Search found 168 matches

by songman52
Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TRS(Teacher Retirement System of Texas) and Social Security
Replies: 23
Views: 1443

Re: TRS(Teacher Retirement System of Texas) and Social Security

It looks like the TRS was changed a lot by the legislature, a few years after I began collecting my pension. So the rules that were in effect at that time no longer apply to more recent members or retirees.
by songman52
Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TRS(Teacher Retirement System of Texas) and Social Security
Replies: 23
Views: 1443

Re: TRS(Teacher Retirement System of Texas) and Social Security

A few years ago the TRS health coverage was changed. The only option now for a retiree 65 or over to continue health coverage through TRS is with their Medicare Advantage plan. I opted for regular Medicare with a medigap policy. The new plans went into effect the year I turned 65. Under the old plan...
by songman52
Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone plan unlimited phone and text, very little data
Replies: 22
Views: 1384

Re: Cell phone plan unlimited phone and text, very little data

I switched to TWIGBY over a year ago, and finally got all the family on my plan switched over. I'm so happy to be done with VZW's pricing, although their coverage was always excellent. We've had no trouble getting coverage with Twigby, including FaceTime, Waze, maps, podcasts, and all other apps. $7...
by songman52
Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a cheaper cell phone plan
Replies: 56
Views: 4724

Re: Need a cheaper cell phone plan

I was with VZ for many years. I swtched to Twigby almost a year ago, then switched my spouse to Twigby a few months ago. It uses Sprint and Verizon and so far I've been pleased. I haven't noticed any difference except the reduction to about $34/month total bill. :happy Edited to add: That includes l...
by songman52
Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:01 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Sad news: LadyGeek's husband has passed
Replies: 352
Views: 28595

Re: Sad news: LadyGeek's husband has passed

Sorry for your loss. And thank you so much for your sharing for the benefit of the rest of us.
by songman52
Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I withdraw my TRS? [Teacher Retirement System of Texas]
Replies: 21
Views: 2003

Re: Should I withdraw my TRS? [Teacher Retirement System of Texas]

In reply to teelainen : I had the option of taking a monthly payment (annuity) of a certain amount. Or, I could take a reduced amount each month and get 12 months' worth up front as a lump sum. Or, I could take a further reduced amount and 24 months up front, or an even further reduced amount and 36...
by songman52
Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Types of Income in Retirement
Replies: 5
Views: 880

Re: Types of Income in Retirement

Dividends will probably be reported to you on a 1099-DIV, or a combination form if it comes from a brokerage or advisory firm. Have you tried Taxcaster or some other program to estimate your taxes?
by songman52
Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I withdraw my TRS? [Teacher Retirement System of Texas]
Replies: 21
Views: 2003

Re: Should I withdraw my TRS? [Teacher Retirement System of Texas]

I second FishTaco's comments. It was only because I had bought back my years that I met the "Rule of 80" and was able to take advantage of the opportunity when it came along. For any who are not familiar, the "Rule of 80" means the point where one's creditable years of service pl...
by songman52
Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I withdraw my TRS? [Teacher Retirement System of Texas]
Replies: 21
Views: 2003

Re: Should I withdraw my TRS? [Teacher Retirement System of Texas]

Unless the OP has a dire need for the money now, I suggest they leave the funds in the pension fund for at least a couple of years. I was in this boat. I quit teaching (in Texas) after five years and withdrew the money from TRS. It was about $2200 at the time, which was around 1980. (When I left my ...
by songman52
Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sprint service?
Replies: 19
Views: 1251

Re: Sprint service?

I switched to Twigby about eight months ago. Twigby uses mostly Sprint network. I've traveled about 300 miles several times, from east parts of Texas into the Hill Country, and never had a problem with service. Finally switched my spouse's phone over as well. We had been with Verizon for 20+ years a...
by songman52
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can they contribute to t401k AND open a Roth IRA?
Replies: 18
Views: 989

Re: Can they contribute to t401k AND open a Roth IRA?

Thanks to all of you for the extensive replies. FYI the status is single, no kids, low expenses and a good saver. With all of the talk about $40k earnings, she certainly hopes to have salary increases in future years. The saver's credit has been very low if anything and the EITC has not been in play...
by songman52
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can they contribute to t401k AND open a Roth IRA?
Replies: 18
Views: 989

Re: Can they contribute to t401k AND open a Roth IRA?

