Search found 1328 matches

by smitcat
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?
Replies: 37
Views: 1727

Re: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?

You do not say where you are or give to much detail but we keep between $3,000 and $4,000 handy for emergencies like you describe.
by smitcat
Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don’t cheat yourself with the 4% rule
Replies: 159
Views: 17781

Re: Don’t cheat yourself with the 4% rule

Rarely mentioned by the ultra-low SWR planners (that also often seem keen on discounting pensions and SS) are how many more years or decades they worked or plan to work versus using more normal assumptions. I also hope they have $5 million or more. 2.5% SWR on say $2 million is $50K a year househol...
by smitcat
Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 17254

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

No one pays sticker at a private college and most cases not even at a public college. Anyone paying 250k to 300k today for a bachelors degree is not too bright and would probably buy that ocean front property I have to sell in AZ. Leaving aside for the moment the issue of how “not too bright” I am,...
by smitcat
Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to figure out whether spouse should try to get 40 SS credit
Replies: 8
Views: 653

Re: Trying to figure out whether spouse should try to get 40 SS credit

Half of my SS payments will be much higher than wife’s own benefits. I’m not planning to get SS until age 70. If my spouse works until she gets at least 40 SS credits, could she decide to get her own early SS at age 62. I will be 63, then wait till I take my SS at age 70 and her getting half of my ...
by smitcat
Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to figure out whether spouse should try to get 40 SS credit
Replies: 8
Views: 653

Re: Trying to figure out whether spouse should try to get 40 SS credit

A lot of folks might also decide to take social security early to diminish a potential tax hit from waiting till age 70. If they have RMDs from IRAs starting around that time those RMDs can make more of the social security subject to taxation. Sure, you get more SSA but more of it may subject to ta...
by smitcat
Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ:Social Security Expected to Dip Into Its Reserves This Year
Replies: 61
Views: 3005

Re: Social Security crossover point has arrived

Raising the total SS taxable earnings, a lot, is one solution I would actually support despite it impacting me with limited value. Yes - absolutely that is one method that will make an impact. Another is to raise the SS tax 0.02% - 0.3% for both the employee and employer. There are many that are im...
by smitcat
Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ:Social Security Expected to Dip Into Its Reserves This Year
Replies: 61
Views: 3005

Re: Social Security crossover point has arrived

Separately but related - the average US lifespan has been going down recently. But I don't believe that life expectancy at retirement age is going down. The life expectancy drop is coming from premature deaths among young and middle-aged adults. Life expectancy at retirement age is trending to leve...
by smitcat
Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ:Social Security Expected to Dip Into Its Reserves This Year
Replies: 61
Views: 3005

Re: Social Security crossover point has arrived

Some solutions that other countries in similar positions have executed: - raise eligability age of SS 1 year - raise SS tax on both sides a few of tenths of 1% - raise the upper limit on SS tax collections - reduce or limited haitus on SS raises The first and last would affect retirement planning a...
by smitcat
Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?
Replies: 41
Views: 2011

Re: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?

Wow. Pretty snarky reply from someone who is clearly a defender of variable annuities. Sorry to have offended your business. I'll just say thanks again for the useful comments in this thread. Horsefly - "Rather than annuitize it, maybe I'll just go about taking 10%-15% out every year until it is go...
by smitcat
Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ:Social Security Expected to Dip Into Its Reserves This Year
Replies: 61
Views: 3005

Re: Social Security crossover point has arrived

Some solutions that other countries in similar positions have executed: - raise eligability age of SS 1 year - raise SS tax on both sides a few of tenths of 1% - raise the upper limit on SS tax collections - reduce or limited haitus on SS raises There are many more of these solutions that when used ...
by smitcat
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 17254

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Sorry, missed that. I am in the same camp as you. Our extended family has gotten into every elite college and graduate program in the country. There is exactly ONE of those family members who did exceptionally well. No surprise he went into finance which of course pays very well. So it is hard to d...
by smitcat
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For retirement at 55 what is a good multiplier?
Replies: 65
Views: 11741

Re: For retirement at 55 what is a good multiplier?

