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Re: large cash gift from parent - tax considerations

I assume "us" includes your spouse, and that you are buying the apartment jointly. She could make you a gift of $28,000 ($14,000 to each of you and your spouse) and lend you the remaining $72,000 as an unsecured loan (fully documented, with interest). Then, beginning in 2016 and for each y...
by lhl12
Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: large cash gift from parent - tax considerations
Replies: 32
Views: 2527

Re: "Its Time To End Financial Advisers 1% Fees"

I don't buy it and I don't agree. The more I learn about human nature, the more I realize that it is pure folly to expect the average American to successfully devise and execute a 75 year plan for financial success, including education, careers, marriage/divorce, kids, college savings, medical expe...
by lhl12
Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Its Time To End Financial Advisers 1% Fees"
Replies: 75
Views: 6210

Re: Grandfather wanting to transfer portfolio to kids. Ques

I'm 80, and I have all my money in a simple 3-fund Vanguard portfolio... I want to give my money to my kid now, and I tried to explain why the 3-fund portfolio was simple, easy to manage, generates a decent return, and is less volatile. My daughter (and her son-in-law) told me that they have no int...
by lhl12
Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grandfather wanting to transfer portfolio to kids. Question
Replies: 67
Views: 3052

Re: Annual Home Maintenance Expenses

I would plan on 2% annually, but as you can see from others' experience it could be 1% or it could be 3%, depending on a lot of things. Regardless, the most important thing is to plan for the lumpiness of the expenses. If you assume 2%, then I would literally set aside 2% each year into a segregated...
by lhl12
Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Home Maintenance Expenses
Replies: 47
Views: 8077

Re: What is highest paying cash credit card

If you charge a lot and if you travel, the very best is the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card combined with the 75% bonus that you get for being either a Merrill Edge or US Trust customer. This configuration gives an unlimited 2.625% rebate on all charges so long as the rebate is applied to travel...
by lhl12
Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is highest paying cash credit card
Replies: 24
Views: 2549

Re: Amex Fidelity CC 2% Cash Back

Actually the Fidelity 1.5% Visa pays 2% after the first $15,000... effectively being a 2 percent card with a $75 annual fee. Worth it to me to not have to deal with Amex not being accepted everywhere. I do the same thing. I have both the Amex and Visa but put the Amex in the drawer a few years ago ...
by lhl12
Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Fidelity CC 2% Cash Back
Replies: 60
Views: 5670

Re: Should pension plans be relied upon for retirement?

There is a type of pension plan called a "Multiemployer Pension Plan" which can be problematic. These types of plans (often union-related) typically have multiple different companies paying into them, which can create problems for the strong members if some of the weaker members go bankrup...
by lhl12
Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should pension plans be relied upon for retirement?
Replies: 35
Views: 3098

Re: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)

I just read this whole thread for the first time. I will leave financial advice to the side for now, and just say that you are an extraordinary woman. You have been through a lot and have managed things better than almost anyone else could have. You deserve a ton of credit and moral support, and I f...
by lhl12
Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)
Replies: 108
Views: 15662

Re: Smartest Financial Move Right now for my 1 Year old ?

I would send her to Vanguard and deposit her into one of their low-ER day care accounts. She will develop at the average rate of all other kids (with very little cost) and when you get her back at age 18 she will have compounded into a terrific young woman, free from a lot of the excess emotional co...
by lhl12
Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Smartest Financial Move Right now for my 1 Year old ?
Replies: 17
Views: 1096

Re: How much more do rebate cards cost than checks?

If someone receives a physical check then they have the ability to deposit it into their bank account whether they purchase something or not. With online check deposits on smartphone, it is trivially easy to deposit a check from home, so I suspect that the percentage of people who fail to deposit th...
by lhl12
Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much more do rebate cards cost than checks?
Replies: 13
Views: 778

Buying gasoline

Certain credit cards offer particularly high reward points for buying gasoline. Several offer 3% and I believe that one or two others (PenFed?) offer as high as 5% or 6%. Meanwhile, many gas stations charge two different prices for gasoline - one if you pay using a credit card and another (typically...
by lhl12
Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying gasoline
Replies: 7
Views: 1338

Re: Investing inheritance money for elderly motherr

If you do decide to move the funds to a bank, do not lock them up in a long-term CD. You will want to leave the funds in a highly liquid account for a reasonable period of time - at least a few months - that allow you to grieve and also figure out how you want to invest the money. If you lock it up ...
by lhl12
Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing inheritance money for elderly motherr
Replies: 70
Views: 4515

