Search found 2171 matches

by scrabbler1
Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telemarketing calls from my own prefix
Replies: 57
Views: 4598

Re: Telemarketing calls from my own prefix

I get a lot of these on my cell phone. I rarely use my cell phone and I have given the number out to maybe 10 people, none of them have my prefix. I do start to recognize the last 4 digits after a while, the most often used one is xxx-xxx-3456. It gets pretty annoying because 90% of my cell phone ca...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fake IRS calls - anybody care?
Replies: 59
Views: 2761

Re: Fake IRS calls - anybody care?

I go to the 800notes.com website to see if there are others who have complained about the number. With the neighbor spoofed numbers, I am usually the first one posting there. But many times, there are others posting about it, sometimes pages and pages of complaints going back a few years. I have had...
by scrabbler1
Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement
Replies: 145
Views: 13259

Re: Early retirement

I retired 2 years ago at 47 and my wife last year at 49. We still have side gigs for about 1 week per month so I guess we are really 75% retired. The days go so quick. We look at each other every night and think where did the day go? We are active and workout most days. We spend 30-40% of the year ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement
Replies: 145
Views: 13259

Re: Early retirement

I retired 2 years ago at 47 and my wife last year at 49. We still have side gigs for about 1 week per month so I guess we are really 75% retired. The days go so quick. We look at each other every night and think where did the day go? We are active and workout most days. We spend 30-40% of the year ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Credit Cards Actually Convenient?
Replies: 65
Views: 3697

Re: Are Credit Cards Actually Convenient?

I don't use credit cards as often as most people although I have been using them more than I used to starting about 4 or 5 years ago. I don't use it to buy gas because my local gas guy charges a lot more per gallon if you use a CC, so I pay cash. I am also concerned about the added risk at unattende...
by scrabbler1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone not have a Budget?
Replies: 115
Views: 6563

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

I've never had a budget if the term "budget" implies a limitation on spending because I have always earned more in the aggregate than I have spent. Sometimes, in the short-term, when I have had large, lumpy expenses I might have a minor cash flow issue. But I can figure this out a month or two ahead...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement
Replies: 145
Views: 13259

Re: Early retirement

I retired early. I've had some very interesting interactions with people when they find out I've done so. Some are socially awkward, some rude, some confused and other bizarre reactions. Has anyone else experienced what I have? I retired 10 years ago at age 45. I got some looks of bewilderment and ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you trade experiences in your youth for early retirement
Replies: 81
Views: 5168

Re: Would you trade experiences in your youth for early retirement

Our goal was to not sacrifice either early or later on. Same here. I had enough money in my younger days to have enough experiences. When I retired 10 years ago at age 45, I wasn't sacrificing any chance to have more experiences, if I want them. And I have had a few. One requirement of my retiring ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit score after becoming debt free?
Replies: 44
Views: 2911

Re: Credit score after becoming debt free?

I am proud to say that I am now debt free, completely debt free including no mortgage and no debt of any kind. I can't really talk about it with most people for the fear of coming across as bragging and creating resentment, this is about the only place I can talk about it. Here is my question...now...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?
Replies: 50
Views: 5235

Re: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?

My first-tier EF is an extra $500 in my local bank's checking account (0% interest) beyond the minimum balance to avoid monthly account fees. It is very liquid and easily accessible to cover small, unforeseen expenses. My second tier EF is $40k in an intermediate-term muni bond fund. It earns about...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for pre-ACA Early Retirees and pre-ACA solo folks
Replies: 33
Views: 1863

Re: Question for pre-ACA Early Retirees

I retired at the end of 2008 and bought a reasonably priced individual HI plan for 2009. But its premiums rose 20% in 2010 and nearly 25% in 2011; combined that's nearly 50% compared to 2009. In the middle of 2011, after the ACA had already been passed, I dropped the now-expensive policy and switche...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?
Replies: 50
Views: 5235

Re: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?

My first-tier EF is an extra $500 in my local bank's checking account (0% interest) beyond the minimum balance to avoid monthly account fees. It is very liquid and easily accessible to cover small, unforeseen expenses. My second tier EF is $40k in an intermediate-term muni bond fund. It earns about...
by scrabbler1
Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?
Replies: 50
Views: 5235

Re: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?

