Search found 928 matches

by CAsage
Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash flow problems - best way to handle?
Replies: 151
Views: 11229

Re: Cash flow problems - best way to handle?

Keep the car! It's cheap enough already.... Speaking as another solo parent, you really do need a reliable car with no one to pick you up at night when the old one dies. But do scrub expenses. Lower your withholding. Cut expenses like the Great Depression was around the corner - just temporarily. Is...
by CAsage
Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash flow problems - best way to handle?
Replies: 151
Views: 11229

Re: Cash flow problems - best way to handle?

There are likely some discretionary items somewhere in your budget. Is the 529s deposits legally mandated? It's pretty generous to put that much cash towards 3 years of college; in your place, I would be planning community college and then pay for the last 2 Or borrow it then, Try living like you ha...
by CAsage
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quarterly estimated taxes for 2018, but haven't filed for 2017
Replies: 3
Views: 299

Re: Quarterly estimated taxes for 2018, but haven't filed for 2017

The only thought to add is that deductions have changed a lot (depending on your SALT situation... standard deduction etc) this year, at the very least. There are some good tax estimating tools out there, so when you have time... might be good to get a better WAG on 2018. And depending on how much y...
by CAsage
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about filing taxes for deceased relative
Replies: 7
Views: 612

Re: Questions about filing taxes for deceased relative

When my mother passed away, I filed a final personal tax return for her, signing it as "executor" even though we never opened a probate with any court, sort of to close the books with the IRS. Mom had several months worth of SS, some modest interest and capital gains from her bond fund. There were n...
by CAsage
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the best way to inherit a large IRA amount
Replies: 7
Views: 933

Re: What is the best way to inherit a large IRA amount

Of course, if your parents leave their IRAs to many people, the amount would be divided up. And if those beneficiaries were unemployed, they could take the money out at the very lowest tax bracket. Note that I'm not recommending this - it is just the lowest tax hit! Seriously, your parents are VERY ...
by CAsage
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much would a new kitchen cost?
Replies: 21
Views: 1949

Re: how much would a new kitchen cost?

I don't think you could get anything for 8K. It will depend a lot on the size of the kitchen - scales up with the number of cabinets, square feet of counter, floor, whether you have to move any plumbing or electrical. And the quality/price range of the new components. And I think it varies a lot by ...
by CAsage
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?
Replies: 168
Views: 16219

Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Based on their education, employment, lifestyle ... what would you guess their income/expenses to be? If they are clearly living well now, you should assume - and state frequently - that they appear to have it all under control and there is no reason they cannot continue to manage. If they are disab...
by CAsage
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting Family Farm
Replies: 14
Views: 1646

Re: Gifting Family Farm

The step up basis is invaluable on a long-held asset. Do the daughters all want to hold it? Or sell it? Either way, getting to reset their cost basis to current fair market value is very valuable. Look into ways to pass the property easily (either a TOD or a trust) and find some other way to fund ex...
by CAsage
Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Estimated taxes for 2018
Replies: 18
Views: 1932

Re: Estimated taxes for 2018

last time I looked at this the break points on qualified dividends/capital gains rates were not quite correct. It was a few weeks ago so maybe he has corrected it. I don't think the error would be huge though. Did you email the guy (author) to let him know? I found him very responsive when I found ...
by CAsage
Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Estimated taxes for 2018
Replies: 18
Views: 1932

Re: Estimated taxes for 2018

There are several. Look for prior threads on this. Here is an excellent one (very complete, same link two names):

www.excel1040.com

https://sites.google.com/site/excel1040/
by CAsage
Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Advisor fees? Am I paying too much?
Replies: 54
Views: 4937

Re: Financial Advisor fees? Am I paying too much?

If you own individual stocks, then you don't have an expense ratio like a mutual fund. However, there are likely to be buying and selling (transaction) costs. I will also add that some $67K divided over ~48 stocks... means you are paying a lot for someone to manage many odd lots, and none are big en...
by CAsage
Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: senior investing
Replies: 26
Views: 1872

Re: senior investing

If you really need $1500 per month, that is $18,000 per year. Your current assets total $188,000. So you are withdrawing 9.6% of the capital. Yes, you will run out of money; that is simply not a sustainable rate for more than about ~10 years. Is that enough years? No one knows. How is your health an...
by CAsage
Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Advisor fees? Am I paying too much?
Replies: 54
Views: 4937

Re: Financial Advisor fees? Am I paying too much?

You are paying more than 1.5 %. The fund expenses come out of the return and are not line-itemed. I wanted to emphasize that! You are paying off the top 1.5%, every year, whether you make money or not. PLUS each and every fund you are invested in has an expense ratio (and at worst case, sales load ...
by CAsage
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I turn this mess into a 3-fund portfolio?
Replies: 4
Views: 1179

Re: Can I turn this mess into a 3-fund portfolio?

