Search found 46 matches

by JimMolony
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bucket List Adventures/Activities
Replies: 126
Views: 14392

Re: Bucket List Adventures/Activities

• Watch running of bulls in Pamplona • Wimbledon (June-July) • French Open (May-June) • Australian Open • US Open • Broadway musical in London • Opera in Austria • River cruise in Germany • Octoberfest in Munich • Camino to Santiago de Compostela (Spain) • St Patrick’s Day: The feast of Saint Patric...
by JimMolony
Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heater - am I getting ripped off
Replies: 58
Views: 4233

Re: Water heater - am I getting ripped off

I used to own a company that specialized in water heaters (nationwide). Here are the costs: 50 gallon gas at Home Depot $558 (online) B-vent 4" material (really depends on how far that have to run it ($30-70-ish) Some new black pipe parts ($20-30-ish) New copper for water hook ups and P/T line ($20-...
by JimMolony
Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wallets [Do you carry a wallet?]
Replies: 102
Views: 8454

Re: Wallets [Do you carry a wallet?]

I use this "U" shaped piece of aluminum called the Decadent Minimalist (google it or Amazon). You can get them to carry like 4, 8 or 12 cards. Very small and easily slips in my front pocket. Too worried about carrying a wallet in my back pocket these days. I got the 8 card version and only carry 7 p...
by JimMolony
Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does the Average Homeowner Need a Water Shut Off Valve?
Replies: 56
Views: 5616

Re: Does the Average Homeowner Need a Water Shut Off Valve?

Can you provide the name or brand of the shut off valve? I'm a former plumber and would like to do some research. This seems like a crazy amount of money for a shut off valve. The labor should be in the $200-450 range - not a very difficult job. Hard for me to believe the valve would be that costly....
by JimMolony
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRA to Roth conversion
Replies: 9
Views: 1262

IRA to Roth conversion

I took a year off work this year to pursue some personal goals. Thus no income for 2019. I believe this is an ideal time to convert funds from an IRA to Roth, correct? Obviously the goals is to minimize taxes so I'll figure out the tax brackets and convert as much as I can. My main question - Can I ...
by JimMolony
Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to handle "split-the-bill" group lunches?
Replies: 159
Views: 8392

Re: How to handle "split-the-bill" group lunches?

If you know in advance that others are going to order alcohol, order a more expensive meal or larger size and take some home if it bothers you that much :D . It'll even out. Otherwise just suck it up.
by JimMolony
Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for a Condo
Replies: 5
Views: 516

Re: Saving for a Condo

From a real estate purchasing perspective, a recession is an opportunity to buy on the low side many times:).
by JimMolony
Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College age male: How much money for food?
Replies: 138
Views: 6334

Re: College age male: How much money for food?

My son was a bit smaller than average (5'8" and only 130 lbs) and he lived okay on $200-250 per month. This didn't include alcohol or dining out.
by JimMolony
Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery powered lawn mower
Replies: 54
Views: 3584

Battery powered lawn mower

Any advice? Brand?

Good experience or bad?

I have about a 1/2 acre yard. Some of the 80+ volt batteries seem like they should do the trick.

Any help appreciated.
by JimMolony
Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Ally ACH transactions always slow?
Replies: 22
Views: 920

Re: Are Ally ACH transactions always slow?

Ally has been very slow for me.
by JimMolony
Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying $20k worth of mortgage points.
Replies: 47
Views: 3639

Re: Buying $20k worth of mortgage points.

Can you stretch with the extra $20k to only take out a 15 or 20 year mortgage? Not only will you pay a lower rate for the loan, but run the amortization schedule - you'll be amazed at how much less interest you'll pay over the life of it. If you can't stretch the increase in payment, then throw the ...
by JimMolony
Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sacramento Home Owners - House Areas/Questions
Replies: 18
Views: 2647

Re: Sacramento Home Owners - House Areas/Questions

There are amazing parts (higher end) of Fair Oaks and Carmichael also (close to the American River). Unfortunately many of the new homes in newer cities are built on very small plots of land which is not what my wife and I wanted. We bought a nice house in a great neighborhood in Fair Oaks on 1/2 an...
by JimMolony
Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:12 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Irish-US Dual citizen. Best method of saving while living in Ireland for a recent graduate
Replies: 15
Views: 901

Re: Irish-US Dual citizen. Best method of saving while living in Ireland for a recent graduate

donnachadh,

Sorry I can't help, but can you provide links to the resources on this forum and the wiki that you found very useful?

I too am a dual US/Irish citizen and in need of more understanding.

THx,
by JimMolony
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walking Cities, potential for retirees
Replies: 102
Views: 11066

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

San Luis Obispo, CA

And you can do it year round without putting on boots or a winter coat:)
by JimMolony
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay electrician
Replies: 38
Views: 3683

Re: How to pay electrician

I'd pay the original amount unless he came to me with a valid reason for the overage.
by JimMolony
Tue May 21, 2019 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: remodeling costs in san francisco
Replies: 32
Views: 3455

Re: remodeling costs in san francisco

Holy Cow! $80k I did my own guest bath this past winter. Stripped entire thing down to the studs. Took out tub and built show with new curb and all sealed in walls with pan. Tiled the entire bathroom floor to ceiling with accent tile in shower to match tile behind vanity. New toilet, vanity, sink, a...
by JimMolony
Fri May 17, 2019 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do plumbers get paid so well?
Replies: 84
Views: 6804

Re: Why do plumbers get paid so well?

