Search found 3128 matches

by carolinaman
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Fall of Consumer Reports
Replies: 44
Views: 6022

Re: Consumer Reports ?

windaar: I have subscribed to Consumer Reports for may years. In my opinion, it remains, by far, the best independent source of consumer information. Best wishes Taylor +1. I believe CR still provides very good information and ratings on consumer products. There are many other sources of informatio...
by carolinaman
Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Celebrating the day you retired
Replies: 46
Views: 2826

Re: Celebrating the day you retired

taojaxx wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:38 am
renue74 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:16 am
taojaxx wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:06 am
Found a new job :D
Still working part time 7 years into it. Don't need the money, just for fun.
What is your PT gig now?
Believe it or not: selling used cars!
You may have a future as a financial adviser! Lol
by carolinaman
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Celebrating the day you retired
Replies: 46
Views: 2826

Re: Celebrating the day you retired

I retired as IT Director with a staff of 150. I had been in that position for 22 years. The staff gave me a nice retirement party with heavy hors d'oeuvres, cake, etc. My family attended which made it especially nice. My boss and other senior management attended and made some nice remarks. I receive...
by carolinaman
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying car - help with closing the deal
Replies: 8
Views: 951

Re: Buying car - help with closing the deal

The fact that you have already driven the car and are coming back a second time weakens your case, even if they would be inclined to haggle. Coming back signals them that you are very interested in this car. Your best bet may be to get them to fix the issues you cited. They may have more flexibility...
by carolinaman
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free Tire Change of Flat
Replies: 13
Views: 990

Re: Free Tire Change of Flat

AAA will come to where your car is when you have a flat and change it for you. This may be important to you but has great value to those who cannot change a flat, i.e. my wife and daughter. They will also come to you when you have a dead battery or have locked your keys in your car. These things do ...
by carolinaman
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best consumer products - made in USA
Replies: 62
Views: 3050

Re: Best consumer products - made in USA

Blueskies123 wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:08 pm
North Carolina furniture
A lot of NC furniture companies now have their furniture made offshore. I believe a lot of upholstered furniture is still made here, but a lot of the case goods are made offshore.
by carolinaman
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing a retirement plan
Replies: 8
Views: 628

Re: Choosing a retirement plan

Thanks. I think she would be in the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, which is a little below 70% funded ratio. Is that well funded? You may want to take a look at https://www.actuary.org/files/80_Percent_Funding_IB_071912.pdf +1. This is a good article regarding funded ratios. One majo...
by carolinaman
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Railroad Retirement vs Social Security
Replies: 13
Views: 1217

Re: Railroad Retirement vs Social Security

RR jobs are generally more secure and stable, especially if you are a train engineer and in a union. It sounds like the RR pension is better. So the better pension and better job security of RR job make that the obvious choice. Most people would not switch jobs without a decent salary increase becau...
by carolinaman
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advisor or no advisor?
Replies: 16
Views: 1364

Re: Advisor or no advisor?

You do not appear to need an adviser for investments, but at your age, it would be a good idea to do a full fledged retirement plan if you have not already done so. I think most people could benefit from a second set of eyes on their financial situation, readiness for retirement and retirement plan....
by carolinaman
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding Medicare Options?
Replies: 39
Views: 1478

Re: Understanding Medicare Options?

I would start with the Medicare site. https://www.medicare.gov/ Many states have resources called SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) coordinators who can help. Quality of their knowledge seems to vary. Your state SHIIP group can provide good guidance, especially for the basics. It wil...
by carolinaman
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experian email alert! "Your score decreased"
Replies: 37
Views: 3219

Re: Experian email alert! "Your score decreased"

Why obsess over a 3 point change in your credit score?
by carolinaman
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...
Replies: 42
Views: 2330

Re: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...

