Search found 581 matches

by MJS
Tue Dec 31, 2019 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Zealand Train trip
Replies: 77
Views: 3730

Re: New Zealand Train trip

As of now and listening to all of your suggestions this is the plan. 2 nights in Auckland and fly to Wellington. 2 nights Wellington and fly to Queenstown 2 nights Queenstown and fly to Christchurch 2 nights Christchurch and fly to Melbourne 3 nights Melbourne and fly to Auckland. I am wondering if...
by MJS
Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Zealand Train trip
Replies: 77
Views: 3730

Re: New Zealand Train trip

You have your flight dates set, but have you looked at the Auckland NZ to Australia cruises, 10-14 days, from $1200/person? Celebrity & Holland America do this route. You'd save on train fares, lodging, & travel costs so it's not extraordinarily more expensive. Flight back from Australia to Auckland...
by MJS
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Zealand Train trip
Replies: 77
Views: 3730

Re: New Zealand Train trip

I wish I had flown back from Wellington instead of taking the train. Driving was very easy if you do decide to drive. A side trip to Melbourne might be a bit much.

If you like gardens, The Hamilton Gardens are worth a day. Hamilton has a train station.
by MJS
Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to pay for Roth conversion
Replies: 21
Views: 2605

Re: How to pay for Roth conversion

More intrusive questions... sorry. Do you plan a - A legacy to family (Convert up to 12% tax bracket). Roth legacies are nicer to receive under the new Secure Act. - A legacy to charity (don't convert - the charity won't pay taxes) Do you do 5% or more charitable giving each year? Don't convert. Lum...
by MJS
Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Plane trip - 16 Hours to Shanghai
Replies: 67
Views: 6298

Re: Long Plane trip - 16 Hours to Shanghai

I shift my sleep cycle closer to the arrival time zone. 1st night, Atlanta to Denver time 3rd night, Denver to Honolulu time 5th day, fly away. Jetlagrooster does detailed plans for a full time zone shift. However, a partial adjustment helps me deal with flight-time-loss better than full adjustment.
by MJS
Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco car rental question
Replies: 25
Views: 1994

Re: Costco car rental question

toofache32 wrote: Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:10 pm I had no idea Costco rented cars. ...
Also useful for nationwide flower delivery, fine jewelry & caskets, plus services such as insurance, free health screenings & mortgages. Limited selection, just like the dog food!
by MJS
Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to do my taxes by hand for once - how do you know which forms you will need?
Replies: 26
Views: 1776

Re: Want to do my taxes by hand for once - how do you know which forms you will need?

Doing federal & state income taxes by hand is like doing a combination jigsaw puzzle & crossword: easy-peasy to overwhelming. No doubt you will be much amused! However, your results are graded by computers who lack flair and conviviality. After finishing your work, consider double checking it on a f...
by MJS
Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Protect Your Most Important Asset
Replies: 45
Views: 6812

Re: How to Protect Your Most Important Asset

capitalhockey wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:22 pm
2) How do we use funds to protect our health?
In addition to living sensibly - diet, exercise, safety - hedge your bets by having long term disability insurance. Many employers provide both short and long term, but not all do.
by MJS
Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Law Changes for 2020
Replies: 355
Views: 28390

Re: Tax Law Changes for 2020

We can currently make QCDs at age 70.5. Is there a mention about increasing the QCD age to 72 as well? "While the law increases the age for required distributions from 70½ to age 72, there is no change in the eligibility age for qualified charitable distributions (QCDs), which remains at 70½..." So...
by MJS
Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversion math and IRMMA
Replies: 16
Views: 1195

Re: Roth conversion math and IRMMA

Try putting your numbers into a tax calculator such as https://www.dinkytown.net/v3/999160/Tax1040.html Note that MAGI is calculated in different ways for IRMAA Roth IRA / Lifetime Learning Credit Adoption tax credit / American Opportunity Credit Coverdell Education Savings Account Student loan inte...
by MJS
Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: May I expedite early retirement?
Replies: 71
Views: 7459

Re: May I expedite early retirement?

Without knowing your field or parents' location or interest, this may be inappropriate ... have you looked for an academic position in Spain? Would your American experience & publication be useful in your field? A new department and colleagues could be quite stimulating. Good luck!
by MJS
Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: In or Near Retirement with Only Six Figures?
Replies: 126
Views: 15725

Re: In or Near Retirement with Only Six Figures?

