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Re: IRS Notice of Intended Federal Offset (NJ)

I called them up and it appears to just be that need me to confirm/explain foreign earned income exclusion. I think I can fax them my 2012 W2s with an explanation and it should all be okay. That said, still a scary letter to receive. The amount is only a little over five hundred. I think it will be ...
by northernisland
Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Notice of Intended Federal Offset (NJ)
Replies: 2
Views: 406

IRS Notice of Intended Federal Offset (NJ)

Background: I live abroad. For the 2012 tax year we lived part of the year in the US and paid ~570 in state taxes to NJ. I just recieved a Notice of Intended Federal Office for "an outstanding income tax liability." This is the first notice that I've received, although it sounds like typic...
by northernisland
Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Notice of Intended Federal Offset (NJ)
Replies: 2
Views: 406

Re: Would you retire like this?

I think the feedback so far is helpful, but here are some other ideas: 1. Could one/both of you take a short leave of absence during a summer so that you could try a couple of months there? There's a real culture shock cycle and what your husband finds endearing may fade. Additionally, he may just n...
by northernisland
Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you retire like this?
Replies: 72
Views: 6730

Re: New camera - anyone try a Sony NEX?

I have the Nex 5 and like it. I share the sentiment with kids. I think putting an SLR in the car is not a terrible option, but the Nex series is less conspicuous and takes great pictures. I just got the standard lens and pretty much never use flash. I thought I would miss the viewfinder but have bee...
by northernisland
Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New camera - anyone try a Sony NEX?
Replies: 12
Views: 821

Re: Is this common? (Can't participate in 401k for >1 year)

I taught at a school that had a one year requirement before allowing contributions to a 403b, but would wave it if you had a year at a similar school and would provide a letter. It's probably still worth it to google similarly sized companies with no such requirement and then just ask. It shouldn't ...
by northernisland
Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this common? (Can't participate in 401k for >1 year)
Replies: 17
Views: 1396

Re: general (financial) advice about musical instruments/les

We bought an electric piano (Casio, ~$500). Pros are: weighted keys, doesn't need to be tuned, takes up reasonable amount of space and is not unattractive, durable. Cons: piano teachers all prefer a real piano, some are kind of ugly, may just acquire dust. I would not buy a keyboard, because they ha...
by northernisland
Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: general (financial) advice about musical instruments/lessons
Replies: 109
Views: 6568

Re: Dedicated e-mail device for Mom (90)

She might even be the perfect candidate for one of the all-in-one machines, where the desktop is built into the monitor. Something like 21" with a keyboard and mouse and an easy icon that would connect her straight to her email account. It would be a similar footprint to the laptop and easier f...
by northernisland
Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dedicated e-mail device for Mom (90)
Replies: 21
Views: 1652

Re: Sell stock while living overseas to avoid California Tax

One question on this: My understanding is that if you went home for two weeks in December, you would still pay federal and state taxes for the time you were physically present in the US. Is that right? I am asking because I have about 45 days at the start of this calendar year and will have about 60...
by northernisland
Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell stock while living overseas to avoid California Tax?
Replies: 17
Views: 1495

Re: Accepted into an investing education program, worth it?

I was with you until you got to "police detective." To me it sounds like what you are studying is almost the exact opposite of police detective. If it were my call... it sounds like a fun program and nice change of pace. It helps you stand out. It offers some connections. When you say your...
by northernisland
Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accepted into an investing education program, worth it?
Replies: 17
Views: 1517

Re: 403(b)(9) / clergy overseas investing

Thanks daily bagle... I've done other posts where I've written about challenges of investing from abroad, and have been really grateful for bogleheads. It's a bit of a strange situation, because many traditional investments are less available or helpful. I agree on college savings. They are not our ...
by northernisland
Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403(b)(9) / clergy overseas investing
Replies: 2
Views: 194

403(b)(9) / clergy overseas investing

I live overseas and am employed by a church-related organization. I can invest in a 403(b)(9) with Fidelity that, as I understand it, uses "after-tax" dollars. This means that when I take out money at retirement I won't be taxed on the principle but will be taxed on any gains (this is 30 y...
by northernisland
Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403(b)(9) / clergy overseas investing
Replies: 2
Views: 194

Re: Advice for Surgicenter bill for colonoscopy

New York times had a blog on this last year. The article is here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/28/waking-up-to-major-colonoscopy-bills/?smid=pl-share I do just get frustrated with the sheer complexity of the system. The US has ridiculous administrative costs in medicine that add neither eff...
by northernisland
Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for Surgicenter bill for colonoscopy
Replies: 45
Views: 3850

Re: Whart smartphone should I get?

