Search found 357 matches

by DarthSage
Thu May 28, 2020 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The "Best of" for Aldi?
Replies: 135
Views: 11340

Re: The "Best of" for Aldi?

It's important to remember that Aldi's cycles through some stuff. For instance, they have German specialties in the spring, then again in Sept. (Oktoberfest), and Christmas. So, I stock up at these times for my half-German husband, who appreciates the stollen, schnitzel, and other "tastes of Grandma...
by DarthSage
Mon May 04, 2020 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: weather in middle NY state vs central NJ - personal experiences?
Replies: 19
Views: 1546

Re: weather in middle NY state vs central NJ - personal experiences?

Tornadoes in upstate NY are rare, but they CAN happen. One went through Saratoga County, maybe 25 years ago at this point. You're more likely to get severe snowstorms. Ice storms are the worst, though--they typically happen at the beginning or end of winter--when it's warmer, but then there's a cold...
by DarthSage
Mon May 04, 2020 5:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: weather in middle NY state vs central NJ - personal experiences?
Replies: 19
Views: 1546

Re: weather in middle NY state vs central NJ - personal experiences?

We moved sort-of the other way--from Saratoga County to southern New Hampshire. We found a noticeable difference in the weather. I would say the winters were a month longer on either side--in NY, we were turning on the furnace before Sept. ended, and it wasn't really spring, generally, until April. ...
by DarthSage
Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruise cancelled [take refund or future credit?]
Replies: 51
Views: 2730

Re: Cruise cancelled [take refund or future credit?]

We have a cruise scheduled for late July, and if it's on, we're going. If not, we'll take the refund, versus FCC. I have no idea if we'll be able to cruise next summer, and with all those people having credits that need to be used, there's going to be a lot of competition for the rooms onboard any g...
by DarthSage
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another IRA 100k Withdrawal Question
Replies: 8
Views: 495

Re: Another IRA 100k Withdrawal Question

A Roth conversion MIGHT work for us in 2020, due to particular circumstances. We did one in 2018, and got a painful tax bill, so we're a tad leery. Help me understand. You are leery of the tax bill from a Roth conversion but are thinking about withdrawing $100,000 from your retirement accounts and ...
by DarthSage
Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another IRA 100k Withdrawal Question
Replies: 8
Views: 495

Re: Another IRA 100k Withdrawal Question

A Roth conversion MIGHT work for us in 2020, due to particular circumstances. We did one in 2018, and got a painful tax bill, so we're a tad leery. We have $1M+ in our own IRAs (or did--I haven't been watching the stock market too closely). I agree that we COULD retire right now, but it won't happen...
by DarthSage
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another IRA 100k Withdrawal Question
Replies: 8
Views: 495

Another IRA 100k Withdrawal Question

Hi guys! As you know, with the current situation, they're allowing people to withdraw up to $100k from IRAs without penalty. Here's our situation: We worked and saved diligently to become "401k millionaires". Then a few years back, my MIL died, leaving us 7 figures, about half of it in IRAs. So, rig...
by DarthSage
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stand Mixer
Replies: 59
Views: 2923

Re: Stand Mixer

I'll bump a question I threw out a few posts ago. Has anyone purchased a stand mixer attachment they thought was worth it? I absolutely, positively HAD to have the spiralizer. DH got it for me for Christmas. I've never used it. (hangs head in shame) I probably wouldn't use the pasta attachment, sin...
by DarthSage
Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stand Mixer
Replies: 59
Views: 2923

Re: Stand Mixer

I assume you are talking about the Kitchen Aid models? I have been making all of our bread (and we supply our son and his family) for years. I make 6-8 lbs of dough at a shot, every week or so. A KA would not work, 15 years ago about one of these and have never looked back: https://www.everythingki...
by DarthSage
Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stand Mixer
Replies: 59
Views: 2923

Re: Stand Mixer

I love mine! I use it all the time, for baking, for making whipped cream, for mashing potatoes. I have a Kitchenaid, which you can get a lot of attachments for--meat grinder, pasta maker, spiralizer, and so forth. I've had mine for 20+ years, still works like a charm. If I had one "complaint", it's ...
by DarthSage
Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to handle windfall for taxes and future
Replies: 13
Views: 1010

Re: How to handle windfall for taxes and future

Thank you all for the replies and advice. They reaffirm my initial thought of rolling it all into an IRA then adjust how we save to balance pre and post tax retirement savings. As a side note, my MIL passed away in November 2019. I don't believe this IRA will be subject to the Secure Act, but I cou...
by DarthSage
Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to handle windfall for taxes and future
Replies: 13
Views: 1010

