Search found 2924 matches

by MathWizard
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we temporarily reduce our retirement contributions in order to pay off our $400k mortgage in 7 years?
Replies: 78
Views: 6236

Re: Should we temporarily reduce our retirement contributions in order to pay off our $400k mortgage in 7 years?

We did something similar (paid off a 30 year in 17 years), but this was when we were in the 15% tax bracket. So I would say yes if you are in the now 12% bracket. I don't think I would have done it had I been in the 25% tax bracket, so if you are in the 22% or higher bracket, then I would not. My wi...
by MathWizard
Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you really have something to retire to?
Replies: 124
Views: 9699

Re: Did you really have something to retire to?

I volunteered a lot up, and enjoyed it, up to a little over 5 years ago.

Then work started consuming so much of my time that I had to scale back
greatly on those activities.

I plan to get back to those volunteer activities in retirement.
by MathWizard
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: (No Savings) *Everything* in S&P 500?
Replies: 33
Views: 3773

Re: (No Savings) *Everything* in S&P 500?

He is 100% equities in a fairly broad index, and no EF, but has a steady high income. If he won't sell in a huge downturn, and doesn't need a large% of the money for a long time the strategy is not crazy. I don't advocate not having at least a small EF, but all he is doing is betting that what he wo...
by MathWizard
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any issue with overpaying taxes?
Replies: 23
Views: 1619

Re: Any issue with overpaying taxes?

I'm assuming you are not in a bracket for which long term CG is taxed at 0%. If so, you wouldn't have to worry about it. An alternative: If you are in a higher bracket, and don;t need that money, you could just keep the stock and either gift it to charity, or let your heirs inherit it, and get a ste...
by MathWizard
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Age in Bonds - Still Recommended?
Replies: 142
Views: 10120

Re: Age in Bonds - Still Recommended?

I am kind of stunned by the number of people here who are admitting to holding no bonds. I am one of them, but I never expected there to be so many of us. I had too talk my wife into investing in the stock market. (For her IRAs, she wanted to do CDs). After she saw my 100% stock gains, she went all...
by MathWizard
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?
Replies: 118
Views: 11055

Re: If you're FI, or close to FI, are still fighting to climb the Corp. Ladder?

My wife thinks we are FI, I think we are still 1-2 years away. My fighting to climb has slowed down. I last moved up 5 years ago, now reporting to a senior VP. That position has turned over twice since then. The president was replaced last year, who then replaced my boss, who expects to be replaced ...
by MathWizard
Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leasing Cars in Retirement
Replies: 82
Views: 5967

Re: Leasing Cars in Retirement

I'll handle this like I do now, save up for the car (ROTH conversions), and then buy it using ROTH money, rather taking a lump sum in one year against tax deferred. (I don't expect to have a very large taxable account in retirement. If I do, I would spend it down and leave money in ROTH, and do what...
by MathWizard
Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to help teenager fix silly mistakes in math?
Replies: 50
Views: 3179

Re: How to help teenager fix silly mistakes in math?

The best way to expose errors is to find a solution two different ways. They should agree. If not, there is something wrong with one or both. A variation on this is to make a rough calculation as a sanity check. For example, what the sign should be? What order of magnitude are you expecting? Also, ...
by MathWizard
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need burner phone for wife traveling in Italy
Replies: 24
Views: 1874

Re: Need burner phone for wife traveling in Italy

When my wife came along on a business trip, we bought two really cheap phones in France just to make sure we could reach each other to meet up. If you by them in the country, you kniw they will work there. Last year in the UK, I just used my Google Fi. It works as is in over 150 countries. Calls to ...
by MathWizard
Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remodel for aging in place
Replies: 44
Views: 3048

Re: Remodel for aging in place

We have a main floor laundry, and I don't think I'd ever go back to one in the basement. We helped install a main floor laundry for my MIL after she had fallen down the basement stairs. A stackable unit may not be large, but would suffice for 2 people. We had a reasonable sized set with a front load...
by MathWizard
Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I think my father has a gambling problem
Replies: 78
Views: 6688

Re: I think my father has a gambling problem

Were you visiting them, or just staying there and visiting old friends. My sons do this, though they are younger than you would be. If they are coming to see me, I'm at home, because I would like to see them, not the inside of a casino that I can go to anytime. When I have houseguests, I don't go of...
by MathWizard
Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone else playing catch-up in their 40's?
Replies: 68
Views: 7142

Re: Anyone else playing catch-up in their 40's?

