Search found 1363 matches

by Caduceus
Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Practices for Managing Paper Receipts
Replies: 28
Views: 1926

Re: Best Practices for Managing Paper Receipts

Here's what I do. I have three folders, one for tax-related receipts, one for business receipts, and another for personal receipts that exceed $50. For the last folder, I toss out the receipts once I've checked that the credit card statements are accurate. There's no reason to keep those. At tax tim...
by Caduceus
Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early IRA withdrawal vs 401k loan for legal bills
Replies: 8
Views: 383

Re: Early IRA withdrawal vs 401k loan for legal bills

If you have to pay an average of 25% federal and 0% state income tax plus the 10% penalty for a total of 35.% you'll have to withdraw $30,769 in order to pay the taxes and penalty of $10,769 and have $20,000 left to pay the expenses. jimb Hi Jimb, do you mind explaining how you calculated the tax a...
by Caduceus
Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I need a strategy to address debt and savings
Replies: 32
Views: 2325

Re: I need a strategy to address debt and savings

Don't be anxious; you can knock out the debt with a steady plan. 1. Get the employer match. The return is far higher than any interest on any of the debts you have, so you should definitely contribute at least 5% to the employer plan. 2. Knock off the credit card debts immediately; if your job is st...
by Caduceus
Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to backup Mini-DV tapes?
Replies: 10
Views: 778

Re: How to backup Mini-DV tapes?

I'm reporting back about my experience! The guy who processed the tapes told me my tapes were VHS-C tapes and not Mini-DV (oops), but they managed to convert them to .avi format still. The files were not quite that big (about 13 GB per hour of video), and the final cost ended up being about $25 per ...
by Caduceus
Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to backup Mini-DV tapes?
Replies: 10
Views: 778

Re: How to backup Mini-DV tapes?

It really depends on your technical proficiency. I don't find it difficult but I'm very familiar with this. If you're asking these sorts of questions and cannot/will not find the answers on your own then you probably should pay to have it done. Thanks, everyone! Takeshi, you've convinced me to hire...
by Caduceus
Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth contribution limits for sole proprietors
Replies: 2
Views: 223

Re: Roth contribution limits for sole proprietors

So what does the "deferred compensation" in Publication 590 refer to, then? Isn't the $2,000 that he earned in 2015 but which he received in 2017 "deferred compensation", which is specifically excluded from the definition of compensation for the purposes of contributing to an IRA...
by Caduceus
Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax implications of investing through London Stock Exchange for non-resident investors
Replies: 9
Views: 721

Re: Tax implications of investing through London Stock Exchange for non-resident investors

You are subjected to three different tax regimes in the example you give. There is a 15% dividend tax for some of the stocks in the fund that you own, but it may not be immediately obvious to you. In your case, you are a citizen of Singapore who invests in a fund that is domiciled in Ireland, and th...
by Caduceus
Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth contribution limits for sole proprietors
Replies: 2
Views: 223

Roth contribution limits for sole proprietors

I was debating this question with a friend of mine and would like to know what the answer is. He's retired and a cash-basis sole proprietor who does odd jobs for fun. (He doesn't need the money.) He charged multiple clients $5,000 for a job in 2015. He received $3,000 in 2015, and the remaining $200...
by Caduceus
Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to fix several years of excess contributions to Roth IRA?
Replies: 26
Views: 2217

Re: How to fix several years of excess contributions to Roth IRA?

I totally agree with Mark except on the one point about special coding for the 33k distribution. For the distribution of the 33k of 2010-2015 excess contributions, there is no special coding option. The 1099R will look like an ordinary withdrawal, coded J. Best not to even mention excess contributi...
by Caduceus
Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overcharged for tax returns
Replies: 28
Views: 2673

Re: Overcharged for tax returns

I doubt your return could be done in one hour. It takes the tax preparer time to understand your situation, assess what forms you even need to file, analyze the optimal deductions/credits you are eligible for, and after that populate the return. This is not counting the time that it takes to gather ...
by Caduceus
Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to backup Mini-DV tapes?
Replies: 10
Views: 778

How to backup Mini-DV tapes?

I just received 10 Mini-DV tapes (the ones that people used to use in camcorders) from a relative. I would like to back-up the videos in these Mini-DV tapes without any loss in quality. My purpose is to archive the original information. Output file size is not a problem. How do I do this? What equip...
by Caduceus
Thu May 18, 2017 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it possible to patch a blanket?
Replies: 6
Views: 556

Is it possible to patch a blanket?

