Search found 1704 matches

by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual Fuel Stoves
Replies: 4
Views: 219

Re: Dual Fuel Stoves

I have a gas cooktop/grill, with two separate electric ovens. Best of both worlds. If the cooktop dies I might replace it with an induction unit, but I really like the ability to grill indoors in winter weather.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Office wants to pay dentist as contractor (sub-s). Any issues?
Replies: 25
Views: 1548

Re: Office wants to pay dentist as contractor (sub-s). Any issues?

If your wife has her own sub-S corporation or LLC, then her corporation is getting the payments from the dental office. She is not getting paid by the dental office. She is a W-2 employee of her own corporation, not of the existing dental office that wishes to contract for her services. As far as th...
by ralph124cf
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on Pension Choice at Megacorp
Replies: 4
Views: 615

Re: Advice on Pension Choice at Megacorp

Since you already have a decent 401(k) balance, I would maintain the cash balance plan and consider it part of my fixed income investments. This may allow you to lean slightly more stock heavy in your 401(k).

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gas furnace
Replies: 6
Views: 372

Re: gas furnace

When you are designing a house from the start it is possible to place a furnace in the optimum place. For builders this means the cheapest place, even though it may not be the "best" design. For an existing house, the biggest expense of a furnace replacement may well be relocating duct work. I'm bet...
by ralph124cf
Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honest Contractor Reviews
Replies: 10
Views: 649

Honest Contractor Reviews

I am trying to get honest reviews about a paving contractor. There are a number of reviews from different sources on the web, but every one uses perfect grammar and spelling. And every one gives the contractor five stars. This is not normal for real reviews. Any sources that I might be missing? I ha...
by ralph124cf
Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life and invalidity insurance for HNW...
Replies: 5
Views: 623

Re: Life and invalidity insurance for HNW...

With the size of your taxable portfolio, your primary need is for liability and umbrella insurance to protect that portfolio. You have a large target on your forehead for lawyers. Disability insurance protects your earning power, but generally insurance companies will only sell you disability insura...
by ralph124cf
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Liability of phone conversations while my client is driving (and I am not in the car)?
Replies: 64
Views: 3866

Re: Liability of phone conversations while my client is driving (and I am not in the car)?

In my area talking on a hand held cell phone while driving is against the law, but hands free speakerphones are allowed. With regards to driving while distracted by talking itself, perhaps we need to prohibit police officers from talking on the radio while driving? Do we need to prohibit pilots from...
by ralph124cf
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Ever Jackhammered a Concrete Patio?
Replies: 27
Views: 1598

Re: Anyone Ever Jackhammered a Concrete Patio?

In my area, a Bobcat rents for about $300 a day, and a good operator will charge $30-50 per hour. With a hydraulic hammer and small bucket, this will make short work of the job, assuming not too much rebar. The smallest of these that I am familiar with is 48" wide, so you should have five feet of cl...
by ralph124cf
Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IRMAA, MAGI and ROTH Conversion
Replies: 4
Views: 386

Re: IRMAA, MAGI and ROTH Conversion

Depending on your individual circumstances, you MIGHT find that it may make sense to increase your conversion up to around $210,000, staying under the second tier at $214,000. You will pay the first tier of the IRMAA "success tax," and some of your income will be taxed at the 28% rate instead of the...
by ralph124cf
Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building additional garage - recommendations?
Replies: 26
Views: 1234

Re: Building additional garage - recommendations?

