Search found 2644 matches

by carolinaman
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hire CPA or file my own taxes?
Replies: 12
Views: 941

Re: Hire CPA or file my own taxes?

I assume you plan to rent at least part of the duplex. In that instance, I recommend hiring a CPA for this year only. A CPA can assure that you take advantage of legitimate deductions, property depreciation, expenses, etc. The hardest part of taxes is dealing with something new and complex like you ...
by carolinaman
Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did QCDs on phone with Vanguard - a painful process
Replies: 2
Views: 557

Did QCDs on phone with Vanguard - a painful process

Several past posts have said it is much better to do QCDs through Vanguard using their online system. I could not figure out how to do that, so I called Vanguard. The rep took me through a long and legalistic process to do checks for all 11 charities. One was greater than $5,000, so that required li...
by carolinaman
Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: can you deduct a leased car as biz expense if you have only 1 car?
Replies: 4
Views: 473

Re: can you deduct a leased car as biz expense if you have only 1 car?

Yes, you can deduct the portion used for business. This will require accurate record keeping of mileage for business and personal use. My son does this in his business and has never had a problem. The tax regs are clear that you can do this: https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc510
by carolinaman
Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it good idea to buy yearly maintenance from HVAC company
Replies: 14
Views: 1438

Re: Is it good idea to buy yearly maintenance from HVAC company

Most of these big HVAC companies pay commissions to their maintenance people which incents them to find more problems. I used one for about 5 years after installing new HVAC system. I quit doing that because I got tired of dealing with their mythical problems and sales pitches. Some of these come of...
by carolinaman
Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare coverage process for new and rare treatment
Replies: 7
Views: 650

Re: Medicare coverage process for new and rare treatment

Suggest you first call Medicare and talk to them about whether or not they pay for the procedure and how much they pay. If they do, your second call is to the provider for this procedure to find out if they accept Medicare assignment for the procedure. Also ask if the auxiliary providers -- hospita...
by carolinaman
Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm Insurance, Time to Leave
Replies: 56
Views: 4860

Re: State Farm Insurance, Time to Leave

Long time State Farm customer with auto, homeowner and umbrella insurance in NC. I received a dramatic auto increase this year from State Farm. I got quotes from Geico, Amica and Ameriprise (Costco). Geico and State Farm were virtually the same price for year. The other two were substantially higher...
by carolinaman
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How should I look at SS and pensions when developing my post-FRA AA?
Replies: 30
Views: 979

Re: How should I look at SS and pensions when developing my post-FRA AA?

I think it depends upon your need and goals for your investments. I agree with subtracting pension and SS income from your total annual expenses (including taxes). The balance, if any, is what you need to derive from your investments. If you do not need any funds or very little from your investments...
by carolinaman
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your big-picture ‘rules of life’ —financial or otherwise?
Replies: 101
Views: 8821

Re: What are your big-picture ‘rules of life’ —financial or otherwise?

Remember Fs in this order Faith Family Friends Finances Fun It's been amazing in our life how everything else falls in line. This is a good list and the priorities are in the right order for me. Life needs purpose and focus to be truly meaningful. Our children are now in their forties, but I rememb...
by carolinaman
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 financial goals - what are yours?
Replies: 79
Views: 6583

Re: 2018 financial goals - what are yours?

2comma wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:15 am
Retired, conservative investor, no debt. As long as we beat inflation we're good, that's the goal.
Retired also and conservative investor. I have goal of 2% real investment gain.
by carolinaman
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How easy is it to minimize tax liability yourself without a CPA/accountant?
Replies: 26
Views: 2452

Re: How easy is it to minimize tax liability yourself without a CPA/accountant?

It really depends on your knowledge of taxes,complexity of your business, and your willingness to do the research needed to make sure you optimize your tax liability. IMO, a good approach is to use a CPA initially. If your business stays the same, then it would be pretty simply to do your taxes your...
by carolinaman
Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those retired at least 10 years, what about the money?
Replies: 43
Views: 5868

Re: For those retired at least 10 years, what about the money?

I am 73 and retired 7 years. I am blessed with a good pension. The pension and our SS more than cover our annual expenses. Our investment accounts have grown by 51% since retirement as we have only spent a fraction of that for remodeling and a couple of expensive maintenance issues. As most people a...
by carolinaman
Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax reform and mega backdoor Roth
Replies: 4
Views: 718

Re: Tax refrom and mega backdoor Roth

I am in the top of the current 25% tax bracket. The latest senate and house plans will increase the upper range of 25% bracket by more than $100k for TIRA to Roth conversions without increasing marginal tax rate. Stay tuned.
by carolinaman
Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can This be Part of an Estate Planning?
Replies: 7
Views: 916

Re: Can This be Part of an Estate Planning?

