Search found 80 matches

by LearnFromMistakes
Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Effect of Olympics on Real Estate Prices?
Replies: 16
Views: 4024

PS 5@50 wrote:
Deacon Mike wrote:[As far as 2016, my money's on Rio. The games have never been in South America.
Mexico City? 1968?
Mexico is classified as "North America". ;)
by LearnFromMistakes
Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I saved over $50 mo. on phone service w/home & cellphone
Replies: 21
Views: 5576

I keep my AT&T land line for emergencies. During hurricanes in the last 6 years, cell phones were rendered almost completely useless. People can't call you because all the circuits are tied up and you can't call them either. Since it only costs $22.70 a month I haven't dropped my land line. (This is...
by LearnFromMistakes
Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FICO tail wagging personal finance dog?
Replies: 19
Views: 3951

Who cares what your credit score is you never borrow money? (I know and realize there are exceptions to this like car insurance) My goal in life isn't to borrow money at the best possible rate I can get, but to NEVER NEED to borrow money at all! I recently cancelled one BoA CC with a 30k limit on it...
by LearnFromMistakes
Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MIT Study: People pay 59%-113% more when using credit card
Replies: 19
Views: 5132

I like using Cash Back credit cards for utilities since I don't think I'm going to run the A/C cooler or leave the lights on longer just because "I'm paying with credit". Plus its nice having most of my bills automatically paid every month without ever lifting a finger. For the monthly bills I have ...
by LearnFromMistakes
Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter to alter 401k plan
Replies: 54
Views: 12365

Well, it's been two weeks since I sent the letter and still no response. I gave both my mailing address and email address to the 401k liasion. I kinda figured this would happen. Anyway, I was planning on resending the letter along with some more specific questions. That's what I'd like some input o...
by LearnFromMistakes
Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "The Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America"
Replies: 45
Views: 11428

I'd be much more interested in seeing the list of the top ten best insurance companies in America. THANK YOU! My thoughts exactly! I will say that when I left Allstate and switched to a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual, I saved $1,400 a year b/w my car and auto insurance and that was keeping the same l...
by LearnFromMistakes
Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you use cash back credit cards?
Replies: 88
Views: 24479

Re: Correct, but...

I believe you still owe the tax if the full purchase price was deducted. I get all kinds of income for which I don't get a 1099, but I still report it. You don't (generally) 1099 the plumber for fixing a leak, or the mechanic for fixing your car. Yet they owe tax on the income. Paul You are an more...
by LearnFromMistakes
Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you use cash back credit cards?
Replies: 88
Views: 24479

This is the first year I've used a cash rewards card and it's paying off handsomely. Are there any tax implications to the cash you get back? Not in my experiences. I've never had a credit card company send me a 1099 or any other tax forms that I would have to turn in with my taxes. Take care, Brian
by LearnFromMistakes
Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How would your life change if you got a huge windfall*?
Replies: 31
Views: 6731

that is what the avatar is, but I do not own one currently my s2000 lease is up shortly, and am considering a 5 series, unless I drive my beater 95 camry for a while and wait out the economy/market/etc not sure I want to blow the money on a bmw right now, but damn do I love them I own an e46 330 an...
by LearnFromMistakes
Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How would your life change if you got a huge windfall*?
Replies: 31
Views: 6731

tommy_gunn wrote:And buy the 550i I want with cash ...
Do you currently own a BMW? I saw your avatar appeared to be a 5 series so I wasn't sure if that was your current vehicle.
by LearnFromMistakes
Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How would your life change if you got a huge windfall*?
Replies: 31
Views: 6731

Re: How would your life change if you got a huge windfall*?

windfall* = at least $2 million after taxes I'd retire around age 45. :D I'd also probably take a lot more risks at work with my career since I could follow through on ideas without worrying about losing my job. It would be refreshing to speak up at the employee forums and ask those questions that ...
by LearnFromMistakes
Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2008: Non-itemizers can now deduct property taxes
Replies: 90
Views: 15160

Well this is a non-political forum so I'll leave at this - the higher your wealth the higher the insurance value of maintianing stability and defending the country (from an economic perspective) and the higher your obligation to your fellow man (from a social justice/ethics perspective). I am in th...
by LearnFromMistakes
Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2008: Non-itemizers can now deduct property taxes
Replies: 90
Views: 15160

