Search found 1532 matches

by PaddyMac
Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Tax Filing Steps - Please help/confirm
Replies: 5
Views: 432

Re: Estimated Tax Filing Steps - Please help/confirm

I used EFTPS. Not sure if directpay has this option, but with EFTPS you can set up 4 payments all at once, in advance. (I find it handy to at least set up April and June, and maybe September in advance, then do an end-of-year rough tax return to see how much we owe in January with more accurate esti...
by PaddyMac
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sec 179 Deduction or De Minimis Safe Harbor Election?
Replies: 3
Views: 338

Re: Sec 179 Deduction or De Minimis Safe Harbor Election?

Yes, I had missed this new safe harbor until recently. We used to expense items under $500, but now the limit is $2500. It means no more S179 elections for most laptops and tablets and furniture etc. Just check the safe harbor box and you are good to expense up to $2500. Love it!
by PaddyMac
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: YouTube TV is increasing their price - will you cancel it?
Replies: 63
Views: 4710

Re: YouTube TV is increasing their price - will you cancel it?

We were paying $44 anyway, plus $5 for Motortrend app. So $50 including Motortrend is about the same. But I'm worried that every time they add a few channels they'll sneak up the price. I don't want 200 channels for $150...
by PaddyMac
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAcT - PSA on gouging
Replies: 14
Views: 1356

Re: TaxAcT - PSA on gouging

I've been getting notices from TaxAct to lock in discounts for next year, by clicking the Auto-Enroll button.

One thing I will do next year is pay for the business "bundle" in one go, rather than check out four times (business Fed & State, personal Fed & State). It's the same price, but less hassle.
by PaddyMac
Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant & Chase Reserve..?
Replies: 7
Views: 774

Re: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant & Chase Reserve..?

I have the basic Marriott (now Bonvoy) rewards card and even if you don't do a lot of travel (we might stay 1 to 3 times a year) we found it's worth the $95 fee. You get a free night (35,000 pts) after each anniversary (you have to wait a year, you pay the fee first). Just having Elite status automa...
by PaddyMac
Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you check your net worth?
Replies: 257
Views: 14562

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

I have a spreadsheet that I update at the end of each quarter, which started as an Apple Numbers template. I calculate all saving accounts in the Assets tab, which is my main interest. In Assets, I had to build a more complex spreadsheet so I would track growth/loss over the year, and then another t...
by PaddyMac
Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DirecTv Now changes
Replies: 32
Views: 2388

Re: DirecTv Now changes

We ditched DTV for YouTubeTV recently and love it. You have unlimited DVR space and it includes the Golf channel. Each user has their own set of favorite shows, and it's easy to pull up the other account on an iPad and cast it to the TV. We have a Roku on one TV and an Apple TV on the other, and pre...
by PaddyMac
Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: solo 401K, backdoor Roth
Replies: 11
Views: 848

Re: solo 401K, backdoor Roth

If I get paid, I have to pay taxes on all of it or not (I know I have to pay taxes)? So, if not all of it, that portion I don't pay taxes on and goes into a "tax-deferred account?" Yes. The deduction goes on Form 1040 (in 2019, this is on Schedule 1, Adjustments to Income, line 29, "Self-employed S...
by PaddyMac
Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you treat inheritance as a singular or shared asset?
Replies: 113
Views: 5447

Re: Do you treat inheritance as a singular or shared asset?

A bit of both. We have been married for 30 years and it didn't make sense not to merge our inheritances. What we did was to take a chunk of our inheritance ($10K) and buy something we always wanted. I bought a new piano for instance; the rest I just pooled into our Savings.
by PaddyMac
Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard no longer commission free, how do I fix this?
Replies: 20
Views: 2976

Re: Vanguard no longer commission free, how do I fix this?

