Search found 551 matches

by ncbill
Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?
Replies: 80
Views: 8400

Re: Best college towns in the Southeastern US for retirees?

Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill...you'll want to live where you can walk everywhere (traffic)

Charlotte is even worse traffic (well on its way to becoming another Atlanta)

Of the other cities posted, I'd pick Charlottesville, VA or Greenville, SC (and I live in one of the other cities mentioned)
by ncbill
Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need to get a car in a hurry.
Replies: 48
Views: 4771

Re: Need to get a car in a hurry.

IIRC for that year most likely cause is the fuel filler neck/pipe, it rusts out and leaks gas which cause high emissions and cause the check engine light to come on...you'll have to fix it anyway to sell it for the best price (otherwise only a junkyard will take it for parts)
by ncbill
Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $10,000 Safe Harbor on Family Loan?
Replies: 4
Views: 557

Re: $10,000 Safe Harbor on Family Loan?

I used a promissory note to lend one of my kids a semester's tuition when they messed up their scholarship & so couldn't get it applied before the tuition deadline. I charged a market interest rate, then forgave the interest as a gift (amount well under the annual limit) after they fixed their mista...
by ncbill
Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off house before retirement or have available cash?
Replies: 84
Views: 6730

Re: Pay off house before retirement or have available cash?

It seems to matter most with those who have meager income/assets in retirement. Just went through this with a relative who died in their early 70s a few months ago. They had been laid-off at age 60, but rather than look for another job they decided to head back to school, spending ~$40,000 in the pr...
by ncbill
Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College age male: How much money for food?
Replies: 138
Views: 5399

Re: College age male: How much money for food?

Kid is on a ROTC scholarship for tuition/fees, I pay the apartment rent/university gold-level ACA health plan. So I told the kid to use the $2,500/semester grant they get from their university (as a ROTC scholarship recipient) to pay for food, etc. That grant is separate from their monthly ROTC stip...
by ncbill
Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?
Replies: 213
Views: 12488

Re: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?

I also plan to keep well informed about "end of life" situations and choices - and hop/plan that my wife and/or other family members are well informed when it comes to my "situation". My brother and sister-in-law (especially my sister-in-law) live in the area where I grew up and were directly invol...
by ncbill
Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another car affordability question, YOLO vs. extreme FI
Replies: 64
Views: 3454

Re: Another car affordability question, YOLO vs. extreme FI

Don't buy a sports car, especially a VW (even their mass-market vehicles aren't very reliable)

Lease one instead.

Use a broker if you don't want to negotiate the deal yourself:

https://forum.leasehackr.com/c/reviews
by ncbill
Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you get billed for child's college when not enough cash?
Replies: 50
Views: 4087

Re: How do you get billed for child's college when not enough cash?

For my current college kid I used a payment plan last year...4 equal payments via electronic debit...$50/semester fee for that option...much cheaper than paying 2.85% fee for credit card. Not needed this year...their ROTC scholarship (tuition/fees/book allowance) & university grant (room & board) co...
by ncbill
Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Optional Life Insurance (through employer)?
Replies: 34
Views: 1378

Re: Optional Life Insurance (through employer)?

Max out the employer option & buy at least a $1 million, 20-year term plan as well.
by ncbill
Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selective Colleges
Replies: 335
Views: 17630

Re: Merits of a Selective School

I’ve heard of families with annual income of > $200k and multiple kids in college at the same time getting some FA. That's us. We have two kids simultaneously in different high cost colleges, reported gross income over $300K in HCOL area. Our FA, grants covering roughly 14% of total cost, is need-b...
by ncbill
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selective Colleges
Replies: 335
Views: 17630

Re: Merits of a Selective School

I’ve heard of families with annual income of > $200k and multiple kids in college at the same time getting some FA. That's us. We have two kids simultaneously in different high cost colleges, reported gross income over $300K in HCOL area. Our FA, grants covering roughly 14% of total cost, is need-b...
by ncbill
Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RV purchase ?
Replies: 86
Views: 5965

Re: RV purchase ?

If you don't like dealing with not having the creature comforts while camping you probably wont like dealing with the water/waste tanks required to have those creature comforts while camping. People seem to think that will be the case, but it's a 5-10 minute procedure at the end of the weekend, and...
by ncbill
Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying an older used car - any new/different ideas?
Replies: 64
Views: 3264

Re: Buying an older used car - any new/different ideas?

