Search found 108 matches

by papiper
Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need recommendation for home alarm system
Replies: 48
Views: 4284

Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

I self installed the Lowe's IRIS units. Runs off our wireless system with battery backup. Very easy - while you can pay monthly fees if you want, I get instant messages to my phones if anything goes off as well as in house alarms, so I'm my own monitoring agency for free. You buy each module so you ...
by papiper
Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone familiar with attic fans?
Replies: 32
Views: 2095

Re: Anyone familiar with attic fans?

Most attic fans have a on/off wall switch that looks like a light switch mounted in a closet near the attic access or on a stud just inside the access - often by a pull cord for an attic light. If you take a strong flashlight into your attic and can see the fan, look for how the electic wire for it ...
by papiper
Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Excel Spread sheets -mac or. Windows?
Replies: 21
Views: 1121

Re: Excel Spread sheets -mac or. Windows?

Excel works the same on the Mac as with Windows in almost all respects.
by papiper
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Magic Number - Approach considering Social Security and Pension
Replies: 14
Views: 2088

Re: Magic Number - Approach considering Social Security and Pension

The constant dollar assumption does make a difference as well as how long you want things to last. If you use your 2% inflation each year (no increase to pension, but 2% to social security), and end up with zero dollars at age 90, you need $1.8 million at age 55. Only assumed 4% growth in investment...
by papiper
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to delete/diminish/replace Quicken and minimize time tracking finances?
Replies: 45
Views: 3049

Re: How to delete/diminish/replace Quicken and minimize time tracking finances?

If you take the time to manually enter all the data and then compare it against the banks, have you ever found an error? I haven't. Same reason I stopped checking how many $20's the ATM spits out - it counts fine without me worrying about it. I autodownload everything and auto pay everything. Open q...
by papiper
Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another - Starting Social Security Question
Replies: 30
Views: 2277

Re: Another - Starting Social Security Question

Because your spouse is younger than you and made less, I would suggest you wait until you are 70 and she claim at 67. You maximize her lifelong benefit as a survivor if you pass away first.
by papiper
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 250
Views: 39916

Re: Fidelity free Turbotax

It's free for the "Private Client Group" too. When you use the link from the fidelity offer on your summary it takes you to TurboTax. Go down and click the link to Products, and it shows up.
by papiper
Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Practices for Managing Paper Receipts
Replies: 28
Views: 3771

Re: Best Practices for Managing Paper Receipts

take a picture with smartphone - auto upload to google photos and once a month or so put them in a file folders. (I use medical, taxable, and big items) done
by papiper
Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier woes
Replies: 66
Views: 7957

Re: Dehumidifier woes

Mine only last about two years. Spouse is very sensitive to musty smells, so I keep the semi-finished basement at 40%. One unit hanging over a sink runs almost continuously.
by papiper
Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GE dishwasher rack coating
Replies: 18
Views: 2601

Re: GE dishwasher rack coating

the tips work well. The same white glue that is used on the tips is also used to try to seal corrosion breakthrough on the bottom wires. That has to be redone quite often. Not a hard job, but doesn't last as long you would think. Still a very cheap solution.
by papiper
Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Average Mortgage?
Replies: 15
Views: 1723

Re: The Average Mortgage?

the listings can be very misleading. In searching my own case, the county has a record of our HELOC for the full potential loan value - but you can't tell from that the owed balance is zero.
by papiper
Sun May 21, 2017 5:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: blackout curtains
Replies: 19
Views: 3450

Re: blackout curtains

blinds.com has lots of those that work very well - blind designs, not curtains though.
by papiper
Wed May 03, 2017 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Least expensive new or refurb portable Windows computer
Replies: 21
Views: 1863

Re: Least expensive new or refurb portable Windows computer

I also recommend to look into a friend who is buying a new machine to get a used one for free or almost free. I need one 9 times a year for a special software download/write to a card program and use an old VERY slow machine. Always makes me appreciate my Macs.
by papiper
Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I just turned 59 1/2 [move 401k funds to Roth IRA]
Replies: 10
Views: 1675

Re: I just turned 59 1/2 [move 401k funds to Roth IRA]

