Search found 430 matches

by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I want a landscape architect? If not, what?
Replies: 8
Views: 1171

Re: Do I want a landscape architect? If not, what?

I'm not allowed to make an addition to my house or to change the exterior of the home. (It is historic and landmarked.) So, this needs to be just a small patio/courtyard garden, but the good-looking-year-round means that structure and design are probably more important than plants. I think. @NYCguy ...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I want a landscape architect? If not, what?
Replies: 8
Views: 1171

Do I want a landscape architect? If not, what?

I have the design ability of a flea. Maybe less. We have a small area (18'x12') between the garage and our house that I would like turned from grass into a small outdoor room that would be nice to sit in in warmer weather (we're in Colorado) AND visually interesting from inside during the 8 months o...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 and Coverdell issues
Replies: 4
Views: 539

Re: 529 and Coverdell issues

An institution is eligible if it participates in a federal student aid program, such as Direct (Stafford) loans, Pell Grants, Federal Work Study, or Perkins loans. That includes virtually every college in the US. Depending on your state and the student's needs, there are an increasing number of auti...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 418
Views: 70461

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

I've really enjoyed the Liaden universe books written by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Agent of Change was the first one I read and now there are twenty some odd books in the universe. Space opera, and thoroughly enjoyable. Saltation is another good starting point that leads into another half dozen n...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: From Chi-Midway: Taxi, Uber, Lyft, or other?
Replies: 26
Views: 4398

Re: From Chi-Midway: Taxi, Uber, Lyft, or other?

Used Uber in Paris this spring -- loved, loved, loved the ability to get a car to show up and take me to my desired address without having to use my very primitive French to try and provide an address/area. It is really a game changer when you don't (much) speak the language. Our one cab ride was a ...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wooden flooring in kitchen
Replies: 51
Views: 6420

Re: Wooden flooring in kitchen

It has worked fine for us, and I cook a lot. I'd rather have wood than tile.
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DAF and recommendation for tuition
Replies: 4
Views: 559

Re: DAF and recommendation for tuition

A 501(c)(3) for which I was the treasurer received several gifts through donor-advised funds that came with restrictions. We were asked before the gift was distributed whether the restriction was acceptable. It wasn't a problem.
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Investment Options for Inheritance
Replies: 9
Views: 1284

Re: Best Investment Options for Inheritance

Since this is an inheritance, it is probably the property of one of you, not both. If you're both agreed on how to handle it, that's fine -- but I believe that putting in a joint account might convert it to marital property in some states. A vanilla taxable account sounds fine, matched with a set it...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High Income, High Debt, Low Life Expectancy
Replies: 21
Views: 5948

Re: High Income, High Debt, Low Life Expectancy

Were any of your loans private loans that might have involved a co-signer? If so, might they persist after death/disability? Is your health problem one that would take you out quickly when the symptoms become problematic, or are you likely to need a couple years of long term care? Do you have an est...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LTD Insurance-SSDI & SS strategy
Replies: 3
Views: 534

Re: LTD Insurance-SSDI & SS strategy

NOLO says: If Social Security is paying dependents benefits to your spouse or children based on your disability (often referred to as "auxiliary benefits" in LTD policies), many LTD policies allow the insurance carrier to offset these amounts (subtract them from your LTD payments) as well. I'd absol...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just found out my mom is in serious financial crisis. Need help ASAP.
Replies: 58
Views: 11235

Re: Just found out my mom is in serious financial crisis. Need help ASAP.

My folks neglected to file taxes for a couple of years after a hurricane wiped out their records. A good CPA calmed me down, said she'd seen lots worse, and put together documentation for the IRS, which then wiped out most of the penalties. I think getting a good CPA involved now would be a big help...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Compelling Beneficiaries to Respond - Trust
Replies: 14
Views: 1959

Re: Compelling Beneficiaries to Respond - Trust

I don't know whether it could be used for a trust...but we had a wayward heir who didn't respond to notifications and the probate court advised me that if he didn't respond by a certain date that I (as executor) would need to pay what he was owed to the state and they would carry it on their unclaim...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: helping parent sell their car
Replies: 16
Views: 1914

Re: helping parent sell their car

Might she want to donate the car to a charity? That's a very low hassle factor.
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1098-T & 529 question
Replies: 17
Views: 2706

