Search found 3046 matches

by MathWizard
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandparent funding 529 and almost immediate withdrawal
Replies: 9
Views: 1771

Re: Grandparent funding 529 and almost immediate withdrawal

Use the 529 first for expenses that Do Not Qualify (as qualified expenses for Educational tax credits) Then pay qualified expenses, e.g. tuition, with your dollars, (not from a 529), up to $4000 if you owe at least that amount of fed income taxes to get the max educational tax credit. Grandparents ...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where did you think we'd be today, ten years ago?
Replies: 38
Views: 2837

Re: Where did you think we'd be today, ten years ago?

I expected a correction a few years back, but otherwise things are pretty much where I expected.

I didn't think GE and Sears would be going under, but that's why I don't invest in individual stocks.
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandparent funding 529 and almost immediate withdrawal
Replies: 9
Views: 1771

Re: Grandparent funding 529 and almost immediate withdrawal

Use the 529 first for expenses that Do Not Qualify (as qualified expenses for Educational tax credits) Then pay qualified expenses, e.g. tuition, with your dollars, (not from a 529), up to $4000 if you owe at least that amount of fed income taxes to get the max educational tax credit. From: https://...
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Question, What Would You Do?
Replies: 21
Views: 2032

Re: Home Question, What Would You Do?

Making major improvements will not pay off, since the neighborhood does not change. Also, look at the school situation. With young kids you want to get them into a nice school system. Moving is probably the better option. You decided to have kids and kids are expensive, with housing being part of th...
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement planning--how many years of cash equiv should I aim to have?
Replies: 16
Views: 2298

Re: Retirement planning--how many years of cash equiv should I aim to have?

You want the high return of stocks without volatility. Using cash gives you low volatility, but puts a drag on returns. I suggest that you instead put some of your money into a SPIA, enough so that your guaranteed income + the SPIA meets your bare minimum needs. Then you do not have to pull from you...
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The risks of equities when saving for retirement
Replies: 38
Views: 3284

Re: The risks of equities when saving for retirement

If the article shows anything, it is that the range of possible outcomes increases with time. These seems obvious. It also shows that 5th percentile is less than the 25th percentile which is less than the 50th percentile. Again, pretty obvious. What is not obvious is why the author uses client five ...
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Is Insurance Worth It (Analytically)?
Replies: 89
Views: 4168

Re: Why Is Insurance Worth It (Analytically)?

It seems that many people are very adamant about insurance being 100% non negotiable, you must have it in the following categories: 1. Health Insurance 2. Property Insurance 3. Supplemental Car Insurance (above legal minimum) 4. Umbrella Liability What seems even stranger to me is that many Boglehe...
by MathWizard
Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Deleted]
Replies: 7
Views: 780

Re: Please Help: Receiving Farm Land

The best way to handle this is by renting to someone who is going to take care of the land. An agreement where the amount of fertilizer to be put on is determined from soil samples with the state's land grant college's extension unit. My wife inherited 1/6 of a small farm. There was a step up in bas...
by MathWizard
Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?
Replies: 46
Views: 3010

Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

You likely will not be happy with painted wallpaper. I would either hire it done it do it yourself. We've removed wallpaper on 3 walls. It is lot of work. There is a scorer made, and you can use a tool made for pulling off the wallpaper, or use a good putty knife. It's was probably 8-10 hours with 2...
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restaurant Budget
Replies: 113
Views: 6552

Re: Restaurant Budget

When not on vacation, we probably go out maybe once a month.
We drink water with meals. Bill is typically a $10/person in a cheap place
$20/person in an expensive place.
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all 50-60 year old homeowners with kids/families
Replies: 36
Views: 4144

Re: Calling all 50-60 year old homeowners with kids/families

We bought a fixer upper at age 41 because I was handy, and I could put down 20% with about $25K for improvements that were needed right away (furnace and air conditioner and some safety items.) Over the next 18 years, one project to 2 projects per summer later, we are down to the last two items. Typ...
by MathWizard
Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finally cutting cable -- is 40mbps enough for streaming services?
Replies: 38
Views: 4098

Re: Finally cutting cable -- is 40mbps enough for streaming services?

We were fine with 15 Mbps with two hi-def Netflix films streaming at the same time.

