Search found 242 matches

by Zott
Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating $1M
Replies: 66
Views: 8919

Re: Donating $1M

I can only emphasize that you should thoroughly research the organization's current activities, including newsletters, reports, general internet searches, etc. Don't assume that you know everything they do---it seems that many "charities" are moving outside their traditional activities these days. [...
by Zott
Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate tax? Questions..
Replies: 13
Views: 1415

Re: Estate tax? Questions..

Not something I am very familiar with but New Jersey has an inheritance tax. You can read about it on the NJ state website. Are you just trying to educate yourself or do you feel that any of these individuals would be willing or able to make changes? Yes, New Jersey still had an inheritance tax alt...
by Zott
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to stop renting optimum modem.
Replies: 21
Views: 1831

Re: Want to stop renting optimum modem.

Just to add one more thought, I bought a refurbished Arris off Ebay last year for $35 and it has worked great. No regrets. :happy
by Zott
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revocable Living Trust - naming as beneficary
Replies: 8
Views: 1053

Re: Revocable Living Trust - naming as beneficary

With respect to retirement accounts, you can make the revocable trust the beneficiary. But under IRS rules, the trust must include certain specific wording (you can search the forum for details). So your trust document would have to be amended if the wording isn't already included. When I made my tr...
by Zott
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need ideas for NY Upstate Getaway
Replies: 48
Views: 3461

Re: Need ideas for NY Upstate Getaway

Saratoga Springs. The thoroughbred racing season is over, but the trotters are still running. There's a lot to see and do--a casino (which you're probably not interested in), performing arts and lots of restaurants. Beautiful area, and fairly close to Lake George. Wife and I had an annual trip there...
by Zott
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS benefit discrepancy
Replies: 14
Views: 1817

Re: SS benefit discrepancy

When the 2018 earnings are applied, your spouse will receive a retroactive payment of the difference back to the month she started benefits.
by Zott
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [State] Residency v. Domicile
Replies: 6
Views: 1103

Re: [State] Residency v. Domicile

Depending on how GA has structured its MFJ and MFS tax rate schedules, it may be more advantageous to file jointly in GA since your wife has little income. Check whether the MFJ rates on combined income produce a lower tax than MFS on just your income.
by Zott
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snowbird to Florida for a month
Replies: 5
Views: 1096

Re: Snowbird to Florida for a month

Many years ago, we spent the month of March in the area south of Sarasota, Englewood specifically (on Lemon Bay). There's not much right there, but everything including beach was close by. We enjoyed the (relative) quiet. As I recollect, we contacted a local realtor (via the internet) and we were ab...
by Zott
Mon May 06, 2019 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: evaluating charities, EDF ?!?
Replies: 5
Views: 415

Re: evaluating charities, EDF ?!?

Why don't you just concentrate your donations on the few you regard highly and are confident will use the money wisely? Adding more donees to your list means having less to donate to them... i.e robbing Peter to pay Paul. You know, I've heard of doing it that way - maybe that makes sense. Seems to ...
by Zott
Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS payment following death in first week of the month
Replies: 7
Views: 594

Re: SS payment following death in first week of the month

Ok, I think what I'm about to say is correct. Social Security payments are made in arrears--so the payment for November would be paid in December. However a person must live the entire month to receive the payment. You mother lived through November so the regular December payment (for November) woul...
by Zott
Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Was thinking of purchasing own modem, need advice
Replies: 18
Views: 1167

Re: Was thinking of purchasing own modem, need advice

I purchased a refurbished Arris modem off Ebay this past summer for $35. It's working fine and has already paid for itself (Optimum had instituted a $10 monthly charge for their modem). :happy
by Zott
Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?
Replies: 80
Views: 6258

Re: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?

