Search found 3194 matches

by carolinaman
Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proposal for Structural Damage
Replies: 12
Views: 952

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: 952

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: 1339

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: 224
Views: 15433

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: 3316

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: 678

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...
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Questions about parents retirement accounts
Replies: 5
Views: 540

Re: Questions about parents retirement accounts

From what I understand, if he rolls it over to a traditional IRA, he would be required to take minimum distributions. He will be required to take minimum distributions from a 401k even if it isn't rolled over. Is he eligible to rollover to a Roth IRA and avoid the RMDs? Is there a way to estimate h...
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fakespot vs. Reviewmeta for Amazon?
Replies: 10
Views: 872

Re: Fakespot vs. Reviewmeta for Amazon?

I just tried fakespot and reviewmeta on a mini fridge I just purchased. Fakespot did not detect any problems but reviewmeta detected 3 of 10 reviews as fake which reduced review rating score. Very interesting tools that I will use in future as I look at product reviews for all major purchases. Thanks.
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fakespot vs. Reviewmeta for Amazon?
Replies: 10
Views: 872

Re: Fakespot vs. Reviewmeta for Amazon?

Kennedy wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:57 pm
carolinaman wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:19 pm
I linked to facespot and malwarebytes recommends not using the site due to malvertising. It does not seem to be a trustworthy site.
The website is fakespot not facespot. Is that the issue?
Ah! Thank you.
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [AARP Article re: ID Theft & Dark Web]
Replies: 32
Views: 3858

Re: Dark Web Article

I do the first 2 above but use Google to keep most of my passwords, those of low security. I also keep an encrypted spreadsheet in case there are problems. The few which are critical are for financial sites (bank, investments, etc.) and each has a unique strong password and Google does not keep tho...
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [AARP Article re: ID Theft & Dark Web]
Replies: 32
Views: 3858

Re: Dark Web Article

So the relevant actionable part of the article is this: Actions recommended to protect yourself from identity theft 1. Freeze your credit 2. Monitor your financial accounts 3. Use a Password Manager I do the first 2 above but use Google to keep most of my passwords, those of low security. I also ke...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fakespot vs. Reviewmeta for Amazon?
Replies: 10
Views: 872

Re: Fakespot vs. Reviewmeta for Amazon?

I linked to facespot and malwarebytes recommends not using the site due to malvertising. It does not seem to be a trustworthy site.
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [AARP Article re: ID Theft & Dark Web]
Replies: 32
Views: 3858

Re: Dark Web Article

So the relevant actionable part of the article is this: Actions recommended to protect yourself from identity theft 1. Freeze your credit 2. Monitor your financial accounts 3. Use a Password Manager I do the first 2 above but use Google to keep most of my passwords, those of low security. I also ke...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [AARP Article re: ID Theft & Dark Web]
Replies: 32
Views: 3858

[AARP Article re: ID Theft & Dark Web]

The AARP Bulletin has an interesting article about the dark web this month:
https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/ ... k-web.html

Reinforces the idea that we all need to be vigilant and prudent in protecting our identity and assets.
by carolinaman
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ print edition renwal time - any discounts?
Replies: 65
Views: 3987

Re: WSJ print edition renwal time - any discounts?

WSJ has been free for many years just change the date at the end online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/print/WSJ_-A001-20171104.pdf +1. I use this and it works great. I always read front page and editorial pages, and sometimes articles in section B. Often there are articles on the front page th...
by carolinaman
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to determine quality of a finished new construction home
Replies: 45
Views: 2931

Re: How to determine quality of a finished new construction home

Hire a home inspector and be there when he walks through it. One who has been around will also know 100x more about local builder reputations than anything you can find on online reviews by consumers. +1. Good idea and a good investment. A common comment from this post has been that framing materia...
by carolinaman
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question for RMD'ers with predominantly bond IRAs
Replies: 11
Views: 888

Re: Question for RMD'ers with predominantly bond IRAs

The concern about rising interest rates has been a major topic on this forum and other financial sites ever since rates dropped following the 2008 crisis. No one knows when that will be although some have always seen it as an imminent threat. Like a stopped clock, they will eventually be proven righ...
by carolinaman
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!
Replies: 93
Views: 4186

Re: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!