The natural extension to looking at a % that is this conservative is to then go to 2% or maybe 1.5% - I would say the thought process that drives the decisions really has no boundaries. I have targeted 1.4 to 1.6% sans SS in order to error on the conservative side and also for legacy reasons. Ahh -...
by smitcat
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new job bigger take home pay
Replies: 15
Views: 1826

Re: new job bigger take home pay

please read this on the mechanics on how to convert.... https://www.kitces.com/blog/how-to-do-a-backdoor-roth-ira-contribution-while-avoiding-the-ira-aggregation-rule-and-the-step-transaction-doctrine/ I really have no idea what you are saying. I am well aware of (and experienced in) all the variou...
by smitcat
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?
Replies: 41
Views: 2011

Re: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?

...it’s striking how often those who knock VA’s pass over this point in silence—the very same downside applies to 401(k)’s and IRA’s. All equity capital appreciation and dividend income earned within a 401(k) or regular IRA is taxed upon withdrawal at the higher ordinary income rate." Having both w...
by smitcat
Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?
Replies: 41
Views: 2011

Re: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?

As far as taxation is concerned, variable annuities have both drawbacks and advantages. On the one hand, within the VA, interest, income and capital gains can accumulate without current-year taxation for decades—potentially many decades. The rules requiring Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) that...
by smitcat
Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For retirement at 55 what is a good multiplier?
Replies: 65
Views: 11741

Re: For retirement at 55 what is a good multiplier?

Pont one: So think this one statement says a lot. Thanks for the replies. I know the mantra on here is save as much as you are able, but if we tried we could save +55% of our earnings but that just doesn't seem to be a "healthy" thing for a 30 year old family of 4. I don't want to forgo joy now unl...
by smitcat
Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?
Replies: 75
Views: 5626

Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Right about these numbers recent years:
22% spending
33% taxes (payroll)
44% savings
by smitcat
Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New SS claiming calculator ["Open Social Security" - ObliviousInvestor]
Replies: 65
Views: 5017

Re: New SS claiming calculator

(I'm curious, does anybody know if other calculators do make assumptions about legislative changes?) I-ORP assumes reduced benefits when the trust fund is depleted. --vtMaps RPM as well as IORP has options for including or ignoring the potential changes in SS. FWIW - in our case solving for the max...
by smitcat
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?
Replies: 41
Views: 2011

Re: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?

Generally speaking you can do a 1035 exchange within annuity products, read here..... https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/sec1035ex.asp At Vanguard there is a department that specializes in this and we have used their experience successfully. I am sure that there is an equivalent at Fidelity. We ex...
by smitcat
Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new job bigger take home pay
Replies: 15
Views: 1826

Re: new job bigger take home pay

Too high IRA balances? Not sure what that means - we do $24K for each of us each year before the 401K match and then do a backdoor Roth as well for each. (plus the HSA max's) IRS rules require that you pro-rate from all TIRA balances when you back door. So if you had, say, a prior employers 401k yo...
by smitcat
Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new job bigger take home pay
Replies: 15
Views: 1826

Re: new job bigger take home pay

Here is another Bogle wiki on separating the accounts to do a mega backdoor Roth...
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/After-tax_401(k)
by smitcat
Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new job bigger take home pay
Replies: 15
Views: 1826

Re: new job bigger take home pay

Too high IRA balances? Not sure what that means - we do $24K for each of us each year before the 401K match and then do a backdoor Roth as well for each. (plus the HSA max's) IRS rules require that you pro-rate from all TIRA balances when you back door. So if you had, say, a prior employers 401k yo...
by smitcat
Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new job bigger take home pay
Replies: 15
Views: 1826

Re: new job bigger take home pay

I assume you have considered IRAs? oh sorry so they would be just traditional IRAs (not roth) and we have quite a lot in husband's IRA so that RMDs are getting significantly high. We've maxed out every year until this year. I am on the fence on continuing to fund them ... any thoughts or pros and c...
by smitcat
Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new job bigger take home pay
Replies: 15
Views: 1826

Re: new job bigger take home pay

I assume you have considered IRAs? oh sorry so they would be just traditional IRAs (not roth) and we have quite a lot in husband's IRA so that RMDs are getting significantly high. We've maxed out every year until this year. I am on the fence on continuing to fund them ... any thoughts or pros and c...
by smitcat
Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Entreprenuerial opinions/advice
Replies: 7
Views: 794

Re: Entreprenuerial opinions/advice

I do not know what the SBDC is like in other areas of the country - but here in NY they have a very extensive capability with many single consultant offerings as well as many peer group gatherings. Here is a link to the one that was very helpful to our cause….

