Search found 88 matches

by startwithtruth
Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I encourage my children to spend time applying for scholarships?
Replies: 29
Views: 1535

Re: Should I encourage my children to spend time applying for scholarships?

Really, focus on AP classes and AP tests. That’s your best bang for the buck. For most people, this is the surest path to saving real money on college costs. Our kid entered college as a junior through AP tests...... Prepare for the ACT, and get a good score. Get that score in the summer after juni...
by startwithtruth
Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security spousal benefit question
Replies: 27
Views: 1884

Re: Social Security spousal benefit question

There is another scenario that may be illustrative as well. Same setup, but the lower earner begins benefits at age 63 (4 years before FRA), while the higher earner begins benefits at age 70 (3 years after FRA) In this case, the lower earner will receive their reduced benefit of $600/mo from 2023 t...
by startwithtruth
Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why does being close to a Trader Joers, Aldi or Whole Foods drive up house value???
Replies: 14
Views: 1705

Re: Why does being close to a Trader Joers, Aldi or Whole Foods drive up house value???

Ever notice how TJ won’t open a new store unless they can guarantee that the parking will be horrible? So true. My local TJ's moved 2 miles further away; they claimed it was because of parking issues, but the parking at the new location is almost as bad. (I think the real reason for the move was to...
by startwithtruth
Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Science Fiction Movies
Replies: 179
Views: 9149

Re: Favorite Science Fiction Movies

Edge of Tomorrow
by startwithtruth
Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are subscriptions that add the most value in 2020?
Replies: 101
Views: 10361

Re: What are subscriptions that add the most value?

Luckywon wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:47 pm
LilyFleur wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 2:58 pm
Acorn (the best $6/month I've ever spent!!!!!)
I've been thinking of trying this-what have you watched on this that was good?
If you like British TV, consider Britbox; we enjoyed Acorn for quite a while, but switched to Britbox as so many shows seemed to be moving there.
by startwithtruth
Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walmart+ service ($98/year = free delivery w/ $35+ order). Thoughts?
Replies: 122
Views: 8899

Re: Walmart+ service ($98/year = free delivery w/ $35+ order). Thoughts?

Target has finally added fresh/perishable grocery items to their curbside pickup service but not sure whether it's been rolled out to all stores yet. I only did pickup in store before with Target, not curbside. I just checked Target.com and perishable items still cannot be ordered for pickup in sto...
by startwithtruth
Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walmart+ service ($98/year = free delivery w/ $35+ order). Thoughts?
Replies: 122
Views: 8899

Re: Walmart+ service ($98/year = free delivery w/ $35+ order). Thoughts?

madbrain wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 4:34 pm I don't think Target allows pickup of fresh grocery items, though.
Target has finally added fresh/perishable grocery items to their curbside pickup service but not sure whether it's been rolled out to all stores yet.
by startwithtruth
Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental Insurance
Replies: 36
Views: 2405

Re: Dental Insurance

Through discussions with the billing person, we discovered that if we had kept our insurance, even if they hadn’t reimbursed for these procedures, we would have been charged a contracted price about 40% less. So we view dental insurance as a charge to access better pricing, with reimbursements a bo...
by startwithtruth
Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rice & Beans [limiting food expenses]
Replies: 96
Views: 14378

Re: Rice & Beans [limiting food expenses]

Old thread so probably not useful to the OP, but since it got bumped and new people will be looking at it https://www.budgetbytes.com/ is a good source for tasty budget conscious recipes. I just started using https://www.budgetbytes.com/ recently but I really like it - the site author lists the est...
by startwithtruth
Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to look for in a webcam?
Replies: 24
Views: 1120

Re: What to look for in a webcam?

Another suggestion for watching Netflix together - my daughter and I have been using twoseven; she watches on her Mac (which has a builtin mic) and I watch on my Windows PC using headphones which have a mic; it let's us talk during the show without having to also be on our phones.
by startwithtruth
Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: APPLE IPAD 10.2 7th gen - What do you use yours for?
Replies: 21
Views: 1482

Re: APPLE IPAD 10.2 7th gen - What do you use yours for?

I have an older iPad which I love for streaming video on the treadmill; I've also used it to display recipes while cooking and recently for a tele-medicine visit. I occasionally put it on a stand to browse websites at the table; my arthritic hands make it tough to hold for reading on the couch. We u...
by startwithtruth
Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: automating monthly payments to individuals?
Replies: 8
Views: 927

Re: automating monthly payments to individuals?

fabdog wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:59 am Most banks/credit unions/brokerages have functions that let you send money to external accounts on a scheduled basis.
My bank supports POP (Pay Other People); I've used it for years and it works well.
by startwithtruth
Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you feel safe going to a hair salon or barber shop?
Replies: 32
Views: 1780

Re: Do you feel safe going to a hair salon or barber shop?

