A Good Night’s Sleep Needs The Right Equipment

When I wake up aching and the mattress coils start to squeak with a sagging middle it is time to buy a new mattress.

Over the last few months I have been looking at mattress ads and internet mattress reviews. The newspaper ads provide little useful information. They call out manufacturer and style, and maybe some price information. Otherwise they provide nothing upon which to take a decision. Video product ratings are sketchy and incomplete.

I have spent hours upon hours searching the internet for clues on mattress brands,  construction, and specific models within each construction type. I even attended a seminar conducted by a physician group specializing in sleep disorders. I asked the presenter what mattress she thought was the best for good, comfortable sleep. Her answer was that she had no opinion and I should choose the best type for me????? Consumer Reports has no ratings on mattresses but rather rates the sellers and retailers.

Fortunately, my son had recently done a “Sleep Study” at Baptist Hospital. He advised me he had the best sleep in years on a Memory Foam mattress used throughout the sleep lab. He immediately bought a memory foam mattress for his wife and himself. He said the only problem he thought I would have with a foam mattress is that it would sink excesssively when I sat on the edge of the bed.

I consider a good bed and mattress the most important piece of equipment necessary for a good night’s sleep. I was faced with a number of choices.

  • A low cost coil mattress with box spring
  • A high end coil mattress with foam reenforced edge support
  • A Sleep Number Air Mattress
  • A Tempurpedic Memory Foam Mattress
  • A Foam Mattress with some form of edge support.

Bonney and I went to several Mattress Stores and tested a number of mattresses at each store. I was surprised to discover that the new flexible memory foam mattresses had an option of an adjustible base with adjustable head and foot levels as well as presets called TV/PC, LOUNGE, and even ZERO GRAVITY as well as your run-of-the-mill FLAT option. They even offered the option of a wireless remote control! And they included a massage feature.

There was a problem with the first beds we looked at. The beds needed a retaining bar at the foot of the bed to prevent the mattress from slipping on the adjustible base. I sit at the end of the bed while dressing and the bar would hit just under my knee joints. That is not good because I have replaced my knee joints with artificial ones.

But…..at another store they offered an option that secured the mattress differently without need of a retaining bar. That was it! My mind was made up. I chose what is called an iComfort Sleep System by Serta with Adjustable base and Revolution model mattress with high density foam edge support similar to that used in the expensive Sterns and Foster coil mattresses. Cost was considerably below Tempurpedic mattresses and I could not assure myself Tempurpedic has dense foam edge support. In any event, considering similar quality I chose the lower cost.
The bed was delivered and set up on Friday. My first night’s sleep was great! Will foam mattresses follow the fad of Water Beds? More shall be revealed in time…..

An update on November 21, 2015

Things and times have changed. I now sleep on a hospital bed with adjustable height, foot, and head sections. The mattress has a pressure redistribution system for comfort and body protection.

My wife found that the iComfort foam bed sleeps hot. We bought her a hybrid mattress with springs and foam. She absolutely loves it.




Non-traditional Gold and Silver Gifts and Hidden Treasure

There is a storefront operation on 3rd Street in Louisville, KY called the Louisville Numismatic Exchange.

Sometimes I am at a loss for a special gift to my offspring who are now grown adults. They are situated very much like Bonney and me. They have almost everything they need and most everything they want.

Once when we wanted to get something for them that they would not otherwise get for themselves, I picked up the phone and called the Louisville Numismatic Exchange and ordered  gold bullion coins.
The Gold Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coin is currently available in four different sizes: The classic one troy ounce coin approximately the same size as an extra thick United States half-dollar. The coin carries a face value of 50 Canadian Dollars.  The half-ounce coin has similar dimensions to a double-stacked United States quarter, and carries a face value of 20 Canadian Dollars. The quarter-troy-ounce Canadian Maple Leaf coin has a face value of 10 Canadian Dollars. The tenth-ounce gold Maple Leaf is is somewhat smaller than a United States dime, and carries a face value of 5 Canadian Dollars. There is even 1/20 oz but most dealers don’t carry this coin.

Today’s purchase price for a solid gold 1 Oz. Maple Leaf is $1780 plus tax from a Tennessee Coin dealer. A 1/10 Oz Gold Maple Leaf coin is about the size of my thumb nail and sells for $200. These prices vary day to day with the price of gold metal. My purchases are tax free since I buy from a Kentucky dealer.  Louisville Numismatic Exchange delivers coins to me by U.S. Postal Service Registered mail.

Ever since the economic rise of China, Brazil and India the prices of gold and silver have increased dramatically. A pure silver coin with a face value of $US One Dollar now contains $36.50 of silver at today’s prices. US Silver coins minted prior to 1965 contain 90% silver and are worth a lot more than the $1, 50, 25 or 10 cents stamped on the coin.

I was discussing increased prices of gold amd silver coins with a neighbor. The neighbor recalled finding a sack of silver coins when breaking up Father’s housekeeping. The neighbor asked how much they were worth? Several days later the neighbor sold the small sack of coins to a dealer for $11,000. The entire family including grand children are going on a cruise vacation with that money.

The name for pre-1965 U.S. Silver coins is “Junk Silver”. The rule of thumb is $1000 face value of pre-1965 90% silver US Coins contains 715 Oz of pure silver. Today the Louisville Numismatic Exchange will pay $22 per $1.00 face value for “Junk Silver” but these prices vary with the “Melt Price” for silver.

