Search found 2025 matches

by ralph124cf
Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fuel for snowblower
Replies: 32
Views: 1820

Re: fuel for snowblower

My small engine mechanic, as well as some of my equipment owners manuals, says always to use 93 octane fuel for air cooled engines; my personal preference is top tier Shell V-Power. Additionally, I use Stabil and Startron to extend the shelf life of the gasoline. Has proven to work well for many ye...
by ralph124cf
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio for 87yo widowed Mom.
Replies: 13
Views: 992

Re: Portfolio for 87yo widowed Mom.

$1,800 per month for income taxes sounds excessive for the stated income. Please recheck.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best strategy basement mold
Replies: 27
Views: 2284

Re: Best strategy basement mold

I would like to suggest ceramic or porcelain tile set in mortar instead of vinyl. Mortar gets harder with moisture, vinyl adhesive fails with excessive moisture. If you have a minor flood, the floor will not be harmed if set in mortar.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Optimizing ROTH conversion calculation
Replies: 5
Views: 361

Re: Optimizing ROTH conversion calculation

I have been toying with the idea of substantially increasing the ROTH conversion to $180K-200K and accepting the one year Medicare hit so that we stay under that cliff for a few more years. This would also incur Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT). You could enter your situation into the personal fina...
by ralph124cf
Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's the 'safest' decision?
Replies: 6
Views: 617

Re: What's the 'safest' decision?

This could get interesting depending on how you hold title to the rental property, and how you use the property in your business. Are you a corporation (Sub S or LLC) or a sole proprietor? Is this rented to others as well as you using it? Do you file Schedule E and or C? OK, those tax forms refer to...
by ralph124cf
Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Optimizing ROTH conversion calculation
Replies: 5
Views: 361

Optimizing ROTH conversion calculation

DW and I both turn 70.5 in 2019, and will be starting RMDs. Looking at all sources of income for 2019, TIAA-CREF annuity $30K, PBGC pension $60K, SS $75K combined, Misc. interest and dividends $5K, DWs expected small business income of $40K, and figuring RMD of $111K based on todays total in tax def...
by ralph124cf
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to splurge. MB E class, BMW 5 or Audi 6?
Replies: 70
Views: 5958

Re: Time to splurge. MB E class, BMW 5 or Audi 6?

Consider the Genesis G 90 as an alternative to the Mercedes (not as an alternative to the other two cars).

The new 2018s are coming down in price, even though the 2019s are not out yet.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep a backup hot water heater?
Replies: 104
Views: 5610

Re: Keep a backup hot water heater?

I also have two water heaters. I have them plumbed in such a way that I can isolate either one if it leaks and continue to use the other one, until I can get a new one installed. If you do not have this plumbing capability, you sound capable of installing it yourself. It should cost less than $50 fo...
by ralph124cf
Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to stay to visit Yosemite
Replies: 12
Views: 1196

Re: Where to stay to visit Yosemite

Consider renting an RV. Rentals are between $100 - $1,000 per night depending on size and luxury. Check on where to camp/park first.

I have no recommendations on either.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Questions about 403b investment options
Replies: 10
Views: 539

Re: Questions about 403b investment options

I agree that Fidelity is a good choice. TIAA-CREF can also be a good choice if the college does not restrict your choice of investments thru TIAA-CREF. The TIAA real estate fund is well liked by many people on this board. Interestingly, TIAA charges different expense ratios on its funds depending on...
by ralph124cf
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To Quit or not to Quit
Replies: 14
Views: 2853

Re: To Quit or not to Quit

Work output will always be reduced during a pregnancy, especially if it is a difficult one. Stay at the old firm until the birth, using old firm benefits and FMLA or other maternity benefits. Take time off from old firm as needed. After everything has settled down after the birth, then go to new fir...
by ralph124cf
Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Highlander or Murano 2018 ..
Replies: 36
Views: 2354

Re: Highlander or Murano 2018 ..

I understand the Highlander may have higher resale and reliability but $2400 is a lot of money to make up. Also, the Highlander is a 2013 model to be redesigned in less than a year for the 2020 model, I'm more inclined to choose the Murano so I'm not driving an old car in 1 year. To me, this five y...
by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I Elect to Withhold Nothing From Paycheck?
Replies: 13
Views: 1787

Re: Can I Elect to Withhold Nothing From Paycheck?

