Search found 351 matches

by Miakis
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?
Replies: 58
Views: 2663

Re: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?

If it's 35 minutes until boarding, I'd probably take a chance. But if it's 35 minutes to take off, I would not. Remember that gates usually close 15 minutes prior to take off. So that 35 minute window could be a 20 minute window.
by Miakis
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Be Careful Using Mailboxes
Replies: 57
Views: 6908

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

My CPA says we are his only client who insists on NOT writing checks with our tax returns but always paying online thru e-check or CCard. It just feels safer NOT to write both our full SS#s on the check as IT’S required. Sadly, the IRS is claiming we didn’t pay them even though we have a receipt fr...
by Miakis
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Be Careful Using Mailboxes
Replies: 57
Views: 6908

Re: Be Careful Using Mailboxes

I wrote a check for girl scout cookies that got stolen out of the mother's car and went through the exact same thing as the OP's parents. It was super annoying to deal with. The lesson is to be wary of writing checks, I think. You can't really control their custody after you let them go. Writing che...
by Miakis
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to verify if seller is legally collecting sales tax (CA)
Replies: 7
Views: 913

Re: How to verify if seller is legally collecting sales tax (CA)

You can't, really. There's no public record for checking to see if retailers are properly filing sales tax unless the state files a lien or forecloses on their business for being delinquent. As the consumer, your responsibility is to pay sales tax, or self-reported use tax if the seller doesn't char...
by Miakis
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article: Rich kids are counting on inheritance to pay for retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 4493

Re: Article: Rich kids are counting on inheritance to pay for retirement

If you'd asked me when I was 18 years old if I thought I was get an inheritance and where it would come from, I would have listed most of the sources in the article: Uncle, Grandfather, Father. They seemed affluent and I, like the young people surveyed, believed they would leave me something. Fast f...
by Miakis
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Girls and investing
Replies: 115
Views: 5610

Re: Girls and investing

If I had kids, I'd probably start them off by letting them choose shares of a company to buy each year for their birthday. I assume it would be companies that produce their favorite products. I'd then buy them an equal dollar amount of a total market mutual fund or maybe the S&P 500. Then each year ...
by Miakis
Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ultrasonic pest repellent - do they work?
Replies: 6
Views: 696

Re: Ultrasonic pest repellent - do they work?

Mice kept taking up residence in the roof of my screened porch and were driving me nuts. I got one to plug in out there and it seems to have worked. The mouse noise went away after a couple of days. Or maybe the mouse just died?

Ant season has passed, so I can't tell if it works on them.
by Miakis
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which route for older adult with no retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 2388

Re: Which route for older adult with no retirement?

I have about 10 hairstylist tax clients - they are all self-employed individuals who rent booths. I highly suggest you consider this as an option. Most are able to contact their current regular clients and inform them of the change and the clients move with them. Some of them immediately make more i...
by Miakis
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tip
Replies: 87
Views: 5310

Re: How to tip

20% on the after tax bill is my typical tip. I tip more if I ordered something small, but stayed a long time. Or sometimes if it seems slow and they don't have many covers. 15% for sub par service that I'm mildly annoyed about, but not angry. Like, if it was bad, but didn't ruin my meal. 10% for bad...
by Miakis
Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Advisers Add $$$ Value?
Replies: 71
Views: 5470

Re: Do Advisers Add $$$ Value?

I don't think the line of questioning is complete. If advisers add value, then do all advisers add value? Surely not. I have encountered many terrible adviser-managed portfolios. If advisers add value, then do they add value to all investors? Definitely not. Many people (Bogleheads especially) are a...
by Miakis
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: legal document with hyphen/non hyphen middle name
Replies: 11
Views: 1082

Re: legal document with hyphen/non hyphen middle name

I’ve heard that this can be a problem that can be time consuming to fix in two different circumstances: 1) When applying for social security / Medicare if your names don’t match up 2) For flying, especially internationally, if the name on your photo ID (e.g. drivers license) doesn’t exactly match t...
by Miakis
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???
Replies: 53
Views: 4244

Re: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???

The plan makes almost no sense. 1) The answer to your question is no - there's no mortgage lender that will give you a US based mortgage for a Dominican home. You can cash-out refinance (put a new mortgage on your current home and use the equity to buy the foreign home) or get an asset-backed loan, ...
by Miakis
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do We need health insurance??
Replies: 94
Views: 6104

Re: Do We need health insurance??

