Search found 138 matches

by gurusw
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me decide on HSA
Replies: 21
Views: 1117

Re: Help me decide on HSA

Thanks all for bringing some clarity to my situation.

So is it correct that I can contribute full $5100 to HSA regardless of my income level?
by gurusw
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me decide on HSA
Replies: 21
Views: 1117

Re: Help me decide on HSA

Bfwolf wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:21 am
The HDHP option will be superior in the vast majority of use cases.

Assuming you are already maxing out your 401k and backdoor Roth (and possibly even if you aren't), you should max out the HSA.
Yes, I am maxing out 401K and Roth. But no contributions to 529.
by gurusw
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me decide on HSA
Replies: 21
Views: 1117

Re: Help me decide on HSA

Also as I understand, HSA would have taxes & 20% penalty if taken out for non-health reasons before 65. And it will have taxes if taken out for non-health reasons after 65. It is tax/penalty free only for health reasons. So I'm not sure what would be the right amount to put there. Of course I have $...
by gurusw
Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me decide on HSA
Replies: 21
Views: 1117

Re: Help me decide on HSA

Co-pays .... PPO vs HDHP: Some are same Preventive care: both $0 both Diagnostics tests, Ambulace, Surgeon: both 10% coinsurance Pharmacy: both same (preventive $0, generic $10, prefered $30, speciality 20% coinsurance) Some are more for HDHP PCP or Specialist, Physical or speech therapy, Chiropract...
by gurusw
Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me decide on HSA
Replies: 21
Views: 1117

Help me decide on HSA

Hi, I am in dilemma. My employer offers free medical/dental/vision insurance. So it is very confusing to me whether to go for HSA. We are family of 3. Within medical, I have 2 options: PPO Plan & High-deductible health plan (HDHP). If I get PPO, the co-pays are very low. The max deductible per year ...
by gurusw
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car renting
Replies: 29
Views: 2422

Re: Car renting

I am renting in Texas.

Thanks for the warnings about Enterprise :)
by gurusw
Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car renting
Replies: 29
Views: 2422

Re: Car renting

Thanks all.

The rating that I have posted is for the specific location I'm travelling to.

The advantage with Costco rental is that I can add a second driver for free. Otherwise I'll end up paying extra $10-15/day.

So altogether my savings are going above $100.
by gurusw
Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car renting
Replies: 29
Views: 2422

Re: Car renting

Here was my experience. I had a vehicle vandalism incident of my rental car. My personal auto insurance paid for the claim. The Chase Freedom card (which is secondary insurance) covered the deductible. Make sure to keep your personal auto insurance card with you to show that you have coverage. Than...
by gurusw
Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car renting
Replies: 29
Views: 2422

Car renting

Hi, I am planning a vacation within USA for about a week, and need to rent a car. This topic has been discussed many times, but the information is scattered, adn this is my attempt to bring it together and personalize for myself. There are three factors I am considering: 1. Rating of the car rental ...
by gurusw
Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA taxes & allowances
Replies: 6
Views: 623

CA taxes & allowances

Hi, I want to reduce the amount of taxes CA is withholding. Last year, I had 3 allowances. To reduce the tax withholding, I increased the allowances to 4 in March/April. I was not happy with the result. So I increased it further. And the process is repeated approx every month. Now I have 7 allowance...
by gurusw
Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids education planning
Replies: 21
Views: 1499

Re: Kids education planning

Thanks you StealthRabbit & Jack, for giving a broad perspective. And Ron, always good to hear from a teacher. I agree that many parents are pressuring their kids, and I sure do not want to do that. I was being pressured (being raised outside USA as livesoft correctly pointed out), and I know how dam...
by gurusw
Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids education planning
Replies: 21
Views: 1499

Re: Kids education planning

psteinx, thanks a lot!

livesoft, what do you mean by "have a pulse" :) It can be interpreted many ways :)
by gurusw
Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids education planning
Replies: 21
Views: 1499

Re: Kids education planning

Once upon a time, an overly verbose poster on BH created a thread that may be helpful to you. He attempted to address a bit of the financial and a bit of the other stuff (merits of selective colleges, admissions, pre-college educational tips), especially for relatively prosperous BHs who might aspi...
by gurusw
Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids education planning
Replies: 21
Views: 1499

