Search found 3508 matches

by pshonore
Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will removing a wood burning stove reduce my home value?
Replies: 15
Views: 1009

Re: Will removing a wood burning fireplace reduce my home value?

Fireplaces are quite common in New England and I am not aware of any rating increase for insurance purposes. I would think removing it would cause a slight drop in value as a lot of people like the flexibility (although most don't use them). I'm almost certain it would decrease your assessment for t...
by pshonore
Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rules of Social Security
Replies: 12
Views: 1202

Re: Rules of Social Security

My understanding is only your own Part B premium can be deducted from whatever benefit you receive (could be a spousal benefit based on your spouse's earnings or your benefit on your own record)
by pshonore
Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rules of Social Security
Replies: 12
Views: 1202

Re: Rules of Social Security

Another data point for an odd situation. If your SS benefit is less than Part B Premium, you'll get a one time bill for the total net difference in November or December of the previous year instead of being billed quarterly. One example would be teachers who have enough quarters to qualify for SS fr...
by pshonore
Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Telecommuting Job, House Construction and Taxes
Replies: 3
Views: 373

Re: New Telecommuting Job, House Construction and Taxes

--Are there potential write-offs related to the construction of the home since, as I understand it, one can deduct a portion of their mortgage if one has a home office. --Should I re-evaluate how I finance the project in order to take advantage of a tax deduction that may not be available to someon...
by pshonore
Sat Jun 27, 2015 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Effective Date when using DRC
Replies: 5
Views: 554

Re: Social Security Effective Date when using DRC

For the OP I get a COLA bump of 1.194 based on CPI-W which I think is still in affect ; Please check my math and my application of the rules . Year Age CPI-W Ratio 2006 61 199.067 2007 62 203.596 1.023 2008 63 215.495 1.058 2009 64 211.001 - 2010 65 214.136 - 2011 66 223.233 1.036 2012 67 226.936 1...
by pshonore
Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: taxes on VG total stock index fund
Replies: 8
Views: 813

Re: taxes on VG total stock index fund

Thanks, I was not aware of that provision.
by pshonore
Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: taxes on VG total stock index fund
Replies: 8
Views: 813

Re: taxes on VG total stock index fund

My understanding is that TSM holds REITs (about 4%). Normally REITs do not generate QDs. How can all distributions be qualified?
by pshonore
Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happens if new cars are hailed on in dealer's lot?
Replies: 16
Views: 2470

Re: What happens if new cars are hailed on in dealer's lot?

.....Huh? How would that be applicable in this situation? ...not even considering the fact that the "insured" and "body shop chosen to do the repair work" may be the same entity. I must be missing something. In my area (mid-Atlantic) the new car dealerships have service departme...
by pshonore
Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mess on hardwood floor installation
Replies: 8
Views: 1277

Re: Mess on hardwood floor installation

I have 3/4 real oak hardwood installed on top of an OSB sub-floor all over my house secured with staples and no adhesive. We have never had any issues in 15 years. After a quick google, I found this which recommends a vapor barrier. I used 15# roofing felt as a vapor barrier on mine. http://www.nor...
by pshonore
Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [CNBC article: Social Security Denying Delayed Benefits]
Replies: 23
Views: 3176

Re: [CNBC article: Social Security Denying Delayed Benefits]

A few years back I decided to suspend benefits after FRA . About a year later, I decided to resume benefits and wanted to do it retroactively for 2 months. I was told I could not do it retroactively. Of course I knew I could and just happened to have a copy with me of the POMS manual section reflect...
by pshonore
Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mess on hardwood floor installation
Replies: 8
Views: 1277

Re: Mess on hardwood floor installation

I have 3/4 real oak hardwood installed on top of an OSB sub-floor all over my house secured with staples and no adhesive. We have never had any issues in 15 years. After a quick google, I found this which recommends a vapor barrier. I used 15# roofing felt as a vapor barrier on mine. http://www.nor...
by pshonore
Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax implications of telecommuting
Replies: 4
Views: 675

Re: Tax implications of telecommuting

My company is closing my home office in NY State and having me telecommute. As part of this arrangement I need to select a "home office" that would be either in NYC, MA, or CT. My taxes would still be based out of NY for the bulk of my work, but I would need to charge any vacation or holi...
by pshonore
Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS "Safe Harbor" & withholding vs. 1099 income
Replies: 19
Views: 1569

Re: IRS "Safe Harbor" & withholding vs. 1099 income

I guess the main thing I hadn't realized was the assumption that all withholding is considered to be evenly distributed, in addition to the uncertainty about paying taxes for possibly lumpy 1099 income via extra withholding from salaried income. BH is a treasure trove, truly. Thanks all! RM All wit...
by pshonore
Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Title Search Types and Costs
Replies: 5
Views: 543

