Search found 510 matches

by CAsage
Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have to paint stucco?
Replies: 11
Views: 476

Re: Do you have to paint stucco?

Lots of new construction uses tinted stucco, which can also fade over years due to sun bleaching. It's been my experience that the darker colors, especially the blue tones, fade like heck and end up looking puke green in a few years.. People paint stucco if styles/colors change. If you do go the rep...
by CAsage
Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from Fidelity to Vanguard - consolidating
Replies: 8
Views: 765

Re: Moving from Fidelity to Vanguard - consolidating

If the friend wishes to do backdoor Roth IRA in the future, you might not want any/much money in an IRA. 401k money doesn't impact the calculation of taxes on Roth conversions....
by CAsage
Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you know how much your portfolio lost/gain in one day?
Replies: 31
Views: 1401

Re: How do you know how much your portfolio lost/gain in one day?

The OCD among us keep a spreadsheet with a list of assets and values, updated periodically. If you login daily (not recommended) it's easy to compare yesterday to today. Or, you can calculate it quickly from the % up or down daily times your balance. Frankly, daily means nothing - except perhaps to ...
by CAsage
Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: quick estate question
Replies: 56
Views: 2621

Re: quick estate question

No will or executor. The attorney said the credit card debt and medical are unsecured debt they are small and they never come after the children for unsecured debts. I will have to call a few other attorneys and see if they give same advice. Ethics might come into consideration here. The bills soun...
by CAsage
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about LTCG on inherited property
Replies: 7
Views: 442

Re: Question about LTCG on inherited property

Now that's a really good question! For things like stocks. it's easy, you just look it up for the right date. If the estate required an appraisal, which might be done if the property had to be split across multiple people (as in, sister gets land, brother takes equal cash), or the estate was worth e...
by CAsage
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about LTCG on inherited property
Replies: 7
Views: 442

Re: Question.

That's right. Note that if he sells, any costs are also counted against that gain, so if it's gone up only a little, he may have a loss. Establishing what the value was as of the date of death would be useful, as he will probably sell eventually. You might get more answers if you put engaging key wo...
by CAsage
Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Change job -- what should I do with HSA?
Replies: 11
Views: 1029

Re: Change job -- what should I do with HSA?

If your old provider had particularly bad fees, you can move the money to a new HSA account elsewhere. My one year of HSA contributions wasn't worth a whole lot of trouble, but the former employer provided charged too much in fees, so I transferred it to my credit union where it sits quietly earning...
by CAsage
Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 27y/o w/ 150k debt buying 685k house
Replies: 41
Views: 4229

Re: 27y/o w/ 150k debt buying 685k house

If Friend is closing in two weeks, he's already under contract and has signed everything off. Too late. Wish him luck.
by CAsage
Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Withdrawal Options?
Replies: 10
Views: 1131

Re: Withdrawal Options?

As noted above, don't you have to take the RMD before converting to a Roth? The OP is 59, so RMD don't kick in until 70. As in, not yet "required". I still plan to pull out of my IRA before then to live! And you are correct, you must take RMD (when required) before any Roth conversions; RMD cannot ...
by CAsage
Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I Need a Trust? (for single, no children, beneficiaries, etc.)
Replies: 16
Views: 1371

Re: Do I Need a Trust? (for single, no children, beneficiaries, etc.)

In my opinion (consumer not lawyer), you don't need a trust, and you really should not have anything listing your 91 year old mother as beneficiary! I hope her estate plans are in good shape. :? .. You are a good candidate for hiring or arranging a corporate executor. There was a thread on this a wh...
by CAsage
Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Withdrawal Options?
Replies: 10
Views: 1131

Re: Withdrawal Options?

You may be in the "sweet spot" for doing Roth conversions. Suggest looking at several different withdrawal amounts for the T-IRA and Roth conversions, to maximize your use of the married filing jointly tax brackets. Depending on your income and tax bracket... most recommendations are to do Roth conv...
by CAsage
Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a 2017 Mazda 3 new for $15k?
Replies: 25
Views: 2991

Re: Buying a 2017 Mazda 3 new for $15k?

