Search found 69 matches

by mountainsoft
Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How have elderly parents affected your retirement?
Replies: 29
Views: 5142

Re: How have elderly parents affected your retirement?

I'm thinking of retiring in 1-2 years and have been getting my finances in order. At the same time, I'm managing the finances of a parent in their early-to-mid 90s whose expenses now exceed their income. Parent has some memory problems, but is otherwise quite healthy, and is doing well in an excell...
by mountainsoft
Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you a serious DIYer?
Replies: 84
Views: 5706

Re: Are you a serious DIYer?

I probably come close to a 10 on your DIY scale. My wife and I built our own house back in 2004, doing all the foundation, framing, electrical, plumbing, tiling, sheetrock, insulation, cabinetry, and finish work ourselves. We also built our own garage in 2001, a few sheds, remodeled my in-laws house...
by mountainsoft
Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor Fire Pit - Wood vs. Gas?
Replies: 53
Views: 3424

Re: Outdoor Fire Pit - Wood vs. Gas?

I prefer the look and feel of a real wood fire. We have a wood stove in our house, and a wood firepit outside. We get wood from our own property so there's no additional expense other than the firepit itself. I can also burn the wood scraps from my woodworking hobby. Honestly, gas scares me. I grew ...
by mountainsoft
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for "Backup" software
Replies: 40
Views: 2697

Re: Recommendations for "Backup" software

10-25 GB per day is however easily feasible. Data rates are in the 5 min per GB or less range for many services. The upload speed of my own internet connection is the limiting factor, not the max speed of the backup service. My upload connection averages around 5-6Mbps, which would take almost nine...
by mountainsoft
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for "Backup" software
Replies: 40
Views: 2697

Re: Recommendations for "Backup" software

I'm not a fan of local backups. What happens if there should be a break in, flood or fire in your home? Offsite storage or the cloud is far more secure. If you generate any significant data, such as recording TV shows or editing video, cloud backups would take far too long (I easily generate 10-25G...
by mountainsoft
Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Burial Plot in advance
Replies: 53
Views: 2767

Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

We built our home 15 years ago as our "forever" home. We plan to retire and live out the rest of our lives here. We have a small cemetery near us on the way to town that we pass often. We decided we wanted to be buried there, so my wife and I bought a couple of plots. We did it to ensure we would ha...
by mountainsoft
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Building a Large Shed and Cutting Costs
Replies: 6
Views: 1073

Re: Building a Large Shed and Cutting Costs

What kind of foundation are you using? Plywood is usually 4 feet wide, so making your building dimensions an increment of 4 feet is faster to build and minimizes cutting and waste. 12x12, 16x20, 20x20, etc. Square buildings require less perimeter walls than a rectangular building. For example, 20x20...
by mountainsoft
Mon May 13, 2019 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet speed recommendation
Replies: 26
Views: 1575

Re: Internet speed recommendation

10-20 mbps is plenty for streaming Netflix and Hulu. If you want to stream UHD (4K) you would probably want 30-40 mbps at a minimum. Otherwise, the extra bandwidth is only useful for downloading large files (faster) or sharing the connection with multiple devices at once. https://help.netflix.com/en...
by mountainsoft
Mon May 06, 2019 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crawl Space vs. Concrete Slab House Foundation
Replies: 19
Views: 2366

Re: Crawl Space vs. Concrete Slab House Foundation

I am looking at retirement homes in the Carolinas. Am considering one home with a concrete foundation and another with a crawl space. Is one foundation preferred over the other? Slabs are generally cheaper to build and are often used in areas with little to no frost depth. In colder climates you ha...
by mountainsoft
Thu May 02, 2019 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tIRA to Roth conversion question for dummies
Replies: 18
Views: 1885

Re: tIRA to Roth conversion question for dummies

Contributions to a TRADITIONAL IRA can be deducted from your annual tax return. You won't pay taxes on that money until you start withdrawing money from the IRA (after age 59.5). That is only correct for people who are under certain income levels. This poster is over that limit. The OP stated an in...
by mountainsoft
Thu May 02, 2019 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tIRA to Roth conversion question for dummies
Replies: 18
Views: 1885

Re: tIRA to Roth conversion question for dummies

I had a quick question regarding on converting a traditional IRA to a Roth essentially doing the backdoor method. First, let us say I made a traditional IRA account today on vanguard, do I immediately convert it to a Roth that same day? Is there any minimum amount of money for this conversion to ta...
by mountainsoft
Thu May 02, 2019 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi extenders vs Mesh network
Replies: 54
Views: 4081