A previous poster mentioned multiple outlets. While this is important, it is also important to have multiple circuits. Many electric tools work just fine on a 20 amp 110 volt circuit, but if you try to start two or three of them at the same time, you can easily trip the circuit breaker. The easiest ...
by ralph124cf
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Payoff Rental or lower Primary Loan -> Mortgage Deduction Interest Question
Replies: 14
Views: 605

Re: Payoff Rental or lower Primary Loan -> Mortgage Deduction Interest Question

The question of which mortgage to apply the "spare" $200,000 to is dependent on the profitability of the rental. If the rental is profitable, then the mortgage interest is fully deductible from AGI. Assuming the OP has an AGI above $150,000, which seems likely given the housing costs and tax rates q...
by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Specific Question About Fidelity 401k Tax Withholding
Replies: 8
Views: 501

Re: Specific Question About Fidelity 401k Tax Withholding

I THINK that SS will withhold for state taxes, but I am not sure since my state does not tax SS income so I haven't paid attention.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial Calculations for Boglehead Presentation
Replies: 14
Views: 1513

Re: Financial Calculations for Boglehead Presentation

But, this is the classic calculation of tax-adjusted interest rates (your 2.25% goes to something like 1.6%), return on investments (can you get > 2.25% guaranteed? Remember, you have to tax adjust your investments, too!) and cash flow (what does my monthly budget consist of?) to determine whether ...
by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with unused paint?
Replies: 38
Views: 2337

Re: What to do with unused paint?

Paint stores in my area recycle oil based paint, but you are on your own for latex.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 3x gross income = house purchase price, should interest rate be taken into account?
Replies: 26
Views: 2153

Re: 3x gross income = house purchase price, should interest rate be taken into account?

Also, RE taxes. If you live in NY or California, the taxes on the 300k house might be equal to the P&I. In other states, not so much. In California, Proposition 13 limits the state tax to 1% of the assessed value. An assessed value is established at the purchase price, and the assessed value may no...
by ralph124cf
Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Specific Question About Fidelity 401k Tax Withholding
Replies: 8
Views: 501

Re: Specific Question About Fidelity 401k Tax Withholding

The IRS deems withheld taxes to be paid evenly throughout the year, so it does not matter whether you have the taxes withheld in January or December. Many here would advocate leaving the 401(k) money invested as long as possible for the expected earnings, although possibly switching to a short term ...
by ralph124cf
Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold ETF
Replies: 32
Views: 3019

Re: Gold ETF

An ETF like GLD will closely track the price of gold, and your gains or losses will be close to what you would have gotten by owning the physical gold. I prefer to invest in gold mine mutual funds such as those offered by Fidelity and USAA. They had fantastic gains from about 1990 to about 2007. The...
by ralph124cf
Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Aggressive portfolio: most weight to emerging markets
Replies: 9
Views: 929

Re: Aggressive portfolio: most weight to emerging markets

Emerging markets have had a good run so far this year, but the ten year look back is pretty dismal with a significantly greater drawdown in EM than in the S&P during 2008-2009.

Does anybody happen to know the percentage weighting of EM in the total international stock market index?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are distributions and capital gains very different quarter to quarter?
Replies: 14
Views: 612

Re: Are distributions and capital gains very different quarter to quarter?

An index fund should have minimal capital gains, but a managed fund will have significant variation year to year.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension: Lumpsum or leave it for retirement
Replies: 13
Views: 1879

Re: Pension: Lumpsum or leave it for retirement

How much is $750 /mo. likely to mean to you in 20 years? I'm guessing not much.

I would take the lump sum and invest per my IPS.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Long Term Care
Replies: 75
Views: 5790

Re: Question About Long Term Care

Hi Cincyguy. The biggest thing you can do to keep your LTCi bill under control is to accept the highest deductible/longest elimination period you can afford. In your case this would seem to be a one year elimination period. This is so much cheaper because the insurance companies know that the majori...
by ralph124cf
Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Cost Estimate
Replies: 33
Views: 1437

Re: Medicare Cost Estimate

There is certainly something wrong with this analysis, but I have no idea what.

Can you post the inputs?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Preparer wanted
Replies: 5
Views: 627

Re: Tax Preparer wanted

Many busy accountants have a minimum fee for a return. You may be getting nailed by that.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High end cruising suggestions.
Replies: 26
Views: 2808

Re: High end cruising suggestions.

Google best and worst cruise lines. Norwegian rates pretty far down. I agree with the rating. Oceania is much better.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 1099 employees how do you mentally handle taking time off?
Replies: 25
Views: 1394

Re: 1099 employees how do you mentally handle taking time off?

