Search found 548 matches

by Independent
Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I consider Social Security Benefits as Assets
Replies: 44
Views: 4427

Re: Should I consider Social Security Benefits as Assets

I think it depends on what you intend to do with the net worth information. Personally, I don't see any use for knowing net worth. I don't consider SS to be an asset although I do consider it very valuable. I consider it an income stream. +1 Some people like to see their invested assets grow every ...
by Independent
Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do people afford children with a SAHS?
Replies: 183
Views: 16473

Re: How do people afford children with a SAHS?

People have different personalities. My wife quit her teaching career to become a SAHM when our first child was born. But, she worked for 7 years before that happened. We had recorded every expense for years before she quit her job. We could look at our spending and see how we would live on just my ...
by Independent
Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do people afford children with a SAHS?
Replies: 183
Views: 16473

Re: How do people afford children with a SAHS?

How do other people do it? Here's a budget for a married couple with children and a mortgage. This is the average spending per the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Some of these couples have two workers. I'd expect that a SAHM would allow you to reduce Child Care, Food away from home, and transportation...
by Independent
Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: retiring at 65 vs 66
Replies: 14
Views: 2454

Re: retiring at 65 vs 66

$1,175 vs. $1,255 looks like the SS early retirement ratio. If this is a SS benefit, look up any of the "when to start SS" threads. If your friend is single and in ordinary health, it doesn't matter much. If you friend has a special health situation, or has a spouse who could eventually get a surviv...
by Independent
Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why did you take SS at FRA instead of delaying until 70?
Replies: 69
Views: 11193

Re: Why did you take SS at FRA instead of delaying until 70?

I was planning to wait until 70, but will now probably start around 68 1/2.
This is due to changes in my spouse's health.
by Independent
Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Roth IRA Conversion calculator
Replies: 9
Views: 1580

Re: Best Roth IRA Conersion calculator

I am currently in the 25% tax bracket, and expect to stay there if I were to take RMD's from my IRA in 5 years. By "breaking even", I meant if you look at the total pot of non-IRA money, IRA, and Roth IRA money, that total will be less each year by the taxes paid on each conversion, with the taxes ...
by Independent
Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Roth IRA Conversion calculator
Replies: 9
Views: 1580

Re: Best Roth IRA Conersion calculator

I'm not sure what you mean by "break even". Could you give an example with some simple numbers?
by Independent
Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security estimated benefits accuracy with 'spotty' earnings
Replies: 27
Views: 3189

Re: Social Security estimated benefits accuracy with 'spotty' earnings

The first sentence "If your estimated ..." was meant to cover that. The OP states that he has an "official SS Admin report". If his benefit shown on that report are in the band I specified, then he is currently in the marginal 32% band. Below the $750/$9,000, he'd be in the 90% band. Above $2,000/$2...
by Independent
Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security estimated benefits accuracy with 'spotty' earnings
Replies: 27
Views: 3189

Re: Social Security estimated benefits accuracy with 'spotty' earnings

If your estimated benefit is between $750 and $2,000 per month ($9,000 and $24,000 per year), then you are in the 32% band.

Add up your estimated covered earnings for the next 3-4 years, divide by 35, multiply by 32% and that will be the increase in your annual benefit at your normal retirement age.
by Independent
Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance--- term
Replies: 17
Views: 2265

Re: Life Insurance--- term

I am now faced with question of whether we need another 1mm in coverage. I want my family to be able to live a moderate/comfortable lifestyle and the kids college to be paid for if God forbid something were to happen. ? The answer is probably "no". If you're a high income individual, and your spous...
by Independent
Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage Planning: Student Loans and General Finances Questions
Replies: 3
Views: 775

Re: Marriage Planning: Student Loans and General Finances Questions

My wife said she didn't like those solitary diamonds, and why put money into any expensive ring as we were on a tight budget? We said I'd buy her a ring she really liked for our tenth anniversary. Fortunately, we were in better financial shape by then and buying a nicer ring (still no diamonds) was ...
by Independent
Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to save?
Replies: 55
Views: 12542

Re: How much to save?

