Search found 3569 matches

by dodecahedron
Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMDs based on 1986 life expectancy versus today?
Replies: 23
Views: 1921

Re: RMDs based on 1986 life expectancy versus today?

No concerns here. Thanks to past Roth conversions, a large taxable account, and strategic tax efficient asset location decisions, my tax-deferred accounts are about 20% of my portfolio (and I have at least 6 years to go before RMDs start.) I say "at least" because I may work part-time indefinitely a...
by dodecahedron
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is "Tank-Guard" home heating oil warranty worth it?
Replies: 11
Views: 879

Re: Is "Tank-Guard" home heating oil warranty worth it?

If your tank leaks into the ground and contaminates the soil, the required environmental remediation could cost a whole lot more than $2,000. I would consider proactive replacement or even better converting to gas if available. Nope, no gas lines where I live. How would I know when to replace an oi...
by dodecahedron
Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term gains and Tax Bracket
Replies: 14
Views: 1508

Re: Long-term gains and Tax Bracket

C) Other??? Is the order in which income is calculated irrelevant in the final calculation? Order very much DOES matter! I know this is not a realistic example and it leaves a lot of factors out of the equation. However, I hope it illustrates the crux of my issue. Is there any good reading on this ...
by dodecahedron
Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term gains and Tax Bracket
Replies: 14
Views: 1508

Re: Long-term gains and Tax Bracket

You said were single, but did not mention if you had any dependents. You also did not mention if you have enough itemized deductions to make it worthwhile itemizing deductions. I will assume no dependents and no itemized deductions. I will also assume no "above-the-line deductions" (e.g., no student...
by dodecahedron
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is "Tank-Guard" home heating oil warranty worth it?
Replies: 11
Views: 879

Re: Is "Tank-Guard" home heating oil warranty worth it?

If your tank leaks into the ground and contaminates the soil, the required environmental remediation could cost a whole lot more than $2,000.

I would consider proactive replacement or even better converting to gas if available.
by dodecahedron
Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you celebrate (potty trained kid) milestone with your spouse?
Replies: 93
Views: 4697

Re: How do you celebrate (potty trained kid) milestone with your spouse?

diaper burning party? Toss any remaining diapers, smile, take a picture ... Don't burn the diapers! (It is illegal to burn disposable diapers in some states due to chemicals they may contain.) Don't toss the diapers! If they are disposable diapers, donate them to a charity (e.g., nonprofit helping ...
by dodecahedron
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security for surviving spouse
Replies: 11
Views: 852

Re: Social Security for surviving spouse

Please note: In case your were not aware of this, you can file for "Spousal" benefits at your full retirement age (66?) and receive an amount equal to 1/2 of the benefit he is receiving. Then upon reaching your 70th birthday you can still file for your full benefit. (They changed this last year but...
by dodecahedron
Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guidance About New Spouse's IRS Issues
Replies: 61
Views: 5427

Re: Guidance About New Spouse's IRS Issues

This really is incredible. I was never so glad to be single. Just out of curiosity, what did he do or not do on the tax returns that resulted in this debt? I am curious as well. If I had to guess, I would think that one issue might have been incorrect filing status, since nfs said that her husband ...
by dodecahedron
Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's own 401k plan eliminating S&P 500 Index option!
Replies: 86
Views: 7462

Re: Vanguard's own 401k plan eliminating S&P 500 Index option!

Is there some reason for 401k plans to have such limited choices? Why doesn't Vanguard (or any employer) just let you pick whatever funds you want? Yes. Studies show that participants are overwhelmed by the Tyranny of Choice. I have seen participants simply divide up their contributions equally amo...
by dodecahedron
Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NYS 457
Replies: 9
Views: 673

Re: NYS 457

Hi all, I am new to the BH community and looking for some advice on my NYS 457 plan and how to set it up. Been contributing 15% for 10 years and have 175k in my account. No financial background and just listened to a co worker on how to set up my plan. After learning a little more about finances I ...
by dodecahedron
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA commingles Roth and non-Roth retirement funds?
Replies: 14
Views: 1068

Re: TIAA commingles Roth and non-Roth retirement funds?