Re: How to handle windfall for taxes and future

If you can roll the whole thing over into an IRA, you will have the advantage of tax-free growth for decades. However, I understand wanting some of the money in the Here and Now, when you can benefit from it. I mean, a comfortable retirement is great, but should you live like paupers until you get t...
by DarthSage
Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching kids about saving money and investing
Replies: 48
Views: 3529

Re: Teaching kids about saving money and investing

We have no problem with having kids look at individual stocks. I should have mentioned, when we picked (or had kids pick) stocks, we also researched them--it wasn't blindly, "Oh, Coca-cola--they'll understand that!" We also discuss market corrections with them--obviously, they're not going to make m...
by DarthSage
Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching kids about saving money and investing
Replies: 48
Views: 3529

Re: Teaching kids about saving money and investing

Our kids have a few different accounts--regular savings, then a couple trust accounts. Every 6 months or so, we show them statements from their trusts (these are NOT huge trust--more like 5 figures). We show them how much money they made by doing nothing but LEAVING THEM ALONE. This is really import...
by DarthSage
Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Skiing Frugally
Replies: 45
Views: 4680

Re: Skiing Frugally

If you live close to one, see if you can volunteer in some capacity at a mountain. DH was an EMT--not much of a stretch for him to get his Winter Emergency Care and Outdoor Emergency Care certifications (you don't need both, he was also a white-water rafting guide). He would volunteer one day a week...
by DarthSage
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $2 million at a young age
Replies: 78
Views: 9028

Re: $2 million at a young age

My sister's husband received a medical settlement in a similar range. Their lawyer sent them to a financial planner--a good idea in this case, because, like you, they had no clue as to what to do with it. They were older (50-ish) when they got the settlement. Sis ran the planner's advice by me, beca...
by DarthSage
Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador
Replies: 53
Views: 4459

Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

My DD spent a semester in Ecuador. They like American money, but shy away from large bills. I would NOT bring $100 bills. $20 bills is the biggest they normally process. When DD left, I had given her a $100 ill as a going away little "extra"--she had to go to a bank to cash it, and it was a huge has...
by DarthSage
Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Piano & college admissions
Replies: 101
Views: 7143

Re: Piano & college admissions

My DD16 is a cellist. She's been playing strings since she was 6, and has the natural talent that she COULD have gone pro--but she chose not to go that route. She wasn't interested in the hours of daily practice that would have been required. So, she remains a talented amateur with the odd paid gig....
by DarthSage
Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Census "American Community Survey"??
Replies: 12
Views: 1106

Re: Census "American Community Survey"??

I got one of those, about 10 years ago. Like you, I thought it might be a scam, although it seemed to have official markings, as you stated. I refused to fill it out. They say that you're required to by law, but my understanding is, only the decennial census has the full weight of law (I could be wr...
by DarthSage
Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New to Inheritance - What to expect
Replies: 18
Views: 2369

Re: New to Inheritance - What to expect

I would give consideration to having an estate attorney. This isn't your area of expertise, and you want to do things right--which might be different for you versus one or more of your siblings (i.e., you might want to "stretch" the IRA, they may prefer to take the money and the tax hit now). I beli...
by DarthSage
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ski gear for toddler
Replies: 37
Views: 2159

Re: Ski gear for toddler

We started our kids on skis when they were 1--all had early-in-the-year birthdays, though, so were closer to 2. We didn't take them on chairlifts that young--either we'd bring them up a few feet on the bunny hill, or maybe a T-bar--one local mountain had a "magic carpet", which is essentially a trea...
by DarthSage
Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?
Replies: 43
Views: 3011

Re: Best Ways to Help Poor Families at the Holiday Season?

We give to Heifer International and a few other, local charities. I also like to give to the Salvation Army--they have low overhead and work in the community. At our local SA store, anyone can work for 2 hours, and get 5 free clothing items. This year, my oldest asked me to donate to her school. She...
by DarthSage
Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why SHOULDN’T I open an SAT/ACT prep center?
Replies: 29
Views: 3948

Re: Why SHOULDN’T I open an SAT/ACT prep center?

Something else to consider: by definition, your clients will cease to need your services in just a couple years. So, you would need to be constantly hustling for clients. Granted, if you do a good job, you might the younger siblings of your initial clients, but you still have to constantly be gettin...
by DarthSage
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dodge Grand Caravan 45k Miles and broken transmission, Advice for a Car Noob
Replies: 13
Views: 1239

Re: Dodge Grand Caravan 45k Miles and broken transmission, Advice for a Car Noob

I'm sorry for your troubles. My 2008 Chrysler had the transmission go at ~75k miles. We went to an independent place to replace it. Not for nothing, but my minivan developed the charming habit of just..stopping. For some reason, the engine would just shut off, and there I'd be, in the middle of the ...
by DarthSage
Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GE Pension Buyout
Replies: 85
Views: 13450

Re: GE Pension Buyout

Another vote for Option #1--take the money and run. I have very little faith in GE at this time. When I worked there, back in the Stone Age, it was like they had a license to print money. Today, not so much. That said, I don't think they're going to fall off the Stock Exchange or anything. I just do...
by DarthSage
Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overpaid for my house, next options?
Replies: 53
Views: 9388

Re: Overpaid for my house, next options?

