Search found 1782 matches

by ralph124cf
Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone subscribe to Kiplinger's, Kiplinger's Retirement Review, or Smart Money?
Replies: 21
Views: 1306

Re: Does anyone subscribe to Kiplinger's, Kiplinger's Retirement Review, or Smart Money?

Kiplinger's Tax Letter is worthwhile, especially if you do your own taxes. Even if you use a paid tax man, like I do, it may enable you to catch some gotchas that your tax man may miss.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance - Replacement Cost
Replies: 9
Views: 458

Re: Insurance - Replacement Cost

Home prices can go up or down. Replacement cost only goes up.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rollover spouse to spouse?
Replies: 9
Views: 671

Re: Rollover spouse to spouse?

A rollover to a tIRA is not the same as funding a tIRA. If rolled over, this is not a taxable event. Withdrawals from the tIRA or conversions from the tIRA to ROTH are taxable events.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can Roth conversions count as RMDs?
Replies: 27
Views: 1661

Re: Can Roth conversions count as RMDs?

If you only had a small amount of space to do either a Roth IRA conversion at 12% tax or sell funds in taxable at 0% LTCG, which would be the priority? When you die, your taxable gets a step-up in basis, and so becomes tax free to your heirs. I would do the ROTH at 12% until I had my goal percentag...
by ralph124cf
Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer
Replies: 23
Views: 1765

Re: Paying semi-illiterate vendor via credit card who has no email or computer

We all understand the law about 1099 reporting requirements, but many government agencies require 1099 reporting with no minimums for payments to unincorporated contractors, and sometimes to incorporated contractors.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Floating Rate Income Funds
Replies: 6
Views: 406

Re: Floating Rate Income Funds

LFRAX (Lord Abbot Floating Rate Notes) is also a bank loan fund that I use currently paying 4%. It is a mutual fund. It is available through Schwab for no load/no fee, but if purchased at another broker that I use it would incur an up front load of 2.25% and a 12b-1 charge as well. Check carefully. ...
by ralph124cf
Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rolling both tIRA and Roth to Fidelity - Should I roll them into one?
Replies: 4
Views: 152

Re: Rolling both tIRA and Roth to Fidelity - Should I roll them into one?

A rollover from tIRA to ROTH does not limit your contributions. You could roll over $10,000 and not limit your contributions, unless that would bump you up against the max income limit for contributions. Do note that rolling over a tIRA counts as taxable income in the year that you do the roll-over....
by ralph124cf
Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quick Roth Conversion Question
Replies: 4
Views: 280

Re: Quick Roth Conversion Question

Many people are looking at "tax arbitrage". For people that are delaying SS and possibly a pension to age 70, when these two income streams hit and RMDs come online, they may be facing a higher tax bracket. Paying tax now at 12% or 22% may be better long term than having income shoot up enough to tr...
by ralph124cf
Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International Small-cap Value Funds ??
Replies: 55
Views: 5035

Re: International Small-cap Value Funds ??

I have access to DFA funds in my company's 401(k) at Schwab with no advisor. There is a $15 fee per trade, but no load or other sales charge or 12b-1 fees. Interestingly, I also have an IRA at Schwab, but I am unable to invest in DFA funds in the IRA. I use and like both DFEVX and DISVX, but fasten ...
by ralph124cf
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD Withdrawal Plans
Replies: 6
Views: 938

RMD Withdrawal Plans

I have just set up an automatic RMD withdrawal plan with Fidelity for a rollover IRA. I had a choice of monthly, quarterly or yearly payments, and the money will be credited to my bank account. I am trying to do the same thing with Schwab, but I don't see any way to do so. Schwab has an RMD calculat...
by ralph124cf
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engineering To Consulting Transition
Replies: 8
Views: 659

Re: Engineering To Consulting Transition

This sounds like a somewhat risky startup. You weigh the risks versus rewards. You say you are a senior engineer, does this mean that you are soon contemplating retirement? If you have already reached Financial Independence, then you can afford to take risks, if you are suitably rewarded or just wan...
by ralph124cf
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strange Life insurance product - keep or dump?
Replies: 18
Views: 1372

Re: Strange Life insurance product - keep or dump?

