Search found 70 matches

by Cactuscoug
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dumb question - if I only buy from Vanguard, I still have to file taxes right?
Replies: 9
Views: 1127

Re: Dumb question - if I only buy from Vanguard, I still have to file taxes right?

. . .and, keep track of what you reinvest. It will increase your tax basis. You don't want to pay tax on the distribution twice!
by Cactuscoug
Fri May 29, 2020 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 55+ communities - with or without golf course?
Replies: 13
Views: 1379

Re: 55+ communities - with or without golf course?

Typically, non golf course developments are smaller in size. This can be a factor, as smaller developments are harder to get lost in. Everyone knows your business. In a larger development, you can choose your interests, whether it be golf or scrabble, and people will leave you alone. I know -- we ha...
by Cactuscoug
Mon May 25, 2020 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Del Webb 55+ communities?
Replies: 27
Views: 4439

Re: Del Webb 55+ communities?

We live in a 55+ community outside of Tucson, Arizona. Moved in when we were 48 / 45. (20% of residents allowed to be as young as 40.) Love it! No kids -- I am allergic to kid-noises. You can stay as busy as you want. Or not. 200+ clubs, so you can find your own "tribe." Many afternoon / evening act...
by Cactuscoug
Sun May 17, 2020 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a Cable Guy in the House?
Replies: 42
Views: 3733

Re: Is there a Cable Guy in the House?

First, I would reset my current router / modem, by unplugging for 30-seconds and then plugging back in. It is surprising how much speed you will pick up. It is recommended that you do this once per month.
by Cactuscoug
Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renewal by Anderson window prices
Replies: 39
Views: 3706

Re: Renewal by Anderson window prices

We have a 2400 sf house and replaced all the windows and three sliders two years ago. We went with Marvin Infinity. And paid around $32,000.

We are happy with the result.
by Cactuscoug
Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yokohama vs Arizonian Tires
Replies: 11
Views: 976

Re: Yokohama vs Arizonian Tires

Consumer Reports really likes General Tire, AltiMax RT43 tires. They are rated #1 under "All Season" tires. $87 each - - you could probably find them for less.

We put a set on our Avalon a fews months ago, and are happy.
by Cactuscoug
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water line replacement - is HOA responsible?
Replies: 24
Views: 1506

Re: Water line replacement - is HOA responsible?

There is no benevolent third party here.

The 16 townhomes ARE the HOA. The owners will end up paying for it one way or another . . .
by Cactuscoug
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Senior hour Tue and Thur
Replies: 70
Views: 5788

Re: Costco Senior hour Tue and Thur

5:00am would be great! We are usually up around 3:30 or 4:00.

Different strokes . . .
by Cactuscoug
Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for Portuguese Red Table Wines
Replies: 7
Views: 453

Re: Recommendations for Portuguese Red Table Wines

"PAXIX" is a Red Blend from Portugal. One of our favorites.

Available at Costco for $6.49.
by Cactuscoug
Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contractor Pricing During Pandemic
Replies: 22
Views: 2850

Re: Contractor Pricing During Pandemic

I don't know about all of us . . . but I do.
by Cactuscoug
Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-Refundable Hotel Charges on Expedia
Replies: 7
Views: 515

Re: Non-Refundable Hotel Charges on Expedia

Keep pushing, through phone or "chat" feature. I had a non-refundable reservation through Hotwire. Once I was able to get through to them, they refunded me. Good on Hotwire!
by Cactuscoug
Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in AZ-suggestions please
Replies: 104
Views: 7263

Re: Retirement in AZ-suggestions please

Zip: 85739 Catalina / Saddlebrooke. We are at about 3500 feet. When it is 115 in Phoenix, and 108 in Tucson, it is only around 103 here. And, "Dry." Saddlebrooke is an Adult Community of 5000 homes, with community swimming pools, golf, tennis, 200+ clubs, etc. In 14 years here, I have seen three rat...
by Cactuscoug
Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with artificial turf for dogs?
Replies: 10
Views: 869

Re: Any experience with artificial turf for dogs?

Here in AZ we put down artificial turf for our dog 20-years ago. She took to it easily. So did the neighborhood coyotes! It will smell a bit during the summer heat, but can be rinsed heavily, or just wait until Fall. Do you use turf especially designed for dogs? No. Just standard landscape artifici...
by Cactuscoug
Tue Mar 03, 2020 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with artificial turf for dogs?
Replies: 10
Views: 869

Re: Any experience with artificial turf for dogs?