I have 2+ acres that are heavily wooded. I have worn out 2 chainsaws over the years cutting down trees, limb trimming, etc. I consider myself very experienced with chainsaws and I was always very careful with them. I bought another chainsaw a few years ago to cut down lots of small trees and heavy b...
by carolinaman
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a new iPhone?
Replies: 43
Views: 3532

Re: Should I get a new iPhone?

I also have an iphone 6s. I am not a heavy user. I use phone, texting, camera and web to some extent. I do have a few apps that come in handy. My battery still performs well. But overall, I do not use all of the features I have. So I have no need for an upgrade. It sounds like you are in a similar p...
by carolinaman
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?
Replies: 57
Views: 5672

Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

The last 26 years of my career, there was always lots of pressure, long hours, difficult people and organization politics to deal with. Fortunately, for the most part I had the support of my management. Somehow, I was able to compartmentalize the negatives and focus on the positives in my job and th...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinion's: Best time to withdraw RMD's when required to do so.
Replies: 22
Views: 1513

Re: Opinion's: Best time to withdraw RMD's when required to do so.

I do late in the calendar year when my tax situation is more clear. This way I can withhold proper amount to avoid under withholding penalties by IRS.
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Atlantic: 'Why is College In America So Expensive?'
Replies: 27
Views: 2576

Re: The Atlantic: 'Why is College In America So Expensive?'

Easy access to student loans is one factor contributing to the high cost of college. If students were more judicious in getting loans and lending institutions were more judicious in granting loans, this would put more pressure on high college costs. Many students run up huge amounts of debt that the...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Foundation Water Mitigation in So. Carolina
Replies: 6
Views: 436

Re: Home Foundation Water Mitigation in So. Carolina

I live in SC....near Ft. Mill. I'm pretty sure most of Lexington Co. contains sandy soil. Most homes in this area don't require sump pumps or french drains. To be safe, I would definitely get an inspection on the system. Not from a general home inspector, because they'll basically tell you that you...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on how to deal with barking dogs
Replies: 59
Views: 5093

Re: Advice on how to deal with barking dogs

You are being too timid about this. Anything that disrupts your sleep should not be tolerated. I would not bother talking with the neighbor. They know the dogs bark at night and are unwilling to do anything for the consideration of their neighbors. I would call animal control and explain that this i...
by carolinaman
Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mold in house and insurance won't cover - options?
Replies: 29
Views: 3797

Re: Mold in house and insurance won't cover - options?

Personally I think mold remediation companies are ripping people off based on fear. We live with mold in the air all around us, and unless the infestation is extreme or you are a person who is highly allergic you can clean it up yourself. First thing you need to do is stop the water intrusion into ...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a house that needs full renovation?
Replies: 40
Views: 1674

Re: Buy a house that needs full renovation?

Local housing market is very hot and the prices have gone up significantly over the past few years. There were three offers on the house in the first day and I had to offer slightly above asking price - 250K. The inspection revealed some significant structural issues with the crawl space (standing ...
by carolinaman
Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension early distribution options
Replies: 12
Views: 955

Re: Pension early distribution options

I would probably take the lump sum mainly to simplify matters. This is a relatively small sum and simplification would trump adding a small income stream. I am assuming you can roll this over into a IRA. Using simple math, the age 60 pension seems best provided you retire at that age. Otherwise, the...
by carolinaman
Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent Increase or Not?
Replies: 25
Views: 2544

Re: Rent Increase or Not?

I have no experience as a landlord but have read that small increases usually do not bother tenants, especially when you have expense increases like you cited. This same article said it is better to do small, incremental increases than to hit a tenant with a large increase every 5 years or so. That ...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excel sheet for approximate tax / income planning?
Replies: 7
Views: 854

Re: Excel sheet for approximate tax / income planning?

