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Re: How Are Catch Up Contributions Made?

Meowcat, how it actually gets done may depend on your employer and their payroll system. Here is what happened with my friend who turned 50 last year. He was having 50% of his pay sent to his employers 457b plan (he works for a local government). By September, he hit the $17,500 limit and his employ...
by scrabbler1
Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Are Catch Up Contributions Made?
Replies: 14
Views: 1189

Re: How often do you rebalance to maintain your AA

I rebalance when I fall out of balance acording to my bands or range of acceptable AA. I do this more in my IRA than in my taxable accounts because in the latter I have different and shorter-term investment goals and a different AA. In 2013, I rebalanced 5 times in my IRA, 4 of them after I made a s...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you rebalance to maintain your AA
Replies: 35
Views: 1635

Re: Calculate effect of mortgage-interest deduction

When I was considering paying off my mortgage back in 1998, I created mock tax returns which showed how much more I would pay in income taxes if I paid it of due to losing the interest deduction. I also figured out how much dividend income I would forgo from the bond fund I planned to use if I paid ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculate effect of mortgage-interest deduction
Replies: 11
Views: 679

Re: How did you determine your "number" for retirement

The magic number I was seeking as I neared my early retirement back in 2008 was $300k, the desired value of my exploding company stock. My plan was to cash it out using NUA and buy shares of a bond fund whose NAV had (happily) become depressed throughout that year. That bond fund was paying 5 cents ...
by scrabbler1
Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you determine your "number" for retirement
Replies: 51
Views: 3282

Re: Automobile Medical Payments

I have this coverage with Allstate and wanted to get rid of it, since I have good health insurance and so do my few occasional passengers. Allstate wouldn't let me get rid of it, but they let me reduce the coverage to $10,000, which only costs about $20/yr. in my overall premium. The overall policy...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Automobile Medical Payments
Replies: 21
Views: 1148

Re: Death of co-worker

Back in my working days, I remember losing 2 coworkers in the same year (2000). Working for a large company, I did not have many dealings with either one but I did know them. One was a man in his 50s and the other a woman in only her 30s (a few years younger than I was at the time). Fast forward to ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Death of co-worker
Replies: 94
Views: 9259

Re: Need help with time share offer

Do NOT buy it. My ladyfriend boought a timeshare back in 2002 (before we met) and what happened over the years was that she had more and more trouble trying to use it (they rarely had the dates she wanted, and they were not peak times such as holidays), she was unable to rent it out (same problem), ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help with time share offer
Replies: 22
Views: 1521

Re: Pay property taxes in Dec or Jan?

If you have to make estimated state income tax payments, they can be bunched, too. I have been considering bunching my 4th quarter payments, due around Jan 15 of the following year, in such a way so that I pay them in January at the start of the yar for the precious year then again in December for t...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay property taxes in Dec or Jan?
Replies: 29
Views: 1384

Re: How/do you change asset allocation with time?

As an early retiree, 50, I have two AAs. One is for my IRA whose time horizon is 10 years when I will have unfettered access to it. There, I have been using around age=bonds so after having a 55/45 AA in favor of stocks, I switched to 50/50 last year when I turned 50. I answered the poll based on th...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How/do you change asset allocation with time?
Replies: 18
Views: 1136

Re: Property Taxes - Doubling Up

I have been looking into "bunching" for the last few years since I retired (early) about 5 years ago. The main tool I have to do this is the timing of my 4th quarter estimated state income tax payment. It is due Jan 15 but if I pay it in December I can "bunch" an extra payment in...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property Taxes - Doubling Up
Replies: 20
Views: 1211

Re: Hypothetically living off investment dividends?

No. What is the mechanism that will guarantee an increase in principal? Inflation will eat-away at the real value of both your principal and interest payments. Hence the reason why the principle will still grow in the market. Not using all dividends, only where and when necessary. (emphasis mine in...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hypothetically living off investment dividends?
Replies: 34
Views: 3010

Re: Convince me to get a credit card

But now I use my CC for more of my everyday purchases, mainly at the supermarket when it exceeds $40 Why such a high threshold why not use it for all supermarket purchases? I like to not have a lot of transactions on my CC. If I go in there and buy $10 or $15 or $20 or a little more, it is easier f...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you please convince me to get a credit card?
Replies: 80
Views: 4290

Re: Convince me to get a credit card

Until I got my first cash-back CC last year through the same bank I use for my checking account, I rarely used my CC. But now I use my CC for more of my everyday purchases, mainly at the suprmarket when it exceeds $40 (which is about 2/3 of the time, I am shopping only for me). The cashback, however...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you please convince me to get a credit card?
Replies: 80
Views: 4290

Re: Credit cards during and after college.

