Search found 4168 matches

by smitcat
Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College for average kids
Replies: 99
Views: 8964

Re: College for average kids

Our oldest is the one who is probably barely college material. He's the one we are looking at steering towards the military or firefighting academy. Don't forget the trades as an option as well. There is a huge shortage of skilled tradespeople and jobs will be plentiful for the long foreseeable fut...
by smitcat
Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Mortgage
Replies: 14
Views: 1784

Re: High Mortgage

Thank you for all of the suggestions! :happy I briefly looked at refinancing, but I was discouraged by the cost, I calculate between 3-6% of the principle (12k to 24k on a 400k loan amount). Am I calculating the cost of refinancing incorrectly? When I say 50% saving, it is all going into index fund...
by smitcat
Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a charity giving Christmas experience
Replies: 44
Views: 2050

Re: Looking for a charity giving Christmas experience

Our daughter works with a few social workers that enable here to give to folks that are in desperate need for food and sleeping gear. It does require more time and work but that is what she wants - its all handled anonymously.
by smitcat
Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: morality, kids, tuition etc
Replies: 68
Views: 4028

Re: morality, kids, tuition etc

I won’t give her an option. Go to 4 year college. My brother-in-law gave his only daughter an option of taking a year off before college. During that time-off, she got pregnant and this week she is giving birth to a boy. She just turn 19 last week. The boy who got her pregnant doesn’t want anything...
by smitcat
Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: morality, kids, tuition etc
Replies: 68
Views: 4028

Re: morality, kids, tuition etc

I won’t give her an option. Go to 4 year college. My brother-in-law gave his only daughter an option of taking a year off before college. During that time-off, she got pregnant and this week she is giving birth to a boy. She just turn 19 last week. The boy who got her pregnant doesn’t want anything...
by smitcat
Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: morality, kids, tuition etc
Replies: 68
Views: 4028

Re: morality, kids, tuition etc

I won’t give her an option. Go to 4 year college. My brother-in-law gave his only daughter an option of taking a year off before college. During that time-off, she got pregnant and this week she is giving birth to a boy. She just turn 19 last week. The boy who got her pregnant doesn’t want anything...
by smitcat
Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: morality, kids, tuition etc
Replies: 68
Views: 4028

Re: morality, kids, tuition etc

Our daughter used both to complete her undergraduate degree- she went to a 4 yr school and also used a few CC to get many of the more basic requirements taken care of. Some of the things that the 4 yr school offered that were valuable in our minds were: - Scholarship earned - Sports - working as adm...
by smitcat
Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Generator Install
Replies: 44
Views: 2797

Re: Garage Generator Install

I appreciate all the inputs and it pretty much confirmed that its not worth the risk. I would like to ad that if you would like to respond to me or anyone else with your input please read and understand the entire posted statement. Several people here stated that I could not combine my hot water he...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Study ranks 4,500 colleges by net present value of 40 year ROI
Replies: 52
Views: 6684

Re: Can you guess what this ranked list of colleges is?

Why does one go to college? To make money or to gain an education? Or both? If both, what are the percentages for each goal? Such clarifying questions hopefully would lead to a school choice consistent with one's goals. Or am I misunderstanding the purposes & goals of this article? Money . 'Educati...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Study ranks 4,500 colleges by net present value of 40 year ROI
Replies: 52
Views: 6684

Re: Can you guess what this ranked list of colleges is?

I have a hard time believing that anybody in this day-and-age who didn't grow up in the socioeconomic elite (or is in a different situation, like a senior or SAHP doing it for fun) honestly pursued a college degree for the "experience" or "education" and not to improve career/income prospects.They ...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free
Replies: 78
Views: 3958

Re: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free

92:0:8 By the time I retire, I expect that we'll be closer to 80:0:20 by doing Roth conversions of an old 401 rollover IRA between now and then. The plan is to continue doing Roth conversions until age 70, at which point I'd hope that we'll be around 65:0:35. We have lots of tax-advantaged space an...
by smitcat
Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free
Replies: 78
Views: 3958

Re: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free

92:0:8 By the time I retire, I expect that we'll be closer to 80:0:20 by doing Roth conversions of an old 401 rollover IRA between now and then. The plan is to continue doing Roth conversions until age 70, at which point I'd hope that we'll be around 65:0:35. We have lots of tax-advantaged space an...
by smitcat
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which SS strategy makes more sense?
Replies: 24
Views: 1865

Re: Which SS strategy makes more sense?

