Search found 718 matches

by snowman
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA MAGI, dependent, and subsidies questions
Replies: 12
Views: 744

Re: ACA MAGI, dependent, and subsidies questions

OP, We are in similar situation – 2 parents, 1 kid (now 2 kids) in college, on ACA since it opened. Our monthly premiums are also going up substantially. Nothing you can do about that, however, when you do your 2019 taxes, you can get money back depending on your actual 2019 MAGI. Your daughter’s in...
by snowman
Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 1338
Views: 224460

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

If the transfer out fee is assessed without sufficient balance, it shows as a negative balance in the account and persists during the transfer. I had this happen a few years ago with an IRA, and it stayed negative for almost a year (!) until I made a trade at the receiving/destination broker. So th...
by snowman
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brokerage checking: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard
Replies: 36
Views: 3580

Re: Brokerage checking: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

No experience with Schwab or Vanguard, but Fidelity CMA is outstanding! Free checks, ATMs, bill pay etc. You can purchase MMF within CMA account to earn higher interest (which also acts as free overdraft protection). Plus their excellent customer service. Really cannot think of any negative.
by snowman
Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to sell my 2003 Accord?
Replies: 33
Views: 2212

Re: Time to sell my 2003 Accord?

This is normal maintenance, and fairly cheap actually. I got the same car, 230K miles on it. Had to replace starter at around 170K miles, $100 DIY (super easy access). Brakes DIY are $100 for complete set of Centric rotors and Akebono pads per axle. Belt is easy DIY - $20 part. I would definitely ke...
by snowman
Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Create taxable events to claim AOTC (Amer Opp Tax Crdt)
Replies: 16
Views: 820

Re: Create taxable events to claim AOTC (Amer Opp Tax Crdt)

As others already pointed out, 40% of AOTC is refundable (so up to $1k). Then you have the non-refundable credit up to full remaining amount. Also, don't forget that for 2018 you will receive $500 non-refundable credit per dependent who doesn't qualify for Child tax credit. So if you have 2 kids in ...
by snowman
Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Soc Sec benefit estimates: Anyone get a nasty surprise when filing?
Replies: 61
Views: 8095

Re: Soc Sec benefit estimates: Anyone get a nasty surprise when filing?

EnjoyIt wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:42 am
Here is a nice excel spreadsheet created by Physician on Fire that will let you know where you stand today.
https://www.physicianonfire.com/calculators/ssa/
Thank you very much for posting it. This is outstanding!
by snowman
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Funds in HSA account
Replies: 10
Views: 1504

Re: Funds in HSA account

I have 2 somewhat different suggestions: 1. Move your HSA to LMCU, you could do Vanguard S&P 500 - Intermediate Bond combo, both admiral shares, for $30/year fee. https://hsainvestments.com/fundperformance/?p=LMC 2. Or stay where you are and put it all into small cap index, since you are not going t...
by snowman
Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Regret Public School?
Replies: 75
Views: 6106

Re: Regret Public School?

This debate always somewhat irritates me. Every private school is different. Every public school is different. Every child is different. Every family's ability to pay for private school and/or a highly rated public school neighborhood is different. It is absolutely impossible to compare public and ...
by snowman
Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mold in caulk of shower
Replies: 21
Views: 2307

Re: Mold in caulk of shower

This is what works 99% of the time, in my experience: https://www.homedepot.com/p/ZEP-32-oz-Mold-Stain-and-Mildew-Stain-Remover-ZUMILDEW32/100619250 Just spray on, and you can watch the mold disappear in about 3-5 minutes. Then just spray down with water. Have the bathroom fan on as the fumes are ve...
by snowman
Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much Is Enough?
Replies: 34
Views: 6209

Re: How Much Is Enough?

Everyone is different. I walked away from money and took big financial risk while having small kids. Most people would never do it, for me looking back it was absolutely right decision and I have no regrets. Life is not about money only. It really depends on what you value and how much risk you are ...
by snowman
Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mother-in-Law criticizing my wife over our recent house purchase
Replies: 38
Views: 3129

Re: Mother-in-Law criticizing my wife over our recent house purchase

I love reading these kinds of threads. Unfortunately, they tend to get shut down quickly for some reason. OP, my mother was/is like that. It's not about the size of the house. It's about control. It will continue with any major (and minor) decision - how you raise your kids, where you send them to s...
by snowman
Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making an offer on a 'new' home from builder
Replies: 10
Views: 1581

Re: Making an offer on a 'new' home from builder

... Since I am handy and can DIY, I "upgraded" all floors in the house myself, installed sink and cabinets in laundry room etc etc. Not only did I save a lot of money, but the advantage of this method is that I could bring in the samples from stores (like HW, tiles etc.) and see how they fit. You c...
by snowman
Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 433
Views: 57360