As the family economist and main shopping errand boy, I have been studying this issue for many years, and have concluded that the toilet paper roll size index has suffered serious deflation over the years. Not a problem for marketers since no one has ever defined "regular" (cough, cough).
by Zott
Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Pension Question
Replies: 20
Views: 1999

Re: Defined Benefit Pension Question

How is it possible for the factor for 100% Joint & Survivor to be reduced from what it was in 2014 (0.814), when my wife will be 5 years older? That's a great question. There's got to be an actuary around here somewhere to provide a good answer. Ask and you shall receive. However, Istone19 has alre...
by Zott
Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension service credit purchase - Revised
Replies: 11
Views: 1027

Re: Pension service credit purchase

Sounds like a deal. Per immediateannuities.com, a current payment of $37,000 would yield an annuity of only about $2,400 annually (I'm assuming you are a male). So the state offer is greater by a good amount.
by Zott
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA - Over the cliff and back.
Replies: 2
Views: 656

Re: ACA - Over the cliff and back.

I don't think there would be any problem, but you'd probably have to explain/document why your income would decrease next year.
by Zott
Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living Revocable Trust
Replies: 15
Views: 1971

Re: Living Revocable Trust

I'm no expert either, but I understand that the income of a revocable (living) trust is not taxed as a trust. The income is "passed through' (not sure of the proper term) to the grantor. So in my case, all my financial assets are titled to my trust, but I report and pay federal and state income taxe...
by Zott
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AAA Insurance is increasing my home insurance premium by 47.8%!!! with no claims filed
Replies: 30
Views: 3132

Re: AAA Insurance is increasing my home insurance premium by 47.8%!!! with no claims filed

Start your quote shopping with the company you have auto insurance through. We get a good discount at USAA for having home, auto, life. It's called bundling. Yes, I am aware of bundling discount; however, the challenge is that I have my car insurance is with Geico and they do not offer home insuran...
by Zott
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Claiming Strategy review
Replies: 19
Views: 1779

Re: Social Security Claiming Strategy review

- Your wife files at age 62 for a reduced benefit based on her own PIA in early 2019. - You file for a restricted application on her benefit (spousal only) at your FRA and receive 1/2 of her PIA, even though she filed early. - You file for your own benefit anytime after your FRA, with the maximum a...
by Zott
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Frustration w/ Ally Bank, Trust Account, and Paperless Statements
Replies: 28
Views: 3126

Re: A Frustration w/ Ally Bank, Trust Account, and Paperless Statements

I've been through this for several years. At one point, a CSR manually turned off paper statements for my trust account and that worked well for a couple of years. Then last year I purchased a CD (prior to that, everything was in an Online Savings account). That automatically caused the paper statem...
by Zott
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses
Replies: 13
Views: 1489

Re: PSA: Cross country relocation expenses

Thank you for the tips and good luck in your new location.
by Zott
Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time to look at SS [When should I take Social Security?]
Replies: 55
Views: 5703

Re: Time to look at SS [When should I take Social Security?]

One fact should be kept in mind regarding the recommendation for the OP from Opensocialsecurity---that, having been born in 1953, he is eligible for a spousal benefit under a restricted application. The program recommmends that he should do that--might be different if he was born after 1953 when tha...
by Zott
Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS early-minor under 18
Replies: 9
Views: 1298

Re: SS early-minor under 18

Hello. I have a question about early SS with a minor. Although it's several years out, my husband will turn 62 when my son turns 14. From what I read, he could take SS early (w/ reduced benefits) and my son would get 50% of PIA until 18 and I would get 50% PIA until he is 16. (I would be 55) Since ...
by Zott
Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for Social Security experts
Replies: 13
Views: 1839

Re: Question for Social Security experts

I heard a financial advisor state that anyone born in 1953 or earlier can use a restricted application to file for Social Security payments. I have not taken my SS yet. I am 65 born in 1953, wife 64. She doesn't have 40 credits to claim her own SS. I want to delay claiming as long as I can so I can...
by Zott
Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy engagement ring?
Replies: 61
Views: 6214

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Pawn shop--they've got lots of "lightly used" rings. Bought my wedding band at one--still have it and the wife, both look great. :beer I bought a sapphire ring for DF(financee) (at her request) on 47th St. Apparently got one of the rarest gems in the world from Kashmir or someplace--at a bargain pri...
by Zott
Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security--Reaching Age 70 with a Restricted Application
Replies: 7
Views: 968

