Search found 276 matches

by Shawn
Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do/did you decide whether it is time to retire?
Replies: 125
Views: 18725

I have many of the same thoughts. For the past 10 years, my plan was to retire at 50 when I'd become eligible for retiree health benefits. I turned 50 two months ago. Still working. Not sure why. There are a few more financial milestones in the next couple of years, so my "new" plan is to ...
by Shawn
Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Poll] Do you have all your 1099s, W-2s, etc.?
Replies: 71
Views: 15500

I received my last two forms yesterday, Saturday, and spent the next 8 hours doing my federal and state taxes. I do them the way God intended - by hand, pencil/pen and paper. It's a lot of work (1040, Schedules A, B, D, E, 6251/AMT, 8606), but it helps me have a good sense of what's going on and pos...
by Shawn
Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot Water Heater Setting
Replies: 70
Views: 10882

I don't know the temperature. I keep it at the setting that allows me to take a shower without turning on the cold water. Works for me.
by Shawn
Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Non Tax Deductible Deductions to 401k and convert to Roth
Replies: 5
Views: 1819

The 401k plan at my current employer allows in-service distributions of after-tax contributions. The only drawback is that taxable earnings on the after-tax contributions must be included in the distribution. A 401a plan at a former employer has similar rules. I began making after-tax contributions ...
by Shawn
Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: After tax 401K contributions
Replies: 23
Views: 7822

I need to investigate this possibilty also. Did Fidelity say that both the after tax contributions AND the earnings on those after tax contributions had to be withdrawn from the 401K and rolled into the Roth? Thanks I don't know about Fidelity, but my plan(s) documentation says this. That is, if I ...
by Shawn
Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: After tax 401K contributions
Replies: 23
Views: 7822

Up until 10 days ago, I had both pre-tax and after-tax contributions in a 401a at a former employer and a 401k at my current employer, with both plans being administered by Fidelity. With the January 1, 2010 elimination of the $100K income limit for TIRA/401 to Roth IRA conversions, I was able to ta...
by Shawn
Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Chimp outperforms 94% of Russia's stock traders
Replies: 16
Views: 3434

Why is it always chimps? Good point. More so, chimps have high expense ratio's. Banana's are going for $0.89 a pound at my local grocery store. A boglehead would definitely use an inexpensive animal like a goldfish. Of course, goldfish don't live very long ... so much for the buy and hold strategy....
by Shawn
Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could you/do you live on $50,000 a year?
Replies: 356
Views: 79320

It seemed the gist of the question was whether you could live essentially your current lifestyle on $50k or less per year, not whether you could live someone else's lifestyle in theory, if all your values and hobbies and interests and family needs got thrown out the window. Of course in an apocalyp...
by Shawn
Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend on "consumables?"
Replies: 17
Views: 2792

Awe come on. Another lame poll? How about one on "How do you dispose of used toilet paper?" Frugal people prefer to call it "pre-owned" toilet paper. As for the poll, I spend much less than $50/month on consumables as defined by the OP. I shop at WalMart, Target, Dollar Store, a...
by Shawn
Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could you/do you live on $50,000 a year?
Replies: 356
Views: 79320

Could you break down those miscellaneous expenses of $861 to account for toiletries, cleaning supplies, household goods, gifts, clothing, shoes, medical expenses, haircuts, and any entertainment? Could you tell me what you ate and how you managed to not starve spending only $884 for an entire year ...
by Shawn
Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could you/do you live on $50,000 a year?
Replies: 356
Views: 79320

$21,000 won't cut it. I tracked my expenses to the penny in 2009. My total expenses were $23,878.13. Subtracting out the big wild cards (mortgage - which I could easily pay off, charity, and property taxes), my general living expenses came to $6,973.99. I live alone, with one cat. My medical is pai...
by Shawn
Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Walk Away From Your Mortgage!
Replies: 46
Views: 7071

It's absurd that some are suggesting that a family using the laws of the state to its utmost advantage is somehow "disgusting." I find many things people do that may be strictly within the law to be disgusting. That's not absurd. Assuming they don't contribute in some way, I'm disgusted b...
by Shawn
Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k to roth ira
Replies: 6
Views: 1368