Bring a calculator when you go, and be prepared for a hard sell. I did some online pricing when I was (finally) ready to buy my new car, got some good prices. When I went to the dealer to actually get the car... suddenly there appeared lots of strange dealer-installed and very expensive b.s. items -...
by CAsage
Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k + ira + roth = confused
Replies: 28
Views: 2125

Re: 401k + ira + roth = confused

Addressing only the "back door" IRA question - you cannot contribute to an IRA and convert to a Roth without taking into account the current existing IRA balances - the IRS rules specify that conversions are prorated, so you will end up paying taxes on $5500/$52,000.... Would it be worthwhile to jus...
by CAsage
Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to hide quicken files on laptop
Replies: 8
Views: 1205

Re: How to hide quicken files on laptop

It's a really, really good idea to keep your backup disks or thumb drives offsite. My best friend had her house burgled, and they took all the tech toys - computers, cameras, and every single thumb drive and hard drive. She lost all her family photos, which of course were backed up to portable drive...
by CAsage
Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we sell a home to a friend's daughter?
Replies: 31
Views: 2967

Re: Should we sell a home to a friend's daughter?

Ditto the recommendation to get a home inspection (have the young couple choose the inspector, you need this info either way) and get maybe two appraisals. I don't see why you need a real estate broker to add 6% to the cost... Not every deal has to be about getting the most money out of it. In this ...
by CAsage
Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backpack qualified expense for 529 plan?
Replies: 19
Views: 1451

Re: Backpack qualified expense for 529 plan?

Seems like a stretch. I would stick to exactly what they list - I mean, you need socks too but I would not go there. Are you truly in the position where you a) have no other way to pay for the backpack and laptop cover or b) have so much money in the 529 plan that you really think you cannot spend i...
by CAsage
Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529: possible to use $140k parental gift tax exemption twice within 5 years with two children?
Replies: 17
Views: 1152

Re: 529: possible to use $140k parental gift tax exemption twice within 5 years with two children?

you can not start a 529 till there is a born child to designate it to. One can start a 529 for any real person (like yourself) and change it to any (long list) relative anytime. Check out "superfunding" on the savingforcollege.com site. What about keeping 529(a) for the second child (as in, set up ...
by CAsage
Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k loan for house down payment?
Replies: 11
Views: 1037

Re: 401k loan for house down payment?

Have you looked into a backdoor Roth? That doesn't have the income restrictions. If you are 100% sure you can pay the loan back within a year... and can't wait to buy, then the short term risks are job loss and tax double-hit, but those might be worthwhile to you.
by CAsage
Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Love your family car? Under $16,000 Used? Please share!
Replies: 39
Views: 4321

Re: Love your family car? Under $16,000? Please share!

Get a copy of the last Consumer Reports auto guide (April 2017) and read it - - they offer recommendations on various price points for used cars and reliability info. If you are shopping for a used car, it's a way different ball game than pitting dealers against each other for a new car (painful, an...
by CAsage
Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recharacterizing a Roth IRA - Need help with Vanguard form
Replies: 18
Views: 644

Re: Recharacterizing a Roth IRA - Need help with Vanguard form

Then put B and C and for the amount, put "100%" for each. I agree with mr_breen - the form should have a checkbox that just says do 100%! Funny that this is so tricky, and Celia's answer makes the intent clear... Here is a link on the RMD issue (may be others): https://www.irahelp.com/slottreport/r...
by CAsage
Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited a testamentary trust - cost basis seems wrong
Replies: 6
Views: 406

Re: Inherited a testamentary trust - cost basis seems wrong

I think the cost basis of an irrevocable trust is the date it was set up, not inherited. Experts needed here!

https://www.nerdwallet.com/ask/question ... rust-27983
by CAsage
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recharacterizing a Roth IRA - Need help with Vanguard form
Replies: 18
Views: 644

Re: Recharacterizing a Roth IRA - Need help with Vanguard form

If you list the initial amount, they will figure it out. You could call your Vanguard rep to confirm, but listing the initial transfer amount (and I thought they wanted the date?) should catch all the current shares...) Just guess on the current value, it all works. They do this a lot.
by CAsage
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recharacterizing a Roth IRA - Need help with Vanguard form
Replies: 18
Views: 644

Re: Recharacterizing a Roth IRA - Need help with Vanguard form

The clearest way to understand this is to understand the the goal of recharacterizing is to literally make it like it never happened - total undo. If this was truly a brand new Roth IRA and the only money in it is the two funds (one of which went up and one went down)... you still need to list the t...
by CAsage
Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for Son
Replies: 21
Views: 2271

Re: Advice for Son

You might want to look into what Warren Buffet plans to advise his family to do - with a much higher balance, you can afford to go much higher into stock. Agree with all prior comments that estate and life planning come first. Disagree with prior comments that a plain stock/bond mix is somehow no lo...
by CAsage
Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Use 529 for kids or grandkids?
Replies: 6
Views: 662

Re: Use 529 for kids or grandkids?

