Search found 10949 matches

by The Wizard
Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Terminology: condo vs apartment
Replies: 22
Views: 1449

Re: Terminology: condo vs apartment

The taxes are lower in the condo because we share ownership of the land. A shared ownership of the land is considered to be less valuable than owning a house and the surrounding land outright. You are limited as to what you can build on communal land. We can build little outbuildings for storage ab...
by The Wizard
Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best 401k Employer Match Structure
Replies: 53
Views: 2393

Re: Best 401k Employer Match Structure

aarsmith54 wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:20 pm
My company funds my 401k to the IRS maximum $55k without requiring any contributions from me. I am also fully vested immediately. This is in lieu of a higher salary (I make less than $100k).
This is moderately incredible...
by The Wizard
Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best 401k Employer Match Structure
Replies: 53
Views: 2393

Re: Best 401k Employer Match Structure

My employer was a nonprofit corporation spun off from a major university and therefore had a 403(b) DC plan rather than a 401(k). But the rules and contribution limits are very similar, to my knowledge. Anyhow, we had a MANDATORY 5% employee contribution from day one of employment which was "matched...
by The Wizard
Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on food per month, per person?
Replies: 78
Views: 3580

Re: How much do you spend on food per month, per person?

Ninnie wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:51 am
$1200 for groceries for two adults. We never eat at restaurants.
That's an impressive amount for two!
Organic products from Whole Foods, right?
by The Wizard
Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Medicare Premiums Quarterly While Suspending SS
Replies: 14
Views: 566

Re: Paying Medicare Premiums Quarterly While Suspending SS

I used to pay this way.
I'm guessing you can send in extra $$ and they will credit it to your account. Try it and report back...
by The Wizard
Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on food per month, per person?
Replies: 78
Views: 3580

Re: How much do you spend on food per month, per person?

Been married for 46 years. Never have had a budget period, let alone one for food. Common sense has served us well. DMW Same here, except for the married part. I'm somewhat frugal in some food areas, less frugal in others. I've always brewed my own coffee, typically Peet's Major Dickason. Eating ou...
by The Wizard
Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bogleheads APP?
Replies: 4
Views: 641

Re: Bogleheads APP?

There's no added functionality that an app would have over what's done now. The forum's style / skin is responsive and works well on a mobile device. (We're not going to change it.)... I agree. I access the BH forum on my Android smartphone 97% of the time and it works fine. I just stay logged in a...
by The Wizard
Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those in retirement, how close is your post retirement spending to your pre-retirement estimate?
Replies: 26
Views: 2348

Re: For those in retirement, how close is your post retirement spending to your pre-retirement estimate?

...At the end of the day, it is so very important to track your own expenses as a basis for the future... Well, yes and no. It's quite possible to do a one-minute ballpark to figure expenses and go with that. Example: gross salary is $100k and you're putting $30k into 401(k) and Roth IRA. Therefore...
by The Wizard
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is a Reasonable Retirement Cost of Living?
Replies: 32
Views: 3141

Re: What is a Reasonable Retirement Cost of Living?

Since my pension and 401k withdrawals will be pre tax, I prefer to use gross/pre-tax for estimating a retirement income target. Since I won't be making 401k contributions or paying FICA when I'm retired, I'm using my current gross less 401K contributions and FICA. So if someone is grossing $151,400...
by The Wizard
Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those in retirement, how close is your post retirement spending to your pre-retirement estimate?
Replies: 26
Views: 2348

Re: For those in retirement, how close is your post retirement spending to your pre-retirement estimate?

Well stated question. I retired in 2013. I track and project my monthly income closely but, same as when working, I don't really track or categorize my expenditures. I did put together a detailed spreadsheet just prior to retirement itemizing all my BASIC expenses: food, clothing, utility bills, pro...
by The Wizard
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is a Reasonable Retirement Cost of Living?
Replies: 32
Views: 3141

Re: What is a Reasonable Retirement Cost of Living?

