Search found 3593 matches

by carolinaman
Sun May 19, 2019 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking comment on proposed revisions to Marginal Tax Rate and Traditional v. Roth wiki articles
Replies: 25
Views: 1239

Re: Seeking comment on proposed revisions to Marginal Tax Rate and Traditional v. Roth wiki articles

Overall, this looks very good. Thanks to you and the team for your hard work in putting this together. I have only skimmed the article so far. I had a really hard time with this paragraph: "By inspection of just the tax bracket structure, his future marginal rate would be 22%, the same as today, so...
by carolinaman
Sat May 18, 2019 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do plumbers get paid so well?
Replies: 84
Views: 5972

Re: Why do plumbers get paid so well?

Because it can be dirty, disgusting work? Also...there's often a certain urgency to plumbing work that isn't associated with electrical work. Next time you have somebody in to replace the main trap...maybe shadow them for a day...think about whether this would be an attractive career move. Nobody q...
by carolinaman
Sat May 18, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking comment on proposed revisions to Marginal Tax Rate and Traditional v. Roth wiki articles
Replies: 25
Views: 1239

Re: Seeking comment on proposed revisions to Marginal Tax Rate and Traditional v. Roth wiki articles

Overall, this looks very good. Thanks to you and the team for your hard work in putting this together. I have only skimmed the article so far. I had a really hard time with this paragraph: "By inspection of just the tax bracket structure, his future marginal rate would be 22%, the same as today, so ...
by carolinaman
Sat May 18, 2019 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frustration dealing with contractors....am I doing something wrong?
Replies: 23
Views: 1993

Re: Frustration dealing with contractors....am I doing something wrong?

Your experience is normal. This is especially true in this economy. My son is a remodeler and, among other business, has contracts with 2 people to maintain more than 100 homes and condos. He is having great difficulty getting subs for work even though he pays well and promptly.
by carolinaman
Sat May 18, 2019 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term
Replies: 15
Views: 1117

Re: Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term

There have been some good threads on mattresses in recent months. The following is a Boglehead like site for mattresses and provides great info about mattresses. https://www.themattressunderground.com/ There are a lot of so called mattress rating sites online but almost all are paid by the mattress ...
by carolinaman
Sat May 18, 2019 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High net worth, elite private or “good” public
Replies: 113
Views: 5818

Re: High net worth, elite private or “good” public

Lots of very successful people did not attend elite schools. Many did not complete college. A second thought is that the experience children receive at home has a mighty influence on their future. That experience may outweigh the experience they have in school. Or vice versa. +1. A blended approach...
by carolinaman
Sat May 18, 2019 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: RMD taxes
Replies: 9
Views: 821

Re: RMD taxes

No. Your RMD taxes are calculated on the total amount of your RMD withdrawal, regardless of the funds you take the withdrawal from. Munis are more helpful when held with other non-retirement funds. Are you saying that the tax free munis on withdrawal become taxable because they are part of the IRA ...
by carolinaman
Thu May 16, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I replace Prius Hybrid Battery?
Replies: 38
Views: 2692

Re: Should I replace Prius Hybrid Battery?

I would replace the battery. Prius reliability is excellent and you should get many more miles and years from it. If you were to try and sell it with the defective battery, you would get a lot less than $5000 for it. But regardless, your best move is to replace the battery.
by carolinaman
Wed May 15, 2019 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to calculate exactly how much money you'll have by retirement?
Replies: 54
Views: 4985

Re: How to calculate exactly how much money you'll have by retirement?

Just to pick on your question, it is not possible to calculate exactly how much to have in retirement. Retirement calculations are always a best guess. The farther away retirement, the more it is a guess. I use real returns (return less inflation) for projections which simplifies it a bit. Another a...
by carolinaman
Wed May 15, 2019 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?
Replies: 11
Views: 966

Re: Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

The water damaged subfloor is the symptom. The root cause is the source of the water. It is most likely leaking around the door. Perhaps this only occurs with hard rains. I have had this problem a couple of times and the solution both times was to reinstall the doors, making sure it was sealed corre...
by carolinaman
Wed May 15, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer or Local Mechanic?
Replies: 41
Views: 1922

Re: Dealer or Local Mechanic?

