Search found 2975 matches

by carolinaman
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the investment-grade vs. junk bonds divide arbitrary?
Replies: 16
Views: 1758

Re: Is the investment-grade vs. junk bonds divide arbitrary?

The quality or lack of quality of HY funds vary widely. Some are much closer to BB than others. I owned the Vanguard Corp HY for many years and it did very well. It is one of the more conservative HY bond funds. Conversely, there are some that are more akin to riverboat gamblers, investing heavily i...
by carolinaman
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The general pension [Sweden]
Replies: 6
Views: 1037

Re: The general pension [Sweden]

How does this small component (13.5%) affect your payout? I am assuming it can increase or decrease it based upon performance of the securities? Is that true?
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block vs TurboTax (spoiler: HRB is awful)
Replies: 70
Views: 6893

Re: H&R Block vs TurboTax (spoiler: HRB is awful)

I am a long time TT user and very satisfied with the product. I think the price is well worth it for me. If I had a really simple return, I would probably use one of the free products. I tried Taxact one time based upon comments from this forum. I did not like it and gladly went back to TT. I have n...
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When your spouse’s risk tolerance differs from yours
Replies: 31
Views: 2449

Re: When your spouse’s risk tolerance differs from yours

I have moderate risk tolerance and my DW has no risk tolerance. Fortunately, for a long time most of our investment assets was in my 401k and I was able to invest as I saw fit. My DW has a small IRA, some CDs and savings now and they are invested conservatively. For example, her IRA is invested tota...
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House Hunting Concerns With Well
Replies: 41
Views: 3508

Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

2 gpm is low. We dug 300 ft well and got 4 gpm which contractor said was about the minimum needed. My wife and I had young children and raised them in that house. We learned that we could not have too many water activities concurrent or back to back or would temporarily run out of water. After about...
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with Home Sale Proceeds
Replies: 6
Views: 1063

Re: What to do with Home Sale Proceeds

I agree that somewhere between 60/40 and 40/60 is probably best. It is not about what you think but what she thinks is right. You can argue pros and cons all day but in the end it is what she feels is best. One argument for a more conservative portfolio is "why take unnecessary risks when you have a...
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opening Up Kitchen to Dining Room
Replies: 17
Views: 1726

Re: Opening Up Kitchen to Dining Room

I would consult someone to improve the layout in the kitchen prior to the update. The ability to have the sink close to the refrigerator and stove makes for increased utility of the kitchen for cooking. It appears to be a beautiful kitchen, but may lack some utility due to the layout. My experience...
by carolinaman
Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tires: Where to Get? Warranty? And Questions?
Replies: 74
Views: 6009

Re: Tires: Where to Get? Warranty? And Questions?

I'll need to get a new set of tires soon. I've done some research but still have questions. Where to Get I know people recommend Costco, but they only carry limited brands, and I need to get them replaced ASAP, so I can't wait for the next Michelin sale. Bridgestone is on sale this month, but their...
by carolinaman
Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BH's that are retired & mortgage free
Replies: 21
Views: 3138

Re: BH's that are retired & mortgage free

Retired 7 years, ages 73 and 75. We have owned our home for many years. Annual spend around $90,000 including taxes, healthcare, etc. Excludes charitable contributions, gifts to children and grandchildren and some extraordinary expenses. Some of these excluded expenses are substantial for us. Medica...
by carolinaman
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 8 mil loss on 1099...
Replies: 35
Views: 5944

Re: 8 mil loss on 1099...

Are these covered or noncovered shares? If they are noncovered then the cost basis is not going to be reported to the IRS. According to the 1099, they were bought in August 2016 so that would make them covered, right? Yes, they are covered since you bought them in 2016. Do you have copy of WF's sha...
by carolinaman
Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To sell or not to sell
Replies: 39
Views: 2869

Re: To sell or not to sell

I would consider what you would do if you had that amount in cash today. Let that be your guide. Your first consideration should be the tax impact of selling. Selling all at once could trigger a big tax bill. Bogleheads prefer a low cost, well diversified investment approach, typically low cost ind...
by carolinaman
Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this too much for a kitchen?
Replies: 69
Views: 6928

Re: Is this too much for a kitchen?

Considering all that you are doing, the price does not seem bad. I would have conversation with contractor to see how to lower price. There may be some things that cost more than they are worth, and there may be less expensive alternatives. This may not change much but it is worth a conversation. It...
by carolinaman
Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contribute $43K to shed $8K on Tax Bill....Does it make sense?
Replies: 12
Views: 1298

Re: Contribute $43K to shed $8K on Tax Bill....Does it make sense?

afan wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:02 am
Do you have a Roth option in your 401k? This would not give you an update front tax savings. But you would get tax free growth and no RMDs. This would be better than keeping the same amount in taxable accounts.
+1. Roth conversion is the best option if available.
by carolinaman
Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA for total portfolio, but how to handle RMD if AA is split amongst all accounts?
Replies: 10
Views: 796

Re: AA for total portfolio, but how to handle RMD if AA is split amongst all accounts?