Here in AZ we put down artificial turf for our dog 20-years ago. She took to it easily. So did the neighborhood coyotes!
It will smell a bit during the summer heat, but can be rinsed heavily, or just wait until Fall.
by Cactuscoug
Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: using HSA as investment account - do you need to store receipts?
Replies: 6
Views: 737

Re: using HSA as investment account - do you need to store receipts?

We have been investing in our HSAs from the get-go. Current value: $170,000. Tax Free amount: $71,000. Tax Free is tax free because we keep receipts. Every year we designate a folder to that year's receipts. So, it is easy to produce receipts if prompted. Plus, we keep a running spread-sheet of all ...
by Cactuscoug
Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best car tires to buy and best place to buy them?
Replies: 17
Views: 1615

Re: Best car tires to buy and best place to buy them?

Consumer Reports recently did a study on tires. It's conclusion for "All Weather" tires, is the General Tire Altimax RT43. Good specs, good price. We recently had a set installed on our Avalon. Nice ride! Michelin Defenders finished second.
by Cactuscoug
Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what cost/savings would you install solar panels?
Replies: 16
Views: 1212

Re: At what cost/savings would you install solar panels?

We have installed solar on two Arizona houses. Our current home went solar in 2018. Cost of a 5 kW system: $8000, net of the tax credits. Annual savings (at .11 / kWh): $1000 Current Yield on investment: 13% Tax Free. It is smart of consider this on a new roof. Your biggest variable may be financing.
by Cactuscoug
Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: charles schwab referral bonus
Replies: 8
Views: 1310

Re: charles schuab referral bonus

I don't know about the language.

I simply asked what they could do . . .and let them know they were in competition with Fidelity.

FIDO came up with money too, but too little, too late.
by Cactuscoug
Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FICO Changes Could Change Your Credit Score
Replies: 10
Views: 1201

Re: FICO Changes Could Change Your Credit Score

Ours went up . . from 830 to 837.
by Cactuscoug
Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: charles schwab referral bonus
Replies: 8
Views: 1310

Re: charles schuab referral bonus

I moved from Vanguard to Fidelity and Schwab last May. Schwab bonused me on four accounts, totalling $4900.
by Cactuscoug
Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you manage cash flow from your nest egg?
Replies: 18
Views: 2253

Re: How do you manage cash flow from your nest egg?

1.) Change funds that reinvest dividends, to paying out cash.
2.) Establish a 12-month cash supply in a money market account.
3.) Replenish MM account with sales when the markets are perceived "high." (like now).
4.) Avoid selling when markets are perceived low.
by Cactuscoug
Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rollover of current employers Optum bank HSA to Fidelity
Replies: 25
Views: 1467

Re: Rollover of current employers Optum bank HSA to Fidelity

We rolled from Optum to Fidelity, and Fidelity reimbursed the $20 fees.
by Cactuscoug
Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [How do I get out of a Time share?]
Replies: 3
Views: 693

Re: [How do I get out of a Time share?]

How long ago did you buy it? If it is recent, write a letter to the timeshare management, expressing your displeasure with tactics, and that you have no intention of using it, or paying for it. They might tear up the contract. We have had friends do this successfully. If it is not recent, then you o...
by Cactuscoug
Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: In search of a dishwasher that dries plastics well...
Replies: 80
Views: 4772

Re: In search of a dishwasher that dries plastics well...

Timely. I saw this explanation online this morning. We may be using our DWs wrong . . . "Older models, particularly from American companies, generally have a round or U-shaped heating element at the bottom of the tub. Once the wash cycle is complete, the element heats up and a fan blows hot air arou...
by Cactuscoug
Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired recently and buying your own insurance? How bad is it?
Replies: 54
Views: 5627

Re: Retired recently and buying your own insurance? How bad is it?

We are early retirees that have been on the ACA plans from their inception. The key, for us, is to keep reportable income DOWN. The lower your income, the higher the tax credit, the lower your net cost. I am finally on Medicare. Spouse is in her final year of ACA. Her premium for 2020 is going up fr...
by Cactuscoug
Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Michelin vs Toyota tires for Corolla?
Replies: 31
Views: 2967

Re: Michelin vs Toyota tires for Corolla?

