Search found 5163 matches

by madbrain
Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on upgrading home in Bay Area
Replies: 11
Views: 1269

Re: Advice on upgrading home in Bay Area

I would sell it. You're probably already past the $500k capital gains exclusion realm. The longer you hold it, the more tax you will owe on the gain. An anecdote. I bought a townhome in 1997 for $230K (while single). I bought a new home in 2010 and carried both mortgages for a while, as I couldn't ...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache
Replies: 17
Views: 1205

Re: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache

As I understand, the taxable amount should be E1 + E2 . E1 for the in-plan rollover, and E2 from the earnings on additional contributions, post-rollover. Did I get that right ? This is one possibility, but it does depends on what money ended up where. For example, it is legal to take a rollover of ...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache
Replies: 17
Views: 1205

Re: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache

Am now getting the impression there were 3 rollover transactions included on the second 1099R, the two I listed earlier PLUS a 401k to Roth IRA rollover, officially a "qualified rollover contribution". Trying to follow what you are saying, you are saying the second (largest) 1099-R includes : 1) th...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache
Replies: 17
Views: 1205

Re: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache

I can get the total of all my after-tax 401k contributions for 2017 and 2018 when I get home . And then I can subtract them from the total rollover to roth IRA amount of $42,439.53 in July. That should give me the sum of the taxable earnings, both from the in-plan rollover to Roth, and later to the...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache
Replies: 17
Views: 1205

Re: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache

Only the earnings on the additional after-tax contributions between January and July should be taxed at the time of the July rollover. And this is probably exactly what is listed in the “taxable part” portion of your second 1099-R. That seems very unlikely. I am at the office now so can't check, bu...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache
Replies: 17
Views: 1205

Re: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache

Most likely the first 1099-R is reporting the rollover from the Roth 401(k) to the Roth IRA, which is not taxable. Box 5 is reporting your contribution basis, which is important if you decide to do an early withdrawal (since it can be withdrawn tax free, and penalty free if 5 years have passed from...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache
Replies: 17
Views: 1205

Re: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache

Most likely the first 1099-R is reporting the rollover from the Roth 401(k) to the Roth IRA, which is not taxable. Box 5 is reporting your contribution basis, which is important if you decide to do an early withdrawal (since it can be withdrawn tax free, and penalty free if 5 years have passed from...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache
Replies: 17
Views: 1205

Re: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache

Bump. Does anyone have any idea what I should do ? It looks like this is the only thing preventing me from filing my taxes.
by madbrain
Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving
Replies: 58
Views: 2438

Re: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving

A tb each for photos, videos, music and files should do it. I'm already at just over 1TB for my music collection - backups of CDs and SACDs. Only 500GB so far for video, but that's growing rapidly with my new 4K camera which records at 100 Mbps bit rate. And I might get one that records at 400 Mbps...
by madbrain
Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving
Replies: 58
Views: 2438

Re: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving

Inability of accidentally overwrite is another big plus of BD-Rs. Well, that depends on your point of view. Most tapes have some sort of write-protect mechanism. It would take a drive firmware hack to accidentally overwrite them to bypass it. Personally, I think the ability to overwrite is a desira...
by madbrain
Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving
Replies: 58
Views: 2438

Re: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving

If you want to avoid storage methods that are declining, the cloud seems like the only option for consumer use. Not only Blu rays but also hard disks are on the decline due to the shift toward tablets, and I surely wouldn't trust SD cards for backup. The cloud is completely out of your control, unf...
by madbrain
Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving
Replies: 58
Views: 2438

Re: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving

Vulcan wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:53 pm
Nisi, recordable Blu-Rays (and even more so M-Discs) change that. Unlke CDs and DVDs, they use completely inert, inorganic recording layer that is virtually permanent.
What about BD-RE, the rewritable version ?
by madbrain
Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving
Replies: 58
Views: 2438

