Search found 444 matches

by CAsage
Mon May 22, 2017 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No estate plan, are DIYs wills good enough for now? CA residents need ASAP
Replies: 17
Views: 1090

Re: No estate plan, are DIYs wills good enough for now? CA residents need ASAP

You might want to research or check with a lawyer about the title to the house. Getting a stepped up basis could be valuable, beyond just the title transfer of joint tenancy. It is fairly easy to change grant deed titles in CA - find a blank form online, fill it out, get it notarized and then pay a ...
by CAsage
Sun May 21, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!
Replies: 219
Views: 42471

Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Invest the money conservatively, as though it was cash needed short term. Possibly an intermediate or short term bond fund, or just savings. It sounds like it will be spent down on your MIL over the next very few years... match the balance and budget to your expense window. If you think it's more th...
by CAsage
Sun May 21, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Watching elderly family members burn money
Replies: 17
Views: 2310

Re: Watching elderly family members burn money

Whew. Your grandmother could have kept a great deal more of her money selling things via the usual channels - even real estate brokers don't get 15%, and it's often free to sell equipment/household goods directly. I thought auctions only made sense when you were selling under duress.... Perhaps she ...
by CAsage
Sun May 21, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Leave a Free Investment Advisor?
Replies: 22
Views: 1727

Re: Should I Leave a Free Investment Advisor?

All prior responses right on target! Would also suggest putting your highest expected return asset class (stocks) 100% in your Roth, and then overweight your TSP/401k to make up the bond allocation. You could do this with just three funds: Total Stock in Roth, a Target or balanced fund plus more bon...
by CAsage
Thu May 18, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take a reduction in pension?
Replies: 23
Views: 1305

Re: Take a reduction in pension?

Another consideration is the risk of living a LOT longer. 10 years seems quite achievable, and I would only take a 10 year guaranteed if it was more than the lifetime pension! If you die sooner than hoped for, your daughter will inherit all the money you ended up not needing to spend in your later y...
by CAsage
Wed May 17, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inheriting brokerage account- questions
Replies: 20
Views: 957

Re: Inheriting brokerage account- questions

With an estate that long.... Estate tax returns must have been filed, you should have reports on income and accounting? Note that I think (not an expert, just a reader) estate income can be distributed to the beneficiaries (three heirs) or the estate must pay taxes on it annually. I think (not an ex...
by CAsage
Wed May 17, 2017 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to park Emergency Fund in Roth IRA
Replies: 6
Views: 513

Re: Where to park Emergency Fund in Roth IRA

Bond funds are vulnerable to drops if interest rates go up. If you want safe money, then short durations are the way to go. Read up on "duration" (which is approximately the number of years an account will recover current value with a 1% interest rate hike).... Personally, I like to match ...
by CAsage
Wed May 17, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to park Emergency Fund in Roth IRA
Replies: 6
Views: 513

Re: Where to park Emergency Fund in Roth IRA

Putting your emergency fund into a Roth is not a bad idea at all - no real downside. Suggest you consider your entire portfolio as one big pot, then decide how much you want in bonds/cash vs equity, and stuff the 'emergency' funds into your Roth in the cheapest short/intermediate bond fund you can f...
by CAsage
Sun May 14, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace floor BEFORE or AFTER New Cabinets?
Replies: 27
Views: 2224

Re: Replace floor BEFORE or AFTER New Cabinets?

If you are going to put in tile (great in a kitchen) or hardwood, I think it should go in first because then all the cabinets sit on top of the tile, making that join much cleaner than having to put in quarter round or something to hide the edge. And of course the dishwasher will fit, since the cabi...
by CAsage
Wed May 10, 2017 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to title a house for transfer to children after death
Replies: 9
Views: 1142

Re: How to title a house for transfer to children after death

New Jersey does not currently permit titling real estate in "Transfer on Death". I would not suggest adding them directly to the deed, as it might look like a gift and you want to make it very clear that the heirs get a step up in value for capital gains.... Suggest a very simple trust tha...
by CAsage
Tue May 09, 2017 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sunscreen for men in office environment
Replies: 25
Views: 2820

Re: Sunscreen for men in office environment

I love the Olay Complete Broad Spectrum SPF 30. My uber expensive dermatologist told me to never walk outside without at least SPF 30 on face, neck, decolletage, arms, hands.... Seriously, that Olay SPF 30 which I buy on Amazon, (Target and Walmart carry online, not sure about stores), is truly ligh...
by CAsage
Mon May 08, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will and Estranged Child advice
Replies: 44
Views: 3817

