Search found 799 matches

by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free dinner investing seminar
Replies: 245
Views: 15587

Re: free dinner investing seminar

How does one get invited to such events? I've never received any invitations of this sort. Perhaps I'm not part of the targeted demographic? (Age: 36) I was wondering the same thing. While getting a good free meal sounds enticing, it's probably a good thing that I'm not getting such invitations. I ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free dinner investing seminar
Replies: 245
Views: 15587

Re: free dinner investing seminar

My wife and I attended one at a Ruth Chris Steakhouse a few years back. I had no intention of buying what they were selling and didn’t do so. The dinner was delicious and the sales guy wasn’t aggressive at all. If he had been, that would’ve been fine with me since I have no problem saying no. I’ve a...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I saving enough?
Replies: 34
Views: 3130

Re: Am I saving enough?

There is no 28% or 25% tax bracket as of the new year. You're in the new 22% tax bracket . There’s a good chance you’re actually in the 12% tax bracket. Subtract the following from your gross income of $110k to figure out your bracket: standard deduction of $24k (or possibly more if you itemize), p...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I saving enough?
Replies: 34
Views: 3130

Re: Am I saving enough?

No. If you are in the 28% bracket your taxable income is $150k +, so gross is more like $175k+. I mistakenly posted the wrong tax bracket. We make a combined $110k a year, with a small amount coming from my wife who works very part time. There is no 28% or 25% tax bracket as of the new year. You're...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford this house?
Replies: 50
Views: 4321

Re: Can I afford this house?

I would not move (edit: out of the Bay Area). You have a lot of assets, a high income, and family in the Bay Area. Family, at least to my wife and me, is priceless. We own a townhouse like the one you're considering purchasing. It's in an area with excellent public schools and within a few minutes o...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Make $90k, pay no Federal Income Tax in 2018? Check / critique this scenario.
Replies: 71
Views: 10517

Re: Make $90k, pay no Federal Income Tax in 2018? Check / critique this scenario.

Married filing Jointly 2 children under 12 Single income household $90,000. Salary $24,000. Standard deduction $18,500. Traditional §401(k) contribution $11,000. Traditional IRA contributions (self & spousal) $ 6,900. HSA contributions via cafeteria plan —————————————— $29,600 taxable income $19,05...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The housing nowadays
Replies: 64
Views: 5867

Re: The housing nowadays

Prices can change in either direction to any degree at any time. So if you find a place you like and can comfortably afford, I would buy it if I were going to stay there for a good while. Transaction costs in Bay Area real estate are not insignificant so I would try to buy a place I would be in for ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?
Replies: 111
Views: 8181

Re: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?

Also, only kids always seem to feel they are on "stage" all the time unless they have a TON of nearby cousins to grow up with so they don't feel like they are always being noticed. Cousins definitely are amazing. I live next door to my sister (we share a wall between our townhouses). My wife and I ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?
Replies: 111
Views: 8181

Re: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?

I'm in the Bay Area. We have a three year old daughter. Our annual expenses so far: Food: $3000 Transportation: -$2000 (after kid was born, I was ready to replace my 15 year old car so I got a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle and started car pooling to work. The kid fits inside my Toyota Corolla...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house now versus waiting (Bay Area)
Replies: 35
Views: 3166

Re: Buying a house now versus waiting (Bay Area)

We were looking in the BA in 2004-2007 and were like :annoyed. We looked at a 700 sq ft, 1 bedroom home behind a larger property that sold for...$500k in 2007. :shock: We bought in 2011 after the foreclosure crisis hit and did well. We live in a top school district that's highly walkable (but admit...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working in the real world
Replies: 118
Views: 8798

Re: Working in the real world

Getting back to the point of the OP, the wages that folks claim on here are absurd, except for the few doctors and some senior managers. I think a lot of posters lie about their salaries, perhaps in part to keep up with other posters. But I recall some folks who claim to make 800k/year, tech worker...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Stereo Questions
Replies: 25
Views: 1450

