Search found 437 matches

by Sandi_k
Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: On selling home to a child
Replies: 25
Views: 1610

Re: On selling home to a child

Why involve a real estate agent? I believe CA is like WA in that title companies are the standard. They do all the real work. Simply submit a signed purchase agreement to them. And they will make sure everything is checked and recorded. All a real estate agent does is help identify a buyer. That pa...
by Sandi_k
Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wife New Car Recommendations - SUV
Replies: 51
Views: 3906

Re: Wife New Car Recommendations - SUV

Three members of my family have the Cx-5, and all love theirs.

One other car not yet mentioned: the Honda HR-V. A bit smaller than the CR-V, and I like the styling much better.
by Sandi_k
Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I apply for financial aid if my company reimburses tuition?
Replies: 10
Views: 745

Re: Should I apply for financial aid if my company reimburses tuition?

Yes.

If your company only reimburses for tuition, there are other possible expenses - books, medical coverage, professional degree fees, etc. And of course, it would also help with cash flow.
by Sandi_k
Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance and Retirement Savings
Replies: 21
Views: 2757

Re: Inheritance and Retirement Savings

There are several things to consider, some of which have been mentioned. My thoughts: 1) Max out your DH's 401(k) for 2017 - even 100% of his paycheck for Nov and Dec could get you close. 2) You want the kids' college set up and done. You can set up and fund mega-529's with a 5 year gift election fo...
by Sandi_k
Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?
Replies: 17
Views: 1698

Re: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?

Thank you!
FiveK wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:53 pm

One can get both the correct marginal rates, plus the medicare premium effects, from the Personal_finance_toolbox spreadsheet, if so inclined.
by Sandi_k
Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?
Replies: 17
Views: 1698

Re: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?

Yes, the non-RMD and ability to pass on Roths seems like the big incentives for converting the T-IRA and SEP-IRA. But really, the RMDs on $75k is pretty minimal...so not a huge swing - but it could make a difference in the inheritance/estate planning. Besides the direct tax benefit, there are two ot...
by Sandi_k
Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?
Replies: 17
Views: 1698

Re: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?

Thanks for this, cas and JW-retired. I had no idea about IRMAA, so clearly there's some homework to do. We have been subject to AMT in the past, as a result of my spouse's business income and deductions. I am hopeful that that will not be true, as he's liquidated that business, and our deductions ar...
by Sandi_k
Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?
Replies: 17
Views: 1698

Re: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?

My numbers may be off +/- a year because I don’t know specific birthdays, but it would seem that in 2034/2035 your spouse will begin taking RMD’s and in 2035/2036 you will also begin taking RMD’s, what is the size of those RMD’s given the current size and expected growth of your accounts and based ...
by Sandi_k
Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?
Replies: 17
Views: 1698

Re: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?

and you are including RMDs in 2035? Yes. For tax bracket are you looking at taxable income? You might want to input into tax software/calculator to find actual marginal rate instead of nominal one. That is the expected marginal rate, based on current AGI and federal brackets. If you have lots of ta...
by Sandi_k
Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?
Replies: 17
Views: 1698

Re: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?

smitcat wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:34 pm

At 9.3% state tax and those tax rates perhaps consider buying a condo in a no tax state and establish a primary residence there and use it more than half the year - a place that you may have always wanted to live in.
Oh yeah, FL is in our future. ;)
by Sandi_k
Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?
Replies: 17
Views: 1698

Re: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?

Strayshot, I already have that plotted out as you suggest. And yes, I will have a very generous pension when I retire - nearly 40 years of service in total. Current tax bracket: 33% + 9.3% - for 2017-2025. Retire Feb 2026, age 60: One month income, 10 months retirement income, fall to 25% Fed and 9....
by Sandi_k
Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?
Replies: 17
Views: 1698

Help Me Think About Roth Conversions and Retirement?

So, we're looking at retirement in ~ 8 years. Currently in the 33% federal bracket, 9.3% California. In retirement (pre-SS) we expect to drop to 28% Fed, and stay in the 9.3% California bracket. We currently have almost all of our retirement savings in tax-sheltered accounts, as we have needed the d...
by Sandi_k
Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Freeze - What did you do?
Replies: 71
Views: 5521

Re: Pension Freeze - What did you do?