All you have to do is ask your roth ira provider (like Vanguard or Fidelity) to contact your 401k provider to do a direct transfer. You might have pre and after tax money in your 401k. They will only move the after tax to a roth this way - the rest goes to your IRA. If you want to move that afterwar...
by papiper
Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IVV and FSTVX [iShares S&P 500 and Fidelity Total Market]
Replies: 2
Views: 407

IVV and FSTVX [iShares S&P 500 and Fidelity Total Market]

I've ended up with much of my IRA investments in IVV and FSTVX - seems like I should consolidate the two into one. Which to pick?
by papiper
Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Software [Personal finance and investing, for Mac]
Replies: 6
Views: 1032

Re: Software [Personal finance and investing, for Mac]

I use Quicken 2017 for Mac - they continue to upgrade it, so older reviews are often misleading. It is very good for tracking multiple accounts and electronically paying bills and downloading transactions. Budgeting is rudimentary. Investments are good for tracking and record keeping, but not too fa...
by papiper
Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Options for after tax money in 401K
Replies: 7
Views: 1176

Re: Options for after tax money in 401K

I just this week rolled over all my 401k - the pretax when to an IRA, the aftertax to a roth ira. Fidelity contacted my 401k provider (merrill lynch) and did all the work. Only surprise for me was ML mailed the checks to Fidelity instead of an electronic transfer. Regardless - closed my 401k on Wed,...
by papiper
Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: S&P 500 Equal Weight Index
Replies: 15
Views: 2719

S&P 500 Equal Weight Index

This shouldn't be hard, but I'm having trouble finding some choices for an equal weight S&P index fund. RSP comes up on searches often, but it's charge of 0.4 seems higher than I expected.
by papiper
Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Restaurant Stop on Road Trips
Replies: 142
Views: 15133

Re: Favorite Restaurant Stop on Road Trips

We sometimes see if a place from diners drive ins and dives is on the way, you tube the episode, and if it looks fun we try it. Has worked several times. Yelp searches occasionally. Otherwise chick fil a is ok, but hate to miss out on a local find.
by papiper
Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This is why a 100% stock allocation is a bad idea
Replies: 68
Views: 11462

Re: This is why a 100% stock allocation is a bad idea

If you borrowed from a 401k and invested in your own business, you essentially made a much riskier investment than the stock market. And since it worked out fine, your argument facts actually support the side to increase risk versus having bonds. Your feelings don't match that, but your personal fac...
by papiper
Fri Jun 17, 2016 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the ideal safe retirement net worth target?
Replies: 264
Views: 52708

Re: What's the ideal safe retirement net worth target?

I have a $85,000 pension. $2,000,000 in investments, no debts. That's enough. Retired last year. It's WONDERFUL. Just the pension alone or the investments alone would be enough for me. Sounds like you will be living large in retirement...congrats. Just curious (not because I care to know how much r...
by papiper
Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To paint our wood trim or not?
Replies: 83
Views: 19751

Re: To paint our wood trim or not?

I don't have a preference if you should paint the outside of the trim, but the inside MUST be painted. I have just finished replacing all the trim on a house built in 1995 that neglected to paint the hidden side of the trim. Even with caulk, all the trim exposed to sunlight rotted from the inside ou...
by papiper
Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the ideal safe retirement net worth target?
Replies: 264
Views: 52708

Re: What's the ideal safe retirement net worth target?

I have a $85,000 pension. $2,000,000 in investments, no debts. That's enough. Retired last year. It's WONDERFUL.
by papiper
Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I want to be Handyman for my tasks
Replies: 85
Views: 7234

Re: I want to be Handyman for my tasks

I STRONGLY agree with the posts that say: Pick the job. Youtube the heck out of it. Buy the best tools for THAT job. Repeat. After a while you will have a wonderful (but not color coordinated) set of tools and the knowledge of how they are used. Don't buy a tool until you need it, but always use the...
by papiper
Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken For Mac
Replies: 10
Views: 1218

Re: Quicken For Mac

I used windows quicken from 1992 until last year when I moved over to the mac version. About every two months, they have updated the product and added new features. When I first made the move, I missed a lot of the things the windows' version had. As they have improved the product I wouldn't go back...
by papiper
Fri May 27, 2016 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on chemist going back for chemE?
Replies: 20
Views: 1736

Re: Advice on chemist going back for chemE?

