Search found 3664 matches

by mikep
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Combining Chase Credit Cards
Replies: 3
Views: 345

Re: Combining Chase Credit Cards

Keep the freedoms separate in order to get 2 quarterly limits. That's basically 5x points on up to $3000 on mobile pay this quarter alone. I don't see what advantage combining the cards has. Rather than a hard pull to combine, I'd suggest to apply for another chase card. Such as the freedom unlimite...
by mikep
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why paying off loans would be better than fully funding 401k?
Replies: 87
Views: 6202

Re: Help with what to do, pay debt, fund 401k, EF? TLH of taxable to fund one of these

No, very open to criticism. We need any advice we can get. And I do agree we went overboard on the spending. Delayed gratification from school and not getting real jobs until in 30s. Pretty much what the White Coat Investor preaches. We are a prime example of the kinds of mistakes that can be made....
by mikep
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalance after today's drop?
Replies: 32
Views: 4358

Re: Rebalance after today's drop?

I'm confused.. that is not rebalancing. Rebalancing would be buying more stocks after they dropped? Adding more bonds now is not sticking to the plan.

I rebalanced in January after stocks got too high and bought bonds that went low.
by mikep
Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA 529 - free $225 if AGI < 75K
Replies: 0
Views: 142

CA 529 - free $225 if AGI < 75K

http://mgp.scholarshare.com/

Up to $200 match on contributions before 12/31
$25 match for setting up automatic contributions

Qualify if you are CA state resident with AGI < 75K.

Looks like a good deal. Trying to open for nieces and nephews but the parents have to do it. :annoyed
by mikep
Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's advice on bond portion of portfolio
Replies: 42
Views: 5876

Re: Vanguard's advice on bond portion of portfolio

I think getting more international exposure on the equity side is more efficient since you save the costs of hedging the international bond fund. I think those are around 0.2%. I hold 50% of equities international stocks, so I feel I can leave out international bonds. Also factoring into that is I d...
by mikep
Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest in another rental property, pay debt, or index funds?
Replies: 5
Views: 570

Re: Invest in another rental property, pay debt, or index funds?

At least refinance the car if you don't pay it off. Many credit unions offer 2.5% or less.
by mikep
Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue
Replies: 15
Views: 938

Re: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue

The only reason I'm switching is because taxact wanted to charge me $64. I got H&R block deluxe from amazon for $19.95. Annoyed to pay $19.95 to e-file the state so I will print and mail it instead.
by mikep
Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue
Replies: 15
Views: 938

Re: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue

It doesn't.. as soon as I enter it it goes to this screen that says "State or Local Refund is Tax-Free" since I took standard deduction in 2016. I even expanded to "Whole Form" and checked the box that says I itemized.... I have Deluxe.. is that what you have? I'm using premium, but I can't imagine...
by mikep
Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue
Replies: 15
Views: 938

Re: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue

It doesn't.. as soon as I enter it it goes to this screen that says "State or Local Refund is Tax-Free" since I took standard deduction in 2016. I even expanded to "Whole Form" and checked the box that says I itemized....

I have Deluxe.. is that what you have?
by mikep
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue
Replies: 15
Views: 938

H&R Block 1099G state tax refund issue

This is my first year using H&R block deluxe after the taxact price increases. So far not impressed.. I imported a pdf return from taxact and it saved only the basic personal information. I'm starting with income and get to the page where it asks for my 1099G/ state tax refund. For my $28 refund, I ...
by mikep
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!
Replies: 151
Views: 8520

Re: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!

I was all in favor of the OP's keep-using-the-old-phone attitude, until... I have an iPhone 6 that is running painfully slowly. I went to get the battery replaced and the Apple store guy ran a diagnostic and concluded that my battery was fine; he said I'd only see a tiny increase in performance by ...
by mikep
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!
Replies: 151
Views: 8520

Re: Still using a 5 year old iphone 5. Who's with me? No new phones!!!

