Search found 1867 matches

by ralph124cf
Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use 25k From Brokerage Account For Investment Property?
Replies: 27
Views: 1749

Re: Use 25k From Brokerage Account For Investment Property?

Most property management firms ask 10% of actual rental income. The firm you are asking about wants 15%. Why?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bargaining with Lenders--whom do I choose?
Replies: 8
Views: 875

Re: Bargaining with Lenders--whom do I choose?

Many lenders impose a lot of garbage fees knowing that customers get a mortgage very seldom, and are not really familiar with what the fees should be. An unknown lender MAY be more likely to be trying to screw you with fees to make up for the lower interest rate.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruises: How to Value Onboard Credit
Replies: 29
Views: 1484

Re: Cruises: How to Value Onboard Credit

Option B would definitely win for me. Will you be buying trip cancellation insurance? Frequently there are breakpoints every thousand or five hundred dollars, so you could save a significant amount if you are already planning to buy the insurance. If not buying the insurance, and you must cancel, th...
by ralph124cf
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mini Air Compressor
Replies: 22
Views: 1515

Re: Mini Air Compressor

If you are only using it occasionally to blow off leaves or inflate things then almost any compressor will work OK. I would second the recommendation for a simple pancake compressor. I had one made my Porter-Cable and it served me well for years. You can still buy them or simular models at Home Dep...
by ralph124cf
Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 20 years old house - budgeting for maintenance
Replies: 18
Views: 1983

Re: 20 years old house - budgeting for maintenance

Generally the skylights would be considered part of the roof system, and thus the responsibility of the association. If all the townhouses have skylights, it is no financial difference to have the individual owners replace them. Generally, associations want to maintain a uniform exterior look. Gener...
by ralph124cf
Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is fallen tree my responsibility or town's?
Replies: 10
Views: 1467

Re: Is fallen tree my responsibility or town's?

Regardless, i would contact my homeowners’ insurance, and get the cleanup going. If it turns out that the town is responsible, let the insurance company try to get reimbursed. This is not a large enough cost to warrant contacting the homeowner's insurance. Doing that could open up the OP to other i...
by ralph124cf
Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of Dental Implant
Replies: 81
Views: 8651

Re: Cost of Dental Implant

One variable that has been mentioned, but not emphasized, here is the bone graft. If you do not need a bone graft the cost will be substantially less and the total time for the procedure may be shortened by several months. This, of course, is not something that you can self diagnose, and is also som...
by ralph124cf
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Permanent DINK couples - Considerations, thoughts, etc?
Replies: 40
Views: 4432

Re: Permanent DINK couples - Considerations, thoughts, etc?

The real decisions come farther down the road. What will you do when you are no longer competent to manage your own financial affairs? If there is no competent relative around whom you trust, you may be left with a high cost bank trust department or something similar. There are many threads on here ...
by ralph124cf
Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LLC for rental property?
Replies: 20
Views: 1439

Re: LLC for rental property?

Yes, SE tax is due, even on sole proprietorships. It is automatically calculated if you plug your info into Turbo Tax, etc. This might be true for single member LLCs. It is not true for multi-member LLCs unless the members actually take a salary for services performed or actively manage the LLC's o...
by ralph124cf
Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sale of home; depreciation; unrealized passive losses; taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 493

Re: Sale of home; depreciation; unrealized passive losses; taxes

It is time to hire a tax professional.

All the good ones are fully booked until tax day, so you don't have time to do it for this year, so file for an extension. Find somebody after May first.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BP PLC Dividend Vanguard Brokerage Account
Replies: 12
Views: 601

Re: BP PLC Dividend Vanguard Brokerage Account

My Schwab account shows that the BP dividend was received 3/29/2018.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NC State Taxes for remote worker
Replies: 9
Views: 573

Re: NC State Taxes for remote worker

Remote workers are a very new thing (to state tax law writers), so the law has not yet caught up to reality. I would do whatever worked best for me, and let the state(s) send me a letter if they disagree. At most you will be out a tiny bit of interest for underpayment. It is always possible that bot...
by ralph124cf
Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tired of gas grills rusting out...
Replies: 54
Views: 4049

Re: Tired of gas grills rusting out...

