Displaying 1 - 10 of 106 Forum Posts1 2 3 4 5 Next
  • May 15, 2019 01:55 PM
    Last: 5hr

    Beto's numbers are already starting to fall just a bit. He is polling at 3.6% now. I don't think he will outlast the first two rounds of debates.

    What you see just before the first debates is Elizabeth Warren taking polling from both Biden and Sanders:

    Biden - 32%, Sanders 15%, Warren 11.9%.

    Outside of that everyone else is about the same from the original posting here, outside of maybe Yang who looks to be on an ever so slight rise - 0.8% to 1.1%. That would make him 8th in polling where he was 12th before.

  • May 14, 2019 11:48 AM
    Last: 5hr

    5 are starting to pull away I would say as we near the first debates. Current polling:

    Biden - 32%
    Sanders - 15%
    Warren - 11.9%
    Harris - 7.1%
    Buttigieg - 7%

    O'Rourke and Booker polling at about 2-3% And the rest 1% or lower. I think we will know a ton about who is for real or not by the end of the first debates. Expecting many to drop out if they don't see dramatic promise in polling a few days or weeks after the first debates.

    Maybe by the 2nd round of debates in July there will only be 10 candidates or so on the stage. After that second round though, for sure it will be down to just the top 5-8 max.

  • May 14, 2019 11:48 AM
    Last: 5hr

    You do have Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris and Buttigieg polling in the top 5 right now, according to RealClearPolitics. Same for FiveThirtyEight.

    I do see Biden and Sanders making it into what you could call the final four. My two candidates I'm most interested in don't have the best shots but I am hoping they make it as the other two - Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard. Currently they are 11th and 12th in polling. But with things just about to kick off, I don't see either of them turning it in early. I think they outlast at the minimum half the crowd.

    I think Buttigieg has staying power. But I do not think Booker or O'Rourke will be around in the end. Have my doubts about Harris as well. I think they will bow out fairly early compared to Biden and Sanders. But Warren, yeah she could be there close to the end.

    That said, Gillibrand, Inslee, Ryan, Delaney, Hickenlooper and anyone else not even polling in the top 16 right now.. I think they will all be the first to go.

  • May 07, 2019 04:23 PM
    Last: 1mo

    This should be a crazy election cycle at least for the Dems primary race. The count is now 22 candidates and like you said, will probably increase shortly. We will see many candidates drop like flies in the coming months and I agree its crucial they get this debate stage issue right.

    Luckily the internet is bigger than ever so these candidates don't have to rely solely on TV appearances and screen time, but its still the best way to get your campaign message out there to the masses so I sincerely hope the moderators leave their pre-determined biases at the door.

  • May 07, 2019 05:08 PM
    Last: 1mo
    Colorado and Arizona have been on my radar for a while. I wonder how the economic disparity in Florida should effect its ranking. I've heard for a long time its a state of the have and have not's. Anyone here retire or planning on retiring in Florida have an opinion on this?
  • May 13, 2019 05:17 PM
    Last: 1mo
    HollisM Wrote: I would say to give yourself an ample amount of time to shop around for coverage that better suites you.
    Good point. That's definitely the general idea here; try and prepare best you can in advance. Will require a good amount of research but it will be time well spent.
  • May 13, 2019 05:17 PM
    Last: 1mo

    Planning for retirement is arguably the most difficult thing you'll have to do in life, when it comes to finances and how it effects the rest of your life. And the problem is its not very straightforward and if you don't plan correctly you could find yourself scrambling just to afford the bare essentials. Lots of guesswork involved and of course, math.

    Hoping this forum helps and we can start a conversation for the best practices and considerations for planning for retirement, especially for those nearing retirement and expecting to live on a modest income.

    Here are some considerations I have come across to begin this with, just by googling around:

    1. Inflation. It's no secret the value of the dollar degrades over time. Every year in fact your dollar doesn't go as far as it did the year prior. Most agree the annual inflation is about 2-3% a year. The last 10 years (2008-2018) we saw an annual average of 1.6% but historically its been even a bit higher.

    And its smart to just assume 4% for cushion. Cyclical market crashes and unknown economic events can and will effect inflation in a negative way in the coming years. So if you are say 10 years away from retirement, whatever your budget is today, it needs to account for the loss of buying power with the money you saved.

    You can calculate 'expected inflation' with a number of online calculators. Here's one aimed specifically at retiring.