I just replaced the battery in my dying 5s DIY. Now it runs like a new one without a bulky battery case. cost for the battery: $20. Where did you buy the battery? what equipment did you use to perform the swap. I am in precisely this situation with my 5s. I bought a battery for my 5s at one of the ...
by mikep
Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity charging new fee on Vanguard funds held in 401Ks
Replies: 4
Views: 584

Re: Fidelity charging new fee on Vanguard funds held in 401Ks

Is there a link? I would like to send it to my employer to see if we are affected. However maybe not since they have been using Fidelity for many years.
by mikep
Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Tax Bill: State tax refunds
Replies: 4
Views: 500

Re: New Tax Bill: State tax refunds

Is there anything in the bill about how refunds from 2017 are treated for 2018 taxes? I deducted at 25%, would I add back as income in this year's 22% bracket? Seems like some arbitrage opportunity there.
by mikep
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car accident - was directed to sign release
Replies: 71
Views: 4977

Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Why would you assume the car seat needs to be replaced? Was it damaged? Car seats typically sell for $50 to $100, so .... unclear on your basis for that claim. You can google car seat accident and see that it's common to replace them when a car has been in an accident. I'm not sure where you pick u...
by mikep
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: REIT or No REIT
Replies: 98
Views: 10096

Re: REIT or No REIT

What a coincidence it is near a 52 week low and most want to get rid of them. Here's a different opinion when they were booming: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52866 Stay the course, folks. If they were good back then they are still good now. I am rebalancing in since that's what m...
by mikep
Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2406
Views: 452249

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Chase Freedom includes internet/cable/phone services this quarter. Is there any reason not to prepay $1500 today on those? Good idea- I had switched my accounts to this card to pay for the three months of payments, but had not considered prepaying anything. I wonder if they will let me do this.... ...
by mikep
Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 Withholding Tables
Replies: 88
Views: 11505

Re: IRS announces new withholding tables for 2018

Does this take into account the increased child tax credit?
by mikep
Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large Purchase / Chase Sapphire Question
Replies: 21
Views: 1620

Re: Large Purchase / Chase Sapphire Question

Chase changed the $300 travel credit for the CSR from calendar year to card-member year for new applications as of May 2017. No more double-dipping. I got mine just before then. You can still double dip as it renews on your card anniversary date instead of calendar year. http://pointsyak.com/benefi...
by mikep
Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large Purchase / Chase Sapphire Question
Replies: 21
Views: 1620

Re: Large Purchase / Chase Sapphire Question

CSR all the way. You earn another 5500 UR on your $5500 travel purchase with CSP which covers the difference in fees at least for the first year. Also at the beginning of your 2nd year you can earn another $300 travel credit within 30 days then downgrade the card if you want. So you pay $450 annual ...
by mikep
Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?
Replies: 32
Views: 4199

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 ...
by mikep
Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it a bad idea to have TIPs in Roth IRA?
Replies: 12
Views: 1056

Re: Is it a bad idea to have TIPs in Roth IRA?

In 2009 in a bad bear market many here were suggesting half TIPs and half nominal bonds for your fixed AA. I have kept that allocation and I am in my 30s. I hold TIPs in my HSA and 401(k) though, I don't think it matters if you put it in your Roth IRA. I would if they didn't have it available. There...
by mikep
Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Phone Plan for 1 person
Replies: 86
Views: 3829

Re: Best Phone Plan for 1 person

+1 for cricket. If you can find a group over at reddit.com/r/CricketGroups you can get their Unlimited 2 plan at $25/mo. This is unlimited but capped at 3mbps which is fine on a phone screen. Otherwise 5GB is $35/mo on autopay. I run a group and routinely get the $60 refills for $52.30 from Best buy...
by mikep
Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash-out refinance to REDUCE equity?
Replies: 18
Views: 1540

Re: Cash-out refinance to REDUCE equity?

I think with a cash out mortgage would not be tax deductible under the new Trump law, especially over 750K so that's definitely a negative. Only purchase mortgages are tax deductible now up to 750K. So maybe sell your house and buy another with minimum down? I would think refi's are as well. A refi...
by mikep
Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off mortgage - what is my effective rate now?
Replies: 12
Views: 845

Re: Paying off mortgage - what is my effective rate now?

I'm hoping someone might vet my thinking and my calculations here. With the new tax bill, and the standard deduction rising to $24,000, the value of itemizing diminishes. In my scenario, I have the following deductions available to be under the new tax bill: Mortgage Interest - $21,000 Property Tax...
by mikep
Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct and alternatives
Replies: 109
Views: 9004

Re: TaxAct and alternatives

I filled both freeTaxUSA and TaxAct, and they gave me the same number. So I switched to FreeTaxUSA for cheaper price. Did you return need any additional Schedules etc, or pretty straight-forward? Different poster, but I did FreetaxUSA last year, including multiple Schedule C's, Schedule D, and item...
by mikep
Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: H&R Block Deal of the Day
Replies: 1
Views: 302

Re: H&R Block Deal of the Day

Other thread is here:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=236758&p=3701508#p3701508

It's cheaper from H&R block directly though, see link in other thread.
by mikep
Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: H&R Block Deal of the Day on Amazon (1/4)
Replies: 15
Views: 1716

Re: PSA: H&R Block Deal of the Day on Amazon (1/4)

Better deal here is still alive and 9% back through ebates https://www.hrblock.com/tax-software/lp/camry.html?otppartnerid=9462&campaignid=cm_mcm_9462_0001 From this thread https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=234099 I didn't buy there though, I bought it on the last amazon deal Nov. 29....
by mikep
Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card with Good Bonus for Car Rentals?
Replies: 9
Views: 392

Re: Credit Card with Good Bonus for Car Rentals?