My first-tier EF is an extra $500 in my local bank's checking account (0% interest) beyond the minimum balance to avoid monthly account fees. It is very liquid and easily accessible to cover small, unforeseen expenses. My second tier EF is $40k in an intermediate-term muni bond fund. It earns about ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W-4 allowances: why not withhold the minimum to avoid penalty?
Replies: 17
Views: 1299

Re: W-4 allowances: why not withhold the minimum to avoid penalty?

I will throw some cold-water on the idea of significant under-withholding. Basically, you are creating debt with some pretty serious penalties if you can't pay when it is due (and in some cases when it is due regardless). It seems to me that staying close to the target due amount is the most pruden...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to "retire" in your 30's article
Replies: 110
Views: 14536

Re: How to "retire" in your 30's article

Marc, as someone who also retired early, 10 years ago at age 45, I commend you for getting out of the daily rat race. I live frugally and never earned more than $80k in my 23-year career, pretty similar to your life. I first got bitten by the early retirement bug at age 35, but it took me 10 years t...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Care in "Early" Retirement
Replies: 50
Views: 4751

Re: Health Care in "Early" Retirement

When I reduced my weekly hours worked from 20 to 12, back in 2007, I switched to COBRA to retain HI coverage for 18 more months. Besides it being cheaper than an individual policy (no ACA back then), it had good dental coverage and I knew I would need some costly dental work in the next 18 months. I...
by scrabbler1
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tip
Replies: 87
Views: 5321

Re: How to tip

20% on the pre-tax amount, I go a little higher if the service was unusually good, or if it is a place I eat at frequently enough to recognize the servers (and they recognize me) so I know they will go out of their way for me should I need them to. If I have a problem with the food or service which ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will I ever be able to itemize?
Replies: 64
Views: 4222

Re: Will I ever be able to itemize?

Very rough federal tax calculation, assuming $30k for 401k/HSA/IRA/insurance premiums etc, and $20k worth of deductions: 2017: 130k income - 30k - 28k (itemizing + exemptions) = 72k taxable, tax = $9870 2018: 130k income - 30k - 24k (standard deduction) = 76k taxable, tax = $8740 For a savings of $...
by scrabbler1
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: bonds or bond funds?
Replies: 39
Views: 2258

Re: bonds or bond funds?

I have owned bond funds for the last 28 years, from munis to investment grade corporate to borderline investment-grade corporate. I buy them for the income, not for any capital appreciation or loss. I rarely make any redemptions (sales), so whatever I make or lose in those sales is secondary and usu...
by scrabbler1
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Few Questions About Early Retirement
Replies: 13
Views: 1956

Re: Few Questions About Early Retirement

Extending on what Kenyan wrote, I split my retirement plan into two parts. The first part was getting from age 45 to age ~59.5 using only the money in the taxable account. That's the tougher part, and I am doing just fine 10 years into that 15-year segment. The second part is getting beyond age ~59....
by scrabbler1
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Few Questions About Early Retirement
Replies: 13
Views: 1956

Re: Few Questions About Early Retirement

Twenty years ago, I was 35, single, no kids, with a total portfolio of about $250,000. I had just paid off my one mortgage and was starting to plan for a very early retirement, perhaps in my early 50s. Half my portfolio was in tax-advantaged accounts, half in taxable. Things actually went better for...
by scrabbler1
Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will I ever be able to itemize?
Replies: 64
Views: 4222

Re: Will I ever be able to itemize?

I will probably be hurt by the new tax law. My combined itemized deduction+personal exemption in 2017 was $13,300, slightly more than the new standard deduction. So the loss of the PE hurts me more than the higher SD helps me. As for lower tax rates, nearly all of my income is either QD and LTCG, ne...
by scrabbler1
Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will I ever be able to itemize?
Replies: 64
Views: 4222

Re: Will I ever be able to itemize?

Sergio will gain because of the lower tax rates for income above the 10% bracket. But he will lose out due to the elimination of the personal exemption (~$8,000 for MFJ?) which is greater than his new SD-ID. Which will have a greater effect? Am I missing something? Very rough federal tax calculatio...
by scrabbler1
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will I ever be able to itemize?
Replies: 64
Views: 4222

Re: Will I ever be able to itemize?

Sergio will gain because of the lower tax rates for income above the 10% bracket. But he will lose out due to the elimination of the personal exemption (~$8,000 for MFJ?) which is greater than his new SD-ID. Which will have a greater effect? Am I missing something? Very rough federal tax calculatio...
by scrabbler1
Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will I ever be able to itemize?
Replies: 64
Views: 4222

Re: Will I ever be able to itemize?

