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Re: Retirement account beneficiary; family trust?

A little off-topic, but ... It's my understanding that beneficiaries over-ride anything in a will. So if you want your various investment accounts to go to your estate (and thus be included in the assets that you bequeath in your will), you don't want to have any beneficiaries. So I just deleted all...
by RustyShackleford
Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement account beneficiary; family trust?
Replies: 13
Views: 1168

Re: Online Wills

I'm wondering what the best way is to deal with the following situation. I want to leave my house and at least half of the remainder of my estate to my live-in long-term girlfriend (common-law wife ?). And I'm also going to leave a substantial chunk to my godchild (a child, with trusted friend as tr...
by RustyShackleford
Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Wills
Replies: 27
Views: 2427

Re: Property Taxes - Doubling Up

livesoft wrote:We are not retired. We make a lot of money. We don't pay state income taxes. And we don't have a mortgage.

So with neither state taxes nor mortgage interest automatically putting us into Itemized Land ...

I misspoke, sorry. Forgot that there are actually states with no income tax.
by RustyShackleford
Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property Taxes - Doubling Up
Replies: 20
Views: 1215

Re: Property Taxes - Doubling Up

Yes, "deduction bunching" - I am an expert :-) Of course, this only really works for people who are retired, or who don't make much money (because they are semi-retired or just not in high-paying jobs), because otherwise state taxes will push them past the standard deduction anyhow. My cou...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property Taxes - Doubling Up
Replies: 20
Views: 1215

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

"In Cold Blood". Got interested after Phillip Seymour Hoffman died and I re-watched his Oscar-winningf performance in "Capote". So then I re-watched "In Cold Blood" (hadn't seen it since it came out when I was a youth). And then decided to read the book (for the first t...
by RustyShackleford
Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 2633
Views: 602460

Re: Online Wills

If you aren't going to use a lawyer, I would second willmaker as the best (and a viable) alternative. With my Mac, I cannot use the CD or downloaded version (What's up with that ?!?) But they do have an online version; any opinions on that ? My situation is relatively simple, I think, as I am un-ma...
by RustyShackleford
Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Wills
Replies: 27
Views: 2427

Re: How Frequently Should A CO Detector Be Replaced?

I test annually with a stick of incense. If it registers, I'm happy.
by RustyShackleford
Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Frequently Should A CO Detector Be Replaced?
Replies: 14
Views: 712

Re: Estimated Tax Payments

Generally, most taxpayers will avoid this penalty if they owe less than $1,000 in tax after subtracting their withholdings and credits, or if they paid at least 90% of the tax for the current year, or 100% of the tax shown on the return for the prior year, whichever is smaller. Yes. And note the $1...
by RustyShackleford
Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Tax Payments
Replies: 33
Views: 1605

Re: Estimated Tax Payments

As I suggested previously, if you want to know how Form 2210 works, you should actually read Form 2210. Sorry - thanks for checking me. Yes, the OP needs to read 2210. My point is there's nothing that says you HAVE to make est'd-tax payments. If you're gonna owe underpyament penalty/interest withou...
by RustyShackleford
Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Tax Payments
Replies: 33
Views: 1605

Re: Estimated Tax Payments

It's completely up to you whether or not to make estimated-tax payments. You simply have to face the music come tax time. [EDIT: THE FOLLOWING IS INCORRECT, SEE SSCRITIC'S POST BELOW] Simply put, if you owe more than $1000, and you don't meet the safe harbor (usually, this year's withholding equals ...
by RustyShackleford
Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Tax Payments
Replies: 33
Views: 1605

Re: Backdoor Roth is complicated for taxes

I think a backdoor roth is complicated to fill out during tax time and i'm not sure if it is worth the effort. First I get the 1099-R form from Vanguard. Getting a 1099-R somehow makes me feel old like I'm 60 years old. I'm only in my 30s. Take heart, young pup. All this tax stuff seems complicated...
by RustyShackleford
Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth is complicated for taxes
Replies: 18
Views: 1629

Re: What is the usual time to do your taxes?

