Search found 370 matches

by CAsage
Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Enrolled Agent or CPA for current issues
Replies: 18
Views: 829

Re: Enrolled Agent or CPA for current issues

Not clear anyone the OP hired would have done a better job with incorrect inputs! It's not that hard to file an amended return, if you can get very clear in your mind what the change needs to be. In any case, you need to get correct forms from your employer(s) first! I would do the 2014 one first, t...
by CAsage
Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spousal benefit for 65 year old divorcee
Replies: 11
Views: 870

Re: Spousal benefit for 65 year old divorcee

You did see this note on the link? "Note: If you were born before January 2, 1954 and have already reached full retirement age, you can choose to receive only the divorced spouse’s benefit and delay receiving your retirement benefit until a later date. If your birthday is January 2, 1954 or lat...
by CAsage
Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Use single fund for monthly RMD draws?
Replies: 6
Views: 556

Re: Use single fund for monthly RMD draws?

Are the rules (restrictions) on frequent trading applicable to periodic withdrawals? I am guessing not. My plan for IRA draw down is to take the annual RMD, withhold federal taxes, then transfer that money to an after tax short-term bond fund at the same mutual fund house, (possibly muni for tax iss...
by CAsage
Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..
Replies: 27
Views: 4005

Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Good point, one cannot assume. The only way would be for Inlaw to be given an index card with directions, not more than one sentence, to invest strictly in the Target Retirement fund Index version (because I seem to recall Fidelity has two Target families, one cheap like me, one not). I'm afraid hel...
by CAsage
Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need IRA forms
Replies: 10
Views: 399

Re: Need IRA forms

Who is doing your father's 2016 tax return? All the 1099-R forms listing his distributions should have been received at least a month ago, and the executor should be able to easily determine whether RMD were taken out. And year end statements? Who got the mail?
by CAsage
Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..
Replies: 27
Views: 4005

Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Perhaps Inlaw could drop by a Fidelity office, where at least she would meet a real person who could then steer her to nice, cheap, index funds, and maybe fill out the forms for her. If a short observation that 1~2% fees will take 20% of her money over the next years doesn't sink in, nothing will. I...
by CAsage
Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 211
Views: 15363

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Wonderful thread! Gratuitous item: Dedicated media room. Waste of space, just deal with putting a TV in the family room. Bathtub in the cramped poorly laid out master bath - I can't wait to rip that out and put in a bigger shower (with grab bars for my future decline :? ). Also, we were blessed with...
by CAsage
Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creating a Will
Replies: 33
Views: 2127

Re: Creating a Will

CAsage wrote: Most of my assets will pass through beneficiary or Pay-on-Death (IRA, Roth IRA, checking, even my car!). With all that covered, I just needed a simple will to name an executor and cover anything else. I was very happy with Nolo Press online Willmaker, worked out just for not much cash....
by CAsage
Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any risk to being added to parents bank accounts?
Replies: 3
Views: 394

Re: Any risk to being added to parents bank accounts?

I would add ... being an authorized signed during their lifetimes while leaving the accounts in their (and eventually one..) name is better than joint, but you might consider also ensuring that the account has a beneficiary or "transfer on death" statement recorded at the bank. I helped my...
by CAsage
Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Smart Will (or how to avoid a legal morass)
Replies: 21
Views: 1338

Re: Smart Will (or how to avoid a legal morass)

Estates and wills have a soft, squishy, nebulous relationship. Often the majority of an estate will pass outside the control of a will = by intent. My house and brokerage accounts go by trust, and my IRAs go by beneficiary, my savings/checking/auto go by Transfer on Death (very fast, that one). So.....
by CAsage
Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying $20 to E-File State Return
Replies: 75
Views: 10589

Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

When my CA and Federal return was only a few pages, it was worthwhile to print and mail. This year, my Federal return hit 28 pages, and I would have to attach that, plus the CA return. Plus the hassle factor of having to weigh the blasted thing. Most years, I have filed on paper (and included my che...
by CAsage
Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creating a Will
Replies: 33
Views: 2127

Re: Creating a Will

Most of my assets will pass through beneficiary or Pay-on-Death (IRA, Roth IRA, checking, even my car!). With all that covered, I just needed a simple will to name an executor and cover anything else. I was very happy with Nolo Press online Willmaker, worked out just for not much cash.
by CAsage
Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard reinvested my dividends - what now?
Replies: 19
Views: 1678

Re: Vanguard reinvested my dividends - what now?

