Search found 548 matches

by Independent
Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A New Reason for Delaying SS
Replies: 76
Views: 10534

Re: A New Reason for Delaying SS

knowing that SS is waiting and approximately what that "floor" might be will allow you to have less anxiety about spending down your current savings in the meantime. How does that work with a married couple? Couple has $1 million... Both defer until 70. They spend quite a bit of their current savin...
by Independent
Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are Medicare Part B premiums paid if one is not drawing SS
Replies: 24
Views: 2689

Re: How are Medicare Part B premiums paid if one is not drawing SS

I pay quarterly. They send me a bill, I send them a check.

My wife was paying quarterly before she started SS. They rebated some premium when she switched to having it deducted from her SS benefit.
by Independent
Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A New Reason for Delaying SS
Replies: 76
Views: 10534

Re: A New Reason for Delaying SS

I'm not sure what the "new" referred to in the title. Yes, SS is not subject to market risk, inflation risk, or longevity risk. At current interest rates, it beats private SPIAs by a comfortable margin. SS is subject to political risk, but we don't discuss that here. Deferring SS means taking assets...
by Independent
Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Six figure salary is not what it used to be-how to save for retirement?
Replies: 89
Views: 14621

Re: Six figure salary is not what it used to be-how to save for retirement?

If you're saving 6% of your gross income plus the company match, I'd say you're doing okay. As others have said, your childcare expenses will go down and you'll pay off your mortgage in 7 years. Just don't make any new financial commitments (e.g. don't tell yourselves that you can't put a cap on wha...
by Independent
Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Innovative withdrawal strategy contest
Replies: 41
Views: 3717

Re: Innovative withdrawal strategy contest

Interesting theory. Have you back tested it for the years where SWR fails? (Try 1966-1969) If you mean my message above, I would not know how to test it against a regular SWR strategy. I'd have to think about what might go wrong. High inflation and low market returns could be a problem, but those a...
by Independent
Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance: rights as insured, but not owner
Replies: 14
Views: 1121

Re: Life Insurance: rights as insured, but not owner

I keep my old policies because I do a little simple math. Last year's cash values compared to this year's cash values. Those numbers always goes up by a decent percent. (There is no premium because one is paid up and the other uses dividends to pay premiums.) If I throw in a little value for the ins...
by Independent
Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Innovative withdrawal strategy contest
Replies: 41
Views: 3717

Re: Innovative withdrawal strategy contest

Interesting theory. Have you back tested it for the years where SWR fails? (Try 1966-1969)
by Independent
Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Benefits vs Age of Filing
Replies: 8
Views: 1195

Re: Social Security Benefits vs Age of Filing

I think the best way to understand this is to look at an example:

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/Prog ... efit1.html
by Independent
Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Benefits vs Age of Filing
Replies: 8
Views: 1195

Re: Social Security Benefits vs Age of Filing

I'm getting confused about whether or not benefits will increase if I delay filing for benefits for some years after I stop working. Some of this is not understanding what SSA means by "retirement age." It seems that they assume you will be working up to the this age and immediately file for benefi...
by Independent
Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Level versus Escalating Term Life Insurance Premium
Replies: 4
Views: 1033

Re: Level versus Escalating Term Life Insurance Premium

You have to look at the actual premiums. Usually, the sum of the first 10 year's premiums for an annually increasing premium policy will be more than 10x the annual premium for a 10 year level premium policy. Similarly, the sum of the first 20 AI premiums will exceed 20x a 20 year LP policy. But, if...
by Independent
Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Most Important Factor in a College Student’s Success
Replies: 27
Views: 4378

Re: The Most Important Factor in a College Student’s Success

I think the word "grit" is a little misleading here. When I read the whole article, I think about this female, black, UT student who was the first in her family to go to college: And then, a month into the school year, Vanessa stumbled. She failed her first test in statistics, a prerequisite for adm...
by Independent
Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fair share of expenses for spouses?
Replies: 100
Views: 12207

Re: Fair share of expenses for spouses?

"Fair" is entirely in the eye of the beholder. Whatever you both feel works. We just put everything into one pot. Neither of us went overboard on selfish spending. We thought that was what "married" meant. But, I can understand that a more formal approach can be better if it adds to (instead of detr...
by Independent
Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom (age 66) wants to give me my Inheritance now. Should i accept?
Replies: 41
Views: 5940

Re: Mom (age 66) wants to give me my Inheritance now. Should i accept?

I'd say "No, keep it, you may need it."