... If I retire at 65 I will have social security of about $24,000 a year. My wife will have the same, plus a pension of about $35,000/year. You two seem to be doing very well, so some next steps are: 1. Run Open Social Security (created by another Boglehead) together, https://opensocialsecurity.co...
by MJS
Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap, Medicare advantage
Replies: 29
Views: 1464

Re: Medigap, Medicare advantage

You've mentioned travel in several posts. In general , Medigap is better for frequent interstate (& sometimes international) travelers. If you or your spouse might ever spend more than 6 months out of coverage area -- snowbird, family emergency, national park hosts, RVing -- Medigap will be much sim...
by MJS
Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pick a stock
Replies: 93
Views: 5164

Re: Pick a stock

A portfolio of stocks with perks. Double the fun: you can track your portfolio and try to maximize perks. An annual trip to Switzerland to pick up a box of chocolates & get 10% off ski lifts, monthly cruises, new cars. What could go wrong? :twisted:
by MJS
Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reverse Snowbirds?
Replies: 35
Views: 4348

Re: Reverse Snowbirds?

by MJS
Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you giving (or asking) for Christmas?
Replies: 77
Views: 5556

Re: What are you giving (or asking) for Christmas?

My friends & family are traveling more. So, one or more duplicates of things people already have, but forget to pack when travelling: A travel umbrella instead of trying to remember to pack the hall or car umbrella. A travel insulated mug, intead of trying to remember to pack the camping or work mug...
by MJS
Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 441
Views: 35765

Re: Retirement Friendly States

In terms of services that high taxes pay for -- as a solo ager, I've been been trying to find information about legal protection from & detection of elder abuse & elder fraud. I want my state & community to spend money to detect & deter those who prey on the elderly. Florida is off the table for me....
by MJS
Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should I buy my aunts house?
Replies: 39
Views: 3433

Re: How should I buy my aunts house?

... GF is living in an apartment paying $600 for rent and utilities, so she can afford to pitch in $600 month plus other shared expenses. ... Ah. No need to answer these intrusive questions, but have you and GF discussed this in detail already, or is this an assumption based on your knowledge of he...
by MJS
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another roofing question - roofing color/surface?
Replies: 19
Views: 1352

Re: Another roofing question - roofing color/surface?

Take a look at the heating vs cooling map. If you are in purple, blue, or green -- go with a darker roof. If you are in red or brown, go with a light roof color and perhaps a radiant barrier. In yellow, go with local custom.
by MJS
Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preparedness for a winter road trip
Replies: 79
Views: 4023

Re: Preparedness for a winter road trip

Check your cell phone provider's coverage map. If there are any gaps in the areas you'll be in, consider getting a cell phone signal booster. (The kind for your car, not the home based ones.)
by MJS
Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the best jobs to downshift into?
Replies: 51
Views: 7983

Re: What are the best jobs to downshift into?

Teach at your local community center:
. English as a second language, literacy, job hunting
. Fitness, golf, music, crafts, computer/internet/cell phone stuff, ie, San Jose 50+ classes:
http://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?nid=578
. Kid's programs
by MJS
Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consequence of senior not paying phone bill and closing account [Resolved]
Replies: 38
Views: 3044

Re: Consequence of senior not paying phone bill and closing account

... I am not sure any reasonable customer would ever believe that international calls would be free and unlimited, ... Believing this is probably a factor of age. When I was a kid, a call to a town two miles away was billed at one candy bar per minute (5 cents per minute in those days); out of stat...
by MJS
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice needed for unusual financial situation
Replies: 19
Views: 3096

Re: Advice needed for unusual financial situation

Part time gigs: Is AirBnB'ing your condo or even a spare bedroom in your house possible in your neighborhood? From what I've read, short-term-renting is the most profitable part-time gig. Being a Door Dash Driver can be done by bike or car, and may be less fraught than dealing with drunks at 2am on ...
by MJS
Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Spend It All vs. Leave $$ for the Kids
Replies: 192
Views: 16584

Re: Spend It All vs. Leave $$ for the Kids

On the other side of the question: I'm a bequestee (and boomer.) My great aunt paid for my mother's and her cousins' educations before & during the Depression; and her legacy paid for mine and my cousins' educations and business start-ups; and it paid for my nieces' & nephews' & second cousins'; and...
by MJS
Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: visiting Maine in November
Replies: 27
Views: 2258

Re: visiting Maine in November

Belfast and its vicinity has craft breweries and at least one cidery. They should help you to stay warm! You might also want to check out the local maple producers. Not much happening in November, but supporting local businesses is always nice.
by MJS
Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What car fits comfortably 3 adults with luggages?
Replies: 63
Views: 2644

Re: What car fits comfortably 3 adults with luggages?

