Search found 1391 matches

by Carl53
Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After Tax 401K Contributions Advice
Replies: 22
Views: 1293

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: 53
Views: 3134

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: 53
Views: 3134

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: 25
Views: 1664

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: 53
Views: 3134

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: 25
Views: 1664

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: 665

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: 1881

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: 981

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: 1428

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: 2476

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: 891

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: 978

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: 1220

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: 1334

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: 2411

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: 583

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: 583

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: 294

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: 2717

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: 29
Views: 1667

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: 4012

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: 4012

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: 4012

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: 3094

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: 1488

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: 1970

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: 8777

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: 463

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: 463

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...
by Carl53
Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Favorite Feature of Vanguard Website?
Replies: 67
Views: 5677

Re: Favorite Feature of Vanguard Website?

I like that the "Account overview" page has a different number for "Total assets" than the "Balances & Holdings" page even though they are the identical set of investments and if I use the "Portfolio Watch" page there is even a third number for the total ...
by Carl53
Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 66 and perplexed, hoping for some advice!
Replies: 19
Views: 2725

Re: 66 and perplexed, hoping for some advice!

Several folks have asked about you and your wife's SS. Depending upon your wife's age (if born prior to 1/1/1954), that she could file for a restricted spousal status at age 66, getting half of your FRA amount, allowing her benefit to grow until age 70. This would require a greater drawdown of your ...
by Carl53
Thu May 25, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with divorce settlement
Replies: 26
Views: 4509

Re: What to do with divorce settlement

Be sure to investigate all of the intricacies of the NUA before you pull the trigger on the 401k with Microsoft.
by Carl53
Thu May 25, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to Refinance?
Replies: 18
Views: 1254

Re: Worth it to Refinance?

You need to look at your total refinance costs. A new lender may provide more favorable terms. Alternatively, present your case to your lender that you are arranging alternative financing and find out it they will terminate the PMI without an appraisal should you pay the loan down to 80% of original...
by Carl53
Sun May 21, 2017 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job loss
Replies: 28
Views: 2670

Re: Job loss

I was fired near the end of my full time career from my mid-level management position when I would not change design specifications from practical to nonfunctional on a new technology just so the development group could keep getting atta boys and upper management could keep telling stockholders that...
by Carl53
Wed May 17, 2017 5:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA to Roth IRA Conversion - your input please
Replies: 6
Views: 491

Re: IRA to Roth IRA Conversion - your input please

Are you doing the conversions to a Roth IRA or Roth 401k? Roth IRA has some benefits as you can do recharacterizations.

Suggest you leave some unconverted in both that could be used for nursing home health care expenses.
by Carl53
Tue May 16, 2017 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1999 Honda Accord 175,000 miles CEL Code P1456
Replies: 13
Views: 1604

Re: 1999 Honda Accord 175,000 miles CEL Code P1456

We've got a 1996 Accord with 385k and is currently being driven every day. A few hundred dollars per year upkeep is to be expected. This year so far $100 to replace flex exhaust pipe and $20 for a used condenser fan. Unfortunately the fan only partially resolved the AC problem. Last year about$200 f...
by Carl53
Sun May 07, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer changing status from governmental to nonprofit, pension/457 impact?
Replies: 1
Views: 218

Employer changing status from governmental to nonprofit, pension/457 impact?

A family friend has worked for a local municipal hospital and has been contributing to the PERS for perhaps the last two years. Discussions are ongoing at this time to change the hospital status from being under the local government to a nonprofit status. The employees have not been informed as to w...
by Carl53
Sat May 06, 2017 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sump pump issue
Replies: 13
Views: 1475

Re: sump pump issue

We've got a zoeller stand type sump pump that is about 33 years old. I suspect it has at least one year of run time on it, maybe two. I replaced the rod twice and the check valve once in the 27 plus years we've been here. Replace the check valve.
by Carl53
Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I don't understand the case for EE bonds
Replies: 321
Views: 20275

Re: something odd regarding EE bonds

[Merged Nasrudin's topic and its replies into this existing thread on the same topic - moderator prudent] 2. And there is practically no point to holding them more than 20 years. Although they can be held an additional 10 years (their final maturity is year 30), they will possibly/probably revert b...
by Carl53
Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CCRC Tax Deduction?
Replies: 14
Views: 1220

Re: CCRC Tax Deduction?

