Search found 152 matches

by songman52
Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security Claiming Strategy - Seeking Confirmation
Replies: 30
Views: 3018

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: 4364

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: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: A Thanksgiving to Remember: A Bit of Bogleheads History
Replies: 20
Views: 2775

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NJ Teacher Lost with 403bs
Replies: 30
Views: 4915

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: 14064

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 more, then one could ...
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: 14064

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: 1505

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: 1505

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: 6020

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: 306
Views: 40600

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 levels, mostl...
by songman52
Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weird house buying experience
Replies: 123
Views: 9932

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 turbocharge...
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: 874

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: 1501

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: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Your USER NAME...what does it mean?
Replies: 444
Views: 50774

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: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: HAPPY 93RD BIRTHDAY, TAYLOR!
Replies: 199
Views: 14410

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: 1567

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: 3583

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: 26
Views: 6860

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: 3772

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Think larva stage when I say "newbie" [buy an annuity?]
Replies: 25
Views: 2305

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 annuity. I had o...
by songman52
Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:07 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2017!
Replies: 323
Views: 59040

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: 6720

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: 2505

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from Edward Jones to Vanguard
Replies: 14
Views: 2575

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: 4815

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 category as the common mis...
by songman52
Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-traditional routes to teacher certification
Replies: 28
Views: 3337

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: 5587

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: 3358

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 course the o...
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: 3358

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 an exempti...
by songman52
Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Office Phone Cord always bunched up
Replies: 13
Views: 1382

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 works gre...
by songman52
Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing mildew from vinyl siding
Replies: 25
Views: 4534

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 treatm...
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: 3432

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with investement decisions. Both teachers and two babies
Replies: 25
Views: 2766

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with investement decisions. Both teachers and two babies
Replies: 25
Views: 2766

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...
by songman52
Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Take the Verb Tense Pledge!
Replies: 69
Views: 7350

Re: Take the Verb Tense Pledge!

I'll take the pledge, and attempt to keep all my communications clear. I think precision in communication is often important. FWIW I see lots of spelling errors and grammatical errors in many posts on this board (okay, everywhere I look, not just on this board!), but they don't generally bother me. ...
by songman52
Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How [much] do CPAs charge for tax prep?
Replies: 15
Views: 3564

Re: How do CPAs charge for tax prep?

Any idea how much this friend makes (AGI)? I and several other members of this forum prepare simple tax returns for low income tax payers through the IRS VITA/TCFE programs pro bono. Schedule A / Schedule D are both "in scope". In my county we target tax payers at $50,000 AGI and below. +1 In our V...
by songman52
Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stats on Americans 'cutting the cable' ?
Replies: 98
Views: 13297

Re: Stats on Americans 'cutting the cable' ?

I almost cut the cable last week. I installed an antenna in the attic and ran the cable in the wall to exit behind the TV. I've been reading about different options, like Sling, to get the channels we'd be dropping. I'm tired of paying @$160 monthly for internet and TV. The internet alone would run ...
by songman52
Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is H&R Block any good? Who do you use?
Replies: 17
Views: 1623

Re: Is H&R Block any good? Who do you use?

I've always done my own taxes, and often some for other people. I worked for one the Big Name tax preparers for two seasons, but I've volunteered with VITA/AARP program for the last four years. While with the major tax preparer I had discretion to adjust the fees downwards, thank goodness. I couldn'...
by songman52
Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How has your Salary performed against inflation?
Replies: 59
Views: 7460

Re: How has your Salary performed against inflation?

