Search found 922 matches

by ddunca1944
Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you do your income taxes?
Replies: 95
Views: 5653

Re: How did you do your income taxes?

Turbo Tax Deluxe. $29.95 at Amazon
by ddunca1944
Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2270
Views: 395394

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Citi has so many application pages without the 24 month language it almost makes their policy irrelevant. In the last few months between my wife and I we've accumulated 240,000 AA miles from 4 Citi AA signup bonuses. There are Citi Hilton links without the 24 month language as well. Sometimes the l...
by ddunca1944
Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ?? purchasing grocery store cards to maximize cc rewards
Replies: 6
Views: 689

?? purchasing grocery store cards to maximize cc rewards

Chase has notified us that they are closing our rewards card for lack of useage (we've switched rewards cards). The card is good til the exp date of May. However, Chase IS offering 5% rewards on grocery store spending starting April. I was thinking of putting $500 on a grocery card on April 1 for th...
by ddunca1944
Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Total Annual Expenses
Replies: 57
Views: 4804

Re: Total Annual Expenses

Right now, we are probably at about $70,000. depending how you define things, we're probably at that point too. Remember once upon a time when "they" said expenses would go down in retirement? I'm still waiting... +1 Some expenses went down, but that was offset by other expenses that went...
by ddunca1944
Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you keep spouse informed of family finances?
Replies: 38
Views: 5839

Re: How do you keep spouse informed of family finances?

Similar situation here. DH is happy to have me handle all the finances. He has no idea what the checking balance, the cc balance or even the retirement account balances. Once a year, about the time I do our taxes, I insist on a sit down and I review everything with him. I have a file labeled "I...
by ddunca1944
Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend on food in a year?
Replies: 155
Views: 9293

Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

My YNAB report shows we spent $7450 on groceries in 2016 for the 2 of us. That is just groceries, no alcohol, no pet products, no household. Just food. We spent $2115 eating out. For 2015 we spent $7427 on just groceries and $2200 eating out For 2014 we spent $6856 on groceries and $1959 eating out ...
by ddunca1944
Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2270
Views: 395394

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

giesen5 wrote:If you are into Avios, crazy deal out there....

Sign up for Match.com and get 150 Avios for every dollar you spend - new subcribers only. Comes out to .67 cents per mile, pretty sweet deal. This weekend only.

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/ ... g-website/


Hmmm. Not sure DH would approve...
by ddunca1944
Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for Retired Members--life mistakes
Replies: 64
Views: 9780

Re: Question for Retired Members--life mistakes

1) Off the top of your head, what was the biggest mistake(s) you make with regard to your retirement when you were young, and when you were in your 50's Not learning enough about investing, particularly asset allocation and risk tolerance . 2) The same question, only in reverse; What was the smartes...
by ddunca1944
Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2270
Views: 395394

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

CSR question: If you get the CSR and the 100k points, what airlines can they be used for? How do you redeem those cards.
Do you use their website to search for flights? Or book flights on your own and use the points to pay? (I'm accustomed to the CapOne card....
by ddunca1944
Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any downside to Grandparent 529
Replies: 20
Views: 2394

Re: Any downside to Grandparent 529

There is a potential downside if you expect the grandkids to qualify for need-based aid.... Grandparent 529 may be treated differently than parental 529, reducing aid. I don't think this is correct. My understanding is that grandparents' 529 balances are not reported at all for a grandchild's finan...
by ddunca1944
Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Financial Moves You've Made
Replies: 141
Views: 18817

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

My best financial move was to. marry a debt adverse saver. Obviously that was not the main reason I married him, but it turned out tobe a great financial decision.
by ddunca1944
Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 28154

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

We are a retired couple. We live on pension/SS income and spend our RMDs on one international trip a year 3-4 weeks long. Around $20K
by ddunca1944
Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer
Replies: 40
Views: 6234

Re: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer

The annual fee is $450! That take a chunk from the benefits from tne bonus not really. You get $300 in travel credits per calendar year, so you get $600 less $450....plus another $1,000-$1,500. You will never see another CC offer like this in your lifetime which is exactly why Chase is nerfing it. ...
by ddunca1944
Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer
Replies: 40
Views: 6234

Re: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer

The annual fee is $450! That take a chunk from the benefits from tne bonus
by ddunca1944
Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer
Replies: 40
Views: 6234

Re: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer

I'm very interested in this card. Can someone tell me how easy it is to redeem the points? Am I limited to specific airlines? Or is it similar to the Cap One Venture card?
by ddunca1944
Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are your portfolio/investments?
Replies: 38
Views: 3095

Re: What are your portfolio/investments?

