Search found 221 matches

by togb
Mon May 25, 2020 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Has anyone ever used their Emergency Fund?
Replies: 92
Views: 7188

Re: Has anyone ever used their Emergency Fund?

I sort of combine EF with irregular expenses, and it sits in my brokerage account. I target keeping at least 5K but no more than 10K in cash, and this covers "irregular stuff"-- might be an appliance, vehicle repair, a large medical or veterinary expense. That money gets replenished with direct depo...
by togb
Sun May 17, 2020 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excess (Unstable) Rental Income - What To Do With It?
Replies: 7
Views: 689

Re: Excess (Unstable) Rental Income - What To Do With It?

I only have one rental property, but the first thing I did with the income is build reserves. Basically an EF for the rent house. I took worst case scenario- tenants bailed, leaving damage and the roof needed to be replaced, and it was vacant for two months while I got things back in order. For me t...
by togb
Sat May 16, 2020 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent is increased by 6%, negotiation tips?
Replies: 60
Views: 5149

Re: Rent is increased by 6%, negotiation tips?

if you've been a good tenant (no late payments, maintenance requests are minimal/reasonable, and take care of the place), bring this up. A good tenant is worth retaining. I rent out one house-- and it didn't take long to figure out that turning over tenants usually creates a month of vacancy. I'm re...
by togb
Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Executive pay cut request: How to respond?
Replies: 130
Views: 12938

Re: Executive pay cut request: How to respond?

Lots of leaders/executives/salaried employees are taking pay cuts now. Hourly workers are laid off, furloughed or have reduced hours. In my company, all leaders took a 25% cut in pay. We are still responsible for getting our jobs done, which is always the case for salaried employees. I'm not happy a...
by togb
Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Corona and the “barebones” budget
Replies: 45
Views: 5921

Re: Corona and the “barebones” budget

I was just reviewing my expenses to see where I can cut back. I won't cut back on feed/supplies/care for any of my animals (horses, cats, dog, chickens). I won't pull the plug on my housekeeper, because I know she is more vulnerable than I am. I won't cut back on some local restaurant meals, albeit ...
by togb
Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much you lost/gain since Feb 20,2020 ?
Replies: 320
Views: 25693

Re: How much you lost/gain since Feb 20,2020 ?

down 24% from the peak. Various accounts range from 20-26% down. My AA was 70/30 going in, which was a change from 99/1 a few years ago. Really glad to have the 30% in bonds/cash, but was surprised that bonds went down as much as they did. ( most of it's in BND, Vanguards LT and ST EFTs) I was addin...
by togb
Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sell now and start buying back in 3 months
Replies: 80
Views: 6144

Re: Sell now and start buying back in 3 months

Selling when things are down is a great way to turn a temporary paper loss into a real, permanent loss.
I'm actually reviewing BUYING while things are "on sale".
by togb
Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I invest in this rental property?
Replies: 11
Views: 1312

Re: Should I invest in this rental property?

I agree with the post just above mine, and will add that you also will now claim 2/3 of the depreciation on your taxes. This will shelter some money, but remember than if you ever sell it, that depreciation is recaptured as ordinary income. I would tend to not want to own property with others. But y...
by togb
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Selling rental property or look for a next tenant?
Replies: 11
Views: 1084

Re: Selling rental property or look for a next tenant?

You don't sound very enthusiastic about the rental property, and the numbers don't seem to be compelling.... I"m going through the same thought process, with my (one) rental property. But I bought it for $171K, rent it for $1750 (thus meeting the 1% rule). It was brand new so my maintenance/repairs ...
by togb
Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Minor Children as beneficiaries?
Replies: 13
Views: 969

Re: Minor Children as beneficiaries?

This might vary by state, but I was executor for a will leaving real estate to multiple heirs, one of whom was a minor. Well in that state, minors were not able to own or sell real estate. It caused considerable problems. In the end, I had to pay for a lawyer to draw up a trust, and we could not sel...
by togb
Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Any Leads for Current Best Yield on Cash Fund ?
Replies: 9
Views: 998

Re: Any Leads for Current Best Yield on Cash Fund ?

Not really cash, but I like VCSH. I see it as low risk and use it almost like a MM. It can fluctuate, but not horribly.
by togb
Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sanity Check- Roth contributions vs Roth conversions
Replies: 3
Views: 262

Re: Sanity Check- Roth contributions vs Roth conversions

[/quote] What is your age, are you younger or older than 59.5? The above sentence concerns me because the portion that you withheld from taxes, if it's withheld from the conversion amount and sent to IRS, can be viewed as premature distribution and will attract a 10% penalty. If you do not have the ...
by togb
Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sanity Check- Roth contributions vs Roth conversions
Replies: 3
Views: 262

Sanity Check- Roth contributions vs Roth conversions

I'd appreciate a sanity check. For many years, most of my IRA and 401K savings was before tax, to reduce current year tax liability. I'm within 5 years of retirement, and my before tax retirement savings is on track to exceed the balance that will result in the RMD I'd like to target. For the last f...
by togb
Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifts to your employees- how much?
Replies: 113
Views: 7286

Re: Gifts to your employees- how much?