Thanks to those of you who replied. Sorry if some of the post was confusing. I got the clarification I needed. She does not make contributions to the IRA. It is funded by rollovers from previous 401ks after changing jobs. She CAN contribute to it if she desires. As I understand it, for 2019 she can ...
by songman52
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can they contribute to t401k AND open a Roth IRA?
Replies: 18
Views: 989

Re: Can they contribute to t401k AND open a Roth IRA?

I meant to indicate that the IRA is a traditional one, tax-deferred, from previous 401k rollovers.
by songman52
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can they contribute to t401k AND open a Roth IRA?
Replies: 18
Views: 989

Can they contribute to t401k AND open a Roth IRA?

Hi all. I would like some validation and some clarification. I searched the threads briefly but found no answer, so here goes. One of my adult children asked me the other day, "How much is too much in checking?" It turns out that in addition to the current 401k (which will soon be rolled o...
by songman52
Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Aid Volunteering for AARP or VITA
Replies: 52
Views: 3355

Re: Tax Aid Volunteering for AARP or VITA

Our program (in the area I live) is a combination of VITA and AARP. I've been doing these returns for eight years now. The training is pretty much the same for both programs, and it's combined. I find the main difference is in the paperwork requirements and our record keeping. I also act as a site c...
by songman52
Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teacher expenses credit
Replies: 11
Views: 831

Re: Teacher expenses credit

You should probably be looking at the Lifetime Learning credit. Fortfun is right about the $250 deduction. (It applies to teachers, counselors, and a few other personnel who work in grades K - 12.)
by songman52
Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security Claiming Strategy - Seeking Confirmation
Replies: 30
Views: 3397

Re: Social Security Claiming Strategy - Seeking Confirmation

DW and I are in the same boat. We just missed the “file and suspend” strategy due to her (younger) age. So we were going to begin collecting her benefits on her record when she turned 63. BUT because of changes to my health plan in 2017 under TRS, she is now covered under a marketplace plan and rece...
by songman52
Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I "get divorced" for tax purposes (PSLF)
Replies: 57
Views: 5032

Re: Should I "get divorced" for tax purposes (PSLF)

If they actually get divorced then MFS is not even an option. He would then be Single for IRS purposes (or possibly HOH if there are dependents involved.)
by songman52
Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: A Thanksgiving to Remember: A Bit of Bogleheads History
Replies: 20
Views: 3245

Re: A Thanksgiving to Remember: A Bit of Bogleheads History

My first time seeing this story, too. Thanks so much for all the Boglehead and for the story. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
by songman52
Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: NJ Teacher Lost with 403bs
Replies: 30
Views: 5376

Re: NJ Teacher Lost with 403bs

+1 on CFM300's reply. If you can't find a suitable 403b, consider contributing to an IRA on your own. If your employer doesn't contribute any match (which I think would be rare if they did) then there shouldn't be any downside to the IRA route at your current level of contributions. You probably wou...
by songman52
Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?
Replies: 91
Views: 15647

Re: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?

I find this interesting that one would choose a retirement benefit possibly years before retiring. In Texas when I "retired" (went to work in a neighboring state) I met the formula of "the rule of 80" in effect at the time. When the years of service plus one's age equaled 80 or m...
by songman52
Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?
Replies: 91
Views: 15647

Re: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?

One piece of information: If you work in a school system that pays into both SS and TRS, and you have at least thirty years of coverage on the same wages, then you are not subject to the WEP. By same wages I mean that you pay into SS and the retirement system on the same earnings (salary, wages, pay...
by songman52
Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: grandparent college loan options
Replies: 16
Views: 1645

Re: grandparent college loan options

Oh, and make sure she applies for financial aid through the institution she'll be attending. Sometimes their money is distributed later in the semester when there are amounts awarded but not claimed.
by songman52
Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: grandparent college loan options
Replies: 16
Views: 1645

Re: grandparent college loan options

Some sites that you might search (time is running late for this coming fall) are: http://www.ed.gov; fafsa.gov (NOT .com!); finaid.org; fastweb.com; KnowHow2Go.org; nextstepU.com; and cappex.com. There are others but this should keep her busy. Also have her check with her school's counseling office ...
by songman52
Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will - what is complicated?
Replies: 72
Views: 6783

Re: Will - what is complicated?

