Search found 1981 matches

by ralph124cf
Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BlackFriday Shopping - what do you usually buy? (other than Christmas gifts)
Replies: 20
Views: 832

Re: BlackFriday Shopping - what do you usually buy? (other than Christmas gifts)

magicrat wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:54 pm
The only thing I"ll be buying on black friday is takeout so I can stay home.
Amazon, Best Buy, Sam's Club, Target and Costco online stores have Black Friday pricing for delivery or instore pick-up later.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this a potentially dangerous electrical issue that needs to be addressed?
Replies: 19
Views: 2004

Re: Is this a potentially dangerous electrical issue that needs to be addressed?

This may be a wild stab, but if you have aluminum wiring, which some older houses do, you will need special outlets and somewhat different handling.

Many fires have happened due to aluminum wiring being handled incorrectly.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Color copier recommendations?
Replies: 10
Views: 650

Re: Color copier recommendations?

I read in Consumer Reports that Brother uses less ink overall because it does not do "maintenance" printing that wastes ink. I have been happy over all but cannot get it to work with my Acer Chromebook. Note that the referenced copiers do not use any "ink" at all, they are all laser copiers/printer...
by ralph124cf
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Virtual credit card for travel reservations: advice needed
Replies: 7
Views: 303

Re: Virtual credit card for travel reservations: advice needed

It is very much a problem for airline reservations. If everything does not match, you may not be going.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SEC Settlement Distribution - Tax Implications?
Replies: 9
Views: 446

Re: SEC Settlement Distribution - Tax Implications?

I would like to piggyback here. I also received a settlement, but the twist is that the stock was in an IRA, but the check came addressed to me personally ( I still own the stock). Is there a way to get this into my IRA without paying income tax on it? I am fully retired and have no earned income. T...
by ralph124cf
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Purchasing annuity for wife
Replies: 21
Views: 2128

Re: Purchasing annuity for wife

You have mentioned buying these for your wife. This can be done from your wife's 401(k) or IRA, or from after tax funds. You CANNOT use your own 401(k) or IRA funds for this purpose. You can buy a joint and 100% survivor annuity with your tax sheltered funds, but not one with her as sole payee. Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: kitchen door rack
Replies: 4
Views: 464

Re: kitchen door rack

This can work well with a solid wood three hinge door. If you are in a rental with cheap hollow core doors with two hinges, there is a good chance the door will break or fall off the wall. In any case be sure your top hinge screws are secure, and consider replacing the screws with a larger size. Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Color copier recommendations?
Replies: 10
Views: 650

Re: Color copier recommendations?

We have been delighted with Brother laser products. We have a Brother MFC-L8850CDW purchased about 5 years ago, and it has worked perfectly. Color printing, coping and scanning. Also fax, if you still use that. Purchase was about $500, and a full set of high capacity toner cartridges is also about $...
by ralph124cf
Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: rmd for IRAs at multiple institutions
Replies: 18
Views: 1167

Re: rmd for IRAs at multiple institutions

My understanding is that you can also take just one 401(k) distribution if you have multiple 401(k)s. However you cannot take just one distribution that covers both IRAs and 401(k)s. Also, if you are married, your spouse must also take RMDs, you cannot combine these amounts and take everything from ...
by ralph124cf
Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Possible Change to RMDs? [Executive order]
Replies: 47
Views: 6070

Re: Possible Change to RMDs? [Executive order]

A poster above mentioned the ability to split the RMD for the first year after you turned 70.5. There was also a question about QCDs for somebody who turned 70.5 on December 31st. As far as I can see you can just double up the QCD the second year and everything is a wash. For example, suppose you ha...
by ralph124cf
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toilet Makes A Flushing Sound Occasionally
Replies: 37
Views: 2785

Re: Toilet Makes A Flushing Sound Occasionally

It is most likely the flapper. Put in a new one. Takes a minute and costs a couple of dollars. Flappers have an expected life of 5-10 years. If you have more than one toilet, change them all. Don't bother with trying to clean the current flapper, but it may be necessary to use some fine sandpaper o...
by ralph124cf
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I be a contractor or employee (from an investing perspective)?
Replies: 7
Views: 783

Re: Should I be a contractor or employee (from an investing perspective)?