2) My company gave credit for additional years of service in the lump sum calculation to people who had worked there more than ten years. This helped the older employees do OK . I am not sure how common that is. Thank you to all the comments so far. The item 2) above I had not considered and may be...
by Sandi_k
Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How big a portfolio should I have before retiring?
Replies: 52
Views: 6845

Re: How big a portfolio should I have before retiring?

You're betting that: 1) Your wife will be OK heading off to work for 20+ years after you retired. 2) Your wife doesn't have health issues that would push her towards an earlier retirement date. 3) A 2.7% SWR is OK for a 45+ year retirement. The Trinity Study at 4% was for a 30 year retirement. 4) Yo...
by Sandi_k
Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does my Honda CRV need servicing?
Replies: 11
Views: 938

Re: Does my Honda CRV need servicing?

Yes, it does. At 85k miles, you should have oil & filter changes; transmission fluid flush; radiator fluid flush; brake fluid flush. Presumably other things should have been done, like tire rotation, and inspections of bolts on the chassis; retorque drive shaft and axle bolts. Air filters, cabin fil...
by Sandi_k
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Minnesota house title transfer within family
Replies: 3
Views: 279

Re: Minnesota house title transfer within family

BEFORE you do this, you need to answer some questions: 1) How much did they buy the house for? 2) How much have they spent over the years to improve it? 3) What is its current market value? 4) Do you have siblings? Will they be upset if title is titled to you? You should know from a tax perspective,...
by Sandi_k
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did Backdoor Roth, but there's 35 cents left in TIRA
Replies: 8
Views: 773

Re: Did Backdoor Roth, but there's 35 cents left in TIRA

If the .35 cents is still "invested", I'd move it to their MM fund and let it sit for a week. Then call and convert it - there should be no fluctuation in price with a MM account.
by Sandi_k
Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choose mortgage 15 vs 30 as well choose larger/smaller down payment
Replies: 7
Views: 891

Re: Choose mortgage 15 vs 30 as well choose larger/smaller down payment

A $600k house with 20% down = $480k mortgage, so about 2.5x your base income. Totally appropriate. IIWY, I would do 20% down, and a 15 year mortgage. It is unbelievable how much money you save in interest when it's paid down on that schedule. You have plenty of cushion, and plenty of savings. No rea...
by Sandi_k
Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 229
Views: 28503

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

Because of this thread, I called and instituted two-factor authentication and voice print security protocol with my retirement firm.

Thanks for this thread, Brak - it's chilling. My best wishes for a good resolution for your dad on this issue...
by Sandi_k
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: General Financial Planning Philosophy
Replies: 11
Views: 1258

Re: General Financial Planning Philosophy

Aside from traditional life insurance, should you buy a house - there is mortgage insurance. It pays off the mortgage should one of the homeowners pass. Then the employer-available LI can be used for other things. The best part is that no exam is required. It's "higher cost" than traditional term li...
by Sandi_k
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Dealing with Windfall
Replies: 18
Views: 2492

Re: Help Dealing with Windfall

Hmm.. But since I'm in the 15% tax bracket, my tax rate for qualified dividends is 0% and long term capital gains are 0% 0 according to https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Qualified_dividend So.. why pay taxes for bonds (even if it's low) if I dont have to pay any for holding the total stock market ind...
by Sandi_k
Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses
Replies: 35
Views: 2384

Re: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses

I have simplified our budget enormously over the years, so I make sure it's understandable to my non-Excel-using spouse. 1) I have a budget spreadsheet for each year. Each year has 13 tabs - one for each month, and one tab for "Irregular Expenses." 2) Irregular expenses include things that do not oc...
by Sandi_k
Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do you LBYM? Why do you save and invest?
Replies: 204
Views: 14734

Re: Why do you LBYM? Why do you save and invest?

I'm with other previous posters: I save and invest because of fear. I saw my grandmother widowed, and then her husband's *tiny* pension, which had allowed for some small luxuries, disappeared with him. She was reduced to moving in with each of her daughters, and finding that the two daughters with k...
by Sandi_k
Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Things to buy/repair before (early) retirement
Replies: 32
Views: 3679

Re: Things to buy/repair before (early) retirement

Anything like dental work, new glasses, laser eye correction, dental implants, bunion surgery, etc. with your current doctors and health/dental/vision plan.
by Sandi_k
Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The "interest rates are so low....why would you"arguments
Replies: 62
Views: 6435