First off, Vanguard DOES offer Admiral shares in a solo 401k, starting at the end of last year! I just learned that on this forum recently (thanks Bogleheads!). You have to call them, and give them permission on the phone to transfer the shares to the equivalent Admiral fund. Note that they are roll...
by PaddyMac
Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing 4.125% 30-year fixed mortgage
Replies: 25
Views: 2251

Re: Refinancing 4.125% 30-year fixed mortgage

Look at the "end dates" on both mortgages. Are you getting a 29 year mortgage (same term as your existing one)? Sounds like you are resetting the clock to 30 years and paying another year in payments. Have you worked out how much that's all going to cost in total (there should be calculators online ...
by PaddyMac
Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Slow cooker vs Instant pot........
Replies: 62
Views: 4139

Re: Slow cooker vs Instant pot........

By the way, there are lots of great Facebook groups for the Instant Pot,

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q= ... SEARCH_BOX

including one focused just on IP Indian Food.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Instant ... Communtiy/
by PaddyMac
Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: solo 401K, backdoor Roth
Replies: 11
Views: 848

Re: solo 401K, backdoor Roth

OP, I'm a bit confused why you are so focused on saving to a Roth when your first question is "I would like to get an opinion about what to do about tax sheltering." Roth contributions do NOT reduce your taxes, it just means your growth is tax free inside the account. Is this what you mean by "shelt...
by PaddyMac
Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1st time on ACA
Replies: 35
Views: 3077

Re: 1st time on ACA

"If I understand your view on the subject, based on your idea; I would have to pay the full health care premium and recoupe the expense at tax time next year. This would be paying Uncle Sam through the year 2019, essentially giving him a loan and waiting for a refund next year." It comes down to con...
by PaddyMac
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I have an old HSA? Searching for if I have a dormant account
Replies: 3
Views: 150

Re: Do I have an old HSA? Searching for if I have a dormant account

Was the employer opening HSA Accounts for everyone on Jan 1 with a bank? In order to get they money, I believe you would have to open an actual HSA bank account (not just put your name on a list with a health insurance company). Did you remember signing any paperwork? Did you ask your employer?
by PaddyMac
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs Traditional - Tax Bracket and 401K?
Replies: 27
Views: 1497

Re: Roth vs Traditional - Tax Bracket and 401K?

It depends. The HSA would be my first choice (tax free both directions). How much do you already have saved tax-deferred vs. Roth? Remember that you have a Standard Deduction that you can fill up with tax-deferred withdrawals in the future, making that money tax-free in both directions. Another way ...
by PaddyMac
Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question for Solo 401k
Replies: 6
Views: 279

Re: Tax question for Solo 401k

You use your "earned income" to determine your EmployER contribution, but as noted it goes on the 1040 itself. (The implication of this is that your contributions do not reduce your SE income.) If you're using a tax program, it should tell you the maximum tax deferred amount you can contribute. Don'...
by PaddyMac
Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: solo 401K, backdoor Roth
Replies: 11
Views: 848

Re: solo 401K, backdoor Roth

It's never too late to learn, but it does sound like you have a lot to learn. For 2018 Tax Year, you can open a SEP-IRA and shelter @ 20% of your SE income. You won't be able to use it again, but you'll have the writeoff. It's quick and easy to open a SEP. Your accountant can help you figure out how...
by PaddyMac
Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marginal tax rates, Roth vs LT capital gains
Replies: 19
Views: 870

Re: Marginal tax rates, Roth vs LT capital gains

Some light reading might help: http://www.moneychimp.com/features/tax_brackets.htm https://www.kitces.com/blog/understanding-the-mechanics-of-the-0-long-term-capital-gains-tax-rate-how-to-harvest-capital-gains-for-a-free-step-up-in-basis/ For 2017 TY I found that a portion of LTCG was being taxed at...
by PaddyMac
Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1st time on ACA
Replies: 35
Views: 3077

Re: 1st time on ACA

We were right on the cliff for 2018 and managed to duck under it with 401k contributions. It is well worth the extra math... Note that Obamacare-MAGI is your AGI plus any tax-exempt interest from munis from a brokerage account, just in case that's applicable (see links). Also, if you are on the ACA ...
by PaddyMac
Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone - message alerts
Replies: 12
Views: 818

