Search found 120 matches

by marklar13
Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2020 software offer
Replies: 372
Views: 26457

Re: H&R Block 2020 software offer

Good find, thanks!
random_walker_77 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:38 pm
Well, Premium is now down to $27. Business for $36.
Deluxe Tax + State for $18, and Deluxe for $15

https://slickdeals.net/f/14767309-h-r-b ... 8-more?v=1
by marklar13
Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better toddler sneakers than New Balance?
Replies: 19
Views: 1490

Re: Better toddler sneakers than New Balance?

We had good luck with stride-rites, but if I recall they were also in the $40 range. We liked these because they were generally on the wider side, and were just easier to get on and off their feet with the particular design that we had (i.e. the tongue of the shoe would open up very far down). I als...
by marklar13
Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Tax when switching to 1099 income mid-year
Replies: 3
Views: 243

Re: Estimated Tax when switching to 1099 income mid-year

Edit: I misread your point about withholding on my first pass through here. Yes -- the W-2 withholding roughly matches what we would owe. In general I shoot for a $0 tax bill at the end of the year. As you noted, I plan to just use my full estimate rather than 90% to play it safe this year. I'm pret...
by marklar13
Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Tax when switching to 1099 income mid-year
Replies: 3
Views: 243

Estimated Tax when switching to 1099 income mid-year

I switched from W2 employment to Sole Proprietorship earlier this month. I have done some pretty detailed tax forecasting with my own spreadsheets, and I know (with reasonable accuracy) what my total estimated tax payment is going to be. Since I didn't have self employment income in Q1 or Q2, obviou...
by marklar13
Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from W2 to 1099 contractor. Seeking advice.
Replies: 43
Views: 1952

Re: Switching from W2 to 1099 contractor. Seeking advice.

SoloKs are one of the biggest benefits of what you're doing besides taxes (in most states, definitely Federal). I kept a SoloK at ETrade for a year or so. Most traditional brokerages aren't good at these products and are confused by them even if they offer them because they're not common. If it's n...
by marklar13
Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from W2 to 1099 contractor. Seeking advice.
Replies: 43
Views: 1952

Re: Switching from W2 to 1099 contractor. Seeking advice.

OP here. Reviving this for one more related question. I've decided to move forward as sole proprietor as noted above, and have the paperwork filled out to open a solo 401k at TD Ameritrade. I walked through the application with a rep, and they said I did not need to file for an EID, and could just u...
by marklar13
Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Roth IRAs “Pay taxes once and never again” really best?”
Replies: 131
Views: 11168

Re: Are Roth IRAs “Pay taxes once and never again” really best?”

My wife and I recently became relatively high earners ( self-employed .) We no longer qualified for Roth IRAs. So we opened Roth Individual 401(k) accounts at Vanguard and that has been our new vehicle of choice. Thank you. I skimmed through the posts, but didn't see anyone mention the potential QB...
by marklar13
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from W2 to 1099 contractor. Seeking advice.
Replies: 43
Views: 1952

Re: Switching from W2 to 1099 contractor. Seeking advice.

Thanks cowdogman, makes sense. I'll wait until the end of the year and check the impact -- although it's still an inexact science because I won't know my retirement tax rate. I have a similar spreadsheet for our current taxes and was planning on updating with the 1099 rules anyway. And yes, mention ...
by marklar13
Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from W2 to 1099 contractor. Seeking advice.
Replies: 43
Views: 1952

Re: Switching from W2 to 1099 contractor. Seeking advice.

Thanks for all the feedback. Sounds like Sole Proprietor is the direction I am headed. I'm not really looking to market myself beyond the contract that I have already been offered (for now at least... and I am hoping this contract opens the door for others within the same circle). I will obtain some...
by marklar13
Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from W2 to 1099 contractor. Seeking advice.
Replies: 43
Views: 1952

Switching from W2 to 1099 contractor. Seeking advice.

I recently accepted a position as an independent contractor (software engineer). This will be full time -- I am leaving my current W2 employer. I've never done 1099 work, and am trying to do my due diligence on financial planning for the swtich. I think that I have a decent grasp on the tax rules, a...
by marklar13
Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with super-tiny IRA?
Replies: 8
Views: 826

Re: What to do with super-tiny IRA?

I have a traditional with a 0 balance that I use for backdoor roth at vanguard. This $2 account is at Fidelity. Basically I'm looking for the least amount of paperwork possible to get rid of the $2 account. I'm pretty sure it is to take the distribution -- just want to make sure this wouldn't cause ...
by marklar13
Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with super-tiny IRA?
Replies: 8
Views: 826

What to do with super-tiny IRA?

