Search found 416 matches

by jf89
Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Office Deduction for Home Improvements
Replies: 4
Views: 542

Re: Home Office Deduction for Home Improvements

Thanks for your response. Yes I love the simplicity of the new method, but I'm thinking the regular method would be beneficial this year due to these added costs, so I'm at least exploring it. The depreciation statement is interesting. The roof itself is definitely considered a capital improvement t...
by jf89
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Office Deduction for Home Improvements
Replies: 4
Views: 542

Home Office Deduction for Home Improvements

Good Morning All, I work from home and will be having a contractor come out to do some work on the house shortly. This is the first time we're doing work on the house since I've moved to working from home, so I have some questions to make sure I request the invoice appropriately for our taxes. We ha...
by jf89
Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Employer Plan without Options
Replies: 1
Views: 302

New Employer Plan without Options

I am just now becoming eligible for my employer's 401k plan and have a meeting scheduled in a couple of weeks to learn more, but the basic setup is a bit different. As it's currently set up, the entire company's funds are placed in a single managed portfolio (this is a small company and owners are i...
by jf89
Thu May 04, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports
Replies: 41
Views: 4436

Re: Consumer Reports

Wirecutter has a great car section. It isn't updated often, but it has excellent write-ups. Great resource (along with their sister site, the Sweethome) for reviews on a lot of things, actually. The Wire Cutter and Sweet Home are both pretty handy, but I've noticed their focus on making a single re...
by jf89
Thu May 04, 2017 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports
Replies: 41
Views: 4436

Re: Consumer Reports

Wirecutter has a great car section. It isn't updated often, but it has excellent write-ups. Great resource (along with their sister site, the Sweethome) for reviews on a lot of things, actually.
by jf89
Thu May 04, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window Replacement Question
Replies: 20
Views: 2805

Re: Window Replacement Question

You could get an energy audit to determine the best place to spend your money. The city I live in has a program through independent contractors. As part of the audit there are a handful of rebates and discounts for mitigation work. The last time I looked, the audit was about $200. Considering how e...
by jf89
Thu May 04, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window Replacement Question
Replies: 20
Views: 2805

Window Replacement Question

We're in our first home and wondering if new windows would reduce our energy bills and improve comfort in the home. We have a 40+ year old home with the original double pane wood windows and are starting to see a bit of a fog around the edges of most windows in the house. There is no draft near any ...
by jf89
Mon May 01, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying dining table is hard
Replies: 55
Views: 4827

Re: buying dining table is hard

In the area I live within driving distance of Lancaster, PA, Amish-made furniture is far and away the best bargain you can find. I've recently learned that amish communities are spread quite well throughout the states, so maybe you'd have luck finding them near you. A quick Google search shows a few...
by jf89
Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k vs HSA limits
Replies: 13
Views: 1857

Re: 401k vs HSA limits

401k plans were not designed for their present use. They were originally designed so that employers could provide deferred compensation to their employees. Then in some order lawmakers added other features as people realized the potential benefits of this account (they had this pot of money laying a...
by jf89
Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Bank - Savings Account Rate Increased!
Replies: 94
Views: 17994

Re: Ally Bank - Savings Account Rate Increased!

I know this is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but this is pretty exciting! I remember opening my ING account years ago at some ridiculous rate (relative to today) and watching it drop every single month until it hit the 0.75% that it's at now and has been at for years. We eventually switched to Ally for the...
by jf89
Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Red light camera Fort Worth
Replies: 50
Views: 5151

Re: Red light camera Fort Worth

Wait a second... right turn on red is legal in Texas unless there's a sign.
by jf89
Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Red light camera Fort Worth
Replies: 50
Views: 5151

Re: Red light camera Fort Worth

Two summers ago? A law firm? Why weren't you notified sooner? Why is a law firm involved instead of Texas DOT or the local/state/highway police? Edit: I'm normally in the "the law was broken, just pay the fine or tell them your SIL was driving and make her pay the fine" camp, but these questions wou...
by jf89
Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much to invest in 401k vs taxable account.
Replies: 51
Views: 8489

Re: How much to invest in 401k vs taxable account.