Flipping through my copy, I assume you're referring to the part that says, "When you earn a dollar, try to save a minimum of twenty cents." Earn definitely makes me think it's referring to pre-tax money. I wouldn't get too wrapped up about the exact definition though. There are so many variables (y...
by Independent
Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ss or wait
Replies: 12
Views: 2127

Re: ss or wait

Chained CPI would also mean smaller adjustments to the tax brackets -- effectively a tax increase compared to status quo. Yep. When I'm trying to estimate my personal odds on this, I consider that it would be politically difficult to go to chained CPI just for SS benefits. But, there would also be ...
by Independent
Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ss or wait
Replies: 12
Views: 2127

Re: ss or wait

You're missing the uncertainty about what the politicians will do. If I were sure they wouldn't do anything, I would have started at 62. Since all the statements I've heard start with "First, I would never cut benefit for people already retired, or close to retirement", I think there's a high probab...
by Independent
Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What antivirus software?
Replies: 47
Views: 6796

Re: What antivirus software?

I use Windows Defender, primarily because it's free.

I'm interested in comments about it.
by Independent
Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help review a monthly budget
Replies: 20
Views: 4705

Re: Help review a monthly budget

I always liked Crown Money Map I found it helpful even if I did not need all the categories. https://www.crownmoneymap.org/MoneyMap/ASP/budgetguide.asp This is an interesting tool. When I was working for an "integrated financial services" company, I pitched the idea of building something similar (t...
by Independent
Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Insurance LTC
Replies: 2
Views: 709

Re: Long Term Care Insurance LTC

Note that the linked article is about group Long Term Care insurance, not individual.

Are you sure you want to concentrate on group policies?
by Independent
Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm spending 20% more than what i estimate. Easy way to track my expenses?
Replies: 52
Views: 14959

Re: I'm spending 20% more than what i estimate. Easy way to track my expenses?

I expect he will get to day 21 and be broke:) Seriously it will probably take like 2 hours to go through 6 months of credit card statements and get real numbers. You will spend more time going to the ATM:). If you are not willing to do that, you just don't care. Did you miss the "weekly" or "divide...
by Independent
Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm spending 20% more than what i estimate. Easy way to track my expenses?
Replies: 52
Views: 14959

Re: I'm spending 20% more than what i estimate. Easy way to track my expenses?

Not really. The problem isn't spending too much money. That may or may not be an issue. The problem is not knowing where that 500 is going. I am guessing going through a couple months of statements will clear it up pretty quickly. You will either see a ton of stuff you missed or that you grossly un...
by Independent
Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget and Housing Question
Replies: 10
Views: 2079

Re: Budget and Housing Question

What do I need to do to retire by 50? More income or lower expenses. Here's some extremely simple math: You want to work 16 more years to fund a (let's guess) 48 year retirement. So one year of savings has to cover 3 years of retirement. Even if that one year of savings has 20 years to grow, it won...
by Independent
Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your retirement goals
Replies: 31
Views: 4954

Re: Your retirement goals

59 $50k/year to continue spending at our "before retirement rate" --- plus $40k for the first 10 years for "fun stuff we never did when I was working" $48k/year, starting at 66 and 70 Yes (plus a lump sum to finish college for a couple kids, for kid's weddings, etc.) Another interesting question is:...
by Independent
Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm spending 20% more than what i estimate. Easy way to track my expenses?
Replies: 52
Views: 14959

Re: I'm spending 20% more than what i estimate. Easy way to track my expenses?

or an easier way for the next 6 months? The "easier way" is to get rid of the credit card. Hit the ATM once each week, put a fixed number of dollars* in your wallet, don't spend money unless you have cash in your wallet. Problem solved. Okay, in the modern world you probably have some recurring exp...
by Independent
Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance/Social Security Widow Benefit
Replies: 10
Views: 3273

Re: Life insurance/Social Security Widow Benefit

Anybody who uses the Bogleheads Wiki certainly thinks about it -- it's the second line in the worksheet: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Life_insurance I did. My reason for buying life insurance was to provide income so my wife could afford to stay home with the kids. SS was a significant offset to ...
by Independent
Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget and Housing Question
Replies: 10
Views: 2079

Re: Budget and Housing Question

Yes, your housing expense is high. The rule of the thumb is that PITI shouldn't exceed 28% of your gross income. OTOH, you're on a 10 year amortization schedule. You can say that you've simply taken some of the money that other people would use to buy stocks and bonds, and used it to buy home equity...
by Independent
Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help review a monthly budget
Replies: 20
Views: 4705

Re: Help review a monthly budget

I can't tell you how you "should" spend your money. I can give you an idea of how other American families spend their money. The numbers below are the average (mean) spending by married-couple families, with both children and mortgages. I've put the average before your numbers. Note that categories ...
by Independent
Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Drawing from Retirement Savings to Delay SS
Replies: 43
Views: 9538