Kids education planning

Hi, I am not sue whether this is the right question for the forum. However given the very high concentration of rational folks here, I will take my chances. I am father of a 11 year old son who is very introvert. We live in bay area, and the competition is cut-throat. - People are sending their kids...
by gurusw
Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision to buy earthquake insurance
Replies: 40
Views: 2172

Re: Decision to buy earthquake insurance

In determining whether you are exposed to liquefaction or landslide risk, you’ll want to take a look at this map and enter your address: https://maps.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/EQZApp/app/ We’re just inside a liquefaction zone, so our risk is higher. Liquefaction occurs more commonly in wet soils, and...
by gurusw
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision to buy earthquake insurance
Replies: 40
Views: 2172

Re: Decision to buy earthquake insurance

If your house is bolted to the foundation then the odds of total destruction resulting from the quake itself are pretty low. You might want to look into a device that shuts off gas to your house in the event of shaking though. Very good suggestion. Fire is more of a threat , in case of eartquake.
by gurusw
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision to buy earthquake insurance
Replies: 40
Views: 2172

Re: Decision to buy earthquake insurance

The most I can do is to collect $266K and build home elsewhere is the calamity strikes. But I'm not sure if the insurance allows it. I have a vague impression that they pay the monies only if you are reconstructing the house on the same site. No, your homeowners insurance policy requires it. In Cal...
by gurusw
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision to buy earthquake insurance
Replies: 40
Views: 2172

Re: Decision to buy earthquake insurance

You need to understand the particular risks for your house. Houses "destroyed" by earthquakes are either 1) ancient and built of brick or stone, 2) on ground which shifts dramatically or 3) burned in a fire due to a gas leak. Your conventional insurance may cover the fire scenario. If your house is...
by gurusw
Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision to buy earthquake insurance
Replies: 40
Views: 2172

Re: Decision to buy earthquake insurance

Well if you got it through CEA, it won’t go higher than your homeowners insurance dwelling coverage. I’d review your homeowners policy and make sure you aren’t underinsured in the first place. I looked up CEA’s solvency and they report about $17 billion in “claim paying ability”. Thanks a lot for t...
by gurusw
Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision to buy earthquake insurance
Replies: 40
Views: 2172

Re: Decision to buy earthquake insurance

Btw if the earthquake strikes, I'm pretty sure te land will lose its value too :) So I ask once again, if I choose to build a house elsewhere, I get zilch; correct? That can vary by state and insurer. You should read the policy documents or ask the agent. Often you can get a smaller depreciated pay...
by gurusw
Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision to buy earthquake insurance
Replies: 40
Views: 2172

Re: Decision to buy earthquake insurance

We carry earthquake insurance through CEA. $50k deductible, $500k rebuild for a 1000sqft house. We remodeled recently and prices were running ~$500/sqft a couple years ago. What really matters to me is the loss of use coverage. After the fires last year, rents spiked dramatically in the surrounding...
by gurusw
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision to buy earthquake insurance
Replies: 40
Views: 2172

Re: Decision to buy earthquake insurance

unclescrooge wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:13 pm
Have you seen Blu homes?
No, what's that?

Btw if the earthquake strikes, I'm pretty sure te land will lose its value too :)

So I ask once again, if I choose to build a house elsewhere, I get zilch; correct?
by gurusw
Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision to buy earthquake insurance
Replies: 40
Views: 2172

Re: Decision to buy earthquake insurance

There is a lot of variation in the possible earthquake policies with regard to insured amount, deductible, and a number of other factors. There is an online calculator (for California properties) at https://www.earthquakeauthority.com/ I would be cautious on taking any "default" coverage without se...
by gurusw
Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision to buy earthquake insurance
Replies: 40
Views: 2172

Re: Decision to buy earthquake insurance

clemrick wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:14 pm
What is amount for your regular insurance? How much does Geico say it would cost to rebuild after a fire?
The homeowners insurance premium is $716 for $266K dwelling coverage.
by gurusw
Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision to buy earthquake insurance
Replies: 40
Views: 2172

Decision to buy earthquake insurance

Hi, I bought a house last year in Bay Area, California. I got home insurance policy through Geico with as high coverage as I can get. 1. The current policy is through Geico. The underwriter is Homesite insurance for me. 2. My purchase price was $1,180,000 for a tiny 1220 sq ft house in bay area. 3. ...
by gurusw
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest Home Insurance ?
Replies: 36
Views: 4908

Re: Cheapest Home Insurance ?

