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Re: large cash gift from parent - tax considerations

I was also terse, but "one check, one gift, one return, no tax" seems fairly straight-forward. Given the life-time limit, why complicate things? The downside is the donor needs to fill out a gift tax return. If that's an impediment, the donee can help fill it out for the donor (as I sugges...
by john94549
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: large cash gift from parent - tax considerations
Replies: 29
Views: 1868

Re: Question about Bond Mutual Funds and High Interest CD's

I've always suggested looking into a CD ladder and bond funds. It's not an "either/or" proposition. Each serves different functions and is worthy of consideration. Many threads herein on the advantages and disadvantages of both. For example, with bond funds, it is ever so much easier to re...
by john94549
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Bond Mutual Funds and High Interest CD's
Replies: 13
Views: 821

Re: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice

For us, the "road to Hana" was like a movie that could have been edited to a much shorter length. Haleakala was nice, but (aside from the crater) like being in Northern California. South Maui was not to our taste, as each resort had its own beach (postage-stamp-sized), but you needed a car...
by john94549
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice
Replies: 23
Views: 1274

Re: Time to stop driving for 85 yo MIL

My Mom had macular and a substantial hearing deficit (deaf in one ear and major deficit in the other). Her eye doctor convinced her. Amazing how many options there are these days for non-driving seniors. In her locale it was called "catch-a-ride", staffed by other retired folks who happily...
by john94549
Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to stop driving for 85 yo MIL
Replies: 71
Views: 2125

Re: large cash gift from parent - tax considerations

You could be nice and fill it out for her, but I suspect her accountant will handle. One check, one gift, one return. No tax.
by john94549
Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: large cash gift from parent - tax considerations
Replies: 29
Views: 1868

Re: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice

Drive a few miles south to Kaanapali. Park at the garage at Whaler's Village. Spend the afternoon on the beach, people watching, shopping (if you wish), doing a whale watch, etc. If you want the classic large, long, beach, Kaanapali is worth the short drive. Roy's is now located at Kaanapali, as well.
by john94549
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice
Replies: 23
Views: 1274

Re: Where to get medallion signature guarantee

I'm going through various transfers of stock and bond holdings in our trust, as I am successor trustee. The companies holding the assets basically delegate transfer veracity to the provider of the MSG (are you who you say you are, are you really the successor trustee, do you have powers under the tr...
by john94549
Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to get medallion signature guarantee
Replies: 21
Views: 1526

Re: Advice on Brokerage CDs?

For a 5-yr CD that one intends to hold to maturity, the advantages and disadvantages are fairly straight-forward. If the brokered CD pays a lower rate than the best-available retail CD, and (in addition) does not compound the interest, then the advantage of the retail CD is apparent. On the other ha...
by john94549
Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on Brokerage CDs?
Replies: 25
Views: 939

Re: Foreclosed-Law Firm pursuing amount of second lo

While Bogleheads forum can often proffer tips and hints regarding legal situations, there comes a point when you must hire an advocate.
by john94549
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreclosed-Law Firm pursuing amount of second lo
Replies: 31
Views: 2212

Re: How should I invest 13k when I'm in college?

Your best bet would probably be a garden-variety savings account. Don't focus on yield, or growth, just liquidity. Should you be able to graduate from college with liquidity, and no debt, you will be ever so far ahead of the game.
by john94549
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How should I invest 13k when I'm in college?
Replies: 9
Views: 445

Re: What age did you pay off your "forever" home

We're currently both 67, and "might" pay it off this year or next. No great rush, as our interest rate is 3.4% and has 28 years or so to run. Given Garn-StGermain, we might never pay it off, and let the kids "inherit" the rate. It's an option we've considered. We re-fi'd a couple...
by john94549
Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you pay off your "forever" home
Replies: 52
Views: 4007

Re: What types of insurance should I buy?

