Search found 2664 matches

by SGM
Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I keep a 3rd car??
Replies: 44
Views: 4277

I like to have a car in front of the house at all times. I also like to have a back up. I drive cars until they cannot be driven any longer. Over the last fifteen years, I mostly have bought new..... for the prior 15 years only used. We have four drivers.
by SGM
Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA contribution if you have a 401K
Replies: 17
Views: 1977

IRA contribution if you have a 401K

Is there any limit to putting money in a tradtional IRA if you have a 401K and have a six figure income? I thought you could contribute to a traditional IRA but would not qualify for a deduction. How does having a 401k figure into it?
by SGM
Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HR Block software and Roth conversion?
Replies: 8
Views: 2306

TT and HR software

I had trouble with the conversion in both programs. I had a free copy of turbotax, but I like the HR Block software better. I initially overrode just about everything. Eventually I was able to do it all through the interview and carefully answer all the questions. I am hoping I will have an easier t...
by SGM
Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question regarding Four Pillars
Replies: 10
Views: 1949

Past performance

Bernstein is clear in stating that picking the winning advisor over a 20 year period is 1 in 10 after considering 2% expenses. I think that Bogleheads do not look at past performance as being predictive. Bernstein's chapter on asset allocation is the most valuable, to me. He advises owning domestic,...
by SGM
Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughs on my retirement income plans please
Replies: 13
Views: 1736

At age 70 1/2 you will have to take a considerable amount out of the tax deferred accounts yearly, assuming they are 401ks and IRAs. I would take a look at the tax tables and figure out what I could convert into a Roth each year between age 61 and 70 at rates of 28,33,or 35 vs. possible higher rates...
by SGM
Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Individual 401 K Roth contributions
Replies: 3
Views: 771

individual401kcalculator.com for a solo proprietor:
16,500 max 401k
There is a 5,500 catch up for over 50 I believe.
There is a profit sharing component that the site calculates also.
by SGM
Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extended family-friendly trip abroad: Where to go?
Replies: 33
Views: 3098

One of my profs used the Calvert Home Schooling program for an extended boat cruise and was very happy with it. I would chose a European country and prefer France. My children have had several trips there, and have stayed with French families at times. They did attend classes with French children in...
by SGM
Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investment Quotes from great investors
Replies: 25
Views: 3185

I have internalized these statements by a not so great investor, and generally recognized poor speculator who said: "As quick as it came in......it went right out." "You meet the same people on the way up.................that you meet on the way down." Ralph Kramden, bus driver. The point was driven...
by SGM
Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: solo 401k 5500-EZ reporting
Replies: 5
Views: 1337

Thanks, Got it.. and can still use 5500 EZ. I am happy about this. Last thing I need to learn is how to fill out a new form.
by SGM
Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling Guilty -- Need some advice, maybe a little push
Replies: 16
Views: 2715

I gotta tell ya...I hate BoA. I was going to set up a business account with them, but I began to get fees from the from the getgo and closed the account within two months. My son opened up an account with them in college, because they had atms everywhere, and our local bank did not. They give these ...
by SGM
Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any ever take kids from school for extended travel?
Replies: 24
Views: 2299

Home schooling may be an option. I think it is the Calvert School curriculum that is supposed to be terrific. One of my former profs used it on a year long cruise for his girls. I don't know about shorter terms. re: other posts...The better schools, public and private, can be quite challenging and h...
by SGM
Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Steady stream of retirement income.
Replies: 7
Views: 1940

Thanks for the comments. I am not so sure of what my question is. It is more of a mild free-flow anxiety about not having a paycheck anymore within the next few years. I talked to a retired federal employee who transferred a heck of a lot more into short term funds each month, also more than he need...
by SGM
Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Plan- Has anyone set one up for own business
Replies: 16
Views: 2674

Thanks for the highly knowledgeable posts. I passed up on the DB plan for the inflexibility and high costs reasons as state in your posts. I did add my wife as an employee and am taking full advantage of a solo 401k for the two of us.
by SGM
Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Steady stream of retirement income.
Replies: 7
Views: 1940

Steady stream of retirement income.

