Search found 5348 matches

by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got laid off, when can I file for unemployment?
Replies: 44
Views: 4560

Re: Got laid off, when can I file for unemployment?

... People with incomes between 100% and 138% of poverty level can choose either ACA plans with subsidies or medicaid (in states that expanded medicaid.. This ^ is certainly not true in my Expansion state. If you qualify for Medicaid, you cannot apply for or receive ACA subsidies. It is not a matte...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to know when to sell Vanguard ETF
Replies: 15
Views: 915

Re: How to know when to sell Vanguard ETF

My goal was to minimize any change in value due to the move (...although I think I came out ahead on VBR/VSIAX because I sold early in the day and the early-day gains faded). If you're just trying to minimize the effects of random good or bad price changes between the sale and the buy you can alway...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got laid off, when can I file for unemployment?
Replies: 44
Views: 4560

Re: Got laid off, when can I file for unemployment?

Another possibility is that you qualify for Medicaid rather than an ACA plan. Eligibility for ACA subsidies is based on AGI (annual total), but at least in my state Medicaid is based on monthly income. So when my DH left a job our annual income would have qualified us for ACA subsidies, but as his ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got laid off, when can I file for unemployment?
Replies: 44
Views: 4560

Re: Got laid off, when can I file for unemployment?

Approximate time table for health insurance. Some of the months may be 30 days so check if going down to the wire. Cobra. You have 60 days from the later of the date of termination or when they send you the notification to sign up retroactively to the date of termination. Some health people fill out...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got laid off, when can I file for unemployment?
Replies: 44
Views: 4560

Re: Got laid off, when can I file for unemployment?

If you are getting severence pay, Florida where I live, delays paying UE based on your amount of severence pay, check the 'fine print' in your state. The logic is that you'd be getting paid twice for the time you get severence pay for, 4 week, etc., severence & UE. Some companies will make paym...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Form 8606 question
Replies: 5
Views: 540

Re: Form 8606 question

My question , does my Traditional "basis" go up every year with my "non-deductible" contribution? $5k per year, '10 - '12, then $5,500 in '13 - '15 (total $31,500)? I "think" what Form 8606 (line 2) requires is any "pre-tax" traditional IRA assets not previou...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Social Security at 62 and Switch at 66 to Survivor Benefit????
Replies: 9
Views: 753

Re: My Social Security at 62 and Switch at 66 to Survivor Benefit????

It may be too late for the OP, but as I understand it s widow(er) can file for survivor's benefit at age 60. No need to wait for age 62. If the widow(er) is disable or taking care of a child it's even younger. It's also worth noting that FRA for widow(er)'s benefits may not be the same as FRA for yo...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?
Replies: 101
Views: 3881

Re: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?

rob wrote:The queues at the post office are small now thanks to all those of you using eFile :D


You had a queue? This afternoon I had to ring the bell for service. The whipper snapper who served me didn't even know it was tax day.

Also stocked up with forever stamps at the new low price.
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport photo DIY - anyone done it easily?
Replies: 52
Views: 2490

Re: Passport photo DIY - anyone done it easily?

This is def a worthwhile investment in time to learn for me if I can do it easily ... Except they change the rules from time to time. I definitely remember having to submit two identical photos, and I think that at one point the photos had to be signed by the photographer. I think the state departm...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soapbox (car safety features)
Replies: 193
Views: 8790

Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

I'm sorry, but a lot of these "I can drive just fine, so I don't need these safety technologies" posts sound a lot like "I did pretty well picking stocks, so even if index investing is better for most people, I'm better than average so I don't need them." Fair enough. The folks ...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it possible to repair rotted wood on a structure?
Replies: 16
Views: 1825

Re: Is it possible to repair rotted wood on a structure?

Can't see the whole structure from the pictures. But if it is just the cross beams of the trellis you might possibly be able to get by if you add some reinforcing beams like an additional 2x6 along each side of the beam that is rotting. If it's a trellis there is probably no need for reinforcing. Y...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: myRA Part Deux
Replies: 8
Views: 910

Re: myRA Part Deux

Also in the long run, 15k is not going to sway or buffer a portfolio enough to make it worth it. The G fund is yielding 1.7% and has a duration of zero. You can compare this to a 1 month T-bill with a yield of 0.20%. These have about the same risk. So putting $15k in the myRA is worth about $225 pe...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mail, CertifyMail or Fedex my tax return and payment?
Replies: 26
Views: 1637

Re: Mail, CertifyMail or Fedex my tax return and payment?

