Search found 3238 matches

by carolinaman
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cross-country trip via Amtrak
Replies: 38
Views: 2505

Re: Cross-country trip via Amtrak

I would like to something similar. We have done auto trips cross country several times (NC to Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Western Canada, Montana). Our best trip was flying to Denver, renting a car and touring several states and national parks. We got to see what we wanted to see and avoided the ...
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you retire because you hit your number?
Replies: 53
Views: 3997

Re: Did you retire because you hit your number?

I retired at age 66. It was time. My health was still good and I had a bucket list of things to do while I could. Also, I was senior executive for large IT organization. We had gone through a lot of change in the past few years (reorganization, consolidations, etc.) and were now in excellent positio...
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Evaluation of Portfolio
Replies: 2
Views: 207

Re: Evaluation of Portfolio

I recommend consolidating your bond holdings into one fund that covers the market at a low cost. VBILX is an excellent choice as it is 50% govt/treasury and 50% investment Grade corporate. You apparently do not have to worry about capital gains with bonds so this should be an easy thing to do and si...
by carolinaman
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Placing mother in nursing home - advice
Replies: 37
Views: 3740

Re: Placing mother in nursing home - advice

The county government where your mother lives should have an Office for the Aging or something similarly titled. That should be a good source of basic information on services and resources available to figure out options for your mother. Best of luck. +1. This agency for seniors should be your firs...
by carolinaman
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest maturing CDs
Replies: 9
Views: 812

Re: How to invest maturing CDs

Thanks for everyone's replies so far. I should have been more clear. This is long term money. I am not overly concerned about some fluctuation in interest rates. I have CDs in 4 different CUs. I would like to simplify and consolidate that for taxes, RMDs and administration of these funds.. The reaso...
by carolinaman
Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest maturing CDs
Replies: 9
Views: 812

How to invest maturing CDs

I had $108k of CDs (taxable) from a CU mature last week. I also have $135k of CDs (TIRA) that will mature from another CU in January. I have a 45/55 AA. I currently have CDs at 2 other CUs that are not due to mature for a couple of years. These CDs were great at the time of investment because I got ...
by carolinaman
Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Offer – bonus details provided after acceptance
Replies: 26
Views: 1765

Re: Job Offer – bonus details provided after acceptance

Not providing details about how bonus is calculated and the bonus is targeted at 55% of base. That is a big red flag, especially since the base is only a slight increase. If I were you, I would insist on more details or walk. In fact, their reluctance to provide details is a red flag even if they su...
by carolinaman
Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bob Brinker retiring.
Replies: 3
Views: 873

Re: Bob Brinker retiring.

I listened to Brinker regularly in 90s and 00s. He offered some good advice although I did not always follow his market timing advice. He was very helpful to me when I first got serious about investing.
by carolinaman
Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: trip to Grand Cayman & dieting [while on vacation]
Replies: 40
Views: 2620

Re: trip to Grand Cayman & dieting

I have a restricted diet due to acid reflux. I suggest that you try to maintain your diet without making a big deal of it. You should be able to order things that fit your diet. Just be disciplined on the quantity of food. I found that pushing my plate aside once I had ate what I needed to worked fo...
by carolinaman
Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing my own taxes?
Replies: 13
Views: 1375

Re: Doing my own taxes?

I think it is advised to use your accountant for 2018 since the new tax law has so many changes. There may be changes that are significant to your business or personal situation that are not obvious to non tax practitioners. Unless someone has good tax expertise and a willingness to spend the time d...
by carolinaman
Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to stop putting money into an older vehicle
Replies: 88
Views: 5773

Re: When to stop putting money into an older vehicle

In addition to cost, reliability is an important criteria for me. If I have a vehicle that I cannot trust for a trip or that I am having to do too many repairs, regardless of expense, it is time to replace it. However, some things are just wear and tear like the brakes cited by OP that are required ...
by carolinaman
Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need new email address. Gmail or ???
Replies: 70
Views: 5032

Re: Need new email address. Gmail or ???