Something to keep in mind is that a dollar in Social Security can be worth a lot more than a dollar in investment income since it may be taxed less. 1) At most 85% of the Social Security would be taxed. Depending on your numbers it is possible that none of it would be taxed. https://www.bogleheads....
by smitcat
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What is YOUR formula in determining whether you're FI? And what did you do after you reach FI?
Replies: 25
Views: 2709

Re: What is YOUR formula in determining whether you're FI? And what did you do after you reach FI?

Formulae was 25X expenses after SS was considered.
We have not changed much since we hit that level
by smitcat
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which SS strategy makes more sense?
Replies: 24
Views: 1865

Re: Which SS strategy makes more sense?

I have ran Open Social Security to determine our best strategy for taking SS. It shows that the optimal strategy for us is to wait until I reach 70 to take my benefits, and that my wife should take hers early at age 62. She is 7 yrs younger than I, so I will be 69 when she starts taking benefits. T...
by smitcat
Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Spend It All vs. Leave $$ for the Kids
Replies: 192
Views: 14896

Re: Spend It All vs. Leave $$ for the Kids

Spend as much as you want, and leave the rest to charity. The problem with inheritances is that they create an unlevel playing field in society (which is unearned by the beneficiaries to the detriment of those that don't have the same). This is why I respect "new money" instead of "old money" peopl...
by smitcat
Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns
Replies: 107
Views: 9848

Re: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns

Sure. That's somewhat uncommon though, because it implies that you're already 100% stocks in the portfolio. (This is what Grabiner was getting at above.) One in 10 participants have taken an extreme position, holding either 100% in equities (6% of participants) or no equities (3% of participants). ...
by smitcat
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Generator Install
Replies: 44
Views: 2797

Re: Garage Generator Install

[Split to new topic -- mod oldcomputerguy] I know this issue has been beat to death but I would like to get an input on my idea. #1 running this generator outside would be a very tough task, so have been crunching ideas to install it in the garage. I have standard 3br house, attached garage with FR...
by smitcat
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns
Replies: 107
Views: 9848

Re: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns

Additionally - I would never model the difference by comparing the early SS with stock returns unless maybe my target AA was 100% stocks. That would certainly be comparing apples to oranges - you could also just move more money to stocks and still delay SS with a superior result.. My actual AA was ...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 10, 2019 7:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns
Replies: 107
Views: 9848

Re: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns

"Breakeven returns" should be irrelevant. Reposting a previous post of mine re: A similar question.... A huge mistake I humbly believe that many people make on this site is equating "maximum wealth" with "happiness" and "better life"...the latter is much more correlated with peace of mind. In that ...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 10, 2019 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns
Replies: 107
Views: 9848

Re: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns

Based on current law and SS Trustees Reports, my strategy has the greatest expected value for me. If there are future changes in the law, I will fight back as best I can. Beats the heck out of spending down my portfolio and counting on the tender mercies of SS for my future. Interesting - based upo...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns
Replies: 107
Views: 9848

Re: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns

Based on current law and SS Trustees Reports, my strategy has the greatest expected value for me. If there are future changes in the law, I will fight back as best I can. Beats the heck out of spending down my portfolio and counting on the tender mercies of SS for my future. Interesting - based upo...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Any positive feedback on being a franchisee?
Replies: 13
Views: 1270

Re: Any positive feedback on being a franchisee?

I think the chart of desired attributes is a great idea. I will add that, having sufficient capital beyond what is required by the franchise is super important. People who have a vested interest in the business needs to be onsite. It takes at least two stores to make decent money, which makes being...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns
Replies: 107
Views: 9848

Re: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns

You may be overestimating the degree of control over your own money. The government can change taxes and rules on retirement account withdrawals, and sales taxes, just as they can change the taxation and benefits of social security receipts. You don't know if you've won the game until you've actual...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you charge your employer for the time that you spend working on your off days?
Replies: 145
Views: 7583

Re: Do you charge your employer for the time that you spend working on your off days?

MathIsMyWayr, Then, what do you called an employee that worked consistently 60 to 70 hours per week without the corresponding compensation? Then, the person was outsourced when the person is burned up and used up? In OP's case, the boss is new and the boss's boss is new. They may not survive long e...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you charge your employer for the time that you spend working on your off days?
Replies: 145
Views: 7583

Re: Do you charge your employer for the time that you spend working on your off days?

