Search found 1835 matches

by curmudgeon
Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with old retirement accounts
Replies: 4
Views: 314

Re: Help with old retirement accounts

My understanding is that the one per year rollover limitation only applies to rollovers which pass through your hands. If you do direct trustee-to-trustee rollovers, you can do more than one in a year. If you do backdoor Roth, then yes, rolling into your IRA will cause complications if you leave it ...
by curmudgeon
Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phones with longest battery life?
Replies: 12
Views: 750

Re: Phones with longest battery life?

I've got an older LG Xcharge. Battery life obviously depends on usage; I get about 4 days of *my* typical use with mine. Looks like Motorola G7 Power might be current best battery life, but that's achieved with lower res screen.
by curmudgeon
Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Elderly Parents have 3 day layover in Fort Lauderdale. What to do?
Replies: 24
Views: 2184

Re: Elderly Parents have 3 day layover in Fort Lauderdale. What to do?

The "Jungle Queen" is the classic Ft Lauderdale attraction. Haven't been there in many years, but apparently it is still going strong. A good way to see the area from the nicer (waterfront) side. Alternately you could hire a boat (with driver) to cover more ground. While the area is no longer the sp...
by curmudgeon
Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Xfinity Mobile Questions
Replies: 13
Views: 1177

Re: Xfinity Mobile Questions

Xfinity largely uses Verizon network, so your data speed won't be any faster. You can bring your existing iphone to Xfinity (for the most part, certainly if you've been using verizon previously). If you want to go to a new phone, there are some Xfinity stores where you can bring your phone in for tr...
by curmudgeon
Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a viable way to avoid incurring a capital gain?
Replies: 10
Views: 1288

Re: Is this a viable way to avoid incurring a capital gain?

There is a accepted way to do something of this nature, though I'm not sure it would be worthwhile for just state tax. You can search for charitable remainder trusts. CRUT or CRAT. Can't go to a DAF, though, if my memory is right.
by curmudgeon
Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Banks requiring fingerprint on a check for non-customers to receive cash
Replies: 87
Views: 5445

Re: Banks requiring fingerprint on a check for non-customers to receive cash

After having to deal with a fraudulent check recently (someone printed up their own checks with our account number and info and deposited via mobile deposit), I'm in favor of having decent security for cashing paper checks. We were lucky it didn't cause a string of bounced checks/payments before we ...
by curmudgeon
Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare, Medi-Cal and Covered California
Replies: 3
Views: 223

Re: Medicare, Medi-Cal and Covered California

A couple of points: 1) You can't stay on ACA after you become Medicare eligible at age 65, so you don't have a choice. 2) Yes, ACA subsidies are different when there are two members of the household, but only one on an ACA plan. I don't think it's a straightforward calculation, but dependent on your...
by curmudgeon
Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best time to purchase airline tickets to London
Replies: 26
Views: 1602

Re: Best time to purchase airline tickets to London

Another way to do open jaw is to purchase two one-way tickets. Check the discounters, like Norwegian, as well on google flights. You never know when the deals will show up but be ready to purchase quickly. I recently purchase round trip tickets from Orlando to London on Delta for $350 almost a year...
by curmudgeon
Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: one month apartment rental in NYC
Replies: 12
Views: 1496

Re: one month apartment rental in NYC

Your sense that there may be specific laws or regulations about short-term rentals in NYC is correct. Some of the restrictions are touched on in the thread below. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=286625&p=4667692#p4667692 Do you have a particular borough in mind? Manhattan, Bro...
by curmudgeon
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: one month apartment rental in NYC
Replies: 12
Views: 1496

one month apartment rental in NYC

We've been considering doing an extended stay in New York. We've always been suburbanites, mostly in California, and while we've spent quite a lot of time in European cities, our NYC visits have been quite short. I know there are often specific regulations about short-term apartment rentals these da...
by curmudgeon
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to rewire, replumb. 30, 40, 50 years? Hot climate.
Replies: 8
Views: 1452

Re: Time to rewire, replumb. 30, 40, 50 years? Hot climate.

I wouldn't run new wiring to replace existing copper wiring after that time. I would only replace actual wires if they were aluminum branch circuits, or the old "knob and tube" style from 1940's or earlier. Aluminum wiring (sometimes used in the late 60's and 70's because of high copper prices) is a...
by curmudgeon
Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: As a trustee, can I "settle" the financial portion of a trust on my own?
Replies: 21
Views: 1637

Re: As a trustee, can I "settle" the financial portion of a trust on my own?

