Search found 307 matches

by stuper1
Wed May 12, 2021 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Finally getting our finances in order and would love any help with how to proceed
Replies: 11
Views: 1572

Re: Finally getting our finances in order and would love any help with how to proceed

Ok, the pension money may be matched by CalStrs. That's not really relevant to where you invest your remaining available money, because the pension contribution is mandatory. When I mentioned matching, I was talking about the typical situation of a person working for a private employer where the emp...
by stuper1
Tue May 11, 2021 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Finally getting our finances in order and would love any help with how to proceed
Replies: 11
Views: 1572

Re: Finally getting our finances in order and would love any help with how to proceed

His 401k xx% fund name (ticker symbol) (expense ratio) Company match? He contributes 10.25% to a CalStrs Pension which will eventually give us the average of his top three years earnings wise Welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place to learn how to manage your personal finances. There...
by stuper1
Sat May 08, 2021 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling Some Regret Over Conservative Approach to Finances
Replies: 110
Views: 12073

Re: Feeling Some Regret Over Conservative Approach to Finances

Another thing to remember is that if you are living below your means and saving a good chunk of money for retirement each month, you are already doing better than 90% of the people out there. A lot of people with high-flying lifestyles are saving barely anything, basically living paycheck to paychec...
by stuper1
Sun May 02, 2021 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much Did You Budget for Travel in Retirement?
Replies: 122
Views: 10657

Re: How Much Did You Budget for Travel in Retirement?

And we are the other extreme. My husband and I take backpacks, walking sticks, and use the local bus systems and trains. When my bum knee acts up, we may rent a car. Our biggest upgrade has been getting rooms with our own bathroom instead of the communal one down the hall. We travel very little dif...
by stuper1
Sun May 02, 2021 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stable Value Funds
Replies: 11
Views: 1367

Stable Value Funds

I generally like to keep my bonds in Treasuries for safety. However, I have access to a stable value fund in an old 401k, and I"m thinking of putting some of my bonds there since the yield is much better right now than in short-term Treasuries. Before I do that, I'd like to know how safe it is....
by stuper1
Sun May 02, 2021 12:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USA Passport Question
Replies: 20
Views: 1633

Re: USA Passport Question

I am unsentimental about these things, and I don't need an alibi. Are there any good reasons to keep them? I'd rather throw them out to reduce clutter, but not if there's a good reason to keep them.
by stuper1
Sun May 02, 2021 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USA Passport Question
Replies: 20
Views: 1633

USA Passport Question

I just got my new passport. Is there any reason to keep my old expired passport? I have several of them now. Is there any reason for me not to throw all the old ones away?
by stuper1
Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: AIG lazy portfolio
Replies: 7
Views: 968

Re: AIG lazy portfolio

Thanks so much for your response. I sifted thru the website prior to this, there are 100 different funds, very few are Vanguard, most are Valic. The ER ranges from .55 to over 1%. I easily set up my other retirements (one Vanguard and one Fidelity), but am really struggling with AIG/Valic. I called...
by stuper1
Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Cost Basis Step Up When Spouse Dies
Replies: 8
Views: 884

Re: House Cost Basis Step Up When Spouse Dies

Big Dog wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:19 pm in a community property state, the surviving spouse would get full step-up, not just half.
I have read conflicting things on this. I live in California, which I believe is a community property state. Yet, I've read that in California the surviving spouse only gets a half step-up.
by stuper1
Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Cost Basis Step Up When Spouse Dies
Replies: 8
Views: 884

House Cost Basis Step Up When Spouse Dies

My wife and I hold title to our home as joint tenants. When one of us dies, the other's cost basis steps up by half. How does this work in practice? Let's say the surviving spouse doesn't sell the home for another ten years. How are they supposed to know what the value of the home was at the time of...
by stuper1
Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get good deal on new iphone
Replies: 12
Views: 1494

Re: How to get good deal on new iphone

Another strong recommendation here for swappa.com.
by stuper1
Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Downside protection from a protracted bear market in retirement - your plan
Replies: 79
Views: 6211

Re: Downside protection from a protracted bear market in retirement - your plan

The key is to treat gold like any other asset. Follow the rebalance rules that you put in your IPS. When gold is up and stocks/bonds are down, then you sell gold and buy stocks/bonds. How do you do this in practice? When I rebalance from bonds to stocks, I do the entire transaction at once because ...
by stuper1
Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Downside protection from a protracted bear market in retirement - your plan
Replies: 79
Views: 6211

