Search found 396 matches

by bnes
Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Incompetent home inspector - what to do?
Replies: 52
Views: 5174

Re: Incompetent home inspector - what to do?

What's the time frame? Is there a chance of saving the sale?
---
Definitely get right on fixing the true items, and get your own inspector out.
by bnes
Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Handling tax forms for Traditional IRA held in trust. Named beneficiaries.
Replies: 0
Views: 130

Handling tax forms for Traditional IRA held in trust. Named beneficiaries.

Has anyone handled taxes for a family trust that holds a traditional IRA? In this case I have $170,000 inherited IRA in a family trust, and I am the trustee. I am referencing: https://www.investopedia.com/retirement/designating-trust-as-retirement-beneficiary/ And speaking to the trust's attorneys, ...
by bnes
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling and stretching an IRA through TWO trusts?
Replies: 7
Views: 821

Re: Handling and stretching an IRA through TWO trusts?

@Alan The trustee of the family trust can terminate everything except the SNT. The death was less than a year ago. The family trust has just one beneficiary (with a caveat). The SNT has it's own trustee, and has just one beneficiary. The SNT ends on death of the beneficiary, with remainder donated t...
by bnes
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling and stretching an IRA through TWO trusts?
Replies: 7
Views: 821

Re: Handling and stretching an IRA through TWO trusts?

This little bit from Fidelity summed the situation up well. Either way it appears that Trust tax rates apply, which is a shame because one of the two look through beneficiaries is indigent, thus 0% bracket. If the beneficiary is an entity, charity, or non-qualifying trust, and the owner was still li...
by bnes
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxact 2018 tax year software price increase 100%?
Replies: 32
Views: 3515

Re: taxact 2018 tax year software price increase 100%?

Keep in mind TurboTax's retail price is not the full price you pay, as at the very end they'll hit you up for an e-File fee. Competition for full strength individual tax software would be nice... The comparison chart from above is great : https://thecollegeinvestor.com/15201/comparing-prices-turbota...
by bnes
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling and stretching an IRA through TWO trusts?
Replies: 7
Views: 821

Re: Handling and stretching an IRA through TWO trusts?

What are the mechanics of this?
If the amounts are passed through, how does the trust take the distribution,
report that on the taxes as passed through, etc? Is there some step by step guide to passing an IRA through a trust?
by bnes
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling and stretching an IRA through TWO trusts?
Replies: 7
Views: 821

Re: Handling and stretching an IRA through TWO trusts?

The trust and tax attorney is still puzzling through this. The trust was not particularly well drafted.
by bnes
Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car rentals, what is the catch?
Replies: 46
Views: 5417

Re: Car rentals, what is the catch?

Call in advance, and get it in writing including all fees.
Take photos all around the vehicle.
Expect a crappy car, but be happy if it's all OK.
Chose between money and hassle/time.
by bnes
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term Care Insurance
Replies: 184
Views: 8976

Re: Long-term Care Insurance

My experience was that once my parents got to the point of needing the LTC insurance,
they were ALSO incapable of jumping through the application of benefit hoops. You must pair this with a younger generation having medical power of attorney AND acting as designated contact within the LTC policy.
by bnes
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling and stretching an IRA through TWO trusts?
Replies: 7
Views: 821

Handling and stretching an IRA through TWO trusts?

I'm trying to learn what I can about stretching an IRA through two trusts, for example by reading: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=164303 https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=236691 https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=147729 In my case the decedent is, well,...
by bnes
Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can one leave just part of an IRA to a Trust?
Replies: 28
Views: 1608

Re: Can one leave just part of an IRA to a Trust?

I'm going through this exact thing now. One thing for sure: there's no need to split the IRA's now. At the time your trust becomes irrevocable (e.g. the last person passes), the accounts have to be closed and transferred anyway . If it's all set up right: At the time, the IRA custodian will act on i...
by bnes
Sun May 06, 2018 11:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell vs. Hold Decision on Highly Appreciated House in Tech Zone
Replies: 8
Views: 1496

Re: Sell vs. Hold Decision on Highly Appreciated House in Tech Zone

As far as I can tell, the house investment seems on part with a "sell and invest" strategy. Both have risks. The quake risk for example is quite real I suppose, but also if there's a quake that might raise the value of the remaining less damaged homes. Would you buy this house as an investment, if y...
by bnes
Sat May 05, 2018 12:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell vs. Hold Decision on Highly Appreciated House in Tech Zone
Replies: 8
Views: 1496