I bought my large Weber propane grill 15 years ago at a garage sale for $75. I do not know how old it, but it is still going strong. No cover, currently snow covered.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care options - FPO at what age
Replies: 5
Views: 644

Re: Long term care options - FPO at what age

If you are sort of on the edge of being able to self insure, then you have enough to fund the first year of Long Term Care. Taking a one year elimination period dramatically reduces the premium for long term care.

In my mind, "winning" at LTC insurance means never collecting a dime.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Seven-Year Investor Old Beats Harvard’s Endowment Fund
Replies: 21
Views: 2771

Re: Seven-Year Investor Old Beats Harvard’s Endowment Fund

How would they have done against the best of 100 monkeys throwing darts?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should we take income from our tax-deferred acct first?
Replies: 7
Views: 831

Re: Should we take income from our tax-deferred acct first?

The equation involving SS, RMDs, capital gains, AGI, MAGI, taxable income, income taxes, and Medicare IRMAA charges has many moving parts, all of which need to be considered at the same time. In general, the lowest lifetime tax is obtained by maintaining a constant taxable income, possibly inflation...
by ralph124cf
Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GE Microwave Weird Issue
Replies: 22
Views: 1827

Re: GE Microwave Weird Issue

I know that this is not responsive to your question, but the heat and steam found over a range are really bad for electronic items such as vacuum tubes and computers, and microwave ovens have both. If you can possibly find room on a countertop, this is a much better place for a microwave.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $35/month for washer dryer rental?
Replies: 37
Views: 2889

Re: $35/month for washer dryer rental?

One thing that has not been mentioned is a washer leak. If your rental washer leaks, then the damage is the landlords problem. If your washer leaks, then any damages to units below yours, are your problem. Make sure you have good insurance.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term care should I lengthen my elimination. period
Replies: 10
Views: 747

Re: Long-term care should I lengthen my elimination. period

We bought LTC insurance about six years ago. No rate hikes yet.

We opted for 1 year elimination period. This roughly halved the premium versus a 90 day elimination period.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciphering USAA Auto Policy (or any auto policy for that matter). Need help.
Replies: 7
Views: 804

Re: Deciphering USAA Auto Policy (or any auto policy for that matter). Need help.

Addressing the Umbrella issue (only). You do not need an actual "Homeowners" policy, you need a personal liability policy. This is easiest to get from a Homeowners policy or a Renters policy. That said, USAA gets to make its own rules about who they will sell Umbrella insurance to, and one of those ...
by ralph124cf
Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: USAA- limited options for investments w/ high ER's, but I still feel loyal. Help!
Replies: 43
Views: 2141

Re: USAA- limited options for investments w/ high ER's, but I still feel loyal. Help!

You can buy pretty much any stock, bond, mutual fund, or ETF traded on any US stock exchange in your USAA IRA. You are in no way limited to USAA funds.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Simple investment plan for 80 yr old in assisted living?
Replies: 12
Views: 1359

Re: Simple investment plan for 80 yr old in assisted living?

I'm dealing with a parent who is being kicked out of his assisted living facility due to being too much of a fall risk. Make sure to set a plan for getting into the nursing home of your choice before the time comes. Sometimes that requires a couple years of private pay first. The assisted living wi...
by ralph124cf
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Job Expenses for contract job. Should I take W2 or 1099
Replies: 24
Views: 1314

Re: Job Expenses for contract job. Should I take W2 or 1099

Note that the IRS is still writing the tax rules to comply with the new tax law. What the 2018 tax law actually means with respect to business expenses may not be settled until 2019 or 2020, after a few court cases.

Good luck on guessing right.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keep Dad's Annuity or Transfer
Replies: 4
Views: 514

Re: Keep Dad's Annuity or Transfer

I agree that 3% is a reasonable short term return, but check to be sure that the return is not BEFORE fees/expenses. These could seriously erode the returns.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Advice Rental Property -- Rent not covering PITI
Replies: 18
Views: 1636

Re: Need Advice Rental Property -- Rent not covering PITI

Since you are now in the rental business, your mortgage interest no longer flows to Schedule A on your 1040 tax return. The mortgage interest now goes on Schedule E, and this may limit, or eliminate, current deductibility of your mortgage interest. If your AGI is now more than $150,000 then you will...
by ralph124cf
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are dental/vision premiums deductible for an independent contractor?
Replies: 3
Views: 404

Re: Are dental/vision premiums deductible for an independent contractor?