Retired couple (72 & 68) in our 10th year of retirement

All investments are in IRA accounts
51%. VG Wellesley
21% VG Life Strategy Conservative Allocation
21% VG Life Strategy Income Fund
6% VG Short Term Bond Indx
2% cash

VG's Portfolio Analysis shows 30/68/2 (stocks/bonds/cash
by ddunca1944
Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it safe to use debit cards? Anybody here have one compromised?
Replies: 67
Views: 6842

Re: Is it safe to use debit cards? Anybody here have one compromised?

Would love to hear what others have to say about this. I have heard it is a nightmare if one is compromised. This is my only checking account. Last July, we made a trip to Canada where I used my debit card twice to withdraw cash. After I returned, our credit union called me about possible fraudelen...
by ddunca1944
Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly Expenses in line or too much
Replies: 81
Views: 8037

Re: Monthly Expenses in line or too much

Still 2 days left for 2016 and according to YNAB app we spent: Electricity and gas average $1440 annually Water and garbage $720 Internet and cable $840 Cell phones $660 Car insurance $1860 Life insurance and disability insurance $1930 Food $6600 Gasoline 921 Restaurants $2980 Entertainment $532 Mi...
by ddunca1944
Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly Expenses in line or too much
Replies: 81
Views: 8037

Re: Monthly Expenses in line or too much

The only person that matters is you. +10 BTW, and not to derail anything here, but what exactly defines a "HCOL", "LCOL" or "MCOL" area? High/Medium/Low Cost of Living (Sometimes you'll see VHCOL for San Fran/NYC....) I guess I wasn't clear... I understand what the acr...
by ddunca1944
Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many of you invest 100% at Vanguard?
Replies: 118
Views: 9483

Re: How many of you invest 100% at Vanguard?

100% at Vanguard (joint taxabke & each of our IRAs). Retired and trying to Keep It Simple
by ddunca1944
Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax Deluxe on sale at Amazon
Replies: 49
Views: 6963

Re: Turbotax Deluxe on sale at Amazon

I was just at Costco last night and it was $49.99 for Deluxe. Did they change it today? Last year Costco's orice for TT Deluxe was $39.95. In late Dec they had $10 off and I purchased it fir $29.99 I just went to costco,com and it is 39.99 - 10. With 3.60 for shipping. (Federal + efile, no state) T...
by ddunca1944
Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track your finances?
Replies: 79
Views: 7731

Re: How do you track your finances?

YNAB for budgeting,& spending. A simple excel sheet for an annual budget & forecasting. Another excel sheet to track actual returns of retirement accounts (and % withdrawals - which vary annually)

Trying to KIS
by ddunca1944
Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The True Cost of Owning a Dog
Replies: 176
Views: 16382

Re: Cost of dog ownership.

I still think a dog is worth it. I've always had a dog since I was a kid. I can't see giving it up. I rather do something like go on cheaper vacations and save $1100 a year that way instead of not having a dog. +1 - I couldn't agree more. I spend about the same for my one year old Golden Retriever ...
by ddunca1944
Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Cash Equivalents" ?
Replies: 21
Views: 2438

Re: "Cash Equivalents" ?

I would include I Bonds, EE Bonds and Treasury Bills held to maturity... I wouldn't. I Bonds and EE Bonds cannot be sold for the first year of ownership. That's a serious liquidity restriction. T bills have a maturity up to 1 year, and can move quite a bit with interest rates. Maybe a 3 month T bil...
by ddunca1944
Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Cash Equivalents" ?
Replies: 21
Views: 2438

"Cash Equivalents" ?

