Search found 706 matches

by CAsage
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage question
Replies: 6
Views: 406

Re: Mortgage question

Can you put a bigger down payment or shop for another lender? That lender sounds ghastly!
by CAsage
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling Gold Jewelry
Replies: 1
Views: 247

Re: Selling Gold Jewelry

Midwest Refineries. Awesome, fast, pays well.

http://www.midwestrefineries.com/
by CAsage
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 20062

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

Cyclesafe wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:28 pm

It looks like I would be able to deduct in 2017 90% of my projected 2018 CA state tax obligation.
That is perfect - exactly what I would be trying for! I got 1.5 years worth of property taxes and half my 2018 CA SALT - as good as I can make it.
by CAsage
Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 20062

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

TurboTax iterations indicated that the potential benefit any further prepayment of CA state income tax will be negated by the incurrence of AMT. Furthermore, incremental increases in income at this point are taxed at 32%! Danger, Will Robinson! I found that a massive (ten year's worth, in my case, ...
by CAsage
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Room and Board Deposit a 529 Qualified Expense?
Replies: 6
Views: 669

Re: Is Room and Board Deposit a 529 Qualified Expense?

My sister had IRS issues in the past when 529s money was disbursed in a different year than the school bill - I would avoid that if at all possible. Personally, I would also avoid withdrawing more than your actual expenses if possible, though I would use the COA as a guideline for off-campus housing...
by CAsage
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 20062

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

Form W-4 is for federal allowances, but I think for the case at hand it is state withholdings that matter: form DE 4 for Cali and its equivalent for other states. DE 4, yes. My point still stands though - I don't see a way to effectively use this approach for regular people (not self-employed) with...
by CAsage
Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 20062

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

How exactly would one reduce withholdings next year by enough to avoid overpayment? Raise the number of exemptions on your W-4 (that form you file with HR to tinker with withholding...._) Keep adjusting til you get it right! There are instructions on how to calculate the right number, but I've foun...
by CAsage
Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Accelerating deductions into 2017
Replies: 5
Views: 664

Re: Accelerating deductions into 2017

Beat to death, and also explored well, in depth, etc:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=233726
by CAsage
Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Office party secret santa, how to give the gift of investing?
Replies: 17
Views: 756

Re: Office party secret santa, how to give the gift of investing?

Sounds about as much fun as a new toothbrush and floss. "Investing" is hard work, requires time and willingness to learn about it. You can't "gift" that, and one share of stock is a royal pain to own or sell....
by CAsage
Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA-Vanguard
Replies: 6
Views: 534

Re: Roth IRA-Vanguard

Think of the settlement fund like the mailbox on your house - it's an interim placeholder. Stuff goes in there, and it can sit for a while, but then you need to move it inside. I get monthly rollovers from a prior employer, and the check goes into my IRA settlement fund, and as soon as I see it, I b...
by CAsage
Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to report property tax
Replies: 6
Views: 346

Re: How to report property tax

I've always despised escrow accounts since I like to control every penny... but if I recall, the property tax bill used to go to your bank, and it will (in the fullness of time) get re-addressed to you now that the mortgage is paid. Mine comes with little coupons that show the property tax billed. I...
by CAsage
Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help trying to simplify asset allocation to fit 3 fund portfolio
Replies: 12
Views: 983

Re: Help trying to simplify asset allocation to fit 3 fund portfolio

General thought - push the long term highest potential earners to your Roth IRA, then other IRA type accounts. While conventional advice avoids bonds in taxable accounts due to taxes.... with interest so low today, that's really not a big issue. Bonds are for ballast and stability, not to get rich -...
by CAsage
Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Estimated Taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 752

Re: Pay Estimated Taxes

If you are filing married, then you need to ensure that you (together) have paid enough state and federal taxes. You can do an estimate using either last year's return as a model, or purchased tax software since this is new for you (there might be free online estimators, but I like to do it myself t...
by CAsage
Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-Pay Property Taxes in 2017?
Replies: 23
Views: 2249

Re: Pre-Pay Property Taxes in 2017?

