Search found 877 matches

by CAsage
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What home related expenses do I need to think of?
Replies: 16
Views: 668

Re: What home related expenses do I need to think of?

$800 HOA fees are equivalent to another $300,000 mortgage at about 5%, or worse since those payments are going to go up with inflation (at best) or substantial upgrades to that pool, gym, and common areas every 10~ years or so. Just a comparison.... Think about how much you really want to pay for th...
by CAsage
Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Turbotax in year of home purchase
Replies: 8
Views: 581

Re: Using Turbotax in year of home purchase

You really only need a few pieces of data = property taxes, interest paid, maybe points. Take a look at your escrow or closing paperwork, a lot of it is not deductible (fees, filing, insurance etc). It's not really a lot, I'd stick with software.
by CAsage
Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Final Frontier...just did my own taxes!
Replies: 13
Views: 403

Re: The Final Frontier...just did my own taxes!

...try doing your taxes without TT, but using an Excel sheet instead (you can construct the Excel sheet brick-by-brick using TT as reference and reviewing the internal TT forms closely). I started doing this a couple of years ago and the process has given me quite a bit of insight into the ins-and-...
by CAsage
Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repairing Stucco: A Case of Contractor Gouging
Replies: 19
Views: 1737

Re: Repairing Stucco: A Case of Contractor Gouging

My personal experience is that contractors do jack up the price if you live in a higher priced neighborhood. Usually they aren't so blatant about it.... a best friend in a high-end suburb shopped for carpet and granite counters. Got solid pricing in the stores. Oddly enough, when they got the addres...
by CAsage
Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I reverse a Roth -> Trad IRA Recharacterization?
Replies: 10
Views: 525

Re: Can I reverse a Roth -> Trad IRA Recharacterization?

A recharacterization is like a magic spell that undoes the transformation - puts things back like it never happened. So, that's over. If you now want to convert those funds from a T-IRA to a Roth .... well, that's a new conversion and will go on your 2018 taxes. You cannot go back into 2017 and conv...
by CAsage
Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just wondering if you do this...
Replies: 10
Views: 1673

Re: Just wondering if you do this...

You are much more likely to get useful (or any) responses if your title summarizes and is more relevant to your question, vs a generic teaser.

Try: "Alternate investments like etc etc"....
by CAsage
Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage calculator help
Replies: 4
Views: 312

Re: Mortgage calculator help

Why not just roll (program) your own? It would be very easy to create an Excel file with these columns: A) Date b) Payment = you enter this C) Balance = prior row balance - payment + interest D) interest = balance * interest rate/12 (or, interest = DATE(row15-row14)*.04/365... I think if you create ...
by CAsage
Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer in-kind between Roth Accounts @ vanguard?
Replies: 6
Views: 315

Re: Transfer in-kind between Roth Accounts @ vanguard?

I had three Roth IRA accounts at Vanguard last year (due to separation of conversions). In 2018, I spoke to my trusty account rep, who very happily and easily merged all the accounts into one account by phone. I think they pretty much just transferred the single fund in each of B & C to Account A. T...
by CAsage
Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schedule B Interest Question
Replies: 14
Views: 989

Re: Schedule B Interest Question

I think you just put the exact amounts from Lines 1 & 3 in the separate boxes on the worksheet (if you are using software). Do not add them, as the single amount should be the amount you actually earned/received/is taxable. Make sense? Don't double your burden! If the amounts are different, it will ...
by CAsage
Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lower Payroll Withholding - What are you doing with it?
Replies: 32
Views: 2268

Re: Lower Payroll Withholding - What are you doing with it?

I will bank it, so that when they cut Social Security benefits in a few years to deal with rising interest rates and a ballooning national deficit I can still buy beans. This cut will not benefit me in the long run....
by CAsage
Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice on new home purchase
Replies: 15
Views: 1192

Re: Need advice on new home purchase

You are lucky enough to (probably) be able to find a new house, buy it with that $100k down payment, take time to do any work to it needed (paint/remodel/carpet) so it's ready, without the hassle of moving in and working around boxes. Then, move. Fix up the old house, hire a stager to put a few piec...
by CAsage
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going Paperless Issues
Replies: 68
Views: 3865

Re: Going Paperless Issues

I keep it as simple as possible. All my city utility bills (water, electricity, gas) are set up to auto-debit from my checking account, and they send me an email to notify me of the amount. All my recurring commercial bills (Internet, Cell phone, Netflix, Pandora, Political or charitable donations) ...
by CAsage
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Determining Correct Federal Income Tax Liability/Withholding
Replies: 8
Views: 738

Re: Determining Correct Federal Income Tax Liability/Withholding

This is way off topic but if you donate 10k per year consider bunching several years worth so you can itemize periodically. Implementation: Look into a Donor Advised Fund (Fidelity or others; I found the Vanguard balance and grant minimums too high for me) and donate $20,000 in even years and 0 in ...
by CAsage
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes Withheld Different For Each Paycheck?
Replies: 10
Views: 842

Re: Taxes Withheld Different For Each Paycheck?

