Search found 879 matches

by Iorek
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discussing a 529 with your kids
Replies: 62
Views: 3418

Re: Discussing a 529 with your kids

My kid is only at the start of high school but knows he has a college fund-- we started it pretty much from birth and have discussed it as an example of long term saving we are doing. I think he knows the fund is enough for state school but may or may not be enough for private, but even if it's not ...
by Iorek
Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Scratch Removal
Replies: 13
Views: 1130

Re: Car Scratch Removal

I think Langka makes a pretty good scratch removal kit (and they'll sell you touch up paint too).
by Iorek
Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take this promotion?
Replies: 26
Views: 1962

Re: Should I take this promotion?

I don't want to minimize the difference between doing "substantive" work and being a manager-- some people are much happier doing one than the other and if you know you never want to manage and this job would be primarily management you shouldn't go for it just because you think you "should". On the...
by Iorek
Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Backdoor Roth: How Long To Wait For Conversion?
Replies: 58
Views: 12094

Re: Backdoor Roth: How Long To Wait For Conversion?

Since I contributed "only" $5500 to the Traditional IRA prior to conversion I'm technically still not going over the contribution limit, correct? Correct. I'm assuming the IRS rounds to the nearest dollar based on what I've seen on the tax prep software I've used in the past, so $0.14 shouldn't mak...
by Iorek
Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wills and Trusts...
Replies: 3
Views: 508

Re: Wills and Trusts...

Get a copy of Willmaker plus (book and software) and write yourself a will.
by Iorek
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your travel tips for Vienna and Budapest?
Replies: 23
Views: 1185

Re: Your travel tips for Vienna and Budapest?

We liked the tour of Parliament in Budapest but it took some effort/planning (ISTR you had to wait in line in the morning to get English language tour tickets, and then come back later in the afternoon).
by Iorek
Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making Roth Conversion Today - how will it be treated?
Replies: 30
Views: 1566

Re: Making Roth Conversion Today - how will it be treated?

It is always an option not to try and exploit every dollar of advantage. You are certainly entitled to try and convert the last dollar of the 0% bracket while holding on to your Obamacare subsidies, but complaining that the fund companies don't make it easier for you to do it seems a bit much IMO.
by Iorek
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many years of deductions for a new DAF?
Replies: 17
Views: 1086

Re: How many years of deductions for a new DAF?

Their website still indicates you can contribute Vanguard securities thru Vanguard.com (or a mailed check) until Dec 31
by Iorek
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating shares from Vanguard
Replies: 17
Views: 1050

Re: Donating shares from Vanguard

OP may still have time to open a donor advised fund with VG shares, but I think that has a $25k minimum (although once you open the account you wouldn't have to contribute the entire $25k in a single year or to a single organization). This is why many people, including me, opt to open a Fidelity DA...
by Iorek
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Tax Bill -- Should we open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) before the end of the year?
Replies: 67
Views: 2779

Re: New Tax Bill -- Should we open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) before the end of the year?

And at POF and gasdoc, yes it is too late to start the DAFs, at least w/ appreciated holdings. When I browsed the FAQ section of the Vanguard Charitable website, it had a list of cut-off dates, and I think it was 12/21 to start it w/ a transfer of holdings. This was the same for Fidelity's DAF. But...
by Iorek
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating shares from Vanguard
Replies: 17
Views: 1050

Re: Donating shares from Vanguard

OP may still have time to open a donor advised fund with VG shares, but I think that has a $25k minimum (although once you open the account you wouldn't have to contribute the entire $25k in a single year or to a single organization).
by Iorek
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Tax Bill -- Should we open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) before the end of the year?
Replies: 67
Views: 2779

Re: New Tax Bill -- Should we open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) before the end of the year?

