Search found 1014 matches

by billern
Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Since div reinvestment 'off', no new 'lots' created?
Replies: 4
Views: 365

Re: Since div reinvestment 'off', no new 'lots' created?

There is no reason to specifically try to buy shares at a higher price to create tax lost harvesting opportunity. Buy more shares if you want to own more of the investment. If you later get in a position to tax loss harvest, that is a benefit that only partially offsets an economic loss. IE: Which i...
by billern
Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another Wash Rule ?
Replies: 7
Views: 539

Re: Another Wash Rule ?

No, because while these two funds are very similar, they are not substantially identical. In fact, over the entire US stock universe there would be several differences in the holdings in these two funds. In addition, if the funds had been the same funds, the purchase avoidance period would be 61 da...
by billern
Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I feel guilty?
Replies: 10
Views: 1371

Re: Should I feel guilty?

I would not feel guilty. I'd thank the broker for the great service to let him know the issue is not him and close the account. He does not need to know why you are moving your money out. Maybe he will assume you no longer want to invest in the market.
by billern
Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cancer (and expensive medical expenses) during early retirement
Replies: 29
Views: 3032

Re: Cancer (and expensive medical expenses) during early retirement

This is why insurance exists. To protect against low probability, high cost, outcomes. Hopefully you have a decent insurance option to purchase.
by billern
Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding Estate Tax - My Fears
Replies: 12
Views: 2057

Re: Avoiding Estate Tax - My Fears

As long as you are under the $5MM lifetime exclusion (which is indexed for inflation), for gifts and bequests there is no problem. Of course the income and estate tax laws could change in the future.
by billern
Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS regulation on 401K plan (company mistake)
Replies: 34
Views: 1639

Re: IRS regulation on 401K plan (company mistake)

Many employers send a letter to highly compensated employees in anticipation of this issue to alert each HCE that they may be subject to this. That avoids this type of surprise.

Is that notification a requirement or just a best practice?
by billern
Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2008 Honda Accord with only 10K miles. Any major service needed?
Replies: 47
Views: 3069

Re: 2008 Honda Accord with only 10K miles. Any major service needed?

I have a old Honda civic with low mileage and ignore most of the time based service recommendations.

It seems like tires and breaks are two areas where it makes sense to spend the money, when there is even a hint of a question about safety.
by billern
Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The case of the exploding vehicle sunroofs
Replies: 31
Views: 2489

Re: The case of the exploding vehicle sunroofs

I've started looking for a replacement car and was surprised to find that certain car models lose a fairly substantial amount of headroom due to sunroofs and moon-roofs. Not cool, especially when bundled with the higher trim level.
by billern
Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Preparing for the unimaginable
Replies: 33
Views: 2887

Re: Preparing for the unimaginable

I'd say prepare for a 50% equity drop that takes 10 years to recover. Will your portfolio be able to sustain you in retirement in that situation? Will you be able to tolerate your investment plan in that scenario and not do something that makes it worse? What can you do now to reduce that potential ...
by billern
Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get laid off[? company laying people off with good severance package]
Replies: 28
Views: 3681

Re: How to get laid off to get a package?

The downside I see is that many employers have policies to not rehire someone they have previously laid off. If your wife is willing to forgo the possibility of coming back this employer, it may be worth pursuing.
by billern
Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Did You Do In The 2008/2009 Stock Market Crash?
Replies: 51
Views: 3429

Re: What Did You Do In The 2008/2009 Stock Market Crash?

Kept my 100% allocation to stocks, did some tax loss harvesting, and continued to invest savings. My philosophy was (and still is) that it is better for stock prices to be low during the accumulation phase.
by billern
Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did a dumb thing [lump summed into market after sitting on cash for years]
Replies: 111
Views: 12792

Re: Did a dumb thing

Markets fluctuate. They go up and they go down. If you can't stomach the ride, reduce your allocation to equities.

A poor investment strategy is buying in bull markets and selling in bear markets. No one gets rich buying high and selling low.
by billern
Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $13 Million Goal for Early Retirement (am I crazy?)
Replies: 128
Views: 13318

Re: $13 Million Goal for Early Retirement (am I crazy?)

