Search found 340 matches

by Church Lady
Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good Dad, Bad Dad [pay for son's driving expenses (or not)]
Replies: 48
Views: 3006

Re: Good Dad, Bad Dad [pay for son's driving expenses (or not)]

Your son needs to get a driver's license. You need to help him to do this, and not tie it to a job.

The car is a separate issue. I can see a case for getting him one, and a case for not getting him one. I leave that for other posters. Good luck!
by Church Lady
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Total Cost of Car Ownership over 10 years
Replies: 36
Views: 2610

Re: Total Cost of Car Ownership over 10 years

Car washes? Interior detailing ?

Where I live you have to have the undercarriage washed from time to time.
by Church Lady
Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thin/light but warm blanket for California winters?
Replies: 16
Views: 880

Re: Thin/light but warm blanket for California winters?

Have you tried cotton blankets? Easy to launder, and available in all the standard sizes.

I have a fleece blanket which is quite warm and light. I doubt it will hold up to more than a couple launderings. I got this as a gift, but I don't think these come in all the standard sizings.
by Church Lady
Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: tips on transitioning to a 3 fund portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 971

Re: tips on transitioning to a 3 fund portfolio

OP, You don't have to report each and every tax lot 8-) . To make up an example, say something like: ITOT ER = .10 50% of holdings. If I sold today, I'd have $20,000 long term gains and $900 short term loss. and so on .. In Fidelity, navigate to your 'Positions' page. One of the columns should be ca...
by Church Lady
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: tips on transitioning to a 3 fund portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 971

Re: tips on transitioning to a 3 fund portfolio

May we know your goal in using the 3-fund portfolio? If it is low fees, your ETFs already have low fees.I wouldn't cash those in at all if I had large capital gains. It's OK to realize a loss in these ETFs and make the switch. Did you notice your funds have surrender charges? :!: Can you avoid that ...
by Church Lady
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning up new house before move in—getting rid of “cat smell”
Replies: 42
Views: 3279

Re: Cleaning up new house before move in—getting rid of “cat smell”

OP, Yes, just search for 'Duct Cleaning'. Some services offer to 'steam clean' your ducts. I have been told, but have no direct experience, that if you steam clean ducts, you'll seal the cat stench in the ducts forever. So research carefully before considering this option. It may not help the smell ...
by Church Lady
Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Light Switch Style and Why?
Replies: 12
Views: 1339

Re: Light Switch Style and Why?

All things being equal, I'd go with the one that is easier to wipe clean, the rocker. If one turns out to be more durable than the other, I'd go with the more durable one.

Good luck!
by Church Lady
Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion Push with Tax Law Changes (Money Mag Article)
Replies: 23
Views: 2448

Re: Roth Conversion Push with Tax Law Changes (Money Mag Article)

So why if on say June 2017 with the old 39.6% rate you didn't want to convert $1M and pay ~$400K tax would you now want to convert and pay $370K tax? If I saw 400K -370K = 30K lying on the sidewalk, I'd bend over to pick it up :D :D :D Just saying! Actually, the savings are better than that. Last y...
by Church Lady
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Secure Is Your Apartment
Replies: 42
Views: 4026

Re: How Secure Is Your Apartment

Your lease probably has weasel words to the effect apartment personnel reserve the right to enter your apartment at any time. I would often come home at night to a notice on my door. "Maintenance personnel will be entering your apartment tomorrow for the purpose of ..." and the reason something like...
by Church Lady
Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to turn off Vanguard texting security feature
Replies: 21
Views: 6354

Re: How to turn off Vanguard texting security feature

indexonlyplease wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:03 pm
Yes the answer is call them. They are always helpful.
Thanks!
by Church Lady
Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Re-characterization Analysis -- Should I or Shouldn't I
Replies: 6
Views: 290

Re: Re-characterization Analysis -- Should I or Shouldn't I

We can recharacterize 2017 conversions. Starting with 2018 conversions, we won't be able to recharacterize.
by Church Lady
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Re-characterization Analysis -- Should I or Shouldn't I
Replies: 6
Views: 290

Re: Re-characterization Analysis -- Should I or Shouldn't I

I am not sure what is optimal, but what motivated you to convert in 2017? Do you have a deadline to meet? For example, I'd like to convert a certain percent of my tax deferred accounts by a certain age. Therefore, I have a 'deadline'. Given my deadline/goal, I would probably not worry about it and m...
by Church Lady
Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to turn off Vanguard texting security feature
Replies: 21
Views: 6354

Re: How to turn off Vanguard texting security feature

Vanguard keeps prompting me to enable the can't-log-in-without-a-text-message service, but I don't know. Sometimes my cell phone provider (AT&T) crashes and I can't send or receive texts or calls. This outage has lasted as long as a day. I guess it crashes two or three times a year. If my phone is l...
by Church Lady
Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why paying off loans would be better than fully funding 401k?
Replies: 97
Views: 7378

Re: Why paying off loans would be better than fully funding 401k?

