Search found 8294 matches

by The Wizard
Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mailing a US Passport in for Renewal
Replies: 14
Views: 1143

Re: Mailing a US Passport in for Renewal

Mailing something Certified or heaven forbid Registered will slow it down considerably.
You better know why exactly you choose either of those methods...
by The Wizard
Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did my taxes myself for the first time, feels great
Replies: 10
Views: 806

Re: Did my taxes myself for the first time, feels great

Some of us are the opposite.
I did my taxes by hand with a pencil from around 1970 to 2010.
Complexity ramoed upward and then back downward

Last few years, I've been doing it electronically, FreeTaxUSA this time.
My modest federal refund hit my checking account late last week...
by The Wizard
Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling in Retirement
Replies: 57
Views: 4185

Re: Traveling in Retirement

I've been traveling 4-6 weeks a year from age 23 to 63.
Except when I was 31 and took a nine week leave of absence for a more extensive trip.

After I retired at 63, I ramped up my travel even more.
But as they say, your mileage may vary...
by The Wizard
Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental car for weekend trip to save on miles on new car?
Replies: 36
Views: 1901

Re: Rental car for weekend trip to save on miles on new car?

climber2020 wrote:No. Drive it. That's what it's for.

^^^This basically.
Now if you bought a new Corvette, say, and the purpose of your weekend trip is to haul back a couple thousand pounds of stuff, then yeah, you need something else to drive for that trip...
by The Wizard
Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: would like to increase ss payment
Replies: 10
Views: 1217

Re: would like to increase ss payment

If you retired at 67 and started SS then, you should be getting more than $1300/mo, if you earned over $100,000 then and proportionally less amounts going back to age 27 or so.
There must have been a gap of some sort...
by The Wizard
Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: would like to increase ss payment
Replies: 10
Views: 1217

Re: would like to increase ss payment

Depends on your earnings history, the top 35 adjusted years.
If you only had about ten years paying into SS, then what you are suggesting MIGHT be feasible.
But to get a 50% increase in SS could take several years of well paid employment...
by The Wizard
Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part D IRMAA incorrectly assesed
Replies: 4
Views: 364

Medicare Part D IRMAA incorrectly assesed

I'm close to FRA (66) and applied for Divorced Spouse Benefit from SS a few months ago. The letter arrived today and mentioned the correct gross amount of my benefit that I was expecting, minus the IRMAA for Part B, since my income is a bit high. So far, so good. But then the letter says they will b...
by The Wizard
Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you hire a lawyer to be "on retainer"?
Replies: 24
Views: 2432

Re: How do you hire a lawyer to be "on retainer"?

I think you are worrying too much about unlikely events...
by The Wizard
Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax rate on IRA withdrawal when on Social Security
Replies: 28
Views: 2052

Re: Tax rate on IRA withdrawal when on Social Security

LadyGeek - thanks for the move and the welcome And The Wizard wrote: I think it's better to use tax software to model your situation. Using Excel is dependent on your knowledge. What tax software is there? like Carl53 I have a relatively simple situation. I was able to build the tax formula for &qu...
by The Wizard
Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone travel without hacking?
Replies: 64
Views: 5524

Re: Anyone travel without hacking?

I travel largely with cash purchases of airfare.
Just bought BOS-IAH for March 10-23.
(Should we take Livesoft out for lunch?)

I should probably aim for using FF miles for my next trip, but I don't like compromising too much...
by The Wizard
Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If SS covers expenses why invest?
Replies: 64
Views: 4392

Re: If SS covers expenses why invest?

