Search found 1576 matches

by ralph124cf
Wed May 24, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing FOR Retirement vs Investing IN Retirement
Replies: 25
Views: 2292

Re: Investing FOR Retirement vs Investing IN Retirement

For me, the biggest difference in investing after retirement is the lack of dollar cost averaging opportunities with monthly 401(k) contributions. Now all investing decisions are about rebalancing between accounts, and considering ROTH transfers.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun May 21, 2017 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yield Curve and the Next Stock Market Correction
Replies: 36
Views: 3108

Re: Yield Curve and the Next Stock Market Correction

Whenever the question of "dry powder" crops up, my answer is "cash". Preferably in an interest bearing brokerage checking account, where it can be instantly be redeployed to purchase any investment. Your writing seems to be about how to maximize short term returns while minimizin...
by ralph124cf
Tue May 16, 2017 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to tip movers?
Replies: 44
Views: 3330

Re: How much to tip movers?

On my last move, from Los Angeles to Chicago, I had 30,000 pounds of "stuff". It took eleven movers 12 hours to load the van. I overheard them arguing with the moving van owner that they were being underpaid. It seems that the truck owner hires locals to do the actual lifting, they are not...
by ralph124cf
Mon May 15, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Uses of Debt
Replies: 21
Views: 2219

Re: Uses of Debt

One particular debt/tax strategy that comes to mind would apply to an older person with a large taxable capital gain, say something that would fund fifteen years of consumption in retirement. Start taking margin loans for consumption instead of selling stock. The margin interest is deductible provid...
by ralph124cf
Sat May 13, 2017 5:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars: Expense or Asset?
Replies: 84
Views: 4439

Re: Cars: Expense or Asset?

The question "Expense or Asset" is essentially meaningless. Accounting wise, Assets and Liabilities are tracked on the Balance Sheet, while Income and Expense are tracked on the Income Statement. Apples and oranges. A car is neither income nor expense. A car loan payment is neither income ...
by ralph124cf
Fri May 12, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars: Expense or Asset?
Replies: 84
Views: 4439

Re: Cars: Expense or Asset?

The expense is transportation, not the car. This is true whether you buy or lease the car. If you lease the car transportation is still the expense, and the lease payment is a part of that expense. The purchased car is a depreciating asset, which you expect to go to zero before you get rid of it. Ea...
by ralph124cf
Fri May 12, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffet - The Wrath of Ebit
Replies: 27
Views: 2799

Re: Buffet - The Wrath of Ebit

EPS matters to a shareholder, but in evaluating a manager, EBITDA is more important because the ITDA is under control of the BOD rather than (usually) the company president or other managers. The Board decides whether to borrow money or issue stock, and this controls the interest expense. This matte...
by ralph124cf
Thu May 11, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Addition Costs
Replies: 19
Views: 1536

Re: Home Addition Costs

Part of the problem might be, you went out for bids for the whole job. Contractors have a hard time controlling costs; maybe, when they finally get to your job, the subcontractor they were going to use is busy on another job so they have to use a more expensive sub. Maybe the cost of tile takes a b...
by ralph124cf
Fri May 05, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Detailed explanation of income for Solo 401 k
Replies: 28
Views: 911

Re: Detailed explanation of income for Solo 401 k

You pay Social Security tax and medicare tax on the $18K contribution, but not on the company's 25% contribution. All contributions are Federal income tax deferred, state deferral varies.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu May 04, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cref Stock vs Cref Equity Index
Replies: 8
Views: 372

Re: Cref Stock vs Cref Equity Index

CREF also has an international index fund. Mixing the two you can get any domestic/international split you want.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu May 04, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Real Estate vs CREF Equity Index
Replies: 61
Views: 3120

Re: TIAA Real Estate vs CREF Equity Index

In this chart, green is total US stock market, and dark blue is TIAA RE. Notice how the downdraft and recovery of TRE in 2008-2009 is shifted forward in time? This is the diversification benefit that was delivered in the severe downturn of 2008-2009. Stocks were already well into recovery mode as T...
by ralph124cf
Thu May 04, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public University (Texas) Retirement Options
Replies: 13
Views: 1213

Re: Public University (Texas) Retirement Options

I have heard that the one disadvantage of the Texas educational pension that Social Security will deduct the pension from what you would have gotten from Social Security, even though you have paid SS tax on earnings elsewhere.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu May 04, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Counting Lump Sum Pension as Bond in AA?
Replies: 4
Views: 338

Re: Counting Lump Sum Pension as Bond in AA?