Your income does not seem to be high enough to reach your goal. Your annual spending is not high enough to need nearly that amount of assets to support retirement. The other thing to keep in mind (that I see comments on this board regarding) is that people who are frugal in the accumulation phase ha...
by billern
Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Sale of Grandmother's Home
Replies: 15
Views: 1304

Re: Help with Sale of Grandmother's Home

Your grandmother may already have a stepped up basis from your grandfather. If she does not, the taxable gain after commission and the $250K primary residence exclusion may not be significant. I was in a similar situation. During the process of moving Grandma to a group home, we found an appraisal o...
by billern
Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon reviews
Replies: 22
Views: 2235

Re: Amazon reviews

I wrote a review of an amazon seller who did some very sketchy stuff. There was a pattern of similar negative reviews which made me think they had some questionable business practices. The seller contacted me and offered a free replacement product and a coupon to remove the feedback. Basically a bri...
by billern
Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frustrated with low raise
Replies: 71
Views: 5320

Re: Frustrated with low raise

I had a couple crappy salary years - a promotion to manager with a raise that was not commensurate and then a resulting salary that seemed way below industry norm. I applied myself at work and went above and beyond in ways that both enhance my value internally and also readied me for the job market ...
by billern
Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?
Replies: 196
Views: 13414

Re: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?

Look... when it comes to cars - most people really only pay attention to what others drive if the paint is peeling off / if it is really dirty or if the car has had a fender bender. Those things are more about how someone treats the the car vs the miles they put on it- It is not like anyone can see...
by billern
Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please Help Me Identify 5 Reasons To Get Mother-In-Law Out of A Variable Annuity
Replies: 11
Views: 1067

Re: Please Help Me Identify 5 Reasons To Get Mother-In-Law Out of A Variable Annuity

Give one good reason. If you give a number of reasons, they can focus on the weakest one.
by billern
Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401(k) employer match true-up after leaving company
Replies: 27
Views: 1898

Re: 401(k) employer match true-up after leaving company

If you met the requirements to receive a contribution, any distribution you receive, or it's timing, is irrelevant in determining if receive the contribution. If you met the requirements (i.e., last day rule, 1000 hours, if applicable), you should receive the contribution. How would I have received...
by billern
Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interactive Cost of Living Map, and some COL what ifs
Replies: 9
Views: 1327

Re: Interactive Cost of Living Map, and some COL what ifs

COL comparisons never seem to take into account saving for a down payment. Sure, carrying a mortgage in San Jose compared to Dallas is not as hard as it would seem given the incomes there, but good luck saving that down payment. The other thing that is missing is state income taxes. That data seems...
by billern
Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is a 401(n) retirement plan?
Replies: 6
Views: 734

Re: What is a 401(n) retirement plan?

IRC Section 401(n): Coordination with qualified domestic relations orders. The Secretary shall prescribe such rules or regulations as may be necessary to coordinate the requirements of subsection (a)(13)(B) and section 414(p) (and the regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor thereunder) with the...
by billern
Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSAs in California & 1099 tax forms
Replies: 4
Views: 560

Re: HSAs in California & 1099 tax forms

One of the HSAbank year-end forms lists something like earnings but it certainly does not include the income from the linked TD Ameritrade brokerage account. You can use year-end statements or a report from the website to determine interest, dividends, and capital gains. I suspect most people do not...
by billern
Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average raises for promotions
Replies: 32
Views: 3753

Re: Average raises for promotions

A major level promotion should come with a substantial raise. I'd say 15-20% sounds reasonable. Not every company will do it, though. I lost a substantial amount of trust in my employer because the compensation after a promotion was not in line with my value or the market. A 5% raise when promoted t...
by billern
Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Dealerships - is this bad service?
Replies: 21
Views: 2511

Re: Car Dealerships - is this bad service?

Yes, this is pretty typical. The car dealerships are making a lot of money right now (at least in general) so many are forgetting customer service. Vote with your money. Find a dealership that provides good service and go there, if possible.
by billern
Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent a studio to save money or 1-bedroom that is twice the cost but in my "dream" area?
Replies: 36
Views: 3734

Re: Rent a studio to save money or 1-bedroom that is twice the cost but in my "dream" area?

