Search found 1404 matches

by HIinvestor
Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: (Poll) Did you tap into emergency fund in the past 10 years?
Replies: 64
Views: 7659

Re: (Poll) Did you tap into emergency fund in the past 10 ye

I guess I hace to agree with the others that this question is tough to answer. We have had financial struggles, especially when we paid two private school tuitions, and then two college tuitions, but never had to liquidate investments--we did spend the 529 and bonds we had purchased for these, as we...
by HIinvestor
Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 31 years old, just sold my business, early semi-retirement?
Replies: 39
Views: 6976

Re: 31 years old, just sold my business, early semi-retireme

You can check with SS to be sure you have the required number of quarters for SS and Medicare A, if you want to be sure. If the employer didn't pay and report your earnings to SS for a least 40 quarters, you may have to see about getting the needed quarters.
by HIinvestor
Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel Insurance
Replies: 30
Views: 9433

Re: Travel Insurance

Agree that some credit cards do provide general travel insurance up to $5000 per person and $10,000 per occurrence, or whatever their terms are. Also jetassist is a program I have read good reviews of and am planning on looking into for our upcoming trip to S.Korea. If you are an AARP member, you ge...
by HIinvestor
Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 31 years old, just sold my business, early semi-retirement?
Replies: 39
Views: 6976

Re: 31 years old, just sold my business, early semi-retireme

You have to have active income to contribute to an IRA. I don't see anything that is active income in your plan, unless you will be actively managing your real estate rental? It seems 31 is pretty young to semi-retire, especially if some day you decide you may wish to relocate to a higher cost of li...
by HIinvestor
Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you travel with friends?
Replies: 53
Views: 6793

Re: Do you travel with friends?

We have traveled several times with my best friend and her H and their kids--hers and ours. We have also cruised without any kids with them and H''s HS fellow alums. They are pleasant to travel with--have activities planned that folks can opt in or out. We invite my BIL to come and he joined us as w...
by HIinvestor
Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: planning to travel a lot soon...how to build up points?
Replies: 14
Views: 4733

Re: planning to travel a lot soon...how to build up points?

We have found so much hassle redeeming miles that we like the 2% cash back we get from CapitolOne Spark Business Visa card. It has added up for us over time and they don't have any limitation on what we can charge--photovoltaic system, contributions to H's retirement, and even our kids' college tuit...
by HIinvestor
Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any other travel freaks?
Replies: 117
Views: 11703

Re: Any other travel freaks?

H & I fly about 25,000 miles or more on at least 4 major trips of at least 2-3 weeks apiece most years. I have at least two meetings that I have to attend that are in nice cities and I also fly to visit family members and just for fun. We mainly have been flying in Canada and the US, but are thinkin...
by HIinvestor
Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip
Replies: 78
Views: 16419

Re: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip

In 2010, H, I, D and S took a "road trip" that started with a lovely overnight train ride in sleeper car from LA to Seattle. We used HotWire to book a a nice hotel in Seattle. It was a lot of fun and gorgeous scenery. It was NOT cheap, but a memorable experience. We did NOT attempt to sit on the toi...
by HIinvestor
Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rules of thumb that shouldn't be
Replies: 39
Views: 5441

Re: Rules of thumb that shouldn't be

One thing about rolling funds over--if you MAY wish to do a backdoor IRA, you don't want to have any other taxable IRA accounts and may wish to actually roll funds into your 401K or similar accounts if the plan allows rollovers. Each person's situation is different and customized financial planning ...
by HIinvestor
Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: List of Worst financial advice (what not to do):
Replies: 144
Views: 19746

Re: List of Worst financial advice (what not to do):

It's said it costs at least $250,000 to raise a child to age 18, add another kid and you're up to 1/2 a million. Send them each to pricey private colleges and you can easily clear $1 million. If you instead invest that $1mm in a good index fund, you would have enough money to take care of yourself e...
by HIinvestor
Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions - What to do with $50k for 12mos
Replies: 10
Views: 1835

Re: Opinions - What to do with $50k for 12mos

.85% interest is a decent rate these days. It's double the rate I'm charging a relative for a 12 month loan I have given him. ;) Good luck with your cabin. You will feel good knowing that your principal remains safe so it will be ready in 12 months when you want to proceed.
by HIinvestor
Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Prepayment Question
Replies: 43
Views: 4145

Re: Mortgage Prepayment Question

The real benefit in prepaying your mortgage is to do it regularly in a significant amount so that over time, you can shave off months or years of payments. This is what we did so that we would be fully paid up on our mortgage before H retired. It worked like a charm and lets us sleep well at night. ...
by HIinvestor
Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP Questions: (ROTH or Traditional)?
Replies: 11
Views: 1903

Re: TSP Questions: (ROTH or Traditional)?

