Search found 5032 matches

by jebmke
Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement contributions when self-employed in year with zero income
Replies: 6
Views: 365

Re: Retirement contributions when self-employed in year with zero income

Retirement accounts are essentially deferred income devices. With no income to defer, I doubt there are any options unless the person is the spouse of someone with compensation income. Unfortunately it is too late to do a conversion of a traditional IRA to a ROTH IRA. That would have been a good mov...
by jebmke
Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Still Struggling to Understand How Bonds Work
Replies: 7
Views: 508

Re: Still Struggling to Understand How Bonds Work

the price of the bond rises so anyone holding the bond has an asset that is worth more than it was before the move. Bond traders make or lose tons of money in this market.
by jebmke
Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099-R
Replies: 5
Views: 423

Re: 1099-R

I believe the payers Federal ID # is the key item. AFAIK, this field is still verified by the IRS and an invalid one will kick out the return. I would put in "Trust Company and address" and be done with it. I think some limited name matching occurs. In this case, I would use "Trust C...
by jebmke
Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Vanguard why? (Donating to Donor advised Fund)
Replies: 18
Views: 1201

Re: Why Vanguard why? (Donating to Donor advised Fund)

I always tried to avoid changing tax attributes and custodian of an asset at the same time. When I rolled my 401(k) at Fidelity, I created new IRAs at Fidelity and had them do the entire transaction. They owned the process end to end. Later I move the IRAs from Fidelity to Vanguard (no change in tax...
by jebmke
Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099-R Tax question
Replies: 5
Views: 667

Re: 1099-R Tax question

You recapture the income in 2015. Usually, yes. You should make a computation to determine the extent to which the state income tax provided a benefit in 2015. Even if you itemized, the refund may be partially or fully excluded from income. I believe most tax software provides a worksheet with whic...
by jebmke
Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Doing email with a Chromebook
Replies: 16
Views: 1207

Re: Doing email with a Chromebook

If I were planning to use a dedicated system for finances (accessing banks etc) I think I would avoid using that same device for mail -- or at a minimum, only use it to access a dedicated email account that I used only for password resets. Can you elaborate? Finances involves email - getting transa...
by jebmke
Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare question.
Replies: 18
Views: 1439

Re: Obamacare question.

Is the direct pay plan qualifying for an HSA? That could mitigate some of the extra cost.
by jebmke
Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flagship Reps
Replies: 62
Views: 4948

Re: Flagship Reps

There's free Turbotax? Where does one access that? I put "turbotax" into the Vanguard search box, and only got a link to the regular Turbotax paid site. It is an old perk -- no longer available. Can get HRBlock on sale from time to time for $25-30 so there seems to be a lot of hand wringi...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How variable is your total income (5 year history)?
Replies: 30
Views: 3161

Re: How variable is your total income (5 year history)?

I am retired so I control my income quite closely by adjusting ROTH conversions.
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Safe cutoff of after tax contributions
Replies: 7
Views: 560

Re: Safe cutoff of after tax contributions

hammond wrote:Does vanguard automatically stop taking my paycheck after the limit has been made? I

My guess is that any control is not in the hands of Vanguard but instead belongs to your payroll department. I'd start there.
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?
Replies: 171
Views: 9019

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

We rarely eat dinner out - neither of us likes to drive at night if we can avoid it. A couple places in our town will serve a half portion of any entre so that helps. For lunch, we typically only eat half and take half with us. Only one will have a drink - someone has to drive. Our years in Europe w...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why nobody understands importance of high-deductible insurance?
Replies: 108
Views: 8981

Re: Why nobody understands importance of high-deductible insurance?

If a high deductible discourages submitting claims (like auto and homeowners), I would probably agree. Not necessarily for health insurance though since they still have to process it and track deductibles. Right. I suspect their overhead is the same either way. The premium difference is due to clai...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard on finding a dead person's password
Replies: 76
Views: 5582

Re: Vanguard on finding a dead person's password

Short of having cash on hand or having a joint account (though my understanding is that even that could be locked if one died???) What is the mechanism to operate? I think the key is to have at least a minimum source of cash (separate savings account?) and credit cards in own name. The gap may not ...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with taxes
Replies: 27
Views: 1836

Re: Help with taxes

Drmoneytails Give very careful consideration to using a filing status of MFS. There are a number of special rules that apply when using that filing status, some of which may apply to you. The rules can be found of pages 21-22 of IRS Publication 17 which is available online at http://www.irs.gov. I ...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare question.
Replies: 18
Views: 1439

Re: Obamacare question.

