Search found 2479 matches

by scrabbler1
Tue May 26, 2020 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do you retire early if your money is tied up in tax deferred?
Replies: 26
Views: 3340

Re: How do you retire early if your money is tied up in tax deferred?

If you have company stock in your 401k, you can cash it out using NUA to lessen the tax bite. That's what I did. Most of the company stock's value was NUA, so the max tax rate on it was only 15% (the top cap gains rate back in 2008; today, it's a little higher). The cost basis of the stock was very ...
by scrabbler1
Sun May 24, 2020 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Has anyone ever used their Emergency Fund?
Replies: 87
Views: 6658

Re: Has anyone ever used their Emergency Fund?

The term "Emergency Fund" means different things to different people. Like many in this forum, I have my EF set up in layers, or tiers. The first tier is a small cushion or surplus in my local bank's checking account. It's usually small, about $700, but I have let it grow a little higher in the las...
by scrabbler1
Sun May 24, 2020 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Has anyone ever used their Emergency Fund?
Replies: 87
Views: 6658

Re: Has anyone ever used their Emergency Fund?

The term "Emergency Fund" means different things to different people. Like many in this forum, I have my EF set up in layers, or tiers. The first tier is a small cushion or surplus in my local bank's checking account. It's usually small, about $700, but I have let it grow a little higher in the last...
by scrabbler1
Mon May 18, 2020 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discarding old tax returns
Replies: 62
Views: 5475

Re: Discarding old tax returns

I keep the full tax folder for 5 years. Before that, I keep only the return and supporting documents and any homemade spreadsheets I printed out, about half the total volume.
by scrabbler1
Sun May 17, 2020 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you feel after giving notice to retire?
Replies: 52
Views: 4287

Re: How did you feel after giving notice to retire?

As soon as I realized I was going to hit my net worth target, I submitted my resignation. Had a good job that was stimulating and well compensated but I was ready to move on to pursue other interests. No regrets, no second thoughts. Just joy :happy I retired in 2008 with the confidence that investm...
by scrabbler1
Thu May 14, 2020 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you back up your important data?
Replies: 102
Views: 5085

Re: Where do you back up your important data?

I do backups on thumb drives, rotating between 2 of them. The risks I seek to protect myself against are failures of my PC or the hard drive (including from malware), as well as the occasional corruption of an individual file. I had a PC failure in early 2012 and a hard drive failure in late 2016. B...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [On-going Scams - Post them here]
Replies: 297
Views: 16724

Re: IMF COVID-19 Grant Scam

Even if she did recognize this as a scam, she should learn that the (real) relative (or any acquaintance) could be a scam victim who is unknowingly trying to pull others in with them. An elderly relative of mine fell for one of the scams thinking a grandson was calling to have some emergency money ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [On-going Scams - Post them here]
Replies: 297
Views: 16724

Re: [On-going Scams - Post them here]

Finally I also got this Email from someone writing that they have all these photos taken with the camera on my PC of me watching porn. They will mail these pictures to my relatives and friends, yes, they have the correct addresses, unless I pay them $2,000 in bitcoins using that link provided in th...
by scrabbler1
Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NY State Tax Return Status
Replies: 13
Views: 622

Re: NY State Tax Return Status

I prepared the tax return for my ladyfriend and she mailed it out on March 9th. Last week, I checked the NYS website fabdog mentioned and it said the refund check was "scheduled" to be mailed out on April 6th. She got the check last Friday, April 17th. She has a simple return, one which had used NYS...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card limit slashed for inactvity.
Replies: 27
Views: 1226

Re: Credit card limit slashed for inactvity.

Back in 2009-2010, I had two CCs canceled for inactivity. Both I had for around 20 years; one I never used, the other not in about 10 years. I do find it a little strange that a card's limit would be cut due to inactivity rather than the card being canceled, but that's me. That left me without a bac...
by scrabbler1
Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My theory about FIRE
Replies: 419
Views: 30539

Re: My theory about FIRE

I retired 11 years ago at age 45. For me, it was the commute I couldn't stand, and after 16 years of working FT I was able to "semi-retire" and work part-time, mostly telecommuting. That was back in 2001, 3 years after I had paid off the mortgage and greatly reduced my expenses. That arrangement all...
by scrabbler1
Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Holding EF in something other than cash?
Replies: 32
Views: 1750

Re: Holding EF in something other than cash?

My EF is set up in tiers like what Watty described. After the small amount of cash I have at home ($100-$200), I keep about $2,000 in my local bank's checking account available to take out as cash or by writing a personal check. Then, I keep about $40k in an intermediate-term muni bond fund which h...
by scrabbler1
Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Year 2019 question about LT capital gains for 12% bracket
Replies: 23
Views: 760

Re: Tax Year 2019 question about LT capital gains for 12% bracket

As someone who has filed Schedule D many times over the years, sometimes with individual sales, sometimes not; sometimes with a cap loss carryover, sometimes not; I have always needed to complete that special worksheet to determine the taxes due. Only when I have had no individual sales and no cap l...
by scrabbler1
Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Holding EF in something other than cash?
Replies: 32
Views: 1750

Re: Holding EF in something other than cash?

