Search found 1461 matches

by GerryL
Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 129
Views: 10500

Re: H&R Block Software

I've used H&R Block for the past several years after previous years with Turbo Tax. Always bought it early on sale. This tax year, given my very low pre-ss income, I am planning to take advantage of one of the low-income free tax software options. Hope I don't regret the decision.
by GerryL
Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confused about memory care and assisted living
Replies: 6
Views: 294

Re: Confused about memory care and assisted living

Sadly my dad is getting to the point with dementia and ahlzeimers where we may have to find a place for him to live away from my mom in a memory care facility. Unfortunately my parents have very little money and did not invest at all. They have a fixed income of around $4,000/ month. Newer vehicle ...
by GerryL
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:18 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: 2296

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

I had lots of data on which to base my planned retirement budget, including Quicken spending categories and the simple "amount of each paycheck that didn't go to savings or taxes." Then I upped the total a bit to cover increased travel in early retirement years. Then I upped it again when my financi...
by GerryL
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching elementary school kids about money
Replies: 32
Views: 1828

Re: Teaching elementary school kids about money

I first got interested in economics in the 6th grade by reading: Life on Paradise Island: Economic Life on an Imaginary Island by William Wilson Harmon Sadly out of print, but the author's son posted an ePub version (readable on iPad with iBooks) at the bottom of the following page: https://sites.g...
by GerryL
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ESPP - Would you participate and what's your strategy
Replies: 24
Views: 1544

Re: ESPP - Would you participate and what's your strategy

Don't do what I did. My Megacorp had a similar ESPP and I participated, initially at 10% but later trimmed it to 5% (which eventually became the max anyway). Problem was I held on to everything, including the RSUs that were essentially added to the total. After quite a few years, when my pile of sto...
by GerryL
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your favorite tax deductions and credits for 2017?
Replies: 33
Views: 1941

Re: What are your favorite tax deductions and credits for 2017?

This year: medical. My former employer gave me a pot of money that I can use to pay medical and LTC insurance premiums. Tax free. While my colleagues on Facebook talk about ways to use that money NOW, I am holding on to it until I start taking SS and RMDs and will no longer be able to take advantage...
by GerryL
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax planning: Convert Roth or zero tax due?
Replies: 18
Views: 1038

Re: Tax planning: Convert Roth or zero tax due?

I was aiming to do Roth conversions for the first 4 years of retirement before I hit RMD age. I was only going to be converting to the top of the 15% bracket, $35k a year, and the CPA I consulted noted that it would not make a significant impact on the size of my RMDs, but I went ahead with the pla...
by GerryL
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax planning: Convert Roth or zero tax due?
Replies: 18
Views: 1038

Re: Tax planning: Convert Roth or zero tax due?

I was aiming to do Roth conversions for the first 4 years of retirement before I hit RMD age. I was only going to be converting to the top of the 15% bracket, $35k a year, and the CPA I consulted noted that it would not make a significant impact on the size of my RMDs, but I went ahead with the plan...
by GerryL
Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is a Reasonable Retirement Cost of Living?
Replies: 31
Views: 3033

Re: What is a Reasonable Retirement Cost of Living?

I will reiterate what others have pointed out above: A history of your own spending is much more useful than "what others spend" for figuring out your expenses in retirement. Subtract or reduce expenses that will disappear or decrease. Add in amounts for new expenses. Maybe add in 5-10% as a safety ...
by GerryL
Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kidde fire extinguisher recall
Replies: 41
Views: 3119

Re: Kidde fire extinguisher recall

Hrm, my Kidde model number is listed on the recall page, but the following Kidde video says it's not affected because it has a curved handle and horizontal pull-pin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5Xmh1VmZHo . Guess I'll have to give them a call to find out if it is recalled or not. Thanks for th...
by GerryL
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Japan in summer
Replies: 25
Views: 1577

Re: Japan in summer

Also, going from steamy outdoors to overly chilled air conditioning is not fun. Where did you encounter over chilled air conditioning in Japan? Most placed seemed very warm to me. Overly chilled AC is definitely an issue here in Houston though. Well, this was back in the early 1980s. I was living i...
by GerryL
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ever have Vanguard change the basis of a sale?
Replies: 2
Views: 273

Re: Ever have Vanguard change the basis of a sale?