Re: Need help with trust problem, huge tax bill possible (CA

You need to consult an attorney. You will need counsel with expertise in California property tax matters and also trusts and estates. If these happen to be the same person, that's fine, but you need both expertises regardless.
by lhl12
Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help with trust problem, huge tax bill possible (CA)
Replies: 8
Views: 1371

Re: Need help with trust problem, huge tax bill possible (CA

Do you presently have an interest in the trust that owns (or may have owned) the property, or is that something that will happen only after your father passes away? If you do presently have an interest in the trust that owns the property, who is the trustee? The trustee has a duty to the beneficiari...
by lhl12
Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help with trust problem, huge tax bill possible (CA)
Replies: 8
Views: 1371

Re: Advice re cashing in life insurance policy in estate

For how long has the policy already been in force? What is the current rate of annual dividends paid and is the $13,000 premium net or gross of those dividends?
by lhl12
Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice re cashing in life insurance policy in estate
Replies: 25
Views: 1276

Re: Do I Pay Cash for my home?

If you have the means to pay cash and it would make you happy not to have debt, I would definitely pay cash for the house. I don't know why others are telling you otherwise, but I would ignore them.
by lhl12
Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I Pay Cash for my home?
Replies: 49
Views: 3961

Re: Double Cash Credit Card from CITI

If you charge a lot on the card, then the Fidelity Visa is effectively equivalent at 2.00% on all purchases, but with the first $15,000 of annual purchases receiving only 1.50% back. This is equivalent to a $75 annual fee. For that $75 annual fee, you get your monthly rebate auto-deposited into your...
by lhl12
Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Double Cash Credit Card from CITI
Replies: 19
Views: 2632

Re: switching main credit card

A few comments on this issue. First, I make more than $75/hr - lucky me. But, that's only when I work, and I'm not working now. Second, don't you have to log into the Citi website every month anyhow, to pay your bill ? That's one of the things I'll miss if Penfed ceases to be my main card, the auto...
by lhl12
Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 59
Views: 5486

Re: switching main credit card

My time is worth more than $75/hr to myself Well aren't you lucky. Not all of us are paid $75/hour. I didn't say that I'm paid more than $75/hr. I said that I value my own time - when I'm not working - at more than $75/hr. Life is very short and when I have free time, I'd like to take maximum advan...
by lhl12
Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 59
Views: 5486

Re: switching main credit card

If you spend a lot on your credit card each year and you'd rather have a Visa or MasterCard than Amex, you might consider the Fidelity Visa, which also give unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases with the exception of the first $15,000 of annual spending (which only earns 1.50% cash back). This di...
by lhl12
Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 59
Views: 5486

Re: switching main credit card

If you spend a lot on your credit card each year and you'd rather have a Visa or MasterCard than Amex, you might consider the Fidelity Visa, which also give unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases with the exception of the first $15,000 of annual spending (which only earns 1.50% cash back). This di...
by lhl12
Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 59
Views: 5486

Re: switching main credit card

If you spend a lot on your credit card each year and you'd rather have a Visa or MasterCard than Amex, you might consider the Fidelity Visa, which also give unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases with the exception of the first $15,000 of annual spending (which only earns 1.50% cash back). This dif...
by lhl12
Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 59
Views: 5486

Re: HELOC as emergency fund

Because it may not be there when you need it. It's not permanent. It's not guaranteed. The bank can withdraw the line of credit, and this happened frequently in 2008-2009. Same thing for credit cards. Not coincidentally, this was exactly the same time that people were encountering financial emergen...
by lhl12
Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC as emergency fund
Replies: 19
Views: 1710

Re: HELOC as emergency fund

By definition, a HELOC is not a "fund", it's a contingent liability. A HELOC is not a contingent liability. A better example of a contingent liability is a lawsuit against you that you might win, (with no impact at all on your assets) or that you might lose (obliging you to pay someone a ...
by lhl12
Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC as emergency fund
Replies: 19
Views: 1710

Re: HELOC as emergency fund

I use a HELOC as my emergency fund as well. I think it's a very efficient mechanism for that purpose. I expect it will be available even in periods of great market distress, and on the off chance that it fails to fund, I have the ability to liquidate mutual fund assets if absolutely necessary.
by lhl12
Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC as emergency fund
Replies: 19
Views: 1710

Re: Why does Buffett like S&P not Total US Market?

