Search found 5000 matches

by dodecahedron
Tue May 19, 2020 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America unauthorized ATM withdrawal
Replies: 47
Views: 2265

Re: Bank of America unauthorized ATM withdrawal

This reminds me that my late husband always withdrew a consistent but rather oddball amount of cash in his ATM transactions. If I recall correctly, it was originally $140, then went up to $240. That way he and I could easily and quickly recognize any suspicious unauthorized transactions on our state...
by dodecahedron
Fri May 15, 2020 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Husband Died and Spouse lack of knowledge.
Replies: 37
Views: 6124

Re: Husband Died and Spouse lack of knowledge.

When we originally approached this firm to have both our wills prepared 12 years ago, *I* was the one to initiate the appointment and *I* was the one to meet with the attorney alone at first to describe the broad outlines of what we were looking to do and to get a sense of the information we should...
by dodecahedron
Thu May 14, 2020 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Husband Died and Spouse lack of knowledge.
Replies: 37
Views: 6124

Re: Husband Died and Spouse lack of knowledge.

The trusts and estates section of the New York State Bar Association has an active electronic discussion group. While it's a long shot, it's worth having a memnber post a query asking if anyone on the list has the Will. A couple months ago, I was unpleasantly surprised to discover that my own attor...
by dodecahedron
Wed May 06, 2020 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No tax return after >10 weeks?
Replies: 46
Views: 3069

Re: No tax return after >10 weeks?

It is not clear that e-filed returns are faring any better. I e-filed mine on March 10th, and received my refund about two weeks later. Both my son's e-filed about a week later, and their returns are both listed as "still processing, we will provide a refund date when available", or something simil...
by dodecahedron
Tue May 05, 2020 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Membership Question
Replies: 84
Views: 6227

Re: Amazon Prime Membership Question

This past Friday (May 1), I decided to order a Mother´s Day present for my mother, who lives in the DC suburbs. Realizing that what I was planning to give her (something electronic) would hardly be considered essential and therefore would get lower priority than food or cleaning supplies, I was conc...
by dodecahedron
Sun May 03, 2020 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: weather in middle NY state vs central NJ - personal experiences?
Replies: 19
Views: 1518

Re: weather in middle NY state vs central NJ - personal experiences?

The Hudson Valley is very pretty. But as you point out, upstate is much colder than the NYC area. This is much less true than it used to be. When we moved to the Capital District 30 years ago, winters regularly had quite a few single digit highs and some negative days. Winters have been much milder...
by dodecahedron
Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it always smart to buy points (mortgage)?
Replies: 46
Views: 4267

Re: Is it always smart to buy points (mortgage)?

Numbers are even higher now, given that points are probably deductible but mortgage interest may not be (TCJA). Points aren’t a separate deductible expense, they are lumped in with the interest (“home mortgage interest and points”). Logical since points are basically pre-paid interest. If you’re ov...
by dodecahedron
Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can High School Students Working Part-Time Get Unemployment?
Replies: 13
Views: 1882

Re: Can High School Students Working Part-Time Get Unemployment?

Eligibility rules vary by state, and many states have made changes recently because of the virus situation. You should probably go to your states unemployment website and see if she qualifies. +1. In my state, pre-pandemic, the person filing had to certify that they were continuing to look for work...
by dodecahedron
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: File tax return electronically
Replies: 64
Views: 2531

Re: File tax return electronically

I am pretty sure I have e-filed returns at Taxaide for surviving spouses (MFJ, year of death). Maybe the limitation is software vendor specific. I am preparing one now (privately) for a widow of a friend using H&R Block Deluxe but have not attempted to file yet. I am an AARP Tax-Aide preparer and i...
by dodecahedron
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: File tax return electronically
Replies: 64
Views: 2531

Re: File tax return electronically

I am pretty sure I have e-filed returns at Taxaide for surviving spouses (MFJ, year of death). Maybe the limitation is software vendor specific. I am preparing one now (privately) for a widow of a friend using H&R Block Deluxe but have not attempted to file yet. My late husband did not like efiles ...
by dodecahedron
Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?
Replies: 61
Views: 4960

Re: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?