Since you don't like Chase UR, I think amex has some good car rental coverage? I think you can pay extra for the coverage per rental. It’s not that I don’t like Chase UR; it’s that I’ve already got Chase Sapphire Preferred, and don’t think Reserve would be a good value for me. I am highly satisfied...
by mikep
Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash-out refinance to REDUCE equity?
Replies: 18
Views: 1540

Re: Cash-out refinance to REDUCE equity?

I think with a cash out mortgage would not be tax deductible under the new Trump law, especially over 750K so that's definitely a negative. Only purchase mortgages are tax deductible now up to 750K. So maybe sell your house and buy another with minimum down?
by mikep
Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card with Good Bonus for Car Rentals?
Replies: 9
Views: 392

Re: Credit Card with Good Bonus for Car Rentals?

Capital One venture is really just a 2% back card disguised as "miles" and only redeemable for travel. Aside from the sign up bonus, I don't think its better than Fidelity visa which is a 2% cash back card. I use Chase Sapphire Reserve for all car rentals to earn 3x chase UR for the primary rental c...
by mikep
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Buy Bonds If You Have A Mortgage?
Replies: 187
Views: 17876

Re: Why Buy Bonds If You Have A Mortgage?

All my investments are in tax advantaged accounts. I can buy bonds in my IRA/401k, but can't pay down my mortgage with that money, is why I own bonds and have a mortgage. I suppose I could borrow from my 401k to pay down my mortgage 50k and treat the 401k loan as part of my bond AA but that has othe...
by mikep
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA - Californians
Replies: 13
Views: 965

Re: HSA - Californians

One option is, if you like to or don't mind separating your bonds, to use a treasury bond fund whose dividends are state tax exempt. +1. I use Fidelity TIPS index fund in an HSA at Saturna. Costs me $14.95/trade/year. Throws a capital gain at the end of the year, but dividends are state tax free.
by mikep
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage due to new tax law
Replies: 39
Views: 5726

Re: Pay off mortgage due to new tax law

I have 4.5 years left on 74K at 3%. Total interest remaining on the loan is $5800. I'm actually not paying it off. I will be able to bunch deductions every other year with about 12K of charitable contributions. I will switch this to 0 one year and 24K the next year. That along with 10K of state and ...
by mikep
Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Tax Law Impact on Roth 401K
Replies: 21
Views: 2420

Re: New Tax Law Impact on Roth 401K

What is your tax bracket and state taxes? I was thinking the same thing, however I will be at 22% + 9.3% state taxes is not that much different than what I had before at 25% + 9.3% deductible state taxes. About the only improvement is the 5% I don't lose from the child tax credit. However a full 31....
by mikep
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making Roth Conversion Today - how will it be treated?
Replies: 30
Views: 1611

Re: Making Roth Conversion Today - how will it be treated?

If its 2018, be aware it is irreverisible, you are unable to recharacterize it.
by mikep
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stopped Check 2018 Property Tax - Etiquette to County?
Replies: 38
Views: 3352

Re: Stopped Check 2018 Property Tax - Etiquette to County?

I would try to stop it. Next year, you may be able to deduct it on state taxes anyway. For me 9.3% of 15K >> $35. How do you deduct $15K in property taxes if combined limit on property plus state income tax is $10K? As far as I know my state income taxes for 2018 haven't changed, only federal. My s...
by mikep
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay extra state estimated tax before year end?
Replies: 10
Views: 523

Re: Pay extra state estimated tax before year end?

If the OP is expecting to take the standard deduction in TY2018, then isn't the savings actually $144? No I think this has nothing to do with the standard or itemized deductions in 2018, just arbitrage between the 25% and the 22% federal tax brackets. Well the estimated state tax payments I make in...
by mikep
Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay extra state estimated tax before year end?
Replies: 10
Views: 523

Re: Pay extra state estimated tax before year end?

