Search found 120 matches

by musicmom
Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is anyone waiting until after the election?
Replies: 309
Views: 20216

Re: Hedging the 2020 Election

Before retirement last year, my 403b was 80% equities.
Rolled 403b into IRA.
Last week I adjusted AA to 50/50.
Living well on SS and 2% IRA withdrawal.
Not market timing, allocation will remain at 50/50.
Sleeping well and waking whenever I feel like it now.
by musicmom
Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is real estate property part of net worth? [Why should I downsize?]
Replies: 35
Views: 3266

Re: Why is real estate property part of net worth? [Why should I downsize?]

We downsized at retirement from a 2000 sq ft home at $420,000 with annual RE tax of $11,000 to a 900sq ft home at $316,000 with a $6000 tax bill.

Smaller to maintain, less expensive (no more mortgage) and almost half yearly taxes.
Win win in our book.
by musicmom
Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have a pension, how do you view it?
Replies: 190
Views: 12746

Re: If you have a pension, how do you view it?

About 15 years ago, my employer switched from defined benefit to a cash balance plan. Then about 10 years after that they switched to a 403b plan for new hires with very small match. I was grandfathered in the cadh balance plan, retiring last year. It was fully funded by employer each year, based on...
by musicmom
Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?
Replies: 238
Views: 15375

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

How about downgrading to basic membership? We use our costco visa for 3% back on restaurants, 2% on costco in store and online. We dont travel much. Still, we easily earn $150-200 per year back. More than makes sense. We just cash in our silly paper check each Feb. Warranty and return policies cant ...
by musicmom
Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: codakids for coding lessons
Replies: 22
Views: 1332

Re: codakids for coding lessons

Different field, same story.

40+ years in a clinical laboratory.
Cant say how many titles I had. Counterparts in other US regions had different titles for same positions.
Three accrediting groups assigned different names at different times.
Glad Im too old now to be further confused.
by musicmom
Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help me, need to buy a computer
Replies: 128
Views: 6456

Re: Please help me, need to buy a computer

If you have the option, we love buying our computers from Costco.
They include an extra year of warranty at no charge.
by musicmom
Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does dishwasher need to be replaced?
Replies: 16
Views: 1208

Re: Does dishwasher need to be replaced?

Ive been waiting for my new Bosch 300 for several months now.
On backorder everywhere due to Covid affecting supply chain.
I stubborn, waiting for the exact model with controls on front not top.
by musicmom
Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Amazon Prime Card--4% back
Replies: 74
Views: 7187

Re: Chase Amazon Prime Card--4% back

I sent a message via Chase mobile website to ask for a bonus.
No go.
My account doesnt qualify.
Love to know what the criteria is.

We spend about $800-$1000 a month on Amazon. Another $500ish on "other" purchases.

Oh well.
by musicmom
Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disabled Adult Child
Replies: 8
Views: 1160

Re: Disabled Adult Child

My 31 yr old disabled daughter became a DAC this year after I claimed SS retirement. She has lost her SSI due to larger SSdisability payment and thus her Medicaid. I am in the process of having her Medicaid reinstated via DAC provision. It is imperative that she still have Medicaid as Medicaid allow...
by musicmom
Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping our Adult Child Buy a Home
Replies: 72
Views: 5737

Re: Helping our Adult Child Buy a Home

We live in a HCOL area. DS, single, through grad school with a stablw, reasonable job, though not an extravagant salary. A few years ago, he shopped for house he could afford the mortgage and taxes/insurance with 10% down. We chose to gift him cash to meet 20%down to avoid PMI. He was surprised and ...
by musicmom
Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Old toilet(1.6 GPF) vs new toilet(1.28 GPF)
Replies: 38
Views: 2562

Re: Old toilet(1.6 GPF) vs new toilet(1.28 GPF)

Basic low end Toto Drake.
Fantastic!
by musicmom
Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FYI - Disney+
Replies: 44
Views: 7149

Re: FYI - Disney+

Signed up to watch Hamilton. We both enjoyed it but were not blown away by the production. We live in NJ and had hoped we would somehow find the money and opportunity to see it live on Broadway. Never happened. LOVED King George. Stole the show IMHO. we"re enjoying Mandelorian before I cancel at end...
by musicmom
Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lender is asking for 5 months of Property Taxes and Homeowner's Insurance. Is this normal?
Replies: 28
Views: 3108

Re: Lender is asking for 5 months of Property Taxes and Homeowner's Insurance. Is this normal?