If you have your Vanguard account set up for "specific identifcation" of lots, then they will automatically track this for you. If you have not done any selling before, then you can select this option (under cost basis methods), and use it in the future. You might find it useful, when you ...
by CAsage
Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car/home insurer....cut the cord?
Replies: 8
Views: 832

Re: Car/home insurer....cut the cord?

Worth shopping around every other year or so. You are your own best advocate - check prices. switch policies as needed. It took me a long time to realize you can switch policies mid year for a new one - and they will then prorate and refund the old balance.
by CAsage
Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sanity check for moms reitrement planning
Replies: 5
Views: 521

Re: Sanity check for moms reitrement planning

Normally, one would count the CD as part of the overall "bond-type-things" allocation. Think of it as a four year bond. 2% isn't fabulous, but it is not that bad either. The real issue is that she might not get another job (and frankly, has probably worked plenty!). She is at full retireme...
by CAsage
Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Planning Help (for in-laws)
Replies: 5
Views: 565

Re: Retirement Planning Help (for in-laws)

Sounds like a Target retirement fund near 2020 might make more sense, or at least more bonds than stock. You could do a simple Balanced fund or look into just a two fund (total stock and total bond, or intermediate term bond?). I think the withdrawal rate (which is higher than recommended if they tr...
by CAsage
Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Can I Throw This Financial Paperwork Out?: What to shred, what to save, and where to save it"
Replies: 22
Views: 1539

Re: "Can I Throw This Financial Paperwork Out?: What to shred, what to save, and where to save it"

Can't single persons still exclude $250,000 of capital gains when selling primary residence? And married couples get the $500,000 exclusion? In other words, keeping good records is only really going to come into play when you make improvements that are going to exceed those limits, along with the u...
by CAsage
Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Allocation questions
Replies: 3
Views: 195

Re: Roth Allocation questions

You should look at all of your accounts together. Read up on the wiki on asset allocation, and then sort out the accounts. Note that two similar accounts are generally a waste, more complexity and obfuscation without any better return or diversification. And you can't get more specific help (from pe...
by CAsage
Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Switching to Vanguard
Replies: 7
Views: 565

Re: Switching to Vanguard

The above posts are spot-on about the fees and compounding. It's horrific how much of your total possible returns can end up stripped off by "only" 1~2% per year. Truly terrifying, such a large chunk of the potential return. I will also note that an option to the Target retirement fund wou...
by CAsage
Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA State Tax Refund ~ 3 Month Processing Time
Replies: 10
Views: 476

Re: CA State Tax Refund ~ 3 Month Processing Time

Perhaps not all returns are equally complex... I ensure that I owe a small amount to both the Governor and the IRS, on purpose, by carefully estimating my taxes each year. Not too much so it will hurt to file, but well under the minimum to avoid penalties etc. This year I owed the Governor $96 - yea...
by CAsage
Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do you save for large purchases?
Replies: 42
Views: 2742

Re: Where do you save for large purchases?

Quote (who?): "Worry more about the return OF your capital than the return ON your capital." SHYG returned about zero at two periods during the first two years, and went to negative 5% around the 3rd year - you can easily see this (rough) on their performance chart. So, if that was your ho...
by CAsage
Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Understanding compound interest in roth ira
Replies: 8
Views: 741

Re: Understanding compound interest in roth ira

Prior comments are right about stock and ETF returns are not "compounded" like plain debt or interest savings. So, could go either way. Another important consideration is the long term use of tax-advantaged space. Funding each year's IRA or Roth is always important, because in the future w...
by CAsage
Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Didn't file 1099DIV, now what?
Replies: 7
Views: 765

Re: Didn't file 1099DIV, now what?

The IRS may not know who this belongs to (and for a small amount, might not track back 8 years to see who your FIL was joint with...). When your FIL passed away, did no one track his assets and transfer the title to the spouse? You might want to see if you can change the title on the stock first, an...
by CAsage
Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! Need to refund money in PayPal from Nigeria
Replies: 18
Views: 2604

Re: Help! Need to refund money in PayPal from Nigeria

Craigslist is rampant with this. More than one item I have tried to sell for $$ low-hundreds (furniture, tickets) has gotten responses offering me MORE than I am asking, for me to pay the delivery truck or shipping on the item. Now, anything I sell on craigslist I specify cash only on pickup, $20 bi...
by CAsage
Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My 74 year old parents and their LPL account
Replies: 8
Views: 888

