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Old 07-31-2013, 08:07 AM   #141
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But when comparing local taxes between NYC and an area outside of NYC, shouldn't you include the NYC income tax which is used to offset property taxes (and collect from the many renters in NYC)? You probably still pay more to Westchester anyway but it would make the comparison better. (I am assuming you do not live in Yonkers which has a small, local income tax; you would have to include that.)

Absolutely. In my case I retired just before moving so my taxable income is quite a bit lower than last year as well. I'm definitely paying lower tax now than last year.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:48 PM   #142
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Does anyone have a good budget calculator or spreadsheet?

I gave this one a try, padding most of the categories with figures greater than what I'm currently spending (not retired) in all the categories:

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/ins...ense-worksheet

Ironically, it came out to just over $4k, $4060 to be exact.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:08 AM   #143
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Does anyone have a good budget calculator or spreadsheet?

I gave this one a try, padding most of the categories with figures greater than what I'm currently spending (not retired) in all the categories:

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/ins...ense-worksheet

Ironically, it came out to just over $4k, $4060 to be exact.
That is a fairly good general list of categories. The biggest thing that I didn't see included were things that are household related but aren't repairs or maintenance, particularly things such as furniture, appliances, linens, kitchen utensils, decorative items. Many of these you may not buy very often, but almost all of them will be acquired at some point.

About 60% or so of Americans own a pet. For those who do that needs to be a category.

Also, people tend to leave out home improvement that isn't a repair or maintenance. And people tend to leave out the large expenses that occur infrequently: new roof, new HVAC, new paint, new carpet, new major appliances, etc.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:55 AM   #144
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I found this on Bogleheads:

Budget models of retirement spending - Bogleheads

That's where the link to Vanguards budget calculator was as well as other ones.

There are a couple of spreadsheets too, one of which has entries for one-time or big purchases.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:59 AM   #145
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I think everyone will have different expectations/requirements for monthly income in retirement. Lot's of variables, location, bills/debts, leisure activities, life style, etc.

Personally, I think $4,000 a month is adequate for me. That is about what I'll be bringing home monthly next year. That will be take home after health insurance, taxes, survival benefit deduction for spouse.

We are in the process of paying off bills and will only have our house mortgage going into retirement. Kids grown. We live in Texas so mortgage is cheap, no State taxes.

Our monthly bills (Mortgage, utilities, auto/motorcycle insurance, phones/cable/internet), everything except food, entertainment, play will be a tad under $2,000 a month. We'll have some cash for emergencies in my brokerage account and my Fed TSP (401K) will be rolled into an IRA to ride along. If I need extra cash I can take some 72T withdrawals or maybe work part-time I'll be 49.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:11 AM   #146
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I agree, but that is what I paid! I purchased the last one on the lot at the end of September 2012. I basically got the last one in my area. Black Black, diesel. I did pay it all in one lump sum and saved a payment or 2, but I do have a $595 return fee if I do not lease or buy another MB. It was a Zero % Interest deal I remember that. So I guess $11k would be closer if I rounded it up. In addition, I put the whole thing on my AMEX and got 2% back. AND what is even better is I was working last year in sales, and wrote the whole amount off as a 1 time payment. So it actually probably really cost me about ~8k.

It had ~450 miles when I got it so it could have been a demo. I have learnt over the years that buying at the end of the model year at the end of the month, gets the best deal.

I just looked at the window sticker and it say $67,435. (OK So I rounded it to $70k)
Interesting, great deal! I have always been discouraged from similar deals due to the low mileage allowances (10-12k). Did you negotiate that?
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:05 AM   #147
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Interesting, great deal! I have always been discouraged from similar deals due to the low mileage allowances (10-12k). Did you negotiate that?
Yes but it did not take long. I do not do much mileage as I live in a resort town, not far to anywhere. So I got a 10k lease. I have had it a year exactly on 8/25/2013 and have 6k so far. Not only that, we just came back from what we call a long road trip 745 miles and the old girl did an average of 44.5mpg. Not bad for a 3000+ pound car.

So all those Prius and Hybrid owners driving glorified shopping carts and getting 45mpg can keep on doing it and leave the real cars for others. I will stick to my E350 BTEC.

We really need more diesels in the USA. We all talk about efficiency and fuel dependencies in cars but have to succumb to the oil companies lobbying to keep diesels out as they make so much more money selling petrol (gasoline) to Truck owners and gas guzzlers. Sometimes we are all like sheep and just comply with the status quo. I think we should all demand diesels and not buy gas cars ever again. Impractical perhaps, but sooner or later they will get the idea.