If my rate in 2017 results in a tax bill of 50K say, and I pre pay 2K of property tax, I save that extra 2K on my final tax bill. If my rate in 2018 is lower and I get a tax bill of 30K but deduct the 2K of property tax in that year instead, I still save 2K on my final tax bill right? If you deduct...
by CAsage
Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-Pay Property Taxes in 2017?
Replies: 23
Views: 2249

Re: Pre-Pay Property Taxes in 2017?

I curious as to how much this really helps though. I know the answer is to "model it yourself" but to me, it just seems like you are moving the tax bill from one year to another. The deduction comes straight off the tax owed right? So I'm not affecting my income level and my tax *rate*. Assuming it...
by CAsage
Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Are So Many Companies Announcing Share Buyback?
Replies: 32
Views: 2910

Re: Why Are So Many Companies Announcing Share Buyback?

The last time that companies were allowed to repatriate foreign profits to the U.S. at favorable rates, the repatriated money mostly got spent on stock buybacks. Thought the whole idea was to reinvest the funds in the actual business. The whole idea of the business is to maximize profit - reinvesti...
by CAsage
Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quit jobs to gain lower EFC [Expected Family Contribution]
Replies: 89
Views: 5895

Re: Quit jobs to gain lower EFC

Is everyone assuming that lowering the EFC will actually result in money appearing from somewhere else, or would it just be more student loans? I had not thought it was so readily available.... Facing this shortly.
by CAsage
Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice whether my mother needs a trust and if so finding trust services for lower amounts?
Replies: 2
Views: 286

Re: Advice whether my mother needs a trust and if so finding trust services for lower amounts?

Is there no one trustworthy to act as Trustee for the various grandchildren? If the children are responsible, leave their portions outright and create testamentary (as in, created in the will) trusts for the grandchildren. The number of grandchildren may change.... Anyhow my point is that you don't ...
by CAsage
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 20062

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

It will also appear as a corresponding refund of state taxes on my 2018 filing increasing my liability for next year. Rather than a refund (bad, avoid) how about just designating that to be applied to your 2018 estimated taxes? The IRS does not get a copy of my state tax return, though the state do...
by CAsage
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 20062

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

What difference does it make if one prepays 2018, or overpays 2017 ? As long as it is done before 12/31 it is itemized against the 2017 taxes. Big difference. Because a 2017 overpayment will generate a form 1099-R as income taxable in 2018. Negating the deduction you took for it in 2017. If applied...
by CAsage
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 20062

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

It will also appear as a corresponding refund of state taxes on my 2018 filing increasing my liability for next year. Rather than a refund (bad, avoid) how about just designating that to be applied to your 2018 estimated taxes? The IRS does not get a copy of my state tax return, though the state do...
by CAsage
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 20062

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

I have overpaid (somewhat by accident) my 2017 SALT. And I deliberately paid about 60% of my 2018 SALT this month in order to deduct it all in 2017. I am a 'cash' taxpayer, and pay taxes on what goes in and out in each year. I will DEDUCT every penny I paid in 2017 and 2018 estimated taxes on my 201...
by CAsage
Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Making Best Use of Being in 15% Income Tax Bracket This Year
Replies: 22
Views: 2952

Re: Making Best Use of Being in 15% Income Tax Bracket This Year

Converting to Roth IRA is always a good idea (is it all pretax?). It's especially useful to get rid of all that pre-tax IRA so that you can do "back door" Roth conversions later (and your total IRA holdings play into the tax on that...) Or selling short term gains. Or get a holiday job!
by CAsage
Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 20062

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

You've probably got a problem if you're using commercial software and you try to override the amount of state tax paid on your State return to not equal the amount on your federal return. That just means a manual state return I guess. My post referred to someone overpaying their 2017 State estimate...
by CAsage
Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 20062

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

TurboTax (or equivalent) is the safest way. After sitting in front of my computer (bless Excel) for an evening or two.... I modeled my taxes using last year's form to add income lines, subtract my deductions, and then exactly duplicated the formulas for calculating the AMT that applied to me (very f...
by CAsage
Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 20062

