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Re: Bumped out of first class at boarding - compensation?

Agree with FlyerTalk. The fact that you were flying award travel on USAir with United miles is going to make this a little more complicated for them to sort out. You'll have to be persistent and patient. It sounds like the gate agents and flight attendants did the best they could for you so I would...
by Iorek
Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bumped out of first class at boarding - compensation?
Replies: 41
Views: 4125

Re: Is this 529 abuse?

You don't have to worry about exceeding a reasonable amount in a 529; the 529 will do that for you. All 529s have upper limits after which growth may continue but no additional funds may be added. That number is typically around $400,000 per beneficiary. The bigger issue as others have said is the ...
by Iorek
Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this 529 abuse?
Replies: 9
Views: 1129

Re: Bumped out of first class at boarding - compensation?

I would ask over at flyertalk-- they are very knowledgeable about all the rules/practices. Look for either the USAir or the United FF forum.
by Iorek
Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bumped out of first class at boarding - compensation?
Replies: 41
Views: 4125

Re: A friend asked about about resignation timing, but IANAL

This is not legal advice and I have no experience in these areas, but I would have thought that the meaning of "vest" is that it's his no matter what happens after that. Now whether they can make it difficult as a practical matter might be a different question.
by Iorek
Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A friend asked about about resignation timing, but IANAL
Replies: 13
Views: 1478

Re: Good books on Law to give to a teenager?

That is such a broad request, but I'd say two you might consider are A Civil Action and The Buffalo Creek Disaster, which are both stories of lawyers fighting mass torts. My recollection is that Buffalo Creek Disaster is more readable but Civil Action is more modern/realistic (although both are cons...
by Iorek
Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good books on Law to give to a teenager?
Replies: 12
Views: 942

Re: A week in Tuscany: April 2015. Suggestions?

You might check out the Fodors boards-- at least of a couple of years ago they had some active posters who very knowledgeable about Tuscany. We rented a villa in the Val D'Orcia a few years ago, outside of Montepulciano and had a wonderful time. It's south of Florence, and a long (but possible) dayt...
by Iorek
Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A week in Tuscany: April 2015. Suggestions?
Replies: 22
Views: 1443

Re: GAO Concerned your IRA may be too big!

a dual-professional couple who aggressively saved and invested in qualified 401k (with full employer contributions) beginning upon departure from school is in serious danger of running afoul of the 5,000,000 figure that is a recurring theme of the GAO report. In a country of over 300,000,000 people...
by Iorek
Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GAO Concerned your IRA may be too big!
Replies: 25
Views: 2774

Re: Land Trust "investment" for tax deduction

I have no idea how the OP's deai is structured, but I would just note that I find it very hard to believe that one could invest $50k in a deal and generate $250k in tax deductions. Presumably whatever one purchases the land for is its FMV and the FMV of the easement cannot be more than the FMV of th...
by Iorek
Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Land Trust "investment" for tax deduction
Replies: 14
Views: 746

Re: When do your account returns dwarf your contributions?

It's taken me about 20-25 years. It is a little bit of a good news/bad news situation that when I run retirement projections the results don't seem seem to change very much based on contributions for the next 10-15 years.
by Iorek
Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When do your account returns dwarf your contributions?
Replies: 51
Views: 5760

Re: Should I have even $1 in Bonds?

You want to know your portfolio risk, in approx +10 yrs, that is excess of your needs. SS and pensions will be sufficient for your living needs. Is this correct? If this correct, then I say that bonds are not needed. Bonds could be drag on returns or even increase risk. I am curious what you mean b...
by Iorek
Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I have even $1 in Bonds?
Replies: 34
Views: 4039

Re: Estate planning - big firm or solo practitioner?

I think going through the Nolo Willmaker book is a very good way to prep for a discussion with a lawyer. It costs about $30 and will start you thinking about issues and give you understanding of some techniques like a bypass trust. I was quoted substantially larger fees for a will from the firms I c...
by Iorek
Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning - big firm or solo practitioner?
Replies: 22
Views: 2159

Re: Should I have even $1 in Bonds?

