Search found 1992 matches

by scrabbler1
Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retire in my early 40s? Crazy or actually doable?
Replies: 70
Views: 7869

Re: Retire in my early 40s? Crazy or actually doable?

Yarnandthread, I retired 9 years ago at age 45 (single and no kids). I can address your second and third questions. First, When I was putting together my retirement plan, I split it into two parts. The first part was getting to age ~59.5 intact using only my taxable account, the more challenging par...
by scrabbler1
Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 financial goals - what are yours?
Replies: 59
Views: 4349

Re: 2018 financial goals - what are yours?

Okay, I'll play.

(1) Remain comfortably retired, financially, for my 10th year.
(2) Hit he $1M mark in investments, not including my IRA.
by scrabbler1
Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age your investments start making more money than you?
Replies: 107
Views: 7173

Re: At what age your investments start making more money than you?

I compared my total change in investment value (including 401k and company stock) and salary (back in my working years) to see when the former was more than twice the latter. Because my salary contributed to my total investment value, only if the total investment minus salary exceeded salary alone c...
by scrabbler1
Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand the ACA Cliff
Replies: 21
Views: 1620

Re: Help me understand the ACA Cliff

It all depending on the income. then how do we define income? We understand that SS is an income? Is dividend/interest an income? Is stock gain an income? For the purpose of determining an ACA subsidy, income includes tax-exempt interest, cap gains and CG distributions, and qualified dividends, as ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand the ACA Cliff
Replies: 21
Views: 1620

Re: Help me understand the ACA Cliff

If one man makes 48k and a second man makes 49k is the difference that much with the ACA? As someone who has barely qualified for an ACA subsidy the last 3 years, I will likely not qualify for one in 2017 because of a huge, unexpected spike in my income (due to a large LTCG distribution) later this...
by scrabbler1
Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Financial Moves You've Made
Replies: 158
Views: 21675

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

It wasn't intended as a financial move when I made it, but it turned out to be one: Never wanting children.

In the more conventional vein, avoiding debt or paying off debt early - student loans and mortgage paid off years early, never taking a car loan.
by scrabbler1
Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why should I donate to my alma mater?
Replies: 133
Views: 9319

Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

I throw a few dollars ($55) to my alma mater, NYU, every year. I recognize the reasons many don't wish to donate, and at times I feel ambivalent about donating. But NYU was good to me while I was there back in the early 1980s, both academically, financially (they paid for half of my tuition), and ot...
by scrabbler1
Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Price of haircut?
Replies: 194
Views: 10258

Re: Price of haircut?

Long Island, NY. I pay $15 + $4 tip. Local barber, less than a 5-minute walk from where I live. I go every 2 months. Quick and easy and reasonably priced.
by scrabbler1
Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRE [financial independence/retire early]
Replies: 132
Views: 11670

Re: FIRE [financial independence/retire early]

I've been reading and listening to choosefi.com and have followed Mr. Money Mustache for some time now and I've always wondered what some Bogleheads think of these topics? Specifically, the ability to declare yourself "financially independent" once you have 25x your annual expenses invested in a 50...
by scrabbler1
Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What did you do right?
Replies: 96
Views: 9270

Re: What did you do right?

What I did right: Never wanted to marry or have children. Bought the worst (co-op) apartment in the best building. LBYM Avoided debt: Paid off the student loans in 18 months, mortgage in 9 years, paid cash for cars. Never smoked. Worked for a company which began its ESOP during my peak earnings year...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?
Replies: 56
Views: 4486

Re: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?

I do my returns on paper although since 2014 I have been using the fill-in version of the forms so they are saved as pdf files on my PC. I keep 5 years of the full workfolders in my file cabinet. Earlier than 5 years I have stripped out unnecessary paper, mainly the tax booklets (minus any worksheet...
by scrabbler1
Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Portfolio Advisory service?
Replies: 22
Views: 1513

Re: Fidelity Portfolio Advisory service?

