Search found 2684 matches

by bhsince87
Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comfortable Men's Flip Flops?
Replies: 56
Views: 4042

Re: Comfortable Men's Flip Flops?

I've been wearing a pair of Teva's for 3 years now. Like probably 7,000 hours. They don't start out with any arch support, but they do mold to your feet over time. I have no idea what a stylish flip flop would look like. They're flip flops. These don't look cheap, if that's what you mean. https://ww...
by bhsince87
Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS 2019 tax return not yet processed - Weird??
Replies: 13
Views: 840

Re: IRS 2019 tax return not yet processed - Weird??

Mailed ours in June last year. Still waiting on a $9,500 refund.
by bhsince87
Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fire pit recommendations
Replies: 33
Views: 3259

Re: fire pit recommendations

I've been happy with this Biolite unit. It's good in small spaces.



https://www.bioliteenergy.com/products/firepit-plus
by bhsince87
Wed Mar 31, 2021 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can't remove old shower head
Replies: 38
Views: 1871

Re: Can't remove old shower head

I've had really good results with the PB Blaster Penetrating catalyst. Just follow the directions on the can. Give it time to work. And you might want to shield the area around and below it with paper towels, because it has a strong oily smell that can be hard to remove from some surfaces. https://w...
by bhsince87
Sat Mar 27, 2021 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is an average retirement a/c worth in America ?
Replies: 228
Views: 22386

Re: What is an average retirement a/c worth in America ?

My favorite posts are the ones asking if they can retire on 3 million dollars . Ok, so I was one of those posters. Struggled with it a long time, eventually pulled the trigger. Now a few years later at age 55, we're up close to $4.5 million . So far so good, but we still worry ... I think I have a ...
by bhsince87
Tue Mar 23, 2021 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is an average retirement a/c worth in America ?
Replies: 228
Views: 22386

Re: What is an average retirement a/c worth in America ?

Some of the most popular posts here are full of outliers and should not be used to assess the average, median or mode of family finances. I take it as quite a few "humble bragging" about their $350k silicon valley salaries with $200k RSUs and buying $2million homes with $1.5 million netwo...
by bhsince87
Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy cliff now going away! Yay!
Replies: 155
Views: 17604

Re: Elimination of the ACA Subsidy Cliff in 2021 and 2022

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is eliminating the “subsidy cliff.” Under the original law, if your MAGI exceeds 400% of the FPL, you lose premium subsidies completely. Earning a single dollar of additional income at the 400%-of-FPL threshold could result in paying thousands of dollars in addition...
by bhsince87
Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy cliff now going away! Yay!
Replies: 155
Views: 17604

Re: Elimination of the ACA Subsidy Cliff in 2021 and 2022

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is eliminating the “subsidy cliff.” Under the original law, if your MAGI exceeds 400% of the FPL, you lose premium subsidies completely. Earning a single dollar of additional income at the 400%-of-FPL threshold could result in paying thousands of dollars in addition...
by bhsince87
Sun Mar 21, 2021 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?
Replies: 25
Views: 2514

Re: Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?

I may be wrong but I believe eFile checks the birth date of both signers on a MFJ return, so I don't think switching will help. ... muddgirl is correct. The SSA had an incorrect birthdate for spouse (who is not the Primary taxpayer) which resulted in rejected TurboTax tax return e-filings. We had t...
by bhsince87
Sat Mar 20, 2021 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?
Replies: 25
Views: 2514

Re: Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?

And apparently, the IRS uses the SS birthday as a check on e-filing. Since my birthday didn't match last year, we had to paper file. And we are still waiting for a $9,500 refund.... I hate to paper file again, but if I need too, I guess I will. It looks like we will be owed a refund again this year...
by bhsince87
Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I mail my tax returns? IRS paying interest.
Replies: 23
Views: 1819

Re: Should I mail my tax returns? IRS paying interest.

I'm one of those people still waiting on a 2019 refund. About $9,500. I'm patiently waiting, but it is a bit unsettling at times. My wife is more concerned about it than I am. I keep telling her that at least we're earning 3% on it. Hopefully..... If you read my most recent post, I would prefer to ...
by bhsince87
Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I mail my tax returns? IRS paying interest.
Replies: 23
Views: 1819

Re: Should I mail my tax returns? IRS paying interest.

I'm one of those people still waiting on a 2019 refund. About $9,500. I'm patiently waiting, but it is a bit unsettling at times. My wife is more concerned about it than I am. I keep telling her that at least we're earning 3% on it. Hopefully..... If you read my most recent post, I would prefer to e...
by bhsince87
Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: People with Covid-19 vaccination record cards: where are you keeping them?
Replies: 163
Views: 13966

Re: People with Covid-19 vaccination record cards: where are you keeping them?

