Search found 3049 matches

by carolinaman
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Class Reunion Fund: How to Hold and Where to Invest?
Replies: 13
Views: 582

Re: Class Reunion Fund: How to Hold and Where to Invest?

It is easy to get an EIN for a non profit. Once she gets it, she would need to file a simple online report for the non profit each year, simply stating it has income of less than $50k. This still may be more work than it is worth. Current $3k balance should return more than $900 dollars over 10 year...
by carolinaman
Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Equity Loan: anyone have experience?
Replies: 6
Views: 403

Re: Home Equity Loan: anyone have experience?

I have a HELOC for over 20 years. Mine is .5% below prime. I have used for a variety of purposes: autos, remodeling and others. They are very handy to have. A good credit line gives you the ability to do major financial transactions immediately without concern for loan approval and time delays. Of c...
by carolinaman
Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone not have a Budget?
Replies: 84
Views: 4262

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

We do not have a budget. We are blessed to have enough money to cover our needs and wants with some left over. I do monitor our spending periodically, but neither of us is extravagant in our spending. Also, we have lived in our home 44 years and drive cars a long time, usually 10 years or more. We e...
by carolinaman
Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of Arizona State Retirement System
Replies: 13
Views: 1122

Re: Value of Arizona State Retirement System

I think you are too far into the retirement system to quit now. 11 years is not that long. If you retire at age 50, you should have good options to continue in your IT career if you have kept your skills current. If you had only a few years into the system, I might advise you differently. Also, publ...
by carolinaman
Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spending profile in retirement
Replies: 19
Views: 1559

Re: Spending profile in retirement

I retired at age 66 almost 8 years ago. Our total spending has not changed that much from my working years. We have spent a little more on travel, maybe an extra $5k every other year. A major expense for us has been home maintenance costs. Our home is 44 years old and is on 2 acres of wooded land. I...
by carolinaman
Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Logging out 20 acre lot?
Replies: 37
Views: 2445

Re: Logging out 20 acre lot?

DWs family owns 21 acres in central NC, a prime timber area. Lot full of mostly pines. It has been harvested twice in past 20 years. The timber revenue would barely pay the taxes until time for another harvest. I think the family got a few thousand dollars each time harvested. So if you are think a ...
by carolinaman
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Be Careful Using Mailboxes
Replies: 50
Views: 5598

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

There has been an epidemic of mail theft in Northeast Queens. Someone stole a charity donation my parents mailed and washed the check clean of ink and wrote the check out to an unknown third person. When my father checked his balance with the teller at the bank he discovered that his $10 check beca...
by carolinaman
Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Now Have a Revocable Trust and Have Questions
Replies: 14
Views: 1359

Re: I Now Have a Revocable Trust and Have Questions

Our concern regarding credit protection is only with one child, our son. We are very comfortable in our daughter getting her inheritance directly without the need of a trust. However, our son has a small remodeling business which is a more risky business and he has no health insurance. I assume you...
by carolinaman
Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Now Have a Revocable Trust and Have Questions
Replies: 14
Views: 1359

Re: I Now Have a Revocable Trust and Have Questions

They have to decide whether a more elaborate estate plan is worth it to them. I think it's worth it for a couple in their 70s with $1.5 million, especially since they want to protect his children's inheritances. But my guess is that most people in that situation would say it's not worth it to them....
by carolinaman
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which degree to pursue?
Replies: 16
Views: 1151

Re: Which degree to pursue?

Six Sigma has always interested me, but I was unsure if was still considered a respectable certification. To be honest, I really do not want to do engineering, but I understand that it is highly respected in my industry. I wouldn't go to school to learn things I didn't want to do -- life is way too...
by carolinaman
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When does frugal cross the line to cheapskate?
Replies: 136
Views: 9325

Re: When does frugal cross the line to cheapskate?

The frugal/cheapskate line will vary among people as some will view a person's actions one way and others another. My parents grew up during the depression and, thus had many frugal habits which served them and us children well in a blue collar family in Appalachia. They were able to stretch a dolla...
by carolinaman
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thesaurus Help Please
Replies: 12
Views: 679

Re: Thesaurus Help Please

Why not investor if that fits the context of what you want? I see no negative connotations with that word, only positive ones. Furthermore, a person can invest in many things, not just finances.
by carolinaman
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?
Replies: 16
Views: 1144

Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

When our kids were in high school in the 80s and early 90s, we bought each a Toyota Corolla with about 50k miles. Both cars held up very well with limited maintenance. I would opt for the lower mileage option and I think you will be satisfied. Another thing to consider is how hard teen drivers are o...
by carolinaman
Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Five years to retirement (article)
Replies: 12
Views: 1847

Re: Five years to retirement (article)

The comments section on nytimes.com is more enlightening. +1. Agreed. The comments were enlightening as to the mindset of readers. I am not sure they are totally representative but they seemed more fixated on the $140k salary and $1.5M 401k balance than the principles that apply to people at differ...
by carolinaman
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone take naps at work?
Replies: 93
Views: 5314

Re: Anyone take naps at work?