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

I am driving a 1998 honda accord with 260,000 miles. It keeps on running, but it is leaking motor oil, power steering fluid, and coolant. This is most likely because the motor mounts have gone bad and the engine vibrates a lot more than it used to. A weird feature of this car is that it has some "a...
by snowman
Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making an offer on a 'new' home from builder
Replies: 10
Views: 1581

Re: Making an offer on a 'new' home from builder

In my experience with new build homes, it's not so much "offer", but 'ask for'. If you try to low ball them, you will likely get laughed at. They won't go lower on the home price because then others asking for that model can ask lower. I'd guess they keep structural things like another garage stall...
by snowman
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2011 Honda was with 6 differential flushes?
Replies: 13
Views: 1228

Re: 2011 Honda was with 6 differential flushes?

Obviously, I do not know what the dealer did with your specific car. But I do know that if you let them, they would flush it every month, every 1K miles.

Just follow the manual going forward.
by snowman
Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tool cabinets?
Replies: 32
Views: 2379

Re: Tool cabinets?

I bought US General black box (smaller than what you are looking for) maybe 10 years ago, I was tired of my tools being all over and it took some time to find what I needed. I don't have a shop, I just fix/maintain our cars and whatever else in the house that breaks. I remember visiting Costco, Lowe...
by snowman
Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord Maintenance at 3 Years - Am I Getting Hosed?
Replies: 95
Views: 6041

Re: Honda Accord Maintenance at 3 Years - Am I Getting Hosed?

Yes, you got hosed. Lesson learned for the future? 1. Open your owners manual. Probably the most important lesson of all - it will tell you what needs to be done and when. Do not ever rely on dealer to tell that - it's their job to up-sell and overcharge. They love customers like you, do not give th...
by snowman
Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage refrigerator
Replies: 22
Views: 2967

Re: Garage refrigerator

You don't need anything special. We recycled one from the kitchen about 12 years ago, and it was about 10 years old at that time. Working great with no issues whatsoever! We have many over 90 degree days and while the garage will be super hot, the fridge will work without a hiccup.
by snowman
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Surprise - Costco sells - but does not install vehicle batteries
Replies: 85
Views: 6624

Re: Surprise - Costco sells - but does not install vehicle batteries

Takes 10 min to install a new battery. Would you pay others $50 install fee? Most places do it for free. Including stores like Napa, advance Auto parts, etc. That's true. They also charge a lot more for the battery. It's 2 nuts, 2-3 wrench turns each. It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes. Plus, Co...
by snowman
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 63
Views: 15109

Re: New Capital One 360 ACH limits

I don't really want to leave since a) I've been with ING Direct and 360 for years now b) I am happy with them except this one thing c) I have ATM card, checkbook, etc d) they have one of the best rates and consistently -- unlike most other places I know. Any suggestions folks? That the only place I...
by snowman
Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 63
Views: 15109

Re: New Capitol One 360 ACH limits

Got the same email. Been with them since ING days, and pretty much agree with all posts above. While they are not nearly as good as ING was, they were good enough for me to stay. The ACH feature is the best I found among different banks over the years, so my expectation is they will take it down to ...
by snowman
Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 19259

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Back to regularly scheduled programming... The short answer to OP is no – average kids do not receive merit aid. The bulk of merit scholarships goes to the top kids, and it quickly tapers off from there. It’s how schools compete for best students. You don't recruit average, unless the bulk of your s...
by snowman
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Credit Union or National Bank for new college student
Replies: 5
Views: 378

Re: College Credit Union or National Bank for new college student

Been with CapitalOne since ING Direct days. Both of my kids have checking (with debit card) and savings account. It's a great bank with no branches. It allows easy transfers between accounts. The only potential downside is ATM withdrawals - CapOne is on AllPoint network, so see if any is available o...
by snowman
Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How gameable is the FAFSA for the early retiree?
Replies: 24
Views: 2926

Re: How gameable is the FAFSA for the early retiree?

All Financial Aid offices are aware of this (and other "loopholes" like automatic 0 EFC). There are several issues with your strategy as has been pointed out: 1. Does not work with CSS Profile schools. 2. 14 states + DC do not let you skip FAFSA asset questions even if you qualify. 3. Assuming you q...
by snowman
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 19259

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

The IRS data retrieval tool did not work to pull in my data so I had to manually enter my 1040 info. I am not sure if using the IRS DRT if the fields come in shown online or not. Starting with 2018-2019 FA cycle, after many problems in the past, including major security breach, IRS DRT does not sho...
by snowman
Tue May 29, 2018 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 13-year old Civic. Replace, or keep sinking money into it?
Replies: 52
Views: 4537

Re: 13-year old Civic. Replace, or keep sinking money into it?

