Search found 1815 matches

by kramer
Sat Apr 03, 2021 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone tax gain harvesting from stock bought last March
Replies: 26
Views: 1645

Re: Anyone tax gain harvesting from stock bought last March

As a retiree, all of my holdings still had capital gains even at the stock market nadir. However, I had a few bonds in my Roth (usually it's all equity) and so I sold what stock I could in my taxable account for a low capital gains amount at nearly the bottom (just lucky timing) and bought the same ...
by kramer
Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: INT'L SUMMER TRAVEL (from US)
Replies: 25
Views: 1736

Re: INT'L SUMMER TRAVEL (from US)

I plan to continue traveling in Latin America. It's mostly open. For example where? I am in Colombia at the moment and some American friends are coming to visit me in a week. All of Mexico and Central America is open. Along with much of South America. Personally, I plan to visit some friends in Mex...
by kramer
Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: INT'L SUMMER TRAVEL (from US)
Replies: 25
Views: 1736

Re: INT'L SUMMER TRAVEL (from US)

I plan to continue traveling in Latin America. It's mostly open.
by kramer
Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Curious about negative expat experiences -- why don't more people do it?
Replies: 111
Views: 10764

Re: Curious about negative expat experiences -- why don't more people do it?

About 2 or 3 years before I early retired, I really had the desire to work abroad. I was single, in my late 30's, and working as a software engineer for a big company. But until then, I hadn't really thought about it much or prepared for it. And when I really studied it and looked at some opportunit...
by kramer
Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost for COVID test for travel
Replies: 19
Views: 1646

Re: Cost for COVID test for travel

When I left the US in January, I needed a Covid test within a certain time period before my departure. There were *lots* of free PCR test options (Miami), but none of them *guaranteed* results within the necessary time period. I had over a 90% chance of success, but that is not good enough. So I wis...
by kramer
Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I Bond Sell Strategy
Replies: 86
Views: 7393

Re: I Bond Sell Strategy

It is completely situation dependent. And calculate the cost of early cashing in against what the replacement investment would yield. I have only one full tranche of I-bonds, yielding a mix of 3 and 3.4%, all due in the same year. But I plan to cash them in over 3 calendar years, trying my best to s...
by kramer
Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medallion signature guarantee
Replies: 80
Views: 5799

Re: Medallion signature guarantee

I am considering opening a Treasury Direct account, something that I should probably do eventually since I have a bunch of paper I-bonds maturing starting in about 8 years, and I would like to convert them to electronic form (the paper is currently stored in a relative's safe deposit box) as well as...
by kramer
Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: People with Covid-19 vaccination record cards: where are you keeping them?
Replies: 179
Views: 15746

Re: People with Covid-19 vaccination record cards: where are you keeping them?

As others said, I will store my physical vaccination record with my passport plus a digital record (when I do get vaccinated, next month hopefully). The only other thing I would add is that by the end of the month IATA plans to formally release their Android/iOS application which many airlines aroun...
by kramer
Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: roth conversion during retirement before RMD
Replies: 14
Views: 1251

Re: roth conversion during retirement before RMD

As your total income, including qualified dividends and capital gains, goes from the 12% bracket to the 22% bracket, you will experience a marginal rate of 27%. This happens because at this point in your income curve, each dollar of additional income is taxed at 12% PLUS you are converting a dollar ...
by kramer
Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any long term early retirees here?
Replies: 41
Views: 6624

Re: Any long term early retirees here?

I retired in early 2007 and of course got hit hard by the subsequent market crash. Anyway, doing better than ever now 14 years later in my mid-50s (fortunately). I never really missed my career like some, it probably depends a lot on your personality. I have been posting on this board since its foun...
by kramer
Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric shaver
Replies: 33
Views: 2396

Re: Electric shaver

Something to consider for light travelers. I replaced the charger plug of my (Panasonic) shaver with a third party USB cord that fits it and charges it. So now I don't have to carry the fat charger plug on trips (and I only carry a single dual-USB C charger). I won't buy another shaver that can't ch...
by kramer
Sun Mar 14, 2021 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: With the large number of posts on umbrella insurance ....and more and more posts on "becoming a nomad"...
Replies: 28
Views: 2448

Re: With the large number of posts on umbrella insurance ....and more and more posts on "becoming a nomad"...

As a mobile person without a fixed address, I would only find umbrella insurance necessary for driving in the US. I never had renter's insurance, either, when I lived in the US although I left 14 years ago when I retired and have only visited since then. At that time, I had maxed out my driver's lia...
by kramer
Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone here live in AirBNBs full time?
Replies: 36
Views: 4150

Re: Anyone here live in AirBNBs full time?