Re: Sell vs. Hold Decision on Highly Appreciated House in Tech Zone

OP here: there is no cash crunch. With or without the income stream from the house, there's enough to pay for the elder care. The way I see it, it's not a great investment, it's not a terrible investment (to keep it). There's risk. Depending on appreciation would be dumb. Having the house might allo...
by bnes
Wed May 02, 2018 5:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell vs. Hold Decision on Highly Appreciated House in Tech Zone
Replies: 8
Views: 1496

Sell vs. Hold Decision on Highly Appreciated House in Tech Zone

I'm seeking some ways to think about a sell vs. hold decision. It is a house in a presently-hot technology city in California. Would sell for $1.2M give or take. Original basis is $36k. Received a 50% step up a year ago based on a $1M appraisal (so $536k basis). The owner is my Mother's living trust...
by bnes
Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Office Deduction - Do I Qualify?
Replies: 6
Views: 875

Re: Home Office Deduction - Do I Qualify?

Here's some analysis: https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/issues/2013/jul/20137228.html However, in the absence of a specific requirement by their employer that they work at home, when the “convenience of the employer” requirement is litigated, taxpayers in the past have usually lost. Taxpayers wit...
by bnes
Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Office Deduction - Do I Qualify?
Replies: 6
Views: 875

Re: Home Office Deduction - Do I Qualify?

A deduction for employees is generally limited by the 2% rule (expenses must be greater than 2% of your AGI), as you have no Schedule C income to write off against. Anyway your home office is likely not for the "convenience of your employer", it's your lifestyle choice. See https://www.hrblock.com/t...
by bnes
Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tuition discount, 2% pre-pay, 1% two payment
Replies: 8
Views: 1297

Re: Tuition discount, 2% pre-pay, 1% two payment

Private schools can and HAVE gone bankrupt in our area. This one I know has a $250k backstop, covering any first year losses.
My basic feeling is the 2% discount is not rich enough to interest me.
by bnes
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tuition discount, 2% pre-pay, 1% two payment
Replies: 8
Views: 1297

Tuition discount, 2% pre-pay, 1% two payment

I'm staring at at a private elementary school tuition form. I can pay 10 equal payments, or get a 2% discount for a single lump sump, or a 1% discount for two payments. Tuition is non-refundable and due even if the kid withdraws (though they'd have trouble collecting it in the case of the staged pay...
by bnes
Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Make sense to setup 529 for high school junior?
Replies: 19
Views: 1852

Re: Make sense to setup 529 for high school junior?

Keep in mind you can switch beneficiaries on a 529 plan. So once the first kid is out, switch to the 2nd kid.
The 529 advantage is primarily in sheltering earnings from tax, so you have to have earnings.
by bnes
Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $12,000 Refrigerator? [Looking in $7k price range]
Replies: 71
Views: 9595

Re: $12,000 Refrigerator? [Looking in $7k price range]

I think people comparing it to expensive cars hit the nail on the head. You get some advanced features, over-engineering, premium materials, prestige and looks. Don't ignore life cycle costs. What will the fridge(s) cost you over a lifetime of use? How many cheaply made throwaway fridges will you n...
by bnes
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Check Received: What to do?
Replies: 22
Views: 2846

Re: Check Received: What to do?

In a similar situation I endorsed with "My Name on behalf of Name on Check".
I told no lies.
The check cleared.
Nobody ever complained.
by bnes
Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling a family loan left unpaid at death
Replies: 5
Views: 1677

Handling a family loan left unpaid at death

An elderly relative of mine made a loan to younger relative for some hundreds of thousands of dollars, secured by a lien on real property. There was a promissory note and a 5% interest rate. There was no penalty for late payment, and in fact no payments were ever made, and all attempts at collection...
by bnes
Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water
Replies: 27
Views: 3655

Re: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water

Has the family talked about getting some kind of guardianship for this person? It might be possible if the family member's doctors were willing to cooperate. The individual distrusts doctors, and won't see one. A separate friend had similar problems. The parents were able to get help only after the...
by bnes
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non Stick frying pan
Replies: 73
Views: 7820

Re: Non Stick frying pan

Cast Iron works great here, and we're not afraid to use soap to clean them either. After a few years the seasoning gets seriously baked on, I have found no reason to worry about it. The only way to permanently kill a cast iron pan is to leave it wet after use.
by bnes
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I Have Enough In My Emergency Fund?
Replies: 22
Views: 3609

Re: Do I Have Enough In My Emergency Fund?