I am a long time Outlook user and much prefer it over Gmail although I do have Gmail account too. I really like the archive and search capabilities of Outlook. I have not found Gmail to have comparable capability although my knowledge of that product is more limited.
by carolinaman
Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: “$1000/month job is worth $300k in retirement funds” // What are some retirement jobs you would actually enjoy doing?
Replies: 103
Views: 9559

Re: “$1000/month job is worth $300k in retirement funds” // What are some retirement jobs you would actually enjoy doing

I worked full time until age 66. My plan was to stay active and do part time volunteer work which I have done although volunteer work has declined in recent years (I am 74 and in good health for my age). I resolved to never work for pay again. About 6 months after retirement a former boss offered me...
by carolinaman
Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation for an ergonomic chair (staples)
Replies: 17
Views: 845

Re: Recommendation for an ergonomic chair (staples)

I need a comfortable ergonomic chair for sitting long periods of time at a desk for my home. I am going to go to staples tomorrow partly because it’s close and also because I have a 10% off amex offer on my credit card. Can anyone recommend a nice comfy chair that’s easy on the back and budget? Say...
by carolinaman
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market decline in 2019 ?
Replies: 73
Views: 6457

Re: Market decline in 2019 ?

Most people believe we are in a bubble and will see a big market decline (anywhere from 20-50%) soon. A lot of "experts" believe this could be in 2019. Most people on this forum probably also believe a significant market decline will probably come eventually. The Bogleheads philosophy is "stay the ...
by carolinaman
Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV recommendation for my father
Replies: 47
Views: 1671

Re: TV recommendation for my father

We bought a really nice Sony 930 smart tv in the Spring. I have tested the smart features but we do not use them. My wife handles the cable remote fine but does not know how to deal with the TV remote. Occasionally, the smart TV will prompt for something. I just push the TV button the TV remote. My ...
by carolinaman
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which one: Lyft or Uber?
Replies: 44
Views: 2839

Re: Which one: Lyft or Uber?

I have used Uber several times and all trips were good except the last one. I called Uber to take me to my hotel 2 miles away.The Uber driver proceeded to take me in the opposite direction. After several protests by me and showing the driver my hotel on Google apps she said I entered the wrong addre...
by carolinaman
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mold on inspection, need advice
Replies: 30
Views: 2231

Re: Mold on inspection, need advice

You need to do several things: determine the source of the mold and what it takes to re-mediate, and determine the extent of the mold and what it would take to re-mediate. Often, the mold is only near the source of moisture which may be limited in scope. If it is a small area then it should be a min...
by carolinaman
Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone here major in Economics in college?
Replies: 68
Views: 3830

Re: Anyone here major in Economics in college?

I am not familiar with the job opportunities for an economics major but I would not think they are as good as a business management or accounting major. Minoring in music would reduce her emphasis in other business coursework which would further hinder her. Of course, her economics degree augmented ...
by carolinaman
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?
Replies: 70
Views: 5851

Re: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?

I bought a high end 65" TV in spring, so we need nothing that would be worth the hassle of black Friday. We will relax, maybe watch some football and possibly a round of golf if weather allows. The last time I participated in Black Friday, I bought a new printer at a really good price in Office Depo...
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does the Boglehead ever see a unique opportunity for investment?
Replies: 17
Views: 1751

Re: Does the Boglehead ever see a unique opportunity for investment?

People can often have "inside" perspective on companies for various reasons. It could be a locally based company or companies within your industry that you believe are positioned to do very well. As a caveat, I have invested in companies like this and have been wrong as often as right. It is much ha...
by carolinaman
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone used software to write a Will?
Replies: 15
Views: 1270

Re: Has anyone used software to write a Will?

Hi all, A recent death in the family has made me want to get serious about writing a will to provide for my family and kids. I'm in my mid-30s, so hopefully it won't be needed for a while (!), but if something tragic happened to both my wife and I, for instance, I'd want to have preparations made f...
by carolinaman
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Planning to retire, but nervous about being ready.
Replies: 10
Views: 1387

Re: Planning to retire, but nervous about being ready.

Newbie to this forum and real glad I stumbled upon it! Since I am in the old civilian retirement plan, I will get a pension, but I am not sure what the final amount will be each month because my ex will get a percentage based upon a complicated formula that and all the variables are not known at th...
by carolinaman
Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculating properties in your Net Worth?
Replies: 10
Views: 964

Re: Calculating properties in your Net Worth?

