Search found 213 matches

by straws46
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving seats on Southwest
Replies: 210
Views: 11533

Re: Saving seats on Southwest

We travel to Asia and Australia on vacations a lot, and we are older so we always go first or business class. We use credit card points, so it is much easier to fly out of LA or Houston. Therefore, we leave a couple days early to get to our jumping off point and usually fly SW. When we come home the...
by straws46
Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First time in Sydney, Australia
Replies: 12
Views: 761

Re: First time in Sydney, Australia

A trip by boat from circular quay to the Sydney zoo was a fun experience. A day trip to the Blue Mountains was ok. We took the train/subway to and from the airport. It was clean and easy and fast. The highway traffic was bad due to construction and people were missing flights as they sat trapped in ...
by straws46
Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I want a pre-made, wholesome lunch delivered to me daily for under $15. Options?
Replies: 52
Views: 4793

Re: I want a pre-made, wholesome lunch delivered to me daily for under $15. Options?

We used to get Metabolic Meals. Excellent quality and extremely healthy. Delivered to your door. Keep frozen until microwaved. Only negative was the amount of packaging material. Check out their web site. It may be what you're looking for.
by straws46
Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Carrying cash from overseas
Replies: 9
Views: 969

Re: Carrying cash from overseas

Structuring. If the four divided up the money so no one had more than $10,000 that is structuring. If they can't explain how they obtained the money and the reason for bringing it into the US, they could be charged with money laundering.
by straws46
Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Entrance Fee for Retirement Community
Replies: 45
Views: 6590

Re: Entrance Fee for Retirement Community

Good advice, above. A factor to consider in the refundable/non-refundable fee scenarios is the credit-worthiness of the CCRC holding the money and whether your refundable deposit is held separately in a manner where it is not accessible to creditors or for general working capital purposes Good advi...
by straws46
Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Computershare to Schwab, individual to joint
Replies: 7
Views: 657

Re: Computershare to Schwab, individual to joint

It is a little longer process than most inter-broker transfers because from Computershares your broker must initiate a transfer through the Depository Trust Company. Most other inter-broker transfer are done by the ACAT system (automated customer account transfer). DTC transfer takes more time and m...
by straws46
Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capturing Solar Investment Tax Credit for Church
Replies: 1
Views: 244

Re: Capturing Solar Investment Tax Credit for Church

Very common practice for entities that are tax exempt. If they can get transferable tax credits (as in low income housing) they can just sell the tax credits for about 90% of face value (the purchaser gets the federal tax credit but the spread is subject to state tax). Otherwise, they can find a thi...
by straws46
Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fine Art Investments
Replies: 77
Views: 4470

Re: Fine Art Investments

If you are going to invest in art, buy originals. Lithographs maybe, but not prints. I chose to invest in fine wine. Can't sell it for what I paid but I don't have an issue with liquidity. I'm writing that investment off a glass at a time.
by straws46
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Deferred Comp Question
Replies: 12
Views: 1378

Re: Deferred Comp Question

As a follow up, the deferred comp is included in line 1 (wages) but not included in line 3 (social security wages), so I assume line 3 is what they look at to see if you would be penalized for excess income. But I would verify that with a visit to my local social security office.
by straws46
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Deferred Comp Question
Replies: 12
Views: 1378

Re: Deferred Comp Question

I would definitely talk to a tax expert and the social security administration. I believe any income you receive for services rendered in prior years does not affect your benefits. Also, if you elect payment over 10 years it is treated as pension income for purposes of state and local taxation. The ...
by straws46
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POA Reimbursement
Replies: 48
Views: 3125

Re: POA Reimbursement

Can you? See RCW 11.25.120. Should you? ???
by straws46
Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desperate for mattress help (Awara)
Replies: 8
Views: 677

Re: Desperate for mattress help (Awara)

We've had a Flobed for 10 years now. Natural latex. Can't beat it. Will probable last another 10. We will replace it with another Flobed. Check out their website.
by straws46
Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are banks required to freeze accounts when notified of account holder's death
Replies: 33
Views: 3809

Re: Are banks required to freeze accounts when notified of account holder's death

UCC article 4 covers paper drafts; UCC Article 4a covers electronic transfers. That article is expanded, and can even be superseded, by NACHA operating rules and Federal Reserve Regs. The FDIC web site would be a great place to get educated in this area.
by straws46
Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DW and I "need" new advanced medical directives, etc.
Replies: 11
Views: 883

Re: DW and I "need" new advanced medical directives, etc.