Here's my situation: I am 41, no wife and no kids, in good health with a stable career, am not a home owner just yet, and live in a major metropolis area with an abundance of jobs. Do you maintain health insurance? That would reduce risk more. Given the low risk consider Series EE Savings Bonds. Yo...
by bnes
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water
Replies: 27
Views: 3655

Re: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water

Whoa ... I just noticed the lack of a "K" on the second mortgage. Is there really a second mortgage in default with only $275 (two-hundred-seventy-five dollars) that the young person has not been willing to pay ? I missed that because I never imagined that anybody would default and risk losing a $6...
by bnes
Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water
Replies: 27
Views: 3655

Re: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water

I am still confused. Does the horrifically irresponsible family member not care if they loose the house and is therefore unwilling to sign anything to keep that from happening? Do they have a loan for 100k as first and then a family loan for 275k? for second? The family member may be unable to face...
by bnes
Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water
Replies: 27
Views: 3655

Re: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water

The family elected to pay the back amount to pull the 1st out of foreclosure, and stop the fee accumulation. That just happened. There was no indication the 1st holder was willing to negotiate. Let me be clear: the family wants to keep the individual in the house even if it is expensively stupid to ...
by bnes
Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit card options??
Replies: 18
Views: 3236

Re: Best credit card options??

Consider also having a card for use during foreign travel. Both the quality of the exchange rate and the fee are important, some cards charge 3% or more in fee. The DoubleCash from Citi is a good card, with an above average set of web services.
by bnes
Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which funds would you pick, given this constrained list?
Replies: 7
Views: 1086

Re: Which funds would you pick, given this constrained list?

What kind of leverage does gnma fund use? Is it really leveraged or j just a futures transaction? Not clear to me. But bonds are 150% of the portfolio: http://portfolios.morningstar.com/fund/summary?t=PAGNX®ion=usa&culture=en-US http://ibd.morningstar.com/article/article.asp?id=639215&CN=brf295,...
by bnes
Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Amazon Prime worth it?
Replies: 146
Views: 15594

Re: Is Amazon Prime worth it?

Is it a deal? Well, follow the money. Prime is a prime driver of Amazon's profits (See https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/03/25/how-prime-makes-amazon-profitable.aspx ). So somebody's making money, and overall it's not the consumer. Prime is a huge tease, as there are a few high quality sho...
by bnes
Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which funds would you pick, given this constrained list?
Replies: 7
Views: 1086

Which funds would you pick, given this constrained list?

Yep, these are my only choices for a given employer HSA plan, currently sitting at $20k. The Vanguard 500 fund at 0.04% seems good for the "domestic" stock component. But what would you suggest for a fixed income/bonds portion? Note I'm in California, so HSA earnings are taxable. Investment Name Tic...
by bnes
Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?
Replies: 123
Views: 10294

Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

I'd require that he budget for games cost also. Use this as a teaching moment to start with budgeting or even a personal loan (in case the computer is more expensive than expected)
by bnes
Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water
Replies: 27
Views: 3655

Re: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water

Foreclosure is not worth it to the family: the family knows that if the house is lost, the "owner" will end up in some other relative's basement. Family situations suck. The family has just decided to pay it all off, with or without cooperation, effectively folding it into a new note which probably ...
by bnes
Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal loan to a family member
Replies: 114
Views: 10326

Re: Personal loan to a family member

Yeah, I'm dealing with the version where the family member turned out to be a deadbeat, despite having a recorded official note and lien. And because the family wants the person to stay in the house (and not bum housing off yet other relatives), there's no leverage to resolve the situation. Consider...
by bnes
Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to destroy hard disk with personal info
Replies: 99
Views: 10792

Re: how to destroy hard disk with personal info

Screws: they're there, just under labels.
Take it apart, run a magnet over each platter, and toss the mess into a metal recycling bin (with the electronics in e-Waste).
Done. Really done.
by bnes
Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water
Replies: 27
Views: 3655

Re: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water

OP here: the situation is that the family wishes to keep the homeowner in place, in the house. But there's not enough committed money available to deal with all the debts: this is an attempt to negotiate some sort of discount. I can see that with an above water house, and the opportunity to tack on ...
by bnes
Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water
Replies: 27
Views: 3655

Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water

I am tasked with making a payoff offer on a home in foreclosure. The 1st is $100k, the 2nd $275k, with $78k in IRS lien. The house is worth maybe $600k, but has been trashed, and would present some difficulties in sale. But basically the lender can recoup their costs in foreclosure. I have cash avai...
by bnes
Mon May 15, 2017 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting a periodic transfer / Dealing with a fiscal beggar
Replies: 26
Views: 3358

Re: Setting a periodic transfer / Dealing with a fiscal beggar

If they refuse to open an account, then I refuse to help. Sorry, but conceding to the demands of someone who is begging makes no sense to me. Worse, someone who is dodging unpaid taxes. The situation sucks, but family situations often suck. Note Bluebird looked attractive, but so many places don't ...
by bnes
Mon May 15, 2017 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding shafting my local merchants with card fees
Replies: 49
Views: 7187

Re: Avoiding shafting my local merchants with card fees

Debit card transactions often carry the same fees as credit card transactions, so by using " bank debit card with local merchants" you're actually doing the very thing you're attempting to avoid. Some processors have a flat rate, but any merchant with some volume or smarts gets access to lower rate...
by bnes
Mon May 15, 2017 12:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American Funds beat out Vanguard Index over lifetime?
Replies: 63
Views: 13893

Re: American Funds beat out Vanguard Index over lifetime?