If you pay yourself the same on a 1099 as you were paying yourself as a W-2 employee, then the IRS collects exactly the same amount of FICA and Medicare taxes. The PAYOR changes from 1/2 you and 1/2 the LLC to all from your personal account. The LLC shows increased income from avoiding the FICA and ...
by ralph124cf
Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remodel for aging in place
Replies: 44
Views: 3010

Remodel for aging in place

We are approaching age 70, and our three story house is getting to be a pain in the knee. We would like to remain in the house for another 5-10 years, and we are considering what could be done to make the place more comfortable as we age. We do already have lots of grab bars (all towel racks have be...
by ralph124cf
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I hit the magic side hustle milestone in August
Replies: 19
Views: 4842

Re: I hit the magic side hustle milestone in August

Starting this year you can no longer deduct work expenses as an employee. These expenses for an individual proprietor are completely deductible. As an IT consultant you would normally buy and use in your business a computer (or three), printer, scanner, phone(s), monitors, business checks, internet ...
by ralph124cf
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it possible to layer two umbrella insurance policies?
Replies: 12
Views: 1305

Re: Is it possible to layer two umbrella insurance policies?

You have mentioned that you have $1M of auto liability insurance. Is that the amount required by AAA for your umbrella policy? If the requirement is less than that ($500K seems usual) then it is a waste to pay for the added limit on your auto policy.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Storage facility as investment.
Replies: 18
Views: 1603

Re: Storage facility as investment.

One patient with 110 units at 115$monthly, 100% ocupancy with waiting list. Overhead around 24-27% (includes salary, security, property taxes, landscaping, security and insurance). That translates into about $110000/ yr. income. He essentially goes there physically 2-3 hours every 3 months. Manager...
by ralph124cf
Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Storage facility as investment.
Replies: 18
Views: 1603

Re: Storage facility as investment.

PSA (Public Storage, a REIT stock) has been very good to me over the last 15 years. The dividend has also been rising at a double digit rate.

Owning and operating a storage facility is a full time job, but is something that can be done by someone with a high school education.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Sep 03, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Aggressive asset allocation and market capitalization for someone with a pension
Replies: 15
Views: 1176

Re: Aggressive asset allocation and market capitalization for someone with a pension

There are two main reasons for having bonds/fixed income/cash as a part of your portfolio. The reason usually emphasized on this forum is risk reduction. The second reason, at least as important in my opinion, at least for a new investor, is opportunity. During a significant bear market, when stocks...
by ralph124cf
Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Possible Change to RMDs? [Executive order]
Replies: 47
Views: 6070

Re: Possible Change to RMDs? [Executive order]

I’d be happy if they just got rid of the 1/2-year thing. And moreover, the April after the 1/2-year thing. That’s so confusing. What would you propose instead? I would think this is to take into account those who turn 70.5 (or 70) on December 30 or 31. How are they supposed to take the first RMD in...
by ralph124cf
Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honduran Mahogany Door
Replies: 8
Views: 1009

Re: Honduran Mahogany Door

Do you need the wood color and grain to show on the outside of the house, or would just the inside be enough to make your wife happy? If so, you can use a very long lasting solid stain on the outside, while showing off the wood texture and color inside.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax form filing for CA -- advice needed
Replies: 4
Views: 580

Re: Tax form filing for CA -- advice needed

This is not the type of question that can reasonably be answered by this forum. You need to consult a local tax expert, either a CPA or a tax lawyer. Preferably somebody who is both. This will cost a few hundred, but it is worth it.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is forming a LLC necessary for an independent contractor
Replies: 17
Views: 1580

Re: Is forming a LLC necessary for an independent contractor

One good reason for an LLC or S-Corp is that many larger corporations, and many government entities refuse to contract with sole proprietors. No problem with single person LLCs or S-Corps. This does not appear to be a concern for your daughter.


Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Troubleshoot water heater
Replies: 11
Views: 743

Re: Troubleshoot water heater

If you have a whole house exhaust fan, and you don't open enough windows for proper venting, this can create enough of a back draft to blow out the pilot light in your water heater.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Repairs, and the economic joys of homeownership
Replies: 17
Views: 2115

Re: Repairs, and the economic joys of homeownership

This is for anybody else facing the same water heater situation--hot water not lasting long enough. Most electric water heaters have two heating elements, top and bottom. If the bottom heater goes out, while the top heater is still working, then it will heat the top 1/3 of the tank, but the bottom 2...
by ralph124cf
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing Best Annuity Option
Replies: 6
Views: 759

Re: Choosing Best Annuity Option

The primary thing to take into account is that for the issuer, all of these are calculated to be equal payouts, for the average person. It is up to you to figure out where you (and your wife) fit into the average lifespan. Since this is such a small pension, I believe that it makes no practical diff...
by ralph124cf
Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term Life Insurance for Young Couple
Replies: 41
Views: 3492

Re: Term Life Insurance for Young Couple

I disagree those saying that life insurance is not needed if the spouse could survive on one income if the other spouse were to pass away. Once there are kids in the equation, the possibility of both parents passing away needs to be considered. If both parents die in a car accident for example, how...
by ralph124cf
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lock Suitcases on International Flight or Not?
Replies: 32
Views: 2694

Re: Lock Suitcases on International Flight or Not?

Small round nosed scissors are OK, think kindergarten paper scissors.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taking stock of current financial state and way forward
Replies: 6
Views: 883

Re: Taking stock of current financial state and way forward

Sell the vested company stock and pay off the HELOC. This will make your credit look better for the refi. You will probably need a significant amount of cash for the refi expenses. Lowering the rate is probably the best financial move that you can make, but rates have been rising, so you might not b...
by ralph124cf
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Octogenarian father in law's idea of balance: AAPL + CASH
Replies: 35
Views: 3535

Re: Octogenarian father in law's idea of balance: AAPL + CASH

One way to hedge against his concentrated position in aapl is to buy long term puts (leaps) on aapl and roll over periodically. You could also do a collar which would essentially be costless while limiting his downside and upside. You would lock in his current gains, or at least over a range. It’s ...
by ralph124cf
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need disability insurance
Replies: 4
Views: 374

Re: Do I need disability insurance

The disability premium seems high. This may because you are in a profession that the insurance company considers above average for a career ending disability, or because they are overcharging. If you are a surgeon, you have a higher risk of a disability than a CPA. This is not because your job is th...
by ralph124cf
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sidewalk repair - price in line?
Replies: 32
Views: 2075

Re: Sidewalk repair - price in line?

Be sure that the bid includes removal of tree roots that may be intruding under the sidewalk and lifting it. If not removed the job will not last long at all.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab IRA - RMD's taken to Taxable Side
Replies: 6
Views: 434

Re: Schwab IRA - RMD's taken to Taxable Side

Note also that GAINS are not subject to the wash sale rule, only losses.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most Effective Rat Poison
Replies: 42
Views: 4233

Re: Most Effective Rat Poison

2 feral cats, spayed/neutered and vaccinated. Contact a local trap-neuter-release (TNR) group* in a city, or a rural vet. Yes you do need to put out cat food for the cats. The poison will also kill squirrels, counties or health dept rat control does have higher strength poison, and it helps usually...
by ralph124cf
Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does it matter which mutual fund goes into my Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA?
Replies: 8
Views: 432

Re: Does it matter which mutual fund goes into my Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA?

Real answer: See above.

Short answer: It doesn't matter, as the real difference in percentage of spendable after tax income is likely to be after the decimal point, not before it.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: QLAC and RMD
Replies: 7
Views: 480

QLAC and RMD

I am considering a QLAC (Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract) for DW, who will turn 70.5 next year. We are considering a start date of age 75. She is currently 69.5, healthy, and the women in her family tend to live to approximately 100. I am using 105 as a planning number. First question: If we bu...
by ralph124cf
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord advice needed with section 8
Replies: 38
Views: 3737

Re: Landlord advice needed with section 8

I strongly recommend not renting to Section 8 tenants. Finding people who can afford the rent on their own merits will pay dividends, including building appreciation.