These premiums are deductible as medical expenses with the same limitations as other medical expenses, i.e. to the extent that they exceed 7.5% of your AGI.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: unable to claim Sch E loss for rental. 8582 limitation
Replies: 10
Views: 783

Re: unable to claim Sch E loss for rental. 8582 limitation

The losses are suspended until you: 1) Have rental income to offset them with, or 2) You sell the property, or 3) Your AGI is low enough in a future year to take the loss. Note: The $150,000 AGI limit for rental losses has not been changed in at least 20 years. Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Huge special assessment on Condo?
Replies: 60
Views: 5937

Re: Huge special assessment on Condo?

Run, don't walk away from this. 40% rented units is a recipe for disaster. This is the problem we're having in my 15 unit condo building. I'm HOA president, purely because nobody else would do it. When we purchased in Dec 2015, the building was 100% owner occupied, albeit 3 of the owners were part ...
by ralph124cf
Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Tax of Income for Non-Resident
Replies: 3
Views: 489

Re: California Tax of Income for Non-Resident

California is grasping and greedy.

They may intimidate a California company into withholding tax that you do not owe. Good luck getting it back.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift from parents
Replies: 5
Views: 1419

Re: Gift from parents

Depending on what foreign currency you are talking about, US banks are incompetent/greedy. I have seen rates from 5% to as much as 30% for the conversion. Most US banks won't even quote a firm rate, they will make you deposit the money and send it in for conversion at their main office. Generally fo...
by ralph124cf
Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing vanities?
Replies: 21
Views: 1867

Re: Replacing vanities?

Save yourself time and money on the NEXT repair job. Replace all shutoff valves that you work on with new high quality 1/4 turn shut off valves and braided stainless steel supply hoses.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TAX strategies for 1099/LLC, S Corp Formation?
Replies: 3
Views: 362

Re: TAX strategies for 1099/LLC, S Corp Formation?

I have had an S Corp in California. The cost and hassle that California imposes on business owners makes it not worth the bother of incorporating.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help with retired family member’s investments
Replies: 7
Views: 887

Re: Please help with retired family member’s investments

Since he owns individual bonds, what are they? What is the credit rating, interest rate, and maturity date? What is their current value?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying pension credit: Should I use pre or post tax dollars?
Replies: 20
Views: 1305

Re: Buying pension credit: Should I use pre or post tax dollars?

An argument against using post tax money is that the tax exempt portion is small each year, and a pain to keep track of at tax time. Yes, it shows on the 1099-P, but it causes a couple of extra steps that I wish I could avoid. DW gets eight 1099-Ps from TIAA, and six of them show small amounts as ta...
by ralph124cf
Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "FREE" Employer Group Life - Really Costs You !
Replies: 52
Views: 4253

Re: "FREE" Employer Group Life - Really Costs You !

There are many medical conditions that would make life insurance cost prohibitive on the open market. This is a good argument for keeping the employer life insurance until you reach FI.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax reform SALT affecting in Bay Area?
Replies: 67
Views: 9240

Re: Tax reform SALT affecting in Bay Area?

For most people in VHCOL areas, especially California, the State and local income taxes substantially outweigh the property taxes. Interest on the first $750k? of mortgage is still deductible. For these reasons I don't think that property prices will be much affected by the new tax law in these VHCO...
by ralph124cf
Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is the RMD required prior to IRA rollover?
Replies: 8
Views: 739

Re: Is the RMD required prior to IRA rollover?

You said that TIAA told you that the process had to be initiated from their end. This is simply not true.

I think they got confused because they mostly deal with 401 (a)s and (k)s, and 403 (b)s.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Office furniture/Conference table etc
Replies: 4
Views: 354

Re: Office furniture/Conference table etc

Big cities frequently have really big used office furniture stores. A bank or a large law firm may be relocating and simply buy new furniture rather than move what they have. The quality ranges from huge beautiful mahogany desks from a law partner's office to absolute junk. The discounts from the ne...
by ralph124cf
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots
Replies: 14
Views: 766

Re: Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots

I believe that you have correctly diagnosed the problem: The builder scraped the topsoil and left a hilly backyard. This can be fixed with large amounts of money, or smaller amounts of money and large amounts of hard work, probably on an ongoing basis. You don't sound too interested in either option...
by ralph124cf
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay cash or get mortgage for 2nd home?
Replies: 11
Views: 913

Re: Pay cash or get mortgage for 2nd home?