Assuming he will be earning more as he is employed for longer, it may make sense to put a significant amount into Roth investments, to the extent he qualifies. S has been employed for 3 years now and is using the TSP Roth account for his withholdings. He is a federal employee and likes to contribute...
by HIinvestor
Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to track expenses to the penny?
Replies: 40
Views: 4127

Re: How to track expenses to the penny?

If you live up to your screen name, be sure to keep track of your gambling expenses as well as any wins. It's amazing how much losses can grow over time!
by HIinvestor
Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to track expenses to the penny?
Replies: 40
Views: 4127

Re: How to track expenses to the penny?

Decades ago, I kept all receipts and wrote everything down on file cards--one card per week. I was generally within about $.10, which was pretty amazing to me. The process of recording EVERYTHING I spent was very enlightening. It amazed me how many of the charges I made that were never presented any...
by HIinvestor
Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA worth it? I have Allstate
Replies: 53
Views: 5706

Re: AAA worth it? I have Allstate

Have been very happy with AAA over the years. We have several aging cars and they have provided prompt and good service--jumping and charging as needed. They were good about getting our cars towed as needed. Most recently, D had a problem with her car in LA. She had AAA tow it to a nearby mechanic. ...
by HIinvestor
Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: Walmart vs Amazon
Replies: 137
Views: 11796

Re: POLL: Walmart vs Amazon

Mostly, I buy from Costco, local grocers and CVS. Really don't do much at either WalMart or Amazon unless it is a huge price difference or it's hard to get the local merchandise (limited selection). I didn't vote for either. Since it's only H and me, we don't buy much in bulk any more--no need.
by HIinvestor
Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: vacation points program
Replies: 18
Views: 2251

Re: vacation points program

We like HotWire and Priceline, H likes maid service and we both enjoy meal service. :)

Sometimes you can get great deals via various discount rates, especially if you're flexible on your dates and destinations.
by HIinvestor
Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?
Replies: 86
Views: 8466

Re: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?

Personally, I want to keep the paper alive locally, so we continue to subscribe and S likes reading it online wherever he happens to be. It's now about $270 for a year of daily including Sunday delivery plus unlimited online.
by HIinvestor
Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tiny House Movement
Replies: 139
Views: 20037

Re: Tiny House Movement

H and his 2 sibs and parents lived in a 800 square foot home--3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. They loved the home and were happy there. So much depends on what you are used to. A friend had a 2 bedroom home for herself, H and 4 kids. They lived like that for many years until they finally remodeled.
by HIinvestor
Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: With no children, who will take care of my finances?
Replies: 53
Views: 7033

Re: With no children, who will take care of my finances?

I agree with he others that having a close niece or nephew (or inlaw) or loyal friend you trust could be a good solution, especially if they have shown themselves to be fiscally responsible and are trusted by you and any spouse. If they are an attorney, bookkeeper or business person or at least mana...
by HIinvestor
Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 185
Views: 16636

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

For what it's worth, USoCal and CalTech can both be quite generous with students they want and both have great engineering programs. Our S is a BSEE from USC. They give a lot of 50% and a few 100% tuition awards, especially for engineering students. It's worth exploring. CalTech is nearby in Pasaden...
by HIinvestor
Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any [iPhone] "Apps" you like?
Replies: 69
Views: 9806

Re: Any [iPhone] "Apps" you like?

I like "Red Lazer," which is a free app, allowing you to store all kinds of things, including loyalty cards. It also allows you to scan UPCs and other codes, comparing prices with amazon.com and nearby stores. It is very handy for price comparisons. I also have Priceline and Hotwire, as well as Yelp...
by HIinvestor
Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: As Bogleheads, a comforting thought for everyone....
Replies: 46
Views: 6306

Re: As Bogleheads, a comforting thought for everyone....

If folks really want to spend their money, they can also consider a donor advised fund that will allow them to park funds that will be granted to the charities of their choice. Vanguard, Schwab and Fidelity all have them and charge similar fees. Fidelity's is the largest and allows "grants" from you...
by HIinvestor
Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it really necessary to have a bank account?
Replies: 36
Views: 4592

Re: Is it really necessary to have a bank account?

Kevin M, if you don't mind sharing, where can you get 3% on a checking account? Have NEVER heard of that rate. Thanks! The best liquid rates I've heard of in the US are under 1% of savings, checking or money market accounts.
by HIinvestor
Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it really necessary to have a bank account?
Replies: 36
Views: 4592

Re: Is it really necessary to have a bank account?

