Search found 895 matches

by SRenaeP
Fri May 24, 2019 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?
Replies: 17
Views: 1052

Re: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?

Dropping your 401k to 10% seems like a good approach. You didn't state your tax bracket. Is there any chance you would qualify for any education credits? That might change the math a little if dropping your 401k contributions increases your AGI to the point that you wouldn't qualify for the credits.
by SRenaeP
Fri May 24, 2019 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth refinancing?
Replies: 16
Views: 1200

Re: Is it worth refinancing?

I did not find anyone who would assume the terms of my current loan in terms of length while reducing the interest rate. Every option was for 10, 15, 20 or 30 year loans. The exchange was lower payments but at the cost of extending the loan terms (I have 9 yrs left on my current loan). This only is...
by SRenaeP
Tue May 21, 2019 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?
Replies: 21
Views: 1540

Re: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?

I typically purchase local SIM cards when I travel internationally. However, I recently came across this 'global' SIM and am considering purchasing it vs keeping up with multiple SIMs for multiple regions.

https://surfroam.com/
by SRenaeP
Mon May 20, 2019 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Fund Calculator?
Replies: 18
Views: 1044

Re: Donor Advised Fund Calculator?

student wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 9:21 am
Don't forget there is cost associated with a DAF. https://www.vanguardcharitable.org/indi ... d_expenses
Only if you leave assets in the DAF vs disbursing them immediately. I have a Fidelity DAF and basically use it as a pass-through. To date, I have not incurred any fees.
by SRenaeP
Mon May 20, 2019 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories
Replies: 223
Views: 14111

Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

As someone who FIREd 11 years ago at age 45, I often get a chuckle from reading these news stories. Often, these FIREees simply downsized to work in other lower-paying but perhaps more enjoyable fields instead of their higher-stress, higher-paying jobs. Others have spouses who work while declaring ...
by SRenaeP
Fri May 10, 2019 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Bidding War
Replies: 20
Views: 2679

Re: Rental Bidding War

DW and I will be moving in the next few weeks. We are planning to rent a SFH for at least a year and are currently in the process of finding a rental. There is MUCH more interest than we expected for this region. We are visiting homes with 3-5 other potential renters. In one home, one of the other ...
by SRenaeP
Wed May 01, 2019 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience Donating Shares (Not using DAF)
Replies: 12
Views: 716

Re: Experience Donating Shares (Not using DAF)

If this is a one time donation to only one charity, it might be the same trouble donating directly to the charity vs DAF, but in most cases, I assume it's easier donating stocks to DAF because they're more experienced and better staffed at this. If there was more than one charity involved, I would ...
by SRenaeP
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lifestyle creep
Replies: 73
Views: 7494

Re: Lifestyle creep

I think it is best for people to examine their financial situation and come up with a budget with a set savings percentage that will meet their goals. Pay the savings first, then necessary expenses. Then spend the rest in a manner that brings you joy. Saving "as much as possible" allows for a lot o...
by SRenaeP
Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whats the Point of Climbing the Corporate Ladder?
Replies: 164
Views: 16829

Re: Whats the Point of Climbing the Corporate Ladder?

Where I work, the inverse is actually true. The higher you climb, the easier it is for you to be fired. Perhaps, but at least if you are higher up you have a fighting chance at influencing your fate. Peons have to just accept layoffs as they come. In other words, you want to be at the table, not on...
by SRenaeP
Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?
Replies: 116
Views: 9432

Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

The most exciting/unforgettable place is no doubt: Antarctica ! If you have the time and money, go! It's our honeymoon trip and it's totally worth it! Will you elaborate? I know a few people who have gone but it seems like it was mostly just to check the list of having been to all seven continents....
by SRenaeP
Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you get value out of Clear (airport screening)?
Replies: 18
Views: 1664

Re: Promos/Deals

In the past I have seen various 1, 3, maybe even 6 month free trials or promos; Anyone know the best current promos or where to monitor for CLEAR deals? Thx I've found that a Google search will typically identify current deals. If you work for a MegaCorp, your travel department may have some sort o...
by SRenaeP
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you get value out of Clear (airport screening)?
Replies: 18
Views: 1664

Re: Do you get value out of Clear (airport screening)?

