Search found 89 matches

by BluesH
Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taking Capital Gains Now vs. In the Future
Replies: 2
Views: 333

Re: Taking Capital Gains Now vs. In the Future

I'll be watching this thread to see other responses. I'll tell you what we're doing. My wife and I are 71/68. Until this year, we've been filling the 12% bracket with Roth conversions. This year, I decided to split it between harvesting some capital gains on stocks held for decades, as well as a les...
by BluesH
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year
Replies: 171
Views: 11547

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

The arithmetic even works out for more efficient technologies, e.g. LED vs compact fluorescent. We did a kitchen remodel 11 years ago, just before LEDs were commonplace. We had light canisters installed with compact fluorescent bulbs. Fast forward to earlier this year, when I found a supplier that m...
by BluesH
Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tax efficient way to handle inheritance?
Replies: 3
Views: 498

Re: Tax efficient way to handle inheritance?

^^This. And even if it's been more than a year, you can still both suspend payments, thus increasing the payment amount when you hit 70.

Other than that, your plan looks good to me.
by BluesH
Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Venmo newly asking for personal information?
Replies: 20
Views: 2183

Re: Venmo newly asking for personal information?

I've been accused of being a dinosaur. That may be true, but I believe I'm an informed and realistic dinosaur -- I've been designing computers, software, and other technology since before the internet existed (specifically, when it was still ARPAnet). This (the OP) is why I've refused to link my pho...
by BluesH
Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Poor service at Vanguard making me re-think my decision
Replies: 96
Views: 8155

Re: Poor service at Vanguard making me re-think my decision

I'm very pleased with Fidelity, to the point that I have transferred all my assets there. My Fidelity rep resolves any problems I may have quickly, efficiently, and with no hassle. Five years ago my wife and I formed a Revocable Trust for estate planning purposes. Our lawyer transferred our home int...
by BluesH
Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Re-Retiring Financially (SWR) After Good Year
Replies: 63
Views: 5418

Re: Re-Retiring Financially (SWR) After Good Year

There is some prior work on the subject. In 2015, Michael Kitces wrote about "The Ratcheting Safe Withdrawal Rate" -- https://www.kitces.com/blog/the-ratcheting-safe-withdrawal-rate-a-more-dominant-version-of-the-4-rule/ Much earlier, in 2000, John Greany wrote in his Retire Early Home Page about wh...
by BluesH
Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Good treasury bond fund at Fidelity?
Replies: 16
Views: 1136

Re: Good treasury bond fund at Fidelity?

If you're retired, or close to it, allocating a portion to Fidelity Inflation-Protected Bond Index Fund (FIPDX) might also be smart. I own some FXNAX in my Fidelity retirement account. I've also looked at FIPDX, but it lists a 30 day SEC yield of -7.7% (that's negative 7.7). What's up with that? It...
by BluesH
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Switched jobs: What to do with 403b from last job?
Replies: 2
Views: 208

Re: Switched jobs: What to do with 403b from last job?

If you don't want to do #2 because of backdoor Roth, then it seems the only reasonable option is #3. Yes your new employer's 401K could change, but it's the better bird in hand. Do you think it's likely to change to be worse than #1?
by BluesH
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fidelity Rewards+
Replies: 6
Views: 947

Re: Fidelity Rewards+

That's it. I have some money managed by them. That's how I got that offer then. No, you'd probably get the offer anyway. I have no money in their high-fee advisory services; and in fact, all my money with Fidelity is in low ER index funds. But I've gotten the come-on for this about a half dozen tim...
by BluesH
Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If Vanguard’s Target Date Series added just one more fund, it would be perfect
Replies: 11
Views: 1691

Re: If Vanguard’s Target Date Series added just one more fund, it would be perfect

Let's see -- you want TIPS to comprise 50% of your 40% bond allocation. That's 20% overall. That leaves 80% for a target date fund. Since you want 60% stocks, you want the TDF to be .6/.8 == 75% stocks. So pick a TDF that's 75/25. VTTHX (Target Date 2035) comes very close. 20% TIPS fund, 80% VTTHX.
by BluesH
Thu May 21, 2020 1:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security Questions
Replies: 7
Views: 970

Re: Social Security Questions

The only thing gnawing at me is, according to my mom, 5 years ago when she went with my dad to start his social security, she remembers signing some document (file and suspend?) that, according to her, would allow her to sneak in under the law even though she was born after Jan 2, 1954. "File and s...
by BluesH
Fri May 15, 2020 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Size of Roth conversion
Replies: 15
Views: 1272

Re: Size of Roth conversion

P.P.S. When deciding on your conversion number, don't forget to include the effect on capital gains taxes. The limit to keep cap gains and qualified dividends tax-free is $80,000 for a married couple. That's marginally below the top of the 12% bracket, which is $80,250. Depending on the amounts of c...
by BluesH
Fri May 15, 2020 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Size of Roth conversion
Replies: 15
Views: 1272