Let's do the numbers. Since they are immigrating/moving their household, let's figure they have the Delta first-class international allowance (or have paid for the equivalent rather than wait 6 months for their goods to arrive via boat): ~500 pounds = 6x70# + 6x15# ~35 cubic feet = 6x(25x20x17") + 6...
by MJS
Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on investing small amounts in individual stocks and using the proceeds to buy those company's products?
Replies: 11
Views: 648

Re: Thoughts on investing small amounts in individual stocks and using the proceeds to buy those company's products?

If you own cruise line stock, you get extra on-board credit every time you cruise. Stock perks used to be fairly common, and there are still a few:
The Balance, Oct 30 2019
by MJS
Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much money is really needed in retirement?
Replies: 74
Views: 10493

Re: How much money is really needed in retirement?

From another angle: You can use the MIT Living Wage Calculator to determine both basic expenses & poverty level in your region for your family size. That gives you the Needs. Your Wants will vary. You'll need to look through your budget & spending habits to determine which Wants are essential for yo...
by MJS
Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruises, where to book?
Replies: 17
Views: 1926

Re: Cruises, where to book?

To add more columns to the spreadsheet: 1) If you are a Costco Executive Member, you get a 2% reward on travel booked through them. Deduct 2% from their price. 2) However, add back the cost of money since it takes months to actually get your annual Reward. The Reward system starts after you travel, ...
by MJS
Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Women wearing black to a wedding?
Replies: 56
Views: 5154

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Since it's a cocktail dress, Rule 1 doesn't apply: #1 If you could possibly wear this garment to funeral, never wear it to a wedding. But do keep Rule 2 in mind: #2 If you could possibly wear this garment to a wild New Year's Eve party, then as arcticpineapplecorp says "don't look better than the br...
by MJS
Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tapping Retirement Savings to Purchase a House
Replies: 23
Views: 1982

Re: Tapping Retirement Savings to Purchase a House

Will you have a substantial pension? Ignore below if so. If you deplete your $880+60k retirement savings by $100k, you'll have $840k, which is 5.6 times your current personal salary. Looking at the various retirement checkpoints by age ( Forbes, Oct 2019 ), you'll be losing (very) roughly 5 to 10 ye...
by MJS
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Part D - thinking of shifting to Walmart
Replies: 34
Views: 4078

Re: Part D - thinking of shifting to Walmart

My local Costco charges $9 per year for 3 generic RXs versus $36.65 at Walmart. Check your local prices in the Medicare tool for convenient but inexpensive pharmacies. Source: Enter Costco zip code in location box if reasonable. Select pharmacies. For each plan, click on [VIEW MORE INFORMATION / Vie...
by MJS
Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Folks age between 65-70. What’s your exercise routine
Replies: 44
Views: 5297

Re: Folks age between 65-70. What’s your exercise routine

65 yo female, good health. No routine, but routine practices. Sit on floor instead of chairs whenever reasonable - reading books or bogleheads, on phone, screen time. Get up without using hands or knees. Stretch while on floor. Park as far from businesses as possible, carry groceries instead of usin...
by MJS
Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks continue to soar!
Replies: 9401
Views: 752322

Re: U.S. stocks continue to soar!

Lee_WSP wrote: Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:28 am We need relief valves so we don't do unwise things during downturns.
What are unwise things done during upturns? Too much equity? Retire too early? And is Soaring innoculatory for upturns the way Free Fall is for downturns?
by MJS
Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we downshift and move to Europe?
Replies: 40
Views: 5676

Re: Should we downshift and move to Europe?

Things that bother us - Our roles are becoming more politics and intrigues in which we are not good at. - We are both worried that we are losing our technical skills by spending most of the time in political stressful games and royal intrugues that we are not so good at. - On the other hand, there’...
by MJS
Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of my medicare drug plan is doubling
Replies: 24
Views: 2453

Re: Cost of my medicare drug plan is doubling

How is the Aetna $14 a month plan better than the Humana/Walmart $13.20 a month plan? If you sort the Prescription Drug Plan list by "Lowest drug + premium cost" you get the lowest annual cost plan listed first. The default sort "Lowest monthly premium" can be a snare and a delusion once the cost o...
by MJS
Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: RMD to Roth?
Replies: 33
Views: 4129

Re: RMD to Roth?