I've noticed that the taxes that have been on my first three paychecks this year have all been different (fortunately less each time)... Having less taxes withheld doesn't really do you any favors - it's what you owe at the end of the year that matters! While Payroll departments churn trying to gue...
by CAsage
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 taxes and AMT
Replies: 13
Views: 1474

Re: 2018 taxes and AMT

AMT income levels are higher in 2018. There are several recent threads on 2018 tax calculators and estimators, search for one of them and run some samples. I found that ATM no longer applies to me.... O happy day!
by CAsage
Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help from someone experienced with bankruptcy and probate
Replies: 16
Views: 817

Re: Need help from someone experienced with bankruptcy and probate

Also, is there a method outside of contacting past employers to identify 401ks or retirement plans that may exist? Most states have unclaimed property websites. Suggest searching by name in any state that she might have worked in, or the corporate headquarters of any company. It may take a while fo...
by CAsage
Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there a way to figure 2018 taxes?
Replies: 18
Views: 2167

Re: Is there a way to figure 2018 taxes?

I see five different types of 1099 input sheets: INT, DIV, MISC, R, and SSA, but no B. Does this mean that this tax calculator is not able to process taxes on the sale of securities? There is a section in DIV for capital gains distributions, but I don't think that's for a sale. I don't mean to comp...
by CAsage
Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversion strategies for 2018 and beyond?
Replies: 18
Views: 2408

Re: Roth conversion strategies for 2018 and beyond?

Update to prior thread! I converted 25% of my 2018 Roth conversion in January. My plan was as someone suggested (Celia?), DCA quarterly or at a 10% market drop. I will plan to do the next 25% conversion in June.... or at another 10% drop.... Note that while it's true in any random year converting Ja...
by CAsage
Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there a way to figure 2018 taxes?
Replies: 18
Views: 2167

Re: Is there a way to figure 2018 taxes?

Lots of prior discussion! Several good tools are available. And I second the recommendation of the Excel spreadsheet above....

viewtopic.php?t=239817
by CAsage
Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would You Recommend Living Revocable Trusts? Married, Retired, No Kids.
Replies: 10
Views: 1252

Re: Would You Recommend Living Revocable Trusts? Married, Retired, No Kids.

Looks very well thought out, but hard to maintain? Glad to see DW gets a new car soon! I think you need a real your-state lawyer to advise on the trust creation (and how the IRA will be stretched out via trust). Spouses might need to sign off on any beneficiary assignment for retirement accounts (wh...
by CAsage
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Keep your eye on the owner, not the dog
Replies: 31
Views: 4759

Re: Keep your eye on the owner, not the dog

Nikkei 225 Index reached it's maximum in early 1990. It has not recovered that value yet..... about 2/3 of the way there. Just a thought - it can happen.
by CAsage
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ever Thought of Suing (or Sued) A Waterproofing Company?
Replies: 20
Views: 1530

Re: Ever Thought of Suing (or Sued) A Waterproofing Company?

Filling an existing drain pipe with cement sounds like negligence off hand. That's not a reasonable solution to a drainage problem, and it's likely that the firm doesn't know what they are doing. No waterproofing company should make the problem worse. I agree with that one! The drain pipe was not t...
by CAsage
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k Question / Lay off Question
Replies: 5
Views: 657

Re: 401k Question / Lay off Question

Can't hurt to try it. See If you can find any documentation on how they calculate it. If it's 5% of your salary/week regardless of contribution, then it won't change (so, no help). If it's a percentage of your contribution, then max it out. Ideally, change it and see what the effect is in the next p...
by CAsage
Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest funeral options
Replies: 40
Views: 3014

Re: Cheapest funeral options

Direct cremation, shop strictly by price. I think we paid under $800 for a 2016 pickup and direct cremation, may have included several death certificates. No ceremony and definitely no funeral services/add ons. Ashes distributed privately. We will remember our past relatives in our hearts - family ...
by CAsage
Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest funeral options
Replies: 40
Views: 3014

Re: Cheapest funeral options

Direct cremation, shop strictly by price. I think we paid under $800 for a 2016 pickup and direct cremation, may have included several death certificates. No ceremony and definitely no funeral services/add ons. Ashes distributed privately. We will remember our past relatives in our hearts - family o...
by CAsage
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can an inherited Capital Loss (not Gain) from a Trust be written off of an individual’s Capital Gain?
Replies: 3
Views: 287

Re: Can an inherited Capital Loss (not Gain) from a Trust be written off of an individual’s Capital Gain?

