Search found 720 matches

by ChrisC
Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it ever worth purchasing an extended warranty for a vehicle?
Replies: 55
Views: 2234

Re: Is it ever worth purchasing an extended warranty for a vehicle?

An extended warranty can only ever be worth it in hindsight and even then, it's only worth it to a small fraction of the people who bought them. This is because they sell you a policy that for the average (and not even average, see next bit) purchaser will have a positive payoff to Ford and a negat...
by ChrisC
Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA [How do I organize expenses for future reimbursement?]
Replies: 33
Views: 1946

Re: HSA [How do I organize expenses for future reimbursement?]

I do the same as above posters (spreadsheet record keeping, scan payment receipt, keep local & cloud backup copy) but I wonder what good it will do. I don't mean to change the direction of this discussion, but I've been wondering if it is worth going to this trouble of retaining receipts. I have a ...
by ChrisC
Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA [How do I organize expenses for future reimbursement?]
Replies: 33
Views: 1946

Re: HSA [How do I organize expenses for future reimbursement?]

I do the same as above posters (spreadsheet record keeping, scan payment receipt, keep local & cloud backup copy) but I wonder what good it will do. I don't mean to change the direction of this discussion, but I've been wondering if it is worth going to this trouble of retaining receipts. I have a ...
by ChrisC
Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2019 tIRA to Roth conversion -- now or later?
Replies: 12
Views: 852

Re: 2019 tIRA to Roth conversion -- now or later?

I am planning a large tIRA to Roth conversion for 2019. (Over 100K) Now that we have no way to recharacterize, it feels like the timing of my conversion could be pretty expensive if I do it at the wrong moment. (Or probably more correctly, I'll suffer remorse if I convert and then the market drops ...
by ChrisC
Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions Question
Replies: 29
Views: 1767

Re: Roth Conversions Question

Thanks everyone for your input. Lots of great information. We are moving to Florida in February so plan to wait until we are residents there to do this to avoid any state tax issues here in NC. I'm in NC and the Bailey settlement exempts my CSRS annuity payments and any distributions from my TSP (i...
by ChrisC
Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions Question
Replies: 29
Views: 1767

Re: Roth Conversions Question

Thanks Silk, it makes perfect sense to convert some now to start the 5 year clock to allow the earnings to have no taxes. I should not need any of the money over the next 5 years. Retired, yes we are in a 22% marginal bracket, I was fairly high up in an independent agency that paid well in my high ...
by ChrisC
Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?
Replies: 158
Views: 8256

Re: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?

1. Federal income taxes
2. Housing maintenance, including debt service, renovations, repairs
3. Travel
4. State and local taxes (income, real estate and personal property taxes)
5. Medical expenses, including insurance premiums
6. Grandchildren, including 529 contributions
by ChrisC
Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering living with Mother in law (MIL)
Replies: 34
Views: 3598

Re: Considering living with Mother in law (MIL)

I got some great advice on another forum that I wanted to share: Just so many red flags flying in your post. Is your MIL mentally incompetent? If not her desire is to live out her days in her own home. You might not think it's the best option for her, but it's what she wants. She doesn't want to mo...
by ChrisC
Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering living with Mother in law (MIL)
Replies: 34
Views: 3598

Re: Considering living with Mother in law (MIL)

We have talked to MIL endlessly about her need to go to assisted living and she will not. So, instead of fighting her all the time on it, we have decided to consider how we could make her life as wonderful as possible. We floated the idea of her moving into our TX home (we bought one with an in-law...
by ChrisC
Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Paying taxes on Roth conversion made in 2019
Replies: 21
Views: 1484

Re: Paying taxes on Roth conversion made in 2019

Federal... You're supposed to pay taxes on conversions in or before the the quarter when you do the them. So doing the whole thing in January will result in a penalty... This is incorrect if sufficient tax WITHHOLDING is done without need for estimated tax payments... I agree and you also have the ...
by ChrisC
Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Settlement issues and inherited IRAs
Replies: 37
Views: 1558

Re: Estate Settlement issues and inherited IRAs

This is just a ball of confusion, perhaps compunded by the inprecise description of what is in the trust, what is outside of the trust, what assets need to be probated under a will, and what assets/accounts can simply be transferred to the intended recipients by presenting death certificates. Freque...
by ChrisC
Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Settlement issues and inherited IRAs
Replies: 37
Views: 1558

Re: Estate Settlement issues and inherited IRAs

He was also getting RMDs, and I assume the last one would be before the year ends. If another RMD is taken next year, and the estate is revalued in 6 months, wouldn't that push the distributions back an entire year, as new tax filings have to be made? We then have even more market risk. I also thin...
by ChrisC
Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Settlement issues and inherited IRAs
Replies: 37
Views: 1558

Re: Estate Settlement issues and inherited IRAs

I am wondering this as well. According to the attorney, the probate will give creditors 6 months to come forward with a claim. If it isn't used, creditors have up to 2 years to come forward. Seems to defeat the purpose of a revocable trust (or at least one of the reasons for using it) Isn't there a...
by ChrisC
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Has anyone with HSAs with HSABank tried rolling over to Fidelity?
Replies: 20
Views: 1877

Re: Has anyone with HSAs with HSABank tried rolling over to Fidelity?

