Search found 430 matches

by Naismith
Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best State and National Parks in the Southeast
Replies: 54
Views: 3480

Re: Best State and National Parks in the Southeast

mike@jb wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:10 pm Everglades National Park, FL
But only certain times of the year for camping! The mosquitos are brutal for much of the year.

We were there for the kids' spring break in April, and it was pushing the late end of a reasonable time for camping.
by Naismith
Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA Insurance question regarding poverty level
Replies: 24
Views: 1772

Re: ACA Insurance question regarding poverty level

You might want to add what state you are in, because eligibility for plans (and their names) varies from state to state.

Congratulations on the new addition.
by Naismith
Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about making a will
Replies: 59
Views: 3388

Re: Questions about making a will

Being in our 60s and inspired by Covid, we just finished our third will through the years (changes both in state law and guardians/executors as our own children grew up). We paid $1,400 for an estate planning package that includes - a will. One of the issues for us is that my oldest son was never le...
by Naismith
Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: "Designated Beneficiary" Account?
Replies: 3
Views: 402

Re: "Designated Beneficiary" Account?

I think the main point to be aware of is that the designated beneficiary will receive the account assets, regardless of what your will may state. So, don't create confusion by trying to use a will to direct where these assets go, and certainly don't create a contradiction by having a will say one t...
by Naismith
Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long does it take for Estimated Tax payment check to clear
Replies: 25
Views: 1270

Re: How long does it take for Estimated Tax payment check to clear

Stinky wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 3:09 pm
I trust the IRS payment website more than I trust the USPS these days.
Amen! I can't believe how long things are taking with USPS, and how many things are being lost.
by Naismith
Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Temporary school absences for travel
Replies: 29
Views: 1582

Re: Temporary school absences for travel

DH and I were both teachers before our kids were school age. We never would have done this and it had nothing to do with 2 teachers taking time off. It is just a continuity issue, especially with math and sciences. It may also affect the funding for the school, which in some places is based on atte...
by Naismith
Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Temporary school absences for travel
Replies: 29
Views: 1582

Re: Temporary school absences for travel

A lot will depend on your state/local definitions of "attendance." Some places have a requirement of x days of attendance to get credit for the year. When I took our kids to Brasil for a 4-month sabbatical for my husband's research, I registered them as homeschoolers for the entire year, a...
by Naismith
Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with Series EE Bonds?
Replies: 12
Views: 1176

Re: What to do with Series EE Bonds?

If you keep them, be really sure you remember to cash them in after ten years. You MUST pay the tax in the (30th) year of final maturity, as well as the fact that they stop earning anything at all. The only remedy for failing to pay the tax on time is filing an amended return. Nice explanation and ...
by Naismith
Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?
Replies: 68
Views: 7049

Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time? Sigh. The thing is, many of those activities you list are not possible now during the Covid pandemic. I returned to paid work, when I found a position in my old field that allowed work from home. I was able to get Wed...
by Naismith
Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: stimulus check
Replies: 10
Views: 1350

Re: stimulus check

Since we don't need it to survive, we will give it away to charities who will help those who need it more.
by Naismith
Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Child will soon need a car. What would be the best approach?
Replies: 56
Views: 2964

Re: Child will soon need a car. What would be the best approach?

I often question why a child "needs" a car, often as soon as they're old enough to get their license. I was with you on that until I had a young person in a very competitive marching band. As a senior, she qualified for an on-campus parking permit, and could drive herself home after pract...
by Naismith
Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for Frugal Living
Replies: 284
Views: 26734

Re: Tips for Frugal Living

1) Marry wisely - it's a major advantage to have a spouse who is fully onboard with your financial mindset Even though I bring in more than enough for a care free living, my wife refuses to spend any of it, and insists on working. Glad that works for you. I have also been employed for most of my ma...
by Naismith
Sat Dec 26, 2020 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: time for a new car
Replies: 55
Views: 6659

Re: time for a new car

If you buy a Honda or Toyota just buy a new one. They price the used ones close to the new ones and you keep your cars a long time. +1 We had to buy new cars when we returned to the US, and that was our experience. We bought a Toyota Prius and Honda Fit, and there are very few of those available as...
by Naismith
Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 6 years to college degree?????
Replies: 139
Views: 8240

Re: 6 years to college degree?????

