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Re: Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?

Deleted duplicate.
by magellan
Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?
Replies: 20
Views: 1901

Re: Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?

After almost 4 months, I finally got this resolved. The summary is that at least with NY, if you get a toll violation letter, the economically sound thing to do is to just pay the toll and associated fine, even if you don't owe the money. That seems like a crime, but it's reality. Getting the NY Thr...
by magellan
Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?
Replies: 20
Views: 1901

Re: Should I shut off water in a vacant home in winter?

I should add that while I'm away, I do remotely monitor the temperature in the house to make sure the heating system is working.
by magellan
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I shut off water in a vacant home in winter?
Replies: 15
Views: 1366

Re: Should I shut off water in a vacant home in winter?

The only concern I have is with the hot-water radiator system. The boiler is connected to the cold water lines. Will shutting down the cold water system damage the boiler in any way? I do this whenever I travel and have never had a problem. First, I close the valve on the supply line near the boile...
by magellan
Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I shut off water in a vacant home in winter?
Replies: 15
Views: 1366

Re: help me speed up my computer

What I experience is when I click, nothing happens for about 1-2 seconds, then things seem to fire up and go. During that 1-2 second pause, the spinning circle 'freezes' - it's now a non-spinning partial circle.... then it's going again and then the page loads. Do you see this consistently with eve...
by magellan
Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help me speed up my computer
Replies: 67
Views: 3492

Re: Giving guests free WiFI @ short-term rental = get sued?

I would probably avoid a short term rental that charges for wifi. If wifi was listed as an amenity without a mention of the fee, I'd consider that a fraudulent listing and would write a bad review and report the property owner to VRBO or Homeaway. The cost isn't the issue, but as others have said ch...
by magellan
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving guests free WiFI @ short-term rental = get sued?
Replies: 32
Views: 3660

Re: help me speed up my computer

Try going to "Control Panel->Programs->Uninstall a Program". Sort the list of installed programs by "Installed On" date and look for anything unfamiliar or suspicious that got added around 6 months ago. Crapware that's quietly installed along with wanted programs or updates usual...
by magellan
Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help me speed up my computer
Replies: 67
Views: 3492

Re: Question on LLC Corporation Bankruptcy Process

... the business fails, and debts are $200,000 between 4 people. I'm not a lawyer and this isn't legal advice, but...If the business incurred this debt, then most likely the business is on the hook pay the debt and the only way for it to not pay the entire debt is to declare bankruptcy. This depend...
by magellan
Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on LLC Corporation Bankruptcy Process
Replies: 2
Views: 146

Re: Do Not Use Lenovo Computers to Shop or Access Finance Si

astrohip wrote:And I guarantee you, the loophole this creates via a fake certificate, is already being worked on by hackers trying to exploit it. It's too juicy to ignore!

Already done.

As of tonight, every lenovo laptop with this malware on it is wide open to a man-in-the-middle attack.
by magellan
Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Heads up: Lenovo PC security compromised, thanks to adware]
Replies: 51
Views: 4688

Re: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit

The complexity of the Foreign Tax Credit makes you wonder if all tax programs handle it correctly and in the same way. It would be interesting to try and reverse engineer a case where Foreign Source Income is adjusted and see if they prorate across the 0%, 15%, and 20% Capital Gains tax brackets. I...
by magellan
Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit
Replies: 55
Views: 6549

Re: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit

I updated the mock tax return to correct the mistakes that Electron found. The changes reduced the foreign tax credit to only $62. Changes to Form 1116 - line 3d changed to 30000 (gross foreign income without adjustments) - line 18 changed to 52835 (Form 1116 instructions page 21) 1) 87,600 6) $0 (f...
by magellan
Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit
Replies: 55
Views: 6549

Re: Looking for a DSLR that will allow me to get fairly seri

Don't over think this. The important thing is to start shooting. I second the suggestion to get connected with an active camera club, especially one that does a lot of shoots and does show-and-tell with some friendly critique (check at local camera shops, local workshops and meetup.com). For gear, y...
by magellan
Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a DSLR that will allow me to get fairly serious.
Replies: 118
Views: 6314

Re: MedicAlert bracelet restricting care to in-network docto

YES, this sort of thing is a problem. NO, there isn't any good solution to it. A partial solution is to choose an insurance plan with a solid provider network. Unfortunately, you can't just go with a big name insurer known for their great network. Insurers are playing a new game of crafting special...
by magellan
Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MedicAlert bracelet restricting care to in-network doctors?
Replies: 18
Views: 1007