I prefer to call it Desired Retirement Income rather than Expenses. I worked about five years after my youngest kid graduated college and was able to up my savings rate to around 30% of gross income then. So when I retired in 2013, I targeted roughly the same "take-home pay" as in my final working y...
by The Wizard
Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 40,000 to safely invest
Replies: 15
Views: 817

Re: 40,000 to safely invest

One reason we need to know more about your investing history has to do with behavioral issues.
Let's say you put that $40k into a mutual fund that we recommend and then three months from now it's gone down to $35,000.
What would you do then?
by The Wizard
Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 40,000 to safely invest
Replies: 15
Views: 817

Re: 40,000 to safely invest

Answer depends on lots of things.
How much do you already have invested and in what types of accounts?
Have you maxed out your Roth IRAs for this year?
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Account for yearly vacations
Replies: 16
Views: 969

Re: Investment Account for yearly vacations

I also fund "vacations" from cash flow, always have. Back when I was employed, I'd do a trip somewhere every 3-4 months. Retired for a few years now, I travel more frequently and maintain a higher checking account balance to smooth over the expense bumps better. Now I do maintain a modest taxable in...
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching elementary school kids about money
Replies: 32
Views: 1896

Re: Teaching elementary school kids about money

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:20 pm
Good luck. Our two kids were raised similarly, are close in age, and couldn’t be more different when it comes to money.
Same with my two kids...
:(
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking ahead to 2018
Replies: 7
Views: 1220

Re: Looking ahead to 2018

If you are confident when the correction will be happening, then yes, that could be a sound strategy...
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expenses, cash flow in retirement
Replies: 17
Views: 2057

Re: Expenses, cash flow in retirement

FiveK wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:36 pm
CRCC?
Perhaps CCRC...
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How does the IRS know the value of my 401K at end of year for RMDs
Replies: 30
Views: 3700

Re: How does the IRS know the value of my 401K at end of year for RMDs

Thank you for all of the assistance. The reason I asked the question is that I am in the process of rolling over my 401K to Vanguard and Fidelity IRA's. I wanted to know how the reporting worked so that I can fill in my 1040 correctly. I understand that the balance for my 401K at the end of 2016 ne...
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: pay down mortgage or invest in taxable
Replies: 16
Views: 1831

Re: pay down mortgage or invest in taxable

I would do some of both: pay a few hundred more on the mortgage each month and put the rest into taxable investments. And while it might be good to have a dollar amount goal for your investment accounts, you can't really be too confident about it until you are within a few years of retirement. Thing...
by The Wizard
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Tires? Worth it?
Replies: 147
Views: 6281

Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:28 am
New from Costco: Michelin ltx at2 on my Tundra TRD 4wd with electronic traction, etc. Will see how they do this year.
Last year was the last of the treadwear on 4 season tires and nearly ended up in a roadside ditch after a heavy snow.
That'll learn me. . . . :shock:
In Hawaii??
by The Wizard
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do I put 50k I don't need?
Replies: 25
Views: 2811

Re: Where do I put 50k I don't need?

Personally, I'd put it in some mix of TSM and international TSM in my taxable account. If a crash happens, then TLH it to a similar fund... I might mention that this is exactly what I'm doing with spare cash for my New Car Fund, 100% stocks in my taxable account. In the event of a crash just before...
by The Wizard
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do I put 50k I don't need?
Replies: 25
Views: 2811

Re: Where do I put 50k I don't need?

Personally, I'd put it in some mix of TSM and international TSM in my taxable account. If a crash happens, then TLH it to a similar fund.
I wouldn't use a balanced fund in taxable for two reasons: bond dividends get taxed as ordinary income; and if stock market crash happens, TLHing is not as clean...
by The Wizard
Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Tires? Worth it?
Replies: 147
Views: 6281

Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

I suppose I could put winter tires on my Mustang, but I never have. Instead, I take my 4wd pickup when conditions are bad. It has stock all-terrain (not all-season) tires which are mud+snow rated. I suppose if I was doing some sort of competitive winter road racing, I could put on better tires, but ...
by The Wizard
Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Tires? Worth it?
Replies: 147
Views: 6281

Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:21 pm

...Any man who puts nuts on dry would letterspace blackletter.
Can you translate this into English please?
by The Wizard
Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403b: has required employee contribution, and an optional %; both are matched; what counts toward the $18,000 limit?
Replies: 9
Views: 882

Re: 403b: has required employee contribution, and an optional %; both are matched; what counts toward the $18,000 limit?

I had a similar 403(b) plan. The overall limit is more like $54,000 under age 50. And yes, the $18,500 limit for under age 50 applies only to your optional or "elective deferral" contributions. There's an IRS pub that discusses this, but the language isn't as clear as it could be... https://www.irs....
by The Wizard
Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are 401k withdrawals taxed when you retire?
Replies: 12
Views: 1616

Re: How are 401k withdrawals taxed when you retire?

