Search found 194 matches

by DarthSage
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to purchase an used clarinet for a student - Amazon vs. store?
Replies: 12
Views: 500

Re: Where to purchase an used clarinet for a student - Amazon vs. store?

We had good luck purchasing used from a local music store. We did this with a trumpet, saxophone, cello, and violin. All were student instruments, not super high quality, but with good sound. Our older son's bagpipes, we had to order through a Scottish store--they came direct from Scotland. They wer...
by DarthSage
Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Supermarket are you?
Replies: 107
Views: 4625

Re: Which Supermarket are you?

Lidl opened here recently nearby. And immediately became our "go-to" store. Much better than the Aldi's which has been around for years, though, to be fair, Aldi's here is not in the best part of town. I'm so excited to hear this! We have a Lidl that's supposed to open soon--lot is cleared, road pu...
by DarthSage
Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Standard buyer's remorse or poorly timed enlightenment?
Replies: 40
Views: 3363

Re: Standard buyer's remorse or poorly timed enlightenment?

I think this is more buyer's remorse than anything. It's kind of like sitting there on your couch at 3am, holding your newborn, crying and saying, "What have we done?" I agree with the PP who said wait 6 months, re-evaluate, then wait another 6 months. It looks like in a year you will have decreased...
by DarthSage
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How and what age to start piano lessons?
Replies: 13
Views: 1159

Re: How and what age to start piano lessons?

It's not the piano, but you might find this interesting... Right around her fifth birthday, my younger DD started begging for violin lessons. Being my third child, I'd been through this stuff before. I figured, three lessons, and then she'd decide she wanted a pony, KWIM? So, I put her off (we were ...
by DarthSage
Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to invest in elementary education?
Replies: 37
Views: 2387

Re: How much to invest in elementary education?

Disclaimer: 4 kids, all went/go to public school. I find that public school is what you make it. My DD15 is going into her sophomore year. She sees plenty at the HS, but she's in the IB program, in orchestra, and has a good-sized circle of geeky friends. In short, she's able to navigate away from th...
by DarthSage
Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying Mom's condo on contract, Mom dies and we inherit the condo, what happens then?
Replies: 9
Views: 1158

Re: Buying Mom's condo on contract, Mom dies and we inherit the condo, what happens then?

Am I missing something? If she's currently in assisted living, why would she not sell the condo now, on the regular market, and then use the money to pay for her ongoing care? I don't see the benefit of you and your sister buying it. You already know that her care costs will deplete this asset, and ...
by DarthSage
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tool board for basement - plywood or pegboard?
Replies: 30
Views: 1824

Re: Tool board for basement - plywood or pegboard?

Another vote for pegboard. In my craft room, I didn't need much depth, so DH framed two large pieces and mounted them on the wall. In his workshop, he has 1"x2"s behind it. Pegboard has a bunch of hanging options, from long rods to curved hooks to special scissor-type holders to strips of little jar...
by DarthSage
Mon May 28, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help with grocery budget
Replies: 51
Views: 4214

Re: Please help with grocery budget

(last time bought around 30 lbs of spaghetti in HT). Nice! A 30 year supply in one shopping trip. :) Or one week, in our house! :wink: Okay, not THAT bad, but pasta is a staple here. Of course, my kids are picky about the shape--luckily, pasta is $0.77/lb at Walmart, in various shapes. Obviously, i...
by DarthSage
Mon May 28, 2018 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help with grocery budget
Replies: 51
Views: 4214

Re: Please help with grocery budget

Do you really expect useful advice as to what to eat? Eat less and cheaper stuff. Costco is the best place to get quantity at a reasonable price. No, but I expect to get advice like this: Then Aldi opened up down the street. I get eggs, milk, half-and-half, and sharp cheddar for about 60% of what I...
by DarthSage
Sun May 27, 2018 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?
Replies: 24
Views: 2198

Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

My MIL died last year, and she had various accounts at three places--T. Rowe Price, Vanguard, and Merrill Lynch. Of the three, Vanguard was the worst in terms of losing paperwork, delays in cutting checks, and so forth.
by DarthSage
Sat May 26, 2018 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 days in Boston with an 8 year old
Replies: 31
Views: 2114

Re: 3 days in Boston with an 8 year old

Boston Children's Museum is huge and fun. The Science Museum is also a good choice. We love the New England Aquarium. There's also Boston Common, the Public Park (with the swan boats!). Fanueil Hall is interesting for eating and shopping. We love the Boston Public Library, but we're total nerds. OTO...
by DarthSage
Tue May 22, 2018 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy an old farmhouse?
Replies: 52
Views: 5019

Re: Buy an old farmhouse?

