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Re: What is your net worth

Is this for singles or for couples? My wife has saved more than I have, so this would make a difference of two buttons for me.
by 22twain
Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your net worth
Replies: 37
Views: 5262

Re: Did not have fun this year doing my taxes- TT

This is my third year with TurboTax. Overall, it seemed about the same, except in one area which was completely new for me this year. I over-contributed to my Roth IRA last year, so in February I asked the custodian to return the excess contribution and earnings. I had to Google around a bit and rea...
by 22twain
Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did not have fun this year doing my taxes- TT
Replies: 40
Views: 3523

Re: Late bloomer asking for Investment Advice

New annual Contributions $16,750 to 403b. This is $13,400 (20% of income) + $3,350 (5% match from employer) $5,500 to Roth IRA (2014 already fully funded) You've got a good total contribution rate! It's better than mine was as an assistant prof 25 years ago. :beer [added: aha, now I see your age. Y...
by 22twain
Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Late bloomer asking for Investment Advice
Replies: 8
Views: 878

Re: SSA says Grandmother owes 88K!

SimonJester wrote:Perhaps I should ask my mother if my Great Great Grand mother was overpaid on her civil war pension.


If your great-great-grandfather was on the losing side, just pay it back in Confederate dollars. :mrgreen:
by 22twain
Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SSA says Grandmother owes 88K!
Replies: 26
Views: 3833

Re: Asset allocation vs. pooling for admiral shares

Near the beginning of the long road of investing towards retirement, the amount that you save generally has a far bigger effect than the details of how it is allocated. (Assuming you don't do something like allocate it all to an Enron just before it goes belly-up...) So start out with a Target Retir...
by 22twain
Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation vs. pooling for admiral shares
Replies: 9
Views: 785

Re: Retiring soon....Help!

Also looking at how to keep under 65K income or whatever it is to get the Obamacare subsidy for health insurance. Another complication, maybe not doable. Withdrawals from tax-deferred accounts (traditional IRA, 401K, etc.) count as income in this context. This includes Roth conversions. Withdrawals...
by 22twain
Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring soon....Help!
Replies: 8
Views: 1375

Re: Basic Home Theater System Recommendations

[ieee488 beat me to it while I was studying the manual and typing this up] When I looked at that, my first thought was, "where's the amplifier?" After going to Sony's web site and downloading the manual, I realized the amplifier is combined with the Blu-ray player in a single unit. You con...
by 22twain
Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic Home Theater System Recommendations
Replies: 18
Views: 917

Re: Just maxing out 401k/Roth IRA, how well off will you be

Note that the limits on 401K and IRA contributions are indexed to the inflation rate, so they will increase as time passes. The answer will be different if your income is $30,000 a year and if your income is $200,000 a year. More precisely, of course, it will depend whether you will need to spend $3...
by 22twain
Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just maxing out 401k/Roth IRA, how well off will you be ?
Replies: 6
Views: 1089

Re: 54 year old new investor with no retirement savings

The Wizard wrote:Perhaps ValueThinker could ring in on this as well...


I was thinking about him, too. Maybe the OP can edit the thread title to include "[British-American]" to catch his eye.
by 22twain
Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 54 year old new investor with no retirement savings
Replies: 14
Views: 2429

Re: Tax deductions from charities

Right, if you can claim no other itemized deductions, then you get a tax benefit from making the gift only if it exceeds the standard deduction. Look around for other things that you haven't bothered trying to deduct yet. For example, how much are you going to pay in state income tax this year? That...
by 22twain
Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax deductions from charities
Replies: 31
Views: 1614

Re: Tax deductions from charities

I think what was meant was that you can deduct the whole amount, but that only part of it will actually reduce your taxes beyond that of the standard deduction. For example, say your itemized deductions pre-gift are $4200, the gift is $4000, and you are in the 15% tax bracket, then your taxes will ...
by 22twain
Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax deductions from charities
Replies: 31
Views: 1614

Re: Tax deductions from charities

If you are already able to itemize deductions without that gift (that is, itemized deductions are more than your standard deduction), then you will be able to deduct 100% of the gift. If your itemized deductions would be less than the standard deduction without that gift, then you will benefit from ...
by 22twain
Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax deductions from charities
Replies: 31
Views: 1614

Re: New TV or Sound bar?

