Search found 1679 matches

by ralph124cf
Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Color printer suggestions: high quality output, low cost of ink
Replies: 19
Views: 1190

Re: Color printer suggestions: high quality output, low cost of ink

I also recommend a laser color printer. After dealing for years with inkjets and their endless cartridges (and mainly just using a b/w laser to avoid draining the ink), I ponied up for a color laser printer earlier this year. After printing enough to drain a couple of rounds of ink cartridges, my t...
by ralph124cf
Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with TIAA-CREF
Replies: 15
Views: 1578

Re: Help with TIAA-CREF

You don't seem to have any REIT specific investments. I would put all of the TIAA-CREF money into the Real Estate fund. This is a unique fund in the investment universe, and is definitely not a REIT fund. It owns and operates individual commercial properties, including multi family and mixed use pro...
by ralph124cf
Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do You Determine Insurance Value?
Replies: 10
Views: 494

Re: How Do You Determine Insurance Value?

Replacement cost versus likely auction sales price is likely to be different.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole Life Insurance Agent Will Not Cash Out My plans
Replies: 14
Views: 1977

Re: Whole Life Insurance Agent Will Not Cash Out My plans

It is a huge company with a very bad reputation for deceptive sales practices.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling Mom's condo and capital gains tax after a multi-year absence
Replies: 14
Views: 1210

Re: Selling Mom's condo and capital gains tax after a multi-year absence

Annoying, but unfortunately not surprising. It seems that frequently the IRS employees charged with explaining and enforcing the law do not understand the law.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: QuickBooks logic when entering
Replies: 0
Views: 89

QuickBooks logic when entering

I have been using Quicken for personal finances and QuickBooks for two small businesses for almost twenty years. It seems that Quicken is getting buggier, and support is pretty much non-existent, so I am considering switching entirely to QuickBoods Pro for everything. I do follow QuickBooks logic fo...
by ralph124cf
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Checkup
Replies: 13
Views: 1750

Re: Financial Checkup

What pops out to me is the ROTH IRA contributions.

In general, if you have 401(k)s, your incomes are too high for IRAs, whether ROTH or traditional.

You can, of course, do back door ROTHs conversions. Check the WIKI.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Fund for Parents Expenses
Replies: 10
Views: 941

Re: Best Fund for Parents Expenses

Immediately determine if they have been taking RMDs from the IRAs. If not they will owe a hefty tax penalty.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax consequences of exchanging mutual fund shares?
Replies: 8
Views: 540

Re: Tax consequences of exchanging mutual fund shares?

The capital gains tax you have paid so far is on capital gains that the fund has DISTRIBUTED to you, and thus will have no bearing on the gains you will have when you sell the shares at a profit. Capital gains taxes will be due on the difference between the buying and selling price of each share. Si...
by ralph124cf
Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood floors warping?
Replies: 19
Views: 1725

Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Is this pre-finished hardwood, or stick-built?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roll over my 401(k) to my spouse's IRA?
Replies: 11
Views: 585

Re: Roll over my 401(k) to my spouse's IRA?

It can be done, by a judge, during a divorce.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab advice: 1 yr expenses cash + 2-4 yr ST bond
Replies: 7
Views: 1003

Re: Schwab advice: 1 yr expenses cash + 2-4 yr ST bond

Here is a paste from the August 2017 edition of Schwab's On Investing magazine. The context is to avoid having to sell assets in a downturn when in retirement. Adjust your allocation: Consider moving a portion of your assets into investments that can help weather market disruptions. We suggest that...
by ralph124cf
Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unused credit card with positive balance
Replies: 14
Views: 1430

Re: Unused credit card with positive balance

I have a dormant account with AT&T that has a positive balance of $1.24. I have called several times to get it refunded, but every time the agent answering has given me a hard sell for other services. I have let this ride for six years now, and every month I get a printed credit statement mailed to ...
by ralph124cf
Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Break Up With Your Lender
Replies: 7
Views: 1215

Re: How to Break Up With Your Lender

My impression is that this lender plans to stick you with lots of garbage fees and perhaps a higher rate and costs than they initially quoted.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exhaust Fan for the bathroom
Replies: 59
Views: 4283

Re: Exhaust Fan for the bathroom

Fan volume and duct size are most important. Check for blockage of the duct, I have seen birds nests blocking some fan outlets.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Introduction and a Question: IRA vs 401k Tax benefits
Replies: 13
Views: 1059

Re: Introduction and a Question: IRA vs 401k Tax benefits

You can avoid any under withholding penalties by upping your withholding. just file a new W-4 with your employer to withhold enough tax for the year, wether by using the single rate or if that is not enough, by specifying an additional amount of monthly withholding.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone roll their tIRA into the TSP?
Replies: 39
Views: 2306

Re: Anyone roll their tIRA into the TSP?