Certified mail, no return receipt. $3.30. It gives you a receipt that the regulations require the IRS to accept as proof of timely filing or payment. If the IRS doesn't get the check you can use the receipt to claim a mulligan. You could use registered mail or certain FedEx services and get the same...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soapbox (car safety features)
Replies: 193
Views: 8790

Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Cars have been using electronic control units and software control for over 35 years. Cars have been getting more reliable and longer lasting for that entire time. The angst that they will suddenly start giving us the blue screen of death is misplaced. In part because unlike everybody in Redmond the...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decommisioning a laptop
Replies: 35
Views: 2137

Re: Decommisioning a laptop

The people who have the ability to recover a partially destroyed disk probably already broke into my house while I was out for a coffee and mirrored the disk in its usable state. ;) Sure, but the even smaller number of people who can recover a disk after a single physical overwrite have also broken...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disabling microphone on smart phone
Replies: 14
Views: 1033

Re: Disabling microphone on smart phone

psystal wrote:... shutdown your internet connection while you're having [confidential conversations].


That's not sufficient. The phone has gigabytes of storage, so malware could record and upload later.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decommisioning a laptop
Replies: 35
Views: 2137

Re: Decommisioning a laptop

I've always found the most effective data obliteration tool to be a 3/8" drill bit in drill press. I find the sledge hammer more therapeutic.... Not as efficient but feels better... especially if you keep it in the old laptop :D Neither approach is as effective as a simple erase and rewrite. T...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decommisioning a laptop
Replies: 35
Views: 2137

Re: Decommisioning a laptop

Can you boot the laptop off a different device, such as a network, cd rom or USB drive?

If so put you're erase on that, if the battery fails just charge it up and start again. Ideally the eraser will have options so you don't need to restart from the beginning.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disabling microphone on smart phone
Replies: 14
Views: 1033

Re: Disabling microphone on smart phone

It depends on a lot of things. First on how the phone detects the 3.5 mm jack is in use. There are several possible ways to do this. Probably the most common way is mechanical microswitch, in this case sticking in a toothpick is enough. Or you can cut the plug off the jack and use that. But it's als...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Security features of a good front door
Replies: 34
Views: 2472

Re: Security features of a good front door

Nosy neighbors who can see the front door.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: OK to spend Roth funds early in retirement?
Replies: 13
Views: 2142

Re: OK to spend Roth funds early in retirement?

It may well be best to use the Roth to pay for the house, but theres another option that has not been mentioned. For people with both traditional and Roth IRAs one way to deal with large lump sum expenses is to pay them from the Roth and then replenish the Roth over a number of years either using co...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filed my Form 4868 this week (extension to file tax return)
Replies: 31
Views: 1063

Re: Filed my Form 4868 this week (extension to file tax return)

Does the proverbial late 1099 really happen? I have never asked for an extension because we have yet to receive a late enough corrected 1099 to have needed one. We file around April 1. Not to true bogleheads, however if you are an apostate and do market timing, use MLPs and invest in funds with dod...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scheduling Flight for Minimal Jet Lag
Replies: 17
Views: 1100

Re: Scheduling Flight for Minimal Jet Lag

I'd go with the later flight. Partly for the reason you mention. Partly because the late arrival works better with hotel check in (If you arrive at 10:15AM you may have to pay for an extra day or hangout in public for a few hours and risk being mistaken for a homeless zombie) And partly because you ...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversions and the Vanishing 25% and 28% Tax Bracket
Replies: 59
Views: 8577

Re: Roth Conversions and the Vanishing 25% and 28% Tax Bracket

It is more like a 6% return (~4% rmd + 2% inflation adjustment to the tax brackets) for bracket creep to become an issue. For people with a lot of stocks, this can be an issue (i.e. getting like 12% with a 50/50 portfolio for 5 years can happen). For the bond heavy people today (i.e. expected retur...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversions and the Vanishing 25% and 28% Tax Bracket
Replies: 59
Views: 8577

Re: Roth Conversions and the Vanishing 25% and 28% Tax Bracket

Equalizing annual taxable income does not amount to the same thing. It would if income taxes were strictly progressive* but they're not. Consider if equalizing annual income left you at the top of the 35% bubble. Removing income from one year saves 35% while adding it to next year only costs 25% be...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversions and the Vanishing 25% and 28% Tax Bracket
Replies: 59
Views: 8577

