Search found 4289 matches

by carolinaman
Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Separate router vs built-in
Replies: 12
Views: 888

Re: Separate router vs built-in

Our ISP provided a modem/router device several years ago. We often had Internet problems and it was common place to power down/up the device to get the Internet up again. I had ISP people out many times dealing with this issue. I even asked them if the problem could be the modem/router. They said no...
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do YOU find a good doctor these days...
Replies: 64
Views: 3441

Re: How do YOU find a good doctor these days...

I do have some biases though, that I think have suited me well with doctors in the past. 1) I prefer younger ones; I think the more recent up to date education is beneficial 2) I live on the edge of a major metro area. I prefer doctors that aren't in the metro area, i.e. in more rural settings. I f...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?
Replies: 89
Views: 6230

Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

One of the keys for DIY is knowing when to DIY and when to hire it out. I could cite several mistakes I have made in that regard but this one sticks in my mind. My son and I remodeled my office/spare bedroom about 10 years ago. It was a large room (15X19 feet) with wood paneling. We replaced the pan...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What type of accountant / lawyer for investigating $ exploitation of an elder?
Replies: 18
Views: 1531

Re: What type of accountant / lawyer for investigating $ exploitation of an elder?

Another part of me thinks it'd require more advanced financial forensics than I've got. Like, I think it'd be challenging to even know which financial institutions to query for records, and the types of paperwork they'd need to verify the request. Searching for an Elder law attorney in her area mig...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do YOU find a good doctor these days...
Replies: 64
Views: 3441

Re: How do YOU find a good doctor these days...

It is not easy but it is extremely important as there is a wide range of skills and ability in doctors. Word of mouth is not always reliable. Your PCP is usually a good source but they sometimes will recommend another doctor in their practice or a friend, not necessarily a top doc. I have had mixed ...
by carolinaman
Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heating System Tune Ups Necessary Every Year?
Replies: 14
Views: 1669

Re: Heating System Tune Ups Necessary Every Year?

I have a gas furnace and have it checked annually for peace of mind there is no problem with gas. If I had electric heat, I would not do annual checkup.
by carolinaman
Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?
Replies: 89
Views: 6230

Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

When we were first married I was DIY in almost everything, partially because it saved us money that we needed for other things. Once I achieved a management level in my career, I worked long hours and no longer had the time to do a lot of DIY, so I hired out a lot of things. I am now retired and hav...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents have no elder care plan - What are the concerns?
Replies: 25
Views: 2187

Re: Parents have no elder care plan - What are the concerns?

About a financial POA... There are a few different types: 1) a "regular" POA, which is often what people think about. This gives the agent control right away, should they need or want to use it, and, importantly, this usually ENDS when the named person becomes incapacitated... which may be when it ...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Treadmill recommendations
Replies: 43
Views: 2430

Re: Treadmill recommendations

Check out Sole f80 or f63. You can test it out at dicks but then order direct. It comes on 2 palettes and weighs close to 300. I did lots of research and ended up with the f80, no regrets. It’s quality +1....We have a Sole f80 and highly recommend it. +2... We have had Sole 80 for many years. Still...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are subscriptions that add the most value in 2020?
Replies: 59
Views: 4450

Re: What are subscriptions that add the most value in 2020?

Costco
WSJ (digital)
Netflix
AAA
Microsoft 365
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What can I expect from new golf clubs
Replies: 96
Views: 5282

Re: What can I expect from new golf clubs

I am a lifelong golfer age 76. Properly fitted clubs will make a difference but you will benefit more from lessons at this time. You said your problems begin after you leave the tee which sounds like your irons and fairway clubs are your biggest issue. A pro will focus on your fundamentals, grip/sta...
by carolinaman
Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you taking 2020 RMD anyhow?
Replies: 25
Views: 2093

Re: Are you taking 2020 RMD anyhow?

I still do QCDs, but that is because of my commitment to charities and faith organizations. Otherwise, I am dong TIRA to Roth conversion. No RMDs this year.
by carolinaman
Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One house or two?
Replies: 3
Views: 771

Re: One house or two?

