Search found 262 matches

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: 8181

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: 3007

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: 712

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: 3745

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: 5820

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: 1006

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: 2108

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: 566

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: 3276

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: 3276

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: 926

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: 926

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: 4027

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: 926

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: 926

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: 10707

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: 926

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: 1539

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.
by PatrickA5
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Executor/Trustee question
Replies: 20
Views: 1318

Re: Executor/Trustee question

California has a Small Estates Affidavit for $150,000. So if your nontrust assets total less than $150,000 and are documented on the Small Estates Affidavit, you avoid probate proceedings. This is such a reasonable law and efficient process for those of us who are going to unwind our families estat...
by PatrickA5
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: effect of authorized user on credit report?
Replies: 8
Views: 538

Re: effect of authorized user on credit report?

I recently added my DD to about 5 of my accounts. Didn't give her a card, but thought it might help her terrible credit score. Her score went from 523 to 730 in a couple of months. Basically, it gave her credit where she had none before. I assume taking her off my accounts would drop the score back ...
by PatrickA5
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Uber experience as worker?
Replies: 16
Views: 1656

Re: Uber experience as worker?

Don't forget Income Taxes and Self Employment taxes. If you're doing Uber as a side gig with a full time job, I could easily see Fed, State and SE taxes combining for 35 - 40% of your net income. Back when I was doing taxes, I did several Uber drivers. Most said "not worth it" once I told them what ...
by PatrickA5
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Planning (Input Requested)
Replies: 14
Views: 1261

Re: Estate Planning (Input Requested)

Just to be clear what type of trust is this. Is it a revocable living trust? If you wanted to revoke the trust, it should be relatively straightforward to move the brokerage accounts out of the trusts and the real estate is already out of the trusts ( so nothing to do). But maybe its some other typ...
by PatrickA5
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What information should my heirs have just in case
Replies: 12
Views: 690

Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

You might want to get some kind of planner book to record everything. I recently completed the Get it Together Planner (see Amazon). It's a notebook that contains everything from my Will, POA, Bank Accounts, Funeral directions, Insurance, all the way down to my magazine subscriptions. It took me qui...
by PatrickA5
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 gift limits
Replies: 11
Views: 1008

Re: 529 gift limits

I believe it's up the 15K for 2018 gifts
by PatrickA5
Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 gift limits
Replies: 11
Views: 1008

Re: 529 gift limits

On the other end, when the beneficiary uses the funds, they get a 1099-Q showing the basis and total amount. The school sends the student a 1098-T showing school costs. When I pay for my son's college and then request a 529 reimbursement, the 1099Q is made out to me, not the beneficiary. Not that i...
by PatrickA5
Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loans after kid graduates?
Replies: 35
Views: 2237

Re: Pay off student loans after kid graduates?

I guess we could have loaned her the money, but my stress level would have been even worse than when she just owed the money to Sallie Mae. DW and I decided long ago we're not loaning family anything. Unless everything works out perfectly, it can cause a lot of grief. I'd rather just give the money...
by PatrickA5
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loans after kid graduates?
Replies: 35
Views: 2237

Re: Pay off student loans after kid graduates?

OP, One consideration is the potential gift tax consequences should you and your spouse give him $50k in one year. It is hard for me to imagine the debt burden that some young people start off with when graduating with a four year degree. It can limit their choices in life. I agree, but I also thin...
by PatrickA5
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills and Trusts - what are you doing for the "immediate family all gone" scenario?
Replies: 8
Views: 633

Re: Wills and Trusts - what are you doing for the "immediate family all gone" scenario?

I think my current Will says if there aren't any beneficiaries left that the inheritance goes according to State laws. In my case, to my father, but more likely to my brother and if he's gone to my niece and nephew. I'm fine with this.
by PatrickA5
Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trusts for adult Children
Replies: 203
Views: 10563

Re: Trusts for adult Children

I like to analyze things to death, and ask a lot of questions, and am seldom so over-awed by the intelligence and expertise of the exalted professional that I take advice without a lot of questions about why that's the best path and what other possible solutions were rejected to come up with this a...
by PatrickA5
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loans after kid graduates?
Replies: 35
Views: 2237

Re: Pay off student loans after kid graduates?

We paid off our daughters loans for her masters (around 50K). I paid directly to the lender. She was VERY thankful and it was a huge relief to her as I thought she'd have problems ever paying them off being a Special Ed teacher (at the time). She has used that degree to further her career in helping...
by PatrickA5
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter from Social Security re Fraudulent Claim
Replies: 54
Views: 5073

Re: Letter from Social Security re Fraudulent Claim

If I got the letter, I'd probably head down to SS today and see what it's about. I'd want to get the process started.
by PatrickA5
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trusts for adult Children
Replies: 203
Views: 10563

Re: Trusts for adult Children

I like to analyze things to death, and ask a lot of questions, and am seldom so over-awed by the intelligence and expertise of the exalted professional that I take advice without a lot of questions about why that's the best path and what other possible solutions were rejected to come up with this a...
by PatrickA5
Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trusts for adult Children
Replies: 203
Views: 10563

Re: Trusts for adult Children

[/quote] I definitely would not have everything pass by TOD/POD or beneficiary designation. There will be expenses after you die. Taxes to pay, maintenance of the houses until they sell... If you leave no money in the estate your executor will have to chase down and unwind these distributions to pay...
by PatrickA5
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trusts for adult Children
Replies: 203
Views: 10563