Did not read all responses, apologize if I repeat advise already given. You can go either way, but me personally I would keep it. I do my own maintenance, own a Honda (2003 Accord), currently 230K miles, so that's the angle I am coming from. These cars (Civic/Accord) are easy to work on and inexpens...
by snowman
Tue May 29, 2018 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on neighbor not keeping up his property...
Replies: 103
Views: 7989

Re: Advice on neighbor not keeping up his property...

OP, I understand this may not be the most practical advise, but from the way you describe your neighbor and the things that bother you, you should be living in an HOA community. For all their faults, they generally do a good job to prevent stuff you are experiencing. I would give it serious consider...
by snowman
Wed May 23, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Capital One 360 Kids Checking card
Replies: 2
Views: 404

Re: Capital One 360 Kids Checking card

I don't think the color matters. You are just selecting who is going to be taxed on that small amount of interest. Maybe it's different if the teen is over 18, not sure. If there is a problem, the system will not let you move to the next page. You can also skip funding (at the bottom of the page). A...
by snowman
Mon May 21, 2018 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Savings Account emptied out!
Replies: 77
Views: 13004

Re: Chase Savings Account emptied out!

If they have the Chase routing number they can just guess at account numbers. Once they find an account number that works they can just keep transferring funds until it doesn't work anymore. Depending on the type of savings account did Chase also charge you any transfer or excessive use fees? That ...
by snowman
Mon May 21, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finance a $28,000 house for Brother?
Replies: 73
Views: 5967

Re: Finance a $28,000 house for Brother?

Western PA, WV panhandle, Eastern Ohio. My high school buddy buys rental homes there. Never paid more than $10k. My wife grew up in the area back in the 50s-70s. It was a solid lower-middle class area, with most men working in steel mills and mines (women were generally stay at home moms). All thos...
by snowman
Thu May 17, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to think about schools/homes (Greatschools/Niche)
Replies: 70
Views: 5430

Re: How to think about schools/homes (Greatschools/Niche)

I never heard of greatschools, so I just went there to see how our excellent schools are rated. Wow, expected better than 5, 5 and 7! I looked deeper as this makes no sense, and the schools got really bad marks for lack of diversity, equity, and some other non-relevant stuff. Got 10/10 for college r...
by snowman
Wed May 16, 2018 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRE book recommendation request.
Replies: 17
Views: 1333

Re: FIRE book recommendation request.

lostdog wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 2:34 pm
The Simple Path to Wealth.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H97OQY2/re ... TF8&btkr=1
Yep, this is the one I would recommend as well. The best one out there.
by snowman
Wed May 16, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's the Safest Easiest Way to Terminate an Old KEOGH at Fidelity
Replies: 10
Views: 477

Re: What's the Safest Easiest Way to Terminate an Old KEOGH at Fidelity

OP, I just went through it several months ago, as I have terminated my business. I did everything through Fidelity, they have knowledgeable people. Fidelity converted keogh to traditional IRA, and I also filed form 5500-EZ with the IRS. The problem you have is that you are not supposed to own more t...
by snowman
Wed May 16, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sharing cars with two kids home from college?
Replies: 25
Views: 1806

Re: sharing cars with two kids home from college?

Yes, it can be done. We did it last summer, and will do it again this year, starting today. I told both kids I am not buying a third car for the summer, but that we are willing to share our 2 cars. When the younger one said that's impossible, I said it surely is, but if she really wants a third car,...
by snowman
Wed May 16, 2018 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 1338
Views: 224460

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

You could get $200 at FirstTrade. Includes IRAs. https://www.firstrade.com/landing/en-us/branding1/?#term_conditions Thank you for this suggestion. Transfer took less than a week, and the bonus was deposited into my account the following week. I was really impressed, everything went so fast and wit...
by snowman
Mon May 07, 2018 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health insurance, do we need it and how?
Replies: 23
Views: 3218

Re: Health insurance, do we need it and how?

flyingaway, We are on a similar boat - we plan to sell the house next year as well, but want to RV full time, with occasional international travel. Personally, I would prefer to be a global nomad, but my wife rejected that idea. Good for you if both of you are on the same page, that's really importa...
by snowman
Tue May 01, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Daughter starting college and I am retiring
Replies: 45
Views: 4957

Re: Daughter starting college and I am retiring

The state of FL sponsors full ride to NMF students who are FL residents and choose to go to in-state college, like UF and others. It is a very generous offer for the smartest FL kids and their families who end up paying zero for college education. For kids that want to stay in FL after graduation, ...
by snowman
Tue May 01, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Daughter starting college and I am retiring
Replies: 45
Views: 4957

