Search found 8148 matches

by celia
Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?
Replies: 93
Views: 4298

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

Have you considered making the current first floor feel bigger by re-decorating? Can you put in a sliding glass door so the outdoors is part of the house, tear down a non-loadbearing wall to combine two rooms into one, or use a wall of mirrors to "double" the size of a room? Even a wall covered with...
by celia
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Philanthropy 101
Replies: 10
Views: 514

Re: Philanthropy 101

I took a Coursera class a year or two ago taught by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen. She teaches at Stanford and comes from a philanthropist family. In the class we learned to identify what kinds of causes appeal to us as individuals, how to find charities in that field, and how to evaluate the charities...
by celia
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Elderly parents are in debt - Need advice
Replies: 30
Views: 3386

Re: Elderly parents are in debt - Need advice

Who is paying for the life insurance premiums and how much are the premiums? It may make more sense to stop paying premiums and pay off some bills first, starting with the one that has the highest interest rate.
by celia
Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: “Majority of working-age Americans have no retirement savings”
Replies: 73
Views: 3699

Re: “Majority of working-age Americans have no retirement savings”

The median retirement account balance among working-age Americans is zero, according to a research report by the National Institute on Retirement Security, a non-profit research group based in Washington. The first sentence is a non-starter for me. How can you possibly get a median of 0 when lookin...
by celia
Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I really retire? Please check my math and poke holes.
Replies: 42
Views: 4428

Re: Can I really retire? Please check my math and poke holes.

If you're "right on the edge", like I was, it is better to play it safe and work an extra year or two. (I didn't see a reason that you need to retire soon.) An 80% success rate by your advisor would make me uncomfortable as that means there is 20% "failure" rate. For 5 couples in your exact same cir...
by celia
Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have We Missed the Boat on Roth Conversions?
Replies: 48
Views: 5293

Terminology Clarification

The Backdoor Roth is a process consisting of two transactions: * Make a non-deductible contribution to a traditional IRA * Convert it to Roth a few days later When you convert in this situation, if you have no other money in any of your traditional IRAs, then there is no tax on the conversion becaus...
by celia
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I really retire? Please check my math and poke holes.
Replies: 42
Views: 4428

Re: Can I really retire? Please check my math and poke holes.

I figure we need about $72k before taxes to live a comfortable life. When I retire, we'll have about $1.2M in my retirement accounts . Why aren't you taking taxes into account? That can make or break you depending on the 1.2M being in tax-deferred or Roth. If it is in tax-deferred, do you plan to c...
by celia
Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 182
Views: 10588

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

Hiring an unlicensed contractor to add on to our house.

He spent our deposit on liquor and forget to show up each day . . .

(We trusted a mutual "friend" for the referral.)
by celia
Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Manager - Cancer Diagnosis
Replies: 15
Views: 1652

Re: Manager - Cancer Diagnosis

Don't ask him personal questions about his health. If he feels like telling you anything, then listen, but keep it to yourself. His medical needs should be kept private, as that is his right. You might try to be aware of him not feeling well (listless, sleepy, etc) while trying to keep working. He m...
by celia
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner
Replies: 33
Views: 2157

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

...but the HOA Board considers it a social expense, akin to the annual party and that it builds community . How is buying flowers or donating to charity akin to an annual party where members get to know each other better (which is itself good so that they look out for each other's properties when t...
by celia
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner
Replies: 33
Views: 2157

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

It depends on how the HOA is incorporated and what their goals are. If they are a non-profit, the board has a fiduciary duty to use all funds for the goals (mission statement) of the organization. I am on the board of a non-profit and missed one meeting when they discussed buying flowers for a membe...
by celia
Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Taking" RMDs
Replies: 18
Views: 1563

Re: "Taking" RMDs

Of course, whether you actually sell an asset or simply transfer it out of the IRA is a separate issue from taking the distribution. There is no transfer. With the RMD, you sell shares in the IRA/401k and either send the cash to a checking account or buy shares in a taxable account with the cash. I...
by celia
Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equity in house / Do you use it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3215

Re: Equity in house / Do you use it?

I think that for things like funding a child's education, using home equity in lieu of other types of higher-interest loans is acceptable, and many people do it. Some even do it instead of using taxable investments, either owing to potential capital gains or simply because they want to stay in the ...
by celia
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: retroactive change to State Retirement plan illegal?
Replies: 17
Views: 1875

Re: retroactive change to State Retirement plan illegal?

