Search found 1394 matches

by PaddyMac
Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living off of Taxable to max 401K
Replies: 11
Views: 848

Re: Living off of Taxable to max 401K

We're pretty close to the magical 59.5 yrs, and with us being semi-retired, I have start moving money from taxable to max out our 401k Roths (and Roth IRAs). I make sure first to tax defer enough to to keep us comfortably in the 15% tax bracket so Qualified Dividends and Cap Gains are not taxed. So ...
by PaddyMac
Wed May 31, 2017 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long before I can cut down a branch with a nesting bird
Replies: 18
Views: 2252

Re: How long before I can cut down a branch with a nesting bird

If you have barn swallows in the eaves, be aware that they are protected by Federal Migratory Bird act. Once an adult is sitting on a nest (eggs or no eggs), knocking it down could land you six months in jail or a $10,000 fine. As for cutting down a tree with a bird in it... We reported a tree trimm...
by PaddyMac
Wed May 31, 2017 11:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: About to retire
Replies: 11
Views: 1879

Re: About to retire

I wouldn't only spend the cash in the very beginning. Check out your tax return and I think you'll find that you can withdraw a certain amount of money from your tax deferred account and fill up your 0% tax "bucket" (your exemptions etc). Maybe even pay a little tax at 10% if you'll end up...
by PaddyMac
Wed May 31, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lowering life insurance coverage as I get older
Replies: 17
Views: 1278

Re: Lowering life insurance coverage as I get older

We felt secure enough this year to drop our term life insurance on both of us. We early retired this year, and decided that paying $1K a year for something we didn't really need was a waste of money.
by PaddyMac
Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wells Fargo Brokerage
Replies: 28
Views: 3950

Re: Wells Fargo Brokerage

When you say you can't buy a fund, do you mean online only? I seem to remember being told that if I wanted to buy more of a certain Small Caps fund that I had to call it in.
by PaddyMac
Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best take it everywhere camera
Replies: 102
Views: 10166

Re: Best take it everywhere camera

I've had an RX100 MkII since they first came out. Two pro photographers recommended it to me as their pocket camera. It takes great photos (I shoot Camera RAW always, turning off the duplicate JPG). My favorite feature is the one-click button to record a Movie (HD) - most cameras you have to fiddle ...
by PaddyMac
Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can a massage chair favorably compare to mediocre budget massages from Groupon?
Replies: 4
Views: 886

Re: Can a massage chair favorably compare to mediocre budget massages from Groupon?

squirm wrote:If you go the inversion table route be careful, I screwed up my back with one of those tables.


Sorry to hear that. I must add that Teeter stress strongly that you need to build up your tolerance over a few weeks, adding a few degrees each week.
by PaddyMac
Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can a Sole Proprietor pre-pay health insurance premiums and deduct them?
Replies: 6
Views: 628

Re: Can a Sole Proprietor pre-pay health insurance premiums and deduct them?

Also note that if you are buying health insurance on the exchange, and sign up for a new plan in December, there is no benefit to pre-paying the January premium in December - except to avoid the daily emails reminding you for pay your first premium! We've had that issue for a couple of years, but al...
by PaddyMac
Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can a Sole Proprietor pre-pay health insurance premiums and deduct them?
Replies: 6
Views: 628

Re: Can a Sole Proprietor pre-pay health insurance premiums and deduct them?

Also, if you buy equipment at the end of the year (like 12/30/16) so you can claim a tax deduction for that year, our CPA used to advise against this for a similar reason. You have to put the equipment substantially into service in the year you purchase it. So that's why it's good to do some tax pla...
by PaddyMac
Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can a massage chair favorably compare to mediocre budget massages from Groupon?
Replies: 4
Views: 886

Re: Can a massage chair favorably compare to mediocre budget massages from Groupon?

We bought a $4K Panasonic massage chair a few years ago. We use it fairly regularly, although we still get a massage now and then. It really depends on what is hurting: the massage chair is pretty good for the middle back, but it doesn't do a good job in getting into the neck area, shoulders and cra...
by PaddyMac
Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal finance help for those below/near poverty line
Replies: 27
Views: 3562

Re: Personal finance help for those below/near poverty line

Thanks to all above who posted info on the IRS course and teaching financial literacy. It's been on my mind recently how I could help lower-income families get a handle on budgeting and taxes etc., and these are all great ideas. I didn't realize the IRS had an online course - very handy.
by PaddyMac
Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Instant Pot - your favorite uses?
Replies: 36
Views: 5782

Re: Instant Pot - your favorite uses?