Let's see they are not progressive, they would raise taxes for the majority of the country (or not be revenue neutral which rasies the question what will be cut). If they don't replace the payroll tax it actually means the U.S. will have a regressive tax system. Wow, I actually see a non progressiv...
by LearnFromMistakes
Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2008: Non-itemizers can now deduct property taxes
Replies: 90
Views: 15160

Yep, it's guaranteed that a flat "fair" tax will cut the taxes of those in the lower brackets. (It must be so the advocates tell us so, and it's "fair", right?) Let's see how that works: We know that if you want to compare it with the current system, it will be revenue neutral, i.e., generate the s...
by LearnFromMistakes
Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA / Joint Tax Return Question
Replies: 2
Views: 1426

No, as long as you are married during the tax year, and your joint income is above $169k if filing jointly or if her income is greater than $10k if filing spearately and you live together than she cannot make a Roth contribution. If you do not live together at any point in the tax year and are fili...
by LearnFromMistakes
Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you use cash back credit cards?
Replies: 88
Views: 24479

Well I couldn't take it anymore. I stopped by my local Chase branch and signed up to get a Chase Freedom card for my wife and myself.

Just wanted to thank everyone for sharing information concerning their cash back reward cards!

Take care,
Brian
by LearnFromMistakes
Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home prices drop record 15.8%. How much more to go?
Replies: 28
Views: 5632

Well I hope that's the case for where I live (Louisiana) since my home is being reassesed for taxes this year. In 2004 my home value was assesed at 126k, unchanged from when I purchased it in 2002. I guess that means I overpaid quite a bit when I purchased my home for $132k? :oops:
by LearnFromMistakes
Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Creative Account Sharing
Replies: 5
Views: 1308

I'm pretty sure I'm missing something, but if you invested in your daughters 401k you'd have to wait until your daughter was 59.5 before she could withdraw the funds (penalty free) for you, right?

Take care,
Brian
by LearnFromMistakes
Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar
Replies: 135
Views: 22710

For the people here who have solar panels:

During a full moon with a clear sky, do the solar panels produce any power?

Just curious
by LearnFromMistakes
Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you use cash back credit cards?
Replies: 88
Views: 24479

I use Discover for thier quarterly 5% cashback bonuses and Citi Dividend for everything else. MR Uh, what you just said. :) The only drawback with the Citi Dividend is that it caps out around $300 a year I actually bank with Chase so I might have to look into their Chase Freedom card that many othe...
by LearnFromMistakes
Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar
Replies: 135
Views: 22710

Possible but not very useful. Bike racers seem to be able to put out 0.2-0.3KW in races. Per http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=powerstern "Road races longer than 90 minutes duration are generally between 11 and 14 Wkg0.67, whilst short criteriums are generally 14-18 Wkg0.67. Accordingly, for a...
by LearnFromMistakes
Sat Jul 26, 2008 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar
Replies: 135
Views: 22710

This is getting slightly off the topic of solar but something I've thought about more than once. Along the lines of cheap power generation... Would it be possible to alter a stationary bike with a reasonably sized generator that would allow a human to peddle at reasonable speeds that would generate ...
by LearnFromMistakes
Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar
Replies: 135
Views: 22710

I have been looking into solar power for the last 4 years and have not been able to find anything remotely cost effective. I use about 10,800 kwh's a year or average about 900 kwh a month depending on how you want to look at it. I have natural gas for my heating (central and water). My utility compa...
by LearnFromMistakes
Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you carry a mortgage or HELOC?
Replies: 5
Views: 1848

Re: Scam

You have most likely been approached by an agent of United First Financial hawking their Money Merge Account method and software. It is structured as a MLM with the agents paying for the right to sell the $3500.00 software. Their "premise" is that you can use a HELOC to optimally pay your expenses ...
by LearnFromMistakes
Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best steak marinade
Replies: 52
Views: 11296

Good point, Sooner. A good filet needs no marinating at all. The cheaper cuts are another matter. Sometimes I'll buy sirloin on sale, cut it into serving size steaks and marinate them in plain old Italian salad dressing. Nothing fancy...use the store brand. That's exactly what we do... off the shel...
by LearnFromMistakes
Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RAID hard drive replacement... Tech guys out there?
Replies: 15
Views: 4135