I have a ChemE degree and managed chemists and engineers of all types. Chemical Engineering is misnamed and confuses most people. You take a little chemistry sure, but in reality you are working with energy systems - mechanical, chemical, nuclear, solar, etc. as well as parts of all other engineerin...
by papiper
Sun May 22, 2016 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying airplanes -lessons
Replies: 38
Views: 3950

Re: Flying airplanes -lessons

I started flying in 1988 in a Cessna 152 for training. It was very tight with instructor (I'm 5'11"), but ok on solos. Moved up to a Cessna 172 when I got my private, then a Piper Comanche when I added kids. The cost is similar to a country club membership annually if you already own a plane. Now bu...
by papiper
Mon May 16, 2016 6:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best use of HSA
Replies: 4
Views: 1077

Re: Best use of HSA

move it to another HSA provider that allows better investments. Mine charges me $4.50 a month, but after the first $1000 I can choose a few funds including VFINX (which is what I use here). It's Bank of America - I'm in it really because that was what my company used before I retired and I haven't b...
by papiper
Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken For Mac
Replies: 21
Views: 2249

Re: Quicken For Mac

I've used Quicken (pc version) from 1993. Last fall I transitioned to quicken for Mac. Everyone like to trash it and while it doesn't have all the tools of the windows' version, it works fine and the look/feel is better. The only thing I really miss is stock options do not work at all, so I have a k...
by papiper
Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA contribution 1st year of retirement?
Replies: 5
Views: 728

Re: IRA contribution 1st year of retirement?

Invested it this afternoon. Thanks.
by papiper
Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA contribution 1st year of retirement?
Replies: 5
Views: 728

IRA contribution 1st year of retirement?

I retired mid last year. I just received a bonus from my former employer payable 2/2016 for work from last year. Taxes including Soc. Sec. were taken out.

Even though I did not "do work" this year, since the pay was given to me in 2016, can I use it to fund my IRA one last time?
by papiper
Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What growth rate would you use?
Replies: 75
Views: 6028

Re: What growth rate would you use?

If most of these projections were made to a business by consultants, you would be fired. What I want in my planning is a realistic average and have a contingency plan for the worst and then adjust as time moves on. For me I use 8% over 10 years (5% net) and 0% as the contingency. And I'm 90/10 stock...
by papiper
Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When is an HSA account no longer worth it?
Replies: 21
Views: 2994

Re: When is an HSA account no longer worth it?

My company had a calculator that could simulate different scenarios. The very big difference in lower monthly charges in most HSA's make it difficult for traditional plans to make a difference. What I remember - if you have very low medical use the HSA is by far the best choice. For major medical us...
by papiper
Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: restricted stock after retirement
Replies: 5
Views: 815

Re: restricted stock after retirement

My understanding is that if you have to pay Soc. Security on the earnings the year you sell them, you can use it for IRA's (earned income). In my case I can't do that with restricted stock, but I can with stock options. You can minimize some of the taxes from RSU's by not selling them until they bec...
by papiper
Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Free Money" for Small Credit Card Balance
Replies: 6
Views: 1095

Re: "Free Money" for Small Credit Card Balance

Keeping a small balance is just a myth. Showing some use will help keep the card from closing. The card companies report the bill due each month - what matters is the unused portion of the credit max. Use it once every six months, pay it fully on the bill due date if you want to play the game. Leavi...
by papiper
Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Startup Due Diligence Interview Questions
Replies: 7
Views: 1527

Re: Startup Due Diligence Interview Questions

I thought some about this and decided to reply to you. I've hired people for many years and you should try to see this from the other side of the desk. So I'll answer these questions as if I was the owner interviewing you and telling you what is going through my mind. You wont' like it, but what I'm...
by papiper
Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does % of students from low income households factor when you pick schools for kids?
Replies: 39
Views: 3543

Re: Does % of students from low income households factor when you pick schools for kids?

