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Re: Mortgage Debt in Retirement?

Mortgage or not doesn't necessarily impact your taxable income that much. Really? Let's say you have a $1,500 mortgage payment, that means you are paying $18,000 per year. If you are in the 25% marginal tax bracket, you need to have $24,000 more income to pay the mortgage as compared to if you did ...
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Debt in Retirement?
Replies: 55
Views: 2773

Re: Mortgage Debt in Retirement?

I'm not a widower, just a divorced guy.
And yes, I'm happy to be in a higher tax bracket with deductible mortgage interest, though it's a rather modest amount...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Debt in Retirement?
Replies: 55
Views: 2773

Re: 'Work from Home' Opportunities..?

Avon and Tupperware may be OK, especially in backwoods areas where the Internet has not penetrated.
But stay away from Amway or whatever they call it now...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 'Work from Home' Opportunities..?
Replies: 14
Views: 1327

Re: Mortgage Debt in Retirement?

Now, I want growth. Then, I want stability. A paid off mortgage would add stability. I hope that clears it up! Thanks for the attempt. I appreciate the reply. Maybe it's just me, but I still don't understand what you mean by "stability" here. What's unstable about a mortgage? There's noth...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Debt in Retirement?
Replies: 55
Views: 2773

Re: Fed to Gradually Increase Interest Rates

stevewolfe wrote:
ncole1 wrote:It's maybe because America is in debt to our eyeballs...


These types of comments will get the thread locked / deleted...

Yes, indeed.
This thread is doomed...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fed to Gradually Increase Interest Rates
Replies: 6
Views: 830

Re: Mortgage Debt in Retirement?

I think having no mortgage in retirement is ideal. Anything to reduce the regular expenses you have will reduce the withdrawals from qualified accounts and gain realizations. You have a decent chance of remaining in the 15% bracket with no mortgage. Throw in a $2000/month mortgage, and that alone g...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Debt in Retirement?
Replies: 55
Views: 2773

Re: Mortgage Debt in Retirement?

I may be an outlier on this, but I see nothing wrong with a 3% mortgage which has the interest tax deductible. Would your opinion change if you get no tax deduction? This is why individual circumstances matter. My property taxes plus state income tax in retirement put my Schedule A over the standar...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Debt in Retirement?
Replies: 55
Views: 2773

Re: Mortgage Debt in Retirement?

A very individual circumstance type of question. I bought my present house in 1976 and had it paid off some years back. But then divorce happened and I bought out the ex-wife's half with a new mortgage. That mortgage is mostly paid off, remaining balance less than half my annual retirement income. I...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Debt in Retirement?
Replies: 55
Views: 2773

Re: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts

There is seldom a need to have store cards anymore.
I can recall back when Sears and Lechmere only took their own store CC and not Visa nor MC.
But that was a long time ago...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts
Replies: 11
Views: 791

Re: Two Legged Stool

Excel is what I use each January to project my income and tax sheltered investment balance year by year for the first decade of retirement. I retired at 63 and am delaying SS till age 70 or the next major stock crash, whichever comes first. But the past two years, of course, my investment balance ha...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Legged Stool [Figuring out when to take Social Security]
Replies: 11
Views: 1506

Re: Completed taxes, need to file new Fed & State W4

If the OP and wife have mostly predictable W-2 income, this is an easy problem to solve. It's just a matter of figuring out the value of one Withholding Allowance. I had this problem a few decades ago and the payroll dept at my employer had hardcopy withholding tables that gave me the numbers I need...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Completed taxes, need to file new Fed & State W4
Replies: 10
Views: 630

Re: M*: No Vanguard Funds Among Its Top Seven Inter. Bond Fu

I'm not sure how could analyze performance of M*'s gold-rated bond funds going back 5-10 years, but it would be a good exercise...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: M*: No Vanguard Funds Among Its Top Seven Inter. Bond Funds
Replies: 3
Views: 647

Re: Tax Question: Who is wrong, vanguard, me or Taxact

I don't see any income tax liability in the OP's scenario at all.
Filling out the tax forms is a bit of a separate issue...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question: Who is wrong, vanguard, me or Taxact
Replies: 7
Views: 1303

Re: Failed Surgery - Doctor not volunteering discount

And doesn't insurance pay for most of this anyway, being that it doesn't not sound like a cosmetic procedure?
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Failed Surgery - Doctor not volunteering discount
Replies: 32
Views: 2354

Re: Wise move to move some $ to cash before bear market?

