Search found 1590 matches

by Carl53
Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull kids from school for vacations?
Replies: 136
Views: 5597

Re: Pull kids from school for vacations?

Parents must take part of the education of their children. Home schooling is legitimate and parents can teach the children while on vacation. +1 We home schooled our daughter in fifth grade at her request (which we put her off doing for a few years thinking we would be inadequate). She had missiona...
by Carl53
Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice, 30 yr old couple
Replies: 21
Views: 1433

Re: Portfolio Advice, 30 yr old couple

One thing that I missed, since he does not have a retirement plan at work, his income limit for deducting a Traditional IRA is much higher than normal. For a married filing jointly spouse not covered by a retirement plan, the Traditional IRA contribution is fully deductible if the couple's modified...
by Carl53
Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon Prime/Whole Foods/AMEX Blue Cash Preferred dilemma
Replies: 26
Views: 2174

Re: Amazon Prime/Whole Foods/AMEX Blue Cash Preferred dilemma

Mostly I bought visa/mc cards that I used to make online utility payments. They did not directly threaten me but seemed to change the terms and conditions to emphasize that they might. I also used them at Kroger for fuel points. Am doing this less frequently as our local Kroger charges more for prem...
by Carl53
Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon Prime/Whole Foods/AMEX Blue Cash Preferred dilemma
Replies: 26
Views: 2174

Re: Amazon Prime/Whole Foods/AMEX Blue Cash Preferred dilemma

Personally I think the AMEX BCP is a garbage card. The absolute best you can do is 4.4% cash back on groceries if you spend exactly $6000/yr after subtracting the $95 annual fee. Too much work for too little reward. Of course this is what AMEX wants. Conveniently ignoring the $200 sign up bonus. $2...
by Carl53
Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension plan choice of annuity or cash payout
Replies: 27
Views: 2823

Re: Pension plan choice of annuity or cash payout

Lots of good advice by others. My inlaws typically have about $26000 in SS. I try to adjust their other income so that they pay zero income tax to the feds and the state. Often additional IRA w/d or cashing of bonds has been done. Small amounts of SS are taxable, but at the zero income tax rate. I p...
by Carl53
Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Painting kitchen cabinet
Replies: 23
Views: 1374

Re: Painting kitchen cabinet

We removed the doors on our circa 1975 hardwood cabinets, washed, filled one handle hole per door and drilled one new (old handles were 2 1/2 inch), sanded, primed and painted with PPG Manor House High Gloss several coats. Filled a few gaps between improperly hung cabinets that we could not fully pr...
by Carl53
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 65
Views: 4164

Re: Humidity in basement

OP, ... First, measurement. You're measuring relative humidity (RH). The basement is cooler than upstairs, so the RH will be higher for the same amount of water in the air. Try calculating the dew point for the up and downstairs to get a measure of the water in the air that's comparable at differen...
by Carl53
Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on investing in Uranium???
Replies: 48
Views: 3147

Re: Thoughts on investing in Uranium???

Having worked in the industry for decades I was a believer. Now I doubt that it can overcome the level of regulation that it is burdened with that has resulted in excessive permit and construction times for all types of related projects. I still believe that it is one of the best ways of providing e...
by Carl53
Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting quotes for geothermal
Replies: 33
Views: 2336

Re: Getting quotes for geothermal

Our home had a "Cadillac" level geothermal system when we purchased it back in the 80's. I am surprised at the need for 13T. Ours was 4.5 ton for 2200 sq ft house. We are in Ohio so I doubt that your winters/summers are much worse than ours. When the geo was working properly, the emergency backup h...
by Carl53
Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting quotes for geothermal
Replies: 33
Views: 2336

Re: Getting quotes for geothermal

Our home had a "Cadillac" level geothermal system when we purchased it back in the 80's. I am surprised at the need for 13T. Ours was 4.5 ton for 2200 sq ft house. We are in Ohio so I doubt that your winters/summers are much worse than ours. When the geo was working properly, the emergency backup he...
by Carl53
Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit plan at work, not in compliance?
Replies: 11
Views: 1542

Re: Defined Benefit plan at work, not in compliance?

What's the nature of the numbers issue you are finding? Well my statement says each year, my contribution is increased by 6.5%. The 1st year, I only got 5.4% even though my statement says 6.5%. The director explained it that since it was my 1st year, the actuaries use a cutoff at 10 months due to s...
by Carl53
Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sellers beware on eBay.
Replies: 66
Views: 6312

Re: Sellers beware on eBay.

