Search found 1934 matches

by scrabbler1
Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does bond length matter for investing in bond funds?
Replies: 20
Views: 1590

Re: Does bond length matter for investing in bond funds?

I have been investing in bond funds for the last 27 years and own a variety of them today. In fact, it is a long-term bond fund whose monthly dividend pays most of my monthly expenses in my early retirement for the last 9 years. I am willing to take the risk of the bond fund's NAV bouncing around a ...
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 92
Views: 7149

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

I had been working part-time for 7 years before I fully retired 9 years ago, including only 2 days a week for the last 17 months. It took me no time at all to get used to not working. I already was doing stuff in my semi-retirement so going from working 2 days to zilch was no transition.
by scrabbler1
Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does everyone keep track of your portfolio?
Replies: 104
Views: 5780

Re: How does everyone keep track of your portfolio?

Prior to 1995, when I bought my first home PC, I used pencil and paper to keep track of balances on each of the few mutual funds I owned and had another sheet which kept track of monthly balances. This was only for my taxable account, my 401k quarterly statements were enough for that part of my port...
by scrabbler1
Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you driving? And would you buy your current ride again?
Replies: 116
Views: 5671

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

2007 Toyota Corolla. It has about 32,000 miles. It replaced a 1991 Geo Prism (I bought it used in 1992), which is basically a Corolla. I got 15 years from the Prism, and I expect to get at least 15 years from the Corolla because I will have unfettered access to my IRA in 5 years from now.
by scrabbler1
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand what happens with the new law and ACA subsidies
Replies: 80
Views: 5585

Re: Help me understand what happen with the new law and ACA subsidies

PJW, I'm glad you mentioned the SLCSP, or Second Lowest Cost SIlver Plan, because it is a key amount when determining the ACA premium subsidy one receives. Because my MAGI is toward the higher end of the range which qualifies for a subsidy, how much I actually pay in premiums has no effect on my sub...
by scrabbler1
Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: pay taxes from long term gains on a taxable account
Replies: 18
Views: 1324

Re: pay taxes from long term gains on a taxable account

1040-ES is very easy to use. It can be done online , only a couple pages with minimal info. The other option is to increase withholding on your W4. Don't forget state taxes if that's an issue for you too. ok! wow! I walked through the steps.. and does look easy! thanks! since I only made this money...
by scrabbler1
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Itemized Tax Deductions
Replies: 10
Views: 566

Re: Itemized Tax Deductions

Anyone with deductions roughly similar to the standard deduction should be looking at bunching strategies. For example, do all of your charitable donations in odd numbered years. Or mega-bunch your donations by setting up a donor advised fund. See if you can bunch up your property tax payments, etc...
by scrabbler1
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: pay taxes from long term gains on a taxable account
Replies: 18
Views: 1324

Re: pay taxes from long term gains on a taxable account

Hi, I am about to sell off some assets that have a long term gain of ~$46,000 (no short term gains) on a taxable account. For my situation, it looks like they will be taxed at 15% so I estimate I will owe the Infernal Revenue Service about $7,000. I'm not retired and working full time and so far ta...
by scrabbler1
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket in Retirement
Replies: 46
Views: 5143

Re: Tax Bracket in Retirement

My question is what are the factors that one can consider he/she'll be in a higher or lower bracket in retirement? One major factor is the time gap (if any) between when you stop working and when you start collecting social security. A tricky issue with social security income is it can be completel...
by scrabbler1
Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket in Retirement
Replies: 46
Views: 5143

Re: Tax Bracket in Retirement

My question is what are the factors that one can consider he/she'll be in a higher or lower bracket in retirement? One major factor is the time gap (if any) between when you stop working and when you start collecting social security. A tricky issue with social security income is it can be completel...
by scrabbler1
Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How young is too young to retire.
Replies: 49
Views: 5786

Re: How young is too young to retire.

As someone who retired at 45 nine years ago, I can't say any age is too young. As for financially planning for it, I split my ER plan into two parts. The first part is getting to age ~60 intact and the second part, the far easier part, is beyond age ~60 once the "reinforcements" begin to arrive. The...
by scrabbler1
Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Antivirus Software Recommendations
Replies: 36
Views: 2457

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

I have Windows Defender and Malwarebytes free version on my Windows 10 system. I have Microsoft Security essentials and Malwarebytes free version on my ladyfriend's Windows 7 system. This pair works well because once in a while one of them finds something the other one missed.
by scrabbler1
Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA costs arrived
Replies: 88
Views: 9937

Re: 2018 ACA costs arrived

A few months ago, I got a letter from OSCAR (NY) telling me my rate for a Silver plan would rise by 16%. The small subsidy I get will probably rise enough to offset some of that. But once OSCAR releases their plan descriptions next month, I will run the numbers to see if I should switch to their Bro...
by scrabbler1
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I lose NUA if I quit my job?
Replies: 7
Views: 750

Re: Do I lose NUA if I quit my job?

