Search found 348 matches

by Artful Dodger
Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood Floors
Replies: 15
Views: 2094

Re: Hardwood Floors

I prefer unfinished white oak, sanded and finished after install. This gives you a flat even surface with no grooves for dirt to get trapped in. I had put down prefinished hw in den years ago. Rest of house had the finished after install floors. It was a money thing at the time. I have recently tor...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Movies of 2017
Replies: 42
Views: 4166

Re: Best Movies of 2017

My Top 10 for 2017: 1) Three Billboards 2) LadyBird 3) The Florida Project 4) Call Me By Your Name 5) Dunkirk 6) The Shape of Water 7) Get Out 8) The Post 9) The Big Sick 10) Darkest Hour Also worth seeing: Coco Beauty and the Beast Baby Driver Detroit Star Wars Phantom Thread 120 Beats Per Minute ...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Options to lower my tax liability with RMD’s
Replies: 11
Views: 1535

Re: Options to lower my tax liability with RMD’s

... Prior to this year's changes, at the top of the 15% bracket for Married Filing Jointly, the effective rate was 10.8% on all of your income. Boosting my Roth conversion to where I was paying 12-13% overall looked good to me when compared to what I might be paying 15 years from now. Note that the...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 5500-EZ form question for individual 401K
Replies: 4
Views: 230

Re: 5500-EZ form question for individual 401K

I really wonder if anybody ever looks at these reports. I think you're fine. I always list 2E, 2J, and 2R I could file the 5500 EZ but do the 5500-SF, because I can do it online, and get immediate confirmation that the form has been received. It looks more complicated, but if you're a single partici...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the most severe hyperbolic discounting you have ever acted on?
Replies: 30
Views: 2239

Re: What is the most severe hyperbolic discounting you have ever acted on?

Not sure about the extreme / severe description, but I sometimes will buy a book at Barnes and Noble, that I could have ordered from Amazon and saved 15-50%. So, in that instance, I am placing more value on having the book now versus getting it in a week's time, but saving 5 or 10 dollars.
by Artful Dodger
Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance Assessment
Replies: 11
Views: 1139

Re: Personal Finance Assessment

Forgot to add one complication is this year's tax changes. You're likely to have less tax even on the same income. You can google a tax rate comparison for 2017 and 2018 and come up with an estimate. I don't know how the tax law affected rental income. I know in my business, my profit is discounted ...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance Assessment
Replies: 11
Views: 1139

Re: Personal Finance Assessment

You could print off your 1040, and update last year's numbers with what you think will be this year's info. Your day job / W-2 income will be higher. Your rental income will be X. Can you lower W-2 with greater 401k, IRA, HSA deductions? Will rental income change up or down, based upon projected gro...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?
Replies: 88
Views: 5702

Re: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?

So I gather you guys are doing this for the rewards? Do you pay the balance in full each month? Rewards are just part of it, but yes - getting what is essentially a 2-5% discount on the purchase price of everything is an incentive to use credit cards. But even if there were no cash-back or airfare ...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA (or PPO) and a baby
Replies: 16
Views: 1044

Re: HSA (or PPO) and a baby

We are entertaining the thought of an addition to the family. Two insurance plans to choose from. Keep the existing HSA or switch to a PPO for the birth year. Here's the nitty gritty. HSA: overall deductible for the family = $4,000 out of pocket limit for the family = $10,000 Premium = $1,175/month...
by Artful Dodger
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: St Louis Bogleheads
Replies: 70
Views: 10290

Re: St Louis Bogleheads

I might be interested as well. I live on the east side, but have no problem traveling. St. Charles is fine, but Clayton or closer to downtown would be fine as well.
by Artful Dodger
Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dad asked for my help on pension decision that I do not understand
Replies: 43
Views: 3303

Re: Dad asked for my help on pension decision that I do not understand

Good afternoon, Dad is 68 years old, earns approximately $70,000 and looks to me for most money management advice. Little does he know that I look to BH for my money management education and while I'm savvy with how to create a 3 fund portfolio and look for low expense ratio market index funds, I'm...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Input on personal finance decisions
Replies: 8
Views: 1258

Re: Input on personal finance decisions

I don't have anything to add re 1 or 2 that hasn't already been said. RE #3, I would just encourage you to get to know the plan offered by your employer. Most group plans are not junk. If they were, they wouldn't be bought by pretty much every major employer out there. You likely have a more restric...
by Artful Dodger
Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees...what’s your lunch menus?
Replies: 54
Views: 4348

Re: Retirees...what’s your lunch menus?