In our case the problem was a big buyer/seller. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=255734 I even sent one product to a new account/address of an elderly lady that just had a son get out of prison and living with her. I expected trouble, but no it went fine. Besides the lost sale, ...
by Carl53
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?
Replies: 33
Views: 2198

Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

My frugal self with an old car might have the plug welded and use an oil extractor for future oil changes. +1 for an extractor. I've used the same Mityvac, on 4 different cars, since 1998. My DW's 2002 C240 was sold last weeks at 130k miles, and my current ride 2008 Vue is at 150k. Both were purcha...
by Carl53
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eBay seller issue
Replies: 13
Views: 1342

Re: eBay seller issue - update

Update: Situation has gone from bizarre to absurd. Ebay tapped the Paypal account for total amount of funds to reimburse scam buyer. Called to asked about initiating an appeal. Once again went through the spiel about how this account was being singled out. Was told that they would take back the mone...
by Carl53
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: OK, maybe Vanguard's website IS a little old... "56K dial-up..."
Replies: 19
Views: 2381

Re: OK, maybe Vanguard's website IS a little old... "56K dial-up..."

Rural Boglehead here. We don’t use dial-up, but our only options are cell data (Verizon is only usable option at our location) or satellite internet. No DSL, cable or fiber are available to us. Both are metered, even Verizon's “unlimited”, so makes internet a different experience than for most of t...
by Carl53
Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding Medicare Options?
Replies: 39
Views: 1634

Re: Understanding Medicare Options?

You will shortly be inundated with phone calls and mailings from various sources that want to 'help' you with these decisions. Of course, they are mostly selling their own solutions. I second the use of the medicare site - it definitely has some very good resources. But I found that some of the bes...
by Carl53
Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy back service time on pension
Replies: 42
Views: 3448

Re: Buy back service time on pension

Does the employee also have social security being withheld? Particularly if not, have they had other work history with it being withheld. Also, what is your partner's work history with regard to public pension vs SS withholding. I'm not overly knowledgeable about them but the Windfall Elimination Pr...
by Carl53
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly retired - need to make a big change
Replies: 51
Views: 10147

Re: Newly retired - need to make a big change

Bear – my wife was born in 1954, and from everything I’ve seen, that spousal benefit option was for people born in 1953 or before, I believe. If you are 65, then you were born in late 1952 or early 1953. This makes you, not your wife eligible to file a restricted SS application. She would file when...
by Carl53
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 weeks in Australia
Replies: 21
Views: 1297

Re: 3 weeks in Australia

The great ocean road trip should be wonderful. Unfortunately the driver may enjoy it a lot less than the passengers. We took a day tour out of Melbourne that was about the same as your day 1. If you do this try to get seats on the left side. While in Melbourne consider visiting CBD and seeing the al...
by Carl53
Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ten days in Australia
Replies: 17
Views: 1465

Re: Ten days in Australia

JoMoney wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:29 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:27 pm
...
Is there Uber in Australia?
Yes, there is in Sydney.
Melbourne too and likely other places.
by Carl53
Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eBay seller issue
Replies: 13
Views: 1342

eBay seller issue

I’ve been selling a quantity of a particular personal care item for a relative. These were acquired several years ago primarily from local stores when we learned that the product was no longer being made. The item has no identifiable use by date on it or the packaging or literature provided. I have ...
by Carl53
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ten days in Australia
Replies: 17
Views: 1465

Re: Ten days in Australia

We have family in Australia. Largely depend on them and public transportation to get around. Unless you are traveling out of the city I would avoid renting a vehicle. On our most recent visit we all went in to the outback and rented a large SUV once we flew into Alice Springs. Renting the vehicle un...
by Carl53
Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Assistance with in-laws' retirement accounts
Replies: 14
Views: 1156

Re: Assistance with in-laws' retirement accounts

Save what they can while overseas. Cut out the travel and jewelry. Not sure about how capital gains will be taxed on properties overseas but with a low income, it might not be too bad. Move into the US house upon return long enough until it becomes a personal residence (three years I believe) and th...
by Carl53
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a used car..how many owners is too many owners?
Replies: 14
Views: 1442

Re: Buying a used car..how many owners is too many owners?