Re: iPhone - message alerts

FYI, consider adding iWatch. I did so I would get a buzz when a new message came in. (I don't hear the phone in my bag in a noisy place, and I often have it on Mute anyway.)
by PaddyMac
Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo 401k and new W2 status
Replies: 7
Views: 347

Re: Solo 401k and new W2 status

primetime5 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:36 pm
Does this mean firm A is effectively paying my payroll taxes (SE portion) even on commissions? Or am I missing something?
Is it not possible to look at your W-2 and figure out how much payroll tax they paid? (Been years since I got one...)
by PaddyMac
Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Tucson, AZ for 3 days - what to see?
Replies: 46
Views: 1703

Re: Visiting Tucson, AZ for 3 days - what to see?

We just did a short trip to Tucson and flew in/out from Phoenix. If you have a later flight, recommend spending a few hours in Phoenix. The art museum is great (lovely cafe too), and the Heard Museum is also nearby. Both are quite near the airport. Personally we always stop in for an hour at Nordstr...
by PaddyMac
Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: popup blockers on Mac computers
Replies: 14
Views: 793

Re: popup blockers on Mac computers

Search also for "coupon ware" - some annoying popups attach to words in a News article etc. and these can be added by browser. Think if these popups happened after you clicked on a dodgy link etc.
by PaddyMac
Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Slow cooker vs Instant pot........
Replies: 62
Views: 4139

Re: Slow cooker vs Instant pot........

I gave away the slow cooker when I got the instant pot. I use it mostly as a rice cooker, plus it makes great potatoes for mashing, spaggetti squash, etc. Yes, it takes time to get up to pressure, so even the 1-minute Quinoa takes 20 mins! But I never liked using the slow cooker idea; I work at home...
by PaddyMac
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraudulent credit balance transfer on my credit card - bank says "too bad"
Replies: 29
Views: 3882

Re: Fraudulent credit balance transfer on my credit card - bank says "too bad"

That's insane. Which bank issued the card?

What was the date on the transfers? (i.e., how soon did you complain)

IF they say it's not fraud, then get all the details of the receiving bank as you will need this for a police report.
by PaddyMac
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Employee Contribution/Salary Deferral to Solo 401(k)
Replies: 5
Views: 318

Re: Early Employee Contribution/Salary Deferral to Solo 401(k)

"If you are making employee contributions, you have to maintain a salary deferral agreement. "

My agreement states that we contribute when cashflow affords us the luxury. Done!
by PaddyMac
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a better and cheeper way to send money......
Replies: 19
Views: 1700

Re: Is there a better and cheeper way to send money......

Depends on whether it's family or business. If I just need to repay a sibling for a share in a gift or flowers etc, I send them an Amazon gift certificate. Assuming they use Amazon, but it's popular in Europe. For business, usually send with Paypal, although I have paid small amount with Amazon too ...
by PaddyMac
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement planning tips for a freelancer
Replies: 10
Views: 576

Re: Retirement planning tips for a freelancer

If you're moving around, then do you buy your own health insurance on the exchange? As noted above, the HSA is actually the best deal - tax free going in and out. You don't have to spend it; you can let it grow in a conservative fund. We have our account at Old National Bank and can buy Vanguard fun...
by PaddyMac
Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 contractors/business owners: reporting business mileage
Replies: 10
Views: 706

Re: 1099 contractors/business owners: reporting business mileage

As mentioned above, the mileage is logged for client visits, and that reimbursement for mileage is supposed to cover maintenance, car wash runs, etc. You don't claim part of any other cost of maintaining your vehicle. On the good side, the mileage adds up. We also track medical miles, as we can clai...
by PaddyMac
Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Employee Contribution/Salary Deferral to Solo 401(k)
Replies: 5
Views: 318

Re: Early Employee Contribution/Salary Deferral to Solo 401(k)

We're self-employed with a 401k and we don't follow any rules about when and how much we can contribute. Income is lumpy, that's life. In fact, we tend to contribute a lot "in reverse" based on our taxes. So I saved in early 2019 to max out the 2018 tax year based on how much I need to tax defer (th...
by PaddyMac
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why isn't tax gain harvesting suggested more often?
Replies: 33
Views: 2615

Re: Why isn't tax gain harvesting suggested more often?