We put ours in our "fireproof" lock box. Right on top of our swine flu cards from 2009, which haven't been touched since I put them there 12 years ago.
by bhsince87
Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?
Replies: 25
Views: 2514

Re: Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?

If you're paying estimated taxes, the IRS appears to look only at the estimated taxes paid by the primary filer. To get credit for the estimated taxes paid by the secondary filer, you have to deal with the IRS and have them manually credit the account. At least, that's my experience helping someone...
by bhsince87
Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?
Replies: 25
Views: 2514

Re: Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?

The SSA seems to update its records regularly and sometimes bad data from update sources can mess up names, addresses, birthday days, etc. I think the OP should be patient and persistent in getting the error fixed. In this COVID environment, it is difficult to get almost anything done the old way w...
by bhsince87
Fri Mar 19, 2021 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?
Replies: 25
Views: 2514

Re: Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?

1. I also have to provide my driver's license info, which has my correct birthday. So if you don't have a driver's license, you can't efile using TurboTax? I efile using Free File Fillable Forms, and it also asks for driver's license (or state ID) information, but I never provide that information a...
by bhsince87
Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?
Replies: 25
Views: 2514

Re: Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?

I had planned to switch the primary filer on our returns this year from me to my wife. -- Why do this? No need to switch. IRS doesn't care whether the primary filer has a job or earns any income at all... have seen tax returns where stay at home parent is the primary filer. The main reason has to d...
by bhsince87
Thu Mar 18, 2021 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?
Replies: 25
Views: 2514

Is switching primary taxpayer on MFJ filing a bad idea?

I had planned to switch the primary filer on our returns this year from me to my wife. The main reason has to do with e-filing. I tried to e-file last year, but it turns out that the Social Security Agency has my birthday wrong. It is off by 11 days. I have no idea how that happened. They are the on...
by bhsince87
Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Don't hit that "File" button in your tax software till you know what filing early does to your 3rd stimulus check
Replies: 50
Views: 7306

Re: Don't hit that "File" button in your tax software till you know what filing early does to your 3rd stimulus check

Maybe I'm late to the game here, but what were the first 2 stimulus checks? I knew about the first one. We missed out on that because our 2019 income was too high. I didn't even realize there was a second one. Was it also based on 2019 income? We should qualify for the third check based on much low...
by bhsince87
Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Don't hit that "File" button in your tax software till you know what filing early does to your 3rd stimulus check
Replies: 50
Views: 7306

Re: Don't hit that "File" button in your tax software till you know what filing early does to your 3rd stimulus check

Maybe I'm late to the game here, but what were the first 2 stimulus checks? I knew about the first one. We missed out on that because our 2019 income was too high. I didn't even realize there was a second one. Was it also based on 2019 income? We should qualify for the third check based on much lowe...
by bhsince87
Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How quickly did you receive your 2020 tax refund?
Replies: 133
Views: 11110

Re: How quickly did you receive your 2020 tax refund?

We're still waiting on a refund from 2019!

Also about $9,000.

It was a paper file, though.
by bhsince87
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: space heaters
Replies: 35
Views: 3071

Re: space heaters

Look into the ForestAir portable mini splits. They are easy to self install. Costco sells them at different times of the year https://res.cloudinary.com/fictive-kin/image/upload/v1/verygoods/prod/7805d625292fdab956f5f653739990c4e77891f2 https://youtu.be/BrlESvS2QjU Are these still available? I can'...
by bhsince87
Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question about cost basis step-up on death of spouse
Replies: 24
Views: 1786

Re: Question about cost basis step-up on death of spouse

Really?.. if I sell all today, I will need to pay taxes on gain (1.4M). But if its transferred to spouse (upon my death), she doesnt need to pay taxes on 1.4M... You bought something for $400K. It is now worth $1.4M. Then you die which makes your cost basis jump up to date-of-death value. Regardles...
by bhsince87
Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inflation-Protected Portfolio ?
Replies: 58
Views: 4127

Re: Inflation-Protected Portfolio ?

Thi is not a popular thing to say, but having a large amount of debt is very useful.

A 30 or even 40 year fixed rate mortgages on your primary residence is accessible to most people.

Leveraged rental properties are also good.