...During May 2014, I had enough years of State employment where I was eligible for the state to pay all of the cost for my individual coverage under the State Health Plan 70/30 or Medicare Advantage Base Plan as a retiree. I have copies of the plan documents that spell this out along with e-mail c...
by celia
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equity in house / Do you use it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3215

Re: Equity in house / Do you use it?

If you use some of the equity in your house for something else, then you don't have has much equity any more. To me, that would be like going back in time several years to when you were making mortgage payments. I have no interest in doing that. A paid-off mortgage means my living expenses are now l...
by celia
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: a low grade in a 9th-grade test
Replies: 44
Views: 3269

Re: a low grade in a 9th-grade test

The student should drop out of school and stay home playing video games all day. Just kidding. :D But the other options you offered are just avoiding challenges. Ask the student why he/she got the grade they received. They likely know if it was lack of studying, sleeping in class, peer pressure to d...
by celia
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get financially ready for death of parent
Replies: 22
Views: 2497

Re: How to get financially ready for death of parent

How should her kids' names be attached to her financial accounts, if at all? Your mother should designate beneficiaries on each account. 50%/50% would be typical in that situation. Assuming you are both power of attorney, you want at least one of you on the accounts so you can do banking/write chec...
by celia
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get financially ready for death of parent
Replies: 22
Views: 2497

Re: How to get financially ready for death of parent

It's never too early to do estate planning. People can die at any age, after all. Do you and your sister have your wills, trusts, DPOAs, medical Power Of Attorney documents in place? The three of you can learn together and might even get a price break by setting everything up at the same time with t...
by celia
Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 38% pay cut for dream job?
Replies: 61
Views: 5020

Re: 38% pay cut for dream job?

I wonder how this job would impact possible adoptions. Even if it is allowed, do you want kids, knowing you may end up putting them in boarding schools while you are adventurous? Maybe you need to talk to some people who have been in the Foreign Service. I'm not sure if that is compatible with adopt...
by celia
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to get out of a company 401k
Replies: 5
Views: 550

Re: How to get out of a company 401k

She might be able to roll it over when she turns 59.5 (or dies), but she probably doesn't look forward to either of those events anytime soon. :D Other than that, read the plan documents to see if there are any other events that would allow a rollover.
by celia
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Account tax liability mix for retirement
Replies: 4
Views: 424

Re: Tax liability mix for retirement

You have an good mix of assets in different tax categories (taxable, tax-deferred, Roth) at this time, so you will have good options in retirement. There is no such thing as the "right mix" of assets as everyone has different income in their working years, different employer plans (if any), and diff...
by celia
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Critical Account
Replies: 20
Views: 2416

Re: Critical Account

There must be another issue involved here. If this relative can't support herself for a few months on her own assets until she becomes a multi-millionnaire, how is she going to (mentally) process/ invest an inheritance that large if she can't manage a smaller amount now? Have you addressed that? Do ...
by celia
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Argument for taking social security before 70. Comments?
Replies: 111
Views: 7250

Re: Argument for taking social security before 70. Comments?

I would do different calculations than you. I don't think that getting the optimal "break even point" is the goal , but rather first, are your living expenses (including increased health care costs) covered and, second, how much money is likely to be left when we both have died? Did you take the fol...
by celia
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Vanguard "in-kind" transfer
Replies: 5
Views: 510

Re: Question about Vanguard "in-kind" transfer

You should also check to see if EJ has any account closing fees. Start with their website. Then call them, if needed.
by celia
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bored
Replies: 56
Views: 9360

Re: Bored

I have 3 small kids and a wife who doesn't work. I bought the 250k policy after my first kid just to have something quickly. Your wife certainly does work! It's just that you aren't paying her (enough). :D She needs life insurance too. If something happened to her, will you have to pay someone to d...
by celia
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Year End Roth Moves
Replies: 10
Views: 1196

Re: Year End Roth Moves

Regarding the "gains" terminology: The T-IRA was funded almost entirely from non-deductible contributions, so in casual situations I just tend to think of any "gains" as being the taxable gains or basis for the taxes. Using IRS terminology, the non-deductible contributions are called the basis . Th...
by celia
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Retirement accounts locked by Vanguard, unable to convert Admiral funds to ETF]
Replies: 57
Views: 4143

