Search found 731 matches

by Beth*
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any problems with freezer "drawer" models
Replies: 40
Views: 2879

Re: Any problems with freezer "drawer" models

I've had one for eight years and I love it. I bought a KitchenAid. I use the refrigerator a lot more than the freezer and I like the fact that it is very easy to find things in the refrigerator.
by Beth*
Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone sell their car to Carmax or webuyanycar.com?
Replies: 34
Views: 3684

Re: Anyone sell their car to Carmax or webuyanycar.com?

I have sold two old cars to Carmax and the process was pain free. Make sure you make an appointment in advance with them to bring the car in and have it appraised or you may have to wait until someone is available to work with you. For one car I got somewhat more than I expected and for the other ca...
by Beth*
Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I want to sell my home, but I don't want to fix it up
Replies: 65
Views: 6417

Re: I want to sell my home, but I don't want to fix it up

I agree with the suggestions to find a realtor with experience selling in your town/neighborhood. That realtor will know what the minimum you need to do is and should also have a relationship with contractors who can do the work. It's important that the realtor be familiar with your neighborhood bec...
by Beth*
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?
Replies: 65
Views: 3894

Re: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?

35 minutes is very tight. The Denver United terminal is large and even if your first flight is on time you may be a long walk/run from the gate for the second flight. United generally doesn't hold planes even if they have a plane full of connecting passengers come in late. I once got in late to Denv...
by Beth*
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about new construction basement houses
Replies: 19
Views: 1476

Re: Question about new construction basement houses

My finished walk-out basement does not have any air conditioning and it is consistently cooler than the upstairs or my house which has central air conditioning. It is pleasant down there on 100 degree high humidity days. We have electric basement heat in the basement and we supplement it with an ele...
by Beth*
Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoroughly cleaning grimy tile
Replies: 19
Views: 2329

Re: Thoroughly cleaning grimy tile

Depending upon how much tile you have, you might want to consider hiring a professional. Stanley Steemer cleaned the 20-year old tile and filthy grout in my foyer and then stained and sealed the grout. It looks like new. I would have killed my knees and back trying to clean and then stain and seal e...
by Beth*
Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?
Replies: 50
Views: 5790

Re: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?

I keep cash in a savings account at Ally Bank which is currently paying 1.75% interest. That's my first tier emergency fund.
by Beth*
Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should we contribute to Roth 403b?
Replies: 4
Views: 357

Should we contribute to Roth 403b?

My husband's employer just started offering the option of a Roth 403b in addition to the regular 403b for retirement investments. We are in the 24 percent federal and 8 percent state/local tax brackets and under the new federal tax law we will not be itemizing so we will not need to pay AMT this yea...
by Beth*
Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Annuities and FIRE
Replies: 8
Views: 790

Re: TIAA Annuities and FIRE

I think you are looking at TIAA all wrong in thinking that it is somehow different from other 401k/403b plans. While most TIAA plans include a traditional annuity plan they also include other investments. My husband and I both have TIAA retirement plans through our employers and our choice of invest...
by Beth*
Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Generator
Replies: 18
Views: 1794

Re: Whole House Generator

We have a Generac with an automatic switch and several of our neighbors do as well. I have not heard of anyone having any problems with them. When the electricity goes out there is a short delay and then the generator automatically turns on. We have ours serviced, and the oil changed, once a year.
by Beth*
Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you rent car in Spain?
Replies: 18
Views: 1091

Re: Did you rent car in Spain?

In general, there is no reason to rent a car if you are vacationing in large European cities or traveling between large European cities. Take trains and use public transportation. Spain has an excellent train system. Driving around old cities with narrow, one-way streets is no fun and not necessary....
by Beth*
Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for too much dry powder and inherited roth
Replies: 6
Views: 675

Re: Advice for too much dry powder and inherited roth

If you need additional income prior to age 59.5, you can roll over your 401k to an IRA after you retire. You can then start converting that IRA to a Roth IRA on a rolling basis. After money has been in the Roth IRA for five years you can withdraw principal without a penalty even if you are under age...
by Beth*
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 886
Views: 63310

Re: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]

We are subject to the AMT for 2017 and we're in the part of the AMT where the deduction phases out so our 2017 marginal tax rate will be 35%. For 2018, our marginal tax rate should be 24% if I am reading the tax tables correctly. We will be taking the standard deduction in 2018 and we will not be su...
by Beth*
Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with unused paint?
Replies: 38
Views: 3215

Re: What to do with unused paint?

