Search found 6427 matches

by Epsilon Delta
Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take 6% penalty for excess Roth IRA contribution since I had significant earnings?
Replies: 77
Views: 5009

Re: Should I take 6% penalty for excess Roth IRA contribution since I had significant earnings?

3) That said, several recent posts suggest that the OP may have a very small ($80?) TIRA pre tax balance AND/OR may be in the 0 or 10% bracket in 2017. If that turns out to be the case this is a rather unique fact pattern , and the recommendation to remove the excess amount without earnings becomes...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2016 Saver's Credit + My Stupidity = No Saver's Credit?
Replies: 10
Views: 1732

Re: 2016 Saver's Credit + My Stupidity = No Saver's Credit?

OP here. Thanks again everyone for all the responses. It has been extremely helpful and I think my main takeaway has been, make sure to read the fine print when dealing with tax-related issues. Anyhow, for those who have read the previous comments, I figured out that a total of ~$4500 to my spouse'...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small appliance electrical safety
Replies: 37
Views: 1578

Re: Small appliance electrical safety

The output of 1000 W heats the food, the "rated power consumption" or input of 1450 W is the load is on the circuit. If you want to know how much heat goes into the food use a thermometer, a stop watch and a couple of liters of water. Specific heat capacity of water is 4200J/kg/K. This is...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing in - WATER - thoughts
Replies: 57
Views: 3988

Re: Investing in - WATER - thoughts

The US is rich enough to contemplate desalinization for flushing toilets (1/4 of domestic use). Salt water works fine for that application, although the distribution problem is mind boggling. There are other alternatives that work fine and use little or no water, the main issue is lack of support. W...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody using the TERMINAL over the GUI in ubuntu?
Replies: 45
Views: 2647

Re: Anybody using the TERMINAL over the GUI in ubuntu?

I use both, and have since we got a GUI (of sorts) in Unix version 7. This applies across Windows, OS2, some mainframe stuff and various versions of Unix (including Mac). Some things are inherently GUI, web browsing and reading mail, playing most games. I could browse the web or read mail on the com...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2016 Saver's Credit + My Stupidity = No Saver's Credit?
Replies: 10
Views: 1732

Re: 2016 Saver's Credit + My Stupidity = No Saver's Credit?

Earnings are taxable IN the year you made the contribution, not FOR the year. You made the contribution in 2017 and so recently there probably would be at most a very small amount of earnings returned if you request the return soon. Well, Pub 590A says "in", while 8606 instructions say &q...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Partial mortgage payoff, consolidation
Replies: 8
Views: 696

Re: Partial mortgage payoff, consolidation

Keeping cash for the new purchase only make sense if it is possible if you will be in a good enough position to finance two houses at once. For many people no matter what they do they are not going to be able to qualify for two mortgages or a bridging loan, so any purchase has to be contingent on a ...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to expand my vocabulary?
Replies: 102
Views: 5221

Re: Best way to expand my vocabulary?

Everybody has two volcabularies. Productive vocabulary is what you say or write. Receptive vocabulary is what you understand. Reading material that is a stretch for you will increase your receptive vocabulary. This is a good thing because you will understand more people, and are less likely to be ba...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2016 Saver's Credit + My Stupidity = No Saver's Credit?
Replies: 10
Views: 1732

Re: 2016 Saver's Credit + My Stupidity = No Saver's Credit?

I have a number of more or less unrelated comments. First you need to read form 8880 and instructions. If you've already read it, read it again noting the following. The maximum contribution allowed for each person is $2000, in the 50% tier this is a tax credit of $1000. If both spouses are eligible...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA Excess Contributions
Replies: 10
Views: 1069

Re: Roth IRA Excess Contributions

I think they're supposed to be trained to say "Vanguard doesn't give tax advice, consult your tax advisor." The ones I have spoken to have been very well trained.
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth - do I understand it ?
Replies: 17
Views: 1895

Re: Backdoor Roth - do I understand it ?

I think that makes perfect sense. And I wish everyone would figure it out. But I don't see that happening. Thus, the suggestions on how to keep things simpler. I have a fair amount of sympathy for the keep it simpler view. My intention, if not my wording, is to show that it's not serious problem if...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I minimize the Tax Torpedo and future Medicare costs?
Replies: 27
Views: 2410

Re: Can I minimize the Tax Torpedo and future Medicare costs?

I plan to delay taking SS until age 70 as longevity insurance, not to maximize my expected return.
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth - do I understand it ?
Replies: 17
Views: 1895

Re: Backdoor Roth - do I understand it ?

