Search found 502 matches

by harmony
Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Social Security Decision
Replies: 25
Views: 3000

Re: Help with Social Security Decision

You're right, sscritic. The chart is not complex enough to show more than a two-year age spread. I suppose one could come up with an average number of years of retirement by going halfway between the two ages. It would take a bigger chart to show all of this.
by harmony
Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Social Security Decision
Replies: 25
Views: 3000

Re: Help with Social Security Decision

HIinvestor, thank you for posting that link. It does cover a wide variety of situations and it is written in very readable language. I was especially impressed with Table 3 on page 12 which charts the average years of retirement for couples of varying age differences.
by harmony
Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Social Security Decision
Replies: 25
Views: 3000

Re: Help with Social Security Decision

I concur with the previous posts pointing out the requirement to wait until age 62 unless there are other qualifying circumstances. I don't want to unnecessarily complicate your post, but have you compared having your husband taking benefits at age 62 to delaying benefits to age 70? This is a more s...
by harmony
Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turbo Tax Accuracy Guarantee Experience
Replies: 4
Views: 1198

Re: Turbo Tax Accuracy Guarantee Experience

What you describe or something very similar happened to us a few years ago. We found the error before filing because we always do a paper version to verify what TT is doing. When we found the error it was still early enough that we could get the money back that we had spent on TT software. (Their mo...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3615

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

One wouldn't put all risk-managed investments in the same vehicle. Though our whole life insurance company is rated very highly (it's a fraternal organization providing insurance to it's members),we also have other fixed income investments in various other places. In the current environment, fixed i...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3615

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

When you invest the difference you're assuming your moment of need won't occur in a year like 2009 and right before retirement. That's what I mean about disversifying risk. We were already investing the maximum through work in addition to what was required.
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3615

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

A 30-year term policy would have just expired when we had needed it the most. Our major wage earner had to find different work about then, at age 59. This was around the time that our son was a college undergraduate, thus lower income qualified for financial aid. Yes, we should encourage folks to ge...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3615

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

We would not have continually renewed our term life, not knowing how long the child's disabling condition would last. We also likely would not have had term life insurance when one of us had to take early retirement. Term life premiums rise quite bit as one gets older, yet chances of career-changing...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3615

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

Whole life is not a popular type of investment here. We would not buy any new today, but would not necessrily discourage young people from steering so far away from it either. Whenever at any point in the now distant past term life insurance or whole life was purchased, it was the best investment th...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3615

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

After more than a half century of owning whole life insurance and term life insurance, we have begun to see the PUAs as sort of extra term life insurance piggy backed on top of whole life insurance. When the term in which the PUA is needed is over, we rid ourselves of it. We always considered the ca...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3615

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

It is important for each policy holder to understand what is possible with their policy, but the agent isn't likely to tell anyone that their cost basis can be taken out tax-free. That's why all the data needs to be scrutinized and questions asked at appropriate places.
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3615

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

Removing cost basis did not affect the face amount death benefit. It did indeed affect the death benefit of the paid up additions, which we deemed not to be needed as insurance anymore. I'm not suggesting any free lunch, just where to park your lunch. Anyone considering removing cost basis needs to ...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3615

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

Taking cost basis from the policy did not require us to take a loan from our policy. It did decrease our cash value, however. I'm not
not saying that would be true in all cases. One needs to study the annual data summary sheet and ask questions of ins. headquarters.
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3615

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

Since OP has health issues and his wife isn't working, the life insurance provides some extra cushion. Waiting to make a change until several years past retirement will provide a better cushion in case the market drops severely around retirement age. Some recommendations are to be most conservative ...
by harmony
Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I drop my whole life policy?
Replies: 15
Views: 2065

Re: Should I drop my whole life policy?