Re: Drawing from Retirement Savings to Delay SS

1. How much of your retirement savings in percentages do you plan on depleting in order to fund your delay? about 20% 2. Are you currently delaying? One of us started at 66 to claim spousal benefits. The other is 68 and hasn't started yet. 3. Will/does the performance of your portfolio change your s...
by Independent
Sat Jun 27, 2015 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assuming Retirement Withdrawal from Portfolio Value
Replies: 14
Views: 2515

Re: Assuming Retirement Withdrawal from Portfolio Value

When you do this with $700,000 you get $28,000. I'm puzzled at how great the difference is. And I wish to point out I don't really care about having anything left after 30 years. All the responses above are good reasons why the big difference between $40,000 and $28,000. Note that the $28k assumes ...
by Independent
Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Value in Terms of Monthly Benefit
Replies: 8
Views: 2708

Re: Pension Value in Terms of Monthly Benefit

I agree with Alex, it looks like you found a Single Premium Deferred Annuity. In this case, you give the ins company $1 million today, they start sending you monthly checks of $13,700 25 years from now. I don't think that's what you want if you're trying to figure out how much you'd have to save eve...
by Independent
Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percent of your spending is "basic" and what percent is "discretionary"?
Replies: 42
Views: 9784

Re: What percent of your spending is "basic" and what percent is "discretionary"?

This is all about definitions. Is my internet cost "basic" or "discretionary"? I use it a lot, but I know that I lived most of my life without it, and the library has free internet. Same with air conditioning. I really like it, but I grew up without it... I think the question only makes sense if I k...
by Independent
Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Value in Terms of Monthly Benefit
Replies: 8
Views: 2708

Re: Pension Value in Terms of Monthly Benefit

If all of your assumptions are correct, it looks like you did the math right. I'd suggest listing the assumptions: 1. You'll die exactly at age 85. 2. You will have no salary increases in 20 years. 3. There won't be any inflation. 4. You won't change jobs. 5. You can get 6% before retirement. 6. Yo...
by Independent
Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Value in Terms of Monthly Benefit
Replies: 8
Views: 2708

Re: Pension Value in Terms of Monthly Benefit

If all of your assumptions are correct, it looks like you did the math right. I'd suggest listing the assumptions: 1. You'll die exactly at age 85. 2. You will have no salary increases in 20 years. 3. There won't be any inflation. 4. You won't change jobs. 5. You can get 6% before retirement. 6. You...
by Independent
Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney World Orlando Advice
Replies: 36
Views: 11402

Re: Disney World Orlando Advice

All a 5 year old will see that week is a forest of legs.

I've read that Disney lodging prices tend to be lowest the last two weeks in January. I wouldn't hesitate to take a 5 year old out of school to make the trip more fun for both the child and the parents.
by Independent
Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashing in whole life
Replies: 4
Views: 1140

Re: Cashing in whole life

If you cash it in, you will owe regular income tax on any gain in the policy. Gain = cash you get out minus cash they put in.

Sometimes there's a dividend paid at the end of the policy year, so you wouldn't want to surrender on the 360th day. Check the policy to find the anniversary date.
by Independent
Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye
Replies: 61
Views: 10756

Re: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye

Since you quoted me, I feel that I should respond. But, I'm not sure where to begin. I'll state a couple facts, Both auto and LTC insurers price their products so that they (hope they) will collect more in premiums than they pay in claims (after adjusting for investment income). Some individuals ge...
by Independent
Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye
Replies: 61
Views: 10756

Re: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye

Actually, you don't win if you need LTC at a fairly young age--unless you happen to have a policy with unlimited benefits. You may receive more in benefits than you paid in, but this is the wrong way to look at insurance. You should look at it in terms of mitigating the risks to a point that they'r...
by Independent
Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye
Replies: 61
Views: 10756

Re: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye

There are plenty of problems with LTC insurance, but this isn't one of them: Require long-term care when you are relatively young, and you win, financially. Require it much later, or not at all, and the insurance company wins. LTCI can be a screaming good deal, if you’re afflicted early. But, at th...
by Independent
Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye
Replies: 61
Views: 10756

Re: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye

So far we have not heard from anyone who purchased in the last couple of years... If you want numbers, the Federal Long Term Care Insurance program has a premium calculator that provides rates for age/plan combinations that you specify. https://www.ltcfeds.com/ltcWeb/do/assessing_your_needs/ratecal...
by Independent
Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing with the fear: "Will we be eating cat food?"
Replies: 90
Views: 19762

Re: Will we be eating cat food?