Renter's insurance is quite cheap. Lawsuits are not.
by john94549
Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What types of insurance should I buy?
Replies: 7
Views: 643

Re: Is this an unreasonable quote for interior home painting

Our interior painters just finished today. He decided to do it with a crew of four. They finished in 4 1/2 days instead of a full five days. Must say we're pleased, although we wouldn't want to go through this again anytime soon.
by john94549
Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this an unreasonable quote for interior home painting?
Replies: 55
Views: 4318

Re: SF Bay Area Personal injury lawyer recommendation needed

I'm a PI lawyer in the SF area. Until recently, I was for many years on the board of directors of the San Francisco Trial Lawyer association. I was also on the board of directors of the California Trial Lawyers Assn. I'm trying to semi-retire or at least slow down, so I don't handle many such cases...
by john94549
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Personal injury lawyer recommendation needed
Replies: 7
Views: 552

Re: SF Bay Area Personal injury lawyer recommendation needed

IMHO, you'd be much more likely to get a good referral from a high end personal injury defense lawyer than from an insurance adjustor since they know who their most respected and feared foes are Could not have said it better, but "high end personal injury defense attorney" was basically a...
by john94549
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Personal injury lawyer recommendation needed
Replies: 7
Views: 552

Re: Emergency Fund: Savings vs. Checking accounts

Alliant Credit Union (easy to join). Plop money in savings (rate is 0.8%, not stellar, but not grotesque). Get your free order of checks. No fees, no minimums, no per-check charges, no gimmicks. When you need the money in checking, go to the website, click transfer from savings to checking, it's ins...
by john94549
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency Fund: Savings vs. Checking accounts
Replies: 21
Views: 1248

Re: SF Bay Area Personal injury lawyer recommendation needed

Somewhat unconventional, but have your friend contact his or her auto insurance company, and ask to speak to the regional claims office for the county in question. Have your friend ask the following question: "if you were representing an insured, can you recommend a reputable, fair, and honest ...
by john94549
Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Personal injury lawyer recommendation needed
Replies: 7
Views: 552

Re: Real 3% (CPI plus 3% guaranteed)

My wife invested in a similar vehicle many, many years ago. It was called "Prime Plus" and sold through the investment arm of a very large, reputable bank. While it purported to offer a yield of "prime plus X%", the very, very, fine print essentially said the fund managers would ...
by john94549
Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Real 3% (CPI plus 3% guaranteed)
Replies: 21
Views: 1794

Re: Is a Traditional Annuity ever worth it?

My Mom lived to 98 1/2. She had two annuities, one through UNUM, one through Northwest Mutual. While both were level-payment, and eroded by inflation over the years, she lived within her means, and was always quite happy those deposits were coming in. Worth it? For her peace of mind, you betcha. Iro...
by john94549
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a Traditional Annuity ever worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 1368

Re: Ethics of an advisor "handing you off" to a colleague

My goodness, where do I start. When I worked for BigLaw, partners did this all the time. It's called "leverage". Rainmakers (partners who are especially good at generating business) do this routinely. It's their job. But it's a delicate balancing act; clients often smell the "bait and...
by john94549
Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of an advisor "handing you off" to a colleague
Replies: 38
Views: 2886

Re: When is cash still king?

Our local Shell station sells gas at "cash" prices which reflect the equivalent margin to the station as credit purchases. I asked.
by john94549
Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is cash still king?
Replies: 26
Views: 2751

Re: Silly to consider buying a home because of interest rate

My wife and I are both age 67 and have owned since age 26. That said, I wouldn't ever suggest to a satisfied renter that he or she rush out and buy a residence. The odds are over-whelming that you will not want to live in that particular house or condo for the duration of the mortgage; moreover, loa...
by john94549
Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Silly to consider buying a home because of interest rates?
Replies: 29
Views: 2738

Re: Rental investment: Cash or Mortgage?

Generally speaking, mortgage rates on investment properties tend to be high. I suspect this all goes back to the collapse. Quite some time ago, we wrapped, to get out from under the horrid rate on our rental. Then, we just did a cash-out, to get out of the wrap. Point being, loans on rentals are pri...
by john94549
Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental investment: Cash or Mortgage?
Replies: 9
Views: 1048

Re: Understanding Umbrella vs Auto Lawyers

I have an umbrella with USAA. How would anyone know that, much less the amount? Suppose I'm in an auto accident. Wouldn't any plaintiff's attorney worth his salt demand to know the limits of all applicable insurance before signing a settlement agreement? Sure, but read my post. They don't know unti...
by john94549
Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding Umbrella vs Auto Lawyers
Replies: 14
Views: 1520

Re: Understanding Umbrella vs Auto Lawyers

At least in CA, insurance limits are not a matter of public record. Stated another way, having an umbrella policy does not put a target on your back. What "does" put a target on your back is perceived net worth. Nice house, nice car(s), vacation home, all point to being "bucks up"...
by john94549
Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding Umbrella vs Auto Lawyers
Replies: 14
Views: 1520

Re: What counts as "saving"?