Being close to retirement, I would like to give myself a regualr monthly deposit to a local checking account. These deposits could be scheduled weekly or monthly withdrawals from cash equivalent account or from bond or stock dividends. We have two small pensions and eventually social security and a ...
by SGM
Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Plan- Has anyone set one up for own business
Replies: 16
Views: 2674

Defined Benefit Plan- Has anyone set one up for own business

A few years ago I spoke with a planner/salesperson about setting up a defined benefit plan for my small business. The costs were too high for me. I set up a solo no-fee 401k instead. I am getting too close to retirement to change anything now and am happy with my choice. I was wondering if anyone ha...
by SGM
Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NBA playoffs
Replies: 124
Views: 10950

Lebron played more like Leverne. No clutch play. I have never seen him play before this series, but definitely over-hyped.
by SGM
Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset Allocation among 4 different entities- What ETFs
Replies: 1
Views: 449

Asset Allocation among 4 different entities- What ETFs

I now have essenitally 4 accounts and have only started buying mutual funds or ETFs in the last year 1. Multiple individual stocks in drps 30% 2. Vanguard account 30% 3. Brokerage 1. 25% 4. Brokerage 2. 15% I initially started a fairly simple AA through Vanguard with mutual funds and the other broke...
by SGM
Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: solo 401k 5500-EZ reporting
Replies: 5
Views: 1337

Thanks for the responses. I was afraid that I had to fill out a 5500-SF. I was able to order a 5500-EZ form from the IRS telephone form line. However, the guy answering the phone could have been mistaken. I will look into the 5500-SF. I really don't like doing these forms on line.
by SGM
Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Europe in September
Replies: 36
Views: 5483

One trip to Europe, we included Amsterdam, Bruge and Paris via train. Hotel Jean d'Arc was inexpensive walk up in Paris. Another trip included Rome, Florence and various locations in Tuscany via automobile. Hopefully we will get to Venice soon. We had luck renting a house in Loire valley and Tuscany.
by SGM
Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: solo 401k 5500-EZ reporting
Replies: 5
Views: 1337

solo 401k 5500-EZ reporting

Anyone doing their own reporting for a solo 401k? I cannot find a 2010 form 5500-EZ. Are there different forms this year for reporting by July 2011?
by SGM
Thu May 26, 2011 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stink bugs....your thoughts?
Replies: 20
Views: 3829

Pheromone trap has been used for 1 week - zero stink bugs caught. Don't waste any money on those type of traps.
by SGM
Sun May 22, 2011 7:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spousal IRA - But why not a Kiddie IRA?
Replies: 17
Views: 1826

How about a 529 plan? I don't know how they figure into the scholarship game. I have put money in an Roth for my child who started working at age 18. I am anxious for my other child to start working. Once she makes 1000 I will put it into the Vanguard Star fund as a Roth. I probably could have start...
by SGM
Fri May 20, 2011 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: That Frugal Thing You Do
Replies: 571
Views: 133743

No kidding, but he seemed happy.
by SGM
Fri May 20, 2011 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would you tell your child to major in?
Replies: 162
Views: 23001

Major does not matter that much. I know english majors who ran refineries. I have degrees in psychology, chemistry and medicine and have had jobs in all three fields. I enjoyed them all. I tried out engineering initially, as my Dad said, I would not get a job otherwise, but I dropped it quickly. I l...
by SGM
Fri May 20, 2011 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: That Frugal Thing You Do
Replies: 571
Views: 133743

A friend did not paint his house (it was a tear down), used no hot water, bicycled to work, did not shave, dove for golf balls in the shallows.... all in pursuit of early retirement and the purchase of farm. He was successful. He had no spouse or children to deal with. My wife and I once bought old ...
by SGM
Sun May 15, 2011 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 85 year old with taxable vanguard account
Replies: 11
Views: 1798

85 year old with taxable vanguard account

An 85 yo ,who lives independently off his social security and pension income, both have colas and presently give him $3100 per month. His only taxes are for his house. He has 51,000 in a vanguard mm getting no interest. House is paid for and worth maybe 300k. If he becomes unable to live on his own,...
by SGM
Sun May 08, 2011 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Books with a direct impact on your life?
Replies: 103
Views: 14699