Hopefully a pretty easy question here. I am leaving my current employer. One of the benefits they had was an ESOP plan that has an automatic contribution after 1 year of service, with a vesting period of 5 years. I have been with them for a little under 2 years, and the account balance is $96 with a...
by marklar13
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The unicorn mortgage: 30 year fixed under 3%
Replies: 90
Views: 15626

Re: The unicorn mortgage: 30 year fixed under 3%

Re seawolf21 » Wed May 13, 2020 Anybody seen this being offered? United Wholesale Mortgage now offering mortgage interest rates as low as 2.5% https://www.housingwire.com/articles/uw ... ow-as-2-5/ I spoke with a broker associated with United Wholesale today and we may do some business. I am curren...
by marklar13
Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 9391
Views: 656498

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Has anyone had a lender give them a hard time when they lifted a credit freeze temporarily? I had one RocketLoan agent tell me a temporary lift is not enough to get a refinance quote and I need a "global" lift. Never heard this before. I've never heard of that either -- not sure how they ...
by marklar13
Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Free Refinancing?
Replies: 18
Views: 1359

Re: Free Refinancing?

The costs of refinancing, including the commission to the mortgage broker, are all built into the rate you will pay. It only looks like its free. You are not special. Everybody pays. Except in this case the rate with all the costs baked in is still lower than his existing rate. So, really it is &qu...
by marklar13
Fri May 29, 2020 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage rates headed lower?
Replies: 69
Views: 7884

Re: Mortgage rates headed lower?

While it seems like there's a lot of intelligent people providing reasons why mortgage rates could go even lower, this is a bird in the hand situation for me personally. I agree with this. I understand that there are indicators pointing to mortgage rates heading lower... but the reality is that no ...
by marklar13
Thu May 21, 2020 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 9391
Views: 656498

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

For whatever reason, I can't find anything close to 3% $0 cost right now. It's all 3.375+. Prime credit and 60% LTV. Tried most of the names mentioned here. AIM can get me closest, at 2.75 on a no- cost 15 year. But really looking for a 25+ year. 30 years should be in the 2.5% range based upon hist...
by marklar13
Thu May 14, 2020 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 9391
Views: 656498

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

FYI, rates seem to be down again today. I've been monitoring on LenderFi, AimLoan, NBKC, and Garden State. Submitted a request to each of them this morning and they were all pretty close with Garden State being the best fit for us. In process locking a 2.75% 30 year with a total of $2275 closing cos...
by marklar13
Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mortgage Refinance Question
Replies: 10
Views: 1712

Re: Mortgage Refinance Question

Tl;dr -- yes, find a lower rate and refinance. I found bankrate.com useful. I was in a similar situation. I just went with the broker that my real estate agent recommend when I purchased, because we were moving to a new state and I just wanted everything to go smoothly (probably should have shopped ...
by marklar13
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings account for child?
Replies: 35
Views: 1852

Re: Savings account for child?

I've had a good experience with capital one 360. They have an intuitive website and app, and consistently are at the high end for rates. I haven't used their "kids" account specifically, but they do have that option, and it seems like it fits what you want.
by marklar13
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baby Due in Februrary - High Deductible Plan or High Premium Plan
Replies: 13
Views: 783

Re: Baby Due in Februrary - High Deductible Plan or High Premium Plan

As others have posted, it depends on the specifics of the plan, and your situation. We had to make this same decision last year, and when I ran the numbers it was basically a wash. I ran numbers for the "expected case" and "worst case", but really went with worst case assumptions...
by marklar13
Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?
Replies: 55
Views: 7700

Re: Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?

I've used it, and liked it. What I like most is that it is painless to cancel. We watch mostly streaming services, and not a lot of live TV... with the exception being sports. I ordered it during the NBA playoffs, and then cancelled once they were over. I cancelled right through the app on my phone ...
by marklar13
Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do you decide when to break a CD?
Replies: 7
Views: 1086

Re: How do you decide when to break a CD?

There are numerous calculators that can tell you when breaking a CD will net you more money. I have a 5-year CD ladder the purpose of which is to serve as an emergency fund. With recent rate hikes the calculator is saying I should break 4 of the 5 CDs but of course if I do that I lose the primary a...
by marklar13
Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you ready for Amazon checking?
Replies: 42
Views: 6797

Re: Are you ready for Amazon checking?

My bank works fine. Until there is a national standard to eliminate checks there isn't any reason to switch from what I have today. How about an interest-bearing checking account? One that pays more than 0.0001% I keep a near-zero balance in my checking account. Most of my expenses hit a credit car...
by marklar13
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529, Am I being stupid by not being greedy?
Replies: 14
Views: 1335

Re: 529, Am I being stupid by not being greedy?

