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Re: Filed your 2014 Federal Taxes yet?

Got my W-2 in the mail yesterday, so will finish up today, usings free TaxAct software for first time.
I'm close to an AGI income limit on something, so am more eager than usual to get this done...
by The Wizard
Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filed your 2014 Federal Taxes yet?
Replies: 50
Views: 2530

Re: Market Timing to Set Retirement Date

I'm also puzzled by Don's logic. Perhaps he wants a tactical asset allocation that varies between 40% and 60% stocks depending on valuations? Or between 30% and 45% if he's more conservative? Seems like two separate issues here: 1) when to retire based on work enjoyment since retirement income isn't...
by The Wizard
Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Timing to Set Retirement Date
Replies: 16
Views: 1291

Re: "Planet Money" is shorting SPY

Doesn't seem a particularly good idea to me.
But the market timing universe requires a variety of contributors to make it work...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Planet Money" is shorting SPY
Replies: 26
Views: 2767

Re: Accidentally forgot a credit card for three months HELP!

It might have been easier if you had NOT paid your bill off right a way. You could call the credit card company and negotiate a payoff and a deletion of the derogatory mark. They might not do it if it is paid off already. You might get lucky by speaking to an upper manager there. This does NOT soun...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidentally forgot a credit card for three months HELP!
Replies: 34
Views: 3162

Re: Accidentally forgot a credit card for three months HELP!

It might have been easier if you had NOT paid your bill off right a way. You could call the credit card company and negotiate a payoff and a deletion of the derogatory mark. They might not do it if it is paid off already. You might get lucky by speaking to an upper manager there. This does NOT soun...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidentally forgot a credit card for three months HELP!
Replies: 34
Views: 3162

Re: Accidentally forgot a credit card for three months HELP!

It might have been easier if you had NOT paid your bill off right a way. You could call the credit card company and negotiate a payoff and a deletion of the derogatory mark. They might not do it if it is paid off already. You might get lucky by speaking to an upper manager there. This does NOT soun...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidentally forgot a credit card for three months HELP!
Replies: 34
Views: 3162

Re: Accidentally forgot a credit card for three months HELP!

Three months is a long time to have missed a payment.
I don't think banks or other extenders of credit are immediately concerned with WHY a bill went untouched.
As others have said, you need to have systems in place to prevent this sort of thing from happening...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidentally forgot a credit card for three months HELP!
Replies: 34
Views: 3162

Re: What to do with spare cash?

With $100-200 a month "extra", I would just buffer up my checking account to pay for the next car repair or a new set of tires. Or even start a New Vehicle fund...
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with spare cash?
Replies: 22
Views: 1972

Re: When to switch from Roth to Traditional?

It's good to accumulate enough in traditional tax sheltered accounts to fill up low brackets in retirement, once you switch to payout mode. But the OP has a large pension coming, so this doesn't seem to apply. If you get above the 28% bracket, I'd definitely go with Trad plans. Until then, possibly ...
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to switch from Roth to Traditional?
Replies: 6
Views: 744

Re: Anyone know when CD rates will increase?

There is some speculation that the Fed will start raising rates sometime in 2015. But that is just speculation. Even if they do start raising rates, it will probably be painfully slow. As others have said, nobody knows. I made the mistake of thinking rates would not stay down very long. I figure I ...
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone know when CD rates will increase?
Replies: 69
Views: 4862

Re: Scottsdale, AZ - what to do?

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Grand canyon, Sedona, Jerome (ghost town), Barrett-jackson?

The first three of those are nowhere close to Scottsdale...
:(
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scottsdale, AZ - what to do?
Replies: 31
Views: 1792

Re: Preparing for RMDs

The goal generally should be to manage your total taxable income in retirement so that it doesn't vary widely from year to year, thus minimizing income taxes. To do that, you may need to plan ahead for RMDs using a spreadsheet. And this has nothing to do with shrinking one's nest egg, since portions...
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for RMDs
Replies: 66
Views: 4868

Re: Income on credit card application for high assets/low in

rec7 wrote:I have found out that banks and credit union don't care about assets only income.

For mortgage loans and car loans, yes, but credit cards are a bit different...
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income on credit card application for high assets/low income
Replies: 21
Views: 867

Re: I just filed a Restrictive App at the SS office

freebeer wrote:Can this be done if the parties are divorced (i.e. suppose OP was no longer married to his wife)?

Yes, provided greater than ten years married and not remarried...
by The Wizard
Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I just filed a Restrictive App at the SS office
Replies: 39
Views: 2335

Re: what to do with a few extra bucks

That's a pretty low student loan rate. Are you maxing out IRA and 401k contrib already? Do you have a healthy emergency fund also? If yes to above, then go with the taxable TSM investment. Because your total debt is a lot ($300k), I'd also pay at least a modest amount additional each month on both l...
by The Wizard
Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what to do with a few extra bucks
Replies: 13
Views: 866

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

Most of us find ourselves paying more FIT in our later working years once the kids have left the nest, the mortgage is paid off, etc.
Not much can be done about it except for saving more in addition to paying more tax. Additionally, you can scheme to retire early to reduce your income...
by The Wizard
Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up
Replies: 26
Views: 2565

Re: Refund from the IRS? Why?