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

All that "making a generous estimate" will do is increase your refund which will then be taxable next year. You have to think of some legal way to pay the tax and have it not show up on your 2017 state return as a payment Disagree. According to the CA 540 form Line 72 instructions, for this year's ...
by CAsage
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 20062

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

I can personally vouch that the CA Franchise Tax Board online payment systems for estimated taxes allows you to choose which tax year it applies to, and that includes 2018. Tragically AMT limits how much some can pay... but I paid every 2018 penny I could. Massive Charitable Donor Funding helps lowe...
by CAsage
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Donor Advised Funds - Transfer?
Replies: 8
Views: 309

Re: Donor Advised Funds - Transfer?

Thank you all for reassuring me! I will open a second DAF at Fidelity for my smaller (as in, usual) grants and keep Vanguard for the biggies (local school district Ed Foundation, for example). I will consolidate it all to Fidelity next year, but out of pity for the overworked staff.... not right now...
by CAsage
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-Pay Property Taxes in 2017?
Replies: 23
Views: 2249

Re: Pre-Pay Property Taxes in 2017?

In California, we get billed annually with two payments, one due in October and one due in February. It is quite possible to pay last years February and both new Oct & Feb in one year (i.e.1.5 years worth) and the next year pay just the October (.5 years worth) but not double up. From prior posts on...
by CAsage
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Donor Advised Funds - Transfer?
Replies: 8
Views: 309

Donor Advised Funds - Transfer?

I just opened a Vanguard Charitable Donor Advised funds for tax purposes this month. Will be deducting many future years of charitable giving in 2017 (nothing radical there, DAF are quite common). However, not having read the Fine Print very carefully, I just realized Vanguard's minimum grant to a c...
by CAsage
Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Damsel In Distress
Replies: 15
Views: 2501

Re: Help Damsel In Distress

Suggest you spend some time on the Wiki pages here on this site, lots of good background. Or read a basic book on investing to get familiar with the terms and concepts. Putting your IRA funds into one of the retirement dated funds, such as the Vanguard 2030 fund, would give you an all-in-one balance...
by CAsage
Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experiences with Alliant Credit Union
Replies: 6
Views: 459

Re: Experiences with Alliant Credit Union

I use Alliant and found them perfectly fine, bare-bones, reliable but not flashy. They do reimburse ATM fees (up to ? $20/month more than I ever use!). Opening an account with that backdoor thing was quite easy, I think they might even pay it for you. I only use their checking/savings because those ...
by CAsage
Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones trap
Replies: 45
Views: 5246

Re: Edward Jones trap

I have had snooty friends with financial advisers tell me that 'you get what you pay for" and that I would be sorry in the long run for managing my own investments when the professionals do soooooooooooooo much better. I think they view it as a status thing - "My finance guy says this or that..." I ...
by CAsage
Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: selling stock to an individual
Replies: 6
Views: 616

Re: selling stock to an individual

Can OP gift the stock to a family member (who might gift back some cash at the next dinner...). If you gift it, does it not retain the cost basis? I'm not sure, just thinking out loud. How much stock are we talking about?
by CAsage
Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning question (should we add beneficiaries to savings account?)
Replies: 33
Views: 1927

Re: Estate planning question (should we add beneficiaries to savings account?)

DO NOT let your wife pay all the bills and have the siblings take any cash without being sure you have enough..... The three-way split is AFTER expenses! Respectfully, could you explain how the OP's wife does this, when the two SILs have already shown up at the bank with mom's death certificate? IF...
by CAsage
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning question (should we add beneficiaries to savings account?)
Replies: 33
Views: 1927

Re: Estate planning question (should we add beneficiaries to savings account?)

