Search found 2307 matches

by 123
Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 31yo should I consider a VAC annuity?
Replies: 5
Views: 790

Re: 31yo should I consider a VAC annuity?

There is a risk that the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) will be hit by the contagion of Illinois financial problems. The promised yield seems very high on a historical basis. While things may look good at the IMRF right now the risk is that if more plan participants are laid off or retire...
by 123
Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifestyle Creep
Replies: 107
Views: 7192

Re: Lifestyle Creep

When McDonalds has all sizes of hot coffee on sale for $1 I go for the largest size.
by 123
Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Massage machine for diabetic
Replies: 3
Views: 332

Re: Massage machine for diabetic

Similar product on Amazon seems highly rated (but at a higher price) https://www.amazon.com/MedMassager-MMF0 ... t+massager
by 123
Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 vs W2 decision
Replies: 7
Views: 494

Re: 1099 vs W2 decision

From my experience in the corporate world I would expect that a contractor would have to set his/her rate minimally at about 140 percent of the employee rate to come close to an equivalent salary. An older worker may have to have a significantly higher rate then that to address the higher costs of h...
by 123
Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing for my 20 year old son
Replies: 8
Views: 521

Re: Investing for my 20 year old son

At his age either an S&P 500 fund or Vanguard Total Stock Market Fund would be fine. As much as we might like our children to fully fund their Roth and 401K accounts (if available) I don't think it is necessarily realistic to achieve current and long term goals. For the investing (non emergency fund...
by 123
Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me solve: Not allowed access to savings at Canadian bank
Replies: 13
Views: 1754

Re: Help me solve: Not allowed access to savings at Canadian bank

Have you tried contacting (phone/visit) one of their affiliated US branches for assistance? https://us.cibc.com/en/about-us/bank-locations.html
by 123
Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance Policy to "shelter" money from Financial Aid calculations
Replies: 23
Views: 1146

Re: Life Insurance Policy to "shelter" money from Financial Aid calculations

Your child could be on the way to graduating with $100K - $200+K in student loans. There are many posts about how student loans create almost a lifetime financial burden for many.
by 123
Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance Policy to "shelter" money from Financial Aid calculations
Replies: 23
Views: 1146

Re: Life Insurance Policy to "shelter" money from Financial Aid calculations

I bet you heard this from a life insurance or annuity salesperson! Financial aid depends on family income and assets. You may want to do a proforma Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (or whatever aid evaluation mechanism the students expected college uses) to see how the calculations w...
by 123
Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I won the Lottery. Need sound advice.
Replies: 199
Views: 18248

Re: I won the Lottery. Need sound advice.

A million dollars really doesn't really go very far these days.
by 123
Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Having First Child a little later in life, Debt just paid, Help Us Check In
Replies: 14
Views: 1636

Re: Having First Child a little later in life, Debt just paid, Help Us Check In

... I have a few questions, but with the addition to the family in December I want to make sure I have all my major bases covered and really look at what my plan should be... ... I need another mid-term difficult goal to keep me sharp and I'm not sure what the next step is... Your next financial go...
by 123
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Take The Lump Sum or The Immediate Annuity?
Replies: 34
Views: 2976

Re: Take The Lump Sum or The Immediate Annuity?

When interest rates are low the lump sum is often the better choice, depending on how you view mortality issues. In most cases the calculation of the lump-sum is based on a complex formula that includes immediate, intermediate, and long-term interest rates determined annually by the IRS. Mortality i...
by 123
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car recommendation
Replies: 18
Views: 1557

Re: Car recommendation

If you only drive 7K - 8K a year leasing would seem to be very costly due to probably a higher mileage allowance built into the lease. Financially you'd likely do better buying and replacing every 5 years or so if you must have the "latest" and can tolerate a longer replacement cycle. If it's mostly...
by 123
Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finding contractor for small-ish, hourly job (deck carpentry)
Replies: 19
Views: 1017

Re: Finding contractor for small-ish, hourly job (deck carpentry)

In your language looking for assistance I would use the term "handyman" to make it clear to prospects that it's a smaller job. A "contractor" is probably looking for jobs that involve a week or more of work. Sometimes local Ace Hardware stores have a message board posted in their stores where handym...
by 123
Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?
Replies: 96
Views: 3637

Re: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?

