Search found 177 matches

by dcdowden
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Exercising of Vested Stock Options
Replies: 23
Views: 1084

Re: Exercising of Vested Stock Options

Assuming you are planning to exercise and immediately sell the options, that will result in substantial additional income which you might want to divide between this year and next year for tax purposes.
by dcdowden
Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Inheritance in wife’s name or both spouses?
Replies: 72
Views: 5159

Re: Inheritance in wife’s name or both spouses?

Seems like this question should be considered in the context of your overall estate plan. When we updated our estate plan several years ago, our attorney set up separate revocable trusts for my wife and myself, and we split all our jointly owned assets equally between the two trusts - including titl...
by dcdowden
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much Is The Value of Your Net Worth Important to You?
Replies: 74
Views: 6221

Re: How Much Is The Value of Your Net Worth Important to You?

We have tracked the net worth of all of our investment assets (not including house, mortgage, cars, etc) since we were first married over 43 years ago.We have done this each month. In the early days when we had very little, we included cash in our pockets as well as credit card receipts and we did t...
by dcdowden
Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance, Quit Claim and Executor's Deeds ???
Replies: 19
Views: 1173

Re: Inheritance, Quit Claim and Executor's Deeds ???

It sure sounds like your Mother inherited the entire estate including both the home and farm. She certainly can sell, gift or quit claim with a life estate any of that, but nothing goes directly to you or your siblings as a result of your father's passing unless he specified that in his will. I woul...
by dcdowden
Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equal Inheritance for Children
Replies: 109
Views: 10200

Re: Equal Inheritance for Children

I strongly support the advice to include the second child in the conversations about how best to support the first child with her current needs while also trying to be fair to both children. As others have already mentioned, you need to make sure that you are provided for first in your old age. Situ...
by dcdowden
Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Name of estate on Computershare Form?
Replies: 4
Views: 272

Re: Name of estate on Computershare Form?

FWIW. I was an executor a couple times and used the same title as on the EIN for the Estate on all transactions including tax returns: Jane Doe Estate. No Issues.
by dcdowden
Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you ever wish you could help relatives improve their finances?
Replies: 12
Views: 1038

Re: Do you ever wish you could help relatives improve their finances?

I had an elderly aunt who called me once and asked me what a 'margin call' was. Her husband had passed away a few years earlier and her son was killed in a car accident before that, so I was the logical person for her to ask. Apparently a broker (I will leave the company name out of the picture) had...
by dcdowden
Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you plan to spend on your children's weddings?
Replies: 182
Views: 9314

Re: How much do you plan to spend on your children's weddings?

My wife has always assumed that a wedding will cost the same as about 1 year of college - but there is a big range between a year at a low cost community college, a state university or an Ivy League school. As it happened, she went to Cornell and her parents paid for a typical Long Island Wedding fo...
by dcdowden
Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who does your tax returns?
Replies: 103
Views: 5346

Re: Who does your tax returns?

I have been using TurboTax for as long as I can remember. I have always done my own taxes. I had an executive perk of financial planning services that included taxes while I was working. They sent me a paper booklet that they wanted me to fill out with all the info they needed, but I found it just e...
by dcdowden
Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POD/Add Beneficiary
Replies: 4
Views: 448

Re: POD/Add Beneficiary

I have updated beneficiaries for both Vanguard and Fidelity accounts and it was easy to do online. The only issue is that I know Vanguard does not provide for beneficiaries on JTWROS accounts, and certainly not for Trust Accounts. I'm not sure about how easy it is to set up with various banks. We ha...
by dcdowden
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In home part-time senior care options?
Replies: 13
Views: 908

Re: In home part-time senior care options?

I also suggest you start by asking for references in the Independent Living Facility. My 97 year old MIL lives in a large condo complex in Florida, and we found someone who worked independently to provide the care for her that she needs. The aide drives her around as needed, does her grocery shoppin...
by dcdowden
Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Review
Replies: 15
Views: 2090

Re: Fidelity Review

My wife and I have our traditional IRA's and roth IRA's at Fidelity. We have also linked our taxable accounts at Vanguard into Fidelity's Full View. I find it very useful to periodically look at overall Asset Allocation when it is time to rebalance. We have been meeting with our Fidelity Adviser onc...
by dcdowden
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anybody replace HVAC capacitors presumptively before they fail as part of maintenance?
Replies: 44
Views: 3504

Re: Does anybody replace HVAC capacitors presumptively before they fail as part of maintenance?

