Search found 430 matches

by CAsage
Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my electric bill high?
Replies: 60
Views: 4970

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: 120
Views: 12059

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: 418

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: 1375

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: 213

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: 5955

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: 1959

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: 489

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: 634

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: 387

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: 614

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: 568

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: 616

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: 3390

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: 3869

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: 528

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: 507

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: 2366

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: 496

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: 3108

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: 626

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: 1627

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: 29
Views: 2709

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: 1178

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: 2614

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: 1627

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: 8
Views: 1053

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: 1084

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: 1268

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: 796

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: 44
Views: 3068

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: 2193

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: 2029

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: 893

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: 3287

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...
by CAsage
Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorcing and handling shared and split assets after divorce
Replies: 55
Views: 3287

Re: Divorcing and handling shared and split assets after divorce

Do either of you have any interest in keeping either the condo or the house? If you keep them in both names, you might look into what the capital gains are on selling (not sure it works for dual properties). You clearly have more equity in the house than the condo, and if you are valuing them for sp...
by CAsage
Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What index fund would you recommend putting my money towards that pays annually?
Replies: 26
Views: 1434

Re: What index fund would you recommend putting my money towards that pays annually?

At your age, you might consider your $40K to be all 'seed' money. It needs to be planted carefully and allowed to grow for the next 30~40 years before you take an income from it. Yields today are low, safe yields in particular, the stock market has been on long big growth cycle. Read up on the above...
by CAsage
Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents paying second home's expenses, but not paying rent?
Replies: 13
Views: 1946

Re: Parents paying second home's expenses, but not paying rent?

flyingbison wrote:
Bacchus01 wrote:It sounds like you have no income and it's s family member. What are you trying to do?



How can you say the OP has no income when the parents "contribute to the mortgage payment?"


No one said the OP had no income. The implication was the OP had no income from the second dwelling.
by CAsage
Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Daughter maxed out credit cards, needs help from me
Replies: 92
Views: 4648

Re: Daughter maxed out credit cards, needs help from me

What will change going forward? I think your daughter needs to own her problem, and propose the solution. You can't impose conditions without turning into a control maniac, which is probably not good for either of you. I would worry that the better off boyfriend is leading a lifestyle that she simpl...
by CAsage
Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer from Edward Jones
Replies: 13
Views: 1210

Re: Transfer from Edward Jones

You have not said what you are invested in, or whether you are happy with that. Any of the 'big' mutual fund houses (Fidelity, Vanguard, Schwab) can take this over for you. The key is to choose one, then they will walk you through (either by phone or in person) how to fill out the paperwork to trans...
by CAsage
Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting an apartment to my cousin--Incur gift tax or not?
Replies: 7
Views: 952

Re: Gifting an apartment to my cousin--Incur gift tax or not?

If you inherited several, and they still have years to appreciate, your estate might go up more than you think. If your Mom's estate is still open... could you sort of refuse this one asset and have it go directly to your cousin as next in line? Or is that too late or too risky (other relatives). Do...
by CAsage
Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with inheritance/financial situation
Replies: 9
Views: 1289

Re: Help with inheritance/financial situation

Hmmm. The house is in your darling wife's name, and you are paying it off with joint funds? Consider offering to pay off the mortgage with your separate inheritance IF the house is then put in both names. Just a thought. Look into moving any investment accounts (yours and your wife's) into the lowes...
by CAsage
Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R block? My CPA is MIA
Replies: 12
Views: 1156

Re: H&R block? My CPA is MIA

Do you have the last one or two years at hand? If you have something to check against, you can sort of tell whether it was filled out correctly (as in, all the income has to end up somewhere and get added back to the front page, same forms as last year etc). If you know how much you have already pai...
by CAsage
Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use ROTH IRA to pay down Rental Property Mortgage?
Replies: 21
Views: 1125

Re: Use ROTH IRA to pay down Rental Property Mortgage?

Don't take money out of your Roth account, that's a bad idea (massive loss of future appreciation, and you can't get those years back). Do rethink the 15 year term on the loan. If you want to pay if off sooner, just put all the rent income towards the mortgage. With a $65,000 balance, you can pay it...
by CAsage
Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable items
Replies: 13
Views: 885

Re: Charitable items

I send food and supplies via Amazon and Chewy to several cat rescues. I know the money I donate is taxable if over the standard deduction but are the supplies and food deductible? I don't see anywhere on Turbo Tax to claim these items so I am guessing they are not. Anyone know for sure? Thanks! You...
by CAsage
Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: We max out 401k, Roth IRAs, HSA, but still lost...
Replies: 12
Views: 1824

Re: We max out 401k, Roth IRAs, HSA, but still lost...

In the 25% bracket, you might want to look at tax-free bond funds, or tax managed stock funds (generally throw off less dividends which are taxed as income, more capital gains which are taxed less - currently of course). That would be for your non IRA type investments.There is Wiki on that subject a...
by CAsage
Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America bogus late payment fee.[temporary software glitch, gone now]
Replies: 41
Views: 2258

Re: Bank of America bogus late payment fee.

Just checking, when you use "make payment" (as opposed to "Bill Pay" or "Transfer") you can pay from an external account, with a guaranteed crediting date, but you can only do one-off manual payments that way, is that right? So is it true that you you can't use "m...
by CAsage
Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to pay for mother's dementia care...retirement accts versus other investments
Replies: 12
Views: 1302

Re: how to pay for mother's dementia care...retirement accts versus other investments

To focus strictly on the question asked - taking out more money will not in and of itself trigger AMT, as it's a combination of income and deductions. The best way to check is to fill out a 'test' or example tax return with the higher withdrawal and see what happens. If you used tax software to comp...
by CAsage
Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America bogus late payment fee.[temporary software glitch, gone now]
Replies: 41
Views: 2258

Re: Bank of America bogus late payment fee.

Very odd. I have a BofA credit card, which I use frequently and pay via a "pull" from BofA out of my credit union checking account. I don't recall any difficulties in setting it up, they are certainly at separate institutions. Payments I submit from BofA (via "make payment" from ...

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