Clearly, this is eating at you. I think you should stay put--you're there, it doesn't cost you anything to stay put, and the market may be kinder to you than you imagine. Consider that, if you sell and move now, you may not feel any happier about your decision...but you'll be a lot poorer. You say y...
by DarthSage
Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to buy new over the range microwave; which brand/model is reliable?
Replies: 16
Views: 1058

Re: Need to buy new over the range microwave; which brand/model is reliable?

We just remodeled out kitchen, and put in an over-the-range microwave, GE model. So far, so good, it gets a lot of use. I think it cost under $800, and I know we looked at Consumer Reports before choosing. Also, it's just a regular microwave with vent and a light--no convection or other fancy featur...
by DarthSage
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]
Replies: 68
Views: 4908

Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

We did milk at home, juice at school. Sometimes individual juice, sometimes in washable containers. Kids stopped drinking juice with lunch a few years back (they're 16 and 13), now they bring refillable water bottles. They also haven't purchased a school lunch (or milk) in the 4 years we've lived he...
by DarthSage
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to let kids buy?
Replies: 49
Views: 4544

Re: What to let kids buy?

We have college accounts for each kid. DD16 wants to go to law school. If she goes to our quality, state flagship university, there will be enough money leftover to fund at least a lot of law school. If she goes to Pricey U instead, well, she's on her own for law school. DS13 is still thinking about...
by DarthSage
Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Happy DVC owners here? [Disney Vacation Club]
Replies: 63
Views: 6275

Re: Any Happy DVC owners here?

. Anyone who tells you that they're making money on it overall is likely lying (I have yet to see the numbers make sense). That said, if you have a vacation budget, and this is a destination of choice, you could get reasonable value from it. If you purchased DVC, rented out the points, and then sol...
by DarthSage
Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Happy DVC owners here? [Disney Vacation Club]
Replies: 63
Views: 6275

Re: Any Happy DVC owners here?

We bought, and then sold, our DVC. No regrets on selling--we got a couple vacations out of it, and at least broke even on selling (I honestly don't remember the details). We had no trouble selling at all (went through a DVC resale site, but Disney bought back the Contemporary points directly). We fo...
by DarthSage
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning - Attorney vs DIY
Replies: 27
Views: 2151

Re: Estate planning - Attorney vs DIY

Joining the chorus of "get an attorney". Our situation had some complications, it cost us $3000 to update our wills, POA, etc. this year. Money well spent, IMHO. In addition to knowing everything was done properly, the lawyer spent a lot of time asking us questions we never would have thought of, li...
by DarthSage
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do people do with finances as they approach very old age?
Replies: 17
Views: 3149

Re: What do people do with finances as they approach very old age?

In my MIL's case, she was an active trader and investor until the say she died (at age 86). She also maintained assets in preparation for a "million dollar disease", as we call it--the expensive, end-of-life costs. As it happens, in her case, she died very suddenly. Not everyone will be so fortunate.
by DarthSage
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it matter if your "potential" estate attorney is near retirement?
Replies: 20
Views: 1201

Re: Does it matter if your "potential" estate attorney is near retirement?

My MIL's estate attorney (for 20 years or so) work solo. About 5 years before she retired, she hand-picked a partner who was quite a bit younger than herself. When the first lawyer retired, the second one took over. As it turned out, my MIL outlived the original estate attorney. When MIL died, the s...
by DarthSage
Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Distribution of estate to children
Replies: 18
Views: 2543

Re: Distribution of estate to children

Are you working with an estate attorney? We did, and found her invaluable. Not only are we confident that our documents are set up properly, but she asked a bunch of questions that we never would have even considered. I know you mentioned distributing your assets to your young adult child/children a...
by DarthSage
Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to save on international business class fares for family
Replies: 29
Views: 2621

Re: How to save on international business class fares for family

Another vote for buying a seat for your toddler. I would NOT want to spend that much time in an airplane with a lap baby! I had to do 3 hours once (NY-Orlando with a cranky toddler), and believe me, I was miserable. Four seats in economy would be cheaper, and allow the toddler to sit/sleep in his fa...
by DarthSage
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you pay for kids college if a non-STEM major?
Replies: 62
Views: 3192

Re: Do you pay for kids college if a non-STEM major?

I wouldn't base my support on their choice of major. That seems unnecessarily punitive. Is your goal to force the student's choice, or just to make them hate you? Seriously--I don't understand. Not everyone is the drive, interest, and aptitude for STEM. You can do what you want with your money, it's...
by DarthSage
Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to let kids buy?
Replies: 49
Views: 4544

Re: What to let kids buy?

