Search found 202 matches

by dcdowden
Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Full View Asset Allocation?
Replies: 5
Views: 320

Re: Fidelity Full View Asset Allocation?

I have the same issue. I like Personal Capital because it lets me manually classify investments that are otherwise unknown. I have not found a way to do that in Fidelity Full View. I have downloaded the detailed Full View asset allocation information listing all my individual investments and then ma...
by dcdowden
Tue May 19, 2020 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where to park cash in Fidelity?
Replies: 71
Views: 7143

Re: Where to park cash in Fidelity?

I was using ICSH as well, but got nervous because it was all corporate debt in these strange times. So I moved money into CD's with FDIC insurance and iShares GNMA fund that is backed by the US Government, although certainly still subject to interest rate and other risks.
by dcdowden
Mon May 18, 2020 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GNMA....Sell or hold
Replies: 55
Views: 9717

Re: GNMA....Sell or hold

I am interested in this subject as well. I was using CD's, but now their rates are so low that I did just rolled the money from a maturing CD into GNMA.
by dcdowden
Sat Apr 18, 2020 3:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Press Release 4/16/20– Vanguard Closes Treasury Money Market Fund to New Investors
Replies: 46
Views: 4111

Re: Press Release 4/16/20– Vanguard Closes Treasury Money Market Fund to New Investors

The standard Vanguard settlement fund is Federal Money Market. How does that compare to the fund that they closed?
by dcdowden
Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Trusts in one joint investment account?
Replies: 14
Views: 640

Re: Two Trusts in one joint investment account?

Several years ago, we set up separate revocable trusts for my wife and myself. We opened 2 new trust accounts at Vanguard and directed vanguard how to divide our assets in our joint account. It was mostly just split up everything evenly, but we did hold a number of individual muni bonds that we had ...
by dcdowden
Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Net worth approaching lifetime earnings. How many years did it take?
Replies: 50
Views: 5909

Re: Net worth approaching lifetime earnings. How many years did it take?

I am 68 and have tracked our AGI, taxes, and Net Worth for the past 45 years. Our Net Worth is now approximately 50% of our lifetime AGI. Our lifetime tax bill for income and property taxes is about 33% of our lifetime AGI not including FICA. We are retired and have substantial defined benefit pensi...
by dcdowden
Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner
Replies: 52
Views: 3948

Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Any thoughts on this model for a beginner electric? https://shop.fender.com/en-US/squier-electric-guitars/stratocaster/classic-vibe-50s-stratocaster/0374005500.html I'd say you can't go wrong with that. Musicians love to geek out on gear and debate the merits of brands and models, but realistically...
by dcdowden
Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: K1 income and Turbo Tax
Replies: 6
Views: 454

Re: K1 income and Turbo Tax

You have your previous tax returns to use as references when you use TurboTax, so unless something has changed this year I would think it would be fairly straightforward.
by dcdowden
Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you replace water heater?
Replies: 29
Views: 2402

Re: When do you replace water heater?

Thanks for all the comments. Looks like I will be replacing my gas hot water heaters soon. When I searched earlier, I only found discussion on tankless vs tank water heaters.
by dcdowden
Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you replace water heater?
Replies: 29
Views: 2402

When do you replace water heater?

My 97 year old MIL just had her 24 year old electric water heater fail in Florida and flood her condo. Fortunately/unfortunately my wife and I are staying nearby for a few weeks and have been able to help her with the mitigation and restoration. But it also got me wondering about how long to keep a ...
by dcdowden
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Leaving TIRAs to kids vs.spouse and vs. Roth conversions
Replies: 24
Views: 1235

Re: Leaving TIRAs to kids vs.spouse and vs. Roth conversions

Actually, in our particular case each spouse has enough in their own TIRA to place them in the 35+% tax bracket as a surviving individual when RMD's kick in with pensions, social security and taxable investment income. At least one of our two children will be in a much lower tax bracket because teac...
by dcdowden
Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Leaving TIRAs to kids vs.spouse and vs. Roth conversions
Replies: 24
Views: 1235

Re: Leaving TIRAs to kids vs.spouse and vs. Roth conversions

We have our children as contingent beneficiaries of our IRA's with the spouse as primary. Our IRA's are at Fidelity and I verified with them that the surviving spouse can disclaim all or part of the IRA with the balance going to the contingent beneficiaries. This allows the surviving spouse to make ...
by dcdowden
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chicago 'special occasion' but not 'expense account' restaurant recommendations?
Replies: 54
Views: 3623

Re: Chicago 'special occasion' but not 'expense account' restaurant recommendations?

