Search found 518 matches

by smitcat
Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?
Replies: 5
Views: 374

Re: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?

Strayshot, I already have that plotted out as you suggest. And yes, I will have a very generous pension when I retire - nearly 40 years of service in total. Current tax bracket: 33% + 9.3% - for 2017-2025. Retire Feb 2026, age 60: One month income, 10 months retirement income, fall to 25% Fed and 9...
by smitcat
Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket in Retirement
Replies: 44
Views: 4617

Re: Tax Bracket in Retirement

The tricky thing for me to get my arms around is the social security impact on retirement income. I have read in here for most people it shouldn’t be a big factor. However if you expect the have significant RMD and other income, and have both spouses pulling near the social security max, it seems l...
by smitcat
Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket in Retirement
Replies: 44
Views: 4617

Re: Tax Bracket in Retirement

The tricky thing for me to get my arms around is the social security impact on retirement income. I have read in here for most people it shouldn’t be a big factor. However if you expect the have significant RMD and other income, and have both spouses pulling near the social security max, it seems l...
by smitcat
Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Maximizing a couples benefits
Replies: 35
Views: 2501

Re: Social Security - Maximizing a couples benefits

Thanks to some of you. Priceless 8-) Yes, that comment made me laugh also. I know this isn't what mrgeeze wants to hear, but I'll agree with the others (who are not being thanked) that he should wait as long as possible to claim, to maximize the benefit for the survivor. My husband is 7 years older...
by smitcat
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking we are close to winning the game
Replies: 35
Views: 5231

Re: Thinking we are close to winning the game

I think your doing real well but the largest 'risk' I see other than a market drop and freeze in the support of children. Your item #6 looks at potential high dollar items that might creep into your plans. I believe that 2 children both under college and driving ages represent dozens of ways to affe...
by smitcat
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Maximizing a couples benefits
Replies: 35
Views: 2501

Re: Social Security - Maximizing a couples benefits

Op, I suggest you look into survivors benefits closely before making a decision. This can often be a strong decision criteria for planning. SSAnalyzer by Bedrock has been a really useful tool for me to compare approaches. I would pay careful attention to: - cash flow requirements - your age and exp...
by smitcat
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to make some dollars on a 10 day vacation?
Replies: 30
Views: 1979

Re: Best way to make some dollars on a 10 day vacation?

Hi Bogleheads, I am a full time Mechanical (Thermal) Engineer in NJ close to NYC area. Recently I realized I've accumulated plenty of PTOs (around 10 days) that I need to squander this year (expiring end of year). As I have no plan for a travel or trip somewhere, and I am single having nobody to ac...
by smitcat
Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth as good as you think?
Replies: 24
Views: 2577

Re: Roth as good as you think?

The Wiki does the same calculation (and confirms your result) here: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Traditional_versus_Roth So it really does come down to tax bracket at contribution versus tax bracket at withdrawal. The issue that is sometimes over-looked is that RMDs can easily push retirees into...
by smitcat
Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking we are close to winning the game
Replies: 35
Views: 5231

Re: Thinking we are close to winning the game

AllMostThere, You do not need a spreadsheet. Tell us your gross income and your annual savings. We could make a good guess at your taxes. we can get a fairly accurate estimate of your annual expense. You are focusing too much on the tree and miss the forest. Please note that all forecasts are based...
by smitcat
Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Florida Over, 2017
Replies: 48
Views: 5250

Re: Is Florida Over, 2017

In general what we do know about these weather trends is insignificant as to what might happen. These forecasts are based upon very recent past when we have had the ability to reasonably measure some of our climate and environment. The amount of change over historic times is huge compared to what we...
by smitcat
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Florida Over, 2017
Replies: 48
Views: 5250

Re: Is Florida Over, 2017

No one knows what the market will do. I very much doubt that land in Sarasota will be worthless. That's just foolish talk. But your guess in real estate is as good as anyone else's. JT Agreed 100% - just as if areas where there are quakes, fires, river flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes would be g...
by smitcat
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you driving? And would you buy your current ride again?
Replies: 116
Views: 5353

Re: What are you driving? And would you buy your current ride again?

I do have to say contrats on the Fiat 500! I daily drive a Jeep Wrangler unlimited. It's horrible over any but perfect roads, gets horrible gas mileage, is brazenly unsophisticated. But it plows snow off my driveway, can easily fit a year's worth of stuff for my son to move to college with a traile...
by smitcat
Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuities-when and why?
Replies: 94
Views: 12444

Re: Annuities-when and why?