Retired Fed here who has had HDHP/HSAs with Aetna and GEHA while on active duty status and now in retirement. At one time, I had 3 different HSAs with 3 different custodians. Currently, I have two HSA accounts, one with Optum Bank, where I made my family and catch-up contributions, and the other wit...
by ChrisC
Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS and WEP [Social Security and Windfall Elimination Provision]
Replies: 15
Views: 1052

Re: SS and WEP

The documentation on the SSA site discusses GPO for employees of the government only, not schools. Anything she gets comes from a teacher's retirement fund. I don't know that this is considered a government job. Lexi: I'm aware that she isn't eligible to collect for both....just planning ahead for ...
by ChrisC
Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS and WEP [Social Security and Windfall Elimination Provision]
Replies: 15
Views: 1052

Re: SS and WEP

WEP affects your wife’s retirement benefits. Another law which establishes the Govenment Pension Offset (GPO) affects your wife’s ability to draw spousal benefits from your retirement account. I’m subject to WEP and receive modest SS retirement benefits; GPO wipes out any spousal benefits I would ot...
by ChrisC
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is Too Long to Return a Hair Dryer to Costco?
Replies: 73
Views: 5001

Re: When is Too Long to Return a Hair Dryer to Costco?

I've been "warned?" Pish posh. I am curious what OP's neighbor decides to do after this discussion. OP, do keep us updated, won't you? Thanks. :happy People that abuse the return policy don't just get banned, they ruin it for people that legitimately want to return something. If something breaks af...
by ChrisC
Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: rule of thumb for using HSA funds?
Replies: 40
Views: 3436

Re: rule of thumb for using HSA funds?

I imagine that there are members of this board who are in the process of building substantial HSA balances—and if they’re young enough, no telling how large they may become as the funds are invested and not being drawn down for medical expenses. Whether they will need all of the funds for related e...
by ChrisC
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term Care Insurance
Replies: 184
Views: 9118

Re: Long-term Care Insurance

Hi, My Mom and Dad both had LTC. Mom had early-stage Alzheimers and Dad had trouble with balance. I moved them both to a beautiful assisted living facility and immediately applied for their LTC. They had a 90 day waiting period so as soon as I called their company that I wanted LTC to start the 90 ...
by ChrisC
Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Case for Renting
Replies: 31
Views: 3715

Re: The Case for Renting

I have two options. Head down and save aggressively and buy a small 2 bedroom in a nice neighborhood in Brooklyn. This would curtail my ability to pay off my loan, save in a SEP, etc. Or I could continue to rent and save. Does anyone in NYC have experience with this choice and can they share insigh...
by ChrisC
Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employees, leading up to retirement?
Replies: 117
Views: 10514

Re: Federal Employees, leading up to retirement?

By the way, as a Federal manager, I usually knew which members of my organization were abusing sick leave, and, yes, it did shape my opinion of their work. I overheard the water cooler conversations about "mental health days," and I observed the sick days that often seemed to happen the day before ...
by ChrisC
Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: What keeps you up at night?
Replies: 56
Views: 6176

Re: Retirees: What keeps you up at night?

Taking care of family and friends who can't take care of themselves.
by ChrisC
Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 50% of Cancer Patients Burn Through Their Life's Savings in Just 2 Years
Replies: 70
Views: 7963

Re: 50% of Cancer Patients Burn Through Their Life's Savings in Just 2 Years

I think I will be able to keep GEHA-HDHP with HRA instead of HSA. But, when the time comes, I will check out other options, too. Your BIL's plan looks good. Victoria You can keep the GEHA-HDHP with the HRA but you should realize that the GEHA-HDHP won't pay for Medicare deductibles or co-pays under...
by ChrisC
Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 50% of Cancer Patients Burn Through Their Life's Savings in Just 2 Years
Replies: 70
Views: 7963

Re: 50% of Cancer Patients Burn Through Their Life's Savings in Just 2 Years

1. Reference for the "$100/month for a margin call ": I am currently using the FEHB GEHA HDHP for $125/month. When I become eligible for Medicare, Medicare will provide primary coverage, and I will continue paying $125/month with small annual increases for the secondary coverage. If I develop a ser...
by ChrisC
Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard, Costco, Coursera...
Replies: 39
Views: 5453

Re: Vanguard, Costco, Coursera...

