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Re: Questions about restricted stock units

I am in a similar situation. I get a letter about a month before my shares vest titled "Award Due To Vest". It says this: We are writing to inform you that, in accordance with the terms and conditions of your company's plan and your award agreement, if applicable, which are in all events t...
by MarkBarb
Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Questions about restricted stock units
Replies: 15
Views: 611

Re: Amazon Prime Increase

My household has made almost 600 different orders on Amazon since 2011, not including digital orders. Prime is a no-brainer for us.
by MarkBarb
Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Increase
Replies: 185
Views: 9443

74 or 75

On top of that, we have fire going in the fireplace (nat gas) when it is cold. The kids love to laze about in front of the fire in their shorts. We're frugal, but not when it comes to being warm and comfortable. Besides, natural gas is cheap, so it really doesn't cost that much.
by MarkBarb
Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your winter thermostat setting (while you are up)?
Replies: 116
Views: 8728

Re: How much do you spend in a week? (Mon-Sun)

Starting with my total after tax (fed, SS, medi, property tax) income and comparing that to my spending (excluding housing costs and a fairly major home improvement), I spent a little under 35% of my income last year. That works out to 0.67% per week. One could debate as to whether I should include ...
by MarkBarb
Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend in a week? (Mon-Sun)
Replies: 50
Views: 3212

Re: Form 8606 IRA Basis Question

I just worked everything out both ways in a spreadsheet. If you convert an IRA to a Roth IRA in one year and then make an after-tax contribution for that year at the start of the following year, you get different results based on whether you directly use the 8606 or whether you use the IRA Worksheet...
by MarkBarb
Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Form 8606 IRA Basis Question
Replies: 11
Views: 1511

Re: Form 8606 IRA Basis Question

I just tried filling out the 2011 8606 form directly. It works perfectly. The key is that line 4 removes contributions made January 1 or later from the calculation, so everything works OK. The problem is the Taxable IRA Distribution Worksheet. On line 1 it says to include contributions made during 2...
by MarkBarb
Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Form 8606 IRA Basis Question
Replies: 11
Views: 1511

Re: Form 8606 IRA Basis Question

I agree that the worksheet is the problem. The worksheet is from IRS Pub 590 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/p590--2011.pdf) and is worksheet 1-5 on page 39. From IRS Pub 590, "To report your nontaxable distribution and to figure the remaining basis in your traditional IRA after distributions...
by MarkBarb
Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Form 8606 IRA Basis Question
Replies: 11
Views: 1511

Re: 529 v Coverdell v UTM

I use a 529 instead of a Coverdell for two primary reasons. There are income limits on who can contribute to a Coverdell ($95K/year, I think). Also, their are contribute limits (only $2,00/year). Our income is higher than that and we contribute $6,000/year/child. Converdell's do offer more flexibili...
by MarkBarb
Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 v Coverdell v UTM
Replies: 4
Views: 422

Re: Form 8606 IRA Basis Question

I appreciate the attempts at help. It looks like I did a lousy job of explaining the situation, so here is more information. The problem stems from the Taxable IRA Distribution Worksheet. 1. Enter all contributions made to your traditional IRA for 2011, whether or not deductible. Include contributio...
by MarkBarb
Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Form 8606 IRA Basis Question
Replies: 11
Views: 1511

Re: Deciding college for High School Graduate

Mine aren't there yet, so my advice is from someone that doesn't have real-world experience yet. One bit of advice I've been given that I think makes sense is to get your kids into schools where they are near the middle of the pack academically. If they are among the least qualified students admitte...
by MarkBarb
Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deciding college for High School Graduate
Replies: 65
Views: 3915

Re: How do you find Mrs. Boglehead?

Interesting question. My approach was to date in ways that matched my desired lifestyle. My friends spent lavishly on dates, particularly when they competed for women of "high value". I took my dates on picnics, for hikes, to parks and zoos, and other activities that were inexpensive. My l...
by MarkBarb
Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you find Mrs. Boglehead?
Replies: 138
Views: 10143

Re: Compare 2012 Effective Tax rate?