Two of our children took time off to serve a full-time mission for our church. That is considered an acceptable excuse to ask for a break in a National Merit Scholarship. Both of them served their missions in other countries. Upon graduation, one went to work for the US State Department and her firs...
by Naismith
Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We might have significantly over-estimated our income needs during retirement
Replies: 78
Views: 9094

Re: We might have significantly over-estimated our income needs during retirement

$800 might be a single airplane ticket. Yes but a retired person who is older should probably NOT be getting on an airplane from a public health perspective, yes? Mentioning plane tickets just rubs my face in how much our life sucks being stuck at home. Although we are not terribly old, my MIL is 9...
by Naismith
Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bonds a good idea?
Replies: 48
Views: 5633

Re: I-Bonds a good idea?

With the clarification from the OP, this would seem an appropriate move. One huge warning though, for those who might be holding I bonds longer: consider your estate plan. We started buying EE back in the early 1990s, and those will still be earning 4% for a few more years. We switched to I when tho...
by Naismith
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuting by bike
Replies: 75
Views: 3303

Re: Commuting by bike

Another former bike commuter working at home nowadays. Good advice all around about lights, etc. Living in Florida, commuting should have been easy. But at 6:30 a.m., it would get down to the 20s in February, and I loved my neoprene half face mask to cut the wind. Also frustrating that the temperatu...
by Naismith
Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Savings Bonds: registration OR vs WITH?
Replies: 4
Views: 345

Re: Savings Bonds: registration OR vs WITH?

“Or” ownership came from former paper bonds. “With” ownership came from electronic bonds since day one. OR means co-ownership and WITH means the first named owner is the primary owner while the second named owner is the secondary owner who is like a beneficiary. https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text...
by Naismith
Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Savings Bonds: registration OR vs WITH?
Replies: 4
Views: 345

Savings Bonds: registration OR vs WITH?

We are re-doing our estate plan, and I noticed that in looking at our savings bonds, some have a registration of OR while some have a registration of WITH. Can anyone explain the difference? Some of those bonds began life on paper, but all have since been transferred into Treasury Direct. The value ...
by Naismith
Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what point do you start hiring advisors?
Replies: 28
Views: 2927

Re: At what point do you start hiring advisors?

We never hired an advisor per se, but we have used professional advice. 1. Starting a few years before retirement, we began utilizing the https://pralanaretirementcalculator.com/ . This is not too complicated for those who are already comfortable with Excel. There is a modest annual cost for the upg...
by Naismith
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring this Friday. Now what?
Replies: 99
Views: 9394

Re: Retiring this Friday. Now what?

Glass half full or half empty, it's your call! Sorry, I refuse to be guilted by your overly rosy attitude. If that works for you, great, but please don't assume that others will see it the same way. This season really sucks, and I am not going to pretend otherwise. We are not wallowing in self-pity...
by Naismith
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feds: FEHB + Medicare Part B?
Replies: 43
Views: 2839

Re: Feds: FEHB + Medicare Part B?

Also keep in mind that some FEHB plans are giving a refund for Medicare B premiums. We have BCBS Basic, and it is a refund of $800 per year for each person enrolled in Medicare B (so that's $1,600 for the household). And Basic enrollees with Medicare B can still use the mail-order pharmacy. My MIL h...
by Naismith
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring this Friday. Now what?
Replies: 99
Views: 9394

Re: Retiring this Friday. Now what?

[....] I'm curious about the experience of other retirees here who went though similar adjustment periods, especially those that have tried to re-enter the work force with finances not being the number one consideration. Not too many of us went through a "similar adjustment period," becau...
by Naismith
Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just Ordered Peloton Bike
Replies: 194
Views: 19489

Re: Just Ordered Peloton Bike

The main issue is bikes vs. ellipticals as I see it. There were Pelotons at my gym and I tried them, but I much preferred the solid feel and smooth, long stride of the Precor ellipticals I had been using for many years (various high end models). I recommend Precor ellipticals to anyone looking for ...
by Naismith
Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:26 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Couple of Question for Bogleheads who are out of the US [Thailand]
Replies: 10
Views: 998

Re: Couple of Question for Bogleheads who are out of the US [Thailand]

When I lived in Indonesia 2018-2019, I could access my Ally account easily, but they know you are overseas, and there were things that I could not do. Specifically, I could not open a CD online. When I phoned in (via Google Voice) and proved who I was, they opened it for me. Although I am not sure i...
by Naismith
Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees: How you spend your time?
Replies: 63
Views: 7733

Re: Retirees: How you spend your time?