When Amazon can deliver me a 1/4 lb hotdog with kraut and a diet coke to my door instantly after completing my purchase for $1.50, then maybe they will overtake Costco. First, they took away the Polish Hot Dogs; next they will come for the Churro; and then the BBQ brisket will be toast. :( The 1/4 ...
by ChrisC
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard, Costco, Coursera...
Replies: 39
Views: 5453

Re: Vanguard, Costco, Coursera...

Just wait and I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon buys some network of gas stations and integrates it with WholeFoods, which offers electric charge services for electric vehicles at one of the WholeFoods I enjoy lunch occasionally. I was floored the other day when a Home Depot lumber guy told me that ...
by ChrisC
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard, Costco, Coursera...
Replies: 39
Views: 5453

Re: Vanguard, Costco, Coursera...

Costco isn't worth it if you don't have a reason to buy in bulk or use another of their services. I had a membership one year in order to use their optical department but found that we have neither the room nor the need for so many huge bulk packages. It didn't justify the hour long drive each way....
by ChrisC
Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 50% of Cancer Patients Burn Through Their Life's Savings in Just 2 Years
Replies: 70
Views: 7963

Re: 50% of Cancer Patients Burn Through Their Life's Savings in Just 2 Years

Insurance. Having a medical insurance is good. Having two insurances is even better. When I become eligible for Medicare I will get Medicare Part B and will keep my FEHB insurance. Some Federal retirees are planning to forego either Part B or FEHB, but I prefer to pay for partly overlapping coverag...
by ChrisC
Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 4054
Views: 1102581

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Monsters and Men. The film struck a sensitive chord in me. It deals with three men of color who are faced with separate, difficult choices in the aftermath of an explosive, tragedy, in light of their differing backgrounds and goals. The acting was quite good, and the story telling from one setting t...
by ChrisC
Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LTHC Insurance ??
Replies: 10
Views: 843

Re: LTHC Insurance ??

I think Long Term Care insurance coverage will start if you can’t perform any two of certain activities of daily living. But someone could have dementia and still be able to do all these 6 things. [eating is different from cooking or preparing foods to eat ] also someone might be demented and able ...
by ChrisC
Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Depreciated rental property expenses
Replies: 6
Views: 825

Re: Depreciated rental property expenses

Regarding depreciation, my rudimentary understanding is that improvements are depreciated and repairs are not. So if the façade work is to repair crumbling bricks, etc., that can't be depreciated. But if you tear down the crumbling bricks and put a fancier façade that would increase your property v...
by ChrisC
Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Depreciated rental property expenses
Replies: 6
Views: 825

Re: Depreciated rental property expenses

Also, I have a follow up question regarding depreciation, how do you determine building value? Do you look at property tax document for the building value or do you go by purchase price? Or homeowner insurance estimate to rebuild? Some of the land estimate in places like bay area must be sky high v...
by ChrisC
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Question
Replies: 11
Views: 1488

Re: Medicare Question

When was she 65? Upon enrollment, Medicare part A coverage is automatically retroactive up to six months, but not before age 65. Yes, that might be true but the cost of knee replacement surgery and rehab isn't entirely borne by Medicare Part A. She might get up to 100 days of in-patient coverage fo...
by ChrisC
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 10255

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

I think one needs to cover all medical insurance (health, dental, vision and LTCi, if purchased) to accurately show the financial hit. Here's mine as a retired Fed: 1. Health Insurance is $3233 for Spouse plus 1, GEHA Family HDHP (with $1500 employer contribution to HSA) and $3K deductible; Spouse, ...
by ChrisC
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1031 exchange duplex to SFR, rent it 2yrs, then move in?
Replies: 2
Views: 418

Re: 1031 exchange duplex to SFR, rent it 2yrs, then move in?

Is this plan likely to be good, bad or ugly? I have an almost fully depreciated rental duplex that I'd like to 1031 exchange to a single family residence. I will rent out the residence to a tenant for two years. During that time I will sell my primary residence and at the end of two years move into...
by ChrisC
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold Home - 2 days after buyer claims they found an issue with A/C
Replies: 119
Views: 12156

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

At closing, we asked that the $500 repair cost get deducted from credit we gave them in addition to the $7k we paid for a new roof, which they wanted. The buyers vehemently objected. They claimed we should have told them about the AC failure before repairing the unit and that since they bought a ho...
by ChrisC
Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold Home - 2 days after buyer claims they found an issue with A/C
Replies: 119
Views: 12156

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

I've replaced so many HVAC units in houses we lived in the last 40 years that I've lost track. The systems fail and are not designed to last decades, especially if they are builder grade, cheap units installed in new home construction. I had something similar happen in a house we called our primary ...
by ChrisC
Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you decide to move from your home to senior living?
Replies: 15
Views: 3203

Re: When did you decide to move from your home to senior living?

