Search found 3313 matches

by carolinaman
Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Car Damage Issue
Replies: 69
Views: 4036

Re: Rental Car Damage Issue

I have rental coverage on my auto policy which only costs a few dollars every 6 months. Fortunately, I have never had to use it. I use to travel in my work and only had problem one time. I returned vehicle to Newark airport and there was slight damage below driver side door. I was clueless when or h...
by carolinaman
Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Retirement Is Broken And Needs To Be Reinvented
Replies: 174
Views: 12008

Re: Why Retirement Is Broken And Needs To Be Reinvented

I do agree with education, but you can have all the education in the world, but it won't give you the discipline to spend less than you earn, which is really the biggest problem. We can educate people how to lose weight, but discipline is what gets you there. +1. To save or to lose weight you need ...
by carolinaman
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crawl Space Fixin's - Do you really need it?
Replies: 20
Views: 2148

Re: Crawl Space Fixin's - Do you really need it?

I agree with others that this problem needs to be fixed. A vapor barrier and fixing the sump pump are both good things to do, but the first thing is to stop the water from getting into the crawl if possible. Routing gutters away from the house is a relatively easy fix. A french drain is much more ex...
by carolinaman
Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Camry Hybrid and Extended Warranty
Replies: 15
Views: 1049

Re: Toyota Camry Hybrid and Extended Warranty

I never buy extended warranties and I dont understand why one would buy one on highly reliable cars. +1. I totally agree. A bought a Toyota Avalon 2007 model in 2010. I seriously considered doing an extended warranty for the first time ever. I asked my BIL who sold cars for more than 20 years. He s...
by carolinaman
Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...
Replies: 182
Views: 19625

Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

I am long time Costco member. We rarely buy food there because it often requires one to buy larger quantities and we can usually do as well or better at grocery store. Things I buy: gas (Costco is only a few miles away), eyeglasses, hearing aids, OTC meds, electronics (computer, TV, other), cell pho...
by carolinaman
Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proper way to retire
Replies: 57
Views: 6371

Re: Proper way to retire

I think it is always best to leave on good terms and in a proper way. Based on some experiences or relationship, you may feel like leaving without notice, but I recommend giving proper notice. I think you will feel better in the long run. I had an employee give me 2 hours notice one time. Ironically...
by carolinaman
Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying service years in pension
Replies: 18
Views: 1556

Re: Buying service years in pension

Thanks for all the comments and questions. Good news--3% annual COLA. Bad. news--pension is from Illinois. While IL is a basket case in terms of budgets, etc--pensions are protected by constitution. Seems highly unlikely--not I'm-Robles--that existing pension commitments would be curtailed. It is t...
by carolinaman
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Manager suddenly passed away - New manager ethical dilemma
Replies: 24
Views: 4588

Re: Manager suddenly passed away - New manager ethical dilemma

Early in my career I took a job with a hardware and software technology company. I soon became aware that my manager, who was new in his job, had poor people and management skills, and was incapable of effectively leading our team. Our software team included about 12 people and some were very senior...
by carolinaman
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for Retirement when one has a Pension
Replies: 60
Views: 5787

Re: Saving for Retirement when one has a Pension

If it is a private employer with a pension, realize that while an employer cannot legally take away earned future benefits, they can (and likely will) at some point freeze the pension and suspend future contributions. Even many states (e.g. Illinois is the most egregious one) do not have their pens...
by carolinaman
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?
Replies: 46
Views: 3026

Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

I removed wallpaper in both of our bathrooms and our dining room. I do not remember the process I used, but it is a slow tedious process. There are a few rough spots on the walls, but not really noticeable by anyone except me. You may want to research how to do this and try it yourself. Start with a...
by carolinaman
Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need to pay for a clean title to sell my car privately?
Replies: 28
Views: 2072

Re: Do I need to pay for a clean title to sell my car privately?

