Search found 2265 matches

by bsteiner
Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forever Stamps as an Investment?
Replies: 66
Views: 7478

Re: Forever Stamps as an Investment?

... when I was a kid in the 1950s many businesses, mail-order businesses in particular, did de facto accept stamps. In fact I recall TV commercials tell you to "send cash, stamps or money orders." However I'm sure this was only true because all businesses used enough postage stamps that t...
by bsteiner
Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I determine if I need to consult with an attorney about whether I need a trust?
Replies: 22
Views: 1438

Re: How do I determine if I need to consult with an attorney about whether I need a trust?

Some (many?) attorneys will give you a one hour free consult in the hope of signing you up as a client. Are those the ones you want? In my case, yes and no. The vast majority, if not all, of the estate attorney's in my area offer a free initial consultation. Unfortunately, I had to meet with severa...
by bsteiner
Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's say you are dying this year
Replies: 46
Views: 6426

Re: Let's say you are dying this year

Whether the trustees may, must or can't distribute depends on the terms of the Will or trust agreement. In general, it's best to give the trustees discretion as to distributions, since you don't know what the future will bring. ... Ah, for some reason I thought trusts 'had' to distribute income to ...
by bsteiner
Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I determine if I need to consult with an attorney about whether I need a trust?
Replies: 22
Views: 1438

Re: How do I determine if I need to consult with an attorney about whether I need a trust?

Some (many?) attorneys will give you a one hour free consult in the hope of signing you up as a client. Are those the ones you want? I suggest you read the book ... Beyond the Grave by Condon. ... It provides some useful information, but it's geared to community property, and in particular to Calif...
by bsteiner
Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's say you are dying this year
Replies: 46
Views: 6426

Re: Let's say you are dying this year

...Bruce, I have taken the liberty of snipping from your other response in another thread. The underlined portion helps me understand the advantage of converting to Roths. As long as the conversion can be done at a total rate less than 39.6%, the conversion is advantageous; and even if done at that...
by bsteiner
Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA in Trust?
Replies: 23
Views: 1472

Re: IRA in Trust?

You can't transfer your IRA while you're alive. After your death, you may leave your IRA however you want. You may leave it to your children either outright or in trust for their benefit. Our clients almost always provide for their children in separate trusts for their benefit. In this way, the chi...
by bsteiner
Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's say you are dying this year
Replies: 46
Views: 6426

Re: Let's say you are dying this year

How would we decide if IRA conversions are wise? We are all roughly in the same tax brackets (mid-high 30s including various state taxes), but their assets will be left in trust. ... If you and your sister and the trusts for her and your benefit will be in relatively high tax brackets, then the con...
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Updating our wills
Replies: 3
Views: 454

Re: Updating our wills

My wife and I are meeting with our estate lawyer this Friday - our wills are several years out of date, and provisions for a (then) minor child need to be updated. We are both mid-50s and healthy, but obviously want to be prepared for negative events - current estate value is ~$6.5mm. I'm intereste...
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Placing loan in self directed IRA
Replies: 2
Views: 126

Re: Placing loan in self directed IRA

Your lawyer should be able to help you do this.
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How best to proceed with IRA with estate as beneficiary
Replies: 14
Views: 762

Re: How best to proceed with IRA with estate as beneficiary

The executor might want to yell and scream at the lawyer who planned the estate. I trust that the executor is using a different lawyer to handle the estate administration from the one who planned the estate. I assume an attorney's ability to force his clients to update their beneficiary designation...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How best to proceed with IRA with estate as beneficiary
Replies: 14
Views: 762

Re: How best to proceed with IRA with estate as beneficiary

My grandfather recently passed away, and part of his estate includes a $500,000 tIRA. He was 86 years old. I believe, for tax purposes, his life expectancy was 7 years. We've learned that his estate was named beneficiary. The beneficiaries named on the Will are his four children--one in the 28%+ ta...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is driving for uber worth it for side money?
Replies: 67
Views: 10242

Re: Is driving for uber worth it for side money?

I heard a talk on Uber by Sam Schwartz, the former NYC Commissioner of Transportation. He said that, except in Manhattan, taxis are inefficient because they spend much of their time without a passenger. He explained that Uber is more efficient because the drivers spend a larger percentage of their t...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online legal service/form - simple will?
Replies: 12
Views: 689

Re: Online legal service/form - simple will?

If your children are young, I disagree with your assertion that you "don't have a complex situation." My kids are older, and I have an old will, but I'm looking into hiring an attorney to set up trusts for us. In the same way that filling a small cavity wouldn't be difficult for a dentist...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ROTH conversion calculator to minimize RMDs?
Replies: 18
Views: 1553

Re: ROTH conversion calculator to minimize RMDs?

