Search found 372 matches

by MP123
Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Knob and Tube rewire cost
Replies: 17
Views: 1187

Re: Knob and Tube rewire cost

Probably you are right about the difficulty of the job. I live in a neighborhood of older homes where contractors that want to do work in older homes are plentiful and getting bids is not a problem. I am still trying to understand how a 1954 home can have knob and tube. Same here. I thought Knob an...
by MP123
Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Priority: Back Door Roth vs Taxable.
Replies: 7
Views: 563

Re: Investment Priority: Back Door Roth vs Taxable.

Roth first then overflow to taxable. Roth space is so limited you should fill it up. Good job on the 401k and HSA!
by MP123
Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Terminology question: what does "losing money" mean?
Replies: 71
Views: 2735

Re: Terminology question: what does "losing money" mean?

I lean towards #2. But if the funds were held by an investor in a foreign country that experienced 0% inflation we'd say they made money even if the funds lost money for a US based investor. Wouldn't we? :confused I think the language needs to explicitly recognize that the loss is relative to inflat...
by MP123
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance Bill for $28,690 and tax liabilities? Confused? ** How to deduct in 2018??
Replies: 91
Views: 4941

Re: Need Help Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance Bill for $28,690 and tax liabilities? Confused? ** How to deduct in 2018

The best way to deduct the premiums would be if you were self employed and had earnings more than the premiums. Then you can write them off on 1040 line 29. Second best would be if you itemized on Schedule A. Then you can take the amount that exceeds 7.5% of your income as a deduction. You'd really ...
by MP123
Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cedar Roof
Replies: 27
Views: 1615

Re: Cedar Roof

No real positives to a cedar shingle or shake roof and lots of negatives.

Since you're in Chicago don't forget Mrs O'Leary (and her cow)
by MP123
Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any downside to back-door Roth regardless of income?
Replies: 12
Views: 1003

Re: Any downside to back-door Roth regardless of income?

2. There are some questions as to the legality of Backdoor Roth due to the step transaction doctrine. In my opinion, the process is so ubiquitous now that this is a non-issue, but other people might not be as comfortable with it. There is a footnote in the new tax bill that seems to explicitly ackn...
by MP123
Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Short Term Health Insurance, HSA eligibility
Replies: 3
Views: 237

Re: Short Term Health Insurance, HSA eligibility

I'm not an expert, but I'm afraid any short term policy is unlikely to be HSA eligible. The reason is that there are a bunch of funky restrictions around HSA; it's not just that you have to pay at least the first $X out of pocket, but there also has to be a maximum out-of-pocket limit that is no mo...
by MP123
Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance Bill for $28,690 and tax liabilities? Confused? ** How to deduct in 2018??
Replies: 91
Views: 4941

Re: Need Help Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance Bill for $28,690 and tax liabilities? Confused? Help?

If I am understanding it right, in the worst case scenario for OP when they dont find any legal methods to reduce the AGI: OP would have paid $3058 per month for 12 months as premiums = $36K odd OP has paid around 20K as health insurance expenses (copays and deductibles and what not) For a grand to...
by MP123
Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance Bill for $28,690 and tax liabilities? Confused? ** How to deduct in 2018??
Replies: 91
Views: 4941

Re: Need Help Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance Bill for $28,690 and tax liabilities? Confused? Help?

aristotelian wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:30 pm
I agree, HSA and solo 401k for the photo income are the best bets. OP, can you clarify how much photo income we are talking about?
And self employed health insurance deduction if eligible.
by MP123
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance Bill for $28,690 and tax liabilities? Confused? ** How to deduct in 2018??
Replies: 91
Views: 4941

Re: Need Help Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance Bill for $28,690 and tax liabilities? Confused? Help?

So are you saying that if you have big interest and dividends, but no earned income, you are eligible for a big ACA premium subisdy? No, pretty much all income counts towards ACA subsidies including tax exempt interest from muni bonds and social security income (both taxable and non-taxable portion...
by MP123
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay cash or get mortgage for 2nd home?
Replies: 11
Views: 828

Re: Pay cash or get mortgage for 2nd home?

These days it may be quite difficult to get a mortgage based on retirement income. At the very least it would be a big hassle. I'd pay cash.
by MP123
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Clever phishing -- be careful!
Replies: 21
Views: 1460

Re: Clever phishing -- be careful!

