Search found 931 matches

by Kosmo
Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing taxes for free in 2016
Replies: 18
Views: 940

Re: Filing taxes for free in 2016

Yes, I know that. My question was in reference to Kosmo's remark regarding tax filing software provided by governments. If the government wants to provide software for filing taxes that is paid for by those taxes, then so be it. The US government doesn't. My opinion is that they should not. I was p...
by Kosmo
Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maxing out then quickly paying off credit cards?
Replies: 18
Views: 1106

Re: Maxing out then quickly paying off credit cards?

Will the contractor accept that much on a credit card? A lot of guys around here will only accept $3-5k or so, and the rest needs to be cash or check.
by Kosmo
Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Take the Verb Tense Pledge!
Replies: 69
Views: 3679

Re: Take the Verb Tense Pledge!

I'm certain I have learned more here about the present perfect tense than I had have had learned in all prior years of speaking English.
by Kosmo
Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Take the Verb Tense Pledge!
Replies: 69
Views: 3679

Re: Take the Verb Tense Pledge!

In a general sense, I agree to number 1. I pledge to talk about things that occurred in the past using the past tense. I do not agree to 2. But I pledge to not use emoticons. And I pledge to never split an infinitive. Starting now. In Western PA, a lot of people leave out "to be" in their ...
by Kosmo
Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sibling's destination wedding?
Replies: 87
Views: 4187

Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

My wife and I attended my cousin's wedding in Italy 2 years ago. Our kids remained home with other family. A lot of family members and friends couldn't attend for financial reasons or other family/work obligations. It was certainly recognized that not everyone could attend, and there was no ill will...
by Kosmo
Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax refund - paper check or direct deposit?
Replies: 13
Views: 741

Re: Tax refund - paper check or direct deposit?

Quark wrote:Is this an overly paranoid attitude?

Absolutely. If some bad guy out there really wants to get your SSN or other info, they already have it.

I'd be more concerned that someone would steal my paper check and cash it. The IRS isn't going to issue me another one.
by Kosmo
Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing taxes for free in 2016
Replies: 18
Views: 940

Re: Filing taxes for free in 2016

This may be political. Both Canada and UK government provided software does the trick. Every one uses same or good old fashioned paper filing. Why should we have to enrich a private entity for our taxes to be collected. Same goes for some of the states like mine(KY). They essentially force you to p...
by Kosmo
Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm not sure if a new credit card will hurt or help me?
Replies: 18
Views: 803

Re: I'm not sure if a new credit card will hurt or help me?

What is your goal: pay off the balances or improve your credit score? If you want to pay off the balances, step 1 is to stop using the credit cards. Pay for everything in cash. Getting a 0% interest intro rate, may help, but if you can't pay off the balance by the time the rate expires, you're back ...
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Babysitter not providing SSN
Replies: 59
Views: 5326

Re: Babysitter not providing SSN

In this particular case, I'm not quite gathering how a person could only need sporadic care for their child if both parents work. I'd like to learn more about how they do that as daycare costs are killing us and if my wife and I could decrease our care needs to sporadic care as opposed to all day c...
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Babysitter not providing SSN
Replies: 59
Views: 5326

Re: Babysitter not providing SSN

In what context are you using the babysitter? You can only be reimbursed from a dependent case FSA if she is watching your children so you can go to work. If this is a babysitter in the traditional sense, e.g., so you can go to dinner with other adults, then the FSA doesn't apply. What's the big dea...
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Already filed taxes, didn't include small amount of interest income
Replies: 27
Views: 2628

Re: Already filed taxes, didn't include small amount of interest income

I highly doubt the IRS will put you on the naughty list. You're shorting them only a few bucks. They'll catch it and notify you, and you'll pay it. However, I suggest you do file an amended return for the sole purpose of learning how to file an amended return. It's not all that complicated and won't...
by Kosmo
Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a bigger vehicle to grow into?
Replies: 28
Views: 1594

Re: Buy a bigger vehicle to grow into?

Wait until you need the larger vehicle before purchasing. And figure out what your vehicle requirements are, not what your anticipated future use will be. Consider things like 4WD/AWD, how many people/kids do you want/need to fit, cargo capacity (luggage, pets, trips to Home Depot), etc. Are you a 2...
by Kosmo
Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Banks or credit unions
Replies: 37
Views: 2227

Re: Banks or credit unions

Both. My primary checking account (paychecks in, bills out) is with Alliant credit union. But they are not local. So I have accounts at Wells Fargo for the occasions where I need to conduct some type of transaction in person (cashier's check & cashing in some rolled coins come directly to mind)....
by Kosmo
Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Interest Deduction on former home that was on market while in new home
Replies: 4
Views: 575

Re: Mortgage Interest Deduction on former home that was on market while in new home

Yes it is deductible.

