Search found 247 matches

by DarthSage
Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?
Replies: 64
Views: 3643

Re: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?

When you've finished resolving this dilemma, perhaps you can tackle the laundry detergent one--you know, how much detergent do you really need, and can you get 56/108/44 loads out of a container. Seriously, stuff like this drives my logical mind crazy. On the toilet paper one, I've just given up. I ...
by DarthSage
Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Children's Books for Gifting
Replies: 16
Views: 787

Re: Children's Books for Gifting

I have 4 kids over an 11-year span, and my sister has always given them books. Lots of books. So many, I asked her to consider giving bookcases instead! She reads every one before giving it, and always tells me, "This one skews a little older, but I thought X would like it", or "this one has some vi...
by DarthSage
Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to stop and settle at one place?
Replies: 27
Views: 3082

Re: When to stop and settle at one place?

I just wanted to say, we've moved twice for my husband's career, with 4 kids. For the first move, they were 13/11/5/2--#2 and #3 would be starting new schools anyway (middle school and elementary). We stayed in that location until #2 graduated HS, then moved when the younger two were 12/9. We won't ...
by DarthSage
Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Myrtle Beach with Young Kids
Replies: 3
Views: 741

Re: Myrtle Beach with Young Kids

We like the Breakers. We typically go in March/April (week before Easter). It's warm enough to be outside in a swimsuit, but I wouldn't go in the ocean. If you go to Condo World (website), you'll see dozens of choices. In those months, you want something with heated pools/water features, and/or indo...
by DarthSage
Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: vacation in Maine, New Hampshire
Replies: 9
Views: 983

Re: vacation in Maine, New Hampshire

Keep in mind--although NH has no sales tax, there is a tax on restaurant meals and lodging. It's actually pretty high. I have no idea if that makes NH worse than Maine, cost-wise. Manchester Airport is still your best bet, it's "Logan (Boston) Light". Plenty of decent flight in and out, and easy to ...
by DarthSage
Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio
Replies: 109
Views: 17178

Re: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio

Update: They called me again, I got the $5mo/6mo rate. They said I could be billed and pay by check. I have my doubts--they also said they'd send an e-bill the day it expires, due on receipt, which doesn't give a lot of time to mail a check. I could probably do it through Paypal, but I want to avoid...
by DarthSage
Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High-end Christmas decorations
Replies: 41
Views: 4046

Re: High-end Christmas decorations

I understand wanting high-end, but agree with PPs that you won't have much luck getting them cheap. I recommend building a collection slowly--maybe filling in, for now, with inexpensive baubles that you can later toss/donate. Even Walmart sells stacks of coordinated ornaments that would make a lovel...
by DarthSage
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio
Replies: 109
Views: 17178

Re: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio

My free trial ends at the end of this month--I got a phone call today (didn't answer), and a mailing offering $4.99/mo for 6 months. Will they bill me? I'm not inclined to give them a credit card number that they can charge rack rate in perpetuity.
by DarthSage
Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free dinner investing seminar
Replies: 396
Views: 36665

Re: Steak Dinner and Annuities: Retirement Product Surges After Fiduciary Rule’s Demise

DarthSage, hang in there. My wife started getting hers last year. Nice for her to take me out for a change! I just read the fine print. Dh can take up to 3 people with him, but they have to be between 55-79. I'm a mere child--won't be 55 until next year. I guess I'll have to stay home with a sitter.
by DarthSage
Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free dinner investing seminar
Replies: 396
Views: 36665

Re: Steak Dinner and Annuities: Retirement Product Surges After Fiduciary Rule’s Demise

My husband JUST got another one of these! I'm a little miffed--what am I, chopped liver? I don't know if it's because: --he's older than I am (2 calendar years, but really only 15 months) --he joined whatever the conservative version of AARP is (I joined nothing) --more assets are in his name --his ...
by DarthSage
Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I co-sign for relative?
Replies: 103
Views: 4987

Re: Should I co-sign for relative?

Since a co-signer is needed due to little credit history, I'm going to assume the relative is a young adult, just starting out. In that situation, they don't need a $900/month, leased vehicle. Frankly, I can't think of any reason, anyone would need a $900/month, leased vehicle, but I'm sure there is...
by DarthSage
Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend's Student Loans
Replies: 101
Views: 9363

Re: Girlfriend's Student Loans

I wanted to clarify--a lot of people here seem to have no idea what a starting teacher's salary is. My DD works in the Boston area (high salaries, HCOL). She started at $45k plus benefits. She's doing okay, but she's not living the high life. She has 2 other (part time) jobs, drives a beater car tha...
by DarthSage
Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend's Student Loans
Replies: 101
Views: 9363

