Search found 1411 matches

by Carl53
Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's long-term outlook for TIPS
Replies: 92
Views: 6897

Re: Vanguard's long-term outlook for TIPS

Our two forays into TIPS, outside of a shortlived position in the Vanguard Tips fund, led me to come to the conclusion that TIPs were not for us. Both times interest rates dropped substantially, we sold and profited nicely. The amount of profit, and the fact that despite several years having elapsed...
by Carl53
Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too much house? (nervous 1st time buyer)
Replies: 57
Views: 3955

Re: Too much house? (nervous 1st time buyer)

Is the house a better value than others in its neighborhood? This is critical if the need to sell in the next decade. Then single son bought a HUD repossessed home for substantially less (130k) than it had been originally sold (215k) for less than a decade prior and less than neighbors had into thei...
by Carl53
Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Freeze - What did you do?
Replies: 71
Views: 5417

Re: Pension Freeze - What did you do?

My company froze pensions for newer employees in the early 2000s. I bailed at 55 a few years later after looking at the company's future and the likelihood that the management would do anything to enrich themselves. I was able to take the pensions (I had two) under a leveling program that allowed ea...
by Carl53
Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion and Strategy
Replies: 25
Views: 2800

Re: Roth Conversion and Strategy

In our 60s we have been converting to the top of the 15% bracket. TIRA annual gains have exceeded our plan and as such the pretax accounts have been increasing in value. The plan has been to continue to convert in our 70s as necessary to the top of whatever bracket we are in. That bracket is startin...
by Carl53
Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Open a HELOC? With whom?
Replies: 13
Views: 940

Re: Open a HELOC? With whom?

We opened one a few years ago with a local credit union that we had used for many years. While it was post full time employment, and my lower pension income in place, I pointed out that I could have substantial SS income if necessary. There were no fees up front, not even for the appraisal. Circumst...
by Carl53
Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximum Medical Deduction
Replies: 8
Views: 727

Re: Maximum Medical Deduction

You may also want to do what I've been doing and use the the large LTC expense deduction to convert more of your traditional IRA to Roth. You should be able to convert a fairly large amount at 15% and still stay under the IRMAA threshold. This will reduce my RMDs when I will be filing as a single t...
by Carl53
Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio feedback
Replies: 20
Views: 1490

Re: Portfolio feedback

Regarding your advice about selling the metal fund in smaller amounts - isn't capital gains taxed at a fixed rate (15% in my case I think) regardless of the total amount of gains? I believe you are correct but have not personally had very large gains in any one year that were claimed. Just remember...
by Carl53
Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Vanguard investment dividend.
Replies: 8
Views: 514

Re: Question about Vanguard investment dividend.

Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund (VFFVX) Overview Price & Performance Portfolio & Management Fees & Minimums Distributions News & Reviews Distributions Distributions for this fund are scheduled Annually We do not hold this fund but hold other similar funds by VG in some accounts. They pay distr...
by Carl53
Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: [Are the Bogleheads] getting less interesting?
Replies: 255
Views: 16938

Re: [Are the Bogleheads] getting less interesting?

Really miss sscritic's posts and sometimes well deserved poke in the eye when I got the facts messed up. I also miss the poll/survey option, as it occasionally brought out surprising thoughts and tendencies. Overall I find the bh forum to be somewhat less interesting these days although as of now I ...
by Carl53
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hurricane Harvey relief?
Replies: 42
Views: 3189

Re: Hurricane Harvey relief?

BrianMc wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:23 pm
We really like Samaritan's Purse and we just made our donation:

https://www.samaritanspurse.org

They do a lot of wonderful work around the world for people who are really suffering. If you follow the link above, you can donate specifically for Hurricane Harvey Relief.
+1
by Carl53
Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation and Rental Property Advice
Replies: 8
Views: 963

Re: Asset Allocation and Rental Property Advice

Unless you are moving back into the USA rental soon, dump the rental.
by Carl53
Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio feedback
Replies: 20
Views: 1490

Re: Portfolio feedback

What are your investment options in the 401k? The fees you have shown are high.

You definitely are way over my comfort zone in amount of non index funds and individual stocks. Start with diminishing your metals fund and collecting the gains, but don't push yourself up to a higher tax bracket.
by Carl53
Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Additional healthcare inflation term due to one's own aging.
Replies: 5
Views: 454

Re: Additional healthcare inflation term due to one's own aging.

