Search found 1866 matches

by smitcat
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max you should invest in a 529?
Replies: 181
Views: 10177

Re: Max you should invest in a 529?

KlangFool - Your posts indicate that in your family experience all of your relatives (peers) have become millionaires in various careers with and without an education. That is a great testament and also some great data as you posted they retired early for the most part. That data tells us that thei...
by smitcat
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a newish vehicle yourself, how to do it?
Replies: 61
Views: 3180

Re: Selling a newish vehicle yourself, how to do it?

As a buyer I would ask, "Are there any issues you know of with this vehicle?" I would record the seller's statement on this. In my state, I don't even have to tell the seller that they are being recorded. If the seller said "no" and later I found out that there were substantial issues, I'd sue the ...
by smitcat
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max you should invest in a 529?
Replies: 181
Views: 10177

Re: Max you should invest in a 529?

EddyB, If you do not believe my observation is correct, it should be easy enough for you to provide counterexamples from your own observation. KlangFool It wasn't true for me or anyone I work with (I have salary transparency) and it doesn't seem likely to me to be true for most people who previousl...
by smitcat
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a newish vehicle yourself, how to do it?
Replies: 61
Views: 3180

Re: Selling a newish vehicle yourself, how to do it?

Jags4186 specifically said the buyer did not ask about that car's electrical problem. That wasn't a case of 'simply answering honestly', yet you seem to accuse Jags of unethical behavior nonetheless. I agree you should not answer falsely... I believe a seller is morally obligated not to make false ...
by smitcat
Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications
Replies: 34
Views: 3196

Re: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications

Thanks for all the advice! I usually only check my oil a couple times a year these days. So I'm pretty sure I've checked it since the last change, but I might not have. My 2004 F-150, my 2007 Mustang, and my wife's 2005 Highlander never fell more than maybe 1/16 of the dipstick level in all the yea...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications
Replies: 34
Views: 3196

Re: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications

"More and more vehicles don’t have oil dipsticks". Fortunelatly the F150 does have a dipstick. "Therefore, the owner of such a vehicle is forced to rely on the on-board electronic measurement function." That is too bad. Good point. I've not pulled the dipstick on my 2016 F-150 since I took delivery...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean
Replies: 24
Views: 1770

Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Thanks all. Will start looking into places in Aruba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Bahamas. Would prefer the first two as I've been to the latter two. But by the time I add up flights and lodging and consider logistics, it may be more than my family is looking to do. Look into Jamaica as well...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications
Replies: 34
Views: 3196

Re: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications

First, not checking your oil regularly is not responsible vehicle ownership. This advice is getting outdated. More and more vehicles don’t have oil dipsticks. Audi and BMW are just two expamples. Therefore, the owner of such a vehicle is forced to rely on the on-board electronic measurement functio...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications
Replies: 34
Views: 3196

Re: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications

I have a 2016 Ford F-150, bought new in November 2016. I've had issues with rough idling for a while, but never mentioned it to the dealer. A few months ago, the "low oil pressure" warning light started to come on intermittently. I checked the oil level, and it was 3 quarts low! I've had the oil ch...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean
Replies: 24
Views: 1770

Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

I'm thinking about taking a family trip with 2 young kids and 7-11 adults in February. We would like water warm enough to swim in so am considering south Florida or possibly the Caribbean. I'm not sure yet on budget, but I just did a quick airbnb search for Sanibel Island and it seems like homes ar...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Low-earners- What is your profession?
Replies: 306
Views: 40377

Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

This is an interesting thread. Lots of interesting stories. Many roads to success. I noticed a lot of the self-described low-earners work in professions with very generous pensions, often available at relatively young ages. I would suggest that you may not be as low-earner as you think. You earned ...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Low-earners- What is your profession?
Replies: 306
Views: 40377

Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

I just want to give OP some appreciation for making an insightful as well as refreshing thread. Some posters in this thread stated that they can retire at an early age (less than 50 yrs. old) even though they are categorized as low-income earners. How is this achievable? Is it simply living in the ...
by smitcat
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max you should invest in a 529?
Replies: 181
Views: 10177

Re: Max you should invest in a 529?

Summaries of this thread and others I've read on 529 plans at this site: 1) Many bogleheads take advantage of 20+ years of tax-free growth that 529 accounts provide and are proud to state they've saved a lot in taxes. 2) Some bogleheads feel the lack of liquidity isn't worth the hundreds to thousan...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time to look at SS [When should I take Social Security?]
Replies: 55
Views: 5065

Re: Time to look at SS [When should I take Social Security?]