Negative net worth until mid 30's due to grad school. Tax deferred 15% starting when I was 31. Two sons came soon thereafter. 30's: Saved for house plus student loan repayment up to 41, when we bought a house, still at 15% Ret. savings. Age 41: Outside of retirement funds ; 20% down on house and the...
by MathWizard
Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can Sneakers go with Business Casual?
Replies: 172
Views: 8069

Re: Can Sneakers go with Business Casual?

I would get a black pair of walking shoes. Checkout the New Balance 674 - https://www.joesnewbalanceoutlet.com/product/mw674/mw674bk?gclid=Cj0KCQjw5s3cBRCAARIsAB8ZjU2kk38B7Cg4qSkSa-MQtKEMfffglEmN95tysD79vpESCLQz4qRHIMcaArp5EALw_wcB&s_kwcid=AL!{ef_userid}!{ef_sid}!{creative}!{matchtype}!{placement}!...
by MathWizard
Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Scaring the Old Folks
Replies: 71
Views: 8113

Re: Scaring the Old Folks

I have definitely figured the expense of medical insurance which is mostly subsidized by my employer. In retirement, I won't be paying into SS, so that expense goes away. I will also mot be saving a huge amount of my income. My income taxes will go way down, since about 20 to 25% of my retirement sa...
by MathWizard
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Low-earners- What is your profession?
Replies: 306
Views: 40001

Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

I just want to give OP some appreciation for making an insightful as well as refreshing thread. Some posters in this thread stated that they can retire at an early age (less than 50 yrs. old) even though they are categorized as low-income earners. How is this achievable? Is it simply living in the ...
by MathWizard
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Favorite [Travel Destination] on Earth: Where and Why?
Replies: 125
Views: 13404

Re: Your Favorite [Travel Destination] on Earth: Where and Why?

Visiting Family is #1. People are more important than places.

For non-family: US and Canada : National Parks for natural beauty
Other countries: Rome/Florence History and Art
by MathWizard
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund vs Retirement Contributions Help Needed
Replies: 4
Views: 462

Re: Emergency Fund vs Retirement Contributions Help Needed

I agree with jimb_fromATL. At least keep contributing to ROTH. For the self selected pool of people on this board, few have ever had to use much of the true emergency fund, and of those fewer still needed more than 3 months worth. By having 3 months EF plus ROTH contributions as the second tier, you...
by MathWizard
Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score [What changes your credit score?]
Replies: 42
Views: 3392

Re: Credit Score [What changes your credit score?]

If you are really curious, you can use Credit Karma. They will give an approximate score plus what areas would increase your score. According to that site, they only way to improve my credit score would be to get more credit cards, possibly to decrease my debt utilization. Credit score is dinged by ...
by MathWizard
Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: how much is term life insurance worth? (mortality table)
Replies: 11
Views: 1266

Re: how much is term life insurance worth? (mortality table)

Ins companies don't always quote on a annual basis.
Are you sure that the $15.76 is an annual cost?
Could it be monthly, quarterly or semi-annual?
by MathWizard
Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fully maxed out
Replies: 30
Views: 3014

Re: Fully maxed out

We are not eligible for an HSA, and our kids are out of college, and we have no grandkids, so no 529 contributions, otherwise, we max two 403b's, (spouse's 403 contribution cannot exceed total pay minus SS taxes) mine with extra contributions and catchup, both max FSA, and two ROTH IRAs with catchup...
by MathWizard
Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How valuable is a roth for only 1 year?
Replies: 23
Views: 1371

Re: How valuable is a roth for only 1 year?

Regardless of whether you do a back door ROTH or not, contribute to the ROTH this year. This gets the 5 year clock going for ROTH conversion. If you do it before Dec 31, you get to count 2018 as the first year of the 5 years. You can still make a ROTH IRA contribution for 2018 until April 15, 2019, ...
by MathWizard
Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency fund size
Replies: 72
Views: 6345

Re: Emergency fund size

Roth IRA contributions can be withdrawn without penalty or tax (you already paid them) , this makes the ROTH perfect for funding retirement, but also providing for a 2nd or 3rd tier of your emergency fund. Normally, you do not want to touch this money, but if you have to put food on the table, it i...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term life insurance: now or workout first
Replies: 23
Views: 2320

Re: Term life insurance: now or workout first

The biggest difference for me was that I never smoked.
There was a huge difference in cost for a smoker.