https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/sbdc/
by smitcat
Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 172
Views: 13913

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

In the days when I did consume alcohol, I could never tell the difference. Have someone do a "blind" test. This is the key answer - if you cannot tell the difference in a blind test there is no reason to pay for it. If you can tell the diffrence you can make the judgement whether it is worth the ex...
by smitcat
Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Entreprenuerial opinions/advice
Replies: 7
Views: 794

Re: Entreprenuerial opinions/advice

I have been working with a person who has a great concept and 3 patents issued (one pending) for anew device. SCORE was of great help here in NY but the SBDA had more extensive assistance and made for more networking. With that said funding any project without reasonable sales is nearly impossible. ...
by smitcat
Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheap options for retirement?
Replies: 17
Views: 2450

Re: Cheap options for retirement?

Do you actually want to retire overseas? Or do you feel as if you are forced to do so? Just curious. Looks like I'll be forced to :( How much Social Security will you get? Great question. I'm not going to kick off any political debates but I do not believe SS will exist at my retirement date. Also,...
by smitcat
Thu May 31, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Harbor Freight fold-able trailer
Replies: 24
Views: 11312

Re: Harbor Freight fold-able trailer

McCharley wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:47 pm
I wouldn't want to tow a HF trailer. With the exception of some of their rolling tool chests, which are surprisingly well made, pretty much everything HF sells is of the lowest possible quality. A trailer is too dangerous for this kind of approach. :shock:
Yes - agreed.
by smitcat
Thu May 31, 2018 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 172
Views: 13913

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

In the days when I did consume alcohol, I could never tell the difference. Have someone do a "blind" test. This is the key answer - if you cannot tell the difference in a blind test there is no reason to pay for it. If you can tell the diffrence you can make the judgement whether it is worth the ex...
by smitcat
Thu May 31, 2018 10:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13223

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

smitcat, But, the PITI is much higher than any of those. And, if it is underwater with a job loss, the hole will be big enough to wipe someone out quickly. <<With a home you can sublet a room, rent it, or sell it,>> In a recession, none of that could help. KlangFool "But, the PITI is much higher th...
by smitcat
Thu May 31, 2018 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we retire in 2018?
Replies: 103
Views: 8331

Re: Can we retire in 2018?

The real point is that there was no reason to go below 80% spending. If his income went up, he could spend more, because he was going to be matched at 80% on his final salary. For the rest of us, it works like this... You're making $100,000, spending $80,000 a year, and you've saved $1.5 million (a...
by smitcat
Thu May 31, 2018 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13223

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

smitcat, You are correct. But, the difference is A) Buying a house tend to be the largest purchase of a person's life. B) It is usually purchased with a long-term loan with a claim to future income. Hence, the average person may recover from their overspending of other items. But, overspending on h...
by smitcat
Thu May 31, 2018 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13223

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

Ben Mathew, I disagreed. 1) Average people tend to overspend more on housing when they buy. 2) Average people have little to no savings. Aka, close to zero emergency fund. 3) So, if you throw in a minor financial emergency that occurs regularly in a person's life, the house owner is more likely to ...
by smitcat
Thu May 31, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiree Portfolio Model
Replies: 406
Views: 153142

Re: Retiree Portfolio Model

Bigfoot - just a general thank you and to say that your RPM tool has been very valuable to us and many others.
by smitcat
Thu May 31, 2018 8:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13223

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

There is a wide-spread public perception that home ownership is an indicator of maturity, that home ownership is the path to comfortable living, and that renting is a sign of irresponsibility, immaturity, or character flaws. That's because most people don't save much, period. In that world, homeown...
by smitcat
Thu May 31, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does my business quality for the 20% pass through deduction?
Replies: 5
Views: 703

Re: Does my business quality for the 20% pass through deduction?

