Search found 2130 matches

by scrabbler1
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you cancel old credit cards?
Replies: 38
Views: 3302

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: 5424

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: 5424

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: 5424

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: 9999

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: 1494

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: 8578

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: 1366

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: 511

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 ...
by scrabbler1
Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't make the mistake I made (Telemarketing hell)
Replies: 67
Views: 8578

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

I've noticed that the robo-calls will wait for you to say "hello" before going into their spiel. so after my initial hello when I first answer, if there is no reply I say "Bueller...Bueller" and if no human response, I just hang up! I no longer say "hello" or anything else when I answer a call from...
by scrabbler1
Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?
Replies: 75
Views: 5646

Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Even though I have been retired for the last nearly 10 years, I'll play. At the end of my working days, I was working part-time so I had become ineligible for 401k matching and group health. With zero being taken from my paycheck for those 2 things, I saw 74% of my gross pay in my take-home pay. Goi...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home printer
Replies: 50
Views: 3121

Re: Home printer

You can often get more life out of a toner cartridge by taking it out, shaking it gently, and putting it back in. I'm still on the starter cartridge for the Brother printer I bought in 2012, but I don't print a lot. I do this, too, and it adds at least 6 months to the toner cartridge. I make sure t...
by scrabbler1
Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home printer
Replies: 50
Views: 3121

Re: Home printer

You can often get more life out of a toner cartridge by taking it out, shaking it gently, and putting it back in. I'm still on the starter cartridge for the Brother printer I bought in 2012, but I don't print a lot. I do this, too, and it adds at least 6 months to the toner cartridge. I make sure t...
by scrabbler1
Thu May 31, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home printer
Replies: 50
Views: 3121

Re: Home printer

I switched from an inkjet to a LaserJet back in 2010. It was great being able to print crisper looking pages more quickly and without having to get inkjet cartridge refills all the time (from Cartridge World which was pretty cheap). Even the starter HP toner cartridge lasted me 2 years and I print f...
by scrabbler1
Mon May 21, 2018 7:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to and when not to “reinvest dividend and capital gains”
Replies: 24
Views: 2420

Re: When to and when not to “reinvest dividend and capital gains”

When I was working, I reinvested all dividends and cap gain distributions because I didn't need the money to cover any of my expenses. But, after I retired 10 years ago, and began living off those dividends, I took most of them in cash. One bond fund generates most of the cash dividends I use to liv...
by scrabbler1
Fri May 11, 2018 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How close do you cut your monthly surplus?
Replies: 22
Views: 3112

Re: How close do you cut your monthly surplus?

I am an early retiree whose income for now consists of monthly and quarterly dividend distributions from some mutual funds. I have built into my budget an annual surplus but I often have to carry forward a given month's (or two) surplus into a future month to cover one of my larger, lumpier expenses...
by scrabbler1
Fri May 11, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Estimated Tax on Large Capital Gain
Replies: 34
Views: 2130

Re: Estimated Tax on Large Capital Gain

Gill is correct. I had a large cap gain back in late 2008 when I cashed out a large amount of company stock using NUA when I left my company. I paid just enough estimated taxes (about $3,000) by the following January 15th so my total W-2 and estimated tax combined would exceed my 2017 tax liability ...
by scrabbler1
Wed May 09, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need to unfreeze my credit before applying for a new card?
Replies: 50
Views: 3330

Re: Do I need to unfreeze my credit before applying for a new card?

A few years ago, I was unexpectedly offered a CC while at the checkout line at a department store. It was part of a promotional discount on my purchase. I told the cashier it was okay but the instant check was denied and I had no idea why. The cashier, who also had no idea as to why I was rejected, ...
by scrabbler1
Tue May 08, 2018 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: most compelling TV character ever
Replies: 175
Views: 16476

Re: most compelling TV character ever

Great thread! Mine are: Archie Bunker Spock and Kirk Picard Oscar Madison George Costanza Ralph Kramden And a few not mentioned by others...... Jack Tripper (Three's Company) Detective Lennie Briscoe (Law & Order) Detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson (SVU) Victor Sifuentes (L.A. Law) Rollin H...
by scrabbler1
Tue May 08, 2018 6:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When did you start drawing profits from taxable?
Replies: 48
Views: 3407

Re: When did you start drawing profits from taxable?