You could start by converting your current tIRA to ROTH. You have to pay taxes on the conversion, but that is what you would be doing anyway with a backdoor. Then you would have no tIRA and would be free to do as much backdoor allowable.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 vs W2 without 401K vs W2
Replies: 4
Views: 349

Re: 1099 vs W2 without 401K vs W2

You are understating the payroll tax substantially. For the 1099, all the profit from self employment (probably a couple of thousand of job related expenses can be found) are taxed at 15.3% payroll tax. Then 1/2 of the payroll tax paid can be deducted when calculating the income tax. For the two W-2...
by ralph124cf
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Survivor Benefit or Life Insurance -teenage daughter
Replies: 25
Views: 1874

Re: Pension Survivor Benefit or Life Insurance -teenage daughter

I would definitely take the survivor pension. It is incredibly generous, especially with the inflation kicker.

I would also take a five year level term insurance policy to guarantee adequate support till starting college.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA - Mute button for Gas Station TV!
Replies: 22
Views: 2806

Re: PSA - Mute button for Gas Station TV!

These TVs invaded grocery store checkout lines near my house a two years ago.

They got so many complaints that they were gone within three months.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article: Investing "insurance" (puts) vs. balanced portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 1257

Re: Article: Investing "insurance" (puts) vs. balanced portfolio

I believe that the only options available in a tax advantaged account are covered calls.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED bulbs for enclosed fixtures
Replies: 19
Views: 2115

Re: LED bulbs for enclosed fixtures

If the enclosure is insulated, as some recessed lights are, the lights may have a problem. Many recessed lights are not insulated, and so will not have a problem.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice: W2 or 1099 for IRA & 401K reasons, need math help
Replies: 6
Views: 379

Re: Advice: W2 or 1099 for IRA & 401K reasons, need math help

It may be possible for one of you to maintain a W-2 job for family medical insurance. For a 1099, if at the same pay, you will be losing on the employer SS payment, but this may be offset by the additional retirement contributions. There are many industries where a person can reasonably be classed a...
by ralph124cf
Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: dividend versus expense ratio impact on mutual fund
Replies: 13
Views: 930

Re: dividend versus expense ratio impact on mutual fund

Word choice counts. Mutual funds do not "pay" dividends. They pass thru dividends that are paid to them by the stocks that they own. This is required by tax law. They must also pass thru any long term and short term capital gains that they have realized from buying and selling stocks.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA-CREF allocation mix? Diversify or lowest ER?
Replies: 16
Views: 901

Re: TIAA-CREF allocation mix? Diversify or lowest ER?

At first glance, many people think that the TIAA Real Estate fund has an unusually high ER, especially compared to some REIT funds. A REIT fund buys stock in several different individual REITs, so the ER pays for researching the different stocks, plus record keeping and profit. The ERs are not compa...
by ralph124cf
Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long term car rental vs buying a used car vs leasing
Replies: 22
Views: 1445

Re: Long term car rental vs buying a used car vs leasing

Check to see if there is a local Rent-A-Wreak franchise nearby. These places rent well used cars at very cheap prices, and you have to provide your own insurance.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basement water issue or not? Advice?
Replies: 5
Views: 704

Re: Basement water issue or not? Advice?

Fully agree with covering the window wells.