One last comment I would make is that you mentioned trying to do the taxes using Turbo Tax. It may work great for you but I am guessing that your next tax return is going to be an estate tax return. When I had that final estate tax return done I found it to be very complicated and, although I've us...
by curmudgeon
Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: San Jose (CA) cost of living
Replies: 36
Views: 3819

Re: San Jose (CA) cost of living

By "close to downtown" I meant: not too far from the relatively new shopping area and the California Theater. But I also meant: not too far from a train station with access to San Francisco, which doesn't necessarily mean close to downtown San Jose. Any more specific info about car insurance, car r...
by curmudgeon
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FYI, Spanish bank ATMs
Replies: 46
Views: 2594

Re: FYI, Spanish bank ATMs

I am curious why people caution to take money out in Euros when a person is in a country that uses Euros. What else would you take out, and could you take out other than Euros, and why would you? Does anyone go to an ATM in Europe with the intention to take out currencies other than the local curre...
by curmudgeon
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA refund vs subsidy
Replies: 6
Views: 403

Re: ACA refund vs subsidy

No real differences between doing it with refund vs getting the advance subsidy. The credit is "refundable", not just limited to the tax you owe like some other credits (solar). I did ACA via refund for a couple of years even though I expected to be under the ACA cliff ($65K for couple); the payment...
by curmudgeon
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FYI, Spanish bank ATMs
Replies: 46
Views: 2594

Re: FYI, Spanish bank ATMs

OP: Thank you for posting this so we can be aware of this issue. We are traveling to France in September, and usually take cash from bank ATMs. When we were there three years ago, everything was very straight-forward. The currency conversion scam has greatly increased at atms throughout Europe rece...
by curmudgeon
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: San Jose (CA) cost of living
Replies: 36
Views: 3819

Re: San Jose (CA) cost of living

Rent can vary a lot depending on the specific area of San Jose. Downtown or areas with shorter commute or better schools will be more expensive. Sewer, water, and trash would normally be included in rent. There are cheaper cell phone options; we run about $25 per month through xfinity our home inter...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy vs Roth conversions
Replies: 35
Views: 2745

Re: ACA subsidy vs Roth conversions

I know I could look this up myself somewhere, but maybe someone could save me the time and aggravation- once one spouse is on Medicare, and only one spouse is on the ACA, and still looking to qualify for a subsidy, is the amount in question roughly half what it was before the first spouse qualified...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy vs Roth conversions
Replies: 35
Views: 2745

Re: ACA subsidy vs Roth conversions

This over 65 and under 70 conversion sound good but what about for married couples. There is a 4 year difference between myself and spouse, seems I'd only get one year of time to convert for the older spouse while the younger spouse could convert for 5 years. Yes, age differences complicate the sit...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy vs Roth conversions
Replies: 35
Views: 2745

Re: ACA subsidy vs Roth conversions

There is a lot of variation in the way aca subsidies end up depending not just on your income, but also on the specific plans in your area and your age. In our case (at least this year), the bronze hsa plan ends up costing us about $35 per year even if we run income right up close to the $65k cliff ...
by curmudgeon
Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating on an RV
Replies: 37
Views: 2172

Re: Negotiating on an RV

I've noticed that some dealers seem to put up "sucker prices" on nice RVs. Then they can throw in a big discount and make the buyer feel like they were getting a good deal. I might start by sending an email to the dealer contact asking what their "realistic price would be for this specific RV", indi...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sending an eCard For Birthday
Replies: 12
Views: 951

Re: Sending an eCard For Birthday

I switched to sending a text message and birthday meme. Many online cards expect the recipient to click on a link within an email...seemed like a risky idea. I really dislike receiving e-cards for this (and other) reasons. Fortunately we only have one person in our friend/relative circle who still ...
by curmudgeon
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why Is Cord Not Included?
Replies: 32
Views: 4007

Re: Why Is Cord Not Included?

Potentially you could remove the cord from the old range and use that. Bottom line is that there are multiple forms for 220v plugs; and the manufacturer doesn't know which one you will have in your wall outlet. -------- edited to add: There are also different local building code requirements - some ...
by curmudgeon
Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?
Replies: 47
Views: 5106

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Not so far. But it's been less than three years at this point. We've been doing a lot of traveling, as planned, though adding in more cruises than I would have predicted. Some home repair and improvements, mostly as planned. We did fly business class one way on our last trip to Europe, but that was ...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hospice, home health aide, taxes questions
Replies: 24
Views: 1608

Re: Hospice, home health aide, taxes questions

Just a followup as things are coming into place. The costs for agency provided health aides wasn't as high as had been originally described to us (maybe they were thinking of RNs, but that is not the need here). It looks like $27/hr for an aide. Slight nuisance in that it is 4-hour minimum shift (a ...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does this car exist? Sexy convertible with a backseat
Replies: 53
Views: 3485

Re: Does this car exist? Sexy convertible with a backseat

The first thing that came to mind when I read the thread title was an Austin Healey 3000 (or 100/6). But even if you added a seatbelt for holding a child seat, I suppose the safety commandos would have your head before you got out of the driveway... More realistically, if you were willing to go back...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What major life expenses are you planning for pre/post retirement?
Replies: 16
Views: 2263

Re: What major life expenses are you planning for pre/post retirement?