Re: Size of Roth conversion

P.S. Our IRAs are a bit bigger than yours. I calculate that if one of us dies, the other will be in the 24% bracket. And if we both survive to 2026 and the individual tax laws revert to their former brackets, as a couple we'll likely hit the 28% bracket. Sobering thoughts. Still, I don't feel incent...
by BluesH
Fri May 15, 2020 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Size of Roth conversion
Replies: 15
Views: 1272

Re: Size of Roth conversion

I say 12 pct because of the conversions. I know the 70k figure but am wondering about increasing it. Our combined IRAs are about 820,000.Our combined Roth’s about 260,000. My main question is on the wisdom of paying taxes now and is it worth it. If all goes as planned the Roth’s will go to the kids...
by BluesH
Fri May 08, 2020 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon issues - cannot even cancel Prime really
Replies: 59
Views: 3881

Re: Amazon issues - cannot even cancel Prime really

delamer wrote: Fri May 08, 2020 1:26 pm It’s my understanding that Prime members are getting quicker service than non-Prime customers. So keep that in mind.
Very true. I'm not Prime, and my orders have been taking ~3 weeks.
by BluesH
Sun May 03, 2020 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score Dropping 2020
Replies: 17
Views: 2519

Re: Credit Score Dropping 2020

Who would have pulled your credit if you were paying cash? They would have needed your permission. Did you even give them your SSN? I'm assuming not. You should look into that, find out who the inquiry is really from, dispute it if necessary. I'm guessing that they paid by check not actual cash. If...
by BluesH
Sat May 02, 2020 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score Dropping 2020
Replies: 17
Views: 2519

Re: Credit Score Dropping 2020

Mine has dropped 10 points since last fall. Coincidentally, last fall is when we bought a new car. Though we bought it for cash, I suspect that is the source of the "1 new credit inquiry", which was the only thing on our report that wasn't labelled Exceptional or Very Good -- I inquiry just gets a "...
by BluesH
Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Appropriate Term Life Terms - couple in 30s
Replies: 88
Views: 4213

Re: Appropriate Term Life Terms - couple in 30s

I've only read the first few posts in this thread, so excuse me if I'm repeating something. But make sure to check your professional society, if you belong to one. In my 30s/40s/50s I bought term life through the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers). Its premiums were so much chea...
by BluesH
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?
Replies: 61
Views: 5077

Re: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?

It can't be fully actuarially neutral given the formula, which is linear over several periods. Your point appears to be that the actuarial neutrality that the SSA was shooting for in 1986 was only approximate. That's true. Making it exactly 8% of the PIA for each year from 66 to 70 can't be strictl...
by BluesH
Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?
Replies: 61
Views: 5077

Re: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?

I've now seen 3 posts that claim that SS is actuarially neutral. Correction -- SS was designed to be actuarially neutral in 1986 , using data that was a few years older than that (1983, IIRC). Since 1986: Longevity has increased Interest rates have decreased Expected equity returns have decreased Al...
by BluesH
Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 Feature Updates - Install When Available or Wait?
Replies: 13
Views: 764

Re: Windows 10 Feature Updates - Install When Available or Wait?

jebmke wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:22 pm I typically wait about six months. I’m at 1903 right now.
Me too. Trying to decide if it's time to install 1909.

To the OP -- the numbering for the feature updates are based on year and month of the release. 1903 was released March 2019, 1909 was released Sept 2019. HTH.
by BluesH
Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: social security amount if you quit working
Replies: 11
Views: 1099

Re: social security amount if you quit working

If you have a full record of your earnings (which you can get via a "My Social Security" account), you can easily estimate your benefit yourself. Here's the form you need for estimating your benefit, assuming you were born in 1956:

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10070-1956.pdf
by BluesH
Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: social security amount if you quit working
Replies: 11
Views: 1099

Re: social security amount if you quit working

Have you worked at a moderate or high paying job for at least 35 years? If so, the impact will be minimal.
by BluesH
Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Get My Payment up and running
Replies: 369
Views: 25402

Re: IRS Get My Payment up and running

I couldn't get it to work. I planned everything so we neither owed nor got a refund for 2019 and the page errs out. Will not allow neither refund nor balance due! Same here. Because we do Roth conversions yearly, I need to do quarterly estimates. So when I do taxes, I normally have a small overpaym...
by BluesH
Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When will S&P 500 go back to 3386 ?
Replies: 98
Views: 6457

Re: When will S&P 500 go back to 3386 ?

