Search found 991 matches

by kaudrey
Thu May 16, 2019 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Now or One More Year?
Replies: 32
Views: 3563

Re: Now or One More Year?

It looks like your fixed income will just about cover your costs, even if you retire now. If that is the case, then you have an $800K cushion to cover any shortfall.....I'd go now.
by kaudrey
Thu May 16, 2019 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do Bogleheads update their 401k contributions once they are able to max?
Replies: 19
Views: 1550

Re: How do Bogleheads update their 401k contributions once they are able to max?

Set it by $ amount instead of percentage - HR should be able to do that.
by kaudrey
Thu May 09, 2019 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Lower risk is in my plan but I just can't!
Replies: 51
Views: 3843

Re: Lower risk is in my plan but I just can't!

Well, maybe we were able to do it because I read this.... "when higher risk choices have become manifestations of your self image", and just thought, WHAT????? The fact that I invest in low cost stock funds and have a AA of 60/40 (compared to about 90/10 before 2008), has nothing to do with how I th...
by kaudrey
Thu May 09, 2019 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confidence in Amount Needed for Retirement: Which Tools/Models?
Replies: 7
Views: 737

Re: Confidence in Amount Needed for Retirement: Which Tools/Models?

I play with Firecalc and i-orp or firesim once in a while, but I've built my own fairly elaborate spreadsheet over the years and mostly now I just use that. It can do "what if" scenarios by changing variables and such. So, it works for me.
by kaudrey
Mon May 06, 2019 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bathroom Remodel - Looking for Advice
Replies: 56
Views: 3994

Re: Bathroom Remodel - Looking for Advice

I am also in northern VA - I redid my master bath in 2017. I used a remodeler, but bought the vanities/faucets/tub, mirrors, and lighting from Wayfair. They were fine with me ordering these things and then installing them for me. They also did the tiling and a full glass/no frame door. I LOVE how it...
by kaudrey
Mon May 06, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Zelle [digital payment system]
Replies: 23
Views: 2543

Re: Zelle

Yes, I use it monthly to pay someone - it's easy and secure. No issues.
by kaudrey
Mon May 06, 2019 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Remind me why we have Medicare supplement
Replies: 21
Views: 2913

Re: Remind me why we have Medicare supplement

Yes, Medigap (or medicare supplement) policies will be very helpful if you have a long, drawn out hospital stay. For example, Medicare Part A pays up to 60 days hospitalization (after a deductible). If you are in the hospital longer than 60 days, you begin paying an expensive daily copay for your ho...
by kaudrey
Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best use of Chase Sapphire Preferred points?
Replies: 27
Views: 2706

Re: Best use of Chase Sapphire Preferred points?

If you buy your tickets through the Chase website, the points are worth 1.5 cents each instead of 1. So, you get a 50% bonus....
by kaudrey
Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quarterly Estimated Tax Checks & Insufficient Funds
Replies: 15
Views: 722

Re: Quarterly Estimated Tax Checks & Insufficient Funds

The best option would be to pay online with your bank - so it is immediate and you can't forget about it. Why are you still sending paper checks?
by kaudrey
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House renovation
Replies: 14
Views: 906

Re: House renovation

I'd look for a HELOC.
by kaudrey
Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Executor of Will - Selling House in Poor Condition
Replies: 84
Views: 6481

Re: Executor of Will - Selling House in Poor Condition

Your spouse needs to read up on how to handle an estate.

Commingling funds is a TERRIBLE idea for so many reasons. The estate must be kept separate in all ways financial.
by kaudrey
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When should i invest in my taxable account?
Replies: 6
Views: 946

Re: When should i inevest in my taxable account?

Direct deposits of paycheck goes to checking account. Every payday, automatic transfer of set amount to money market account. Once a month, automatic transfer of set amount to brokerage account. If my bills exceed what is in my checking account, I just transfer some money back from my money market a...
by kaudrey
Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do 40 year olds decide what they can afford?
Replies: 85
Views: 9686

Re: How do 40 year olds decide what they can afford?