I agree with the earlier poster that if you wait to try it before you rent longer term, usually some dates will be taken making it difficult to rent for an extended period. I think it's much easier in shoulder to low season. So be very aware of the season. I hate to give much advice as I am still le...
by kramer
Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [How do I track and carry forward unused foreign tax credits?]
Replies: 25
Views: 1196

Re: [How do I track and carry forward unused foreign tax credits?]

Just as an FYI, Turbo Tax handles foreign tax credit carryovers seamlessly. I don't even have to think about it. For those thinking of doing their first carryover, keep in mind that you can also carry BACK one year. So, for instance, the first year after I retired I had a large unused foreign tax cr...
by kramer
Wed Mar 10, 2021 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]
Replies: 493
Views: 139307

Re: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]

In regards to Prime Harvesting, just this month I went over a 20% real gain in equities since I started using the method which would imply a harvest. But if I recall, one only looks at end-of-year totals and not intra-year totals, correct? I officially began using the method at the end of a year. An...
by kramer
Wed Mar 10, 2021 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent forever instead of buying a condo?
Replies: 19
Views: 1670

Re: Rent forever instead of buying a condo?

Another issue to consider is that if you bought, you would get little tax benefit. Since the sum of your income taxes, property taxes, and mortgage interest would not be that much greater than the standard deduction and possibly less. A very back of the envelope calculation on the numbers you put fo...
by kramer
Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 35 and thinking about early retirement or partial retirement
Replies: 131
Views: 13769

Re: 35 and thinking about early retirement or partial retirement

I retired at age 41, single guy (and still happily retired, 14 years later). I made the mistake of staying on in a job that I was totally burned out on, and basically I had to quit. I just couldn't take it anymore, I really pushed myself the last 6 months to last as long as possible for financial re...
by kramer
Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digital COVID passport for travel
Replies: 32
Views: 1775

Re: Digital COVID passport for travel

I have read that the real proof is in the digital records of the entity that vaccinated you. So those records could be accessed with the data on your vaccination card, which would only have to be done once, and then that would serve as proof via a digital certificate in the application. The card I ...
by kramer
Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone use travelers checks any more?
Replies: 110
Views: 5749

Re: Does anyone use travelers checks any more?

Around 2010, even the bank that issued the traveler's checks to me wouldn't take them back. I finally succeeded in getting rid of them at the third bank I tried.
by kramer
Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digital COVID passport for travel
Replies: 32
Views: 1775

Re: Digital COVID passport for travel

It's a work in progress and several entities around the world are working on it. It is not clear what the end result will be. In Israel, they are actually talking about measuring antibodies for incoming tourists. I have read that the real proof is in the digital records of the entity that vaccinated...
by kramer
Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to be a nomad but not sure about keeping a house
Replies: 44
Views: 4229

Re: Want to be a nomad but not sure about keeping a house

One question - how would you handle transportation when in the US? Will you store a car with one of the relatives, or just rent? Probably not an issue for some of the European destinations due to the generally better public transportation infrastructure there, but may be an issue when back in the U...
by kramer
Tue Mar 02, 2021 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: health insurance in retirement - suggestions ?
Replies: 20
Views: 1484

Re: health insurance in retirement - suggestions ?

Wow on the $1700/mo....but that is likely a better plan than I can get via ACA in my area, since NONE allow out of network at all, even the more expensive plans. They change each year, so we'll see what comes for 2022 and beyond. Can someone explain what this really means ... does this mean that if...
by kramer
Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to be a nomad but not sure about keeping a house
Replies: 44
Views: 4229

Re: Want to be a nomad but not sure about keeping a house

It sounds like you want to downsize no matter what, so I think that weighs in favor of selling the house first. Be forewarned, downsizing is an iterative process and takes time. I still laugh at my first downsizing attempts, which seem so bloated now. So start as soon as possible on that. I would vo...
by kramer
Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversions vs ACA credits (in early retirement)
Replies: 58
Views: 2925

Re: Roth conversions vs ACA credits (in early retirement)

Setting aside the ACA (which I don’t know much about), and possible Roth conversions, how were you planning to get from age 55 to 70, if you need $75k for spending each year (and does that include income taxes)? It sounds like once you reach age 70, you are home “free” but may have spent down a lot...
by kramer
Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any expats retired in europe? How much needed to retire?
Replies: 135
Views: 18468

Re: Any expats retired in europe? How much needed to retire?

One advice is to not underestimate the years long study required to get to an advanced (but not nearly fluent) level at any particular foreign language. To get to fluent from advanced is more years.
by kramer
Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Life expectancy decline and Social Security.
Replies: 17
Views: 2022

Re: Life expectancy decline and Social Security.