Well, making such a transition in the middle of a pandemic is not the best time to talk about how things might be in a more typical year. Virtually everything that I had planned is down the toilet because things are cancelled or not safe, since we are the only point of contact for a 90+ year-old rel...
by Naismith
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Have a Long Term Travel Strategy?
Replies: 67
Views: 6151

Re: Do You Have a Long Term Travel Strategy?

We planned Spring Break trips to enhance their education. Spent a week each in places like New York, DC, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia. The Philly trip was the year one daughter was prepping for the AP American History exam, and it really helped to firm up a lot of things. College trips for Spring Br...
by Naismith
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?
Replies: 1775
Views: 150364

Re: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?

I prepare by laughing at the people wearing plastic gloves and masks in parks and other public places. Not everyone dressed up is unrealistically paranoid. Has it occurred to you that perhaps such people are trying to protect you, despite your rudeness to them. I was in Hong Kong on Monday, Singapo...
by Naismith
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancel flights due to coronavirus concerns?
Replies: 76
Views: 8046

Re: Cancel flights due to coronavirus concerns?

I would be more worried about Disneyland than the flight itself. All those surfaces that we touch in theme parks: The metal bars in line, the controllers on rides, the seat belts...tourists from all over the world... I just got back from a trip to Southeast Asia: Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines. U...
by Naismith
Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:47 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Expat and currency exchange
Replies: 16
Views: 2049

Re: Expat and currency exchange

Schwab checking is great for ATM withdrawals, no foreign transaction fees. Also Capital One 360 and USAA. We were only expat for 2 years. We have a small local checking account that we used to pay some local bills and transfer local funds for work reimbursement. I would simply go to an ATM, get mone...
by Naismith
Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical billing online or community college
Replies: 12
Views: 1090

Re: Medical billing online or community college

My daughter is in this field, and a lot of her courses through the community college were online. But she was required to do an internship, and the college had the contacts to place her. The firm where she interned offered her a job. Our impression is that the pay is not great, but benefits can be v...
by Naismith
Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Home deductible 10% of value!!
Replies: 9
Views: 1283

Re: Florida Home deductible 10% of value!!

Mine is 2% but we are not directly on a coast. Also, when we got a new roof, we went through the process to get a wind mitigation discount. The contractor had to submit photos of certain things during the process. My insurance is reasonable for me because they won't cover dwellings in certain risky ...
by Naismith
Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Redeeming Electronic EE Bonds?
Replies: 1
Views: 287

Redeeming Electronic EE Bonds?

A few years ago I converted all our paper bonds into Treasury Direct. Now it is very convenient to see what is going on. Those purchased prior to May 1995 are still earning 4%, so I'm gonna hang on to them until they reach final maturity. Unfortunately those that were purchased May of 1995 and later...
by Naismith
Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why retire?
Replies: 267
Views: 17513

Re: Why retire?

We're in our mid-60s. There are days that I wonder how we ever had time to work for money.... Immediately after stopping work for pay, we took 1.5 years to give back by serving a mission for our church in a foreign country. Since returning home, we are very involved with family, supporting grandkids...
by Naismith
Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement planning with a large family
Replies: 11
Views: 968

Re: Retirement planning with a large family

I guess it depends on the ages of your kids, but for us (with only five children), we found there was about a 17-year gap between when the youngest were in school (allowing me part-time employment with minimal child-care expenses) and when we wanted to retire. During those years, I put most of my sa...
by Naismith
Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions From TIAA and Checkup
Replies: 39
Views: 3277

Re: Suggestions From TIAA and Checkup

So sorry for the loss of your wife. Yes, this is a great time in your daughter's life to do fun things with her! I appreciated the financial plan we received from TIAA. It didn't tell us much new, but did reinforce much of what we thought. He also walked us through our social security claiming strat...
by Naismith
Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella insurance without auto?
Replies: 4
Views: 532

Re: Umbrella insurance without auto?

It isn't clear what the goal of your proposed umbrella is. To protect yourself when renting a car, or to ensure that your home has adequate renters/homeowners coverage? Unfortunately, I have some insights on this. While we have been overseas, our car was totaled. When we lost our car and thus our au...
by Naismith
Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any insurance beating USAA?
Replies: 42
Views: 4076

Re: Any insurance beating USAA?