I do regular service (oil change, filters, tire rotation, etc) at dealer. With coupons this is usually a very good deal. They check our cars and if they spot something that needs work and is more expensive, I will take it to a very good independent shop I know. The independent will do the work for h...
by carolinaman
Tue May 14, 2019 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crawl space encapsulation
Replies: 36
Views: 2649

Re: Crawl space encapsulation

You need to determine where the water is coming from and then take steps to redirect it. Three likely sources: the lack of a french drain on the exterior foundation, gutter that allows water to flow against the house and the lay of the land directs water toward your house. Putting a french drain ins...
by carolinaman
Tue May 14, 2019 7:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When does it make sense to have an FA?
Replies: 4
Views: 411

Re: When does it make sense to have an FA?

for me, I wanted a relationship with an FA to manage a small part of our portfolio because DW, although brilliant in her field, isn't interested in investing. I am going to eventually be gone, and I wanted to have her already comfortable in that situation, with a trusted FA. So we have about 15% of...
by carolinaman
Tue May 14, 2019 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Social security should you take early if you don’t need the money?
Replies: 24
Views: 2737

Re: Social security should you take early if you don’t need the money?

Generally speaking in your situation deferring to 70 is usually the best option. Delaying SS to age 70 provides great longevity insurance as it maximizes your benefit which is inflation adjusted annually. Buying such an annuity would be much more expensive than deferring SS. People who believe they ...
by carolinaman
Tue May 14, 2019 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?
Replies: 64
Views: 4114

Re: Worth Fighting a Speeding Ticket?

Good traffic lawyers can work wonders. Most likely outcome for you would be to reduce charge to something less impactful on insurance. I doubt they would antagonize the courts. They know the court people and understand how to work the system. IMO, your choice is to pay the fine or pay a traffic lawy...
by carolinaman
Mon May 13, 2019 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Move out or stay at my parents?
Replies: 70
Views: 4735

Re: Move out or stay at my parents?

I think you need to live on your own. You need to be independent of your parents. You can and should maintain close ties with your parents but you need your own place. Some posters are looking at this from a financial perspective but I think living independently from your parents outweighs those con...
by carolinaman
Mon May 13, 2019 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you realize it wasn't enough?
Replies: 33
Views: 7168

Re: When did you realize it wasn't enough?

I have been retired for 8+ years. I never saved much for retirement until late 40s. Prior to that our focus was eliminating all debt, getting kids through school, paying for a wedding, etc. Fortunately, savings plus pension and SS are more than adequate. I have always planned conservatively to allow...
by carolinaman
Sun May 12, 2019 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of ?contractor? to fix bird holes in soffit/fascia?
Replies: 28
Views: 1232

Re: What kind of ?contractor? to fix bird holes in soffit/fascia?

Thank you all for your past help! We are under contract on a 3 story townhouse. Our inspector noted some holes in the ?soffit and ?fascia and we have seen some small birds peeking out of these holes at various times of day (see https://i.imgur.com/nvaWM7i.jpg for a photo). We'd like to hire someone...
by carolinaman
Sun May 12, 2019 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drill well today or drill well later?
Replies: 26
Views: 2096

Re: Drill well today or drill well later?

A lot of things can change over time, especially if it turns out to be 15 years. I'd wait until the project is a definite go. +1. Wait until you are much closer to starting your project. If you drill it now, you may get to replace the pump before you move in and may have other costs, like electrici...
by carolinaman
Sun May 12, 2019 6:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is my friend a closet market timer?
Replies: 16
Views: 1647

Re: Is my friend a closet market timer?

