Search found 4672 matches

by dodecahedron
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon credit if current price is lower and still eligible for return?
Replies: 14
Views: 812

Re: Amazon credit if current price is lower and still eligible for return?

Just send it back and buy again (take it to Kohl's for a free return). Not sure why Amazon won't match prices but not your problem. Just return it and buy again. Thanks for the tip about Kohl's. Is it correct that I still need to process the return online first? Edit to add, there's no option to re...
by dodecahedron
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is a Roth worth?
Replies: 39
Views: 5985

Re: How much is a Roth worth?

The most common comparison is a 1. Roth (not deductible - tax free growth - tax free withdrawal- worth the most) 2. Traditional (tax deductible now - tax free growth - taxable later - worth less) 3. Taxable (taxed on dividends, long term, and short term gains - worth the least) This is backwards! T...
by dodecahedron
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Adventures in asset relocation at Schwab
Replies: 5
Views: 552

Re: Adventures in asset relocation at Schwab

I'm not sure why it was hard for you to find the "Open Trades" on the Schwab website. They have a whole section devoted to them. If you hover on the "Trade" tab at the very top (second from the left) it will bring down a big menu with a section (top of third column) called "Trade Status". It has op...
by dodecahedron
Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Adventures in asset relocation at Schwab
Replies: 5
Views: 552

Re: Adventures in asset relocation at Schwab

Update: I found the obscure circled 1 on the page. It still links to a page showing the VTIAX sell order I entered yesterday and still gives me the option to cancel it (even though it is long past yesterday´s market close). Time stamp on the sell order is 3:10 pm yesterday. According to Schwab, most...
by dodecahedron
Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Amending Taxes for Deceased Relative - Possible to appeal penalties ??
Replies: 6
Views: 490

Re: Help with Amending Taxes for Deceased Relative - Possible to appeal penalties ??

Yes, there are definitely ways to appeal. The IRS has something called a First Time Abatement . There are also other avenues for pursuing abatement. That said, given the complexities of the issues involved (rental losses, decedent trust), it would be penny-wise and pound foolish to try to do-it-your...
by dodecahedron
Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Charitable gift annuities - doing well by doing good?
Replies: 19
Views: 817

Re: Charitable gift annuities - doing well by doing good?

Are the annuity payments fully taxable in the year you get them? No. Some of the CGA annuity payment will be excluded from AGI and taxable income as a return of basis. Similarly some of the SPIA will be excluded from AGI and taxable income as a return of basis. However, any upfront deduction you ge...
by dodecahedron
Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Charitable gift annuities - doing well by doing good?
Replies: 19
Views: 817

Re: Charitable gift annuities - doing well by doing good?

The exclusion ratios for immediate annuities and CGAs are similar. Somewhat similar, but not exactly the same. Very little of the immediate annuity will be taxable until the cost basis is exhausted. By contrast, a somewhat larger portion of the CGA will be taxable, some of it at capital gains rates...
by dodecahedron
Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Charitable gift annuities - doing well by doing good?
Replies: 19
Views: 817

Re: Charitable gift annuities - doing well by doing good?

Keep in mind, a CGA really only makes sense if there is a charity you wish to benefit. In other words, the arrangement may not be quite as attractive as other possibilities, but if you wish to benefit a charity while retaining some income from the gift it can be attractive. Gill But in the OP’s cas...
by dodecahedron
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Adventures in asset relocation at Schwab
Replies: 5
Views: 552

Adventures in asset relocation at Schwab

Apologies in advance: please forgive the length of this post--as the title says, it is an ¨adventure¨. For some time, I have been thinking about doing some asset relocation for tax efficiency reasons. I decided that in my current tax status (i.e., facing the tax hump, tax torpedo, or whatever you wa...
by dodecahedron
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Widow and investments
Replies: 33
Views: 3331

