Search found 783 matches

by smitcat
Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: any sense in purchasing an annuity before retirement?
Replies: 35
Views: 1839

Re: any sense in purchasing an annuity before retirement?

Depends. :mrgreen: :annoyed :oops: [ I have said this already?] I use deferred annuities as a "flooring", substitute pension, a way to establish monthly income history for lenders, a synthetic to option markets (SPX) to Interest rates, to manage taxes for possible inheritance purposes, for shelteri...
by smitcat
Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax planning: Convert Roth or zero tax due?
Replies: 18
Views: 987

Re: Tax planning: Convert Roth or zero tax due?

I am a California resident and I am in the process of projecting my 2017 tax liability using HRBlock tax software. I am restricting this discussion to federal taxes because the state software update will not be available until January 2018, so the state projection is not possible. I retired in May ...
by smitcat
Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)
Replies: 56
Views: 2535

Re: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)

Why do so few mention the (up to) 28% capital gain tax rate with precious metals? Presumably, this is the advantage in coins, so they can be traded and sold at fairground 'coin shows,' craigslist and the like, without reporting? The ethics aside, I'm guessing there's a moderate criminal risk, and h...
by smitcat
Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I open a fitness center for extra money?
Replies: 33
Views: 1696

Re: Should I open a fitness center for extra money?

One of my former high school classmates, who seems pretty darn smart to me, just opened a fitness center in the town this person lives in. They are pretty stoked about the idea. It cost about $5000 to obtain the franchise license, and maybe $20k to $50k in startup costs (initial lease, equipment fo...
by smitcat
Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: any sense in purchasing an annuity before retirement?
Replies: 35
Views: 1839

Re: any sense in purchasing an annuity before retirement?

Are you maximizing SS payments by delaying before considering the need/benefit of the SPIA? Have you looked closely at the relationships of these choices vs the after tax results when you are receiving them? We are planning to delay SS until age 70; no I haven't yet considered the tax implications....
by smitcat
Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: any sense in purchasing an annuity before retirement?
Replies: 35
Views: 1839

Re: any sense in purchasing an annuity before retirement?

Re: inflation adjusted SPIA - I’ll admit that it has been a couple of years since I looked, but at the time, all the SPIA with “inflation adjusted” payouts were just payments that went up by a fixed percentage each year. To me, that’s close to useless. I would consider a “floor” approach, and infla...
by smitcat
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is a Reasonable Retirement Cost of Living?
Replies: 31
Views: 2916

Re: What is a Reasonable Retirement Cost of Living?

here is what I did. Set up an account with Mint and then monitored my actual spending in certain categories over 3/6/9/12 months. Once you hit a year I would then re-evaluate each year and see what increases/decreases. Also with most of these programs you can export to Exel and then create a spread...
by smitcat
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: any sense in purchasing an annuity before retirement?
Replies: 35
Views: 1839

Re: any sense in purchasing an annuity before retirement?

Neither my wife nor I have children thus no desire to leave an estate, nor a pension, so in retirement (~5 years off), a SPIA seems attractive -- at least for some portion of our income requirements. I realize the "I" in SPIA is for 'I'mmediate, but a couple annuity calculators I've found offer the...
by smitcat
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How would you value a business if you considered investing in it
Replies: 26
Views: 1937

Re: How would you value a business if you considered investing in it

In summary we are attempting to help the OP with detail that is impossible to supply with the limited information that has been supplied so far. So far the information has been great, at least I know it's not as easy as looking at a few simple numbers and make a decision, even though I am actually ...
by smitcat
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting rid of junk mail?
Replies: 21
Views: 1219

Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

I often do what F150HD mentions - keep a spare inbox full of junk mail in my home office. When I'm stuck on hold or doing a mindless task, I'll just cross-mail junk mail in those return envelopes (usually stuffed to the gills). Takes no extra time really. As a single gesture it may be meaningless, ...
by smitcat
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting rid of junk mail?
Replies: 21
Views: 1219

Re: Getting rid of junk mail?

I have gotten catalogs from companies that I have bought from and I have zero interest in their catalog since I do all that shopping online. I hate to see the waste of resources as much as anything. I have called the 800 number on the catalog to have my name removed and it works within month or so....
by smitcat
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)
Replies: 56
Views: 2535

Re: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)

I have not seen the shipping or carry costs that you mention - perhaps look up the spreads on Silver Palladium gold at a few places like JMbullion. If you already have safe deposit boxes or other secure storage a dozen 100 oz bars of silver take up very little space - palladium much less than silve...
by smitcat
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is a Reasonable Retirement Cost of Living?
Replies: 31
Views: 2916

Re: What is a Reasonable Retirement Cost of Living?

