Search found 231 matches

by Zott
Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?
Replies: 46
Views: 2352

Re: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?

As the family economist and main shopping errand boy, I have been studying this issue for many years, and have concluded that the toilet paper roll size index has suffered serious deflation over the years. Not a problem for marketers since no one has ever defined "regular" (cough, cough).
by Zott
Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Pension Question
Replies: 19
Views: 1361

Re: Defined Benefit Pension Question

How is it possible for the factor for 100% Joint & Survivor to be reduced from what it was in 2014 (0.814), when my wife will be 5 years older? That's a great question. There's got to be an actuary around here somewhere to provide a good answer. Ask and you shall receive. However, Istone19 has alre...
by Zott
Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension service credit purchase
Replies: 10
Views: 656

Re: Pension service credit purchase

Sounds like a deal. Per immediateannuities.com, a current payment of $37,000 would yield an annuity of only about $2,400 annually (I'm assuming you are a male). So the state offer is greater by a good amount.
by Zott
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA - Over the cliff and back.
Replies: 2
Views: 596

Re: ACA - Over the cliff and back.

I don't think there would be any problem, but you'd probably have to explain/document why your income would decrease next year.
by Zott
Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living Revocable Trust
Replies: 15
Views: 1565

Re: Living Revocable Trust

I'm no expert either, but I understand that the income of a revocable (living) trust is not taxed as a trust. The income is "passed through' (not sure of the proper term) to the grantor. So in my case, all my financial assets are titled to my trust, but I report and pay federal and state income taxe...
by Zott
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AAA Insurance is increasing my home insurance premium by 47.8%!!! with no claims filed
Replies: 30
Views: 2953

Re: AAA Insurance is increasing my home insurance premium by 47.8%!!! with no claims filed

Start your quote shopping with the company you have auto insurance through. We get a good discount at USAA for having home, auto, life. It's called bundling. Yes, I am aware of bundling discount; however, the challenge is that I have my car insurance is with Geico and they do not offer home insuran...
by Zott
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Claiming Strategy review
Replies: 19
Views: 1666

Re: Social Security Claiming Strategy review

- Your wife files at age 62 for a reduced benefit based on her own PIA in early 2019. - You file for a restricted application on her benefit (spousal only) at your FRA and receive 1/2 of her PIA, even though she filed early. - You file for your own benefit anytime after your FRA, with the maximum a...
by Zott
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Frustration w/ Ally Bank, Trust Account, and Paperless Statements
Replies: 28
Views: 2215

Re: A Frustration w/ Ally Bank, Trust Account, and Paperless Statements

I've been through this for several years. At one point, a CSR manually turned off paper statements for my trust account and that worked well for a couple of years. Then last year I purchased a CD (prior to that, everything was in an Online Savings account). That automatically caused the paper statem...
by Zott
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses
Replies: 13
Views: 1328

Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Thank you for the tips and good luck in your new location.
by Zott
Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time to look at SS [When should I take Social Security?]
Replies: 55
Views: 5210

Re: Time to look at SS [When should I take Social Security?]

One fact should be kept in mind regarding the recommendation for the OP from Opensocialsecurity---that, having been born in 1953, he is eligible for a spousal benefit under a restricted application. The program recommmends that he should do that--might be different if he was born after 1953 when tha...
by Zott
Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS early-minor under 18
Replies: 9
Views: 1252

Re: SS early-minor under 18

Hello. I have a question about early SS with a minor. Although it's several years out, my husband will turn 62 when my son turns 14. From what I read, he could take SS early (w/ reduced benefits) and my son would get 50% of PIA until 18 and I would get 50% PIA until he is 16. (I would be 55) Since ...
by Zott
Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for Social Security experts
Replies: 13
Views: 1757

Re: Question for Social Security experts

I heard a financial advisor state that anyone born in 1953 or earlier can use a restricted application to file for Social Security payments. I have not taken my SS yet. I am 65 born in 1953, wife 64. She doesn't have 40 credits to claim her own SS. I want to delay claiming as long as I can so I can...
by Zott
Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy engagement ring?
Replies: 61
Views: 4825