Step 1: Pick your provider (Fidelity or Vanguard) Step 2: Then get on the phone or online with the new "home' team, and initiate transfers for all the other accounts so that you end up with one HSA, one rollover IRA, one taxable account, one Roth. You might want to keep the 401K as one account and s...
by CAsage
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Suggest a book or website about trusts (revocable and otherwise)
Replies: 1
Views: 330

Re: Suggest a book or website about trusts (revocable and otherwise)

Check your library or buy a book from Nolo Press - they have an assortment of consumer education (DIY) books on estate planning, wills, trusts etc. Regardless of whether you need a lawyer to do it or not, knowledge is power. Here is one: https://www.amazon.com/Plan-Estate-Denis-Clifford-2006-03-30/d...
by CAsage
Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS free fillable form: confirmation of scheduled withdrawal?
Replies: 7
Views: 700

Re: IRS free fillable form: confirmation of scheduled withdrawal?

While one can wait until the very last day to pay bills to squeeze out that miniscule interest (my Depression-era Dad did that)... I have found that I sleep better planning for time to recover from errors, should anything you don't know about go wrong. Consider scheduling IRS payments the first week...
by CAsage
Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning to trade car with my friend. Need bogleheads' wisdom
Replies: 22
Views: 2066

Re: Planning to trade car with my friend. Need bogleheads' wisdom

Wild thought - can you get both cars titled as joint, then change it later to just drop one person? Any exclusion for transferring between relatives (should your friend turn out to be your cousin, for example). Or at least transfer it a month or two later with massive depreciation.... I transferred ...
by CAsage
Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1040 ES/V - why did my wife receive one?
Replies: 6
Views: 640

Re: 1040 ES/V - why did my wife receive one?

I just got a fat envelope from the IRS... which I sat down before I opened. It contained envelopes and forms for four 1040-ES payments and a 1040-V voucher.... none of which I need this year. I think they just send out a standard packet if you pay estimated taxes or ever owe on a return. I already g...
by CAsage
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $20,000 book - what to do with it
Replies: 34
Views: 6081

Re: $20,000 book - what to do with it

Awesome! If you can find a library that specializes in that (mystery..) type of book, that would be the best. If you are in California, the Huntington Library comes to mind. See if an expert can match you up with the best fit for a loan ... or eventual sale....
by CAsage
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mystery: Gas bill says therms increased 33% year over year but temperature stayed the same. Why?
Replies: 26
Views: 1928

Re: Mystery: Gas bill says therms increased 33% year over year but temperature stayed the same. Why?

Definitely not duct cleaning - I've always thought that was a ripoff, and definitely not for a system that's only three years old. Who is in charge of the thermostat? Any change in windows left open, people home more during the day, more hot water or cooking (as in, what else is gas used for...). I ...
by CAsage
Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refinancing school loans
Replies: 7
Views: 551

Re: Refinancing school loans

A quick google found several websites that allow you to comparison shop student loan refi - but they all vary depending on the degree, type of original loan etc. Honestly, I would hit loans B & D with every penny you can spare, and then look around. The rest of your loan rates are pretty good - I ce...
by CAsage
Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: trust accounts in dead bank
Replies: 11
Views: 1618

Re: trust accounts in dead bank

I have found that most banks can check all your accounts if you give them your SSN. Suggest trying it from that direction... and bring copies of all the old statements/1099 to the bank, so they can (perhaps) trace them (not just the account numbers, maybe they can look up old numbers). For banking, ...
by CAsage
Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax bill for an account I don’t know by the IRS every year
Replies: 21
Views: 3227

Re: Tax bill for an account I don’t know by the IRS every year

Confusing. An organization that isn't you is using your SSN to report income? I would be much more worried about how they got that, what else they are using it for.... If it's your number (but not your name?) raise heck with Smith Barney. Try their fraud department, and see if you can get copies of ...
by CAsage
Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?
Replies: 27
Views: 1680

Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

I must second any suggestion that allows you to plug in your tunes on a USB. My shiny new car has an incredible excessive audio input choice - AM, FM, XM, phone, CD, etc etc. The ONE that really worked amazing, flawlessly, and without any downsides I can perceive is the USB. I did take a few hours, ...
by CAsage
Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you know when you need a trust?
Replies: 22
Views: 3351

Re: How do you know when you need a trust?