Re: Widow and investments

First of all, I want to say how sorry I am for your loss. My heart goes out to you. I was widowed at 59, with two young adult daughters, and that was hard, but I can only imagine how much harder it must be with young children. Tax Filing Status: This year will be Married Filing jointly. Next year 2...
by dodecahedron
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank
Replies: 89
Views: 9903

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

This is just ridiculous. Within an online bank, one cannot even go to the branch and be in their face. what I am confused about is the local branch is better mentality here - how is being "in their face" would help you if this is local Chase or something? You will hear, back office is looking , onc...
by dodecahedron
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard funds at Merrill Edge is there a catch?
Replies: 16
Views: 685

Re: Vanguard funds at Merrill Edge is there a catch?

... I have gotten thousands of dollars in BoA and Merrill bonuses of various forms from moving Vanguard funds in-kind to Merrill Edge. I originally bought the funds for free at Vanguard. These are long term buy and hold funds, though I do take the dividends in cash and reinvest them elsewhere. I ha...
by dodecahedron
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Funds Preliminary Capital Gains Estimates
Replies: 19
Views: 1838

Re: Vanguard Funds Preliminary Capital Gains Estimates

Thanks for posting this! I was wondering about this. If I don't see a fund (e.g., VTSAX, VTIAX, etc.), that means it's not expected to have a capital gains distribution in December, right? I would assume so as those funds have very little turnover. In their case, turnover is not an issue because th...
by dodecahedron
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard funds at Merrill Edge is there a catch?
Replies: 16
Views: 685

Re: Vanguard funds at Merrill Edge is there a catch?

What is the cost to buy these funds? Looks like $19.95 per purchase. That adds up if you are purchasing regularly. Maybe not a big deal if you are going to buy once and hold for a long time without making additional investments. Use ETF share classes of those funds (VOO and BND) instead which have ...
by dodecahedron
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: If one is pessimistic about both stocks and bonds, does a SPIA make sense?
Replies: 64
Views: 3171

Re: If one is pessimistic about both stocks and bonds, does a SPIA make sense?

It would be interesting to see an actual breakdown as to what percentage of the premium goes to a) annuity payouts, b) administrative costs, and c) insurance company profits. Yes, it would. Vanguard offers variable annuities (VAs). They say their VA products have an average expense ratio of 0.48%, ...
by dodecahedron
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding between PPO and HDHP+HSA health plans with the potential for a pregnancy/birth?
Replies: 4
Views: 276

Re: Deciding between PPO and HDHP+HSA health plans with the potential for a pregnancy/birth?

The price difference between the plans is $1,968 or since my employer will contribute $1,000 to the HSA $2,968. I don´t understand how you came up with $1,968 for the price difference. $5,640-3,600 is 2,040. On further thought, it sounds like you don´t have 80%/20% cost-sharing on all expenses unde...
by dodecahedron
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding between PPO and HDHP+HSA health plans with the potential for a pregnancy/birth?
Replies: 4
Views: 276

Re: Deciding between PPO and HDHP+HSA health plans with the potential for a pregnancy/birth?

HDHP/HSA is no brainer dominant solution pretty much no matter what. With big worst case medical expenses as you have noted, the OOP max is the same with both policies but HDHP saved you $2,040 in premiums and you got $1K from employer contribution plus tax benefits of HSA. Lets say, you don´t hit t...
by dodecahedron
Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Widow and investments
Replies: 33
Views: 3331

Re: Widow and investments

First of all, I want to say how sorry I am for your loss. My heart goes out to you. I was widowed at 59, with two young adult daughters, and that was hard, but I can only imagine how much harder it must be with young children. Tax Filing Status: This year will be Married Filing jointly. Next year 20...
by dodecahedron
Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: If one is pessimistic about both stocks and bonds, does a SPIA make sense?
Replies: 64
Views: 3171

Re: If one is pessimistic about both stocks and bonds, does a SPIA make sense?

