Search found 144 matches

by desertbandit442
Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Applying online for SS
Replies: 4
Views: 403

Re: Applying online for

I just helped my wife apply for her SS benefits online this past Thursday and there was nothing that had to be sent. I think the confusion might be if you fill out an application online and print it to mail it in, then I saw something about mailing in documents with the application being mailed. I w...
by desertbandit442
Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Opportunity Tax Credit - General Questions
Replies: 23
Views: 2562

Re: American Opportunity Tax Credit - General Questions

You should be good. It is not how many years you attended college, it is if you have completed a four year college undergraduate program; then you can't claim it. The limit on the AOC is that you can only claim it for a total of 4 tax years. Two year community or vocational college is fine as long a...
by desertbandit442
Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: earned income credit question
Replies: 4
Views: 697

Re: earned income credit question

You can say no, you don't have to claim a credit. Nothing happens--you just might get a letter from the IRS saying you qualify for the EITC. You can disregard that letter if you don't want to claim the credit.
by desertbandit442
Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I have $3,000 to gamble
Replies: 71
Views: 10158

Re: I have $3,000 to gamble

I was in the same boat about 5 years ago, but had $2,000 to gamble. Ended up not going to Vegas, so with my "mad money" I opened up a Scottrade account in April 2011. Before anyone says anything, all my other investments are in two Vanguard index funds. I split the $2,000 between two stocks and have...
by desertbandit442
Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question on IRS filing status
Replies: 17
Views: 1494

Re: Question on IRS filing status

Also need to know how spouse took deductions when he filed, married filing separately. If he itemized, then your mother has to itemize and can't take the standard deduction. Likewise if he took standard deduction for MFS, then your mother has to take the standard deduction for MFS. Actually, if he ...
by desertbandit442
Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question on IRS filing status
Replies: 17
Views: 1494

Re: Question on IRS filing status

Just found out my "very" elderly mother fell prey to three years worth of an HR Block error. She is married. However, previously filed "married, filing separately" when she took her taxes to a professional CPA. This past week she received a letter from the IRS indicating income from a "Qualified Di...
by desertbandit442
Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question on IRS filing status
Replies: 17
Views: 1494

Re: Question on IRS filing status

If one spouse files married filing separately the other spouse must also. Also can't just file single when legal status is married as of December 31st of the tax year, even though some people do. If you check Pub 17, the other spouse can file Head of Household if they meet the requirements. Almost ...
by desertbandit442
Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When does the 5-year clock start on a second Roth?
Replies: 21
Views: 3160

Re: When does the 5-year clock start on a second Roth?

Notably, under Treasury Regulation 1.408A-6, Q&A-2, for the purposes of this 5-year rule the clock starts the first time any money is funded into any Roth IRA, whether by contribution or conversion. There is not a new 5-year clock for each Roth contribution, nor for each Roth account that is held. A...
by desertbandit442
Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question on IRS filing status
Replies: 17
Views: 1494

Re: Question on IRS filing status

If one spouse files married filing separately the other spouse must also. Also can't just file single when legal status is married as of December 31st of the tax year, even though some people do.
by desertbandit442
Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Withdrawal Strategies for Larger Purchases after Retiring
Replies: 39
Views: 4031

Re: Withdrawal Strategies for Larger Purchases after Retiring

Also know and factor in state income tax considerations, if you live in a state with income tax. In SC, for example; if under 65, $3000 of qualified retirement income (pensions, IRAs, 401Ks, etc.) is not taxed. Age 65 and over, $15,000 of qualified retirement income is not taxed for each person, for...
by desertbandit442
Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Support and taxes
Replies: 29
Views: 1999

Re: Child Support and taxes

I work in the tax industry. By the custodial parent signing the Form 8332, the only two tax breaks the noncustodial parent can use are the dependency exemption, which is $4,000 per dependent for 2015, and the Child Tax Credit of $1,000. All other tax breaks/credits remain with the custodial parent, ...
by desertbandit442
Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 415
Views: 51739

