Search found 1103 matches

by JDCarpenter
Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Schwab for primary checking account
Replies: 18
Views: 1301

Re: Using Schwab for primary checking account

How well does online access to this account work when you are out of the country for more than a couple weeks? Say, solomon islands, peru, or non-jakarta/bali indonesia? Thinking about going this route in tandem with our present BoA account to ensure ability to pay any non-autopay bills back home ....
by JDCarpenter
Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you do your income taxes?
Replies: 96
Views: 3612

Re: How did you do your income taxes?

CPA Gasdoc Ditto. My wife and I consider it a perk of having good jobs. Been there, tried that.... Perhaps because of my early plans to be a tax lawyer (and continued interest in that area), I had issues with a prominent regional CPA firm doing our taxes. We had the good jobs part. They didn't real...
by JDCarpenter
Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gross Yearly Income needed in Retirement (Speculation)
Replies: 194
Views: 20971

Re: Gross Yearly Income needed in Retirement (Speculation)

Anything above $30k per year is extravagant. Anything above $10k per year is extravagant says 60% of the world. Why do you waste so much money? Actually, fighting to stay alive after ending one's full-time economic contributions to society is Double-plus Ungood. Not to mention hoarding the fruits b...
by JDCarpenter
Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Newbie Advice for Large Sum - US or Europe?
Replies: 11
Views: 863

Re: Need Newbie Advice for Large Sum - US or Europe?

... And I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but 300k EUR or USD does not make you a "large investor". You're doing well financially by any absolute standard, but brokerages only generally interact with people with people who are doing well financially. Their view of an individual "large ...
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you do your income taxes?
Replies: 96
Views: 3612

Re: How did you do your income taxes?

HR Block Deluxe, after spiking my withholding in December to capture all of the 10% rebate....

Thus, net of the software cost, I was paid about $470 to use this method.
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vehicles as a percentage of net worth
Replies: 102
Views: 4617

Re: gonna miss my bucket of bolts

stumblebum wrote:reluctantly had to upgrade my ride from a 1993 toyota camry to a "new" 2005 ford focus. i suppose now i'll have to wash the damn thing. maybe a couple of times a year.
:oops:


Huh? That's what rain is for!
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion question
Replies: 7
Views: 398

Re: Roth Conversion question

If you reasonably think you'd be in 25% with RMDs, then it seems like filling the 15% is an easy call. Sure, the deferred accounts could grow vigorously, but that would be the case no matter what you do with conversions--and at least you'd have a good chunk out at a significantly lower rate. It isn'...
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion question
Replies: 7
Views: 398

Re: Roth Conversion question

Holding tax and social security laws constant, what would the tax rate be on the deferred accounts if you waited and began drawing from them after 59.5--and what would happen when RMDs kick in? With being in mid-40s you are facing more guesswork than those of us in our mid-50s or later. In our case,...
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pretirement
Replies: 18
Views: 1973

Re: Pretirement

If you have a job that allows it, easing into retirement sounds like a good thing.

(Neither of us really have that option, so we'll cold-turkey this year....)
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vehicles as a percentage of net worth
Replies: 102
Views: 4617

Re: Vehicles as a percentage of net worth

Not in my NW calculation. Current cars worth under 10% gross annual income. When I have to buy a new one, I will try to keep the cost of that <10% gross income as well. For people with $300,000+ annual income, this seems doable. But 98% of the population needs a different formula... LIke most spend...
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage APR 4.96% - too high?
Replies: 58
Views: 2957

Re: Mortgage APR 4.96% - too high?

... How close are bankrate.com rates to reality typically? I'm in the process of looking at mortgages myself and have 3 quotes from reputable banks that are within 0.1% of each other, but the ones listed on that website are another 0.4% lower! (And me and my SO have ~790 credit scores, 20% down, et...
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vehicles as a percentage of net worth
Replies: 102
Views: 4617

Re: Vehicles as a percentage of net worth

I see so many people (who are not rich) blowing money on expensive cars. Even buying a 30K car versus an 18K car is a waste of money. And keep that car for at least 10 years! You save a lot on insurance as that car gets older. Only if you get anything other than liability on your new car. We haven'...
by JDCarpenter
Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vehicles as a percentage of net worth
Replies: 102
Views: 4617

Re: Vehicles as a percentage of net worth

Adding up the purchase prices on our two cars and old truck comes to approximately 7% of what I consider our gross income (i.e., pretax, including employer insurance and all deferred account contributions). They were purchased between 2006 and 2012..., so under The Wizard's formulation, under 1%. do...
by JDCarpenter
Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?
Replies: 33
Views: 2373

Re: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?

jebmke wrote:The best constructed house we have ever owned was built in 1909.


