Search found 207 matches

by vtMaps
Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with decumulation of bonds and stable value.
Replies: 2
Views: 213

Re: Help with decumulation of bonds and stable value.

Bonds are down? They are up 1% this year. Your bonds are down from what point? The highwater mark or something else? Aren't they up for the past 12 months? Your points are well taken, thanks. I only look at my portfolio quarterly, and bonds look to be down since my 2nd and 3rd quarter statements. -...
by vtMaps
Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with decumulation of bonds and stable value.
Replies: 2
Views: 213

Help with decumulation of bonds and stable value.

Our (myself & DW) ISP calls for 30/70 as we begin retirement. We are spending down IRAs and doing roth conversions for a few years while we delay SS. Virtually all of our investments (mid six figures) are in our IRAs. Our 70% bond allocation is actually 19.4% FSITX, 6.8% TIPS (individual bonds, ...
by vtMaps
Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reliable washer/dryer brands
Replies: 42
Views: 2856

Re: Reliable washer/dryer brands

We live in an area where water is plentiful and cheap - so why burden and force us to buy one of these low water usage washers? (sorry rant). Low water usage is very important for energystar ratings... not because of water conservation, but because of energy use. Most of the energy consumed by a wa...
by vtMaps
Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got an unexpected tax collections notice...
Replies: 14
Views: 1864

Re: Got an unexpected tax collections notice...

Demand proof of your debt. If the collections agency cannot provide the proof, tell them to go away and that you will sue them if they report your debt to a credit bureau.

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bond Questions
Replies: 16
Views: 1954

Re: I-Bond Questions

I have $20,000 of I-Bonds purchased in February 2012 at a rate of 0.16%, now worth $21,246. Does it make sense to sell them (even if I lose 3 months interest) and repurchase at the higher 2.76% fixed rate, or am I better off simply adding more bonds to my portfolio? The rate that your Feb 2012 ibon...
by vtMaps
Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with ACA MAGI and tax loss harvesting
Replies: 12
Views: 955

Re: Help with ACA MAGI and tax loss harvesting

samsoes wrote:One of the quickest ways to generate income "on paper" is to do a Roth conversion.


Another way is to try and remember all those bets you won all year (poker, football, whatever) and report them as income. don't try too hard to remember your losses :wink:

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sat Nov 26, 2016 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security spousal question
Replies: 2
Views: 504

Re: Social Security spousal question

You cannot claim as a spouse before 70 and let your own benefits grow.

If you were a few years older, you could do that. The law changed last year.

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Tax Software for 2016
Replies: 70
Views: 6270

Re: H&R Block Tax Software for 2016

livesoft wrote:BUT: Mac download is apparently not on sale.

here is a link for the mac version:
https://www.amazon.com/Block-Software-D ... B01M7RG7XN

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS quarterly estimated tax payments
Replies: 19
Views: 1897

Re: IRS quarterly estimated tax payments

Does safe harbor work in this situation? If your first three payments amounted to more than last year's tax liability, then I suppose you do not need to make the fourth payment. As I understand safe harbor, there are no penalties for underpaying your taxes this year as long as you withheld (or paid ...
by vtMaps
Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Have Experience With Filing Complaint With FDA?
Replies: 22
Views: 2732

Re: Anyone Have Experience With Filing Complaint With FDA?

Levothyroxine is very sensitive to heat. Between India and your home there were many chances for it to get overheated.

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:53 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: The Forum is now "Feed friendly"
Replies: 46
Views: 4553

Re: The Forum is now "Feed friendly"

Trice wrote:What other way is there to follow a forum, outside of visiting periodically and scouring every separate forum to see what you've missed?


If you are logged into bogleheads, try:
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/search.php?search_id=unreadposts

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No more Sched C in H&R Block Deluxe
Replies: 8
Views: 1037

Re: No more Sched C in H&R Block Deluxe

OK, thanks. I will order the Deluxe version. --vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No more Sched C in H&R Block Deluxe
Replies: 8
Views: 1037

Re: No more Sched C in H&R Block Deluxe

You need to click a couple more times. https://www.hrblock.com/pdf/HRB-Desktop-Fed-Forms.pdf That link is the same on the 'Basic', the 'Deluxe', and the 'Premium' web page. I think it is a list of all forms that H&R Block software can use, but I doubt that all three versions can do all the form...
by vtMaps
Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No more Sched C in H&R Block Deluxe
Replies: 8
Views: 1037