A low interest fixed rate mortgage is an inflation hedge. Do you have other inflation hedges? TIPs are an explicit inflation hedge, a stock heavy asset allocation or rental properties are implicit inflation hedges (no guarantees). Do you want or need additional inflation protection? If you have a bo...
by ralph124cf
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House rewiring - cost of copper
Replies: 29
Views: 2076

Re: House rewiring - cost of copper

Depending on your local building codes, Romex may not be legal, and conduit, either thinwall or flex, may be required. Do you have conduit now? If you do, pulling new wire will be very easy, with the problems occurring at junction boxes. For a single story house, especially if you currently have kno...
by ralph124cf
Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone move/relocate with a large woodshop and wood inventory?
Replies: 8
Views: 995

Re: Anyone move/relocate with a large woodshop and wood inventory?

When I look around my workshop, I can identify two tools that I was absolutely convinced I needed, but I have used maybe twice in the past ten years. I bet that you can look around your workshop and see the same thing. Sell these tools, even if you have to take a bath on the price. How far are you m...
by ralph124cf
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: condo rental and emotional support animals issues
Replies: 24
Views: 3158

Re: condo rental and emotional support animals issues

In my state, the ESA does not need any documentation, the person does. They need a statement from a licensed mental health professional that the animal is needed for the persons emotional/mental health or stability. While it is true that some people will doctor shop to get somebody who will put thei...
by ralph124cf
Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What home related expenses do I need to think of?
Replies: 16
Views: 935

Re: What home related expenses do I need to think of?

Builders will typically put in the cheapest possible roof, plumbing, electrical system, pool, elevators, and HVAC systems possible. Expect to have to upgrade these systems, at the condo's expense (think assessment increase) within a relatively few years. Builders typically form a new corporation for...
by ralph124cf
Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping Mother-in-law: any potential for $ win-win?
Replies: 5
Views: 1176

Re: Helping Mother-in-law: any potential for $ win-win?

If you buy out her brothers interest in the house, what will you do with your share? Is the house set up with separate living quarters such that it would be convenient to rent out half of the house? Would your MOL welcome a housemate? Is the only possible tenant for your share your MOL? Would she be...
by ralph124cf
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping Mother-in-law: any potential for $ win-win?
Replies: 5
Views: 1176

Re: Helping Mother-in-law: any potential for $ win-win?

What is the current ownership structure? Joint tenants, tenants in common, partnership, LLC?

Would you plan to move in?

Would you plan to buy half of the house, the whole thing, or rent from her brother?

Will MOL continue to live there?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fixed Income is an Appropriate Term
Replies: 8
Views: 1381

Re: Fixed Income is an Appropriate Term

Hi PJW. I understand your explanation of YTM, however the sticking point seems to be in determining market value. This is easy for frequently traded issues such as T-Bonds and Notes, but for thinly traded, lower credit quality corporates and municipals it seems to present a problem. There frequently...
by ralph124cf
Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why pay off the mortgage with life insurance?
Replies: 6
Views: 691

Re: Why pay off the mortgage with life insurance?

Paying off the mortgage makes it easier for a family to stay in place. Up till this new tax law, the mortgage interest deduction was quite important, but with much less taxable income, the deduction would be less valuable. It would make sense for a family that has a reduced taxable income, but a pil...
by ralph124cf
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best plants to grow to save money for food costs
Replies: 93
Views: 5264

Re: Best plants to grow to save money for food costs

Thanks for the suggestions! Most plants grow in nature without any extra care, right? They get water if it rains, and none if it doesn't. No human ever touches the majority of plants and yet they survive. I guess I had a fantasy of just planting things and leaving them alone, for the most part, apa...
by ralph124cf
Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why not just do CDs and skip bonds?
Replies: 38
Views: 7904

Re: Why not just do CDs and skip bonds?

The generic term "bonds" as used on this board generally includes all fixed income assets, that is savings accounts, CDs, individual bonds, bond funds, and TIPs.

Ralph