Search found 1638 matches

by ralph124cf
Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to fly first class to Hong Kong from San Francisco?
Replies: 14
Views: 1547

Re: Cheapest way to fly first class to Hong Kong from San Francisco?

If you will be going on United, be aware that if you purchase a business class ticket, you can use miles to upgrade to first class. Very few first class seats are actually "sold". You can only upgrade one class, so an economy ticket cannot upgrade to business class. On one occasion, my wif...
by ralph124cf
Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best short term bond fund
Replies: 5
Views: 597

Re: Best short term bond fund

VG Short Term IG Bond Fund. Hi Joe. The fund says short term, but digging into the reports, it owns 4.5% of assets with maturities of 20-30-years, and 6.3 % of assets of greater than 30 years maturities. It also has a significant percentage of assets that are less than investment grade. All this wh...
by ralph124cf
Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best short term bond fund
Replies: 5
Views: 597

Re: Best short term bond fund

Current yield is .01 percent, so almost anything is better.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rich kid want to transfer stock to parents, good or bad idea ?
Replies: 25
Views: 3264

Re: Rich kid want to transfer stock to parents, good or bad idea ?

I am unsure of the tax laws. If he gifts you the shares, does he owe tax on the appreciation? If you then sell the shares, is your basis the value on the day that you get the shares, or is it the value of the shares when they were awarded to him. Can you sell the shares immediately at long term capi...
by ralph124cf
Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best short term bond fund
Replies: 5
Views: 597

Best short term bond fund

I wish to put $50,000 of my 401(k) money (tax deferred) into a short term bond fund. I'm looking at VCSH and DFIHX. VCSH has an ER of .07 and a buying commission of $3.95 from Schwab. DFIHX has an ER of .15 and a buying commission of $15.00 from Schwab. I am leaning toward DFIHX because the duration...
by ralph124cf
Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Alternative Investments best use of expensive 401k?
Replies: 12
Views: 464

Re: Alternative Investments best use of expensive 401k?

I like the DFA Emerging Market and Small Cap Value.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2017 Genesis
Replies: 34
Views: 3519

2017 Genesis

I am considering leasing a 2017 or 2018 Genesis. Does anybody here have one?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 vs. W2 for MD
Replies: 6
Views: 659

Re: 1099 vs. W2 for MD

With respect to disability insurance, if you pay for the insurance yourself, it is not deductible, but the benefits are non-taxable. If your employer pays for the insurance, the benefits are taxable. In some cases, if the disability plan is written perfectly, then the employee can pay a certain perc...
by ralph124cf
Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Security Deposit - Interest
Replies: 2
Views: 314

Re: Rental Security Deposit - Interest

In the city of Chicago, the interest is required to be paid yearly, with some really draconian financial penalty for landlords who fail to pay it. With interest rates lately, a .01% interest (which is what my bank pays) comes to ten cents a year. I give each of my tenants a $1 check for advance inte...
by ralph124cf
Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assistance with a retiree's (FIL's) portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 701

Re: Assistance with a retiree's portfolio

With his tax bracket, there is no reason to use a tax exempt fund. The tax savings are not high enough to make the lower return of the tax free fund worthwhile.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?
Replies: 28
Views: 2660

Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

3. Install a hose holder on vinyl siding in the front of the house bit late to the game here, but I myself would hesitate to put holes in my vinyl siding. It is so thin, could be prone to tearing and leaking. I would go to the store and get a free-standing hose stand. This can be placed near the wa...
by ralph124cf
Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having flowers delivered
Replies: 13
Views: 938

Re: Having flowers delivered

And a local shop will charge way less than FTD for the same flowers.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal liability insurance in retirement
Replies: 24
Views: 2124

Re: Personal liability insurance in retirement

Suppose you have roughly $500K in retirement, your income is asset alone + your SS and a Pension. How much liability do you carry. Now suppose you cause a large accident like running into a bus and causing injury to everyone on board. If they win, do they garnish your SS and pension and seize all o...
by ralph124cf
Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working as a freelance consultant: Sole proprietorship, SCorp or LLC?
Replies: 14
Views: 940

Re: Working as a freelance consultant: Sole proprietorship, SCorp or LLC?