Re: My 74 year old parents and their LPL account

If they are in an IRA, you can sell without any tax consequences (and of course you have verified that they are taking the correct RMD). If they are in a taxable account, find out how much the capital gains are on the account. If they are in the 15% tax bracket, you could sell up to the limit of tha...
by CAsage
Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owe $4k in taxes / Got $4k room left in IRA contribution limit
Replies: 3
Views: 425

Re: Owe $4k in taxes / Got $4k room left in IRA contribution limit

More IRA is a long term win! Can you just transfer the money from your (of course you have one...) emergency fund and then build that back up over the year, kind of repurposing it? Cuts your taxes due and the (less important) penalty for underwithholding. Otherwise, scrub your deductions well, and d...
by CAsage
Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to help mother in law (doesn't listen; suffers)
Replies: 10
Views: 1784

Re: How to help mother in law (doesn't listen; suffers)

It's not possible to solve other people's problems. If you are committed to keeping a roof over her head and food on the table, you have done a great deal. I would NOT solve her financial issues, or tax issues, or other problems - the people she owes money to have no legal recourse to you, and if yo...
by CAsage
Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inherited IRA
Replies: 7
Views: 512

Re: Inherited IRA

With regard to your time limit question on keeping the account or moving it... There are no specific "locks" or limits on when you move an account. Suggest focusing on the above advice, and take your time (a year is fine!) to investigate what you think might be a better choice of investmen...
by CAsage
Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Mother's Investment Choices
Replies: 6
Views: 520

Re: Help with Mother's Investment Choices

Perhaps the Fidelity Freedom Index fund 2020 would match better with her plans, or is the choice of the earlier date based on a very conservative tilt? Looking at the Fidelity site, I was intrigued to see that they offer two groups of Freedom funds, the "Freedom Index Funds 20xx" being muc...
by CAsage
Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can We Retire Now? Should I Max AT 401K in the Last Year
Replies: 24
Views: 3007

Re: Can We Retire Now? Should I Max AT 401K in the Last Year

Definitely max out your 401k the last year (and any future years). Note that the after-tax dollars can be rolled into a Roth IRA when you retire, and there's no annual limit on that. You are both pretty young to fully retire - think medical, better college, grad school, helping with a house down pay...
by CAsage
Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Goodbye, Wells Fargo, and hello, BECU!
Replies: 12
Views: 1464

Re: Goodbye, Wells Fargo, and hello, BECU!

Never hurts to have a little money there for accidental overdraft protection (usually only a small fee if it's a transfer from savings), or having access via a different bank and ATM card should you misplace or have your primary ATM card disabled or suddenly need replacing. I would do it just to div...
by CAsage
Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When Is a Revocable Living Trust Needed in CA?
Replies: 6
Views: 450

Re: When Is a Revocable Living Trust Needed in CA?

I believe you can add a "transfer on death" or "pay on death" to any brokerage or banking account, and in fact the CA Department of Motor Vehicles allows you to register your car "TOD" - a real boon for single people who don't have a second person on title. My Mom had h...
by CAsage
Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best high-interest checking/savings account?
Replies: 10
Views: 774

Re: Best high-interest checking/savings account?

Better providers are all over. Decide how important having a local branch is to you, and spend half an hour shopping branches in your neighborhood. Ally Bank is good for online, I chose Alliant Credit Union which pays 1% on savings and .65% on checking and reimburses ATM fees up to some level (and I...
by CAsage
Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it safe to use an antique mold pan?
Replies: 10
Views: 1020

Re: Is it safe to use an antique mold pan?

Photo? I don't think I've heard of much bakeware in brass.... How sure are you about what it's made of? Try some metal cleaners? My old "bundt" pan from some 40 years back is aluminum. What shape is it? Madeleine pan? Round? Cookie press for shortbread? Note that Lead is the real fear in o...
by CAsage
Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate vs debt payments
Replies: 34
Views: 2201

Re: Real estate vs debt payments

I'd buy the land just for space/view/privacy. Hey, that's a carport in some areas! HELOC or see if the owner will carry loan for a few years?
by CAsage
Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing 1 acre, building custom home in Cedar Hills, Texas
Replies: 27
Views: 2777

Re: Purchasing 1 acre, building custom home in Cedar Hills, Texas

You might want to save up a bit before you tackle building a home. Learn about the process!
by CAsage
Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I buy a building lot from current owner ...
Replies: 18
Views: 1532

Re: How do I buy a building lot from current owner ...

