Search found 146 matches

by deskjockey
Sat May 19, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vangaurd Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%
Replies: 76
Views: 7089

Re: Vangaurd Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%

VMSXX doesn't seem worth it today. For a 24% federal/0% state, I get a TEY for VMSXX of 1.75%. Ally Savings is 1.60%, and the 11-month No Penalty CD I have is 1.75%. So, no FDIC insurance for an extra 0.00%-0.15% yield? Seems silly. Although I just checked the Ally site, and the No Penalty CD is li...
by deskjockey
Sat May 19, 2018 5:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vangaurd Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%
Replies: 76
Views: 7089

Re: Vangaurd Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%

Hmm. I currently have savings stashed at Marcus, which is giving 1.7%, which is subsequently taxed. My effective tax rate is about 29%. Looking at Vanguard Municipal Money Market Fund, which currently has SEC yield of 1.33%, is my calculation correct that the effective yield would be 1.33 / 0.71 = ...
by deskjockey
Thu May 03, 2018 1:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC technician recommendations--should I have them installed?
Replies: 11
Views: 1763

Re: HVAC technician recommendations--should I have them installed?

Thanks--I think I'll go ahead and get at least one other quote before pulling the trigger.
by deskjockey
Wed May 02, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC technician recommendations--should I have them installed?
Replies: 11
Views: 1763

Re: HVAC technician recommendations--should I have them installed?

I just got the quote for installing the pan switch and wet switch, and it came to $413. That sounds pretty high to me. Is it a reasonable quote? This is in a HCOL area, if it matters.
by deskjockey
Wed May 02, 2018 1:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC technician recommendations--should I have them installed?
Replies: 11
Views: 1763

Re: HVAC technician recommendations--should I have them installed?

Thanks, folks. It does sound like the pan switch and the wet switch are a good idea. I think I'll pass on the in-line safety switch and the EZ-trap, as the first seems redundant and the second is of limited use in a rental (I wouldn't expect the renters to DIY a clog in the drain line, even though w...
by deskjockey
Tue May 01, 2018 1:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC technician recommendations--should I have them installed?
Replies: 11
Views: 1763

HVAC technician recommendations--should I have them installed?

We had an HVAC technician inspect the system in our rental home a couple of days ago and he recommended the following modifications to our existing setup: Ez-trap for basment and in-line safety switch for attic. Wet switch for basement and pan switch for attic. I know what these are supposed to do (...
by deskjockey
Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card for International Travel
Replies: 28
Views: 1679

Re: Credit Card for International Travel

Thanks for that suggestion. Does opening the credit card account require opening a share account to become a member of the credit union? I don't believe so--the site says that if you're not a member, you'll "gain access" to membership. That sounds like membership is not a requirement, but I don't p...
by deskjockey
Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card for International Travel
Replies: 28
Views: 1679

Re: Credit Card for International Travel

I've gotten the State Department Federal Credit Union Premium CashBack+ card (a Visa card). No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, 2% cash back, and it can also be configured as a PIN-priority card, which allows it to work anywhere overseas that requires a PIN transaction (like train ticket kio...
by deskjockey
Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do state taxes change for the 2018 tax year and beyond?
Replies: 15
Views: 839

Re: Do state taxes change for the 2018 tax year and beyond?

That depends on your state legislature. Not living in California, I don't know if they've passed any changes to their tax laws. I do know there were news reports a couple of months ago of the California legislature considering a change that would make state taxes deductible for Federal purposes (I t...
by deskjockey
Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need feedback on strategy for avoiding the 3.8% NIIT
Replies: 13
Views: 1537

Re: Need feedback on strategy for avoiding the 3.8% NIIT

Not sure if you included NIIT (and lack of it) along with regular tax in your tax equivalent yields above but either way VMSXX looks better than the T-Bill. Of course VMSXX isn't really a T-Bill equivalent either. So you need to consider the risk too... I did include NIIT in the TEY for VMSXX--I fo...
by deskjockey
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need feedback on strategy for avoiding the 3.8% NIIT
Replies: 13
Views: 1537

Re: Need feedback on strategy for avoiding the 3.8% NIIT

It's a little hard to say for sure without knowing the yield on the T-Bill vs the Muni MM Fund. No point saving 3.8% but only getting half the income for example. Is the T-Bill the only income producing asset you have that's taxable for NIIT? If you have more substantial dividends, interest, capita...
by deskjockey
Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need feedback on strategy for avoiding the 3.8% NIIT
Replies: 13
Views: 1537

Re: Need feedback on strategy for avoiding the 3.8% NIIT

Thanks, ExitStageLeft. Yep, I've already exhausted all of the standard means of reducing taxable income--401k is maxed, FSA is maxed. 529s and IRAs don't help, since they don't reduce MAGI for federal purposes, but yes, those are also part of our savings. As for the T-bill, it would not be sold at a...
by deskjockey
Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need feedback on strategy for avoiding the 3.8% NIIT
Replies: 13
Views: 1537

Need feedback on strategy for avoiding the 3.8% NIIT

I recently ran some updated estimates on our 2018 income and realized that our salaries alone will put us within a hair's breath of the $250K threshold at which the 3.8% Medicare Net Investment Income Tax is levied. Interest and dividends will put us over the threshold. Last year I didn't catch this...
by deskjockey
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child in college w/$500 income on W-2 - File taxes?
Replies: 27
Views: 2435

Re: Child in college w/$500 income on W-2 - File taxes?