Pre-retirement big one was paying off the mortgage. Even though the rate was pretty good, avoiding the cash flow needs (and accompanying gross income) makes it much easier to stay under the ACA cliff and reduce our early retirement medical insurance costs. Post retirement: 1) new roof 2) solar power...
by curmudgeon
Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay area: high school and college apps
Replies: 18
Views: 1896

Re: SF Bay area: high school and college apps

Over the years in silicon valley, I've watch the paths of my own and various co-workers kids through high school and college. Many of my co-workers are of an ethnic background that places great emphasis on education. I've definitely seen some problems from putting average-upper kids in high pressure...
by curmudgeon
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital Gains with minimal txes
Replies: 4
Views: 545

Re: Capital Gains with minimal txes

This tool does a pretty good job. Cap gains can have a lot of odd interactions with other income and SS, so it's worth working though various scenarios.

https://www.mortgagecalculator.org/calc ... ulator.php
by curmudgeon
Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA -- Keep or simplify
Replies: 4
Views: 308

Re: HSA -- Keep or simplify

I would probably clear it out. Just put the money in a tax-efficient index fund. Exception might be if you might be able to use an HSA eligible ACA plan in early retirement (before medicare). Having the extra HSA contribution can help to stay under the ACA subsidy cliff. If you would likely be on a ...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mom wants to roll IRA to Roth, but lost records of contributions
Replies: 22
Views: 2058

Re: Mom wants to roll IRA to Roth, but lost records of contributions

One additional follow-up, would my mom also be able to contribute to a roth IRA through a backdoor IRA in the same years that she is doing conversions? The yearly conversion will push her over the income limits for contribution to a roth IRA, so backdoor would be the only option. I sense that the a...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hospice, home health aide, taxes questions
Replies: 24
Views: 1608

Re: Hospice, home health aide, taxes questions

In the OP's case, the initial post suggests this is a terminal situation -- thus hospice care would cover those palliative, comfort case costs; the rest it would seem, even for 24-7 home care, can be met by the LTCi or private resources, and if those resources are inadequate because the terminal si...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you a serious DIYer?
Replies: 84
Views: 6161

Re: Are you a serious DIYer?

My default mindset is DIY for anything around the house or car. I've either learned, or can learn, to do most things in those areas, and have accumulated a lot of tools that make the jobs easier. But I'm not dogmatic about it; I hire things out for a variety of reasons if I feel like it. I'm more li...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hospice, home health aide, taxes questions
Replies: 24
Views: 1608

Re: Hospice, home health aide, taxes questions

Just curious. What is the extent of Medicare coverage for hospice care? Hospice supplies a visiting nurse as needed, an aide for bathing 2-3 times a week, all meds, tests, and supplies needed for the patients terminal condition. A doctor’s consult when needed. Durable things like a hospital bed, an...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question of integrity
Replies: 40
Views: 3958

Re: Question of integrity

In some ways this could be less of an issue than you think. It's always awkward to leave a job you just started, but , (1) the company let it sit open for 6 months so it must not be all that critical, and (2) you are just starting so you are still in the learning curve and not likely to be that hard...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hospice, home health aide, taxes questions
Replies: 24
Views: 1608

Re: Hospice, home health aide, taxes questions

Many thanks for the feedback. I haven't actually seen quotes for the hourly rates from health aide agencies yet, but the hospice co-ordinator mentioned $45-50/hr was pretty typical for agencies there, ~$25 for direct hire. This is in an expensive corner of coastal CA (not big city). On the positive ...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite mountain lodge destinations in the west?
Replies: 49
Views: 4346

Re: Favorite mountain lodge destinations in the west?

