Search found 78 matches

by jchris
Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to spend for bathroom remodel with these features in LCOL area
Replies: 27
Views: 1743

Re: How much to spend for bathroom remodel with these features in LCOL area

For a "basic" remodel, I think 20K is on the high side, especially in a LCOL area. We live in a relatively HCOL area, and remodeled our guest bath about five years ago - it is approximately the same size as your bathroom. It was a complete tear down to studs (except ceiling). New fiberglass deep soa...
by jchris
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the best AA for me?
Replies: 24
Views: 1597

Re: What is the best AA for me?

I read your other thread and first I would say I agree with the majority that you are good to go for immediate retirement. On this question, I think your AA should be weighted more toward stocks. You are young - you probably have 30+ years of retirement ahead of you, 100% of your expenses are covere...
by jchris
Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Want to switch from managed USAA
Replies: 7
Views: 577

Re: Want to switch from managed USAA

Well I'll tell you what I did when I switched my and my wife's IRAs (Trad and Roth) from USAA to Vanguard. I put them into the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund (Admiral shares) (VTSAX). It's about the lowest expense ratio fund at Vanguard, and at your age, all or nearly all of your IRAs should...
by jchris
Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house in retirement - what funds to use?
Replies: 20
Views: 1732

Re: Buying a house in retirement - what funds to use?

I don't know that I have too much great advice to give, but I'll be very interested in the advice you receive from the experts, because I'm in almost the same situation as you, and have a similar plan in terms of buying a house in a higher COL area after retirement. I have the same conundrum - most ...
by jchris
Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating merit scholarships
Replies: 32
Views: 2185

Re: Negotiating merit scholarships

My older son tried negotiating the amount of his merit scholarship offer from Pitt. He was trying to decide between Pitt and University of Maryland (College Park). UMCP is in state. He had similar stats to your nephew. Pitt had offered enough to get their tuition + R&B to about the level of in-state...
by jchris
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes - parents receiving 1099-Misc for minor son’s earnings
Replies: 16
Views: 1265

Re: Taxes - parents receiving 1099-Misc for minor son’s earnings

Thanks everyone for the guidance. We will follow the nominee income procedure that MarkNYC provided. Really appreciate your help!
by jchris
Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes - parents receiving 1099-Misc for minor son’s earnings
Replies: 16
Views: 1265

Re: Taxes - parents receiving 1099-Misc for minor son’s earnings

I was not aware that we could do our own 1099-Misc for son. How is that done? It's not done legitimately. People think you can just issue a 1099 to anybody for anything. This is not true. Just like household help, the IRS does not consider a 1099-MISC client-contractor relationship between immediat...
by jchris
Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes - parents receiving 1099-Misc for minor son’s earnings
Replies: 16
Views: 1265

Re: Taxes - parents receiving 1099-Misc for minor son’s earnings

I was not aware that we could do our own 1099-Misc for son. How is that done?
by jchris
Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes - parents receiving 1099-Misc for minor son’s earnings
Replies: 16
Views: 1265

Re: Taxes - parents receiving 1099-Misc for minor son’s earnings

I agree that would be easiest, but it seems unfair for him to pay 25% tax when he should be paying 0%, if he were able to file at his own marginal rate. I am not looking to do anything against the law - just looking for legal methods of filing that don't involve getting this taxed at our marginal ra...
by jchris
Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes - parents receiving 1099-Misc for minor son’s earnings
Replies: 16
Views: 1265

Taxes - parents receiving 1099-Misc for minor son’s earnings

Hi everyone, My youngest son (16) has a successful YouTube channel, and income from Google AdSense has reached a couple hundred dollars per month. However, Google will not allow the AdSense account to be opened in the name of a minor, so my wife had to put her name on the account when he created it ...
by jchris
Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement savings: Lots of $, job prospects weak
Replies: 36
Views: 4800