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Pawn shop--they've got lots of "lightly used" rings. Bought my wedding band at one--still have it and the wife, both look great. :beer I bought a sapphire ring for DF(financee) (at her request) on 47th St. Apparently got one of the rarest gems in the world from Kashmir or someplace--at a bargain pri...
by Zott
Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security--Reaching Age 70 with a Restricted Application
Replies: 7
Views: 860

Re: Social Security--Reaching Age 70 with a Restricted Application

My wife filed (online) for her own benefit this past February (birthday in May) to start her own age-70 benefit after getting a spousal based upon my FRA record for the last four years. There was no problem at all. A few weeks after submitting her request, she received a call from SS concerning the...
by Zott
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security--Reaching Age 70 with a Restricted Application
Replies: 7
Views: 860

Re: Social Security--Reaching Age 70 with a Restricted Application

Thank you for the above. We'll try the online option and hope for the best. :beer
by Zott
Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security--Reaching Age 70 with a Restricted Application
Replies: 7
Views: 860

Social Security--Reaching Age 70 with a Restricted Application

My wife will reach age 70 later this year, she is now in receipt of a spousal benefit under a restricted application. Does anyone know if the SSA will automatically change her benefit to her own age 70 amount at that time? Or will she need to contact them to get that done properly (or maybe both :D ...
by Zott
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What’s your Value Colombian coffee?
Replies: 53
Views: 3736

Re: What’s your Value Colombian coffee?

If you're in a Walmart, pick up a package of their Colombian coffee just for fun. It's inexpensive and I remember enjoying it when I purchased some about a year ago. I believe it only comes ground.
by Zott
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best vehicle to administer budget for sil [sister-in-law]
Replies: 43
Views: 3157

Re: Best vehicle to administer budget for sil

thanks for all the replies! - i now understand the interplay btw gift and estate tax, thank you! - we can't talk her into working longer. - we have used a family counselor and have set boundaries for her. That's how we got her to agree to give up control of the money. Still, we're not willing to le...
by Zott
Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice will vs trust for my situation
Replies: 29
Views: 2330

Re: Need advice will vs trust for my situation

I'm not an expert either, but have done a lot of thinking about this since my situation is similar to the OP, except arguably worse since my spouse is as bad as my children with money. :oops: A trust sounds like the way to go (this is what I have done), but as bsteiner said, you don't have to set it...
by Zott
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When you look across the horizon.....
Replies: 13
Views: 1577

Re: When you kook across the horizon.....

I've been doing nothing successfully for many years now. In fact, I've discovered that the less I do, the more successful I am. :sharebeer
by Zott
Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to evaluate charities to donate to?
Replies: 36
Views: 1563

Re: How to evaluate charities to donate to?

Blue Woman and I are looking to be more charitable now that we have gotten our financial feet on the ground. How do you evaluate charities to donate to when they are not in your home town or you have a personal connection to? I have used charitynavigator.org in the past to see how efficienct non-pr...
by Zott
Tue May 01, 2018 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Restricted Application for Spousal Benefit
Replies: 27
Views: 2745

Re: Social Security Restricted Application for Spousal Benefit

Thank you all for taking the time to respond. It does look like I screwed myself by Filing and Suspending in 2016 since my wife was only 60 at the time. It seemed like all the articles at the time suggested this as the thing to do and maybe it was beneficial for some situations. So, it will apparen...
by Zott
Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High-yield savings account to be held in revocable trust
Replies: 7
Views: 922

Re: High-yield savings account to be held in revocable trust

I have a trust account at Ally Bank. I recall that it took a bit of doing at first, but has been fine for several years.
by Zott
Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018
Replies: 52
Views: 4983

Re: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018

Yes - my recollection as well. That Congressional action was, over time, "revenue neutral" and the tampdown of the large increase was to be paid for by some folks over a multi-year period. Where does the "revenue neutral" increase or income come from that allowed the tampdown? Are we all paying for...
by Zott
Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virginia to New Jersey income tax
Replies: 20
Views: 2906

Re: Virginia to New Jersey income tax

I'm considering a move from which most people consider a medium tax state, Virginia, to what is called a high tax state, New Jersey, where almost all my family is. I realize there are many things such as car registration fees, car taxes, real estate taxes, exemption of federal pensions, etc. that e...
by Zott
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3453
Views: 1023893

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Rediscovering Nero Wolfe and my favorite, Archie Goodwin, by Rex Stout. Just finished Too Many Cooks, now on to Plot it Yourself.
by Zott
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spam calls to cell phone...
Replies: 94
Views: 10291

Re: Spam calls to cell phone...

