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Re: What do you do when you don't know the cost basis?

I always suggest that if you can't find an accurate basis the IRS won't be able to do any better. The IRS has no burden of proof. If you can't provide documentation or a reasonable estimate that they will accept, they will deem the basis to be zero. That said, the agents that I have dealt with have...
by Sidney
Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do when you don't know the cost basis?
Replies: 5
Views: 657

Re: What's your withdrawal rate for 2014?

tennisplyr wrote:This could be very misleading if I am still working and answer 0%

or negative if you are still saving.
by Sidney
Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your withdrawal rate for 2014?
Replies: 23
Views: 1871

Re: Need help with men's exercise clothes please

Made the move from cotton to wicking polyester three years ago - cotton was clammy on my skin, clung to it when wet (all the better to display my manly physique and abs, not! :P ) and would leave more sweat on the body-contact areas of exercise machines. Same here. I often ride my bike to the gym i...
by Sidney
Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need help with men's exercise clothes please
Replies: 54
Views: 2921

Re: Yahoo is missing year end distributions

I also prefer to just go directly to the source. By the time they are paid, I can get them on the VG site for 90% of my holdings. The only quarter where I need to know this in a timely manner is the 4th quarter when I am truing up my estimated state taxes -- I like to get that pretty close so that m...
by Sidney
Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yahoo is missing year end distributions
Replies: 5
Views: 537

Re: Deductions!

MathWizard wrote:Can you contribute more to HSA?

OP is at the maximum for a single taxpayer.
by Sidney
Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deductions!
Replies: 31
Views: 2528

Re: year end tax loss harvesting strategy

If it were me, I'd exchange the shares for similar but not identical funds rather than being out of position for 31 days.
by Sidney
Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: year end tax loss harvesting strategy
Replies: 13
Views: 748

Re: Tax moves before year end

IMO a "tax liability" is a positive number on line 61 (2013 form). Although, I could probably be persuaded to net refundable credits to this. But not payments.
by Sidney
Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax moves before year end
Replies: 3
Views: 618

Re: Google Drive, DropBox, etal. - Anonymity

Yup, I had the same thought a while ago, while sharing an Excel file of mine. Also comments in Excel cells tend to carry the name of the author. Don't know how to solve the problem either. This isn't the file properties data within Excel. This is Google displaying the name of the Google account own...
by Sidney
Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Google Drive, DropBox, etal. - Anonymity
Replies: 14
Views: 1067

Re: Google Drive, DropBox, etal. - Anonymity

I was able to recreate this.
by Sidney
Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Google Drive, DropBox, etal. - Anonymity
Replies: 14
Views: 1067

Re: New HTTPS security bug, Vanguard servers vulnerable

telemark wrote:Not doing anything important over public wifi networks is a good idea in any case. Seriously, you don't know where those things have been.

What, you've never been enjoying a cool one and had the sudden urge to re-balance? :beer
by Sidney
Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New HTTPS security bug, Vanguard servers vulnerable[Patched]
Replies: 39
Views: 4135

Re: Family jewels, kind of.

What does fiance think?
by Sidney
Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family jewels, kind of.
Replies: 44
Views: 3309

Re: Transferring files onto a new computer

Since the old machine is still alive, probably the simplest solution is to pull the files across your local network. By the time you move them to a USB device and then move them back to a new machine, copying across via your router would probably be just as fast.
by Sidney
Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transferring files onto a new computer
Replies: 30
Views: 2024

Re: Someone tried to login to my vanguard account yesterday

Something I noticed that may be related if you use them: Mint.com doesn't play nice with Vanguard accounts that have 2FA enabled. You'll get a text from Vanguard when Mint.com refreshes your accounts, but it can't update the account (and doesn't offer a way to enter in the 2FA code). Personal Capit...
by Sidney
Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Someone tried to login to my vanguard account yesterday
Replies: 29
Views: 2955

Re: Where do you shop for groceries?

JDCarpenter wrote:Hate it when only one option on poll. :-)

Yep, can't vote.
by Sidney
Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you shop for groceries?
Replies: 82
Views: 5901

Re: Amazon product restricted to Prime members. Is this new?

I browse Amazon a lot and buy many things from them, but I've not seen that before check elsewhere. I have increasingly found Amazon to be no better in term of price than other sites (and B&M stores like Target). I rarely use Amazon any more. That is correct, their prices for smaller items aren...
by Sidney
Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon product restricted to Prime members. Is this new?
Replies: 34
Views: 4111

Re: Amazon product restricted to Prime members. Is this new?

check elsewhere. I have increasingly found Amazon to be no better in term of price than other sites (and B&M stores like Target). I rarely use Amazon any more.
by Sidney
Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon product restricted to Prime members. Is this new?
Replies: 34
Views: 4111

Re: I'm scared - online hacking

Not much you can do about what other people do with your data other than limit what they get. As far as your own data, use a good encryption system. Truecrypt used to be as good as any but they have frozen development -- although the program still works. I'm sure there are similar alternatives avail...
by Sidney
Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm scared - online hacking
Replies: 44
Views: 4839

Re: Will Vanguard ever offer a passbook savings account?