Sergio will gain because of the lower tax rates for income above the 10% bracket. But he will lose out due to the elimination of the personal exemption (~$8,000 for MFJ?) which is greater than his new SD-ID. Which will have a greater effect? Am I missing something?
by scrabbler1
Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Baseball simulator games (e.g., Strat-o-Matic, etc)
Replies: 21
Views: 2184

Re: Baseball simulator games (e.g., Strat-o-Matic, etc)

I first bought Strat baseball back in 1973 when I was 10 years old. I gradually bought all the other Strat games in the 1970s (pro football, college football, basketball, and hockey) but stopped playing all of the others by the early 1980s except for hockey (which didn't come out until 1978). I stop...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your one favorite Fidelity Fund??
Replies: 58
Views: 4493

Re: What is your one favorite Fidelity Fund??

For me it is FHIFX, Fidelity Focused High Income Fund. It invests in corporate bonds rated B/BB/BBB, giving me enough monthly dividends to support my early retirement without having to invest in much lower rated bonds. In my IRA I have a lot in FUSVX, the S&P 500 index fund.
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?
Replies: 169
Views: 14760

Re: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?

The last time I withdrew some extra cash was just before Y2K, January 1, 2000, in case the banking system suffered from any initial glitches from the big year turnover.
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is an average expense ratio?
Replies: 14
Views: 853

Re: What is an average expense ratio?

Those are really high ratios. Only one fund has an ER under 1%, which is what I look for as a maximum for any of my funds (and many Bogleheads strive for even lower ERs than I do).
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why visa
Replies: 55
Views: 5456

Re: Why visa

I have a second CC as a back-up card but I don't carry it around with me. I keep it at home in case something happens to my main CC, such as losing my wallet or it gets stolen. This means I will use my debit card as a back-up to my main CC in case there is a problem with the CC itself or the vendor ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing exit from megacorp
Replies: 54
Views: 5885

Re: Timing exit from megacorp

Two things I learned over the years about choosing the best day to leave: (1) If you work one day into the next month, you become eligible for group health coverage for the entire month. This can postpone going on a costlier COBRA or an ACA plan. This happened to me when I reduced my weekly hours w...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing exit from megacorp
Replies: 54
Views: 5885

Re: Timing exit from megacorp

Two things I learned over the years about choosing the best day to leave: (1) If you work one day into the next month, you become eligible for group health coverage for the entire month. This can postpone going on a costlier COBRA or an ACA plan. This happened to me when I reduced my weekly hours wo...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the first 100k really the hardest?
Replies: 156
Views: 42923

Re: Is the first 100k really the hardest?

Using July of 1985 as the starting point because I had just finished college and began working full-time, it took me nearly 10 years to get to $100k. In those 10 years, which had low but quickly-rising earnings, I also bought cars twice and bought my apartment. After that (1995), the next $100k incr...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?
Replies: 169
Views: 14760

Re: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?

I take $160 cash from an ATM every month. So, along with the small amount in my wallet at the time, I'd say I have, on average, $100 in cash at home on a given day.
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 161
Views: 14729

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

Hi, Out of curiosity, what do you consider in when you hit $1M? Just retirement or it includes taxable, 529, health saving, 401k, Roth IRA, house value which has been paid? -Jr I include only investments, not home equity (which is small because it is only a small, co-op apartment). I do include my ...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 16500

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

There are also some of us who prefer to see everything at once, i.e. on one side of a full sheet. That was sarcasm back there, the two sided half-sheet (it's a post card, yay :!: ...taxes are simple now) is the dumbest part of this. One thing about paper filing is I have an intimate understanding o...
by scrabbler1
Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much of your taxable holdings is unrealized capital gains?
Replies: 58
Views: 5027

Re: How much of your taxable holdings is unrealized capital gains?

