Search found 884 matches

by ddunca1944
Wed May 25, 2016 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 359
Views: 32940

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: 4968

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: 4548

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: 2449

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: 4994

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: 82
Views: 6127

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: 2272

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: 5186

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: 2
Views: 318

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: 1544

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: 8119

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: 11440

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...
by ddunca1944
Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?
Replies: 79
Views: 7346

Re: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?

DH retired completely in 2008. I was retired from full time work, but still worked part time til mid 2009 Our withdrawal rate has varied: we live on SS/pension income and use withdrawals for an annual international trip and other large expenses. It is easy to cut back when necessary since we don't ...
by ddunca1944
Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?
Replies: 79
Views: 7346

Re: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?

DH retired completely in 2008. I was retired from full time work, but still worked part time til mid 2009 Our withdrawal rate has varied: we live on SS/pension income and use withdrawals for an annual international trip and other large expenses. It is easy to cut back when necessary since we don't n...
by ddunca1944
Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Portfolios
Replies: 24
Views: 3503

Re: Retirement Portfolios

DH and I are retired. He doesn't want to be involved in the investment decision making, so it's on me. My goal is to keep it as simple as possible because if I die first, he won't make any changes. I wanted an AA of 50:50 (a little aggressive because our regular expenses are covered by SS & pens...
by ddunca1944
Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any states that tax Roth withdrawals?
Replies: 49
Views: 3862

Re: Any states that tax Roth withdrawals?

Washington has no income tax at all (and in particular, no tax on IRA withdrawals, Roth or otherwise). However, they do have an onerous estate tax that takes 10 to 20% of your estate over about $2,000,000. There is an exemption for inheritance by a spouse, but when that spouse dies, he or she will ...
by ddunca1944
Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Firecalc, really?
Replies: 58
Views: 6770

Re: Firecalc, really?

Our healthcare premiums are almost $700/mo. That is for Medicare, Supplemental, Part D and dental.
by ddunca1944
Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: do you do airbnb ??
Replies: 64
Views: 4765

Re: do you do airbnb ??

We use airbnb or vrbo for most of our travel (including in Kona Hawaii). We have not had any problems with it. We do make a point of only using places that have several reviews, all of them positive. +1 While I have no personal experience with Air B&B, we've used vrbo a lot. In Venice, Rome &am...
by ddunca1944
Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pay for yardwork?
Replies: 61
Views: 5959

Do you pay for yardwork?

We are getting to the point where we can no longer stay on top of the yardwork. It isn't the lawn (that is very small and easily mowed with an electric mower). A large side yard on a steep hill needs to be weeded, mulched and shrubs pruned. I'm considering hiring someone but have no idea how much is...
by ddunca1944
Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe Trip in August
Replies: 99
Views: 5967

Re: Europe Trip in August

The State Department is warning Americans about travel to Europe. YB The State dept issed a travel alert, not a warning. there is a big difference. "Travel Alerts We issue a Travel Alert for short-term events we think you should know about when planning travel to a country. Examples of reasons...
by ddunca1944
Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liking the new Citi CC at Costco
Replies: 176
Views: 28831

Re: Liking the new Citi CC at Costco

To each his own but I think this card offer is pretty decent for folks who just want one or two cards in their wallet. Agreed. There isn't just the issue of physical cards in your wallet, but also the increased overhead of knowing where to use which card this month, multiple statements I need to tr...
by ddunca1944
Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liking the new Citi CC at Costco
Replies: 176
Views: 28831

Re: Liking the new Citi CC at Costco

Anyone know whether it will chard foreign exchange fees? I think I read where it does charge a FE fee. If that's a big deal, get a 2nd card that doesn't. Oh the FE fee isn't a dealbreaker. I'll just continue to use the CapOne when abroad. If the Costco Citi did not charge a FE, then it would likely...
by ddunca1944
Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liking the new Citi CC at Costco
Replies: 176
Views: 28831

Re: Liking the new Citi CC at Costco

Anyone know whether it will chard foreign exchange fees?
by ddunca1944
Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is your allowance?
Replies: 40
Views: 3936

Re: How much is your allowance?

DH and I each get $500/mo that is ours to spend as frivolusly as we want. Mine gets spent on mani/pedis, genealogy research, gifting the g'kids, lunch with women friends and other misc. I don't know (or care) how he spends his. That's the point. We haven't had a money argument in years.
by ddunca1944
Sat Mar 19, 2016 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Plan on your Credit Card Getting Hacked once a year....Some Tips....
Replies: 72
Views: 5640

Re: Plan on your Credit Card Getting Hacked once a year....Some Tips....