What RudyS is saying is that since your daughter can be claimed by you, she is not allowed to claim herself Furthermore, there are restrictions on the refundable portion of the American Opportunity Credit for students under 24 to prevent the exact situation that you are attempting. She therefore wo...
by deskjockey
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New State Department FCU 2% cash back credit card
Replies: 5
Views: 396

Re: New State Department FCU 2% cash back credit card

Interesting. I have a CC through SDFCU that has my highest credit limit ($50K) that I never use. Perhaps I'll try to convert that to the 2% back card. I've already got a 2% card with PenFed (preferred because of no foreign transaction fees) and another with Fidelity, but if I'm going to have a card...
by deskjockey
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New State Department FCU 2% cash back credit card
Replies: 5
Views: 396

New State Department FCU 2% cash back credit card

I just noticed that SDFCU came out with a new credit card in the last few weeks that gives 2% cash back and a $200 bonus if you spend 3K in the first 90 days. It's a pretty good deal, IMHO--I've gone ahead and applied. Just wanted to share the opportunity.

Here's the link.
by deskjockey
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could you support family on 1 income?
Replies: 88
Views: 6022

Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

We could and did. DW took a year of unpaid leave from work after each of our children was born. We made sure to stick to our budget and didn't go on any big vacations (we didn't want to with a baby, in any case). She wasn't keen to give up work and we're aiming for early retirement, so we won't be d...
by deskjockey
Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What percentage of you 2017 income can you account for?
Replies: 49
Views: 3542

Re: What percentage of you 2017 income can you account for?

I input and categorize everything in Quicken. I try to allocate everything to a category although I do have a miscellaneous bucket for a few items that don’t fit other categories. I also allocate expenses at a total level - i.e., anything from Wal-Mart or Target goes into the Household line, everyt...
by deskjockey
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken servers down (again)
Replies: 7
Views: 496

Re: Quicken servers down (again)

the ability to project future cash flow and track cost basis and IRR. I do all those tasks with an Excel workbook. Yes, but Excel can't download transactions and categorize them automatically. Given the number of accounts I have, manual entry is not an option. I do wish I could simply use Excel, bu...
by deskjockey
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken servers down (again)
Replies: 7
Views: 496

Re: Quicken servers down (again)

So Quicken can’t be used without internet connection or available Quicken servers? Apparently that's what Quicken (the company) wants you to think, although I found that repeatedly clicking on the red close box eventually allowed the program to open. It took more than five or so clicks. Of course, ...
by deskjockey
Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken servers down (again)
Replies: 7
Views: 496

Quicken servers down (again)

Looks like Quicken's servers are down yet again, blocking anyone from using the app because you can't get past the login screen. I have to say, this is pushing me closer and closer to ditching Quicken even though the alternatives don't have all the functions that I need, particularly the ability to ...
by deskjockey
Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 529 Accounts - Son got full scholarship!
Replies: 54
Views: 5359

Re: Help with 529 Accounts - Son got full scholarship!

Congratulations! I think the strategy you've settled on is decent given that you aren't interested in keeping the money in the 529 for potential grandchildren. That said, how are you planning to discuss this with your other kids (it at all)? Make sure you think it through so that you don't unintenti...
by deskjockey
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: re-siding house - vinyl or hardiplank?
Replies: 54
Views: 5217

Re: re-siding house - vinyl or hardiplank?

