Search found 308 matches

by vtMaps
Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?
Replies: 108
Views: 8153

Re: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?

On the subject of furniture losing its value... has anyone tried to sell a piano lately?

--vtMaps :(
by vtMaps
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A penny saved is NOT a penny earned ..
Replies: 16
Views: 2256

Re: A penny saved is NOT a penny earned ..

If you earn, for example, $1,000 GROSS MORE from your job and put the net in the bank or pay down debt, your net is only about (give or take depending on marginal tax rate) $750.00. To have, net in pocket, you would need to earn about $1,333 MORE GROSS. But earning the extra $1,000 may increase you...
by vtMaps
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Spousal Benefit Question
Replies: 4
Views: 567

Re: Social Security Spousal Benefit Question

It may (or may not) be better for her to switch to her own benefits now. Main thing is to maximize (by delaying until 70) the larger benefit (which I will presume is yours). In order to benefit from both of you delaying until 70, you must both live past her break even point. The chances are very goo...
by vtMaps
Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Accidentally bought $20,000 worth of I Bonds
Replies: 17
Views: 4625

Re: Accidentally bought $20,000 worth of I Bonds

One other consideration... if the 2nd transaction does go through (even if it is later reversed), is there enough money in the funding account to avoid overdraft issues?

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS earnings limit with unpredictable earned income
Replies: 2
Views: 331

Re: SS earnings limit with unpredictable earned income

Check here: https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home%2Fhandbook/handbook.18/handbook-toc18.html especially 1814 and 1822. Thanks, Penguin. From 1822 (emphasis mine): When you file your expected earnings report, you are encouraged to make a high estimate of earnings for the year. From When is an individual “at f...
by vtMaps
Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS earnings limit with unpredictable earned income
Replies: 2
Views: 331

SS earnings limit with unpredictable earned income

I am advising a friend who recently became widowed. She is 63. Her PIA is larger than that of her late husband. I have advised her to file for restricted survivor’s benefits with the intention of switching to her own retirement benefit at age 70. One thing I can’t explain to her (because I don’t und...
by vtMaps
Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 105
Views: 10127

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

I have been retired for about a decade. The question you ask doesn't make sense to me... I never really got used to working. I am so busy... I don't know how I ever found the time to work. I think retirement is my natural state.

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxes and withdrawal strategy in retirement
Replies: 7
Views: 1286

Re: Taxes and withdrawal strategy in retirement

Is your mom collecting social security? If so, how much? What is her AGI? Tax brackets are not simple when SS is involved. Depending on her AGI and her SS benefit, she probably has a 22.5% marginal bracket before she gets to a 15% bracket. She may benefit by 'saltatory decumulation'. That is, she ma...
by vtMaps
Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IBonds - now or wait? [November 2017 rate]
Replies: 40
Views: 5500

Re: November 2017 - New I bond rate?

welderwannabe wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:48 am
Am I to also understand that it is basically cast in stone that it is based exactly on the CPI rate as DH calculated
Yes.

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another SS Spousal Benefit Post
Replies: 5
Views: 596

Re: Another SS Spousal Benefit Post

Is it correct, that as soon as my wife turns 66 (FRA), I can (after applying to Social Security department) receive half of what she receives each month? And that I can receive this amount until I reach 66 (FRA) when at that time I would begin to receive my own SS? No. You cannot do what you are pr...
by vtMaps
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Senior citizens can lose everything [to professional guardians via court rulings]
Replies: 111
Views: 9596

Re: Senior citizens can lose everything [to professional guardians via court rulings]

MathWizard wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:45 pm
The ex parte part is what would have me most worried, and seems to violate due process.
+1. That is the essence of the problem. Our courts system is adversarial... it doesn't function fairly when only one side is represented.

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $700 to install a dishwasher seem by a plumber?!
Replies: 65
Views: 4692

Re: $700 to install a dishwasher seem by a plumber?!

Our run-of-the mill dishwasher needs replacing and our condo requires the installation be done by a licensed plumber Maybe the problem here is semantics. In my mind, installing a dishwasher is different than replacing a dishwasher. Install means hookups (water, electric) need to be installed... tha...
by vtMaps
Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation in TIAA-CREF
Replies: 27
Views: 2221

Re: Allocation in TIAA-CREF

So can you leave money in the fund indefinitely (besides RMD, obviously), and if so, does the fact that it is an "annuity" have any ramifications on death? Would it transfer to a beneficiary just like IRA money? Or would it have no value like a single-life annuity? It behaves like a mutual fund and...
by vtMaps
Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GM Master Card Site
Replies: 7
Views: 753

Re: GM Master Card Site

It's legitimate. I don't particularly care for the new site... too much emphasis on making your computer screen look like a smartphone.

