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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio
Old 07-03-2005, 09:26 PM   #41
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio

* Hello. Please excuse* any oversights on my part as this is a first time post for me (greetings community, I really enjoy this site) and I'm no Warren Buffet.
* qbkatran, I'm so very sorry for your loss. I haven't comprehesively read every post but have skipped in and out of the thread. I also lost my spouse unexpectedly within the past year. Its what led me to this site. Our situations are very similar, though my 2 kids and I are a bit younger. I wish I could neatly summarize what you should do, but I've been stumbling through the maze myself (I did hire a fee only planner). One thing I don't think I saw discussed were the ins and outs of you're spouses 401k and pension (again excuse me if this was discussed already, as I'm sure qbkatran will attest part of greiving over such a loss is inability to focus and lack of attention, as if I wasn't bad enough already). In my spouses case a lump sum death payout was available in place of future pension obligations (I don't know if his employer has that or even if you'd be interested; I believe its a taxable event). Also, with regard to his 401k; if you decide to pull it out of his plan be very careful on how you go about it. Unless the check is made out properly (rollover to an IRA), you could get hammered with big taxes and a penalty. Consult with a pro.
* Best of luck with everything.
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio
Old 07-03-2005, 09:37 PM   #42
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio

Months and months of silently lurking, then 2 posts in 15 min.... I forgot to add this (did I say I was forgetful to?)... http://money.cnn.com/2005/02/11/pf/m...0503/index.htm.
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio
Old 07-04-2005, 02:20 AM   #43
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio

Hi anonimitycity,

I am sorry about your loss and thanks for the CNN article. It's very interesting. I guess I consider myself a little bit more prepared than the person in the article. During our mariage, I actually the one who pay the bills and plan the vacation, I just never have to worry much about it, my DH only takes care of the 401K and IRA. You mentioned the spousal 401K, I met with his HR and they told me I can withdraw it without irs penalty but I'll have to pay tax on it. I decided to leave it at the same place for at least 4 years until my youngest graduated from college, then I may roll it to the IRA. If I roll to IRA then I'll have to wait until I am 59 1/2 to withdraw without the penalty but I will have more funds/more flexibility with that chunk of money. His company does not have a pension, so I don't have to worry about that. I am still working so I still have medical insurance for myself and my daughters. But of course, we have to adjust life to live on one salary, no more fancy vacation, shopping...etc... We still go out to eat when they come visit me or vice versa. I have decided to rent my house out for now, it's probably a bad decision but somehow I am scared to sell it, and there is just so much memory to stay in it. I like this site because AARP and widownet.com makes me week and I need to learn to be stronger. I will follow somebody in the previous post who advises be conservative to keep the principal. I guess you never know what life will throw at you, so I live one day at the time, trying to keep thing simple and I'll deal with the layoff when it comes. It's amazing that when it's time of need, there are strangers from nowhere that you can depend on. I have leaned on my co-workers, my sisters and brothers, my daughters, this board and others. My life have changed and I hope in the future I can give as much as I take. You're not alone in this long hard road, hang in there and we're be ok.
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio
Old 07-04-2005, 12:23 PM   #44
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio

QUOTE: You mentioned the spousal 401K,* I met with his HR and they told me I can withdraw it without irs penalty but I'll have to pay tax on it.* *I decided to leave it at the same place for at least 4 years until my youngest graduated from college, then I may roll it to the IRA.* *If I roll to IRA then I'll have to wait until I am 59 1/2 to withdraw without the penalty but I will have more funds/more flexibility with that chunk of money.* QUOTE:

I'm quite sure you can withdraw IRA funds before 59 1/2 without penalty.* Probably on the IRS website.* Be certain you have a good understanding of what the 401K is doing for and with your money.* What is it invested in and what kind of fees are involved.
I'm not sure what others would say, but I generally believe it is much better to rollover 401K funds into an IRA whenever you have that option.* Done properly you'll have greater control nd much smaller fees.
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio
Old 07-04-2005, 12:52 PM   #45
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio

I think you can take scheduled withdrawals from the IRA before age 59.5 without penalty under IRS 72t.
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio
Old 07-04-2005, 01:38 PM   #46
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art
I think you can take scheduled withdrawals from the IRA before age 59.5 without penalty under IRS 72t.
I almost started to draw on my IRA last week. Then I discovered
there was a CHANCE that I would be slightly over the threshold
requiring payment of a small amount of fed. income tax this year. Thus, I am
still holding off, 12 years after I expected to start drawing it down.
Nice