I think calculating net current value after deducting selling expenses is a good way to do this. It should not be a stab in the dark as long as the estimate of current value is reasonable. If you have enough comps it should be a good estimate.
by carolinaman
Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?
Replies: 65
Views: 4476

Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

No doubt there will be some winners and losers as American diets evolve. It is hard to predict who these will be. My personal observations is that there are still way too many people more than willing to "supersize" their fast food meal for this to make enough of a difference in investing. My observ...
by carolinaman
Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement health insurance from employer
Replies: 9
Views: 1069

Re: Early retirement health insurance from employer

The government agency I retired from offers subsidized retiree health benefits to those pre Medicare and a supplement/prescription plan for Medicare retirees. The pre Medicare retirees get the same coverage as existing employees. Thus, any changes to the employee plan affect them as well. There has ...
by carolinaman
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts
Replies: 29
Views: 1524

Re: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts

If you get 2x, then contracting company is getting something for their expense and trouble, so company is probably paying 3x or something like that to the firm. That may be too rich for your company. OTOH, you do not need the work, so you are in a no lose situation. However, if you are truly interes...
by carolinaman
Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations
Replies: 25
Views: 1825

Re: Dehumidifier and humidity meter recommendations

This may sound like a stupid question, but I'm terribly non-handy. Is it difficult to drain the humidifier into an existing drain? Also, if putting a dehumidifier in a crawl space, do I need to put down a vapor barrier and seal the vents? I live in SoCal and the crawl space is a constant 72F with 6...
by carolinaman
Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lump Sum or Monthly Pension?
Replies: 11
Views: 1002

Re: Lump Sum or Monthly Pension?

For "diversification" and "asset protection", I lean towards monthly pension. One thing that I have to put on the table. There is a chance in the near future that the company that I work for may go under. They came out of bankruptcy once already and things do not look good. That could tilt the deci...
by carolinaman
Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lump Sum or Monthly Pension?
Replies: 11
Views: 1002

Re: Lump Sum or Monthly Pension?

Murdock7591 wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:06 am
My portfolio is $1.7M

1) I expect to live on $50K per year (from my future budget spreadsheet)
2. SS for me with be FRA @ age 66.5 = $2500/month. Wife at age 62 (1.5 yrs away) = $980
3. House paid for (Value = 120K)
Is the $50k living expense after paying any taxes?
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold Home - 2 days after buyer claims they found an issue with A/C
Replies: 119
Views: 11734

Re: Sold Home - 2 days after buyer claims they found an issue with A/C

Since their agent worked through your agent, I would let your agent know that you had no knowledge of this and per the sales contract, it is not your responsibility. Hopefully, that will be the end of it. But if they persist, you may need to check with an attorney. However, based on what you are say...
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home inspection- helping a friend
Replies: 12
Views: 1113

Re: Home inspection- helping a friend

Thank you for your post. Yes there was a home inspection. Sorry for not stating that. I’ll let my friend know to seek legal advice. Did the home inspection mention anything about the leaky pipe and mold. Since it was behind the wall, there would be no way to know unless there was visible evidence o...
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
Replies: 209
Views: 14269

Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina

Charlotte and Raleigh are the 2 largest cities in NC and both have been prospering and growing at a rapid rate for a long time. Both have their share of traffic problems but nothing like Southern California. NC has a flat rate for state income tax: 5.49% with very few deductions. The weather is nice...
by carolinaman
Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preparing a Net Worth Statement
Replies: 15
Views: 1864

Re: Preparing a Net Worth Statement

I use FMV for unrealized capital gains and reduce by .15 for expected taxes. Pre tax account values are reduced by expected taxes based upon current tax law: 22% for Federal and .0549% for state. I think it is misleading to not include the expected taxes. It is true that taxes may well change but th...
by carolinaman
Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 65
Views: 4147

Re: Correlation between temperature, humidty and mold in crawl space?

Have you encapsulated your crawl space? High humidity is inevitable in the South with crawl spaces that are not. However, once temp and humidity drops in Fall, the moisture source for mold dissipates. I live in NC and have a crawl space, but no encapsulation. I use fans in hot weather to move air in...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Counterfeits benefit Amazon
Replies: 14
Views: 1426

Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

This article is another reason to seek alternative suppliers for goods. Amazon has gotten too big and too greedy. I do not like much govt regulation but this is an example where businesses and consumers need to be protected from fake merchandise. Amazon needs to be accountable for products sold on t...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco vision / first time at Costco
Replies: 21
Views: 1858

Re: Costco vision / first time at Costco

I always do eye exams at my eye doctor. If needed, he will give me a prescription to fill it. I have used Costco the last few times and have been satisfied with the price and service. Also, Costco stands behind their warranty. One time I stepped on my frame. I took it to Costco and told them what I ...
by carolinaman
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension vs 401k, help
Replies: 31
Views: 2127

