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Is 2 Factor Authentication worth the trouble?

With the NYT report of 1.2 billion hacked passwords by a Russian gang, I'm debating when to implement 2-Factor authentication (2FA) for my financial accounts. As most of you know, 2FA requires you to enter a login, password, and a random series of digits generated by a smartphone app, key fob, or Yu...
by markfaix
Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is 2 Factor Authentication worth the trouble?
Replies: 9
Views: 631

Int'l wire: Service providers? How fast?

I'm looking to wire money to Korea. Because of a bad experience with my local bank (slow, expensive, bad customer service, see below), I am looking alternative ways to send money in the future. What international wire service providers have you tried? Has anyone tried Fidelity, or xe.com or usforex....
by markfaix
Mon May 12, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Int'l wire: Service providers? How fast?
Replies: 16
Views: 983

Re: S corp auto expenses question

@pshorone Thanks for the link. I did know that once you deduct actual expenses, you must continue to use actual expenses on subsequent 1040s. I didn't know if the rules changed with the S corp reimbursing me, but it seems not. Anyone with thoughts on whether the S corp can reimburse me for the vehic...
by markfaix
Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S corp auto expenses question
Replies: 3
Views: 576

S corp auto expenses question

Last year I bought a heavy truck, titled in my name. I deducted truck expenses on my 1040 with the actual cost method, also took Sec 179. This year I formed an S-corp as the only shareholder/employee. I used the truck 80% business, and it is still titled in my name personally. 1. Can the S corp reim...
by markfaix
Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S corp auto expenses question
Replies: 3
Views: 576

Re: PenFed v. Truecar v. BJs v. Costco auto buying

Try Carbargains (link below), which contacts 10-12 dealers in your area on your behalf for quotes. http://www.checkbook.org/auto/carbarg.cfm The advantage is that because you have paid for the service, the dealer knows you're a serious buyer, rather than a window shopper. With my most recent car pur...
by markfaix
Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PenFed v. Truecar v. BJs v. Costco auto buying
Replies: 24
Views: 4233

Re: Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

My ACO experience has been negative re patient care. As TX hold em said, the ACO gets a fixed amount of money from Medicare to take care of a group of patients. If the patients don't use medical resources, more profit to the ACO. Therefore, there is a strong discentive to deny care or minimize use o...
by markfaix
Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO)
Replies: 6
Views: 675

Re: Backdoor Roth pro rata rule

Great, thanks for the responses.
by markfaix
Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth pro rata rule
Replies: 4
Views: 499

Backdoor Roth pro rata rule

How does the pro rata rule apply for backdoor Roths converted in 2014 for tax year 2013? Example: On 12/31/13, I have assets in a traditional IRA, consisting entirely of deductible IRA contributions. On 1/1/14, I roll over the entire balance of all traditional IRAs into a 401(k). On 1/2/14, I contri...
by markfaix
Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth pro rata rule
Replies: 4
Views: 499

Backdoor Roth IRA into existing Roth?

I will be doing a backdoor Roth IRA for the first time. When I convert the nondeductible traditional IRA into the Roth, do I need to convert into a new Roth IRA? Or can I convert into an existing Roth IRA that already has assets in it? I ask because with traditional IRAs, it is sometimes advantageou...
by markfaix
Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA into existing Roth?
Replies: 1
Views: 177

Re: S Corps, health insurance, and ACA

@SeattleCPA -

Thanks for your blog post and comments.

Do the ACA nondiscrimination rules apply to other entities aside from S corps, like LLPs or LLCs taxed as partnerships?
by markfaix
Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S Corps, health insurance, and ACA
Replies: 16
Views: 1437

Re: Swedroe's New Book

Larry, Looking forward to your new book. Thanks for all you do here and elsewhere to educate investors. Is DWUSX really a good substitute for your recommended 2/3 ISV + 1/3 EMV for int'l allocation? Not clear from DFA website if that's what they're shooting for. Other concerns: * E/R 0.80% is higher...
by markfaix
Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swedroe's New Book
Replies: 76
Views: 12477

Re: Good article on style premium investing & AQR new fund

Larry
Is BAM recommending clients purchase QSPIX?
by markfaix
Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good article on style premium investing & AQR new fund
Replies: 67
Views: 6656

Re: What happens if I do my own taxes?