I have had an unpaid Account Executive at Fidelity for the last 9 years. He has helped me with Fidelity's retirement program and I have bounced some ideas off him over the years. Back in 2008-2010 there was some turnover with AEs and someone there tried to "poach" me from another AE and sell me on t...
by scrabbler1
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 15179

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

If you have cash in a taxable account, then you have to do the math with the return on that account versus the loan interest rate. If your cash is in a tax deferred account you have to look at the marginal tax rate when turning that into actual spending cash. I would argue that a low interest loan ...
by scrabbler1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off
Replies: 221
Views: 13945

Re: Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off

I can't say I disagree with the notion that buying with a CC can encourage more spending than using cash, for example. For the last few years, I have been using my CC most of the time when I do my grocery shopping, and even though I prepare a shopping list before I leave, I often buy a few more thin...
by scrabbler1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where did you first learn about investing?
Replies: 98
Views: 5084

Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

On the lighter side, I forgot to mention another little thing I learned about investing. It was from a "Flintstones" episode I watched as a kid where Fred pretends he is some high-society bigshot. When asked how he made his fortune, he gives this simple reply: "Buy low, sell high!" :mrgreen:
by scrabbler1
Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where did you first learn about investing?
Replies: 98
Views: 5084

Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

If you define investing the way Jerry Seinfeld did in a "Seinfeld" episode ("make money without doing anything") then I first learned about it in a few ways as a kid growing up. The first was receiving a small dividend check every quarter from the one share of Ford Motor Company I was given by my un...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10/Edge Conflicts
Replies: 12
Views: 887

Re: Windows 10/Edge Conflicts

I couldn't stand Edge and switched back to IE11. I do use Chrome for a few websites which IE11 doesn't work well.
by scrabbler1
Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Regrets after reaching retirement?
Replies: 42
Views: 4462

Re: Regrets after reaching retirement?

Early retirement did not appear on my radar until I turned 35, when I paid off my mortgage and greatly reduced my living expenses, setting up my switch from full-time to part-time work 3 years later. By then, early retirement was well within my radar and I was able to retire in 2008 at age 45. Singl...
by scrabbler1
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you stop junk mail?
Replies: 29
Views: 1553

Re: How do you stop junk mail?

This was many years ago, back in the 1990s, when I sent something (pre-internet) to some direct mail or direct marketing association to get off their lists. Calling customer service lines from some companies has helped with the cable-TV providers although I still get some stuff from them. Same for b...
by scrabbler1
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 15179

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

If you are acquiring a new car, you major cost is not loan interest, but depreciation. In stead of spending $20k on a new compact, consider spending $15 on a used $25-30k car that is 3-5yrs old and has a great durability record reliability record . Search on auto-trader over a wide area, find a low...
by scrabbler1
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term capital gains tax - effective tax is higher than 15%
Replies: 15
Views: 1157

Re: Long term capital gains tax - effective tax is higher than 15%

Two things which increased the effective marginal tax rate on LTCG were: (a) it reduced the ACA premium subsidy, and (b) it reduced my deductible medical expenses because of the 10% threshold. My marginal rate on LTCG was 0%, but my tax bill rose significantly.
by scrabbler1
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bunching Deductions property state
Replies: 5
Views: 602

Re: Bunching Deductions property state

I have bunched state income taxes into a single calendar year by paying the 4th quarter for year x in January of year x+1, then paying the 4th quarter of year x+1 in December of year x+1. I am retired and I make only 1 state estimated tax payment per year, giving me the freedom to bunch this way. On...
by scrabbler1
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you project the amount you will have to spend annually in retirement?
Replies: 76
Views: 4372

Re: How do you project the amount you will have to spend annually in retirement?

Planning for early retirement ages 45-50. I am planning for 2.5% inflation per year and 100-150% my current spending. I'm taking that number x 25 via the 4% rule and planning to retire some time between there. I feel it's very safe yet is a reasonable goal. (Note I am not factoring in my pension <5...
by scrabbler1
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 15179

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

What about telling the car salesman you plan to get a loan but at the last minute, after agreeing on a price, tell him you plan to pay cash? Would that work? Put me down for paying cash anyway for the reasons others have already stated. When you do that, if they had a deal based on the financing - ...
by scrabbler1
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 15179

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

What about telling the car salesman you plan to get a loan but at the last minute, after agreeing on a price, tell him you plan to pay cash? Would that work?

Put me down for paying cash anyway for the reasons others have already stated.
by scrabbler1
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the difference between retiring and resigning from a job?
Replies: 42
Views: 4511

Re: What is the difference between retiring and resigning from a job?

To my employer, I was resigning. To me, I was retiring. That was 9 years ago, when I was 45. My pension had been frozen since 2002. I get a small interest credit in the cash-balance plan every year, as shown in the annual pension plan statements I receive.
by scrabbler1
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: I got this!!
Replies: 82
Views: 9856

Re: Retirees: I got this!!