I never napped but did do 5 or 10 minutes of meditation sometimes. My main thing was a brisk 20 minute walk after lunch. That go me going again. I am not aware of any of my staff ever napping but if they did it during their lunch hour it would have been no problem. In the modern world, workers can w...
by carolinaman
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preparing non-technocrat spouse $ Mgmt
Replies: 25
Views: 2110

Re: Preparing non-technocrat spouse $ Mgmt

I have a similar situation to you and DW and I are a few years older. I consolidated accounts and simplified investments with a diversified index fund approach. Even so, our financial life is still too complicated for my wife. She has been trained to use computer but refuses to do so. Our financial ...
by carolinaman
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Now Have a Revocable Trust and Have Questions
Replies: 14
Views: 1359

Re: I Now Have a Revocable Trust and Have Questions

I'm not sure what was gained by putting the residence in the trust. Gill This is the most scary part, to me, of the OP's post. It may not be what was gained, but what was lost. The post does not inspire confidence in counsel. 1. Did the transfer impact your title insurance coverage on the property?...
by carolinaman
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Now Have a Revocable Trust and Have Questions
Replies: 14
Views: 1359

Re: I Now Have a Revocable Trust and Have Questions

I think the additional few thousand dollars to get a more robust estate plan is worth it in the context of a $1.5 million estate, especially at your age. Thanks Bruce. Based on your comments and others, I would like to have a fully competent estate attorney do a plan for us. Based upon my experienc...
by carolinaman
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Now Have a Revocable Trust and Have Questions
Replies: 14
Views: 1359

Re: I Now Have a Revocable Trust and Have Questions

Your attorney admitted her knowledge of trusts was limited, and that is one thing she was correct about. Essentially what she appears to have done is use the trust as a substitute for a DPOA and then have the trust terminate immediately after death rather than having more sophisticated dispositive ...
by carolinaman
Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Now Have a Revocable Trust and Have Questions
Replies: 14
Views: 1359

I Now Have a Revocable Trust and Have Questions

I asked the forum about the merits of a trust for our estate recently and received some good advice. Thank you Bogleheads. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=249772#p3933991 We had an estate attorney update our wills and add DPOAs, HCPOA & Advance Health Directives. I asked about a...
by carolinaman
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD + Federal taxes
Replies: 19
Views: 1422

Re: RMD + Federal taxes

Consider taking all or a portion of your RMD late in the year with taxes withheld from it. That way even if it is more tax that you will owe at least the IRS only has it for 3 months or so. +1. I always do a portion of my RMD in December. This gives me the ability to adjust my Fed and St withholdin...
by carolinaman
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface
Replies: 19
Views: 1512

Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

I had online accounts with Vanguard and Fidelity for many years. I consolidated my accounts into Vanguard 3 years ago as a simplification effort. So I do not have recent experience with Fidelity. However, while I was using both, Fidelity's online interface was much superior to Vanguard's, and Vangua...
by carolinaman
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two or Three Day Golf Clinics?
Replies: 21
Views: 1591

Re: Two or Three Day Golf Clinics?

Interesting. OP asked about golf school recommendations. Didn’t ask about the best way to improve his/her game or alternatives to going to the school. Perhaps the golf school fits into an overall improvement strategy, perhaps OP is just looking for a fun three day trip, perhaps OP doesn’t want to g...
by carolinaman
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take a $60k paycut to work 4days/week
Replies: 58
Views: 5168

Re: Should I take a $60k paycut to work 4days/week

You and your husband need to make the decision. You are in good shape for retirement savings for your age, and your combined income even after the $60k reduction is very good. IMHO, you should be able to meet your financial objectives with the paycut. After all, your kids are only young once and tim...
by carolinaman
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two or Three Day Golf Clinics?
Replies: 21
Views: 1591

Re: Two or Three Day Golf Clinics?