Of course that was 30 years ago, when lots of people still smoked.
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones
Replies: 71
Views: 7599

Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

Suggest that the friend invest a modest amount in a low cost index fund at say Vanguard, and compare. E.g. Suppose she has $220K at EJ. Suggest she try the experiment: Move $20K to Vanguard in a similar type of allocation as she has at EJ. So if she has some diversified equities, try VTSAX or an SP5...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency fund size
Replies: 72
Views: 6345

Re: Emergency fund size

Roth IRA contributions can be withdrawn without penalty or tax (you already paid them) , this makes the ROTH perfect for funding retirement, but also providing for a 2nd or 3rd tier of your emergency fund. Normally, you do not want to touch this money, but if you have to put food on the table, it is...
by MathWizard
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Home Country Bias
Replies: 31
Views: 2645

Re: Home Country Bias

It's not that the US market does not have risks, I just feel that I am more aware of the risks compared to other countries. One of the most well documented behavioral biases is feeling the familiar is automatically safer. Just a couple of references near the top of a search https://www.psychologyto...
by MathWizard
Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Home Country Bias
Replies: 31
Views: 2645

Re: Home Country Bias

I have some international, but even owning US Companies exposes you to some international investment because of globalization. The biggest concern for me is that I do not understand the socio-economic policies of other countries, I have enough problems with my own. Intellectual property laws, liabil...
by MathWizard
Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When I die, what % of expenses should my survivor assume
Replies: 16
Views: 1840

Re: When I die, what % of expenses should my survivor assume

Unless you have very low taxable income, taxes go up, so higher expense. Income will go down due to loss of SS income. Medical expenses go down, I estimate 4K per year for that. Food expense goes down slightly, but not by half for me, since my wife is a much better cook, and she clips coupons. If we...
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why own 401k and traditional IRA?
Replies: 25
Views: 1528

Re: Why own 401k and traditional IRA?

Deleted, duplicate post.
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why own 401k and traditional IRA?
Replies: 25
Views: 1528

Re: Why own 401k and traditional IRA?

For some the 401k options are not optimal.

For me, my 401k ER was 0.39%, while I could get to .05% with Vanguard.

Now, I chose a ROTH IRA, but I could have chosen a a tIRA.
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?
Replies: 102
Views: 7762

Re: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?

I'm aware there are a lot of cc threads but I was just curious if anyone has transitioned from using mostly cash to mostly cc's. Yes, I just did in the last year. I've been getting quite busy, and trips to the ATM were getting old. I have not found a large increase in spending, though that was one ...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What would you do - Car Question
Replies: 41
Views: 2912

Re: What would you do - Car Question

Yes, a new car, or slightly used car is a good idea. Given your situation, and assuming you have a good income, I would suggest finding a good trustworthy mechanic shop (usually not the dealer as they can be expensive), and getting a yearly checkup on the car (maybe before winter if you live in the ...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What to do at 62?
Replies: 52
Views: 5995

Re: What to do at 62?

I've modeled this for my situation and found that the amount of discretionary money is higher if I 1) have my spouse take SS at FRA, 2) I defer until 70 for SS, 3) she benefits by switching to spousal at that time 4) Because the health costs will be about $8K more before medicare, it is better to pu...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 209
Views: 21968

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

No. I knew that I would need more. Celebrating then would be like celebrating a mile race at the bell lap. Yes, it's great to make it to the last lap, especially if you are in the lead, but many a race has been lost in the last lap. (A bell is run as the runners approach the finish line for the last...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Test your cognitive biases
Replies: 89
Views: 5356

Re: Test your cognitive biases

Okay, so after all of these Supremely Wonderful Scores, who will 'fess up to a lesser score, or an outright "low" one? Also, do the "confidence" scores actually factor in to the "result", or is that just for the research in some other way? RM I confess. My score was zero because I found the very fi...
by MathWizard
Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Varying college costs across kids in the same family
Replies: 92
Views: 5160

Re: Varying college costs across kids in the same family

We had a certain amount set aside for each child which would pay for the costs of an undergrad degree at the top in-state public university. If they economized or got scholarships and wanted to go to grad school or other educational opportunity we would put whatever was saved towards that. The young...
by MathWizard
Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "75 Must Know Statistics About Long-Term Care: 2018 Edition"
Replies: 52
Views: 5430

Re: "75 Must Know Statistics About Long-Term Care: 2018 Edition"

Wade Pfau also has statistics on this, including a breakdown of length of stay in a Forbes article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadepfau/2016/01/05/costs-and-incidence-of-long-term-care/#617c9d794ceb I find the breakdown more useful than averages. In my case (Male), it appears that I have a 71% cha...
by MathWizard
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you pay for purchase of a vehicle in retirement?
Replies: 38
Views: 3970

Re: How do you pay for purchase of a vehicle in retirement?