Well that's another vote for the exchange. Given this is a short term example I'd be inclined to bet on Obamacare being sufficient during that time frame since you can change it again in 5-6 months. Sounds like we have incomplete info. OP stated that hospital was not covered but he may mean that th...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare question.
Replies: 18
Views: 1439

Re: Obamacare question.

Considering the hassle involved in changing health care providers, I suggest that you pay the price outside of the ACA network because you only have to do so for five months. Better safe then sorry. That's what I'd do too. I read the OP too fast and missed that this was just a 5 month gap closer. O...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare question.
Replies: 18
Views: 1439

Re: Obamacare question.

Seems to me if you want to stay with the exchange plan you need to find doctors that will have admitting privileges at in-network hospitals. The hospital costs could wipe you out.
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is that gas / fume smell from furnace?
Replies: 15
Views: 784

Re: What is that gas / fume smell from furnace?

And the gas company will send someone out on Sunday saying something like " I smell something gas like in my apartment. Please come out." Yes they will. When I lived in Ohio, I heard an explosion from a nearby neighborhood. Apparently there was a gas leak. The owner rushed back into the h...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions for Low Duration Bond Fund
Replies: 20
Views: 1148

Re: Suggestions for Low Duration Bond Fund

Looking at the fact sheet - looks like a hodgepodge of some potentially risky stuff. Yield chasing?

http://www.doublelinefunds.com/wp-conte ... 1484501828

and the ER is pretty high for a bond fund.
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Doing email with a Chromebook
Replies: 16
Views: 1207

Re: Doing email with a Chromebook

If I were planning to use a dedicated system for finances (accessing banks etc) I think I would avoid using that same device for mail -- or at a minimum, only use it to access a dedicated email account that I used only for password resets. Can you elaborate? Finances involves email - getting transa...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flagship Reps
Replies: 62
Views: 4948

Re: Flagship Reps

My contacts have always been non-urgent. I try to summarize "on paper" my issue and questions and attach a PDF to my request for an appointment. That way, the rep has time to do some homework. I have some questions this year about consolidating and re-titling some accounts. I'll do the sam...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flagship Reps
Replies: 62
Views: 4948

Re: Flagship Reps

Thus far, no one has mentioned that you can always talk with your Flagship representative if you make an appointment. This is what I do. I also try to schedule time sensitive transactions (like a ROTH conversion) with enough recovery time to enable me to reach them by phone if I need to do some cor...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Doing email with a Chromebook
Replies: 16
Views: 1207

Re: Doing email with a Chromebook

If I were planning to use a dedicated system for finances (accessing banks etc) I think I would avoid using that same device for mail -- or at a minimum, only use it to access a dedicated email account that I used only for password resets.
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard on finding a dead person's password
Replies: 76
Views: 5582

Re: Vanguard on finding a dead person's password

I've been single for a few decades now, but back when I was married there were definitely joint checking and savings accounts out there; the death of one spouse would not impact the other spouse's access to that account. I have had cases in Taxaide where the spouse was denied access to joint accoun...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard on finding a dead person's password
Replies: 76
Views: 5582

Re: Vanguard on finding a dead person's password

I don't blame the banks at all. In our case we were able to quickly distribute as inherited IRAs a small IRA to all beneficiaries because the account had beneficiaries. Everything else was locked until the clerk approved the rep and outlined the limitations of what could be done with the regular ban...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard on finding a dead person's password
Replies: 76
Views: 5582

Re: Vanguard on finding a dead person's password

For retirement assets our durable powers of attorney give each of us the right to manage them. Again, having the passwords is handy. The POAs may be durable (fade-proof ink) but they don't guarantee access. My wife had POA over her father's accounts but when he died, the institutions locked them do...
by jebmke
Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard investment income downloads in TurboTax?
Replies: 13
Views: 652

Re: Vanguard investment income downloads in TurboTax?

