Search found 1980 matches

by scrabbler1
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 14430

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

If you have cash in a taxable account, then you have to do the math with the return on that account versus the loan interest rate. If your cash is in a tax deferred account you have to look at the marginal tax rate when turning that into actual spending cash. I would argue that a low interest loan ...
by scrabbler1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off
Replies: 174
Views: 9715

Re: Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off

I can't say I disagree with the notion that buying with a CC can encourage more spending than using cash, for example. For the last few years, I have been using my CC most of the time when I do my grocery shopping, and even though I prepare a shopping list before I leave, I often buy a few more thin...
by scrabbler1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where did you first learn about investing?
Replies: 96
Views: 4200

Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

On the lighter side, I forgot to mention another little thing I learned about investing. It was from a "Flintstones" episode I watched as a kid where Fred pretends he is some high-society bigshot. When asked how he made his fortune, he gives this simple reply: "Buy low, sell high!" :mrgreen:
by scrabbler1
Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where did you first learn about investing?
Replies: 96
Views: 4200

Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

If you define investing the way Jerry Seinfeld did in a "Seinfeld" episode ("make money without doing anything") then I first learned about it in a few ways as a kid growing up. The first was receiving a small dividend check every quarter from the one share of Ford Motor Company I was given by my un...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10/Edge Conflicts
Replies: 12
Views: 833

Re: Windows 10/Edge Conflicts

I couldn't stand Edge and switched back to IE11. I do use Chrome for a few websites which IE11 doesn't work well.
by scrabbler1
Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Regrets after reaching retirement?
Replies: 42
Views: 4264

Re: Regrets after reaching retirement?

Early retirement did not appear on my radar until I turned 35, when I paid off my mortgage and greatly reduced my living expenses, setting up my switch from full-time to part-time work 3 years later. By then, early retirement was well within my radar and I was able to retire in 2008 at age 45. Singl...
by scrabbler1
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you stop junk mail?
Replies: 29
Views: 1500

Re: How do you stop junk mail?

This was many years ago, back in the 1990s, when I sent something (pre-internet) to some direct mail or direct marketing association to get off their lists. Calling customer service lines from some companies has helped with the cable-TV providers although I still get some stuff from them. Same for b...
by scrabbler1
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 14430

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

If you are acquiring a new car, you major cost is not loan interest, but depreciation. In stead of spending $20k on a new compact, consider spending $15 on a used $25-30k car that is 3-5yrs old and has a great durability record reliability record . Search on auto-trader over a wide area, find a low...
by scrabbler1
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term capital gains tax - effective tax is higher than 15%
Replies: 15
Views: 1084

Re: Long term capital gains tax - effective tax is higher than 15%

Two things which increased the effective marginal tax rate on LTCG were: (a) it reduced the ACA premium subsidy, and (b) it reduced my deductible medical expenses because of the 10% threshold. My marginal rate on LTCG was 0%, but my tax bill rose significantly.
by scrabbler1
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bunching Deductions property state
Replies: 5
Views: 532

Re: Bunching Deductions property state

I have bunched state income taxes into a single calendar year by paying the 4th quarter for year x in January of year x+1, then paying the 4th quarter of year x+1 in December of year x+1. I am retired and I make only 1 state estimated tax payment per year, giving me the freedom to bunch this way. On...
by scrabbler1
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you project the amount you will have to spend annually in retirement?
Replies: 76
Views: 4146

Re: How do you project the amount you will have to spend annually in retirement?

Planning for early retirement ages 45-50. I am planning for 2.5% inflation per year and 100-150% my current spending. I'm taking that number x 25 via the 4% rule and planning to retire some time between there. I feel it's very safe yet is a reasonable goal. (Note I am not factoring in my pension <5...
by scrabbler1
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 14430

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

What about telling the car salesman you plan to get a loan but at the last minute, after agreeing on a price, tell him you plan to pay cash? Would that work? Put me down for paying cash anyway for the reasons others have already stated. When you do that, if they had a deal based on the financing - ...
by scrabbler1
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 14430

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

What about telling the car salesman you plan to get a loan but at the last minute, after agreeing on a price, tell him you plan to pay cash? Would that work?

Put me down for paying cash anyway for the reasons others have already stated.
by scrabbler1
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the difference between retiring and resigning from a job?
Replies: 42
Views: 4356

Re: What is the difference between retiring and resigning from a job?