If you want to sell it privately, pay the $85 and get a clean title. It is doubtful anyone will buy it without a clean title. Put yourself in their shoes. People are generally leery when buying a car privately (and for good reason). Without a clean title, this just raises a red flag that will squelc...
by carolinaman
Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too Much Savings Regret
Replies: 112
Views: 16898

Re: Too Much Savings Regret

Too much savings can be hard to determine because of the uncertainties of life. Someone could lose their job well before retirement or they or loved ones could get an illness resulting in major expenses. Statistics show that a significant percentage of people retire prior to their planned retirement...
by carolinaman
Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Our SS Numbers were hacked at Health Provider
Replies: 12
Views: 1494

Re: Our SS Numbers were hacked at Health Provider

"The letter further states that SS numbers, credit/debit card numbers and other financial account information was not accessed . Medical and clinical records were not accessed either." " I have to assume they got our Medicare numbers which means they have our SS numbers too"............. Not necess...
by carolinaman
Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Our SS Numbers were hacked at Health Provider
Replies: 12
Views: 1494

Re: Our SS Numbers were hacked at Health Provider

companies can be severely penalized for mis-reporting a breach. If they say that the SSN's were not available, they probably weren't. btw: I thought that the feds had changed all Medicare beneficiaries to some alpha-numeric code (and are no longer using SSN)? Medicare has changed to unique numbers ...
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Muni-bond ladder or Muni-bond mutual fund
Replies: 13
Views: 881

Re: Muni-bond ladder or Muni-bond mutual fund

I have always understood that a bond fund was better for most people because of the diversification, professional management and expenses. Unless you really know what you are doing, you are likely to pay more and sell for less due to the opaque buy/sell spread. I understand the spread can be signifi...
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Our SS Numbers were hacked at Health Provider
Replies: 12
Views: 1494

Our SS Numbers were hacked at Health Provider

A major hack was announced this week by Atrium Health (the major health care organization in Carolinas). DW and I each received letters informing us that certain information was accessed by an unknown third party in September. Information accessed was billing information including insurance policy i...
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where do the losses in HY show up? [High Yield bonds]
Replies: 63
Views: 4867

Re: Where do the losses in HY show up?

I was a long time owner of Vanguard's HY Corporate bond fund. Its long term performance was excellent. I finally sold it to simplify my AA. Some have argued that one should take their risk in equity and leave bonds for safety. That is a sound argument and I can buy into it now, but if not for my sim...
by carolinaman
Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remodeling - tipping?
Replies: 56
Views: 2753

Re: Remodeling - tipping?

Never heard of tipping on a major remodel. If you knew how the GC made on your project, you might be less inclined to tip. OTOH, I have given contractors or subs more money when unforeseen things happened and they were bound by the contract. A gift card to a really nice restaurant would be a good ge...
by carolinaman
Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle Sounds a Warning on Index Funds
Replies: 103
Views: 17988

Re: Bogle Sounds a Warning on Index Funds

I have a question... why can't the voting rights be transferred directly to the individuals? Perhaps a board could provide a recommendation, but provide an online portal where Vanguard index fund owners can go in and utilize their votes. From a data standpoint, this is technically achievable. But w...
by carolinaman
Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 257
Views: 18404

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale

Just tried to order from Walmart four times using three different credit cards. All orders got cancelled due to payment verification issues. :oops: I had this same exact issue. Tried multiple times, this is how I fixed it. <snip> I tried the same thing, but using online chat instead. <snip> So, my ...
by carolinaman
Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial goals for 2019 (specific)
Replies: 52
Views: 4334

Re: Financial goals for 2019 (specific)

We are finishing year 8 of retirement. I have simplified our investment and finances and reduced frivolous expenditures. One goal I have every year is avoid tapping investments for living expenses. We have a non COLA pension and SS that we live off of. So far we avoided withdrawals from investments ...
by carolinaman
Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did YOU choose your career?
Replies: 149
Views: 8724

Re: How did YOU choose your career?

I did things rather backwards. Dropped out of college after 1.5 years and started working with an airline. A couple of years later I got a job in their computer operations department and carved out a nice 44 year IT career. IT was in its early days when I started. Few, if any, colleges had computer ...
by carolinaman
Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax or use an accountant
Replies: 14
Views: 1486

Re: Turbo Tax or use an accountant

Using a professional tax preparer might be expensive for what you have. Since you are experienced with TT, that might be the route to take. They should be able to walk you through the rental property taxation as well as the multi state tax returns. Can you try TT for 2018 and see if you are comforta...
by carolinaman
Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A testimony of not giving up... Got the promotion!
Replies: 10
Views: 1791

Re: A testimony of not giving up... Got the promotion!

Congratulations! Your persistence paid off. I was a senior manager in govt agency last 22 years of my career and I can attest to the wrong headed approach often used for hires. It sounds like yours was long overdue and well deserved.
by carolinaman
Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need a financial advisor?
Replies: 16
Views: 1394

Re: Do I need a financial advisor?