If I have a $100,000 medical deduction, this would put me in a very low tax bracket. Would it be wise to withdraw some of my IRA to avoid losing the tax deduction. Just leveling off the tax rate for a year. I know I would lose the tax free continued earnings, but does this make sense. Since you wou...
by Carl53
Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income Tax Schedule A
Replies: 5
Views: 444

Re: Income Tax Schedule A

If you did not do a total distribution from all of your Roths, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but you must have messed up one or more of your inputs. Somehow TT thinks you did such a distribution, then it subtracted 2% of your AGI from the loss (basis less what you received in the distrib...
by Carl53
Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations - Swimming Pool - Solar Cover
Replies: 8
Views: 728

Re: Recommendations - Swimming Pool - Solar Cover

We have a 40,000 gallon 24X40 inground. I usually go with not the cheapest but certainly on the lower end of covers. My experience is that none of them are going to last more than 3-4 years despite warranty claims. We tried a heavy duty reel once and it bent in its early life. In a smaller pool like...
by Carl53
Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard has switched to brokerage only accounts
Replies: 108
Views: 12068

Re: Vanguard has switched to brokerage only accounts

For those that had multiple traditional and multiple Roths, have you had any difficulty maintaining your multiple accounts. My flagship rep advised against upgrading due to some problems relating to automatic combining of accounts that 'upgrading' initiated. He stated if we wanted to maintain multip...
by Carl53
Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are CCRCs a good deal? [Continuing Care Retirement Community]
Replies: 30
Views: 3019

Re: Are CCRCs a good deal?

We stayed as guests for two nights at a local CCRC that my inlaws were considering. A number of their friends lived there and we were quite impressed with the place. It was adjacent to the local community hospital. Comparing the prices of the midwest located CCRC and the Florida site you are conside...
by Carl53
Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap Insurance Plans
Replies: 43
Views: 3330

Re: Medigap Insurance Plans

What is the best way to wade through the deciding what options you might have and then selecting the best choice?
by Carl53
Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unemployment severance. Weekly or lump sum?
Replies: 12
Views: 1013

Re: Unemployment severance. Weekly or lump sum?

Hi boggle heads! So my wife just got laid off from mega Corp she has worked for a decade. Based on tenure she has a pool of about 21k of severance to be subsidized with state unemployment. They will pay her 90% of her old paycheck until the pool of money is gone. Alternatively she can take severanc...
by Carl53
Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Incorrect 401k contribution reported on w-2 box 12a. Ramifications?
Replies: 3
Views: 458

Re: Incorrect 401k contribution reported on w-2 box 12a. Ramifications?

Take a look at your pay statements and 401k contribution records for last year and the year before. It is possible that a pay date right around the end of the year might have been credited in a different year than you expected. The biggest problem as I see it is if you are maxing out your contributi...
by Carl53
Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS refund today!
Replies: 43
Views: 3733

Re: IRS refund today!

7 days. nice. Beyond the pleasant surprise at the speed of the refund, I always breathe a sigh of relief when someone else hasn't claimed my refund for himself. I try to put myself into a position where I owe money (taxes, not penalties) to the IRS every April. No one has claimed my tax bill yet! I...
by Carl53
Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for Dividend Loving Widow
Replies: 13
Views: 2072

Re: Help for Dividend Loving Widow

Celia made alot of good points. It certainly is possible that stock dividends (current and accrued) paid all of their RMDs in the past but as Celia points out the percentage of assets that must be paid out as RMDs will keep increasing and cannot be indefinitely be covered by dividends. I'd suggest h...