Re: Downside protection from a protracted bear market in retirement - your plan

Besides, the gold hoarders will not be able to sell their gold in a protracted bear market anyways for psychological reasons. Instead, they will want to buy more gold and hoard it. The key is to treat gold like any other asset. Follow the rebalance rules that you put in your IPS. When gold is up an...
by stuper1
Sun Apr 25, 2021 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Downside protection from a protracted bear market in retirement - your plan
Replies: 79
Views: 6211

Re: Downside protection from a protracted bear market in retirement - your plan

I know this post will be jumped all over by many people, but that's okay, even Galileo was called a heretic. When stocks and bonds are both unattractive, then money still will flow somewhere. One place it flows in such a situation is to gold. Adding a good slug of gold to a portfolio (say 10% to 20%...
by stuper1
Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Christine Benz: Which Bonds Provide the Biggest Diversification Benefits?
Replies: 12
Views: 2015

Re: Christine Benz: Which Bonds Provide the Biggest Diversification Benefits?

That's why all of my bonds are in Treasuries. I have plenty of corporate risk in stocks. I want safety in bonds.
by stuper1
Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 3559
Views: 589938

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

Up 7.2% YTD
by stuper1
Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:35 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here
Replies: 2398
Views: 285309

Re: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here

We joined the two comma club as of this week! That's just in our investment portfolio. Home equity adds another $300k. I know this is small potatoes around here, but I have nobody else to tell. Thanks to all of you for providing good advice!
by stuper1
Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Woodworking Tool Question
Replies: 14
Views: 1237

Woodworking Tool Question

Is there a guide tool that will help me to drill holes that are perfectly perpendicular to a piece of wood? I'm installing new doors on our kitchen cabinets. I need to drill the holes for the knobs. I know from past experience that I am not good at drilling perpendicular to the wood. I don't want th...
by stuper1
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Legacy Strategy: Reducing One's Estate
Replies: 36
Views: 3671

Re: Legacy Strategy: Reducing One's Estate

You're currently worried about state estate tax. Does your state have the same $15k annual limit on non-reportable gifting as the IRS?

You can also use a trust to avoid estate taxes I believe.
by stuper1
Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent
Replies: 37
Views: 2389

Re: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent

I did some googling to see reasons why a person might not want to claim a dependent that they are entitled to claim. One scenario is if your AGI is too high for the AOTC or Lifetime Learning Credit. Then, the student, if not claimed as a dependent, can likely claim the AOTC or LLC. Another scenario ...
by stuper1
Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent
Replies: 37
Views: 2389

Re: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent

Just a reminder, I think that kiddie tax rules are independent of whether the student is a dependent or not. So in this case, since the student earned 16k which is more than 1/2 his support, he doesn't have to worry about kiddie tax (even if he didn't spend his own money). That opens up ~36k of 0% ...
by stuper1
Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent
Replies: 37
Views: 2389

Re: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent

So, now I have a followup question which is a bit more complicated. This is my son's final year in college. We started to see last year that we had oversaved in his 529 plan (not by too much). You're allowed to make withdrawals from the 529 for room and board expenses even if he is living at home, ...
by stuper1
Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent
Replies: 37
Views: 2389

Re: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent

So, now I have a followup question which is a bit more complicated. This is my son's final year in college. We started to see last year that we had oversaved in his 529 plan (not by too much). You're allowed to make withdrawals from the 529 for room and board expenses even if he is living at home, s...
by stuper1
Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent
Replies: 37
Views: 2389

Re: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent

I'm not clear on something in regard to whether my wife and I can claim my son as a dependent. He is a 20 year old student going to the local college and living full time with us. We don't charge him rent, and we pay almost all his expenses, including housing, utilities, groceries, most clothes, tu...
by stuper1
Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent
Replies: 37
Views: 2389

Re: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent

So, in theory he did make enough money to pay for more than half of his expenses last year. Does that mean we can't claim him as a dependent? You could fill out https://apps.irs.gov/app/vita/content/globalmedia/teacher/worksheet_for_determining_support_4012.pdf to know for sure. Thank you! That is ...
by stuper1
Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent
Replies: 37
Views: 2389

Question About Claiming Son as Dependent

I'm not clear on something in regard to whether my wife and I can claim my son as a dependent. He is a 20 year old student going to the local college and living full time with us. We don't charge him rent, and we pay almost all his expenses, including housing, utilities, groceries, most clothes, tui...
by stuper1
Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling house in 2 yrs: what should I spruce up?
Replies: 14
Views: 1728

Re: Selling house in 2 yrs: what should I spruce up?

