Search found 8608 matches

by The Wizard
Tue May 31, 2016 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions, Zero Income Years and Tax Brackets
Replies: 31
Views: 1562

Re: Roth Conversions, Zero Income Years and Tax Brackets

Okay, I have been following this subject and I am kind of in the same situation. My pension and my wife's investments (stocks and bonds) put us in the 25% bracket the last 2 years. I was considering transferring from my IRA to my Roth an amount up to the limit $151,375.00 with the understanding tha...
by The Wizard
Tue May 31, 2016 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions, Zero Income Years and Tax Brackets
Replies: 31
Views: 1562

Re: Roth Conversions, Zero Income Years and Tax Brackets

Many good points have been made. In my humble opinion, the most salient are . . . 1. Converting to the top of the 15% bracket makes sense. (I think of this as the conservative approach in that if you do it you will have no regrets for converting at least that much.) 2. One reason to use the top of ...
by The Wizard
Tue May 31, 2016 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Cellular - plan changes, eliminating overage charges
Replies: 18
Views: 1344

Re: Consumer Cellular - plan changes, eliminating overage charges

You don't have to "call them back" to change your plan. Just log into your account using their app on your smartphone and tweak your plan there. This is a good change for me. A few times when traveling, I used more data than normal and upgraded to the next higher plan to be safe. But may n...
by The Wizard
Mon May 30, 2016 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones or TIaa Creff
Replies: 39
Views: 1437

Re: Edward Jones or TIaa Creff

I would leave EJ ASAP but I would transfer those after tax funds to Vanguard, not TIAA (formerly TIAA-CREF). TIAA is a very good place for qualified retirement accounts, 403b typically, but their low ERs for those do not carry over to their taxable accounts... Sorry that I am so new to this, I don'...
by The Wizard
Mon May 30, 2016 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones or TIaa Creff
Replies: 39
Views: 1437

Re: Edward Jones or TIaa Creff

I would leave EJ ASAP but I would transfer those after tax funds to Vanguard, not TIAA (formerly TIAA-CREF).
TIAA is a very good place for qualified retirement accounts, 403b typically, but their low ERs for those do not carry over to their taxable accounts...
by The Wizard
Mon May 30, 2016 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when you have an estranged spouse
Replies: 160
Views: 6704

Re: Investing when you have an estranged spouse

Until you fix this, NOTHING you do with your other money really matters... You are possibly liable for 50% of any debts he has, or tax evasion charges (you signed the forms), etc. You only want to talk about finances, but marriage, divorce, debt, and fraud are all financial matters... . Right. I he...
by The Wizard
Mon May 30, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when you have an estranged spouse
Replies: 160
Views: 6704

Re: Investing when you have an estranged spouse

Late to the thread. Some Forensic Accounting would be helpful here to uncover the truth. You can do the IRS stuff yourself. Beyond that it could be expensive. Is all of his income taxable and reported or does his work lend itself to under the table cash payments as well? Two other recommendations: 1...
by The Wizard
Mon May 30, 2016 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions, Zero Income Years and Tax Brackets
Replies: 31
Views: 1562

Re: Roth Conversions, Zero Income Years and Tax Brackets

The closer one gets to age 70, the more reality impinges on idealism. If you have a base income that puts you in the 25% marginal bracket, then your RMDs will likely all be taxed at that rate. Hence do some Roth conversions at 25% and protect at least a portion of your nest egg from taxation in the ...
by The Wizard
Sun May 29, 2016 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: re: Best time to take Social Security benefits
Replies: 7
Views: 806

Re: re: Best time to take Social Security benefits

Age 70 for me is the best time to take SS.
3.7 years to go for me.
This assumes no health issues of significance...
by The Wizard
Sun May 29, 2016 7:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Real Estate Account (TREA)
Replies: 57
Views: 4519

Re: TIAA Real Estate Account (TREA)

desiderium wrote:...What am I missing here? It seems like this is the ideal vehicle for a portion of a balanced portfolio, assuming one wants to include real estate.

