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Re: $25 cash back for returning TurboTax Deluxe CD/download

Do folks that purchased through Vanguard qualify? I ended up purchasing the $9.99 premier download via Vanguard rather than the Deluxe download which had been free. Also, can the link shared by VA be gotten to from the official turbotax or intuit websites? Not to be paranoid, but they start you off ...
by Carl53
Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $25 cash back for returning TurboTax Deluxe CD/download cus
Replies: 5
Views: 514

Re: Social Security - collecting portion of husband's

My wife is older than I am and started to receive SS at 62. I filed a restricted application at my FRA and received 1/2 of her FRA benefit, not 1/2 of her reduced benefit, until I was 70. Her FRA benefit was just a little more than 1/2 of my FRA benefit so file and suspend was not necessary. At 70 ...
by Carl53
Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - collecting portion of husband's
Replies: 11
Views: 834

Re: Ironic Downside to Retirement Planning

Early in married life we talked about being able to retire by 55. While I occasionally looked at our assets/income ratio over the years I seldom focused on how many more years it might actually be. Life happened, kids, college expenses, medical conditions that prevented my spouse from performing reg...
by Carl53
Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ironic Downside to Retirement Planning
Replies: 17
Views: 2851

Re: Has anyone restored windows?

Thank you all! You have definitely confirmed some of my suspicions that they are worth saving- or at least investigating. Also, these windows pre-date those with weights and pulleys. There is no hardware on these at all, one reason I think they've lasted so long- they are so simple. If they get sti...
by Carl53
Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone restored windows?
Replies: 25
Views: 1769

Re: Where would YOU place 50k for intermediate term savings?

A year plus ago when I was looking at a similar situation I went with seven 10k 5 year CDs expecting that there was a high likelihood that an uncertain number of them would need to be redeemed early. Glad I did given today's rates. PenFed had the 3% CDs at the time with one year EWP. I did purchase ...
by Carl53
Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where would YOU place 50k for intermediate term savings?
Replies: 24
Views: 2208

Re: freeze kids' accounts with the 3 bureaus?

Sounds like a good idea to me.
by Carl53
Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: freeze kids' accounts with the 3 bureaus?
Replies: 9
Views: 996

Re: New Roth 401(k) available from employer - should I switc

We're currently in the upper-middle of the 15% bracket. Given the average salary of an experienced electrical engineer in my industry and location, it's safe to say we'll be in the 25% bracket within the next 10 years. If I convert the traditional 401(k) into a roth, I'd have to pay taxes on that n...
by Carl53
Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Roth 401(k) available from employer - should I switch?
Replies: 15
Views: 909

Re: Attempting to increase retirement contributions by 5%.

Thank you guys all for the advice. I am going to take the following actions: 1. Drop my personal cell phone and use the work full time - $100 savings 2. Drop cable - $50 savings 3. Cut Travel to $50/month for the time being - $100 savings 4. Cut electronics - $50 savings 5. Cut durable goods - $60 ...
by Carl53
Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Attempting to increase retirement contributions by 5%.
Replies: 25
Views: 1919

Re: What has been your experience with IP-PIN?

bump 1: Any BH with experience with this?
by Carl53
Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What has been your experience with IP-PIN?
Replies: 2
Views: 385

Re: Tax calculation for recharacterization of Roth conversio

My problem with several recharacterizations in December ( https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=153605 ) was in part due to market fluctuations and using the day prior close of business values. Additional complications were related to prorated dividend payments and the timing of d...
by Carl53
Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax calculation for recharacterization of Roth conversion
Replies: 29
Views: 2039

Re: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked

Ugghhh...so annoying. I attempted to freeze my credit with Equifax yesterday and got the "your request could not be processed" error as well...and of course my credit card was charged. Now I'm just praying my credit isn't truly frozen. Dreading trying to get this sorted out with them. We ...
by Carl53
Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked
Replies: 99
Views: 7915

Re: Tax calculation for recharacterization of Roth conversio

I find it interesting that you did your recharacterization over the phone. Every time in the past I had to use one of their cumbersome poorly worded forms. I wonder if you/they miscommunicated and ended up recharacterizing a current dollar total rather than 100% of the new Roths. In December a coupl...
by Carl53
Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax calculation for recharacterization of Roth conversion
Replies: 29
Views: 2039

Re: Stay until vested?

