Search found 2231 matches

by GerryL
Sat May 25, 2019 2:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to retire early by targeting a low/zero balance at the end of life?
Replies: 22
Views: 2280

Re: How to retire early by targeting a low/zero balance at the end of life?

I've heard that there are negative life plans in France. The recordholder, a 122 year old french lady, bankrupted the lawyer she bought her plan from as the incentives for the seller hope for the beneficiary to die earlier. Do we have options like that in the US? From a Dec 29, 1995 NYT story "A 12...
by GerryL
Wed May 22, 2019 4:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: just a general comment about "too conservative" investors here
Replies: 142
Views: 12563

Re: just a general comment about "too conservative" investors here

When I saw the title of this post, I thought it was going to be about people who have 20% or less of their portfolio in the stock market.
by GerryL
Wed May 22, 2019 1:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does the charitable fund deduction work?
Replies: 20
Views: 1003

Re: How does the charitable fund deduction work?

First question would be, what are the actual mechanics of transferring a stock to a charitable trust? (I assume that's not something I can just click on from my brokerage) Second question is: Is that just considered a regular charity tax deduction on my IRS forms or is there some special form that ...
by GerryL
Tue May 21, 2019 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best time to go to Europe
Replies: 8
Views: 833

Re: Best time to go to Europe

My personal favorite time in Europe is after (our) Labor Day. Vacation crowds start to go down (both local and international tourists) and the weather can be glorious. This year I will again be going to France for September. Can't quit the habit. What parts of France are you most fond of, pray tell...
by GerryL
Tue May 21, 2019 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best time to go to Europe
Replies: 8
Views: 833

Re: Best time to go to Europe

My personal favorite time in Europe is after (our) Labor Day. Vacation crowds start to go down (both local and international tourists) and the weather can be glorious. This year I will again be going to France for September. Can't quit the habit.
by GerryL
Tue May 21, 2019 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?
Replies: 21
Views: 1541

Re: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?

We had taken out her SIM card before we left so that we wouldn't lose the old one. This is key! SIMs are really small, so make sure you know what you are going to do with your main SIM before you take it out of your phone to put in the temporary SIM. I usually tape mine to a 3 x 5 card that I put i...
by GerryL
Mon May 20, 2019 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?
Replies: 21
Views: 1541

Re: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?

I've been using a LeFrenchMobile sim for several years. You can order it online and it will be mailed to you. It apparently works on the Orange network. Since it was the first time I would be swapping sims, I was anxious and wanted lots of information ahead of time. That's why I went with LFM. Lots ...
by GerryL
Mon May 20, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: completely freaked out about withdrawing from retirement accounts....
Replies: 62
Views: 7650

Re: completely freaked out about withdrawing from retirement accounts....

I feel somewhat reassured that other people have felt this way and gotten past the initial resistance. I can't move outside funds into my NYC 7% fund. I CAN convert the 117k that's in the equity fund to the 7% fund. I converted quite a bit during 2017/18. The problem is that if I ask for that to be...
by GerryL
Sat May 18, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term
Replies: 17
Views: 1512

Re: Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term

...I also believe it is important to shop carefully for certain items, but I consider things that I are on or next to my body for significant stretches of my life: shoes, glasses and mattresses, in particular. Would never buy those online. (Sorry Warby Parker.) For glasses and shoes, you can absolu...
by GerryL
Sat May 18, 2019 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term
Replies: 17
Views: 1512

Re: Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term

There have been some good threads on mattresses in recent months. The following is a Boglehead like site for mattresses and provides great info about mattresses. https://www.themattressunderground.com/ There are a lot of so called mattress rating sites online but almost all are paid by the mattress...
by GerryL
Sat May 18, 2019 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term
Replies: 17
Views: 1512

