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Re: Buy more expensive house to improve financial situation?

85253 I found Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in 2004: $352,910 (not sure why data there is so old) Read more: http://www.city-data.com/zips/85253.html#ixzz3WfZ7Hq7J Also shows Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in 2004: $352,910 Estimated median house/condo value in 2011: $1,000,001 But then,...
by jeffyscott
Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy more expensive house to improve financial situation?
Replies: 37
Views: 4730

Re: Planning for career change and big drop in income

Does anybody have any experience with this kind of career change? Any thoughts on how to re-structure my lifestyle now so that we have the money issues in check before the change actually happens? Any other advice? Well, yes in that my spouse quit her job about a year ago, at age 50, and is not pla...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning for career change and big drop in income
Replies: 14
Views: 2169

Re: Traditional IRA or Roth IRA

Is your income of $77K your total income, i.e. AGI from line 37 of form 1040, or is it taxable income, i.e. line 43? Because if it is really total income, you would be in the 15% bracket for MFJ and I don't see how you could save $2500 by making Traditional contributions of $11K. If $77K is your ta...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traditional IRA or Roth IRA
Replies: 9
Views: 983

Re: Pay Off Mortgage to Save for Bigger House

Seems to me the desire to make a contingent offer would be to avoid the risk of owning two homes for extended period of time. I don't see that it matters much which property has how much of the debt? Say I have a $100,000 condo and buy a $300,000 house. If the condo is paid off, I can take out a $60...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Off Mortgage to Save for Bigger House
Replies: 10
Views: 1541

Re: Buy more expensive house to improve financial situation?

Since you could use the non-retirement assets to pay off your current mortgage, instead of using it to buy a more expensive home, you are borrowing $300,000 in order to speculate in real estate (or maybe more like $350,000?, considered the costs of selling and moving). At 4%, that would cost you $12...
by jeffyscott
Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy more expensive house to improve financial situation?
Replies: 37
Views: 4730

Re: Firm High Loft Pillow

We don't sleep on them as they are too thick and firm to be comfortable for us, but have some "Kohl's Home Classics extra firm support" pillows that we use for sitting up in bed and for a sort of backrest on a daybed. We have had them for quite a while and they still are very thick and fir...
by jeffyscott
Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Firm High Loft Pillow
Replies: 4
Views: 665

Re: Buy riding mower or hire service to cut grass?

As an alternative to the riding mower, how about a wide deck push mower? They're about 30" - 33" wide compared to the the typical 21" - 22" mower. One of these would cut the time down significantly without going the ride-on route. Yes, I've never understood why these are not mor...
by jeffyscott
Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy riding mower or hire service to cut grass?
Replies: 56
Views: 3915

Re: early retiree, ACA "obamacare" MAGI ? but which numbers

Unfortunately few people have the intelligence, foresight, and resources that tbradnc has. A man I helped this week with taxes had income below 138% of the federal poverty line and was turned away as ineligible to buy insurance at the healthcare marketplace, but he lives in Virginia where he could ...
by jeffyscott
Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: early retiree, ACA "obamacare" MAGI ? but which numbers ??
Replies: 25
Views: 3056

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

He also said that the rules have changed. It looks like all the water heaters are going to be minimum .95 EF in a few weeks. http://www.rheem.com/products/water_heating/NAECA/ The changes are small for normal sizes of water heaters (55 gallons or less). The 50 gallon electric does have the biggest ...
by jeffyscott
Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proactively replace water heater?
Replies: 53
Views: 5185

Re: Bonds — The U.S. As a High-Yielding Country?

Stagnant/disappointing GDP after 8 years of zero interest rate policty (ZIRP)!!?? I disagree. Monetary policy has been tight-- very tight. Because inflation has been so low, and zero wage rigidity is a big factor. The dog barked in the night. The Taylor Rule would tell you that interest rates shoul...
by jeffyscott
Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds — The U.S. As a High-Yielding Country?
Replies: 21
Views: 2247

Re: New Furnace & A/C Unit

One thing not mentioned is that most older heating systems were oversized, sometimes 100%, by installers that would never want to get called back by cold customers. This reduces efficiency and causes some comfort issues. If you know how much gas (therms) you used in the last winter, and how many he...
by jeffyscott
Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Furnace & A/C Unit
Replies: 30
Views: 2918

Re: New Furnace & A/C Unit

1. Heat efficiency will not improve! Why do you say that? It would depend on what the efficiency of the new unit vs. the old is. I have an 18 year old 80% efficiency unit, were I to replace with a 95% efficient unit we would use about 16% less natural gas for heating and save about $150 per year at...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Furnace & A/C Unit
Replies: 30
Views: 2918

Re: Car buying services - recommendations?