I think in general sound on most TVs is pretty bad-- perhaps with the thinner TVs it's more difficult to get decent sound Bingo. The laws of physics dictate that decent-sounding speakers that can fill a room with sound have to have a certain minimum size. Old-style tube TVs had cabinets with plenty...
by 22twain
Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New TV or Sound bar?
Replies: 38
Views: 2038

Re: 180K and no clue

kenyan wrote:Of course, you did state that you had 180K, and only listed 158K in investments.


To the OP: is the 180K given in the thread title in addition to the 158K listed in the first post?
by 22twain
Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 180K and no clue
Replies: 8
Views: 1671

Re: TIAA CREF

The options actually available to you depend on what your employer and TIAA-CREF have agreed to make available in your plan. If you haven't done so already, check your summary plan document, which should list your investment options. You should be able to get it from your HR department if you don't ...
by 22twain
Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA CREF
Replies: 50
Views: 3257

Re: Potential Move - NYC to Charleston SC

jaj2276 wrote:We have low taxes down here


Property taxes are low, but the state income tax is rather high: top bracket is 7% and you reach it very quickly, at $14,250 for married filing jointly.
by 22twain
Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Potential Move - NYC to Charleston SC
Replies: 16
Views: 1505

Re: Problem With New VCR Tapes

If you want to consider upgrading, Walmart sells the Magnavox over-the-air DVRs that can record directly from broadcast signals (no cable TV required) to a hard drive (no tapes required). It also requires no subscription (like Tivo) and you program it very similar to how you program a VCR (date, ti...
by 22twain
Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Problem With New VCR Tapes
Replies: 22
Views: 1730

Re: BH Vacations

My wife and I are not "resort and/or cruise" types. We travel regularly, but it's usually for some combination of visiting friends or relatives, a college reunion, and/or sightseeing. Sometimes I go on a solo trip to indulge in one of my hobbies (e.g. a convention). Inside the US, we drive...
by 22twain
Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH Vacations
Replies: 50
Views: 3185

Re: What age did you reach 100K networth?

My retirement account hit $100K in today's dollars when I was 41. I didn't really start saving until 30, after I finished graduate school.

Adding my wife's stuff, it probably would probably be about 4 years earlier.
by 22twain
Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you reach 100K networth?
Replies: 264
Views: 31176

Re: S&P 500 DEAD forever!!!

If the Big Ten can have 14 colleges/teams beginning next fall, the S&P 500 can have 501 tickers, as far as I'm concerned. :wink:
by 22twain
Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S&P 500 DEAD forever!!!
Replies: 13
Views: 2717

Re: Anyone been to Budapest?

cherijoh wrote:Hungarian is totally unrelated to most other European languages ( I think it is closest to Finnish).


Even that's not very close. I once saw a comparison: Hungarian is to Finnish as English is to Persian.
by 22twain
Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone been to Budapest?
Replies: 28
Views: 1999

Re: I don't understand these two tiaa-cref accounts

My wife had one job which resulted in a tiaa-cref account with two plans: 1) A defined contribution plan (sometimes referred to as retirement annuity contract per the tiaa website) 2) A tax deferred annuity plan I have a similar setup. #2 is for contributions that I make via salary reduction. #1 is...
by 22twain
Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I don't understand these two tiaa-cref accounts
Replies: 3
Views: 466

Re: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem

If you have 25x, 30x or 35x expenses in the form of a bond ladder + Social Security, what are the chances you live past age 90? I know healthcare has increased longevity, but I still hear of folks who are departing for their final destination much earlier than that And there are folks like my mothe...
by 22twain
Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem
Replies: 89
Views: 5669

Re: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem

An annuity is insurance against longevity. It is guaranteed income for life, no matter how long. (Or how short.) In a sense, those who live longer get the payments that would have gone to those who died earlier. The people who die early lose that money (or rather, their heirs do), but they get some...
by 22twain
Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Statement of the Retirement Funding Problem
Replies: 89
Views: 5669

Re: Road trip advice?

