Search found 206 matches

by annielouise
Wed May 23, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA, Layoff, and W-2
Replies: 3
Views: 216

FSA, Layoff, and W-2

Recent layoff with last day on payroll mid July. Already have a surgery approved by insurance and scheduled for mid June. Our contribution commitment to the FSA for the year was $1200 so that's what is available, but our actual contribution from payroll will be ~$650. Obviously, with the surgery, I ...
by annielouise
Fri May 18, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does COBRA cost correlate to box 12 DD on W-2?
Replies: 4
Views: 318

Re: Does COBRA cost correlate to box 12 DD on W-2?

Yes, that is supposed to include both the employer and employee cost of the health care. The additional 2% administrative fee for COBRA is standard. https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/form-w-2-reporting-of-employer-sponsored-health-coverage ACA coverage may cost you less than COBRA but of cour...
by annielouise
Fri May 18, 2018 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does COBRA cost correlate to box 12 DD on W-2?
Replies: 4
Views: 318

Does COBRA cost correlate to box 12 DD on W-2?

I know HR is swamped with calls, and I wasn't able to find this via Google, so I thought maybe BHs know. On his 2017 W-2, box 12a, DD is $13,600. Can I use this number to estimate COBRA? Other info: Our premiums for medical now are $122/ mo. We also have dental and vision, but they are separate from...
by annielouise
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with shared child being spoiled
Replies: 46
Views: 4052

Re: Help with shared child being spoiled

My answer will be different than others. I do not believe in paying a child for chores. Families, in my opinion, do not charge each other to help. Families help out because they are a team. You don't make your child pay for the dinner you make, or the clothes you wash, and they should not expect to ...
by annielouise
Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need new bedroom furniture
Replies: 23
Views: 1280

Re: Need new bedroom furniture

If it were me, I would consider an adjustable bed (Costco, perhaps), since this can be very useful for aging. Then I would combine that with some well made vintage dressers ( I'd get mid century) and nightstands.
by annielouise
Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2615
Views: 496665

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

With three children at home, our credit card strategy is currently for airline miles for travel. After years of using American Airlines and American Express cards for such, we finally made the best credit card decision ever and switched to Southwest Airlines credit cards (from Chase). We have perso...
by annielouise
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age is the best to give a child control of an inheritance?
Replies: 192
Views: 11291

Re: What age is the best to give a child control of an inheritance?

Is she a drug addict, or mentally ill, or otherwise unfit in some way... Perhaps you meant to say "mentally incompetent"? Plenty of people with a "mental illness" are perfectly capable of handling their own finances or an inheritance. For example, I know a highly respected doctor with a BH type inv...
by annielouise
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lowest Fees Donor Advised Fund?
Replies: 11
Views: 661

Re: Lowest Fees Donor Advised Fund?

When we opened ours, Schwab, but not Fidelity, allowed for more options for privacy. (For example, giving just fund name, or fund name & our names but not our address, etc.). Fidelity may have changed their policies since then.

We now make all of our grants with just the fund name.
by annielouise
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes: e-file vs. paper
Replies: 51
Views: 3591

Re: taxes: e-file vs. paper

I would not want to trust USPS with something so important. Since we started getting the informed delivery emails, we find that one third to one half of that mail never shows up in our mailbox. That doesn't even include the items that never made it to the point where they show up in our email. Have...
by annielouise
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes: e-file vs. paper
Replies: 51
Views: 3591

Re: taxes: e-file vs. paper

I would not want to trust USPS with something so important. Since we started getting the informed delivery emails, we find that one third to one half of that mail never shows up in our mailbox. That doesn't even include the items that never made it to the point where they show up in our email.
by annielouise
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Checklist for Parents of Incoming Freshmen/To-Be Adult
Replies: 67
Views: 4127

Re: Checklist for Parents of Incoming Freshmen/To-Be Adult

Coming at it from a different and non financial angle (although financial impacts are significant) https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/feature/college-game-plan/amp/six-questions-parents-need-ask-their-daughter-starts-college-n619796 I have heard from some doctors that it isn’t common for ...
by annielouise
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kiplingers Retirement Report
Replies: 17
Views: 3370

Re: Kiplingers Retirement Report

The sample issue doesn't impress me, although it is quite old.