Too funny. Over on Ken Tumin's blog, anything that wasn't plopped into a CD wasn't considered "saving". My definition of saving is parking anything left over somewhere else. For use later.
by john94549
Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 6658

Re: Help - unwinding windfall assets

Inheritances just need to be managed, as with any other asset class. There are certain advantages (as with the step-up basis), but nothing a CPA can't discuss with you.
by john94549
Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help - unwinding windfall assets
Replies: 20
Views: 1841

Re: Bridge from ER to 59.5

Several institutions offer no EWP with partial withdrawals for IRA CDs for folks over 59 1/2. The best currently might be State Farm Bank (their 5-yr IRA CD seems optimal)). Next best is PenFed, the seven at 1.9. Third runner-up is Northwest FCU, but haven't checked rates for some time. Synchrony se...
by john94549
Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bridge from ER to 59.5
Replies: 1
Views: 577

Re: IRA CD experiences or precautions?

lazyday, I started buying IRA CDs some time ago. I was initially in contact with the Vanguard bond desk, as I assumed I could get roughly the same rates and terms through the brokerage. The Vanguard rep told me in no uncertain terms I could do better, much better, with retail IRA CDs. Mind you, this...
by john94549
Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IRA CD experiences or precautions?
Replies: 8
Views: 968

Re: IRA CD experiences or precautions?

jimkinny wrote:Is a CD from State Farm insured?


Yes. State Farm Bank is FDIC-insured.
by john94549
Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IRA CD experiences or precautions?
Replies: 8
Views: 968

Re: how much do I save if I buy house with cash?

Having sold my Mom's house about a year ago in an " all cash" deal, I submit you'll save quite a bit. Point being: sellers hate contingencies. Sellers just want to sell and be done with it. I accepted an "all cash" offer (with no contingencies) roughly 15% below the next offer, w...
by john94549
Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much do I save if I buy house with cash?
Replies: 11
Views: 1475

Re: HELOC vs. selling stock

When confronted with a mortgage of 8%+ on our investment property and a cash-out re-fi at 400 basis points less, it was a no-brainer. Keep good accounting records. Other than that, it's not a huge issue.
by john94549
Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HELOC vs. selling stock
Replies: 2
Views: 313

Re: IRA CD experiences or precautions?

Some will agree to lock the rate on application. Others won't agree to the rate until the funds have arrived. As you might guess, those tasty retail "promo" rates often fall into the latter category. The only solution is to condition the transfer on the "promo" rate. Alternativel...
by john94549
Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IRA CD experiences or precautions?
Replies: 8
Views: 968

Re: "Wining and dining" in medical community

And we are shocked. Plumbers get "wined and dined" by faucet manufacturers. Human plumbers get "wined and dined" by their counterparts. If you get my drift.
by john94549
Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Wining and dining" in medical community
Replies: 35
Views: 3499

Re: Is $50 oil really the norm?

Interesting thread. Point being: without its energy potential, would oil have any value whatsoever? As they used to say, "you can't drink it." OK, OK, WD-40 aside. Who could live without WD-40?
by john94549
Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $50 oil really the norm?
Replies: 41
Views: 3459

Re: Short term bonds in rising interest rates?

allroads, I suspect most folks 30 years or so from retirement just use your garden-variety bond fund for fixed-income. That said, what I did roughly ten years from retirement was to construct an IRA CD ladder. Currently have fifteen years (+/-) in IRA CDs to cover the first leg of retirement. We're ...
by john94549
Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short term bonds in rising interest rates?
Replies: 26
Views: 2562

Re: Benefits of Second Home

The Maui condo. It keeps the wife sane, the kids (and grand-kids) love it, and (accordingly to my wife) "pays for itself" with rentals.
by john94549
Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Benefits of Second Home
Replies: 35
Views: 3169

Re: Which are the best short/long term U.S. Treasuries?