Re: obamacare policy recommendation request

If your expected income is less than 16,000, you will not be able to acquire coverage in Texas through the exchange. I don't believe that's correct. As I understand it, you can't get premium subsidies if your income is below the medicaid cutoff, but you can buy coverage through the exchange regardl...
by magellan
Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: obamacare policy recommendation request [TX]
Replies: 8
Views: 622

Re: Ice dams - windows leaking

The water was getting between the gutters and siding. The back of the gutter should run underneath the roof drip edge. If the gutter is mounted a couple of inches down on the fascia board for some reason, a proper installation would include a piece of flashing that's tucked up under the drip edge a...
by magellan
Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ice dams - windows leaking
Replies: 12
Views: 1309

Re: iPhone 6 Plus: Too large or Do You Get Used to It?

I have a Oneplus One which is almost the same size as the iphone 6 plus. The Oneplus One barely fits in my jeans front pocket and it can be a tad uncomfortable when I'm sitting. When I have it in my pocket I wish it was smaller, but as soon as I take it out of my pocket and start using it, I'm glad ...
by magellan
Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: iPhone 6 Plus: Too large or Do You Get Used to It?
Replies: 42
Views: 3051

Re: Cheap web hosting

For situations where price is more important than performance, reliability, and customer service, these guys might be worth a look: http://FreeHostingNoAds.net/webhosting.php I've been using their free hosting service for a low bandwidth personal website for about 6 months and it's been working grea...
by magellan
Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap web hosting
Replies: 15
Views: 996

Re: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D

The backlash for this change must have been very severe. I've never seen Intuit backpedal so fast and so completely. Dear Magellan, We recently tried to explain the changes made to our TurboTax desktop software and apologized for the impact it had on you. Many responded and let us know our apology a...
by magellan
Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D
Replies: 223
Views: 30569

Re: time to replace my router?

If your router doesn't support at least 802.1n and you're having wifi issues, replacing the router is probably a good idea. You'll want to check that your computer wifi adapter supports 802.1n, but as long as it's less than 3 years old, it probably does. The 802.1n wifi router generation was a major...
by magellan
Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: time to replace my router?
Replies: 45
Views: 3390

Re: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit

I would expect most investors with more than $2M in stock to be in the 25% or higher bracket based on other income, including the non-stock portion of their portfolio. In addition, foreign stock funds usually have less in qualified dividends. You're probably right that this won't hit many investors...
by magellan
Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit
Replies: 55
Views: 6549

Re: Sellers Won't Fix Leaking Roof; Fear of Additional Damag

It's been about a week and there are no visible leaks yet, even from the melting snow. There's always risk with a home purchase, but I think you did the right thing. As I said up thread, leaky roofs happen all the time. MOST houses in winter climates will eventually experience water penetration, so...
by magellan
Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sellers Won't Fix Leaking Roof; Fear of Additional Damage
Replies: 58
Views: 5722

Re: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit

What I am missing here is that you have $30,000 in foreign dividends, and yet you show only $8,023 of gross foreign income on line 1a of form 1116. That's the tricky part in this whole exercise. Because we have more than $20k in foreign dividends, the fine print for form 1116 says to adjust gross f...
by magellan
Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit
Replies: 55
Views: 6549

Re: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit

Could the couple add some income elsewhere to be slightly above the 15% bracket and thus get the foreign tax credit to cover the tax on that extra income? This doesn't seem to help very much. This is a case where you have to run the numbers because so many things interact in this example. I used my...
by magellan
Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit
Replies: 55
Views: 6549

Re: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit

A married couple is able to claim up to $600 of FTC without filing Form 1116. Source. Look at the instructions to the 1116. It references it being required if you claim more than $300 for single or $600 for MFJ returns. If it is not required, then do not fill out the form and limit your credit. (I ...
by magellan
Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit
Replies: 55
Views: 6549

Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit

I created a simple scenario to check my understanding of how the foreign tax credit works and to show a possible gotcha for folks who accumulate a large foreign stock holding in taxable. In my hypothetical example, a retired couple with $100k of income only gets to use $270 $70 of their $1500 foreig...
by magellan
Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit
Replies: 55
Views: 6549

Re: iphone upgrade dilemma

So I take it in the US you don't just go buy the phone you want and then put your existing sim card into it? wow. You definitely can do it that way with most carriers. When I upgraded to a OnePlus One phone, that's exactly what I did. The issue is that many people like to have the cost of their pho...
by magellan
Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iphone upgrade dilemma
Replies: 19
Views: 2180

Re: Engineered wood floors?