Arthur, Don't just assume the drive is bad because the RAID controller says so. Connect the suspect drive to another PC as a slave and run a check disk utility (usually comes with the drive) to scan for physical problems on the disk. Most manufacturers I've dealt with, WD, Connor, Quantum, Seagate, ...
by LearnFromMistakes
Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual stock picking compared to Index fund
Replies: 13
Views: 3461

Re: Individual stock picking compared to Index fund

An actively managed mutual fund is a portfolio made up primarily of individual stocks and bonds - and all the lessons about there performanace apply to individuals buying individual stocks and bonds. Alvalpert, I think there is a noticeable exception. Individuals that invest in stocks and bonds pro...
by LearnFromMistakes
Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you carry a mortgage or HELOC?
Replies: 5
Views: 1848

I had some "Financial Advisor" try talk me into a HELOC along with some $3,000 software that would "magically" help me pay off my home mortgage and car loan faster, but when I kept asking for the details on how it worked I could never get a straight answer. Seemed more like a scam to sell a $3,000 p...
by LearnFromMistakes
Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checking your credit score
Replies: 23
Views: 5166

Just a point. My son has automatic bill pay through his bank. One month several years ago the bank did not make their payments correctly so that they were charged late fees. When he found out and called the bank, the bank apologized and paid the late charges. What the bank could not change was the ...
by LearnFromMistakes
Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental Property vs. REITS
Replies: 34
Views: 9178

Bill, Thanks again for the in depth response. I'm actually in Louisiana but I can understand the confusion with the "LA" abbreviation. :) I will consider what you said about looking into "moderate" levels of leveraging after I have a feel for the business. That is interesting what you mentioned abou...
by LearnFromMistakes
Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checking your credit score
Replies: 23
Views: 5166

I don't want to opt-out of credit card offers in the mail. USAA is begging me to borrow $25,000 from them again without cost to me (0% interest, $0 balance transfer, no strings attached). That's another free $1000 for me which will pay for quite a few restaurant lunches. I understand that many folk...
by LearnFromMistakes
Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Disability Insurance premium- before or after tax?
Replies: 20
Views: 8188

I would pay the tax on the disability premium if I were you. My employer pays for my long term disability coverage and I do not have a choice so I will have to pay income tax if I ever need to collect on my long term disability. I'm suprised someone hasn't figured out the worst case scenario on inve...
by LearnFromMistakes
Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checking your credit score
Replies: 23
Views: 5166

Shortly after I got married, I opted out of pre-screened offers. At that time I received maybe 2 to 3 credit card offers a week and my wife received maybe 1 or 2 a month. Since I opted out, I have not received a single offer but now my wife (under her maiden name) receives 2 to 3 offers a week. We t...
by LearnFromMistakes
Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental Property vs. REITS
Replies: 34
Views: 9178

I have only invested in residential properties, but have looked into retail, office, & industrial a little bit. As Valuethinker mentioned, it is a very different game in terms of risk. One graybeard commercial broker once told me that successful commercial property investors are mostly all cash inv...
by LearnFromMistakes
Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental Property vs. REITS
Replies: 34
Views: 9178

Small commercial properties have all the risks of residential properties, and then some. The only good news is the leases are for longer (but conversely, the tenants go bust). If you look at the US regional banking crash, it's all about lending to local developers and construction companies. Many p...
by LearnFromMistakes
Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: question about life insurance. Emergdoc, Laura or others
Replies: 14
Views: 2928

That's why group life insurance is so wonderful... no underwriting and generally cheaper per thousand -- always buy the max your company offers. Absolutely incorrect. If you are healthy, group insurance is the most expensive and the worst decision you can make. Group coverage is not portable, and t...
by LearnFromMistakes
Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 24 year old losing money like it's his job!
Replies: 23
Views: 5504

Hi Brian, I'm Brian! ;) When I was your age I was in the EXACT same position you are currently in with stocks, unfortunately I was playing in the stock market at the tail end of the .dot boom in 2000. I managed to lose about $10k buying stocks from a newsletter stock picker. Been there, done that, g...
by LearnFromMistakes
Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental Property vs. REITS
Replies: 34
Views: 9178

I've enjoyed reading the experiences of those who have done home and apartment rentals. Thank you for sharing your experiences as well as information on how you went about it. I have a few questions concerning rentals. Has anyone done commercial (non apt) rentals? Most businesses aren't open at 3am ...
by LearnFromMistakes
Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 19 Year Old Newbie Seeks Fund Advice
Replies: 13
Views: 2298