Folks, Need some help, Geico/Stillwater increased my annual home insurance premium, any suggestions to find lower rate ? Anyone have any experience with this new company - myhippo.com ? myhippo.com has the lowest rate I found - looks like a CA company I was looking for Chubb agents, and it turns ou...
by gurusw
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding my home insurance policy
Replies: 12
Views: 1208

Re: Understanding my home insurance policy

Iridium, thanks a lot.
by gurusw
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding my home insurance policy
Replies: 12
Views: 1208

Re: Understanding my home insurance policy

gurusw wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:37 am
Also I do have an option to switch auto/home carriers in the middle of the policy period, correct?
Can someone please verify the above?
by gurusw
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding my home insurance policy
Replies: 12
Views: 1208

Re: Understanding my home insurance policy

Thanks a lot, Dyloot and RickBoglehead.
by gurusw
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homesite Insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 1289

Re: Homesite Insurance

American Family has a reputation for poor service. It placed 19th out of 22 companies in the J.D. Power property claims survey: https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/jd-power-2018-us-property-claims-satisfaction-study Thanks for the link. AAA is not listed here. Or is Auto CLub, CSAA, etc...
by gurusw
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding my home insurance policy
Replies: 12
Views: 1208

Re: Understanding my home insurance policy

A thread on Homesite: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=277363 Thanks for all the replies. I will definitely consider quotes from others. Meanwhile, can someone please confirm whether I need more coverage than what I have. I am not sure whether I have enough coverage especially r...
by gurusw
Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding my home insurance policy
Replies: 12
Views: 1208

Understanding my home insurance policy

Hi, I bought a house last year, and I got home insurance policy through Geico with as high coverage as I can get. I already had my car insurance through them, and I just wanted to eliminate one decision point during that stressful closing time. Now my policy is up for renewal in a month, and I want ...
by gurusw
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance?
Replies: 16
Views: 1610

Re: Should I refinance?

Hi, So I decided to negotiate with Wells Fargo. But I could not muster courage to go for ARM. Anyhow the good news is that they are willing to negotiate. For 30-year Jumbo mortgage, they have given me 2 options: 1) 4.125% with 0 costs 2) 4% with $3500+ in costs 1 -> Option 1 saves me $201/month & $3...
by gurusw
Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance?
Replies: 16
Views: 1610

Re: Should I refinance?

Thanks. I have one more question. How does ARM work? Until now, I was under the impression that you get a rate , say 4% for 7 years; and then the mortgate company can raise that rate by additional 5% for the remaining term of the mortgage. Now I see on the website of Wells Fargo & Chase, that they a...
by gurusw
Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance?
Replies: 16
Views: 1610

Re: Should I refinance?

That sounds like a great rate, I’d probably do it if I knew I wasn’t going to be living in the house in 10 years. Just curious, is that rate with points? It seems a lot lower the 10/1 ARMs I was looking at especially for a jumbo. I have been looking for rates on nerdwallet. From my last experience ...
by gurusw
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance?
Replies: 16
Views: 1610

Re: Should I refinance?

It's 10 year ARM. So after 10 years.
by gurusw
Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance?
Replies: 16
Views: 1610

Should I refinance?

Current mortgage terms: House Value: 1,180,000 Purchase Date: May 2018 20% down payment Loan: 944,000 Term: 30-year Jumbo Rate: 4.375 Monthyly payment: 4,713 Outstanding principal: 932,387 I'm considering 10-year ARM.... Current House Value on Zillow: 1,090,000 (Prices have gone down in Bay area now...
by gurusw
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time homebuyer - tax deductions
Replies: 6
Views: 1063

Re: First time homebuyer - tax deductions

Thank you for all the replies. Yes, I did go through the Pub 530 & also took the TurboTax questionnaire, just wanted to be doubly sure. You will want to make sure to store documentation for improvements you end up making to the property to support increased cost-basis when/if you sell the house. I w...
by gurusw
Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time homebuyer - tax deductions
Replies: 6
Views: 1063

First time homebuyer - tax deductions

Hi,

As a First time homebuyer in California, what are the deductions that I can avail of?

I entered my mortgage interest & property taxes in TurboTax. Is there anything else I am missing?

