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Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

It's tempting, I'll admit. My current 2% card is a Discover with an annual fee; my calculations say that it would net an extra $100-150/year to switch; gets rid of the annual fee and gets rid of the spending that "slips" to lower-rate cards at places that don't take Discover.
by archbish99
Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 78
Views: 7754

Re: Do you mix inheritance and earned money?

The primary argument I've seen for keeping inheritance separate is that inheritance is separate property in case of a divorce (in most states), provided it has been kept separate. When you start commingling it with joint funds, it becomes property of the couple. Obviously, no one wants to hedge agai...
by archbish99
Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you mix inheritance and earned money?
Replies: 25
Views: 2133

Re: Global entry and Nexus (not the phone)

Eye scan is needed when arriving in Canada by air. Fine without for land crossings or entering the US, by my understanding.
by archbish99
Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Global entry and Nexus (not the phone)
Replies: 16
Views: 1003

Re: In-Law Financial Issues (long)

I feel your pain -- I worry about my in-laws for basically the same reasons, though the specifics differ. They have a decent income, but mountains of deb. They say they cut every expense they can, but with two houses, a boat, and an insistence on eating only organic & local food.... Well, let's ...
by archbish99
Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-Law Financial Issues (long)
Replies: 44
Views: 4158

Re: Health Insurance Premium is HSA eligible expense?

Would be a good test case for someone to test this on an 8889 as a qualified expense (ACA policy). How do I test this? Is there a way to ask the IRS to clarify it's stand on this? How do you test it? Claim it as an eligible expense, get audited, lose the audit, and appeal in tax court. Good luck! A...
by archbish99
Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance Premium is HSA eligible expense?
Replies: 13
Views: 1498

Re: Help with investing for children

Isn't money fungible? Couldn't the OP just break out a chunk of his retirement accounts and mentally consider it for his kids but continue contributing to his own after tax accounts given his retirement accounts are maxed out? Or have separate after tax accounts for the kids, purchasing tax efficie...
by archbish99
Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with investing for children
Replies: 25
Views: 1708

Re: Power of Attorney

A POA can be general or for healthcare. (Most states require health care to be separate.) It can be springing or immediate, and if immediate can be durable. There are lots of variations. I bought a generic form on the Internet and modified it myself, because we were in a hurry. If we'd had more time...
by archbish99
Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of Attorney
Replies: 32
Views: 2616

Re: Medicare or Other for Caregiver Emergency?

Both are on Medicare, with a Medigap plan. We know pretty well what they will cover for Mom, because it's her own medical problem at issue -- surgery, hospital stay, rehab. It's more whether there's any assistance for Dad while she's unable to care for him. There are LTC policies -- I don't know the...
by archbish99
Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare or Other for Caregiver Emergency?
Replies: 7
Views: 447

Medicare or Other for Caregiver Emergency?

My mother is my father's primary caregiver, but now she needs a knee replacement. She'll be in the hospital for several days, then in rehab for a couple weeks. We're trying to figure out what to do for Dad, and what the finances of that will look like. My brother is local and can look in on him; I c...
by archbish99
Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare or Other for Caregiver Emergency?
Replies: 7
Views: 447

Re: Ortho/Dental Forced Financing Dilema

Frankly, I think you're over-reacting a little bit. Realistically: ⋅ They want you to pay in full or finance it. What other options were you expecting? If you finance it somewhere other than through them, it looks like payment in full as far as they're concerned. ⋅ Before, you pa...
by archbish99
Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ortho/Dental Forced Financing Dilema
Replies: 5
Views: 791

Re: Windows 7 PC?

Thanks All! As usual, I received a lot of excellent opinions and information. I'm now leaning toward a Windows 7 PC, especially since it will be supported until 2020. Before I make a final decision though, I'd like to take a look at Windows 8.1. I just don't know anyone that has 8.1 or any place wh...
by archbish99
Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 7 PC?
Replies: 49
Views: 2420

Re: Windows 7 PC?