I don't understand why you don't see using money market is useful. It seems to me that it doesn't cost anything (for a few days). It seems to me it makes things easier. Am I missing something? I don't see any particular difficulty to filling out the 8606 with a modest gain or loss, so I don't see i...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying $20 to E-File State Return
Replies: 75
Views: 12773

Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

A paper return is opened by somebody who can identify a check and operate a scanner. They are not going to scrutinize the return except possibly for dogeared edges that will jam the scanner.
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to figure whether its good to move all IRA into 401k to do backdoor Roth
Replies: 26
Views: 1207

Re: How to figure whether its good to move all IRA into 401k to do backdoor Roth

Bad idea...never mind. It wasn't entirely bad. Delaying the conversion of non-deductible contributions makes sense if they are invested in low return assets (such as your TIPS ladder). The tax on a years growth in the could tIRA could be less than the cost of using the 401(k) for a year. Even if th...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to figure whether its good to move all IRA into 401k to do backdoor Roth
Replies: 26
Views: 1207

Re: How to figure whether its good to move all IRA into 401k to do backdoor Roth

If my approximate tax drag for 5 years of $1914 is good, then I could guesstimate the cost of transferring my IRA into 401k. Assuming the same 12.97% return Year 1 starts out at $400k, year 2 $451k, year 3 $509k, year 4 $575k, year 5 $649k....so 8 basis point for 5 years is $320+$360+407+460+519 = ...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help With Fixing 2016 IRA Contributions
Replies: 5
Views: 626

Re: Help With Fixing 2016 IRA Contributions

Like me, she has Traditional, Rollover, and Roth IRAs at Vanguard. Due to a rookie mistake from many years ago, her Traditional IRA already has a non-deductible portion. As I mentioned, she doesn't work, so she doesn't have a 401(k) to roll in to. Doing a Roth conversion for her would cost us too m...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth - do I understand it ?
Replies: 17
Views: 1895

Re: Backdoor Roth - do I understand it ?

I admit to being unfamiliar with carried forward basis in this situation, but I let my tax software fill out my form 8606. Sounds like a $50 decline in my tIRA prior to conversion this year could be used to offset a $50 gain in subsequent years. Good... There are people who think it carries over an...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Incorrect taxed medicare earnings on social security statement
Replies: 10
Views: 683

Re: Incorrect taxed medicare earnings on social security statement

The SS Administrations record of your SS earnings will be used to calculate your future SS benefits. So there is a good reason to make sure the SSA has the correct numbers, or more cynically, to make sure they have numbers no lower than the correct ones. As far as I know the SSA does not use Medicar...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA reality check
Replies: 5
Views: 571

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA reality check

I agree with you on both points, some people make this seem much harder than it is.
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to start - converting from generator/UPS to more reasonable solar / powerwall?
Replies: 70
Views: 5155

Re: Where to start - converting from generator/UPS to more reasonable solar / powerwall?

If the fridges are 15 years old then there will be a significant saving. Ditto if there are dedicated freezers. At a bet, c 50% less consumption. His house has 68kW generator and a 3kW extractor fan. It's likely much of the other equipment is on a similar industrial scale. The normal rules of thumb...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paralysis by Analysis
Replies: 12
Views: 1098

Re: Paralysis by Analysis

For many people job loss is one of the more likely high impact "emergencies". One disadvantage of most 401(k) loans is that many of them become payable immediately if you lose your job. If you don't repay the load balance becomes a distribution and you pay taxes and a 10% penalty. So if yo...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to know if power is cut to smoke detector
Replies: 19
Views: 1419

Re: How to know if power is cut to smoke detector

The smoke detectors should be on their own, independent circuit. Cutting all the lights would likely do nothing. Try removing the backup battery and then plug it in. Does it throw a short "beep"? They may or may not be on a dedicated circuit (experts argue it both ways). But usually all t...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to know if power is cut to smoke detector
Replies: 19
Views: 1419

Re: How to know if power is cut to smoke detector

The smoke detectors should be on their own, independent circuit. Cutting all the lights would likely do nothing. Try removing the backup battery and then plug it in. Does it throw a short "beep"? They may or may not be on a dedicated circuit (experts argue it both ways). But usually all t...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amend Return - MFJ to MFS
Replies: 37
Views: 1743

Re: Amend Return - MFJ to MFS

Since 2008 the 1040 instructions have also said "Do not file more than one original return for the same year". It's in the section "How to avoid common mistakes".
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reallocate Now Or Wait for End of Month Dividends
Replies: 2
Views: 327

