Search found 3604 matches

by mikep
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?
Replies: 7
Views: 789

Re: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?

Here's another perspective on why I decided against it (for now). Spending $48k per year would get you another 1% or $480 the first year over the fidelity 2%. Then future years would only be $240- $59 fee = $181 per year. Certainly not insignificant, but there are only so many cards one can get if o...
by mikep
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct and alternatives
Replies: 64
Views: 4712

Re: TaxAct and alternatives

Is FreeTax USA an online only product (appears to be based on website, but I thought I would check with the experts here)? If FreeTax USA is online, what is the current best option for those of us who do not want our personal financial information shared with one of these services (remember - if th...
by mikep
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?
Replies: 38
Views: 2092

Re: Cricket Wireless: What are the gotchas?

On the 5 lines for $100 here also. Still a good value, however in the last few months they have cut back on the following: 5 lines for $100 - now $130 as in another comment. Any change to any line triggers the new pricing Plan changes now take effect the next billing cycle - probably ok. Some were u...
by mikep
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 233
Views: 17554

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

Only skimmed this quickly but these cases seem to be same year payments (e.g. 2017 not 2018). Correct. Apparently, long ago, there was a question whether estimated state tax payments made in a year could be deducted on the federal return in that tax year. I believe this was finally resolved in Rev....
by mikep
Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 233
Views: 17554

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

Only skimmed this quickly but these cases seem to be same year payments (e.g. 2017 not 2018). Correct. Apparently, long ago, there was a question whether estimated state tax payments made in a year could be deducted on the federal return in that tax year. I believe this was finally resolved in Rev....
by mikep
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2017 Tax Software $9.95 , State $14.95
Replies: 36
Views: 4114

Re: H&R Block 2017 Tax Software $9.95 , State $14.95

Got the amazon $19.95 deal a couple weeks ago.. wow this is a good price
by mikep
Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 233
Views: 17554

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

In H&R block at home deluxe, there's a checkbox for 'other". - Other state income taxes paid in 2017 not already covered I think that is the best category for 2018 estimates.. anything there shouldn't show up on the state return. You could be paying them for 2018, 2016 or even from an audit in 2015 ...
by mikep
Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 233
Views: 17554

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

Has anyone asked the IRS or FTB about this? Why would the CA FTB make 2018 an option if federal deductions aren't allowed from it.. just to collect their money as soon as possible? Why not 2019 or 2020? I'm still on the fence on this one..there's really not much downside to try. Next year will be a ...
by mikep
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 233
Views: 17554

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

I see 2018 without registrering. Go through Web pay/ individuals / fill out the info / form 540-ES. 2015-2018 show up in the dropdown boxes.
by mikep
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Price of haircut?
Replies: 194
Views: 10351

Re: Price of haircut?

$10.99 great clips + $2 tip. Buy the $10.99 card this time of year for a year's worth of haircuts.
by mikep
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: It's that time of year again... buying christmas gifts
Replies: 70
Views: 5786

Re: It's that time of year again... buying christmas gifts

We get gifts mostly for the kids in my family, and draw names for each adult and have a spending limit of $50. Only need to buy for one adult instead of all the adults.. seems to work well. When the kids get cash they spend some and save some, what they save I put it in their ESA or 529 accounts.
by mikep
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying taxes with credit card?
Replies: 28
Views: 2644

Re: Paying taxes with credit card?

5% refund bonus is not worth it at all. I have the prime CC which gives 5% back on amazon anyway, so I get the same results without tying up a refund in an amazon gift card. Heck I have another CC which gives at least 7.5% back on amazon and most other stores so I would be losing 2.5% with the curre...
by mikep
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 127
Views: 10129

Re: H&R Block Software

Here is the list of forms supported in 2016 deluxe (form 8829 is missing): https://www.hrblock.com/pdf/HRB-Online-Fed-Forms/deluxe.pdf For 2017, it appears all downloaded versions support the same forms: https://www.hrblock.com/pdf/HRB-Desktop-Fed-Forms.pdf So, is there a need for me to get premium...
by mikep
Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 127
Views: 10129

Re: H&R Block Software

I bought the deluxe download version specifically because it did not have sales tax. If both were equal I probably would rather have the CD.
$19.99 is good, historically there is a thread on slickdeals where they can get it lower than that in previous years.
by mikep
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 127
Views: 10129

Re: H&R Block Software

Going to buy since I am tired of taxact shenanigans. Worst case I can mail in the state. Remember to click through jetblue for 3x jetblue points/$ on amazon. Alternatively, some Amex members may have a spend $30+ on H&R Block by 4/30/2018 get $10 back. If you have to pay for state e-file, probably ...
by mikep
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 127
Views: 10129

Re: H&R Block Software

Going to buy since I am tired of taxact shenanigans. Worst case I can mail in the state.

