Search found 1551 matches

by spectec
Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bankrupt Brother Needs Mortgage Help
Replies: 46
Views: 3752

Re: Bankrupt Brother Needs Mortgage Help

This has been hashed out pretty well, and I agree with the advice to never co-sign. I had one experience with a family member who we wanted to help in purchasing a home. We bought the home ourselves, but our agreement was that they would make the payments. Our requirement was that we open a joint ch...
by spectec
Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bee keeping
Replies: 64
Views: 3378

Re: Bee keeping

Love this thread. About 60 years ago I kept bees for quite a while in order to earn my Boy Scout Beekeeping Merit Badge. As I grew into adulthood and began living in suburban environments I was never able to return to beekeeping. But I've never forgotten the fascination with bees and the experience ...
by spectec
Sat Aug 22, 2020 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on sewage lift station in new home?
Replies: 37
Views: 2729

Re: Thoughts on sewage lift station in new home?

Don't think that what ever set up you decide on is 'one and done'. I'm guessing you'll need to check/maintain the system (maybe with some things you do monthly or yearly). I'd consider the cost of keeping that lift station in tip top working form AND being able to replace parts of it in the future ...
by spectec
Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lawyers - How much does it cost to write a prenup contract?
Replies: 48
Views: 5957

Re: Lawyers - How much does it cost to write a prenup contract?

Good question, and more direct. I like it. There are lots of ways to communicate, aren't there?
by spectec
Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lawyers - How much does it cost to write a prenup contract?
Replies: 48
Views: 5957

Re: Lawyers - How much does it cost to write a prenup contract?

In the tax prep business, when someone calls to inquire about fees one of the best ways to get me to laugh silently is to say "My situation is simple. It shouldn't take you very long". When I was younger I'd gather all the info I could and then quote an estimate at least double what I expected it to...
by spectec
Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Desperately need advice regarding my business lease.
Replies: 33
Views: 2046

Re: Desperately need advice regarding my business lease.

"My 51% business partner is hoping like I am that we will survive and be profitable on the other end also considering that there are competing venues that will be out of business by then."

"I still have some hope."


Hope isn't a business plan.
by spectec
Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS account says no return filed, did receive "Payment with return" and cashed check, no letter?
Replies: 12
Views: 995

Re: IRS account says no return filed, did receive "Payment with return" and cashed check, no letter?

I am in the same boat. I finally got through to a human. He said their goal was to have everything punched and up to date by Sept. 12 and to check after that date. Are you sure that wasn't just different words for "check back in another month"? I think you figured out the special code. "Check back"...
by spectec
Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employers - Will you comply with EO request to defer payroll tax?
Replies: 54
Views: 6648

Re: Employers - Will you comply with EE request to defer payroll tax?

I put the employee hours in and click “enter”. My payroll service handles holding taxes and paying the correct direct deposit. I’ll let them figure it out. Here's a 100% guarantee that if this issue remains ambiguous, your payroll service is going to push that decision back to you. They aren't goin...
by spectec
Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone using crypto exchanges to earn higher interest on their cash?
Replies: 79
Views: 6179

Re: Anyone using crypto exchanges to earn higher interest on their cash?

If you're tempted to dabble in virtual currency, be sure to check the box on your income tax return that says you're doing this. It is a required entry even if you aren't required to include Schedule B on the return. Now you may tell yourself checking that box won't increase your audit potential, an...
by spectec
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else hoarding cash right now?
Replies: 201
Views: 21430

Re: Anyone else hoarding cash right now?