C.R. recently did a write-up on tires. It's top rated "All Season" tire is the General Tire Altimax RT43. It rates three points higher than the Defender, and costs $28 less!
by Cactuscoug
Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Question for my Wife
Replies: 8
Views: 692

Re: Social Security Question for my Wife

I just went through this with my brother . . . It starts with $$$ earned after you retire.
by Cactuscoug
Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance Company Reviews
Replies: 15
Views: 1430

Re: Health Insurance Company Reviews

A lot might depend upon "where" in AZ you are considering. You mentioned Mayo, so perhaps you are thinking Phoenix. We live outside of Tucson, in rural Pinal County. My wife has an ACA account through BCBS - - it's an HSA, which is good. However, her premiums are going up in 2020 from $60, to $250 /...
by Cactuscoug
Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruises, where to book?
Replies: 17
Views: 1902

Re: Cruises, where to book?

We have used Cruise Vacation Outlet ((800) 797-4635) for years. They regularly beat Costco, as well as the cruise line. We usually cruise Princess, but recently decided to try Oceania. We booked direct, then had CVO check pricing. They knocked the price down $600, PLUS were able to include gratuitie...
by Cactuscoug
Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Company For Medicare Supplement Plan G [in Missouri]
Replies: 21
Views: 1579

Re: Best Company For Medicare Supplement Plan G [in Missouri]

I am 67 years old, and living in AZ. I just switched my "G" plan from AARP United Healthcare, to Physicians Mutual. The premium dropped from $142 to $108. The Company's rating increased from "C" to "A." Physicians Mutual was not on my radar until I talked with a Medicare specialist.
by Cactuscoug
Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Security Benefit Annuity
Replies: 5
Views: 519

Re: Security Benefit Annuity

It's not clear what type of annuity this is -- a variable? Equity Indexed? But it probably does not matter. My understanding is that she is entitled to annuitize the $460,000. At 6%, she would be looking at around $27,000 / year, for life. She needs to call the insurance company for real answers.
by Cactuscoug
Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Negotiating buying leased solar panel system Calif
Replies: 16
Views: 1076

Re: Negotiating buying leased solar panel system Calif

We are in Arizona. Installed a 5.2 kW system two years ago. Our net cost, after tax credits, was $8762.90. I think your buy-out number should be somewhere in that vicinity.
by Cactuscoug
Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bid on airline upgrade? (Icelandair)
Replies: 11
Views: 1223

Re: Bid on airline upgrade? (Icelandair)

We bid on and won an upgrade on Iceland Air three years ago. The nice thing is there is a visible "gauge" online when you are selecting your price point. "Red" and you are too low. "Green" and you are probably a sure thing. We bid in the middle and got the upgrade.
by Cactuscoug
Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those who are FI: At what point did you begin to relax?
Replies: 76
Views: 10986

Re: For those who are FI: At what point did you begin to relax?

"May I ask: 1) How much were you spending back in the late 90s when you just retired that allowed your nest egg to grow past $3.4 million? 1 million in 1994 is equivalent to $1.7 million today which means your wealth has doubled since you retired while at the same time living through 2 big recessio...
by Cactuscoug
Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those who are FI: At what point did you begin to relax?
Replies: 76
Views: 10986

Re: For those who are FI: At what point did you begin to relax?

". . . at what point did you begin to feel like you can relax about money and not constantly worried and under pressure?" We "retired" 25-years ago at 42 / 39 with about $1mm. The portfolio now measures $3.4mm. The anxiety was always there, until about two years ago . . .when she began taking Socia...
by Cactuscoug
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those who are FI: At what point did you begin to relax?
Replies: 76
Views: 10986

Re: For those who are FI: At what point did you begin to relax?

"May I ask: 1) How much were you spending back in the late 90s when you just retired that allowed your nest egg to grow past $3.4 million? 1 million in 1994 is equivalent to $1.7 million today which means your wealth has doubled since you retired while at the same time living through 2 big recession...
by Cactuscoug
Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those who are FI: At what point did you begin to relax?
Replies: 76
Views: 10986

Re: For those who are FI: At what point did you begin to relax?

". . . at what point did you begin to feel like you can relax about money and not constantly worried and under pressure?" We "retired" 25-years ago at 42 / 39 with about $1mm. The portfolio now measures $3.4mm. The anxiety was always there, until about two years ago . . .when she began taking Social...
by Cactuscoug
Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on cellular annually?
Replies: 59
Views: 4693

Re: How much do you spend on cellular annually?

