Search found 2936 matches

by carolinaman
Tue May 22, 2018 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Savings Account emptied out!
Replies: 54
Views: 6884

Re: Chase Savings Account emptied out!

This is a good reminder for everyone to sign up for e-mail/text alerts (bank, brokerage and credit card) so you get a notification whenever there is account activity. ^This. There is no reason not to have text or email alerts on all your financial accounts. I have this for checking accounts. I had ...
by carolinaman
Tue May 22, 2018 6:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring in early 2019.
Replies: 15
Views: 1903

Re: Retiring in early 2019.

A 4% withdrawal rate from your initial portfolio (adjusted for inflation each year) makes it highly unlikely that you will spend down your portfolio. However, that requires a minimum 30% allocation to stocks which you currently do not have. Also, you need to take into account federal/state income t...
by carolinaman
Mon May 21, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need a trust?
Replies: 16
Views: 2049

Re: Do we need a trust?

... -65% of assets are in IRAs which complicates trust document setup and taxes. There seems to be numerous “gotchas” with tax rules. The trust document would have to be carefully crafted ..s. -Probate in NC is relatively straightforward and we are not concerned about it. -Special needs trust will ...
by carolinaman
Mon May 21, 2018 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need a trust?
Replies: 16
Views: 2049

Re: Do we need a trust?

I would like to thank everyone for their responses to my question about whether or not we should setup a trust in our estate. I have done some further research and would like to state some factors that hopefully clarify what we are hoping to accomplish: -We do not wish to control proceeds distributi...
by carolinaman
Sat May 19, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Enclosed Porch Addition - Good or Bad Idea?
Replies: 16
Views: 1006

Re: Enclosed Porch Addition - Good or Bad Idea?

If you decide to do it, I would recommend going ahead and adding an enclosed sunroom with windows that you can open rather than a porch that you would later enclose as a sunroom. The latter always seems to look a bit patched-together and is not as energy efficient and it would be less expensive to ...
by carolinaman
Sat May 19, 2018 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need a trust?
Replies: 16
Views: 2049

Re: Do we need a trust?

be able to dictate how it gets spent. What do you mean by this? Are you saying you want the money you leave to a responsible heir (not the special needs grandchild) to only be spent in certain ways such as on education but not others such a new car or vacation? What about health care that isn't cov...
by carolinaman
Sat May 19, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need a trust?
Replies: 16
Views: 2049

Re: Do we need a trust?

The purpose of a trust would be to protect at least some of our assets in the event some extraordinary event exhausted all of our assets I don't understand what you are going for here, can you explain? If you are talking about setting aside money for your kids to inherit even if you go broke and ne...
by carolinaman
Sat May 19, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: recruiter says you are the top candidate -- true?
Replies: 5
Views: 669

Re: recruiter says you are the top candidate -- true?

Maybe. It is in his best interest to keep all viable candidates engaged in the recruitment process. Also, a lot can happen in the recruitment process so you cannot be sure until the decision is made.
by carolinaman
Fri May 18, 2018 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need a trust?
Replies: 16
Views: 2049

Do we need a trust?

My wife and I need to update our will and we need to add durable power of attorneys (or springing POA) and health care directives. We would have one of our children be the DPOA and the other serve as backup. I am 73 and wife is 75. My pensions and our SS more than cover our annual expenses. My wife ...
by carolinaman
Fri May 18, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Having trouble figuring out expected expenses in retirement
Replies: 37
Views: 2517

Re: Having trouble figuring out expected expenses in retirement

Once children are out of the house and on their own, it should be straightforward to estimate a reasonable retirement budget based upon current expenses adjusted for the obvious retirement spending differences. Taxes will change (no more FICA), you may no longer be saving for retirement, work/commut...
by carolinaman
Fri May 18, 2018 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?
Replies: 47
Views: 3973

Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

My dad told me to find something I really love doing and then figure out how to make a living doing it. You are trying to figure out where you can make the most money and then educate/credential yourself to do it. You may be successful making money but will you be happy and content? Probably not. Wh...
by carolinaman
Fri May 18, 2018 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring soon - some questions
Replies: 27
Views: 3091

Re: Retiring soon - some questions

Unfortunately money does not make one happy in retirement. I have been retired for 8 years and most retired folks I meet are unhappy. Mostly due to family relationships and health issues. If I had life to do over I would work on these for retirement happiness and not money. :oops: +1. Good point. I...
by carolinaman
Wed May 16, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free skin cancer screenings
Replies: 26
Views: 2225