+1 to stable value fund. I don't see much downside. I don't know the highest paying one, but you could look into that or just go with your current plan's option if it has one. Here is the most recent discussion I could find on which state has the highest SVF: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop...
by marklar13
Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: rebalance based on pre or post tax values?
Replies: 9
Views: 853

Re: rebalance based on pre or post tax values?

I use actual account values (not adjusted) for my targets / triggers... but I also estimate the adjusted allocation so that I at least know what it looks like. I'm also pretty far from retirement, though, so the tax picture is not so clear anyway. I think it matters more for someone closer to actual...
by marklar13
Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excel for Personal Finance Accounting ?
Replies: 42
Views: 6975

Re: Excel for Personal Finance Accounting ?

For budget, I use Google sheets; essentially same as Excel. I have my bank and credit cards on mint, and then each month I just download and paste into a transactions tab. I have another tab that maps the mint categories into categories I actually want to track, and then the budget keys off of these...
by marklar13
Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A 4-5% rebalance to bonds barely budges risk/return
Replies: 43
Views: 4224

Re: A 4-5% rebalance to bonds barely budges risk/return

Is there anything wrong with not rebalancing at all? Losing 30 versus 40 percent of piortfolio would be just as painful but I would keep buying like I did in 2008 (although now I have 10x more). I would say there is nothing wrong with it as long as: 1. It is part if your documented plan... and pres...
by marklar13
Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help Late Early Accumulators Be Comfortable Right Now with (Bogle-appropriate) Aggressive AA
Replies: 30
Views: 2714

Re: Help Late Early Accumulators Be Comfortable Right Now with (Bogle-appropriate) Aggressive AA

I would also take that chart you posted of the SP500 with a grain of salt (in the OP). I think you probably want a log scale to view a chart going back that far. The arithmetic scale makes it look like everything was smooth sailing up until the year ~2000. I don't think that is an accurate represent...
by marklar13
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HR Block multiple states (cost of software)
Replies: 1
Views: 225

Re: HR Block multiple states (cost of software)

FYI -- I just chatted with their online support. At first they suggested that I download the full copy to another computer. I was polite and responded that it likely wouldn't be worth the hassle, at which point the representative said they could provide me a link for a free state installation... Tha...
by marklar13
Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HR Block multiple states (cost of software)
Replies: 1
Views: 225

HR Block multiple states (cost of software)

Hi all. I moved last year and need to file taxes to two states. I already purchased HR Block 2017 software + 1 state. That purchase cost me $20 at the time, and the same download is on amazon right now for $30. In the program, to add an additional state it costs $39.95. This seems unreasonable seein...
by marklar13
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Automatic Investment While Avoiding Fees?
Replies: 4
Views: 493

Re: Automatic Investment While Avoiding Fees?

You definitely don't want to be paying that much in fees. Most brokerages have some fund family / families that you can trade mostly commission free. With fidelity you can trade iShares for free, Vanguard you can trade vanguard funds / ETFs, etc. Especially with an account made up of just a handful ...
by marklar13
Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does re-allocation require selling in order to be most effective?
Replies: 12
Views: 1103

Re: Does re-allocation require selling in order to be most effective?

I think you should be content to just re-balance through new contributions if that will cover it. If new contributions alone can't get you to within the AA that you want then exchange funds as needed. Unless your re-balancing thresholds are very tight, you will very rarely need to sell. It takes a r...
by marklar13
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hitting The Sell Button
Replies: 233
Views: 34232

Re: Hitting The Sell Button

It seems like all I have been doing has been hitting the "sell" button, selling stocks in wave after wave as the market advances. Are you using really tight re-balancing bands, or maybe this is just a little hyperbole? My math could be wrong, but it takes a really sizable run-up to trigge...
by marklar13
Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Introducing Myself, Seeking Retirement Advice
Replies: 18
Views: 3003

Re: Introducing Myself, Seeking Retirement Advice

Wondering: Should I contribute to all three: 403b and Roth 403b, and Roth IRA? (Right now I am only contributing to pre-tax 403b and Roth IRA, should I also be contributing to my Roth 403b?) I think you probably want to prioritize in the following order: 403b up to match Roth IRA 403b up to max Her...
by marklar13
Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Energy Usage
Replies: 86
Views: 6978

Re: Electric Energy Usage

3000 sqft house, just built last year. Electric oven (gas range), dryer, A/C, well-pump, fridge, dishwasher, occasionally 2nd freezer if primary overflows. Propane heat and hot water. I set the A/C to kick on at 78. Also, I work from home so in theory that should skew things up slightly. Last 7 mont...
by marklar13
Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?
Replies: 266
Views: 27537

Re: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?

