Search found 438 matches

by Bill M
Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the difference? [Advantages of a Wealth Manager?]
Replies: 44
Views: 4896

Re: What's the difference? [Advantages of a Wealth Manager?]

I do all my own investment decisions, so I can't give any experience on that part. But I have used both a CFP and a "Wealth Manager" in the past year on various strategy questions. While I agree the term "Wealth Manager" is for snob appeal, the differences in recommendations were...
by Bill M
Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you account for future inheritance?
Replies: 45
Views: 3649

Re: Do you account for future inheritance?

Just to add one more monkey wrench to the mix -- unless you are the executor of their estate, you have no control over the legal fees that come off the top. You only get a portion of the remainder. Zero is the right valuation for now.
by Bill M
Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Record Keeping
Replies: 16
Views: 2532

Re: Personal Record Keeping

Keep it simple, and keep it contained. I keep two file drawers in the basement, and one folder in the desk upstairs. Everything paper goes to the folder upstairs. Once per year (Jan/Feb) I go through it and separate out everything related to taxes. The rest goes to drawer#1 in basement, in a folder ...
by Bill M
Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worst case planning for Social Security
Replies: 16
Views: 1823

Re: Worst case planning for Social Security

Thanks for all the input. To respond to all at once,... Several posters under age 40 say don't assume any Social Security benefits, and plan accordingly. The consensus of the rest seems to be to project either full promised benefits, or 75% of that. Anything worse is likely beyond the 98 %-ile, in t...
by Bill M
Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Spousal and Survivors Benefits
Replies: 10
Views: 1592

Re: Social Security - Spousal and Survivors Benefits

Question: Is the 5 years younger relevant, or is it just younger that is important? That is, can we say that the optimal strategy with * a younger spouse * whose benefit even at 70 will be less than 1/2 of higher earner's benefit at FRA (i.e. max spousal benefit) is (assuming both live beyond age 7...
by Bill M
Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worst case planning for Social Security
Replies: 16
Views: 1823

Worst case planning for Social Security

I'd like to do a stress test on the Social Security aspects of our retirement planning, but don't really know what to include for worst case for Social Security benefits. I'd like to find out what others use. Stats right now: we're both 60, I have 35 years of max withholding, wife's PIA is 2/3 of mi...
by Bill M
Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Spousal and Survivors Benefits
Replies: 10
Views: 1592

Re: Social Security - Spousal and Survivors Benefits

The other risk, certainly significant to you, maybe financially significant and maybe not, is if you die before age 70. That would stop the delayed retirement credits, and sets a lower widow benefit.
by Bill M
Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security increase rate
Replies: 19
Views: 2121

Re: Social Security increase rate

Have you considered just doing your analysis in real terms and forgetting about trying to predict inflation? The problem I have with doing the analysis in real terms is that my pension has no COLA. So its real value declines over time. The magnitude of the decline makes a huge difference in the pro...
by Bill M
Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reasons for doing FAFSA when you won't qualify for aid?
Replies: 20
Views: 2585

Re: Reasons for doing FAFSA when you won't qualify for aid?

The FAFSA was required before consideration for merit scholarships (schools wouldn't consider merit grants if you qualified for need-based grants). So even if you know you wouldn't qualify for any scholarships based on need, do you want to cut off the merit option too?
by Bill M
Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One Fraud Dept called me. Closed cc account
Replies: 24
Views: 6831

Re: Capital One Fraud Dept called me. Closed cc account

With more and more buying online, I've dedicated one specific credit card for online purchases. Every other card is only used by physically placing it in the card reader (either by us or by a store clerk in our sight). That limits our exposure. I would like to know how cards get compromised. Over th...
by Bill M
Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint & survivor pension decision
Replies: 62
Views: 9882

Re: Joint & survivor pension decision

As far as my wife's annuity decision I assume you mean I would be doing the robbing? We both work at the same company - hope things don't change before the time she retires. There is no pop up provision. To be actuarily fair, the JS100 factor for your wife's pension should be approximately 91% (due...
by Bill M
Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint & survivor pension decision
Replies: 62
Views: 9882

Re: Joint & survivor pension decision

You are being offered a huge subsidy on the JS100. The 83.6% payout is roughly actuarily equivalent to the straight life if your spouse is the same age as you (I calculate 84.5% to be fair). Since she is 10 years younger, the payout should be ~76% to be actuarily fair. Take the gift! The more intere...
by Bill M
Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help, reaching my full retirement age of 66
Replies: 35
Views: 3469

Re: Help, reaching my full retirement age of 66

I'm curious about your decision to start your wife's spouse benefits early. It seems from your calculations that she would receive $1050/mo now, or $1164/mo by waiting until Sep 2014. Thats $14,700 now, versus $114/mo forever, and a breakeven point at age 76. If you are reasonably healthy, you'd col...
by Bill M
Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA question
Replies: 4
Views: 584

Re: IRA question

I'm curious -- how is it reported on your W-2? In the box 1 labeled "Wages, tips, other compensation"? And is there something in box 11, "Nonqualified plans"? If the numbers are different, why doesn't the difference count as compensation for an IRA contribution?
by Bill M
Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cyprus Banking Crisis
Replies: 26
Views: 2469

Re: CYPRUS BANKING CRISIS

exoilman wrote:The insurance(250K) lasts to the end of 2013.
On 7/21/2010 the new limit was made permanent.

