Search found 753 matches

by bberris
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Virtual Mailbox / Mail Scan Service
Replies: 9
Views: 495

Re: Virtual Mailbox / Mail Scan Service

Have you looked at the full consequences of having a California address? California has a very assertive tax collection bureau. Even if you wouldn't owe any taxes, you may find yourself spending a few hours each year convincing the state of California that you do not owe any taxes. A California add...
by bberris
Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRS Rule of 55 vs. 72(t) Distribution
Replies: 8
Views: 866

Re: IRS Rule of 55 vs. 72(t) Distribution

Rule 55 has a Catch 22. Merrill would not let me make partial withdrawals from a 401k. Your sponsor might or might not.
by bberris
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin now the largest quantifiable bubble in history?
Replies: 88
Views: 6503

Re: Bitcoin now the largest quantifiable bubble in history?

Wakefield1 wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:49 pm
"How high can it go?" asks the newspaper article:
Is the answer "as high as buyers are willing to pay"?
Image
by bberris
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LMP until Social Security at 70
Replies: 10
Views: 885

Re: LMP until Social Security at 70

It seems like you would be a good candidate for a temporary life annuity. Pay a lump of money, get a monthly payment until 70 or until you die, whichever comes first.

The advantage over a bond or cd ladder is that you don't need to set aside as much cash to get the same income.
by bberris
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth it to Amend incorrect CPA prepared tax returns?
Replies: 33
Views: 1812

Re: Worth it to Amend incorrect CPA prepared tax returns?

File all the incorrect returns. It won't look good if you only file returns where you were due a refund because clearly you could see the error.

Copy your CPA, get a refund of his fees and reimbursement of any penalty.
by bberris
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to calculate loan amount for 401k?
Replies: 5
Views: 417

Re: How to calculate loan amount for 401k?

If the sponsor says he can "borrow" 50 % that means he can withdraw half the value of his account on that day. It is a little confusing because 401k loans are not really loans in the way a margin loan is. It is simply a withdrawal. Investments will be liquidated to fund the withdrawal, so his accoun...
by bberris
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Bitcoin & It’s Risks
Replies: 57
Views: 4739

Re: Larry Swedroe: Bitcoin & It’s Risks

LS talks about illicit activity supported by bitcoin. Obviously there is some. I've started to wonder whether bitcoin is actually useful for illegal activity. Sure you can trade it between thieves, but how do you actually launder significant amounts? It's not like you can convert your bitcoins at th...
by bberris
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Card declined - blocked country
Replies: 49
Views: 3142

Re: Card declined - blocked country

nisiprius wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:15 am
...

Can anybody come up with any idea of anything that might be common to those states? Do they all have notably low chip-and-PIN adoption?
Yes. Chip and pin for credit cards is rare in the US. You can use a pin for a debit card. But I can't say what they have in common.
by bberris
Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How will i be taxed when switching jobs?
Replies: 25
Views: 1405

Re: How will i be taxed when switching jobs?

1.5% interest amounts to 1000 So you're saying you want to reduce your withholding by roughly $ 250,000. Son, you can afford an accountant. 1000/0.015 = 66,666. But you are only doing this for half a year, and the money comes in over the course of 6 months, so I'm multiplying by 4 to account for th...
by bberris
Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How will i be taxed when switching jobs?
Replies: 25
Views: 1405

Re: How will i be taxed when switching jobs?

Your employer withholds payments toward the tax, but this does not determine how much tax you pay. As long as you have at least the same amount of withholding as last year, you won't pay a penalty for underpayments. Do you really want to play this game for 1 % interest? Just fill out the w-4 correct...
by bberris
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Do You Stay Current With Music?
Replies: 111
Views: 5116

Re: How Do You Stay Current With Popular Music?

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:24 pm
bberris wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:03 pm
Current pop is inane, repetitive, derivative.
Isn't that what every older generation says about the current music?
Yes, but it's different this time :mrgreen: . Seriously, watch the video.
by bberris
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Do You Stay Current With Music?
Replies: 111
Views: 5116

Re: How Do You Stay Current With Popular Music?

