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I Wonder How Much Iíve Saved From Advice Here?
Old 01-18-2023, 07:18 AM   #1
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I Wonder How Much Iíve Saved From Advice Here?

I tweaked my financial plans for this year yesterday, as I’d overlooked the ramifications of a change I’d made - will add a couple thousand. Between the great advice here, some YouTube channels I follow and occasionally Bogleheads, I am sure I’ve saved 5-figures if not a little more over the past 15 years (wow, time flies). I can’t remember an outright mistake I’ve made, but some optimizations or strategies I’d overlooked on my own have saved us measurably. There are some very smart and generous people here - THANK YOU!
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:23 AM   #2
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Care to share a few of the more noteworthy ones that had more impact over the years?
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yipper View Post
Care to share a few of the more noteworthy ones that had more impact over the years?
Yesterday was Roth conversion timing due to a change in IRA holdings, though that one was from YouTube. Beyond that I’ve acknowledged each as they happened here, there have been dozens.

The last big one here was getting me off bond funds, avoiding considerable losses. I would have, but I acted sooner because of advice here.

I will say people here don't give us fish, they teach us how to fish - as it should be, way more valuable.
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No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 50% equity funds / 40% bonds / 10% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I tweaked my financial plans for this year yesterday, as Iíd overlooked the ramifications of a change Iíd made - will add a couple thousand. Between the great advice here, some YouTube channels I follow and occasionally Bogleheads, I am sure Iíve saved 5-figures if not a little more over the past 15 years (wow, time flies). I canít remember an outright mistake Iíve made, but some optimizations or strategies Iíd overlooked on my own have saved us measurably. There are some very smart and generous people here - THANK YOU!
I concur wholheartedly.. While I can't right now put my finger on anything specific, there have been many examples. But the most impactful for me was this forum convincing me and DW that we had enough to RE. It wasn't really a money-saver, but clearly a life changer.
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:38 AM   #5
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I also have gained much from the people here. Mostly, the people with different views have made me look at all sides of the investment coin instead of my tightly held beliefs. This has changed a few of the ways I invest and handle taxes leading to considerable saving of mistakes. I am a very patient investor, sometimes to my own detriment, but staying the course has worked more times than not.

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Old 01-18-2023, 07:53 AM   #6
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Unlike many here, I had no intention of an early retirement. I was quite happy in my job and didn't pay any attention to retirement issues. An unintentional RE was my story.

I agree with Midpack that I've saved at least 5 figures (maybe $30K?) in what I've learned here over the past 18 years.

The one that comes to mind is that I had planned on delaying taking Medicare B and D (what an idiot!) until I stumbled upon the penalty aspect here.

I'm not one to jump through hoops to save a nickel, but there were so many things that I was unaware of that I've learned here that either saved me money or made me money!

Medicare, SS, investments, taxes, IRMAA (just got a reduction this morning!), I didn't even know what an expense ratio was, I didn't know how dividends worked, bonds, MF funds, cap gains, etc etc.

Even the general questions are, at the very least, entertaining and most often educational.
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by marko View Post
I'm not one to jump through hoops to save a nickel, but there were so many things that I was unaware of that I've learned here that either saved me money or made me money!
+1. I am willing to jump through some hoops, otherwise totally agree. What I didn't learn here directly, often stemmed from something a member here mentioned, that led me to dig further. People sharing what they've learned, and me reading it and saying 'heh, that applies to ME too!'
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Target AA: 50% equity funds / 40% bonds / 10% cash
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Old 01-18-2023, 08:06 AM   #8
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One thing that I know that I benefited from that absent this forum I would have been unaware of are:
  • CD specials at PenFed, Navy Federal, GTE FInancial
  • corporate note programs of Duke Energy, Toyota, GM
  • IBonds, including using gifts, trusts and tax refunds to maximize contributions.
  • using tIRA withdrawal withholdings in lieu of estimated payments.
and a bunch of others that I don't remember
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Old 01-18-2023, 08:08 AM   #9
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Agree with everything said so far.
I can not put a price on the amount of helpful information all of you have shared over the time I've been here.
Budget, firecalc, taxes, asset management, fun times/travel/BTD, Medicare issues, etc.

This is a wonderful place.
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Old 01-18-2023, 08:10 AM   #10
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I agree that I have learned so much from the intelligent people on here.

I will probably forget to list some of the things, but dropping cable, buying iBonds when rates when up, the Ally and Fidelity bonuses, the Chase Sapphire Preferred CC when it had 100,000 points, buying Treasuries (which I had not done before).

I love it when people do ask simple questions, because I am learning right along with them. I am going to go back and reread and take notes on the What should I do with $30,000 in my checking account. I also need to get some dollars out of ours.

I have not done any Roth conversions yet. I am late to the game. Plan on doing the first one this year for my DH, who will start RMDs next year. Midpack, could you tell me the name of the YouTube video you watched?

