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Re: San Juan Islands

Almost 10 years ago as part of a visit to Seattle we took the ferry to Orcas Island. Had lunch, spent time at Moran State Park and checked in to the place we stayed the night. Deer Harbor Inn. http://www.deerharborinn.com/OrchardHouseRestaurant.html The property also had a nice restaurant where we h...
by bru
Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: San Juan Islands
Replies: 18
Views: 2212

Re: Toys for a Lazy Cat

Cat Dancer. So simple I wish I had thought of it. Our cats who are not interested in any other toy or catnip really go for this. When I put it away for the night one cat tracks down where I hid it. http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Dancer-101-Interactive-Toy/dp/B0006N9I68/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=14047781...
by bru
Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toys for a Lazy Cat
Replies: 46
Views: 2906

Re: POLL: How Old is Your Newest Motor Vehicle? -- REVISED

Our newest is a 2012, which was bought to replace a 1999 when it got wrecked. We also have a 2002.

Just read that the average age of a vehicle on the road is 11 (and some months) years. For the first time in several the number did not go up compared to the year before.
by bru
Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: How Old is Your Newest Motor Vehicle? -- REVISED
Replies: 51
Views: 3009

Re: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?

I subscribe to two of our major metro areas city papers. So not exactly local as that paper became more expensive than the other two so I gave it up. One I get Wed-Sun and the other I get Fri-Sun. That way I get the Weekend sections and Sunday papers which is what I value most. With the latter I get...
by bru
Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?
Replies: 86
Views: 6191

Re: Why buy a car with cash?

All of this seems like a lot of work for less than $500 in savings. Did you try to get an additional $500 knocked off the price without having to use their financing? I bet you could have. Do you bargain every time you go to Costco? Can you get your hot dog and Coke for $1? There was no bargaining;...
by bru
Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why buy a car with cash?
Replies: 83
Views: 6087

Re: Why buy a car with cash?

Sscritic, I must admit I am having a bit of fun back-testing your math. But then, as a retiree, I have little else to occupy myself. Since it is simple interest, it is done by the day. Since I didn't tell you the day I bought the car, you don't know how many days of interest there were between that...
by bru
Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why buy a car with cash?
Replies: 83
Views: 6087

Re: Help devising winning roulette system

In one of the gambling books I have they have a variation on what you want to do. I believe they call it a "one off". Meaning do it once as you are leaving the casino and if you get lucky you may win enough for dinner (it was written when dinners out were less expensive). You bet two of th...
by bru
Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help devising winning roulette system
Replies: 72
Views: 3098

Re: Should I move from Fidelity to Vanguard?

I think both companies are good. If I had to pick only one it would be Vanguard. I'm roughly 52% Vanguard 48% Fidelity. Essentially everything I invested on my own went to Vanguard where its all mutual funds in taxable, IRA and Roth IRA. At Fidelity I have a few individual stocks since their brokera...
by bru
Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I move from Fidelity to Vanguard?
Replies: 44
Views: 3584

Re: Property tax (Illinois)

We plan on ending up in Southern Wisconsin in the next 10-20 years. That place is really building up and there will be a lot of work. Uline just moved to Pleasant Prairie and are even building a new building, adding 500 jobs. Amazon is currently building two warehouses. I think more businesses will...
by bru
Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property tax (Illinois)
Replies: 16
Views: 1319

Re: New vs. Used Honda CRV

I have a CR-V. Bought new. I wish they had named it something else. So far not one post has got the name right :wink: . The other folks are no doubt using "CRV" to refer to the Honda Compact Recreational Vehicle -- which is what Honda called it when it was introduced in 1995 -- in the sam...
by bru
Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New vs. Used Honda CRV
Replies: 43
Views: 2814

Re: Two Comma Club!

