Search found 2333 matches

by scrabbler1
Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 436
Views: 29793

Re: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]

If you don't like what they did to the forms, as in all those extra schedules (1-6) from dicing up the old 1040 form and eliminating the old short forms (1040A, 1040EZ), then let Nina Olson of the Taxpayer Advocate know. I wrote her last month and she was glad to hear my complaints. Her email addres...
by scrabbler1
Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting rid of spam
Replies: 22
Views: 1436

Re: Getting rid of spam

My biggest complaint about spam emails is not being able to use wild cards to specify broader ranges of email addresses and domain names to filter out more junk emails. Very often, the email addresses of the senders include a lot of gobbledygook along with some legit words in either the name or doma...
by scrabbler1
Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you start spending more and saving less?
Replies: 77
Views: 4875

Re: When did you start spending more and saving less?

Tycoon wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:29 pm
The day after I retired.
Same here.
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you check up on your investments?
Replies: 35
Views: 2114

Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

I'll check them at the end of each month when I get monthly dividend distributions. Some months, I get mid-month dividend of cap gain distributions, so I'll check for them. I also check another day mid-month to post balances into my spreadsheet. If I looking at doing a rebalancing move, which is at ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long to have mailed check cashed by IRS?
Replies: 13
Views: 1108

Re: how long to have mailed check cashed by IRS?

Mailed my state and federal returns from the post office via regular mail on Tuesday, April 2nd. Both checks cleared by Friday night, April 5th.
by scrabbler1
Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you buy a new car with a cashiers check without unfreezing a credit freeze?
Replies: 68
Views: 4099

Re: Can you buy a new car with a cashiers check without unfreezing a credit freeze?

The last time I bought a (new) car, 12 years ago, I put the deposit on my CC and brought in a bank check for our agree-upon amount. The salesman gave me choice between that and having him tear up the deposit and bringing in a check for the full amount but I balked at that. No credit check. He wanted...
by scrabbler1
Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there a relatively stable junk bond fund?
Replies: 41
Views: 3887

Re: Is there a relatively stable junk bond fund?

You might consider Fidelity Focused High Income Fund (FHIFX). It's mostly BB but has some B and BBB bonds. I think of it as "cream of the crap."
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Do You Pay For Haircut?
Replies: 115
Views: 6249

Re: How Much Do You Pay For Haircut?

$15 + $4 tip. Once every 2 months. Barbershop is walking distance from where I live. Been going there for the last 7 years. While the boss barber has been there the whole time, the second barber spot has had some turnover, so I am often breaking a first-time barber in. The boss barber knows me and k...
by scrabbler1
Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Standard Deduction vs Itemizing - Experience this year
Replies: 52
Views: 5167

Re: Standard Deduction vs Itemizing - Experience this year

I itemized every year from 1989-2008, the 20 years I was both working and owned my co-op apartment. Starting in 2009, my first full year of early retirement, I usually itemized but sometimes took the standard deduction because I was able to bunch some of my deductions and save a few hundred dollars ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 security software
Replies: 33
Views: 2211

Re: Windows 10 security software

Once in a while, when I download a legit update to an app, it won't install because I have Controlled Folder Access turned on. I then turn it off temporarily, do the download/install, then turn it back on. It's a minor nuisance, but because I so rarely have to do the off/on thing, I feel this protec...
by scrabbler1
Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal tax refund? What are you doing with it?
Replies: 54
Views: 2371

Re: Federal tax refund? What are you doing with it?

Because I have not had any tax withholding since 2008 (I retired that year), I never get a refund anymore. I make my first estimated tax payment in the 4th quarter, when I know or have a really good idea what my total tax bill will be. Depending on what that is, I pay a good chunk of it in January a...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What? No Income?
Replies: 62
Views: 6945

Re: What? No Income?

I retired 10 years ago at age 45. I had stopped working full-time 7 years before that, working part-time for those 7 years. The ACA was very helpful in my being able to continue affording health insurance, something I will be on for another 10 years. I had simply had enough of working, especially th...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 security software
Replies: 33
Views: 2211

Re: Windows 10 security software

I use Windows Defender and Malwarebytes free version.
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?
Replies: 63
Views: 4159

Re: Retirement: What expenses did you reduce?