Yep, not missing anything, you got it...
by The Wizard
Sun May 29, 2016 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement and opportunity cost, by Harry Sit
Replies: 63
Views: 4755

Re: Early retirement and opportunity cost, by Harry Sit

In your thirties, two problems. You may not know what sort of lifestyle and spending level you want each year. Extended European travel? A good sized Airstream travel trailer? Plus the person/couple may not be financially astute enough to figure how many millions in their nest egg are needed, thus h...
by The Wizard
Fri May 27, 2016 5:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA-CREF Bond funds - help deciphering!
Replies: 31
Views: 1130

Re: TIAA-CREF Bond funds - help deciphering!

Note: the parents can annuitize the remaining balance in the TPA and likely get a handsome monthly payout, percentage wise. I would advise you/them to at least inquire about this option before continuing with the no, no we'll never annuitize refrain. Having a nice "pension" payment hitting...
by The Wizard
Fri May 27, 2016 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Saw Blade to Purchase for this DIY
Replies: 24
Views: 972

Re: Best Saw Blade to Purchase for this DIY

Yes, get a 12" compound miter saw first.
Then install a good carbide blade on it if the original blade isn't carbide.
I have a 12" Ridgid sliding miter saw from Home Depot that I like...
by The Wizard
Fri May 27, 2016 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is social security paying so low?
Replies: 49
Views: 5589

Re: Why is social security paying so low?

If your wife is not working they pay her 50% of your SS check If your wife is working but her SS check is less than your 50%, then they pay her 50% So working wife pays into SS for nothing I'm paying into the SS system for nothing right now, too. But in my case, my 39 years of full-time employment ...
by The Wizard
Fri May 27, 2016 6:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking of removing funds from target retirement funds and investing by myself
Replies: 21
Views: 2009

Re: Thinking of removing funds from target retirement funds and investing by myself

You have 1600 whole dollars in that target retirement fund. When you get up to around $30,000 in that fund, come back and we can talk. Vanguard has a $3000 minimum for most of its individual funds. You still want to be DISCIPLINED when using separate funds. For instance, if domestic stocks are outpe...
by The Wizard
Thu May 26, 2016 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Real price for a new car
Replies: 51
Views: 3360

Re: Real price for a new car

Consumer Reports is such a bad publication. Really aweful information. Do other people here feel that way about Consumer Reports? If so, who do you trust the most for car ratings? I don't use CR anymore either. Last few cars I've bought starting with divine inspiration on the make and model. Then I...
by The Wizard
Thu May 26, 2016 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Real price for a new car
Replies: 51
Views: 3360

Re: Real price for a new car

TheBestOrNothing wrote:I put over 1,000 miles on the Chrysler 200 during the course of the rental. Was about ready to just abandon it on the side of the freeway and walk home.

What other makes and models have you test driven, if any?

OP is talking about buying a 300, not a 200.
They're different...
by The Wizard
Thu May 26, 2016 6:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SS benefits calculation questions
Replies: 7
Views: 767

Re: SS benefits calculation questions

If you're earning enough to max out your annual FICA contribution each year, and you really don't anticipate stopping work until your late 60s or beyond, remember that indexing stops when your 60. So all of those indexed amounts remain frozen and will not increase further; however, your FICA contri...
by The Wizard
Wed May 25, 2016 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I just let my money compound now?
Replies: 51
Views: 5830

Re: Can I just let my money compound now?

Are you sure you're accounting for inflation properly? I bought a new car for $3500 in 1975 and a different new car for $50,000 forty years later (2015/16). Call that a factor of 14. So my new car in 2055 will cost $700,000 out of that extrapolated $1.5 million nest egg. I'm not sure that works for...
by The Wizard
Wed May 25, 2016 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I just let my money compound now?
Replies: 51
Views: 5830

Re: Can I just let my money compound now?

anything's possible, but I wouldn't bet on it. If you put it all in equities and get a fortuitous 7% real for the next 40 years, you'd have $1.5 million in purchasing power at age 65. That'd certainly be enough. And that is the historic return of the S&P, give or take... Are you sure you're acc...
by The Wizard
Wed May 25, 2016 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is social security paying so low?
Replies: 49
Views: 5589

Re: Why is social security paying so low?