But this is all moot up until arounda age 65 or so, because before that time mortality is very low, and the advantages of "mortality credits" are tiny and offset by the insurance company taking profits. I want to note that it is not just ¨the insurance company taking profits¨ that more than offsets...
by dodecahedron
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IHG credit card and Rewards Nights ...
Replies: 24
Views: 1165

Re: IHG credit card and Rewards Nights ...

We don't even own a car, so we pretty much fly to places (assuming they are of some distance) and then rarely will rent a car if we are in an urban area. If we did have a car, I could totally see how the IHG card would be attractive. :sharebeer I can identify strongly with your preference even thou...
by dodecahedron
Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IHG credit card and Rewards Nights ...
Replies: 24
Views: 1165

Re: IHG credit card and Rewards Nights ...

I was surprised to see that you got a Holiday Inn in midtown Manhattan (48th St counts as midtown to me :) ). I believe the IHG website characterized it as ¨Hells Kitchen,¨ but it has definitely gentrified quite a bit from when that name was first applied to the neighborhood. I felt totally comfort...
by dodecahedron
Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IHG credit card and Rewards Nights ...
Replies: 24
Views: 1165

Re: IHG credit card and Rewards Nights ...

The expiration dates for hotels over 40K were extended at some point based on annual fee date - not sure of the actual dates. I have both the old $49 AF and new $89 AF cards and get two free nights. My $49 card night expiring in January 2020 let me book a 50K point Crowne Plaza, but the $89 card ni...
by dodecahedron
Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS billing me for 1099-SA that isn't mine - Resolved
Replies: 18
Views: 2009

Re: IRS billing me for 1099-SA that isn't mine

Hopefully you can straighten this out yourself, but if you do ultimately need to get a tax pro involved, I would suggest getting an Enrolled Agent (EA), specifically one who specializes in *representation* rather than tax preparation. They can be very knowledgeable and resourceful in straightening o...
by dodecahedron
Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon
Replies: 122
Views: 9394

Re: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon

for year end planning purposes (crossed checked with other sources, including my brain and NBER TaxSim ). link fixed now Hi dodecahedron, Please tell us more what NBER TaxSim is? the link is not working. Sorry, I posted before drinking my coffee. I have fixed the link in my post above (as well as w...
by dodecahedron
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon
Replies: 122
Views: 9394

Re: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon

Note: I switched from Turbotax to Block years ago, but this is generic advice that applies to both products. Advantage of buying the download (or CD) version is that you can lock in a good price *at the initial time* you purchase the product. With the web version, it is free to use *until* you are r...
by dodecahedron
Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R BLOCK Pre-Order 2019 Software Offer
Replies: 118
Views: 9477

Re: H&R BLOCK Pre-Order 2019 Software Offer

Thank you. The website is for the 2018 version. Will find it myself. Camelcamelcamel only tracks Amazon prices. When the link was originally posted on October 30th, the 2019 version was not available on Amazon, so it was given as an example of how the price changes over time. The 2018 version link ...
by dodecahedron
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R BLOCK Pre-Order 2019 Software Offer
Replies: 118
Views: 9477

Re: H&R BLOCK Pre-Order 2019 Software Offer

As of November 6th, Amazon does now sell the 2019 version, here is its tracker: https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B07YH24MYL I am amused that the 2019 Amazon version of H&R Block Deluxe software carries an option for a 4% refund bonus if the refund is taken in the form of Amazon gift cards. Years...
by dodecahedron
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 794918

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Bank of America Cashback Credit Card 1 (Mastercard): 5.25% Online shopping 3.5% groceries 0$ annual fee Bank of America Cashback Credit Card 2 (Visa): 5.25% Dining 3.5% groceries 0$ annual fee Bank of America Cashback Credit Card 3 (Visa): 5.25% Travel 3.5% groceries 0$ annual fee I only have two B...
by dodecahedron
Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Widow Social Security Benefit - time limit?
Replies: 1
Views: 242

Re: Widow Social Security Benefit - time limit?