Whatever you take out of your 401k will be taxed at your ordinary tax rate. Your ordinary tax rate is likely to be less in retirement than while working... First sentence is basically correct, but unlike employment income, the 7.65% for FICA is not deducted. So your net income is higher. Second sen...
by The Wizard
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How should I look at SS and pensions when developing my post-FRA AA?
Replies: 30
Views: 1017

Re: How should I look at SS and pensions when developing my post-FRA AA?

You look at the gap between what you expect in expenses and what you anticipate in income and combine that with the size of your portfolio and use that combined information to assess your need, ability, and willingness to take risk... This is correct. If you get to the point where those income stre...
by The Wizard
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So... how do I need to "further" my investing knowledge?
Replies: 15
Views: 1507

WeRe: So... how do I need to "further" my investing knowledge?

Couple of points: 1) Your aim is long term Growth, not long term "compound interest". 2) And you want to be knowledgeable about your long term Savings Rate, at least 10% of gross income to start, going up to 25-30% of gross as the years go on. That tax-loss harvesting thing is an advanced topic, mea...
by The Wizard
Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are 401k withdrawals taxed when you retire?
Replies: 12
Views: 1616

Re: How are 401k withdrawals taxed when you retire?

Whatever you take out of your 401k will be taxed at your ordinary tax rate. Your ordinary tax rate is likely to be less in retirement than while working... First sentence is basically correct, but unlike employment income, the 7.65% for FICA is not deducted. So your net income is higher. Second sen...
by The Wizard
Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What did you do with your first RMD withdrawal money?
Replies: 63
Views: 4369

Re: What did you do with your first RMD withdrawal money?

After being fully retired for several years I decided to take a part time job with a food catering company to keep myself occupied. That qualifies me for a Roth IRA so part of my RMD pays state and federal taxes, part into a Roth and the rest into Vanguard personal account . Not your situation but ...
by The Wizard
Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trying to nail down asset allocation for second bucket
Replies: 43
Views: 1565

Re: Trying to nail down asset allocation for second bucket

A 50/50 AA for your remaining portfolio is hard to disagree with. I prefer to focus on cash flow streams in retirement, not just withdrawals from portfolio. So when I retired seven years prior to start of SS, I did something both similar to and different from the OP. I partitioned my portfolio into ...
by The Wizard
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about IRMAA and first couple years of retirement
Replies: 17
Views: 1687

Re: Question about IRMAA and first couple years of retirement

Anybody have an idea how/if this works if you're self-employed? Thanks. Very similar. You start with your AGI at the bottom of front page of form 1040 and then add any tax exempt interest to it to get your MAGI. Then see where you are on the IRMAA table... Thanks, I understand the MAGI part. My que...
by The Wizard
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Okay come clean....How man people share passwords for streaming services?
Replies: 41
Views: 1628

Re: Okay come clean....How man people share passwords for streaming services?

This MIGHT be an illegal activity.
If so, it's inappropriate for this forum...
by The Wizard
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about IRMAA and first couple years of retirement
Replies: 17
Views: 1687

Re: Question about IRMAA and first couple years of retirement

walkindude wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:32 am
Anybody have an idea how/if this works if you're self-employed? Thanks.
Very similar. You start with your AGI at the bottom of front page of form 1040 and then add any tax exempt interest to it to get your MAGI.
Then see where you are on the IRMAA table...
by The Wizard
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you know you are FI? [Financially Independent]
Replies: 48
Views: 3846

Re: How do you know you are FI? [Financially Independent]

I am wondering what people here are meaning by expenses. Are we talking about basic living expenses or anticipated retirement expenses which would include the extras like travel and eating out frequently... Hard to say, since retirement aspirations and pre-retirement income levels vary widely. But ...
by The Wizard
Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you know you are FI? [Financially Independent]
Replies: 48
Views: 3846

Re: How do you know you are FI?

Example: my 12- year old chainsaw just bit the dust and I bought a new one for $450. Where does that appears on my Retirement Expenses Spreadsheet? Picture of chainsaw, please. (I forest manage and am a Husqvarna user) $450 should not be a significant part of your living expenses. If it is, you're ...
by The Wizard
Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What did you do with your first RMD withdrawal money?
Replies: 63
Views: 4369

Re: What did you do with your first RMD withdrawal money?