Don't look at your "expenses". Look at your net take home pay. Take home pay is after 30% or so put aside for retirement, along with taxes and OASDI. My SS at age 62, if I had taken it, was less than $2000 a month. My take home pay was, ummm, quite more than $2000 a month. I'm not sure the...
by The Wizard
Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxation of fellowship
Replies: 37
Views: 1512

Re: Taxation of fellowship

That would also add to my "quarters" or whatever they are called for SS eligibility. Very relevant for students aiming for advanced degrees, as I will now need to work a year and a half past my employer's minimum retirement age in order to get a full 30 years on record with the SSA. 30 ye...
by The Wizard
Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax rate on IRA withdrawal when on Social Security
Replies: 28
Views: 2052

Re: Tax rate on IRA withdrawal when on Social Security

Doc: Given our pensions, 85% of our SS is taxed. To estimate our taxes, I calculated our AGI and MAGI by summing our sources of income excluding SS and then added 85% of SS income. Next, I calculated our Federal Taxable Income by subtracting our standard deduction and exemptions from MAGI. Then, I ...
by The Wizard
Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Take the Verb Tense Pledge!
Replies: 69
Views: 3762

Re: Take the Verb Tense Pledge!

Some of us happen to believe that, using broad brushstrokes, the past tends to repeat itself in the future.
Others will naively swear that This Time Is Different.
So, pick a side, I guess...
by The Wizard
Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Take the Verb Tense Pledge!
Replies: 69
Views: 3762

Re: Take the Verb Tense Pledge!

No.
Without being verbose, I think that either tense can be right.
Some things can only be analyzed in retrospect, yes.
Other things are generally applicable for an indefinite duration, including the future.
And so it goes...
by The Wizard
Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Am I getting a bad deal from my financial planner?]
Replies: 58
Views: 3961

Re: Am I getting screwed?

Toons wrote:...Toons is brief and to the point. :happy

Chaz was briefer...
by The Wizard
Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don’t Be Hacker Bait
Replies: 12
Views: 1955

Re: Don’t Be Hacker Bait

Thank you. I have started using password manager since a week for financial and social media. I think it is a matter of "when" for online security to be broken at some point. Better be safe. I am interested in 1 more thing if members here have found solution. I have 1-3 emails but they ar...
by The Wizard
Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Delaying SS Benefits?
Replies: 25
Views: 1691

Re: Delaying SS Benefits?

If one has only a modest level of retirement savings, then yes, taking SS at the earliest date would make a lot of sense.
We've discussed this here many times.

In today's low interest rate environment, it makes more sense to delay SS than it would if rates were way higher...
by The Wizard
Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax refund - paper check or direct deposit?
Replies: 13
Views: 756

Re: Tax refund - paper check or direct deposit?

"Overly paranoid", checko.
I've been doing direct deposit of both my federal and state tax refunds for a while now and it works fine...
by The Wizard
Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax rate on IRA withdrawal when on Social Security
Replies: 28
Views: 2052

Re: Tax rate on IRA withdrawal when on Social Security

I might recommend targeting an approximately level taxable income in retirement, rather than pulling out much more some years for large purchases. Roth conversions can be done if you don't need all the income for current expenses. All of my SS income will be 85% taxable, so I've accepted that. There...
by The Wizard
Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: What percentage of your expenses are covered by SS and/or pensions
Replies: 84
Views: 5296

Re: Retirees: What percentage of your expenses are covered by SS and/or pensions

I'm retired almost three years. My retirement income is easier to analyze than my "expenses". I have no pension and have delayed SS thus far. My income (all taxable) presently: 67% fixed/variable lifetime annuities + 33% withdrawals from portfolio. I also have sporadic part-time employment...
by The Wizard
Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Make your retirement money last
Replies: 36
Views: 7533

Re: Make your retirement money last

Larry -- Thank you so much for your kind, and thorough, review of my new book. I have always been grateful for your wise opinions. And thank you, everyone, who made such lovely comments on this book and my previous ones. The Bogleheads and I have always been on the same page. Jane Wow, nice. Increm...
by The Wizard
Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Teacher's Retirement
Replies: 12
Views: 1253

Re: Teacher's Retirement

I would buy SEVERAL of those credits if I could!!! Where the $$ comes from is of less concern, but you need to research tax-sheltered vs taxable funds. Which flavor of $$ do they want? IOW, if you buy a single credit with $19,305 of after-tax money in your checking account, will the $3400 per year a...
by The Wizard
Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement number calculation
Replies: 6
Views: 1078

Re: Retirement number calculation

Wiggle room, yes.
Figure your expenses including capital replacement and then add a few thousand a month to allow for unexpected things.
It comes down to your desired lifestyle in retirement, since it costs money to fly to Argentina, for instance...
by The Wizard
Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you retire
Replies: 84
Views: 6404