I recall when I was in college in the early 1980s there were CC applications (AmEx, I think) placed in each shopping bag our college bookstore gave out when we bought books. I remember a small controversy about the practice because college students did not typically have a steady income source. I di...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit cards during and after college.
Replies: 19
Views: 621

Re: Do you work part time in retirement?

I worked part-time for 7 years before I retired in late 2008 at age 45. I do not work any more. My money works for me instead of me working for my money. :)
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you work part time in retirement?
Replies: 59
Views: 3881

Re: Deductibility of estimated state taxes

Redstreet, I also learned the hard way the slight downside of making the 4th quarter estimated state tax payment in January of the following year instead of December of the actual tax year. This happened back in the 1990s, the first time I had to make such a payment. Since then (mostly, read on), I ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deductibility of estimated state taxes
Replies: 5
Views: 297

Re: Please help guestimate some expenses in retirement

I'm 47 and would like to retire at 50. I have been tracking expenses rather vigilantly for a few years now and feel I have a decent handle on expenses, and I think I've done a decent job projecting most of those expenses for retirement, but I need guidance on a few. My current expenses, excluding i...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help guestimate some expenses in retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 828

Re: Large Federal Refund but owed NYS tax, how to adjust?

Back in the 1990s, I had to claim a different number of exemptions for NY versus the Feds, especially after I was able to switch to the Standard Deduction for NY while still itemizing for the Feds. In my case, the Fed exemptions were fine but the NYS exemptions were off, so I filed form IT-2104 with...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large Federal Refund but owed NYS tax, how to adjust?
Replies: 4
Views: 285

Re: Reinvesting Div/Cap Gains in Cash Taxable Accounts

I do not have a core (cash) account with Fidelity. I can either reinvest dividends and cap gains into the same fund, sweep it into another fund, or take it as cash outside of Fidelity into my local bank's checking account. Back in 2012, I switched the option for one fund from reinvest into another f...
by scrabbler1
Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reinvesting Div/Cap Gains in Cash Taxable Accounts
Replies: 6
Views: 690

Re: Company NUA stock question.

When left my company in 2008, I used NUA to cash out the large company stock holding in the 401k/ESOP plan. As a condition of using NUA, I had to liquidate the entire account. Most of the value of the company stock was NUA, so I paid only 15% (LTCG) of that amount in federal income taxes (and NO 10%...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company NUA stock question.
Replies: 9
Views: 430

Re: Leaving Fidelity

I have been a Vanguard fan during more than 40 years as an investor. Went to Fidelity a few years ago because I though if I died my wife wouldn't know how to managed the money. First guy we had was fine--not aggressive in pushing Fidelity products. He left and the new person immediately wanted me t...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving Fidelity
Replies: 35
Views: 3019

Re: Any way to avoid large state tax refund?

Userdc, way way back in 1985, my first year of full-time work (I began working in July), I claimed 12 exemptions for both federal and NY because I figured out that was the right number to put on my W-4 form (whatever I put on it was automatically used for NY) to give me a nice (but temporary) "...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any way to avoid large state tax refund?
Replies: 13
Views: 1419

Re: How much do you make a year in Dividends?

As an early retiree who lives off my dividends, mostly from bond funds but some from stock funds, I had about $24k in bond fund dividends and about $5,700 in stock fund dividends. The bond fund dividends include some from muni bond funds but exclude short-term cap gain distributions which are classi...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much do you make a year in Dividends?
Replies: 72
Views: 5681

Re: Using Life Expectancy Tables for RMD

My friend has an inherited IRA following his mom's death in 2012. It is with Fidelity so whenever he signs into their website and goes to his IRA account, it tells him what his RMD is for the year and if he has taken it yet. It also tells him how it is calculated. In 2013, the divisor was 34.20 (yea...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using Life Expectancy Tables for RMD
Replies: 22
Views: 1419

Re: List of Telemarketing Phone Numbers

I have been on DNC since 2000 but I wonder if anyone abides by it. I get calls all the time from "Amy from card services," chimney cleaners (I live in an apartment building), carpet cleaners, and charities whose telemarketing firms keep an outrageously high 80% or more of the donations (I ...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: List of Telemarketing Phone Numbers
Replies: 14
Views: 916

Re: How did you decide how much to save?