Then you really need to take your proposed annuity and 'plug it in' to a tax plan to see what you will keep vs what you may get. The fixed payments give you a known amount but at the same time they may limit your ability to control taxes from there forward.
by smitcat
Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Ever Jackhammered a Concrete Patio?
Replies: 27
Views: 1543

Re: Anyone Ever Jackhammered a Concrete Patio?

Yes - many years back I rented an 80# stand up jackhammer to remove a patio that was about 20 X 15 with a 4" thick or more pouring with 10 x 10 mesh in the center. I can tell you that it took over 3 days and I felt like I was almost dead by the end of the hammering and breaking up with a 6' digging ...
by smitcat
Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Buying, Time to grow up.
Replies: 55
Views: 4385

Re: Car Buying, Time to grow up.

FWIW my car buying experience since the age of 25. (married at 24), now 52. 1) 1st car -- dealer "loaner" car with 6K miles - trade-in/financed (age 27) 2) New car off the lot - financed (age 29) 3) replaced #1 with new off the lot - trade-in/financed (age 32) 4) replaced # 2 with cert/pre-owned - ...
by smitcat
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket in Retirement
Replies: 44
Views: 4617

Re: Tax Bracket in Retirement

You could model your future best guess in the IORP calculator or the RPM calculator/spreadsheet which are both free.
Always try and keep in mind that its not what you make each year but what you keep so watching your tax liability is part of the game.
by smitcat
Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security - general question
Replies: 28
Views: 2403

Re: Social Security - general question

If you are good at spreadsheets, you can create one which mimics the AnyPIA program. I looked at the key calculations within the SS website and created a spreadsheet, before I was able to download and successfully run the AnyPIA program. I later used AnyPIA as a check on my spreadsheet and the two ...
by smitcat
Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cash and landlines in disasters
Replies: 21
Views: 2289

Re: cash and landlines in disasters

With no power and fires in the area, why haven't folks evacuated to a place with power and no fires? In a place with power, how long can you go without needing to buy anything --- whether with cash, debit, or credit? During Hurricane Sandy we did not leave long Island for a place with power and no ...
by smitcat
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to buy new tires? - penny or quarter test
Replies: 35
Views: 2163

Re: When to buy new tires? - penny or quarter test

We just replaced all the tires on both of our CRV's before we enter the wet and snowy season here - they were not near the 2/32nd limit and could have lasted until next summer if just the yearly inspection test was done. It becomes pretty clear that they cannot turn and stop the way they did when ne...
by smitcat
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small business opening a 401k match with possible safe harbor or profit sharing
Replies: 4
Views: 285

Re: Small business opening a 401k match with possible safe harbor or profit sharing

We utilize a safe harbor match of 4% for each employee that contributes to the plan - we use employee fiduciary for the plan. Over the past 3 years we have been able to help keep some good employees with the help of the match while at the same time most employees do not participate. Other then the o...
by smitcat
Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting a Business While Working
Replies: 5
Views: 728

Re: Starting a Business While Working

Starting a new business has a pretty high failure rate. Often the failure is related to lack of initial start up funds. Competing with your existing company in the same field is loaded with problems. If you want to get a much better feel for start up plans and costs perhaps visit your local SBA or S...
by smitcat
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payroll shenanigans and their implications
Replies: 48
Views: 3462

Re: Payroll shenanigans and their implications

The raw truth of this whole issue is that (a) if you're employee and having taxes withheld and (b) it ends up those withheld taxes never make it to the government, then as long as you have a series of records showing what's happened, you will eventually be treated as if the taxes had been paid. You...
by smitcat
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payroll shenanigans and their implications
Replies: 48
Views: 3462

Re: Payroll shenanigans and their implications

The raw truth of this whole issue is that (a) if you're employee and having taxes withheld and (b) it ends up those withheld taxes never make it to the government, then as long as you have a series of records showing what's happened, you will eventually be treated as if the taxes had been paid. You...
by smitcat
Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payroll shenanigans and their implications
Replies: 48
Views: 3462

Re: Payroll shenanigans and their implications

My husband had an employer that did that. He would pay cash, "withholding" taxes, SSI, etc. The wages and withholding paid in cash were never reflected on my husband's tax statements. He never got credit for the SS earnings, and he never had a chance to get a refund on the taxes. Run away. It only ...
by smitcat
Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payroll shenanigans and their implications
Replies: 48
Views: 3462