We use automated bill pay (pull). All the automated payment stuff goes through a separate account that we keep funded with a few thousand to cover expected disbursements, we fund it every month or two as we monitor the statement. As convenient as it might be to would fund bill pay transactions direc...
by 123
Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CDs and Required Minimum Distributions
Replies: 11
Views: 770

Re: CDs and Required Minimum Distributions

You can always establish a ladder of CDs with one or more maturing each year to accommodate RMDs (brokered CDs). If you have IRA CDs held directly with banks it is possible with some banks to make penalty-free withdrawals to accommodate RMDs but this gets messy. If a bank allows such withdrawals fro...
by 123
Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does anyone know what the latest Bob Brinker portfolio is?
Replies: 5
Views: 882

Re: Does anyone know what the latest Bob Brinker portfolio is?

I don't have a direct answer to your question but you may be interested in a blog that follows the contents of his weekly radio program and at times discusses the content of his newsletter. You may have to dig through aways to find what you are looking for. A recent comment in the blog mentions that...
by 123
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USPS lost very important certified mail - What next?
Replies: 46
Views: 4723

Re: USPS lost very important certified mail - What next?

I've found that higher-cost mailing services like certified mail and registered mail are more trouble then they are worth. They tend to slow down and/or delay delivery because of the extra steps usually involved. Just sending something first class in a plain envelope seems to work every time. Why ma...
by 123
Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting over emotional attachment to house
Replies: 70
Views: 5658

Re: Getting over emotional attachment to house

You have to appreciate the wine not the bottle. It's the people that were within that are important/memorable and not the container (house). That said I enjoy very much driving through the streets of the neighborhood I grew up in. The neighborhood is very different now, it was a bucolic family area ...
by 123
Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would like to buy my mom's second residence. advice needed
Replies: 14
Views: 992

Re: Would like to buy my mom's second residence. advice needed

What is the interest rate on the current loan? What would the likely rate be if you did the refinance/purchase? The payments could be significantly different with a new loan.
by 123
Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax deduction for empty house failed to rent
Replies: 2
Views: 535

Re: Tax deduction for empty house failed to rent

You should be able to deduct rental expenses for the months you tried to rent. If you tried for 3 months that would be 25 percent of the annual expenses. Don't forget to include utilities for the months as well. I am not a lawyer, not a CPA, and not an enrolled agent. That tells you what my advice i...
by 123
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pocket money allowance for college student
Replies: 48
Views: 2532

Re: Pocket money allowance for college student

Pocket money for college students is going to vary tremendously based on the student's situation. Our student does not drive and the large campus is fairly isolated from the town (bus pass included in university fees). She lives in the dorm and spends virtually all her time on campus. Her out-of-poc...
by 123
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One-Time Capital Gains Situation Late in Year from Sale of Mutual Fund
Replies: 2
Views: 259

Re: One-Time Capital Gains Situation Late in Year from Sale of Mutual Fund

You can pay estimated tax for 2017 by filing a form 1040-ES form. It's a super simple form that is basically just a transmittal form that you send with your check. It identifies you and your SSN. Though you can make quarterly payments the IRS really doesn't care how you pay the money. For the indivi...
by 123
Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: K-1's and taxes
Replies: 10
Views: 637

Re: K-1's and taxes

K-1's are a tax headache. Spouse had one before we married. K-1 form always held up our taxes. The tax write-off wasn't worth the hassle. After a number of years it liquidated into bankruptcy. We got no proceeds. Someone felt like a fool and it wasn't the issuer of the instrument.
by 123
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Cotton Blankets Good For Winter?
Replies: 21
Views: 1512

Re: Are Cotton Blankets Good For Winter?