I've got a 60th birthday coming up, and I'd like to treat myself to a golf clinic of optimally 3 days. Any recommendations? Dont. Take the same money and spread it out on lessons over a month. +1. You will get a much greater benefit by signing up for a series of lessons from a good teaching pro. Ta...
by carolinaman
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What methods are you using to deterimine price to offer on new cars
Replies: 15
Views: 1336

Re: What methods are you using to deterimine price to offer on new cars

I find that negotiating in person works best but only after you have done all your research, know the ballpark out the door price, know which vehicle and features you want and are ready to buy. If salesperson senses you are not ready to buy or if you offer a ridiculously low ball price, you will not...
by carolinaman
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Professional Crossroads - need advice
Replies: 9
Views: 1262

Re: Professional Crossroads - need advice

You have already been given some great advice. You are in a great position now and should be able to retire early and live a very comfortable life. What will this new position gain for you if you are successful? You have said you will have to work a lot harder. Will the extra work be worth it to you...
by carolinaman
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees...what’s your lunch menus?
Replies: 54
Views: 4312

Re: Retirees...what’s your lunch menus?

Usually a sandwich: ham and cheese or chicken salad and small salad. Also will do fresh soup from Publix: chicken with wild rice or potato soup. Sometimes I will do a cheese omelet.
by carolinaman
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Left company, exercise vested options or not?
Replies: 11
Views: 701

Re: Left company, exercise vested options or not?

I left a startup company with VC funding in 1980s. I had vested options and chose not to exercise them because I saw no way for the company to succeed with executive management and their fixation on fatally flawed software products.. This was a tech company with over 300 employees with offices in 5 ...
by carolinaman
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement location and things to consider
Replies: 12
Views: 1592

Re: Retirement location and things to consider

You may have good choices on West Coast and prefer to stay there, but there are some great beach areas on East Coast. Charleston, SC, Jacksonville and Tampa areas come to mind. All these areas have good health care and are vibrant growing areas, but not nearly as crowded as Southern California. Some...
by carolinaman
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?
Replies: 31
Views: 3410

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

My daughter and SIL used a Costco travel package for an anniversary trip to the South Pacific. It was a great trip and Costco did a great job. I went to Italy in 2015. I was traveling with a group to Tuscany. They had been to Tuscany before and planned everything themselves. I spent a week in Tuscan...
by carolinaman
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with Generac or Champion generators
Replies: 9
Views: 562

Re: Experience with Generac or Champion generators

I bought a Generac generator (7500 watts) several years ago for backup in power outages. I have not had to use it other than testing it. It always cranks up when I periodically start it. Only criticism I have is that it is noisy, but that is true of most of these types.
by carolinaman
Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carpenter Bees- HELP!
Replies: 17
Views: 2039

Re: Carpenter Bees- HELP!

We have lived on a wooded lot for 44 years. Carpenter bees do this every year to our house. We usually have 2 to 4 holes. I gave up fighting them years ago and just fill the holes at the start of winter. Maybe I am weird, but I feel like I invaded their habitat when I built my house and I try to coe...
by carolinaman
Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice For My Side Business - Reselling Used Electronics
Replies: 14
Views: 1327

Re: Advice For My Side Business - Reselling Used Electronics

Electronics have become so inexpensive that it rarely makes sense for a large business to buy something used (even if refurbished). A business can't afford to maintain and support a hodge-podge of electronic devices, they want uniformity. They don't want to deal with the headaches of yesterdays tec...
by carolinaman
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping at non sit down places
Replies: 94
Views: 7746

Re: Tipping at non sit down places

We order takeout or curbside food from restaurants often. I usually tip 10% because these folks put in effort to package your food, etc. I have observed these folks working while waiting for my food and some of them work really hard. I tend to draw the tip line for counter service or coffee. I typic...
by carolinaman
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Second Opinion(s) on Financial Situation Married Couple 55 years old.
Replies: 39
Views: 4107

Re: Second Opinion(s) on Financial Situation Married Couple 55 years old.

But knowing your mortgage payment only gives us a limited idea of your expenses. We can make an educated guess that expenses allow them to save 15.5K + 13K + ~24K or more than $52K into retirement plans every year on income of $135K. Fair enough. But he should make retirement decisions based on mor...
by carolinaman
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tire experts? Can I trust a patched tire?
Replies: 42
Views: 2892

Re: Tire experts? Can I trust a patched tire?