California is generally a beneficial state to have a trust, because the probate fees are still considerable: 4% of the first $100,000 of the gross value of the probate estate. 3% of the next $100,000. 2% of the next $800,000. 1% of the next $9 million.... But if the house is covered by the revocabl...
by CAsage
Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you know when you need a trust?
Replies: 22
Views: 3351

Re: How do you know when you need a trust?

California is generally a beneficial state to have a trust, because the probate fees are still considerable: 4% of the first $100,000 of the gross value of the probate estate. 3% of the next $100,000. 2% of the next $800,000. 1% of the next $9 million.... Still a TON more than one would want to just...
by CAsage
Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: trust accounts in dead bank
Replies: 11
Views: 1618

Re: trust accounts in dead bank

Sounds like a bank/savings account at a defunct bank? Most states have registries of unclaimed property, I would search any state you lived in or banked in for those unclaimed or lost assets.
by CAsage
Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Second Marriage & Beneficiaries Conundrum
Replies: 50
Views: 4944

Re: Second Marriage & Beneficiaries Conundrum

Would it be possible to arrange your accounts so that you kept the bulk of your separate accounts (that net worth % you had before marriage) in separate accounts (possibly separate banks/brokerages, to be real clear), and then have as joint accounts only those funded with current earnings and (if ne...
by CAsage
Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV and set up recommendations for above fireplace
Replies: 35
Views: 2720

Re: TV and set up recommendations for above fireplace

Wow, the Bogleheads are sounding quite old here today. Lots of people put their TV over the fireplace! Old... or wise and experienced? Yes, house styles are changing. And lots of people do this. It's still really hard to actually watch a TV mounted that high - so, it's far from a good idea. "Lots o...
by CAsage
Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV and set up recommendations for above fireplace
Replies: 35
Views: 2720

Re: TV and set up recommendations for above fireplace

Do you envision hosting Super Bowl parties or just quiet movie nights with your family? Can you put the TV in a smaller study or lounge, or on another wall so that only part of the living room can see it? TV's over the fireplace are seen more (now that we have flat screens instead of consoles, house...
by CAsage
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Incredibly sleazy Northwestern Mutual cold caller
Replies: 78
Views: 8456

Re: Incredibly sleazy Northwestern Mutual cold caller

I enjoyed reading this detailed transcription. But I find it frightening - it takes a sharp, very on the ball person to deflect so many misstatements and attacks on someone's personal wealth. I can do it now (though not that well!) but how about in 10 years? I would guess that many less savvy people...
by CAsage
Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spoke to a financial advisor yesterday - what do you think he's up to?
Replies: 81
Views: 8926

Re: Spoke to a financial advisor yesterday - what do you think he's up to?

Solve the real problem - what is your overall estate plan should one or both of you die? That will need lots of thinking and a few magic spells (they come on parchment, and are called wills/trusts). You don't need him to play don't-peek-behind-the-green-curtain on financial fees! Clearly that part i...
by CAsage
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a quality will?
Replies: 17
Views: 1879

Re: Cost of a quality will?

Do you have a lot of significant assets right now? Thank you for the thoughtful responses. .. Since this community has much more experience than I, I've found it to be invaluable for questions like these. And you all have come through yet again! Awesome! A young family with a modest income would ha...
by CAsage
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Terminal illness with small kids
Replies: 64
Views: 11685

Re: Terminal illness with small kids

Don't forget that the kids will (based on parent's work history) be entitled to Social Security monthly support. I would think that would be the best long term financial help. I really like the idea of the family stepping in to help with daycare and child minding - that will allow Dad to focus on wo...
by CAsage
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a quality will?
Replies: 17
Views: 1879

Re: Cost of a quality will?

Suppose you viewed this like insurance - protection against a certain risk. If you presume that you own most of your assets as joint (husband/wife) and are each other beneficiaries.... What you are really insuring at this point is that your estate and children (far more critical) are properly cared ...
by CAsage
Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for 88 year old Grandmother
Replies: 13
Views: 1604

Re: Investment advice for 88 year old Grandmother

I would guess the most important thing would be to see if you are happy with the stock/bond ratio (and if it were my Grandma I would be leaning 75~80% bond/cashlike things) and then reduce the expense ratios. I am pretty happy (at 59...) with a mix of Total Bond fund and Short Corporate and CDs (tho...
by CAsage
Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it ever make sense to Itemize for me?
Replies: 16
Views: 1292

Re: Does it ever make sense to Itemize for me?

It won't take you much longer than it does to print it all out, collect the data, and drive to see the tax guy. I would think an hour would be plenty, especially after your first year. With taxable accounts, not all the "free" tax services are available, but you can use the IRS forms directly. Tax s...
by CAsage
Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is my math wrong? - How much should I save monthly?
Replies: 26
Views: 2649

Re: Is my math wrong? - How much should I save monthly?