My current company does not give gifts, it's just not part of the culture. We don't take staff out for lunch or dinner because we're geographically diverse- the six people who report directly to me are spread out across North America. That said, they are good peeps and work hard-- I sent them each a...
by togb
Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: termination with out severance from a mega-corp
Replies: 51
Views: 8969

Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Read that paperwork, because it probably states that your job is not protected in your absence. I don’t know what this term “protected” means. There is no real “protection” in the world of at-will employment. Some absences are protected-- your job or another like it will be available when you retur...
by togb
Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: termination with out severance from a mega-corp
Replies: 51
Views: 8969

Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

There are quite a few bits of information missing, but you did say it was an unpaid leave without job protection, for three months. I'm assuming you applied for a leave and someone approved it, and that there was paperwork involved. Read that paperwork, because it probably states that your job is no...
by togb
Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Will we be OK at 3% WR?
Replies: 342
Views: 26223

Re: Will we be OK at 3% WR?

Ask me again in 30 years..... because when you project it in advance you're somewhere between guessing/hoping, and making estimates based on your research and modeling.... of the past. I tend to think 3-3.5 is safe. Because it would have been in the past. But who knows? So I'm planning on about 3.5-...
by togb
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you shop for better insurance rates? (auto, life, home)
Replies: 24
Views: 1921

Re: How often do you shop for better insurance rates? (auto, life, home)

I used to shop every few years. I could always find a better deal, and never had filed a claim. Then I dealt with USAA for my mother's estate, and was so impressed with the service that I priced them at the next renewal. When I needed two roofs replaced, the check came so fast it sat around while I ...
by togb
Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds or just use Money Market/ Savings??
Replies: 25
Views: 3897

Re: Bonds or just use Money Market/ Savings??

I'm targeting 30% in bonds/fixed income. I am accepting more risk due to the low yields. Vanguard's LT Corp bond EFT yield about 4%, and I have a good bit in that. The same in their ST Corp bond, with lower yield but I've basically subbed it for MM. PONAX bond fund has an ugly ER but it yields 5% so...
by togb
Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord Question
Replies: 16
Views: 2426

Re: Landlord Question

If I have a good tenant, I want my rent to be at or slightly lower than the market for a similar property. And I'll skip years on increasing rent. When I do increase the rent, it's modest and I'll explain why. (Taxes went up-- and I'll absorb half the other half increases rent). My most recent incre...
by togb
Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What’s the proper way to pay yourself in retirement?
Replies: 66
Views: 9076

Re: What’s the proper way to pay yourself in retirement?

I'm still a few years away and I have no idea if this is the proper way, but here's what I think I'll do: 1. have SS come monthly, to checking-- after withholding federal taxes. 2. Then I'll be pulling from MM, which will hold about a year's expenses. I'll probably pull monthly, and again have feder...
by togb
Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review, round 2
Replies: 7
Views: 1063

Re: Portfolio Review, round 2

It sounds like you have achieved your before tax goal, but with 70% stocks, that number can really fluctuate downward from where we are today. Assuming you are comfortable with that. Keep maxing out that HSA, it will be great to use when you hit Medicare copays. Like you,our income will be similar ...
by togb
Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review, round 2
Replies: 7
Views: 1063

Re: Portfolio Review, round 2

401K at current employer- about 12% of the big picture. Happy with my investment options but no good bond options here so I am using target date fund and a safe retirement income alternative. You could put all your bonds in your Rollover IRA at Schwab and have just stocks in the 401k. SWAGX is an e...
by togb
Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review, round 2
Replies: 7
Views: 1063

Re: Portfolio Review, round 2

Almost all of your portfolio is held in 401k and IRA accounts. There are no tax consequences to changing your investments in these accounts. If, as you say, you would like fewer accounts and fewer funds with lower ERs, why not sell (almost) everything and start over with a simple low-cost three-fun...
by togb
Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review, round 2
Replies: 7
Views: 1063

Portfolio Review, round 2

I've been learning a lot here, and had a preliminary review some time ago. I've made some adjustments- sold equity and high ER holdings and used proceeds to move from 95/5 to current state with EF funded, and down to 70% stocks, 30% bonds/cash. Now I’m ready for round 2. EF - yes, I have cash in aft...
by togb
Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 1 year checkup since getting my first job (age 24)
Replies: 9
Views: 1374