I have two Carrier AC units serviced recently and tech said that one of the Capacitors was way out of spec and recommended replacing it. It cost me $77 on top of normal maintenance fee. The AC units are about 10 years old, and I probably had not had them serviced for over 5 years so I decided to go ...
by dcdowden
Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Fidelity Money Market Account to Hold Cash?
Replies: 56
Views: 19096

Re: Best Fidelity Money Market Account to Hold Cash?

I use ICSH iShares Ultra Short Term Bond at Fidelity which currently yields 2.34% with an ER of .08.
by dcdowden
Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial Calculator
Replies: 12
Views: 1330

Re: Financial Calculator

I have been using the TI BA II Plus Calculator for probably over 20 years.
I also have the BA Financial Calculator Pro App on my iPhone and iPad which is a BA II Plus emulator, so I always have it available.
by dcdowden
Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Cloud Storage NAS - I'm Interestd!
Replies: 17
Views: 1774

Re: Personal Cloud Storage NAS - I'm Interestd!

I believe Google Photos gives you unlimited storage if you keep picture resolution at 16 Megapixels or less and video resolution at 1080p or less. I find it very convenient to share photos and videos with others as well. It is great to be able to view the photos/videos on various devices as well - s...
by dcdowden
Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spousal benefits and SSA
Replies: 6
Views: 713

Re: Spousal benefits and SSA

I applied at age 62 for my retirement benefit and have been receiving the reduced amount. My wife applied an application for restricted spousal benefits last year at age 66 and she is receiving 50% of my FRA benefit as expected. The only difference is that I was at FRA when she made the application ...
by dcdowden
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Self Funding Ideas for Long Term Insurance
Replies: 30
Views: 1913

Re: Self Funding Ideas for Long Term Insurance

Long term care expenses are typically deductible as medical expenses, so withdrawing money from an IRA to pay for those expenses can be partially offset from a tax standpoint by those deductions. Of course you only get to deduct the amount that exceeds 10% of AGI starting in 2019, and you still have...
by dcdowden
Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting money from a 529
Replies: 45
Views: 3436

Re: Getting money from a 529

I have helped my parents setup Vanguard (Nevada) 529 plans for two grandchildren. When it came time for distributions, I submitted the required information on the Vanguard 529 website including the school name and address of the office they want the money sent to with the student's id number. The 10...
by dcdowden
Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Step up basis / joint property questions...
Replies: 7
Views: 1190

Re: Step up basis / joint property questions...

More real life experience. Maybe I missed an opportunity. My parents had a joint revocable trust account at Vanguard with a variety of holdings including some stocks with substantial long term unrealized capital gains. My Father died about 18 months ago, and we provided Vanguard with all needed info...
by dcdowden
Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse
Replies: 79
Views: 7212

Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

+1 for KeePass on PC and compatible KyPass on iPhone and iPad all synched together via Dropbox. I have over 200 logins and passwords, plus SSN's for kids and elderly parents. The master password for KeePass is listed on the summary of our Estate Plan just in case. Unfortunately, my wife just keeps h...
by dcdowden
Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Just sat through a wealth-management sales pitch.
Replies: 96
Views: 10582

Re: Just sat through a wealth-management sales pitch.

My sister went through the training and passed the tests to become certified to sell various financial products working for an investment firm several years ago. Her first project was to 'help' her in'laws with their finances. When she came up with a plan and reviewed it with her boss, he told her t...
by dcdowden
Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: funding a 529, early estate planning
Replies: 5
Views: 568

Re: funding a 529, early estate planning

Most 529 plans have a maximum amount, after which you cannot contribute more. But for the Illinois Brightstart Plan that we contribute to for our grandchild, that limit is currently $450,000. We can deduct $20,000 per year from our state taxes for making those 529 contributions. So that's what we ar...
by dcdowden
Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deck with Lattice skirt
Replies: 13
Views: 1178

Re: Deck with Lattice skirt

We had our deck redone several years ago and had the contractor put pressure treated wood on the sides of the deck. We used deck stain to approximate the color of the timbertech composite decking that we used for the deck itself. Building code in our area required a removable panel/door so that you ...
by dcdowden
Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you share your net worth with family members?
Replies: 252
Views: 22817

Re: Do you share your net worth with family members?

