Search found 185 matches

by grandmacassie
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving seats on Southwest
Replies: 210
Views: 11552

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

I MUST relate this true story. Last spring we flew SW from Balto to Phoenix. We rarely fly SW, so we were in group 3. As we boarded, I noticed 2 nice bulkhead seats in a three-seat row, with a guy seated on the aisle. I asked the flight attendant if we could sit anywhere, and she said "anywhere ther...
by grandmacassie
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If we visit Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Parkway, do we "need" to see Great Smoky Mtns. NP, too?
Replies: 52
Views: 5382

Re: If we visit Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Parkway, do we "need" to see Great Smoky Mtns. NP, too?

I have known the Blue Ridge in Va my whole life—writing this from our weekend home there. Over Labor Day weekend I went with sisters to the Smokeys for the first time. Quite different from the Blue Ridge of Va. Steeper and more remote. I suggest checking out Snowbird Mountain Lodge in Robbinsville N...
by grandmacassie
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can this girl "go wild?"
Replies: 33
Views: 5307

Can this girl "go wild?"

Hi, all. I have been a stickler about recording all expenses carefully for the last 25 years or so, as a way of controlling spending and making sure that retirement funding is on track. Well, DH is retiring at the end of the year, and our net worth is higher than we ever expected. Our RMDs plus SS w...
by grandmacassie
Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quebec City in October
Replies: 23
Views: 2009

Re: Quebec City in October

Great restaurants in QC Old Town. Hard to get bad food unless you order poutine! Service is wonderful, too. I’m not much of a shopper, but the boutique shops are interesting, too. We walked our legs off and had a great time doing it last fall.
by grandmacassie
Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever used a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Property (Financial) ? Tell me about it!
Replies: 23
Views: 1367

Re: Have you ever used a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Property (Financial) ? Tell me about it!

Two sets of experience: DH is POA for his mother, who has dementia. He began acting as Attorney-in-Fact for her over 5 years ago. Before cognitive decline got too severe, he accompanied her to her local bank to certify and got on the phone with her to her brokerage to certify (also provided document...
by grandmacassie
Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance
Replies: 52
Views: 3602

Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Look for a class indicating Yoga for the Core at your local yoga studio. It is core strength that helps balance and balance training that helps core strength. And it makes you feel strong and great! I've been taking 2 classes a week for about a year now, and it has made a big difference, even though...
by grandmacassie
Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Assisted Living Money Decision
Replies: 21
Views: 1941

Re: Assisted Living Money Decision

More re Aid and Attendance

The Vet must be a combat vet and qualifying dates are specific. The rules and lengthy and complex.

Resources: www.VA.gov
www.VeteranAid.org
www.VeteranCareAdvisors.com
by grandmacassie
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?
Replies: 27
Views: 2221

Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

I was solicited by Vanguard to talk to a PAS rep a couple of weeks ago. My phone interview was yesterday. I was rather surprised by the moderately hard sell. Even after I demonstrated to him that I had a very good handle on my financial picture, he asserted that I was too low on international, that ...
by grandmacassie
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Assisted Living Money Decision
Replies: 21
Views: 1941

Re: Assisted Living Money Decision

Re: VA Aid and Attendance Benefit. I just did the research on this on behalf of my mom. My dad was a WWII combat vet. Vet with no dependent: income limit $22,577 Vet with spouse or children: income limit $26,765 Surviving spouse income limit: $14,529 In addition, there is a net worth limit of $123,600
by grandmacassie
Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Covered/Non- Covered Shares
Replies: 7
Views: 687

Covered/Non- Covered Shares

Hi, All, I've been dragging my feet in converting to the brokerage platform, but want to get this done by end of summer. This is regarding a taxable account. One poster on another thread mentioned that you should make sure you record the cost basis prior to conversion, so that you can be sure it is ...
by grandmacassie
Wed May 08, 2019 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Goodman HVAC System
Replies: 21
Views: 2176

Re: Goodman HVAC System

Last fall we replaced a Goodman that was original to the house, which was built in 1997. So it gave 21 years of service which is not bad for a heat pump/ac. It was very NOISY, though. So if quiet is important to you, check the noise rating carefully.
by grandmacassie
Wed May 08, 2019 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good town to stop on I-81
Replies: 42
Views: 3618

Re: Good town to stop on I-81

I know this route like the back of my hand. (I've been making that trek for over 45 years since I moved "up north") Staunton and Lexington are both good choices. Since you are spending 2 nights, I'd look at heading East from Staunton about a half hour and check out Wintergreen Resort. It's just off ...
by grandmacassie
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard: "Your Account Needs to be Transitioned"
Replies: 27
Views: 6643

Re: Vanguard: "Your Account Needs to be Transitioned"

I just called Vanguard 5 minutes ago b/c I had received the same message. I was prepared to transition, but had a few questions. My Flagship rep told me transition was totally optional. I elected not to transition because I don't have any individual stocks/ETFs and my set-up now works perfectly for ...
by grandmacassie
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Massive Increase in Long Term Care Insurance for My Parents - Can They?
Replies: 65
Views: 5623

Re: Massive Increase in Long Term Care Insurance for My Parents - Can They?

