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Re: New car safety features

A friend of mine has a new van with all kinds of features (side cameras, line tracking ...). He finally shut everything off except the backup camera. He said it was so distracting he was afraid he was going to kill someone. I am really worried about the on board built in smartphone equivalents being...
by jebmke
Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car safety features
Replies: 18
Views: 912

Re: Reporting 1098-T on Tax Return

You report this on your return -- form 8863.
by jebmke
Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reporting 1098-T on Tax Return
Replies: 1
Views: 69

Re: Need to retain original tax documents?

I've been audited twice and also submitted supporting docs for numerous taxpayers who have had inquiries regarding entries. In all cases, copies or printed PDFs were accepted.
by jebmke
Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need to retain original tax documents?
Replies: 2
Views: 342

Re: Malware problem on new PC

Some malware disables Windows Restore and erases all the back points. You can't get the old restore points back and it was a nuisance trying to figure out how to get Restore working again, it required a change to the registry which can be tricky. Other malware prevents malwarebytes from running in ...
by jebmke
Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Malware problem on new PC
Replies: 42
Views: 2590

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly. Typical Harry Bosch story.
by jebmke
Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 436
Views: 56491

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

Yes, I have. They requested all documents supporting all entries on Schedule A and Form 8889. Interesting, and they were OK with the receipts you provided for HSA withdraws? Anything that caught you by surprise (in terms of HSA)? No, they were OK. I provided a reconciliation for the qualified expen...
by jebmke
Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 147
Views: 5697

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

I'm curious, has anyone actually been audited, or had to provide receipts? This may warrant a separate thread, but I'm wondering when/if this happens, what are they going to expect? I'm just assuming the worst, so I save everything I can think of. Yes, I have. They requested all documents supportin...
by jebmke
Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 147
Views: 5697

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

We do this for any medical bill > $100. We initially did it for all bills, but there were just too many $4 prescription receipts to keep track off. After paying out of pocket, I scan a copy of the receipt and store with the credit card statement showing the purchase and the EOB (if applicable). Thi...
by jebmke
Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 147
Views: 5697

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

packet wrote: periodically scanning and saving/printing them?

Too much work. You might consider instead having your doctors provide an annual statement like the pharmacies do for scripts. Unless you have a lot of different providers that will cut down on the paper.
by jebmke
Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 147
Views: 5697

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

I saved them for a while and then changed my strategy and now flush them through every year. I decided that this is one less thing to deal with when I become feeble or for my spouse to deal with when I keel over. Plus some of the receipts were starting to fade. I still keep them for a few years -- t...
by jebmke
Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 147
Views: 5697

Re: 1099-DIV error(?)

rob wrote: I wait until the dust settles anyway before lodging the return anyway but it does seem confusing at BEST

Right. By April it should be close enough to file for an extension. By the end of summer there is a good chance everything is correct.
by jebmke
Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 1099-DIV error(?)
Replies: 14
Views: 1450

Re: Be careful: Turbo Tax and Foreign Tax Credit

1116 appears complicated because it covers a range of activities. For most passive investors (especially if only in RICs) it is quite simple actually. The key for forms like this is to read through the IRS instructions and cross out all the sections that don't apply. Usually what is left isn't that ...
by jebmke
Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Be careful: Turbo Tax and Foreign Tax Credit
Replies: 13
Views: 1540

Re: Be careful: Turbo Tax and Foreign Tax Credit

You should be able to verify the calculations by following line by line on Form 1116. This is an example of why I really think that interview mode in tax software is bad. A good interview should get to the same (correct) answer every time given a set of facts. IMO interview mode is a crutch and a po...
by jebmke
Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Be careful: Turbo Tax and Foreign Tax Credit
Replies: 13
Views: 1540

Re: Non-Cash Donations More than 50% of Adjusted Gross Incom

Audits aren't that big a deal but they do take some time. Be aware that if they decide to audit you, they will probably do a complete Schedule A audit. I have had two of these, each triggered by a single large entry on Schedule A. One year was a large non-cash donation but in both cases they request...
by jebmke
Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-Cash Donations More than 50% of Adjusted Gross Income
Replies: 9
Views: 907

