Search found 1411 matches

by PaddyMac
Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spending Taxable to Zero during Retirement
Replies: 32
Views: 3325

Re: Spending Taxable to Zero during Retirement

We plan to tap both taxable and 401ks when we hit 59.5. The plan is to withdraw from the SEPs/401k as much as will fill up the tax-free bracket and maybe a bit more in the 10-15% bracket, then top it off with taxable. But have no plans to spend only Taxable until it's depleted - that might mean our ...
by PaddyMac
Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco Eyeglasses - No satisfaction guarantee. Any chance of resolution?
Replies: 27
Views: 2734

Re: Costco Eyeglasses - No satisfaction guarantee. Any chance of resolution?

I bought sunglasses once from Costco - NEVER again. I told the woman as soon as I put them on that there were fuzzy, and she said "you'll get used to them". After many headaches and a few weeks later, I asked the Costco optician to check the prescription. They were completely wrong (+1 instead of -1...
by PaddyMac
Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Temperature setting for radiant floor heat
Replies: 13
Views: 1120

Re: Temperature setting for radiant floor heat

Our experience with radiant heat is different; it runs under mostly tile, and some carpet (in bedrooms). We leave it around 70 in the winter, and the house is very comfortable. A few nights a year we might kick on the gas fireplace, but only when the sun doesn't shine (it shines most days in New Mex...
by PaddyMac
Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401K & self employment retirement vehicles?
Replies: 4
Views: 248

Re: 401K & self employment retirement vehicles?

If she's only making a little extra money, look at the SIMPLE IRA. If she is making a bit more, then she can save roughly 20% of her profits in a SEP-IRA as her own EmployER. Probably doesn't make sense to do the extra paperwork of a solo 401k if she is already maxing out the EmployEE side, as the E...
by PaddyMac
Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 14707

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

We paid cash for our two cars, and I love not having a monthly payment or paying interest. We bought the last car using the Costco "no haggle" price. However, one of our cars is coming up on ten years and we'd like to replace it next year. But we are semi-retired and next year we'll only be 57 so we...
by PaddyMac
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inactive accounts closed?
Replies: 30
Views: 2192

Re: Inactive accounts closed?

Bank of America closed two cards we hadn't used in a long time earlier this year. They kept two open. We don't use those either so they'll probably close them at some point. I like Chase better these days.
by PaddyMac
Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Having second thoughts about building up hsa
Replies: 17
Views: 1502

Re: Having second thoughts about building up hsa

I've been keeping receipts, but our plan is to use the HSA we've built up (over $40K now) for large current and future medical expenses. Most years our out of pocket expenses are very manageable, but expect that will change as we get older (60+). I'm having minor surgery soon and we might dip into i...
by PaddyMac
Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll-How much do you have in your HSA?
Replies: 50
Views: 4771

Re: Poll-How much do you have in your HSA?

$44,000 or so, have had HSAs over the years, with one year an exemption. Only since reading the Bogleheads book @ 2010 did we start leaving the money in it though; up to then we would mostly spend it down. Now it's our "medical emergency" fund and I might dip into it this year for minor surgery (dep...
by PaddyMac
Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [SEP IRA or Individual 401k?]
Replies: 6
Views: 459

Re: [SEP IRA or Individual 401k?]

We started with SEP-IRA because they were "easy". Eventually I realized our mistake and switched to Vanguard 401k and it's great. The paperwork is not bad but allow a few weeks. As post above says, you must open the account by 12/31 but you have until 4/15 (or 10/15) to fund it. What I like about th...
by PaddyMac
Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Low income but good savings rate... spend?
Replies: 23
Views: 2313

Re: Low income but good savings rate... spend?

I think you're doing great and I wish I was more interested in saving at that age. However, the lack of "fun" in your life is a worry, esp. when you think everything is so expensive. With the same zeal you show about finances, turn that effort into scoping out free events in your neighborhood. You'l...
by PaddyMac
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA worth it in this case?
Replies: 7
Views: 914

Re: HSA worth it in this case?

Agree with above re checking with the insurer. When we buy an HSA plan on the ACA exchange, it says so right in the plan documents, as in: HSA Eligible: Yes/No. We've had an HSA for a number of years and have built up a medical emergency cushion. It's over $40K now. Next month I have some minor surg...
by PaddyMac
Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire today?
Replies: 132
Views: 7663

Re: Can I retire today?

Assuming your SS is not offset by your safe state pension (you've checked?), then I would take the afternoon+ off.