OP here. Thanks very much for all the comments - even the semi-snarky one. Actually the "cat food" fear is my husband's. He really thinks we are in financial trouble. My views are more along the line of the replies - that we're fine. I should add that I worked in finance for many years. I have my o...
by Independent
Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing with the fear: "Will we be eating cat food?"
Replies: 90
Views: 19762

Re: Will we be eating cat food?

You're so far away from cat food territory that I assume the thread title is meant to be humorous. The average US older couple spends less than $60,000 per year after tax. The average single, less than $40,000. Those averages include about $3,400 per person in food costs, which is well above cat foo...
by Independent
Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Metrics for choosing when to claim Social Security benefits
Replies: 10
Views: 2860

Re: Metrics for choosing when to claim Social Security benefits

Social Security is sometimes called longevity insurance and some commentators seem to believe that no analysis of the costs and benefits is reasonable: "I hope that I don't collect on my homeowner's insurance, why should I expect to collect on my longevity insurance." Others look only at the benefi...
by Independent
Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye
Replies: 61
Views: 10756

Re: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye

Your ignoring the 6% that you money could be earning for that 20+ years:) ... That's a good point. As an individual, saving money for my own long term care fund, I can decide to purchase equities. If I am willing to bet it will be at least 30 years before I need care, I can get a lot of investment ...
by Independent
Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye
Replies: 61
Views: 10756

Re: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye

There are plenty of problems with LTC insurance, but this isn't one of them: In most cases, sadly it gives only the illusion of reducing financial uncertainty in your life. After looking closely at the very narrow window of breaking even on one of these policies when purchased at 50, the numbers si...
by Independent
Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye
Replies: 61
Views: 10756

Re: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye

In most cases, sadly it gives only the illusion of reducing financial uncertainty in your life. After looking closely at the very narrow window of breaking even on one of these policies when purchased at 50, the numbers simply didn't at all add up. Too many exclusions, low daily rates, and low caps...
by Independent
Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye
Replies: 61
Views: 10756

Re: Long term care insurance - Less than meets the eye

There are plenty of problems with LTC insurance, but this isn't one of them: Require long-term care when you are relatively young, and you win, financially. Require it much later, or not at all, and the insurance company wins. LTCI can be a screaming good deal, if you’re afflicted early. But, at the...
by Independent
Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any opinions of the Vanguard Fixed Deferred Annuity?
Replies: 19
Views: 3276

Re: Any opinions of the Vanguard Fixed Deferred Annuity?

Therefore, I believe that the Vanguard Fixed Deferred Annuity is the solution that I'm looking for!! All the exclamation marks make me wonder if you're really thinking this through. Did you consider the comments above? 1) The Single Premium Immediate Annuity (SPIA) that you're considering through i...
by Independent
Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inflation indexed SPIA providers
Replies: 15
Views: 3953

Re: Inflation indexed SPIA providers

Quickie comment: In any market place, the vendor should be making money besides offering a product that the market buyers want. The lack of vendors for I-SPIA, only indicates to me that the Vendors 1) See too much risk in this product. I'd bet that they already have looked at I-SPIA), 2) Their curr...
by Independent
Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any opinions of the Vanguard Fixed Deferred Annuity?
Replies: 19
Views: 3276

Re: Any opinions of the Vanguard Fixed Deferred Annuity?

Right, the problem is the confusion between immediate and deferred annuities. When I used the Vanguard site, and hit "log on to see fixed rates" it flipped me out of the deferred annuity world into immediate annuities. It looks like somebody made a coding error. In order to get the income you saw, y...
by Independent
Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inflation indexed SPIA providers
Replies: 15
Views: 3953

Re: Inflation indexed SPIA providers

If I've done the math correctly (for a 48 year old male), an inflation indexed SPIA from AIG initially has 65% of the payout of a non-inflation indexed SPIA. I would think a better way to compare them would be in terms of the difference in 1st year payout as a percentage of premium. This should be ...
by Independent
Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Redeemed paper saving bonds: neither fast nor simple.
Replies: 7
Views: 16453

Re: Redeemed paper saving bonds: neither fast nor simple.

My local bank cashed mine in a few minutes. I talked to a "personal banker" instead of a teller.
We have a checking account there and bought the bonds there.
by Independent
Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Putting off Social Security until 70
Replies: 106
Views: 14982

Re: Putting off Social Security until 70

OK, here it is. This is from TaxCaster 2015 results for an age 70 married couple. For this couple filing MFJ, I doubled all the income amounts from those in the single person table above. JW There's an "RMD" in a column label. To me, that means the Required Minimum Distribution. That is, it's money...