Anywhere from $10 to $100 PER YEAR.

We are grandfathered in a T-Mobile "pay as you go" plan. $100 buys 1000 minutes. Unused minutes roll over if you buy a $10 minimum the next year.

We typically use around 300-minutes per year.

No data. We need to find wifi.

It works for us.
by Cactuscoug
Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar panel advice & experiences
Replies: 64
Views: 3360

Re: Solar panel advice & experiences

We live in AZ. and have a 2400 sf home. We installed a 5 kW system, costing less than $14,000 ($9000, net of Fed and State credits). We save about $80-90 / month . . .or about a 12% tax free yield on our money. But, this is Arizona . . . . $34,000 sounds like it is grossly overpriced . . .or is for ...
by Cactuscoug
Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having to consider replacing my car
Replies: 40
Views: 2497

Re: Having to consider replacing my car

I would be inclined to hang on to the Honda. The miles are relatively low. Routine maintenance should be a lot less money than buying a new/used vehicle.
by Cactuscoug
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who “owns” the side of my garage?
Replies: 15
Views: 2604

Re: Who “owns” the side of my garage?

I would paint it. And, I would not wait a year or two. How about next weekend?
by Cactuscoug
Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schwab as a one stop shop
Replies: 73
Views: 11293

Re: Schwab as a one stop shop

Another disadvantage of Schwab . . . The cutoff time for selling Vanguard funds, is one-hour BEFORE the market close. A lot can happen in an hour. If I am doing any selling, I try to do it in the final 15-minutes of the market day.
by Cactuscoug
Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why won’t anyone hire me?
Replies: 156
Views: 16435

Re: Why won’t anyone hire me?

To make yourself standout over other applicants, followup every interview with a note/letter/email. Thank the interviewer for the opportunity; review what you bring to the table; and stress how you can help the company. I did this many years ago, and moved from "one in a pack" to the job offer I was...
by Cactuscoug
Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older used car with low miles or newer used car with higher miles
Replies: 37
Views: 2686

Re: Older used car with low miles or newer used car with higher miles

A newer car will have newer technology . . .meaning safety.

I would check C.R. for it's reliability ratings for any given-year's model.

We recently bought a 2015 Prius with only 6500 miles. Love it!
by Cactuscoug
Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited ira
Replies: 21
Views: 2138

Re: Inherited ira

In 2001 my father died. I rolled over my portion of his IRA into Option #1. I have taken RMDs every year . . .ranging from $800 to $1200. It's nice -- a dividend from my Dad. Today, the account has grown to $22,000. Yes, Option #1.
by Cactuscoug
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pricing Question [for car value - Manheim or KBB?]
Replies: 8
Views: 628

Re: Pricing Question [for car value - Manheim or KBB?]

My go-to is Edmunds.com

My understanding is that KBB is more of a tool for car dealers -- their prices show higher, so that dealers have room to negotiate down.
by Cactuscoug
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental & Vision Coverage
Replies: 16
Views: 1548

Re: Dental & Vision Coverage

Costco offers a dental plan that is better than most that I have seen. The problem is the limited network of dentists - - and, many of them have reputations of upselling unnecessary procedures.
by Cactuscoug
Fri May 31, 2019 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Insurance
Replies: 36
Views: 2886

Re: Long Term Care Insurance

Now 67 / 64, we have been looking at LTC insurance for 20-years, and have done nothing. We can self-insure for a couple of years in a nursing home, but are concerned about an extended need. What we would like to see is a catastrophic LTC policy. One that pays on a surviving spouse, and after a 2-3 y...
by Cactuscoug
Sun May 26, 2019 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I replace my AC?
Replies: 27
Views: 2547

Re: Should I replace my AC?

"is an annual a/c inspection of any value if the unit is working as expected? What would need servicing?" We live in an AZ retirement community. A semi-retired HVAC guy lives here. He is of the opinion to not spend the money on twice a year 'tune-ups.' "If your unit is making noise or having perform...
by Cactuscoug
Sat May 25, 2019 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?
Replies: 24
Views: 2661

Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

There are two issues here: 1.) Insurance fraud. 2.) Door-to-door roofers. If you are going to reroof your home, please research local roofing companies. I doubt if the legitimate ones are going door-to-door. And, no . . .you are not a sucker. Every 20-30 years the roof needs to be replaced. It is a ...