Search found 2064 matches

by ralph124cf
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMD Withdrawal Plans
Replies: 6
Views: 696

RMD Withdrawal Plans

DW and I both start RMDs this year. IRA withdrawals at both Fidelity and Schwab were fairly easy to set up so that we get monthly checks for one twelfth of the yearly RMD deposited to our bank account monthly, with the actual RMD amount recalculated yearly by the custodian. I have had no success get...
by ralph124cf
Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: help with financial planning
Replies: 15
Views: 1739

Re: help with plan proposed by financial advisor

TIAA-CREF has some unique funds, including their Real Estate fund, and the Traditional fund that many people here use. Once you pull out of TIAA-CREF it is almost impossible to get back in.

I would skip the rollover of these funds.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: University Alumni Associations—Any Value?
Replies: 19
Views: 1786

Re: University Alumni Associations—Any Value?

Some alumni associations offer full University library privileges as if you were still a graduate student. Some offer access to on campus athletic facilities (some free, some paid). Many offer priority access to the university sporting event tickets (full price).

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions sought $3.5 M Net Worth
Replies: 76
Views: 8883

Re: Opinions sought $3.5 M Net Worth

Municipal bonds are a reasonable choice for now, while you are a very high earner. When your income drops below $200K, the tax free income from the municipal bonds no longer makes up for the reduced interest rate paid by municipal bonds. It would also be worthwhile to visit whitecoatinvestor.com. It...
by ralph124cf
Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need year end help to keep MAGI down for ACA!
Replies: 8
Views: 606

Re: Need year end help to keep MAGI down for ACA!

You might be able to prepay some business expenses such as utilities.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Roth distributions affect MAGI?
Replies: 16
Views: 1478

Re: Do Roth distributions affect MAGI?

There are many definitions of MAGI, it depends on what definition is being used by the agency that you are dealing with. For instance, Federally tax free municipal bond interest is included in MAGI for purposes of IRMAA.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affordability of SS Delay
Replies: 19
Views: 1604

Re: Affordability of SS Delay

Vested, I think that it is a mistake to not take any withdrawals from tax deferred just because you got a windfall. Note: This does not mean that you have to SPEND the withdrawals. A constant income level is more tax efficient than varying income levels. Having a very low income level for a couple o...
by ralph124cf
Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Save me from tax liability
Replies: 22
Views: 1675

Re: Save me from tax liability

What kind of side jobs do you have as a physician that would justify a large deduction for a new vehicle? Yes, you could set up a solo 401k by the end of the year. I work at a medical center in a neighboring city about 50 min away and I work there about 6-10 times a year. Additionally, I cover a su...
by ralph124cf
Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my "tax guy" unqualified?? Preparers vs advisors.
Replies: 21
Views: 2158

Re: Is my "tax guy" unqualified?? Preparers vs advisors.

You do not have income when you receive a deposit, even though you use the cash accounting method. If for some reason you cannot get to the gig, you have to return the deposit. The deposit money should be treated as a loan until you earn the money by playing the gig. In accounting speak you would ha...
by ralph124cf
Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift Ideas for wife
Replies: 76
Views: 5488

Re: Gift Ideas for wife

Depending on where you live and how much you want to spend, you might consider a destination cooking school. DW and I did this a few years ago in New Orleans. Concentration was on Cajun/Creole cooking, including variations on roux and Hallelujah Crab. Hands on for everybody, lunch with wine included...
by ralph124cf
Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shrinking dividends?
Replies: 30
Views: 4153

Re: Shrinking dividends?

The tax preference given to qualified dividends is fairly new to tax law, and I think this dividend advantage has not fully penetrated the minds of many investors. Of course, this tax preference disappears in a tax deferred or ROTH account.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance Advice for 53 and 57 Year Olds
Replies: 6
Views: 697

Re: Life Insurance Advice for 53 and 57 Year Olds

If they use an agent, be very sure that the only thing bought is a TERM policy. Agents love to sell high commission whole life or variable life policies. These policies benefit the AGENT, not the customer. Avoid any policy that uses the words earnings, cash, surrender, accumulation, value, retiremen...
by ralph124cf
Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to consider making extra principal payments on mortgage?
Replies: 24
Views: 2246

Re: When to consider making extra principal payments on mortgage?