Two schools of thought on this.

One is yes, treat it as part of your fixed income assets.

The opposing view is that you cannot rebalance out of this asset, and one reason to have fixed income assets is to allow rebalancing when stocks are down.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu May 04, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Tax Question - What to do with a refund check that shouldn't have been issued?
Replies: 12
Views: 1075

Re: Another Tax Question - What to do with a refund check that shouldn't have been issued?

My understanding of what happened is that your 1040 showed that you had a refund coming of the $122, and your 1040X showed no refund. My guess is that, no matter what you do, the IRS will send you a bill for $122 plus a few cents in interest. Nobody at the IRS knows what anybody else did or said to ...
by ralph124cf
Thu May 04, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Self-Employment Taxes - questions
Replies: 10
Views: 358

Re: Paying Self-Employment Taxes - questions

farnsy wrote:Also note that self employment is part of FICA. If your wife is maxing out her FICA contribution, your self employment tax will be limited only to the 2.9% medicare tax.


I believe that this is wrong. FICA is paid for the individual, not as a family.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu May 04, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Self-Employment Taxes - questions
Replies: 10
Views: 358

Re: Paying Self-Employment Taxes - questions

Have you already maxed out your IRA for 2017? As a self employed person you can put the entire $3,000 earned income into an IRA. You will still have to pay self employment tax on the $3,000, but not income tax. What is the current source of your income? Pension, Social Security, taxable investments,...
by ralph124cf
Wed May 03, 2017 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy condo now, or wait a few years and then enter CCRC?
Replies: 25
Views: 2086

Re: Buy condo now, or wait a few years and then enter CCRC?

If you decide to stay in your current home for a while, seriously consider chair lifts for transport between floors. This helps the knees tremendously.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue May 02, 2017 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term Life and Disability Insurance Recommendations
Replies: 8
Views: 584

Re: Term Life and Disability Insurance Recommendations

Thanks for all the excellent information. This might be an ignorant question, but is there a policy that would cover both me and my wife or would we each have to buy a separate policy? For life insurance, it is possible to buy a last to die policy, so in that sense it covers both you and your wife....
by ralph124cf
Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please poke holes in my tax strategy
Replies: 22
Views: 3457

Re: Please poke holes in my tax strategy

I agree that fixed income should be primarily in tax deferred. However, I would prefer equities in ROTH space, if available.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pressure relief valve on hot water heater issue
Replies: 55
Views: 2881

Re: Pressure relief valve on hot water heater issue

Buy a water alarm. This will alert you to the presence of a leak. Some can even send an alert to your cell phone.

Cost is about $10 for a battery powered one, up to about $200 for multi sensor cell phone alert systems.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Termination of 401K Plan (business closing)
Replies: 6
Views: 843

Re: Termination of 401K Plan (business closing)

I am in the middle of terminating a pension plan for a company that my wife owns. One thing that I had not thought of was that if the plan owned any individual stocks, then some some stocks may have a dividend record date before the plan distribution, but a pay date after the plan distribution date....
by ralph124cf
Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations - Swimming Pool - Solar Cover
Replies: 8
Views: 618

Re: Recommendations - Swimming Pool - Solar Cover

The fact that you have a kidney shaped pool will make this a major pain. Although the covers can be cut to fit, that makes it very hard to roll onto a reel. Perhaps two smaller covers would be easier to handle.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use independent rental car insurance
Replies: 15
Views: 837

Re: Anyone use independent rental car insurance

I don't own a car (3 bicycles!), so obviously, I don't have any car insurance. When I rent a car, usually from Enterprise, I either refuse the insurance because my credit card has insurance and the nature of the rental is short. Or, I buy the insurance because it's snowy or a long dangerous trip, e...
by ralph124cf
Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S Corp? C Corp? No corp?
Replies: 11
Views: 634

Re: S Corp? C Corp? No corp?