Re: 1 year checkup since getting my first job (age 24)

Kudos for getting off to such a strong start! You're making good money, and doing well on your savings. I'd probably favor Roth since you have so many decades for those investments to grow, and never pay tax again. Your tax rate will only get higher as you earn more.... It's very generous of your pa...
by togb
Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: > 6 months medical leave
Replies: 23
Views: 2581

Re: > 6 months medical leave

FMLA is something that's very easy to research-- it does not vary from state to state or employer to employer. Having not worked for six months, I doubt you qualify at this time, so it may be a moot point. It sounds like HR is saying that after six months, they may or may not hold a job for you. If ...
by togb
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?
Replies: 17
Views: 2067

Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Does he really need to leave work to make better eating choices, get a good nights rest and exercise? Those are things that many people incorporate while working-- and if he is to maintain his health, he'll have to maintain healthy habits AND work, not eat well/sleep/exercise instead of working. If ...
by togb
Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Too late for a Roth?
Replies: 20
Views: 2572

Re: Too late for a Roth?

It's only too late if you don't start now. (one of my mantras) Seriously, I am 3 years from retirement and obsessed with building my Roth. I love the idea of having some "reserves" that I can draw upon without it being a taxable event. And, if I don't live long enough to enjoy it all, my beneficiari...
by togb
Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Learnings/Regrets from last two recessions
Replies: 91
Views: 12929

Re: Learnings/Regrets from last two recessions

In 2008/9, I learned (or maybe validated) that patience is not "desirable" it's imperative. The sure way to lose money is to sell at a loss. I wish I had been smart enough to have more free cash to buy stocks when they were crazy low. But at least I did not sell low. I also learned about the 72t rul...
by togb
Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have 8 checking accounts?????
Replies: 32
Views: 4597

Re: I have 8 checking accounts?????

OP here. I think I can get down to 4 very quickly. Then I'll reevaluate in a year. No more direct deposits to 4 different accounts will also simplify things. I'll keep the checking attached to brokerage. I've probably written 10 checks in 10 years, but there are times I need a large check, without t...
by togb
Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have 8 checking accounts?????
Replies: 32
Views: 4597

I have 8 checking accounts?????

I was working on finances, and had a hugely embarrassing "aha moment". I have a lot of checking accounts. I don't write very many checks-- most bills are paid online. But there are a few people who get checks-- so yes, I should have a checking account and paper checks. But I have 7 checking accounts...
by togb
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Later in life ROTH conversions - does it make sense???
Replies: 13
Views: 2133

Re: Later in life ROTH conversions - does it make sense???

very interesting thread. I've read many times that tax deferred always comes out ahead, but with this window of lower taxes, and being single (so ONE big exemption, not two, etc etc) I was very interested in the article posted in near the top of this thread. I have to replicate the math with my own ...
by togb
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to help an employee who is in debt and requesting a loan
Replies: 110
Views: 8880

Re: How to help an employee who is in debt and requesting a loan

This is a tough situation, and tougher because your spouse has already crossed the line by making monetary gifts and loans. This blurs the line of employer, and perpetuates dependency beyond employer/employee. It's hard to unscramble eggs-- so you can't undo the fact that she's been allowed to share...
by togb
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When Did You Ease Up On Saving Aggressively?
Replies: 171
Views: 14761

Re: When Did You Ease Up On Saving Aggressively?

I started saving early-- and started small, took me a couple years to spare enough from my tiny salary to even capture the 401K match. But I increased it every year, for 20 years, typically saving 12-15% of what I earned, and getting another 5% in matching funds. Then was out of the workforce for se...
by togb
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much to rollover from IRA to Roth IRA
Replies: 35
Views: 3628

Re: How much to rollover from IRA to Roth IRA

I suggest converting until the traditional (pre-tax) balances reach about $1.5 million. Do this conversion before December 31, 2025. This just made my day. That's the target I set for my tIRA balance at age 70-- for the same reasons-- it "right sizes" my RMD. Seeing that target explained so well, m...
by togb
Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion/AGI question
Replies: 5
Views: 674

Re: Roth conversion/AGI question

additional info from OP: I contribute to my 401K Roth, and it's in Vanguard funds. I also contribute to my Roth IRA to the maximum that my AGI allows. That account is with Schwab, plenty of good options. I'm also doing some Roth conversions from tIRA to Roth IRA (both with Schwab), but this is the h...
by togb
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion/AGI question
Replies: 5
Views: 674

Roth conversion/AGI question

I've been heavily focused on before tax 401K contributions, but also contributing a smaller amount to the Roth portion of my 401K. I also plan to do Roth conversions most years, albeit relatively small amounts since I'm on the verge of the 24% marginal rate. It occurred to me, that it may be no diff...
by togb
Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting my Toyota to parents?
Replies: 18
Views: 1067

Re: Gifting my Toyota to parents?