Fortunately, those earnings are very small so the tax consequences will be very small. I'm hoping for a large tax hit, myself. Your point is well taken. However, I think the ideal strategy is to "immediately" roll your after-tax contributions into a Roth before earnings have a chance to d...
by Shawn
Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: After Tax 401K Rollover to Roth IRA, Continued
Replies: 63
Views: 40325

Re: After Tax 401K Rollover to Roth IRA, Continued

Perhaps I'm misinterpreting your comment, but I don't understand how it applies to ydnar's situation. It sounds like ydnar has rolled after-tax 401k dollars into a Roth IRA and pre-tax 401k dollars into a TIRA. If so, I don't see how form 8606 comes into play, since there are no nondeductible contr...
by Shawn
Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: After Tax 401K Rollover to Roth IRA, Continued
Replies: 63
Views: 40325

Re: After Tax 401K Rollover to Roth IRA, Continued

You are correct if he elects an indirect rollover, has 20% withheld from his taxable distribution and he rolls over the pre tax money including the 20% withholding amount to a traditional IRA before rolling over the AT money to the roth IRA which he did not mention. If he elects a direct rollover o...
by Shawn
Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k to roth ira
Replies: 6
Views: 1368

............Of course, I will have to pay taxes on the earnings from the after-tax contributions. .......... Shawn, why couldn't you rollover the earnings to an IRA rather than pay taxes on them? Good question. It's because I'm making after-tax contributions to a TIRA, which I'm rolling over into a...
by Shawn
Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: After Tax 401K Rollover to Roth IRA, Continued
Replies: 63
Views: 40325

Re: After Tax 401K Rollover to Roth IRA, Continued

While there is no question that you can rollover the AT funds directly to a Roth IRA from the 401k plan, you will need to determine what portion of the AT amount rolled over to the Roth will be taxed as a distribution if you also received a taxable distributions in the same year from your 401k plan...
by Shawn
Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: After Tax 401K Rollover to Roth IRA, Continued
Replies: 63
Views: 40325

I've read and heard different interpretations of what can and cannot be done with 401 plans, but yesterday, I did essentially the same thing as you. I have pre-tax and after-tax contributions in a 401a at a former employer, and pre-tax and after-tax contributions in a 401k at my current employer. Th...
by Shawn
Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 2010 traditional ira to 2010 roth conversion possible?
Replies: 8
Views: 1962

Yes. Just be careful not to do everything on the same day. That is, be certain the new funds are actually in the TIRA account before doing the Roth conversion. I made $6K in 2010 contributions (after-tax) to my TIRA on January 4, and then rolled the money over on January 5. For me, it would not have...
by Shawn
Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k to roth ira
Replies: 6
Views: 1368

Yesterday, I rolled over after-tax contributions (plus earnings on those after-tax contributions) in a 401a at my former employer, and I rolled over after-tax contributions (plus earnings on those after-tax contributions) in a 401k at my present employer. My present employer allows in-service distri...
by Shawn
Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could you/do you live on $50,000 a year?
Replies: 356
Views: 79320

Easily, and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most expensive places in the country. I'm single, one cat, and own a small 3 bedroom, 2 bath house in a working class but very solid/safe neighborhood. In 2009, my total expenses were $23,654.83 (every penny was tracked). Not counting my m...
by Shawn
Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Scholarships
Replies: 27
Views: 3855

Re: Vanguard Scholarships

Well, we could have a bunch of well-to-do white males arguing about this I suppose, but you could have a bunch of well-to-do minority females arguing about it too. I grew up below the poverty level. In 6th grade, I broke my ankle and was never taken to the doctor. I can still feel the effects today...
by Shawn
Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which city is going to get the Olympics?
Replies: 52
Views: 7958

Why would anyone want the olympics to be in their city/country? It certainly doesn't seem to ever give benefits that outweigh the costs. In 1972, I was a junior high school student growing up in Denver. At that time Denver was slated to get the 1976 Winter Olympics. This was strongly supported by u...
by Shawn
Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Calif. Int. Bond Fund (VCAIX)
Replies: 49
Views: 15283

