Search found 2338 matches

by ralph124cf
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kindle/Paperwhite -E Reader
Replies: 19
Views: 1290

Re: Kindle/Paperwhite -E Reader

I have the newest generation paperwhite. I don't like it as much as the last generation. There is no "lip" between the screen and the margin. This leads to inadvertent page changes.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How often should someone rebalance?
Replies: 43
Views: 3054

Re: How often should someone rebalance?

My IPS states 60/40, and 10% rebalance bands.

I allow stocks to go up to 70%, or down to 50% before doing anything.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How bad business travel is?
Replies: 61
Views: 4654

Re: How bad business travel is?

I have always had a job that required 100% travel, and I generally enjoyed it. Some tips: Even for a one day trip, pack for an overnight. It sounds like you will be mostly going to one particular city. Most good hotels will let you leave a suitcase with the bell desk, and you can pick it up the next...
by ralph124cf
Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Extra cost to become an S-corp vs sole proprietorship?
Replies: 7
Views: 505

Re: Extra cost to become an S-corp vs sole proprietorship?

Reference California: If I remember correctly, Los Angeles has a 1% tax on gross receipts (not net income) of S Corps. A very unfriendly place for businesses.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Crazy? S-corp renting your own property tax-free for 14 days?
Replies: 12
Views: 894

Re: Crazy? S-corp renting your own property tax-free for 14 days?

It is true that renting out your property for 14 days or less is tax free income.

However, in that case no rental deductions for expenses are allowed, so that savings goes away.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help me pull the trigger on rolling over two TIAA Retirement Accounts to Vanguard Rollover IRA
Replies: 23
Views: 1191

Re: Help me pull the trigger on rolling over two TIAA Retirement Accounts to Vanguard Rollover IRA

You mentioned the TREA ER of 0.83%. While true, it is in no way an apples to apples comparison with a REIT fund ER. TREA owns and manages the properties, while a REIT fund owns stock in various REIT companies. The expenses in the TREA ER are the expenses of buying and managing the properties. The sa...
by ralph124cf
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legally employing a personal assistant?
Replies: 44
Views: 2689

Re: Legally employing a personal assistant?

... There are many hoops to jump thru to show that somebody is an independent contractor rather than an employee. The IRS judges by the preponderance of the evidence. It may be best to ask this person to incorporate her business either as an S Corp or an LLC. This will depend on the state that you ...
by ralph124cf
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying a contractor in cash
Replies: 48
Views: 1594

Re: Paying a contractor in cash

In southern California, ALMOST all of the subcontractors will be using illegal aliens as day labor, and these laborers expect to be paid in cash each day that they work.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legally employing a personal assistant?
Replies: 44
Views: 2689

Re: Legally employing a personal assistant?

Just hire them as a contractor/virtual assistant and pay them directly. They're in business for themselves so it gets you out of all the employer hassles. You're hiring their business not them. There are many hoops to jump thru to show that somebody is an independent contractor rather than an emplo...
by ralph124cf
Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big IRA accounts
Replies: 97
Views: 15198

Re: Big IRA accounts

This is a side thought. How do you get $4 million in Traditional IRAs? Even with starting when the Traditional IRA started and 401k started, hitting maxes, generous matches, 100% stocks how do you get $4 million. Would it have to be a company stock of Apple or Alphabet or some scenario where you in...
by ralph124cf
Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Question
Replies: 19
Views: 1754

Re: Pension Question

Thank you for all the replies! So far, the advice mostly sounds in favor of buying the time. To answer a few of the questions: I am married and in Illinois, once you retire, the benefits are the same for the spouse even if I pass away. To me, that makes even more sense to purchase it, since only my...
by ralph124cf
Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PBGC and GE Pension Question
Replies: 7
Views: 810

Re: PBGC and GE Pension Question

I am collecting a PBGC pension now based on a previously bankrupt employer. PBGC has an interesting payout policy, in that the longer you wait to collect the bigger the pension check grows. I chose to wait until age 70, and my pension increased very significantly form what it would have been at 60. ...
by ralph124cf
Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: aapl stock, trailing stop, wwyd?
Replies: 10
Views: 1155

Re: aapl stock, trailing stop, wwyd?