Since you asked, I would do option 1. I am not sure of your parents ages, but as they age, they may need alternate living arrangements, i.e. retirement facility or assisted living. Option 1 gives you the most flexibility. Whatever arrangements you make for your parents, I would avoid 2 stories becau...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired physicians (but others ok too. ;))
Replies: 55
Views: 5736

Re: Retired physicians (but others ok too. ;))

I was senior IT manager who managed a large IT organization for my last 22 years. When I retired, I only went back a couple of times for other retirement parties and only maintained relationships with a few people. I felt I needed to get out and let the new guy run the organization. I was an officer...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email Management Tips
Replies: 51
Views: 3895

Re: Email Management Tips

Consider a three bucket approach: inbox for outstanding to-dos, archived/read for completed tasks, trash for e-mail never needed to begin with. +1. Good simple approach. One problem I have is that if I do not act on an email within a week or so, it kind of drops off my radar. I have noticed that wi...
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to figure out my estimated taxes for 2020 is driving me insane!
Replies: 21
Views: 2285

Re: Trying to figure out my estimated taxes for 2020 is driving me insane!

It might be time to actually buy a 2019 tax software like TurboTax and pretend you are filing a return. It’s probably the best estimate for how 2020 will calculate out. I always use the previous year’s software to estimate and do “what if” scenarios for the coming year. It allows you to see the for...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best shoes for running?
Replies: 65
Views: 3253

Re: Best shoes for running?

You need to be fitted by a knowledgeable shoe salesperson. There are a lot of different shoes and some are intended for a particular type of runner or foot shape. I have bought the wrong shoe for me a few times when buying on my own or buying from someone with little knowledge. That proved to be a w...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quiet treadmill for apartment
Replies: 6
Views: 733

Re: Quiet treadmill for apartment

I have used Sole 80 for years. It is pretty quiet but I only walk, I do not jog. As I recall it cost about $1500 but is very durable and maintenance is simple. I highly recommend this product.
by carolinaman
Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?
Replies: 238
Views: 15029

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

We have regular membership and find it worthwhile. We live 3 miles from Costco which makes it convenient. If I had to drive a long way I might consider alternatives. Stuff we buy: OTC meds, eyeglasses, hearing aids, gas, tires but bringing back for rotation is inconvenient, electronics: computers, T...
by carolinaman
Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring to Canada
Replies: 54
Views: 4286

Re: Retiring to Canada

I've been pondering this choice since I'm a dual citizen. Here's my list: Pros 1. Public Healthcare System - This is pretty huge, as you have an ironclad system which covers you from a common cold to long term care. 2. Public Safety - This because more evident to me after living in the US. Canada h...
by carolinaman
Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bad time to build a new house?
Replies: 19
Views: 2691

Re: Bad time to build a new house?

I would go ahead with building your new home. I have not followed new home construction but I do know there is a shortage of homes for sale which suggests to me new home construction has slowed down. It that is true, builders should be very receptive and you will likely get a decent overall price fo...
by carolinaman
Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job
Replies: 31
Views: 1477

Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Removing wallpaper is not a fun job. Company A doesn't particularly want the gig, but for a juicy price will do it. Go with Company B and don't overthink it (assuming Company C doesn't come in lower). You may be right about company B but they may also be planning a quick and dirty approach to wallp...
by carolinaman
Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Service Contracts & Annual Service
Replies: 56
Views: 3266

Re: HVAC Service Contracts & Annual Service

IMO, unless you have a decent understanding of your HVAC and know what to look for, annual service should be done by a HVAC Tech. I have an independent HVAC tech check my system in spring (AC) and fall (gas furnace). I did not do this for my first 2 HVAC systems and I believe it reduced their life b...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furnace / Air Maintenance and Covid-19?
Replies: 15
Views: 934

Re: Furnace / Air Maintenance and Covid-19?

I have an independent HVAC tech service my system on spring and fall. In spring he cleans the AC coils which is important for efficiency and longevity of AC. In fall, he check the gas furnace to make sure it is working ok. I see this as a safety check of the gas furnace. I pay $195 a year for his 2 ...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books or Courses on leadership that helped your career
Replies: 51
Views: 2578

Re: Books or Courses on leadership that helped your career

I was a prolific reader of management books early in my management career and continued reading about management topics du jour throughout my career. I cannot recall a single book on leadership that I read but I must have read some. Authors that had a great impact on my management included Peter Dru...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home exercise equipment -- invest in used elliptical?
Replies: 4
Views: 429

Re: Home exercise equipment -- invest in used elliptical?