If the Euro breaks up, I think the northern countries (e.g. Germany) will have significant appreciation in their new (old?) currency. So I've bought additional German stocks.
by Bill M
Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transfer of Assets Before Death
Replies: 29
Views: 3907

Re: Transfer of Assets Before Death

If they enter a nursing home on Medicaid, they are going to hate the quality of care (or lack of quality of care) soooo much that you will be paying mucho $$$ to keep them happy -- and they will be convinced that you owe it to them. Cheaper for you to have them keep the $600K and use it for their ca...
by Bill M
Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much Cash do I Need to Retire?
Replies: 38
Views: 6397

Re: How Much Cash do I Need to Retire?

Speaking for myself and not the OP, this calculation was an interesting academic exercise -- until the curves crossed (see my earlier post). That caused some portfolio adjustments, to say the least. In RIIA terms, we now have a solid floor, and separate accounts for upside. It is nice not worrying a...
by Bill M
Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much Cash do I Need to Retire?
Replies: 38
Views: 6397

Re: How Much Cash do I Need to Retire?

A number that would work in most cases could also be blown away if we have 70s-style inflation, let alone even higher or hyper-inflation. To some extent, there's no amount of 'cash only' money that would insure things would work out for you (see: German hyperinflation). In short: you can't 'take in...
by Bill M
Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Possible to move non-deductable IRA $$ to Roth?
Replies: 4
Views: 583

Re: Possible to move non-deductable IRA $$ to Roth?

If you had a 401(k) where you worked, there may be another option. You know the basis -- the amount of after-tax contribution you have made. Move the pre-tax portion (current balance less the basis) into the 401k (some 401k plans allow such transfers, and some 401k plans allow such transfers even af...
by Bill M
Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much Cash do I Need to Retire?
Replies: 38
Views: 6397

Re: How Much Cash do I Need to Retire?

This is a calculation I started doing about 10 years ago, before it had such a catchy phase. The "game", as I see it, is to avoid three big risks: (1) market risks, mainly underperformance and fluctuations, (2) inflation, and (3) longevity. Once you've avoided all three, you've won. The &q...
by Bill M
Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency Fund really necessary in retirement
Replies: 19
Views: 4206

Re: Emergency Fund really necessary in retirement

I'm not yet retired, so my answer is based on my plans, not experience. I currently have an emergency fund equal to 6 months of expenses, and it generally doesn't get touched. Once I retire I plan to use that fund as a "buffer", keeping it as approximately 6 times average monthly expenses,...
by Bill M
Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to drop term insurance
Replies: 21
Views: 2841

Re: When to drop term insurance

Technical and logical answers already given above. But you don't want to become the example insurance agents will use for decades -- the person who cancelled their insurance and got hit by a truck the next day. My wife calls this the karma effect, and you need to appease the karma gods. Strategies d...
by Bill M
Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you use an accountant? Why or why not?
Replies: 34
Views: 2759

Re: Do you use an accountant? Why or why not?

Always done my own taxes. The simple stock sales, but also sole proprietors (Sch C), HSAs, RSUs, ISOs, MLPs, Kiddie taxes, estimated payments, etc. I think the things you learn by doing them yourselves is invaluable in planning for the future. Yes I've made several mistakes and filed 1040Xs, but the...
by Bill M
Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security PIA, DRC, and COLA interractions
Replies: 3
Views: 1004

Social Security PIA, DRC, and COLA interractions

My FRA is 66, but I'm planning to retire and wait until 70 to start receiving Social Security benefits. After calculating my PIA, I understand the 32% bump for delayed retirement credits. But I'm not sure how COLAs fit in. There seem to be two conflicting views. From an article at http://www.fairmar...
by Bill M
Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barclays OnLine 1% MMA-Any Experience?
Replies: 10
Views: 2943

Re: Barclays OnLine 1% MMA-Any Experience?