I believe in the mid-term that other municipalities will follow Vallejo into the workhouse. The public worker contracts signed since the 90s don't strike me as any more tenable than GM's. They're certainly a nice sentiment, but Prop 13 coupled with an aging population yielding fixed income househol...
by Shawn
Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which charities do you like?
Replies: 104
Views: 16110

Regular giving to local animal charities (mostly in the SF Bay Area) Tri-Valley Animal Rescue Community Concern for Cats Feral Cat Foundation Lindsay Wildlife Museum UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health Best Little Rabbit, Rodent, and Ferret House (Seattle) Regular giving to other charities ...
by Shawn
Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many miles do you drive annually?
Replies: 42
Views: 9439

About 3000 miles. Commute by bicycle to work (3.3 miles each way).
by Shawn
Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ - Long live Buy and Hold
Replies: 77
Views: 10301

(Having grown up on a farm, I think money has a surprising similarity to cow manure: the more you move it around, the worse it smells.) I particularly like the above quote from Jason Zweig's article. I didn't interpret Zweig's 1994 reference to mean that he's had little or no positive return over t...
by Shawn
Sat Sep 05, 2009 6:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Municipal Intermediate Versus California Intermediate
Replies: 7
Views: 1847

I currently hold Vanguard California Long term, California Intermediate term, and the National Intermediate term fund. The California Intermediate term fund is a recent addition, while the Long Term fund has been held since late 1994. The income stream has been very solid over the years. I have 10%...
by Shawn
Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Municipal Intermediate Versus California Intermediate
Replies: 7
Views: 1847

This past year may be an anomaly. But in general, wouldn't one expect CA muni's to return slightly less than national muni's? While there are many variables, due to California's high taxes, state and local governments can offer lower interest rates since investors will be compensated by a larger tax...
by Shawn
Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I invest in long term muni. bonds?
Replies: 14
Views: 3778

I have about 10% of my portfolio in CA muni's. About half is in Vanguard's Intermediate Term Muni fund and the other half is in a high-yield fund at American Century (BCHYX). The high yield fund is currently yielding about 5.3%, for a tax equivalent yield of well over 8% (while BCHYX was a no-load f...
by Shawn
Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where does your money go?
Replies: 72
Views: 13189

Roughly, not counting taxes, mortgage, charity, and savings, I spend about $10K or 5% a year for personal living expenses ...That's been pretty constant for the last 10 years (e.g., plus/minus $2K/yr) Nice work, but you only live once, you know. Perhaps. However, living off of 5% of income (plus 7%...
by Shawn
Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where does your money go?
Replies: 72
Views: 13189

34%: Taxes 07%: Mortgage (4% principle, 3% interest) 05%: Expenses (except mortgage and charity) 03%: Charity 51%: Savings How it possible to live on 12% of your gross income? That is mighty impressive. Roughly, not counting taxes, mortgage, charity, and savings, I spend about $10K or 5% a year for...
by Shawn
Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where does your money go?
Replies: 72
Views: 13189

34%: Taxes
07%: Mortgage (4% principle, 3% interest)
05%: Expenses (except mortgage and charity)
03%: Charity
51%: Savings
by Shawn
Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who will bail out Americans in retirement? 401 K spreadsheet
Replies: 51
Views: 6022

Guess I'm just too short-sighted to see how SS could possibly be enough to live on. My 74 year-old mother lives on $1000/month, with $850 of this coming from social security. She has an apartment in a low-cost senior high rise near downtown Denver. Nice neighborhood. She has a great view of the dow...
by Shawn
Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you eat out again?
Replies: 57
Views: 7911

As for the argument that adding calorie counts to the menu will be a financial burden that will put restaurants out of business, that's just absurd. While this single law is not likely to put restaurants out of business, this law will be added to all the other government-imposed regulations that mu...
by Shawn
Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you eat out again?
Replies: 57
Views: 7911

I'm against it. Typically, restaurants already provide this information. Just ask for it. This is just another feel good law that will make it more expensive to do business in California. While it's not the end of the world, it's one more hassle for the business owner to worry about.
by Shawn
Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WaPo: Squeaking by on $300,000
Replies: 43
Views: 6772

