Search found 279 matches

by mrsbetsy
Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pandemic reduced our spending by 30% - How about you?
Replies: 117
Views: 7404

Re: Pandemic reduced our spending by 30% - How about you?

We ended up spending more doing home projects, with more to come. Same here. Also increased charitable giving AND increased my contributions to support election of political candidates aligned with my values. (The former tax deductible and the latter not.) But both increases were partly motivated b...
by mrsbetsy
Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What video games are you currently playing?
Replies: 332
Views: 41625

Re: What video games are you currently playing?

I have never played a video game. Are they entertaining? I play exactly one game, which is Stardew Valley. It's a chill, no-stress game and once you buy it, you don't have to buy anything else to play it. I play it on Steam on my Mac Book Pro while I sit with my husband and he watches college footb...
by mrsbetsy
Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risk tolerance plummeted to zero, now what?
Replies: 32
Views: 3170

Re: Risk tolerance plummeted to zero, now what?

Paying off the home mortgage seems like a slam dunk for the risk averse rather than holding a mortgage and bonds. +1000 Why one would carry debt on their shelter and not "feel" that is a risk is beyond me. OP, since you are making decisions based on emotion, this should be your #1 priorit...
by mrsbetsy
Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?
Replies: 38
Views: 4046

Re: Your experience with making major changes in mid-life?

I moved from the south to California (Bay Area) in 1988. I love it here and will never leave. My southern family were floored when I moved away and I heard all kinds of dire warnings about what would happen. We've recently explored other states for retirement, but none compare and we will stay put. ...
by mrsbetsy
Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CALLING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS - what does your classroom need? Advice for charitable program.
Replies: 16
Views: 934

Re: CALLING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS - what does your classroom need? Advice for charitable program.

+1000 on Donors Choose. Do not donate directly to the PTA or Ed Fund's slush fund. You are handing over the decision to them and it is mostly political (principal has big input!) and it may not go the way you wish. Donors Choose allows you to direct giving in accordance to your values and their need...
by mrsbetsy
Fri Nov 06, 2020 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you give your adult children at holiday time?
Replies: 175
Views: 12349

Re: What do you give your adult children at holiday time?

Do you get together for a gift exchange? If so, you could play the saran wrap ball game. Buy a bunch of small denomination gift cards ($10 coffee, Amazon, etc. ), packs of gum, lottery scratchers, a few pairs of holiday socks, fog-free glass wipes, and other small things. Wrap them individually betw...
by mrsbetsy
Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area housing-- sell then rent?
Replies: 28
Views: 1936

Re: Bay Area housing-- sell then rent?

Also in the Bay Area and I think selling and then renting is foolish -- especially with the ages of your children. Are you thinking about renting an apartment? How would that improve your quality of life? Are you thinking about renting someone's home? I would never do that with children in this area...
by mrsbetsy
Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is switching to Kaiser but losing HSA worth it?
Replies: 32
Views: 2408

Re: Is switching to Kaiser but losing HSA worth it?

As small business owners, we have Kaiser bronze with an HSA for us and all of our employees. We are also in No. California and find it to be top notch and seamless. I had a suspicious mammogram a few years ago and we went from "suspicious" to resolved in about 72 hours. I didn't have to ma...
by mrsbetsy
Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public Housing Assistance: Where to Start
Replies: 17
Views: 1488

Re: Public Housing Assistance: Where to Start

Our disabled son has been on the wait list to get on the wait list for affordable housing for the last 5 years. It's challenging, but just get in line. His case worker helps him apply for every one that comes available. You'll have to look in your own state for those that open up. Affordablehousing....
by mrsbetsy
Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I be using money market funds instead of bonds?
Replies: 24
Views: 2206

Re: Should I be using money market funds instead of bonds?

This same sentiment has been tossed around for years.

The Schwab bond index fund SWAGX is up 6.74% this year, but a bit below it's 52 week high. Based on our age, a percentage of the portfolio in bonds seems sensible.

My cash is not up that much.
by mrsbetsy
Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery store didn't tell me Shingrix was $160
Replies: 197
Views: 13281

Re: Grocery store didn't tell me Shingrix was $160

Here's my guess... Back office (billing) isn't communicating well with the nurses and somewhere along the way that connection hasn't been made. They are trying to be safe and do YOU a favor by giving the injection in the parking lot, but the new paperwork trail isn't functioning well yet. As a busin...
by mrsbetsy
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prius owners...advice?
Replies: 22
Views: 2327

Re: Prius owners...advice?

I have a 2010 with about 112K miles on it. Most reliable car ever. We call it "the truck" because folding down all the seats means we've carried so many things in it that you can't even imagine would actually fit. The biggest challenge with older models is that thieves steal the catalytic ...
by mrsbetsy
Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacationing safely in the era of Covid - How did you do it?
Replies: 124
Views: 9791

Re: Vacationing safely in the era of Covid - How did you do it?