I saved what I did not spend. That being said, over the years, I saved money in different ways and for different purposes. For a few years when I was starting out in the late 1980s, I was saving to pay off student loans, buy a new car using cash, and for the down payment on my co-op apartment. I cho...
by scrabbler1
Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you decide how much to save?
Replies: 119
Views: 9157

Re: how to deal with an inheritance

My friend's mom passed away in late August of 2012. It took a while for the assets to be divided up between him and his sister. Hurricane Sandy further delayed things so it wasn't all done until late November, around Thanksgiving. I recall the IRA taking longer because they had to take the RMD out f...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to deal with an inheritance
Replies: 13
Views: 1910

Re: Did you retire in your 30s?

Did you retire in your 30s? If yes, what lessons did you learn? What would you do differently? What would you definitely do again? What did you tell people when asked what you do? I retired 5 years ago at age 45. I had been working part-time for the last 7 years so it wasn't a big change to not wor...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you retire in your 30s?
Replies: 55
Views: 5295

Re: how to deal with an inheritance

Posaune, back in late 2012, my friend received a large inheritance from his mom of about the same size as what you described. It included a lot of cash, individual stocks, individual bonds and CDs, and a few mutual funds. The original investment company (Morgan-Stanley) consolidated his mom's scatte...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to deal with an inheritance
Replies: 13
Views: 1910

Re: Retirement Savings Growth exceeds Annual Retirement Expe

The first year my annual retirement savings growth exceeded what would be my future retirement expenses was in 2003, the year I turned 40. That year, as well as 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 all saw the same thing happen. A big reason was the explosion in the value of the company stock in the plan. I ...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Savings Growth exceeds Annual Retirement Expense
Replies: 29
Views: 2899

Re: Retirement Savings Growth exceeds Annual Retirement Expe

The first year my annual retirement savings growth exceeded what would be my future retirement expenses was in 2003, the year I turned 40. That year, as well as 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 all saw the same thing happen. A big reason was the explosion in the value of the company stock in the plan. I r...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Savings Growth exceeds Annual Retirement Expense
Replies: 29
Views: 2899

Re: What is your 2013 Federal Effective Tax Rate?

It just so happens that using AGI, Total Gross Income (including muni bond fund income), or Taxable Income in the denominator, my average tax rate falls into the same 3% range so I simply picked that one (3%-6%).
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your 2013 Federal Effective Tax Rate?
Replies: 73
Views: 4711

Re: Poll: Are you going to retire? And if so, when?

I recently read an article entitled "The case for never retiring." It summarized a couple different studies, one from Harvard and one from a research institute in the UK. Here are some of the findings: + Retirement increases the probability of suffering from clinical depression by about 4...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Are you going to retire? And if so, when?
Replies: 38
Views: 2975

Re: Poll: When did you retire? Would you do it all over agai

I retired in late 2008 at age 45. Yes, I would do it again, it was the best life-changing event I have had.
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: When did you retire? Would you do it all over again ?
Replies: 103
Views: 10672

Re: How did you get through the market crash in 08-09

The market crash in late 2008 was very helpful to the early retirement plan I had been putting together for over a year. I left my job at the end of October that year (2008) and was able to sell my company stock whose price had not yet taken a big hit and buy about 25% more shares of a bond fund I p...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you get through the market crash in 08-09
Replies: 104
Views: 5435

Re: Safest Way to Send Money to IRS?

I have always mailed a check, for the last few years made out to United States Treasury per filing instructions. If the check (from an estimated tax filing or annual IT filing) is for an unusually large amount, I mail it from the post office (no return receipt, just to reduce the chance of the postm...
by scrabbler1
Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safest Way to Send Money to IRS?
Replies: 35
Views: 1578

Re: Emergency fund tiers?

I used tiered emergency funds. 1st Tier: Money Market, bank account 2nd Tier: Short term bond fund The second tier can go down in value, but nothing crazy. I keep set amounts in each. I've never had to use 2nd tier, but my roof is getting old. This is pretty much my strategy. My first tier of EF is...
by scrabbler1
Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency fund tiers?
Replies: 24
Views: 1290

Re: Retirees: About your retirement

It was a goal although I expected it to happen in my early 50s, not at 45 back in 2008.
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: About your retirement
Replies: 55
Views: 5493

Re: Worth fighting ticket to avoid points, higher insurance?