Years ago, our lender decided to pay our quarterly tax bill to my NEXT door neighbors account.
We found out when we received the delinquent notice from the town.

Never happened again with that house. Now with no mortgage, we pay quarterly to our new town.
by musicmom
Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Manager vs. Direct report salary issues
Replies: 151
Views: 10669

Re: Manager vs. Direct report salary issues

I worked in healthcare my entire 40 yr career, retiring last year. I moved between IC and coordinator/supervisor several times early on but settled happily into IC roles for second half till retirement. I was lead tech resource for my group, was consistently pulled in for IT, instrument and process ...
by musicmom
Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your budget
Replies: 152
Views: 10040

Re: Share your budget

I have no answers for OP.
Before retiring last year, our highest income was about 120k and i kinda felt wealthy, even in a HCOL area. Youre in a whole other universe.

Congrats on your amazing income; hope you find info you are looking for.
by musicmom
Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about healthcare careers
Replies: 10
Views: 771

Re: Question about healthcare careers

Retired MLS here, worked in hospital consolidated laboratory. I would second clinical lab assistant. Not exactly low stress but can be very satisfying. Process incoming patient specimens, computer entry, basic pre-analytical steps, answering phones, giving lab results to doctors. My old lab runs 24/...
by musicmom
Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 237
Views: 41098

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

Retiree health coverage can be a game changer. We pay $160/month for the two of us. It provides almost identical coverage as active employee coverage until age 65, then becomes secondary to Medicare. My megacorp no longer offers it to new employees but grandfathered existing employes after age 55 wi...
by musicmom
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much to tip painters
Replies: 66
Views: 4508

Re: how much to tip painters

30K is absolutely alot of money to us. We are slowly upgrading our small lake retirement house we bought 2 years ago after 40+ yr careers. Roof and HVAC are next. No way would we recoup the cost of our beautiful new bath if we were to sell. But we're not selling, this is our forever after home. Happ...
by musicmom
Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much to tip painters
Replies: 66
Views: 4508

Re: how much to tip painters

Wow, these are surprising responses. Maybe its regional? Here in Northeast, tipping construction workers/painters etc is pretty standard for excellent work. Not owners. We just had a complete reno of our main bathroom. Well known, well regarded business. Big ticket (for us) budget, 30K. The crew of ...
by musicmom
Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: working longer for free health care? is it worth it?
Replies: 27
Views: 3818

Re: working longer for free health care? is it worth it?

It comes down to how much you can afford to pay for healthcare until Medicare kicks in. My DH and I had been covered by my employer plan for many years. I retired at 62. Fortunately, we now have retiree health coverage for $150 month. It is primary for me. Secondary for DH who is on Medicare. We hav...
by musicmom
Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card expiring - to keep or let go?
Replies: 15
Views: 1380

Re: Credit Card expiring - to keep or let go?

I was hesitant to close our citizens bank card with 30 yrs history but did it anyway.
Rarely used it, several better cards.

Our rating went down 827 to 824.
by musicmom
Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience w/ Medical Lab Sciences major in college?
Replies: 5
Views: 487

Re: Experience w/ Medical Lab Sciences major in college?

It makes me sad to confirm some posts above indicating a recent slide in the field. I retired last year after 40 years as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in a large hospital system clinical lab. My BS degree was then called Medical Technology and consisted of 3 years of chemistry, biology, anatomy, h...
by musicmom
Wed May 27, 2020 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NJ property taxes too high. What are my alternative states?
Replies: 97
Views: 8040

Re: NJ property taxes too high. What are my alternative states?

There are beautiful places to retire in NJ. Our two kids, raised here, will stay. We will not relocate far. Family is highest priority. Traded our medium sized colonial in Morris county with 11K taxes for small house in lake community less than 10 miles away. Paid cash and pocketed 100K, property ta...
by musicmom
Mon May 25, 2020 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Last-minute lien on home found - sign (as seller) anyway?
Replies: 13
Views: 1631

Re: Last-minute lien on home found - sign (as seller) anyway?