Did you check with your local libraries to see if they carry it in print or electronically?
by annielouise
Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Buying at a discount" ?
Replies: 11
Views: 1595

Re: "Buying at a discount" ?

During the recession, we cut way back on spending and directed the difference to stock purchases while still maintaining our regular Roth and 401k contributions.
by annielouise
Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?
Replies: 126
Views: 11502

Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

Pittsburgh area. Great museums, good food. Lovely drives, especially up into the mountains. Be sure to visit Fallingwater.
by annielouise
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I do this ESPP (with Computershare as the broker)?
Replies: 12
Views: 1069

Re: Should I do this ESPP (with Computershare as the broker)?

Every company seems to have a different deal with Computershare, so you should review provided documents for exact terms, although most are not good.

Your plan sounds like a lot of trouble and risk. I would skip it if it were me.
by annielouise
Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on credit limit increases
Replies: 16
Views: 1214

Re: Question on credit limit increases

Not to hijack the thread, but something just happened here that is sort of "negatively correlated" (if you will) with the thread topic. I have a Capital One Visa card that we use when we travel internationally (which tends to happen at least every couple of years if not more often). Like all our ca...
by annielouise
Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 529 Accounts - Son got full scholarship!
Replies: 54
Views: 5359

Re: Help with 529 Accounts - Son got full scholarship!

A couple thoughts: You can withdraw money from a 529 up to the amount of a tax-free scholarship without paying the 10% penalty, just income tax. The room and board portion of the scholarship is not tax free. Your son will need to pay taxes on the value of that. Things change. Kids change their minds...
by annielouise
Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommended savings ‘Buckets’?
Replies: 30
Views: 2453

Re: Recommended savings ‘Buckets’?

Our buckets are more virtual than actual.

We have a 1 year layoff fund plus savings for vacation, car, durable goods (furniture, electronics, appliances), and property tax.

Now that our house is a few years old, I am considering adding a home improvement category in 2019.
by annielouise
Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shampoo for silver/grey hair
Replies: 17
Views: 2490

Re: Shampoo for silver/grey hair

We use Trader Joe's tea tree oil shampoo. I originally bought it because my scalp was always itchy (possibly due to additives in most shampoos) and it greatly improved that issue. My husband's silver hair always looks great and my strands of gray have actually received compliments. It is an inexpens...
by annielouise
Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block vs TurboTax (spoiler: HRB is awful)
Replies: 70
Views: 6774

Re: H&R Block vs TurboTax (spoiler: HRB is awful)

I think H&RB is less annoying then TT if you have a good grasp of the tax code, while TT is better if you need more guidance.

We switched many years ago because TT software at the time was handling HSAs incorrectly.
by annielouise
Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schwab insists on hard inquiry on Equifax credit report !
Replies: 30
Views: 2813

Re: Schwab insists on hard inquiry on Equifax credit report !

Ever tried to buy a vehicle with all cash, even a cashier’s check? Think that means the dealer doesn’t need to, and therefore won’t—or can be persuaded not to—pull your credit? Think again. Smectym We've bought our last 3(4?) vehicles with cash (personal check) and have never given a SSN or authori...
by annielouise
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schwab insists on hard inquiry on Equifax credit report !
Replies: 30
Views: 2813

Re: Schwab insists on hard inquiry on Equifax credit report !

Schwab has required this for a while. They did a hard pull when we opened a checking/ brokerage even though we already had our DAF with them.
by annielouise
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large cutting board recommendations
Replies: 12
Views: 1398

Re: Large cutting board recommendations

Not sure if it is quite that large, but we got a bamboo one from Ikea that is really nice and, of course, not that expensive. Definitely do the mineral oil prep. We are vegetarians, so wood works fine for us. I don't think that it is a good option if cutting meat, though. Edit: 17"x11" just looked i...
by annielouise
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Freezing credit reports and opening CDs
Replies: 22
Views: 1897

Re: Freezing credit reports and opening CDs

FYI, the government is trying to pass a law that would make credit freezing "free" for all. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/08/senate-banking-bill-would-make-credit-freezes-free.html You can freeze your credit which should take a day or three through mailing, and the consumers can unfreeze their credi...
by annielouise
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Freezing credit reports and opening CDs
Replies: 22
Views: 1897

Re: Freezing credit reports and opening CDs

Synchrony did not require unfreezing credit. Ally did. Both were for new accounts. Those are the only two that I checked since freezing. I assume that it would be fine at banks where I already do business, although I haven't tested this yet.
by annielouise
Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you ready for Amazon checking?
Replies: 42
Views: 6070

Re: Are you ready for Amazon checking?

