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Re: If You Print and Mail, Do You Double-Side?

What VtMaps is asking, and what I'd like to know, is what about printing each side of a 2-sided form separately, without using any kind of tax software? I downloaded the free fillable pdf file for Form 1040 which includes the name and SSN only on the front side, unlike Form 8949, another 2-sided for...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If You Print and Mail, Do You Double-Side?
Replies: 37
Views: 12528

Re: Restaurant tipping

Do you all calculate your percent tip pre-tax or post-tax? Pre-tax and pre-discounts. At a restaurant I frequent, they have "suggested" tip amounts based on percentages of the pre-tax part of the check. So if the restaurant believes the pre-tax amount is the appropriate starting place to ...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 190
Views: 10491

Re: Not maxing out 401k and/or Roth to retire by 45-50?

I just had a new thought, or fear, that is only notional at this point and I am curious as to others' experiences and how they managed this situation. My current plan has me maxing 401k and Roth IRA, and then contributing after tax, non-retirement account funds. The non-retirement contributions are...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Not maxing out 401k and/or Roth to retire by 45-50?
Replies: 8
Views: 1480

Re: Restaurant tipping

A huge key here is I always tip pre-discount. If I'm using a coupon, or I'm going on a night where there's a special price (like 50 cent wing night), I tip based off of what my full bill would have been before discounts. It's not the waiters fault that I'm using a coupon or that there's a sale on s...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 190
Views: 10491

Re: Municiple Fund as Emergency

With interest rates so low does anyone use the Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund as their emergency fund? Historically are there that big of fluctuations that it would be a problem I needed the money for an emergency? I have my EF in tiers with a intermediate-term muni bond fund (Fidelity)...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Municiple Fund as Emergency
Replies: 8
Views: 981

Re: Restaurant tipping

We often buy take out from restaurants and don't add a tip. They add state sales tax. The question is should a tip be added when ordering take out? We pickup the food at the register. I worry a little about being tagged a cheap skate. I'm not sure how that works. I already feel silly tipping much a...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 190
Views: 10491

Re: Restaurant tipping

I use 20% as my baseline but will go down to 15% if the service is subpar and will go a little over 20% if the service is unusually good. One restaurant I frequent often enough for the very skilled waitstaff to recognize me (and my dad, who is with me there), I don't go lower than 20%. As others hav...
by scrabbler1
Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 190
Views: 10491

Re: What Age Did You First Ponder Financial Independence?

My earliest memory of discussing FI is back in the mid-1980s when I was around 23 years old. It was with a friend of mine at the time.

But as for actually building it into my overall financial plan, it would be in 1998 when I was 35. I had just paid off my mortgage and greatly reduced my expenses.
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Age Did You First Ponder Financial Independence?
Replies: 74
Views: 6639

Re: What won't you pay with Credit Card?

Maybe I'm too cautious, but I usually pay cash at restaurants. I don't like my credit card to be out of sight after learning about some employees stealing people's card information. I don't think you are too cautious. I don't want mine to be out of sight, either. There are several places I go to wh...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What won't you pay with Credit Card?
Replies: 77
Views: 8157

Re: Have You Prepared A Durable Power Of Attorney?

I have one, and also a health care power of attorney, both from several years ago, as part of a package which also included a will. While it isn't likely that I will need either one, it is important that I have them on file in case it is needed. If I do have a medical emergency, there is a document...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have You Prepared A Durable Power Of Attorney?
Replies: 19
Views: 1271

Re: Definition of financial independence?

You can work for money or money can work for you, or both. You are financially independent when you don't have to work for money anymore. :beer That's clean and simple. I like it. I like it, too. I want my money working for me, not the other way around. And as early retiree who has not any wage inc...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Definition of financial independence?
Replies: 52
Views: 4776

Re: 60 Minutes, Dead or Alive

I watched the 60 Minutes segment last Sunday night. I was thinking about an old episode of "All in the Family" in which Archie was declared dead by the VA(?) when Edith began receiving condolence letters. The two went to the local VA office and in a very funny scene an angry Archie yelled ...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 60 Minutes, Dead or Alive
Replies: 15
Views: 3354

Re: Do you still use currency or have you gone all-plastic?

Almost always cash for anything less than $25 and more often than not I pay cash for things up to $50. Above that usually a credit card. The fewer places I use a card the less chance there is that I will have trouble with a Home Depot or Target type data breach. Same here, with slightly different r...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you still use currency or have you gone all-plastic?
Replies: 47
Views: 3196

Re: What's your definition on Working and Retired?

To me you are only "retired" if you meet all three of the following criteria: a) you're not currently working as a salaried employee (or as the sole owner/operator of a small business who may or may not receive a salary) b) you do not intend to work as a salaried employee again (or to sta...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your definition on Working and Retired?
Replies: 24
Views: 1686

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

I use the ones I want to keep open at least once per year. I have had accounts close due to non-usage. Until about 2 years ago, I had 1 CC. Then I opened a new one with the bank I have my checking account with. This made the new card easier to pay (on line with a few point-and-click, no mailing a c...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When you put some credit cards in a drawer and not use them
Replies: 17
Views: 1863

Re: Retires: How much do you rely on investment income?

100%. I am 51 and have been retired for 6 years. Investment income is my sole source of income to cover my expenses. I have other income sources I have often described as my "reinforcements" I can tap into starting at age ~59.5: (1) unfettered access to my IRA, (2) my frozen company pensio...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: How much do you rely on investment income?
Replies: 31
Views: 4069

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: 3994

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: 2849

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: 2864

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: 2864

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: 2864

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: 2864

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: 597

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: 13001

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: 8833

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: 8833

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: 7416

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: 2864

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: 762

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: 8214

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: 27751

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: 561

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: 456

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: 2328

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: 1940

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: 6278

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: 9481

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: 6278

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: 6278

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: 4896

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: 4780

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: 1012

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: 5272

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: 39368

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: 39368

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: 39368

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: 8059

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: 2709

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: 4813

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: 2709
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