Well, my spouse and I are amongst the “truly uninformed” despite both of us having graduate degrees in business. CarMax is no different than any other dealership — you have to do your research before you walk in the door. Sometimes a vehicle is well-priced, sometimes it isn’t. We also are willing t...
by ncbill
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?
Replies: 79
Views: 4651

Re: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?

HCOL: expatistan city cost of living index >150

Most of those top 20 listed would probably be VHCOL.
by ncbill
Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selective Colleges
Replies: 335
Views: 17630

Re: Selective Colleges

Like most college threads here, when discussing scholarships the OP misses the military option (for U.S. citizens & legal residents) There are several ways to leverage the U.S. military to pay for undergrad: 1. Enlist & use GI Bill benefits afterwards, even for private schools (if they participate i...
by ncbill
Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Bogleheads plan to utilize Independent Living facilities?
Replies: 108
Views: 11163

Re: Do Bogleheads plan to utilize Independent Living facilities?

No, IMHO independent living is overpriced for what it offers.

I can re-configure my current two-story townhome for one level living...some olde neighbors have already remodeled the master bathroom with a walk-in shower & washer/dryer (current laundry room is on the lower level)
by ncbill
Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying an older used car - any new/different ideas?
Replies: 64
Views: 3264

Re: Buying an older used car - any new/different ideas?

Ford Crown Vic/Mercury Marquis/Lincoln Town Car.

I have one of the latter inherited from an older relative & plan to keep it for at least the next decade.

RWD..no CV joints...platform unchanged for 20+ years.
by ncbill
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-Term Care Decision
Replies: 330
Views: 14978

Re: Long-Term Care Decision

What about the $6,000 annual premium for the policy that you’ve been mentioning? Are there any guarantees that the premium won’t increase or that the benefits won’t be reduced, whether those things happen annually or irregularly? Or at least caps on premiums? That is certainly one of the major fear...
by ncbill
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friend Being Offered Variable & Indexed Universal Life for Tax-free Retirement Income
Replies: 46
Views: 2494

Re: Friend Being Offered Variable & Indexed Universal Life for Tax-free Retirement Income

Insurance agent here - a few points: 1. These policies are not variable. Variable policies can lose value and require a securities license to be sold, and they do not have a 0% growth floor. 2. The illustrated rates returned are very high. Agents should not be illustrating 7% returns (my personal o...
by ncbill
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1) What age did you have your teen get a driver's license?
Replies: 48
Views: 1843

Re: 1) What age did you have your teen get a driver's license?

Permit at 15, license at 16 so we didn't have to shuttle them around. In my state any new driver (whether 16 or 18) is penalized for 3 years on auto insurance as an "inexperienced driver" so the parent(s) don't save by delaying. Massachusetts? As a new driver at 39, I was paying more for insurance ...
by ncbill
Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1) What age did you have your teen get a driver's license?
Replies: 48
Views: 1843

Re: 1) What age did you have your teen get a driver's license?

Permit at 15, license at 16 so we didn't have to shuttle them around.

In my state any new driver (whether 16 or 18) is penalized for 3 years on auto insurance as an "inexperienced driver" so the parent(s) don't save by delaying.
by ncbill
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you a "solo ager?"
Replies: 133
Views: 17487

Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

There are tragic situations. However, there is a lot of marketing of “cognitive decline,” and as we age we’ll find relatives ( some disinterested but others with an agenda), medical professsionals, and financial advisors or would-be advisors seeking to pry control of assets away from the earners of...
by ncbill
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $3,400/yr seem reasonable for insurance? Reduce this cost???
Replies: 27
Views: 2515

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

Here collision & comprehensive (vandalism, theft, animal attacks) are separate. I don't drop comprehensive even on vehicles where I've dropped collision. Comprehensive on my older vehicles is dirt cheap...$5/month w/ $100 deductible. Just took advantage of that coverage when a deer chose to commit s...
by ncbill
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Student loan debt vs. VTSAX
Replies: 36
Views: 2536

Re: Student loan debt vs. VTSAX

How about having up to $50,000 repaid by joining the National Guard?

https://www.nationalguard.com/tools/stu ... nt-program
by ncbill
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: As a trustee, can I "settle" the financial portion of a trust on my own?
Replies: 21
Views: 1637

Re: As a trustee, can I "settle" the financial portion of a trust on my own?

I'm trustee for a recently-deceased relative's trust...the only significant asset being their home.

Once that's sold I'll distribute the funds to their heirs.