We went the other way. In 30+ years of marriage, we started in a small farmhouse...moved to a larger farmhouse after kid #2 was born..after 20 years of country living, moved to the "city"...7 years later, moved to a much bigger city. When we were first married, we loved the idea of living in the cou...
by DarthSage
Tue May 22, 2018 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Babymoon - Hawaii Recommendations/Expected Costs
Replies: 27
Views: 1836

Re: Babymoon - Hawaii Recommendations/Expected Costs

3-4 nights in Hawaii is hardly worth the effort, especially from the East Coast. I would save Hawaii for when you can go for longer. I flew there once from Chicago--that flight was excruciatingly long, and I wasn't pregnant. I agree with the PP that your wife could relax someplace closer and cheaper.
by DarthSage
Mon May 21, 2018 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany
Replies: 76
Views: 3686

Re: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany

Check online first about the Berkshires. I think Tanglewood is only open in the summer months. There's a big "premium outlet mall" at Exit 2 off the Mass Pike, but personally, I'd rather poke my own eye out than go there. But, I'm not a big shopper.
by DarthSage
Mon May 21, 2018 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany
Replies: 76
Views: 3686

Re: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany

Thanks.I would love to go to the Hall of Fame but my wife hates baseball.We will see how that works out :D I actually brought a book to read, when we went there! Still, it was much more interesting than I thought it would be. I'm still not a baseball fan, but I understand the reverence while viewin...
by DarthSage
Sun May 20, 2018 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany
Replies: 76
Views: 3686

Re: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany

There are decent hotels in both Albany and Saratoga, if you're interested. Cooperstown (Baseball Hall of Fame) is kind of in the middle of nowhere, but an easy day trip from Albany. I'm not a baseball fan at all, and I still found the HoF to be worth a visit. There used to be airshows at Rhinebeck--...
by DarthSage
Sat May 19, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Adult Children (but not too much)
Replies: 152
Views: 12406

Re: Helping Adult Children (but not too much)

Our oldest (DD22) is what I consider "launched"--she has her degree, a "real" job (teaching), and she lives 800 miles away. She's always been fiercely independent, so, for example, she's still on our cell phone bill...but sends me a check every 3 months to pay for her portion. I cash the check, most...
by DarthSage
Fri May 18, 2018 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Loan from Parents
Replies: 24
Views: 2292

Re: Home Loan from Parents

I would recommend having a lawyer draw up the papers, just to make sure it's all aboveboard in the eyes of the IRS. The other issue nobody's mentioned so far is, do you have siblings? Might this be a cause of future resentment from siblings down the line? Even assuming that you pay everything back, ...
by DarthSage
Fri May 18, 2018 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany
Replies: 76
Views: 3686

Re: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany

It's a but touristy, but Howe Caverns are close to Albany. Smaller kids? Catskill Game Farm. I've done those with my parents when I was a kid,and then again with our grandkids. You might consider flying into Albany and taking the round trip by car from there. Depends on fares/rental cost/schedule b...
by DarthSage
Wed May 16, 2018 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preparing for future unbalanced income
Replies: 8
Views: 810

Re: Preparing for future unbalanced income

Penalties for under-withholding are a real thing, sorry to say. On the good side, so long as you (and your spouse) withhold more this year than last year, you should be okay. You may owe a lot, but you shouldn't be penalized. I'll mention something that happened to us, just because I never saw it co...
by DarthSage
Mon May 07, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to spend less on kids' tutoring fee?
Replies: 13
Views: 1809

Re: How to spend less on kids' tutoring fee?

I have a question for the OP: If you know your child will struggle with Physics, why are they taking it? Physics is not generally required, like Bio and Chem. Wouldn't it make more sense to take a less difficult, possibly more interesting science class--Psychology, Forensics, Botany, Anatomy? I woul...
by DarthSage
Sun May 06, 2018 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance
Replies: 45
Views: 3512

Re: Long term care insurance

Well, it's difficult to give specific advice without knowing the things that Freefun mentioned--assets (and liquidity), what you might want to preserve, and so forth. I also think Cheese-breath makes a good point--I'm sorry you're going through this, Cheese-breath, it can't be easy. That brings me t...
by DarthSage
Sat May 05, 2018 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying house from 1977
Replies: 20
Views: 1609

Re: Buying house from 1977

Our current house is 50 years old. We've owned another 50yo house, and two that were 150-200 years old. We like older houses, but they can be quirky--additions put on so they have an odd layout, that kind of thing. Our current house needs updating--most stuff is fine, but old. On the good side, it w...
by DarthSage
Thu May 03, 2018 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to spend less on kids' tutoring fee?
Replies: 13
Views: 1809

Re: How to spend less on kids' tutoring fee?

Do the teachers have extra tutoring sessions? Also, at some schools the National Honor Society runs tutoring, which could help. Although these things might be after school, they also might be before school, or during lunch. Can you tutor them yourself? It's kind of late in the school year, but in th...
by DarthSage
Thu May 03, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget for kid's sport?
Replies: 49
Views: 2331

Re: Budget for kid's sport?