Personally, I would have a bit more in equities, considering your pension is safe.
by PaddyMac
Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income for Social Security eligibility
Replies: 4
Views: 762

Re: Income for Social Security eligibility

If I do work in November and invoice the client in November do I have to receive the check in November for it to be November income? Do you run your accounts as "Cash" or "Accrual" ? This should be marked on your last year's taxes as you can only do your books one way or the other. With CASH, the t...
by PaddyMac
Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best spreadsheet for my purposes
Replies: 5
Views: 895

Re: Best spreadsheet for my purposes

I would think Morningstar Portfolio manager with their Xray tool could do everything you need and more. We're members, but I think you can also sign up for this service for free, maybe without some bells and whistles.
https://members.morningstar.com/Register/Portfolio
by PaddyMac
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime - Decline in Delivery Service?
Replies: 54
Views: 4466

Re: Amazon Prime - Decline in Delivery Service?

We're in the mountains outside Albuquerque and in the past year I've noticed that Prime may mean more than 2 days when it was more consistent before. I'm guessing it's a city vs. rural thing. Also Prime often means it's transferred to the local post office for the last mile vs. using UPS (which are ...
by PaddyMac
Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 372
Views: 49677

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

As for withdrawals/distributions, perhaps that could function (hypothetical here, obviously) with some threshold, such as "more than 10% of account" or such. RM For credit cards, you need to set it to any amount from $0.01 on up. The reason is that fraud often starts with a 99 cents charge on Apple...
by PaddyMac
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Senior citizens can lose everything [to professional guardians via court rulings]
Replies: 111
Views: 9605

Re: Senior citizens can lose everything [to professional guardians via court rulings]

Living in New Mexico now, this is a huge issue here following an award-winning series by The Albuquerque Journal. The State is now legislating. Some heart breaking stories were covered that would make your blood boil. https://www.abqjournal.com/898385/who-guards-the-guardians-a-5-part-series-by-dian...
by PaddyMac
Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living off of Taxable to max 401K
Replies: 11
Views: 906

Re: Living off of Taxable to max 401K

We're pretty close to the magical 59.5 yrs, and with us being semi-retired, I have start moving money from taxable to max out our 401k Roths (and Roth IRAs). I make sure first to tax defer enough to to keep us comfortably in the 15% tax bracket so Qualified Dividends and Cap Gains are not taxed. So ...
by PaddyMac
Wed May 31, 2017 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long before I can cut down a branch with a nesting bird
Replies: 18
Views: 2387

Re: How long before I can cut down a branch with a nesting bird

If you have barn swallows in the eaves, be aware that they are protected by Federal Migratory Bird act. Once an adult is sitting on a nest (eggs or no eggs), knocking it down could land you six months in jail or a $10,000 fine. As for cutting down a tree with a bird in it... We reported a tree trimm...
by PaddyMac
Wed May 31, 2017 11:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: About to retire
Replies: 11
Views: 1938

Re: About to retire

I wouldn't only spend the cash in the very beginning. Check out your tax return and I think you'll find that you can withdraw a certain amount of money from your tax deferred account and fill up your 0% tax "bucket" (your exemptions etc). Maybe even pay a little tax at 10% if you'll end up being in ...
by PaddyMac
Wed May 31, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lowering life insurance coverage as I get older
Replies: 17
Views: 1431

Re: Lowering life insurance coverage as I get older

We felt secure enough this year to drop our term life insurance on both of us. We early retired this year, and decided that paying $1K a year for something we didn't really need was a waste of money.
by PaddyMac
Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wells Fargo Brokerage
Replies: 28
Views: 4178

Re: Wells Fargo Brokerage

When you say you can't buy a fund, do you mean online only? I seem to remember being told that if I wanted to buy more of a certain Small Caps fund that I had to call it in.
by PaddyMac
Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best take it everywhere camera
Replies: 102
Views: 10594

Re: Best take it everywhere camera

I've had an RX100 MkII since they first came out. Two pro photographers recommended it to me as their pocket camera. It takes great photos (I shoot Camera RAW always, turning off the duplicate JPG). My favorite feature is the one-click button to record a Movie (HD) - most cameras you have to fiddle ...
by PaddyMac
Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can a massage chair favorably compare to mediocre budget massages from Groupon?
Replies: 4
Views: 921

Re: Can a massage chair favorably compare to mediocre budget massages from Groupon?

squirm wrote:If you go the inversion table route be careful, I screwed up my back with one of those tables.


Sorry to hear that. I must add that Teeter stress strongly that you need to build up your tolerance over a few weeks, adding a few degrees each week.
by PaddyMac
Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can a Sole Proprietor pre-pay health insurance premiums and deduct them?
Replies: 6
Views: 676

Re: Can a Sole Proprietor pre-pay health insurance premiums and deduct them?