We just returned from Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Park and nearly had the park to ourselves. The hiking was beautiful and it was a pleasant 4 days. Unfortunately our "stayca" road trip took us to San Simeon, CA next, but we had to flee for home because of the wildfires. Some of the winer...
by mrsbetsy
Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Care Costs (California Family) - Not a political discussion
Replies: 19
Views: 1003

Re: Health Care Costs (California Family) - Not a political discussion

Once your launch your teens, you will find a bunch of more money in your budget. Healthcare is what it is because you are self-employed. We also own an S-Corp and a Sole Proprietorship in the Bay Area. Can you hire an employee? If you can get a group policy, your premium will be less. But, yes, we p...
by mrsbetsy
Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental insurance for seniors
Replies: 29
Views: 2588

Re: Dental insurance for seniors

We pay cash and we supposedly get a 20% discount for doing so for regular cleaning. The handful of times over the past 10 years we've had expensive stuff, we just cross the southern border and get it there for 25% of the price and it's all been perfectly fine. This inlcudes multiple crowns and a fro...
by mrsbetsy
Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Persistent Internet Outages - should I upgrade to Comcast Business
Replies: 41
Views: 2152

Re: Persistent Internet Outages - should I upgrade to Comcast Business

We have experienced persistent Internet outages for several years. Our provider is Xfinity by Comcast. .... I am considering upgrading to Comcast Business. .... Comcast Business claims that I will have a dedicated line and can thus count on the advertised speed to be constant. ..... There is no suc...
by mrsbetsy
Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Herman Miller Aeron chair
Replies: 64
Views: 5089

Re: Herman Miller Aeron chair

Another thought is to get yourself a standing desk and stop sitting on your butt for so many hours. That one move has been a game-changer for how I feel. I wear good supportive shoes and keep a pair of hand weights weights nearby. Stand and lift, stretch, touch your toes, etc for at least 10 minutes...
by mrsbetsy
Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Persistent Internet Outages - should I upgrade to Comcast Business
Replies: 41
Views: 2152

Re: Persistent Internet Outages - should I upgrade to Comcast Business

We had similar challenges. We paid for a boost, did the Google Wifi thing, did everything we could think of doing. We run two businesses out of our home, which means I'm on Zoom and other software for 8 - 10 hours a day. We also have a son who games. Nothing worked. In the end, we paid a local handy...
by mrsbetsy
Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebook for elementary student
Replies: 16
Views: 1298

Re: Chromebook for elementary student

Chromebooks do not have a full operating system and may not support some programs. You may be disappointed if that happens.

I'd strongly suggest avoiding them and instead get them a real computer.
by mrsbetsy
Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Compare the state tax across states - California, Florida
Replies: 69
Views: 6023

Re: Compare the state tax across states - California, Florida

You can't compare broadly. I live in CA and bought my house in 2000. Because of Prop 13, my 2M home has <8K a year in property tax and as long as Prop 13 holds, I can predict that. Compare that with Texas...whoa....you can't even know how much the property tax will go up per year. Compare that with...
by mrsbetsy
Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Health Care plan: Kaiser HMO vs PPO+HSA (in CA)
Replies: 17
Views: 1370

Re: Help with Health Care plan: Kaiser HMO vs PPO+HSA (in CA)

Really depends on the location for Kaiser. I had a suspicious-looking mammogram last year and from the time it was read until we had an answer was <48 hours. It was truly top notch treatment that I was not expecting. My cousin in the same town wtih a seriously concerning mammogram with a different c...
by mrsbetsy
Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Compare the state tax across states - California, Florida
Replies: 69
Views: 6023

Re: Compare the state tax across states - California, Florida

You can't compare broadly. I live in CA and bought my house in 2000. Because of Prop 13, my 2M home has <8K a year in property tax and as long as Prop 13 holds, I can predict that. Compare that with Texas...whoa....you can't even know how much the property tax will go up per year. Compare that with ...
by mrsbetsy
Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disabled Adult Child and Using an ABLE Account
Replies: 11
Views: 703

Re: Disabled Adult Child and Using an ABLE Account

DId he earn all the income in 2020 or prior? In CA, there is an ABLE account annual maximum of $12,490 for work contributions so you'll need to see what your maximum might be. There is also a $15,000 general contribution limit per year. It would be important to categorize the contributions according...
by mrsbetsy
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cookware (frying pan) for a glass cooktop?
Replies: 24
Views: 1461

Re: Cookware (frying pan) for a glass cooktop?

I've had a glass cooktop since 2010 and use cast iron and have no scratches. I just don't shake it around I guess? I have a son with autism and there's no way in hell I"m having a gas stove in my house. Cast iron is the best and I'll never cook without one. Stirfry gets the perfect seer without...
by mrsbetsy
Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: More than $500K profit on sale of primary residence
Replies: 24
Views: 3236

Re: More than $500K profit on sale of primary residence

In those 10 years did you put on a new roof or do any other improvements?