What state are you in? California treats small corporations very badly with excessive paperwork and taxes. Nevada seems to be the friendliest, but don't try incorporating in Nevada if you are going to work in California, you will simply have to do both sets of paperwork.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CCRC Tax Deduction?
Replies: 14
Views: 1080

CCRC Tax Deduction?

We know that LTC in a skilled nursing facility is deductible as an itemized deduction subject to the 10% or 7% of AGI limitation. The "buy in" fee for many Continuing Care Retirement Communities can be quite high ($200,000 and up per person), and much (most?) of it seems to be advance paym...
by ralph124cf
Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car portable refrigerator
Replies: 12
Views: 893

Re: car portable refrigerator

A consideration is that it will warm up the interior of your car. On a hot day your car air conditioner may be unable to keep up with this added heat.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hourly rate for carpenter?
Replies: 15
Views: 1690

Re: Hourly rate for carpenter?

It might be better to have the carpenter quote a flat rate for your job, rather than pay by the hour. I strongly disagree with this. Most craftsmen like to do a really good job, but if they have quoted a specific price will rush to get the job done and get paid. This usually results in a less than ...
by ralph124cf
Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lowering service price for charity, tax writeoff?
Replies: 7
Views: 546

Re: Lowering service price for charity, tax writeoff?

If you charge less than it costs you to perform the service then you would have a charitable donation of the difference between what the gig actually cost you, and what the charity paid. If instead of $2,500 you only charged $250, and then your drummer got sick and you had to hire some other drummer...
by ralph124cf
Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about 403b plan
Replies: 16
Views: 962

Re: Question about 403b plan

I wonder if somebody on the school board is getting a kickback.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Encyclopedia, World Book, Complete Set, 1960 Ed.
Replies: 43
Views: 3918

Re: Encyclopedia, World Book, Complete Set, 1960 Ed.

A few years ago I saw a great cartoon strip. A kid is in the library and sees a set of books on the shelf. He asks the librarian what the set is, and she tells him that it is the Encyclopedia Britannica. His reply: "Gee, you mean somebody actually printed out the whole thing?"

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Location of SPIAs, which account?
Replies: 54
Views: 2739

Re: Location of SPIAs, which account?

Any other reasons that you can think of for a preferred location for an annuity, assuming you have enough money to fund from any of the three locations? The opportunity cost of using up your tax-advantaged space. My understanding is that many people use SPIAs to create an income floor, which permit...
by ralph124cf
Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Location of SPIAs, which account?
Replies: 54
Views: 2739

Location of SPIAs, which account?

I understand the tax treatment of SPIA payouts from ROTH, Traditional IRAs, and taxable accounts. I am having trouble figuring out the optimum account to buy the SPIA in. In the 33% income tax bracket it looks like a $300,000 annuity in a traditional IRA would give me the same after tax income as a ...
by ralph124cf
Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips on Uber
Replies: 64
Views: 5199

Tips on Uber

Do people usually tip on Uber? How much? How, cash or on the app?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Insurance Premium - How to decrease.
Replies: 41
Views: 3814

Re: Home Insurance Premium - How to decrease.

One additional thing that causes increased rebuilding costs is updated building codes. If you have a partial loss, anything redone must be to the new code. Perhaps you would have to replace Romex with conduit, or replace certain plastic pipe with a different plastic, or copper.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2009 Toyota Highlander on the way out
Replies: 23
Views: 1805

Re: 2009 Toyota Highlander on the way out

Happy wife, happy life.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Provence and Normandy
Replies: 11
Views: 951

Re: Provence and Normandy

It looks like Smithsonian Journeys has exactly the tour that you are looking for, leaving either Sep. 11 or Oct. 6., 15 days including travel days to and from the US. Also check out Andante Travels, a London based tour company so all tours start from England.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home remodel / addition plans
Replies: 17
Views: 1872