Being semi-retired, I always file for an extension. I compute my taxes assuming I'm going to have a net Roth conversion of such amount that my taxable income exactly fills the 15% federal marginal tax bracket. So I know exactly what my tax will be and I pay it with my extension. Then in the autumn I...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the usual time to do your taxes?
Replies: 29
Views: 1881

Re: Roth Conversion "Horse Race"

If one is both eligible for contributing deductible traditional Ira and Roth IRA,and planned to contribute to Roth. The best stratege is contribute to t-Ira instead, and apply the "house race" stratege for conversion? Not sure if this garbled post (apologies if you're not a native English...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion "Horse Race"
Replies: 41
Views: 3917

Re: Putnam PPT fund

Thanks for the search suggestions. But back to the fundamental question ...
by RustyShackleford
Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Putnam PPT fund
Replies: 3
Views: 194

Re: Roth Conversion "Horse Race"

Is it a requirement of the roth conversion to convert into an empty roth account or is this being done to make the recharacterization cleaner/easier? Not a requirement at all. But definitely a good idea, much more important than just making the recharacterization cleaner/easier - in fact, the whole...
by RustyShackleford
Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion "Horse Race"
Replies: 41
Views: 3917

Putnam PPT fund

I've tried seacrhing for this, but it's impossible, because of the overwhelmng preponderance of hits for PowerPoint stuff, or "plunge protection team" ... This is a closed-end bond fund, trading at about a 10% discount to NAV and yielding 6% or so. Supposedly it "uses its derivative p...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Putnam PPT fund
Replies: 3
Views: 194

Re: Most Efficient Way to Heat a Home

A lot of discussion of comparable prices of various energy. Here's one that shocked me: a gallon of propane contains about as much energy as 27 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Paying 5 cents per kwh (based on a peak billing plan where I pay 30 cents per kwh during the peak times), the break-even poin...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most Efficient Way to Heat a Home
Replies: 86
Views: 5242

Re: Roth Conversion "Horse Race"

Also, Rusty's swing for the fences selection of conversion investments ... I don't quite know what you mean. I generally do one conversion in fixed-income and the other in equities - stuff I'd be investing in even if there were no such thing as a Roth IRA. This might be a good time to point out the...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion "Horse Race"
Replies: 41
Views: 3917

Re: Roth Conversion "Horse Race"

So, you could have almost two years in which to recharacterize the Roth conversion. Convert in January and recharacterize by Oct 15 of the following year. Exacto-mundo ! But make sure you send in that recharacterization request early enough - with Schwab, I try to do it by Oct 1 - since they tend t...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion "Horse Race"
Replies: 41
Views: 3917

Re: Most Efficient Way to Heat a Home

Consider installing a high efficiency mini-split heatpump ( Fujitsu / Mitsubishi ). These work surprisingly well ... Just installed one in an addition and it works great. Efficiency is roughly double that of my 15 year-old heat pump (not counting the duct losses that are eliminated). Wood is great ...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most Efficient Way to Heat a Home
Replies: 86
Views: 5242

Re: Roth Conversion "Horse Race"

The question remains, has anyone who follows the forum actually tried setting up multiple Roth accounts and creating multiple portfolios only to recharacterize one or more of them later? Yes, I've been doing it since 2010. The stated "horse race" approach (the actual link is http://www.ma...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion "Horse Race"
Replies: 41
Views: 3917

Re: Favorite National Parks

letsgobobby wrote:Grand Canyon ... if you get off the rim and off Bright Angel and the South Kaibab trails you might not meet another hiker for hours at a time...

Or ... days at a time.
by RustyShackleford
Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: .....
Replies: 74
Views: 3126

Re: how to de-rate social security

Obviously there's no "right answer". I thought this was maybe a good "wisdom of crowds" question. And on this retirement stuff, it's basically good to be as pessimistic as you have the luxury of being, right ? I'm not counting n SS too much, so I think I'm going to use the most p...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to de-rate social security
Replies: 22
Views: 1410

how to de-rate social security

Hope this isn't too controversial - I don't mean for it to be ... I'm trying to make a roadmap of what my retirement income looks like, and it'd be really helpful to know how much social security I'll actually receive. There is an estimation tool at http://www.ssa.gov, and it's better than I recall ...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to de-rate social security
Replies: 22
Views: 1410

Re: Bhutan

I don't know anything about it, but this was really fascinating to me:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University ... chitecture
by RustyShackleford
Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bhutan
Replies: 21
Views: 1934

Re: Turbo Tax Figuring State Tax Wrong

My federal taxable income is the starting point for computing state taxable income. Correction. North Carolina has re-done their tax forms so that you start with federal AGI. But everything else I posted is still the same, and the non-taxable Bailey money is still getting deducted when figuring my ...
by RustyShackleford
Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax Figuring State Tax Wrong
Replies: 12
Views: 1860

Re: Taxable investing in the 15% marginal bracket...

