Search found 333 matches

by DarthSage
Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GE Pension Buyout
Replies: 67
Views: 6634

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: 8605

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: 878

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: 4311

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: 50
Views: 4164

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: 61
Views: 5147

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: 61
Views: 5147

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: 2038

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: 3013

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: 1139

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: 2341

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: 2390

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: 2790

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: 50
Views: 4164

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: 11316

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: 21487

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: 4707

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: 3455

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: 2918

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: 183
Views: 28042

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: 183
Views: 28042

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: 183
Views: 28042

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: 3659

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: 15269

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: 3906

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: 6404

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...
by DarthSage
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Required Minimum Distributions
Replies: 61
Views: 5721

Re: Required Minimum Distributions

That bring up a concern I had not previously thought about. When the beneficiary is not the spouse, but other real people, how do the RMD's get taken as the IRA now belongs to one or more beneficiaries, not to the decedent's estate. In my case, my sister and I are the beneficiaries. Do we each with...
by DarthSage
Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should All Grandkids Be Treated as Equal Members of Same Class?
Replies: 104
Views: 8474

Re: Should All Grandkids Be Treated as Equal Members of Same Class?

We dealt with this first-hand. MIL had 2 sons, and was adamant that everything would be divided 50/50. Perfectly fair, IMHO, and in any event, it was her money. BIL has 3 children, we have 4 children. Somewhere along the line, MIL buy a life insurance policy to benefit the grandchildren. The terms w...
by DarthSage
Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Required Minimum Distributions
Replies: 61
Views: 5721

Re: Required Minimum Distributions

I caution those that want to wait until December to take their RMD. Unexpected things can happen that take time to sort out. The Story: Last year, my Dad's monthly RMD due 11/30 did not occur. The account had been transition from "managed" to "self" but that got botched up. In spite to phone calls ...
by DarthSage
Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Required Minimum Distributions
Replies: 61
Views: 5721

Re: Required Minimum Distributions

We take our RMDs in February of every year. They are taken automatically. You can go nuts trying to figure if beginning or end of year is better, and different people reach different conclusions. In our case, DH has memory issues (due to a learning disability--not because he's old!). If somehow the ...
by DarthSage
Wed May 29, 2019 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning - can I require only RMDs for inherited Roth IRA?
Replies: 46
Views: 2354

Re: Estate planning - can I require only RMDs for inherited Roth IRA?

Two points: You have no way to know how laws might change between now and when you pass. Ditto for after you pass. You seem to have very little faith in how your offspring will handle their inheritance. Instead of dictating from beyond the grave, you might want to devote your time to talking to them...
by DarthSage
Mon May 27, 2019 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Blended Family Issues and Keeping Things Equal
Replies: 38
Views: 3401

Re: Blended Family Issues and Keeping Things Equal

Another vote for "see an estate attorney". We chose ours by looking on-line for ones attorneys that were in their professional group (name currently escapes me). We don't have your specific issues, but had a couple weird things of our own. Four kids (same parents) over 11 years--two are now legal ad...
by DarthSage
Sun May 26, 2019 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life happens, now what?
Replies: 19
Views: 4541

Re: Life happens, now what?

I think you have a typo--your pension is likely $7k/mo, not $7000k/mo. Still, the lower number should keep you guys well on track. I think you need a little more time adjusting to your (relatively) new family, before you make any big decisions or moves. You don't list your children's ages, or any is...
by DarthSage
Sat May 25, 2019 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Mortgages Heading into Retirement
Replies: 13
Views: 1660

Re: Two Mortgages Heading into Retirement

Another vote for: (a) stay out of it, and (b) don't loan them any money. Feel free to help them in non-monetary ways, such as helping to paint or other household chores. Especially if you spend time at either house, visiting or vacationing. This might not be the choice you or I could make, but they'...
by DarthSage
Sat May 25, 2019 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is A in accelerated better than B in honors for undergrad application.
Replies: 22
Views: 1826

Re: is A in accelerated better than B in honors for undergrad application.

Go for the harder courses. The student may surprise him/herself. Also, if the courses are honestly too difficult, he/she can step down a notch in future years. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
by DarthSage
Tue May 07, 2019 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for Inexpensive, Easy-to-Prepare Meals for First Time College-Age Student Cook
Replies: 15
Views: 1126

Re: Ideas for Inexpensive, Easy-to-Prepare Meals for First Time College-Age Student Cook

There are tons of ideas on Pinterest. Put in "budget dinners" or some such search criteria, you'll find plenty of ideas. Better still, put in your (his) specific needs--"chicken" or "vegetarian" or whatever. I recommend the cookbooks, "Cheap, Fast, Good" (I think there are two of them). Their goal i...
by DarthSage
Tue May 07, 2019 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Question--one per child, or one per family?
Replies: 13
Views: 1144

Re: 529 Question--one per child, or one per family?