My next door neighbor just spent about $20,000 renovating the kitchen and bathrooms before selling her house a couple months ago. She took me through it when she was done, and I thought it looked great, much better than before. Nevertheless, the buyer has spent the last two months tearing out everyt...
by stuper1
Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on Avoiding Income Tax Penalties
Replies: 3
Views: 550

Question on Avoiding Income Tax Penalties

As long as you have less than $150,000 Adjusted Gross Income for married filing jointly status, you avoid a tax penalty if you paid as much tax as you owed last year. My question is where do you find the number for what you owed last year? On the 1040 form, is it the number on line 12a, 12b, 16, or ...
by stuper1
Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you competitive? If so, how do you compete as you get older?
Replies: 46
Views: 3046

Re: Are you competitive? If so, how do you compete as you get older?

Another vote here for pickleball if you are into racquet sports at all. There are some very athletic people who play it very seriously. There are tournaments all over the country every week. I played in the Nationals tournament a couple years ago, which gathered people from all over the country at a...
by stuper1
Sat Mar 27, 2021 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: With hitting zero owed federal taxes, should I allocate a % to Roth 401k?
Replies: 28
Views: 2002

Re: With hitting zero owed federal taxes, should I allocate a % to Roth 401k?

If you can contribute to a Roth at a 12% or lower marginal tax rate, do it for sure. There's no way that you will ever regret that. Even that 12% bracket is going up to 15% in a few years, so 12% is a great deal that isn't going to last much longer.
by stuper1
Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning a long backpacking trip w/ 2 nights in Vegas, recommendations? (Zion Nat'l Park, Yosemite, Grand Canyon)
Replies: 60
Views: 4900

Re: Planning a long backpacking trip with a night or two in Vegas, recommendations?

Definitely much better to drive through Lee Vining and over Tioga Pass to Tuolomne Meadows. Probably a little shorter and definitely much more scenic than driving through Fresno. You could spend the night in Lee Vining or nearby. Plenty of motels there.
by stuper1
Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Increased most in value"? for retirement income
Replies: 5
Views: 559

Re: "Increased most in value"? for retirement income

Take it from any fund, it doesn't matter, and then rebalance back to your target allocation.
by stuper1
Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help find an unbiased news source...
Replies: 90
Views: 4656

Re: Help find an unbiased news source...

Friends from the UK tell me that the Economist and BBC are not very unbiased these days either. The news business is having trouble making money these days. Most news outlets seem to think they can only survive by inflaming partisan passions.
by stuper1
Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite non fiction book?
Replies: 142
Views: 8601

Re: What is your favorite non fiction book?

Another enthusiastic vote here for The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes. I would also say it's right up there as possibly the best non-fiction book I've ever read. It's basically a history of much of the first half of the 20th century and incredibly well researched and written. It's also ...
by stuper1
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning trip from Bay Area to Crater Lake, Oregon
Replies: 35
Views: 2687

Re: Planning trip from Bay Area to Crater Lake, Oregon

When we went in the summer with our kids a few years back, the Park Service had a bus tour that would take you around the lake with a guide to tell stories and give info on geology, history, etc. along the way. It stopped at several points around the lake, so you could get out and see the lake from ...
by stuper1
Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I want to spend as much as possible between 55-70 in retirement
Replies: 39
Views: 4794

Re: I want to spend as much as possible between 55-70 in retirement

I figured it out. I just needed to run two parallel models: one for the base budget and one for the base budget + VPW BTD. The scary thing is I just reviewed this change of modeling with my wife. All she heard was "we have $500k to spend on whatever we want." Could you elaborate a bit mor...
by stuper1
Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Has there ever been a negative return over a 10 year period holding diversified index portfiolio?
Replies: 18
Views: 2433

Re: Has there ever been a negative return over a 10 year period holding diversified index portfiolio?

Try adding in 15% of gold to your diversified index portfolio and see if there has ever been a negative return over a 10 year period.
by stuper1
Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to convert a 401(k) account to an IRA account at Fidelity?
Replies: 23
Views: 1367

Re: How to convert a 401(k) account to an IRA account at Fidelity?