I have had good Section 8 tenants, but they have been a minority. I no longer rent to Section 8 tenants.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ten days in Australia
Replies: 17
Views: 1441

Re: Ten days in Australia

Any chance the 1.5 year old can stay home with somebody? This trip will be cruel and unusual punishment for both the child and the parents.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on Variable Universal Life Policy
Replies: 5
Views: 503

Re: Question on Variable Universal Life Policy

In general, if you cannot point to a person(s), and say this person is dependent on my income for their financial support, then you should not have life insurance. Take the cash value. I am betting that the cash value is $7,400, not $157,400. The $157,400 is what the policy would pay out as a death ...
by ralph124cf
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA Renters Insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 841

Re: USAA Renters Insurance

The insurance may be replacement cost coverage, or actual cash value (after depreciation). Check. It matters a lot.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health and cognitive issues at age 80 and beyond...and managing finances
Replies: 17
Views: 2249

Re: Health and cognitive issues at age 80 and beyond...and managing finances

We are asking ourselves the same questions. We are approaching 70, and we do not have children, and no close relatives who are younger that we trust to keep our best interests in mind.

I understand that bank trust departments are not great, but they may be the only game in town.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older Camrys - Hybrid vs regular?
Replies: 25
Views: 1689

Re: Older Camrys - Hybrid vs regular?

Four cylinder Camrys get very respectable gas mileage. Even six cylinder Camrys get pretty decent gas mileage. To come out ahead financially with a used hybrid, considering the probability of battery replacement, I believe that you would need to be driving in the area of 20K miles a year. If you are...
by ralph124cf
Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: This Water Leak is Maddening
Replies: 13
Views: 2149

Re: This Water Leak is Maddening

I had a strange one. I noticed evidence of a leak on my library ceiling. I cut a hole to see what was going on. It appeared that the leak was coming from an electrical conduit and dripping on the ceiling. I called my electrician, but while he investigated further, he found that the leak seemed to be...
by ralph124cf
Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401K withdrawal in first year of retirement? Tax question.
Replies: 16
Views: 1181

Re: 401K withdrawal in first year of retirement? Tax question.

In general, the lowest lifetime taxes are achieved by keeping taxable income constant. I like to figure the age 70 income first, and work backwards to find the "optimum" tax deferred withdrawals. You have a pension of $48,000 and SS of $38,000 starting at 66 1/2. You will also have an RMD starting t...
by ralph124cf
Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Regret Public School?
Replies: 75
Views: 5760

Re: Regret Public School?

When I lived in LA, both of my next door neighbors were public school teachers.

They sent their kids to a private school.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aeroseal for Duct work
Replies: 13
Views: 1480

Re: Aeroseal for Duct work

If the ducts go thru an unheated attic or basement, a do it yourself seal may be worthwhile, a really expensive professional job may not be. If the ducts are totally in the conditioned envelope, then the heated or cooled air is "leaking" into the conditioned space, just not right where you want it. ...
by ralph124cf
Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA Asset Allocation
Replies: 6
Views: 481

Re: Roth IRA Asset Allocation

At your age and current income, I would recommend contributing max to ROTH, and delaying some loan repayment. As your income increases, you may lose the ability to access ROTH, and tax deferred accounts will be more useful.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions About Simulating Homemade Chicken Stock
Replies: 28
Views: 1701

Re: Suggestions About Simulating Homemade Chicken Stock

Trader Joe's Organic Chicken Stock. Buying & using it would take less time than writing your post, which, by the way, belongs in a cooking forum. I second the suggestion to start with Trader Joes Chicken Stock. It is one of the very few commercial chicken stocks that does not have any MSG. Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furniture sliders
Replies: 17
Views: 1231

Re: Furniture sliders

Rubber floor protectors when the furniture is sitting, carpeted furniture movers for moving. Do not use the Teflon sliders on a hardwood floor due to scratches from tiny pieces of grit that can get trapped between the floor and the Teflon, and then will embed in the Teflon forevermore. The Teflon on...
by ralph124cf
Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Dump a Pile of Money on Young Son?
Replies: 157
Views: 13687

Re: Should I Dump a Pile of Money on Young Son?

Does money always change everybody? No, but compare the secretary who accumulates millions over time to the typical lottery winner. Or, compare the secretary who accumulates millions over time to the typical lottery PLAYER. The typical lottery player will never accumulate millions over time, and th...
by ralph124cf
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my umbrella policy over priced?
Replies: 20
Views: 1727

Re: Is my umbrella policy over priced?

Umbrella insurance is also very location dependent. Some states are very plaintiff friendly, and have records of very high liability awards.

Ralph