Re: Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term

Myself and friends/family have had excellent results from the Novaform brand (memory foam) at Costco. We are two years into ours with no issues, and when we got it my back pain disappeared almost literally overnight. I believe our queen size was $500 on sale. I doubt I’ll change your mind, but as t...
by GerryL
Fri May 17, 2019 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term
Replies: 17
Views: 1512

Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term

Today I discovered that a Casper mattress store has opened in the local mall, so I went it to see how these much-hyped foam mattresses feel and to chat with the sales reps. Problem is that as comfortable as the Casper or any other foam-based mattresses might be, they are still relatively new product...
by GerryL
Tue May 14, 2019 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to calculate exactly how much money you'll have by retirement?
Replies: 60
Views: 6276

Re: How to calculate exactly how much money you'll have by retirement?

There is no "exactly" in investing, but here is what I did to estimate how much I might expect to have when I reached retirement -- and whether I needed to adjust my savings rate. I created a simple spread sheet to roughly calculate how much I would have each year until planned retirement in several...
by GerryL
Tue May 14, 2019 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using my Cell Phone in England
Replies: 47
Views: 2175

Re: Using my Cell Phone in England

The best (service) and cheapest way is to pick up a local SIM card if your phone is unlocked . Verizon phones are unlocked so you should be good. You can buy them at any grocery store etc. I was in London last month and used Vodaphone. They had couple of good deals, €10 for 2 GB data and umlimted t...
by GerryL
Mon May 13, 2019 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using my Cell Phone in England
Replies: 47
Views: 2175

Re: Using my Cell Phone in England

I'm on Consumer Cellular, so no international plan. A few years ago, I bought a sim card from Le French Mobile and have used it on multiple trips to France and last year in other EU countries. I add credit to my account when they have a sale (e.g., buy 25 euro of credits for 20 euro) as I know I wil...
by GerryL
Mon May 13, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Cost Basis View
Replies: 9
Views: 957

Re: Vanguard Cost Basis View

Been thinking of checking the cost basis of some of my company stock … in case the recent tumble offered me a little room to do some TLH. So I just logged in. No problem access cost basis screen in my brokerage account. And no TLH opportunities.
by GerryL
Mon May 13, 2019 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I just do not understand how some think.
Replies: 22
Views: 2969

Re: I just do not understand how some think.

I don't think the OP's issue is about Quicken or any other financial s/w (which the individual queried the OP about) someone might use. It is about this statement: ...they told me they have held off organizing their financial structure on it due to the fact their current financial situation is shaky...
by GerryL
Sun May 12, 2019 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What non frugal things save money?
Replies: 80
Views: 9480

Re: What non frugal things save money?

Buy nice or by twice. I used to be cheap. Now I'm frugal. I tend to buy nicer things now. "the stingy man spends the most" The title question is misleading. As others have pointed out, frugal does not mean cheap. Frugal is about value. Getting the most value for your money. And what you value most....
by GerryL
Sat May 11, 2019 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer Vacation UK vs. Spain
Replies: 41
Views: 2794

Re: Summer Vacation UK vs. Spain

This post is so ironic for me. I was looking forward to my first visit to Spain and Portugal on a cruise that would end in London. Two weeks ago -- five weeks before departure -- the cruise was cancelled. I have managed to get myself onto a land program that explores Cornwall for a week -- and have ...
by GerryL
Thu May 09, 2019 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement Window shopping advice
Replies: 20
Views: 1446

Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

One thing you might want to consider is looking for a window brand that is manufactured in your region. Different regions have different needs as far as what kind of window technology is most appropriate. Look into the brand of window, then look into certified installers. I had my windows replaced -...
by GerryL
Thu May 09, 2019 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is Social Security pushing retroactive benefits?
Replies: 32
Views: 3665

Re: Why is Social Security pushing retroactive benefits?

A friend of mine had to argue with a SS rep that advised her to take the retroactive 6 month benefit. My friend insisted that she get the age 70 benefit but not without a verbal argument. I believe that some SS reps don't understand the reasons why people would refuse the retroactive option. They a...
by GerryL
Thu May 09, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does anyone use Vanguard advisors?
Replies: 7
Views: 900

Re: Does anyone use Vanguard advisors?