No, it doesn't seem worth the risk. Even with both me and the stylist wearing a mask, there's no way to avoid being very close to each other.
by startwithtruth
Sat May 16, 2020 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get disinfecting wipes..seriously
Replies: 87
Views: 6850

Re: How to get disinfecting wipes..seriously

You could try keeping an eye out on costco.com for the 4-pack of Kirkland Signature wipes (Item #1210513), although I'm not seeing them on the site now. They were offered as part of their old "2-day Delivery" (now running a couple of weeks) which unfortunately has a $75 minimum and charges...
by startwithtruth
Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 282
Views: 34515

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

When my husband had to retire early a year ago and we started withdrawing from our 401K, he mentioned being disappointed that we'd never reach 1 Million in savings; I never had much attachment to that milestone but he grew up pretty poor and for him, it was a fun idea to imagine being a "millio...
by startwithtruth
Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelty Roth IRA: which bond index fund for money needed in 2-3 years?
Replies: 2
Views: 376

Re: Fidelty Roth IRA: which bond index fund for money needed in 2-3 years?

However, since you are at Fidelity, FUMBX (Fidelity Short-Term Treasury Bond Index Fund) might be a better option than VSBSX/VGSH https://fundresearch.fidelity.com/mutual-funds/summary/31635V216 To my knowledge, Fidelity does not have a short term TIPS option. Thanks, I thought I searched for Fidel...
by startwithtruth
Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelty Roth IRA: which bond index fund for money needed in 2-3 years?
Replies: 2
Views: 376

Fidelty Roth IRA: which bond index fund for money needed in 2-3 years?

My husband is 62, retired, and I'm 59, planning to retire in 2-3 years; once I retire, we'll need to use the ACA for medical coverage until we become eligible for Medicare at 65. We're working on Roth conversions (started in 2019), so that by the time I retire, we can use the Roth funds to keep our ...
by startwithtruth
Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting NYC with a family - logistics?
Replies: 29
Views: 2091

Re: Visiting NYC with a family - logistics?

I did not know that AirBnBs were legal in Brooklyn. Was the owner living in the other unit of the property? My understanding for Manhattan is that stays shorter than 30 days are allowed in an owner-occupied unit. My understanding is that 2 unit properties are classified as “private homes”; the proh...
by startwithtruth
Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting NYC with a family - logistics?
Replies: 29
Views: 2091

Re: Visiting NYC with a family - logistics?

AirBnBs are illegal in NYC for stays under 30 days, unless owner-occupied. They still exist, of course. Beware AirBNB. It’s technically illegal in NYC and listings get pulled often so you’re out a place to stay or in a scam. I agree that staying in Manhattan is best for the OP's trip, but just to c...
by startwithtruth
Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debit card compromised while overseas-RFID question
Replies: 8
Views: 974

Re: Debit card compromised while overseas-RFID question

They are likely still inferior to chip-and-pin cards (which aren't available in the US) , or the securely encrypted one-time-use methods used in ApplePay . Chip and PIN cards aren't super common in the US, but I thought there were a few - I have the 2 cards below which I understood to be Chip and P...
by startwithtruth
Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Elderly parents in assisted living with new high costs; seeking advice
Replies: 27
Views: 3710

Re: Elderly parents in assisted living with new high costs; seeking advice

They’ve been married 65 years (together 70!) and I have no intention of separating them (i.e., mom to memory care), hence the personal aides. My mom’s worsening dementia (horrible disease) has been so difficult for my dad but he’s adamant that they stay together while they can. My experience is tha...
by startwithtruth
Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Elderly parents in assisted living with new high costs; seeking advice
Replies: 27
Views: 3710

Re: Elderly parents in assisted living with new high costs; seeking advice

Agree with others who recommended you inquire about hospice. Hospice will be approved by the doctor if the life expectancy is around 6 months, but once approved people can remain in hospice indefinitely. My mother's care improved dramatically when she entered hospice, they provide caregiver visits ...
by startwithtruth
Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 5149
Views: 1331840

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I just finished the 2nd book in the Dublin Murder Squad series, "The Likeness" by Tana French. I liked it more than the first book of the series, "In The Woods". It was a fabulous read, and a riveting page turner. I just began the 3rd in the series, "Faithful Place". D...
by startwithtruth
Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 506
Views: 90699

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

We are Legion- Dennis Taylor. Very interesting premise that hooked me on the first book. +1 My husband and I both loved We are Legion (We are Bob), as well as the other 2 Bobiverse books; great fun, and thought provoking too - if you liked Weir's book The Martian, then they're a good bet. For anyon...
by startwithtruth
Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 5149
Views: 1331840

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I just finished The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitzGerald and thought it was terrific.