Remember to click through jetblue for 3x jetblue points/$ on amazon.
by mikep
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 127
Views: 10129

Re: H&R Block Software

Deal of the Day at Amazon today, 11/29. As I type this, the 2017 Deluxe + State + Refund CD, Windows download, and Mac download, are all $19.99. Other versions also available at a discount. https://www.amazon.com/s/browse/ref=gbps_img_s-3_0ee9_63282478?node=17450869011&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=30...
by mikep
Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct and alternatives
Replies: 64
Views: 4712

Re: TaxAct and alternatives

I tried FreeTaxUSA/Taxhawk last year and it didn't work for me for two reasons: 1) Couldn't handle inputting an adjustment code for the basis of my ESPP 2) HSA addition back to income/interest/capital gains in California. Is this fixed this year? If so they are worth another look. Good info. So far...
by mikep
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 127
Views: 10129

Re: H&R Block Software

Does deluxe handle everything? We file schedule C with home office, depreciation etc. I am fine without the handholding as long as the forms are supported 100%. Does it import taxact? No way I am paying taxact $64 this year.
by mikep
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct vs HR Block donation assistant
Replies: 1
Views: 269

Re: TaxAct vs HR Block donation assistant

Taxact backs up the values if audited, but I agree they are a little high and I usually just pick the lowest amount/condition they list. If you are comfortable with HR block, then I would just use those.
by mikep
Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct and alternatives
Replies: 64
Views: 4712

Re: TaxAct and alternatives

FWIW, I also used FreeTaxUSA last year for first time and was very satisfied. Will reuse this year. Only did Fed as I do state by hand. Thanks, Drew. I don't mind springing for the $12.95 for the state return. The convenience alone makes it worthwhile. (Yeah, I guess I'm just a lazy so and so. :win...
by mikep
Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct and alternatives
Replies: 64
Views: 4712

Re: TaxAct and alternatives

I tried FreeTaxUSA/Taxhawk last year and it didn't work for me for two reasons: 1) Couldn't handle inputting an adjustment code for the basis of my ESPP 2) HSA addition back to income/interest/capital gains in California. Is this fixed this year? If so they are worth another look. Good info. So far...
by mikep
Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct and alternatives
Replies: 64
Views: 4712

Re: TaxAct and alternatives

I tried FreeTaxUSA/Taxhawk last year and it didn't work for me for two reasons:

1) Couldn't handle inputting an adjustment code for the basis of my ESPP
2) HSA addition back to income/interest/capital gains in California.

Is this fixed this year? If so they are worth another look.
by mikep
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct pre-purchase discount
Replies: 144
Views: 21372

Re: TaxAct pre-purchase discount

Just received an email to "lock in" my "Cyber Monday" 30% off deal!

Federal freelancer = normally $39 on sale for $27.50

State $37 additional

Total : $64.50

If this is their sale price, looks like I'll be finding another program to do my taxes next year.
by mikep
Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA(2018) funds to pay for Date-of-Service(2017)
Replies: 1
Views: 123

Re: FSA(2018) funds to pay for Date-of-Service(2017)

No, FSA usage is based entirely on date of service.
by mikep
Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA and having a baby
Replies: 28
Views: 1462

Re: HSA and having a baby

You have 2 change in status events at play: 1) Birth date of baby - can add your wife/baby to your plan retroactive to date of birth 2) Date wife quits her job. Which one will you use to add wife/baby to your HDHP plan? How much time between 1) and 2)? If you go separate plans then it probably makes...
by mikep
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Join ebates for extra cash back
Replies: 22
Views: 1749

Re: Join ebates for extra cash back

"ebates" and "ebay rebates" are not the same thing.. ebates gives straight cash back or you can change it before payout to a gift card with more value. Often the comparison is the same % off you would get on the secondary sites for that giftcard anyhow. I use ebates -> raise.com for my giftcard ... ...
by mikep
Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3645

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

I got a premium offer for $27 federal + who knows what state. Last year I paid $10 combined for fed/state premium.. better deals will come later.