I have been looking at the retirement estimate calculator in sec.gov site and I tried the highest earnings possible for 35 years The result was $2,663 per month if I retire at 62 years old. Don't you think it is too low given a person is contributing the highest possible? I choose $118,500 as the i...
by The Wizard
Wed May 25, 2016 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expected Social Security Benefit if I Have No Income for Five Years Before Claiming at 70
Replies: 96
Views: 5269

Re: Expected Social Security Benefit if I Have No Income for Five Years Before Claiming at 70

* And if sscritic is reading, he would accuse me (rightly) of telling a 'lie' as he liked to say. And that is because this last sentence is incomplete or unintentionally misleading and thus is not true as written. Because the statement is true only if the person we are talking about is receiving a ...
by The Wizard
Wed May 25, 2016 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I just let my money compound now?
Replies: 51
Views: 5830

Re: Can I just let my money compound now?

OP needs to subtract inflation from the safe growth annually.
So if you put it all in a CD at 2% nowadays with inflation at 3%, then compound at a -1% rate, 0.99.
This means your nest egg effectively shrinks 1% each year...
by The Wizard
Wed May 25, 2016 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I just let my money compound now?
Replies: 51
Views: 5830

Re: Can I just let my money compound now?

prudent wrote:If you were fortunate enough to average 5% growth, you'd have $432K in 30 years (not allowing for taxes).

...and not allowing for inflation either...
by The Wizard
Wed May 25, 2016 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expected Social Security Benefit if I Have No Income for Five Years Before Claiming at 70
Replies: 96
Views: 5269

Re: Expected Social Security Benefit if I Have No Income for Five Years Before Claiming at 70

While some of us do have 35 years of maximal SS earnings and contributions, that's not a necessary condition for your latter working years (or waiting years) having zero impact on your eventual SS benefit. If your average wage was around 50% of the max SS amount over the years, for example, the mat...
by The Wizard
Wed May 25, 2016 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expected Social Security Benefit if I Have No Income for Five Years Before Claiming at 70
Replies: 96
Views: 5269

Re: Expected Social Security Benefit if I Have No Income for Five Years Before Claiming at 70

While some of us do have 35 years of maximal SS earnings and contributions, that's not a necessary condition for your latter working years (or waiting years) having zero impact on your eventual SS benefit. If your average wage was around 50% of the max SS amount over the years, for example, the math...
by The Wizard
Wed May 25, 2016 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income under the IRS filing requirement & Roth conversions
Replies: 10
Views: 689

Re: Income under the IRS filing requirement & Roth conversions

Filing a return and owing tax are two different, but related things.
I would use tax software to create your return showing zero tax liability and then file that, thus eliminating any doubt on your status for that year...
by The Wizard
Wed May 25, 2016 5:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security numbers right ?
Replies: 23
Views: 3844

Re: Social Security numbers right ?

You are right. It does not like me being logged in. Too bad the people at SS were no help with this problem. I got it to run in IE and Chrome so it just hates us being logged in. I got the values but they are only if you continue to work to 62, not if i retire today at 56. I'm curious, is the FRA v...
by The Wizard
Tue May 24, 2016 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 62 later this year... social security?
Replies: 28
Views: 2124

Re: 62 later this year... social security?

