Search found 132 matches

by cowdogman
Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase "You Invest" + Sapphire Banking Linking
Replies: 6
Views: 765

Re: Chase "You Invest" + Sapphire Banking Linking

I have this setup--Chase Sapphire checking and You Invest. I agree with RickBoglehead, but I don't think what you suggest works for a couple reasons: 1. Because it doesn't. That is, I'm pretty sure there is no overdraft mechanism in You Invest. 2. Maybe more importantly, one of the drawbacks with Yo...
by cowdogman
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need to separate biz transactions from personal -- do we need a biz checking account?
Replies: 18
Views: 853

Re: Need to separate biz transactions from personal -- do we need a biz checking account?

I had this issue with my wife's business for years. If your wife is filing a Schedule C as a sole proprietor, it's not necessary to have a separate account. We finally opened a Chase business checking account for her business and got a Chase Ink business credit card (with the bonus point offer). It ...
by cowdogman
Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon
Replies: 122
Views: 9247

Re: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon

I always buy the Home and Business version. Most years I buy as soon as available on Amazon, but this year I think I'll wait. It always drops in price within a few weeks. Plus when I bought it last year it was barely functional--there were so many "incomplete" sections--and the main reason I wanted...
by cowdogman
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon
Replies: 122
Views: 9247

Re: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon

I always buy the Home and Business version. Most years I buy as soon as available on Amazon, but this year I think I'll wait. It always drops in price within a few weeks. Plus when I bought it last year it was barely functional--there were so many "incomplete" sections--and the main reason I wanted...
by cowdogman
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another HSA spouse question
Replies: 4
Views: 409

Re: Yet another HSA spouse question

Ok, I assumed only one of us could open a family account and so the other is stuck with an individual account. I think what you both are saying is that we can both open family accounts.

[Insert joke about assuming here--my favorite one is in Slammin' Salmon (the movie).]

Thanks!
by cowdogman
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon
Replies: 122
Views: 9247

Re: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon

I always buy the Home and Business version. Most years I buy as soon as available on Amazon, but this year I think I'll wait. It always drops in price within a few weeks. Plus when I bought it last year it was barely functional--there were so many "incomplete" sections--and the main reason I wanted ...
by cowdogman
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another HSA spouse question
Replies: 4
Views: 409

Yet another HSA spouse question

Hi: I have looked thru a lot of the posts on this site and I think I know the answer to my question, but I'm not sure. For 2020 we will have an HSA-qualified healthcare plan purchased on the Washington State Exchange. My wife will be subscriber and the policy will cover the both of us and ours kids....
by cowdogman
Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Timing Issue
Replies: 1
Views: 286

529 Timing Issue

My older son is taking a semester off college and will re-start in January 2020. He was in school for all of the 2018-2019 academic year. He needs a new computer now and wants to get a head start with textbooks. Can I buy those now and treat as 529 expenses in 2019, or would I have to wait until Jan...
by cowdogman
Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can one own a Porsche 911 that is not a money pit?
Replies: 78
Views: 10042

Re: Can one own a Porsche 911 that is not a money pit?

I have one word for you: Miata. Fun to drive, reasonably inexpensive, and you can park it in public without having to go back to check on it every five minutes. I grew up in the 60s and 70s and a lot of the dads had their weekend MGs and 2002s--relatively inexpensive but fun to drive sports cars. If...
by cowdogman
Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 - over saving?
Replies: 25
Views: 1334

Re: 529 - over saving?

Just be prepared that if your kid ends up in Austin, it will be very expensive to live there. Apartments around campus are $1200-1500+ per month for a one bedroom. Expect to pay $100/month for parking. Austin is expensive. And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, you cannot exceed the cost of attendance (about $11,0...
by cowdogman
Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 - over saving?
Replies: 25
Views: 1334

Re: 529 - over saving?

I would just make sure you are saving enough for your own retirement first. You would be way better off with a shortfall in the education fund because your son could easily get a loan for the difference (or from you) and have an entire career to comfortably pay it back. Totally agree. Cover your ex...
by cowdogman
Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 - over saving?
Replies: 25
Views: 1334

Re: 529 - over saving?