Re: laptop reccommendations

I would look at Asus or Lenovo. With Windows 8.1 you can install Classic Shell and the system will behave pretty much the same as Windows 7. So I wouldn't be concerned about finding Windows 7 machines. If you are mainly using word processing and browsing, you don't need the top end processor - havin...
by jebmke
Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: laptop reccommendations
Replies: 7
Views: 966

Re: HSA contribution question

Correct
by jebmke
Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA contribution question
Replies: 3
Views: 280

Re: Paper Statements

Just logged into my bank online and got a message on the screen: "1099-Int Not Mailed" Less than $10 interested was earned. Paper 1099 will not be generated."
by jebmke
Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paper Statements
Replies: 68
Views: 3395

Re: Last year before retirement more about spending than sav

One thing we did do during the last year before retirement is fund 10 years of charitable donations by opening a donor advised fund and donating appreciated securities. That definitely popped our spending in the last year but it was purely a tax rate arbitrage move. The timing worked out well since ...
by jebmke
Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Last year before retirement more about spending than saving?
Replies: 38
Views: 1925

Re: Buying daughter an apartment. From where to take funds?

Isn't the lifetime exclusion over $5 million? So what you are really talking about is avoiding filing a gift tax return. The lifetime exclusion can be applied here I think. Others with more knowledge on gift taxes will chime in I am sure.
by jebmke
Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying daughter an apartment. From where to take funds?
Replies: 13
Views: 1564

Re: Electronic Financial Documents/Banking

Anything I need for tax purposes that is not already in e-format I scan. That isn't very much. I think property tax bill is the only thing I get on paper. The PDF bank statement has a copy of the canceled check so really, I am covered even if I didn't scan the tax bill.
by jebmke
Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electronic Financial Documents/Banking
Replies: 6
Views: 605

Re: Last year before retirement more about spending than sav

Try this. Suppose you are planning to retire 12/31/15. The roof is due to be replaced in 2017 and will cost $25K. So this year, put the $25K you need for a roof aside (CD if you want to do mental accounting, otherwise, just put it into your portfolio). Then when the roof needs to be replaced, replac...
by jebmke
Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Last year before retirement more about spending than saving?
Replies: 38
Views: 1925

Re: Last year before retirement more about spending than sav

So you see no value in buying an item like a car that will last 10 years for cash before retirement Not if my existing car is in good shape and doesn't need to be replaced, no. In fact, if I were going to try to "time" a car purchase, I'd wait until the next big recession to get a better ...
by jebmke
Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Last year before retirement more about spending than saving?
Replies: 38
Views: 1925

Re: Last year before retirement more about spending than sav

Large items need to be part of your retirement budget -- if not, you probably can't afford to retire anyway. I certainly wouldn't buy a car or paint the house unless it was needed. Retirement date would have nothing to do with it.
by jebmke
Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Last year before retirement more about spending than saving?
Replies: 38
Views: 1925

Re: How do I protect my mutual fund accounts from hacking?

Older Vanguard customers without the text feature Age may have nothing to do with it. Cell service is very weak in our area. In the house, there is only one spot that you even have a slight chance that a voice call will work. Text is 50/50 that it will get through. Don't have to drive too far to ge...
by jebmke
Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do I protect my mutual fund accounts from hacking?
Replies: 44
Views: 2531

Re: Charitable Deductions - Valuation of Clothing

receipts might be required on audit I have had two audits involving Schedule A. One was A-only and another was A and Form 8889. In both cases the service requested documentations for every line on the form. In both cases I knew which entry triggered the audit. I asked a friend of mine who is a reti...
by jebmke
Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable Deductions - Valuation of Clothing
Replies: 3
Views: 441

Re: Accessing Bank from someone else's Wifi

Quickfoot wrote:holy encrypt your hard drive

This can be done by your priest?

