Search found 4821 matches

by jebmke
Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Seattle (weekend trip)
Replies: 8
Views: 360

Re: What to do in Seattle (weekend trip)

We thought the Klondike Museum was pretty interesting.
by jebmke
Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do You Consider Dividends As Income?
Replies: 21
Views: 1246

Re: Do You Consider Dividends As Income?

Wealth and income are only loosely correlated. I have known many people with high income and low wealth and vice versa. My goal is to minimize income whenever possible.
by jebmke
Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking at 16k in profits from a side LLC. Should I keep as retained earnings or cash out?
Replies: 3
Views: 185

Re: Looking at 16k in profits from a side LLC. Should I keep as retained earnings or cash out?

As noted, you will have to report the income on Schedule C whether you take the cash or not.
by jebmke
Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DNS services
Replies: 3
Views: 275

DNS services

My ISP seems to have frequent problems with their DNS service. Any suggestions on good alternatives? Any privacy concerns about using Google Public DNS service?

Thanks.
by jebmke
Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?
Replies: 39
Views: 3625

Re: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?

We don't order a lot. Their pricing isn't anything special and we don't buy much "stuff" to begin with. Most orders arrive in one day -- but we live about 1.5 hours from a major Amazon distribution center. I suspect a lot depends on what you order and where you live.
by jebmke
Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus (and Toyota) Owners --- Routine Service ??
Replies: 29
Views: 2437

Re: Lexus (and Toyota) Owners --- Routine Service ??

Probably change the oil ~5-7,500 on average. Tire rotation is free with oil change. I will usually push it longer if I have put a lot of highway miles. If I've been doing mostly short stuff and a lot of non-paved roads I try to keep to the 5K more or less. I have never changed a battery in the key i...
by jebmke
Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:29 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: posting a too tall picture
Replies: 6
Views: 551

Re: posting a too tall picture

or

Code: Select all

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by jebmke
Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA contributions after dropping HDHP for 2017..?
Replies: 1
Views: 141

Re: HSA contributions after dropping HDHP for 2017..?

You can make contributions any time before the April filing date as long as the total of the contributions your employer made FOR 2016 and your contributions FOR 2016 do not exceed the contribution limit. Your contributions will be an adjustment on your 2016 AGI. The employer contributions normally ...
by jebmke
Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA rules for deceased spouse?
Replies: 24
Views: 1213

Re: HSA rules for deceased spouse?

I'm really just hoping to find some more tangible guidance for the questions asked in the OP. As far as I know, it doesn't exist. HSAs haven't been around that long. They were created in 2003 and the average balance is only $15K, according to a recent study . Moreover, most HSA holders are still at...
by jebmke
Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The new normal: 2%, 3%?
Replies: 72
Views: 4202

Re: The new normal: 2%, 3%?

Nate79 wrote:It seems to be a regular competition on this site to predict the lowest future annual returns and lowest SWR. I'm waiting for someone to suggest a 0% SWR....

For those with social security and a good pension, that happens.
by jebmke
Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA rules for deceased spouse?
Replies: 24
Views: 1213

Re: HSA rules for deceased spouse?

Finding this archive might be quite the task for your bereaved spouse, especially if you die unexpectedly. My husband had a lot of files on his computer and it was a challenge for me to find everything that I needed on his complicated setup in order to file our final joint return. (He didn't have a...
by jebmke
Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Aren't rising rates good for bond funds?
Replies: 14
Views: 1074

Re: Aren't rising rates good for bond funds?

Unfortunately, it is not so simple as what general wisdom has come to be. Rising rates might be good for bond investors; rising rates might be bad for bond investors. That the nominal rate has increased does not provide sufficient information to tell. If rates were at 2%, and inflation was ranging ...
by jebmke
Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is NAASDAQ getting hammered?
Replies: 10
Views: 1186

Re: Why is NAASDAQ getting hammered?

anyone's guess is as good as another. Maybe big investors are starting to realize that some of these tech companies aren't ever going to make enough money to justify the valuations. I'd hardly call a couple of percent or so "hammered," though. Lots of tech stocks fell to zero in 2000. We c...
by jebmke
Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA rules for deceased spouse?
Replies: 24
Views: 1213

Re: HSA rules for deceased spouse?