I have this blanket: https://www.macys.com/shop/product/lauren-ralph-lauren-classic-100-cotton-blankets?ID=781082 Recently it's developed a relatively big hole, maybe the size of three paperbacks in the middle, but the rest of the blanket is in really great condition. I'm not even sure how the hole ...
by Caduceus
Sat May 13, 2017 8:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I have to file Form 4868 for extension of Solo 401k contribution deadline?
Replies: 5
Views: 284

Re: Do I have to file Form 4868 for extension of Solo 401k contribution deadline?

Thank you, Spirit Rider. This is most helpful! I did file the extension, so if you're right then I am all good to go :D Would you mind pointing me to where to look for the actual citation? Was this in any IRS publication? I read many, many pages and could not find it. If you could just tell me which...
by Caduceus
Sat May 13, 2017 5:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I have to file Form 4868 for extension of Solo 401k contribution deadline?
Replies: 5
Views: 284

Do I have to file Form 4868 for extension of Solo 401k contribution deadline?

I have a Solo 401k plan. I've been reading that I have until the tax-filing deadline (including any extensions) to make the contribution. But here's my question: Do I have to file Form 4868 and request the tax-filing extension in order to also extend my Solo 401k contribution deadline? Another way o...
by Caduceus
Tue May 09, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which add-on tests are worth the money?
Replies: 11
Views: 877

Re: Which add-on tests are worth the money?

OK, I guess it is really hard to answer this without going into medical discussions, so please consider this thread closed. :D
by Caduceus
Tue May 09, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do Bogleheads buy cars?
Replies: 71
Views: 7525

Re: How do Bogleheads buy cars?

I think the new generation of Bogleheads will just uber everywhere. No more car purchases. :D
by Caduceus
Tue May 09, 2017 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which add-on tests are worth the money?
Replies: 11
Views: 877

Which add-on tests are worth the money?

I'll be visiting friends overseas in a week or so and have the option of getting some fairly inexpensive health screening tests done. There's a basic package that covers the usual (blood count, liver profile, etc.) but the doctors there also offer add-on tests. Which ones are worth it to get? (Witho...
by Caduceus
Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the green stuff growing on my clay pot?
Replies: 1
Views: 276

What is the green stuff growing on my clay pot?

I was given an antique pot (more than 100 years old) from one of my relatives that has a fair bit of family history attached to it. There's a layer/sheen of green stuff on the inside of the pot and after quite a bit of googling, I'm still not sure what it is, so I thought I'd try my luck here. Does ...
by Caduceus
Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor plants that smell nice
Replies: 2
Views: 299

Indoor plants that smell nice

Anyone have suggestions for indoor plants that smell nice and that are not that hard to care for?

I like citrus smells (the smell of lemons always puts me in a great mood), so something along those lines would be really nice.
by Caduceus
Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wimbledon 2017 - Experiences?
Replies: 10
Views: 830

Re: Wimbledon 2017 - Experiences?

If you go, you might want to get good seats. If you are too far away, watching the match on TV is definitely better as you will barely see the ball. But the good seats are really expensive for the good matches, so it's a tough one. I would definitely go at least once just for the experience if you r...
by Caduceus
Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it safe to use an antique mold pan?
Replies: 10
Views: 1158

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

I was told it was brass by the person who gave it to me. It has a dull golden sheen to it but parts of it look like silver/iron underneath, so I don't know if it is 100% brass. I'm more concerned about whether the metals will be food safe. Maybe older alloys or metals weren't as safe as modern ones ...
by Caduceus
Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it safe to use an antique mold pan?
Replies: 10
Views: 1158

Is it safe to use an antique mold pan?

I was recently given an old baking mold cake pan (I don't really know what to call it - it's made of brass and has holes with patterns that you then pour batter into :D) by a relative. The patterns are really nice and I like the idea of baking with something so old. I think it is probably over 60 ye...
by Caduceus
Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can't get a really good scan of a black-and-white photo
Replies: 15
Views: 1035

Re: Can't get a really good scan of a black-and-white photo

OK, thanks everyone. I think I will just hand this over to the experts. Actually, I have already been using professional services for this, but it seems like I need a particular type of expert for the job I want! :beer
by Caduceus
Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funding 401k to Roth IRA conversion taxes for a non-resident alien
Replies: 11
Views: 920

Re: Funding 401k to Roth IRA conversion taxes for a non-resident alien

How are you dealing with the withholding? Your OP suggested that you could opt out of withholding, but for NRAs, isn't there a mandatory 30% withholding tax for non-resident aliens who withdraw/transfer any money out of the Roth, or is this a special UK treaty exemption? My impression was that the b...
by Caduceus
Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card: Cash versus Flight Miles
Replies: 62
Views: 5458

