Search found 58 matches

by orangesherbet
Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance Tracking Software
Replies: 22
Views: 1707

Re: Personal Finance Tracking Software

Another option, for the portfolio/net worth part: If you have Fidelity or Vanguard for some portion of your portfolio, using their tools to manually add in your holdings at other places. I have this set up at Fidelity and it makes beautiful charts and reports and does analysis. Since I have not link...
by orangesherbet
Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which job references to give?
Replies: 9
Views: 698

Re: Which job references to give?

After being burned a couple of times, as a hiring manager I took to talking to references personally. Most candidates aren’t able to give their current supervisor of course. I think anyone who has worked with you recently is fine, it doesn’t matter if they were sideways from you, below you or above ...
by orangesherbet
Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance Tracking Software
Replies: 22
Views: 1707

Re: Personal Finance Tracking Software

Mad FIentist has a free downloadable Excel sheet that does everything you are looking for. It doesn't have the charts and graphs built in, but provides various analyses that you can easily highlight those cells and turn them into charts yourself. https://www.madfientist.com/financial-independence-sp...
by orangesherbet
Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very confused about long term capital gains tax
Replies: 15
Views: 1110

Re: Very confused about long term capital gains tax

Let's say you have W-2 wages $50k Capital gains $300k For purposes of calculating your cap gains rate, they use "income" number of $350k, and your $300k of cap gains is taxed at 15%. It's not based on your actual wages-income of $50k which would suggest you should have cap gains rate of 0%. Close. ...
by orangesherbet
Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very confused about long term capital gains tax
Replies: 15
Views: 1110

Re: Very confused about long term capital gains tax

semjaza wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:31 pm Thank you! This is exactly where I was getting tripped up. I didn't see the worksheet in my 2019 tax forms... is it normal for a CPA to not include it?
Mine included the worksheet in the back of the packet, after all of the forms that are actually sent to IRS.
by orangesherbet
Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: UGMA vs Vanguard Brokerage Account
Replies: 15
Views: 929

Re: UGMA vs Vanguard Brokerage Account

Some kind soul here gave me this good tidbit: with a UGMA account the child gets $1100 of tax free income/gains each year. So every year you can "tax gain harvest" and bump the cost basis up on at least a portion of the portfolio. I'm personally nervous about them changing the tax rules (again) thou...
by orangesherbet
Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accounting for CC cash back in personal budget
Replies: 41
Views: 2229

Re: Accounting for CC cash back in personal budget

I am another one for adding in cash back / rewards as income and then recording the actual spends in expenses. I feel that gives a more accurate picture of what our expenses were.
by orangesherbet
Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very confused about long term capital gains tax
Replies: 15
Views: 1110

Re: Very confused about long term capital gains tax

If you look on your Form 1040 it just says "taxable income" (line 11b) and then "tax" (line 12a). So it kind of looks like you are getting charged income tax on the entire amount on line 11b. However if you go through the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gains worksheet for line 12a (p. 33 on IRS 104...
by orangesherbet
Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do I start? need a money makeover...
Replies: 31
Views: 3324

Re: Where do I start? need a money makeover...

Seems like there are a couple separate items to unpack here: 1) Despite a high income, your expenses exceed your income. This is probably an expense side problem. 2) Your wife would like to stop working and you support that, so you would also like to figure out how to support the family on your inco...
by orangesherbet
Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Windshield Cracked [Insurance coverage]
Replies: 17
Views: 1583

Re: Car Windshield Cracked

My policy has a special windshield deductible of $100. I didn’t know I had it till I called and talked to the agent. Maybe see if your policy has that?
by orangesherbet
Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Equity [Payoff mortgage with retirement funds?]
Replies: 5
Views: 324

Re: Equity [Payoff mortgage with retirement funds?]

You have credit card debt (what interest rate?) and no emergency fund. And you’re thinking of paying off the mortgage (what interest rate?) so you can free up money to throw at the credit card debt? Which could go up if an emergency happened because you have no emergency fund? I would approach in th...
by orangesherbet
Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [First time home buyer - listing agent "made a mistake"]
Replies: 11
Views: 1085

Re: [First time home buyer - listing agent "made a mistake"]

I'm in a very hot market area where most homes sell over list price and offers are always due at a certain time/day. Sellers want to consider all offers together and in a sellers' market they can do that. The game buyers' agents play is to get their offer in earlier and try to get it considered on i...
by orangesherbet
Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I accept this job? Currently a contractor
Replies: 10
Views: 1398

Re: Should I accept this job? Currently a contractor

If you could share some numbers, then it might make it lot easier to do calculations and understand it in a better way. Are you a sole prop or S Corp? The extra tax that you pay as an employee - Is it because you are taking much less in wage as S Corp? I'm a sole proprietor. The extra tax seems to ...
by orangesherbet
Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homebuyers: Did you use a broker to help secure a mortgage?
Replies: 20
Views: 1638

Re: Homebuyers: Did you use a broker to help secure a mortgage?