I'd be concerned that the car had problems, possibly flood damage.
by Carl53
Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Service that reviews CCRC financials? [Continuing Care Retirement Community]
Replies: 12
Views: 1211

Re: Service that reviews CCRC financials? [Continuing Care Retirement Community]

When my in-laws were looking at one a few years ago, I asked for and got their annual financial report. It mostly led to more questions, some of which were unanswerable by CCRC personnel. Others were answered by anecdotal comments. I was impressed with the place, but still was not fully satisfied by...
by Carl53
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please - Need Help With Pension Plan Options
Replies: 16
Views: 1154

Re: Please - Need Help With Pension Plan Options

I had similar options ten years ago except the levelized was only until 62, not 65. Likely, if they gave you the information you provided, similar to what I received, buried in the "Retirement Planning Estimate", there is a present value (PV) calculation presented. There were federal guidelines as t...
by Carl53
Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 433
Views: 56967

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

97 F150 4X4 Lariat with 122k (odometer reads 177k but I had to change the instrument panel).
by Carl53
Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone have experience with Redneck bank?
Replies: 13
Views: 1695

Re: Anyone have experience with Redneck bank?

Been with the RNB for about 10 years with a Mega account. They were paying 3% back then and drifted down as low as 0.9% before recovering to the current 2%. Always paid near the top rate available nationwide. The recent bump up to $50k is nice, although I currently do not have funds available to tak...
by Carl53
Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Questions for my Parents
Replies: 19
Views: 1457

Re: Social Security Questions for my Parents

Downsize to zero mortgage.
Work til 70.
by Carl53
Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Questions for my Parents
Replies: 19
Views: 1457

Re: Social Security Questions for my Parents

Were either of your parents born before 1/1/1954? If so that parent could file a restricted application as a spouse at FRA providing their spouse has already filed and thereby allowing their own benefit to grow until age 70. Particularly if your father being the higher earner was before that date it...
by Carl53
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What rate of return are you using for retirement projections?
Replies: 99
Views: 9991

Re: What rate of return are you using for retirement projections?

I used 0% real, (3% inflation and 3% interest) when I set up my retirement spreadsheet in 2010. I have been pleasantly surprised.
by Carl53
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checkbook balancing software?
Replies: 31
Views: 1937

Re: Checkbook balancing software?

I've kept ours on a spreadsheet(s) for decades. Pretty simple, but sometimes takes a bit of time to find little errors in the old check register. I reconcile perhaps once every three months. Mostly the errors are overlooked direct payments to or from the checking account (often by my spouse not me, ...
by Carl53
Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which route for older adult with no retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 2576

Re: Which route for older adult with no retirement?

Before you decide on Roth vs TIRA, consider what your income level will be in retirement. If you just have modest SS, modest IRA stream and maybe a little part time work, you may owe very little tax, if any, in retirement even if the IRA stream is from a TIRA. Use a tax program to model what your ta...
by Carl53
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Every Other Friday Off
Replies: 52
Views: 5517

Re: Every Other Friday Off

Worked 4 10s for a year when my employer decided to try it out. 4 day weekends every other week. Loved it. With an hour+ commute, it saved me 2 hours on the road per week. Unfortunately they discontinued it the next year.
by Carl53
Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Continuing Care Community versus 55 + (no LTC and modest assets)
Replies: 61
Views: 4218

Re: Continuing Care Community versus 55 + (no LTC and modest assets)

About three years ago we investigated a couple of CCRCs for my in-laws (early to mid-80s at the time). One that they were interested in, and had several friends of theirs living there, allowed us to spend two nights as the facilities guest. We loved it (although not quite ready ourselves). It was a ...
by Carl53
Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prime Money Market vs. 'Brick & Mortar' Savings Account
Replies: 18
Views: 2947

Re: Prime Money Market vs. 'Brick & Mortar' Savings Account

Her income (pension + SS) runs about $82K/yr. That plus the taxes from the Roth Conversions I'm helping her with put her taxable income in the 22% marginal bracket. I agree with you though. Maybe I'm overthinking this too much. Any one of the funds is probably good enough. I missed it if you mentio...
by Carl53
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Monthly Water Usage
Replies: 61
Views: 4467

Re: Monthly Water Usage

Over the last 9+ years we have averaged 5700 gallons per month ($47) for two retirees. Occasional dry summers result in pushing the numbers up some, and it would be at least one-third lower without a 40000 gallon pool that has been emptied/refilled twice in that time frame for painting, and often re...
by Carl53
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will I ever be able to itemize?
Replies: 64
Views: 4638

Re: Will I ever be able to itemize?

