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by tomd37
Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rate Our Monthly Budget
Replies: 13
Views: 1368

Re: Rate Our Monthly Budget

Based on reading another post on the Bogleheads forum this morning, another budget item to be considered by most non-retirees would be savings.
by tomd37
Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rate Our Monthly Budget
Replies: 13
Views: 1368

Re: Rate Our Monthly Budget

HardHitter, We are a retired couple more than 2.5 times your age, but have had a written budget before and after retiring and looking at them for the last 15 years I can see how some categories increased or decreased. SwampDonkey has provided a similar budget, but I will list the categories we use. ...
by tomd37
Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 20% In REITS?
Replies: 34
Views: 2365

Re: 20% In REITS?

Maybe I am misinterpreting some of the previous comments, but I wish people would clearly state in their comments whether they are expressing the percentage of REITS as a percentage of the stock portion of their portfolio or as a percentage of their total portfolio. :?
by tomd37
Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMD - Thinking Getting Fuzzy
Replies: 9
Views: 1273

Re: RMD - Thinking Getting Fuzzy

Those last three posts, by SeeMoe, Alan S., and itstoomuch, are basically exactly what I am doing and thinking. LTC is and has been covered to the extent of our policy since 1997. Lost some additional retirement LTC coverage when my former employer went bankrupt after almost 110 years in existence (...
by tomd37
Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue
Replies: 100
Views: 6747

Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

BolderBoy, I would be interested hearing the results of the security guard consideration. We had young people dealing drugs in our pool parking lot and when we looked into hiring a security guard patrol of the area we found a lot of issues. For example their cost was high, they would only contract f...
by tomd37
Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMD - Thinking Getting Fuzzy
Replies: 9
Views: 1273

RMD - Thinking Getting Fuzzy

As I approach yet another year of RMDs my thinking is not as sharp as it used to be. Specifically in the area of when to actually take the RMD. Heretofore I have always taken my QCD and remaining RMD near the end of the year without any regard to what the market was doing or might do. This bull run ...
by tomd37
Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Bills Killing Me from AC. Need Advice. [Air Conditioner]
Replies: 81
Views: 6057

Re: Electric Bills Killing Me from AC. Need Advice. [Air Conditioner]

Joey_Freshwater, As has been pointed out to you many times thus far in this post, you and your landlord definitely have an issue here with an a/c unit that has problem that is not allowing the unit to operate properly. And to go along with that the landlord has hired a technician that does not have ...
by tomd37
Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Bills Killing Me from AC. Need Advice. [Air Conditioner]
Replies: 81
Views: 6057

Re: Electric Bills Killing Me from AC. Need Advice. [Air Conditioner]

I have my units (2) serviced twice a year for the cooling and heating systems. In spring my technician turns off the power to the outside a/c unit, removes the grill on top of the fan blade unit so he can gain access from the inside of the coils, hand sprays the fins from the outside with a product ...
by tomd37
Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Scam Warning
Replies: 5
Views: 867

Re: Another Scam Warning

Got several of the same type calls late last year. Caller's problem is that I don't have any grandchildren :oops:
by tomd37
Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car totaled, no collision insurance
Replies: 58
Views: 4468

Re: Car totaled, no collision insurance

When my 1993 Mercury Sable was three months old two deer came out of the woods onto the roadway. One got away but the other got the front end of my car to the sum of $2,300 damage. It was all covered by my comprehensive coverage (North Carolina) at the time and no charges to my premium. Am wondering...
by tomd37
Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Allowances to claim on W4
Replies: 9
Views: 583

Re: Allowances to claim on W4

new2bogle, Follow Steph's suggestions for now, but when you get ready to fill out a new W-4 pay attention to specifics and terminology. You are not claiming exemptions on a W-4, you are claiming allowances, the number of which can significantly exceed exemptions allowed on your tax return. Based on ...
by tomd37
Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Allowances to claim on W4
Replies: 9
Views: 583

Re: Allowances to claim on W4

I always found, during my working years, that if you carefully follow the instructions/guidance for completing the W-4 form it result in the proper withholding that will not result in an excessive federal tax withholding and a refund. I believe there used to be a limit of ten allowances that would r...
by tomd37
Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income
Replies: 40
Views: 5135

Re: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income

That doesn't sound good Kaneohe! :annoyed I wonder right now how big the IRS mistake is or will be :?:
by tomd37
Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short Bond Index Funds - High Turnover.
Replies: 14
Views: 1078

Re: Short Bond Index Funds - High Turnover.