It's only a few hundred bucks so I wouldn't fret over it. I agree. you should google maintenance on these to find out what maintenance should be done if any. I have a Sole treadmill and it only requires lubricating the belt every few months. Repairs on these types of equipment can be expensive but ...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Irrational Exuberance- Is completely ignoring all external signals (p/e) and auto-investing monthly ever a bad idea?
Replies: 54
Views: 3950

Re: Irrational Exuberance- Is completely ignoring all external signals (p/e) and auto-investing monthly ever a bad idea?

Unless you believe you have a special insight to the market, which is rare, then auto investing works great. I was a technology executive during the dot com era and it was obvious to me there was a craziness to technology investing that had to end badly. I did not know when or how bad it would be, b...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: HELOC for Investing During Major Market Downturns. Bad Idea?
Replies: 30
Views: 1981

Re: HELOC for Investing During Major Market Downturns. Bad Idea?

adestefan wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:43 am Let’s rephrase:

Should I bet my house on my ability to time the market?
+1. Hopefully your answer to the rephrased question is obvious.
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air fryers
Replies: 18
Views: 2316

Re: Air fryers

Loving our Breville Combi-Oven, which has an airfryer along with microwave, oven and grill. Fries come out golden crisp outside and moist inside. We made veggie chips as well and they came out great. We love our Breville Oven. We use it for everything from toast to baking to reheating and it does a...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reasons to invest internationally, or not.
Replies: 191
Views: 10792

Re: Reasons to invest internationally, or not.

International and emerging markets will have their day in the sun. But I think US equities will continue to outperform over the long term as advocated in Moberg's article, "Happier at Home" (see op for link). After all, a US only strategy advocated both by Buffet and Bogle must be good.
by carolinaman
Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iron in well water
Replies: 14
Views: 1239

Re: Iron in well water

We had well water which was hard and had a bad taste, not to mention it stain tubs and commodes. We filtered water and used for all water needs except drinking. We drink bottled water and used it for cooking too. Finally, our town ran utilities thru our neighborhood and we hooked up for water.
by carolinaman
Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Projected inflation rate and equity rate of return
Replies: 27
Views: 1356

Re: Projected inflation rate and equity rate of return

I am already retired and am updating my quicken retirement planner. What would be a good rate to use for future inflation and equity rate of return? I would think maybe given market somewhat overvalued maybe future return should be lowered . I was using 2.5% for inflation and 4% for rate of return ...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion
Replies: 24
Views: 1765

Re: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion

Our stimulus payment was reduced from $2400 (MFJ) to $1495 due to our 2018 AGI being higher than $150k. The stimulus is based upon 2018 AGI. Are you saying that an adjustment is made for 2020 return if you have an income higher than $150k? The Roth conversion I am planning will increase our AGI to ...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion
Replies: 24
Views: 1765

Re: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion

. . . Our investments are: TIRA – 54%, Roth – 14%, and taxable 32%. If I convert the entire $202,500, I will have: TIRA – 46%, Roth – 23%, taxable – 32%. . . . Don't these figures depend on how you invest the money in each account (ie. bonds, US stocks, Int'l stocks, etc) and as Celia pointed out a...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion
Replies: 24
Views: 1765

Re: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion

-- some might want to consider the CARES act when working on 2020 AGI: Depending on your income level and whether you received the full stimulus payment, the 22% marginal tax rate may be 5% higher for some income above 150k MFJ. I will do less Roth conversions in 2020, to capture the full tax credi...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Service Purchase early in Career
Replies: 35
Views: 1653

Re: Service Purchase early in Career - ASRS

I think it is a good idea to buy the 5 years of time. I was able to buy back 5.3 years in NC system after 10 years on the job and it cost $63,500. Yours is a little more pricey but still a good move. It was a really good move for me because in addition to increasing my pension, it increased my senio...
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What-if in TurboTax vs others (next year tax estimate scenarios)
Replies: 18
Views: 1221

Re: What-if in TurboTax vs others (next year tax estimate scenarios)

I need to estimate 2020 taxes but my return will have short term capital losses, dividends, TIRA distributions, QCDs and because of a 1 time large TIRA to Roth conversion, may be subject to NIITs surcharge. I want to be sure whatever software I use handles all of these items. I am a regular TT user...
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion
Replies: 24
Views: 1765