No more Sched C in H&R Block Deluxe

If I am reading their website correctly, Schedule C is no longer included in the Deluxe software. For 2016, schedule C is in the Premium software ($20 extra). :( :(

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Delaying Benefits Until Age 70
Replies: 5
Views: 1066

Re: Social Security - Delaying Benefits Until Age 70

neurosphere wrote:Hat tip to a certain person much more knowledgeable than I who provided the link. :wink:

Would that be sscritic? --vtMaps
by vtMaps
Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Maximizing Spousal Survivor Benefits
Replies: 9
Views: 828

Re: Social Security - Maximizing Spousal Survivor Benefits

Trying to plan for taking social security. I'm a little unclear about how spousal benefits work with social security. Recent changes in law have affected spousal benefit strategies. The spouse with the higher benefits should wait until 70 to begin drawing benefits. The reason is that the SS benefit...
by vtMaps
Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement 401k planning
Replies: 4
Views: 909

Re: Early Retirement 401k planning

It's uncertain whether I will be in the 15% or 25% brackets in the years age 56-65 -- those brackets are pretty small when filing as single instead of joint! Regarding health insurance, if your income is low enough, the ACA will be a better deal than Cobra. Especially so if your income is low enoug...
by vtMaps
Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Tacoma - 4 cylinder vs. 6
Replies: 24
Views: 1655

Re: Toyota Tacoma - 4 cylinder vs. 6

I drive a 2015 4wd manual transmission 4 cylinder tacoma. Our Vermont roads have a lot of ups and downs... I cannot maintain full speed on the uphill roads... and that's with no load. Pulling a trailer is slower still, but with a trailer I wouldn't be looking to go full speed anyway.

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Spousal Benefits - Basics
Replies: 30
Views: 2718

Re: Social Security - Spousal Benefits - Basics

bkweathe wrote:Is that an accurate summary?

Yes, to the best of my knowledge. --vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Savings bonds co-owners and purchase limits
Replies: 9
Views: 618

Re: Savings bonds co-owners and purchase limits

I still haven't gotten this clear, but I don't think you actually can have true "co-owners" of electronic savings bonds. Why not? My wife and I are co-owners of our bank accounts, but I am the 'primary' owner and the 1099int is reported on my SS number. Either of us can withdraw all the m...
by vtMaps
Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Medallion Signature Guarantee
Replies: 59
Views: 9769

Re: Medallion Signature Guarantee

When I wanted to link my local brick & mortar bank to treasury direct, the bank would not do a MSG because there was unlimited liability for them. I was not asking them to guarantee a particular transaction, just for general linkage so I could buy or redeem ibonds. The branch manager said they w...
by vtMaps
Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Spousal Benefits - Basics
Replies: 30
Views: 2718

Re: Social Security - Spousal Benefits - Basics

If a person's benefit will not exceed their spouse's benefit, then earning any benefit greater than 50% of their spouse's is a 'waste' of FICA taxes. If their benefit is greater than 50% of their spouses PIA, then they would take their own benefit rather than spousal benefit. Further, they could ta...
by vtMaps
Fri Aug 26, 2016 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Spousal Benefits - Basics
Replies: 30
Views: 2718

Re: Social Security - Spousal Benefits - Basics

bkweathe wrote:I think you're saying that, if I retire early, her benefit will be half of my benefit. Is that right?

Not quite. Her benefit will be half of your PIA regardless of when you retire. (PIA= primary insurance amount = what you would get if you retire at full retirement age).

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CREF variable annuity in 403(b) -- any reason to pay the high expense ratio?
Replies: 34
Views: 1675

Re: CREF variable annuity in 403(b) -- any reason to pay the high expense ratio?

Many folks keep TIAA TA with no intention of annuitizing it. In these times of low interest on safe money, TA pays very well. There are several threads of this forum about using TA as a part of ones bond allocation.

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are taxes different after retirement?
Replies: 39
Views: 3673

Re: How are taxes different after retirement?

vtMaps wrote:I think one of us is confusing exemptions with deductions. --vtMaps


OK, I was confused... thanks for the corrections. --vtMaps
by vtMaps
Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are taxes different after retirement?
Replies: 39
Views: 3673

Re: How are taxes different after retirement?