The story from Reddit isn't very plausible. Read the full account at the link I posted. The phiser got access to the account by resetting the password with the “help” of the unwitting victim providing the confirmation texts. Once in they can easily lookup transaction history to further the subterfu...
by MP123
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Clever phishing -- be careful!
Replies: 21
Views: 1460

Re: Clever phishing -- be careful!

So the attacker had access to the account (with the password) and then tricked the victim into giving them the 2FA codes to complete the transfers?

How did they get the password? They must have had it to know about the verifying transactions and to get the victims 2FA phone number.
by MP123
Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance Bill for $28,690 and tax liabilities? Confused? ** How to deduct in 2018??
Replies: 91
Views: 4941

Re: Need Help Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance Bill for $28,690 and tax liabilities? Confused? Help?

Sandtrap, Do you still live in Hawaii part time? I know the FPL is considerably higher there, it looks like you'd qualify for a subsidy up to $74,680 MAGI according to healthcare.gov which might be enough. Not sure if there's an angle you can play there. If not look into a Bronze HSA plan for next y...
by MP123
Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance Bill for $28,690 and tax liabilities? Confused? ** How to deduct in 2018??
Replies: 91
Views: 4941

Re: Need Help Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance Bill for $28,690 and tax liabilities? Confused? Help?

Gifts do not change your AGI nor your MAGI. If you do not have any earned income, the only other remaining possibility to reduce your AGI and MAGI would be contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA). You have until April 17 to contribute up to $7,750 to an HSA if you are qualified. You wrote th...
by MP123
Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax riddle (§ 121 Exclusion of gain from sale of principal residence)
Replies: 1
Views: 228

Re: Tax riddle (§ 121 Exclusion of gain from sale of principal residence)

It doesn't sound like the 2/5 year primary residence exclusion would apply unless I'm misunderstanding the dates so I'm guessing $50k gain and the recapture. You'll probably get lots of advice shortly.

Thank you for your service!
by MP123
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multiple Offer situation/should we pull our offer?
Replies: 72
Views: 5326

Re: Multiple Offer situation/should we pull our offer?

Does your offer not have an expiration date/time already?

It doesn't sound like bad faith to me, pretty much business as usual in a seller's market.
by MP123
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House rewiring - cost of copper
Replies: 29
Views: 1916

Re: House rewiring - cost of copper

The electrician's labor is likely to be much more than the cost of the wire. There isn't all that much copper in 12 or 14 gauge wire anyway. Probably a bit of a sales job by the electrician but not a bad idea to get it taken care of.
by MP123
Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Seattle travel suggestions request
Replies: 10
Views: 680

Re: New Seattle travel suggestions request

I'll echo the don't stay at the airport advice, get a downtown hotel. If you're going to Friday Harbor (San Juan Is.) in the summer it's really best to leave your car and just walk on the ferry. The town is very walkable and you won't have to deal with waiting in line to get your car on the ferry bo...
by MP123
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking Cruise Suggestions
Replies: 36
Views: 2172

Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

A roll-your-own cruise on the Alaska Marine Highway ferries might be fun for you if you aren't looking for luxury. You can get private rooms and you'll go places not many have been. Not super cheap but no lounge acts either...
by MP123
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Adviser said I made a big mistake switching 403b to Aspire??
Replies: 19
Views: 1484

Re: Adviser said I made a big mistake switching 403b to Aspire??

The 5% "deferred load" sounds like it was charged when you moved the funds? Maybe that's what he's talking about?

Those loads and ERs sound horrible...
by MP123
Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is window replacement this expensive?
Replies: 27
Views: 2321

Re: Is window replacement this expensive?

To be clear: are you talking about replacing the entire window including frame? Or just the glass in an existing window?

That quote sounds incredibly high to me.
by MP123
Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I payoff my Mortgage?
Replies: 25
Views: 1499

Re: Should I payoff my Mortgage?

Pretend it's paid off. Would you take out a home equity line at 2.75% to invest?

The peace of mind is well worth paying it off IMHO.
by MP123
Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For munis: state specific or non-state specific funds best?
Replies: 14
Views: 1224

Re: For munis: state specific or non-state specific funds best?

To really answer the question you'd need to know your Federal and State tax rates and the yields on the state specific and nationwide muni funds. The yield on an equivalent risk non-muni fund too would be good for comparison. This will give you a mathematical answer. But the part that's hard to quan...
by MP123
Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email from IRS this morning- is my information compromised?
Replies: 21
Views: 2329

Re: Email from IRS this morning- is my information compromised?

