Search found 111 matches

by kilns
Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house in retirement - cash or mortgage?
Replies: 10
Views: 1518

Re: Buying a house in retirement - cash or mortgage?

Thank you for the very creative and ingenious ideas. Our local bank said they would consider a percentage of our retirement savings as income without our first having to set up an income stream. But as one poster remarked we could always set up an income withdrawal stream then cancel it immediately ...
by kilns
Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house in retirement - cash or mortgage?
Replies: 10
Views: 1518

Buying a house in retirement - cash or mortgage?

We just retired this year in our late sixties with our only income about $50K annually from SS. We have no debt beyond our monthly expenses. We are currently renting and plan to purchase a $225K house near our grandchildren. The house would cost about 15% of our retirement savings. We are planning t...
by kilns
Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get a child a different teacher after a bad start?
Replies: 30
Views: 3396

Re: How to get a child a different teacher after a bad start

Thanks for the suggestions. His two years of preschool were at a traditional-type school. He was a very quick learner there. Unfortunately the parents cannot afford a Montessori education for their large family. So the school board would be the next logical "venue" rather than the school district HQ...
by kilns
Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get a child a different teacher after a bad start?
Replies: 30
Views: 3396

How to get a child a different teacher after a bad start?

One of our grandsons is having a very hard time adjusting to his kindergarten teacher. He had no problem whatsoever in 2 years of preschool. Always got high marks for good behaviour and his school work. He's a quiet, lovable kid who used to love school and learning. The K-teacher apparently took an ...
by kilns
Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing a Social Security Restricted Application
Replies: 13
Views: 3556

Re: Filing a Social Security Restricted Application

Yes my wife made her application back in February. Thanks for mentioning it, JW. It is nice to get a financial reward for marriage. In my case the greatest award has been the 35 years with my wife. [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]
by kilns
Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing a Social Security Restricted Application
Replies: 13
Views: 3556

Re: Filing a Social Security Restricted Application

Thank you everyone for confirming our SS claiming plan. I am currently at Full Retirement Age (66) and my wife is claiming early at age 62 starting next month on her own benefits. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. Appreciate the feedback on the new Social Security cards. All of the details you have...
by kilns
Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing a Social Security Restricted Application
Replies: 13
Views: 3556

Filing a Social Security Restricted Application

My wife is 62 and begins collecting SS on her own account next month. I am 66 (FRA) and this month I have a phone application interview with SS to file a Restricted Application on my wife's benefits. I am still working and currently have a Medicare Advantage plan. I believe that SS will switch from ...
by kilns
Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement and Social Security choices–wife 5 years younger
Replies: 0
Views: 291

Retirement and Social Security choices–wife 5 years younger

My wife will turn 62 in March. I am 66 and plan to work for another year until age 67. My SS benefits should be more than twice my wife's SS amount as she has stayed home for many years to raise our children. No outstanding health issues at this point. I planned to start SS benefits at the end of 20...
by kilns
Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Timbertech versus Veka deck
Replies: 3
Views: 2933

Re: Timbertech versus Veka deck

David, for the quick reply. We live in an area where mold is an issue. We do not want any wood in our new decking. We will ask the Timbertech contractor which type he was proposing. Most of the deck contractors in our area have been in business for less than 5 years. Seems to be a common theme:-) Th...
by kilns
Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Timbertech versus Veka deck
Replies: 3
Views: 2933

Timbertech versus Veka deck

We are having our old 12x16 wood deck replaced with synthetic material. One contractor is proposing Timbertech and the other Veka. The bids are close to the same amount. Anyone have experience with either? Is there another material superior to both? Any tips on items to include in the contract that ...
by kilns
Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kindergarten Struggles
Replies: 39
Views: 5991

Kindergarten Struggles

We have a grandson who started Kindergarten last week and is getting very poor reports already from the teacher. We are meeting her tomorrow. He is very extroverted and energetic. He has been in preschool, Sunday school and swimming lessons for the past two years without much of a problem. Preschool...
by kilns
Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cataract surgery Monofocal IOL vs Monovision 2 IOLs
Replies: 8
Views: 3013

Re: Cataract surgery Monofocal IOL vs Monovision 2 IOLs

Thank you everyone for the great replies. Based on your feedback I will see if I can get a contact lens to try out the monovision. Also since my first surgery will be on my right eye, I might have that one set to distance and then I would have about a month before the second surgery on my right eye ...
by kilns
Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cataract surgery Monofocal IOL vs Monovision 2 IOLs
Replies: 8
Views: 3013