My local dump takes unused paint and makes it available to non-profits within the community.
by Beth*
Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]
Replies: 182
Views: 15631

Re: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]

I know this is not what you are asking, but I want to counter the people who suggested not working at all. I am a big believer in staying in the labor force. It's very hard to start up a career again after taking off for any extended period of time. I did, however, work in less demanding positions w...
by Beth*
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How or if to use TIAA annuity
Replies: 32
Views: 3146

Re: How or if to use TIAA annuity

Does anyone know where to find the TIAA document that shows the interest credited by vintage for TIAA traditional during the payout phase for annuity created this year? I downloaded one about a year ago and I am sure there has been an update but I can't find it on their site. I can currently find a ...
by Beth*
Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I find a competent Estate Attorney?
Replies: 8
Views: 1302

Re: How do I find a competent Estate Attorney?

If you work with attorneys whose work you respect in other areas, ask them who they used for their own wills and estate plans. Chances are they know how to tell a good estate attorney from a bad or mediocre one. That's how I found the person I used: he was recommended by a lawyer I respect but who d...
by Beth*
Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED light bulbs
Replies: 97
Views: 11437

Re: LED light bulbs

In my opinion, the most important things is the color. 2700k looks like an incandescent bulb. We have one 3000k bulb that came with a light fixture we bought and it is much whiter than a standard incandescent bulb. Some people prefer that look. I would say to buy a couple of bulbs and experiment. We...
by Beth*
Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wooden flooring in kitchen
Replies: 51
Views: 5692

Re: Wooden flooring in kitchen

We have pre-finished solid wood floors in our kitchen. They have definitely acquired some scratches and dents (from dropping heavy pots) over the years, but I love them. If you need your floors to always look perfect I would not go with wood. If you are willing to live with some scratches and dents ...
by Beth*
Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice - Job
Replies: 37
Views: 3987

Re: Need advice - Job

Do you need the extra money? Are you having trouble paying bills and leading a reasonable life-style? My thoughts on money are that we all need a certain amount to maintain a reasonable life-style without worrying about money all the time. Worrying about paying bills is no fun at all. However, once ...
by Beth*
Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Parents: CFP or Elder Law Attorney
Replies: 18
Views: 2082

Re: Helping Parents: CFP or Elder Law Attorney

Are you sure your mother won't receive survivor benefits from your father's pension? Most pensions are subject to ERISA and ERISA, which has been in effect since the mid-1980s, requires that a spouse waive any claim to retirement survivor benefits in writing if the spouse does not want to receive th...
by Beth*
Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Backdoor Roth?
Replies: 15
Views: 1683

Re: Backdoor Roth?

You can convert the entire balance of your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA as long as you pay tax on any portion that was not previously taxed. If your traditional IRA includes any post tax contributions, and you have documented that, you don't need to pay tax on those post-tax contributions.
by Beth*
Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel tipping: how much to leave?
Replies: 72
Views: 5444

Re: Hotel tipping: how much to leave?

Generally $5/night. I have been financially fortunate. I believe in helping others who work hard and have less. If I get upgraded to a large suite or for some reason we make an unusually large mess or the cleaning staff does something above and beyond their normal job I tip a little more. However, $...
by Beth*
Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why is it wrong to hold both? [Total Stock Market and 500 index]
Replies: 29
Views: 4271

Re: Why is it wrong to hold both? [Total Stock Market and 500 index]

I hold both. I bought the Vanguard 500 Index back in the early 1990s before the total stock market fund was available. I have significant capital gains in it and I don't see any reason to sell it now. I am in a high tax bracket and realizing the capital gains at this time doesn't make sense. At some...
by Beth*
Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice To Help Parent's Pay Down Debt
Replies: 4
Views: 931

Re: Advice To Help Parent's Pay Down Debt

Ally Bank is paying 1.05% on FDIC savings accounts. That's where I have my emergency fund as well as money I expect to need in the next couple of years.
by Beth*
Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Insurance?
Replies: 46
Views: 6059

Re: Long Term Care Insurance?

I think that people often make the mistake of looking at the cost of nursing home care and thinking that they need long-term care insurance to cover the entire cost. Most people, including almost everyone posting in this forum, has other sources of income and only needs long-term care insurance to c...
by Beth*
Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Baby - Wife stay at home for 1 year?
Replies: 48
Views: 5470

Re: New Baby - Wife stay at home for 1 year?