Some of my Taxaide clients come up with deductions I have never thought of -- but they turn out not to be legal.
by jebmke
Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Donation Assistant
Replies: 5
Views: 260

Re: TaxAct Donation Assistant

It is normal for functionality to be missing and/or broken in tax software this time of year. That's one reason why I don't even try to do any real tax work until later in the season on my own behalf (I typically file in late September/early October). Right, but we aren't talking about new tax law ...
by jebmke
Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiring - "not subject to tax" 401K funds
Replies: 20
Views: 2076

Re: Retiring - "not subject to tax" 401K funds

I've attended several company retirement seminars. I asked about partial distributions and subaccounts. We can request the funds to be pulled from the "not subject to tax" subaccount if we desire. That confused me because because I had assumed pro rata rules applied to partial distributio...
by jebmke
Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Donation Assistant
Replies: 5
Views: 260

Re: TaxAct Donation Assistant

It is normal for functionality to be missing and/or broken in tax software this time of year. That's one reason why I don't even try to do any real tax work until later in the season on my own behalf (I typically file in late September/early October).
by jebmke
Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I can do this. Right?
Replies: 6
Views: 696

Re: I can do this. Right?

Expenses need to include income taxes (if any) and allowances for things like replacing the cars, replacing major items on your home (new roof, new furnace ...)
by jebmke
Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer didn't make last HSA contribution, is SS/medicare benefit lost
Replies: 2
Views: 354

Re: Employer didn't make last HSA contribution, is SS/medicare benefit lost

inspector00 wrote:Before I go the aftertax path, just wondering if there's any way to get the extra tax savings on SS/Medicare?

I don't think so. Look at it this way, you will be earning more SS credit.
by jebmke
Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A Few BND Questions
Replies: 12
Views: 706

Re: A Few BND Questions

Intermediate term Tips are yielding roughly zero right now so that is what I use since it is convenient - I can forecast my RMD by simply dividing my current balance by the relevant factor for age 70.5. I'd say you can probably expect no better than 0-1% real for bonds.
by jebmke
Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you get an IRS pin code for filing?
Replies: 15
Views: 1307

Re: Did you get an IRS pin code for filing?

Devil's Advocate wrote:Yes
My W2 came last year with the envelope torn. An obvious attempt at stealing my SS # and info. I called the IRS and they granted me a PIN. My credit has been frozen for years so I feel fairly confident I am safe enough.

DA

Just curious, how did they verify that you were you?
by jebmke
Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Experience Using Roth IRA at Vanguard for Funding Startups
Replies: 2
Views: 237

Re: Experience Using Roth IRA at Vanguard for Funding Startups

It might be a challenge to find a trustee that is willing to deal with the administration on this. I'm not aware of any limitations but I'd be surprised if the usual suspects for custodians (banks, mutual fund companies, brokerages) would get involved with this.
by jebmke
Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Update on mix in DAF for long term?
Replies: 9
Views: 421

Re: Update on mix in DAF for long term?

We only leave what we funded for a bridge between working (high tax) and RMD (high tax) years. No equity. The equity is all in our taxable account so when it comes time to add to the DAF it will go in then with the unrealized gains.
by jebmke
Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: looking for a cloud backup service that works with mapped network drives
Replies: 11
Views: 767

Re: looking for a cloud backup service that works with mapped network drives

A mirror on a cloud drive is not a proper backup. It generally has no revisioning. One option is to use something like FreeFileSync and set it up with revisioning and blast the mirror (with revisions) from your primary copy to the cloud drive. That doesn't solve your capacity problem (that can be so...
by jebmke
Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: File taxes with $0 income with a dependent?
Replies: 29
Views: 1979

Re: File taxes with $0 income with a dependent?