1- you definitely appear to have the knowledge to file your own 1040. I've done so for over 20 years. I tried accountants a few times, and they always screwed things up, so I went back to DIY. 2- For S corp, I would recommend trying a different accountant. The 1120S is more complicated, and the avai...
by markfaix
Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What happens if I do my own taxes?
Replies: 27
Views: 4193

Re: Questions about Charitable Trust or Gift Annunity

Yes, the gains would be LTCG. It sounds like a DAF is the way for me to go. A $50k DAF this year would save me about $25k in taxes and avoid up to another $4 or $5k in LTCG taxes. And it would give me a generous fund from which to dispense further contributions. What I do not understand yet is how ...
by markfaix
Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about Charitable Trust or Gift Annunity
Replies: 8
Views: 525

Re: Questions about Charitable Trust or Gift Annunity

I am facing huge capital gains this year that throw me into the highest tax bracket. I want to learn more about using charitable contributions to reduce taxes this year. I found some useful information on the Boglehead Wiki: http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Donor_advised_fund I see that Schwab has a ...
by markfaix
Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about Charitable Trust or Gift Annunity
Replies: 8
Views: 525

Re: Self employment tax calculation, over SS threshold

First time poster. My husband will have self employment (sole proprietor) income for the first time this year in addition to W2 income. His W2 income exceeds $113,700. Wanted to make sure I'm understanding this correctly: even though he will only pay SE taxes of 2.9% on this income, the SE tax calc...
by markfaix
Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self employment tax calculation, over SS threshold
Replies: 6
Views: 587

Re: Windows desktop recommendations

Lenovo. ThinkPad model is specifically for small business. OP asked for desktop, ThinkPads are notebooks (but I second the reccomendation) I can't imagine ever buying a desktop again, vs. a laptop. I rarely even see desktops in businesses nowadays vs laptops. I am very happy with my ThinkPad. Porta...
by markfaix
Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windows desktop recommendations
Replies: 13
Views: 817

Windows desktop recommendations

I am in the market for a Windows desktop for our small business, to replace our dying desktop. I've been out of the market for awhile, and I haven't found many online reviews for business-oriented desktops for low=medium power users like me. My uses will be Quickbooks, Quicken, Excel, internet, casu...
by markfaix
Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windows desktop recommendations
Replies: 13
Views: 817

Re: Windows 7 stability and usability ...

What about iTunes syncing with an iPhone on a Windows machine?

I have read a steady trickle of complaints on the Internet.
by markfaix
Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 7 stability and usability ...
Replies: 40
Views: 2688

Re: Windows 7 stability and usability ...

abuss368 wrote:This is why Apple won us over and our next laptop will be a Mac.


What are you referring to, abuss?
by markfaix
Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 7 stability and usability ...
Replies: 40
Views: 2688

Re: Windows 7 stability and usability ...

Thanks for all the responses so far, very helpful!

Another ?: How is the Win 7 speed? Have you noticed it slows down like older versions seemed to do?
by markfaix
Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 7 stability and usability ...
Replies: 40
Views: 2688

Re: Windows 7 stability and usability ...

Stability and usability are fine in my experience. On driver support, new devices still get a current Windows driver before anything else. Older devices, maybe not. If you have an old scanner or something, you may want to check first. The other concern I would have is malware, since almost all of t...
by markfaix
Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 7 stability and usability ...
Replies: 40
Views: 2688

Windows 7 stability and usability ...

I'm planning to replace my aging iMac. Initially I was going to replace it with another iMac, but then I learned you can't change or replace anything in the iMac once you've built it, not RAM, hard drive, etc. I strongly dislike Apple's trend toward glued together, non-upgradeable, but pretty device...
by markfaix
Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 7 stability and usability ...
Replies: 40
Views: 2688

Re: iMac

New iMac + Parallels or VMware Fusion + Windows 7 (avoid 8 like the plague it is) at least 8GB of memory (16 is better) at least 1B of disk (Fusion drive is way faster) + external 2TB drive for backup using SuperDuper! and TimeMachine Davebarnes, 1- how is speed of Fusion drive compared w/ SSD and ...
by markfaix
Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New desktop/laptop recommendations?
Replies: 3
Views: 451

New desktop/laptop recommendations?

I am looking to buy one new computer to replace our family’s dying Lenovo Ideapad and iMac. I’ve been out of the market for about 6 yrs, so am looking for advice on what to purchase. No strong allegiance to either Windows or OSX. I am willing to pay a little more for convenience. I have searched the...
by markfaix
Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New desktop/laptop recommendations?
Replies: 3
Views: 451

Re: Recommendations for a Laptop Computer???