IANAL, but I believe wills are very state-specific. If both parents are deceased who takes care of the children until they are adults? What if one parent dies and the other is incapacitated? What becomes of the surviving parent and the children? These would be my main concerns and I would want them ...
by songman52
Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Low-earners- What is your profession?
Replies: 371
Views: 57200

Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

I've also been enjoying this thread. After many years struggling in the "moderate-to-low" group, we now feel well-off in the moderate income group. It helps that the three kids are now grown and on their own. I've spent 40+ years in public education, first in the classroom at different lev...
by songman52
Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weird house buying experience
Replies: 123
Views: 12353

Re: Weird house buying experience

OP made the statement that s/he thought Bogleheads were all about saving money. In one sense, I agree. But I would also add, "at what cost" when considering time, effort, agitation, etc. To keep the dollar figures consistent, use the same ratio. So, in the example of the $10,000 car, the t...
by songman52
Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schedule E Income Question 2016 , helping my parents.
Replies: 9
Views: 956

Re: Schedule E Income Question 2016 , helping my parents.

Read through the IRS rules carefully. I believe that depreciation on rental property is taken, and recaptured upon the sale, even if the owner did not claim it along the way. Maybe some landlords will correct me on this if I'm in error.
by songman52
Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax filing for a recent college grad
Replies: 15
Views: 1646

Re: Tax filing for a recent college grad

I will add one caveat to all of the good advice above. She needs to be clear on the dependency status. Whether or not her parent DOES claim her is not the issue. It is based on whether she QUALIFIES as a dependent or not that counts. If she qualifies, even if her mother doesn't claim her, she still ...
by songman52
Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:25 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Your USER NAME...what does it mean?
Replies: 533
Views: 74275

Re: Your USER NAME...what does it mean?

I have sung my whole life. At one time, at least for a year anyway, the number was my age. More descriptive than creative.

And I'm enjoying this thread! :beer
by songman52
Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:49 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: HAPPY 93RD BIRTHDAY, TAYLOR!
Replies: 199
Views: 17677

Re: HAPPY 93RD BIRTHDAY, TAYLOR!

A great big Happy Birthday, Taylor!
And thanks for all you've done to help us. :sharebeer
by songman52
Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nursing Homes and Estate Planning
Replies: 11
Views: 1708

Re: Nursing Homes and Estate Planning

I highly recommend that you contact an attorney in your state who is certified in Elder Law. Three years ago, when our mother was in a similar situation, we paid an Elder Law attorney for help and the relatively small amount paid saved us not only money and other assets but also saved a large amount...
by songman52
Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calling all Teachers!
Replies: 33
Views: 3926

Re: Calling all Teachers!

I'm nearing retirement after 40+ years in public education. I would encourage you to do some substitute teaching. I don't know the rules in CA, but in all the districts in the few states I have experience with, some will hire anybody (adult) to sub and some require a sub to have some college hours. ...
by songman52
Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to convert old SAT scores to new SAT scores?
Replies: 27
Views: 12927

Re: How to convert old SAT scores to new SAT scores?

What were the percentile ranks of your old scores? Wouldn't knowing that help you to compare with modern scores? Though the concordance tables have changed, the percentile ranks should still be relevant for comparing the scores; i.e., if a 650 was at the 63rd percentile then compare that to a curren...
by songman52
Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mortgage with ag exemption
Replies: 13
Views: 4150

Re: mortgage with ag exemption

A couple/few years ago I attempted to take advantage of a great refi offer through PenFed CU. It turns out that they would not do a refi in Texas if a mortgage had previously been refinanced. After some digging and research, I finally got some answers why. It turns out that once a property has been ...
by songman52
Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Think larva stage when I say "newbie" [buy an annuity?]
Replies: 25
Views: 2755

Re: Think larva stage when I say "newbie" [buy an annuity?]

Welcome, waia! You've received lots of good advice here already. I concur that you should read the short booklet "If You Can" to begin your investing education. Also, don't kick yourself. Congratulations are in order to you that you found this site before you threw away money in the annuit...
by songman52
Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:07 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2017!
Replies: 334
Views: 83533

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2017!