Back in 2008, when I built my retirement model, I used 3% overall inflation but 6% for health insurance premiums for out years. My history has been that my premiums have increased by nearly 10% per year, despite overall inflation being more in the 2% range. While this is huge, it is nothing as bad a...
by Carl53
Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How am I doing? (Teacher Edition)
Replies: 17
Views: 2211

Re: How am I doing? (Teacher Edition)

Got it on the TIRA for the EITC. Could the TIRA then possibly be used to "hack" the savers credit and get into a higher % reimbursed space due to lower AGI? Spendiso, can you post additional tax-related info so we can run some scenarios? Things like are you taking standard deduction or itemizing (a...
by Carl53
Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is ProtectMyID or other service worth it?
Replies: 12
Views: 878

Re: Is ProtectMyID or other service worth it?

CZjc1330 wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:55 pm
Oh, once a year I apply for a new credit card or store credit to check the system. It has always worked, I receive a polite note that my accounts are frozen, etc.

Great idea. Had ours froze for the last 7 or 8 years except for temporary thaws but had not thought about such a test.
by Carl53
Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary History for Chemical Engineer
Replies: 30
Views: 4916

Re: Salary History for Chemical Engineer

ChemE One company location but with several logo changes on the fence. Base pay 1976 15.3k, 2008 132k - 7.1% IRR Including bonuses - 7.75% Regarding the big inflation years impact, the first 12 years had an IRR of 10%. Several years we got raises twice per year. Later years, not counting bonuses, 5....
by Carl53
Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sigh...I'm ready for criticism...how am I doing?
Replies: 50
Views: 6726

Re: Sigh...I'm ready for criticism...how am I doing?

Be sure you have adequate life/disability insurance in place.

Put your efforts into keeping your family relationships a priority. Dump the 2nd house and knock out the school loan. Congratulations on a great start.
by Carl53
Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental car in Spain
Replies: 14
Views: 649

Re: Rental car in Spain

Small car gets my vote. Try to get an automatic if you can get one. Trying to squeeze into parking spots on steep streets in Bilbao in a small SUV with a standard shift was nerve wracking. Watching others use their bumpers on both ends to squeeze in to tight spots made me want to park it until we le...
by Carl53
Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use KUBRA EZ-PAY
Replies: 1
Views: 277

Re: Anyone use KUBRA EZ-PAY

No, but it looks like just another utility scheme to get a few more bucks. My water company just rolled out something similar touting it as a wonderful convenience. Now they want a fee for use of debit/credit cards as well as for echecks. I suppose I will go back to paper checks or dropping off the ...
by Carl53
Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At age 66, should let my $1MM life insurance policy lapse?
Replies: 32
Views: 4347

Re: At age 66, should let my $1MM life insurance policy lapse?

I bought a 300k-15 year term policy in my late 50s to offset the potential reduction in pension payments (50% spousal) should I die early. Was it absolutely necessary, no but it made me feel better. I had developed detailed spreadsheet analyses for many scenarios and determined that my dying early w...
by Carl53
Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After Tax 401K Contributions Advice
Replies: 22
Views: 1548

Re: After Tax 401K Contributions Advice

I had after tax 401k contributions a couple of years about 20 years ago due to various circumstances. I recall one year I was determined to be highly compensated after the fact and had some contributions reclassified and another time I had exceeded the annual contributions due to the lag time it too...
by Carl53
Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Home Page Updated
Replies: 82
Views: 5865

Re: Home Page Updated

How do I now get to "View my posts" in the new format? I find that I often want to look back at threads that I've commented on. Thank you for all of your efforts. I assume you're using a mobile device and see the header (no sidebar). "View my posts" is not in the header, but it might be worth addin...
by Carl53
Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Home Page Updated
Replies: 82
Views: 5865

Re: Home Page Updated

What happened to a search of posts by the topic starter and the latest responder. Users are not highlighted and it does not look like there is a link on the user name. Is this gone? In progress? Thanks for the hard work - this is a fantastic site. Vic That feature was removed. How do I now get to "...
by Carl53
Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job, life changes
Replies: 26
Views: 2196

Re: New job, life changes

I suspect that you do not have enough deductions to itemize. If you do not marry, probably you should maximize your 401k since you will be in the 25% bracket. At least contribute enough until you will be down to the top of the 15% bracket, which you may still may be above. If still above you should ...
by Carl53
Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:15 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Home Page Updated
Replies: 82
Views: 5865

Re: Home Page Updated

How do I now get to "View my posts" in the new format? I find that I often want to look back at threads that I've commented on.

