Search found 104 matches

by marielake
Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 397
Views: 24839

Re: Retirement Friendly States

I moved from Mass to NC for retirement. The basic reasons were a warmer climate and housing costs as I didn’t think I could afford my home one I retired. I also wanted an area with a hospital and university. I’ve seen snow twice in 4 years, summers are brutal and real estate is half that of Mass. I ...
by marielake
Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car rental insurance experiences
Replies: 31
Views: 2963

Re: Car rental insurance experiences

I did not purchase insurance on a car rental in Ireland and had an accident. They charged my credit card for the damage. The rental company was not cooperative with my credit card company. Car was rented thru Auto Europe. I eventually contacted them to explain the problem and they told me that was o...
by marielake
Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Peninsula de Oso, Costa Rica
Replies: 2
Views: 295

Re: Peninsula de Oso, Costa Rica

What is your budget. We stayed at bosque del Cabo lodge. It was wonderful, but expensive. You should check with trip advisor.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g309 ... nas-Hotels
by marielake
Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consider the next phase of our travel?
Replies: 37
Views: 2915

Re: Consider the next phase of our travel?

Interesting question. I’ve been asking myself where I’d like to go next. I’m recently back from Portugal, which disappointed me. I just figured out I prefer new and different cultures or stunning beauty. My favorite trips were Turkey (culture and history) and Belize (my first jungle-type trip) and A...
by marielake
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning Thailand Vacation
Replies: 9
Views: 1291

Re: Planning Thailand Vacation

I did a month long trip to SE Asia 2 years ago. I found fodors.com an invaluable resource. https://www.fodors.com/community/tags/thailand/ Planned my trip independently based on trip reports I read there. Flew Cathay Pacific out of NYC--seats were roomier and price was less than other airlines. Trie...
by marielake
Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 329
Views: 29352

Re: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70

Stuff happens. I retired at 65 (with a pension that just about covered my expenses) thinking I'd take SS at 70. The more I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that I'd been saving for retirement for more than 30+ yrs, had lived frugally enough and began to wonder what I was saving for. I ende...
by marielake
Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on short Vietnam visit
Replies: 30
Views: 2610

Re: Advice on short Vietnam visit

Have a great trip. For more detailed travel advice, I recommend Fodors.com and go to their travel forums and search for Viet Nam and Hanoi. There are some really good trip reports. I planned my whole trip based on help I got from that website.
by marielake
Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $3,400/yr seem reasonable for insurance? Reduce this cost???
Replies: 27
Views: 2754

Re: $3,400/yr seem reasonable for insurance? Reduce this cost???

In the last year, I purchased 2 homes. In the process, found an insurance agent willing to shop prices. On homeowners, discovered we already were with the least expensive company. With a $7,500 deductible we are paying about $2,400, in a hurricane prone area. After Florence and a new roof we are pro...
by marielake
Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage for Retirees
Replies: 28
Views: 2676

Re: Mortgage for Retirees

I am retired and in the process of refinancing. The broker told me I would need to get a letter from fidelity stating that I was withdrawing a certain amount every month so that I could get to a certain ratio. I challenged him on it because I don't need the funds and don't want to take the money out...
by marielake
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on short Vietnam visit
Replies: 30
Views: 2610

Re: Advice on short Vietnam visit

Been thinking about this. Sounds like you will skip HaLong Bay, which I think would be a mistake should you decide on Hanoi. HaLong Bay and NinBinh were my favorite stops in Vietnam (we were in country for 10 days). NinBinh has similar formations to HaLong Bay and might be another option for you as ...
by marielake
Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on short Vietnam visit
Replies: 30
Views: 2610

Re: Advice on short Vietnam visit

I am intrigued by all the suggestions of spending at least one night on a boat in Halong Bay. What can be seen better at night than during the day? Since the highlight is the limestone formations, wouldn’t those be better seen during the day? All the pictures I’ve seen of the area were taken during...
by marielake
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on short Vietnam visit
Replies: 30
Views: 2610

Re: Advice on short Vietnam visit

I was in Viet Nam about 2 years ago. We did an overnight boat trip to Halong Bay from Hanoi. It is closer to a 3-hr drive one way on rough roads. I don't really recall if you see would much by just going into the city. It would not be worth it to do a one day trip from Hanoi. You need to go out a a ...
by marielake
Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Real Estate Proceed Advice
Replies: 13
Views: 1139

Re: Real Estate Proceed Advice

You should talk to your bank about recasting your mortgage, not refinancing. With refinancing you will need to pay closing costs and likely have a higher interest rate. With recasting there is only a small fee, you keep the current interest rate and remaining # of periods stay the same. If you pay-o...
by marielake
Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Real Estate Proceed Advice
Replies: 13
Views: 1139