One of the risks in getting a financial adviser for the reason cited is that once you are out of the picture, they may try to capitalize on the situation by selling expensive and inappropriate investments to your wife. They may present themselves to you in one way but once you are out of the picture...
by carolinaman
Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 257
Views: 18404

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale

Just tried to order from Walmart four times using three different credit cards. All orders got cancelled due to payment verification issues. :oops: I had this same exact issue. Tried multiple times, this is how I fixed it. <snip> I tried the same thing, but using online chat instead. <snip> So, my ...
by carolinaman
Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Buy a Truck Now?
Replies: 11
Views: 863

Re: Should I Buy a Truck Now?

You have made the case to buy a work truck. Continuing to borrow your dad's truck should not be done if you need the truck regularly (every week). My son is a remodeler and recently had to replace his old truck. He had a GMC Sierra with over 400k miles and wanted to get another GMC late model, low m...
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: water drips from bathroom vent
Replies: 10
Views: 1084

Re: water drips from bathroom vent

The cause for any leak or drip needs to be determined and you need to fix the problem. Water problems, left unfixed, can cause very expensive damage for homeowners. I speak of experience (2 times)
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 257
Views: 18404

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale

I just bought it for $22.99. I hope it works for me because I have schedule D this year as well.
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I sell my house?
Replies: 59
Views: 4784

Re: Should I sell my house?

Selling you Bay area home is a no brainer. Long distance landlord is not something you want, especially with just one property. Also, this simplifies your financial life. You will not have to sell investments to cover your new home in Boston. I also caution overbuying in Boston area. If $800k homes ...
by carolinaman
Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What financial advice have you been most grateful for?
Replies: 50
Views: 4228

Re: What financial advice have you been most grateful for?

When I was dating my wife, one of her brothers told me to avoid debt and self insure whenever possible. I came from a family that used debt to buy most everything so this was a new revelation to me. I paid off my credit cards as fast as I could and incorporated his philosophy into my financial life....
by carolinaman
Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA vs. GEICO for Roadside Assistance--Help Me Decide!
Replies: 53
Views: 7680

Re: AAA vs. GEICO for Roadside Assistance--Help Me Decide!

We are long time AAA customers and have used their towing service several times. AAA is very responsive. They also will help you if you lock your keys in car (less likely today), jump dead battery or fix a flat. Those services or especially helpful to my wife. We have the basic AAA membership which ...
by carolinaman
Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Expert's Dilemma - How can I know I'm getting a good physician without being one myself?
Replies: 199
Views: 13892

Re: Physician Credentials: Offshore vs. American Medical Schools

This has been a very enlightening thread. Thanks to all the doctors who contributed to it.
by carolinaman
Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Landlords: Where do you buy your fridges?
Replies: 15
Views: 2399

Re: Landlords: Where do you buy your fridges?

My son is responsible for management and maintenance of 100+ units of apartments and SF homes. They buy their units from a local appliance dealer and typically use lower end GE appliances. Buying used or super cheap appliances can be a more expensive way to go due to more frequent repairs and custom...
by carolinaman
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Expert's Dilemma - How can I know I'm getting a good physician without being one myself?
Replies: 199
Views: 13892

Re: Physician Credentials: Offshore vs. American Medical Schools

Choosing new physicians is difficult without referrals from physicians or friends knowledgeable of the health industry (i.e. nurses can be good for this). I have had to change primary physicians twice in last 4 years due to their leaving practice. It was a difficult task because of the lack of objec...
by carolinaman
Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How This All Happened (to the US economy)
Replies: 44
Views: 7391

Re: How This All Happened (to the US economy)

Stormbringer wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:44 am
Interesting piece, but I feel like it understates the profound effects of economic globalization.
+1. Globalization and technology have been game changers for our economy and culture.
by carolinaman
Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Current Retirees: Do you touch your principal?
Replies: 79
Views: 8258

Re: Current Retirees: Do you touch your principal?