To my employer, I was resigning. To me, I was retiring. That was 9 years ago, when I was 45. My pension had been frozen since 2002. I get a small interest credit in the cash-balance plan every year, as shown in the annual pension plan statements I receive.
by scrabbler1
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: I got this!!
Replies: 82
Views: 9618

Re: Retirees: I got this!!

I retired 9 years ago at age 45, just when the markets were crashing in late 2008. I split my retirement plan into two parts. The first part was getting to age ~59.5 intact because I would be living mainly off my non-retirement portfolio. I am about 2/3 of the way there and all is great, my SWR is i...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NUA (Net Unrealized Appreciation) and Tax Returns
Replies: 9
Views: 484

Re: NUA (Net Unrealized Appreciation) and Tax Returns

When I left my old company in late 2008, I had to liquidate my 401k which included company stock, pretax contributions, company match, after-tax contributions, and earnings on all contributions. I had to sell the company stock back to the company which was a plan rule. I was allowed to use NUA for t...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K to IRA rollover
Replies: 10
Views: 626

Re: 401K to IRA rollover

Yes, I would do a rollover for sure. There are two ways to do a rollover. 1. Have the 401k custodian send a check made out to you. This is bad. They are required by law to withhold 20% for taxes. This 20% is a taxable withdrawal and is subject to a 10% penalty (if you are younger than 59.5) unless ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions about buying a used car
Replies: 9
Views: 558

Re: Questions about buying a used car

I noticed Hertz sells cars from their fleet and has some seemingly good deals on late model used cars, certified and with Carfax history reports. Three questions: 1. Is it a bad idea to buy from Hertz, given the way many renters treat their rental cars? 2. How reliable are Carfax reports? Are all a...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spam calls to cell phone...
Replies: 87
Views: 6134

Re: Spam calls to cell phone...

I have a low-end cell phone with a small, pay-per-minute plan [...] I don't want to let the calls go to voice vail because I later have to go there to check them out and delete them, a time-consuming PITA and it costs me money to call my VM. It's still a pain, but you can avoid the cost of calling ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spam calls to cell phone...
Replies: 87
Views: 6134

Re: Spam calls to cell phone...

I have a low-end cell phone with a small, pay-per-minute plan because I use the phone only for emergencies and for a rare text. I have given the number out to maybe 10 people. I got the phone nearly 3 years ago. There is no call-blocking program and nomorobo doesn't apply to cell phones. But I get l...
by scrabbler1
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?
Replies: 328
Views: 34731

Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

I bought my co-op apartment in early 1989 and refinanced it in 1992 after interest rates took a huge tumble in 1990-1991. I was still working full-time back then, and the stock market began to boom in the 1990s. Taking some of the gains from the markets enabled me to pay off the mortgage in early 19...
by scrabbler1
Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you do to keep your mind sharp?
Replies: 65
Views: 4775

Re: What do you do to keep your mind sharp?

Scrabble (of course)
Strat-o-Matic baseball (cards & dice)
Chess, once in a while
Square dancing (Advanced and Challenge levels, tough stuff)
I haven't played bridge in years, but I enjoy reading my old bridge books which contain quizzes and stories
by scrabbler1
Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Insruance Payment
Replies: 29
Views: 1511

Re: Auto Insruance Payment

My insurance is with State Farm. The bill comes semi-annually. There is no obvious option for credit card payment. I call my agent, and I can pay with my credit card through the agent. So, I get my credit card rebate. I pay the entire 6-month premium. That’s odd - I always pay with credit card thro...
by scrabbler1
Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you start investing in taxable accounts?
Replies: 23
Views: 2494

Re: When did you start investing in taxable accounts?

I began putting my after-tax surplus money into something other than a bank account back in 1990. This was about 1 year after I had bought my co-op apartment and had rebuilt my savings enough to meet the minimum investment requirement of $2,500. My salary at the time was $40,500. I had been investin...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA MAGI planning
Replies: 52
Views: 3820

Re: ACA MAGI planning

I'll give you one little "gotcha" I have encountered with respect to MAGI and the ACA premium subsidy. If you happen to receive any state income or property tax rebates in a year after you itemize your deductions which include the original deductible state income or local property taxes, that rebate...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I invest my emergency fund?
Replies: 29
Views: 3101

Re: Should I invest my emergency fund?

I have a two-tiered emergency fund. The first tier is about a $500 cushion in my local bank's checking account beyond any minimum balance needed to avoid monthly account fees. This money earns no interest but exists in case I have any small, unforeseen expenses in a given month. This money is very l...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Retirement Make You Lazier?
Replies: 87
Views: 7576

Re: Does Retirement Make You Lazier?