My plan includes $5K/year aftertax (inflation adjusted) for vehicle replacement. That provides for a $25K (used) car every 5 years, so for 2 cars we will be replacing at 10 year mark. I plan on pulling from tax advantaged for this (or doing ROTH conversions) each year to avoid a $25K (or more due to...
by MathWizard
Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your major and investing/finance?
Replies: 99
Views: 5067

Re: Your major and investing/finance?

Engineering and Math PhD plus working in computing. I was very capable in math and logic before starting either of these college majors. I'm not sure the major had anything to do with the investing. It could have even been detrimental, because although I understood that low cost indexing was a very ...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings rate per month???
Replies: 68
Views: 6150

Re: Savings rate per month???

43% of gross for retirement, counts employer match in numerator and denominator

does not include pension payment for my spouse or short term savings
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quote from Electrician
Replies: 48
Views: 3465

Re: Quote from Electrician

I would not consider $1000 out of line for this. The electrician is getting the permits, and probably has someone else with home for the install. He has to drive to your house and back, He has lots of overhead in running a business, and hopefully liability insurance for anyone who might get hurt. I ...
by MathWizard
Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy white, athletic fit dress shirt?
Replies: 52
Views: 3012

Re: Where to buy white, athletic fit dress shirt?

JC Penny's has athletic fit.

I also get Regents shirts from Brooks Brothers for work.

Having an 18 inch neck
by MathWizard
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best consumer products - made in USA
Replies: 62
Views: 3448

Re: Best consumer products - made in USA

Harleys

Schwinn
by MathWizard
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Brake Pads
Replies: 97
Views: 9257

Re: New Brake Pads

The price is not unreasonable.

I have typically done my own auto work, but spending your time & talents specializing on other things makes perfect economic sense, comparative advantage and all.
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advisor or no advisor?
Replies: 16
Views: 1450

Re: Advisor or no advisor?

I have an advisor assigned by me for my TIAA-CREF 403b. I have never used one. My thought has been that I have spent decades crafting my plan, and countless hours reading various books on the subject, and even writing my own programs for predictions. I do my own taxes (now with TurboTax). I run simu...
by MathWizard
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is your monthly expense really that stable or in reality, pretty volatile?
Replies: 46
Views: 3398

Re: Is your monthly expense really that stable or in reality, pretty volatile?

Sorry, yes $220 is the total cost - except for the oil change (around $70) which was what i intended to do, also ended up having a transmission fluid change which was close to $100 and an air filter change which was close to $40...after it's all said and done, i realized i probably got ripped off p...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average expenses in MCOL area for a family of 4
Replies: 50
Views: 2525

Re: Average expenses in MCOL area for a family of 4

Adjusted for inflation between 50 and 60 K.

Most of medical insurance was paid by my employer.

Paid off our student loans, 2 kids through college, mortgage paid off in 17 yrs, paid off all debts, major house improvements done by wife and I.
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone familiar with attic fans?
Replies: 32
Views: 2093

Re: Anyone familiar with attic fans?

I have both. The attic ventilation fan runs only on the hottest days. We have large shade trees on the south of our house, which helps with keeping the attic at a reasonable temp. I use the whole house fan only a little bit. It is quite noisy. I used it more often in the past, but allergies have got...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone familiar with attic fans?
Replies: 32
Views: 2093

Re: Anyone familiar with attic fans?

I have both. The attic ventilation fan runs only on the hottest days. We have large shade trees on the south of our house, which helps with keeping the attic at a reasonable temp. I use the whole house fan only a little bit. It is quite noisy. I used it more often in the past, but allergies have got...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Why are you leaving your current job?"
Replies: 24
Views: 2395

Re: "Why are you leaving your current job?"

Imagine you are on a first date with someone, and that person insists on complaining at great length about his or her previous partner. Is this something you want to hear? What if you find yourself sympathizing with the previous partner? This is not a question you can win; whatever you say, I would...