Well, instead of focusing on your desire to buy "things", I'll answer your broader question. We decide the same way we always did - 1) are we meeting our savings goals? If yes, then 2) will this give us long-term enjoyment? if yes, fine. If not, nope. It doesn't matter if it is a gadget or toy or a ...
by kaudrey
Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Typical financial milestones before purchasing second/vacation home?
Replies: 15
Views: 970

Re: Typical financial milestones before purchasing second/vacation home?

Our cabin in the woods was a lot smaller of an investment financially, although probably on the same scale if we compare incomes. But, our situation was very different than yours. We bought the cabin when our financial projections were such that we would be on target to reach our retirement goals ev...
by kaudrey
Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Standard Deduction vs Itemizing - Experience this year
Replies: 52
Views: 5261

Re: Standard Deduction vs Itemizing - Experience this year

On a net basis, we were negatively affected. Without a mortgage, our itemized deductions were only about $12-14K (I forget now). So, standard deduction of $24K. However, in VA, if you take the fed standard, you have to take the VA standard, which is only $6K. So, we owed more in VA tax than we were ...
by kaudrey
Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to incorporate Long Term Care as part of retirement savings
Replies: 7
Views: 673

Re: How to incorporate Long Term Care as part of retirement savings

Either LTC insurance, or you could also get another term policy at some point - so the first will expire when you are 60 but the second will be until you are 70 or 80. My DH, who is 62, has a policy that goes until he is 75, and he did that because I am 12 years younger and wants to make sure I'll b...
by kaudrey
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Q to ppl who use spreadsheet for personal finance
Replies: 64
Views: 5221

Re: Q to ppl who use spreadsheet for personal finance

Yes, I use Excel. Like others, over the years the sheets have gotten more detailed and I add things all of the time. 1. Yes, I have a snapshot of all account A/L balances - I update this monthly. 2. I only keep track of large expense categories (house, medical, travel, taxes, entertainment, capital ...
by kaudrey
Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is our household budget crazy?
Replies: 141
Views: 11795

Re: Is our household budget crazy?

Stop eating lunch out every day - that's just wasting money.

And use the library - it is a great resource, especially with kids.

I like buying books too - but I buy them in bulk at library book sales. I get bags of books for $20 a few times a year....
by kaudrey
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Role of Pensions and Social Security in Asset Allocation
Replies: 147
Views: 7014

Re: Role of Pensions and Social Security in Asset Allocation

In my retirement projections spreadsheet, I plot my expenses, and then, as we plan to start taking them, reduce the expenses by our pensions and SS. The net result of this is the amount we need to cover from investments, which results in a much lower withdrawal rate as we get older. I do not do a NP...
by kaudrey
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you know if you are on track financially?
Replies: 19
Views: 2539

Re: How do you know if you are on track financially?

As you say, there are lots of potential answers. General guidelines if you plan to retire around age 65, would be to save 10-15% of your income (15% would be better, obviously). Others give guidelines as to how much you should have saved by different ages. For example: •At age 35, you should have sa...
by kaudrey
Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-budgeters: How do you handle large purchases?
Replies: 47
Views: 3708

Re: Non-budgeters: How do you handle large purchases?

I keep track of large categories of expenses, but don't budget. So, I have a 'travel' category, a "house' category, etc. But most things in my planning spreadsheet just gets lumped into "living expenses". The key for us is to save first. Every paycheck, or every month, money "disappears" into my 401...
by kaudrey
Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What did you do once you hit your target number?
Replies: 49
Views: 5587

Re: What did you do once you hit your target number?

I'm still working, as I am 49 and like my job. My DH is retiring as of next week; he is 62. He has several volunteer roles that take up a ton of his time, and now he'll be able to focus on those more. I'll probably retire when I am 52, as a lot of things will happen at that time - DH will be able to...
by kaudrey
Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of attorney for Mom?
Replies: 12
Views: 1022

Re: Power of attorney for Mom?

Also note that Vanguard probably has their own POA form - get that from them and submit it, rather than a general POA. My father did that with Fidelity and their bank, after reading that a lot of financial institutions give people a hard time about using a general one that is not on their form.
by kaudrey
Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to visualize/categorize my savings?
Replies: 2
Views: 387

Re: How to visualize/categorize my savings?