It's expenses that determine the adequate size of an emergency fund, not income. Maybe $36,000 is 6 months or more of expenses in the OP's household... OK. OPs emergency fund equates to monthly expenses of $4500. By her own admission she likes to spend and with six rental properties I imagine there...
by bru
Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Comma Club!
Replies: 55
Views: 5682

Re: New vs. Used Honda CRV

I have a CR-V. Bought new. I wish they had named it something else.

So far not one post has got the name right :wink: .
by bru
Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New vs. Used Honda CRV
Replies: 43
Views: 2814

Re: Two Comma Club!

Nice accomplishment but it leads to a couple of observations. Why such a small emergency fund? With your income you are not even close to what you should have. The real estate equity accounts for 40% of your net worth. No doubt with your high household income you can easily build up the emergency fu...
by bru
Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Comma Club!
Replies: 55
Views: 5682

Re: TV show recommendations?

Has Veep been mentioned?

Great writing and acting. And I imagine it is a fairly accurate depiction of what goes on in D.C.

Now that Selina is running for President it is even more hilarious.
by bru
Thu May 29, 2014 8:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 304
Views: 119804

Re: Outdoor fire pit? Yea or Nay

New neighbor moved in last December. Hardly saw them through the long cold winter. Yesterday a pick up was in their driveway and they were unloading deck furniture. My heart sank when I saw the fire pit set up on their deck less than 15 feet from my house. Prevailing winds will blow the smoke right ...
by bru
Mon May 05, 2014 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor fire pit? Yea or Nay
Replies: 62
Views: 7226

Re: Anyone else very reluctant to buy right now?

I certainly don't market time but on days like today if I remember I try to make a purchase of some sort. I'm in the process of reallocating an IRA-BDA that had a lot of holdings. I sold all the mutual funds last week and bought an index fund with some of the proceeds, leaving the rest in cash. Toda...
by bru
Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else very reluctant to buy right now?
Replies: 124
Views: 13759

Re: Just returned new laptop with Window 8.1

I fully agree your comment. But it is clear that you have read ONLY the beginning and end of this thread, thus missing much of its progression. Congratulations on your mastering of 8.1. I admire your accomplishment. Peace, JTJjr I assume you are responding to me. No I did not read 100 posts. And ap...
by bru
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just returned new laptop with Window 8.1
Replies: 104
Views: 8613

Re: Just returned new laptop with Window 8.1

After hearing about all the concerns, I never expected to own a computer with Windows 8 or 8.1 but I couldn't pass up a terrific deal on a touchscreen laptop. It came with Win 8 and I immediately updated it to 8.1 I have no issue running this computer just like a Win 7 computer without any modificat...
by bru
Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just returned new laptop with Window 8.1
Replies: 104
Views: 8613

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

For those suggesting filing a dispute did anyone read the link to the Chicago Bar Associaton's Attorney Fee Dispute? http://www.chicagobar.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Attorney_Fee_Dispute_Assistance&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2424 I'll save you the trouble: "If the Commit...
by bru
Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

Ok here goes with all due respect to you and your situation: Either poop or get off the pot. With the advice that has been given to you from this board based on the info you have provided it sounds to me like you've been given multiple options of which really don't take that much time. You have pro...
by bru
Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

Here is a thought. The beneficiaries of the trust are not the same as the beneficiaries of the estate, and the lawyer for the trust is spending a lot of time negotiating with the lawyer for the estate. Think divorce: it is easy to run up charges when the two sides are battling over money. P.S. I ca...
by bru
Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

For those that asked my wifes health is still pretty bad. 8 days and counting in the hospital. Hoping to move her to a Long Term Acute Care facility but doubtful insurance will pay. Having only received a partial breakdown of fees so far I asked for a complete breakdown of costs. Received 10 pdf fil...
by bru
Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

As one of the several attorneys who have discussed this, it simply doesn't pass the smell test. No law firm could get away with charging $100k on a $700k estate and I can't even imagine a reputable firm making an attempt to charge this much. You are clearly missing some facts. You have been given m...
by bru
Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