However , we blew through a 100 GB usage cap two months in a row. It was cheaper to upgrade to 50Mbps with a 250 GB cap that to continue to pay the overage charges.
by MathWizard
Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did YOU choose your career?
Replies: 148
Views: 8487

Re: How did YOU choose your career?

I wanted to be "Scotty" and engineer who could fix anything. However, the road to my career was winding. At each stage, you make the best choice you can, with what is available, knowing you have to support your family, and you end up where you end up. I was good in math and science and solving logic...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting SS to cover Roth conversion tax
Replies: 19
Views: 1358

Re: Starting SS to cover Roth conversion tax

The SS benefits will be subject to federal income tax. You'd have to run your own numbers, but any of my estimates always have me delaying until FRA for my wife and 70 for me. Taking up to the top of the bracket and using just some into Roth will pull more from the tax deferred to reduce future RMDs...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Food budget based on government assistance or CPI
Replies: 16
Views: 1495

Re: Food budget based on government assistance or CPI

We're in the $ 100 to 150/ wk range at the store for two adults. That includes detergents, tissue, toothpaste, etc. We don't drink soda, just water milk or coffee ( Folger drip, not Keurig or Starbucks) We take our lunch, and eating out is usually a treat on birthdays or when we travel. My wife gard...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need a financial advisor?
Replies: 16
Views: 1387

Re: Do I need a financial advisor?

Do you have kids who can take over part of the portfolio at some time in the future? My wife and I are primary on medical issues, but we have named one of our two sons as secondary medical proxy. Similarly for financial affairs. We have the paperwork set up, and just to need to sign things over. We ...
by MathWizard
Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What’s your “barometer” for luxury purchases?
Replies: 72
Views: 5463

Re: What’s your “barometer” for luxury purchases?

The only truly luxury items were 3 trips to Europe for anniversaries after the 25th. We travelled frugally.

I suppose charitable contributions as well, as they are not necessary.
by MathWizard
Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security questions, please help!
Replies: 21
Views: 3244

Re: Social Security questions, please help!

Waiting would almost certainly be better.

If you feel like you are depriving yourself, take out the extra you would have gotten had you taken SS now
from your portfolio.
by MathWizard
Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What financial information do you share with your family and relatives?
Replies: 112
Views: 9682

Re: What financial information do you share with your family and relatives?

Since both of us are about the youngest in our families, investing for retirement came up last Christmas at my wife’s family gathering. Several were touting “their guy” It made me pretty proud when my wife pointed to me as “her guy”. Absolutely love this! Math wizard You re the man! When my son in ...
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Investing" conversations at work
Replies: 32
Views: 4341

Re: "Investing" conversations at work

I think the problem is that you think that you have all the answers and he does not. That is not going to work. Your coworker is timing the market. He believes in buy low sell high, and decided 2016 was a high. He has taken his profits and will buy in after the the market blows, and ride the market ...
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What financial information do you share with your family and relatives?
Replies: 112
Views: 9682

Re: What financial information do you share with your family and relatives?

I share quite a bit with my kids, tp help them, and of course all with my spouse. She has become more interested as retirement accounts have grown. I let other family members know I pay for cars with cash. This after they noted I drive older cars. I’ve also shared what I pay for cell phones, since t...
by MathWizard
Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's in your Investor Policy Statement about Bear Markets?
Replies: 52
Views: 3478

Re: What's in your Investor Policy Statement about Bear Markets?

I rebalance.

During an economic downturn, I do defer discretionary spending thereby increasing my first tier EF at the credit union.
(That's personal finance not investing.)
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to deal with a smallish cash flow issue for a few months
Replies: 9
Views: 645

Re: Best way to deal with a smallish cash flow issue for a few months

Signature loan is likely the cheapest.
I understand not pulling from tax advantaged, but not taxable.

If $7k causes a hardship, she does not have enough liquid funds, aka Emergency Funds, and thus should be corrected.
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Current Retirees: Do you touch your principal?
Replies: 79
Views: 8224

Re: Current Retirees: Do you touch your principal?

Soon to be a retiree. Note that for many, tax deferred accounts make up the bulk of my retirement funds. At some point, RMDs will force me to withdraw principal from tax deferred. Now, I do not have to spend it, I could just invest it in a taxable account, but it has been touched, and could very wel...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard lowering Admiral level to $3,000?
Replies: 224
Views: 17101

Re: Vanguard lowering Admiral level to $3,000?