Because USAA rates are based in part on the level of USAA membership, it's difficult to make meaningful cost comparisons with other policy holders without knowing this important piece of information. Exactly. For example, officers (and former officers) are in one class. Adult dependents of officers...
by Naismith
Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: trip to Greece (Athens and vicinity)
Replies: 21
Views: 1907

Re: trip to Greece (Athens and vicinity)

Three days is waaaay too much. I am very much into Ancient Greek history and culture, but - after having visited Athens - I can not recommend spending more than one day there. Acropolis, Agora, national museum ... then get the heck out!!! We spent two days there, and it was not enough for us. In ad...
by Naismith
Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: trip to Greece (Athens and vicinity)
Replies: 21
Views: 1907

Re: trip to Greece (Athens and vicinity)

We loved Aegina. We went right from the Athens airport to the port via the express bus. It was so instantly relaxing. One possible issue, however, is that Aegina is a retreat for Athenians--it isn't even included in a lot of USAmerican guidebooks. And so English was not as common as in more USAmeric...
by Naismith
Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife considering returning to work
Replies: 40
Views: 5246

Re: Wife considering returning to work

I find the terminology being used here rather misleading. Although I was at home full-time for about 10 years, I didn't think of it as "staying" there. I was working my ass off at the hardest job I'd ever held--and I'm an Army veteran and did graduate school with three kids. I always thoug...
by Naismith
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adding Teen Driver via PERMIT vs. DRIVERS LICENSE: Costs?
Replies: 15
Views: 1113

Re: Adding Teen Driver via PERMIT vs. DRIVERS LICENSE: Costs?

Call your agent? This all depends on state law. Our kids were not added and rated until they got the actual license--and yes, we called from the Division of Motor Vehicles Office. We made our kids drive with a permit, only with us, for a full year. Later we saw that some states were actually requiri...
by Naismith
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Checking vs Capital One 360 Checking
Replies: 16
Views: 2288

Re: Ally Checking vs Capital One 360 Checking

I like CapOne checking, because I get a debit card with no foreign transaction fees.... This is a crucial difference for those of us who travel overseas. It is has been worth A Lot over the years. I have accounts both places (I like the CD options at Ally) but for overseas trips, CapOne wins for su...
by Naismith
Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sports classes in Universities
Replies: 60
Views: 4317

Re: Sports classes in Universities

Graduating undergrad 1980, my university also had a PE requirement. But it was satisfied by marching band, and waived for those of us who were veterans.
by Naismith
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator Advice
Replies: 51
Views: 5152

Re: Refrigerator Advice

Make sure that you pay attention to the depth of the models you are considering. The newer ones are much deeper than what was around 16 years ago, and if your space isn't up to snuff, your choice may be limited to a "counter depth" model. When we redid our kitchen a while back, we left ple...
by Naismith
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Burial Plot in advance
Replies: 53
Views: 3716

Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

I am also a veteran and will end up in a National Cemetery, I hope Battle Creek Michigan with my mom (Army nurse in WWII), dad (also served WWII) and my brother (two tours Vietnam). In my birth family, we tend to prefer cremation followed by burial. Much easier to ship a box than a full body, and yo...
by Naismith
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schwab ATM Fee Rebate
Replies: 5
Views: 548

Re: Schwab ATM Fee Rebate

This should be easy to verify simply by checking your account statement. Is the withdrawal for an even $20 increment or not? Um, that only works for those in the US. When we withdraw in foreign countries, it was an even amount in the foreign currency, but generally ends up with pennies involved. Th...
by Naismith
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Havasupai, Have a Sticker Shock
Replies: 27
Views: 4003

Re: Havasupai, Have a Sticker Shock

Thanks all for the great advice and thoughtful comments. We actually have a lot of ultralight equipment because another hobby is multi-day bike trips, and we carry what we need. A few years ago we did the C&O and Great Allegheny Passage trails, and left our car in a parking lot for 10 days witho...
by Naismith
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Havasupai, Have a Sticker Shock
Replies: 27
Views: 4003

Havasupai, Have a Sticker Shock

I have always dreamed of going to Havasu Falls https://ordinarytraveler.com/tipsarticles/havasu-falls-travel-tips-havasupai-arizona We've heard it is a magical place. Up to now, we could never take the time on business trips to Arizona, and now we are 64 and 65 years old. My husband has a conference...
by Naismith
Fri May 10, 2019 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Timing of Roth Conversion
Replies: 7
Views: 940

Re: Timing of Roth Conversion

The reason to convert later would be that you are more certain of your income for the year, so you wno't accidentally push past some tax cliff due to unanticipated income later in the year. Yes, this is an important consideration on timing, even though it doesn't have to do with market value per se...