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Re: How much you need to save as multiple of salary

I don't what salary has to do with anything. Same here. Expenses matter, not salary. Twice in my last 7 years of working I asked for and received a reduction in my salary because I wanted to work fewer hours until I eventually retired early. My savings rate fell when I did this, of course, but not ...
by scrabbler1
Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much you need to save as multiple of salary
Replies: 51
Views: 6203

Re: Do I need to hold my emergency fund in cash?

A lot of people, including me, put their EF in layers, or tiers. My first tier is about $750 in surplus cash in local bank's checking account above the minimum balance to avoid monthly fees. I use this to cover small, unforeseen expenses which may arise in a given month. My second tier is about $40k...
by scrabbler1
Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need to hold my emergency fund in cash?
Replies: 29
Views: 3071

Re: Anyone moved from NY?

I'm a city gal, I LOVE, LOVE LOVE city life. things I've learned are important. 1) walkability. I hate driving every where. While I can't say I'm a "cty guy," when I lived in Manhattan for a few years in the 1980s I liked being able to walk to most places. I was able to bring that desire ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone moved from NY?
Replies: 43
Views: 2797

Re: Anyone moved from NY?

I have lived on Long Island for most of my life (I am 51) except for a few years in the 1980s when I was in college in Manhattan. If you are not living the so-called "life script" (i.e. marriage, kids, a house) then LI is not a bad place. I live in a small apartment in a well run co-op com...
by scrabbler1
Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone moved from NY?
Replies: 43
Views: 2797

Re: Do you keep paper copies of your investment statements?

I do keep all of my canceled checks going back to the 1980s although since my bank stopped sending them to me a few years ago, I had to print them out on line. I forgot to do that a few months a few years ago so I have some gaps in there. It was too far back for the bank to still have them on line....
by scrabbler1
Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you keep paper copies of your investment statements?
Replies: 33
Views: 1891

Re: Do you keep paper copies of your investment statements?

I keep paper copies of the monthly statements and any confirmation receipts until the annual statement comes out. As for bills, I keep the previous year's bills plus the current year as it builds up. When I get ready to shred the second year back's bills after the current year becomes complete, I go...
by scrabbler1
Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you keep paper copies of your investment statements?
Replies: 33
Views: 1891

Re: Credit Card Account [Automatically Closed] due to inacti

I had 3 cards closed in 2008-09 due to inactivity. One was a department store charge card I opened in 2007 just to get a discount on something I bought. I never used that card again. I never got any warning letter, not that I cared. The other two cards I had since the early 1990s. One I had used fro...
by scrabbler1
Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Account [Automatically Closed] due to inactivity
Replies: 29
Views: 1912

Re: POLL: Has a financial firm made a mistake with your mone

It seems there's no options about banks making errors with their money???? Is that intentional? As mr monopoly said "bank error in your favor.... Collect 200$" I had a real-life version of that Monopoly card once back in the 1980s. I made a cash deposit of $100 but the bank teller was una...
by scrabbler1
Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Has a financial firm made a mistake with your money?
Replies: 52
Views: 2635

Re: Can estimated tax replace withholding?

I have told this story a few times over the years but I will tell it again. Back in 1985, the first year I was working full-time, I claimed 12 allowances (yup, not exemptions) on my W-4 form. Back then, there were no IRS online calculators to aid my figuring out what nyumber I should write on the W-...
by scrabbler1
Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can estimated tax replace withholding?
Replies: 11
Views: 671

Re: RMD Process

My friend has an inherited IRA so he has to make RMDs even though he is only 51. He has some individual stocks and bonds in the IRA which spin off interest and dividends throughout the year into its cash account. The interest and dividends end up being slightly more than his RMD so every year we can...
by scrabbler1
Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD Process
Replies: 13
Views: 769

Re: Coin Counting Machines

No one else needs their quarters for the laundromat? Just me then? :( Other coins went to TD Bank when their counting machines were for everyone. Now that they're for account-holders only it's the Coinstar machine for Amazon credit. I make sure to keep any quarters I get as change and put the rest ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coin Counting Machines
Replies: 58
Views: 4040

Re: Poll: Cash Holdings

What about the cash portions of mutual funds as shown in their annual reports? Somehow, I don't think the OP means for us to include them. If I cound only the cash in my local bank's checking account (everything else is in mutual funds, nothing less risky than an intermediate-term muni bond fund), t...
by scrabbler1
Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Cash Holdings
Replies: 65
Views: 3617

Re: Coin Counting Machines

I rarely use cash, since I want credit card rewards, and when I do, I carry around a coin wallet, so I actually spend my coins. Also, I haven't seen them in grocery stores around here, but some grocery stores have self service checkout. I've seen people bring their jar of coins in and use self chec...
by scrabbler1
Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coin Counting Machines
Replies: 58
Views: 4040

Re: Coin Counting Machines

Once in a while, I use the self-checkout machine at the supermarket. I can use as part of my payment all the coins I want (anything less than a quarter). If I get coins back as change, I get quarters first which is fine.
by scrabbler1
Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coin Counting Machines
Replies: 58
Views: 4040

Re: Reinvest dividends and capital gains?

