Search found 148 matches

by Nutmeg
Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Insights From a Long Call With Vanguard Reps Today
Replies: 74
Views: 11996

Re: Insights from Vanguard

I had a very long call with Vanguard today. We discussed many different topics and I thought some of the things they said might interest some of you, so here are some of my notes and impressions: Not exactly surprising but, they agreed LifeStrategy funds aren’t suited for taxable accounts. thanks f...
by Nutmeg
Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Resort vacation w/ 6 month old...?
Replies: 30
Views: 1679

Re: Resort vacation w/ 6 month old...?

I loved taking annual beach trips with my children and in-laws at every age from 6 months onward and never felt the trips were too difficult. We flew some years and drove some years. Going with the in-laws made the trips a lot easier than they would have been otherwise. Going to the beach with my mo...
by Nutmeg
Tue May 28, 2019 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home sale (Estate)
Replies: 33
Views: 1413

Re: Home sale (Estate)

The OP wrote: A couple of us other siblings are unsure we should do any of that work. The question as to whether “we” should do any of the work shows that perhaps the OP is mistaken as to the nature of the situation. The estate is a separate legal entity, and the executor of the estate represents it...
by Nutmeg
Sat May 04, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withholding for a teenager's summer job
Replies: 10
Views: 792

Re: Withholding for a teenager's summer job

If you live in a state with income taxes, then it is possible that the teenager could be exempt for federal tax purposes but not for state tax purposes. In that case, the same educational benefit could be derived by filing tax returns without the necessity of allowing the federal government to have ...
by Nutmeg
Sat May 04, 2019 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Settlement options for a special needs minor about to receive personal injury award
Replies: 28
Views: 1520

Re: Settlement options for a special needs minor about to receive personal injury award

This is an excellent website, to which I have referred often:

https://www.specialneedsalliance.org/

Particularly helpful pages in your case might be those for FAQs, special needs attorney listings, “The Voice” (newsletter) and Publications.
by Nutmeg
Sat May 04, 2019 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Say you have a pension & lot of cash. With those in mind, does it make sense to have a more aggressive allocation?
Replies: 62
Views: 4328

Re: Say you have a pension & lot of cash. With those in mind, does it make sense to have a more aggressive allocation?

Technically, you do not yet “have a pension” because you are not yet receiving it. It appears that have the possibility of a pension in the future. Questions to ask yourself include: If you retired today, would you receive a pension, and if so, at what percentage of your salary? Do you have job prot...
by Nutmeg
Fri May 03, 2019 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone ever used a water damage restoration company to help file insurance claim?
Replies: 22
Views: 1120

Re: Anyone ever used a water damage restoration company to help file insurance claim?

Has anyone here ever used a water damage restoration company to help file an insurance claim? Is it better to just call my insurance company and file the claim myself? Or is it better to have a water damage restoration company file the insurance claim for me? What things do I need to watch out for ...
by Nutmeg
Fri May 03, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe with teens - hotel options
Replies: 42
Views: 2725

Re: Europe with teens - hotel options

My experience in Austria, Germany and German-speaking Switzerland is that hotel rooms usually had two twin beds, sometimes right next to each other. Therefore, traveling with teenagers required booking two hotel rooms or renting through a service such as Airbnb. In rare cases, one could book a famil...
by Nutmeg
Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Household budget, savings, retirement, and Home Equity question
Replies: 23
Views: 2316

Re: Household budget, savings, retirement, and Home Equity question

What are your current interest rates on your various loans? It seems that you have a car loan, a mortgage, a TSP loan, and credit card debt. How does your current mortgage rate compare to the potential rates on a 20 or 30 year refinanced loan? What are you earning on your emergency fund money? If yo...
by Nutmeg
Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New HVAC systems before selling home
Replies: 29
Views: 2138

Re: New HVAC systems before selling home

I recommend replacing at least the upstairs AC, which was having trouble keeping up last summer, so you get the benefit of the improvement. Also, consider whether your house would be attractive to first-time homebuyers (who might stay away from a house with older HVAC because it was all they could d...
by Nutmeg
Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Age for starting kindergarten
Replies: 61
Views: 3726

Re: Age for starting kindergarten

Would it be possible for your grandson to go to five-day preschool or to transitional kindergarten before going to typical kindergarten? I think the child’s size is worth considering as the parents look at all the factors involved in this decision. My children were in the opposite situation—in the 9...
by Nutmeg
Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Haven't bought a car in ages - how does negotiation work these days?
Replies: 47
Views: 5053

Re: Haven't bought a car in ages - how does negotiation work these days?