Sorry, but I do not see this as a positive for me, though it is nice for those just starting out. Vanguard runs their funds at cost. This change means that the Admiral class will now have to absorb the costs of serving all of those small accounts. It will put upward pressure on the Admiral class ex...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Millennial behind - but still have time to [catch up]
Replies: 20
Views: 2218

Re: Millennial behind - but still have time to ketchup

This thread will be locked soon for lack of a question. The OP appears to be implying that millennials not saving will cause the government to step in and take from Peter to pay Paul, and he is afraid that he is Peter. I don't believe the millennials not saving, in fact I have observed the opposite,...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Executor and Will
Replies: 24
Views: 2016

Re: Executor and Will

The procedure varies from state to state, but the persons who would inherit absent a Will are generally entitled to notice, and have the right to contest the Will. Once it's filed in the court, it becomes a public document and anyone can get a copy of it. Bruce, my BIL passed away earlier this year...
by MathWizard
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Granddaughter needs $ help for university
Replies: 111
Views: 9939

Re: Granddaughter needs $ help for university

Finally, I was able to gather all the info and ask my granddaughter the questions you presented to me. We had a long talk and she already has taken things into her own hands. Yes, she applied for FAFSA and also received $6000 Pelham grant. She found a co-signer also (no I didn’t ask who it was). It...
by MathWizard
Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need a sophisticated calculator for retirement. Help.
Replies: 7
Views: 1017

Re: Need a sophisticated calculator for retirement. Help.

I-orp does much if not all of what you are asking.

https://www.i-orp.com

including Roth conversions.
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Granddaughter needs $ help for university
Replies: 111
Views: 9939

Re: Granddaughter needs $ help for university

Let's assume that the scholarship really is 50K per year for 4 years. You should not do this unless you are prepared to pay 15K per year + tuition inflation for 4 years plus doing the same for the twin sister, and potentially other grandkids. Assuming you have so much money that this is not a proble...
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Long / Hard To Become a Millionaire on Under $100k Income
Replies: 133
Views: 12287

Re: How Long / Hard To Become a Millionaire on Under $100k Income

Hello, I am wondering how hard it is to become a millionaire on an income of less than $100k? Is millionaire status still achievable by 50? by 40? At some point, expenses can't be reduced any further. At what point does income have to rise substantially in order to reach early financial independenc...
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Long / Hard To Become a Millionaire on Under $100k Income
Replies: 133
Views: 12287

Re: How Long / Hard To Become a Millionaire on Under $100k Income

Medium COL area. Took 25 yrs (1990 to 2015) on inflation adjusted income steadily rising from 50 to 90K. This through the 2001, 2003 and 2008/9 recessions, and raising 2 kids through college. So it is doable. We lived in 3 different mobile homes through grad school and beyond until we had enough for...
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mobile cellular hotspot for low data use
Replies: 17
Views: 1163

Re: Mobile cellular hotspot for low data use

I use a my google FI phone for this. The only cost for using the hot spot is the data used.

$20/month for unlimited talk/ text , $10 per GB used, no use it or lose it.
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it ever make sense to pay more tax intentionally?
Replies: 15
Views: 1689

Re: Does it ever make sense to pay more tax intentionally?

I've been thinking about this and I'm pretty sure the answer is no, but I'm no expert so I'm sure there might be a case it makes sense. I earn ~$25,000 in my job as a self employed paper carrier. Mileage deductions put my taxable income ~$13,500 which is what is being reported to social security. W...
by MathWizard
Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finances in NYC
Replies: 95
Views: 8171

Re: Finances in NYC

I didn't see anything about a spouse, so I'll assume single. I don't know what you are doing is tax deferred so I am assume 0. A quick look at taxes brackets for single under current fed tax rates shows you are about 6 to 7 K into the 22% bracket, while a 122 salry would mean you fill up the 22% plu...
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finally cutting cable -- is 40mbps enough for streaming services?
Replies: 38
Views: 4098

Re: Finally cutting cable -- is 40mbps enough for streaming services?

We were fine with 13 Mb/s with two High Def Netflix's going at a time, but
would exceed data caps with a hefty penalty for going over.