I retired 9 years ago at age 45, just when the markets were crashing in late 2008. I split my retirement plan into two parts. The first part was getting to age ~59.5 intact because I would be living mainly off my non-retirement portfolio. I am about 2/3 of the way there and all is great, my SWR is i...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NUA (Net Unrealized Appreciation) and Tax Returns
Replies: 9
Views: 528

Re: NUA (Net Unrealized Appreciation) and Tax Returns

When I left my old company in late 2008, I had to liquidate my 401k which included company stock, pretax contributions, company match, after-tax contributions, and earnings on all contributions. I had to sell the company stock back to the company which was a plan rule. I was allowed to use NUA for t...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K to IRA rollover
Replies: 10
Views: 688

Re: 401K to IRA rollover

Yes, I would do a rollover for sure. There are two ways to do a rollover. 1. Have the 401k custodian send a check made out to you. This is bad. They are required by law to withhold 20% for taxes. This 20% is a taxable withdrawal and is subject to a 10% penalty (if you are younger than 59.5) unless ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions about buying a used car
Replies: 9
Views: 596

Re: Questions about buying a used car

I noticed Hertz sells cars from their fleet and has some seemingly good deals on late model used cars, certified and with Carfax history reports. Three questions: 1. Is it a bad idea to buy from Hertz, given the way many renters treat their rental cars? 2. How reliable are Carfax reports? Are all a...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spam calls to cell phone...
Replies: 87
Views: 6295

Re: Spam calls to cell phone...

I have a low-end cell phone with a small, pay-per-minute plan [...] I don't want to let the calls go to voice vail because I later have to go there to check them out and delete them, a time-consuming PITA and it costs me money to call my VM. It's still a pain, but you can avoid the cost of calling ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spam calls to cell phone...
Replies: 87
Views: 6295

Re: Spam calls to cell phone...

I have a low-end cell phone with a small, pay-per-minute plan because I use the phone only for emergencies and for a rare text. I have given the number out to maybe 10 people. I got the phone nearly 3 years ago. There is no call-blocking program and nomorobo doesn't apply to cell phones. But I get l...
by scrabbler1
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?
Replies: 338
Views: 37687

Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

I bought my co-op apartment in early 1989 and refinanced it in 1992 after interest rates took a huge tumble in 1990-1991. I was still working full-time back then, and the stock market began to boom in the 1990s. Taking some of the gains from the markets enabled me to pay off the mortgage in early 19...
by scrabbler1
Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you do to keep your mind sharp?
Replies: 65
Views: 4949

Re: What do you do to keep your mind sharp?

Scrabble (of course)
Strat-o-Matic baseball (cards & dice)
Chess, once in a while
Square dancing (Advanced and Challenge levels, tough stuff)
I haven't played bridge in years, but I enjoy reading my old bridge books which contain quizzes and stories
by scrabbler1
Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Insruance Payment
Replies: 29
Views: 1592

Re: Auto Insruance Payment

My insurance is with State Farm. The bill comes semi-annually. There is no obvious option for credit card payment. I call my agent, and I can pay with my credit card through the agent. So, I get my credit card rebate. I pay the entire 6-month premium. That’s odd - I always pay with credit card thro...
by scrabbler1
Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you start investing in taxable accounts?
Replies: 23
Views: 2607

Re: When did you start investing in taxable accounts?

I began putting my after-tax surplus money into something other than a bank account back in 1990. This was about 1 year after I had bought my co-op apartment and had rebuilt my savings enough to meet the minimum investment requirement of $2,500. My salary at the time was $40,500. I had been investin...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA MAGI planning
Replies: 52
Views: 4055

Re: ACA MAGI planning

I'll give you one little "gotcha" I have encountered with respect to MAGI and the ACA premium subsidy. If you happen to receive any state income or property tax rebates in a year after you itemize your deductions which include the original deductible state income or local property taxes, that rebate...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I invest my emergency fund?
Replies: 29
Views: 3192

Re: Should I invest my emergency fund?

I have a two-tiered emergency fund. The first tier is about a $500 cushion in my local bank's checking account beyond any minimum balance needed to avoid monthly account fees. This money earns no interest but exists in case I have any small, unforeseen expenses in a given month. This money is very l...
by scrabbler1
Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Retirement Make You Lazier?
Replies: 87
Views: 7731

Re: Does Retirement Make You Lazier?

