Search found 133 matches

by deskjockey
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child in college w/$500 income on W-2 - File taxes?
Replies: 27
Views: 2263

Re: Child in college w/$500 income on W-2 - File taxes?

What RudyS is saying is that since your daughter can be claimed by you, she is not allowed to claim herself Furthermore, there are restrictions on the refundable portion of the American Opportunity Credit for students under 24 to prevent the exact situation that you are attempting. She therefore wo...
by deskjockey
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New State Department FCU 2% cash back credit card
Replies: 5
Views: 349

Re: New State Department FCU 2% cash back credit card

Interesting. I have a CC through SDFCU that has my highest credit limit ($50K) that I never use. Perhaps I'll try to convert that to the 2% back card. I've already got a 2% card with PenFed (preferred because of no foreign transaction fees) and another with Fidelity, but if I'm going to have a card...
by deskjockey
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New State Department FCU 2% cash back credit card
Replies: 5
Views: 349

New State Department FCU 2% cash back credit card

I just noticed that SDFCU came out with a new credit card in the last few weeks that gives 2% cash back and a $200 bonus if you spend 3K in the first 90 days. It's a pretty good deal, IMHO--I've gone ahead and applied. Just wanted to share the opportunity.

Here's the link.
by deskjockey
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could you support family on 1 income?
Replies: 88
Views: 5652

Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

We could and did. DW took a year of unpaid leave from work after each of our children was born. We made sure to stick to our budget and didn't go on any big vacations (we didn't want to with a baby, in any case). She wasn't keen to give up work and we're aiming for early retirement, so we won't be d...
by deskjockey
Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What percentage of you 2017 income can you account for?
Replies: 49
Views: 3279

Re: What percentage of you 2017 income can you account for?

I input and categorize everything in Quicken. I try to allocate everything to a category although I do have a miscellaneous bucket for a few items that don’t fit other categories. I also allocate expenses at a total level - i.e., anything from Wal-Mart or Target goes into the Household line, everyt...
by deskjockey
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken servers down (again)
Replies: 7
Views: 469

Re: Quicken servers down (again)

the ability to project future cash flow and track cost basis and IRR. I do all those tasks with an Excel workbook. Yes, but Excel can't download transactions and categorize them automatically. Given the number of accounts I have, manual entry is not an option. I do wish I could simply use Excel, bu...
by deskjockey
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken servers down (again)
Replies: 7
Views: 469

Re: Quicken servers down (again)

So Quicken can’t be used without internet connection or available Quicken servers? Apparently that's what Quicken (the company) wants you to think, although I found that repeatedly clicking on the red close box eventually allowed the program to open. It took more than five or so clicks. Of course, ...
by deskjockey
Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken servers down (again)
Replies: 7
Views: 469

Quicken servers down (again)

Looks like Quicken's servers are down yet again, blocking anyone from using the app because you can't get past the login screen. I have to say, this is pushing me closer and closer to ditching Quicken even though the alternatives don't have all the functions that I need, particularly the ability to ...
by deskjockey
Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 529 Accounts - Son got full scholarship!
Replies: 54
Views: 5245

Re: Help with 529 Accounts - Son got full scholarship!

Congratulations! I think the strategy you've settled on is decent given that you aren't interested in keeping the money in the 529 for potential grandchildren. That said, how are you planning to discuss this with your other kids (it at all)? Make sure you think it through so that you don't unintenti...
by deskjockey
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: re-siding house - vinyl or hardiplank?
Replies: 54
Views: 5088

Re: re-siding house - vinyl or hardiplank?

OP, Yes HardiePlank all the way. I have installed lots of both. Vinyl is popular back east with high humidity but mid-west you should be good to go with HardiePlank. Very durable if done correctly. Does HardiePlank not do well in very humid environments? I'm asking because we'll probably reside our...
by deskjockey
Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on how to list gifts on form 709
Replies: 10
Views: 612

Re: Question on how to list gifts on form 709

I was hoping it would be similar to how you can bunch multiple donations to the same charity into one entry on form 1040. Oh, well--thank goodness for copy and paste! You could do it anyway and see if the IRS sends you a letter. They probably won't. I'm just telling you the way you're supposed to d...
by deskjockey
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Natural Gas Generator
Replies: 110
Views: 6568

Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Conversely, when flying cars (AAVs) become popular a few years after that, exurban demand could go back up. :twisted: No need for roads at that point! Need for daily travel could be greatly diminished when most are working from home via augmented reality, whether this would cause dispersal or contr...
by deskjockey
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Natural Gas Generator
Replies: 110
Views: 6568

Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

We got one after enduring several day-plus power outages a few years ago (and the spoiled food that came along with them). Financially, it is not an investment--it is definitely an expense. But, as others have said, when you need it most, it is a great thing to have. No frozen pipes, no spoiled food...
by deskjockey
Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on how to list gifts on form 709
Replies: 10
Views: 612

Re: Question on how to list gifts on form 709

Just checking, but a form 709 is only necessary for 529 contributions if the total gift to any one child from a married couple exceeded $28k in 2017, right? Since the first $14k of each contribution from each parent is subtracted, if you are under $28k per child you'd end up with all zeros and no n...
by deskjockey
Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on how to list gifts on form 709
Replies: 10
Views: 612

Re: Question on how to list gifts on form 709

talzara wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:31 pm

You're supposed to report "each gift," not the sum of all gifts.
I was hoping it would be similar to how you can bunch multiple donations to the same charity into one entry on form 1040. Oh, well--thank goodness for copy and paste!
by deskjockey
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on how to list gifts on form 709
Replies: 10
Views: 612

Question on how to list gifts on form 709

I'm in the process of filling out form 709 to report gift taxes and have a question I couldn't find the answer to either in the instructions or elsewhere on the forum. My wife and I each made contributions to our two kids' 529 plans every month during 2017. Do I list each of those individual contrib...
by deskjockey
Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions on gift tax form 709
Replies: 6
Views: 504

Re: Questions on gift tax form 709

No problem - I didn't mean to sound snarky, so sorry if it sounded that way. I like using ctrl. f to search the instructions. I fall asleep if I try reading through them from beginning to end. I do not want to make a habit out of defending the IRS and their 709 Instructions, but I will note that "H...
by deskjockey
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions on gift tax form 709
Replies: 6
Views: 504

Re: Questions on gift tax form 709

The answers to these questions are all found in the 709 instructions: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i709.pdf. I've copied and pasted the answers from the instructions: 1. "If you need more space, attach a separate sheet using the same format as Schedule A." 2. [I assume the securities are publicl...
by deskjockey
Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions on gift tax form 709
Replies: 6
Views: 504

Re: Questions on gift tax form 709

My recollection is that when you give securities as a gift the recipient gets your basis as part of the "gift". If the securities have increased in value since you acquired them you are likely gifting a tax burden as well (assuming the security does not return to your basis, or a lower amount, prio...
by deskjockey
Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PurePoint 1.25% online savings $10K min
Replies: 72
Views: 13559

Re: PurePoint 1.25% online savings $10K min

midareff wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:10 pm
fantasytensai wrote:
Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:38 pm
If this is a no-hoops savings account, it appears to be a no-brainer.

Also, 1.4% for a 12 months CD is arguably even better.
Ally is 1.45% so what's the big deal?
Um, check the date on that post. It was over a year ago.
by deskjockey
Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions on gift tax form 709
Replies: 6
Views: 504

Questions on gift tax form 709

I'm in the process of filling out Form 709 for the first time and have a few questions: 1. How the heck does the IRS expect people to cram several paragraphs worth of information about a gift into a single two-inch long line in Schedule A? Can I simply say something like "see attached explanation" a...
by deskjockey
Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Soon to be Divorced - Filing taxes Separately and potential huge tax burden
Replies: 28
Views: 2562

Re: Help! Soon to be Divorced - Filing taxes Separately and potential huge tax burden

So, technically could I itemize and take the deduction for my two homes (On my name, acquired before marriage) and she could as well for her property (Owned joint by her and her mother and acquired before marriage)? I wonder if it's a dollar amount limit of the deduction, or if it's a "You did it, ...
by deskjockey
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 Money Market now at 1.5%
Replies: 21
Views: 3124

Capital One 360 Money Market now at 1.5%

I was just checking my account and discovered the interest rate has gone up.
by deskjockey
Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with downloading Vanguard UTMA 1099-B data to Turbotax
Replies: 2
Views: 162

Re: Help with downloading Vanguard UTMA 1099-B data to Turbotax

Thanks--I hadn't thought of that. It makes sense. It's not a lot of info, thankfully, so it won't take long for me to enter it.
by deskjockey
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with downloading Vanguard UTMA 1099-B data to Turbotax
Replies: 2
Views: 162

Help with downloading Vanguard UTMA 1099-B data to Turbotax

I am in the process of doing taxes and need to file returns for both our children, who will have unearned income from their Vanguard UTMA accounts. This is the first time we're filing for them, and I'm at a loss as to how I can have Turbotax download the 1099-B data directly from Vanguard. I noticed...
by deskjockey
Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Really need an advice: sell the house or rent it out
Replies: 40
Views: 2345

Re: Really need an advice: sell the house or rent it out

I'm in a similar boat as you are, but more than a year in to being an accidental landlord. My advice given your goal of not living in the house again in 6 years--sell. If you rent it out (at a loss) for six years, you will not be eligible for the capital gains exclusion and will have to pay capital ...
by deskjockey
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just wondering if you do this...
Replies: 10
Views: 1752

Re: Just wondering if you do this...