Cataract surgery Monofocal IOL vs Monovision 2 IOLs

Scheduled to have cataract surgery next month. I have to choose between a monofocal IOL option versus the monovision 2 IOLs option. The former will give me either good distance or near sight. I have to choose. The latter apparently inserts a distance lens in one eye and a near sight lens in the othe...
by kilns
Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digital camera with best video
Replies: 11
Views: 1855

Digital camera with best video

Our little FLIP camcorder finally gave out after several years of good use. We are looking for a basic, compact and multi-purpose camera (producing snapshots as well as videos with good sound) under $250 (if possible). We'd like a device that produces pictures and videos in "mainstream" formats that...
by kilns
Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best tablet for toddlers?
Replies: 27
Views: 4077

Re: Best tablet for toddlers?

Thank you everyone for the great tips - 40K children's books for the Nook, the reviews links, the Berg toys, the Nabi, LeapPad, ipad and PBS.org. Today I had the two oldest kids try out some PBS free apps on my little netbook. They enjoyed it as well as picked up some basic computer skills. The kids...
by kilns
Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best tablet for toddlers?
Replies: 27
Views: 4077

Re: Best tablet for toddlers?

Thank you everyone for the prompt feedback. The kids do spend most of their time playing with blocks, puzzles and Legos, inventing games and role-playing from their imagination, learning to swim, going on hikes in local and state parks, etc. They have zero experience with computers. We wanted to gra...
by kilns
Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best tablet for toddlers?
Replies: 27
Views: 4077

Best tablet for toddlers?

We would like to buy an android tablet device for our 4 grandchildren (ages 2-5) to share. Our primary goal is to get access to good and free(or very cheap) educational games, books and software for them. We know that Google and Amazon have app stores. Can anyone give us for the current "sweet spot"...
by kilns
Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT job satisfaction
Replies: 54
Views: 7626

Re: IT job satisfaction

CS degree with 35 years experience. Having work and a job are great blessings any day so I'll rate satisfaction a 5. Yes, many, if not most enterprises, are gold mines for the author of Dilbert. Politics usually trumps merit on most days. Elbonians are playing an increasingly prominent role. Pointy ...
by kilns
Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timeframe for enrolling in Medicare A and B?
Replies: 11
Views: 958

Timeframe for enrolling in Medicare A and B?

I’ve read that we can register for Medicare parts A and B three months before we turn 65. Is it advisable to sign up online the very first day we are eligible to sign up? Any disadvantage to waiting a few weeks? We plan on signing up later for a Supplmental plan (that would cover C and D) sometime b...
by kilns
Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone regulate medical insurance companies?
Replies: 22
Views: 1928

Does anyone regulate medical insurance companies?

Within a 2 day span we received 3 pieces of mail - (1) a letter from our insurer requiring us to verify that we have no other insurance coverage before they will process any further claims, (2) a letter from the insurer denying our most recent medical claim with NO explanation and (3) a letter from ...
by kilns
Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV or Minivan or Wagon for Grandma
Replies: 10
Views: 1234

Re: SUV or Minivan or Wagon for Grandma

Thank you everyone for your valuable feedback. We test drove the minivans last weekend, except for the Mazda 5. We ran into a very honest salesman at the Mazda dealer who said that the Mazda 5 wagon/minivan would not be appropriate for 4 children in car seats. My wife is leaning toward the Sienna cu...
by kilns
Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Toyota Sienna Offer - 0% or $1000 back
Replies: 10
Views: 1471

Toyota Sienna Offer - 0% or $1000 back

We are getting ready to purchase a 2012 Sienna. They are offering 0 percent financing or $1000 off the price. I am 65 and still working. The vehicle is for my wife to replace a car that has reached the end of its life. We have the money in savings although it will definitely take a good swath out of...
by kilns
Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV or Minivan or Wagon for Grandma
Replies: 10
Views: 1234

SUV or Minivan or Wagon for Grandma

Need to get a new (or recent) vehicle for my wife who will be hauling around 4 grandkids (now age 0-4). Consumers Magazine gave good marks to the Toyota Sienna, Honda CRV and Mazda 5. Would a small minivan like the Mazda 5 or an SUV like the Honda CRV be handle to accommodate 4 car seats and growing...
by kilns
Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon DSL Install Question?
Replies: 4
Views: 615

Re: Verizon DSL Install Question?

Thank you, Lady Geek and Mud Puppy, for your prompt help. I kind of suspected the downloads were unnecessary as the system is working fine without. Also appreciate your advice on securing wireless. Good suggestion to turn it off when not using or gone from the house.
by kilns
Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon DSL Install Question?
Replies: 4
Views: 615

Verizon DSL Install Question?

