Search found 1556 matches

by bsteiner
Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift question
Replies: 19
Views: 1041

Re: Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift question

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:$234 - 13 years * $18.


That might be more appropriate than the $180 I suggested given that the original poster is a physician.
by bsteiner
Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5-year rule necessary? Inherited IRA, estate
Replies: 10
Views: 1079

Re: 5-year rule necessary? Inherited IRA, estate

The facts aren't completely clear. Does the Will say that he leaves his entire estate to you outright? If so, there's no trust and there's no trustee and any reference to a trustee is a harmless error. If his Will says that he leaves his entire estate to you outright, that's the simplest case for th...
by bsteiner
Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift question
Replies: 19
Views: 1041

Re: Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift question

$180 seems modest, but might be OK since you said that the event will be modest.
by bsteiner
Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $1 More saves $34/month (Jumbo vs Conforming)
Replies: 6
Views: 1083

Re: $1 More saves $34/month (Jumbo vs Conforming)

There was an article to that effect in either the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal last year. I also found that to be the case at some (but not most) banks. Among those that offered lower rates for jumbo mortgages, different banks had different loan amounts at which they would offer the lower rat...
by bsteiner
Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do We Need a Tax Accountant or Attorney?
Replies: 7
Views: 663

Re: Do We Need a Tax Accountant or Attorney?

The FBAR penalties article is alarming! I don't think my relative knows about this. Now it sounds like we definitely need a tax attorney given the potential penalties. This news will shock him. Don't give him that news without also telling him that the IRS has a voluntary disclosure program whereby...
by bsteiner
Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: (Another) Roth Conversion Question
Replies: 15
Views: 909

Re: (Another) Roth Conversion Question

A good rule of thumb is that it generally makes sense to convert to the extent you can convert at a tax rate less than, equal to, or not too much more than the tax rate that would otherwise apply to the distributions. At a constant tax rate, assuming you have other money with which to pay the tax, y...
by bsteiner
Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5-year rule necessary? Inherited IRA, estate
Replies: 10
Views: 1079

Re: 5-year rule necessary? Inherited IRA, estate

If the IRA owner didn't name a beneficiary, the default beneficiary in some IRA agreements is the IRA owner's estate and in other IRA agreements is the surviving spouse (if any). You'll have to check the particular IRA agreements to see which is the case here. For purposes of this post, I'm assuming...
by bsteiner
Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need to amend 2014 1041?
Replies: 2
Views: 180

Re: Do I need to amend 2014 1041?

I am doing the final 1041 for my father's estate. In 2014 there was no income and his house was the only asset. ... I submitted 1041s showing no income. I also didn't take any deductions (maintenance on the house and lawyer fees) that I spent during 2014. ... The house sold in June 2015 .... can I ...
by bsteiner
Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trustee Question
Replies: 15
Views: 922

Re: Trustee Question

... in MN we still have estate tax on assets over $1.4MM. So, our lawyer recommended we set up living trusts, where we split up all our assets immediately and put them into two trusts - one for her and one for me. Then we each are trustees of each other's trusts and can give each other as much as w...
by bsteiner
Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moved from NJ to AZ [Residency for tax purposes]
Replies: 19
Views: 1901

Re: Moved from NJ to AZ [Residency for tax purposes]

... I moved out of NJ in 2015 and purchased a house in AZ, however, I am closing on my house in 2016. Will I have to file NJ state income tax for 2016 since I lost money selling my house. Also the NJ exit tax comes into it. .... If New Jersey could tax exits, they would raise enough money to do awa...
by bsteiner
Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Negative Interest Rates?
Replies: 14
Views: 1783

Re: Negative Interest Rates?

nukewerker wrote:I have read more than one article recently that the FED funds rate will either stay at zero for decade(s) or today some are saying it will go negative, with Sweden leading the way at -0.35%. What does this mean for us regular folks? ....


Stocks of mattress companies might be a good investment.
by bsteiner
Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dual State Residency and local taxes
Replies: 8
Views: 347

Re: Dual State Residency and local taxes

grabiner wrote: ... MD allows a credit against the combined state and county tax for tax paid to another state.