Last I checked, the 5-yr Treasury was on offer for 1.3%, a garden-variety 5-yr CD, roughly 90 bps higher. Folks have noted herein 10-yr CDs at or above 3% of late. Last I checked, the 30-yr Treasury was hovering at 2.45%.
by john94549
Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which are the best short/long term U.S. Treasuries?
Replies: 10
Views: 1038

Re: garbage disposals - are these still used?

Interesting thread. I've always assumed they were "standard", but maybe not. The gentleman who bought my Mom's home indicated he hated disposals, intended to rip the existing one out, and that was that. Our kids rented an apartment while renovating their new house. The disposal plugged up,...
by john94549
Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: garbage disposals - are these still used?
Replies: 52
Views: 3670

Re: Which are the best short/long term U.S. Treasuries?

By and large, US Government debt is uncompetitive with FDIC/NCUA-insured CDs. Many threads herein.
by john94549
Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which are the best short/long term U.S. Treasuries?
Replies: 10
Views: 1038

Re: EE bonds vs iBonds

userdc, the EE is the classic "safety deposit box" investment. You buy it, you print out your receipt, plop in a safe place, and "fuggedaboutit" for twenty years. Think of it as the ultimate illiquid investment.
by john94549
Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE bonds vs iBonds
Replies: 29
Views: 2365

Re: What is a good rule of thumb on savings vs salary?

15% pre-tax and 5% after-tax is not a bad benchmark. Goldilocks, as it were. Not so high you can't do it, not so low it's irrelevant.
by john94549
Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is a good rule of thumb on savings vs salary?
Replies: 19
Views: 2796

Re: EE bonds vs iBonds

In the current interest-rate environment, EE bonds are quite tasty. Just buy each year, and be patient. When (if) those 5-yr CDs begin to inch back to normal (say, 4%), then suspend the EE buys, buy the 5-yr CDs and ladder them.
by john94549
Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE bonds vs iBonds
Replies: 29
Views: 2365

Re: Should I Declare Victory and Pack It In?

I packed it in a number of years ago. Declared victory, moved on. First fifteen years or so of retirement funded by IRA CDs. Will start to withdraw next year, age 68. Thereafter, we will chip at other tax-deferred stocks and bonds, etc.

And the next question was?
by john94549
Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Declare Victory and Pack It In?
Replies: 173
Views: 16469

Re: A quick poll--pension annuity vs. lump sum

Check your tax person. See my recent thread "pension annuity".
by john94549
Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A quick poll--pension annuity vs. lump sum
Replies: 62
Views: 3617

Re: PenFed CD rates up. 2% max.

denarius wrote:NASA FCU has raised the rate for the 49-month CD to 2.35% APY.


Basis points matter. This compares quite favorably to Alliant's 48-mo at 2.1. At first blush, for a depositor with $250K or thereabouts, the "delta" is clearly more than beer money.
by john94549
Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PenFed CD rates up. 2% max.
Replies: 29
Views: 4490

Re: cash position in ira or 401k?

^John, it's not so much the ladder gaps as doing something with the roughly $25,000 to bring the initial value back down to roughly $225,000 so it's below $250,000 at maturity (assuming ballpark rate of 2% for 5 years). So I'll have to move around $25,000 somewhere else where I'm not already going ...
by john94549
Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: cash position in ira or 401k?
Replies: 19
Views: 1610

Re: cash position in ira or 401k?

Kevin, there's no easy solution when one has a gapped ladder. I'm lucky to have my core 5-yr ladder fairly intact, albeit with a few outliers (those two sevens from PF and a ten from KeyDirect). With less than ten years to go on your withdrawals, I wouldn't sweat the small stuff. Now, if you were th...
by john94549
Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: cash position in ira or 401k?
Replies: 19
Views: 1610

Re: Why invest in International funds? It's a mystery

Interesting question. As one with a more-than-modest home-country bias, I always asked myself the same question. But, that said, I have my requisite 15% in international;, with a smidge in emerging, and I promise not to peek.
by john94549
Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why invest in International funds? It's a mystery
Replies: 121
Views: 10388

Re: Pension Annuity

ubermax wrote: I'm just not familiar with that particular pension/annuity product whereby dividends are paid and a lump sum is paid out after death , that's all ???


Nor was I, rest assured. Which was why I wanted to alert the Boglehead community, as many may have parents with similar products.
by john94549
Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Annuity
Replies: 4
Views: 563
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