Isn't the idea to create checking accounts for the unbanked? The unbanked are used to paying large fees (stand alone debit cards, check cashing, etc), so I wouldn't be looking for a product that rivals existing online banks.
by annielouise
Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lowering Taxable Income
Replies: 40
Views: 2988

Re: Lowering Taxable Income

Spousal IRA? Tax Filing Status: Married Filing Jointly (spouse has an employer's plan) 2018 Traditional IRA Full Deduction AGI Limit: $189,000 Phase-Out Limit: $199,000 Isn't traditional IRA full deduction limit 119K for a 2 person household? https://www.fidelity.com/retirement-ira/contribution-lim...
by annielouise
Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lowering Taxable Income
Replies: 40
Views: 2988

Re: Lowering Taxable Income

Spousal IRA? Tax Filing Status: Married Filing Jointly (spouse has an employer's plan) 2018 Traditional IRA Full Deduction AGI Limit: $189,000 Phase-Out Limit: $199,000 I'm not sure what you're suggesting. Are you saying I should put money into my wife's T-IRA or ROTH since she does not have an emp...
by annielouise
Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lowering Taxable Income
Replies: 40
Views: 2988

Re: Lowering Taxable Income

Spousal IRA?

Tax Filing Status: Married Filing Jointly (spouse has an employer's plan)

2018 Traditional IRA Full Deduction AGI Limit: $189,000

Phase-Out Limit: $199,000
by annielouise
Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: online savings
Replies: 20
Views: 1367

Re: online savings

We recently opened 3 accounts at Synchrony (2 CDs, 1 savings).. ETFs take surprisingly long. Money appears at Synchrony 2 days after leaving our other bank. Wait times for calls was long, but this was while they had the 2% 12 month CD rate. We had to call a lot of times because the website is not ve...
by annielouise
Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of desktop computer should I buy?
Replies: 49
Views: 4195

Re: What kind of desktop computer should I buy?

I have a Lenovo mini tower which I am very happy with.
by annielouise
Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone realize how special last year was?!
Replies: 38
Views: 5979

Re: Does anyone realize how special last year was?!

It was a good year. Still, if you calculated your next worth on the 10th or 20th of the month, you may have had months where it dropped, and, perhaps, other years that never dropped. It's all very subjective. What was remarkable for us, after pulling together the last 10 years of budgets onto one sp...
by annielouise
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Visa now 5% back at Whole Foods
Replies: 30
Views: 2842

Re: Amazon Prime Visa now 5% back at Whole Foods

$100/year for 5% cashback on groceries at one store.
$100/year for 6% cashback on groceries at all stores.

Certainly not worth it just for that, even if you do "most" of your shopping at WF.
by annielouise
Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mail diversion- one more reason to freeze credit
Replies: 10
Views: 1304

Re: Mail diversion- one more reason to freeze credit

Only about half of our mail actually arrives due to lousy local mail service. This id theft method would probably work well on us. Good thing our credit is frozen.
by annielouise
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Credit Cards?? [Credit card vs. debit card]
Replies: 107
Views: 4851

Re: Thoughts on Credit Cards??

It is also possible to just budget categories where you tend to overspend. By paying yourself first AND keeping track of your particular weak spots, you can really improved your finances. To me, a credit card is no different than cash, debit, etc. I've always had a hard time wrapping my head around ...
by annielouise
Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on changing withholding for 2018? Complicating factors!
Replies: 7
Views: 627

Re: Thoughts on changing withholding for 2018? Complicating factors!

Child tax credit = $2000. Full amount available for AGI (married) of $400,000.

Your best bet is to try to calculate your 2018 taxes and see if current withholding is adequate.
by annielouise
Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Secure Is Your Apartment
Replies: 42
Views: 4161

Re: How Secure Is Your Apartment

Your budget should include:

Monitored security system.
Security cameras/doorbell.
Fire safe(s).