Ignorant question: If the Trust sells the property at a loss, does it not issue a K-1 to each of the four beneficiaries? I thought trusts were flow-through, not all to the trustee..... (then any of them could use the loss?)
by CAsage
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase, my deposits are missing!!!
Replies: 40
Views: 16071

Re: Chase, my deposits are missing!!!

I'm having the same "kinda" issue, with Wells Fargo... I'm a waitress and I deposited a large sum of money, from my tips. I no longer have the receipt, but they said they would look into the camera footage. I have given about a month and they still have not said anything. What my real question is: ...
by CAsage
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shared real estate fantasy
Replies: 13
Views: 1758

Re: Shared real estate fantasy

Only one unit has use of the field now... Right now, the field is an eyesore for those whose yards are contiguous, and their property values would rise if it's made a beauty spot. So the income would primarily be dependent on the existing tenants remaining. Doubtful your 53 neighbors are interested...
by CAsage
Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shared real estate fantasy
Replies: 13
Views: 1758

Re: Shared real estate fantasy

Premium farmland sells for $6k per acre (in the farm belt!). This 6000 foot lot is about 1/7 of an acre. I cannot fathom how you could possibly get enough people to want a mini-farm to purchase a 1.3 million dollar lot for urban farming.... Most people that have a casual interest will put up a coupl...
by CAsage
Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sales tax deduction
Replies: 7
Views: 505

Re: Sales tax deduction

1) You can only deduct the amount of sales tax which is usually on the item (parts) that are purchased, not labor... That depends on state law. In my state, they changed the law about 10 years ago and now sales tax is levied on labor as well as materials. So, the OP should check receipts to see how...
by CAsage
Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free app for creating will and trust
Replies: 5
Views: 505

Re: free app for creating will and trust

Hmm. If you are young, starting out, don't have enough money to turn heads or cause your children to drop out of college and buy a Ferrari, a simple cheap will to simply designate guardians (key decision) and leave the money (for example) in trust until the kids are 35 or so can be done without too ...
by CAsage
Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sales tax deduction
Replies: 7
Views: 505

Re: Sales tax deduction

Aha! I get the part about the agent now - certainly makes sense that your contractor worked completely under your direction and I would add up every penny of sales tax. I cannot comment/assess anything regarding adding it to the calculated sales tax.... I would have thought you did one or the other,...
by CAsage
Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sales tax deduction
Replies: 7
Views: 505

Re: Sales tax deduction

Just the invoices for the services we had done: furnace, windows, electrical, asbestos deck, and tree work come out to more than the calculated amount. This does not include the major remodel 100k or anything non house related. Based on the above I should be able to itemize and claim actual sales t...
by CAsage
Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Holding cash for a down payment that never happens
Replies: 1
Views: 264

Re: Holding cash for a down payment that never happens

With your income and a massive down payment, go find a $2 million dollar house and enjoy life. If your family needs the room, and you are looking to stay in that area - pick the community based on job proximity, schools, recreational opportunities. You can downsize or relocate cheaper in 20 years (m...
by CAsage
Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free app for creating will and trust
Replies: 5
Views: 505

Re: free app for creating will and trust

The variables in deciding what is sufficient (family age/issues/maturity/etc), amount of money, potential pitfalls with heirs.... are far too profound to know what is good enough for you. So depends on the details! I have used Nolo Press, but it's cheap, not a free app. Any situation with complexity...
by CAsage
Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to purchase mother's home to avoid problems: gift tax and inherited basis?
Replies: 11
Views: 994

Re: How to purchase mother's home to avoid problems: gift tax and inherited basis?

Taking the average of three appraisals or very good comparisons would certainly be justifiable. Note that I would also then subtract 6% from that selling price because your mother does not have to pay a realtor fee for advertising and marketing. I bought my first house from my Mom, and no one ever i...
by CAsage
Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any advice on limited choices in 401(k)?
Replies: 6
Views: 257

Re: Any advice on limited choices in 401(k)?