Because that would be blatant Market Timing , not more reasoned Tactical Asset Allocation... If we're talking moving to cash I think I'd call that market timing even at 30%. If he's talking about just being nervous with his current risk level and changing his stock/bond ratio to something more comf...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wise move to move some $ to cash before bear market?
Replies: 62
Views: 4711

Re: Retirement Strategy

My Dad is in the lowest tax bracket. Should be fine having a bond fund in taxable account then. Lowest non-zero bracket is 10%, up to $9,075 per year taxable income. But the 15% bracket goes up to $36,900 per year. I'd be OK with bond income in taxable up to around $37,000 total taxable income, no ...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Strategy
Replies: 7
Views: 626

Re: Retirement Strategy

The Wizard, Thanks for your reply. You will not have more than 50% of your bonds on TIPS because is to conservative or for another reason? Thanks It's just that in my limited experience, I don't think TIPS perform as well as nominal bond funds. Of course, we have low inflation presently, so I could...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Strategy
Replies: 7
Views: 626

Re: Retirement Strategy

Another consideration is tax bracket, since bonds in taxable generate normal taxable income.
If your dad is in the 15% bracket, that should be OK.
If in higher bracket, a municipal bond fund could be a better idea...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Strategy
Replies: 7
Views: 626

Re: Retirement Strategy

Option A with 80% TIPS seems way too conservative. I would not have over half of my bonds in TIPS at any time. Option B would be my preference of the two presented. Another option would be to put it all in Wellesley, which is 38% stocks, 62% bonds. Lots of people here like Wellesley in retirement, I...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Strategy
Replies: 7
Views: 626

Re: Wise move to move some $ to cash before bear market?

I knew I would get these responses. Market timing. But, it sure seems if somebody took out 30% and put it in cash at the right time, he would be sitting pretty. I know, at the right time... Why just 30%? Why not move everything into cash "at the right time''? Because that would be blatant Mark...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wise move to move some $ to cash before bear market?
Replies: 62
Views: 4711

Re: Worth buying a smart phone if you already have one for w

I'd find out what your company policy is for personal use of that smartphone, both voice and data usage. I use a decent amount of data on my smartphone when I travel, both cellular and (free) WiFi where available. If they don't object to you using extra gigabytes of data for personal use, then I'd j...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth buying a smart phone if you already have one for work?
Replies: 20
Views: 1404

Re: Failed Surgery - Doctor not volunteering discount

Seems like the OP thinks that the surgery should be successful, or not pay. I am not sure that is a valid measure when no medical treatment has a 100% success rate. That's not what I inferred at all. I suggested he give him a discount since the doctor had the opportunity to re-insert a tube that ca...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Failed Surgery - Doctor not volunteering discount
Replies: 32
Views: 2354

Re: Ad Valorem tax on new car

The question is really whether that tax on the vehicle is a SALES tax or a PROPERTY tax. Here in MA, we pay a sales tax to the Registry at the time we register the vehicle for the first time and get a plate for it. Additionally, we pay a property tax (aka "excise tax") to the town we live ...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ad Valorem tax on new car
Replies: 8
Views: 855

Re: Has Consumer Cellular Discontinued Roaming?

Wizard - Thanks for the update. Did you have voice coverage in those areas? As mentioned, yes, voice coverage wherever I had a signal in that area and it was mostly 3 out of 5 bars or better. The coverage in that area is apparently via http://choice-wireless.com/, but I need to get some better app-...
by The Wizard
Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Consumer Cellular Discontinued Roaming?
Replies: 18
Views: 1794

Re: Has Consumer Cellular Discontinued Roaming?