I had it for a year before I noticed it had a Rice button. Doh! Now I use it mainly for rice. It also cooks Quinoa really well in 1 minute. If you like mashed potatoes, it cooks them perfectly. Just drain the water and melt some butter in the still-warm pot, add the drained potatoes, plus some milk,...
by PaddyMac
Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Billing Disagreement - Stark Law
Replies: 95
Views: 6243

Re: Medical Billing Disagreement - Stark Law

I'm not if this helps, but something for everyone to watch for: I recently had a preventive maintenance procedure that was routine and covered 100% under the ACA. I got balance billed for it. I called the insurance company and they said it should be covered 100%, so ask the medical provider to fix i...
by PaddyMac
Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for home paper shredder
Replies: 52
Views: 3071

Re: Recommendations for home paper shredder

I once bought a cheap one that overheated after a few pages...

A few years ago I bought the Fellowes model that Costco was selling and it's fantastic; I shred sheets of cardboard with it weekly for my worm bins. I do use the little oiler regularly too.
by PaddyMac
Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally 1 Day Transfer
Replies: 40
Views: 6223

Re: Ally 1 Day Transfer

This was also welcome news for us, as we use Ally for our emergency fund. In the past, transfers took about 3 days.
by PaddyMac
Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Plan Contributions (Solo Roth 401k, SEP, Roth)
Replies: 7
Views: 1003

Re: Retirement Plan Contributions (Solo Roth 401k, SEP, Roth)

We had the same situation (SEP-IRA first, then opened a 401k). We stopped contributing to the SEP, but left it open. You say you have a Roth 401k, but do you also have access to saving in a tax-deferred 401k? They are usually part of the same plan. The regular 401k would have both EmployER and Emplo...
by PaddyMac
Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Indexing: When being 'average' is a lot better than average
Replies: 19
Views: 1983

Re: Indexing: When being 'average' is a lot better than average

I know absolutely nothing about golf, but when I look up the definition of par, it says: Par: An amount or a level considered to be average So, by definition par is in the mid range. When I think of a football player or a basketball player as being average, I think not too good, not too bad, you kn...
by PaddyMac
Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you track your net worth? How long have you done so?
Replies: 110
Views: 9919

Re: Do you track your net worth? How long have you done so?

I started tracking net worth only a few years ago as I planned for early retirement. I use Apple's Numbers app, which comes with a Net Worth spreadsheet template. I modified it by adding a few extra tables with "historical" totals so I could see how it was growing over time. I used to trac...
by PaddyMac
Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Pantry
Replies: 23
Views: 2962

Re: Amazon Prime Pantry

I've used it a couple of times but there are two problems with it (for me at least): - the selection is very limited: I can find almost everything I need in the regular Amazon at good prices, and use it to buy lots of gluten-free flour especially. Those items ship Amazon Prime for free. In the pantr...
by PaddyMac
Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions
Replies: 17
Views: 1820

Re: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions

Agree with above. We were always too busy to do our own taxes but a few years ago I started learning as much as I could. I built spreadsheets to recreate the entire return, so I could see on one page how one number affects the bottom line. This year we are doing our own taxes in TaxAct and saving ov...
by PaddyMac
Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions
Replies: 17
Views: 1820

Re: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions

Our CPA was quite realistic. He said that unless you are talking about huge sums of money, the IRS doesn't care to make taxpayers increase paperwork for a few thousand dollars. If your income is under $100K, you are a small-fry business to the IRS. If you pick a company name that is generic, I don't...
by PaddyMac
Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions
Replies: 17
Views: 1820

Re: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions

You didn't mention health insurance, so if you are buying an ACA plan, highly recommend you look for an HSA compatible plan. An HSA is the best tax-advantaged savings plan - better than any 401k or Roth. It's tax free doing IN and tax free coming OUT so long as you are paying for a medical bill (alm...
by PaddyMac
Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions
Replies: 17
Views: 1820

Re: Getting a Late Start/Solo 401k Questions

Well done on figuring this all out. Don't worry about the late date as that is in the past. If you end up with good income in the future, you will play catch up. You didn't mention kids, so I assume you are not planning for college fees etc. We are both self-employed and we really didn't get a good ...
by PaddyMac
Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for safe online money transfer (e.g. Paypal) from 3rd party
Replies: 6
Views: 573

Re: Recommendations for safe online money transfer (e.g. Paypal) from 3rd party

Another advantage of paper checks is the no-fee attached. (I was annoyed once when a client paid my fairly large invoice by Paypal - and I was dinged 3%. I made them send a check for the difference.) However, you may have to wait a few days to make sure the check truly clears. Ask your bank for deta...
by PaddyMac
Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security [i]: Max SS Earnings, Bend Points, How Many More Years? [USA]
Replies: 40
Views: 5671

