Search found 92 matches

by DarthSage
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Year end review with less nerdy spouse
Replies: 54
Views: 4119

Re: Year end review with less nerdy spouse

But, I stopped doing our taxes because he literally would re-do them, every single time. I'm interested to know if he found differences? More deductions? Mistakes? None of the above! He's just very, very thorough. I'm the household money person, and have a degree in electrical engineering, so I'm a...
by DarthSage
Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Year end review with less nerdy spouse
Replies: 54
Views: 4119

Re: Year end review with less nerdy spouse

I'm more of the day-to-day finance nerd. We don't schedule an annual sitdown, it's more like we talk throughout the year, bounce ideas back and forth, etc. Nothing is hidden--he knows exactly where I file statements, keep the checkbook, and so forth. OTOH, he's the one to do the taxes. This is mostl...
by DarthSage
Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can This be Part of an Estate Planning?
Replies: 7
Views: 892

Re: Can This be Part of an Estate Planning?

I'm no kind of expert, so I won't comment in that regard. I don't care for borrowing money to make money--that's a personal thing. I don't understand the focus on leaving a boatload of cash, in and IRA or otherwise, to kids. I mean, if you do so, that's fine, but I'm not understanding why it's your ...
by DarthSage
Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to lead a horse to (boglehead) water?
Replies: 10
Views: 774

Re: How to lead a horse to (boglehead) water?

It really depends on the person and your relationship with them. Two of my children are young adults--DD22 and DS20. I work finances in to casual conversation once in a while. For DD22, she's a recent college grad with her first real job. She has a budget and is contributing to her 403b. She recentl...
by DarthSage
Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House on the market less than a day. Did listing agent commit fraud?
Replies: 56
Views: 6848

Re: House on the market less than a day. Did listing agent commit fraud?

Okay, clearly I should have re-read your post before posting myself. I'm sorry you lost out on this house. It stinks. But, consider it a lesson learned--next time, you can't wait until the next day. Bring the kids along to the tour if you must--maybe take turns watching them? You and spouse take not...
by DarthSage
Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House on the market less than a day. Did listing agent commit fraud?
Replies: 56
Views: 6848

Re: House on the market less than a day. Did listing agent commit fraud?

A question for the OP--are you currently working with a realtor? Here's the scenario that I envision: Family is looking for a new home. They choose a realtor to work with--maybe they're from out of town, maybe they just want the help with the process. The realtor knows what their housing hot buttons...
by DarthSage
Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe Suggestions
Replies: 44
Views: 2742

Re: Europe Suggestions

Another vote for reading Rick Steves' "Europe Through the Back Door". He has tips on seeing the "real Europe", not just the touristy spots. He's also big on saving money--he has many great suggestions on where to stay, where to eat, and stuff you never thought about, like doing laundry on the fly or...
by DarthSage
Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family Finance Meeting Agenda
Replies: 23
Views: 2254

Re: Family Finance Meeting Agenda

We don't do this on a scheduled basis, more like when things come up. I guess we have a system that works for us--I handle most of the money issues, except earning it, and we talk when there's something to talk about. For us, that would mean spending more than $500 or so on an item. We're pretty che...
by DarthSage
Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to start after school prep work for underprivileged
Replies: 14
Views: 1029

Re: Want to start after school prep work for underprivileged

I know you're thinking HS, but I wanted to tell you about a program at my daughter's school. She's a fourth-grade teacher of English language learners, her first year teaching. She's in the Boston area. Her school has a special after-school program for immigrants, so they can get extra help. In MA, ...
by DarthSage
Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: housing for in-laws
Replies: 48
Views: 3488

Re: housing for in-laws

My first thought would be to approach it differently. Instead of you not wanting to listen to kitchen noise from your living room, is there somewhere else you could go? How about a big man cave in the basement, complete with TV/bar/fridge/Hobby, so you have a place to hide out when needed? Spring f...
by DarthSage
Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too much house, right?
Replies: 88
Views: 8081

Re: Too much house, right?

Something else to keep in mind--life might not turn out like you expect it to. I know you're planning on a couple more kids, then your wife returning to work--that may well happen. But, it might not. In our case, our second child had numerous health and developmental issues when he was young--there'...
by DarthSage
Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insulated shopping bags
Replies: 14
Views: 782

Re: Insulated shopping bags

I just use cloth bags for regular shopping--load them up and drive home. We live close to the stores, and even in the south (North Carolina), this is plenty. DH and I each have a couple insulated bags in our cars--these are the ones with silver lining, that zip shut. We use these if it's middle of s...
by DarthSage
Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help my kids pick a charitable cause
Replies: 19
Views: 746

Re: Help my kids pick a charitable cause

I'm a mother of four. I have some ideas to consider: Our family charity is Heifer International. My kids pore over the catalog and pick animals to purchase. All four must agree. Ironically, this year my oldest lobbied to donate instead to Puerto Rico--her close friend's grandparents were airlifted o...
by DarthSage
Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Enough to retire???
Replies: 22
Views: 3340

Re: Enough to retire???