Re: Roth Conversions and the Vanishing 25% and 28% Tax Bracket

What method would you use to decide how much (if any) to convert? It's easy if you have tax-advantaged accounts small enough to empty them at a low rate. With larger accounts, forecast rate of return becomes more important, and forecasting returns is not a trivial task. You could set up a schedule ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing legends change their bond portfolio
Replies: 29
Views: 4041

Re: Investing legends change their bond portfolio

The main takeaways are that Malkiel and Ellis determined: 1. The Total Bond Market fund will not keep pace with inflation, thus a losing investment. 2. EM bonds and dividend stocks give you better risk adjusted returns. I'm always very suspicious of people who make both these arguments at the same ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond Achilles Heel?
Replies: 47
Views: 5175

Re: Total Bond Achilles Heel?

However , another symptom of the same problem bothers me a little more over long timeframes: the fact that the "safety" composition of TBM will change over time because of bond issuance. We all know that TBM is more heavy in government bonds than it used to be, so it got safer (and less r...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversions and the Vanishing 25% and 28% Tax Bracket
Replies: 59
Views: 8577

Re: Roth Conversions and the Vanishing 25% and 28% Tax Bracket

Another method would be to try to equalize annual taxable income. Assuming tax rates stay the same, that should get to same place. Equalizing annual taxable income does not amount to the same thing. It would if income taxes were strictly progressive* but they're not. Consider if equalizing annual i...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring part of emergency fund into Roth IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 1111

Re: Transferring part of emergency fund into Roth IRA

I'm not sure that an after-tax 401(k) that can be rolled over to a Roth is suitable as an emergency fund. I think there are slightly different rules for that money in terms of withdrawals penalties and even perhaps holding period (some kind of 5-year thing?), so one should check all of that out. In...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: City wants to inspect furnace
Replies: 12
Views: 1353

Re: City wants to inspect furnace

Does the city want to inspect the furnace or simply to have the furnace inspected? Round here you can have a qualified plumber (or appropriate tradesman) inspect the installation and sign the paper work. A few of the local installers can self certify. If that's an option you might feel happier havin...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are any OTC drugs and vitamins U.S.P.-labelled any more?
Replies: 34
Views: 1136

Re: The vanishing of USP drugs?

The problem I wonder about is when some lesser souls slap certifications on products/services that have never even been checked... a counterfeit label of certification, "UL" in this case. Is this a valid concern? If not, why? Who is checking all of those generic extension cords and cheap ...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Part of E-Fund in Low Risk Bonds?
Replies: 15
Views: 1070

Re: Part of E-Fund in Low Risk Bonds?

Do you currently own any Series I Savings Bonds? Those are very low risk and are convenient for an emergency fund. Just wondering how fast you can cash those in generally? I'm not sure why this matters. As a practical matter all my emergencies have been paid for with credit cards, and I have a mont...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience using 'new' postage stamps?
Replies: 6
Views: 664

Re: Experience using 'new' postage stamps?

lthenderson wrote:I send quite a bit of mail overseas during the holidays and for those letters, I slap on three Forever stamps.


There are now global forever stamps.
Image
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are any OTC drugs and vitamins U.S.P.-labelled any more?
Replies: 34
Views: 1136

Re: The vanishing of USP drugs?

That's my concern, and same with UL for electric. Who is 'checking', until there is some catastrophic failure (fire?), and then the "evidence" is, literally, toast. :wink: RM When I was involved in engineering UL certified products there was definitely third party testing involved. This w...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: led vs cfl
Replies: 102
Views: 6222

Re: LED GU10 choice

an 80 CRI is really bad. It will appear very muted vs. a 92-93+ There is much personal preference here, but IMHO ... Really bad is overstating it quite a bit. Low pressure sodium has a CRI of 0 or even negative in some definitions. That's really bad. Old fashioned fluorescents (Circa 1980) have a C...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Form 8606 Basis: Will this be an issue next year?
Replies: 6
Views: 735

Re: Form 8606 Basis: Will this be an issue next year?

