Search found 271 matches

by annielouise
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you buy a primary residence?
Replies: 29
Views: 1416

Re: How often do you buy a primary residence?

We bought our first house after 8 years of renting. We bought our second house when my husband's company moved us to a new state. We bought our third house (locally) because (a) our neighbors were making our lives miserable and (b) we wanted to cut costs and save more. We bought our fourth house (cu...
by annielouise
Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Savings Account w/o thawing CR
Replies: 18
Views: 1056

Re: Online Savings Account w/o thawing CR

Synchrony has a work around. It requires some followup calls to Synchrony, but it works.
by annielouise
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ESPP Purchase/Sale Specifics
Replies: 6
Views: 273

Re: ESPP Purchase/Sale Specifics

Since it is your first time, be aware that the 15% discount is taxable income (salary). Most companies add it automatically to your paystub and take out income, SS and Medicare taxes. We had one that didn't and that was a bit of a pain.
by annielouise
Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Five years to retirement (article)
Replies: 12
Views: 1832

Re: Five years to retirement (article)

"Imagine you're a 60 year old woman making $140,000 a year" "Imagine you own a $500,000 house in New York and pay $25,000 a year in property taxes, insurance, and maintenance." "Imagine you have 1.5 million in retirement savings and have 5 years to go before you reach retirement." Imagine you wrote...
by annielouise
Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suit Alterations - chain vs local tailor
Replies: 16
Views: 1086

Re: Suit Alterations - chain vs local tailor

Don't know about suits, but I paid $60 a few years back to a local tailor to alter a $50 Nordstrom Rack dress! $75 doesn't sound too bad, except that not that long ago tailoring came free with the suit from those chain stores.
by annielouise
Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing into taxable while spouse is unemployed
Replies: 5
Views: 515

Re: Investing into taxable while spouse is unemployed

Is she looking for another job? If yes, keep an eye on Roth eligibility with severance and new salary. Like us, you may have an end-of-year project to do.😀 We are in a similar situation, but will get $24300 in the 401k by the final paycheck (next week). And yes, taxable sounds fine to me as an alter...
by annielouise
Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: looking for a new (online) savings account home
Replies: 23
Views: 1859

Re: looking for a new (online) savings account home

I have both Marcus (Goldman Sachs) and Synchrony. I definitely prefer Marcus for customer support and website. Who is better in rates varies by the week it seems. I believe Marcus is 1.8% and Synchrony is 1.75% today.
by annielouise
Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: contributions not in line with target allocation intl vs domestic
Replies: 4
Views: 233

Re: contributions not in line with target allocation intl vs domestic

We do a similar strategy with bonds. You may want to check in more frequently than once a year, though, perhaps quarterly. While you may not need to rebalance that often, it wouldn't hurt to check.
by annielouise
Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Masterbath Remodel - Tub or No Tub ?
Replies: 57
Views: 3108

Re: Masterbath Remodel - Tub or No Tub ?

In our first house, we opted for a large shower and no tub for MB. Builder told us it was a huge mistake. Had to sell less than 2 years later. Sold very quickly and buyer said that was their favorite feature. After 2 houses with unused garden tubs, we built our current home with a huge shower and no...
by annielouise
Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon won't sell this book to me.
Replies: 68
Views: 8159

Re: Amazon won't sell this book to me.

It's happened to us several times. Oddly, I have been able to purchase some of the items at a later date. I am exceedingly patient.
by annielouise
Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 529 Withdrawal advice
Replies: 1
Views: 173

Re: 529 Withdrawal advice

We did our bank account, except in years our son was not our dependant. Not sure if it matters, though. If my memory is working, you should take out of the 529 the year the expense is incurred. I highly recommend reading the IRS publication concerning 529s and education credits. It was an invaluable...
by annielouise
Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Input on personal finance decisions
Replies: 8
Views: 1231

Re: Input on personal finance decisions

Just learn from the car decision but don't fret about it. Perhaps you can set a rule for the future. Such as: I won't replace my car until it has x miles on it or costs $y a year in maintenance. 8 months isn't long for recovery as you get older. Give it time. You can find a lower impact activity and...
by annielouise
Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance
Replies: 22
Views: 1418

Re: Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance

I wouldn't go out of my way to buy this policy, but we did sign up through my husband's previous job. For $12/year, he was covered for ~$1M and for $6/year, I was covered for ~$500k (both were an actual multiple of his salary). If offered this at a new job, I would get again.
by annielouise
Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 10 years to lose wealth applicable to bogleheads ?
Replies: 32
Views: 3679

Re: 10 years to lose wealth applicable to bogleheads ?