Any well thought out plan for SS filing should On the other hand, this [withdrawing an application for SS retirement and repaying benefits received within 12 months of retirement application] is an option involving the possibility of bureaucratic SNAFUs even in normal times and might well be worse ...
by dodecahedron
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?
Replies: 61
Views: 4960

Re: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?

You have mentioned "sky diving" and "SCUBA" in the past thread, and here. Maybe it might be time to take a few SCUPA classes even if at the local swimming pool? j :happy I believe local swimming pools have been shut down in virtually every state. Even when they reopen, I think it will be a while be...
by dodecahedron
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?
Replies: 61
Views: 4960

Re: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?

Single No debt On a non-COLA pension that covers my expenses Plenty of safety net in low risk investments and cash Good health, longevity in gene pool, no high-risk activities such as sky-diving, scuba... Here is the Topic from 4 years ago with my stats, etc.: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewt...
by dodecahedron
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?
Replies: 61
Views: 4960

Re: Take Social Security now, at 66, during Corona-virus?

You can't change your mind once you file however. Either way you should be in good shape to weather the storm. Ah man, I'm all dressed up for the prom, and now you guys are telling me I can't go! :P It is NOT correct that you can´t change your mind once you file. Within 12 months of starting SS ret...
by dodecahedron
Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $3K Capital Loss and IRMAA
Replies: 9
Views: 585

Re: $3K Capital Loss and IRMAA

MAGI calculation from Turbo Tax: To calculate your modified adjusted gross income, take your AGI and add back certain deductions. Many of these deductions are rare, so it's possible your AGI and MAGI can be identical. According to the IRS, your MAGI is your AGI with the addition of the following de...
by dodecahedron
Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get N95 masks? Seriously
Replies: 61
Views: 5031

Re: How to get N95 masks? Seriously

Or any masks really... CDC has simple instructions for a do-it-yourself mask you can make out of an old t-shirt. (No sewing required!) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html Amazon sells them, but delivery date isn't until May 25th, DIY approach...
by dodecahedron
Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fun with Progressive Taxes--can you check my math?
Replies: 30
Views: 1692

Re: Fun with Progressive Taxes--can you check my math?

How will SSA benefits be taxed? If taxable income is < $34,000, then only half SSA benefits are taxed. This is not correct. The amount of your SSA that is taxed does NOT depend on your taxable income. Taxable income depends on many factors that are quite irrelevant/orthogonal to the income concept ...
by dodecahedron
Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fun with Progressive Taxes--can you check my math?
Replies: 30
Views: 1692

Re: Fun with Progressive Taxes--can you check my math?

How will SSA benefits be taxed? If taxable income is < $34,000, then only half SSA benefits are taxed. This is not correct. The amount of your SSA that is taxed does NOT depend on your taxable income. Taxable income depends on many factors that are quite irrelevant/orthogonal to the income concept ...
by dodecahedron
Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Instacart delivery slots?
Replies: 40
Views: 2756

Re: Instacart delivery slots?

I have never used Instacart, but do I understand this correctly? Shopping online with Instacart, you don't find out what delivery slots are available until AFTER you've taken the time and trouble to select your grocery items? That's the way it looks from the tutorials I've seen. It would seem to me...
by dodecahedron
Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS refund late
Replies: 15
Views: 950

Re: IRS refund late

Zso -Is there a relationship between your return and your son's return? Is he of age where he COULD BE claimed as a dependent on your return? If so was he claimed on your return? If not claimed on your return how did he answer the question on his return as to whether or not he CAN be claimed as a d...
by dodecahedron
Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS refund late
Replies: 15
Views: 950

Re: IRS refund late

Zso -Is there a relationship between your return and your son's return? Is he of age where he COULD BE claimed as a dependent on your return? If so was he claimed on your return? If not claimed on your return how did he answer the question on his return as to whether or not he CAN be claimed as a d...
by dodecahedron
Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much cash to have during coronavirus panic?
Replies: 144
Views: 10777

Re: How much cash to have during coronavirus panic?