1. After maxing out my Roth I was going to start investing in a taxable account, probably Vanguard Total Market, but I am realizing after browsing this forum that I should move my contributions in my Roth to Bonds and open up a new 401k account with vanguard and use their target date funds. 2. Sinc...
by jf89
Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sitting down with Fidelity advisor next week
Replies: 22
Views: 3550

Re: Sitting down with Fidelity advisor next week

The salesmen my past 401k providers have sent for these "advisory" sessions would be staring blankly at you if you started talking about these things. I have no experience with Fidelity, but I wish you the best of luck anyway.
by jf89
Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvard endowment beats S&P 500 by 2% a year over last 40 years
Replies: 50
Views: 7848

Re: Harvard endowment beats S&P 500 by 2% a year over last 40 years

Does it really matter? I am fully aware that certain people are going to get better returns that I will over any period of time. What I'm concerned about is whether I am in that bottom portion of people that over-reached and failed. I can't tell reading this thread whether the number was mis-reporte...
by jf89
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why does AA on Vanguard Target Retirement Funds not match conventional advice?
Replies: 17
Views: 1682

Re: Why does AA on Vanguard Target Retirement Funds not match conventional advice?

As others have said, people outside the walls of this forum are all over the place on recommendations. Heck, the people within these walls are all over the place (but a little more tightly packed). But the part that you're missing is competition. The 2050 fund from one company does better than anoth...
by jf89
Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K expense ratios
Replies: 5
Views: 607

Re: 401K expense ratios

You should really only consider the 0.01% and 0.03% ER funds (assuming those are S&P 500 and small cap indexes funds) and dump the rest. What's got you wanting to keep extra small cap funds, an extra large cap fund, that 1.19% international fund, and an actively managed bond fund? Drop them and use ...
by jf89
Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google wifi is awesome
Replies: 67
Views: 15481

Re: Google wifi is awesome

Half the reason this works is that people don't realize that a closet in the corner of your home is the worst place to put your router. Physical objects and distance both degrade your router signal. You could have saved the money by moving your router to a better location. I was 100% aware of this ...
by jf89
Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Clawback of sales commissions earned
Replies: 42
Views: 5261

Re: Clawback of sales commissions earned

I've never worked under a commissioned system, but is there any way you can gather some strength in numbers? You and others (maybe include a senior guy or other strong performers) have this conversation together with an executive? From the other responses, it sounds like sales is more of an every ma...
by jf89
Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google wifi is awesome
Replies: 67
Views: 15481

Re: Google wifi is awesome

Half the reason this works is that people don't realize that a closet in the corner of your home is the worst place to put your router. Physical objects and distance both degrade your router signal.

You could have saved the money by moving your router to a better location.
by jf89
Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 21 Years Old, Financial Direction Help!
Replies: 13
Views: 1459

Re: 21 Years Old, Financial Direction Help!

Thanks for the suggestions, so to summarize, my next steps would be to contribute the maximum amount (18k a year) to my 401k plan, and to contribute the maximum amount (11k for both this year and last year) to an Roth IRA with Vanguard. Other than these two steps, would you suggest I save up for a ...
by jf89
Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual Funds Vs. Fund of Funds
Replies: 26
Views: 1731

Re: Individual Funds Vs. Fund of Funds

The only thing to consider is if you want to/are able to rebalance in the future instead of a set it and forget it approach. And if you want to/are able to rebalance confidently, are you going to take advantage of that situation to tinker with your allocation or just get it back to where it needs to...
by jf89
Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 50/50 Split of Inheritance for Brothers in 28% and 10% Bracket
Replies: 22
Views: 2104

Re: 50/50 Split of Inheritance for Brothers in 28% and 10% Bracket

Maybe I am misreading the Op's points. Is the question not... Which should I choose? A - Split cash 50/50 to SB1 & SB2 + Split IRA 50/50 to SB1 & SB2 B - Give cash to SB1 & IRA to SB2 C - Give IRA to SB1 & cash to SB2 I think the question is more succinctly: What are x and y? x(cash) + y(IRA) to SB...
by jf89
Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: surveying [property boundaries]
Replies: 12
Views: 1451

Re: surveying

Well I would start from a well established starting point, say an established section corner, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, Soil Conservation or State Highway Dept monument--most surveyors would use a section corner. But what happens if that corner was later proven to be in the wrong loc...
by jf89
Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hi I just started my Roth IRA. I have vym mgk and VCIt I contributed the 5500 for 2016
Replies: 10
Views: 1265

Re: Roth ira

If you don't know those funds. I don't need your help. And furthermore. Why did you even bother to reply .If typing in 4 letter symbols is so hard? Thank you anyways have a nice day :happy wow they do everything but help. They were trying to help. You'll get more thoughtful responses if you take th...
by jf89
Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warning & Advice Requested
Replies: 19
Views: 1999

Re: Warning & Advice Requested

It's also no longer completely illegal to travel to or do business with Cuba. And the Venmo comments line in my experience is reserved for stupid inside jokes. Never have I seen a comment line that actually had a useful comment. I know why my friend is sending me money, I don't need his comment line...
by jf89
Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roku 3 vs Amazon FireStick
Replies: 14
Views: 3190