When I was working full-time, I had limited chances to get my personal stuff done, only evenings and weekends. And the evenings were short because I usually got home around 7 PM so by the time I rested up and ate dinner it was 8 PM. By 11:30 it was lights out, leaving me only 3 1/2 hours to do perso...
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Someone spoofing my phone number?
Replies: 41
Views: 2777

Re: Someone spoofing my phone number?

For those getting spam and robocalls there are apps for that. If you have land line phone via internet provider, many of those give you option to use “nomorobo”. It works very well. Eliminates almost 100% of robocalls. You get one brief ring but then no more. There are also apps for mobile phones. ...
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 - Fall Creator's Update - Ransomeware
Replies: 25
Views: 4107

Re: Windows 10 - Fall Creator's Update - Ransomeware

I didn't have the Controlled Folders feature so I ran Windows Update and it picked up the Fall creators version, downloaded it, and installed it. When I opened up Defender, it was there. I turned it on and added one personal folder not among the ones it includes by default. Not too bad.
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best to harvest Dividends to meet living expenses
Replies: 23
Views: 2133

Re: Best to harvest Dividends to meet living expenses

What kind of dividends are you getting monthly? Most bond funds pay dividends monthly. errr, ummm... pay interest monthly... The monthly income generated by bond funds (munis and corporate) is described as dividends on the annual 1099 forms. Getting side tracked... but... yeah.... I see what you me...
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund Replenishment
Replies: 14
Views: 1800

Re: Emergency Fund Replenishment

I have a multi-tiered emergency fund. The first tier is about $500 extra in my local bank's checking account beyond any minimum balance requirements to avoid monthly fees. This small buffer is used to cover small, unforeseen expenses. I frequently dip into this small buffer and it gets replaced by t...
by scrabbler1
Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best to harvest Dividends to meet living expenses
Replies: 23
Views: 2133

Re: Best to harvest Dividends to meet living expenses

CaliJim wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:59 pm
mptfan wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:39 pm
GerryL wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:44 pm
What kind of dividends are you getting monthly?
Most bond funds pay dividends monthly.

errr, ummm... pay interest monthly...
The monthly income generated by bond funds (munis and corporate) is described as dividends on the annual 1099 forms.
by scrabbler1
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA earning prediction
Replies: 5
Views: 464

Re: ACA earning prediction

I am one year on Medicare, but my wife does not start Medicare until June, 2018. In order to maintain my substantial ACA supplement I am working to keep my MAGI as low as possible for 2018. We live on our $21,000 annual pension, some limited interest and dividends, with the balance of our living ex...
by scrabbler1
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best to harvest Dividends to meet living expenses
Replies: 23
Views: 2133

Re: Best to harvest Dividends to meet living expenses

I plan on retiring Jan 1, 2019. For those that are in retirement like to hear the pros and cons on harvesting dividends from my Tax Acct Funds/Stocks. Oh -- just dividends -- capital gains will continue to be reinvested. Option 1 -- Each month have the dividends from each fund deposited in a MMA to...
by scrabbler1
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA earning prediction
Replies: 5
Views: 464

Re: ACA earning prediction

I am one year on Medicare, but my wife does not start Medicare until June, 2018. In order to maintain my substantial ACA supplement I am working to keep my MAGI as low as possible for 2018. We live on our $21,000 annual pension, some limited interest and dividends, with the balance of our living ex...
by scrabbler1
Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees: which websites do you spend the most time on?
Replies: 33
Views: 5796

Re: Retirees: which websites do you spend the most time on?

dwickenh wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:10 am
I enjoy Early retirement .org which addresses many of my concerns about retirement living. A nice group of people over there also. Many travel ideas and ways to spend time in retirement.

Dan
As an early retiree, I visit and post to this website often.
by scrabbler1
Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was the main reason you retired?
Replies: 210
Views: 15069

Re: What was the main reason you retired?