I took some profits from taxable in 1997-98 to pay down and pay off my mortgage. It got to the point where I was playing with the house's money for a while because the total withdrawals I had made from one fund roughly equaled the total amount of money I had invested in the fund from 1992-1996, yet ...
by scrabbler1
Sun May 06, 2018 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AMC Movie Theaters -- typical OR not?
Replies: 61
Views: 4586

Re: AMC Movie Theaters -- typical OR not?

Several area theaters near where I live (Long Island) allow you to buy tickets on line and select seats (Fandango). Even if you don't buy the seats on line, you can often see how many have already been sold and where the remaining seats within the seating area are located. If you don't buy them on l...
by scrabbler1
Sat May 05, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you know when you have "won the game"?
Replies: 142
Views: 15632

Re: How do you know when you have "won the game"?

I knew I had won the game nearly 10 years ago when, at age 45, I was able to retire. I had become FI and could add the RE part to become FIREd. I wanted out of the rat race. I had to eliminate the commute I hated so much. I was working part-time for the previous 7 years so it wasn't a huge change to...
by scrabbler1
Tue May 01, 2018 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keyboard key labels wearing off...
Replies: 19
Views: 1237

Re: Keyboard key labels wearing off...

I use one those ergonomical keyboards which are friendly to the wrists. The center of the keyboard is spit and slightly raised while each half is bowed outward so the hands aren't strained. It costs about $40. The white paint on the black keys gets worn off on the same few of them over the years. I ...
by scrabbler1
Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those with high savings rate: why?
Replies: 246
Views: 31792

Re: Those with high savings rate: why?

I don't agree. I used money to improve my life and make it a lot better because I was able to buy my way out of the daily rat race and retire nearly 10 years ago at age 45. As a FIREd person, I use money to generate my (investment) income to pay the bills instead of having to work for (wage) income...
by scrabbler1
Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those with high savings rate: why?
Replies: 246
Views: 31792

Re: Those with high savings rate: why?

I am over 75 now. Take my advice and save a little but not too much. If only I had in my 30s what I have now. The testosterone has subsided and the yearning for fast cars and fast women has disappeared. With my time over again I would spend most of what I earned on pleasures. With only 10 or so yea...
by scrabbler1
Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning to drive a stick [car with manual transmission]
Replies: 126
Views: 6165

Re: Learning to drive stick

NEVER get a stick without a hand brake. You need a hand brake (NOT the foot push type) to be safe on a hill Though I've ridden with people who use the handbrake all the time with their stickshift cars, I'll admit that in decades of stick driving I've not used this method more than 2-3 times. And I ...
by scrabbler1
Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning to drive a stick [car with manual transmission]
Replies: 126
Views: 6165

Re: Learning to drive stick

While I learned to drive on an automatic when I was 18, I soon had to learn how to drive a stick when my parents sold off their remaining automatic a few months later, after I went away to college. Only sticks would be around when I came home for weekends. They had bought a stick that summer (1979 C...
by scrabbler1
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you tell the boss you're leaving/retiring?
Replies: 129
Views: 9470

Re: How did you tell the boss you're leaving/retiring?

Not looking to hijack this great thread, but to enrich it a little. Have any of you gone through exit interviews, usually with the HR people? I had one, but only because I requested it. The HR flunkie had originally booked 30 minutes but I told him to book an hour. He got a little scared when he hea...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you tell the boss you're leaving/retiring?
Replies: 129
Views: 9470

Re: How did you tell the boss you're leaving/retiring?