He is not in the closest. He is a market timer. I would not worry about it. To each his own.
by carolinaman
Sun May 12, 2019 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ever Had an Animal Stuck in Chimney? What Did You Do?
Replies: 32
Views: 2046

Re: Ever Had an Animal Stuck in Chimney? What Did You Do?

We got bats in our chimney. I still remember our dog barking at a large bat through the glass screen. That motivated me to install a chimney cap to prevent more critters into the chimney and fireplace.

You could start a fire. That will cause any live animal to get out.
by carolinaman
Sat May 11, 2019 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??
Replies: 32
Views: 1930

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

There have been some lengthy posts recently on this topic and a large number of people have suggested Costco Hearing Aid Center. I believe their top of the line hearing aids run about $2,500. Gill I have used an EENT practice and Costco. The only difference was the price. I bought Costco Kirkland b...
by carolinaman
Sat May 11, 2019 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used cars: Age, mileage, condition
Replies: 16
Views: 1306

Re: Used cars: Age, mileage, condition

Cars in good condition with low mileage and 3 years old are usually a good choice. Many models have depreciated a lot yet they are still in good mechanical condition and will serve you well for years. Many Toyota, Honda and Subarus hold their value. IMO, you pay a premium to get those as late model ...
by carolinaman
Sat May 11, 2019 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance ($200,000)
Replies: 2
Views: 840

Re: Inheritance ($200,000)

It would be good to have her talk to a lawyer who specializes in Eldercare law to find out what here options are since they can vary somewhat by state. When this has come of before one of the major concerns was that Grandma could end up in some low quality nursing home that was chosen mainly becaus...
by carolinaman
Fri May 10, 2019 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vacant Lake Lot. Sell or Hold?
Replies: 54
Views: 2882

Re: Vacant Lake Lot. Sell or Hold?

I'm the "sell it for whatever I can get now" type of person. But probably it depends on how much you need the money now, and what you think will happen to properties in your area over the next few years. I don't need the money but the tax bill is extremely annoying. And given the fact I have no pla...
by carolinaman
Fri May 10, 2019 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
Replies: 60
Views: 11681

Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?

Anderson Renewal are over the top expensive. They will spend an hour with you and show you this heat loss infra-red magic trick by holding this gun like thing up to a pane of their glass and one of the windows you already have in the house so you can see the difference in the energy loss. However, ...
by carolinaman
Thu May 09, 2019 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you donate?
Replies: 100
Views: 7144

Re: How much do you donate?

About 10%
by carolinaman
Thu May 09, 2019 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Alimony Finished - Where to Invest?
Replies: 22
Views: 2510

Re: Alimony Finished - Where to Invest?

Hi- I have just finished paying four years of alimony (accelerated payments of 5k month). Now that I no longer have to make those payments, I want to pretend as if I still do and invest that money elsewhere. Any suggestions on where to invest? My retirement gets maxed out each year, so it would hav...
by carolinaman
Thu May 09, 2019 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good town to stop on I-81
Replies: 41
Views: 2953

Re: Good town to stop on I-81

I am very familiar with this stretch of road as I grew up in Roanoke, went to VT, and now live in DC. I also used to regularly drive from Blacksburg to Charlotte and Raleigh for work. I would suggest Roanoke, as it is right off the highway, and has a lot of attractions and things to do/see. There a...
by carolinaman
Thu May 09, 2019 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: All out of carrots [Looking for future advancement possibilities]
Replies: 22
Views: 2359

Re: All out of carrots [Looking for future advancement possibilities]

You are in a great position right now. You have a job you like, decent pay, great benefits and job security. In order to dramatically increase your pay, you will have to find a private sector job, perhaps tied into govt services you are experienced with. The potential is there for much higher pay, a...
by carolinaman
Wed May 08, 2019 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lost Mail
Replies: 29
Views: 1614