I also appreciate the WCF-POF discussion. I think under the circumstances of itemized deductions going away on Monday a DAF is a no brainer for us, but I guess a question for the future is whether we will work consciously to spend it down quickly or not.
by Iorek
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many years of deductions for a new DAF?
Replies: 17
Views: 1086

Re: Howq many years of deductions for a new DAF?

We will be doing an amount is probably about 7-10 years of past giving, but I have nothing to back that up as the right amount-- just seems like enough that I won't regret adding more or less (plus it happens to be what we have at Schwab, and those are securities I bought long ago and would be just ...
by Iorek
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Tax Bill -- Should we open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) before the end of the year?
Replies: 67
Views: 2779

Re: New Tax Bill -- Should we open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) before the end of the year?

Adding a bit more info on Schwab-- it seems comparable to Fidelity ($100 minimum admin fee, $5k minimum contribution to open, a few low cost investment options, a $50 minimum grant, and no explicit account balance minimum).
by Iorek
Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Tax Bill -- Should we open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) before the end of the year?
Replies: 67
Views: 2779

Re: New Tax Bill -- Should we open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) before the end of the year?

Does anyone know the fine print/timing of Schwab's DAF?

Our last managed fund shares are there, but I haven't wanted to sell them because of cap gains, so this might be a good solution to that "problem."
by Iorek
Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks always in taxable for tax efficient investing?
Replies: 101
Views: 7052

Re: Stocks always in taxable for tax efficient investing?

For what it's worth, in my Roth I have mostly stocks, in my 401k I have both stocks and bonds according to my general asset allocation, and for taxable I buy index funds and i-bonds (overweighting the i-bonds, which serve as EF as well). My 401k is the large majority of our investments. Personally t...
by Iorek
Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thrift Savings Plan to Change I Fund Index
Replies: 7
Views: 1180

Re: Thrift Savings Plan to Change I Fund Index

That is good news. For a while I tried to complete my TSP investment with an emerging markets fund but quickly decided that was not for me ;)
by Iorek
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust or Will
Replies: 14
Views: 1694

Re: Trust or Will

I am not sure I understand why the question is being framed as an "either/or". I think you should always have a will if you have a non-negligible amount of assets. Don't forget, if you have any real property which you fail to properly deed into the trust (this can include property you don't know yo...
by Iorek
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth question, no 401k right now
Replies: 4
Views: 328

Re: Backdoor Roth question, no 401k right now

You don't have to do the whole thing, but you will have to pay tax on roughly 95% of whatever you do put in the Roth. Might be better to leave it in the traditional.
by Iorek
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Priority Pass- not quite totally useful
Replies: 19
Views: 2115

Re: Priority Pass- not quite totally useful

I don't disagree with you, but I can also say that there have been times when it has been very useful indeed. So I think I'd call it "occasionally pretty nice to have" (which isn't really very different ;))
by Iorek
Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No true pay as you go [cellphone plan]
Replies: 63
Views: 5655

Re: No true pay as you go [cellphone plan]

what about straight talk? we used to have it
by Iorek
Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds in Taxable or tax advantaged?
Replies: 11
Views: 1166

Re: Bonds in Taxable or tax advantaged?

Honestly it's never been clear to clear whether bonds belong in tax-deferred or taxable so I don't worry about it -- I buy i-bonds and then have about 10% on my taxable in bonds.
by Iorek
Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $5.5K to invest - best strategy
Replies: 22
Views: 1849

Re: $5.5K to invest - best strategy

If you would feel worse in 1o years not investing in bitcoin and having it go up 5x than investing it bitcoin and having it go to 0 and you don't need the money then I could see investing in bitcoin. Otherwise a Roth.
by Iorek
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogota and the Coast of Colombia travel
Replies: 57
Views: 8968

Re: Bogota and the Coast of Colombia travel

We visited Cartagena and Santa Marta/Tayrona briefly this year but really enjoyed it. Cartagena was hot though, and they said 2 or 3 cruise ships were due in the day we left, which seems like a lot of cruisers in the old city.
by Iorek
Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?
Replies: 37
Views: 1946

Re: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?