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

2002 Jeep Wrangler with 199,700 miles. Bought new with intent, and it still is, of driving it for 25 years or 500,000 miles. Looks like I'll make the years first, then try for the 500,000 miles.
by desertbandit442
Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I just filed a Restrictive App at the SS office
Replies: 39
Views: 5189

Re: I just filed a Restrictive App at the SS office

Thanks for sharing your experience Cody. I'll be doing the same thing in four years.
by desertbandit442
Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spousal Dynamics on Finance
Replies: 59
Views: 8876

Re: Spousal Dynamics on Finance

We fall under scenario 1. I don't worry, I've done all I could. I wrote out 4-5 pages to follow for 1st year, short term (years 2-5) and long term (more than 5 years). Then, if she still doesn't want to mess with it, I have a fee only contact that I have already talked to for her.
by desertbandit442
Thu Nov 27, 2014 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Safe Withdrawal Rates - Is the 4% rule still good?
Replies: 84
Views: 10816

Re: Safe Withdrawal Rates - Is the 4% rule still good?

4% is perfect if your going to live 25 years off of the retirement savings. Less percent if you need it to live longer, and you can withdraw larger percent if going to live less than 25 years off the money. That's assuming no decrease in the principle, except for the withdrawal. Why wouldn't you wa...
by desertbandit442
Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Safe Withdrawal Rates - Is the 4% rule still good?
Replies: 84
Views: 10816

Re: Safe Withdrawal Rates - Is the 4% rule still good?

4% is perfect if your going to live 25 years off of the retirement savings. Less percent if you need it to live longer, and you can withdraw larger percent if going to live less than 25 years off the money. That's assuming no decrease in the principle, except for the withdrawal.
by desertbandit442
Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you change your car's oil?
Replies: 168
Views: 21834

Re: How often do you change your car's oil?

Every 3,000-4,000 miles.
by desertbandit442
Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you wash your car?
Replies: 143
Views: 16799

Re: How do you wash your car?

Closer to never than rarely. I have a 2002 and it still runs like it was new.
by desertbandit442
Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Planning with and w/o SS
Replies: 27
Views: 3398

Re: Retirement Planning with and w/o SS

I did my retirement saving and investing w/o SS in my plan. Now retired, but not collecting SS yet. Plan on waiting until 70 for that. SS will be additional vacation money, mad money, surprises, additional care money (if needed) and not having to withdraw out of Roth IRA. Will be able to at least le...
by desertbandit442
Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Strategy Metric
Replies: 55
Views: 5785

Re: SS Strategy Metric

My metric is my wife. As long as we are married and she is alive, I will wait until 70. I will start collecting right away if she should pass before me. Why? Didn't she ever work? When she dies, you can collect as her widower and delay your own to age 70, and get the best(?) of both worlds. Her ben...
by desertbandit442
Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Strategy Metric
Replies: 55
Views: 5785

Re: SS Strategy Metric

My metric is my wife. As long as we are married and she is alive, I will wait until 70. I will start collecting right away if she should pass before me.
by desertbandit442
Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife to work as a Contractor - Advice needed
Replies: 30
Views: 3379

Re: Wife to work as a Contractor - Advice needed

This always worked for us, when my wife worked as an "independent contractor;" she put 50 percent of her earnings in a separate account to fund federal taxes, state taxes, self-employment taxes, and a SEP IRA. This always kept us out of any tax trouble/shortages and funded an IRA for her. Since you ...
by desertbandit442
Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 13148

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

For those suggesting filing a dispute did anyone read the link to the Chicago Bar Associaton's Attorney Fee Dispute? http://www.chicagobar.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Attorney_Fee_Dispute_Assistance&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2424 I'll save you the trouble: "If the Committee reviews ...
by desertbandit442
Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 13148

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

I would not sign anything yet and take that 37 page document of transactions to an estate lawyer to look over and give you his/her take on if it seems reasonable. I don't think it should take more than an hour to go through and cost no more than $150 - $250 for the consult. The 37 page document is ...
by desertbandit442
Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 13148