My EF is set up in tiers like what Watty described. After the small amount of cash I have at home ($100-$200), I keep about $2,000 in my local bank's checking account available to take out as cash or by writing a personal check. Then, I keep about $40k in an intermediate-term muni bond fund which ha...
by scrabbler1
Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best fund (bonds?) in taxable for 2nd tier emergency fund
Replies: 24
Views: 1522

Re: Best fund (bonds?) in taxable for 2nd tier emergency fund

While my second-tier EF may differ in size and purpose from what the OP has, I will say that mine is in an intermediate-term muni bond fund which has checkwriting privileges for added liquidity and access. I have been in this bond fund for 26 years and enjoy seeing it earn mostly tax-free income eve...
by scrabbler1
Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No sports but cable bills unchanged
Replies: 86
Views: 6128

Re: No sports but cable bills unchanged

My biggest beef with the sports surcharges is that they have been attached to most basic cable packages, so if you want to view most of the other channels you are stuck paying for all those costly sports channels you can't get away from. Premium channels such as HBO I don't want so I don't pay for t...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should federal tax return forms be stapled to each other? Or not?
Replies: 47
Views: 3019

Re: Should federal tax return forms be stapled to each other? Or not?

Somewhat different topic: tax forms take forever to come by mail so I printed out some. However the printer printed as 2 single-sided pages rather than a double-sided page.........e.g. 1040, Sch D. Which do you think IRS would prefer : send them as prepared; tape 2 pages together to make a thicker ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do you keep of track of capitol loss carryover ??
Replies: 22
Views: 1680

Re: How do you keep of track of capitol loss carryover ??

My friend, whose taxes I have been doing for several years, had a large carryover loss a few years ago. On my homemade spreadsheet, I programmed the cap loss carryover worksheet so I could reference the worksheet's carryover loss into each following year's Schedule D until it was used up.
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do you have to "prep" your 401k for an IRA rollover?
Replies: 5
Views: 293

Re: Do you have to "prep" your 401k for an IRA rollover?

When I did a 401k->tIRA rollover back in late 2008, I was issued a trustee-to-trustee check so I had to choose my AA for the new tIRA. But, I had forgotten to write down the final balances of the stock and bond funds in the 401k before I liquidated it. I kinda remembered what they were, so I made my...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much you lost/gain since Feb 20,2020 ?
Replies: 320
Views: 25668

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

I am down about $250k since 1/1/2020, although about $30k is due to unrelated, one-time spending. My overall AA is around 40/60. I am an early retiree living off my investment income, most of it from a big bond fund. I'll be eagerly waiting to see if its monthly dividend will be impacted.
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Setting Up an Income Stream
Replies: 14
Views: 982

Re: Setting Up an Income Stream

The only person getting a good monthly income stream is the advisor.
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should federal tax return forms be stapled to each other? Or not?
Replies: 47
Views: 3019

Re: Should federal tax return forms be stapled to each other? Or not?

Why do they need W2's these days? You don't attach them when filing electronically. There are a few states that are already on board with this: you don't include any Forms W-2 or 1099 even when you paper file. NY just wants summary W-2 info transcribed into their forms , which have 2-D barcodes. Th...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand why I need uninsured, underinsured motorist liability and medical payments.
Replies: 50
Views: 3906

Re: Help me understand why I need uninsured, underinsured motorist liability and medical payments.

Ugh, I wrote a post and thought it showed up here, only to see it's not here. I worked in the actuarial field for 23 years, specializing in personal auto insurance. There are 3 different types of Underinsured Motorists BI (UIMBI), and they vary by state. One is broad, the other more limited, the thi...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What USPS “Snail Mail” Option Do You Recommend for Tax Return?
Replies: 57
Views: 3092

Re: What USPS “Snail Mail” Option Do You Recommend for Tax Return?

I would mail it from a physical post office as opposed to sending it from home or another offsite location. As I see it, that reduces the likelihood that the envelope will get lost. Mailing options aren’t as important IMHO. +1, especially because some of the returns I mail out (I do the returns for...
by scrabbler1
Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay estimated taxes on one-time special dividend?
Replies: 10
Views: 385

Re: Pay estimated taxes on one-time special dividend?

One of the "safe harbors" to avoid underwithholding penalties is to have paid in, through withholding and estimated taxes, an amount which is at least what your last year's total tax liability was. I recall back in 2008 when I received a large lump-sum distribution in early November, I paid just en...
by scrabbler1
Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay estimated taxes on one-time special dividend?
Replies: 10
Views: 385

Re: Pay estimated taxes on one-time special dividend?