Depends on your cash availability. I probably over-saved. Between my wife and me we put in about $150,000 per child (two sons) when they were very young--15-20 years ago. But we were assuming private college and possibly/hopefully graduate school. But then the first son got a large scholarship (musi...
by cowdogman
Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bronze vs Bronze HSA
Replies: 18
Views: 1323

Re: Bronze vs Bronze HSA

If you’re willing to share… What is the annual premium without premium tax credit? And, are you funding solo 401(k)s (which, like an HSA, reduce modified adjusted gross income). For 2020, non-HSA bronze premium is $21,941.88 and HSA bronze premium is 22,453.68. We don't fund pre-tax 401(k)s anymore...
by cowdogman
Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bronze vs Bronze HSA
Replies: 18
Views: 1323

Re: Bronze vs Bronze HSA

OP here. Thanks very much for the really useful input. So far we have always fallen off the ACA cliff (that is, not qualified for subsidies), but using the HSA to, possibly, stay on the cliff edge is a very good point. How close we get to staying on the cliff varies year by year. My economic analysi...
by cowdogman
Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bronze vs Bronze HSA
Replies: 18
Views: 1323

Bronze vs Bronze HSA

We're self employed and buy our healthcare on the Washington State Exchange. We have two children on the policy. I experimented this year (2019) and bought a bronze policy. The premium is $1,065/month less than the gold from the same insurer. And each month I have deposited $1,065 in a dedicated HY ...
by cowdogman
Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flagship clients no longer have a personal rep
Replies: 48
Views: 3974

Re: Flagship clients no longer have a personal rep

Hmmm. My rep called me a couple weeks ago to check in--and didn't mention anything. I have mixed feelings on this change (if it affects me). Right now, I quite like my rep. He's very good, but I have had some bad ones over the years--and I would go out of my way to call when they were not available ...
by cowdogman
Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who does your tax returns?
Replies: 103
Views: 5168

Re: Who does your tax returns?

TurboTax for 20+ years, with a very detailed Excel spreadsheet as a double check (and to allow me to do tax planning during the year.) We have a couple businesses (no employees) and individual 401(k)s--and for the last few years I have been beginning to question my decision to do our taxes on our ow...
by cowdogman
Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turned down for umbrella insurance due to freelance work
Replies: 16
Views: 1525

Re: Turned down for umbrella insurance due to freelance work

My wife and I are in a similar situation, also in WA State. We have had no insurance issue with an in home business--in fact (or maybe because) we have separate business-owners insurance. Keep in mind that the umbrella coverage, like your homeowners coverage, does not cover liability arising out of ...
by cowdogman
Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase "You Invest" account - Biggest complaint
Replies: 24
Views: 3696

Re: Chase "You Invest" account - Biggest complaint

We upgraded to Sapphire checking earlier this year and placed $100K in You Invest to avoid the $25/month admin fee on the Sapphire Checking (I know the requirement is "only" $75K). And we did get the 60,000 points eventually, tho I had to chase a couple times (note Chase will issue a 2019 1099 for $...
by cowdogman
Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Calculators
Replies: 13
Views: 1855

Re: Retirement Calculators

Island John wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:05 am
The Retiree Portfolio Model spreadsheet posted by BigFoot48 is pretty comprehensive and flexible.
I think our posts crossed. I took a quick look and will spend some time with this. I noted that the formulas are visible, which is great (tho cells are locked).

Thanks.
by cowdogman
Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Calculators
Replies: 13
Views: 1855

Re: Retirement Calculators

I spend a lot of time on Excel, and when I try online or app retirement calculators I'm always frustrated by the fact that I can't look at the formulas. How am I supposed to trust the results? Is there a comprehensive (e.g., includes an RMD and general tax strategy) Excel spreadsheet out there for r...
by cowdogman
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital Loss on Sale of Inherited House
Replies: 11
Views: 1227

Re: Capital Loss on Sale of Inherited House

Because you PAY taxes on gains. Losses REDUCE taxes. So there is incentive to manufacture losses that don't exist so they look for these situations. Whether a taxpayer games the system and either reduces capital gains or increases capital losses, the net result is the same to the IRS--less taxes pa...
by cowdogman
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital Loss on Sale of Inherited House
Replies: 11
Views: 1227

Re: Capital Loss on Sale of Inherited House

Trying to understand what is going on is great but if the estate was significant I would suggest having the estate tax returns professionally done in case you were thinking of doing them yourself. Thanks. Yes, the estate taxes are being done by an accountant, but probably not for a few months yet. ...
by cowdogman
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?
Replies: 110
Views: 9489

Re: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?