Going west, if you keep driving past late afternoon, it's not much fun having the sun in your eyes for long stretches, so watch out for that. My wife and I usually call it a day around 6 PM, so we don't usually have trouble with that. But a few years ago I made a solo trip to Arizona and pushed myse...
by 22twain
Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip advice?
Replies: 35
Views: 2217

Re: Soliciting Ideas for Colorado Vacation in June

Plan on a couple days in Durango to visit Mesa Verde National Park, and you absolutely must take the Durango to Silverton narrow gauge railroad. Book early, the train fills up fast. My wife and I were there on June 4 a couple of years ago, and had no trouble getting tickets at the station the after...
by 22twain
Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soliciting Ideas for Colorado Vacation in June
Replies: 29
Views: 1974

Re: Aargh, investing!!

2008-09 was the biggest crash since the Great Depression. Here's what happened to my main retirement account (a 403(b)) during that period: At the beginning of 2008, it was about 58% in a broadly-based stock fund (not an index fund, but not too far from one) and 42% in a sort of stable-value fund wh...
by 22twain
Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Aargh, investing!!
Replies: 79
Views: 6133

Re: Flying in and out of Midway

I believe SB is on the commuter train line, so I really wouldn't even rent a car. Take the orange line from Midway to a stop near Millenium Station and hop on a nice train for an hour. Cost will be under $10. It's more like 2.5 hours from Millenium Station to South Bend via the South Shore line, an...
by 22twain
Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying in and out of Midway
Replies: 13
Views: 1145

Re: Rail Cruise

I didn't have a bed on the Toronto to Vancouver train as I booked too late, and 4 nights in a reclining chair is not comfortable. I've done overnights in coach myself, most recently on the Canadian between Edmonton and Vancouver in fact, but I wouldn't want to do more than one back to back; I'd bre...
by 22twain
Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rail Cruise
Replies: 16
Views: 1528

Re: Help with my sister's portfolio

If her employment is tied to Ford somehow, such that if something bad happened to Ford, she would lose her job or at least part of her income, that's a strong reason to avoid Ford stock.

(I see mnvalue beat me to it, but just to reinforce it...)
by 22twain
Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my sister's portfolio
Replies: 11
Views: 898

Re: 3D movie/documentary on DVD ?

Amazon.com has a section for "Blu-ray 3D": from the home page, mouse over "Shop by Department" at the upper left and choose "Movies, Music & Games" and then "Blu-ray". At the left side of this page, under "Format", you'll see "Blu-ray 3D&quo...
by 22twain
Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3D movie/documentary on DVD ?
Replies: 1
Views: 160

Re: Retirement Account Growth exceeds Annual Retirement Expe

I think I see what you're (Xyz214) getting at. If this year's savings+growth equals one year's expected expenses in retirement (in today's dollars), then in one year you've saved+gained enough to cover one year of retirement, assuming that the money grows at the rate of inflation. In practice, long-...
by 22twain
Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Savings Growth exceeds Annual Retirement Expense
Replies: 29
Views: 2900

Re: Rail Cruise

I must have been thinking of American Orient Express, which operated a luxury train on cross-country tours in the US. Unfortunately they went bankrupt in 2008. The closest thing to that experience in the US now appears to be private rail cars attached to the rear of regular Amtrak trains, for exampl...
by 22twain
Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rail Cruise
Replies: 16
Views: 1528

Re: Rail Cuise

VIA, the Canadian version of Amtrak has the "Canadian" which runs between Vancouver and Toronto. It is considered the must luxurious passenger train in North America by many. There's also a private train operator that runs luxury excursions in the Canadian Rockies, using a route different...
by 22twain
Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rail Cruise
Replies: 16
Views: 1528

Re: Trip through New England

[Pemaquid Point] lighthouse is another mile away and one of the most photographed in the state. In fact, it's the lighthouse depicted on the back of the Maine quarter. Unless you've switched completely to plastic, check your pocket, or wherever you dump your coins at the end of the day. You might g...
by 22twain
Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip through New England
Replies: 39
Views: 1418

Re: Cross Country trip this summer. Any advise?

Now I drive 95 a lot and it's like being in some isolated dimension. Are there still old type highways? Sure there are. They often run parallel to the Interstate that "replaced" them. In Ohio, US 20 runs just south of the Ohio Turnpike (I-80/90) west of the Cleveland area, and north of I-...
by 22twain
Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cross Country trip this summer. Any advise?
Replies: 31
Views: 1209

Re: The 4% rule is in trouble but rescue is on the way!