I mentioned that I cashed out my company stock. The plan rules (at the time) stated that I would (1) take the shares of stock then (2) sell them back to the company within a given time frame. For me, the effect of those two rules was to cash out the shares immediately. At the time, my company was no...
by scrabbler1
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I lose NUA if I quit my job?
Replies: 7
Views: 750

Re: Do I lose NUA if I quit my job?

The rules about how company stock can be treated when leaving a job may be specific to the company's plan. However, I can tell you that when I left my company back in 2008 (not a retirement, but a resignation from the company's perspective; I was only 45), I was able to cash out the company stock us...
by scrabbler1
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you want your receipt?
Replies: 99
Views: 7456

Re: Do you want your receipt?

I don't use my CC very often, maybe 5 times per month, so keeping receipts for those transactions is hardly a burden., And I do make sure they match up with the monthly statement. I have online banking, so I can match it up as the transaction occurs. For online purchases, I print out the emailed rec...
by scrabbler1
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security - general question
Replies: 28
Views: 2453

Re: Social Security - general question

If you are good at spreadsheets, you can create one which mimics the AnyPIA program. I looked at the key calculations within the SS website and created a spreadsheet, before I was able to download and successfully run the AnyPIA program. I later used AnyPIA as a check on my spreadsheet and the two p...
by scrabbler1
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on Canceling Fidelity Portfolio Advisory Service
Replies: 27
Views: 1958

Re: Advice on Canceling Fidelity Portfolio Advisory Service

I have been with Fido for 27 years. I rejected an invitation to have them manage my large portfolio with them. It was made by a rather pushy Account Executive (an unpaid advisor) I briefly had with someone from the local office a few years ago. I asked the office manager to switch me to someone else...
by scrabbler1
Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees, how and how much do you pay for health insurance?
Replies: 33
Views: 3968

Re: Retirees, how and how much do you pay for health insurance?

I retired 9 years ago at age 45. My HI costs have varied a lot in those 9 years but have stabilized mostly since the ACA's exchange plans began in 2014. For 2017, I pay $444 a month which is net of a small subsidy. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and some other health issues two years ago, so I...
by scrabbler1
Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So... What bond fund or bond-like instrument do you use?
Replies: 47
Views: 4102

Re: So... What bond fund or bond-like instrument do you use?

I use the monthly dividend from Fidelity Focused High Income Fund (FHIFX) to cover my expenses in my (early) retirement for the last 9 years. I have an IRA which has about half in Fidelity Intermediate-term bond fund (FTHRX). I have smaller amounts in two muni bond funds which act as emergency funds...
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are distributions and capital gains very different quarter to quarter?
Replies: 14
Views: 609

Re: Are distributions and capital gains very different quarter to quarter?

Year end capital gains can vary widely from year to year. I can recall large mutual fund capital gains payouts during the bull run from 1995-2000. The next 5 years or more many funds paid out zero year end capital gains. :happy Another thing to look for with regard to cap gain distributions is some...
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you take a pay cut to work from home?
Replies: 67
Views: 5297

Re: Would you take a pay cut to work from home?

I did mainly programming work in my career, so working from home often helped me be more responsive to those types of requests from coworkers. For example, someone would ask me in the late afternoon to run something. If I were still at the office, I might not have the time to set up the program and ...
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash on hand for emergencies
Replies: 41
Views: 2799

Re: Cash on hand for emergencies

I was in charge of my division's end-user programs in the 1990s and 2000s, so I was on the front line making sure those SAS programs were Y2K-compliant. We were also building a new report system and I was in charge of the testing of the large COBOL programs written by our systems analysts. I knew ju...
by scrabbler1
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash on hand for emergencies
Replies: 41
Views: 2799

Re: Cash on hand for emergencies

The only time I went out of my way to have a little extra cash around was when Y2K (January 1, 2000) finally arrived. Remember how there was a lot of fear that things wouldn't work because all the computers would think it was January 1, 1900? I took an extra $160 of cash from my local ATM just in ca...
by scrabbler1
Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you take a pay cut to work from home?
Replies: 67
Views: 5297

Re: Would you take a pay cut to work from home?