Re: Wifi extenders vs Mesh network

I recently tried the MeshForce mesh system in our home. https://www.amazon.com/MeshForce-Whole-System-Suite-Point/dp/B07PZ7BHQC/ref=sr_1_1 . It gave me a good signal strength throughout the house, but the actual speeds were disappointing. I could get 80mbps near the main hub, but farther out near th...
by mountainsoft
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best enhancement for folks who work from home
Replies: 42
Views: 4143

Re: Best enhancement for folks who work from home

What enhancements (dual monitors, stand up desk, lighting, plants & misc) have you made to your home office set up that you highly recommend? My first priority was making my computer as quiet as possible. When I'm sitting alone in a quiet home office I don't want to listen to those fans and drives ...
by mountainsoft
Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CDs with good early withdrawal penalties - Ally is underperforming
Replies: 12
Views: 1331

Re: CDs with good early withdrawal penalties - Ally is underperforming

The act of buying a CD is, in my opinion, a form of market timing because you’re trying to lock in a good rate that you hope will be higher than the prevailing rates as the CD matures. I am going to close the CD I bought last year when it matures in May for just that reason. It's currently earning ...
by mountainsoft
Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Balanced Index (VBIAX) vs. Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth Fund (VSMGX)
Replies: 14
Views: 1572

Re: Vanguard Balanced Index (VBIAX) vs. Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth Fund (VSMGX)

Vanguard Balanced Index (VBIAX) has an expense ratio of 0.07% Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth Fund (VSMGX) has an expense ratio of 0.13% Both are 60% stocks and 40% bonds. Why would anyone want to pay almost double the expense ratio for Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth Fund (VSMGX) ? "Pa...
by mountainsoft
Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CDs with good early withdrawal penalties - Ally is underperforming
Replies: 12
Views: 1331

Re: CDs with good early withdrawal penalties - Ally is underperforming

I'm building a ladder. I already have 1 yr. One year CD's seem to be the sweet spot right now. Buy a 1 year CD now. In four months, buy another 1 year CD. In eight months buy another 1 year CD. Then you'll have a CD maturing every four months. If rates go down you can close the CD when it matures. ...
by mountainsoft
Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?
Replies: 63
Views: 4264

Re: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?

Retirement planning should be based upon what you expect to spend in retirement. What you currently contribute to your 401K or the amount of your FICA taxes or how much you save in a taxable account or what your expenses are today for your kids who will be out of the house when you retired are all ...
by mountainsoft
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?
Replies: 63
Views: 4264

Re: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?

we can be (and are) satisfied with two older vehicles. Many retired couples we know have cut back from two vehicles to one - but, in our case, that would lead to much more marital "friction". We live in a rural area so two cars are kind of a must, even if we only end up driving one. Cars break down...
by mountainsoft
Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?
Replies: 63
Views: 4264

Re: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?

I plan on trying to get close to my take home pay in retirement since that is the money that I actually have in my bank account. And then I subtract out the mortgage since that will be paid off shortly. Then ADD those items you currently pay before receiving your take home pay: Taxes, Healthcare, L...
by mountainsoft
Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?
Replies: 63
Views: 4264

Re: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?

Weird - I wouldn't consider SS, FICA, etc taxes and 457/401k deductions as "savings". For retirement we are planning based on what we spend money on, with our take home pay - the above items never hit our bank account and aren't counted as "earnings" that need replacement. We aren't planning based ...
by mountainsoft
Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?
Replies: 63
Views: 4264

Re: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?

But what do you reduce? Sure, if you have a long commute, you may reduce your fuel bill by a little. Or if you dry clean or have to buy clothes. But really, is it that big of expense to be a working stiff vs. a retired person? We still have a bit over four years before we retire, but here are some ...
by mountainsoft
Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax refund: take the cash or apply to next year's estimates?
Replies: 12
Views: 1520

Re: Tax refund: take the cash or apply to next year's estimates?

We always use our federal income tax return to help pay for our property taxes.
by mountainsoft
Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for counter depth 70" tall, 36"wide fridge
Replies: 8
Views: 705

Re: Need recommendations for counter depth 70" tall fridge

When we built our house I simply made the cabinets deeper on the wall the refrigerator was going on. Now we can use any standard depth fridge and have the same look as an expensive counter depth refrigerator. I've seen a similar approach where some people frame an opening in the wall behind the frid...
by mountainsoft
Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1/4 inch drywall over existing walls when remodeling?
Replies: 11
Views: 2022

Re: 1/4 inch drywall over existing walls when remodeling?