I am not a doctor but if you have vision problems, you should have your eyes tested. If you need glasses, you have choices of what to get and where. I have used Costco (preferred) and Walmart. Both are low cost providers. Personally, I would not buy the non prescription eye glasses. I have always un...
by carolinaman
Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for a bear market
Replies: 43
Views: 5027

Re: Preparing for a bear market

50/50 sounds good for you, but you could go to an even more conservative AA, say 40/60, if that makes you more comfortable. That is still higher equity than age in bonds. The most actionable thing I see is to increase the quality of your bonds: more high quality intermediate, less medium quality. Al...
by carolinaman
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Car Negotiation
Replies: 29
Views: 2666

Re: Used Car Negotiation

Have the major dealers really stopped negotiating on the price of used cars. I have been back and forth with so many dealerships and they don't even budge. Is this the norm with the efficiency of internet pricing? OP, are you looking for a specific car/model year? Also, the best deals tend to come ...
by carolinaman
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy back service time on pension
Replies: 42
Views: 2900

Re: Buy back service time on pension

If you invest the $58k for 13 years at 5% return, it = $110k. Assume a 4% withdrawal is $4,400 per year. Age age 55, $5,244. A small advantage to buyback. Later retirements are even better. I am not sure how you determined salary. If you are using current salary for retirement 15 to 20 years later, ...
by carolinaman
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Crossroad of what to do next?
Replies: 37
Views: 2608

Re: Crossroad of what to do next?

You say you can probably not pay for 4 years of college for all 4 of your children, yet you are sending children to private school k-12. It would seem those priorities should be reversed. Save enough to assure 4 years of college per child. Then, if you have funds available, send the kids to private ...
by carolinaman
Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: financial planning and the unknowability of the future
Replies: 15
Views: 1395

Re: financial planning and the unknowability of the future

I like to factor in a range of possible outcomes for long term planning, using an expected, best and worst cases. It is still a guess but it gives you an idea of what outcomes you might experience. I also try to be conservative about the long term, giving myself a cushion. However, you can overdo th...
by carolinaman
Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I tell my family/friend that they are making a financial mistake?
Replies: 87
Views: 7683

Re: Should I tell my family/friend that they are making a financial mistake?

It depends on the severity of the financial mistake and the relationship you have with the person. But even then, it needs to be done gingerly. This is just me, but if I knew a close friend/relative was about to make a serious financial mistake, I would risk harming the relationship to help them ave...
by carolinaman
Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone familiar with attic fans?
Replies: 32
Views: 1956

Re: Anyone familiar with attic fans?

I have an attic fan for house built in 70s. They have a typical life of 10 years or so. I have replaced mine 3 times in 40 years. Mine have all had setting on unit for temp to run the fan. I believe mine is set at 95 degrees which is easily attained on a day when outside temp is in the 80s. You shou...
by carolinaman
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please critique retirement plan
Replies: 16
Views: 981

Re: Please critique retirement plan

What is the source for your bridge funding between 55 and 70?
by carolinaman
Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking ideas for relaxing but not boring vacation
Replies: 19
Views: 1458

Re: Seeking ideas for relaxing but not boring vacation

You mentioned the eastern US coast as a possibility. Charleston, SC is a fabulous city with beautiful architecture, history, great food and pristine beaches. A very lovely city with lots of things to do. Another option would be the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC. Perhaps stay in Asheville and tour major...
by carolinaman
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prescription Price Shopping?
Replies: 37
Views: 2273

Re: Prescription Price Shopping?

It’s pointless to shop around for medicines in the US. It’s a cartel. Ask your doctor to recommend you good Canadian pharmacies. You will save a bunch. Canadian pharmacies are a viable option for really expensive drugs that are not covered by insurance. Even with your co-pay, I doubt that would be ...
by carolinaman
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Missing Mail Issue
Replies: 6
Views: 707

Re: Missing Mail Issue

The post office can be extremely non-responsive and frustrating about these matters. It is difficult to to get their attention. Your congressman can get their attention. It might be worth contacting him or her and have them contact the post office branch on your behalf.
by carolinaman
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relaxing - quieting the mind
Replies: 47
Views: 2943

Re: Relaxing - quieting the mind

First, take the time to do something relaxing every day. Relaxing and quieting your mind are as important as anything else you do, so take the time to do something that you enjoy and that relaxes you. When I was in the middle of my highest stressful jobs, jogging at lunchtime or right after work was...
by carolinaman
Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your opinion on online courses?
Replies: 26
Views: 2100

Re: Your opinion on online courses?

The last 2 years of school (brick and mortar) for my BS in Accounting was essentially self learning. The accounting instructors were there to administer courses, not teach them. I am sure they would deny this but that was my experience. Many times I heard other students ask accounting profs question...
by carolinaman
Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pricing a used car to sell
Replies: 27
Views: 1295

Re: Pricing a used car to sell

Another site to consider is Carmax. Their site will list what comparable cars to yours are selling for. Carmax does not negotiate, so these are the actual sales prices. Their cars are generally in very good condition and their sales price is what I consider "high retail". You can also research what ...
by carolinaman
Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth getting BA after 16 years? Or should I go for certificate programs?
Replies: 5
Views: 768

Re: Is it worth getting BA after 16 years? Or should I go for certificate programs?