We opted for Truecar, which the nearest dealer accepted. I'm not positive, but I expect the Truecar price was higher than Costco's, but I was happy with it and didn't have to drive 100 miles each way to the participating Costco dealer. About a 18 months ago used Costco to help my son get a car. The...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car buying services - recommendations?
Replies: 14
Views: 2098

Re: Vanguard Account Protection

You can sign up for 2 factor authentication, if you have not done so already.

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insigh ... ity-122014
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Account Protection
Replies: 6
Views: 767

Re: Opening a new credit card AND improving credit score

My daughter has somewhat similar credit history, some problems with credit cards 5-6 years ago but very responsible more recently. I think she got rid of all cards at the time she was having problems managing her credit use. Within the last year or so, she decided to try taking advantage of credit c...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening a new credit card AND improving credit score
Replies: 5
Views: 778

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

New front load washer using less water saves on water heating costs and on drying cost as the front loaders spin much faster there is much less water for the dryer to remove by evaporation. Our utility rates are pretty average, we have gas dryer and conventional gas water heater (and range). Gas gen...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proactively replace water heater?
Replies: 53
Views: 5185

Re: Bonds — The U.S. As a High-Yielding Country?

My own view? If you are a US dollar investor, this is a great time to plan that trip to Europe (ex Switzerland). This USian is hoping low euro lasts until at least next spring or gets even lower, as many seem to expect. I think the all-time low was shortly after the introduction of the euro and it ...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds — The U.S. As a High-Yielding Country?
Replies: 21
Views: 2247

Re: Bonds — The U.S. As a High-Yielding Country?

Wouldn't currency values be a factor too? The price of dollars is high, so investors have to buy expensive dollars to get those "high" US rates. For example a year ago a dollar cost about 0.70 euro, now it's about 0.95 euro.
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds — The U.S. As a High-Yielding Country?
Replies: 21
Views: 2247

Re: Retirement Issues: Life Expectancy

Even if you can determine that your life expectancy is, say, 85 instead of 80 that still tells you very little. There is still going to be a huge range, from dying in an accident tomorrow to living 10 or 15 years beyond the expected age. I don't see that it would help me any to know that at, say, ag...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Issues: Life Expectancy
Replies: 24
Views: 2239

Re: Providing hotel options for wedding guests

For a small wedding (expecting about 80 guests) we arranged group rates at two hotels. It's completely no-obligation. There is no penalty for unreserved rooms, rooms are available to guests at a discounted rate by phone, they can cancel up to 1 or 3 days before. Rooms are released 3-4 weeks before. ...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Providing hotel options for wedding guests
Replies: 9
Views: 1060

Re: Portland transportation

No Uber or Lyft. Rental cars much cheaper downtown than airport. Yes, even if you want to have a car, reserve for pick up downtown. You can take Max downtown and get a car there. We did not have a car in Portland but got one for the rest of trip to visit other places in Oregon. We took Max from air...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portland transportation
Replies: 20
Views: 1856

Re: Defined-Benefit Retirement Plan

Nearing 30 years and a DB pension. At retirement my pension will have a PV that is equal to about 1/3 of my total lifetime income from that job. To equal the present value of my pension at the time of retirement, based on employer's annuity factors, would have required 11% per year in contributions ...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined-Benefit Retirement Plan
Replies: 11
Views: 1146

Re: tIRA rollover to HSA

Being new to HSA this year, I had read about that too and thought it might be worth doing this after retirement, since prior to retirement I would rather fund the HSA by payroll deduction to avoid payroll tax. After some thought, I did not see the point as I could simply withdraw money from tIRA, pu...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tIRA rollover to HSA
Replies: 3
Views: 280