Re: Real Estate Proceed Advice

One option is to use a portion of the proceeds to recast your loan. Recasting allows you pay a lump sum amount and maintain the current interest rate. Also, the remaining periods remain the same. There is a slight fee that will be easily offset with savings from the reduced payment.
by marielake
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Americans believe they need $1.7 million, on average, to retire
Replies: 284
Views: 30898

Re: Americans believe they need $1.7 million, on average, to retire

Let's try to make this more actionable. That 1.7MM number might be what they think they need, but I think ignores objective reality. The objective reality is that the overwhelming majority of people will retire with far less than 1.7MM. It is this group I would like the Bogleheads to address - thos...
by marielake
Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I falling into the trap of judging everything through cost lens?
Replies: 51
Views: 5064

Re: Am I falling into the trap of judging everything through cost lens?

Interesting question. I have two examples of spending excessive cash for discretionary spending. For many years, my bucket list included a month long trip to SE Asia. I am single and could not convince any one to travel with me. As I was making reservations for 4 different countries, it hit me I did...
by marielake
Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pairing Sherwin Williams "Accessible Beige"
Replies: 16
Views: 1625

Re: Pairing Sherwin Williams "Accessible Beige"

This doesn't answer your question about ceiling color, but offers a good review of accessible beige and even addresses north facing rooms. I'm in prepainting mode myself and agonizing over colors for a dark space. You will find lots of info just googling the name of the paint color. https://www.kyli...
by marielake
Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lodging and restaurants in Boone, NC.
Replies: 21
Views: 1613

Re: Lodging and restaurants in Boone, NC.

I second Blowing Rock and Bistro Roca. Be sure to make reservations; its hard to get in otherwise, unless you sit in the bar. We fled from Hurricane Florence last Sept and stayed 12 nights at Chetola Resort, which also has a good restaurant. Village Cafe is also really nice and requires reservations...
by marielake
Thu May 16, 2019 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going rate for real estate commissions, ATL
Replies: 11
Views: 1212

Re: Going rate for real estate commissions, ATL

I sold a house in the Boston area. Learned that it is negotiable. Interview at least 3 realtors.
by marielake
Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How far would you commute?
Replies: 104
Views: 5726

Re: How far would you commute?

I commuted to Boston for 25+ years. In the end, I decided, in the heat of the moment, that I was done with commuting and was ready for retirement. What are your commuting options? Is there a commuter train nearby? It makes a huge difference. I took train for many years; door to door, it was 45 minut...
by marielake
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?
Replies: 63
Views: 4746

Re: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?

I had the same question prior to retiring. I came up with clothing, commuting and lunch/coffee. I eat out more now than ever, so restaurant tab has not declined. A better way to look at is net income. I had so much deducted from my paycheck (medical savings, 403B, commuting, medical insurance, FICA)...
by marielake
Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 4897
Views: 1266624

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

On the Basis of Sex--the Ruth Beta Ginsburg story. It was excellent. I hadn't realized her role in bringing gender discrimination into forefront.
by marielake
Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sicily over Italian cities?
Replies: 49
Views: 3593

Re: Sicily over Italian cities?

Have you been to Italy before? What are your interests and why Sicily? Not been to Sicily, but have been to the 3 big cities. I'm more of a small town/village traveler. Much preferred towns around Cinque Terre, Tuscany and Amalfi Coast. My goto for trip reviews and advice is fodors.com. Search the E...
by marielake
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Budgeting
Replies: 10
Views: 1561

Re: Retirement Budgeting

I have been using You Need A Budget (YNAB) for several years now. You can try it free for 30 days and then I think the cost is $50/year. I started about a year prior to retirement so got a good handle on my spending. It was kind of shocking to see how foolish some of my spending was and it helped to...
by marielake
Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home purchase: how to effectively trade off location & price? (Boston area)
Replies: 57
Views: 2979

Re: Home purchase: how to effectively trade off location & price? (Boston area)

"All things being equal, i'd prefer a western location. I think a western location is more optimal with the radial highways around boston and the fact to the east of boston is ocean. From a western location you can more easily get to areas north or south. From the north shore its a bitch to get to t...
by marielake
Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home purchase: how to effectively trade off location & price? (Boston area)
Replies: 57
Views: 2979

Re: Home purchase: how to effectively trade off location & price? (Boston area)

Define your priorities. Sounds like appreciation rates are #1 for you. You are looking in the western suburbs. Have you looked on the North Shore? When I was house hunting in the area, commuter access was key as was a "nice" community. Realtor drew a map showing all the commuter lines and homes in m...
by marielake
Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To each his own ( I guess ) [Opinions of traveling in retirement]
Replies: 109
Views: 8441

Re: To each his own ( I guess )

I never had much desire to travel beyond the Caribbean until I went to Paris and French Riveria. It changed my whole travel outlook. Until you do it, you don't know what you are missing. Prior to retiring, I took about 3 big trips a year. I retired last year and went to Southeast Asia for a month. L...
by marielake
Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA R1 With Painfully High Expenses - stuck?
Replies: 41
Views: 3147

Re: TIAA R1 With Painfully High Expenses - stuck?

