Search found 294 matches

by PatrickA5
Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Credit Cards Actually Convenient?
Replies: 61
Views: 3137

Re: Are Credit Cards Actually Convenient?

We use CC's probably 99% of the time. According to my spreadsheet, DW and I have had over 120 credit cards over the last 15 years and I bet we've only been declined 5-10 times in that time frame (usually while on vacation). We're currently down to 4 open cards mainly due to the miles/points hobby be...
by PatrickA5
Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandpa's 88 and has term life insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2824

Re: Grandpa's 88 and has term life insurance

Edited to add: I have helped elderly relatives with their finances and found that they are very reluctant to cash in even small (whole) life insurance policies that they have had for 30 years or more when there really isn't any advantage to keeping them in force. They seem to consider canceling ins...
by PatrickA5
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, tell me about your 40's?
Replies: 179
Views: 37569

Re: Bogleheads, tell me about your 40's?

My 40's saw 2 market crashes, so our net worth went up, then down, then up, then down. I think we ended up with probably double what we started with, but that was probably all contributions. Our 50's is where we really socked away the money (almost 60 now). I don't remember much about my 40's other ...
by PatrickA5
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for those who used 529 plans
Replies: 48
Views: 2943

Re: Question for those who used 529 plans

We put a ton of money in my DS's plan in 2012 when he was in 9th grade. Since we were getting close to high school, we just put it in the "guaranteed fund" and it has made maybe 2% per year. Wasn't willing to risk losing his college fund during a short time period. If you select a similar plan, you ...
by PatrickA5
Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 17952

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

DS had good HS grades (around 4.0), but only above average ACT. Top private school in area was giving $15K "scholarships" to anybody that qualified to get into the school (which he would have), bringing the cost down to around $40K per year. He ended up going to state university ($20K per year). Fro...
by PatrickA5
Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me pick my vanguard investment
Replies: 39
Views: 1812

Re: Help me pick my vanguard investment

If you are looking for the absolute highest return over the next 20 years, you'd want to pick the single fund that does the best. Having more than one fund will result in a lower performance. Having said that, there's not a single person in the Bogleheads community that can tell you for certain whic...
by PatrickA5
Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical alert "button"
Replies: 34
Views: 2119

Re: Medical alert "button"

I bought my dad one when he was 90 (and living alone). He basically wouldn't wear it - no matter how much I encourage it. Over the course of the next several years, he had numerous falls but always managed to eventually get to a phone. Until his last fall. I found him the next day laying on the floo...
by PatrickA5
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will question
Replies: 28
Views: 2732

Re: Will question

bsteiner, Thanks for the comments about tax vs estate planning attorneys. I know that some estate planning attorneys get masters degrees in tax. I realize that an estates and trusts lawyer has to know enough tax to account for the tax implications of the estate plan. I have imagined that there are ...
by PatrickA5
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good Dad, Bad Dad [pay for son's driving expenses (or not)]
Replies: 49
Views: 3819

Re: Good Dad, Bad Dad

Each of my 3 kids got their license on the day they turned 16. We had already bought them a "throw away" car to use while they had their permits and learning to drive. The cars were good enough to be safe and reliable, but nothing we'd carry collision on and nothing we'd fix if it was wrecked (which...
by PatrickA5
Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will question
Replies: 28
Views: 2732

Re: Will question

There is nothing in the facts presented that would suggest that a revocable trust would be appropriate in the original poster's situation. [/quote] After months of studying, reading books, going to seminars, etc I still don't know if we really need a Trust. Probably, the only reason I would go for ...
by PatrickA5
Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retire at 55, what's the magic number
Replies: 169
Views: 21986

Re: Retire at 55, what's the magic number

“I think that since the OP is postulating retiring at 55, they wouldn't want to plan on 25x, that will only carry them to age 80, which probably is significantly below their life expectancy.“ How do you figure 25x expenses only gets you to 80? Even if you spend 1/25 of your savings per year you are...
by PatrickA5
Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Checklist for Parents of Incoming Freshmen/To-Be Adult
Replies: 67
Views: 4445

Re: Checklist for Parents of Incoming Freshmen/To-Be Adult

BHs - Any suggestions about dos and donts on college shopping? Or leave it up to her completely ? This may be different at other schools, but my advice is DON'T buy all the required books prior to class. My first semester I ordered all my books that were on the syllabus, all marked required texts, ...
by PatrickA5
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do You Value Your Home for Net Worth Purposes?
Replies: 150
Views: 10263

Re: How Do You Value Your Home for Net Worth Purposes?