Parents are 50 and their twin daughters are 20 years old. Paid off house. Took $400K cash-out 30-year FRM at 3.8%. Parents have sufficient cash-flow to pay the required mortgage of $1.9K/month. At 15% marginal tax bracket, $400K in taxable account is equivalent to $470K pre-tax. Parents contribute ...
by carolinaman
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Investment Advice
Replies: 34
Views: 3911

Re: Vanguard Investment Advice

It may have seemed unduly complex but for some it would be a revelation. Of course they are going to pitch their services. But in the end, their advice is very sound and has very low costs. Contrast that with some complex plan presented by many financial advisers that have 20, 30 or more investments...
by carolinaman
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help! Need to Create an Income Stream for Retirement
Replies: 8
Views: 1549

Re: Help! Need to Create an Income Stream for Retirement

Not knowing the rest of your financial situation, an SPIA (single payer immediate annuity) may be an option. $300,000 will generate aprox. $1,600/mo for life. You can get quotes here: https://www.immediateannuities.com It is not for everyone but depending on your floor income/expense needs, it can ...
by carolinaman
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Danger of being a helicopter pilot?
Replies: 40
Views: 3707

Re: Danger of being a helicopter pilot?

I work as a firefighter/paramedic in a major metropolitan area. I recently visited out Air/Sea Rescue branch and talked to the Commander. He told me that they have 10 pilots, and that half of them are retiring in the next 5-8 years. The general consensus is that the pay is about the same as my curr...
by carolinaman
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mold remediation quote
Replies: 29
Views: 1237

Re: Mold remediation quote

These are photos of the worst and best of the ducts. The "average" is probably closer to the worst. https://www.dropbox.com/s/bkber21eonp9jqq/Photo%20Oct%2028%2C%201%2018%2036%20PM.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/bkber21eonp9jqq/Photo%20Oct%2028%2C%201%2018%2036%20PM.jpg?dl=0 Five grand to fix T...
by carolinaman
Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me Help mom
Replies: 29
Views: 1560

Re: Help me Help mom

I may have missed it, but what is the balance of the inherited IRA from your grandmother. You mention she is taking RMDs from it. How much is that per year? I am just trying to determine why you think she will be in the 25% tax bracket. I only see 2 inherited IRAs in your post: one for $340k and ano...
by carolinaman
Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any websites to help find a great doctor?
Replies: 36
Views: 2444

Re: Any websites to help find a great doctor?

I have struggled in recent years to find good specialists. For many years my primary would recommend specialists whom he knew were very good. Then he retired and I do not have confidence that my current primary will provide really good specialists. Most doctors in our major metro area belong to one ...
by carolinaman
Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amica Increase
Replies: 21
Views: 1772

Re: Amica Increase

I am long time State Farm customer and this year did a comparison of my 3 policies: auto, home and umbrella with State Farm, Geico, Amica and Ameriprise (Costco). Policies scheduled to renew/start in December 2017. Results were: Geico - $2,383 State Farm - $2,432 Ameriprise - $2,619 Amica - $2,979 ...
by carolinaman
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amica Increase
Replies: 21
Views: 1772

Re: Amica Increase

I am long time State Farm customer and this year did a comparison of my 3 policies: auto, home and umbrella with State Farm, Geico, Amica and Ameriprise (Costco). Policies scheduled to renew/start in December 2017. Results were: Geico - $2,383 State Farm - $2,432 Ameriprise - $2,619 Amica - $2,979 S...
by carolinaman
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement: how to forecast where you’re at?
Replies: 35
Views: 3246

Re: Retirement: how to forecast where you’re at?

I have had good success using Excel to do retirement planning. If you have basic Excel knowledge and can use the PV, FV and annuity functions, you can do this yourself with Excel. I do a linear spreadsheet and then crosscheck by using one of the financial functions in Excel. Always crosscheck yourse...
by carolinaman
Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota older, "good" cars - my observations
Replies: 48
Views: 4219

Re: Toyota older, "good" cars - my observations

I have owned Camrys since 1992 (my current one is 2014 Hybrid) and love them for performance and reliability. They are economical to own. My wife has a 2007 Avalon Limited with all the bells and whistles. She loves it but to me it is just too big. I feel like I am driving a boat. The Avalon is pret...
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota older, "good" cars - my observations
Replies: 48
Views: 4219

Re: Toyota older, "good" cars - my observations

I have owned Camrys since 1992 (my current one is 2014 Hybrid) and love them for performance and reliability. They are economical to own. My wife has a 2007 Avalon Limited with all the bells and whistles. She loves it but to me it is just too big. I feel like I am driving a boat. The Avalon is prett...
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Playing the Car Insurance Deductible Game
Replies: 20
Views: 1614

Re: Playing the Car Insurance Deductible Game

I do not carry any collision insurance but I do carry $100 deductible on comprehensive. Comp is really inexpensive and provides broad coverage. Comp has paid for several deer collisions. It also covers glass such as a cracked windshield. It is my understanding that in PA, insurance companies are no...
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Regrets for taking SS at 62 or waiting?
Replies: 100
Views: 9234

Re: Regrets for taking SS at 62 or waiting?