If your position was one in which SS was not contributed to and your new one is, then I would consider taking the $$ out to avoid the WEP and related interaction between SS and government pensions.
by Carl53
Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stay until vested?
Replies: 10
Views: 1215

Re: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked

Placed credit freezes with Transunion and Experian. Equifax says comes back and try later after you put all of your information in. Same result as last evening. I put on credit freeze with all 3 agencies this AM. When I applied online for the Equifax freeze, I entered all required information and a...
by Carl53
Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked
Replies: 99
Views: 7915

What has been your experience with IP-PIN?

For those that have used the IRS identity protection pin (IP-PIN), what has your experience been? Do you use the same PIN to file for an extension as when you file your return? Do you choose to file electronically? Any issues, unforeseen problems, or benefits?

edi: corrected id-pin to ip-pin
by Carl53
Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What has been your experience with IP-PIN?
Replies: 2
Views: 385

Re: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked

Placed credit freezes with Transunion and Experian. Equifax says comes back and try later after you put all of your information in. Same result as last evening.
by Carl53
Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurer, Anthem, Hacked
Replies: 99
Views: 7915

Re: Best ways to save on electricity bill

Thank you for all comment. More information, The house is built in late 2010, 1800sqft 3 bed room ranch house, but it has high ceiling. Family size is just 2 (me and my wife). The windows are double glazed, but i have lots of windows. My wife open blinds during day times to accept more sunlight whe...
by Carl53
Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ways to save on electricity bill
Replies: 47
Views: 4605

Re: Vanguard survey: what should they do differently?

clean up old, empty, inactive accounts in my home page view. It seems small but it seems I have 25 or 30 various accounts, at least 6-10 of them have a $0 balance, and I want to see only the active ones. In fact there is a way to do that with Vanguard's preferences, but I still know they're 'there....
by Carl53
Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard survey: what should they do differently?
Replies: 72
Views: 4222

Re: Simple Tax Question Regarding Roth IRAs

If you were on the low income end you might be eligible for the retirement savers credit with a Roth.
by Carl53
Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Simple Tax Question Regarding Roth IRAs
Replies: 7
Views: 311

Re: Cash Back Credit Cards

I failed to mention that the bulk of our purchases go to a 2% cashback Priceline Visa card that unfortunately no longer offers 2% to new enrollees.
by Carl53
Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash Back Credit Cards
Replies: 90
Views: 10934

Re: Cash Back Credit Cards

I stopped using PenFed Visa platinum rewards card when they changed the points from 2500 for $25 to 2960 points for $25. We've semi-retired the PF Visa platinum rewards card since we got a SM card. I was going to get rid of the AMEX BCP due to the fee, but have discovered the special offers they ma...
by Carl53
Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash Back Credit Cards
Replies: 90
Views: 10934

Re: New Job. Need help with deciding on contributions

Is your 43,800 income, taxable income or Adjusted Gross Income? You state that you are in the 25% bracket. This would be correct if the $43.8k is taxable income but you would be only in the 15% bracket if it is AGI. Assuming that it is taxable income, then you ought to consider as you suggest the 4%...
by Carl53
Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Job. Need help with deciding on contributions
Replies: 6
Views: 578

Re: Define "High tax bracket"

There are "effective tax brackets," just not how TurboTax uses the term. There's the 30% effective marginal rate as each new dollar is not only taxed, but causes a dollar of otherwise untaxed LTCG be taxed. There's phase out of deductions, plus other phaseouts. There's the dollar that mov...
by Carl53
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Define "High tax bracket"
Replies: 45
Views: 3751

Re: Perspectives on house with a pool

I suspect many of negative comments are from those that have not figured out how to properly maintain their pool. I didn't for ten years, but I got smarter and the last fifteen years have been almost a piece of cake. I only use the gas heater early, mid May, and to stretch the season until October. ...
by Carl53
Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perspectives on house with a pool
Replies: 34
Views: 2801

Re: Best ways to save on electricity bill

Since my natural gas bill is below $25 a month when the central heat is not on, I know what the gas water heaters and clothes dryer cost and by math in the winter time what heating the house costs. Our off season gas bill for hot water only (6 CCF) is nearly $28 per month as the minimum charge has ...
by Carl53
Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ways to save on electricity bill
Replies: 47
Views: 4605

Re: Need SS calculator for early retirees

I suggest you download the AnyPIA calculator from the social security website. It will allow you to enter zeros for future years. I believe the online mySS site assumes that you will continue to earn at your current level until you retire.