David Grabiner mentions The Chosen. I saw it as a play recently. Very powerful. The play explored this theme of how exact opposite things can be true, and the relationship between sons and fathers and friends, lifestyles, breaking free from tradition for self-realization. It was a very powerful play...
by SGM
Thu May 05, 2011 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You know you are a personal finance boglehead when....
Replies: 51
Views: 5907

I tip cabbies more, having been one. 15 % of pretax is the lowest I tip wait staff. I tip a lot more for pleasant, good service. Weekend evenings and holidays I tip more. Someone is home alone, because these folks are working Saturday night. The only people, with the nerve to call me cheap, are thos...
by SGM
Tue May 03, 2011 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Books with a direct impact on your life?
Replies: 103
Views: 14699

Bible The Little Engine That Could Dick and Jane Boy Scout Handbook The Sports Illustrated Book of Basketball - Bill Sharman and others Sigmund Freud, various Shakespeare - various The Death of Ivan Ilych - Tolstoy Patterson- Dr. William Carlos Williams On the Road - Jack Kerouac Origin of Species -...
by SGM
Sun May 01, 2011 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A good way to determine return on investment?
Replies: 8
Views: 1779

A good way to determine return on investment?

Is there a formula to back out additions to a portfolio to see your ROI yearly? I add to investments irregularly throughout the year and follow stock and fund prices. I ball park how well I am doing, but would like to be more exact without a huge effort. Thanks in advance.
by SGM
Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drug store Blood Pressure machines?
Replies: 44
Views: 7055

See your local family physician

Frequent bp checks can be counterproductive. Omron, self inflating machine is good. Machine readings at the doctor's office are often higher than manual readings. Machine readings for those with atrial fibrillation are totally unreliable. BPs tend to come down somewhat for many, but not all, after t...
by SGM
Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is an SPIA in your retirement plans - Revised - READ FIRST
Replies: 29
Views: 4113

deferred fixed annuity

I have a deferred fixed annuity that I will change to an immediate annuity at age 65 or 75. I can take 10% out starting next year if I want without penalty. I like the idea of a 6% + payout that is only partially taxable. I think I will take out less than 4% of the rest of my retirement funds. I als...
by SGM
Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Angry and Bitter [interaction with financial advisor]
Replies: 95
Views: 13995

It is easier to get angry if you think of the advisor/manager as a crook. Labels tend to make me angry so I try to avoid them. I felt that way about BofA. They have ATMs on all the college campuses. They issue debit cards to kids who they know will overdraw on 7-11 purchases. Boom, they charge $35 a...
by SGM
Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking Portfolio help: Retired, age 60. Thanks much!!
Replies: 64
Views: 9008

Charlotte, In terms of converting from Traditional to Roth, there should be calculators on turbotax or HRBlock that can help determine if Roth conversions that move you into a higher tax bracket, than 15%, might be worth doing. I actually raised my tax bracket by the conversions, but think that I wi...
by SGM
Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trad IRA (brokerage) to Roth
Replies: 2
Views: 778

You should be able to do a direct conversion of individual stocks into a Roth account at the same brokerage. There is no advantage to selling the stock first,unless you want to decrease your position that day. I made some transfers of stock last year and tried to make the transfer when the market ha...
by SGM
Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking Portfolio help: Retired, age 60. Thanks much!!
Replies: 64
Views: 9008

Charlotte, This is a fun post to read. You have $750,000 in iras and 401ks. At age 70 1/2 you will have to take RMDs. I worry about that. I have been making conversions starting this year at age 62. I would make whatever conversions I could in the 15% tax bracket. Hopefully you have handed in 8606 f...
by SGM
Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stink bugs....your thoughts?
Replies: 20
Views: 3829

I tried the soapy water and light technique and get about 100 in a week so far. We have yet to try the pheromone trap, but bugs are beginning to show up outside in mid atlantic area and will try it soon.
by SGM
Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar energy farm
Replies: 25
Views: 3176