Re: Title Search Types and Costs

My guess is it would be performed where land records are kept. That would be county records in some cases but in CT for example, records are kept in each of the 169 towns. You could just show up wherever they are kept and ask the person in charge for help. Might even be fun to try that if its nearby...
by pshonore
Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifting Money at Parties
Replies: 220
Views: 13504

Re: Gifting Money at Parties

I've been to weddings where there was a cash bar or no bar at all. Should I have given less? Of course not. From the Huffington Post on wedding etiquette: Interestingly, there's a myth that continues to circulate among some guests. They're under the impression that they should base the cost of the g...
by pshonore
Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone have multiple IRAs through different brokerage firms?
Replies: 25
Views: 1991

Re: Anyone have multiple IRAs through different brokerage firms?

We have IRAs at 4 different brokers in order of preference: WellsFargo, TDAmeritrade, Vanguard, Fidelity. We use Vanguard ETFs at all of them so far without commission. Since you are asking about Fidelity, I do agree that their web site is more difficult than the others in order to find index funds...
by pshonore
Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Paying Commissions Bad?
Replies: 22
Views: 3105

Re: Is Paying Commissions Bad?

obgraham missed my entire point about real estate commissions. As an engineer, I will use small numbers: 1. I realize the seller pays the commission. 2. If you buy a $400,000 house, a 6% commission is reflected in the price of the house. 3. If you sell the same house, the 6% commission is reflected...
by pshonore
Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsure of the process of paying off mortgage early (all at once)
Replies: 30
Views: 3426

Re: Unsure of the process of paying off mortgage early (all at once)

Was this a very long time ago? Or was it a commercial loan? These days regulations prevent banks from charging pre-payment penalties on consumer home mortgages, and they were fairly rare to begin with from what I understand. Once exception is that if the mortgage company covers your closing costs (...
by pshonore
Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Calculators and WEP or GPO
Replies: 6
Views: 787

Re: Social Security Calculators and WEP or GPO

I believe the GPO only applies to benefits she collects on another's earnings record like a Spousal or Widows benefit. The WEP may apply to her own benefit; it depends on how many years of "substantial earnings" she had in an SS covered job. Worksheet at: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-1004...
by pshonore
Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just patch roof or replace it?
Replies: 12
Views: 928

Re: Just patch roof or replace it?

If you're going to be spending 2-3k to fix or 7k for new, I would probably go with 7k for new. That 20 year warranty is worth something to new buyers. They will be more willing to make an offer on your house. We had 2 leaks on a 25 year old tile roof last year. I had a guy come to look and asked hi...
by pshonore
Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree Trimming Etiquette with Neighbors
Replies: 30
Views: 4159

Re: Tree Trimming Etiquette with Neighbors

I would talk to the neighbors before making any major changes near the property line. And whatever you do, don't act like Larry Ellison
http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2 ... wsuit.html
by pshonore
Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A/C efficiency question
Replies: 31
Views: 3160

Re: A/C efficiency question

Is it more efficient to leave the unit set at 75 all day and night or 80 during the day and 74 at night? You could get a "Kill-A-Watt" meter and measure for yourself. They are not expensive, and some public libraries can loan them just like a book. I think we're talking Central AC. Kill-A...
by pshonore
Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead flea treatment?
Replies: 39
Views: 2371

Re: Boglehead flea treatment?

Well, I stumbled upon the fact that Advantage II for dogs is the same for cats (active ingredients) last year when looking how to reduce my per dose treatment for our kitty. So you buy the extra large dog formula, then each "dose" is good for 3-4 doses on your cat. Makes the monthly cost ...
by pshonore
Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does it matter when I take my RMD for the year?
Replies: 20
Views: 2016

Re: Does it matter when I take my RMD for the year?

OP should also know his 12/31 balance if he's paying attention at all. So you should be able to transfer the entire amount to Vanguard and do the RMD yourself when you want. Some folks like to do their RMD in December to maximize the accumulated bond dividends remaining in tax shelter. But if the O...
by pshonore
Wed May 20, 2015 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Question
Replies: 14
Views: 1971

Re: Social Security Question

To answer your question simply, the answer is YES. I have done that very thing. (collected prior to FRA and then suspended at FRA). You can also resume anytime, even retroactively, but you only get the DRCs for the months you do not collect if you resume before 70.
by pshonore
Wed May 20, 2015 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maryland Income Tax Ruling
Replies: 3
Views: 580