I'm not retired, but I'm not sure why that matters when you're talking about lunch. If you're looking to limit carbs, sugar... I usually skip breakfast, so lunch at home might be ... Spinach and eggs or mushrooms and eggs Roasted or baked chicken with kale / bean salad Eating out ... Ruby Tuesday sa...
by Artful Dodger
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health insurance gap
Replies: 12
Views: 662

Re: Health insurance gap

Are you counting the 60 days to elect from your notice mid June? Is that where your getting the 45 days?

As delamer noted, you could get a short term plan if you’re confident you don’t have any pre existing conditions which could come into play.
by Artful Dodger
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What I spent in 6 months on medicare
Replies: 146
Views: 10055

Re: What I spent in 6 months on medicare

It depends. My mother in law's income was low and she was in Kaiser MA and paid under $100 per month, so I had thought Medicare was almost free. Now I am learning about IRMAA, will go with Traditional + Supplement and will probably pay approx. $600 per month, more than my retiree plan. But it will ...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What I spent in 6 months on medicare
Replies: 146
Views: 10055

Re: What I spent in 6 months on medicare

I am in my early 70's - and I just reviewed what I spent on Medical costs under Medicare. While this is anecdotal - it is an example of my low costs (so far at least). Medicare Part B - $134/month - 6 months = $804 Medicare (Kaiser) plan premiums $30/month - 6 months = $180 My approximate prescript...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need full coverage health insurrance for just THIS month only (between jobs) -- can't find it
Replies: 20
Views: 1985

Re: Need full coverage insurrance for just THIS month only (between jobs) -- can't find it

Are you sure Cobra not available from your prior job? Might be worth asking. I plan to call the insurance company tomorrow during business hours and ask if my employer's plan is eligible for COBRA. I doubt it though as the company is small. I don't even know why the law allows for some plans to be ...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Care in "Early" Retirement
Replies: 50
Views: 4752

Re: Health Care in "Early" Retirement

I read through the posts, and not sure if it was mentioned (sorry if it was) - If you elect COBRA, you'll have two opportunities to switch to ACA coverage - 1) when COBRA ends after 18 months 2) at open enrollment (effective 1/1) So, if COBRA rates are attractive, and / or if you have met some or al...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walking Coast-to-Coast
Replies: 86
Views: 6567

Re: Walking Coast-to-Coast

Very cool. I used to walk across the city of St. Louis each year, and friends told me I was crazy. Nice way to honor your father as well.
by Artful Dodger
Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance
Replies: 20
Views: 1652

Re: Health Insurance

It really depends on her employer's policy. Some employers require all employees to take the company health plan with no exceptions. Others allow you to refuse their insurance if you can document coverage by another plan (ACA requirement). Some will even pay you a few bucks because they save in pre...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here
Replies: 424
Views: 41504

Re: Pulled the trigger and paid off the house today

Congratulations! :sharebeer

We're about three years away. It's on my list to complete prior to retirement.
by Artful Dodger
Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use T-mobile cell network?
Replies: 32
Views: 1797

Re: Anyone use T-mobile cell network?

We switched to T Mobile a few years ago when we started to do more international travel. We had AT&T but their international roaming charges were ridiculous, and TMobile has been great for travel. They have been fine in our local (St. Louis) area. There are occasional drop offs in some rural areas, ...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance
Replies: 20
Views: 1652

Re: Health Insurance

Daughter started on a new job that offers health insurance. She's already covered as part of my family health insurance. Can she still remain in my policy until she turns 26 or needs to switch to the one offered at her work? PS: Converting my policy to Employee + Spouse from Family is ruled out as ...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated taxes question
Replies: 12
Views: 684

Re: Estimated taxes question

from the 1040-ES instructions: I guess I would make a copy of the "Quarter" you are paying for and then label subsequent ones e.g. 3A, 3B, 3C etc. "TIP: You can make more than four estimated tax payments. To do so, make a copy of one of your unused estimated tax payment vouchers, fill it in, and ma...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Midlife investing crisis? At a crossroads; need book advice.
Replies: 29
Views: 2362