As others have said, her pensions may evaporate from inflation, she may need LTC (imagine Alzheimer's), if she lets it accumulate in taxable stocks you'll get the step-up in basis.
by Independent
Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: food allowance $ for child in college
Replies: 44
Views: 7998

Re: food allowance $ for child in college

If he's "living off-campus" he is probably in an apartment with a kitchen. He should be buying food in grocery stores and eating most meals at home. If he doesn't want to cook (where "cooking" might mean pouring cereal and milk into a dish), get him an on-campus meal plan. No need to eat in restaura...
by Independent
Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: food allowance $ for child in college
Replies: 44
Views: 7998

Re: food allowance $ for child in college

We matched the cost of the "normal" meal plan on campus.

IIRC, off campus students could buy an on campus meal plan if they wanted.

I think that learning to budget is an important part of living off campus.
by Independent
Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Retirement Plans..
Replies: 55
Views: 6258

Re: My Retirement Plans..

At the moment, I'm spending 50k a year, here's how my expenses will change once I make the move. Property Tax down $1200, I'll be selling my car, so no more insurance or gas costs. We'd keep my wife's car, so its better on gas, and we'd be driving at 50% less miles, and my wife's car is 2014 model(...
by Independent
Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Retirement Plans..
Replies: 55
Views: 6258

Re: My Retirement Plans..

In the US, retired couple with paid-for houses and no children at home spend about $54,000 per year. Most of them had lower incomes than you have while they were working. So I'd look at the $40k and make sure that I really have everything in there. No chance that you'll provide any financial support...
by Independent
Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategies for RMDs [Required Minimum Distributions]
Replies: 57
Views: 10424

Re: Strategies for RMDs [Required Minimum Distributions]

Can one change tax withholding, so 0% for first withdrawal in January and 100% for 2nd withdrawal in December? Every time I've requested an IRA distribution, I've filled out a form that includes a question on tax withholding. I vary the percent during the year as my projections of my final taxes ch...
by Independent
Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Books to help a couple working out a budget
Replies: 39
Views: 4219

Re: Books to help a couple working out a budget

One easy alternative, for example, is to automate all the bills (mortgage, car payments, electricity, etc.) and then simply spend cash otherwise. Take out $X each week for each of you in cash, and then just spend it until it's gone. As long as you have a strict rule that you can only take out cash ...
by Independent
Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Blue collar worker and millionaire dream
Replies: 32
Views: 6046

Re: Blue collar worker and millionaire dream

The math is simple. The average US married couple with children and a house spends about $75,000 per year, after taxes. Is that right? Median household income is less then $45k. Is it something about average vs median? households with children making more? "Households" can have only one person, eve...
by Independent
Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Blue collar worker and millionaire dream
Replies: 32
Views: 6046

Re: Blue collar worker and millionaire dream

The math is simple. The average US married couple with children and a house spends about $75,000 per year, after taxes. Your $110,000 income should generate less than $20,000 in taxes, leaving you with at least $90,000 after tax. Spend money like the average couple, and you can save $15,000 per year...
by Independent
Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting infrequent expenses (refrigerator, new tires, paint house, etc)
Replies: 27
Views: 3723

Re: Budgeting infrequent expenses (refrigerator, new tires, paint house, etc)

This is the main thing I want to find at this point, so I can adjust the annual expenses entry in a simulator like cfiresim. The recurring annual expenses ("normal" living expenses) are adjusted for inflation in the simulator. But the infrequent expenses are things you are estimating the future cos...
by Independent
Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting infrequent expenses (refrigerator, new tires, paint house, etc)
Replies: 27
Views: 3723

Re: Budgeting infrequent expenses (refrigerator, new tires, paint house, etc)

We've got two categories where you seem to have one. We put "replace furnace" and "fix car brakes" in the " have to do category", while "new floor coverings" and "new car" are in the " nice to do , but can defer" category. We have always maintained a significant Money Market balance so we can write ...
by Independent
Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term Insurance
Replies: 13
Views: 1838

Re: Term Insurance

If someone forgets to make one payment or is a couple days late, can that cancel the entire policy? Even if that person paid on time for 10-15 years? Insurance policies have "mandatory provisions" - things that have to be in every contract. They are subject to state laws, so there is some variation...
by Independent
Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint finances and cash management
Replies: 38
Views: 4692