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

What I am not sure about, is if you are talking only about legal fees, or legal fees, executor fees and probate fees, or all those fees and costs to close the estate like paying off debts. Could you clarify what is involved in that 100,000 plus in expenses? From what I can tell the fees the executo...
by desertbandit442
Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 13148

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

What I am not sure about, is if you are talking only about legal fees, or legal fees, executor fees and probate fees, or all those fees and costs to close the estate like paying off debts. Could you clarify what is involved in that 100,000 plus in expenses?
by desertbandit442
Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 13148

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

It's even worse than I thought. $101,349 in fees. I have an extremely sick wife in the hospital and a young son I am essentially raising alone, this is the last thing I need to deal with but I think I have to somehow. But I don't know where to even start. I am being pressured to sign papers to rece...
by desertbandit442
Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 13148

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

I don't know about specifying a fixed low executor fee. What if nobody wants to handle the duties responsibly for that amount? Here's an example. Years ago, a relative had a very large collection of buttons, and passed away. Her executor, her daughter, knew the buttons were collectible and had valu...
by desertbandit442
Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Estate lawyer cost us big
Replies: 109
Views: 13148

Re: The Estate lawyer cost us big

There seems to be things getting crossed here in the post and some responses. There can be both legal fees and an executor fee in handling an estate. The executor fee alone may be up to 7 percent of the estate, in the state where I live, and then the legal fees are on top of that. Your cousin may be...
by desertbandit442
Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Funniest Movie Ever
Replies: 227
Views: 22369

Re: The Funniest Movie Ever

Steve Martin's The Jerk.
by desertbandit442
Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual Stocks - Do you own any?
Replies: 97
Views: 9542

Re: Individual Stocks - Do you own any?

About 0.6% of my holdings in PFIZER, CISCO, and VALERO--just for fun. Rest of holdings in index funds. Individual stock holdings have outperformed index funds by double over 1 year and 3 year period, but like I said it is just for fun and I would never go over 1.0% of holdings in individual stocks. ...
by desertbandit442
Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Personal Finance Magazines do you read?
Replies: 60
Views: 6724

Re: What Personal Finance Magazines do you read?

Money and Kiplinger. If I had to choose one, I would stay with Kiplinger.
by desertbandit442
Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken WillMaker - any users?
Replies: 24
Views: 6096

Re: Quicken WillMaker - any users?

I think it's time my wife and myself started filling out those documents like last will, power of attorney, health care directive, etc. I know lawyers are commonly recommended for these, but I've been taken aback at how expensive they are. I had a brief lawyer consult for a very basic will in the p...
by desertbandit442
Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why aren't Car dealers prepared to deal?
Replies: 91
Views: 11734

Re: Why aren't Car dealers prepared to deal?

I've done the dealership loan before--they seem more interested in dealing with you when you tell them OK on the dealer financing. Then when the first payment is due, I just pay it off in full. :wink:
by desertbandit442
Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who manages your finances? Him/Her/Both?
Replies: 58
Views: 4212

Re: Who manages your finances? Him/Her/Both?

Me. Occasionally she will say she wants to know more about our finances, but loses interest after about 30 seconds when I start explaining it. I guess her main concern is.. do we have enough money for ____ (fill in the blank). More like 20 seconds for my wife :happy Same here, maybe about 10-15 sec...
by desertbandit442
Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mens non-iron pants buying suggestion
Replies: 9
Views: 3635

Re: mens non-iron pants buying suggestion

I bought pants from Land's End, they're very nice dockers-like. Land's End has regular sales, 40% off, that make them quite reasonable. Also, they allow for great inseam/length customization, you can get 33x33.5 if you want, and choose your style (pleats/cuffs or neither/mix). The inseam length cus...
by desertbandit442
Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How often to do re-allocate for drift?
Replies: 14
Views: 1229

Re: How often to do re-allocate for drift?