Please help me understand what the term "cash equivalents" refers to I assume it would include money market accounts, savings accounts and CDs. But would it also include short term bonds and/or short term treasuries? What else might be considered "cash equivalents"? If thus is co...
by ddunca1944
Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dad's Retirement Account
Replies: 19
Views: 2404

Re: Dad's Retirement Account

He could consider -- LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX) ER 0.12%, 20/80 stocks/bonds Target Retirement Income Fund (VTINX) ER 0.14%, 30/70 stocks/bonds Wellesley Income Fund Admiral Shares (VWIAX) ER 0.16%, 40/60 stocks/bonds +1 We are retired. Our IRA accounts are divided between Wellesley and Life ...
by ddunca1944
Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Wellesley Fund VWINX
Replies: 10
Views: 2760

Re: Vanguard Wellesley Fund VWINX

Retiree here. We' have 1/2 our retirement funds in Wellesley. We have held Wellesley for 12 years now and are very happy with it. I have a Roth IRA in Wellington.
The rest of our retirement funds are in VG's Life Strategy funds (Conservative Allcation and Income Fund).
by ddunca1944
Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recharacterizing Roth to Traditional worth it?
Replies: 13
Views: 1069

Re: Recharacterizing Roth to Traditional worth it?

I've recharacterized several times. A few minutes on the phone with Vanguard. Very easy.
by ddunca1944
Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on AA for the retired
Replies: 44
Views: 6049

Re: Thoughts on AA for the retired

Remember, at some point, it becomes more important to protect what we have than to take more risks to get more! THIS thought is the main reason I'm thinking of dialing back the stock portion. Our accounts have been divided between Wellesley and the Life Strategy Moderate funds. Thinking of keeping ...
by ddunca1944
Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on AA for the retired
Replies: 44
Views: 6049

Re: Thoughts on AA for the retired

We are in our 9th year of retirement (ages are 67 and 72). Until now, we've kept our AA at about 50:50 by dividing our IRA accounts between two VG balanced funds. So far, I've been happy with our decisions. I am now thinking that perhaps it's time to dial back our risk level and go to 40:60 or 35:6...
by ddunca1944
Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA for adult children?
Replies: 50
Views: 5587

Re: IRA for adult children?

I would like to set up IRAs for my adult children; if I give them money they just waste it. Is there a way to do this so I control the accounts until I'm no longer able? I was thinking of a ROTH IRA to keep it simple but a traditional would make it more expensive to take money out and may be a bett...
by ddunca1944
Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on AA for the retired
Replies: 44
Views: 6049

Thoughts on AA for the retired

We are in our 9th year of retirement (ages are 67 and 72). Until now, we've kept our AA at about 50:50 by dividing our IRA accounts between two VG balanced funds. So far, I've been happy with our decisions. I am now thinking that perhaps it's time to dial back our risk level and go to 40:60 or 35:65...
by ddunca1944
Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you track your net worth? How long have you done so?
Replies: 110
Views: 10073

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

Yes. Annually when I do the taxes, I figure the nw on Dec 31

Began doing it 12 years ago (4 years before DH retired). We were talking to a FA about DH retiring and he suggested it. At his suggestion, I also began budgeting.

It gives me an overall picture of how we are doing.
by ddunca1944
Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Admirals Club
Replies: 19
Views: 3278

Re: Admirals Club

We have the GOES card and it's a great benefit when returning from international flights. But it hasn't gotten us TSA Pre status and I was told it could not be used for TSA pre lanes on domestic flights. Do you input your Known Traveler Number at the time you make your airline reservation? You can'...
by ddunca1944
Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Admirals Club
Replies: 19
Views: 3278

Re: Admirals Club

GOES Interview is nonexistent, that means, literally in the case of all family members having these steps 1. Completed online app 2. Paid 100 fee online which was refunded back by CC provider 3. Status approved in about 2.5 months with proposed Interview 4. Showed up on said date and location and.....
by ddunca1944
Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning options for tricky family situation
Replies: 28
Views: 3619

Re: Estate planning options for tricky family situation

I'd take a second look at Vanguard. According to their fee schedule
https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/eptsb.pdf

The minimum is $500,000

And I second the suggestion of simply treating everyone the same.
by ddunca1944
Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions on withdrawing retirement $'s
Replies: 15
Views: 2359

Re: Questions on withdrawing retirement $'s

I would like Vanguard just to take that 2.25 % yearly equally from each fund across the board. Or would they wish me to be more specific in dollar amounts wanted and from where ? Does this withdrawal plan make sense to you people ? Their website (under Account Maintenance) lets you set up automatic...
by ddunca1944
Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mini retirement- RV around country
Replies: 21
Views: 2633

Re: Mini retirement- RV around country

Try taking a two week RV vacation before deciding anything. This. DH and I are retired. We have a small travel trailer and just got back from 3 weeks on Vanvouver Island. The reality is that in RV parks, you are close to your neighbors and sometimes they are great and sometimes they are noisy into ...
by ddunca1944
Wed May 25, 2016 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2270
Views: 395394

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Goals: Our goals are to achieve rewards with maximum simplicity. Keeping it simple is more important than wringing out the last dollar. Cards. Two cards: The Cap One Venture (2% when redeemed for travel expense), no foreign exchange fees. The other is the Costco Amex (to be replaced by the Costco Ci...
by ddunca1944
Tue May 24, 2016 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on trips/vacations?
Replies: 74
Views: 6749

Re: How much do you spend on trips/vacations?