Try increasing ordinary income by $100. It is still in the 15% bracket so the extra tax1 is $15. However it displaced $100 of LTCG into the 25% bracket which is taxed (tax2) at 15% or $15. The total increase in tax is $30 so the marginal rate for ordinary income is 30% until al LTCG has been pushed...
by RustyShackleford
Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taxable investing in the 15% marginal bracket...
Replies: 19
Views: 2049

Re: what has low correlation with commodities ?

Interesting stuff, thanks folks. 3 year rolling correlation for the OP is meaning less, since his time frame is less than that. Indeed. I am intrigued by the UUP suggestion, since as you point out, my timeframe is only a year or so, and the correlation should be negative. OTOH, even if I'm almost gu...
by RustyShackleford
Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what has low correlation with commodities ?
Replies: 10
Views: 611

Re: what has low correlation with commodities ?

Call_Me_Op wrote:Do you want a low correlation, or a negative correlation? Probably easier to find things with a negative correlation.

I guess negative would be better, yes.
by RustyShackleford
Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what has low correlation with commodities ?
Replies: 10
Views: 611

what has low correlation with commodities ?

Before I start, please don't let this spin off into a discussion about the pros/cons of commodities in a portfolio - there is plenty to read elsewhere (at this forum and elsewhere) on this topic, and I have decided they belong in my portfolio for now at least (in the form of ticker symbol DBC, regar...
by RustyShackleford
Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what has low correlation with commodities ?
Replies: 10
Views: 611

Re: [Poll] What's Your Current Mode of Camping?

REI is great and I shop there plenty. But there is an unfortunate side effect to their vastness. They tend to not carry gear from small or niche manufacturers, because those manufacturers cannot supply the volumes REI requires. Therefore a lot of state-of-the-art gear cannot be had from REI - for e...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Poll] What's Your Current Mode of Camping?
Replies: 93
Views: 6418

Re: [Poll] What's Your Current Mode of Camping?

I like buying equipment at REI... REI is great and I shop there plenty. But there is an unfortunate side effect to their vastness. They tend to not carry gear from small or niche manufacturers, because those manufacturers cannot supply the volumes REI requires. Therefore a lot of state-of-the-art g...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Poll] What's Your Current Mode of Camping?
Replies: 93
Views: 6418

Re: Paper versus e-Reader

I recently got an e-reader, but I think I prefer the old-fashioned kind. However, I'll keep the Kindle. Why ? I'm a "backpacker" (American definition), and so looking to cut ounces (trusting that the pounds will take care of themselves) from my pack-weight. A Kindle (the basic un-lighted m...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paper versus e-Reader
Replies: 60
Views: 3992

Re: Vanguard offering fee-only advisors ?

Rob5TCP wrote:To add to Alan Roth - I believe he charges an hourly fee as opposed to % of assets.

Rob, maybe I misunderstand, but I thought that was the very definition of a fee-only advisor. Do you know his hourly fee ?
by RustyShackleford
Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard offering fee-only advisors ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1644

Re: Vanguard offering fee-only advisors ?

Thanks for the suggestions, all.
by RustyShackleford
Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard offering fee-only advisors ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1644

Vanguard offering fee-only advisors ?

I have been self-managing my portfolio, with Boglehead principles and advice from this board and elsewhere, but have long thought a consultation with a fee-only advisor would be a good idea. Looking at this: https://investor.vanguard.com/what-we-offer/investing-help/choose-the-help-thats-right-for-y...
by RustyShackleford
Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard offering fee-only advisors ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1644

Re: Hardwood floor preparation

In my opinion, the best finishes are the so-called Swedish finishes, also known as "conversion varnishes": http://www.glitsa.com/documents/Glitsa_CVSystems.pdf For some reason, this approach seems to be popular only in the Pacific Northwest, and it can be hard to find floor finishers who h...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hardwood floor preparation
Replies: 8
Views: 1070

Re: Books on Retirement

alisa4804 wrote:Back on topic ...

