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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: 4910

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: 306
Views: 37361

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: 306
Views: 37361

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: 306
Views: 37361

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: 71
Views: 5761

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: 2628

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: 4693

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: 2628

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: 2628

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: 5840

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: 4062

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: 2419

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: 4946

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: 4739

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: 4739

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: 3997

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: 2240

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: 1943

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: 1943

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: 2714

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: 3397

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: 591

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: 14212

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: 7639

Re: Retiree Poll:What is your current AA?

42/58 s/b overall (taxable and IRA combined) due to the recent run-up in stocks. I was usually around 38/62. I am 51 and have been retired for 6 years. I do lean toward "age in bonds" but only in my IRA (which I won't need until at least age 59.5 when I will have unfettered access to it). ...
by scrabbler1
Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retiree Poll:What is your current AA?
Replies: 85
Views: 6991

Re: POLL: What are your monthly food expenses?

One-person household (me), about $200-$225 a month.
by scrabbler1
Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: What are your monthly food expenses?
Replies: 67
Views: 4884

Re: What % of net worth is your home?

truenorth418 wrote:10%. NYC co-op apartment. Home is paid off.

I include it as part of total net worth, but it is not in itself meaningful since it is not part of investable assets which drive my retirement calculations.


About 7% here, a small co-op apartment on Long Island. Mortgage paid off in 1998.
by scrabbler1
Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What % of net worth is your home?
Replies: 127
Views: 11023

Re: Paying Just One Estimated Tax Payment

Incidentally, for anyone who is receiving payments from an IRA or 401(k), a simple way to make a year-end estimated tax payment is to take a withdrawal and designate most of it to taxes. For example, a $4,000 estimated tax payment can be handled by a $4,200 withdrawal, with $4,000 being designated ...
by scrabbler1
Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Just One Estimated Tax Payment
Replies: 14
Views: 1490

Re: Paying Just One Estimated Tax Payment

I have been paying just one estimated tax payment (state and federal, most of the time) for nearly every year since the late 1990s. This spans the years I was working as well as the years after I (early) retired in 2008 when all of my income came from investments and I had no taxes withheld. It has ...
by scrabbler1
Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Just One Estimated Tax Payment
Replies: 14
Views: 1490

Re: On average, how often do you check your investment balan

I check it a few times a week but it can approach every day. There are certain times of the month I post the balances into my spreadsheets (checkpoints). When I see I am nearing a rebalancing band, I keep an eye on the balances daily, too. Whenever a transaction is due, either an automated one such ...
by scrabbler1
Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: On average, how often do you check your investment balances?
Replies: 53
Views: 3450

Re: WHY is retirement enjoyable / something to look forward

When I was in my 20s, I had a lot more energy to do stuff on weeknights after working all day. I was busy nearly every night. But I gradually ditched most of those things, and my former company expanding its workday by 30 minutes did not help. My salary was rising pretty fast and I was getting promo...
by scrabbler1
Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WHY is retirement enjoyable / something to look forward to?
Replies: 237
Views: 20063

Re: AA for Early Retirement

As someone who retired at age 45 six years ago, I have different AAs for my taxable account, the one which pays my bills now and until I turn ~59.5, and for my IRA which I can begin tapping into in an unfettered basis once I turn ~59.5. I have in my taxable account about 2/3 bonds and 1/3 stocks wh...
by scrabbler1
Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA for Early Retirement
Replies: 21
Views: 2358

Re: AA for Early Retirement

For those who retired, say, in your 40s or 50s, what, if anything, did you do to adjust your AA in retirement for the fact that you are/were so much younger than usual retirement age? As someone who retired at age 45 six years ago, I have different AAs for my taxable account, the one which pays my ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA for Early Retirement
Replies: 21
Views: 2358

Re: Paying Estimated Taxes, Due Date, Paying Monthly/Online?

After I made my first (federal) estimated tax payment in the late 1990s, I received every year since that time preprinted vouchers for each quarter and envelopes to put them in. I just choose the voucher for the period in progress, write a check, and stick them both into one of the envelopes. I send...
by scrabbler1
Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Estimated Taxes, Due Date, Paying Monthly/Online?
Replies: 17
Views: 1785

Re: Poll: Your Portfolio Tax Diversification

Being an early retiree, I am very close to halfway between 75/25 taxable/tax-deferred and 50/50 taxable/tax-deferred, but I chose 75/25 because I am slightly closer to that (65/35).
by scrabbler1
Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Your Portfolio Tax Diversification
Replies: 45
Views: 2637

Re: (Poll) Did you tap into emergency fund in the past 10 ye

As an early retiree for the last 6 years, my multi-tiered EF has changed a bit from before I ERed versus after. I have a tiered EF so I am choosing the second tier in answering the poll. My first tier is a small surplus or cushion (about $750) I keep in my local bank's checking account to cover smal...
by scrabbler1
Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: (Poll) Did you tap into emergency fund in the past 10 years?
Replies: 64
Views: 5781

Re: Are you a Morning Person?