What were the 100k in expenses? Expenses in probating an estate include payment of funeral expenses and preparation of tax returns as well as legal and executors fees. Funeral expenses and tax preparation fees not part of the executors fees but are an expense against the estate. I answered this que...
by bru
Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

Contact someone higher than your cousin, and explain that you feel very upset about the overbilling and that you think a reasonable number is X (I would have another unrelated lawyer estimate based on the amount of work), and for them to meet it. Go item wise on each instance of overbilling. Don't ...
by bru
Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

For the basics, most ethical law firms will use paralegals for the basics. $1MM annual lawyer rate fees for, what it sounds like, a not too complicated estate sounds a tad unethical. $100K in fees is 200 hours of their time - must have been one complicated estate. :annoyed However, as attorneys, I'...
by bru
Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

harrylime wrote:So, to sum it up... It's "fund the kids' college fund" time for your cousin and his law firm.

The question is whether you are going to do anything about it.

Based on my above two posts what exactly can I do?
by bru
Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

I count four Boglehead attorneys in this thread with estate experience, and we each seem to have the same reaction: These facts don't add up. Now, they may not add up because the executor in question is in fact unethical. From the OP's posts, it seems that the executor is a reputable attorney from ...
by bru
Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

I think a number of us still feel you don't have all the facts. You say there was $600k left for distribution. How much was the gross estate? What was the nature of the assets and how were they held? Was there a Federal or state estate tax return? How do the fees break down as between trustees, per...
by bru
Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

The Wizard wrote:They may have paralegals or secretaries to do the work at half that hourly rate...

Most everything was done by the Executor and one other lawyer at the firm. Hourly rates for each ~$500. Of course the expenses would have been much less if they had used paralegals. They didn't.
by bru
Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

You still haven't said anything about the size and nature of the estate (including the trust). If a tax return cost $16,000, if it was an income tax return, the estate was probably large and complicated. If it was an estate tax return, then the estate was large enough to require an estate tax retur...
by bru
Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

Based on all that you have told us, my gut tells me that your father trusted his nephew to be the trustee and executor due to his legal background, family relation, and a belief that handling an estate is necessarily complicated. It does seem that the expenses are high, though likely all "lega...
by bru
Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

My father named my cousin as executor of his Estate. Why exactly he did it we aren't sure. This is the heart of the issue. If we knew your father's reasons for naming someone other than one of his adult children as executor, that might explain the expense. I know you don't know either, so I don't m...
by bru
Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

I would not sign anything yet and take that 37 page document of transactions to an estate lawyer to look over and give you his/her take on if it seems reasonable. I don't think it should take more than an hour to go through and cost no more than $150 - $250 for the consult. The 37 page document is ...
by bru
Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

What about costs associated with selling the house? Was new carpet or paint required? Did the law firm charge for managing projects like that? I think this is getting hard to follow. I mentioned a couple of times, fees associated with selling the house were deducted from the trust. What is ironic i...
by bru
Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

What I am not sure about, is if you are talking only about legal fees, or legal fees, executor fees and probate fees, or all those fees and costs to close the estate like paying off debts. Could you clarify what is involved in that 100,000 plus in expenses? From what I can tell the fees the executo...
by bru
Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

I truly appreciate the responses so far. I will try to address some of the questions and comments. If I miss something please ask again and I will do my best to answer. All payment of bills like credit cards, HELOC etc. related to my father's estate were were deducted from the trust. The law firms e...
by bru
Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

It's even worse than I thought. $101,349 in fees. I have an extremely sick wife in the hospital and a young son I am essentially raising alone, this is the last thing I need to deal with but I think I have to somehow. But I don't know where to even start. I am being pressured to sign papers to recei...
by bru
Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

State is IL. I believe there are no fixed fees in this state. Estate left for distribution is ~$600K. Fees are about $90K. No detailed explanation of fees only amounts paid to the firm by the estate. There was a Trust which the cousin administered. There were also parts of the estate that needed to ...
by bru
Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