My guess is that it is because the funds contain mostly "short-term" bonds that mature anywhere between one and three years, therefore they must be replaced as frequently as they mature, thus a very high turnover rate.
by tomd37
Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income
Replies: 40
Views: 5135

Re: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income

I have started this post on three occasions now, but deleted the first two. It appears we have a number of VITA and TCE volunteers in this community, including myself, and to you all who volunteer thank you. I start my 14th year this coming tax season having worked in both programs but predominately...
by tomd37
Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income
Replies: 40
Views: 5135

Re: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income

For those of you who have taken the H&R Block tax course and then worked for them for any period of time I would ask these questions. How are their charges for a return determined and do they "up sell" by adding more forms than are really necessary to a tax return?
by tomd37
Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?
Replies: 86
Views: 5574

Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

Costco service will vary from location to location, depending on consumer demand, size of tire service facility, established store policies, etc. I believe each store will vary and valid comparisons cannot be made online.
by tomd37
Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?
Replies: 86
Views: 5574

Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

My Costco automotive only has 4 or 5 (cannot remember) service bays so their tire service abilities are limited. Although I have purchased the last set of tires for our two cars from Costco, I do not go back for rotation and balancing. I can get both done for $40 by my local repair and maintenance s...
by tomd37
Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too Large A Cash Allocation ?
Replies: 5
Views: 1043

Re: Too Large A Cash Allocation ?

HTH, Thanks for your reply and I will respond to your comments. Using age 80, the current withdrawal rate is about 5.35% of the prior year balance. I make an annual distribution in November of each year and that is when I usually rebalance to my desired asset allocation, if needed, using an establis...
by tomd37
Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too Large A Cash Allocation ?
Replies: 5
Views: 1043

Too Large A Cash Allocation ?

We are a retired couple ages 80. Our overall stock/bond asset allocation is 40/60 at Vanguard with four funds; Total Stock Market Index (VTSAX), Developed Markets Index (VTMGX) with a 20% allocation to VTMGX, Intermediate-Term Bond Index (VBILX), and REIT Index (VGSLX). All are held in a tax deferre...
by tomd37
Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: synthetic oil changes
Replies: 134
Views: 8211

Re: synthetic oil changes

Sunny_socal,

5 "gallon" jug :?:
by tomd37
Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frameless shower glass
Replies: 20
Views: 1812

Re: Frameless shower glass

Just keep the shower tile and glass clean and no problems. :oops: We remodeled four years ago and installing an all-glass shower area was a huge improvement.
by tomd37
Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice ..Lexus battery fails when car is not driven 24 hrs
Replies: 87
Views: 4782

Re: Need advice ..Lexus battery fails when car is not driven 24 hrs

I too much prefer the "real" leather seats in our 2001 ES300 as compared to what is the basic offering in today's Lexus'. I would hate to have to pay the premium for real leather today, :annoyed but then with only 73,000 miles on her car, my wife is not going to let it go. Thanks for the u...
by tomd37
Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What does x% REITs in Portfolio mean?
Replies: 3
Views: 253

Re: What does x% REITs in Portfolio mean?

As a person well into retirement (79) I have held Vanguard's REIT index fund in my portfolio for the past 15 years at a level of 10% of my total portfolio value. During that period I have reduced my overall AA from 60/40 to 50/50 and most recently to 40/60 as my need to take risk has diminished. I a...
by tomd37
Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What does x% REITs in Portfolio mean?
Replies: 3
Views: 253

Re: What does x% REITs in Portfolio mean?