Oilrig, I did some telecommuting back in 2001-2003 at the same company I was working at already. I also wanted to work part-time instead of full-time. I went from working 37.5 hours per week to 20 hours per week with about 1/3 of those 20 hours done at the office in one day. This reduced my daily co...
by scrabbler1
Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?
Replies: 131
Views: 18291

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

I had two periods of being debt-free. The first was in 1987 when I paid off my student loans 2 years after graduating from college. I had paid off just over half of the balance at the end of the 6-month grace period in late 1985 using some money I had forgotten I still had in another bank account I ...
by scrabbler1
Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses
Replies: 35
Views: 2370

Re: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses

At the start of the year, I create a new part of a spreadsheet (continuing from where the last one leaves off) by adding lines for each of my known expenses by type of expense. For example, I create 12 lines for my co-op maintenance payments and 12 more for my electric bills. Some of these don't cha...
by scrabbler1
Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 3 stages of Financial Independence
Replies: 63
Views: 7032

Re: 3 stages of Financial Independence

I considered myself at Stage 2 when I FIREd 9 years ago at age 45. But in my ER plan, I expect to move into Stage 3 once my "reinforcements" begin arriving starting at age ~60. Those include unfettered access to my IRA, my frozen company pension, and Social Security. Those stages are not apart from ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you get your news?
Replies: 131
Views: 8348

Re: Where do you get your news?

For local news, News12 Long Island (TV show and website) and Newsday's website (which locks up my browser half the time!). PBS shows Newshour, Washington Week, and Charlie Rose. Comedy Central's Daily Show (not as much any more since Jon Stewart left). Jimmy Fallon's opening to The Tonight Show. C-S...
by scrabbler1
Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping question....Applebees
Replies: 87
Views: 6806

Re: Tipping question....Applebees

Most restaurants have websites so if I am dissatisfied with some element of service I will let the management know later, when I am home and can go on line to type up a formal response. I usually get a call back from the store's manager so I can discuss things further. I would only leave a subpar ti...
by scrabbler1
Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping question....Applebees
Replies: 87
Views: 6806

Re: Tipping question....Applebees

I have eaten at my local Applebee's a few times a year and this part of the receipt with the suggested tips has tipping amounts based on the pretax total. So it looks like this is not necessarily a national policy. :confused
by scrabbler1
Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age you retired
Replies: 112
Views: 8242

Re: Age you retired

I am stunned by the number of people who retired in their 40s and 50s. I hoped you have enough. Three years ago I bought our residence for one million -- cash -- from a man who retired at age 55. He had not been able to keep up his maintenance for 5 years ie, pool, roof, air conditioning, yard, ETC...
by scrabbler1
Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees, what is your marginal tax rate?
Replies: 102
Views: 10281

Re: Retirees, what is your marginal tax rate?

I am 54 and have been retired for nearly 9 years. I have multiple marginal tax rates because it depends on the type of income that extra dollar comes from. If that extra dollar is taxable at the federal and state levels, then I will pay about 16.5% federal+state but will also pay more federal tax be...
by scrabbler1
Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age you retired
Replies: 112
Views: 8242

Re: Age you retired

The number of answers in the 40s is surprising What did you do and what kind of net worth did you have to do that? Did you have children? I worked in the actuarial field for 23 years. Never earned more than $75k. In late 2008, when the markets were crashing, I retired with a NW of just over $800k. ...
by scrabbler1
Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age you retired
Replies: 112
Views: 8242

Re: Age you retired

The number of answers in the 40s is surprising What did you do and what kind of net worth did you have to do that? Did you have children? I worked in the actuarial field for 23 years. Never earned more than $75k. In late 2008, when the markets were crashing, I retired with a NW of just over $800k. ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age you retired
Replies: 112
Views: 8242

Re: Age you retired

I fully retired nearly 9 years ago at age 45. Before that, I had stopped working full-time in 2001 at age 38. That year, I switched to working part-time for my former company. I worked part-time there for 7 years.
by scrabbler1
Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security bend points/early retirement estimates
Replies: 17
Views: 2760

Re: Social Security bend points/early retirement estimates

Lt. Columbo, there is no downward trend. It's basically a rounding difference.
by scrabbler1
Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security bend points/early retirement estimates
Replies: 17
Views: 2760

Re: Social Security bend points/early retirement estimates

Back in 2008, when I retired (early), I created a spreadsheet which mimicked the SS benefit calculation. At the time, I tried to run the AnyPIA calculator but it wasn't working. A few years later, I tried running it again and it worked. The benefit calculation gave me a benefit which was less than $...
by scrabbler1
Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those planning early retirement....
Replies: 67
Views: 8604

Re: For those planning early retirement....