Re: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving

Somewhere in my bin of ancient PC bits and pieces I do recall having DDS tapes at one time or another. If I recall correctly, proprietary hardware and/or software components became the challenge for the home or small office user. I'm not really sure what you mean in terms of proprietary hardware. S...
by madbrain
Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving
Replies: 58
Views: 2438

Re: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving

Thank you. I suspected but didn't realize that the drives were the same hardware. I'm going to have to think about whether I've got speed (generally yes) and noise level (generally no) concerns or whether I just go lowest cost. You can just buy the lowest cost LG drive, and then crossflash the Asus...
by madbrain
Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving
Replies: 58
Views: 2438

Re: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving

Lots of interesting discussion here but the original question remains unanswered? Are there any recommendations on either of the two Blu-Ray drives that I'm considering? They ones under consideration are the LG WH16NS40 and the ASUS BW-16D1HT. I have both of these drives. They are actually the same...
by madbrain
Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache
Replies: 17
Views: 1205

Mega backdoor Roth Turbotax headache

Last year, in my former employer plan, I had two transactions that I believe should be partially taxable events : 1) an in-plan Roth conversions of after-tax contributions + earnings I may have done this more than once, but unfortunately, Fidelity statements don't show anything about conversions. Th...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 217
Views: 13084

Re: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]

I'm still missing some 1099s from several brokers who are taking their time, so not able to get the full picture yet. But so far, Turbotax says our federal deductions have gone down from $49K in 201§7 to the standard deduction $24K in 2018. That part will not change. Total federal tax liability incr...
by madbrain
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Satellite radio pricing ridiculousness
Replies: 54
Views: 3823

Re: Satellite radio pricing ridiculousness

My willingness to pay for satellite radio greatly diminished during the free trial. I had no idea they had commercials! I am not willing to pay for them shoving crap over the airwaves. If they got rid of ads perhaps I would consider. IIRC, only a few channels have commercials - it was part of their...
by madbrain
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Satellite radio pricing ridiculousness
Replies: 54
Views: 3823

Re: Satellite radio pricing ridiculousness

I think the most annoying thing about SiriusXM is that they have a 24 hour line for activations, but limited hours for cancellations. And of course, you can only cancel by phone, not online. I have been doing that dance for a while. I just cancelled again after a new charge posted yesterday on my cr...
by madbrain
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit ID hacked, got $4900 T-Mobile bill
Replies: 36
Views: 4483

Re: Credit ID hacked, got $4900 T-Mobile bill

Stop wasting your time with the phone calls.

For any letter from a collection agency you received in this matter, you should write a letter disputing the debt. You must do this within 30 days in order to preserve your rights under FDCPA.
by madbrain
Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now
Replies: 107
Views: 10809

Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Yes - notification by phone call seems very odd to me. I have been "down sized" twice over my careers. One was in person and immediate (handled very well) and the other was written with a several week window while still employed to find some other position in MegaCorp. I was unable to find such a p...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now
Replies: 107
Views: 10809

Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

I was in a similar situation once. The company was having mass layoffs. This got announced a few months early. Only people with 10 years of service and over 50 were allowed to volunteer and I was neither. I had only been there 18 months and was younger. The package was pre announced: 6 months pay pl...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money saving move you regret the most?
Replies: 120
Views: 10626

Re: Money saving move you regret the most?

You can buy 1875 q tips brand name at Costco for something like $15 . Should last years. Only recently bought my second package.
by madbrain
Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Crypto Exchange goes bankrupt after owner dies with only password
Replies: 87
Views: 9668

Re: Crypto Exchange goes bankrupt after owner dies with only password

This article in Wired was very interesting, discussing the meaning of trust and what Blockchain can, and mostly cannot, provide in regards to trust. I've read many claims that while cryptocurrencies are dangerous, blockchain technology is nonetheless valuable. This article, by a security expert at ...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Tech Gadget Would you Buy?
Replies: 85
Views: 5245

Re: What Tech Gadget Would you Buy?

