - perhaps check the dates destinations and potential weather of each , it varies greatly by time of year....

https://wanderwisdom.com/travel-destina ... -Caribbean
by smitcat
Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Years to Retirement – Please review and comment
Replies: 53
Views: 6669

Re: Two Years to Retirement – Please review and comment

Sounds good - please check this doc for spouse claiming prior to FRA....

https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/spou ... calculator
by smitcat
Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?
Replies: 45
Views: 4023

Re: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?

"I've never been on a cruise, but I have been to Disney World in the summer a couple of times. Disney World, at all times, takes a lot of advanced planning to be enjoyable. Showing up to a park with kid in tow and no plan will lead to a lot of disappointment. (especially in the scorching hot an...
by smitcat
Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Seeking Advice - When To Claim
Replies: 32
Views: 3289

Re: Social Security - Seeking Advice - When To Claim

Maybe someone can confirm the idea whether you can lose potential spousal survivor benefits or not. In the original example above the Husband is older and has a higher PIA so potentially more SS benefit than the wife. For each year DH delays he gets more SS. If he delays to 70 he gets his max SS. Th...
by smitcat
Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Years to Retirement – Please review and comment
Replies: 53
Views: 6669

Re: Two Years to Retirement – Please review and comment

"Yea, I probably could have been more clear. From age 66.4 to age 68 my wife will get $8000/yr as her benefit, this will be our only benefit during that period. When I turn 68 (give or take, one doesn't have to decide in advance when to apply for SS benefits) I will get $2574/mo and my wife wil...
by smitcat
Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?
Replies: 45
Views: 4023

Re: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?

"For the legality of absences thing, you need to look at your individual district's policy, which probably takes some nod from the state. In our school, they get 9 days unexcused absence before it's considered a serious problem." FWIW only ... I NY State the absences that are excused must ...
by smitcat
Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Years to Retirement – Please review and comment
Replies: 53
Views: 6669

Re: Two Years to Retirement – Please review and comment

"Social Security: Approximately $49,000 (my benefit + spousal benefit) at age 68 - tentative claiming age based on specific life goals. Spouse files at FRA, ~$8000/yr. until spousal benefit begins." "Why does my number look different?" I'm must be misreading your intent on the nu...
by smitcat
Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?
Replies: 45
Views: 4023

Re: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?

"Do you happen to have a source on the legality of removing your child from school to take a vacation? I can't find one anywhere." While I do not necessarily agree with them in NY state where we are these are found under the NY state Educational requirements as well as under the NY child p...
by smitcat
Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Years to Retirement – Please review and comment
Replies: 53
Views: 6669

Re: Two Years to Retirement – Please review and comment

"Social Security: Approximately $49,000 (my benefit + spousal benefit) at age 68 - tentative claiming age based on specific life goals. Spouse files at FRA, ~$8000/yr. until spousal benefit begins." Have you gone on line yet at SSA.GOV and used your personal information to confirm your exa...
by smitcat
Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Seeking Advice - When To Claim
Replies: 32
Views: 3289

Re: Social Security - Seeking Advice - When To Claim

"Like someone responded earlier: this is the survivor benefit. Wife could collect at 62 at a reduced benefit and still get the full survivor benefit from her husband after he dies. Social Security will pick the benefit that is the higher of her own benefit or the survivor benefit. So please tel...
by smitcat
Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?
Replies: 45
Views: 4023

Re: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?

"I think a lot of this depends on your kids. My kids are more into the rides/fireworks/shows vs. the characters." Same here - that is why we started to prefer Universal studios over Disney when they were around age 10 or so. More action , a bit less expense and somewhat better food IMHO. T...
by smitcat
Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Seeking Advice - When To Claim
Replies: 32
Views: 3289

Re: Social Security - Seeking Advice - When To Claim

Hello JW, "Your Mom could also claim her own benefit as early as she wanted to without impacting her later widow benefits." Is that true ? I have had a hard time looking that up. Here is a cut and paste from the link you provided above. It looks like it says that she would get 71-1/2 to 99...
by smitcat
Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23282

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

"I honestly don't see how money is the barrier to travel in your 20's - time I get but not money. Travel can be incredibly cheap - unless you insist on all those 'creature comforts' (whatever that term means), but to me that just says you aren't really that interested in the experience of trave...
by smitcat
Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?
Replies: 45
Views: 4023

Re: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?

runner9... "Thanks all. Looking at prices we're leaning towards Disney World. There's no chance we'd pull our son out of school for a vacation. We could leave on Saturday, May 27 which might (?) avoid the worst of summer. The Unofficial Guide book will be delivered by Amazon tomorrow, I've been...
by smitcat
Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Seeking Advice - When To Claim
Replies: 32
Views: 3289

Re: Social Security - Seeking Advice - When To Claim

"Have your father wait until age 70 to collect. Not only will this be the max benefit for him to collect, if he dies before your mother your mother's benefit will be replaced with a survivor benefit equal to what your father was collecting." Is that true only if the mother waits untill FRA...
by smitcat
Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spring break trip ideas, mid-March, family of 5 (3 teen/tweens)
Replies: 23
Views: 1922

Re: Spring break trip ideas, mid-March, family of 5 (3 teen/tweens)

"•The family LOVED Universal! Overall the parks are much newer and include references to more modern movies / shows the kids recognize, and they seemed to have a larger number of high-thrill rides. Our kids are both Harry Potter fans, so they really enjoyed that new section of both Universal pa...
by smitcat
Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23282