Re: The "interest rates are so low....why would you"arguments

I like to tell them "Give me a dollar, and I'll give you .25 back." Somehow, no one ever wants to take me up on it. :D I agree that debt - used STRATEGICALLY - is useful as part of your long-term financial plan. But I abhor interest-only plans, and spending too much (and *I* define what is "too much...
by Sandi_k
Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1547
Views: 273701

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

For Jan 1-Sep 1, 2017: YTD return is 12.70%

77% US Stocks
8% International
10% Bonds
5% cash
by Sandi_k
Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you reverse a lifetime of frugality and learn to spend some money?
Replies: 59
Views: 6410

Re: How do you reverse a lifetime of frugality and learn to spend some money?

For me? It would be about "bucket list" items that are hard to complete while working FT. So I'd write out a 5 item BL, and then ask - "If I were diagnosed tomorrow with an aggressive, incurable form of cancer - would I regret not having done these things?" For me - it helps crystalize my priorities...
by Sandi_k
Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: clearing a title
Replies: 1
Views: 340

Re: clearing a title

I had something similar. Happily, I had purchased an Owners' Title Insurance policy. I emailed the title company, told them the current transaction company could find no record of XX loan/lien being reconveyed, and asked them to investigate. They did - went back to our closing file from 5+ years pre...
by Sandi_k
Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What should the savings be for an average professional
Replies: 168
Views: 16832

Re: What should the savings be for an average professional

Average professionals don't save 20%+ of their income. Average professionals don't LBTM. Average professionals are reflected in the oft-quoted statistics about not being able to come up with $500 in cash for an emergency: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/most-americans-cant-afford-a-500-emergency-expen...
by Sandi_k
Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you know you're not being scammed when buying a house?
Replies: 33
Views: 3248

Re: How do you know you're not being scammed when buying a house?

The legal closing documents are notarized - which means the escrow & title company will require proof of identity from the sellers when they sign over the house. If the house is owned by John and Jane Smith, and the people who come to the closing don't have photo ID proving that, the closing won't g...
by Sandi_k
Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What should the savings be for an average professional
Replies: 168
Views: 16832

Re: What should the savings be for an average professional

Average professionals don't save 20%+ of their income. Average professionals don't LBTM. Average professionals are reflected in the oft-quoted statistics about not being able to come up with $500 in cash for an emergency: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/most-americans-cant-afford-a-500-emergency-expens...
by Sandi_k
Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relative angry I will not co-sign
Replies: 90
Views: 8192

Re: Relative angry I will not co-sign

DW and I are the most financially successful in both of our families. We have given money in some circumstances, but never lent any money. < snip > This might not help the OP, but it may be that we were never asked for a loan because we "got ahead of it" by giving, instead of waiting until we were ...
by Sandi_k
Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living Expenses - what's "reasonable"?
Replies: 101
Views: 9045

Re: Living Expenses - what's "reasonable"?

We live in a HCOL area, and we're targeting a goal of $120k per year. If and when we move to a state with no state income tax, that can be reduced to more like $110k per year.

We *could* reduce those expenses, quite clearly. But for us, that will be a very comfortable and very nice lifestyle.
by Sandi_k
Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to investing
Replies: 46
Views: 2404

Re: New to investing

A few comments, generally organized by what struck me in your posts. 1) You are paying more for your cars than you are for your home. That's insane. Sell the cars, and find something much less expensive until the student loans are done with. 2) Your asset allocation of age in bonds is, IMO, too cons...
by Sandi_k
Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used True SUV recommendations
Replies: 17
Views: 1513

Re: Used True SUV recommendations

Acadia
Armada
Toyota FJ Cruiser (short wheelbase, but 5k lb towing capacity; only seats 5, though)
Toyota 4Runner

The Acadia and Yukon are what we see a lot of at our local boat ramp - domestic brands are much less expensive than Toyotas...
by Sandi_k
Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 276
Views: 24394

Re: A poll: How much money do you want to retire?

We want $1M in investments at age 60 & 62.

When added to the expected pension (COLA included) + retiree health care + Social Security, we'll have a very comfortable retirement.
by Sandi_k
Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it stupid to consider a defined contribution cash balance pension as part of my bond allocation?
Replies: 18
Views: 1951

Re: Is it stupid to consider a defined contribution cash balance pension as part of my bond allocation?