Being semi-retired (we have income to save in retirement accounts but also need to live off some savings), we keep a careful eye on cap gains. It's a real balancing act. It used to be an easy decision to sell stocks from brokerage and move them into our HSA or Roth IRAs or Roth 401k - we'd pay no ex...
by PaddyMac
Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to buy Microsoft Office 2019....
Replies: 85
Views: 6294

Re: Best place to buy Microsoft Office 2019....

Mac users really should look at the free Pages, Keynote and Numbers apps. (Every time I do a spreadsheet in Numbers people ask how I made Excel look so good...) If it wasn't for my editor, who lives in Word, I would ditch it for Pages too. Today I had to find a replacement for Filemaker Pro for Mac ...
by PaddyMac
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 199a deduction regarding dividends/interest and phaseout.
Replies: 3
Views: 296

Re: 199a deduction regarding dividends/interest and phaseout.

Yeah, took me a while to figure out how TaxAct did the math. I'm still not sure what math it's using on its spreadsheet for the first calculation (it's using Qualified REIT and PTP income, which showed up on a 1099), but the second calculation which was lower won out anyway My worksheet suggests it ...
by PaddyMac
Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Make-ahead "scalable" family meals
Replies: 16
Views: 1564

Re: Make-ahead "scalable" family meals

Agree with comment above that the problem is you are eating the same thing for a few nights. When I do a batch of anything, we eat it that night and then we maybe reheat it two days later. But not the next night and never three or more nights. The rest goes in the freezer. After a few weeks you shou...
by PaddyMac
Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital loss in HSA as New Jersey resident
Replies: 10
Views: 366

Re: Capital loss in HSA as New Jersey resident

Eh? My HSA is tax free. Nothing it does affects my income taxes. Tax free money going in, while it sits there, and when it comes out. California and New Jersey do not allow deductions for HSA contributions, so this is a state-specific question. I don't know the answer, but the plan seems reasonable...
by PaddyMac
Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Individual 401k and Roth 401k, how is it kept separate under the same plan?
Replies: 3
Views: 187

Re: Individual 401k and Roth 401k, how is it kept separate under the same plan?

I can only speak for Vanguard. When I contribute in the Employer portal, it's very clearly separated into two separate options: Section 1: 401k = Tax Deferred (Employee Deferral OR EmployER contribution) Section 2: Roth 401k (Employee Deferral only) When I log into Vanguard's Personal account to che...
by PaddyMac
Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital loss in HSA as New Jersey resident
Replies: 10
Views: 366

Re: Capital loss in HSA as New Jersey resident

Eh? My HSA is tax free. Nothing it does affects my income taxes. Tax free money going in, while it sits there, and when it comes out.
by PaddyMac
Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W2 vs 1099
Replies: 3
Views: 404

Re: W2 vs 1099

Agree, it's not a "choice". Serious problems for all concerned if it turns out that this is a W-2 employer/ee relationship.

Google around, such as https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/understand ... esignation
by PaddyMac
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why Not 5 years of Expenses in Fixed Income, Remainder in Equities?
Replies: 49
Views: 4487

Re: Why Not 5 years of Expenses in Fixed Income, Remainder in Equities?

I strongly recommend Michael McClung’s “Living off your Money” available on Amazon. He covers many different asset allocation strategies and spending strategies and then some. It is meant for those who are in the period where they are spending down their assets. Thanks for that reference. I found t...
by PaddyMac
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help choosing retirement accounts self employed
Replies: 8
Views: 628

Re: Help choosing retirement accounts self employed

Hah thank you! So I started with Vanguard, since this is Bogleheads. This plan seems to be perfect: https://investor.vanguard.com/small-business-retirement-plans/individual-solo-401k $20 yearly fee, ROTH available. Is this exactly what I am looking for? Will I be able to create the 3 fund portfolio...
by PaddyMac
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Remove Pink Ink Stains from Grout?
Replies: 10
Views: 983

Re: How to Remove Pink Ink Stains from Grout?