I am in a similar position (originally had only pretax balances in my SRA 403(b) TIAA contract, but switched to making Roth contributions a few years ago.) When I log into my account I see not only the total balance on my SRA contract but a detailed breakdown of the pretax portion and Roth portions....
by dodecahedron
Wed May 30, 2018 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on neighbor not keeping up his property...
Replies: 103
Views: 7390

Re: Advice on neighbor not keeping up his property...

She is creating a rodent problem, and the public health people can’t do anything? I am not sure if allowing trees to overgrow your backyard always necessarily constitutes "creating a rodent problem." I have a (mostly) heavily wooded backyard with old growth forest and a ravine and stream running th...
by dodecahedron
Wed May 30, 2018 7:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To be or not to be complex, that is the question
Replies: 146
Views: 11503

Re: To be or not to be complex, that is the question

Simplicity is often pushed aside by acquiring more `stuff'. Whether nic nacs or investments, stuff has to be managed once it's purchased. We all need to decide for ourselves if the overall cost to purchase/manage is really worth the hassle to our own lives. For some ( I think many BHs) investing is...
by dodecahedron
Wed May 30, 2018 6:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To be or not to be complex, that is the question
Replies: 146
Views: 11503

Re: To be or not to be complex, that is the question

The candor and tone of Rick's post resonates well with the evolution in my own thinking. Living here near remnants of Shaker settlements, I often think to myself " 'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free." Edited to add: just looked up the official lyrics, apparently slightly but meaningful...
by dodecahedron
Wed May 30, 2018 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on neighbor not keeping up his property...
Replies: 103
Views: 7390

Re: Advice on neighbor not keeping up his property...

Back in 2015 I realized that I had not seen a light on in her house for months, I started to worry she might have died and no one knew. Her next door neighbor has seen her a few time and says she has seen lights at the front of the house. To this day -- 3 years later -- I still have not seen a ligh...
by dodecahedron
Wed May 30, 2018 6:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on neighbor not keeping up his property...
Replies: 103
Views: 7390

Re: Advice on neighbor not keeping up his property...

... chopped up the tree and left everything in the yard... ...He has left the dirt that was excavated in the front yard... ...A lot of branches from his cut trees are near my fence. I asked him to clear it as that could attract field mice... Like it or not, these are signs that he might be more int...
by dodecahedron
Wed May 30, 2018 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on neighbor not keeping up his property...
Replies: 103
Views: 7390

Re: Advice on neighbor not keeping up his property...

She is creating a rodent problem, and the public health people can’t do anything? I am not sure if allowing trees to overgrow your backyard always necessarily constitutes "creating a rodent problem." I have a (mostly) heavily wooded backyard with old growth forest and a ravine and stream running th...
by dodecahedron
Wed May 30, 2018 4:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security for Widow Question
Replies: 31
Views: 2214

Re: Another Social Security for Widow Question

I am very impressed at your ability to think so clearly at this stage. I remember feeling in a complete state of brain fog for the first few months after my husband died unexpectedly. In fact still occasionally have intermittent foggy overwhelmed periods five years later. Fortunately those periods a...
by dodecahedron
Tue May 29, 2018 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security for Widow Question
Replies: 31
Views: 2214

Re: Another Social Security for Widow Question

I do not know the answer, so please react to this alternative approach to this situation. I propose this because of a couple statements the OP made. Husband died this year. (Last year for married filing jointly.) Spouse has some large taxable gains that she would like to realize in the next few yea...
by dodecahedron
Tue May 29, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security for Widow Question
Replies: 31
Views: 2214

Re: Another Social Security for Widow Question

OP here. I just got back from the Social Security Administration offices. Here were my alternatives using today's estimated numbers - $2,528/month survivor's benefit beginning April 2018 , the month of my husband's death or $1,874/month my own benefit beginning May 2018 , the month of filing, chang...
by dodecahedron
Tue May 29, 2018 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security for Widow Question
Replies: 31
Views: 2214

Re: Another Social Security for Widow Question

Also while you are talking to SS you may wish to claim the $225 death benefit if you have not already done so. The one time lump sum death benefit is $255 (and has been for many years.) No urgency on claiming that one. Personally, if I were the OP, I would focus on getting the application in for a ...
by dodecahedron
Tue May 29, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security for Widow Question
Replies: 31
Views: 2214