I would get Eiffel Tower tix in advance (there can be significant lines for security even if you have timed tix). For other museums I would look into a Paris Museum pass, but you don't need to buy one in advance. You can get them at CDG airport, or at a less crowded museum like the Cluny or St Chape...
by Iorek
Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 10197

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

I have a Spark EV lease and a 240 Volt charger at home. This is a good combo for charging convenience but the car's range has been a limitation for me. if I had 200 miles (vice 80) I would be a happy camper. For ICE we have a small Mazda van. It is absolutely true with a little planning my Wife and...
by Iorek
Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 10197

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Been enjoying the "oil burner grin" for 6 years now. :mrgreen: Mustang GT? I saw what you did there. :mrgreen: But no, the Mustang has sparkplugs. My DD is a tuned BMW 335d. By "tuned" you mean you illegally modifed it so you can get more power but it no longer meets US emissions standards? No chan...
by Iorek
Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 10197

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Been enjoying the "oil burner grin" for 6 years now. :mrgreen: Mustang GT? I saw what you did there. :mrgreen: But no, the Mustang has sparkplugs. My DD is a tuned BMW 335d. By "tuned" you mean you illegally modifed it so you can get more power but it no longer meets US emissions standards?
by Iorek
Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 10197

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

"Sorry, Grandma. Can't come to visit over the holidays. You live 140 miles away and my car can only go 115 miles. But, hey, I'm good 95 percent of the time." I would stop on the way to Grandma's and plug in while getting a bite to eat. Problem solved. The problem with this is the public l2 charging...
by Iorek
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 10197

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

I have an EV with a sub-100 mile range and I love it. I love the torque, I love the one-pedal driving (with regen braking), I love that I never have to go to a gas station and yet the car is always "full." I admit that maybe once a year I will rent a car for a long trip, but that's really no differe...
by Iorek
Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences
Replies: 136
Views: 24545

Re: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences

I got chewed out by LL once for calling. Can't remember exactly what was the problem-- either a lack of heat or a lack of hot water and had not gotten any response at all so I tried again and he was not happy to hear from me. Of course realized later that the apt was not up to code bcs it entirely l...
by Iorek
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences
Replies: 136
Views: 24545

Re: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences

Don't forget depreciation recapture (which technically applies so long as could have taken depreciation even if you didn't).
by Iorek
Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences
Replies: 136
Views: 24545

Re: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences

Thanks for this post. On a purely numbers-basis the worst financial decision I ever made was probably to sell my first home and not rent it out because it basically doubled in value in about 10 years, but it would have stretched us financially and we weren't interested in or prepared to be landlords...
by Iorek
Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quarterly Taxes - Best resources or just hire a CPA?
Replies: 11
Views: 825

Re: Quarterly Taxes - Best resources or just hire a CPA?

Gill wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:34 pm
Iorek wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:31 pm
Won't turbotax help with this?
Not really necessary. Just multiply the prior year's tax by 1.1.
Gill
Well yes, but if you have turbotax already I'd probably prefer to just open it up again and print out the vouchers for me.
by Iorek
Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 330
Views: 36910

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

Seems odd not to have heated seats in all models since that's a much more efficient way for a EV to warm the passengers compared to generating hot air. This is very much a standard practice in many different car models. Basically in terms of manufacturing cost it is an additional expense to add to ...
by Iorek
Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 330
Views: 36910

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

Seems odd not to have heated seats in all models since that's a much more efficient way for a EV to warm the passengers compared to generating hot air.
by Iorek
Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pre-pay four year tuition?
Replies: 14
Views: 1802

Re: Pre-pay four year tuition?