Thank you for all of your efforts.
by Carl53
Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job, life changes
Replies: 26
Views: 2196

Re: New job, life changes

Max your 401k unless it has high expenses. Between maxing the 401k and pretax medical you probably would be just at the top of the 15% bracket.
by Carl53
Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to pay off piggyback mortgage (80/10/10)
Replies: 8
Views: 747

Re: How to pay off piggyback mortgage (80/10/10)

Not sure why your lender made the comment about not paying more for the first few years, perhaps he meant that he would not benefit as much. At any rate you are likely in the 33% federal bracket. As such the school interest is not deductible but mortgage interest apparently is, so your effective rat...
by Carl53
Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pool Maintenance Savings
Replies: 26
Views: 2047

Re: Pool Maintenance Savings

Borax, muratic acid, occasional chlorine shock whether it looks like it needs it or not. I do leave a couple of chlorine tabs in a floater and use an old ozonator injector system. I think last night was the first time I shocked this year since the initial opening shock and it did just because. Pool ...
by Carl53
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Again
Replies: 6
Views: 1009

Re: Retirement Again

When you take SS your wife can take a spousal bumping up her total benefit to $1300.
by Carl53
Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How does this work? [Dow Jones up, but Vanguard Total Stock down]
Replies: 10
Views: 1466

Re: How does this work? [Dow Jones up, but Vanguard Total Stock down]

I thought I noticed that on the 25th and again on the 26th that VTASX had dropped while the Dow, SP500 and Nasdaq all increased. I don't believe that I had noticed that happening before. Edit: Looking back at the data, either the originally Yahoo reported closing for VTASX was incorrect or I was jus...
by Carl53
Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Warm/Hot Water from Cold Line in Condo
Replies: 27
Views: 2719

Re: Getting Warm/Hot Water from Cold Line in Condo

Here's an idea: 1. Turn off your hot water heater. 2. Wait a couple of days. 3. When you want cold water, use the hot water spigot. I have two adjacent electric water heaters. Would I turn off both by just shutting off the power at the breaker? If you have two heaters, you probably have two breaker...
by Carl53
Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My life so far, my student loan refinancing, and my next steps
Replies: 8
Views: 944

Re: My life so far, my student loan refinancing, and my next steps

Consider adding knocking out PMI to the top of your list.

You mention we several times but nothing about your 'other half of we'. A lot of discussion needs to go with 'we'.
by Carl53
Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Patio furniture
Replies: 11
Views: 1066

Re: Patio furniture

We've had a cast aluminum set for over twenty years. Held up pretty well with a few places the white finish came off and the glass top needs extra care handling do to many years of storing during the offseason. A few years they remained out all winter. In all the years I think the table may have blo...
by Carl53
Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company Vehicle - What would you do?
Replies: 23
Views: 1365

Re: Company Vehicle - What would you do?

My relative recently shared that they were just authorized a company car. They were given a budget and allowed to pick the car out. If they wanted a more expensive car, they would have to personally subsidize it. The company purchases the car and turns it over to a leasing outfit that leases it back...
by Carl53
Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on When to Take Social Security
Replies: 14
Views: 1438

Re: Question on When to Take Social Security

My parents are considering taking social security. They are both 63 and have some mortgage and some high interest debt that should be repaid. Below are the details, Mom Take Now - $817 Age 66 - $1,060 Age 70 - $1,490 Dad Take Now - $2,180 Age 66 - $2,741 Age 70 - $3,689 My thoughts is that my mom s...
by Carl53
Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dilemma about car dealership service bill error
Replies: 29
Views: 2502

Re: Dilemma about car dealership service bill error

A couple of years ago I took my car to the dealer for a timing belt change. It was pretty expensive. They asked about and got the OK for several other minor items like air filter. Some time during my stay in the waiting room they asked about changing the plugs. When I asked about the cost, they want...
by Carl53
Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new money investment plan -- living expenses
Replies: 8
Views: 647

Re: new money investment plan -- living expenses

hubby is too young for spousal SS, even at FRA. born in 1955. good idea about converts TIRA to Roth. I've done small amounts a couple of times. will do that in 2018+, when taxable income will be less. I agree, two big bond funds are very similar. Every time I decide to roll one into the other, my i...
by Carl53
Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new money investment plan -- living expenses
Replies: 8
Views: 647

Re: new money investment plan -- living expenses

Given that he was born prior o 1/1/54, he can take a restricted spousal SS benefit equal to half of her FRA benefit until age 70 and then switch to his benefit assuming it is greater. Q1/2 Consider converting TIRA assets upo the top of the 15% bracket. Use the new income to pay the taxes. Q3 I like ...
by Carl53
Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Convert to ROTH and recharacterize---what did Vanguard report to the IRS?
Replies: 3
Views: 318

Re: Convert to ROTH and recharacterize---what did Vanguard report to the IRS?