Perhaps you have forgotten a small bag of old silver coins that you put away for safekeeping. It may be worth a considerable sum and might be enough to pay for a vacation for the family.

I can't believe "Junk Silver" paid for this!

If you have any “Junk Silver” you want to sell simply click on  Louisville Numismatic Exchange in Useful Links for Cloister Residents at the right side of this page. Give them the face value of pre-1965 coins you wish to sell and they will make you an offer to buy.

Maybe you have a vacation cruise for your family hidden away somewhere in a closet……

W-2’s, 1040’s, and 1099’s are all in……..It’s Tax Time at The Cloister!

First an update on Asking For A Senior Discount. In a previous Post I had noted that when buying food at Wendy’s and asking for a Senior Discount Wendy’s would give a free coffee or soft drink. But I didn’t know if asking for a Senior Discount when buying only a beverage whether the beverage was free. Well I checked at both Bellevue and Green Hills Wendy’s and sure enough the beverages were free!

In earlier times I would go to a Certified Public Accountant at tax time. He became so familiar with me and was so busy that I would sit on one side of table with my box of documents and receipts while a clerk sat on the other side and filled in the blocks on a stack of forms.

The last year I used the CPA I noticed that the preprinted forms had the word Turbo-Tax printed on the bottom. It then occurred to me that I was paying the CPA to do for me what I could do for myself with tax preparation computer software. Now, instead of hundreds of dollars, my H&R Block tax preparation software costs $39.95 + tax. I even save the cost of a stamp since the software cost includes sending my tax return to the IRS electronically over the internet.

I don’t even need to know how to fill in the IRS Form 1040 and maze of other schedules. All I do is key in the answer to a series of questions covering all the areas from income to dependants to deductions to tax credits. The software does whatever it takes to fill the blanks in the IRS forms…..and then “Click”….. it checks everything out. It asks me additional questions to assure I have not missed any additional deductions or credits…..and then “Click”….off it goes to the IRS or I can Print the Return and send a hard copy by “Snail Mail”.  All I have to do is send in any payment due or just wait for our refund check. My first experience was stressful because I would worry that I might do something wrong. As long as I make sure to key in the correct numbers from my W-2’s and 1099’s the software will basically assure that I don’t screw things up or miss anything.

Bonney and I have reached the stage where our financial affairs are not complicated at all. Basic tax preparation software does an adequate job for us. There are more important issues that require our time and attention. They include:

  1. Avoiding bad advice about our savings and investing.
  2. Puting in place a Life Care Plan combining asset protection and care coordination.

Cloister Property Value Trends and Comparisons

Seven Active Adult 55+ subdivisions have been developed in Middle Tennessee by Rochford Realty and Construction Company. Among them is The Cloister at Saint Henry. New construction is ongoing on three of the seven including The Cottages at Providence, Reid Hill Commons, and Wyndham Park.

Active Adult Communities:

  • Ashley Green, Bellevue
  • The Cloister at St. Henry’s, Warner Park Area
  • The Cottages at Innsbrooke, Murfreesboro
  • Windsor Park of Fieldstone Farms, Williamson County
  • The Cottages at Providence, Mt Juliet…from the $140’s
  • Reid Hill Commons, Franklin….from the $240’s
  • Wyndham Park, Columbia….from the $160’s

The Cloister at Saint Henry was the first 55+ Community developed by Rochford. Before the last phase of The Cloister was completed Rochford began development of Ashley Green in Bellevue. Bonney and I have looked at Ashley Green, Windsor Park, The Cottages at Providence, Wyndham Park,and Reid Hill Commons. We have actually been inside units at The Cloister, Ashley Green, and Reid Hill Commons. The units are very similar at all the subdivisions we have visited and the floorplans for the others differ very little.

Historically, Ashley Green units  have been priced about $20-$35 thousand higher than The Cloister units with similar floor plans. The main difference was that Ashley Green owns their land fee simple. The Cloister units were on leased land “lease interest”. This has recently changed as Cloister owners were given the opportunity to purchase a fee simple interest in The Cloister property. The Cloister condos are beginning to catch up in value.

According to David Glascoe of the Catholic Diocese in 2011, the first year the fee interests became available for purchase, 131 residents exercised their option to buy the fee interest in their unit. During 2011 19 properties were sold to new residents. Ten of the properties were units where owners have purchased fee interests and nine were properties where the previous owner had not bought the fee interest.  The “fee” properties sold for $15,470 (on average)  more than the “lease” properties. The “fee” properties took an average of 78 days to sell, and the “lease” properties averaged 139 days on the market.

Like units in various subdivisions are priced in somewhat the same range except Reid Hill Commons on Hwy 96 in Franklin. Reid Hill units are priced considerably higher than the other subdivisions. Regardless of location the properties have seen considerable declines in price over the last several years but the declines are no worse than other properties in Middle Tennessee.

It is difficult to do an exact comparison since some properties have been transferred to a trust with a zero sales price. But I am able to search Davidson County databases for sales date and last sale price for every property in The Cloister and Ashley Green as well as the sale price for every transaction involving specific Rochford-built units in Williamson County. I have found the results very interesting and informative.