You can not use the 529 as a prepay for anything except for the semester currently billed. In our time we could not prepay tuition or borrow more than current semester. I'm always looking for arbitrage/hedge angles that drive some BH crazy. :oops: :annoyed :dollar Question, If you can prepay, do yo...
by Iorek
Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: soil test kit recommendation?
Replies: 6
Views: 422

Re: soil test kit recommendation?

Another vote for extension. We ended up using UMass extension (I think because they will test for lead).
by Iorek
Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stop contributing to 529 on 50% chance grandparents pay
Replies: 42
Views: 3367

Re: Stop contributing to 529 on 50% chance grandparents pay

Someone upthread made a good point though that you can still withdraw from a 529 tax-free even if a grandparent pays tuition directly to the school (at least under current IRS rules, haven't tried to do it in practice yet) I would like a cite to the IRS regulation that permits this. 529 withdrawals...
by Iorek
Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Look at REITS as bonds for my aa?
Replies: 4
Views: 332

Re: Look at REITS as bonds for my aa?

REITs are equities. They pay out earnings because they are required to by law-- just like mutual funds-- but that doesn't make them bonds.
by Iorek
Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stop contributing to 529 on 50% chance grandparents pay
Replies: 42
Views: 3367

Re: Stop contributing to 529 on 50% chance grandparents pay

Where you choose to save is up to you, but keep saving. This is my feeling as well. I am in a similar situation, with a greater than 50% chance of grandparent contribution. OTOH I know some very smart people who think the 529 is a great means of accumulating wealth and are funding it aggressively f...
by Iorek
Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth TSP - Worth it?
Replies: 15
Views: 1695

Re: Roth TSP - Worth it?

The pro rata withdrawal makes it unattractive to me as well.
by Iorek
Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Step-up basis of inherited rental properties
Replies: 10
Views: 1590

Re: Step-up basis of inherited rental properties

Clearly you should be talking with a good account. A good one will always pay for themselves by giving you proper advice and guidance. Agree. I'm sorry for your loss but I would sit down and sort through these issues with a professional (or maybe two, bcs I am not sure if you need both a lawyer and...
by Iorek
Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance snafu with sewer line break at condo
Replies: 31
Views: 3852

Re: Insurance snafu with sewer line break at condo

When we bought a condo our lawyer advised us to get homeowners insurance with whoever insured the rest of the building because that way the two companies can't argue with each other (although you still might not hav coverage in this particular situation).
by Iorek
Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Insurance?
Replies: 46
Views: 4911

Re: Long Term Care Insurance?

My John Hancock policy cannot raise premiums or reduce benefits. That is almost certainly not true. Most likely you have a policy where JH would have to go the state insurance commissioner and seek permission to raise rates for the entire class of policyholders on the ground that it's needed to ens...
by Iorek
Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help a Newbie
Replies: 10
Views: 1055

Re: Help a Newbie

Your wife is a nurse and she is subject to a $5k deductible for labor and delivery? That seems screwed up.
by Iorek
Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mobile phone SIM advice for multiple countries in Europe
Replies: 30
Views: 2222

Re: Mobile phone SIM advice for multiple countries in Europe

How about just using t-mobile? Free international data and text... That's what my wife and I use, since we hardly ever call out. Using the iPhone for messaging back home and GPS on the road, or searching for resturants, hotels, and so forth... It's not practical for most people (including myself) t...
by Iorek
Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying first class, business, versus economy.
Replies: 184
Views: 17477

Re: Flying first class, business, versus economy.

We try to fly economy plus for long flights and to find frequent flyer business class tickets (I've found United to be ok about availability, if you are flexible and willing to keep checking repeatedly beginning months in advance)
by Iorek
Sat May 27, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are capital gains taxed lower than div/interest?
Replies: 20
Views: 1982

Re: Why are capital gains taxed lower than div/interest?

There was a period in the 90s when all forms of income were taxed at the same rate. Made many tax policy people happy but it didn't last (bcs IMO of the outsized influence of wealthy people, who get disproportionate shares of their income from unearned income, on our political process)