Tax pros could charge a lot for going through all those receipts and EOBs, making copies, presenting them to the IRS, addressing any questions, etc. I have already had one HSA audit. They might be rare but when the happen, they do ask for all documents supporting the entries on Form 8889. At one po...
by jebmke
Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA rules for deceased spouse?
Replies: 24
Views: 1213

Re: HSA rules for deceased spouse?

Please explain how this could "backfire." If I have sufficient after tax investments, SS income, etc., why not leave the HSA funds in the HSA until shortly before (or shortly after) death, as described in the OP. Isn't tax-free "forever" a really good thing? If I left decades of...
by jebmke
Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The new normal: 2%, 3%?
Replies: 72
Views: 4202

Re: The new normal: 2%, 3%?

In the financial planning I've been doing running up to retirement at the end of the year, I've been using 2% nominal as my figure. I'm of course hoping that this is way too conservative, but I'd rather plan on the conservative side than count on something higher and be disappointed. 10 year Tips a...
by jebmke
Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Contribution Eligibility 'Validation' ?
Replies: 6
Views: 443

Re: HSA Contribution Eligibility 'Validation' ?

When I enroll every year for my retiree health plan, I get a confirmation that I have enrolled in the HDHP (me+spouse) from my company benefits system. I toss that in my HSA file.
by jebmke
Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reasonably cheap reading glasses with different strengths?
Replies: 18
Views: 1190

Re: Reasonably cheap reading glasses with different strengths?

I had cataract surgery in the spring. Now I use these for "desk work" involving computer and paper. The multi-focals give me 2x for reading and slightly less (1.5 I think) for computer screen distance. My optho recommended them - she said getting custom made ones was a waste of money for m...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DIY Wills - Who to use?
Replies: 24
Views: 1702

Re: DIY Wills - Who to use?

A friend of mine who works as a Tax agent and financial adviser told me that he thought anyone doing their own taxes was like doing your own surgery. If you get your tax return wrong, you have multiple chances to fix the errors. Speaking as a tax preparer, one of the worst things that has happened ...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long ethernet cable or wireless?
Replies: 81
Views: 5320

Re: Long ethernet cable or wireless?

Does powerline adapter software work with Linux? Not sure; I think it is just a browser addressing the adapter on a one time basis. You can check a couple manufacturers and look at the user guide on their web site. I have used Trendnet and Netgear adapters (interchangeably -- in other words, I have...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Rate Question
Replies: 7
Views: 585

Re: Tax Rate Question

If they are in the 25% tax bracket their average tax rate will not be 25% - it should be a lot lower. A tax software program or taxcaster (online) should get you a reasonable estimate. If they live in a state with income tax, you would have to add that.
by jebmke
Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Lightweight Binoculars under $200
Replies: 15
Views: 878

Re: Best Lightweight Binoculars under $200

So what is the best 8x21 compact around $100 and/or under $200? Some nighttime use is desired, so a medium sized exit pupil is desirable. 21s won't gather enough light for low light use. For low light you need large objective lenses -- 42 or 50. My spotting scope is 66 and it starts to get limited ...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DIY Wills - Who to use?
Replies: 24
Views: 1702

Re: DIY Wills - Who to use?

I would suggest that a professionally prepared will is not too expensive. If a will is done improperly for the situation, no one will find out about it until it is too late to change it. That is my view. You only die once and it is probably very hard to change your will after it is determined that ...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would I notice a difference between an i3-6100 and an i5-6200 processor?
Replies: 20
Views: 991

Re: Would I notice a difference between an i3-6100 and an i5-6200 processor?

