Search found 1777 matches

by Lynette
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Landscaping costs?
Replies: 11
Views: 1295

Re: Landscaping costs?

I do all my landscaping work myself, but would never touch a concrete retaining wall. Though I have done 1 ft+ retaining walls using pressure treated landscape timbers, but they will last only 20 years. I consider DIY landscape work regular exercise in the fresh air. The price sounds reasonable as ...
by Lynette
Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 179
Views: 10227

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

One mistake of many .. not understanding that stuff grows really quickly here in the Michigan. Obviously I did not read the labels on the shrubs and trees I bought! I cannot even remember how many shrubs/trees I have either removed myself or called a tree service as they were getting too big then of...
by Lynette
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: rmd for IRAs at multiple institutions
Replies: 18
Views: 1167

Re: rmd for IRAs at multiple institutions

I have IRAs at Fidelity and Vanguard. I also let them calculate what I owe and do each separately. If there is a query on my taxes years later, I would not like to have to prove that I took sufficient RMDs from multiple institutions.
by Lynette
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?
Replies: 92
Views: 4166

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

In my neck of the woods (mid-Atlantic) below grade (finished or not), garages, and other normal non-living areas are not included in the house sq ft for tax nor sale purposes. While your local taxing/sales data may be different, what is the actual sq ft of your house if you remove all the non-clima...
by Lynette
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: UK boarding school (Intl student)
Replies: 28
Views: 1841

Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

Interesting discussion. That said, for the student in question I think the bigger fear would simply be spending too much time on video games. Or finding the language gap too much... Take a look at the Swiss boarding schools before making a decision. Funny, I just started listening to Valeska Steine...
by Lynette
Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: UK boarding school (Intl student)
Replies: 28
Views: 1841

Re: UK boarding school (Intl student)

I was a house mistress in a girls public school in South Africa in the sixties at the age of 22 - just after graduation. It supposedly followed much of the British model. I had to take the children to an Anglican church on a Sunday, etc. It was a prison. The matrons would check that no girls were sl...
by Lynette
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!
Replies: 92
Views: 3904

Re: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!

Electric chain saws do not have the power as a gas chain saw. Are good for up to 5 inches dia branches. Then when I tried to use my 2 cycle gas chain saw 2 years ago the carburetor was all gummed up (gas and oil mixture), and a new carburetor would have cost as much as a new chain saw. Whenever you...
by Lynette
Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lab test prices - exasperating!
Replies: 101
Views: 5713

Re: Lab test prices - exasperating!

Hi Victoria and DM200, ...I am highly skeptical of supplements and vitamins as I think one should be able to get these by eating well. This is just my opinion. ...To each his own - I'm avoiding doctors, tests and billing problems .. for now. Lynette, My attitude towards supplements, herbs, and spic...
by Lynette
Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!
Replies: 92
Views: 3904

Re: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!

I recently got this guy. Got the job done and did not feel unsafe at all. I would be a little worried about doing branches at weird angles though. I have generally had bad luck with cordless devices degrading the batteries so I opted for the corded. https://www.walmart.com/ip/WORX-WG305-1-8-Amp-Ele...
by Lynette
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lab test prices - exasperating!
Replies: 101
Views: 5713

Re: Lab test prices - exasperating!

Hi Victoria and DM200, I mentioned that I know my own health based on being virtually forced to take wellness tests each year for nearly 20 years. We got a discount on our copays if we went to them each year. With boring regularity the results were the same. The mammogram was boringly the same - no ...
by Lynette
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lab test prices - exasperating!
Replies: 101
Views: 5713

Re: Lab test prices - exasperating!

At 74, I am fortunate to be fairly healthy and my 40-year experience of living in the USA has led me to believe that many of these tests/medicines are simply to avoid lawsuits for malpractice. So doctors make the patient do all of the tests ... just in case .. I was not born in the US and came from ...
by Lynette
Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?
Replies: 66
Views: 2771

Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

When I was young, I used to hate going to the after-vacation slide show that my uncle and father always gave. So I decided I would never, ever subject people to looking at unwanted photos of my vacations. Of course, I would be delighted to share photography experiences now with my long-gone father. ...
by Lynette
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remodel for aging in place
Replies: 44
Views: 3005

Re: Remodel for aging in place

I could live on one floor in my house if necessary by moving the laundry to the first floor. For now it is in the basement and I sleep upstairs. I completely agree with those who have said to make changes when required. My house is in a safe neighborhood, conveniently located close to my health club...
by Lynette
Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinion's: Best time to withdraw RMD's when required to do so.
Replies: 22
Views: 1490

Re: Opinion's: Best time to withdraw RMD's when required to do so.