Re: Retirement savings: Lots of $, job prospects weak

Awesome story! It is good that you don't have any innate urge to gamble. I used to love to gamble when I was young and (relatively) poor. A buddy and I would take $40 flights on America West (no longer exists) from San Diego to Las Vegas, each with $400 in our pocket, and no hotel room reservation. ...
by jchris
Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Site OFFLINE TODAY, Saturday, at 4 PM Eastern (21:00 UTC)
Replies: 32
Views: 3591

Re: Site OFFLINE TODAY, Saturday, at 4 PM Eastern (21:00 UTC)

Maybe a server issue, as the time stamp on my post is in the future too!
by jchris
Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:40 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Site OFFLINE TODAY, Saturday, at 4 PM Eastern (21:00 UTC)
Replies: 32
Views: 3591

Re: Site OFFLINE TODAY, Saturday, at 4 PM Eastern (21:00 UTC)

The time stamp on your last post is in the future...how do you do that?? What's it like up there? Everything still okay? No asteroid strikes or alien invasions twenty minutes hence, hopefully??
by jchris
Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tires for an old car
Replies: 42
Views: 3141

Re: Tires for an old car

I have a 2005 Camry and find that it is touchy on the accelerator when starting from a standstill, compared to other cars I have driven. So that could be some of it. When I had this problem I also looked at the tire tread depth on the front (drive) tires, and thought it was marginal, so I rotated th...
by jchris
Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career advice please: early 30's tech employee, new mom, confused
Replies: 36
Views: 4512

Re: Career advice please: early 30's tech employee, new mom, confused

My wife went back to work after first, tried to go back after second, but couldn't stand it for more than 6 months and became a SAHM. It is soooo difficult to drop them in daycare and leave for work. So difficult. She didn't make nearly as much as you, so it was easier for us to lose her income. If ...
by jchris
Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer for elder novice
Replies: 36
Views: 1763

Re: Computer for elder novice

That's a lot of posts!
by jchris
Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1098-T & 529 question
Replies: 17
Views: 1783

Re: 1098-T & 529 question

Related scholarship & tax question: Part of son's scholarship money was from an outside organization - the money was sent directly to him as a check, with no strings attached. However, he didn't receive it until late in the year - 2016 tuition, fees, room, board, etc., were already paid for via ...
by jchris
Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1098-T & 529 question
Replies: 17
Views: 1783

Re: 1098-T & 529 question

Thanks livesoft and kenschmidt for your replies. I'll review the IRS material and do my best with TurboTax.
by jchris
Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Naked Wines
Replies: 9
Views: 1627

Re: Naked Wines

I got a coupon somewhere for their sampler case (12 bottles for $60), so I tried it. I thought they were pretty good - certainly worth more than $5 per bottle. However, I didn't sign up for the ongoing membership - I just don't drink enough wine to justify it.
by jchris
Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1098-T & 529 question
Replies: 17
Views: 1783

Re: 1098-T & 529 question

Thanks for both replies. It sounds like I should just claim the credit based on what I actually spent out of pocket and not worry too much about what the 1098-T says. I can do that but I always get nervous about submitting a return that appears to have an audit flag. I guess I'll just have to trust ...
by jchris
Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1098-T & 529 question
Replies: 17
Views: 1783

1098-T & 529 question

Hi everyone. This is the first year we’re paying college tuition and dealing with the tax implications, and it’s all a bit confusing. I am trying to use Livesoft’s strategy of paying the first $4K of qualified education expenses out of pocket, in order to qualify for the max AOTC credit, and then us...
by jchris
Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: downhill skiing
Replies: 32
Views: 2695

Re: downhill skiing

I gave it up when I was 29 (I am 52 now), and took up snowboarding. So I have not skied in 23 years, but I snowboard every winter. Skiing was fun, but as I advanced I found that I needed to go fast to really have fun, and the moguls were tough on the knees. In snowboarding, you don't need to go as f...
by jchris
Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I get a little house or townhouse for under $400K in Maryland or Virginia?
Replies: 112
Views: 11279

Re: Can I get a little house or townhouse for under $400K in Maryland or Virginia?