All that being said, next year there will be an Audi S4 Diesel and a C class Mercedes diesel. I simply cannot wait for them).
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:16 AM   #148
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AND what is even better is I was working last year in sales, and wrote the whole amount off as a 1 time payment. So it actually probably really cost me about ~8k.
Lease payments, if made as a one time payment, must be spread out over the lease term when deducting for business use of auto (and pro-rated between personal and business use). See IRS Pub 463 Chapter 4.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:16 PM   #149
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Yes but it did not take long. I do not do much mileage as I live in a resort town, not far to anywhere. So I got a 10k lease. I have had it a year exactly on 8/25/2013 and have 6k so far. Not only that, we just came back from what we call a long road trip 745 miles and the old girl did an average of 44.5mpg. Not bad for a 3000+ pound car.

So all those Prius and Hybrid owners driving glorified shopping carts and getting 45mpg can keep on doing it and leave the real cars for others. I will stick to my E350 BTEC.

We really need more diesels in the USA. We all talk about efficiency and fuel dependencies in cars but have to succumb to the oil companies lobbying to keep diesels out as they make so much more money selling petrol (gasoline) to Truck owners and gas guzzlers. Sometimes we are all like sheep and just comply with the status quo. I think we should all demand diesels and not buy gas cars ever again. Impractical perhaps, but sooner or later they will get the idea.

All that being said, next year there will be an Audi S4 Diesel and a C class Mercedes diesel. I simply cannot wait for them).
I've been driving VW diesels for years and would love to move up to a MB diesel. I darn near bought a 2006 model year MB diesel sedan a couple of years ago for under $20K with less than 100K miles on it (lease turn in). I should have bought that car, but if you can lease these for what you say, then I might go that route when I retire later this year as I won't be driving as much.

I did try a Prius rental on a business trip and was unimpressed as it feels tinny and underpowered. I guess since I have been driving more powerful, higher torque, diesels, I don't feel right in an econobox hybrid, especially since I can attain near the same MPG with a more substantial car.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:23 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post

Yes but it did not take long. I do not do much mileage as I live in a resort town, not far to anywhere. So I got a 10k lease. I have had it a year exactly on 8/25/2013 and have 6k so far. Not only that, we just came back from what we call a long road trip 745 miles and the old girl did an average of 44.5mpg. Not bad for a 3000+ pound car.

So all those Prius and Hybrid owners driving glorified shopping carts and getting 45mpg can keep on doing it and leave the real cars for others. I will stick to my E350 BTEC.

We really need more diesels in the USA. We all talk about efficiency and fuel dependencies in cars but have to succumb to the oil companies lobbying to keep diesels out as they make so much more money selling petrol (gasoline) to Truck owners and gas guzzlers. Sometimes we are all like sheep and just comply with the status quo. I think we should all demand diesels and not buy gas cars ever again. Impractical perhaps, but sooner or later they will get the idea.

All that being said, next year there will be an Audi S4 Diesel and a C class Mercedes diesel. I simply cannot wait for them).
You mean more diesels in the warmer climate areas of the USA. Diesels are very hard to start in colder northern climate winters if you never had one up north. That's why they won't catch on up here. Then there's " the knock"!
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:17 PM   #151
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Living quite nicely on $2300 in Mexico. Even last year in LA was averaging $4-4500 living simple of course.
This includes health insurance in the states. 43&49...
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:26 PM   #152
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You mean more diesels in the warmer climate areas of the USA. Diesels are very hard to start in colder northern climate winters if you never had one up north. That's why they won't catch on up here. Then there's " the knock"!
Apparently you have not followed diesel technology in recent decades. Diesels are very adept to starting in cold weather, just ask the Canadians who drive lots of them. Glow plug and engine management technology has advanced such that starting at -20F or colder is not a problem. Even fuel is treated by distributors to reduce gelling tendencies.

The diesel "knock" has been all but tuned out with the advances in common rail injection and multi-pulse injection technology. Stand next to a 2009 and above diesel and you can't hear the engine running.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:43 PM   #153
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Apparently you have not followed diesel technology in recent decades. Diesels are very adept to starting in cold weather, just ask the Canadians who drive lots of them. Glow plug and engine management technology has advanced such that starting at -20F or colder is not a problem. Even fuel is treated by distributors to reduce gelling tendencies.

The diesel "knock" has been all but tuned out with the advances in common rail injection and multi-pulse injection technology. Stand next to a 2009 and above diesel and you can't hear the engine running.
A diesel engine considers anything below 40F degrees to be cold weather and can be hard to start. That's because there isn't enough heat content in the outside air to get the temperature of compression high enough to detonate the diesel fuel. Another problem is that oil companies change the fuel formula from summer to wintertime blends.
If you get stuck with summer fuel in a winter situation, then a diesel can be just about impossible to start. Take a tip from the "old time" truckers. They would mix about 5% gasoline to their fuel to assist in cold weather starting.
Glow plugs on these small diesels are available, but end up being a wasted effort. The glow plugs are mounted in the manifold, not in the cylinder. These diesel engines are not typically used in wintertime applications, so the manufacturers just don’t provide for proper glow plugs inside the combustion chamber.
If you really need to run one of these engines in the winter, then I would go the 5% gasoline fuel mix and find some way to heat the engine crankcase and especially the incoming air. I have successfully used a hair dryer to blast warm air down the intake manifold to raise the temperature of compression.