My wife wanted to work.. until I showed her the reality that she would be making only a few bucks per hour. In my opinion, this is not a good reason not to work. While there may be a few years where a person nets little or no money, that person is still building up human capital that will pay off d...
by Beth*
Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Baby - Wife stay at home for 1 year?
Replies: 48
Views: 5470

Re: New Baby - Wife stay at home for 1 year?

You asked for people to share their own personal experience. I stayed home with both my children as infants. I was home full-time for nine months with the first child and for 18 months with the second child. I did not work full-time until my younger child was in first grade. We were not in great fin...
by Beth*
Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: California Vacation - Bay Area, So Cal, or Both (with coastal drive)?
Replies: 23
Views: 2698

Re: California Vacation - Bay Area, So Cal, or Both (with coastal drive)?

There is plenty to do in both southern CA and the Bay Area. If you only have one week, I would pick one or the other. One thing that I don't think anyone has mentioned yet, is that in late July/early August it is likely to be cold and foggy in San Francisco itself. Most of the Bay Area should be fin...
by Beth*
Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouse returning to work. How to keep low stress lifestyle?
Replies: 47
Views: 6496

Re: Spouse returning to work. How to keep low stress lifestyle?

Do you have any colleges or universities close to where you live? It is fairly common for colleges and universities to offer free tuition to children of employees and some participate in consortiums where the children can get free or reduced tuition at other colleges as well. With four children, thi...
by Beth*
Mon May 29, 2017 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lufthansa Premium Economy
Replies: 40
Views: 6913

Re: Lufthansa Premium Economy

Last time I flew to Europe, LH Premium Economy was significantly more expensive than a very good Economy Plus seat on United, so I opted for the latter. What a simple but obvious solution. I am so strongly biased against United that I would never have thought to consider Economy Plus on United. How...
by Beth*
Mon May 29, 2017 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay Debt or invest with my Unique situation. Help!
Replies: 23
Views: 2699

Re: Pay Debt or invest with my Unique situation. Help!

I am assuming you have an emergency fund with at least a couple months of living expenses in it. If not, that should be a top priority. After that, I vote for putting enough in the retirement accounts to get the match and then aggressively paying off the student loans. Once you have paid off the stu...
by Beth*
Fri May 26, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to start talking to older parents regarding their finances (and how to do it?)
Replies: 37
Views: 5318

Re: When to start talking to older parents regarding their finances (and how to do it?)

It is, unfortunately, a very difficult topic for some people. I have tried to make it easy for my adult children: I put together a document that tells them where to find our wills, legal and medical powers of attorney, life insurance, and long term care policies, as well as all financial accounts we...
by Beth*
Sat May 06, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay home with kids?
Replies: 103
Views: 9830

Re: Stay home with kids?

You enjoy your work and you invested a lot in your education to get to where you are, you love yours kids, and you feel tension in your life between the amount of time you have available to split between work and kids. Welcome to modern life in the United States! You have the fortunate situation of ...
by Beth*
Sat May 06, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation ideas in the US south - Christmas 2017 - Galveston, St Augustine? Others?
Replies: 21
Views: 1822

Re: Vacation ideas in the US south - Christmas 2017 - Galveston, St Augustine? Others?

Dottie57 wrote:Not a beach. But I think Santa Fe would be fun.
Santa Fe is beautiful at Christmas, but it is likely to be very cold with snow on the ground!
by Beth*
Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Favorite Financial Indulgences
Replies: 78
Views: 9716

Re: Favorite Financial Indulgences

Upgrading my airline seat to business class for a long flight! I don't care much about having the latest electronics equipment or a new/fancy car and I'm perfectly satisfied with the coffee I make myself, but for a flight of over 5 or 6 hours I get a lot of pleasure from not being squeezed into coach.
by Beth*
Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing with regret
Replies: 102
Views: 11434

Re: Dealing with regret

We all have regrets about things we would have done differently in the past if we knew what we know now. I'm almost 60 and I can't begin to list all the things I can look back on and realize I should have done differently in the past both financially and in other areas of my life. I could make mysel...
by Beth*
Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to park 200k cash for 2-5 years
Replies: 24
Views: 4179

Re: Where to park 200k cash for 2-5 years

If you will need the money in 2 to 5 years, put it in an FDIC insured CD or savings account with the highest interest rate you can find, which unfortunately won't be very high. I have almost $200,000 sitting in an Ally Savings account in part because I plan to move to a retirement home within the ne...
by Beth*
Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Retirement Planning impact your job performance?
Replies: 68
Views: 8642

Re: Does Retirement Planning impact your job performance?