I only use trailing stops when I actually want to sell a stock, for whatever reason. I then tend to set the trailing stop pretty tight, which allows the stock to rise, but I accept that I will get stopped out with normal fluctuation. I disagree with the person that says to take profits with a 20-25%...
by ralph124cf
Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth/Traditional Allocation Question
Replies: 37
Views: 1443

Re: Roth/Traditional Allocation Question

Historically, at your income, your marginal federal tax rate is lower than at any time in the last 100 years. Current law says that rates will go up in three or four years. This favors the ROTH now, and switching to traditional when your tax rates go up. This forum does not allow us to speculate in ...
by ralph124cf
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance $120k student loans before or after marriage?
Replies: 32
Views: 1851

Re: Refinance $120k student loans before or after marriage?

It is my understanding that if you co-sign her student loan refi, then you are on the hook if she dies with the loans unpaid. This is another one of those low probability, but very high cost events that Bogleheads often disagree on how to handle. It is not a risk I’d take. But on both sides of my e...
by ralph124cf
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Fires: Landlord/Tenant Question
Replies: 71
Views: 4118

Re: California Fires: Landlord/Tenant Question

My understanding is that the landlord is required to provide a means to heat the dwelling. This landlord chose an electric heater. This is the cheapest for the landlord, and the most expensive for the tenant. If this was a gas forced air furnace, it could be powered with a low wattage inverter gener...
by ralph124cf
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New high income earner
Replies: 39
Views: 4686

Re: New high income earner

Depending on where in California your family lives you could live in northern or southern Nevada and be relatively close to them while benefiting from living in a no income tax state. You can fly almost anywhere from Vegas relatively cheaply. I was thinking the same thing. No state income tax. If y...
by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quick, Efficient Way to Make a QCD from a Vanguard IRA when 70.5
Replies: 30
Views: 4103

Re: Quick, Efficient Way to Make a QCD from a Vanguard IRA when 70.5

Does anybody have similar step by step instructions for Schwab and Fidelity?

Thanks,

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Universal Life Policy Help
Replies: 15
Views: 897

Re: Universal Life Policy Help

That 4% interest rate on the money on deposit is more than you can get on any other safe investment. You can deposit more money to earn that interest rate. There is a limit, but I am not sure what it is. Then cut your Universal Life policy benefit (and cost) drastically, perhaps to a new value of $1...
by ralph124cf
Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New high income earner
Replies: 39
Views: 4686

Re: New high income earner

State of Residence: AZ , will move to CA in the next 5 years Question 2: Is a whole life, knowing all the problems it has, work in a situation like mine where I have a high income but would like to have some 'protection' for my cash? Move to California? Why? I’m sure you have good reasons, but you’...
by ralph124cf
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turned down for umbrella insurance due to freelance work
Replies: 16
Views: 1524

Re: Turned down for umbrella insurance due to freelance work

Depending on your state tax laws and reporting requirements, you may want to consider an LLC or an S-Corp. Then the business buys the liability insurance, from a professional organization if possible.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is S Corp better than sole proprietor?
Replies: 87
Views: 3567

Re: When is S Corp better than sole proprietor?

Do you do actual work to earn this 1099 money? How many hours per year? If less than 500 hours; you may be able to use an LLC and have the money come through with zero SE taxes. If you work too much on it; then set up an LLC and make your wife the owner which then the money will pass through with z...
by ralph124cf
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Insurance Policies - Maintain or ?
Replies: 22
Views: 1228

Re: Child Insurance Policies - Maintain or ?

There may be no option to take the cash value of the insurance policies. That option is only available to the owner of the policies, which is likely the relative who bought the policies. My own mother bought me one of these policies when I was ten. When I was twenty two, she told me I needed to take...
by ralph124cf
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is S Corp better than sole proprietor?
Replies: 87
Views: 3567

Re: When is S Corp better than sole proprietor?

