Search found 721 matches

by Beth*
Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you rent car in Spain?
Replies: 18
Views: 951

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: 611

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: 58248

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: 3041

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: 15023

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: 2830

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: 1239

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: 10869

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: 5495

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: 3893

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: 2013

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: 1611

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: 5290

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: 4020

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: 902

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: 5781

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: 5292

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: 5292

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: 2550

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: 6247

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: 6602

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: 2594

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: 5032

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: 9564

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: 1743

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: 9502

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: 11126

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: 4093

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: 8492

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: 1349

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: 2064

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: 1106

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: 4321

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: 4897

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: 13428

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: 13428

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: 3245

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: 3977

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: 5227

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: 6316

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...
by Beth*
Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please check my AMT understanding
Replies: 9
Views: 1376

Re: Please check my AMT understanding

State and local taxes are not deductible under the AMT.
by Beth*
Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: August Vacation With Kids
Replies: 33
Views: 3725

Re: August Vacation With Kids

When my kids were that age, we went to the beach. Any beach with clean sand and shallow water at the edge of the ocean for the kids to play in is great. A boardwalk with rides appropriate for smaller children is a big plus. Rent a house within a block of the beach so walking is not an issue or stay ...
by Beth*
Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help With Roth Ladders
Replies: 9
Views: 1255

Re: Help With Roth Ladders

Contributions you roll over from your 401(k)/tIRA to a Roth IRA, regardless of whether the contributions were originally made pre- or post-tax, must be in the Roth IRA for five years before you can withdraw them penalty free under age 59.5 unless they fall into one of the IRS listed exception catego...
by Beth*
Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is 60/40 too conservative for 31 year old?
Replies: 69
Views: 9209

Re: Is 60/40 too conservative for 31 year old?

My husband and I were approximately 60/40 for decades and we have done just fine.
by Beth*
Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reinvesting dividends and cap gains in taxable account
Replies: 10
Views: 1381

Re: Reinvesting dividends and cap gains in taxable account

We reinvested dividends in taxable for decades and I'm glad we did. It kept me from second guessing when I should invest the money and trying to market time. We recently stopped reinvesting dividends but that is only because we decided we wanted to hold more cash heading into retirement and not inve...
by Beth*
Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice w/ 62YO Mom Moving In - Rent? Resentment? Plans? (Update, Pg 3)
Replies: 123
Views: 15754

Re: Advice w/ 62YO Mom Moving In - Rent? Resentment? Plans? (Update, Pg 3)

Until a couple of months ago, I viewed her in a completely different light. I really did believe the story she painted where she was the victim and helpless. I thought she was bad with money, but not a compulsive spender who did this to herself and her family. I was foolish. I would guess that she'...
by Beth*
Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely
Replies: 169
Views: 33411

Re: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely

Journalists need to be paid. I don't generally read the Wall Street journal so I probably won't subscribe, but I am very happy to pay to access the New York Times, the Washington Post, and several other publications I read online. I don't see why anyone would expect to have access to high quality c...
by Beth*
Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely
Replies: 169
Views: 33411

Re: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely

Journalists need to be paid. I don't generally read the Wall Street journal so I probably won't subscribe, but I am very happy to pay to access the New York Times, the Washington Post, and several other publications I read online. I don't see why anyone would expect to have access to high quality co...
by Beth*
Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping friend with 8606 and forward basis - who has it right?
Replies: 5
Views: 458

Re: Helping friend with 8606 and forward basis - who has it right?

If she made after-tax contributions to a t-IRA and then rolled those contributions over to a Roth IRA, she does not owe tax. Therefore, if your way of filling out the form shows her owing tax, it is wrong.
by Beth*
Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Liquidating Taxable account to Fund a Roth IRA
Replies: 10
Views: 802

Re: Liquidating Taxable account to Fund a Roth IRA

I would immediately stop investing dividends in your taxable account and put the dividends toward this year's Roth IRA. I would then sell as much of the taxable account as you need to sell to fully fund the Roth IRA. You should sell specific lots that have the smallest capital gains until you have s...