There is a minimum marriage length for widows and widowers but it is much shorter than the divorce limit. In general, nine months is long enough for a surviving spouse, but it can even be shorter for a variety of exceptions (e.g., early death was unexpected at time of wedding or if the couple had ch...
by dodecahedron
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will I be audited?
Replies: 51
Views: 4227

Re: Will I be audited?

We got audited for the first time ever, because we put 5 yrs of charitable contributions into a donor advised fund in 2017. We're not rich (but nobody ever thinks they are, do they?) and the IRS guy said is was solely because of the large charitable contribution. Anticipating the audit was a bit st...
by dodecahedron
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA's real estate fund
Replies: 11
Views: 810

Re: TIAA's real estate fund

The linked page mentions only the TIAA Traditional and TIAA Real Estate annuity accounts. Can you put CREF annuity accounts into one of these IRAs that are available because of relationship to someone? I couldn't manage to find out by clicking around. John Yes, you can. However, the CREF annuities ...
by dodecahedron
Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA's real estate fund
Replies: 11
Views: 810

Re: TIAA's real estate fund

Here is the link for who is eligible: https://www.tiaa.org/public/retire/financial-products/annuities/annuity-ira-benefits I did know that you could qualify by relationship but did not realize how broad the definition had become. Yes, as this TIAA video about who counts as a family member indicates...
by dodecahedron
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA's real estate fund
Replies: 11
Views: 810

Re: TIAA's real estate fund

Here is the link for who is eligible: https://www.tiaa.org/public/retire/financial-products/annuities/annuity-ira-benefits I did know that you could qualify by relationship but did not realize how broad the definition had become. Yes, as this TIAA video about who counts as a family member indicates...
by dodecahedron
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IHG credit card and Rewards Nights ...
Replies: 24
Views: 1165

Re: IHG credit card and Rewards Nights ...

I have stayed in some pretty conveniently located Holiday Inns in Manhattan
(Chelsea and Hells Kitchen) that are 40,000 points or less.

But I agree it was nicer when you could use the free night anywhere.

Currently have both cards and find them to be a good combo for
my needs.
by dodecahedron
Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free
Replies: 78
Views: 3858

Re: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free

What is the absolute amount you have in your tax deferred accounts? If it is less than $1 million (approximately) I wouldn't bother with Roth conversions. The reasoning is that, with balances less than that threshold, even withdrawals twice the RMD size would only place you in the 15% bracket, and ...
by dodecahedron
Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free
Replies: 78
Views: 3858

Re: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free

What is the absolute amount you have in your tax deferred accounts? If it is less than $1 million (approximately) I wouldn't bother with Roth conversions. The reasoning is that, with balances less than that threshold, even withdrawals twice the RMD size would only place you in the 15% bracket, and ...
by dodecahedron
Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free
Replies: 78
Views: 3858

Re: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free

Roughly 23:50:27 here, and continuing to gradually increase the proportion of tax free at the expense of the other two (via Roth conversions and using taxable for expenses including charitable donations of appreciated securities.)
by dodecahedron
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How bad business travel is?
Replies: 61
Views: 4693

Re: How bad business travel is?

10% travel, with 90 minute flight, should be very manageable. Maybe. A big variable is how much time and hassle involved in ground travel to/from the airport. I am an 11-minute drive from the Albany airport. I have good ridesharing service available, so I don´t bother with the hassles of parking an...
by dodecahedron
Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2019 early experience
Replies: 4
Views: 709

Re: H&R Block 2019 early experience

However, experience shows that the tax prep software companies are sort of... fibbing when they pretend the software is really available earlier than about February. Of course we all know that it's generally not the software company that delays the completion of the program. They can't provide a wo...
by dodecahedron
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Basic Medicare Part B 2020 Premium $144.30 ??
Replies: 39
Views: 3025

Re: Basic Medicare Part B 2020 Premium $144.30 ??