You can eliminate the income tax withholding, but there is no way to eliminate SS or Medicare tax withholding for a W-2 employee.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How To Handle Auto Accident Insurance Company Letter
Replies: 29
Views: 3809

Re: How To Handle Auto Accident Insurance Company Letter

My DW was recently involved in an Auto Accident in New Jersey and the Other Driver was at fault. The Other driver's insurance company sent a letter asking her to contact them as soon as possible to possibly file bodily injury claim with them. Our question is whether we need to utilize a Personal In...
by ralph124cf
Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Monthly vs. Annual Withdrawals
Replies: 22
Views: 2220

Re: Monthly vs. Annual Withdrawals

An additional advantage to doing a single withdrawal at the end if the year is that you do not have to pay any federal income tax until the end of the year, and can keep that cash invested. You could legally just file your estimated tax for the fourth quarter claiming all the income in the fourth qu...
by ralph124cf
Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Monthly vs. Annual Withdrawals
Replies: 22
Views: 2220

Re: Monthly vs. Annual Withdrawals

I do annual rebalancing/withdrawals, usually at year end or the early new year, liquidating sufficient equity at that time from IRA (RMD) plus TSM from personal account to provide sufficient cash into my personal MMF to cover all anticipated living expenses for the upcoming year. In addition I keep...
by ralph124cf
Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Space needed small bathroom 1st floor?
Replies: 15
Views: 1347

Re: Space needed small bathroom 1st floor?

You may not be able to get the wheelchair compliant bath, but you may be able to make the half bath accessible for a walker. That will not take as much space.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Exotic Car Financing
Replies: 37
Views: 1672

Re: Exotic Car Financing

You are cool with a 1800/month car payment? That would totally freak me out and our household income is pretty darn high. Heck, I had a bit of a pucker factor when my mortgage was that high. We save about $7-8K/mo after retirement and expenses have been funded. Spending $1.8K for a toy is a signifi...
by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hedging tomorrow's tax rates
Replies: 32
Views: 2636

Re: Hedging tomorrow's tax rates

When trying to analyze a question like this, I like to examine the margins. SUPPOSE you have the earnings to contribute to either a tax deferred plan or a ROTH, BUT you do not have the cash to do so. Suppose you borrow $10,000 at 4% interest. You can use the money for ROTH, tax deferred, or a taxabl...
by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal taxes in retirement
Replies: 25
Views: 2459

Re: Federal taxes in retirement

You mentioned that 50% of your annuity was tax free. This is an unusually high percentage of tax free from an annuity, are you sure? Also, how long will that tax free portion continue? Generally the tax free portion only continues until the insurance company has paid you back (tax free) all of the t...
by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist "Service Fee" for Filing Insurance Claim?
Replies: 33
Views: 3233

Re: Dentist "Service Fee" for Filing Insurance Claim?

My dentist gives a 5% discount for payment by cash or check at time of service.

The foregone 5% could be seen as a service fee for filing insurance.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to recognize loss on $0.00 call option
Replies: 7
Views: 604

Re: How to recognize loss on $0.00 call option

Can you enter a "good till canceled" market order? If not, perhaps a .01 limit order, good till canceled.

Might fill, might not. There are lots of gamblers in the options market. Try it for a month, then try one of the other things mentioned here.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help: Potential car lease fraud?
Replies: 6
Views: 1214

Re: Help: Potential car lease fraud?

Somebody who fraudulently leased a car would not have been paying for it.

The car dealer just wants to get you in the door to sell or lease you something.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: independent advisor
Replies: 22
Views: 1847

Re: independent advisor

A CPA for $150/hr. is cheap. Will he also do your taxes at that rate?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term Care Insurance
Replies: 184
Views: 8772

Re: Long-term Care Insurance

Upon investigation, it seems that at least some states will allow an elimination period up to one year, but I can't find any longer than that. Someone here discussed why states don't allow longer periods, but I don't recall all of the specifics. I think it was something along the lines of preventin...
by ralph124cf
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term Care Insurance
Replies: 184
Views: 8772

Re: Long-term Care Insurance

My wife and I have LTCi policies with a one year elimination period. When shopping for policies this made a HUGE difference in the rates quoted. We also got a 40% discount for each of us, for both of us buying policies at the same time, even though she bought unlimited time with a 3% inflation ride...
by ralph124cf
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Fixed Income Allocation in Early Retirement
Replies: 7
Views: 1307

Re: Help with Fixed Income Allocation in Early Retirement

Overall I like your plan. I would agree that holding onto the stable value makes sense. Given the current interest rate environment and the fact that you are starting withdrawals, I would favor shorter term and intermediate term bond funds over total bond market. Since you would be the first in lin...
by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term Care Insurance
Replies: 184
Views: 8772

Re: Long-term Care Insurance

My wife and I have LTCi policies with a one year elimination period. When shopping for policies this made a HUGE difference in the rates quoted. We also got a 40% discount for each of us, for both of us buying policies at the same time, even though she bought unlimited time with a 3% inflation rider...
by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buyers commission on a condo purchase
Replies: 29
Views: 1823

Re: Buyers commission on a condo purchase

Everything, repeat everything, about a real estate purchase is negotiable, no matter what an agent tells you. In order to negotiate, you have to be willing to walk away.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not convinced with insurance
Replies: 45
Views: 3680

Re: Not convinced with insurance

The cheapest way to add additional liability insurance is to up your homeowners liability limits. You already have some amount of liability insurance thru your homeowners policy, upping the limits to $500k or so will be quite cheap.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint Home Owners - Property Tax and Mortgage Deductions
Replies: 9
Views: 1035

Re: Joint Home Owners - Property Tax and Mortgage Deductions

I think that this is too tangled for good advice from this forum. You need a tax and estate lawyer.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Do I need to file IRS Form 1116?]
Replies: 10
Views: 777

Re: [Do I need to file IRS Form 1116?]

