Search found 3298 matches

by kenschmidt
Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: retirement option pay $500/yr to insure $250,000 over 12 years?
Replies: 6
Views: 440

Re: retirement option pay $500/yr to insure $250,000 over 12 years?

How much do your heirs need the money if you pass away before the end of the term? How much do you need the extra money per month? The answers may give you an idea of which option is best. According to the social security actuarial tables (if I am reading them correctly), you have about a 1 in 10 ch...
by kenschmidt
Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Extra Principal on Mortgage - How is this reflected?
Replies: 8
Views: 717

Re: Paying Extra Principal on Mortgage - How is this reflected?

Your second scenario is basically correct. The reason the amount of interest paid slowly declines and principal slowly increases is that interest is charged on the balance remaining, with the rest of the payment going to principal. The total payment amount is what determines the duration of the loan...
by kenschmidt
Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would I have legal standing? Severence
Replies: 12
Views: 1825

Re: Would I have legal standing? Severence

I would save the offer letter and the W-2 but do nothing further to inquire about it. I don't think it is a great idea to ask about severance in a new employment situation. If you were to fall under a severance situation in the future and are offered severance B, I would just produce the offer lette...
by kenschmidt
Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Run Ups - Now vs. Then
Replies: 76
Views: 4245

Re: Market Run Ups - Now vs. Then

I've lately been getting that feeling joy or euphoria from seeing my portfolio blast past various thresholds of value that I've not seen before and that does make me feel a little uneasy. It feels like there's going to have to be a break or a breather where we have a bad year or two. I am not really...
by kenschmidt
Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing 1 acre, building custom home in Cedar Hills, Texas
Replies: 25
Views: 2109

Re: Purchasing 1 acre, building custom home in Cedar Hills, Texas

I don't know about your specific location, but my experience is that many lots come with covenants and restrictions that will dictate the type of house you can build on that lot. For example, minimum of 2000 square feet for single story or 2400 square feet for two story; exterior composition must be...
by kenschmidt
Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon free shipment down to $35
Replies: 14
Views: 2032

Re: Amazon free shipment down to $35

This is in response to Wal-Mart's $35 minimum for free two day shipping. Competition is good!
by kenschmidt
Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Primecap Admiral Fund VPMAX
Replies: 14
Views: 1181

Re: Primecap Admiral Fund VPMAX

I have held this fund since 1998 and it is my largest equity holding. I've been listening to all of the arguments here against active funds such as this for a long time but in my opinion low cost low turnover funds can work. Some may say that the S&P 500 Index is the wrong benchmark and it has h...
by kenschmidt
Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mother's finances... lots of stuff spread all over
Replies: 10
Views: 1119

Re: Mother's finances... lots of stuff spread all over

I think you are on the right track in that I would approach this in two steps. Step 1 - consolidate and simplify. Step 2 - reallocate assets. I would move taxable account 1 to a Vanguard Brokerage account. Deal with transferring assets later when you determine an appropriate asset allocation or Vang...
by kenschmidt
Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1098-T & 529 question
Replies: 17
Views: 1266

Re: 1098-T & 529 question

I do taxes for TaxAide in MD. My experience is that college 1098-Ts are notoriously inaccurate. We always ask the taxpayer what was actually paid out of their pocket and file the 8863 accordingly. I am not aware of any issues that have come up. We usually hear from the taxpayer if their return is a...
by kenschmidt
Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: life insurance vs extended warranties
Replies: 8
Views: 442

Re: life insurance vs extended warranties

If your TV breaks, you buy a new TV. If you die, your family might starve and go homeless.

Insure against catastrophic events and cover mundane events out of pocket is the general advice.
by kenschmidt
Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi Router Advice
Replies: 34
Views: 2652

Re: Wifi Router Advice

I've owned a couple of Netgear Routers and haven't been all that impressed honestly. I originally had a Linksys WRT54G router that it seems like everyone owned. It worked great and lasted a long time. When it finally bit the dust, I bought a Belkin N600; I later bought a Netgear N900 and moved the B...
by kenschmidt
Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1098-T & 529 question
Replies: 17
Views: 1266

Re: 1098-T & 529 question

From Pub 970: ------------------------ The American opportunity credit is based on adjusted qualified education expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse, or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return. Generally, the credit is allowed for adjusted qualified education expenses pa...
by kenschmidt
Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?
Replies: 26
Views: 2601

Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

I use Michelin which are a Consumer Reports Best Buy. They are cheap (under $10) and have worked as well or better than more expensive blades $20 and up.
by kenschmidt
Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mailed Speeding Ticket via Auto System - Not Driver
Replies: 57
Views: 1689

Re: Mailed Speeding Ticket via Auto System - Not Driver

It is all going to depend on the law in the jurisdiction that issued the citation. I live in Ohio and near two municipalities that had their camera tickets struck down by the courts. One, New Miami, population 2,000, issued 45,000 tickets in 15 months. A second, Elmwood Place, also population of aro...
by kenschmidt
Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you handle switching your handbag?
Replies: 62
Views: 3625

Re: How do you handle switching your handbag?

This woman's purse/handbag stuff has always completely mystified me. My spouse uses 3 or 4 purses/handbags over the course of a week. It's always "I have to pack my purse/handbag" before she leaves the house. She seems to have an ungodly number of smaller bags that magically fit inside it...
by kenschmidt
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How capital gains are distributed. IE Wellesley vs Total Stock?
Replies: 12
Views: 1082

Re: How capital gains are distributed. IE Wellesley vs Total Stock?

It is possible that they sold some securities and generated capital gains. The gains generated are very small. I think I have seen small capital gains distributions from Total Bond Index in the past, so it is possible. Both of these funds generate substantial interest dividends and so along with Wel...
by kenschmidt
Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How capital gains are distributed. IE Wellesley vs Total Stock?
Replies: 12
Views: 1082

Re: How capital gains are distributed. IE Wellesley vs Total Stock?

Total Stock Market Index is managed with extremely low turnover; very few to no stocks are sold by the fund throughout the year and so there are no capital gains to distribute by the fund. Wellesley Income, while relatively low turnover itself, is actively managed, with the fund managers buying and ...
by kenschmidt
Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy rare steaks?
Replies: 28
Views: 1961

Re: Where to buy rare steaks?

badbreath wrote:here is were i go but its only 20 mins from home

http://www.bobsmeat.com/

they do ship


That's just the kind of place you want...here's my local place:

http://www.bridgetownfinermeats.com
by kenschmidt
Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy rare steaks?
Replies: 28
Views: 1961

Re: Where to buy rare steaks?

If you want a really top shelf steak, look for USDA Prime beef. Try googling "USDA Prime Beef <your city>" and see what comes up. In Cincinnati, there are a number of local, old style butcher shops still around, perhaps a throwback to the old meat industry brought over by German immigrants...
by kenschmidt
Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern
Replies: 165
Views: 12375

Re: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern

I guess I need to see which versions are offered in the US and the subscription prices. It looks like in Canada, there is Quicken Cash Manager (not enough for me) and Quicken Home and Business (too much for me). I am a Quicken Deluxe User and it does all I need. The Cash Manager Version is $39.99 / ...
by kenschmidt
Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2017 Deluxe - Amazon Price ($35) vs. Quicken ($65)
Replies: 4
Views: 329

Re: Quicken 2017 Deluxe - Amazon Price ($35) vs. Quicken ($65)

You aren't missing anything. It's the same exact software; I have bought my last few version from Amazon - no issues.
by kenschmidt
Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Understanding 401k rate of return?
Replies: 11
Views: 709

Re: Understanding 401k rate of return?

It is probably an annualized year to date return. They take your return for the first six weeks or so of 2017 and they extrapolate it as if things will continue as they have for the rest of the year. Which would be nice but probably won't happen exactly that way.
by kenschmidt
Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help, please... Variable Annuity to IRA or other
Replies: 20
Views: 570

Re: Help, please... Variable Annuity to IRA or other

If the source of your funds were 401(k) accounts, you have a variable annuity inside an IRA and should be able to move this to a rollover IRA at Vanguard. It's very important that the account you set up at Vanguard is a rollover IRA account. Ofherwise it will be considered a taxable distribution. I ...
by kenschmidt
Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insane Bloodwork Cost (Quest Diagnostic)
Replies: 51
Views: 4174

Re: Insane Bloodwork Cost (Quest Diagnostic)

The key words on the image you posted are "Your responsibility: $0.00". So long as Quest is in network, they should resubmit this and you should get a negotiated rate.
by kenschmidt
Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question
Replies: 6
Views: 487

Re: Tax question

livesoft wrote:There is no expectation that a 1099-B will have a legitimate cost basis for shares sold, but the first google search hit is:
https://www.pplweb.com/investors/shareowner-services/