Not stupid, IMO. In fact, I believe I first heard of this "rule of thumb" years ago from jane Bryant Quinn. It is also why I am comfortable with an investment portfolio at 80/15/5 at age 52. Please clarify... [*]Do you or do you not count your cash-balance retirement plan as part of your fixed inco...
by Sandi_k
Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rent vs sell condo with big capital gain
Replies: 17
Views: 1745

Re: Rent vs sell condo with big capital gain

Hello, My SO and I are expanding our family and are close to buying a SFH home. We are debating what to do with the condo we currently own/live in and I am interested in the Board's opinion on whether to rent or sell from purely financial standpoint - time/stress of being a landlord is understood a...
by Sandi_k
Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Illusion of poverty/wealth
Replies: 166
Views: 26622

Re: Illusion of poverty/wealth

I wouldn't give up my $1 million in exchange for $5k monthly payments because I know I can do better than a 6% annual return. How do I know this? 35 years of investing which spans over 2 big market crashes, the Great Recession, and the Greater Rebounding and I still net a double-digit annuallized r...
by Sandi_k
Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it stupid to consider a defined contribution cash balance pension as part of my bond allocation?
Replies: 18
Views: 1951

Re: Is it stupid to consider a defined contribution cash balance pension as part of my bond allocation?

Not stupid, IMO. In fact, I believe I first heard of this "rule of thumb" years ago from jane Bryant Quinn.

It is also why I am comfortable with an investment portfolio at 80/15/5 at age 52.
by Sandi_k
Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan
Replies: 68
Views: 7348

Re: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan

I love reading these forums and seeing other people's stories. One thing I find though is that a lot of people talk about maxing their retirement accounts and doing taxable investing on the side with a salary in the 60 - 80k range. This always throws me off because I could never do it on that money...
by Sandi_k
Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?
Replies: 60
Views: 3351

Re: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?

Currently running through the Death, Sex & Money podcasts - started on the originals from 2014, and now listening to episodes from 2016.
by Sandi_k
Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Approaching major milestone, need cool-headed advice
Replies: 34
Views: 5134

Re: Approaching major milestone, need cool-headed advice

I'd recommend something similar to Klang Fool's suggestion on the house: try to spruce it up and sell it ASAP. For the job, I am someone who values predictability and security highly. So yes, I'd keep working for however long it takes to vest (either at FT or on a PT basis). I think you're under-val...
by Sandi_k
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are folks handling the unprecedented rise in the market ?
Replies: 166
Views: 18881

Re: How are folks handling the unprecedented rise in the market ?

I am looking at the balances on a monthly basis, per my IPS. I am calculating the 5% band for rebalancing among funds, per my IPS. I am doing the math on which funds need some sales, and which funds I should be buying, per my IPS. At the end of the month, when I do my analysis for next month's inves...
by Sandi_k
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for $4 million - can I do all stocks?
Replies: 72
Views: 6299

Re: Investment advice for $4 million - can I do all stocks?

Simple: Can you go 100% stocks? Yes Should you go 100% stocks? No way Go 60/40 or 70/30. Many, many things would have to go exactly as planned for $2 million to become $4 million in 10 years. Absolutely agreed. The OP is assuming (even with the sale of the business) that he will stay employed for t...
by Sandi_k
Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent in safer neighborhood or buy in less safe one?
Replies: 67
Views: 4948

Re: Rent in safer neighborhood or buy in less safe one?

I bought my first house (age 28) in a marginal area because I could not afford the nicer area that I really wanted to be in--the one so close to my work that I could walk. I stuck it out 20 years during which the neighborhood got worse and worse. Finally I got out as I was truly scared for my life ...
by Sandi_k
Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 79
Views: 6356

Re: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?

We are CA natives, and do not have it. Our reasoning: - 90% of the Loma Prieta claims in the Bay Area (1989) were under the deductible amount (i.e., no insurance payout was made). - Our home is of relatively recent construction, and has a bolted foundation, double shearwall construction, etc. - The ...
by Sandi_k
Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Personal Finance Milestone: 20 Times Annual Expense
Replies: 95
Views: 9337

Re: Personal Finance Milestone: 20 Times Annual Expense

Klangfool, I wanted to say Congratulations on the milestone - and thank you for your contributions to this forum. Your posts are always aimed towards simplicity - but not ease. You challenge the conventional American thinking , IMO - in a good way. I look forward to reading further about your saving...