The Estate lawyer cost us big

My father named my cousin as executor of his Estate. Why exactly he did it we aren't sure. Cousin is a high powered Real Estate lawyer, not an Estate lawyer. I'm sure when my father did this he didn't envision my cousin and his firm charing us almost six figures when all is said and done. Knowing ho...
by bru
Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 9186

Re: Windows XP Advice

Why are you considering a new computer? Does the old one seem to be having trouble? I know this is the forum of the extremely fugal...err Bogleheads but with support for XP ending it seems this would be the time to buy a new computer or at least a new OS. Yes I know there are ways around it etc. bu...
by bru
Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows XP Advice
Replies: 21
Views: 1336

Re: Distribution from IRA BDA and Form 8606

bru, the bda is NOT included in the 8606 for your owned IRA. Therefore, the calculation of taxes on your conversion will be unaffected. If the BDA happened to have basis from decedent's non deductible contributions that you inherited, that basis goes on a separate 8606 labeled to apply only to the ...
by bru
Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Distribution from IRA BDA and Form 8606
Replies: 3
Views: 192

Distribution from IRA BDA and Form 8606

Hoping Alan S. see this and chimes in. Received a distribution from a IRA BDA in 2013. Wondering how (or if) it needs to be included in Form 8606. If it does need to be reported I hope I didn't open up a can of worms since I did a fully deductible contirubtion to a traditional IRA and then converted...
by bru
Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Distribution from IRA BDA and Form 8606
Replies: 3
Views: 192

Omission in Roth conversion article or am I wrong?

Did this guy, a supposed financial expert, make a big omission in this article about Roth conversions? He focuses on state tax and implies you will pay state tax on the conversion. http://www.cnbc.com/id/101297501?__source=yahoo%7Cfinance%7Cheadline%7Cheadline%7Cstory&par=yahoo&doc=101297501...
by bru
Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Omission in Roth conversion article or am I wrong?
Replies: 2
Views: 262

Re: Best Movies of 2013

jginseattle wrote:The Place Beyond the Pines.

Only one on your list I saw. Great movie. Almost like two movies for the price of one.

Its on HBO this month if anyone hasn't seen it.
by bru
Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Movies of 2013
Replies: 83
Views: 6191

Re: "Gold to tank in 2014: Goldman Sachs"

My father was a Watchmaker and owned a retail jewelry store that he closed in the 80's. He had lots of inventory and personal jewelry that he kept until his death almost a year ago. Just our luck that while the Executor of his estate was twiddling his thumbs the price of gold tanked. He still is sit...
by bru
Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Gold to tank in 2014: Goldman Sachs"
Replies: 94
Views: 7406

Re: RMD from IRA-BDA

You can simplify the whole account to fit the rest of your asset allocation and purchase the low-expense (sometimes lower than Vanguard) Fidelity Spartan funds for free at Fidelity. Might as well do all at once unless you get a limited number of free trades per time period. Yes I really need to sim...
by bru
Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMD from IRA-BDA
Replies: 4
Views: 312

RMD from IRA-BDA

I need to take the RMD from my inherited Traditional IRA before year's end. The IRA-BDA was established this year so the RMD is based on the previous owner's account. The IRA is with Fidelity. I should have moved it to Vanguard but I never got around to it so I will take the RMD from the Fidelity ac...
by bru
Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMD from IRA-BDA
Replies: 4
Views: 312

Re: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals

OP has a 7" tablet. He asked about 9-10" tablet. Several recos have been for smaller tablets. Some could be almost considered 9" (round up 8.9"), but an 8" tablet isn't what he was looking for.
by bru
Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals
Replies: 49
Views: 4069

Re: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals

You said "cheap" Get 2 :sharebeer Tis the season No like? Return to Walmart :happy http://www.walmart.com/ip/XELIO-9-Tablet-With-8GB-Memory/23709348 The 7" version of these were on sale at Wal-mart for $39.99 a couple of months ago. I bought 3 b/c it was so cheap and was running the ...
by bru
Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals
Replies: 49
Views: 4069
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