Looks like a perfectly good list of choices. I would shop by price -pick the most index-y funds that are the cheapest, in the three major asset categories: total stock, total bond, international stock. It may be that they are cousins to those funds - pick three: AMERICAN CENTURY DIV BOND I or DFA IN...
by CAsage
Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxing Problem
Replies: 8
Views: 806

Re: Taxing Problem

Note that IRMAA (medicare) has a two year lookback (nominally). They base the rate off the most current tax reporting for income.
by CAsage
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SALT deduction for 2017 question
Replies: 2
Views: 369

Re: SALT deduction for 2017 question

Yes, the new SALT limits are for 2018. So, any state or local or property taxes paid in 2017 can be deducted in 2017. On her federal return...
by CAsage
Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ways to Protect Assets Without a Prenup
Replies: 48
Views: 3413

Re: Ways to Protect Assets Without a Prenup

Separate accounts (mine) vs (ours) will make it clear. Ideally, have all (mine - old money) at one place (Fidelity or Vanguard or Schwab), as well as a separate bank account for the rental (all income/expenses). You can use the same bank with new accounts (ours) - just don't link or mix up the money...
by CAsage
Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Help Joint vs Separate
Replies: 18
Views: 633

Re: Tax Help Joint vs Separate

There is an excellent free Tax Planning Excel tool by Glenn Reeves, mentioned on several other posts (which is where I found it). It is downloadable.... Not interview based, you directly enter the data (one Excel sheet per 1040 form). I found it much faster than interviews. In this case, the advanta...
by CAsage
Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What steps should my sister and I go through to claim our inheritance?
Replies: 21
Views: 2721

Re: What steps should my sister and I go through to claim our inheritance?

By "properties" do you mean to include real estate or just personal objects? What happened 8 years ago with the rest of the things owned by your father in Alabama? It's going to be difficult to go asking about personal objects that were an item of contention 8 years ago, who knows if the stepmother ...
by CAsage
Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax estimator that includes AMT?
Replies: 7
Views: 701

Re: Tax estimator that includes AMT?

There is an excellent free Tax Planning Excel tool by Glenn Reeves, mentioned on several other posts (which is where I found it). It is downloadable, and has 2018 updates now! I looked in my Taxcut, and it doesn't seem to plan for 2018 except to calculate estimated taxes.... so far.... This spreadsh...
by CAsage
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help in determining owner of property/land
Replies: 10
Views: 421

Re: Need help in determining owner of property/land

Go to the office where Deeds are recorded and look it up. In Ca, there is a form to turn in, possibly a small photcopying fee, and you get the grant deed history.
by CAsage
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need a will? Can I do it online?
Replies: 17
Views: 1312

Re: Do I need a will? Can I do it online?

You still need a will for the overlooked small items, and to name an executor. Are you sure about this? Please see my earlier post. If the probate estate is insignificant, none of this may really matter in some situations. I'm asking this because this is what the OP was asking. I still haven't seen...
by CAsage
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion within the Standard Deduction
Replies: 10
Views: 469

Re: Roth Conversion within the Standard Deduction

The balance on your current Roth IRA is irrelevant to the taxes on conversion. The pro-rata refers to the % of the IRA that is post-tax money (which you would have created by adding after tax money in the past and documenting it via Form 8606). If you IRA is 100% pretax money (and that is quite comm...
by CAsage
Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to pay down mortgage, but...
Replies: 32
Views: 2940

Re: Trying to pay down mortgage, but...

. B. Set up automatic plan monthly with set amount of additional principal (free, but only once a month and can't do principal only) Doing this more than once a month is possibly ... excessive. You don't get much benefit with a few days here and there off the principal. If you set up an automatic p...
by CAsage
Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need a will? Can I do it online?
Replies: 17
Views: 1312

Re: Do I need a will? Can I do it online?

You can certainly do a simple will via software (I'm fond of Nolo Press). Also concur with above suggestions - put a beneficiary designation or TOD/POD on everything possible - IRAs, life insurance, brokerage accounts, checking, auto, house. Some states allow registration of a grant deed for benefic...
by CAsage
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions or Knot(in stomach)
Replies: 7
Views: 762

Re: Roth Conversions or Knot(in stomach)

You have a nice split of IRA and T-IRA now. It looks like with your income, and future pension/RMD, you will remain in the current 12% bracket. That's good! However, this tax law expires in 2025, and then you will be back in the 15% bracket. It's anybody's guess what will happen by then. So... in yo...
by CAsage
Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a divorced spouse claim SS on the record of an ex- who died too young to claim?
Replies: 5
Views: 838

Re: Can a divorced spouse claim SS on the record of an ex- who died too young to claim?

I think the usual recommendation is to make an appointment at your nearest SS office, as they are very good at sorting out the details of your situation. I would bring all the relevant records, marriage, divorce, SS number of ex.... No personal experience myself but that is what I have read.