Question: How quickly do the Thinkpads and Dell Latitudes wake up sleep? Our family has a Dell Inspiron and Lenovo Thinkpad running XP and Win 7. Both have taken 15-20 seconds to wake from sleep since we purchased them, despite removing bloatware, etc. A friend's 6-year old iMac and Macbook Pro wake...
by markfaix
Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for a Laptop Computer???
Replies: 41
Views: 3467

Re: CPA's and your opinion

1) How would you rate your current CPA/accountant and his/her knowledge and tax preparation skills? (1 incompetent and 10 being perfectly knowledgeable) Knowledge 9 Tax prep 3 (his subordinates do the actual tax prep) 2) How would you rate your current CPA/accountant in regards to tax planning and a...
by markfaix
Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CPA's and your opinion
Replies: 10
Views: 1129

Re: Fidelity VISA fraud

I use my Fidelity Visa quite frequently but have never had this problem. Instead, I have received replacement cards from Citi and Chase because of fraud concern. IMO this problem reflects data breaches at the merchants where you have used the Fidelity Visa, rather than an inherent BofA security flaw...
by markfaix
Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity VISA fraud
Replies: 25
Views: 2448

Moving from Mac to PC ... what to watch for?

I am in the market to replace my 8 year old iMac. Because my work requires using multiple software applications available for Windows, I am strongly considering buying a Windows-based PC. I don't really want to buy another iMac and run Parallels or equivalent because I would be in Windows >90% of th...
by markfaix
Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving from Mac to PC ... what to watch for?
Replies: 1
Views: 321

Re: Simplify.

Markfaix: I wanted to ask for the Bogleheads to suggest strategies that SAVE TIME, even if the strategies cost money. That's easy. "Simplify," and it usually saves money. "Our lives are frittered away with detail. Simplify. Simplify." -- Henry David Thoreau. Best wishes. Taylor ...
by markfaix
Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time=Money ... how to save time, even if it costs $
Replies: 17
Views: 2085

Time=Money ... how to save time, even if it costs $

I wanted to ask for the Bogleheads to suggest strategies that SAVE TIME, even if the strategies cost money. This is the opposite of strategies that take lots of time to save a little money. Instead, buy time with money. These strategies that may not be the absolute cheapest in direct monetary cost, ...
by markfaix
Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time=Money ... how to save time, even if it costs $
Replies: 17
Views: 2085

How to simplify and overcome Boglehead perfectionism?

As a group, I suspect that Bogleheads have perfectionistic tendencies, and I am no different. In the past, I have spent a lot of time keeping track of every dollar spent, entering every transaction into Quicken, changing bank accounts to gain a few basis points, etc. DW urged me to stop sweating the...
by markfaix
Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to simplify and overcome Boglehead perfectionism?
Replies: 38
Views: 5312

Re: S corp salary: tax benefits now vs. less 401K deferral?

Wow, Steve, thanks for the thorough analysis! I ran multiple scenarios in your spreadsheet. Using multiple assumptions, my takehome points are 1. If the reasonable salary is above the FICA limit, it's a close decision to take a low S corp salary vs take a higher S corp salary w/full pension funding....
by markfaix
Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S corp salary: tax benefits now vs. less 401K deferral?
Replies: 9
Views: 965

Re: S corp salary: tax benefits now vs. less 401K deferral?

... So basically it's a choice between tax savings now, vs. more room in 401K... I think you want to be really precise in your language here... it'll help you with your analysis. E.g., you're really not "saving" you're deferring or delaying and (in effect) hoping to pay a lower tax rate l...
by markfaix
Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S corp salary: tax benefits now vs. less 401K deferral?
Replies: 9
Views: 965

Re: S corp salary: tax benefits now vs. less 401K deferral?

@ks289: You are correct that I'm thinking about reducing S corp salary and increasing S corp distributions. Reducing S corp salary reduces tax by 2.9% (ie Medicare tax). But the way our pension plan is set up, a lower salary reduces the maximum 401K contribution by 15%. So lower S corp salary -> low...
by markfaix
Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S corp salary: tax benefits now vs. less 401K deferral?
Replies: 9
Views: 965

S corp salary: tax benefits now vs. less 401K deferral?

I am a single shareholder of an S Corp. Based on how low I set my salary (within reasonable limits), I can reduce the amount of taxes paid. WIth a lower salary, however, I also decrease the maximum amount of 401K/profit sharing plan deferral I can have. Which of these options seems best: Option 1 (l...
by markfaix
Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S corp salary: tax benefits now vs. less 401K deferral?
Replies: 9
Views: 965

Re: How to handle these CPA errors?

Here's an honest (perhaps too blunt) suggestion. Try another CPA. If you have a similar experience, probably you're the problem... i.e., you may not be organized enough in the way you present your data (which will cause anybody you work with to have trouble.) Note: People sometimes tell me things i...
by markfaix
Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to handle these CPA errors?
Replies: 20
Views: 1507

Re: How to handle these CPA errors?