You have no value in your TIRA, but you DO have basis of $28 left over. This is not a problem, and should show on line 14 of the current 8606. You are correct that on your next 8606 that amount goes on line 2. Thanks for the reply. Will having this $28 basis next year on line 2 cause me to pay taxe...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYS 49.02%/88.42% tax bracket
Replies: 6
Views: 1049

Re: NYS 49.02%/88.42% tax bracket

IIRC The NY state withholding rules have been manipulated several times to accelerate tax collection to plug budget holes. Changes to withholding have not always been directly related to changes in the tax structure. Sometimes the disconnect was intentional. Sometimes the disconnect is because they ...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a house with previously repaired foundation issues?
Replies: 22
Views: 1542

Re: Buy a house with previously repaired foundation issues?

It may also be worth checking how much the prior repair cost. Is it in the ballpark for other occasional costs (such as a new roof) or is it a life altering amount? Expecting extra maintenance means the house is worth less, but not that the house is worthless. If you expect that extra or periodic wo...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: led vs cfl
Replies: 102
Views: 6222

Re: led vs cfl

You have to include the time and risk cost of replacing a bulb. This is critical for commercial and industrial use. The cheapest method was to re-lamp an entire floor at one time. Wait for 5% of the bulbs (or one in the CEO's office) to fail and replace all of them, working or not. The selection cr...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what are the implications of claiming my significant other as a dependent?
Replies: 34
Views: 2225

Re: what are the implications of claiming my significant other as a dependent?

Taxes are due on April 15th if you owe money to the gov't. If you don't owe money or are due a refund, going past the 15th wouldn't effect anything. That's not entirely true. Failure to file a timely return or extension can cause you to lose the chance to make certain elections. I have no idea if a...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with cleaning glass shower doors
Replies: 32
Views: 2361

Re: Help with cleaning glass shower doors

I went to HD or Lowe's and asked to replace our shower stall doors, because that size did not show in their displays. They said they would only do the whole bathroom, not only fix the shower stall. That's what I'm trying to avoid :wink: The big box store may not be the best place to ask. I usually ...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: led vs cfl
Replies: 102
Views: 6222

Re: led vs cfl

What color temp do you all prefer? Went with 3000K in our kitchen. For work areas (such as a kitchen or reading lamp) I prefer to emulate daylight, so bright light* at 5,500+K. I think dim 5,500K light looks like the bottom of a well, so I use 2800K or similar for general lighting in hallways and l...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Concrete or Asphalt driveway?
Replies: 35
Views: 2457

Re: Concrete or Asphalt driveway?

Given the trade offs between asphalt and concrete there is no clear cut winner. You can find cities 100 miles apart, with the same climate, and concrete will predominate on one and asphalt in the other. Often this is because one has a good asphalt guy and the other has a good concrete guy. Or more r...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 8606 - Clarification on two scenarios
Replies: 7
Views: 572

Re: 8606 - Clarification on two scenarios

Epsilon - I believe Duckie's answer assumed only the facts in scenario #2. A non deductible TIRA contribution in March 2016 and an immediate conversion to a Roth. In that scenario, I agree with Duckie's answer. It appears that your answer assumes a December 31st conversion of an existing balance. B...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Efficient frontier?
Replies: 21
Views: 1701

Re: Efficient frontier?

"Efficient frontier" is a term that is new to me and one I would like to get back some feedback from this form. ... I think that "efficient frontier" seems to be a modern-day investment term, right? "Efficient frontier" is a term from multi-variable optimization, a bra...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 8606 - Clarification on two scenarios
Replies: 7
Views: 572

Re: 8606 - Clarification on two scenarios

If you convert 30K trad ira (all deductible) to Roth IRA on 12/31/15, ... If you do back door roth in march 2016 by contributing 5.5k to non deductible trad ira and convert to roth, ... If the March 2016 contribution was for 2015 you would have: 2015 Form 8606 Part I Line 1 -- 5,500 Line 2 -- 0 (as...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: led vs cfl
Replies: 102
Views: 6222

Re: led vs cfl

Okay, well I feel slightly more illuminated on this subject now. After I return home this evening, I'll be able to reveal in the thought after I turn my halogen incandescent bulbs on that they have an inefficiency factor of 20 compared to LEDs because of the infrared light they produce. However, my...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Breaking concrete
Replies: 42
Views: 3234

Re: Breaking concrete

Not sure why anyone would suggest renting a Bobcat. They weigh about 8000lbs, the trailer weighs about 2000 pounds, that together will exceed the capacity towing of some trucks. Just rent a 60# electric breaker, and get two other guys to help. Pay them if you have to. Not a big deal. The rental pla...

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