Search found 612 matches

by CAsage
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversions...did I miss the boat?
Replies: 6
Views: 987

Re: Roth conversions...did I miss the boat?

And research "Roth Horse Race" as a subset tactic in Roth conversions - should we be blessed with a market crash, you can convert more shares when they are cheaper. There are multiple posts on this already, with excellent advice from Celia.
by CAsage
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Little as possible for govt
Replies: 9
Views: 1289

Re: Little as possible for govt

529s accounts for grandchildren's college? Strangely enough, you can open a 529s account now for either your children, or yourselves, and then change the beneficiary much later, to a fairly flexible list of relatives .... Very helpful if stock market goes up. Or to shelter interest on plain old savi...
by CAsage
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips on Preparing will
Replies: 12
Views: 871

Re: Tips on Preparing will

Sounds like you just want a short term will to cover 'the worst' until you get around to doing a better plan (which might involve a trust, or other estate planning tools like TOD, beneficiaries etc). This might be to designate guardians for your children - you REALLY need a will if you have kids. Th...
by CAsage
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Basic portfolio math question
Replies: 6
Views: 480

Re: Basic portfolio math question

Your math sort of makes sense - adding two portfolios together to calculate asset %s would be right. Personally, I think a guaranteed income stream (like SS) is bond-like, and many people do calculate the PV to count that. Personal choice. However, you might be a little sporty to contain your next 1...
by CAsage
Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Simplifying portfolio
Replies: 41
Views: 3010

Re: Simplifying portfolio

Awesome to see someone taking control! With separate children, I would not combine taxable accounts, and of course you both will keep your separate IRA-type accounts. You can easily buy/sell assets in your tax-deferred accounts because there aren't any capital gains issues, so once you determine you...
by CAsage
Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do any apps or tools do this in place of spreadsheets?
Replies: 13
Views: 1166

Re: Do any apps or tools do this in place of spreadsheets?

Personally, I just check my net worth assets occasionally, then look at things like asset diversification, tax considerations. Vanguard keeps track of my capital gains and prior transactions, should I need that. The past is past; how well I did 10 years ago was not helpful to me. If you can't take a...
by CAsage
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question regarding estimated taxes
Replies: 6
Views: 388

Re: Tax question regarding estimated taxes

To phrase an answer in different words ... you need to create an estimated tax return for 2017 based on your best guess of all income etc. A good starting point for that would be the 2016 HRBlock Taxcut. If you did your own taxes, then take last year's file, and create a new pretend file to estimate...
by CAsage
Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Projecting Tax Liability - Assistance Required
Replies: 5
Views: 286

Re: Projecting Tax Liability - Assistance Required

Another question I had is, in our scenario, the salary split between my wife and I is about 70/30. Does it make any difference which salary we end up doing the additional withholding from? As long as you are filing married jointly, it doesn't matter. You could split it either way.... The totals go ...
by CAsage
Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Projecting Tax Liability - Assistance Required
Replies: 5
Views: 286

Re: Projecting Tax Liability - Assistance Required

You are handling this tax situation properly so far - kudos for doing a great job estimating your taxes for this year (and looking ahead). To lower your "tax bill" next April, you can specify an amount to be withheld in addition to the normal withholding via the W-4. Sometimes that takes a pay cycle...
by CAsage
Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone else not liking the new cars?
Replies: 75
Views: 4978

Re: anyone else not liking the new cars?

I have to agree about the amazingly ugly grills - looks like it's going to chew something up. I had a Camry I loved... and just bought a 2017 Honda Accord hybrid - way nicer design than Toyota, and excellent reliability. I happen to like the seats, and the new controls - most things are push button,...
by CAsage
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Father passed away - what to do with fund accounts
Replies: 7
Views: 1086

Re: Father passed away - what to do with fund accounts

Who is the Executor? Is there a will or a trust? How were those assets titled? How is the house title held? Was there any life insurance? That will help direct you.... For example, if it was all joint with Mom, then she gets it. If it was in an IRA, who are the beneficiaries? The mortgage passes wit...
by CAsage
Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does Vanguard make sense without a computer ?
Replies: 22
Views: 2218

Re: Does Vanguard make sense without a computer ?