Delaying SS till 70 gives you a chance to spend down a large tax sheltered 401k or 403b account, including doing Roth conversions in a lower tax bracket prior to RMDs at age 70. But not everyone has a "large" tax sheltered balance at age 62, so these details are not meaningful for those fo...
by The Wizard
Tue May 24, 2016 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expected Social Security Benefit if I Have No Income for Five Years Before Claiming at 70
Replies: 96
Views: 5269

Re: Expected Social Security Benefit if I Have No Income for Five Years Before Claiming at 70

The SSA retirement calculator, if accurate, confirms what has been said above about not mattering if you keep working as long as you have $2 million in SS earnings. https://www.ssa.gov/retire/estimator.html I'm 67 now, and no matter what year I put in for when I will quit working, the SS paycheck a...
by The Wizard
Wed May 18, 2016 6:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If TSM and SP500 are so alike, why even do TSM?
Replies: 49
Views: 4614

Re: If TSM and SP500 are so alike, why even do TSM?

They can be used as TLH alternates due to this...
by The Wizard
Wed May 18, 2016 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is anyone here currently getting an annuity payout?
Replies: 19
Views: 2119

Re: Is anyone here currently getting an annuity payout?

I have payout phase annuities from TIAA, several thousand $$ a month. I accumulated the 403(B) funds with them for 40 years, but largely not locked into any required payout scheme. So I could have taken the funds however I chose, once I separated from employment after a certain age, perhaps. March 2...
by The Wizard
Mon May 16, 2016 5:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lesson learned (about Social Secuirty)
Replies: 17
Views: 2942

Re: Lesson learned (about Social Secuirty)

I overlooked the opportunity to invest some of the proceeds from that farm sale in more SS. There is no option for this. The ONLY way you can "invest" in SS is by you or your spouse having wages that are subject to SS premiums. The higher the annual income (with a current maximum of $118,...
by The Wizard
Sun May 15, 2016 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Living with the 4% Rule
Replies: 19
Views: 2515

Re: Living with the 4% Rule

Similar to Ron, I'm midway though my first seven years of retirement prior to starting SS at age 70 in 2020. So I'm withdrawing an additional amount in lieu of SS for those years. I reinvest much of that withdrawal, as it turns out. Most of my nest egg is traditional tax sheltered, so my strategy is...
by The Wizard
Sun May 15, 2016 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I annuitize my TIAA account?
Replies: 5
Views: 992

Re: Should I annuitize my TIAA account?

Yes, go to the M* forum, I'm there also. :happy But yes, that's an excellent payout rate; you must have considerable older vintages. So yes, I would tend to say go ahead and annuitize that $181k for monthly income at the start of your retirement, even without knowing much about your other assets. My...
by The Wizard
Sun May 15, 2016 4:59 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Mobile version
Replies: 11
Views: 2256

Re: Mobile version

Is there an update on this issue? I don't think anything changed over past several months. I'm using the mobile version of the site right now on my smartphone and it works just fine. I use View New Posts as my bookmark or starting point. Mobile version is a subset of the full version and just have ...
by The Wizard
Sun May 15, 2016 4:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Living with the 4% Rule
Replies: 19
Views: 2515

Re: Living with the 4% Rule

It's a rule of thumb, not a strict rule.
And for people retiring in their fifties, the IRS RMD formula is irrelevant...
by The Wizard
Sat May 14, 2016 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 25x Residual Expenses if no Residual Expenses?
Replies: 7
Views: 830

Re: 25x Residual Expenses if no Residual Expenses?

... What exactly is 25x based on? Is that a derivative of the 4% rule? Just curious if a rule of thumb multiplier exist for this situation. Yes, just a rule of thumb based on 4% SWR. So if you have $1M put away, you get to withdraw $40,000 a year, whether you "need it" or not. If the $1M ...
by The Wizard
Sat May 14, 2016 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 25x Residual Expenses if no Residual Expenses?
Replies: 7
Views: 830

Re: 25x Residual Expenses if no Residual Expenses?

You may not HAVE any residual expenses if those income streams are large enough!