I've got two apps on my Android phone that seem to work pretty well- --Should I Answer blocks spam calls based on community ratings for the phone number calling. Known telemarketers get a negative rating and can be blocked. --Calls Blacklist--I use this to block all spoofed calls from my area code a...
by Zott
Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Probate Required if You Fail to Include Everything in Trust, and if so what's probated
Replies: 16
Views: 2066

Re: Is Probate Required if You Fail to Include Everything in Trust, and if so what's probated

Does this "small account" have a beneficiary specified? That would usually take it out of the will.
by Zott
Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement Healthcare
Replies: 37
Views: 4247

Re: Early Retirement Healthcare

He should get on his state ACA Marketplace website starting November 1 and see what's available, and what amount of income would give him the best deal for what he wants. Don't forget to check the networks available with each policy. Did your state adopt Medicaid expansion? Could be an option but pr...
by Zott
Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing question
Replies: 17
Views: 1514

Re: Medical Billing question

Whatever the outcome, your family member should be prepared for it to happen again next year.
by Zott
Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance company will not process policy due to "unknown" cause of death
Replies: 14
Views: 3047

Re: Insurance company will not process policy due to "unknown" cause of death

Another possibility--probably unlikely--is if it is an accidental death policy (for example AD&D policies). They'd need to know the cause in that case.
by Zott
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medigap Policies--So Much Conflicting Information
Replies: 29
Views: 3322

Re: Medigap Policies--So Much Conflicting Information

I guess my concern about Plan F is that the group has no new (younger) members after 2020 and the group gets sicker. Rates increase significantly as the healthier members leave since they pass underwriting. Others could get stuck with very high rates and maybe can't get out. That's a concern and al...
by Zott
Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone used Amazon to buy household goods
Replies: 26
Views: 2552

Re: Anyone used Amazon to buy household goods

Take a look at walmart.com. We have been buying a ton of household products on there with free 2 day shipping over $35. For most food related items are also cheaper than Amazon. I'll second this and note that there seems to be a better selection online than in the store---especially as the Walmarts...
by Zott
Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Deemed filing eligibility
Replies: 10
Views: 1420

Re: SS Deemed filing eligibility

Using reasonable assumptions as to expected mortality, the calculator at Bedrock Capital indicates that spouse should file for her benefit at age 68, you should then file a restricted application for a spousal benefit at age 66, then collect your increased benefit at age 70. This is "optimal" in ter...
by Zott
Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: inherited annuity question?
Replies: 19
Views: 2035

Re: inherited annuity question?

OP--can you find her income tax returns for the last few years? If so, you can tell whether each year's distribution was reported as fully taxable or not. That might give you a clue as to what's going on. Typically an insurance company, or a bank, would want solid documentary proof that an investmen...
by Zott
Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance (Day 1)
Replies: 19
Views: 4068

Re: Inheritance (Day 1)

Sorry for your loss, but, wow, your father had the investment of a lifetime---a compounded annual return of 9.5% over 40 years! As to the logistics, you can probably have the funds wired to a brokerage account at Fidelity--into a money market fund for example. From there you can move the money where...
by Zott
Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sanity Check on Medicare Plan Compare
Replies: 6
Views: 831

Re: Sanity Check on Medicare Plan Compare

Is a Medicare Plan F -- High Deductible available in your state? If so, you may find the Scenario 1 costs more competitive in a "healthy year" using that option.
by Zott
Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mold problem in bathroom --advice?
Replies: 18
Views: 2526

Re: mold problem in bathroom --advice?