When I was working full-time, I had limited chances to get my personal stuff done, only evenings and weekends. And the evenings were short because I usually got home around 7 PM so by the time I rested up and ate dinner it was 8 PM. By 11:30 it was lights out, leaving me only 3 1/2 hours to do perso...
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Someone spoofing my phone number?
Replies: 45
Views: 3487

Re: Someone spoofing my phone number?

For those getting spam and robocalls there are apps for that. If you have land line phone via internet provider, many of those give you option to use “nomorobo”. It works very well. Eliminates almost 100% of robocalls. You get one brief ring but then no more. There are also apps for mobile phones. ...
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 - Fall Creator's Update - Ransomeware
Replies: 25
Views: 4184

Re: Windows 10 - Fall Creator's Update - Ransomeware

I didn't have the Controlled Folders feature so I ran Windows Update and it picked up the Fall creators version, downloaded it, and installed it. When I opened up Defender, it was there. I turned it on and added one personal folder not among the ones it includes by default. Not too bad.
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best to harvest Dividends to meet living expenses
Replies: 23
Views: 2187

Re: Best to harvest Dividends to meet living expenses

What kind of dividends are you getting monthly? Most bond funds pay dividends monthly. errr, ummm... pay interest monthly... The monthly income generated by bond funds (munis and corporate) is described as dividends on the annual 1099 forms. Getting side tracked... but... yeah.... I see what you me...
by scrabbler1
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund Replenishment
Replies: 14
Views: 1843

Re: Emergency Fund Replenishment

I have a multi-tiered emergency fund. The first tier is about $500 extra in my local bank's checking account beyond any minimum balance requirements to avoid monthly fees. This small buffer is used to cover small, unforeseen expenses. I frequently dip into this small buffer and it gets replaced by t...
by scrabbler1
Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best to harvest Dividends to meet living expenses
Replies: 23
Views: 2187

Re: Best to harvest Dividends to meet living expenses

CaliJim wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:59 pm
mptfan wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:39 pm
GerryL wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:44 pm
What kind of dividends are you getting monthly?
Most bond funds pay dividends monthly.

errr, ummm... pay interest monthly...
The monthly income generated by bond funds (munis and corporate) is described as dividends on the annual 1099 forms.
by scrabbler1
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA earning prediction
Replies: 5
Views: 505

Re: ACA earning prediction

I am one year on Medicare, but my wife does not start Medicare until June, 2018. In order to maintain my substantial ACA supplement I am working to keep my MAGI as low as possible for 2018. We live on our $21,000 annual pension, some limited interest and dividends, with the balance of our living ex...
by scrabbler1
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best to harvest Dividends to meet living expenses
Replies: 23
Views: 2187

Re: Best to harvest Dividends to meet living expenses

I plan on retiring Jan 1, 2019. For those that are in retirement like to hear the pros and cons on harvesting dividends from my Tax Acct Funds/Stocks. Oh -- just dividends -- capital gains will continue to be reinvested. Option 1 -- Each month have the dividends from each fund deposited in a MMA to...
by scrabbler1
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA earning prediction
Replies: 5
Views: 505

Re: ACA earning prediction

I am one year on Medicare, but my wife does not start Medicare until June, 2018. In order to maintain my substantial ACA supplement I am working to keep my MAGI as low as possible for 2018. We live on our $21,000 annual pension, some limited interest and dividends, with the balance of our living ex...
by scrabbler1
Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees: which websites do you spend the most time on?
Replies: 33
Views: 5881

Re: Retirees: which websites do you spend the most time on?

dwickenh wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:10 am
I enjoy Early retirement .org which addresses many of my concerns about retirement living. A nice group of people over there also. Many travel ideas and ways to spend time in retirement.

Dan
As an early retiree, I visit and post to this website often.
by scrabbler1
Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was the main reason you retired?
Replies: 210
Views: 15415

Re: What was the main reason you retired?

For me, #1, #3, #4, and #8. But the main reason was that I just hated, hated, hated the commute. Twice I reduced it in the 7 years I worked part-time, but the only solution to that was to reduce it zero.
by scrabbler1
Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMD distribution timing
Replies: 32
Views: 2553

Re: RMD distribution timing

My friend, 54, has an inherited IRA after his remaining parent died 5 years ago, and I help him out managing his financial stuff. I have him take his RMD near the end of the year and use it to pay income taxes (federal nd state) from the income generated from the brokerage account he inherited along...