Theft (by burglary, not maintenance people) and fire are the biggest risks in apartments.

If no garage, always lock your car. Nextdoor is full of " my unlocked car was broken into". Duh!
by annielouise
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Clever phishing -- be careful!
Replies: 21
Views: 1608

Re: Clever phishing -- be careful!

I've had a few times when financial institutions call me and then ask me to prove who I am (Vanguard has done so). I refuse, then call them. In every instance, the original call was legitimate.
by annielouise
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sams Club vs Costco
Replies: 78
Views: 6500

Re: Sams Club vs Costco

I believe Costco has significantly healthier selections than Sam's Club. Sam's Club carries a huge selection of junk food and is very popular with the vending machine business owners. Sam's Club does carry basic fruits and vegetables, although nothing very exciting. The only healthy cereal (whole gr...
by annielouise
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HR Block vs Turbo Tax to compare to accountant?
Replies: 7
Views: 503

Re: HR Block vs Turbo Tax to compare to accountant?

Do you have a friend or relative who already purchased one of these who would let you use it? I can start as many taxes as I want on downloadable H&R Block and file 5 for free.
by annielouise
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to check if a 1099R was sent to the IRS?
Replies: 7
Views: 1532

Re: How to check if a 1099R was sent to the IRS?

Calculate taxes. Apply for an extension, sending in any money you owe. Get a transcript from the IRS in June or July to see what 2017 tax forms they got. Do taxes.
by annielouise
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to cancel TV and not Internet w/ Spectrum Time Warner
Replies: 18
Views: 1591

Re: How to cancel TV and not Internet w/ Spectrum Time Warner

They did the same to me so I dumped Spectrum. With ATT U-verse and paying $40 a month and suits my Internet needs: Netflix streaming, all our devices on wifi. ATT even gave a $50 gift card which reduced the bite of the $99 “installation fee”. To be fair, he had to rewire a lot, outside and in, took...
by annielouise
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please Review portfolio
Replies: 4
Views: 463

Re: Please Review portfolio

strive_for_fire wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:44 am
Interest rates are low anyways and not to mention get some mortgage interest deduction in tax. That is due to change in 2018 with limited property tax deductions capped to 10k.
I don't believe that property tax is capped on Schedule E for your rentals.
by annielouise
Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schedule B Interest Question
Replies: 14
Views: 1176

Re: Schedule B Interest Question

I would list:

Bank X $200
Bank X, US Savings Bonds $100

That's what we were taught years ago in tax school.
by annielouise
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going Paperless Issues
Replies: 68
Views: 4421

Re: Going Paperless Issues

I am doing this to eliminate all the paper that comes in the mail box. We move around a lot and travel a good deal and all that paper is a PIA. Some of it is always getting lost and unless we go paperless the various companies will not let us review the bill online. So we are trying to automate it ...
by annielouise
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going Paperless Issues
Replies: 68
Views: 4421

Re: Going Paperless Issues

1. Does everyone wait to get an email to do e-pay? We want to review some bills before paying them each month. But we are worried we will not get the emails. Or do you just go look at your account on line and view statements on some fixed date? We split our bills into 1st and 15th, so twice a month...
by annielouise
Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Really simple tax question
Replies: 14
Views: 1410

Re: Really simple tax question

If your employer offers life insurance above $50k, you may have to add in the value of that. It will probably only be a few hundred dollars, but it is worth noting.

Excellent job saving on a $106k income with 3 people.
by annielouise
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to put money for car/house expenses
Replies: 10
Views: 600

Re: Where to put money for car/house expenses

1.5% online savings account. Car fund is currently in a 2% 12 month CD, because we are a few years away from buying again. I move the money myself. Our expenses are extremely variable throughout the year (we pay a lot of bills yearly rather than monthly), so a regular transfer would probably not wor...
by annielouise
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I’m not renewing my Costco membership.
Replies: 80
Views: 7697

Re: I’m not renewing my Costco membership.

Although we don't have a Costco membership, we still order a few items online. The extra charge (5%?) doesn't change the value much, especially since sale prices still count and everything I buy ships free. You may want to see if that works for you.