If you save the 529 accounts for the grandkids, you will have generation skipping issues. Also, there might be so much in the accounts when the grandkids go to college, you will be way overfunded. I do see how the money might (if we are all lucky) grow to be an extraordinary amount by the time the ...
by CAsage
Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much income and down payment to afford 300k house?
Replies: 50
Views: 4097

Re: How much income and down payment to afford 300k house?

You need a bit more structure on this question. What one can 'afford' vs qualify for with a mortgage are different. If you put down 150K and finance the other $150k, a nominal 30 year mortgage at 4% is about $716 per month. Nominal qualifying puts your payment at 28% of income, so that would be nomi...
by CAsage
Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Construction - Home Equity as Part of Down Payment
Replies: 5
Views: 539

Re: New Construction - Home Equity as Part of Down Payment

Look into construction or bridge loans. Most people suffer schedule trauma by trying to make the purchase of the next house contingent on the sale of the first one, so you can flow the money through escrow (or whatever your state does). More challenging that way but common. Houses tend to sell bette...
by CAsage
Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with negotiating neighbor/yard drainage costs
Replies: 24
Views: 1593

Re: Help with negotiating neighbor/yard drainage costs

Interesting. I think in some areas it is illegal to have water pouring from your property onto a neighbor's lot; it has to be routed or drained to the street (this is residential). In OP's case, I would happily accept any contribution towards a solution - some sort of barrier along the property line...
by CAsage
Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance Questions
Replies: 22
Views: 3116

Re: Inheritance Questions

The CAL TRS people should have a HR department or customer service that can tell you more about what kind of account this is, and what your options are (instead of paying your CPA, try that first). If it's pretax or IRA-like, then you do need to pay taxes on it when you withdraw the money (which was...
by CAsage
Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Physicals and Forms for Kids Activities
Replies: 12
Views: 753

Re: Physicals and Forms for Kids Activities

In my experience (two boys), the only camp that required a real physical and their forms was Boy Scouts of America sleep away one week camps. No other sport (and we've tried a bunch) ever required that, nor did the church affiliated sleep away summer camp. Some did require a parent-completed general...
by CAsage
Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance HELOC or Refinace mortgage or ???
Replies: 4
Views: 420

Re: Refinance HELOC or Refinace mortgage or ???

Refinancing your mortgage and HELOC to drop the rate would be wise if possible. Look for a no-fee loan; in my experience other loan fees are too unpredictable to compare loans. Google for lenders! If you wanted to take cash out or a HELOC to pay off the student loans, that would at least make the in...
by CAsage
Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheap source for basic will
Replies: 34
Views: 2276

Re: Cheap source for basic will

I second recommend Nolo. I used their online Willmaker software to make a credible, legal, perfectly sufficient will to define guardianship, choose an executor, and make a simple disposition of assets. I am constantly surprised that a website chock full of DIY investors that manage their own thousan...
by CAsage
Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying beach bungalow in San Diego for Winters
Replies: 55
Views: 4696

Re: Buying beach bungalow in San Diego for Winters

La Jolla is very, very expensive. Have you priced it lately? Maybe "renting" from someone in your extended family for a few months over the winter would make more sense.
by CAsage
Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finance Q for those that have gone through Divorce
Replies: 36
Views: 2728

Re: Finance Q for those that have gone through Divorce

You really need the counsel of a Colorado lawyer. Possibly not the same one you would hire to mediate or file for the divorce, but to review your options. I can foresee you forking over 70%, and then being sued for child support anyway! Or what happens if you cannot work? Courts are very protective ...
by CAsage
Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home refi question
Replies: 4
Views: 312

Re: Home refi question

Taking out a 30 year mortgage means that is the maximum length of the loan, but you can CHOOSE to pay it off in 27 years, by simply recalculating the amount of payment that would be required if it was a 27 year loan. Or shorter... Many people choose a 30 year mortgage, but pay if off with a "15...
by CAsage
Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: can a city mandate garbage & recycling service? is that legal?
Replies: 36
Views: 2372

Re: can a city mandate garbage & recycling service? is that legal?

Many cities/communities have mandatory targets to reduce landfill waste, due to increasing costs of hauling trash there and the filling up of landfills. Since they have to pay for trash somehow, recycling diverts a good chunk of that away from landfills. I view this as all part of the cost of civili...
by CAsage
Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The cost of car ownership
Replies: 51
Views: 3443

Re: The cost of car ownership

The classic book, "your money or your life" deals with opportunity cost in a very tangible way. ... With this taking of accounts approach, you pay for what is of value to you and pass on the less valuable choices—realizing that money/life energy spent in one area can't be spent somewhere ...
by CAsage
Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relative in trouble; how do we help?
Replies: 26
Views: 2332

Re: Relative in trouble; how do we help?