Growth within whole life insurance is best compared to earnings on fixed income or stable value accounts, not to equities. If you want a little fixed income as a young person, the whole life policy is an alternative means to get it in the current environment. Our whole life insurance accounts have b...
by harmony
Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net Worth Calculation
Replies: 37
Views: 5695

Re: Net Worth Calculation

The very practical use of net worth statement is to keep track of changes, positive and negative. Years ago, when we were still working, we used to track our income and expenses. Invariably, we didn't include all of the expenses. Though we practiced LBYM, we still wondered what we could have missed....
by harmony
Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Puzzle
Replies: 19
Views: 2457

Re: Social Security Puzzle

Please note that the Affordable Care Act does not pay health insurance for someone who already qualifies for Medicare. The wording of the original law spells this out. I recently had this verified by a supervisor in the agency that administers Medicaid in my state. So even in a state where Medicaid ...
by harmony
Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Edward Jones ignores do-not-call lists
Replies: 20
Views: 2588

Re: Edward Jones ignores do-not-call lists

The bath and shower re-do solicitor that called our house yesterday claimed that our phone # would only have been found on the national do-not-call registry if I had paid to get on the registry! Hung up on that one. Another time the solicitor said that what they were doing was not soliciting because...
by harmony
Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Puzzle
Replies: 19
Views: 2457

Re: Social Security Puzzle

If it is possible for both to file and suspend as sscritic describes, then would only the child get higher benefits in the interim? Whether this is a good idea depends on the cost of living for the DAC and the state's Medicaid rules for picking up Medicare copays. If only the husband files and suspe...
by harmony
Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Puzzle
Replies: 19
Views: 2457

Re: Social Security Puzzle

It hadn't even crossed my mind that a couple could file for a Combined Family Maximum amount and suspend a portion of it. Thanks.
by harmony
Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Puzzle
Replies: 19
Views: 2457

Re: Social Security Puzzle

I should have added a caution to my most recent post in which I stated a preference for Option 1. This was without considering any benefits of CIC and CFM. If SSA offers the couple a Combined Family Maximum Amount (option 5) it would have to be in conjunction with (option 4) where both parents are a...
by harmony
Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Puzzle
Replies: 19
Views: 2457

Re: Social Security Puzzle

I didn't mean to interrupt the flow of replies to the options that the OP has outlined. So I'll try to get this back on track by stating which of the remaining options I am leaning toward. (Option 3 was eliminated several posts ago.) (1) the husband file and suspend. the wife take spousal benefit, a...
by harmony
Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Puzzle
Replies: 19
Views: 2457

Re: Social Security Puzzle

There could be a #4 and perhaps a #5, if I understand the rules, and if as stated the child is already receiving SSI benefits. There is a (#4) Child-in-Care benefit for the spouse of a SS # holder's disabled child who is providing personal assistance and living with the DAC, or directing someone els...
by harmony
Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's a reasonable composite expense ratio?
Replies: 62
Views: 5666

Re: What's a reasonable composite expense ratio?

Another super easy way to get the composite expense ratio is by using Morningstar's x-ray tool. They call it "blended expense ratio", I believe. If you enter a moderate allocation balanced fund or a fund without a ticker symbol it might not get included though. For example, CREF Social Choice (0P000...
by harmony
Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's a reasonable composite expense ratio?
Replies: 62
Views: 5666

Re: What's a reasonable composite expense ratio?

We are ESG (environmental, social, governance) investors as much as possible but we often borrow ideas from bogleheads. Yes, we are trying to keep our blended expense ratio as low as possible. We recently worked up a spreadsheet and found that we have a .55% blended expense ratio on just the equity ...
by harmony
Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting up a spendthrift trust for a child
Replies: 8
Views: 3296

Re: Setting up a spendthrift trust for a child

If either you or your ex have a Roth IRA and intend to make the trust a beneficiary of it, one idea is to make the spendthrift trust a recipient of the annual required minimum distribution. This keeps the bulk of the Roth IRA out of the trust, not only keeping tax-free growth in the Roth IRA, but al...
by harmony
Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old
Replies: 41
Views: 2840