    2. Healthcare Costs. This is a very important one. Get this, Fidelty says that a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2018 will need an estimated $285,000 to cover their expenses in retirement. And Healthview Services says its even higher -- $363,000.

    Now luckily some of those expenses can be covered with Medicare and supplemental health insurance. But with such a high number and depending on what you expect to pay yourself (which again is likely impossible to correctly predict the further you are away from retiring), you can consider purchasing long-term care insurance or invest in a health savings account (HSA) to mitigate this massive expense down the road.

    3. Taxes. Another article points out that unless all your retirement savings are in a Roth account, you will be paying taxes on your retirement savings. So whatever number you have set aside for retirement, you need to calculate the taxes of withdrawing from it and plan accordingly otherwise it will come as an unwelcome surprise at the worst time.

    You can consider hiring a fee-only financial planner for this. Just to get all your numbers in order. That's not a bad idea; small price to pay usually for peace of mind.

    4. Investments. If you are invested in a combination of stocks and bonds with a financial advisor and plan on pulling from that come retirement, there is some development here. Your advisor might be following an old 'safe' strategy of investing that isn't returning the yields it should.

    I recommend checking out this article from Fortune and even bring it up with your advisor (if you are doing so) to rework the strategy. Basically it boils down to investing in the stock market when you are younger and as you get closer to retirement traditionally advisors move money into bonds. The problem with that is it doesn't account for market up's and down's. So your money could unnecessarily be sitting in a bad market for years because your advisor is sticking to an outdated strategy.

    So you have inflation, healthcare costs, taxes and investment strategies to consider. But also of course Social Security benefits, spousal savings and benefits, and picking the best age to retire, as well as trying to correctly calculate (however morbid to some) of how long you expect to live.

    Most assume they only need 75-80% of their current income come retirement because they expect their expenses to decrease once they retire. While this may or may not be true for you, just consider whatever number you come up with, that will dictate exactly what you are able to do once a job is off the table. So traveling, hobbies and helping out family members and the like should be factored in as well, adjusted to your personal preferences and needs.

    Again, this calculator is good start -- Retirement Planning Calculator. Feel free and add anything I missed here that can help. Complicated subject.. maybe others can simplify it. If you have experience, please post as well.

  • Apr 09, 2019 12:28 PM
    Last: 2mo
    JaredS Wrote:

    Unfortunately, the answer is quite simple - the tax code discourages (and will soon criminalize) the Federal government from developing free tax-filing software that Americans could use to file their income taxes. This is because for profit tax filing companies have spent a lot of money lobbying both parties in Congress to stay out of the tax filing "business" and to let them take care of things.

    That's amazing. Thanks for making me aware of that development.

    So what, the argument is TurboTax and the like will lose a ton of business to the govt tax portal for free filing, making companies unable to also offer free services to the same group of filers?

    Ok. That's just not true. It could operate in a free market still just like anything else. Let the govt offer it for free AND companies can offer the same service for free as well. And see which portals the tax filers by and large prefer.

    I really hate the cottage industry that is the tax filing software companies. For all the reasons you pointed out -- filing taxes is too damn stressful and complicated. So now we pay for convenience and we pay so we don't screw things up and possibly get audited or worse.

    But what's really going on here in my estimation is that these companies are upset because they want to offer 'free' services to 'customers' and at the last second UPSALE them on 'audit protection' or identify fraud protection or whatever bundle service they come up with. Similar to insurance companies, but you know, for taxes..

    Having the govt offer free filing services makes perfect sense as a govt program and its really transparently uncool for tax companies to push them out of offering the service.

  • Apr 10, 2019 03:50 PM
    Last: 2mo
    JaredS Wrote:

    Most filers can request a 6-month extension to file their taxes, but it is important to know that your will be charged fees and interest on any money you owe to the government that isn't paid in full before the April 15 deadline.

    This is an important point. And one everyone definitely needs to know. Filing that extension is just for the paperwork. It doesn't give you an extra 6 months to pay your debt. That debt will accrue penalties and/or interest if you don't pay by the deadline.

    So even if you file an extension, just remember the longer you wait to pay your tax debt, if you had any for that year, the more it will end up being as the penalties and interest accrue over time.

  • Mar 20, 2019 03:42 PM
    Last: 3mo
    Preventative over reactive is ALWAYS the better way to go in the big picture and on any macro or micro scale. So good for everyone, from a case by case basis to the whole system. I'm all for any preventative care strategy. This one makes a lot of sense to me. I have looked at a lot of the associated ailments that stem from poor dental health; it's quite surprising and needs to be understood more.