Below is the 1040 tax calculator I have used a number of times and found quite helpful and accurate. https://www.dinkytown.net/java/1040-tax-calculator-tax-year-2018.html This is 2018. The 2019 calculator, with slightly increased deductions, is at https://www.dinkytown.net/v3/999160/Tax1040.html
by MJS
Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about Verizon Travel Pass with Iphone 6s
Replies: 12
Views: 1322

Re: Question about Verizon Travel Pass with Iphone 6s

Will you have access to free WiFi at your lodging or a nearby cafe? If so,
1. Leave your phone in Airplane mode at all times.
2. Activate Verizon WiFi calling
https://www.verizonwireless.com/support ... se-201649/
by MJS
Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement income streams
Replies: 10
Views: 2526

Re: Retirement income streams

You'll be fairly young. What do you plan to retire to ? You'll have an extra 9-12 hours a day for fulfilling and enjoyable activities: Massive backyard garden? Set up garage for quilting in order to compete in the state fair? Brew beer or distill rye? Golf or tennis or surfing? Travel extensively or...
by MJS
Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apparently Left Store without Paying
Replies: 12
Views: 2069

Re: Apparently Left Store without Paying

Be grateful that you didn't forget to bring your baby or toddler in from a hot car. Distraction can be far more serious than switching gears during a routine store transaction.
by MJS
Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turks & Caicos on a budget??
Replies: 14
Views: 2937

Re: Turks & Caicos on a budget??

supersharpie wrote: Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:01 am Definitely look into Airbnb.
If you collect airline miles, check to see if your airline has a deal with AirBnB or VRBO or HomeAway or other local booking tools. Delta's is http://deltaairbnb.com
by MJS
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks continue to soar!
Replies: 9401
Views: 752322

Re: U.S. stocks continue to soar!

GoldenFinch wrote: Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:44 pm
Image

There is a bit of a problem with that ... picture if you think about what happens next. At least in terms of this soaring thread anyways. :happy
You mean this thread gets loopy every once in a while?
by MJS
Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap pricing methods
Replies: 5
Views: 1211

Re: Medigap pricing methods

According to https://www.medicareresources.org/states/, there's notable difference between states in Medicare Plan regulation: * "(Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Idaho) required issue-age rating (carriers would also have the option to use community rating instead)" * "(Arkansas, Connecticut, Massach...
by MJS
Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: poor Boglehead sending my kids to college
Replies: 69
Views: 6175

Re: poor Boglehead sending my kids to college

In case you don't have enough to worry about ...

Image
by MJS
Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: X Country Driving Trip across the US, solo
Replies: 25
Views: 2324

Re: X Country Driving Trip across the US, solo

When you get to your pre-booked motel, ask if they give a discount for (as applicable): seniors, AAA, AARP, military, ex-military, government (including state gov, state universities, city gov, county gov), business, members of Lions or DAR or Moose or Elk or Deer Lodges ... whatever. Motel prices a...
by MJS
Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?
Replies: 21
Views: 1546

Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

For the weekends and Veteran's Day holiday, I recommend making a reservation at SW state & national parks. Winter is the prime camping season in the desert southwest. +1 for Catalina State Park: https://azstateparks.com/reserve/catalina/camping/ ... But also Gilbert Ray , especially if you plan to v...
by MJS
Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: More Nasty and Unexpected Changes With Part D Plans Next Year
Replies: 49
Views: 6429

Re: More Nasty and Unexpected Changes With Part D Plans Next Year

The zip code search box is a fiasco. According to the site, my favorite Costco Pharmacy no longer exists. There is no way to add it. Unbelievable. (or maybe not) Plans are listed by county (not city, town or village.) Pharmacies are listed by zip code. If your Costco is in the same county as your r...
by MJS
Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with Costco Leather Sectionals?
Replies: 3
Views: 673

Re: Experience with Costco Leather Sectionals?

The catchall terms "leather" or "genuine leather" are pretty elastic. They can legally be anything from bonded leather (animal skin remnants glued together and bonded to fabric) to the legally defined "Genuine Full Grain Leather" (tanned cow hides including both the top and suede layers.) Check the ...
by MJS
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding Finances-Today
Replies: 107
Views: 9580

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

They say the average cost of a wedding in NJ is around $42K last time I checked. However, consider the difference between average and median: 30 weddings @ $5,000 20 @ $15,000 20 @ $30,000 20 @ $40,000 4 @ $100,000 3 @ $200,000 2 @ $300,000 1 @ $600,000 Average = $43,000 ... but only 10 cost more t...
by MJS
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding Finances-Today
Replies: 107
Views: 9580

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Using Costco for wedding food, booze, cake(s), flowers, and invitations is a current trend. A frugal wedding and starting married life with a nice emergency fund might make their lives happier.