The Wizard wrote:
vtMaps wrote:Personal exemption increases at age 65. --vtMaps

That only increases your standard deduction a bit.
If you itemize your deductions, you get no benefit from being >65...

I think one of us is confusing exemptions with deductions. --vtMaps
by vtMaps
Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are taxes different after retirement?
Replies: 39
Views: 3673

Re: How are taxes different after retirement?

Personal exemption increases at age 65. --vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Tipping Practice?
Replies: 130
Views: 7253

Re: New Tipping Practice?

I find it offensive that if I choose one of their preset tips (15%, 18% or 20%), the tip amount is calculated on the entire bill, including the 10% rooms and meals tax. I make a point of explaining to the cashier that I will leave my tip at the table because of that.

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]
Replies: 289
Views: 40661

Re: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]

Currently my FIA Amex gets 2 points per dollar spent. Each point is worth 1 dollar when redeemed in a Fidelity account (effectively 2% cash back). I am under the impression that each point is worth 1 cent. My FIA Visa is a bit different. I get 1 point per dollar spent. Each point is worth 1.5 dolla...
by vtMaps
Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS benefit question
Replies: 26
Views: 1260

Re: SS benefit question

It appears that his SS would be reduced by 30% if he retires at 62 ($1500 * .7 = $1050). Does this mean that her survivor benefit would be limited to $1050, regardless of his age of death? Yes. Perhaps a better strategy would be for him to defer SS until 70, which will maximize his own benefit as w...
by vtMaps
Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity 2% CC or Citi double cash card?
Replies: 44
Views: 5627

Re: Fidelity 2% CC or Citi double cash card?

I received my Fidelity Visa 1.5% cash rewards card today, and activated it. Then I called them and asked for an upgrade to the 2% cash rewards card. The customer service rep assured me that I was getting the same great rewards I was getting previously, and I pointed out that I wasn't getting any rew...
by vtMaps
Fri May 06, 2016 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep high amounts of cash for lower ACA premiums?
Replies: 37
Views: 4785

Re: Keep high amounts of cash for lower ACA premiums?

Is this a foolish plan? Not at all. Here are some of my previous quotes on this forum: Something else to consider... health care. If you are buying your insurance under the terms of the ACA, the premiums you pay and your out of pocket costs may be dependent upon your income. If you have enough mone...
by vtMaps
Wed May 04, 2016 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to Social Security
Replies: 477
Views: 52732

Re: Changes to Social Security

Male to be 66 in March of 2017. <snip> Female to be 66 July of 2018. <snip> Expected SS benefit at at 70 is 4/7 * X I too am 16 months older than my wife, and I am just a few months younger than you. Our PIAs are a bit closer than yours, hers being the higher. I ran some spreadsheets and found some...
by vtMaps
Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to handle large long term capital gain with respect to ACA Medicaid
Replies: 19
Views: 1733

Re: How to handle large long term capital gain with respect to ACA Medicaid

OK, so how should a one-time income spike be handled? Is it only high for that month, and then back to normal after that? I have been through this (long story)... medicaid works on monthly income. If you are on medicaid and have an income spike, report it to the state. They will tell you that you a...
by vtMaps
Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are Bogleheads Buying I-Bonds 2016?
Replies: 87
Views: 15060

Re: Are Bogleheads Buying I-Bonds 2016?

I'll just stick with paper ibonds for significant tax refunds if I get them for a few more years....I consider that my emergency fund. 8-) I have ibonds for my EF (emergency fund), but I would be very reluctant to redeem the older ones that pay decent positive real rates. I have begun saving a new ...
by vtMaps
Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bug in H&R Block Deluxe
Replies: 0
Views: 341

Bug in H&R Block Deluxe

I am running H&R Block Deluxe 2015 from a CD on a Macintosh. At the top of the window there is a "print" button. If I choose to print "the entire return to send to IRS/State", then the form 8962 is printed with an incorrect MAGI. At the top of the window there is a "form...
by vtMaps
Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My wife has my fidelity password. If i die, can she transfer?
Replies: 25
Views: 2841

Re: My wife has my fidelity password. If i die, can she transfer?