Yes, I suppose I'm guilty of the thread-hijack of the month. Sorry.
by RustyShackleford
Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Books on Retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 1975

Re: Books on Retirement

[Off-topic comments and link to political video removed by admin LadyGeek]
by RustyShackleford
Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Books on Retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 1975

Re: Re:

This is probably too political, but since you're curious and/or indignant, I'll try to explain at least where I'm coming from - and let the mods do as they se fit. [Off-topic and political comments removed by admin LadyGeek] But of course you deserve your pension, just like anyone working any other ...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Books on Retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 1975

Re:

Early Retirement forum: http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f21/ Watch out though, the folks over there are extremely biased about Early Retirement. Lots of emotions, but that's what you asked for. Because cops and military can generally retire with a full ride (courtesy of your tax dollars) aft...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Books on Retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 1975

Re: May need new water heater

Yes, but I'm saying it makes more sense to just generate that watt if you can do so with a simpler and more versatile technology: PV solar versus solar hot water. PV is simpler because there's no moving fluids, and more versatile because the electricity can power things other than your hot-water he...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: May need new water heater
Replies: 46
Views: 3256

Re: May need new water heater

With regard to solar heating, any watt you don't have to use is a watt that doesn't have to be generated. Yes, but I'm saying it makes more sense to just generate that watt if you can do so with a simpler and more versatile technology: PV solar versus solar hot water. PV is simpler because there's ...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: May need new water heater
Replies: 46
Views: 3256

Re: Turbo Tax Figuring State Tax Wrong

The Bailey settlement provides deduction for entire pension provided you had 5 years of service in 1989 (I forget the exact month). It sounds like you are in the Bailey category. I had 5 years of service by 1989, but I switched from the state retirement system to the ORP in 1988, so I'm not sure. I...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax Figuring State Tax Wrong
Replies: 12
Views: 1860

Re: Turbo Tax Figuring State Tax Wrong

I use H&R Block at Home software, so I can't answer how TurboTax works. In H&R Block, there are questions in the state return about whether the pension is government, non-government, or Bailey qualified. TurboTax asks the same questions. Like I said, the problem (with deducting my federally...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax Figuring State Tax Wrong
Replies: 12
Views: 1860

Re: May need new water heater

If your water heater is in the crawlspace, the issue of "having room for something else" is moot; if your water heater has gotta be in the living space, then the compact size of a tankless is a plus. Where did you find a 50 gallon Bradford-White for $250? Everywhere I checked, they were in...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: May need new water heater
Replies: 46
Views: 3256

Re: Turbo Tax Figuring State Tax Wrong

NC gives a $4,000 deduction for government pensions. If it is non-governmental, then it is a $2,000 deduction. If it is Bailey qualified, then that is a total deduction. I'm in NC and have a state pension (under the Optional Retirement Program). It has always been my understanding that ALL the pens...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax Figuring State Tax Wrong
Replies: 12
Views: 1860

Re: May need new water heater

Also, tankless is good in theory, but more expensive and not many people are trained to repair; parts have to be ordered, not usually in stock. With "endless hot water", showers can stretch longer using more hot water. I read these tips/info a few days ago on this forum. Someone provided ...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: May need new water heater
Replies: 46
Views: 3256

Re: What the best value in anti-virus software

retiredjg wrote:A Mac.

(Yes, you can reach through the computer and smack me up-side the head for that smarta$$ answer. :D )


But a very simple and helpful answer.
by RustyShackleford
Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What the best value in anti-virus software
Replies: 63
Views: 4802

Re: Turbotax and Charities

You can just hit "continue" without entering the charity's address. It'll bitch at you once, but just hit "continue" again. If you get audited, hopefully you have a receipt with the address. As others have pointed out, I think TT just gives you the option of entering a bunch of t...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax and Charities
Replies: 14
Views: 1097
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