I've always thought I'd take them early in the year, just to make things easier for my heirs should I pass. (I'd hate to create a mess by dying in late November and them not even having the time to figure out my RMDs before the year ends. I like them too much!) Very good idea! I do QCDs early in th...
by Lynette
Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can Sneakers go with Business Casual?
Replies: 169
Views: 7593

Re: Can Sneakers go with Business Casual?

Have you considered going to a podiatrist? I There are all sorts of reasons your feet could be hurting. Different people walk with their feet slanting inward, straight ahead, tipping outward. One foot could be different to another, high arches, flat feet etc. etc. In my opinion some of the DIY solut...
by Lynette
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Scaring the Old Folks
Replies: 71
Views: 8094

Re: Scaring the Old Folks

Sitting home and watching fox news is pretty darn cheap:) So is not buying any new clothes:) Obviously my biggest savings from retiring is no longer saving 25-40% of my income. The huge tax decrease (i.e. no SS, LTGC with cost basis) is going to be around another 20% savings. Thats a lot of golf, t...
by Lynette
Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a house that needs full renovation?
Replies: 40
Views: 1658

Re: Buy a house that needs full renovation?

I completely agree with RM. The way you describe it, I cannot believe that you got a quote for $100K for that amount of damage. My house was built in 1950 and supposedly had no major issues. I am still dealing with the issues caused by water damage to my basement (twice) and new drains/sewers to fix...
by Lynette
Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Scaring the Old Folks
Replies: 71
Views: 8094

Re: Scaring the Old Folks

It really depends what one wants to do in retirement. I decided to take a few years to study at a community college and fix up my house and garden. I worked into my seventies but spent about $25,000 a year for nearly 20 years on traveling overseas and locally several times a year. For now, I am far ...
by Lynette
Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implementing a QCD at Fidelity
Replies: 17
Views: 1270

Re: Implementing a QCD at Fidelity

No, Fido mailed them to me. I have two Fidelity office within 3 miles from my house. I was not impressed with the agents with whom I interacted. They may have been new. In my experience, the specialists are at the Fidelity main office. So I do not think that having an office is an advantage.
by Lynette
Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implementing a QCD at Fidelity
Replies: 17
Views: 1270

Re: Implementing a QCD at Fidelity

I did QCDs from both Vanguard and Fidelity. I simply called them, gave the name of the charity and within a few days got the checks. Call them. I found them most professional and helpful. I did not use the form. I was on the phone for about 10 minutes - no form.
by Lynette
Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retired at 68 with 500K; leave in 401k or move to IRA?
Replies: 11
Views: 3134

Re: Retired at 68 with 500K; leave in 401k or move to IRA?

Good to know. I’ll ask about using QCD for giving to our church. It has to be a qualified charity, churches in most main-line denominations are. I give checks from Vanguard/Fidelity to my church. There are many, many threads on the mechanisms of how to do this and the reporting tax requirements. On...
by Lynette
Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?
Replies: 24
Views: 1539

Re: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?

microclover and sun/shade midwest mix. You may need to buy the microclover online if you don't have a good local source. The watering/weeding/fertilizer/time bill required for a monoculture lawn are not worth the uniformity look, IMO. The primary reason monoculture is popular is it requires a lot o...
by Lynette
Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?
Replies: 24
Views: 1539

Re: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?

Seed Superstore has good seed varieties and well regarded blends. The prices are a little high, but the convenience can’t be beat. Thanks. I am bookmarking this for next spring. However, this is also confusing for a non-specialist as there are so many varieties of Kentucky Bluegrass. There seems to...
by Lynette
Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?
Replies: 24
Views: 1539

Re: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?

Anyone who has shopped recently for grass seed may have noticed many national brands now include a coating on their seed. I thought this was interesting from Consumers Digest. "A water-absorbing coating now is found in all-in-one and traditional grass-seed products. Scotts includes a water-absorbin...
by Lynette
Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Windfall in rubles: how should we invest it?
Replies: 22
Views: 1965

Re: Windfall in rubles: how should we invest it?

What is the fastest and cheapest way to get your money out of Russia? That's what I would do. Yesterday. +1 Can you get it out of Russia? My experience is a bit dated but I was in Russia about 5 years ago and had my debit card skimmed while in St. Petersburg. A few days later $1,000 per day for thr...
by Lynette
Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?
Replies: 24
Views: 1539

Re: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?