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/anypia/download.html
by Carl53
Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need SS calculator for early retirees
Replies: 5
Views: 481

Re: Standard deduction and housing

You may be able to have the escrow dropped. Years ago we did and were able to avoid escrow on later mortgages.

Did you look at the bunching thread mentioned above? You might not be a great candidate for it as you will still have mortgage interest in each pair of years.
by Carl53
Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Standard deduction and housing
Replies: 10
Views: 1112

Re: Standard deduction and housing

Consider bunching of deductions as an option. The following thread discusses a number of the details.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=152511
by Carl53
Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Standard deduction and housing
Replies: 10
Views: 1112

Re: Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up

I would suggest not worrying about it if you are just a couple of thousand into the next bracket so as to simplify your situation. If you are going to be completely into the 25% bracket but think you will likely be in the 15% bracket upon retirement, then you need to minimize taxes now. Do a combina...
by Carl53
Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up
Replies: 26
Views: 2610

Re: Which mortgage to pick?

I don't think Carl's plan works. I'm pretty sure they don't give cash out for taking out a mortgage. Any rebate/credit they give can only go towards fees and 3rd party expenses. So, if you pick the highest rate and it goes over all the fees and expenses... sorry, but thanks for picking the highest ...
by Carl53
Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which mortgage to pick?
Replies: 8
Views: 1418

Re: Able to 'roll over' an OH teacher tax-deferred retiremen

If she ends up taking the pension or if her withdrawal ends up being more than her contributions plus interest, it might end up impacting SS benefits someday. My spouse withdrew her modest contributions and interest earned and rolled it into a VG IRA years ago.
by Carl53
Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Able to 'roll over' an OH teacher tax-deferred retirement?
Replies: 7
Views: 587

Re: Is my term life policy quote too high?

I've not used term4sale.com. 12 and 5 years ago, I used intelliquote.com and selectquote.com to purchase term policies. No real difference as far as I could see between the sites. I did find it interesting to play with the input information as to length of term and quantity of coverage to see how th...
by Carl53
Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my term life policy quote too high?
Replies: 39
Views: 2493

Re: Is my term life policy quote too high?

35 yo m, nonsmoker, elevated BMI, $1 Million 20 year term is $61/month. John Hancock. My wife, 29 yo f, nonsmoker, normal BMI, $2 Million 20 year term for $61/month. John Hancock. She gets 2X as much coverage as mine for the same price, because she is not overweight. Part of it is that she is a wom...
by Carl53
Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my term life policy quote too high?
Replies: 39
Views: 2493

Re: Drinking water

Reverse osmosis systems can also lower the pH depending upon how your local water supplier treats the water. We installed a RO drinking water system over 15 years ago to please my spouse. It got rid of any chlorine/mineral taste. We were well pleased with it. Changed the filters or media every year ...
by Carl53
Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drinking water
Replies: 46
Views: 3478

Re: Annual Home Maintenance Expenses

On my retirement plan spreadsheet I budgeted $200/month a few years ago and up it for inflation. It now is about 3% of our retirement income outside of Roth conversions. This includes pool maintenance. Most years the expense is less than 1%, but a few years ago there was that $8+k roof replacement.
by Carl53
Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Home Maintenance Expenses
Replies: 47
Views: 8257

Re: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement

I don't feel like registering to be able to read the article, but I suspect that people in my situation will have a high need for ingenuity. In particular: SA basically owns the article, but I think I can put it on my own website - try this link and let me know if it works: https://financialdave.fi...
by Carl53
Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement
Replies: 79
Views: 7130

Re: Re:

Just a thought. We have a refrigerator that is 30 years old now, and is working fine as I speak. This is unbelivable but true. I do most of my maintenance on my home and have found that if you do it yourself you save big bucks. I am retired at 58 because I fix all most of all my material things. Th...
by Carl53
Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Home Maintenance Expenses
Replies: 47
Views: 8257

Re: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement

You may be mildly interested to know that I choose to pay all taxes on income from all sources out of my RMD, and put the remainder in a tax-exempt bond fund from which I draw income each month. Don't forget that tax exempt bond earnings get added back into your MAGI when determining how much SS ge...
by Carl53
Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement
Replies: 79
Views: 7130

Re: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement

I do think that when one of a couple dies and the other pays taxes at a higher rate it is a significant event. I do not think expenses would go down in that scenario. One of us will still have taxable income but not augmented by RMDs. This is a very valid point. We are trying to convert sufficient ...
by Carl53
Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement
Replies: 79
Views: 7130

Re: Which mortgage to pick?