Re: Daughter starting college and I am retiring

Like there are rumors, I believe from news stories, about students being accepted into MIT, but turned down for University of Florida. The state of FL sponsors full ride to NMF students who are FL residents and choose to go to in-state college, like UF and others. It is a very generous offer for th...
by snowman
Tue May 01, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Daughter starting college and I am retiring
Replies: 45
Views: 4957

Re: Daughter starting college and I am retiring

States has different rules when it comes to student keeping residency for in-state tuition purposes after parents move out of state. I am not familiar with VA rules, though it seems like you already got some info on that from another poster. I would strongly advise you to call the bursar office at t...
by snowman
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Review after one month with Fidelity Cash Management
Replies: 46
Views: 15005

Re: Review after one month with Fidelity Cash Management

Here are my 2 cents. Banks are clearly treating their customers differently. I opened CMA only about 3 months ago, and have been impressed by the speed of ACH deposit, as well as availability of funds for withdrawal. It's usually the next business day - I push money from CapitalOne 360 Monday, and i...
by snowman
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another discussion about private vs public schools?
Replies: 79
Views: 5303

Re: Another discussion about private vs public schools?

See, this is the thing. Looking at the averages doesn't tell you how YOUR kid will do. The top 20% in most schools will get a good education, with AP classes, small classes (because less people take AP classes), and will be surrounded by other smart kids. You don't need a school 100% full of smart ...
by snowman
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quitting job - what to do if getting walked to the door
Replies: 106
Views: 12790

Re: Quitting job - what to do if getting walked to the door

If they can release you with no notice, you are under no obligation to give them an advance notice. This is a pretty good percentage of Corporate America - "employment at will" is pretty much the norm. However, expectation of 2 weeks notice is also still the norm. If you are sure you will never ret...
by snowman
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quitting job - what to do if getting walked to the door
Replies: 106
Views: 12790

Re: Quitting job - what to do if getting walked to the door

In many years as a manager at a large technology company I have never walked anyone the same day nor have I seen anyone getting walked to the door the same day even if they went to a direct competitor (which is very common). So it very much depends on the company. I have also never understood what ...
by snowman
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quitting job - what to do if getting walked to the door
Replies: 106
Views: 12790

Re: Quitting job - what to do if getting walked to the door

When I was still in corporate world, I was in both positions - being walked out, as well as walking out my employees. So speaking from experience. You already received good advice, right on target. I will just offer some additional pointers. First and foremost, your husband needs to understand compa...
by snowman
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deductible Medical Expenses....
Replies: 20
Views: 1357

Re: Deductible Medical Expenses....

It is 7.5%. HRB is calculating it correctly, I would assume TT does the same. It's not going to be "closer" to one number or another. If you are on ACA, make sure you calculate insurance premiums correctly.
by snowman
Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consultant leaning toward 1099 instead of W2 and looking for advice
Replies: 32
Views: 2410

Re: Consultant leaning toward 1099 instead of W2 and looking for advice

The advise you received on mortgage is 100% correct! 2 years of your personal tax returns is the minimum requirement. Some lenders will ask for more paperwork and it may take 2-4 month to finally get approved. Or it may fall through, you just never know. Speaking from experience - been in the 1099 s...
by snowman
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive
Replies: 52
Views: 2380

Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

siamond, you need to do a mental switch in your head, this is not Europe where teenagers hop on a bus/trolley/tram/train any time they need to go anywhere. I had similar concerns with my kids, but my wife (American) assured me this is the right thing to do. Financially - your specific question - you...
by snowman
Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Undecided students and STEM majors
Replies: 51
Views: 4922

Re: Undecided students and STEM majors

I am not an engineer, but we went through the admissions cycle 3 years ago with my son, and this time around with my daughter. They both wanted to study engineering, they kind of knew what they would prefer but weren't really sure. I say that's typical for 17-18 year olds. So it was very important t...
by snowman
Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA/tIRA question
Replies: 14
Views: 1369

Re: ACA/tIRA question

A contribution to a tIRA reduces your income by that amount. Unless it is a non-deductible contribution because your income is too high. However, if your income is too high for a deductible tIRA contribution, then you don't qualify for ACA subsidies. No my income isn't to high now but I intend to d...
by snowman
Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liability for 32 year old step son living home
Replies: 79
Views: 10281

Re: Liability for 32 year old step son living home

Under the new tax law, I don't think it's to your benefit to claim him as dependent on your taxes. The personal exemption is gone, and I don't believe you will get dependent care credit for able body 32-year old adult. That credit is designed for kids in college or parents being cared for by their a...