Re: Car Stereo Questions

Ostentatious wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:46 pm
I would recommend the pioneer AVH line of car head units with feature rich options including navigation, Apple CarPlay or Android, waze etc.... . Newegg discounts these units fairly frequently.
Thanks for the suggestion. Are there particular reasons you make the recommendation?
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Stereo Questions
Replies: 25
Views: 1450

Re: Car Stereo Questions

I like crutchfield.com, but the comment that you don't know much about car radios concerns me. Installing isn't rocket science, but it isn't a snap either. If you don't plan to install yourself, I'd recommend a local (independent) car stereo shop. Six years ago, I had a mid-level Clarion head unit ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Stereo Questions
Replies: 25
Views: 1450

Re: Car Stereo Questions

bottlecap wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:49 pm
I’d look into an after market stereo. Cheaper and likely better.

Get whatever features you want in it. I think it’s easier to have nav on my phone.

JT
Thanks, this is helpful input. The built in navigation seems to be a somewhat expensive feature so maybe I'll skip it.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Stereo Questions
Replies: 25
Views: 1450

Re: Car Stereo Questions

If you were considering going aftermarket anyway ("I don’t really like the original manufacturer stereo as it’s basic and clunky"), you should consider doing it now, instead of helping the dealer make his next boat payment. Crutchfield is an excellent source for all things aftermarket car audio and...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Stereo Questions
Replies: 25
Views: 1450

Car Stereo Questions

I have a base 2015 Toyota Corolla (no longer under warranty) and am having problems with the car stereo. When the car turns on, the stereo works for about 30 seconds. After that, nothing on the touch screen works. Sometimes, I’m also unable to lower the volume or turn the stereo off while the car is...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lower tax rates for 7 yrs.-Are you switching to Roth 401K
Replies: 65
Views: 5678

Re: Lower tax rates for 7 yrs.-Are you switching to Roth 401K

With the personal tax rates lowering in 2018 (but only for the next 7 yrs), is anyone going to start contributing more to their Roth 401K vs Traditional 401K? If you invest in the Roth 401K for the next 7 years you know you will be in a lower tax bracket, at least until 2025. After 2025, we know th...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your annual cost of living (expenses)?
Replies: 40
Views: 3291

Re: What's your annual cost of living (expenses)?

$85k (includes property tax but not income tax)
Married
1 child (age 3)
VHCOL Area (Bay Area)
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CalSTRS 457(b) options
Replies: 15
Views: 594

Re: CalSTRS 457(b) options

Perhaps so, but I'm with facepalm on this. That 0.25% bugs me too! Our previous 457b vendor used to be TIAA-CREF and they charged 0.33%. So it's gone down some since they converted from TIAA-CREF to CalSTRS Pension 2. I'd be just fine if it went down a tad further. I'm not holding my breath for thi...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CalSTRS 457(b) options
Replies: 15
Views: 594

Re: CalSTRS 457(b) options

The .25% irks me, though. I guess it is worth it when you consider the tax savings. That's a very reasonable plan charge. The funds are low cost and probably don't have revenue sharing. The costs of operating employer-based plans (statements, loans, compliance, etc.) have to be paid by somebody, an...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CalSTRS 457(b) options
Replies: 15
Views: 594

Re: CalSTRS 457(b) options

I'm a teacher in California and have both Vanguard and CalSTRS Pension 2 as available vendors in a 403b. Prior to starting contributions to a 403b, I already had a 457b with CalSTRS Pension 2 so I opened a 403b with them as well. It makes things really easy to manage since both accounts show up toge...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your threshold for paying down debt?
Replies: 89
Views: 5986

Re: What is your threshold for paying down debt?