I'm looking to find / build an Excel spreadsheet for approximate tax planning. The inputs would be: W2 income, 401/IRA withdraw amount, SS his, SS hers and Capital gains (gross/net long, gross/net short). This would be assuming MFJ (single sheet would be very similar), assuming no foreign dividends...
by carolinaman
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Advice Please!
Replies: 20
Views: 1825

Re: Career Advice Please!

OP, Besides higher pay, this sounds like a demotion to me. You report to a VP directly now. You could ask the existing boss to change your job title to director of business development. KlangFool I'm not sure I could agree to that reasoning. 1. The companies are vastly different in size 2. I'd also...
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a car to CarMax
Replies: 74
Views: 5728

Re: Selling a car to CarMax

I have received several quotes from Carmax and sold one of those to them. They do not haggle. An alternative is to use the Carmax quote in negotiations with a car dealer when you buy a new car. You might get the dealer to increase their offer a little over the Carmax price. Car dealers view the Carm...
by carolinaman
Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?
Replies: 24
Views: 1547

Re: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?

I live in NC so our grasses are likely different than yours. I just planted grass seed and used a blend of tall fescue sold by a local organic store. The owner is a true expert on gardening and I asked him about different popular grass seeds in our. Most were not highly rated. I did ask about Kentuc...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Aggressive asset allocation and market capitalization for someone with a pension
Replies: 15
Views: 1179

Re: Aggressive asset allocation and market capitalization for someone with a pension

I think a lot will depend on how well-funded your pension plan is, what oversight is in place for it, and of course how stable you personally feel the plan is. For what it’s worth, I have almost 20 years with my employer, eligible to draw in ~8 more. ‘I’ consider it well-funded based on my research...
by carolinaman
Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Have medical issue - How should I change my investment strategy?]
Replies: 11
Views: 1163

Re: [Have medical issue - How should I change my investment strategy?]

I am sorry for your condition. My DW has had it a few times so I know it is painful and difficult to deal with. The root cause for her was certain foods and her solution was a proper diet and care of her health. The reduced mortality for people with gout may be more about their lifestyle, diet, etc....
by carolinaman
Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical liability claim settlement. What is fair?
Replies: 40
Views: 2574

Re: Medical liability claim settlement. What is fair?

I have a contrarian opinion about what is fair. The OP mentioned that he is paying the rent for the daughter's apartment and she is also still on his insurance policy. We do not know how much support he is still providing her, possibly a lot, but to some extent she is still on his payroll. In that i...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?
Replies: 19
Views: 1816

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Option 2 would be most appealing to me as I have lot of 2+ acres and have enjoyed it for more than 45 years. Option 2 is a better fit for the house you are building. Generally, you should avoid having the most expensive house in the neighborhood. If you plan to live in the home for a long time, most...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical liability claim settlement. What is fair?
Replies: 40
Views: 2574

Re: Medical liability claim settlement. What is fair?

Welcome to the forum Bogletoon. You are in the best position to decide what you perceive as fair. One thought is to make some split with your daughter. Arguably she deserves something for her pain and suffering and use the remaining funds for college costs for her and her siblings. It seems that you...
by carolinaman
Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)
Replies: 35
Views: 2619

Re: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)

Doesn't State Farm have a terrible reputation regarding paying claims? Bad ratings in this regard? At least that's what I recall seeing last time I shopped around. Its great to pay the cheapest rates but you want to know a claim will be paid should you ever have to make one. Of course on the other ...
by carolinaman
Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)
Replies: 35
Views: 2619

Re: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)

Very good. My StFarm homeowners was $572 last December. Very similar valuation and have auto insurance and umbrella with them. No homeowners claims in more than 20 years. What state in you in? I am in NC.
by carolinaman
Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Sequence of Returns Risk even make sense for early retirees?
Replies: 10
Views: 1260

Re: Does Sequence of Returns Risk even make sense for early retirees?