Update: I've just finished a driving trip through southern Arizona and can report that Consumer Cellular does not have partner provided data coverage in a large area where both CC and AT&T show identical partner coverage for data. I have a Nexus 5 with data roaming enabled, to be clear. If you g...
by The Wizard
Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Consumer Cellular Discontinued Roaming?
Replies: 18
Views: 1794

Re: Where to retire in New England?

I'm definitely not an expert on Medicare plans in MA or anywhere. In my case, I have parts A and B from the Feds and something called Medicare Enhance from Harvard Pilgrim via my previous long term employer. I won't go any further OT on this since the OP (did he ever return?) won't be eligible for M...
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to retire in New England?
Replies: 101
Views: 7488

Re: Route to an $8 Million Portfolio Started With Frugal Liv

We discussed this back in the fall and it was OT and got locked then.
OT for the forum since discussing famous investors' success is neither personal nor actionable...
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Route to an $8 Million Portfolio Started With Frugal Living
Replies: 31
Views: 4900

Re: RMD

12/31.
They NEVER adjust on 1/1...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD
Replies: 6
Views: 453

Re: Can I have a tIRA & a Roth?

You can put new contributions in your Roth IRA for the previous year after you file your 1040 for that year.
That's what I did for 2014, once I knew my AGI for that year...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I have a tIRA & a Roth?
Replies: 19
Views: 1312

Re: Exploring the Florida Keys

OP is only going as far as Marathon, so forget about the Key West recommendations. I've been in that area 4-5 times, traffic not so bad once to Key Largo, worse between there and Homestead, and during weekend getaway hours. Spring Breakers in Key West, yes, but way fewer in the area OP is focusing o...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exploring the Florida Keys
Replies: 20
Views: 1810

Re: Do you have and auto loan?

A related question here should be, are people taking car loans from DEALERS or doing low cost loans thru a credit union, etc? A low APR dealer loan is subsidized one way or another, you know. I may do a partial auto loan later this year for my new truck. Which is better, a 1.49% loan from my CU or p...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Poll] Do you have an auto loan?
Replies: 63
Views: 3451

Re: 74% of car loans are subprime.

Good NYTimes article on this situation.
http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/dealboo ... s-to-poor/
Sounds like a good way to make $$ legally, if one has the right smarts...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 74% of car loans are subprime.
Replies: 29
Views: 1998

Re: 74% of car loans are subprime.

How is this actionable (other than not taking out a high interest rate car loan yourself)? There will always be lots of people doing financially stupid things. Ignore them. I agree. I don't think this news impacts too many regulars on the forum here. The smart thing to do is to pay a good percentag...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 74% of car loans are subprime.
Replies: 29
Views: 1998

Re: Definition of financial independence?

I like to think of FI meaning that one is able to carry on in roughly the same style (or better) as for the five years prior to achieving FI.
It doesn't matter where the sustainable income comes from going forward to do this...
by The Wizard
Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Definition of financial independence?
Replies: 52
Views: 4781

Re: maximum social security benefit

Just compare page two of your annual SS statement.
Pretty easy...
by The Wizard
Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: maximum social security benefit
Replies: 17
Views: 1894

Re: Having 1x salary by age 30-35, is this after-tax?

You could use your expected avg tax rate in retirement, yes...
by The Wizard
Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Having 1x salary by age 30-35, is this after-tax?
Replies: 11
Views: 2183

Re: Where to retire in New England?

fmzip wrote:Us New Englander's are not sane.....

Live here long enough, the winter's drive us all INSANE!