We moved 5 times during the time our kids grew up. We just looked at the two highest high school SAT scores within driving distance of work, and then visited both. We let the kids pick the school from those two, and then we bought a house in the district.
by papiper
Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magazine Subscriptions
Replies: 37
Views: 4041

Re: Magazine Subscriptions

I use coke rewards, frequent flyer miles, or as a last resort, the internet order page of the publication. Never use the renewal offers you get in the mail - it has been for me without exception higher than what you can get just by going to the mag's web page.
by papiper
Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?
Replies: 142
Views: 23686

Re: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?

Elected to pay off our last debt (mortgage) at age 57. Could have kept more in investments, but without a mortgage payment, our monthly expenses dropped below the amount of a pension starting at 58. So now we are retired (3 months) and living completely within our pension and all our investments are...
by papiper
Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills
Replies: 4
Views: 955

Re: Wills

I might have used a lawyer if I felt that my will might be contested - like several divorces and scattered kids. But for "normal" wills, I believe people spend far too much for what the computer products can do fine with. And I think the chances of mis-wording or missing a specific legal requirement...
by papiper
Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help related to Investing money after maxing out 401K
Replies: 5
Views: 871

Re: Need help related to Investing money after maxing out 401K

You can back door Roths though a non deductible IRA for both you and your spouse. If you choose a high deductible health care plan, you can use it to invest also in an HSA.

After that, I'd pay more on the mortgage, but many would disagree.
by papiper
Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Macbook Air: Spend $ on RAM or Faster Intel HD Graphics?
Replies: 54
Views: 9986

Re: Macbook Air: Spend $ on RAM or Faster Intel HD Graphics?

I have the new 13" macbook pro with retina. Also a 15" older macbook pro without retina. The difference is very apparent to me, and even with the smaller screen, I like the 13" better for normal use. I agree that if you do a quick compare, it doesn't seem like much, but in actual use the clarity is ...
by papiper
Fri May 29, 2015 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family Maximum Social Security
Replies: 6
Views: 1192

Re: Family Maximum Social Security

Her starting early would work too, but in our case we are 3 years apart in age - she hit's her max 67 almost to the month I turn 70. Since the major reason we are waiting is to have her payments be as high as possible if something happened to me, it makes sense for her to get to 67. If we were the s...
by papiper
Fri May 29, 2015 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family Maximum Social Security
Replies: 6
Views: 1192

Family Maximum Social Security

Until today I missed that there is a family maximum social security ceiling. Since my wife never got in her quarters, she will end up with 50% of my PIA amount. If I add her max amount (waiting to age 67 for her, and my max at 70, the total exceeds the limit by about $160/month. If I just try to hit...
by papiper
Wed May 27, 2015 4:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 3
Views: 531

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA

Her ira does not impact your own. If you have no IRA in your name, you can backdoor without any influence from what she has in her ira's. Filing income taxes together doesn't matter.
by papiper
Fri May 15, 2015 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I a Millionaire???
Replies: 53
Views: 14273

Re: Am I a Millionaire???

Your son has a millionaire for a dad. You aren't there yet. But you are on your way!
by papiper
Wed May 06, 2015 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card for 16 Years Old
Replies: 23
Views: 9046

Re: Credit Card for 16 Years Old

I added each kid to one of our credit cards when they started to drive. They could only use it for gas and errands we sent them on (like groceries). We stopped using it, so we could easily see what was charged. They had to use cash for their personal expenses which I believe made them much more awar...
by papiper
Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning out large basement - cost to rent a dumpster?
Replies: 29
Views: 5280

Re: Cleaning out large basement - cost to rent a dumpster?

I didn't read all the threads but I did this for my parents house. I got a full length 1/2 height dumpster that worked very well. I had to have it emptied once - 50 years of stuff is a lot to toss, so it took 1 3/4 loads. The 1/2 height made it much easier to toss the stuff into. The cost was pretty...
by papiper
Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you value a pension?
Replies: 18
Views: 3101

Re: How do you valuate a pension?

You can look at a site like immediateannuities.com and see what it would cost to buy an equivalent pension but as the previous poster mentioned, net worth doesn't translate to much that's useful. It's all about funding the left over cash flow needs.