In the past I have included my (known and vetted) mortgage broker in the shopping process - ie I invite them to give me their best rate while I shop online myself. In my experience they offered some customer service and can offer some guidance if there’s something out of the ordinary in your documen...
by orangesherbet
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax dilemma, thoughts?
Replies: 2
Views: 365

Re: Tax dilemma, thoughts?

I would resend with a printout from USPS showing you did your part on time, and nicely ask if they would waive the penalty.
by orangesherbet
Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I accept this job? Currently a contractor
Replies: 10
Views: 1398

Re: Should I accept this job? Currently a contractor

Appreciate the different points of view - I am honestly surprised there are more votes for leaving than for converting to FTE. Lots for me to think about. I feel somewhat confident that I would land another gig, as I have been contracting off and on for 11-12 years, and as my husband says, "you alwa...
by orangesherbet
Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax: W2 or 1099 for Independent Contracting job
Replies: 8
Views: 673

Re: Tax: W2 or 1099 for Independent Contracting job

I just ran the numbers for my own situation - my numbers being much lower, 100k income. As a W-2 I would pay nearly 10k more in taxes. As a 1099 because of the up to 25% profit sharing for the employer side of the solo 401k, and because of the 20% qualified business income deduction, you can make it...
by orangesherbet
Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I accept this job? Currently a contractor
Replies: 10
Views: 1398

Re: Should I accept this job? Currently a contractor

Are there enhanced benefits as an employee that you’re not currently getting as a contractor? Yes, 401k match and healthcare. But my solo 401k works out a lot better for me when I ran the numbers, and the healthcare could actually be an unwelcome complication because my husband’s work does not want...
by orangesherbet
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LLC (S-Corp) vs. Sole Prop and Tax Deductions
Replies: 11
Views: 688

Re: LLC (S-Corp) vs. Sole Prop and Tax Deductions

Maybe you got it mixed up with unreimbursed employee expenses, which is (was?) an itemized deduction on schedule A? But yeah you’re not an employee and your biz expenses go on schedule C and get written off against your biz income dollar for dollar.
by orangesherbet
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I accept this job? Currently a contractor
Replies: 10
Views: 1398

Should I accept this job? Currently a contractor

I would appreciate some advice. I am a 1099 contractor. My current contract is coming up on 12 months. My client asked if I would convert to employee. Doing this would mean a paycut even if the company were to convert me at my hourly rate, which I doubt they would do. It would be a paycut because as...
by orangesherbet
Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you organize and manage your paper bills, statements, and other financial documents?
Replies: 18
Views: 1197

Re: How do you organize and manage your paper bills, statements, and other financial documents?

I Marie-kondo’d them outta here! Threw out/shredded nearly everything, took photos or scanned if info may be needed but I don’t want the paper. Only kept one binder of papers (car titles, insurance policies, some medical stuff that I didn’t want to bother with scanning). Went paperless as much as po...
by orangesherbet
Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to self insure for things like cars? (prefer mathematical model)
Replies: 91
Views: 6617

Re: When to self insure for things like cars? (prefer mathematical model)

We have a hard time letting go of our paid-off cars. So I have a couple of cars that are 20 years old and we don't really need them, but we still have them. My not very mathematical formula is: How much does it cost to insure it for comprehensive & collision vs How much would I care if it got damage...
by orangesherbet
Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: question about backdoor Roth
Replies: 20
Views: 927

Re: question about backdoor Roth

If so, then my next question is whether I should even bother rolling the pre-tax money into the active 401K ?- it is with Mass Mutual and has no Vanguard funds sadly. I chose the IndexSelect Moderate 2045 Investment Option, ER 0.5% Should I just contribute $6000 to the trad IRA as it currently is a...
by orangesherbet
Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too Much Retirement/Not Enough for House?
Replies: 127
Views: 13404

Re: Too Much Retirement/Not Enough for House?