You can certainly pay it and deduct it but is it really worth it for $15 savings? Gill If the OP is expecting to take the standard deduction in TY2018, then isn't the savings actually $144? No I think this has nothing to do with the standard or itemized deductions in 2018, just arbitrage between th...
by mikep
Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay extra state estimated tax before year end?
Replies: 10
Views: 523

Re: Pay extra state estimated tax before year end?

You can certainly pay it and deduct it but is it really worth it for $15 savings? Gill If the OP is expecting to take the standard deduction in TY2018, then isn't the savings actually $144? No I think this has nothing to do with the standard or itemized deductions in 2018, just arbitrage between th...
by mikep
Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay extra state estimated tax before year end?
Replies: 10
Views: 523

Re: Pay extra state estimated tax before year end?

You can certainly pay it and deduct it but is it really worth it for $15 savings? Gill Ok, maybe I should do more. At least enough to cover my tax software :) $5000 for $150 savings? It's a guaranteed 3% arbitrage from the bottom of the 25% bracket this year up to the top of the 22% bracket next ye...
by mikep
Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stopped Check 2018 Property Tax - Etiquette to County?
Replies: 38
Views: 3352

Re: Stopped Check 2018 Property Tax - Etiquette to County?

I would try to stop it. Next year, you may be able to deduct it on state taxes anyway. For me 9.3% of 15K >> $35.
by mikep
Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay extra state estimated tax before year end?
Replies: 10
Views: 523

Pay extra state estimated tax before year end?

I expect to break even on state income taxes, maybe a small refund. Should I pay another ~$500 extra to the state online? I can deduct it now at 25% and pay 22% on it as income next year if refunded from what I see. Also this would be extra insurance if I made a mistake in my break even assessment. ...
by mikep
Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suddenly my mortgage doesn't seem that great
Replies: 66
Views: 10766

Re: Suddenly my mortgage doesn't seem that great

There may still be some benefit to itemizing state returns even if you take standard deduction on federal. My strategy is to bunch every other year, and itemize both federal and state in 2019 by shifting property taxes to 2019 as much as possible. I prefer property taxes instead of state taxes since...
by mikep
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child Tax Credit /Capital Gains Advice - What would you do?
Replies: 14
Views: 967

Re: Child Tax Credit /Capital Gains Advice - What would you do?

Next year, the $2k per child tax credit starts to phaseout at MAGI of $400k. If your income/tax situation is pretty much the same next year, why wouldn't you just wait a week to sell? Hi Masha, Thanks for the response. I would want to sell now, because I have $10,000 of available 0% capital gains t...
by mikep
Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Pass-Thru Entities Questions Thread]
Replies: 140
Views: 9659

Re: Pass Through Entities Questions Thread

My wife is a sole proprietor photographer.,, no LLC/Scorp etc. Does she qualify for this..her net income is around $5K which I usually zero out with a SE 401k deduction. Would we be able to take a $5K - self employment tax SE401k deduction then another below the line 20% deduction of the ($5K-SE ta...
by mikep
Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Payments (MedPay) Coverage on Auto Policy
Replies: 13
Views: 946

Re: Medical Payments (MedPay) Coverage on Auto Policy

When I was hit by a car several years back, my medical payments coverage on my own policy was the first thing that actually paid out. The logic was that it would cover deductibles for the medical care I was receiving. That's my datapoint for actually using it. It's limited but worthwhile coverage. ...
by mikep
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Pass-Thru Entities Questions Thread]
Replies: 140
Views: 9659

Re: Pass Through Entities Questions Thread

Yes but SEP IRA contributions fall into a different category of contributions as employER. With Solo 401k, one can have employEE deferral contributions and employER profit sharing type contributions. The way I see it, since the pass through deduction is below the line it would not factor into solo ...
by mikep
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PSA: consider pre-paying your property taxes and January mortgage payment
Replies: 25
Views: 3535

Re: PSA: consider pre-paying your property taxes and January mortgage payment

Regarding pre-paying the January 2018 mortgage payment, how do you ensure the additional interest paid will be reflected on the annual statement (Form 1098, I believe) used for tax purposes? Do you have to call them? Said differently, how do you ensure the payment will be applied toward interest in...
by mikep
Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Pass-Thru Entities Questions Thread]
Replies: 140
Views: 9659

Re: Pass Through Entities Questions Thread

My wife is a sole proprietor photographer.,, no LLC/Scorp etc. Does she qualify for this..her net income is around $5K which I usually zero out with a SE 401k deduction. Would we be able to take a $5K - self employment tax SE401k deduction then another below the line 20% deduction of the ($5K-SE ta...