I've been where you're at. All these mold/mildew removers contain bleach, that's the ingredient that removes the mold, nothing special. But as said, it just removes surface mold. In my case, bleach works great on the shower walls, but on the floor, the mold has apparently invaded the grout and it's ...
by Zott
Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: epoxy for cemetery stones.
Replies: 3
Views: 577

Re: epoxy for cemetery stones.

Another alternative is to go to www.findagrave.com and join their forum. There is a sub-forum dedicated to cemetery and stone maintenance. Not a weird question at all! And good for you for doing this. :beer It's always a shame to lose history.
by Zott
Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Benefits
Replies: 31
Views: 3601

Re: Social Security Benefits

OP-- I think your question is totally fair---you didn't understand a feature of SS and wanted to learn---and you have! SS has a lot of weirdnesses to it. Here's another value to the program--the survivors' and disability benefits that are available before regular retirement. For the few people that ...
by Zott
Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: School Redistricting - What should we do?
Replies: 96
Views: 9827

Re: School Redistricting - What should we do?

Your Option 3 seems like the wise and most cost-efficient course for now. If your town if anything like mine, it's quite possible that there will be another re-districting within your time frame.
by Zott
Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3453
Views: 1023893

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Strong Poison , by Dorothy L. Sayers. A woman is accused poisoning her ex, but there is a hung jury. There are only a few weeks to investigate before the new trial date. All the Wimsey stories by Sayers are terrific--detective fiction of the highest quality, IMO. My favorites are Five Red Herrings ...
by Zott
Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decline All Parts of Medicare, Continue Contributing to my HSA?
Replies: 11
Views: 1810

Re: Decline All Parts of Medicare, Continue Contributing to my HSA?

Is there no way to claim Social Security without also enrolling in Medicare Part A? Here's information from Mike Piper's blog (who is a member here) explaining this. Note that there may be up to a 6-month retroactive entitlement to Medicare Part A when you file for SS---potentially a problem if you...
by Zott
Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Enrollment Question
Replies: 3
Views: 812

Re: Medicare Enrollment Question

I believe that if you commence your Social security benefit after age 65 you will automatically be enrolled in Part A, and therefore ineligible for HSA. Sounds like you might be planning to delay this anyway, but it's worth clarifying.
by Zott
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate
Replies: 66
Views: 9130

Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

We read your mortality probabilities and understand them. You are correct and rational in what you say. Nonetheless, deep down in each of us, we don't want to accept or believe we will pass on, no matter how we speak about it or plan for it. Our minds and emotions can't picture us dead, we don't acc...
by Zott
Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Maine
Replies: 38
Views: 3647

Re: Trip to Maine

I enthusiastically agree with the remarks on Acadia Park and Bar Harbor (and the outlying lobster pounds!). The park has carriage roads as well as trails, and these are great to walk on or even better, rent bikes. (They were supposedly built by Rockefeller, Jr). We've spent time there in fall and it...
by Zott
Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Love your family car? Under $16,000 Used? Please share!
Replies: 57
Views: 8066

Re: Love your family car? Under $16,000? Please share!

I have a Subaru Outback that's one year old and am delighted with it. Chances are you'll be happy with a used one that fits your budget. As far as the actual buying process, one approach is to visit the car dealers in the Monterey area after you arrive and see what's available in their lots. I've be...
by Zott
Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selected photos from my ride across Western Europe -- Amsterdam to Passau, Germany
Replies: 21
Views: 2839

Re: Selected photos from my ride across Western Europe -- Amsterdam to Passau, Germany

Passau was one of the highlights of our trip to Germany years ago, actually West Germany as it was then. I still have a pair of excellent sandals I bought there, wear 'em with socks, of course. :happy Kudos on a great adventure!
by Zott
Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with understanding - pay taxes now or in future
Replies: 59
Views: 4591

Re: Help with understanding - pay taxes now or in future

FWIW, state income taxes can be a wild card here. Many people in retirement move from high-tax states (like here in the Northeast) to low or no-tax states (like Florida). That can save ~5-6%, not an insignificant amount.