Two part question: Why are Bogleheads so afraid of debt and what is your threshold between aggressively paying it down or redirecting those payments into investments? I won't make an attempt at the first part of your question but can try for the second. For me, there isn't a "threshold" in terms of...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1740

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

I'm unclear on why a $5,500 Roth contribution converts to a $5,500 403b contribution. At a 30% tax rate a $5,500 Roth contribution consumes $7,857 of gross income, so it is equivalent to a $7,857 403b contribution. However, the $7,857 is not accurate because a portion of the gross income falls into...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1740

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

Another important consideration: How good is your 403(b)? If you have to pay 1% per year on your investments (an issue with many 403(b) plans), that is a greater cost than any tax savings from using a traditional rather than a Roth account. If it is with a low-cost provider such as Vanguard, Fideli...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sign Up Bonuses/Offers
Replies: 8
Views: 1059

Re: Sign Up Bonuses/Offers

You may want to check out Doctor of Credit https://www.doctorofcredit.com/best-bank-account-bonuses The site does a decent job of providing all the terms of the various offers. We (wife and I) have done the following during 2017 though I’m sure some of the offers have expired: BBVA checking account:...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1740

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

Another important consideration: How good is your 403(b)? If you have to pay 1% per year on your investments (an issue with many 403(b) plans), that is a greater cost than any tax savings from using a traditional rather than a Roth account. If it is with a low-cost provider such as Vanguard, Fideli...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1740

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

It seems that most of the feedback so far is that it would be a good idea to divert Roth IRA contributions to my 403b next year. That's helpful info. Thanks so much, everyone. I really appreciate your input.
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1740

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

Anyone else have thoughts on my situation as well? Maybe. I don't see the $2k Child Tax Credit mentioned in there. However, I'm not sure where it goes so maybe your numbers are right. Even if your numbers are right, would diverting the $5,500 from His Roth IRA to His 403b actually pull you into the...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1740

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

Unless I am missing something I would contribute enough to tax deferred to get all income back into the 12% bracket. I would then continue the balance of contributions to ROTH. From my understanding he wants to know where to put the 5500 he is currently putting in a Roth IRA. I checked his math, it...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1740

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

Sounds good. I had expected more discussion but if it's as clear cut as that, it makes it nice and simple. Thanks!
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1740

Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

Our tax bracket is changing from 15% to 22% and I’m wondering whether it makes sense to stop contributing into a Roth IRA and direct that money into a 403b instead. Ages: 43 and 43 2017: Gross Income: $154,400 Above-line Deductions: $40,700 (10.5k pension contributions, 1k dental premiums, 18k 457b,...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we downsize?
Replies: 42
Views: 3160

Re: Should we downsize?

I sort of relate to your situation. My wife and I are 43, we have a 3 year old, and we live in a VHCOL area. We live in a 4 bedroom/4 bathroom house that's a bit bigger than we really need. We owe about $370k on our mortgage and our housing cost (including principal, interest, HOA, property taxes, a...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Late 30s, I think I’m doing everything right but would like a once-over
Replies: 14
Views: 2578

Re: Late 30s, I think I’m doing everything right but would like a once-over

You seem to be doing really well! If possible, I would consider working less overtime. I'd also slow down in paying off the mortgage and direct some of those funds toward taxable investment accounts (after maxing out retirement accounts) but that's just my personal preference. You're saving a lot so...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to use up my FSA account?
Replies: 13
Views: 1200

Re: How to use up my FSA account?

Some options: Contact lens solution, blood pressure monitor, bandages, sunscreen.
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Questions 2017 (Not all the crazy new stuff)
Replies: 16
Views: 1428

Re: Tax Questions 2017 (Not all the crazy new stuff)

Yes the first 4 deduction items are straight off the paycheck. 401k/403b/FSA/Premiums. The rest are itemizations and the medical does not double include premiums and only includes the portion over 7.5%. This still doesn’t seem likely to get me to 110k if the Charity, medical expenses, preoperty tax...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Implications of tax bill on residential real estate (house prices)
Replies: 62
Views: 5804

Re: Implications of tax bill on residential real estate (house prices)

From all angles right now, it appears just a few states will be really hit, and hit hard, California, NY, NJ and Connecticut. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my friends at Diehards. LynnC Close to a quarter of the U.S. population lives in these states, though, so if these areas slump, it ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are Roth IRAs overrated?
Replies: 77
Views: 7450

Re: Are Roth IRAs overrated?