Problem is no two families retirement costs will be the same and the word 'reasonable' is relative. We tracked our costs for many years and we see what we live on and how much went to or for the 'kids'. So its quite easy to remove those costs, remove the mortgage costs and review the rest of the spr...
by smitcat
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)
Replies: 56
Views: 2535

Re: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)

The behavior of gold as an asset within a wider more traditional portfolio is interesting, and need have nothing at all to do with journeys in fantasy books or doomsday scenarios generally. It also wouldn't be the first asset used in portfolios that "just sits there", particularly when considered i...
by smitcat
Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)
Replies: 56
Views: 2535

Re: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)

I only buy various bars of silver or palladium at price points.
I do not understand gold as it has much less of an industrial value.

That in no way means that gold is not valuable just that I never really looked into gold in detail.
by smitcat
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How easy is it to minimize tax liability yourself without a CPA/accountant?
Replies: 26
Views: 2420

Re: How easy is it to minimize tax liability yourself without a CPA/accountant?

What's more, if you do your own taxes, you will soon learn yourself what is taxable and what isn't. Very important point. Even if you have the CPA file the "official" version. Buy a tax program, enter the data, and watch the numbers change. It is quite an education. And fun, if you at into that. Ye...
by smitcat
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ameriprise :(
Replies: 27
Views: 2110

Re: Ameriprise :(

Please choose where you want to place your investments (vanguard, Schwab, etc ) and carefully work with them to move your accounts. In some cases it will be very important how this is completed - like moving some of them over in 'like kind' before you change your investment choices. If you do not mo...
by smitcat
Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?
Replies: 177
Views: 4371

Re: Thoughts on using safe-ish investments to buy S&P 500 on margin in December?

Leverage is not evil. What you did is over lever. Assuming I had the discipline to get out end of day regardless of what happened (which I did), this wasn't really over-levering. I get that many think I would have just done this gamble the next day, and the next, and the next . . . and that would h...
by smitcat
Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ~100k sole proprietor income. Better to take business deductions or contribute more to solo 401k?
Replies: 18
Views: 1016

Re: ~100k sole proprietor income. Better to take business deductions or contribute more to solo 401k?

Business deductions. Every time. Remember that with a tax-deferred account you're just deferring taxes (yes, you get tax-protected growth and potentially an arbitrage at the end) but with a business expense, that money is never taxed. The only real question comes in when you're paying as an S Corp ...
by smitcat
Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sinking fund for dream cars
Replies: 23
Views: 1536

Re: Sinking fund for dream cars

In 2034, I will retire at 54. My wife will probably join me the same year at 52. We are currently working like crazy so we will be totally fine. I drive a 2003 Honda Pilot. I will drive it until the wheels fall off. I may get a 2015 Pilot in 4-5 years and drive that until retirement. My wife curren...
by smitcat
Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ~100k sole proprietor income. Better to take business deductions or contribute more to solo 401k?
Replies: 18
Views: 1016

Re: ~100k sole proprietor income. Better to take business deductions or contribute more to solo 401k?

Business deductions. With $100k income and let's guess $15k in business deductions, you save taxes on that $15k forever. If you are single, that's some combination of 25% and 28% plus the social security tax. That is saved forever, you never have to pay taxes on that amount of money. If, instead, y...
by smitcat
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any of you trade just a little as a hobby?
Replies: 51
Views: 4301

Re: Any of you trade just a little as a hobby?

My wife likes to trade so part of our investment plan sets aside a fixed amount with which she trades. This is separate from the bulk of our investments where we do not trade individual stocks. Began this about 10 years back now and she now has a lot more to trade with in that account. We agreed in ...
by smitcat
Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ~100k sole proprietor income. Better to take business deductions or contribute more to solo 401k?
Replies: 18
Views: 1016

Re: ~100k sole proprietor income. Better to take business deductions or contribute more to solo 401k?

When you have true legitimate business expenses it is always better to take them or plan to take them in following years based upon your current business plan. After true business expenses , 401K and your personal expenses (costs) if you have extra left over you can look at after tax savings options...
by smitcat
Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are 401k withdrawals taxed when you retire?
Replies: 12
Views: 1578

Re: How are 401k withdrawals taxed when you retire?

This is a wiki on making this choice. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Traditional_versus_Roth What would my 401k withdrawals be taxed at when I withdraw them? Under the current tax laws an over 65 couple can have almost $100K in taxable income and still be in the 15% federal tax bracket. Of course ...
by smitcat
Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are 401k withdrawals taxed when you retire?
Replies: 12
Views: 1578

Re: How are 401k withdrawals taxed when you retire?