Let's be clear that 5.75% is "worst case" for American Funds. First, in a company plan you may pay 0%. Second, retail customers pay a sliding scale: Investment Amount and Account Value Less than $25,000 - 5.75% $25,000 to $49,999 - 5.00% $50,000 to $99,999 - 4.5% $100,000 to $249,999 - 3.5% .... $1 ...
by bnes
Sat May 13, 2017 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting a periodic transfer / Dealing with a fiscal beggar
Replies: 26
Views: 3358

Setting a periodic transfer / Dealing with a fiscal beggar

What options are there to provide, say, $2000/month in support to an relative who refuses to maintain a bank account? I've looked into various visa/mc debit cards, but the fees are high and the procedures not well tailored to the need (for example many cards can't be refilled without the card presen...
by bnes
Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding shafting my local merchants with card fees
Replies: 49
Views: 7187

Re: Avoiding shafting my local merchants with card fees

OP here. To steer this back on track: We're going to get and use a credit card. I'd like to know in advance what "fee level" the issuing bank gets. Is there a reliable way to shop for cards, that shows the Interchange Fee category? -- In answer to above: I know many merchants pay a flat fee, and the...
by bnes
Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding shafting my local merchants with card fees
Replies: 49
Views: 7187

Avoiding shafting my local merchants with card fees

I'm shopping for new credit cards for my parents. I'm aware that the "interchange fee" varies based on card benefit level (here's a guide): https://www.helcim.com/us/pricing/visa-mastercard-interchange-rates/ For example the interchange rate set by Visa for a Visa Debit is as low as .8% + 15 cents, ...
by bnes
Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting up a Credit Card for a Fiscally Irresponsible Dependent: Managed Limited Card
Replies: 12
Views: 1769

Re: Setting up a Credit Card for a Fiscally Irresponsible Dependent: Managed Limited Card

I use the Chase Liquid card for my son. I control how much money is put on the card, and I can instantly transfer money when needed. My son has been literally standing in a checkout line and I can transfer instant credit money to him via my phone, computer or iPad. It is the only card I know of tha...
by bnes
Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting up a Credit Card for a Fiscally Irresponsible Dependent: Managed Limited Card
Replies: 12
Views: 1769

Re: Setting up a Credit Card for a Fiscally Irresponsible Dependent: Managed Limited Card

A clarification from the op : This is not about credit vs. cash, but rather about offering a limited leash piece of plastic to the dependent. The balance will be paid every month. There's no employer involved. And there are an increasing number of card-only fiscal needs in life, most notably much o...
by bnes
Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting up a Credit Card for a Fiscally Irresponsible Dependent: Managed Limited Card
Replies: 12
Views: 1769

Setting up a Credit Card for a Fiscally Irresponsible Dependent: Managed Limited Card

Is there a type of credit card that the holder can tightly manage, on behalf of an authorized user? In this case the authorized user would be a dependent unable to manage her own affairs fully. Access to a credit card is pretty much a requirement these days for work, life and even recreation. Gettin...
by bnes
Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxation of credit card rewards (cash back and signup bonuses)
Replies: 25
Views: 4363

Re: Taxation of credit card rewards (cash back and signup bonuses)

Here's a nice edge case for you: I purchase goods for clients, and airline tickets to fly for clients. I am required to submit exact invoices and am reimbursed to the penny. But my card accounts accrue statement credit, as do flier miles. Especially with the flier miles it's unclear what the value i...
by bnes
Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loan Not Being Repaid
Replies: 41
Views: 4818

Re: Loan Not Being Repaid

toofache32 wrote:Send him a 1099-C so he will have to pay taxes on his gift. He can run from you but he cannot run from the IRS.
Awesome advice. But maybe start with the threat of filing 1099-C.
by bnes
Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)
Replies: 47
Views: 5210

Re: Who do you trust when there's no one to trust? (and it involves trusts)

You can contact a big anonymous bank, and set up a trust in your own name. Nobody specific has to know your details, and your account will be handled by the next most junior employee in line at the bank. You can write your own rules: and the bank is obligated to follow them, even in the case you are...