If you are having a lawyer prepare wills, trusts and other estate documents you might as well get the advance directives from the same source just to make sure everything is witnessed or attested properly. Otherwise, no reason not to use self-prepared forms for the medical docs in my opinion.
by straws46
Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can I reduce tax exposure?
Replies: 14
Views: 1584

Re: How can I reduce tax exposure?

I would say thank you for your support. Formerly in the military and now as a taxpayer. At least you live in Florida.
by straws46
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are banks required to freeze accounts when notified of account holder's death
Replies: 33
Views: 3809

Re: Are banks required to freeze accounts when notified of account holder's death

There were statutes that required lessors of safe deposit boxes to file wills with the probate court. Those often conflicted with later laws giving joint lessors the right to enter the box after death of one owner. In the state I practiced the conflict was finally removed by a 1994 law but it was dr...
by straws46
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revocable Living Trust - naming as beneficary
Replies: 8
Views: 980

Re: Revocable Living Trust - naming as beneficary

Lott is correct on the tax ID. A revocable living trust where the grantor is a trustee is a disregarded entity for tax purposes and you must use the grantor's number.
by straws46
Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are banks required to freeze accounts when notified of account holder's death
Replies: 33
Views: 3809

Re: Are banks required to freeze accounts when notified of account holder's death

It is not a statutory or regulatory requirement that I know of. But if a bank honors a check after the owner is dead it can be liable (see sec 4-405 of the Uniform Commercial Code). Also, banks are liable to return social security payments received after the death of the depositor, so banks have eve...
by straws46
Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation ideas for February
Replies: 48
Views: 4039

Re: Vacation ideas for February

Too short a time to go to Asia, Australia or NZ in my opinion. We took a trip to Buenos Aires and a ferry across to Uruguay last year. Very enjoyable. Particularly enjoyed Montevideo. Big advantage is the less significant time difference from US time zones. No jet lag.
by straws46
Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco washer/dryer delivery: tipping?
Replies: 54
Views: 4412

Re: Costco washer/dryer delivery: tipping?

The guys who installed our garage doors just left $40 richer due to this thread. I probably would not have thought about tipping until I saw this thread. But I'm glad I did --- and so are they.
by straws46
Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can you lose money by buying CDs?
Replies: 24
Views: 2633

Re: Did investors who bought Lehman Brothers CDs lose money?

Lehman Brothers was not a bank. They did not issue CDs. If you bought brokered CDs through them, their failure did not affect the CDs they sold. After the collapse many surviving entities obtained bank charters, so now you can buy CDs from Goldman Sachs and General Motors Acceptance Corp (aka Ally),...
by straws46
Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider your house as part of your bond portfolio?
Replies: 52
Views: 2561

Re: Do you consider your house as part of your bond portfolio?

No, but I consider my automobile as my entire international allocation.
by straws46
Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand stock dividend yield
Replies: 19
Views: 1400

Re: Help me understand stock dividend yield

If a dividend yield sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Yields are high right before a troubled company slashes its dividend. Always compare within the same sector to see if a yield is abnormal. Compare utilities to utilities, energy companies to other energy companies, financials to financi...
by straws46
Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Preferred Stock
Replies: 27
Views: 1780

Re: Preferred Stock

I own some preferred stocks and some municipal bonds. Both are being redeemed. Almost every bond with a coupon over 3.5% I have is being called and paid off with the proceeds of new issues. Since I always bought with the "yield-to-worst" in mind, I haven't suffered except being unable to replace the...
by straws46
Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lender Release fees of $75 for Mortgage Payoff, Advice?
Replies: 19
Views: 1716

Re: Lender Processing/Release fees of $300 for Mortgage Payoff, Advice?