I have had multiple patches over the years. I have never had one fail. I was always told if the patch fails, it will be soon after it was patched. It sounds like yours is good.
by carolinaman
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Care in "Early" Retirement
Replies: 50
Views: 4724

Re: Health Care in "Early" Retirement

Steve - Thanks for your reply. According to the ACA website, losing coverage qualifies you to enroll. So if I just dropped my existing coverage by not paying the premium, I believe I would be permitted to enroll in an ACA plan. I do not know for sure but I doubt losing your coverage because you fai...
by carolinaman
Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sanity check for retiree asset allocation heavy on CDs
Replies: 20
Views: 1740

Re: Sanity check for retiree asset allocation heavy on CDs

You seem to be in very good shape. Congratulations!

One thing to consider is high inflation. We have been in a long period of low inflation but that could change. What would the impact of high inflation, 4 to 5% or higher have on your expenses and your CD income?
by carolinaman
Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 212
Views: 12734

Re: What are your property taxes?

$2100 on 2000 sq ft ranch with 2+ acres. State and local govts tax us in various ways. The total tax per state is a much better gauge of taxes in your area. Other major taxes for us are: sales tax: state 4.75%, county 2.50%. State income tax is 5.49% and excludes SS income.
by carolinaman
Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any way to "forfeit" income to avoid IRMAA cliff
Replies: 27
Views: 2435

Re: Any way to "forfeit" income to avoid IRMAA cliff

If you are over 65, you can do qualified charitable deductions (QCDs) which reduce your MAGI accordingly
by carolinaman
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yes, It’ll Happen - Jonathan Clements
Replies: 33
Views: 7052

Re: Yes, It’ll Happen - Jonathan Clements

Excellent article. In this sound bite world, it is hard to get anyone's attention to the reality of what Jonathan is saying. Sadly, many do not get it until it is too late. It would be wonderful if there was a required HS class that taught the principles cited by Jonathan and others.
by carolinaman
Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports?]
Replies: 31
Views: 2804

Re: [Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports?]

CR touts their independence and objectivity. As proof, they do not accept any advertising. Their only revenue is from consumer subscriptions.

What about all of these "free" internet sites. How do they cover their costs? Are they truly objective?
by carolinaman
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Determining "Fair Market Value" for a home
Replies: 14
Views: 1059

Re: Determining "Fair Market Value" for a home

livesoft wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:45 pm
An appraisal from a licensed appraiser would not be a bad idea.
+1. This is the best way. The appraiser gives you a FMV based upon his assessment of the property and comparable sales in the area.
by carolinaman
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Hearing Aids
Replies: 8
Views: 604

Re: Used Hearing Aids

Most hearing aids have an expected life of 5 years, maybe longer for someone whose hearing does not decline further. I am on my 3rd set and my experience matches that. Therefore, if you buy 3 year old HAs, they may not have a useful of more than 2 years. The price for used should reflect the usage a...
by carolinaman
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports?]
Replies: 31
Views: 2804

Re: [Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports?]

We are longtime CR subscribers and still get lots of value from our subscription. I like their independence and rigorous testing methodology. I have found that online access to their reviews is especially helpful. I still retain hard copies for 3 years but usually rely on the online reviews because ...
by carolinaman
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Identity Theft
Replies: 20
Views: 1797

Re: Identity Theft

Kudos to you and your company for doing this. I did this years ago. Most likely you will find a more savvy group than you expect but there will be a wide range in their understanding of how to protect their identity. There are numerous telephone scams targeted at seniors. They usually involve gettin...
by carolinaman
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: History of Protectionism and Stock Returns, 1825-2015
Replies: 19
Views: 2076

Re: History of Protectionism and Stock Returns, 1825-2015

SimpleGift wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:44 am
After all, 1930-1950 also included the Great Depression and the Second World War.

Interesting charts. Unfortunately, the 2 events you cited above were so impactful on our and the global economy that, IMO, to make any useful comparison of trade and stock returns meaningless.
by carolinaman
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inflation Rate, isn't it personal?
Replies: 46
Views: 3235

Re: Inflation Rate, isn't it personal?

It is personal but it is more difficult to measure for individuals. I am a senior and thus incur more medical services and prescriptions than I did 30 years ago. Medical inflation is tracked and is always higher than the aggregate inflation. Also, I have 2 non COLA pensions which results in eroded p...
by carolinaman
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lost out on promotion
Replies: 104
Views: 10323

Re: Lost out on promotion

Really sorry to hear that. Have you considered actually talking to your boss and saying you have X, Y, Z special skills, explain that you don't think they are being used in any material respect to help the company and explicitly ask how you can best utilize those unique skills to help the company? ...