Also note that if you are buying health insurance on the exchange, and sign up for a new plan in December, there is no benefit to pre-paying the January premium in December - except to avoid the daily emails reminding you for pay your first premium! We've had that issue for a couple of years, but al...
by PaddyMac
Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can a Sole Proprietor pre-pay health insurance premiums and deduct them?
Replies: 6
Views: 676

Re: Can a Sole Proprietor pre-pay health insurance premiums and deduct them?

Also, if you buy equipment at the end of the year (like 12/30/16) so you can claim a tax deduction for that year, our CPA used to advise against this for a similar reason. You have to put the equipment substantially into service in the year you purchase it. So that's why it's good to do some tax pla...
by PaddyMac
Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can a massage chair favorably compare to mediocre budget massages from Groupon?
Replies: 4
Views: 921

Re: Can a massage chair favorably compare to mediocre budget massages from Groupon?

We bought a $4K Panasonic massage chair a few years ago. We use it fairly regularly, although we still get a massage now and then. It really depends on what is hurting: the massage chair is pretty good for the middle back, but it doesn't do a good job in getting into the neck area, shoulders and cra...
by PaddyMac
Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal finance help for those below/near poverty line
Replies: 48
Views: 6687

Re: Personal finance help for those below/near poverty line

Thanks to all above who posted info on the IRS course and teaching financial literacy. It's been on my mind recently how I could help lower-income families get a handle on budgeting and taxes etc., and these are all great ideas. I didn't realize the IRS had an online course - very handy.
by PaddyMac
Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Instant Pot - your favorite uses?
Replies: 36
Views: 5993

Re: Instant Pot - your favorite uses?

I had it for a year before I noticed it had a Rice button. Doh! Now I use it mainly for rice. It also cooks Quinoa really well in 1 minute. If you like mashed potatoes, it cooks them perfectly. Just drain the water and melt some butter in the still-warm pot, add the drained potatoes, plus some milk,...
by PaddyMac
Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Billing Disagreement - Stark Law
Replies: 95
Views: 6394

Re: Medical Billing Disagreement - Stark Law

I'm not if this helps, but something for everyone to watch for: I recently had a preventive maintenance procedure that was routine and covered 100% under the ACA. I got balance billed for it. I called the insurance company and they said it should be covered 100%, so ask the medical provider to fix i...
by PaddyMac
Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for home paper shredder
Replies: 52
Views: 3246

Re: Recommendations for home paper shredder

I once bought a cheap one that overheated after a few pages...

A few years ago I bought the Fellowes model that Costco was selling and it's fantastic; I shred sheets of cardboard with it weekly for my worm bins. I do use the little oiler regularly too.
by PaddyMac
Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally 1 Day Transfer
Replies: 40
Views: 6599

Re: Ally 1 Day Transfer

This was also welcome news for us, as we use Ally for our emergency fund. In the past, transfers took about 3 days.
by PaddyMac
Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Plan Contributions (Solo Roth 401k, SEP, Roth)
Replies: 7
Views: 1027

Re: Retirement Plan Contributions (Solo Roth 401k, SEP, Roth)

We had the same situation (SEP-IRA first, then opened a 401k). We stopped contributing to the SEP, but left it open. You say you have a Roth 401k, but do you also have access to saving in a tax-deferred 401k? They are usually part of the same plan. The regular 401k would have both EmployER and Emplo...
by PaddyMac
Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Indexing: When being 'average' is a lot better than average
Replies: 19
Views: 2044

Re: Indexing: When being 'average' is a lot better than average

I know absolutely nothing about golf, but when I look up the definition of par, it says: Par: An amount or a level considered to be average So, by definition par is in the mid range. When I think of a football player or a basketball player as being average, I think not too good, not too bad, you kn...
by PaddyMac
Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you track your net worth? How long have you done so?
Replies: 110
Views: 10276

Re: Do you track your net worth? How long have you done so?

I started tracking net worth only a few years ago as I planned for early retirement. I use Apple's Numbers app, which comes with a Net Worth spreadsheet template. I modified it by adding a few extra tables with "historical" totals so I could see how it was growing over time. I used to trac...
by PaddyMac
Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Pantry
Replies: 23
Views: 3038

Re: Amazon Prime Pantry

I've used it a couple of times but there are two problems with it (for me at least): - the selection is very limited: I can find almost everything I need in the regular Amazon at good prices, and use it to buy lots of gluten-free flour especially. Those items ship Amazon Prime for free. In the pantr...
by PaddyMac
Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions
Replies: 17
Views: 1837

Re: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions

Agree with above. We were always too busy to do our own taxes but a few years ago I started learning as much as I could. I built spreadsheets to recreate the entire return, so I could see on one page how one number affects the bottom line. This year we are doing our own taxes in TaxAct and saving ov...
by PaddyMac
Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions
Replies: 17
Views: 1837