It's a bit of a deep dive (700+ pages) so best for people who are really interested in the subject. I listened to the audiobook.
by startwithtruth
Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 5149
Views: 1331840

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Dave55 wrote: Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:51 am "Total Recall" by Sara Paretsky. The 10th in the V.I. Warshawski private eye series.

Dave
I love that series, and have been reading it for years; I like the way V. I. Warshawski is aging - more aches and pains, but still wise cracking (and even wiser) :happy
by startwithtruth
Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brown Bag Lunch Ideas
Replies: 70
Views: 5424

Re: Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

I like to pack a big salad of romaine or endive (sometimes escarole), with dried cherries and a few ounces of roast chicken added; I always take cut up fruits and veges to snack on. Other packed lunch ideas using roast chicken: canned soup with chicken added and wraps made with bagged chopped salad ...
by startwithtruth
Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Spousal Consent Required for 401(k) Plan Withdrawals or Rollovers?
Replies: 30
Views: 2821

Re: Spousal Consent Required for 401(k) Plan Withdrawals or Rollovers?

It depends on the plan, so you have to ask. I was able to rollover my last 401k without spousal consent. TIAA required it though. Seem to recall that it had something to do with whether there was a potential for annuitizing. TIAA required it when my husband did a withdrawal recently; they described...
by startwithtruth
Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Audio book options
Replies: 28
Views: 1584

Re: Audio book options

By far the library is the best option. You already pay for it, so you should use it! My wife and I go through at least 100 audiobooks per year. If we were purchasing those it would be terribly expensive. The only downside is having to wait for popular books to become available, but in general I hav...
by startwithtruth
Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:46 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Making it easier to track posts from the OP
Replies: 50
Views: 8927

Re: Making it easier to track posts from the OP

Thanks LadyGeek! Much easier than CTRL F on multi-page threads.
by startwithtruth
Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list
Replies: 14
Views: 1362

Re: Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list

I don’t see how the Roth conversions make sense, unless your income would be pushed into a higher bracket with SS and RMDs once your husband turns 70. ... I agree with plans for Roth conversions to fill the 12% tax bracket, if RMD and other non-SS income is expected to be more than 20k. The 12% tax...
by startwithtruth
Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list
Replies: 14
Views: 1362

Re: Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list

You can do just fine at Fidelity but your need to be a bit more careful. For example their target date funds are called "Freedom" funds but they also have "Freedom Index" funds with a lot lower costs. Thanks, I'll watch for that. You can decide what to do about the Roth conversi...
by startwithtruth
Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list
Replies: 14
Views: 1362

Re: Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list

I don’t see how the Roth conversions make sense, unless your income would be pushed into a higher bracket with SS and RMDs once your husband turns 70. I'm not as concerned about needing Roth funds for after he turns 70 - our bracket then would depend on a lot of variables and it could make very lit...
by startwithtruth
Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list
Replies: 14
Views: 1362

Re: Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list

Why consider COBRA or an ACA policies (both expensive ways to insure your medical needs), when you have good medical and decent dental coverage through your job? The COBRA was only for a few months of secondary dental (we never had medical through my husband's job) - and it's definitely pricey. For...
by startwithtruth
Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list
Replies: 14
Views: 1362

Re: Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list

Right. Zero reason for husband to get live insurance. Also don't understand why you need COBRA, since you said your job provides both medical and dental. It seems that ROTH conversions would indeed make sense starting in 2019. Re-evaluate each year. It's probably not worth it to pay COBRA rates for...
by startwithtruth
Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list
Replies: 14
Views: 1362

Re: Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list

May I ask: Why does spouse need life insurance? His income will be $116. You will get his SS benefits regardless. House is paid off. All other income is coming from you. Good question. When we looked at this a year ago, we decided to keep life insurance for several years as a bridge until we were b...
by startwithtruth
Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list
Replies: 14
Views: 1362

Transition to spouse retirement - plans and to do list

My husband retired a few weeks ago due to worsening health issues and a bad job situation. I’m confident this was the right/only decision, but it’s earlier than we’d planned and now working on a revised long term plan and a to do list for the transition; depending on whether his health improves, he ...
by startwithtruth
Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Draw Question
Replies: 32
Views: 3275

Re: Social Security Draw Question

In cases where one spouse has a significantly higher income than the other spouse, it is very common that the best approach is for the lower earning spouse to file early and the higher earning spouse to delay to age 70. The reason is that the surviving spouse gets the larger benefit of the two. So ...
by startwithtruth
Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Draw Question
Replies: 32
Views: 3275

Re: Social Security Draw Question

In cases where one spouse has a significantly higher income than the other spouse, it is very common that the best approach is for the lower earning spouse to file early and the higher earning spouse to delay to age 70. The reason is that the surviving spouse gets the larger benefit of the two. So ...
by startwithtruth
Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good audio book for a family?
Replies: 33
Views: 2392

Re: Good audio book for a family?