Re: Another Social Security for Widow Question

sscritic has weighed via back channel with a definitive cite and link from the SS Program Operations Manual: Epsilon Delta is correct. 1. Applications filed before full retirement age (FRA) We do not allow retroactivity for reduced RIB benefits. The first possible date that we can pay reduced benefi...
by dodecahedron
Tue May 29, 2018 5:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reverse Mortgages
Replies: 18
Views: 1875

Re: Reverse Mortgages

You could take the lump sum and buy an annuity. This let's you shop the entire universe of annuities rather than getting an annuity from the same place that got you the reverse mortgage. Also, if you use the lump sum to buy the annuity, you will have the annuity for the rest of your life (even if y...
by dodecahedron
Tue May 29, 2018 1:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security for Widow Question
Replies: 31
Views: 2214

Re: Another Social Security for Widow Question

In another thread, she made clear that she stopped working some time ago. Then she might as well file for her own record benefits immediately (and retroactively to the extent possible) because that can be done in a way that will not affect her survivor benefits, which she can claim when they reach ...
by dodecahedron
Mon May 28, 2018 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security for Widow Question
Replies: 31
Views: 2214

Re: Another Social Security for Widow Question

I would seriously consider waiting until age 70 for the larger of the alternatives - thereby increasing the monthly SS benefit for the rest of your life - since you have sufficient other assets to live on. Why would you consider waiting until age 70 given the numbers she shared in her OP. The large...
by dodecahedron
Mon May 28, 2018 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can anyone recommend Any Social Responsible fund/s?
Replies: 17
Views: 1289

Re: Can anyone recommend Any Social Responsible fund/s?

I am curious if VG has ever considered starting one, forgetting all the arguments about how investing isn't the place for making policy changes. Vanguard has not only considered it, they have one (inception date 5/31/2000): https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/profile/VFTSX Of course universa...
by dodecahedron
Mon May 28, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security for Widow Question
Replies: 31
Views: 2214

Re: Another Social Security for Widow Question

My husband was supposed to live forever. After all, his parents lived long lives and my husband was big and strong. My situation - I am 65. My husband died in April of an unexpected heart attack at age 63. We have saved and invested for many years such that we planned on waiting until 70 to take so...
by dodecahedron
Sun May 27, 2018 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: medicaid as early retirement medical insurance (or maybe Obamacare)
Replies: 41
Views: 3765

Re: medicaid as early retirement medical insurance (or maybe Obamacare)

Michigan uses Medicaid expansion for low income ACA I don't think this is technically correct. ACA (aka ObamaCare) is one thing and Medicaid is another. If your income is too low to qualify for ObamaCare, you get Medicaid. To clarify, the ACA (also known as Obamacare) is a complex bill with many pr...
by dodecahedron
Sat May 26, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: medicaid as early retirement medical insurance (or maybe Obamacare)
Replies: 41
Views: 3765

Re: medicaid as early retirement medical insurance (or maybe Obamacare)

In Michigan, the income level for Medicare qualification is ~$22,000 a year for Married family of 2. Medicare is not means-tested anywhere in the US. Anyone over 65 (including Warren Buffett) qualifies for Medicare in any state in the country, regardless of income or assets. Younger people with dis...
by dodecahedron
Wed May 23, 2018 8:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Newton MA library program - Zvi Bodie on Managing Your Portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 1644

Re: Newton MA library program - Zvi Bodie on Managing Your Portfolio

If any Bogleheads go, perhaps they could post a summary here.
by dodecahedron
Tue May 22, 2018 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: property tax assessment
Replies: 9
Views: 927

Re: property tax assessment

The best evidence of over-assessment is an appraisal prepared by a professional appraiser who is experienced with tax appeals in your jurisdiction. While appraisers are not immune to the games that assessors and appeal boards play, they are better equipped to provide answers and present concise evi...
by dodecahedron
Tue May 22, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth IRA contributions during semi-retirement?
Replies: 14
Views: 752

Re: Roth IRA contributions during semi-retirement?

