Search found 457 matches

by smitcat
Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Magic of Savings Rate
Replies: 74
Views: 6835

Re: The Magic of Savings Rate

Savings rates much above 60% are just about impossible. At low levels the basic costs of living sets an upper limit. At high income, you tend to get done in by taxes. its tough to make say 1 million dollars and not pay 350k+ in taxes. To get much higher you tend to need savings that don't' count as...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions and taxes
Replies: 23
Views: 1440

Re: Roth Conversions and taxes

Wizard - Have you tried the RPM spreadsheet/calculator that was developed by a member on this board? It lays all of that out for you as well as dozens of other outputs and also offers the ability to set a base case and make comparisons quickly yielding not only the results of the comparison but hav...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Magic of Savings Rate
Replies: 74
Views: 6835

Re: The Magic of Savings Rate

Savings rates much above 60% are just about impossible. At low levels the basic costs of living sets an upper limit. At high income, you tend to get done in by taxes. its tough to make say 1 million dollars and not pay 350k+ in taxes. To get much higher you tend to need savings that don't' count as...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions and taxes
Replies: 23
Views: 1440

Re: Roth Conversions and taxes

The OP is a good candidate for creating a home grown spreadsheet projecting annual AGI or Taxable Income for each year from now to age 70. Then do Roth conversions each year to level your AGI to a degree, perhaps allowing 3% to 5% growth in AGI each year. Goal is to keep the age 70 jump in AGI mode...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What inflation rate do you use for your planning?
Replies: 105
Views: 8311

Re: What inflation rate do you use for your planning?

I'm digging this thread up because I was just thinking about this very issue. I had always planned with 3% inflation and a 5% long-term real return given fairly aggressive portfolio holdings. I really liked all the analysis above. It helped put some perspective on things. The historical rate of inf...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Magic of Savings Rate
Replies: 74
Views: 6835

Re: The Magic of Savings Rate

Savings rates much above 60% are just about impossible. At low levels the basic costs of living sets an upper limit. At high income, you tend to get done in by taxes. its tough to make say 1 million dollars and not pay 350k+ in taxes. To get much higher you tend to need savings that don't' count as...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions and taxes
Replies: 23
Views: 1440

Re: Roth Conversions and taxes

We have a similarly complicated situation with late SS and the choices with Roth conversions. I have found that there is no substitute for modeling what the scenarios might yield in after tax spending money both when MFJ and then when their is one spouse left. In order to do that modeling reasonably...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco vs sams club vs neither.
Replies: 77
Views: 4045

Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

We use Costco both for home and with the business - food, cars, travel, and many other stuff that easily pays the fee within a week. Mostly visit about once every 2 weeks. Lines are not a problem if you have a little flexibility on when you visit.
by smitcat
Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convertible in Florida or not...
Replies: 36
Views: 2036

Re: Convertible in Florida or not...

IMO - rent the convertible in perfect weather and buy the hardtop you really want for a full time car. You end up with the convertible top up all the time except for maybe 10-12 days a year in my experience. Whatever you do - have fun In Florida? Here in Texas, I drove top down 90% of the time when...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's talk about your FI # and family income [Financial Independence]
Replies: 157
Views: 13152

Re: Let's talk about your FI # and family income [Financial Independence]

I am impressed by the house incomes ($200K ~ $400K) posted here. Where are the average Joes? We were at the 'average joes' range for just so many years I cannot remember. Just in the recent past has that changed - and that is just one more reason why family income ratio to FI number has little valu...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which 401k plan is better? This is for a small dental office
Replies: 12
Views: 820

Re: Which 401k plan is better? This is for a small dental office

Thank you all for the responses! I will most definitely look into them, especially Employee Fiduciary Have any of you looked into America's Best 401k? We ran the numbers and their fees are low but the staff costs are much higher than the plans above (24k as opposed to 16 and 19k for the ones above....
by smitcat
Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's talk about your FI # and family income [Financial Independence]
Replies: 157
Views: 13152

Re: Let's talk about your FI # and family income [Financial Independence]

IMHO - its does not matter what your age is , if you have saved a sufficiently large amount of money for FI/retirement you are already in a minority.
by smitcat
Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convertible in Florida or not...
Replies: 36
Views: 2036

Re: Convertible in Florida or not...