You might want to consider converting in the 15% bracket if the distributions would otherwise be taxable at 15%. See above. Does your software extend the analysis through the end of the life expectancy of your beneficiaries, when the last dollar will have to be distributed? If it only extends throu...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ROTH conversion calculator to minimize RMDs?
Replies: 18
Views: 1553

Re: ROTH conversion calculator to minimize RMDs?

Is there a calculator that given the individual's age (less than 70 and 1/2), amount of tax-deferred balance, tax-filing status, current tax rate, and projected growth of tax-deferred balance, will give you a suggested Roth conversion amount per year, up to 70 and 1/2?. I haven't used it in a long ...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP Beneficiary Tax Help
Replies: 3
Views: 341

Re: TSP Beneficiary Tax Help

... While the TSP brochure does not say so, you also have the option of a direct rollover to an inherited Roth IRA, which you cannot do if you inherit an IRA as a non spouse. Of course, that rollover to an inherited Roth would be taxable and you would still have to take RMDs from the inherited Roth...
by bsteiner
Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expat Living Trust Not Tied to State
Replies: 4
Views: 382

Re: Expat Living Trust Not Tied to State

I don't think you have to refer to a state in order for a trust to be valid. However, I can't think of any reason anyone would create a trust and not select a governing law. Why create a possible ambiguity? Many countries don't recognize grantor trust status for revocable trusts. Before you do this,...
by bsteiner
Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's say you are dying this year
Replies: 46
Views: 6426

Re: Let's say you are dying this year

... I see no reason the IRA beneficiary should be a trust. That makes things harder. If you and your sister don't need the money, maybe your parents should make each other primary beneficiary, then grandkids as secondary. This way they will inherit TIRAs from only one grandparent. If they inherit f...
by bsteiner
Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's say you are dying this year
Replies: 46
Views: 6426

Re: Let's say you are dying this year

How would we decide if IRA conversions are wise? We are all roughly in the same tax brackets (mid-high 30s including various state taxes), but their assets will be left in trust. ... If you and your sister and the trusts for her and your benefit will be in relatively high tax brackets, then the con...
by bsteiner
Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's say you are dying this year
Replies: 46
Views: 6426

Re: Let's say you are dying this year

How would we decide if IRA conversions are wise? We are all roughly in the same tax brackets (mid-high 30s including various state taxes), but their assets will be left in trust. ... If you and your sister and the trusts for her and your benefit will be in relatively high tax brackets, then the con...
by bsteiner
Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's say you are dying this year
Replies: 46
Views: 6426

Re: Let's say you are dying this year

Make sure the trusts for you and your sister are as flexible as possible, with each of you effectively controlling your own trust.

Consider Roth conversions.
by bsteiner
Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: t-IRA to Roth conversions..the rest of the story
Replies: 24
Views: 1769

Re: t-IRA to Roth conversions..the rest of the story

If you have other money with which to pay the tax on the conversion, the benefits of the Roth conversion are often much greater than many people realize. Here is a short article I wrote on this a few years ago for Trusts & Estates: http://kkwc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/uf_Roth_Conversions_A...
by bsteiner
Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30 year EE Series Bonds inheritance gift
Replies: 8
Views: 779

Re: 30 year EE Series Bonds inheritance gift

You may want to investigate paying taxes on interest as they accrue on some or all. Cashing in bunch of bonds and discover that the interest is taxed at marginal rates is a rude call. The lawyer handling the estate should consider: 1. Accruing the interest on the decedent's final income tax return ...
by bsteiner
Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?
Replies: 171
Views: 9103

Re: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?

... We live in central NJ, which is a HCOL area, but it's definitely not at NY city prices, and we do pick mid-range restaurants - Italian/ Japanese/ American/ Thai/ fusion, etc. ... While the quality of the restaurants in NJ may not be the same as in Manhattan, the prices are comparable. The excep...
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Request advice on protecting my mothers assets
Replies: 6
Views: 577

Re: Request advice on protecting my mothers assets

She could do a prenuptial agreement (if he agrees). However, since she's younger and female, she's more likely to be the survivor. Absent a prenuptial agreement, his rights, if any, on divorce, or if she dies first (or her rights on divorce or if he dies first), will vary from state to state. ... Sh...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NJ sales tax reduced from 7% to 6.875%; NJ estate tax exclusion amount increased to $2 million
Replies: 29
Views: 2475

Re: NJ sales tax reduced from 7% to 6.875%; NJ estate tax exclusion amount increased to $2 million