+1 to the Terry Pratchett recommendations. My wife and I find that we really enjoy long car trips with these (audio) books. The readers for most of them are really good, and the content is fun. Another +1 for Terry Pratchett; his novels are funny and clever, and they somehow hit you with deep insig...
by startwithtruth
Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep voluntary life through employer at 58 / 60 years old?
Replies: 7
Views: 686

Re: Keep voluntary life through employer at 58 / 60 years old?

If you have serious medical issues then you might want to consider if you have enough to retire earlier, especially if you can get retiree health insurance through an employer. Unfortunately, neither of our employers offers retiree health insurance. We're looking at various scenarios regarding when...
by startwithtruth
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep voluntary life through employer at 58 / 60 years old?
Replies: 7
Views: 686

Re: Keep voluntary life through employer at 58 / 60 years old?

Thanks for the responses; I assumed individual term life was out of the question because of our health history/conditions but maybe not. We don't have time to purchase insurance (including medical exam) before this year's open enrollment deadlines though. If the consensus is that buying insurance at...
by startwithtruth
Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep voluntary life through employer at 58 / 60 years old?
Replies: 7
Views: 686

Keep voluntary life through employer at 58 / 60 years old?

My husband and I missed the memo about buying 20+ year term life insurance policies, or a ladder of policies, when we were younger. We've always had group term life through our employers, transitioning the group policies to individual ones when we left jobs, and then cancelling when we were working ...
by startwithtruth
Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any space heaters that automatically maintain a temperature in a room!
Replies: 36
Views: 4165

Re: Any space heaters that automatically maintain a temperature in a room!

I haven't seen my latest electric bill yet, but we've been using this ceramic heater for the last several weeks (waiting for our HVAC system to be replaced). It has a thermostat and works well, but I am nervous about the cost :shock: Lasko Bladeless Ceramic Heater with Remote Control https://www.hom...
by startwithtruth
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confused about FSA when quitting mid-year
Replies: 9
Views: 885

Re: Confused about FSA when quitting mid-year

In my situation, there is a bigger possibilities that I will quit on January 2019 and my spouse and I don't have any particular that we need to use medical for... So in that case, it is better to just not contribute at all, correct? (assuming the possibilities turn out the way we planned). I wouldn...
by startwithtruth
Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Reverse Mortgage
Replies: 17
Views: 2251

Re: Reverse Mortgage

Jane Bryant Quinn's book "How to Make Your Money Last" had a detailed chapter on reverse mortgages, including laying out multiple scenarios and alternatives; she didn't seem to have an ax to grind either way - just tried to outline out the pro's and con's for different situations
by startwithtruth
Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Memberships/Subscriptions Are Most Valuable To You?
Replies: 68
Views: 5778

Re: What Memberships/Subscriptions Are Most Valuable To You?

I'm a big audiobook listener, so I really value these: Brooklyn Public Library paid out of state membership Audible (for the books I can't get at Brooklyn or my home library) Also: Amazon Prime Costco Netflix, Acorn, Britbox I value cell service and internet, but annoyed as I think I'm overpaying th...
by startwithtruth
Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mom needs hip revision: how can I fight on her behalf?
Replies: 22
Views: 2164

Re: Mom needs hip revision: how can I fight on her behalf?

Regarding the Mayo Clinic - my husband was having trouble finding anyone who could diagnose his neurological problem (turned out to be a very rare condition) and although he's covered by private insurance, Mayo initially said they couldn't fit him in; then a month or so later they offered him an app...
by startwithtruth
Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Helping Parents with Retirement [Updated - have annuity questions]
Replies: 49
Views: 6316

Re: Helping Parents with Retirement

@InMyDreams Thank you for the additional info on Medicare. I just read https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Medicare that explains some basics but doesn’t go into too much detail. Can anyone recommend any good articles / books for more comprehensive info re: Medicare? I really liked Philip Moeller's &qu...