Whatever you take out of your 401k will be taxed at your ordinary tax rate. Your ordinary tax rate is likely to be less in retirement than while working... First sentence is basically correct, but unlike employment income, the 7.65% for FICA is not deducted. So your net income is higher. Second sen...
by smitcat
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What cause BH fear about running out of saving though they have big size of asset?
Replies: 27
Views: 1649

Re: What cause BH fear about running out of saving though they have big size of asset?

What cause BH fear about running out of saving though they have big size of asset? I see many BH have multi millions but still worry about money. What about for the people without savings at all? Haven't seen so many of them crying for money. When you have a larger portfolio and move through a time...
by smitcat
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How easy is it to minimize tax liability yourself without a CPA/accountant?
Replies: 26
Views: 2420

Re: How easy is it to minimize tax liability yourself without a CPA/accountant?

How easy is it to minimize tax liability yourself without a CPA/accountant? I am talking about for a small business owner (sole proprietor, with no employees) e.g. for a LCSW or 1-person family medicine physician practice. Do you need a CPA/accountant to help you with minimizing tax liability or is...
by smitcat
Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying index funds is just as speculative as buying Bitcoin
Replies: 64
Views: 3881

Re: Buying index funds is just as speculative as buying Bitcoin

One cut and paste from the link above... "As bitcoin grows, the math problems computers must solve to make more bitcoin get more and more difficult," which means more processing power is needed, Holthaus wrote. And he made a startling forecast: Without a significant change in how transactions are pr...
by smitcat
Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying index funds is just as speculative as buying Bitcoin
Replies: 64
Views: 3881

Re: Buying index funds is just as speculative as buying Bitcoin

Which is it, a store of value or an investment? A currency, or an investment? I can assure you index investors are very clear that their shares are not in any sense currency or a store of value. It's both. Bitcoin is a currency. Bitcoin is also a technology. With Bitcoin, I can program my money. Wi...
by smitcat
Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement Roth Conversion vs Healthcare Subsidies
Replies: 15
Views: 1146

Re: Early Retirement Roth Conversion vs Healthcare Subsidies

Thanks everyone. Very sage advice. It is comforting to know that many others are also trying to balance these competing opportunities. I do agree with the very sound advice that likely the landscape will change significantly in the next 6 years so you really have to wait and see how the world chang...
by smitcat
Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Security Camera: Post a Warning Sign or Not?
Replies: 20
Views: 2459

Re: Home Security Camera: Post a Warning Sign or Not?

Several houses ago we owned a large dog and house was still broken into. Police said we were fortunate they did not kill the dog as they often do that if they want to get in. We installed a security system to protect the dog and the house -- worked well. Police suggested posting signs, but not adve...
by smitcat
Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Security Camera: Post a Warning Sign or Not?
Replies: 20
Views: 2459

Re: Home Security Camera: Post a Warning Sign or Not?

If you can get a chance to speak with folks that deal with crime as a job and see this stuff on a regular basis speaking to them would be a big benefit. Here are a few things we learned from the detectives that came when there was a break in at one of our centers.... - Signs on cameras and tip offs ...
by smitcat
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Security Camera: Post a Warning Sign or Not?
Replies: 20
Views: 2459

Re: Home Security Camera: Post a Warning Sign or Not?

My neighbor and I recently put up self-installed security cameras outside our homes. I posted a few "Video Surveillance/No Trespassing" signs, while my neighbor did not. In my mind, the signs might serve a deterrent function (bad guys see sign, so pick another house.) Obviously, my neighbor has ano...
by smitcat
Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Security Camera: Post a Warning Sign or Not?
Replies: 20
Views: 2459

Re: Home Security Camera: Post a Warning Sign or Not?

My neighbor and I recently put up self-installed security cameras outside our homes. I posted a few "Video Surveillance/No Trespassing" signs, while my neighbor did not. In my mind, the signs might serve a deterrent function (bad guys see sign, so pick another house.) Obviously, my neighbor has ano...
by smitcat
Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement Roth Conversion vs Healthcare Subsidies
Replies: 15
Views: 1146

Re: Early Retirement Roth Conversion vs Healthcare Subsidies

6 years in the future? I would monitor the situation for the next 5 years then come back and make a decision. Too many things can change. Agreed - all the variables needed to supply a valuable answer will change. I am 12-18 months from retirement and I don't know what my health care will look like ...
by smitcat
Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement Roth Conversion vs Healthcare Subsidies
Replies: 15
Views: 1146

Re: Early Retirement Roth Conversion vs Healthcare Subsidies

Nate79 wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:32 am
6 years in the future? I would monitor the situation for the next 5 years then come back and make a decision. Too many things can change.
Agreed - all the variables needed to supply a valuable answer will change.
by smitcat
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age your investments start making more money than you?
Replies: 107
Views: 7304

Re: At what age your investments start making more money than you?