We went to 50 Mb/s and 250 Gigabyte cap, and only occasionally approach it.
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen
Replies: 18
Views: 1048

Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

I suggest a Garmin with LMT like the 50 LMT 5 inch screen The L is lane guidance , it shows you what lane to be in for turns, great for those left lane interstate exits you never expect. T for traffic alerts which tells you when there is traffic congestion ahead, e g construction The M is lifetime m...
by MathWizard
Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paper or Paperless? How and what financial records do you keep?
Replies: 50
Views: 3683

Re: Paper or Paperless? How and what financial records do you keep?

We have some electronic, but also a file cabinet paper. We have tax records for the last 20 years. We keep deeds/titles in a safety deposit box with our wills as long as we hold the property/vehicle. We keep bank statements and CC statements for a year. We keep statements for retirement funds as lon...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Encrypt a Text file?
Replies: 53
Views: 4007

Re: How to Encrypt a Text file?

BitLocker?

It should be built into windows. It encrypts the entire drive. I believe it is AES.
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: no dividends in index funds!
Replies: 95
Views: 9388

Re: no dividends in index funds!

I get about 2% in dividends annually from VTSAX, reinvested into the fund.
Dividends in tax advantaged funds do not cause any taxable events.

If you have filled all tax advantaged space, then you may or may not want dividends in taxable.
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone ever “borrow” against their emergency fund?
Replies: 23
Views: 2522

Re: Anyone ever “borrow” against their emergency fund?

For those lump summers who tend to invest every spare penny from annual bonuses or other irregular income right away ... does anyone ever try to get extra time in the market by investing immediately once the income amount is established (e.g. when a bonus is declared) but before payment is made? As...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA as tax bracket buffer
Replies: 12
Views: 1304

Re: Roth IRA as tax bracket buffer

Yes. Particularly given the taxability of SS benefits.
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do people calculate savings rate on gross income?
Replies: 118
Views: 7475

Re: Do people calculate savings rate on gross income?

If I calculate what my savings rate is, the denominator is
(gross wages + employer tax deferred match)

It really doesn't matter though, because I just determine what
I need to save, using conservative assumptions, and save that.
by MathWizard
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Group life insurance through work
Replies: 20
Views: 1580

Re: Group life insurance through work

You will be able to continue coverage under COBRA for at least 18 months as long as you are not fired for "gross misconduct". You will need to pay the full cost, and maybe a small management fee. Under current law, you cannot be refused coverage due to pre-existing conditions, so you could always g...
by MathWizard
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Group life insurance through work
Replies: 20
Views: 1580

Re: Group life insurance through work

You will be able to continue coverage under COBRA for at least 18 months as long as you are not fired for "gross misconduct". You will need to pay the full cost, and maybe a small management fee. Under current law, you cannot be refused coverage due to pre-existing conditions, so you could always ge...
by MathWizard
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pet Insurance Recommendations?
Replies: 11
Views: 951

Re: Pet Insurance Recommendations?

I self insure for pets. I only insure for those things that I could not afford. I insure my cars for liability , but not collision. I can afford to buy a replacement car, so I don't need to pay the insurer. If I could not afford to self-insure for pets, I would not have them. In fact, if I could not...
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Individual investors should have access to Private Equity"
Replies: 46
Views: 3451

Re: "Individual investors should have access to Private Equity"

Not understanding. Why should the government tell me who I should be doing business with? The government does not tell you who you can do business with. It requires companies seeking money from the general public to share certain informations and abide by certain rules which are enforced by the SEC...
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Individual investors should have access to Private Equity"
Replies: 46
Views: 3451

Re: "Private investors should have access to Private Equity"

After last week's Frontline program https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/the-pension-gamble/ I'm not sure that retirement programs should be investing in private equity, especially hedge funds. The majority of people on the KY pension boards were not versed in investments. I'm not a fan of hedge ...
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineering school
Replies: 66
Views: 4893

Re: Engineering school

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is an absolutely fantastic school. The biggest downsides are expenses and a heavy workload, but you'll get a best-in-class education there. Oh, also, it's an engineering-only school and has the gender ratio you'd expect (roughly 3 men for every woman), so if you'...
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody use CenturyLink for internet service?
Replies: 25
Views: 1679

Re: Anybody use CenturyLink for internet service?

I dropped them several years ago, both for internet and home phone, and don't intend to ever go back. The max they could supply was 1.5 Mb/s . They wanted to charge me the same price as for 7Mb/s. I asked to speak to a supervisor, and they refused. I had been a customer for decades, keeping a home p...