Search found 3277 matches

by carolinaman
Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Current Retirees: Do you touch your principal?
Replies: 72
Views: 6577

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: 21
Views: 1470

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: 1767

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: 1810

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: 4292

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: 714

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: 1192

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: 1067

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: 2702

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: 1192

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: 1359

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: 9502

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: 3746

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: 3118

Re: Anyone use a Wealth Manager?

I have no desire to make a manager wealthy! I would much prefer to increase by wealth instead.
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend Chrome ad-blocker
Replies: 61
Views: 3695

Re: Recommend Chrome ad-blocker

I use Ghostery. Works pretty well. On a rare occasion I have to use IE because some websites do not work properly with Ghostery/Chrome
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing taxes by hand
Replies: 83
Views: 4837

Re: Doing taxes by hand

I used to do them by hand. But as my returns got more complicated I started using TT. I still maintain I can do them faster manually than by using TT, but I do not make errors using TT. TT does check things like AMT which I do not have to and occasionally asks a question that helps me avoid errors. ...
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too many choices for my next TRUCK
Replies: 94
Views: 6818

Re: Too many choices for my next TRUCK

My son recently bought a slighty used (5k miles) 2017 GMC Sierra 1500, SLE, ext cab, 8 cyl. He needs a work truck but prefers a little better appointment which the SLE provides. I helped him with research. Research and my son both say that Toyota and Tundra trucks are inferior as work trucks. I am a...
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Career/Life Advice Needed - When to start a business?
Replies: 20
Views: 1445

Re: Career/Life Advice Needed - When to start a business?

Achieving FIRE in three years is huge. I highly recommend that you do that. Starting your own business is challenging and risky, even if you are highly capable such as yourself. Despite your best efforts you may not succeed and you may lose your investment capital. Keeping your current job for 3 yea...
by carolinaman
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PenFed new savings rates
Replies: 19
Views: 2259

Re: PenFed new savings rates

I have to say I have been very happy with PenFed. I have mostly used their auto loans, even re-fi'ed to one on my second car. Good rates and no hassles. I am going to look at that CD. Look at their EWP: “PenFed’s Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP) as follows: Certificates Having a Term Greater Than Six...
by carolinaman
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furnace Duct Cleaning-a high profit game?
Replies: 31
Views: 3366

Re: Furnace Duct Cleaning-a high profit game?

There may be situations where the duct cleaning is warranted, but generally speaking it is a waste of money and grossly oversold. I have had asthma most of my life. A few years ago it was bothering me more than usual. In an effort to find the cause, I put cheesecloth on the duct vents in bedroom and...
by carolinaman
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job concerns
Replies: 52
Views: 5252

Re: New job concerns

This may not be a minor issue, but you need to give it some time to see how it works out. I am not sure what type of position you have, but many professional positions are expected to work extra hours as needed. This is something you should have asked about during the interview. The fact they allow ...
by carolinaman
Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money are you leaving your kids after you die?
Replies: 234
Views: 14614

Re: How much money are you leaving your kids after you die?

We are retired ages 74 and 75. We have $1M+ in savings and currently live off pensions and SS. I hope the majority of our savings goes to our children but that depends on our health and need for assisted living/nursing homes. Extended illnesses can put a dent in our savings but should not deplete it...
by carolinaman
Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are we in trouble?
Replies: 106
Views: 12719

Re: Are we in trouble?

They are not overextended right now on their combined incomes although owning 2 expensive homes is uncomfortable. They really need to get rid of the Chicago home and should find another realtor and reduce price to get it sold. I do not know how secure their jobs are but one is new in a startup compa...
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Panic set in... now what?
Replies: 63
Views: 10950

Re: Panic set in... now what?

At the bottom last week, I had a failing of nerve and cashed mostly out mutuals leaving about 15%. So I am down the gains for the year, about 7% in my case. Leading up to this "mistake" I had become obsessed and stressed with the daily market gyrations. I will be 67 in a few months and newly retire...
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: i-bonds vs muni bond
Replies: 11
Views: 2334

Re: i-bonds vs muni bond

I think VWIUX is an excellent muni fund that invests in high quality munis. Your decision seems to hinge more on the tax considerations. At 35% marginal tax rate, this muni fund offers much better return net of taxes unless there is an alternative minimum tax impact (muni interest is included in alt...
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to evaluate moving spouse to medicare, versus staying on private plan
Replies: 4
Views: 293

Re: How to evaluate moving spouse to medicare, versus staying on private plan

There should be a SHIIP service in your state that can advise you about all aspects of Medicare. They are very knowledgeable on Medicare programs and matters. I know that as long as someone is enrolled in their employee plan, they will not be penalized nor have to go through underwriting to enroll i...
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is an MBA worth it these days?
Replies: 53
Views: 6318

Re: Is an MBA worth it these days?