Yes, I save for multiple goals: college for the kids, new cars, home remodels, etc. Pretty much everyone here does, whether explicitly or implicitly. As for alternative investments, no, I don’t muck around with those. I did have REITs for about a decade, but divested myself of them to simplify our p...
by deskjockey
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Optimal pre/post-tax saving combination
Replies: 2
Views: 306

Re: Optimal pre/post-tax saving combination

Yes, it can be “solved” easily enough (and there are several spreadsheets that will do it for you), but it depends on other variables, too, such as how close your income level is to the next highest and lowest tax brackets, what your expectations of future income are, which savings vehicles are avai...
by deskjockey
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 1099s available - Other companies just as good for sending 1099s???
Replies: 67
Views: 8190

Re: Vanguard 1099s available - Other companies just as good for sending 1099s???

I downloaded my forms from Vanguard, but Turbotax is refusing to import them from Vanguard. It claims that the forms will only be available starting 16 February. :annoyed
by deskjockey
Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.
Replies: 65
Views: 4667

Re: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.

Not included, he shows this exactly: Total Taxes $7,715, Tax Penalty $6,892 (Which should be zero that is wrong), Fed Tax Rate 12%, State Marginal Rate 2.45% Good question, not sure why they are so low, i'll have to ask. [...] Yes and Yes, looking directly at my statement me at age 67 $2927, 70 $36...
by deskjockey
Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Value of Your FERS Annuity and Your TSP Investment Strategy
Replies: 14
Views: 1204

Re: The Value of Your FERS Annuity and Your TSP Investment Strategy

I, like others, tend to disagree with the way the article looks at the situation. In general, when I hear of folks trying to include their pension or SS in their portfolio, it feels like a way to justify higher stock allocations more than anything else. Which, frankly, is not the way to go about it....
by deskjockey
Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.
Replies: 65
Views: 4667

Re: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.

Thanks, Makes sense. I'm going to check out that calculator. Regarding the Monte Carlo, he did include the below only for his What If scenario. Can you help me interpret based on what you said, I'm still a little confused. I know the numbers (8.74) are not realistic but just to get an understanding...
by deskjockey
Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.
Replies: 65
Views: 4667

Re: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.

Nutshellml--I took a quick look at the PDF and saw a few things amiss. The biggest one is that all of the graphs and tables use "hard" numbers based on the "average returns" for the portfolio. That is misleading, as it shows a nice, even rise in the value of the proposed portfolio the advisor wants...
by deskjockey
Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.
Replies: 65
Views: 4667

Re: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.

Nutshellml--I took a quick look at the PDF and saw a few things amiss. The biggest one is that all of the graphs and tables use "hard" numbers based on the "average returns" for the portfolio. That is misleading, as it shows a nice, even rise in the value of the proposed portfolio the advisor wants ...
by deskjockey
Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.
Replies: 65
Views: 4667

Re: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.

OP--Another fed here, also considering early retirement (55 or 50, if we make our number). To help answer your question, I think we need to step back a bit to get to the root of the argument. He is telling you to ditch bonds (or reduce them significantly) so as to goose your expected returns. That's...
by deskjockey
Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New tax bill allows 529 use for K-12 tuition
Replies: 6
Views: 685

Re: New tax bill allows 529 use for K-12 tuition

Sounds very odd you get a higher deduction by opening multiple "funds". Are you sure those limits aren't per beneficiary, taxpayer, etc? It is odd, but true. Virginia's 529 law specifies that the tax deduction is for each account *(yes, account, not beneficiary or contributor), and the way VA529 im...
by deskjockey
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short Commute or Nicer House?
Replies: 142
Views: 7967

Re: Short Commute or Nicer House?

