Search found 2097 matches

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: 61
Views: 3824

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: 2225

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: 3196

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: 1866

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: 61
Views: 3824

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: 1797

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: 1797

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: 65
Views: 6414

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: 4455

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: 705

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: 1669

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: 3403

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: 3403

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: 3786

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: 2855

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: 4170

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: 3786

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...
by scrabbler1
Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft tech support scam - how to recover?
Replies: 39
Views: 4170

Re: Microsoft tech support scam - how to recover?

Last week a red screen popped up on my laptop saying I had a virus and should call Microsoft Windows Tech Support. Clearly a scam and I didn't call the number, but the full-page pop-up locked my browser and I couldn't close it. Then the scammers downloaded an audio file telling me I had a virus, my...
by scrabbler1
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nice article on saving money and financial independence
Replies: 36
Views: 5106

Re: Nice article on saving money and financial independence

She probably needs to get to age ~65 (or a little lower) intact when SS income can supplement her current nonwage income. I think she can do it. I didn't bother reading the article, but if she's not paying in enough to social security, she won't be getting much/anything back at 65. Since she is 39,...
by scrabbler1
Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inherited IRA and RMD rate/schedule
Replies: 5
Views: 460

Re: Inherited IRA and RMD rate/schedule

Back in 2012, my friend received half of an inherited IRA (split it with his sister) after his remaining parent (mother) passed away. She hadn't taken her RMD yet, so the administrator took it and split the cash between the two of them. He has taken an RMD every year starting in 2013. As Alan S. men...
by scrabbler1
Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nice article on saving money and financial independence
Replies: 36
Views: 5106

Re: Nice article on saving money and financial independence

Single, no kids, and a paid-off studio apartment? Sounds a lot like me, and at 54 I have been retired for the last 9 years. My expenses have been around $2,000 a month the last 9 years but a little higher than that in the last 4. She probably needs to get to age ~65 (or a little lower) intact when S...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Deleting Facebook?
Replies: 330
Views: 21654

Re: Anyone Deleting Facebook?

Never used FB or had any interest in it. Remember what actress Betty White said about FB during her SNL monologue back in 2010? She described it as a "big waste of time" and I agree with that. Glad to see so many here who are dropping it or who, like me, never had it to begin with.
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New York Balance Billing for Out of Network Providers
Replies: 19
Views: 1662

Re: New York Balance Billing for Out of Network Providers

I have an employer PPO plan with one of the big health care insurers, offered under New York law. Although I am not in New York, my company's HQ is there. I went to an in-network (but new to me) doctor last year. The doctor sent bloodwork to an out-of-network lab (a local lab, not LabCorp or Quest)...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: Do you spend all your "income"?
Replies: 46
Views: 4252

Re: Retirees: Do you spend all your "income"?

Ron Scott, you did not list cap gain distributions among your list of income items. For me, those are very erratic and jumped to 40% of my income in 2017. I never spend this income, automatically reinvesting them instead. It is the interest and dividends I spend, monthly and quarterly. Using only th...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: How does your retirement spending compare to pre-retirement spending?
Replies: 48
Views: 6343

Re: Retirees: How does your retirement spending compare to pre-retirement spending?

My spending in retirement has been about the same as before I retired nearly 10 years ago at age 45. When I was putting together my retirement budget (single and childfree), I estimated my spending to change significantly in 3 categories. First, my FICA taxes would disappear. Second, my commutation ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How old were you when you started spending your “principal”?
Replies: 90
Views: 8052

Re: How old were you when you started spending your “principal”?

I retired 9 1/2 years ago, in late 2008, at age 45. My principal has risen a lot, as I live off the monthly and quarterly dividends from my main bond fund and main stock fund in my taxable account. I spend less than the dividends I earn, so that also adds to the principal.
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PA (or similar state) Auto: Full Tort vs Limited Tort?
Replies: 4
Views: 255

Re: PA (or similar state) Auto: Full Tort vs Limited Tort?