Generally speaking, the BA is best. I was in IT and there are lots of certifications. Some are meaningful and some are overrated. FWIW, I started in IT in 1966 without a degree. I advanced well in my company but realized to have a good career in management, I needed a 4 year degree, so I went back t...
by carolinaman
Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from an advisor to DIY . . . Please Help!
Replies: 18
Views: 1534

Re: Moving from an advisor to DIY . . . Please Help!

Questions: 1. Thoughts on putting a percentage into an index fund that follows an international market? I'm looking at 80% stocks and 20% bonds. Does this seem wise? Thoughts on Fidelity's new no-fee indexes? Too new? 2. Public School Retirement System: With $65k in PSRS, I'm torn between leaving t...
by carolinaman
Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Travel Experience?
Replies: 5
Views: 696

Re: Costco Travel Experience?

My daughter used Costco for a trip to Tahiti and Bora Bora. She thought it was an excellent trip and liked the Costco experience. I have not used Costco although I did consider them for hotel choices in Rome a few years ago. I wound up choosing another hotel highly recommended on Tripadvisor.com. I ...
by carolinaman
Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report
Replies: 21
Views: 1467

Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

WF is our primary bank. They are usually a pain to deal with on anything out of the ordinary. We have DPOA and a trust but have not put accounts in trust yet. It sounds as if we need to do that. Also do same for Vanguard. I was POA and executor for my mother. She lived in a small town 3 hours from m...
by carolinaman
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA conversion or take capital gains?
Replies: 8
Views: 518

Re: IRA conversion or take capital gains?

I do not think the answer is clear without more data. Analysis is required to determine most tax advantageous approach.

Your best approach may be to have your accountant do the analysis when he returns.
by carolinaman
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Liability/Umbrella Insurance Question
Replies: 22
Views: 1212

Re: Auto Liability/Umbrella Insurance Question

I think an umbrella policy of $1M is best for your situation. You should talk with your insurance agent. It is best to get umbrella from same company as auto and homeowners. Your current liability is way too low for today's litigious society. An alternative would be to increase your auto liability b...
by carolinaman
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interviewing for manager level position when never had direct reports
Replies: 7
Views: 881

Re: Interviewing for manager level position when never had direct reports

Project management would be a good first start at managing people. Perhaps your management would allow you to manage one of their projects.
by carolinaman
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making a mistake considering a new job?
Replies: 31
Views: 2075

Re: Making a mistake considering a new job?

There are always risks when changing jobs for both you and your new employer. Bad boss, culture misfit, business failure, financial issues are all potential risks for you. Startups are typically not known to have normal 40 hour work weeks. Expect much longer work hours in the beginning. You have a s...
by carolinaman
Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone programmed their own hearing aids?
Replies: 8
Views: 622

Re: Has anyone programmed their own hearing aids?

I am on my 3rd set of HAs. First set was provided by Dr of Audiology who programmed and tuned it. Last 2 by an audiologist at Costco. I visited both multiple times for adjustments and repairs, and I am dubious to any added benefit of using a full fledged doctor of audiology, at least based on my exp...
by carolinaman
Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frequency of Termite Inspections
Replies: 3
Views: 357

Re: Frequency of Termite Inspections

Ours is inspected annually. We were infested with termites once before using service to exterminate them. Since then, do annual inspection. We also get company to spray inside and around foundation for insects. We live in heavily wooded lot, so this is essential for us.
by carolinaman
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ticks and common sense?
Replies: 74
Views: 4039

Re: Ticks and common sense?