At what age did you start paying more in taxes than your yearly spending budget? I don’t know the year, but it’s been a while, more due to taxes going up than spending being low :D My father once told me, very proudly, that he paid more in taxes that year than he had earned two years prior. He alwa...
by smitcat
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?
Replies: 62
Views: 6586

Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Many a very substantial wealth mentor has shared their stories and lessons throughout my life. I've been fortunate to be exposed to so many "wealth mentors" whereas many have not in their daily life. Here's an actionable snippet. (names have been changed to protect the diligent) Conversation betwee...
by smitcat
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age your investments start making more money than you?
Replies: 107
Views: 7304

Re: At what age your investments start making more money than you?

Gross is the wrong bar to set, I am more interested in seeing gains of Xtimes retirement expenses. That plus contributions accelerates the time you need to work before you can voluntarily retire. Example, you need 500k to retire, your portfolio earns gains of $25k and you save $10k. You might only ...
by smitcat
Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Want to sell my Bitcoin, but when?
Replies: 90
Views: 8365

Re: Want to sell my Bitcoin, but when?

coalcracker wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:10 am
OP UPDATE:

I have completely sold my bitcoin and ethereum in several "lots" over the course of this week (via Coinbase). The end value deposited into my checking account was $25,063 on a $7,000 initial investment, for a 258% ROI since July.
Great move - congratulations , don't look back.
by smitcat
Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?
Replies: 62
Views: 6586

Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

I thought you had committed to medical school and were beginning very shortly? Is that not what you had posted a couple of months back?
That is a fantastic goal that obviously requires complete dedication and great focus - why the posts ahout CPA's?
by smitcat
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Spending or Roth Conversions
Replies: 5
Views: 335

Re: Taxable Spending or Roth Conversions

How does someone decide between using a taxable account to support themselves between early retirement years and before they are required to take minimum distributions from retirement accounts? We are married and our dividend and capital gains fill up the 0% bracket (over $70,000 a year). We have e...
by smitcat
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why ORP-I suggests you spending down aft-tax saving 1st?
Replies: 29
Views: 2245

Re: Why ORP-I suggests you spending down aft-tax saving 1st?

There's no conflict here that I see. I would enable Roth IRA Conversions, and consider capping the tax bracket to stay out of highest brackets. Set the AA the same if you want to see recommendations without regard to AA across your accounts, then set AA to actual if you want to see optimized spendi...
by smitcat
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why ORP-I suggests you spending down aft-tax saving 1st?
Replies: 29
Views: 2245

Re: Why ORP-I suggests you spending down aft-tax saving 1st?

I'm confused by this thread. You would set the AA the same in each account if you didn't want I-ORP to spend money from the account that had the lowest returns first, and you just wanted to see what the recommendation would be if the AA is the same. But most people don't have the same AA in each ac...
by smitcat
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing the housing market
Replies: 32
Views: 2077

Re: Timing the housing market

. . . . The only thing you can do is purchase the best house you can buy at the lowest price. If you look at it as a R/E investor might, then you might consider the following:' 1. Can I buy this house at "X" price and not lose money if I sold it next month, even with the 6% R/E sales commission. 2....
by smitcat
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing the housing market
Replies: 32
Views: 2077

Re: Timing the housing market

You need to wait to find out the final form of the tax law change re property tax deduction and mortgage interest deduction. The old rule of thumb of qualifying for a mortgage with 28% or less of your monthly income for PITI was always based on the ability to deduct tax and interest. So, after the ...
by smitcat
Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How would you value a business if you considered investing in it
Replies: 26
Views: 1937

Re: How would you value a business if you considered investing in it

It's helpful to know the norms of the industry in the context of the negotiation but the variation between companies in the same industry can be extreme. Norms are all about pricing and not about valuing. I'd try to get a really good handle on yearly cash flow to the owners and how persistent you t...
by smitcat
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Will I make it? (Another "evaluate my financials" post..)
Replies: 19
Views: 1422

Re: Will I make it? (Another "evaluate my financials" post..)

Perhaps consider buying a smaller two family home and renting out one side - it worked for us.
by smitcat
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friend buys a lot of stuff because he want's to reduce his tax liability. Is this thinking flawed?
Replies: 47
Views: 4098

Re: Friend buys a lot of stuff because he want's to reduce his tax liability. Is this thinking flawed?

OP, With Solo/Individual 401K, he would not have to pay tax on his small business income. So, why is he spending money to save tax? KlangFool I don't think he knows about the solo/individual 401k or maybe thinks that investing is riskier. I know that he only picked individual stocks before and lost...