I'm a big fan of having kids try a number of things to see what they like. I guess we were fortunate when my older two were little--we lived rural, and there was an amazing and cheap selection of rec leagues. In their younger years, my kids tried: soccer, gymnastics, dance, baseball, basketball, kar...
by DarthSage
Wed May 02, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Continuing Care facility - shielding some assets for the kids
Replies: 37
Views: 3935

Re: Continuing Care facility - shielding some assets for the kids

Your plan doesn't meet their requirement to not give away large gifts after move-in. I don't know your ages and relative health--you'd think $3M (or $2.5M, after these accounts are set up) would be enough, but it might not be, with an expensive illness. I think they would object if the money is with...
by DarthSage
Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Process for] Turning over UTMA to Adult Daughter
Replies: 8
Views: 752

Re: Turning over UTMA to Adult Daughter

Yeah, there was a form or two to sign--that's it. Possibly more on the business end of things, but as a parent, very simple. Our two legal adults also signed something saying the company could discuss their financial circumstances with us. Our oldest is 22 and launched--I would have been fine with h...
by DarthSage
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maple syrup
Replies: 59
Views: 5116

Re: Maple syrup

You guys are making me long for our days in rural upstate NY. Literally, our electrician had a sugar farm--talk about local! Of course, it turned us into "syrup snobs". Nowadays, we get it at Aldi. Prices can vary quite a bit--if you don't have a local source (worth extra $$, IMHO), try looking in W...
by DarthSage
Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how would you handle this--collecting life insurance
Replies: 31
Views: 3027

Re: how would you handle this--collecting life insurance

I'm sorry for your loss. My MIL died last year, so we went through this. We had an estate attorney help us. We had to provide the insurance company with an official copy of the death certificate. For better or worse, MIL was 86, she had been hospitalized due to a fall the week before she died, and s...
by DarthSage
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: estate planning with animals
Replies: 28
Views: 2372

Re: estate planning with animals

In addition to the PP's recommendations (local attorney, etc.), keep your antennae up when showing your chickens, etc. You probably have friends from the fairs, etc. who share your passion for heritage chickens and so forth, who could be a good potential landing pad for some animals. While we never ...
by DarthSage
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long does a will last? [Time to settle the estate]
Replies: 43
Views: 4227

Re: How long does a will last? [Time to settle the estate]

My MIL died in July, 2017, and we haven't seen a dime from the estate directly yet. We HAVE received life insurance payouts and RMDs from her IRAs. The more complicated the estate, the longer it takes, and I'm going to assume that the executor wants to make sure it's done right. Keep in mind, if she...
by DarthSage
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)
Replies: 61
Views: 4726

Re: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

I don't think you should buy it. I don't think your payback--financial, emotional, whatever--will be worth it. I don't think you have a house problem, it sounds like you have a "grass is greener" type problem--you think you want what you don't have. As an aside, we went the other way with lot size. ...
by DarthSage
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: estate planning with animals
Replies: 28
Views: 2372

Re: estate planning with animals

No real advice, but I want to say that it's very thoughtful of you to be considering this now. It doesn't hurt to reach out to shelters/animal agencies NOW, in case of your untimely passing. But I think further down the road, it may be easier for you to decrease your animals through attrition. It se...
by DarthSage
Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance Changing Lifestyle
Replies: 79
Views: 9894

Re: Inheritance Changing Lifestyle

OP--I understand what you're saying about clutter. One way to approach it might be to bring it up as an "us" problem--you both could stand to get rid of some stuff. No need to get into a debate over who has more clutter, right? But an important part of de-cluttering is to feel good about getting rid...
by DarthSage
Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance Changing Lifestyle
Replies: 79
Views: 9894

Re: Inheritance Changing Lifestyle

As I see it, the only real issue here is the wife viewing the inheritance as a windfall, versus the husband wanting to maintain it as a legacy. I have what might be a different take on it, though. Imagine a typical frugal family, where the wife "makes do"--for example, she spends 10 years using the ...
by DarthSage
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Balancing school workload and family time]
Replies: 15
Views: 713

Re: Child expenses - what to expect as your kids go from daycare to school

From middle school onward my kids were expected to do 6-8+ hours of home work every night. Sorry but this just de-railed the thread. I absolutely do not believe this. So basically, your kid worked 13-16 hour days from age 12-18? That is preposterous and so far out of the experience I've had. Middle...
by DarthSage
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Account for Adult Children Allowing Parent Some Control
Replies: 31
Views: 3588