Hoo boy, have I ever. Just this morning, after multiple emails and calls and multiple messed up transaction confirmations over a period of weeks I finally got a call from my rep to assure me that the issue has been resolved -- for me, anyway. (She was not at all interested in reporting this as a pro...
by GerryL
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Japan in summer
Replies: 25
Views: 1577

Re: Japan in summer

Sounds like a terrible idea because of bad hot/humid weather. We're freezing this idea for now. Will warm it up later. Thanks for your advice ! I was also about to mention the hot/humid weather (mushi-atsui, is the Japanese term). Also, going from steamy outdoors to overly chilled air conditioning ...
by GerryL
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 financial goals - what are yours?
Replies: 84
Views: 7113

Re: 2018 financial goals - what are yours?

Goal: Spend more money by increasing travel. Shortly before retiring I had a financial plan done. Turns out, based on how much I figured I would be spending, the WORST case scenario was that I would reach age 96 with more money than I started retirement with. I have upped my "allowance" but despite ...
by GerryL
Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does this happen to you? Educating friends about personal finance
Replies: 104
Views: 5821

Re: Does this happen to you? Educating friends about personal finance

Whenever one of the young guys at work had their first child, I would politely suggest to them that they start saving for college immediately. They were always receptive to my advice. Then there were a couple of guys in their 40s who each had multiple teenagers. They asked me when I started saving ...
by GerryL
Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does a Boglehead ever time the market?
Replies: 65
Views: 4084

Re: Does a Boglehead ever time the market?

I do sort of "time the market" when I am planning to get rid of some of the individual stocks I own (employer stock and inheritance). For instance, I planned this year to get rid of the rest of my inherited automotive stock by donating it to my DAF. I waited until it appeared to be going up so that ...
by GerryL
Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do Bogleheads say when they don't want to spend money?
Replies: 103
Views: 5462

Re: What do Bogleheads say when they don't want to spend money?

"That's not how I want to spend my money." This is useful in response to someone prodding me to get something or go somewhere with the comment "You can afford it." Most people don't prod.
by GerryL
Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What did you do with your first RMD withdrawal money?
Replies: 63
Views: 4335

Re: What did you do with your first RMD withdrawal money?

I'm about a year and a half away from my first RMD. I have created a little Excel spreadsheet to do what-ifs with 3 slices of a pie chart: QCDs, cash for spending (and taxes), and reinvestment. My taxable account is in Balanced Index. I was considering doing some in-kind transfer of Total Stock from...
by GerryL
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What does Medicare cover for oversea retirees?
Replies: 8
Views: 1110

Re: What does Medicare cover for oversea retirees?

The F high deductible covers up to $50k of foreign emergency care last I looked. I think that also applies to the regular F, which is going away. F is not "going away" but will not be offered to new enrollees. Ditto for F HD. Be advised that the $50K of foreign emergency care is the lifetime maximu...
by GerryL
Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When & how much to donate?
Replies: 108
Views: 8417

Re: When & how much to donate?

Whatever you donate is up to you. $100 is fine. Anything is fine. What you don't want to do is donate to feel good about yourself. Or to tell others you donate. Or to take it off your taxes. The charitable tax deduction is a legitimate benefit that the government has made available, and there's a s...
by GerryL
Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spending Taxable to Zero during Retirement
Replies: 42
Views: 5071

Re: Spending Taxable to Zero during Retirement

[Just got back from out of town and am catching up on BH reading.] Something just occurred to me reading some of the recent comments: If you are planning to spend down your taxable accounts before you start taking distributions from your IRA, that implies that you are also intending to spend (or don...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Number Asked for use of POA by Credit Card Company
Replies: 14
Views: 1252

Re: Social Security Number Asked for use of POA by Credit Card Company

Had to deactivate my Mom’s credit cards in a similar situation. Can’t remember exactly how I did it, but it was no big deal. You say the individual is moving into memory care. Can you simply notify the cc company that the person named on the cc is no longer at the listed address and that no new addr...
by GerryL
Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Screwed Up My Cost Basis - FIFO Instead of Spec ID
Replies: 12
Views: 1480

Re: Vanguard Screwed Up My Cost Basis - FIFO Instead of Spec ID

I’ve been dealing with this on several stock sales I did recently in my Vanguard brokerage acct. in fact, I woke up Thanksgiving morning to find an email alerting me to a confirmation of a transaction placed the previous day. Since I am hundreds of miles from home visiting family and had definitely ...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you budget for vacation?
Replies: 94
Views: 5806

Re: How much do you budget for vacation?