20.85%
by MarkBarb
Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Compare 2012 Effective Tax rate?
Replies: 36
Views: 2905

Form 8606 IRA Basis Question

I think I filed the wrong basis on my 2011 8606 form and I don't understand how to correct it. Background: Start - Rollover IRA with about $300,000 3/31/2011 - Made a $5,000 after-tax contribution to a new IRA for 2010 12/30/2011 - Converted money from both the rollover and new IRA. The portion from...
by MarkBarb
Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Form 8606 IRA Basis Question
Replies: 11
Views: 1511

Roth Conversion Avoid IRA Tax

I have a considerable (by my standards) amount of pre-tax money in a traditional IRA. It was originally in a 401K, but I rolled it over after leaving my last employer. I want to make contributions to a Roth IRA, but I am prevented by the income limits. I would like to use the backdoor conversion met...
by MarkBarb
Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion Avoid IRA Tax
Replies: 7
Views: 849

How I Handle Information Security

I was inspired by the Mint.com thread to write this thread about how I handle electronic security. I have three major components that I secure – my IDs/passwords, my Quicken file, and my documents. I use three major software components for security KeePass, TrueCrypt, and DropBox. One of the biggest...
by MarkBarb
Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How I Handle Information Security
Replies: 68
Views: 3997

Never buy anything that runs on a battery that you can't replace unless you consider it a disposable device. Batteries wear out.
by MarkBarb
Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long should a charge on previous gen. Nano last?
Replies: 13
Views: 1107

There are a lot of books that I really like, but I can only think of one that really changed my life. It was Free to Choose. It caused me to completely reassess my views on many subjects.
by MarkBarb
Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any books really change your outlook on life?
Replies: 153
Views: 21336

Someone is rich if they have significantly more than I do. They are poor if they have significantly less. Money should be taken from the rich and used to subsidize worthwhile causes (defined as those that I like).
by MarkBarb
Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you consider as very rich?
Replies: 122
Views: 15022

Since we've been married, we've lived in 5 homes. They were a 950 sq foot one bedroom apt, a 2400 sq ft house, a 1700 sq ft house, a 3000 sq ft house, and a 3400 sq ft house. The apt was nice when we had no kids and were rarely home. Since we've had kids, more space has always been better. Our 3000 ...
by MarkBarb
Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Death of the 'McMansion': Era Of Supersized Homes Is Over
Replies: 135
Views: 13921

I really don't know what I'd recommend. I would have recommended a Mac to a novice a couple of years ago, but several things have changed. First, Vista was supplanted by Win7, so the OS difference is not as extreme. Second, I got an iPhone and iTunes on my PC. I dislike them both, so I don't think I...
by MarkBarb
Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To Mac or not to Mac? That is the question...
Replies: 304
Views: 23649

I switched from a 2hp pump to the Pentair Intelliflo variable speed pump. I set my pump to run at 20 gpm, the minimum for our heater. Comparing the rated power usage of the 2hp pump with the measured usage of the new pump (it tells me on my pool control panel), it looks like I'm saving a lot of ener...
by MarkBarb
Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Energy efficient swimming pool pumps? No!
Replies: 17
Views: 2413

Houston, TX
3,300 Square Feet
2 ACs, Pool, 4 people in the house (1 worker, 1 SAHP, 2 kids on summer vacation)
AC set to 78 day, 79 night downstairs. Upstairs varies from 80 in the day to 78 in the evening.

3,749 KWh or 937/person
Cost was $400 or 10.7 cents per KWh
by MarkBarb
Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kilowatts in the Summer [Electricity Usage]
Replies: 95
Views: 8633

1982 Honda Civic GL (bought 1984)
1992 Honda Accord DX
2000 Honda Accord DX (hand-me-down from wife in 2003)
2006 Acura RL (bought in 2009)
by MarkBarb
Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicles you have owned...
Replies: 162
Views: 24262

Many electric clocks today come with a battery backup. The clock is powered with AC most of the time and the rechargeable battery is only used during blackouts. I don't think that the battery is even replaceable as it should probably last for a generation or more.
by MarkBarb
Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wind up Alarm Clocks for the night table......
Replies: 66
Views: 16145

We don't use alarms at my house. I don't leave for work until 6:30 and always wake up well before then. In each of our bedrooms we have simple, cheap, reliable, accurate clocks that plug into the wall and have battery backups. Given how much cheaper it is to make electronic clocks and how much bette...
by MarkBarb
Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wind up Alarm Clocks for the night table......
Replies: 66
Views: 16145

They look cool. If they allow ME to choose whether I want flash and add multi-tasking, I'll buy one. A removable battery would be nice too.
by MarkBarb
Sat May 01, 2010 7:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad Users: Is it revolutionary or Over Hyped
Replies: 83
Views: 10065

I live in the Houston area and have seen property taxes vary from 2.5% to just over 5%. With exemptions ours works out to 2.75% for us. That's less than a 5% income tax would be. It's simpler to pay. And I can pay it in December or January for deduction timing purposes. As for no basements, we don't...
by MarkBarb
Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another good reason to like Colorado.
Replies: 28
Views: 3903