You can do a very respectable Bogle investment plan with Fidelity or Schwab (index funds only!) and they have walk in offices. Just a thought.
by CAsage
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tracing House Wiring
Replies: 10
Views: 750

Re: Tracing House Wiring

Two people with a cell phone and one of those little widgets you plug into an outlet to show power? Basically, walk the whole house, turning on/off all lights and check one room at a time. It's likely the house will be in zones; my 1940's era ranch has all bedroom overhead lights on one, outlets (in...
by CAsage
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money
Replies: 34
Views: 2548

Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

My depression era Dad (God bless him) would make me and my sibling combine our little school supply purchases at the cashier to save the penny that we might have wasted due to rounding on sales tax - drove me nuts because of course then we had to split out the cost. He tried to convince me to use fe...
by CAsage
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Question
Replies: 19
Views: 897

Re: Tax Question

Take a look at last year's tax return, and read up a bit on the IRS website. There are many factors that go into what tax bracket you are in (as in, lots of subtractions - deductions, exemptions). Your taxable accounts are taxed whenever they generate or throw off income. For example, interest on a ...
by CAsage
Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funding and buying my parents retirement home? Question on contract and siblings
Replies: 4
Views: 697

Re: Funding and buying my parents retirement home? Question on contract and siblings

You are right to be careful, could get messy! How is the property titled? Hopefully clear (per your state) that it's separately owned and inheritable, not joint tenants. I will note that buying out their half from a future improved and greatly increased price might not be to your benefit. Do you for...
by CAsage
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]
Replies: 203
Views: 13508

Re: Hope I'm not unwittingly wading into anything here...

Suggestion: You will get much better responses with a specific, focused title like: "Difference between a Boglehead and Mr. Money Mustache?". Your title sounds way too.... vague.
by CAsage
Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Selling gold jewelry
Replies: 17
Views: 1499

Re: Selling gold jewelry

Assuming it has no value as jewelry, look at http://www.midwestrefineries.com/. I sent a small box of scrap silver & gold to these people and got a check in days - they discuss pricing on their website and I HIGHLY recommend them! This has been a prior recommendation I learned about on this site. A...
by CAsage
Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PostDoc Grant - No W/H, Didn't Pay Estimated Taxes
Replies: 20
Views: 1739

Re: PostDoc Grant - No W/H, Didn't Pay Estimated Taxes

Prior advice on spot. Note that you should probably figure out what your projected tax liability is for this year based on total household income and determine what you have already paid. As in, do a projected tax return. The taxes owed can be paid out of your withholding as well, so if you think yo...
by CAsage
Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Prevent mail theft; sign for USPS Informed Delivery]
Replies: 179
Views: 11212

Re: [Prevent mail theft; sign for USPS Informed Delivery]

Some time ago, I signed up for a rarely-used, pretty much forgotten account at USPS.com to order stamps. Bad move, in hindsight. After reading a bit on this subject on Krebs Security, I looked back over there.... and found that my old account has Informed Delivery whether I wanted it or not. And I a...
by CAsage
Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does my Honda CRV need servicing?
Replies: 11
Views: 927

Re: Does my Honda CRV need servicing?

Whoa. I must be really old school! I've had a '67 VW, '82 BMW, 2000 Camry (and something flashy briefly in the middle). I just bought a shiny new 2017 and have not looked at the manual. Don't cars still have brake fluid, transmission fluid, air filters, window washer fluids? Assume that tires, batte...
by CAsage
Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RE tax question
Replies: 10
Views: 489

Re: RE tax question

If he made any "capital improvements" to the building, any money he spent on materials or outside labor would increase his cost basis. He should have receipts for these expenditures. Repairs that are not improvements do not count for this. Excellent advice - start brainstorming now, list every impr...
by CAsage
Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 174
Views: 17757

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

In California, when you get a document notarized, the notary checks your ID, writes down the Drivers License # and takes a thumbprint. Might want to track down that notary!
by CAsage
Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refund from Home Closing - 13+ years later (!?)
Replies: 12
Views: 1613

Re: Refund from Home Closing - 13+ years later (!?)

I had thought that checks were only valid from most businesses for 6 months... regardless of how one defaces the front! Would the entity that issued the check still honor it? Account still open? I would guess (not sure...) that it would have to be reissued? Very strange.
by CAsage
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion and Recharacterization [theory] ?
Replies: 34
Views: 1905

Re: Roth Conversion and Recharacterization ?