It certainly smells a little phishy. Don't click through any links in the message, just go to the site directly.
by MP123
Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question regarding tax rate in retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 1151

Re: Question regarding tax rate in retirement

Capital gains tax is zero up to $38k and double that for MFJ status. Not sure how much you need but I would think you could easily keep under that if that was your only income. The tax is on the capital gains not the total amount you take out so if you need $100k that's gone up $30k since you invest...
by MP123
Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency costs
Replies: 22
Views: 1347

Re: Emergency costs

There really isn't any upper limit to the nightmarish possibilities one can come up with.

For example: your scenario 2 and 3 could happen at the same time and perhaps scenario 2 was your fault with a huge judgement against you.. on top of the job loss...and the cancer.
by MP123
Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to qualify wife for ACA subsidy in 2018
Replies: 18
Views: 1431

Re: How to qualify wife for ACA subsidy in 2018

Be sure you know exactly where the "cliff" is. You don't want to go over even by $1. Also, shifting income to 2019 will likely just make it harder to qualify then although it sounds like your RMDs will do that anyway? You also may need to refund any premium credits you received if you go over the cl...
by MP123
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Issue - "Foreign source amount included in dividends"
Replies: 11
Views: 2853

Re: TurboTax Issue - "Foreign source amount included in dividends"

My layperson's understanding of Form 1116 and the foreign tax credit is that the basic idea is to 1) Split foreign earnings into various 'buckets'. For mutual funds that invest abroad, it's all in the passive income 'bucket' 2) Then check that the amount of tax credit is not greater than the amount...
by MP123
Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good store for roller shades?
Replies: 12
Views: 899

Re: Good store for roller shades?

I've bought several roller shades from http://www.blinds.com and been happy with them. They were blackout material so not paper like at all. They have a huge range of custom fabrics and styles, worth checking them out if you're ok with getting shades on the web rather than in person.
by MP123
Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Issue - "Foreign source amount included in dividends"
Replies: 11
Views: 2853

Re: TurboTax Issue - "Foreign source amount included in dividends"

It's the amount of foreign income on which you paid the foreign tax.

Vanguard usually reports it along with the 1099 but on a separate page in that report. You can also calculate it if you know the foreign source percentage for VTIAX which I would guess is close to 100%.
by MP123
Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hopefully SImple Question on Real Estate Taxation
Replies: 12
Views: 491

Re: Hopefully SImple Question on Real Estate Taxation

Was the property depreciated for the two years it was a rental? You'll need to recapture that (even if you didn't take it).

We probably need more info.

Edit:clarifying this is depreciation on schedule e
by MP123
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which book for an 18 year old who is asking about investing?
Replies: 45
Views: 2862

Re: Which book for an 18 year old who is asking about investing?

Bob-a-job wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:31 pm
Peter Foley wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:58 pm
The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias. Solid, broad ranging financial advice and an easy read.
+1 A classic down to earth book.
+2 it covers a lot of financial information in a fun way. Great for college kids or anyone really.
by MP123
Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvesting MUB
Replies: 11
Views: 938

Re: Tax loss harvesting MUB

VTEB and MUB tracks the same index: S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index. You might be subject to "substantially identical" rule if you cross-over into this gray area. There's never been a reported case that anyone has found of the IRS declaring a wash in a case like this. Has there been a re...
by MP123
Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will Turbotax automatically figure out my wash sale?
Replies: 6
Views: 810

Re: Will Turbotax automatically figure out my wash sale?

MUB vs VEA doesn't sound like a wash sale in the first place but I may not understand your situation.

Anyway TurboTax doesn't determine wash sales that's up to you unless your broker indicates it as a wash sale.
by MP123
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yes, one is required to use the tax tables. So plan wisely to save a few dollars
Replies: 23
Views: 3494

Re: Yes, one is required to use the tax tables. So plan wisely to save a few dollars

RRAAYY3 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:39 pm
You do this ... for $25 ?
Sounds like much less but hats off anyway!
by MP123
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home buying: how to send postcards to neighborhood we want to live in?
Replies: 38
Views: 3770

Re: Home buying: how to send postcards to neighborhood we want to live in?

Not sure this is really the best approach to buying your new house.

But leaving that aside I'd use Zillow as mentioned above. Cross reference with assessors records for names.