Re: What age did you retire

Financial Independence is the real issue here.
Retirement, in its various and partial forms, is an optional response to having achieved FI...
by The Wizard
Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxation of fellowship
Replies: 37
Views: 1512

Re: Taxation of fellowship

If Box 7 is checked on the 1099MISC, it usually represents taxable income to the recipient. If you don't agree with that, you (or the student) need to get a corrected 1099MISC. Even better, convince University B simply to nullify that 1099-misc. True scholarship and fellowship payments need not be ...
by The Wizard
Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxation of fellowship
Replies: 37
Views: 1512

Re: Taxation of fellowship

Seems like the kid was not a candidate for degree at University B, correct? I don't see how they are on the hook for presuming he's a candidate at some other institution... They didn't presume. It was a criterion for award. I meant only in regard to filling out the 1099 form. He's not a degree cand...
by The Wizard
Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you retire
Replies: 84
Views: 6404

Re: What age did you retire

OK we need to be honest in this thread. If your spouse works, your not "retired". You are a single income family. It doesn't count if someone else is paying your bills. I disagree. Perfectly acceptable for one spouse to be retired and the other not. The retired one could easily have pensi...
by The Wizard
Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxation of fellowship
Replies: 37
Views: 1512

Re: Taxation of fellowship

Seems like the kid was not a candidate for degree at University B, correct?
I don't see how they are on the hook for presuming he's a candidate at some other institution...
by The Wizard
Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to stop MS loading Windows 10?
Replies: 32
Views: 2492

Re: How to stop MS loading Windows 10?

I would think Windows 10 would be a desirable improvement over Windows 7, especially as a zero-cost upgrade.
Is my assumption incorrect?
by The Wizard
Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nearing retirement but annual contribution still very significant
Replies: 40
Views: 3277

Re: Nearing retirement but annual contribution still very significant

I'm thinking TimeLord should continue working until he has $10,000 a month coming in safely in retirement.
Possibly more.
We're all about the comfort factor here...
by The Wizard
Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nearing retirement but annual contribution still very significant
Replies: 40
Views: 3277

Re: Nearing retirement but annual contribution still very significant

Many of us have put away large percentages of gross income in the final few years prior to cutting loose. I don't see the size of current annual contribution having much bearing on the issue at hand. What matters is your total egg size. Win a lottery and get the entire large egg in one year also wo...
by The Wizard
Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired - do you still save?
Replies: 24
Views: 1967

Re: Retired - do you still save?

I retired in March, 2013, but yes, I still save a portion of my taxable retirement income (over $1000/month) for anticipated large expenses. I just withdrew much of that savings to buy a new vehicle in December. :happy And I have a nasty habit of working part-time in retirement, when requested. So I...
by The Wizard
Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Already filed taxes, didn't include small amount of interest income
Replies: 31
Views: 2985

Re: Already filed taxes, didn't include small amount of interest income

Make sure the extra $20 causes an increase in tax owed. If you used the "tax tables", note they are $50 "wide", meaning adding $20 to your income may or may not jump into the next higher $50 range. The worse that will probably happen if you do nothing, is you will get a CP 2000 ...
by The Wizard
Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: question [Advisor suggests dividend paying funds/stocks]
Replies: 12
Views: 541

Re: question

Some financial advisors often pad their stories ("lie") to get new accounts.
This would plausibly be one of those cases...
by The Wizard
Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W4 Configuration for DINK's?
Replies: 14
Views: 651

Re: W4 Configuration for DINK's?