Noting but leaving aside for now the question of what constitutes your minimum expenses, I think in the end this comes down to the question of whether, if you have your minimum expenses covered, is that an argument for taking more risk or less risk with the rest of your portfolio. I don't think ther...
by Iorek
Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I have even $1 in Bonds?
Replies: 34
Views: 4039

Re: Question about Vanguard total stock market

I think they will pay another quarterly dividend around 12/20.
by Iorek
Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Vanguard total stock market
Replies: 8
Views: 1235

Re: Tax Question

Basis of the rental property will be the lesser of actual basis or fair market value when converted to a rental.
by Iorek
Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question
Replies: 14
Views: 1724

Re: Basic investing/tax related question

IIRC, your losses will first reduce your gains (long-term then short-term) and then what's left over can be deducted against ordinary income (up to $3k/year).

So, if you have no capital gains then you should be able to deduct the losses.
by Iorek
Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic investing/tax related question
Replies: 6
Views: 450

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA - some specific questions

I assume each of us have to do individual 8606’s? As a married couple, if you file jointly I believe each person's basis IRA contributions are reflected on the same 8606 and, like many lines on the return, are identified as "T" for Taxpayer and "S" for Spouse. At least, that's h...
by Iorek
Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA - some specific questions
Replies: 7
Views: 830

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA - some specific questions

Turbotax is just as easy for two as one-- it will simply ask you all the same questions for you and then for your spouse, and then generate two forms.
by Iorek
Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA - some specific questions
Replies: 7
Views: 830

Re: How do you automatically rebalance?

Since they are tax advantaged accounts you could find some fund or combination of funds that will rebalance for you (like lifestrategy or target retirement)-- that's what we do.
by Iorek
Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you automatically rebalance?
Replies: 34
Views: 2319

Re: Tax Question

You should check pub 523 for info, but you do need 730 days of occupancy during the 5 year period.
by Iorek
Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question
Replies: 14
Views: 1724

Re: Tax Question

IIRC, you will need to know your original basis, fair market value when you converted it to a rental, allowable depreciation (whether or not you took it, but hopefully you did), as well as sales proceeds.
by Iorek
Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question
Replies: 14
Views: 1724

Re: home insulation question

I would look into a home energy audit which is often subsidized or even free through your local utility. They will give you a good sense of what the issues are and what's most cost-effective to fix.
by Iorek
Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: home insulation question
Replies: 13
Views: 1731

Re: Australia and New Zealand

I know it's semi-insane to try and do so much on 3-4 weeks, but we really would like to see quite a bit and don't want to pass too much up on what might be the only trip across the Pacific for a few decades. Due to my wife's work, it has to be in June or July. We'd like to spend roughly 10 days in ...
by Iorek
Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Australia and New Zealand
Replies: 47
Views: 4283

Re: What savings vehicle should I use for my car?

I'm doing an automatic deduction from my regular account into the internet savings account that I keep as a general cash reserve.
by Iorek
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What savings vehicle should I use for my car?
Replies: 35
Views: 1661

Re: life insurance ladder calculation

Here's a recent thread on this topic--

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=149081
by Iorek
Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: life insurance ladder calculation
Replies: 5
Views: 385

Re: UGMA beneficiary trying to access funds

I had a UTMA account that had been in existence for over 25 years. I had to provide a certified birth certificate to get it converted/liquidated, even though it was obviously to all of us that the beneficiary had to be over the age of majority. On the other hand, I did not need the original custodia...
by Iorek
Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: UGMA beneficiary trying to access funds
Replies: 29
Views: 2305

Re: Is spouse eligible for SS benefit without ever contribut

I am not a SS expert (!) but I think nonworking spouses are generally entitled to benefits on the working spouse's record (50% at FRA, less before, unless caring for a child who has a benefit). This is the basis of the "file and suspend" strategy (which, as I understand it, allows the nonw...
by Iorek
Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is spouse eligible for SS benefit without ever contributing?
Replies: 12
Views: 1472

Re: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?