A more interesting question to me is why he doesn't favor a Total Global index (as opposed to either an S&P 500 Index or a Total US Index)?
by lhl12
Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does Buffett like S&P not Total US Market?
Replies: 29
Views: 2777

Re: Favorite nonfiction books

+1 for "Guns, Germs and Steel", by Jared Diamond. "Collapse" by Diamond is also quite good. Another +1 for anything by Robert Caro. Both "The Power Broker" and the LBJ biography are outstanding. Another +1 for "The Fatal Shore". Also "The Shock of the New...
by lhl12
Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite nonfiction books
Replies: 117
Views: 10325

Re: Ever wake up one day, and your whole life has changed? (

My immediate reaction is that you have WAY too much of your net worth tied up in a single asset. In this case it's your gun collection, but it could just as easily be a single mutual fund. One of the most important principles of investing is diversification, and you are far too concentrated in a sin...
by lhl12
Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [woke up] and whole life has changed. [disabled vet]
Replies: 26
Views: 6844

Re: Received an inheritance, clueless as to what to do with

You should definitely not worry about feeling like an idiot for calling Vanguard Concierge Services (VCS). There is a big difference between being an idiot (which everyone on this forum can already tell you are not) and being uneducated about something. VCS exists to help folks like yourself. They g...
by lhl12
Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Received an inheritance, clueless as to what to do with it.
Replies: 29
Views: 5509

Re: Heads up one of the better reward credit card I've seen.

Increasingly, I see gas stations quoting two prices per gallon: one for cash and a higher one for credit. The differential usually more than offsets the benefits of a card like this one.
by lhl12
Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Heads up one of the better reward credit card I've seen.
Replies: 54
Views: 11149

Re: Mpowered's conversion into a Boglehead

Welcome to the Forum Private Equity: $450,000 invested with a private equity fund, approx 50% held in cash, but subject to future calls. Please clarify: 1) What was the original commitment amount to the private equity fund? 2) Of that original commitment amount, how much has been called and how much...
by lhl12
Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mpowered's conversion into a Boglehead
Replies: 4
Views: 756

Re: War on Debt

I have not lived extravagantly, so that is assumption on your part or a matter of perspective. Here is the definition of extravagant: adjective 1. spending much more than is necessary or wise; wasteful: an extravagant shopper. 2. excessively high: extravagant expenses; extravagant prices. 3. exceed...
by lhl12
Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: War on Debt
Replies: 247
Views: 32284

Re: War on Debt

I am taking responsibility. I pointed out how ignorance can lead to bad choices, especially when you don't have any guidance. That is not taking responsibility. Taking responsibility would sound something like this: - I have screwed up - badly. - I am in a lot of debt because I have not managed my ...
by lhl12
Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: War on Debt
Replies: 247
Views: 32284

Re: War on Debt

There are very few things in life that, once done, cannot be undone. Marriages can be undone. Bad job decisions can be undone. Moves to a different city can be undone. Unmanageable amounts of debt can be undone. Having a child cannot be undone. Once you have this child, it is your responsibility and...
by lhl12
Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: War on Debt
Replies: 247
Views: 32284

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Can someone very intelligent please inbrief me on how/where Bank of America/Merrill Edge/Lynch is making money on the Preferred Rewards - Platinum Honors status when you take the following actions (I do this literally). I have over $100,000 with Merrill Edge. https://www.bankofamerica.com/preferred...
by lhl12
Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards
Replies: 33
Views: 2476

Re: Prudent Investment Portfolio for 58-year Old w/20M Net W

And if he doesn't spend it all on hookers, blow and Italian sports cars. I am reminded of the quote from George Best, a British soccer star of the 60's, when it came out that he had burned through the huge amount of money he had made during his career: "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds, ...
by lhl12
Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Prudent Investment Portfolio for 58-year Old w/20M Net Worth
Replies: 39
Views: 4927

Re: Strategy of 6M trusts meeting tonight. Few Q's

You are much too nice. I don't want to spend time figuring out taxes, so I have an accountant. We have a lawyer do wills, and a lawyer will set up trusts when the time comes. My portfolio is roughly the size of the trusts you have, and it would NEVER dawn on me to put any of it into funds with thos...
by lhl12
Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy of 6M trusts meeting tonight. Few Q's
Replies: 64
Views: 6358

Re: Strategy of 6M trusts meeting tonight. Few Q's

You need to get rid of that financial advisor. Anyone who would suggest those John Hancock funds to you is a disaster waiting to happen.
by lhl12
Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy of 6M trusts meeting tonight. Few Q's
Replies: 64
Views: 6358