As others have said, this decision hinges on your personal desires and personality. Do you hate being stuck in traffic (at any time of day)? Does commuting leave you anxious and/or tired on a routine basis? If so, you probably would be better off with option 1. If you don't mind sitting in traffic a...
by deskjockey
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PTO policy after international business travel
Replies: 53
Views: 3279

Re: PTO policy after international business travel

Five days off is definitely too much to ask for. Uncle Sam, for example, doesn't give its employees any time off after returning from a short (less than a month) trip across multiple time zones. If you want to use up some of your vacation time, you can do that in many cases, but that's about it (and...
by deskjockey
Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 Withholding Tables
Replies: 88
Views: 11844

Re: IRS announces new withholding tables for 2018

At the time of this post, the IRS has taken down the withholding tables from their site. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/n1036.pdf Not sure what you mean--they're still on the IRS site as of when I'm typing this post, as is the press release announcing them: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/news-releas...
by deskjockey
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much are you putting in a 529?
Replies: 111
Views: 8329

Re: How much are you putting in a 529?

I put in 70k when my baby was about 6 months. My ? Is can this $ be used for k12/elementary education worldwide/overseas or limited to the US. We r US expats living overseas. If it’s allowed, will put in another 15k this yr. I read the law, it does nt state it’s not allowed for overseas schools but...
by deskjockey
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much are you putting in a 529?
Replies: 111
Views: 8329

Re: How much are you putting in a 529?

We put $8,000 into 529s for each of our two kids every year, and have done so since birth. This gives us a nice tax benefit in VA, since we use the Invest529 plan. We've got about $185K in their accounts as of now and plan to fund it until we have enough to fully pay for in-state attendance at UVA....
by deskjockey
Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much are you putting in a 529?
Replies: 111
Views: 8329

Re: How much are you putting in a 529?

We put $8,000 into 529s for each of our two kids every year, and have done so since birth. This gives us a nice tax benefit in VA, since we use the Invest529 plan. We've got about $185K in their accounts as of now and plan to fund it until we have enough to fully pay for in-state attendance at UVA. ...
by deskjockey
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help! Made a mistake setting up Ally CDs-any repercussions?
Replies: 4
Views: 958

Re: Help! Made a mistake setting up Ally CDs-any repercussions?

Thanks, folks! I ended up on hold with Ally for 70-some minutes (apparently everyone was trying to get in on the CD deal), but in the end they were able to cancel the ACH transfers from their end. I also checked with Capital One to ensure that any ACH requests that would reate an overdraft would be ...
by deskjockey
Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help! Made a mistake setting up Ally CDs-any repercussions?
Replies: 4
Views: 958

Help! Made a mistake setting up Ally CDs-any repercussions?

I set up a couple of CDs at Ally a few minutes ago, but in doing so, I screwed up and set up an immediate ACH pull instead of not funding the CD immediately. The reason I wanted to wait is that the money is coming from Vanguard into a checking account at Capital One, and will not arrive until Thursd...
by deskjockey
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Bank 11 month [No-Penalty CD]
Replies: 382
Views: 33001

Re: Ally Bank 11 month [No-Penalty CD]

I believe you can open the new CDs and take up to 10 days to fund them and still get the locked in rate. So, i will plan to open them Jan 2, and hope my checking account gets opened by Jan 12, otherwise i will convert them paying the $10 for the extra transactions... I just checked Ally's rules on ...
by deskjockey
Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 186
Views: 24364

Re: TurboTax Prices

Amazon now has Turbotax Premier for $54.99 for both the CD and download. That's the best price I've seen from a trusted vendor. I just bought my copy.
by deskjockey
Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is mid-Jan 2018 too early to count on new 529 laws?
Replies: 7
Views: 1230

Re: Is mid-Jan 2018 too early to count on new 529 laws?

Thanks. I'm not sure if we would have contributed this year...but that's true, if we were going to, it would be a wash. It's more for cashflow purposes as we now have a new bucket of money to draw from, so as not to deplete our day to day capital, and that bucket can then be refilled anytime later ...
by deskjockey
Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ? Can use 529 for foreign/overseas secondary school?
Replies: 2
Views: 480

Re: ? Can use 529 for foreign/overseas secondary school?

The tax reform law does not specify one way or the other, so we will likely need to wait for IRS guidance to clear that up. Given the current guidance on using 529s for colleges and universities overseas, I would suspect the rules will significantly limit your ability to pay for a foreign private sc...
by deskjockey
Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using 529 for grade school- help with strategy
Replies: 45
Views: 4113

Re: Using 529 for grade school- help with strategy

If you live in Virginia, cash-flowing private school tuition through several Virginia 529 accounts may be a very good way of reducing your state taxes. Since you get a $4,000 deduction per account (NOT per child), you can open several accounts (Virginia has two stable value options, so you could ope...
by deskjockey
Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?
Replies: 266
Views: 22407

Re: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?

The calculators I've used predict we'll save about $9K under the new tax laws. Sweet! I'll be plowing that into taxable and 529s for private school.