I feel like buying some type of tech gadget. But, can't think of what. I have a laptop that functions well, I have a flat screen TV (it's 7 years old, but still running strong). I also already have a tablet (iPad). I don't need a new phone, and I already have a great DSLR camera (Yes, I use the DSL...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Crypto Exchange goes bankrupt after owner dies with only password
Replies: 87
Views: 9668

Re: Crypto Exchange goes bankrupt after owner dies with only password

With cryptocurrencies, you really can take it with you. To the crypt.
by madbrain
Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is an ARM always a bad idea?
Replies: 43
Views: 4063

Re: Is an ARM always a bad idea?

No. ARM CPUs are OK.
by madbrain
Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 1550
Views: 247491

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

Did anybody run into problems with qualified dividend status if shares are transferred prior to holding them for 61 days? For example: purchased Jan 1st, ex-dividend date Jan 2nd, fund transferred to another brokerage on Jan 3rd. Will the original brokerage who paid out the dividend default to qual...
by madbrain
Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 1550
Views: 247491

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

I was just denied a bonus for this reason. When I sent a message asking about the status, they replied letting me know that my bonus had been denied because I had already received one within the last 12 months. There was no indication when I opened the account (with the bonus code attached) that I ...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mega backdoor Roth and loss
Replies: 5
Views: 619

Re: Mega backdoor Roth and loss

I'd go ahead and roll them to either Roth 401k or Roth IRA. It's not like you are losing anything. I suppose not, but it just feels wrong to be paying tax on gains when converting/rolling-over yet never having even the possibility of an offsetting loss. You opted out because of the automatic rollov...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mega backdoor Roth and loss
Replies: 5
Views: 619

Re: Mega backdoor Roth and loss

We have had some reports of employers tracking basis. If you roll a loss out to Roth, you would be left with some basis on paper. If you continue to contribute to the after-tax account, that basis can be applied to a future rollover out to Roth IRA. I don't mean to sound like this always happens, j...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mega backdoor Roth and loss
Replies: 5
Views: 619

Mega backdoor Roth and loss

I have been doing some non-Roth after-tax contributions in my 401k this year. There is a bit of a loss on them. I would normally either convert them to Roth in-plan, or withdraw them and roll them over to a Roth IRA. Before I do either, I was wondering about the tax treatment for the loss. When conv...
by madbrain
Tue Dec 25, 2018 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are some insurance polcies philosophically similar to gambling?
Replies: 57
Views: 2921

Re: Are some insurance polcies philosophically similar to gambling?

I believe the price protection on my credit card is not similar to gambling, nor is it a bet. I don't just go buy random items in the hopes that they will drop in price. I do tend to charge items that I think have a higher likelihood of short-term price drops - like electronics and blu-ray movies - ...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forgoing health insurance
Replies: 112
Views: 5294

Re: Forgoing health insurance

shell921 wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:16 pm
Yes agree no one knows in advance if he or she will need health insurance.
Not really true. A lot of people with chronic conditions do know they will need health insurance. No way my husband and myself could afford our $30K of HIV meds per year each without it.
by madbrain
Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best headphones under 500 bucks
Replies: 79
Views: 6811

Re: Best headphones under 500 bucks

apple airpods. under $200. Take the rest of the money and take your significant other out to a nice dinner. Trust me (some guy on the internet) it'll be the best decision you make. All the other stuff is overpriced garb. I hope you tried everything else on the market before you called it overprice ...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it
Replies: 71
Views: 5782

Re: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it

Nope, Lyft covers me for $1 million in liability when carrying a passenger, so if there's any injury from the crash, you'd definitely want to get a police report, and report any accident immediately...there's a 'contact safety team' under Lyft help that you can use to get in touch with Lyft, which ...
by madbrain
Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it
Replies: 71
Views: 5782

Re: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it

Don't do that. No one is calling you a liar. You reported it through your review. The driver denies any accident. Actually, Lyft's insurance carrier is calling me a liar, by choosing not to believe my account of the accident. I don't think you have anything useful to contribute to the thread, so I ...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it
Replies: 71
Views: 5782

Re: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it

michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:20 pm
The fact that he needed a translator in the incident is alarming.
Just to clarify, my Lyft driver spoke fine English. It's the driver he rear-ended that he claims couldn't speak english, hence the need for a translator.
Good luck.
Thanks.
by madbrain
Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?
Replies: 80
Views: 5479

Re: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?