Or I can just transition to a new color under the doors. There would only be 3 seams where the two different floors connect and all 3 are at doorways so I could do a transition molding. I'm just not sure how it would look to have two different floor colors. I'm uncertain about how much work it woul...
by magellan
Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered wood floors?
Replies: 20
Views: 2244

Re: Online safety and security tips

One simple but very effective security measure is to activate click-to-play for browser plugins. This prevents plugins like java, flash, adobe reader, and others from launching automatically, unless you've pre-approved the site. A very large number of malware attacks involve exploiting a bug in a br...
by magellan
Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online safety and security tips
Replies: 12
Views: 1314

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

Get a beast of a snow *thrower*. There is something very rewarding about removing hundreds of TONS of snow from one snowfall with such a device. Well said. I just got in from a first pass at clearing today's blizzard. Aiming the snow chute downwind and sending 24 plus inches of snow flying 50-75 fe...
by magellan
Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 67
Views: 5389

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

Some mornings (particularly single digit or below zero), clearing the driveway can be a bloodsport. Forget gloves. If your hands get cold when you're using the snow blower, get a good pair of well insulated mittens. For any level of insulation, mittens keep your hands much warmer than gloves. The d...
by magellan
Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 67
Views: 5389

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

For clearing less than 2-3 inches, I use this 48" wide shovel from Ace Hardware. It works great for quickly clearing very large areas of light snow cover. My driveway can be treacherous if it gets any ice on it. With this shovel, it takes only 10-15 minutes to clear out those annoying small sto...
by magellan
Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 67
Views: 5389

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

Oddly enough, that's about the length of my driveway. To make matters worse, mine is up hill from the road and has a switchback mid-way up. For the first few years we had the driveway plowed for about $100-150 per storm or ~$1k per year. The driveway was always icy and in some years, the plow person...
by magellan
Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 67
Views: 5389

Re: Heat pump - drop temperature at night or keep constant?

It's too bad that the control logic for these things isn't better designed to match the capabilities and economics of the system. It would be relatively easy to build a control system that allows the user specify two temperatures, say a minimum temperature and a desired temperature. The system would...
by magellan
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heat pump - drop temperature at night or keep constant?
Replies: 17
Views: 1328

Re: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs othe

SMLLC should use the SSN of the member for the 1099 reporting. Once again, I don't believe this is correct. The owner can apply for an EIN that's mapped to the owner's name and SSN and not the LLC's name. They can then use that EIN on W9s instead of an SSN to to help protect against identity theft.
by magellan
Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs other
Replies: 77
Views: 4430

Re: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs othe

Is that true? Single member LLC uses SS# over TIN? What's true is that you can't use an LLC's EIN/TIN on a W9 if the LLC doesn't file a tax return as its own entity. I don't see why you can't complete the SS-4 without checking the 'This EIN is for an LLC'. Basically, as far as the IRS is concerned,...
by magellan
Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs other
Replies: 77
Views: 4430

Re: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs othe

Personally, I'd suggest doing the DBA yourself. It's generally pretty simple and involving a 3rd party could make things MORE complicated. Depending on how picky your state is with naming rules, you may have to do a few rounds with them to get a name you both agree on. Some states won't let you use ...
by magellan
Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs other
Replies: 77
Views: 4430

Re: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs othe

A sole proprietor can get an EIN, but they must still fill out the W-9 with their SSN. I don't think that's correct. My reading of the instructions is that the IRS prefers sole proprietors use their SSN on a W9, but doesn't require it. Is there another reg that says sole proprietors MUST use their ...
by magellan
Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs other
Replies: 77
Views: 4430

Re: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs othe

Question is whether I need to have a dBA/LLC already in place before I apply for EIN. IMO, if you're going to list a dba on the SS-4, then you should apply for that first. The state might not let you use the name you'd like (in some states, this happens often, btw). I'm not sure if you can list an ...
by magellan
Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs other
Replies: 77
Views: 4430

Re: 401k to Roth conversion for a retiree

This analysis has many moving parts, but for many retirees, the best approach is to do the conversion gradually over several years. If you get health insurance through ACA exchanges, eligibility for premium subsidies adds another wrinkle that complicates the analysis. But if ACA premium subsidies ar...
by magellan
Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k to Roth conversion for a retiree
Replies: 15
Views: 1274

Re: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs othe

...3 once I obtain TIN. do I still have to fill out my SS# on the box provided on W9? 3 Yes, The main reasons for obtaining an EIN even though you have no statutory employees is that you need it for the Solo 401k from most providers and to open business bank accounts I would have guessed that the a...
by magellan
Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician Independent contractor - LLC vs S corp vs other
Replies: 77
Views: 4430

Re: Question: Will Candles Heat up a Cold Room?