My suspicion is that the best deals will be Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend or after 4/1/18.
by mikep
Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Credit Card Bonus to fly to Japan (From west coast)
Replies: 5
Views: 547

Re: Best Credit Card Bonus to fly to Japan (From west coast)

If you have a business, get the chase ink preferred and the chase sapphire reserve. Your spouse can also refer you for another sapphire preferred for a 10,000 + 50,000 bonus. Rather than closing it I'd suggest your wife upgrade it to the reserve after the referral posts. The real power in the reserv...
by mikep
Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MVNO's versus the Big 4
Replies: 52
Views: 5224

Re: MVNO's versus the Big 4

+1 for cricket, 5 lines for $100 on AT&T with 4GB each is hard to beat. Lots of good stuff over on reddit r/nocontract, r/cricketwireless, r/cricketreferrals, r/cricketgroups to check out.
by mikep
Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing Health Insurance Around Child birth to reduce costs
Replies: 25
Views: 2010

Re: Changing Health Insurance Around Child birth to reduce costs

Changes are usually retroactive to the baby's birthdate. I had the same idea as you with births early in the year but decided it wasn't worth the headache involved. Many charges are in addition to the OB/GYN. You will get the hospital, anesthesiologist, lab work, etc all billed separately. It's like...
by mikep
Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ally CD - No Penalty CD Help/Advice Needed
Replies: 19
Views: 2204

Re: Ally CD - No Penalty CD Help/Advice Needed

Might be a good idea to stagger if the need comes to withdraw some, you don't have to take all the money out of the CD. No reason not to stagger IMO. Not with Ally. Ally does not allow partial withdrawal from a CD (except for the RMD). That's why it has been recommended that one opens multiple CDs ...
by mikep
Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Finance 1.49% a Good Rate?
Replies: 40
Views: 3518

Re: Car Finance 1.49% a Good Rate?

As a banker, I can tell you that you aren't going to find a new auto loan for less than 1.49% anywhere. Dealers almost always have the best interest rates on financing. (That's to entice you to buy more car than you otherwise are able or willing to spend of course). Wasn't the case with me.. dealer...
by mikep
Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ally CD - No Penalty CD Help/Advice Needed
Replies: 19
Views: 2204

Re: Ally CD - No Penalty CD Help/Advice Needed

My dad has 200K he would like to do this with, but in the name of his trust so he has to call and see what's up with that...he already has the online savings ally account in the trusts name, so shouldn't be a problem and quick, maybe a little more delay...I'll still make sure he's got 20K always in...
by mikep
Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ally CD - No Penalty CD Help/Advice Needed
Replies: 19
Views: 2204

Re: Ally CD - No Penalty CD Help/Advice Needed

Savings rate is up to 1.15% now. The no penalty CD rate is lower for < $5000..

Meanwhile my reward checking is still 3.09% so I don't keep much at Ally in anything..
by mikep
Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Finance 1.49% a Good Rate?
Replies: 40
Views: 3518

Re: Car Finance 1.49% a Good Rate?

As a banker, I can tell you that you aren't going to find a new auto loan for less than 1.49% anywhere. Dealers almost always have the best interest rates on financing. (That's to entice you to buy more car than you otherwise are able or willing to spend of course). Wasn't the case with me.. dealer...
by mikep
Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cricket Wireless Groups
Replies: 31
Views: 3235

Re: Cricket Wireless Groups

I run a group over there and its fine. I Don't share the username/password or PIN number, everyone paypals me $20 per month (or higher depending on their plan). I claim all the referrals in exchange for managing the group. Plus I am able to stock up on the sales at target/best buy for refill cards ...
by mikep
Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX) breaks 1.00 (% not $)
Replies: 139
Views: 19710

Re: Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX) breaks 1.00 (% not $)

Still like my reward checking at 3.09% for 12 debits (30 seconds of online $1 purchases) per month.
by mikep
Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How would you invest $50k in 529 with 11 years to College?
Replies: 32
Views: 3493

Re: How would you invest $50k in 529 with 11 years to College?