You may find the pink ink will fade with time as it's not very lightfast (remember what a newspaper looks like after a few weeks in the sun). You could also find a matching paint and paint the grout. I bought black grout paint when we sold our last house; it had faded to gray in the mopped areas. It...
by PaddyMac
Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Free Antivirus for Macs?
Replies: 26
Views: 1577

Re: Which Free Antivirus for Macs?

Agree. Been a Mac user for decades and have never needed antivirus software. Most harmful stuff is commonsense (i.e., don't click on links to "reset your password" etc.) Also, don't click on links to "install a media player" to watch something free online.
by PaddyMac
Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I continue repaying a 401k loan even if I don't have the salary to cover payroll deductions?
Replies: 3
Views: 308

Re: Can I continue repaying a 401k loan even if I don't have the salary to cover payroll deductions?

The IRS Pub. doesn't seem to address this question, which would suggest it's a non-issue. My gut says it's outside any of the rules of how much you can contribute to your 401k based on income, so yes, you should be able to do this. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/retirement-plans-faqs-regarding...
by PaddyMac
Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: solo 401k tax question
Replies: 5
Views: 612

Re: solo 401k tax question

What software are you using? In TaxAct, there is a Worksheet for figuring out the max EmployER contribution, which is based on Publication 560's worksheet. This calculator is useful if you also have W2 income https://docs.zoho.com/sheet/published.do?rid=hd3vb2c79aa2e630443d58a05e8140934898a There ar...
by PaddyMac
Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:49 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Vanguard in Ireland
Replies: 7
Views: 736

Re: Vanguard in Ireland

Being Irish and curious, I just googled and found the Global site for Vanguard. When I click on the link for Europe then United Kingdom, I got a browser popup asking me to "accept" the terms. The address is in Dublin - is this the company you are currently using? It talks about "an Irish paying agen...
by PaddyMac
Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Quick Solo 401k Questions
Replies: 19
Views: 1228

Re: Quick Solo 401k Questions

Agree with above. If you are still a sole prop. then the SEP-IRA space/calculation is exactly the same as the EmployER space in your 401k. No difference there. TaxAct has a good worksheet for Pub. 560 (you start with entering 25% for the "plan" but then it adjusts it down to 20% after accounting for...
by PaddyMac
Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: (For self-employed people), doesn't the new 199A deduction change the math on Roth vs Traditional?
Replies: 4
Views: 289

Re: (For self-employed people), doesn't the new 199A deduction change the math on Roth vs Traditional?

It's not just about the S199A though. There are two other issues: Adding to the complexity is if you are also teetering on the Obamacare O-MAGI cliff (@ $65K AGI this year). Adding tax-deferred contributions to your retirement account reduces your MAGI where you might now qualify for a subsidy. Howe...
by PaddyMac
Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why am I paying more taxes than expected?
Replies: 15
Views: 1299

Re: Why am I paying more taxes than expected?

1099-MISC $12,550 This is self-employment income, assume it's on Schedule C. This feeds into Schedule SE, and is basically taxed @ 15% and then you get half of this as a tax deduction. Unfortunately, no matter how much you save in your 401k or claim as a standard deduction etc, the SE tax is applied...
by PaddyMac
Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What should I look for in a Tax Accountant?
Replies: 8
Views: 614

Re: What should I look for in a Tax Accountant?

I'm not saying you should not hire a TA as it's a lot of work to file taxes. However, if your goal is to reduce your taxes and figure out how to invest and withdraw funds tax efficiently, then you need to do a lot of the leg work yourself IMHO. From my experience at least, financial advisors don't a...