When I was putting together my early retirement plan about 10 years ago, I saw that my FICA taxes and commutation costs would disappear, and my health insurance costs would increase. These costs roughly offset each other. My income taxes dropped slightly because (a) some of my income moved from ordi...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you check your net worth?
Replies: 257
Views: 14262

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

lostdog wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:21 am
I record it once a month.
Works for me, too.
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My Life in Retirement - Thank You !!
Replies: 30
Views: 4046

Re: My Life in Retirement - Thank You !!

Hi Bogleheads, I updated my Quicken balances this morning and found that I had received my quarterly dividend from my S&P 500 holdings (IVV). Whats interesting about this is that when I was working I checked my balances every day, and anxiously anticipated all dividend payments. Now that I'm retire...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Occupation on tax return
Replies: 25
Views: 3023

Re: Occupation on tax return

Steelersfan wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:32 am
I've put "Retired" on my last 10 returns and no push back so far.
Same here.
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax refund: take the cash or apply to next year's estimates?
Replies: 12
Views: 1485

Re: Tax refund: take the cash or apply to next year's estimates?

I would take all or most of it in cash. Can you pay the second quarter's estimated tax amount with the refund, without incurring any penalties for 2nd quarter underpayment? The second "quarter" is only 2 months, not 3 (April 1-May 31), so its payment will be due in about 11 weeks from now. I do the ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Retiring before 65: How do you deal with health insurance?]
Replies: 79
Views: 9305

Re: [Retiring before 65: How do you deal with health insurance?]

I retired 10 years ago at age 45. I have been on the individual market for the last 10 years, the last 5 on an ACA silver plan. After barely qualifying for a small premium subsidy from 2014-2016, I went over the subsidy cliff in 2017 and 2018. The lost subsidy has been growing in 2017 and 2018, from...
by scrabbler1
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Close my AT&T Universal Card?
Replies: 43
Views: 2703

Re: Close my AT&T Universal Card?

Discover card didn't start until 1985 or so. I was an early adopter because Sears owned it at the time an pushed them in their stores. One of the first CC bonuses I got was for signing up for that in 1986. Sears was late in allowing regular CCs for purchases. I recall in 1991 I tried to buy a weddi...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you still wear a necktie to work?
Replies: 108
Views: 5037

Re: Do you still wear a necktie to work?

Back in my working days, which began in 1985, we men had to wear a necktie every day. But in 1994 the office began a Casual Fridays for the summer, from early July through Labor Day. We couldn't wear jeans or shorts, or sneakers, but losing the necktie and switching to a 2-button pullover shirt were...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing 1040X
Replies: 7
Views: 361

Re: Filing 1040X

Today I received a Form 1099-Div CORRECTED from TDAmeritrade for a family member couple who I help prepare tax returns. The original return was filed about March 1st. In the past few years there hasn't been any corrected Forms 1099, but this time I guess we jumped the gun by filing too early. Once ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing 1040X
Replies: 7
Views: 361

Re: Filing 1040X

Today I received a Form 1099-Div CORRECTED from TDAmeritrade for a family member couple who I help prepare tax returns. The original return was filed about March 1st. In the past few years there hasn't been any corrected Forms 1099, but this time I guess we jumped the gun by filing too early. Once ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: retirement / taxable accounts as two separate buckets
Replies: 17
Views: 1455

Re: retirement / taxable accounts as two separate buckets

Hello all, My wife and I have been saving for retirement and early retirement for a number of years. We have set up our asset allocation in a way that makes sense to us, but that I've never heard of anyone else doing. I'm looking for input on this strategy. We have always maxed out all of our retir...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Favorite investment quote
Replies: 73
Views: 3847

Re: Favorite investment quote

In a "Seinfeld" episode, there was this quick exchange between Jerry and George about compound interest after George is notified about some money in his name in an abandoned bank account. George's first line is one of my favorites when it comes to investing. George: "Interest" - it's an amazing thin...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Favorite investment quote
Replies: 73
Views: 3847

Re: Favorite investment quote

"Buy low, sell high."