Re: Joint finances and cash management

No two couples are identical. But you asked what other people do, so... We set up a single, joint checking account as soon as we were married. Our one credit card is joint. All of our assets are jointly owned (except 401k and IRA which have to be individual). We track our spending, so if either of u...
by Independent
Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Books to help a couple working out a budget
Replies: 39
Views: 4219

Re: Books to help a couple working out a budget

You're looking for a book, but some people recommend a web site - http://www.youneedabudget.com/method You don't need to use their software to use their method. If you think you're spending too much, you can start by recording every expense, or at least the big ones, and balancing to your balances t...
by Independent
Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Secrurity Detailed Calculator
Replies: 9
Views: 1386

Re: Social Secrurity Detailed Calculator

I just want to run multiple scenarios and see if there is a way to increase her SS benefits even a little. As you have already seen, she can increase her monthly benefit by starting benefits later, but she gives up the benefits she could have received earlier. Opinions differ on that. If you put in...
by Independent
Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: seeking help calculating how much life insurance i need
Replies: 10
Views: 1056

Re: seeking help calculating how much life insurance i need

The calculator is confusing and trying to answer a more complex question than i need. The SSI site says my current survivor benefit would be $1,800/month. The rules are stated for the amount collected buy surviving spouse and child but i'm a bit confused as there are no examples give to illustrate ...
by Independent
Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: seeking help calculating how much life insurance i need
Replies: 10
Views: 1056

Re: seeking help calculating how much life insurance i need

I previously took a look at that link and found it impenetrable. Any guidance as to figure out how much my wife and son/daughter would receive would be welcome. Have you used the calculator link I provided? That should give you dollar amounts. If you want to know about reductions to your wife's ben...
by Independent
Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: seeking help calculating how much life insurance i need
Replies: 10
Views: 1056

Re: seeking help calculating how much life insurance i need

I'm not sure how you arrived at the 4% rate of withdrawal. If your wife can invest the insurance proceeds somewhere that exactly matches inflation (TIPS), and she needs income for 20 years, she can get 5% of the proceeds each year. For Social Security, we used to get paper statements in the snail ma...
by Independent
Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good way to assess expenses?
Replies: 9
Views: 1356

Re: Good way to assess expenses?

I'd definitely use my own spreadsheet for a few months.

Zero learning curve, more flexibility.
by Independent
Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Single premium fixed annuities
Replies: 17
Views: 1798

Re: Single premium fixed annuities

<snip...>Any time I've looked, deferring SS start date works out better than buying a private SPIA. Purchasing an SPIA (at retirement, age 59) allows me, along with my wife, to delay SS until age 70, 2.5 years from now for both of us. Without that income provided by the SPIA, one or both of us woul...
by Independent
Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Single premium fixed annuities
Replies: 17
Views: 1798

Re: Single premium fixed annuities

Any time I've looked, deferring SS start date works out better than buying a private SPIA. You may have already done this. A TIPS ladder can provide guaranteed, CPI-indexed income. "But TIPS rates are terribly low!" That's the price of "reliable". Anything that pays more has some type of risk. I'm n...
by Independent
Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "A different kind of retirement calculator"
Replies: 32
Views: 5762

Re: "A different kind of retirement calculator"

It makes a good story but I suspect that it's a hypothetical worst-case portfolio they made up from random numbers -- not anything from real-life. FireCalc says that it is using actual historical numbers. They do "full disclosure". Go to the "Investigate" tab, click the box next to "provide data an...
by Independent
Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The last 18 months of work-things to think about?
Replies: 9
Views: 1883

Re: The last 18 months of work-things to think about?

I'd add something on your plan for long term care expenses. (1) A SWR is not a median with half unsuccessful. With that 100% success rate, most retirees would have substantial assets left after thirty years. That may be a source of funding for LTC. (2) Your house is another source for funding LTC. ...
by Independent
Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The last 18 months of work-things to think about?
Replies: 9
Views: 1883

Re: The last 18 months of work-things to think about?

You've probably already gone over the finances a dozen times. But, if you want one more review, there's a nice checklist here: http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f47/some-important-questions-to-answer-before-asking-can-i-retire-69999.html I'd add something on your plan for long term care expenses.
by Independent
Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: Social Security and Expenses
Replies: 61
Views: 5515

Re: Retirees: Social Security and Expenses

Regarding "to much disclosure", here are the first few lines from the OP in a thread that started today: Him: Age=35, Income=130K Her: Age=30, Income=95K Tax: Married-Filing-Jointly, 28% Bracket, Illinois Status: Renting at $1500/month. Planning to buy first-home, One toddler, planning another kid n...
by Independent
Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Did You Leave Money for College in Your Will for Your Grandchildren?
Replies: 9
Views: 1583

Re: How Did You Leave Money for College in Your Will for Your Grandchildren?

