Search found 610 matches

by bberris
Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why are pensions revered, but annuities reviled?
Replies: 113
Views: 8959

Re: Why are pensions revered, but annuities reviled?

The blood-cooking arises when someone wants to buy a fixed index annuity or some flavor of that. The names keep changing to protect the guilty.

I haven't noticed any boiling blood from SPIA's
by bberris
Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Armageddon Insurance - how to spend $100k
Replies: 29
Views: 2446

Re: Financial Armageddon Insurance - how to spend $100k

After Katrina it became clear individuals and families need a plan. Just a few days without modern luxuries and it was causing death. 1. Stored water rotated on a regular basis 2. Enough food for a few days 3. Protection 4. All your critical documentation and necessities in safe but easily accessib...
by bberris
Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Droopy sun-visor on honda civic
Replies: 9
Views: 898

Re: Droopy sun-visor on honda civic

push a small wrapit tie in between the rod and the fabric covering it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpFRPhLdQb8
by bberris
Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me decide pension benefits, single life, 50%, 75% and/or 100% survival benefits
Replies: 41
Views: 2517

Re: Help me decide pension benefits, single life, 50%, 75% and/or 100% survival benefits

Those calculations based on survival tables are useful for insurance companies and pension funds that insure large numbers of people. Averages can be relied upon for large numbers. But when there are only two people involved, averages mean little. You might expect to have an average life span, but t...
by bberris
Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living off loans to limit income?
Replies: 8
Views: 1380

Re: Living off loans to limit income?

Apparently it is common among the uber rich to live off loans secured by property, avoiding income taxes. Is this really true? :confused I don't know if this will satisfy you, but you need to realize that the uber rich ( are those the ones driving their car for me?) have been paying taxes on their ...
by bberris
Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of Medicare Cataract surgery?
Replies: 20
Views: 1669

Re: Cost of Medicare Cataract surgery?

... would not even send a dog there for medical care. My late father used to say (only half jokingly) that he would rather go to a veterinarian than a regular doctor because vets charged less and in his experience (with his many dogs over the years) had a better success rate. My vet quoted $556 for...
by bberris
Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Subprime Auto Loans packaged and sold to investors.
Replies: 10
Views: 1188

Re: Subprime Auto Loans packaged and sold to investors.

Sure seems to have similarities to subprime mortgage crisis of a few years ago. I wonder if some credit unions are building up subprime auto loans in their portfolios and having a bigger risk exposure. Adding to this risk is the movement of auto lending to longer terms (such as 84 months for new an...
by bberris
Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: advice on where to put money at age 55 to secure savings in the event of market crash
Replies: 35
Views: 3695

Re: advice on where to put money at age 55 to secure savings in the event of market crash

..... The other 1/3 of my savings are in secure qualified vehicles that can never lose principal. .... It's striking how words used to describe these rackets evolve as they try to race ahead of the bad press. "Whole Life" became "Bank on Yourself". Fixed index annuities became w...
by bberris
Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-Qualified index annuity ???
Replies: 7
Views: 351

Re: Non-Qualified index annuity ???

I read that wiki page. Thanks for that. So all in all a very complicated product where bad out weighs the good? Is there any way to set this up where it is a great investment or is this general kind of product like whole life insurance go against the Boglehead way? If this really appeals to you, do...
by bberris
Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Parents offering to invest $300,000 in my name as graduation gift; initial thought is to invest in a house?
Replies: 33
Views: 2836

Re: Parents offering to invest $300,000 in my name as graduation gift; initial thought is to invest in a house?

Caveats: our home in the 36 years of ownership has appreciated at approx 3% cagr without including maintenance, interest, and taxes. Those are pretty big expenses to not include. Your actual returns are obviously much smaller, if not negative. Meanwhile, what has the stock market returned over the ...
by bberris
Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to know if someone has filed your tax returns fradulently?
Replies: 22
Views: 1931

Re: How to know if someone has filed your tax returns fradulently?