With respect to the $75 fee, the language authorizes it only if paid to a third party. Typically lenders fill out the blanks on a deed of release themselves as that has been held not to constitute the practice of law, but they can't charge a fee for it since charging a separate fee for filling out a...
by straws46
Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why investment complexity is appealing and simplicity isn't
Replies: 65
Views: 3829

Re: Why investment complexity is appealing and simplicity isn't

I was always fascinated by complex investment vehicles. From auction rate securities to credit enhanced private activity bonds, I loved to parse the myriad underlying indentures, standby letters of credit, remarking agreements, ad infinitum. Of course, I worked as a lawyer in the finance industry. M...
by straws46
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis for stock grant - original company gone
Replies: 6
Views: 414

Re: Cost basis for stock grant - original company gone

Receiving a stock grant is only a taxable event if they vest immediately. Otherwise the vesting is the taxable event and the value is taxed as ordinary income and the company withhold taxes as of the vesting date. That value is your original basis. If you end up with shares for which you can't figur...
by straws46
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ponder this, BH's... is Ben & Jerry's worth it?
Replies: 142
Views: 11473

Re: Ponder this, BH's... is Ben & Jerry's worth it?

Two things about this thread made me smile. Just thinking about B & J Phish Food and RadAudit's post.
by straws46
Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on short Vietnam visit
Replies: 30
Views: 2619

Re: Advice on short Vietnam visit

We spent a week each in HCMC, Danang and Hanoi. Loved the experience and the people. Best tip I could give is to fly business class domestically. The security process alone is worth the extra money. It was a couple years ago but we got to go through security the same as the flight crew. No lines!
by straws46
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Korea early Dec
Replies: 7
Views: 810

Re: Korea early Dec

Just spent a few weeks in Soeul and Busan and had no need for cash. Tipping is not required but that is about the only thing I used cash for. Transportation cards can be purchased at most stations and they are good for the subway as well as taxis, but all the taxis accepted credit cards.
by straws46
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Acura RDX vs Audi Q5
Replies: 93
Views: 9381

Re: Acura RDX vs Audi Q5

I had owned nothing but Acuras until 2013 when I bought a new A6. Great car but the depreciation on an Audi is huge. Only buy a new one if you're going to keep it for a long time. I might compare the Q5 to an MDX also.
by straws46
Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Municipal bonds
Replies: 20
Views: 1661

Re: Municipal bonds

It is not legal to charge a commission and a spread. A broker may charge one or the other. Commissions are disclosed so most brokers do not charge them. Instead they "mark" up the bond. The terminology is a "mark" rather than a "spread," but that is just semantics. You can go to EMMA and track all p...
by straws46
Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Way out of financial catastrophe?
Replies: 80
Views: 11588

Re: Way out of financial catastrophe?

Your biggest asset is your human capital so you will be able to recover from this problem over time. The issue is making sure you have the time. Walking away is usually not a good answer. A foreclosure will ruin your credit for years and a foreclosure may leave you owing a large deficiency balance e...
by straws46
Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Undo Joint Account with Parents?
Replies: 38
Views: 3072

Re: Undo Joint Account with Parents?

Treas. Reg. § 25.2511-1(h)(4) spells it out clearly: With bank accounts and most brokerage accounts that call for the registration of securities in “street name,” Dad will not have made a reportable gift if he simply adds Junior’s name as a joint owner. Reportable gift transfers occur only if Junior...
by straws46
Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House not appraising for amount we were offered!
Replies: 137
Views: 15081

Re: House not appraising for amount we were offered!

Appraisals are based on the reported sale prices of comparable properties. In a rising market an MAI appraisal will always be low since prices have been rising since the dates of the older sales used as comps. Same thing in reverse in a falling market. since most buyers will include a financing cont...
by straws46
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 5 days in Como, Italy
Replies: 15
Views: 1407

Re: 5 days in Como, Italy

We were traveling through that area in March and stayed in Monza for a couple days rather than Milan and enjoyed the park and raceway and old town area. Also liked the American style hamburger joint. Compare and see what fits your preference.
by straws46
Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I adjust capital gains/losses for short term trading fees?
Replies: 10
Views: 623

Re: Do I adjust capital gains/losses for short term trading fees?