You need to get a HANDLE on your income situation and from there, your tax situation. Let's say your baseline income has you in the 25% marginal Federal tax bracket. You can figure your taxes for last year (2015) with your particular deductions and credits. And then you can set up your withholding f...
by The Wizard
Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nearing retirement but annual contribution still very significant
Replies: 40
Views: 3277

Re: Nearing retirement but annual contribution still very significant

Many of us have put away large percentages of gross income in the final few years prior to cutting loose. I don't see the size of current annual contribution having much bearing on the issue at hand. What matters is your total egg size. Win a lottery and get the entire large egg in one year also wor...
by The Wizard
Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD = please help
Replies: 8
Views: 1003

Re: RMD = please help

It's probably most convenient and legal to have an appropriate amount withheld from the distribution. To do that, she'll need to determine her marginal Federal tax rate, perhaps 15% or 25%. In some cases, an RMD will be large enough to put the recipient in the next higher tax bracket, so use TaxCast...
by The Wizard
Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Plus vs TurboTax vs H&R Block for 2015
Replies: 77
Views: 4989

Re: TaxAct Plus vs TurboTax vs H&R Block for 2015

FreeTaxUSA worked out fine this year.
I wasn't sure if I would use it to file my MA return as well but ended up using it for convenience to avoid having to reenter SEVEN 1099-R forms again.
The $12.95 I paid for will be deductible on Schedule A next year at this time...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retired & Estimated tax payments ???
Replies: 27
Views: 1102

Re: Retired & Estimated tax payments ???

I find that setting up proper deductions on a monthly basis to be the simplest method. It eliminates fooling with things every quarter.
I will be starting to receive SS benefits soon and will be juggling the withholding a bit to keep my totals where they should be...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's this "magical 5% return" always being referred to?
Replies: 18
Views: 1494

Re: What's this "magical 5% return" always being referred to?

There are two different issues here: 1) a 5% "return" at its simplest is just compound interest on a lump sum. 5% a year for 10 years is about a 63% increase in nominal dollars. So $100,000 invested with no further contribs grows to a bit less than $163,000. Now how does this relate to inv...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premiums
Replies: 33
Views: 2051

Re: Medicare Part B premiums

Lynette wrote:If I do a Roth conversion, does this count towards MAGI?

Yes indeed!
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is divorced spouse entitled to spouses Social securtity?
Replies: 21
Views: 2111

Re: Is divorced spouse entitled to spouses Social securtity?

Let's say her FRA is $1,000 per month and his is $2,500. The difference is $1,250 - $1,000 = $250. However, she filed early at age 62 and is receiving her reduced benefit of $700 a month. When she makes the spousal application she will get an additional $250, for a total of $950 per month... This i...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premiums
Replies: 33
Views: 2051

Re: Medicare Part B premiums

I found that if you need to make large withdrawals from 401K or IRA to make nursing home payments you still get hit with this additional tax. You're not wealthy, at least in the case I was involved in, but you pay the higher tax or surcharge (IRMAA) Similar with RMDs. Better therefore, to put toget...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is divorced spouse entitled to spouses Social securtity?
Replies: 21
Views: 2111

Re: Is divorced spouse entitled to spouses Social securtity?

Actually, I could be wrong.
SS claims that when you file at 62, they pay you the HIGHER of your own benefit and 50% of your spouse's PIA, reduced by 30% or so due to early filing.

If there was a mistake in computing those numbers, then you can seek a correction.
Otherwise, the status quo maintains...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is divorced spouse entitled to spouses Social securtity?
Replies: 21
Views: 2111

Re: Is divorced spouse entitled to spouses Social securtity?

Can she do that if she currently is taking hers now (on her record). Started at 62 on her record and now can she take spousal on his? T cody My impression is, MAYBE. She could have switched over last year at FRA, assuming 50% of his is more than hers presently. If she switches to spousal now, befor...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's this "magical 5% return" always being referred to?
Replies: 18
Views: 1494

Re: What's this "magical 5% return" always being referred to?

Wow so people were expected to maintain 50% in stocks after they retired? Isn't that super risky even in past times? With our hypothetical example that would be $500K stocks and $500K bonds... How can that allocation be considered safe for anyone who is retired? If a retiree has more than adequate ...
by The Wizard
Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is divorced spouse entitled to spouses Social securtity?
Replies: 21
Views: 2111

Re: Is divorced spouse entitled to spouses Social securtity?

Her entitlement will be 50% of his PIA, with COLA as time goes on.

Unsure how one switches over from own to spousal benefit, assuming latter is higher.
I thought deemed filing rules took that into account...

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