Search found 486 matches

by Small Law Survivor
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Treat "Negative" Basis in Nondeductible IRA
Replies: 10
Views: 494

Re: How to Treat "Negative" Basis in Nondeductible IRA

Celia, I think you are looking at it backwards. If you have a basis of $5,500 and do a conversion of $5,000, your remaining basis is $500 not -$500. The math should be basis minus conversion , not conversion minus basis. However, since you see it that way, maybe our original poster does to. Small L...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best (most practical, low cost) Luggage for Airline Travel
Replies: 27
Views: 1190

Best (most practical, low cost) Luggage for Airline Travel

My wife and I are going to several locations in Italy this Fall. However, our luggage is the old, soft nylon style with two wheels and a handle. I noticed when I took a trip recently that many people in the airline terminals have "hard shell"/four wheel luggage, and I'm wondering (a) should we purch...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Treat "Negative" Basis in Nondeductible IRA
Replies: 10
Views: 494

How to Treat "Negative" Basis in Nondeductible IRA

I have made nondeductible contributions to my traditional IRA for many years. I have also done Roth conversions and recharacterizations. My current (new) accountant dug into this a bit, and I realized that my former accountant had not prepared Form 8606 for some years, and had done it incorrectly in...
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?
Replies: 160
Views: 7853

Re: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?

Swimmer wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:13 am
I was told by Costco Citi Visa that their coverage dropped from $3000 to $1500 effective July 31, 2018.
Just called Costco Citi Visa, and was told coverage is still $3,000 per person.
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?
Replies: 160
Views: 7853

Re: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?

Swimmer wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:13 am
I was told by Costco Citi Visa that their coverage dropped from $3000 to $1500 effective July 31, 2018.
Their online material still says $3,000. I'd like to know if this is correct:
https://www.cardbenefits.citi.com/~/med ... coCon.ashx
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Respond to a "Proposed Amount Due" Notice From IRS
Replies: 15
Views: 1848

Re: How to Respond to a "Proposed Amount Due" Notice From IRS

The plan described in the original post is perfectly fine. I am not sure why you think it is not possible. You can say you agree with one proposed change but disagree with the second proposed change. And you can send a payment for the change you agree with. Being questioned about a 529 withdrawal i...
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Respond to a "Proposed Amount Due" Notice From IRS
Replies: 15
Views: 1848

Re: How to Respond to a "Proposed Amount Due" Notice From IRS

Did the letter say anything about how to respond if you disagree with their findings? I would assume you need to file an amended return. The letter explicitly states that I do not need to file an amended return. Wouldn't your accountant be the starting point for this? You would think so. But, I gav...
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Respond to a "Proposed Amount Due" Notice From IRS
Replies: 15
Views: 1848

How to Respond to a "Proposed Amount Due" Notice From IRS

I received a notice from the IRS informing me that I owed $1600 in taxes for 2016. They identified two income items, each one approximately $3,000. ITEM 1: Withdrawal from 529 Plan - I withdrew $3,000 to purchase a computer for my daughter, who was a full time student in 2016. I assume I can sent th...
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical expenses while on Medicare
Replies: 48
Views: 2515

Re: Medical expenses while on Medicare

I'm 67, wife 65. I'm not on Medicare yet, still covered by employers HSA, but when I researched this last year $12,000/year, roughly speaking, was the number I came up with.
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is It Really That Difficult to Apply for Social Security Online?
Replies: 13
Views: 960

Re: Is It Really That Difficult to Apply for Social Security Online?

Do you plan on making a restricted filing for spousal benefits only, based on your wife's earnings record, at the same time as your wife applies for her benefit? Assuming you were born before 1/2/54 and are at least as old as your FRA. I still want to know how you fixed the gouge in your front porc...
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Travel Experience?
Replies: 5
Views: 696

Re: Costco Travel Experience?

Just booked a two week trip to Italy using Costco. Their web service was pretty easy to use, once I got the hang of it, and they were helpful when I called them for help on one issue. I did cross check their hotels options on Tripadvisor (Costco offers 5-10 hotel choices in each city), and that help...
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is It Really That Difficult to Apply for Social Security Online?
Replies: 13
Views: 960

Is It Really That Difficult to Apply for Social Security Online?