Would it make a difference if the holdings in taxable is a national and /or state tax free muni mutual fund if it would be better to reinvest or take as cash? Thanks Are you asking about the process or from an advisory perspective? The process is the same. As for advice, if you need the money to me...
by scrabbler1
Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reinvest dividends and capital gains?
Replies: 44
Views: 3793

Re: Reinvest dividends and capital gains?

Beginner question...how do I actually transfer dividends to a money market fund if I don't have 3,000 sitting in cash already? Because that's the minimum investment. Vanguard brokerage accounts come with a money market account they call a sweep account. There is no minimum balance requirement. If y...
by scrabbler1
Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reinvest dividends and capital gains?
Replies: 44
Views: 3793

Re: Reinvest dividends and capital gains?

As an early retiree, I use most (about 2/3) of my dividends to pay my bills. Excess dividends and all cap gain distributions are reinvested.
by scrabbler1
Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reinvest dividends and capital gains?
Replies: 44
Views: 3793

Re: ACH transfers

Many banks and credit unions will "pull" (by ACH) from another bank or credit union account - either on a one-time basis or on a regular schedule. One example of a "pull" ACH is commonly done if you are late on a loan payment (that you normally pay by check) and you are contacte...
by scrabbler1
Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACH transfers
Replies: 14
Views: 1017

Re: Trying to understand the 1040 Tax Table

LOL Rusty, I use Lotus2000 for many of my spreadsheets. I do know how to use Excel, too, I just prefer Lotus because I used that in my formative years of my working career. The formula I posted is a Lotus one. As for bunching, there is a downside to bunching, as I have figured out from my handy-dand...
by scrabbler1
Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to understand the 1040 Tax Table
Replies: 36
Views: 2479

Re: Trying to understand the 1040 Tax Table

I have a homemade spreadsheet which mimics a tax form including the income taxed which come from the tax table. I am able to convert the income amount to the midpoint of the $50 range then calculate the taxes due based on that adjusted income amount. That amount matches the tax shown in the tax tab...
by scrabbler1
Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to understand the 1040 Tax Table
Replies: 36
Views: 2479

Re: Mortgages and financial freedom

Paying off my mortgage back in 1998 was a key step toward my early retirement which began in 2008. I had a 1-year ARM whose interest rate had crept up to just over 8% after I refinanced it at 6% in 1992. I used some of the gains in the booming stock market to pay it off. With my expenses greatly low...
by scrabbler1
Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgages and financial freedom
Replies: 111
Views: 6842

Re: Guidance on car insurance

I worked in the actuarial field for 23 years, specializing in personal auto insurance. I can tell you that the cost for buying $50k for Property Damage (PD) Liability is not a lot higher than for $20k or $25k, so you should definitely up the PD limit. And No-Fault, or PIP, depending on your state, w...
by scrabbler1
Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guidance on car insurance
Replies: 9
Views: 723

Re: Trying to understand the 1040 Tax Table

Faith20879, if you want to see how the tax brackets work their way into the tax tables, look at the tax liabilities for two income amounts $1,000 apart. Make sure the two income amounts do not straddle a tax bracket's end point. If they are in the 15% bracket, for example, then the tax amounts will ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to understand the 1040 Tax Table
Replies: 36
Views: 2479

Re: AA Between Taxable and Retirement Accounts For Early Ret

At 51, I am an early retiree for the last 6 years. My rollover IRA was at 55/45 (just like it was in my 401k in my working years) until last year when I trimmed it to 50/50. My taxable account is 65/35 in favor of bonds because I use the bond fund's income to pay my expenses. I always have viewed th...
by scrabbler1
Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA Between Taxable and Retirement Accounts For Early Retiree
Replies: 15
Views: 1561

Re: Capital Gain Tax on Muni Bond Funds

InvestorWD, sometimes these bond funds pay capital gain distributions which are usually taxable. They may be long-term or short-term but they are not frequent and usually pretty small. These come about from the fund's manager selling the underlying bonds in the fund at a gain. They have to be report...
by scrabbler1
Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Capital Gain Tax on Muni Bond Funds
Replies: 15
Views: 1148

Re: Do you take all of your allowed paid vacation time?