Re: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion

I took several posters’ advice and did a 2020 tax return based upon my planned TIRA to Roth conversion. I used TurboTax which I use every year. Exceeding the $250k MAGI threshold only resulted in $153 for NIIT which is a non-factor in my decision. There was a small amount of interest due to under wi...
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What-if in TurboTax vs others (next year tax estimate scenarios)
Replies: 18
Views: 1221

Re: What-if in TurboTax vs others (next year tax estimate scenarios)

I need to estimate 2020 taxes but my return will have short term capital losses, dividends, TIRA distributions, QCDs and because of a 1 time large TIRA to Roth conversion, may be subject to NIITs surcharge. I want to be sure whatever software I use handles all of these items. I am a regular TT users...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion
Replies: 24
Views: 1765

Re: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion

I would do it, but personally I would wait a bit to see if the stock markets drop a lot more before I convert. That would allow more stock shares to be converted for the same tax hit. Here's something else to think about. What was the year-end value of your tIRAs for the last 4 years? Look at how m...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion
Replies: 24
Views: 1765

Re: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion

We currently have about 54% of our savings in TIRAs. I probably would not do it without a clear benefit. There is a clear downside (IRMAA and NIIT) which could be OK with a clear upside. Is there one? There certainly could be if your tax-deferred account is very large and your can clearly see your ...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion
Replies: 24
Views: 1765

Re: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion

If the $200K Roth conversion causes your taxable income to exceed $250K and if you are filing MFJ, you will be subject to the 3.8% NIIT in addition to the 24% income tax rate. Also, keep in mind that IRMAA is based on MAGI, not on taxable income. Thanks for the heads up on 3.8% NIIT. Not familiar w...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion
Replies: 24
Views: 1765

Large 2020 TIRA to Roth Conversion

DW and I are in our 70s and have done RMDs for several years. We would like to convert more from TIRAs to Roth but we have always been limited in TIRA to Roth conversions due to our AGI being very near to the first IRMAA threshold. Without RMDs this year we can do a much larger Roth conversion. We c...
by carolinaman
Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is PenFed good at?
Replies: 77
Views: 5526

Re: What is PenFed good at?

I bought CDs a few years ago at 3%, way above market at that time, and renewed them about 18 months ago at 3.4%. Their service is good but I am not local to DC area and doubt I will use them for anything else.
by carolinaman
Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did your car insurance premium drop recently?
Replies: 37
Views: 2087

Re: Did your car insurance premium drop recently?

State Farm informed us that our next auto premium (in Dec.) will have an 11% reduction due to lower claims during Covid.
by carolinaman
Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staining a previously painted porch
Replies: 20
Views: 1139

Re: Staining a previously painted porch

Stripping the paint would be very difficult, laborius and expensive. Personally, I would not do it. Talk with contractors and see what they recommend. Stain lasts much longer and requires little maintenance. If the sealant loses it luster, you can sand it and put another coat on it. I love stained w...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 05, 2020 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have a lot of "actions" in your retirement life?
Replies: 68
Views: 7857

Re: Do you have a lot of "actions" in your retirement life?

Retired 10 years. I stay busy with work around the house, volunteer work, church, working out, golf and travel before Covid 19. I seem to get more involved in small projects than when I was working since I have the time. My activities have evolved somewhat since I started retirement, but I stay busy...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durable Couch Recommendations
Replies: 13
Views: 1149

Re: Durable Couch Recommendations

Quality furniture will cost more. You may find something cheaper that looks good and is comfortable now. But will it hold up? Probably not. There are still some great leather furniture makers in the US. I was in the market for a quality leather recliner last year. I was ready to buy from this compan...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying guns not an option, what else
Replies: 56
Views: 5119

Re: Buying guns not an option, what else

My dad taught me how to use guns as a youth but I was never comfortable with guns in the house after marriage, especially when our children were young. My wife wanted a gun for safety about 10 years ago so we bought a 38 revolver, took a gun safety class and got concealed carry permits. We live in a...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Declined 2 opportunities for advancement. Should I be trying to climb the corporate ladder or is being content okay?
Replies: 65
Views: 5992

Re: Declined 2 opportunities for advancement. Should I be trying to climb the corporate ladder or is being content okay?

Are you comfortable doing what you are doing now and at that level of compensation for the rest of your career? If so, staying where you are is probably ok. At some point, your opportunities for advancement will stop and you may not get those chances again. There are risks in moving up and there are...