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Old 06-11-2012, 10:02 PM   #41
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Thank you

Hello Sheehs1 & Vttlarry and thank you for posting a reply. In regards to some of your questions, you are correct, my mortgage balance is $104k and home assessment having gone down another $25k this year is appraised at around $160k, so their is equity.

NOW would NOT be the time to sell given the market. However, you are correct 3 bedrooms for myself is more than I need, and when the market changes I plan on changing too, and selling. I just love my home, as do many others in the neighborhood, and I have several people waiting should I ever sell, but I want to wait as am not ready yet.

As mentioned earlier, I contribute 11% of my income into my 401k at work which equals to $338 a month + the $122 my employer matches, which means I am contributing $460 a month to 401k. I also make sure to put in at least $200 a month into a savings account for liquid assets. I opened up an IRA with Fidelity when I rolled over an old 401k. I put those funds into the Fidelity 2020 funds.

If I manage to SAVE LIKE MAD and focus on continually contributing into my 401k without looking at the statements and fearing the worse, and also contribute into the IRA, hopefully, I should be fine.

I just wish SS would tell me what my "expected" monthly payment would be if I choose to go with 50% of my ex's SS. The said, until I actually file they cannot share that information. Why not? If would certainly help in planning accordingly.

I know someone posted I am not a financial stable investor (which I thought was quite rude) but in any event he/she needs to remember that is the reason I came to this forum to get advise and learn from those more knowledgeable. I'll admit I am not the sharpest pencil in the pocket protector, but I am willing to learn, and although I started late in life in saving and investing, I am moving forward and applying what I learn from everyone.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:12 AM   #42
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Rose:

I am pretty sure you misinterpreted that poster's sentiment. I believe he/she was reacting to another poster's suggestion about day trading which is a very risky financial strategy and would not seem appropriate for someone in your situation. We all become more knowledgeable and "sophisticated" by doing the research and reading these boards.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:48 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose3408 View Post
.....I just wish SS would tell me what my "expected" monthly payment would be if I choose to go with 50% of my ex's SS. The said, until I actually file they cannot share that information. Why not? If would certainly help in planning accordingly.
I agree that this is silly. Could your ex provide such information to you? Just make sure that he understands that what you get doesn't affect what he gets in any way as many people don't understand that. Another alternative would be to get a rough estimate using the SSA website and estimating what he earns and then take 50% of it.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:05 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Rose3408 View Post
I know someone posted I am not a financial stable investor (which I thought was quite rude) but in any event he/she needs to remember that is the reason I came to this forum to get advise and learn from those more knowledgeable.
Rose, if you're referring to my post with the photo... that was not directed towards your financial intelligence, but rather the suggestion to day trade as a solution. Every day trader has his/her own systems, many that don't work, a few that do... what most seem to have in common is that they believe passing on their knowledge to others will suddenly make them rich... like they aspire to be.

It is dangerous to listen to anyone giving advice to buy and sell momentum driven individual securities (stocks)... no matter what investing background you and they come from.

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Originally Posted by bltkmt View Post
Rose:

I am pretty sure you misinterpreted that poster's sentiment. I believe he/she was reacting to another poster's suggestion about day trading which is a very risky financial strategy and would not seem appropriate for someone in your situation. We all become more knowledgeable and "sophisticated" by doing the research and reading these boards.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:33 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Rose3408 View Post
I just wish SS would tell me what my "expected" monthly payment would be if I choose to go with 50% of my ex's SS. The said, until I actually file they cannot share that information. Why not? If would certainly help in planning accordingly.
You can get a "guesstimate" of his current projected benefits if you have two key bits of information - that is his SS# and the maiden name of his mother (assuming he spelled it correctly when he applied for his SS card, upon his first j*b), along with his birth date and state/location of birth, which I assume is common information.

Just plug the info into the following site:

Retirement Estimator

I'll assume you know the rules of a former spouse and the amount you can claim. Additionally, the amount shown for your ex may be slightly adjusted due to long ago military service (as mine is) since SS was not recorded for us long gone military folks, along with current/future income if he is still employed and contributing to SS.

I mentioned the spelling of his mother's maiden name. That's was a problem for me (applying for my SS card at age 16) since I knew the name but mis-spelled it on the application. A half-century later, I still have to use that mis-spelled name to get my information.

Just a note. If he has requested his info be "blocked" by the SSA, you will not be able to get the info; however I don't think a lot of folks think about this since you need more than a couple of common info data points to get access to the information.

Also, I can't blame SS for not giving you "projected" information. Too many things can change and they don't want to be liable for you making decisions on your future based upon the information they currently have.

Anyway, good luck to you.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:32 PM   #46
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Feeling silly

My sincere apologies for misinterpreting Milton's post saying "it doesn't appear that Rose is financially sophisticated, and for her this strategy would probably amount to little more than 'investing' her savings in lottery tickets." That is the problem with emails, they an so easily get misconstrued.

In any event, just looking for advice since I am by no means investment savvy. I am 50% of my 401k going into the PIMCO which I am comfortable with and the rolled over my old 401k into the Fidelity Fund 2020.

I'm just so confused now that I opened up a desperate Roth IRA, and when on earth to put my $$$. There are just too many choices. And I couldn't tell you the difference between stocks, funds, etc.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:46 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose3408 View Post
In regards to some of your questions, you are correct, my mortgage balance is $104k and home assessment having gone down another $25k this year is appraised at around $160k, so their is equity.

NOW would NOT be the time to sell given the market. However, you are correct 3 bedrooms for myself is more than I need, and when the market changes I plan on changing too, and selling. I just love my home, as do many others in the neighborhood, and I have several people waiting should I ever sell, but I want to wait as am not ready yet.
You're not upside down on your mortgage, so if you plan to sell and buy a smaller home, now may be as good a time as any. While the value of your home may have fallen, most likely the value of your new, smaller home will also be off it's high. Interest rates are low, so you can lock in a low rate on the new mortgage too.

OTOH you can wait and hope to sell your current home for more, but your new, smaller home will most likely be more expensive then too. You may gain nothing in terms of equity by waiting, and continue to bear higher home ownership expenses (insurance, prop tax, utilities, etc.) while you wait. And interest rates may well be higher then adding to your cost, and discouraging would be buyers for your old home.

Just something to consider...
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:22 PM   #48
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While the value of your home may have fallen, most likely the value of your new, smaller home will also be off it's high.
Good point. We sold our house last year for less than we paid for it in 2006. We didn't like that very much. That said, we bought a downsized house this year and paid less for it than the sellers paid when they bought it in 2007.

Yes, we on paper lost more on our sale since it was of a more expensive house than we bought. However, the maintenance and other costs associated with the larger house we sold are much greater than with the new house so in the long run selling the big house -- even at a lower price than we liked -- will work out better for us financially than keeping it several years with all those costs and then selling and buying in a higher priced market
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