Generally, the decision should be between a sole proprietorship and an S-Corp. An LLC for someone providing professional services is seldom the best choice. This should be amended to read an LLC that has not elected to be taxed as a corporation. An LLC can choose to be taxed as a C-corporation or S...
by ralph124cf
Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working as a freelance consultant: Sole proprietorship, SCorp or LLC?
Replies: 14
Views: 940

Re: Working as a freelance consultant: Sole proprietorship, SCorp or LLC?

Generally, the decision should be between a sole proprietorship and an S-Corp. An LLC for someone providing professional services is seldom the best choice. This should be amended to read an LLC that has not elected to be taxed as a corporation. An LLC can choose to be taxed as a C-corporation or S...
by ralph124cf
Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home made "Trail mix"
Replies: 13
Views: 878

Re: Home made "Trail mix"

Classic trail mix is peanuts, M&Ms, and raisins. Proportions vary. You can also add anything you like, such as dried cranberries or other nuts, as long as it is dry and non-perishable. Since it meant to be eaten by hand while hiking, the individual pieces should be small enough to mix and pour e...
by ralph124cf
Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with an unsigned piece of artwork
Replies: 5
Views: 622

Re: Dealing with an unsigned piece of artwork

You mentioned $860 for cleaning. If this any bigger than about 12" X 12", the price for a really professional job could run to many thousands. Also check for woodworms, they leave tiny holes, mostly on the back of the wood, but sometimes through the paint.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best place for emergency fund..Credit Union?
Replies: 3
Views: 519

Re: Best place for emergency fund..Credit Union?

2% is going to be tough to beat in terms of a guaranteed, no-risk return. Most high yield online savings accounts and Money Market accounts are around 1% today. If you don't mind the hoops to jump through to secure that 2% rate monthly, I'd go with that. The general rule on emergency funds is that ...
by ralph124cf
Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord/Rent question
Replies: 21
Views: 1809

Re: Landlord/Rent question

In Chicago, which is a very tenant friendly city, security deposits must be held in an interest bearing account and the interest paid to the tenant yearly. Nothing is said about how to handle advance rental payments. In general, a landlord must make a good faith effort to rerent a vacant property, a...
by ralph124cf
Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your health insurance stats?
Replies: 89
Views: 5109

Re: What are your health insurance stats?

Wife and I are both 68, and paying second tier IRMAA, Medicare A and B $536/mo. No part D. Previous employer after medicare coverage (Medigap) is $530/mo., and covers prescription drugs plus gives worldwide medical coverage. $500 deductible each, $1,500 OOP max each. Drug coverage is actual cost to ...
by ralph124cf
Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After Ch 13 discharge, mortgage co says they have $5k in suspension?
Replies: 3
Views: 699

Re: After Ch 13 discharge, mortgage co says they have $5k in suspension?

My mortgage companies have always applied an overpayment to principal, rather than prepayment. I suppose that there are some that will not do so unless specifically told to do so. I doubt that you will succeed in getting a refund. Either stop paying until next year, or tell them to apply it to princ...
by ralph124cf
Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Temporary Internal Promotion - Increased Compensation?
Replies: 73
Views: 4151

Re: Temporary Internal Promotion - Increased Compensation?

A fair number of people who go out on medical leave do not return. This may be a permanent position.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guarantee of rent payment
Replies: 22
Views: 1781

Re: Guarantee of rent payment

One of my tenants chooses to pay six months rent at a time, in the form of post dated checks.

It is NOT something that I advise, but it works for him.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Effect of bankruptcy on ira
Replies: 23
Views: 1915

Re: Effect of bankruptcy on ira

As a follow-up question, if an IRA is seized to satisfy a judgement, is it considered taxable income to the owner? Does the 10% penalty apply if the owner is less than 59 1/2?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the “Natural Real Interest Rate”?
Replies: 28
Views: 2261

Re: What is the “Natural Real Interest Rate”?