What is the interest rate on the mortgage? Sorry, I forgot to mention this very important part. Interest rate is sub-4%. So not much of a guaranteed return. Considering the 2018 tax law, are you still able to deduct the interest against your Federal income taxes? Due to the many new limits on deduc...
by ralph124cf
Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord Renovations: Repairs v Improvements
Replies: 4
Views: 440

Re: Landlord Renovations: Repairs v Improvements

In general, you will be able to deduct rental expenses only against your rental income, or possibly against other passive income. The losses could be taken against ordinary income up to $25,000 per year, but only if your income was less than $100,000. Based on the proposed budget for renovations, I'...
by ralph124cf
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETFs vs Mutual Funds in Retirement Accounts
Replies: 19
Views: 1427

Re: ETFs vs Mutual Funds in Retirement Accounts

With an ETF you can enter a limit order to buy or sell, and leave it open for a month or two. Not everybody agrees that this is a good idea. An ETF will normally incur a commission with each buy or sell transaction, therefore it is less advantageous for DCA during the accumulation years. If you are ...
by ralph124cf
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving Pods or "Packs" for long distance move
Replies: 12
Views: 1493

Re: Moving Pods or "Packs" for long distance move

I have looked online for maximum weights for pods, but I can't find any.

I am sure that they would easily accommodate just about any home or apartment furnishings, but a full container of books is a great deal more dense than furniture.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window condensation
Replies: 15
Views: 2102

Re: Window condensation

Many dehumidifiers have a drain option. If your bedroom is connected to a bath, you could put the dehumidifier in the bathtub or shower, or on a stand and let it drain into the sink. A hose would be required. A humidifier IS, in fact, a space heater, with the additional benefit of reducing humidity....
by ralph124cf
Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Max resolution for laptop external monitor?
Replies: 9
Views: 601

Re: Max resolution for laptop external monitor?

I have been waiting to upgrade my monitor for an OLED solution. I could buy a small TV and use that as a monitor, but that does not sound like the ideal solution.

Does anybody know when OLED monitors will be generally available?

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand "Payout Rate" for an Annuity
Replies: 58
Views: 3400

Re: Help me understand "Payout Rate" for an Annuity

Got it! Just ran a spreadsheet......that answered my question. Actual interest rate is approx. 4.4% per year! What was throwing me off was the "Payout Rate vs. Interest Rate"......thanks for clearing that up! Thank you for your assistance once again. It's really comforting to know that a person can...
by ralph124cf
Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand "Payout Rate" for an Annuity
Replies: 58
Views: 3400

Re: Help me understand "Payout Rate" for an Annuity

Got it! Just ran a spreadsheet......that answered my question. Actual interest rate is approx. 4.4% per year! What was throwing me off was the "Payout Rate vs. Interest Rate"......thanks for clearing that up! Thank you for your assistance once again. It's really comforting to know that a person can...
by ralph124cf
Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remodeling - tipping?
Replies: 56
Views: 2871

Re: Remodeling - tipping?

Tipping contractors???? OMG...tipping is so out of hand. Did they work for below minimum wage and expect tips to make up the difference? Many GCs, especially in the Southwest, do use non-English-speaking illegal aliens and pay them less than minimum wage. I don't tip a GC, but I certainly tip these...
by ralph124cf
Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimating amount for IRA conversion to Roth
Replies: 14
Views: 1258

Re: Estimating amount for IRA conversion to Roth

If you are 63 or older, consider the effect of the IRMAA tiers (cliffs). You don't want to end up just a one dollar past a breakpoint and then end up having to pay $2,000 per year extra in Medicare premiums. As long as you stay below the 22% tax bracket, this will not be a problem.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Holding mortgages for liability reasons
Replies: 8
Views: 1194

Re: Holding mortgages for liability reasons

This is 100% speculation about the OPs intent on this post and Grt2bOutdoors' answer is excellent. However perhaps the OP is looking to protect himself for something of more of a grey area. Say he left a rake in the front yard, but the plaintiff was dead drunk, tripped over the rake, and hurt himse...
by ralph124cf
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NII Tax on Tax-Exempt MM and Muni Funds?
Replies: 3
Views: 366

Re: NII Tax on Tax-Exempt MM and Muni Funds?

There is no question that Muni interest is not included.

There is a possibility that a muni fund may pay a capital gain distribution. This would be taxable, and subject to NIIT.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Broken Sewer pipe - $10,000-$20,000 to fix
Replies: 58
Views: 6280

Re: Broken Sewer pipe - $10,000 to fix

IF you do have to dig by hand in the crawl space, most workers use a pick and spade with the handle cut down to a foot or two.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: QCDs and RMDs
Replies: 7
Views: 563

QCDs and RMDs

Can a QCD be taken from a 401(k) or does it need to come from an IRA?

I ask because my Schwab 401(k) representative had never heard of a QCD, and did not know that it would not be considered taxable income.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Networth to buy a dual turboprop aircraft?
Replies: 72
Views: 9244

Re: Networth to buy a dual turboprop aircraft?