Always carry it--usually in my shirt pocket--altho usually covered by suit jacket or sweater. But I'm pretty good about not losing stuff--and am not often in places where I have to worry about pickpockets. Plus if you're traveling on business, many office buildings/companies will require ID before i...
by cowdogman
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital Loss on Sale of Inherited House
Replies: 11
Views: 1227

Re: Capital Loss on Sale of Inherited House

It is likely if the transaction was very close the passing of the owner, the real estate market in that geographic are was stable at the time of the sale and the sale was "arms-length" then the selling price could be evidence of FMV. However, if IRS questions the return and gain/(loss) - probably m...
by cowdogman
Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital Loss on Sale of Inherited House
Replies: 11
Views: 1227

Capital Loss on Sale of Inherited House

My wife's dad died in January of this year. Her mother had passed away earlier. Her dad left his house and most of the remainder of the estate to my wife and her two brothers (split equally). He owned the house himself, free of mortgage. The house was listed with a broker by the estate and sold to a...
by cowdogman
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?
Replies: 25
Views: 3084

Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Don't think it is mentioned above but Citi dropped their rate to 2.21% a few weeks ago. I opened a Citi savings account several months ago. It was an admin nightmare for the first few months. First, I made a credit card payment out the account and it bounced ("Sorry, we forget to unfreeze your accou...
by cowdogman
Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist
Replies: 122
Views: 8185

Re: Managing joint finances when one is a perfectionist

Imagine if you were both perfectionists and you both wanted to manage the finances. That would be the nightmare.

People have different strengths and weaknesses. You'll figure it out.
by cowdogman
Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Left Over 529
Replies: 9
Views: 1400

Re: Left Over 529

Funds may be withdrawn from a 529 free from the penalty (but not free from the tax) equal to scholarships granted to the student. There is some disagreement whether the scholarship withdrawal (1) needs to be in the same tax year as the scholarship grant or (2) can be up to the aggregate amount of sc...
by cowdogman
Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to title a car
Replies: 42
Views: 2763

Re: How to title a car

Do you know how frequently this occurs, that is severe injury or death leading to a settlement that exceeds an insured’s umbrella policy? I think the more relevant question is "How much umbrella coverage is sufficient to prevent a lawsuit from going to trial?" If liability is clear (the child was n...
by cowdogman
Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheap Estate Planning Options for 30-somethings?
Replies: 10
Views: 781

Re: Cheap Estate Planning Options for 30-somethings?

I think the key fact you list is that you have kids. (And I very much agree with stan1's comments.) Yes, odds are very (very) low that both you and your spouse are going to die soon, but if you did you would want a solid set of estate documents for your kids. In addition, a good estate attorney will...
by cowdogman
Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A brief report on a meeting with a Chase Private Client Banker
Replies: 22
Views: 4391

Re: A brief report on a meeting with a Chase Private Client Banker

I'm sure it varies city to city, but my experience is that big-name national banks do not have competitive mortgage rates. If you go to any of the usual sites (e.g., bankrate.com) you won't see any of the big banks listed as competitive. Yes, Chase may give .25% or .50% off the rate if you are high ...
by cowdogman
Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A brief report on a meeting with a Chase Private Client Banker
Replies: 22
Views: 4391

Re: A brief report on a meeting with a Chase Private Client Banker

I like Chase, especially our personal (not private) banker. We have the Sapphire checking, and I avoid the monthly fee by having the minimum balance in YouInvest in ETFs. The Sapphire checking is a good product. I have inadvertently sat thru a private banker sales pitch--went to the branch to open a...
by cowdogman
Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to title a car
Replies: 42
Views: 2763

Re: How to title a car

I believe that this is mostly urban legend. Here are 2019 form jury instructions for a case involving the family car doctrine in Washington State: https://govt.westlaw.com/wciji/Document/I2c8c564ee10d11dab058a118868d70a9?viewType=FullText&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageIt...
by cowdogman
Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to title a car
Replies: 42
Views: 2763

Re: How to title a car

The law differs state to state. I live in a state where the "family car doctrine" (Google it) applies. The court looks to various factors to determine whether the parent is liable. In my state the name on the title and child's age are not dispositive. In fact, the doctrine can extend to non-children...
by cowdogman
Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Planning - what instructions to leave for wife to handle finances
Replies: 19
Views: 2311

Re: Estate Planning - what instructions to leave for wife to handle finances

I agree with a lot of the above. I went thru something similar a few years ago. Had a possible health issue and started to worry about my wife, who also has no interest in finances. Here's what I did: 1. I keep all our finances in Quicken and a handful of Excel spreadsheets. So she sat with me sever...
by cowdogman
Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance shopping - good alternative to State Farm for auto, home, umbrella
Replies: 20
Views: 1341

Re: Insurance shopping - good alternative to State Farm for auto, home, umbrella

Hi: Went thru this last year with State Farm. Have been with State Farm since 1988 and I like our agent, but the rates keep going up in excess of inflation with zero claims (happened again this year--HO went up 13%) and so I decided to look around. I talked to an independent agent, Allstate and Farm...
by cowdogman
Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Credit Card for College Freshman
Replies: 50
Views: 2359