Re: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old

Is it just me, or was cubedbee's post a little bit selective with the information it provided about grandfathered plans? http://obamacarefacts.com/grandfathered-plans.php Grandfathered Health Plans Don't Have to Follow ObamaCare's Rules and Regulations. "These plans have a grandfathered status and d...
by harmony
Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old
Replies: 41
Views: 2840

Re: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old

Most professionals adhere to a professional code of ethics, obligating themselves to act in the best interest of clients. All I found for the insurance industry is the state insurance commission. If a consumer is willing to do a search, one could bring up the list of complaints for each company and ...
by harmony
Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old
Replies: 41
Views: 2840

Re: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old

It looks like the catastrophic plan subsidy wouldn't be available to a young person who is claimed as a dependent of a high-earner.

http://www.npr.org/2013/10/11/231089839 ... ce-choices
by harmony
Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old
Replies: 41
Views: 2840

Re: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old

Point well taken. It's not been an easy experience to say the least. It's very time consuming and not fun to tune out the noise.
by harmony
Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old
Replies: 41
Views: 2840

Re: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old

This post is not in response to the comment about broker commissions, but responds to the original post and to some earlier posts. Yes, the SHIP premiums may go up after the “transition period” has ended. When next year's rates are available I will be interested to see if they will be higher than wh...
by harmony
Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old
Replies: 41
Views: 2840

Re: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old

http://www.acha.org/Topics/Affordable_Care_Act/FAQs_for_IndividualCoverageClassification.cfm Apparently there are some special rules or "final regulations" carved out for student health plans. I would need to look through these FAQs posted by the American College Health Association to see what the A...
by harmony
Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old
Replies: 41
Views: 2840

Re: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old

http://www.uhs.wisc.edu/ship/faqs.shtml#1

How is SHIP affected by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

SHIP coverage already equals or exceeds the level of coverage for student health plans under the ACA and satisfies the individual mandate.
by harmony
Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old
Replies: 41
Views: 2840

Re: Separate Health Insurance For 19 Year Old

I don't mean to disagree with anyone's conclusion about the quality of the college plans which they have researched or experienced. However, at least at the University of Wisconsin, the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) is supposed to be comparable to ACA health insurance exchange gold plan, whic...
by harmony
Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: easy site to bring up correlation between ETFs?
Replies: 3
Views: 269

Re: easy site to bring up correlation between ETFs?

These are my favorites:

http://money.msn.com/exchange-traded-fund/
Up to 7 etfs can be charted at one time. There is a slider below the chart for narrowing the time periods.

http://etfdb.com/
This site has numerous etf sorters and screeners and a head-to-head comparison tool for comparing 2 etfs.
by harmony
Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reasons not to file and suspend??
Replies: 19
Views: 1909

Re: Reasons not to file and suspend??

Sscritic, you do have an excellent understanding of social security benefits and the ability to explain them in succint terms with very clear examples and linked references back to the ssa website. Thank you for providing this explanation for a couple with an age spread of roughly 8 years apart. So ...
by harmony
Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reasons not to file and suspend??
Replies: 19
Views: 1909

Re: Reasons not to file and suspend??

Although, FrugalInvestor, I think your younger spouse could be switched to spousal benefits off of your record, once she reaches full retirement age. Then after you die, she would be switched to full benefits off of your record, assuming she survives you. The spousal benefits would be somewhat small...
by harmony
Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reasons not to file and suspend??
Replies: 19
Views: 1909

Re: Reasons not to file and suspend??

Yes, FrugalInvestor, I believe that is correct.
by harmony
Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reasons not to file and suspend??
Replies: 19
Views: 1909

Re: Reasons not to file and suspend??