Re: Free skin cancer screenings

i have had a basal cell cancer removed from my forehead and have actinic keratosis. I visit my dermatologist twice/yr. However, in general, many screenings can cause more harm than good. http://commonsensemd.blogspot.com/2015/01/why-every-screening-test-is-gamble.html I agree there are some dermato...
by carolinaman
Wed May 16, 2018 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free skin cancer screenings
Replies: 26
Views: 2225

Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Keep in mind that many (most?) medical societies do not recommend routine skin cancer screening as their benefit:harm ratio has not been consistently proven favorable. I am not sure who those "medical societies" are, but my dermatologists and experts I have read say screening is essential for certa...
by carolinaman
Wed May 16, 2018 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Becoming a Certified Financial Planner
Replies: 21
Views: 2156

Re: Becoming a Certified Financial Planner

OP, if you want to obtain the CFP go for it. I would not pay any attention to the negativity posters. You can do a lot of good helping others who do not have a clue about financial planning for their taxes, investments, insurance, estate. Contrary to what was previously posted, doing CFP work is NO...
by carolinaman
Sun May 13, 2018 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cancer - tips?
Replies: 37
Views: 6682

Re: Cancer - tips?

Before planning for the worst, I would suggest making sure that you are getting the best and most up-to-date treatment. While receiving your current treatment you might start reaching out to institutions like MD Anderson, NIH, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic or your state University Medical Center fo...
by carolinaman
Sun May 13, 2018 6:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating 25X Expenses
Replies: 19
Views: 2782

Re: Calculating 25X Expenses

The short answer to your first question, when given the situation later described, is "no." 25X, when annual expenses and other income streams are known to vary significantly with time, is a good example of For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. - H. L. Menck...
by carolinaman
Sun May 13, 2018 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Texas Medicaid - questions and Legal help
Replies: 12
Views: 816

Re: Texas Medicaid - questions and Legal help

As I understand medicaid, a recipient (or their surviving spouse) does not have to sell house for funds to repay medicaid provided they are using the house. However, if they do sell the house, medicaid must be repaid from the proceeds. A medicaid caseworker, usually social services in your state, ca...
by carolinaman
Thu May 10, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spark Plugs only vs Tune Up?
Replies: 29
Views: 1897

Re: Spark Plugs only vs Tune Up?

When my Camry was due for replacing spark plugs per maint. manual, Toyota service said they were in good shape and replacement was not necessary. As others have said, I cannot remember the last time we replaced spark plugs and we have our 2 Toyota serviced regularly. Sorry to say, but this translat...
by carolinaman
Wed May 09, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spark Plugs only vs Tune Up?
Replies: 29
Views: 1897

Re: Spark Plugs only vs Tune Up?

When my Camry was due for replacing spark plugs per maint. manual, Toyota service said they were in good shape and replacement was not necessary. As others have said, I cannot remember the last time we replaced spark plugs and we have our 2 Toyota serviced regularly.
by carolinaman
Wed May 09, 2018 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Estimating cost of granite countertop renovation
Replies: 19
Views: 1476

Re: Estimating cost of granite countertop renovation

Are you planning to do any of this yourself or are you looking for someone to install for you? I suggest talking with companies selling granite counter tops. They usually have installers and should be able to do most and possibly all of the work. You may need to buy the sink and faucet separately an...
by carolinaman
Wed May 09, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to remove garden hose nozzle that is stuck on a hose
Replies: 40
Views: 2860

Re: How to remove garden hose nozzle that is stuck on a hose

Cut the hose above the nozzle and buy a garden hose repair kit at a big-box store to replace it. I've never been able to get them off once they're stuck. I think I've finally learned my lesson and now remove the nozzle after every use so it won't get stuck in the first place. +1. This works, is eas...
by carolinaman
Wed May 09, 2018 7:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Breaking Up and Staying On Good Terms with an Advisor
Replies: 17
Views: 1570

Re: Breaking Up and Staying On Good Terms with an Advisor

It is really very simple. Tell him directly, either in person or on phone. Give a basic reason that is clear and do not be drawn into any discussion. Explain that your decision is final. Thank him for his advice and help. If you are concerned about being able to do it in this manner, then a brief le...
by carolinaman
Sun May 06, 2018 6:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension Advice/Recommendation
Replies: 13
Views: 1437

Re: Pension Advice/Recommendation

I agree that 75% is your best option. The small dollar difference between 75% and 50% makes the 75% option a worthwhile choice. A quick back of the envelope calculation for the SRA: 4% (SWR) x $26,538 / 12 = $88 a month if you do withdrawals from it versus $100+ for you as annuity. However, wife as ...
by carolinaman
Sun May 06, 2018 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do we spend too much on food?
Replies: 71
Views: 5935

Re: Do we spend too much on food?