I bought Google's Nexus 4. I love it. It sells for ~300 with 8gb (a little more with tax and shipping). I highly recommend it.
by northernisland
Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whart smartphone should I get?
Replies: 110
Views: 22246

Re: Expat back in US: taxes in one or multiple states? (NJ,

Epsilon Data, that is really funny! I hope everyone who is not a resident of Ohio remembers to file their affadavit, otherwise they will fail the five point test and have to pay OH taxes. I think we will be okay just filing NJ. I spent less than 60 days there and spouse never changed driver's licens...
by northernisland
Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expat back in US: taxes in one or multiple states? (NJ, OH)
Replies: 8
Views: 648

Re: Expat back in US: taxes in one or multiple states? (NJ,

Thanks sscritic. You always crack me up. No one expects you to do the searching for them. Often, however, I see cases here where someone has encountered a similar or identical situation and can point me to resources I wouldn't find easily on my own. I did do some searching and couldn't find a minimu...
by northernisland
Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expat back in US: taxes in one or multiple states? (NJ, OH)
Replies: 8
Views: 648

Expat back in US: taxes in one or multiple states? (NJ, OH)

I've been abroad several years and have returned for half a year. In late June we arrived in the midwest. I spent about 6 weeks in OH (where I got a driver's license because my NJ was expired an couldn't be renewed). In August and early September we traveled. In late-September we arrived in NJ where...
by northernisland
Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expat back in US: taxes in one or multiple states? (NJ, OH)
Replies: 8
Views: 648

Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

It was interesting to read that article. There were two caveats that were noted that are important: (1) parents paying does increase graduation rates, and (2) the disparity was not as strong at elite schools. I taught at a small college (not very good) and I can see where the study came from. There ...
by northernisland
Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?
Replies: 237
Views: 13928

Moving back abroad in February--Roth IRA?

I am moving back abroad in February after about a half year in the US. As I understand it, any foreign excluded income can't count towards qualifying to contribute to a Roth. However, since I will still be paying income tax on about the first 40 days of 2013, I am wondering if I can contribute to my...
by northernisland
Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving back abroad in February--Roth IRA?
Replies: 1
Views: 253

Re: Expat question: contributing to Roth when you have incom

Thank you for the help everyone! This is a stupid question and I feel like I should know the answer, but what records should I be keeping for my Roth IRA? My aunt helped me start my Roth ten years ago and I've added to it a couple of times. Is there something I should have been listing on my tax for...
by northernisland
Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat question: contributing to Roth when you have income
Replies: 7
Views: 533

Expat question: contributing to Roth when you have income

I’ve posted before to say I’m an expat, and have gotten a lot of helpful advice here. I’ve been abroad the last three years, never having left the country where we are. Spouse and I together make ~$50,000, so well under the tax exclusion. This means we basically haven’t had to pay federal taxes. Bec...
by northernisland
Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat question: contributing to Roth when you have income
Replies: 7
Views: 533

Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Thank you Grabiner! You are a real life-saver. I looked and looked for information but just couldn't find it. I think I needed to be using domicile for the keyword. So I will keep NJ as domicile and pay taxes when I'm in the States. This was a big help.
by northernisland
Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?
Replies: 36
Views: 4382

Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Archbish99, This is what's so confusing. The passage you cite is for a fulltime resident, but I'm not sure I'm a resident, and it's hard to see how I would be as I spent 0 days in NJ in 2010 and 2011. Reading around, most states exclude for the foreign income exclusion, but I found one (unreliable) ...
by northernisland
Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?
Replies: 36
Views: 4382

Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Wow, this is really fascinating, and is scaring me a little! I hope I'm not high-jacking on OP's thread, but let me ask my specific question this way. I have continued to vote in NJ and maintain a drivers license there (I think for most of us abroad, we want to keep a driver's license, so I imagine ...
by northernisland
Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?
Replies: 36
Views: 4382

Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

For me what I was saying is that since I have no taxable income while abroad (because of "foreign earned income tax exclusion"), therefore I appear to owe no state taxes. I have basically the same question as the OP, but since I don't think I'd owe taxes I'm less nervous. Living abroad is ...
by northernisland
Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?
Replies: 36
Views: 4382

Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

I feel like with the expat questions we often don't get full resolution. It would really be great if this could be added to the wiki sometime. I'm in a near identical situation. I was an (1) NJ resident, (2) employer is based in the midwest, and (3) mail goes to my in-laws (in yet another state). On...
by northernisland
Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?
Replies: 36
Views: 4382

I have been studying Chinese on and off for more than a decade and have a kid in Mandarin preschool. I know a lot of American Chinese majors, and let me warn you that you can do a Chinese major and still have really, really, really terrible Chinese. To put this in perspective, imagine that you are a...
by northernisland
Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should you teach your kids Chinese?
Replies: 67
Views: 4636