As a Flagship client I have had financial plans run a few years apart. First was shortly pre-retirement. Second was several years in. I will probably repeat the process every few years to make sure I am on track -- especially if I decide to up my travel budget. The advisor brings up the topic of PAS...
by GerryL
Thu May 09, 2019 2:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is Social Security pushing retroactive benefits?
Replies: 32
Views: 3665

Re: Why is Social Security pushing retroactive benefits?

Hello Social Security Savants, My aunt, who is, I believe, nearing 70, reports having just gotten a call from Social Security. The caller encouraged her to take a lump sum payout of "retroactive benefits" (that is, she would get a sum of money in return for a reduced future income, as though she ha...
by GerryL
Wed May 08, 2019 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks really "Chernobyl" risky for people near/in retirement?
Replies: 23
Views: 2876

Re: Stocks really "Chernobyl" risky for people near/in retirement?

I didn't listen to the podcast. Are they referring to individual stocks? Playing the market by trading individual stocks can be a risky way to manage your nest egg. Not having any of your savings in the stock market -- as in a low-cost mutual fund -- as you enter a decades long retirement can also b...
by GerryL
Tue May 07, 2019 1:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bandon, Oregon Golf
Replies: 10
Views: 970

Re: Bandon, Oregon Golf

FYI. Bandon beaches are a great place to look for agates and petrified wood (aka "pet wood").
by GerryL
Mon May 06, 2019 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Book on Medicare?
Replies: 6
Views: 592

Re: Best Book on Medicare?

I also recommend Medicare for Dummies. Second recommendation would be Get What's Yours for Medicare. Make sure to get the latest editions of any book on Medicare as the rules change. Also, look up your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) https://www.seniorsresourceguide.com/directories/...
by GerryL
Mon May 06, 2019 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do with variable bonus?
Replies: 24
Views: 1663

Re: What do you do with variable bonus?

Looks like you're getting pretty consistent advice here: Keep a little out for a splurge and invest the rest for medium- and long-term goals. At Megacorp we were warned that bonuses were not a sure thing. And yet, during my 21 years there the three annual bonuses arrived like clockwork. Only the rat...
by GerryL
Mon May 06, 2019 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How long for Cost Basis to Transfer to Vanguard
Replies: 6
Views: 565

Re: How long for Cost Basis to Transfer to Vanguard

If the stock was originally purchased before the requirement for brokerages to maintain cost basis info, it will not show up. I transferred a large collection of stock to Vanguard. Only those shares that were "covered" included cost basis info. My previous brokerage had not recorded cost basis info ...
by GerryL
Mon May 06, 2019 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ants - aargh
Replies: 69
Views: 3899

Re: ants - aargh

Terro. Cheap and it works I save caps from milk jugs and use those to put small quantities of Terro ant bait in strategic places inside the house. Just a few drops. Outside I use the enclosed Terro bait traps. Keep in mind that some years, perhaps based on weather, ant infestations can spike. In th...
by GerryL
Mon May 06, 2019 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Remind me why we have Medicare supplement
Replies: 26
Views: 3747

Re: Remind me why we have Medicare supplement

It's insurance. You buy it and hope you never need it, instead of passing it up and wishing you had bought it.

If it's available in your state, maybe suggest she look into and F high-deductible Medigap plan.
by GerryL
Mon May 06, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bathroom Remodel - Looking for Advice
Replies: 56
Views: 4005

Re: Bathroom Remodel - Looking for Advice

I had my original acrylic/fiberglass (?) tub and shower taken out to be replaced by a tile shower that offers a little but welcome added space in a constrained area. I'm very practical and wanted economical (not cheap) and low maintenance. It's a shower, not a showpiece. A couple of decisions I made...
by GerryL
Sun May 05, 2019 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can I learn to use Excel for retirement planning?
Replies: 14
Views: 1373

Re: How can I learn to use Excel for retirement planning?