Although I am retired now and answered the poll that way, here is how I handled my paid vacation time over the years I worked. Early on, I had only 2 weeks plus a few personal days but I used nearly all of them in one shot because I went out of town for about 2 weeks. When I hit the 5-year mark and ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you take all of your allowed paid vacation time?
Replies: 88
Views: 5704

Re: Do you tip on the tax?

I don't tip on the tax. I will tip around 20%, a little less if the service was subpar but still acceptable (see below) and a little more if the service was better than I expected. What I will do if I had a problem with the service is to go to the restaurant's website (if the place has one, which is...
by scrabbler1
Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you tip on the tax? [Restaurants]
Replies: 124
Views: 5065

Re: [live off dividends?] How the rich stay/get richer??

As an early retiree the last 6 years, I have been living off dividends. Most of my bond fund dividends are used to pay my bills but excess bond fund dividends get reinvested. My stock fund dividends get reinvested as do any cap gain distributions from all my funds. I also have unrealized cap gains t...
by scrabbler1
Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [live off dividends?] How the rich stay/get richer??
Replies: 62
Views: 4987

Re: Reducing time spent paying bills

I use several methods to pay my bills, depending on what method(s) the biller allows, the amount of the bill, how frequently I get billed, and how much faith I have in the biller to process the payment correctly. For the common, low-amount bills such as electric, cable TV, and phone, I let the bille...
by scrabbler1
Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reducing time spent paying bills
Replies: 25
Views: 1750

Re: What was Underestimated\Overestimated in Retirement

I retired 6 years ago at age 45. The only expense which has jumped around a lot has been health insurance premiums. But thanks to the ACA I now have a decent policy again at an affordable price. Income taxes have spiked only when I had an income spike (from a large short-term cap gains distribution ...
by scrabbler1
Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was Underestimated\Overestimated in Retirement
Replies: 48
Views: 4694

Re: Windows 7 PC?

Download classic shell start button, its a small program that returns normal desktop functionality to Windows 8. I installed this on my friend's PC which has Windows 8. He bought his current PC back in late 2012, opting for the newer Win 8 over Win 7 (which I have on my PC I bought in early 2012). ...
by scrabbler1
Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 7 PC?
Replies: 49
Views: 2513

Re: Why is Bank of America so hated?

I have been a BofA customer since they took over from Fleet about 9 or 10 years ago. While they have chipped away at some things I used to get for free such as canceled check images in my monthly statement, they got me started with their easy online banking a few years ago and I got a cash-back CC f...
by scrabbler1
Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is Bank of America so hated?
Replies: 43
Views: 2451

Re: Dealership wants to buyback my car

I have been receiving these "great offer" letters from my Toyota dealer for several years trying to buy back my 2007 Corolla. They go into the trash (along with most of the mail I get).
by scrabbler1
Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealership wants to buyback my car
Replies: 32
Views: 3436

Re: Emergency Fund - What to do?

I have my second tier EF in an intermediate-term muni bond fund. I keep only about a $750 surplus or cushion (over the minimum balance needed to avoid monthly fees) in my first-tier EF, my local bank's checking account. I don't like having a lot of money in an account earning nearly zilch so I like ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund - What to do?
Replies: 8
Views: 983

Re: Who or what inspired you and your investing approach?

When I was a kid in the 1960s and 1970s, and an adult in the 1980s and 1990s, I had a few people who got me started in the direction of saving and investing. My uncle bought me one share of Ford Motor Company so every 3 months I got a small dividend check in the mail. I would also look up in the Sun...
by scrabbler1
Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who or what inspired you and your investing approach?
Replies: 93
Views: 4421

Re: Attitudes toward inheritances.

I am FI and my brother, while not FI, is well off. Once in a while, my dad jokes to us that "there goes more of your inheritance" when he has to spend some money on some costly dental work. We just laugh along with him. What's FI? FI=Financially Independent, sometimes part of the FIRE acr...
by scrabbler1
Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attitudes toward inheritances.
Replies: 113
Views: 10769

Re: Attitudes toward inheritances.

I am FI and my brother, while not FI, is well off.