Maryland didn't until the courts said they had to. It's not clear whether other states will have to do the same. However, similarly situated taxpayers may want to file protective refund claims.
by bsteiner
Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate taxes on estate for heirs
Replies: 17
Views: 1193

Re: Real estate taxes on estate for heirs

... As far as the taxes, our law firm works with a CPA firm that handles estate tax matters. It is much less expensive for the client to use the CPA than have an attorney prepare the tax documents. That situation likely also varies from state to state. That can work if you supervise it in the same ...
by bsteiner
Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trustee Question
Replies: 15
Views: 922

Re: Trustee Question

... trustee discretion and control of the assets are not all or nothing. Beneficiaries can have roles that influence distributions or investments. ... Be careful about micro managing from the grave. For example 50/50 equity/fixed income might make sense in some situations, but does it make sense in...
by bsteiner
Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trustee Question
Replies: 15
Views: 922

Re: Trustee Question

If you have $3 million and 3 children, then each child's trust is $1 million. Most banks would charge substantially more than 0.85% to act as trustee. Even Vanguard would charge more than that ($2,500 plus 0.7% on the first $1 million, plus the mutual fund expenses). Why do you want to mandate distr...
by bsteiner
Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA cost for handling Tax Return - Is this too much?
Replies: 18
Views: 2115

Re: CPA cost for handling Tax Return - Is this too much?

... I'm looking to have a CPA handle my tax return this year. I just talked to one today, and he mentioned that their "base fee" for filing a tax return is $650, which seems crazy high for filing a tax return no matter what is included. .... For what it's worth, the guy was very knowledge...
by bsteiner
Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate taxes on estate for heirs
Replies: 17
Views: 1193

Re: Real estate taxes on estate for heirs

... Bruce, I think you meant income tax return for the estate rather than trust. ... You are correct. I edited my previous post. It is very important to note that federal taxes are not all that apply. Some states have an inheritance tax (taxing the heirs). Some states have an estate tax (taxing the...
by bsteiner
Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate taxes on estate for heirs
Replies: 17
Views: 1193

Re: Real estate taxes on estate for heirs

You'll file a fiduciary income tax return (Form 1041) for the estate , showing the gain or loss on the sale (the basis is equal to the date of death value), and claiming a deduction for the estate administration expenses (other than the funeral expenses). Any income, gains, losses and deductions in ...
by bsteiner
Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a Will or Trust necessary for a single person with no kids?
Replies: 21
Views: 1711

Re: Is a Will or Trust necessary for a single person with no kids?

I actually was wondering the same thing. Am curious as to what the rough cut off point would be when a will is no longer sufficient and a trust would be better suited to your needs. I'm wondering the same thing, either in terms of assets, or events (having kids, divorce, retiring, etc.) The size of...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning advice?
Replies: 28
Views: 2943

Re: Estate planning advice?

for ourselves we are using our LegalShield recommended EP. IMO, Wills and EP are cookie cutter, download the forms .... The ones you'll get through LegalShield will be cookie cutter. That will be sufficient for many people. However, some people need something more sophisticated and customized (and ...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First child coming: Q on making a will / Legal Zoom
Replies: 5
Views: 514

Re: First child coming: Q on making a will / Legal Zoom

... My wife and I are expecting our first child soon and we'd like to have a basic will set up for both of us beforehand. For now I don't think it's necessary for us to pay the high legal fees as we just want something relatively simple. Even with some scary consumer reports, I think I will arrange...
by bsteiner
Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Important features of a Pre-Nup?
Replies: 9
Views: 1090

Re: Important features of a Pre-Nup?

The elective share is the share that the surviving spouse may elect (absent an agreement) in lieu of the provisions the deceased spouse made for the surviving spouse. If the elective share is 1/3 outright, then the surviving spouse is entitled to receive 1/3 outright in lieu of the provision the dec...
by bsteiner
Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Important features of a Pre-Nup?
Replies: 9
Views: 1090

Re: Important features of a Pre-Nup?

... Anything particular about MA or NY? Absent an agreement, if one spouse dies, the surviving spouse is entitled to an elective share. In New York, the elective share is 1/3 outright. In Massachusetts, it's a life estate in 1/3 (except for $25,000 outright). Absent an agreement, the marital proper...
by bsteiner
Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which news source do you use?
Replies: 67
Views: 4238

Re: Which news source do you use?