Good suggestions. DH and I have had our accounts hacked several times in the last few years. Last time was right after using it at a restaurant. I also dislike the inconvience of having to change the card# for my autopayments. I'd really prefer not to use a separate account, however, since I am max...
by ddunca1944
Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Millionaire Next Door and Budgeting
Replies: 81
Views: 9494

Re: Millionaire Next Door and Budgeting

I do a monthly budget because it keeps me focused. I also do an annual summary. With the annual summary, it quickly becomes obvious whether we can afford an expensive international trip or large discretionary expenditure. I use YNAB for the monthly busget and have a spreadsheet for the annual one. M...
by ddunca1944
Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: must do/sees in Beijing and HangZhou
Replies: 13
Views: 814

Re: must do/sees in Beijing and HangZhou

Second and third the suggestion to get a tour guide. My husband and I hired a private guide and driver through China Highlights. It was a very efficient use of our time as the driver could drop us off at entrances and the guide would call the driver and tell him where to pick us up. They did a great...
by ddunca1944
Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing real estate agent for selling house
Replies: 6
Views: 613

Re: Choosing real estate agent for selling house

When we sold our last house, we had 6 agents come to give us a market comps. Three came completely unprepared. The one we chose came prepared with a very detailed market comp and her plan to market our home. We chose her and had a full price offer 11 days after listing. Which agent has a clear detai...
by ddunca1944
Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How close do you plan on waiting to pay for Income Tax?
Replies: 34
Views: 2564

Re: How close do you plan on waiting to pay for Income Tax?

We owe $1400 for federal taxes. I am filing electronically and telling them to automativally take it out of our checking account on April 1.
by ddunca1944
Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Plan on your Credit Card Getting Hacked once a year....Some Tips....
Replies: 72
Views: 5640

Re: Plan on your Credit Card Getting Hacked once a year....Some Tips....

Good suggestions. DH and I have had our accounts hacked several times in the last few years. Last time was right after using it at a restaurant. I also dislike the inconvience of having to change the card# for my autopayments. I'd really prefer not to use a separate account, however, since I am maxi...
by ddunca1944
Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: What percentage of your expenses are covered by SS and/or pensions
Replies: 84
Views: 6326

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

Retired in 2008
Currently 100% of everyday living expenses are covered by SS & non-cola pensions. Travel and other occasional big ticket items come from tne retirement accounts.
by ddunca1944
Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you retire
Replies: 84
Views: 7534

Re: What age did you retire

Retired from full time job at 56. Retired from part time job at 65. Loved working part time, but DH retired and wanted to travel.
by ddunca1944
Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DH just now noticed VALIC didn't distribute RMDs last year
Replies: 10
Views: 1019

Re: DH just now noticed VALIC didn't distribute RMDs last year

Anyway, how is Vanguard at RMDs? Is it easy to set up and are they reliable? Does everything need to be consolidated in one fund to do this? I use Vanguard's RMD service, Easy peasy to set up and to change. No, everything does not have to be consolidated. You tell them which funds you want it to co...
by ddunca1944
Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-owner of safe deposit box?
Replies: 13
Views: 1319

Re: Co-owner of safe deposit box?

Jeff P wrote:Does your attorney really have a safe for documents...or just a file cabinet?


A safe. He showed it to us.
by ddunca1944
Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-owner of safe deposit box?
Replies: 13
Views: 1319

Re: Co-owner of safe deposit box?

We keep a copy of our wills in our house with a note saying the originals are in the attorney's office (with contact info). The attorney keeps them in a safe there.

That way there is jo need to have anyone else's name added to our safe deposit box.
by ddunca1944
Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Capitulation!
Replies: 61
Views: 7612

Re: Capitulation!

We're retired. Retired Jan 2008.
This doesn't (yet) feel like 2008. We rode it out, so I'm pretty sure we'll ride this out as well. It sure isn't as much fun as watching tne nest egg grow, but it is what it is.
by ddunca1944
Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your % pay raise?
Replies: 100
Views: 7966

Re: What was your % pay raise?