Yes. ATL is my home airport and even the PreCheck lines there are crazy. DH and I both travel frequently so it's worth ~$11/mo.
by SRenaeP
Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?
Replies: 97
Views: 6586

Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Really good discussion topic. Thanks for posting. Yes, I do for miles and hotel points but with some basic groundrules: I never pay an annual fee or interest or late payment penalty. I used to have this rule too but realized it was a bit shortsighted. The two cards I keep despite the annual fee are...
by SRenaeP
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?
Replies: 97
Views: 6586

Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Really good discussion topic. Thanks for posting. Yes, I do for miles and hotel points but with some basic groundrules: I never pay an annual fee or interest or late payment penalty. I used to have this rule too but realized it was a bit shortsighted. The two cards I keep despite the annual fee are...
by SRenaeP
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Universal Orlando Trip In June 2019
Replies: 34
Views: 1733

Re: Universal Orlando Trip In June 2019

Thanks for the reply. Ok, so honestly I can stay across the street at the holiday inn for 5 nights for like $279. I have a bunch of IHG points that will cover everything except that. The snag I ran into though was when I looked up the tickets separate on the universal site with the express pass com...
by SRenaeP
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: volunteering to teach financial literacy basics
Replies: 27
Views: 1357

Re: volunteering to teach financial literacy basics

My BIL did this as a volunteer for a “Money Management” program for the county. It was very basic and intended to help a low income population, well, manage their income/expenses. Despite his good intentions, it was difficult. Sometimes one member of a couple really wanted to make changes and the o...
by SRenaeP
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newbie international traveler
Replies: 65
Views: 3828

Re: Newbie international traveler

3. I always hear about how important it is to have a credit card with chip and pin. This hasn't been my experience. I will say that almost everywhere seems to accept cardless payments so using something like Google Wallet works wonderful. Chip and PIN is important if you want to use unmanned kiosks...
by SRenaeP
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newbie international traveler
Replies: 65
Views: 3828

Re: Newbie international traveler

I wouldn’t overthink the cash situation. The advice about places not accepting cards is a bit outdated- it’s rare to find a place in Germany or Switzerland that does not accept cards and you could conceivably get by with no cash at all. The only caveat is that small purchases like paying for public...
by SRenaeP
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do 40 year olds decide what they can afford?
Replies: 85
Views: 9697

Re: How do 40 year olds decide what they can afford?

DH and I use the following -

Will you actually use it on a regular basis?
Is buying it the best option vs renting or borrowing?
Are we meeting our (admittedly lofty) saving/investing goals?
Do we have the cash to buy it outright (and yes, that includes cars)?
If so, go forth and prosper.
by SRenaeP
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Health Insurance for Peru
Replies: 12
Views: 879

Re: Travel Health Insurance for Peru

Geoblue has affordable coverage for outside the US. It is also sold at TripInsuranceStore. https://geobluetravelinsurance.com I'll state up front that I've never had to actually use my travel health insurance. That said, I previously had a policy with GeoBlue and found their coverage limits to be p...
by SRenaeP
Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California income tax filing
Replies: 10
Views: 935

Re: California income tax filing

I don't think that you're required to file a CA tax return. Looking at the chart on page 3, CA income of $2671 is well below the limit. https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/2018/18_540nrbk.pdf I believe in CA you must consider all income when determining whether filing is required. That charts says CA gros...
by SRenaeP
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California income tax filing
Replies: 10
Views: 935

Re: California income tax filing

I don't think that you're required to file a CA tax return. Looking at the chart on page 3, CA income of $2671 is well below the limit.

https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/2018/18_540nrbk.pdf
by SRenaeP
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get cash quickly
Replies: 102
Views: 6535

Re: How to get cash quickly

Does the seller want actual cash or just not a check? If it's the latter, how about using Venmo or a similar payment app?
by SRenaeP
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family flying - picking seats at booking
Replies: 75
Views: 4884

Re: Family flying - picking seats at booking

Get a frequent flyer account with whichever airline you choose. That can often helps. Southwest is the Walmart if airlines and sucks. I fly it only as a last resort. I recently traveled with my family. Despite me being A-list, the family was not. Unlike United where my status gives me the ability t...
by SRenaeP
Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping a stash of vacation days as unemployment "insurance"
Replies: 70
Views: 5020

Re: Keeping a stash of vacation days as unemployment "insurance"

I've never banked vacation in 20 years of employment. I use every bit of vacation allotted to me. In fact, when I first started at MegaCorp, you could buy additional vacation time and I would always buy the max allowed.
by SRenaeP
Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renewal of global entry?
Replies: 10
Views: 1129

Re: Renewal of global entry?

goingup wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:42 pm
Will they notify you that it's time to renew? Or do I need to keep track of expiration, like I do a passport?
You should keep track. You're allowed to renew early (up to 6 months, IIRC) with no impact to the expiration date.
by SRenaeP
Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did I find a NIIT loophole?
Replies: 4
Views: 832

Re: Did I find a NIIT loophole?