Again I live in Ohio and the few folks I know that actually bought a diesel about half complained a lot about winter starting issues until they traded it in and went back to a gas powered vehicle.

Don't believe the marketing hype.

Have YOU ever had to start a diesel when it's in the teens outside all week?
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:47 PM   #154
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I found this on Bogleheads:

Budget models of retirement spending - Bogleheads

That's where the link to Vanguards budget calculator was as well as other ones.

There are a couple of spreadsheets too, one of which has entries for one-time or big purchases.
I never had any real budget in my life, because we were always LBYM. I never computed what our annual savings were in terms of % of income. I bought what I needed (or wanted sometimes), and still had leftovers, and that was all I cared.

When I discovered this forum and found that people kept very close watch on their inflow/outflow, I realized that I needed to do the same if I were to stop working. So, I have been watching my expenses over the last 3 years just to see what they were. I decided to stop work when I saw that I was spending right at 3.5%WR as my children flew the coop, and I already bought the things that I wanted like the 2nd home, and the motor home (used) and its toad. Prior to that, we were spending consistently in the low $100K+.

Just now, looking at the expenses that Quicken tallied up over the last 12 months, I see that I could live on $50K/yr if I cut out: 1) charity donations, 2) travel, and 3) miscellaneous discretionary spending such as dining out, toys, etc...

Note that the above $50K still includes health insurance, and operating costs for 2 homes. However, it does not include vehicle replacement costs, large unexpected home repairs, etc... I would have to sell the 2nd home to get some safety margin.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:01 PM   #155
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A diesel engine considers anything below 40F degrees to be cold weather and can be hard to start. That's because there isn't enough heat content in the outside air to get the temperature of compression high enough to detonate the diesel fuel. Another problem is that oil companies change the fuel formula from summer to wintertime blends.
If you get stuck with summer fuel in a winter situation, then a diesel can be just about impossible to start. Take a tip from the "old time" truckers. They would mix about 5% gasoline to their fuel to assist in cold weather starting.
Glow plugs on these small diesels are available, but end up being a wasted effort. The glow plugs are mounted in the manifold, not in the cylinder. These diesel engines are not typically used in wintertime applications, so the manufacturers just don’t provide for proper glow plugs inside the combustion chamber.
If you really need to run one of these engines in the winter, then I would go the 5% gasoline fuel mix and find some way to heat the engine crankcase and especially the incoming air. I have successfully used a hair dryer to blast warm air down the intake manifold to raise the temperature of compression.

Again I live in Ohio and the few folks I know that actually bought a diesel about half complained a lot about winter starting issues until they traded it in and went back to a gas powered vehicle.

Don't believe the marketing hype.

Have YOU ever had to start a diesel when it's in the teens outside all week?
Absolutely have as I have a home in Connecticut and spend quite a bit of time there. And, BTW , I have owned diesels for decades, going back to 1980. May I recommend that you do some research as there have been a lot of advances with small displacement engines since 2000, especially with the 1.9 and 2.0 liter turbocharged diesel engines. VW has used the 1.9 since around 1996 (Passat) and the 1.4 -1.6 L ones in the 1980 (non-turbo IDI versions).

We don't put gasoline in diesel fuel anymore due to its low lubricity and the use of very high pressure injection pumps (1800+ BAR). Actually, since the lowering of sulfur to <15 PPM in diesel fuel in 2006-07, suppliers add lubricity additives at the distribution terminal to help with lubricity (lack of it can ruin injection pumps). Check the Spicer lubricity study if you can find it online for lubricity tests using various additives.

If anything, cutting D2 is done with D1 (not gasoline) to aid in anti-gelling.

Not to get too far off topic Al, but here is an article on Mazda's new diesel technology: http://www.popsci.com/cars/article/2...-diesel-engine
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:15 PM   #156
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If you have tried it I'll take your word for it as I have not. Only hearing things second hand from others in my locale. I suppose it would be worth trying a rental that's a diesel in the winter, but how numerous are rentals that are diesel?

Just curious, what's the average highway mpg for a diesel sedan?
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:49 PM   #157
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I've been driving VW diesels for years and would love to move up to a MB diesel. I darn near bought a 2006 model year MB diesel sedan a couple of years ago for under $20K with less than 100K miles on it (lease turn in).
Is this a 6 cylinder inline engine, or a 4? Is it boosted?

Ha
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:52 PM   #158
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Is this a 6 cylinder inline engine, or a 4? Is it boosted?

Ha
It was the MB 320 CDI with the inline 6 cylinder 3.2 L turbo charged engine. After 2006, they produced V6 diesels. All modern diesels are boosted with turbos.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:54 PM   #159
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Just curious, what's the average highway mpg for a diesel sedan?
Al, I have a 2006 Jetta TDI and get about 42 MPG highway. The newer Jetta and Passat TDI's (2009 - 2014) with the common rail injection engines get a few more MPG's.
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