Given that cash changes so many hands and (most) credit cards have to be inserted or swiped, I'm using Apple Pay whenever I can. My Apple Watch (or iPhone) doesn't even have to touch the terminal. Back in mid-February when this just started hitting our radar screen, a friend who had been using publ...
by dodecahedron
Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much cash to have during coronavirus panic?
Replies: 144
Views: 10777

Re: How much cash to have during coronavirus panic?

Cash or Card - whatever your position is, your cash and card both have high potential to carry corona virus on it because they exchange hands. Make sure you wash your hands and disinfect regularly if you touch either regularly. I have a quarantine ziplock bag where I keep the one card that I use al...
by dodecahedron
Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much cash to have during coronavirus panic?
Replies: 144
Views: 10777

Re: How much cash to have during coronavirus panic?

In the past three and a half weeks, I have not handled any cash nor have I handled my credit cards except to enter the information on them into an online order screen on my own Chromebook. All my transactions since this started have been home deliveries paid for by online advance arrangement from my...
by dodecahedron
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College choice dilemma
Replies: 167
Views: 7638

Re: College choice dilemma

But my son is very much interested to go there. What exactly does he give as his reasons for being so ¨very much interested¨ to go to Princeton? So, my dilemma is, will it be worth to go to Princeton with that huge price tag when Vanderbilt is giving such a nice scholarship? Update: Sorry for not p...
by dodecahedron
Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College choice dilemma
Replies: 167
Views: 7638

Re: College choice dilemma

About 15 years ago, there was an epic discussion thread on the College Confidential website from a student facing a similar dilemma. He had been admitted to Vanderbilt with a full ride and to his dream school (in his case, Yale) with no financial assistance. The thread went on for months (I gather h...
by dodecahedron
Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some IRS webpages Still Show RMD Age 70.5
Replies: 13
Views: 615

Re: Some IRS webpages Still Show RMD Age 70.5

don't the old geezers stay on the old schedule and the young whippersnappers go on the new schedule so both are needed? Correct, and the IRS page linked by the OP states exactly that: The SECURE Act made major changes to the RMD rules. For plan participants and IRA owners who reach the age of 70 ½ ...
by dodecahedron
Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMDs May Not Be Required for 2020
Replies: 135
Views: 8522

Re: RMDs May Not Be Required for 2020

Has anybody actually looked at the passed bill? All these opinions and discussions above are just guesses if the actual bill is unclear. Or is the bill posted anywhere so some of us can go read it and see if any of this stuff is discussed? Just asking. NPR has a link to the final version of the bil...
by dodecahedron
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Senior hour Tue and Thur
Replies: 70
Views: 5734

Re: Costco Senior hour Tue and Thur

We don´t have a Costco in our area (yet! there is one in the planning stages) but from the perspective of a New Yorker at the epicenter, I find it hard to understand why any senior would want to endanger their health by shopping in person. Yes, there are delivery charges and you can´t pick out your ...
by dodecahedron
Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What credit card are you using that is not Citi 2% cashback?
Replies: 57
Views: 4166

Re: What credit card are you using that is not Citi 2% cashback?

