Search found 4512 matches

by carolinaman
Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Building vs. Buying in this Market?
Replies: 21
Views: 2025

Re: House Building vs. Buying in this Market?

New homes typically cost more to build than used homes. I am not sure how this is affected right now with demand for homes greater than supply and increased building material costs for new homes. It does not sound like optimal time to do either. There are benefits to building your own home. You can ...
by carolinaman
Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: walking shoes with wide toes?
Replies: 47
Views: 2700

Re: walking shoes with wide toes?

I have the same problem. Brooks Ghost version 10 and 11 were good fit for me. Ghost 12 have more narrow toe box, so I had to find another shoe. I went to a specialty running shoe store in Charlotte. The people there were excellent to work with. They found the right shoes for me which were Brooks Gly...
by carolinaman
Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are international bonds worth it?
Replies: 6
Views: 931

Re: Are international bonds worth it?

I do not like international bonds because in addition to interest rate risk, they have currency risk which is too much risk for a supposedly safe investment. Currency risk could be hedged, but there is an added cost for that.
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital loss on Inherited Home?
Replies: 4
Views: 692

Re: Capital loss on Inherited Home?

Our situation with our mother's estate is similar except there was no trust. We sold the house shortly after her death. We considered the selling price to be the market value and considered the realtor and other selling expenses as a capital loss. I do not know if the house being in a trust will cha...
by carolinaman
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deck Levelling- Potential Foundation issues
Replies: 46
Views: 2284

Re: Deck Levelling- Potential Foundation issues

The deck support posts are supposed to be set on top of concrete footings. If the deck is free standing (not attached to house), the posts next to the house may not have concrete footings, and over time they have sunk a little. If this is an old deck, it is probably best to replace it rather fix it,...
by carolinaman
Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any reason to file taxes before May 17?
Replies: 34
Views: 3626

Re: Any reason to file taxes before May 17?

It is easier to get help with your taxes if you need it now. If you wait until last week, it will be much harder. I use Turbo Tax every year. This year I had a couple of unexpected problems that required assistance by TT. I waited for call back between 20 and 30 minutes each time. I hate to think wh...
by carolinaman
Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to determine the cost of medical procedure
Replies: 18
Views: 2083

Re: how to determine the cost of medical procedure

My insurance used to allow a mid year. It was not a full physical. He checked my vitals and would answer a couple of questions. Once, I had a list of questions. He said the appointment was only for 15 mins and he did not have time to cove all of my questions. He suggested I schedule another appointm...
by carolinaman
Fri Apr 02, 2021 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA - American Auto Assn - Service has gone way down
Replies: 98
Views: 8344

Re: AAA - American Auto Assn - Service has gone way down

... The first incident was wife's car which had dead battery. It would not start and I was unable to jump start it. I called AAA and they dispatched someone to my house in about 30 minutes. He determined the battery was weak and he replaced it on the spot with a quality battery at a competitive pri...
by carolinaman
Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mulch from Costco or Lowes
Replies: 41
Views: 4165

Re: Mulch from Costco or Lowes

If you're doing a large area, a truck delivery of bulk mulch from a local soil/landscape supplier could be vastly cheaper and at least as good in quality. +1. This will likely be better price and better quality. I get my mulch from this type of supplier by the pickup truckload. Much cheaper and bet...
by carolinaman
Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much retirement notice to give
Replies: 66
Views: 3658

Re: How much retirement notice to give

For me, I think only you can answer the question. It really depends on the relationship you had with the company and the likelihood that you would be willing to help out in the near future if things got in a bind. Are you friends with any of the execs? Leaving on short notice and putting them in a ...
by carolinaman
Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with 26 year old central AC unit?
Replies: 40
Views: 2679

Re: What to do with 26 year old central AC unit?

I pay $195 annually for twice a year service, once for gas heat and other for AC. The guy I use is a one man company recommended by my son who uses him for businesses, condos and homes he maintains. He is very practical and will never recommend something that does not need to be done, unlike these b...
by carolinaman
Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA - American Auto Assn - Service has gone way down
Replies: 98
Views: 8344

Re: AAA - American Auto Assn - Service has gone way down

I just did a test before renewing my AAA membership. Last time I used it, I called the number and a person picked up the phone. They just asked for my name, asked where I was and sent help. Today when I tested it, there were a series of voice messages, buttons to click, then I had to enter my 20 di...
by carolinaman
Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will building material costs return to Earth? Bonus (?): Deck Material Selection
Replies: 25
Views: 3152

Re: Will building material costs return to Earth? Bonus (?): Deck Material Selection

With a 5 to 7 year window to sell, I would suggest going with PT decking. My son just put a 10x5 addition to our existing 20x12 deck. He used premium kiln dried after treatment (KDAT) decking. It looks so good with virtually no knots or blemishes that we decided to replace the existing decking too. ...
by carolinaman
Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battling basement humidity
Replies: 26
Views: 1607

Re: Battling basement humidity

Does your home have a french drain on its perimeter to route water away from house? We had high humidity in our crawl and part of our solution was a french drain. We coated the foundation wall with a tar like substance to prevent water intrusion. We sealed the interior of crawl and installed an indu...
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owned a home, rented it for 2 years, then sold - Still owe tax?
Replies: 39
Views: 2832

Re: Owned a home, rented it for 2 years, then sold - Still owe tax?