OP, you said: These are the minimum balances. Doesn't leave much extra to pay down debt or save. I sold off all my taxable holding to pay off the one high interest CC and reduce the 401k loan. Jeep paid off April, Subaru, 401k loan and PayPal in May. As each debt knocked out put that towards Discove...
by Church Lady
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did you learn anything from the market correction?
Replies: 160
Views: 11787

Re: Did you learn anything from the market correction?

I sure did learn something. After January's rip snorting market performance, I realized it was time to rebalance. But I dithered deciding how to rebalance (it's cumbersome at my 401K). Finally I decided to rebalance in two phases. I entered the phase 1 sell of equities the night before the big drop ...
by Church Lady
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why paying off loans would be better than fully funding 401k?
Replies: 97
Views: 7378

Re: Why paying off loans would be better than fully funding 401k?

Employee payroll 401k deductions being made to max out contributions at $18,500. Combined with HSA will result in a $7272 tax reduction. This money saved in taxes can be used to pay off the debt faster by leaving more money from reduced monthly taxes being taken out, correct? I'm confused as to why...
by Church Lady
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are REITs essentially taboo for years now with rising rates?
Replies: 55
Views: 5520

Re: Are REITs essentially taboo for years now with rising rates?

staythecourse, VNQ, REET, USRT, IYR, FREL, XLRE, RWR, ICF, SCHH were listed in a recent article on VNQ. I'd link the article, but the author was not aware of the VNQ reconfiguration so I won't bother. I haven't looked at these myself because my 401K has that proprietary REIT fund, and hasn't got any...
by Church Lady
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are REITs essentially taboo for years now with rising rates?
Replies: 55
Views: 5520

Re: Are REITs essentially taboo for years now with rising rates?

FYI ... http://www.etf.com/sections/daily-etf-watch/vanguard-etf-sees-changes I think this topic has been discussed here before but thought a reminder wouldn't hurt. The point is vnq is no longer a pure REIT play. Good points raised already about REITs selling off on interest rate rises, but eventua...
by Church Lady
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I saving too much for retirement?
Replies: 105
Views: 12984

Re: Am I saving too much for retirement?

OP, I know exactly where you're coming from. On the one hand, retirement expenses are unknowable, it's too early to count on getting social security, and who's to say you'll be able to save at all in future years? As another poster said, make hay while the sun shines! Plus you surely understand the ...
by Church Lady
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenants want to break lease early and is pregnant
Replies: 105
Views: 9001

Re: Tenants want to break lease early and is pregnant

The last lease I signed explicitly said I was liable for the entire term of the lease, even if I died! That's right; they were going to try to collect rent from my corpse if I expired! However, the rental office told me that if they could rent out the unit, they would only want rent for the time it ...
by Church Lady
Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to claim Social Security: two reasons not to wait
Replies: 19
Views: 3197

When to claim Social Security: two reasons not to wait

I stumbled upon this article today in my web travels: http://danielamerman.com/va/BenefitAge.html Making optimal decisions about when to claim Social Security benefits is of vital importance. For a person of retirement age with average savings, this choice may be more important than any other aspect...
by Church Lady
Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA transfer to Traditional IRA in error
Replies: 7
Views: 579

Re: Roth IRA transfer to Traditional IRA in error

I would say you need to provide more detail before you can get a good answer. How does your custodian view the deposit into the traditional IRA? A contribution? A conversion? A recharacterization of a Roth contribution or conversion? Each has different consequences. How does your custodian view the ...
by Church Lady
Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 483
Views: 40766

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I shovelled my walk and driveway the old fashioned way (a shovel) instead of firing up a snow blower. That's a two hour workout for the cost of a snow shovel, and I can use the snow shovel again and again. Since my town is more or less snowed in, I prepared and ate all my meals at home. Since I have...
by Church Lady
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suddenly my mortgage doesn't seem that great
Replies: 66
Views: 10984