OP, Yes HardiePlank all the way. I have installed lots of both. Vinyl is popular back east with high humidity but mid-west you should be good to go with HardiePlank. Very durable if done correctly. Does HardiePlank not do well in very humid environments? I'm asking because we'll probably reside our...
by deskjockey
Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on how to list gifts on form 709
Replies: 10
Views: 625

Re: Question on how to list gifts on form 709

I was hoping it would be similar to how you can bunch multiple donations to the same charity into one entry on form 1040. Oh, well--thank goodness for copy and paste! You could do it anyway and see if the IRS sends you a letter. They probably won't. I'm just telling you the way you're supposed to d...
by deskjockey
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Natural Gas Generator
Replies: 110
Views: 6717

Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Conversely, when flying cars (AAVs) become popular a few years after that, exurban demand could go back up. :twisted: No need for roads at that point! Need for daily travel could be greatly diminished when most are working from home via augmented reality, whether this would cause dispersal or contr...
by deskjockey
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Natural Gas Generator
Replies: 110
Views: 6717

Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

We got one after enduring several day-plus power outages a few years ago (and the spoiled food that came along with them). Financially, it is not an investment--it is definitely an expense. But, as others have said, when you need it most, it is a great thing to have. No frozen pipes, no spoiled food...
by deskjockey
Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on how to list gifts on form 709
Replies: 10
Views: 625

Re: Question on how to list gifts on form 709

Just checking, but a form 709 is only necessary for 529 contributions if the total gift to any one child from a married couple exceeded $28k in 2017, right? Since the first $14k of each contribution from each parent is subtracted, if you are under $28k per child you'd end up with all zeros and no n...
by deskjockey
Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on how to list gifts on form 709
Replies: 10
Views: 625

Re: Question on how to list gifts on form 709

talzara wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:31 pm

You're supposed to report "each gift," not the sum of all gifts.
I was hoping it would be similar to how you can bunch multiple donations to the same charity into one entry on form 1040. Oh, well--thank goodness for copy and paste!
by deskjockey
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on how to list gifts on form 709
Replies: 10
Views: 625

Question on how to list gifts on form 709

I'm in the process of filling out form 709 to report gift taxes and have a question I couldn't find the answer to either in the instructions or elsewhere on the forum. My wife and I each made contributions to our two kids' 529 plans every month during 2017. Do I list each of those individual contrib...
by deskjockey
Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions on gift tax form 709
Replies: 6
Views: 513

Re: Questions on gift tax form 709

No problem - I didn't mean to sound snarky, so sorry if it sounded that way. I like using ctrl. f to search the instructions. I fall asleep if I try reading through them from beginning to end. I do not want to make a habit out of defending the IRS and their 709 Instructions, but I will note that "H...
by deskjockey
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions on gift tax form 709
Replies: 6
Views: 513

Re: Questions on gift tax form 709

The answers to these questions are all found in the 709 instructions: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i709.pdf. I've copied and pasted the answers from the instructions: 1. "If you need more space, attach a separate sheet using the same format as Schedule A." 2. [I assume the securities are publicl...
by deskjockey
Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions on gift tax form 709
Replies: 6
Views: 513

Re: Questions on gift tax form 709

My recollection is that when you give securities as a gift the recipient gets your basis as part of the "gift". If the securities have increased in value since you acquired them you are likely gifting a tax burden as well (assuming the security does not return to your basis, or a lower amount, prio...
by deskjockey
Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PurePoint 1.25% online savings $10K min
Replies: 72
Views: 13721

Re: PurePoint 1.25% online savings $10K min

midareff wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:10 pm
fantasytensai wrote:
Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:38 pm
If this is a no-hoops savings account, it appears to be a no-brainer.

Also, 1.4% for a 12 months CD is arguably even better.
Ally is 1.45% so what's the big deal?
Um, check the date on that post. It was over a year ago.
by deskjockey
Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions on gift tax form 709
Replies: 6
Views: 513

Questions on gift tax form 709

I'm in the process of filling out Form 709 for the first time and have a few questions: 1. How the heck does the IRS expect people to cram several paragraphs worth of information about a gift into a single two-inch long line in Schedule A? Can I simply say something like "see attached explanation" a...
by deskjockey
Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Soon to be Divorced - Filing taxes Separately and potential huge tax burden
Replies: 28
Views: 2584

Re: Help! Soon to be Divorced - Filing taxes Separately and potential huge tax burden

So, technically could I itemize and take the deduction for my two homes (On my name, acquired before marriage) and she could as well for her property (Owned joint by her and her mother and acquired before marriage)? I wonder if it's a dollar amount limit of the deduction, or if it's a "You did it, ...
by deskjockey
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One now at 1.60 [Money Market Rate To 1.60% APY]
Replies: 40
Views: 3132

Capital One now at 1.60 [Money Market Rate To 1.60% APY]

[Thread updated, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

I was just checking my account and discovered the interest rate has gone up.
by deskjockey
Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with downloading Vanguard UTMA 1099-B data to Turbotax
Replies: 2
Views: 164

Re: Help with downloading Vanguard UTMA 1099-B data to Turbotax

Thanks--I hadn't thought of that. It makes sense. It's not a lot of info, thankfully, so it won't take long for me to enter it.
by deskjockey
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with downloading Vanguard UTMA 1099-B data to Turbotax
Replies: 2
Views: 164