So family member has 500k in IRA with RMDs and wants to transfer total to VTSAX and VTIAX. I think that’s a great move since he’s with a FA that has HIGH fees and pricey mutual funds. Meanwhile has about 350k in CDs outside IRA, meeting his preferred AA (approximately 60/40) with both accounts. Gre...
by carolinaman
Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2018 BOGLEHEADS CONFERENCE SOLD OUT
Replies: 109
Views: 22177

Re: 2018 BOGLEHEADS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT

Please add me to the waiting list. Thanks,

John

x
by carolinaman
Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I agree to have my driving monitored in exchange for lower rates?
Replies: 65
Views: 5288

Re: Should I agree to have my driving monitored in exchange for lower rates?

This was offered to me when I complained about a large rate increase. I opted not to do it. Although I consider myself a safe driver, I do not want my insurance company analyzing my driving.
by carolinaman
Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Painter did a sloppy job -- seeking advice on next steps
Replies: 28
Views: 2972

Re: Painter did a sloppy job -- seeking advice on next steps

Getting a good match would be really hard without using the same paint, and even then with aging of paint already on the ceiling, they may not completely match. If it were me, I would just paint the entire ceiling. I think you just need to forget about this guy. He has your money, and as you said, y...
by carolinaman
Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bailey Settlement question -- of interest only to NC residents
Replies: 16
Views: 1262

Re: Bailey Settlement question -- of interest only to NC residents

If you talk with NCDOR, be sure to have them cite the particular law or ruling re your question. Given the importance of this, I would probably pay a CPA to confirm. You should be able to find one who is experienced and knowledgeable of the Bailey ruling and its applicability of your question.
by carolinaman
Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Minimizing costs of a medical procedure (Colonoscopy)]
Replies: 87
Views: 7328

Re: [Minimizing costs of a medical procedure (Colonoscopy)]

I have had several colonoscopies and always with sedation. I did not know there was an option to not do sedation. I always have my wife with me but once I awake, I feel fine and able to function normally, although I comply with their directions (no driving, etc.). I did have a sigmoidoscopy one time...
by carolinaman
Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furnace / AC Price Options
Replies: 11
Views: 1296

Re: Furnace / AC Price Options

We replaced our gaspac in 2011 with a RUUD system. Cost was $6500 but that included Merv 16 air filtration and air scrubber which was about $1,000 of the cost I quoted. System is for a 2000 sq ft ranch home in hot, humid NC. System has worked very well. No problems with heat or AC.
by carolinaman
Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare, Medigap, MA - Budget for Retirement
Replies: 12
Views: 1066

Re: Medicare, Medigap, MA - Budget for Retirement

13 years out is too far to reliably predict costs and plans. Medicare could look a lot different by then. For currrent info look here: https://www.medicare.gov Current costs for Medicare are the best you thing you have and you should be planning for this. DW pays $216 a month for medigap plan F (th...
by carolinaman
Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying pension credit: Should I use pre or post tax dollars?
Replies: 20
Views: 1435

Re: Buying pension credit: Should I use pre or post tax dollars?

In a few months when I become eligible I plan to buy an additional 7 years worth of service credit with the Washington State Teacher's Pension plan which I am eligible to do as I have at least 7 years of teaching history in another state. By my calculation, the total cost will be in the neighborhoo...
by carolinaman
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 66 yr old Woman Needs HELP!
Replies: 68
Views: 3982

Re: 66 yr old Woman Needs HELP!

Given your dependence upon your investments and your high anxiety about the market, I think you should seriously consider a fixed immediate annuity for part of your money. I am no expert on annuities as I do not have any myself. However, this type of annuity is fine and seems well suited to you. I d...
by carolinaman
Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Harbor Freight fold-able trailer
Replies: 24
Views: 11881

Re: Harbor Freight fold-able trailer

I wouldn't want to tow a HF trailer. With the exception of some of their rolling tool chests, which are surprisingly well made, pretty much everything HF sells is of the lowest possible quality. A trailer is too dangerous for this kind of approach. :shock: +1. My son is a re modeler and thinks HF m...
by carolinaman
Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Harbor Freight fold-able trailer
Replies: 24
Views: 11881

Re: Harbor Freight fold-able trailer

I wouldn't want to tow a HF trailer. With the exception of some of their rolling tool chests, which are surprisingly well made, pretty much everything HF sells is of the lowest possible quality. A trailer is too dangerous for this kind of approach. :shock: +1. My son is a re modeler and thinks HF m...
by carolinaman
Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I ask for a larger raise at yearly review?
Replies: 37
Views: 2662

Re: Should I ask for a larger raise at yearly review?