I remember asking my dentist why it costs $500 for 30 minutes of work. Her response: I can spend more time in your mouth if you want.

Your paying for education, training, experience and getting the job done right.
by JimMolony
Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many millionaires mow their own lawn?
Replies: 7
Views: 1563

Re: How many millionaires mow their own lawn?

I do. And I enjoy it most of the time.

My labor is free:)
by JimMolony
Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How will you spend your retirement money?
Replies: 86
Views: 10520

Re: How will you spend your retirement money?

1. Sell house (HCOL - California) 2. Move to a "no state tax" state for 6 months to establish residency - Don't want to pay state income tax for 4-6 years of travel. 3. Move to Europe for 2-3 years. Staying 1 month in Airbnb's/rentals/VRBO per large city/country that we are interested in. North in s...
by JimMolony
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Rent Condo or Sell?
Replies: 3
Views: 180

Re: Help Rent Condo or Sell?

Being a landlord is a part time job. If even you have a maintenance guy, you still have to manage it. Or pay someone to manage it. If it were me, I'd sell it.
by JimMolony
Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Consulting for company I retired from?
Replies: 13
Views: 1342

Re: Consulting for company I retired from?

Going in with caveats. If they want you bad enough they'll agree. Tell them funding must be restored to level you had it. Also ask for 20-30% more than you normally would charge to pay for the extra work to bring it back up to standards. If you think it could tarnish you professional image -- don't ...
by JimMolony
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to take SS
Replies: 16
Views: 1921

Re: When to take SS

Hard to comment as it has to do with Calfornia teacher's situation. Just make sure you undertsand it correctly, some of us in DC region recently saw a presentation by the chief actuary of SS and he was saying many non-SS paying people are nonetheless covered due to spouse, but presumably not all ca...
by JimMolony
Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to take SS
Replies: 16
Views: 1921

Re: When to take SS

I'm not an expert here. But are you certain that your wife/widow will not be eligible for spousal/survivor benefits off of your SS? Again, I'm not an expert but I have been reading about SS rules for a number of years and I haven't heard of this sort of thing, although your situation is different f...
by JimMolony
Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to take SS
Replies: 16
Views: 1921

Re: When to take SS

One's death date seems the obvious wildcard in all of these discussions. Does a spouse get any SS benefit at all if you die before you start taking SS? No death benefits AT ALL if I file at or before FRA. Unfortunately the Government Pension Offset from her pension is greater than my Social Securit...
by JimMolony
Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to take SS
Replies: 16
Views: 1921

When to take SS

Only 52 and wife is 53 but doing retirement planning. We are looking to retire around age 60-61. Wife is a teacher with pension (California). As a teacher she is not eligible for Social Security (only fair since she doesn't pay in), nor will she get 1/2 of mine. What I've recently learned is she wil...
by JimMolony
Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another "Is it worth it to fix" question [2002 Nissan Sentra]
Replies: 66
Views: 4508

Re: Another "Is it worth it to fix" question

To solve for ACA and income bracket. Hard to say this, but maybe financing a low mileage 2-3 year old car could work? You'd have to run the numbers, but perhaps interest on a $20k car is less a hit than increased ACA costs? This would allow you to only withdraw the annual payments instead of the who...
by JimMolony
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can solar be worth it??
Replies: 78
Views: 8601

Re: Can solar be worth it??

Break even really depends on the cost per Kwh. I believe Texas is know for pretty cheap electricity. Here in California with PG&E at 18 cents a kwh, it pays for itself pretty quickly (5-9 years). If you are only paying 6-9 cents per kwh I wouldn't think it is too good of an investment. With gov't ta...
by JimMolony
Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Letting Dog out everyday for lunch... the roundtrip drive is killing me.. ideas?
Replies: 155
Views: 12047

Re: Letting Dog out everyday for lunch... the roundtrip drive is killing me.. ideas?

wag.com or similar dog walk company. Much cheaper than your gas and wear/tear plus the dog gets a walk.
by JimMolony
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disciplined with finances, but not so with diet
Replies: 242
Views: 14506

Re: Disciplined with finances, but not so with diet

I'm a spreadsheet geek. So I record everything for each month in a different tab. I record all calories for breakfast, lunch, dinner (no snacks). Then I subtract all my negative/exercise calories. I range from net calories of 500-1400 calories per day. I've lost 30 pounds in 5 months. If I want to e...
by JimMolony
Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 790
Views: 111285

Re: How much money do you want to retire?

$2-2.5M, paid off house.

SS roughly $3k a month
Pension roughly $3k a month

This will be more than enough for our needs.
by JimMolony
Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Tire Quality Seconds/Blems??
Replies: 31
Views: 3762

Re: Costco Tire Quality Seconds/Blems??