Since this was all done in 2016, you should have already received forms from VG. The 50k, assuming it came from the TIRA, would be listed as a normal distribution and is taxable. If it was made after the date of turning 70.5, then it would apply against the RMD. If not, then an RMD would also be req...
by Carl53
Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)
Replies: 26
Views: 2842

Re: Helping Father Plan for Retirement (messy)

What was your mother's earning history? Did she pay into SS? If so, your father might be able to collect survivors benefits while waiting for his own benefits to increase. If one of the pensions is the result of government employment he may be subject to Government Pension Offset, GPO, and lose up t...
by Carl53
Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another pension thread -- take partial lump sum w/reduced annuity or normal annuity?
Replies: 34
Views: 2302

Re: Yet another pension thread -- take partial lump sum w/reduced annuity or normal annuity?

You don't say whether the lump sum is coming out as funds that will be rolled over to an IRA or taken as taxable. If taxable, then definitely not. Even if pretax, I'd still say no, take the 100% survivor option. As I recently noted in another pension thread, we had a friend that took his pension wit...
by Carl53
Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A good VISA card for Gas & Groceries?
Replies: 66
Views: 4418

Re: A good VISA card for Gas & Groceries?

*3!4!/5! wrote:The card I use for groceries beats BCP by about 2.49%, and has no annual fee.
Thanks for the teaser.
by Carl53
Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A good VISA card for Gas & Groceries?
Replies: 66
Views: 4418

Re: A good VISA card for Gas & Groceries?

... Another major factor was the change in terms and conditions that states that gift card purchases will no longer earn rewards. Probably half of my purchases with the BCP were gift cards that were purchased in conjunction with a grocer's fuel rewards program. That would be significant for us. Do ...
by Carl53
Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A good VISA card for Gas & Groceries?
Replies: 66
Views: 4418

Re: A good VISA card for Gas & Groceries?

If you spend more than $3167/yr on groceries (which I imagine most people do), Preferred is better. Once you hit a $6000 grocery spend (an easy thing to view with a click or two on Amex's website) you can switch to another card (like the everyday card). It's not as complicated as some make it seem....
by Carl53
Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Payout
Replies: 24
Views: 3313

Re: Pension Payout

We had a friend that recently passed. For whatever reason he took retirement from the state at around age 55 and signed up for no survivor pension to maximize his benefits despite having several health issues including diabetes and having a father that died early. He lived for perhaps two years and ...
by Carl53
Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Question
Replies: 12
Views: 1587

Re: Social Security Question

As others have stated her potential spousal benefit at FRA is one-half of your unreduced benefit at FRA. So if her FRA is 66 and your PIA is $2000 per month she would get $1000 per month at 66. If she takes spousal early it is reduced by 25/36% per month for the first 36 months she takes it prior to...
by Carl53
Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to start taking Social Security for 64 year old
Replies: 26
Views: 2148

Re: When to start taking Social Security for 64 year old

I'm certainly no expert, but doesn't social security have a cap of how much it pays per month? I thought it was $2,687 max per month, and that is a full retirement age. If that is true, your fathers calculations about how much he would receive is off. I agree that your numbers posted for SS benefit...
by Carl53
Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which High-Yield Online Savings Account Should I Open?
Replies: 72
Views: 9482

Re: Which High-Yield Online Savings Account Should I Open?

I use Prime MM to hold some funds that might otherwise be in a short term bond fund or otherwise available for reinvestment. For an online savings account, have been using Redneck Bank MegaMoney Account (1.5% for up to $35k) for about five years and also have a Cap360 Savings (1.0%) for other amounts.
by Carl53
Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering switching from AMEX BCP to BCE
Replies: 5
Views: 555

Re: Considering switching from AMEX BCP to BCE

Received notice that starting July 1 gift cards would no longer receive credit. Not clear if they included gift cards on supermarket bill. I have used it for gift cards. If I received this notice, I did not notice. How was this notice issued? Back to my original question, what is your exit strategy?
by Carl53
Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering switching from AMEX BCP to BCE
Replies: 5
Views: 555

Considering switching from AMEX BCP to BCE

The benefit of the AMEX BCP card over the Blue Cash Everyday is becoming somewhat marginal to me. For those that have converted from BCP to BCE, what has been your experience? Do you wait until a statement comes that is charging the annual now $95 fee and then call AMEX? Are you able to maintain pre...