Re: Girlfriend's Student Loans

I don't understand those that sharply criticize the gf for her decision. Yes, maybe could've done slightly better if she went the 2 years community college + 2 years state school. She could've taken a minimum wage job to reduce her loans to maybe $75-80k before graduation, but these are somewhat mi...
by DarthSage
Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend's Student Loans
Replies: 101
Views: 9363

Re: Girlfriend's Student Loans

I don't understand those that sharply criticize the gf for her decision. Yes, maybe could've done slightly better if she went the 2 years community college + 2 years state school. She could've taken a minimum wage job to reduce her loans to maybe $75-80k before graduation, but these are somewhat mi...
by DarthSage
Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor Play toys for toddler
Replies: 31
Views: 1822

Re: Indoor Play toys for toddler

Another vote for play kitchen--hours of entertainment. When mine were little, we had a fold-up house thingie that they loved--opened up, it was ~4'x4'. Any type of tent/house/play structure is nice--these days, much more is available. Nothing beats a huge box--ask at Home Depot, etc. You could be fa...
by DarthSage
Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grands to London/Paris w/Smithsonian Journeys (Perillo Tours)
Replies: 12
Views: 1228

Re: Grands to London/Paris w/Smithsonian Journeys (Perillo Tours)

I actually agree that you could have a fine time, not taking a tour. The particular tour I mentioned hit all the hot buttons for our family--it might not for someone else. But it's also a good one to look at, if you're thinking of going to London/Paris/Italy with kids, because it was well-balanced a...
by DarthSage
Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend's Student Loans
Replies: 101
Views: 9363

Re: Girlfriend's Student Loans

I have a few questions: How long has she been working? Has she made any kind of dent in the loans? How did she manage to accrue this much debt for an undergrad degree (I thought there were limits?) What proactive steps is she taking to pay down the debt as fast as reasonably possible--second job, be...
by DarthSage
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grands to London/Paris w/Smithsonian Journeys (Perillo Tours)
Replies: 12
Views: 1228

Re: Grands to London/Paris w/Smithsonian Journeys (Perillo Tours)

This summer, we did a Tauck Bridges tour--specifically, the Grand European one. Please check their website if you want specifics on the sights. If you tour on your own, you'll at least get some good ideas of places to visit. We had a fabulous time. There were a lot of grandparents taking grandkids (...
by DarthSage
Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids & Money
Replies: 5
Views: 914

Re: Kids & Money

We started when they were quite young--luckily, my older two went to a school that had a real bank come in once a week, that they could make deposits into. Great teaching tool! More generally, we talk to them about working hard, spending less than you earn, saving for college and retirement and othe...
by DarthSage
Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids inherited $8,000 each - 529 or regular brokerage?
Replies: 34
Views: 2370

Re: Kids inherited $8,000 each - 529 or regular brokerage?

I think this is a very valid statement. It's not your money, it was a gift to your children. Obviously, they're not of an age where I'd be handing them complete control of it, but they're old enough to start a dialog. Talk to them about the individual who gifted them this, how can they honor that p...
by DarthSage
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids inherited $8,000 each - 529 or regular brokerage?
Replies: 34
Views: 2370

Re: Kids inherited $8,000 each - 529 or regular brokerage?

Personally, I'm not such a fan of 529s. I'm sure a lot of people here would argue with me--I think they limit the options. What if a child doesn't go to college? Yeah, sure the funds could grow and provide college for their future children, but that doesn't seem fair. This was a gift to the children...
by DarthSage
Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids inherited $8,000 each - 529 or regular brokerage?
Replies: 34
Views: 2370

Re: Kids inherited $8,000 each - 529 or regular brokerage?

Here's a weird question, but: How do you think the decedent would have wanted your kids to have used this money? If you follow the values of the person who left this money to your kids, you can't go wrong. I know when I inherited money at a young age from my great aunt (who was basically another gr...
by DarthSage
Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift for two of four grandchildren
Replies: 18
Views: 2294

Re: Gift for two of four grandchildren

Since the intent is a gift for going to college, an UTMA is probably the easiest choice. Does she want special consideration for the special needs child? By that I mean, does that child get the money, even if college isn't an appropriate choice? (I have no idea if it is or isn't.) My MIL set up a le...
by DarthSage
Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?
Replies: 82
Views: 8158

Re: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?