Which mortgage would you pick? This is a 30yr fixed jumbo loan. Rate APR Payment All Lender Fees & Points 3.250% 3.376% $2,959.40 $10,329.20 3.375% 3.463% $3,006.25 $7,051.60 3.500% 3.553% $3,053.50 $4,073.20 3.625% 3.648% $3,101.15 $1,550.40 3.750% 3.754% $3,149.19 ($1,394.00) 3.875% 3.879% $3...
by Carl53
Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which mortgage to pick?
Replies: 8
Views: 1418

Re: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement

Take a look at the wiki on taxation of social security benefits. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Taxation_of_Social_Security_benefits From the tables, you will see taxation at rates of up to 46.25%. Large RMDs could put you in that bad spot. We are converting to the top of the 15% bracket prior to t...
by Carl53
Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement
Replies: 79
Views: 7130

Re: Free (or REALLY cheap) image hosting?

^^^ Images limits are indeed set at 1200px (width) x 1200px (height). Double-check your URL. I've seen instances where someone got an error, but the URL wasn't the image itself - it was the website containing the image (error). In Firefox, right-click then View Image <-- that's the link to use. I j...
by Carl53
Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free (or REALLY cheap) image hosting?
Replies: 20
Views: 1481

Re: Where do you shop for groceries?

Aldi's for fruits and vegetables and a few other items. Local discount grocery for great deals on whatever they happen to have. Recently they had Jenni-O ground turkey, 40 oz for $2.99. My spouse likes to buy slightly out of date protein bars for 25 cents. Local grocery for most meats, bread, deli, ...
by Carl53
Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you shop for groceries?
Replies: 97
Views: 8154

Re: Free (or REALLY cheap) image hosting?

I just signed up on Imgur with the intent to repair some of the broken images on some of my past posts. I get a could not determine image size message when I try to post on bogleheads. Any suggestions as to how to get around this? I did go into imgur and reduced the maximum dimension to 1200 X 927 p...
by Carl53
Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free (or REALLY cheap) image hosting?
Replies: 20
Views: 1481

Re: What age did you hit $100,000?

Assuming I did this right, this "deflates" $100k in 2014 backwards using the Shiller CPI data. So you'd find the earliest year where you hit the number shown for that year, and that was when you hit today's equivalent of $100k. http://i1180.photobucket.com/albums/x410/dstp2/Shiller%20100k...
by Carl53
Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you hit $100,000?
Replies: 68
Views: 6024

Re: What age did you hit $100,000?

I recall putting about all my extra cash into paying down home loans that were I believe always north of 7%. Not counting home equity, age 39.
by Carl53
Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you hit $100,000?
Replies: 68
Views: 6024

Re: Newly retired, seeking wisdom

Another consideration is that maybe your 401k would allow partial conversions to Roth 401ks. 401ks do offer some additional protection from lawsuits that IRAs do not.
by Carl53
Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly retired, seeking wisdom
Replies: 10
Views: 1545

Re: Newly retired, seeking wisdom

3. Does your wife have any income? At least convert up to the top of the 15% federal bracket bracket. If no other income the 15% tops out at $74900 in 2015. Add in $12600 standard deduction and $8000 in exemptions and you could conceivably convert $95500 and not bump above the 15% bracket. Of course...
by Carl53
Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly retired, seeking wisdom
Replies: 10
Views: 1545

Re: 5.6% stable value fund - what allocation?

The recent 2015 S&P contest had Bogleheads predicting an average returns of 4.9% and experts predicting 7.8% in 2015. 5.6% guaranteed and approaching retirement would make me think that 100% allocation might be for me if I had it available.
by Carl53
Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5.6% stable value fund - what allocation?
Replies: 29
Views: 2519

Re: Decision time- lump sum vs pension

My pension payout choices are as follow: - a non-COLA’ed PHBC guaranteed annuity of 74.5k/yr OR Do you mean PBGC? If so at your age the guarantee (in 2014) would be $42709 for a non-survivor benefit. This number goes up with your age as long as the pension is not taken over by the Pension Benefit G...
by Carl53
Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision time- lump sum vs pension
Replies: 12
Views: 1121
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