Never been a 1%er, never will be a 1%er. Never aspired to be either. So, no, that will never apply to us.
by annielouise
Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W-4 allowances: why not withhold the minimum to avoid penalty?
Replies: 17
Views: 1292

Re: W-4 allowances: why not withhold the minimum to avoid penalty?

Just be sure your wife is aware and on board for this plan. Most people wouldn't want a large tax bill or a big "drop" in income next year as a surprise, even when it was a good idea. And put on your calendar to adjust withholding next January.
by annielouise
Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a current car without a console between the front seats?
Replies: 52
Views: 4022

Re: Is there a current car without a console between the front seats?

Some vans, of the mini- and full-size variety, have an open floor between the front seats. You may have to get a very low trim level (think: contractor van) to be so equipped, but they should be available that way. That would also get you a sliding door to make it very easy to load through the side...
by annielouise
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Monthly Water Usage
Replies: 61
Views: 3918

Re: Monthly Water Usage

The city is all over the place for meter reading (25-37 days), but eyeballing it, I would say we average 3000 gal/ mo. That's for 2 people and a sprinkler system run 2 days a week year round (itsy bitsy yard). Our bills average $60 a month and also include garbage.
by annielouise
Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about Cutting Cable
Replies: 18
Views: 1770

Re: Question about Cutting Cable

In our area, Uverse has data caps if you only get internet. I think some of the more expensive internet options (~$80) are unlimited. Last year, I was unable to get any significant savings from them when renewing ($10 off). Maybe they feel differently about it this year, but I have already decided t...
by annielouise
Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will I ever be able to itemize?
Replies: 64
Views: 4205

Re: Will I ever be able to itemize?

We used to double up property tax and charitable donations to itemize every other year (no longer an option for us due to SALT cap). That could be a possibility for you since your property taxes are so low.
by annielouise
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I fix my heating bill?
Replies: 73
Views: 3286

Re: How do I fix my heating bill?

Have you confirmed that your emergency heat isn't coming on every time the heat pump is on. That happened to my neighbor and it was costing him a couple of hundred a month here in Texas. I'm sure that number would be a lot larger up north. We had this problem when we purchased an existing home. The...
by annielouise
Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer/reading classes
Replies: 4
Views: 263

Re: Computer/reading classes

Progressive lenses can be great for combined distance/mid(computer)/reading. There are different levels of quality of lenses which matter most for strong prescriptions (as I understand it). You will definitely want your first pair to be from a place that allows full returns. My husband hated his and...
by annielouise
Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I pay medical expenses out of pocket and save my HSA money?
Replies: 12
Views: 1628

Re: Should I pay medical expenses out of pocket and save my HSA money?

If you are maxing out retirement accounts, it is better to let the HSA grow. If you have $1000 in the bank and a $1000 medical bill, you have the choice between paying $1000 from the HSA now and putting $1000 into a taxable investment account, or paying from the bank and keeping the HSA growing tax...
by annielouise
Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Ira: File Amended Return - Excess Withdrawn Today !
Replies: 7
Views: 449

Re: Roth Ira: File Amended Return - Excess Withdrawn Today !

Hello Friends, Great forum, long time / 1st time. I have a situation and really need advise and help:-- My wife and I contributed full 5500 each in 2017 towards 2017 Roth Ira. We filed the 2017 taxes in April 2018. Now, last month I realized that our income was too high ti have contributed full 550...
by annielouise
Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you learning or studying?
Replies: 92
Views: 6007

Re: What are you learning or studying?

We get Lynda (aka LinkedIn learning) free from our library. I am working on becoming an Excel power user. I'm thinking about trying the accounting courses next.
by annielouise
Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many months of living expenses would you keep in your bank.
Replies: 61
Views: 3855

Re: How many months of living expenses would you keep in your bank.