Not sure if anyone posted this yet, but there is a new townhome community being built across the road from the Glenmont Metro station (across Glenallan Ave - maybe 200 yards from the metro escalator. I commute through there every day. They look nice. I think they are at around $400K.
by jchris
Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Shopping - Early 2000s Mid-Sized Car Reliability under $5k?
Replies: 37
Views: 3537

Re: Car Shopping - Early 2000s Mid-Sized Car Reliability under $5k?

Last year at this time we bought a 2005 Camry off Craigslist for $4600 w/115,000 miles. It initially needed a little maintenance (water pump, one engine mount, new plugs, etc.), but since then it has run great. My mechanic said it will easily last to over 200,000 miles with routine maintenance. Acco...
by jchris
Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1 month into new job, should I leave for better job
Replies: 20
Views: 3482

Re: 1 month into new job, should I leave for better job

I would leave. I once (long time ago) left a new job after only one day! I spent more time interviewing to get the job then I actually spent working for the company! After about 3 hours on the job, I realized the place was a disaster and was going nowhere fast. The company was gone within about 3 ye...
by jchris
Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby
Replies: 100
Views: 6223

Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

We did this when our kids were about those ages (this was about 15 years ago), but it was to Disneyworld, not Miami. In retrospect, it was insane. Trip down was not too bad but the trip back was one of the worst travel nightmares ever, with unhappy baby and toddler. I would second the suggestion to ...
by jchris
Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Super Saver Close to Distribution Phase and Seeks Collective Wisdom/Advice
Replies: 21
Views: 2302

Re: Super Saver Close to Distribution Phase and Seeks Collective Wisdom/Advice

I have a brother with your problem. You are going to die with $15M in the bank. You can do whatever you want, so if I were you, I would start living it up! Congratulations!
by jchris
Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rare Black Swan Pattern
Replies: 33
Views: 4739

Re: Rare Black Swan Pattern

This forum has gone to the birds...
by jchris
Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP asset allocation
Replies: 7
Views: 1108

Re: TSP asset allocation

I was 100% C fund for the first 20 years of my career, then started adding bonds and transitioning to a more conservative asset allocation. I am about 70/30 now, about 5 years out from retirement, and will continue to shift toward bonds over the next several years. Like was said above, if you have t...
by jchris
Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement - Ten key years + Summary
Replies: 68
Views: 16569

Re: Retirement - Ten key years

Pre-retirement, consider finalizing new home purchase while still employed if intending to obtain mortgage.
by jchris
Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for Encouraging Parents to Declutter Home?
Replies: 38
Views: 3574

Re: Advice for Encouraging Parents to Declutter Home?

OP said politely light a fire. Bulldozing it first would not be polite.
by jchris
Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents - your favorite and most challenging years
Replies: 71
Views: 8781

Re: Parents - your favorite and most challenging years

Mine are 14 and 17, and I would say the toughest years are when they are an infant - chronic lack of sleep makes everything more difficult - and the best years so far are right now. Up to this point at least, our kids have managed to avoid most of the horrible teenage disease that is supposed to occ...
by jchris
Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorce Poll. What percentage of BH are divorced?
Replies: 13
Views: 2525

Re: Divorce Poll. What percentage of BH are divorced?

Married 22 years, never divorced. Yes, being married to someone with similar financial mindset has definitely helped us grow our net worth. I have a couple of divorced friends who definitely struggle financially due to the divorce.
by jchris
Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal employee - two jobs
Replies: 34
Views: 2105

Re: Federal employee - two jobs

If he is a high grade employee, he won't qualify for overtime because Federal law caps total compensation to level IV of the executive schedule (basically what a GS-15 step 10 makes). People in those positions can't earn overtime, and technically are not allowed to work overtime either, although pre...
by jchris
Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Dilemma: Replace Transmission or Buy Used Beater
Replies: 56
Views: 6483

