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Re: Retiree Poll: Satisfaction with retirement

I am 51 and have been retired for 6 years. Just being out of the rat race and the daily grind, especially the commute, is the best part. I had worked part-time for 7 years prior to fully retiring so I had already set up enough activities with my extra time. Fully retiring enabled me to expand on the...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiree Poll: Satisfaction with retirement
Replies: 53
Views: 3759

Re: Has anyone ever voluntarily downsized their job?

Twice in the last 7 years I worked, I asked for and received a reduction in the number of hours I worked per week. The first time was in 2001 when I switched from working full-time to part-time 20 hours per week). The second time was in 2007 when I further reduced my weekly hours worked from 20 to 1...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone ever voluntarily downsized their job?
Replies: 32
Views: 2754

Re: Old car insurance

Poster Wander put it well, as did some others. I dropped Collision but kept Comp because Comp is a lot cheaper. Comp also covers you for the high-frequency, low-severity Glass cause of loss. Furthermore, to make Glass cause of loss within the Comp coverage useful, buy the full-coverage (zero deduct...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2732

Re: Old car insurance

I never heard of such a thing. I worked in the auto insurance industry for 23 years and never heard of such a requirement. I reviewed insurance data and the Collision exposures (# of cars insured by the company) were always less than the Comp exposures. The only time I know when someone has to buy ...
by scrabbler1
Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2732

Re: Old car insurance

Poster Wander put it well, as did some others. I dropped Collision but kept Comp because Comp is a lot cheaper. Comp also covers you for the high-frequency, low-severity Glass cause of loss. Furthermore, to make Glass cause of loss within the Comp coverage useful, buy the full-coverage (zero deducti...
by scrabbler1
Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2732

Re: Old car insurance

Remember, you can always drop Collision but keep Comprehensive; you don't have to buy both or reject both. I think different companies are different. My Ins company does not allow me to keep Comprehensive when I dropped Collision, so I dropped both. I never heard of such a thing. I worked in the au...
by scrabbler1
Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2732

Re: Fidelity 1099

Did anyone receive their Fidelity Consolidated 1099? Yes, several weeks ago. It depends on what you have in your account. A friend and I are both Fidelity clients. I hold only 5 mutual funds with them and nothing else. I got my final 1099 several weeks ago. But my friend, who owns Fidelity funds, n...
by scrabbler1
Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity 1099
Replies: 7
Views: 567

Re: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?

Even though my eventual early retirement at age 45 wasn't quite yet on my radar, I will still include both my 401k and taxable account balances combined. In 2015 dollars, I had about $116k at age 30 (1993), nearly evenly split between those two types of accounts. I use the approximate midpoint of th...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?
Replies: 173
Views: 12438

Re: What age do you guys plan to retire?

furwut wrote:I have 3 simple rules for retiring early.

1. Don't get married
2. Don't get divorced
3. Don't have kids

Violate 2 of them and you are hurting. Violate all 3 then game over.


Well put (especially with #3)! I agree fully and have abided by all 3 and retired 6 years ago at age 45.
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age do you guys plan to retire?
Replies: 143
Views: 8597

Re: What age do you guys plan to retire?

Fifteen years ago, I was predicting a retirement in my early 50. But after I switched to working part-time at age 38, that predicted age dropped, so once I was zooming forward with my ER plan, things fell into place quickly and I was able to retire 6 years ago at age 45.
by scrabbler1
Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age do you guys plan to retire?
Replies: 143
Views: 8597

Re: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)

As an early retiree with zero taxes withheld from any of my dividends or cap gain distributions, any taxes I pay are either through estimated tax payments or in April of the following year. So I never get a refund. I will owe the Feds about $600 and the state (NY) $50. Because I am bunching my deduc...
by scrabbler1
Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)
Replies: 110
Views: 7226

Re: Old car insurance

Remember, you can always drop Collision but keep Comprehensive; you don't have to buy both or reject both. In the waning years of my previous car, I dropped Collision but kept Comprehensive because Comp covered me for things like Wind & Water, theft, vandalism, and especially glass (i.e. windshi...
by scrabbler1
Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2732

Re: Negotiating down to part time hours

ThankYouJack, during my 23-year career, twice I asked for and got my weekly hours worked reduced. The first time, after 16 years of working full-time, I was able to negotiate a part-time, mostly telecommuting arrangement. The long, tiring, and often sickening commute was the biggest thing I hated ab...
by scrabbler1
Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating down to part time hours
Replies: 5
Views: 751

Re: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?