This paper from the sf fed is skeptical https://www.google.com/amp/www.frbsf.org/economic-research/publications/economic-letter/2014/november/interest-rates-economic-growth-monetary-policy/amp/ Its a tricky one. Historically, for many centuries, economic growth was low but real interests rate were ...
by ralph124cf
Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financing Engagement Ring/ Credit Score Potential Consequences
Replies: 39
Views: 2051

Re: Financing Engagement Ring/ Credit Score Potential Consequences

The jeweler is charging you more for the ring to make up for the 0% financing. Using the credit card may allow you to get a better price on the ring. Jewelry markups are very high, so bargain. If you don't try, you won't get anything.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuities
Replies: 12
Views: 1025

Re: Annuities

It sounds like somebody is trying to sell you an annuity as an investment, possibly linked to a stock market index. Please realize that this means an immediate 10% commission out of your money to the salesman (who may be masquerading an an "investment adviser"). There are also ongoing expe...
by ralph124cf
Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding broker's fees on 401K conversion to IRA
Replies: 10
Views: 407

Re: Avoiding broker's fees on 401K conversion to IRA

goingup wrote:You're rolling a 401K into an IRA at Raymond James and they will charge you 5%? Don't put your money with Raymond James! Roll into Vanguard, Fidelity, or Schwab instead.


+1. These brokerages do not charge a "rollover"fee.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to pay for extra work (furniture delivery)
Replies: 9
Views: 905

Re: How much to pay for extra work (furniture delivery)

New York City? That's about right. Rural Mississipi, $5.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S corp salary timing
Replies: 7
Views: 816

Re: S corp salary timing

You could legally pay the distribution in the early part of the year, and then pay the income tax part of your total tax via withholding in the latter part of the year, since the tax code assumes that the withholding is evenly distributed across the year. Many people do this. You do have to pay the ...
by ralph124cf
Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term life insurance for specific occupations?
Replies: 1
Views: 270

Re: Term life insurance for specific occupations?

Term life is term life. Some companies will not sell to (or raise the price to) certain occupations, such as yours, or crop dusters, or deep sea divers. During a time of war, most insurance companies will not sell life insurance to members of the military. That does not seem to be happening now. If ...
by ralph124cf
Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD and Annuity Life Expectancy Tables
Replies: 6
Views: 776

Re: RMD and Annuity Life Expectancy Tables

Are the same Life Expectancy Tables used for both RMD and Annuity Exclusion Ratio calculations? No. Life expectancy for required distributions is slightly longer than for annuities. This is because people who buy annuities are self selected as people who expect to live a longer than average life. R...
by ralph124cf
Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delaying pension benefits - what would you do?
Replies: 21
Views: 2611

Re: Delaying pension benefits - what would you do?

If you delay longer, does the pension continue to increase?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: T-IRA Withdrawal (non-RMD): Convert to Roth First
Replies: 9
Views: 940

Re: T-IRA Withdrawal (non-RMD): Convert to Roth First

I believe that this makes sense in only one case: You convert to the ROTH very early, say January, and then have your entire tax liability withheld from an additional IRA withdrawal in December. This avoids the underpayment of estimated taxes penalty, as withheld taxes are assumed by the government ...
by ralph124cf
Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need to Replace Schwab SWLBX in Retirement Account
Replies: 9
Views: 836

Re: Need to Replace Schwab SWLBX in Retirement Account

There are no tax events when combining two IRAs, and it is generally suggested that you do so, especially since these are both at the same institution already.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 100k Service - 2010 Camry & Corolla - All Maintenance Deferred
Replies: 17
Views: 2018

Re: 100k Service - 2010 Camry & Corolla - All Maintenance Deferred

Consider proactively replacing radiator and heater hoses. Very inconvenient to have one of these let go in the middle of the night in the winter.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Happy Fathers Day - got me a used Weber grill!
Replies: 26
Views: 2570

Re: Happy Fathers Day - got me a used Weber grill!

