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Re: Poll: Effective average Adjusted Livesoft tax rate?

I'm part of the 1%! LOL Our ALI comes in at almost exactly $80k with 5.8 Fed Effective Rate. But that doesn't really tell our story as our passive real estate losses are sheltering about $100k of passive income down to about $25k of income. I hope this isn't what it sounds like - Losing $$ to save ...
by tj
Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Effective average Adjusted Livesoft tax rate?
Replies: 50
Views: 3170

Re: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?

I have now found my 11 Civic LX maintenance history.... Something is wrong with your brake system unless you do a lot of stop-and-go driving, or if you hit the brakes very hard every time that you need to stop, or if you drive (unknowingly?) with your foot on the brake pedal. Aside from those reaso...
by tj
Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?
Replies: 52
Views: 3949

Re: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?

I have now found my 11 Civic LX maintenance history. The brake pads were indeed fronts rather than rears. I've gone to various dealers depending on where I was living/working. I have only taken it in when the maintenance minder turns on. I am curious how much I would save going to an independent mec...
by tj
Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?
Replies: 52
Views: 3949

Re: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away

If you read his post closely, you don't have to take your car to even a Honda dealership to do your maintenance. Any licensed mechanic will do. As long as you have records, they will honor your warranty. You don't even need a mechanic to do the work. You can do it yourself as long as you keep the r...
by tj
Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy new Acura? Nearest dealer service is 125 miles away
Replies: 23
Views: 1848

Re: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?

Hmm, my memory is just all messed up. Maybe it's the fronts that have been replaced, I could have sworn it said rear on the invoices though.
by tj
Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?
Replies: 52
Views: 3949

Re: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?

My wife's 2006 Civic LX has the maintenance minder. I believe it was standard in all models, unless your sisters' CIvic is a DX. Do you have rear disc brakes? $400 every 25k miles is insane. You can replace pads and rotors (super cheap) yourself. Advance Auto Parts will let you borrow tools with a ...
by tj
Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?
Replies: 52
Views: 3949

Re: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?

i'm surprised so many people don't use the dealers for maintenance. My sister has an '06 Civic which doesn't have the maintenance minder. I guess they tell her often to bring it in. My '11 Civic has the maintenance minder and I just follow it - it's so easy. The most expensive thing I've had done is...
by tj
Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?
Replies: 52
Views: 3949

Re: Schwab Intelligent Portfolios [now live]

I suppose I could trick SIP to rebalance after a RBD by having cash available to transfer in I tried to test this out by transferring money from an external checking account instead of directly from a Schwab brokerage account. I was thinking that in a regular self directed brokerage account, I can ...
by tj
Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Intelligent Portfolios [now live]
Replies: 354
Views: 27894

Re: Short/Med term, Low/Mod risk, inv vehicle?

Would anyone recommend a bond index fund? If so, which type and why? Maybe, although I'm of the opinion that straight bonds are actually more risky than something like 90/10 bond/stock. 5 years is generally considered too short a time frame to be taking any risk, but depending on how hard that end ...
by tj
Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short/Med term, Low/Mod risk, inv vehicle?
Replies: 5
Views: 386

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

But to me, substituting watching tv for watching netflix isnt really a lifestyle change - I get that it saves $$, but I wouldn't really see the point. I feel like TV provides a lot of value for the $, I just don't like the "time suck" and sedentary aspects of it. I don't think Netflix wou...
by tj
Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9569

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

But to me, substituting watching tv for watching netflix isnt really a lifestyle change - I get that it saves $$, but I wouldn't really see the point. I feel like TV provides a lot of value for the $, I just don't like the "time suck" and sedentary aspects of it. I don't think Netflix wou...
by tj
Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9569

Re: Schwab Intelligent Portfolios [now live]

I've seen a lot of marketing on sports on TV, such as the ads behind homeplate on MLB games a well as commercials during March Madness.
by tj
Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Intelligent Portfolios [now live]
Replies: 354
Views: 27894

Re: AT&T Uverse + Roku

You can use your Uvserse login for all of the apps. I have an Amazon Fire Stick and can access WatchESPN, HBO GO, Fox Sports Go etc (because I subscribe to those channels through Uverse TV). I don't know why the same apps would not work on a Roku.
by tj
Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T Uverse + Roku
Replies: 7
Views: 736

Re: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It

Depends on the rest of your credit situation. I personally don't think much about it unless I would be applying for a mortgage.
by tj
Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It
Replies: 51
Views: 3538

Re: Need tax breaks for this year?

brucesprings wrote:Would borrowing from my 401k but then using that money for disposable income and then having more taken out of my check every week to bring my taxable income down for year work?