Only our Fidelity Adviser and our Attorney know the totals and details. My Mother and MIL are in their 90's and I manage all their finances and do their taxes, so we know all in those cases. And that will be extremely helpful on the event of their passing. I strongly advise that you get involved ear...
by dcdowden
Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how do couples work together on home finance
Replies: 60
Views: 5001

Re: how do couples work together on home finance

When we married 43 years ago, we had very similar salaries and very little in assets. Once a month we would sit down together, pay the bills, and track changes in our net worth. At first we included credit card receipts (paper of course) as liabilities and cash in our pockets as assets. Over the yea...
by dcdowden
Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion - Timing of payment of estimated taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 360

Re: Roth Conversion - Timing of payment of estimated taxes

I did a Roth conversion in January when the markets were down. I paid the estimated Taxes by April 15 in order to make sure the tax withholding was in the same quarter as the income. I believe that should avoid a penalty.
by dcdowden
Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trex decking or alternatives?
Replies: 44
Views: 4254

Re: Trex decking or alternatives?

+1 for Timbertech. We had our cedar deck replaced 6 years ago and just power wash it each year. Our contractor just laid out lots of loose boards on the deck to walk on as he worked on the deck. The concealed fastener system makes the deck look very clean.
by dcdowden
Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard intentionally delaying fund transfer to Fidelity DAF?
Replies: 24
Views: 2514

Re: Vanguard intentionally delaying fund transfer to Fidelity DAF?

I had the same problem in December 2017. I tried to initiate the transfer from the Fidelity DAF side and wanted to transfer appreciated mutual funds from Vanguard. I kept checking and was told it would take a couple weeks, and I finally cancelled that transfer in kind, because I wanted to make sure ...
by dcdowden
Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hitting Critical Mass and then dealing with those feelings of Surreal
Replies: 51
Views: 6980

Re: Hitting Critical Mass and then dealing with those feelings of Surreal

On the one hand, it is nice to know that we can splurge any time we really want and have the wherewithal to withstand financially stressing events. But we still hate to just waste money on stuff that we don't really need or even want. All I have to do to put things in better perspective is look at s...
by dcdowden
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversions-easier if at same brokerage
Replies: 10
Views: 862

Re: Roth conversions-easier if at same brokerage

I have both my tIRA and Roth at Fidelity and it is very easy to do conversions - I can move securities in kind with a single phone call. Their website allows for you to do conversions on-line, but apparently some of my individual bond and cd holdings in my tIRA account prevent me from being able to ...
by dcdowden
Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which withdrawal plan or method?
Replies: 17
Views: 1021

Re: Which withdrawal plan or method?

Any withdrawal plan needs to consider the following elements: 1) What will be your expenses in retirement - both absolute minimum needs and additional wants and splurges? 2) What are your plans for health insurance prior to medicare eligibility? Some people manage their income so that they qualify f...
by dcdowden
Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is POD the best designation for Mom’s checking account?
Replies: 38
Views: 2964

Re: Is POD the best designation for Mom’s checking account?

After my Father passed away a couple years ago, I went in to the bank with my 91 year old Mother and we changed the title on her checking account so that it is now a joint account in both her and my names. We did this to insure that all of her automatically paid bills would continue to get paid afte...
by dcdowden
Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Capital Software
Replies: 29
Views: 3241

Re: Personal Capital Software

I have been using PC for a few years and have stopped using Quicken. PC was much more reliable in maintaining the linkages to my various accounts. I have linked brokerage accounts at Vanguard and Fidelity as well as various bank and credit card accounts. I download all the transactions from PC each ...
by dcdowden
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for "Backup" software
Replies: 40
Views: 3134

Re: Recommendations for "Backup" software

I started using IDrive for cloud based backup recently after my son recommended it. They allow you to backup multiple devices to one account. They provide 3 TB of encrypted storage for their basic entry level fee. They also have a special 'express service' where they send you a hard drive to quickly...
by dcdowden
Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should All Grandkids Be Treated as Equal Members of Same Class?
Replies: 104
Views: 8809

Re: Should All Grandkids Be Treated as Equal Members of Same Class?

Interesting thread. Several thoughts expressed really resonate with me. 1) An inheritance received at an earlier age can be far more valuable than one received later in life. Consequently, the desire to leave something for each Grandchild separate from each Child. Funding a 529 Plan for each Grandch...
by dcdowden
Fri May 31, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: inexpensive outdoor security camera
Replies: 19
Views: 2110

Re: inexpensive outdoor security camera

I have Yi cameras that I bought at Amazon. They all require USB type power adapters, but no other wiring. Very easy to set up. You can put a Micro SD card in them if you want to store video. I don't use their Cloud storage service. The indoor cameras are about $25 and the outdoor camera is about $75...
by dcdowden
Sun May 26, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No more print Money magazine
Replies: 109
Views: 15972

Re: No more print Money magazine

After subscribing to Money for over 30 years, I let my subscription lapse recently because I just wasn't learning anything new anymore. I still subscribe to Kiplinger Personal Finance and Retirement Report FYIW.
by dcdowden
Tue May 07, 2019 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice re: future inheritance & Parent's tIRA--should they convert to ROTH IRA?
Replies: 28
Views: 1720

Re: Advice re: future inheritance & Parent's tIRA--should they convert to ROTH IRA?

