Search found 1366 matches

by curmudgeon
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Variable annuity and ACA subsidy
Replies: 12
Views: 602

Re: Variable annuity and ACA subsidy

My parents are both 61 and retired with 1 dependant. Starting this year they are on the Obamacare bronze plan with a premium subsidy. Their projected AGI for 2018 is $75k. They have $300k in cash that needs to be invested. If they invested it in a taxable account, I could see a big problem with una...
by curmudgeon
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trusts for adult Children
Replies: 203
Views: 9895

Re: Trusts for adult Children

Yes, living trust needs a TIN. It generally takes time to wind up a trust/estate, so taxable income/changes come under the TIN (and get reflected to beneficiaries with K1s). I did not know that. Our joint revocable trust does not have a separate TIN. Vanguard sends all trust 1099 DIVs to me, since ...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trusts for adult Children
Replies: 203
Views: 9895

Re: Trusts for adult Children

For those of you who do plan to have distributions to adult children governed by a irrevocable trust, what approach are you taking: - Put your Vanguard accounts into a living trust that becomes irrevocable on your death? - Keep in your own name and list the trust as the "payable on death" beneficia...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chip architecture vulnerability in pretty much everthing
Replies: 106
Views: 6571

Re: Chip architecture vulnerability in pretty much everthing

Quick question,... Do VMs directly use the chip of the host system? IOW, does a VM use the processor that came with the computer or does it simulate a processor via software? Or is it a combination of both. High-performance VMs directly run on the cpu, with enhanced exception handling to deal with ...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chip architecture vulnerability in pretty much everthing
Replies: 106
Views: 6571

Re: Chip architecture vulnerability in pretty much everthing

Quick question,... Do VMs directly use the chip of the host system? IOW, does a VM use the processor that came with the computer or does it simulate a processor via software? Or is it a combination of both. High-performance VMs directly run on the cpu, with enhanced exception handling to deal with ...
by curmudgeon
Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New to HSA's - A Couple of Questions
Replies: 5
Views: 510

Re: New to HSA's - A Couple of Questions

When I was working, my HSA was accessed through the insurance company website. A bit awkward, but manageable. The default model did set a $2K cash component (maybe because the typical non-boglehead needs a cushion like that for medical expenses with a HDHP). As others have noted, saving on FICA is a...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pre-Medicare Health Expenses and Savings Multiple
Replies: 9
Views: 662

Re: Pre-Medicare Health Expenses and Savings Multiple

Depending on your income, your Medicare numbers may be low. As I was just discussing in my prior response, I should be OK on IRMMA if I keep taxable income to $77K. I think first step-up occurs at $170K for married, correct? There are a range of different factors that come into play for medical. I'...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Year 2000 retirees using the '4% rule' - Where are they now?
Replies: 323
Views: 27177

Re: Year 2000 retirees using the '4% rule' - Where are they now?

At some point when you enter the upper middle class (100k+), you rapidly buy everything you want and you have to really work on upgrades (first class instead of cargo, BMW instead of honda) to spend the money. Some people don't want the upgrades even if they can afford them. Other people dream abou...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pre-Medicare Health Expenses and Savings Multiple
Replies: 9
Views: 662

Re: Pre-Medicare Health Expenses and Savings Multiple

It is important to realize that health insurance premiums rise significantly with age. Often around 50 or 55 there are large bumps. ACA compresses the age-related premium differences to a max of 3X (my understanding is actuarial cost range is more like 5X). As a baseline, your thought process is rea...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Germany (Bavaria) in April/May - Itinerary Help Needed
Replies: 41
Views: 1929

Re: Traveling to Germany (Bavaria) in April/May - Itinerary Help Needed

With that time, I would make a mixed trip of city and country. Spend the first three days (4 nights) in Munich, staying someplace central near the Marienplatz. Easy local transport on the metro. Do things around the city and nearby. If you want to do a beer hall, I liked Augustiner better than the H...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone disenchanted with retirement?
Replies: 158
Views: 15494

Re: Anyone disenchanted with retirement?

