Search found 150 matches

by Dantes
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rent (free at library) or buy books?
Replies: 40
Views: 2104

Re: Rent (free at library) or buy books?

I buy physical books. The only time I read ebooks is when I'm traveling; and then its usually books out of copyright and available for free. I'm fortunate to spend time in a location with excellent new and used bookstores. Buying and reading books is my main luxury. I read relatively few new books, ...
by Dantes
Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding acct to pull money for a new car?
Replies: 10
Views: 569

Re: Deciding acct to pull money for a new car?

It also depends on what your tax rate would be on withdrawals from tax deferred; if you would owe capital gains then its possible you are in the new 12% bracket. That would certainly be attractive. You don't say if you are receiving Social Security and if there would be tax impact there as well.
by Dantes
Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are some good, older threads?
Replies: 20
Views: 1898

Re: What are some good, older threads?

One of my favorite threads is the thread of favorite threads,

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=143500&newpost=2586785

And I will add I think I have read all of munchkinman's posts, and nearly all of sscritic - thats two very different poster!
by Dantes
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plow Guy Raised Rates
Replies: 112
Views: 9309

Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

I'd say the lack of notification is plenty of incentive to look for another plow guy. I can't imagine there's not plenty of competition. Every town in Maine with a population of 1000 must have 10 guys who would like to make a living plowing driveways.
by Dantes
Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare choices unclear while still employed
Replies: 7
Views: 454

Re: Medicare choices unclear while still employed

I'm over 65 and still working. We were expected to sign up for Medicare Part A at 65; as you note there is no cost and no downside unless one wants to contribute to an HSA. I will sign up for Medicare Part B when I am a month or two from retirement, to start the month after the month when I retire (...
by Dantes
Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2749
Views: 878525

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Midnight Line by Lee Child. One of his best.
by Dantes
Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2749
Views: 878525

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Moby-Dick or The Whale (1851) by Herman Melville After years of putting it off, I have finally decided to go to sea. That is, I will embark on the reading of Moby-Dick! This will be a long journey, some 730 pages. I am only on page 7, but have already decided I quite enjoy the narrator’s musings. I...
by Dantes
Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much to covert to Roth?
Replies: 27
Views: 2396

Re: How much to covert to Roth?

How did you contribute to a Roth IRA this year without W-2 income? Is it possible with just 1099-MISC income?

Also, I assume the 35K stipend you are including in your tax calculations is after the payment of qualified expenses such as tuition and books.
by Dantes
Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Explain the new tax bill 12% bracket to me
Replies: 18
Views: 3431

Re: Explain the new tax bill 12% bracket to me

$1,905 + 15% of the amount over $19,050 is from the former brackets. There are lots of web sites still up with outdated information.

Oblivious Invester has a nice simple 2018 bracket listing at https://obliviousinvestor.com
by Dantes
Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell taxable while in 0% capital gains bracket (to help cost basis)?
Replies: 16
Views: 1333

Re: Sell taxable while in 0% capital gains bracket (to help cost basis)?

betablocker wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:08 am
I’d also look into the rule for the ACA 3.8% tax.
In the 15% tax bracket?
by Dantes
Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell taxable while in 0% capital gains bracket (to help cost basis)?
Replies: 16
Views: 1333

Re: Sell taxable while in 0% capital gains bracket (to help cost basis)?

I personally would sell the non-covered shares, and immediately repurchase the same funds (unless you need to rebalance). It makes future tax gain or tax loss harvesting simpler, and since your basis will be higher it makes the possibility of tax loss harvesting much higher.
by Dantes
Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?
Replies: 260
Views: 20020

Re: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?

No, not meaningful.