Ours was 1923.

But, we are benefiting from survival of the fittest. The shoddy homes from those years (and the 18th/19th centuries) all fell down or were demolished!
by JDCarpenter
Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Skinny Ties
Replies: 14
Views: 1772

Re: Skinny Ties

Check eBay. I haven't bought in a while, but I have 2-3 months of ties that I rotate through. Bought most of them in big lots, some of which were oriented toward quilters. Even after throwing bad ones away, came out to about 2 bucks a tie. I don't have many skinny ties (don't like them with french c...
by JDCarpenter
Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My retirement funding strategy - for comments please
Replies: 10
Views: 1230

Re: My retirement funding strategy - for comments please

With younger wife, the Roth conversions are even more attractive. When you have departed this mortal coil, she'll be taking RMDs from your tax deferred accounts in solo tax brackets, not MFJ. Take advantage of the 15%....
by JDCarpenter
Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legal Issue: What kind of lawyer (or do I not need one yet)?
Replies: 41
Views: 3428

Re: Legal Issue: What kind of lawyer (or do I not need one yet)?

Contact the lawyer who represented you in the arbitration case. He knows the background and can most effectively shut down what sounds like an attempt to create an issue where there is none. +1. And don't respond other than through your attorney. I am not one, but have unfortunately had some experi...
by JDCarpenter
Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to expand my vocabulary?
Replies: 79
Views: 3256

Re: Best way to expand my vocabulary?

I've tried books, using Vocab apps on my phone, etc. I would like to know more words to sound more intelligent and express myself better. What do you suggest I use to expand my vocabulary? Thank you. While developing one's vocabulary is a nice goal (and you've been given good advice on how to expan...
by JDCarpenter
Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Malpractice Asset Protection
Replies: 18
Views: 1060

Re: Malpractice Asset Protection

Don't let the tail wag the dog. First, just make sure the self-insurance level is high enough for your specialty and that the hospital can afford to go that route (if HCA, Mass General, etc., no problems). DW is private practice OBG since 1990. She just has had her basic 3 mill coverage. Asset prote...
by JDCarpenter
Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 101
Views: 9645

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

... You're trying to predict where this is going to be in 20 years. There's no way to do this. People are struggling to predict where we're going to be in one year. Quite true. We opted out of my all-encompassing, nearly free to me, work plan this year--enrolled under DW's average-at-best, expensiv...
by JDCarpenter
Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dividing IRA in Family Wealth Trust
Replies: 13
Views: 832

Re: Dividing IRA in Family Wealth Trust

...The trust clearly states that the IRA is to be divided into 2 shares, but WF is claiming that it can't do this. WF also will not let me speak with the legal team they say is shutting this down. I'm not certain if they're just trying to reduce workload, or if a mistake was made in the establishme...
by JDCarpenter
Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 101
Views: 9645

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

While the OP has some time before this is likely to become an issue, how are people factoring in long-term health care costs, especially if longevity runs in the family? ... For us, it will be paid out of portfolio, just like everything else. If we both are in LTC at the same time, we'll have essen...
by JDCarpenter
Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation in Retirement - Me 100% Stocks.
Replies: 53
Views: 2925

Re: Asset Allocation in Retirement - Me 100% Stocks.

Given that you are fine with all equity, due to pensions/social covering your costs, I'd stay that way. From a risk standpoint, it doesn't make any difference that the monies are outside versus inside the tax-deferred envelope. BUT, if you are on borderline of an income threshold (medicare tiers you...
by JDCarpenter
Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using 12-13% of Retirement Funds to pay off Mortgage?
Replies: 23
Views: 2018

Re: Using 12-13% of Retirement Funds to pay off Mortgage?

Agree with Bsteiner. Especially with a 2.6% interest rate on the mortgage. Many people (half?) report great relief at paying mortgage off, but not at expense of raiding preferred retirement accounts. (FWIW, DW and I are retiring at 57/56 with recently refinanced 2.75% mortgage; maintaining liquidity...
by JDCarpenter
Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nearing (early) retirement - can we do it?
Replies: 5
Views: 791

Re: Nearing (early) retirement - can we do it?

Following up on your responses, and Delamer's post, given the lack of COLA on your primary pension, I'd look long and hard at delaying the bigger of your two Socials until 70. Not a bad option to take the small one early and the big one later. Here is an active thread that has links to a good social...
by JDCarpenter
Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nearing (early) retirement - can we do it?
Replies: 5
Views: 791

Re: Nearing (early) retirement - can we do it?