It depends upon the type of business you are in, the amount of revenue you realize , how you accept that revenue, your marriage status, your total family income and many other items. I would hope that your accountant would be knowledgeable about those details ……. certainly no-one else would be able ...
by smitcat
Thu May 31, 2018 7:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 13223

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

There is a wide-spread public perception that home ownership is an indicator of maturity, that home ownership is the path to comfortable living, and that renting is a sign of irresponsibility, immaturity, or character flaws. That's because most people don't save much, period. In that world, homeown...
by smitcat
Thu May 31, 2018 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 17254

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

2. We are an upper middle class family when my kids apply for college (i.e. a few million dollar net worth). Where does upper class start again? Funny thing about Americans, no matter our socioeconomic status, we all think we're middle class. Yes, if you have a couple million dollars, you are in th...
by smitcat
Thu May 31, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 17254

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Our daughter finished college just recently in the NY area and this is a summary.... If the student is really average at everything and parents are 'wealthy' they will get next to nothing. Most students are not average at everything. Grades are the best way to get scholarships. Activities can make a...
by smitcat
Wed May 30, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we retire in 2018?
Replies: 103
Views: 8331

Re: Can we retire in 2018?

As the OP, I was expecting maybe 3 or 4 responses from the boglehead community. I am blown away at the number of responses and helpful advice. Thanks! Regarding our expenses of 50,000. This number is based on our actual expenses for 2017. This number did not include contributions made to the Roth I...
by smitcat
Wed May 30, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we retire in 2018?
Replies: 103
Views: 8331

Re: Can we retire in 2018?

Some good responses. But why would someone retire young and only live off of 50% or less of there income. Why not work longer and secure the 70-80% that will help secure a good retirement income. I doubt many are living off 50% of there income for 20-30 years then retire. It takes many 30 years to ...
by smitcat
Tue May 29, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we retire in 2018?
Replies: 103
Views: 8331

Re: Can we retire in 2018?

What I would be more concern is maybe you may not have enough. What was 50k a year compared to your salaries? I like the idea of retiring with almost the same salary as when working.. Expenses have very little to do with your salary (except expenses better be less!) Current salary should almost nev...
by smitcat
Tue May 29, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheap options for retirement?
Replies: 17
Views: 2450

Re: Cheap options for retirement?

We tried to forecast our savings with my DW few times ... then cut the expenses and forecast again... and again. Long story short, in the optimistic scenario we would have $400k-$450k (10-12x annual expenses). This sum doesn't look great even for LCOL area in the US. Did anyone retire with such sum...
by smitcat
Tue May 29, 2018 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we retire in 2018?
Replies: 103
Views: 8331

Re: Can we retire in 2018?

Personal Data: Age: 56 , wife: 53 Married with two grown children Finances: 401k: 486,000 IRA: 593,000 Roth IRA (me): 104,000 Roth IRA (wife): 53,000 Brokerage: 50,000 HSA: 25,000 Emergency fund: 218,000 Total: 1,529,000 401k and IRAs are mutual funds with roughly 60/40 stock/bond. Brokerage are mu...
by smitcat
Mon May 28, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Savings Rate Grid
Replies: 47
Views: 6625

Re: The Savings Rate Grid

Question on the net worthify calculator - does it assume that your income is gross? I ask because we save 36% gross, but it works out to closer to 85% of our actual living income. We live on about $4000 a month and save about $3400 a month. Yes, the savings rate you enter should be your pre-tax sav...
by smitcat
Sat May 26, 2018 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Living
Replies: 49
Views: 5631

Re: Florida Living

Choosing to live in Florida is a personal decision that everyone or every family has to make for themselves. Some find that they really want to live in a large city in a specific part of the United States, like NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, or Houston. They like the weather, cult...
by smitcat
Sat May 26, 2018 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Living
Replies: 49
Views: 5631

Re: Florida Living

These maps show where tornadoes have never hit the zip code since 1950 as well as where tornadoes have hit …..

https://weather.com/storms/tornado/news ... p-20140826
by smitcat
Sat May 26, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Living
Replies: 49
Views: 5631

Re: Florida Living

Probably the least important of of your criterion, but here are the Whole Foods locations in Florida: https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=whole+foods+locations+in+florida&npsic=0&rflfq=1&rlha=0&rllag=32346565,-100807827,2031380&tbm=lcl&ved=0ahUKEwiJvYWqkqTbAhVCNH0KHRdCBAkQtgMIOw&tb...
by smitcat
Sat May 26, 2018 5:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do so many people quote "You will likely be in a lower tax bracket in retirement"
Replies: 491
Views: 28833

Re: Why do so many people quote "You will likely be in a lower tax bracket in retirement"

Our solution is to run the potential Roth conversions thru the RPM calculator/spreadsheet and see what the affect has in store for your case. You can then vary the future possibilities and see would happen. Unfortunately - there is no calculator which will foretell what are earnings, taxes, or draw...