We're retired and travel is a priority. We spend about 15% of our gross on an international trip every year. In addition, we take short trips during the year with a little camping trailer. The international trip has its own budget line. The short trips come out of the monthly expenses.
by ddunca1944
Thu May 05, 2016 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you check credit card statements?
Replies: 79
Views: 5976

Re: Do you check credit card statements?

lagflag wrote:Because I use YNAB, I am able to reconcile daily with my CC account. There is no way that they can charge me something behind my back

This is what I do as well. Takes a few minutes every few days.
by ddunca1944
Wed May 04, 2016 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my Mom take a large distribution from her IRA before I inherit it?
Replies: 22
Views: 2841

Re: Should my Mom take a large distribution from her IRA before I inherit it?

I wouldn't let the tax tail wag the IRA dog. If you have tax software, like Turbo tax, you could run some "what if" scenarios. If you (and your sister) are in a smaller tax bracket than your Mom then it would not make sense for her to take a large distribution and pay the tax. The only way...
by ddunca1944
Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving Too Much in Retirement Accounts?
Replies: 35
Views: 6340

Re: Saving Too Much in Retirement Accounts?

I think you are right and your friend is wrong. Often you are financially better off renting and investing what you do not put into a house in an index fund. Homes increase in value not much more than inflation on average. Stocks on average do much, much better than real estate. I suspect your frie...
by ddunca1944
Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why have a formal budget?
Replies: 106
Views: 11467

Re: Why have a formal budget?

While working we never had a formal budget, we are both fairly frugal. We operated on a "pay yourself first" basis, I contributed xx% each pay period to 401k and we lived on the rest. My pay was highly variable, so I adjusted contributions to investing upwards in any month that the payche...
by ddunca1944
Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will Chip + Sign CC work in Europe?
Replies: 27
Views: 2855

Re: Will Chip + Sign CC work in Europe?

We were in the Baltic area last summer. Our chip+sig cc worked everywhere. We did not need to use a kiosk, so cannot address that issue.

Of course, when the clerk handed us the receipt to sign, we were identified as Americans..... since Europeans simply punch in their pin.
by ddunca1944
Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?
Replies: 101
Views: 7563

Re: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?

Gill wrote:Done myself with Turbotax and filed electronically. Don't miss the days when I used to type out all the forms and Mail the return.
Gill


+1. We owed money, so I opted to have the tax due debited from our checking account on Apr 1.
by ddunca1944
Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Diminished Value Auto Claim
Replies: 12
Views: 1118

Re: Diminished Value Auto Claim

I did this last year with another company. After the car was repaired, I took it to a dealer and asked for a written appraisal for the car's value. I told them what it was for. Their written appraisal clearly stated that the reason for the low appraisal was the accident. I sent a copy of tne letter ...
by ddunca1944
Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to draw down accts in retirement
Replies: 9
Views: 2076

Re: How to draw down accts in retirement

I keep it simple. Our retirement accounts are divided between Wellesley and Life Strategy Moderate. So if the market is up, I take withdrawals from Life Strategy funds. If the market is down, I take withdrawals from Wellesley.
by ddunca1944
Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision! was: Can I retire in 2017?
Replies: 53
Views: 9164

Re: Can I retire in 2017?

I think you need to consider that your retiree health care benefits may cover a smaller percentage of your medical expenses each year and that out-of-pocket expenses will rise. You seem to be assuming that the plan will continue to look exactly like it does today ou already realize that by retiring...
by ddunca1944
Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When was the most stressful financial time in your life?
Replies: 94
Views: 13425

Re: When was the most stressful financial time in your life?

My first divorce. I was young, had two children to support, limited skills & education. Eventually I got a good job, but even after remarrying, did not quit. I had learned that life is uncertain and my own paycheck was the best security. I learned that financial security, was necessary for me to...