Not mentioned so far is the possibility of setting up a defined benefit plan for the S-Corp. You can shovel large amounts into a defined benefit plan saving much tax by reducing income. Only really worthwhile if you believe that you will be in a lower tax bracket in retirement. The primary benefits ...
by ralph124cf
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: QCDs in first year of RMDs
Replies: 10
Views: 855

Re: QCDs in first year of RMDs

Simplify your life. After QCDs, take the remainder of your RMD this year and avoid the pain in the neck and extra paperwork.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How buying corporate bonds work
Replies: 5
Views: 724

Re: How buying corporate bonds work

That 110 means 110% of the face value of the bond. Likely an older, higher interest rate bond, so people may be willing to pay more. A problem to watch for is that the company may "call" the bond, possibly at a premium or after a certain number of years. Then you may get back less than you paid for ...
by ralph124cf
Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experiences (good/bad) with EasyJet for EU travel?
Replies: 24
Views: 1658

Re: Any experiences (good/bad) with EasyJet for EU travel?

Another thing to consider: If you depart from England less than 24 hours from the time you arrived, then you will be eligible for a refund of the LHR departure tax. This tax is surprisingly hefty. Save your ticket stubs for your return flights to prove this once you get home. You cannot apply for t...
by ralph124cf
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord Question
Replies: 16
Views: 2201

Re: Landlord Question

A good tenant is golden. I typically do not raise rents for good tenants. The frictional costs of finding a good new tenant are usually at least one months vacancy plus redecorating costs such as paint and possibly new carpet if the old one has been there five or more years, plus real estate agent f...
by ralph124cf
Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Really Large Battery Brands Fungible?
Replies: 29
Views: 3299

Re: Are Really Large Battery Brands Fungible?

Do this Immediately.

Check to see if your battery charger is plugged into the same circuit as your main sump pump. If so, get an electrician to install a separate circuit. This will eliminate one single-point failure mode of a circuit breaker tripping when you are out of town.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experiences (good/bad) with EasyJet for EU travel?
Replies: 24
Views: 1658

Re: Any experiences (good/bad) with EasyJet for EU travel?

British Airways also flies multiple times a day to Vienna from LHR. The seats are fractionally roomier. I consider BA to be a better airline than Easy Jet. Another thing to consider: If you depart from England less than 24 hours from the time you arrived, then you will be eligible for a refund of th...
by ralph124cf
Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fixed Income In Retirement
Replies: 17
Views: 1890

Re: Fixed Income In Retirement

My local B&M bank pays 2% on money market accounts with at least $100K. I can't get that at my Schwab, Fidelity, USAA or Vanguard accounts, or any short term bond fund that is investment grade.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Equity in S-Corp
Replies: 7
Views: 575

Re: Equity in S-Corp

The value of the shares INCLUDES the retained earnings.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SPIA and your health
Replies: 25
Views: 2417

Re: SPIA and your health

There is an additional benefit to an SPIA which has not yet been mentioned in this thread.

At some point we will all become unable to manage our investments. With the SPIA you will have a monthly income and not blow your life savings on the next Amazon that the Ed Jones salesman peddles.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff
Replies: 42
Views: 6227

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

+1 on asking at the front desk, often mini bars have built in sensors which trigger when you remove an item. In that case if you move it you buy it. The easiest thing to do is to ask the front desk to remove the hotel items so that you can use the fridge for your own things. I have done this many t...
by ralph124cf
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA’s odd contribution question
Replies: 13
Views: 1044

Re: Roth IRA’s odd contribution question

It is your gross earned income of $28k that supports the contribution to the Roth IRA not that those dollars actually are used or taxed on your return. You can absolutely contribute to Roth from your savings to the full $7k each if you wish. Cheers I believe that this is incorrect. There is a basic...
by ralph124cf
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Safety first in retirement distribution
Replies: 13
Views: 1568

Re: Safety first in retirement distribution

ExitStageLeft wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:01 pm
I think you have all your bases covered. Happy spending!
+1
by ralph124cf
Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: SPIA, RMD and Federal Tax
Replies: 15
Views: 1358

Re: SPIA, RMD and Federal Tax

Not 100% sure but I think each payment includes a return of premium that is nontaxable and the rest of the payment is taxed as ordinary income. If you purchase an annuity with AFTER TAX money, then the above is true. If you purchase an annuity with TAX DEFERRED money, such as inside an IRA, then th...
by ralph124cf
Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Luxury condo
Replies: 56
Views: 4866

Re: Luxury condo

That HOA assessment would stop me. What are you getting for that much money?