Or if you can switch to a 15 year mortgage, you'd be paying most of the monthly payment towards principle and far less for interest. Eventually this is true. But in the early years of paying down a loan, the interest is almost as much for a 15-year mortgage as for a 30-year one. Of course if one do...
by Carl53
Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 209
Views: 22303

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

We didn't in the early 2000's. Nor did we in 2009 when we hit $1m on the way down. Did not celebrate on the way back up either, but am much less stressed at making large purchases.
by Carl53
Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ATT Administrative Fees
Replies: 6
Views: 651

ATT Administrative Fees

I noticed my ATT unlimited service bill (6 lines) go up small amounts the last few months. My son sent me this link with a discussion about the fees. https://www.macrumors.com/2018/06/27/att-doubles-administrative-fees/ I decided to contact ATT. I explained that I had signed up for a particular pric...
by Carl53
Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 595
Views: 87379

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

There's plenty of information about how to check into this problem with your own vehicle and I'd do that rather than worrying about mine -- I think it's pretty clear that I have the problem, but not for much longer. I've done what I can to alert current and prospective owners of this vehicle. Good ...
by Carl53
Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair old refrigerator or purchase new
Replies: 24
Views: 1922

Re: Repair old refrigerator or purchase new

Sometimes there are separate controls for the freezer and overall. Also check to make sure that the vents, often near the back of the compartment are not blocked. Our unit ran warmer than normal for a few days last year. I adjusted the temperature setting down with some gain. I then noticed that som...
by Carl53
Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heat strips in heat pump miswired and on all the time - how much extra electricity cost?
Replies: 14
Views: 1269

Re: Heat strips in heat pump miswired and on all the time - how much extra electricity cost?

You might have an hourly meter on your heat pump, as I did on my old ground source unit. I still have a double 60A breaker in my box for the auxiliary heat. I believe it was intended to deliver 15Kw. If you had something similar and it ran for 50% of the time (365 hrs), and electricity cost 12 cents...
by Carl53
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heat strips in heat pump miswired and on all the time - how much extra electricity cost?
Replies: 14
Views: 1269

Re: Heat strips in heat pump miswired and on all the time - how much extra electricity cost?

To add to what neilpilot said, the A/C would almost certainly not be sized correctly to handle that increased (double or triple or ???) load and that would affect the A/C efficiency so it probably would not be simply a matter of additional running time. I would want whoever was responsible to reimb...
by Carl53
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy new truck before retiring?
Replies: 53
Views: 3272

Re: Buy new truck before retiring?

20 mpg - 13 mpg = 7 mpg difference. $2.90/gallon $9500 difference ? = $9500*(7m/g)*(1g/$2.90) g cancels $ cancels math, ? = 22,931.0345 miles $9500 = X miles *(1gal/13miles-1gal/20miles) * $2.90/gal ($9500/$2.90)*(1/(1/13-1/20)) = X miles or 121675 miles ( rounded off to 121680 in my first comment)
by Carl53
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy new truck before retiring?
Replies: 53
Views: 3272

Re: Buy new truck before retiring?

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:46 am
Just going by numbers, assume the new truck gets 20 mpg average (which I doubt, but we need a number). Doing the math, it will take 22,931 miles for the gas savings at $2.90 (what gas is near me right now) to save you that $9500.
I'm coming up with 121,680 miles.
by Carl53
Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security advice needed
Replies: 28
Views: 2230

Re: Social Security advice needed

How much of these funds are taxable? You sold your business, so likely a significant amount is taxable. Regarding retirement accounts, are some pretax and others Roth?
by Carl53
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interesting Social Security analysis
Replies: 16
Views: 2491

Re: Interesting Social Security analysis

Some of these calculators must assume that you are getting good portfolio returns while delaying SS. I would only compare delaying SS while assuming the additional amounts available for investments by claiming early would be saved in 10 year treasuries which have rather low returns. Of course I gav...
by Carl53
Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best water filtration system ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1026

Re: Best water filtration system ?

We've been pleased with a Kinetico system to supply a separate spigot at the kitchen sink as well as the refrigerator ice/cold water dispenser. About $50 in filters every 20-24 months.
by Carl53
Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc
Replies: 231
Views: 21227

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Just noticed this part. Also different - 2. [Spouse] will file for her own benefit to start on 11/1/2019, the month after she turns 64 and receive 61.73% of her full retirement age benefit. Your spouse files for his/her retirement benefit to begin 6/2018, at age 62 and 8 months. Why have spouse fil...