Re: Reallocate Now Or Wait for End of Month Dividends

And if you were asking the other question: You will get the benefit of the dividend whether you sell the fund before or after the ex-dividend date. Typically for a stock or balanced fund accrued dividends are added to the NAV (net asset value) of the fund as the security issuers pay them to the fund...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA Recharacterization Issue That Confuses Vanguard
Replies: 9
Views: 564

Re: IRA Recharacterization Issue That Confuses Vanguard

I agree with neurosphere, both that what happened with the 401(k) is key and that I know enough to be dangerous but not enough to answer the question. You are not allowed to rollover post tax money into a 401(k). It appears you did this (or tried to do it). I don't know what the consequences or poss...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who has the cheapest funds? It’s more complicated than you think
Replies: 27
Views: 2970

Re: Who has the cheapest funds? It’s more complicated than you think

Think of it this way. Suppose your doctor has told you to take 81 mg of aspirin every day. A consumer company tests two brands. Because Brand Y is only close to what the doctor ordered, and Brand X is exactly what the doctor ordered. Except you need to consider why the doctor ordered 81 mg. It's no...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use coupon apps?
Replies: 22
Views: 2118

Re: Anyone use coupon apps?

Figure out how to filter emails before you sign up for any coupon apps. :twisted:
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amend Return - MFJ to MFS
Replies: 37
Views: 1743

Re: Amend Return - MFJ to MFS

The withholding shouldn't have any impact on that comparison if it is entered on both sides (MFJ and MFS) It could make a difference to an under withholding penalty. Figuring the safe harbors and any penalty when going from MFJ to MFS can be unpleasant. You may need to do pro forma MFS returns for ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth: Those few cents that accumulate in your MM settlement funds
Replies: 9
Views: 964

Re: Backdoor Roth: Those few cents that accumulate in your MM settlement funds

As barnaclebob said it's best to convert the entire amount, but not doing so has done you no harm. If the pennies accumulate to dollars eventually a 8606 will have a non-taxable fraction of 0.999 instead of 1.000 and few bucks of a future backdoor Roth conversion will be taxable, no big deal. There ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who has the cheapest funds? It’s more complicated than you think
Replies: 27
Views: 2970

Re: Who has the cheapest funds? It’s more complicated than you think

It's a complicated question because it's the wrong question. Both of them are cheap enough. Huh? Isn't the whole point that these funds can actually be quite different. Even if the ER difference is a basis point or two, other differences can be much bigger, tens of basis points, which over many yea...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock exchange sizes - are your allocation close to this
Replies: 12
Views: 1043

Re: Stock exchange sizes - are your allocation close to this

I have not yet heard one good counter to this objection and I am all ears. Why do bogleheads not invest in diversified derivatives then to achieve the market's efficiency? That is the global portfolio is it not? Even if the notional value is perhaps distorting the true size of the allocation, surel...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who has the cheapest funds? It’s more complicated than you think
Replies: 27
Views: 2970

Re: Who has the cheapest funds? It’s more complicated than you think

It's a complicated question because it's the wrong question. Both of them are cheap enough. Huh? Isn't the whole point that these funds can actually be quite different. Even if the ER difference is a basis point or two, other differences can be much bigger, tens of basis points, which over many yea...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who has the cheapest funds? It’s more complicated than you think
Replies: 27
Views: 2970

Re: Who has the cheapest funds? It’s more complicated than you think

It's a complicated question because it's the wrong question. Both of them are cheap enough.

I got most of the advantage of low expense ratios when I switched to investor shares of the 500 Index in 1990. The changes since then are nice, but compared to the initial savings they are rounding errors.
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA yes or no?
Replies: 41
Views: 3182

Re: IRA yes or no?

I'm not sure when the 5 year clock will end for 7Out. The contribution will be for 2016 but made in 2017. This will have to be checked. The clock starts on Jan 1 of the year the contributions were made for . So in this case Jan 1 2016, five years later is Jan 1 2021. A qualified distribution is any...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laminate flooring that looks like hardwood
Replies: 25
Views: 1627

Re: Laminate flooring that looks like hardwood

With a floating laminate floor it was less than a couple of hours work (most of which was moving furniture) to replace a couple of panels in the center that had significant damage. You can of course repair a hardwood floor, but that requires real woodworking skills instead of LEGO® skills.
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many pairs of jeans do you own?
Replies: 64
Views: 3976

Re: How many pairs of jeans do you own?