Two people who earned at the SS max and retire now will have that 50k in SS income. Neither my wife nor I have ever been close to SS maximum annual earnings, more like 65-70% max. Our combined benefits at full retirement age (66) would be about $49-50K. If we both wait until 70, it would be about $...
by 22twain
Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 4% rule is in trouble but rescue is on the way!
Replies: 14
Views: 1957

Re: Cross Country trip this summer. Any advise?

We usually take at least one long road trip every summer. Last summer we drove from the southeast to Arizona, where we've gone several times before. The summer before that, it was New England, as far as Maine. A few years ago, it was the upper Midwest (Minnesota and upper Michigan). We usually avera...
by 22twain
Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cross Country trip this summer. Any advise?
Replies: 31
Views: 1209

Re: Basic Social Security inflation indexing question

As far as I know, the SS estimator does not attempt to include the effects of future inflation, so you should interpret the results as being in today's dollars, approximately. I say "approximately" because the well-known Cost of Living Adjustment which is tied to the Consumer Price Index d...
by 22twain
Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Basic Social Security inflation indexing question
Replies: 3
Views: 328

Re: Later target date fund if pension expected?

Is the pension in addition to Social Security, or in place of it?
by 22twain
Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Later target date fund if pension expected?
Replies: 21
Views: 1008

Re: Helping an irresponsible dad preserve a financial windfa

Do you know about how much Social Security he'll be getting when the time comes for that? Will there be a pension from his current or previous work?
by 22twain
Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping an irresponsible dad preserve a financial windfall
Replies: 29
Views: 2401

Re: Excess Roth IRA Contributions

linakin wrote:S- Remove the extra $2050 and have Vanguard send me a check for that amount and pay a %10 penalty on the gains.


If you do it before April 15, or by the extension date if you file for an extension, you don't have to pay the penalty.
by 22twain
Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excess Roth IRA Contributions
Replies: 6
Views: 426

Re: Suggestions for Travel- March, VA and NC

If you're interested at all in history, even if you're not a Civil War buff specifically, make the short detour off US 460 east of Lynchburg to Appomattox Court House.
by 22twain
Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for Travel- March, VA and NC
Replies: 19
Views: 910

Re: Possible erroneous collection letter

I dropped the letter into a mailbox on my way to work this morning, using the word RETURN instead of REFUSED, as suggested. I also scanned the front of the envelope so I have a record of it, in case the issue resurfaces.
by 22twain
Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Possible erroneous collection letter
Replies: 20
Views: 1074

Possible erroneous collection letter

Today we received in the mail a letter in a security envelope with our address, and the name of a person who shares my last name but not my first name. There was no company name, just the return address: 4200 International Parkway, Carrollton TX 75007-1912. From what little I could see through the a...
by 22twain
Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Possible erroneous collection letter
Replies: 20
Views: 1074

Re: calculating obamacare subsidy

If they have that much money in savings, how would they qualify for the subsidy? Assets (savings) don't matter. Eligibility for the ACA subsidy is based on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). Basically it's your gross income, minus pre-tax deductions like 401K contributions, plus the untaxe...
by 22twain
Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: calculating obamacare subsidy
Replies: 10
Views: 812

Re: Retirement account value vs. total contributions

Just curious if "total contributions" means both your own and the employer's? Yes. My spreadsheet doesn't separate my contributions from employer contributions. I could probably do it, but I'd have to go back through all my quarterly statements again. :oops: As a guess, the total employer...
by 22twain
Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement account value vs. total contributions
Replies: 15
Views: 879

Re: Retirement account value vs. total contributions

I've been in a TIAA-CREF 403(b) plan for nearly 30 years, with contributions always split 50/50 between their CREF Stock account and TIAA Tradtional account (similar to a stable-value fund). After 17 years, (total value / total contributions) was about 1.95. Now it's about 2.29. This includes both m...
by 22twain
Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement account value vs. total contributions
Replies: 15
Views: 879

Re: Poll: Which of these abbreviations do you understand?

pjstack wrote:I clicked on VCR. Now I'm nervous. Please say it isn't a stock/ETF symbol!


It is. :(

Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF

(I do still have one of those video tape thingamabobbies, but I haven't used it in years.)
by 22twain
Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Which of these abbreviations do you understand?
Replies: 66
Views: 2174
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