Windows 8.1 Update 1 has given you an ability to boot into desktop mode so the PC does feel similar to Win 7. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/whats-new Take a look at a PC with this update installed to determine if it will work for you. Yep -- the update from earlier this year helps th...
by archbish99
Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 7 PC?
Replies: 49
Views: 2420

Re: Did I make out like a bandit - interest (not Sallie Mae)

The 401k loan rate is 4.25% vs. 2.75% on the mortgage, so it's not an interest savings -- but the lump sum principal payment allowed us to remove PMI, which saves us about $100/month. It nets out well, even if we pay the minimums, and even better if we can pay it off early. I count the 401k loan as ...
by archbish99
Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did I make out like a bandit - interest (not Sallie Mae)
Replies: 27
Views: 3361

Re: Did I make out like a bandit - interest (not Sallie Mae)

Oh, as a side-note, not all loans work this way. My 401k loan (source of the big mortgage principal payment, actually) takes extra interest out if you pre-pay, because they take a payment's worth of interest (based on your current balance) out of every payment. So if you were to send in an extra pay...
by archbish99
Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did I make out like a bandit - interest (not Sallie Mae)
Replies: 27
Views: 3361

Re: Did I make out like a bandit - interest (not Sallie Mae)

I had this happen several months ago, too. I made a large principal payment late in the month, and saw on the web site that they had treated it as my regular payment paid early, with a lot of extra principal. I debated whether it was worth it, but ultimately called and asked them to correct it to be...
by archbish99
Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did I make out like a bandit - interest (not Sallie Mae)
Replies: 27
Views: 3361

Re: Choosing between Health Insurance Options

I guess I don't really understand the point of the deductible/out of pocket limit on the HDHP. If you have to pay 100% of everything until you hit the deductible, then insurance kicks in and pays everything after that, where does the out of pocket maximum come in? In case you get a whole lot of $10...
by archbish99
Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing between Health Insurance Options
Replies: 11
Views: 774

Re: Choosing between Health Insurance Options

The "average" case. What if she uses exactly the deductible on the HDHP? The other plan would be somewhat cheaper, though the tax benefits of the HSA and the lower premiums help. There's a lot you've omitted here -- $10/visit copay, but you're not likely to hit the deductible solely from t...
by archbish99
Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing between Health Insurance Options
Replies: 11
Views: 774

Re: Tax-Free Traditional to Roth Conversions?

No, this is a common strategy for people who retire early but delay SS. SS and RMDs both start at ~70, so if you retire early and can live off taxable investments, you can do tax-free or low-tax Roth conversions. My only caution would be around any tax benefits that phase out more aggressively for M...
by archbish99
Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax-Free Traditional to Roth Conversions?
Replies: 17
Views: 846

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

No, this shouldn't change Vanguard's actual structure. If Vanguard loses the lawsuit, I would guess the results would be two-fold: ⋅ They would have to charge "market" rates for the services VGI provides to the funds. This means VGI would turn a profit, pay taxes, then return the...
by archbish99
Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 187
Views: 21145

Re: Question about HSA and FSA

She can have an FSA then, but the payouts can only be for her expenses. There is disagreement here, and nothing definitive in the law or IRS rulings. An FSA, even if not used for you, still covers you and is listed in the set of things that can disqualify you from contributing to an HSA. I've never...
by archbish99
Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about HSA and FSA
Replies: 12
Views: 546

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

I don't understand this at all. I am not a tax expert, but I always thought corporations paid taxes based on consolidated financials. Intercompany transactions for 100% owned subsidiaries such as these are always eliminated in the consolidation process. What am I missing? You're missing that Vangua...
by archbish99
Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 187
Views: 21145

Re: How to Handle a Multi-Generational Trust

I have read a number of investing books. Graham's classic was excellent. Bogle's books were also thorough and convincing. His relentless arithmetic is undeniable. The books on stock picking and market timing sounded like a bunch of unsubstantiated rubbish after reading Bogle. I don't have the skill...
by archbish99
Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Handle a Multi-Generational Trust
Replies: 23
Views: 2865

Re: HSA savings on premium?

Shop around. One company's HDHP isn't cheaper than the HMO + 3xPPO that you've got now? That may mean their price for an HDHP isn't competitive, or that their price for a PPO is exceptionally good, or that there's medical underwriting being done in one case that isn't in the other. And of course, if...
by archbish99
Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA savings on premium?
Replies: 9
Views: 1270

Re: 15% bracket: convert IRA or tax gain harvest?