We just got DSL from Verizon for Internet only (no land phone service). A kit arrived with a modem that works wireless or Ethernet-connected. Got an email and phone call from Verizon the next day that they had tested our line and it was fine. We connected our PC via an Ethernet cable and service is ...
by kilns
Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Allocation Percentages
Replies: 6
Views: 1122

Bond Allocation Percentages

Anyone have rules of thumb on how to allocate our bond shares into reasonable "buckets"? We are nearing retirement and want to set our Vanguard bond funds at a fixed percentage. Currently we have Vanguard Total Bond, ST Bond Index, Intermediate Bond Index, LT Bond Index, High-Yield Bond, TIPS and GN...
by kilns
Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Simplifying wife's IRA
Replies: 1
Views: 264

Simplifying wife's IRA

I have a question about possibly simplIfying my wife's 100K IRA and also reducing the cost. Currently it is equally split among Vanguard funds Wellesley, Wellington, STAR and Convertible. We are thinking of droppng STAR and Convertible and then converting Wellesely and Wellington to Admiral shares. ...
by kilns
Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD laddering structure and weighting
Replies: 7
Views: 1133

Re: CD laddering structure and weighting

Thanks for you comments, #Cruncher. ibonds sound like a good alternative though we may not be able to invest in them as our savings are currently locked up in my Vanguard IRA. Sounds like we need non-IRA, non-401K money to invest in ibonds, right? We've not yet bought any TIPs or CDs on the secondar...
by kilns
Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD laddering structure and weighting
Replies: 7
Views: 1133

Re: CD laddering structure and weighting

Thanks, DBR, for the quick feedback. We are planning to withdraw 2% annually in retirement. We have a very frugal and simple lifestyle. Good idea about the TIPS ladder. Yes, it does appear our ladder is very disproportionate with few CDs in longer terms and most within the next few years. We were co...
by kilns
Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD laddering structure and weighting
Replies: 7
Views: 1133

CD laddering structure and weighting

We have about 60% of our IRA retirement assets in laddered Vanguard CDs (25% bond funds and 15% equity). We are now in our early 60's with another 5 years or so before actually retiring. We have laddered the CDs out to 10 years with most of them maturing within the next two years. They probably aver...
by kilns
Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing in new funds
Replies: 4
Views: 819

I'm looking at a couple of new stock index funds. Sounds like it would be OK based on your replies. Thanks for the feedback.
by kilns
Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing in new funds
Replies: 4
Views: 819

Investing in new funds

If Vanguard starts a new fund, is the common wisdom to wait a few months or longer until it has attracted some investors or go ahead and invest right away if the fund fits our investment plan? Does a new fund price typcially fluctuate broadly when in its first year?
by kilns
Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which affects bonds - Fed's cap on rates or real inflation?
Replies: 3
Views: 618

Which affects bonds - Fed's cap on rates or real inflation?

If the Fed plans to continue keeping interest rates near zero for the next 2 years, would it be plausible to assume that bonds of all types should do modestly well or at least not plunge in value over this period? From prior posts, I understand that higher interest rates will adversely affect bonds ...
by kilns
Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many hours@day safe to drive rental truck cross-country?
Replies: 36
Views: 6731

Thanks everyone for their very helpful advice and tips as usual. We will take along a lock in case the truck does not have one on the back. We are going with Penske as we saw others comment favorably. They have been in touch with us several times by email and phone as the pickup date approaches, eac...
by kilns
Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many hours@day safe to drive rental truck cross-country?
Replies: 36
Views: 6731

How many hours@day safe to drive rental truck cross-country?

Next week I have a Penske 12 foot rental truck to drive solo across the Midwest about 650 miles interstate. I don't think cruise-control is available. The dealer said the truck could be driven at the speed limit (65-70mph). Could I reasonably expect to drive this in one day (about 12 hours)? Haven't...
by kilns
Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with moving via ABF U-Pack?
Replies: 1
Views: 537

Any experience with moving via ABF U-Pack?