Interesting question. Some quick googling led to this reddit thread , which seems to have some good analysis. One candle can raise the temperature of the room ~1 degree F Heat required to maintain 71 F is ~ 40 W higher than that to maintain 70 F. Total load to heat the room is ~ 11,000 BTUH = 3250 W...
by magellan
Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question: Will Candles Heat up a Cold Room?
Replies: 21
Views: 1741

Re: HSA Question

An insurance plan called a HDHP is often assumed to be qualified for use with an HSA. In fact, many HDHPs are not HSA qualified and can't be used in conjunction with an HSA. Plans have to meet guidelines other than just the size of the deductible to be HSA qualified. It's been my experience that if ...
by magellan
Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Question
Replies: 3
Views: 350

Re: Need help with HSA

So my question is, should I drop the FSA and go with the HSA. I don't get the benefit of contributing pre-tax dollar to the HSA, since it's not through work but I can obviously hold the money there long term, vs the FSA which I have to spend, minus 500 that I can roll to the next year. If I underst...
by magellan
Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help with HSA
Replies: 3
Views: 443

Re: Malware problem on new PC

In addition to using antivirus tools, it's also a good habit to visit Control Panel->Installed Programs every once and a while. Sort the list of programs by install date and look for anything recently installed that looks suspicious. If something new shows up on the list, use google to see what it i...
by magellan
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Malware problem on new PC
Replies: 42
Views: 2700

Re: HSA Decision/Confusion

There is no reason HSA contributions have to come through payroll deduction... Apparently, employers can save you fica taxes on employee contributions by seting the plan up as a cafeteria plan. This thread has more detail: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=151121 So IMO, the ...
by magellan
Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Decision/Confusion
Replies: 5
Views: 626

Re: Switching from Vonage to Ooma Phone Service

One sticking point for me in giving up Vonage is that I'm hooked on their automatic speech-to-text transcription feature for voicemail that gets forwarded to email. I like being able to read voicemails instead of listening to them, especially when I'm on the go and need to quickly determine if I nee...
by magellan
Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from Vonage to Ooma Phone Service
Replies: 16
Views: 1071

Re: HSA Decision/Confusion

One thing that people sometimes misunderstand is that an HSA can only be owned by one person. It can't be jointly owned. The funds in your HSA are yours and they can never be comingled with funds belonging to another HSA owner. It would be like two spouses trying to merge their IRAs. OTOH, as Spirit...
by magellan
Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Decision/Confusion
Replies: 5
Views: 626

Re: Fire Wife's Advisor and Incur Tax Hit or Stay The Course

stan1 wrote:Unfortunately Vanguard Charitable has much higher minimums than Fidelity Charitable:
Vanguard: $25K minimum initial contribution, minimum $500 grant
Fidelity: $5K minimum initial contribution, $50 minimum grant

Thanks for the correction. As you might have guessed, we have Fidelity also.
by magellan
Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fire Wife's Advisor and Incur Tax Hit or Stay The Course?
Replies: 19
Views: 1915

Re: Fire Wife's Advisor and Incur Tax Hit or Stay The Course

If you can benefit from a large one-time charitable deduction and you plan to give to charities in future years, setting up a Donor Advised Charitable Gift Fund might be a good option for some of the funds, especially those with the highest unrealized gains. You can fund the charitable account with ...
by magellan
Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fire Wife's Advisor and Incur Tax Hit or Stay The Course?
Replies: 19
Views: 1915

Re: Milevsky's got me thinking immediate annuity????

IMO, a key step in this process is to separate out two distinct decisions. One decision is whether you want to lock-down a guaranteed income stream for part of your retirement spending and the other decision is how to best achieve that goal. You can decide to lock down some future guaranteed income ...
by magellan
Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Milevsky's got me thinking immediate annuity????
Replies: 28
Views: 2502
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