We are in the same boat here in the Bay Area and we keep careful receipts of everything allowable for that day when we do sell.

Congrats on a good runup.
by mrsbetsy
Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better toddler sneakers than New Balance?
Replies: 19
Views: 1468

Re: Better toddler sneakers than New Balance?

Two things to spend good money on. 1) A good mattress because you spend a third of your life on it. 2) Good shoes because you spend a good part of the other two thirds of your life on your feet. We always took our kids to Stride Rite for a good fit. Toddlers can't always tell you what may or may not...
by mrsbetsy
Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Possibly losing health insurance. Experiences with ACA
Replies: 57
Views: 4076

Re: Possibly losing health insurance. Experiences with ACA

We've had it since 2013. We have a disabled son so my husband was tied to his employer (golden handcuffs) because we could not get insurance any other way (preexisting condition). In 2013, he was exhausted and burnt out so he took a 5 month sabbatical to figure out (at 50) what he might want to do f...
by mrsbetsy
Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Adjusting investment prior to an election
Replies: 9
Views: 1439

Re: Adjusting investment prior to an election

Suggest you create an investment policy statement and follow it. It helps to keep emotions out of it.


https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investm ... _statement


Also suggest turning off the noise.
by mrsbetsy
Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else love this new working from home thing?
Replies: 89
Views: 6506

Re: Anyone else love this new working from home thing?

I've worked from home at least 8 years, but I am an Educational Therapist and I served students remotely as well as in my home office. Since Covid, I moved everyone online and I am enjoying that so much more, but some students really need to see me in person. I purchased an excellent office chair, q...
by mrsbetsy
Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?
Replies: 82
Views: 6755

Re: Which household items have made your life easier/more convenient/happier?

Excellent window treatments. We have a honeycomb shade on a big window that is top down and bottom up. We can pull the top down and let tons of light into the room without fading the furniture and hand-scraped wood flooring. In the afternoon when the sun is no longer directly shining in the window, ...
by mrsbetsy
Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 6013
Views: 1402803

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

"Watched Hamilton as well. We liked it and it was very well done. But I'm very glad I didn't spend many hundreds of dollars for tickets." We bought Hamilton tickets for $40 each on the TodaysTix app. Wonderful cast in San Francisco. You might want to try it before ever spending "hundr...
by mrsbetsy
Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?
Replies: 195
Views: 16879

Re: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?

There is a small area in our town of 77K people that is for 55+ only. It is a highly sought after area and they sell in less than 24 hours. Our neighbors, who are 82 and 77, just sold their 2600 square foot home and moved into one of them. It is a darling 1300 square foot/small lot size home and so ...
by mrsbetsy
Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 6013
Views: 1402803

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Watched "Greyhound" with Tom Hanks. Certainly would have been amazing to see in a big screen theater, but the big screen in our family room was just fine. Tom Hanks is a favorite actor and he played the part well. The cat and mouse game with U-boats was intense. I cried when they buried th...
by mrsbetsy
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How would permanent WFH reshape Silicon Valley?
Replies: 79
Views: 6677

Re: How would permanent WFH reshape Silicon Valley?

I’m not very good with predictions but thought I'd add to a couple of points others have raised. People may/will choose to live in suburbs/farther. For SFO this will mean more growth in east bay... Cities with more outdoor activities like parks, trails & good schools will continue to hold their...
by mrsbetsy
Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Based on neighborhood fireworks how is your local economy doing?
Replies: 55
Views: 4175

Re: Based on neighborhood fireworks how is your local economy doing?

Fireworks are illegal where I live. One landed in a trashcan outside an elementary school, caught the school on fire, and nearly burned to the ground. Firefighters have been extremely busy putting out fires all over our dry hills. People must have money to literally burn, but our county coiffeurs ar...
by mrsbetsy
Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Elementary school in Fall - choose Virtual or In-person
Replies: 120
Views: 8816

Re: Elementary school in Fall - choose Virtual or In-person

Yeah...in class wearing a mask will likely go something like this. God Bless our teachers! Here's how some think requiring masks might work in elementary. Please don’t snap Billy's mask in his face. Your mask is not a necklace, bracelet, or any other form of jewelry. You should not be using your mas...
by mrsbetsy
Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 6013
Views: 1402803

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

We watched Jon Stewart's movie Irresistible. It had a surprising twist and a conclusion that makes you give pause. Don't want to give it away, but wasn't the ending we were expecting at all!! About 8/10ths of the way in, we were both confused and just as we were considering the possibilites...there ...
by mrsbetsy
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grammar assistant word processing software
Replies: 8
Views: 559