I recently used one of the online "for pay" services that advise on social security filing decisions. I wanted to make sure my decision to file at 70, and my wife at 66, was correct. Their analysis confirmed this. The service included a telephone call with the company, and two people were on the cal...
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?
Replies: 160
Views: 7853

Re: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?

Wow, I've learned from and benefitted so much from this post. Thank you all!
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best MacBook Value
Replies: 40
Views: 3078

Re: Best MacBook Value

I'm benefiting from this post. I'm writing this on a 2010 MBP with a 500GB physical drive. In the eight years I've owned this computer I've put 270 GB on the drive, but a big chunk of this is my iTunes MP3 collection. I rarely listen to this any more (Spotify ...), but I put a lot of effort and mone...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?
Replies: 160
Views: 7853

Re: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?

Thank you all for these responses.

You've totally educated me on this issue!

Small Law Survivor
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?
Replies: 160
Views: 7853

Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?

I've purchased the flights/hotels for a trip to Italy from Costco Travel, using a Costco Citi Visa credit card. The card provides trip cancellation insurance up to $3,000/person, which is sufficient if one of us gets ill. However, it doesn't provide medical evacuation insurance, and I'd have to purc...
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?
Replies: 24
Views: 1786

Re: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?

Learning a lot from these comments, thank you all. Second estimate tomorrow ....
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Soc Sec benefit estimates: Anyone get a nasty surprise when filing?
Replies: 61
Views: 7683

Re: Soc Sec benefit estimates: Anyone get a nasty surprise when filing?

As far as taking retroactive benefits to shift income, I don't know for sure - seems to me like that should work. Not sure how many months you can go back. You could google it or someone on here will know. My wife was under age 66 and therefore not eligible for retroactive payments (nor did she wan...
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?
Replies: 24
Views: 1786

Re: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?

At least in my neck of the woods, lots of people are ditching using chimneys as vents for various combustion producing things and opting to just directly vent out the side of the house. Sometimes you get lucky if their is enough rise and can just run a pipe but if not, they have power vents that ca...
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?
Replies: 24
Views: 1786

Re: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?

nhdean wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:54 pm
i am in New England also. I just had my chimney relined and I had to do some minor masonry work to the top of the chimney. my house is 3 stories and it came to $1300.
Maybe I'm in the wrong part of N.E.? I'm in a suburb west of Boston.
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?
Replies: 24
Views: 1786

Re: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?

What remedy is he proposing? Repairing the existing flue liner, running a stainless steel flex liner up it, or something else? I could see that cost for the former, but not the latter unless it required significant work to prepare the flue to fit flex liner in it, such as removing the rest of the t...
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?
Replies: 24
Views: 1786

Re: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Makes Sense?

Agree with advice about getting additional estimates. For comparison in 2016 I paid $2000 for 25 feet of 6" stainless steel liner and components in the Boston area. This repair was done prior to replacement of 30+ year gas-fired heating system. Hmm ... not sure what the length of this flu is, and t...
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?
Replies: 24
Views: 1786

Re: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Makes Sense?

The "urgency rating" may indeed be that high WHEN you are using your chimney for heating OR if you have another gas appliance (water heater) that vents into the same flue. My suggestion would be to get a second and maybe a third estimate. I too would find it curious that your chimney sweep didn't b...
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?
Replies: 24
Views: 1786

$4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?

I had a reputable chimney company come to my 40 year old, oil-heated house outside Boston today, to give me a quote on chimney caps. The guy was very personable, very willing to discuss my chimneys and willing to inspect my chimneys while he was here. He seemed like a very knowledgeable, straight-sh...
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Soc Sec benefit estimates: Anyone get a nasty surprise when filing?
Replies: 61
Views: 7683

Re: Soc Sec benefit estimates: Anyone get a nasty surprise when filing?