We've claimed standard deduction for a few years now, so we get a bit of benefit from the slight increase provided by the new deduction amount (compared to the previous deduction plus exemption amount), and the slightly lower tax rate. Its way less than, say, a decent raise.
by Dantes
Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for month of the year to retire
Replies: 33
Views: 2518

Re: Strategy for month of the year to retire

I expect to retire in a few months. The primary driver for timing was crossing a work anniversary that is also a vesting point for retiree benefits. To that date I added a bit of safety margin, and then a couple of more days so that I work just into an additional month; that provides one more month ...
by Dantes
Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling an out of print book
Replies: 12
Views: 1128

Re: Selling an out of print book

There is not a direct relationship between scarcity and value. For there to be some kind of predictable value there needs to be known demand. The usual reason for a book from 2011 to be out of print is that the book was not selling enough to make it worthwhile to keep in print. The usual reason for ...
by Dantes
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 33 years old, 13 years IT experience, currently make 63k a year. I need advice to start making more money
Replies: 76
Views: 6732

Re: 33 years old, 13 years IT experience, currently make 63k a year. I need advice to start making more money

OP - I didn't start in IT until I was older than you are now, so you are way ahead of where I was at that time, and things worked out ok for me. However, I had a BA degree; without that I would have gotten nowhere. Sure it was in English literature, and its true I also racked up a lot of math and co...
by Dantes
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: help me predict investment return of my kid's IRA
Replies: 17
Views: 916

Re: help me predict investment return of my kid's IRA

4%,compounded annually, 42 years, would be $29,428. But if you continue to put in 5500 (458.33 monthly) every year for the next 42 years, they would have $627,629. I think that would make a really good lesson for them. Thats not based on historical market performance, but whats the point of everyone...
by Dantes
Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LMP until Social Security at 70
Replies: 10
Views: 960

Re: LMP until Social Security at 70

Those remaining three years presumably represent about $180,000. If you pick up an extra per cent of return over the five years before you access those funds your additional return would be just under $10,000. For five years out I personally would go for a conservative blend of stocks and bonds, but...
by Dantes
Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Goals - Financial or Otherwise
Replies: 68
Views: 5579

Re: 2018 Goals - Financial or Otherwise

1. Retire. That should be easy since I'll be late to retirement. 2. Put up a web site that I have been planning for about a year. 3. Work my way though a calculus textbook with some discipline. When I took calculus in an evening course many years ago I thought it excessively mechanical, but I had yo...
by Dantes
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The annoying insistence on frivolous credit checks/pulls
Replies: 35
Views: 3316

Re: The annoying insistence on frivolous credit checks/pulls

I froze my credit after the Equifax (pirates) hack after reading here that many have done it and it was not an inconvenience. It was said that when applying for credit just find out which bureau (spy) they use and unfreeze that one. So, a few weeks ago I wanted to apply for a new credit card so I c...
by Dantes
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furniture
Replies: 22
Views: 1986

Re: Furniture

We have one piece of quality furniture we purchased early on, when it was a real sacrifice. 35 year later we still have it; its still well made and its still comfortable. DW makes noises about having it reupholstered, but that does not seem urgent. So we certainly do not regret that. But we haven't,...
by Dantes
Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Geneology: finding the house a dead relative lived in.
Replies: 14
Views: 1282

Re: Geneology: finding the house a dead relative lived in.

In the rural town I grew up in there were no street numbers until there was a state-wide push to assign numbers when state-wide 911 was implemented. Local tax assessment - for decades before and after the forties - was based on property maps and "lot numbers". These were multi-page maps of the towns...
by Dantes
Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Got $1 million to retire? Here’s how long it will last, by U.S. state"
Replies: 50
Views: 10823

Re: "Got $1 million to retire? Here’s how long it will last, by U.S. state"

So here is how they come up with 19 years 7 months for Maine, the state I expect to live in when retired: They use a single national figure for average household expenses 65 or more years old, 45,756. They multiply that by the 2nd quarter cost of living index which is by state; 111.7 for Maine. 1.11...
by Dantes
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What strategies do you use to manage risk in your portfolio?
Replies: 21
Views: 1395

Re: What strategies do you use to manage risk in your portfolio?

1, 6, and 7. Plus having adequate guaranteed income.

I assume #2, diversification, is something different from a traditional asset allocation?
by Dantes
Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When everything goes up, what goes down & vice versa
Replies: 28
Views: 3387

Re: When everything goes up, what goes down & vice versa

If every type of investment goes up then more money is being spent on investments of all types. That money must come from someplace, so doesn't that imply that cash deposits are reduced, or that debt is increased, or that the money supply is raised?
by Dantes
Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boston to Bar Harbor trip
Replies: 33
Views: 2389

Re: Boston to Bar Harbor trip

hoops777 wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:09 pm
Also wondering how the fall colors are doing.
Thanks!
Colors are late this year. I am in Maine this weekend and there is the merest hint of color in the trees. Usual the peak color is in another week or two but I doubt that for this year.
by Dantes
Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have X times your salary saved by age Y.
Replies: 60
Views: 6663

Re: Have X times your salary saved by age Y.