Re: Will and Estranged Child advice

I think an estate plan should be written for where you are today. Choices have consequences, and estranged or children who mistreat their parents should learn that. I have no issues with disinheriting a hostile or abusive or estranged child - especially if you have made multiple efforts to hold out ...
by CAsage
Thu May 04, 2017 8:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with inheritance
Replies: 37
Views: 3397

Re: What to do with inheritance

Take your time sorting this out - park the money in a savings account or short term bond fund while you learn. There are a couple pointers you could act on now... 1) Pay off the student loans - that's a win/win with no downside. 2) If you have any retirement options available (401k, IRA) begin fundi...
by CAsage
Wed May 03, 2017 6:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My dad needs my help.
Replies: 50
Views: 4661

Re: My dad needs my help.

1) Avoid financial managers like the plague; the 1% they take is a huge chunk of expected future returns. 2) Easiest solution would be an index Target date retirement fund - super low expenses, age appropriate diversification, rebalance for you... Target 2020 or 2015. 3) An alternative would be 70% ...
by CAsage
Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my electric bill high?
Replies: 60
Views: 5453

Re: Is my electric bill high?

Mind boggling. So I was able to retire because I don't have a pool? So Cal, few miles from beach, AC only in Aug/Sept (or more with global warming...). Peak electric bill in summer maybe $80, average $35 most months. Good grief! 2000 sf house, lots of LED.
by CAsage
Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Advice needed for mother's inheritance/finances.]
Replies: 129
Views: 13706

Re: Too much inheritance to handle. Advice needed

Freeze everything. Instruct him in writing to make no investments or changes without specific permission (and don't give it). Read the Wiki on Windfalls and everything you can on asset allocation. It will not hurt you and your Mom to take several months, parking the money in low risk stable accounts...
by CAsage
Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refi mortgage or Backdoor Roth
Replies: 3
Views: 461

Re: Refi mortgage or Backdoor Roth

Your math does not agree with my Excel calculations. Assuming you added the 1% fee to the loan (just to make an easy compare), here are the three loan options: PV $450,000 $450,000 $454,500 INT 3.99% 3.50% 3.25% Months 312 180 180 Payment ($2,319.71) ($3,216.97) ($3,193.63) Total: ($723,750.85) ($57...
by CAsage
Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living off loans to limit income?
Replies: 8
Views: 1423

Re: Living off loans to limit income?

I explained to my darling offspring that debts don't actually transfer to the heir. He asked me to let him know before I kick the bucket where all my credit cards were.... Hated to burst his grand scheme with a discussion on probate law, but it did get him to sleep....
by CAsage
Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with putting sale of company stock on tax forms
Replies: 2
Views: 224

Re: Help with putting sale of company stock on tax forms

Try Schedule D, capital gains/losses (goes to line 13 of the 1040). Info on sale usually comes in on a 1099-B. You will need the cost basis (price you paid taxes on when you got them, presuming it was income?) I find it helpful to just sit with the whole pile of 1099's and make sure they all get ent...
by CAsage
Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Story so far. Totally confused! Vanguard, Charles Schwab, Merrill Edge. Managing own portfolio... or NOT?
Replies: 86
Views: 6283

Re: My Story so far. Totally confused! Vanguard, Charles Schwab, Merrill Edge. Managing own portfolio... or NOT?

While the money you are asking about is in a taxable account, the best overall plan can include making sure you are taking advantage of opening a Roth IRA, Traditional IRA or 401k, which is why several prior responses have asked about the whole picture. With more cash in hand, you have more choices ...
by CAsage
Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help! Dad's Retirement Account with Lincoln Financial Group
Replies: 15
Views: 2032

Re: Help! Dad's Retirement Account with Lincoln Financial Group

The major difference/benefit to a 401k is that some companies match some funds, so you get a big return right up front. Usually I would recommend putting in the % they match, and no more. You get the same tax benefit, and can invest with much lower fees, by doing a Traditional IRA. For a small balan...
by CAsage
Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling jewelry/ gold?
Replies: 4
Views: 520

Re: Selling jewelry/ gold?

If you have any scrap gold or sterling silver (e.g. this would be the lowest floor price you could sell it for, and it's worth at least weighing it and knowing that) Midwest Refineries is awesome. I sent in lonely gold earrings (lost the other), broken gold chains and a pile of completely useless si...
by CAsage
Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Different tax preparers give different estimates
Replies: 3
Views: 747

Re: Different tax preparers give different estimates

Print out each one of the 'different' tax returns, crawl through them line by line and see what the difference is. With only a few inputs, there should not be much to check (possibly an interview or input error). You can pay an estimated tax to your state to be sure it's covered anytime (most states...
by CAsage
Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: any tax benefit on paying parents for child care?
Replies: 5
Views: 515

Re: any tax benefit on paying parents for child care?