Re: Suddenly my mortgage doesn't seem that great

As filing status single, my standard deduction will be 12,000. My SALT deduction, as far as I can tell, is capped at 10,000 (not 5,000). So I can deduct my mortgage interest to the extent it exceeds 2,000. Is this correct? If I have additional deductions, such as charitable contributions, I can ded...
by Church Lady
Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suddenly my mortgage doesn't seem that great
Replies: 66
Views: 10984

Re: Suddenly my mortgage doesn't seem that great

As filing status single, my standard deduction will be 12,000. My SALT deduction, as far as I can tell, is capped at 10,000 (not 5,000). So I can deduct my mortgage interest to the extent it exceeds 2,000. Is this correct? If I have additional deductions, such as charitable contributions, I can dedu...
by Church Lady
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Tax Law Impact on Roth 401K
Replies: 21
Views: 2531

Re: New Tax Law Impact on Roth 401K

I am concerned that I will have to choose between doing so and taking Obamacare subsidies to cover health coverage. In my opinion, you need a backup plan for health care in case ACA isn't there when you need it. Here are a couple more thoughts for you. You don't say whether you've tried to quantify...
by Church Lady
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Target Net Worth
Replies: 39
Views: 4802

Re: Target Net Worth

OP, I targeted 3.2M when I was in my twenties using a paper worksheet provided by T. Rowe Price. I assumed no social security and no pension. (Paper worksheet -- this is how long ago that was!) Only I do have a pension and if <temptation to make a political observation>, I'll collect Social Security...
by Church Lady
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Tax Law Impact on Roth 401K
Replies: 21
Views: 2531

Re: New Tax Law Impact on Roth 401K

My opinion is that at least some of your contribution should be Roth simply because it will give you more flexibility in retirement. I think you have come to this conclusion yourself. You can split your contribution between the two types if that is what makes you comfortable. You may be aware the co...
by Church Lady
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for month of the year to retire
Replies: 33
Views: 2673

Re: Strategy for month of the year to retire

I retired in 2Q. The date was actually determined by my apartment lease expiration. I retired one month before the lease expired to give me time to move out. Megacorp allows retirement only on the last day of the month. So the month was chosen by my lease, and the day by my company. How's that for a...
by Church Lady
Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Megacorp wants to change my bonus!
Replies: 25
Views: 4768

Re: Megacorp wants to change my bonus!

OP, A general principle of portfolio management is not to have too much invested in any one stock. When you buy stocks, you'll be advised to keep each name a low percentage of your portfolio; say, 5% - 10%. When you work for a company, you've got a lot 'invested' with them since they provide your sa...
by Church Lady
Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does this happen to you? Educating friends about personal finance
Replies: 104
Views: 6667

Re: Does this happen to you? Educating friends about personal finance

Finridge wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:06 am
Church Lady wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:58 pm

He told me about his retirement on his last day of work at Megacorp, and thanked me for PLANNING HIS RETIREMENT! Gulp! Fortunately, my advice was spot-on for the time so he did OK.

This is great. You should feel proud.
Thanks, Finridge!
by Church Lady
Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying contractors for incomplete work
Replies: 32
Views: 2661

Re: Paying contractors for incomplete work

Not to rub salt into the wound, but even the Church Lady fixes her own toilet flapper. This from someone with virtually no strength, mechanical skills, or training. Youtube and Lowes/HD are your friends if you want to have a go at it. It takes longer to select a new flapper and find a youtube video ...
by Church Lady
Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does this happen to you? Educating friends about personal finance
Replies: 104
Views: 6667

Re: Does this happen to you? Educating friends about personal finance

A friend at work used to see me in the break room after work, watching financial TV. We got to chatting on a regular basis about financial matters, especially our Megacorp programs such as the 401K. Occasionally, he would ask me a very pointed question. Would I buy bonds at this time? Would I keep m...
by Church Lady
Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do people still use AAA?
Replies: 267
Views: 19396

Re: Do people still use AAA?

I have AAA basic. If you call emergency service once every two years, it pays for itself. I tried to roll my own trip-tik from the internet once, when my car came with 3 years roadside assistance. I concluded it's better to pay AAA if you want a trip-tik. They've jumped my battery, replaced my batte...
by Church Lady
Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks always in taxable for tax efficient investing?
Replies: 101
Views: 7586

Re: Stocks always in taxable for tax efficient investing?

It's more nuanced than that. You can only put so much per year into Roth or tax deferred accounts, so your asset allocation may demand you place stocks in a taxable account. So much for choosing the best account! Mutual funds with large distributions are inefficient in a taxable account because you ...
by Church Lady
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity charges to close accounts!
Replies: 66
Views: 24357

Re: Fidelity charges to close accounts!