Re: Pension vs 401k, help

Florida's Pension Plan is very well funded at 86% of obligations. Anything above 80% is considered well funded. Not really! You can google"80% hall of shame" and hear from a real expert why the 80% isn't a good funding level. I do think that OP would be fine under both stated scenarios. If she stay...
by carolinaman
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension vs 401k, help
Replies: 31
Views: 2127

Re: Pension vs 401k, help

A couple of things; 1) Many pensions are based on your final salary though some formula that may be a bit more complex. That means that if you stay with that job you will likely get at raises at least for inflation and your final pension would be based on your final salary. There is a good chance t...
by carolinaman
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Testing validity of Monte Carlo Simulators
Replies: 34
Views: 2123

Re: Testing validity of Monte Carlo Simulators

There's a computing concept called, "Garbage in, garbage out." If the assumptions you put in are flawed, then the simulation you build based on those assumptions are also flawed. You have no way of know if the assumptions are flawed until you live them. Black swan events that nobody could predict c...
by carolinaman
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Access to WSJ denied
Replies: 11
Views: 1459

Access to WSJ denied

I often read portions of WSJ using this link modified by date:

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/ ... 180927.pdf

This morning I get error message: access denied

Has the WSJ blocked this free access to their newspaper?
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you need a hearing aid
Replies: 47
Views: 2783

Re: When do you need a hearing aid

I believe that when you are tired of saying “pardon me, what, huh, or what did they say”, or asking someone to tell you what was just said on tv, you will know when it’s time to buy. I just got tired of hearing only 80% - 90% of a conversations, and trying to guess what I missed. I agree with Brad,...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which type of Primary Care Physician?
Replies: 54
Views: 4166

Re: Which type of Primary Care Physician?

I would go with internist. I had a wonderful internist for over 20 years. He was very thorough in physicals and treating general issues. I always went to him first whenever I had a medical issue. Whenever there was a need for a specialist, he always recommended very good doctors for me. Unfortunatel...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance Budget - Pre and Post Medicare
Replies: 3
Views: 374

Re: Health Insurance Budget - Pre and Post Medicare

Everyone is Medicare pays for part B which is about $134 per person per month and typically pays 80% of doctors, tests, labs, etc. Part A (hospitals) is free. Most people would either do a Medigap policy to cover excess charges from Part B and a prescription plan for Part D or do an Advantage plan (...
by carolinaman
Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proposal for Structural Damage
Replies: 12
Views: 1010

Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

1. Neither. Get proposals from at least several more General Contractors (licensed,insured,bonded) in your area with experience in this type of work. You will get more input from them regarding what is needed, who should be called, and if engineering services are required. 2. No. The work needed ca...
by carolinaman
Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proposal for Structural Damage
Replies: 12
Views: 1010

Re: Proposal for Structural Damage

My questions are: 1. Should I hire an Independent Structural Engineer or have the Contractor provide the Engineer in order to get a proposal, Yes 2, Is it necessary to have drawings ($2500) submitted in order to receive a proposal based on the info I provided. ( feel free to ask questions) I do not...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fixing diamond ring
Replies: 19
Views: 1404

Re: Fixing diamond ring

My wife's diamond ring has broken prong. We took to neighborhood jeweler and picked it up a week later. Her diamond was much smaller than yours. We have been a good customer of theirs and they are quite reputable. However, if the stone was 1ct high quality, I would probably insist on watching the en...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 293
Views: 25186

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

I have had my share of mistakes but I have done some things right: good marriage (50+ years), satisfying and interesting career, great kids, now have good pension and comfortable retirement. One of my bigger mistakes was passing on an offer to become a principal in a startup company with 30% ownersh...
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equity in house / Do you use it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3501

Re: Equity in house / Do you use it?

I have Heloc and have used it multiple times for home improvements and new car purchases. It has an interest rate of prime minus .5%. I am always aggressive in paying off any loans but it is a simple and convenient way to handle these types of cash needs. My caveat is that one must be very disciplin...
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CalSTRS Pension - Does refund of contributions make sense?
Replies: 7
Views: 709

Re: CalSTRS Pension - Does refund of contributions make sense?

If you are handy with Excel or another spreadsheet, you should be able to setup some scenarios to determine the best course of action. Just based on what you are saying, it seems taking the refund, i.e. rollover to a TIRA, would be preferable, primarily due to SS issues. However, given the significa...