As others have stated, look closely at healthcare costs. Even on Medicare, there are costs. Along with this, I would think about long-term health costs--do you need insurance? Could you self-insure? DH and I refer to this as "million dollar disease"--among our parents' generation, there is cancer, d...
by DarthSage
Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal
Replies: 33
Views: 3307

Re: Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal

Figure out the total required RMD for all IRAs and have ML make the withdrawal for the total including withholding taxes from one account. That will take the pressure of a time line off you. Tell them you want it done now. I don't see how they can refuse to do it. After the RMDs are done, contact t...
by DarthSage
Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 17371

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

First off, I don't think everyone "has" to enjoy the same things in the same way. If the OP (or anyone else) doesn't care for travel, then it's a "bad spend" for that person. I'm a woman who doesn't see the value in fashion or jewelry--I'm in the minority, but there you have it. As to travel, though...
by DarthSage
Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal
Replies: 33
Views: 3307

Re: Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal

Bank of America/ML has a compliance department that will make the next months/years of your life a living hell if you don't give them the information they want in the form they want it. If I were in that position, I would accept dodging them as a personal challenge. I would do this in a hot second,...
by DarthSage
Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too much house, right?
Replies: 88
Views: 8081

Re: Too much house, right?

I'm in the camp of "go for it", mostly because the lot, itself, sounds like a rare opportunity. A few things on the house itself: It's not necessary to do all the landscaping at once. Obviously, if the lot needs to be cleared, most of that needs to come first. But even that wouldn't require clear-cu...
by DarthSage
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public or Montessori Private School
Replies: 60
Views: 4217

Re: Public or Montessori Private School

Thank you all for your feedback - 1. We are not helicopter or OCD parents. We don't derive sense of pride in showing off to others what our girl can do. None of her friends know she plays violin. 2. Suzuki style teaching start violin, cello and other instruments at very young age. We don't play any...
by DarthSage
Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Christmas gifts for lots of kids (experiences or stock)?
Replies: 36
Views: 2725

Re: Christmas gifts for lots of kids (experiences or stock)?

There are a couple things we do with our kids. One is, they typically get gift cards from relatives. We allow them to spend these, usually to fill in for either a Christmas gift they wanted but didn't get, or additional "supplies"--i.e., more clay if they got a pottery wheel, something like that. My...
by DarthSage
Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public or Montessori Private School
Replies: 60
Views: 4217

Re: Public or Montessori Private School

This thread is exhausting to me. I didn't even know 3 - 4 year olds could learn to play violin, or would want to. Sounds like helicopter parenting or OCD parenting. Maybe it's just because the child is gifted. If your very young kid is always learning another language, getting music lessons and pra...
by DarthSage
Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public or Montessori Private School
Replies: 60
Views: 4217

Re: Public or Montessori Private School

One thing I would caution you is, engineers can be very goal-focused--I know this, because DH and I both have engineering degrees. I can relate to that - I noticed that when I was teaching her phonics. After few weeks of my teaching and I did not see any progress per my standard ofcourse. I had to ...
by DarthSage
Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public or Montessori Private School
Replies: 60
Views: 4217

Re: Public or Montessori Private School

A self-motivated child would do well in Montessori, but a competitive child may not. You might want to consider visiting the school to see if it seems like a good fit. I have 4 children--all went to preschool, then all-day public kindergarten. Only 1 of the 4 went to Montessori--the youngest. It sui...
by DarthSage
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal
Replies: 33
Views: 3307

Re: Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal

Just don't return the form if you don't wish to disclose the requested information. No need to make things complicated. Unfortunately, we have to return the form. We need to get that RMD done in this calendar year. And with two executors and a couple dozen assorted accounts (trusts, 529s, IRAs, Rot...
by DarthSage
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal
Replies: 33
Views: 3307

Re: Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal

BTW, I just read the link that alec provided (thank you!). It said that they can ASK for the information, but customers are not required to provide it. It's for the company to make investment recommendations--we don't want any recommendations from ML anyway.
by DarthSage
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal
Replies: 33
Views: 3307