Yes, I use Excel - to keep track of savings, expenses, projections for retirement etc...
by kaudrey
Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting strategies
Replies: 21
Views: 2028

Re: Budgeting strategies

Like some others, I have more of a yearly budget. It kind of goes with your option #4 - you should be planning for those things. My yearly budget has an amount for Capital Expenditures, which would cover your heat pump. I estimate an amount based on the fact that our house is 20 years old and things...
by kaudrey
Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proper way to retire
Replies: 57
Views: 6659

Re: Proper way to retire

I know different companies are different, but I am in the camp of "bad form". Someone will have to take over your duties. Do you want your soon-to-be former co-workers to hate you by not giving time for a transition to take place? Why leave people in a lurch like that? I'm of the mindset of "do unto...
by kaudrey
Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement itch- when did you get it?
Replies: 145
Views: 15022

Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

My father retired at 57, 23 years ago. I was 26 at the time. In the back of my mind, I made one of my "life goals" to retire at least as early as he did. A few years after that, I started my retirement spreadsheet, which has been growing in complexity and detail ever since. My original plan was to r...
by kaudrey
Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial goals for 2019 (specific)
Replies: 83
Views: 7633

Re: Financial goals for 2019 (specific)

I am turning 50 in 2019, so I will be maxing my 401(k) up to the catch-up contribution limit.
by kaudrey
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?
Replies: 44
Views: 2579

Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

Chadnudj wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:53 am
Tahoe. You get skiing and casinos (great if your guys' group is into that.)
+1

One of my best friends does a guy's trip there every year, and they love it.
by kaudrey
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Question
Replies: 30
Views: 2115

Re: Credit Card Question

Within the last year, I have canceled my two longest held cards, because I now have better ones with better rewards (including Chase SP). My credit score has not been negatively affected (still over 800). I'd cancel it. You have better ones. Plural. OP has two cards, new one and old one. He should ...
by kaudrey
Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Question
Replies: 30
Views: 2115

Re: Credit Card Question

Within the last year, I have canceled my two longest held cards, because I now have better ones with better rewards (including Chase SP). My credit score has not been negatively affected (still over 800). I'd cancel it.
by kaudrey
Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wait, do I need a prenup?
Replies: 63
Views: 7052

Re: Wait, do I need a prenup?

Wow. I was expecting you to say one of you has millions of dollars or a start-up business. With the assets you have, and a lifetime to build together, are you that focused on money that 50/50 and 70/30 is such a cause for concern for community property? I'm a finance person, who has been divorced, a...
by kaudrey
Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal employee long-term disability benefits
Replies: 3
Views: 603

Re: Federal employee long-term disability benefits

I speak from personal experience. I was a federal employee and a member of the Army National Guard. During my deployment to Iraq, I was wounded by an IED. Upon my eventual return home, I tried to continue my federal employment. I tried for a couple of years. It was difficult between the operations,...
by kaudrey
Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you just track NW on a spreadsheet....isn't that sufficient?
Replies: 18
Views: 2084

Re: If you just track NW on a spreadsheet....isn't that sufficient?

I'd say it depends on the purpose. I have a spreadsheet with multiple tabs: 1) NW - updated monthly, nice to know, doesn't affect any decisions 2) Savings - a list of ins and outs to all savings/retirement accounts 3) Expenses - I keep track of 11 major categories, and everything else is lumped into...
by kaudrey
Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I doing well financially?
Replies: 162
Views: 13146

Re: Am I doing well financially?

I have periodically tracked my expenses via spreadsheet and not once did I spend under $600/mo just on groceries alone, not counting eating out. What am I doing wrong? We coupon and everything, even. justsomeguy2018, 1) You spend first and save later. You should do the reverse. Save first and spend...
by kaudrey
Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you retire because you hit your number?
Replies: 71
Views: 6774

Re: Did you retire because you hit your number?

I am 49. My original plan (for the past 20 years, it seems) was to retire at my federal MRA of 57. However, now I plan to retire at 52. The reason? I recently re-married to a man who is 10 years older than me. I want to spend as much time with him as I can before things happen. It helps that he also...
by kaudrey
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me fix my life insurance situation...
Replies: 12
Views: 1345

Re: Help me fix my life insurance situation...