<snip...> - not one that best fit someone else. Yes, and that's the reason that we both waited until this year, at age 70, to claim our respective benefits :D ... - Ron Ron - Fantastic!!!! congratulations and much luck in your future retirement explorations. Hope to follow your lead in the near fut...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Psychology of saving for college vs retirement
Replies: 66
Views: 4071

Re: Psychology of saving for college vs retirement

I agree that people are overthinking this. Fill 401k/403b and IRA space first. Roth vs Traditional should be based on your particular facts. After fully filling retirement tax advantaged space, if you have some additional ability to save and project you have expected unfunded future educational exp...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max you should invest in a 529?
Replies: 181
Views: 10177

Re: Max you should invest in a 529?

Folks, For many of us, our income is low enough and we may not have the job security, Roth IRAs is the perfect answer for college education funding. 11K X 18 years = 198K. This is more than enough. We get tax-free growth and we could use the contribution as the emergency fund. And, it would not aff...
by smitcat
Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time to look at SS [When should I take Social Security?]
Replies: 55
Views: 5065

Re: Time to look at SS [When should I take Social Security?]

...I agree that with an 8% real growth rate one will be better off claiming early regardless of longevity. But it's less clear, CurlyDave, that one is also better off even with 5%. For example, with 5% real growth someone with a Normal Retirement Age (NRA) of 66 needs to collect only past age 86.0 ...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Help. They are removing index funds.
Replies: 28
Views: 2073

Re: 401k Help. They are removing index funds.

Hello all, I'm a 29 year old male with a wife and two young children (3 and 11 months). Here is our current financial situation: His salary: $45k/year Her salary: Approximately $40k/year, working 24 hours per week. My 401k (Roth): $30k, in Total Stock Index, Total International Index, Total Bond In...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max you should invest in a 529?
Replies: 181
Views: 10177

Re: Max you should invest in a 529?

GoldStar, <<you can sell in the 529 tax-free even if in stocks>> My taxable account will be almost tax-free or tax-loss in those cases too. In fact, with tax loss, the benefit is greater. It is a win for the taxable account. I can pick and choose what to sell: small tax gain or tax loss. KlangFool ...
by smitcat
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?
Replies: 102
Views: 7870

Re: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?

Smitcat, a 2% rebate would only amount to $2,000 — the credit card ‘games’ must really pay off well if there are extra earnings to be had that will fund t least six trips! I’m impressed! Andy. Andy - 2% does not come close to capture the entire picture when you are booking flights for 5 others and ...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max you should invest in a 529?
Replies: 181
Views: 10177

Re: Max you should invest in a 529?

So I don't believe my situation is unusual - My wife and I both work and make under the ROTH IRA limits. We are both over 50 (granted we were not over 50 for most years while contributing to the 529). We both can contribute $24K to 401Ks, $6.5K to ROTH. That's $61K not including any matching money ...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max you should invest in a 529?
Replies: 181
Views: 10177

Re: Max you should invest in a 529?

Not sure why my retirement needs to be fully funded before I can benefit from a 529 plan. Why can't I simply be on track to meet my retirement needs given my current retirement savings a nd want to pay for a good chunk of my children's college costs? 529s will save you money in such a case. And I w...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max you should invest in a 529?
Replies: 181
Views: 10177

Re: Max you should invest in a 529?

How many folks have their retirement or FI fully funded when the kids go to college? Not sure why my retirement needs to be fully funded before I can benefit from a 529 plan. Why can't I simply be on track to meet my retirement needs given my current retirement savings a nd want to pay for a good c...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max you should invest in a 529?
Replies: 181
Views: 10177

Re: Max you should invest in a 529?

If you're truly not capital constrained, there are some upsides to maxing out a 529. You can get money out of your estate without doing trust paperwork, and the money is tax advantaged, and might have better creditor protection than UTMA. There are a bunch of special cases that allow you to withdra...
by smitcat
Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?
Replies: 102
Views: 7870

Re: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?

Smitcat, a 2% rebate would only amount to $2,000 — the credit card ‘games’ must really pay off well if there are extra earnings to be had that will fund t least six trips! I’m impressed! Andy. Andy - 2% does not come close to capture the entire picture when you are booking flights for 5 others and ...
by smitcat
Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?
Replies: 102
Views: 7870

Re: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?