Don't forget Social Security and Medicare taxes would then have to be paid for them... gets complicated. Check out posts on nanny taxes.
by CAsage
Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: It's not too late to make a last-minute T-IRA contribution via Vanguard.com, right?
Replies: 11
Views: 667

Re: It's not too late to make a last-minute T-IRA contribution via Vanguard.com, right?

I am not sure Vanguard can process it in time (no clue). In your shoes, I would open the T-IRA into a plain old savings account at my local bank on Monday, and transfer it at my leisure.... cutting it a bit fine for me!
by CAsage
Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for College Question
Replies: 5
Views: 604

Re: Paying for College Question

Paying off the house might make the family more secure with a lower income, but a longer term plan is needed. How many years can the life insurance support them? It's possible that the spouse will need to change the low/no income and get some. Note that changing the family contribution for college c...
by CAsage
Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversions/Recharacterizations
Replies: 11
Views: 655

Re: Roth Conversions/Recharacterizations

If you are going to wait until April in the next tax year to recharacterize there is no need to do it into a new tIRA unless you expect to make another conversion from that IRA in the next 30 days. The rule is you can't convert after recharacterization until the later of the next year or 30 days. Y...
by CAsage
Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax preparer charging for past tax PDF's copies
Replies: 49
Views: 3475

Re: Tax preparer charging for past tax PDF's copies

You could consider going to the IRS website and requesting a tax transcript of your prior tax returns, for free. Not sure what info you need from them, but that might be worth trying first. Transcripts are free; a copy of your tax return will cost you $50 from the IRS. https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsro...
by CAsage
Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will - what is complicated?
Replies: 72
Views: 4043

Re: Will - what is complicated?

From what I have read (and I'm a hardened DIY), if you mix up IRA/401k and trusts, it's complicated. The wording has to be so precise, and you definitely will need a trust for long term provisions for children. It does somewhat matter how much money you have ... a very modest estate can simply creat...
by CAsage
Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Overpayment
Replies: 3
Views: 559

Re: IRS Overpayment

Log on to the IRS website and check? I am hoping they have it done by now, or check later this year.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript
by CAsage
Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dollar amount of fees
Replies: 5
Views: 537

Re: Dollar amount of fees

I have never heard that they were... I think the sticky wicket might be that you don't get that income in the first place, and therefore cannot deduct what you did not get or pay out. A bit of research and I found this: Do Mutual Fund Expense Ratios Count? It may seem like mutual fund expense ratios...
by CAsage
Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)
Replies: 32
Views: 2478

Re: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)

Total expenses this year were: $12,574 (mortgage); Property Tax ($12,857); HO Insurance ($3,900); Cable (3360); Oil ($4,482); Electric ($2,299); Water/Sewer ($786); Phone ($720); Cleaning of property ($2,400); Advertising of property ($520); Storage rental ($1560); Snow & Lawn ($1945); Trash ($...
by CAsage
Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: living trust vs will books
Replies: 4
Views: 526

Re: living trust vs will books

Nolo Press makes several good books on Trusts, wills, estate planning with many good examples for different situations. Excellent education for the price! Library may have them... I found they are helpful for thinking about all the decisions and options you need to decide in estate planning. What yo...
by CAsage
Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new honda or continue with old one
Replies: 33
Views: 3241

Re: Buy a new honda or continue with old one

I note that renting a cheap car for a month while you shop for a new one takes the panic and urgency off having to replace it TODAY! Which would give you some time to shop. Of course, sounds like you have gotten your money's worth out of that Accord.... No right answer here.
by CAsage
Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy Car Outright or Finance it?
Replies: 9
Views: 676

Re: Buy Car Outright or Finance it?

Does DD need to build up her credit record (assuming they would offer her same deal....)? With a rate that low, you could earn more, but it's so little it matters not....
by CAsage
Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS and TurboTax Finger Pointing At Each Other
Replies: 17
Views: 1719

Re: IRS and TurboTax Finger Pointing At Each Other

You might be able to page through your Turbotax interview and see how you answered the questions. It does sound likely that you defaulted on the date, which would then be 4/14 (or worse, 4/18!). They do ask for that.... somewhere.... What's wrong with paying as late as possible? Lack of time margin...
by CAsage
Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: We have a lot going on .... Input Requested.
Replies: 49
Views: 5082

Re: We have a lot going on .... Input Requested.

