Search found 1095 matches

by Sandi_k
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New financial responsibilities - a young couple seeking advice
Replies: 19
Views: 1485

Re: New financial responsibilities - a young couple seeking advice

If your wife has access to a 403(b), does she also have access to a 457 plan? That would be another $19k each year that could be stashed away pre-tax...
by Sandi_k
Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forgotten Expenses in Retirement--Travel
Replies: 32
Views: 2611

Re: Forgotten Expenses in Retirement--Travel

We're assuming $20k per year for travel.

And we're assuming 3% of the house value for repairs and maintenance.
by Sandi_k
Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Singles/DINKs in HCOL/VHCOL areas, can you please share your budget?
Replies: 21
Views: 2787

Re: Singles/DINKs in HCOL/VHCOL areas, can you please share your budget?

Sandi_k wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:16 pm

Ours, for the outer SF Bay area:

Water $14
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:05 am
How can you keep water bill as low as $14/mon in the Bay area? Mine is many times yours.
We are primarily on well water in our community.
by Sandi_k
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weddings - The good? The bad?
Replies: 47
Views: 4284

Re: Weddings - The good? The bad?

We approached our wedding planning as a memory experiment: what did we remember of the weddings which we had attended? Most obvious for us was a stressed-out couple, followed by poor food, bad weather, no alcohol at the reception, and intrusive photographers. So we decided that our guiding principle...
by Sandi_k
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Singles/DINKs in HCOL/VHCOL areas, can you please share your budget?
Replies: 21
Views: 2787

Re: Singles/DINKs in HCOL/VHCOL areas, can you please share your budget?

Ours, for the outer SF Bay area: Mortgage (P&I) $2,355 Taxes & Insurance: $850 Comcast $125 Gas & Electric $125 Water $14 Garbage $30 Cell phones: $105, 3 lines (2 phones, 1 iPad) Auto Insurance: $320 Housekeeper $150 Gardener $65 Groceries $350 Costco $225 Eating Out $300 Entertainment $50 Pet and ...
by Sandi_k
Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you charge your employer for the time that you spend working on your off days?
Replies: 145
Views: 7562

Re: Do you charge your employer for the time that you spend working on your off days?

A few things come to mind: 1) Update your email auto-responder, for days you will be out of the office. Example: mine says "Please note, I will be out of the office Nov. 1-11, and I will not be responding to email. I will be back in the office on Nov. 12th, and will respond to your email at that tim...
by Sandi_k
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Los Angeles to San Francisco Roadtrip
Replies: 29
Views: 1980

Re: Los Angeles to San Francisco Roadtrip

Greater NorCal thoughts... 1) Yes to the Monterey Aquarium. Note that tix are EXPENSIVE, so be prepared. 2) We really enjoyed staying at a nearby hotel a few years back, that really cast us back to 1970's beach hotels - in a good way. It's the only one right on the beach, and the rooms have drop-dow...
by Sandi_k
Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: inheritance
Replies: 25
Views: 3163

Re: inheritance

You SHOULD NOT try to set up retirement accounts for your kids without their knowledge. There are contribution limits with severe penalties if you get them wrong. I don't see any reasonable way to do that without possibly creating trouble for them with the IRS. Any inheritance would not be a "contr...
by Sandi_k
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: inheritance
Replies: 25
Views: 3163

Re: inheritance

Condolences on your loss. :( My biggest advice would be: do not buy ANY kind of life insurance product that "advisors" try to sell you now. It could be called "whole life", "universal life", "Variable life", etc. All are high-commission, high-fee products that might be useful for billionaires with t...
by Sandi_k
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blankets/Bedding for Cold Winter Nights
Replies: 56
Views: 3482

Re: Blankets/Bedding for Cold Winter Nights

We use flannel sheets and a (very) heavy Korean mink blanket (King-sized) that I found on Amazon for ~ $100.

I can get up to go to the bathroom, and crawl back into a warm cocoon. Love it!
by Sandi_k
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 544
Views: 72381

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

burt wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:23 pm
OK, I'm going to play the devils advocate.

Who would want to spend the majority of their waking hours for 20+ years driving a car?
Hyperbole much?

;)
by Sandi_k
Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)
Replies: 28
Views: 2827

Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Cashier's checks can be forged. Cash or wire when at the bank, only...
by Sandi_k
Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where can I find 2019 CA Income Tax Rates
Replies: 6
Views: 925

Re: Where can I find 2019 CA Income Tax Rates

They're indexed to inflation, and we don't have a final inflation rate for the year.