Re: Maryland Income Tax Ruling

Sounds like the OP was a part year resident. In that case the calculation may be different than a MD resident working in another state. Most, but not all states charge PY residents on the portion of income earned in the state and there are no credits. Not sure how Maryland does it though.
by pshonore
Sun May 17, 2015 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security question about Restricted Application
Replies: 27
Views: 2079

Re: Social Security question about Restricted Application

Have you looked at the option of you claiming first? Your wife could collect a spousal benefit (at the same time regardless of age) if she is caring for your dependent child (disabled or not).
by pshonore
Sat May 16, 2015 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter from IRS (I think they are wrong)
Replies: 21
Views: 2958

Re: Letter from IRS (I think they are wrong)

I was expecting a refund from the IRS, but instead I received a letter from them to the effect that I made a mistake in my calculation and I owed much more in taxes. I checked my calculations and I saw that the IRS did not include withholding that my wife and I paid from our monthly Social Security...
by pshonore
Sat May 16, 2015 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Establishing Revocable Trust vs Will
Replies: 42
Views: 4113

Re: Establishing Revocable Trust vs Will

I don't think most disagree with the advantages of a trust but what is the minimum amount one should have to make a creating a trust "worthwhile"? That would be considering the costs of creating a trust, trustee fees, tax prep fees, possible higher tax rates on trust income, etc.
by pshonore
Sat May 16, 2015 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chasing the Big Dogs
Replies: 16
Views: 2360

Re: Chasing the Big Dogs

I just can't imagine that on average 1/100 of fifty year olds has $8.4 million. The table shows the median net worth and not the average net worth, so you do not have to stress your imagination. Interestingly, the numbers of the recent chart are lower than the previous numbers he put out in his 201...
by pshonore
Fri May 15, 2015 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Insurance Site Similar to Term4Sale?
Replies: 11
Views: 977

Re: House Insurance Site Similar to Term4Sale?

[If my house burned down for some reason and was a total loss why on earth would I pay more than double what my house would go for on the open market? Because the company is telling you that's what it would to clean up and rebuild your house with like materials. You can always get another opinion f...
by pshonore
Fri May 15, 2015 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter from IRS (I think they are wrong)
Replies: 21
Views: 2958

Re: Letter from IRS (I think they are wrong)

I filed a Form 4952 and I claimed the qualified dividends on line 4g so that I could use them on Schedule A. What does this statement mean? What investment interest expenses do you actually have? That form, as I understand it, is merely making sure that if your investment interest expenses exceed y...
by pshonore
Thu May 14, 2015 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Insurance Site Similar to Term4Sale?
Replies: 11
Views: 977

Re: House Insurance Site Similar to Term4Sale?

[If my house burned down for some reason and was a total loss why on earth would I pay more than double what my house would go for on the open market? Because the company is telling you that's what it would to clean up and rebuild your house with like materials. You can always get another opinion f...
by pshonore
Mon May 11, 2015 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New car, lease or buy?
Replies: 33
Views: 1445

Re: New car, lease or buy?

Is anyone able to speak to the legal justification for a state charging sales tax on the full purchase price of a vehicle that is leased, rather than charging tax on only the portion (value) of the vehicle that you are leasing? Maybe it's a bad analogy, but if I stay in a hotel, I'll pay the rate f...
by pshonore
Mon May 11, 2015 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New car, lease or buy?
Replies: 33
Views: 1445

Re: New car, lease or buy?

Also find out the money factor and then google how to convert it to an interest rate. I did and mine was very good. I decided to lease for many of the reasons stated here. I may very well buy it at the end the lease. It won't ultimately be cheaper, but it won't be that much more expensive. Also- yo...
by pshonore
Mon May 11, 2015 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brand Loyalty
Replies: 60
Views: 4440

Re: Brand Loyalty

Hellmanns Mayo
Bounty paper towels (although Kirkland are probably just as good and much better value)
NO Carhartt - since they got popular, they've gone way downhill and gotten expensive. try Cabela"s instead.
AngelSoft TP
Talienti Gelato
by pshonore
Mon May 11, 2015 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New car, lease or buy?
Replies: 33
Views: 1445

Re: New car, lease or buy?

Also find out the money factor and then google how to convert it to an interest rate. I did and mine was very good. I decided to lease for many of the reasons stated here. I may very well buy it at the end the lease. It won't ultimately be cheaper, but it won't be that much more expensive. Also- yo...
by pshonore
Mon May 11, 2015 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New car, lease or buy?
Replies: 33
Views: 1445

Re: New car, lease or buy?

Compare the price of the new vehicle if purchased to the cost of the lease (down payment, monthly "rent" and buyout). If you buyout the lease, the sales tax is close to a wash. If you don't, then you will save lots of money on sales tax but you will have to buy another car or a lease and p...
by pshonore
Mon May 11, 2015 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age 70 1/2: Think through your RMD choices.
Replies: 9
Views: 1945

Re: Age 70 1/2: Think through your RMD choices.