The fee is disclosed at the time you open your account. When I opened mine decades ago, some guy (or lady) wearing a green eye shade in a back room had to do the work of closing the account, so maybe $50 was reasonable then. When I opened the account, a lot of places had the closing fee. Many charts...
by Church Lady
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard switching all accounts to brokerage accounts?
Replies: 65
Views: 9958

Re: Why is Vanguard switching all accounts to brokerage accounts?

Are they switching all accounts? :o I have multiple MFs with Vanguard, have been with them decades. I have had no solicitation to convert to a brokerage account. Just saying!
by Church Lady
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?
Replies: 15
Views: 1564

Re: Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?

Artsdoctor, very interesting and not well known, it would seem.
by Church Lady
Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?
Replies: 15
Views: 1564

Re: Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?

1year23, Medicare premiums are based on your annual income. To determine your income at age 65, they look at your tax returns for prior ages 64 and 63. Before reading cas' post, I would have said Roth conversions artificially inflate your income. Now I'm not sure. To make things even more confusing...
by Church Lady
Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?
Replies: 15
Views: 1564

Re: Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?

CnC, JW-retired, with respect to claiming social security. I hope to wait until FRA to claim. For me, that's almost 67 years old. At FRA, I can see where things stand and decide if I want to hold out longer. There's a benefit to claiming at 65, though. Apparently, if you have Medicare premiums deduc...
by Church Lady
Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?
Replies: 15
Views: 1564

Re: Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?

And, just a reminder that if you could find a poor but nice person you could get hitched (with a pre-nup) and get a lot more room to deal with things. :D :D :D Can you defer your pension? Some give the option to defer for a few years and collect more later. This would let you substitute early withd...
by Church Lady
Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?
Replies: 15
Views: 1564

Re: Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?

1year23,
Medicare premiums are based on your annual income. To determine your income at age 65, they look at your tax returns for prior ages 64 and 63. Before reading cas' post, I would have said Roth conversions artificially inflate your income. Now I'm not sure.
by Church Lady
Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?
Replies: 15
Views: 1564

Re: Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?

Cas,
I totally did not realize that. Thanks!
by Church Lady
Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?
Replies: 15
Views: 1564

Roth conversions: how far should I go in 2017?

I retired in early 2017. Wages and portfolio income put me in the 25% tax bracket, so I did a partial Roth conversion for 2017 to the top of the 25% tax bracket. It seemed a no-brainer. Of course, I have already contributed the maximum to my Roth IRA for 2017. Here is my problem. Between my tradiona...
by Church Lady
Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VPN user -- can Vanguard remember my computer?
Replies: 4
Views: 561

VPN user -- can Vanguard remember my computer?

Each time I log onto Vanguard, it asks whether VG should remember my computer.

Now that I'm using a VPN, I don't know what to tell it. :?

Does anyone know how Vanguard 'remembers' my computer? If it is ip based, perhaps it cannot recognize my computer when I am using a VPN.

Thanks!
by Church Lady
Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: moved to another state in 2017 -- best tax software?
Replies: 6
Views: 758

moved to another state in 2017 -- best tax software?

In 2017, I moved from one state to another. I will have to file taxes in two states as a part year resident in each state. Most software I have looked at (Turbotax, etc) offers multiple federal filings ... and one state tax return. What I need is software that handles a move to another state .. that...
by Church Lady
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you Mow your own Lawn?
Replies: 90
Views: 3741

Re: Do you Mow your own Lawn?

I hire someone to mow. For $35, I get a mow, edging, and weed whacking, front and back yard. He does a nice job. Between hired mows, I mow myself (no edging, no weed whacking) with a manual reel mower. No electric, no gas. Since my lawn is mostly flat, this isn't hard to do and I actually enjoy it. ...
by Church Lady
Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you driving? And would you buy your current ride again?
Replies: 130
Views: 8715

Re: What are you driving? And would you buy your current ride again?

Toyota Corolla. I love the dependability. As to whether I would get another, I always approach each car replacement with an open mind. Things change so much over a decade.
by Church Lady
Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Peering into the future: tax brackets
Replies: 8
Views: 1339

Peering into the future: tax brackets

Hi, All, I want to know what federal tax brackets, exemptions, and the standard deduction will be when I turn 70 1/2 and have to start RMDs. For me, this is about ten years or so into the future. Of course the law can change at any time, but currently tax brackets, the personal exemption, and the st...