Life is short. In my opinion, it is sad to live one's life in anticipation of the next stage. While we sometimes have to stay in unhappy situations for a while because of external circumstances, if someone is only in their job counting down the days to retirement I think that person needs to contemp...
by Beth*
Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Southwest] Airlines Rapid Rewards Dining
Replies: 11
Views: 1407

Re: SW Airlines Rapid Rewards Dining

I have belonged to the United Dining program for years. There is no downside as far as I have ever seen. I don't pick my restaurants based upon the program, but periodically I discover that I happened to eat at a restaurant affiliated with the program and miles get deposited in my account. It is abs...
by Beth*
Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandmother will run out of money after stroke
Replies: 8
Views: 2116

Re: Grandmother will run out of money after stroke

I am assuming your grandmother also receives social security or some other type of retirement income if she isn't eligible for social security. She must have been planning to live on more than $50,000. It sounds like she is eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid will pay for a nursing home in most (all?) s...
by Beth*
Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing cash short term set aside for roth contributions while in grad school
Replies: 15
Views: 1157

Re: Investing cash short term set aside for roth contributions while in grad school

You have probably already thought of this, but just in case I wanted to bring up that if you have any pre-tax money in a 401(k), 402(b), or other pre-tax retirement account, while you are in grad school and earning minimal income is a good time to roll this money over to a Roth IRA. You are likely t...
by Beth*
Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 'True' Cost Of A More Expensive House
Replies: 22
Views: 4425

Re: 'True' Cost Of A More Expensive House

We bought a nice house in a less expensive/less elite neighborhood 20 years ago (it was our second house). We could have "afforded" a house in a more expensive neighborhood but we didn't want to be house poor. I've been wondering lately what our financial situation would look like now if we had boug...
by Beth*
Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer/dryer suggestions?
Replies: 43
Views: 5368

Re: Washer/dryer suggestions?

I have a GE Profile high efficiency top load washer which does not have a center agitator. It's 7 or 8 years old and I have never had a problem with it. Because it is a top load I don't have the issue of mold around the door seals. I do leave the top open when it is not in use so it will dry out. I ...
by Beth*
Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My kids don't care about saving
Replies: 114
Views: 13712

Re: My kids don't care about saving

Instead of just giving cash at Christmas, offer to match 50 cents for each dollar they contribute to their 401k or Roth IRA up to $3k they save. So your contribution at year-end would be $1.5k max. Make sure they know there will be no inheritance (even if there will be). I'm almost 60, but I rememb...
by Beth*
Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My kids don't care about saving
Replies: 114
Views: 13712

Re: My kids don't care about saving

Give your kids a break. They are still young. While this forum has many participants their age who are saving a lot of money that is not the norm. It sounds like you raised responsible children who have good jobs and aren't living in your basement. They are now adults and they aren't asking you for ...
by Beth*
Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip Ideas - San Francisco & Northern CA
Replies: 31
Views: 3406

Re: Trip Ideas - San Francisco & Northern CA

Before you plan to drive anywhere in CA, particularly along the coast, check out the status of the roads. They had a lot of damage from storms this winter and washed out bridges, etc. are unlikely to be fixed by the summer. Here's a list of all the parts of HIghway 1 that are currently closed: http:...
by Beth*
Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 4147

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

This is slightly off topic, but I recommend consulting seatguru.com before choosing a seat. I've done that every time since the flight when I thought I was choosing a window seat and it turned out that there was no window in that row, just a wall.
by Beth*
Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your employer let you cash out your Vacation and/or Sick time upon leaving the company?
Replies: 56
Views: 5729

Re: Does your employer let you cash out your Vacation and/or Sick time upon leaving the company?

We get Paid Time Off (PTO) which bundles vacation and sick leave. We can cash in our PTO balance when we leave.
by Beth*
Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding shafting my local merchants with card fees
Replies: 49
Views: 6805

Re: Avoiding shafting my local merchants with card fees

When I have had local businesses offer me a discount for paying cash, they generally mean cash, not a check. I have always assumed they are avoiding taxes by doing this, especially if the discount is on the order of 10 percent. The exception is my local gas station which posts both a cash and credit...