In London if you want clean cheap newish no frills and centrally located then I would look into Premier Inn (they have a couple locations-- Blackfriars and County Inn are a couple of them). They are almost like a grown up hostel/dorm-- not a lot of charm (although friendly service) but perfectly ade...
by Iorek
Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?
Replies: 36
Views: 2050

Re: TSP Contribution

Personally I expect that I (and most people) will be in a lower tax bracket at retirement so I would max out your traditional TSP before investing in Roth (that said, I think it's a good idea to have some money in a Roth).
by Iorek
Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Contribution
Replies: 7
Views: 831

Re: lost 8606 from years ago - am I in trouble?

I don't really get why it matters. If you have a basis of $600 but claim no basis on withdrawal, what's the problem?
by Iorek
Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: lost 8606 from years ago - am I in trouble?
Replies: 16
Views: 1778

Re: Bonds in taxable or tax advantaged?

I have seen enough debates about this (e.g. is tax advantaged space more valuable for stocks because of their greater growth potential or for bonds because they may spin off more income per year) that I generally aim for a balanced approach. That said I do look at ways to keep my taxable bonds to a ...
by Iorek
Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds in taxable or tax advantaged?
Replies: 9
Views: 892

Re: Anybody ever reduce term coverage amount?

FWIW, I went ahead and bought the full policy thinking I could always cut back, but for some reason I think the cost difference wasn't that much for us.
by Iorek
Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody ever reduce term coverage amount?
Replies: 16
Views: 898

Re: Siren song of increased stock allocation

I consider my lifecycle funds to be my lashings, and that's why I dislike when people suggest they are inappropriate for experienced investors. As the Delphic oracle said, "know thyself".
by Iorek
Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Siren song of increased stock allocation
Replies: 38
Views: 2957

Re: I Bonds - Best redemption strategy

I don't generally sell assets that are doing well to avoid having to pay taxes on my gains. I suppose the result is that I could end up in a higher tax bracket but I don't want to let the tail wag the dog.
by Iorek
Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds - Best redemption strategy
Replies: 13
Views: 1416

Re: Refinance ARM to 15 year fixed with 5 years left?

I would at least shop rates. $4500 for a reissue on title insurance is outrageous. Check out Amerisave, maybe get a no cost refi. Personally I am a fan of fixed mortgages unless you know you will move soon, and paying them off, but there are plenty of arguments for taking longer mortgages and invest...
by Iorek
Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance ARM to 15 year fixed with 5 years left?
Replies: 8
Views: 1045

Re: Supreme Court to hear fiduciary duty/high cost funds cas

The order granting cert is here . Briefs are here . The question presented is as follows: Whether a claim that ERISA plan fiduciaries breached their duty of prudence by offering higher-cost retail-class mutual funds to plan participants, even though identical lower-cost institution-class mutual fun...
by Iorek
Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Supreme Court to hear fiduciary duty/high cost funds case
Replies: 13
Views: 1597

Re: Best place to park my emergency funds

There are lots of threads on this. Personally I like i-bonds, although you'll want to phase in your purchases partly because of the annual purchase limit and partly because they are not redeemable in the first year.
by Iorek
Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best place to park my emergency funds
Replies: 16
Views: 1948

Re: Fed: Do I need long term disability insurance?

That would be my way of looking at it. Others may disagree, but I think that is the way to go. Once you have the protection you really need for the next 12 months or so, you have plenty of time to study and decide whether it is worth it to keep it once you under full FERS benefits. People can throw...
by Iorek
Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed: Do I need long term disability insurance?
Replies: 9
Views: 564

Re: Fed: Do I need long term disability insurance?