I think just using the Where's my refund app at IRS.gov would tell you something. That won't work unless you know the filing status and amount of refund claimed by the person who filed the return fraudulently using your SSN and name. (Note that the amount of refund claimed by that person likely has...
by bberris
Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to know if someone has filed your tax returns fradulently?
Replies: 22
Views: 1931

Re: How to know if someone has filed your tax returns fradulently?

https://www.irs.gov/refunds

Remember they are not filing for your refund, but rather a refund. It is probably a lot larger than yours.
by bberris
Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..
Replies: 31
Views: 5480

Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

I think if you talk with someone who has already talked to a salesman the best thing to do is say things like. "I bet he made you feel really comfortable, was a really nice person, told you that you were making the right decision etc... Did he ONLY want to charge you 1% a year, that sounds rea...
by bberris
Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I create tax losses with short/long ETF positions?
Replies: 4
Views: 268

Re: Can I create tax losses with short/long ETF positions?

This runs afoul of a general IRS rule called "economic substance". A transaction whose only purpose is to reduce taxes would disallow the tax loss. This might be fraud as well. Since you expect the return to be zero, this would fall under that rule. Note that you would also have to constan...
by bberris
Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brokerage house bonuses and hidden bonuses
Replies: 2
Views: 437

Re: Brokerage house bonuses and hidden bonuses

Thanks! Looks like I left money on the table. Good to know for next time.
by bberris
Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Endless Job Interviews (with same company)
Replies: 61
Views: 6262

Re: Endless Job Interviews (with same company)

This usually happens when the direct boss wants you, but he can't convince the higher ups that you are the right one, or that they need the help, or both. I agree with asking on the phone what other information you can provide them with. Another rather sad explanation is that they are trying to pry ...
by bberris
Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "We’re not going back to the ‘80s, but expect the Fed to raise rates" by Joe Davis of Vanguard
Replies: 28
Views: 3657

Re: "We’re not going back to the ‘80s, but expect the Fed to raise rates" by Joe Davis of Vanguard

I'm just depressed that I'm about 2 years out on a home purchase and I know interest rates will be higher. I'm figuring in 2 years we'll be between 6-7% on conventional 30 yr mortgages. If that happens, prices will be much lower. Don't count on that either. The inventory isn't there and sellers may...
by bberris
Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "We’re not going back to the ‘80s, but expect the Fed to raise rates" by Joe Davis of Vanguard
Replies: 28
Views: 3657

Re: "We’re not going back to the ‘80s, but expect the Fed to raise rates" by Joe Davis of Vanguard

. It has been tough on our senior citizens as this has reduced their income somewhat. I have always wondered about this sentiment. You hear a lot about the "war on savers" with the low interest rates on savings accounts and CDs and such... but it seems to me that it completely tosses asid...
by bberris
Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do unrealized gains impact a fund's price?
Replies: 7
Views: 396

Re: Do unrealized gains impact a fund's price?

In the case of VTSAX and VTI, you are right. They have not had a capital gain distribution for a long time.
Not all mutual funds and ETFs operate as a pair that way. Certainly many ETF's and mutuals distribute capital gains.
by bberris
Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do unrealized gains impact a fund's price?
Replies: 7
Views: 396

Re: Do unrealized gains impact a fund's price?

The problem with unrealized appreciation in a taxable account is the same whether ETF, CEF, or mutual fund. After the capital gain is realized, you get a taxable distribution without having a comparable actual capital gain. Yes, you could mitigate this by tax-loss harvesting. That is not a clean sol...
by bberris
Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do unrealized gains impact a fund's price?
Replies: 7
Views: 396

Re: Do unrealized gains impact a fund's price?

Iorek is correct as he specifies mutual funds. Closed end funds with large unrealized appreciation tend to have higher discounts to NAV, because they trade independently of their assets.

If you are owning this in a tax-shelter like a 401k or IRA, unrealized appreciation won't matter to you.
by bberris
Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "We’re not going back to the ‘80s, but expect the Fed to raise rates" by Joe Davis of Vanguard
Replies: 28
Views: 3657

Re: "We’re not going back to the ‘80s, but expect the Fed to raise rates" by Joe Davis of Vanguard

Jags4186 wrote:I'm just depressed that I'm about 2 years out on a home purchase and I know interest rates will be higher. I'm figuring in 2 years we'll be between 6-7% on conventional 30 yr mortgages.


If that happens, prices will be much lower.
by bberris
Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: About to retire and need to realize 5%/year to live on.
Replies: 71
Views: 7285

Re: About to retire and need to realize 5%/year to live on.

dbr wrote:A person I knew was murdered going around collecting rent from his tenants.


And I thought stock investing was risky!
That is risk of a whole nother smoke.
by bberris
Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hitting the Obamacare "cliff" - and a possible way out?
Replies: 8
Views: 1581

Re: Hitting the Obamacare "cliff" - and a possible way out?