Several years ago my wife and I closed in and remodeled the front porch at my in-laws house. The ceiling was covered with wood bead board and was structurally sound. There wasn't anything wrong with it, it just wasn't the look we were after. So I screwed 1/4 inch drywall to it and taped it as usual....
by mountainsoft
Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which of these Online Savings Accounts (high-yield) are reliable?
Replies: 45
Views: 6061

Re: Which of these Online Savings Accounts (high-yield) are reliable?

teelainen wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:29 pm
the APY at Ally is just too low. They are only offering 2.20%
I don't know how much you are planning to put in savings, but the difference between 2.2% and 2.5% on $10,000 is only $30 per year. I'd stick with Ally, or Discover (2.1% currently).
by mountainsoft
Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite youtube channels?
Replies: 81
Views: 7530

Re: Favorite youtube channels?

Considering this is an investing forum, I'm surprised no one has mentioned financial YouTube channels. Some of my favorites are: Dave Ramsey Mike Rosehart Wealth Hacker - Jeff Rose Chris Hogan Graham Stephen Joseph Hogue Nate O-Brien Devin Carroll Next Level Life Our Rich Journey SeedTime Money Two ...
by mountainsoft
Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage "Benefits"
Replies: 108
Views: 9295

Re: Marriage "Benefits"

You and I just have differing views. I believe I should live my life the way I want to live my life as long as I am not hurting others and I fulfill my responsibilities to those I love and care for. You clearly place a high value on conforming to societal or familial expectations. Nothing wrong wit...
by mountainsoft
Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage "Benefits"
Replies: 108
Views: 9295

Re: Marriage "Benefits"

Maybe because they don't care what the rest of the world thinks about this? If the wedding doesn't matter, why is there so much resistance to getting married? Just get a wedding license and be done with it. It's no worse than getting a car license, registering to vote, or getting a will. Just look ...
by mountainsoft
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage "Benefits"
Replies: 108
Views: 9295

Re: Marriage "Benefits"

quite frankly I think the entire process is nonsense and you can absolutely be in love/committed to another person without the stupid ring and overpriced ceremony. i love her, never cheated, never will, and have the "Rest of my life" intention for sure. That's all that should matter ... right? If y...
by mountainsoft
Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?
Replies: 77
Views: 4713

Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

My computer is always on with a UPS in case the power goes out. If I wasn't using the computer at night I would probably turn it off, but after I go to bed my computer is still running backups, recording TV shows, and controlling lights and pumps around our house. It probably works harder during the...
by mountainsoft
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: One Fund Portfolio
Replies: 23
Views: 5032

Re: One Fund Portfolio

I use the Vanguard Balanced Fund (VBIAX) in both my Roth and Traditional IRA's.

I use the Vanguard Tax Managed fund (VTMFX) in my taxable account.

I've only had the taxable account since October, but so far so good.
by mountainsoft
Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for old school CD player & bookshelf stereo
Replies: 28
Views: 2032

Re: Looking for old school CD player & bookshelf stereo

I recently went through this looking for a simple CD player for my mom. All of the portable players I looked at were junk and sounded horrible. The old school desktop stereos cost hundreds of dollars, more than I wanted to spend. My mom lives in a small studio in an assisted living home and doesn't ...
by mountainsoft
Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing front door slab/prehung
Replies: 5
Views: 379

Re: Replacing front door slab/prehung

Sorry, I missed the part about the handyman. I suppose that depends on the handyman. It's not a difficult job, but I wouldn't pay someone to do it if they haven't done it before. My house is not the one to experiment with. :) Also, framing carpenters don't necessarily have the skills of a finish car...
by mountainsoft
Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing front door slab/prehung
Replies: 5
Views: 379

Re: Replacing front door slab/prehung

Yeah, winter isn't the best time to replace a door. If you can wait, it's probably best. You don't have to cut all of the drywall back, just a couple of small notches on each side so you can measure the rough opening. Preferably at the top, bottom, and middle in case the opening isn't perfectly squa...
by mountainsoft
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing front door slab/prehung
Replies: 5
Views: 379

Re: Replacing front door slab/prehung

If the frame is in good shape I would just replace the door slab. However, it sounds like yours is in rough shape so I would install a new prehung door. Pick up a cheap drywall saw if you don't have one. Then pull off the interior trim and cut back the drywall to the studs as needed. It'll make a me...
by mountainsoft
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Good calculators available?
Replies: 7
Views: 915

Re: Good calculators available?

My favorite calculator is the downloadable version of the Flexible Retirement Planner. I like that it saves my entries so I can go back again and again to compare changes. I also like that I can enter multiple income and spending options and experiment with different scenarios by quickly selecting t...
by mountainsoft
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Banff/Lake Louise vacation-suggestions?
Replies: 16
Views: 990

Re: Banff/Lake Louise vacation-suggestions?