I have 403B funds in both TIAA, and Fidelity. TIA funds are in traditional and real estate; fidelity mostly in index funds. Fidelity advisor recommended I keep my "safe" money, or bond type funds, in TIA and riskier funds with Fidelity. You could use your IRA for equity portion of savings and your w...
by marielake
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lock mortgage rate at 5%?
Replies: 34
Views: 4049

Re: Lock mortgage rate at 5%?

I just locked at 5.375, 30 years, 20% down. I had the options to buy down the rate to 4.75 at a cost of $3,800.

I asked why the rate was higher than I'd seen online. Was told it was because other lenders hadn't added in other miscellaneous costs, but in the end, rates would be similar.
by marielake
Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades
Replies: 232
Views: 30554

Re: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades

Some viable options in that slide deck. I’m not a big fan of slide articles so I only went to number 6, but the only location in 1-6 I haven’t been is Nicaragua. If push came to shove I could see pulling off something like this. Food for thought - I don’t think the majority of US citizens aged 60 o...
by marielake
Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pros and cons of exceeding IRMA limits vs wiping out cash to purchase second home?
Replies: 7
Views: 598

Re: Pros and cons of exceeding IRMA limits vs wiping out cash to purchase second home?

With a 20% down payment, an $18K withdrawal gets me to $85K income. The balance comes out of my taxable cash. Yes, cash is my emergency fund, vacation fund, tax fund, maintenance fund, Christmas fund, etc. I know its only 6 weeks. I guess its just peace of mind and calming my nerves. Its a first wor...
by marielake
Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying house in retirement??
Replies: 23
Views: 4231

Re: Buying house in retirement??

I am in process of buying a second home while in retirement. Pension and SS are adequate to cover mortgage so not reliant on retirement savings for monthly payments; am reliant on funds for down payment. Mortgage broker said there is no problem with getting a loan--hopefully this continues to be true.
by marielake
Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pros and cons of exceeding IRMA limits vs wiping out cash to purchase second home?
Replies: 7
Views: 598

Re: Pros and cons of exceeding IRMA limits vs wiping out cash to purchase second home?

It was my plan to take 50% this year and 50% in January, but....got a good deal and seller wants a quick close. Closing is scheduled for mid November, so only a 6 week period of being cash poor. Was thinking that maybe I could kill two birds with one stone--convert to Roth and save some of my cash. ...
by marielake
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pros and cons of exceeding IRMA limits vs wiping out cash to purchase second home?
Replies: 7
Views: 598

Pros and cons of exceeding IRMA limits vs wiping out cash to purchase second home?

Planning to buy a condo as second home. FWIW, pension and SS are more than enough to live on and I'm not dependent on savings even with second home. Down payment will require all my cash savings + portion of 403B funds. Option is to withdraw higher proportion of funds from 403B, but that puts me up ...
by marielake
Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your stealth way to save monthly?
Replies: 87
Views: 10403

Re: What is your stealth way to save monthly?

Before I retired, I transferred money to a tax deferred account. I added every pay raise to the 403B until maxed out. On work days, I stopped buying coffee from cafe and drank coffee provided by the office-at the end of the first year, I could purchase 2 plane tickets. That simple change opened my e...
by marielake
Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing a real estate agent to sell a condo (MA)
Replies: 7
Views: 548

Re: Choosing a real estate agent to sell a condo (MA)

I sold a house in Mass a couple of years ago. The market was so hot, it practically sold itself. I interviewed 3 realtors. I was looking for people who were experienced, had a good track record, were local, and not a friend. Of the three, one took too long to get back to me and charged a higher comm...
by marielake
Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assisted Living Expenses
Replies: 30
Views: 2398

Re: Assisted Living Expenses

I live in NC. Recently met with a financial planner. I was told the average cost for a one bedroom ALF here in NC in 2017 was $54K with a 5-year annual growth rate of 7%.
by marielake
Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assisted Living Expenses
Replies: 30
Views: 2398

Re: Assisted Living Expenses

I live in NC. Recently met with a financial planner. I was told the average cost for a one bedroom ALF here in NC in 2017 was $54K with a 5-year annual growth rate of 7%.
by marielake
Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I get a mortgage if retiring?
Replies: 37
Views: 5693

Re: Can I get a mortgage if retiring?