There is a cost, but you could check out non-credit courses at the local community college. That would give you access to a human for asking questions. Our community college offers a 50% discount for "seniors."
by GerryL
Sun May 05, 2019 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rarely used items that are worth having?
Replies: 112
Views: 10856

Re: Rarely used items that are worth having?

Apparently a bathtub according to real estate agents. I never take a bath. Yeah, we are being reckless with our renovation, putting in 4 showers (door less and roll-in ADA) but no tub. We have kept one bathtub that we have never used. I've read that more people are getting rid of the tub. I convert...
by GerryL
Sun May 05, 2019 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions for Folks that Does Not Need Their 401k/IRA Funds in Retirement
Replies: 67
Views: 4739

Re: Questions for Folks that Does Not Need Their 401k/IRA Funds in Retirement

It isn’t uncommon for an elder to be living in a long-time home and consider themselves independent, but: 1. A son is driving them to doctor’s appointment. 2. A daughter is bringing over dinner 3 nights a week. 3. A neighbor is cutting their lawn and shoveling snow. Which the kids/neighbor may or m...
by GerryL
Sun May 05, 2019 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rarely used items that are worth having?
Replies: 112
Views: 10856

Re: Rarely used items that are worth having?

Apparently a bathtub according to real estate agents. I never take a bath. Yeah, we are being reckless with our renovation, putting in 4 showers (door less and roll-in ADA) but no tub. We have kept one bathtub that we have never used. I've read that more people are getting rid of the tub. I convert...
by GerryL
Fri May 03, 2019 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rarely used items that are worth having?
Replies: 112
Views: 10856

Re: Rarely used items that are worth having?

When I saw the title of this thread, my thoughts went to kitchen gadgets. Preparing for kitchen remodel I had to pack up everything. Kitchen gadgets ended up being divided into 3 piles: Keep in kitchen, store in easy-to-reach set of drawers in garage, and toss it. Once or twice a year when I opt to ...
by GerryL
Fri May 03, 2019 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question re. account registration name change/name variation
Replies: 6
Views: 557

Re: Question re. account registration name change/name variation

When I was 18 years old and getting my SS card (which didn't routinely go to young children in those days) my mother gave me this advice: Pick an official version of your name and ALWAYS use it on official documents. Boy oh boy was that good advice. I chose Full First Name (even though I don't like ...
by GerryL
Thu May 02, 2019 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Learn from my Newbie Mistake as a Recent Bogleheads
Replies: 16
Views: 2445

Re: Learn from my Newbie Mistake as a Recent Bogleheads

Thanks for the info, it may help someone else from making the same mistake!! Online and auto invest are easy, but not simple. You may be helping others with your story. VW Maybe one lesson here is not to rely solely on online tools, especially when doing something new. Pick up the phone and talk to...
by GerryL
Thu May 02, 2019 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Learn from my Newbie Mistake as a Recent Bogleheads
Replies: 16
Views: 2445

Re: Learn from my Newbie Mistake as a Recent Bogleheads

Thanks for the info, it may help someone else from making the same mistake!! Online and auto invest are easy, but not simple. You may be helping others with your story. VW Maybe one lesson here is not to rely solely on online tools, especially when doing something new. Pick up the phone and talk to...
by GerryL
Wed May 01, 2019 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Intel sell or hold NOW sold.
Replies: 64
Views: 4080

Re: Intel sell or hold

Sold everything today! 😱 Wow! Since it's inherited and the cost basis reset fairly high, it won't be too painful at tax time. My stash is not nearly as big as yours, but I have more shares than I should. The tax hit on my low cost-basis shares would mess up my tax planning, and in retirement I'm li...
by GerryL
Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions for Folks that Does Not Need Their 401k/IRA Funds in Retirement
Replies: 67
Views: 4739