Same cards as always BoA cash rewards: 5.25% on gas, 3.5% on grocery BoA premium rewards: 3.5% on travel and restaurants, 2.625% on everything else. Fantastic combo. I agree that´s a great combo, and that is what I primarily use EXCEPT that I do not waste the 5.25% category on gas. (I drive very li...
by dodecahedron
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Updating my estate documents in COVID19 time
Replies: 25
Views: 1764

Re: Updating my estate documents in COVID19 time

As long as you maintain social distancing, 6ft, and surfaces are cleaned I don't see the issue. I think the paper surface can also carry the virus for a time. In my experience, witnessing and notarizing moves along quickly, shuffling papers to other participants, and obviously bleaching the paper w...
by dodecahedron
Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Updating my estate documents in COVID19 time
Replies: 25
Views: 1764

Re: Updating my estate documents in COVID19 time

I just got off the phone with my attorney discussing the changes I want to make. My attorney´s tentative plan at this time is to use the following procedure: She and her assistant will drive to my home in separate cars. They will remain outside my home and I will remain inside my home. They will wat...
by dodecahedron
Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reducing spending during downtimes - psychologically
Replies: 6
Views: 557

Re: Reducing spending during downtimes - psychologically

Equities are a small portion of my portfolio, but reducing spending is happening pretty much automatically for me. Most places where I normally spend discretionary money (dining out, theater, concerts, travel, etc.) are closed and/or places I am avoiding for public health reasons. I am not leaving m...
by dodecahedron
Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: thank you Bill Bernstein: "If You've Won the Game, Stop Playing"
Replies: 51
Views: 6666

Re: thank you Bill Bernstein: "If You've Won the Game, Stop Playing"

Bill, you saved my bacon, thank you for your wisdom. best, would you still have said thank you if DJIA 40k and SP500 4K? Yes, I believe so. I was content while the market roared upward and philosophical during the current fall. Far more worried about nonfinancial things and ordinary people´s liveli...
by dodecahedron
Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: thank you Bill Bernstein: "If You've Won the Game, Stop Playing"
Replies: 51
Views: 6666

Re: thank you Bill Bernstein: "If You've Won the Game, Stop Playing"

Bill, you saved my bacon, thank you for your wisdom. best, Curious when you and other posters here are thanking Bill Bernstein and others, whether you had completely gotten 100% out of stocks or just significantly reduced your allocation at this point after having enough?" Bill Bernstein does not a...
by dodecahedron
Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Updating my estate documents in COVID19 time
Replies: 25
Views: 1764

Re: Updating my estate documents in COVID19 time

I was in Albany a couple of weeks ago, speaking at the for the Eastern New York (Albany area) Estate Planning Council on planning under the SECURE Act. If it had been any later it would have been postponed indefinitely or cancelled. Interesting coincidence. I think there is a good chance my attorne...
by dodecahedron
Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Updating my estate documents in COVID19 time
Replies: 25
Views: 1764

Re: Updating my estate documents in COVID19 time

In New York, the witnesses don't have to be there when you sign. It's sufficient if, within 30 days, you acknowledge to the witnesses that it's your Will and you ask them to sign as witnesses, and they sign as witnesses. We can't be sure whether doing it by video is sufficient, but it's worth a try...
by dodecahedron
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Updating my estate documents in COVID19 time
Replies: 25
Views: 1764

Re: Updating my estate documents in COVID19 time

Sounds like some of these documents are independent forms, and your changes are not complex. Would it work to use another attorney or even para legal to replace these documents? If not, postpone the pending appointment to a time when she comes out of self quarantine? You are right that the changes ...
by dodecahedron
Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Updating my estate documents in COVID19 time
Replies: 25
Views: 1764

Updating my estate documents in COVID19 time

About a month ago, when COVID first hit my radar screen, I contacted my attorney´s office about updating my estate documents. I have an appointment for next Monday morning. Under the circumstances, my attorney´s office contacted me to let me know that she now does all client meetings by teleconferen...
by dodecahedron
Wed Mar 18, 2020 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Real Estate Movement
Replies: 71
Views: 4169

Re: TIAA Real Estate Movement

Do you invest in REITs or real estate. Do you think real estate is needed in a portfolio? I do not own any rental properties and never have. I used to buy VNQ (a REIT index), but have not owned any VNQ shares in years. I use a small number of stock index funds such as VTI that have REITs in them. I...
by dodecahedron
Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: thank you Bill Bernstein: "If You've Won the Game, Stop Playing"
Replies: 51
Views: 6666