There are 1,000,000 CC threads but the general answer is: if you'd like to go through life with a 2% discount on everything you should get a credit card. Regarding your questions about keeping track--if you're just walking around with a stack of $20s and replenishing when you are low, I can't imagi...
by smitcat
Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another car (truck) buying question
Replies: 20
Views: 1363

Re: Another car (truck) buying question

I might drive the 6 cylinder diesel in the ram. Do it man. Trucks are the bomb. Both F150 and Ram are solid options. I'd take a look at a Tundra, too. If tempted, drive a F350 (or F450) SuperDuty Turbo Diesel. But, be careful, or you may end up spending around $80k. Have fun man. I would test drive...
by smitcat
Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on paying off debt vs investing
Replies: 32
Views: 2298

Re: Thoughts on paying off debt vs investing

I'm going to ask this question, and I'm almost afraid of getting tomatoes thrown at me for doing it, but I'm curious to hear what you all have to say. My situation in brief: Young, 35 - at the beginning of earning potential. High income earner (second highest tax bracket after deductions, etc.) Mor...
by smitcat
Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much a buffer zone in your estimate of retirement expenses?
Replies: 64
Views: 3123

Re: How much a buffer zeon in your estimate of retirement expenses?

jebmke, You are lucky enough to have an RMD problem. KlangFool KlangFool - have you run scenarios with either IORP or RPM to see what taxes might be incurred in the future? In future years with a potential single spouse the conditions change for many reasons. smitcat, 1) If I retired in a few years...
by smitcat
Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much a buffer zone in your estimate of retirement expenses?
Replies: 64
Views: 3123

Re: How much a buffer zeon in your estimate of retirement expenses?

2) A person should pay zero taxes at retirement. KlangFool Easy to say, but hard to do for a lot of us. That famous thread makes a lot of assumptions that probably only aply to a narrow slice of the population: #1 - The retiree has 1 million plus already in taxabable accounts #2 The retiree still h...
by smitcat
Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much a buffer zone in your estimate of retirement expenses?
Replies: 64
Views: 3123

Re: How much a buffer zone in your estimate of retirement expenses?

I'm building in a buffer of about 25%-33%. I figure we'll need about $1,500/month, but I want enough to have $2,000/month just in case. I operate under the assumption that I'll be paying zero taxes in retirement, due to low income. That sounds pretty hard to do for a couple. Medicare part A and a s...
by smitcat
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much a buffer zone in your estimate of retirement expenses?
Replies: 64
Views: 3123

Re: How much a buffer zone in your estimate of retirement expenses?

I have tracked our expenses closely for the past 3 years. Plan to retire in 3 years @ 55. I cannot answer your questions as the answers are unknowable. But I can show what I am doing to try to plan for those variables: $75k - base budget. Covers all needs, known health care costs, no travel, no lum...
by smitcat
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much a buffer zone in your estimate of retirement expenses?
Replies: 64
Views: 3123

Re: How much a buffer zone in your estimate of retirement expenses?

I have tracked our expenses for 3 years and it comes about $45,000~$50,000, excluding taxes and health insurance. So I estimate my living expenses in retirement would be around $80,000 (with taxes and health insurance). However, there are many uncertainties in my mind: (1) Our current travel costs ...
by smitcat
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much a buffer zone in your estimate of retirement expenses?
Replies: 64
Views: 3123

Re: How much a buffer zeon in your estimate of retirement expenses?

jebmke, 1) Income taxes are not expenses. 2) A person should pay zero taxes at retirement. KlangFool That would be nice but not always possible. When I start RMDs my tax bill is going to be huge. There is no escape unless I decide to jump off a cliff. The only possible escape that doesn't involve a...
by smitcat
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much a buffer zone in your estimate of retirement expenses?
Replies: 64
Views: 3123

Re: How much a buffer zeon in your estimate of retirement expenses?

Why should the withdrawal have anything to do with what you use for the current retirement expense? Income taxes jebmke, 1) Income taxes are not expenses. 2) A person should pay zero taxes at retirement. KlangFool That would be nice but not always possible. When I start RMDs my tax bill is going to...
by smitcat
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much a buffer zone in your estimate of retirement expenses?
Replies: 64
Views: 3123

Re: How much a buffer zeon in your estimate of retirement expenses?

Why should the withdrawal have anything to do with what you use for the current retirement expense? Income taxes jebmke, 1) Income taxes are not expenses. 2) A person should pay zero taxes at retirement. KlangFool Your rules work for a specific subset of persons which may be looking into these issu...
by smitcat
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much a buffer zone in your estimate of retirement expenses?
Replies: 64
Views: 3123

Re: How much a buffer zeon in your estimate of retirement expenses?

Why should the withdrawal have anything to do with what you use for the current retirement expense? Income taxes jebmke, 1) Income taxes are not expenses. 2) A person should pay zero taxes at retirement. KlangFool Your rules work for a specific subset of persons which may be looking into these issu...
by smitcat
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?
Replies: 102
Views: 7870

Re: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?