Too much! We've been talking about this. We have always treated short term savings (car, vacation, durable goods, etc) as separate from our "layoff fund", but realistically we could use those amounts in an emergency and just build them back up. So, after my husband is back to work (knock on wood), w...
by annielouise
Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: COBRA between jobs - pregnancy
Replies: 11
Views: 888

Re: COBRA between jobs - pregnancy

Do you have friends/relatives in your current location so your wife can stay there until after delivery? Sure you will likely miss the birth of your child, but you wouldn't be the first father to do so. Seems like a better alternative.
by annielouise
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 16314

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

I am expecting my 2018 estimates to be close, given the information already released. Shuffling the forms around does not change the underlying calculations. The trouble I am having is learning to relax and not worry about keeping track of itemized deductions anymore since we will be using the new ...
by annielouise
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 16314

Re: IRS published draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

Oh my, so much new stuff to learn. Methinks this will be a mess for awhile.:happy Tax software will handle this just fine. But you're right in that we can't just update the numbers on this year's form from last year's form. I made a reasonable guess as to my 2018 tax liability a while ago and updat...
by annielouise
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help! Late Saver Approaching Retirement
Replies: 24
Views: 1465

Re: Help! Late Saver Approaching Retirement

Good advice given already. I'm trying to wrap my head around a home worth over 2 million with property taxes well under $24k! You will have to consider that if you move to a "LCOL/MCOL" area. Here, in TX, for example, we pay almost $10k property tax on a home with a market value of about $400k. (It'...
by annielouise
Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare HSA to HRA
Replies: 10
Views: 588

Re: Medicare HSA to HRA

Perhaps only recent, non qualified contributions will become an HRA? Sounds like she needs to get clarification.
by annielouise
Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Garrett Planning Network experiences
Replies: 14
Views: 1355

Re: Garrett Planning Network experiences

Wanting a full financial work-up with pretty graphs and charts (and having the money to pay for it) helps. I wanted to just buy time to ask specific questions, and that was a no-go with every Garrett planner in my area.
by annielouise
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap simple tablets?
Replies: 28
Views: 2720

Re: Cheap simple tablets?

Consider used. I think you could find something a year old for very little. There is a huge swath of people who buy and replace ridiculously quickly. I got a used Nvidia which is awesome.
by annielouise
Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer Dryer Deals
Replies: 7
Views: 580

Re: Washer Dryer Deals

I've noticed a number of nearly new washers and dryers being sold on Craigslist, Nextdoor, and at estate sales. It is a significant savings over new.
by annielouise
Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: When you cut spending, what do you cut?
Replies: 84
Views: 8439

Re: Retirees: When you cut spending, what do you cut?

We are looking at a big income drop next year (turns out that DH was paid above market value, so new job - fingers crossed that there will be a new job - will pay a lot less). We are having trouble deciding what to cut. Going to one car, if the job is close enough, could save $700 or more a year in ...
by annielouise
Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Household budgeting and personal finance for teens?
Replies: 5
Views: 486

Re: Household budgeting and personal finance for teens?

What budgeting system do you use? Our son was used to entering purchases into our budget (Excel based) and requested that I make a simpler one for him when he got his first job. He learned nearly everything from being involved with our finances. Later, he went with YNAB, which he and his wife still ...
by annielouise
Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you include in your grocery budget?
Replies: 36
Views: 1707

Re: What do you include in your grocery budget?

Thank you all for your responses. The reason for the question is my “food” category is my largest monthly expense after rent. It is way too high for a single person which made me think I should determine the exact amount of food consumption, at home and eating out. I never gave it a second thought ...
by annielouise
Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dallas Trip
Replies: 20
Views: 1343

Re: Dallas Trip

Where exactly in "Dallas" ? it's a big area! You can get covered seats at a Rangers game, and on a breezy day or evening, that is actually quite pleasant even in the summer. If you like art museums, you can do the DMA and,/or Nasher Sculpture in Dallas. Meadows on the SMU campus is nice, too. George...
by annielouise
Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will (or would) you tip when wages go up?
Replies: 53
Views: 3576

Re: What will (or would) you tip when wages go up?