Is it $300 per hour or a $500 fixed fee? Based upon the information you provided, that is definitely more than a 2 hour tax return. I don't think it is an excuse but it sounds like maybe they rushed through your return in order to do it for the $500 fee quote. His personal rate is $300/hr for consu...
by markfaix
Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to handle these CPA errors?
Replies: 20
Views: 1507

How to handle these CPA errors?

After using TurboTax for many years, I decided to use a CPA for my personal income taxes this year because I needed a CPA for an S Corp I had started, and because I was trying to spend more time with my family. But the results were terrible, and I'm wondering what to do. The CPA came highly recommen...
by markfaix
Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to handle these CPA errors?
Replies: 20
Views: 1507

Re: Do I need to file for an extension if paying with EFTPS?

Read page 3 of form 4868. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4868.pdf Making Payments Electronically For information on paying your taxes electronically, including by credit card, debit card, or EFTPS, go to http://www.irs.gov/e-pay. You must enroll in EFTPS before you can use it. Go to http://www.eft...
by markfaix
Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need to file for an extension if paying with EFTPS?
Replies: 3
Views: 483

Do I need to file for an extension if paying with EFTPS?

When one makes payment for an extension through EFTPS, is it necessary to file form 4868, or does simply making the EFTPS payment for the extension suffice? The instructions for form 4868 state that making an EFTPS payment is one way to get an extension. "Do not file a paper 4868," it says...
by markfaix
Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need to file for an extension if paying with EFTPS?
Replies: 3
Views: 483

Re: LLC v S Corp, control and taxes

Possibilities for you: A. LLC taxed as a partnership, or LLP if permitted in your state. This allows unequal distribution of earnings, according to whatever the parties agree. If permitted in your state, you could then form an LLC taxed as an S-corp to hold your share of the main LLC/LLP. Your LLC t...
by markfaix
Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LLC v S Corp, control and taxes
Replies: 25
Views: 1936

Re: CPA recommendation in Seattle area?

Steve Nelson (SeattleCPA on this forum) in Redmond is knowledgeable, fair, and conscientious. His verbal communication is concise and complete. And FWIW, he's a strong believer in index funds.

http://www.stephenlnelson.com/
by markfaix
Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA recommendation in Seattle area?
Replies: 4
Views: 376

Re: Pay off mortgage or invest?

Thanks for the replies. The collective opinions reflect what I've been struggling with ... Paying off the mortgage yields a risk-free return of 1.92% post tax. Not anything exciting, but higher than the closest comparable risk-free asset, 10 yr Treasury at 1.88% (1.35% post tax). I could not find an...
by markfaix
Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage or invest?
Replies: 19
Views: 1920

Re: Pay off mortgage or invest?

hand wrote:Not state in your post, but important - do you have an emergency fund?


Yes, good question. I do have an emergency fund and will edit OP to reflect that.
Thank you.
by markfaix
Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage or invest?
Replies: 19
Views: 1920

Pay off mortgage or invest?

I'm trying to decide whether to prepay my mortgage. Here's my situation: Mortgage balance : $175K, 10 yr fixed at 3% Tax brackets : 28% federal, 8% state, MFJ. Would still itemize deductions if mortgage paid off. Desired asset allocation : 60/40 equity/fixed Taxable portfolio : $55K cash $350K stock...
by markfaix
Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage or invest?
Replies: 19
Views: 1920

Re: Bank fraud on my business account; left high and dry by

If you have a PNC bank in your area, they do have a guarantee against fraudulent losses: https://www.pnc.com/webapp/unsec/ProductsAndService.do?siteArea=/pnccorp/PNC/Home/Personal/Online+Banking/Online+Banking+Guarantee Another solution is to open a business account with Schwab or Fidelity, both of ...
by markfaix
Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank fraud on my business account; left high and dry by bank
Replies: 37
Views: 3446

Re: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

I have not tried the "business" grade laptops from Dell or Lenovo. However, they are usually not available in stores. Any other suggestions?
by markfaix
Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad
Replies: 12
Views: 1250

Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Title says it all. I'm looking for a Windows laptop with a high quality touchpad. I have tried multiple Windows laptops (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Acer, Asus, Toshiba), and the touchpad functionality was far less than that of a Mac laptop. This tech writer describes my experience perfectly: http://...
by markfaix
Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad
Replies: 12
Views: 1250

Re: S corp car expense deductions

@SGM: I own the car as an individual. Curious that your accountant said mileage reimbursement from an S corp is reportable as personal income. These sources suggest the mileage reimbursement for business use is only taxable to the extent that it exceeds the IRS standard rate: http://smallbusiness.ch...
by markfaix
Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S corp car expense deductions
Replies: 3
Views: 685
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