Livesoft referred you to the right place. This is what you will find there: Amount realized. The amount you realize from a sale or trade of property is everything you receive for the property minus your expen- ses related to the sale (such as redemption fees, sales commissions, sales charges, or exi...
by straws46
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should All Grandkids Be Treated as Equal Members of Same Class?
Replies: 104
Views: 8812

Re: Should All Grandkids Be Treated as Equal Members of Same Class?

While my parents were alive I suggested they bring back primogeniture, but they would not have it. These discussions are interesting and are great reasons to review your will or trust whenever there is a change in circumstances and update in accordance with your wishes, whatever they may be. For me,...
by straws46
Sat May 25, 2019 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Rethinking Individual Stocks
Replies: 76
Views: 8114

Re: Rethinking Individual Stocks

Agree with Stinky. Individual stocks are for those whose other assets, or other income, are sufficient to permit the greater risk that goes with owning individual equities. The biggest risk for me is having such a low basis in individual stocks that tax considerations override prudent investment dec...
by straws46
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 35432

Re: How did you feel about your 2018 tax returns?

I saw someone complained about doing Cal itemization even though they took the federal standard deduction. I should be so lucky. Kansas does not permit itemization unless you itemize on the federal return, and the SALT limit prevented me from itemizing on the federal return. The amount I saved in fe...
by straws46
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 35432

Re: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]

The SALT limitation kept me from itemizing but my effective rate went down 2% due to the rate reductions. However, my state (like most?) doesn't permit itemization unless you itemized on the federal. That increased my state tax by about $1000. Looks like the new tax law is a windfall for states (unl...
by straws46
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is this just too simple
Replies: 41
Views: 6582

Re: Is this just too simple

When you say the minimal you receive on cash my only recommendation would be to move all cash out of Schwab's cash and money market account to SWVXX, which is their higher yielding cash account. One day delay in getting in or out of it. Based on your sobriquet and your financial picture I assume you...
by straws46
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best uses of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Replies: 18
Views: 2577

Re: Best uses of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

We transfer them to their airline partners for international first and business class airfares.
by straws46
Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying house with son [and his girlfriend]
Replies: 169
Views: 10890

Re: Buying house with son [and his girlfriend]

Make sure you understand the legalities. I never heard of "joint tenants in common." There is joint tenancy with right of survivorship, and there is tenancy in common in which each fractional share is separately owned. I doubt a typical mortgage loan would be supported by tenancy in common. The only...
by straws46
Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you are old, why bother with rebalancing!!?
Replies: 115
Views: 9541

Re: If you are old, why bother with rebalancing!!?

I rebalanced last December and reduced my exposure to equities. OK, maybe I didn't proactively do it, but it occurred. I'm over 70 and have enough in fixed income to, so I don't feel the need to rebalance if the market goes up or down. But each person's risk tolerance should be the deciding factor.
by straws46
Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Cards - Autopay inconsistent across companies?
Replies: 40
Views: 1959

Re: Credit Cards - Autopay inconsistent across companies?

We take long trips overseas and sometimes the hotel wifi won't let us us our VPN, so we have auto-pay on all our accounts for the full balance. That is our safeguard but we usually pay our card balances every week. Whenever we have a statement balance and subsequently pay manually, the auto-pay feat...
by straws46
Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: a beginner question about bonds interest rate risk
Replies: 12
Views: 899

Re: a beginner question about bonds interest rate risk

The day the government pays a higher rate is at least one day too late to sell your government bond. Actually, anticipated rate changes are already priced in so the day before the change was probably too late also. If you are buying bonds for safety and guarantied cash flow you should ignore changes...
by straws46
Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Fund Dividend mistake?
Replies: 10
Views: 751

Re: Bond Fund Dividend mistake?

I always assumed buying a bond fund was pretty much the same as buying the underlying bonds. When you buy a bond you are also buying all accrued but unpaid interest. When you buy a bond fund the accrued interest is in the price, as is the premium or discount depending on the underlying bond yields.