Epsilon Delta, thank you! Then, I just need to wade through some examples to see how multiple conversions will play out in a declining market, with the assumption I recharacterize all except the last (lowest price) one..... and hope I model it right! Celia, that formula gets you dollars, but they ar...
by CAsage
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion and Recharacterization [theory] ?
Replies: 34
Views: 1905

Re: Roth Conversion and Recharacterization ?

Celia, I have also been trying to digest what rules apply in this situation, and what multiple conversions (to either one account with a starting balance, or multiple conversion accounts, all one fund). Most examples I have read do not talk about doing multiple conversions over a year, prior to rech...
by CAsage
Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion and Recharacterization [theory] ?
Replies: 34
Views: 1905

Re: Roth Conversion and Recharacterization ?

Fascinating! Prior examples I've seen discussed how a Roth with a mix of Asset A & B, where one went up and one went down, would result in the recharacterized amount being taken from both (bad), which of course is from that formula I had not seen before. So, it might not matter if I had only one Fun...
by CAsage
Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion and Recharacterization [theory] ?
Replies: 34
Views: 1905

Re: Roth Conversion and Recharacterization ?

Your method of implementation certainly works to avoid recharacterization problems, and avoids the need to open new accounts. However, it does require that the assets in each of the conversion accounts never be changed, rebalanced, or transferred to other accounts. It also negates one's ability to ...
by CAsage
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion and Recharacterization [theory] ?
Replies: 34
Views: 1905

Re: Roth Conversion and Recharacterization ?

The Wiki is unnecessarily strict on the 'open a new account every time" rule. Come on, Sage. It is a clear way of telling people what should be done without have to worry about all the and s, if s, and but s. For example, look how convoluted the answer to this problem can be: ... I am not clear if ...
by CAsage
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Throwing Down with a Primerica Advisor
Replies: 45
Views: 3201

Re: Throwing Down with a Primerica Advisor

Can this Advisor show you that the only fund they were recommending 20 years ago was that one? What about all the losers? Have a quick discussion about survivorship bias - all the losing funds they don't talk about. Of course, after the fact anyone can research the data and find a managed fund or th...
by CAsage
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?
Replies: 37
Views: 1605

Re: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?

You can hit an ATM at the airport when you land, but I would suggest just getting a few (those are not banks, and they cost more). Any real bank ATM (walk around, they are all over big cities) can give you Euros without excessive fees. And yes, charge everything you can on a card that does not have ...
by CAsage
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Alliant/SaveDaily HSA closing and state taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 297

Re: Alliant/SaveDaily HSA closing and state taxes

Would the tax liability be because you liquidate WITHIN the HSA, or because you cash it out? Can you not just sell whatever it's in and go to cash, then transfer and reinvest? Confused. I thought HSA withdrawals were only taxable if not used when withdrawn for medical expenses.... so I am unclear he...
by CAsage
Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New mortgage, should I refinance .
Replies: 17
Views: 1404

Re: New mortgage, should I refinance .

If you can get a loan with an APR that is lower than your current mortgage, or a no-cost, no-fee loan rate that is lower than your current rate, you will be ahead if you refinance. Personally, I would do it for a .25% lower rate, and might even for 0.125% ! Kind of a personal decision - I refinanced...
by CAsage
Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Class Stamps on Large Packages
Replies: 26
Views: 1780

Re: First Class Stamps on Large Packages

I don't think plain old first class letter mail gets a tracking number. First class packages and other certain services (which cost more, naturally) seem to such as certified or priority mail. And stamps are same as cash at USPS.

https://www.usps.com/ship/mail-shipping-services.htm
by CAsage
Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion and Recharacterization [theory] ?
Replies: 34
Views: 1905

Re: Roth Conversion and Recharacterization ?

The Wiki is unnecessarily strict on the 'open a new account every time" rule. What really bites you in the behind is having a destination Roth IRA with more than one kind of asset in it - because if you recharacterize they prorate the $$ from both winners and losers (and you can't specify). To prote...
by CAsage
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take out of emergency savings to pay off auto loan?
Replies: 7
Views: 551

Re: Take out of emergency savings to pay off auto loan?