Still early days for me (not quite a year). No surprises yet; I miss some of the good aspects (interesting projects, good people), and am glad to be shed of the bad aspects (annoying commute, too many conference calls with a 12 hour time difference). I've thought of doing some random work for entert...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Spousal benefits and 40 credits question
Replies: 4
Views: 318

Re: Spousal benefits and 40 credits question

My SAH wife has 39 credits, just shy of the 40 needed to obtain her own SS benefit. However, if I understand correctly, she will earn more with the spousal benefit than her own, if she were to work for just 3 more months to reach the 40 credit minimum. This assumes that I don't file until I'm 70 an...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom passed, I am successor trustee
Replies: 9
Views: 1285

Re: Mom passed, I am successor trustee

That sounds correct to me. If there was something significant outside the trust, it has to be accounted for with the court. It will mean some paperwork, but shouldn't be too complex for a single small account. If the checking account had "Payable on Death" beneficiaries designated, it would pass dir...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trusts for adult Children
Replies: 203
Views: 9895

Re: Trusts for adults Children

It is important to think about the long term effects and maintainability of this stuff. 20 years from now there may have been significant changes to tax and estate law that make your current arrangements counter-productive. The trustees you name now may die or become incapable. The kids you are worr...
by curmudgeon
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement and a different angle on paying off the mortgage...
Replies: 8
Views: 1975

Re: Early retirement and a different angle on paying off the mortgage...

We are choosing to keep our MAGI for ACA income under $64K, which gets us a large ACA subsidy. But this depends on being willing to live with the limited plans available on the ACA marketplace. In our case, we get a Kaiser HDHP HSA plan for near $0 premium (but have to pay the first ~$7K out of pock...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downsizing to one car in retirement...
Replies: 68
Views: 3973

Re: Downsizing to one car in retirement...

I have thought about this. If the costs were important, I might think about going down to one car. My wife is more prone to going out and doing activities with friends, while I like projects around the house and walking in the nearby park system. Stores and such are not really in practical walking d...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired, but opportunity to earn $: taxes??????
Replies: 17
Views: 1928

Re: Retired, but opportunity to earn $: taxes??????

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:08 pm
curmudgeon wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:06 pm
I don't think you can do both SEP and 401K
Sure you can.
For the same income?
by curmudgeon
Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired, but opportunity to earn $: taxes??????
Replies: 17
Views: 1928

Re: Retired, but opportunity to earn $: taxes??????

Can I employ all of these strategies in a given tax year? 1. If salaried, Fund 401K to max value, given age of 63. 2. SEP/IRA ... (I am assuming this may only be used if hired as independent contractor/consultant?) 3. Donor Advised Fund I don't think you can do both SEP and 401K, but you can do ded...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired, but opportunity to earn $: taxes??????
Replies: 17
Views: 1928

Re: Retired, but opportunity to earn $: taxes??????

ACA subsidy is based on MAGI (gross, not taxable, income). This means that many deductions (state tax, charitable contributions, etc) don't reduce income for ACA purposes. 401K, IRA, and HSA are the main potential reductions you could use. Also note that tax-exempt bond income (muni's) is added back...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ID theft and check cashing fraud
Replies: 87
Views: 4467

Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Just FYI - in my area, thieves are watching the parking lots of gyms, yoga studios, etc. While the people are working out inside, they are stealing purses, etc from the vehicle. Seems like these businesses need to have better security or lose membership. In this case, the gym was 24-hour fitness. I...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reducing 2018 Taxes
Replies: 19
Views: 1974

Re: Reducing 2018 Taxes

Max an HSA if you have the option with your medical insurance (and if that plan is suitable to you).
by curmudgeon
Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extended Stay
Replies: 2
Views: 424

Re: Extended Stay

I am sometimes concerned that Airbnb listings may be violating either their own lease, or local laws. Of course, the same issue can also apply to VRBO/Homeaway. For our rentals in European cities, I've started leaning towards local agencies specializing in short term rentals, which have a local offi...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taking Long term gains or converting to Roth
Replies: 6
Views: 350

Re: Taking Long term gains or converting to Roth

I am weighing this exact decision myself. We are MFJ, so the limits are a bit higher. I'm leaning towards Roth conversions, but I still have some more analysis to do. My general model is to try to have tax diversification, so as to better be able to handle whatever a future congress may do to the ta...
by curmudgeon
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Appliance Install Issues
Replies: 40
Views: 2015

Re: Appliance Install Issues

The latest code gets pretty carried away in requiring so many kitchen circuits. Maybe if you are building from ground up it makes sense, but not for existing real world houses. A few points: As noted, you can't safely split off from the 220v circuit - the breaker would not protect against 110v overl...
by curmudgeon
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your travel tips for Vienna and Budapest?
Replies: 23
Views: 1179

Re: Your travel tips for Vienna and Budapest?