I use Zillow. It's low, but good enough. The only reason I calculate Net Worth is to keep track of where I stand financially over the years. Having 20 years of Net Worth is interesting (at least to me). No other reason.
by PatrickA5
Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How old were you when you started spending your “principal”?
Replies: 90
Views: 8759

Re: How old were you when you started spending your “principal”?

Not sure what "principal" means. It sounds like most people are saying whatever their retirement savings balance was on the date they retired was their "principal". Of course, even that beginning balance contained money actually contributed (Principal) and money gained over the many years of pre-ret...
by PatrickA5
Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any reason to not file significant other as dependent
Replies: 7
Views: 1202

Re: Any reason to not file significant other as dependent

I suppose if your SO truly qualify as a qualifying relative, why not? I can't really think of anything that would come back to haunt you. It would get you an extra exemption (at least for 2017). Not relative, but apparently they don't need to be a relative. Who's the "they"? Do you have more than O...
by PatrickA5
Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition
Replies: 121
Views: 7229

Re: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition

khh wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:42 pm
Call the IRS and ask.
Bad idea. The IRS person on the phone can tell anything they want, but it might not be right and it won't get you off the hook if the IRS later say's differently. I guess you could pay some bucks for a Private Letter Ruling.
by PatrickA5
Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any reason to not file significant other as dependent
Replies: 7
Views: 1202

Re: Any reason to not file significant other as dependent

I suppose if your SO truly qualify as a qualifying relative, why not? I can't really think of anything that would come back to haunt you. It would get you an extra exemption (at least for 2017).
by PatrickA5
Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kiplingers Retirement Report
Replies: 17
Views: 3465

Re: Kiplingers Retirement Report

I've taken Kiplingers magazine for years - back when it was Changing Times magazine. I've been taking the Retirement Report for probably the last 5 years. I can't say that I really can recommend either. I read so much of this financial stuff, that I rarely read anything that could change my financia...
by PatrickA5
Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Endorse a Check Made out to an Estate
Replies: 16
Views: 2316

Re: How to Endorse a Check Made out to an Estate

You shouldn't have any trouble. Endorse it as written and deposit it in the joint account. The bank will probably accept it, although I wouldn't raise the question with them. Gill Good idea. I went ahead and endorsed as suggested and deposited it using my mobile phone app. Hopefully, it will go thr...
by PatrickA5
Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Endorse a Check Made out to an Estate
Replies: 16
Views: 2316

Re: How to Endorse a Check Made out to an Estate

You shouldn't have any trouble. Endorse it as written and deposit it in the joint account. The bank will probably accept it, although I wouldn't raise the question with them. Gill Good idea. I went ahead and endorsed as suggested and deposited it using my mobile phone app. Hopefully, it will go thr...
by PatrickA5
Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Endorse a Check Made out to an Estate
Replies: 16
Views: 2316

Re: How to Endorse a Check Made out to an Estate

It is probably a matter of state law, but if there was no probate, were you ever appointed executor? When I settled an estate I did get letters of administration and opened a bank account for the estate. Before I had the bank account I did get hassles with checks made out to the deceased or to the ...
by PatrickA5
Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Endorse a Check Made out to an Estate
Replies: 16
Views: 2316

How to Endorse a Check Made out to an Estate

I've been handling my fathers estate over the last couple of months. There was no probate. Everything (including house) was either TOD or jointly owned. We're down to the final few utility bills before the house closes this week. Anyway, I received a check made out to "The estate of Dad". How would ...
by PatrickA5
Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?
Replies: 47
Views: 4799

Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Closed our TD accounts a couple of years ago as part of a major simplification plan.

We're down to one B&M Bank, Ally, Vanguard and a 529 plan. I don't think I can get it any simpler than that.
by PatrickA5
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If you were to fully fund 2 Roths 22k tommorow.
Replies: 20
Views: 1556

Re: If you were to fully fund 2 Roths 22k tommorow.

cfs wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:31 pm
Another vote for Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth.

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/ ... true#tab=0

Good luck, y gracias por leer ~cfs~
Did you notice the ER went down to .13% Yee haw!
by PatrickA5
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If you were to fully fund 2 Roths 22k tommorow.
Replies: 20
Views: 1556

Re: If you were to fully fund 2 Roths 22k tommorow.

Since I roll with a 60/40 asset allocation I would put all of it in Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth while I sorted out what I really wanted to do with it. Exactly what I did yesterday for our 2018 Roth contributions. But, then again 98% of our retirement is in that one fund. No reason to chan...
by PatrickA5
Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K: Guaranteed 9.3% Return?
Replies: 43
Views: 6131

Re: 401K: Guaranteed 9.3% Return?