Thanks.
by gurusw
Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding double taxation of IRA early distribution
Replies: 3
Views: 472

Re: Avoiding double taxation of IRA early distribution

Using Form 4852 was not the recommended way to report this on your 2017 return, but since your end result is the same the IRS may be able to figure out what you did, despite the Box 7 on the 1099R possibly being different than the code you showed on the 4852 as your distribution code because the ye...
by gurusw
Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding double taxation of IRA early distribution
Replies: 3
Views: 472

Re: Avoiding double taxation of IRA early distribution

This link seems to suggest that we can delete this particular 1099-R from our 2018 Turbo Tax entries, since we've already paid the requisite taxes on IRA withdrawal in 2017. Is our understanding correct? https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/4536331-filed-form-4852-subst-1099r-for-2017-return-and-now-re...
by gurusw
Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding double taxation of IRA early distribution
Replies: 3
Views: 472

Avoiding double taxation of IRA early distribution

Hi, I have a situation with taxation of early distribution of a IRA. Status: MFJ Husband/wife are in their 40s. In the year 2017, I contributed $5500 to wife's TIRA. In January 2018, it became clear to me that we should not have done so because my income is above the threshold to make deductible TIR...
by gurusw
Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed taxes on state refund
Replies: 15
Views: 1419

Re: Fed taxes on state refund

I have been wondering about this topic too. My SALT is well above $20K. So if I receive a refund on my state tax return in the range of 0-$1,000, it would seem to me that I would not have to include it on next years federal return seeing how it didn’t get factored into the $10K SALT deduction. Is t...
by gurusw
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed taxes on state refund
Replies: 15
Views: 1419

Re: Fed taxes on state refund

OP, you didn't pay AMT last year did you? Because if you did the refund may not be taxable. No, I did not pay AMT. Btw thanks for the replies. While I understand why state refund was taxable till now, going forward it does not make sense to me because of SALT cap. I did not explicitely mentioned it...
by gurusw
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed taxes on state refund
Replies: 15
Views: 1419

Fed taxes on state refund

Hi, While doing this year's taxes, I realized that Fed wants me to pay taxes on 2018 returns on the refund that I received from California on 2017 returns. I think this tax kicks in if the taxpayer had done itemized deductions. Fortunately my refund was only $175. However this year's (2018) CA refun...
by gurusw
Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question: Deduction for paying 2018 property taxes in 2019
Replies: 4
Views: 411

Re: Tax question: Deduction for paying 2018 property taxes in 2019

WoodSpinner wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:02 am
Also keep in mind the $10,000 STate and Local Property Tax Deduction cap.

That really has impacted our returns, CA resident as well.
I know :(
by gurusw
Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question: Deduction for paying 2018 property taxes in 2019
Replies: 4
Views: 411

Re: Tax question: Deduction for paying 2018 property taxes in 2019

It is not a matter of when they were assessed, but when you paid. For example, lets say in the rush of being a new homeowner, you overlooked paying 2a and thus paid it late sometime after the new year. In that case, you would only be able to deduct it for 2019. ... Here's a potentially useful trick...
by gurusw
Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question: Deduction for paying 2018 property taxes in 2019
Replies: 4
Views: 411

Tax question: Deduction for paying 2018 property taxes in 2019

Hi, I am dealing with property tax deduction for the first time. I bought a house in California in May 2018. In my county, the tax year for the property taxes starts at Jul 1 and ends at Jun 30 of next year. 1) The seller had paid all the property taxes from Jul 2017 to Jun 2018. So she made me pay ...
by gurusw
Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: nytimes buy vs rent calc does not consider new tax law
Replies: 9
Views: 1691

Re: nytimes buy vs rent calc does not consider new tax law

Presumably the calculator was not also updated for the majority of the population for whom these limits do not impact, but received a significant income tax reduction due to an increase in the standard deduction and a reduction in income tax rates. These items would allow more after tax income to b...
by gurusw
Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: nytimes buy vs rent calc does not consider new tax law
Replies: 9
Views: 1691

nytimes buy vs rent calc does not consider new tax law

Hi, The below calculator is famous for rent vs buy decisions: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator.html But I think it has not kept up to date with the new tax laws, and it is giving wrong forecast to the homebuyers who are taking more than $750K of mortgage, and/or wh...