Re: Midlife investing crisis? At a crossroads; need book advice.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street / Burton Malkiel First written 45 years ago. I just read the 11th edition. A classic every investor should read. https://www.amazon.com/Random-Walk-Down-Wall-Street/dp/0393330338 Now that I reread your first post, I note you're looking for alternative investments. So ...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3131
Views: 957186

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Was in Barnes & Noble yesterday just browsing and picked up Factfulness by Hans Rosling. Just started, but very interesting, and I'm enjoying. From the cover - Ten reasons we're wrong about the world - and why things are better than we think. Just finished Promise Me Dad by Joe Biden, a memoir of hi...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC: Social Security buying power has slipped by a third for retirees
Replies: 95
Views: 6976

Re: CNBC: Social Security buying power has slipped by a third for retirees

Here's another take comparing Joe who starts SS at age 62 and Mary who waits until age 70. Since Joe will be receiving less SS than Mary over his lifetime, he has to make up the shortfall by drawing down his invested equivalent. When he has exhausted that source of income, he will be down to only h...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3131
Views: 957186

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I reread this evening Jack Bogles' The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. Giving to a friend that often asks investment advice of me.
by Artful Dodger
Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare HSA to HRA
Replies: 10
Views: 601

Re: Medicare HSA to HRA

I have a coworker whom is getting ready to retire and had her retirement meeting last week. She is 65 and did not register for Medicare because she was still working and using the employer's health insurance. She was informed due to this, her HSA would turn into an HRA and Medicare would back date ...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC: Social Security buying power has slipped by a third for retirees
Replies: 95
Views: 6976

Re: CNBC: Social Security buying power has slipped by a third for retirees

The govt maintains an inflation index CPI-E which is an estimate of the inflation rate for elderly consumers. It was created in 1987 by mandate of a law passed in that year and is considered an experimental index. The govt also maintains CPI-W and CPI-U with CPI-W used to index SS to inflation and ...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 161
Views: 14729

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

It's just a number. While it may be a goal worth noting, it's a bit like driving across the border from Ohio to Indiana...the landscape will not have changed much--financially or otherwise. You really aren't much better off than you were at $990,000. I agree, and I have never driven between Ohio an...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Contributions - Clarifying Questions
Replies: 11
Views: 712

Re: HSA Contributions - Clarifying Questions

Pass-thru entities (sole proprietorship (QJV), partnership or S-Corp) can not provide income tax free employee benefits to owners. An LLC is not a tax entity. A default LLC is treated as a sole proprietor or partnership and an LLC that makes a sub chapter S election is treated as an S-Corp. There i...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Contributions - Clarifying Questions
Replies: 11
Views: 712

Re: HSA Contributions - Clarifying Questions

You always have the ability to make your contribution after receipt of income, then take the HSA deduction on your 1040 form. If you receive some compensation outside of salary, say a distribution of profit, this would get around the payroll tax issue, as you're not having payroll taxes paid or ded...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Contributions - Clarifying Questions
Replies: 11
Views: 712

Re: HSA Contributions - Clarifying Questions

Thank you in advance for your help, I wasn't able to find my answer on my own. Consider an LLC with 3 employees. 2 employees are the married owners (Jim and Jill, both 55+), whereas the 3rd employee is a non-owner employee. The LLC does not offer healthcare as a benefit. The married owners have the...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I don't trust my own estimate of expenses
Replies: 29
Views: 2452

Re: I don't trust my own estimate of expenses

Thanks to everyone for the responses. Very good stuff. We do not have any CC debt, no debt except the mortgage. My main frustration is that we actually spend a ton of money on things like Amazon and at Costco. That can be anything from groceries to clothes to home furnishings to gifts to ...whateve...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I don't trust my own estimate of expenses
Replies: 29
Views: 2452

Re: I don't trust my own estimate of expenses

We use mostly plastic for things like groceries, so it is a relatively simple matter to look at the end-of-year summary reports that I get both from Chase and Citibank. They will break the charges out by category and you can import the file into Excel or another spreadsheet program. This is what I ...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will or Trust?
Replies: 51
Views: 3909

Re: Will or Trust?

My husband and my assets are not currently in a trust, such as the revocable trust that the OP and his wife apparently have. What my husband and I both have are wills. In those wills are provisions to set up a trust for the surviving spouse if one of us predeceases the other. Should my husband and ...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will or Trust?
Replies: 51
Views: 3909

Re: Will or Trust?