I live in Pennsylvania and have limited tort. I asked a family friend (an attorney whose firm specializes in personal injury) which option he selected and he said he had limited tort. He further explained that limited tort did not mean you couldn't sue. He said that if you are seriously injured (br...
by scrabbler1
Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reporting Interest on Schedule B
Replies: 14
Views: 815

Re: Reporting Interest on Schedule B

I enter one line per institution.
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those with high savings rate: why?
Replies: 187
Views: 18688

Re: Those with high savings rate: why?

I've been following this thread for a few days but no one every defined "high savings rate"? Does that include investments, savings accounts, tax-deferred accounts and/or employer contribution? Is the rate (%) based on gross income, income after taxes, AGI . . .? I'm not sure I can define it for yo...
by scrabbler1
Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what point does it make sense to pay down your mortgage?
Replies: 76
Views: 7880

Re: At what point does it make sense to pay down your mortgage?

If the new standard tax deduction means I will no longer itemize, doesn't that make carrying a mortgage much less beneficial? This was one of 4 things which came together at the same time when I decided to pay down and soon after that pay off my mortgage in 1998. In the mid-1990s, interest rates be...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those with high savings rate: why?
Replies: 187
Views: 18688

Re: Those with high savings rate: why?

Is it because you want to retire early, or You are not sure what the future holds, e.g. low job security, or You want to leave money to others, e.g. kids, grand kids, charity, or You have no interest in increasing your consumption now, including giving more money to charity etc. Any insights? For m...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SWR Players: How have you been spending in the past 9 years?
Replies: 13
Views: 1684

Re: SWR Players: How have you been spending in the past 9 years?

I retired 9 years ago at age 45, right when the markets were crashing. That decline actually helped my ER get started. My spending, as a % of my total portfolio, has ranged from 1.8% to 2.6%, with 5 of the 9 years at 1.8% and the other 4 years in the 2.3%-2.6% range. Medical costs, including but not...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I have enough saved to pull the trigger now? Or wait 1? 3? years?
Replies: 52
Views: 7598

Re: Do I have enough saved to pull the trigger now? Or wait 1? 3? years?

Divide your portfolio (just mentally for now) into two parts — what you will need to withdraw pre-Social Security and then the balance available once Social Security begins. The traditional safe withdrawal rates don’t really apply, since the amount you need are very different in the two parts. So i...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash out inherited IRA or just take RMD's?
Replies: 19
Views: 1389

Re: Cash out inherited IRA or just take RMD's?

My friend received an inherited IRA worth $100k as part of a large inheritance back in late 2012. He works full-time, so he doesn't need the ~$3k RMD for his regular expenses. I help him manage his portfolio, so I tweaked the IRA's few investments so they generate enough dividends each year to cover...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Taxes myself in the future
Replies: 19
Views: 1785

Re: Filing Taxes myself in the future

When I bought my first PC back in the 1990s, I created a skeleton version of an income tax return which included only the relevant stuff for me. This has been a valuable aide, as I have been doing my own taxes for more than 30 years. As my tax return became more complicated back in the 1990s and 200...
by scrabbler1
Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxable refunds NY/NJ
Replies: 30
Views: 1819

Re: Taxable refunds NY/NJ

Thanks for the reply. I asked around and other friends living in NJ and working in NYC are doing the same, i.e. do non-resident NY filing, get most withholding back, file NJ resident taxes and pay most of the refunds back to NJ. So I was thinking if the refunds always get taxed as income I should a...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxable refunds NY/NJ
Replies: 30
Views: 1819

Re: Taxable refunds NY/NJ

If you need to adjust your withholding allowances for your NY taxes but keep them the same for your federal allowances, you can file NY form 2104 which is the state version of the federal W-4 form. https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/it/it2104_fill_in.pdf Back in the late 1990s, after I paid o...
by scrabbler1
Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxable refunds NY/NJ
Replies: 30
Views: 1819

Re: Taxable refunds NY/NJ

If you need to adjust your withholding allowances for your NY taxes but keep them the same for your federal allowances, you can file NY form 2104 which is the state version of the federal W-4 form. https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/it/it2104_fill_in.pdf Back in the late 1990s, after I paid of...
by scrabbler1
Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?
Replies: 249
Views: 33952