I'm curious if those who semi-retire before age 59 1/2 and still earn a salary, do you still contribute to your Roth IRA? Or, did you stop contributing and instead use the money to pay for annual expenses? I contribute my part-time earnings *both* to a Roth 403(b) *and* a Roth IRA, as maximally as ...
by dodecahedron
Mon May 21, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are high dividend stocks advantageous for the 15% tax rate?
Replies: 46
Views: 3991

Re: Are high dividend stocks advantageous for the 15% tax rate?

While I know the consensus here is that favoring higher-dividend stocks does not make sense for an equity portfolio, does it make sense for a taxable portfolio used for income in retirement because of the 15% tax rate on dividends? When you realize a long-term capital gain from a mutual fund withdr...
by dodecahedron
Mon May 21, 2018 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Check Letter / Notice from IRS Online
Replies: 9
Views: 1370

Re: Check Letter / Notice from IRS Online

We regularly travel for a week or two. But we don't use Informed Delivery. I cannt imagine that anything from the IRS would have such a short deadline for response. I think my stress level would be lower without Informed Delivery, so I don't use it. There's something to be said for RudyS's perspect...
by dodecahedron
Sat May 19, 2018 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany
Replies: 76
Views: 3691

Re: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany

For even more scenic relaxing ride that hugs the river even more, just take Amtrak. Very relaxing watching the river roll by and especially gorgeous in October due to foliage. And no worries about one way car rental drop off fee if you decide just to do it one way. Several picturesque towns where y...
by dodecahedron
Fri May 18, 2018 4:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany
Replies: 76
Views: 3691

Re: Road trip Newark NJ to Albany

But if your goal is to get to Albany, probably easier to fly into Newark and take the Garden State Parkway north than to deal with LaGuardia and NYC traffic. If you aren't in a rush to get to Albany, I always found route 9 (east side of the Hudson River) was a nice scenic drive, esp. the parts that...
by dodecahedron
Mon May 14, 2018 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bicycle insurance? when you're in the roadway like a car
Replies: 38
Views: 3238

Re: Bicycle insurance? when you're in the roadway like a car

What about bicyclists who don't own or drive a car? Or pedestrians who don't drive, for that matter. What kind of insurance should they get? (This is an actionable question for beloved relatives who simply do not drive, for financial, prudence, and environmental reasons.) Pedestrian insurance for p...
by dodecahedron
Mon May 14, 2018 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bicycle insurance? when you're in the roadway like a car
Replies: 38
Views: 3238

Re: Bicycle insurance? when you're in the roadway like a car

What about bicyclists who don't own or drive a car? Or pedestrians who don't drive, for that matter. What kind of insurance should they get? (This is an actionable question for beloved relatives who simply do not drive, for financial, prudence, and environmental reasons.)
by dodecahedron
Mon May 14, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuity purchased with 401k money
Replies: 6
Views: 882

Re: Annuity purchased with 401k money

If I purchase a fixed immediate annuity with money currently in my 401k, say for $100,000, do I have to pay tax on the $100,000 as a 401k withdrawal, or do I just pay income tax on the monthly income generated from the annuity? Potentially you could do it either way. Method 1) Take a taxable distri...
by dodecahedron
Mon May 14, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New inflation-protected ETF launches: iShares Inflation Hedged Corporate Bond ETF (LQDI)
Replies: 27
Views: 2317

Re: New inflation-protected ETF launches: iShares Inflation Hedged Corporate Bond ETF (LQDI)

...Any idea what happened around 2013? I was not aware that TIPS had had negative performance of that scale (probably I should have paid more attention). Indeed. (I guess I can't say "me, too" any more.) Another factor I didn't think of right away, but I have to wonder if it made a difference. In F...
by dodecahedron
Mon May 14, 2018 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuity purchased with 401k money
Replies: 6
Views: 882

Re: Annuity purchased with 401k money

If I purchase a fixed immediate annuity with money currently in my 401k, say for $100,000, do I have to pay tax on the $100,000 as a 401k withdrawal, or do I just pay income tax on the monthly income generated from the annuity? Potentially you could do it either way. Method 1) Take a taxable distri...
by dodecahedron
Mon May 14, 2018 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Inexpensive and comfortable outdoor patio furniture
Replies: 7
Views: 798