OP, what happens when your aunt needs 24/7 care that costs lots of $$$ and/or expensive medical care that drains her finances? She could live another 20 years--more and more people are living to be 100+. Don't expect to inherit ANYTHING and you won't be disappoinoted. Well, I understand that may ha...
by scrabbler1
Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?
Replies: 124
Views: 7908

Re: Average amount saved for retirement by age

I am so tired of seeing statements about you need x amount times your income to retire at such and such an age.There is no magic formula unless you just make up a number that gives you a real number based on the amount you actually need.If you need 1 million then multiply your salary by whatever it...
by scrabbler1
Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Average amount saved for retirement by age
Replies: 133
Views: 27406

Re: Can I deduct this state income tax payment?

YoungLion, I began bunching my deductions in 2014 to lower my aggregate, 2-year tax bill. Part of that included doing just what you did, paying a small balance in April, 2014, toward resolving my 2013 state income taxes. My own situation has some added complications which work against bunching. Firs...
by scrabbler1
Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I deduct this state income tax payment?
Replies: 8
Views: 551

Re: New York State of Health - Insurance

Larry, I can comment about your third example. My proof of income was also various investment reports, all of which were tagged as "insufficient" proofs of income. But it was moot for me because I chose not to get any advance premium subsidy. I have no taxes withheld from any of my investm...
by scrabbler1
Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New York State of Health - Insurance
Replies: 6
Views: 431

Re: Did you overestimate your retirement spending?

I retired 6 years ago at age 45. The most volatile expense has been health insurance. The premium for the individual policy I had lined up in 2009 before I retired rose 20% in 2010 and 25% in 2011, or 50% combined. That was going to bust my budget but thankfully the ACA had already passed by then so...
by scrabbler1
Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you overestimate your retirement spending?
Replies: 17
Views: 2256

Re: The Emergency Fund Revisited

I keep about 3 months worth of expenses in money market or online savings accounts, then I have another 3 months of expenses in an intermediate municipal bond fund (Vanguard). The muni bond fund is considered part of my bond allocation for retirement but is there if I would need it for other purpos...
by scrabbler1
Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Emergency Fund Revisited
Replies: 20
Views: 1885

Re: POLL: Do you personally own a cell phone?

Still looking for that "emergencies only" no gimmicks cell phone. Any ideas would be appreciated. Don't need movies, don't need photos, don't want to be charged for spam. Am I delusional? Not delusional, it's possible. We used to use TracFone prepaid. Now we use T-Mobile prepaid. We spend...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: Do you personally own a cell phone?
Replies: 92
Views: 6171

Re: Workplace net worth conversations you'd like to avoid?

After I announced my resignation from work back in late 2008 to begin my early retirement and exit from the rat race at 45, some coworkers asked me how I did it. My answer was 4 words: "No kids, no debts" That ended the conversation very quickly LOL! And I didn't have to go into any NW det...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Workplace net worth conversations you'd like to avoid?
Replies: 87
Views: 9332

Re: POLL: Do you personally own a cell phone?

So far, I have gotten twice as many scam and junk calls on it than I have from legit people. Funny (but true) story. I go into the local AT&T store, tell them I have no cell phone, and would like a "bare bones" phone and plan for "emergencies only". They sell me a phone, and...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: Do you personally own a cell phone?
Replies: 92
Views: 6171

Re: POLL: Do you personally own a cell phone?

No cell phone: no one would call me anyway. Yes, on landline, though that is pretty silent too. I finally caved and got a cell phone last month. It's a long story but the main purpose is for me to call my ladyfriend. So far, I have gotten twice as many scam and junk calls on it than I have from leg...
by scrabbler1
Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: Do you personally own a cell phone?
Replies: 92
Views: 6171

Re: POLL: How Will You Complete Your 2014 Taxes?

rkhusky wrote:Spreadsheet and fillable pdf's.


I began dabbling with the fillable pdfs last year which go along with my homemade spreadsheets I have been using for 20 years.
by scrabbler1
Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: How Will You Complete Your 2014 Taxes?
Replies: 69
Views: 4772

Re: What age did you become financially independent of paren

I answered 23-25 because I moved out of my parents' house when I was 23. However, I did borrow some money from them to help pay for the closing costs when I bought my co-op apartment a few years later. I paid them back in 7 months, when I was 26. It was a short-term loan so I don't consider that bei...
by scrabbler1
Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What age did you become financially independent of parents?
Replies: 68
Views: 4655

Re: Emergency fund investing - muni fund

Thanks for the links! A lot of reading...only a few alternatives. So many people with Ally Savings! I'm in a "middle" tax bracket and the fund I'm looking at has had only one losing quarter in the last 4 years and that was only a -2% with an average annual return of 4-5%. To me, the certa...
by scrabbler1
Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emergency fund investing - muni fund
Replies: 10
Views: 967

Re: What age did you move out?