6 months would be ideal but it's too expensive here in CT. I'd move over one state to be close to the beach. Charlestown RI, taxes are low :)

I believe RI taxes SS benefits, if that matters...
by The Wizard
Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to retire in New England?
Replies: 101
Views: 7488

Re: Cruise.Com Bait and Switch Tactics

Several friends have taken river cruises with Viking and all have spoken highly of their experience. OK, but I think the question concerns pricing authenticity more than quality of the product. Viking is a bit suspicious on their so-called half-price sales: does ANYBODY actually pay $8000 per perso...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruise.Com Bait and Switch Tactics
Replies: 28
Views: 2938

Re: The financier and the secretary. A true story.

The anecdotes in that article are of no interest to me. The issue is whether Financial Literacy can be taught to people effectively. It may depend on whether people select to learn themselves or not. If all high school seniors have a FL module mandated, for instance, I'd expect only a few to benefit...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The financier and the secretary. A true story.
Replies: 39
Views: 6025

Re: Confused with Social Security website calculation.

Spirit Rider's answer may be correct for some people, but not others.
Your highest 35 years of inflation indexed earnings are what count.
Some people have 35+ years of income exceeding the SS annual limit, so they get max benefit at 70 even if they quit working in early 60s...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confused with Social Security website calculation.
Replies: 5
Views: 597

Re: Improving the Lifestrategy Funds

Cumulatively is never the issue.
Nonetheless, folks with $100k or more in a LS fund should really get the lower ER...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Improving the Lifestrategy Funds
Replies: 63
Views: 5270

Re: Improving the Lifestrategy Funds

The admiral share class might be tricky to implement in the LS funds. I suppose they could have an algorithm that switched to you to admiral in the TSM portion of a LS fund once the percentage split got to >$10,000 for a period of time. But maybe your bond funds would still be investor class, depend...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Improving the Lifestrategy Funds
Replies: 63
Views: 5270

Re: Capable to do taxes myself?

Taxact is good and cheaper than turbotax.
If no fundamental changes from 2013 to 2014, then just start now with doing your 2014 taxes.
Take your copy of 2013's return out for comparison.
It's not rocket surgery...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capable to do taxes myself?
Replies: 9
Views: 810

Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

A very good outline for a presentation, yes.
Some might quibble with the 20x annual spending and 5% withdrawal rate...
Also, I'm not sure that Most renters reach retirement with little or no net worth is correct...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If I Knew Then What I Know Now
Replies: 51
Views: 7305

Re: Pre-retirement question

I also got paid for accumulated vacation when I retired two years ago. 8 or 10 days I think it was. Healthcare through end of month regardless.
It was a minor drop in my bucket so I didn't worry about it...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-retirement question [Take vacation time or pay?]
Replies: 23
Views: 2603

Re: Edward Jones - A Detrimental Option for Investors

How can you ignore whether this is a taxable account? You'll need to determine the basis of all items in a taxable account for capital gains determination. Regardless, no one here likes EJ. I seem to recall from other discussions that yes, they do have account closing fees, $95 per account. They get...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones - A Detrimental Option for Investors
Replies: 13
Views: 2452

Re: Best structure for setting aside 10 years of travel expe

This seems a very odd way of approaching a situation.
Are you retiring in 2017?
First priority is basic expenses.
Recreational travel can generally be adjusted up or down as needs or whims dictate.
How much have you been spending in this area the past few years??
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best structure for setting aside 10 years of travel expenses
Replies: 13
Views: 1312

Re: Cleaning my back yard?

Pressure washer could disturb whatever is between those bricks, sand or mortar, hard to tell.
Get moss killer at Home Depot or wherever.
Comes in a quart bottle with hose end connection.
Either that or the bleach recommend...
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning my back yard?
Replies: 35
Views: 3778

Re: Understanding Your Net Worth

I agree with Leonard.
Don't mash different categories together.
I can think of at least three:
1) liquid investment assets
2) non-liquid investment assets, such as rental property
3) personal property, such as living quarters, vehicles, power tools
4) income entitlements, such as SS and pensions...
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding Your Net Worth
Replies: 25
Views: 3485

Re: Post removed or moved?

was it a naked link?
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:53 am
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Post removed or moved?
Replies: 12
Views: 1227
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