Whether an MBA is worth it or not depends upon the individual's background and how they would use the MBA. MBAs are sometimes overkill for what someone's career. However, in your instance, I think it is a good choice because you have an engineering degree and you desire to get into the financial sid...
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I Risking My Life to Sell My Car?
Replies: 37
Views: 4666

Re: Am I Risking My Life to Sell My Car?

If it were me, I would immediately get the tire replaced. I do not want to risk it for myself and I would not want to pass on such a risk to another person. I would not like to think my negligence caused harm to someone else.
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling House Directly to Buyer
Replies: 28
Views: 2648

Re: Selling House Directly to Buyer

I have sold a house and 2 building lots directly to other people. It is not a complex process but the buyer will need an attorney for the closing. The biggest issue for me was determining a fair price for the sale. That requires some familiarity and research of your market. Realtors have access to s...
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The most you ever paid for a prescription
Replies: 80
Views: 3541

Re: The most you ever paid for a prescription

HOWEVER, one of my relatives was handed an $800 prescription this afternoon. ... a single prescription! :shock: (to treat Shingles. Don't get Shingles!) Right - there is a supply problem with the new (and more effective) Shingles vaccine. I was able to get the two shots -- but my wife is waiting to...
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to offer on new construction home
Replies: 31
Views: 2219

Re: How much to offer on new construction home

680 is a reasonable offer. Often builders will not come down even in inventory houses that have been finished for a long time so as not to tank the rest of the neighborhood they’re actively building in. They have to get appraisal support for their prices on future homes. The carrying cost for a bui...
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The most you ever paid for a prescription
Replies: 80
Views: 3541

Re: The most you ever paid for a prescription

$300 for 90 day supply of a premium drug I take. It was not covered from my prescription plan
by carolinaman
Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Dealer told us car was Certified, but it isnt
Replies: 80
Views: 5389

Re: Car Dealer told us car was Certified, but it isnt

I believe we were told that the CPO gave us an one year 12, 000 mile warranty. We have had the car about 5 months and driven about 5,000 miles Our GM CPO gave us 12k mile extended warranty and extended power train warranty from 60k to 100k miles. The extended powertrain warranty was more important ...
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Corporate vs Muni default rate
Replies: 3
Views: 447

Re: Corporate vs Muni default rate

One source says: Average Default Rates for Munis = 0.18% Average Default Rates for Corporate =1.74% Source: Moody’s Investment-Grade, 10 year cumulative default rates average over the period 2007–2016 Link to document: http://www.msrb.org/msrb1/pdfs/MSRB-Muni-Facts.pdf More info on default rates: "...
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Dealer told us car was Certified, but it isnt
Replies: 80
Views: 5389

Re: Car Dealer told us car was Certified, but it isnt

We bought a certified pre-owned Mazda CX-9 in May, we were told by initial sales person that it was certified. We asked questions about the certification, how it works, what do they check for etc.... We told him how the other Mazda dealership in another state wanted to charge us for the Certificati...
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds saved the bacon in the "lost decade" for stocks, but will they do it again?
Replies: 21
Views: 3067

Re: Bonds saved the bacon in the "lost decade" for stocks, but will they do it again?

I assume there were a lot of capital gains in bonds during the decade due to declining rates. When we have another bear market for stocks, that scenario will likely not recur. Interest rates may hold steady or decline some, but nothing like the 00s. Of course most people hold bonds for safety, not r...
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sale of home - profit - and medicaid
Replies: 3
Views: 533

Re: Sale of home - profit - and medicaid

There is an IRS exclusion of $500k per couple so this would not trigger taxable income. I do not know if Medicaid's rules would be different for treating income. You should contact social services in your area to find out. Of course, part or maybe all of this would go for the purchase of a home. Med...
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car broker
Replies: 27
Views: 2486

Re: Car broker

I am the OP..... and this has been a fascinating topic for me. The issue of a Car Broker- seems to be excessively subjective. Let me first say, as closely as I could determine, the deal I got with the Car Broker- was in all likelihood Between 100 and $200 difference either way. I may have saved a c...
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: What keeps you up at night?
Replies: 56
Views: 6103

Re: Retirees: What keeps you up at night?

We are in good financial shape and are not aggressive in markets, so I do not worry about that. What I sometimes worry about are children and grandchildren. We are blessed they are good kids but that does not mean there aren't things to worry about.
by carolinaman
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cross-country trip via Amtrak
Replies: 58
Views: 5654

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: 71
Views: 6604

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: 4
Views: 531

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: 3887

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: 871

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: 871

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: 1865

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: 1090

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: 2763

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: 1443

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: 90
Views: 6425

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 ...