Meh. With a one year payoff, and a relatively modest difference in the interest on savings (which is taxable, of course) or the loan (not deductible), it's really kind of a wash. Mathematically, you would be ahead to pay off the loan, but it's not going to be a big swinger. How secure is your job, d...
by CAsage
Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust or ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1202

Re: Trust or ?

"Fault" is probably not a productive concept here. My darling mother was a bank teller years ago, and successfully ran a household on a very thin budget. However, she had absolutely no understanding or interest or willingness (and possibly no ability) to learn anything more complex about finance tha...
by CAsage
Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403(B) advisor advice to wife
Replies: 36
Views: 2673

Re: 403(B) advisor advice to wife

If S&P500 is the only holding in your entire portfolio, then advisor might be right about lack of international diversification. However, the obvious solution would be to hold international stock elsewhere in your portfolio, such as an IRA or brokerage account. I would not invest in an active or pa...
by CAsage
Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust or ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1202

Re: Trust or ?

Interesting dilemma - protect your wife from herself. If you feel the adult kids would generally not push, and your wife would not make rash calls, then I would suggest that she hire a modestly priced adviser, something like the Vanguard PAS at 0.3%. They could handhold things like investing, consol...
by CAsage
Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: MF or ETF for 15 year old son - tax implications
Replies: 6
Views: 321

Re: MF or ETF for 15 year old son - tax implications

When would that be, as a minor or years from now? How is the ownership held? Are you planning on including it in your income?
by CAsage
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited house from spouse
Replies: 8
Views: 652

Re: Inherited house from spouse

The fact that you were on the note is irrelevant to the title. And you sold it less than two years since your wife died, then you don't qualify for the tax free $250k rule. Did you make any capital improvements to the house between when your wife died and you sold that you could add to the cost basi...
by CAsage
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth to Traditional to Roth conversion?
Replies: 8
Views: 547

Re: Roth to Traditional to Roth conversion?

Conversions don't have annual contribution limits or ties. Of course, assuming you are eligible for deducting it in 2017, if you convert it in 2018, you will just shift that income forward a year (add it back to 2018 AGI). There would be (I think....) no incentive to repeating this, as it breaks eve...
by CAsage
Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor roth question
Replies: 6
Views: 809

Re: Backdoor roth question

The IRS rounds to the nearest dollar, and even interest payments under $10 are not reported for your 1040 (not sure about why....). S I don't think it will matter at all, but can you get them to send you a check or close the darn thing? This isn't quite right (statement about "not reported for your...
by CAsage
Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Update W4 if I purchased a home but rent someplace else?
Replies: 4
Views: 428

Re: Update W4 if I purchased a home but rent someplace else?

You need to do the hard work of actually calculating your taxes, based on (possibly) deducting the mortgage interest or taxes, offsetting that with the income from rent. Look into rental income or landlord tax ramifications. Then you can decide about the W4.
by CAsage
Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor roth question
Replies: 6
Views: 809

Re: Backdoor roth question

The IRS rounds to the nearest dollar, and even interest payments under $10 are not reported for your 1040 (not sure about why....). S I don't think it will matter at all, but can you get them to send you a check or close the darn thing?
by CAsage
Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth Refinancing?
Replies: 12
Views: 968

Re: Worth Refinancing?

Yes, no cost, no fee loans are real. Whether they are worth doing depends on your current rate and what the current rate is for those wonderful loans. You need to shop around and decide. I refinanced more than once per year as rates dropped over the past years; they don't care, there are no penaltie...
by CAsage
Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Simplifying portfolio
Replies: 41
Views: 3010

Re: Simplifying portfolio

First, the tax-sheltered old 401k and IRAs can all be merged into one rollover IRA (note: not if you want to do back door IRA, research separately if that is an issue and see if you can instead move old 401k into new 401k). For the taxable accounts, list all of them by name, and see what the current...
by CAsage
Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Novice doing some tax planning for 2018
Replies: 21
Views: 1832

Re: Novice doing some tax planning for 2018

I delight in planning my taxes several years out for various reasons (budgeting for Estimated taxes, Roth conversions, whatever). I do my own taxes, and found it helpful to construct a simple Excel model to play with slight variations; once you have it pretty well honed you can tinker with a line he...