Maybe the reason she's struggling so hard to get by is that her taxes are too high (e.g., $35K/yr for property taxes). The title of the article could have been, "High taxes keep hardworking single mom living in poverty." While mildly amusing, the point of the article wasn't clear. In my ea...
by Shawn
Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: a thought-experiment regarding retirement accounts
Replies: 24
Views: 3361

With the after-tax account, you also need to consider the tax consequences of dividends. If it is a dividend-paying stock, say 2% per year, you will pay taxes on that portion of your return every year as opposed to once at the very end. Hence, your total return will be less because the amount paid i...
by Shawn
Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stay-the-course works !
Replies: 116
Views: 16413

Taylor, Some of us are paying attention AND applying what we've learned. You are appreciated. Indeed. I was a boglehead well before I knew of the term. Low cost. Simplicity. Stay the course. It's logical. It's common sense. It's how I live other areas of my life. Earthquakes ravaging the world. Tsu...
by Shawn
Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Divorce settlement-lifestyle they are accustomed
Replies: 23
Views: 10293

the issue here is that the alternative, which includes about 99% of human history, is considered equally unacceptable (i.e. men taking advantage of women). in the past, men would marry, use the woman for breeding and nurturing purposes, and then ditch her for a better model at their convenience. Wh...
by Shawn
Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DOW above 9000! How will you Celebrate?
Replies: 59
Views: 8231

I just had a carrot. OK, it was a small carrot. I have to hold a little back for when the Dow reaches 10,000. I'll probably have some celery then.
by Shawn
Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend on groceries ?
Replies: 105
Views: 16458

In a normal year, I spend about $150/month on food. That's a little less than the US food stamp budget. It includes everything, from grocery store food to restaurants. This year, mostly out of curiosity, I'm seeing if I can spend less than $1000 on food, or about $83/month. That's less than half the...
by Shawn
Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Semi-retiring in your 30's
Replies: 105
Views: 23329

Just wondering if you have any great ideas to share, because if I could live on $12k per year, game over..... In a typical year it's usually something like this ... Property Tax: $3K/yr (lived in house for 11 years) Utilities: $1.5K/yr (gas/electric, water, trash, phone, cable TV) Home/Auto Insuran...
by Shawn
Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Semi-retiring in your 30's
Replies: 105
Views: 23329

I guess everyone has their own visio of how a king lives. On 30,000 yo can live very nicely in many places (even under a more typical definition of how a king lives) but the U.S. isn't really one of them... I'd reccomend Vientienne, Laos or Kuching, Malaysia myself among others. I live in the San F...
by Shawn
Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Obesity and smoking...selfish acts?
Replies: 75
Views: 8737

Wow, I can honestly say I never thought to see decreasing health care costs in America used as a justification for smoking and/or obesity. No one suggested this. However, the counter argument that smoking and obesity increase societal health care costs is often used to justify restrictions and/or b...
by Shawn
Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lance Armstrong now one second out of first
Replies: 20
Views: 2867

What is a spoiler? A spoiler is when I look forward to watching the team time trial Tuesday evening, but someone mentions the results of the race earlier in the day. I avoided news sites yesterday for that very reason. But I didn't expect the results to be prominently displayed in this forum. It wa...
by Shawn
Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth 401(k)
Replies: 17
Views: 2584

Re: Roth 401(k)

My intuitive reaction is to go for the immediate tax shield of traditional 401(k) over future tax shield of Roth 401(k) but I am not sure if that is the right way to look at it. My employer initiated a Roth 401(k) option at the beginning of the year. This was in addition to a traditional 401(k). I ...
by Shawn
Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I want to chuck it all, quit my job, and travel the world
Replies: 121
Views: 17783

An alternative interpretation is to enjoy your money while you can rather than accumulating it for the heirs. An alternative is to bequeath your money to charity. To the OP ... No, you're not crazy for wanting to chuck it all and "travel the world." You don't like your current life or you...
by Shawn
Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Boglehead Doesn't.....
Replies: 43
Views: 6428

... plan to get back in the market when things start to turn around

... follow those hot stock tips from their doctor
by Shawn
Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Boglehead Doesn't.....
Replies: 43
Views: 6428

... buy or sell because "this time it's different"

... listen when E. F. Hutton talks (or today's counterparts)

... think "head and shoulders" is anything other than a shampoo