I think you are pretty good with that spend rate and pensions, if you have employer provided health insurance. Questions and comments in red: ... • At year-end 2017, I will be 59, she will be 62 • No children • Our current retirement assets total $1.13M (401k plans, Roths, rollover IRA from 401k) • ...
by JDCarpenter
Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA: To invest or not to invest (no low priced funds available)
Replies: 7
Views: 557

Re: HSA: To invest or not to invest (no low priced funds available)

My HSA custodian is pretty darn good- I had one that had higher fees previously. I understand you can choose your custodian- mine is Health Equity, which I have read is one of the top 3. My only complaint is the lack of low cost funds for investment purposes. My employer does provide a match for my...
by JDCarpenter
Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Scenario
Replies: 16
Views: 1879

Re: Social Security Scenario

Agree with Zott. That is a common outcome/projection when the older husband has a higher PIA than the wife. (In our case, DW is 1 year younger and has a higher PIA, since I've not maxed as many years. Our social projections/recommendations vary according to how many years she puts off being a widow....
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Scenario
Replies: 16
Views: 1879

Re: Social Security Scenario

Mike Piper's book is well worth reading. Also, here is a nice online tool that I found to work well in coming up with the optimal approach for a married couple (assuming the assumptions that you input are accurate, of course!). http://www.bedrockcapital.com/ssanalyze/ It is updated for the most rece...
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hitting your number
Replies: 13
Views: 1691

Re: Hitting your number

Are you comfortable with 60/40? How old are you? Do you want/plan to retire? If you enjoy your career and intend to continue working, why change what has been working for you? If retirement is drawing nigh, is 60/40 too much equity for you? (60% is certainly in the objectively sweet range of options...
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I am in US equities and cash. Am I an idiot?
Replies: 43
Views: 4775

Re: I am in US equities and cash. Am I an idiot?

What is the percentage of large cap in your portfolio? You mention a variety of equity funds, but summarize merely as "mostly large cap." Remember, if you held the entire US market, S&P 500 stocks ("large cap") would be 80% of your equity portfolio. Personally, if I were hold...
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 101
Views: 9645

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

OP, you have tons of time. Things will change. Save, LBYM, and enjoy your lives! We are retiring this year at 57/56, sort of early. Currently "budget" has been adjusted up to 3K a month for health expenditures, mainly insurance, but the number isn't really even sound enough to constitute S...
by JDCarpenter
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $464.12 dinner bill last night. No regrets.
Replies: 78
Views: 9559

Re: $464.12 dinner bill last night. No regrets.

Not unreasonable at all. You and your spouse had good reason to celebrate, and it was thoughtful/nice of you to invite the aunt/uncle and pick up the tab. That's one of the things money is for--just not saving it up in the vault. Now, if it were $450 every night for just you and your spouse, it migh...
by JDCarpenter
Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping a Friend Become Financially Healthy
Replies: 6
Views: 891

Re: Helping a Friend Become Financially Healthy

I'll try to be the first to post a link to the "if you can" pamphlet: https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf

Very good introduction, targeted at the so-called millennial folks, but good for any beginner. I've had good feedback from those I've given it to.
by JDCarpenter
Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Independence: How many years of living expenses saved?
Replies: 23
Views: 3484

Re: Financial Independence: How many years of living expenses saved?

Also, many people set their spending in retirement to match what they think a SWR might be. Thus amount required to be saved is somewhat iterative. Agree; the spending prong is important. What do OP's "expenses" consist of? We retire this summer and planning 50 years longevity for DW. No ...
by JDCarpenter
Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do Bogleheads handle allowance?
Replies: 38
Views: 2852

Re: How do Bogleheads handle allowance?

We did roughly similar to what you are leaning toward as a couple. Ours had baseline amount, not too much I don't think, but it has been a while. Extra earnings for helping move logs after I felled trees or whatever, or if they helped more than a bit on construction jobs when I was rehabbing the hou...
by JDCarpenter
Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Tennessee Taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 349

Re: Filing Tennessee Taxes

... We're glad to see this beginning to be phased out. Our super-high sales tax offsets. Also glad it is being phased out, mainly because of inconvenience (most of our stuff is in tax deferred). But, "super-high" is relative for sales tax. We moved here from Illinois, which had the trifec...
by JDCarpenter
Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another rent versus buy - moving from MCOL to VHCOL
Replies: 15
Views: 1406

Re: Another rent versus buy - moving from MCOL to VHCOL

Add me to the rent for a year crowd. learning the commute times in various areas is important, particularly if either of you has to make morning rounds or gets sucked into administrative roles involving 7 a.m. meetings (DW has both...). Plus, there is always a chance that the job isn't what you thin...
by JDCarpenter
Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to tackle fiancee's student loan debt
Replies: 33
Views: 2508