I think the pandemic will be cured very soon and we should be back stronger than ever come August 2020. I think that there will be some experimental treatments that will lower the death rate, perhaps drastically, by mid to late summer. However, the pandemic won't be "cured" until there's a vaccine....
by BluesH
Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Device For Streaming HBO Now
Replies: 13
Views: 660

Re: Device For Streaming HBO Now

Does DISH not carry HBO any more? We had DISH years ago, and got HBO through them. When did that change?
by BluesH
Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel Spend as % of Total
Replies: 15
Views: 1013

Re: Travel Spend as % of Total

Last year we took a big trip to Italy. Good timing, as we wouldn't dare do it this year! Anyway, Quicken tells me that in 2019, travel accounted for 17.8% of our spending. We spend pretty modestly on most things, so travel tends to be a relatively larger piece of the total.
by BluesH
Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop becomes comatose
Replies: 24
Views: 2021

Re: Laptop becomes comatose

Right click the start button, and choose Device Manager. This will show you a list of all the devices in your system. Look, in turn, at Keyboards, Human Interface Devices, and Network Adapters. For each such device, right click and choose Properties. Choose the Power Management tab. For each, click ...
by BluesH
Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A pleasant surprise when I did my taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 2806

Re: A pleasant surprise when I did my taxes

Congratulations. What a pleasant surprise. My best surprise of that sort was due to the Bush tax cuts (2001? 2003? Not sure). Like you, I had a spreadsheet to enable me to accurately send in estimated taxes. I was entirely self-employed at that time, with very irregular income; so I needed the sprea...
by BluesH
Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Demise of the 4 Percent Rule? -- Wade Pfau
Replies: 179
Views: 15030

Re: The Demise of the 4 Percent Rule? -- Wade Pfau

Too many people confuse the concept of a safe withdrawal rate with the average rate that doesn't run out of money. The second is much higher than 4% historically. At 4%, on average, you die with 2.7X what you started with 30 years earlier. Please can you help where to read about " average rate that...
by BluesH
Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Chase 6-month CDs at 1.75% APY
Replies: 5
Views: 701

Re: Chase 6-month CDs at 1.75% APY

Great rate for 6 months. Ally Bank, Discover Bank, and Synchrony Bank all have 2.00% for 12 month CDs.
by BluesH
Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Satisfying the 5 year rules for ROTH IRAs
Replies: 21
Views: 2579

Re: Satisfying the 5 year rules for ROTH IRAs

"For others, the reality is that the Roth conversion 5-year rule is a moot point anyway, because they already meet another exception to the early withdrawal penalty (e.g., already being over age 59 1/2)." https://www.kitces.com/blog/understanding-the-two-5-year-rules-for-roth-ira-contributions-and-c...
by BluesH
Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security deferred credits
Replies: 28
Views: 2556

Re: Social Security deferred credits

If you retire at 70, your payments are calculated correctly immediately. But if you retire between FRA and 70, there can/will be a delay. This is documented somewhere in the SSA pages, but I don't have a pointer immediately at hand. Yes, they're supposed to do this within a year, but this is the gov...
by BluesH
Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Reduced RMD Plan - Fidelity
Replies: 5
Views: 988

Re: Reduced RMD Plan - Fidelity

Mike (fabdog) got it right. If you've scheduled RMD's for the year, it's indicating whether you want those distributions reduced by your QCD. Since we didn't schedule any future RMDs for my wife, it's irrelevant. That's also why they didn't ask the question, just gave the default answer.
by BluesH
Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Reduced RMD Plan - Fidelity
Replies: 5
Views: 988

Re: Reduced RMD Plan - Fidelity

Good idea, both of you. I've now sent email to my rep. I'll re-post when I get an answer.
by BluesH
Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Reduced RMD Plan - Fidelity
Replies: 5
Views: 988

Reduced RMD Plan - Fidelity

We just made a QCD from my wife's tIRA at Fidelity. On the confirmation screen, and then on the confirmation itself, it lists a Confirmation number, From account, Name of charity, Address, Memo, Donation amount, and then a line that states: Reduced RMD plan: No What is Reduced RMD plan? Do I need to...
by BluesH
Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 701
Views: 80535

Re: Fidelity Free Turbotax 2019

I asked my Fidelity rep about this, as I've received it in the past. She says that as far as she knows, it will be available again this year. No mention about timing.
by BluesH
Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth conversion taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 648

Re: Roth conversion tax on withdrawals

I changed the title.I don’t know if it is because I am getting over a concussion or what,but what I have read on multiple sites is unclear.I thought at my age,with an existing Roth,that any conversions I do are 100 pct tax free in terms of withdrawals from that Roth.I have read that each conversion...
by BluesH
Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lodging in Rome
Replies: 30
Views: 2270