Definitely a big, big thanks to the many people on here who are willing to educate so many of us.
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Old 01-18-2023, 08:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
Midpack, could you tell me the name of the YouTube video you watched?
Something I knew, but had forgotten - at least I was never a year end converter. No brainer change in my timing.

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Target AA: 50% equity funds / 40% bonds / 10% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 01-18-2023, 08:25 AM   #12
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Specifically, here a a few examples of how this forum saved us $thousands.

- after a couple of years paying $6,600 for healthcare premiums on ACA (not including other expenses…a poster suggested we get a bronze HSA approved plan. This brought our premiums down to $8/month. Our deductible was $6000 but we’re pretty healthy and the hospital discount was a lot. Contributing to the HSA brought our MAGI down and even if we met the full deductible, it was less than what we were paying for premiums.

-DH had a small LLC consulting business from home. Back when the ACA cliff was lower, we worried about going over the cliff. A poster simply said contribute to your tIRA. Most would say “duhhh” but that had not occurred to us. We were new to contract work from home.

-The Covid discussions were scientifically backed by current information. Links and ways to stay safe were key to us. And the symptoms described on this forum alerted me when my DH got it in April 2020. And how I should isolate from him.

-Learned so much about tax filing, Roth conversions, and was alerted to the interest rates going up in early 2022. I realized our bond funds were diving. We invested in treasuries and CDs and followed the strategies closely.

Just a few.
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Old 01-18-2023, 08:58 AM   #13
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I recently moved significant $ into higher paying MM/MF's thanks to COcheesehead and Freedom56 (amongst others) discussions in those "golden period" threads.

I save a few bucks thanks to the Turbo tax sale threads (the OP being one of the contributors).

I heard about the Fidelity $150 offer on here, and me and daughter capitalized.

I learned how to pay my estimated taxes through EFTPS from here.

I know there's more, because I recall telling my daughter "Thanks to ER.org I heard how to XXX" a few times. I can't recall the topics at the moment.
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Old 01-18-2023, 11:03 AM   #14
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Buy and hold broad funds, even through major market drops. Reading how many were calmly holding at the bottom of the 2008-9 crisis was very helpful. I had been out of the market at the time, but got back in shortly afterwards. Been holding and building ever since!

How much has that saved me? Given the myriad ways I had found to lose money before that time, pretty much every dollar I currently have, basically.
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Old 01-18-2023, 11:31 AM   #15
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I can't put a dollar amount on the knowledge I've learned from this site but it's easily in the high five figures.
Managing my income for ACA purposes. Huge savings there alone.
Roth Conversions
AARP Tax Aide ( I passed my test yesterday and am now an IRS Certified Volunteer )
Navy Federal and how to qualify for the best credit Union ever * Never mind that was at depositaccounts.com *
Medicare (still learning)
Delaying Social Security
Brokered CD's at Fidelity
How to invest my short term cash
And so much more that I can't think of right now

Thank you, thank you.
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Old 01-18-2023, 02:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Yesterday was Roth conversion timing due to a change in IRA holdings, though that one was from YouTube. Beyond that I’ve acknowledged each as they happened here, there have been dozens.

The last big one here was getting me off bond funds, avoiding considerable losses. I would have, but I acted sooner because of advice here.

I will say people here don't give us fish, they teach us how to fish - as it should be, way more valuable.
I agree, this forum is amazingly helpful! Care to elaborate on what you did with bond funds? I have a pretty standard 60/40 AA with Vanguard US and International Bond index funds in my IRA. So you replaced all your bond funds with treasuries or cds?
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Old 01-18-2023, 03:34 PM   #17
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Someone on this forum guided me to try Pralana Gold which led me to my first serious long term tax planning effort. It shows me saving as much as seven figures over our lives. Exactly how accurate it is, only time will tell, but Iím sure it is saving us a nice sum over time.
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Old 01-18-2023, 03:45 PM   #18
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Hard to quantify, but I have learned a lot over the years and this forum gets a lot of the credit for my being able to FIRE at 59 six years ago.

Members here have also helped multiple times with handy man type questions.

Everyone has been very generous.

Thank you all.
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Old 01-18-2023, 04:22 PM   #19
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^^ Agree, hard to quantify. I'm not even certain of all of the things I learned here. Did I already know some of these things, or would I have found them another way? In any case, it's an enjoyable way to learn stuff. I'm sure it helped give me the confidence to pull the ER trigger at 49, 12 years ago. I have a spreadsheet snapshot of where I was financially around the time I joined here and I think I was well on my way to being an index investor, but this place helped me hold the course.
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Old 01-18-2023, 04:37 PM   #20
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Ya, it's been a great place to remain anonymous and bang around ideas using specifics. I can's say there are very many places/people I can have these kind of conversations with. Definitely value here whether you are in the accumulation, just retired, or been retired stage.
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