One of the "safe harbors" to avoid underwithholding penalties is to have paid in, through withholding and estimated taxes, an amount which is at least what your last year's total tax liability was. I recall back in 2008 when I received a large lump-sum distribution in early November, I paid just eno...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond funds - are they really safe?
Replies: 31
Views: 2695

Re: Bond funds - are they really safe?

Hi OP, and welcome to the forum. With respect to investing the word safe is poorly defined, and many people mean different things by it. We can say from experience in the past that fixed income, a broader category that includes bonds, has had less variance over time than equities, and less uncertai...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401K Match Given In Company Stock
Replies: 12
Views: 657

Re: 401K Match Given In Company Stock

For the last year or so I worked, my company switched to using company stock (from cash) for matching our 401k contributions. It was carved out of the total annual stock allocation. Because we were a privately held company (at the time), we already had a large block of company stock we could not div...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I qualify for QBI deduction?
Replies: 20
Views: 1763

Re: Do I qualify for QBI deduction?

Is it possible to claim the deduction in my 2019 taxes that i missed deducting in my 2018 taxes? anyone know the answer to this? I basically did not get the 2018 20% 199A dividend deduction. Is there a way to apply that deduction to the 2019 taxes? if not, how do i get that money back? sorry, i am ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quarterly Tax Payments - are the really required?
Replies: 22
Views: 2525

Re: Quarterly Tax Payments - are the really required?

I remember years ago, after I first made an estimated tax payment in the late 1990s, getting a set of preprinted forms and instructions in the mail every year for a while. When they stopped coming, even if I was still making at least 1 estimated tax payment a year, I figured it was to reduce printin...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Break down your SPENDING by category
Replies: 22
Views: 2395

Re: Poll: Break down your SPENDING by category

OP, 20K Housing (PITI) 20K Others 20K medical and dental I save about 50K to 60K per year. Normally, I do not spend the whole 60K that I allocated to my annual expenses every year. KlangFool These are my 3 broad categories, too. Housing, Medical/dental, and everything else. I do create sub-categori...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you ever use cash?
Replies: 228
Views: 13447

Re: Do you ever use cash?

I looked at my overall spending activity for this month. I have made 5 CC purchases (2 of them on line), 4 ACH purchases/bills-paid (with one more coming up in a few days), and 3 cash purchases. Zero checks, which is a little low because I average about 1 check per month. Overall, a pretty typical m...
by scrabbler1
Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card cancelled for non-use?
Replies: 25
Views: 2970

Re: Credit Card cancelled for non-use?

Back in 2009-2010, in the wake of the recession (and when credit was tight), I had 2 CCs I had rarely or never used canceled by the bank. No big deal. My current back-up CC, one which used to be my main card until I got a cash-back card in 2014, I left a small, automatic annual charge on it so the c...
by scrabbler1
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you ever use cash?
Replies: 228
Views: 13447

Re: Do you ever use cash?

I use cash for small purchases, most anything under $30, and sometimes for purchases up to $40. I pay cash for tips most of the time, even if I use CC to pay the rest of the check. I use cash to buy gas because there is a big price differential when using CC. Some local business have minimum purchas...
by scrabbler1
Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement expenses vs pre-retirement expenses?
Replies: 28
Views: 2998

Re: Retirement expenses vs pre-retirement expenses?

For me, it was pretty simple. I was working only part-time when I retired in late 2008 at age 45. There were only 3 significant changes to my expenses. The first was the elimination of commutation expenses. It cost me $20 per day on the trains for the 100 days I worked, so that was a $2,000 savings....
by scrabbler1
Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA MAGI planning
Replies: 60
Views: 8071

Re: ACA MAGI planning

I know this is an old thread, but most of the details are still pertinent. One thing that has me stymied is how to best research fund options for non-qualified MFs and have any clue what to expect on your 1099B. I am in the process of slowly moving to Fidelity and it's a great chance to choose fund...
by scrabbler1
Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency Funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1899

Re: Emergency Funds

The term "Emergency Fund" means different things to different people. As for me, I have 2 main layers, or tiers, for my emergency funds. The first tier is a small surplus, or cushion, in my local bank's checking account above what I need in there to avoid monthly account fees. This is to cover small...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mail Order Pharmacy
Replies: 16
Views: 854

Re: Mail Order Pharmacy

I had to change insurance plans starting in 2016 due to Express Scripts being so awful with my diabetes medication. They were sometimes late mailing it to me because they couldn't get proper authorization from my doctor. But when I called my doctor's office, they told me they faxed the authorization...
by scrabbler1
Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity is late with 1099
Replies: 49
Views: 4414