I'm not so much concerned about how much the estimate is off. In fact, someone told me that the estimate when I applied should be pretty close. What I am concerned about is how long after I submit my application I should expect to hear from them. I applied online when I got a note from SS Admin rem...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy
Replies: 34
Views: 2055

How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy

I'll be in Italy for a few weeks later this year (major cities), and I'd like to learn a little conversational Italian before I go. I know I can't learn much in this period of time, but it will be better than nothing (I hope). There are soooo many language learning programs on the Internet, and I ha...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Alarm (130 decibels)
Replies: 8
Views: 736

Personal Alarm (130 decibels)

I'd like to buy one of these for my 20-something daughter and my wife. There are many of them on Amazon. Some are triggered by a button, others by a pull chain. However, the reviews are varied, with some people complaining that the device goes off too easily. Also, I have to wonder whether an attack...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?
Replies: 65
Views: 3634

Re: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?

Timely post, since I'm trying to book a trip out of Boston to Venice/Florence/Rome.

Costco has us transferring in London with one hour between flights. Seemed too close to comfort for me ....
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?
Replies: 82
Views: 4341

Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

Have bought and sold so many guitars (acoustic, electric) and amps over the years, I couldn't even begin to count them. Always thinking about getting more.

Thinking about a Gibson ES339 right now.

Just wish I'd never sold that Fender twin reverb I owned back in 1968. :oops:
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?
Replies: 31
Views: 3654

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Thank you for all this feedback - there is nothing negative here, and I am reassured :happy One question: I would not hesitate to use them again, especially if you are executive member with the credit card. I'm not very "Costco-aware", but I'm pretty sure I am an "executive member" (paid a higher pr...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?
Replies: 31
Views: 3654

Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

I was thinking of taking my wife to Italy this Fall, and lo and behold, I received an email promoting Costco Travel. Hadn't seen it before, but I checked it out and it has what appear to be some nice packages (13 nights, Rome/Florence/Italy). Checked out the hotels included in the packages on Tripad...
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Reason to Keep My "Landline" Phone?
Replies: 65
Views: 4131

Re: Any Reason to Keep My "Landline" Phone?

I use Ooma as VoIP landline, taxes and fees comes to ∼5 per month (cost includes E911). You can also look into Obihai 2xx devices to use along with Google Voice (no ongoing cost), however if you want E911 you need subscribe to something else with a nominal fee. Could someone briefly summarize Ooma,...
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 212
Views: 13547

Re: What are your property taxes?

Toons wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:07 pm
Tn.
home 1500 sq ft
3/4 acre land.
675.00 a year.

:mrgreen:
Mass. (Boston suburb)
Home: ~3,000 sq. ft., 1 acre land
Zillow estimate: ~$800,000
Prop. taxes: ~$10,000 a year

Thinking of moving to TN 8-)
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Reason to Keep My "Landline" Phone?
Replies: 65
Views: 4131

Re: Any Reason to Keep My "Landline" Phone?

RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:56 pm
Move the number to Google Voice.

For E911 on the Verizon network, enable HD Voice and assign an address to the number.
Rick, what is HD Voice?
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Tried Youtube TV Yet?
Replies: 42
Views: 4095

Re: Anyone Tried Youtube TV Yet?

How do you get rid of the FIOS router if the signal reaches the router/modem via cable???? I think the idea is that you buy your own router - Google wifi seems very popular among Bogleheads, and has been written about here quite a bit. Note that FIOS doesn't need a "modem" - at least not one you ca...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Tried Youtube TV Yet?
Replies: 42
Views: 4095

Re: Anyone Tried Youtube TV Yet?

I upgraded to Gigabit internet with Verizon and dropped all TV and phone services. My all in cost went from over $230 a month (before contract ran out) to $125. This is exactly what I'd like to do - drop Verizon TV and phone (use cell only), and use Youtube TV, along with Netflix and Amazon Prime s...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Tried Youtube TV Yet?
Replies: 42
Views: 4095

Anyone Tried Youtube TV Yet?

I've been reading about this service: https://tv.youtube.com/welcome/ If it works smoothly/well, I'd be open to giving it a try, with the hope that eventually I could get rid of Verizon's TV service. And, if I did that, I'd be free of the Verizon FIOS router that I need to access the channel guide o...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Reason to Keep My "Landline" Phone?
Replies: 65
Views: 4131

Any Reason to Keep My "Landline" Phone?