I first heard that line in a Flintstone's episode nearly 50 years ago, when I was around 7 or 8 years old.
by scrabbler1
Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis for retirement accounts
Replies: 28
Views: 8302

Re: Cost basis for retirement accounts

Gettting back to the NUA for company stock in a 401K. I was excited thinking that all of my company match 401k stock could be transferred to a taxable account after retirement, and I would then pay long term capital gains rates when I sell the stock. rather than paying ordinary income rates as is n...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your personal experiences with downside of early retirement?
Replies: 69
Views: 10129

Re: What are your personal experiences with downside of early retirement?

the high cost of health care but early retirement should be everyone's goal life is not a dress rehearsal Yes+. I buy health insurance from my former employer. Last year they reimbursed for out of network care at a reduced rate, which was fine by me. This year, they are not reimbursing for out of n...
by scrabbler1
Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you have 1 or 2 numbers for expenses in retirement?
Replies: 59
Views: 4195

Re: Do you have 1 or 2 numbers for expenses in retirement?

In the 1-2 years before I retired, as I was ramping up my plan and putting together my budget, there were 2 key things I did. The first was to include a condition for my ER so that my general, day-to-day lifestyle would not change from before. The second was to include a cushion in my budget to cove...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Bank Of America Cash Rewards Card Now Lets You Choose Your 3%(=5.25%) Category"
Replies: 225
Views: 26781

Re: "Bank Of America Cash Rewards Card Now Lets You Choose Your 3%(=5.25%) Category"

Just did a chat with Bank of America. They confirmed ebay for getting the 3% for online purchases. But it seems that any payments made through Paypal will not get the online rewards, because they are a "third party processor". Customer Service Rep was mistaken. Payments through Paypal will count as...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why all the surveys?
Replies: 38
Views: 2213

Re: Why all the surveys?

I get them often, too. I get them after I visit my local bank, to ask about the teller's and bank's service. I get them after I call a business's toll-free customer service line. I get them from my health insurer just because they feel like it (or have to ask me). If the survey isn't too long and do...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winning the robo spam wars
Replies: 35
Views: 1858

Re: Winning the robo spam wars

We have been very successful with nomorobo.com, which blocks several calls to our home phone every day. There is one caller called "800 Service" that has called every day for the last several months, but it does not even ring anymore thanks to nomorobo. If you get your phone service via your cable ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winning the robo spam wars
Replies: 35
Views: 1858

Re: Winning the robo spam wars

We just don't answer the phone. Lately I have been getting calls from myself (my full name and home number appear on our home caller-ID). I have not been tempted to answer and find out what I'm calling about. I'm not sure whether to respond a) "You might need help!" or b) "The call is coming from I...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best cheap printer
Replies: 80
Views: 5193

Re: best cheap printer

After using an inkjet for 9 years, I got tired of having to replace the ink cartridges every 6 months or so. And I didn't like how slow it printed, especially for larger documents. I bought an HP LaserJet P1102w back in 2010 for $80 and it has been great. No worries about toner drying up, with faste...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SWR As An After Tax Function
Replies: 21
Views: 1171

Re: SWR As An After Tax Function

I consider income taxes as an expense. However, in my budgeting, I split my income taxes into two parts. The first part are the income taxes on my regular, expected dividend income, something I must account for in my annual budget. The second part are he income taxes on the more erratic cap gain dis...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated tax payments & impact of qualified dividends
Replies: 9
Views: 495

Re: Estimated tax payments & impact of qualified dividends

Goshenbogle, I sympathize. I do the income taxes for a friend of mine and he has had a similar problem over the years. Some of the reported dividends in his portfolio end up being classified as "nondividend distributions" which are not taxable. There is no mention of this subset of dividend distribu...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much in Your Emergency Fund And Is It Used?
Replies: 240
Views: 34979

Re: How Much in Your Emergency Fund And Is It Used?

I have a two-tiered emergency fund. The first is ~$700 buffer or cushion in my local bank's checking account I use to cover small, unforeseen expenses while continuing to meet minimum account balances to avoid monthly account fees. I tap into this fairly often and replenish any funds used within a m...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Qualified Dividends Form 1040
Replies: 20
Views: 1109

Re: Qualified Dividends Form 1040

I do my taxes by hand but with the aid of a homemade spreadsheets. One part of the spreadsheet includes that cumbersome QDLTCG worksheet, so all I have to do every year is to update the cells which have new tax brackets. This year, however, I had to sever the cell addressing of the top of 0% QDLTCG ...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who does their own taxes?
Replies: 111
Views: 7410

Re: Who does their own taxes?