I was thinking of maybe doing the ferry up Lake Chelan to Stehekin WA and staying in one of the mountain lodges up there at the entrance to the North Cascades National Park. But am open to any suggestions in the Northwest or Canada. We are basically looking for a location where an elderly lady can ...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hospice, home health aide, taxes questions
Replies: 24
Views: 1608

Hospice, home health aide, taxes questions

I have a relative who will likely be discharged from the hospital soon and going onto hospice at home. Spouse is somewhat frail, and will likely need assistance to some degree in caring for him. Time prognosis is uncertain, but probably not more than a couple of months. Medicare hospice will provide...
by curmudgeon
Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: selling and then buying house in HCOL, capital gain
Replies: 7
Views: 903

Re: selling and then buying house in HCOL, capital gain

The old "rollover" system was extremely messy if you moved multiple times. Essentially you had to track basis (and keep receipts for all improvements) going all the way back to your first home purchase. I gave a huge sigh of relief the first time we sold under the new system and those boxes of recor...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA to ROTH convert or not?
Replies: 14
Views: 1222

Re: IRA to ROTH convert or not?

There can be some pretty odd (high) marginal tax rates that show up with the right combination of SS income, dividends, and Roth conversion (or other income). Sometimes, once you get a few thousand more of income, that high marginal rate settles down to a lower level with increased conversions. It's...
by curmudgeon
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase UR vs AmEx MR for economy flights and inflexible schedules?
Replies: 24
Views: 1789

Re: Chase UR vs AmEx MR for economy flights and inflexible schedules?

Do you find that you can get good value on your Amex MR points on economy/domestic flights through transfer partners? Even getting 1.25-1.5 cents per point I think would be good enough, don't necessarily need 3 cents per point or whatever. I'm not that interested in Business/First Class for several...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Appliance Replacement
Replies: 10
Views: 1054

Re: Appliance Replacement

Interesting question. With fairly new existing units, and light use, I might be inclined to wait a few years. The improved functionality of a gas dryer (faster drying) and gas water heater(improved recovery time) are most significant with heavier usage like a family. The improved efficiency is less ...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you sell silver bars?
Replies: 15
Views: 1606

Re: How do you sell silver bars?

I am a surgeon and my partner had a patient recently who "does not believe in banks." He paid about $5000 in silver coins. They did the math somehow to figure out how much silver. Bulk silver coin is actually a pretty common way to trade silver. 90% silver content in 1964 and before, and no worryin...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: World Cruise anyone ??
Replies: 20
Views: 2295

Re: World Cruise anyone ??

I & DW are curious about doing/finding out about world Cruises, we recently met a few people who loved their " once in a lifetime trip " as they put it. When I looked them up on Cruise Critic, they are from around 4 months to an year or so long. We have done some cruises but the max was for a week ...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA to ROTH convert or not?
Replies: 14
Views: 1222

Re: IRA to ROTH convert or not?

I suspect your case falls into the very common "doesn't matter all that much" band of Roth conversion decisions. It's definitely worth converting any amount that you can do tax-free each year. I might go a bit further and calculate what your RMD would be at maybe age 75, and convert at least that mu...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you lower your annual expenses?
Replies: 145
Views: 13523

Re: How did you lower your annual expenses?

We have always tried to be mindful of our spending. Anything that is an ongoing expense (cable, cell phones, gym, services) got looked at very closely. We also paid attention to the depreciation of big-ticket items, and the true cost (including insurance/maintenance/taxes) of things like houses and ...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite mountain lodge destinations in the west?
Replies: 49
Views: 4346

Re: Favorite mountain lodge destinations in the west?

Lots of options up your way, with varying degrees of being up in the mountains. Crater Lake lodge is pretty good for views (and has been updated). Oregon Caves lodge is a bit more rustic, but would combine with Crater Lake. Timberline is a classic, as is Paradise Lodge at Mt Ranier. Lake Crescent in...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rehire and vacation/401k benifits
Replies: 3
Views: 446

Re: Rehire and vacation/401k benifits

Most large employers will have a defined policy for this buried in some HR handbook. They definitely can vary between companies. An example that I've seen is that if the gap between the two full-time jobs is less than the time in the first job, they will fully re-instate vacation accrual rates when ...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 5 days in Como, Italy
Replies: 15
Views: 1292

Re: 5 days in Como, Italy

I would choose the ferry to visit Bellagio from Como; the road is quite narrow and would be a real pain in high season. We found Lenno a bit lower key than some of the lake towns, and market day there can be interesting. Villa del Balbianello (not Balbiano) has a great location, and we found it more...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree stump, can't use a stump grinder. Solution?
Replies: 64
Views: 5916

Re: Tree stump, cant use a stump grinder. Solution?

I haven't found the "stump rot" products to work terribly well for me. Time, and physical abuse (cutting into it as much as possible with chainsaw, drilling large/deep holes) have eventually worked; usually over several years. If I really wanted it out sooner, stump grinder. I haven't tried burning ...