I have a lot (maybe a dozen) identical laptops all with i3 processors. Two of them have more memory (6gb vs 4gb) - I do notice that the ones with more memory are a little snappier if multiple windows or tabs are open with images or large spreadsheets etc. But they all work pretty quickly for the act...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift To Self
Replies: 49
Views: 4065

Re: Gift To Self

Probably not. At my point in life there's not a lot I need or want. I have a loving wife and family, food in the fridge, no debt, and a few bucks in the bank. There are plenty of people around here that need anything I'd spend on a toy more than I need the toy. Same here. I'm trying to GET RID of s...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turning Primary Residence Into a Rental
Replies: 16
Views: 1216

Re: Turning Primary Residence Into a Rental

Make sure you are comfortable with the contents of this pub from the IRS https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p527.pdf Pub 946 is also helpful along with the instructions for Forms 4562 and Schedule E. All these are available from the IRS web site. also, if you aren't using a realtor to do the leasing wh...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday - is this overdone?
Replies: 77
Views: 5809

Re: Black Friday - is this overdone?

The reality is that in many areas of the U.S., Walmart is often the only employer with openings. In a perfect model, potential employees would have choices, in this case, the other alternative is often public assistance. People are also free to move anywhere to take a job. I'm guessing 90% of the p...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Lightweight Binoculars under $200
Replies: 15
Views: 878

Re: Best Lightweight Binoculars under $200

Buying binoculars without trying them in a store or at some place like Eagle Optics which has a no-questions return policy is risky. There are design factors that can make perfectly good glasses unusable for some people due to the way the eyes are spaced and other factors. Do some research on this a...
by jebmke
Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long ethernet cable or wireless?
Replies: 81
Views: 5320

Re: Long ethernet cable or wireless?

They have newer products that operate on both bands. At home I use an Apple Airport Express, also configured as a WAP, because I'm in a crowded wifi environment and I really need 5Ghz. Do you also use this for routing? I saw somewhere that Apple is exiting the router business. Something to watch fo...
by jebmke
Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: indirect/direct rollover from Fidelity to vanguard
Replies: 5
Views: 529

Re: indirect/direct rollover from Fidelity to vanguard

I moved a ROTH and TIRA from Fidelity to Vanguard. The Fidelity accounts were in cash (I had rolled over a 401K the previous year). I completed the paperwork for VG, got the medallion signature guarantee and they took care of the rest. As I recall, I just called VG, they completed the paperwork whil...
by jebmke
Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank for tenant security deposit
Replies: 12
Views: 957

Re: Bank for tenant security deposit

Right. I think our requirement was to have an account that was jointly titled or something. I know the account had the tenant's name in it. Legal requirement was more than just keeping it separate. Some states are more tenant friendly than others.
by jebmke
Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long ethernet cable or wireless?
Replies: 81
Views: 5320

Re: Long ethernet cable or wireless?

First, powerline adapter? You mean the data signal actually goes through an electrical wire? That sound promising. Is this the sort of thing you're talking about? TP-LINK AV500 2-port Powerline Starter Kit I'm guessing it would work this way: 1. Plug one adapter into wall outlet with other end of w...
by jebmke
Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long ethernet cable or wireless?
Replies: 81
Views: 5320

Re: Long ethernet cable or wireless?

I did find a possible alternative -- an independent wireless access point (AP). These are usually not used in a situation like mine involving a single room, but it sounded like something I could just hook into my existing router/modem via an ethernet cable and it would give me a wi-fi radio that I ...
by jebmke
Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank for tenant security deposit
Replies: 12
Views: 957

Re: Bank for tenant security deposit

When we had rental property it was required by law to put the security deposit in an escrow account. Check on your state.
by jebmke
Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2006
Views: 515708

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

"The Wrong Side of Goodbye" by Michael Connelly. Harry Bosch is back...pushed out of LAPD and doing double duty as a P.I. and helping a small town police department. Perhaps my favorite Bosch series book yet. Ed I am half way through this now. Hard to beat the two Poet books though.
by jebmke
Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Tax Software for 2016
Replies: 36
Views: 3321

Re: H&R Block Tax Software for 2016

I used H&R Bloack's Tax program for many years and thought it was always a good reliable program. I used it last year for the first time and will again this year. Seems easy enough. Not difficult to do direct form entry and bypass all the silly questions in the interview. I wish TaxSlayer Pro w...
by jebmke
Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LTC Insurance
Replies: 13
Views: 1443

Re: LTC Insurance

That is true except for the 10% floor on deductible medical expenses (i.e., only the portion of medical expenses which exceed 10% of AGI are deductible). So some taxes would be due on the withdrawals, but most would be shielded from tax. Also, if one were subject to a phase-out on itemized deductio...
by jebmke
Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to retire. What am I forgetting?
Replies: 10
Views: 1774

Re: Want to retire. What am I forgetting?