Re: HDHP and HSA

When I look on healthcare.gov for my area, plans are clearly identified as HSA eligible, such as by having names ending with things like: "...HSA Bronze 4500/90 Low Premium", "...for HSA", "...HSA 6250X", etc. Similar high deductible plans have things like $30 or $75 co...
by jeffyscott
Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP and HSA
Replies: 5
Views: 575

Re: The salary you must earn to buy a home: $48,603.82

Why is it assumed everyone must buy a median priced home? Half the houses cost less than the median. Even within a metro area there can be a vast range of medians. My metro area has median of $183K, according to Zillow, but the largest city has a median of only $92,000. The first house we bought in ...
by jeffyscott
Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The salary you must earn to buy a home: $48,603.82
Replies: 24
Views: 3096

Re: finance a car or not

Financing cost is $750 in the dealer 2 example. Based on your payments for dealer 2, the cost of the vehicle is about $20,800 in the 0% loan scenario. If you took the rebate, cost would be $20,050 financing that at 1.5% for 4 years would give you a payment of about $431. So the effective interest ra...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: finance a car or not
Replies: 28
Views: 2129

Re: When you put some credit cards in a drawer and not use t

It's rare. We have a ton of dormant cards from playing the sign-up bonus game. I just had one close due to inactivity, they sent a letter and I could have kept it by calling. I do not recall ever before having had one closed in this way by the bank. I have had some get reissued and I never activated...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When you put some credit cards in a drawer and not use them
Replies: 17
Views: 1938

Re: Just cut my cable bill...

In contrast to the obnoxious pricing practices of the cable companies, when Netflix increased their rate from $8 to $9 per month, existing customers are the ones that got the special promotional rate of $8 for 24 months (and that was done automatically, without having to make annoying phone calls).
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just cut my cable bill...
Replies: 58
Views: 5536

Re: Just cut my cable bill...

No regrets after 1.5 years w/o cable. But had lost interest in sports by the time we dropped it. We have an antenna but very rarely have watched anything over the air, we prefer watching Netflix (really like having no commercials). We supplement that with some free streaming from Hulu and others plu...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just cut my cable bill...
Replies: 58
Views: 5536

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

BTW, the change in efficiency standards looks to be quite minimal for 50 gallon gas water heaters. If I have calculated correctly the required "energy factor" changes by only about 4%.

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/a ... oductid/27
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proactively replace water heater?
Replies: 53
Views: 5185

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

I got burned once when a 14 year old one started a major leak while I was on vacation. The water supply just kept refilling it and it kept leaking. Who knows how long it was leaking for. When no one will be in the house for an extended period of time, you can turn off the water at main and turn off...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proactively replace water heater?
Replies: 53
Views: 5185

Re: Replacing [Oil] Filters: Time vs. Usage

Since my wife stopped working her car gets only about 200 miles per month. It is a VW Jetta, the required oil is synthetic and the recommended oil change interval is 12 months or 10,000 miles. I plan to continue to change oil and filter every 12 months or maybe stretch it to 14 months. I don't think...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing [Oil] Filters: Time vs. Usage
Replies: 41
Views: 2882

Re: new car battery

You might consider getting an AGM battery. They cost more, but supposedly deal with infrequent usage or deep discharges better than a conventional battery. I would not delay, I discovered that batteries can fail completely to the point where the car will not run after a jump. My car was starting and...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new car battery
Replies: 45
Views: 2913

Re: new car battery

It's those wimpy winters. Wisconsin and particularly maritime Maine are close to ideal for battery life. Batteries last longer there than most places. If you go south you get warmer summers, which shortens battery life. If you go much further north it gets cold enough that you can freeze concentrat...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new car battery
Replies: 45
Views: 2913

Re: Saver's credit to Roth then withdraw?

Thanks, didn't catch that the look back would affect multiple future years. Looking at the current form for 2014 taxes, if one had done this in 2012, taking the $228 out in, say, May of 2012 that would still mean the extra $228 would need to be put in for 2014. So that would mean an extra $228 for 2...
by jeffyscott
Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saver's credit to Roth then withdraw?
Replies: 4
Views: 829

Saver's credit to Roth then withdraw?

Trying to help a very low income person reduce income tax liability, via saver's tax credit. A single person with income of $12,700 would pay Federal income taxes of $114. If this person were to put $228 in a Roth IRA, she would qualify for a 50% saver's credit. This would reduce tax liability by $1...
by jeffyscott
Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saver's credit to Roth then withdraw?
Replies: 4
Views: 829

Re: Inflation Calculator Help Needed.....