If you obtain out-the-door offers from dealers, be certain to determine how much state and local sales tax the jurisdiction in which you live will charge you and how much is allocated for taxes in the OTD quote. One unscrupulous dealer money-making tactic is to undercharge you for taxes in the OTD q...
by Nutmeg
Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 90 day waiting period for Vanguard Flagship
Replies: 37
Views: 3980

Re: 90 day waiting period for Vanguard Flagship

I find the Flagship service to be useful, as the Flagship reps seem better informed than the general customer service pool. If my Flagship rep isn’t available when I call, I make an appointment for him to call me back during a specific time window, and he does.
by Nutmeg
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking at buying from a builder -- should I get an agent?
Replies: 59
Views: 3582

Re: Looking at buying from a builder -- should I get an agent?

No they don’t, I’ve never heard of that. It seems consumer protection laws would prohibit them from doing it. I haven't looked it up, but I seriously doubt there are laws prohibiting negotiated prices for real estate. A builder doesn't explicitly charge for a real estate commission, but you have mo...
by Nutmeg
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Simple Last Will/Testamentary Trust Question
Replies: 16
Views: 1182

Re: Simple Last Will/Testamentary Trust Question

I'm an attorney, and my advice to you is: Find a real lawyer who specializes in wills and estates! Like I said, I'm an attorney but I don't practice wills and estates law, and I thought how hard could it be? My family situation is simple! I could do some research and figure it out! So I did it for ...
by Nutmeg
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newbie question on trusts and estate planning
Replies: 15
Views: 1460

Re: Newbie question on trusts and estate planning

I am the trustee of a special needs trust. I recommend the Special Needs Alliance for information about legal planning for families of people with special needs. This is the link to its newsletter: https://www.specialneedsalliance.org/the-voice/ From that link, you can access a list of special needs...
by Nutmeg
Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance worth it? with closing costs vs no cost
Replies: 9
Views: 897

Re: Refinance worth it? with closing costs vs no cost

I do not recommend getting a home refinancing loan for more than the amount currently owed on the loan (as would happen if you have made two payments that include principal and yet refinance for the full amount of the original loan.) If you do so, you will not be able to deduct interest or points on...
by Nutmeg
Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Turbo Tax ever wrong? 1099-DIV, Finding state discrepancy....
Replies: 14
Views: 995

Re: Is Turbo Tax ever wrong? 1099-DIV, Finding state discrepancy....

It doesn't look you you can switch from the online to the download form without paying for TT again. When I notified TurboTax of the error in their online form, their “solution” was to give me a downloaded copy at no additional cost. Of course, because nobody would listen to my explanation of the e...
by Nutmeg
Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I just buy the townhouse I'm currently renting
Replies: 33
Views: 2912

Re: Should I just buy the townhouse I'm currently renting

The difficulty with answering your question is that you lack an important piece of information: how much would the owner be willing to accept to sell the house to you..

I recommend asking the owner this question.
by Nutmeg
Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Turbo Tax ever wrong? 1099-DIV, Finding state discrepancy....
Replies: 14
Views: 995

Re: Is Turbo Tax ever wrong? 1099-DIV, Finding state discrepancy....

Yes, TurboTax is sometimes wrong. I am a retired attorney who helps family members prepare their taxes. I discovered an error on the online version of the forms, looked up the IRS publications so I could explain the error, talked to several customer service representatives (because they kept transfe...
by Nutmeg
Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 26, inherited some money, planning for the future
Replies: 23
Views: 5310

Re: 26, inherited some money, planning for the future

I am concerned that you might receive inaccurate information or waste the time of people who are trying to help you because your statements about the means by which you acquired the investments are inconsistent. The title states that you inherited money, but later statements make it appear that you ...
by Nutmeg
Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I sell the bank stocks I [inherited] in 2006?
Replies: 24
Views: 1538

Re: Should I sell the bank stocks I was given in 2006?

In order to determine whether you can tax loss harvest, you will need to know the giver‘s original basis as well as the fair market value at the time of the gift. If the giver‘s original basis was lower than FMV at that time, you must use the giver‘s basis to determine your gain or loss when you sel...
by Nutmeg
Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payoff debt or not?
Replies: 2
Views: 231

Re: Payoff debt or not?

I would save up the money to pay off the car loan completely later this year and do it all at once. Paying it off all at once is less hassle than making two early payments and preserves your emergency fund for its intended purpose. If you had an emergency in the intervening 5 months, it would be har...
by Nutmeg
Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which debt to payoff?
Replies: 22
Views: 1382

Re: Which debt to payoff?

It appears that you have at least $45,000 to apply somewhere, you have a 2% loan, a 3.5% loan, and a 24% tax bracket, you wish to invest more in the stock market, and you are not maxing out your 401(k). I recommend maxing out your 401(k). You will save a guaranteed 24% in the first year, plus you wi...
by Nutmeg
Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone used software to write a Will?
Replies: 66
Views: 4647

Re: Has anyone used software to write a Will?