Remember, states without income tax have to pay the bills somehow. Check all of the other taxes before assuming you're going to make a 9.3% savings.
by PatrickA5
Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Target Date Funds
Replies: 25
Views: 2377

Re: Vanguard Target Date Funds

I "hate" them because: 1. They are advertised to be purchased by a date of retirement, which is bad financial advice being given by a mutual fund company that should not be giving advice to naive investors who should not be taking advice from a mutual fund company. 2. They have had a history of cha...
by PatrickA5
Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Switching to online bank. Keep brick/mortar bank account open?
Replies: 54
Views: 3497

Re: Switching to online bank. Keep brick/mortar bank account open?

While my primary bank is online, yes, I keep a local account too (actually 2). I could survive in online only mode, but it is not my preference. In spite of the fact that I actually only set foot in a local bank bank about twice per year. The size of account balances needed to keep this free is sma...
by PatrickA5
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Torn between Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab
Replies: 180
Views: 21589

Re: Torn between Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab

relative newbie to investing in general .... tomorrow get to sit down for my second session with an advisor in a nearby local Fidelity office While Fidelity and Schwab don't have reputations for doing everything they can to steal your money, they still need to make a profit. Please be careful about...
by PatrickA5
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why child care tax credit for double income families, but not single?
Replies: 32
Views: 3682

Re: Why child care tax credit for double income families, but not single?

I have wondered if my wife gets a seasonal job if we can write off dependent care all year. While technically you're supposed to be working at the time of the daycare, the only amounts that matter on the tax form are the amount of daycare expenses and the earned income of the lower spouse. There's ...
by PatrickA5
Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living will, medical directive, etc. -
Replies: 7
Views: 648

Re: Living will, medical directive, etc. -

Be sure your health care directive is up to date. I recently had to go through this with my dad. His directive was 20 years old and when the time came that we needed to use that directive, the state law had changed and the "circumstance" that we were needing to use wasn't included on the old directi...
by PatrickA5
Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Simple question regarding caring for elderly parents
Replies: 16
Views: 2451

Re: Simple question regarding caring for elderly parents

When my mom died in 2006, I had my dad set up POA, Will and healthcare directive. I basically had to do it for him and drove him to the attorneys office to sign the papers. If they haven't done this already, you need to help them do it now while they are still mentally capable of doing it. Dad lived...
by PatrickA5
Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?
Replies: 111
Views: 9388

Re: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?

Don't forget about those "braces" at $3K - $5k per kid. My three kids bought their orthodontist a very nice car!
by PatrickA5
Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying This Week: IPhone X or IPhone 8 Plus
Replies: 35
Views: 3458

Re: Buying This Week: IPhone X or IPhone 8 Plus

I recently upgraded to an IPhone X from a 10 year old LG flip phone with an 2" screen. So far, I'm please with the upgrade. I'm hopeful it will also last 10 years, but my wife's IPhone 6 is already causing her problems and it's only 3 years old. As far as making actual phone calls, I still prefer my...
by PatrickA5
Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R income tax class review
Replies: 17
Views: 839

Re: H&R income tax class review

After I quit megacorp in 2008, I figured I needed something to do part time to get out of the house. Being a CPA already, I figured I'd like to do some taxes so I signed up for the Block class in 2009 and worked for Block from 2010 - 2016 on a seasonal basis. The class back then was very comprehensi...
by PatrickA5
Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn service etiquette
Replies: 36
Views: 4061

Re: Lawn service etiquette

$700 might be high. Or not. Depends on how much area is being mulched and how long it took. My flower beds take about 100 3cf bags of pine bark mulch every time I get it mulched. The wholesale price my lawn guys pay is $3 per bag ($4.95 if I bought it retail), so just the mulch alone is $300. Most l...
by PatrickA5
Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: am I crazy to do a lump sum investment with my entire retirement in this current stock market?
Replies: 47
Views: 6398

Re: am I crazy to do a lump sum investment with my entire retirement in this current stock market?

my husband has some retirement also, maybe $100,000 or so. He has maybe 75% of it in a self-directed Roth IRA that he uses to issue personal loans (the borrowers being coworkers and their acquaintances), and the rest in his employer-sponsored 401K. He hasn't been reading all the info on the stock m...
by PatrickA5
Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Support test for college student filing Indepently
Replies: 32
Views: 1169

Re: Support test for college student filing Indepently

There are special rules for the refundable portion of the AOTC that you might want to look into. Basically, the student has to provide over half of his own support from earned income from working (i.e. a job). That lasts until age 24. With your DS still being in high school until the Fall, I'd think...
by PatrickA5
Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it better to include spouse on car title?
Replies: 27
Views: 2837

Re: Is it better to include spouse on car title?