CABob wrote:Social Security benefit was 0.0%. :annoyed



+1
As was my non-cola pension. :(
by ddunca1944
Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car
Replies: 68
Views: 4233

Re: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car

Bought our new RAV4 with a personal check. I called them first and asked. They said "Yes". They did run a credit check on me.
by ddunca1944
Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dementia/Alzheimer's (spouse)
Replies: 36
Views: 4254

Re: Dementia/Alzheimer's (spouse)

I am sorry you are having to deal with this. I had to deal with my mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis, but I can only imagine how much more difficult it would be if the afflicted were a spouse. In addition to the excellent advice given above, I'd definitely start setting up my own support group. If you ...
by ddunca1944
Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversions - Need a definitive answer re taxibility
Replies: 13
Views: 833

Re: Roth Conversions - Need a definitive answer re taxibility

My first Roth conversion in 2013 was used to start my first Roth. So none of the Roth is, yet, 5 years old. I have not made any contributions, only conversions. I have been retired for the last 10 years so have no earned income.
by ddunca1944
Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversions - Need a definitive answer re taxibility
Replies: 13
Views: 833

Re: Roth Conversions - Need a definitive answer re taxibility

Assuming all or most of the conversions were taxable withdrawals from your Roth will be taxed as ordinary income until Jan 1 2018, when your Roth is 5 years old and you can make qualified withdrawals All the conversions were taxable withdrawals from the T-IRA. So I paid taxes on them at the time of...
by ddunca1944
Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversions - Need a definitive answer re taxibility
Replies: 13
Views: 833

Re: Roth Conversions - Need a definitive answer re taxibility

http://www.rothira.com/blog/the-five-year-rule-with-roth-ira-withdrawals https://www.kitces.com/blog/understanding-the-two-5-year-rules-for-roth-ira-contributions-and-conversions/ Thank you The first link addresses only contributions. The second link does address both: From the second link: ' Thus,...
by ddunca1944
Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversions - Need a definitive answer re taxibility
Replies: 13
Views: 833

Roth Conversions - Need a definitive answer re taxibility

I've tried to find a clear answer from the IRS site and others. I'm sure it's there, but I just end up getting confused. 1) I am well over age 59 1/2 2) In 2013 I did my first Roth conversion from. T-IRA. I've continued to do small Roth conversions (up to the top of tne 15--%bracket) since then. I T...
by ddunca1944
Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tough Frugal Decisions
Replies: 111
Views: 19205

Re: Tough Frugal Decisions

I was a single parent for a number of years (deadbeat ex- no child support). Frugality was not a game. It was a lifestyle. Made the kids sack lunches and took mine to work. Used a bus pass instead of driving. When the TV broke and we could only get one channel, we watched one channel for months (unt...
by ddunca1944
Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you organize your finances? Do you use Mint.com?
Replies: 77
Views: 8568

Re: How do you organize your finances? Do you use Mint.com?

For household income/outgo, I use YNAB4. I've used MS Money, Quicken and Mint in the past. I like YNAB4 much better.

For investments I look at my VG statement. Once a year I plug the numbers into an "Actual return calculator' and save it.
by ddunca1944
Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Market] Correction...Corection...Correction
Replies: 103
Views: 10661

Re: [Market] Correction...Corection...Correction

My husband and I retired as of December 31 so we are now living off portfolio. Sequence of returns for withdrawal causes me some concern so, yes, I am not happy. However we have enough cash for 2 years of expenses if market tanks. This was not the way we wanted to start retirement but we have alway...
by ddunca1944
Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: selecting Airline for international travel WWYD?
Replies: 58
Views: 2683

Re: selecting Airline for international travel WWYD?

I've travelled with a toddler. I'd opt for the shortest journey time possible. As others have pointed out you would not be the only one sucking it up. These days, I do the planning and select the flights. And I generally choose the shortest journey time possible. I've spent too much time in airports...
by ddunca1944
Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do for elderly parent, if they reject help?
Replies: 54
Views: 4639

Re: What to do for elderly parent, if they reject help?

We had our weekly dinner with my mother in law last night, who was moved much against her will into assisted living this summer after a bad fall that broke several bones. We kept her living in her own home, per her strong insistence, as long as possible but she is 92 YO, has severe cataracts so she...
by ddunca1944
Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do for elderly parent, if they reject help?
Replies: 54
Views: 4639

Re: What to do for elderly parent, if they reject help?

Is she willing to move closer to you, or into a senior community kind of place? My folks weren't. They would not have left their house unless the courts made them I don't think. So, I can understand that if she does not want to leave. My folks both ended up passing on in their home and not in a hos...

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