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Re: Rich Spouse, Poor Spouse [Tax filing status]

From a federal tax point of view and not considering any state tax that might be applicable, a couple that is married as of December 31st and living together at any time in the last six months of the year only has two federal filing choices; married filing jointly (MFJ) or married filing separately ...
by tomd37
Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rich Spouse, Poor Spouse [Tax filing apportionment]
Replies: 50
Views: 2818

Re: Hearing Aids

As has been mentioned by several people in this thread, the cost of the hearing aid(s) and their replacement batteries qualify as a medical expense on Schedule A if you are itemizing deductions. It should be noted that, starting in tax year 2014, only those medical expenses that exceed 10% of AGI qu...
by tomd37
Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing Aids
Replies: 82
Views: 6130

Re: Boglehead Beer

For those who like Yuengling Lager and live in Pennsylvania, have you ever had Yuengling ice cream? Now back to the original poster's question; my favorites are Yuengling Lager and Newcastle ale. I remember my college days back in the mid-fifties when the favorite beer in the 'north country' of New ...
by tomd37
Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 386
Views: 46862

Re: Snake!

Jim
I didn't think the snakes would be coming around until February :wink:
by tomd37
Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snake!
Replies: 51
Views: 4013

Re: POLL: Do you have a dedicated REIT allocation?

"About 16% REITs. They pay good dividends." Something Burton Malkiel mentions in his book "The Random Walk Guide to Investing" (2003) where in his Life-Cycle Investment Guide recommended asset or savings allocation he cites 15% of total portfolio be in REITS (in tax-advantaged ac...
by tomd37
Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: Do you have a dedicated REIT allocation?
Replies: 123
Views: 6890

Re: LED bulb prices

Just purchased and installed CREE 60W soft-white LED bulbs in our two bathroom light fixtures. Each fixture holds three bulbs with their open globes pointed down. I previously had three 75W bulbs in each fixture. Prior to replacing the bulbs in the second fixture I did a "heat test" and th...
by tomd37
Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED bulb prices
Replies: 118
Views: 13701

Re: Oil Change due: Synthetic vs Regular Oil

1210, After reviewing the owner's manual (page 9-2) for your car online, you appear not to have a high-performance turbo engine or an engine that requires a pure synthetic oil. The manual says use a 5W-30 oil and I would do so with any good quality SAE oil. Changing oil every six to eight months is ...
by tomd37
Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil Change due: Synthetic vs Regular Oil
Replies: 33
Views: 2736

Re: Oil Change due: Synthetic vs Regular Oil

1210,
I suspect from the oil requirement stated in the owner's manual (and your lack of reply to the make, model, and year of car) that you do not have a high-performance (e.g., turbo) engine in the car. Those engines most always require a pure synthetic oil. What do you own?
by tomd37
Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil Change due: Synthetic vs Regular Oil
Replies: 33
Views: 2736

Re: POLL: Walmart vs Amazon

I have an intense dislike of Wal-Mart stores and will not go into any of their local stores. That said, I have purchased one Brother printer toner cartridge online from Wal-Mart because of their pricing, but that is all I do buy there. The next time I have to replace my cartridge I will check prices...
by tomd37
Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: Walmart vs Amazon
Replies: 137
Views: 8021

Re: Ditch car and commute to work in 250cc scooter in Raleig

Having lived in the Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) for eleven years from 1984 to 1995 and observed the amount of traffic then, and comparing such traffic then to what it is now when I go back to visit now, I would not even think about any vehicle other than an automobile. Excuse the co...
by tomd37
Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ditch car and commute to work in 250cc scooter in Raleigh?
Replies: 69
Views: 4635

Re: Changes to Vanguard Balance and Personal Performance tab

That's funny, my account only shows the last five years and I have been with Vanguard for many years. I have been asking Vanguard to go back at least 10 years but to no avail. :annoyed
by tomd37
Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Changes to Vanguard Balance and Personal Performance tabs
Replies: 18
Views: 2094

Re: Send original or copy of pick-up receipt for repair?

I would keep the original copy signed by both parties and send her the copy.
by tomd37
Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Send original or copy of pick-up receipt for repair?
Replies: 1
Views: 332

Re: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?

Or just alternate each time by refueling when the tank is half empty.
by tomd37
Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?
Replies: 76
Views: 5321

Re: Dip into IRAs to pay off CC debt?

ReadZinn, Looking at your original post and the expense categories caused me to go back and look at my budgeted categories while I was working (I am retired now). Those categories included: Mortgage, electricity, natural gas, water, telephone (cell and landline), home security service, homeowners as...
by tomd37
Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dip into IRAs to pay off CC debt?
Replies: 28
Views: 2027

Re: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?