I am retired and recently got a mortgage. Have a small pension and social security. Interest rate, with excellent credit rating, was higher than average (4.875).
by marielake
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Croatia/Slovenia/Montenegro - 8 days
Replies: 7
Views: 805

Re: Croatia/Slovenia/Montenegro - 8 days

I was in Croatia two years ago. We considered adding Slovenia to trip, but in end it added too much driving. Your itinerary seems like alot of traveling in a short time. We flew into Zagreb, but left immediately for an overnight at Platvice (sp) National Park. It was quite stunning but extremely cro...
by marielake
Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What rate of return are you using for retirement projections?
Replies: 106
Views: 12326

Re: What rate of return are you using for retirement projections?

I am 66 and retired. Just met with independent financial advisor. The projected out with 5.8% net and 2.5 % inflation. 60/40 allocation.
by marielake
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walking Coast-to-Coast
Replies: 86
Views: 7937

Re: Walking Coast-to-Coast

When I read your post, I thought of a book I had read many years ago but could not remember the name. "Walk Across America"--I was glad to see it was one of your inspirations. What I remember and enjoyed about the book are the stories he told about the people he met along his journey. Will you have ...
by marielake
Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: International Vacation Ideas
Replies: 47
Views: 3819

Re: International Vacation Ideas

The time of year you travel will make a difference in where to go in Southeast Asia. I found Fodors.com travel forum to be a really helpful resource. You can read trip reports and ask specific advice from seasoned, well-informed travelers. The folks on the SE Asia forum are passionate about the regi...
by marielake
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?
Replies: 127
Views: 17488

Re: Retirement Destination - are you happy with your choice?

I moved from the Boston area to Wilmington, NC. Prior to retiring, had looked mostly in the southwest. Was looking for less expensive real estate, someplace where I could sell my home, use the equity to buy another home and have no mortgage. After visiting NC, It seemed like the right place. Prices ...
by marielake
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: International Vacation Ideas
Replies: 47
Views: 3819

Re: International Vacation Ideas

Been to Costa Rica twice. Take a look at Bosque del Cabo for rest and relaxation. Pricey, but worth it. My favorite European trip (for culture, food, beauty, people) was Turkey, but I'm not sure I'd go back for safety reasons. We went to Cappadocia, Istanbul and Cirali. It was all an adventure. Alas...
by marielake
Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: “Day to kill” in Venice Italy
Replies: 51
Views: 4451

Re: “Day to kill” in Venice Italy

I’d say just relax. It is very tiring flying from us to Italy; you will need time to decompress.
Was fun to watch the garbage and ambulance gondolas. Be sure to have map or guidebook to get around. It is very easy to get lost.
by marielake
Sun May 27, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leave career (fortune 200) and join the peace corps?
Replies: 29
Views: 3866

Re: Leave career (fortune 200) and join the peace corps?

Lots of facts and figures, dollar and cents. A Peace Corp commitment takes heart and soul. I second this line below from antheus: "Romanticize it as little as possible, there are amazing things about immersing yourself in a 3rd world country but some pretty awful aspects as well". Immersing yourself...
by marielake
Sat May 26, 2018 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leave career (fortune 200) and join the peace corps?
Replies: 29
Views: 3866

Re: Leave career (fortune 200) and join the peace corps?

If suffering from burn out, do it. Put your skills to good use in a developing country. It will be an experience of a life time, both good and bad. I'm a former VISTA volunteer. We received a monthly stipend that was enough to live on, with little extra. From there, I made good contacts, lifelong fr...
by marielake
Sat May 26, 2018 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 days in Boston with an 8 year old
Replies: 32
Views: 2935

Re: 3 days in Boston with an 8 year old

Just saw Dath Sage post. Duck Boat is great. I walked friends from Wyoming all over Boston. We then took duck boat and went to all the same sites we had walked to. It is pricey tho. Also, great restaurants in the North End, especially pizza. I miss North End pizza.
by marielake
Sat May 26, 2018 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 days in Boston with an 8 year old
Replies: 32
Views: 2935

Re: 3 days in Boston with an 8 year old

Is Columbia Park by the North End? Fun things for an 8 year old might be the Aquarium, Children's Museum and the swan boats in the public gardens. For adults, walking the Boston Harbor and having drinks at the Boston Harbor Hotel; maybe Fanueil Hall, a baseball game? I took all my out of town friend...