I would be reluctant to pay off anyone else's credit card debt. You are not liable for that, and the money might be needed more for support or help elsewhere. Does this person have enough assets to support themselves? Be careful, issues don't go away with short term cash infusions.
by CAsage
Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New roof suggestions.
Replies: 29
Views: 2831

Re: New roof suggestions.

If all the estimates are coming in close, then that is what it costs. This is a pretty simple time (labor, insurance) and materials business - why would they suddenly make less profit or short their employees? Cut somewhere else!
by CAsage
Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help family member with finances
Replies: 19
Views: 1347

Re: Help family member with finances

You need to do a sample tax return, or look at her return from last year. Many people do not pay any federal taxes.... That will may change (likelY) when she begins to draw out SS. Actually looking at real numbers is the only way to determine whether there are (or may be) any tax issues. If she is p...
by CAsage
Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a vehicle cash or finance?
Replies: 58
Views: 3757

Re: Buy a vehicle cash or finance?

I'd finance it and put the payments on autopilot! You can easily get 2% on a conservative bond fund for the next couple years, and you will be ahead. Slightly! Interest rates aren't much, but you would be ahead! If you feel that the cashflow would be stressing, then don't.
by CAsage
Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I simplify my portfolio?
Replies: 24
Views: 2238

Re: Should I simplify my portfolio?

Remember the old joke about worrying more about the return OF your money, than the return ON your money? At your age, you can probably go for a very high stock portfolio, which would (based on most historical data...) probably maximize your long term return. Some of us have fewer years to survive a ...
by CAsage
Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To shred or not to shred, that is the question
Replies: 17
Views: 1833

Re: To shred or not to shred, that is the question

I would dump it all in the local paper recycling bin. Our city has a municipal dumpster for paper (and another one for glass/plastic). Old insurance claims/tax forms from long ago are useless. The credit bureaus were informed of her death long ago, so no credit fraud is an issue. I can't personally ...
by CAsage
Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Realized Father is invested in too many annuities
Replies: 4
Views: 1263

Re: Realized Father is invested in too many annuities

Your father needs to find out what his capital gains are for the Wells Fargo stocks/funds. He will have to pay taxes on that gain when he sells them, to move to another company. Condolences on the annuities!
by CAsage
Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just found out my mom is in serious financial crisis. Need help ASAP.
Replies: 58
Views: 9073

Re: Just found out my mom is in serious financial crisis. Need help ASAP.

Need a really clear picture of where else the money is going - income vs OUTGO!!! Her income is generous, with that kind of cash flow, she should be able to make a decent dent in the debt. Selling the house would make sense if she could reduce her living costs by either renting or buying something s...
by CAsage
Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Crazy(?) Adviser Advice: "I don't believe in bonds"
Replies: 49
Views: 5345

Re: Crazy(?) Adviser Advice: "I don't believe in bonds"

Where is that graph that showed the curve of asset mix vs risk adjusted return? I think the question here might be ... what is the risk-adjusted return, not just long term. There are several great prior posts on asset diversification. I definitely thought that adding a little 10~20% bonds increased ...
by CAsage
Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are my Plan Administrative Fees high?
Replies: 12
Views: 613

Re: Are my Plan Administrative Fees high?

This question may be on the wrong track, but it sounds to me like a "record keeping fee" and a "advisor fee" are over and above the actual fund or investment fees themselves. You probably can't get out of the record keeping fee (think of it as corporate overhead for a 401k) but t...
by CAsage
Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancelled Cable TV Service Today... [Downsized cable service
Replies: 26
Views: 2950

Re: Cancelled Cable TV Service Today... [Downsized cable service

I will observe that there is no such thing as a 'digital antenna'. There are digital signals which provide far better video than the older analog signals.... but a decent antenna mounted on your roof at a good enough height to get line of sight to your broadcast servers (not satellites...) will prov...
by CAsage
Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: retitling property
Replies: 5
Views: 465

Re: retitling property

Might get a better answer if we knew what state, the current title and the proposed new title format? I know it's not hard to retitle real estate in California; I filled out a new Grant Deed using an online PDF, got it notarized, and then paid to have it recorded - but that was an easy case of sole ...
by CAsage
Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar Tax Trick or Scam
Replies: 9
Views: 1496

Re: Solar Tax Trick or Scam

This really doesn't pass the 'smell' test. I would bet that it's illegal, and would not hold up in a tax audit. I would not personally take that chance. Very strange. There might be a reason why most homeowner residential solar systems are limited to your personal electrical use (prior bills, for ex...