I used to have my withholding fine tuned during my last decade as an employee, within a few hundred bucks of my tax liability for each year. Now in retirement, it's taking a while to recalibrate my withholding percentages, complicated by the desire to do Roth conversions most years, but only to the ...
by The Wizard
Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refund from the IRS? Why?
Replies: 51
Views: 4895

Re: 403b limits and "mandatory employee contributions"

No they do not. That's what I had for forty years. In my case mandatory 5% employee plus 10% employer contrib from day one of employment. Separately, we had optional "supplemental" plan with max of $17-18k per year for young folks and $22-23k for older folks, age 50+, I think. You can put ...
by The Wizard
Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 403b limits and "mandatory employee contributions"
Replies: 2
Views: 272

Re: Back in 2011

An apparently pointless non-actionable OP, yes...
by The Wizard
Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Back in 2011
Replies: 6
Views: 656

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

I agree with Tigermilk on the great advantage of having low total expenses and required payments relative to your "take home" pay.
Otherwise, every unexpected $500 or $1000 expense seems like an emergency...
by The Wizard
Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 306
Views: 37363

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

I'm in New England as well.
Even a 4WD pickup won't necessarily go when surrounded on all sides by 24" of freshly fallen snow.
I tried once, gently...
:)
by The Wizard
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 66
Views: 4988

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

I use snowblowers both for my own 30' x 40' driveway/parking area and my GF's 250' long driveway. Problem with most plows is, they can't pick the snow up and move it. A front-end loader can, of course. Ideal long driveway for plowing is one with a CLIFF at some point where snow can be pushed over. A...
by The Wizard
Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 66
Views: 4988

Re: Time to stop driving for 85 yo MIL

A fair number of cases of age-related impaired driving are determined by actual incidents, not just looking at your birth date. Driving through plate glass doors or windows is common around here due to confusion about which pedal does what. Plus it's easy to tell when riding with someone whether the...
by The Wizard
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to stop driving for 85 yo MIL
Replies: 69
Views: 3697

Re: Poll: Locating deceased person's assets

My sister was in charge when our second parent passed away. I don't think it was a simple process, but not too many assets to be found. This was before online accounts. As for me, I have 10x13 manilla envelopes containing source materials for tax returns going back to the 70s. Also a printed sheet c...
by The Wizard
Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Locating deceased person's assets
Replies: 33
Views: 2271

Re: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice

I was in Maui nine days last March. Rte 340 from Napili to Kahului was under reconstruction and closed to thru traffic on the Kahului end. Still a scenic drive, just have to do a uturn at some point. Agree that road to Hana is likely too much driving to be great fun as a day trip from Napili. But do...
by The Wizard
Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice
Replies: 31
Views: 2435

Re: Some RMD Questions

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/whatwe ... stribution

This link seem to address what OP wants...
by The Wizard
Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some RMD Questions
Replies: 28
Views: 1515

Re: When/how to invest monthly savings into taxable?

This is wrong. No, it's not. I think we agree. Transfers out of a MM fund can have a 3-day lag. Transfers from a checking account are instant. There was a thread on when dividends show up, and it seem to depend on where the account is held. If you hold VG shares at Schwab, the timing is different t...
by The Wizard
Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When/how to invest monthly savings into taxable?
Replies: 32
Views: 2822

Re: Sales tax question

If you buy online, it is your home county where CC is registered in most cases. In some cases it is zero if seller does not have presence in your state (not county) and they are not considered national. No. It's where the online purchase is DELIVERED that matters. I buy an item on amazon.com and ha...
by The Wizard
Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sales tax question
Replies: 10
Views: 808

Re: When/how to invest monthly savings into taxable?

Do not automatically reinvest distributions. Sweep them into a checking account ( not a money market account ). Reinvest them manually to rebalance to your desired AA. In the same way, direct the monthly transfer to correct your AA. L. I am at VG. The settlement fund is the prime money market. This...
by The Wizard
Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When/how to invest monthly savings into taxable?
Replies: 32
Views: 2822

Re: Checklist for buying a new car

When you factory order a new car, the delivery process is about as simple as it can be.
See if you can convince them to take a personal check for the $20,000+ balance due.
I think that's what Livesoft did..
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Checklist for buying a new car
Replies: 21
Views: 1806

Re: Amazon Prime Is $72 Tomorrow

Might want to mention what the normal full price is, for comparison...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Is $72 Tomorrow for New Users
Replies: 27
Views: 2917

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

My original mortgage back in the 70's was at 9.0%.
Present one is at 3.25%.
Big difference...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 306
Views: 37363

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

Yes, as Dulocracy notes, there's something akin to survivor-ship bias to this question...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 306
Views: 37363

Re: When/how to invest monthly savings into taxable?