IMO - rent the convertible in perfect weather and buy the hardtop you really want for a full time car.
You end up with the convertible top up all the time except for maybe 10-12 days a year in my experience.

Whatever you do - have fun
by smitcat
Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's talk about your FI # and family income [Financial Independence]
Replies: 157
Views: 13152

Re: Let's talk about your FI # and family income

At age 67/70, own, LTCi. rental. Discretionary. Early SS. Medicare F. We can do OK on $40k. We can well on 70k. We can do very well on $100k. Estimate ~40% of Income is Inflation protected. Estimate 5.5% withdrawal rate will still never deplete retirement funds. Liquidation value Sept 2017, <$1,200...
by smitcat
Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's talk about your FI # and family income [Financial Independence]
Replies: 157
Views: 13152

Re: Let's talk about your FI # and family income

Shouldn't age be a big consideration as well ? $2MM sounds like a reasonable FI#, but it is much better to have $2 MM at age 65 than 45, if somebody wants to stop working at those ages. Quitting work at 45 would mean a much lower SWR , especially if you have teenage kids ready to go to college. Of ...
by smitcat
Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home
Replies: 67
Views: 3840

Re: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home

Might neighbors possibly share some of the costs of a generator? The neighbot could, possibly, tap into the generator power for some small, but very basic, power needs in an emergency? Although we have shared some power in the past for the most part it is impractical , mostly difficult and possibly...
by smitcat
Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home
Replies: 67
Views: 3840

Re: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home

Storing gasoline in quantities needed (or potentially needed) is also a safety issue. In addition, how would you know how long the generator would be needed? We have stored enough fuel for 8-10 days as a worst case scenario and it has worked out well these past 30 years. Anything that appears to ca...
by smitcat
Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home
Replies: 67
Views: 3840

Re: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home

... In a long outage, gasoline is probably more available (by getting it out of your car's tank, for example). I investigated the option to use a vehicle as a gasoline tanker. The short answer: it's harder to do than first thought. --An anti-siphon/rollover valve in the filler neck prevent easily p...
by smitcat
Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mother-In-Law dying, Wife wants to buy a Porsche
Replies: 51
Views: 4872

Re: Mother-In-Law dying, Wife wants to buy a Porsche

Just like it says...My MIL was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma back in May. For those of you who don't know, this is basically a death sentence. She is 79 and was in decent health. We thought because they caught it before any major symptoms, she might get 18 months. She lived alone until this diagnos...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's talk about your FI # and family income [Financial Independence]
Replies: 157
Views: 13152

Re: Let's talk about your FI # and family income

I have found that FI numbers have very little to do with income and everything to do about expenses. Considering or comparing your FI goals to current income is wasteful at best and misleading at the worst. Seems to be the most popular response at bogleheads. OP: Hypothetical question POSTER 2: Tha...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's talk about your FI # and family income [Financial Independence]
Replies: 157
Views: 13152

Re: Let's talk about your FI # and family income

I have found that FI numbers have very little to do with income and everything to do about expenses.
Considering or comparing your FI goals to current income is wasteful at best and misleading at the worst.
by smitcat
Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home
Replies: 67
Views: 3840

Re: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home

Interesting thread. Listening to our 27KW generator running outside the house as read this thread, it has been running now for over 5 days since (and during) Hurricane Irma, powering house including two a/c compressors. And not that noisy, far less than portable generators. Problem here in south Fl...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home
Replies: 67
Views: 3840

Re: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home

Most folks cannot do well with diesels but since you have the knack perhaps you can say why you produce your own power since its is cheaper to pull it off the grid? FWIW - spark plugs are quite easy - fresh gasoline is often plentiful for many of us and carbs never get dirty when they are run dry. ...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two household cars with not so great fuel efficiency; make a change?
Replies: 13
Views: 868

Re: Two household cars with not so great fuel efficiency; make a change?

You are not driving higher miles each week. You have no specific reason to change vehicles (more pass, towing, etc). The vehicles you have do have decent mileage capability for what they are.
Why even consider a change?
by smitcat
Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?
Replies: 44
Views: 4414

Re: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?