Re: [Retirement accounts locked by Vanguard, unable to convert Admiral funds to ETF]

Are you a minor with an inherited retirement account, by any chance? Or a senior who might appear (to them) who might not understand the implications of what you are requesting? (I recently changed a new setting Vanguard offers that allows them to contact a person you choose if they feel you are dec...
by celia
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: K1 delay and taxes
Replies: 15
Views: 1324

Re: K1 delay and taxes

I was doing taxes for a relative each year until he bought some shares in multiple partnerships in his brokerage account. I wasn't confident in preparing his taxes anymore since there were about 10 boxes on the K-1 with numbers. Not much of it was interest. It was mainly gains, losses, taxes paid an...
by celia
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UHC/AARP Switching Medigap Plan F---> Plan G Underwriting
Replies: 43
Views: 3150

Re: UHC/AARP Switching Medigap Plan F---> Plan G Underwriting

I just started a new thread on a similar topic since I didn't want my new information to be buried in another thread. In addition, this thread is focused on the Plan F to Plan G switch, whereas the new thread has a wider scope but only talks about one carrier. AARP United HealthCare allows current m...
by celia
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AARP United Healthcare allows current members to switch (even upgrade)
Replies: 1
Views: 483

AARP United Healthcare allows current members to switch (even upgrade)

We've been talking to United HealthCare about switching plans and two different agents have told us that CURRENT AARP United HealthCare members can switch between any plan to any other plan any time of the year without medical underwriting. You can even upgrade to F if you want! This appears to be a...
by celia
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Year End Roth Moves
Replies: 10
Views: 1196

Re: Year End Roth Moves

...and we have about 75k of unrealized gains remaining in a traditional IRA that we've not yet managed to convert to a Roth due to higher tax brackets in prior years. Other T-IRAs have been converted. IRAs do not have "gains" in the sense of capital gains. All dollars withdrawn from the IRA are tax...
by celia
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Scaring the Old Folks
Replies: 71
Views: 8094

Re: Scaring the Old Folks

...now I am starting to wonder where the idea your expenses will go down comes from. It seems you save on commute, but end up paying more in utilities and entertainment. Where is the big source of savings? For us, our expenses dropped substantially because the house was paid off, the kids were done...
by celia
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Scaring the Old Folks
Replies: 71
Views: 8094

Re: Scaring the Old Folks

We hardly ate out while working as we'd get home at different times and had kid/school/community activities to do in the evenings. Now that we're retired we eat out more than 3 times a week, partly due to doing more walking. Our neighborhood is surrounded by eateries and shopping and they are reason...
by celia
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to decide if a trust should be an IRA beneficiary - Is this case the Yes? or No?
Replies: 9
Views: 746

Re: Trying to decide if a trust should be an IRA beneficiary - Is this case the Yes? or No?

If his marginal tax rate is low then see if doing Roth conversions now (while he is alive and tax rates are lower) makes more sense. +1 Is there a reason the taxable assets aren't already in the trust? It will be much easier for you if he becomes incapacitated and you need to handle his affairs whi...
by celia
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implementing a QCD at Fidelity
Replies: 17
Views: 1270

Re: Implementing a QCD at Fidelity

In either case what documentation do I have to provide to Fidelity? Can I just call them up and give the information to a Rep verbally? Have you asked them? Your request sounds just like how it is handled at Vanguard, except that all Vanguard requests are mailed to the account owner, since they don...
by celia
Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell our new home to downsize
Replies: 37
Views: 3411

Re: Sell our new home to downsize

Have you been tracking or can you ask the mortgage lender, how many months remain on the mortgage? Since you usually start off with about 10% of the base mortgage payment going to principal, you may have already knocked a couple of years off your mortgage with your $750 extra monthly payment. In oth...
by celia
Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Safeguarding Your Wealth From The Effects Of Cognitive Decline"
Replies: 52
Views: 4879

Re: "Safeguarding Your Wealth From The Effects Of Cognitive Decline"

With cognitive decline, there are also safety issues. Some signs are: getting lost/confused on your way home as to where you live, taking meds properly or even remembering that you need to take them, answering the door when strangers ring, knowing what the alarms are in the building you live in and ...
by celia
Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mom had no idea she had over a mil in her Portfolio. What now?
Replies: 25
Views: 5180

Re: Mom had no idea she had over a mil in her Portfolio. What now?