I have a couple of observations: About 10 years ago dear MIL was beginning to lose cognitive ability and began to complain about paying for LTC insurance "that I've never even used!" We likened it to her homeowners insurance and said "you still pay homeowners insurance and your house has never burne...
by grandmacassie
Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS "tax refund" for $53 - but we haven't filed yet
Replies: 58
Views: 7121

Re: IRS "tax refund" for $53 - but we haven't filed yet

Is is possible that the word REF with a long number following stands for REFERENCE # not a REFUND #? Perhaps we are all misreading REF, and the # following could shed some light if followed up - that you overpaid last year by $53. Just a thought.
by grandmacassie
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 457(b) Plans: Any Downsides?
Replies: 23
Views: 1684

Re: 457(b) Plans: Any Downsides?

OP here. Here's an update. DS read the fine print of the plan and it says the assets are considered assets of the institution until the employee separates from service. So it's a non-governmental fund, after all. Thanks for all comments. In further discussion with DS, I recommended that before he ti...
by grandmacassie
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 457(b) Plans: Any Downsides?
Replies: 23
Views: 1684

457(b) Plans: Any Downsides?

Hi Boglefriends, DS has been looking into investing over and above his maxing of his 403(b) plan. He is a prof at a major land-grant university and has just learned that there is a 457(b) plan available to him that he can invest pre-tax dollars in up to $19K in 2019 (no match). I have read the Wiki ...
by grandmacassie
Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)
Replies: 127
Views: 15126

Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

I am 67 years old. Neither DH or I have ever received a monetary gift or loan from any parent. I did receive $500 from my grandfather when he died in 1967 and $1,000 from my grandmother when she died in 1972.
by grandmacassie
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One Year Out from Retirement
Replies: 7
Views: 1029

Re: One Year Out from Retirement

Thanks for the replies! If I could have persuaded DH to retire sooner, I would have! Took some persuasion to get him to agree to this date 3 years ago. He's in the enviable position of enjoying his work and being his own boss (profession). For the two years before SS and RMD we will just live off of...
by grandmacassie
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One Year Out from Retirement
Replies: 7
Views: 1029

One Year Out from Retirement

Hello, all DH has finally decided that 2019 will be his last year of work, and that he will retire 12/31/19. Yippee! As the family financial manager, I'm looking for advice on what, if any, moves I should make in this, his last year of earning. Here is our situation: Ages: DH67, DW67 Currently on Me...
by grandmacassie
Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good audio book for a family?
Replies: 33
Views: 2164

Re: Good audio book for a family?

I recently listened to Trevor Noah read his memoir "Born A Crime" on a road trip. Better than reading it because he does all the voices and speaks in several South African languages. It's the story up his upbringing as the child of a black mother and white father in South Africa during the last year...
by grandmacassie
Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying house in retirement??
Replies: 23
Views: 4233

Re: Buying house in retirement??

My Mom settled on a new house on her 90th birthday, 5 years ago. She still lives in it, alone. She did not try to get a conventional mortgage, but took a loan against the value of her taxable portfolio from her brokerage. The loan was about $250K. Once she sold her old house, she paid off the portfo...
by grandmacassie
Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Spousal Benefits Only
Replies: 6
Views: 1045

Re: Social Security Spousal Benefits Only

DH and I just did this last winter. We submitted the application on Valentines Day, but "notice of award" was not issued until May 29. So my advice is be patient. SS is good about paying your back benefits when they finally get around to approving your application.
by grandmacassie
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Life Insurance policy to transfer wealth
Replies: 12
Views: 1573

Re: Life Insurance policy to transfer wealth

Couldn't you gift up to $15,000/year* to each of your kids without any tax consequence at all? This accomplishes two things: it puts $$ in your kids' pockets in the high expense years of growing families, and it allows you the flexibility to suspend the gifts at any time should market conditions and...
by grandmacassie
Thu May 17, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Yellowstone Trip advice needed
Replies: 20
Views: 1985

Re: 2018 Yellowstone Trip advice needed

Oops, I mentioned the wrong McPhee books. Rising from the Plain is the one... but all are wonderful!
by grandmacassie
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: “Gradually simplify” your portfolio, or all at once?
Replies: 17
Views: 2110

Re: “Gradually simplify” your portfolio, or all at once?