The advantage is that VG would not need to get involved with all the complications and requirements for being in the banking business. Wouldn't they have to own a bank and deal with all of this? I use AMEX bank for a savings account but there is absolutely zero leverage for me with respect to the r...
by Sidney
Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Will Vanguard ever offer a passbook savings account?
Replies: 36
Views: 2355

Re: Will Vanguard ever offer a passbook savings account?

True, but what is the advantage of doing that through a bank affiliated with VG vs any other bank. Nothing stopping anyone from doing it today.
by Sidney
Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Will Vanguard ever offer a passbook savings account?
Replies: 36
Views: 2355

Re: Will Vanguard ever offer a passbook savings account?

If it is not practical for Vanguard to open a bank, it may be possible for them to offer bank products by arrangement with an existing bank. They have done similar things with insurance companies for term insurance and annuities. Jeff It seems to me if they owned a bank it would be a separate entit...
by Sidney
Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Will Vanguard ever offer a passbook savings account?
Replies: 36
Views: 2355

Re: [Poll] What's Your Tax Prep Strategy?

A lot of professional preparers are not CPAs.
by Sidney
Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Poll] What's Your Tax Prep Strategy?
Replies: 62
Views: 3290

Re: [Poll] What's Your Tax Prep Strategy?

Slowmaha wrote:I get a warm fuzzy having a CPA's name on it. Plus, the service is tax deductible right? :wink:

To the extent that it exceeds 2% of your AGI, yes. Nice fee!
by Sidney
Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Poll] What's Your Tax Prep Strategy?
Replies: 62
Views: 3290

Re: Donor Advised Fund with lower minimum investment?

If you are not, with your "normal" level of qualifying charitable donations, able to itemize, a large donation to a DAF in one year might put you into the tax deduction itemization range. Then, you can spread those funds at the "normal" level for multiple years - then do it agai...
by Sidney
Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Fund with lower minimum investment?
Replies: 12
Views: 1004

Re: Retirees activities won’t deplete the nest egg.

VictoriaF wrote:223 minutes of TV watching! This is preposterous, a waste of retirement time.

Victoria
by Sidney
Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees activities won’t deplete the nest egg.
Replies: 20
Views: 2270

Re: Penfed December cd rates released - Down

This shouldn't really be a big surprise given what has happened with the treasury yield curve.
by Sidney
Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Penfed December cd rates released - Down
Replies: 6
Views: 1273

Re: Donor Advised Fund with lower minimum investment?

IMO absent significant tax rate arbitrage, the case for using a DAF with cash donations diminishes quickly. There are other benefits (e.g. making donations anonymously) but those are minor.
by Sidney
Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Fund with lower minimum investment?
Replies: 12
Views: 1004

Re: Qualified Dividends when holding period is not met

Various tax softwares will normally ask you for the total dividend and the qualified dividend. The software will do the calculation to tax QDs one way and the residual as ordinary income. I enter mine in manually but I suspect the download logic is there to match the total and QD to the appropriate ...
by Sidney
Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Qualified Dividends when holding period is not met
Replies: 2
Views: 357

Re: Selling a rented house

Why not just send a certified mail letter notifying the tenant that you are not going to renew the lease when the existing lease expires.
by Sidney
Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling a rented house
Replies: 39
Views: 3083

Re: Definition of "have a retirement plan at work"

The IRS operating principle seems to be that if an amount shows up in Box 1 of your W-2, it is earned income for the purposes of contributing to an IRA. This is not true. It uses the term "compensation" [not "earned income"] which is defined and does not include some things like...
by Sidney
Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Definition of "have a retirement plan at work"
Replies: 12
Views: 1322

Re: Back-up Drive - Local or Cloud? Which?

I use online plus local. I figure if there is a lightning strike, fire or burglar, the local backup is likely gone along with the original.
by Sidney
Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Back-up Drive - Local or Cloud? Which?
Replies: 33
Views: 2847

Re: Back-up Drive - Local or Cloud? Which?

online back-up service called Crashplan. Crashplan is a good system and does a true backup. Just copying files to a cloud drive isn't a real backup -- it is just a copy. If you corrupt/delete or change a file and then copy it over to the cloud drive you destroy the old one. Crashplan maintains old ...
by Sidney
Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Back-up Drive - Local or Cloud? Which?
Replies: 33
Views: 2847

Re: CapitalOne360 won't give me an ATM-only card?