Re: Inexpensive and comfortable outdoor patio furniture

Ikea outdoor furniture is attractive and very inexpensive. For $49.95, my family and guests have found this model incredibly comfortable. No assembly. Just take it out of the box and unfold and sit! (Also easy to fold and store offseason.) If you are willing to do some assembly (and I am), Ikea's en...
by dodecahedron
Mon May 14, 2018 6:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New inflation-protected ETF launches: iShares Inflation Hedged Corporate Bond ETF (LQDI)
Replies: 27
Views: 2317

Re: New inflation-protected ETF launches: iShares Inflation Hedged Corporate Bond ETF (LQDI)

...Any idea what happened around 2013? I was not aware that TIPS had had negative performance of that scale (probably I should have paid more attention). Indeed. (I guess I can't say "me, too" any more.) I noticed it at the time. I had also noticed the also quite dramatic two-year run up leading to...
by dodecahedron
Tue May 08, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do we spend too much on food?
Replies: 71
Views: 6203

Re: Do we spend too much on food?

This is Caduceus's Food Cost Theory© You can only get two of the three things with regard to food simultaneously: (1) Low Costs, (2) Convenience, (3) Taste If you are willing to sacrifice (1), you can get food that is both delicious (taste) and which does not require cooking (convenience). If you a...
by dodecahedron
Mon May 07, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't leave your non-spouse heirs TIRAs with basis, unless you hate them!
Replies: 92
Views: 8704

Re: Don't leave your non-spouse heirs TIRAs with basis, unless you hate them!

why not donate the whole thing to charity? you would not have to worry about it then at all! Non spouses cannot donate inherited IRAs without first withdrawing the funds. I think. Otherwise a great idea. An IRA heir (spouse or non-spouse) who is over age 70 1/2 can make Qualified Charitable Donatio...
by dodecahedron
Sun May 06, 2018 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ? on income above max SS threshold
Replies: 4
Views: 546

Re: ? on income above max SS threshold

It disappears once you hit that threshold during the year And--it should be noted--that you need to hit that threshold at a single employer before it disappears. If you have worked at multiple jobs that put you over the threshold in combined wages, you will need to wait until you file your income t...
by dodecahedron
Sat May 05, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paying down your mortgage as a way to balance your portfolio?
Replies: 72
Views: 4058

Re: Paying down your mortgage as a way to balance your portfolio?

It seems like the tax write off from the mortgage interest would tip the scales toward buying the bonds. . To the extent this may have been true in the past, it is much less true now. Due to tax law effective in 2018, a growing number of taxpayers will find it in their interests to take the standar...
by dodecahedron
Fri May 04, 2018 6:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Medicare B IRMAA thresholds for 2019?
Replies: 8
Views: 1003

Re: Medicare B IRMAA thresholds for 2019?

What I am concerned about is that our AGI will be dangerously close to 170K in a couple of years when I include my predicted RMD. Of course, my tsp could tank but if not, and counting my SSI (currently suspended) and pension, husbands SSI, other income - rent, investments, etc. Important language n...
by dodecahedron
Fri May 04, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't leave your non-spouse heirs TIRAs with basis, unless you hate them!
Replies: 92
Views: 8704

Re: Don't leave your non-spouse heirs TIRAs with basis, unless you hate them!

There was comprehensive legal scholarship by Prof Jim Maule on this issue in a 2007 article here. Note that the only potential problem areas in that paper involved computation of self-employment income, but basis of an IRA does not affect that item at all. This comes up almost every year when I am ...
by dodecahedron
Fri May 04, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't leave your non-spouse heirs TIRAs with basis, unless you hate them!
Replies: 92
Views: 8704

Re: Don't leave your non-spouse heirs TIRAs with basis, unless you hate them!

... The IRS has stated that it is generally acceptable to use zero as a basis even if the true basis is not zero... Do you have a reference for this? EDIT: Well I found this, https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/4155255 , and I guess it makes sense since it's in the IRS favor, but I'd like to see some...