Its all about expenses. Bogleheads has a lot of posts from people about maximizing tax-deferred savings, and it also has a lot of posts from people discussing how to minimize the amount of tax-deferred savings they have to withdraw. Saving 25 times your salary makes sense if (1) your savings will be...
by Dantes
Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Miles Davis: Kind of Blue - Question for Jazz experts
Replies: 49
Views: 3635

Re: Miles Davis: Kind of Blue - Question for Jazz experts

Also no expert. But try recordings by Bill Evans; he was pianist on Kind of Blue, and released quite a few recordings with trios or as solo pianist. His solo of "Never Let Me go" on his album Alone is one of my all time favorites.
by Dantes
Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best internet provider in Boston?
Replies: 8
Views: 726

Re: Best internet provider in Boston?

I have Comcast for Internet, just across the river from OP, and have had no problems with it; speed is fine for my needs, and its very rare to have a slowdown.
by Dantes
Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3267
Views: 946148

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Logan Lucky. Very enjoyable, and a real ensemble performance. I found Daniel Craig really funny.
by Dantes
Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Restricted SS Application - Language Check
Replies: 19
Views: 1249

Re: Filing Restricted SS Application - Language Check

That certainly seems fine. I filed for spousal benefits last year and it went smoothly. I used I wish to exclude Retirement benefits from the scope of this application. I wish for my restricted spousal benefit to begin in <month>. I do not wish to begin my own retirement benefit. Your language is mo...
by Dantes
Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2749
Views: 878525

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Goodbye Look by Ross Macdonald. I'm a fan of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler; Ross MacDonald was their natural successor, so I don't know why I have never gotten around to reading his books. But I'm glad I did: The Goodbye Look is excellent and I am looking forward to reading the other Le...
by Dantes
Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should emergency funds be included in AA?
Replies: 45
Views: 3034

Re: Should emergency funds be included in AA?

I exclude it from my asset allocation. A few years ago I took 25K and put in in an Ally Bank account: thats my main emergency fund. Its separate - if I have to spend it it won't effect my real investment accounts or asset allocation - I feel that it protects my investments from the impact of having ...
by Dantes
Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 259
Views: 32927

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun is my favorite story. I've read it multiple times and always find new things to appreciate. Got to agree with you. I read it when it was relatively new , and have reread every few years since - given that that makes it about 35 years, 8 times seems conservative.
by Dantes
Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying beach bungalow in San Diego for Winters
Replies: 55
Views: 5344

Re: Buying beach bungalow in San Diego for Winters

I'm curious - is there a place in the US in the same range of desirability as a beach bungalow in San Diego where the purchase cost can be covered by renting it out for 8 months, reserving the winter months for oneself? Let me rephrase your question:. Are there affordable beach front houses in temp...
by Dantes
Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS combined income for first year
Replies: 4
Views: 781

Re: SS combined income for first year

She would owe tax on the payments she received during the year; an example: DW started social security in December of last year; her first check was in January this year. She received no tax form from Social Security for 2016.
by Dantes
Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying beach bungalow in San Diego for Winters
Replies: 55
Views: 5344

Re: Buying beach bungalow in San Diego for Winters

I'm curious - is there a place in the US in the same range of desirability as a beach bungalow in San Diego where the purchase cost can be covered by renting it out for 8 months, reserving the winter months for oneself?
by Dantes
Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Retirement Account [why doesn't Vanguard have a ROTH 403b?]
Replies: 10
Views: 827

Re: Vanguard Retirement Account [why doesn't Vanguard have a ROTH 403b?]