Everyone has different interests and tastes, but with limited time in Vienna, I might skip Schonbrunn (or just pick one between Schonbrunn and Belvedere). I really enjoyed a short visit to the Imperial Library. The treasury and crown jewels were fascinating to me, not so much for a lavish display of...
by curmudgeon
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Changing from 60-40 to 40-60 investment ratio, general strategy
Replies: 15
Views: 1236

Re: Changing from 60-40 to 40-60 investment ratio, general strategy

A few thoughts: 1) In the 12% bracket, you have can choose between Roth conversion (and paying the associated tax) or long term cap gain harvesting (paying 0 fed tax). Both have advantages. 2) If you want to shift your allocation, one way is to do it by shifting where contributions and withdrawals a...
by curmudgeon
Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spain Trip: Barcelona & Girona + Cycling
Replies: 11
Views: 650

Re: Spain Trip: Barcelona & Girona + Cycling

Questions: 1) How do these plans overall sound? 2) What month would be best for this? We'd like it to be in the first half of the year in 2018 3) What are some "must do" activities in Barcelona? Last time I got recommendations on this forum for a trip we went to almost every suggested restaurant/ba...
by curmudgeon
Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you donate less to Charity?
Replies: 107
Views: 6880

Re: Will you donate less to Charity?

I wasn't necessarily expecting to itemize over the next few years, so I loaded up the DAF with about six years worth of contributions in my last full year of working even before the new tax law. I don't expect anything different in our donations over the next few years. In the future, I may do an "e...
by curmudgeon
Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Cities that don't interest you
Replies: 187
Views: 11754

Re: European Cities that don't interest you

I've always found it interesting how different cities or regions will take people very differently. I definitely can't reliably pick in advance whether a city will appeal to me. In most European big cities my wife and I can entertain ourselves contentedly for a few days, but some definitely draw us ...
by curmudgeon
Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Zealand Accomodations
Replies: 21
Views: 1344

Re: New Zealand Accomodations

We quite enjoyed Abel Tasman National Park. A manageable distance from Nelson; you could probably do a day trip. We took a water taxi from Kaiteriteri out to someplace midway along the shore, then hiked back for a few hours, stopping for a picnic lunch. A very beautiful path through the tree fern fo...
by curmudgeon
Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?
Replies: 32
Views: 2267

Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

We had a similar scenario last year. We aren't heavily into the latest apps and such, but found that having the camera always there on travel makes a better camera worthwhile. I went with Moto G5 plus. I'm reasonably happy with it. It accepts an add-on SD card for more storage. Photos are pretty goo...
by curmudgeon
Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Fund if your tax circumstances will change in the future
Replies: 75
Views: 4957

Re: Donor Advised Fund if your tax circumstances will change in the future

We loaded up the DAF with a large lump in the year before retirement, while our marginal rates were high. One little gotcha to watch out for, though; this generated a large state income tax refund, which then counts as AGI for ACA subsidy purposes the next year... We have one more likely "high tax" ...
by curmudgeon
Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA contributions for 1 spouse
Replies: 3
Views: 323

Re: HSA contributions for 1 spouse

HSA contributions have the advantage of coming out very early in the tax process, off of income, and so they don't get tangled in all the deduction limitations etc. By reducing AGI, they help with certain AGI-based costs (IRMAA, potentially ACA) as well as income tax due. You amounts look correct.
by curmudgeon
Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion ... Timing
Replies: 19
Views: 1725

Re: Roth Conversion ... Timing

Just beware that the recharacterization option was removed in both versions of the tax reform bill. While nothing has been enacted yet (therefor it's not on-topic for board discussions), you should pay attention to those changes if/when a bill is passed if you think recharacterization is something ...
by curmudgeon
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion ... Timing
Replies: 19
Views: 1725

Re: Roth Conversion ... Timing

I agree with Silk McCue. It has to be done by the end of the year. Don't forget that you can convert more than you think you need to, then recharacterize part of it once you know exactly what your tax return is going to look like. Just make SURE that you recharacterize the excess. The deadline for ...
by curmudgeon
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those in retirement, how close is your post retirement spending to your pre-retirement estimate?
Replies: 26
Views: 2556

Re: For those in retirement, how close is your post retirement spending to your pre-retirement estimate?

We've only been retired about 8 months, so it is still early to really know how things will shake out. I spent some time with Fidelity and Schwab retirement planning tools, including working through the detailed budget planning tool. While we don't generally track expenses tightly, we do have a pret...
by curmudgeon
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Southwest Companion Pass [California only]
Replies: 58
Views: 5203

Re: Southwest Companion Pass [California only]

Anyone else still waiting for notification of the companion pass? I was approved for the card on 11/14 and made my first purchase with it on 11/26. Maybe I'm just being impatient but I've already got a need for it! Follow up: It's 12/14 and I just got my Companion Pass invitation email. Note to Gma...
by curmudgeon
Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Active Duty Military Bereavement Leave?
Replies: 16
Views: 1226

Re: Active Duty Military Bereavement Leave?