I am not personally convinced that there are such terrible perils in debit cards. My personal experience over more than thirty years is that so far we've had unauthorized or duplicate or otherwise erroneous charges on our credit card perhaps six or eight times, all resolved instantly and with pract...
by Sidney
Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CapitalOne360 won't give me an ATM-only card?
Replies: 22
Views: 1869

Re: CapitalOne360 won't give me an ATM-only card?

I'd call back and get another guy on the phone and confirm what the first one is telling you. Then, change banks.
by Sidney
Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CapitalOne360 won't give me an ATM-only card?
Replies: 22
Views: 1869

Re: Girlfriend with a LOT of Student debt.

IMO the new car purchase is the tip-off.
by Sidney
Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend with a LOT of Student debt.
Replies: 166
Views: 13611

Re: Tax help needed

Income will be reported on Federal return but not taxed (although it may affect other calculations on your return). State tax depends on the state.
by Sidney
Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax help needed
Replies: 4
Views: 731

Re: Donating for a specific family

One of the reasons we make most of our charitable donations anonymously is to avoid any perception of meddling with the governance of the charity. It also cuts down on the solicitation phone calls and mail :D Yes, we live in a small town and it is hard to avoid the solicitation and various invitati...
by Sidney
Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating for a specific family
Replies: 43
Views: 2925

Re: Donating for a specific family

ieee488 wrote:There are local charities which during the holiday season have wishlists of children.

Would then these gifts not be tax-deductible?

If they are a qualified 501(c)(3) organization, then yes. They will know.
by Sidney
Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating for a specific family
Replies: 43
Views: 2925

Re: Donating for a specific family

One of the reasons we make most of our charitable donations anonymously is to avoid any perception of meddling with the governance of the charity.
by Sidney
Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating for a specific family
Replies: 43
Views: 2925

Re: Vanguard offers login security code

Notice that Vanguard's putting a requirement on the phone number, not the phone itself. Your wife can sign up to receive security codes in the straightforward way. You, on the other hand, can sign up for a Google Voice phone number in your name, and forward texts received at that number to your wif...
by Sidney
Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard offers login security code
Replies: 96
Views: 14071

Re: Dog food - how cheap is too cheap?

Cheaper stuff may have sugar in it. Dogs have sweet tooths (teeth) just like humans do.
by Sidney
Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dog food - how cheap is too cheap?
Replies: 64
Views: 5766

Re: Learning to Type

hoppy08520 wrote:I'm impressed with your right pinkie. Twice as fast as the other 9 digits.

How do you know the hands aren't out-stretched and facing you?
by Sidney
Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning to Type
Replies: 14
Views: 1747

Re: Vanguard offers login security code

Grasshopper wrote:Signed up, but every log on won't work with Quicken only recognized device. :oops:

I don't like the idea of giving software access to my financial accounts.
by Sidney
Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard offers login security code
Replies: 96
Views: 14071

Re: What doyou splurge on?

We don't cut corners on food and wine.
by Sidney
Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you splurge on?
Replies: 231
Views: 19217

Re: Donating for a specific family

sogm wrote:Is there a way we can donate to specific families in need and receive a tax deduction?

Not directly.
by Sidney
Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating for a specific family
Replies: 43
Views: 2925

Re: how to make money like a billionaire

Reminds me of an interview on ESPN I saw a few years ago. Reporter asked a coach what his secret to winning was. "Outscore the competition."
by Sidney
Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: how to make money like a billionaire
Replies: 116
Views: 11408

Re: Chip and Signature (not PIN) in Europe

Just returned from Europe and travel through eight countries including Germany. Used my magnetic strip (no chip) Schwab cash account card to get cash from ATMs on ten or more occasions. Never had a problem. Used my magnetic strip (no chip) CapitalOne Quicksilver card most every day- usually at rest...
by Sidney
Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chip and Signature (not PIN) in Europe
Replies: 15
Views: 1072

Re: Chip and Signature (not PIN) in Europe

JamesSFO wrote:PenFed card works in unattended kiosks throughout Europe, you do set PIN when applying for the card and recently when we were there in last 90 days, didn't get prompted for PIN even.

So much for security.
by Sidney
Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chip and Signature (not PIN) in Europe
Replies: 15
Views: 1072

Re: Jack Bogle: expect 7% annualized for the foreseeable fut

I find it easier to think in real terms. I don't really do projections any more but for a wet-finger view of my 40/60 I assume 0-.5% real for fixed and ~4-5% real for equity. So my weighted average rule of thumb for us is 2-2.5%.
by Sidney
Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle: expect 7% annualized for the foreseeable future
Replies: 42
Views: 6592

Re: Heads up best reward credit card I've seen.

kenyan wrote:We used to do a one-week vacation every year in Colorado that was 2600 miles round trip, doing the ~20 hour drive in one day each way,

Averaging 65mph is impressive.
by Sidney
Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Heads up one of the better reward credit card I've seen.
Replies: 54
Views: 8220
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