We like running all assets and debits through the small local banks, so we have accounts with them. We transfer funds in and out of the larger brokerage accounts when we are ready. The only brokerage that has a bricks & mortar place in Honolulu which we use is Schwab. There was a Fidelity branch in ...
by HIinvestor
Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll on Retiree's Health Insurance Plan
Replies: 21
Views: 1821

Re: Poll on Retiree's Health Insurance Plan

Spouse is retired with federal BCBS and also Medicare A & B. Nice to have no copays and as much protection as possible, just in case. Like Taylor, didn't vote, since that wasn't an option available in your poll,
by HIinvestor
Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Funds
Replies: 62
Views: 4981

Re: Donor Advised Funds

According to Fidelity, you only have to grant a minimum of $250 in 5 years from your DAF. There is no other minimum distribution, unlike private foundations who HAVE TO distribute at least 5%. We are contemplating this as a more efficient means of donating ourselves. I like the ability to give other...
by HIinvestor
Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Still Nuts to Buy New Car for 10 Months?
Replies: 20
Views: 2451

Re: Still Nuts to Buy New Car for 10 Months?

The rental car companies often offer newer cars for purchase that are quite reasonable and trouble free. Have had several relatives acquire their vehicles in this manner. Hertz has a pretty good no-haggle program and you can buy (or decline) the extended warranty as well.
by HIinvestor
Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Proposed Public Policy Changes RE Retirement, SS, Roth
Replies: 4
Views: 667

Proposed Public Policy Changes RE Retirement, SS, Roth

Thoughts about these potential changes to ROTH rules, tax sheltered maximums, and social security changes mentioned in this article? Since we don't have the amount mentioned in the max, that portion wouldn't affect us but these changes would definitely make converting from traditional IRA to ROTH so...
by HIinvestor
Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA qualified income?
Replies: 2
Views: 367

Re: Roth IRA qualified income?

As long as you're on a cash basis for taxes, I agree with the above. H did some work in 2013 but was paid in 2014. We are using the amount he was paid and my income for 2014 to fund my traditional IRA that we rolled over to my Roth IRA for 2014. His work and mine are both wages for actual work perfo...
by HIinvestor
Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do You Transfer Your Money?
Replies: 24
Views: 3773

Re: How Do You Transfer Your Money?

We like running everything through our primary checking account that has branches nearby and a 24/7 answer line. We put all deposits and checks through that so we can keep a running ledger of our cashflow. Pension and TSP and IRA RMDs are all deposited there. I then write checks or make pay by phone...
by HIinvestor
Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In what ways does a retired person's portfolio differ?
Replies: 88
Views: 11617

Re: In what ways does a retired person's portfolio differ?

Once you reach 70.5, the main difference is that you will be getting RMDs, so have funds in tax sheltered accounts diminishing--that may require some re-evaluation to be sure you keep the asset mix you prefer while not having tax inefficient investments in taxable accounts (e,g, REIT, bond funds). Y...
by HIinvestor
Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Elderly vacation ideas (90 y.o.)
Replies: 9
Views: 1818

Re: Elderly vacation ideas (90 y.o.)

Some of the SR communities in our city (Honoluu), and I'm sure many other locations will rent a furnished place for a month or longer (perhaps shorter as well), as long as they complete the paperwork and qualify. It provides meals, weekly housekeeping, some transportation, some entertainment, pool, ...
by HIinvestor
Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein's Four Pillars of Investing for $1.99 on June 4th!
Replies: 88
Views: 7238

Re: Bernstein's Four Pillars of Investing for $1.99 on June

I bought it and put it on our kindle and read it. It was a LOT to digest but made a lot of sense. It was well-written and well laid out. I'm still not quite sure what we're going to do next, but am feeling more prepared and have a reading list, which Dr. Bernstein kindly provided in his book. I beli...
by HIinvestor
Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is your computer protected?
Replies: 39
Views: 5232

Re: Is your computer protected?

Thanks--H (my tech support) just did everything necessary so we have a good backup place to go to if everything crashes and ransomware somehow infiltrates our computer. He's been working on computers nearly all his professional life, so he keeps doing it for our home & my parents now that he's retir...
by HIinvestor
Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A $1000 lesson on how manipulative salespeople can be?
Replies: 107
Views: 20592

Re: A $1000 lesson on how manipulative salespeople can be?

I have learned to stop being excessively polite. When a salesperson persists and tries to deliver a spiel, in firmly interrupt and say, "No, thank you." If they try to re-launch their talk, I repeat again (sometimes a bit louder), "No thank you." I then hang up (if it's a phone call) or walk out, if...
by HIinvestor
Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to deny having a stroke?
Replies: 13
Views: 2189

Re: How to deny having a stroke?