Re: Social Security [i]: Max SS Earnings, Bend Points, How Many More Years? [USA]

I arrived in the USA at age 34 in 2004. Do you by any chance have a small pension coming from your country of origin? I arrived in the US at age 26 and had accumulated enough for the a small British pension. But unless I have 30 years of earnings in the US, anything I get from the UK will diminish ...
by PaddyMac
Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self Employed Expense Tracking
Replies: 7
Views: 651

Re: Self Employed Expense Tracking

Yes, meal expenses are only 50% deductible. Years ago our CPA told us that meals eaten while traveling out of town (say at a conference) were "travel" expenses and could be expensed at 100%, BUT that is no longer true. Somewhere along the way the IRS clamped down on this, so I believe ALL ...
by PaddyMac
Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: vacation home now or in 2035?
Replies: 10
Views: 1658

Re: vacation home now or in 2035?

I wouldn't buy now unless you are going to visit it at least one weekend a month. Too many things change. We used to live in LA, and dreamed of a mountain cabin getaway when we were 40. When we were 50, we ended up moving to another state and live in the mountains. We are so glad we didn't buy a sec...
by PaddyMac
Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sole Proprietor 401K and Tax Questions
Replies: 9
Views: 908

Re: Sole Proprietor 401K and Tax Questions

As a sole proprietor for many years, our CPA never cared where the money for our SEP or 401k came from. Your business & personal money is best kept in separate account naturally, but you can contribute from anywhere.

Run this calculation to check the max amount
https://docs.zoho.com/sheet/published.d ... 140934898a

Not sure about #2.
by PaddyMac
Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with my CD collection
Replies: 35
Views: 3458

Re: What to do with my CD collection

If you have time, search them out on Amazon first. We just went through our collection and found a few that were quite valuable. We sell anything that will go for $10 and up, and books we no longer want that are $20 and up. If there are dozens for sale for $0.01 etc, then we donate them to the local...
by PaddyMac
Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Question - New Employer and Now Paying Monthly Fees
Replies: 3
Views: 410

Re: HSA Question - New Employer and Now Paying Monthly Fees

Sort of related, in case it's useful: Wells Fargo just let us know that they are getting out of the HSA business and are moving our HSA to Optum Bank. We used to have to keep $2K minimum to avoid fees at WF, but their investment choices were pretty crappy. Now we'll have to keep a higher minimum but...
by PaddyMac
Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I take full advantage of a Roth IRA
Replies: 60
Views: 4596

Re: How do I take full advantage of a Roth IRA

"just got married and so we have not decided or looked at how we will file our taxes next year. My husband makes $140,000 and has his own substantial savings." I think before you do anything, you need to get together with your husband and see how Married Filing Jointly will affect your mod...
by PaddyMac
Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sole Proprietorship for Nurse Practicioner
Replies: 18
Views: 1492

Re: Sole Proprietorship for Nurse Practicioner

there is no difference between an Individual 401(k) and a SEP-IRA. Disagree with this. A solo 401k is much more beneficial. (personal experience) Read (and post) the rest of the statement. There is no difference at high income levels in maximum contribution (they both max out at $53k vs $59k). Ther...
by PaddyMac
Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unearned Income v. Earned Income Tipping Point
Replies: 8
Views: 1076

Re: Unearned Income v. Earned Income Tipping Point

This is somewhat of the situation that I have with our retirement planning as we enter semi-retirement, but in our case we have royalty streams that will fade out (even if we stop creating new intellectual property). So we have sort of the best of both worlds - we stop working, but we still have ear...
by PaddyMac
Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income Tax Prep Software?
Replies: 17
Views: 1548

Re: Income Tax Prep Software?

I just started using TaxAct to do our Partnership return, and was quite happy with it. Email support is fairly slow though - 1-2 days, and they don't always get what you're asking so you wait another day. I could pay before filing and then print as often as I liked though (it makes a PDF), and the p...
by PaddyMac
Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spouse Roth IRAs
Replies: 8
Views: 889

Re: Spouse Roth IRAs

Njm8845 wrote:I'm kicking myself for not doing this years ago!


I understand. We saved in our taxable account for years not realizing that we qualified for Roth IRAs. We assumed the limit was gross income from self-employment. We didn't know what the MA meant, we just saw Gross Income... :oops:
by PaddyMac
Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best book on Taxes?
Replies: 9
Views: 1173

Re: Best book on Taxes?