You were promoted 6 months ago, given a nice raise, and are going to negotiate upward on your annual merit increase? If I was your boss I would honestly be a little offended - from my perspective I have been aggressive with your career, given you tremendous flexibility on your work conditions / wor...
by carolinaman
Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career advice - to apply for promotion or not
Replies: 6
Views: 942

Re: Career advice - to apply for promotion or not

Further education, whether a business degree focused on tea pots or a certificate in teapots or similar might help you but that is not an immediate solution. Finding a mentor who can help you advance may also help. Another option might be to transfer your teapot skills into a similar industry such ...
by carolinaman
Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Age Old Question: Invest or Pay Down Student Loans
Replies: 8
Views: 645

Re: The Age Old Question: Invest or Pay Down Student Loans

The power of compound interest works in your favor when investing and against you with debt. Paying off 6% loan is financially the same as buying a 0 risk investment that will return 6%. Since there is nowhere where you could find such a fantastic investment, I'd say pay off those loans. When they ...
by carolinaman
Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which Inflation Rate Do You Use?
Replies: 19
Views: 1292

Re: Which Inflation Rate Do You Use?

I have used 3% which has been higher than actual for the past 10 years or so. However, if inflation continues to increase I may increase the inflation rate I use accordingly. I prefer to use a conservative but somewhat realistic number.
by carolinaman
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sequence of returns risk while accumulating
Replies: 65
Views: 4437

Re: Sequence of returns risk while accumulating

There are a couple of problems with this. As others have mentioned a person may not be able to work longer even if they want to. When I was going through my 50's a saw a lot more people than I would have expected run into career or health setbacks. Planning earlier retirement has a huge advantage i...
by carolinaman
Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Golf Bag
Replies: 22
Views: 1612

Re: Golf Bag

I've had a quiver golf bag for years but want to upgrade to a stand bag. Anyone have any recommendations for durable, lightweight and cheap stand bag? Thanks Beware of the cheap bags for a stand bag. They do not hold up as well as the name products. That is my experience and I have heard the same f...
by carolinaman
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New retiree really needs help with tax-deferred monies
Replies: 4
Views: 585

Re: New retiree really needs help with tax-deferred monies

I think moving all of your investments into VSMGX is a good idea. This gives you your targeted 60/40 AA and you said you were remiss in re balancing. VSGMX will do that automatically. You could do a 3 fund portfolio of Total Stock Market Index, Total International index and Total Bond which has a sl...
by carolinaman
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversions to shrink RMDs
Replies: 15
Views: 1193

Re: Roth conversions to shrink RMDs

She needs to consider what her modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) will be. If she exceeds $170k MAGI, Medicare Part B charges a premium. It still may be worth it, but she needs to figure out what the impact of the premium would be. An alternative, which I have used, is to take a Roth conversion t...
by carolinaman
Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working for a MegaCorp vs a Small Business
Replies: 19
Views: 1489

Re: Working for a MegaCorp vs a Small Business

I have worked at large corporations and government agencies and also at a small startup. The small startup was a technology company. I was the 70th employee and we grew to over 500 employees in my 5 years. I was hired as a consultant, but soon became a manager and was a senior VP the last 3 years. I...
by carolinaman
Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reinvesting RMDs
Replies: 18
Views: 2301

Re: Reinvesting RMDs

RMDs can be part of your overall tax strategy. For that reason, I prefer to do RMDs late in the year when my tax situation is clearer. I do QCDs and also determine how much withholding for Fed and St taxes so I can avoid an under withholding penalty.
by carolinaman
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Final Frontier...just did my own taxes!
Replies: 14
Views: 934

Re: The Final Frontier...just did my own taxes!

Congratulations !! If you are up for a bigger challenge, I would like to suggest the following - try doing your taxes without TT, but using an Excel sheet instead (you can construct the Excel sheet brick-by-brick using TT as reference and reviewing the internal TT forms closely). I started doing th...
by carolinaman
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Project Management - what certification?
Replies: 4
Views: 546

Re: Project Management - what certification?

I strongly agree with PMP certification. It is a necessary credential for those aspiring to be PMs. However, as others have said, the credentials itself does not make you a PM. It gives you a methodology and common terminology. I have been retired 7 years and when I retired the PM field seem to be g...
by carolinaman
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?
Replies: 12
Views: 1149

Re: Is Enterprise Architecture worth building career upon?

EA can be an important function within a large organization and those that are good at it (many have limitations and are not effective in the role) are quite valuable. It is hard to say what upward opportunities there are for you in that role without knowing more about your organization. If it were ...
by carolinaman
Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used car - warranty or no?
Replies: 24
Views: 1086

Re: Used car - warranty or no?