As a 55-year-old early retiree, my taxable holdings are tilted toward bonds (bond funds). Can you explain this strategy? My taxable is 100% stocks and my tax-defered accounts have some bonds. Since gains in taxable are taxed at a usually lower rate than tax-deferred, I want my taxable to be more ag...
by scrabbler1
Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2007 Toyota Corolla
Replies: 39
Views: 2248

Re: 2007 Toyota Corolla

I own a 2007 Corolla (CE). I don't drive much, so it has about 35,000 miles on it. It is kept in an indoor, heated garage, so it protected from the elements. It hasn't needed any big repairs, not surprisingly. I expect to get at least 5 more years from it, probably more. The Corolla replaced a 1991 ...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 161
Views: 14729

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

It's just a number. While it may be a goal worth noting, it's a bit like driving across the border from Ohio to Indiana...the landscape will not have changed much--financially or otherwise. You really aren't much better off than you were at $990,000. I agree, and I have never driven between Ohio an...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 161
Views: 14729

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

It's just a number. While it may be a goal worth noting, it's a bit like driving across the border from Ohio to Indiana...the landscape will not have changed much--financially or otherwise. You really aren't much better off than you were at $990,000. I agree, and I have never driven between Ohio an...
by scrabbler1
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much of your taxable holdings is unrealized capital gains?
Replies: 58
Views: 5027

Re: How much of your taxable holdings is unrealized capital gains?

As a 55-year-old early retiree, my taxable holdings are tilted toward bonds (bond funds). I still have about 11% of that account as unrealized cap gains.
by scrabbler1
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you cancel old credit cards?
Replies: 55
Views: 5483

Re: Do you cancel old credit cards?

I had the CC issuer cancel 2 old cards for nonuse; hadn't use them for at least 10 years. That puts me down to 2. I increased the limit on my main one in mid-2015 in case some large expense arises (which nearly happened in late 2015). My old main card became my back-up card which I keep one small, a...
by scrabbler1
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?
Replies: 70
Views: 5706

Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

I dropped collision and comprehensive on my 10 year old truck with about 95K miles. The truck is probably worth around $8K. I also dropped rental and towing coverage at the same time. My reasoning - I only insure things I can't easily afford. Dropping collision saved me $300/year and dropping compr...
by scrabbler1
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?
Replies: 70
Views: 5706

Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

When I hit a deer (or he hit me... can't figure that out to this day... :? ) in my 2006 Saturn Vue back in 2012 or so I did get the costs of repair fully reimbursed without any penalty to my premiums because of my collision coverage. In Pennsylvania that could certainly be a valid reason. However, ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?
Replies: 70
Views: 5706

Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

I worked in the actuarial field for 23 years, specializing in personal auto insurance. I can tell you that no state ever required someone to buy Comprehensive and Collision. Both coverages are optional. Many policies in the data I reviewed included Comp but not Collision. As for UMPD, it varies a lo...
by scrabbler1
Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Early retirement pros and cons:
Replies: 78
Views: 10199

Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

I retired 10 years ago at age 45. I worked 23 years full-time before switching to part-time in 2001, regaining control over my personal life. Even working only 2 days a week for the last 17 months of my career, I couldn't stand the long, tiring, annoying commute. I am single (but in a LTR) with no k...
by scrabbler1
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why not use Fidelity High Income Fund SPHIX?
Replies: 14
Views: 1568

Re: Why not use Fidelity High Income Fund SPHIX?

I don't mind bond funds with some riskier bonds. But that fund's bonds are a little too risky for me. A happy medium, I have found, is another Fidelity bond fund called Fidelity Focused High Income Fund (FHIFX). Its underlying bonds are in the B-BB-BBB range, at the low end of investment grade to ju...
by scrabbler1
Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't make the mistake I made (Telemarketing hell)
Replies: 67
Views: 8779

Re: Don't make the mistake I made (Telemarketing hell)

Whenever I get one of those junk calls, I go to 800notes.com to see if anyone else has complained about it. Unless it is one of those spoofed "neighbor" calls using my prefix to start the number (and, most of the time, my area code), there are others who have complained about it. If it is a junk cal...
by scrabbler1
Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you change your AA in discrete chunks or gradually?
Replies: 20
Views: 1422

Re: Do you change your AA in discrete chunks or gradually?

I suppose my answer to the OP's title question is "both." When my AA (rollover IRA only) moves out of my acceptable range, I make gradual moves in discrete amounts, usually $10k. As I age, I have been gradually been moving my AA from stocks to bonds, to the point where I am now basically playing wit...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safe harbor on estimated taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 537

Re: Safe harbor on estimated taxes

I had a similar situation to yours 10 years ago when I cashed out $300k in company stock after I left my company. My safe harbor was simply meeting the tax liability from the previous year (not 110% for me, my income was much lower). What I owed (about $46k) I didn't have to pay until the following ...