Saving is hard. I know. You could use 12%. Then you will make it faster and can save less/spend more. :shock: There is no call to be rude. Saving is very hard, and every person is to be commended for a) having a plan and b) trying to save. It would be more helpful to add that saving money will get ...
by CAsage
Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inhertiance beneficiaries and tax deductions
Replies: 5
Views: 706

Re: Inhertiance beneficiaries and tax deductions

When my mother passed, I donated massive carloads of clothing, household goods, furniture (ok, they picked that up), luggage, etc etc. I took 100% of the tax deduction for those items, despite splitting the cash estate with my out-of-state sibling. After all, I did all the work.... Note that those h...
by CAsage
Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this too much for a kitchen?
Replies: 69
Views: 7230

Re: Is this too much for a kitchen?

Hmmm. I spent that much about two years ago for a same-footprint, no windows, granite, high-end Home Depot cabinets "Decora", well-rated but not professional appliances.... I did have quite a lot of granite (30+ free due to two long counters and a buffet).... I think with the structural moves, your ...
by CAsage
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA tax withholding from RMD
Replies: 6
Views: 637

Re: CA tax withholding from RMD

I have gotten that message within Taxcut anytime I owe CA state taxes - and my plan is to owe less than $100 each April to both State and Fed! Kind of a game, I try to estimate it closely... So the real issue is that you are under-withheld overall, not that last RMD is the issue. A penalty might app...
by CAsage
Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: re-siding house - vinyl or hardiplank?
Replies: 54
Views: 5659

Re: re-siding house - vinyl or hardiplank?

I have never understood how vinyl would be considered a good option.. anywhere, ever. I have Hardie shingles on my freestanding garage (two sides, with the wall-facing sides sheathed in the Hardie 4x8' sheets). The stuff is awesome - doesn't shrink or droop, you can patch it like wood if you ding it...
by CAsage
Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA tax withholding from RMD
Replies: 6
Views: 637

Re: CA tax withholding from RMD

So we presume you had CA estimated taxes withheld and the RMD was late in the year? I would ignore the tax software advisory message and pick the option that says "let them calculate and send me a bill". I think (guess?) that you truly don't owe a penalty and the software is just ... limited.
by CAsage
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bathroom remodel decision
Replies: 41
Views: 2436

Re: Bathroom remodel decision

I'm going to go with the contrarian position. I hate double sinks - twice as much faucet/drain/edges to clean, amazing waste of below cabinet space (almost unusable compared to more drawers), twice as expensive to install... And I would really prefer a larger shower with a bench seat, or niches, or ...
by CAsage
Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home equity loan vs. retirement plan loan
Replies: 19
Views: 1408

Re: Home equity loan vs. retirement plan loan

In the past, I found HELOC (home equity line of credit) that you could qualify for with no fee or expenses outside flat interest.
by CAsage
Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Refinancing Advice - First Home Buyer
Replies: 9
Views: 713

Re: Home Refinancing Advice - First Home Buyer

7/1 ARM could save $$$ over 7 years and invest that money would yield higher returns and also salary would go up after 7 years vs if we lock down 30 years for 4% it is still below the average mortgage rates for 30year fixed in the US for the past 30 years. Please advise. The correct phrase is that ...
by CAsage
Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Large withdrawal in retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 836

Re: Large withdrawal in retirement

The market has not dropped that much! The real question is, after that withdrawal, can you live on ~3% of the remainder with your other income? What impact will this big withdrawal have on your income taxes for this year? (if so, consider a short term mortgage and pay it off over a couple years). Be...
by CAsage
Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safe to file taxes now?
Replies: 57
Views: 5311

Re: Safe to file taxes now?

My brokerage forms matched what I expected, so I filed last week (the day after I got the forms). Big refund due to massive charitable contributions brought on by the tax debacle - I donated 10 years worth of charity to write it off now. So, unexpected refund.... And I want it now!
by CAsage
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifting to Parent who might need Medicaid Nursing Home
Replies: 21
Views: 2165

Re: Gifting to Parent who might need Medicaid Nursing Home

At 84, you might look into what the maximum assets she would have to get into a Medicaid nursing home. I tend to think people should pay their own way... and you might have better choices in nicer facilities with more cash. Is there any reason you aren't pulling principal from her assets instead of ...
by CAsage
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help! Preparing for Taxes
Replies: 8
Views: 659

Re: Help! Preparing for Taxes

This is determinable! Find out what your capital gains are ... then look at your income or last tax return and find out what your "marginal" tax rate is (you can look at those tedious tax tables, find where your income falls). You will owe that % percentage of the gains.... You can calculate that, a...