Filing a 1041 and the state trust tax return is no big deal.
by ncbill
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap Plan Advice
Replies: 15
Views: 977

Re: Medigap Plan Advice

Helped a relative in their 70s sign up for Part B (yeah, they paid a significant penalty for delaying signup) & Plan G + a drug plan spring of 2018. Even then a year of Plan G premiums plus the deductible was cheaper than a year of Plan F premiums. I would not get Plan N unless you live in a state t...
by ncbill
Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a 300/500 car policy truly enough?
Replies: 54
Views: 4906

Re: Is a 300/500 car policy truly enough?

I believe that it's an exceedingly rare event for there to be a successful judgment over $100k against a non-commercial entity where there was no criminal activity, drugs, or alcohol involved. But if you worry about it, just buy an umbrella policy, as others have noted. I just served a full week as...
by ncbill
Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-Term Care Decision
Replies: 330
Views: 14978

Re: Long-Term Care Decision

With LTC you buy and no matter what you do, you can have your rates raised to the point of not being affordable when you need it most. Many states have now imposed limits on how much insurers can increase LTC insurance premiums. But there seem to me to be a fairly narrow window with regard to your ...
by ncbill
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More
Replies: 124
Views: 9072

Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Sometimes medicine is a job...at least at first. Years ago I had a relative with a disabled spouse & several kids whose job wasn't sufficient to support them, but it kept him outdoors & in excellent physical shape, so even though he was in his mid-30s the military was willing to send him through med...
by ncbill
Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you decide what car to buy for your kid
Replies: 91
Views: 3916

Re: How do you decide what car to buy for your kid

I'm going to propose a different option that while not Boglehead-like is worth considering: lease a new low end car. If you look at stripped down cars Civics, Hyundai, etc, you can often get a brand new car with all the latest safety features and without any headaches of maintenance for less than $...
by ncbill
Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all models of Toyota generally considered reliable?
Replies: 52
Views: 4913

Re: Are all models of Toyota generally considered reliable?

Jury is still out on the latest generation Tacoma...since it is now made in Mexico.

Which is why I leased ours...
by ncbill
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A note on spending for kids
Replies: 148
Views: 10853

Re: A note on spending for kids

We required our kids to take piano for several years & required them to participate in organized sports of their choice in high school. One D3 coach wanted our youngest for a sport he didn't start playing until his junior year...but he didn't get in...only ~250 spots that year. Still, with their ath...
by ncbill
Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mifi / Hotspot Alternatives?
Replies: 19
Views: 3397

Re: Mifi / Hotspot Alternatives?

AT&T's "unlimited" LTE (may be throttled after the first 22GB/month) tablet plan...$34.99/month.

I believe it requires setup in a tablet...then you can take out the SIM and stick it in a hotspot...you can buy SIMs already provisioned off eBay.
by ncbill
Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifts to Bring when Traveling Overseas
Replies: 72
Views: 3061

Re: Gifts to Bring when Traveling Overseas

Not small, but we bring a copy of a "coffee table" book about our local area.
by ncbill
Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy the highest trim car ?
Replies: 120
Views: 7174

Re: Do you buy the highest trim car ?

Sunroofs reduce headroom and eventually leak...never again for me. Leather is just as uncomfortably hot as vinyl once exposed to direct sun in our climate, though if you must aftermarket is often cheaper & higher quality. If you've got kids you should be using custom-fit seat covers (Costco has nice...
by ncbill
Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-Term Care Decision
Replies: 330
Views: 14978

Re: Long-Term Care Decision

Personally I will never buy Ltc insurance. Future models will allow more people to be cared for in the home with wearables However some disease like dementia will still need long term care. Thank you. Always good to hear from someone who has been involved in claim decisions. Insurance companies are...
by ncbill
Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Laid Off - Want to Retire / Am I OK
Replies: 145
Views: 18589

Re: Laid Off - Want to Retire / Am I OK

Yes, you can probably afford to retire now. Probably? $6MM and only probably? Assuming zero growth/downturn he can withdraw $16,666 a month or $200K a year for the next 30 years. That's if it stays flat. At even nominal growth OP can do better than that. It baffles me when someone with $6MM in asse...
by ncbill
Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you move past old financial mistakes?
Replies: 57
Views: 4776

Re: How do you move past old financial mistakes?

I blame others.

They are the cause of all of my financial woes.

Any financial successes are due to my innate intelligence & Solomon-like wisdom.