You're a good person, to want to get your mom a car. If it's not important for it to be a surprise, maybe offer her both options and let her choose? One of the best things I have done in my life is buy my mom a car. It was a year old rental, and my spouse did the research so we had narrowed it down ...
by togb
Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off Mortgage? Pay down Mortgage? Let it ride?
Replies: 15
Views: 2237

Re: Pay off Mortgage? Pay down Mortgage? Let it ride?

The mortgage is part of the rental property. Paying it off means more taxable income, and your money is not liquid. If a property cash flows well with a mortgage, it's a good rental. If it doesn't, I would not pay off a mortgage to make it cashflow. That's a good rate.... It's the rate I have on my ...
by togb
Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: specific investments when market crashes
Replies: 38
Views: 4461

Re: specific investments when market crashes

I would do Roth conversions on some of the stock funds in a tIRA, putting them in Roth instead. The taxes on the Roth conversion will be a bargain compared to converting at almost any other time! PS. This is what I did in 2008. THIS!! Genious. I so wish I had done that in 2008. I was not working, w...
by togb
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: specific investments when market crashes
Replies: 38
Views: 4461

Re: specific investments when market crashes

If it crashes, it's the actions I took in advance (AA) that will help me. Once it crashes, I have funds set aside for just that eventuality, that tide me over while things normalize. And I reconsider retirement plans.... I do have a modest $$ amount set aside that I would use to bargain hunt. Last t...
by togb
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.
Replies: 140
Views: 13048

Re: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.

I've followed this with more than a little interest. I was the one who looked out for my mother, then took care of her estate. I don't have a spouse or children but do have a young relative who would be willing (if not skilled) if the need arose. Once I lost a parent, and some other relatives who we...
by togb
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 34yo, baby on way, leaving expensive financial advisor... Please Help!
Replies: 27
Views: 2924

Re: 34yo, baby on way, leaving expensive financial advisor... Please Help!

you've gotten a lot of good advice already. For your tIRA, you can sell there without triggering taxes on gains-- but honestly you are not doing very well with those investments. I'd dump them all, and get 2-3 better funds. You are young enough to be aggressive, but get low cost index funds. In your...
by togb
Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question for the 5%...Anyone buying any individual stocks?
Replies: 51
Views: 5009

Re: Question for the 5%...Anyone buying any individual stocks?

I have not bought any individual stocks for a while, but they do represent about 1/3 of my portfolio. Stock funds/efts are another 1/3 and bonds/things I consider bond-like make up the final 1/3. I have reduced my individual stocks pretty significantly in the last few years. I took profits, sometime...
by togb
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Property Mortgage Rate
Replies: 7
Views: 806

Re: Investment Property Mortgage Rate

I'm told that rental/investment property rates will run 1% higher than rates for primary residence. If it were your primary residence, you might want to explore refinancing, but that's not a bad rate for investment property.
by togb
Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA all the way?
Replies: 26
Views: 3145

Re: Roth IRA all the way?

As with most questions on finances, the answer is: "it depends". Mostly on tax rates now-- which you know. And tax rates in the future, which you don't know. I am very close to retirement, and the overwhelming majority of my savings are in tIRA that was rolled over from previous employer's 401K. Bac...
by togb
Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage or max out 401K?
Replies: 7
Views: 2116

Re: Pay off mortgage or max out 401K?

Paying off the mortgage is a risk-free 3.375% return, and since you now take the standard deduction, that is a tax-free 3.375%. To pay down the mortgage at the same risk level, you would invest less in bond funds, and those bond funds return slightly less, currently 2.65% on Total Bond Market Index...
by togb
Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage or max out 401K?
Replies: 7
Views: 2116

Re: Pay off mortgage or max out 401K?

thanks all, for so many useful observations, questions and opinions. First more fact base. I'm 61, and planning to retire around 65, maybe 66. My goal is to have 25x desired income (after SS) in tax advantaged accounts. I'm currently at 21x, but I'm optimistic about getting to 25x in the next few ye...
by togb
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage or max out 401K?
Replies: 7
Views: 2116

Pay off mortgage or max out 401K?

I'm currently on track to max out my 401K (25K since I am eligible for catch up contributions) with about 17K before tax and 8K Roth. I have not focused at all on paying off my mortgage due to the favorable (3.375%) interest rate-- theory being even bond funds make more than that. But now with this ...