There is policy, and then there is career impact. The "up or out" model of commissioned service can make young officers very concerned about getting that top rating (which are limited in number) from their reviewer at the annual review point. Missing a promotion can cut a career short. A big exercis...
by curmudgeon
Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?
Replies: 155
Views: 10495

Re: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?

Retired March 1st, but managed to get the max + full catch up in before I left, greatly reducing my 2017 taxable income. This was part of my strategy for minimizing my MAGI for ObamaCare. Did pretty much the same thing, though I worked till Apr 1. Maxed 401K, HSA+catchups, and spousal IRA. Started ...
by curmudgeon
Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contributing to a HSA after retirement
Replies: 5
Views: 665

Re: Contributing to a HSA after retirement

If you have HSA-eligible insurance (and not on Medicare), then you should be able to contribute to your HSA from whatever funds you choose. Contributions don't have to go through your employer. HSA contributions can balance against a wide range of income (Roth conversions, IRA/401K withdrawals, divi...
by curmudgeon
Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to get some taxable income out of a 401k quickly
Replies: 18
Views: 1090

Re: How to get some taxable income out of a 401k quickly

If you have taxable market investments where you could "capital gain harvest", that might be another option. That's a great idea. We do have a bunch of stock we've held for ages, and I bet that would help and might let us put off the IRA decisions until next year. Thanks for the suggestion. If you ...
by curmudgeon
Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to get some taxable income out of a 401k quickly
Replies: 18
Views: 1090

Re: How to get some taxable income out of a 401k quickly

Roth conversions are a good way to generate taxable income (on paper) to keep you above the ACA bottom limit. You DO need to do a bit of research to be aware of various limitations. If the 401K doesn't allow partial withdrawals, it may not allow partial conversions to a Roth either. In that case doi...
by curmudgeon
Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare coverage process for new and rare treatment
Replies: 7
Views: 693

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 curmudgeon
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare coverage process for new and rare treatment
Replies: 7
Views: 693

Medicare coverage process for new and rare treatment

Note: This question is focused on the mechanics of Medicare coverage rather than any specific medical question, so hopefully it can remain an appropriate topic here. FIL is looking to try a new treatment procedure (for Essential Tremor), and is a bit unsure of whether or how costs can be covered. My...
by curmudgeon
Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1031 Exchange vs Charitable Remainder Trust
Replies: 9
Views: 634

Re: 1031 Exchange vs Charitable Remainder Trust

For $250K in long-term cap gains, I would probably just take the tax hit and sell with a standard sale. While the CA tax hit (on top of the rest) is painful, paying and moving on will keep your life considerably simpler. You might do something like fund a Donor-Advised Fund with a few years of chari...
by curmudgeon
Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to live on one income?
Replies: 70
Views: 5763

Re: Can we afford to live on one income?

By the time you account for daycare expenses and taxes, in your situation your wife would probably be netting about $2/hour if she goes back to work. There might be reasons to do it (personal, career, etc), but I don't think the finances are a big factor. If incomes were more even, it would be a la...
by curmudgeon
Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to live on one income?
Replies: 70
Views: 5763

Re: Can we afford to live on one income?

By the time you account for daycare expenses and taxes, in your situation your wife would probably be netting about $2/hour if she goes back to work. There might be reasons to do it (personal, career, etc), but I don't think the finances are a big factor. If incomes were more even, it would be a lar...
by curmudgeon
Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do indoor cats need flea/tick/heartworm prevention year round?
Replies: 15
Views: 1113

Re: Do indoor cats need flea/tick/heartworm prevention year round?

My 19-year old indoor/outdoor cat gets Frontline about three times per year, which seems to be adequate in our environment. Relatively dry CA climate may help. Once every few years I will let it go too long between treatments and she shows up with some fleas, but the next treatment takes care of tha...
by curmudgeon
Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preparing 4 job loss,setting up HSA, fund IRA, other?
Replies: 6
Views: 695

Re: Preparing 4 job loss,setting up HSA, fund IRA, other?

401k loan is only around $25,000 so would have funds from IRAs and 401k to pay off if we had to. I need to look into HCA policies and how priced, and what if your estimate for your income turns out to widely different than reality. Big difference if he is out of work for an extended period of time ...
by curmudgeon
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRS Rule of 55 vs. 72(t) Distribution
Replies: 8
Views: 953

Re: IRS Rule of 55 vs. 72(t) Distribution

Where I am confused by what I can find to read about these two provisions is whether the SEPP applies to the rule of 55 or not. My plan is to withdrawal slightly more that what the SEPP calculation would be for my age and want to make sure I do not get crossed up with the IRS. The rule of 55 has no...