I don't know what the parents make, but I'm guessing they would get financial aid--military dad, SAHM. I figure, it's tricky to guess what FAFSA may ask for, 15 or so years out. My personal opinion is that, at some point, the rules will change to look closer at grandparents. I can see the logic in d...
by DarthSage
Tue May 07, 2019 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Question--one per child, or one per family?
Replies: 13
Views: 1144

529 Question--one per child, or one per family?

We were discussing 529's this morning, and my DH mentioned that a friend of his was setting up a 529 for his granddaughter. Wonderful! Here's my question: the proud grandfather is expecting to fund this yearly, and have the extra trickle down to his grandson, as well. The issues I see are: (1) there...
by DarthSage
Sun May 05, 2019 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College/life prep for young kids
Replies: 79
Views: 6751

Re: College/life prep for young kids

<t>Since you edited your post, I want to add a couple things. Most important: enrichment, enrichment, enrichment! Aim for your child's interests, but don't be afraid to stretch them. My parents didn't have very much money, but we always seemed to have museum passes and library cards.<br/> <br/> A li...
by DarthSage
Sun May 05, 2019 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College/life prep for young kids
Replies: 79
Views: 6751

Re: College/life prep for young kids

Trying to think about career decisions for 6 and 9 year-old kids just strikes me as silly. Saying that a kid at that age "has always wanted to be ____" seems even more so. Your 3rd grade son "isn't a huge fan of homework?" I don't even remember being in the 3rd grade. Did we have homework? Like you...
by DarthSage
Fri May 03, 2019 5:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family Trust
Replies: 25
Views: 3463

Re: Family Trust

We are in the process of setting up a family trust. Our estate lawyer quoted $3500 or our trust, then we paid $1500 for a separate trust or our (special needs) DS22. You definitely want a lawyer who specializes in estates. Ours asked us many questions we never would have considered. Our particular c...
by DarthSage
Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the cons of always being a one parent working household?
Replies: 134
Views: 9053

Re: What are the cons of always being a one parent working household?

I've been home for 23 years now. Every time I glance in the direction of a part-time job, my DH seems to get slammed with some emergency that requires 80-hour work weeks. His industry has shutdowns where he works 12-hour days for weeks (6 on, 1 off). I used to work in the same field, so two parents ...
by DarthSage
Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why would Ortho push for Invisalign? (non-medical question)
Replies: 41
Views: 3415

Re: Why would Ortho push for Invisalign? (non-medical question)

We are on kid #3 with braces, and our first doing Invisalign, rather than traditional. There was a minimal cost difference when she started--I think $600. We were sold on it, for a few reasons: first off, it was going to work for her. Invisalign isn't for everyone. Secondly, both of my older kids ha...
by DarthSage
Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advising financially unsavvy family on windfall
Replies: 77
Views: 6037

Re: Advising financially unsavvy family on windfall

My suggestion is that you talk with them about what YOU plan to do with the windfall. "This is a bit of a shock to me, too. First, I'm going to keep quiet and put the money in savings for a few months, while I think about longer-term plans. I hope to put some away for retirement, pay off any debts, ...
by DarthSage
Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Joint Accounts Matter if Spouse Stays Home with the Kids?
Replies: 31
Views: 2468

Re: Do Joint Accounts Matter if Spouse Stays Home with the Kids?

I know it's been mentioned that, if you die, you want your wife to be able to access funds for the first few weeks/months. She'll need to pay the bills and continue forward. But--what if you're merely incapacitated? Get hit by a car, are in a coma--once again, she'll need to be able to access funds ...
by DarthSage
Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Typical financial milestones before purchasing second/vacation home?
Replies: 15
Views: 1050

Re: Typical financial milestones before purchasing second/vacation home?

That's another "No" from me. You seem to be working a decent plan. Work it for another 5 years, throwing your bonuses, childcare fees, car payment money in there are those costs go away. I think this could work for you, just not at this point in time. While you're waiting, find other opportunities t...
by DarthSage
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Self-Insurers: How are you planning and investing for old age care?
Replies: 47
Views: 3229

Re: Long Term Care Self-Insurers: How are you planning and investing for old age care?

We plan to self-insure for LTC. At this time (we're 55/56), we don't have separate funds specifically designated. I don't know that we will--we'll just keep our investments as we want them. Our informal agreement is that we have $1M earmarked for LTC--if we don't need it, our kids inherit.
by DarthSage
Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Windfall / Caring for Mom
Replies: 15
Views: 1578

Re: Financial Windfall / Caring for Mom

Don’t take this the wrong way....but “protecting her assets” can be interrupted to mean “how can we make Mom look poor so we can inherit more money”. That’s why the 5 year look back is no joke and something you don’t want to play with. I’m positive that isn’t really the intent. As a son who just lo...
by DarthSage
Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Windfall / Caring for Mom
Replies: 15
Views: 1578

Re: Financial Windfall / Caring for Mom

I guess I'm not understanding--what are you trying to protect the assets from? Protect them from, say a lawsuit that would leave her destitute? Protect them so her heirs can inherit? I don't understand why you're worried about the 5-year look back. Would you not want to use this money for her long-t...
by DarthSage
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Universal Orlando Trip In June 2019
Replies: 34
Views: 2140

Re: Universal Orlando Trip In June 2019

Oh, for pity's sake! Silly me for thinking you could go on vrbo yourself, find a community you liked, and then find a house that suited your needs! Okay, fine. These houses are in Windsor Palms, a gated community near WDW. The OP said "near Universal"--these would be a ~30 minute drive from there. ...