With smaller amounts, we let them spend as they wish. We find that our kids are much more careful with their own money than they would be with mine! When their Grandma was alive, she was fond of giving holiday gifts of several hundred dollars. We would put these in the bank. The kids would get other...
by DarthSage
Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preparing my wife for financial life without me.
Replies: 95
Views: 12318

Re: Preparing my wife for financial life without me.

Am I the only Wife concerned about what her Husband would do? Definitely feel like a minority on here at times. I have all our accounts and passwords written out for him. He knows where all the documents are. He's very frugal and I think he would be okay with his pension and SS alone. I worry more ...
by DarthSage
Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you share your net worth with family members?
Replies: 252
Views: 23710

Re: Do you share your net worth with family members?

A few close relatives have a rough idea of what we're worth. We might discuss investing, but we don't talk numbers with anyone--just DH and myself. My sister actually reached the 2-comma club before we did, due to a medical settlement. She's very frugal, but will likely have high medical expenses th...
by DarthSage
Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying Parent's Home Below Market
Replies: 47
Views: 4965

Re: Buying Parent's Home Below Market

Thank you for the replies. This was my mother’s idea and not something anyone tried to talk her into (she is intelligent and still competent). My siblings prefer I stay in the house and maintain it so we can have as an inheritance in the future. Right now she lives independently in a retirement com...
by DarthSage
Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early wedding funding for my young kids: Great Strategy!!!
Replies: 22
Views: 3553

Re: Early wedding funding for my young kids: Great Strategy!!!

We plan to do what my parents did--give each child $X towards their wedding. Spend more? That's on you. Spend less? Pocket the difference. We haven't decided what $X will be yet--probably enough to fund a nice, but not over-the-top wedding. At this point, I don't see 3/4 of my kids even wanting a su...
by DarthSage
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening a trust for child's annual gifted amount
Replies: 37
Views: 3156

Re: Opening a trust for child's annual gifted amount

We had a similar issue with our children. We weren't worried about our gifts to them, but their generous grandmother set them up with UTMAs and left them life insurance proceeds. Our oldest, DD23, is independent, fiscally prudent, and manages her own finances. She values our counsel, but the choices...
by DarthSage
Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio
Replies: 315
Views: 40785

Re: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio

Yet another way is to have them send an invoice, and simply not use a credit card. I've had SiriusXM for 11 years and they don't have my cc#. However, in either case if you neglect to call to cancel or renew an intro subscription prior to auto-renew they will mark your account as "renewed". Then, w...
by DarthSage
Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio
Replies: 315
Views: 40785

Re: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio

Another way to avoid needing a reminder or having the automatic renewal at full price: I use CapitalOne's "virtual" card numbers. I have one set up just for SiriusXM, and turn it off right after renewing. Then if/when they get around to trying to renew me, the card comes back as invalid. They then ...
by DarthSage
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio
Replies: 315
Views: 40785

Re: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio

Another way to avoid needing a reminder or having the automatic renewal at full price: I use CapitalOne's "virtual" card numbers. I have one set up just for SiriusXM, and turn it off right after renewing. Then if/when they get around to trying to renew me, the card comes back as invalid. They then ...
by DarthSage
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to teach my 4 year old to be fluent in Spanish?
Replies: 53
Views: 3900

Re: Best way to teach my 4 year old to be fluent in Spanish?

I don't speak a word of Spanish, yet my oldest is bilingual--she even teaches English Language Learners. She's fluent enough in Spanish to talk to the kids and understand them, and to hold parent-teacher conferences when the parent speaks no English. So, how did we do it? I noticed very young that s...
by DarthSage
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to preserve $10M+ in wealth owned by unsophisticated people?
Replies: 82
Views: 15820

Re: How to preserve $10M+ in wealth owned by unsophisticated people?

OP--What are you doing to educate your young wife and children, so that they better understand investing and wealth management? You keep talking about them as if they're hopeless, yet you are a prominent figure in their lives. I understand that your children are young, but given the amounts involved...
by DarthSage
Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families
Replies: 58
Views: 4470

Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

4 kids (one launched--she's not home much), ages 23, 22, 16, and 13, so they're all adult-sized. We have a Sienna (me) and a Chevy Equinox (DH). Dh doesn't have near the commute that you do. His vehicle only seats 5. He has expressed regret at not getting something bigger for himself, more so he cou...
by DarthSage
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you buy a house without a garage?
Replies: 95
Views: 6777

Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Both items you describe would be deal-breakers for me. We've always had garages. Until our current house, we always used them for the cars. Typically, we'd park the cars on the driveway in warmer weather, then use the garage in winter. We now live in the South, and park our vehicles outside 99% of t...