I can't comment on the other items but re item 4, the IRS recently published a ruling on that. A state tax refund may not be considered taxable if the previous year's state taxes minus refund would have still exceeded the SALT limit.
by SRenaeP
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Foreign Currency
Replies: 25
Views: 1284

Re: Need Foreign Currency

My last bit on this topic: when you leave the country you visit, drop that extra local currency, bills and coins, into a charity box, usually found at the airport. Better than just bringing it home and looking at it for a year or two. I recently read a tip that is sort of clever. It said (and obvio...
by SRenaeP
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating stock instead of cash to charities
Replies: 37
Views: 1640

Re: Donating stock instead of cash to charities

Fidelity DAF charges 0.6% or $100 a year whichever greater. Is DAF worth the fee? When I donated for a university scholarship fund raising, I filled out a university Stock Gift Form and Fidelity Transfer Shares as a Gift — Nonretirement form. Fidelity DAF only charges a fee if you maintain assets w...
by SRenaeP
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Way To Save For Kids Future If They May Not Go To College
Replies: 26
Views: 1806

Re: Best Way To Save For Kids Future If They May Not Go To College

Here's my strategy: Pay 1/3 of expected in-state public university costs, get aid for 1/3, and then pay off the remainder 1/3 using Roth IRA Do not use Roth IRA to fund college as it will be income counted against you. Instead, just use it to pay the student loans after child graduates (or on 2nd y...
by SRenaeP
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Way To Save For Kids Future If They May Not Go To College
Replies: 26
Views: 1806

Re: Best Way To Save For Kids Future If They May Not Go To College

Here's my strategy: Pay 1/3 of expected in-state public university costs, get aid for 1/3, and then pay off the remainder 1/3 using Roth IRA Do not use Roth IRA to fund college as it will be income counted against you. Instead, just use it to pay the student loans after child graduates (or on 2nd y...
by SRenaeP
Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating stock instead of cash to charities
Replies: 37
Views: 1640

Re: Donating stock instead of cash to charities

The DAF would be much less work for everyone involved, you and the charities. Gill Can you say more or point me to some basic info about this? I haven't heard of these DAFs, and it seems like setting up a separate account/entity would be extra time, effort, and probably expense. It’s not much effor...
by SRenaeP
Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Mortgage/Refinance Loan would you choose?
Replies: 12
Views: 748

Re: Which Mortgage/Refinance Loan would you choose?

Option 4 - Check AimLoan, PenFed and Third Federal, all of whom typically have low rates. Third Federal also has several $295 closing cost loans. If none of those beat option 1, go with option 1.
by SRenaeP
Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: SEP IRA acct as first stop for backdoor Roth IRA contribution, or open traditional IRA acct?
Replies: 7
Views: 507

Re: SEP IRA acct as first stop for backdoor Roth IRA contribution, or open traditional IRA acct?

I have an old SEP IRA account that has no balances (rolled them into an employer sponsored 401k in a previous calendar year so that I could effect backdoor Roth IRA contribution, and have no further forseeable need for the SEP IRA based on change in employment status to W2, but have kept it open ju...
by SRenaeP
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommendations for business bank account for LLC?
Replies: 5
Views: 282

Re: Recommendations for business bank account for LLC?

I use Capital One Spark business checking. I have no complaints but I'm not a heavy user either. I get 2-3 payments electronically deposited monthly, 2 payments on monthly autopay then 2-3 manually transfers out monthly.
by SRenaeP
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's Your Opinion on Nest Thermostats
Replies: 62
Views: 4956

Re: What's Your Opinion on Nest Thermostats

What I love about the Nest E would be the same for any wifi thermostat. I travel a lot, and I can leave the HVAC system off while I am away for days or weeks at a time, and then turn the AC or heater on from my tablet or phone a few hours before I get home... and the house is the perfect temperatur...
by SRenaeP
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Security camera with local storage and remote access?
Replies: 45
Views: 2294

Re: Security camera with local storage and remote access?

I'm not sure how the Eufy system works. We have a Lorex system purchased from Microcenter. The cameras are wireless and record to a DVR. The video can be viewed either remotely via an app or by hardwiring the DVR to a TV/monitor. The app connects wirelessly to the DVR so I don't believe there's any ...
by SRenaeP
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My RSU are causing a tax nightmare
Replies: 15
Views: 2175

Re: My RSU are causing a tax nightmare

I suspect you have 2 or 3 different tax issues. 1. You need to set down with a tax CPA and get him/her to calculate your tax withholding needed to cover that $400K salary. Take your spouse with you so the CPA can look at both your salaries and your W4s. I bet even at 0 deductions on your W4 you sti...
by SRenaeP
Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: SEP IRA acct as first stop for backdoor Roth IRA contribution, or open traditional IRA acct?
Replies: 7
Views: 507

Re: SEP IRA acct as first stop for backdoor Roth IRA contribution, or open traditional IRA acct?