I have many of these online savings accounts, Ally, Amex, Barclays, Citizens, Discover, Hudson City, Investors Savings, PNC, and several local banks that offered good CD rates for a while. Barclays is easy to set up, easy to use, no hassles, good rates, and allows large ACH transfers. Not perfect (i...
by Bill M
Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax questions
Replies: 12
Views: 1579

Re: Tax questions

To get a credit for foreign tax paid, you would normally have to file form 1116. But since your tax paid is less than $300 (or $600 if married filing joint), you don't need to file 1116 -- just put the $64.18 on 1040 line 47 and take it as a credit. Look at page 1 of the instructions for form 1116 f...
by Bill M
Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amend for $1? [Poll] [Fix tax return, Schedule K-1]
Replies: 17
Views: 2923

Re: Amend for $1? [Poll] [Fix tax return, Schedule K-1]

What might be more important than the $1 refund is the passive loss carryover. If any of those K-1 forms had values to put on form 8582 for carryover into future years, it might be worth filing the 1040X even without the refund. Otherwise, I'd let the IRS catch the missing K-1s, and have the audit r...
by Bill M
Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraudulent Income Tax Refunds
Replies: 20
Views: 2432

Re: Fraudulent Income Tax Refunds

...there were massive differences between the fraudulant and true returns including filing status, income (ours was >$150K vs. <50K on the fraudulant return), deductions, dependents, employer, and balance due, etc. There is no way that anyone could look at both returns and think that they were sent...
by Bill M
Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medallion signature guarantee - is this requirement common?
Replies: 101
Views: 31399

Re: Medallion signature guarantee - is this requirement comm

Does anyone have an idea regarding how common this requirement is? It sure seems common. I've done it so many times it has become almost automatic. Every form sent regarding my TreasuryDirect account needs the medallion guarantee. Every form to transfer a retirement account from one custodian to an...
by Bill M
Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Surprised at actual marginal tax rate
Replies: 32
Views: 3605

Re: Surprised at actual marginal tax rate

Consider the simpler case of the AMT, where there are supposedly only two rates, 26% and 28%. Using the numbers for 2013 -- the first $80800 (exemption amount) is tax-free, next $179.5K is taxed at 26%, and rest at 28%. But the exemption phases out starting at $153.9K. So it leads to four different ...
by Bill M
Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I Need to Amend My Taxes if No Change in Tax Liability?
Replies: 28
Views: 11709

Re: Do I Need to Amend My Taxes if No Change in Tax Liabilit

I had a somewhat similar situation a few years ago, when I forgot to wait for a K-1. When it came I filed a 1040X, just so that I could file the 8582 and use the passive loss carryover in later years. But the 1040X was very boring, with no changes anywhere. There are several numbers on a tax form th...
by Bill M
Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The 3 Rules for Increasing Your Social Security Benefits
Replies: 26
Views: 4451

Re: The 3 Rules for Increasing Your Social Security Benefits

From Larry Kotlikoff writing for Yahoo! Finance. Link: The 3 Rules for Increasing Your Social Security Benefits . Finally, there is uncertainty about future benefits. I don't know the current values for X and Y, but Social Security officially has said that if no action is taken, it will be necessar...
by Bill M
Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to make it easier for spouse upon death
Replies: 91
Views: 14976

Re: How to make it easier for spouse upon death

I maintain a Word document which I update frequently identifying everything we have and where I keep it.. Such as wills, car titles, home papers, insurance policies, credit cards, bank and investment accounts, accounts paid by auto withdrawal from our checking account, computerized spreadsheets, et...
by Bill M
Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is $2M umbrella enough for $200K income + no assets?
Replies: 31
Views: 4681

Re: Is $2M umbrella enough for $200K income + no assets?

State laws differ, so this answer is only for New Jersey. Litigant picks a number for their lawsuit (probably huge), defendant submits net worth statement to judge, judge calculates new amount of lawsuit. Retirement accounts (401k, IRA, Roth, 403b) are safe and subtracted from net worth. Home value ...
by Bill M
Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: do you charge everything to 1 credit card?
Replies: 60
Views: 6071

Re: do you charge everything to 1 credit card?

We use two cards, one exclusively for online purchases, and one for everything else. The online one has the 0% liability guarantee. It seems every time I have to use paypal for an online purchase, fraudulent charges start appearing -- so the card is cancelled and replaced. Too much hassle if the pri...
by Bill M
Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opps...Over 401K 50K Contribution Limits...what now?
Replies: 18
Views: 3216

Re: Opps...Over 401K 50K Contribution Limits...what now?

Thanks Bill. Do you happen to know what your employer would do if the after-tax funds were not there to "subtract?" I'm in a similar place except I roll my after-tax into Roth via in-service withdrawals so effectively there is a point in time where my after-tax is small. We are talking sm...
by Bill M
Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opps...Over 401K 50K Contribution Limits...what now?
Replies: 18
Views: 3216

Re: Opps...Over 401K 50K Contribution Limits...what now?

I've been exceeding the $50K limit (the "415(c)(1)(A) limit") every year for my 401k. Intentionally. My company allows 50% of pay to be contributed. Contributions are automatically switched from before-tax (or Roth) to after-tax when I hit the $17K limit. But all of the contributions are i...