Re: Lodging in Rome

We stayed at the Hotel Villa San Pio -- http://www.aventinohotels.com/villasanpio/en/ Very nice rooms at a more than reasonable price. In a tranquil residential area, but just 10 minute walk to the colosseum and Palatine Hill. Wonderful garden setting in which they serve a great hot breakfast (free)...
by BluesH
Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the best 2% cash back credit card w/ no annual fee, now that Citi has stripped the Double Cash of key benefits?
Replies: 83
Views: 12028

Re: What is the best 2% cash back credit card w/ no annual fee, now that Citi has stripped the Double Cash of key benefi

Fidelity has a foreign transaction fee. PayPal and State Department Federal credit Union do not. Nor does BoA TR/PR. Wow, is that true? I've only had the Fido CC for a couple of months, but I've had their debit/ATM card for cash management for years. I know the latter has no foreign transaction fee...
by BluesH
Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refurbished desktop
Replies: 24
Views: 1181

Re: Refurbished desktop

4GB is not really sufficient for Win 10. If you're upgrading, you should upgrade to 8GB. The amazon ad you linked to does not indicate if you can add memory after the fact. But by the time you add memory and an SSD, you might as well just spring for a better computer that already has both. Today's ...
by BluesH
Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refurbished desktop
Replies: 24
Views: 1181

Re: Refurbished desktop

Looking at this... https://www.amazon.com/Dell-OptiPlex-Processor-Windows-Renewed/dp/B01AWOAUJY/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=dell+optiplex&qid=1575038848&refinements=p_76%3A1249137011&rnid=1249135011&rps=1&s=electronics&sr=1-1 No need for screen, already have my existing flat-screen monitor and peripherals....
by BluesH
Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie: Transfer Traditional IRA from American Century to Fidelity to lower expense ratio and have more choices?
Replies: 6
Views: 300

Re: Newbie: Transfer Traditional IRA from American Century to Fidelity to lower expense ratio and have more choices?

If you have any suggestions for a good money market at Fidelity, let me know. With a minimum of $100K, you can get into their "Premium" money market, FZDXX. That gives you a couple of tenths of a % higher than their normal MM. What's nice is that, once in, you can transfer in and out, even if you g...
by BluesH
Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Stop Working at 62 and collect SS at 67- FRA
Replies: 9
Views: 1404

Re: Social Security - Stop Working at 62 and collect SS at 67- FRA

The age 62 estimate assumes you stop working at 62. At that point, you get a 30% discount from your PIA. Therefore, the estimate to stop working at 62 at file at 67 (FRA) is:

1905/0.7 = 2721.

Bob
by BluesH
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sharing my camry 2011 overall/annual ownership costs.
Replies: 19
Views: 1650

Re: Sharing my camry 2011 overall/annual ownership costs.

researcher wrote: Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:45 am
It appears you are spending around $2,000 in gas per year (assuming 22K miles/year, 30MPG and $2.75/gallon).
LOL. $2.75/gallon??? Where the heck can you buy gas for that? It's over $4 here in California. Haven't seen $2.75 in years!
by BluesH
Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Accounting for mortgage in retirement math
Replies: 20
Views: 1933

Re: Accounting for mortgage in retirement math

Your option #1 - provided all of your investments are expected to have a higher after-tax return than the after-tax cost of your mortgage - seems the most defensible. A couple of reasons #2 isn't applicable, both of them being contrary to the assumptions behind the "4% rule": - the mortgage will la...
by BluesH
Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: QCD also reduce California Tax?
Replies: 7
Views: 754

Re: QCD also reduce California Tax?

Alan S. wrote: Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:27 pm While CA has a tendency to make their own rules, in this case they do conform to the IRS QCD rules.
Thank you.
by BluesH
Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: QCD also reduce California Tax?
Replies: 7
Views: 754

QCD also reduce California Tax?

Still a couple years away, but planning. Per the title -- if (when I'm over 70.5) I donate from my IRA to a qualified charity using a QCD, does that also remove the reported income from California tax too? I assume so, because Cal form 540 just uses input from Federal 1040, though there are columns ...
by BluesH
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get rid of a car
Replies: 48
Views: 4223

Re: How to get rid of a car

Donate to a charity? Agreed. We used to have an old beater small pickup truck that we used to haul materials for landscaping our yard. It eventually got old and rusted enough that we wanted to get rid of it. Figured that, at the most, it would be worth $500. Instead, we donated to a charity my wife...
by BluesH
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: social security benefit - confused about choosing start date
Replies: 35
Views: 3421

Re: social security benefit - confused about choosing start date

Similar experience. When I was about to turn 66 (my FRA), I signed up online for a restricted spousal application (wife, a few years older, signed up for full benefits plus delayed credits). I was born on the 20th of the month, so I applied to start on the first of the following month. I also had a ...