Everyone in my family has a cell phone, and we have done our best to give our cell numbers to everyone that might need them - friends, family, doctors ..... However, we still have a Verizon landline that costs $30/month, or $360/year. The only people that seem to call it these days are calls we don'...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need new Cable Modem + Router - Please recommend
Replies: 39
Views: 2517

Re: Need new Cable Modem + Router - Please recommend

RetiredAL wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:37 pm
So Small Law, I've been doing this and work and home for years and year. Read and learn, its not all that hard to do with today's appliance type hardware.
I would love to do all these things, but at age 67 I'm not sure I have enough years left :(
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "distilled" water for wife's CPAP machine
Replies: 68
Views: 5024

Re: "distilled" water for wife's CPAP machine

My wife has a CPAP that she's used for many years. I just showed her this thread, and she said her CPAP has a water reservoir but that she doesn't fill it, and has never used it.

?? Is this OK ??
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor Wooden Steps Repair?
Replies: 19
Views: 1242

Re: Outdoor Wooden Steps Repair?

Most wood fillers won't stand up to repeated loading due to foot traffic and thermal cycling. I'm not experienced enough to recommend a good one, but if you try it, go with a durable one like epoxy - you are going to paint over it so no need to worry about color matching. "Wood filler" often means ...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need new Cable Modem + Router - Please recommend
Replies: 39
Views: 2517

Re: Need new Cable Modem + Router - Please recommend

Where did all of you go to learn networking/WiFi technology to this extent? I don't think the "average" person knows all this stuff.
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need new Cable Modem + Router - Please recommend
Replies: 39
Views: 2517

Re: Need new Cable Modem + Router - Please recommend

Dumb question, sorry: if you have a router, why do you need a modem?

I have Verizon FIOS. I have a router, that I can see, more around turn on/off. If I have a modem I'm not aware of where that is in my system. Is it possible its in the Optical Network terminal, the "ONT"?
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor Wooden Steps Repair?
Replies: 19
Views: 1242

Re: Outdoor Wooden Steps Repair?

F150HD wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:32 pm
picture?
How should I do that, technically? Upload the pic to (?) and put a link here? I can't upload to BH directly, can I?
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor Wooden Steps Repair?
Replies: 19
Views: 1242

Re: Outdoor Wooden Steps Repair?

If you are going to live there long term, I would seriously consider replacing the whole deck with Trex composite decking . Lived here 25 years, so not gong to go to Trex at this point. The biggest issue you'll likely have is getting stain to match. If you fill in a gouged out, damaged area with wo...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor Wooden Steps Repair?
Replies: 19
Views: 1242

Outdoor Wooden Steps Repair?

The front entrance to our home has a square, deck-like area of wood with a solid-color deck stain (you can't see the wood grain at all). There are about 20 planks, each about 6.5 feet long by 3.5 inches wide by 1" deep. Not certain, but pretty sure its pine. This last winter some ice must have gotte...
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your hobbies?
Replies: 59
Views: 5527

Re: What are your hobbies?

I retired almost two years ago, although I have to put a "semi-" in front of that - I go into the office (law firm) one afternoon a week. And - February - April - teach an online copyright course (CopyrightX) Write some blog post on copyright Handle some arbitrations Work out - have always loved thi...
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?
Replies: 46
Views: 4781

Re: Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?

Just looking at this again, after my post - if I were Verizon/Comcast ...etc., I'd be worried. The set-top box may soon be a thing of the past.
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?
Replies: 46
Views: 4781

Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?

This looks like an attractive alternative to Verizon FIOS TV, which is what we have now. $40/month, good range of stations, cloud-based DVR .... I have realized that the only thing we watch on Verzon TV these days is CNN and MSNBC (Rachel Maddow).

https://tv.youtube.com/welcome/
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you including SS in your planning model? Are the benefits really that high?
Replies: 148
Views: 11896

Re: Are you including SS in your planning model? Are the benefits really that high?

I don't understand why some people think SS payout is too little to be concerned with. We will get $60k at age 70 for the two of us. I would need $1.5 MM to have a 4% withdrawal rate of $60k. If I were to buy a SPIA it would cost somewhat less to generate a $60k income stream. Even with a large por...