As a retired lawyer who didn’t practice in the estate planning area, I paid an attorney who did to prepare my estate planning documents every time my spouse and I moved to a new state, and once after the first child turned 18. Even after the children were over 18, I believed it was worth the cost to...
by Nutmeg
Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2-week European vacation
Replies: 34
Views: 2518

Re: 2-week European vacation

If you have 14 days to vacation in Europe and know already that you will be in London and Paris, I strongly recommend reducing the number of countries you visit on this trip to two. There is so much to see in England and France that you could easily have an unforgettable experience concentrating in ...
by Nutmeg
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Inheriting previously inherited assets, do they get stepped up twice?
Replies: 4
Views: 754

Re: Inheriting previously inherited assets, do they get stepped up twice?

Note that technically basis in inherited property is not stepped up at the date of death, but rather marked to market. Therefore, if the property has lost value, its basis is stepped down.
by Nutmeg
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?
Replies: 108
Views: 5722

Re: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?

My children were eligible for merit aid but not financial aid. They didn’t complete any merit aid applications that required financial information to be provided, and we did not complete FAFSA. I did not want to provide any financial information because of privacy concerns, and I knew that they woul...
by Nutmeg
Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift tax question
Replies: 176
Views: 7342

Re: Gift tax question

Then hypothetically (again I am not trying to commit any fraud - that is the whole reason I started this thread - lol) - wouldn't anyone who gifts money to someone no longer be able to receive a gift back from that person? Where does the line get drawn in the legal sand? The point is, they are not ...
by Nutmeg
Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trustee of inherited business
Replies: 62
Views: 2803

Re: Trustee of Inherited Business continued

I suggest that you re-read the terms of the trust, paying particular attention to the termination provisions. Your new lawyer will be reading the document and perhaps will walk you through it, but you might find the starting point for learning the answers to be contained in the trust document.
by Nutmeg
Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electricity bill should be 7% per month of home sq footage.
Replies: 66
Views: 4129

Re: Electricity bill should be 7% per month of home sq footage.

The fact that the monthly electricity cost for some people is 7 percent of square footage doesn’t mean that this is a reasonable rule of thumb for you. In the event you are collecting anecdotes, I can tell you that the percentages for my family‘s last two houses were 12 percent (in summer) and 3.5 p...
by Nutmeg
Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trustee of inherited business
Replies: 62
Views: 2803

Re: Trustee of inherited business

I suggest working with the attorney to clarify the legal situation. As a retired attorney (and the trustee of several trusts), this stood out to me: We are partners in that we are the beneficiaries. Actually, if you are the trustee of a trust that owns the shares of a company, you and your brother a...
by Nutmeg
Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Incompetent home inspector - what to do?
Replies: 52
Views: 5350

Re: Incompetent home inspector - what to do?

A buyer can back out of a contract to buy a house, but whether he can do so without losing the security deposit is determined by state law and the terms of the contract. For at least one house I bought, the cost of the repairs determined by the inspector to be necessary had to have been at least $10...
by Nutmeg
Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Helping mom with inheritance. Help!
Replies: 23
Views: 2627

Re: Helping mom with inheritance. Help!

OP, please note that a recipient of government benefits is required to report certain changes in financial status to the caseworker within a certain time. Here is the langauage from the Pennsylvania benefit application form: RESPONSIBILITY TO REPORT CHANGES If you qualify for benefits, you will be r...
by Nutmeg
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My Grandmother has 80% stocks
Replies: 55
Views: 5868

Re: My Grandmother has 80% stocks

I agree with JAlbert. Also, if your grandmother wishes to reduce her holdings in stocks, she can take the gifts that she would normally make in cash and make them in the form of appreciated securities instead. For example, she can transfer shares of Vanguard funds to charities or to young relatives ...
by Nutmeg
Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0% loan to family member
Replies: 44
Views: 2859

Re: 0% loan to family member

As a retired attorney, I advise you to bring this situation up with your father and let him know of some potential legal issues. As someone else has pointed out, the IRS can impute interest to your father if your father made a loan, even if no interest is charged or received. Further, if your fathe...
by Nutmeg
Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0% loan to family member
Replies: 44
Views: 2859

Re: 0% loan to family member

As a retired attorney, I advise you to bring this situation up with your father and let him know of some potential legal issues. As someone else has pointed out, the IRS can impute interest to your father if your father made a loan, even if no interest is charged or received. Further, if your fathe...
by Nutmeg
Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0% loan to family member
Replies: 44
Views: 2859