I have always assumed, but you know the problem there, that it is exclusive of whatever amount might be held in other funds.
by tomd37
Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-cash charitable gift, do I need a written statement?
Replies: 5
Views: 506

Re: Non-cash charitable gift, do I need a written statement?

IRS Form 8283 is required to be submitted for non-cash contributions that exceed $500 and that is what the OP is referring to. Section A, Part 1 of the 8283 would apply. If non-cash contributions do not exceed $500 the form is not required. Just have receipts from the organization. Goodwill Industri...
by tomd37
Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W4 for teenager
Replies: 12
Views: 667

Re: W4 for teenager

If the teenager ends up filing a return for 2016 in order to obtain a refund of federal taxes withheld, make sure she indicates on her tax return that she can be claimed as a dependent on her parent's tax return, otherwise one or the other tax return will reject for dual claiming of an exemption; ei...
by tomd37
Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W4 for teenager
Replies: 12
Views: 667

Re: W4 for teenager

Livesoft, The way I interpret the instructions for line 7 she must meet both requirements. If she did not work last year she cannot meet both requirements and therefore this year she cannot claim exempt from withholding of federal taxes. Of course from the initial post we do not know what her situat...
by tomd37
Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Could John Bogle Be Right About International Stock?
Replies: 222
Views: 26437

Re: Could John Bogle Be Right About International Stock?

I notice that the Portfolio Solutions posts/blogs or whatever you want to call them are not dated. That concerns me and I don't remember that being the case when Rick Ferri was at the helm.
by tomd37
Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Vanguard Total International] ETF currently down 7.09% - Time to sell?
Replies: 39
Views: 4053

Re: Vang TIn'tSMI ETF currently down 7.09%

Two and a half months ago it was very close to what it is in your post.
by tomd37
Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: paint exterior of house white?
Replies: 55
Views: 3071

Re: paint exterior of house white?

If you belong to a homeowner's association are there any limitations on exterior house colors?
by tomd37
Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else have problems with appliances from Home Depot?
Replies: 29
Views: 1964

Re: Anyone else have problems with appliances from Home Depot?

All reasons I deal with smaller local appliance companies for the last twenty years. And they have always matched or had better prices than the big box stores. Warranties, when purchased, were lower in price too. Have also found these same companies also have their own appliance repair departments s...
by tomd37
Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax bracket question
Replies: 8
Views: 1250

Re: tax bracket question

Some gets taxed at 10%, then the next portion at 15%, and the final portion at 25%. The amount taxable is after standard or itemized deductions, personal and dependent exemptions, credits, etc.
by tomd37
Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Recommendation for a book for parent nearing retirement
Replies: 7
Views: 765

Re: Recommendation for a book for parent nearing retirement

Most definitely! Jane Bryant Quinn's new book "How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide". It was released early this year and as a person already in retirement I think it is an outstanding guide. I would even state it should be considered for pre-retirement readers. ...
by tomd37
Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard change of address policies
Replies: 13
Views: 1693

Re: Vanguard change of address policies

Is the online change of address system not available to you?
by tomd37
Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Make Your Money Last" -- A Gem
Replies: 35
Views: 5768

Re: "How to Make Your Money Last" -- A Gem

Thanks for bringing this book to the attention of our readers here. I bought the book shortly after it came out early this year and liked it so much that I sent a copy to my daughter. She too liked it very much. I think the book is good reading for everyone, not just retirees and those near retireme...
by tomd37
Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sale of home 1099-S
Replies: 7
Views: 518

Re: Sale of home 1099-S

I am in the same counseling situation as Rudy and only once in a while see a 1099-S. You must acknowledge it on your tax return if issued though. It's not the value of the sale, it is the value of the profit made on that sale that is the factor.
by tomd37
Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income Taxes on Surrender Value of Whole Life Insurance Policy
Replies: 4
Views: 484

Re: Income Taxes on Surrender Value of Whole Life Insurance Policy

I believe any amount received that is in excess of the premiums actually paid to date is considered taxable income. See what others have to say.
by tomd37
Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: washing machine [Recommendations for]
Replies: 50
Views: 7079