Saladdin, What is your cost difference per gallon between E10 and the pure gasoline now? I too got about a 10% increase in mpg in my car, but lately the cost of pure gasoline is more than 10% above E10. I will only use the pure gasoline in my small engine equipment. "Pure" brand gasoline i...
by tomd37
Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?
Replies: 76
Views: 5321

Re: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes

I have no confidence in the figures Zillow uses. Actual sales data in your area, often available in public records online, would be much more realistic.
by tomd37
Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes
Replies: 73
Views: 3752

Re: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes

Assuming you have no outstanding mortgage on the home, for net worth calculation I would use a realistic value of what it would sell for if you sold it today. That is to say the realistic selling value that would be assigned by you and your realtor. Of course if you have a mortgage balance that woul...
by tomd37
Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes
Replies: 73
Views: 3752

Re: Tax Withholding - Number of exemptions

mj512, First of all what you are talking about are "allowances" on IRS Form W-4. Print out the two-page form using the guidelines thereon. Then what you need to look at is IRS Publication 15 (Circular E) Employer's Tax Guide (2014 version). I think you will find any and all information you...
by tomd37
Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Withholding - Number of exemptions
Replies: 9
Views: 618

Re: stamp collection

Lululu,
You must be referring to the twenty-cent stamp. I have a whole sheet of them sitting in front of me as I post this. I don't know what year they were issued. :beer

Just looked it up - they were issued in 1982
by tomd37
Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: stamp collection
Replies: 19
Views: 1109

Re: do you lie about your finances to friends

To reply to the original post, my parents always taught me that the three things you don't discuss in public are sex, religion, and politics. I have my own fourth item, personal finances. :moneybag
by tomd37
Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: do you lie about your finances to friends
Replies: 103
Views: 8888

Re: NY Yankees seats - best value?

I remember going to Yankee Stadium in the late 40s or early 50s when center field had the monument in the playing area. Not a Yankee fan, but the box tickets were free. My loyalty was across the river with the "Bums". Was at the Polo Grounds for the final 1951 National League game when Bob...
by tomd37
Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NY Yankees seats - best value?
Replies: 12
Views: 912

Re: stamp collection

If old stamps are not worth much, other than their face value, I guess I could paste a bunch of the old non-cancelled WWII one, two, three, and six cent stamps on some letters and let the younger folks know what it was like back in the early 1940s. :wink: I have a number of blocks of four stamps in ...
by tomd37
Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: stamp collection
Replies: 19
Views: 1109

Re: Improving my credit score

I had a comment on my last FICO report that my score was lowered because I do not have a mortgage. With a score of 823 and at age 77 I could care less! For the last seventeen years I pay cash for whatever big item I buy and my credit card balance each month is about 1% of my credit limit. Two credit...
by tomd37
Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Improving my credit score
Replies: 34
Views: 1879

Re: Improving my credit score

Question for all readers ---- What would happen to poster's credit score if he pays most of his account balance just before his monthly bill is issued? As I see it, his utilization rate each month would be very low. My two credit card companies report my balance at the time they issue the monthly bi...
by tomd37
Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Improving my credit score
Replies: 34
Views: 1879

Re: Schwab Bill Pay

Mkatz from New Mexico? Just curious.
by tomd37
Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schwab Bill Pay
Replies: 11
Views: 662

Re: Driveway crack question

A company comes in and drills holes as needed in the section of concrete to be raised and then pumps a slurry of some type underneath. Done properly by knowledgeable staff, the slab can be raised and leveled properly. Then resurfaced as may be desired. We have a franchise in our Nashville, TN area, ...
by tomd37
Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driveway crack question
Replies: 13
Views: 1154

Re: Driveway crack question

Is the condition such that one or more of the sections could be "floated"? Our HOA had sinking and cracking problems with the big sections of concrete surrounding the swimming pool and we opted to have the necessary sections "floated" and then the whole deck was resurfaced.
by tomd37
Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driveway crack question
Replies: 13
Views: 1154

Re: beneficiary form

In my opinion it is always best to have both a primary and secondary beneficiary designated at all times. Sometimes the passing of a primary beneficiary shortly after the passing of the original owner can create problems. The naming of a secondary beneficiary might (repeat might) alleviate some prob...
by tomd37
Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: beneficiary form
Replies: 15
Views: 723

Re: USAA Auto Insurance?

I'll have to agree with you and your ~50% reduced premium rate. :sharebeer
by tomd37
Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA Auto Insurance?
Replies: 70
Views: 6908

Re: USAA Auto Insurance?

Takingcharge, So how does your new auto insurance premium compare with your old auto insurance premium after taking into consideration the discount you received on your old policy for having multiple policies with USAA? Apples have to be compared with apples to make a fair comparison, especially whe...
by tomd37
Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA Auto Insurance?
Replies: 70
Views: 6908

Re: USAA Auto Insurance?

Takingcharge,

When you had all insurances with USAA you undoubtedly were getting a discount on each policy for having multiple policies with USAA. Now that you have one with GEICO and the other two remaining with USAA, how does the cost of each policy compare with the former costs?
by tomd37
Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA Auto Insurance?
Replies: 70
Views: 6908

Re: USAA Auto Insurance?

Darin, Can you explain the difference between "replacement cost" and "guaranteed replacement cost?" I've been with USAA since 1961 and all my HO policy coverage includes a 25% additional coverage. For example with coverage of $300,000 they will cover up to $375,000. My rate is ba...
by tomd37
Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA Auto Insurance?
Replies: 70
Views: 6908

Re: water bottles and road trip

Just to reminisce, back in 1952 our family of five took a vacation from the NYC area to Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone National Parks in a non-air conditioned 1949 Dodge Coronet. Our source of cold water each day was contained in a burlap bag filled with water that was hung ...
by tomd37
Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: water bottles and road trip
Replies: 32
Views: 1813

Re: New Portfolio: what to do with 2.5M to 5.5M?