Re: 0% loan to family member

As a retired attorney, I advise you to bring this situation up with your father and let him know of some potential legal issues. As someone else has pointed out, the IRS can impute interest to your father if your father made a loan, even if no interest is charged or received. Further, if your father...
by Nutmeg
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking ideas for relaxing but not boring vacation
Replies: 19
Views: 1779

Re: Seeking ideas for relaxing but not boring vacation

Thanks very much for all the responses sent so far! I will do additional research based on this information! I will save ideas for Caribbean vacations for future trips. I recognize that hurricane season should be winding down in October, but I would like to avoid the stress of having to make conting...
by Nutmeg
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal liability issues as a result of hiring uninsured & unlicensed handyman
Replies: 38
Views: 4953

Re: Personal liability issues as a result of hiring uninsured & unlicensed handyman

My elderly father owns a rather large piece of property in Florida & wants to have quite a few large trees removed and the branches of lots of trees trimmed &/or removed. He's had several licensed & insured companies out to the property to give him quotes to do the work, which ranged from $2,000 to...
by Nutmeg
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking ideas for relaxing but not boring vacation
Replies: 19
Views: 1779

Seeking ideas for relaxing but not boring vacation

A week in October opened in my partner’s hectic work schedule, so we are seeking ideas for a relaxing but not boring vacation. My partner would like mild weather and days that are long enough that we can enjoy evenings outside. I am not seeking the adventure of a lifetime this time, but an enjoyable...
by Nutmeg
Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint Ownership of home with second wife
Replies: 201
Views: 15121

Re: Joint Ownership of home with second wife

Originally had considered a marriage as equals, despite the disparities, but the sig other has made it clear that she has distaste for inheritances due to experience with and perception of siblings not making good use of inheritance (I don't agree with her 100%). I have an entirely different experi...
by Nutmeg
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ex-Spouse and Will Executor Hasn't Paid Bequest
Replies: 33
Views: 4453

Re: Ex-Spouse and Will Executor Hasn't Paid Bequest

The statute of limitations may or may not have run. It might not yet have begun to run. Not enough information has been provided for us to determine that. Whether the OP’s claim is barred is determined by the laws of the state in which the trust is located (probably the state of residence of the gra...
by Nutmeg
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ex-Spouse and Will Executor Hasn't Paid Bequest
Replies: 33
Views: 4453

Re: Ex-Spouse and Will Executor Hasn't Paid Bequest

Probate gets monitored very well by the courts. The trust is the wild wild west. No one is in charge of watching the trustee, or making sure he carries out the terms of the trust. The only enforcement mechanism is letting the beneficiaries know the terms of the trust, so that they can sue if they f...
by Nutmeg
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ex-Spouse and Will Executor Hasn't Paid Bequest
Replies: 33
Views: 4453

Re: Ex-Spouse and Will Executor Hasn't Paid Bequest

Some of the responses you have received so far seem to demonstrate confusion about the difference between a will and a trust. The purpose of a trust in some cases is to avoid probate (in simple terms, court supervision). It is irrelevant whether the estate has been settled or what the court records ...
by Nutmeg
Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Special Needs Trust
Replies: 31
Views: 3025

Re: Special Needs Trust

The trust for the child with special needs is for the most part the same as the trust for the child without special needs. The difference is that, depending on the nature of the disability, the child with special needs may have a lesser degree of control (or no control at all) over his/her trust. W...
by Nutmeg
Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: home buying question
Replies: 7
Views: 985

Re: home buying question

With regard to your first question, I would be surprised if you could get the lower rate associated with a mortgage on a primary residence if you plan to rent it for the first two or three years.
by Nutmeg
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Special Needs Trust
Replies: 31
Views: 3025

Re: Special Needs Trust

The trust for the child with special needs is for the most part the same as the trust for the child without special needs. The difference is that, depending on the nature of the disability, the child with special needs may have a lesser degree of control (or no control at all) over his/her trust. W...
by Nutmeg
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation insurance when you have sick elderly family
Replies: 11
Views: 1196

Re: Vacation insurance when you have sick elderly family

If you choose to buy trip insurance, be sure to read the terms very carefully. Some policies will not be available to you if too much time has passed since you made your initial purchase. Some do not cover preexisting conditions, which could mean that you would not be insured if you must interrupt y...
by Nutmeg
Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift to Son and Effect on Gift Tax
Replies: 35
Views: 3540

Re: Gift to Son and Effect on Gift Tax

If the OP wishes to pay off the student loans, he and his spouse can give the son and the son’s wife $30,000, which together with the $20,000 already given this year equals $50,000. That amount is less than the $60,000 amount that a married couple can give another married couple without having to f...