Buy Title Insurance? It's something I've seen in escrow... Escrow is handy, it's their business to manage the cash, paperwork, title etc for purchasing property. The Title Insurance checks for liens. In CA, we don't use a lawyer for this, but states vary in who checks what!
by CAsage
Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Inherited IRA
Replies: 23
Views: 1003

Re: Help with Inherited IRA

Where is the IRA held today? And what is the cost there? Would you be able to transfer "in kind", then getting the household to the right limit for cheap trades?
by CAsage
Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What else to consider?
Replies: 3
Views: 249

Re: What else to consider?

Your prior posts provided information on your other assets and strategy. Posting a new question without any context may not give you any helpful ideas, and it makes it harder for people to have to go look for the prior data.
by CAsage
Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt Payment Strategy/Interest Question
Replies: 26
Views: 1391

Re: Debt Payment Strategy/Interest Question

You are misunderstanding. The interest-vs-principal is also controlled by the term of the loan, not just the interest rate and where you are in the payment schedule. Think of it as an extreme - a one year loan (principal paid over 12 months, low i/p ratio) and a 100 year loan (super high but 1/p rat...
by CAsage
Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of attorney question
Replies: 13
Views: 820

Re: Power of attorney question

Power of Attorney ends upon the death of the Aunt (or anyone, to be specific). And in no case does it "pass" like a chain letter! When the aunt passes, if the brother is still alive, he loses the power of attorney but gains "executor" power. Depending on what the remaining assets...
by CAsage
Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dumpsters
Replies: 15
Views: 1523

Re: Dumpsters

I've rented them for DIY projects and cleanout at my house (I removed old flooring and two layers of badly done drywall). Suggest thinking about where you are going to park it - I can't have things on the street Friday mornings for example (street sweeping), and they are heavy full. But I have found...
by CAsage
Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $600 annual fee for 401K??
Replies: 15
Views: 1790

Re: $600 annual fee for 401K??

I am not an expert in 401k. But... Is there any reason you could not roll that over to a plain old cheap IRA? At least that would take care of the existing money! If you are planning on new money, I am not sure which makes more sense, an individual 401k (don't you need more people for that?) or a pl...
by CAsage
Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie - financial / investment advisor question
Replies: 5
Views: 397

Re: Newbie - financial / investment advisor question

DFA and Blackrock are real companies with real funds. However, any AUM type agreement will cost you a good chunk of your long term returns. Perhaps your SIL needs to step up and learn a little bit about investments, for her own long term protection. Minimal 'work' but still very fine choices would b...
by CAsage
Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another helping parents situation...
Replies: 17
Views: 3623

Re: Another helping parents situation...

The cash sitting in the Money Market may or may not already be in an IRA. It is a good idea to identify whether or not it is an IRA. What funds are in it is a separate issue. It should be identified as an IRA on paperwork either from the advisor or the company/pension. This is the big question of t...
by CAsage
Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family Emergency, Seeking Tax and Legal Insights
Replies: 11
Views: 1799

Re: Family Emergency, Seeking Tax and Legal Insights

Your brother is gonna need a lot of legal help. Divorce issues tend to be very state-specific. Suggest getting a DIY guide to divorce for the education on what he can do or expect (e.g. Nolo Press, so as to not ask lawyer questions he can read up on). Note that he will still need a lawyer, his situa...
by CAsage
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you hear me scam
Replies: 13
Views: 1785

Re: Can you hear me scam

Snopes.com is a GREAT site for debunking or researching scams and urban myths. Try there.
by CAsage
Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Fed/State tax
Replies: 3
Views: 512

Re: Help with Fed/State tax

Perhaps waiting until the forms are all final, another month for any possible other oversights to rear their ugly little paper heads? If you need to amend, is there any reason to rush it out? Better to wait, amend only once just in case? The last time I raced to get my taxes in early I missed someth...
by CAsage
Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife's Inherited IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 1027

Re: Wife's Inherited IRA

I'm not an expert on selling securities.... but I observe the smallish clusters of bonds and securities are a minor percentage of the account. If the other siblings want to keep some/all of that, you could just sell 1/3 of the stock and transfer enough cash for your wife to get her share without too...
by CAsage
Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withheld too little taxes, what to do?
Replies: 32
Views: 2884

Re: Withheld too little taxes, what to do?

I will observe that there are many people who do not get taxed on their Social Security. I am not one of them! (85% current upper limit taxable).

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