Approaching our mid-70's, we stay around 65-70% cash. I guess you'd cal that a 5% band. That's where we've been for several years. Some may say we've been hoarding cash for a long time, but that's our SWAN number. As we get older, we will probably drift closer to 50-50 for legacy purposes. But for n...
by spectec
Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not sure how to tell if I'm in the affected class (iPhone slowdown settlement)
Replies: 8
Views: 905

Re: Not sure how to tell if I'm in the affected class (iPhone slowdown settlement)

I saw that email yesterday. Deleted it. At $25 per phone, didn't deem it worthwhile to spend the time necessary to figure it all out.
by spectec
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA asking for documentation
Replies: 21
Views: 2440

Re: CPA asking for documentation

dodecahedron nailed all the key elements. Over the years I've seen lots of contribution receipts that had all the financial data but were missing the "magic words", so if the taxpayer contributed over $250 in a single gift or gifts, their receipt was useless in an audit. Furthermore, many churches u...
by spectec
Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: From lender's perspective, why would they lock in such low long-term debt?
Replies: 61
Views: 6106

Re: From lender's perspective, why would they lock in such low long-term debt?

I just refinanced a 30-year ARM which can reset the interest rate every 5 years. I exchanged it for a 30-year fixed rate loan in the 3% range. I'm 72, so given my life expectancy, how long does my new lender think it is actually likely to be before this loan is going to be paid off by my estate? I ...
by spectec
Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPP Loan and New Mortgage
Replies: 12
Views: 762

Re: PPP Loan and New Mortgage

I don't know how underwriting will handle it, but they should view it as a sign you're a careful & efficient money manager.
by spectec
Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: From lender's perspective, why would they lock in such low long-term debt?
Replies: 61
Views: 6106

Re: From lender's perspective, why would they lock in such low long-term debt?

I just refinanced a 30-year ARM which can reset the interest rate every 5 years. I exchanged it for a 30-year fixed rate loan in the 3% range. I'm 72, so given my life expectancy, how long does my new lender think it is actually likely to be before this loan is going to be paid off by my estate?
by spectec
Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare Part D Drug Prices
Replies: 16
Views: 1138

Re: Medicare Part D Drug Prices

That's good info regarding GoodRx. Did not know about trying different zip codes. Thanks for the tip.
by spectec
Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare Part D Drug Prices
Replies: 16
Views: 1138

Re: Medicare Part D Drug Prices

GoodRx is amazing at times. I am buying an expensive drug that is cheaper through GoodRx at Costco than the copay cost under my Part D plan, plus by buying it direct I'm avoiding or delaying falling into the doughnut hole. Other times GoodRx saves me little or nothing. GoodRx prices can change drast...
by spectec
Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Planning for my wife to retire in two years: a checkup
Replies: 16
Views: 1485

Re: Planning for my wife to retire in two years: a checkup

Given your numbers, I don't think this will matter. But about 3 years before my wife retired, we scaled back her take-home pay to what we expected her pension to be in retirement by diverting the difference into our savings/investment account. The idea was to approximate what the income conditions w...
by spectec
Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?
Replies: 195
Views: 16678

Re: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?

But in seriousness, I think the idea isn't that people assume all the residents do is sit around and play bingo. It's more the idea of walling yourself off with a bunch of similarly situated people to do nothing but mindless leisure pursuits. Sounds nice enough for a 2 week vacation, but incredibly...
by spectec
Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who's responsible for escrow mistake?
Replies: 4
Views: 705

Re: Who's responsible for escrow mistake?

I'm in NC so maybe the laws here are different. Yesterday we completed the paperwork for a refi, and one of the documents was an agreement that I would cooperate in correcting any errors THEY may have made in the calculations or with respect to various representations and filings. It's very specific...
by spectec
Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing extension after filing
Replies: 6
Views: 311

Re: Filing extension after filing

I'll modify my answer and suggest you go with Mark's recommendation.
by spectec
Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing extension after filing
Replies: 6
Views: 311

Re: Filing extension after filing

Direct Pay might work. If not, then just drop a paper extension Form 4868 in the mail with the payment. The only reason for the extension is to give them something that fits into their normal processing to handle the payment properly. Assuming $1,000 is the correct balance due, if you paid it later ...
by spectec
Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Deadline Tomorrow - Return (Presumably) Sitting in a Truck Somewhere
Replies: 47
Views: 2758

Re: Tax Deadline Tomorrow - Return (Presumably) Sitting in a Truck Somewhere

File an extension if you're worried about whether they received it. (I call it a "protective extension). Then go focus on something important.
by spectec
Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing extension after filing
Replies: 6
Views: 311

Re: Filing extension after filing

If you've received confirmation that that the original return was filed, then there's no reason to file an extension. Whenever you amend, you'll just be amending a return filed in March with a July 15 due date. You have 3 years to amend, if you find you actually need to do so.
by spectec
Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?
Replies: 195
Views: 16678

Re: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?