What counts as jeans? I own zero denim since it is uncomfortable, unflattering, not durable, not warm and clammy or lethal if it gets wet. I do own a couple of pair of Dickie work pants that some might classify as jeans, but are at least slightly better on all counts. As to number of clothes, this i...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners Insurance - Sewer Backup necessary?
Replies: 7
Views: 639

Re: Homeowners Insurance - Sewer Backup necessary?

Personally, I do not think $70 is worth quibbling over for home owner's insurance. Any sewer repair, at least in my neck of the woods, would BEGIN at $3K and up if it requires digging up to get to the sewer line. It would take 40 years worth of premium savings to counteract a single instance of sew...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Whole House Humidifiers Work?
Replies: 50
Views: 38693

Re: Do Whole House Humidifiers Work?

Even if you have no humidifier, if you have bad windows I think you can have condensation. You can get it in your car and there is certainly no humidifier. In the place I was referencing, it was new construction with new double pane windows. In the car you are the humidifier.* The car is perhaps 1/...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recharacterization madness: Roth excess contribution --> TIRA --> Roth
Replies: 32
Views: 2168

Re: Recharacterization madness: Roth excess contribution --> TIRA --> Roth

255/2280 is 11% which is a fairly decent gain. If you leave it until after October you pay 6% on 2280 or $137. If you fix it before then you pay ordinary income tax plus a 10% early withdrawal penalty on the $255. In the 25% tax bracket thats $89. And in the first option you have an extra $255 in a...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flooring for Basement
Replies: 36
Views: 2305

Re: Flooring for Basement

Another issue is the flatness of the floor. Some laminates have very rigorous flatness requirements, I've seen 1/4 inch over 16 feet. If you put such a laminate on a base that isn't flat enough it will not lay on the subsurface, but bridge between the high points leading to a spongy, bouncy feel whe...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recharacterization madness: Roth excess contribution --> TIRA --> Roth
Replies: 32
Views: 2168

Re: Recharacterization madness: Roth excess contribution --> TIRA --> Roth

Thanks Epsilon Delta. I didn't realize Vanguard would calculate the gains. I called them once before about a similar request and they said they couldn't isolate the gains on just a single contribution to a fund. I'll call them tomorrow. Assuming the estimated gains is correct (for the sake of it), ...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is the turnover decreasing in a target fund?
Replies: 5
Views: 832

Re: Why is the turnover decreasing in a target fund?

The TR funds aren't likely to distribute capital gains until after the retirement date. Before that date, more money is going in than out, so the funds can do most of their rebalancing with new money. Turnover is calculated using the smaller of sales or purchases. As above, a fund with net inflows ...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax-Advantaged Retirement Account for Spouse Without 401K
Replies: 6
Views: 610

Re: Tax-Advantaged Retirement Account for Spouse Without 401K

All dudelive22 has said is his wife does not have a 401(k). It is possible she has some other retirement plan at work. Look at box 13 of any and all of her W-2 to see if the retirement plan box is checked.
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you concerned that your bankers do not use 2 factor authenication?
Replies: 6
Views: 701

Re: Are you concerned that your bankers do not use 2 factor authenication?

If this causes any problems the bank is on the hook, as long as you check your statements and report any errors promptly. And you need to do that anyway since even if the bank used 2FA a teller could login and send your money to Nigeria.
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA Excess Contributions, Amended Tax Returns, and a 1099-DIV mistake
Replies: 2
Views: 406

Re: Roth IRA Excess Contributions, Amended Tax Returns, and a 1099-DIV mistake

[*]If I simply remove the 2015 excess (and leave my 2016 contribution alone), I pay the 6% penalty for 2015, 2016 & 2017 (3 x $24) because I would just be removing it now. I’d also have to amend my 2016 return with a 5329 to show the 2015 excess continuing. This option costs more.[/list] If you...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA issue...hit lower income limit
Replies: 7
Views: 892

Re: Roth IRA issue...hit lower income limit

Thanks Furwut and Cherijoh, That article helps a lot. I checked with Vanguard, and they have a pretty simple form to recharacterize IRA's, so I will plan on re-characterizing to traditional IRA, then waiting 30 days, then converting back to Roth. The 30 days is an IRS requirement, which will probab...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reasons not to check the account balance too often
Replies: 42
Views: 4018

Re: Reasons not to check the account balance too often

bulbul wrote:I do it once or twice a week. How often is too often?

Once or twice a week. :P :P
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Yubikey-only option?
Replies: 33
Views: 2719

Re: Vanguard Yubikey-only option?

I am completely baffled in how you could say or think that falsely answering security questions is in any way "immoral" or "unethical". First, in most if not all cases, you have no choice but to answer them. So any thought to protest their insecurity by omitting them goes out th...

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