Re: How to tackle fiancee's student loan debt

...If you lose your big firm job in year 4, you may wind up taking a substantial pay cut. If you decide to quit, you may take a substantial pay cut. These events may be easier to handle if you have liquid reserves, which may be harder to accumulate if you are paying your fiance's tuition. This is i...
by JDCarpenter
Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to tackle fiancee's student loan debt
Replies: 33
Views: 2508

Re: How to tackle fiancee's student loan debt

...If you lose your big firm job in year 4, you may wind up taking a substantial pay cut. If you decide to quit, you may take a substantial pay cut. These events may be easier to handle if you have liquid reserves, which may be harder to accumulate if you are paying your fiance's tuition. This is i...
by JDCarpenter
Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many pairs of jeans do you own?
Replies: 64
Views: 3550

Re: How many pairs of jeans do you own?

For now: Suits: 9 Dress shirts for suits: 20 (approx) Ties: 80-90--rotate the storage boxes as I work through them. Suspenders: 20-25 probably? Cuff links: ~50 pair. Tuxedo: 2 Jeans: 4? (ranging from wood staining/bushhogging to relatively nice restaurant) TShirts from Good will or giving blood: Lot...
by JDCarpenter
Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FI, early retirement at 40, how to get relevant tax advice?
Replies: 46
Views: 5435

Re: FI, early retirement at 40, how to get relevant tax advice?

Fingineer, I am in a very similar situation (age 42) with similar combined incomes and higher net worth. My kids are older (12 & 9). Your post is very encouraging for all of us who want to retire quickly; but, at the same time, I do want to caution that kids get very expensive as they grow olde...
by JDCarpenter
Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: National Averages (TaxAct)
Replies: 10
Views: 1128

Re: National Averages (TaxAct)

Agree that those averages are always good for a chuckle. Between our two w2 incomes, we typically barely nosed into the group that includes hedge funders, entertainment stars, Fortune 100 CEOs, and major league team owners. Needless to say the "averages" that turbotax popped up didn't mean...
by JDCarpenter
Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FI, early retirement at 40, how to get relevant tax advice?
Replies: 46
Views: 5435

Re: FI, early retirement at 40, how to get relevant tax advice?

Only on bogleheads.org can you find people who will say with a straight face that someone with over 3 million dollars in liquid assets can't retire. :greedy Sure, anyone "can" retire with that amount. But, can one retire with that amount and live in a particular desired manner? We wouldn'...
by JDCarpenter
Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Total Annual Expenses
Replies: 57
Views: 3915

Re: Total Annual Expenses

Our total household expenses target is around (preferably below) $30k. How about you? Nope. Not even close at any time in the past 30 years, nor do we plan to do anything like that in retirement. (Because of roth conversions, our retirement tax bill will easily exceed that--and we are budgeting/gue...
by JDCarpenter
Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: heloc status with no work income
Replies: 11
Views: 867

Re: heloc status with no work income

Do I need to do anything to have everything recorded and documents given to me for pay off? The mortgage company is suppose to send the paperwork to the court. What you need to do is keep every piece of paper (Deed of trust, letter of satisfaction, etc.) they've given you. We've spent the last mont...
by JDCarpenter
Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: who should i choose to help me??
Replies: 52
Views: 4630

Re: who should i choose to help me??

... Tax Rate: i make about 60k/year... rent is $1100/month ... [192K in assets, including emergency fund] aunt who i trust wants to borrow 40K for 5 years at 6% interest That is an awful big loan to fund--about 1/5 of your total assets and around a whole year's takehome pay--and the interest rate s...
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to help mother in law (doesn't listen; suffers)
Replies: 10
Views: 1793

Re: How to help mother in law (doesn't listen; suffers)

... I think I just need to stay out of it until it becomes medically necessary. I will offer sympathy and compassion as best I am able. thank you all for the wise counsel. Get the Power of Attorney now--whether it vests the power in you or your spouse. If "medically necessary" is because ...
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 207
Views: 25573

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Easily justified to have gotten separate cards in our case. +1. Was a "no-brainer" for SO and me as well. We also both applied for Global Entry (I'm done, SO's interview will be later this month). CSR worked well in that regard too, i.e., no point in only one of us having Global Entry as ...
by JDCarpenter
Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 207
Views: 25573

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

The 100,000 bonus is expiring soon for application through a Chase branch. The husband already has a card and I have been tagged on as an authorized user (additional $75 fee). I'm trying to figure out if it's worth me getting a card on my own to take advantage of the large bonus. We can hit the $4,...

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