Each year, future Social Security amounts for each cohort are based on the earnings in the year in which that cohort turned 60 years old. So the big effect on future Social Security is for the cohort that turned 60 in 2020, since total Social Security wages went down significantly in 2020. Their li...
by kramer
Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Life expectancy decline and Social Security.
Replies: 17
Views: 2022

Re: Life expectancy decline and Social Security.

Each year, future Social Security amounts for each cohort are based on the earnings in the year in which that cohort turned 60 years old. So the big effect on future Social Security is for the cohort that turned 60 in 2020, since total Social Security wages went down significantly in 2020. Their lif...
by kramer
Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone planning on traveling after vaccine?
Replies: 32
Views: 2391

Re: Anyone planning on traveling after vaccine?

I have been traveling this entire time. No issues. Same here since September, currently in Colombia. I do hope to get back to the US in mid-April and get vaccinated (and get the all-important vaccine paperwork). How are you planning for the tests to go back to the US? The US has (in my opinion) a r...
by kramer
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tubo Tax and foreign tax credit carry forward
Replies: 24
Views: 1356

Re: Tubo Tax and foreign tax credit carry forward

Yes, it's a common situation and it sounds like you did not make a mistake. Once you exceed the (no hassle) tax credit limits on foreign tax paid ($300 or $600, single or married), then your percentage of foreign tax credit is topped at the total rate you paid on your non-foreign income. An example ...
by kramer
Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Digital Subscription $4.00/month
Replies: 29
Views: 3352

Re: The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Digital Subscription $4.00/month

Thanks for this pointer, I did subscribe to the WSJ digital for $52 for 1 year and then it goes to $9.99 per month after that (which seems reasonable compared to the rack rate). I had also decided about a month ago to end my NY Times subscription, but when I finally contacted them this weekend they ...
by kramer
Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Tax Credit: Can I elect to limit to $600 MFJ to avoid Form 1116??
Replies: 24
Views: 4704

Re: Foreign Tax Credit: Can I elect to limit to $600 MFJ to avoid Form 1116??

There was a thread about this a long time ago on Bogleheads. No, you cannot reduce your foreign tax paid and just take the $600 credit. Basically, if I recall the way it was presented, the $600 no-hassle-credit is a gift, but you are not eligible for this gift if you go over. And, for many people, n...
by kramer
Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving to 0% income state tax.
Replies: 44
Views: 3605

Re: Moving to 0% income state tax.

I don't know how it works if your passport has a visa in it and and the passport expires while you are traveling. I am sure that it happens but it would likely be a headache to replace both the passport and visa while you are out of the country. It would be probably easiest to renew your passport b...
by kramer
Sat Feb 06, 2021 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: COVID habits you will keep...?
Replies: 95
Views: 3898

Re: COVID habits you will keep...?

Nothing much really.

I have always sort of not liked handshakes, thinking the Japanese had a much better approach. But if someone wants to shake I won't turn them down, either.

I have been flying a lot recently, and I might continue to wear masks for at least part of a flight, undecided on that.
by kramer
Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Splitting time between 2 states (Florida)
Replies: 15
Views: 1791

Re: Splitting time between 2 states (Florida)

Perhaps find a place to live that doesn't require a car for everyday errands. We have a 2nd home in FL but only keep bikes in the garage. We enjoy the exercise, it's flat, and plenty warm to cycle. If you need a car, there are plenty of rental cars that are fairly cheap in FL with all of the touris...
by kramer
Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement: Anyone here from\live in Anthem, AZ?
Replies: 15
Views: 2093

Re: Retirement: Anyone here from\live in Anthem, AZ?

Although I know it's a big improvement on the cold of the Midwest, I find that area too cold in the winter, 5 months with average lows in the 40s. Best wishes on your retirement!
by kramer
Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you pay your taxes? Check or EFTPS?
Replies: 80
Views: 4832

Re: How do you pay your taxes? Check or EFTPS?

I just pay with a debit card on Direct Pay for IRS and I do it just once per year (total fixed fee of around $3 regardless of amount). I don't live in the US so I can't rely on the mail. I have found this way the most hassle free for me. I lost my account info on EFTPS way back when, plus I don't ev...
by kramer
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to: international currencies exposure
Replies: 18
Views: 1330

Re: How to: international currencies exposure

I spend most of my money abroad and I share the concerns about currency diversification. Plus, all of my future Social Security payments will be in dollars (I am in my 50's). But I decided there are no unhedged international bond funds worth the expense ratio. I do have 60% of equities in internatio...
by kramer
Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International stocks will outperform US stocks in 2021
Replies: 68
Views: 6672

Re: International stocks will outperform US stocks in 2021

I am about 60% international and have predicted this year after year :D :oops:

Fortunately, my asset allocation fits into my long term investment plan and makes sense in my situation.
by kramer
Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2021 I Bonds: what's your plan?
Replies: 204
Views: 24652

Re: 2021 I Bonds: what's your plan?