It is an effective coping mechanism. :)
by ncbill
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Stove
Replies: 23
Views: 1417

Re: Gas Stove

Others may differ with me on this but the best gas stoves are the ones with pilot lights and the only reason for an electric connection is for the clock. I don't think they've made any new ones like that for maybe 30 - 40 years. The more electronics you have on a gas stove the higher the chance the...
by ncbill
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quelling Car Fever
Replies: 57
Views: 3121

Re: Quelling Car Fever

I just leased my fun car...a ~$40,000 MSRP truck for $350/month, all fees/taxes/etc. rolled into the payment.

There's no need to spend five figures upfront for a bit of entertainment, especially when you don't want to have to pay for repairs on that brand out-of-warranty.
by ncbill
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Way out of financial catastrophe?
Replies: 80
Views: 10848

Re: Way out of financial catastrophe?

Our friend told that when he bought his own house, he found faults in the house that he told his inspector about the inspector refused to put those on his report. Apparently the inspector told him that "If I put down everything I find wrong in these houses, none of them would ever sell". It was an ...
by ncbill
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MBA worth it?
Replies: 93
Views: 7122

Re: MBA worth it?

Is MBA worth it for someone with the following attributes? - Current age 23 - Current comp package $215/yr - Cost of MBA - $200K (Tuition) + $450K (Lost income) = $650K I think it makes sense to do from top 10 college otherwise don't go for it. Thoughts? Can you get your employer to pay for an even...
by ncbill
Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why I don't think I should get long term care insurance right now
Replies: 164
Views: 10928

Re: Why I don't think I should get long term care insurance right now

We just started looking at LTC insurance. The hard part is trying to figure out how much you need without becoming "insurance poor". The rates (2 different companies) have range from about $300 a month for both of us with a 3% inflation ryder, comes out to be about $100 a day coverage for 3 years. ...
by ncbill
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Leasing Question
Replies: 22
Views: 1476

Re: Car Leasing Question

Using leasehackr I just leased a truck to replace a 20+ year old sedan with ~250,000 city miles. Through a non-captive lender because they set crazy high residuals (for trucks) versus the captive. Flip side is the non-captives like to charge you for every tiny nick & ding, so I also added "wear & te...
by ncbill
Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: One bad decision - examples?
Replies: 67
Views: 6835

Re: One bad decision - examples?

Illiquid investments...before discovering this forum I "got sold" several including non-traded REITs, BDCs. Initially, higher yields than traded investments, but the yields drop over time...which lowers the value, but you're stuck until a liquidity event or you sell & take a huge haircut (1/3 or mor...
by ncbill
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone seen the documentary "Playing with FIRE?"
Replies: 216
Views: 18780

Re: Has anyone seen the documentary "Playing with FIRE?"

I'm a young high earner in tech but there's zero guarantee this income continues over the course of my entire career. Reaching FIRE reduces my risk exposure to the wild swings of the tech industry. I'm making north of $300k today but is that sustainable? Compensation in my field has skyrocketed ove...
by ncbill
Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Being a hands off homeowner
Replies: 51
Views: 3762

Re: Being a hands off homeowner

I have thoroughly enjoyed living in my townhouse for 20+ years because for one monthly fee (~1% of its value annually) all outside maintenance is covered. Brick veneer, but the trim/doors/window frames still must be painted every few years, roof repairs are covered. Some extraordinary items are not....
by ncbill
Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Oil Companies
Replies: 15
Views: 1199

Re: Investing in Oil Companies

There is a new dynamic out there that wasn't there before. That is horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracking. This has opened up new oil from places where oil was previously thought to be unrecoverable. I have read that the frackers can make money on $40/barrel oil. What happens is that when oil p...
by ncbill
Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will your investments be enough to cover ALF/misc.medical costs/etc.so there is no burden to your children?
Replies: 89
Views: 4841

Re: Will your investments be enough to cover ALF/misc.medical costs/etc.so there is no burden to your children?

I've had to care for a parent with dementia...they were diagnosed around age 50, dead early 60s. They spent nearly a decade in bed, requiring total care. The biggest reason they lasted so long was that I treated every infection they developed...before the last one killed them. So I've made it clear ...
by ncbill
Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heater Anode Replacement
Replies: 32
Views: 2867

Re: Water Heater Anode Replacement

Consider replacing the drain valve with a good metal one...

I have a relative who has kept their electric water heater going for decades by draining the tank, removing the drain valve, and using a wet-dry vac to suck out the remaining sediment on the bottom once/year.