Current pop is inane, repetitive, derivative. Amazingly a large proportion of current pop hits are written by only two songwriters, which explains why they all sound alike:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVME_l4IwII
by bberris
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Claim S.S. and Invest it
Replies: 13
Views: 1962

Re: Claim S.S. and Invest it

I don't plan on collecting my Social Security but .... What do you think of collecting my Social Security at 62 and investing all of it in the Total Stock Market Index Fund instead ? If you don't want to collect it you can send it to me. Most retirees want a steady income. To achieve that goal, man...
by bberris
Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones trap
Replies: 45
Views: 5164

Re: Edward Jones trap

The reason for paying a 1.3 % management fee is to have someone to blame when things go south. Maybe it's worth it to them.
by bberris
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BLK Friday -Washer/Dryer purchase for future
Replies: 10
Views: 840

Re: BLK Friday -Washer/Dryer purchase for future

We maybe moving in about 2 months. Has anyone purchased W/D from Lowes or HD and deferred taking delivery 60 or 70 days out in future? Any downside to this? Yes, just did it at HD with a 6 week delivery. Make sure you have the exact measurements if you are buying a fridge. I can't imagine that your...
by bberris
Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to avoid ACA Subsidy failure!
Replies: 18
Views: 1701

Re: Trying to avoid ACA Subsidy failure!

Simply having a sufficiently high deductible does not mean that the plan is necessarily HSA-compliant. All the HSA insurance plans I have seen have HSA in their title.
by bberris
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to avoid ACA Subsidy failure!
Replies: 18
Views: 1701

Re: Trying to avoid ACA Subsidy failure!

We still have HSA-compliant plans in MN. Lots of companies have dropped plans and some stopped offering any insurance. Maybe there was not enough interest in it? If you have fully funded the IRA, including catch-up, the only feasible solution I can see is to stop working once you see the cliff coming.
by bberris
Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2687
Views: 861160

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Art of Racing in the Rain. (for the second time)

After losing my dog to cancer
by bberris
Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interesting ride so far - Crypto-curriencies
Replies: 86
Views: 5529

Re: Interesting ride so far - Crypto-curriencies

Can someone explain how these cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin will be used for everyday transactions when the price is extremely volatile, transactions slow and expensive, limited acceptance, complex to use for everyday people, potential restrictive regulations etc? How will these cryptocurrencies...
by bberris
Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dropping Term Life Insurance When Hitting Your Number
Replies: 30
Views: 3396

Re: Dropping Term Life Insurance When Hitting Your Number

Also: Keeping an insurance that you don't really need is like betting against the odds and against the insurance company. Remember: the odds are always in favor of the insurance company, and that is why they are profitable (Some exception applies such as health insurance that is forced to cover a p...
by bberris
Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help DW gets fired, but then next day her boss offers her job back
Replies: 156
Views: 12029

Re: Help DW gets fired, but then next day her boss offers her job back

My guess is that there may not be enough money to pay her possibly, therefore the request of the 25% pay cut?? Nonsense. Every business has employees drawing big checks who do nothing productive. She should be very slow to respond, demand a raise to come back, and start looking for another job.
by bberris
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay capital gains now, avoid ACA cliff later?
Replies: 8
Views: 958

Re: Pay capital gains now, avoid ACA cliff later?

Another possibility is borrowing to meet your living expenses until medicare kicks in or ACA is otherwise over. There's at least one thread on asset-based lending. Except for Interactive Brokers, most of the discounters have very high margin rates.
by bberris
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA premiums and impact to SS timing
Replies: 5
Views: 516

Re: ACA premiums and impact to SS timing

The breakeven point is only one way of looking at social security timing and it depends on your objective. It's the least important for me. If you want to leave the most for your heirs, early claiming may be best. If you want to make sure you don't run out of income by living too long, late claiming...
by bberris
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: short a stock that is halted
Replies: 8
Views: 1071

Re: short a stock that is halted

Did you talk to IB? Maybe you can arrange a private purchase to cover, but it sounds problematic. The guy who lent you shares is obviously enjoying this and the high lending fees are probably the reason he bought.
by bberris
Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Marijuana stocks
Replies: 11
Views: 1269

Re: Marijuana stocks

Weed is so 2014. It's bitcoin today. Or maybe one of the thousands of other digital moneys. There are several threads.
by bberris
Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Scottrade to TDA
Replies: 24
Views: 1943