Re: Trusts for adult Children

Going through the same thing trying to figure out what to do. I would appreciate any suggestions. We have a meeting scheduled with an estate lawyer coming up soon. Background Married 38 years (each 60) Have Wills, POAs and Health Care Directives Three kids (19,25,31) Good kids, decent but not high p...
by PatrickA5
Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Settling probate and Living Trust
Replies: 5
Views: 302

Re: Settling probate and Living Trust

IANAL, but I thought in order to avoid probate, the revocable trust had to be "funded" ie. assets transferred to the trust while grantor is living. Although in CT, that does not avoid Probate fees which are still charged. That is my understanding also. That is, if the trust hasn't been funded at de...
by PatrickA5
Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can one leave just part of an IRA to a Trust?
Replies: 27
Views: 1132

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

Does anyone know if a "pour over will" has to be probated? I've read in several places that it does. I've also read from people that have used "pour over wills" that nothing was in the trust at death and "everything" was transferred to the trust after death - without probate. Thanks.
by PatrickA5
Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent Care Credit vs FSA in 12% bracket
Replies: 4
Views: 456

Re: Dependent Care Credit vs FSA in 12% bracket

Good luck! Don't spend that $10.50 all in one place!
by PatrickA5
Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife's Windfall/Inheritance/Retirement/Merrill Lynch
Replies: 37
Views: 4847

Re: Wife's Windfall/Inheritance/Retirement/Merrill Lynch

I would at least pay off the $15K in school loans just to get rid of a payment, if nothing else. Sure, it's only 2.75%, but why mess with having it. But, I'm one of those people that doesn't like paying any interest. I would pay off the house too, but you've already stated you're not interested in d...
by PatrickA5
Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does Vanguard have a way to track outside investments?
Replies: 9
Views: 1458

Re: Does Vanguard have a way to track outside investments?

On my "overview" screen, I see mine and DW's IRAs and VG brokerage accounts. You can add outside accounts to this screen, but I have to manually change the number of shares if there are additions/subtractions in the outside account.
by PatrickA5
Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do 401k contributions count toward income for mortgages?
Replies: 2
Views: 421

Re: Do 401k contributions count toward income for mortgages?

I think they usually use Gross Income off your pay stubs. Not sure what they would do if they see your net pay is so low after taking out 401K.
by PatrickA5
Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 1st, your education. Then...Location, Location, Location
Replies: 66
Views: 8643

Re: 1st, your education. Then...Location, Location, Location

If money is the most important thing to you - don't have kids. Our kids cost us an absolute fortune growing up.

Money isn't the most important thing for us and we've enjoyed spending money on the kids. I'm sure they'll pay us back some day :happy
by PatrickA5
Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At What Point Do you Just Only Play with "House Money"
Replies: 27
Views: 2359

Re: At What Point Do you Just Only Play with "House Money"

We kind of did a little of that. Our retirement portfolio is up $200K this year, so I took a distribution for half and put it in CDs at Ally. Didn't really affect our 60/40 allocation much and is really just another way of rebalancing, but it just kind of seemed different - like I was taking some wi...
by PatrickA5
Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will you take this Fidelity bait ?
Replies: 126
Views: 13584

Re: Will you take this Fidelity bait ?

We currently have almost all of our retirement at VG. We've had accounts at Fidelity and Schwab, but last year decided to consolidate everything in order to simplify our finances. I liked Fidelity and Schwab's website better, but have gotten so used to VGs that I can do everything easily. I've had g...
by PatrickA5
Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accountant fees reasonable?
Replies: 39
Views: 3302

Re: Accountant fees reasonable?

In situations in the past where I've taken over doing taxes for some elderly relatives I ask for a copy of their prior year return so I don't miss anything in the transition. When they've used a commercial preparer (CPA, bookkeeper, accountant etc) I usually see a large volume of forrns and schedul...
by PatrickA5
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Tax Credit vs Dependant Care FSA for 2018
Replies: 5
Views: 523

Re: Child Tax Credit vs Dependant Care FSA for 2018

Correct, if you only have one kid in day care the $5,000 FSA would very likely be the way to go. The Dependent Care credit is based on a max of $3,000 for up to two kids (i.e. $3000 for one kid and $6,000 for 2).
by PatrickA5
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking FSA to Expenses
Replies: 3
Views: 358

Re: Tracking FSA to Expenses

Never heard of being able to increase an FSA within the plan year without a qualifying event. I'm very surprised they let you do that.
by PatrickA5
Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Tax Credit vs Dependant Care FSA for 2018
Replies: 5
Views: 523

Re: Child Tax Credit vs Dependant Care FSA for 2018

I think you're confusing the Child Tax Credit with the Dependent Care Credit. The Child and Dependent Care credit (for day care) didn't change as far as I know.
by PatrickA5
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accountant fees reasonable?
Replies: 39
Views: 3302

Re: Accountant fees reasonable?

So glad to be out of the tax prep business. It's one of the hardest businesses where you are constantly trying to justify your price to a client base who doesn't understand what you did or what problem you solved and why that is worth the fee you are charging. It would be easier selling $4,000 car ...
by PatrickA5
Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 886
Views: 51074

Re: Tax Bill Omnibus Thread

Anyone know if there are any changes in the deductibility of EE/I bonds used for education (or using proceeds to fund a 529 plan)? Good question - does anyone know? I was hoping to deduct I bond interest in 2018 to fund a 529. I already did so in 2017. Just kinda bumping this because it feels like ...
by PatrickA5
Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5 yr forward max for 529 plan
Replies: 10
Views: 1237

Re: 5 yr forward max for 529 plan

I'm not sure about your state, buy in mine you can put in a large amount and deduct it over 5 years. Back in 2011, I put in 100K and took the $20K maximum deduction over then next 5 years.