Probably not. This is almost never a good idea. I am sure your 401k providre charges fees to establish loans.
by tj
Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need tax breaks for this year?
Replies: 19
Views: 1090

Re: Rent vs Buy

There lots of reasons to own vs rent which are non financial. Financially though it's really easy to decide what's best. Houses have a P/E ratio too, which is sale price / 12 * monthly rent. Rule of thumb - If that ratio is below 10 you should clearly buy because renters are way overpaying. If it's...
by tj
Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent vs Buy
Replies: 11
Views: 1436

Re: Rent vs Buy

I was raised with the belief that "renting is throwing away $$", Having experienced a few years as a homeowner than a few as a renter, i completely disagree. I think the risk of eviction is low if you are a good, on-time paying tenant. Here is the best comparison calculator to use: http://...
by tj
Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent vs Buy
Replies: 11
Views: 1436

Re: Household Gross Income Poll

Surprised how many commented this poll made them "feel bad" and that it wasn't "actionable." One of the things I have really appreciated on Bogleheads (I joined with an income under $40K and a net worth under $15K) is the ability to get advice from those who have been there and ...
by tj
Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Household Gross Income Poll
Replies: 134
Views: 12428

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

I think the following is a useful way to visualize how much $1Million is. For a couple to earn $1Million over their careers, assuming 40 year career, working 50 weeks per year, 40 hours per week, they need to earn $6.25 per hour. This ignores taxes and expenses. To add those would drastically incre...
by tj
Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 15679

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

I remember stories of my grandfather passing on condo's in Newport Beach,CA for $50k. Those are now multi-million properties.

To suggest that $127k was not a lot of $$ in the 60's, and that for that reason $1,000,000 is not a lot today, is probably the most out-of-touch comment from this thread! :)
by tj
Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 15679

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

I don't understand the fascination with $1 million as a goal. Yes, it's a nice sum to have. But a million dollars ain't what it used to be, back when I was growing up in the 1960's and the TV show "Millionaire" was popular. A guy named Michael Tipton shows up on your doorstep out of the b...
by tj
Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 15679

Re: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It

Does this usually happen after one year of not using it or two? Usually it happens when the card is going to expire. I had a Chase Amazon Visa, received a letter a few months before the card was to expire, had to call in and tell them I wanted to keep it. Another card said "use it in the next ...
by tj
Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It
Replies: 51
Views: 3538

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

I literally stopped watching television (at home). I don't even miss it...I'm 30 years old, so you'd think television would still serve as my babysitter, but I find ways to keep busy...reading, playing with my dog, completing online paperwork from home (barf). I always think about dropping TV, that...
by tj
Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9569

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

I literally stopped watching television (at home). I don't even miss it...I'm 30 years old, so you'd think television would still serve as my babysitter, but I find ways to keep busy...reading, playing with my dog, completing online paperwork from home (barf). I always think about dropping TV, that...
by tj
Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9569

Re: Small cap premium

Small companies have lower bond ratings, indicating that the market thinks that their bonds are riskier. And the market is right. Small companies have higher default rates than larger companies. If the bonds of small companies are riskier, then their stocks should be riskier too. Not so fast. Of co...
by tj
Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Small cap premium
Replies: 32
Views: 2363

Re: Gift limit and Charitable Donations

Also, you don't have to pay any taxes on a gift from your parents or anyone else. The parents just need to file a gift tax return which keeps track for their eventual estate tax.
by tj
Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift limit and Charitable Donations
Replies: 31
Views: 1212

Re: Gift limit and Charitable Donations

I believe at their income level the allowable charitable deduction for tax purposes begins to get phased out (correct me if I'm wrong about this). It seems they could gift me $28,000 and then I could turn around and cut a check to the charity for $28,000, thereby increasing my itemized deductions b...
by tj
Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift limit and Charitable Donations
Replies: 31
Views: 1212

Re: When to Retire?

Assuming that you want to stay in Ohio and don't envision relocating somewhere with higher housing costs, it seems like there is no reason for you to continue working unless you just like it.
by tj
Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to Retire?
Replies: 35
Views: 3225

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

You don't need anything else besides a decent internet connection. Her costs now: $34.99/mo for up to 50Mbps internet This is the issue I'm up against. I would love to join the rest of the thread in only having Internet and one or more of the group of [Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc]. Comcast is ...
by tj
Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9569

Re: Need Help Picking A Broker

Vanguard and Schwab are both excellent firms, you couldn't go wrong with either one. I have not dealt with either one but a family member works with Schwab and has experienced excellent service. To me, good customer service is important. Taking that into account and judging from forum comments, I w...
by tj
Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help Picking A Broker
Replies: 57
Views: 3494

Re: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It

I've had a couple say that would cancel it if I don't use it before X date. I used it and it's still open.
by tj
Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It
Replies: 51
Views: 3538

Re: Prenup

If they both have debt and no assets, I don't understand why a prenum would be helpful.
by tj
Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prenup
Replies: 80
Views: 4974

Re: Assistance on asset allocation/general financial plannin

Thanks for your input TJ. I've thought about that a lot. Problem is I'm not sure we'll be in a lower tax bracket in retirement. I'll be receiving a pension that will be about 50% of my highest base salary, which will likely put us in a high bracket even in retirement. As for moving out of state, al...
by tj
Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Assistance on asset allocation/general financial planning
Replies: 11
Views: 882

Re: Assistance on asset allocation/general financial plannin

I would urge you to do a traditional 401k. It does not make sense to ROTH when you are in the highest tax bracket with a high state tax.