Re: Best Credit Card for College Freshman

Here's why. You co-sign loan on car. Daughter is involved in a horrible accident, where she's fine, but other parties are horribly injured. As co-owner of the vehicle, your estate is now at risk. +1 [Edit: Not 100% sure that is true in every state, only states with owner liability laws--unless the ...
by cowdogman
Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Credit Card for College Freshman
Replies: 50
Views: 2359

Re: Best Credit Card for College Freshman

My reason for not co-signing on a credit card was not to avoid liability (altho that is a very valid reason), it's that my son may have that card for 20+ years (in fact he should have it for 20+ years because it's a no fee card and cancelling it may lower his credit score). At some point I would wan...
by cowdogman
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Try to Get Fidelity to Offer Online Contributions to Solo 401(k) Plans
Replies: 14
Views: 1007

Re: Help Try to Get Fidelity to Offer Online Contributions to Solo 401(k) Plans

It's interesting. I got really irritated with Vanguard last year and moved my 401(k) to Fidelity in part because working with Vanguard's small business 401(k) website (separate from the main Vanguard site) was like traveling back in time to the 1997 internet. The final straw was when they told me I ...
by cowdogman
Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Credit Card for College Freshman
Replies: 50
Views: 2359

Re: Best Credit Card for College Freshman

camillus wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:05 pm
What might be best is to get a card that is issued by the bank that holds his checking.
+1 That also probably helped with our son getting approved.
by cowdogman
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth
Replies: 8
Views: 619

Re: Backdoor Roth

Duckie wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:07 pm
The backdoor method is different because if done properly you are converting after-tax assets into Roth assets and will pay little to no taxes on the conversion.
Got it. Thanks. I think I understand now.
by cowdogman
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Credit Card for College Freshman
Replies: 50
Views: 2359

Re: Best Credit Card for College Freshman

1. Don't co-sign. 2. Make sure the limit is low ($500). Less tempting to over-spend and less risky if lost/stolen. He/you can always pay off the balance and increase availability. 3. Have him use it for daily expenses. I did this for my son when he was freshman in college and he's now a junior and h...
by cowdogman
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth
Replies: 8
Views: 619

Re: Backdoor Roth

The thread is closed--"becoming contentious"--which it was. Here are a couple excerpts: "How about a back door Roth contribution? How do you feel about that? Roth IRAs have income limits, so they were meant for people below a certain income. But, the backdoor Roth manevour allows wealthy people to g...
by cowdogman
Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth
Replies: 8
Views: 619

Backdoor Roth

I was just on a thread that got a bit contentious and 2-3 people said something like "you're the type of person that would use a backdoor Roth". I know what a Roth account is, and I know what a backdoor Roth is and (as of a few minutes ago) I know what a mega-backdoor Roth is, but I have no idea why...
by cowdogman
Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch auto insurance?
Replies: 18
Views: 1943

Re: Switch auto insurance?

I mean, I buy my insurance through the 1-800 number and don't deal with individual agents. So if I have a claim, I'm calling a 1-800 number for that, too. I don't need a relationship with my insurance company. But if I can save $1000 or more with a reputable company (I'm not skimping and choosing s...
by cowdogman
Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I semi-retire now?
Replies: 138
Views: 13934

Re: Can I semi-retire now?

chipperd wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:26 pm
I can't get you to see that either, so I'm done here.
I'm happy to try to explain why I think you're gaming the system, if you want. Maybe in the process I'll realize I'm wrong.
by cowdogman
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I semi-retire now?
Replies: 138
Views: 13934

Re: Can I semi-retire now?

Since my questions have gone unanswered and I continue to be misrepresented on a multitude of posts, at the risk of providing more fodder to be misinterpreted and then used for others to claim a moral high ground, let me be clear that any financial aid that my family has received for college has co...
by cowdogman
Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch auto insurance?
Replies: 18
Views: 1943

Re: Switch auto insurance?

I think it is valuable to have all your insurances with one insurer (not just one agent) and to develop a long-term relationship with an agent you trust. And this is different from having all your investments with one FA so you can develop a long-term relationship with a FA you trust? Not sure I 10...
by cowdogman
Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch auto insurance?
Replies: 18
Views: 1943

Re: Switch auto insurance?

Finally 2, checking rates every year will probably just drive you crazy. If you're going to check rates, maybe do it every 5 years--and discuss what you're doing with your agent--he/she may have some ideas that could save you money (altho when I do this I always end up increasing coverage). To each...