Agents do have value, maybe you need a new one?
by MP123
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can’t decide if we’re getting close to FIRE without knowing health care costs
Replies: 30
Views: 2277

Re: Can’t decide if we’re getting close to FIRE without knowing health care costs

For those with many years to plan should consider this. I have been able to use capital loss carryovers and tax-free distributions from Roth accounts to stay under the ACA subsidy limits. I am saving $18K/year on premiums and OOP costs with MAGI managemnt. For a couple, the ACA Federal Poverty Leve...
by MP123
Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Andew Tobias on Meb Faber Podcast
Replies: 6
Views: 818

Re: Andew Tobias on Meb Faber Podcast

Didn’t know who he was until listening to the podcast, but once he made it clear he was heavily involved in pushing politics it ensured I’d never read or purchase any of his books. Don’t care what side of the political spectrum you’re on, I don’t read finance books or podcasts to learn your politic...
by MP123
Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: has anyone here tried to engineer a low-income-generating portfolio?
Replies: 18
Views: 1369

Re: has anyone here tried to engineer a low-income-generating portfolio?

I tend to agree with Klangfool on the $5M portfolio too. It gets more interesting right around the ACA subsidy cutoff. For a couple that's about $65k MAGI. Over that no subsidy at all, under that your premiums are subsidized. ACA subsidies work by capping your premium to a max of 9.5% of your income...
by MP123
Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: has anyone here tried to engineer a low-income-generating portfolio?
Replies: 18
Views: 1369

Re: has anyone here tried to engineer a low-income-generating portfolio?

Note that $7,500 a year would be too low for ACA, in most states you'd end up on Medicaid expansion. Presumably you could generate some capital gains to keep your income high enough though. Also note that muni bond interest counts towards ACA eligibility even if it's not taxed so that's not a help. ...
by MP123
Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can’t decide if we’re getting close to FIRE without knowing health care costs
Replies: 30
Views: 2277

Re: Can’t decide if we’re getting close to FIRE without knowing health care costs

You should be able to figure out what insurance will cost by visiting your state's healthcare marketplace online. If you're both 50-ish your policy will likely cost $10-15K/yr with a high ($14k) deductible if you don't qualify for subsidies. If you do qualify and subsidies are still around you would...
by MP123
Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing muni bond funds
Replies: 52
Views: 4480

Re: Choosing muni bond funds

Looks like both have front load fees as well as high ER.

Vanguard has several muni funds worth checking out...
by MP123
Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another 8606 thread - IRS transcript shows all zeros
Replies: 15
Views: 1531

Re: Another 8606 thread - IRS transcript shows all zeros

I efile with TurboTax and show the following: Form 8606--Nondeductible IRAs (Occurrence #: 1) SPOUSE INDICATOR:............................................................5 TAXABLE NONDEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS:.....................................$0.00 TOTL AMT IRA CNVRTD TO ROTH IRA:..................
by MP123
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The stock market is officially in a correction... here's what usually happens next"
Replies: 83
Views: 13198

Re: "The stock market is officially in a correction... here's what usually happens next"

I have a pile of cash (about 200k remaining) that I was DCA'ing into my robo-advisor taxable account, first week of each month - so I just did that (50k) Monday. I'm trying to decide if I should not wait until the first week of March for the next tranche and instead dump another 50k in now. Could b...
by MP123
Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenants want to break lease early and is pregnant
Replies: 105
Views: 8646

Re: Tenants want to break lease early and is pregnant

Let them go, give back deposits assuming it's in good shape, and raise the rent. Win/win.

Trying to claw two months rent out of them isn't worth the headaches.
by MP123
Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with understanding what should be in a Roth IRA vs traditional IRA
Replies: 7
Views: 572

Re: Help with understanding what should be in a Roth IRA vs traditional IRA

Put your highest expected growth assets in the Roth. This assumes of course that you have developed some sort of asset allocation plan and can identify which class of asset is likely to grow the most. Think forward 30 years: Whatever you take out of the Roth won't be taxed at all (great!). Whatever ...
by MP123
Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to sell gold krugerrands?
Replies: 12
Views: 1299

Re: Best way to sell gold krugerrands?

Coin/jewelry dealers (not mall jewelers) will buy them. I'm sure there's some in LA.
by MP123
Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why does my wife have this portfolio?
Replies: 32
Views: 3764

Re: Why does my wife have this portfolio?

It's certainly not boggleheaded but not terrible either. Conspicuously lacking in bonds. Way too many individual stocks. Doesn't look like a whole lot of front load or ER on the funds but better check that. Is there AUM? She could have done much worse just look at some E. J. threads... I'd say happy...