Re: Account for Adult Children Allowing Parent Some Control

I was thinking more about this thread, and I was reminded of our situation, close to 30 years ago (which is probably why I had forgotten). DH and I met in our last year of college, and got married at 23/24. His family had means, while I grew up poor. His parents gave us a gift check, and told us tha...
by DarthSage
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Account for Adult Children Allowing Parent Some Control
Replies: 31
Views: 3588

Re: Account for Adult Children Allowing Parent Some Control

by sport You have been trusting them not to cash out their Roth IRA accounts and just spending the money. You should be able to do the same with a taxable account. Sit them down tell them what you want to do, why you want to do it and how you would like them to invest it. If they both agree move fo...
by DarthSage
Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifts to grandkids of different ages
Replies: 13
Views: 1391

Re: Gifts to grandkids of different ages

I would probably go with giving the money to the young adult outright, with some caveats. I would expect them to put the money in savings (or, at least most of it--maybe allow a little for fun things). I would explain to them--have Grandma and Grandpa do this, with reinforcement from Mom and Dad--th...
by DarthSage
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would an extra $2000 in cash flow mean for a large family?
Replies: 58
Views: 4341

Re: What would an extra $2000 in cash flow mean for a large family?

It seems like none of the responses directly address the issue of children, so I'm going to jump in here. I have 4, ages 12-22, so I have a little experience in how costs go with kids. Here are a few things to think about: (1) Medical costs. We have one with a LOT of medical issues through the years...
by DarthSage
Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College freshman shopping—what don’t we need?
Replies: 45
Views: 2960

Re: College freshman shopping—what don’t we need?

The flip side to the equation- What goes to school must come back, or stored for the summer. I could not believe the stuff left behind in May at each of my daughters living arrangements- dorm, sorority and off campus apartments. Perfectly good TV's, laser printers, mini fridges, mattresses. You cou...
by DarthSage
Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Starting a home search... Late 60s rancher?
Replies: 18
Views: 1612

Re: Starting a home search... Late 60s rancher?

We bought a ranch built in 1968, three years ago. I have to say--we love it. Ours is in a development, and it was the builder's own home. As a result, we don't have any outlet issues as others have described--plenty of them, in good locations. We also have a TON of storage space--kids' bedrooms each...
by DarthSage
Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College freshman shopping—what don’t we need?
Replies: 45
Views: 2960

Re: College freshman shopping—what don’t we need?

Honestly, it really depends on the college, and the specific living situation. For example, my oldest didn't wind up living in a dorm--she was put in specialty housing (as the third in a triple--normally this housing was reserved for upperclassmen). She was in an old brownstone with 12-ft ceilings, ...
by DarthSage
Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age is the best to give a child control of an inheritance?
Replies: 192
Views: 11639

Re: What age is the best to give a child control of an inheritance?

Thank you, again, for all of the thoughtful comments. I will add that for those saying "give her money earlier to learn to manage," there are no actual plans to leave a large inheritance, other than it is very difficult to plan the exact year of one's death. I wouldn't mind spending down the accoun...
by DarthSage
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help my wife when I die.
Replies: 37
Views: 4384

Re: Help my wife when I die.

Well, your'e 27--by the time you pass, it's likely that most of the Bogleheads you currently "know" will be long gone--hopefully replaced by second generation ones. That said, I wouldn't assume that your wife will never be interested in finances. She might grow more involved as you two get older, an...
by DarthSage
Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 9th grade earth science honors or biology honors
Replies: 28
Views: 1756

Re: 9th grade earth science honors or biology honors

What does the young lady think? As others have said, this choice is not life-altering. Earth science would probably be easier--does she want to ease into HS a little more, or is she ripe for a challenge? My third child started HS last fall. I've been letting her determine her own schedule, within re...
by DarthSage
Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loan document/promissory note for family member loan
Replies: 3
Views: 401

Re: Loan document/promissory note for family member loan

If your question is, "Will this be considered a legitimate loan in the eyes of the IRS?", then you need a promissary note and you need to charge a reasonable rate of interest. Given today's low interest rates, I THINK the acceptable rate is ~3%. Hopefully someone with more knowledge on the rates wil...
by DarthSage
Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large life style creep that was completely worth it
Replies: 112
Views: 14671

Re: Large life style creep that was completely worth it

Travel is our splurge. Through the years, we've talked about buying a vacation home, but I think we've decided that, for us, renting is the way to go. It's more flexible, both in destination, and in number of people accommodated. We have 4 kids over an 11-year span--the adult kids like to travel wit...
by DarthSage
Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on Myrtle Beach
Replies: 26
Views: 2858

Re: Thoughts on Myrtle Beach

We moved to the Wilmington, NC area a couple years ago, for DH's job. We moved from the Northeast. I have to say, despite my initial qualms--it's 800 miles from where we were, big cultural shock--it's really, really nice down here. We're all very happy. My recommendations for retirement/pre-retireme...