Re: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions

Our CPA was quite realistic. He said that unless you are talking about huge sums of money, the IRS doesn't care to make taxpayers increase paperwork for a few thousand dollars. If your income is under $100K, you are a small-fry business to the IRS. If you pick a company name that is generic, I don't...
by PaddyMac
Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions
Replies: 17
Views: 1837

Re: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions

You didn't mention health insurance, so if you are buying an ACA plan, highly recommend you look for an HSA compatible plan. An HSA is the best tax-advantaged savings plan - better than any 401k or Roth. It's tax free doing IN and tax free coming OUT so long as you are paying for a medical bill (alm...
by PaddyMac
Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions
Replies: 17
Views: 1837

Re: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions

Well done on figuring this all out. Don't worry about the late date as that is in the past. If you end up with good income in the future, you will play catch up. You didn't mention kids, so I assume you are not planning for college fees etc. We are both self-employed and we really didn't get a good ...
by PaddyMac
Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for safe online money transfer (e.g. Paypal) from 3rd party
Replies: 6
Views: 609

Re: Recommendations for safe online money transfer (e.g. Paypal) from 3rd party

Another advantage of paper checks is the no-fee attached. (I was annoyed once when a client paid my fairly large invoice by Paypal - and I was dinged 3%. I made them send a check for the difference.) However, you may have to wait a few days to make sure the check truly clears. Ask your bank for deta...
by PaddyMac
Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security [i]: Max SS Earnings, Bend Points, How Many More Years? [USA]
Replies: 40
Views: 5880

Re: Social Security [i]: Max SS Earnings, Bend Points, How Many More Years? [USA]

I arrived in the USA at age 34 in 2004. Do you by any chance have a small pension coming from your country of origin? I arrived in the US at age 26 and had accumulated enough for the a small British pension. But unless I have 30 years of earnings in the US, anything I get from the UK will diminish ...
by PaddyMac
Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self Employed Expense Tracking
Replies: 7
Views: 685

Re: Self Employed Expense Tracking

Yes, meal expenses are only 50% deductible. Years ago our CPA told us that meals eaten while traveling out of town (say at a conference) were "travel" expenses and could be expensed at 100%, BUT that is no longer true. Somewhere along the way the IRS clamped down on this, so I believe ALL ...
by PaddyMac
Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: vacation home now or in 2035?
Replies: 10
Views: 1706

Re: vacation home now or in 2035?

I wouldn't buy now unless you are going to visit it at least one weekend a month. Too many things change. We used to live in LA, and dreamed of a mountain cabin getaway when we were 40. When we were 50, we ended up moving to another state and live in the mountains. We are so glad we didn't buy a sec...
by PaddyMac
Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sole Proprietor 401K and Tax Questions
Replies: 9
Views: 947

Re: Sole Proprietor 401K and Tax Questions

As a sole proprietor for many years, our CPA never cared where the money for our SEP or 401k came from. Your business & personal money is best kept in separate account naturally, but you can contribute from anywhere.

Run this calculation to check the max amount
https://docs.zoho.com/sheet/published.d ... 140934898a

Not sure about #2.
by PaddyMac
Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with my CD collection
Replies: 35
Views: 3546

Re: What to do with my CD collection

If you have time, search them out on Amazon first. We just went through our collection and found a few that were quite valuable. We sell anything that will go for $10 and up, and books we no longer want that are $20 and up. If there are dozens for sale for $0.01 etc, then we donate them to the local...
by PaddyMac
Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Question - New Employer and Now Paying Monthly Fees
Replies: 3
Views: 420

Re: HSA Question - New Employer and Now Paying Monthly Fees

Sort of related, in case it's useful: Wells Fargo just let us know that they are getting out of the HSA business and are moving our HSA to Optum Bank. We used to have to keep $2K minimum to avoid fees at WF, but their investment choices were pretty crappy. Now we'll have to keep a higher minimum but...
by PaddyMac
Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I take full advantage of a Roth IRA
Replies: 60
Views: 4778

Re: How do I take full advantage of a Roth IRA

"just got married and so we have not decided or looked at how we will file our taxes next year. My husband makes $140,000 and has his own substantial savings." I think before you do anything, you need to get together with your husband and see how Married Filing Jointly will affect your mod...
by PaddyMac
Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sole Proprietorship for Nurse Practicioner
Replies: 18
Views: 1542

Re: Sole Proprietorship for Nurse Practicioner

there is no difference between an Individual 401(k) and a SEP-IRA. Disagree with this. A solo 401k is much more beneficial. (personal experience) Read (and post) the rest of the statement. There is no difference at high income levels in maximum contribution (they both max out at $53k vs $59k). Ther...