Our food spend is about $650 a month for 2 plus at least $600 a month eating out in MCOL area (Charlotte). I think it is great that you do the entertaining and that your wife loves to cook. That is all good. It is great to entertain friends and I am sure you and your wife derive a lot of pleasure fr...
by carolinaman
Fri May 04, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Medicare B IRMAA thresholds for 2019?
Replies: 8
Views: 962

Re: Medicare B IRMAA thresholds for 2019?

IMO it is worthwhile to do Roths or Roth conversion up to the $170k MAGI limit while you can. As you say, once you start RMDs, that option will not be available without triggering IRMAA premium. I have same problem. I have started doing qualified charitable deductions instead of doing itemized deduc...
by carolinaman
Thu May 03, 2018 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One Bathroom in Home Change Bathtub to Only Shower Hurt Resale?.
Replies: 32
Views: 2068

Re: One Bathroom in Home Change Bathtub to Only Shower Hurt Resale?.

Realtors do say it hurts resale value if you do not have a tub in at least one bathroom. That said, this is your planned last home and you will be there hopefully for a long while. Given that, I say do what you consider best for yourself. Your comfort trumps resale value which may not matter that mu...
by carolinaman
Tue May 01, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you know when you have "won the game"?
Replies: 142
Views: 15223

Re: How do you know when you have "won the game"?

When you have accumulated enough safe assets to assure you and your families needs for a lifetime. That would probably mean long term treasuries as assets. That does not mean you have to invest all your assets in treasuries (but you must meet a reasonable definition of safe) and you do not necessari...
by carolinaman
Tue May 01, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asked to be Executor - What questions to ask
Replies: 39
Views: 3387

Re: Asked to be Executor - What questions to ask

1. Should I ask to review the will when we meet, or should I just ask for them to communicate their intentions? 2. Should I ask whom to go to/how to find their assets if something happens? I don't want to know the details of that info now as it is none of my business. 3. One of the couple has devel...
by carolinaman
Tue May 01, 2018 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: finances for the semi-retired
Replies: 8
Views: 1328

Re: finances for the semi-retired

@carolinamen - I had not planned on being "semi-retired" so long. I took a few months off five years ago thinking that I would be able to find a full time job in my field but that has been elusive. @gotester2000 - Ideally I would like to have another $10K-$15K of income to feel secure in my finance...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: salary negotiation help please
Replies: 5
Views: 854

Re: salary negotiation help please

Tell them what you expect to make. In my experience, at the senior levels, you aren't really negotiating. You have a price tag. Explain it to them and make sure you are worth it. Be careful of too much skewed to the "when we go public" side of the equation, but, also recognize that that is a big pa...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: finances for the semi-retired
Replies: 8
Views: 1328

Re: finances for the semi-retired

Did you plan to be semi retired or was that because you could not find a full time job? We are lacking information to properly advise you, i.e. age/annual expenses/assets/etc. It sounds like from the limited information provided that you should find a job and generate more income, even if the job is...
by carolinaman
Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly widowed and waay out of my league
Replies: 41
Views: 5234

Re: Newly widowed and waay out of my league

I am so sorry for your tragic loss. I know this is a very hard time for you. As others have stated, you should not make any major decisions for at least 6 months and perhaps longer. Grieving people go through spells where they are not thinking clearly. This is normal in grief and why it is dangerous...
by carolinaman
Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help defining needs for Will / Estate plan
Replies: 17
Views: 1079

Re: Help defining needs for Will / Estate plan

Thank you for the replies. Legalzoom package includes multiple consultations with an attorney. Is this "enough" or still cheaping out? We can certainly afford the thousands of dollars I expect this to cost. But still don't want to fork it all over if there's a better way. You still need this to be ...
by carolinaman
Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: More aggressive portfolio with a pension?
Replies: 42
Views: 3672

Re: More aggressive portfolio with a pension?

I do not believe there is a consensus on this forum about your AA when you have a pension and SS covering most or all of your expenses. My pension and our SS more than cover our living expenses. However, I still have a conservative portfolio which is currently 43/57. I know that I can be more aggres...
by carolinaman
Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lake Tahoe
Replies: 28
Views: 2334

Re: Lake Tahoe

I like your plan but if interested, Reno is about an hour's drive from Lake Tahoe.
by carolinaman
Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you sell or donate unused items?
Replies: 46
Views: 2706

Re: Do you sell or donate unused items?