It is the training classes that VITA and TCE Taxaide voluntee4s receive. It was in my training this year again. The actual mechanism does vary. We (the volunteers) don't actually do the $1 interest anymore; we now put in $1 as miscellaneous income on line 21. The detail reads "To deter ID thef...
by jebmke
Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: File taxes with $0 income with a dependent?
Replies: 29
Views: 1979

Re: File taxes with $0 income with a dependent?

I agree. File anyhow - put $1 in interest to make it efile-able. Or just file paper. That's to deter ID theft. This is bad advice. Please don't make up numbers just to be able to e-file. The above is what the IRS advises volunteer tax preparers to do to deter ID theft. It is a GREAT advice. We have...
by jebmke
Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Severe is an HSA Audit?
Replies: 29
Views: 3378

Re: How Severe is an HSA Audit?

I had an "audit" of my HSA (and Schedule A) one year. They asked for all documents supporting all entries on Form 8889 and Schedule A. It was a letter request, not an in-person audit. What did you send them? Then what happened? I sent them copies of forms 5498-SA, 1099-SA and W-2 (code W,...
by jebmke
Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Bad was 2008, really?
Replies: 189
Views: 11885

Re: How Bad was 2008, really?

It was very bad. Even US government treasuries started to crater. At that point I saw two outcomes. Either the economy would completely collapse in less than a few weeks or it wouldn't and things would recover. No matter what I did in scenario 1 (bonds, whatever) I would be wiped out. So I moved a ...
by jebmke
Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Severe is an HSA Audit?
Replies: 29
Views: 3378

Re: How Severe is an HSA Audit?

I had an "audit" of my HSA (and Schedule A) one year. They asked for all documents supporting all entries on Form 8889 and Schedule A. It was a letter request, not an in-person audit.
by jebmke
Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What should be our third exercise machine?
Replies: 42
Views: 2221

Re: What should be our third exercise machine?

I like the recumbent bike (I use it at the gym along with some other machines). It take a while to get my heart rate up on them I have found but I can usually get up to around 125 before I end up switching to elliptical for a real workout. I sympathize re: the frozen shoulders. I had one in 2009 - i...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Charitable Ranks No. 1 on 2016 Philanthropy 400 list
Replies: 5
Views: 321

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

In general I highly approve of DAFs. Vanguard and Fidelity were the two we looked at and went with VG because that is where our assets are and the minimums weren't an issue for us. They streamline the administration for many people and in general, I think they do a good job of vetting recipients of ...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Charitable Ranks No. 1 on 2016 Philanthropy 400 list
Replies: 5
Views: 321

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

I personally think it is a mistaken measurement system where intermediaries like DAFS, Foundations and pass-through organizations like United Way are deemed "charities." They missed one of my favorite benefits of the DAF which is the ability to make anonymous donations to charities from th...
by jebmke
Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T cell: way to avoid paying for spam texts?
Replies: 21
Views: 1339

Re: AT&T cell: way to avoid paying for spam texts?

Tycoon wrote:
schmitz wrote:
Tycoon wrote:My solution is I don't have a phone.


Doesn't help the OP at all.


No phone = no spam texts.

Also means that if you are broken down on a country road with no way to contact someone or roadside service you are SOL. I'll take the spam problem, thanks.
by jebmke
Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best printers for home use
Replies: 67
Views: 4874

Re: Best printers for home use

recently the Officejet became unstable meaning that after a power outage or being inadvertently unplugged the router would assign the printer a new IP address which was different than the one in my computer's memory and so I couldn't print to it ; I have found that the best fix for this is to confi...
by jebmke
Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing taxes for the first time--Please help!
Replies: 33
Views: 1915

Re: Doing taxes for the first time--Please help!

mortfree wrote:I noticed in December that the 1040 instructions link in the IRS website is still linked to the 2015 document.

Thought that would have been fixed by now.

Or maybe it's just me.

1040gi is now available on IRS site

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040gi.pdf
by jebmke
Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Disadvantage of Tax loss harvesting
Replies: 65
Views: 3415

Re: Disadvantage of Tax loss harvesting

I cannot be the only one who avoids frictional costs. For instance, what is the frictional cost of exchanging Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund into Vanguard Large-cap Index fund? Or into a combo of a couple of index funds. This is what I did for domestic which was the bulk of the holdings tha...

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