Our favorite blanket material is acrylic, which are usually relatively thin and warm. There are a lot of "throw" covers made with acrylic but it's hard to find real blankets made of acrylic (traditionally they come with a "satin" border). Most blankets today seem to be made of polyester "micro-fiber".
by 123
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buffered notes
Replies: 2
Views: 220

Re: Buffered notes

I think buffered notes add another layer of hocus-pocus to structured notes. My assets are important to me so I don't think I would bother.
by 123
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring IRA as Beneficiary While Avoiding Financial Adviser
Replies: 24
Views: 1490

Re: Transferring IRA as Beneficiary While Avoiding Financial Adviser

I think you should have no difficulty dealing with the companies directly. He was an adviser to the purchaser of the (likely) annuities and not to you. He really isn't motivated to provide any service to you unless it's something that generates a fee/commission to him. While insurance companies ofte...
by 123
Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring IRA as Beneficiary While Avoiding Financial Adviser
Replies: 24
Views: 1490

Re: Transferring IRA as Beneficiary While Avoiding Financial Adviser

1.) It sounds like there are two accounts with Gleaner LIfe and one account with AIG. I would suspect that these IRA accounts are annuities, likely variable. 2.) You can contact Gleaner Life and AIG directly. The more identifying info you have the easier it is for them to assist you. All the informa...
by 123
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you do in slow travels?
Replies: 55
Views: 4055

Re: What do you do in slow travels?

Smell the roses and listen to the insects.
by 123
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Negotiating with Charter/Spectrum
Replies: 10
Views: 867

Re: Negotiating with Charter/Spectrum

All of the pay tv services, whether cable or satellite, seem to have promotional prices that are only good for 12 to 24 months. You might want to investigate a minimal level of service of some kind. I've got Comcast and once a year they enclose a complete price list for all the various services and ...
by 123
Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fiancee has job offer from Investment Bank- I'm required to transfer brokerage accounts?
Replies: 11
Views: 1887

Re: Fiancee has job offer from Investment Bank- I'm required to transfer brokerage accounts?

In these situations I think the compliance department wants employees etc to have accounts at a limited number of firms to facilitate account monitoring (the compliance department gets duplicate statements and/or electronic feeds). I would hope that a large discount brokerage, like a Schwab or Fidel...
by 123
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 24 care home care for family member
Replies: 23
Views: 2178

Re: 24 care home care for family member

... Most people either - have a family member move in with the elder - have the elder move in with a family member - move the elder, sometimes under protest and anger, to an assisted living facility, or possibly a board and care home. ... +1 It is very difficult for an elderly person who needs assi...
by 123
Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Open Monday Sep 11 in S. Florida ?
Replies: 6
Views: 1326

Re: Costco Open Monday Sep 11 in S. Florida ?

Why not just call the store you are interested in for their status? If you get no answer there's probably no power there. If you get a recording try and break out of it to reach an operator for your status question (retail phone response may be located at a corporate site).
by 123
Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Scam--Insurance claim or credit card chargeback?
Replies: 8
Views: 1218

Re: Rental Car Scam--Insurance claim or credit card chargeback?

I would do the insurance claim and not worry about it further. The insurance outfit should have claim history data on specific locations so if there is a scam they should be able to deal with it, it's their money. That's why you get the credit card insurance coverage so they deal with it instead of ...
by 123
Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?
Replies: 43
Views: 2746

Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

We don't buy scratch offs. I spend $2 a week on my state's lotto ($1 twice a week). I buy advance play for 10 weeks at a time. I always use the same numbers (family birthdays). I check the results at my leisure when reading the paper. I figure if we're "destined" to win this is a reasonable approach...
by 123
Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?
Replies: 275
Views: 23374

Re: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?

Shares in Webvan (early internet grocery delivery service). Share price dived and never came back, it went bankrupt. I ended up selling it to my broker (and paying the sales trade charge) just to get it off my statement so I didn't have to look at it. You're probably thinking that I at least got a t...
by 123
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?
Replies: 275
Views: 23374

Re: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?