If you are planting on bare dirt that you have hauled in, you are probably fine to use one of the blends of fescue, bluegrass and rye. A local garden store could likely give you some good recommendations. Make sure the soil is a bit roughed up, broadcast the seed over the planting area and add a st...
by Lynette
Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?
Replies: 24
Views: 1539

Re: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?

Kentucky Bluegrass is likely very popular in your region. I'd recommend Tall Fescue. Thank you Dan. I think that most of my lawns are Kentucky Bluegrass. I found this Scotts guide on identifying lawn types: https://www.scotts.com/en-us/library/grass-grass-seed/identify-your-grass At the moment my l...
by Lynette
Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?
Replies: 24
Views: 1539

Re: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?

jm1495 wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:26 am
visit www.aroundtheyard.com It's bogleheads for lawn care, seed etc.
Thank you.
by Lynette
Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?
Replies: 24
Views: 1539

Re: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?

Thanks for the advice. I hauled in about 30 bags of Miracle-Gro All Purpose Garden Soil and then leveled the area I was working on with a 8 ft beam I got from Home Depot. I buy the .75 cubic foot bags - Home Depot guys put it into my SUV, then I pull it into my wheel barrow, take it to the area, sli...
by Lynette
Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?
Replies: 24
Views: 1539

Types of seed for new lawn or sod?

I live in Michigan and I was wondering what type of seed people use for lawns in this area. Our weather is quite similar to the North East. I would also appreciate any advice or should I call in a pro and have sod installed. My house is in a neighborhood where older houses such as mine are being bro...
by Lynette
Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working for a municipality
Replies: 26
Views: 2405

Re: Working for a municipality

A common theme I’m coming across is “honor the way things are done.” I am not entirely sure at what level the responsibility lies but there are still a few pending criminal prosecutions about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. So maybe you have to go against the prevailing lethargy ... sometimes....
by Lynette
Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retired at 68 with 500K; leave in 401k or move to IRA?
Replies: 11
Views: 3134

Re: Retired at 68 with 500K; leave in 401k or move to IRA?

If you make any charitable contributions, you can use QCDs as part of RMDs. QCDs cannot be taken from a 401K. This is why I moved 50% of my 401K to Vanguard and 50% to Fidelity. There are many threads on the advantages of QCDs.
by Lynette
Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working for a municipality
Replies: 26
Views: 2405

Re: Working for a municipality

A common theme I’m coming across is “honor the way things are done.” I am not entirely sure at what level the responsibility lies but there are still a few pending criminal prosecutions about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. So maybe you have to go against the prevailing lethargy ... sometimes.
by Lynette
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mega Downsize....
Replies: 91
Views: 8312

Re: Mega Downsize....

We did this after the kids graduated from high school. A few ideas: 1. Most of your stuff is junk, get over it 2. Most stuff you can buy on Amazon and its cheaper than when you bought it 3. Start by taking ALL your books down to the library. You can visit them anytime you want 4. Next take all CDs ...
by Lynette
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high RMD withdraw from 401k question
Replies: 31
Views: 3296

Re: high RMD withdraw from 401k question

As someone mentioned, do NOT forget medicare surcharge - https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-b-costs/part-b-costs.html I was not aware of this in my planning and was blindsided by having to pay Medicare IRMAA. If you have large pensions, start to take SS at 70 and have not done Roth co...
by Lynette
Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you go for annual Medicare preventive tests and screening?
Replies: 84
Views: 5051

Re: Do you go for annual Medicare preventive tests and screening?

I've decided not to go for a wellness test this year because of all the problems I faced last year with the Medicare Wellness Test billing and I'm too busy leveling my garden. My doctor has a small practice with about three doctors. When I tried to sort out the billing issue last year, the billing c...
by Lynette
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you go for annual Medicare preventive tests and screening?
Replies: 84
Views: 5051

Re: Do you go for annual Medicare preventive tests and screening?

...KP.org is insistent. Not getting this (?) Are you saying your Kaiser MA plan insists that you get all these Medicare-dictated preventive screenings? Or, just that Kaiser hounds you so much, to the extent, it is just easier to give in? :? I don't know about Kaiser but when I was employed, it was ...
by Lynette
Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you go for annual Medicare preventive tests and screening?
Replies: 84
Views: 5051

Re: Do you go for annual Medicare preventive tests and screening?