If the officer is unable to be present at the trial, the ticket is dismissed. I recall on one of my tickets back in the 1980s I would appear in court only to be told the case would be postponed. Might the officer have been absent but the ADA simply put it off without risking his case? I was pretty ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth fighting ticket to avoid points, higher insurance?
Replies: 46
Views: 2681

Re: Tax deduction larger than AGI. What to do?

Jburke, I nearly had something similar happen to me back in 2008-09. I had a large, lump-sum payout in late 2008 but I figured out before the end of 2008 that should make my 4th qtr 2008 estimated state income tax payment before 12/31/08 because the amount of state income taxes I would pay the follo...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax deduction larger than AGI. What to do?
Replies: 7
Views: 644

Re: Alert. Scam with callers posing as IRS agents...

What about that thing at the bottom of one's income tax return where the taxpayer can designate someone (other than a paid preparer) to call to discuss the taxpayer's return? The designee provides a PIN code so the IRS can verify that person. When would the IRS use this? I help prepare tax returns f...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Alert. Scam with callers posing as IRS agents...
Replies: 29
Views: 1786

Re: My 401k match

At my old company, they matched 50% of the first 6% of salary but in 1991 they upped it to 75% of the first 6%, an even better deal. My ladyfriend's company has an odd matching determination in their 403b plan. They match 50% of the first 6% but then add another flat 1% just for being in the plan. S...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My 401k match
Replies: 24
Views: 1410

Re: Worth fighting ticket to avoid points, higher insurance?

Here in New York we can take an accident prevention course which removes points from your driving record (and insurance record) as long as the course was not court-mandated. In NY the course is available to drivers of all ages, unlike in many states which allow drivers over a certain age (55 or 60 o...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth fighting ticket to avoid points, higher insurance?
Replies: 46
Views: 2681

Re: The dealership wants my 2 year old car back?

I have been getting letters from my local Toyota dealer like this for several years, each offering to buy back my 2007 Corolla. Letters are far less intrusive although I am amused by how they glitz up the letters and especially the envelopes to make these "personalized" offers seem so &quo...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The dealership wants my 2 year old car back?
Replies: 46
Views: 4266

Re: How Many Funds Do You Have in Taxable?

Four here. Three are bond funds which do not overlap, and one stock fund. I'm curious, what are the three bond funds that don't overlap? One is an intermediate-term national muni bond fund. A second is a long-term home-state muni bond fund. A third is a long-term corporate bond fund. Corporate bond...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Many Funds Do You Have in Taxable?
Replies: 97
Views: 4888

Re: How Many Funds Do You Have in Taxable?

Doc wrote:
scrabbler1 wrote:Four here. Three are bond funds which do not overlap, and one stock fund.


I'm curious, what are the three bond funds that don't overlap?


One is an intermediate-term national muni bond fund. A second is a long-term home-state muni bond fund. A third is a long-term corporate bond fund.
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Many Funds Do You Have in Taxable?
Replies: 97
Views: 4888

Re: How Many Funds Do You Have in Taxable?

Four here. Three are bond funds which do not overlap, and one stock fund.
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Many Funds Do You Have in Taxable?
Replies: 97
Views: 4888

Re: Multiple Tax Lots from Reinvesting Dividends

I have a spreadsheet which enables me to figure out the gain or loss on each lot of a sale of shares in one of my mutual funds I use FIFO as I have done the whole time so it is not terribly difficult to figure out the gain or loss on the rare sales of shares outside of my IRA. For example, I sold $1...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Multiple Tax Lots from Reinvesting Dividends
Replies: 20
Views: 681

Re: Will this affect your Tipping?

Two words: Use Cash!

No, I would not tip at an ice cream place unless I was receiving waiter/waitress service while sitting down at a table. This is really tacky.
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will this affect your Tipping? [Suggested Tip Amounts]
Replies: 123
Views: 7546

Re: My Company's Retirement Seminar. . . What a sham!

In my 23 years of working from 1985-2008, our 401k plan was managed by several plan administrators. While each change tended to improve our fund options without polluting the menu with too many high-ER funds, I will say that the last change from Dreyfus-Mellon to Principal Financial Group in 2004 wa...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My Company's Retirement Seminar. . . What a sham!
Replies: 15
Views: 2498
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