I retired 7 years ago at age 66. My analysis at the time indicated a breakeven point around age 82. Since no male in my family had lived past 73, I took SS at age 66 (FRA). I really did not need SS income to retire and could have deferred. In retrospect with my current understanding of SS options, t...
by carolinaman
Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are the things you want to do between 55 and 65?
Replies: 140
Views: 10546

Re: do between 55 and 65?

Oops. Too late. Age 69.05. Time to end it all, I guess. No trip to Español in 2018. No trip to Italia in 2019. My OP did not mean to be anything other than honestly seeking help. My earliest possible retiring age is 55. Since I have not found anything that definitely requires me to quit my job to p...
by carolinaman
Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we buy term life insurance?
Replies: 20
Views: 1868

Re: Should we buy term life insurance?

Your estate should provide ample income and resources for your family. However, I think a 10 or 15 year term life policy would still be a good idea because it is cheap at your age and will provide additional income for your family. Depending upon the income proportion from each of you, you could eit...
by carolinaman
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?
Replies: 56
Views: 4522

Re: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?

7 years as required by IRS. If IRS finds any problems in the last 3 years, they can go back another 4 years for total of 7 years. That is my understanding.
by carolinaman
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are expensive tires worth it?
Replies: 42
Views: 2628

Re: Are expensive tires worth it?

I am a long time user of Michelin tires. Their best tires always have high performance ratings and they have paid off for me several times. One time a driver turned in front of me at an intersection. I just knew I was going to hit her but hit my brakes hard, and to my amazement stopped on a dime avo...
by carolinaman
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco Eyeglasses - No satisfaction guarantee. Any chance of resolution?
Replies: 27
Views: 3032

Re: Costco Eyeglasses - No satisfaction guarantee. Any chance of resolution?

I am a long time Costco optical customer. They have been fantastic for me. On 2 separate occasions, I damaged my glasses and they replaced them with no charge, even though I told them it was my fault. Your situation is different in that Costco apparently cannot provide what you need. Even so, when t...
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Current precarious equity environment for a retiree
Replies: 43
Views: 3427

Re: Current precarious equity environment for a retiree

Isn't the equity environment always precarious? :happy I'd say if a retiree is overly stressed about the equity side of things, they may have too much in equities and an AA change may be needed. +1. Either OPs AA is too risky or he/she is obsessing too much about it. Align your risk tolerance with ...
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Confused!!!! CRCCs or home care..? Help!!
Replies: 12
Views: 1195

Re: Confused!!!! CRCCs or home care..? Help!!

I am 73 and DW is 74. We are aging in place in home of past 44 years which we love. We have 2+ acres with lots of trees, a 350' driveway and other maintenance items. I have started paying for some maintenance items but still do fair amount myself. However, my days of that are numbered. I can see a l...
by carolinaman
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What might you ask In-laws' FA?
Replies: 39
Views: 3023

Re: What might you ask In-laws' FA?

This is very interesting. You need to find out their motive for asking you. This is a touchy situation as you have already read from the other posters. After all of these years, I would ask them has anything changed that they now want you to go with them? Have they read something or another friend ...
by carolinaman
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you meditate?
Replies: 117
Views: 7856

Re: Do you meditate?

At one point in my career, I developed anxiety from all the work pressures I was experiencing. It led to insomnia which I realized I had to do something about. I saw a counselor through my job and she recommended meditation. I am probably the last person who would try meditation, but I was desperate...
by carolinaman
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity 10X Retirement Rule - - Valid???
Replies: 46
Views: 3046

Re: Fidelity 10X Retirement Rule - - Valid???

I think the key to any of these rules of thumb, i.e. 10 times salary or 25 times expenses, is understanding the underlying assumptions. Often, especially on this forum, people present the rule of thumb without reference to the underlying assumptions which leads to people misinterpreting the rule. Fo...
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) and Moving States
Replies: 3
Views: 363

Re: Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) and Moving States

The taxation may vary depending upon the states involved, and especially the one you reside in. For example, taxation of retirement income, SS or pensions, varies by state and the state you reside in determines whether it is taxable or not. At least that has been my experience. I doubt it would be a...
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: allocation and diversification durring retirement
Replies: 4
Views: 648

Re: allocation and diversification durring retirement

For tax efficiency you should maximize equity in taxable accounts and maximize fixed in tax deferred accounts. Without knowing more about your situation, especially marginal tax rate, age and when you plan to take SS, it is hard to provide more advice. Observations: you have a high cash allocation. ...
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interesting Career Advice
Replies: 6
Views: 1246

Re: Interesting Career Advice

If the company is so short sighted to not create a new position for someone who has accomplished this, then moving on is definitely your best option. Why stay with a company like that? They do not recognize nor appreciate good talent. BTW, I have seen companies like that. Unfortunately, they are not...
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Septic tank - deal killer?
Replies: 47
Views: 4153

Re: Septic tank - deal killer?