That said, this should be close:

https://www.halfpricesoft.com/2019/taxr ... a-2019.asp
by Sandi_k
Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)
Replies: 28
Views: 2827

Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

I've sold two cars via CL in the past three years. My method: 1) List it using the CL anonymizer email system. 2) DO NOT include a phone number. 3) Post the listing with at least 10 clear pics: front of car, driver's side, rear bumper, passenger side, driver interior, back seat interior, trunk inter...
by Sandi_k
Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401a, 403b and 457b
Replies: 30
Views: 1784

Re: 401a, 403b and 457b

you also might want to see if CA falls under the windfall provision. In OH, public workers with pensions have SS reduced greatly. Hate to see you bank on that and find out you don't get it all. Ken Good point, Ken. https://www.calpers.ca.gov/page/active-members/retirement-benefits/service-disabilit...
by Sandi_k
Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turks & Caicos on a budget??
Replies: 14
Views: 2501

Re: Turks & Caicos on a budget??

We went in 2017, and stayed at The Sands, on Grace Bay. A 1 Brm condo/apt., with full kitchen, laundry, screened lanai with an ocean view, and the resort was also a turtle-nesting sanctuary. The on-site restaurants were v. expensive, so I highly recommend a rental car... Very cool, decent snorkeling...
by Sandi_k
Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I bought a STOLEN vehicle!!!
Replies: 106
Views: 15201

Re: I bought a STOLEN vehicle!!!

Its a long shot but I wanted to ask if any of you have got into a similar situation and got their money back? So I'll try to keep it as short as possible. Me and my spouse purchased a 2018 Nissan Altima for $13,000 cash from a private seller. Before pulling the trigger on it, I ran a carfax on the ...
by Sandi_k
Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategic Way to take Bonus to minimize Taxes?
Replies: 5
Views: 529

Re: Strategic Way to take Bonus to minimize Taxes?

Can you ask for a 100% match for 2019 and 2020 in the 401(k), and then max it out?

And then get the remaining 50% by Dec 31 2019, and the next 50% in January 2020?
by Sandi_k
Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment help- do we sell to pay down a mortage?
Replies: 12
Views: 1284

Re: Investment help- do we sell to pay down a mortage?

What is your capital gains situation with your prior house? If you would qualify for the homeowners capital gains exclusion that could be a big plus for selling it before you lose that. +10,000 - the tax-free sale of a former personal residence is the best tax break still in existence. IMO. I'd sel...
by Sandi_k
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed
Replies: 23
Views: 1395

Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

https://www.rav4world.com/forums/ Yes, these are pretty active, especially the current Gen5 RAV4 hybrid subforum. https://www.rav4world.com/forums/4-5-rav4-electric-hybrid.201/ I bought a MY 2019 RAV4 Hybrid LTD this past weekend. It has all of 300 miles on it, and I really like it. I've averaged 4...
by Sandi_k
Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing for 15 year?
Replies: 13
Views: 1286

Re: Refinancing for 15 year?

Most mortgagers will also do a 20 year term. Payments are not as high as for a 15 year term, but an enormous amount is going to principal, rather than interest, when you shorten the mortgage that drastically.
by Sandi_k
Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet Another Paying Off Mortgage Thread
Replies: 27
Views: 2961

Re: Yet Another Paying Off Mortgage Thread

I love Watty's point #3 in the previous post. By paying off the mortgage, you have the same taxable income, but it's all discretionary. Not having that P&I could make a nice difference to short-term plans. Another choice that could be a huge help: establish generous superfunded-529s for any grandkid...
by Sandi_k
Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much is the IRMAA Surcharge?
Replies: 13
Views: 1216

Re: How Much is the IRMAA Surcharge?

For DW and I the first surcharge Part B and D level would cost us about $800/year. But that would mean we exceeded $170,000 in joint income, not a worry thus far. Perhaps in a few years when RMDs come calling we might have to pay more, I'm OK with that. I'm not going to willingly reduce our standar...
by Sandi_k
Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much is the IRMAA Surcharge?
Replies: 13
Views: 1216

Re: How Much is the IRMAA Surcharge?

Agree with you about enjoying the fruits of your labor in retirement! You might be able to manage the IRMAA tier you are in without too much effort. For example, if the amount of your portfolio withdrawals puts you just into the 3rd IRMAA tier every year, you could take two years of withdrawals eve...
by Sandi_k
Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much is the IRMAA Surcharge?
Replies: 13
Views: 1216

Re: How Much is the IRMAA Surcharge?

I think we're likely to enjoy the fruits of our labors instead of trying to keep our income artificially low. Our effort and money will go more to converting to Roth (which will help in both RMDs and LT taxes when they re-adjust in 2025, and possibly IRMAA too) than in worrying about this. You shou...
by Sandi_k
Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much is the IRMAA Surcharge?
Replies: 13
Views: 1216

Re: How Much is the IRMAA Surcharge?