All RMD's become part of the taxable account as does any distribution from retirement accounts. Withdrawals from a portfolio for spending don't "come from" any particular assets or accounts in the portfolio... Right. I've been taking monthly Distributions from my tax deferred account for 4-1/2 year...
by The Wizard
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 334
Views: 26165

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

He who dies with the most toys does not always win. He who dies happily and in peace does. Thus the saying ignorance is bliss. In the past someone could easily be born in a small town or rural area, live there their whole life and have died blissfully ignorant of all the possibilities/opportunities...
by The Wizard
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LMP until Social Security at 70
Replies: 10
Views: 910

Re: LMP until Social Security at 70

I'm 2/3 of the way from retirement at age 63 to age 70. I annuitized a large chunk at age 63 for lifetime monthly income and then supplement that with monthly withdrawals from remaining portfolio approximately equal to my age 70 SS. These monthly withdrawals were about 4.5% of portfolio to start wit...
by The Wizard
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you know you are FI? [Financially Independent]
Replies: 48
Views: 3846

Re: How do you know you are FI? [Financially Independent]

You are absolutely right. Which is the optimal (i.e. minimum capital) portfolio that provides that person with $72,350 per year for the rest of his life, compensating for inflation ? Depends on age at retirement. Let's say 66 which is FRA this year. So around $2400/month ($28,000/year) in SS leavin...
by The Wizard
Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you know you are FI? [Financially Independent]
Replies: 48
Views: 3846

Re: How do you know you are FI?

That is why we have three levels of financial independence: Basic level, comfortable level, and luxury level. Good rule for long term forecasts of that sort is to use "comfortable", if not "luxury". Doing so, if your projections are off you are left with "basic" at least. If we retire at 75, maybe ...
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I received a speeding ticket via mail from IA - should I pay it?
Replies: 72
Views: 4913

Re: I received a speeding ticket via mail from IA - should I pay it?

DireWolf wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:10 pm
I got several of them in Missouri when they had cameras. Threw them all in the trash. Never heard from them again. That was 8 years ago.
So I guess they weren't too serious about it then.
Odd...
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I received a speeding ticket via mail from IA - should I pay it?
Replies: 72
Views: 4913

Re: I received a speeding ticket via mail from IA - should I pay it?

Worst case if you don't pay it they send it to collections. No idea if they'd take it as far as reporting to credit agencies. No that's not how it works, they issue a bench warrant for your arrest in that state and flag the DMV to not allow you to renew your license in any state in the union. Once ...
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you know you are FI? [Financially Independent]
Replies: 48
Views: 3846

Re: How do you know you are FI?

Estimate your expenses in retirement based on your current expenses. If you have 25X of that, then you can declare you are FI. However, achieving FI does not mean you can retire and do what you want to do. For example, my normal expenses in retirement is estimated to be about $80k per year. But if ...
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I received a speeding ticket via mail from IA - should I pay it?
Replies: 72
Views: 4913

Re: I received a speeding ticket via mail from IA - should I pay it?

Interesting question, not sure what I would do.
Let's see what the pros have to say...
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Financial Shock" wealth
Replies: 33
Views: 6125

Re: "Financial Shock" wealth

Seems like a long article with nothing much to say.
I've been keeping up to $10,000 in my checking account lately to buffer irregular expenses, whether travel expenses, property taxes, season ticket bills or all of the above in the same month.
So I'm good, which isn't so surprising...
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity charges to close accounts!
Replies: 54
Views: 19962

Re: Fidelity charges to close accounts!

This is a four year old thread.
Some details may have changed...
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended places to live
Replies: 54
Views: 5271

Re: Recommended places to live

Southern Arizona is another option...
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Safe Withdrawal Rate from SPIA???
Replies: 41
Views: 2471

Re: Safe Withdrawal Rate from SPIA???

Just ladder your immediate annuities if you need to. I got a bit over 6.5% payout at age 63 from TIAA. Then a 7.0% payout this year for a small increment at age 67. My TIAA immediate annuities are both fixed (Trad) and variable (TREA and CREF Stock). I'm sorry that TIAA is not available to the gener...
by The Wizard
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you know you are FI? [Financially Independent]
Replies: 48
Views: 3846

Re: How do you know you are FI?

I'm FI because my net income, what hits my checking account, is higher in retirement than my latter working years.
My "expenses" don't really matter in this case...