Check with your state and see if it's easy to inherit a car without probating it. We always put both names on the title but use "and/or" on the title. That way either of us can sell the car.
by PatrickA5
Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [How to reserve funds for final expenses]
Replies: 10
Views: 662

Re: [How to reserve funds for final expenses]

I know my dad has a pre-paid plan at the cemetery. I'm pretty sure it is in some kind of account since he gets a statement each year from the cemetery showing how much interest he's earned. I have no idea how much he put in - maybe $5K. DW and I are thinking about doing something similar. Anybody go...
by PatrickA5
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long do you save tax returns?
Replies: 39
Views: 3588

Re: How long do you save tax returns?

When in doubt, throw it Out! We keep a couple years only. +1 Having had to go through a deceased relative's 40 years of paper work and determine what needed to be shredded and what needed to be kept, do your heirs a favor and clean up. It took WEEKS to shred everything and we still had three banker...
by PatrickA5
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long do you save tax returns?
Replies: 39
Views: 3588

Re: How long do you save tax returns?

When in doubt, throw it Out! We keep a couple years only. +1 Having had to go through a deceased relative's 40 years of paper work and determine what needed to be shredded and what needed to be kept, do your heirs a favor and clean up. It took WEEKS to shred everything and we still had three banker...
by PatrickA5
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reason for Power of Attorney?
Replies: 12
Views: 1056

Re: Reason for Power of Attorney?

Make sure you know what your POA will be accepted for. For many things a General POA will not be accepted, life changing items require specific POA. Example. "I authorize my wife to buy this house at this address for this price and sign things in my name related to that specific purchase." I'm not ...
by PatrickA5
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reason for Power of Attorney?
Replies: 12
Views: 1056

Re: Reason for Power of Attorney?

In OP situation, a Durable POA cannot hurt. For example, in the case of the absence or incapacity of one, there may be financial matters (such as payments to one party) where a joint account may not be completely satisfactory. Let's say an insurance settlement check to a disabled/incapacitated pers...
by PatrickA5
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Policy - 1M or 2M
Replies: 43
Views: 4400

Re: Umbrella Policy - 1M or 2M

Currently I have 1M umbrella policy. I pay $390 per year. Insurance agent quoted $610 for $2m policy. Should I upgrade my policy? Is there any additional advantage of having 1M vs 2M policy? - We will have a new teen driver this year. - Net Assets crossed 2M this year. Thanks, Tom tommormile, Seems...
by PatrickA5
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reason for Power of Attorney?
Replies: 12
Views: 1056

Re: Reason for Power of Attorney?

When you go to amend your POA documents, make sure: 1. Your POA powers are effective immediately, not triggered by some contingency. You don't want it turning into a legal battle to determine if an event was triggered or not, based upon what the banks or any healthcare institution might argue. Make...
by PatrickA5
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reason for Power of Attorney?
Replies: 12
Views: 1056

Re: Reason for Power of Attorney?

Doing a little more research I found out that if one is incapacitated it would be difficult for a spouse to sell a jointly owned property. Basically, they wouldn't have the right to sign the deed for the incapacitated person without having a POA (or trust). So, that reason by itself is probably a go...
by PatrickA5
Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Our 'cure' for emergency expenses
Replies: 96
Views: 11506

Re: Our 'cure' for emergency expenses

We used to do something similar. We basically had a separate checking account that we paid monthly as well as quarterly/annual expenses from. We'd direct deposit an amount equal to 1/24th of theses expenses each payday. Then the bills would be direct debited from the account automatically. It wasn't...
by PatrickA5
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reason for Power of Attorney?
Replies: 12
Views: 1056

Reason for Power of Attorney?

Mine and DW POA's are old and outdated and we're thinking of replacing them. But, I got to thinking if there is even a reason to do so? We're joint on all bank accounts, houses, cars, etc. We have full agent authority on all of our retirement accounts. So, I'm having a hard time figuring out why we ...
by PatrickA5
Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trustee vs POA
Replies: 27
Views: 1758

Re: Trustee vs POA

Can anybody think of a reason why DW and I would want a trust instead of POA when all of our accounts are jointly owned anyway? I'm talking about when I'm incapacitated - not the benefits of a trust for inheritance purposes.