Re: Grammar assistant word processing software

My students with dyslexia have found Grammarly to do a good job of catching spelling and grammar mistakes. There's a free version.
by mrsbetsy
Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Face Masks
Replies: 23
Views: 4090

Re: Face Masks

Thanks for the tip. We just ordered them from Costco.com and can't wait to have them. My husband has to wear a mask all day long and it's getting a little old and if he can have a fresh one every few hours, he would be SO happy. I'm tired of washing the five we have over and over. He thinks if he we...
by mrsbetsy
Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: chicken marinade recipes
Replies: 48
Views: 4872

Re: chicken marinade recipes

ALL great ideas that I will be trying. IF you can think far enough in advance next time, marinate overnight in buttermilk. It makes the chicken super tender and juicy. We add a little sirancha sauce to the buttermilk for a kick. Otherwise, chicken is just so boring most of the time. But if you are p...
by mrsbetsy
Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for some information on Italy trip
Replies: 24
Views: 1370

Re: Looking for some information on Italy trip

If you are going to have only one day in Rome, I highly recommend you hire someone local to give you a personal tour. They will know how to get in and out of places in a timely way. The same advice applies to time less than three days. You'll want to get skip the line and early entry passes. If you ...
by mrsbetsy
Sat May 30, 2020 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 2290
Views: 239536

Re: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]

If you are looking for relief from the stress of the world and life do not watch...

Goldfinch (Amazon Prime)

It was such a terrible and depressing movie with characters that are not at all interesting.

I have the book and could never get hooked into reading much of it. Now I know why.
by mrsbetsy
Mon May 18, 2020 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Chromebook vs Laptop PC quality/options for child
Replies: 40
Views: 2433

Re: Cheap Chromebook vs Laptop PC quality/options for child

I am not a programmer so I do not know why, but Chromebook doesn't work well with Zoom because I need to give control of my software over to a student and it will not allow it. There is a workaround called Chrome remote that we can both install, but it adds an additional step, requires a password e...
by mrsbetsy
Mon May 18, 2020 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Chromebook vs Laptop PC quality/options for child
Replies: 40
Views: 2433

Re: Cheap Chromebook vs Laptop PC quality/options for child

I get the impression that most people trashing chromebooks haven't used a nice one. And they're comparing a $200 chromebook to a $2000 laptop. I've looked at Chromebook specs and found them to be low-end. I understand that they're geared for people who do everything in the cloud Google Docs. While ...
by mrsbetsy
Sun May 17, 2020 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What single individual stock would you buy?
Replies: 163
Views: 15215

Re: What single individual stock would you buy?

Because I use Zoom (ZM) 9 - 13 hours a day, I bought a smidgen of it just for fun when it first went public. It's up 183.32% at the moment. As long distance learning and congregating seems to be on the uptick and more players get involved, I'm wondering when/if I should sell. :greedy Bought Facebook...
by mrsbetsy
Sat May 16, 2020 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Chromebook vs Laptop PC quality/options for child
Replies: 40
Views: 2433

Re: Cheap Chromebook vs Laptop PC quality/options for child

I would be careful about Chromebooks because they do not have a full operating system. I'm an Educational Therapist in private practice serving 2E students and now all my students are online. While it is fine for Zoom, some multisensory programs like Whizzimo are not supported by Chromebook. They do...
by mrsbetsy
Wed May 13, 2020 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 90%+ chocolate bar
Replies: 67
Views: 5126

Re: 90%+ chocolate bar

Trader Joe's carries a 100% Cocoa chocolate bar called Absolute Black Montezuma. It's a couple of bucks and tastes high quality. I love the taste and if you put a smidge of peanut butter on top, it is also quite pleasurable. Oh, I see. You mean that adding a smidge of sweetness to the unsweetened c...
by mrsbetsy
Tue May 12, 2020 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?
Replies: 180
Views: 7312

Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Travel - zero Income as a small business owner - doubled + Neither of those are going to change until we are back up and running full steam in this country. We always cooked a big family dinner once a week and the adult children would come over and we'd linger over dinner and conversation. Now we ar...
by mrsbetsy
Tue May 12, 2020 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 2290
Views: 239536

Re: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]

We are watching a British series on Netflix called The Repair Shop. It is such a NICE diversion from the gruel of the current topics in the world. Brits are so polite to one another and I am so glad there are people in this world who are very smart in this way. I'm also glad to see people treasure f...
by mrsbetsy
Tue May 12, 2020 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 90%+ chocolate bar
Replies: 67
Views: 5126

Re: 90%+ chocolate bar

Trader Joe's carries a 100% Cocoa chocolate bar called Absolute Black Montezuma.

It's a couple of bucks and tastes high quality.

I love the taste and if you put a smidge of peanut butter on top, it is also quite pleasurable.