Seriously, I agree. Should not carry data around not encrypted.
by jebmke
Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accessing Bank from someone else's Wifi
Replies: 10
Views: 1630

Re: Withdrawel

I know a lot of retirees. None of them use a fixed percentage method. Most use "earnings only" (pension, dividends and interest) or just judgement.
by jebmke
Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Withdrawal
Replies: 12
Views: 1255

Re: Using Wash Sale Rule to avoid Capital Gains

c_b is correct. Wash sale rule only applies to losses.
by jebmke
Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using Wash Sale Rule to avoid Capital Gains
Replies: 2
Views: 308

Re: Index funds suffer greater losses in a market decline?

I skimmed the article and didn't spot any empirical data supporting his hypothesis. Did you?
by jebmke
Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another silly anti-index article
Replies: 42
Views: 4081

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting- But Not Buying Back Immediately?

There are good substitutes that are worth holding forever if the value goes up (or at least until they go negative again). I don't see any reason to wait.
by jebmke
Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting- But Not Buying Back Immediately?
Replies: 31
Views: 2211

Re: Roth conversions in excess of normal retirement tax brac

You didn't say where you are now but if in 15% bracket and have significant amounts of QDIV/LTCG you might find that you run into a 30% marginal tax bracket as you increase income into the 25% bracket. Again the tax software can help you see this. That pesky 30% "bracket" is tricky. Not s...
by jebmke
Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversions in excess of normal retirement tax bracket
Replies: 4
Views: 562

Re: Protecting your Windows system from malware

Windows Defender comes with Windows 8. It works beautifully. Windows Defender is below-average in all respects. There is no way I would rely on it as my sole protection against malware. Keep in mind that your machine can get infected and you'll never know it. Windows Defender and Malwarebytes faile...
by jebmke
Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Protecting your Windows system from malware
Replies: 44
Views: 5162

Re: Do you read online reviews?

I look at negative reviews but don't pay much attention unless there is something specific described in the review. One person's "bug" is another person's "feature."
by jebmke
Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you read online reviews?
Replies: 26
Views: 1659

Re: New Amex Chip & Signature Card: Chip & PIN?

tfb wrote:Chances are those unattended, or even attended, railroad ticket machines that require a chip & PIN don't accept AmEx cards to begin with, PIN or no PIN. Get a MasterCard or Visa card.

Then a lot has changed since I lived there from 2003-2006. I used my corporate AMEX with C&P everywhere.
by jebmke
Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Amex Chip & Signature Card: Chip & PIN?
Replies: 7
Views: 806

Re: How to use a HSA (health savings account)?

You do need to keep receipts and records until the expense flows through the tax return (which could be years later) and the return has cleared the audit window. They will ask for the documentation in an audit (I know this from experience).
by jebmke
Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to use a HSA (health savings account)?
Replies: 3
Views: 724

Re: Excel question

lululu wrote:The question is, what does Round do with 1/2. Is it 0 or 1? I'm too lazy to experiment.

OK, I experimented. It rounds up, at least in my version of Excel.

There are two additional functions "roundup" and "rounddown". The first one does nothing for weeds though.
by jebmke
Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excel question
Replies: 18
Views: 2008

Re: Excel question

=round(a1,2)-round(a2,2)
by jebmke
Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excel question
Replies: 18
Views: 2008

Re: Do you have or recommend a Financial Only PC?

Three zero cost solutions. (1) Bootable USB flash drive with a non-persistent Linux installation. (2) Dual boot your existing PC with another OS (Linux is free), (3) Install VirtualBox or another free VM software and run Linux in a VM. (1) and (2): Booting Linux on a Windows PC containing a Windows...
by jebmke
Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have or recommend a Financial Only PC?
Replies: 84
Views: 7308

Re: Snow blower maintenance and repair

Once you get it fixed, at the end of the season, run the engine until it runs out of gas. Don't save gas in the can for another season.
by jebmke
Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow blower maintenance and repair
Replies: 26
Views: 2371

Re: Do you have or recommend a Financial Only PC?