We met with our attorney a few weeks ago to update our estate. Our attorney thinks we should continue the trust. She feels it offers more protection to us, my wife and I, than a regular will. If we both pass, the trust will be set up for the girls. I would probably extend the time to for them to ta...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will or Trust?
Replies: 51
Views: 3909

Re: Will or Trust?

People are conflating two different issues: whether to create a revocable trust, and whether to provide for your children outright or in trust. You can put the same dispositive provisions (who gets what, and under what terms) either in a Will or in a revocable trust. Revocable trusts make sense in ...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will or Trust?
Replies: 51
Views: 3909

Re: Will or Trust?

cheese_breath wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:52 pm
Both. The will is to catch anything you forgot to put into the trust.
We do have both, plus POAs.
by Artful Dodger
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will or Trust?
Replies: 51
Views: 3909

Re: Will or Trust?

Under Firechief's suggestion the kids could hire Fidelity, or any other corporate trustee, if they wanted one. They should be able to replace the corporate trustee. You would need your lawyer to carefully construct this so that the trust assets are not deemed to be so under their control that they ...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will or Trust?
Replies: 51
Views: 3909

Will or Trust?

Hi All, I'm looking for advice and/or what other people do with their estate planning. When my parents died in 2001 and 2004, I was power of attorney and executor of the will. I'm one of two brothers. My parents had a simple will. When dad died, all went to mom. When mom died, my brother and I split...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you read books?
Replies: 34
Views: 3087

Re: How do you read books?

Interesting question. I read three or four books at a time. Usually one on Audible, one or two on my Ipad (apple book or Kindle app), and one or two print copies. I listen to Audible from start to finish. All fiction, and most non-fiction, I'll read right through. On some non-fiction, I'll skim for ...
by Artful Dodger
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for BLS data on retiree health costs
Replies: 8
Views: 744

Re: Looking for BLS data on retiree health costs

See page 19: https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/consumer-expenditures/2016/pdf/home.pdf I'm curious whether that includes the cost of Medicare / supplement / Part D / etc. The ~$6000 average for the 65+ seems too low to include the insurance / Medicare cost. The survey does request information on the...
by Artful Dodger
Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for BLS data on retiree health costs
Replies: 8
Views: 744

Re: Looking for BLS data on retiree health costs

See page 19: https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/consumer-expenditures/2016/pdf/home.pdf I'm curious whether that includes the cost of Medicare / supplement / Part D / etc. The ~$6000 average for the 65+ seems too low to include the insurance / Medicare cost. I guess it could work... Medicare B - $156...
by Artful Dodger
Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for BLS data on retiree health costs
Replies: 8
Views: 744

Re: Looking for BLS data on retiree health costs

delamer wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:13 pm
See page 19:

https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/consum ... f/home.pdf
I'm curious whether that includes the cost of Medicare / supplement / Part D / etc.

The ~$6000 average for the 65+ seems too low to include the insurance / Medicare cost.
by Artful Dodger
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which boglehead rule do you break--and are ok with
Replies: 152
Views: 11904

Re: Which boglehead rule do you break--and are ok with

We also don't have life insurance, despite having a one-year-old. It's been on my to-do list, but who has the time? While not a BH rule I think this is one I wouldn't delay and I would make time. I'll second that life insurance should be a priority once children are in the picture. FWIW, I would re...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which boglehead rule do you break--and are ok with
Replies: 152
Views: 11904

Re: Which boglehead rule do you break--and are ok with

* We live in an area with a lot of great restaurants and eat out WAY more than most Bogleheads would approve of. I don't know, when you read the what are you doing now you're retired thread, there are plenty of folks eating out. Maybe you're supposed to suffer in the accumulation phase. I've cut ba...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-alcoholic drinks for wedding
Replies: 79
Views: 3847

Re: Non-alcoholic drinks for wedding

If you're going to serve soda (what in the world is pop?! :) ), I recommend seeing if there are any craft soda makers in your area. Lots of microbreweries also make soda, and it's relatively easy to buy a keg of craft soda--fruit sodas, root beer, etc. You can also rent "slushee" type machines you ...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bottom hit for bond market?
Replies: 7
Views: 1700

Re: Bottom hit for bond market?

With the exception of the last four weeks, all the BND returns for the past year are negative. Down about 2% YTD, down 2% for the last 6 months, and down a little more than 1% for the past 12 months. I believe, as long as the Fed continues to raise rates, BND, and other funds will continue to show s...