The news coverage in the NY Times is excellent. The NY Times and the Wall Street Journal are very different in their editorial views. While most of the op-ed columns in both the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal are more consistent with their respective editorial views, each has some op-ed column...
by bsteiner
Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help in Realizing the Value of a Variable Annuity
Replies: 16
Views: 1178

Re: Help in Realizing the Value of a Variable Annuity

You'll have to run the numbers, making some reasonable assumptions, to compare cashing in the annuity sooner (paying the tax sooner, but getting favorable income tax treatment going forward) versus continuing to defer it (and having the future investment income and gains be ordinary income).
by bsteiner
Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning advice?
Replies: 28
Views: 2943

Re: Estate planning advice?

Wills can be contested by people with standing. Insurance proceeds can't. .... That's not correct. Insurance beneficiary designations can be contested on the same grounds that Wills can be contested (lack of capacity, undue influence, fraud, forgery). I was involved in a case where the insurance be...
by bsteiner
Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning advice?
Replies: 28
Views: 2943

Re: Estate planning advice?

Single premium permanent life insurance is commonly used by the rich as a vehicle for transferring wealth and skipping probate. It only increases the family's wealth if you die substantially before life expectancy. Otherwise you've transferred wealth to the insurance company. Probating a Will is ge...
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your favorite Financial Quote or Metaphor??
Replies: 179
Views: 9385

Re: What is your favorite Financial Quote or Metaphor??

If you go to the free dinner seminar, and you're the one who buys the annuity, the living trust, the timeshare, or the bridge, not only did you pay for your free dinner, but you paid for the free dinners for everyone else in the room.
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leave an IRA through a Trust?
Replies: 20
Views: 2470

Re: Leave an IRA through a Trust?

Our attorney mentioned this. He indicated they were rather complex and expensive to set up, ..... They're not expensive to set up. You just need some extra provisions in your Will saying that any IRA benefits payable in trust for a beneficiary are held in a separate trust, having the same terms as ...
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning advice?
Replies: 28
Views: 2943

Re: Estate planning advice?

bsteiner I was thinking of those not subject to the federal estate tax and Minnesotans in particular when I made the comment about comparing the income tax to the estate tax. Perhaps I am not calculating the tax correctly. (By the way - I've followed your posts and respect your knowledge in this ar...
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you use the service of a CPA or you do your tax yourself?
Replies: 82
Views: 4868

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

... We set up an irrevocable trust, so gift tax returns and grantor trust tax returns. ... I do the two gift tax returns because they're simple (maybe 10 numbers in all) and several CPAs I've talked to want $400 each. The simple trust return costs us $400 which I think is a common number for any re...
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning advice?
Replies: 28
Views: 2943

Re: Estate planning advice?

I live in MN which has a 1.6M exemption for estate taxes this year. I think that one should keep in mind the relative rates of estate taxes versus federal and state income taxes. The cost of an IRA to Roth conversion might be 25% federal tax plus state tax (5.1 in Mass.). The 30% plus income tax ma...
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning advice?
Replies: 28
Views: 2943

Re: Estate planning advice?

Thanks for the replies. We live in Massachusetts, so the state estate tax will apply. My mother, while desperately wanting to reduce the estate tax, also is very anxious about everything going on (which is reasonable). She constantly wants to discuss it, but the moment it becomes complicated she be...
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning advice?
Replies: 28
Views: 2943

Re: Estate planning advice?

Estate planning for a $6.1 million estate should be routine for a lawyer who deals with estates of this size. Perhaps she should consult with a lawyer who deals with estates of this size. The Federal estate tax exclusion amount is presently $5,450,000, and it's indexed for inflation. So the estate t...
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Longevity Insurance
Replies: 32
Views: 1801

Re: Longevity Insurance

... if this is bought with after tax money and you "pop your clogs" (UK euphemism for dying) before reaching the payout age then this is claimable as a tax loss on an investment . Hence claimable as an income tax loss. .... Is the loss deductible on the decedent's final income tax return,...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: John Hancock Annuity Question
Replies: 11
Views: 679

Re: John Hancock Annuity Question

How are their advisors different from their insurance agents?
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should Long Term Care Insurance be part of my portfolio ?
Replies: 38
Views: 2294

Re: Should Long Term Care Insurance be part of my portfolio ?

... Approx 1.75 mil assets- counting SS and pension, annuities, RE, but not home. .... We also count LTCi as intergral part of our financial plan. 1095 days, about $220/day .... $220 a day x 1095 days = $240,900. That's relatively modest compared to your assets which can fluctuate by that much from...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have experience with truecar.com or similar ?
Replies: 26
Views: 1783

Re: Anyone have experience with truecar.com or similar ?