Did you include extra $$ for travel in retirement along with a monthly amount toward eventual vehicle replacement?
by The Wizard
Sat May 14, 2016 8:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my TIAA retirement plan
Replies: 5
Views: 867

Re: Help with my TIAA retirement plan

I've been in TIAA funds for four decades, so far. Yes, ignore the difference between mutual funds and variable annuities during the accumulation stage, but do pay attention to the rules for your TIAA Traditional: you likely have a 9-year + 1day restriction on withdrawing it, for rebalancing or other...
by The Wizard
Fri May 13, 2016 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: National Universities rankings 25 to 75 - Highest priority
Replies: 65
Views: 4221

Re: National Universities rankings 25 to 75 - Highest priority

The title of this thread seems to have changed.
Does the OP have an offspring who will be applying to college soon?
If so, what "field" does the offspring seem interested in?
That will help the answers here..
by The Wizard
Fri May 13, 2016 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: National Universities rankings 25 to 75 - Highest priority
Replies: 65
Views: 4221

Re: Top 100 colleges - Highest priority

goru1 wrote:Is it true that for top 100 colleges, the highest priority is Honors/AP in ALL 5 core subjects?

I don't totally understand your Q.
But yes, it helps to get As in all your high school courses if you want access to better colleges.
It's also good to take all the STEM courses you can...
by The Wizard
Fri May 13, 2016 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Won the game - time to quit playing?
Replies: 46
Views: 7647

Re: Won the game - time to quit playing?

I retired at 58 after winning the game, and I am now 63. My decision was to go 50% annuities. I now receive $7500 a month for as long as I live. If my wife outlives me she can either cash in the annuities or keep getting the $7500/mo payments. I also have over 1mil in cash. I have yet to claim my S...
by The Wizard
Fri May 13, 2016 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your hardest retirement transition?
Replies: 61
Views: 8879

Re: What was your hardest retirement transition?

nodenuff2 wrote:Simple there were 2 issues 1. Giving up the company credit card. 2. Turning in the keys to the company car provided to me for all 42 years I worked for the man. No it was not the same car .

Sounds like an interesting job.
Could you elaborate further?
by The Wizard
Fri May 13, 2016 7:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did I just mess up?
Replies: 11
Views: 1618

Re: Did I just mess up?

nps wrote:If you went from 90/10 to 60/40 you are selling stocks, not buying.

Right.
Somebody is a bit confused here...
by The Wizard
Fri May 13, 2016 6:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Won the game - time to quit playing?
Replies: 46
Views: 7647

Re: Won the game - time to quit playing?

livesoft wrote:I think 58/42 is good for the rest of your life.

50/50 is also a good choice for your remaining years. But neither of these AAs have anything to do with "quit playing" in the subject line.
Investing is a lifelong process, you see...
by The Wizard
Thu May 12, 2016 6:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Unexpected suspension of SS benefits
Replies: 8
Views: 1396

Re: Unexpected suspension of SS benefits

One change that went into effect is that if the primary SS person suspends his/her benefits, then claimnants leveraged on that are also suspended.
This could happen if you claimed a spousal benefit and that spouse suspended to get DRCs...
by The Wizard
Thu May 12, 2016 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take my SS at 62 or wait?
Replies: 123
Views: 9448

Re: Take my SS at 62 or wait?

123 wrote:A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

If you retired at 52 you've already waited 10 years for social security. I'd say that's long enough of a wait.

I agree in this case.
Go for it!
by The Wizard
Thu May 12, 2016 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403B Roth in 28% tax bracket now.
Replies: 13
Views: 2306

Re: 403B Roth in 28% tax bracket now.

...So what? Unless they tax the first dollar at 25%/28%, you still pay more tax by doing Roth now. Wake up!! KlangFool Klang makes a good point. The 28% Federal tax bracket for single people, which I'm familiar with, starts at around $91,000 of taxable income for 2015. That equates to an AGI of $10...
by The Wizard
Thu May 12, 2016 7:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403B Roth in 28% tax bracket now.
Replies: 13
Views: 2306

Re: 403B Roth in 28% tax bracket now.

We had a financial professional recommend that my wife switch to Roth. We both contribute $24K each to our individual 403B. This would increase our taxes $6,700 now. Combined income $250K no dependents no mortgage. Is my math correct? Retired we plan on a $80K budget that currently would be 15% bra...

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