Search found 1253 matches

by Carl53
Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you save copies of your tax forms and supporting docs?
Replies: 25
Views: 1603

Re: How do you save copies of your tax forms and supporting docs?

I have a couple of boxes with 40 years of returns and pertinent papers. About 5 years ago I pulled out returns back to 1986 and scanned them to PDFs. 1986 was just before any shuffling of funds between IRAs, savings plans and the like occurred.
by Carl53
Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Plan / Portfolio Critique Requested
Replies: 34
Views: 2153

Re: Retirement Plan / Portfolio Critique Requested

So, the questions: 1) Does this plan hold water? 2) What are the holes? 3) We will be well within the 15% tax bracket. Roth conversion or Tax gain harvesting to fill the bracket in our situation? 4) We will likely have excess funds in the 529 plans. Current plan is to leave in place for next genera...
by Carl53
Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Process for Roth Conversion at Vanguard
Replies: 32
Views: 2669

Re: Process for Roth Conversion at Vanguard

The reason why you'll likely want an upgraded account is this is the only way that mutual funds can be transferred directly from one to the other on-line or by phone. If they are on different platforms the transfer can only be done with a paper form through the mail. This is not true. One of our ac...
by Carl53
Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Upgrade Options?
Replies: 8
Views: 1346

Re: Vanguard Upgrade Option

It won't create a taxable event. It will change your mutual fund account into a brokerage account, allowing you to buy etfs, stocks, bonds, etc in one account. I did it with all my accounts with no problems, but I didn't have any automatic settings activated. You mention having done it with all of ...
by Carl53
Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery Stores Employing Customers
Replies: 59
Views: 4514

Re: Grocery Stores Employing Customers

Over the last two months, we've had perhaps seven trips to the store, with one to three errors. I try to watch whie the items are rung up, but usually find most of the errors after studying the receipt. Once they gave me the item free, but usually I'm jut inconvenienced. Three different companies ha...
by Carl53
Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loan with mortgage refinance?
Replies: 10
Views: 932

Re: Pay off student loan with mortgage refinance?

Many folks on this board buy CDs and I bonds. Paying ahead on a 2.95% school loan would be very attractive compared to virtually all available CDs and government bonds. If you do, make sure the extra funds paid are directed to the principal and not future payments.
by Carl53
Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SimpleIRA - Unfriendly business owner IRS rule...
Replies: 21
Views: 1249

Re: SimpleIRA - Unfriendly business owner IRS rule...

I'm not sure I follow. If a person joins in October for 1/4 of the year, and they only contribute 3%, then your overall contribution should be capped at that amount rather than 3% of salary. Say they make $100k. For 1/4 of the year then they make $25k. So for a 3% contribution they are putting in $...
by Carl53
Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 243
Views: 21165

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

I checked into refinancing my car with autopay just so I could see all my options. Two options: 1750 down either way with a 6.25 % interest rate. Current rate is 13.24% 72 months: 308.65 a month 66 months: 348.90 a month First payment due December 10. Likely better option is just finding a differen...
by Carl53
Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I think it's final approach
Replies: 21
Views: 3564

Re: I think it's final approach

Marital status, age, SS PIA?
by Carl53
Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 243
Views: 21165

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

Current monthly set expenses: 895 rent 700 child support 433 my car 320 her car 427 Navient (private) 245 Great Lakes (federal) 400 child care for 4 month old 160 towards hospital bills from 4 month old birth not covered by insurance 75 after-school at Y for youngest step daughter 49 Internet 250 V...
by Carl53
Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 243
Views: 21165

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

Current monthly set expenses: 895 rent 700 child support 433 my car 320 her car 427 Navient (private) 245 Great Lakes (federal) 400 child care for 4 month old 160 towards hospital bills from 4 month old birth not covered by insurance 75 after-school at Y for youngest step daughter 49 Internet 250 V...
by Carl53
Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 243
Views: 21165

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

Agree with others that your cars represent too much monthly expense and interest. I would keep your E-fund until your wife regains employment. Have an honest discussion with your spouse about expenses, future expectations, and her job prospects. I suspect that she had a fairly good income given the ...
by Carl53
Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102706

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Amex BlueCash Preferred 6% back on groceries ($6k limit), 3% at dept stores, 1% on everything else $75 annual fee Used for groceries only except for the first grocery trip of the month Sallie Mae Barclaycard (Discontinued) 5% back on gas ($250 max/month), 5% back on books (including Amazon.com for ...
by Carl53
Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Received a gift of unwanted land
Replies: 23
Views: 3577