Not sure if it varies by state. We had what appeared to be an open HELOC on our home that we were refinancing our 1st mortgage on. I knew we had paud it off AND found payoff letter. Our County hall of records had failed to record that the lien was satisfied!! With my letter, all was resolved. Does y...
by musicmom
Sun May 24, 2020 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New here, need help with creating a nest egg for my autistic son
Replies: 19
Views: 1727

Re: New here, need help with creating a nest egg for my autistic son

In our case, our daughters SNT isnt funded until both of us parents die. Our wills direct half our assets to our nondisabled son and the other half to our disabled daughters SNT. Nothing to her directly. We are retired, debt free, including house, drawing SS and low percentage withdrawals from IRA, ...
by musicmom
Sun May 24, 2020 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New here, need help with creating a nest egg for my autistic son
Replies: 19
Views: 1727

Re: New here, need help with creating a nest egg for my autistic son

Dont beat yourself up for not being further along in your plan. Your son is fortunate his parents are looking out for him long term. Many parents of children with special needs neglect to plan, keeping their child with them until they pass. It doesnt serve their person best, IMO. Second the advice a...
by musicmom
Thu May 21, 2020 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you dislike recurring billing for gyms?
Replies: 68
Views: 3763

Re: Do you dislike recurring billing for gyms?

I second H-town's suggestion about checking to see if your health care company offers membership in Active and Fit Direct. It costs me $25 / month for Anytime Fitness, intead of twice that. There are many participating gyms. I do have to grant autopay via credit card. Worth the risk for savings invo...
by musicmom
Thu May 21, 2020 2:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit card for grocery rewards
Replies: 53
Views: 4899

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Wow. Not sure how Ive missed the whole gift card angle to this point.
Thanks for the education!
by musicmom
Wed May 20, 2020 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit card for grocery rewards
Replies: 53
Views: 4899

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

So, am I getting this right?
I can get 6% cash back on Amazon gift cards bought at a grocery store using my Amex blue preferred card?
by musicmom
Tue May 19, 2020 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit card for grocery rewards
Replies: 53
Views: 4899

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
It does have an annual fee $99

But 6% on groceries and streaming services year round.
by musicmom
Sat May 16, 2020 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get disinfecting wipes..seriously
Replies: 87
Views: 6792

Re: How to get disinfecting wipes..seriously

Amazon. I searched "disinfectant wipes" every morning for two weeks. First came across a 3 pack of assorted scent Clorox wipes, limit one pack. It said only 5 left....nabbed one. A week later, i came across a 2 pack of large Solimo brand wipes. Amazon house brand, same formulation. It said none in s...
by musicmom
Sat May 16, 2020 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small businesses stopping employees from getting Pandemic payments?
Replies: 54
Views: 3504

Re: Small businesses stopping employees from getting Pandemic payments?

@anakinskywalker- I want to add one factual correction to your post above. You stated that the many older hospital staff risking their health dont receive "pandemic payments". Not sure how widespread it is but I know first hand that some hospital systems ARE paying hourly bonuses for professionals w...
by musicmom
Tue May 12, 2020 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental Insurance - To but or not to buy
Replies: 17
Views: 1121

Re: Dental Insurance - To but or not to buy

+1 For most families, its just pre-paying. I had family dental through work for many years. Inexpensive payroll deduction. DH and 2 kids never had more than cleanings/Ă— rays. I inherited bad teeth and thus have fillings and crowns. Only made sense to keep dental at retirement because of my bad track...
by musicmom
Tue May 12, 2020 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: nice 20% insurance premium increase
Replies: 37
Views: 3480

Re: nice 20% insurance premium increase

Yes, car insurance (and property taxes!! ) in NJ are insane. Very happy when our 16 yr old driver grew up and away. Of course, we have found a lovely small lake retirement house in NJ for 315K, and ONLY $5,800 RE taxes a yr. Ive heard that this would be impossible in several other states (California...
by musicmom
Tue May 12, 2020 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: nice 20% insurance premium increase
Replies: 37
Views: 3480

Re: nice 20% insurance premium increase

Second the suggestion for NJ Manufacturers insurance.
Great company.
We've been very satisfied with auto and home coverage.
No exorbitant increases.
Terrific customer and claims service.
by musicmom
Mon May 11, 2020 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring: What to do with cash balance acct
Replies: 9
Views: 1148

Re: Retiring: What to do with cash balance acct

Last year, i chose lump sum rollover of cash balance plan into an existing fidelity IRA.
I also rolled workplace 403b to fidelity.
I like controlling my own money.
by musicmom
Fri May 08, 2020 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do Early Retirees Pay for Medical
Replies: 132
Views: 10229

Re: How Do Early Retirees Pay for Medical

We are so fortunate and we know it. I retired at 63 last year from long career in a healthcare system. We pay $160 / month for retiree health that covers us both. Its my primary till next year. Its secondary for DH age 69 on Medicare already. Next year, when I enroll in Medicare, retiree will transi...
by musicmom
Thu May 07, 2020 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Craigslist - are these scams?
Replies: 49
Views: 3411

Re: Craigslist - are these scams?