Re: washing machine [Recommendations for]

Actually the SQ with electronic controls has a five-year warranty and the manual controls a three-year warranty. And of course a non high-efficiency will use more water than an h-e. But in my opinion the clothes wash better in more water. I think it is about 8 gallons per load difference. And total ...
by tomd37
Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: washing machine [Recommendations for]
Replies: 50
Views: 7079

Re: washing machine [Recommendations for]

Thanks for the update. Consider Speed Queen. We are going back to their top-load with agitator soon. Been through too many high efficiency front-loads and top-loads in our 20 years here. Family relatives have the SQ top-load and love it. Consumer Reports say they have the best repair record. Investi...
by tomd37
Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Jane Bryant Quinn: Plan for a long retirement and maybe even a 101st birthday party."
Replies: 66
Views: 6204

Re: "Jane Bryant Quinn: Plan for a long retirement and maybe even a 101st birthday party."

My father always aspired to live to be 102; then he would have lived in three different centuries. Unfortunately he passed away at age 61, his father passed at age 93, and his brother at age 99.
by tomd37
Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: RMD's and Charity Contributions
Replies: 17
Views: 798

Re: RMD's and Charity Contributions

As mentioned by Sheepdog, Vanguard sends the QCD checks to the account owner for mailing to the qualified organization. I always make a copy to the check before forwarding it to the charity.
by tomd37
Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: RMD's and Charity Contributions
Replies: 17
Views: 798

Re: RMD's and Charity Contributions

Financial Dave, I believe there is no change to the distribution code shown on the 1099-R. It is up to the taxpayer to reflect the proper amount on lines 15a and 15b of Form 1040 with QCD next to line 15b. 15a would be total distribution amount and 15b would be the taxable portion of 15a. More infor...
by tomd37
Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Risk & Investment Horizon
Replies: 6
Views: 432

Risk & Investment Horizon

Larry Swedroe, among other authors, talks about the ability, willingness, and need to take risk and mentions in the ability portion of his writings the "investment horizon" as one of the factors when considering the ability to take risk. I can understand the investment horizon factor up to...
by tomd37
Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard VBIIX for $20K parking spot [Vanguard Intermediate Term Bond Index]
Replies: 6
Views: 893

Re: Vanguard VBIIX for $20K parking spot [Vanguard Intermediate Term Bond Index]

I too was going to respond to the original post with a question about using a 5-year CD with 2.05% APY as a safe alternative investment of excess cash. Am in the 25% marginal tax bracket and well into retirement with a 40/60 stock/bond ratio using a well balanced four-fund portfolio often referred t...
by tomd37
Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace timing belt and water pump - dealer or indepedent?
Replies: 20
Views: 1331

Re: Replace timing belt and water pump - dealer or indepedent?

I would go with the local independent especially if you have any recommendations concerning their service. Fortunately we have an outstanding independent locally specializing in Lexus and Toyota (former Lexus Master Mechanic) just down the road two miles. He did the belt on my wife's 15 year old ES3...
by tomd37
Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Had entire lawn sodded, now some animal is creating holes...Philly Burbs Area
Replies: 27
Views: 1191

Re: Had entire lawn sodded, now some animal is creating holes...Philly Burbs Area

But don't the roots have to become established in the sub-surface in order to survive?? I just can't see doing anything with the summer heat arriving. Why not wait till fall?
by tomd37
Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Had entire lawn sodded, now some animal is creating holes...Philly Burbs Area
Replies: 27
Views: 1191

Re: Had entire lawn sodded, now some animal is creating holes...Philly Burbs Area

Fieldsy1024, I would not think this is the proper time to over seed or sod and try to grow grass. If you are in the Philadelphia area I would suspect you are using a cool season grass and fall (late Sept - early Oct) would be the best time to do either. Can you confirm what type of seed or sod you a...
by tomd37
Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:16 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Where is the Munchkin Man?
Replies: 28
Views: 9110

Re: Where is the Munchkin Man?

Based on reading another post, I thought I would bring up this subject again, if not just for good memories. :)

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