We have lived in our home for 44 years with a septic tank and never had it pumped out. I put the bacteria stuff in the tank once a month and are careful what we put in it: no solid foods, grease, etc. It is probably on life support but so far no problems. I know I need to have it cleaned and they wi...
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home backup generator experiences
Replies: 51
Views: 2853

Re: Home backup generator experiences

I bought an 8500 watt gas generator from Home Depot 2 years ago. I have only used one time so far, although we are susceptible to power outages from winter ice storms. We have been without power for 3 to 4 days a couple of times in last 20 years with very cold weather and partial day outages several...
by carolinaman
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco for tires and car insurance?
Replies: 76
Views: 6001

Re: Costco for tires and car insurance?

Hi Bogleheads - I just bought a slightly used 2017 Ford Escape, and I'm thinking that I should get a set of winter tires for it. Winters here can be kinda nasty; last one definitely was. I'm inclined to get the tires from Costco... I'm just wondering if anyone out there has experience with buying t...
by carolinaman
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS at a young age?
Replies: 23
Views: 1162

Re: TIPS at a young age?

IMO, TIPS are not as important for a young person as they are for someone nearing or in retirement. Inflation is not nearly as impactful to a young person with a portfolio like yours (75/25). It is a much bigger deal for retirees because they typically have a large allocation of fixed income and the...
by carolinaman
Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The fear of retirement, black swan, and math to dissuade the fear.
Replies: 136
Views: 13286

Re: The fear of retirement, black swan, and math to dissuade the fear.

Health care for pre-Medicare seniors is a really big issue. I have a friend who is in early 60s and self employed. His joint healthcare policy is jumping from $700 to $2200 per month with deductible of $13k. If major medical issues occur (and some have chronic issues require lots of medical expenses...
by carolinaman
Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interviewing at a former employer, should I give them my current salary when they ask?
Replies: 94
Views: 6050

Re: Interviewing at a former employer, should I give them my current salary when they ask?

I interviewed and hired many IT professionals and managers during my 30+ years of IT management. Typically, the first interview would be a phone interview. If there seemed to be a fit for the position, I would ask what their salary expectations were? If their response was in the range of the positio...
by carolinaman
Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's the most "interesting" job in corporate finance?
Replies: 20
Views: 1996

Re: What's the most "interesting" job in corporate finance?

...Do you see people doing Exec MBAs (accountants that is) to credentialize themselves into more senior management roles? Worth doing? What steps would you recommend to a young accountant to make this sort of career track happen? Yes, getting an MBA definitely helps, but it's not absolutely necessa...
by carolinaman
Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did we make it to "The 2 Comma Club"? Maybe not?
Replies: 21
Views: 3671

Re: Did we make it to "The 2 Comma Club"? Maybe not?

Congratulations on your savings/assets at such a young age.

Depending on how you consider the taxes owed on your retirement account, you may or may not have achieved 2 comma club. If you deduct the anticipated taxes on your retirement funds, you may not be there just yet.
by carolinaman
Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pension Plan Investment Results
Replies: 9
Views: 1334

Re: Pension Plan Investment Results

That return seems rather high for a balanced AA most pensions use. NC's pension AA is about 40% equity, 40% fixed and 20% alternative (private equity, hedge funds and others). From memory our investment returns for last reporting period was 6.7% which is at least 6 months earlier than the period you...
by carolinaman
Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virginia to New Jersey income tax
Replies: 20
Views: 2236

Re: Virginia to New Jersey income tax

I suggest you consider also property tax and sales tax in addition to income tax. You may find the cumulative effect of all 3 are significant. I believe that NJ is considered one of the highest taxed states in US and this is likely to show up in different taxes but especially in these 3.
by carolinaman
Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to spend for bathroom remodel with these features in LCOL area
Replies: 27
Views: 1757

Re: How much to spend for bathroom remodel with these features in LCOL area

My son has done a lot of bathroom remodels. It is common to find wood rot, especially with older bathrooms. His motto for remodeling is to "expect the unexpected" once you open up the walls and floors. If wood rot exists, this will impact your budget, but it is much better to find it now than later....