We have enjoyed Ricardo Trattoria in Lincoln Park on Clark for birthdays in the past.
Also, we enjoyed Greek Islands in Greektown for a recent birthday with our 4 year old grandson who loves gyros. They treated us very well and the food was great.
Enjoy!
by dcdowden
Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Writing a will / estate planning / when does it make sense to use a trust?
Replies: 26
Views: 2836

Re: Writing a will / estate planning / when does it make sense to use a trust?

When we were in a similar situation with young children 30 years ago, our attorney prepared wills that named guardians/executors and set up testamentary trusts to manage the assets. At the time, we named a local Bank and Trust company as the potential trustee. We did not have to change title to any ...
by dcdowden
Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Investment in Taxable Account for Capital Appreciation
Replies: 3
Views: 518

Re: Best Investment in Taxable Account for Capital Appreciation

Thanks for your comments. I looked at the Portfolio Visualizer comparison of VTI vs BRK.B and I found that over the last 10 years, their performance was very similar with BRK.B performing slightly better. I guess I will just stick with VTI. Thanks for reminding me of the tax value of qualified divid...
by dcdowden
Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Investment in Taxable Account for Capital Appreciation
Replies: 3
Views: 518

Best Investment in Taxable Account for Capital Appreciation

The step-up in cost basis at death currently remains a great way to avoid taxes on assets that you desire to leave to your heirs. So, I am wondering what to do with the money from RMD's that I don't need for expenses to minimize current income (ie., taxable) and maximize long term cap gains which wo...
by dcdowden
Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)
Replies: 36
Views: 2566

Re: Question about computers with two hard drives (SSD and regular hard drive)

I bought a new HP laptop for my wife last year from Costco, and it is no longer an easy task to replace the drive. I had replaced her HDD with an SSD in her old HP laptop, but the new laptops don't seem to provide any easy access - you can't even remove the battery. I also bought a 17" display HP la...
by dcdowden
Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRMMA
Replies: 12
Views: 681

Re: IRMMA

Social Security sends us a statement each December telling us what our updated benefit will be after COLA and what our Medicare Part B and IRMMA deductions (for B and D) will be for the next year.FYI.
by dcdowden
Wed Dec 18, 2019 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If I get an EIN, does the IRS expect to get a tax filing?
Replies: 5
Views: 716

Re: If I get an EIN, does the IRS expect to get a tax filing?

I got an EIN in order to do a solo 401K about 15 years ago and always included income on my personal return as part of Schedule C. When I closed out the solo 401K about 10 years ago, I did file a form 5500 EZ to report closure of the plan. Despite the closure, the IRS sends me a letter each year to ...
by dcdowden
Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone battery replacement question
Replies: 27
Views: 1363

Re: iPhone battery replacement question

Our iPhones recently reached the two year mark, and the batteries were clearly not holding up anymore for a full day. So I went to our local CPR (Cell Phone Repair) place and had them replace the batteries for $35 each. I figure we are good for another couple years now before we need to replace them...
by dcdowden
Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fund 529 for State Tax Break
Replies: 9
Views: 416

Re: Fund 529 for State Tax Break

You might be able to have it both ways by contributing the max state tax deductible amount of $20K to the Illinois Brightstart 529 this year and the balance to another 529. Then in future years, you could rollover the other 529 into Brightstart and take the tax deduction for your original contributi...
by dcdowden
Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking recommendations for Hybrid SUV with Excellent Safety Features
Replies: 14
Views: 1764

Re: Seeking recommendations for Hybrid SUV with Excellent Safety Features

I had a 2010 Lexus RX 450 Hybrid which I liked very much - very comfortable and quiet, although it did not have some of the safety features that are now common in latest versions like blind spot monitoring, collision avoidance, etc. I replaced it with a 2017 Cadillac XT5 which had all those safety f...
by dcdowden
Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: KeePass users, What iOS app?
Replies: 8
Views: 2740

Re: KeePass users, What iOS app?

I use KyPass on my iPhone and iPad and use Dropbox to sync with KeePass on my PC. Works great. I remember having to pay a couple $$ for KyPass when I first downloaded it, but haven't had to pay anything since.
by dcdowden
Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smart thermostats?
Replies: 32
Views: 1444

Re: smart thermostats?

When I looked into using a Smart Thermostat, I discovered that your home needs to have a 5th wire to provide continuous power to the thermostat. Our house which was built 25 years ago, only had 4 wires. Our HVAC company said they have a device to add a phantom 5th wire that cost about three hundred....
by dcdowden
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Exercising of Vested Stock Options
Replies: 24
Views: 1275

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: 78
Views: 6368

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: 6668

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: 1279

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: 11035

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: 327

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: 1095

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: 10420

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: 6048

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: 487

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: 964

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: 2164

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: 3630

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: 22539

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: 1399

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: 1877

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: 745

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: 1986

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: 3606

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: 1236

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: 7796

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: 10722

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: 606

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: 1231

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: 23502

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...