I used truecar through Pentagon Federal, which gave me back some of the $300 that the dealer paid truecar (and I assume some of which truecar paid Pentagon Federal) in the form of a 0% interest rate on the car loan. I think the price of the car (a Toyota Camry) was a good one, but I can't be sure. T...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How [much] do CPAs charge for tax prep?
Replies: 15
Views: 1900

Re: How [much] do CPAs charge for tax prep?

... I don't know how 990s for nonprofits popped into this discussion... ... 990s are a specialized return. Most non-professionals who prepare a 990 do something wrong. Most CPAs who prepare a 990 do something wrong. This is because the vast majority don't engage in any specialized 990 training or c...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Longevity Insurance
Replies: 32
Views: 1801

Re: Longevity Insurance

... if this is bought with after tax money and you "pop your clogs" (UK euphemism for dying) before reaching the payout age then this is claimable as a tax loss on an investment . Hence claimable as an income tax loss. .... Is the loss deductible on the decedent's final income tax return,...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Longevity Insurance
Replies: 32
Views: 1801

Re: Longevity Insurance

... various studies of the "money's worth" of traditional fixed annuities (that start paying from day 1) is that their value is something in the ballpark of 90-95% of what you actually pay. .... This report on longevity annuities by the President's Council of Economic Advisors says (see n...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30Yr Mortgage or Sell Mutual Funds and Purchase House
Replies: 27
Views: 2213

Re: 30Yr Mortgage or Sell Mutual Funds and Purchase House

There are two other benefits to the mortgage loan. One is that the interest is deductible against ordinary income whereas the investment income can be qualified dividends, long-term capital gains and tax-exempt income (and the capital gains aren't taxable until you sell the asset, and not taxable at...
by bsteiner
Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you use the service of a CPA or you do your tax yourself?
Replies: 82
Views: 4868

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

... I used a CPA exactly one time to do an estate tax return and the estate's 1041 40 years ago. He purposefully did the 1041 in non-optimal way. Then he came back a few months later and said he had discovered a way to save me $1000 in tax by filing an amended return. He charged another $500 for th...
by bsteiner
Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Trust Services Questions
Replies: 8
Views: 708

Re: Vanguard Trust Services Questions

Under common law, trusts may last for the lives of persons in being when the trust is created (in other words, at the death of the testator in the case of a trust created by Will), plus 21 years. That allows a trust to last for about 90 or 100 years. About half the states have repealed the rule agai...
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning For Future Estate Taxes
Replies: 18
Views: 1457

Re: Planning For Future Estate Taxes

Over the holidays recently, my brother and I had a talk with our parents on wills, estates and such. My parents, who are farmers, informed us that they have their assets set up in a trust so that when they die, everything goes to my brother and I. Since neither my brother or I are farmers, their pl...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Inherited Savings Bonds
Replies: 9
Views: 650

Re: Help with Inherited Savings Bonds

It's not a good sign if the lawyer isn't familiar with this and doesn't know where to find the information he/she needs. Perhaps the executor may wish to consult with other counsel. There are several choices regarding savings bonds. The executor can accrue the income through death in the decedent's ...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where does the "need" to max out all retirements accounts come from?
Replies: 55
Views: 5095

Re: Where does the "need" to max out all retirements accounts come from?

... The experience of most people I know would be closer to being at 15% throughout pre-retirement, and then 25% post-retirement, so the difference is even worse than 25%/28%. They might want to contribute or convert to a Roth to the extent they can do so in the 15% bracket, especially if they migh...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where does the "need" to max out all retirements accounts come from?
Replies: 55
Views: 5095

Re: Where does the "need" to max out all retirements accounts come from?

... Especially in 403(b) plans where the tax deferred limit, including mandatory and employer contributions, can be as high as $53,000 per year, it's "easy" after forty years to end up in the 28% marginal Federal bracket in retirement vs the 25% bracket in latter employment years. A smart...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: revocable trusts and such
Replies: 7
Views: 849

Re: revocable trusts and such

I saw the story about the case you referred to when it came out last year. It's always unfortunate when something like that happens. We've seen elder financial abuse by family members on several occasions. We've also seen elder financial abuse by a employees, both household and business. While my of...

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