Personal circumstances and the unknown future tax rates are factors in the answer to your question. My best guess is that they are underrated.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Not investing through your 30's
Replies: 60
Views: 5763

Re: Not investing through your 30's

Compound interest is powerful. Small savings early on can grow into large sums. There isn't one formula to success but just be aware of the trade-offs. Save a little now or a lot more later. Either way will work.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating Items Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1298

Re: Donations Question

What I do, is prepare a list of what the donation consists of, where it went, add the date, and staple it to whatever receipt the charity provides. I never made huge donations, but the real issue is whether there will be an audit when you need to provide "adequate" proof. OP here. I do the same as ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating Items Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1298

Re: Donations Question

Got it. Thank you!
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating Items Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1298

Re: Donations Question

Thanks for the response! If it's $500 per day, that would be great. Before I start rummaging through the garage and all the closets in my home, could someone else please verify this is how it works? Much appreciated.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating Items Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1298

Donating Items Questions

Since we won’t be itemizing as of next year, I’m planning to go through the house and donate stuff before the end of the year. I can take pictures of everything, compile a list of items being donated, and look up fair value online but don’t want to deal with having to get appraisals or filling out a...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Early retirement pros and cons:
Replies: 58
Views: 6857

Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

I wouldn't retire even if I didn't need the money. My job is fun, challenging, and fulfilling. I save because I may not always feel the way that I do currently and realize that I may not always be able to work. I've greatly enjoyed my job for a number of years and would like to keep things going as ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?
Replies: 266
Views: 21365

Re: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?

We'll save about $300. Despite going up from the 15% bracket to 22%, we will no longer be in the phaseout for the child tax credit and most of the money we will be taxed on will now be at a rate of 12% instead of 15%. However, the last $10k of our income will now be taxed at 22% instead of 15%, canc...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 886
Views: 51073

Re: Tax Act Omnibus Thread

I tried out this calculator. It says that I'd be better off taking the standard deduction of $24k since my itemized deductions add up to $22,500. It says that my total tax due will be $8,297 and that the tax reform bill will save me $349. If I were to itemize, I'd pay $8,656 in federal tax, which w...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 886
Views: 51073

Re: Tax Act Omnibus Thread

This was shared in the previous thread for some basic playing around with AGI and how the deduction/exemption/credit/rate changes affect the total federal income tax: http://taxplancalculator.com/ I tried out this calculator. It says that I'd be better off taking the standard deduction of $24k sinc...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lunch Ideas
Replies: 44
Views: 4454

Re: Lunch Ideas

This week is sort of typical: Monday: Today's lunch was a Greek Orzo Salad (bought from the deli section at a grocery store yesterday), blueberries, grapes, mixed nuts, and a granola bar. Tuesday: Tomorrow's lunch will be left over spaghetti from tonight's dinner. Wednesday: Taco salad leftovers (to...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do Bogleheads save on eyeglasses?
Replies: 91
Views: 6283

Re: How do Bogleheads save on eyeglasses?

Some things I've done to keep costs down:
-make use of a flexible spending account
-keep old frames and replace only the lenses
-buy a basic pair of glasses at Costco (no tinting, etc.)
-keep glasses for a long time
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?
Replies: 155
Views: 10833

Re: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?

My wife and I are both 43. I'm a public school teacher and she works for a small business. Neither of us have a 401k available but here are some contributions toward retirement we had in 2017: 457b: $18,000 403b: $4,900 Roth IRAs: $11,000 Taxable Brokerage Accounts: $4,300 Brokerage Bonuses (for acc...