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turned down for umbrella insurance
Replies: 57
Views: 5876

Re: Turned down for umbrella insurance

I just got a quote from State Farm for $1m. The price was $415, which I thought might be high. Do you mind sharing what your pay? Thanks. $2m with state farm = $217 per year. btw, I got quotes from Geico last year... car insurance was half what I'm paying with SF, umbrella was over $500, and they d...
by vtMaps
Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can spouse's LLC deduct JOINT health Insur premiums as business expense?
Replies: 7
Views: 770

Re: Can spouse's LLC deduct JOINT health Insur premiums as business expense?

Regarding the Self-employed health insurance deduction (line 29 on form 1040)... Will you be purchasing your insurance through the exchange AND getting premium subsidies through the ACA? If so, be prepared for a challenging tax return. Line 29 (Self-employed health insurance deduction) reduces your ...
by vtMaps
Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Total Stock Market vs. Extended Market?
Replies: 20
Views: 3455

Re: Why Total Stock Market vs. Extended Market?

I'm a bit hazy on the concept, but my understanding is that the s&p 500 is subject to a type of front-running. This occurs when companies are added to or removed form the index. If it is known that a company will be added to the s&p 500, that means that passive s&p 500 index funds will have to buy a...
by vtMaps
Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guaranteed 7% Real Estate Deal: Pull from Stock Market?
Replies: 36
Views: 4041

Re: Guaranteed 7% Real Estate Deal: Pull from Stock Market?

UncleBen wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:36 am
If you can afford it and want to play, I'd say 5% of your portfolio, max.
That's good advice, if you are emotionally capable of heeding it. The time may/will come where you feel that you will lose your initial investment, unless you invest just a little bit more...

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 50
Views: 3842

Re: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?

How is that possible? I would think if you stretched it out to 100 years old, the higher SS payouts would be more beneficial. Perhaps I did something wrong. :annoyed I write my own spreadsheets to figure out SS optimization. I really don't like I-orp because of the assumptions it makes. There are a...
by vtMaps
Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Benefits
Replies: 31
Views: 2978

Re: Social Security Benefits

Have you run your numbers of what was comtributed to your SS account? After adjusting out SS disability insurance and only assuming a 5% rate of return, my personal annuity would be providing me an additional $1,000 a month more without touching the principal. And if I used the S&P 500 returns I wo...
by vtMaps
Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rejected By Two Banks For an On-Line Savings Account….why?
Replies: 24
Views: 3574

Re: Rejected By Two Banks For an On-Line Savings Account….why?

Ally called me today saying that their "back room" could not verify my ss# to open an account. They want a copy of my drivers license and a copy of my ss#. Synchrony never asked me to send anything two months ago. Weird Really? Keep in mind I'm grumpy and suspicious but I wouldn't do that without a...
by vtMaps
Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Benefits
Replies: 31
Views: 2978

Re: Social Security Benefits

Thanks for the info. The more you dig into it the more you realize it is a bad annuity product. Are you referring to SS being a bad product? Do you understand the bend points? Compared to what you can buy in the private sector, SS is a fantastic annuity product (at least up to the second bend). --v...
by vtMaps
Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Miles Davis: Kind of Blue - Question for Jazz experts
Replies: 49
Views: 3481

Re: Miles Davis: Kind of Blue - Question for Jazz experts

protagonist wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:16 am
Sticking with Miles, you would probably enjoy In a Silent Way. It is very accessible.
+1
Also try Miles' "Someday my Prince Will Come"

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Prevent mail theft; sign for USPS Informed Delivery]
Replies: 188
Views: 13140

Re: Postal Service -- "informed delivery"

IMO wrote:
Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:59 am
Not to mention mail is often put into someone else's box due to postal service mistake.
+1. This happens to us every week. Really makes me want to go paperless... but that won't happen... must keep paper statements so DW can manage our affairs when I am dead or unable.

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:04 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests
Replies: 427
Views: 62413

Re: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests

Since the most recent upgrade I have not been receiving email notifications of new posts to threads that I subscribe to.