Re: Received a gift of unwanted land

Myself and two siblings inherited a long time family parcel. A couple of years later one tired of it and had their share deeded to the remaining two siblings, with their agreement.
by Carl53
Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio overhaul - please critique
Replies: 10
Views: 1111

Re: Portfolio overhaul - please critique

I'll try to add a few thoughts. First, I wouldn't worry too much about your exact portfolio composition. I think that your overall plan is good in terms of 3 fund portfolio, 80/20 stock/bond with 30 percent international, emphasis on choosing lowest cost options available in each account. I think y...
by Carl53
Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: paydown strategy for mortgage
Replies: 43
Views: 5022

Re: paydown strategy for mortgage

Not to hijack, But I have a similar question. I have a 5 year, 5.5% balloon loan from a credit union. I am hoping to pay off the entire loan before the balloon is due. I have had people question why I want to pay it off...they think I should just pay the minimum payment and in 5 years refinance the...
by Carl53
Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit
Replies: 56
Views: 5427

Re: Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling unit

The home my son purchased had one of these installed just prior to his closing on the home in the 3rd floor, a converted attic. Despite the area being less than adequately insulated, the area was tolerable this hot summer. It did require using a box fan to better distribute/mix the air. Prior to doi...
by Carl53
Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security System
Replies: 34
Views: 3699

Re: Simplisafe Home Security System

My son installed a SS system in his new 100 year old three story brick home. Numerous phone calls to SS could not resolve why the system could not be made fully functional. Eventually before the 60 days was up the system was boxed up in the original packaging and returned. On Wednesday this past wee...
by Carl53
Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Think about a whole house generator. Generac 22k
Replies: 31
Views: 3136

Re: Think about a whole house generator. Generac 22k

My inlaws unit was about $7800 including the switch, a new 200 amp box, and a couple of extras that prioritized the shutdown of circuits should the demand exceed capacity, four years ago. Btw, generac units rated output is usually for propane, with the natural gas rating somewhat less.
by Carl53
Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Think about a whole house generator. Generac 22k
Replies: 31
Views: 3136

Re: Think about a whole house generator. Generac 22k

My inlaws have a 20kw unit. Haven't needed it in severe weather over a few years. It starts up on a weekly test run all year long. Probably had some starts at near zero and perhaps as high as 95 without any problem. They do not have an auxiliary heater.
by Carl53
Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How closely do you check your credit card statements?
Replies: 58
Views: 3018

Re: How closely do you check your credit card statements?

I check mine at least once a month. Recently I've taken to closely checking the receipt from grocery purchases. In just the last 6 weeks or so, my spouse and I have had five errant receipts for groceries. Some had multiple errors. With one local grocery I noted that I was mischarged twice for items ...
by Carl53
Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing home with Natural Gas vs Oil Heat
Replies: 39
Views: 2168

Re: Choosing home with Natural Gas vs Oil Heat

I'd go with gas, but a heat pump might be a viable alternative depending on electricity costs. Natural gas prices go up and down but seem to be always significantly cheaper than oil or propane. Electricity costs only seem to go up and up. You mention that property taxes for similar priced homes in t...
by Carl53
Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comcast incorrectly told us there was an internet line - now what? - solved
Replies: 47
Views: 3182

Re: Comcast incorrectly told us there was an internet line - now what?

My original estimate for new construction was about $3K (back in 2013) with what was estimated to be amount a 1/4th of a mile. I do not know how accurate this was because they found a tap directly across the road and did not charge me since it was within range. When I went through the original proc...
by Carl53
Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having intermittent problem with Visa chip card
Replies: 20
Views: 1297

Having intermittent problem with Visa chip card

Yesterday I attempted to use my Priceline Visa chip card five times. The first two for online purchases went fine, as did an in person purchase at a theatre. Two subsequent attempts, at Walmart and Home Depot, I received a message indicating that the purchase would not process. At Walmart, I repeate...
by Carl53
Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic pool equipment - best brands/types
Replies: 41
Views: 2923

Re: Basic pool equipment - best brands/types

I would suggest getting a fiberglass telescoping pole for the vacuum. My local pool store uses them for themselves and ordered one for my use. (pentair E-Z locking) They normally only sell aluminum poles. I've gone through many of them over the years, but the fiberglass seems virtually indestructib...
by Carl53
Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Experience with High Yielding Money Market Accounts
Replies: 25
Views: 2223

Re: Experience with High Yielding Money Market Accounts

I've used Redneck Bank for perhaps five years without any problem. Been paying 1.25% on up to $35k. I have all of my CC paid automatically out of it and have two other banks linked.
by Carl53
Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay off my mortgage?
Replies: 45
Views: 4472

Re: Should I pay off my mortgage?