Bada bing, there's your answer. They already did the math for you.
by kenschmidt
Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: driveway repair
Replies: 19
Views: 2030

Re: driveway repair

Yes, the surface crumbling is usually spalling, caused by water penetrating porosity in the concrete. Cracks will continue to get worse as water penetrates the cracks and freezes / thaws as pointed out above. I'd avoid using salt on it in the winter or use a concrete safe ice melt and use it sparing...
by kenschmidt
Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vang.1099-DIV and Wisconsin tax on munis
Replies: 7
Views: 485

Re: Vang.1099-DIV and Wisconsin tax on munis

My Intermediate Term Tax Exempt Bond (VWITX) was reported on a 1099-DIV with the interest listed in box 10 Exempt-interest dividends.

These are non-taxable for federal taxes but taxable in Ohio except for the interest attributable to Ohio issued bonds,

TaxAct handled everything correctly.
by kenschmidt
Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insane Bloodwork Cost (Quest Diagnostic)
Replies: 51
Views: 4174

Re: Insane Bloodwork Cost (Quest Diagnostic)

It's also possible that the lab coded something wrong. You might be able to see this if you drill into the claim online; I can do this with United Healthcare. I had my primary care physician submit a wrong diagnostic code and it showed the full, non-negotiated amount. It also showed my responsibilit...
by kenschmidt
Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do you keep your kitchen sponge?
Replies: 44
Views: 3492

Re: How long do you keep your kitchen sponge?

When they crawl away on their own, we no longer hunt them down.

Seriously, we cycle ours through the dishwasher weekly or so and keep them for a few months until they become structurally unsound.
by kenschmidt
Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which style / alloc do you like better: A or B:
Replies: 8
Views: 417

Re: Which style / alloc do you like better: A or B:

If you swapped the mid growth and mid value numbers, I would go with #2. I like the small slant but the growth slant not so much.

ER seems high but that might depend on what you have to work with.
by kenschmidt
Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car for wife and what to do with old car
Replies: 48
Views: 2391

Re: New car for wife and what to do with old car

A think you could function pretty well as a younger family - one or two smaller kids - in a vehicle like a CRV. Another nice choice is the Mazda CX-5. It won't be as practical as an Odyssey, but you should probably be able to function fine and the CRV can haul some moderate loads if you fold down th...
by kenschmidt
Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question
Replies: 6
Views: 487

Re: Tax question

A typical calculation is that some portion of your original cost basis in PPL gets allocated to the spun off company. The calculation is to take the value of each new company on the first trading day after the split, add them together and then calculate the new cost basis of each company by taking I...
by kenschmidt
Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Donation Assistant
Replies: 13
Views: 1831

Re: TaxAct Donation Assistant

I've been using It's Deductible Online for several years now, and have been quite pleased with it. You can find it at: https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/itsdeductible Thanks for the tip. I tried it and it is working nicely. I did the same thing but with the iPad app. Entered everything in ...
by kenschmidt
Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is 130k a good salary in IT?.
Replies: 40
Views: 5383

Re: Is 130k a good salary in IT?.

IT at most large non-technology companies (think Exxon, Wal-Mart, GM, Citi, MetLife, Vanguard, etc.) includes application development, networking, data and database, IT infrastructure, architecture, IT support desk and (sometimes) business analysis and QA. At large technology companies (Apple, Micro...
by kenschmidt
Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of attorney question
Replies: 13
Views: 774

Re: Power of attorney question

In most states, unless there is a legally filed and valid will that specifically states that the brother can distribute assets as he sees fit, the estate would go to probate and be distributed according to the laws of that state. An informal agreement between the parties does not usually carry weigh...
by kenschmidt
Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is 130k a good salary in IT?.
Replies: 40
Views: 5383

Re: Is 130k a good salary in IT?.

It's hard to say without more detail, but here's another site that will provide a lot of good comparative detail by skill set and location - http://www.payscale.com.
by kenschmidt
Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beat the market long-term? Yes, it can be done.
Replies: 133
Views: 1941

Re: Hard to Believe [Vanguard insights on VG Active funds beating market]

Because sometimes you don't have unlimited choice of which funds to use. I have a Fidelity S&P 500 Index fund and Vanguard Total Bond and Total International Stock in my 401(k). I use all three, but I also want to slant to small and value and there aren't index options available for that. So I s...
by kenschmidt
Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beat the market long-term? Yes, it can be done.
Replies: 133
Views: 1941

Re: Vanguard: Beat the market long-term? Yes, it can be done.