We have tentatively scheduled a move for my daughter from the Midwest to the East Coast. We will be using part of a trailer provided by ABF. We have to load and unload the trailer ourselves. It's at a very reasonable cost at a fraction of full mover quotes. Anyone had experience with ABF UPACK? One ...
by kilns
Tue May 31, 2011 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental advice for daughter moving cross-country for college.
Replies: 14
Views: 2456

Thanks again for the input. The common carriers appear to be uncommonly expensive (~$3K). Except we found a site called Upack where the first quote is $800. Only catch is we have to load and unload the pod/truck ourselves. We don't mind at all. Anyone heard of Upack? Are they reliable and are their ...
by kilns
Mon May 30, 2011 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental advice for daughter moving cross-country for college.
Replies: 14
Views: 2456

Thank you all for the invaluable help. She does have a small subcompact to drive. Our past experiences with Uhaul have not been positive ones. Good ideas about the POD company, Penske, cargo vans and a flight back. We will look into these ideas. She does have a couple of exercise machines, though no...
by kilns
Sun May 29, 2011 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone 4 purchase on Verizon
Replies: 21
Views: 3015

Another cheaper option might be to just buy the ipod touch which is identical to the iphone (except for the phone part:-)). It may be more cumbersome to have an ipod to use on WiFi to connect to the Net, use smart apps or take great pictures and also carry a dumb phone for phone calls. Just another ...
by kilns
Sun May 29, 2011 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental advice for daughter moving cross-country for college.
Replies: 14
Views: 2456

Rental advice for daughter moving cross-country for college.

I have to move our daughter for school from Columbia, MO to Pittsburgh, PA next month. She'll be living in a small one-bedroom apartment. Looking for some advice on rental trucks. (I don't want to use U-Haul.) Can you recommend some good rental companies? Probably can fit all within a medium size re...
by kilns
Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet Explorer 9
Replies: 25
Views: 2791

Two years ago I switched from Explorer to Mozilla Firefox. A year ago I switched again to Chrome. From my experience Firefox and Chrome are faster, more reliable (no periodic crashes and lockups) and less cluttered than their competitor.
by kilns
Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for daughter moving ROTH IRA to Vanguard
Replies: 6
Views: 1027

Advice for daughter moving ROTH IRA to Vanguard

My daughter has a Roth IRA she would like to move to Vanguard and continue contributing annually. She is single and 26 years old. The amount is roughly $30K. Any advice on how to split this into a couple of Vanguard funds assuming she won't be touching it for another 30 or 40 years or so? I guess sh...
by kilns
Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Distance learning science prereq courses
Replies: 5
Views: 1487

Distance learning science prereq courses

Anyone know of colleges or universities (not online universities) that offer 100% online courses to satisfy prereqs for nursing or physician assistant schools (e.g., A&P I&II, DEV PSYCH, Nutrition, Chemistry)? Hopefully accredited and accepted by most nursing and PA programs. It would be great to fi...
by kilns
Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Selling Vanguard ETF
Replies: 7
Views: 2131

Thank you both. I didn't realize the bid-info spread effect on ETF buying and selling. Looks like it ranges from a penny to a quarter for the long-term bond.
by kilns
Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Selling Vanguard ETF
Replies: 7
Views: 2131

Selling Vanguard ETF

I was looking at purchasing a long term Bond ETF at Vanguard and wondered whether selling it later might entail commission charges. Are there any expenses associated with selling a Vanguard ETF through my Vanguard account online?
by kilns
Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Purchasing Treasury Bills/Notes from Vanguard
Replies: 7
Views: 4128

Thank you both for your valuable help.

Is there such an instrument as STRIPS (zero coupon Treasury bonds) sold through Vanguard? If so how do you tell whether they are zero coupon on the Vanguard site? What is the difference with non-zero coupon?
by kilns
Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Purchasing Treasury Bills/Notes from Vanguard
Replies: 7
Views: 4128

Purchasing Treasury Bills/Notes from Vanguard

Nearing retirement, most of our IRAs are invested in CDs and bond funds at Vanguard. Was looking at the new Treasury notes and bills auctions that appear to occur monthly. Can anyone explain how to proceed? There are dates for each auction published by the Treasury. Is that the day we should login t...
by kilns
Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Survival Plan for Wife - just in case
Replies: 8
Views: 2364

Thank you, Paul and Bruce, for the great article and advice on health insurance. Anyone have advice on how she should approach filing for SS if she were to be widowed at age 58? My SS benefits would be about 2.5x her benefits.
by kilns
Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Survival Plan for Wife - just in case
Replies: 8
Views: 2364

Financial Survival Plan for Wife - just in case

Does anyone know of a good financial todo checklist to provide my wife in the event of my death? I am 63 and she is 58. I have not claimed SS and my benefits would be over twice her benefits. Should she immediately apply for survivor benefits or wait until she really needs it or would she have to be...
by kilns
Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Daughter with White Elephant House
Replies: 24
Views: 6250

They bought the house 2.5 years ago. The drainage and foundation problems were not disclosed by the seller. The house was inspected but not sure the inspector was responsible for outside water table or soil problems. He did not report anything in that area. They absolutely cannot afford to fix this....