When we travel, we check* minimum wage laws for the state/ city and tip accordingly. We try to always tip with cash wherever we are. * The spreadsheet we use for packing/ trip planning includes a link to the Wikipedia entry for wage laws. I don't understand. What exactly does "tip accordingly" mean...
by annielouise
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you include in your grocery budget?
Replies: 36
Views: 1707

Re: What do you include in your grocery budget?

We also include all the stuff that gets used up and replaced regularly under groceries - food, personal care, cleaning supplies, paper products, OTC meds.
Eating out is a subcategory of entertainment in our budget. But we may be the only people who view it that way.
by annielouise
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will (or would) you tip when wages go up?
Replies: 53
Views: 3576

Re: What will (or would) you tip when wages go up?

When we travel, we check* minimum wage laws for the state/ city and tip accordingly. We try to always tip with cash wherever we are. * The spreadsheet we use for packing/ trip planning includes a link to the Wikipedia entry for wage laws. I don't understand. What exactly does "tip accordingly" mean...
by annielouise
Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will (or would) you tip when wages go up?
Replies: 53
Views: 3576

Re: What will (or would) you tip when wages go up?

When we travel, we check* minimum wage laws for the state/ city and tip accordingly. We try to always tip with cash wherever we are.

* The spreadsheet we use for packing/ trip planning includes a link to the Wikipedia entry for wage laws.
by annielouise
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retire at 50: Should I?
Replies: 93
Views: 12143

Re: Retire at 50: Should I?

I'm about the most pessimistic person on here when it comes to "can I retire" posts, and even I will say "yes!"
by annielouise
Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need advise with the first investment
Replies: 12
Views: 534

Re: Need advise with the first investment

Thanks for your quick response and sorry for missing some important information in the original post. 1. My investment horizon is for 10-15 years 2. I do not have any Debt for now. 3. My current employer does not have any 401(K) Plan. 5. I will max out my Roth IRA investment. You may also want to m...
by annielouise
Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you including SS in your planning model? Are the benefits really that high?
Replies: 148
Views: 11652

Re: Are you including SS in your planning model? Are the benefits really that high?

We have paid off our house ($380k), live pretty frugally (~$65k/yr), and have saved ok for retirement (net worth is a bit over $2M). TIL $65k/year is "pretty frugally" and $2M is "saved okay." :P In my previous job, I worked with so many clients who earned under $20k, that $65k seems extravagant to...
by annielouise
Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ownership at Ally
Replies: 7
Views: 654

Re: ownership at Ally

Capital One 360 offers "joint" as an option when starting an application. I am 99% sure that our brick and mortar Cap1 checking is JWROS, just because that is the type of question that we always ask/verify since we have different last names.
by annielouise
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you including SS in your planning model? Are the benefits really that high?
Replies: 148
Views: 11652

Re: Are you including SS in your planning model? Are the benefits really that high?

Plan for no SS, no pension, 0% real growth, elimination of Roth and HSA tax advantages, inability to work past 65, death of a spouse, a 100-year lifespan with the last 20 years in assisted living, and a zombie apocalypse, and you'll be fine. If things turn out rosier, that's just extra gravy. That ...
by annielouise
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my allocations
Replies: 17
Views: 1777

Re: Help with my alocations

Thanks . I am working on simplifying our allocations. As my allocation is high on stocks, is it worth moving stock funds to balanced funds (VBIAX) either fully or in part? If your goal is to have a portfolio that is set and forget, you may want a Target date fund. If your goal is a simple low cost ...
by annielouise
Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard - You'll need to sign up for security codes soon
Replies: 49
Views: 8136

Re: Vaguard - You'll need to sign up for security codes soon

While my wife is quite adept with smartphones and computers, she will not tolerate time on investments. I am an authorized agent on her account, it all appears with my log in and all is good. We have multiple accounts, TIRA, Roth, Taxable X2, and a JTROS Ditto on the multiple accounts. How much eff...
by annielouise
Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to find a tax adviser?
Replies: 4
Views: 567

Re: How to find a tax adviser?

Most tax offices (H&R Block, Liberty, etc) that are permanent will have people who work year round. Ask if they have an enrolled agent who can help you. I can't count the number of times that I had to do an amended return for someone who had free help from a volunteer (like AARP tax help) where mist...