I donate things. Selling is too much trouble and there are plenty of worthy charities who can benefit from donations. I used to get a small tax benefit, but with the new tax law we will likely be taking standard deduction. No matter, that was never the motivation to donate stuff.
by carolinaman
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial advisor for hire
Replies: 15
Views: 1553

Re: Financial advisor for hire

This financial adviser's offer does not sound like exactly what you want, but I may be mistaken. Do you want a comprehensive plan that you can manage or do you want ongoing assistance? I think the comprehensive plan by a "fee only" adviser is a great idea. I could see periodic reviews of your situat...
by carolinaman
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vested in pension... leave it in or take it out?
Replies: 10
Views: 1001

Re: Vested in pension... leave it in or take it out?

I'm a retired government executive, and when I was working, I saw a lot of folks return to government service after having left. That meant that they had to return the retirement funds they had taken out when they left. That was often a major stumbling block. If there is any chance whatsoever that ...
by carolinaman
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary Negotiation gone sour
Replies: 98
Views: 10102

Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

My experience from both sides, employee and hiring manager. Unless you are an exceptional candidate or the need is great. It is not so much a negotiation as it is, Offer -> Counter Offer -> Final Offer. The candidate only has their own decision to make. Companies are different. Once you start jerki...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Alternative to a Pension (DB )
Replies: 12
Views: 1077

Re: Best Alternative to a Pension (DB )

You need to compare your options. One is to buy the 7 years of time at $90k and two is to buy an SPIA with that money. How do they compare? Does your pension have a COLA? COLAs are very expensive in SPIAs. Will buying this time back enable you to retire sooner? That is often a consideration. Does th...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual bonds versus bond funds.
Replies: 11
Views: 871

Re: Individual bonds versus bond funds.

I use very low cost bond index funds that are well diversified. One thing that can hurt individual investors is the spread between buy and sell. Bond funds and institutions get more favorable spreads than individuals and this can be significant in the long run and commissions can add up too. You can...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long does a will last? [Time to settle the estate]
Replies: 43
Views: 4094

Re: How long does a will last?

When I handled my mother's small estate, I did it without using an attorney except I had one review everything. He advised to hold back some of the money for a year to assure that all estate obligations were identified. Often medical bills are slow to arrive and there may be unexpected liabilities s...
by carolinaman
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Updated w2 from 2013-2017
Replies: 6
Views: 647

Re: Updated w2 from 2013-2017

Most individuals operate on a cash basis, meaning they recognize the income when it is received according to IRS rules. Therefore, the income should be recognized in the year received. The error should not have required revised W2s for past years.
by carolinaman
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?
Replies: 87
Views: 4992

Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

But as I was driving on the highway, I realized that, without my husband, I have no clue what to do if I have a flat or a breakdown or an accident. Is AAA still the thing to do? AAA is an expensive and bad idea. 30 yrs ago they were the only game in time and people are stuck in old habits. Any auto...
by carolinaman
Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much can mom spend on a house?
Replies: 11
Views: 1814

Re: How much can mom spend on a house?

Life after 70 can change on a dime; a home becomes more difficult to manage with age and more and more services may need to be hired as time passes. What seems easy at 70 may be quite difficult or impossible by age 80. That is tying up a lot of her money in a house, whether it has a mortgage or not...
by carolinaman
Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Factor in evaluating Physicians
Replies: 86
Views: 4911

Re: Factor in evaluating Physicians

One of my docs got $42k. He has given no indication of influence to me. When insurance dropped one of my meds, he recommended I try OTC drugs. I asked whether an expensive medical procedure would help my condition. He felt my current treatment with the aforementioned med was more appropriate. I do n...
by carolinaman
Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy new or used cars?
Replies: 113
Views: 7497

Re: Do you buy new or used cars?

I normally buy new because the cars I like do not depreciate much and it is usually better to buy new, i.e Toyota Camry. However, we bought my wife's Toyota Avalon used. It was 2007 LTD with 38k miles when we bought in 2010. I did not buy it from Carmax but they told me that Avalon's depreciate a lo...
by carolinaman
Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinion on Vanguard Personal Advisor Services
Replies: 12
Views: 1688

Re: Opinion on Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

One way to get around the re-balancing issue is to invest in a LifeStrategy fund from Vanguard. These are similar to target date funds but they maintain a relatively constant ratio of equity to fixed income. There are several different ones. Two that you may be interested in are: Life Strategy Growt...
by carolinaman
Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Factor in evaluating Physicians
Replies: 86
Views: 4911

Re: Factor in evaluating Physicians

The issue, it seems to me, is the bias (especially woth drugs) of receiving compensation related to prescribing expensive drugs from the manufacturers. Do you really think that the average physician is going to be influenced adversely by a pizza or sub-sandwich lunch for him/her and some of the off...