I haven't had to simplify much - been using Bogle principles a long time. But we all read threads from folks with multiple positions in multiple accounts. If I were in that situation, I would unwind/simplify deliberately and step-by-step. I would want to make sure each transaction was completed accu...
by grandmacassie
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long does a will last? [Time to settle the estate]
Replies: 43
Views: 5554

Re: How long does a will last?

I think 9 months to a year is routine to settle an estate.

Once a wills and estates attorney told me of his response to family members who nag him for "their" money during the estate settlement process. "If you are so desperate for this money, what would you have done if (loved one) had lived?"
by grandmacassie
Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Condo mortgage for seniors
Replies: 2
Views: 737

Re: Condo mortgage for seniors

On her 90th birthday, my mother bought a single family home for herself. She didn't bother with all the rigamarole of trying to get a mortgage at her advanced age. She simply took out a loan at her brokerage against the value of her portfolio. She aggressively paid it off over 4 years and using the ...
by grandmacassie
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applying for Social Security Online
Replies: 44
Views: 6491

Re: Applying for Social Security Online

DH filed (we both went to the SS office in person) for restricted spousal benefits on 2.13.18. He has checked weekly online and application is listed as "processing". We brought IDs, original SS cards, and original marriage certif from 1970's, which were all copied. I think y'all are getting better ...
by grandmacassie
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?
Replies: 238
Views: 19193

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

I asked our son that very question once. (We paid for his undergraduate education.) He said "The distinctive thing is that nobody there saw any limit to what they could accomplish if they set their mind to it." FWIW
by grandmacassie
Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: New Board Index Topic - Retirement Planning
Replies: 51
Views: 14861

Re: More Attention To Retirees' Portfolios

I second that idea. DH and I will begin the "decumulation" phase on 1/1/2020. It would be nice to have a subforum related to the unique questions that arise in decumulation. And we baby boomers are going to retiring at higher and higher rates in the next 10 years, so there will be more and more of u...
by grandmacassie
Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Spousal Social Security
Replies: 14
Views: 2013

Re: Spousal Social Security

We did exactly what you have described. Application date (in person with documents like marriage license from 1974) on Feb 13, 2018. We have yet to receive an approval from SS. I check status online weekly and get the message "processing" All of which is to say that you should apply for spousal rest...
by grandmacassie
Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: conversation about finances/spending with significant other?
Replies: 33
Views: 3192

Re: conversation about finances/spending with significant other?

You said that whenever BF has a down day he likes to treat himself to a new pair of shoes. This is a red flag to me. It sounds as if he is trying to use "stuff" and spending to meet his emotional needs. This can be a very slippery slope. (Ever watch "Hoarders" on TV?) Perhaps the conversation you ne...
by grandmacassie
Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Would like to retire Jan. 2, 2019, can I do it?
Replies: 37
Views: 4348

Re: Would like to retire Jan. 2, 2019, can I do it?

It seems to me that once you are ready to retire, your whole portfolio is available for emergencies. So I wouldn't stress so much about an emergency fund other than keeping a reasonable amount in readlily liquid funds (CDs) in case you need a new heating system, roof or other big ticket item. Others...
by grandmacassie
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reporting LTC Benefit onTaxes
Replies: 3
Views: 630

Re: Reporting LTC Benefit onTaxes

I get it now. You use form 8853 to report and "net out" the LTC insurance reimbursements from the LTC expenses.

Thank you all so much!
by grandmacassie
Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reporting LTC Benefit onTaxes
Replies: 3
Views: 630

Reporting LTC Benefit onTaxes

Hi, gang I'm working on the tax return for dear MIL, who is a resident of a skilled nursing facility. I'm using H&R Block software. She has received a Form 1099-LTC statement from her LTC insurer, showing the amount they reimbursed for her care. Reimbursement is based on a set $$ amount per day.. Th...
by grandmacassie
Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disappointed in Missing a Long Term Financial Goal
Replies: 32
Views: 4471

Re: Disappointed in Missing a Long Term Financial Goal

Please don’t be concerned about some arbitrary goal. Keep on living below your means, and meeting your saving/investing plans. You are doing well for your age. Play the long game.
by grandmacassie
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What non fiction book will you be reading in 2019?
Replies: 198
Views: 19841

Re: What non fiction book will you be reading in 2018?