Almost 45 years now, I like Tirbotax better because it’s like a big adding machine, no mistake with calculations. In the past I have calculators too, but I always wondered if I miscarried something somehow. +1. They keep increasing the price and finding ways to get more fees, but I still consider i...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What did wise people do with their investments in 2008
Replies: 102
Views: 7058

Re: What did wise people do with their investments in 2008

In my taxable account, I made no rebalancing moves in 2008 prior to the end of October. In my 401k, I made one move in advance of my early retirement from the company I was working for. To come down to 2 total funds (S&P 500 and a Stable Fund), I moved the holdings from a bond fund into the S&P fund...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Close my AT&T Universal Card?
Replies: 43
Views: 2703

Re: Close my AT&T Universal Card?

I got my first credit card in 1985, from the bank I did my regular banking at (they offered a discount on the annual fee). I became aware of Discover Card but had heard it wasn't accepted everywhere. In 1989, I received in the mail an offer for a no-fee card, a rarity for sure. I got the card, from ...
by scrabbler1
Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who does their own taxes?
Replies: 111
Views: 7410

Re: Who does their own taxes?

I wonder if those of us who do our own taxes saw our parents do their own when we were kids. My mom handled the finances in the house, and she did the taxes. Being good at math and already helping her with some of the simpler paperwork tasks when she paid the bills, I helped her out doing the taxes ...
by scrabbler1
Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who does their own taxes?
Replies: 111
Views: 7410

Re: Who does their own taxes?

Since 1985, I do my own taxes, with help from homemade spreadsheets since the mid-1990s, and with the free fillable forms since 2014. I have cap gains and ACA subsidy forms (no more itemizing with the SD now much larger). I tried (free) TurboTax 2 years ago as a check on my work but it gave me garba...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cap gains loss tax question
Replies: 3
Views: 296

Re: Cap gains loss tax question

Kaneohe referred to a worksheet in the instruction booklet. That worksheet is important, as it will tell you how much capital loss carryover you will retain from one year to the next. Schedule D will refer to the carryover from the prior year's worksheet. If you have any cap gains, they may be able ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax mistake
Replies: 19
Views: 2143

Re: Tax mistake

I smell a scam, too. The letters from the IRS I have seen (and, sometimes, received), always showed a few key lines from the return which differ from what was originally filed. Depending on where the first different appears, it may be difficult to figure out the source of the difference (or mistake)...
by scrabbler1
Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 436
Views: 29793

Re: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]

This is how I viewed the tax savings, with income and Roth conversions to the top of the 12% bracket, MFJ and 65+ standard deduction. The 2017 column uses same income and tax brackets, but applies higher rates. For 2018, more deductions and lower tax rates. Results are what I expected. https://e1ag...
by scrabbler1
Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First thing(s) you'd do when you achieve financial independence?
Replies: 73
Views: 5944

Re: First thing(s) you'd do when you achieve financial independence?

The first thing I did when reaching FI was to RE (Retire Early). That was 10 years ago, when I was 45. Being FI and RE (or FIREd) meant that I could live without working while not changing my day-to-day lifestyle (which was hardly extravagant).
by scrabbler1
Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retention of income tax returns
Replies: 18
Views: 1709

Re: Retention of income tax returns

After 5 years, I keep only the returns, supporting documents (W2, 1099), and any worksheets/spreadsheets I used or created while preparing the returns. What I kept was about 1/3 of what was in the folder before, freeing up a lot of space.
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital Gains Distributions vrs. LTCG
Replies: 7
Views: 657

Re: Capital Gains Distributions vrs. LTCG

I also see that Capital Gain Distributions from my funds, while not directly taxed, cause our Social Security Benefits to be taxed at the (max85%) rate. I have had cap gain distributions, even those taxed at 0%, raise my taxes because they reduced my medical expense deduction, or reduce/eliminate m...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preparing Your Own Taxes
Replies: 13
Views: 1397

Re: Preparing Your Own Taxes

Hi All, For the past 3 years, I've prepared my taxes using Turbo tax. However, this year I would like to be more involved and actually fill out the forms to better understand all of the details and calculations. I have a pretty simple tax situation (single, no dependents, not a homeowner, 1 source ...