I have earmarked $10k a year in my budget for travel. (I don't call it "vacations" because I'm retired and my life is a vacation now.) This year, with two international trips, plus a bit of domestic travel, I have gone over the $10k, but my overall budget is still under my allowance, so no problem. ...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where did you first learn about investing?
Replies: 98
Views: 5217

Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

flyingaway wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:29 pm
I have not read anything like a book yet (too frugal to spend money on a book).
One word: Library.

Signed, A (retired) Librarian.
by GerryL
Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018
Replies: 52
Views: 3710

Re: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018

I was not aware of IRMAA premiums when I did my tax planning for retirement. Oh well!! Yes, a lot of people get surprised when they delay SS to age 70, right when they begin RMDs. The taxes can be huge, plus the extra cost for Medicare premiums B and D. I took SS at 70 but worked till 73 so did not...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Book for new college graduate
Replies: 19
Views: 1238

Re: Book for new college graduate

When my nephew graduated from college I gave him Boglehead Guide to Investing, which had just been updated. Before giving it to him I re-read it for myself, highlighted some key passages (hard to narrow to a few) and added some sticky notes with comments. Wish I could say he has found it useful, but...
by GerryL
Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018
Replies: 52
Views: 3710

Re: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018

Some people understood that the hold harmless would not save them for 2018 due to the 2% increase, but thought that the standard Part B premium might come down a few bucks because so many more people would no longer have much hold harmless protection, if any. Still $134! Would be interesting to see...
by GerryL
Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018
Replies: 52
Views: 3710

Re: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018

OK - mine will go up to the $134 from (I think) $109 - but my SS will go up a few dollars more. My wife, because she went on medicare 5 years later than I did was paying the full $134 already - even though she gets much less i SS than I do. For about 28 percent of Part B enrollees, premiums will st...
by GerryL
Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confused about cash and retirement - isn't this really about market timing?
Replies: 38
Views: 3164

Re: Confused about cash and retirement - isn't this really about market timing?

... I could really use some help deciding how much cash (if any) I might need, and how I might decide when to add or remove funds from that stash. The responses in this thread tell you one thing for sure: each person's solution is going to be influenced by their personal attitudes about safety and ...
by GerryL
Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Libraries and EULA/copyright restrictions
Replies: 2
Views: 334

Re: Libraries and EULA/copyright restrictions

Librarians (I am one) are supposed to be on top of copyright laws. Supposed to be. The situation described in the Willmaker post seems to be a violation of the EULA. I am guessing that if someone brought the issue up to a county or city attorney who has experience in copyright law , a library would ...
by GerryL
Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spending Taxable to Zero during Retirement
Replies: 42
Views: 5071

Re: Spending Taxable to Zero during Retirement

I think the flexibility of having different types of accounts to draw from in retirement is a definite plus. If you need more in a given year than your RMD, it's good to have the option of pulling funds out of a Roth or a taxable account. Also, in the unhappy event of down years, the taxable account...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Confused!!!! CRCCs or home care..? Help!!
Replies: 12
Views: 1197

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

I like the idea of moving in when I'm healthy and active and not having to move again as my health and/or physical abilities decline. My mother strongly endorses this idea. As always is the case, there is a social hierarchy in these communities. Healthier and more able community members find it eas...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Confused!!!! CRCCs or home care..? Help!!
Replies: 12
Views: 1197

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

I don't have any plans to move in the near future. Underwent some remodeling a few years ago with the idea I would live here for at least 10 more years. Nevertheless, I am keeping my eye on local CCRCs and visited one just a few months ago. I like the idea of moving in when I'm healthy and active an...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where did you first learn about investing?
Replies: 98
Views: 5217

Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

... Finally, I bought five of the best mutual funds out there (actively managed, of course)! I invested $2,000 in each one. I followed the ups and downs of each fund, and when they went down, I traded them for better funds . I was doing okay. One day while reading my latest edition of Money, there ...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where did you first learn about investing?
Replies: 98
Views: 5217

Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Until I was in my early 40s, all I knew about investing was ... nothing, really. I'm a serious saver and started an IRA as soon as I could (mid 1980s), but the only "investment vehicle" I knew about was CDs. I'd heard that to make your money grow you needed to be "in the market" and I'd heard of som...
by GerryL
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Regrets after reaching retirement?
Replies: 42
Views: 4486

Re: Regrets after reaching retirement?