Re: Roku 3 vs Amazon FireStick

Yeah it solely depends on what you want to use. Rokus are awesome. I have a couple Chromecasts that work great but don't have Amazon Prime Video support. I don't think you can really go wrong as long as the device you get supports all of the services you want to watch and will have support in the fu...
by jf89
Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing 1 acre, building custom home in Cedar Hills, Texas
Replies: 27
Views: 4051

Re: Purchasing 1 acre, building custom home in Cedar Hills, Texas

$1300 a month isn't really so bad. Give yourself another year or so paying rent and saving up rather than rushing into a right financial spot.
by jf89
Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you replace your electrical switches/outlets or use an electrician?
Replies: 93
Views: 7919

Re: Do you replace your electrical switches/outlets or use an electrician?

As someone else pointed out, this is very easy work if you know what you're doing. It's also very easy to screw up if you don't (or if the person who did it previously didn't know what they were doing or did a poor job). And screwing up this work means you electrocute yourself or do something that c...
by jf89
Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment n00b
Replies: 2
Views: 349

Re: Investment n00b

I really couldn't follow most of your post... I have no idea where your money currently is or what it's invested in. You might want to follow this link to get your question in an easier to read format so more on this forum can help: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212 I'll be poppi...
by jf89
Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I think some criticisim of active management is wrong.
Replies: 22
Views: 2947

Re: I think some criticisim of active management is wrong.

Then why call it an international fund? The point of me picking a fund is that I'd like that type of stock in my asset allocation. If I choose an active fund that is supposed to invest in international stocks then later find out that it has been purchasing US stocks, then I'm not getting what I thou...
by jf89
Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard is working to improve service
Replies: 7
Views: 1198

Re: Vanguard is working to improve service

Good to hear they're working on it. My parents will be retiring in the next year or so, and they're very uncomfortable managing their own money. My recommendation for their existing IRAs and 401k accounts was going to be rolling into Vanguard with some advisory service, but the reports here of poor ...
by jf89
Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with my Savings?
Replies: 13
Views: 2688

Re: What to do with my Savings?

2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Roth/Traditional IRA contributions: $22,000 2017 and 2018 maxed out 401k: $36,000 That gets you $58,000 into tax advantaged accounts within two years from now, leaving you with $22,000 cash leftover. Can I contribute now for years 2018 and 2019 roth? No. You have from Jan...
by jf89
Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA: leaving job mid-year, can employer come after me for contributions?
Replies: 13
Views: 2897

Re: FSA: leaving job mid-year, can employer come after me for contributions?

This is correct, you should be fine. People like me that thought they were able to continue using the account for the calendar year but instead lost their money when they left the company balance those costs out for the employer. When I complained about it to my old company's HR, the lady said it ha...
by jf89
Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Closed my Roth IRA due to political uncertainty - mistake???
Replies: 102
Views: 8090

Re: Reopening Roth after a panic move - need advice on investment

Oops. I should have mentioned that the 15k number is mainly my emer fund, I only had $1,500 in the IRA. Just to get it straight, you closed a Roth IRA account with $1500 in it, and opened another Roth IRA within the 60 day window with $1500? Closed a roth ira that had $1,500. Opened a new one a few...
by jf89
Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Closed my Roth IRA due to political uncertainty - mistake???
Replies: 102
Views: 8090

Re: Reopening Roth after a panic move - need advice on investment

Just got off the horn w/ Vanguard. All set. This wasn't/isn't employer sponsored, so it's going in as a contribution. I went with TRF 2015 for now. Thanks again for all the input. This is wrong. If it came out of an IRA of any type (and wasn't a RMD) it's rollover eligible. If you don't intend to c...
by jf89
Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Closed my Roth IRA due to political uncertainty - mistake???
Replies: 102
Views: 8090

Re: Reopening Roth after a panic move - need advice on investment

But you're only able to contribute $5500 per year as a contribution. The point of the rollover within 60 days is to get all of the $15k (or whatever the amount was) you removed back into the account without penalty.
by jf89
Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mailed Speeding Ticket via Auto System - Not Driver
Replies: 57
Views: 4075

Re: Mailed Speeding Ticket via Auto System - Not Driver

It just sounds like you're trying to get out of paying the ticket without any real justification. Bottom line: You're responsible for the ticket, because an authorized user of the vehicle was speeding. No! That is not how it works! I don't understand why you and most everyone else don't understand ...
by jf89
Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mailed Speeding Ticket via Auto System - Not Driver
Replies: 57
Views: 4075