It depends. You can either convert your capital gains at 0% or convert to the Roth at 15%, or a combination of both. The big determinant is what your tax rate will be once you have to take RMD's. If you can convert and keep your RMD's down during retirement so that you're still in the 15% bracket, ...
by archbish99
Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 15% bracket: convert IRA or tax gain harvest?
Replies: 36
Views: 2458

Re: I am thinking of buying Ooma or Magicjack need help deci

I'm interested in Ooma, but I just can't justify the cost. :wink: I've got a plan through PhonePower at $14.08/month. The Ooma would bring it down to ~$3/month, but I have to pay for the hardware first ($120), plus I would have to get their Premier service (another $10/month) to keep all the feature...
by archbish99
Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I am thinking of buying Ooma or Magicjack need help deciding
Replies: 52
Views: 3219

Re: 26 years old, Selling Taxable

OP, reality check. This is about your hating to pay a few hundred dollars in taxes? I am no fan of taxes, but that small quantity of costs should not have an effect on executing a plan. If it does, I think you really need to rethink your investment strategy as it is possible that there will be deci...
by archbish99
Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 26 years old, Selling Taxable
Replies: 12
Views: 1571

Re: taxes on family loan for mortgage downpayment?

Keep in mind the mortgage company will require you and your family member to sign a gift letter. That doesn't mean you can't have a loan between you and your family member; it just means that the family members is agreeing that they have no claim on the property, so they cannot file a lein against ...
by archbish99
Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes on family loan for mortgage downpayment?
Replies: 10
Views: 807

Re: Re-hired at firm, given incorrect 401k info

What, exactly, are you entitled to? You didn't/couldn't contribute to you plan for six months. Your employer misinformed you and you lost out on six months of contributions. Your employer owes you 4% of what? Why would they give you anything when you contributed nothing, even if they misinformed yo...
by archbish99
Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-hired at firm, given incorrect 401k info
Replies: 27
Views: 2318

Re: Budget or create saving buckets?

Add the cards. We use our credit cards a lot and pay the bill in full. Each credit card transaction is imported (we set up our cards) so we can assign the transaction a budget category and track them by the date they were incurred. Then when the payment is made, the payment is not assigned a budget...
by archbish99
Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget or create saving buckets?
Replies: 109
Views: 7652

Re: Has anyone tried/used the Guyton/Klinger method for a VP

IMHO all of the SWR discussions, floor and ceiling discussions, etc., are seriously lacking in the mechanics of drawdown. If you are drawing from equities to support your lifestyle you are doing something that makes no sense to me. If you are drawing from a ST or LT bond fund that makes more sense....
by archbish99
Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has anyone tried/used the Guyton/Klinger method for a VPW
Replies: 34
Views: 3010

Re: Paying for/negotiating price of oral surgery

Even paying with a card is "cash" in most doctors' parlance. "Cash" means they get their money up-front and don't have to bill insurance or hassle you for collections after the fact. But yes, you can certainly be reimbursed after paying out of pocket, HSA or FSA. I delayed a jaw ...
by archbish99
Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for/negotiating price of oral surgery
Replies: 21
Views: 1490

Re: Has anyone tried/used the Guyton/Klinger method for a VP

My issue with the VPW method is that it responds too quickly. Good years shoot up, while bad years drop. The advantage of the Guyton approach is that things stay relatively steady year-to-year; only after a severe shock, or several years of good/bad returns do you experience a big change. (Of course...
by archbish99
Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has anyone tried/used the Guyton/Klinger method for a VPW
Replies: 34
Views: 3010

Re: Has anyone tried/used the Guyton/Klinger method for a VP

I've read most of the Guyton papers I could find, and while I basically understand his method, it's not terribly well defined. There are elements of it that I've kept, and elements I've decided serve no purpose. From memory, here's where I landed: ⋅  Separate buckets for near-term withdraw...
by archbish99
Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has anyone tried/used the Guyton/Klinger method for a VPW
Replies: 34
Views: 3010

Re: How to buy Vanguard ETFs if you have a IRA w/them?

That advantage can be looked at from a slightly different angle: if you are forced to use a custodian other than VG, and that custodian allows it, buying the ETF my be the only choice at the lower ER. That's mine. My parents and wife have Vanguard accounts with mutual funds -- I have a Fidelity 401...
by archbish99
Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to buy Vanguard ETFs if you have a IRA w/them?
Replies: 11
Views: 898

Re: New retiree...considering a TIPS ladder

I'd actually start with your SS strategy -- might be worth a separate thread -- but one or both of you (depending on PIA) should probably consider delaying SS until age 70. TIPS ladders are a good strategy for bridging the gap, but not necessarily applicable to everyone. As noted, your portfolio is ...
by archbish99
Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New retiree...considering a TIPS ladder
Replies: 3
Views: 403

Re: Health insurance coverage question

It might be worse than that, as most carriers have a policy that claims have to be submitted within one year from the date of service. You will probably want an attorney to assist you with this.
by archbish99
Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health insurance coverage question
Replies: 2
Views: 287

Re: SS Gap Until 70?