In the year you reach 70 1/2, the first IRA distribution(s) you take count toward your RMD, which cannot be converted to a Roth. If you want to do Roth conversions, you must satisfy your RMD first. Does that apply in later years as well?
by pshonore
Sat May 09, 2015 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dishwasher service plan
Replies: 18
Views: 1028

Re: dishwasher service plan

My concern is that kitchenaid dishwashers have a reputation for needing service. If that were true, don't you think the company offering the service plan would know it too and factor it into the cost of their plan? Plus a hefty amount extra so that they can make a profit? So you can bet that, over ...
by pshonore
Tue May 05, 2015 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor wants to excavate shallow water hole common to both properties
Replies: 31
Views: 2710

Re: Neighbor wants to excavate shallow water hole common to both properties

Good points on checking with the authorities. Perhaps the County Soil and Water Conservation folks. Is there enough annual rainfall to create a pond and how will he prevent the water from just leaching back out?
by pshonore
Sat May 02, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Property Taxes (2nd year New Build)
Replies: 18
Views: 1084

Re: Help with Property Taxes (2nd year New Build)

A 10k difference in appraised value is insignificant in my opinion. Unless your appraisal is way off, I don't think you will get anywhere with an appeal. Probably true; but I think everyone should review the Assessors field card for their property to get an understanding of the process. A lot of ti...
by pshonore
Sat May 02, 2015 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Property Taxes (2nd year New Build)
Replies: 18
Views: 1084

Re: Help with Property Taxes (2nd year New Build)

Just consider yourself lucky and don't raise a stink about this with the county assessor. Property tax assessment of market value does not impact selling price anyway. You could have a situation where your house could be assessed at the high end of the neighborhood and you pay a ton more in taxes. ...
by pshonore
Fri May 01, 2015 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Property Taxes (2nd year New Build)
Replies: 18
Views: 1084

Re: Help with Property Taxes (2nd year New Build)

Every jurisdiction assesses property differently. The town I live does it like this: They measure the house in great detail to get sq footage. They multiply sq ft by a cost factor per sq ft. The bigger the house, the lower the factor. 1600 sq ft might be $80/sq ft, 2000 sq ft might be $75/sq ft (eco...
by pshonore
Fri May 01, 2015 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Property Taxes (2nd year New Build)
Replies: 18
Views: 1084

Re: Help with Property Taxes (2nd year New Build)

Are you paying for a full year? Or was the CO (certificate of occupany) issued after the "tax period" started. Taxes should always be evaluated by looking at the assessments for comparable houses. That's fairly easy to do with new construction.
by pshonore
Fri May 01, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Residents of states w/o income tax, do you itemize?
Replies: 34
Views: 2303

Re: Residents of states w/o income tax, do you itemize?

A question for those proposing to alternate between itemized and standard each year - don't you run into AMT when you itemize with 2 years worth of mortgage interest, etc? I think its difficult to pay 2 years of mortgage interest within 1 yr. Easy for extra principal but check with your lender if y...
by pshonore
Fri May 01, 2015 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Residents of states w/o income tax, do you itemize?
Replies: 34
Views: 2303

Re: Residents of states w/o income tax, do you itemize?

Its called a Donor Advised Fund and they're offered by Fido, Schwab and Vanguard among others. Fido is a $5K minimum and I think VG is 25K. It must be taxable stuff (cash, appreciated securities, etc). You get an immediate itemized deduction for the total but can dole it out over several years. Of c...
by pshonore
Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Insurance Disparity
Replies: 9
Views: 721

Re: Auto Insurance Disparity

Older drivers pay higher rates, not as high as youthful operators, but higher none-the-less. Many companies start to trend rates upward around age 65 and every five years after. Aggregate accident data provides the actuarial justification for the higher rates for older drivers. Can you cite a relia...
by pshonore
Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about moving PM from taxable acct to Roth
Replies: 5
Views: 474

Re: Question about moving PM from taxable acct to Roth

PM is Phillip Morris International. It was spun off a few years back from MO (Altria which was renamed from Phillip Morris). Which stock do you own?
by pshonore
Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: RE Social security being taxed--new chart by Scott Burns
Replies: 41
Views: 4912

Re: RE Social security being taxed--new chart by Scott Burns

I bet 99.9999% of retirees haven't a clue. I'd take that bet. I'd only need to find 64 retirees with a clue to win. I'm confident I can name more than that from posts on this board. Pet peeve: 99.9999% is a number, not just some vague approximation meaning most or many. What's wrong with 90% which ...

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