Corner, I'm in the same boat. In the past I've suggested that a section be added to the wiki for American expats since a number of us post on these topics. There are some sorts of tax advantaged accounts we can participate in, but they have no benefit for us because they don't reduce our taxes but w...
by northernisland
Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement saving for expats
Replies: 18
Views: 1645

The other thing to consider with for-profits is transferability. Many schools won't accept their credits, which could make a difference if you get half-way through or if you want to go for that MBA later. With a non-profit or state school, if you get half way in and decide you want to do something e...
by northernisland
Fri May 27, 2011 3:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Higher Education: What Would You Choose?
Replies: 49
Views: 4322

Interestingly, the online magazine Slate did an article on this in January ( http://www.slate.com/id/2284358/ It's actually safer to back in and then drive out straight when you leave. This is because children (pets, carts, etc.) are harder to seeing backing out then driving straight out. The articl...
by northernisland
Thu May 26, 2011 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Is Your Parking Lot Parking Style?
Replies: 56
Views: 4314

I'm in the same situation and have suggested that maybe a part of the wiki could be devoted to this question, which affects a number of us. Here is what I have figured out for those of us who, because we live abroad, declare no taxable income: -We can contribute to a 401k, but with no obvious tax ad...
by northernisland
Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: living abroad 401K question
Replies: 20
Views: 2282

We are in a similar situation. We use my wife's parents' address for mailings. I don't think there's a problem with this. Her home state did ask us for state taxes in 2009, but we just sent in our taxes showing the first half of the year we lived in one state and then we moved abroad. So far, not a ...
by northernisland
Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living Abroad and Creating an IRA Account
Replies: 11
Views: 1682

Thank you DBR! I will check/post there. It looks like a very helpful site.
by northernisland
Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amending return for first time
Replies: 2
Views: 399

Amending return for first time

I'm a US expat living in Asia. We moved abroad in fall 2009. I thought I would qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion in 2010, but just realized that this would extend back to part of 2009 (we haven't returned home since we left). This is my first time amending a return, and it just kind of...
by northernisland
Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amending return for first time
Replies: 2
Views: 399

Given the (yes, helpful!) responses here, I'd say that a Bogleheads wiki for expats would be a welcome addition. Whenever I've googled for info I get really unhelpful blog posts by tax preparers or expat associations. On the other hand, my single query here was very helpful. The types of questions t...
by northernisland
Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ex Pat Advice
Replies: 12
Views: 1522

Let me be the first to say that this could be me. Generally, we probably underestimate (1) our tendency to try to time the market, and (2) our tendency to follow trends. On #1, I put money in in early 2000s and in 2010 when markets were low, but I have a big chunk I just added a couple of months ago...
by northernisland
Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NY Times article on investor underperformance
Replies: 131
Views: 10373

Google "Michigan Department of Community Health." Many states have programs for lower income children without insurance. If she's middle class or lower the kid is probably eligible for a highly subsidized health care rate with a state program. We had a baby fairly recently and in the state...
by northernisland
Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance for new single mom
Replies: 12
Views: 1189

I also think with a name like "John Galt" you should definitely be hedging on the stock market. The real John Galt would be buying up steal, other commodities and rural real estate in anticipation of the imminent collapse of US society. (Probably would not be a big fan of cash or bonds eit...
by northernisland
Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is 100% equities really that risky for young investors?
Replies: 127
Views: 14111

Joruva, this is helpful. I hadn't understood how the Standard Deduction and Personal Exemption affected dividends and capital gains. Maybe I'll go with the total bond fund, which was my initial default choice. I'm not anticipating a lot in the fund to start with--maybe 5 or 10 thousand dollars. It a...
by northernisland
Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat trying to understand bond allocation in a taxable fund
Replies: 8
Views: 1287

thanks!

Fred, this is very helpful. I have read the wiki and will reread. I've been reading a lot, but it still takes a while to figure out the different issues. Your explanation was actually much more helpful. I think I am getting a sense for how things work. Will the taxes be paid yearly then (on dividend...
by northernisland
Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat trying to understand bond allocation in a taxable fund
Replies: 8
Views: 1287

Expat trying to understand bond allocation in a taxable fund

I'm a lowish income expat living in Asia, which limits my ability to fund a Roth (only when I go back to the states every few year and have taxable income) and removes any tax benefit for a 401k. Since at some point we'll want to return to the States (but will probably be five years and could be twe...
by northernisland
Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat trying to understand bond allocation in a taxable fund
Replies: 8
Views: 1287

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