I have a Roth option in my 403B Account at Vanguard so I would say it depends upon your employer's arrangements, not on Vanguard.
by Dantes
Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Other with a Vanguard managed 401k w/ Roth option
Replies: 4
Views: 424

Re: Other with a Vanguard managed 401k w/ Roth option

Yes; in "Balances and Holdings" I have two retirement accounts; each has a link to "Go to my retirement plans area". There I click on the name of the "Plan" the contains the Roth funds. There I have options to view by Fund, Asset class or Source of contribution. It seemed simpler to me to isolate th...
by Dantes
Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Other with a Vanguard managed 401k w/ Roth option
Replies: 4
Views: 424

Re: Other with a Vanguard managed 401k w/ Roth option

Similar situation. I was really surprised that a separate account was not created when the Roth option was added. The best way to differentiate on line that I have discovered is the "Source of Contributions" option in the Retirement Center view. I do not imagine this will be a problem; however I wan...
by Dantes
Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Guard Against These 3 Nonfinancial Retirement Risks"
Replies: 5
Views: 1149

Re: "Guard Against These 3 Nonfinancial Retirement Risks"

But I would say you'd want to think about having well over $3 million in assets if self-funding long-term care needs were a goal for you. That seems extreme - what is that, 20 years of LTC? I'd be willing to consider LTC insurance that kicked in only outlier case such as after, say, two years. I wo...
by Dantes
Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your health insurance stats?
Replies: 89
Views: 6389

Re: What are your health insurance stats?

Employer Plan, just me, Massachusetts, higher ed
81.00 every two weeks.
Deductible 250
Out of pocket maximum (from deductible and copay): 1500
Dental separate
by Dantes
Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Part-time computer science graduate schools in Boston area?
Replies: 26
Views: 2712

Re: Part-time computer science graduate schools in Boston area?

Over the past 10 years I've taken 4 classes in Computer Science from Harvard's Division of Continuing Education. They were really excellent classes, the best I've taken. One was the hardest class I've ever taken, another was the most directly useful class I've ever taken. They can be taken for eithe...
by Dantes
Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is Municipal Bond Interest NOT "Tax-free"...
Replies: 15
Views: 1842

Re: When is Municipal Bond Interest NOT "Tax-free"...

Then no income is tax free until one has reached the point where the maximum amount of Social Security income is already taxed.
by Dantes
Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Biographies and Memoirs
Replies: 33
Views: 2626

Re: Favorite Biographies and Memoirs

I particularly like autobiographies and memoirs, so this is a subject I am enthusiastic about. OP has Grant on his list; both Grant and Sherman wrote first-rate autobiographies; the Library of America has published good editions of both. Memoirs that feel like they were written by people like "us" b...
by Dantes
Thu May 11, 2017 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What newspaper or magazine do you pay for?
Replies: 107
Views: 7029

Re: What newspaper or magazine do you pay for?

New York Times (digital) New Yorker New York Review of Books Latham's Quarterly Cooks Illustrated And other subscriptions that come and go because of whim or a weak moment or a school fundraiser: TV Guide (I used to read it cover to cover in the sixties, but then I read AB Bookman's Weekly cover to ...
by Dantes
Tue May 09, 2017 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Survivor Benefits
Replies: 13
Views: 1765

Re: SS Survivor Benefits

A surviving widow or widower who is at least at full retirement age would get the amount of benefits their spouse would be entitled to if still alive.
by Dantes
Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grandparents helping with College tuition
Replies: 27
Views: 2439

Re: Grandparents helping with College tuition

I have similar plans, but have always assumed that the simplest way was to simply pass along our contribution to the parents each year; they use it towards the school bills and can take advantage of tax deduction or tax credit, whichever seems best to them. My expectation is that this will have the ...
by Dantes
Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2749
Views: 878525

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Possessed. Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman. Basically a collection of essays about her experiences as a graduate student in Russian Lit at Stanford with sojourns abroad - Samarkand, Turkey, etc. Funny, absurd, but also real. In spite of the humor and o...
by Dantes
Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to expand my vocabulary?
Replies: 102
Views: 7574

Re: Best way to expand my vocabulary?

Essays - particularly older essays; go to a used bookstore and ask for collections of essays; they are usually a drug on the market and can be had cheaply. The older the better.
by Dantes
Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safest way to encrypt pdf tax documents to send via email?
Replies: 40
Views: 4219

Re: Safest way to encrypt pdf tax documents to send via email?

While there are a lot of choices, it seems pretty clear that the simplest method is to put copies in an envelope and mail them. And that, unless the documents must be delivered immediately, traditional mail is superior to email for reasons of security and simplicity,