DH and i bought a kyack on CL two years ago when we retired to a lake community. Perfect cash transaction. Seller arrived at our local police station parking lot with boat strapped to top of his SUV. Young man who was happy to help transfer it to our SUV. Handed over cash, all done in 10 min. Its be...
by musicmom
Mon May 04, 2020 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?
Replies: 28
Views: 1474

Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

And also most very old single family homes. We loved our 1790 colonial in NJ. Bought it with no central air and used window units for 30 years. Occasionally considered installing central air. Major contruction, major money. Never did it. When we listed, it was kinda amusing to see potential buyers w...
by musicmom
Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No longer desiring promotion - change career?
Replies: 43
Views: 2970

Re: No longer desiring promotion - change career?

I'm recently retired after 40 yrs in a great career. I never wanted a managerial position. Fortunately, I had the choice to remain in a challenging technical position that was constantly evolving. Never felt bored or resentful. Had many opportunities to move up but wanted to keep my work life contai...
by musicmom
Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parent is working grueling job, considering retiring just a few years before pension. How else can I help her decide?
Replies: 50
Views: 3604

Re: Parent is working grueling job, considering retiring just a few years before pension. How else can I help her decide

OP, just want to say how lucky your mom is to have you on her side as she plans her next step. You sound like a very caring son. One question I didnt see answered: What will your Mom do for health insurance until Medicare kicks in at 65? Will she have any retire coverage from her employer? Or purcha...
by musicmom
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice - Anesthesiologist threatening collections
Replies: 59
Views: 6077

Re: Advice - Anesthesiologist threatening collections

I second and third folks above who say that the selection of the anesthesiologist is out of the patients control. My husband has had numerous elective orthopedic and non-elective cancer surgeries. He was covered under my health insurance provided by my health system employer. I was sure to verify in...
by musicmom
Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump recommendations
Replies: 26
Views: 1775

Re: Sump pump recommendations

When we installed our water jet backup sump, the town code officer did require we install a backflow prevention thing. But we didnt need any annual inspection. I guess that's town specific. Once installed, we would test the water jet every few months to make sure it kicked on if primary was disabled...
by musicmom
Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump recommendations
Replies: 26
Views: 1775

Re: Sump pump recommendations

Not sure if this applies for a primary pump.
We installed a water jet backup sump to protect during power outage. Outages were not uncommon in our previous home.
It worked beautifully but does require municipal water supply.

https://www.libertypumps.com/Product/SJ10-SumpJet
by musicmom
Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get Toilet Paper ? seriously.
Replies: 684
Views: 57776

Re: How to get Toilet Paper ? seriously.

At ShopRite here in northern NJ this am, there was an entire aisle of Scott 12 roll TP, and Scott 6 rolls of paper towels. Obviously, the Scott delivery came in. No other brands available. One per customer. I didnt buy any, my stock is still holding. Would have loved some rice.There was not one bag ...
by musicmom
Tue Apr 07, 2020 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How would you handle this doctor billing issue?
Replies: 22
Views: 1599

Re: How would you handle this doctor billing issue?

Wow, this is horrible. Normally, I'd be quick to say just switch practices. Is this a behavioral health therapist? Or physical therapist? I'm asking since that would make my decision harder. Has your wife actually spoken directly with the practitioner? If all communication has been with office staff...
by musicmom
Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Received strange social security deposit
Replies: 16
Views: 2096

Re: Received strange social security deposit

@bill, yes!

Social security number, NOT IRS!

sorry about that.
My brain isnt what it once was just 2 months ago!
by musicmom
Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Received strange social security deposit
Replies: 16
Views: 2096

Re: Received strange social security deposit

I dont have any comment on your particular situation. But I'd strongly suggest calling the 800 IRS number. They are limiting the types of issues they are handling due to staffing. But dealing with existing benefit problems/questions qualifies. I had a great experience today needing to ask about an o...