Why even bother with i-Bonds at 0% fixed rate? Serious question, not trolling here. Personally, I'm buying EE-Bonds instead of i-Bonds now. And yes, I have to hold it for 20 years exactly. I know. If I am reading the Treasury Direct page correctly, there is a separate $10,000 purchase limit on I-bo...
by kramer
Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is happening to landlords who can't evict their tenant?
Replies: 20
Views: 3727

Re: What is happening to landlords who can't evict their tenant?

If I were a tenant this year, I would have sent a note to my landlord to reassure him that I will not be defaulting on my rent obligation.
by kramer
Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tanzania Safari
Replies: 33
Views: 2285

Re: Tanzania Safari

But Tanzania is not doing this at all based on the research I have done. They have no entry restrictions other than questions about your health. People are actively visiting and having enjoyable vacations. Tanzania knows that far more of their citizens will die from poverty and starvation than from...
by kramer
Sat Dec 05, 2020 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living in the US and another country (retirement planning)
Replies: 97
Views: 6610

Re: Living in the US and another country (retirement planning)

Three different times in Mexico (in 2 different cities) I have rented a one month AirBnb (28 days or more) in order to get the big monthly discount and I had good luck with it each time. In fact, in my last AirBnb at the 3 week mark I extended from 5 weeks to 7 weeks (you can do all this online and ...
by kramer
Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living in the US and another country (retirement planning)
Replies: 97
Views: 6610

Re: Living in the US and another country (retirement planning)

I have a friend who lives in Toronto, Canada (so not the USA) for 5 months each year and in Asia for 7 months. But he manages to rent out his house (one half of a duplex), which is in a desirable area in Toronto, for about 6 months each year (a 6 month lease to a single person/family). He manages to...
by kramer
Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to control spending if you only live off of dividends but dividends are uneven?
Replies: 43
Views: 2952

Re: How to control spending if you only live off of dividends but dividends are uneven?

Make sure to take full advantage of the 0% tax bracket for qualified dividends and capital gains each year. That means if you are single, you want your income to be at least around $50,000 each year. So if your income is less than that, you would want to do some tax gain harvesting and raise the bas...
by kramer
Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Choosing a Kindle Oasis over a Regular Paperwhite E-reader?
Replies: 20
Views: 1416

Re: Choosing a Kindle Oasis over a Regular Paperwhite E-reader?

FYI, the Paperwhite is "due" for an upgrade (last upgraded in 2018, and the other two Kindles have both been upgraded since then). There are rumors that it would have been out already except for Covid-related supply chain issues. On the other hand, technology in this area advances pretty s...
by kramer
Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review: Early Retiree (less than $1 Million)
Replies: 47
Views: 5563

Re: Portfolio Review: Early Retiree (less than $1 Million)

Just a few comments: It doesn't make sense to maintain the mortgage after retiring. And I would redo the budget and plan without that. I don't know much about HealthShare plans, but $300 per month for age 57 to 65 doesn't even sound in the ballpark for real total healthcare costs (and don't forget d...
by kramer
Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to calculate earned capital gains using estimates
Replies: 6
Views: 458

Re: How to calculate earned capital gains using estimates

On Monday, estimated year end Capital Gains will be announced for Vanguard funds. Where on the site would one find these? If you go to this webpage you will find a link to "Upcoming Capital Gains Information". The link does not currently work as of 12:22pm Eastern Time on 11/16. But presu...
by kramer
Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign Tax Credit Turbotax 2020
Replies: 18
Views: 1544

Re: Foreign Tax Credit Turbotax 2020

I use the high tier of TurboTax (Premier) download. I am single but the principle is the same, except my limit is $300. Since I hold a lot of foreign mutual funds in taxable accounts, my foreign taxes paid far exceed $300. I have foreign tax carryovers going back the full 10 years (which is the maxi...
by kramer
Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement - ACA Subsidy vs Roth Conversions
Replies: 27
Views: 3460

Re: Early Retirement - ACA Subsidy vs Roth Conversions

It seems that once your IRA becomes 100% bonds, the pressure to Roth convert should go down. If I recall, I-ORP was not considering this, even though it may be a major factor. I could be mistaken, though. To get around the propensity to put money towards the account with the highest returns, in i-o...
by kramer
Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement - ACA Subsidy vs Roth Conversions
Replies: 27
Views: 3460

Re: Early Retirement - ACA Subsidy vs Roth Conversions

It seems that once your IRA becomes 100% bonds, the pressure to Roth convert should go down. If I recall, I-ORP was not considering this, even though it may be a major factor. I could be mistaken, though.