Bopped around the world for years and never focused on my future or a career. Finally got 2 college degrees in my early 30s, and after more overseas adventures eventually "settled down" when I was about 40. Sure, if I had been more serious about planning my life and thinking about the future, I migh...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Holiday Recipes
Replies: 48
Views: 3998

Re: Favorite Holiday Recipes

My absolute favorite holiday recipe -- quick and easy. And by "holiday" I mean when fresh cranberries are available. But you can use frozen. NOTE: I don't use [edit: paper] muffin cups because I like the way contact with the metal tin makes a more crispy muffin. Cranberry Apple Muffins 1 cup all-pur...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy
Replies: 26
Views: 2469

Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

Although I live in a state with a "birthday rule" (allowing change of plans or carriers at your birthday), my understanding is that you can always go from Plan F to any other plan at the same carrier without underwriting. Are there any other carriers in your state with a Plan F and G that allow you...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Cellular - financial issues?
Replies: 4
Views: 535

Re: Consumer Cellular - financial issues?

I haven't heard anything about problems at Consumer Cellular, but I wanted to comment on your concern about your phone #: The phone # I have with CC is the same one I had at AT&T and before that with Sprint. I have no idea whether there is any need to worry about CC's financial health, but I don't t...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare [Can I contribute to a Health Savings Account?]
Replies: 22
Views: 1659

Re: Medicare

Also, when you finally do get to the point that you need to sign up for Medicare (e.g., end of employment or end of employer-provided coverage) you will want to make sure you stop making HSA contributions 6 months prior. Why? If you otherwise qualify for an HSA, you can contribute thru the month be...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy
Replies: 26
Views: 2469

Re: Tell me I'm not a total fool about my choice of a Medigap policy

I, personally, would not sign up to pay (at least) $333 a year for the next n years (with n being how long you expect to live) just to avoid dealing with an occasional bill. (Try multiplying $333 x n and see what that looks like.) In fact, I opted for F High Deductible, for which I currently pay $36...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare [Can I contribute to a Health Savings Account?]
Replies: 22
Views: 1659

Re: Medicare

If you want to contribute to an HSA, you cannot be on any part of Medicare, A and/or B. Also, when you finally do get to the point that you need to sign up for Medicare (e.g., end of employment or end of employer-provided coverage) you will want to make sure you stop making HSA contributions 6 month...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised funds
Replies: 44
Views: 1843

Re: Donor Advised funds

Anonymity is probably the number one reason we use one. Much of our giving is local. The only way to stay off lists, getting called and having to go to local events is to make the donations anonymously. Even the local financial firms (wealth management) tap into the donor lists for client prospecti...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about free tax filing
Replies: 9
Views: 874

Re: Questions about free tax filing

Look at the IRS Free File site. There are many options that will file your taxes for free if your income is below $64,000. I think if you go through the Free File site you can generally use the full product, whereas if you go through the company’s website they will only offer a stripped down 1040-E...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about free tax filing
Replies: 9
Views: 874

Questions about free tax filing

It's that time of year again. I'm starting to get offers to get tax-filing software at a discount if I BUY NOW!!! But this year I have had little income and big enough deductions to reduce my taxable income to a tiny puddle. I figure I qualify for free filing because of low income. But now I am wond...
by GerryL
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Insurance Options
Replies: 8
Views: 918

Re: Long Term Care Insurance Options

Did you get your policy through a broker? If so, contact your broker and discuss the possible options. There are probably more than were presented in the letter. If you didn't work with a broker, you might be able to get the same kind of help from someone at Genworth customer service. Last year I go...
by GerryL
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Growth of Medicare Advantage enrollment
Replies: 68
Views: 4046

Re: Growth of Medicare Advantage enrollment

What makes me suspicious about the advantage plans, is the tremendous amount of advertising the insurance companies spend on promoting it. It must be a better revenue generator. Samtex It is THE revenue generator for them as far as Medicare is concerned. Traditional Medicare cut them out of the pic...
by GerryL
Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: I got this!!
Replies: 82
Views: 9883

Re: Retirees: I got this!!

I was very comfortable with my financial position even before I handed in my employee badge over 3 years ago. In fact, I even decided to up my annual spending target by 25% to make sure my original wasn't unrealistically conservative. Every few months I look at my expenses year-to-date in Quicken, d...
by GerryL
Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised funds
Replies: 44
Views: 1843

Re: Donor Advised funds

Being very conscious (now) of the importance of expenses in investing, I do not sock away money in my DAF, which, by its nature, is more expensive thant my Boglehead-ish portfolio. At some point each year I donate to the DAF around the amount that I expect to give to various charities in the next 12...