Looks like we will save around $500 next year -- so I'll probably aim to keep our witholdings unchanged. Capped SALT deductions really hurts us, but the other benefits seem to make up the difference in our case. Will be switching to standard deduction and using the beefed up child tax credit (1 kid)...
by marklar13
Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Back Door Roth
Replies: 6
Views: 1109

Re: Back Door Roth

Yes, your rollover account -- assuming this is pre tax dollars -- is going to mean you are subject to pro rata rule. If you want to contribute to your existing Roth via backdoor conversion then your options are going to be: 1. See if your 401k plan allows you to move the rollover account in. If they...
by marklar13
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Back Door Roth
Replies: 6
Views: 1109

Re: Back Door Roth

I'll take a crack at this -- although you are probably going to need to give more details. It depends on your situation. If you have no other (non-roth) IRAs then you can pretty much do it without owing anything in taxes. You would contribute money this year to a traditional IRA. This contribution i...
by marklar13
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ROTH IRA Holders: How Many Of You Max Your Contribution On January 1st?
Replies: 41
Views: 5369

Re: ROTH IRA Holders: How Many Of You Max Your Contribution On January 1st?

Related question: Assuming that tax advantaged space will be filled by the end of the year in any case, is it better to front-load pre-tax 401k contributions to get the company match or front-load the Roth contribution? If 401K, the company match will have more time in market, but if Roth, after-ta...
by marklar13
Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay extra on my mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 2378

Re: Should I pay extra on my mortgage?

Given those options, and your desire to have 50% down... If planning on purchasing the house before selling the condo, then I would plan on having 20% down saved up, with the rest going to pay off the mortgage balance. If planning on selling the condo first, and using the proceeds for down payment, ...
by marklar13
Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Off or Refinance?
Replies: 17
Views: 2097

Re: Pay Off or Refinance?

After 15 years... 2. Pay off mortgage No mortgage Nothing invested to start with (used to pay mortgage) 2k/mnth invested for 15 years@5% = $45,314.98 Total = $45,314.98 Are you sure you didn’t miss a zero? $2k per month for 15 years with 0% return is $360k haha, yes I did... annual instead of month...
by marklar13
Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Off or Refinance?
Replies: 17
Views: 2097

Re: Pay Off or Refinance?

[*] Assume you can earn 5% nominal in the market with your 60/40 AA (which I think is pretty conservative I think this is not particularly conservative. And yes, any loan is worth keeping as long as possible if you are assuming a higher rate of investment return. Fair enough. Your second sentence i...
by marklar13
Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Off or Refinance?
Replies: 17
Views: 2097

Re: Pay Off or Refinance?

Here are some quick calculations I did, comparing the 30 yr mortgage to paying off in full right now. The assumptions are maybe slightly different than your scenario, but I was having trouble understanding what you mean by having 2k available each month (extra, or total?) ** Disclaimer... you'll wan...
by marklar13
Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Off or Refinance?
Replies: 17
Views: 2097

Re: Pay Off or Refinance?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think you are missing something. Are you assuming that you invest the savings from the refinance? It seems like in the last scenario you are investing $2000 month (presumably with your improved cash flow from paying off the mortgage). In the refinance scenario, you will also h...
by marklar13
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]
Replies: 203
Views: 23532

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

I'm a little surprised at the number of negative comments directed at MMM. I read his blog occasionally (although not the forums), and I really enjoy it. Not all of the advice is actionable or realistic for me, but it is still a good read. The point he emphasizes is to challenge the generally accept...
by marklar13
Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what to research on possible "too good to be true" ETF
Replies: 10
Views: 977

Re: what to research on possible "too good to be true" ETF

Whether following a boglehead strategy or not, investing in something that you do not understand is not a good idea. I would get say get out while you are ahead. Do some research on what you want to invest in (whether it be a boglehead recommended 3-fund portfolio, or some other investments), then m...
by marklar13
Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too much house? (nervous 1st time buyer)
Replies: 61
Views: 8168

Re: Too much house? (nervous 1st time buyer)

Agree with the other posters so far. You can afford it, but if it were me I would rent. You are single now, and it sounds like a lot could change for you in the coming years. Also, I think people tend to underestimate the "true" cost of owning a home in regard to both time and money. But.....
by marklar13
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So... What bond fund or bond-like instrument do you use?
Replies: 68
Views: 9455

Re: So... What bond fund or bond-like instrument do you use?

Vanguard Total Bond in both of our 401ks.
I-Bonds make up ~60% of our emergency fund.
No bonds in Roth or taxable (other than the I-bonds).

... and about $500 of paper EE bonds I just found in a filing cabinet.