I'd like to hear more about "my doctor was dinged by Medicare". This was mentioned at my last doctor visit. I wasn't sure what he meant. My Megacorp required that we went for an annual Wellness test in order to get a discount on office visits. I have had the same PCP for over 20 years. He basically...
by Lynette
Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you go for annual Medicare preventive tests and screening?
Replies: 84
Views: 5051

Do you go for annual Medicare preventive tests and screening?

I was wondering how many medicare-eligible people go for the annual Medicare preventive tests and screening. I got an email from Medicare that I had not been for 18 months. It was not my intention to go this year as I don't think I have any major issues. My reluctance to go stems from the saga I wen...
by Lynette
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Info on Al-Farabi Kazakh National University
Replies: 28
Views: 2494

Re: Info on Al-Farabi Kazakh National University

There are institutions in the US that will validate foreign degrees. My degrees that I obtained in the sixties are from South Africa. At that time much of the education was based on the British model. This was quite different to the US model as education was highly centralized with national exams. A...
by Lynette
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Elderly Relative Short on Money
Replies: 98
Views: 8741

Re: Elderly Relative Short on Money

Sorry to hear about this situation. I can understand you not wanting to have her work at a minimum-wage job. But if she provides you with great housekeeping and child care services, I think you should pay her the market value for her services. Otherwise I would start to fund a separate account for t...
by Lynette
Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?
Replies: 96
Views: 7188

Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

I assume you are referring to Medicare IRMAA: https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-b-costs/part-b-costs.html There are additional costs for Medicare D. I don't know in advance if I will get pesky dividends in my taxable to push me into the next bracket. I was not aware of Medicare IRMAA...
by Lynette
Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is new strip of lawn different color?
Replies: 18
Views: 1915

Re: Why is new strip of lawn different color?

Thanks for the replies - I think it is a variety of reasons that helpful contributors have given.. I should never have retired then I would not be looking at my lawn so closely! I notice that there is also this darker grass in another area so that this is definitely due to different seed mixed with ...
by Lynette
Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is new strip of lawn different color?
Replies: 18
Views: 1915

Re: Why is new strip of lawn different color?

I think the different color grass is from a different variety. I had this happen with my lawn and tore up the new different area out and reseeded. There is probably a good lawn service out there, but it takes some work and discussions with them to get things going. I am not sure why you are treatin...
by Lynette
Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is new strip of lawn different color?
Replies: 18
Views: 1915

Re: Why is new strip of lawn different color?

I walked over my lawn and was depressed at how uneven it is. I've planted a lot of trees that will take up most of the lawn at the top - when the trees grow large enough to hide the balcony that looks over my yard. Yesterday I tried to even out a section with a rotor tiller. Then it rained and most ...
by Lynette
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is new strip of lawn different color?
Replies: 18
Views: 1915

Re: Why is new strip of lawn different color?

Check for a septic tank or field. In 1976 Erma Bombeck wrote a book about suburban living titled "The Grass is Always Greener over the Septic Tank." Thanks - maybe drain - not septic tank. There is a drain that leads from the driveway runoff catch basin to the one at the back. The dark green grass ...
by Lynette
Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is new strip of lawn different color?
Replies: 18
Views: 1915

Re: Why is new strip of lawn different color?

Thanks. I am 95% certain that the original lawn is mainly Bluegrass. The mixture I used contained a mixture of rye grass, fescue and blue grass. I live in Michigan and I see that Michigan state has a lively agricultural/master gardener courses etc but nothing close. I'm in for a massive amount of wo...
by Lynette
Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is new strip of lawn different color?
Replies: 18
Views: 1915

Re: Why is new strip of lawn different color?

Get your soil tested. In different areas and compare. Also, you "assumed" the grass seed was the same. You can take the grass to your Coop extension and they can tell you. Once you have the facts, you can adjust fertilizer or replant different grass seed....but you need the facts first. Thanks. Whe...
by Lynette
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is new strip of lawn different color?
Replies: 18
Views: 1915

Why is new strip of lawn different color?

I wonder if anyone knows why my new strip of lawn is a different color? My house was built in 1950 and the different parts of the lawn in the back yard probably reflect different owner's preferences. I used to do my own lawn but one day the lawn mover would not start so I hired a service. They subco...
by Lynette
Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Realities of Early Retirement Model (FIRE)?
Replies: 96
Views: 9827

Re: Realities of Early Retirement Model (FIRE)?

very low health insurance premiums (bought through ACA), I have a friend who retired in his late 40s... does the same. He must have millions in IRAs, but he manipulates his income to show an AGI barely in the double digits to get dirt cheap healthcare. The thing that bugs me... this healthcare is n...