Re: Social Security--Reaching Age 70 with a Restricted Application

My wife filed (online) for her own benefit this past February (birthday in May) to start her own age-70 benefit after getting a spousal based upon my FRA record for the last four years. There was no problem at all. A few weeks after submitting her request, she received a call from SS concerning the...
by Zott
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security--Reaching Age 70 with a Restricted Application
Replies: 7
Views: 968

Re: Social Security--Reaching Age 70 with a Restricted Application

Thank you for the above. We'll try the online option and hope for the best. :beer
by Zott
Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security--Reaching Age 70 with a Restricted Application
Replies: 7
Views: 968

Social Security--Reaching Age 70 with a Restricted Application

My wife will reach age 70 later this year, she is now in receipt of a spousal benefit under a restricted application. Does anyone know if the SSA will automatically change her benefit to her own age 70 amount at that time? Or will she need to contact them to get that done properly (or maybe both :D ...
by Zott
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What’s your Value Colombian coffee?
Replies: 53
Views: 4158

Re: What’s your Value Colombian coffee?

If you're in a Walmart, pick up a package of their Colombian coffee just for fun. It's inexpensive and I remember enjoying it when I purchased some about a year ago. I believe it only comes ground.
by Zott
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best vehicle to administer budget for sil [sister-in-law]
Replies: 45
Views: 3657

Re: Best vehicle to administer budget for sil

thanks for all the replies! - i now understand the interplay btw gift and estate tax, thank you! - we can't talk her into working longer. - we have used a family counselor and have set boundaries for her. That's how we got her to agree to give up control of the money. Still, we're not willing to le...
by Zott
Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice will vs trust for my situation
Replies: 30
Views: 2754

Re: Need advice will vs trust for my situation

I'm not an expert either, but have done a lot of thinking about this since my situation is similar to the OP, except arguably worse since my spouse is as bad as my children with money. :oops: A trust sounds like the way to go (this is what I have done), but as bsteiner said, you don't have to set it...
by Zott
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When you look across the horizon.....
Replies: 13
Views: 1650

Re: When you kook across the horizon.....

I've been doing nothing successfully for many years now. In fact, I've discovered that the less I do, the more successful I am. :sharebeer
by Zott
Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to evaluate charities to donate to?
Replies: 36
Views: 2000

Re: How to evaluate charities to donate to?

Blue Woman and I are looking to be more charitable now that we have gotten our financial feet on the ground. How do you evaluate charities to donate to when they are not in your home town or you have a personal connection to? I have used charitynavigator.org in the past to see how efficienct non-pr...
by Zott
Tue May 01, 2018 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Restricted Application for Spousal Benefit
Replies: 27
Views: 3462

Re: Social Security Restricted Application for Spousal Benefit

Thank you all for taking the time to respond. It does look like I screwed myself by Filing and Suspending in 2016 since my wife was only 60 at the time. It seemed like all the articles at the time suggested this as the thing to do and maybe it was beneficial for some situations. So, it will apparen...
by Zott
Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High-yield savings account to be held in revocable trust
Replies: 7
Views: 1465

Re: High-yield savings account to be held in revocable trust

I have a trust account at Ally Bank. I recall that it took a bit of doing at first, but has been fine for several years.
by Zott
Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018
Replies: 51
Views: 5321

Re: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018

Yes - my recollection as well. That Congressional action was, over time, "revenue neutral" and the tampdown of the large increase was to be paid for by some folks over a multi-year period. Where does the "revenue neutral" increase or income come from that allowed the tampdown? Are we all paying for...
by Zott
Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virginia to New Jersey income tax
Replies: 20
Views: 3263

Re: Virginia to New Jersey income tax

I'm considering a move from which most people consider a medium tax state, Virginia, to what is called a high tax state, New Jersey, where almost all my family is. I realize there are many things such as car registration fees, car taxes, real estate taxes, exemption of federal pensions, etc. that e...
by Zott
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4244
Views: 1226448

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Rediscovering Nero Wolfe and my favorite, Archie Goodwin, by Rex Stout. Just finished Too Many Cooks, now on to Plot it Yourself.
by Zott
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spam calls to cell phone...
Replies: 123
Views: 15588

Re: Spam calls to cell phone...