Once in a while, my dad jokes to us that "there goes more of your inheritance" when he has to spend some money on some costly dental work. We just laugh along with him.
by scrabbler1
Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attitudes toward inheritances.
Replies: 113
Views: 10769

Re: average American eats out 203 times per year

As an early retiree I rarely eat out any more. I cook most of my meals and my ladyfriend also cooks for us. That leaves us going out to eat a few times a year. I go out to eat with my dad (my mom is deceased) a few times a year/ About once a month I go to a local pizza joint for a few slices for lun...
by scrabbler1
Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: average American eats out 203 times per year
Replies: 105
Views: 6488

Re: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip

At the moment, I'm on the Amtrak Lake Shore Ltd., having just left Erie, PA on our way to Chicago. The train is now 5 hours late, and we're stuck behind a stalled freight train. (A conductor just sat down next to me and asked if I'd like to take his job, please!) But what else is new? I'll get ther...
by scrabbler1
Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip
Replies: 78
Views: 9479

Re: High School Reunions--Have you attended?

Let me add that although I did not like high school and despised nearly all of my classmates, I did like many of my teachers and other staff members. In the first 20 years after I finished HS, I went back to visit the school from time to time to see the dwindling number of teachers and staff who wer...
by scrabbler1
Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High School Reunions--Have you attended?
Replies: 79
Views: 5224

Re: High School Reunions--Have you attended?

As one who was the teacner's pet and got picked on most of the time I was in HS, I had no real interest in seeing those people again. I had one good friend from HS and we stayed in touch for a while before fading out of touch. Another friend in HS I nearly reconnected with a few years later because ...
by scrabbler1
Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High School Reunions--Have you attended?
Replies: 79
Views: 5224

Re: How Much Did You Lose Today?

I lost 2% in my equity funds but pretty much broke even on the bond funds which are a little more than 50% of my holdings. Hence, I answered 1%-2%.
by scrabbler1
Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Much Did You Lose Today?
Replies: 166
Views: 15033

Re: state income tax withheld from IRA distribution?

With my friend's Fidelity (Inherited) IRA, we use the RMD to keep him in one of those safe harbors because he has a lot of investment income with no federal or state income taxes withheld. By having state income taxes withheld, we not only solve his safe harbor issue on the state side but we can al...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: state income tax withheld from IRA distribution?
Replies: 44
Views: 1947

Re: state income tax withheld from IRA distribution?

As we have discussed in other threads over the years, withholding is the best way to remain in that "safe harbor" to avoid penalties for underwithholding. With my friend's Fidelity (Inherited) IRA, we use the RMD to keep him in one of those safe harbors because he has a lot of investment i...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: state income tax withheld from IRA distribution?
Replies: 44
Views: 1947

Re: How old are you?

So based on this admittedly unscientific poll, this forum is about half Millennials/Gen X, 40% Boomers, and 10% Silent Generation, but it depends on if you consider people born from 1959-63 (age 51-55 now) to be Boomers. Ignoring "official definitions" of generations, is the lead singer o...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: How old are you?
Replies: 82
Views: 7800

Re: state income tax withheld from IRA distribution?

My friend has an inherited IRA with Fidelity and can choose how much, if any, he wants to have withhheld in state (NY) and federal income taxes from his RMD. And what would Vanguard do? Which rule would apply to your friend? Does Vanguard have a different rule from Fidelity for residents of NY? Sor...
by scrabbler1
Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: state income tax withheld from IRA distribution?
Replies: 44
Views: 1947

Re: state income tax withheld from IRA distribution?

My friend has an inherited IRA with Fidelity and can choose how much, if any, he wants to have withhheld in state (NY) and federal income taxes from his RMD.
by scrabbler1
Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: state income tax withheld from IRA distribution?
Replies: 44
Views: 1947

Re: Where to keep "emergency fund" and how much to keep in b

My monthly expenses are about $1,800 per month. I keep about $750 extra in my local bank's checking account (beyond the minimum balance requirements to avoid fees) as a first-tier emergency fund to cover me for smaller, unforeseen expenses. If I have to write a personal check or get some quick cash,...
by scrabbler1
Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to keep "emergency fund" and how much to keep in bank?
Replies: 19
Views: 2774

Re: Where to place 2nd tier emergency fund

For many years I have been using an intermediate-term muni bond fund as my second tier EF. It is tax-free at the federal level (except for the rare cap gain distribution and if I make a redemption at a profit) and mostly taxable at the state level. But it earns 2-2.5% (annualized) dividends every mo...
by scrabbler1
Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to place 2nd tier emergency fund
Replies: 16
Views: 1590

Re: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip

My ladyfriend, who paid for our Amtrak round-trip to Indy a few weeks ago, received an email with a link to an Amtrak online survey. Because she had used my email address when she booked her ticket on line (my printer is more reliable than hers), the survey email came to me. I asked her if she wante...
by scrabbler1
Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip
Replies: 78
Views: 9479
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