I plan to "graduate" with this class, also. :sharebeer
by songman52
Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income
Replies: 40
Views: 7849

Re: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income

Just another 2 cents. I worked for three seasons with Liberty Tax. The training was good and I learned a lot. However, (like BolderBoy) I had taken a course by correspondence in 1978 and filled out returns for a few years, so I already had a background to build on. With the Liberty franchisee I had ...
by songman52
Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good college major quiz
Replies: 15
Views: 2852

Re: Good college major quiz

There are several Interest Inventories and Aptitude Inventories available. Some are online, and some are free or low cost. Most high school counselors should have access to these, or at least be able to point a student to them if the school doesn't actually administer them. The same goes for a colle...
by songman52
Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from Edward Jones to Vanguard
Replies: 14
Views: 2732

Re: Moving from Edward Jones to Vanguard

Welcome! And congratulations on "seeing the light". I'm sure some of the great advisors will be along shortly to assist you.
by songman52
Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coin Collecting (will coins increase or decrease in value?)
Replies: 36
Views: 5691

Re: Coin Collecting (will coins increase or decrease in value?)

I'll bet a coin dated "700 BC" would be almost priceless. :) yeah, but, how many of those folks were aware they were living and minting "Before the Common Era" I can't believe this went on this long without someone commenting on the obvious error/joke. This is in the same catego...
by songman52
Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-traditional routes to teacher certification
Replies: 28
Views: 3686

Re: Non-traditional routes to teacher certification

As stated by many here, it depends on the state. It also depends on the area. I have a friend whose daughter graduated with a degree in math, then later decided that she wanted to teach. A very highly-regarded school district in our state offered her a position. To get the certification, she had to ...
by songman52
Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sport players Cards (Football, Baseball, Basketball), anyone collect?
Replies: 52
Views: 6683

Re: Sport players Cards (Football, Baseball, Basketball), anyone collect?

When I first saw the title of this thread I was intrigued. I thought it was talking about older cards. I have many cards from my childhood that I collected. Sorry, the gum is long gone. Most of them are from the era of 1958 to around 1963. They include, of course, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, Nell...
by songman52
Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what are the implications of claiming my significant other as a dependent?
Replies: 34
Views: 3524

Re: what are the implications of claiming my significant other as a dependent?

Did you complete the IRS' Worksheet for Determining Support ? This worksheet has blanks to fill in from various categories (e.g., rent, food, utilities, etc.) to arrive at a "bottom line" answer. This tells you if a person meets the Support Test for determining a qualifying relative. Of co...
by songman52
Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what are the implications of claiming my significant other as a dependent?
Replies: 34
Views: 3524

Re: what are the implications of claiming my significant other as a dependent?

The question is whether or not she qualifies as your dependent since the law does not provide for personal preference in this matter. She is either your dependent or she is not. The question on the return reads "If someone can claim you as a dependent, do not check box 6a." (Do not claim ...
by songman52
Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Office Phone Cord always bunched up
Replies: 13
Views: 1497

Re: Office Phone Cord always bunched up

Or you could buy one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Telephone-Cord-Detangler-Extended-Rotating/dp/B00R2UZIH6 http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/310Er5fsqOL.jpg I bought a pack of three similar detanglers (called "handset detangler") at Office Depot. I use one on my office phone and it...
by songman52
Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing mildew from vinyl siding
Replies: 25
Views: 5649

Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

I use a pump garden sprayer. Mix about one quart to 1/3 gal. of bleach and water to make one gallon, then add a few ounces of Spic&Span. I spray it on and let it sit for a few minutes, then spray off with an electric power washer. Has worked great for me. Occasionally I may have to repeat the tr...
by songman52
Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom needs long term care - assets into trust?
Replies: 22
Views: 3731

Re: Mom needs long term care - assets into trust?

See a certified Elder Law attorney! We were in a similar situation, though our parent's assets were @ $40K, and the attorney we saw helped us greatly. The cost was minimal compared to the aid. As others have stated, Medicaid rules are specific to each state. If you make a wrong move it could jeopard...
by songman52
Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with investement decisions. Both teachers and two babies
Replies: 25
Views: 3022

Re: Help with investement decisions. Both teachers and two babies

Oh, and the IRAs (including rollovers from previous 403b) are with Vanguard. I also have an HSA to use as a 'stealth' IRA.
by songman52
Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with investement decisions. Both teachers and two babies
Replies: 25
Views: 3022

Re: Help with investement decisions. Both teachers and two babies

Unfortunately many school personnel have limited, and often poor, choices in 457 and 403b plans. In some cases the central office people don't even really know much about them. I have been in my current district for several years, and they funnel everything 457 and 403b through one agent. The option...