Re: Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal

-It's good to know the legalities--I will pass the information on to my husband. Added bonus for us, both he and BIL have to put the information on the same form...and we have to fill it out first. we'd really rather not let BIL know this information, either. ML may have been MIL's full-service brok...
by DarthSage
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal
Replies: 33
Views: 3307

Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal

I wanted to throw this out and ask for any advice. My MIL died a few months ago, and my DH and BIL are joint executors of her estate. They are in the process of taking her RMDs from her IRAs. Some of these IRAs were divided up, then the RMDs distributed; some have the RMDs, then are divided up. She ...
by DarthSage
Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Holiday Recipes
Replies: 48
Views: 3979

Re: Favorite Holiday Recipes

I am definitely trying that sweet potato recipe. I'm SOOO not a fan of overly sweet sweet potatoes! Also, my vegetarian daughter will be home, I like to have several dishes that she can eat, since she won't be having the turkey. I second Mouses' suggestion of writing down recipes. I made my oldest a...
by DarthSage
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Holiday Recipes
Replies: 48
Views: 3979

Re: Favorite Holiday Recipes

JCE66......this is a great recipe. My mom used to make yeast based coffee cakes and cinnamon rolls during the holidays.....great stuff. Question: I am not a big fan of the candied fruit. If I sub raisins or cranberries.......do I need to alter anything? More sugar perhaps? According to this site: h...
by DarthSage
Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Going to College to become a Teacher - 19 Started Roth IRA.
Replies: 15
Views: 1280

Re: Going to College to become a Teacher - 19 Started Roth IRA.

My oldest is in her first year of teaching (elementary ed./bilingual ed.). A few thoughts: Although you started late, I don't know if getting your master's straight off is a good idea. DD didn't, our niece did. Niece had much more difficulty finding a job (secondary ed./history) because the master's...
by DarthSage
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with daughters first investments
Replies: 12
Views: 757

Re: Help with daughters first investments

We're in a similar situation with DD22. She has a first job (teacher), and already set up a 403b (I'm so proud!). She has some life insurance proceeds from her grandmother that she's gradually putting into a Roth. She's in index funds right now, because that's where she's comfortable. Keep in mind, ...
by DarthSage
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Holiday Recipes
Replies: 48
Views: 3979

Re: Favorite Holiday Recipes

I have a number of holiday favorites--all types, sweet and savory. I'll post my most popular, begged-for recipe. This is a take on Alton Brown's White Trash--takes 5 minutes to put together, makes a lot, and everyone loves it! Better than White Trash 1 box (11oz, I think) Cinnamon Chex 3 1/2 cups Ch...
by DarthSage
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warm Shirt for Winter
Replies: 41
Views: 4241

Re: Warm Shirt for Winter

Wool is great if you're going to be outside or otherwise have a good chance of getting wet. It's bulkier, but will keep you warm. Cotton is an absolute no-no for getting wet--DH used to be a whitewater rafting guide, he says, "Cotton kills".
by DarthSage
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warm Shirt for Winter
Replies: 41
Views: 4241

Re: Warm Shirt for Winter

Went to LL Bean and got a fleece lined flannel shirt, as recommended by DarthSage - $70 Ordered the same thing online from Costco, as suggested by Sport - $14 Only difference I can see/feel is that the LL Bean shirt has a light hood - other than that, they appear to be identical, and seem equally w...
by DarthSage
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off Home mortgage, partner doubts?
Replies: 40
Views: 3017

Re: Paying off Home mortgage, partner doubts?

Whoa thanks for the wisdom. Appreciate all the advice. Some more information. I do have enough money for the bigger house (down payment, etc..) if its happens in 6-9 months. One thing I don't have enough funded is 2- 529 plans and I can certainly strengthen them. I see the tax benefits by not payin...
by DarthSage
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off Home mortgage, partner doubts?
Replies: 40
Views: 3017

Re: Paying off Home mortgage, partner doubts?

Kind of weird question.. Would a typical BH homeowner inform wife that you will be paying off mortgage? I do plan to inform her after few months .. Her reasons 1) everyone has a mortgage, 2) you can get more RoR on other investments (mortgage is 3% with 10 yrs remaining), 3) can save as down paymen...
by DarthSage
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?
Replies: 338
Views: 37714

Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

I'm still scratching my head over people who say they might (or would) tell their spouse. Wouldn't the spouse be a part of big financial decisions? Right now, DH and I are debating paying off the mortgage. It's an ongoing discussion, and when we reach an agreement, we'll pay it off...or not. This w...
by DarthSage
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equity Line Of Credit ??.......
Replies: 16
Views: 1410

Re: Equity Line Of Credit ??.......