When I was working, I was more of a morning person until I couldn't stand the commute along with the morning routine of rushing around to catch my train. Now I rarely have to get up early to do something beyond driving my ladyfriend to work (5 minutes away, and I can come home and go back to sleep)....
by scrabbler1
Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you a Morning Person?
Replies: 15
Views: 1185

Re: Another (Basic?) Question On Bunching Deductions

If you want to bunch estimated state income tax payments for 2015, then make your 4th quarter 2014 estimated state income tax payment in the first 2 weeks of January, 2015 (due around Jan 15), then your 4th quarter 2015 estimated state income tax payments before December 31, 2015, putting both years...
by scrabbler1
Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another (Basic?) Question On Bunching Deductions
Replies: 7
Views: 547

Re: Another (Basic?) Question On Bunching Deductions

And to the other half of the equation - can anyone just send in an estimated tax payment of however much they want at any time (assuming they aren't required to make estimated tax payments)? Do I just send it in with the normal ES form and it will get credited to my 2015 taxes? That's what I have b...
by scrabbler1
Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another (Basic?) Question On Bunching Deductions
Replies: 7
Views: 547

Re: Why did you quit your job?

I quit my job in 2008 because I had become financially independent at age 45 and could simply retire and live off my investment income.
by scrabbler1
Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why did you quit your job?
Replies: 37
Views: 4436

Re: Another (Basic?) Question On Bunching Deductions

As an early retiree, I have been investigating the benefit of bunching deductions. I have no W-2 income so I have much more control over my income taxes. The main way I can bunch my deductions is with the 4th quarter estimated state income taxes. They are due Jan 15, give or take a day or two, but I...
by scrabbler1
Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another (Basic?) Question On Bunching Deductions
Replies: 7
Views: 547

Re: Tax Planning - Bunching of Deductions

Starting this year, I will begin bunching my itemized deductions. The main item which will enable me to do this is the 4th quarter estimated state income tax payment which I paid in January 2014 (for my 2013 taxes) and I will pay later this month (for my 2014 taxes). One thing I have to watch out fo...
by scrabbler1
Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Planning - Bunching of Deductions
Replies: 12
Views: 1149

Re: Withholding of Taxes on MRDs

My friend has an inherited IRA with Fidelity since late 2012. With my help, we use nearly the entire RMD to pay some of his income taxes via withholding, mostly for state income taxes and some for federal taxes.
by scrabbler1
Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Withholding of Taxes on MRDs
Replies: 8
Views: 593

Re: How do you rebalance?

I have two different criteria for rebalancing - one for my IRA and the other for my taxable acount (I am an early retiree who lives off the income from the taxable account). For my IRA I use bands (which is how I answered the poll) but in my taxable account I rebalance more on intuition and income n...
by scrabbler1
Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you rebalance?
Replies: 40
Views: 3218

Re: [Poll] What's Your Tax Prep Strategy?

I don't see an option for "doing it myself with pencil and printed forms", which is what I do and have been doing for more than 50 years. It never takes me very much time, even with a rental condo. Last year I tried Free Fillable Forms and wound up using it for about 50% of the forms, inc...
by scrabbler1
Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Poll] What's Your Tax Prep Strategy?
Replies: 70
Views: 5034

Re: Share your networth progression

#1. Go to the best school that you can get into, #2. Major in the highest, in expected income, field, #3. Work your ass of in school. Do multiple internships with high profile companies, #4. Pick a job / profession that would maximize income, #5. Don't stay in the same job too long. Statistics show...
by scrabbler1
Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your networth progression
Replies: 132
Views: 24584

Re: Honor Societies (any point?)

I was invited back in 1985, my senior year in college, to join Beta Gamma Sigma, some honor society. They charged some small fee like $40 or $50 and had an induction ceremony the inductees' parents were invited to attend. I might have gotten a certificate but I'd be damned if I know where it is. Nea...
by scrabbler1
Thu Nov 27, 2014 8:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honor Societies (any point?)
Replies: 35
Views: 2340

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

I have never owned a cell phone. I have no interest in one.
by scrabbler1
Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: Do you personally own a cell phone?
Replies: 59
Views: 3759

Re: Poll: Net cost of your checking account annually?

I paid about $10 for 5 years of paper checks, so about $2 a year. However, my credit card cashback rewards pays me an extra 10% of the reward if I deposit it directly into my checking account. So, in theory, that could be considered income like interest income, although I just consider it an enhance...
by scrabbler1
Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Net cost of your checking account annually?
Replies: 44
Views: 3816

Re: Bogleheads, tell me about your 40's?

My 40s began in 2003, a very exciting year for me in many ways, not all of them mentionable in this forum :wink: . I was already 2 years into working part-time, and that would continue for 5 more years until I fully retired in 2008 at age 45. I saw the value of my company stock skyrocket in those 5 ...
by scrabbler1
Sat Nov 15, 2014 2:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, tell me about your 40's?
Replies: 103
Views: 19940
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