Also, while I do not know the numbers or percentages involved, there are some employer retiree health insurance plans that require enrollment in a specific Medicare Advantage Plan..... Yes, very true. When you add in that factor, it skews the exalted 34% number being thrown around even more, making...
by dodecahedron
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America no local branch?
Replies: 14
Views: 740

Re: Bank of America no local branch?

I am under the impression that there is a maximum size of check that can be deposited via cellphone or tablet app. There is, but depending on your bank and your history with them it can be pretty large. My bank, for instance, allows me to deposit up to $25 000 from a single check in a single day by...
by dodecahedron
Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much is too much in an HSA?
Replies: 51
Views: 4229

Re: How much is too much in an HSA?

As others have said, worst case you end up using the HSA like a traditional IRA, I see no down side saving as much as possible (with the caveat that you actually invest your HSA funds, as opposed to just letting it sit in cash). Actually, even in the worst case, it is still better than a traditiona...
by dodecahedron
Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America no local branch?
Replies: 14
Views: 740

Re: Bank of America no local branch?

Very easy to wire money at BoA via their online interface. I like having a local brick and mortar branch (I have a safe deposit there and they are always helpful if I need something notarized.) When I receive the occasional large check in the mail, I go there in person to deposit it. (I am under the...
by dodecahedron
Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much is too much in an HSA?
Replies: 51
Views: 4229

Re: How much is too much in an HSA?

As others have said, worst case you end up using the HSA like a traditional IRA, I see no down side saving as much as possible (with the caveat that you actually invest your HSA funds, as opposed to just letting it sit in cash). Actually, even in the worst case, it is still better than a traditiona...
by dodecahedron
Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R BLOCK Pre-Order 2019 Software Offer
Replies: 118
Views: 9477

Re: H&R BLOCK Pre-Order 2019 Software Offer

Hi snowman, Great review, thank you. I read one review that said they thought the HRB navigation was to linear, step A, then B, etc., it seemed to infer you could not jump around but your experience says otherwise? Not sure where that opinion came from. It's as easy to jump around HRB as it is with...
by dodecahedron
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep or Sell or Rent my house (Seattle suburb)? Health Issues and Targeting FI in ~10 years
Replies: 15
Views: 1956

Re: Keep or Sell or Rent my house (Seattle suburb)? Health Issues and Targeting FI in ~10 years

Consider investing in lower maintenance landscaping (less lawn to mow, more sustainable). Think about other investments you could make to reduce future ongoing maintenance as well. Also agree with getting other family members involved in helping.
by dodecahedron
Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best month to take RMDs?
Replies: 86
Views: 4558

Re: Best month to take RMDs?

If reinvesting, wouldn't it be most advantageous to pull them out in January so they can grow in a roth tax free for the rest of the year instead of growing more RMD's for next year in the account they're already in? RMDs are not eligible for Roth conversion so your RMDs will generally NOT be growi...
by dodecahedron
Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jim Simons and Renaissance Technologies
Replies: 9
Views: 1003

Re: Jim Simons and Renaissance Technologies

I can't point to the article, as subscription required. Please check at your local library. Lots of us *do* have subscriptions. (In my case, it is free due to institutional subscription by my part-time employer.) Here is the link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-making-of-the-worlds-greatest-inves...
by dodecahedron
Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security first-year income limit for self-employed
Replies: 6
Views: 375

Re: Social Security first-year income limit for self-employed

Complicated question but if your net self-employment income is zero AND you are not spending much or any time on the business, I do not think you will have any problems with reduction of SS benefits due to earnings. Self-employment rules are tricky so you need to make sure you answer questions clear...
by dodecahedron
Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New widow question on Social Security survivor benefits -- how to get amount
Replies: 5
Views: 524

Re: New widow question on Social Security survivor benefits -- how to get amount

I was given that information over the phone at the time I applied for the $255 lump sum death benefit on the phone. (I did not feel a need to get the info in writing. I had already figured it out on my own and the number I was given was in rough accord with what I had computed.) The guy on the phone...