Drew31 wrote:We had similar situation last year. My understanding from researching is yes, as long as it was not a rental.

Even if it was a rental the mortgage interest is deductible. But it appears on schedule E instead of A.
by Kosmo
Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two spenders and buying a house
Replies: 43
Views: 3808

Re: Two spenders and buying a house

This house is 2800 square feet 5 beds 3 baths on 18 acres..... Property tax is $5200 a year... Where? I pay more property tax than that on a half acre. The owner pays $60 a year to maintain the septic tank. What septic maintenance is done yearly? It should be pumped periodically depending on use. B...
by Kosmo
Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A Few Small Random Questions
Replies: 9
Views: 713

Re: A Few Small Random Questions

2.) If retirement and taxable accounts are used for two completely different timelines and goals, they should have their own asset allocation within each one, correct? I disagree with everyone who says to treat your total portfolio as 1 entity. The AA of a subset of a portfolio should be tied to th...
by Kosmo
Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to play Craps in Las Vegas
Replies: 10
Views: 1122

Re: Best place to play Craps in Las Vegas

It's been mentioned: Casino Royale. Last time I was there they were the only place on the strip with $5 craps (or less, depending on time of day). The minimum everywhere else is usually $25, $15 on occasion.
by Kosmo
Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contract interpretation [Votes required to change revision]
Replies: 5
Views: 373

Re: Contract interpretation [Votes required to change revision]

Maybe I'm being lenient, but I'd say 67% = 2/3 in this case. You cannot precisely write 2/3 as a percentage. So for this instance I'd say whoever wrote this took a shortcut and inadvertently made it more confusing. Or a second thought, 67% is purposeful. And the other section says something like &qu...
by Kosmo
Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Advice - Student Loans
Replies: 6
Views: 356

Re: Need Advice - Student Loans

I wouldn't necessarily bank on being with the same company for 10+ years. I also would be in no hurry to pay off a loan at 3.25%. My vote is to fund a Roth IRA. That will take roughly 6 months at the savings rate you claim. Re-evaluate then.
by Kosmo
Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interior house paint gone bad?
Replies: 10
Views: 1179

Re: Interior house paint gone bad?

Can't say anything about the rubbery one, maybe the can wasn't sealed properly? For the oily one, the paint just separated. Stir it up really well making sure to scrape the sides and bottom. Usually takes at least 5 minutes of continuous vigorous stirring, but it will come back to looking normal. Ju...
by Kosmo
Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:46 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Hope everyone is well [Preparing for Eastern US blizzard]
Replies: 102
Views: 4979

Re: Hope everyone is well [Preparing for Eastern US blizzard]

We're in So. Chester County, PA, not far from the PA/MD/DE borders. Looks to be about 14", as it's about to the top of the well head in the front yard, which is about that tall. As reported from Philly, steady, heavy snowfall with occasional sharp gusts. I'm in that neck of the woods also. My ...
by Kosmo
Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you use the service of a CPA or you do your tax yourself?
Replies: 82
Views: 4830

Re: Do you use the service of a CPA or you do your tax yourself?

Do it myself. But I have a fairly straightforward situation. It's gotten slightly more complicated in recent years with a rental property. But aside from the year I put it in service, my returns are very similar to the prior year.
by Kosmo
Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When is an HSA account no longer worth it?
Replies: 21
Views: 1960

Re: When is an HSA account no longer worth it?

The real answer depends on the health plans and your estimated medical expenses. When child #1 was born my wife was on an HMO. The birth and hospital stay cost $500 total. When child #2 was born we were all on an HDHP with an HSA. We hit the deductible just going to ultrasounds. The birth and hospit...
by Kosmo
Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are REITs not providing any benefit in this market?
Replies: 45
Views: 4904

Re: Why are REITs not providing any benefit in this market?