You can always convert to ROTH in the future if you move to a lower tax state or when you retire and most likely have less taxable income.
by tj
Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Assistance on asset allocation/general financial planning
Replies: 11
Views: 882

Re: where is the cheapest best places for snowbirding

What if you split your time equally between 2 states. Which one is considered your state of residency? Can you prorate your state taxes, have to pay to both, if both have state tax? The idea of "residency" is different depending on whether you are talking about taxes, voting, insurance, d...
by tj
Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Closing out my first 'snowbirding' winter
Replies: 84
Views: 10533

Re: Can I really afford to retire in California?

adamthesmythe wrote:Make sure you have included property taxes. And DON'T look at what the previous owner paid, find out what it will be for you.


The $10k estimate on an 800k puchase is accurate. And thanks to prop 13 it cannot increase by very much even if the asset value skyrockets.
by tj
Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I really afford to retire in California?
Replies: 34
Views: 2724

Re: Can I really afford to retire in California?

Just came back from a vacation in Carlsbad and asked the wife to browse through Redfin as we drove. Personally, $800k home in Carlsbad would be an overkill for just two people for 2500 sq feet and 4 bedrooms. The neighborhood is quaint but your property taxes will be in close to $10k a year. I woul...
by tj
Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I really afford to retire in California?
Replies: 34
Views: 2724

Re: Can I really afford to retire in California?

Thanks for the positive comments! On the CA income tax, the number I came up with was from using TurboTax for CA for 2014, putting in what our income and deductions would be while in retirement. I came up with the marginal rate by doing a what-if for $1,000 higher income and seeing how much the amo...
by tj
Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I really afford to retire in California?
Replies: 34
Views: 2724

Re: Can I really afford to retire in California?

Thanks for all the questions and advice. We are actually planning on renting for a year to make sure this is the right area. We are thinking more of Carlsbad rather than Coronado, but not San Bernardino, either. We've visited twice in the past 14 months, and went around with a realtor in December, ...
by tj
Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I really afford to retire in California?
Replies: 34
Views: 2724

Re: Can I really afford to retire in California?

What is your "income from non-retirement investments" invested in? How are calculating $23,000 and are you considering any growth, reduction or that the income will be $23,000 each year? I guess it would be better to look at what what the asset value of that is and figure out a SWR. Regard...
by tj
Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I really afford to retire in California?
Replies: 34
Views: 2724

Re: Can I really afford to retire in California?

What specific part of CA do you want to live in and how much will it cost to buy or rent said property?
by tj
Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I really afford to retire in California?
Replies: 34
Views: 2724

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

I'm saying that $30K just isn't that much money. The government/taxpayer/society agree. That's why we provide welfare to families with $30K incomes. These examples I'm giving don't require all that much in the way of education and language skills. We provide welfare to families with children who ha...
by tj
Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 15679

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

I can think of a dozen ways to make more than $30K a year in my spare time. Write a book, start a website, mow some lawns, start another business, sell stuff on ebay, work some overtime, ask for a raise, bust my butt and get into management, manage properties for someone with more money than time e...
by tj
Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 15679

Re: Reached My Goal, Thanks, Major Life Changes Afoot

What is your new fun career which pays more than your prevfous one? :)
by tj
Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reached My Goal, Thanks, Major Life Changes Afoot
Replies: 14
Views: 2559

Re: Transfer portfolio to Vanguard & Betterment

If you are considering Betterment or some other robo advisor there are a many discussions on this forum about them (I do have an account with Betterment - I was interested in the TLH aspect also). Also here is a listing of the different robo advisors, I know Vanguard has their Personal Advisor Serv...
by tj
Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer portfolio to Vanguard & Betterment
Replies: 28
Views: 1326

Re: Transfer portfolio to Vanguard & Betterment

For me, I would pick betterment because I liked their allocation better, not for the tax loss harvesting aspect. The tax loss havesting would make sense if you are in a high bracket now and expect to retire into a low bracket (You are essentially deferring the taxes). With your portfolio and 15 more...
by tj
Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer portfolio to Vanguard & Betterment
Replies: 28
Views: 1326

Re: AARP Chase Visa - How many cards is too many?

I have like 20, but $100 is nothing. You should be able to find a better signup bonus than that.
by tj
Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AARP Chase Visa - How many cards is too many?
Replies: 3
Views: 286

Re: Need Help Picking A Broker

I am surprised that the brick and mortar Schwab guys are promoting SIP.
by tj
Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help Picking A Broker
Replies: 57
Views: 3494
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