I still find this discussion odd. I do one of two things with the money I earn - I save it or I spend it. I determine how much I save based on some personal guidelines. I spend everything else. It's just a question of timing, not whether I'll spend it. For example, I was stuck in meetings almost all...
by MarkBarb
Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do credit cards increase your spending?
Replies: 94
Views: 10277

From memory: 3 in my office - 1 for my computer and peripherals, 1 for my wife's computer and peripherals, and one for the printer and network switch. 4 in the kids computer room - 6 computers, a DVR, two network switches, two NASes. 2 for the downstairs TV - TV, computer, Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, receiv...
by MarkBarb
Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have any power strips in your house?
Replies: 45
Views: 5526

I think that looking for a low work to pay ratio is the wrong approach. It assumes that work is odious and should be minimized. A better approach is to look at things that you enjoy doing and find which ones pay the best. I'm about to go to "work" today despite the office being closed. Why...
by MarkBarb
Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FW thread: Jobs with the best ratio of actual work/salary
Replies: 108
Views: 13226

I work off of a simple budget. I determine how much I need to save and save that automatically every month. I spend everything else. I would spend everything else whether I did it using cash or credit cards. That's not to say that I spend it all right away every month, but I generally always find a ...
by MarkBarb
Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do credit cards increase your spending?
Replies: 94
Views: 10277

Interesting. I wonder if were going to have a subculture of computer-Amish that avoid computerized devices. I love the computers in my car. They prevent my brakes from locking. They warn me if my tire pressure gets low. They shift power away from wheels that are slipping. They keep down my emissions...
by MarkBarb
Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not just Toyota - your car's computer might kill you
Replies: 74
Views: 7903

Four here. One is for work related expenses. For the other three, one is our primary card that we both use for almost everything. Of the other two, I carry one and my wife carries the other. This way, if either of us loses our wallet/purse, we can call in our primary and that person's secondary as l...
by MarkBarb
Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How many credit cards do you have?
Replies: 76
Views: 8942

I buy custom tailored shirts. I have one in every major color and a few non-major ones. They are worth it (for me) because they fit perfectly and I keep them for a long long time. The prices have a wide range depending on the quality of the fabric. They are going to be quite a bit more than 30-40$ ...
by MarkBarb
Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mens Dress Shirts for those who are Frugal?
Replies: 128
Views: 44660

. Did you have mortgage early in your life (your 20's)? 2. What percentage of your monthly savings go towards mortgage? 3. Were you able to save & invest while putting extra into mortgage? 4. Did you have a two income household? 5. Did you get a second job or do overtime to make extra mortgage p...
by MarkBarb
Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To homeowners who paid off their mortgages early
Replies: 33
Views: 5544

Mine is paid off. I didn't get much of an emotional boost. I still pay $1,000 a month for property taxes, HOA fees, and insurance. That was more than half of my mortgage payment. Sometimes I feel like I'm renting the house form the county. As our mortgage began to decline, I looked at refinancing an...
by MarkBarb
Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House pay off emotional rewards
Replies: 71
Views: 9152

So apparently, some people do not know any better. That's why we should have a two tiered set of consumer protection laws. People that don't know any better can opt to trade off their freedom for greater protection. Those that want to live with the increased risk can opt to do so. Personally, I lik...
by MarkBarb
Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frontline program on credt cards
Replies: 28
Views: 3375

I'd like to see us adopt a two tiered system for consumer protection. Let consumers classify themselves as sophisticated or unsophisticated. If they declare themselves to be sophisticated, they get more freedom of choice but they have to accept more responsibility for their risks. If they declare th...
by MarkBarb
Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frontline program on credt cards
Replies: 28
Views: 3375

For purposes of determining the portion of the portfolio allocated to the real estate class, would the home with a mortgage be valued by the amount of equity or by the current assessed value? I would use the current assessed value. That's what changes when real estate values change. The mortgage is...
by MarkBarb
Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Larrry Swedroe: one bucket or two for mortgage down payment
Replies: 9
Views: 2311

Roth Conversion With Loss

In anticipation of the rule change allowing people to convert IRAs to Roth IRAs with no income limit in 2010, I started an non-deductible IRA for my wife a couple of years ago. I deposited $4,000 for 2007 and $5,000 for 2008. If that IRA grows to a total of $10,000, I understand that I will have to ...
by MarkBarb
Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion With Loss
Replies: 5
Views: 1022

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