Re: Gifting from g-parents to minors

I should have clarified while five years worth of $14,000 contributions can be accelerated into the current year solely through the use of one's annual gift exclusion (and, as runner9 rightly points out, without any further contributions made in the subsequent five years), it is possible to contribu...
by lhl12
Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting from g-parents to minors
Replies: 6
Views: 939

Re: Gifting from g-parents to minors

She could also start another 529 for each child and contribute to it, with herself being the owner/controller of the account. This is the way to go. As I understand it, if it is in the grandparent's name, it will not adversely affect applications for aid, that is, until the money is withdrawn and u...
by lhl12
Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting from g-parents to minors
Replies: 6
Views: 939

Re: inherited 500k, still a college student, how to invest??

2stepsbehind wrote:solid advice from blueleaf. I'd take his/her comments to heart.

+1. Especially #1 and #6.
by lhl12
Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: inherited 500k, still a college student, how to invest???
Replies: 55
Views: 6209

Re: old universal life insurance policy as fixed income

I help my mother and my father-in-law with their portfolios, following BH principles. They both have whole life policies which have been in force for many years and which, like yours, make sense to keep rather than eliminate. In each case, we treat the whole life policy as part of their fixed income...
by lhl12
Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: old universal life insurance policy as fixed income
Replies: 24
Views: 1944

Re: Cash-Back Credit Cards

Does the Citi card automatically deposit the 2% to your account each month, or does it require manual monthly intervention to get the rebate? The Fidelity Visa and Amex both credit my account automatically, which in the case of the Visa is easily worth $75/year to me. If the Citi card requires no ma...
by lhl12
Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash-Back Credit Cards
Replies: 20
Views: 1869

Re: Cash-Back Credit Cards

Fidelity has a 2% cash back Visa as well, if you would rather have a Visa than an Amex. The only difference is that Fidelity only gives 1.5% back on the first $15,000 of purchases on the Visa (vs. 2.0% back on the first $15,000 of purchases on the Amex). Both cards give 2.0% cash back on amounts abo...
by lhl12
Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash-Back Credit Cards
Replies: 20
Views: 1869

Re: 2% Cash back credit card with QuickBooks download?

I believe the fix you mentioned works only with Quicken, not with QuickBooks. Do you (or does someone else) know of a fix for QuickBooks?
by lhl12
Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2% Cash back credit card with QuickBooks download?
Replies: 2
Views: 347

Re: Is my husband a spendthrift? Or I a tightwad?

I guess it depends on what you mean by "dire". Are you at risk of ending up homeless and getting your meals from a Food Bank? No, probably not. Are you at risk of reaching a point 20 years down the road when you do not have enough to maintain your current lifestyle and need to make major a...
by lhl12
Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my husband a spendthrift? Or I a tightwad?
Replies: 198
Views: 17459

2% Cash back credit card with QuickBooks download?

I love my Fidelity Visa, which gives 2% cash back on all purchases (with only 1.5% cash back on the first $15,000 of spending). However I do not like the fact that this card's website (FIA Services) for some reason does not allow automatic transaction level downloading to QuickBooks. Does anyone kno...
by lhl12
Fri Oct 03, 2014 5:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2% Cash back credit card with QuickBooks download?
Replies: 2
Views: 347

Re: Is my husband a spendthrift? Or I a tightwad?

BTW, I'm very conscious of sounding like a spoiled brat, I don't want to do this, I can't compromise on that. It's because I am not convinced that our situation is that dire. You don't sound like a spoiled brat. You do sound uninformed and naive. Your situation is dire. It is very, very bad. You ar...
by lhl12
Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my husband a spendthrift? Or I a tightwad?
Replies: 198
Views: 17459

Re: Is my husband a spendthrift? Or I a tightwad?

This is very concerning. $700k to most people would be a LOT. To some it would be enough to retire for the rest of their lives. To people with spending habits like yours, it's a drop in the bucket. It's less than 3 years of your income, and you already spend like you have twice the income that you ...
by lhl12
Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my husband a spendthrift? Or I a tightwad?
Replies: 198
Views: 17459

Re: Is my husband a spendthrift? Or I a tightwad?

On "our own plans for retirement" front: I am thinking we stay at our current contributions for now, but in 2 years when we will have cashed out equity in the house, done away with the mortgage payment, and have very reduced childcare expenses (if any at all, depends on whether I work mor...
by lhl12
Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my husband a spendthrift? Or I a tightwad?
Replies: 198
Views: 17459
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