Re: Lost Mail

I mailed two checks to vendors from the PO on April 1st for nominal amounts, $70 and $69. Neither made it to the addressees (one of which is a couple of zip codes away). I stopped payment late April ($32 each!). Called the bank this morning and neither check has hit the account. Question: is there ...
by carolinaman
Wed May 08, 2019 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I Don't See Great Benefits to ROTH Conversion for Us. Help Me
Replies: 52
Views: 5646

Re: I Don't See Great Benefits to ROTH Conversion for Us. Help Me

Your tax rate will be lower after you retire and before you reach FRA and begin taking pension and SS. This could be an opportune time to do Roth conversions. I understand you want to avoid the ACA cliff. Do some what if analysis to see what strategy is most beneficial to you, considering ACA subsid...
by carolinaman
Tue May 07, 2019 7:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Timing to get out of Expensive Funds - Would you?
Replies: 16
Views: 1317

Re: Market Timing to get out of Expensive Funds - Would you?

Folks, Need some help and your thoughts and wisdom, What would you do ? Given this week's tariffs news, will this week be a opportune time to SELL out of these expensive Schwab ETFs and immediately get back in with 2 Funds (VTI and VXUS) ? My goals is - 1. Simplify my portfolio (3 Funds) 2. Reduce ...
by carolinaman
Mon May 06, 2019 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you shop to get best deal for home appliance/electronics?
Replies: 22
Views: 1872

Re: Where do you shop to get best deal for home appliance/electronics?

We buy appliances locally. Just bought a washer from Queen City, a large, multi store local retailer. We got a better price than Lowes, HD and Costco. I did a comparison shop on models we were interested in and they were almost identical for most models between these retailers and other major local ...
by carolinaman
Mon May 06, 2019 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Recent Retiree - Your thoughts on my mix
Replies: 11
Views: 1603

Re: Recent Retiree - Your thoughts on my mix

You are in really good shape. Congratulations! AA is an individual decision and you have a reasonable rationale for a high equity allocation. However, what is your need for such a high equity allocation? As one other poster state. there is a rationale that says "When you have won the game, why keep ...
by carolinaman
Mon May 06, 2019 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can we retire by 40??
Replies: 22
Views: 3833

Re: Can we retire by 40??

5. Anything else to consider or focus on over the next 5 years? At your age, a lot can change in 5 years - particularly when moving to a new locale with new careers and even more particularly when children arrive. Work hard, save as much as you can, don't try to overplan. Down the road you'll have ...
by carolinaman
Mon May 06, 2019 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the low interest rate loan arbitrage always worth it?
Replies: 13
Views: 1230

Re: Is the low interest rate loan arbitrage always worth it?

I lean towards debt averse but have used HELOC for car purchases or other large purchases and also bought a car with a no interest 72 month loan. I usually pay cash or use CC and pay off at end of the month for small purchases. I am not into the games to save a few bucks in that manner. Credit is a ...
by carolinaman
Sun May 05, 2019 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Canadian Pharmacies
Replies: 27
Views: 2276

Re: Canadian Pharmacies

Be very cautious of which company you use. One of the ones I was interested in was supposedly on the "good list" of Canadian pharmacies. I Googled the pharmacist's name and discovered he had been convicted of subscription fraud by US because he had been dispensing phony cancer meds to US patients. ...
by carolinaman
Fri May 03, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 76 year old widowed mother needs investment advice
Replies: 19
Views: 1748

Re: 76 year old widowed mother needs investment advice

I suggest she talk with a CPA who can help her develop a strategy for moving funds to the Life Strategy Conservative Growth fund, which I think is an excellent choice for her. She needs to be sure to get a CPA who does this type of work and may want to talk with a few before picking one. Some trusts...
by carolinaman
Fri May 03, 2019 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [On-going Scams - Post them here]
Replies: 136
Views: 5623

Re: Received email and PDF allegedly from Apple

bob60014 wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 9:35 am
What did Apple say when you called them?
I never called them. It became obvious it was phishing so I deleted message.
by carolinaman
Fri May 03, 2019 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [On-going Scams - Post them here]
Replies: 136
Views: 5623