Re: Questions for Folks that Does Not Need Their 401k/IRA Funds in Retirement

Singleton here. I don't NEED the funds that I saved in 401k and IRAs. I could get by with SS, a mini pension, and dividends from my taxables accounts. The funds in my retirement accounts, which are the bulk of my savings since I always maxed out the accounts whenever eligible, are the frosting on my...
by GerryL
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: I'm not going to run out
Replies: 62
Views: 8515

Re: Retirees: I'm not going to run out

Retired at ~66.
Figured out about a year earlier that I am very unlikely to run out of funds. This knowledge makes having fun even funner.
by GerryL
Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why I don't think I should get long term care insurance right now
Replies: 87
Views: 4563

Re: Why I don't think I should get long term care insurance right now

markcoop wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:43 am
The company is Northwestern Mutual.
Have you tried working with a broker rather than a salesperson? A broker will look at offerings from several (not all) companies and can work with you on your specific needs.
by GerryL
Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is brokerage withholding treated as tax paid throughout the year, just like wage withholding?
Replies: 17
Views: 796

Re: Is brokerage withholding treated as tax paid throughout the year, just like wage withholding?

I am basing my tax payments on this "feature." QCDs in first half of year. RMDs in second half of year with withholding to at least cover "safe harbor" of fed and state taxes. It was a great relief when I realized that 1) the safe harbor rule meant that I would know my minimum taxes due early in the...
by GerryL
Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EXTREMELY frugal things from our parents and grandparents
Replies: 110
Views: 9306

Re: EXTREMELY frugal things from our parents and grandparents

- Keep soap remnants, all held together with elastic bands. Don't know how he combined them later. If you take the old small piece of soap, you can attach it to the new bar when they're both wet, and it will stay attached. Bottles of moisturizer, etc. are the worst for not being able to get everyth...
by GerryL
Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EXTREMELY frugal things from our parents and grandparents
Replies: 110
Views: 9306

Re: EXTREMELY frugal things from our parents and grandparents

BradJ wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:25 am
Where we live, your sewer rate is based on your usage during the fall months. I have heard of people not flushing at the desired rate during that time for a cheaper rate.
"If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down."
by GerryL
Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit is frozen, how do I apply for credit card?
Replies: 16
Views: 1402

Re: Credit is frozen, how do I apply for credit card?

When you apply, tell them that your credit is frozen. They may not need all the freezes lifted. You can ask how long they need a thaw and for which bureaus. I have applied for several credit cards in the years my credit has been frozen. I submit the application (if it is in person, I tell them my c...
by GerryL
Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EXTREMELY frugal things from our parents and grandparents
Replies: 110
Views: 9306

Re: EXTREMELY frugal things from our parents and grandparents

As the daughter of parents who grew up during the Great Depression, some of these habits were -- and still are -- just a natural way of life. Definitely save and reuse plastic bags and aluminum foil … not to mention wrapping paper and bows. Until just a few years ago when I finally broke down and bo...
by GerryL
Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Donor Advised Fund that is NOT a bank/wirehouse?
Replies: 25
Views: 1342

Re: Best Donor Advised Fund that is NOT a bank/wirehouse?

Not sure that you need it if you are just planning to grow it, which you could do in your taxable account. If you don't plan to spend it in a couple years or so, there probably is no great need for it now. +1. Yes. A DAF is NOT an investment vehicle. Once the money goes into the DAF it is no longer...
by GerryL
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is 2 weeks in Amsterdam a bit much?
Replies: 45
Views: 3325

Re: Is 2 weeks in Amsterdam a bit much?

Amsterdam is lovely but please get out and see the Netherlands countryside. And go to Rotterdam because it’s better and more fun and real than Amsterdam. But Volendam, Massdijk, FloraHolland, etc all demand attention imo. Enjoy - it’s my favorite country on earth. Yes. Lots to see outside of Amster...