Re: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?

i have an account with Fidelity and it's in the high 6 figures, so i get a personnel advisor. We meet once a year and talk, i have done all my own buying selling of mutual funds. She/Fidelity isn't charging me are they? They just get money from the ER of each fund right? Or have i been duped? I wil...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxable refunds NY/NJ
Replies: 30
Views: 1819

Re: Taxable refunds NY/NJ

Is there a reciprocal agreement between NY and NJ? If not, I don't understand why you got all NY withholding back. You generally owe taxes where you work, and get a credit for that which reduces your resident state tax bill NY and NJ have no reciprocal agreement. As to why the OP got any NYS taxes ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxable refunds NY/NJ
Replies: 30
Views: 1819

Re: Taxable refunds NY/NJ

State tax refunds or rebates can affect other things in your return, even after netting out the refund with the deduction you took. In the last few years, I have received two NYS property tax rebates per year. One I got for the prior year and one in the same year. The one for the prior year I had to...
by scrabbler1
Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Taxes
Replies: 19
Views: 1700

Re: Estimated Taxes

One big difference between my situation and yours is that my windfall LTCG didn't occur until the 4th quarter of 2008, so I had to pay the entire amount needed to get into the safe harbor with a single payment. In your case, it appears you will receive this LTCG windfall earlier in the year, so you...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Taxes
Replies: 19
Views: 1700

Re: Estimated Taxes

I just finished my 2017 return, got back $800 in federal. I will have ~$200,000 LTCG in 2018. From the below highlight, I don't need to make estimated tax.Correct ? https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/estimated-taxes Penalty for Underpayment of Estimated Tax If you didn’t ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Etiquette of hanging up on live telemarketers
Replies: 77
Views: 3570

Re: Etiquette of hanging up on live telemarketers

Nearly all of the unwanted calls I get are from robodialers with pre-recorded messages. On my land line, nomorobo blocks a lot of them, but in the last few months nomorobo has been blocking fewer and fewer calls because the robodialers used different, usually unique spoofed (i.e. often my area code ...
by scrabbler1
Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What will you do with your tax refund?
Replies: 87
Views: 5708

Re: What will you do with your tax refund?

I have rarely received income tax refunds in the 33 years I have been filing income tax returns. Usually, something unusual had to happen in order for me to get one. I did get some small refunds in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but since 1996 I have received only 1 federal and 1 state refund, and ...
by scrabbler1
Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: notice that fidelity password blocked
Replies: 18
Views: 1089

Re: notice that fidelity password blocked

I am a Fido client and back in 2016 I had my password blocked by them; I received letters from Fido confirming this. It turned out that they have some Darkweb scanner and it picked up my Fido username and email address (there was no actual unauthorized sign-in to my account, however) so they suspend...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 Estimated Tax - form not available?
Replies: 17
Views: 1154

Re: 2018 Estimated Tax - form not available?

The 2018 Form 1040-ES was available yesterday in the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program. I printed a set out for one of my clients. I searched there and their link to the 1040-ES in the Most Popular Federal Income Tax Forms section just took me to the IRS website and the 2017 form. Can you provide a ...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?
Replies: 146
Views: 9200

Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

We keep about $35-$40k in checking, but it essentially serves as our emergency fund as well. I'm not sure what else to do with it. I've considered an online high interest savings account, but isn't it cumbersome to transfer money from that to your checking account? I need to do something with it, j...
by scrabbler1
Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?
Replies: 146
Views: 9200

Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

I keep at least $500 over the $1,500 minimum daily balance requirement to avoid monthly account fees. As an early retiree, I get "paid" monthly (for the most part) from a large dividend from a bond fund around the 2nd of each month. Some of my expenses are a bit lumpier," so I often need to carry fo...
by scrabbler1
Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Far is too Far, Commuting?
Replies: 205
Views: 10612

Re: How Far is too Far, Commuting?

For my first job, while my wife was finishing grad school, my commute included five minutes on a small connector train, fifty minutes on a major commuter train, and ten minutes on a crosstown bus. With the waits for connections between each phase it took about an hour and a half overall. On my way ...