Call TurboTax and see what they say. I have been able to resolve numerous issues with them over the years. They are more accessible now before the deadline nears.
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fictitious TurboTax returns for what if analysis using different states
Replies: 10
Views: 889

Re: Fictitious TurboTax returns for what if analysis using different states

I used my desktop version of Turbo Tax 2019 to model my 2020 return with a very large TIRA to Roth conversion. It also included a LTCL with carryover. When I did my 2020 return using Turbo Tax's 2020 version, it erroneously thought I had a LTCL carryover. I could not delete it and finally contacted ...
by carolinaman
Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on not stressing closer to retirement
Replies: 62
Views: 3779

Re: Advice on not stressing closer to retirement

The most important thing is getting an AA that you are comfortable with in up and down markets. Second thing is to tune out market and financial spam. If you have a good retirement financial plan with some buffer for down markets, you will worry less. If your plan has very little buffer, you will li...
by carolinaman
Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What did you successfully downshift to?
Replies: 65
Views: 7420

Re: What did you successfully downshift to?

I would suggest that you probably don't want to work for someone else in a downshift situation. As mentioned above, most hand-on jobs are very hard work, and lack autonomy. The only way to get autonomy is to be the business owner. But then, you have to do all the back-end work that goes with being ...
by carolinaman
Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Considering $1M conversion from TIRA to my Roth. Talk me out of it!
Replies: 58
Views: 4594

Re: Considering $1M conversion from TIRA to my Roth. Talk me out of it!

LuckyGuy wrote: Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:07 pm Why not do the conversions partially over some years to pay less taxes overall to get the same end result?
+1. I agree. You can achieve your result and pay a lot less in taxes. Minimizing your taxes should be a major part of your plan.
by carolinaman
Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Baylor, Auburn or ‘Bama?
Replies: 73
Views: 5237

Re: Baylor, Auburn or ‘Bama?

Our oldest granddaughter graduated from Auburn and loved it. Great college experience and Auburn has a very strong alumni. I doubt there is a huge difference between Auburn and Bama contrary to what their fans say. Auburn is the classic college town. It is less than 2 hours to Atlanta and other majo...
by carolinaman
Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: upgrade iphone 6??
Replies: 62
Views: 3822

Re: upgrade iphone 6??

I switched from Iphone 6 to 11 Pro several months ago. The 6 had become unreliable with frequent, annoying glitches that hampered my use. My daughter's entire family uses Iphones and she said my experience was common and caused them to update their phones too. I did not need the Pro version but I go...
by carolinaman
Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Work from Home - Most Tax Friendly States (Not Cost of Living)
Replies: 76
Views: 5966

Re: Work from Home - Most Tax Friendly States (Not Cost of Living)

Taxes and COL are very important but other factors should be considered as well. Quality of life for you and your family is extremely important too. This will vary depending upon what matters most to you: arts, major league sports, outdoor activities, strength of economy, regional culture, weather a...
by carolinaman
Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me with downhill backyard soil erosion
Replies: 10
Views: 841

Re: Help me with downhill backyard soil erosion

I have had a couple of drainage situations similar and I put in a drain connected to porous pipe buried in the ground. This should work for you as well. Have you observed water runoff in this area during or immediately after hard rains. Seeing how the water flows should tell you where to locate the ...
by carolinaman
Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury Mattress vs Firm w/Topper
Replies: 53
Views: 3495

Re: Luxury Mattress vs Firm w/Topper

I bought a natural latex mattress 18 months ago and love it. Latex is a great mattress product. This website, https://www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-forum provides a wealth of information about latex mattresses and is the boglehead of mattresses. They are definitely worth checking out. I, ...
by carolinaman
Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying new car, need some advice
Replies: 38
Views: 3220

Re: Buying new car, need some advice

I have never had much luck with getting online quotes from dealers. Most of the ones I have tried want you to come to the dealership for their "best price". What has worked for me is to research what car I want including options and get pricing, MSRP/invoice/etc. I have found that Cargurus...
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling a new construction house and taxes
Replies: 39
Views: 2446