We are both US citizens. So I understand you are saying we should make each other an authorized user of the others account to legalize the "sharing" of the account. No. She needs to be a co-owner of the account if she is to have access after your death. If she is only an authorized user s...
by vtMaps
Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS versus Corporate Bonds
Replies: 23
Views: 2051

Re: TIPS versus Corporate Bonds

It's just a matter of how you size up the risk and reward. TIPS will protect you from UNEXPECTED inflation. If you hold to term, TIPS will protect you from deflation. On the other hand, if things go as expected, corporate is looking better than TIPS. Going forward, what could possibly change about o...
by vtMaps
Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Limit order. Does the day trading time matter?
Replies: 25
Views: 1922

Re: Limit order. Does the day trading time matter?

grabiner wrote: As more buyers and sellers arrive, you have the chance that new buyers will offer higher prices and sellers will demand lower prices.

My head hurts... For awhile I thought I understood this stuff. --vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Markets always bounce back. But do sectors also?
Replies: 15
Views: 1553

Re: Markets always bounce back. But do sectors also?

lack_ey wrote:I think the OP is talking about the global stock market.
That too might not bounce back, but it hasn't happened yet.


If it doesn't bounce back, then this time it really is different :?

--vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citibank wants tax returns for a credit card???
Replies: 50
Views: 7285

Re: Citibank wants tax returns for a credit card???

Laren wrote:I don't carry a balance, so the only money they're making off me is on transactions.


They know a lot about your spending habits and I suspect that they sell that info. --vtMaps
by vtMaps
Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are food prices falling?
Replies: 54
Views: 5516

Re: Are food prices falling?

One thing I have noticed is the rise in the price of red wine. (I suppose it depends on how you define "food".) My cheap daily drink (it comes in the shape of a cube) has become about 20% more expensive in the last couple of years. I've noticed that also, but I don't go for the cubes... I...
by vtMaps
Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citibank wants tax returns for a credit card???
Replies: 50
Views: 7285

Re: Citibank wants tax returns for a credit card???

I already have at least one Citi credit card and have had many over the years. I had a Citi Driver's Edge credit card which they discontinued and converted to a Thankless points card a few years ago. I used the thankless card for a couple of small purchases each year just to keep it from being clos...
by vtMaps
Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Bank Billpay
Replies: 10
Views: 1653

Re: Ally Bank Billpay

You have no control over option 1 or 2. You only find it on the payment day. They use a hidden algorithm to determine which method to use. Sounds like what the Ally bank customer service rep told me. I wonder if Ally also uses Checkfree/Fiserv for their billpay. It sounds like the OP was lucky to h...
by vtMaps
Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Bank Billpay
Replies: 10
Views: 1653

Re: Ally Bank Billpay

Edit: to the best of my knowledge, Fidelity does not have any check images for billpay or their cash management account. Could someone correct me if I'm wrong. You are wrong, at least for the checks that you write (not sure about billpay). Default is not to include images, but if you call and ask t...
by vtMaps
Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank Accounts
Replies: 66
Views: 5975

Re: Bank Accounts

tinscale wrote:Ally savings acct pays 1% on min. $25k and is easy to open and use.


It pays 1% on all balances... there is no 25k minimum. --vtMaps
by vtMaps
Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Bank Billpay
Replies: 10
Views: 1653

Re: Ally Bank Billpay

I am asking about how they decide whether to debit me on the day they mail you a check, or on the day you depost/cash the check. If I have Fidelity send you a check, I will know when you cash it. If I have Ally send you a check, and they debit my account on the day they mail the check, I don't know ...
by vtMaps
Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Bank Billpay
Replies: 10
Views: 1653

Ally Bank Billpay

I have a Fidelity cash management account and am very happy with it. One of the nice features is that if they pay a bill with a paper check, my account is not debited until the payee actually deposits or cashes the check. My savings account is with Ally and I push money from Ally to Fidelity to pay ...
by vtMaps
Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are food prices falling?
Replies: 54
Views: 5516

Re: Are food prices falling?

Lower fuel prices are hurting farmers in New England. The reason is that the embedded cost of fuel in food imported from California is greater than in our locally grown food. As fuel costs have declined, imported food has seen greater price declines than our locally grown food, and this makes our lo...
by vtMaps
Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hazards in this Roth conversion?
Replies: 5
Views: 633

Re: Hazards in this Roth conversion?

Alan, Thanks very much for explaining all this :happy

--vtMaps (I used the 'happy' emoji because there is no 'grateful' emoji)

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