We're debating this ourselves. If there is no cost at all, it seems like it might be prudent to set one while DH is working. Then we could use it if we ever needed to. Specifically, we're thinking if we wanted to do a large remodel, tapping a HELOC might be preferable to selling appreciated stock. Y...
by DarthSage
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?
Replies: 338
Views: 37714

Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

I'm still scratching my head over people who say they might (or would) tell their spouse. Wouldn't the spouse be a part of big financial decisions? Right now, DH and I are debating paying off the mortgage. It's an ongoing discussion, and when we reach an agreement, we'll pay it off...or not. This wa...
by DarthSage
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...
Replies: 58
Views: 5841

Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Go forth, poorer but wiser, young man!

Seriously--it was an expensive lesson, but this could have ended much worse. Glad you got yourself out of this.
by DarthSage
Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Approach for Purchasing Many Furnishings
Replies: 27
Views: 1770

Re: Best Approach for Purchasing Many Furnishings

My oldest (22) was able to completely furnish her first place for $0. She got some furniture from a friend who was moving and didn't want it. She got additional stuff from her grandmother, and a few items from us. She went to school and is now living in the Boston area. They call the second weekend ...
by DarthSage
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday Deals/Holiday Gift Ideas
Replies: 57
Views: 7725

Re: Black Friday Deals/Holiday Gift Ideas

Appliances typically go on sale November and December--you don't have to wait for Black Friday. Maybe start looking now, if you need anything for the new house.
by DarthSage
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: RMDs – Best time to take during the year?
Replies: 12
Views: 1515

Re: RMDs – Best time to take during the year?

There are two schools of thought on this: Take the RMD in Jan., for more growth outside the IRA Take the RMD in Dec., for more growth inside the IRA Neither is wrong. Beyond that, you should look at when might work best for you--Dec. 1, so you can have a fancy Christmas? In March, to pay your taxes?...
by DarthSage
Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?
Replies: 98
Views: 7985

Re: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?

We're dealing with this right now. My MIL died over the summer, at age 86. There were some minor signs of cognitive decline--nothing serious, just enough to make us concerned. In her case, I think the big issue was, she thought she had a lot of time left. If you had asked me in June, I would have sa...
by DarthSage
Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Children's money?
Replies: 26
Views: 2804

Re: Children's money?

We've had pretty decent success opening 529's for our kids and then offering a 100% match of any contributions from family members. I write a quarterly newsletter with updates to all the stakeholders who have contributed to the account. I run a couple of metrics and show where the accounts are and ...
by DarthSage
Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Children's money?
Replies: 26
Views: 2804

Re: Children's money?

Savings accounts for the smaller stuff (checks from grandma, etc.). We have UTMAs for the bigger stuff--in some states, the UTMA age is 21, which is what we have for ours. I'm not sure if this is NY or CT, it's been a while, and I didn't set them up. Right now, I have a 22yo who controls her own acc...
by DarthSage
Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "$1 Million is Closer Than You Think"
Replies: 54
Views: 9522

Re: "$1 Million is Closer Than You Think"

To be fair on the "already have 7 figures" thing--they could be looking at the probability that you'll have some kind of catastrophe--not just a market crash, but the odds of a messy divorce, expensive illness, huge lawsuit/judgement, that sort of thing. I know we all hope for the best and plan for ...
by DarthSage
Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to spend for bathroom remodel with these features in LCOL area
Replies: 27
Views: 1744

Re: How much to spend for bathroom remodel with these features in LCOL area

I just wanted to second the thought of "aging in place" features. One of the regular bedrooms has an en-suite bathroom, meant as a second master.. Our "real" master suite is on the second floor, which would have access problems should one of us have mobility issues. My point is, it's worth giving a...
by DarthSage
Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to spend for bathroom remodel with these features in LCOL area
Replies: 27
Views: 1744

Re: How much to spend for bathroom remodel with these features in LCOL area

I just wanted to second the thought of "aging in place" features. We have 3 bathrooms that need re-doing. Two are on the list for 2019--we're not desperate, but I don't think they've been touched since the house was built in 1967. The MBA will wait--it needs a full-on gutting, it will be costly and ...
by DarthSage
Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday Deals/Holiday Gift Ideas
Replies: 57
Views: 7725

Re: Black Friday Deals/Holiday Gift Ideas

Disclaimer: I don't work for the Instart pot company, don't sell the thing, etc. On that note, there is nothing magic about the Instant Pot. It's one of numerous modern electric pressure cookers, and is particularly popular due to a combination of also being able to use it as a slow cooker and a fe...