Re: Selling a new construction house and taxes

I suggest consulting with a CPA on this question. I believe you are getting good advice from very knowledgeable people, your stakes are high enough to warrant professional advice. If a CPA found a way for you to declare this as an investment property with a higher basis, you would have documentation...
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury Mattress vs Firm w/Topper
Replies: 53
Views: 3495

Re: Luxury Mattress vs Firm w/Topper

I bought a natural latex mattress 18 months ago and love it. Latex is a great mattress product. This website, https://www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-forum provides a wealth of information about latex mattresses and is the boglehead of mattresses. They are definitely worth checking out. OTOH...
by carolinaman
Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Estate (Home) clean-out after my parents passing - tips and best practices?
Replies: 53
Views: 5826

Re: Estate (Home) clean-out after my parents passing - tips and best practices?

I was executor of my mother's estate. I was also POA for her business affairs the last year of her life which helped me understand some things. Mother did a good job preparing for her estate by identifying who was to get items of value or of sentimental value. My 2 sisters and I were pretty reasonab...
by carolinaman
Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling All Floor Experts
Replies: 24
Views: 2287

Re: Calling All Floor Experts

I would do option 1, then I would pour a quality moisture block membrane over it. I like this option. It appears there is a moisture issue and it needs to be dealt with. You should check to make sure water is diverted away from house, i.e. french drain, gutter drains buried and diverted away from h...
by carolinaman
Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling All Floor Experts
Replies: 24
Views: 2287

Re: Calling All Floor Experts

I would do option 1, then I would pour a quality moisture block membrane over it. I like this option. It appears there is a moisture issue and it needs to be dealt with. You should check to make sure water is diverted away from house, i.e. french drain, gutter drains buried and diverted away from h...
by carolinaman
Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to make strong coffee equivalent to Starbucks for cheaper?
Replies: 125
Views: 9667

Re: How to make strong coffee equivalent to Starbucks for cheaper?

I buy Pike Place by the bag in local grocery store. I always get it on sale for less than $6 for 12 oz bag. It is usually on sale once a month. That is probably close to what you pay for Folgers and a lot cheaper than buying by the cup at Starbucks. The only time I buy by the cup at Starbucks is whe...
by carolinaman
Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any chance? IRMAA Appeal after one time capital gains
Replies: 12
Views: 740

Re: Any chance? IRMAA Appeal after one time capital gains

I am trying to help out a neighbor. Is there any chance of appealing this as a one time windfall to eliminate IRMAA? This started because she has a “financial advisor” who turned out to really be an insurance salesman. This salesperson sold the neighbor an inappropriate single premium annuity. I sa...
by carolinaman
Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ally bank takes 10 minutes per CD
Replies: 24
Views: 2095

Re: ally bank takes 10 minutes per CD

I have open 4 CDs (one an IRA) and a savings account with Ally in last 6 months, all online and I thought the setup went quick. Only hitch was when I wanted taxable account to be joint which required an arcane and stupid process with human intervention. I have not closed any yet. Hopefully they will...
by carolinaman
Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRMAA (Medicare tax premium): long-term tax planning is a real crap shoot
Replies: 17
Views: 1086

Re: IRMAA (Medicare tax premium): long-term tax planning is a real crap shoot

IMO, the best that can be done is to use the current IRMAA rates indexed to inflation. Planning on much higher IRMAA rates in the future is speculative. Who knows how the govt will address Medicare shortfalls in the future. If you are fortunate enough to pay additional IRMAA, that means you have the...
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Issues selling an estate owned "landlocked" vacant lot in NC
Replies: 42
Views: 3607

Re: Issues selling an estate owned "landlocked" vacant lot in NC

The lot as is has little or no value and the likelihood of someone buying it is very small. One approach would be to offer to one of the adjoining landowners for free provided they pay all closing costs. Also, you may want to confer with estate attorney to make sure you do not have legal liability f...
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: look for contemporary strategy, a new boglehead approach?
Replies: 36
Views: 2748

Re: look for contemporary strategy, a new boglehead approach?

The only thing I have seen that seems to make sense is to invest in other safe fixed income investments with better returns than bond index funds. For example, I bought CDs when I found some offering 3% to 3.5% a couple of years ago. I have seen several recent threads on the forum about a type of an...
by carolinaman
Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocation to Florida for retirement
Replies: 55
Views: 6795

Re: Relocation to Florida for retirement

I will say, if you are not into the ocean beach, a great place to retire is Tennessee. No income taxes, great cost of living, middle of the country and yes, you do get a hint of winter (can get a lot if you travel or live in the mountains) but generally great weather. Also, it is an outdoor magnet....
by carolinaman
Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need new tires?
Replies: 106
Views: 4681

Re: Do I need new tires?