Received email and PDF allegedly from Apple

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek] I received an email allegedly from Apple yesterday with a PDF claiming to be a receipt. We have Apple products but neither wife nor I have purchased anything from Apple recently so I was immediately suspicious. I never opened PDF because I assu...
by carolinaman
Fri May 03, 2019 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending Models in Retirement
Replies: 9
Views: 1111

Re: Spending Models in Retirement

What expenses we incur may vary a lot during these different time frames but the total may not change that much. Generally, we are more active at the younger ages and spend more on travel, entertainment and hobbies. As we get older, those expenses may decline, especially when our health declines. Ho...
by carolinaman
Fri May 03, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Company IPO'd. What's Next?
Replies: 37
Views: 3392

Re: Company IPO'd. What's Next?

Congratulations! 1% of $4m is $40k per year. IMO, the 3 fund portfolio works whether you have a little or a lot of money. I assume your $4M is in company stock and you have limitations on when you can sell some of your stock. One of the rules of investing is to limit the amount invested in any one s...
by carolinaman
Fri May 03, 2019 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Canadian Pharmacies
Replies: 27
Views: 2276

Re: Canadian Pharmacies

Hi Bogleheads, Do you use an online Canadian pharmacy? What is your experience? I am trying to buy some legal and completely benign osteoarthritis medicine for my mother. The prices in US are insane, about 3X higher than the ones I find in online Canadian pharmacies and about 10X of what I found on...
by carolinaman
Thu May 02, 2019 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hiring a contractor to cut down some trees....what should I be aware of?
Replies: 89
Views: 4996

Re: Hiring a contractor to cut down some trees....what should I be aware of?

I have a few trees that I need cut down. One is approx 25 ft, the other is 40, and other is around 50. I was quoted 1400 by one contractor for all three. That doesn't seem like a bad price. I did forget to ask whether stump removal was included. He said they can start within the next day or two, cl...
by carolinaman
Thu May 02, 2019 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4 Gorgeous Beach Towns Where You Can Comfortably Retire on $40,000 a Year
Replies: 55
Views: 7858

Re: 4 Gorgeous Beach Towns Where You Can Comfortably Retire on $40,000 a Year

People always bring up hurricanes when talking about retiring on the gulf coast, but I have always thought them to be the most benign of natural disasters for retirees. Unlike wildfires and tornados, a hurricane is unlikely to destroy your house. Unlike a blizzard or an earthquake, hurricanes can b...
by carolinaman
Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very Delayed Posthumous Bill
Replies: 17
Views: 3684

Re: Very Delayed Posthumous Bill

Hopefully your lawyer will offer sound advice but my guess is the hospital is sending bill way too late to collect anything. Our attorney advised me, as executor of my mother's estate, to keep the estate active for a year after her death, just in case there were any late bills. I am not sure what th...
by carolinaman
Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pre-Fab homes
Replies: 20
Views: 2447

Re: Pre-Fab homes

Sears sold new home kits back in the first part of the 20th century. I do not think they were exactly pre-fab but they sold over 70,000 of these.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sears_Catalog_Home
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I apply wax on vintage items?
Replies: 9
Views: 1042

Re: Should I apply wax on vintage items?

This article may help for antique wood. http://www.lynchburgmuseum.org/blog/2016/4/20/spring-cleaning-basic-care-and-maintenance-for-antique-furniture Personally, I do not like wax on wood furniture because of the buildup. I prefer to maintain whatever finish it has, assuming it has one. I was look...
by carolinaman
Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pre-Fab homes
Replies: 20
Views: 2447

Re: Pre-Fab homes

I would question the quality of most pre-fab homes versus stick built. Also, putting these together can be very challenging. If their measurements are off slightly or if one corner is not perfectly square, it can mess things up. My son was a framing carpenter for years. He hated truss roofs because ...