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

"I use my American Express and chase aapphire exclusively through the year and put every purchase on it, even utilities." I am curious where in the US you can put utility bills on a cc without triggering and extra fee? We will be relocating in the future and never considered that some util...
by smitcat
Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spring break trip ideas, mid-March, family of 5 (3 teen/tweens)
Replies: 23
Views: 1922

Re: Spring break trip ideas, mid-March, family of 5 (3 teen/tweens)

"Have not done Orlando with the kids since they were very little (and I don't think the youngest was even around then). That said, Disney to me seems like $$$ + crowded + not all that appealing to me or kids our kids' ages. Yes, the two girls like Disney princess back in the day, but that days ...
by smitcat
Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump and power outage
Replies: 53
Views: 3384

Re: Sump pump and power outage

The only point I was trying to make is that most folks do not want to be involved with wiring or disconnecting hard wired appliances. Reading the full thread you can see that this was about sump pumps (water in the area) and about oil burners being powered by a genset. Further posts by others pointe...
by smitcat
Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump and power outage
Replies: 53
Views: 3384

Re: Sump pump and power outage

FWIW - If you are relying on some local inspector saying its OK I suggest you get it in writing and then supply it to your current insurance company to confirm you will be AOK in the future For folks that a are able and ready to do disconnect their boilers and rewire during a storm in a safe manner ...
by smitcat
Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump and power outage
Replies: 53
Views: 3384

Re: Sump pump and power outage

"So the split HVAC in the attic has a very small electrical load, consisting of the circulation fan and a small transformer to power the thermostat and control circuits and possibly electronic ignition in the newer units that don't run a gas pilot light." That makes a lot of sense - thank ...
by smitcat
Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump and power outage
Replies: 53
Views: 3384

Re: Sump pump and power outage

"Well that depends. I have 3 HVAC units in my attic, and none are hard wired. They each plug into a standard 11V 15amp receptacle. When I need emergency power, I simply unplug the upstairs bedroom furnace and plug it into an extension cord, running outside to my generator." I have never he...
by smitcat
Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump and power outage
Replies: 53
Views: 3384

Re: Sump pump and power outage

"Would be better to operate generator from back yard. Would need to handle anti-theft and weather issues, but safer to begin with." dratkinson - With our Yamaha 2800 we can fairly easily carry it out where we run it We use one of our 50' - 30 amp twist lock marine power cords to reach from...
by smitcat
Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump and power outage
Replies: 53
Views: 3384

Re: Sump pump and power outage

"I have happily done the small genny with cords running all over the house thing. Now I backfeed with an interlock (for safety)." Hello Just frank - I really like those solutions, They are really very similar to the ones we have used on boats in the past and hey work really well. In our ar...
by smitcat
Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump and power outage
Replies: 53
Views: 3384

Re: Sump pump and power outage

"Smitcat: you may be thinking of people who wire a male-male cord and use it to connect a generator to a wall socket, thus energizing the house wiring. That's a bad idea; use a transfer switch if you want the house wiring energized. When you unplug the fridge and plug it into a cord connected t...
by smitcat
Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carribean island most like Hawaii
Replies: 63
Views: 7500

Re: Carribean island most like Hawaii

jainn - that is certainly an attractive agenda. We have a place on Merritt island and have taken a few cruises out of port Canaveral. Often see the Disney cruise ships along with other cruise lines rotating in and out of port. Some folks like cruising and some do not so I would always suggest a shor...
by smitcat
Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump and power outage
Replies: 53
Views: 3384

Re: Sump pump and power outage

"Did you install a generator subpanel, or do you run extension cords? Cords. From the generator under the garage door, through a cat door in the garage-to-house door, one cord to furnace, one up to kitchen for fridge and incidentals." Of course the key with this setup is to make sure the f...
by smitcat
Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump and power outage
Replies: 53
Views: 3384

Re: Sump pump and power outage

"Typo? Seems high"

Yes - exactly - it should say 7 hours per gallon
by smitcat
Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump and power outage
Replies: 53
Views: 3384

Re: Sump pump and power outage

dratkinson - your questions... Yamaha YL 2800 bought about 13-14 years back. 6 breaker sub panel, run a 30 amp cord to the panel with the genset outside under cover. The 2800 will easily run the reefer, sump pumps and oil burner with a few other lights and chargers at the same time. I must manage lo...
by smitcat
Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump and power outage
Replies: 53
Views: 3384

Re: Sump pump and power outage

Another view on sump pumps and solving more than one problem at a time.... We have two sump pumps as well over these past 30 + years - they have sometimes stood unused for 2 years at a time. But when they are needed they are most often needed when the weather is real fowl and the temps are not vey h...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Calculators [free vs paid]
Replies: 24
Views: 2082

Re: Social Security Calculators [free vs paid]

"For example, let's take tax-exempt interest. This does affect the taxability of SS income, and in fact if your $100K Gross Income is entirely composed of tax-exempt interest and SS, then your AGI will climb from 0 to about $35700 and then back down to $11,100 as you vary the proportion of the ...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Calculators [free vs paid]
Replies: 24
Views: 2082

Re: Social Security Calculators [free vs paid]

"So as far as the Math Side, it may be the best we can do is to project our taxable income per year out to our early 70s. I do this with a spreadsheet with ten columns from age 63 to 72" The Wizard... that makes sense we have done something similar with attempting to try and figure the aff...

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