IceNomad, You are already 90% of the way (if not more) to retiring a wealthy man by investing at your age. At age 31 I envy you greatly and wish I knew back then what you know now. :) I applaud your effort to avoid CC's like the plague and I have greatly reduced the # of cards I have (down to two no...
by LearnFromMistakes
Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS email message for my stimulus package refund
Replies: 11
Views: 3149

This is a total scam! How would the IRS know your email address? From the sound of your message you already knew that though. :)
by LearnFromMistakes
Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? PART II
Replies: 1043
Views: 294061

Re: Honda Pilot Owners Manual

Honda Pilot Owner's Manual, I'm a car nut and visiting my daughter this week. My daughter just bought one, based in part on the favorable comments by "catchup" on this forum as well as Consumer Reports and several other car review sources on the internet. The dealer had a really good deal going on ...
by LearnFromMistakes
Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 'Pissed off purchases' to total $424 BILLION this year!
Replies: 3
Views: 1586

Re: 'Pissed off purchases' to total $42 BILLION this year!

Amazing! I can not believe she said Billion! Let's say the number is exaggerated by a factor of 10 by the interest group behind the poll; That's still $140 per capita and $175 per capita > 15 years old. If the figure is right, the average +15 yo spends almost $150 per month in 'POP shopping' and wi...
by LearnFromMistakes
Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using Part of Emergency Fund to Payoff Mortgage Early?
Replies: 28
Views: 5839

Gee, I'm going to be a little (or a lot) contrarian here. But I just don't understand this almost obsession with paying off the mortgage. Good heavens, your talking about a payoff amount of about $25K when you have about $200K in IRA's and $70,000 in taxable accounts, and a big emergency fund. What...
by LearnFromMistakes
Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using Part of Emergency Fund to Payoff Mortgage Early?
Replies: 28
Views: 5839

There is no official definition, and the IRS has never issued a clear ruling; so you have to take your own position based on common sense. (Do not consider the following paragraph to be tax advice.) Two share classes of the same fund should be substantially identical, so you can't sell a mutual fun...
by LearnFromMistakes
Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using Part of Emergency Fund to Payoff Mortgage Early?
Replies: 28
Views: 5839

LFM, My husband and I opened Roth IRAs in 2000 and made the maximum contribution every year until 2007. We weren't able to contribute last year and we probably won't be able to contribute this year due to the income limits. Sophie, Thank you for your reply! This seems like a good "problem" to have ...
by LearnFromMistakes
Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic ROTH IRA Q
Replies: 20
Views: 3619

Re: Roth withdrawals

I agree that the IRS Regulations regarding IRAs are almost impossible to understand. This article attempts to explain: http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2006/05/02/withdrawing-your-roth-ira-contributions/ Bottom line: "You can withdraw Roth IRA contributions any time and for any reason without tax or p...
by LearnFromMistakes
Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic ROTH IRA Q
Replies: 20
Views: 3619

Re: Correction

Sorry, this is incorrect. You can withdraw Roth IRA contributions any time and for any reason without tax or penalty. The rules for withdrawing earnings are more complicated: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p590.pdf Taylor, Thanks for the correction and sorry if I caused any confusion. Could you exp...
by LearnFromMistakes
Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic ROTH IRA Q
Replies: 20
Views: 3619

So essentially the only way to contribute to a ROTH IRA with the aim of avoiding capital gain taxes/growing tax free would be cutting a check from a Moneymarket account/cash? Dekal35, Based on the situation you described above, yes. If you sell any taxable funds you will be required to pay capital ...
by LearnFromMistakes
Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k contribution
Replies: 13
Views: 2801

Ok, well it has been obvious that posting off the cuff caused me to leave out information and generally not write as well as I usually do. Thank you very much for all the comments. I'll write a little bit more intelligently later. Privateer, Don't sweat it, I only wish I was as wise as you are when...
by LearnFromMistakes
Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using Part of Emergency Fund to Payoff Mortgage Early?
Replies: 28
Views: 5839

It's not quite that simple; you cannot buy replacement shares in a substantially identical fund within 30 days before or after you sell at a loss, or the IRS will consider this a wash sale and not allow your loss. Grabiner, Thanks for the information! Do you know what Laura was referring to when sh...