I bought a used Weber 7 years ago at a neighbors moving sale. Humongous 5 burner. $75. The seller said that he bought it at a garage sale 10 years previously. I don't know how old it actually is, but I'm guessing 25 years. NO RUST. Stainless steel is not supposed to rust. Mine is left outside with n...
by ralph124cf
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When do you reduce or stop disability insurance coverage
Replies: 11
Views: 908

Re: When do you reduce or stop disability insurance coverage

If you pay for disability insurance, the benefits are tax free.

If the employer pays the premiums, the benefits are taxable.

I am not sure how this works if both are paying part of the premiums.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GVUL investing [Group Variable Universal Life] -- Employer benefit
Replies: 4
Views: 454

Re: GVUL investing [Group Variable Universal Life] -- Employer benefit

This sounds like exactly the policy I have. Group Variable Universal Term Life with Met Life with a 4% interest on deposits over the minimum premium in the fixed account. In 15 months I will no longer need life insurance. I deposited enough three years ago that, counting the 4% interest, my insuranc...
by ralph124cf
Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it safer to invest in gold or bond funds?
Replies: 30
Views: 1987

Re: Is it safer to invest in gold or bond funds?

If one is determined to invest in gold, I recommend using a mutual fund such as Fidelity Gold or USAA Precious Metals. These funds own shares of gold mining companies, and so can make money with a static gold price. These funds are high risk, and have done terribly over the past five years. They als...
by ralph124cf
Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Disability Ins- Resident physician
Replies: 5
Views: 501

Re: Disability Ins- Resident physician

The premium is quite attractive, but I think you know that you need a lot more than $2,000 monthly benefit to feel comfortable.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken TaxOptimizer suggestions seem odd, thoughts?
Replies: 5
Views: 493

Re: Quicken TaxOptimizer suggestions seem odd, thoughts?

I agree that Quicken is making a silly recommendation.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Cheap Champagne
Replies: 60
Views: 3990

Re: Best Cheap Champagne

WL2034 wrote:
Leemiller wrote:Veuve clicquot.


I was going to suggest this. Not sure it qualifies as cheap. Less than $50 at Costco, though.

If looking for very cheap, Barefoot Bubbly!


I second the Barefoot Bubbly. It is my "house" champagne, and I always keep a few bottles in my refrigerator.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Property Repairs - Whose to Pay?
Replies: 32
Views: 2889

Re: Rental Property Repairs - Whose to Pay?

Nest time you replace the carpet, get a darker color and a pattern that makes it harder to see stains.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Name Change After Getting Married
Replies: 17
Views: 2014

Re: Name Change After Getting Married

We have been married for 46 years, and my wife never changed her name on anything. Zero hassles.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is the maximum can we pay for minor?
Replies: 6
Views: 1196

Re: How much is the maximum can we pay for minor?

The kids can deposit into a ROTH all earned income up to the limit.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need a sanity check on my retirement plan
Replies: 4
Views: 870

Re: Need a sanity check on my retirement plan

It looks like you plan to take SS at 66, and your DW intends to take it at 62. Please rethink this decision. You have plenty of money in tax deferred to delay the higher earner taking SS to age 70.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Construction Buying Advice
Replies: 24
Views: 1747

Re: New Construction Buying Advice

Unless there serious customization issues, consider waiting until the development is half built, and then buying from an owner that has done the landscaping, window treatments, and other new home things that will benefit you. Homes in new tracts typically drop immediately after the builder goes away...
by ralph124cf
Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: What are you doing about withdrawing?
Replies: 31
Views: 4299

Re: Retirees: What are you doing about withdrawing?

Generally, you will pay the least total taxes if you can keep your taxable income constant throughout retirement. If the bulk of your retirement assets are in tax deferred vehicles, then calculate what your income will be after you start SS, any pension and annuity income, plus RMD income, plus any ...
by ralph124cf
Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tripped on this this morning - pros and cons? [HELOC as emergency fund]
Replies: 22
Views: 3497

Re: Tripped on this this morning - pros and cons?

This assumes that you have a mortgage to begin with. No mortgage, no benefit.

Ralph

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