I posted this in another similar mortgage payoff thread. If you do a mortgage payoff, you typically regain control over when you pay your property tax. If you itemize annually but only exceed the standard deduction by a small amount, then start to pay property tax in alternating years. Example - my...
by Carl53
Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic pool equipment - best brands/types
Replies: 41
Views: 2923

Re: Basic pool equipment - best brands/types

I would suggest getting a fiberglass telescoping pole for the vacuum. My local pool store uses them for themselves and ordered one for my use. (pentair E-Z locking) They normally only sell aluminum poles. I've gone through many of them over the years, but the fiberglass seems virtually indestructibl...
by Carl53
Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary
Replies: 265
Views: 19394

Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

The employer will always try to pay bottom dollar, and it is a mistake. An employer loses more by under paying an employee than over paying him. Especially in sub-100k range. A company that constantly tries to squeeze 5k and 10k out of 50k and 60k employees is not going to retain top talent or fost...
by Carl53
Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary
Replies: 265
Views: 19394

Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

The last employee I hired (nearly ten years ago) prior to my retirement, held a PhD in a technical field and had only done post-doc work while I was looking for a top notch engineer. HR insisted on low-balling the offer at about 3/4 of what it should have been. The individual took the position due t...
by Carl53
Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repiar or Replace Gas water heater?
Replies: 24
Views: 1893

Re: Repiar or Replace Gas water heater?

I replace my hot water heater every ten years. It only takes one starting to leak and flood the area to cause that policy to go into effect in my universe. Gas or electric? Is there a difference in how long a water heater "lasts"? If it is more than 12+ years old, say, as per others, I wo...
by Carl53
Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your cell phone bill?
Replies: 179
Views: 13522

Re: How much is your cell phone bill?

AT&T 2 lines unlimited call and text 10+ rolling data (in reality often 15+) shared GB with wifi hotspot enabled on both lines 89/month with all fees and taxes How?? I have 2 lines unlimited call and text, 6GB data+rollover, and we pay $133+/month. What did I do wrong?! How do I get your price?...
by Carl53
Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance or Not on Mortgage
Replies: 7
Views: 754

Re: Refinance or Not on Mortgage

I believe some members have got a loan via PenFed.org. Their rates are about 0.25% below what you have quoted. All of there fixed loans require a 1% origination fee. I think the 15 year loan, that while tempting, might stretch you too much without knowing more details about yourself.
by Carl53
Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard playsets - worth it?
Replies: 31
Views: 4678

Re: Backyard playsets - worth it?

I am planning to build my own, follow somethign like this http://www.viewalongtheway.com/2011/07/our-diy-playset-part-1-the-tower/ Built one similar to this back in 1990. I countersunk the nuts and used bolts that did not stick out into the play area. Shortly after 2000, a neighbor asked about it. ...
by Carl53
Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I Retire Early? Roth Conversion?
Replies: 21
Views: 3776

Re: Can I Retire Early? Roth Conversion?

I've never used I-Orp, but I put some of your rough numbers into my spreadsheet and see that it is likely that your taxable SS once you are 70 will not be 85% of your combined SS incomes. Using $5300/month SS and $4800/month pension and assuming zero inflation, 85% of the SS is taxable income if the...
by Carl53
Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Undo Conversion
Replies: 4
Views: 365

Re: Undo Conversion

In 3 separate accounts, you end up with $20500 less in the TIRA than when you started assuming you only recharacterized just OOPS($9500). You also have $22300 in Roth accounts and are paying income taxes on the $20000 that was left converted. If you are in a25% bracket, the taxes are $5000. If they ...
by Carl53
Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Undo Conversion
Replies: 4
Views: 365

Re: Undo Conversion

For the three separate accounts, the OOPS would still have cost you $500 in your TIRA after the recharacterization. It's just that you did not have to pay taxes on that $500, nor the $9500 recharacterized.
by Carl53
Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Realigning Savings After Spouse Stops Working
Replies: 2
Views: 619

Re: Realigning Savings After Spouse Stops Working

Q1 I wouldn't worry about it.