When you look at Federal Income taxes, remember to keep the thresholds for when and how much of their Social Security benefits are taxes as well - an extra dollar of income from the IRA distribution can result in an increase in taxable income of $1.5 - $1.85 depending on the thresholds.
by dcdowden
Tue May 07, 2019 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Question--one per child, or one per family?
Replies: 13
Views: 1162

Re: 529 Question--one per child, or one per family?

We only have one three year old grandchild at the moment, but hopefully may have more in the future. So we only have one 529 plan at the moment and are funding it to get the max state income tax benefit. When more grandchildren come along we will split things up appropriately. So we view the current...
by dcdowden
Sun May 05, 2019 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Extended Market Index Fund?
Replies: 20
Views: 2799

Re: Extended Market Index Fund?

I have been using FSMAX (ER of 0.045%) to overweight mid and small cap. I believe FZIPX looks equivalent with a Zero ER, so maybe I should switch. I am using the Zero versions of Total Stock and International.
by dcdowden
Thu May 02, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone ever used a water damage restoration company to help file insurance claim?
Replies: 22
Views: 1377

Re: Anyone ever used a water damage restoration company to help file insurance claim?

We had a basement water flooding issue last year. Our first call was to State Farm and they recommended Servicemaster for both remediation and restoration. The Servicemaster people were first on the scene to assess the situation and start remediation. The State Farm claims adjuster knew the Servicem...
by dcdowden
Thu May 02, 2019 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Question - Retired and now 59 1/2.
Replies: 11
Views: 1481

Re: Tax Question - Retired and now 59 1/2.

You didn't mention anything about your health care coverage situation, but maintaining a lower income pre-medicare eligibility may help you qualify for greater subsidies for an ACA Marketplace plan. One more factor to consider.
by dcdowden
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Close Vanguard and go all in with Fidelity?
Replies: 109
Views: 13573

Re: Close Vanguard and go all in with Fidelity?

We have our retirement accounts (IRA's, Roth IRA's) and Donor Advised Fund at Fidelity and our taxable accounts at Vanguard. We also have a 529 Account for our grandchild with the Illinois Brightstart program. I like the Fidelity website, Full View and retirement planning tools. We also like to visi...
by dcdowden
Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxes and Roth conversions
Replies: 11
Views: 760

Re: Taxes and Roth conversions

I use IRS Direct Pay to pay estimated taxes at the end of the quarter I do the Roth Conversion.
by dcdowden
Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why would one NOT do Roth Conversions?
Replies: 22
Views: 2963

Re: Why would one NOT do Roth Conversions?

When you are on Medicare, you may also be subject to IRMAA payments if your income exceeds certain thresholds. They use your MAGI income from two years before in order to determine what level of extra medicare fees you may be hit with, so you may want to watch your income starting at age 63. Just an...
by dcdowden
Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Security camera with local storage and remote access?
Replies: 45
Views: 3142

Re: Security camera with local storage and remote access?

I use Yi Cameras and they do have a local storage option, but I use their cloud option. I've been pleased. Amazon carries them. I also use Yi cameras. I put a micro-sd card in a couple of them so I could look back at what was going on outside the house and it works great. Nice app for iphone and ip...
by dcdowden
Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on this all Fidelity index portfolio. Thank you
Replies: 27
Views: 2078

Re: Thoughts on this all Fidelity index portfolio. Thank you

We use FSMAX Fidelity Extended Market Index Fund (0.045% ER) to overweight small and midcap US stocks in conjunction with FZROX Fidelity Zero Total Market Index and FZILX Fidelity Zero International Index.
by dcdowden
Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issues sharing photo albums in Google Photo vs Picasa
Replies: 5
Views: 306

Re: Issues sharing photo albums in Google Photo vs Picasa

I use Google Photos quite a bit, and you can set options for Collaboration and Comments for each album if you don't want to allow others to add stuff to your album. I believe that you are correct that others could forward a link if you send it to them. I have not seen anything regarding access to co...
by dcdowden
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best PAID music streaming service?
Replies: 69
Views: 4911

Re: Best PAID music streaming service?

I am happy with Google Play Music as well and like the added bonus of You Tube Premium for my now grandfathered price of $10/month. We also have Google Home Assistant which can access the whole Google Play Library and we have a couple chromecast devices that we can cast the music to as well. So all ...