I got tripped up on something by not thoroughly reading the i-ORP documentation. When looking through the "Federal Tax Bracket Report," I noticed that some lower brackets had zeros while higher brackets had entries, and wondered about entries in the 99-Max column. Reading through the documentation,...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirees-anyone miscalculate how much was needed?
Replies: 71
Views: 8616

Re: Retirees-anyone miscalculate how much was needed?

...The sooner you retire, the healthier you start living and the farther your date of death moves. Is there data that supports the proposition that early retirees live longer? I have heard this type of thing stated but I have also heard that a lot of early retirees soon die ... and everything I've ...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirees-anyone miscalculate how much was needed?
Replies: 71
Views: 8616

Re: Retirees-anyone miscalculate how much was needed?

"I have seen articles that sitting is killing people. Most modern jobs are sitting. Daily commute is sitting. I have seen articles that exposure to blue light of electronic devices interrupts people's sleep. Lack of sleep is killing people. I have seen articles that a large percentage of employees a...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Full-Time Business Owners Planning & Financial Advice
Replies: 8
Views: 787

Re: Full-Time Business Owners Planning & Financial Advice

You don't say where you are but we got very good inputs and took a couple of classes through the small business development center (SBDC) here in NY. The help was down to earth , local and valuable for the purposes we needed and they actually meet with you individually and in groups if you like for ...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What money to store outside for disaster?
Replies: 57
Views: 4174

Re: What money to store outside for disaster?

It doesn't. I said that much which infers the same amount of money but in a different form, i.e. paper. If I was going to reduce myself to keeping coins for emergencies, it would only make sense to keep those made from solid metals worth their value, i.e. gold. Keeping a coin made of copper, zinc, ...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?
Replies: 44
Views: 4414

Re: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?

I glanced again at my I-orp results from multiple scenarios I ran a few days ago. If I read that right, the tax amount I will be paying is in the ridiculous category. My husband and I didn't pay that much tax when we were working, not the previous 5 years anyway. Something is odd with the results. ...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?
Replies: 44
Views: 4414

Re: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?

I glanced again at my I-orp results from multiple scenarios I ran a few days ago. If I read that right, the tax amount I will be paying is in the ridiculous category. My husband and I didn't pay that much tax when we were working, not the previous 5 years anyway. Something is odd with the results. ...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home
Replies: 67
Views: 3840

Re: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home

The gas grid relies on electric pumps to maintain pressure and integrity - once optimum pressure was lost the gas lines had ice crystallization in many places and it took weeks to get them back online. Here is one article that speaks about these situations and weakness's..... https://www.forbes.com...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home
Replies: 67
Views: 3840

Re: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home

Maintaining a diesel is a lot simpler then a petrol based gen. No spark plug to change Less frequent oil changes No carb to clean or have fuel go bad in the bowl Parts would all depend on the type of gen you had, one with a yanmar block would be very simple. Tons of tractors with the same motor! Ye...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home
Replies: 67
Views: 3840

Re: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home

I have had a number of diesel gensets - be careful what you wish for. As in?? I'm actually running a 20KW as we speak, easy peasy! Required battery power to start the genset, noise levels, exhaust heat, availability of parts, and the ability for most folks to easily fix simple problems with the gen...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electric car in evacuation situation
Replies: 61
Views: 3857

Re: Electric car in evacuation situation

After watching a lot of CNN this weekend for Hurricane Irma and mass evacuation in FL, I start to wonder if electric cars (I.e. The new Nissan Leaf 2018) would be a better choice to get stuck in stop and go traffic for hours in this kind of situation/traffic pattern (if you only have 1 full tank of...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home
Replies: 67
Views: 3840

Re: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home

keaton wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:02 pm
Personally, I am on the cheaper side and would only buy and run a diesel generator. Higher output, much longer lasting, fuel stores easily, and a lot more efficient then any other fuel source.
I have had a number of diesel gensets - be careful what you wish for.
by smitcat
Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home
Replies: 67
Views: 3840

Re: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home

It seems like a key issue here is whether natural gas would keep flowing in an emergency. I have been in the South for most of my life with lots of hurricanes and I have never heard of natural gas pipes being curtailed. That is a new one on me. I wonder what they had in Sandy that made that happen....
by smitcat
Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home
Replies: 67
Views: 3840