I don't consider moving to a college dorm moving "out" because my old bedroom was intact with my furniture when I came back home for some weekends, holiday breaks, and summers. I did move out (first attempt) 6 weeks after I finished college at age 22. I moved back home 9 months later but t...
by scrabbler1
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What age did you move out?
Replies: 117
Views: 5185

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

A big difference between a debt and an expense is that a debt such as a mortgage, student loan, or car loan, will disappear over time. It gets paid off so the debtor doesn't owe any money on it any more, turning that monthly payment to zero, hence the term "debt-free." An expense such as ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 318
Views: 39043

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

A big difference between a debt and an expense is that a debt such as a mortgage, student loan, or car loan, will disappear over time. It gets paid off so the debtor doesn't owe any money on it any more, turning that monthly payment to zero, hence the term "debt-free." An expense such as r...
by scrabbler1
Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 318
Views: 39043

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

I do not like any debt and will pay it off at any cost. I have no mortgage debt, no car debt, not credit card debt, etc. I don't like it, either, and have had no debt since I paid off my mortgage in 9 years in 1998. I also avoided having at the same time more than one of what I call the "big t...
by scrabbler1
Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 318
Views: 39043

Re: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?

You can usually avoid airport surcharge even with by doing pick-up off airport with return to the airport. I somehow learned this little fact more than 20 years ago before I rented a car in Houston. My mom and I had flown into Houston on a corporate jet (through the Corporate Angels Network which l...
by scrabbler1
Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?
Replies: 89
Views: 7858

Re: Malware problem on new PC

Some malware disables Windows Restore and erases all the back points. You can't get the old restore points back and it was a nuisance trying to figure out how to get Restore working again, it required a change to the registry which can be tricky. Other malware prevents malwarebytes from running in r...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Malware problem on new PC
Replies: 42
Views: 2700

Re: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxe

I have always done my own taxes going back to 1985 when I finished college and entered the workforce. I was already familiar with the basic tax forms because I had helped my mom do our household taxes back in the 1970s and early 1980s as a teenager. Besides my own taxes, I have also been preparing t...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxes
Replies: 40
Views: 4793

Re: Malware problem on new PC

Use Malwarebytes. Don't use anything but reputable software to clean up malware. A lot of the stuff you find on the internet to clean malware is malware itself. Microsoft Security Essentials is also a good tool for viruses and malware. My computer geek guys recommend both Malwarebytes and Microsoft...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Malware problem on new PC
Replies: 42
Views: 2700

Re: Malware problem on new PC

Use Malwarebytes. Don't use anything but reputable software to clean up malware. A lot of the stuff you find on the internet to clean malware is malware itself. Microsoft Security Essentials is also a good tool for viruses and malware. My computer geek guys recommend both Malwarebytes and Microsoft...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Malware problem on new PC
Replies: 42
Views: 2700

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

Depends on what I define as net worth. If I include non-retirement assets, retirement assets, and the equity in my co-op apartment, then the age I was when I hit the $100k mark was 31, in 1994. If I exclude the equity in my apartment (the smallest component), then it remains age 31 but is nearly 32....
by scrabbler1
Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you hit $100,000?
Replies: 68
Views: 6049

Re: What age did you pay off your "forever" home

Not sure if it my forever home but it probably is. I bought my co-op apartment in 1989 just before I turned 26. I was single and childfree at the time and remain so today. Nine years later, in 1998, just after I turned 35, I paid off the mortgage. It was a big step toward being able to retire 10 yea...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you pay off your "forever" home
Replies: 52
Views: 4180

Re: How Long Do You Keep Tax Records?

Until a few years ago, I just took a tax folder (by year) and put it into a big box I keep in my closet. I would keep the latest 5 years of these folders in a more easily accessible file cabinet drawer. But the box in the closet got full so I had to do something about it. I had tax return folders go...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Long Do You Keep Tax Records?
Replies: 28
Views: 2451

Re: Retirees: Do you work part-time for pay?