Retired 8 years. DW and I live off of SS and pension. We have dipped into principal a couple of times; once for home improvements and another for a truck for our son. Pension is non COLA so at some point we will need a small amount of savings for living expenses or medical but barring a major expens...
by carolinaman
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Executor and Will
Replies: 24
Views: 2021

Re: Executor and Will

The procedure varies from state to state, but the persons who would inherit absent a Will are generally entitled to notice, and have the right to contest the Will. Once it's filed in the court, it becomes a public document and anyone can get a copy of it. Bruce, my BIL passed away earlier this year...
by carolinaman
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car - aftermarket upgrades vs higher trim
Replies: 28
Views: 1876

Re: New car - aftermarket upgrades vs higher trim

We bought a new Hyundai Sonata in 2008. The car did not have leather and we paid dealer to have that added. They had someone who did this for them. It was a quality product/install and I do not recall cost, but it was reasonable or I would remember. I see no problem doing this but make sure you get ...
by carolinaman
Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beware the commission salesperson
Replies: 19
Views: 1939

Re: Beware the commission salesperson

I do not believe I have ever defended commissioned sales people before but I will give a different perspective on this post. It is true that many commissioned sales people are unscrupulous and are only concerned about their commission. However, there are some who want to provide a good product or se...
by carolinaman
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Early Retirement Make You Live Longer?
Replies: 70
Views: 4485

Re: Does Early Retirement Make You Live Longer?

I worked to age 66 and am now 74. According to this study, I should already be dead. I know many people who worked well into their 60s and beyond, and are still in good health years later.

This data looks seriously flawed to me.
by carolinaman
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help or Advice on Land Purchase
Replies: 8
Views: 785

Re: Help or Advice on Land Purchase

I would not do Home Equity because I would not want to link this loan with your house. I like the idea of your parents letting you make payments until you retire and then pay off from your lump sum. Bank loans, mortgages, etc would have high closing costs for such a short time frame.
by carolinaman
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flood Insurance- When is it necessary?
Replies: 15
Views: 1297

Re: Flood Insurance- When is it necessary?

One way to look at this is if you can afford to pay for the flood loss, it becomes a calculated gamble for you to decide about, similar to LTC. If you cannot afford the loss and there is a reasonable chance of damage, then you need flood insurance.
by carolinaman
Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to value retiree healthcare benefit
Replies: 20
Views: 1094

Re: How to value retiree healthcare benefit

Is the health care benefit from a public (govt) or corporate employer? It may make a difference. I worked for a govt agency and attorneys have advised us that our health benefits are in essence a contract that cannot be broken. Public employers in our state have attempted to change their retiree ben...
by carolinaman
Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garmins & Fitbits: Worth it for non-athletes?
Replies: 43
Views: 2843

Re: Garmins & Fitbits: Worth it for non-athletes?

My wife has bought me fitbit and a MS similar product. I exercise every day but find these things useless, at least for me. I do not need to track every step I take or what my BP was. I do use the heart rate on gym machines but even that is unnecessary for my workouts. I do periodically check my BP,...
by carolinaman
Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flood Insurance- When is it necessary?
Replies: 15
Views: 1297

Re: Flood Insurance- When is it necessary?

I went on a disaster relief trip to Wilmington NC recently. Parts of eastern NC experienced 1,000 year flooding and 2 years ago experienced 100+ year flooding. Hmmm, maybe things are changing. In our limited time there, we saw lots of homes flooded and ruined by the flood waters. I do not know about...
by carolinaman
Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Running in the cold rain
Replies: 12
Views: 1380

Re: Running in the cold rain

I jogged for over 30 years and actually liked to run on cold and rainy (light) days. I used a lightweight rain repellent jacket, shorts and running shoes. Of course, I rarely ran more than 3 to 3.5 miles, so longer distances may require more protection.
by carolinaman
Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Granddaughter needs $ help for university
Replies: 111
Views: 9964

Re: Granddaughter needs $ help for university

What happens next year? Cheers I think this is key. To co-sign on a one-time loan for $15,000 —if you can afford to make the payments should your granddaughter default — is not onerous. But I think you have to assume that she’ll be coming back to you for the next 3 years of her education too. And t...
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State retirement pensions thoughts?
Replies: 36
Views: 3811

Re: State retirement pensions thoughts?

State pension funds are great in most states. There are several pensions funds in serious trouble: Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, Connecticut and others. If you state pension system is reasonably well funded 80% or more of liabilities, you should get most if not all of your benefits. I am on the NC...
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use a Wealth Manager?
Replies: 26
Views: 3180

Re: Anyone use a Wealth Manager?

I have no desire to make a manager wealthy! I would much prefer to increase by wealth instead.