Is your health plan HSA compliant? It's not too late to pay into an HSA which might get you under the cliff.

I keep a spreadsheet open to constantly monitor income. There are a lot of moving parts to watch.
by bberris
Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For those considering "magic" annuities
Replies: 10
Views: 1753

Re: For those considering "magic" annuities

"Accumulation Value". So it's a number that you can enjoy on the screen. You can even print it out. You can really do anything you want except spend it.
by bberris
Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can COBRA be frozen on the account of travel to outside of Country
Replies: 5
Views: 424

Re: Can COBRA be frozen on the account of travel to outside of Country

Greetings for Ides of March, I am wondering if the COBRA health insurance can be frozen and restarted at a later date on the account of traveling of either primary person or spouse in the family benifit just so that, that time period dont get wasted. Please if anybody can comment on this, thanks My...
by bberris
Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For those considering "magic" annuities
Replies: 10
Views: 1753

Re: For those considering "magic" annuities

But you have to admire his bravery in the face of possible assassination by Wall Street operatives! The ads appear to be browser generated based on the page content or history as they try to target the user. These are often amusing when the words have two meanings. Search for a screwdriver and you g...
by bberris
Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pros and cons of a mortgage
Replies: 10
Views: 1133

Re: Pros and cons of a mortgage

Paying cash for a house gives you the imputed rent tax-free.
Let's say you own your house free and clear. If you sell it and start renting, you now pay tax on the income produced by the sale proceeds, and still have to pay rent. The income you use to pay rent is taxed.
by bberris
Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to go when stocks, bonds overpriced
Replies: 53
Views: 5159

Re: Where to go when stocks, bonds overpriced

Stocks and bonds do not statistically move in opposite directions (they are not very anti-correlated with R of -1). Rather, they are non-correlated with R near zero. Even so, risk is reduced by having a bond allocation since they are not highly correlated (with a positive R). Where to go? Whole Life...
by bberris
Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Soc Sec or spend down investments/assets?
Replies: 28
Views: 2750

Re: Early Soc Sec or spend down investments/assets?

I think you are eligible for file and suspend under the grandfathered rules. Run the calculators to see what is suggested.
by bberris
Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AP: Americans buy existing homes at fastest pace in a decade
Replies: 45
Views: 4138

Re: AP: Americans buy existing homes at fastest pace in a decade

tinscale wrote:I predict that this won't end well. :(


Well, if it does end well, that really wasn't the end, was it?
by bberris
Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Soc Sec or spend down investments/assets?
Replies: 28
Views: 2750

Re: Early Soc Sec or spend down investments/assets?

I second livesoft's recommendation. The main consideration is that you are buying a safe, inflation-indexed, annuity by foregoing current income. Social security income is taxed at a lower rate than other retirement income (except a roth or HSA), so you want to maximize the portion of income that is...
by bberris
Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bull/Sell your stock before dividend date or after dividend date?
Replies: 9
Views: 1250

Re: Bull/Sell your stock before dividend date or after dividend date?

Suppose you want to buy a mutual fund for total stock market. There's VTSAX which gives dividends for times a year. There's SWTSX which gives dividends once a year. Assuming stock doesn't really change in price between the two days, would you want to BUY it the day before or the day after it's ex-d...
by bberris
Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Has Raised Its Prices
Replies: 2
Views: 664

Re: TaxAct Has Raised Its Prices

Taxact pricing is fixed when you respond to an offer. If a lower offer comes along, you can respond to it and delete the older offer. Filing time does not matter.

They have clearly adopted a kind of airline ticket pricing model. Probably no deals now.
by bberris
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20% low-risk one month return from Thrift Conversions (bank demutualization/IPOs)
Replies: 10
Views: 978

Re: 20% low-risk one month return from Thrift Conversions (bank demutualization/IPOs)

Speaking of these, check out some of the SEC actions at the bottom of this investor alert. https://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/mutualconversion.htm They got a little aggressive and illegal. For example, one of them used friends and relatives to open accounts all over the US, and supplied the funds fo...
by bberris
Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling no-longer-needed term life policies
Replies: 25
Views: 1839

Re: Selling no-longer-needed term life policies

Keep in mind that level term policies near the end of the term can be a very good bet. Morbid thoughts aside, this is just a simple calculation. Look up the chance of dying next year, and you might want to keep paying the premiums. Of course you can adjust for the health of the insured. I considered...
by bberris
Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question on car leases
Replies: 12
Views: 907