My first question would be: what are your annual expenses? You bring in $200K combined. Are you saving any of that? If your DW can live on $116K plus 30% of your pension if you pass until she can collect SS, then you don't need any life insurance on you. If you can live on $84K if she passes, then y...
by kaudrey
Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours
Replies: 62
Views: 11747

Re: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours

I don't keep that level of detail, but if I use your categories (i.e. leave out health insurance, taxes and savings), we spend about $6,800 a month, in the DC area. That's without a mortgage, but we travel a lot. For reference, we save about 25% of pay (it used to be more, but we don't need to save ...
by kaudrey
Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hit by uninsured motorist - what next?
Replies: 4
Views: 1309

Re: Hit by uninsured motorist - what next?

Something similar happened to us a month ago. We just called GEICO and filed a claim. They took care of everything after verifying that he was an uninsured motorist. (Our guy's actions were so egregious that he was charged with all kinds of reckless driving infractions - so we may get subpoenaed if ...
by kaudrey
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cleaning lady stealing
Replies: 49
Views: 7703

Re: cleaning lady stealing

Opioid's are a very serious problem. I'd notify not only the owner, but also the police.
by kaudrey
Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Someone stole my check from the mail, changed the amount, and deposited it
Replies: 61
Views: 8162

Re: Someone stole my check from the mail, changed the amount, and deposited it

I still have to write a number of checks, more than you all apparently. It's at least 1-2 per month. Clark Howard has discussed this fishing before. I need to get a gel pen. Why ? You can send a bank check via online bill payment to anyone anywhere ? As I said before, the check is printed not handw...
by kaudrey
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is HELOC interest deductible in 2018?
Replies: 9
Views: 1035

Re: Is HELOC interest deductible in 2018?

David Jay, that is NOT correct:

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 suspends from 2018 until 2026 the deduction for interest paid on home equity loans and lines of credit, unless they are used to buy, build or substantially improve the taxpayer’s home that secures the loan.

Not just buying.
by kaudrey
Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nursing Home/Medicaid issues
Replies: 10
Views: 1134

Re: Nursing Home/Medicaid issues

Google "Medicaid lookback", and you will get this: A Medicaid applicant is penalized if assets (money, homes, cars, artwork, etc.) were gifted, transferred, given away, or sold for less than the fair market value. Even payments to a caregiver can be found in violation of the look-back period if done...
by kaudrey
Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you really have something to retire to?
Replies: 132
Views: 12128

Re: Did you really have something to retire to?

We have several hobbies that take up a lot of our "non-work" time now, and expect to be able to do more of them when we retire. We also both volunteer, and I'd like to do more of that. We also love to travel, and want to spend more time doing slow travel - going places for a month or longer at a tim...
by kaudrey
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension question - 65% J&S vs Single plus term insurance
Replies: 6
Views: 672

Re: Pension question - 65% J&S vs Single plus term insurance

My DH is 61 and 12 years older than me. We originally decided to go with a 50/50 J&S on his pension, which he'll get when he's 65, and we bought a $500K term policy on him. I forget the cost, but it wasn't very much in the scheme of things. He is very healthy and active. However, although we still h...
by kaudrey
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?
Replies: 93
Views: 5071

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

I love the idea of a sunroom, but definitely get more quotes. My friends added one for about $50K and it is beautiful (and we are in a HCOL area).
by kaudrey
Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card advice
Replies: 22
Views: 1463

Re: Credit card advice

If you have excellent credit, just close it. I did it a few months ago with a card I had had since 1989, and my score barely moved. Unless you need a loan in the next few months, who cares?
by kaudrey
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mr.No - another should I pay off my mortgage, post
Replies: 31
Views: 2737

Re: Mr.No - another should I pay off my mortgage, post

I wouldn't sell investments to pay off the mortgage, but why not throw your bonus at it every year? Since you don't know how much that will be, it sounds like you aren't counting on it to live. I'd do that, and otherwise keep paying the monthly amount until the bonuses end up paying it off at some p...
by kaudrey
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remodel for aging in place
Replies: 44
Views: 3264

Re: Remodel for aging in place

I second the question posed earlier - can you live on one floor? My parents are 80 and when they built the house they live in now (23 years ago), they built it so that if needed, they would never need to go upstairs. Their master bedroom and bath are on the main floor with the kitchen, living room a...