Re: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home

What happens with natural gas generators when they're under a foot or three of snow? Do they care? Do they have vents that need to be cleaned off? The descriptions of the noise sound like they are quite loud. Are we talking like a reel mower or like the noise from one of those driving lawn mowers? ...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding best mortgage / home refi rates
Replies: 10
Views: 651

Re: Finding best mortgage / home refi rates

You do not say where you are but we have found that our current credit union offers very competitive rates and since we are already a customer the ability to move faster is built in. With that said rules and offerings for owner occupied homes are very easy compared to a home that will be rented. In ...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home
Replies: 67
Views: 3840

Re: Large portable generator vs. permanent natural gas generator for home

We lost power during Sandy for 14 days and by day number 2 the natural gas lines were if no use in our area. We have always used a portable inverter genset so it will use less fuel and although its fitted for tri fuel we have only used it with gasoline. Although portable it can easily handle the oil...
by smitcat
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any small business owners us Employee Fiduciary for your 401k?
Replies: 4
Views: 238

Re: Any small business owners us Employee Fiduciary for your 401k?

The practice I'm joining has a 401k run by a capital management firm with American Funds as the only option. I'm trying to learn more about cheaper retirement plans (ie. cheaper investment options --> index funds, and cheaper admin costs) to present to my future partner. Is it difficult to convert ...
by smitcat
Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking about accepting new job that pays a bit less
Replies: 27
Views: 2101

Re: Thinking about accepting new job that pays a bit less

My calculations are dramatically different than yours. If I had $3 million at retirement, my calculations show that I could spend $266,000 a year from that balance, and have it glide path to zero dollars at the end of a 30 year period. I think a 3% SWR is way too conservative, it would result in me...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?
Replies: 275
Views: 22676

Re: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?

Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it? - A financial advisor was our largest purchase mistake.
by smitcat
Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?
Replies: 44
Views: 4414

Re: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?

While I love ORP and have been using it for years .... there is a fundamental problem with the withdrawal logic. ORP uses the Common Rule (CR) for withdrawals which involves withdraw of taxable savings before tax-deferred savings, but this strategy can artificially inflate required minimum distribu...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good Article on Retirement Investing and Withdrawals
Replies: 7
Views: 1424

Re: Good Article on Retirement Investing and Withdrawals

] The article is OK, but look what that video claims. It states that if you want a good retirement that will last 25 years, you will need to have saved at least 8 times your ending salary. Eight times? That's a 12.5% initial withdrawal rate. Can it last 25 years? Paul The withdrawal rate is calcula...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?
Replies: 141
Views: 12380

Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Interesting question: If you decide to leave, what would you do with your valuable items (house, car, appliances, family pictures, personal effects, etc)? FWIW, I have not been evacuating during any storms/hurricane in Texas. But I know friends and neighbors had to deal with many issues when they l...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?
Replies: 44
Views: 4414

Re: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?

Where do you get a calculator that can simulate the TE model approach? I've never seen a "canned" calculator that utilizes a TE withdrawal strategy. I've created a spreadsheet that works for me. The TE approach basically involves taking simultaneous withdrawals from taxable, tax-deferred, and possi...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has Firecalc or I-ORP altered your retirement plans?
Replies: 17
Views: 1913

Re: Has Firecalc or I-ORP altered your retirement plans?

How I use I-ORP, and who shouldn't Edit Report this post Quote Post by LeeMKE » Thu May 11, 2017 1:47 am I fit the parameters to use I-ORP, and it has been a big help: 1) I am principally invested in tax deferred accounts (IRA and 401K) and had done some IRA to ROTH conversions, but wanted to know ...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has Firecalc or I-ORP altered your retirement plans?
Replies: 17
Views: 1913

Re: Has Firecalc or I-ORP altered your retirement plans?

I have run the IORP below max spending and the results did not seem at all nonsensical. I have checked a number of runs with specific tax software for income tax purposes and it was very close in the estimation given the same outputs. Likely there is no way a calculator could optimize estate taxes ...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?
Replies: 44
Views: 4414

Re: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?

While I love ORP and have been using it for years .... there is a fundamental problem with the withdrawal logic. ORP uses the Common Rule (CR) for withdrawals which involves withdraw of taxable savings before tax-deferred savings, but this strategy can artificially inflate required minimum distribu...