I believe you can have up to $600 in credits for MFJ without needing to file Form 1116. This is perfectly true. My CPA/tax lawyer explained why he used 1116 for my return instead of simply entering a credit on my forms: (1) His five figure tax program could automatically spit out a form 1116, but j...
by ralph124cf
Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Determining capital gains?
Replies: 16
Views: 465

Re: Determining capital gains?

The problem is frequently tax lots.

If you have been reinvesting dividends, then you have different tax lots, some of which may be long term and some short term. Another complication is that with reinvested dividends some of the money has already been taxed.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint Home Owners - Property Tax and Mortgage Deductions
Replies: 9
Views: 1035

Re: Joint Home Owners - Property Tax and Mortgage Deductions

If you live in California, and have the income to support this new loan, you may not be able to deduct any of the property tax due to the new IRS $10,000 limitation on state and local tax deductions. The mortgage interest may or may not be deductible, but that would be an accountant question.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Formula for when to buy in bulk
Replies: 41
Views: 3325

Re: Formula for when to buy in bulk

Economic Order Quantity is a calculated value. see the link for details. https://www.dummies.com/business/accounting/cost-accounting-the-economic-order-quantity-formula/ This is an important concept, but this particular formula does not allow for quantity discounts, which is the point of this threa...
by ralph124cf
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions about age 66 to 70 Roth Conversions - up to 12% or 22% bracket
Replies: 12
Views: 879

Re: Opinions about age 66 to 70 Roth Conversions - up to 12% or 22% bracket

Look at your income from all sources after you start taking RMDs. Include SS, any pensions, and all IRA/401(k) income. Check where that would put you in terms of income tax and IRMAA penalty fees. If you are close to an income tax bracket or IRMAA cut point, see what you can do to get below that poi...
by ralph124cf
Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free dinner investing seminar
Replies: 396
Views: 36314

Re: free dinner investing seminar

I've been 2 2 of them. They pitch the full spectrum of investment and tax managed investing to estate planning with everything available including wills and trusts. The follow-up is higher pressure and of course, they are closing, or trying to, from the opening. You can expect a follow-up call a da...
by ralph124cf
Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consultant Advice: Commission - What to watch out for
Replies: 11
Views: 953

Re: Consultant Advice: Commission - What to watch out for

Some of these broker contracts are structured such that the consultant bills the broker at her normal rate, and then the broker adds her 35% and bills the client for that amount. Both the client and the consultant have contracts with the broker, but no contract with each other. These contracts norma...
by ralph124cf
Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Barron's Making the Case for Gold
Replies: 139
Views: 10817

Re: Barron's Making the Case for Gold

As a naive investor, I have a question: how does gold work as a hedge against purposeful rapid debasement of the USD? The last time the government decided to debase the currency overnight, they just confiscated all of everyone's gold, paid them in USD, and went ahead debasing the currency. Holding ...
by ralph124cf
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lump sum vs pension
Replies: 14
Views: 1512

Re: Lump sum vs pension

How old are you? Male or female?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Book or other resource for managing spending phase of investing
Replies: 6
Views: 789

Re: Book or other resource for managing spending phase of investing

"How to Make Your Money Last" by Jane Bryant Quinn +1, but there is no one plan that works for everyone. Is age 70.5 really the best age to begin SS if the funds utilized by waiting are coming out of a 70/30 stock/bond portfolio? The age is 70, not 70.5. (That, age 70.5, is the RMD and QCD number.)...
by ralph124cf
Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Shelving?
Replies: 31
Views: 3397

Re: Garage Shelving?

Check out globalindustrial.com. Super heavy duty shelving, some sizes available with wheel sets. A bit on the expensive side, but mine show no signs of wear after twenty years. Be careful of shipping charges. You may want to have them ship to a local warehouse, and pick up the parts in your own truc...
by ralph124cf
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed up with health insurance situation
Replies: 117
Views: 7484

Re: Fed up with health insurance situation

Sergio, Clearly, your description echoes the national sentiment. One thing you can take a little solace in: your premiums are run through your corporation (correct?). Consequently, at least you're paying premiums with pre-tax dollars. I realize that that is little solace but I can tell you that man...
by ralph124cf
Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to handle huge medicare/medicaid premium increases at age 65?
Replies: 19
Views: 3559

Re: How to handle huge medicare/medicaid premium increases at age 65?

This is in reference ONLY to establishing SS/Medicare eligibility.

If you hired her for your business, then the earnings test for four quarters would be met if she earned the four quarters total amount in the full year, so not limited to two quarters this year.


Ralph
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: 36
Views: 2590

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: 2147

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: 742

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: 364

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: 502

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: 2254

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