While to me it was a retirement, to them it was a simple resignation. I was working only 2 days a week at the time, after requesting to reduce my weekly hours worked from 20 to 12 just 16 months earlier. I wrote up a short, simple note and handed it to my two immediate bosses (I was a floater betwee...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I have 3 different investment horizons when planning for retirement?
Replies: 32
Views: 2607

Re: Do I have 3 different investment horizons when planning for retirement?

Dknightd, I understand having more than one horizon in one's retirement plan. When I was putting together my early retirement (ER) plan back in 2007-08, I separated it into two parts. The first part was getting from my planned ER age (45) to age ~60 using only the taxable part of my portfolio. From ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long have you been unemployed?
Replies: 60
Views: 5668

Re: How long have you been unemployed?

Depends in your definition of "unemployed." To some, I have been unemployed for the last ~10 years, while I consider myself simply "retired." There was also a short stretch between my college graduation date and when I began my first (and only) full-time job I had arranged a month before I graduated...
by scrabbler1
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Freeze - What did you do?
Replies: 85
Views: 9729

Re: Pension Freeze - What did you do?

My company did the same thing 2 years ago. We had a DBPP and they got rid of it and turned it into a Defined Cash Balance Plan. % is based on age. They contribute 5% to the DCBP and the rate of return is based on 30 T Bonds...so not getting much with record low interest rate. We also had a Health I...
by scrabbler1
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I make sure IRS receives my manual tax return ?
Replies: 89
Views: 6248

Re: How do I make sure IRS receives my manual tax return ?

I once received a small check from my state's tax department when I failed to take a small credit I had barely and unexpectedly qualified for. Of course, I had to count it as income on my federal return the following year because I had itemized my deductions and included the slightly overstated stat...
by scrabbler1
Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I make sure IRS receives my manual tax return ?
Replies: 89
Views: 6248

Re: How do I make sure IRS receives my manual tax return ?

Some but not all years I mail my return from the post office. Often, I need to see if the envelope needs extra postage beyond a single first-class stamp. I almost always owe some money so when I see the check hit my account I know they got the return. I too mail from the post office. Until this yea...
by scrabbler1
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those that re-invest dividends automatically...
Replies: 15
Views: 2495

Re: For those that re-invest dividends automatically...

Let's say you have a goal of investing/saving 25% of your income....would you count dividends that are reinvested as both income and investment in the 25% goal...or would you simply disregard and focus on an investment/savings target as a percent of wages? I know it's sort of six of one and half do...
by scrabbler1
Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What percentage of you 2017 income can you account for?
Replies: 49
Views: 3659

Re: What percentage of you 2017 income can you account for?

I have about a dozen broad expense categories but within a few of them I further divide them into a few more. An example of something I further divide is the monthly maintenance charges I pay for my co-op apartment - that payment includes property taxes and mortgage interest, both tax deductible (if...
by scrabbler1
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New York State income tax bracket is not a marginal rate?
Replies: 30
Views: 2132

Re: New York State income tax bracket is not a marginal rate?

I learned of this feature back in 2008 when I received a large, lump-sum distribution from cashing out about $300k of company stock. The top tax rate back then was 6.85%, but that rate applied to all my income, not just the income in the bracket shown in the tax table where the 6.85% bracket began. ...
by scrabbler1
Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I make sure IRS receives my manual tax return ?
Replies: 89
Views: 6248

Re: How do I make sure IRS receives my manual tax return ?

Some but not all years I mail my return from the post office. Often, I need to see if the envelope needs extra postage beyond a single first-class stamp. I almost always owe some money so when I see the check hit my account I know they got the return.
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund Investing
Replies: 24
Views: 2004

Re: Emergency Fund Investing

Wow!All great suggestions!! I like the idea of the tiered approach and think that is something I will implement. Being new to investing, I didn’t realize u can have bonds with check writing abilities if needed. Thank you all for the information again, I need to tap into the resources offered here a...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund Investing
Replies: 24
Views: 2004