Re: Home remodel / addition plans

Consider oversize interior and entrance doors and stairways. Appliances are getting bigger, and it is at least an even bet that somebody in the family will need a wheelchair at least for a week or two (kids break legs). Put up safety grab bars as a substitute for towel bars, plus safety bars in the ...
by ralph124cf
Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RV Rental
Replies: 25
Views: 2110

Re: RV Rental

When we lived in Buffalo, we got tickets to the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Then we tried to find a place to stay. Totally struck out. Nothing within a hundred miles. We ended up renting a small RV and parking on a gravel parking lot on the Lake Placid grounds for five days. We didn't want to mo...
by ralph124cf
Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CREF Stock QCSTIX vs ?
Replies: 12
Views: 437

Re: CREF Stock QCSTIX vs ?

Many people on this board really like the tiaa real estate fund. Note that this is not a REIT type of fund, they actually buy and operate the properties.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Payout [how funds use proceeds when a holding is acquired]
Replies: 9
Views: 883

Re: Payout [how funds use proceeds when a holding is acquired]

Hi Slowmoney. You asked what happens to the capital gains. A mutual fund (either active or index fund) is required to distribute realized capital gains (net of realized capital losses) to owners of the fund at least once a year. So, no, the fund would not be able to distribute the gains among other ...
by ralph124cf
Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: home exchange experiences
Replies: 9
Views: 1069

Re: home exchange experiences

I don't want the risk of home exchange, but reciprocal guesting sounds like it would be safer, especially for a higher end home.

I just looked at HomeExchange.com, and they do offer hospitality exchanges as well.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employee Compensation Question
Replies: 11
Views: 1218

Re: Employee Compensation Question

Regarding only what people have been saying about do this only with a non-volatile stock: I think this works even better with a volatile stock, just as dollar cost averaging works best in a volatile market during your accumulation phase.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding shafting my local merchants with card fees
Replies: 49
Views: 5103

Re: Avoiding shafting my local merchants with card fees

On a sufficiently large purchase, I will frequently ask for a 5% discount for cash. If the merchant counters with 2%, I'll take it.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I increase "Retirement Protection" Insurance?
Replies: 4
Views: 759

Re: Should I increase "Retirement Protection" Insurance?

The price doesn't seem bad, provided that this is true "own occupation" insurance. I'm sure that if you couldn't perform surgery you would not want to get a job flipping hamburgers, but some insurance companies would say that it is a job you can do, so no disability payments. Does the cost...
by ralph124cf
Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extended CAR Warranty
Replies: 32
Views: 1691

Re: Extended CAR Warranty

Check other places for an extended warranty. My credit union has had good deals on them in the past, and I think that my insurance company also has them. Usually a better deal with more coverage at a lower profit margin than the dealer.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question on My 401K's Lack of Dividends
Replies: 7
Views: 457

Re: Question on My 401K's Lack of Dividends

TIAA-CREF does not pay any dividends on its stock funds. I think that is because all of the funds can only be held in tax sheltered retirement accounts, so dividend taxation is irrelevant.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: international real estate ETFs in 403b
Replies: 3
Views: 207

Re: international real estate ETFs in 403b

I would say that it is your employers rules, not the brokerage rules, that prevent this. I do invest in international real estate ETFs in my Schwab 401(k) and my Schwab IRA.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do REITs have high growth if housing only keeps up with inflation?
Replies: 19
Views: 1818

Re: Why do REITs have high growth if housing only keeps up with inflation?

The value of real estate generally only keeps up with inflation, but there are also profits to be made off of existing real estate. Further, REITs generally are just holding stock in companies that profit off of real estate. (Not owning real estate directly.) So REIT returns are influenced by: - st...
by ralph124cf
Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving 50% of salary; what does it really mean?
Replies: 142
Views: 10863

Re: Saving 50% of salary; what does it really mean?

Some people have access to a self funded Defined Benefit plan. This type of plan offers huge potential savings opportunities, but comes with significant accounting and paperwork burdens. Usually only business owners use these. Using the usual definition of "gross pay", these plans can make...

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