A new bread machine! Mine died over the weekend. I use it quite a bit--I make bread to go with homemade soup, and we make homemade pizza. Naturally, I'll be looking in thrift stores as well, but it's likely that I'll want a specific type/brand. I haven't done any research yet. If I can't find a good...
by DarthSage
Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suit for Teenager
Replies: 18
Views: 1243

Re: Suit for Teenager

The thrift store. Where I live, Goodwill has a better selection of suits than Salvation Army. It helps if you visit a thrift store in a nicer part of town. When my MIL died last year, we came up with a suit for DS(then)11, plus an outfit for DD(then)14 to wear--she was playing the cello at her grand...
by DarthSage
Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
Replies: 216
Views: 15790

Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina

We moved to North Carolina, 3 years ago. I can't speak to the other three places, except I recommend visiting, if possible, to draw your own conclusions. NC is a big, diverse state--much to love in every area. Raleigh and Charlotte are huge--Charlotte is growing rapidly, but also housing costs are g...
by DarthSage
Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Goat Milk Soap
Replies: 26
Views: 1905

Re: Goat Milk Soap

I'm also a fan of goat's milk soap--my favorite is goatmeal (oatmeal and goat's milk), which is very good for sensitive/itchy skin. I usually buy off Etsy, or go to a local farmer's market/permanent craft fair place. Any store that sells local products would likely have some-when we lived in NH, our...
by DarthSage
Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reminder on Keeping an Emergency Fund
Replies: 27
Views: 2938

Re: Reminder on Keeping an Emergency Fund

Resident of North Carolina here--we had our reminder of why you need an emergency fund, just a couple weeks ago. Luckily, we had a few days to prep, so I had pulled out a fair amount of cash--cash is king when there's no power. We ended up not needing so much, but it came in handy at the gas pump (g...
by DarthSage
Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions on Phonics & Reading programs for 4 year old? Pre-K to Kindergarten
Replies: 27
Views: 1278

Re: Suggestions on Phonics & Reading programs for 4 year old? Pre-K to Kindergarten

Another vote for "just get books and read to/with them". Those programs are a huge waste of money, IMHO. When my kids were little, I'd start with identifying letters, and talking about what sounds they make. Then we'd go to letter blends ( "ch", "st" and so forth). We'd do this in books, and also ab...
by DarthSage
Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Successful techniques to helping parents be less risky?
Replies: 15
Views: 1251

Re: Successful techniques to helping parents be less risky?

Good luck. When my MIL died last year, we found out that, even at 86, she was still actively managing her stock portfolio. On the good side, she had all blue-chip stocks. OTOH, though, half of these were in her CMA--you know, the account that she used to pay bills. Including college tuition for her ...
by DarthSage
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: where to learn to sew?
Replies: 33
Views: 2150

Re: where to learn to sew?

Does she have access to a sewing machine? If not, consider picking one up second-hand. Not only is this cheaper, but the older machines are much sturdier. You might even get lucky if you ask around--my DD15 inherited her grandmother's old machine--it's nothing exciting, but it works. Get her some fa...
by DarthSage
Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $250,000 family loan to parents?
Replies: 50
Views: 4689

Re: $250,000 family loan to parents?

If they have $100k/year income in pension and other income, why would they not qualify for a HELOC? I may be missing something--if so, please enlighten me. If they can't do that, I recommend they sell the stock. Yeah, I get the whole "stepped-up basis" thing that might benefit the OP, but this isn't...
by DarthSage
Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on kids extracurriculars?
Replies: 85
Views: 4953

Re: How much do you spend on kids extracurriculars?

out of curiosity, how much time do these kids spend doing these activities outside of the scheduled lessons/classes/practice? i don't mean practicing piano because you are required to learn certain material for your next lesson... i consider that part of the structured practice. i mean time that co...
by DarthSage
Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Affordability - Question on standard advice
Replies: 35
Views: 3274

Re: House Affordability - Question on standard advice

We did things a different way. We applied for a mortgage, the bank said they wold loan us X. We then used X/2 as maximum mortgage amount. I realize there's no scientific basis for this, but when we bought our first house, we were 23/24 and newly married. WE couldn't believe the bank would loan us so...
by DarthSage
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills and children
Replies: 25
Views: 2949

Re: Wills and children

I definitely agree that it depends on the person involved. DD23 is doing a fabulous job "adulting"--she has a 2 jobs, an apartment, a car, a Roth IRA plus a 403b--definitely on a good path. I didn't mention it earlier, but we also have a DS21--he has several issues (Asperger's, anxiety, depression, ...
by DarthSage
Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills and children
Replies: 25
Views: 2949

Re: Wills and children

Your daughter sounds like a wonderful person. As a parent I would not go along with that plan if I had any reasonable alternative. She is already out of the house, living far away, so the family is not together as it is. I would of course look to keep the two younger children together, but would ho...
by DarthSage
Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills and children
Replies: 25
Views: 2949

Re: Wills and children

We have a sort-of similar situation--our DD23 insists that, should something happen to DH and I, she wants to raise her younger siblings (DD15, DS12). While I obviously don't know your DD23, she sounds like a great person; and this might be a good choice. If the others were 5 and 2, it might be dif...
by DarthSage
Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills and children
Replies: 25
Views: 2949

Re: Wills and children

We have a sort-of similar situation--our DD23 insists that, should something happen to DH and I, she wants to raise her younger siblings (DD15, DS12). While DD23 would be guardian, and get extra money via life insurance, she wouldn't be handling the execution of the estate. In our particular case, D...
by DarthSage
Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions for a Generous Grandparent?
Replies: 53
Views: 4434

Re: Suggestions for a Generous Grandparent?