I know a yacht dealer, he said maintenance, fuel, insurance, dock or hanger will run 10% of purchase price or for a 5MM aircraft $250K a year. Purchase price should be less than 5% of sellable assets. So for a $1MM aircraft, you should have $20MM. This should be qualified with "NEW PRICE". A twenty...
by ralph124cf
Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Optimizing pre vs post tax contributions in last 6 months of work
Replies: 5
Views: 531

Re: Optimizing pre vs post tax contributions in last 6 months of work

After you stop working for this employer, I believe that you can roll the pretax balance to an IRA. You could then roll the IRA balance, or part of it to your ROTH while you are in a low tax situation. You don't mention future work plans after this sabbatical. Would you come back to this, or another...
by ralph124cf
Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Self-Directed Brokerage Option for 401(k)
Replies: 9
Views: 474

Re: Self-Directed Brokerage Option for 401(k)

I also have a Schwab SDB window in my 401(k). Thru negotiations with the employer, the quarterly record-keeping fee has been established at $3.95 per quarter (Note: not a percentage, straight dollar number regardless of the value of the account). Stock and ETF trades carry a commission of between $3...
by ralph124cf
Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Networth to buy a dual turboprop aircraft?
Replies: 72
Views: 9244

Re: Networth to buy a dual turboprop aircraft?

Will you be flying (piloting) the aircraft yourself or hiring a pilot(s)? Would this be for personal use or could you write it off as a business expense? Do you have access to a hangar? Note that even if you buy a used $5M aircraft for $1M, then it will still have the maintenance and operating costs...
by ralph124cf
Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: disability insurance increase..or not?
Replies: 6
Views: 642

Re: disability insurance increase..or not?

If you do decide to get an increased policy, consider a longer elimination period, like six months or even 1 year. It looks like you could last that long on liquid assets, and the longer elimination period may completely cover the cost of the increased benefits.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday 2018
Replies: 123
Views: 15197

Re: Black Friday 2018

I want a couple of sound bars for TVs that do not produce enough volume, and a ten pack of thumb drives. The best deal that I have seen so far for the drives is $5 each at Amazon for Sandisc Cruiser, but I think that it should be cheaper than that for ten. I do want the extendible style.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: which snow blower ?
Replies: 58
Views: 3586

Re: which snow blower ?

Consumers Reports recommends three stage blowers for heavy snow, like the drifts that the city snowplows pile up at the end of the driveway. Unfortunately, all are noticeably over $1K.

Ralph
by ralph124cf
Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Update Re: Hubby soon to be laid off
Replies: 26
Views: 4933

Re: Update Re: Hubby soon to be laid off

This is great, I"m happy for you both! I try to max out my 401k by June/July precisely for this kind of scenario. At most companies this is a great idea. At some companies, due to the way the match is figured, it may cost you some of the match. Some companies will give a match of, say, 5% of salary...
by ralph124cf
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: annuity with true COLA built in
Replies: 28
Views: 2071

Re: annuity with true COLA built in

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by ralph124cf
Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Oops! Edward Jones tops Vanguard in customer survey
Replies: 50
Views: 5363

Re: Oops! Edward Jones tops Vanguard in customer survey

The article states Vanguards rating "matches the overall rating for its sector, and that of Fidelity Investments". I wonder about the score for Schwab and others, and about the scope and methods of the survey. Does anyone have link to the American Consumer Satisfaction Report which the article refe...
by ralph124cf
Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of palmettos [Palmetto bugs]
Replies: 15
Views: 2257

Re: How to get rid of palmettos

I've had luck with a combination approach. This allows the ones that don't fall for one kind of bait to still be killed 1. Boric acid baits work well (I'm partial to Harris's Roach Tablets, since they're cheap). You can also make home-made boric acid bait (See http://tipnut.com/how-to-get-rid-of-co...
by ralph124cf
Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: annuity with true COLA built in
Replies: 28
Views: 2071

Re: annuity with true COLA built in

I recently priced joint SPIA's from immediateannuities.com. There was one company offering COLA increases with CPI, but you pay a hefty price for it. The quoted payout rate dropped from 4.5% with no COLA to 2.4% w/ CPI adjustment. YMMV At 2.4% it would take you over 41 years to get your money back(...
by ralph124cf
Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why I plan on buying a life annuity - even if it is a stupid idea
Replies: 117
Views: 10870

Re: Why I plan on buying a life annuity - even if it is a stupid idea

Has anyone done a good cost comparison between the costs of a bank trust department and the costs of an annuity? I know that the actual costs are not very transparent, and the trust department generally charges an AUM fee and may well use sub-optimal investments such as their bank branded mutual fun...
by ralph124cf
Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fuel for snowblower
Replies: 97
Views: 5507

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: 1042

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: 2353

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: 383

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: 17
Views: 2391

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: 383

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: 6103

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: 5732

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: 1260

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: 563

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: 2877

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...