Renting and leasing is not a good thing.
by bhsince87
Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS delays start of tax filing season to Friday, February 12, 2021
Replies: 75
Views: 7176

Re: IRS delays start of tax filing season to Friday, February 12, 2021

Does anyone know what interest rate the IRS pays on delayed refunds? The federal short-term rate plus 3%; this changes quarterly as the federal rate changes. Interest on 2019 refunds date from April 15, 2020, as long as the return was timely filed (by July 15, 2020 because of a due date extension l...
by bhsince87
Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS delays start of tax filing season to Friday, February 12, 2021
Replies: 75
Views: 7176

Re: IRS delays start of tax filing season to Friday, February 12, 2021

Does anyone know what interest rate the IRS pays on delayed refunds? The federal short-term rate plus 3%; this changes quarterly as the federal rate changes. Interest on 2019 refunds date from April 15, 2020, as long as the return was timely filed (by July 15, 2020 because of a due date extension l...
by bhsince87
Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS delays start of tax filing season to Friday, February 12, 2021
Replies: 75
Views: 7176

Re: IRS delays start of tax filing season to Friday, February 12, 2021

Does anyone know what interest rate the IRS pays on delayed refunds? I'm waiting on a refund of near $10k, the biggest in my life. I received a lump sum severance package in 2019 that was overwithheld, which I had no sa in. And I had to paper file too. I'm not expecting to see that refund before I f...
by bhsince87
Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooking oil sprayer/mister?
Replies: 12
Views: 827

Re: Cooking oil sprayer/mister?

We had one of those that you pump multiple times to pressurize it. But it would clog and the oil would go rancid very quickly.

I bought one of these about a year ago, and have been happier with it so far.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077W81C1W/
by bhsince87
Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question on mortgage additional payments strategy
Replies: 22
Views: 1512

Re: Question on mortgage additional payments strategy

I wrestled with this for years. The answer for me was to invest the money. A few things to consider: Is it a fixed rate mortgage? All bets are off it's adjustable rate. How long is the mortgage term? For longer term mortgages, inflation becomes your friend, especially if interest earned on your inve...
by bhsince87
Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Lost desire to increase my portfolio, temporary?
Replies: 142
Views: 13091

Re: Lost desire to increase my portfolio, temporary?

I think it's normal. I'd go so far as to say it's almost a requirement for folks who voluntarily retire. It certainly doesn't feel normal though. At least not for me. After saving aggressively for 30 years, it's a significant mental shift to move into "preservation stage". I'm coming up on...
by bhsince87
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question For Bread Bakers About Wheat Flour
Replies: 23
Views: 1664

Re: Question For Bread Bakers About Wheat Flour

I don't bake professionally, but am a serious hobbyist. I've experimented with many different flour types. It does make a difference, but I don't think it's a case of one type being better than another. Personal preference and technique are very important factors. Many European-style flours are made...
by bhsince87
Sun Nov 15, 2020 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weather pattern change in your area?
Replies: 10
Views: 800

Re: Weather pattern change in your area?

You can find data for many locations here. Measured temp and rain, along with records and typical ranges, on a yearly basis. You can scroll through years using the tab in the upper right. Just scrolling over the past decade or so, it doesn't look like much has changed in San Jose. https://www.wrh.no...
by bhsince87
Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how good is your 5G coverage?
Replies: 69
Views: 3770

Re: how good is your 5G coverage?

5G has very short range due to frequency and does not go through obstructions as well as the lower frequencies so there will always be issues with 5G unless there put repeaters everywhere. Very expensive. There is work under way on a peer-to-peer 5G spec. If that comes to pass (and it probably will...
by bhsince87
Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Covid Made me a chain Smoker....
Replies: 14
Views: 2529

Re: Covid Made me a chain Smoker....

$4 a pack? You should probably double that. I think the average is around $7 in the US. Some states are over $10!
by bhsince87
Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Covid Made me a chain Smoker....
Replies: 14
Views: 2529

Re: Covid Made me a chain Smoker....

$4 a pack? You should probably double that. I think the average is around $7 in the US. Some states are over $10!
by bhsince87
Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you invest equity from a house ?
Replies: 86
Views: 5254

Re: Would you invest equity from a house ?

If I were 30-40 years old and single, or even better, married with no kids, I would consider this. Still a tough call though. At that age, there is a lot of time to recover from any crashes. And if you need to live in a van for a while, that's doable. Two incomes would help protect against that. Plu...
by bhsince87
Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long-Life Flashlight
Replies: 52
Views: 3819

Re: Long-Life Flashlight

I've had good luck with fenix brand. They have a lifetime warranty (does NOT cover battery leakage though).

I had one go bad after about 5 years and they replaced it. I have 4-5 others that I've had no problems with.

https://www.fenixlighting.com/
by bhsince87
Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Mirrorless overtaken DSLRs?
Replies: 100
Views: 6042

Re: Has Mirrorless overtaken DSLRs?