Extended warranties are a bad idea. Consumer Reports, Clark Howard and other consumer advocates are strongly against them. Once you understand the fine print you will realize everything you think is covered is not. Many repairs are subject to interpretation as to whether it is covered as a warranty ...
by carolinaman
Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Salary requirements
Replies: 6
Views: 1332

Re: Retirement Salary requirements

I have been retired 7 years. Prior to retirement, I projected inflation growth in my expense needs of 2% (I did model different inflation levels too). My income is non-COLA pension and SS. I planned to cover any expense shortfall from investments, although my pension and our SS was more than adequat...
by carolinaman
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda vs. Toyota: Which has more bang for the buck?
Replies: 119
Views: 11309

Re: Honda vs. Toyota: Which has more bang for the buck?

Longtime Toyota driver here. I have considered Honda equivalent vehicles, usually Accord vs Camry, several times when buying a new car. In each instance, Camrys were always less expensive. I have always been pleased with my Toyotas, and when they are less expensive, it seems a no brainer to me to pi...
by carolinaman
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning for the unexpected in retirement
Replies: 14
Views: 1780

Re: Planning for the unexpected in retirement

You need a margin of safety for the unplanned issues that arise in retirement . IMO, 10% is bare minimum. A 15% to 20% cushion would be better. I have been retired 7 years and have encountered some major expenses like replacing HVAC and ductwork ($10k), tree trimming and removal ($8k), water/draina...
by carolinaman
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Appliance repair: manufacturer authorized tech vs generic repairman?
Replies: 23
Views: 1276

Re: Appliance repair: manufacturer authorized tech vs generic repairman?

The last appliance tech I had was for a Kenmore microwave. I learned that Sears has outsourced this service to another company. The tech was borderline incompetent. An independent may be pretty good and probably cheaper, but you need to research this carefully. It is best if you can get personal rec...
by carolinaman
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Planning and Pre or Post Tax
Replies: 6
Views: 723

Re: Retirement Planning and Pre or Post Tax

To determine spendable funds, yes you need to account for taxes. This will apply to pre tax retirement accounts (401k, IRA, etc.) and SS. Also, taxable accounts will be subject to capital gains when withdrawn. Tax planning is an integral part of retirement planning, and can offer opportunities to re...
by carolinaman
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch to Pension or Stay in Funds?
Replies: 7
Views: 656

Re: Switch to Pension or Stay in Funds?

I took a senior management job in local govt at age 44 thinking I would not be there long term. I too had a portable skillset. I wound up retiring at age 66 after 22 years with a very good pension that, in conjunction with SS, more than provides for our retirement. Once I reached early 50s I realize...
by carolinaman
Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what to look for when buying a flipped house
Replies: 27
Views: 2148

Re: what to look for when buying a flipped house

Personally, I would avoid flipped homes. Too many of these are done by people with limited experience and they tend to cut a lot of corners. They focus on appearance and trendy things. Flippers try to get top dollar and, as a group, are less trustworthy. If I were buying, I would be looking at homes...
by carolinaman
Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I tax loss harvest this downfall? I've never done it before.
Replies: 7
Views: 976

Re: Should I tax loss harvest this downfall? I've never done it before.

Hi BH, For the month of February, my main account (which is roughly 60% total US, 30% total international, and 10% BND) is down $40,000. That's a huge chunk to me as I'm near 30 and it's hard earned money. I'm not at all panicked, of course, this is a long term game and I'm optimistic/staying the c...
by carolinaman
Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Sell FIRE to spouse
Replies: 31
Views: 3849

Re: Help Sell FIRE to spouse

I suggest you ask your wife what she thinks the two of you need to retire? Ask her to be specific. You are constantly pitching your analysis and spreadsheets to her and so far she is not buying. Your current approach is not working. She is not comfortable about something. If I were you I would try t...
by carolinaman
Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Accredited investor resources
Replies: 23
Views: 1477

Re: Accredited investor resources

Your request is quite reasonable. There is money to be made in some of these private equity deals, but the problem is separating the wheat from the chafe. Apparently the respondents so far do not appreciate the opportunity you have. I am unaware of any books or other resources. My only advise is to ...
by carolinaman
Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can durable POA designate beneficiaries for Mom with dementia?
Replies: 8
Views: 579

Re: Can durable POA designate beneficiaries for Mom with dementia?

I am not a lawyer but will offer a few comments. It seems that your dad would be the one to make changes to the annuity if he survives his wife, not the wife's DPOA. If you mother has to go on medicaid during her illness, any assets she transfers to others may be subject to "clawback" by medicaid to...