Solar energy farm

I received a letter from a company wanting to put solar panels on my farm. Does anyone have any experience with this? Are there government credits available to the land owner? I do not need the additional income, as we are frugal, but one never knows when one's situation will change. Negatives: ugli...
by SGM
Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Navy Federal Financial Group/CUNA/USAA
Replies: 8
Views: 4399

I once used USAA for insurance, but now have a farm company that gives good discounts if we get all our insurance from them. I do have a USAA deferred fixed annuity that I plan on taking money out either after the first year or when or after I retire as a fixed annuity. It is as safe an annuity as y...
by SGM
Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help calculating Solo 401k contribution limits
Replies: 8
Views: 2937

This is from individual401kcalculator website that someone was so kind to forward to me when I had questions regarding my S corp. I entered your net into the calculator. Since I am new to this forum I don't think they will allow me to put in the address but it is as above dot com. I am not quite sur...
by SGM
Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help calculating Solo 401k contribution limits
Replies: 8
Views: 2937

17756 with 3800 as employer contribution is correct. Max is 25% of 17756.
13956 401 k employee contribution.

I use an S corp and am not familiar with the effect of health premiums on calculations.
by SGM
Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Funniest movies of all time? Name five of your favorites...
Replies: 172
Views: 27974

My Cousing Vinnie
Animal House
A Night at the Opera and other Marx Bros.
Fatal Glass of Beer, The Barber- WC Fields Shorts
Above I could see many times

My Big Fat Greek Wedding - the first time I saw it.
by SGM
Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is re-gifting tacky?
Replies: 38
Views: 4419

I have received two regifts that I am aware. One of my high school friends did this and it was obvious, but forgiveable. He regifted frequently. When someone has little income, regifting may be his only option. Giving when you are poor can be painful. If money is tight, regift to your hearts content...
by SGM
Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stink bugs....your thoughts?
Replies: 20
Views: 3829

I have read that stink bugs came into Allentown PA several years ago. We killed 600 plus yesterday. We live on a farm and they like cornfields and woods. There are no other houses nearby to attract them. Our house is pre civil war and has lots of places to enter and hide for these bugs. We have a va...
by SGM
Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relatives considering a fixed index annuity (or EIA)
Replies: 30
Views: 3648

Back to fixed annuities

I would only get a fixed annuity. There is a reason agents push EIAs and not FIAs. I just used an annuity calculator showing a 7.608% payout for my state for a 65 year old male. A 100,000 annuity gives a guaranteed 7608 per year for life. If I only had 100,000 invested by myself I would feel fairly ...
by SGM
Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 plans a logical perspective in regards to gifting
Replies: 19
Views: 2574

Sounds like another cause for tinnitus, headaches and vertigo. When you take money out of the plan for a non qualified expense, there is a 10 % penalty. Income tax is only owed on the earnings. If the beneficiary receives the money and uses it to buy a car, presumably he is taxed at a lower rate and...
by SGM
Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cognitive Dissonance - mutual funds vs. indivdiual stocks
Replies: 4
Views: 1227

Cognitive Dissonance - mutual funds vs. indivdiual stocks

Any comments regarding below? If this is just silly I apologize in advance. Leon Festinger was my favorite psychologist. He studied cognitive dissonance, i.e. the difficulty in holding two opposing views at the same time. I have always had cognitive dissonance regarding mutual funds and individual s...
by SGM
Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Vanguard First Investment for 28 yr/old. $3000
Replies: 11
Views: 1938

The application is an IRA application. Pick Roth or traditional. Roth makes more sense when income taxes are low. The form allows you to pick which fund.
by SGM
Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Vanguard First Investment for 28 yr/old. $3000
Replies: 11
Views: 1938

I opened up a Vanguard Star fund for my son's Roth when he had his first job, several years ago. I just called up vanguard and asked for an application. You can also download and application from their web site. I think you can either write a check or do a direct transfer from your bank account.
by SGM
Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relatives considering a fixed index annuity (or EIA)
Replies: 30
Views: 3648

I would avoid anything but a fixed immediate annuity. A single male could receive 6 per cent per year for life at say age 62 and maybe 1 percent higher if bought at 72. You can get these quotes on the web for various scenarios. None of the money can be inherited, no change with inflation. Insurance ...