Help with downloading Vanguard UTMA 1099-B data to Turbotax

I am in the process of doing taxes and need to file returns for both our children, who will have unearned income from their Vanguard UTMA accounts. This is the first time we're filing for them, and I'm at a loss as to how I can have Turbotax download the 1099-B data directly from Vanguard. I noticed...
by deskjockey
Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Really need an advice: sell the house or rent it out
Replies: 40
Views: 2387

Re: Really need an advice: sell the house or rent it out

I'm in a similar boat as you are, but more than a year in to being an accidental landlord. My advice given your goal of not living in the house again in 6 years--sell. If you rent it out (at a loss) for six years, you will not be eligible for the capital gains exclusion and will have to pay capital ...
by deskjockey
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just wondering if you do this...
Replies: 10
Views: 1781

Re: Just wondering if you do this...

Yes, I save for multiple goals: college for the kids, new cars, home remodels, etc. Pretty much everyone here does, whether explicitly or implicitly. As for alternative investments, no, I don’t muck around with those. I did have REITs for about a decade, but divested myself of them to simplify our p...
by deskjockey
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Optimal pre/post-tax saving combination
Replies: 2
Views: 318

Re: Optimal pre/post-tax saving combination

Yes, it can be “solved” easily enough (and there are several spreadsheets that will do it for you), but it depends on other variables, too, such as how close your income level is to the next highest and lowest tax brackets, what your expectations of future income are, which savings vehicles are avai...
by deskjockey
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 1099s available - Other companies just as good for sending 1099s???
Replies: 67
Views: 8296

Re: Vanguard 1099s available - Other companies just as good for sending 1099s???

I downloaded my forms from Vanguard, but Turbotax is refusing to import them from Vanguard. It claims that the forms will only be available starting 16 February. :annoyed
by deskjockey
Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.
Replies: 65
Views: 4750

Re: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.

Not included, he shows this exactly: Total Taxes $7,715, Tax Penalty $6,892 (Which should be zero that is wrong), Fed Tax Rate 12%, State Marginal Rate 2.45% Good question, not sure why they are so low, i'll have to ask. [...] Yes and Yes, looking directly at my statement me at age 67 $2927, 70 $36...
by deskjockey
Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Value of Your FERS Annuity and Your TSP Investment Strategy
Replies: 14
Views: 1270

Re: The Value of Your FERS Annuity and Your TSP Investment Strategy

I, like others, tend to disagree with the way the article looks at the situation. In general, when I hear of folks trying to include their pension or SS in their portfolio, it feels like a way to justify higher stock allocations more than anything else. Which, frankly, is not the way to go about it....
by deskjockey
Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.
Replies: 65
Views: 4750

Re: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.

Thanks, Makes sense. I'm going to check out that calculator. Regarding the Monte Carlo, he did include the below only for his What If scenario. Can you help me interpret based on what you said, I'm still a little confused. I know the numbers (8.74) are not realistic but just to get an understanding...
by deskjockey
Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.
Replies: 65
Views: 4750

Re: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.

Nutshellml--I took a quick look at the PDF and saw a few things amiss. The biggest one is that all of the graphs and tables use "hard" numbers based on the "average returns" for the portfolio. That is misleading, as it shows a nice, even rise in the value of the proposed portfolio the advisor wants...
by deskjockey
Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.
Replies: 65
Views: 4750

Re: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.

Nutshellml--I took a quick look at the PDF and saw a few things amiss. The biggest one is that all of the graphs and tables use "hard" numbers based on the "average returns" for the portfolio. That is misleading, as it shows a nice, even rise in the value of the proposed portfolio the advisor wants ...
by deskjockey
Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.
Replies: 65
Views: 4750

Re: Allocation Dilemma - Bonds or No Bonds, retiring 8 years @ 50y/o, w/ $ lasting to 90s.

OP--Another fed here, also considering early retirement (55 or 50, if we make our number). To help answer your question, I think we need to step back a bit to get to the root of the argument. He is telling you to ditch bonds (or reduce them significantly) so as to goose your expected returns. That's...
by deskjockey
Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New tax bill allows 529 use for K-12 tuition
Replies: 6
Views: 718

Re: New tax bill allows 529 use for K-12 tuition

Sounds very odd you get a higher deduction by opening multiple "funds". Are you sure those limits aren't per beneficiary, taxpayer, etc? It is odd, but true. Virginia's 529 law specifies that the tax deduction is for each account *(yes, account, not beneficiary or contributor), and the way VA529 im...
by deskjockey
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short Commute or Nicer House?
Replies: 142
Views: 8455

Re: Short Commute or Nicer House?

As others have said, this decision hinges on your personal desires and personality. Do you hate being stuck in traffic (at any time of day)? Does commuting leave you anxious and/or tired on a routine basis? If so, you probably would be better off with option 1. If you don't mind sitting in traffic a...