Do you have a sump pit and pump?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aging in place and landlord exit strategies
Replies: 13
Views: 2182

Re: Aging in place and landlord exit strategies

It sounds like the ideal way would be for you to move into the rental when the next vacancy occurs. If you think that the current tenants are staying too long, then raise the rent, maybe ten or or even fifteen percent a year, until the tenants leave, or you are making so much money that you are happ...
by ralph124cf
Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?
Replies: 27
Views: 1956

Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Depends mostly on the climate. If you are some place like San Diego, probably no negatives, If you are in Minot, North Dakota, the upstairs bathroom could get mighty cold and could freeze the pipes.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contribution to satisfy RMD
Replies: 43
Views: 3656

Re: Contribution to satisfy RMD

Just as a data point, a QCD does not reduce Illinois income taxes because Illinois does not include IRA distributions in taxable income.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Office Deduction for Home Improvements
Replies: 4
Views: 407

Re: Home Office Deduction for Home Improvements

See IRS Publication 946 for depreciation instructions. Different types of home improvement can be deducted over different periods, so roofs and windows may have different depreciation lives. It could be argued that the changing or addition of outlets in the study come under repairs rather than impro...
by ralph124cf
Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax deduction of professional expenses?
Replies: 6
Views: 464

Re: Tax deduction of professional expenses?

You could likely deduct this as education useful in maintain your skills in your present line of work, since it is not preparing you for a new line of work. Also, the 50% limitation applies only to the meals and incidentals portion of business expenses. Airfare, car rental or taxi, hotel, and confer...
by ralph124cf
Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of cleaning service do you use?
Replies: 15
Views: 1637

Re: What kind of cleaning service do you use?

We definitely prefer individual cleaning persons, but we are currently using a service. We always get the same person. The service has just raised their rates for her service from $25 to $30, and she is paid half of that.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax on profits from de-condoifying
Replies: 1
Views: 298

Tax on profits from de-condoifying

OK, I'm not sure if that is a real word or not. Anyway the condo building that I have a couple or rental condos in is considering selling out to a real estate company. This has to be approved by a vote with a 75% majority to pass. If this occurs, all owners will be forced to sell. I would probably h...
by ralph124cf
Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Amazon Prime worth it?
Replies: 135
Views: 10304

Re: Is Amazon Prime worth it?

I recently noticed that some paper goods were much cheaper from Target than from Amazon, and they gave free delivery. I'm not sure if that was because I am less than a mile from the nearest Target store and it was a local delivery, or if the free delivery is more widely available.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: From Chi-Midway: Taxi, Uber, Lyft, or other?
Replies: 26
Views: 2094

Re: From Chi-Midway: Taxi, Uber, Lyft, or other?

A couple of weeks ago my wife had a business trip leaving out of Ohare. We live in a northwest suburb. She set up a Uber ride for 8:15 AM. Uber promised a ride between 8:05 and 8:20. At 8:30, I drove her to Ohare. For northwest suburbs 303 taxi works quite well. The phone for the taxi is 847-303-030...
by ralph124cf
Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Warm/Hot Water from Cold Line in Condo
Replies: 27
Views: 2596

Re: Getting Warm/Hot Water from Cold Line in Condo

If you have ANY single lever faucets of shower or bath valves, they could possibly allow crossflow.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GF Picking a college major
Replies: 105
Views: 5486

Re: GF Picking a college major

I think the worst job prospect for somebody with a terminal BA is Art History. A family friend did this and ten years later she is working as a massage therapist.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace floor BEFORE or AFTER New Cabinets?
Replies: 30
Views: 3448

Re: Replace floor BEFORE or AFTER New Cabinets?

If you are using ceramic or porcelain tile, be sure the contractor uses mortar, not mastic for laying the tile. Mastic would be OK if this was over a wood subfloor, but mortar is better over a concrete slab.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any pilots here? [as a career]
Replies: 38
Views: 4472

Re: Any pilots here? [as a career]

Do you have your Private Pilots licence yet? If not, go to a smaller local airport and take some lessons. This will allow you to test your passion about flying and give you a handle on costs and time. You will be able to talk to a variety of professional pilots and see what are the costs and benefit...
by ralph124cf
Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Warm/Hot Water from Cold Line in Condo
Replies: 27
Views: 2596

Re: Getting Warm/Hot Water from Cold Line in Condo

I checked water temperature in club house on same floor. Same temperature there. It has been hot given its July but I've lived here for 4 years and never experienced this before. Each unit has own water heater. No recent plumbing work done. They are telling me water is warm bc of outside weather. T...
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: 1748

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 wife was comi...
by ralph124cf
Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best short term bond fund
Replies: 5
Views: 710

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: 710

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: 3498

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: 710

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: 588

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: 3796

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: 736

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: 334

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...