Re: Credit card: Cash versus Flight Miles

I think you should research the actual flight route you want to redeem. I had 100,000 miles after two cc signing bonuses that I happily took and ordinarily they would have been a good deal. But it so happens that particular carrier didn't have competitive pricing on the places I wanted to go to anyw...
by Caduceus
Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card limits
Replies: 16
Views: 1458

Credit card limits

What are you total credit card limits? It seems like every time I call to handle a transaction relating to credit, the rep says my credit limits are very low for my history and score and offers to increase it. I usually say no, thank you. I've heard of people with $150,000 cc limits on a $50,000 sal...
by Caduceus
Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone else have (possibly too much) fun dealing with finances?
Replies: 69
Views: 5703

Re: Does anyone else have (possibly too much) fun dealing with finances?

Finances has most of the qualities of a game. It's not surprising many people find it fun. Basically, if you know the rules, you can get better and better at the game. Also, it's measurable, so you know how you are doing whether in terms of your own goals or in terms of others playing the same game.
by Caduceus
Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can't get a really good scan of a black-and-white photo
Replies: 15
Views: 1035

Re: Can't get a really good scan of a black-and-white photo

Is it about dynamic range? Presumably you are not scanning in black&white, but are scanning in color, then using image processing to get the result you want. Film does not have the dynamic range of modern detectors, but it does have those silver grains which are not all the same size. I can ima...
by Caduceus
Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can't get a really good scan of a black-and-white photo
Replies: 15
Views: 1035

Re: Can't get a really good scan of a black-and-white photo

I personally think that today's "electronic" media (digital cameras, PC-type printers, even so-called "photo-quality"printers) can't possibly match the quality of a well-done darkroom print. (I miss my old darkroom.... :( ) The challenge I'm facing is probably related to the fac...
by Caduceus
Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can't get a really good scan of a black-and-white photo
Replies: 15
Views: 1035

Can't get a really good scan of a black-and-white photo

I have a black and white photograph (silver gelatin print) from 1915 that I want to make a reproduction print of and I'm having a lot of trouble doing it. The photographer who made this print was an expert craftsman. Unlike other black and whites I've seen, this one has ten thousand shades of blacks...
by Caduceus
Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do you keep your kitchen sponge?
Replies: 44
Views: 4063

Re: How long do you keep your kitchen sponge?

I rarely cook, but ever since I read that kitchen sponges are among the dirtiest and most unhygienic objects in the house, I don't keep them for more than a couple of days. You wouldn't wipe your plates with the insides of your toilet bowl, and apparently kitchen sponges have even more nasty bacteri...
by Caduceus
Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best time for massage?
Replies: 16
Views: 2706

Re: Best time for massage?

The person who does my massages give better massages in the morning when he's totally fresh. Having many clients over one day can be exhausting, so the masseur may not give quite as good a technical massage at the end of the day.
by Caduceus
Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I may be a workaholic?
Replies: 24
Views: 2340

Re: I may be a workaholic?

There's nothing wrong with being a "workaholic" if that's what you enjoy and what you truly desire. "Work-life balance" was invented by folks who simply don't enjoy their work enough. One experiment is to pretend you've just found out you had cancer today. Is there anything you w...
by Caduceus
Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do you go to restaurants?
Replies: 229
Views: 17478

Re: Why do you go to restaurants?

To save time and even money. I don't eat at expensive places, so most of the meals that I eat out cost under $12 in total. Even if I ate out every meal, that would be about $720 for lunch and dinner plus about $180 for breakfast/snacks over 30 days = $900 for all-in food costs. If I had to buy all t...
by Caduceus
Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saved too much? What do you splurge on?
Replies: 90
Views: 9689

Re: Saved too much? What do you splurge on?

I'm assuming you already give boatloads to charity, hence the question about "splurging." In your 70s, many people start thinking about leaving a legacy. It might be fun to start a project that you can direct and fund that helps future generations. Depending on how much money you are talki...
by Caduceus
Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Photoshop - what to get?
Replies: 42
Views: 2189

Re: Photoshop - what to get?

Thanks, I think I will go ahead and try out Elements then. Lightroom seems intimidating. Even if it's the wrong program for me in the long run, I'm hoping $60 is a good price to pay for self-tuition in photo editing :D I am only going to be working on one file at a time, and these are mostly TIFF sc...
by Caduceus
Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Robocalls! -- current best call blocker?
Replies: 46
Views: 4236

Re: Robocalls! -- current best call blocker?

Have you put your number on the Do Not Call registry? I think it helps. Another solution (more drastic) would be to get a completely new number and use that only for trusted friends/contacts. Don't use that number for shopping. Use another (maybe your existing number or Google voice) number for shop...
by Caduceus
Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Photoshop - what to get?
Replies: 42
Views: 2189

Photoshop - what to get?