Thank you so much! Yes, I had notes about the "IRMAA cliff" and to try and avoid it. But we won't be able to avoid it entirely, as the pension is going to put is firmly in the second tier, and COLAs or investment income drawdown will eventually have us in Tier 3, according to the helpful chart you l...
by Sandi_k
Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much is the IRMAA Surcharge?
Replies: 13
Views: 1216

How Much is the IRMAA Surcharge?

So, ETA to retirement is ~ 6 more years, and we're optimizing what we can with conversions to Roth, forecasting income from various sources, etc. One thing I've read about in passing is the IRMAA surcharge. Lots of comments about avoiding it by keeping taxable income below certain thresholds. Howeve...
by Sandi_k
Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MA - Can I ask tenant for updated income docs?
Replies: 14
Views: 1821

Re: MA - Can I ask tenant for updated income docs?

It's the 4th of the month. Presumably it's late after the 5th. I'd serve notice to evict NOW. Don't wait another month. In November, she'll be crying about being unable to get a place, it's cold, it's winter, and oh yeah, the holidays are coming up, and I shouldn't be homeless during the holiday sea...
by Sandi_k
Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jonathan Clements: About half your retirement accumulation is just the dollars you put in
Replies: 92
Views: 14320

Re: Jonathan Clements: About half your retirement accumulation is just the dollars you put in

In 20 years of savings, our contributions are about 30% of current value. I keep a spreadsheet going back to 2004, detailing end-of-year total contributions. I have to estimate what we saved from 1999-2004. but it wasn't a lot, as we bought a business in 2001, and liquidated a lot of funds to buy it...
by Sandi_k
Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 2527
Views: 465724

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

lostdog wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:47 am
What are the returns like since January 2018?
7.65% for me.

2018: 1.63%
2019, YTD: 13.43%
by Sandi_k
Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 2527
Views: 465724

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

Up 13.43% YTD, from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30th.

69% domestic equity, 14% international equity, 17% Cash & TIPS.
by Sandi_k
Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: So, Wow [AA change after divorce]
Replies: 84
Views: 10909

Re: So, Wow [AA change after divorce]

I'm completely in charge of my mother's assets. Have POA over all the accounts, and a quitclaim deed to the house when she passes, so it won't need to go through probate. My POA also authorizes me to sell the house, if I wish. Hmmm. Are you sure that a quitclaim deed, filed AFTER her passing, is le...
by Sandi_k
Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area teacher saving half my income – why the doubt? (and asking more questions)
Replies: 508
Views: 29996

Re: Bay Area teacher saving half my income – why the doubt? (and asking more questions)

For example, my daughter will go to school full time in two years (she is in half-day transitional kindergarten currently and will go to half-day kindergarten next year). Once she is in 1st grade, my wife will have a lot more time available and going back to work again might make sense if we needed...
by Sandi_k
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area teacher saving half my income – why the doubt? (and asking more questions)
Replies: 508
Views: 29996

Re: Bay Area teacher saving half my income – why the doubt? (and asking more questions)

What is the population of residents in Pleasanton California that work at Facebook, Google, Intel, Cisco, Adobe, etc? As I have already shown you, 50% are in roles that are white-collar, and tech is the majority of white collar work around here. And my example of Workday showed exactly how much an ...
by Sandi_k
Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area teacher saving half my income – why the doubt? (and asking more questions)
Replies: 508
Views: 29996

Re: Bay Area teacher saving half my income – why the doubt? (and asking more questions)

What is the population of residents in Pleasanton California that work at Facebook, Google, Intel, Cisco, Adobe, etc? As I have already shown you, 50% are in roles that are white-collar, and tech is the majority of white collar work around here. And my example of Workday showed exactly how much an ...
by Sandi_k
Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stubborn water spots on car paint - help!
Replies: 12
Views: 711

Re: Stubborn water spots on car paint - help!

sport wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:23 am
Try using ordinary household vinegar. It should dissolve the spots with no abrasion. Then rinse with plain water.
+1 - we use a spray bottle with 50/50 vinegar and water on our boats when we're detailing them. Works well on water spots.
by Sandi_k
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best of Bogleheads - your #1 takeaway
Replies: 151
Views: 15348

Re: Best of Bogleheads - your #1 takeaway

Really? Wow. I've been dealing with car dealers this way since 1997, when I bought a Subaru Legacy wagon using a fax machine. ;) Email is much easier. The email car buying strategies discussed on this forum. I never would have thought that by easily emailing dealerships from the comfort of my own ho...
by Sandi_k
Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Planning - Pension
Replies: 24
Views: 2999