Thank you, David Tepper! http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/01/business/one-top-taxpayer-moved-and-new-jersey-shuddered.html?_r=0 It's not just the New Jersey estate tax, and the $140 million of New Jersey income tax he was paying each year (which means he was earning about $1.5 billion a year). In 201...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Work in NY live in NJ
Replies: 10
Views: 928

Re: Work in NY live in NJ

You'll get a credit for your New York income tax against your New Jersey income tax. The New York income tax is usually higher, so the credit will probably eliminate any New Jersey income tax on your salary. However, property taxes are generally higher in New Jersey. So if you live in New Jersey and...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NJ sales tax reduced from 7% to 6.875%; NJ estate tax exclusion amount increased to $2 million
Replies: 29
Views: 2475

Re: NJ sales tax reduced from 7% to 6.875%; NJ estate tax exclusion amount increased to $2 million

... it probably kept me in NJ for life now instead of having myself moved to NY when in my last few years. .... I actually had someone in her 90s who moved a few miles from Northern NJ to New York within walking distance of the state line, after New York increased its exclusion amount. ... I just h...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio complexity: the wrench and angst it adds...
Replies: 11
Views: 1924

Re: Inheritance: the complexity wrench and angst it adds...

... Spouse #1 BDA IRA at Morgan Stanley (Inherited IRA) $20K American Balanced Fund BALFX (ER . 65) $10K Davis Opportunity Fund DGOCX (ER 1.75) - Ouch on that ER! ... Spouse #1's inherited IRA at Morgan Stanley could also benefit from a fund allocation switch to a lower cost fund as those ER fees o...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: closed-end bond fund article.
Replies: 1
Views: 140

Re: closed-end bond fund article.

Closed-end bond funds tend to have higher current yields because (i) they can invest in longer term bonds, (ii) they can invest in lower quality bonds, and (iii) they use some leverage. They might also buy bonds trading at a premium. If you borrow to buy tax-exempt bonds, you can't deduct the intere...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Charitable Ranks No. 1 on 2016 Philanthropy 400 list
Replies: 5
Views: 322

Re: Fidelity Charitable Ranks No. 1 on 2016 Philanthropy 400 list

The advantages of a donor advised fund compared to a foundation are: 1. You can do it for amounts too small too warrant setting up and administering a foundation. For example, Fidelity's minimum is only $5,000. 2. Contributions are deductible up to 50% of income, whereas contributions to a foundatio...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NJ sales tax reduced from 7% to 6.875%; NJ estate tax exclusion amount increased to $2 million
Replies: 29
Views: 2475

NJ sales tax reduced from 7% to 6.875%; NJ estate tax exclusion amount increased to $2 million

Related to the thread on the reduction in the California sales tax, https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=207578&newpost=3184039, the New Jersey sales tax dropped from 7% to 6.875% on January 1, 2017, and is scheduled to drop to 6.625% on January 1, 2018. The New Jersey estat...
by bsteiner
Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to approach getting new wills, trusts, with a blended family
Replies: 51
Views: 2472

Re: How to approach getting new wills, trusts, with a blended family

Beyond the Grave is a great book, and I have recommended it to others to read. I would note that a few of the recommendations are somewhat specific to community property states like California (although the author tries to be inclusive), and things may be a little different in non-community propert...
by bsteiner
Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to find out if a foreign dividend is qualified?
Replies: 15
Views: 474

Re: How to find out if a foreign dividend is qualified?

See Internal Revenue Code 1(h)(ii)(C). In addition to the holding period requirement, either the corporation has to be in a treaty county, or the stock has to be readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States.
by bsteiner
Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need a will and possibly trust - where do I start?
Replies: 27
Views: 1759

Re: Need a will and possibly trust - where do I start?

... In a HCOL area, how much would a fairly standard will cost? ... Not very much. But it will cost more if you want one that makes sense, or if you want a competent lawyer, or if you want to spend the necessary time to work out what you want it to say, or if you want a lawyer who will know the spe...
by bsteiner
Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a prenup always necessary when remarrying?
Replies: 49
Views: 3693

Re: Is a prenup always necessary when remarrying?

If you die first, absent an agreement, he would be entitled to a portion of your estate, called the elective share. I found this article on the Virginia elective share written by a trusts and estates lawyer in a large firm in Virginia, which might be useful, though I haven't checked to see whether i...
by bsteiner
Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New 401(k) setup: Profit sharing and fund selection
Replies: 6
Views: 348

Re: New 401(k) setup: Profit sharing and fund selection

rittersport wrote:... We'd like to have the option of making a profit sharing contribution, and I'm not sure which formula to use - mostly wondering about New Comparability (Defined Groups or One Group Per Participant) versus Integrated. ...