Re: Mailed Speeding Ticket via Auto System - Not Driver

For some reason the speed/red light cameras have intrigued me on enforceability. From 1. D.C.Code Title 50, Chapter 22, Subchapter V:  Automated Traffic Enforcement Id. Section 50-2209.02 describes liability, limitation of liability, and due process rights afforded to those vehicle owners who have ...
by jf89
Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Closed my Roth IRA due to political uncertainty - mistake???
Replies: 102
Views: 8090

Re: Reopening Roth after a panic move - need advice on investment

2015 TR sounds good. Remember that when you put the money in it is NOT a contribution, but a rollover, so be sure to click the right things to make sure the financial institution knows it is a rollover. I just briefly read through the previous thread, because (to me) the rollover is the bigger deal...
by jf89
Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mailed Speeding Ticket via Auto System - Not Driver
Replies: 57
Views: 4075

Re: Mailed Speeding Ticket via Auto System - Not Driver

It just sounds like you're trying to get out of paying the ticket without any real justification. Bottom line: You're responsible for the ticket, because an authorized user of the vehicle was speeding. If you think it might be a scam, call DC police or traffic enforcement or whatever they call that ...
by jf89
Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employee Fiduciary: what's the latest consensus?
Replies: 1
Views: 345

Re: Employee Fiduciary: what's the latest consensus?

Not attempting to hijack this thread, but when people respond, any additional information about their plan (such as approximate number of covered employees, assets under management, and what ballpark expense ratios you ended up with) would make this a more useful thread.
by jf89
Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pop Quiz and Rant - Do you know what ICE stands for?
Replies: 19
Views: 2190

Re: Pop Quiz and Rant - Do you know what ICE stands for?

I just edited the picture on my lock screen to include a text block with this info, then reloaded it as wallpaper. I did it with Over the way it's described here . Depending on your phone, your lock screen probably has an opportunity for you to put text on their without having to edit an image. Mos...
by jf89
Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pop Quiz and Rant - Do you know what ICE stands for?
Replies: 19
Views: 2190

Re: Pop Quiz and Rant - Do you know what ICE stands for?

Your best option for listing an emergency contact is to dumb it down to the least common denominator and put it in plain text on your lock screen (actually, I know of a few older people that have printed a label with their ICE information and put it on the back or side of their phone). My phone says...
by jf89
Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rolling Over IRA to Crappy 401k in order to backdoor roth
Replies: 22
Views: 2086

Re: Rolling Over IRA to Crappy 401k in order to backdoor roth

What about contributing to a non-deductible IRA now and doing the Roth conversion in the future when the 401k improves or your wife switches employers? Then there will (hopefully) be gains in the non-deductible IRA account which will again be taxable. I am looking at a similar problem in the coming...
by jf89
Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Advice For A Friend
Replies: 6
Views: 801

Re: Need Advice For A Friend

I've never heard of them, but a few websites online have reviews. They seem to be legitimate... a financial institution that's FDIC insured and doesn't like to call itself a bank but takes your money, only offers a checking account, invests your money, gives you a flat 1%, then pockets the profits a...
by jf89
Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with all this rollover money
Replies: 23
Views: 2267

Re: What to do with all this rollover money

You've got a lot of ideas and a lot of energy. What is most likely best for you is to take a deep breath and realize that there's likely nothing that you HAVE to do with this money at this exact moment (although I'd double check that everything is rolled over correctly in your name and isn't waiting...
by jf89
Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: uh oh.. backdoor roth mess
Replies: 14
Views: 2136

Re: uh oh.. backdoor roth mess

Yeah I remember a post on here a while ago when the IRS released an opinion on Backdoor Roth IRAs. They're legal, but it seems the only issue is if Congress were to outlaw them retroactively to the beginning of the year and you had already completed the process. No idea where that potential legisla...
by jf89
Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of tax preparation
Replies: 43
Views: 4717

Re: Cost of tax preparation

At those quotes and reasonable hourly rates for an experienced professional, that translates to anywhere from 10 to 25 hours of billable work. That feels like a lot of hours to me for what is basically data entry and basic math. I also feel like the software/online versions of TurboTax or one of the...
by jf89
Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie - Investing idea on portfolio mix - Good idea or Pending Disaster?
Replies: 3
Views: 489

Re: Newbie - Investing idea on portfolio mix - Good idea or Pending Disaster?

Be careful with backtesting... especially backtesting with actively managed funds. If you give me a list of a thousand funds and their histories, I can find you a combination of two that outperformed one other specific fund over many metrics over many years in the past, too. You have no idea what wi...