I firmly believe that most 1099 contractors do not charge enough. My wife, although officially "retired", raised her rates by $50/hour this year, and has had zero pushback. She now charges $150/hour more than she did four years ago. A handyman that I employ as often as he has time available, was cha...
by ralph124cf
Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Color printer suggestions: high quality output, low cost of ink
Replies: 22
Views: 1600

Re: Color printer suggestions: high quality output, low cost of ink

I also recommend a laser color printer. After dealing for years with inkjets and their endless cartridges (and mainly just using a b/w laser to avoid draining the ink), I ponied up for a color laser printer earlier this year. After printing enough to drain a couple of rounds of ink cartridges, my t...
by ralph124cf
Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with TIAA-CREF
Replies: 15
Views: 1684

Re: Help with TIAA-CREF

You don't seem to have any REIT specific investments. I would put all of the TIAA-CREF money into the Real Estate fund. This is a unique fund in the investment universe, and is definitely not a REIT fund. It owns and operates individual commercial properties, including multi family and mixed use pro...
by ralph124cf
Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do You Determine Insurance Value?
Replies: 10
Views: 582

Re: How Do You Determine Insurance Value?

Replacement cost versus likely auction sales price is likely to be different.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole Life Insurance Agent Will Not Cash Out My plans
Replies: 14
Views: 2138

Re: Whole Life Insurance Agent Will Not Cash Out My plans

It is a huge company with a very bad reputation for deceptive sales practices.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling Mom's condo and capital gains tax after a multi-year absence
Replies: 14
Views: 1331

Re: Selling Mom's condo and capital gains tax after a multi-year absence

Annoying, but unfortunately not surprising. It seems that frequently the IRS employees charged with explaining and enforcing the law do not understand the law.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: QuickBooks logic when entering
Replies: 0
Views: 119

QuickBooks logic when entering

I have been using Quicken for personal finances and QuickBooks for two small businesses for almost twenty years. It seems that Quicken is getting buggier, and support is pretty much non-existent, so I am considering switching entirely to QuickBoods Pro for everything. I do follow QuickBooks logic fo...
by ralph124cf
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Checkup
Replies: 13
Views: 1862

Re: Financial Checkup

What pops out to me is the ROTH IRA contributions.

In general, if you have 401(k)s, your incomes are too high for IRAs, whether ROTH or traditional.

You can, of course, do back door ROTHs conversions. Check the WIKI.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Fund for Parents Expenses
Replies: 10
Views: 977

Re: Best Fund for Parents Expenses

Immediately determine if they have been taking RMDs from the IRAs. If not they will owe a hefty tax penalty.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax consequences of exchanging mutual fund shares?
Replies: 8
Views: 589

Re: Tax consequences of exchanging mutual fund shares?

The capital gains tax you have paid so far is on capital gains that the fund has DISTRIBUTED to you, and thus will have no bearing on the gains you will have when you sell the shares at a profit. Capital gains taxes will be due on the difference between the buying and selling price of each share. Si...
by ralph124cf
Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood floors warping?
Replies: 19
Views: 1808

Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Is this pre-finished hardwood, or stick-built?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roll over my 401(k) to my spouse's IRA?
Replies: 11
Views: 658

Re: Roll over my 401(k) to my spouse's IRA?

It can be done, by a judge, during a divorce.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab advice: 1 yr expenses cash + 2-4 yr ST bond
Replies: 7
Views: 1023

Re: Schwab advice: 1 yr expenses cash + 2-4 yr ST bond

Here is a paste from the August 2017 edition of Schwab's On Investing magazine. The context is to avoid having to sell assets in a downturn when in retirement. Adjust your allocation: Consider moving a portion of your assets into investments that can help weather market disruptions. We suggest that...
by ralph124cf
Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unused credit card with positive balance
Replies: 14
Views: 1494