I bought some IRA CD's from an internet bank. I transferred funds from my brokerage IRA to the bank because their APY on 5-year IRA CDs was substantially better then brokered CDs and the amount per CD ($100K) was worth the effort. After a few months I realized that I had divided up my IRA into three...
by 123
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FIL bought house on retaining wall hillside, questions on wall
Replies: 15
Views: 1715

Re: FIL bought house on retaining wall hillside, questions on wall

Based on the geography of the area does it look like the retaining wall was built to allow the house to be built or was the retaining wall built to accommodate the construction of the street? Was part of the historic parcel sold to the city/county/state to place or widen the street? Is there a chanc...
by 123
Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thought on including this in net equity calculations
Replies: 7
Views: 492

Re: Thought on including this in net equity calculations

My concern is always that individuals who consider "phantom" assets as a part of their portfolio sometimes use that as a rationale for an otherwise low savings rate and/or indulgent spending. For my purposes I consider "phantom" assets as those you can't change from equity to fixed income (or revers...
by 123
Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First portfolio question
Replies: 5
Views: 433

Re: First portfolio question

I would max contributions to the 401k and then use excess cash to pay down the student debt. At your income level you could pay it off in no time. I wouldn't bother to refinance it, just pay it off. Having the student debt off your back opens us a better opportunity to get a mortgage and buy a house...
by 123
Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing Home With Girlfriend; Good or Bad?
Replies: 68
Views: 5406

Re: Purchasing Home With Girlfriend; Good or Bad?

Buying property in partnership with someone else can be tricky and result in problems. If one person has a lot of money and/or a good income and the other person has no assets/no income generally the person with no assets/no income will come out ahead, they have nothing to loose.
by 123
Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?
Replies: 22
Views: 2364

Re: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?

Some tax benefits for education expenses could be lost if insufficient qualifying expenses are not paid in each tax year the child is a qualifying student.
by 123
Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing Old Shower handles
Replies: 21
Views: 1947

Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

If you don't have annoying leaks in the valves (constant shower dripping etc) I would just try to live with it.Depending on your area if a plumber has to open the wall behind and replace the valve assembly (could involve soldering etc) I wouldn't be surprised to have a charge of $500 or more. It wou...
by 123
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep or let go of my car?
Replies: 44
Views: 3180

Re: Keep or let go of my car?

Most dealerships farm out auto body and glass repairs to local shops and then very significantly mark-up what they charge you. You will likely be very surprised if you call a local auto glass shop and ask them about the cash price for your windshield replacement, I would bet that it would be under $...
by 123
Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employment Advice
Replies: 5
Views: 797

Re: Employment Advice

pqpq wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:04 am
..Or finally, jump ship, which might mean a pay cut, and work my way up at a new company?
Or maybe not? How much have your explored opportunities with other companies in your current location? I'd look around in my neighborhood for greener grass first.
by 123
Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Check Received: What to do?
Replies: 22
Views: 2146

Re: Check Received: What to do?

Just deposit the check via mobile app or ATM. Move on with life. +1 Whatever you do don't present it to a bank teller for deposit. A oddball casual question or response can lead to more problems then its worth. Though the expertise of tellers varies widely they seem to be alert to problem check sit...
by 123
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience with Adviser Investments
Replies: 7
Views: 870

Re: Any experience with Adviser Investments

This group is different than Dan's own Vanguard Newsletter that he has. This group seems to handle assets at multiple custodians. All they need is trading approval from account holders. This group acts as Investment Managers and their fees are as follows (yeah they don't have it anywhere on the sit...
by 123
Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Scanning Documents for Long Term Storage
Replies: 20
Views: 2022

Re: Scanning Documents for Long Term Storage

In dealing with the estates of a couple of family members over the years I have just boxed the documents and put them in the back corner of one of our closets. One set has been there for 8 years, the other 5 years. Once the assets are distributed and any tax forms filed no one seems to care. If anyo...
by 123
Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations on voice recorder?
Replies: 11
Views: 616

Re: Recommendations on voice recorder?

.. I have my first IEP meeting with our son's school district coming up...FWIW I am working with an advocate, and this recording will be necessary in case we run into trouble or the district says something unlawful. If it's an initial meeting and you have both the recorder and an advocate with you ...
by 123
Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Percentage of Assets Outside of Tax-Deferred Retirement?
Replies: 15
Views: 1293

Re: Percentage of Assets Outside of Tax-Deferred Retirement?

I think many people, myself included, prioritize tax-advantaged savings and the assets held outside of tax-deferred retirement accounts are just the leftovers. I wish we had more balance between tax-deferred and taxable but we're probably 80% tax deferred and 20% taxable. We've been savers all along...