You say that there are no fees.

If that is what the insurance person told you, he is lying. The fees may be well hidden, or called something else, but they are being paid.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: please suggest how to manage multiple retirement accounts
Replies: 4
Views: 519

Re: please suggest how to manage multiple retirement accounts

Two comments ref TIAA: First, the TIAA traditional account is very "sticky". You will have a hard time getting TIAA to let go of that money. Second, the TIAA Real Estate account has a great many supporters on this board. You can roll out of the Real Estate account and the stable value account, but I...
by ralph124cf
Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Budget multitool knife
Replies: 28
Views: 3220

Re: Budget multitool knife

On any airline trip where I plan to CHECK LUGGAGE, I will take a full size Leatherman, especially overseas vacations. I seem to use it once or twice on any trip. When I don't check luggage, and don't have the tool, there always seems to be something that it would have been useful for.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will IRS make paper tax forms available?
Replies: 23
Views: 1402

Re: Will IRS make paper tax forms available?

Most forms are available at my local library.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PTO policy after international business travel
Replies: 53
Views: 3111

Re: PTO policy after international business travel

Try to schedule your return for a Thursday around noon. You can reasonably expect to get Friday off, plus the weekend. This should be enough.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lump sum vs Pension question for 40 yo
Replies: 3
Views: 526

Re: Lump sum vs Pension question for 40 yo

Would the lump sum payment be taxable? If so, would this increase the IRR needed for break even?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Potential layoff - question on retirement savings
Replies: 3
Views: 846

Re: Potential layoff - question on retirement savings

UNLESS you already have post-tax funds in an IRA, there would be no reason to not roll 401(k) funds to a Vanguard IRA, and then do a partial IRA to ROTH conversion. The reason for backdoor ROTHs is that you cannot pull out money from a 401(k) while working for that firm. You can always convert from ...
by ralph124cf
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: hedge strategy for personal defined benefit account
Replies: 10
Views: 556

Re: hedge strategy for personal defined benefit account

Personal defined benefit plans are somewhat more flexible than you have been led to believe. They are subject to many IRS regulations, and a report must be filed every year. Contact a pension actuary who will be able to explain the rules, the exceptions to the rules, and the exceptions to the except...
by ralph124cf
Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using Tax Exempt Dividends to Fund IRA?
Replies: 5
Views: 254

Re: Using Tax Exempt Dividends to Fund IRA?

The key is to have "earned income" from a W-2 job or self employment that is at least equal to the planned IRA contribution.

If you only had the portfolio income, you would not be allowed to contribute to an IRA.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividends vs. Capital Gains for Spending Needs?
Replies: 212
Views: 18272

Re: Dividends vs. Capital Gains for Spending Needs?

Since were posting articles & giving opinions. I would like to post mine. I love freedom, I love passive income, I love my time... The question is, how can I achieve my goals without selling off my portfolio? Remember I' am a young guy 23 years old. I need my portfolio to last until age 100. That's...
by ralph124cf
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth convert to just below IRMAA threshold?
Replies: 13
Views: 888

Re: Roth convert to just below IRMAA threshold?

One thing that makes planning hard is that the IRMAA surcharges are based on MAGI, while the tax brackets are based on taxable income. One actionable item is that if you see that you are near an IRMAA cliff, either be very sure to stay under it, or exceed it up to the next income tax bracket (assumi...
by ralph124cf
Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telematics and Auto Insurance
Replies: 13
Views: 790

Re: Telematics and Auto Insurance

My real concern is that once a sizeable percentage of people start using these, then the insurance companies will start charging those not using them extra, perhaps on the premise that those not willing to use them have something to hide, whether it be unsafe driving habits or illegal actions or eve...
by ralph124cf
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding a preparer for complex tax returns and consultation
Replies: 4
Views: 404

Re: Finding a preparer for complex tax returns and consultation

If possible try to find a CPA who is also a lawyer. They seem to have a different perspective on things. They also have a much keener understanding of the difference between tax avoidance (legal) and tax evasion (federal penitentiary). I was lucky enough to get a recommendation for one of these guys...
by ralph124cf
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trying to help acquaintence - medicare costs
Replies: 75
Views: 2721