What would it cost to buy the condo you would like in your desired area? What does that translate to in monthly payments, including association dues? Have you saved up enough for a 20% down payment? I'm in a similar position with regards to income and cost of living. Spending almost 1/3 of your take...
by billern
Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Fraud [Understanding fraudulent returns]
Replies: 6
Views: 921

Re: IRS Fraud

Do I understand correctly that fraudulent returns are only possible if you have a refund coming? I play the RMD game and only pay at the end of the year and file electronically by early Feb owing a nominal amount. I guess that only exposes me for a couple of months? It depends on the type of fraud ...
by billern
Fri May 22, 2015 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friends/Family that don't invest!
Replies: 94
Views: 11567

Re: Friends/Family that don't invest!

We live in a relatively free country. Other than being required to pay into social security and medicare, everyone can do what they want with their earnings. Many people chose to spend instead of save. Of those who are savers, not everyone trusts the stock or bond market. To each his own. That said,...
by billern
Tue May 19, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I sell my company's stock and exchange it for an SP500 index fund?
Replies: 60
Views: 4045

Re: Should I sell my company's stock and exchange it for an SP500 index fund?

Unless you hold the stock until you die, the stock drops in value, or you are in a low tax bracket when you sell, you will pay capital gains tax on the sale. There is a benefit to holding the stock (dividends and appreciation on the amount invested that you would have to pay in taxes if sold today) ...
by billern
Fri May 15, 2015 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter from IRS (I think they are wrong)
Replies: 23
Views: 3435

Re: Letter from IRS (I think they are wrong)

You can elect to treat just enough qualified dividends and long-term capital gains as ordinary income to free up your investment interest expense. The remainder of qualified income still gets the preferential rate. If this is the case but you did not compute the tax correctly on your return, the IRS...
by billern
Sun May 10, 2015 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small Business and Retirement - Ethics Question
Replies: 15
Views: 1196

Re: Small Business and Retirement - Ethics Question

I'd try to make the transition as smooth as possible. That might include notifying your customers and possibly even making arrangements for referrals with another similar provider in town.

What is the benefit to you of not giving your clients advanced notice?
by billern
Wed May 06, 2015 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: International rental car insurance
Replies: 17
Views: 1352

Re: International rental car insurance

If you have an American Express card, rental car insurance is included and primary with the exception of a small number of countries. (That, oddly enough, mostly start with the letter I). My solution is to use the AMEX card and not fly into Italy. This is only true for certain AMEX cards so check y...
by billern
Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guidance About New Spouse's IRS Issues
Replies: 47
Views: 3150

Re: Guideance About New Spouse's IRS Issues

That is a sizable amount of money so getting professional help would be advisable. Call me skeptical but, unless your S/O had their head buried in the sand, it seems that they would have been aware of this issue prior to your marriage. It is not a good sign that a $100K tax bill is coming up as a su...
by billern
Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: HSA Bank Low Balance Fee- How is it paid?
Replies: 26
Views: 2572

Re: HSA Bank Low Balance Fee- How is it paid?

On the bright side, I was charged the $3 Investment Fee this month, despite having had a balance of $5000.03. I called and they said it was a "mistake". (really? a computer can't accurately tell if my balance is greater than or less than $5000?). 6 days later I am still waiting for my $3 ...
by billern
Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Bank transfer to investment account issue?
Replies: 15
Views: 1239

Re: HSA Bank transfer to investment account issue?

I don't know about that issue but definitely check your recent activity for other issues. I had to call today about a $3 service fee that should not have been charged based upon my balance. The person I spoke with said it was a glitch affecting some customers and promised to promptly reverse the cha...
by billern
Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My professor gave me textbooks I later sold. Taxable?
Replies: 19
Views: 1243

Re: My professor gave me textbooks I later sold. Taxable?

Gifts have carry over basis. Your basis when you sell is the basis your professor had in the book (with limitations if it is worth less when gifted). Good luck figuring that out...
by billern
Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HR error- Highly compensated employee status
Replies: 11
Views: 1397

Re: HR error- Highly compensated employee status

Before you get too aggressive, I'd determine whether the employer will make a catch-up matching contribution at year-end for the pay periods where the deferral exceeded the matching percentage. Often, there is a year-end true-up in this type of circumstance. That would significantly limit the harm r...
by billern
Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Employees Forgo Wellness Cash Incentives Worth Millions"
Replies: 30
Views: 3224

Re: "Employees Forgo Wellness Cash Incentives Worth Millions

Wellness programs are designed so you have to jump through certain hoops to get the benefits. Do certain things, participate in certain events, log your data on a website, and often reach a certain goal by a set date to get the incentive. I'm surprised that 47% of employees enroll. The program I'm i...
by billern
Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearse as daily driver?
Replies: 58
Views: 4986

Re: Hearse as daily driver?