I will grossly generalize, and perhaps one of the most knowledgeable DI bogleheads will chime in to correct me, but for most Feds a private disability policy is not worthwhile (or at least not a good value), because they will subtract from your benefit the amount of FERS disability you get, so in ef...
by Iorek
Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed: Do I need long term disability insurance?
Replies: 9
Views: 564

Re: You may want to rethink the odds of ever needing LTCi

I'd be very interested in seeing how often LTCi actually pays when it is needed. I've seen quite a few (admittedly anecdotal) stories about people who paid for LTCi for years and then when it was needed all sorts of roadblocks and denial of claims came from the insurance company. If someone who is ...
by Iorek
Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You may want to rethink the odds of ever needing LTCi
Replies: 89
Views: 9352

Re: Touring Spain

FYI, Spain has a great high speed rail network, and cheap tickets can be had with advance planning. In addition Vueling is a low cost airline, if you want, say, to go from Seville to Barcelona.
by Iorek
Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Touring Spain
Replies: 13
Views: 871

Re: Inflation Bonds - Staying the Course?

I did not that the Vanguard Total International Bond Fund is now larger than the Intermediate TIPS fund. That did not take long. How times have changed. I'm not sure what you mean exactly, but I expect (warning: WAG) the growth in the total international bond fund is driven almost entirely by Vangu...
by Iorek
Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inflation Bonds - Staying the Course?
Replies: 43
Views: 3229

Re: Australia and New Zealand

Well I'll be slightly contrarian and say that 3-4 weeks is a reasonable amount of time to see both countries. Of course you won't see everything, but I expect that would be true even if you spent 6 weeks in one country. For example, in NZ you might want to consider only visiting the South Island. I'...
by Iorek
Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Australia and New Zealand
Replies: 47
Views: 4283

Re: Anyone use Legal Zoom for LivingTrust?

I don't have very much data to back this up, but FWIW I trust Nolo more than Legal Zoom-- partly because I think Nolo has less of profit-oriented motive, but also because you are the person answering questions and entering data in the software.
by Iorek
Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use Legal Zoom for LivingTrust?
Replies: 75
Views: 5274

Re: 10 days in Thailand

One possibility would be to split it between Bangkok, a beach in the south or else possibly Chiang Mai (depending on interests), and Siem Reap, Cambodia. That would be a lot of moving around for 10 days, so it depends on your travel style, whether you expect to get back there anytime soon, etc. (but...
by Iorek
Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 10 days in Thailand
Replies: 2
Views: 350

Re: [Symantec anti-virus] Norton Auto Renewal

I'm no expert, but I think the recent versions of Norton run pretty well.
by Iorek
Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Symantec anti-virus] Norton Auto Renewal
Replies: 21
Views: 1210

Re: Cord Blood Banking

I don't think it's the worst way in the world to spend your money but I certainly wouldn't (and didn't) do it if it's a significant sum for you. Think about what the blood was intended for - the baby. I wouldn't clamp the cord prematurely just so I could store that blood for some future unknown use...
by Iorek
Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Blood Banking
Replies: 17
Views: 1267

Re: Cord Blood Banking

I don't think it's the worst way in the world to spend your money but I certainly wouldn't (and didn't) do it if it's a significant sum for you.
by Iorek
Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Blood Banking
Replies: 17
Views: 1267

Re: Trip to the Caribbean - Suggestions

Since we are on the topic... My gf is wanting to book a vacation to the Caribbean in Jan. Right now we are heavily looking into Punta Cana due to the ease of getting to (direct 4-5hr flight from Chicago, VS. multiple stops to St Johns and ect). We have been to Mexico multiple times, but she is look...
by Iorek
Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to the Caribbean - Suggestions
Replies: 39
Views: 2794

Re: Trip to the Caribbean - Suggestions

Visited Vieques recently and it is fantastic if you want beaches and clear blue water (but, like St John, limited lodging options aside from house rentals).
by Iorek
Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to the Caribbean - Suggestions
Replies: 39
Views: 2794

Re: Fee-Only Advisor Cost?

The advice for fed retirees used to be price out life insurance for a spouse at retirement and compare the cost of that to the cost of a survivor pension. Haven't looked into it closely to see how well it works.
by Iorek
Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fee-Only Advisor Cost?
Replies: 26
Views: 1529
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