Re: Trying to help acquaintence - medicare costs

My employers after Medicare supplemental policy (which includes drugs) costs me $550/mo. for two people. I also have to pay Medicare normal rates, but no Part D charges. If this is a supplemental policy that includes drugs, then it does not seem out of line. Ralph Thanks for the feedback. Yes, your...
by ralph124cf
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trying to help acquaintence - medicare costs
Replies: 75
Views: 2721

Re: Trying to help acquaintence - medicare costs

My employers after Medicare supplemental policy (which includes drugs) costs me $550/mo. for two people. I also have to pay Medicare normal rates, but no Part D charges. If this is a supplemental policy that includes drugs, then it does not seem out of line.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SoCal Ipe deck cost?
Replies: 14
Views: 751

Re: SoCal Ipe deck cost?

Ipe looks great, and is rot and termite resistant. The cost of the wood only, for the deck only (you said not including railings) would be $5,000-$7,500. Check carefully what the dimensions of the deck lumber will be. It should be at least 5/4 thick. Other necessary material (concrete footings, fast...
by ralph124cf
Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take this promotion?
Replies: 26
Views: 1967

Re: Should I take this promotion?

Go for it.

Also, check out both your company for what this new level job is paid, and other similar companies pay for similar level jobs. You may find that the pay you are being offered is sub-par.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is new car replacement insurance worth it?
Replies: 38
Views: 3256

Re: Is new car replacement insurance worth it?

Here is something else that skews the math. Suppose after four years and 60,000 miles the value of the SUV is down to $15,000. Any accident that causes more than $15,000 to repair would normally cause the insurance company to total the car, and pay you $15,000. If you have the replacement insurance ...
by ralph124cf
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schedule A for 2018
Replies: 4
Views: 543

Re: Schedule A for 2018

My understanding is that the $750,000 limitation is for new mortgages taken out in 2018 or later, if you already had a mortgage up to $1M, that would remain deductible.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assisted Living cost > person's pension
Replies: 24
Views: 1912

Re: Assisted Living cost > person's pension

What Medicaid pay the nursing homes is very stingy, and much less than full pay rates. It may be that the residents $4,000 income would pay more than the full amount of what Medicaid would pay, and thus the home would have an incentive to keep your relative.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash-out refinance to REDUCE equity?
Replies: 18
Views: 1507

Re: Cash-out refinance to REDUCE equity?

Moving to an equal value house with a new mortgage in California would be a problem. Due to Proposition 13 limits, a house that you have lived in for a long time will have much lower property tax than if you move to a new house of the same value.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMD First-Timer needs help
Replies: 33
Views: 2338

Re: RMD First-Timer needs help

Do you make charitable donations or give to a religion? You can save on taxes with a "Qualified charitable distribution. (QCD)" _After_ your husband's birthday in February, have _*Fidelity*_ send the QCD. You deduct the amount from your income, and pay no taxes on that part of your RMD. "...charita...
by ralph124cf
Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMD First-Timer needs help
Replies: 33
Views: 2338

Re: RMD First-Timer needs help

This can be done automatically on the Fidelity website. They will calculate your RMD yearly and send you a check monthly, quarterly, or annually, withholding the amount of taxes you tell them to. Go to Fidelity.com and sign in. On the black banner at the top of the page click on the Icon that says T...
by ralph124cf
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio update (3 years)
Replies: 6
Views: 999

Re: Portfolio update (3 years)

For simplicity (only) I would combine the two ROTH accounts into one. Either of your current custodians is fine, but it will be one less account to keep track of.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K - high fees / expenses
Replies: 10
Views: 641

Re: 401K - high fees / expenses

How long will you be employed at your current company? The effect of fees is extreme when looked at over 60 years, but you will not be employed at your current company for 60 years. If you stay 10 years, like many people in this economy, your additional costs are much outweighed by the tax savings. ...
by ralph124cf
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice on Inherited? Annuity IRA Multiple Beneficiary
Replies: 10
Views: 660

Re: Need advice on Inherited? Annuity IRA Multiple Beneficiary

I am surprised that an annuity can be inherited. Normally any annuity payments, especially single premium deferred annuity payments, stop with death of the owner. Many things are sold with annuity in their name that have nothing to do with annuities. Find out what this investment actually is. Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing into more REIT than I intend to?
Replies: 1
Views: 262

Re: Investing into more REIT than I intend to?