To add to what a previous poster wrote, if you wait until your wife is 62, you will already be 69, one year away from age 70, when you will no longer be allowed to defer taking social security benefits yourself. So a gain of only one year might not be worth it. For one couple I know, whose age diffe...
by harmony
Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opening a Roth IRA. Need help with strategy
Replies: 6
Views: 760

Re: Opening a Roth IRA. Need help with strategy

You say your funds will cover you “well until your eighties” so I wonder how you and your wife plan to fund long-term care. If funds would need to be taken from your recently converted Roth IRA, you would already have paid the taxes and thus forfeited a Schedule A tax deduction available for this, a...
by harmony
Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Low cost / passive SRI options
Replies: 13
Views: 1562

Re: Low cost / passive SRI options

Addendum: I completely forgot to mention KLD MSCI USA ESG Select Scl Index Fund and DSI MSCI KLD 400 Social Idex Fund which are two ESG/SRI indexed ETFs which might fit better in the taxable space for any of us who may be receiving RMDs from the TIAA-CREF Social Equity mutual fund and wish to contin...
by harmony
Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Low cost / passive SRI options
Replies: 13
Views: 1562

Re: Low cost / passive SRI options

I second the combination of TIAA-CREF Social Choice Equity and EAPS Pax MSCI EAFE ESG Index. As indicated above the expense ratios are within reason. Since this would likely be the bulk of a portfolio, total expenses would be lower. The combination of these two funds leaves mid/small cap underexpose...
by harmony
Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can your Cap Gains percentage get too high?
Replies: 13
Views: 1601

Re: Can your Cap Gains percentage get too high?

Another way to avoid capital gains taxes, even beyond the 15% tax bracket, would be to make the withdrawal in a year when you and/or your spouse are sure to have high nursing home costs. The cost of a full year of nursing home care is likely to be greater than the amount of income that could fill th...
by harmony
Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Small/Mid Cap Exposure
Replies: 31
Views: 12304

Re: Small/Mid Cap Exposure

When I read the article (Morningstar Stock Research The Perfect Mix of Large-, Mid-, and Small-Cap Stocks) my take away from it was that the right percentage of mid-caps over time can reduce risk and and increase performance, as opposed to only balancing between large and small caps to some optimum ...
by harmony
Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Small/Mid Cap Exposure
Replies: 31
Views: 12304

Re: Small/Mid Cap Exposure

You could try googling this article entitled: "Morningstar Stock Research The Perfect Mix of Large-, Mid-, and Small-Cap Stocks".
Maybe it could help you clarify some options regarding risk tolerance and time horizon for a mid- small- tilt for your portfolio.
by harmony
Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did it take to realize compounding interest
Replies: 45
Views: 6849

Re: How long did it take to realize compounding interest

You might start with historic returns for funds you are interested in, then plug your own investment figures into this calculator: http://www.calculator.net/investment-calculator.html The input can be manipulated several different ways. The results are provided in a graph, a summary, and a monthly s...
by harmony
Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-employed ... LTCI deductibility?
Replies: 3
Views: 468

Re: Self-employed ... LTCI deductibility?

There is leeway in the IRS instructions "or considered to be established". It's reasonable to consider that LTC insurance is going to be paid from self-employment income; indeed that's why some of us are still working. When early retirement income decreases, it's possible for self-employment income ...
by harmony
Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question: Harvest gains or go for saver's credit?
Replies: 19
Views: 1665

Re: Tax Question: Harvest gains or go for saver's credit?

A couple of ideas for the long term that you might wish to consider in in addition to the reasoning you've already outlined so well: Amounts already in a Roth IRA are not be reportable on FAFSA. However, amounts in a taxable account are reportable on FAFSA. Unrealized capital gains could be a big ta...
by harmony
Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Special Needs Situation
Replies: 1
Views: 423

Re: Another Special Needs Situation

My condolences on the early passing of your father and my gratitude for his service to our country. If your parents earned social security work credits, you may be eligible for SSDI based on one or both of their work histories, under SSA's Combined Family Maximum rules. If neither of your parents ha...
by harmony
Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for College while Retired -- FAFSA Strategies
Replies: 50
Views: 4934

Re: Paying for College while Retired -- FAFSA Strategies

Check out this link: http://landmarkwealth.hubpages.com/hub/ ... or-College
Go down to the sixth paragraph to read that non-qualified variable annuities are not reportable on the FAFSA.