Three zero cost solutions. (1) Bootable USB flash drive with a non-persistent Linux installation. (2) Dual boot your existing PC with another OS (Linux is free), (3) Install VirtualBox or another free VM software and run Linux in a VM. I actually go the Linux Virtual Machine route with Virtual Box....
by jebmke
Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have or recommend a Financial Only PC?
Replies: 84
Views: 7308

Re: Do you have or recommend a Financial Only PC?

Three zero cost solutions. (1) Bootable USB flash drive with a non-persistent Linux installation. (2) Dual boot your existing PC with another OS (Linux is free), (3) Install VirtualBox or another free VM software and run Linux in a VM.
by jebmke
Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have or recommend a Financial Only PC?
Replies: 84
Views: 7308

Re: Mac Users-evernote app

I use Evernote all the time for notes. I like the Clip to Notes feature BUT I have to be on wifi or use my data plan to view those clipped notes. I am not always within free wifi and my data plan is minimal (and precious) so it can be frustrating not to be able to view some notes. That is true with...
by jebmke
Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mac Users-evernote app
Replies: 16
Views: 2427

Re: Need Cash if Hold Target or LS Fund ?

I retired at the end of 2007 and essentially held no cash since. You don't need cash to re-balance. Just sell and buy. Everything I count in my holdings is liquid (I don't count a small RE holding).
by jebmke
Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Cash if Hold Target or LS Fund ?
Replies: 6
Views: 598

Re: Mac Users-evernote app

I have been using Evernote for about 5 years. I am not a "note taking person" by nature so I use it instead of creating a bunch of MS word documents to help me remember things like trip itineraries and plans. I cannot use Evernote or other cloud based apps on my employers network. I don't...
by jebmke
Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mac Users-evernote app
Replies: 16
Views: 2427

Re: Laptop as a hard drive

I use a laptop as a "desktop." When it is time to replace it, I am seriously considering going back to a desktop system since I never use this as a laptop. For mobile computing I have my phone and an inexpensive tablet.
by jebmke
Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop as a hard drive [Laptop as a desktop]
Replies: 29
Views: 1973

Re: Does anyone know what's happening with GWX today?

Probably some large CG distributions in addition to the div.
by jebmke
Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone know what's happening with GWX today?
Replies: 7
Views: 835

Re: Federal Taxes - Sticker Shock (And how to reduce)

$17,000/$150,000 = 11.3% effective rate. You consider this high? You are going to be very disappointed if you get a raise. My thoughts exactly. I am green with jealousy over that tax rate, and I make less than OP! All we know is what the OP has withheld from his pay. We have no idea what his effect...
by jebmke
Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Taxes - Sticker Shock (And how to reduce)
Replies: 58
Views: 5457

Re: Opinions on Vanguard VCADX?

So the dividends are tax free but if the bond price goes up I pay tax on that when I sell? The gain would be considered taxable for Federal taxes. Whether you actually pay tax on the gain depends on other facts pertaining to your tax return. As for CA, you'd have to look in the instructions for fil...
by jebmke
Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions on Vanguard VCADX?
Replies: 4
Views: 628

Re: Tax Loss Carryover Schedule D

If you used tax software last year (a) the worksheet may be there and printable and (b) the carryover amounts should roll forward to this year's return. The carry forward to 2014 does not appear explicitly on the IRS's 2013 worksheet. It's certainly possible for a tax preparer to add value with a p...
by jebmke
Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Loss Carryover Schedule D
Replies: 8
Views: 721

Re: VWINX declining, any ideas why?

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:Might it be partially due to the $0.672 (investor shares) or $1.639 (Admiral shares) distribution per share that just took place?
PJW

'tis the season
by jebmke
Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VWINX declining, any ideas why?
Replies: 42
Views: 3912
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