In my mind, it's best to err on the side of caution, especially when prompt medical care COULD save pretty major future health consequences. When folks DO have a stroke, time is of the essence in getting appropriate treatment to minimize the harm and damage. What a thoughtful restaurant and bystande...
by HIinvestor
Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Play money
Replies: 17
Views: 1835

Re: Play money

With our TSP, we split the money into 4 different pots. 12% G Fund, 12% F Fund, 20% I (international) Fund and the rest in C Fund (total market). It has grown nicely without any management on our part. Another option is to just buy a target date fund that appeals to you.
by HIinvestor
Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Estate Efficiency and Parent's RMDs
Replies: 21
Views: 2097

Re: Estate Efficiency and Parent's RMDs

I think you should figure out her tax bracket, what the status of her current assets are (including stream of income) and what her current and likely future expenses are, in addition to what her current and likely future tax brackets are. It makes sense to convert to Roth when her current income is ...
by HIinvestor
Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Credit Card Promos 2014 *Updated*
Replies: 36
Views: 82069

Re: Best Credit Card Promos 2014

My two favorite cards are the business AmEx Costco credit card that gets me 4% back on gas (plus 2% for travel & restaurants, 1% for everything else). I like the Spark Capitol One Business Visa--2% back on everything and $59 annual fee; no foreign transaction fee. Was upgraded to get free extended w...
by HIinvestor
Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NY Times: interest rising in deferred-income annuities
Replies: 35
Views: 3044

Re: NY Times: interest rising in deferred-income annuities

Another BIG risk the buyer assumes in a deferred annuity is whether or not the seller will be solvent and around to pay out the annuity that was purchased. Companies DO go under and if that one you purchased from does, there's not much you will get for your purchase. With any annuity purchase, be su...
by HIinvestor
Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Customer service - Vanguard vs Fidelity
Replies: 93
Views: 15021

Re: Customer service - Vanguard vs Fidelity

We have new accounts at Fidelity, as well as some at Vanguard, Schwab and a former employer account at Prudential. Have found customer service at ALL of them to be pleasant and varying degrees of helpful, as well as varying degrees of pushing to try to get us to buy managed funds or have someone hel...
by HIinvestor
Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping up with the neighbors and Balance
Replies: 95
Views: 13716

Re: Keeping up with the neighbors and Balance

We have never tried to keep up with neighbors or family members. We also paid off our mortgage sooner than most of them and are happily enjoying H's retirement and my semi-retirement. We do splurge on experiences--travel for my non-profit and to visit loved ones (or fly our D to visit us). We do als...
by HIinvestor
Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hiring an attorney? Advice please
Replies: 18
Views: 2393

Re: Hiring an attorney? Advice please

I am surprised you were charged an hourly rate for an initial consultation, especially if you didn't hire this attorney. Most around our state have free initial consultations. I'd get an estimate from this attorney of his hourly rate, total orojectec cost and contingent or % cost. Might also ask ano...
by HIinvestor
Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar panels, are they worth it?
Replies: 53
Views: 9805

Re: Solar panels, are they worth it?

We have a ridge roof vent that has helped passively cool our home. Solar roof fans and good insulation in the attic and roof really help keep the house a more comfortable temperature. My H and S installed Mylar aluminum bubble wrap type insulation in our attic and it has made a HUGE difference in mo...
by HIinvestor
Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Replies: 40
Views: 3219

Re: Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage

We follow our independent ins agent's recommendation. We have $300/500k per person/accident per vehicle. Not sure how that was chosen, but will ask agent.

We also have other policy limits up to the amount needed for our $2m umbrella.
by HIinvestor
Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein's Four Pillars of Investing for $1.99 on June 4th!
Replies: 88
Views: 7238

Re: Four Pillars Kindle Sale June 4/Rational Expectations

OK, I bought this now and will be reading it over the next little while & perhaps lend it to loved ones. :)
by HIinvestor
Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Compilation of Travel Advice
Replies: 12
Views: 1894

Re: Compilation of Travel Advice

Fodors.com has a nice forum with helpful posters, divided geographically that can also be searched by keyword. The folks there are very well traveled.
by HIinvestor
Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The in-laws are broke!
Replies: 128
Views: 19656

Re: The in-laws are broke!

As the house is owned by brother of your wife, don't see why everyone keeps suggesting reverse mortgage. I think your suggestion of taking them grocery shopping 2x a month in lieu of dining with them is a good one. I'd agree your wife IS already contributing by driving them around and running errand...