Irrespective of your investments and tax deferred accounts, what jumps out at me is the blanket statement " My husband will continue to work and provide health insurance until I am eligible for Medicare". Unless he owns his own very successful business and is self-employed, how can you co...
by jebmke
Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: So I just received a letter from the IRS...
Replies: 10
Views: 1779

Re: So I just received a letter from the IRS...

If you do not have a comprehensive response within the 30 day period make sure that you send a response (written) with POD -- even if the response is simply "I received your letter and I am gathering information with which to respond." I have received letters with large adjustments (later ...
by jebmke
Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to find out if I'm an HCE
Replies: 6
Views: 726

Re: How to find out if I'm an HCE

Normally the benefits department in your HR team should be able to tell you this.
by jebmke
Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving from FTE to independent small business: how to save for retirement
Replies: 8
Views: 397

Re: Moving from FTE to independent small business: how to save for retirement

Don't underestimate the power of a tax efficient taxable account. Over half of our assets are in taxable accounts and withdrawals from these funds ~90-95% of our current spending in retirement. Most years we pay little or no Federal income tax on the income from them.
by jebmke
Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checking IRS refund applied to next year's return
Replies: 11
Views: 852

Re: Checking IRS refund applied to next year's return

As far as I know, having the refund applied to next year's taxes isn't any more effective than taking the refund and then paying an estimated tax. That is what I do. Since the OP filed late in the year for TY 2015, if the refund, once received, is paid toward this year's estimated tax, wouldn't it ...
by jebmke
Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checking IRS refund applied to next year's return
Replies: 11
Views: 852

Re: Checking IRS refund applied to next year's return

It won't show up on that site because you aren't getting a refund. One of the several advantages of efiling is that you get an electronic acknowledgement of the receipt of the return. Sometimes efiling can't be done. Whenever I have had no alternative but paper filing I always send it with a POD met...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New gas range vents LOTS of heat into kitchen
Replies: 27
Views: 1750

Re: New gas range vents LOTS of heat into kitchen

High BTU gas stoves NEED to have a good vent hood Had to laugh. When we remodeled a kitchen a few years ago (different house) we had a gas top with high BTU burners. In particular, I wanted to make sure smells (fish!) and heat could be vented quickly. I told the contractor "when I reach for th...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching to HDHP
Replies: 2
Views: 277

Re: Switching to HDHP

Normally FSA money disappears at the end of the year. I seem to recall that my company allowed a short run-off period in the first quarter of the next year -- but that was a long time ago and it may have been for invoices for services rendered in the prior year - not services rendered after the end ...
by jebmke
Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: linux versus Mac for the average PC user
Replies: 58
Views: 2622

Re: linux versus Mac for the average PC user

maxed out 13" Macbook Pro with 16 gigs of memory, a 3.1 ghz i7 processor and 512G SSD. I expect this will last me almost a decade. I suspect a comparably specified system with Windows or Linux would last the same. I still use my Windows based laptop that I bought in 2008. It had no problem upg...
by jebmke
Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Backup Ideas
Replies: 36
Views: 3099

Re: Computer Backup Ideas

There are alternatives to proprietary backup solutions like Crashplan that will accomplish mostly the same outcome. For a subset of data that I maintain for a non-profit entity, I use the following strategy: I have a OneDrive that will hold up to 5gb of data for free. The primary data is on my hard ...
by jebmke
Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Backup Ideas
Replies: 36
Views: 3099

Re: Computer Backup Ideas

What is the advantage of using Crashplan as compared to simplifying my cloud set up that I have now? Is Crashplan truly a "backup" where if a file is corrupted I can restore it to a safe version? What happens in your setup if you delete a file in Dropbox accidentally and don't discover th...
by jebmke
Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Severance Package Taxes
Replies: 10
Views: 1266

Re: Severance Package Taxes

Severance normally will appear on your W2 as compensation and is reported on Line 7 of the 1040 for the year it is paid.

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