Has anyone here actually seen or bought a catastrophic or high deductible plan independent of an employer? We're looking into filling the gap between COBRA and Medicare and can't find anything in our state except the ACA type plans with very narrow networks. If we could find a catastrophic plan whe...
by Miakis
Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DNA ancestry testing
Replies: 84
Views: 8079

Re: DNA ancestry testing

My husband and I did it through 23 and Me, recently. It was a bit of fun. No big surprises. My husband is from a German ethnic minority that lived in Russia then immigrated to the United States several generations ago. They have great genealogical records because they're Catholic and there have alwa...
by Miakis
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre nups.
Replies: 54
Views: 5414

Re: Pre nups.

Prenups are great. They provide an excellent vehicle to have a very concrete discussion about financial expectations in the marriage. You find out a lot about your spouse during the conversation: 1. Are they mature enough to have the discussion? 2. Are they reasonable? 3. Do they expect to be a stay...
by Miakis
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you start flying business class?
Replies: 155
Views: 11710

Re: When did you start flying business class?

I fly business class/first class any time my trip is more than 4 hours. If it's under four hours, I still look at the upgrade options and choose one if it suits me. I always choose an option that lets me choose my seats, at a minimum, and sometimes a premium economy with more space. I believe the cu...
by Miakis
Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I lose tax benefits if I move home office out of the home?
Replies: 10
Views: 1043

Re: Do I lose tax benefits if I move home office out of the home?

Having an outside work space does not automatically disqualify you from having a home office.

The IRS has a very clear discussion in Publication 587.
by Miakis
Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Found an FSBO home for sale. How to avoid Realtor?
Replies: 42
Views: 3535

Re: Found an FSBO home for sale. How to avoid Realtor?

A title company can generally give you a lot of guidance on a FSBO. They're not going to advise you on how to make an offer or pricing, but they can walk you through how to execute the actual sale and what is commonly done with a FSBO.
by Miakis
Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for assisting 18 year old son after high school
Replies: 70
Views: 5344

Re: Advice for assisting 18 year old son after high school

I think you're doing enough without the stipend. He's getting: - Free room and board - Free car insurance - Free health insurance - Major expenses, such as car repairs paid for - A job offer - Free moving expenses - College savings waiting in the wings That's more than a lot of kids his age get. Why...
by Miakis
Thu May 17, 2018 9:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Friend says "Stock market will crash, invest in silver" - thoughts?
Replies: 127
Views: 8484

Re: Friend says "Stock market will crash, invest in silver" - thoughts?

I have a degree in Economics and I was taught by many decorated Doctors of Economics. None of them were particularly wealthy.
by Miakis
Fri May 11, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS tax form [Rejected as photocopy, signature must be in blue ink]
Replies: 41
Views: 3426

Re: IRS tax form [Rejected as photocopy, signature must be in blue ink]

The IRS is pretty annoying about this. And arbitrary. As a CPA, I submit a lot of stuff to the IRS, and all my pens are black ink. I've never had one rejected for that, but I did once have one rejected back to a client for having a digital facsimile of a signature - when in fact the signature was ju...
by Miakis
Sat May 05, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs
Replies: 30
Views: 2577

Re: Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs

I'm in Zone 5. Persimmon trees - I have planted American persimmon and an American-Asian hybrid. I can't do a full Asian persimmon here, but you can west of the Rockies. They do well, because the American persimmon is a native in my area, but they don't transplant well, so the one I planted from a t...
by Miakis
Sat May 05, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Missouri withholding allowances are worth zero
Replies: 5
Views: 490

Re: Missouri withholding allowances are worth zero

When I was working with irregular income (W2) and significant other income I used to just tell the payroll folks exactly what amount to withhold. I didn't bother with allowances etc. You might see if you can do this. That would be lovely. But I don't think Megacorp is going to go for it. I can only...
by Miakis
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much money can a CPA save you?
Replies: 52
Views: 6129

Re: How much money can a CPA save you?

CPA here - and I'll say that it really depends. I specialize in self-employed individuals and small business owners, and generally that's where I have my biggest value-add. For some of my clients, the impact is probably thousands of dollars a year, because they turn into a disaster without an accoun...
by Miakis
Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sad because I did not know what I was doing with inheritance
Replies: 34
Views: 7349

Re: Sad because I did not know what I was doing with inheritance

I am currently dealing with an 86 year old client who inherited a $250,000 annuity from her brother which had a large taxable gain in it. She told the insurance agent that it was important to her that she preserve the money and not lose any. So the insurance agent did a total distribution with no wi...
by Miakis
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online meals, anyone do these?
Replies: 28
Views: 3352

Re: Online meals, anyone do these?