Re: Question on car leases

Another thing about leases. When you turn in the car, it has to have legal tread on the tires. So think about buying a new set of tires for someone you never met, like we did.
by bberris
Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Munich,Germany- advice on things to not miss
Replies: 39
Views: 2258

Re: Munich,Germany- advise on things to not miss

I enjoyed Freising and stayed there the night before our flight. It's an easy trip to the airport. Great food (we got tired of German and went to a Vietnamese place that was excellent and really cheap). It's much more peaceful and less crowded than central Munich, with a nice square and walking arou...
by bberris
Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct still not importing stock data
Replies: 32
Views: 3760

Re: TaxAct still not importing stock data

Make your own attachments using spreadsheet software after downloading the csv. Use "Enter totals from a statement of transactions that you will attach to your return." You need to separate long and short term, covered and non-covered transactions so that each is on a separate sheet. Mayb...
by bberris
Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: get rid of landline but keep access to 911
Replies: 38
Views: 3419

Re: get rid of landline but keep access to 911

Keeping a land line for 911 is a good idea if you plan to be home for all emergencies.
by bberris
Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct still not importing stock data
Replies: 32
Views: 3760

Re: TaxAct still not importing stock data

Make your own attachments using spreadsheet software after downloading the csv.

Use "Enter totals from a statement of transactions that you will attach to your return."

You need to separate long and short term, covered and non-covered transactions so that each is on a separate sheet.
by bberris
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about ML trading practices
Replies: 11
Views: 921

Re: Question about ML trading practices

They do this because they get money from every trade. Even if there are no commissions, if one sells a few cents below the price one could get on the national market by using an odd-lot and NOT using a round lot, then the broker makes money. By the same token, if one buys and a pays a few cents mor...
by bberris
Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fender bender...no citation, likely scam...what next?
Replies: 17
Views: 3016

Re: fender bender...no citation, likely scam...what next?

Big Bucks? Not really. The usual amount for fraud claims is about $20,000 and the insurance co will pay. If they try for too much the insurance will go to trial.
by bberris
Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fender bender...no citation, likely scam...what next?
Replies: 17
Views: 3016

Re: fender bender...no citation, likely scam...what next?

This is why everyone in Russia has a dash cam. Check out youtube for video of pedestrians throwing themselves onto moving cars' hoods. Coming soon to a country near you.
by bberris
Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: still possible to register for ACA until 31st January
Replies: 7
Views: 611

Re: still possible to register for ACA until 31st January

willthrill81 wrote:If you get coverage, there's a good chance that it will only cover you for this year. It's anyone's guess right now what will be available for these people beginning next year.


That has always been the case, even when my employer provided insurance. You can only live one year at a time.
by bberris
Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA spent incorrectly
Replies: 4
Views: 772

Re: HSA spent incorrectly

First thing, get a good record of your out of pocket from the insurance explanation-of-benefits. This should be readily obtainable; you don't need to keep track as you go. Then add to that dental expenses, and mileage @ $ 0.17 per mile to and from every doctor, dental, pharmacy trip. You might find ...
by bberris
Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Senior Unsecured Notes
Replies: 19
Views: 1229

Re: Senior Unsecured Notes

I love the term "negative gains". The sooner you dispose of these losers, you will be on the road to negative losses.
by bberris
Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reasons against margin aside from risk of margin call?
Replies: 23
Views: 1662

Re: Reasons against margin aside from risk of margin call?

I think there is a difference between actual use of margin and having a margin-approved account as to whether shares are lent. I have a margin account and use margin for a few days in small amounts on occasion. I got caught with cash-in-lieu once or twice, I haven't used it in years and never had a ...
by bberris
Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reasons against margin aside from risk of margin call?
Replies: 23
Views: 1662

Re: Reasons against margin aside from risk of margin call?

This one is a biggie for me. If you use margin, your broker can lend out your shares for short-sellers. You gave your permission when you signed the margin agreement. I have nothing against short-sellers, but they pay you cash-in-lieu of a dividend. This is taxed as ordinary income instead of the lo...
by bberris
Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work
Replies: 83
Views: 3624

Re: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work

This isn't a way for the insurance co to pressure docs to join. It's a way for hospitals and doctors to collude and avoid negotiated rates for care. These are the same drive-by docs who you never see but are always used in operating rooms, and are never in network.

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