I believe you can only withdraw from a 401k at age 55 if you actually stop working in the year that you turn 55 or later. So, if you stop working in the year that you turn 54 or earlier, you have to wait until the year that you turn 59.5 to start withdrawals, unless you are willing to pay the 10% pe...
by stuper1
Sat Jan 16, 2021 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about TOD Deed for Home
Replies: 4
Views: 272

Re: Question about TOD Deed for Home

Ok, excellent, that's just what we needed to know. 123 said that the survivor would need to do a new TOD deed after the first spouse dies. Is that correct? It doesn't sound right to me. The surviving spouse gets full ownership when the first spouse dies. The TOD deed simply passes the surviving spou...
by stuper1
Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about TOD Deed for Home
Replies: 4
Views: 272

Question about TOD Deed for Home

My wife and I live in California. We own our home together as joint tenants. We want to do a TOD deed to leave our home to our two children as joint tenants. I have a question about this. The TOD deed applies to only one owner, although each deed can name multiple beneficiaries. So, both my wife and...
by stuper1
Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Please advise doc who wants to retire early
Replies: 103
Views: 9000

Re: Please advise doc who wants to retire early

Take a look at the portfolios and articles at portfoliocharts.com. Something like the Golden Butterfly portfolio would likely serve you well, although there are several other good ones discussed there.
by stuper1
Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the "Quit when you won the game" portfolio?
Replies: 177
Views: 18933

Re: What is the "Quit when you won the game" portfolio?

Permanent Portfolio has been producing steady 3% real returns (i.e., above the inflation rate) forever. There's nothing simple that is safer.
by stuper1
Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about California simplified probate process for small estates
Replies: 3
Views: 242

Re: Question about California simplified probate process for small estates

So, cars are omitted from the $166k calculation, but they can pass to the heir through the simple probate procedure (no matter what the car is worth). Do I understand that correctly?
by stuper1
Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you bought Bitcoin, when do you plan to sell?
Replies: 396
Views: 38375

Re: If you bought Bitcoin, when do you plan to sell?

I bought $300 worth of bitcoin in 2017, and mine is now worth $10,000. I sold $2,000 of it this week to buy an ounce of gold, which I also like to hold. At this point I feel like I've more than gotten my money's worth on my initial investment, and now I'm playing with house money. In other words, th...
by stuper1
Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about California simplified probate process for small estates
Replies: 3
Views: 242

Question about California simplified probate process for small estates

I have a question about California's simplified probate process for estates having a value under $166,250. The rules say that various things are excluded when calculating the value to see if the estate is under the limit, including life insurance proceeds, assets not subject to probate that pass to ...
by stuper1
Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons
Replies: 83
Views: 5011

Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

It isn't any better when your interest is in sports others don't follow. My favorite sport to watch is tennis. I know maybe 2 people who have a similar interest but we don't talk often. Anyone following the Italian Open? SF, where I live, is definitely a sports town and I read the local paper, so h...
by stuper1
Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what percent of retirement should be invested in tax deferred vs tax free accounts?
Replies: 39
Views: 3338

Re: what percent of retirement should be invested in tax deferred vs tax free accounts?

There are other factors besides math and tax rates. I am in the highest federal tax bracket and I max out my 401k as Roth. My income is likely much higher now than it will be in retirement. Put simply, paying the tax now hurts less than it will in the future. Plus, my taxable account is many times ...
by stuper1
Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fixed income allocation
Replies: 8
Views: 704

Re: Fixed income allocation

Stocks are for growth and bonds are for stability. The most stable bonds are Treasury bonds. Corporate bonds will often suffer losses at the same time as stocks (check what happened last March). I recommend an intermediate term Treasury index fund like VFITX.
by stuper1
Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Different risk tolerance in the family
Replies: 29
Views: 1829

Re: Different risk tolerance in the family

Not meaning to pry unnecessarily, but please consider giving us more details such as what the comfortable stock/bond ratios would look like for you and for your wife. You may be able to get better advice from us if we have a few more details.
by stuper1
Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Ting messing with us?
Replies: 23
Views: 2237

Re: Is Ting messing with us?

I've been with PureTalk USA for several years and been very happy. Currently, paying $85/month for four lines of unlimited calls and texts and somewhat limited data (my daughter and son wait for wifi connection to use much data). The thing that has amazed me is that every time I have called for help...