Re: Payroll shenanigans and their implications

My husband had an employer that did that. He would pay cash, "withholding" taxes, SSI, etc. The wages and withholding paid in cash were never reflected on my husband's tax statements. He never got credit for the SS earnings, and he never had a chance to get a refund on the taxes. Run away. It only ...
by smitcat
Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payroll shenanigans and their implications
Replies: 48
Views: 3462

Re: Payroll shenanigans and their implications

I was thinking about this some more because of my similar experience years ago. The problem with your pay is probably only one issue. There are likely others that you don't know about. If they will do something like that openly, imagine what they might be doing secretly. Best to steer clear of it c...
by smitcat
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payroll shenanigans and their implications
Replies: 48
Views: 3462

Re: Payroll shenanigans and their implications

I am very familiar with this situation. - You will get credit for unpaid benefits as long as you were not party to the funds misuse - You will get credit whether or not they collect from your employer - Any worker affected will need to file a report with the local SS office - If these fund changes c...
by smitcat
Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payroll shenanigans and their implications
Replies: 48
Views: 3462

Re: Payroll shenanigans and their implications

If you have paychecks that show withholdings, you can reasonably rely on those and assume that FICA and income tax withholdings show have actually been made. If not, the employer will be responsible, although you may be in for a protracted legal dispute before you are held harmless. Keep your recor...
by smitcat
Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payroll shenanigans and their implications
Replies: 48
Views: 3462

Re: Payroll shenanigans and their implications

"Interesting" if unpleasant situation. (And yes, sounds like a VERY bad prognosis in terms of future employment "stability".) But a question: IF a employer with W2 employees (not referring here to 1099 contractors) fails to withhold taxes and/or SS, who is ultimately responsible for those? Suppose ...
by smitcat
Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash on hand for emergencies
Replies: 41
Views: 2786

Re: Cash on hand for emergencies

We live in Long Island NY and have used our cash on hand a few times between Sandy and a few snowstorms these past 10 years. In all the cases we have used cash there was no option for credit cards as the power, phone lines and cell towers were down for quite a distance and for up to 5 days at a time...
by smitcat
Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?
Replies: 131
Views: 18257

Re: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?

We are not debt free now but our overall net worth is healthy and growing. Debt free is not a metric we consider to gage our progress or opportunities. How you utilize any debt you may have and what your progress is over time is a more valuable matric in our case and I would think that true with oth...
by smitcat
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waxing my car!
Replies: 48
Views: 4197

Re: Waxing my car!

I don't know much about waxing. Any wax recommendations? I don't use wax either and prefer sealants since they last longer. There are a lot of good options if you're interested and some have been mentioned above. I'm currently using Sonax Polymer Net Shield as it's very easy to apply and very long ...
by smitcat
Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pressure washer with telescoping wand and bleach spray
Replies: 10
Views: 747

Re: Pressure washer with telescoping wand and bleach spray

I'm looking to pressure wash my 2 story home without using a ladder that much (especially on the side of the house where it's quite sloped). I'd like to apply a cleaning solution first (bleach plus water?) and then get it with water. Any recommendations for gear and how to best tackle the job? I ha...
by smitcat
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lost my job and looking for advice on next steps
Replies: 43
Views: 5191

Re: Lost my job and looking for advice on next steps

I retired at 61.5. Have been retired for over 10 years now. 1. The mortgage is fine. Why anyone would want to pay off a 3.125% mortgage by selling equities, which have a historic CAGR in the 10% range, is a complete mystery to me. I have a mortgage on my home in retirement, and mortgages on rental ...
by smitcat
Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Caught by speed camera
Replies: 49
Views: 2664

Re: Caught by speed camera

Here's what my "friend" did with the last couple of speed camera incidents in Arizona... Covered his face with his hand, while wearing sunglasses, when going past a speed camera. The camera flashed, but no ticket was ever delivered. Received the "ticket" in the mail. It was very scary sounding and ...
by smitcat
Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What products do you think will outpace inflation?
Replies: 16
Views: 1342

Re: What products do you think will outpace inflation?