OP,
Do you really think readers are going to look up 24 symbols in order to respond. :confused Please consider editing your post to include fund names.
by tomd37
Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Portfolio: what to do with 2.5M to 5.5M?
Replies: 38
Views: 4366

Re: W-4 Exemption claim

Johnny, Looking at your original posting, I think you are misinterpreting line 7 on the W-4 Form. By you stating you meet both of those two requirements and writing the word "Exempt" on line 7, you are stating that you did not have any tax liability last year nor do you expect to have any ...
by tomd37
Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W-4 Exemption claim
Replies: 12
Views: 612

Re: IRS tax refund for deceased Mom

When doing tax returns under the AARP Foundation Tax Counseling for the Elderly, I often run into the situation where someone is submitting a tax return for a deceased person and a federal tax refund is due. In that case a IRS Form 1310 must be submitted with the original return. Part I of the form ...
by tomd37
Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS tax refund for deceased Mom
Replies: 2
Views: 333

Re: Some Advice on Fixing Mistakes

Just to clarify about the student loan interest. You can reduce your taxable income by up to $2,500 (using line 33 on Form 1040) and that will reduce your AGI and ultimately reduce your tax liability. Maybe just a play on words but just want ensure you realize the $2,500 is not a tax credit. :dollar
by tomd37
Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some Advice on Fixing Mistakes
Replies: 14
Views: 998

Re: Books for during retirement?

Coachz,
Could it be "The Ages of the Investor"?
by tomd37
Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Books for during retirement?
Replies: 18
Views: 1229

Re: Tax questions

Archman, You can get a lot of good unofficial tax guidance right here on this forum. A number of us have a good understanding of taxes through volunteering for many years in the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program or the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs. Both are sponsored by the IRS. There are...
by tomd37
Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax questions
Replies: 14
Views: 531

Re: HOA questions

RVer, The official By-Laws and the Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions of the HOA stipulate what the HOA and its Board officers can do. The Board is made up of elected representatives of the community and has official responsibilities in representing the community. There is no need to take eac...
by tomd37
Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA questions
Replies: 43
Views: 3327

Re: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?

Munemaker,
What is an older car in your opinion. Many of the lawn mowing services around my area use one of the two PURE brand gasoline stations around here that sell 100% pure gasoline (no ethanol added) for their small engine equipment.
by tomd37
Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?
Replies: 76
Views: 5321

Re: HOA questions

Chris - Just remember you are only one of a certain number of Board members and the majority rules. I have lived in my community for twenty years and have seen three different firms providing landscaping services over those years. A lot depends on how much oversight the Board exercises over its serv...
by tomd37
Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA questions
Replies: 43
Views: 3327

Re: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?

In my cars I use whatever octane is called for in the owner's manual. In the case of my 2001 Lexus ES300 it is 87 octane. I believe Lexus calls for 87 in all ES model years since that time. Every article I have ever read says using a higher octane does not bring any overall gain considering performa...
by tomd37
Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?
Replies: 76
Views: 5321

Re: HOA questions

Takingcharge,
As a board member since 2008 I have to agree with you. Many want to complain, but very few want to contribute anything but their complaints. :annoyed With 162 homes you think you could easily find five people for a two-year term.
by tomd37
Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA questions
Replies: 43
Views: 3327

Re: HOA questions

GoBlue, What type of HOA are you in? Is it a subdivision with individual homes and homeowners or is it some other type of residences? What is the reserve fund for; is it for capital equipment and buildings upkeep and/or replacement? Or is it some type of reserve fund level being maintained to handle...
by tomd37
Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA questions
Replies: 43
Views: 3327

Re: How to Invest Excess Cash?

Livesoft,
QCDs have not yet been renewed for tax year 2014. If it does get through Congress, it will probably be after the November elections. I have used QCDs in prior years when available as it directly reduces our AGI by the amount distributed.
by tomd37
Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Invest Excess Cash?
Replies: 6
Views: 703

How to Invest Excess Cash?

Situation is we are a retired couple in late seventies with a military pension and social security benefits that satisfy approximately 80% of our annual budgetary needs. The other 20% of budget needs comes from our RMD leaving us with excess cash most years. Our cash account is well funded and in ex...
by tomd37
Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Invest Excess Cash?
Replies: 6
Views: 703

Re: Erie Insurance

Is Erie sold through local agents? If so, will pricing for same coverage differ between local agents? Do they have any type of rebates to various coverage after the contract year ends? Just curious when making comparison between current company costs and Erie's proposed cost.
by tomd37
Wed May 28, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Erie Insurance
Replies: 7
Views: 460

Re: What's the downside to eliminating REIT?

Did I miss something? Where is the other 10% allocated?
by tomd37
Tue May 27, 2014 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's the downside to eliminating REIT?
Replies: 10
Views: 1143
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