What does your actuarial firm recommend?
by bsteiner
Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to approach getting new wills, trusts, with a blended family
Replies: 51
Views: 2472

Re: How to approach getting new wills, trusts, with a blended family

You and your wife would have Wills with marital and credit shelter trusts, and trusts for the children. That way, you can each provide for the children in whatever way you want. Each child's share would be in a separate trust for his or her own benefit, to keep their inheritances out of their estate...
by bsteiner
Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: living trust: tertiary beneficiary and remove property
Replies: 2
Views: 170

Re: living trust: tertiary beneficiary and remove property

I am trying to create a revocable living trust using NOLO's online form. It doesn't seem to allow me to designate tertiary beneficiary. Is this a limitation of NOLO's product? I am also debating whether I should retitle CDs to living trust. since CD usually expires with a few years, does it make se...
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees' Roth Conversion Conundrum
Replies: 24
Views: 2047

Re: Retirees' Roth Conversion Conundrum

Peter Foley wrote:... Would you convert with these parameters with a 13 year break even point?


Break even is irrelevant. See above.
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Estates and Trusts only prepares one return
Replies: 5
Views: 278

Re: TaxAct Estates and Trusts only prepares one return

H&R Block (formerly TaxCut) Premium & Business is less expensive than Turbo Tax and doesn't limit the number of returns.
by bsteiner
Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Software for trust return
Replies: 5
Views: 549

Re: Software for trust return

While it's not free, H&R Block (formerly TaxCut) Premium and Business is relatively inexpensive. It includes one individual state program (with an additional charge for additional individual state programs) and unlimited fiduciary state programs.
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees' Roth Conversion Conundrum
Replies: 24
Views: 2047

Re: Retirees' Roth Conversion Conundrum

... As I recall, many years ago, one of the selling points of funding a 403b plan and also a deductible IRA was that you would avoid paying higher taxes during your working years and during retirement when your income was less you would benefit from that as well as tax deferral. Well, having had th...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees' Roth Conversion Conundrum
Replies: 24
Views: 2047

Re: Retirees' Roth Conversion Conundrum

... Bruce - I have the same thoughts about a 25 year payback and it is why I posed the question - maybe others see something I don't. And one can only assume that tax laws do not change. Neither calculator looks at beneficiaries other than a surviving spouse. .... It's the other way around. We see ...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees' Roth Conversion Conundrum
Replies: 24
Views: 2047

Re: Retirees' Roth Conversion Conundrum

What do you really gain from Roth conversions? Seems like I am losing out on tax loss harvesting and step up basis at death by converting to a Roth. With the end of the stretch IRA option, what do I gain really ? Why not put the unneeded funds into a taxable account? See my article on this in the A...
by bsteiner
Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees' Roth Conversion Conundrum
Replies: 24
Views: 2047

Re: Retirees' Roth Conversion Conundrum

Potential 25 year payback is a meaningless concept. You can't ever withdraw a dollar from your traditional IRA and spend it without first paying tax on it. Ignoring the possibility of large medical expenses down the road (you might want to leave some in traditional for this) or moving to Florida, if...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Shelter Trusts in the Era of Portability
Replies: 8
Views: 592

Re: Credit Shelter Trusts in the Era of Portability

... 1. Do you think that doing portability puts the ported amount at risk, if the exemption amount is significantly reduced in the future? Is it likely that the law would be written to cut that amount to the new level? Or is it considered to have been etched in stone because it was the amount at th...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Shelter Trusts in the Era of Portability
Replies: 8
Views: 592

Re: Credit Shelter Trusts in the Era of Portability

what is considered for high net worth couples in NJ? Opinions may differ on this, since the Federal estate tax exclusion amount is $5,490,000 whereas the New Jersey exclusion amount is $2 million. I think most couples in New Jersey who expect to pay Federal estate tax will shelter the Federal exclu...
by bsteiner
Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Shelter Trusts in the Era of Portability
Replies: 8
Views: 592

Re: Credit Shelter Trusts in the Era of Portability

This is still relatively new. Portability wasn't made permanent until 2013. So the thinking on this may change. But for now, the most common approach for high net worth couples is still to create a credit shelter trust for the estate tax exclusion amount. That's because the portability amount (the d...
by bsteiner
Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about trusts & estate
Replies: 40
Views: 3418

Re: Question about trusts & estate

... It sounds to me like there are 2 issues: 1. Is reporting simpler with the new trust. My mom uses a CPA to do her taxes; would she need different data to give to the CPA with the old trust vs new? 2. Is tax treatment more favorable under the new trust. The lawyer indicated the only difference is...

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