If I did, I would not be retired :oops: ... I could be considered semi-retired, pre-retired, somewhat retired, or any other term other than just plain retired . http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retirement Just my POV as a retiree, quickly approaching my 8th anniversary since my last payche...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees: Do you work part-time for pay?
Replies: 58
Views: 4984

Re: Doing my taxes by hand

Build spreadsheets based on the forms and worksheets. Once you have it setup and call in cells from one form to another, it is not hard to maintain year to year unless there are major tax changes. The one that is ridiculous is the capital gains worksheet. This is what I began doing 20 years ago whe...
by scrabbler1
Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing my taxes by hand
Replies: 64
Views: 4810

Re: Doing my taxes by hand

Every year someone posts about doing taxes by hand. Why? Would someone attempt to wash a big load of laundry by hand? Cut a big yard every week with a pushmower? I get it that taxes are a once a year thing. But with all the cheap software, why do it by hand? What's the point? I disagree with your a...
by scrabbler1
Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing my taxes by hand
Replies: 64
Views: 4810

Re: Looking for low cost cell phone plans...

My wife and I have triple-minute Tracfones. $20 for a 60 (180) minute card and we can usually find a promo code online for another 30 bonus min. We refill maybe once every 2 months. Cheapest non-smart phone there is, IMO. I just bought a prepaid basic Tracfone today with 60 (140) minutes good for 5...
by scrabbler1
Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for low cost cell phone plans...
Replies: 47
Views: 4089

Re: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else in Their Account?

Back in the early 1990s, my parents were out of town for several weeks and had a few checks arrive at their house. I was able to deposit them into their local bank with no problem. I had some of their pre-printed deposit slips with the account number and wrote on the back of the check, "For Dep...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else in Their Account?
Replies: 27
Views: 2320

Re: Does anyone here collect currency?

I have accumulated a bunch of Canadian coins, some of which are not minted any more, and a bunch of US coins and bills such as the $2 bills printed around 1976 and several Eisenhower silver dollars circa 1971. I have some 1943 pennies, both copper and silver, and Kennedy half-dollars. I even saved ...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone here collect currency?
Replies: 30
Views: 1960

Re: Does anyone here collect currency?

I have accumulated a bunch of Canadian coins, some of which are not minted any more, and a bunch of US coins and bills such as the $2 bills printed around 1976 and several Eisenhower silver dollars circa 1971. I have some 1943 pennies, both copper and silver, and Kennedy half-dollars. I even saved s...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone here collect currency?
Replies: 30
Views: 1960

Re: Do you generally spend more when using credit cards?

For small day-to-day purchases, there is no effect for me. I carry enough cash, and payment method is somewhat arbitrary. In recent years I've found myself more likely to pay for $20-100 items with credit card, but make correspondingly fewer visits to the ATM. For large purchases ($1000 and up), I'...
by scrabbler1
Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you generally spend more when using credit cards?
Replies: 71
Views: 2745

Re: Paper Statements

I like getting financial statements on paper, especially the year-end ones and the 1099s. I often write notes on them including some calculations not shown on the statements. I get rid of the monthly statements once I get a year-end one.
by scrabbler1
Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paper Statements
Replies: 68
Views: 3415

Re: Company Stock in 401k

When I left my former company back in late 2008, I had about 55% of my 401k in company stock. The stock was mostly in addition to the 401k and at the time we had to keep at least 65% of the stock in our account as long as we worked there. I was able to use NUA to cash out the company stock at favora...
by scrabbler1
Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Company Stock in 401k
Replies: 7
Views: 595

Re: [Annual POLL] What was your 2014 return?

Tortuga wrote:For us it was 4.5% in 2014. Tempered by heavy weighting to bonds reflecting low need to take risk.

Tortuga


This basically is what happened for me. I am an early retiree who has a bond-heavy taxable account (~2.4% return) and a 50-50 IRA (~8.4% return) and has more money in the former.
by scrabbler1
Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Annual POLL] What was your 2014 return?
Replies: 144
Views: 14481

Re: Do you usually order beverage at restaurants?

Most of what I eat at restaurants I order a soft drink but it depends on what I am ordering as to what soft drink I order. It might be milk, chocolate milk, chocolate shake, or, most often, soda. The rare desserts and breakfasts I order milk. Whether or not I order a soft drink, I always ask for wat...
by scrabbler1
Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you usually order (not-free) beverage at restaurants?
Replies: 89
Views: 7685
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