There's no way to make this 100% "even" among the children. Especially since there might be more grandchildren on the horizon--who knows? It's also impossible to know what the actual needs of each child will be when they turn 18. Your mother should do what she feels is fair, maybe explain her reason...
by DarthSage
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a million really the benchmark for retirement
Replies: 109
Views: 12265

Re: Is a million really the benchmark for retirement

I agree with the PP's who said you need to look at you--your expenses, your retirement needs, etc.

I just wanted to add that DH and I achieved a $1M net worth, and I've been a SAHM for 23 years. Just like there's no one perfect "number", there's no one perfect path.
by DarthSage
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military career/college options (engineering - nukes?)
Replies: 45
Views: 2740

Re: Military career/college options (engineering - nukes?)

DH and I are both engineers, both with nuke experience. I'm electrical, he's mechanical. I wouldn't recommend that anyone go into the field these days. The big money is in commercial nukes, but plants are closing, so there aren't a lot of jobs. Dh is 55, and we're confident that he can retire at 65 ...
by DarthSage
Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your major and investing/finance?
Replies: 99
Views: 5199

Re: Your major and investing/finance?

Electrical engineering. I love math! I think, though, that it's not just about major. In my case, I grew up poor, and was determined not to be poor ever again. Interestingly, DH is also an engineer (MSME, works in nuclear), and is much less interested in finances than I am. Maybe because he grew up ...
by DarthSage
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to have “what if” discussion with retired parents?
Replies: 48
Views: 4829

Re: How to have “what if” discussion with retired parents?

What I do object to-strongly-is adult children taking it on themselves to decide that quite functional adults need their wisdom and advice regardless of how these quite functional adults are managing THEIR lives and THEIR money. But it doesn't have to be all or nothing, or all at once. If you're 60...
by DarthSage
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone Plan for US-Child doing a Semester Abroad (VerizonWirelss)
Replies: 50
Views: 2660

Re: Phone Plan for US-Child doing a Semester Abroad (VerizonWirelss)

When our DD was in Ecuador, we made do with Whatsapp and Skype. She was given a phone from a friend who had previously been to Ecuador, that's what she used there. It was pay-as-you-go, we never had her on a plan. Obviously, Europe might be different--it's probably easier to get a phone or plan ther...
by DarthSage
Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I accept a large cash gift from my mother?
Replies: 44
Views: 6050

Re: Should I accept a large cash gift from my mother?

They sell workbooks, titled charming ways like "Now That I'm Dead" that you can fill out to provide account numbers, insurance information, etc. While you might not want to shell out the $10 or so, it might be worthwhile to do something like this--have a computer or written file with all the pertine...
by DarthSage
Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I accept a large cash gift from my mother?
Replies: 44
Views: 6050

Re: Should I accept a large cash gift from my mother?

I would encourage her to keep it. She might need it for unexpected expenses down the line. It doesn't sound like either of you have a need for this money right now--if she keeps it and, say, you then inherit in 25 years, your cost basis will be stepped up--any gains in those 25 won't be taxed. I als...
by DarthSage
Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving Enough for Retirement vs Vacation Home
Replies: 36
Views: 3868

Re: Saving Enough for Retirement vs Vacation Home

I have to agree with the previous posters. Do NOT buy a vacation home--you can't afford it. You are doing well, but not fabulous. Your retirement accounts aren't where they should be--the good news is, there's time and resources to get these in great shape. College is going to hit you sooner and har...
by DarthSage
Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy
Replies: 34
Views: 2260

Re: How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy

I agree with the PPs--you won't really need much beyond the basics--please, thank you, etc. Italians speak English well, and are appreciative that you at least try to say the basics in Italian. We had no trouble. And my bilingual DD had an entire conversation with an immigrant from Syria--she spoke ...
by DarthSage
Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much did your braces/invisalign braces cost?
Replies: 32
Views: 2988

Re: How much did your braces/invisalign braces cost?

About $4500 for Invisalign for DD15--she's currently at the maintenance phase. Insurance covers some--we paid upfront, but get a quarterly reimbursement check. We sprung for the Acceledent, which she uses nightly--it helps her teeth to move more quickly. It'll be about a year, start to finish. Howev...
by DarthSage
Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?
Replies: 82
Views: 4747

Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

Well, for my strings kids, we just bought student-quality instruments. My son plays violin--he has potential, but his playing is immature at this time. He has no interest in pursuing the violin seriously, so I'm not putting money there (well, beyond the basic instrument and lessons). My DD15 is seri...