Re: Unused credit card with positive balance

I have a dormant account with AT&T that has a positive balance of $1.24. I have called several times to get it refunded, but every time the agent answering has given me a hard sell for other services. I have let this ride for six years now, and every month I get a printed credit statement mailed to ...
by ralph124cf
Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Break Up With Your Lender
Replies: 7
Views: 1256

Re: How to Break Up With Your Lender

My impression is that this lender plans to stick you with lots of garbage fees and perhaps a higher rate and costs than they initially quoted.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exhaust Fan for the bathroom
Replies: 59
Views: 4444

Re: Exhaust Fan for the bathroom

Fan volume and duct size are most important. Check for blockage of the duct, I have seen birds nests blocking some fan outlets.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Introduction and a Question: IRA vs 401k Tax benefits
Replies: 13
Views: 1083

Re: Introduction and a Question: IRA vs 401k Tax benefits

You can avoid any under withholding penalties by upping your withholding. just file a new W-4 with your employer to withhold enough tax for the year, wether by using the single rate or if that is not enough, by specifying an additional amount of monthly withholding.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone roll their tIRA into the TSP?
Replies: 39
Views: 2423

Re: Anyone roll their tIRA into the TSP?

You could start by converting your current tIRA to ROTH. You have to pay taxes on the conversion, but that is what you would be doing anyway with a backdoor. Then you would have no tIRA and would be free to do as much backdoor allowable.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 vs W2 without 401K vs W2
Replies: 4
Views: 360

Re: 1099 vs W2 without 401K vs W2

You are understating the payroll tax substantially. For the 1099, all the profit from self employment (probably a couple of thousand of job related expenses can be found) are taxed at 15.3% payroll tax. Then 1/2 of the payroll tax paid can be deducted when calculating the income tax. For the two W-2...
by ralph124cf
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Survivor Benefit or Life Insurance -teenage daughter
Replies: 25
Views: 1908

Re: Pension Survivor Benefit or Life Insurance -teenage daughter

I would definitely take the survivor pension. It is incredibly generous, especially with the inflation kicker.

I would also take a five year level term insurance policy to guarantee adequate support till starting college.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA - Mute button for Gas Station TV!
Replies: 22
Views: 2855

Re: PSA - Mute button for Gas Station TV!

These TVs invaded grocery store checkout lines near my house a two years ago.

They got so many complaints that they were gone within three months.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article: Investing "insurance" (puts) vs. balanced portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 1295

Re: Article: Investing "insurance" (puts) vs. balanced portfolio

I believe that the only options available in a tax advantaged account are covered calls.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED bulbs for enclosed fixtures
Replies: 19
Views: 2223

Re: LED bulbs for enclosed fixtures

If the enclosure is insulated, as some recessed lights are, the lights may have a problem. Many recessed lights are not insulated, and so will not have a problem.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice: W2 or 1099 for IRA & 401K reasons, need math help
Replies: 6
Views: 391

Re: Advice: W2 or 1099 for IRA & 401K reasons, need math help

It may be possible for one of you to maintain a W-2 job for family medical insurance. For a 1099, if at the same pay, you will be losing on the employer SS payment, but this may be offset by the additional retirement contributions. There are many industries where a person can reasonably be classed a...
by ralph124cf
Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: dividend versus expense ratio impact on mutual fund
Replies: 13
Views: 979

Re: dividend versus expense ratio impact on mutual fund

Word choice counts. Mutual funds do not "pay" dividends. They pass thru dividends that are paid to them by the stocks that they own. This is required by tax law. They must also pass thru any long term and short term capital gains that they have realized from buying and selling stocks.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA-CREF allocation mix? Diversify or lowest ER?
Replies: 16
Views: 953

Re: TIAA-CREF allocation mix? Diversify or lowest ER?

At first glance, many people think that the TIAA Real Estate fund has an unusually high ER, especially compared to some REIT funds. A REIT fund buys stock in several different individual REITs, so the ER pays for researching the different stocks, plus record keeping and profit. The ERs are not compa...