My wife and I live in an over-55 single-family home community in Georgetown, TX. We purchased our first home here two years ago, then decided it wasn't exactly what we wanted, so we sold that home (in five days) and recently moved into a home we had built. So far so good! I like to play pickleball,...
by spectec
Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS - Getting a live person for questions
Replies: 6
Views: 421

Re: IRS - Getting a live person for questions

Has anyone ever dialed the customer service IRS number and gotten a live person? I just called and after going through many different voice prompts could not find a topic that pertained to my question. There was no option to get a customer service rep. Is this due to Covid or is this the way it's a...
by spectec
Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?
Replies: 195
Views: 16678

Re: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?

But here's the other MAJOR consideration for me, and is why I was the one to press for this decision beginning 5 years ago. The male is usually the first to die. If that happens, then I will depart having the comfort of knowing that my wife is settled into a community she knows well, doesn't have a...
by spectec
Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?
Replies: 195
Views: 16678

Re: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?

So far nobody asked--what is a 55+ community? I've heard it described as a place where old people tired of living in the real world go to die. Right, but isn't mid or late 50s MUCH too early to enter God's waiting room? The level of interest in doing something like that may indeed change from gener...
by spectec
Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Roth IRAs “Pay taxes once and never again” really best?”
Replies: 131
Views: 11015

Re: Are Roth IRAs “Pay taxes once and never again” really best?”

It is a bit of a guessing game, but if you pass up Roth deductions now in the expectation that you can do considerable conversions later, you are assuming that your income at some point will fall below the threshholds that make conversion practical. From my limited observations, people who are focu...
by spectec
Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Roth IRAs “Pay taxes once and never again” really best?”
Replies: 131
Views: 11015

Re: Are Roth IRAs “Pay taxes once and never again” really best?”

From my limited observations, people who are focused & deliberate long-term investors often never find themselves in a position to be able to do significant Roth conversions profitably, even in retirement. This is a clear sign that you have worked too long and should retire yesterday. I'd rephrase ...
by spectec
Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?
Replies: 195
Views: 16678

Re: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?

We bought a home in a 55+ gated community 3 years ago and we love it. (We're 72 now). There are enough active seniors in our community to make the club house and pool a pleasant place to visit, and the exercise room is a handy feature. Monthly HOA dues are significant but not onerous (for us) We con...
by spectec
Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Roth IRAs “Pay taxes once and never again” really best?”
Replies: 131
Views: 11015

Re: Are Roth IRAs “Pay taxes once and never again” really best?”

Without knowing more about your financial circumstances, I disagree with your accountant based on simple long-term investing principles. Most accountants I know are very focused on the immediate effect of any tax-related move. They like to see the easy-to-calculate, tangible savings of a current tax...
by spectec
Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USPS Lost Taxes. Refile?
Replies: 13
Views: 1171

Re: USPS Lost Taxes. Refile?

Incidentally, my paper-filers who filed back in March are beginning to show anticipated refund dates. IRS is indeed beginning to process paper returns, as they had promised. Take 5 minutes to file a protective extension and stop worrying about this.
by spectec
Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USPS Lost Taxes. Refile?
Replies: 13
Views: 1171

Re: USPS Lost Taxes. Refile?

File an extension before July 15. That will give you until Oct 15 to sort everything out. If you have a large refund there wouldn't be a penalty for a late-filed return, but it would still be in the system as late-filed. Also, sometimes interesting things turn up which change the results on an other...
by spectec
Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will ex-US ever revert to good performance? Or is it just a high-risk, low-reward investment?
Replies: 358
Views: 19428

Re: Will ex-US ever revert to good performance? Or is it just a high-risk, low-reward investment?