With regard to liquidating/selling your taxable account... Estimate your taxes for this year, and see what the impact would be to add that amount of long and short term capital gains is. Might not be that bad, or you can split it across the next year or two. Lowering the expense ratio will make up f...
by CAsage
Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good way to value a wedding dress for taxes?
Replies: 13
Views: 1245

Re: Good way to value a wedding dress for taxes?

If your wife donated it instead of trying to resell it or consign it somewhere... that might imply it's not worth much? Where did you donate it to? Can they realistically sell it for much? Because that is the value the IRS will view as 'estimated' - thrift shop selling price. Note that I have found ...
by CAsage
Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transfer on Death question
Replies: 22
Views: 2858

Re: Transfer on Death question

I would agree that having the assets Transfer on Death is way simpler, and there might not be enough left to bother suing the estate over! What would one be obstructing at that point? I would also say... that the Transfer on Death and Beneficiary statements transcend or override the will, they don't...
by CAsage
Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS and TurboTax Finger Pointing At Each Other
Replies: 17
Views: 1719

Re: IRS and TurboTax Finger Pointing At Each Other

You might be able to page through your Turbotax interview and see how you answered the questions. It does sound likely that you defaulted on the date, which would then be 4/14 (or worse, 4/18!). They do ask for that.... somewhere....
by CAsage
Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Sale in Year of Divorce
Replies: 15
Views: 2024

Re: House Sale in Year of Divorce

The escrow or closing papers should clearly show the net price, after expenses, for selling the house and I would definitely use that figure for the 'selling price'. Just like broker gains on stocks, it's net of fees. If you have less than $500k gain and meet the other requirements, you won't owe ta...
by CAsage
Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using inheritance money to pay down mortgage
Replies: 15
Views: 1157

Re: Using inheritance money to pay down mortgage

Another consideration is that you don't get as much benefit from deducting a mortgage since the interest is often below what the standard deduction is. This really comes down to personal choice and the interest rate - can you do better, and what is your cashflow during retirement? Can you get a much...
by CAsage
Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: which state is better to die in / do probate in?
Replies: 17
Views: 1348

Re: which state is better to die in / do probate in?

I'm guessing "a state of grace" would not be the right answer? Could not resist!

And I am very happy that California FINALLy added the Transfer-on-death grant deed option. Suggest finding the forms online and getting Dad to update that for the CA real estate. Short form, low cost.
by CAsage
Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: low income earner, where to open an IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 861

Re: low income earner, where to open an IRA

I think you are making great steps! For the IRA, consider moving to Vanguard (or Schwab or Fidelity, any of them can be accessed online and will serve you well). What you want to choose is a balanced fund, with both stocks and bonds for the long term. And you want to choose funds which are "ind...
by CAsage
Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will vs Living Trust
Replies: 52
Views: 3972

Re: Will vs Living Trust

Be careful with free trust planning seminars, they will push you quickly into signing up with them. Consider some good books on wills and trusts and educate yourself on the choices (if you are so inclined, Nolo press has a few) - then get local references for a good estate lawyer! (or be prepared fo...
by CAsage
Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off Massive Student Loan Debt with Mortgage Refi?
Replies: 46
Views: 2389

Re: Pay of Massive Student Loan Debt with Mortgage Refi?

If you have enough money in a taxable account to pay off your mortgage, can you do that? Then keep the house in your name as sole and separate property, and that will free up some cash flow to help pay down the debt if you are so inclined. Protect yourself! Don't put the house anywhere at risk, or a...
by CAsage
Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unemployed for 2-3 days- potential benefits
Replies: 24
Views: 2098

Re: Unemployed for 2-3 days- potential benefits

Since income and finances are handled annually... probably not. If you are not insured for those 2 days, don't get sick or hurt!
Rolling over any 401k to new employer would have to be done... when you are employed.
by CAsage
Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k to my estate or dead spouse if no contingent beneficiary set?
Replies: 15
Views: 961

Re: 401k to my estate or dead spouse if no contingent beneficiary set?

I thought (think?) that the purpose of having a contingent beneficiary is that ... the primary does not inherit if deceased! Otherwise (think about it...) why would it not just follow them to the grave and beyond? Why else would you need contingent beneficiaries? So, no, it does not go to your spous...
by CAsage
Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorcing and handling shared and split assets after divorce
Replies: 55
Views: 3389

Re: Divorcing and handling shared and split assets after divorce

After rereading all this, I think the suggestion about putting the condo in her name, with either no mortgage or a very small one, and keeping the house in OP name makes the most sense. She might miss appreciation, but the issue of who has to pay for maintenance will be much clearer. And no un-tangl...

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