My mom did a testamentary trust. Very simple. It was small amounts (turned out to be $20,000 ten years ago). I was the only trustee - not a big administrative deal. The will provided me lots of latitude. When she said "age 21" the lawyer suggested she think about a higher age, so she went to 25. Goo...
by Independent
Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: Social Security and Expenses
Replies: 61
Views: 5515

Re: Retirees: Social Security and Expenses

If SS represents 20% of one's income the odds are pretty good that he was a fairly high earner and accumulated assets. A high earner, now retired, is probably receiving around $25,000 to $30,000 in SS and therefore it would not be unreasonable to conclude the total income is around $125,000 to $150...
by Independent
Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: Social Security and Expenses
Replies: 61
Views: 5515

Re: Retirees: Social Security and Expenses

By deferring SS to ages 66 and 68, we've arrived at the point where SS covers 100% of our "normal" spending. That includes entertainment and lower-cost travel, charitable contributions, and Christmas/birthday gifts to kids and grandkids. It wouldn't include a trip to Europe. Note that if SS were our...
by Independent
Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A couple questions Re: Term Life Insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 1354

Re: A couple questions Re: Term Life Insurance

If I died 22 years from now, I wouldn't think that my wife couldn't support herself...so a 30 year term seems like it may be too long? That's what I would say. You also seem quite confident that you'll save enough to be well on your way to funding a two person retirement. If those savings only need...
by Independent
Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A couple questions Re: Term Life Insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 1354

Re: A couple questions Re: Term Life Insurance

You've provided a lot of information, but you haven't said why you want life insurance. What is this supposed to do for your survivors? A typical response might be: Allow my wife to continue to be a SAHM by providing enough income for her (and the kids) to continue our current lifestyle until the yo...
by Independent
Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement finances for two
Replies: 8
Views: 1784

Re: Retirement finances for two

This doesn't look like a "financial" question, it's a "personal relationship" question. You've got plenty of money between you, just need to determine whose kids end up with how much. Also, "... she wants to get married, and while this isn't a priority for me, I don't have any good reason not to and...
by Independent
Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting For 2016 Medicare Part B Increase
Replies: 68
Views: 8630

Re: Budgeting For 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

FWIW, last year's notice on Medicare premiums was released on Oct 9.
by Independent
Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance
Replies: 48
Views: 5631

Re: Life Insurance

Why consider a policy for my wife if she isn't an earner? Two good answers above. I'll add: If my wife had died when our children were small, I would have wanted to either quit work or go part time. I wouldn't want them raised by somebody else, especially right after the trauma of losing their Mom.
by Independent
Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance
Replies: 48
Views: 5631

Re: Life Insurance

My wife and I are in our mid-30s, we have a baby less than a year old, and we plan to have another. No liabilities whatsoever and no plans to acquire any. Currently saving to buy a house with cash. I'd like my family to live on at least $60K/year. Would I have much in the way of SS benefits if I've...
by Independent
Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance
Replies: 48
Views: 5631

Re: Life Insurance

Thanks for this website.... As far as I understand, you are supposed to get a policy large enough to pay off all of your current debts, leave money for your spouse to live on until they can sustain income, and leave enough money to support the kids for a while. $1MM too much? $35 a month on a 20 ye...
by Independent
Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family budget advice
Replies: 14
Views: 2468

Re: Family budget advice

bigdog25 wrote:As far as any major replacements (washer, fridge, clothes, etc.) we use the differed expenses category, with the idea that it’s a mini savings account.
Ah! I couldn't figure out "Dif Exp".

You seem to be on top of this stuff.
by Independent
Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family budget advice
Replies: 14
Views: 2468

Re: Family budget advice

Not much to say here because - Some people who post budgets just estimate a lot of things. They often forget whole categories. Since yours is based on actual spending records, you don't have that problem. Others spend so much more than the "average" family that it's easy to point out areas where the...
by Independent
Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I consider Social Security Benefits as Assets
Replies: 44
Views: 4421

Re: Should I consider Social Security Benefits as Assets

I appreciate all the thoughtful responses. Thank you! Perhaps my use of the term "net worth" in this context was a poor choice of words. The reason I went down this rabbit-hole was in thinking about asset-allocation for retirement savings. Currently, household retirement accounts were set for a 90/...