With answers like this, we know we are at/near a market peak. Some threads from 2009-10 say you have a much shorter time horizon for college vs retirement so you should scale the allocation accordingly. Any money needed in 10 years or less shouldn't be in stocks. I use TR2015 for my 10 year old in a...
by mikep
Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University ??? worth it?
Replies: 120
Views: 9799

Re: Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University ??? worth it?

I thought about teaching this at my church but I still churn credit cards for the huge bonuses since I get thousands of dollars per year for free. I also don't pay off my 1.48% car loan any earlier than the schedule since I can easily invest and earn more than that. I don't follow the baby steps. I'...
by mikep
Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cricket Wireless Groups
Replies: 31
Views: 3235

Re: Cricket Wireless Groups

I run a group over there and its fine. I Don't share the username/password or PIN number, everyone paypals me $20 per month (or higher depending on their plan). I claim all the referrals in exchange for managing the group. Plus I am able to stock up on the sales at target/best buy for refill cards ...
by mikep
Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cricket Wireless Groups
Replies: 31
Views: 3235

Re: Cricket Wireless Groups

I run a group over there and its fine. I Don't share the username/password or PIN number, everyone paypals me $20 per month (or higher depending on their plan). I claim all the referrals in exchange for managing the group. Plus I am able to stock up on the sales at target/best buy for refill cards a...
by mikep
Sat May 27, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off car loan?
Replies: 17
Views: 1900

Re: Pay off car loan?

1.09% tax free return is nothing to sneeze at for a 4-5 month duration (half your remaining loan term). Comparisons against a savings account do not include taxes. Pay it off and simplify your life.
by mikep
Fri May 19, 2017 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long do I really need to keep tax returns?
Replies: 18
Views: 1948

Re: How long do I really need to keep tax returns?

I keep them all forever since I have roth contributions and unreimbursed medical expenses from my HSA. Once you reimburse, you have to prove that you didn't reimburse those or deduct them before. I think the only way to prove that is to keep the actual tax returns.
by mikep
Fri May 19, 2017 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS says I owe..I don't
Replies: 34
Views: 5863

Re: IRS says I owe..I don't

Did you include a statement with your return about the conversion? I didn't and the same thing happened to me. I put a statement, but for the following year as that's when I did the actual recharacterization. I put all of this in a letter, mailed back to the return address of the CP2000 notice and i...
by mikep
Fri May 19, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Plastiq?
Replies: 30
Views: 6460

Re: Using Plastiq?

I was using Plastiq successfully for about 9 months to pay my mortgage. I got in on a 1.75% promo and using the 2% Citi double cash, so I was making a few bucks per month. All was fine until this month it never arrived in 3 weeks. I set a flag with my bank (US Bank) to stop the plastiq check and the...
by mikep
Thu May 18, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VFORX to start taxable account [Target Date Retirement 2040]
Replies: 8
Views: 865

Re: VFORX to start taxable account

Maybe you want to claim the foreign tax credit from holding international in a separate fund but can't.
by mikep
Thu May 18, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Challenging a Late Medical Bill
Replies: 22
Views: 1918

Re: Challenging a Late Medical Bill

Start with an explanation of benefits from your insurance company. It is possible that insurance won't pay anything since it is submitted long after services were rendered, but at least they can advise you what to do if you have a similar statute of limitations on payment.
by mikep
Sat May 13, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you suggest a mortgage lender who does not resell
Replies: 67
Views: 5672

Re: Can you suggest a mortgage lender who does not resell

With regards to the situation where the subsequent company required escrow, just make sure that the contract you sign specifies that you WILL NOT escrow. It is not uncommon to pay an additional 0.25% in closing costs if you don't escrow taxes and insurance. At today's interest rates, there isn't an...
by mikep
Sat May 13, 2017 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are bank test deposits taxable?
Replies: 22
Views: 2891

Re: Are bank test deposits taxable?

This sure is a headache linking my bank account to my HSA for ACH reimbursements. I wish there was another way. I have to treat it as an above the line contribution and withdrawal for medical expenses, and dial down my work contributions $1 to not go over the limit.