For me, #1, #3, #4, and #8. But the main reason was that I just hated, hated, hated the commute. Twice I reduced it in the 7 years I worked part-time, but the only solution to that was to reduce it zero.
by scrabbler1
Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMD distribution timing
Replies: 32
Views: 2493

Re: RMD distribution timing

My friend, 54, has an inherited IRA after his remaining parent died 5 years ago, and I help him out managing his financial stuff. I have him take his RMD near the end of the year and use it to pay income taxes (federal nd state) from the income generated from the brokerage account he inherited along...
by scrabbler1
Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No true pay as you go [cellphone plan]
Replies: 63
Views: 5183

Re: No true pay as you go [cellphone plan]

I wanted a pay-go cell phone because I use it very rarely for calls and texts. In early 2015, I got a Tracfone for $20 and I put 240 minutes on for about 11 cents per minute once every 6-9 months. The minutes come with contract time but once in a while I use the contract time up too fast so I have t...
by scrabbler1
Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Well Do You Know About Retirement Income?
Replies: 40
Views: 4540

Re: How Well Do You Know About Retirement Income?

I got 32 out of 38. Given how little I know about annuities and life insurance, I am surprised at how many of those questions I answered correctly. I did learn some things about annuities earlier this year when I discussed my dad's portfolio with his FA so I guess much of it stuck with me!
by scrabbler1
Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?
Replies: 164
Views: 14913

Re: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?

My wife and I had dinner with another couple the other night. Talk turned to investing, and their use of a high-end firm known for their analytics. The husband, a former banker, touted their research skills. The wife kept on saying “I don’t understand why we don’t match or better the benchmarks.” I...
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can one have too much money in tax-deferred
Replies: 128
Views: 11351

Re: Can one have too much money in tax-deferred

Bacchus01, the last 9 years of early retirement have gone very well. The passage of the ACA has been a big help, too. Randomguy, I never thought of NUA as a combination of deferred taxes and using LTCG at the same time. Perhaps because all of the company stock was a "freebie" into the savings plan c...
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can one have too much money in tax-deferred
Replies: 128
Views: 11351

Re: Can one have too much money in tax-deferred

Part of my early retirement plan I was putting together 10 years ago, in preparation for retiring in late 2008 at age 45, was to transfer a big chunk of money from my retirement plan into my taxable account because I would be living off my taxable account for at least 15 years before I would gain un...
by scrabbler1
Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new 401(k) limits announced
Replies: 88
Views: 12890

Re: new 401(k) limits announced

Following a large inheritance in late 2012, my friend paid off his mortgage and was able to defer 50% of his pay into a 457 plan in 2013, up to the limit which was ~$17,000. However, he turned 50 midyear and became eligible for the extra catch-up deferral. His payroll department stopped deferring hi...
by scrabbler1
Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?
Replies: 164
Views: 14913

Re: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?

I have about $1.4M in the main part of my portfolio. I can't imagine spending even 0.5% of it with a FA. That would be $7,000 a year, more than I spend on health insurance, more than I spend on my co-op maintenance payments, my 2 biggest expenses. It would be a HUGE waste of money!
by scrabbler1
Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?
Replies: 164
Views: 14913

Re: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?

I don't have one, but I do have an unpaid Account Executive at my local Fidelity office. I meet with him once in a while, the last time was in the spring of 2016. I have had AEs at Fidelity since 2008 when I was getting ready to move forward with an early retirement. The woman AE back then helped me...
by scrabbler1
Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does bond length matter for investing in bond funds?
Replies: 20
Views: 1726

Re: Does bond length matter for investing in bond funds?

I have been investing in bond funds for the last 27 years and own a variety of them today. In fact, it is a long-term bond fund whose monthly dividend pays most of my monthly expenses in my early retirement for the last 9 years. I am willing to take the risk of the bond fund's NAV bouncing around a ...
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 105
Views: 10110

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

I had been working part-time for 7 years before I fully retired 9 years ago, including only 2 days a week for the last 17 months. It took me no time at all to get used to not working. I already was doing stuff in my semi-retirement so going from working 2 days to zilch was no transition.
by scrabbler1
Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does everyone keep track of your portfolio?
Replies: 107
Views: 7073

Re: How does everyone keep track of your portfolio?

Prior to 1995, when I bought my first home PC, I used pencil and paper to keep track of balances on each of the few mutual funds I owned and had another sheet which kept track of monthly balances. This was only for my taxable account, my 401k quarterly statements were enough for that part of my port...
by scrabbler1
Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you driving? And would you buy your current ride again?
Replies: 130
Views: 7256

Re: What are you driving? And would you buy your current ride again?

2007 Toyota Corolla. It has about 32,000 miles. It replaced a 1991 Geo Prism (I bought it used in 1992), which is basically a Corolla. I got 15 years from the Prism, and I expect to get at least 15 years from the Corolla because I will have unfettered access to my IRA in 5 years from now.