Total US stock market index has about a 3.5% exposure to real estate. 5% in REITs would be fine, so would 10%. It just does not make a significant difference.

REIT funds are definitely a distinct sector, but still equities.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annual vs quarterly dividends from Schwab fund
Replies: 16
Views: 1241

Re: Annual vs quarterly dividends from Schwab fund

So I noticed that Schwab's SCHF (International Equity) (https://www.schwabfunds.com/public/csim/home/products/exchange_traded_funds/distributions.html?symbol=SCHF) pays out its dividends annually. This kinda bugs me. In the accumulation phase, you miss out on the slight compounding because dividend...
by ralph124cf
Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taxing dividends on a Roth IRA
Replies: 3
Views: 717

Re: Taxing dividends on a Roth IRA

Dividends paid by FOREIGN companies based in CERTAIN foreign countries are taxed via withholding by the foreign countries. As an American taxpayer, this withheld tax can be credited against your tax liability here. Unfortunately this does not work in a tax advantaged account, so for some people it i...
by ralph124cf
Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Will this self-directed Roth IRA idea work?
Replies: 6
Views: 558

Re: Will this self-directed Roth IRA idea work?

My understanding is that you can only write covered options in any IRA. You cannot buy options or deal in put options.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax bill effects on investments
Replies: 11
Views: 1562

Re: Tax bill effects on investments

I think he meant that the reduction in the deductibility of real estate taxes would/should make renting more attractive.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question re prepaying Property Taxes
Replies: 8
Views: 1163

Re: Question re prepaying Property Taxes

Note: If you were subject to AMT last year, then prepaying will probably be wasted.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using lumens to buy light fixtures
Replies: 26
Views: 2070

Re: Using lumens to buy light fixtures

In addition to lumens, color temperature will make a light seem brighter or dimmer. A daylight bulb (5,000 to 10,000 Kelvin) will look brighter than a soft white bulb (color temperature 2,700 Kelvin), even when both put out the same lumens.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Terminology: condo vs apartment
Replies: 26
Views: 2127

Re: Terminology: condo vs apartment

I can buy a condo and rent it out. To the renter, it his apartment. Both are correct.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional, Roth, Taxable - what's my right mix?
Replies: 9
Views: 809

Re: Traditional, Roth, Taxable - what's my right mix?

Do you need the traditional contribution to keep you in the 25% federal tax bracket? If so, then certainly stick with traditional. If not, then I would switch to maxing ROTH while you are still in the 25% bracket. My ideal portfolio mix would have 1/3 in each bucket.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Might exceed $60k 401k limit, what will happen?
Replies: 21
Views: 2523

Re: Might exceed $60k 401k limit, what will happen?

Up until a few years ago, when my 401(k) limit was reached, the employer paid out the excess employer contributions as W-2 income. That changed a few years ago and now excess employer contributions roll over into a separate health care VEBA that can only be used after retirement, and the medical rei...
by ralph124cf
Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken Files Corrupting Often-Anyone else?
Replies: 7
Views: 601

Re: Quicken Files Corrupting Often-Anyone else?

I used quicken for ten years, and then it became impossible to use. I switched to QuickBooks, and everything works. I did need help from the QB help person to make the data transfer. Personal life does not really fit the QB business model, but if you follow the QB preferred work flow, (enter bills, ...
by ralph124cf
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Vanguard through TIAA-CREF
Replies: 41
Views: 2466

Re: Investing in Vanguard through TIAA-CREF

The TIAA Real Estate fund is unique in the investment world. It owns and operates real estate properties, so is not comparable to REIT funds. It has apparently high ERs, but that is because it actually operates the real estate. Many people on this board have significant positions in the TIAA Real Es...