If you know how to use a spreadsheet, then I'd suggest start by building out the 1040 on a sheet. Then add Schedule A etc etc. linking them into the 1040. I started this exercise a few years back, and now have a huge spreadsheet that mimics both our business and personal returns on one page. (I use ...
by PaddyMac
Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fear and Trembling (Aug. 31st is my last day at work)
Replies: 77
Views: 10662

Re: Fear and Trembling (Aug. 31st is my last day at work)

Glad to see that you have lots of hobbies and interests already, as well as someone to share them with. I'm convinced that with a little transition time, you'll wonder why you didn't retire earlier! I agree with going into the office for "lunch" with colleagues more than going in to do wor...
by PaddyMac
Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Savings Account Strategy/Recommendations
Replies: 10
Views: 2698

Re: Online Savings Account Strategy/Recommendations

ditto with guitarguy. I keep about $30 at Ally Bank, but also grab a few credit card offers -esp. the airlines as they stupidly give you enough for a free flight, one free year, and then allow you to cancel!
by PaddyMac
Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: European currently living in the U.S. in need of advice
Replies: 15
Views: 1480

Re: European currently living in the U.S. in need of advice

If I were you I'd do a 2-pronged approach to guard against currency fluctuations. I would have half in US dollars and the other half in Euro. That way, if the dollar is strong but are you living in Europe, you would get a good return. I don't see a vision of the Euro ever being very strong vs the do...
by PaddyMac
Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco rotisserie chicken
Replies: 102
Views: 14798

Re: Costco rotisserie chicken

Chop it up and add it to a Chicken Tikka Masala jar sauce. Add some peas and fresh tomatoes, and serve over rice (cooked in my Instant Pot).

Or make Bombay Aloo (Indian-style potatoes with onions and tomatoes) and then just throw in chunks of chicken at the last step.
by PaddyMac
Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you on Facebook?
Replies: 144
Views: 11637

Re: Are you on Facebook?

Of course I'm on Facebook. Only way to keep in touch with family and friends, especially those overseas. If you don't have family and friends, feel free not to join... I will warn Bogleheads though NOT to connect their bank information with their Facebook account. FB has a new service for sending mo...
by PaddyMac
Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Steering the young couple into right direction
Replies: 11
Views: 1461

Re: Steering the young couple into right direction

"What should the wife do if she doesn't have employer matching 401k plan? Explore other tax-deferred options if any or start taxable investment?" Agree with poster above. Your wife has great opportunities to save: a SEP-IRA where she can save up to 20% of her net profit (funky calculations...
by PaddyMac
Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA - Can you withdraw from the HSA an amount equal to my past medical expenses?
Replies: 39
Views: 4215

Re: HSA - Can you withdraw from the HSA an amount equal to my past medical expenses?

We're self-employed and we always make a note of our medical mileage. But we have a nice mileage book and one column is Business and the second column is Medical, as it's reimbursed at a different rate.
by PaddyMac
Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worried about son's finances/life
Replies: 41
Views: 8563

Re: Worried about son's finances/life

"My 29 year old son voluntarily quit his high-paying job 2 years ago and has not re-entered the workforce. He is fairly private, so it's hard to know what's going on sometimes, though he seems very happy. " goodness, I did much stranger stuff when I was that age, including moving countries...
by PaddyMac
Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dogs scratched my car on country road
Replies: 27
Views: 3211

Re: Dogs scratched my car on country road

I got obsessed with auto detailing last year and learned a lot from AutoGeeks online forums. They are really helpful there. Post your photos and your current experience with detailing, and you will get many helpful answers. If you give your city, you might even find someone on the forums who can hel...
by PaddyMac
Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want advice on a cross-country move
Replies: 5
Views: 670

Re: Want advice on a cross-country move

We did quite a bit of research before moving from CA to NM, and we moved our house, office and art studio. We dumped what we could, and regret not dumping the king bed as we bought a new one as soon as we had the money from the sale! (We could have used the guest bed for a few weeks.) So do think ab...
by PaddyMac
Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Tax Payments vs. Withholdings for self-employed person
Replies: 4
Views: 480

Re: Estimated Tax Payments vs. Withholdings for self-employed person

First off, the quarterly estimated taxes are not paid quarterly. Go figure! Jan1 - end March - pay on April 15 Jan1 - end May - pay on June 15 Jan1 - end August - pay on Sept 15 Jan1 - Dec31 - pay on Jan 15 the following year. So you can see it's sort of lumpy. And you don't really calculate the &qu...
by PaddyMac
Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA transfer Wells Fargo -> Vanguard
Replies: 7
Views: 872

Re: Roth IRA transfer Wells Fargo -> Vanguard

We do the same as Livesoft and bank at WF, so no fees on our Roth IRA and SEP IRA and Taxable accounts. We also have a Vanguard 401k and Taxable account there too. The only advantage I see with Wellstrade is that you don't have to only buy Vanguard. We have lots of Vanguard funds in our WF Roths, bu...