It may depend on the nature of a job, but an exempt employee is hired to own a job, not just to work for the job. He should act like an owner while being employed at the employer. Somebody, a former Bell Telephone Labs. president(?), used to tell incoming hires that their career depend not on the 8...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Any positive feedback on being a franchisee?
Replies: 13
Views: 1270

Re: Any positive feedback on being a franchisee?

Hi All, I've seen quite a bit on here about people's experiences of awareness of owning a franchise, however most of it was less than flattering and even straight negative. Is there anyone that has anything positive to say about owning franchises? Maybe a success story? Thanks Yes - our franchises ...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House for Sale--How Much to Tell Potential Buyer
Replies: 35
Views: 2829

Re: House for Sale--How Much to Tell Potential Buyer

"Noise ordinances are meaningless when police can't be bothered with even more serious offenses like assault or worse." If your local police cannot be bothered with assault or worse you would be best to move out ASAP. Agreed. Only personal circumstances keep me here. But I suspect this city isn't t...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to move to FL? (tax implications and more)
Replies: 13
Views: 1458

Re: When to move to FL? (tax implications and more)

Your voter registration and auto registrations from the state you are leaving should be cancelled. Return the plates. Be aware that registering in Florida will require paying a substantial one-time fee in addition to the regular fee for cars previously purchased out-of-state. Some time after the mo...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House for Sale--How Much to Tell Potential Buyer
Replies: 35
Views: 2829

Re: House for Sale--How Much to Tell Potential Buyer

.......my neighborhood has very early trash pick up twice a week at 5am and it is LOUD. ..... Maybe it's different by state? OMG. I can't believe what I am reading here. 5 am? Why are you putting up with this abuse? Do you live in some unincorporated area, i.e., no local regs or ordinances within y...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 10, 2019 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Was I ripped off at the car dealership?
Replies: 73
Views: 6693

Re: Was I ripped off at the car dealership?

Sounds like you got got. Unfortunately this is the correct answer. I am not so sure about that. So many people say to avoid the dealership for car repairs but I have had terrible luck with local independent mechanics who have good reputations. I buy relatively inexpensive new cars (mostly Honda Civ...
by smitcat
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to move to FL? (tax implications and more)
Replies: 13
Views: 1458

Re: When to move to FL? (tax implications and more)

Your voter registration and auto registrations from the state you are leaving should be cancelled. Return the plates. Be aware that registering in Florida will require paying a substantial one-time fee in addition to the regular fee for cars previously purchased out-of-state. Some time after the mo...
by smitcat
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to move to FL? (tax implications and more)
Replies: 13
Views: 1458

Re: When to move to FL? (tax implications and more)

Your voter registration and auto registrations from the state you are leaving should be cancelled. Return the plates. Be aware that registering in Florida will require paying a substantial one-time fee in addition to the regular fee for cars previously purchased out-of-state. Some time after the mo...
by smitcat
Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Spend It All vs. Leave $$ for the Kids
Replies: 192
Views: 14896

Re: Spend It All vs. Leave $$ for the Kids

"Assuming you don't have a child with special needs who obviously will require assistance down the road, what are your thoughts?"

We will do both - spend all that we want to and leave $$ for heirs.
by smitcat
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Will we be OK at 3% WR?
Replies: 312
Views: 21921

Re: Will we be OK at 3% WR?

Perhaps, but the original problem is "What is the maximum constant withdrawal I can make for N years, given an initial portfolio ?". That question is a rather natural and relevant one. You shifting the goalposts again, but I would argue that the question is largely irrelevant because virtually no o...
by smitcat
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best fire monitoring system -ADT?
Replies: 7
Views: 223

Re: Best fire monitoring system -ADT?

So we have had ADT for years. It has gotten expensive for monitoring and the system is likely outdated. I have them coming out to give an estimate for going wireless and monthly monitoring-want to see what I can get cost wise on a new contract. We basically need fire monitoring. We are on a dead en...
by smitcat
Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best fire monitoring system -ADT?
Replies: 7
Views: 223

Re: Best fire monitoring system -ADT?

So we have had ADT for years. It has gotten expensive for monitoring and the system is likely outdated. I have them coming out to give an estimate for going wireless and monthly monitoring-want to see what I can get cost wise on a new contract. We basically need fire monitoring. We are on a dead en...
by smitcat
Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage to prepay or not prepay
Replies: 83
Views: 6481

Re: Mortgage to prepay or not prepay

That makes sense from a dollars standpoint, but if you look at net worth, I would be worth a lot more over the next 2 years if I paid off my mortgage. I transfer $500k from taxable to the mortgage. The $44k in interest I would have paid minus any interest I would have earned on the $571k is a huge ...
by smitcat
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage to prepay or not prepay
Replies: 83
Views: 6481

Re: Mortgage to prepay or not prepay

We’re choosing to prepay our mortgage for a combination of piece of mind (smaller recurring expenses make future unexpected employment changes/large expenses easier to handle) and future career/early retirement flexibility. I understand the piece of mind thought. Could you expand on the future care...
by smitcat
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you charge your employer for the time that you spend working on your off days?
Replies: 145
Views: 7583

Re: Do you charge your employer for the time that you spend working on your off days?