I think the answer is "yes". I shoot Canon, mostly birds, wildlife, and some landscapes. 5Dmk4, 5Dmk3, 7Dmk2, and $20k+ of lenses. I've been toying with getting the latest Canon mirrorless, the 5R. It looks really good on paper. Pretty much an improvement in every way over the 5Dmk4 (expec...
by bhsince87
Sun Oct 25, 2020 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Squirrel Proofing a Bird Feeder
Replies: 107
Views: 3663

Re: Squirrel proof bird feeder

This was an excellent solution for a couple of years, but it does not work for bears. Finally had to take the feeder down. Wow, bears stealing seed from your feeders? That’s hard core. I would love to see that. Probably less cool if it causes bears to congregate around your house, though... Actuall...
by bhsince87
Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did the 4% rule just become the 5% rule? :)
Replies: 156
Views: 19710

Re: Changes to 4% rule for retirees?

Spend down to Medicaid. Why? The quality of life and care for you (both) would be at the lowest level . I cannot believe you as a respected physician and investor would advocate this when it can surely be prevented with careful portfolio withdrawal planning. I believe it varies by area, but in many...
by bhsince87
Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did the 4% rule just become the 5% rule? :)
Replies: 156
Views: 19710

Re: Changes to 4% rule for retirees?

It's not a rule. And 5% is fine...most of the time. But there is plenty of warning if this isn't one of those times. Agreed, be flexible as to how to withdraw... but I would add this caveat: Suppose at at @ age 89 you or your spouse or both require (suddenly?) assisted living with care or skilled n...
by bhsince87
Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anybody here trying Coast FIRE?
Replies: 326
Views: 30385

Re: Anybody here trying Coast FIRE?

For many years, I had a plan to do something similar. The company I worked for offered health insurance for folks who worked 24 hours a week. They also allowed buy health insurance buy-in for folks 60 or over who had 20 years of service. So my plan was to wind down to part time at 55, and retire ful...
by bhsince87
Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Whence inflation?
Replies: 136
Views: 8536

Re: Whence inflation?

I know where inflation has been outrageous for me: health insurance. I've been tracking ACA packages for 5-6 years. Over that time, the cost for my wife and I went from $14,000 per year with a $2,000 deductible, to $28,000 with a $4,000 deductible. Plus now there are copays and higher generic prescr...
by bhsince87
Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use taxable account for new car purchase?
Replies: 12
Views: 1334

Re: Use taxable account for new car purchase?

I've done it that way for 30+ years. If the market is down, delay the purchase. If you can't delay it for some reason, then use your emergency fund. I have a dealer that I am on good terms with. I always tell them, "I will pay cash or finance, depending on whatever gives us both the best deal. ...
by bhsince87
Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your favorite reasonably priced gin?
Replies: 113
Views: 8543

Re: What's your favorite reasonably priced gin?

I've tried dozens of them. Gin was my favorite. G&Ts and martinis. Beefeater and Bombay Sapphire were very much to my liking. But my everyday, go-to was.......... Gilbey's! But somewhere along the line, I developed an allergic reaction to gin. It started to trigger asthma attacks. I still try a ...
by bhsince87
Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why buy medical insurance ?
Replies: 113
Views: 7664

Re: Why buy medical insurance ?

If you're low income/low asset, it can make sense to go without insurance. I have a cousin who was in an auto accident, and his costs were about $800,000. He put all his assets in a trust, and went on Medicaid. That covered most of it. But he didn't have a lot of money to begin with. If you have a p...
by bhsince87
Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?
Replies: 267
Views: 20234

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Is anyone here a member at more than one wholesale club? When we first started, possibly twenty-five years ago, the nearest Costco was nearly 20 miles away, and the proposition was sort of marginal, and we canceled after a couple of years. Then my wife's employer had a great offer on BJ's membershi...
by bhsince87
Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?
Replies: 267
Views: 20234

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Is anyone here a member at more than one wholesale club? We have membership at both Sam's and Costco. They're about 10 minutes from our house, and about 2 minutes apart. I prefer Sam's. Our Club has self-checkout, which I hugely prefer to the lines at our Costco (no self check out). And Sam's "...
by bhsince87
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring to Canada
Replies: 54
Views: 4771

Re: Retiring to Canada

I looked into this about 10 years ago. I was offered a job to move to Canada from the US to open up an engineering office. It would have created jobs, which is one of the big boxes you must check if you want to become a citizen. But still, they would only guarantee me "Resident" status. I ...