I look to see if in need to re-balance once a year, around the end of January/beginning of February.
by desertbandit442
Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Check for abandoned property -- worked twice for me
Replies: 34
Views: 4452

Re: Check for abandoned property -- worked twice for me

I sent in a claim with all the required documentation to the state of Texas after locating a few shares of stock from an old employee plan that got lost in a move 29 years ago. That was several months ago, but I never got any reply. I have proof of mailing. Do these claims take months to settle or ...
by desertbandit442
Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Closing
Replies: 18
Views: 2161

Re: Real Estate Closing

I just tell them that I won't be at the closing until I have seen and reviewed the final closing document. They always seem to find a way to get it to me then, usually the evening before or the morning of, for an afternoon closing.
by desertbandit442
Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Check for abandoned property -- worked twice for me
Replies: 34
Views: 4452

Re: Check for abandoned property -- worked twice for me

Thanks! Found ~$200 for myself, but a few thousand for my deceased relatives. ThatGuy, I'm wondering if you (or anyone else) has acted on the situation of deceased relatives. The form for California just has a place to put in your own name. Not a place to delineate the lines of succession. I could ...
by desertbandit442
Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate settlement issues - need advice
Replies: 12
Views: 1326

Re: Estate settlement issues - need advice

Did the estate go through probate? Is the estate closed with the state/county? I know in my state/county, an accounting document has to be filed annually with the probate court until the estate closes, then there is a final accounting document filed with the court. Has any of this occurred in this c...
by desertbandit442
Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Midlife Crisis
Replies: 109
Views: 14758

Re: Midlife Crisis

Go see your favorite band in concert, with VIP tickets, and stay at a Ritz Carlton for the weekend. Call that your midlife crisis and be done with it.
by desertbandit442
Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do I build wealth?
Replies: 87
Views: 10242

Re: How do I build wealth?

Save and invest long term--When your investment portfolio is growing more each year than you make, then you are on your way! That makes me feel wealthy.
by desertbandit442
Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529s for Grandchildren that you don't have yet
Replies: 29
Views: 2254

Re: 529s for Grandchildren that you don't have yet

Open one in your own name/SSN and then re-designate it when the grandchild is born.
by desertbandit442
Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's your number? Why?
Replies: 258
Views: 32562

Re: What's your number? Why?

I haven't determined my number yet, so I'd like to ask a related question. Is it worth it for investors in the 25-35 age range to go through the exercise or trying to come up with a number given the huge uncertainties involved? My current strategy is just to save as much as I can. A general seconda...
by desertbandit442
Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: That Frugal Thing You Do
Replies: 554
Views: 132380

Re: What's your favorite frugal thing(s) to do?

Just drink tap water and black coffee - gave up drinking all sweetened beverages (regular and diet), also don't drink any bottled water. Don't go to the movie theater, just wait until the movie comes out on DVD to rent or wait until it's on TV/netflix. Read library books. About 3 times a year, I'll ...
by desertbandit442
Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What should I do regarding sibling?
Replies: 53
Views: 3934

Re: What should I do regarding sibling?

I know your heart is in the right place but, it is not your responsibility--let it go. I would help her with just food, if it came to that.
by desertbandit442
Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: should I consider home equity part of asset allocation?
Replies: 27
Views: 5823

Re: should I consider home equity part of asset allocation?

AA - No
Net Worth Day-to-Day - No, because I am retired and in my final home (as far as I know); it's paid off and I don't plan on generating any income from it.
Net Worth Estate Planning - Yes, but I'm not close enough to the 5 million yet to worry about it.
by desertbandit442
Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to make it easier for spouse upon death
Replies: 91
Views: 13223

Re: How to make it easier for spouse upon death

I maintain a Word document which I update frequently identifying everything we have and where I keep it.. Such as wills, car titles, home papers, insurance policies, credit cards, bank and investment accounts, accounts paid by auto withdrawal from our checking account, computerized spreadsheets, et...