"wondering if anybody knows of some products that will likely outpace inflation"

- forever stamps
- Disneyworld tickets
- Many collectibles such as sneakers, toys, bags etc
by smitcat
Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: liability of selling used car
Replies: 14
Views: 1998

Re: liability of selling used car

As is where is covers you for a used vehicle , boat , RV purchase with a private sale - but not of you are a dealer. Are you saying a dealer can't sell a used car without a warranty? That is certainly not the case where I'm from. It's federal law for a dealer to put a buyer's guide on a used car an...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 3 stages of Financial Independence
Replies: 63
Views: 7004

Re: 3 stages of Financial Independence

I am nearing the end of my third OMY and have basically put retirement on hold indefinitely. Along my journey I have begun to realize there are at least 3 distinct phases of financial independence. I was wondering if anyone else agrees with this perspective. The 3 stages I have identified are: 1) S...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What money to store outside for disaster?
Replies: 63
Views: 4879

Re: What money to store outside for disaster?

That was not a joke. I was serious about my comment. I have been in several disaster situations in my life. I know exactly what it is like, so I am prepared to survive without any cash. I am deadly serious when I ask the question: How long could you survive without cash, electricity, potable water,...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What money to store outside for disaster?
Replies: 63
Views: 4879

Re: What money to store outside for disaster?

livesoft wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:41 pm
^Those folks wouldn't need cash if they had bought enough supplies before the hurricane with a debit card.
That is an unusual 'joke' to make if you have ever worked a disaster situation. When you are inside these events you find nothing at all funny about their situation or stories.
by smitcat
Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What money to store outside for disaster?
Replies: 63
Views: 4879

Re: What money to store outside for disaster?

Do you need cash in a disaster? , some current information in this link....

http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/27/news/ec ... -stack-dom
by smitcat
Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have an idea I want to bring to market
Replies: 30
Views: 1714

Re: I have an idea I want to bring to market

Perhaps I don't fully understand your proposal, but it sounds to me like it's a derivative of an existing product. Would that even be able to be patented? Thats what Im saying, basically I want to take the notebook that Rite in Rain has and make them sport specific. I do not pretend to know your pr...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: liability of selling used car
Replies: 14
Views: 1998

Re: liability of selling used car

As is where is covers you for a used vehicle , boat , RV purchase with a private sale - but not of you are a dealer.
The buyer has the right to request an inspection by his or her agent and you can accommodate that or not as you see fit.
by smitcat
Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two year lease vs Buy and hold 10 years. A wash?
Replies: 54
Views: 4164

Re: Two year lease vs Buy and hold 10 years. A wash?

The lease numbers sound really good I would consider the lease if it fits you needs. It will be much cheaper than a purchase if you only hold the car for two years. Also consider the buyout... What is the buyout price at lease end? Perhaps if you really like the car and have taken good care of it th...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda CRV All Wheel Drive VS Front Wheel, Which One?
Replies: 49
Views: 3223

Re: Honda CRV All Wheel Drive VS Front Wheel, Which One?

When we have heavy snow on our inclined driveway and need to get either the FWD Honda CRV or the AWD CRV out to the street I need to pull them out with a real 4WD pickup - really never worth the efforts but neither has real 4WD.
by smitcat
Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda CRV All Wheel Drive VS Front Wheel, Which One?
Replies: 49
Views: 3223

Re: Honda CRV All Wheel Drive VS Front Wheel, Which One?

Called my insurance carrier Liberty Mutual for insurance coverage on AWD vs FWD, they quoted the following for 1 year of coverage, same coverage on both vehicles. I went on line and gave them a vin number for each vehicle. AWD: $790 FWD:$779 So from an insurance point of view not much difference to...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "Should I sell my business" thread
Replies: 26
Views: 2526

Re: Another "Should I sell my business" thread

There are only two reasons that I would hesitate to sell at this point.... 1. You have family that seriously and genuinely wants to take over the business 2. Your retirement costs will exceed you current savings and business sale revenue I have no idea if number one is in play but after careful conv...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda CRV All Wheel Drive VS Front Wheel, Which One?
Replies: 49
Views: 3223

Re: Honda CRV All Wheel Drive VS Front Wheel, Which One?

Called my insurance carrier Liberty Mutual for insurance coverage on AWD vs FWD, they quoted the following for 1 year of coverage, same coverage on both vehicles. I went on line and gave them a vin number for each vehicle. AWD: $790 FWD:$779 So from an insurance point of view not much difference to...
by smitcat
Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convertible in Florida or not...
Replies: 38
Views: 2386

Re: Convertible in Florida or not...

Congratulations - you got both and cannot go wrong.
Good luck with it and have fun