Re: Emergency Fund Investing

I have a tier system, too. My first tier is an additional $500 in my local bank's checking account (beyond that needed to meet any minimum balance requirements to avoid monthly account fees) which covers small, unforeseen expenses. My second tier is about $40k in an intermediate-term muni bond fund....
by scrabbler1
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your Monthly Cost of Living
Replies: 66
Views: 7159

Re: Your Monthly Cost of Living

Paid-off studio apartment in a co-op in Long /Island, NY (1 person): Housing: $775, mostly the monthly maintenance charges which include prop taxes, physical and financial upkeep; also includes HO insurance and utilities. Medical Expenses: $600, mostly health insurance, some OOP expenses. Transporta...
by scrabbler1
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Higher total income in retirement than during working?
Replies: 51
Views: 4781

Re: Higher total income in retirement than during working?

My definition of a successful retirement is one in which you can maintain your living standards without ever running out of money. 33 times net annual expenses is my benchmark. TravelforFun Being able to retire while not having to change my day-to-day lifestyle was the main condition. And my ER pla...
by scrabbler1
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need a municipal bond fund anymore?
Replies: 7
Views: 857

Re: Do I need a municipal bond fund anymore?

I keep $40k in an intermediate-term muni bond fund as a second-tier emergency fund. This fund has checkwriting privileges so it is more easily accessible. I don't like putting too much money in an account which generates zilch or nearly zilch in interest, so my local bank's checking account has enou...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Estimated taxes for 2018
Replies: 18
Views: 1818

Re: Estimated taxes for 2018

Put me into the "I have a spreadsheet" camp. With the standard deduction now a lot higher, the chance I will itemize (feds) will drop to nearly zero (from about 50%). This greatly helps in determining my 2018 tax liability. The state side has been simple for years because (a) all income is taxed ali...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes: e-file vs. paper
Replies: 51
Views: 3697

Re: taxes: e-file vs. paper

I imagine the forms are formatted so that they can scan the paper right into an electronic file, with minimal manual data entry. I thought so too but in another thread earlier this year I was informed that the process is manual. Perhaps they even offshore the keypunching. I certainly would if I had...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes: e-file vs. paper
Replies: 51
Views: 3697

Re: taxes: e-file vs. paper

I use paper. But there is a significant difference between the feds and how my state (NY) handles its fillable pdf files for its forms. The feds it is pretty simple, as expected. I enter the numbers, print out the forms, sign them and mail them out, along with any payment. I am allowed to handwrite ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you file your income taxes?
Replies: 77
Views: 4134

Re: How did you file your income taxes?

I use a spreadsheet throughout the year to estimate taxes. I copy the final numbers into the IRS pdf forms, print and mail. I usually owe, so my cashed check serves as notice that the IRS received my return. I only have 1040 and Scheds A, B & D (w/8949). And often haven't had D. In the future won't...
by scrabbler1
Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health insurance when retiring or self employed before Medicare age?
Replies: 30
Views: 3025

Re: Health insurance when retiring or self employed before Medicare age?

Questions for those of you who retired before Medicare age, especially to those who still have dependents. What are you doing for health insurance? Roughly, what type of coverage do you have and what do you pay for it? For those of you that have had individual coverage for a few years, how have the...
by scrabbler1
Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft tech support scam - how to recover?
Replies: 39
Views: 4480

Re: Microsoft tech support scam - how to recover?

Is the computer functional? First step I would do is disconnect Internet from it so it is completely offline. Then back up your important files. Be selective, don’t just copy the whole C drive. Then, unfortunately, wipe it and reinstall the OS. How can you reinstall the OS when it came preloaded on...
by scrabbler1
Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you file your income taxes?
Replies: 77
Views: 4134

Re: How did you file your income taxes?

I have a spreadsheet I created to mimic a skeleton version of most of the income tax forms I file. I copy the numbers into the IRS's pdf fillable files (since 2014; before that, going back to 1985 I handwrote everything in). The state tax forms are a little easier because any calculated number in th...