Automatic investment may be fine for tax sheltered things like 401k and IRA accounts. But a taxable account is a place for excess income and that can vary month depending on things like travel expenses and property tax payments. So its usually better to fund your taxable account based on your actual...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When/how to invest monthly savings into taxable?
Replies: 32
Views: 2822

Re: Emergency Fund: Savings vs. Checking accounts

In addition to the account recommendations here, a longer term suggestion is to redefine what an emergency is. Medical expenses should be largely covered by insurance. Car repair needs to be an expected expense from time to time. Primary emergency should be extended unemployment, I would think. But ...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency Fund: Savings vs. Checking accounts
Replies: 21
Views: 1302

Re: Parents transferring stock--what to do?

I mostly agree with the others but don't understand dolphin's comment about dividends.
You could just plan on keeping the stock for the long term and take the dividends in cash.
Sounds like an OK plan to me...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Parents transferring stock--what to do?
Replies: 12
Views: 745

Re: Favorite Dishes?

Wowza!
If I was rich I'd hire the OP to run my kitchen right now!
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Dishes?
Replies: 24
Views: 1408

Re: Gotta Be a Bear Market Coming

Yes, when the hoi polloi start putting $$ into stocks, that's a clear signal...
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Gotta Be a Bear Market Coming
Replies: 64
Views: 7672

Re: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement

I'm going to read the original article shortly.
But it seems obvious that once you take an RMD and reinvest the proceeds in your taxable account that capital gain and dividend taxation starts to matter increasingly each future year...
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement
Replies: 75
Views: 6166

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

I paid my original mortgage off back in the early 90's. It's been a while so I don't recall my feelings around that time too well. But similar to at least one other poster, a divorce happened a few years later and I ended up remortgaging the house to pay the ex her 50% share. At this point, I've pai...
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 306
Views: 37363

Re: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement

When taking RMD's, I have seen little discussion about making adjustments year by year to smooth out one's tax obligation. One would think that a 75-80 year old in good health would anticipate the tax consequences of RMD withdrawals 5 to 10 years in the future and would perhaps withdraw more than t...
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Surviving the Tax Bite of RMD Withdrawals in Retirement
Replies: 75
Views: 6166

Re: $50,000 to invest, want little to no risk. CDs? Silver?

gkaplan wrote:Has the OP been back?

Not yet, no...
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $50,000 to invest, want little to no risk. CDs? Silver? Etc?
Replies: 37
Views: 3475

Re: Am I making a mistake being too conservative?

You've won the game. Take your chips off the table. That's a good way to change from a potential winner to a loser. Age 35 with $1M in investments is an excellent start. But he/she might be targeting a $5M portfolio for retirement in 25 years at age 60. Taking all the current investments out of sto...
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Am I making a mistake being too conservative?
Replies: 58
Views: 7565

Re: Diversity b/t t-IRA and roth-IRA

Put bond funds in the tIRA and stock and REIT funds in the Roth IRA...
by The Wizard
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Diversity b/t t-IRA and roth-IRA
Replies: 8
Views: 544

Re: Need help with portfolio-Father passed away suddenly

Step one is to get those accounts relabeled with your mother as owner, assuming your dad's will didn't specify otherwise. You'll need to send death certificates to each custodian to do that. Then setup online accounts in your mother's name at each place. It will take time to get all that done. Use t...
by The Wizard
Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help with portfolio-Father passed away suddenly
Replies: 8
Views: 1197

Re: Medicare Newbie

I'm in process of signing up as well.
I'm taking Medicare parts A & B together with a Medicare supplement plan.
One good thing about the supplement plan is that it covers me on foreign travel...
by The Wizard
Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Newbie
Replies: 14
Views: 998

Re: Adjusted Livesoft Income (ALI)

He's trying to formulate Gross Earnings from all sources, including things not included in taxable income. Presently, it's focused on working people, pre retirement. Post retirement can be a whole different kettle of eggs. Many Federal employees get free health care in retirement. How much is that w...
by The Wizard
Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adjusted Livesoft Income (ALI)
Replies: 31
Views: 3035

Re: "When you've won the game, stop playing"

Investing is not a game and we're not playing. Bill does have a new term in that article: RLE = residual living expenses. Nonetheless, the key point should be: don't be overweight in equities as you approach retirement. 50% is a lot better than 75% or 80%. And 30% might be even better. But 0% equiti...
by The Wizard
Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "When you've won the game, stop playing"
Replies: 83
Views: 8405
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