I would look at this as less of a black-and-white, one or the other, binary decision. Yes to the house, but it doesn't have to be right now. If you need a larger down payment, hit pause or cut back on the retirement and 529 savings and start shoveling money toward the down payment fund instead. In t...
by orangesherbet
Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pros and cons of buying a big house
Replies: 60
Views: 5200

Re: Pros and cons of buying a big house

I’ve lived in a 5,500sf house 2,600sf house and currently downsized to a 1,600sf house We are a family of 5. Besides the maintenance and utilities being higher, and yes, 2x the amount of roof to replace, I just couldn’t keep up with the cleaning in the 5,500sf home. The rooms also just felt cavernou...
by orangesherbet
Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best option to pay for large unexpected expense
Replies: 40
Views: 2637

Re: Best option to pay for large unexpected expense

We had to remove a large pine tree. I got a few quotes and one was from an arborist (he just came up on google search and I didn’t know he was an arborist till he showed up). He quoted $7,200. Everyone else quoted around $1,200-$2,000. Nice guy, very knowledgeable. Over qualified for tree removal.
by orangesherbet
Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Switch to different fund? [for my kids]
Replies: 10
Views: 476

Re: Switch to different fund? [for my kids]

Please do ... you may find that it is actually more tax efficient to have the accounts in kids' names than your own. If you open the UTMA accounts for the kids at Vanguard, you may even be able to transfer the securities in kind. Since the amounts are way less than the $15k threshold (above which y...
by orangesherbet
Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Switch to different fund? [for my kids]
Replies: 10
Views: 476

Re: Switch to different fund? [for my kids]

Why would there be a tax hit? As I understand it, investments held in UTMA accounts in the kids' names are tax-free up to $1100 per year in gains. As an adult you are the custodian of the kids' money, and it would be downright non-fiduciary of you if you do not do tax-gain-harvesting. Well, my own ...
by orangesherbet
Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Switch to different fund? [for my kids]
Replies: 10
Views: 476

Re: Switch to different fund? [for my kids]

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:02 pm I think they're fine where they are. Simplify....don't overthink this.
So - you're saying, not worth the tax hit, right? Thanks for the reality check :)
by orangesherbet
Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Switch to different fund? [for my kids]
Replies: 10
Views: 476

Re: Switch to different fund? [for my kids]

Thanks for the responses - money is not for college. It's their allowance and other money they have saved up themselves, so don't want to restrict to 529. We do have 529s set up that we contribute to.
by orangesherbet
Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighborhood Noise
Replies: 188
Views: 12775

Re: Neighborhood Noise

I've lived in single family homes in 1/2 to 1 acre zoning suburbs my whole life and nighttime noise is almost never an issue. Higher cost of living areas are more likely to have working professionals who are sleeping at night. Daytime noise from the landscaping crews is a whole other issue. Huge pe...
by orangesherbet
Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Switch to different fund? [for my kids]
Replies: 10
Views: 476

Switch to different fund? [for my kids]

A few years ago we convinced our kids to invest half their allowance so it would grow. We were just starting to learn about investments ourselves, and chose the 2030 Target Retirement fund at Vanguard (VTHRX) for them. At the time my thinking was, that 2030 is around the time when they would go off ...
by orangesherbet
Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo 401k Form 5500-EZ/SF
Replies: 2
Views: 187

Re: Solo 401k Form 5500-EZ/SF

“Contributions received or receivable” for plan year 2019 are $20,500. Assuming: (1) there were $0 participant contributions for plan year 2019, and (2) both the $20,000 employer contribution (made in calendar year 2019) and $500 employer contribution (made in calendar year 2020) are for plan year ...
by orangesherbet
Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo 401k Form 5500-EZ/SF
Replies: 2
Views: 187

Solo 401k Form 5500-EZ/SF

First time filling out this form - help appreciated! I tried but could not find the answer to this question. For "Contributions received or receivable" in 2019 I put in $20,000 as the employer profit sharing contribution in March 2020 when I filed my taxes, TurboTax said I could put in an extra $500...
by orangesherbet
Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What causes bedroom to deteriorate?
Replies: 8
Views: 1398

Re: What causes bedroom to deteriorate?

Common indoor allergens are dust mites, molds, some people are allergic to down bedding as well. I also remember roach waste as one of the things they tested me for (I know, gross). Some things I was told to try to rule out allergies: - 2 week trial of OTC allergy med like Zyrtec — see if that impro...
by orangesherbet
Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question on SEP IRA - Contractor vs. Employee of a contracting firm
Replies: 9
Views: 432

Re: Question on SEP IRA - Contractor vs. Employee of a contracting firm

I’m not contracting at the moment. In that case, it’s very company dependent. It’s entirely their policy (based on what their compliance folks say). I contract at a smaller but still publicly traded company currently and standard practice here is 1099 through a contracting company. At other places ...
by orangesherbet
Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Could use advise to simplify my accounts
Replies: 6
Views: 610

Re: Could use advise to simplify my accounts

This is what I would do personally - below is based on the three-fund portfolio . To optimize for taxes, hold bonds in traditional 401k and IRAs, and hold stocks in Roth. Desired AA: 80/20 International stock allocation: ?? I assumed 30% US stocks - 56% Int'l stocks - 24% US bonds - 20% Funds below ...
by orangesherbet
Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding whether to retire - it's difficult!
Replies: 77
Views: 9202

Re: Deciding whether to retire - it's difficult!