At 4/32nds tread depth, it it generally recommended that tires be replaced. I would replace them at your earliest convenience. Good performing tires are one of the most basic safety features of a vehicle. I would not try to get every last mile out of your tires at the expense of safety. +1. When in...
by carolinaman
Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using Homeadvisor.com
Replies: 14
Views: 865

Re: Using Homeadvisor.com

I am not a fan of Homeadvisor. I only tried to use them once and was not satisfied with the contractors they referred me to.

My son is a remodeler and refuses to be listed by them. I think many other reputable contractors are the same way.
by carolinaman
Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air Purifier
Replies: 37
Views: 2336

Re: Air Purifier

Anyone have suggestions on an air purifier? I’ve read quite a few reviews and it seems there are a variety of good ones (BlueAir 411, Dyson Hot/Cool, Honeywell) and some over-hyped poor quality (Molekule) but was wondering if anyone could provide input. I live in an 800 sq foot apartment and my bud...
by carolinaman
Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy inexpensive bird houses and bird feeders?
Replies: 20
Views: 1413

Re: Where to buy inexpensive bird houses and bird feeders?

We have a bird feeder on our back deck that attracts a wide variety of birds, even in winter. Ours is squirrel proof and is probably more expensive and labor intensive than you want. We have to bring ours inside at dusk every day. Otherwise, raccoons and deer will knock the bird feeder down and cons...
by carolinaman
Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air Purifier
Replies: 37
Views: 2336

Re: Air Purifier

Anyone have suggestions on an air purifier? I’ve read quite a few reviews and it seems there are a variety of good ones (BlueAir 411, Dyson Hot/Cool, Honeywell) and some over-hyped poor quality (Molekule) but was wondering if anyone could provide input. I live in an 800 sq foot apartment and my bud...
by carolinaman
Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contractor Issues with Remodel
Replies: 64
Views: 3762

Re: Contractor Issues with Remodel

Hello Bogleheads!! My wife and I are currently having our master bathroom remodeled and have run into an issue with the general contractor. In our meetings prior to signing the contract we went over all the items that we wanted in the remodel. Today, he just sent us a change order of additional cha...
by carolinaman
Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Charlie Munger - DJCO Annual Meeting
Replies: 24
Views: 1964

Re: A 97 Year-Old's Perspective

I love his sayings and wit. A very wise and experienced man.
by carolinaman
Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a pipe dream? - Retiring at 50
Replies: 28
Views: 3557

Re: Is this a pipe dream? - Retiring at 50

In addition to the question about safety of pension, how safe is your healthcare benefit? Many companies and public employers have reduced benefit and/or increased the costs of healthcare and some have eliminated this benefit altogether for retirees. Is the $4k just for pension or does it include SS...
by carolinaman
Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Winter Humidity and Conditioned Crawl Space
Replies: 22
Views: 1264

Re: Low Winter Humidity and Conditioned Crawl Space

Re MERV filter. I should have mentioned that we installed a MERV 16 filter when we installed last HVAC system 8 years ago. Some people say a regular HVAC system will not perform well with that dense a filter but our HVAC system works well. No noticeable degradation. I depends on the depth of the fi...
by carolinaman
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you plan in real or nominal dollars?
Replies: 70
Views: 3465

Re: Do you plan in real or nominal dollars?

Real. Simplifies my spreadsheet
by carolinaman
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Winter Humidity and Conditioned Crawl Space
Replies: 22
Views: 1264

Re: Low Winter Humidity and Conditioned Crawl Space

40% humidity is considered to be in good range for humidity. My air quality monitor considers anything between 40 to 50% to be good. I encapsulated my crawl last Fall. It is working fine with crawl humidity in 40s. In house humidity varies depending on outside temp/humidity but is usually in 30s. I...
by carolinaman
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax / H&R Block Comparison
Replies: 21
Views: 1690

Re: Turbo Tax / H&R Block Comparison

I have used TT for many years and have never used H&R Block. It appears there is a price advantage to using H&R Block but the hassle of switching and familiarizing myself with another product is not worth it. TT is a really good product and generally handles my tax return well. I have some n...
by carolinaman
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost to build a southern home like you are in Minnesota with pipe protection for freezes
Replies: 95
Views: 6711

Re: Cost to build a southern home like you are in Minnesota with pipe protection for freezes

I live in NC and freezing pipes are usually not a concern unless we get a really long cold snap with single digit lows and highs below freezing. We have been without power several times for several days at a time when we had really cold temps and have never had frozen pipes. I now have a generator t...