Back in 2009 we took a trip through Glacier National Park, up into Alberta and the Canadian Rockies, then back down through British Columbia. You can check out my video of our trip for some ideas: http://www.watsondiy.com/20090726.php
by mountainsoft
Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Desktop (Self Built) Updating Question
Replies: 17
Views: 910

Re: Another Desktop (Self Built) Updating Question

As others have said a Solid State Drive will make a noticeable difference. I would also recommend upgrading to more RAM, at least 16GB if not more. You don't really need a powerful video card for editing photos and video (that's what I do). I use this fanless video card in my system: https://www.new...
by mountainsoft
Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Etiquette of selling used items
Replies: 20
Views: 1730

Re: Etiquette of selling used items

I have bought and sold a lot of stuff on Craigslist. The first person to hand me the cash gets the item, whether they were the first to inquire or the last. If I schedule a time to meet someone I won't sell it to someone else until that time has passed, but I don't hold items for anyone even if they...
by mountainsoft
Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bathroom Dripping-Potential Leak Question
Replies: 20
Views: 1270

Re: Bathroom Dripping-Potential Leak Question

Do you hear the drip on dry days or only when it's raining? If it's the latter, have someone spray water on the roof with a garden hose (light spray) and see if you can hear the drip inside. With no attic I would think a roof leak would show up on the ceiling fairly quickly. Then again, I wouldn't t...
by mountainsoft
Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which balanced fund for taxable (if in a low tax bracket)?
Replies: 6
Views: 834

Re: Which balanced fund for taxable (if in a low tax bracket)?

I like the simplicity of single balanced index funds. I use VBIAX in my traditional and Roth IRA's. I just opened a taxable account a couple months ago and chose VTMFX for it.
by mountainsoft
Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ticket for speeding
Replies: 66
Views: 5630

Re: Ticket for speeding

Is there a use in hiring a lawyer for a speeding ticket in a school zone? Before everyone jumps on me for speeding in a school zone :) , this was a right turn into a new road (school zone) and we were unaware of the area and saw this sign. It was around 2 pm in the afternoon. Anyway is it worth it ...
by mountainsoft
Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Win 10 image backup software?
Replies: 49
Views: 4098

Re: Win 10 image backup software?

I also vote for Macrium Reflect. I backup nightly to an external USB drive. I perform a full disk backup every Sunday, and incremental backups the other days of the week. I recently bought a 2TB SSD to replace my old 1TB hard drive. Macrium Reflect had no problems restoring my old hard drive data to...
by mountainsoft
Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Video camera for hiking?
Replies: 13
Views: 1035

Re: Video camera for hiking?

Looks AMAZING! Plus it has 20x optical zoom... Do you have any raw unprocessed video uploaded anywhere? I couldn't find any chest/backpack/head mount - how do you use it during hikes? No sorry, I don't have any raw video online. Obviously the 4K video coming from the camera has more detail, a bit m...
by mountainsoft
Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Video camera for hiking?
Replies: 13
Views: 1035

Re: Video camera for hiking?

Any suggestions for a hiking camera? It can be definitely bigger than GoPro (I do a day hikes) but not very large. Thinking about $500-1000 range. I have been using a Panasonic VX870K camcorder for our hiking camera. It just quit working on me so I replaced it with a VX981K camcorder (basically the...
by mountainsoft
Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: firefox RSS feed gone
Replies: 3
Views: 540

Re: firefox RSS feed gone

I wasn't aware Firefox even supported RSS.

I prefer to read my RSS feeds with a dedicated program called RSSOwl.
by mountainsoft
Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot - Improving Traction
Replies: 23
Views: 1741

Re: Honda Pilot - Improving Traction

I'm curious... How many of you experiencing tire spin have automatic transmissions? I've always driven manual transmissions and can't recall ever spinning tires unless I wanted to, even when starting on a hill in the rain with bald tires. Granted, I've always driven smaller front wheel drive vehicle...
by mountainsoft
Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot - Improving Traction
Replies: 23
Views: 1741

Re: Honda Pilot - Improving Traction

Start off with a light touch to avoid spin and get the vehicle moving, THEN accelerate quickly if you need to.
by mountainsoft
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot - Improving Traction
Replies: 23
Views: 1741

Re: Honda Pilot - Improving Traction

I have a ~10 year old Honda Pilot FWD and the tires once in a while spin while starting from a stop, especially in the rain. They also seem a bit prone to hydroplane. I hate to state the obvious, but maybe you are accelerating too quickly from a stop? I can never understand why people stomp on the ...
by mountainsoft
Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension service credit purchase - Revised
Replies: 11
Views: 979

Re: Pension service credit purchase

I have an option to purchase pension credit, and have to decide very soon. It's possible to purchase up to two years - values shown are for two years. Assumptions: - Pension payments start late 2019 at age 61 (M). - Purchase cost must be paid in full, $37k by end of 2018. - Increase in pension bene...