Re: Fidelity is late with 1099

A friend of mine had an account with Raymond James a few years ago and they once obtained an extension on getting his 1099 out which went well into March. Some of his funds were international, so it was probably one of those which caused the delay. My friend's Fidelity 1099 which had been delayed a...
by scrabbler1
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity is late with 1099
Replies: 49
Views: 4414

Re: Fidelity is late with 1099

A friend of mine had an account with Raymond James a few years ago and they once obtained an extension on getting his 1099 out which went well into March. Some of his funds were international, so it was probably one of those which caused the delay.
by scrabbler1
Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the highest expense ratio you willingly pay?
Replies: 123
Views: 8482

Re: What is the highest expense ratio you willingly pay?

I stay under 1%, with most of my holdings under 0.50%. Two of my 6 holdings, representing 40% of my total portfolio, are in index funds (under 0.040%). The 2 highest ER funds, around 0.70-0.85%, have some special features. One of them, a small holding, has checkwriting privileges and acts as my seco...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do You Do Your Taxes by Hand? Reporter doing story
Replies: 108
Views: 7803

Re: Do You Do Your Taxes by Hand? Reporter doing story

I tried using TurboTax 3 years ago. I got garbage, total nonsense from it. I couldn't even enter fake data to try to get the results my spreadsheet and own brain got, and my taxes are not especially complicated. I threw the CD in the trash. From my admittedly warped perspective, I don't know how it ...
by scrabbler1
Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance In Retirement
Replies: 32
Views: 3155

Re: Health Insurance In Retirement

My premiums have risen a lot since 2014 but it is not because I am aging (I live in New York which bans age rating). The subsidy remained small for a few years but I went over the ACA subsidy cliff in 2017, 2018, and 2019 (barely), so I had to bear the entire premium increase myself. I finally chan...
by scrabbler1
Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance In Retirement
Replies: 32
Views: 3155

Re: Health Insurance In Retirement

I retired 11 years ago at age 45. I was buying my own HI before the ACA for 5 years (2009-2013) and the premiums rose so quickly in 2010 and 2011 (50%) that I had to switch to a cheaper, bare-bones hospital-only policy in 2011 just to get me to 2014 when the exchanges came around. I paid more in 201...
by scrabbler1
Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do You Do Your Taxes by Hand? Reporter doing story
Replies: 108
Views: 7803

Re: Do You Do Your Taxes by Hand? Reporter doing story

I do my taxes by hand, if by hand we mean figuring out everything without any external tax software program or tax preparer. I have a homemade spreadsheet which mimics a skeleton version of the tax forms and worksheets such as the clunky Qualified Dividends and Cap Gains Worksheet. I have to update...
by scrabbler1
Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do You Do Your Taxes by Hand? Reporter doing story
Replies: 108
Views: 7803

Re: Do You Do Your Taxes by Hand? Reporter doing story

I do my taxes by hand, if by hand we mean figuring out everything without any external tax software program or tax preparer. I have a homemade spreadsheet which mimics a skeleton version of the tax forms and worksheets such as the clunky Qualified Dividends and Cap Gains Worksheet. I have to update ...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Early retirement - Long term "successes"
Replies: 75
Views: 7277

Re: Early retirement - Long term "successes"

Why should that be a qualifier? I retired 11 years ago at age 45 (not in my 20s or 30s) and am single and childfree. Why do my life choices somehow lessen my achievement? Interesting choice of words because it isn’t hard to make the argument that saving enough money for 1 person is a ‘lesser achiev...
by scrabbler1
Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I have a question for those in early FIRE or planning on early FIRE
Replies: 81
Views: 8281

Re: I have a question for those in early FIRE or planning on early FIRE

Most of the big changes to my everyday life began when I first switched from working full-time to working part-time back in 2001. Part of that included resurrecting old hobbies while doing some volunteer work. When I fully retired in late 2008 (at age 45), those nonwork activities remained intact. O...
by scrabbler1
Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy - 1095-A SLCSP premium amount
Replies: 7
Views: 440

Re: ACA subsidy - 1095-A SLCSP premium amount

Sometimes plans contain additional, non-ACA mandated, coverage for which an additional premium is charged. The additional premium isn’t eligible for offset with the tax credit. For example, my Kaiser bronze plan includes adult dental care. When reconciling the tax credit on form 1095-A my insurer l...
by scrabbler1
Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How high is health insurance going to go?
Replies: 79
Views: 6360

Re: How high is health insurance going to go?

When I retired in late 2008 at age 45 (pre-ACA), my HI premiums rose nearly 50% in the first 2 years, putting a strain on my budget. But by 2011, the ACA had been passed with the exchanges coming on line in 2014. I switched to a cheap, bare-bones, hospital-only policy to get me through the end of 20...