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vt Tax Dept. Notice of Intent to Assess - Audit
Replies: 6
Views: 919

Re: Vt Tax Dept. Notice of Intent to Assess - Audit

This morning I spoke to an examiner at the audit division of the Vt dept of taxes. She looked at the electronic data from the IRS and immediately mentioned that it was curious that we had the same number ($14,363) on lines 12 (business income) and 13 (capital gains) of form 1040. She asked if we had...
by vtMaps
Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are we house poor? [Property Tax Madness]
Replies: 79
Views: 8635

Re: Property Tax Madness

My question is, is there a downside to having the appraised value of our home significantly reduced? Or, is there any advantage in having the county appraise our home at higher price? Would it affect the market value of our home if we decided to sell (hurt or help)? Lowering the appraised value MAY...
by vtMaps
Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vt Tax Dept. Notice of Intent to Assess - Audit
Replies: 6
Views: 919

Re: Vt Tax Dept. Notice of Intent to Assess - Audit

I would suggest pulling up a transcript from the IRS transcript service and see what their system thinks you filed. That's great advice! Can't do it online. Their system requires that I have a mobile phone account in my name and capable of receiving text messages. I have an old tracfone flip-phone ...
by vtMaps
Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vt Tax Dept. Notice of Intent to Assess - Audit
Replies: 6
Views: 919

Vt Tax Dept. Notice of Intent to Assess - Audit

We received (first class mail) a “Notice of Intent to Assess - Audit” from the Vt department of taxes concerning our 2014 taxes. Apparently the IRS has informed the state of Vermont that our 2014 taxable income (form 1040, line 43) was $14,364 higher than what we reported on our state tax forms. Of ...
by vtMaps
Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Long Healthcare CPI
Replies: 7
Views: 672

Re: Long Healthcare CPI

IOW, how can I be long healthcare? Alternately, am I asking the wrong question? Yes, I think you are asking the wrong question because: Invest in a health care index fund. I'm not sure the gains here would make up for the increase in costs.. I also doubt that the cost of your health insurance will ...
by vtMaps
Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Money Market vs. Savings Accounts
Replies: 42
Views: 6489

Re: Vanguard Money Market vs. Savings Accounts

Cash would keep up with inflation better with Vanguard (while still below inflation, better than bank) Inflation is eroding the value of our savings. The money market at least provides a little more than half of current inflation! Have you considered transitioning to ibonds? It will take a few year...
by vtMaps
Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Widow Benefit Question (urgent)
Replies: 27
Views: 2221

Re: Social Security Widow Benefit Question (urgent)

BHUser27 wrote:So my question is: if 82.5% of Dad's PIA is greater than the actual reduced benefit he was receiving, might Mom be getting more than $1751?
Yes.

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Widow Benefit Question (urgent)
Replies: 27
Views: 2221

Re: Social Security Widow Benefit Question (urgent)

I thought I had read where the (FRA or older) surviving spouse could collect either the deceased spouses current payment or 81.5% of the deceased's PIA - whichever was larger. I'm not sure where I read this, but I think it was an outdated SSA policy. If the larger earner started his/her SS at age 6...
by vtMaps
Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Potential Move to the Upper Valley, NH
Replies: 24
Views: 1851

Re: Potential Move to the Upper Valley, NH

tarheel,

There is just as much upper valley on the Vermont side of the Connecticut river as the NH side. Have you considered Norwich, Vt?

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Potential Move to the Upper Valley, NH
Replies: 24
Views: 1851

Re: Potential Move to the Upper Valley, NH

I-89 between New London and Lebanon gets treacherous during the winter. This is despite road crews treating the roads, the changes in elevation on that stretch creates black ice and accidents are fairly common. There have also been quite a few collisions with moose on that stretch of the highway. M...
by vtMaps
Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable value fund vs Vanguard Total Bond Market Index
Replies: 27
Views: 3677

Re: Stable value fund vs Vanguard Total Bond Market Index

Here is what mine consists of: The fund may invest in wrapped bonds, a limited amount of unwrapped bonds, cash, and U.S. government Series I savings bonds. For the wrapped bonds, the fund invests in insurance contracts ("wrap contracts") which allow the portfolio to earn a specified rate of interes...
by vtMaps
Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS survivor's benefit for my spouse
Replies: 15
Views: 1195

Re: SS survivor's benefit for my spouse

JohnFiscal wrote:I have been presented with a tool that indicates her survivor benefit is knocked down and this doesn't seem right to me.
What tool?

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion Help
Replies: 5
Views: 626

Re: Roth Conversion Help

As celia mentioned, do the conversion into an empty account. Specify NO withholding on the conversion, and pay the tax with separate funds. You may wish to do multiple smaller conversions (each into an empty account). For example, you could convert a stock fund and a bond fund separately. If one of ...
by vtMaps
Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beware of retroactive payments when claiming SS
Replies: 13
Views: 1697

Re: Beware of retroactive payments when claiming SS

I very recently made that switch, from spousal to own. And yes, the SS rep did have that "do you want to start now or exactly when 70?" conversation. I have no personal experience (yet), but my understanding (based on what i have read in this forum) is that if you are receiving restricted spousal b...
by vtMaps
Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saltatory decumulation as a tax strategy.
Replies: 19
Views: 2454

Re: Saltatory decumulation as a tax strategy.