If you are an exempt employee, there is not much for you to do about it. I disagreed. I do not take the call and answer my email on my off day. KlangFool A very good point to review the choices here - none of them are 'right' or 'wrong'. Possibilities of avoiding the call(s) include Positives - no ...
by smitcat
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I Understand Safe Harbor rules correctly?
Replies: 27
Views: 2496

Re: Do I Understand Safe Harbor rules correctly?

As long as we pay 110% of the total tax that we owed last year, is this sufficient to avoid any issue with underpayment penalties? Unfortunately, NO. For high earners you must have 110% of the total tax bill you owed last year withheld from you pay checks. So estimated tax payments do not count. Th...
by smitcat
Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you charge your employer for the time that you spend working on your off days?
Replies: 145
Views: 7583

Re: Do you charge your employer for the time that you spend working on your off days?

I take it he texts you on a device issued by your employer (as opposed to your personal phone). What would happen if you just ignored the text and replied only when you are back in the office? Yes it is an employer-issued device. That's a good question, I have never tried that. Might be worth a try...
by smitcat
Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any way to "forfeit" income to avoid IRMAA cliff
Replies: 53
Views: 5909

Re: Any way to "forfeit" income to avoid IRMAA cliff

I will add that if it becomes inevitable that a person will cross the first IRMAA threshold for a given tax year, the smart thing to do may be to release the brakes and hit the gas on further Roth conversions (or other accelerated income) to take advantage of the remainder of the first IRMAA "brack...
by smitcat
Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to buy Car extended warranty ?
Replies: 55
Views: 2654

Re: When to buy Car extended warranty ?

Do you think that the actuaries making warranty calculations distinguish between a C Class and a C63? I doubt. So i wager the warranty price is the same between those two cars even though one has a very high chance to self destruct or render itself worth $3k one day by happening into some crazy exp...
by smitcat
Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Holding bonds vs 100% equities
Replies: 367
Views: 21799

Re: Holding bonds vs 100% equities

"Let us say you were saving for 10 years and you have 120 months of expenses saved". Assumption was that worked for 10 years and intend to work for 20+ years. Wouldn't in the case of 14 months unemployment and 1 year of emergency fund, you will get the unemployment benefits and you wouldn't need to...
by smitcat
Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns
Replies: 107
Views: 9848

Re: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns

"I have both calculated the tax consequences and even paid them. Essentially I am in a tax bracket where 85% of my SS is taxable as ordinary income." How severely did your claiming early affect Roth conversions and those taxes? Our income is too high to make Roth contributions both with and without...
by smitcat
Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Madza CX-5 2018 vs 2019
Replies: 14
Views: 983

Re: Madza CX-5 2018 vs 2019

Best bang for the buck would include blind spot monitoring, lane change, adaptive cruise. If any of those kept you out of an accident it would pay for itself and then some. When my daughter chose the Grand Touring model she wanted to be safe and I couldn't argue with her spending a couple thousand ...
by smitcat
Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maximize 1 Day at Disney
Replies: 48
Views: 2690

Re: Maximize 1 Day at Disney

My kids have been to both as well. If you go to amusement parks for the rides (particularly roller coasters), Disney (land or world) is not the place. Sorry they are not for you guys - I would avoid them then in that case. Opinions vary. If Rollercoasters are their thing then I'd recommend Busch Ga...
by smitcat
Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns
Replies: 107
Views: 9848

Re: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns

Perhaps you have calculated the additional tax ramifications of a few of the more likely outcomes for your specific situation and it still works well for you ….but that is not the case with other folk's differing parameters. I have both calculated the tax consequences and even paid them. Essentiall...
by smitcat
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns
Replies: 107
Views: 9848

Re: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns

Are you really going to be disappointed that you are still alive, but have a lower SS payment? I think so, yes. If I took reduced SS at 62 and I lived to be 87, I would probably be disappointed at myself for making that decision. My argument is that is you are that lucid and healthy at age 87 - gre...