Re: thank you Bill Bernstein: "If You've Won the Game, Stop Playing"

I join you in thanking Bill for influencing my thinking along these lines, but would be remiss in not also thanking others. Dirk Cotton, who has a blog called The Retirement Cafe, has reinforced my thinking along these lines. A recent post on that blog exemplifies this. His expository posts, particu...
by dodecahedron
Tue Mar 17, 2020 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Take out food vs COVID 19
Replies: 95
Views: 6553

Re: Take out food vs COVID 19

Wonderful Italian family restaurant near me (owned and operated by same family since 1913, over 100 years ago) has an option where you place a to-go order ahead of time by phone half an hour before you want to pick it up. Then you drive into their parking lot and call them from your cell to let them...
by dodecahedron
Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: VITA site staying open?
Replies: 16
Views: 788

Re: VITA site staying open?

VITA is cancelled for at least the next two weeks around here (and almost surely that cancellation period will be extended). We are encouraging use of do-it-yourself software and there are some VITA volunteers (like me) who will answer questions from do-it-yourself taxpayers by phone or email. There...
by dodecahedron
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Closing On A House Sale During A Pandemic
Replies: 22
Views: 2918

Re: Closing On A House Sale During A Pandemic

We sold our house in Cambridge MA after we had moved to Upstate NY. We had no interest in driving back over three hours each way to do the closing. We trusted our attorney to act in our interests during the closing. This was back in 1989. I do recall something weird about having to send a *telegram*...
by dodecahedron
Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you still going to the gym ...
Replies: 210
Views: 12388

Re: Are you still going to the gym ...

Also, people are not thought to be contagious when they are not showing symptoms Don’t believe that is accurate. From Harvard Medschool’s resource page: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/coronavirus-resource-center When are people most contagious? People are thought to be most ...
by dodecahedron
Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What entertainment during Covid-19 times?
Replies: 101
Views: 5441

Re: What entertainment during Covid-19 times?

Eh I dunno about borrowing materials from the library. The virus has a way of staying alive on various surfaces. This is exactly my concern! In the past, we've arranged to have up to a dozen books waiting (not usually that many, unless I've just discovered a new police procedural series, or such, a...
by dodecahedron
Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the rules on having a "dependent"
Replies: 7
Views: 708

Re: What are the rules on having a "dependent"

There are two types of dependents, qualifying children (QCs) and qualifying relatives (QRs.) The requirements for the two types of dependents are similar enough to be confusing, but they have important differences. Here is a good one page summary with a two-column table that highlights the subtle di...
by dodecahedron
Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should federal tax return forms be stapled to each other? Or not?
Replies: 47
Views: 3013

Re: Should federal tax return forms be stapled to each other? Or not?

Why do they need W2's these days? You don't attach them when filing electronically. There are a few states that are already on board with this: you don't include any Forms W-2 or 1099 even when you paper file. NY just wants summary W-2 info transcribed into their forms , which have 2-D barcodes. Th...
by dodecahedron
Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should federal tax return forms be stapled to each other? Or not?
Replies: 47
Views: 3013

Re: Should federal tax return forms be stapled to each other? Or not?

I don’t think you need to. The first thing they will do is remove the paper clip or staple and electronically scan everything to image. As someone who spent at least three decades of his career in document imaging. Including many government contracts scanning forms. The scanning production workers ...
by dodecahedron
Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should federal tax return forms be stapled to each other? Or not?
Replies: 47
Views: 3013

Re: Should federal tax return forms be stapled to each other? Or not?

I don’t think you need to. The first thing they will do is remove the paper clip or staple and electronically scan everything to image. As someone who spent at least three decades of his career in document imaging. Including many government contracts scanning forms. The scanning production workers ...