Mm... let's see. With 33 years' experience, I changed jobs in late 2009 (with a 9% pay cut) for @ 58K. Today I'm at 59K. Whoopee! Hooray for public education! Would I have done it differently 35 or 40 years ago? Pretty definitely. Even 20 years ago. Now as I contemplate retirement I'm trying to deci...
by songman52
Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confirm how 0% cap gains bracket works
Replies: 20
Views: 2445

Re: Confirm how 0% cap gains bracket works

Don't forget the Personal exemption ($4K for 2015) which reduces taxable income. That's what I was thinking too... as long as no one else claims her as a dependent on their tax return. Interestingly, she is at a place in the tax code where the marginal rate can be much higher than the tax bracket. ...
by songman52
Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Kliplinger's on "The World According to the Bogleheads"
Replies: 46
Views: 7859

Re: Kliplinger's on "The World According to the Bogleheads"

It isn't a cover feature in my issue, but it is an article listed in the table of contents inside.
by songman52
Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retaining a lawyer: hourly vs. retainer basis
Replies: 37
Views: 3496

Re: Retaining a lawyer: hourly vs. retainer basis

A few years back we contacted an attorney to whom we had been referred about drafting a will, POA, etc. The very first thing he did was send us a packet of information to be filled out and return. It was full of expected questions, like our names, ages, marital status, etc., and the information on d...
by songman52
Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsolicited FOR SALE SIGN at my property. Please advise.
Replies: 50
Views: 10611

Re: Unsolicited FOR SALE SIGN at my property. Please advise.

Just take the sign down, and notify the company to be courteous. Not too many years ago a neighbor of mine went away for a relaxing weekend of fishing and camping. He received several phone calls (many, actually) wanting to see his house and actually wanting to buy it without seeing the inside. He w...
by songman52
Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Inherited money I planned to use for retirement but it disqualifies my kids from scholarships.
Replies: 147
Views: 10767

Re: Help! Inherited money I planned to use for retirement but it disqualifies my kids from scholarships.

If your kids are really good students then getting college credit while in high school is a great way to save money. The more credits/hours they earn in high school, the less money it will cost after graduation when they are fully in college. If their school has articulated credits, have them take t...
by songman52
Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Inherited money I planned to use for retirement but it disqualifies my kids from scholarships.
Replies: 147
Views: 10767

Re: Help! Inherited money I planned to use for retirement but it disqualifies my kids from scholarships.

Because they are dependents, their loans are considered "unsubsidized" and interest accrues while they are in school and starts the minute you take out loans. No, dependency by itself does not determine subsidized vs. unsubsidized. This is usually a matter of family income, student income, assets, ...
by songman52
Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you guys do on the side?
Replies: 299
Views: 32010

Re: What do you guys do on the side?

bjc3 - I make a little more than 1/3 of what you make, but then I've only been in the workforce for 40 years and only have a Master's degree. :( I've often had side jobs and self-employment things. Currently, and the best, is fronting a band. We play out a couple of times a month on average; not a l...
by songman52
Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Power washing our house: rent or pay to have it done
Replies: 11
Views: 1637

Re: Power washing our house: rent or pay to have it done

After seeing Ithenderson's post, I'll add that I bought a small electric washer (Ryobi) that is not nearly as powerful, but it does the job well. It takes a little longer but also won't blow through my siding. DO read his cautions and be careful, especially with more power. Okay, it takes a lot long...
by songman52
Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Power washing our house: rent or pay to have it done
Replies: 11
Views: 1637

Re: Power washing our house: rent or pay to have it done

Depending on the type of siding you have (we have vinyl) an inexpensive solution can help. I use a one gallon garden sprayer (@ $20 at Big Box store) to spray the solution, then go back with a garden hose and adjustable nozzle. Since the last time I cleaned the house I have purchased a small power w...
by songman52
Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: bought a repossessed car
Replies: 8
Views: 1256

Re: bought a repossessed car

I'd be OK with a repo car at that price level. If the whole thing just falls apart it's no major loss. I wouldn't buy one for $5000+ though. People who can't make their car payments probably can't afford to maintain the car either. I look at used cars a lot online for fun and read a lot of carfaxes...
by songman52
Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax planning for new work as independent contractor
Replies: 13
Views: 1085

Re: Tax planning for new work as independent contractor

As an independent contractor for the $9600 yearly, you should be considered self-employed. There are many deductions for business-related expenses that can reduce the taxable amount of that income. Have you taken those into consideration? Wouldn't this also open up more retirement savings opportunit...