Tom Waits used to drive a hearse. I don't think I could pull it off.
by billern
Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got a promotion, but still need to discuss salary
Replies: 9
Views: 1426

Re: Got a promotion, but still need to discuss salary

It shouldn't be based upon % of pay. I'd do your own research to try to figure out what the salary range should be based upon the position and start from there.
by billern
Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping the change (making saving automatic)
Replies: 15
Views: 1600

Re: Keeping the change (making saving automatic)

Set up an automatic transfer to your savings account or have part of your paycheck deposited to same.
by billern
Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dress socks
Replies: 7
Views: 840

Re: Dress socks

I only use Dockers Rayon Dress Socks. They are made out of bamboo which sounds weird but they are great quality and comfortable. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if they are still making them as they seem hard to find every time I look. Whatever you pick, buy a lot of pairs and only buy one pattern/color...
by billern
Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I learn to like sushi?
Replies: 80
Views: 6484

Re: How do I learn to like sushi?

Some people have an aversion to the seaweed used in the rolls. If that is a problem for you, there are certain types of roles/etc that use less seaweed. Try California rolls. Those are pretty safe but tasty. If you have an aversion to seafood, try vegetarian sushi. If you don't like that, there are ...
by billern
Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to find a spouse who wants financial independence
Replies: 51
Views: 9181

Re: How to find a spouse who wants financial independence

When appropriate, share your values and goals. See how the lady responds.

If you want to avoid potential spouses that have the wrong values, don't project an image that would attract the type of person you are not looking for.
by billern
Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Ive been put on a performance improvement plan!
Replies: 66
Views: 10436

Re: Help! Ive been put on a performance improvement plan!

Trader Joe wrote:My advice is for you to immediately resign before you are terminated. It may already be too late.
His former employer will not disclose anything beyond title and dates of employment in either case due to potential liability. What benefit would he get by quitting now?
by billern
Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Ive been put on a performance improvement plan!
Replies: 66
Views: 10436

Re: Help! Ive been put on a performance improvement plan!

OP, this is also a good time to evaluate what you are doing and whether you want to continue down the same path. Do you like being in management? What about the industry you are in? The specific company? I would not consider quitting without something else lined up. It may be worth considering a mov...
by billern
Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Software: Access to Exclusive IRS Info?
Replies: 13
Views: 937

Re: Tax Software: Access to Exclusive IRS Info?

The obvious problem is if instead of revising the forms and instructions the IRS just explains what it means on the list. We really should not have secret regulations. IRS forms, publications, FAQs, and most other correspondence is not primary authority. You cannot rely on any of it to support a ta...
by billern
Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Software: Access to Exclusive IRS Info?
Replies: 13
Views: 937

Re: Tax Software: Access to Exclusive IRS Info?

Don't you want someone with knowledge about taxpayers behaviors and questions to proofread and comment on the first drafts of instructions written by IRS staffers and drafts of forms created by them? Or would you rather the IRS hires additional proofreaders from time to time? I guess we don't know ...
by billern
Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Software: Access to Exclusive IRS Info?
Replies: 13
Views: 937

Re: Tax Software: Access to Exclusive IRS Info?

The tax software providers and the IRS should be working together to make a more seamless tax filing season. Unless you are wanting to write your own tax preparation software and feel excluded, you should be happy that they work together. It means the tax software is ready more quickly to generate t...
by billern
Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company's Profit Sharing Plan Mystery
Replies: 8
Views: 1147

Re: Company's Profit Sharing Plan Mystery

OP, the profit sharing plan component is generally a pooled investmentaccount. That is why you don't get broker statements and the disclosures are not frequent. My experience has been that the employee deferral component is segregated. That account should have monthly statements. Ask your employer h...
by billern
Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy nice men's dress shirts?
Replies: 84
Views: 7531

Re: Where to buy nice men's dress shirts?

You have to pay to play. I'm a big fan of Charles Tyrwhitt. IMO they are on par if not better then brooks brothers. I try to always get them on sale, usually 40ish + freight. They are made in Europe, so they usually take 1-2 weeks to receive. Me too. My only complaint is that CT has limited color/s...

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