For those seeking FI and with plans on retiring early: 1. What do you plan to do after you retire and how do you plan to pay for it? I often see people in here who leave very frugal lives. I am wondering what sort of post retirement activities fit into these austere personal budgets 2. Have you eve...
by scrabbler1
Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking at shares rather than dollars?
Replies: 10
Views: 1230

Re: Looking at shares rather than dollars?

For my big bond fund whose monthly dividends provide much of my investment income in my early retirement, the number of shares is far more important than their NAV. It's the number of shares and the monthly dividends per share which determine their monthly dividend. The fund's NAV is pretty meaningl...
by scrabbler1
Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track expenses ?
Replies: 58
Views: 3602

Re: How do you track expenses ?

Back in the mid-1990s, after I bought my first PC, I created a spreadsheet version of my checkbook register but added columns for broad, easily categorized expenses. I keep 2 years of that per spreadsheet so it doesn't become too large and unwieldy. In another year-summarized spreadsheet, I have a c...
by scrabbler1
Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old were you when you got your first credit card?
Replies: 46
Views: 2014

Re: How old were you when you got your first credit card?

I was 22, 6 months out of college. While at one of my bank's ATMs in late 1985, a bank rep approached me with an application and I signed up, part of a promotion with a reduced annual fee.
by scrabbler1
Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you reinvest your dividends/capital gains?
Replies: 76
Views: 9171

Re: Do you reinvest your dividends/capital gains?

When I was still working, I reinvested everything. After I retired 9 years ago at age 45, I changed this. Originally, I took as cash the monthly dividends from my big bond fund and reinvested everything else. But a few years ago, I needed to take as cash a little bit more, so I began taking as cash ...
by scrabbler1
Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bad Idea to Have Zero Credit Cards?
Replies: 129
Views: 6180

Re: Bad Idea to Have Zero Credit Cards?

I don't use my CC very often. If I charge $300 in a month that is a lot. But it is handy, a tool to make my life a little easier. At the supermarket it is handy in case there are some key items on sale and I don't have to worry about having enough cash to take advantage of it. For the rare online pu...
by scrabbler1
Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to stash your emergency fund
Replies: 36
Views: 4158

Re: Where to stash your emergency fund

I'm a fan of muni funds, either bonds or money market. In higher tax bracket these are beneficial. However, the real benefit of emergency fund is knowing it's there. It buys you sleep and peace of mind. Not having an emergency fund in an investment enables you to access money in an instant and not ...
by scrabbler1
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to stash your emergency fund
Replies: 36
Views: 4158

Re: Where to stash your emergency fund

I'm a fan of muni funds, either bonds or money market. In higher tax bracket these are beneficial. However, the real benefit of emergency fund is knowing it's there. It buys you sleep and peace of mind. Not having an emergency fund in an investment enables you to access money in an instant and not ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When have you achieved financial independence?
Replies: 27
Views: 4268

Re: When have you achieved financial independence?

How to make Scenario A work, assume 5% return. Some rounding for ease of explanation. Year 1 Start a Roth ladder, move $24k. First 10k is tax free, 10k at 10%, 4k at 15%. $1600 taxes by year 2 Withdraw $2k/ month from Taxable, average balance for the year is $88k, earns $4400. Beginning of year 2 s...
by scrabbler1
Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I did it and feel great about it (paid off mortgage)
Replies: 53
Views: 5798

Re: I did it and feel great about it (paid off mortgage)

If you were deducting your mortgage interest on your income taxes, you need to adjust your withholding to compensate for the lower deduction (unless you hit the standard deduction "floor"). I did that back in 1998 when I paid off my mortgage so I ended up with a small pay cut, nowhere near the extra...
by scrabbler1
Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When have you achieved financial independence?
Replies: 27
Views: 4268

Re: When have you achieved financial independence?

It's not so clearcut. Any situation that will allow you to live from your investments without working for the rest of your life could be considered financial independence. If you can't do so, perhaps because you can't access some of the money when you need it, then you are not financially independe...
by scrabbler1
Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?
Replies: 51
Views: 4246

Re: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?

A good friend of mine inherited an IRA and a brokerage account after his remaining parent (mom) died 5 years ago. Like me, he was 49 at the time. Still working full-time, he didn't need the small RMD he had to take every year. But I set things up for him so that he would use some or most of the RMD ...