Calculator is using the average CPI for each year: http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/frequently-asked-questions-faqs/#HowInflationCalculatorWorks The chart is showing the change for each calendar year. If Jan 1, 2011 CPI = 1, then Dec 31, 2011 CPI = 1.03 (and average is maybe 1.015, unless they a...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inflation Calculator Help Needed.....
Replies: 3
Views: 286

Re: HSA deduction question

Yes, if your contributions are by payroll deduction then you would not be deducting it from income on tax form. If gross income is $50,000 and $5000 went to HSA by payroll deduction then taxable income on W2 would be $45,000. If instead you made the contribution yourself, then taxable income on W2 w...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA deduction question
Replies: 3
Views: 476

Re: Taxes on cash back credit card?

Citibank issued 1099s for bonus airline miles awarded for opening bank accounts in 2012. Citibank did not issue 1099s for credit card sign up bonuses and it does not appear that any issuer has ever done that. I trust that these giant banks know better than me what is taxable and what is not. http://...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on cash back credit card?
Replies: 5
Views: 777

Re: Old car insurance

Collision with uninsured/underinsured or hit and run driver is not covered by comprehensive.

Comprehensive is actually called "other than collision loss" in my policy, under "damage to your auto".
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2996

Re: Old car insurance

Question: Why is everybody recommending comprehensive but dropping collision? If you can afford to total the car in a wreck, why would you insure the risk of flood, trees, fire, etc? Yep, I've never understood the logic of that either. It seems to be just based on the cost being minimal. I figure t...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2996

Re: International PE10 Update

None of this is an exact science and long-term forecast from GMO and RAFI (precise to three significant digits!) should be printed somewhere between the funny pages and your daily horoscope. But one basic fact slaps you in the face looking at these charts. Most countries are at or below their histo...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International PE10 Update
Replies: 28
Views: 2875

Re: tax dependent vs $3950 vs income

He will get the $3950 personal exemption (plus the standard deduction) and, so, will have no taxable income.

Also, I believe that the college tax credits (lifetime learning credit?) now go to him and can not be claimed by you.
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax dependent vs $3950 vs income
Replies: 18
Views: 1216

Re: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?

Each of the other children received approximately $10K - so there you have it. The price of a used car. The other children should have offered their extra 10K to the one who was cut out. Better option would have been for grandma to leave it equal and leave it to the better off one to decide if he o...
by jeffyscott
Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?
Replies: 43
Views: 3634

Re: Problems with Internet Explorer

KyleAAA wrote:IE hasn't been worth using since the 90s. You made the right choice.


I don't know about that, wasn't Netscape a better option back then :happy .
by jeffyscott
Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Problems with Internet Explorer
Replies: 24
Views: 1678

Re: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex

I'd been thinking of getting the Fidelity Amex, as a lot of our spending is at Costco. With that relationship ending in about a year, I probably won't bother and will wait to see what Costco is going to accept in future. We are mostly aiming at earning sign-up bonuses, so the ongoing 2% rebate would...
by jeffyscott
Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex
Replies: 23
Views: 2697

Re: Old car insurance

I liked to keep collision and comprehensive on at least one car all the time. This is because that coverage carries over to some other situations such as rental cars (in the US). My policies have always seemed to exclude rented cars for collision and comprehensive coverage, maybe this varies by sta...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2996

Re: Old car insurance

One factor is I don't think the insurance premiums are affected by mileage on the vehicle. They seem to go by just the model year. So I think the premium would be the same if the truck had 150,000 miles, for example. But, were it totaled, you would collect much more on a 40,000 mile truck than a 150...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2996

Re: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?

I have read an article it says you don't need to evenly split in many situation. If one child is lawyer and another is school teacher, you should give the school teacher more. The lawyer may be even better off than you are. If one child is disabled, he/she needs more help. You don't need to give an...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?
Replies: 43
Views: 3634

Re: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?

I didn't vote simply because, in my opinion all of the selections are unfair, at least if I am understanding them correctly. I agree. Though I may not understand the confusing way the options are presented. I think in situation A, I would like leave 1/3 to the surviving child and divide the other 2...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?
Replies: 43
Views: 3634
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