Re: Retirement Planning - Pension

I work for a university with a generous pension plan. However, both DH and I contribute to retirement savings. Our aim in the early years was to max out IRAs for both of us, which worked out to ~ 10% of gross pay each month. Our target is now ~ 20% of gross pay, 30 years later. We have also leverage...
by Sandi_k
Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist
Replies: 122
Views: 8251

Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

DH and I have been together since we were teenagers, and didn't get married (and thus merge finances) until we were in our early 30's. So we transitioned from uneducated kids to income-earning adults together. In terms of natural personalities, sounds like we're similar: I'm the persnickety money ma...
by Sandi_k
Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best of Bogleheads - your #1 takeaway
Replies: 151
Views: 15348

Re: Best of Bogleheads - your #1 takeaway

I was already a Boglehead before I found this site. What have I learned and done, since finding this site? - An IPS - it made me think long and hard about what I valued and thought and believed about investments. - The only things I can control are my savings rate, and low fee investing. - For the f...
by Sandi_k
Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beach City / Town in Florida
Replies: 64
Views: 7521

Re: Beach City / Town in Florida

We liked Vero Beach, the Keys, and Naples. Haven't moved there yet, but we plan to rent (maybe in 2-4 towns) before we buy.
by Sandi_k
Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off house before retirement or have available cash?
Replies: 84
Views: 7110

Re: Pay off house before retirement or have available cash?

I think there will always be a difference of opinion on this topic. And no one knows the answer since it will depend on interest rates, stock market returns and the mortgage rate. < snip > And everyone wishes they could pay off the mortgage w/o touching their investments, but that isn't possible :D...
by Sandi_k
Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off house before retirement or have available cash?
Replies: 84
Views: 7110

Re: Pay off house before retirement or have available cash?

I've evaluated this question for our situation as well... and still do. Below are a few things I've looked into. Haven't paid ours off yet, but our mortgage is only about 7% of our liquid net worth. 1/3 Guideline - If you can pay off your mortgage using 1/3 or less of your "non-retirement" savings ...
by Sandi_k
Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Educating Spouse on Personal Finance
Replies: 60
Views: 3850

Re: Educating Spouse on Personal Finance

Understand that your spouse may have zero interest in finance. When I try to talk with DW about anything financial, she reacts in one of 2 ways. She either gets extremely angry and yells at me or she cries. Obviously, I handle everything financial. She thinks I'm strange because "nobody balances th...
by Sandi_k
Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off house before retirement or have available cash?
Replies: 84
Views: 7110

Re: Pay off house before retirement or have available cash?

15 year loans are being offered at 2.75% right now. Can you refi and make sure more of your payments go to principal?

I agree that you're house-poor. I would be either increasing my savings rate, or thinking hard about downsizing now.
by Sandi_k
Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friend has cancer. What should be the next steps?
Replies: 65
Views: 5200

Re: Friend has cancer. What should be the next steps?

Several things I haven't seen mentioned yet: - Your friend should execute HIPPA releases for his wife, his parents, or any other friends/relatives that will be assisting in care. - He should figure out a PoA for healthcare and financial affairs. - If he has retirement accounts, make sure that the be...
by Sandi_k
Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget for a new professional out of college
Replies: 48
Views: 3156

Re: Budget for a new professional out of college

All Your Worth, by Warren and Tiyagi. It notes that it is hard to get ahead if you are trapped by monthly bills; they therefore recommend that you spend no more than 50% on needs (food, shelter, taxes, transportation) and then save 20% off the top. The remaining 30% can go to "wants" such as enterta...
by Sandi_k
Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying an older used car - any new/different ideas?
Replies: 64
Views: 3576

Re: Buying an older used car - any new/different ideas?

My 80+ year old MIL is looking for a new-to-her car, and we've seen some great bargains. - Buicks. We saw a creampuff Buick LaCrosse nearby - originally $40k+, on sale for $22k, under 20k miles and 3 years old. They have high reliability rankings from JD Powers.... - Lexus. They lose a lot of value ...
by Sandi_k
Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My retirement plan is changing -- AGAIN!!
Replies: 21
Views: 2808

Re: My retirement plan is changing -- AGAIN!!

What are CITs?
by Sandi_k
Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aliens have captured my husband [wants to buy a Porsche]
Replies: 138
Views: 11251

Re: Aliens have captured my husband [wants to buy a Porsche]

I would worry that a late in life change of a frugal nature may be an early sign of cognitive decline. Perhaps helped along by having become accustomed to lavish travel. This can be a serious issue. Cognitive decline happens to the great majority of people who live long enough and 74 is hardly earl...