I'll make a couple of assumptions here.... You say that you're looking to draw $6k/month, or $72k annually. You also said that pension + SS would cover 85% of that, or $61k annually in today's dollars. The pension is $14.5k/year. You haven't accounted for the fact that the pension isn't inflation-ad...
by archbish99
Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Gap Until 70?
Replies: 29
Views: 2456

Re: Dilemma for 401K Rollover

Livesoft, in his inimitably succinct style presumably means: ⋅ Don't split money between a target-date fund and something else. A Target Date fund is a complete portfolio, so if your friend is buying that, don't also buy something else. ⋅ The money is coming from a 401k, where it...
by archbish99
Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dilemma for 401K Rollover
Replies: 5
Views: 221

Re: New to Investing, thoughts, taxable accounts specificall

You're going to be in a high tax bracket, and bond returns are low right now. You might find it best to have a decent portion of your bonds in tax-exempt bond funds. While I second the suggestion to consult with a CFP (fee-only) to help you establish a plan, here are basic principles to consider: &s...
by archbish99
Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to Investing, thoughts, taxable accounts specifically
Replies: 3
Views: 445

Re: Buy A New Windows Computer Now?

Yes, Windows still has accounts. Microsoft Account by preference, for integrated OneDrive and settings sync features, Store access, etc. but you can opt to just give your MSA to the apps that need it rather than signing on to the entire PC with it. If you use an MSA, it will have a password. You can...
by archbish99
Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy A New Windows Computer Now?
Replies: 53
Views: 2962

Re: Buy A New Windows Computer Now?

Windows 8 is simple.... I bought a Win8 computer about a year ago. Download and install Start8 http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/ and it boots direct to the desktop, restores the start button and options menu just like XP and Win 7 . $4.99. Perfect. Or, for free, Windows 8.1 gives you the opt...
by archbish99
Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy A New Windows Computer Now?
Replies: 53
Views: 2962

Re: Buy A New Windows Computer Now?

Another factor to consider. A desktop running 24/7 uses a lot of electricity. I have a Kill-O-Watt and was shocked at how much electricity a middle powered desktop uses. I had a Windows Home Server running 24/7 to share media. That thing used ~$20 of electricity/month. A laptop that you allow to &q...
by archbish99
Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy A New Windows Computer Now?
Replies: 53
Views: 2962

Re: Another ESPP thread, with some specifics - Risk Analysis

Because the ESPP discount can show up on your W-2, so it feels like wages. But it will show up as income for income tax, not Medicare or Social Security.
by archbish99
Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another ESPP thread, with some specifics - Risk Analysis
Replies: 21
Views: 1210

Re: LMP at age 50 (help with TIPS Ladder)

fmzip wrote:what does LMP stand for?

Liability-Matching Portfolio. Basically, having a floor of guaranteed income (whether SPIA, bond ladders, Social Security, etc.) that will meet your basic needs, so you're less dependent on sequence of returns from riskier assets.
by archbish99
Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LMP at age 50 (help with TIPS Ladder)
Replies: 26
Views: 1696

Re: LMP at age 50 (help with TIPS Ladder)

I'm not a Bernstein disciple, though I like a lot of his logic. Let me throw out a strategy I've suggested before, and you can see what you think. What you want LMP for is to create an inflation-adjusted income floor that will persist for the rest of your life. Start by calculating your SS at age 70...
by archbish99
Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LMP at age 50 (help with TIPS Ladder)
Replies: 26
Views: 1696

Re: Trying to understand dividends

Step back from the mutual fund and think about stock dividends for a second. Buying a stock is basically buying access to its future dividends, either because it's paying dividends now, or growing so you hope it will in the future. Share prices change based on investors assessments of how much those...
by archbish99
Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to understand dividends
Replies: 5
Views: 484

Re: Budget or create saving buckets?

One thing I read about YNAB, it doesn't automatically connect to banks...so I'm guessing initially it will take a while to set it up... I would actually say that makes it take less time, unless you have an insane number of accounts. In Quicken, you have to configure the account, find the institutio...
by archbish99
Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget or create saving buckets?
Replies: 109
Views: 7652

Re: Budget or create saving buckets?

May I dare ask, can someone post a Quicken vs. YNAB vs. Mint comparison? (maybe include Pros/Cons :happy) I've used YNAB for about two years now, Quicken for ~6 before that, and Excel before Quicken. I've played with Mint on occasion, but never used it full time, so take my comments there with a gr...
by archbish99
Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget or create saving buckets?
Replies: 109
Views: 7652
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