Financially clearly you *can* retire - so it seems like the question is really if you enjoy this work or if you'd rather do something else? Not totally the same situation as you, but I went to half-time as an independent contractor many years ago, and find it to be the best balance for me. When I ha...
by orangesherbet
Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio review - shifting from 70/30 to 50/50
Replies: 7
Views: 1174

Re: Portfolio review - shifting from 70/30 to 50/50

Our goal for retirement is around $3m if we were to retire today. That's based on expenses of $130k per year. I am confused about how to account for inflation - wouldn't that make our target number keep going up every year? I used an online calculator and it says we will hit $3m in 10 years given st...
by orangesherbet
Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question on SEP IRA - Contractor vs. Employee of a contracting firm
Replies: 9
Views: 432

Re: Question on SEP IRA - Contractor vs. Employee of a contracting firm

Do you get a 1099 or a W-2 at the end of the year? If you get a 1099, you're a contractor, no matter who is paying you. If you get a W-2, you are an employee of the contracting firm. On edit: generally speaking, if you are sending them an invoice and they pay your invoice, you're a 1099 independent ...
by orangesherbet
Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio review - shifting from 70/30 to 50/50
Replies: 7
Views: 1174

Portfolio review - shifting from 70/30 to 50/50

First a big thank you to BH, I have learned a lot here in the past few years and when I look back, I am amazed at how much I have learned. You all are doing a really big service to others, thank you. Of course, the more I learn, the more I realize how much more there is to know. And since "I don't k...
by orangesherbet
Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House, auto and umbrella insurance increases?
Replies: 10
Views: 941

Re: House, auto and umbrella insurance increases?

Our homeowners and auto went up. Umbrella has stayed about the same. For the homeowners, I am out west and all agents are telling me rates are up because of the California wildfires and how many claims they’ve had to pay. For the auto, I answered more questions than I needed to on the mileage sheet....
by orangesherbet
Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need life and/or disability insurance?
Replies: 7
Views: 397

Do we need life and/or disability insurance?

Our term life policies are ending soon, so I started to shop for a new policy. But now having done more reading, wondering if we don’t need insurance at all? We are mid and late 40s with three kids, youngest set to graduate from college in 15 years. A 4% draw on current retirement savings would cove...
by orangesherbet
Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: how do commission-free ETFs work?
Replies: 7
Views: 1120

Re: how do commission-free ETFs work?

Commission-free ETFs work just like commission-free stocks. Since the OP has traded stocks, they are familiar with ETFs by extrapolation. Perhaps I should have included a caveat that the last time I bought an individual stock was pre-Y2K, the "low cost" brokerages were charging $29.95 per trade and...
by orangesherbet
Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: how do commission-free ETFs work?
Replies: 7
Views: 1120

how do commission-free ETFs work?

I've bought shares of individual stocks and I've bought mutual funds at Vanguard, but I've never bought an ETF. The reason I want to do an ETF is because I read here that if you have a Fidelity taxable account, ETFs have a better tax treatment than index funds. And then I ran into that some ETFs are...
by orangesherbet
Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation Home: Own vs. Rent??
Replies: 42
Views: 4633

Re: Vacation Home: Own vs. Rent??

If you have liked the Airbnb rentals I would stick with that because as you concluded, it’s a much better financial decision, offers variety etc. We have a vacation home and are very conscious that it’s our highest consumption item. In my case we apparently can’t vacation anywhere but at home (beds ...
by orangesherbet
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Peanut Butter recommendations
Replies: 84
Views: 7633

Re: Peanut Butter recommendations

I like Trader Joe’s peanut butter. Have to turn it upside down and let it sit for a while to get the oil to mix, and then hand stir it quite a bit. But I think it is tasty. Me too! I like the Valencia one. Dry roasted Valencia peanuts and salt. I only stir it once, when we first open it, and not ve...
by orangesherbet
Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Spouse wants to buy individual stocks
Replies: 77
Views: 6836

Re: Spouse wants to buy individual stocks

Jason Zweig, WSJ, used the language: lockbox and sandbox. Buying individual stocks, if any, he advises be a very small percentage of your portfolio and be in your sandbox See my Post 22. Sandbox https://grandmasinvestingforbeginners.blog/ Grandma Sylvia I enjoyed your blog post. You're a talented w...
by orangesherbet
Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:30 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity 401k options and working them into overall portfolio
Replies: 6
Views: 992

Re: Fidelity 401k options and working them into overall portfolio

Duckie, thank you for the analysis and suggestions! In response to your questions: $0 her SEP IRA ( will shift max allowed from Taxable to SEP IRA, but it's not new money ) What do you mean here? Is this SEP IRA her employer's plan or is she self-employed? If self-employed, does she have employees? ...