We really like Sun Basket. We tried Hello Fresh previously and it was sub par. This year we gave Sun Basket a whirl on a discount and ended up hooked. it's pricey, but the ingredients are always very high quality and the recipes are great. But we are absolutely NOT saving money on groceries! If thes...
by Miakis
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No income but sold a house... (taxes)
Replies: 29
Views: 2761

Re: No income but sold a house... (taxes)

Since the home was inherited, it's probably eligible for LTCL treatment - so even though you don't get a refund, that Long Term Capital Loss will carry forward. In the original post, the OP says "sold my home in Colorado and moved to Nevada." This suggests the home was used as a personal residence....
by Miakis
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No income but sold a house... (taxes)
Replies: 29
Views: 2761

Re: No income but sold a house... (taxes)

Since the home was inherited, it's probably eligible for LTCL treatment - so even though you don't get a refund, that Long Term Capital Loss will carry forward.

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/31381 ... -as-income
by Miakis
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No income but sold a house... (taxes)
Replies: 29
Views: 2761

Re: No income but sold a house... (taxes)

Unless you were in a really hot market, it's unlikely you had gain. Collect your closing documents from the purchase of that home and the closing documents for the sale. From the purchase documents: Figure out how much you paid for the house. Add in: any major improvements you did while you owned it...
by Miakis
Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Was my experience with a CPA typical?
Replies: 23
Views: 4008

Re: Was my experience with a CPA typical?

It sounds reasonably typical. That doesn't mean you need to be satisfied with it. How many times do you go to a restaurant and get typical service vs really awesome service? As a CPA, I do most of the things complained about here. 1) I don't assume I'm smarter than my software. If it kicks up an err...
by Miakis
Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: elderly mother given 10 days to give IRS *transcript* to health insurance or lose benefits
Replies: 20
Views: 3736

Re: elderly mother given 10 days to give IRS *transcript* to health insurance or lose benefits

If there's a local IRS office nearby, I'd go in person to get the transcript. If either you or your mother has a tax preparer, you can have them fax in a 2848 and get a transcript through E-services within the 10 day window (immediately if they're willing to call Practitioner Priority Service and fa...
by Miakis
Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Incorrect Box 5 on 1098-T
Replies: 6
Views: 511

Re: Incorrect Box 5 on 1098-T

I see 1098-Ts all the time that have incorrect scholarships on them. Most often, the problem is that they show the scholarships for based on scholastic year instead of calendar year, or like you said, they show maximum scholarship awarded but not what was actually received by the student. I usually ...
by Miakis
Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I overpaying for 1120S prep fee?
Replies: 16
Views: 1049

Re: Am I overpaying for 1120S prep fee?

Geez. I need to raise my prices. I put a balance sheet on all of my 1120-S and 1065 returns regardless of if they require it. How else am I supposed to know if my clients are providing a complete picture? Whether or not the balance sheet rolls is the final test of an accurate return. Spectec is righ...
by Miakis
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I owe $50k in 2017 taxes. Where can I find a good accountant/ bookkeeper? Or DIY?
Replies: 26
Views: 3594

Re: I owe $50k in 2017 taxes. Where can I find a good accountant/ bookkeeper? Or DIY?

My accountant just told me I owe $50k in taxes I have no idea if this is right or not, and all accountants I talk to are completely flakey and never get back to me timely. You do realize that it's March 15, right? March being the busiest month of the year for accountants? I don't think it's the top...
by Miakis
Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paypal credit account was open by someone else with different last name
Replies: 8
Views: 974

Re: Paypal credit account was open by someone else with different last name

I have a client who had her identity stolen - incorrect address, maiden name (not legal name for 15 years), but correct social security number. Paypal was routinely approving credit despite the fact that the fraudster had already defaulted on a Paypal line of credit. Their excuse was that it was dif...
by Miakis
Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ethics of selling a used car
Replies: 54
Views: 4541

Re: Ethics of selling a used car

I once went to a Toyota dealer to buy a new one and trade in my old Toyota. The sales person asked me to fill out a form listing all known problems with the car. I could imagine that if I did that, and later something else was found to be wrong, they would want to come after me for not being truthf...
by Miakis
Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Place to Get Answers to Questions re Turbotax, Generally
Replies: 3
Views: 384

Re: Best Place to Get Answers to Questions re Turbotax, Generally

Google - as mentioned, there's an active TurboTax Q&A forum.

Post of the TT forum.