Here's my non-fiction book club's list for 2018: The River of Consciousness - Oliver Sacks The General vs the President:MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War - H.W. Brands The Hidden Life of Trees -Peter Wohlleben A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evol...
by grandmacassie
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: US National Parks
Replies: 36
Views: 3766

Re: US National Parks

I have done all the above parks and here is my advice. (My advice presumes you are not an avid hiker/climber who will spend nights camping in the back country.) Yellowstone and Grand Teton and be done together in a one-week trip. Yosemite can be done in 4-5 days to include a visit to the Mariposa Gr...
by grandmacassie
Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newport Group servicing 403bs for Vanguard?
Replies: 9
Views: 1267

Re: Newport Group servicing 403bs for Vanguard?

Update from OP I finally got thru to Newport Group and they were helpful. Now we'll see if the rollover actually takes place smoothly. You astute Bogleheads were correct. My former employer was such a small entity that they had a non-ERISA plan. Interestingly, Newport's rep told me that they cannot ...
by grandmacassie
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newport Group servicing 403bs for Vanguard?
Replies: 9
Views: 1267

Re: Newport Group servicing 403bs for Vanguard?

I'm pretty sure it was Vanguard. We chatted about other topics, like changing from Mutual Fund to Brokerage platform and the rep seemed to be able to view my accounts.
by grandmacassie
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newport Group servicing 403bs for Vanguard?
Replies: 9
Views: 1267

Newport Group servicing 403bs for Vanguard?

This AM I called Vanguard to determine if I could roll my Vanguard 403b from a previous employer into my tIRA that Vanguard also holds. They told me that I could, but that Vanguard has contracted with some company named Newport Group to handle all their 403b work and gave me Newport's number. Since ...
by grandmacassie
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Uber hacked - identities of 57 million exposed
Replies: 11
Views: 2649

Re: Uber hacked - identities of 57 million exposed

And after paying the extortion fee, Uber assured itself that the data was really deleted---how?
by grandmacassie
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 501(c)(3) Public-Charity or a Private Foundation?
Replies: 38
Views: 2367

Re: 501(c)(3) Public-Charity or a Private Foundation?

I think there are pitfalls to what you are suggesting and a better and easier way to accomplish what you want. Community foundations operate in many many communities/regions in the US. They are public charities that typically manage the assets of a various endowments according to the charitable inte...
by grandmacassie
Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)
Replies: 73
Views: 9396

Re: Giving up on Quicken? (and expense tracking software altogether)

I've used Quicken for 20 years and also have never downloaded anything. I will no longer upgrade and probably use the 2013 version as long as I can. I also reconcile my accounts every month. Found a bank error in May 2017.
by grandmacassie
Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to a K-1. What do I need to know?
Replies: 15
Views: 2268

Re: Moving to a K-1. What do I need to know?

DH went K-1 many years ago. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that you not only have to make your quarterly income tax payments, you have to pay FICA (both sides!) and medicare taxes as part of that quarterly tax payment. I think both sides of FICA amounts to over 15%, so I hope you are gettin...
by grandmacassie
Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Gifting taxable account with large capital gains to college children
Replies: 11
Views: 1107

Re: Gifting taxable account with large capital gains to college children

If I was in your situation and I wanted to help my kids, I'd pay off student loans after they graduated. Since you have 2 with $8k loans, I'd earmark $8k for each of your 3 kids. After each successfully graduates, I'd pay off that 8k loan, asking each kid not to tell the siblings. My notion is that ...
by grandmacassie
Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can my elderly mother deduct the entire cost of memory care from her taxes?
Replies: 11
Views: 1802

Re: Can my elderly mother deduct the entire cost of memory care from her taxes?

To your original question about taxes. Dear MIL is in a specialized Alzheimer's unit. Her annual income is about $50K. Her health and care expenses, net of reimbursement by LTCI, are about 90K. The 40K difference is paid from her assets. She pays no federal tax. An enrolled agent prepares her tax re...
by grandmacassie
Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximum Medical Deduction
Replies: 9
Views: 1490

Re: Maximum Medical Deduction

So sorry for your troubles. Your wife is fortunate to have such a devoted husband. Dear MIL has been in dementia care for 2 years now. Her expenses far exceed her income, even with LTC insurance. The burn rate for her assets is 6K/month. Her tax return is prepared by an enrolled agent. She pays no f...
by grandmacassie
Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get (qualify for) a mortgage in retirement.
Replies: 20
Views: 2203

Re: How to get (qualify for) a mortgage in retirement.

Here's another perspective. My mother moved from her home of 40 years to a smaller, more convenient and handicap accessible home at age 90. She had not sold her old house at time of settlement. What she did was take a loan against her taxable assets through her brokerage house. When her old house so...