"Never bet against America". - Warren Buffet (numerous times) 1. For the nth time :happy : Diversifying with international is not "betting against America," just as I agree that investing only in the U.S. doesn't mean you're xenophobe. 2. Warren Buffet is an investing legend. That doesn't make him ...
by spectec
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do HD OTA Antennas work?
Replies: 60
Views: 5800

Re: How do HD OTA Antennas work?

A powerful antenna without the antenna or cables or wires...hmmmm...that will be difficult. We have a rooftop antenna. I think it is beautiful. An aluminum piece of art. I'm sure the neighbors think so too. :wink: The old guy across the street asked me why I put that ugly thing up. That was 2005. W...
by spectec
Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some tax questions--three 1099 MISCs for 2019
Replies: 5
Views: 441

Re: Some tax questions--three 1099 MISCs for 2019

The 1099 forms are not the only factor. If you received self-employment income for which you did not receive a 1099-MISC, you are also supposed to add that to the total of the 1099-MISC forms you did receive.
by spectec
Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal tax refund is late
Replies: 102
Views: 4134

Re: Federal tax refund is late

I'm recommending to my clients that anyone who has filed and has not seen any resolution should file an extension. This applies to both refunds and balance due returns. Filing the extension has no immediate effect on the return, but pushes the due date to Oct 15. The reasons are a little complicated...
by spectec
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What famous investing quote reminds you of your investing style?
Replies: 150
Views: 7443

Re: What famous investing quote reminds you of your investing style?

1) "You don't know who's swimming naked until the tide goes out". - Warren Buffet

2) "Never ask a barber if you need a haircut." - Warren Buffet

3) my signature
by spectec
Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller breach of contract on home. I need advice.
Replies: 64
Views: 6778

Re: Seller breach of contract on home. I need advice.

"Nothing is done until all the checks have cleared the bank."
by spectec
Sun Jun 07, 2020 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS (or SS or Medicare or ???) leaving me dazed and confused
Replies: 20
Views: 2350

Re: IRS leaving me dazed and confused

The check should have some notations in the lower-left quadrant disclosing the source of the payment, whether there is any interest component, and the year affected. You will also receive a letter at some point in the future regarding the payment and any adjustments which may have been made in arriv...
by spectec
Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I got a defective product on ebay. The seller gave me a refund. Do I need to ship the product back to him?
Replies: 24
Views: 1621

Re: I got a defective product on ebay. The seller gave me a refund. Do I need to ship the product back to him?

I recently received an item that was broken in transit. I sent a picture to the seller with an explanatory note and they promptly refunded my money with no request to return it. If the item you received has obvious damage, maybe a picture would suffice.
by spectec
Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller breach of contract on home. I need advice.
Replies: 64
Views: 6778

Re: Seller breach of contract on home. I need advice.

Don't remember where I first heard this:
"Two honorable people doing business with one another don't need a contract. But that's why we need contracts."
by spectec
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Guess I Need A New TV?
Replies: 18
Views: 2158

Re: I Guess I Need A New TV?

If you ultimately decide to replace the TV, I'll toss in my recommendation. Last week I bought a 43" LG Smart TV from Costco for $270 + tax. It's some sort of "limited time special" but I assume it's still going on. Picture is great and sound quality is acceptable. The remote control is awesome with...
by spectec
Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: COVID-19 EIDL Loan Status?
Replies: 11
Views: 858

Re: COVID-19 EIDL Loan Status?

They require a "Review" statement, prepared by an independent accountant. Review statements cost more than simple financial statements - depends upon your accountant. The terms of the SBA loan also place severe restrictions on your ability to dispose of assets or relocate the business. And the agree...
by spectec
Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need to Pay Estimated Taxes for Social Security?
Replies: 31
Views: 2544

Re: Need to Pay Estimated Taxes for Social Security?

The penalty on a $ 1,300 balance would be so low that it's almost not worth the trouble to bother with paying estimated tax (assuming they do actually owe). Or they could pay the entire amount in a single payment in April of each year and be done with it. I definitely would not have tax withheld on ...