Call TT - They offer free support. I suggest scheduling a callback rather than waiting on hold. They
by Miakis
Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disney visit
Replies: 28
Views: 3778

Re: Disney visit

When we went, we stayed at a Disney Vacation Club rental that had a kitchen and ordered groceries to be delivered the day we arrived. My recollection is that some kind of concierge service actually accepted delivery and put them away in our room. That worked out well. We'd go to a park in the mornin...
by Miakis
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: insurance ugliness [how to get out of whole life and recoup some premiums]
Replies: 9
Views: 825

Re: insurance ugliness [how to get out of whole life and recoup some premiums]

The only suggestion the Midland rep had over the phone was to suspend the automatic payment option which would "cause the policy to lapse 60 months after August 2019". Doesn't this sound like it will cannibalize the cash value in order to pay the premiums until Aug 2019? That suggests there is a ca...
by Miakis
Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Finally going to invest, brother is FA
Replies: 89
Views: 7113

Re: Finally going to invest, brother is FA

I'm a CPA and none of my family members or my husband's family members are my clients. I don't suppose I would refuse them if they asked, but none have. It's really not that uncommon for family members to keep their finances private from each other. If he pushes it, and he might, because Edward Jone...
by Miakis
Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accepting an offer from an employer who said previously no!
Replies: 30
Views: 3579

Re: Accepting an offer from an employer who said previously no!

I would be concerned about accepting in a position with the kind of lack of diversity you're indicating. It's unlike your wife will "fit in" well. On the other hand - I'd put up with a lot to get a shorter commute and double the pay. Plus it's a step into the career she wants. I'd be less offended/c...
by Miakis
Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An Assistant to Help And Not an Employee?
Replies: 10
Views: 1237

Re: An Assistant to Help And Not an Employee?

You can exclude a part time employee from your solo-401(k). The ability to exclude certain employees is one of the great benefits of a 401(k) over a SEP or SIMPLE.

Check your plan documents. It's probably already in there. If not, you can amend.
by Miakis
Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you're really rich you're probably not an index-fundi Boglehead
Replies: 61
Views: 11568

Re: If you're really rich you're probably not an index-fundi Boglehead

According to the chart, billionaires seem to have at least 20% of their wealth in liquid assets, including cash, stocks, and mutual funds. That seems pretty liquid. Why would they need more than 200 million dollars in liquid assets? 100 Millionaires look to have about 40% of their wealth in liquid a...
by Miakis
Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ways to Protect Assets Without a Prenup
Replies: 69
Views: 6669

Re: Ways to Protect Assets Without a Prenup

As others have mentioned, you should be talking an attorney in your state. They'll know the property division rules for your state and the case law that's pertinent. Of course, without a prenup, that's all useless if you move to a state that has different rules. That said, if a prenup can't be discu...
by Miakis
Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accountant Recommends doing Whole Life Insurance
Replies: 64
Views: 5642

Re: Accountant Recommends doing Whole Life Insurance

I'm always curious about these "My Accountant Told me to do X" posts. Did your accountant not explain to you how, exactly, Whole Life would save you between $50,000 and $100,000 in taxes? As a tax accountant, I don't make recommendations to my clients without explaining them. Is it common for accoun...
by Miakis
Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did the bad news start in 2008?
Replies: 135
Views: 13781

Re: When did the bad news start in 2008?

If you knew you were headed into a recession, you would need to do more than just sell at the right time. Suppose you sold into cash just when things turned downward. Ok - great. You're not done. Next, you need to call the bottom - because you don't want to miss the upswing. If you wait too long, yo...
by Miakis
Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay for an accountant or do it myself online Turbotax?
Replies: 21
Views: 2313

Re: Should I pay for an accountant or do it myself online Turbotax?

Thanks, I should have said they often use software analogous to TurboTax (Intuit makes professional products as well and has a good share of the market). My brother-in-law used to work for one of the big national accounting firms and used what he described as "pretty much TurboTax." Most large acco...
by Miakis
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pizza delivery asked for security code on my credit card with order
Replies: 50
Views: 5901

Re: Pizza delivery asked for security code on my credit card with order

I'm more confused when I'm not asked for the CVV in a card-not-present transaction.
by Miakis
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay for an accountant or do it myself online Turbotax?
Replies: 21
Views: 2313

Re: Should I pay for an accountant or do it myself online Turbotax?

Fair probability that your accountant will be using Turbotax when doing your taxes. Actually, TurboTax is a self-prepare only software. It does not offer the capability for a paid preparer to insert their information and sign the tax return. Using TurboTax to prepare and file a tax return as a paid...
by Miakis
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn service etiquette
Replies: 36
Views: 4065

Re: Lawn service etiquette

I think the problem may simply be that you told them to continue doing what they did for the old owners. If this was something they did annually for the old owners, they assumed you wanted it. You should call them and address the issue. Tell them to give you an annual estimate that includes a list o...