Do you have self-employment/Schedule C income to qualify for contributing to a SEP IRA?
by SRenaeP
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: decreasing personal tax burden, legal tax havens, and/or ideas for creating passive income
Replies: 17
Views: 1845

Re: decreasing personal tax burden, legal tax havens, and/or ideas for creating passive income

Hi, OP. If all you have is W4 income, there's not much you can do. You need to form some kind of LLC business to deduct "expenses". Let's say you have a side business and your whole family was "working" on some project there for one day. You had to buy food for them as a result. Boom, food is now a...
by SRenaeP
Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?
Replies: 48
Views: 3344

Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

"The following infographic shows that the Pit Bull is still responsible for the most fatal attacks in the U.S. by far, killing 284 people over that 13-year period - 66 percent of total fatalities . That's despite the breed accounting for just 6.5% of the total U.S. dog population ." https://www.for...
by SRenaeP
Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax lien certificates
Replies: 8
Views: 826

Re: Tax lien certificates

I researched this in my area (GA/AL) a few years ago and decided against it. Generally speaking there are two possible paths if you purchase a tax lien. Either the owner redeems it within the specified time frame in which case you get your original funds back plus a set rate of interest (8% around h...
by SRenaeP
Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?
Replies: 48
Views: 3344

Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

The people I knew who had problem breeds got creative in terms of identifying the mix. For example, a friend's Rottweiler became a Lab mix. Yes, always list "mixed breed" on the application and always specify "mixed breed" when going to the veterinarian (shots, etc.). In some states/municipalities ...
by SRenaeP
Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has any retiree taken classes at 4-year college - for interest - e.g. Spanish
Replies: 108
Views: 6037

Re: Has any retiree taken classes at 4-year college - for interest - e.g. Spanish

'Just speak' is good advice if your goal is to actually speak Spanish (vs just being knowledgeable of grammar, etc.). We don't tell toddlers to shut up until their grammar improves. LOL. People learn by speaking/hearing a language. Just think about how much a child's language skills improve from age...
by SRenaeP
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has any retiree taken classes at 4-year college - for interest - e.g. Spanish
Replies: 108
Views: 6037

Re: Has any retiree taken classes at 4-year college - for interest - e.g. Spanish

For language you are much better off with either a private tutor or a 3-4 week immersion school in country where everything is in the target language. You can learn an incredible amount studying Spanish 5 hours per day plus practice on the town nights and weekends. Lots of reputable schools at mode...
by SRenaeP
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has any retiree taken classes at 4-year college - for interest - e.g. Spanish
Replies: 108
Views: 6037

Re: Has any retiree taken classes at 4-year college - for interest - e.g. Spanish

Have you tried the "Continuing Education" offerings (if any!?) of a major university near you? In some cases, they may even be offered for full credit for "regular" students, in which case, you won't have some of the problems you are describing. Try to find a class with a professor/instructor who i...
by SRenaeP
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?
Replies: 48
Views: 3344

Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

I believe you will have difficulty renting in a building with other units in it, as the landlord won't take risk of the dog hurting someone- especially a child. Pit bulls are considered a high risk breed for attacks on humans, and many insurers won't offer homeowners insurance if it is known a pit ...
by SRenaeP
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone leaving behind a scholarship fund?
Replies: 63
Views: 3877

Re: Anyone leaving behind a scholarship fund?

I will not be. In high school, I remember that about 80% of the merit based private/community scholarships went to the same 5 girls, who were pretty and also had good grades. They also came from affluent families who did not need financial help for college, but the girls were competitive and wanted...
by SRenaeP
Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on Large Bonus
Replies: 28
Views: 2095

Re: Taxes on Large Bonus

Why not just pay estimated taxes, in the quarter in which you get your bonus, for the difference between your witholdings and the safe harbor theshold? This is the probably the easiest solution. Q4 estimated taxes aren't due until 1/15. However, with uneven estimated tax payments, you will have to ...
by SRenaeP
Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on Large Bonus
Replies: 28
Views: 2095

Re: Taxes on Large Bonus

sachatur wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:18 pm
Why not just pay estimated taxes, in the quarter in which you get your bonus, for the difference between your witholdings and the safe harbor theshold?
This is the probably the easiest solution. Q4 estimated taxes aren't due until 1/15.