JG
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio
Old 07-05-2005, 07:34 PM   #47
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio

qbkatran,

I have two nephews who think that JC is for dummies. I think it is a misconception. Competition is good for the school and potenital employers. The school would be able to maintain its reputation and employers would have plenty of competitive students from which to choose. However, is it good for the students? They have to worker harder against the brightest. An excellent student may only be mediocre by comparision in a highly competitive school. The same student may become a star in a lesser known school and receive excellent reconmendations for medical schools. His/her chance of getting into professional or graduate school is greatly enhanced.

The idea that the reputation of the school may play a major role in professional program admission is misguided. It may some significance but not the degree that one might think.

My brother is an internist and my cousin is a gynecologist. They do not recomend their kids to get into medicine because of the long hours and hard work - though the money and status are great. They may have a point. We should pursue a career that we enjoy doing at least some of the time.

Good luck.
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio
Old 07-05-2005, 11:42 PM   #48
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio

Spanky,
I agreed with you completely... I am in IS and there are time being a mom, wife and good worker is too much for me. When my kids were younger I thought they were the reason I did not get promoted. Now that I am older and wiser, I only want them to be happy, no matter what type of job they do.
The problem is now in the US ( I am from VN but I have been here for 30 years), I don't think parent have any thing to say about the kid's career. We had the talk with our kids several times and they always told us that they'll pursue their dreams with or without our help. We both in IS, I don't know why they're interested in medicine, I think it's the high school and the crowd they hang out with. But it's a long way off and you don't even know what life throws at you tomorrow, so I don't have the energy to argue any more. That's another reason for me to ER, because I'll have to help them to raise their kids. I am not greedy, but I can ER if my porfolio just grow 10% per year... haha.... Thanks for your wisdom.
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio
Old 07-06-2005, 12:53 PM   #49
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio

Quote:
Originally Posted by qbkatran
That's another reason for me to ER,* because I'll have to help them to raise their kids.
That's my nightmare!
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio
Old 07-07-2005, 03:44 PM   #50
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio

You should give some thought to moving out of state. By leaving California you can reduce living expences by up to 35%. Realtor.com has a living calculator that alows you to compare different cities. Your financial condition seems OK but you will still need to live on a budget, as you still need to save to offset inflation. Do your homework and be frugal and you will be fine.
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio
Old 07-07-2005, 03:51 PM   #51
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio

Perhaps.

My property taxes are low and fixed by prop 13. My food is cheap because I live next to where most of it is grown. I dont pay much in state income taxes. My house has gone up 40% in value.

Not sure you can say I'd be saving a bunch by moving to a lot of other places, unless they werent very desirable to live in...
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio
Old 07-07-2005, 08:47 PM   #52
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio

Quote:
Originally Posted by qbkatran
Now that I am older and wiser, I only want them to be happy, no matter what type of job they do.
That's a great attitude. We should always encourage them to pursue their dreams or whatever that will make them happy.

Quote:
The problem is now in the US ( I am from VN but I have been here for 30 years), I don't think parent have any thing to say about the kid's career.
Your viewpoint is quite different from that of most Asians. Most Asian kids still listen to their parents for career directions. Unfortunately, most Asian parents always want their kids to enter Ivy League colleges and to become doctors, lawyers, scientists, and engineers or whatever that pays well.

Quote:
We both in IS, I don't know why they're interested in medicine, I think it's the high school and the crowd they hang out with.
You may be right since they may be pressured (or influenced) by their parents to become a doctor.

Quote:
That's another reason for me to ER, because I'll have to help them to raise their kids.
That's nice that you are willing to do that. Your kids will appreciate it. I am grateful for my mother-in-law (also from Vietnam) who took great care of our kids while we were at work.

Spanky
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio
Old 07-08-2005, 07:07 AM   #53
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Re: please help ... widow's porfolio

Hello,
I think it is important for you not to hand over finance to an advisor but to learn about the subject on your own till you feel comfortable.
There is a lot of good avise here, and you might also want to check out the boards at www.slnet.com or the info at www.stretcher.com.
The books "Get a life" and "retirement on a shoestring" are good reading as well.
Take care!
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