REITs are supposed to zig when the market zags.. or so I have been told. Why are we not seeing the diversification benefit in the current market? The short short answer, which I'm sure has already been stated or at least implied, is that you are confusing low correlation with negative correlation. ...
by Kosmo
Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New neighbor turning their house into vacation rental
Replies: 41
Views: 4537

Re: New neighbor turning their house into vacation rental

To some extent this is the risk of living in an area without HOAs. You get to do what you want. But so do your neighbors... I see the lack of someone telling you what you can do with your own property as a benefit, not a risk. You like the benefit of doing what you want. Do you also like it when yo...
by Kosmo
Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very easy question on withholding
Replies: 6
Views: 301

Re: Very easy question on withholding

Go for it. I have my wife withhold at single/0 and I withhold at single/9. We file jointly and have 2 kids. It's easier this way I need to make changes since I can change my W4 asy any time and it kicks in at the next paycheck. From past experience if my wife submits a W4 change it usually takes abo...
by Kosmo
Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your % pay raise?
Replies: 100
Views: 6932

Re: What was your % pay raise?

Find out in March. It's been in the neighborhood of 3.5% for the past few years.
by Kosmo
Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you use your Chase Freedom rewards?
Replies: 23
Views: 2056

Re: How do you use your Chase Freedom rewards?

2 methods I use: Purchase directly from amazon using points or get gift cards. Depends if there's an occasion coming up where I'd gift someone a gift card (which is most occasions that warrant a gift). Aside: I'll be looking into opening up some new cards to maximize travel benefits. My wife and I a...
by Kosmo
Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [ I have] overspent this month.
Replies: 30
Views: 4004

Re: [ I have] overspent this month.

IWe are probably talking 100.00-150.00 total over spent. Ha! You'd hate to see what my budgeted vs actual spending looks like. In your manner of budgeting, will you not spend any more money this month? No more food or gas? What about a variable electric bill or water bill? You have the money. Pay f...
by Kosmo
Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New neighbor turning their house into vacation rental
Replies: 41
Views: 4537

Re: New neighbor turning their house into vacation rental

To some extent this is the risk of living in an area without HOAs. You get to do what you want. But so do your neighbors... I see the lack of someone telling you what you can do with your own property as a benefit, not a risk. people coming and going doesn't fit with the characteristics of the neig...
by Kosmo
Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your company 401k contribution
Replies: 105
Views: 4641

Re: What's your company 401k contribution

I've seen my exact formula and multiple similar to what my wife gets. Ends up being 6% for me and 6.5% for her. We'll both be getting small pensions, which have been discontinued by our companies (no more contributions).
by Kosmo
Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash Buffer Instead of "Emergency Fund"
Replies: 52
Views: 4273

Re: Cash Buffer Instead of "Emergency Fund"

If you've limited this buffer to $10k, how would you pay for an "emergency" that costs more than that? While I can't think of any of the top of my head, I can think of a few that run multiple thousands of dollars. Water heater suddenly dies or the furnace dies in the middle of winter (both...
by Kosmo
Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pizza Stone / Homemade Pizza Advice
Replies: 58
Views: 4067

Re: Pizza Stone / Homemade Pizza Advice

The sauce makes or breaks the pizza. Don't use jarred sauce from the store, make your own. Crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, olive oil, seasonings to taste.
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transporting a car out of state
Replies: 22
Views: 1168

Re: Transporting a car out of state

I'd rent a car one-way. That would work for most folks but everyone coddles this BIL of mine. You're doing it too. If he wants the car tell him to come and get it. Doesn't matter how he arrives, just that he arrives and leaves with the car. If you don't plan on keeping the car, give him a deadline ...
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Math: 15% + extra payments vs. 20%
Replies: 13
Views: 1296

Re: Mortgage Math: 15% + extra payments vs. 20%

I used the Mortgage amortization calculator on bankrate.com to simulate both scenarios, the latter using a one time extra payment of $12,000 at the 6th month mark to simulate the extra $2000/mo for the first 6 months to wipe out PMI. Do you have an extra $2000 per month to pay this? Wouldn't that b...
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Online/Distance Graduate Degrees Respected?
Replies: 28
Views: 2535

Re: Are Online/Distance Graduate Degrees Respected?

Depends on the program and the school. I work with a handful of people who got MS degrees in engineering from Georgia Tech online. They had to watch videos of the lecture given the day before to all the in-person students. I chose to go to a local university part time because I wanted to actually at...
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home window quotes
Replies: 16
Views: 1489

Re: Home window quotes

I had windows installed this past summer. Okna, middle tier vinyl windows. 22 double hung in various sizes and 2 large picture windows. Some carpentry work and all new aluminum capping on the outside. At the same time they did a new sliding glass door, new fiberglass front door and storm door, and 5...
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV recording space, saving annual leave, etc.
Replies: 16
Views: 1608

Re: TV recording space, saving annual leave, etc.