Re: Scottrade to TDA

Just curious if TDA would give out their new account bonus for Scottrade accounts being absorbed? I kinda doubt it but you never know. They give bonuses to get you to switch. This one you have no choice. So: No. Way. Also doubt that you would get the bonus if you moved voluntarily prior to the abso...
by bberris
Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting a car from Atlanta GA to Austin TX: $$$
Replies: 33
Views: 1701

Re: Renting a car from Atlanta GA to Austin TX: $$$

Rupert wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:06 am
Don't pick up the rental car at the airport. Airports charge crazy fees (often +$100 per rental) on rental cars.
Then it should be worth a Uber to the off-airport office. Probably can drop at the airport with no extra fee.
by bberris
Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I have a cell phone that has some malware from the cell phone maker. Malwarebytes can't not remove it. Is the phone safe
Replies: 28
Views: 2180

Re: I have a cell phone that has some malware from the cell phone maker. Malwarebytes can't not remove it. Is the phone

A PUP is a "potentially unwanted program". Since the vendor installed it, it is probably there to feed you ads rather than to steal your information, but the ads are going to be targeted based on your use. I don't think it will help not to use the app, it just runs all the time. Under "settings" go ...
by bberris
Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Identity Theft Credit Score
Replies: 13
Views: 1178

Re: Identity Theft Credit Score

With this history, SS will change her number. They will resist, but with the police report, etc it should go through. The fraud cards should be removed from her credit file. Then apply for a credit card at a store where they are sure to open an account, but probably low balance. Just stay with the o...
by bberris
Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?
Replies: 97
Views: 6500

Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

I think you may be missing the point of the signature. It serves the same purpose as a pin. Rather than protecting the cardholder from fraud (who really is already protected) it prevents the merchant and bank from chargebacks by denying deniability to the purchaser: the signature proves (to you) th...
by bberris
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?
Replies: 97
Views: 6500

Re: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?

I think you may be missing the point of the signature. It serves the same purpose as a pin. Rather than protecting the cardholder from fraud (who really is already protected) it prevents the merchant and bank from chargebacks by denying deniability to the purchaser: the signature proves (to you) tha...
by bberris
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Makes U.S. Treasuries the World's "Safe" Asset?
Replies: 24
Views: 2567

Re: What Makes U.S. Treasuries the World's "Safe" Asset?

Perhaps I'm reading too quickly, but where do they show that US treasuries are safer than German bunds, or U.K. gilts, or Japanese government bonds? Interest rates on some of these have been lower than Treasury rates in the not too distant past. ... Interest rates are influenced by expected inflati...
by bberris
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 107
Views: 11062

Re: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter

The tipping culture is definitely a bit untethered to any sensible standard of compensation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but workers' wages at counter-service restaurants are at least minimum wage. When I worked as a waiter, the base rate was below minimum wage, making me dependent on tips. I busted m...
by bberris
Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Having second thoughts about building up hsa
Replies: 17
Views: 1554

Re: Having second thoughts about building up hsa

The IRS will only be interested in looking at your records if you get audited. I doubt you would get audited only because of HSA withdrawals unless they looked very suspicious. (I have not and I have made large withdrawals.) The only records you really need are your year end summary from the insuran...
by bberris
Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bank Balance Sheet (M1 Finance Portfolio)
Replies: 23
Views: 1074

Re: Bank Balance Sheet (M1 Finance Portfolio)

You are not a bank. Banks are highly regulated and restricted as to their investment risk. Even without regulation, they need to be very liquid to make settlements on loans. We know nothing about you, except that you are not a bank. So you need to assess your own risk tolerance to get an investment ...
by bberris
Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with single state muni fund?
Replies: 8
Views: 740

Re: What to do with single state muni fund?

I assume your new state has an income tax. Otherwise there's no harm in keeping CA only funds, except for lack of diversification. Even if you stay below the ACA cliff, you will effectively be taxed 9.5 % for loss of subsidy. So your marginal capital gains rate on ACA will be not 16 % but 25.5 % ass...
by bberris
Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA MAGI planning
Replies: 52
Views: 4050

Re: ACA MAGI planning

I agree Willilift. Roth conversions are not very attractive while on ACA, even staying off the cliff. With 9.5 % loss of subsidy, 10 % fed tax, and 7 % state income tax, I'm at almost 27 % tax on conversions. That is almost as high as the 31 % marginal rate on my 401k contributions.
by bberris
Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]
Replies: 254
Views: 25620

Re: Anyone else lose ability to download stock prices recently?