Q2 Suggest keeping enough in the 401k to get the full match, funding the HSA to reflect expected expenses and the balance to the Roth since you are in the 15% bracket.
by Carl53
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how get money at retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 2748

Re: how get money at retirement

You will only be taking 5-6% out of your entire portfolio. Just take some from the portion of the portfolio that might be somewhat heavy relative to your AA. If your estimate of expenses (including taxes?) of $60-70k is accurate, you should have a little room in the 15% bracket (currently $75.3k tax...
by Carl53
Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I flip my neighbor's house to save the neighborhood?
Replies: 72
Views: 7179

Re: Should I flip my neighbor's house to save the neighborhood?

Have you not been through it? You seem to be quoting third parties. My brother-in-law bought a dump of a home in their former neighborhood for $30k to preserve his equity. Turned out that he had to gut everything down to the shell replacing most of all the structural lumber due to cat urine that he ...
by Carl53
Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting from Oil heat to Gas or Electric
Replies: 46
Views: 2457

Re: Converting from Oil heat to Gas or Electric

Consider what gas appliances you might add and have the inside piping sized for potential total requirements. You would be ahead to install piping extensions to areas that you may convert to gas at a later time.
by Carl53
Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sallie Mae Credit Card Reward Limits
Replies: 3
Views: 461

Re: Sallie Mae Credit Card Reward Limits

Statement period
by Carl53
Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Daring to figure it out for myself .. mind numbing pension post
Replies: 17
Views: 3028

Re: Daring to figure it out for myself .. mind numbing pension post

The PBGC guarantee easily covers 'x' should Megacorp fail, although it is unclear it is fully covered for those retiring before age 65. The potential PBGC payout increases most years for those already not receiving it. For instance, a 59 year old just starting PBGC payouts would receive $3056.93 mo...
by Carl53
Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spousal Step Up Social Security Question
Replies: 46
Views: 3031

Re: Spousal Step Up Social Security Question

The 200k mortgage is from my sophomore year of high school ( I am 30 right now ) - my dad had lost his job for two years and they had to borrow from the house so they could pay their bills. There's an emotional attachment to this house that my parents have that makes it difficult to get them to cha...
by Carl53
Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $400,000 Roth Conversions Between Ages 66-69?
Replies: 110
Views: 12872

Re: $400,000 Roth Conversions Between Ages 66-69?

You might consider bunching your property taxes if your locality permits it. On one property I am able to pay the following year taxes just before the end of the year, and on an out of state property I can prepay the early payment for the following year. You do this one year and use the standard ded...
by Carl53
Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $400,000 Roth Conversions Between Ages 66-69?
Replies: 110
Views: 12872

Re: $400,000 Roth Conversions Between Ages 66-69?

If I had your portfolio, I would convert more like $250K per year. Look at things like: a) the top of the 28% bracket b) commencement of AMT (if applicable) c) the $250K AGI threshold for the IIT "FIlling" of tax brackets is a somewhat simplistic approach. It's better to model your overal...
by Carl53
Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we have enough to retire?
Replies: 87
Views: 6944

Re: Do we have enough to retire?

A few thoughts on the original theme: 2) Understand where you are relative to Social Security, Medicare, etc. 30 years from now those may well look significantly different, but I think it pays to at least figure the baselines. It would be a shame to stop working a year before you would have enough ...
by Carl53
Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express Preferred fee [Blue Cash Preferred fee raised]
Replies: 19
Views: 1753

Re: American Express Preferred feeble

The random "amex offers" are super valuable too it seems. Have you taken advantage of those offer as well. For example, I have a 10% off my cell phone bill (up to $30) right now through June 30th. I just prepaid $300 to my cell phone. Not bad. Just looked at my Amex offers and do not see ...
by Carl53
Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: why do the feds care if I prepay my credit card bill?
Replies: 24
Views: 3288

Re: why do the feds care if I prepay my credit card bill?

On several overseas trips I've paid ahead several thousand dollars on my PenFed credit card and even made additional payments when my actual expenses exceeded expectations. In some countries cash has been often preferred to credit and going to the ATM a few times without any cash advance fees is nice.

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