I don't think there's any correlation with spending/saving. Might be with hoarding other things though. 2 suggestions: 1) Take more time off to watch TV. That solves both problems. 2) Even better, ditch the genie, watch less TV. That saves money too. Take the time off for a vacation. Go on a winter ...
by Kosmo
Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Payoff loans?
Replies: 24
Views: 1976

Re: Payoff loans?

Don't pay those off early.
by Kosmo
Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time and cost of owning 3.5 acres?
Replies: 24
Views: 1985

Re: Time and cost of owning 3.5 acres?

Hire a landscaper that plows in the winter. Evaluate the cost to hire or the work vs doing it yourself. You'd need to buy a tractor, have a place to store it, buy gas, preform routine maintenance, and spend time using it to do yard work. Also don't forget the same applies to a weed whacker and a lea...
by Kosmo
Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off Mortgage? What to do with extra cash?
Replies: 21
Views: 1692

Re: Pay off Mortgage? What to do with extra cash?

I know a good portion of the people here are on the conservative side, but I'm surprised at the people saying to pay off the mortgage. I wouldn't. I'd say to put it in a taxable account. You'll never be able to get a long term low fixed rate loan again. Maybe revisit the question again in 6 months t...
by Kosmo
Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best light-duty crewcab pickup, new or used
Replies: 19
Views: 965

Re: Best light-duty crewcab pickup, new or used

What do you need the truck to do? How much cargo and/or towing capacity? Sorry bed or long bed? You said you don't need 4WD, but do you want it (off road)? Do you want a diesel engine? Is a V-6 gas Ok? Or do you want/need more power? I think you can even get some of the smaller Japanese trucks with ...
by Kosmo
Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Shipping Issues since move from UPS to USPS
Replies: 74
Views: 5139

Re: Amazon Prime Shipping Issues since move from UPS to USPS

We've had 1 problem that I can recall. A bottle of hair dye was broken, but immediately replaced. My wife preferred the majority of the Christmas gifts and miscellaneous other items, I'd say 1 damaged product that was remedied quickly out of perhaps 40 over the pay 3 months is acceptable. I can't sa...
by Kosmo
Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owing too much money to taxes. Help with adjusting allowances?
Replies: 12
Views: 1040

Re: Owing too much money to taxes. Help with adjusting allowances?

Ask the IRS. Try this: https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Withholding-Calculator As a rough guess take your prior year's itemized deductions and divide by $4000 (the value of an exemption). That's roughly the number of exemptions equivalent to the reduction in taxable income due to the itemized ded...
by Kosmo
Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Advice - Child Care
Replies: 23
Views: 1271

Re: Need Advice - Child Care

Have you re-evaluated the daycares in the area recently? And not just for cost comparisons. We did that shortly after child #2 was born, but we ended up staying at the same place. But things did change since our original evaluations. With a 2 and a 3 yr old, daycare costs more than our mortgage + ta...
by Kosmo
Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jackpot Now Estimated $700 Million, who's in?
Replies: 149
Views: 5696

Re: Jackpot Now Estimated $700 Million, who's in?

We were just talking about this in the office about 20 minutes ago. Topics we were discussing: -How many unique numbers are there? Answer: ~175.2 million. What are your odds of sharing a prize if you won? -How are the number machines coded to give out numbers? Clearly they don't give out all the num...
by Kosmo
Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How has your Salary performed against inflation?
Replies: 59
Views: 5009

Re: How has your Salary performed against inflation?

4.71% CAGR nominal since July 2005. Inflation over that time period is 1.90%. So I'm beating inflation by 2.81%.
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How is Costco's gas so cheap? (15% cheaper in my area)
Replies: 59
Views: 4980

Re: How is Costco's gas so cheap? (15% cheaper in my area)

I can't answer your question, but I do know they have some type of competitive pricing policy that's semi-independent of the cost of oil. I was chatting with a Costco gas station attendant recently and he said the price at the station is controlled from the corporate hq. When they have confirmation ...
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often does your credit card # get stolen?
Replies: 57
Views: 2061

Re: How often does your credit card # get stolen?

Twice for my wife. Same card about a year apart. Twice for me, one was a personal card and the other a corporate card. Most recently was about a month ago. All the fraudulent charges to the personal cards were caught immediately. I didn't realize my corporate card had been compromised until about a ...
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question - New to HSA
Replies: 18
Views: 941

Re: Question - New to HSA

The goal, should you be able to afford it, is to contribute the max to the hsa and hope you have fewer medical expenses than what you have contributed. You should be able to invest the extra and let it grow indefinitely. It's one of the best tax sheltered accounts out there. This. You don't pay tax...

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