I lived in a wooded area (NC) and am in the woods a lot. I have not picked up a tick in many years and have gotten lax about checking for them. New neighbors with 7 children moved in the neighborhood last summer. Their home has a large grassy vacant lot adjacent to them. They have had serious proble...
by carolinaman
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable giving strategy
Replies: 43
Views: 2229

Re: Charitable giving strategy

Give to charities that you really believe in and want to help them accomplish their mission. One key is what percentage of donations go towards administration and fund raising, or inversely, what percentage goes directly to the charity beneficiaries. Many of the national charities have rather high p...
by carolinaman
Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unexpected early retirement - requesting advice
Replies: 56
Views: 6614

Re: Unexpected early retirement - requesting advice

OP find out about medical after leaving job. Re Health: is this a condition where disability can be claimed and if so, can med ins be retained? Whatabout a pension? When would it come into effect? You should research your health care options now. You mentioned working for some government agency. Ma...
by carolinaman
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 4 reasons we overcomplicate investing - Allan Roth
Replies: 5
Views: 1329

Re: 4 reasons we overcomplicate investing - Allan Roth

I have seen several portfolios from friends or relatives that were provided by advisers. They all were complicated. I would have had to do some research to even understand what they had. None of them understood what was in the portfolio. I always ask them what they use as a benchmark based upon thei...
by carolinaman
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How long have you been retired and how much have you spent on health out of pocket?
Replies: 18
Views: 2006

Re: How long have you been retired and how much have you spent on health out of pocket?

I have been retired 8 years, age 73 (DW is 75). DW and I are both on Medicare A&B. She has BCBS Plan F supplement and Part D. I have company paid supplement and prescription plan which is better than any market based offerings. Our combined premium costs are $6,240 a year. Our total annual costs are...
by carolinaman
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Career Change, Give Up and focus on Retirement, or Make the Leap???
Replies: 13
Views: 1427

Re: Career Change, Give Up and focus on Retirement, or Make the Leap???

Since you are so tied to your community, it does limit your options. Do you do any networking in your community? Participating in professional associations, volunteer boards, chamber of commerce or similar organizations. Doing that would allow you to meet and interact with executives from other comp...
by carolinaman
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New job commute
Replies: 64
Views: 3502

Re: New job commute

Will your employer allow you to telework part of the time? That could make this more tolerable. Another option is to work maybe a four day week, but longer hours the days you work. However, your best options seem to be to move closer or find another job with a better commute. I turned down a really ...
by carolinaman
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which offer to accept on vacant land?
Replies: 17
Views: 1865

Re: Which offer to accept on vacant land?

#2 sounds best. Can you counter offer to get part of the initial deposit guaranteed upon signing? Get $12.5k of the $25k deposit guaranteed and the balance after 4 month due diligence. It sounds like this guy already knows the property and is experienced developing in that area. so he should have mu...
by carolinaman
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 4% rule .. but when?
Replies: 35
Views: 4156

Re: 4% rule .. but when?

So person A retires at year 2007 with $1M. This person decides he can live with $40k/year Person B has the same $1M at year 2007. At year 2009, the stock market has crashed and and lost 50% value, so $500k are left. This person decides he can live with $20k/year You could argue that 100% stocks is ...
by carolinaman
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older Camrys - Hybrid vs regular?
Replies: 25
Views: 1560

Re: Older Camrys - Hybrid vs regular?

Perhaps people are concerned about the cost of replacing the batteries. +1. This would be my guess as well. I bought a 2014 Camry Hybrid new and it cost $4k+ more than comparable gas model. There is definitely a premium for new and it takes a lot of miles driven to break even. One thing I do not li...
by carolinaman
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?
Replies: 160
Views: 7889

Re: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?

I have bought medical insurance that included medical evacuation each time I have been overseas. Medicare does not cover most travel out of US and DW and I are in 70s. That is main reason I get insurance but the med evacuation makes sense and was not that much more. I have known several seniors who ...
by carolinaman
Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question to retirees - money or work/life balance?
Replies: 46
Views: 5239

Re: Question to retirees - money or work/life balance?

There can be wide extremes between these 2 ends of the spectrum. At one extreme, people are totally committed to their job, work long hours, deal with major stress and make more money (hopefully lots more money). At the other extreme, people choose a laid back job with no upward mobility, low stress...
by carolinaman
Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy
Replies: 34
Views: 2059

Re: How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy

How about a little pocket translator, English is widely spoken there. Ciao! Everybody says English is widely spoken in Italy but my experience was different. I traveled in Tuscany, Florence, Rome and Amalfi coast. I found some English speakers at hotels, restaurants and tourist places, although som...
by carolinaman
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to prepare for "the talk"
Replies: 64
Views: 4935

Re: How to prepare for "the talk"

IMO, you should definitely assume payments for your college loan. You should consider reimbursing them for what they have already paid. If your siblings were in similar situation, I would encourage the same for them. The caveat to this is to make sure they intend any reimbursements to be used for th...