Re: Car Dilemma: Replace Transmission or Buy Used Beater

I just bought a 2005 Camry LE with 111K off of Craigslist for $4600. I think CList is the way to go, but if you find a Honda or Toyota that is listed at the right price for its age/condition, it will go fast - within a few hours usually. We found ours because the seller listed it without any picture...
by jchris
Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA Contribution Rules Question
Replies: 8
Views: 1058

Re: Roth IRA Contribution Rules Question

Thanks for your replies - this is just what I needed!
by jchris
Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA Contribution Rules Question
Replies: 8
Views: 1058

Roth IRA Contribution Rules Question

Hello - looking for help with a Roth IRA question. My son (17) wants to open a Roth IRA. He is in high school and works part time and during summers as a caddy at an upscale country club. Most of his income is from tips. He does get some W-2 income, but it is fairly small - his tip income is probabl...
by jchris
Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Performance review for Boss!
Replies: 20
Views: 2858

Re: Performance review for Boss!

Unless the review was conducted with true anonymity (something that is difficult to confirm, but you can be sure that any process requiring you to submit something from your email is not really anonymous) you should never submit criticism of the boss in a 360 degree review. It is potential career su...
by jchris
Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Index Funds May Work a Little Too Well
Replies: 19
Views: 4236

Re: Index Funds May Work a Little Too Well

Its a silly theory that will probably get some clicks. If it were true, I guess the Federal government is the biggest violator of the law (TSP C Fund). Who is going to prosecute this case that doesn't have a glaring conflict of interest?
by jchris
Fri May 29, 2015 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Raleigh
Replies: 18
Views: 2288

Re: What to do in Raleigh

The best hamburger I have ever had in my life was at Chuck's Burgers and Fries, on S. Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh. It is basically a hole-in-the-wall joint, but they do make unbelievable burgers. I recommend getting one medium rare. I've never been able to find one anywhere else even close...
by jchris
Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any tax reporting for IRA direct rollover?
Replies: 3
Views: 417

Re: Any tax reporting for IRA direct rollover?

Thank you for the quick answer! :happy
by jchris
Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any tax reporting for IRA direct rollover?
Replies: 3
Views: 417

Any tax reporting for IRA direct rollover?

Hello, I did a direct rollover of wife's and my IRAs this year (from USAA to Vanguard). It was all handled directly by Vanguard and USAA - none of the money was distributed to us. My question: Is there any tax form that I should have received from USAA concerning the rollover that I have to file wit...
by jchris
Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?
Replies: 132
Views: 16961

Re: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?

Great thread! I grew up in upstate NY (Syracuse). It totally sucks (are we allowed to say that here?). Well, almost totally. There are a couple of months where it is okay weather-wise, but most of the time it is just depressing. Cloudy, tons of snow - I remember shoveling the driveway until the snow...
by jchris
Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Where's] a Family to Live in New York?
Replies: 22
Views: 3987

Re: [Where's] a Family to Live in New York?

My nephew works in Manhattan and lives in Bronxville. Very nice area, but expensive. He works for a hedge fund, so I guess he can afford it. He rides the train to work every day and says the commute is pretty easy.
by jchris
Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Baby Grand Piano
Replies: 42
Views: 5564

Re: Baby Grand Piano

Used is definitely the way to go. There are lots of used grand pianos out there available for a song (heh). Check out pianoworld.com for information on brands, etc., that hold their value (in a relative sense - most pianos depreciate in price pretty quickly, mostly because there is a glut of them av...
by jchris
Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adult Music Lessons
Replies: 30
Views: 3118

Re: Adult Music Lessons

Yes, I think it is worth it. Your estimate of the cost is about right. My parents required each of their children to take instrumental lessons for at least one year when we were young. At the time I thought it was a bother, at first. Then I started to like it as the music (I also play piano) got mor...
by jchris
Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! I can't afford to eat on my South Beach vacation
Replies: 60
Views: 7214

Re: Help! I can't afford to eat on my South Beach vacation

Yes I once accidentally bought a drink at the Hotel Delano pool bar and it cost $18 for a gin & tonic in a disposable plastic cup. Nice hotel though.