This doesn't get the dividend, but it does get annual yield so it's just as good: =IFERROR(INDEX(SPLIT(INDEX(IMPORTHTML("https://www.google.com/finance?q="&A4,"table",3),1,2), "/"),2)) Where A4 references the ticker Can you please explain, step by step, how this works? I can find IFERROR as a funct...
by bberris
Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]
Replies: 254
Views: 25620

Re: Anyone else lose ability to download stock prices recently?

This doesn't get the dividend, but it does get annual yield so it's just as good:

=IFERROR(INDEX(SPLIT(INDEX(IMPORTHTML("https://www.google.com/finance?q="&A4,"table",3),1,2), "/"),2))

Where A4 references the ticker
by bberris
Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Signature-only card at unattended kiosks overseas?
Replies: 13
Views: 973

Re: Signature-only card at unattended kiosks overseas?

I've bought train tickets in Italy, and Metro tickets in Paris using the machines. If it asks for a pin just hit enter. I've never tried fuel pumps but I've heard it's a problem. I think it will be hit and miss, so you would probably need some cash.
by bberris
Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]
Replies: 254
Views: 25620

Re: Anyone else lose ability to download stock prices recently?

I don't use any special financial software other than spreadsheets so I can't help you there. Maybe downloading to a csv would work. I just use Google Sheets to calculate what I need. Mainly I am controlling my income for ACA. But you could use Google sheets for whatever you need. Ladygeek posted a ...
by bberris
Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Yahoo Finance no longer works - Alternatives to download securities quotes]
Replies: 254
Views: 25620

Re: Anyone else lose ability to download stock prices recently?

Yes, Yahoo smf no longer work. There's another thread. I converted to Google Sheets, and use the =GoogleFinance(A1, "price") function. Unfortunately, there is no GoogleFinance call for dividends for stocks that works consistently, so I had to enter those manually (they don't change all that frequent...
by bberris
Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I decline Grand Prize trip because of taxes on winnings?
Replies: 93
Views: 8523

Re: Should I decline Grand Prize trip because of taxes on winnings?

If you paid 9,000 to go on a trip, you would have paid income taxes on the money you spend for the trip. So if it is something you really want to do, I wouldn't let the taxes stand in the way. You are still 9,000 better off than paying for the trip out of pocket, after income taxes.
by bberris
Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spam calls to cell phone...
Replies: 87
Views: 6291

Re: Spam calls to cell phone...

I almost never go to trial, most settle and a few go to summary judgment, others have been default judgments and i collected on then. I settled several this month for over 20k, which isn't common, but happens as the cases settle and the defense attys have milked their clients dry for attys fees. I ...
by bberris
Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Injury / Chiropractor?
Replies: 26
Views: 738

Re: Auto Injury / Chiropractor?

You should see a real doctor. Not a lawyer, but unless you have already agreed to a settlement, I don't think your options are limited just because two months have past. It's also not too late to submit your chiropractor claims to insurance, where the bill will be adjusted to in-network rates, assum...
by bberris
Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warning Buffet Indicator?!?
Replies: 31
Views: 2555

Re: Warning Buffet Indicator?!?

Do you eat at establishments that feature a buffet? A buffet is a place where food is presented in separately pans and dishes for one to self-serve themselves. I know of cafeterias, Indian, Middle-eastern, Mexican, Chinese, and barbecue buffet places. How do you know if the food is not contaminated...
by bberris
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spam calls to cell phone...
Replies: 87
Views: 6291

Re: Spam calls to cell phone...

The weird thing is when you get a call from your own number. I was tempted to answer, thinking that I might be in trouble.
by bberris
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worry About Home Title Fraud?
Replies: 23
Views: 2090

Re: Worry About Home Title Fraud?

I am thinking to put liens (real or fake) against my properties so that a title company would have a harder time transferring title and/or financing it for someone posing as me. One extra hurdle the scammers would have to get around. Is that REALLY necessary? What about all of the millions of senio...