Try to get association financial data for the last few years to try to judge how the board is managing the associations money. Sometimes a management company runs wild with the association's checkbook.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS retirement payment of Medicare premiums
Replies: 9
Views: 1017

Re: SS retirement payment of Medicare premiums

The local first line SS and Medicare people frequently get things messed up, but auditors will eventually straighten it out. It may take months, or a few years, but they do get it figured out.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the Foreign Tax Credit worth it?
Replies: 16
Views: 2005

Re: Is the Foreign Tax Credit worth it?

If you have foreign dividends in taxable, then CLAIMING the foreign tax credit is 100% worthwhile. Otherwise you end up double taxed on the dividends. If you are having your taxes done by a CPA instead of doing them yourself, then paying for his time for filling out the form may outweigh the savings...
by ralph124cf
Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lend my car or pay for rental?
Replies: 16
Views: 1753

Re: Lend my car or pay for rental?

Consider renting yourself a car you would not normally drive, perhaps a sports car, hybrid, or electric vehicle. It will cost more than renting an econobox, but could be a lot of fun.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Index Funds are bad because in tough times traders sell a lot?
Replies: 30
Views: 2595

Re: Index Funds are bad because in tough times traders sell a lot?

This friend sounds like a "financial adviser" (snake oil salesman), or has fallen under the spell of one.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AA measured in years, not percentages.
Replies: 30
Views: 1709

Re: AA measured in years, not percentages.

Any system works. Until it doesn't.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair or replace a bathroom sink
Replies: 20
Views: 1384

Re: Repair or replace a bathroom sink

House cleaners do not make much. Having good ones are a joy. Eat the (minor) expense of replacement.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: So, Wow [AA change after divorce]
Replies: 84
Views: 10860

Re: So, Wow [AA change after divorce]

That does remind me of a good idea though. I should be doing IRA conversions from regular to Roth to the top of the 24% bracket, since I will need to draw RMD in a much higher bracket once I inherit them. That would also give more income to apply the medical deduction against. Roth conversion is a ...
by ralph124cf
Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA Conversion
Replies: 29
Views: 1902

Re: Roth IRA Conversion

Two items. First, the five year clock starts running when you establish your first ROTH. The clock does not restart every time that you add money. Second, you do not have to wait until 59.5 to start converting pre-tax to ROTH, you can do so earlier with no penalty, although you will always owe the f...
by ralph124cf
Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Lynch Advisor wants to meet for coffee
Replies: 108
Views: 9505

Re: Merrill Lynch Advisor wants to meet for coffee

Hi Saver.

As you may have noticed financial advisers are held in (deservedly) very low esteem on this board.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: So, Wow [AA change after divorce]
Replies: 84
Views: 10860

Re: So, Wow [AA change after divorce]

Can you deduct your mother's medical expenses on your taxes? I'm not sure of the law on this. Is she claimed as a dependent? If you do not get the deduction your mother should be paying her own expenses until she spends down very significantly. Selling her house in the North East may be a tax free e...
by ralph124cf
Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Detached garage: Prefabricated vs custom?
Replies: 6
Views: 713

Re: Detached garage: Prefabricated vs custom?

I would urge you to go bigger if you have the property. Consider a two story building. Think about HVAC and water and sewer lines.

It is definitely time to call a contractor.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DFW to Tasmania - 15 hour time change
Replies: 51
Views: 3085

Re: DFW to Tasmania - 15 hour time change

You mention the 15 hour time change, but the big thing I look at is the likely minimum 26 hour day that you will have from the time you leave for the airport until you get to your hotel.

Ralph