Truthfully, if I was going to be betting on active managers for meaningful outperformance cheap funds are the last place I'd look (as are broad funds that act as closet-indexes but that is a separate discussion). Cheap (low cost AND low turnover) active funds are the first and only place you should...
by kenschmidt
Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beat the market long-term? Yes, it can be done.
Replies: 133
Views: 1941

Re: Vanguard: Beat the market long-term? Yes, it can be done.

Truthfully, if I was going to be betting on active managers for meaningful outperformance cheap funds are the last place I'd look (as are broad funds that act as closet-indexes but that is a separate discussion). Cheap (low cost AND low turnover) active funds are the first and only place you should...
by kenschmidt
Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making prints from iPhone photos
Replies: 12
Views: 874

Re: Making prints from iPhone photos

We use Walgreens.
by kenschmidt
Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honest Discrete Computer Assistance for Widow
Replies: 5
Views: 708

Re: Honest Discrete Computer Assistance for Widow

I have a spreadsheet that lists all of our accounts, approximate value, type of account, account number and phone number for each account. I then periodically update this, print it out and put it in a location known to both my wife and I. I also route electronic bill notices to her email account and...
by kenschmidt
Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Life insurance policy question
Replies: 23
Views: 1220

Re: Life insurance policy question

I suspect this is a Universal Life policy rather than a Whole Life policy. That doesn't probably change the analysis; I would probably separate the decision between replacing the existing policy from the decision to purchase a new term policy. Given the relatively low face amount of the current poli...
by kenschmidt
Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overpaid SS taxes
Replies: 12
Views: 868

Re: Overpaid SS taxes

Yes, it seems the key is the identical EIN; it seems like you will need to contact the employer and try to have this corrected. My original answer was not correct for your situation.
by kenschmidt
Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overpaid SS taxes
Replies: 12
Views: 868

Re: Overpaid SS taxes

How they are reported on the W-2's or which employers they are from will not really matter. You can enter all three W-2's as received; all that matters is that the total exceeds the limit on the FICA withholding. TurboTax will calculate a refund of the excess FICA for you.
by kenschmidt
Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Prime [versus] Total Bond
Replies: 12
Views: 913

Re: Vanguard Prime virus Total Bond

Safer, yes, but without being able to predict if or how quickly rates will rise, there's no way to know which will produce the better return. Odds would favor Total Bond Index as it holds securities that are paying much higher interest rates than Prime MM, so over the longer term, it should outperfo...
by kenschmidt
Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beat the market long-term? Yes, it can be done.
Replies: 133
Views: 1941

Re: Hard to Believe [Vanguard insights on VG Active funds beating market]

You do have a 50% chance of an active fund beating the market (or its appropriate index fund benchmark) if that active fund has expenses and turnover that are equivalent to the index fund benchmark. This describes many Vanguard active funds. That was really the point of the article - basically that ...
by kenschmidt
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?
Replies: 116
Views: 6154

Re: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?

I was at a conference 10 years ago on how to apply for a graduate degree. The speaker said always apply for FAFSA. Even Bill Gates' children qualifies for financial aid. It may be in the form of a subsidized loan but that is better than nothing. No, Bill Gates' children do not qualify for financial...
by kenschmidt
Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to stay in Sanibel Island, FL recommendations
Replies: 7
Views: 999

Re: Where to stay in Sanibel Island, FL recommendations

I stayed at Sundial and it was great. This goes back aways and we rented a condo in the resort but it looks like they also do rentals in more of a hotel style as well. Sanibel is a beautiful place so any upscale type lodging is probably going to be good there. Sanibel is a great place to relax and &...
by kenschmidt
Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UPDATED: Confirmed H&R Block chokes on Line 29
Replies: 20
Views: 2587

Re: H&R Block chokes on Line 29

You can try to web based version of TaxAct for free - you only pay when you file or print. You could at least see how it handles things.
by kenschmidt
Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rule of Thumb for Getting Rid of Car
Replies: 40
Views: 3530

Re: Rule of Thumb for Getting Rid of Car

I have BOUGHT cars with more miles than yours has. I wouldn't sell it just because it is older and has a few miles on it and has some little irritating things. I am increasingly bewildered at how disposable cars have become. I'm guessing I could put less than $100 worth of parts into your car and d...

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