She currently has 3 accounts. A standard Brokerage account, a Traditional IRA account and a Trust account. The trust account she plans on shutting down and switching the few stocks and mutual funds out of it shortly. All three accounts are brokerage accounts (as opposed to being mutual fund account...
by celia
Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Safeguarding Your Wealth From The Effects Of Cognitive Decline"
Replies: 52
Views: 4879

Re: "Safeguarding Your Wealth From The Effects Of Cognitive Decline"

What several relatives of ours have done is to make the successor trustee of their trust a co-trustee (with full and equal authority) so they could get used to paying the family bills and know where the assets are located, while the original trustees (those who created the trust) were still living....
by celia
Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The future of my journals and logs
Replies: 45
Views: 4133

Re: The future of my journals and logs

My MIL had a pen pal in Australia for 70 years. Their lives paralleled each other as they both lost brothers in WWII (which is what connected them in the first place), married, had kids, suffered through losses or illnesses, retired, etc. The Australian pen pal (who we've met) still has my MIL's let...
by celia
Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The future of my journals and logs
Replies: 45
Views: 4133

Re: The future of my journals and logs

Apparently many folks on the forum maintain journals. I restarted journaling eight years ago and also possess one journal from a period when I was an 18 year old at sea in the Merchant Marine. OMG, These journals are genealogy treasures! I would start by asking your closest relatives (especially th...
by celia
Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth conversion timeline
Replies: 10
Views: 537

Re: Backdoor Roth conversion timeline

Assumedly, there will be growth on the non-deductible contributions between contribution date and conversion date. That growth will be pre-tax. When it gets converted, that growth will be more money subject to taxation. Could the taxes at that time (along with the other values you would converting) ...
by celia
Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Safeguarding Your Wealth From The Effects Of Cognitive Decline"
Replies: 52
Views: 4879

Re: "Safeguarding Your Wealth From The Effects Of Cognitive Decline"

We plan to do the same. Sounds good. But who are the trust co-trustees if the person has no known relatives? A lawyer? The lawyer is the last person you should consider since they will charge the estate their going rate which is usually 100s of dollars an hour. Who do you want to distribute your es...
by celia
Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working for a municipality
Replies: 26
Views: 2405

Re: Working for a municipality

Some lessons I learned: Money is important but it isn't always the driver. How things "look" is very important. Politics is everything. You need to make your board/council look and feel good even if you personally think what they propose is stupid. Be careful of "gifts" even if they follow the gift...
by celia
Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Safeguarding Your Wealth From The Effects Of Cognitive Decline"
Replies: 52
Views: 4879

Re: "Safeguarding Your Wealth From The Effects Of Cognitive Decline"

What several relatives of ours have done is to make the successor trustee of their trust a co-trustee (with full and equal authority) so they could get used to paying the family bills and know where the assets are located, while the original trustees (those who created the trust) were still living. ...
by celia
Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth conversion with future RMD and SS
Replies: 28
Views: 2456

Re: Roth conversion with future RMD and SS

Recently I was doing some calculations looking at the effect of Roth conversions on taxation of RMD's and SS. My situation is that I have other income in retirement that puts me in the 12% tax bracket. With my current portfolio size (and associated RMD's) and expected SS, I expect to be in the 12% ...
by celia
Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help make me more employable
Replies: 18
Views: 2515

Re: Help make me more employable

If you want to continue working in testing/research and development in other applications, identify those applications and what you know (and don't yet know). Start learning what you don't know and that will likely lead to other things to learn. Keep reading those journals where you have been publis...
by celia
Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA and non-deductible IRA
Replies: 8
Views: 677

Re: IRA and non-deductible IRA

First, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A NON-DEDUCTIBLE IRA . It is the contributions that are deductible (subtracted on one's tax return) or non-deductible (not subtracted on the tax return). Even if you were to put the two types of contributions into different IRAs, the growth in both accounts would be ...
by celia
Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Possible Change to RMDs? [Executive order]
Replies: 47
Views: 6066

Re: Possible Change to RMDs? [Executive order]

The Wizard wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:03 pm
You are correct.
So that allows even more time for someone to take their required amount...
Even if you delay until the following April for your first RMD, the second one is also due in the same year. You are only delaying the first one a few months.