There are 1,000,000 CC threads but the general answer is: if you'd like to go through life with a 2% discount on everything you should get a credit card. Regarding your questions about keeping track--if you're just walking around with a stack of $20s and replenishing when you are low, I can't imagi...
by smitcat
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?
Replies: 102
Views: 7870

Re: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?

By using all cash, you are indirectly subsidizing all the credit card users since merchants make more money off cash sales than credit card sales. it is a bit more complicated than that. When a merchant takes cash they have handling costs for that too, like having a armored card stop by the store t...
by smitcat
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much a buffer zone in your estimate of retirement expenses?
Replies: 64
Views: 3123

Re: How much a buffer zeon in your estimate of retirement expenses?

I'm a little confused about the sequence of events that needs to happen if one retires prior to 65. There will be backdoor Roth contributions, but should there be Roth withdrawals to fund expenses during that time too? Where does that leave Roth conversions which count towards MAGI but are needed t...
by smitcat
Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering opportunity in Melbourne - Florida. Any insight about the area?
Replies: 29
Views: 2395

Re: Considering opportunity in Melbourne - Florida. Any insight about the area?

Property taxes of $8K on a $500K home value is not in line with recent closings or even less in line with longstanding homeowners in the area. Relative lives in Palm Beach Gardens, and the taxes are in line there. :wink: I thought you said they were in Satellite beach? Guess I should be glad that w...
by smitcat
Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars... just another tool unless your a tool.
Replies: 28
Views: 2648

Re: Cars... just another tool unless your a tool.

IMO if you are a real enthusiast about cars (or anything for that matter) it will often follow that you find a more economical method to indulge your passion. Accumulating money has no purpose other than trading it for something that is important or better yet a passion. Spending money in areas that...
by smitcat
Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning for an Indian wedding In NY/ NH area.
Replies: 96
Views: 5602

Re: Planning for an Indian wedding In NY/ NH area.

….I am not sure how it works with her close family, but they go all in on weddings , whether or not they can afford it ….. Poor role models when growing up. She seems to be following in her parent’s path. ….It's been extremely difficult to work this out, due to her proclivity towards a big wedding ...
by smitcat
Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering opportunity in Melbourne - Florida. Any insight about the area?
Replies: 29
Views: 2395

Re: Considering opportunity in Melbourne - Florida. Any insight about the area?

Never had a hurricane claim; Insurance cost is insane. What do you consider an insane cost? I'm just wondering because everyone's definition is a bit different depending on what you're used to. We are also considering a move near there when we retire. You can't compare insurance cost without knowin...
by smitcat
Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "75 Must Know Statistics About Long-Term Care: 2018 Edition"
Replies: 56
Views: 5978

Re: "75 Must Know Statistics About Long-Term Care: 2018 Edition"

We had found that LTCI was valuable much earlier than in retirement as the costs with one of us needing care were problematic and costly. While it is less likley that you need it at a younger age what would you do if your spouse needed care for a year or so with recuperation? It is also less costly ...
by smitcat
Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Specific Disney fastpass suggestions
Replies: 10
Views: 1298

Re: Specific Disney fastpass suggestions

-First I would consult the crowd calendar at Undercovertourist. -That will show you exactly the expected crowds by day and by park. -I would get to the park by line drop - need to figure the time to get to the ticket booth not just the parking lot. -Use the techniques in the mousessavers site to sel...
by smitcat
Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is divorce a wise financial move?
Replies: 90
Views: 5067

Re: Is divorce a wise financial move?

Divorcing for the specific purpose of financial gain with anything such as taxes, SS and medical status woudl be fraud and woudl be looked upon as theft. Cementing the intent to perform this fraud in the future by posting on line and/or by disclsosing such plans to others would likely be a mistake....
by smitcat
Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is divorce a wise financial move?
Replies: 90
Views: 5067

Re: Is divorce a wise financial move?

Divorcing for the specific purpose of financial gain with anything such as taxes, SS and medical status woudl be fraud and woudl be looked upon as theft. Cementing the intent to perform this fraud in the future by posting on line and/or by disclsosing such plans to others would likely be a mistake....
by smitcat
Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is divorce a wise financial move?
Replies: 90
Views: 5067

Re: Is divorce a wise financial move?

...Divorcing for the specific purpose of financial gain with anything such as taxes, SS and medical status woudl be fraud and woudl be looked upon as theft. Cementing the intent to perform this fraud in the future by posting on line and/or by disclsosing such plans to others would likely be a mista...