The CCRC's I talked to did not have an interest in our LTCI. I have no interest in Type A facilities. I'm looking more at Type B or C facilities with equity ownership in the unit you'd occupy. Thus far, these facilities, where the purchase price for the unit is very steep and monthly maintenance fe...
by ChrisC
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you decide to move from your home to senior living?
Replies: 15
Views: 3203

Re: When did you decide to move from your home to senior living?

Sorry if this represents topic creep, but...........Assuming that you have decently priced LTCI, how does that mesh with a CCRC? In other words, if you've paid up front for a CCRC will you essentially collect little or nothing from your LTCI policy if you later require assisted living within the CC...
by ChrisC
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I think my father has a gambling problem
Replies: 78
Views: 6934

Re: I think my father has a gambling problem

Thanks for your responses. If I go with him to the casino, do you think he'll gamble like he would otherwise, or do you think he'll gamble less than he would normally to give off the impression that he's not addicted, or just because I would be around and make things different? You're not just look...
by ChrisC
Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I think my father has a gambling problem
Replies: 78
Views: 6934

Re: I think my father has a gambling problem

I'm not sure the incidents of gambling portrayed here foreshadow a gambling problem or addition. They appear more like recreational gambling. But this could be the beginning of something else if (1) draws on financial accounts become excessive and irrational; (2) a compulsive, obsessive quality beco...
by ChrisC
Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping aging parents (in another state) with housing and care?
Replies: 11
Views: 1318

Re: Helping aging parents (in another state) with housing and care?

We had similar plans, despite good intentions, sound financial planning -- I would caution you to make sure that your parents really want to move out of their current residence and take up residence in another place. We had great plans for my MIL, and when push came to shove for the move -- she wasn...
by ChrisC
Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high RMD withdraw from 401k question
Replies: 31
Views: 3418

Re: high RMD withdraw from 401k question

This to me sounds like - got lots of income (pension and/or delayed-SS), rather than whether to do RMD's. RMDs are inevitable, all you can do is reduce pre-tax portfolio size up until your next favorable tax bracket. Yes, good to tax optimize, but you also have to look at Net-cash-flow as well - th...
by ChrisC
Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Pass on Money Against My Sister's Wishes (Ethics and Finance)
Replies: 74
Views: 7651

Re: How to Pass on Money Against My Sister's Wishes (Ethics and Finance)

Not going to get into the legal contours of this pool of money left to the OP, as it would be best for the OP to seek the advice of counsel. Nonetheless, I think it is clear that the intent of the mother who provided and titled the account is very unclear. She could have intended that:(1) the accoun...
by ChrisC
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Skin in the game"
Replies: 105
Views: 7589

Re: "Skin in the game"

Define "the game" you think your children are playing. I think the answer is universally true and quite obvious if you're playing the game of life (not merely enrollment in a college).
by ChrisC
Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An argument against self-insuring for long-term care
Replies: 214
Views: 11437

Re: An argument against self-insuring for long-term care

That seems to me to be a curious choice when there is a government program that we all pay for through taxes that is available to assist with nursing home care, and there are lawful ways to shield assets and still qualify for the program. Is it a moral objection? That people don't fully grasp the n...
by ChrisC
Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An argument against self-insuring for long-term care
Replies: 214
Views: 11437

Re: An argument against self-insuring for long-term care

The reality is this: 2/3 of seniors who are sitting in nursing homes today are on Medicaid. In some lower cost of living states -- West Virginia, Mississippi, Georgia, etc. -- that number is much higher. There is a lot of fretting on these boards about LTC, and I am not sure it is really justified....
by ChrisC
Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Source for Travel Perks (Cruise)
Replies: 3
Views: 637

Re: Best Source for Travel Perks (Cruise)

It might sound counter-intuitive but booking with a reputable, competent travel agent frequently yields good results. Last two cruises, I booked with a TA and I negotiated on-board credits in one case and a cash rebate in another with the TA. I was able to get very favorable rates and up-grades as w...
by ChrisC
Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Continuing Care Community versus 55 + (no LTC and modest assets)
Replies: 61
Views: 4330

Re: Continuing Care Community versus 55 + (no LTC and modest assets)

And I do not know why you would want a Type C contract especially if you had LTC insurance. Or maybe if you had enough funds to pay fee for service when the time comes. But you may not be on the priority list to get into an assisted unit when you need it. So Type C is not for us. There is also a hy...