All these imperial units make my head hurt. Just give me the weight of each roll in grams to compare them. Yes, I know, that includes the weight of the core. But that should be a much better comparison than the area of the toilet paper, IMO. If the paper is too thin, I'll just end up using more shee...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA @ employment termination: COBRA *and* change election?
Replies: 3
Views: 346

Re: FSA @ employment termination: COBRA *and* change election?

In general, when you terminate employment, you can only continue your existing benefits, and only the benefits that your employer lets you. You can only change your enrollment options during open enrollment. With an FSA, it wouldn't make sense to do so, as all funds in the next plan year would be af...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3333
Views: 633927

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I think this depends a lot on your strategy and travel habits. The 1.5x bonus through the portal is also a tremendous win in terms of guaranteed flexibility. I am assuming you mean the 1.5x bonus through the Chase travel portal. With that said, you'll have to pry the Chase UR shopping portal out of...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it
Replies: 71
Views: 5782

Re: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it

I'm assuming the translator eventually appeared and that the other driver obtained your driver's insurance information. Yes. Translator was a friend of the other driver who spoke the same language. I assume they exchanged insurance info, that was the whole point of calling them. But can't be sure a...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it
Replies: 71
Views: 5782

Re: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it

What exactly is the end game here? I don't understand the outrage. Why do you care about this accident at all? It sounds like you're looking for a reason to hire an ambulance chasing attorney to sue Lyft over this minor "pain." I really don't get it. The outrage is mainly about being called a liar ...
by madbrain
Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?
Replies: 309
Views: 22269

Re: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?

Home value vs net worth is 60%. Home equity vs net worth is 50%. This is mostly because I live in a HCOL, and bought a big house during the financial crisis, which roughly doubled in value in 8 years. The percentages would be much lower if the house didn't appreciate far faster than my investment po...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it
Replies: 71
Views: 5782

Re: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it

I'm assuming the translator eventually appeared and that the other driver obtained your driver's insurance information. Yes. Translator was a friend of the other driver who spoke the same language. I assume they exchanged insurance info, that was the whole point of calling them. But can't be sure a...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3333
Views: 633927

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Wish there were decent routes to Asia to the much closer SJC airport instead. I assume you know about them, but just in case: ANA to Narita (Star Alliance) Hainan to Beijing (partners with Alaska Airlines) Nothing compared to SFO, of course, but better than in the past when it was basically all dom...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it
Replies: 71
Views: 5782

Re: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it

Always call the police, especially if you are doing a Lyft or Uber and they don't call the police. Yes, you can take pictures which helps your case but a police report is the best document you can have, especially when you are from out of town. The skeptic in me would say how can you be believed if...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it
Replies: 71
Views: 5782

Re: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it

California law requires that any vehicle accident causing more than $1000 damage or any injury (“no mater how minor”) be reported to the DMV by all parties (not sure if that includes passengers like the OP, but certainly all drivers). Yes, I'm aware of that law, but it doesn't include passengers. I...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it
Replies: 71
Views: 5782

Re: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it

OP, why do you think your medical insurance will not cover you? I don't know this for a fact. They may end up paying, and all will be fine. I just know insurance companies generally don't like to pay if they can get out of paying. I didn't want to avoid mentioning the accident in the call to my doc...
by madbrain
Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it
Replies: 71
Views: 5782

Re: Lyft driver got into an accident, but denies it

Not much or nothing at this point. It happened 3 weeks ago and you have no way of proving this happened. I think you would spend way too much time on this for no result if you try to make something come of it through Lyft. Heal up and move on is what I would do. In the ideal case yes, if there is n...