Alan S nailed it on the IRAs! I would recommend putting beneficiaries (aka Transfer on Death or Pay on Death) on that savings account, possibly something like 50% to your wife, 25% to each other sibling with the understanding that the 25% extra is used for final expenses or costs for the house etc. ...
by CAsage
Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discovered debt
Replies: 63
Views: 7601

Re: Discovered debt

Amazing post. I think one of the most important "take aways" for people reading this is to realize the critical importance of running those annual credit reports (free, right?) once a year for BOTH spouses and going over them - together. If one spouse is contributing zip to the household, they are g...
by CAsage
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 17465

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

For me, either of those would provide more lasting emotional benefit than a 2 week vacation. I think that is key. "For you". People do get long lasting things out of vacations - memories, time with friends and families, lots of joy planning the trip and reliving the photos.... I think the debate wa...
by CAsage
Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TVs: Go for $0 or $300
Replies: 17
Views: 1764

Re: TVs: Go for $0 or $300

I'd keep the old one and upgrade it to use in the other room for free - there isn't that much content yet for 4k, and the cheap sets aren't that good. It's better than what's in there!
by CAsage
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daycare Parting Gift
Replies: 16
Views: 1116

Re: Daycare Parting Gift

I will strongly suggest a loving handwritten note from you, as well as something cute from your child (drawing or a nice thank you) and cash or check or gift card. When your child moves on, the relationship is over. People don't need more "things" in their lives, especially decorative items. Cash or...
by CAsage
Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Car (Nissan Leaf) for a teen driver?
Replies: 43
Views: 3117

Re: Electric Car (Nissan Leaf) for a teen driver?

I really like the idea of most families' second (or third car) being all-electric! Sounds like a great plan for a HS student.
by CAsage
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New TV for Father
Replies: 22
Views: 1678

Re: New TV for Father

Check Consumer's Reports. That is always a much better guide to getting a good (anything) than random bloggers.....
by CAsage
Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying for news?
Replies: 60
Views: 4063

Re: Paying for news?

Real Journalism costs money, and with print ad-supported journalists losing their jobs as newspapers close, there are fewer around. Most of what is on the internet is complete garbage - all "hot" junk to get you to click and read, with little credibility or depth ..... I subscribe to a couple good m...
by CAsage
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice needed for parent's finances
Replies: 38
Views: 3780

Re: Advice needed for parent's finances

Lots of good advice already, adding some minor thoughts. You certainly can manage her accounts online, my brother did that for my Mom at Vanguard (get the form signed). Your Mom's last tax return folder should have statements or 1099 forms for those accounts, they will at least give you all the acco...
by CAsage
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 15256

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

Before i paid off my car the interest rate was 1%. My online savings account is earning 1.3%. I do really like being debt free though. But am i missing out on cheap money? Like in most financial decisions, the numbers matter. Vanguard CA tax-free intermediate fund is paying 1.77%, and my new car lo...
by CAsage
Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New member needs advice on portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 765

Re: New member needs advice on portfolio

Gradually shifting your asset allocation by directing new funds towards the underweighted asset (stock, in this case) might be a gentle way of reallocating (given the peaky stock market...). Also, I would look at the plethora of bond funds in the 401K and see if you can consolidate them to fewer.......
by CAsage
Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best strategy for selling cell phone on Ebay?
Replies: 33
Views: 1819

Re: Best strategy for selling cell phone on Ebay?

I've been selling on eBay for nearly a decade now. It used to be pretty easy. Nowadays. Scams everywhere. I am seasoned so I can detect it but it still costs me money. For example, I sold a Samsung Galaxy S8+ for $500. The buyer is a scammer and tries to pay me with an account with funds pending. I...
by CAsage
Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividends make up for high mutual fund fees
Replies: 31
Views: 2128

Re: Dividends make up for high mutual fund fees

Total return matters in the long run. Fees really do matter because they cut into return, but someone who doesn't want to understand the research doesn't want to hear that. Dividends can be like junk bond interest - looks good in the short term, but can be a real long term loser. You can really only...
by CAsage
Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...
Replies: 58
Views: 5855

Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

I would NEVER suggest moving back in. This sets YoungBuck up for more manipulation, awkward situations, possibly more financial harm downstream.... Your second worst financial hit is you are liable for the full rent for 7 more months, plus damages (kiss off that security deposit). Your third worst i...