I would like to get a photo editing software to touch up some of my old photos. Most of these are old photos (from 50 - 100 years old), and I'd like to do things like get rid of blemishes, digitally patch up tears, etc. Which version of photoshop do I get? There seems to be something called "El...
by Caduceus
Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Form 2210 questions
Replies: 17
Views: 1462

Re: Form 2210 questions

Doesn't the timing matter and not just the total amount? Otherwise, someone can pay no estimated tax for three quarters and then "overpay" in the final quarter (e.g. tax bill + $100). In this case, even if the total tax paid is more than required, there will still be a penalty, right?
by Caduceus
Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score: How low is too low?
Replies: 17
Views: 2276

Re: Credit Score: How low is too low?

As I believe I posted on your other thread, the credit card companies are getting wise to people who game the system; many have decided that customers like you are not profitable. So I suspect you will have more credit card companies deciding they don't want you as a customer in the future. Oh, gue...
by Caduceus
Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvard University is firing their in house investors.
Replies: 8
Views: 1501

Re: Harvard University is firing their in house investors.

The S&P 500 is probably not the best benchmark for a University Endowment. I would use a blended Index of 60% stocks and 40% bonds. But your basic point holds, Endowments have not performed very well, certainly below expectations. I completely disagree with this. 60/40 might be appropriate for ...
by Caduceus
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Seeking Advice - When To Claim
Replies: 33
Views: 3921

Re: Social Security - Seeking Advice - When To Claim

I think the goal should be to optimize your parents' entire financial portfolio, not just their social security benefits. If your parents don't need SS for living expenses, then delaying SS is usually a good idea. There are other more complicated strategies. Check out this book - Get What's Yours by...
by Caduceus
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A note of caution from Robert Shiller
Replies: 66
Views: 10466

Re: A note of caution from Robert Shiller

The extracted passages sound rather schizophrenic. The first paragraph states that the stock market has had an underwhelming performance in real terms (which suggests it is poised for better long-term growth, no?) But then the second paragraph says investors are now overly optimistic about the futur...
by Caduceus
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvard University is firing their in house investors.
Replies: 8
Views: 1501

Re: Harvard University is firing their in house investors.

I know bashing money managers has become a sport on Bogleheads :D but at least do it with some integrity. The benchmark used is disingenuous. University endowments don't simply invest in U.S. equities, so benchmarking their performance to the S&P500 makes no sense. If you want to know whether th...
by Caduceus
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 336
Views: 26004

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

I think the Ivy League and other super expensive schools are vastly over-rated (not sour grapes - I have multiple degrees from Ivy League schools myself). Random thoughts: In some cases, the better schools can actually afford to give better financial aid (larger endowments, better administrative sup...
by Caduceus
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walmart.com vs. Amazon.com
Replies: 41
Views: 5359

Re: Walmart.com vs. Amazon.com

I suspect it's a question of different clientele. Walmart has more than three times the sales revenue compared to Amazon (I was really, really surprised to find that out!), and a good part of Amazon's sales are probably kindle and profits from commissions off marketplace sellers. So Walmart is reall...
by Caduceus
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score: How low is too low?
Replies: 17
Views: 2276

Re: Credit Score: How low is too low?

I think credit scores are a joke and are so easy to manipulate. When I took out tens of thousands of credit card loans at 0% APR (I used the free loans with no balance transfer fees for arbitrage profits), my credit score was in the low 700s. One week after I paid off all the loans (usually a month...
by Caduceus
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Form 2210 questions
Replies: 17
Views: 1462

Re: Form 2210 questions

I don't think you can use the short method because your estimated tax payments were not identical. The short method decision rule hinges on those payments being identical, because if they are, and if your total tax payments (estimated tax + withholding) is less than the safe harbors presented, then ...
by Caduceus
Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you account for likely life expectancy in retirement?
Replies: 63
Views: 5233

Re: Do you account for likely life expectancy in retirement?

Apart from the Monte Carlo simulation or 4% rule-of-thumb safe withdrawal rules, another way of calculating how much you need is to come out with an inflation-adjusted figure for each year you expect to live, and then discount it by some reasonable rate (e.g. TIPS rate of return for each horizon) Ev...
by Caduceus
Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score: How low is too low?
Replies: 17
Views: 2276

Re: Credit Score: How low is too low?

I think credit scores are a joke and are so easy to manipulate. When I took out tens of thousands of credit card loans at 0% APR (I used the free loans with no balance transfer fees for arbitrage profits), my credit score was in the low 700s. One week after I paid off all the loans (usually a month ...

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