I've got two apps on my Android phone that seem to work pretty well- --Should I Answer blocks spam calls based on community ratings for the phone number calling. Known telemarketers get a negative rating and can be blocked. --Calls Blacklist--I use this to block all spoofed calls from my area code a...
by Zott
Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Probate Required if You Fail to Include Everything in Trust, and if so what's probated
Replies: 16
Views: 2193

Re: Is Probate Required if You Fail to Include Everything in Trust, and if so what's probated

Does this "small account" have a beneficiary specified? That would usually take it out of the will.
by Zott
Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement Healthcare
Replies: 37
Views: 4430

Re: Early Retirement Healthcare

He should get on his state ACA Marketplace website starting November 1 and see what's available, and what amount of income would give him the best deal for what he wants. Don't forget to check the networks available with each policy. Did your state adopt Medicaid expansion? Could be an option but pr...
by Zott
Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing question
Replies: 17
Views: 1665

Re: Medical Billing question

Whatever the outcome, your family member should be prepared for it to happen again next year.
by Zott
Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance company will not process policy due to "unknown" cause of death
Replies: 14
Views: 3734

Re: Insurance company will not process policy due to "unknown" cause of death

Another possibility--probably unlikely--is if it is an accidental death policy (for example AD&D policies). They'd need to know the cause in that case.
by Zott
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medigap Policies--So Much Conflicting Information
Replies: 29
Views: 3698

Re: Medigap Policies--So Much Conflicting Information

I guess my concern about Plan F is that the group has no new (younger) members after 2020 and the group gets sicker. Rates increase significantly as the healthier members leave since they pass underwriting. Others could get stuck with very high rates and maybe can't get out. That's a concern and al...
by Zott
Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone used Amazon to buy household goods
Replies: 26
Views: 2770

Re: Anyone used Amazon to buy household goods

Take a look at walmart.com. We have been buying a ton of household products on there with free 2 day shipping over $35. For most food related items are also cheaper than Amazon. I'll second this and note that there seems to be a better selection online than in the store---especially as the Walmarts...
by Zott
Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Deemed filing eligibility
Replies: 10
Views: 1474

Re: SS Deemed filing eligibility

Using reasonable assumptions as to expected mortality, the calculator at Bedrock Capital indicates that spouse should file for her benefit at age 68, you should then file a restricted application for a spousal benefit at age 66, then collect your increased benefit at age 70. This is "optimal" in ter...
by Zott
Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: inherited annuity question?
Replies: 19
Views: 2205

Re: inherited annuity question?

OP--can you find her income tax returns for the last few years? If so, you can tell whether each year's distribution was reported as fully taxable or not. That might give you a clue as to what's going on. Typically an insurance company, or a bank, would want solid documentary proof that an investmen...
by Zott
Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance (Day 1)
Replies: 19
Views: 4166

Re: Inheritance (Day 1)

Sorry for your loss, but, wow, your father had the investment of a lifetime---a compounded annual return of 9.5% over 40 years! As to the logistics, you can probably have the funds wired to a brokerage account at Fidelity--into a money market fund for example. From there you can move the money where...
by Zott
Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sanity Check on Medicare Plan Compare
Replies: 6
Views: 861

Re: Sanity Check on Medicare Plan Compare

Is a Medicare Plan F -- High Deductible available in your state? If so, you may find the Scenario 1 costs more competitive in a "healthy year" using that option.
by Zott
Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mold problem in bathroom --advice?
Replies: 18
Views: 2655

Re: mold problem in bathroom --advice?

I've been where you're at. All these mold/mildew removers contain bleach, that's the ingredient that removes the mold, nothing special. But as said, it just removes surface mold. In my case, bleach works great on the shower walls, but on the floor, the mold has apparently invaded the grout and it's ...