The sequence of return risk occurs when you must spend investment funds, notable equity and other volatile funds, for retirement living expenses after they have declined substantially. In essence, you are locking in your losses by withdrawing the funds. Conversely, if you have low volatile funds lik...
by carolinaman
Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying car online?
Replies: 65
Views: 3687

Re: Buying car online?

Soliciting prices by the Internet or via phone will never get the best price, at least in my experience. Your most powerful position is to go to a dealer and make clear that you are ready to buy today, but only after doing all of your model and price research, which you have done. With all the infor...
by carolinaman
Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wildlife Removal:
Replies: 16
Views: 1659

Re: Wildlife Removal:

If you have "interesting" snakes, herpetologists will trap them and take them for free because they either keep them or sell them. I did this in the past and the herpetologist was always willing to bag the snakes and take them away free of charge. As for the rats in the attic I would hire someone t...
by carolinaman
Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Skilled Nursing Facilities that Accept Medicaid Really That Bad?
Replies: 30
Views: 3557

Re: Are Skilled Nursing Facilities that Accept Medicaid Really That Bad?

My mother went from rehab (Medicare paid) to private pay in a nice nursing home. She soon exhausted her funds and went on Medicaid. She remained in her private room with no change in service until she died several months later. So I guess it depends upon the facility and situation. I know the facili...
by carolinaman
Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most commonly misused/misunderstood investing terms and concepts (on BH forum)
Replies: 220
Views: 11278

Re: Most commonly misused/misunderstood investing terms and concepts (on BH forum)

Investing the Boglehead way is simple. I totally agree that it is simple but the authors promoting this investing style, including John Bogle, write scores of books about this style of investing, and each book is several hundred pages. If it is so simple, why do we need all of those books?
by carolinaman
Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When I die, what % of expenses should my survivor assume
Replies: 16
Views: 1841

Re: When I die, what % of expenses should my survivor assume

Annually I do a spreadsheet that tracks all of our spending for the year. I have individual line items for both my wife and I. Based upon those items, expenses would decline substantially for each of us. Due to her declining health, she would need to likely pay someone to do a lot of things I do lik...
by carolinaman
Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with basement issues
Replies: 16
Views: 1517

Re: Help with basement issues

Check with your neighbors and see if they have had issues too, and if so, have any of them solved it. If so, what did they do. Also, talk to a reputable contractor and civil engineer. Also: https://www.familyhandyman.com/basement/how-to-cure-a-wet-basement/view-all/ https://www.familyhandyman.com/b...
by carolinaman
Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Former Kaspersky user, PCMATIC?? or what as a replacement?
Replies: 23
Views: 1448

Re: Former Kaspersky user, PCMATIC?? or what as a replacement?

I had Kaspersky through Best Buy. When BB dropped Kaspersky, I tried to buy it direct and discovered the reseller was in Philippines. Using a Russian product supported by a company in the Philippines. That is taking globalization too far for me. I wound up with Norton and I continue to use Malwareby...
by carolinaman
Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New highs and portfolio growth in retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 1161

Re: New highs and portfolio growth in retirement

Sequence of return risk is a major consideration for someone who is near retirement or early in retirement. The risk is greater for those with high equity allocations. For example, how would a 40% drop in US equity market affect your plans? Such a market drop could dramatically change your retiremen...
by carolinaman
Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling old car - expired registration
Replies: 31
Views: 1828

Re: Selling old car - expired registration

I had an old Mazda Millenia which still ran but had a few problems. I thought it would be a great car for someone who could do their own repairs. However, after considerable effort the best I could do was salvage the car. Even if I fixed some of the problems I could not get more than salvage. I got ...
by carolinaman
Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Take pension immediately upon retirement, or use 457 funds?
Replies: 36
Views: 1634

Re: Take pension immediately upon retirement, or use 457 funds?

sounds good. sounds too good to be true IMO. +1. I agree. It seems unrealistic and unsustainable. How does a pension like this get funded over the long term? I suggest you try to find out what percentage of the pension's long term liabilities are funded and also what is the pension's discount rate ...