Bought Costco Michelin Defenders for my wife's 2011 CRV. No loud road noise and no issues.
by JimMolony
Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass Update
Replies: 16
Views: 1941

Re: MoviePass Update

Try Sinemia now.
by JimMolony
Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 457 vs 403b
Replies: 120
Views: 8488

Re: 457 vs 403b

ran across this today....dont recall hearing this discussed in the 457 threads I've read. Useful tidbit anyway. That would be because most government employees are receiving a defined benefit pension, which is typically around 2/3 funded by the employer. Not inexpensive. I’ve been working in govern...
by JimMolony
Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with Plumber (Water Heater)
Replies: 22
Views: 2498

Re: Dealing with Plumber (Water Heater)

I would be upset. I always ask for a firm fixed price before work starts. Okay with me if he calls later to tell me what that cost would be. I used to own a company specializing in water heater repairs/replacements. Sounds like it could be a problem with either the thermocouple or the actual thermos...
by JimMolony
Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 1138
Views: 127956

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

Wife's B-day today. I bought her 3 Mylar balloons and a card as well as a pack of M&M's (her favorite). Went to the dollar store. Total cost - $4.20. I delivered them myself to the school where she teaches 4th grade. The kids broke out singing HB. Priceless. I was able to surprise and embarrass her ...
by JimMolony
Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all 50-60 year old homeowners with kids/families
Replies: 36
Views: 4434

Re: Calling all 50-60 year old homeowners with kids/families

Us: Early 50's, 1 out of college and 1 still in. Did kitchen/open great room 2 years ago and did guest bath a few months ago. I did them myself (occasional kid's help) at 1/2 half the cost - I realize not everyone can do this but it brought my cost way down. Love both. Now my wife would like me to d...
by JimMolony
Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Broken Sewer pipe - $10,000-$20,000 to fix
Replies: 58
Views: 6481

Re: Broken Sewer pipe - $10,000 to fix

Did you house purchase come with a Home Warranty? Many times the seller provides a 1 year policy. If so, make the claim.

If not, it will be an expensive fix, but you really have no alternative.
by JimMolony
Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 314
Views: 29178

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe Federal + State $29.95

Monster99 wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:21 pm
It was $18 until about noon... I was just getting around to order but now it is $32 -bummer!😣
clear your cookies and try again. I did and got it for $18.
by JimMolony
Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Loss tax help & wash sale
Replies: 10
Views: 773

Tax Loss tax help & wash sale

Looking for clarification on a potential sale this year. I have a taxable brokerage account with Vanguard. I purchased $50k of VTSAX at the beginning of the year. Can I sell it (at a loss) and buy VFINX without it being a wash sale? If I sell if for $47k and lose $3k, is that simply a reduction of m...
by JimMolony
Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home remodeling costs
Replies: 13
Views: 1505

Re: Home remodeling costs

Not a licensed contractor, but do everything myself. I'm always disappointed when I see the work of a supposed contractor and find flaws for people spending hard earned money. My wife wanted a new kitchen with open concept. Had to take down a 24' wall and support it (I did have help with that). I ch...
by JimMolony
Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Difference in hot water tank BTU's
Replies: 6
Views: 766

Re: Difference in hot water tank BTU's

Since you have natural gas have you considered tankless? I wanted to but I am all electric and can't afford the additional line coming in to justify savings. They are getting more affordable. If you have good water or a good water softener they will last. If you have bad water, forget about the ide...
by JimMolony
Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When a financial planner isn't a financial planner
Replies: 10
Views: 2347

Re: When a financial planner isn't a financial planner

While I'm not necessarily disagreeing with Rick, I think he's missing the point. (Couple of caveats before I get started - I am a CPA and a financial planner, but not a CFP. I am also an insurance agent and an asset manager.) First--and let's assume that you do actually get a fee-only financial pla...
by JimMolony
Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foreign Currency
Replies: 24
Views: 1233

Foreign Currency

Need to purchase Japanese Yen for my son who is moving there in 10 days. Any advice on where to get it and best rates?

Local banks (Sacramento) don't seem to have it. Airport is usually worst exchange rates.
by JimMolony
Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 38 & 43 with pension and $1M in assets considering increasing spending
Replies: 18
Views: 2261

Re: 38 & 43 with pension and $1M in assets considering increasing spending

Not enough information. What age do you plan to retire? If 65, then yes you can loosen up and spend a bit more. If retire at 50 then I would continue to be aggressive on saving/investing. Do you plan to pay for their college completely (could be $100k+) each? Do you plan on changing lifestyles later...
by JimMolony
Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mouse in the house
Replies: 32
Views: 2392

Re: Mouse in the house

I threw rat poison in our attach after we heard a rat. Problem solved for $8.99.
by JimMolony
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Becoming frugal
Replies: 81
Views: 11615

Re: Becoming frugal

The biggest costs are: Housing: many suggest 25-30% of gross pay. Mine is at 9% for my wife and I. Lower housing costs is the best strategy. Auto: Do you really need a new car? Do you really need the performance/comfort/truck? We buy 3-4 year old cars with 20-35k miles. 1/2 cost of new Food: dining ...