Based on what you've posted I'm concerned you may have crossed up your Gross Income (AGI ) vs Taxable Income concepts. The top of the 15% bracket in round numbers for 2016 was 98K Gross Income ( AGI ). Taxable Income = 98K - 23K ( $15K Std Deduction + 8K Personal Exemptions ) = 75K Taxable Income, ...
by vtMaps
Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saltatory decumulation as a tax strategy.
Replies: 19
Views: 2454

Re: Saltatory decumulation as a tax strategy.

Your 2+2 strategy appears optimal. Assuming $31K/yr in SS and no other income , - 2 years of taxable income at the top of the 10% bracket, from $32520 in tIRA withdrawals There is no 10% bracket. The brackets are 0%, 15%, 18%, 28%, 15%, 25%... $32.5k is the top of the 18% bracket. In hindsight: tha...
by vtMaps
Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saltatory decumulation as a tax strategy.
Replies: 19
Views: 2454

Re: Saltatory decumulation as a tax strategy.

Regarding calculators, it looks like you have used something to calculate the tax under each scenario. Did you use TaxCaster? I wrote my own spreadsheets. Can you say what your tax would be each year, i.e. with $21K, $32K, $52k, $72k, and $147k? I would think the ideal plan would be to take out the...
by vtMaps
Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saltatory decumulation as a tax strategy.
Replies: 19
Views: 2454

Re: Saltatory decumulation as a tax strategy.

How did you come up with $72K? The SS tax hump is a hump. After the hump the marginal tax bracket decreases. 52.4k of ordinary income (on top of SS) will take us through the 28% hump. The next 20.4k of ordinary income is 15% bracket. Above that and we are in 25% bracket. Thus, 72.8k fills out the 1...
by vtMaps
Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"
Replies: 54
Views: 6256

Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Several folks have mentioned their use of a safe deposit box as a way to safeguard information for a surviving spouse. Be aware that in many/most/all? states, a safe deposit box is sealed after the death of an owner and is not accessible to a surviving co-owner. If you want to leave something for yo...
by vtMaps
Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the advantage of deferring taxes vs paying them up front?
Replies: 57
Views: 5457

Re: What is the advantage of deferring taxes vs paying them up front?

Thanks for the explanation. I would be curious to see a separate thread on how to deal with your situation now. Would it make sense to withdraw more than your RMD from the deferred accounts, or do Roth conversions? Yes! I wrote about it here: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=220...
by vtMaps
Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the advantage of deferring taxes vs paying them up front?
Replies: 57
Views: 5457

Re: What is the advantage of deferring taxes vs paying them up front?

We will be facing much higher brackets (up to 46%) when we begin social security with its tax hump. Can you explain that given that the highest tax bracket is 39.6%? Here's two examples: for Married filing jointly, both over 65, standard deduction and exemptions: SS income of $51k and other income ...
by vtMaps
Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the advantage of deferring taxes vs paying them up front?
Replies: 57
Views: 5457

Re: What is the advantage of deferring taxes vs paying them up front?

I did understand both that tax rates are likely to be lower at retirement and that... That is very often not the case. We put virtually all of our investments in tax-deferred retirement accounts. During our accumulating years we were in a 15%-25% marginal brackets. Now we are in a much higher margi...
by vtMaps
Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security Question
Replies: 16
Views: 1767

Re: Another Social Security Question

Her own benefit is very small but either way it looks like she should draw on her own record at 62 and wait till 67 to draw survivors When I draw mine at 66.5 she could draw spousal benefit at that time. I am 3 years older than her. Whew...a lot to take in, probably not as complicated as it seems t...
by vtMaps
Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security Question
Replies: 16
Views: 1767

Re: Another Social Security Question

I would have thought her starting at 62 would have reduced her survivors benefit. Generally, her survivor's benefit is your benefit. The longer you wait to defer SS, the larger your benefit and the larger will be her survivor's benefit. If you were to die after FRA, but before you had begun to rece...
by vtMaps
Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads: you should be buying 10-year old cars
Replies: 173
Views: 15006

Re: Bogleheads: you should be buying 10-year old cars

Recently we have been trading in our cars in 2-3 years with about 25k-35k miles. I think it is the cheapest way to own a car for us. We live on a dirt road in Vermont. It is not an easy life for the car. We drive AWD or 4WD vehicles and the maintenance on them is expensive after the warranty. Any ca...