Re: 1098-T & 529 question

I suggest that my families write checks for the $4K of allowable expenses and note in the memo line that it is for "Spring 2017 tuition & fees." Make a copy of the canceled check and stash it in your tax file for the year. Books, supplies, and equipment required for the courses also count towards th...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental School Financial Preparation Help
Replies: 19
Views: 3427

Re: Dental School Financial Preparation Help

Reminder - there is equipment that you will be required to purchase for dental school. Suggestion: Keep $5K as an emergency fund. Life happens. Squirrel money away as best you can between now and the start. Anything and everything. Toss the rest against your first-semester/year tuition/expenses. Eve...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shopping for prescriptions
Replies: 11
Views: 1381

Re: Shopping for prescriptions

Google the name of the drug and the name of the drug manufacturer and the word discount. Many name-brand drugs, especially expensive ones, have manufacturer-funded discount programs that you can use to significantly drop the cost of a prescription. I use one that takes the cost of a drug that is $36...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard vs. Fidelity [Customer Service Reputation]
Replies: 73
Views: 11290

Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity [Customer Service Reputation]

Been a Fidelity customer for many years; used to be a Vanguard customer. Fidelity's customer service experience is at or better than the level of Amex's. They answer the phone, the reps are wonderfully trained, they listen, and if you need to be transferred to a new group, the original rep stays on ...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA for High Net Worth Parents?
Replies: 71
Views: 10091

Re: FAFSA for High Net Worth Parents?

But the most interesting suggestion we encountered was a recommendation by two top national schools to have my daughter become a emancipated adult at age 18. They suggested she take a year and go to a instate local junior college and work part time. Perhaps in your state, but in California, the UC'...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA for High Net Worth Parents?
Replies: 71
Views: 10091

Re: FAFSA for High Net Worth Parents?

There is also a "chance" if you somehow lost your job and lost all your money you might need to "change" your information which, as I understand it, you can't do if you didn't submit to begin with. Again, check the website of the college. I have heard this rumor for years, but never found anyone to...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA for High Net Worth Parents?
Replies: 71
Views: 10091

Re: FAFSA for High Net Worth Parents?

But the most interesting suggestion we encountered was a recommendation by two top national schools to have my daughter become a emancipated adult at age 18. Are you sure you heard that right? Because that is not an option now and hasn't been for some time. If it were, everyone would take a gap yea...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deleted
Replies: 48
Views: 9437

Re: Let's say you are dying this year

MIL's safety deposit box was unavailable for access after her death for about 3 months. That meant that we could not access the car title to sell the car for that long. It was nearly a month after her death before we got a death certificate that was needed to initiate a number of other estate-relate...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA for High Net Worth Parents?
Replies: 71
Views: 10091

Re: FAFSA for High Net Worth Parents?

Son's school required (2002-2006) a FAFSA for guaranteed student loans both Stafford and PLUS. No FAFSA, no loans. I forget the requirements for his institutional grant other than we needed it for freshman year, unrestricted and good for entire undergrad (upto 5 years). School also needed complete ...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA for High Net Worth Parents?
Replies: 71
Views: 10091

Re: FAFSA for High Net Worth Parents?

This is the first year of the "new" FAFSA that goes back to 2015 tax data. Most people can complete it in under 15 minutes. If a college requires it for merit scholarships (and some do) then why not just bit the bullet and do it? One parent needs an FSA ID; the student needs an FSA ID. Create them a...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Financial Moves You've Made
Replies: 158
Views: 25164

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

1. Stayed married to a great spouse with similar views on savings.
2. Began saving for retirement in our early 20's.
3. Stayed invested in the market in good years and bad.
4. Didn't chase the latest hot thing on investments.
5. Didn't let the tax tail wag the dog.
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: start of a disability - how to prepare financially
Replies: 7
Views: 1978

Re: start of a disability - how to prepare financially

Fantastic questions and thoughts, thank you!. 2. Yes the benefits on my policy reduce by how much SS pays. So, learning more about disability benefits and strategies might be a good project to take on. One thought: Since your current disability policy is paid for with after-tax dollars, any disabil...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: start of a disability - how to prepare financially
Replies: 7
Views: 1978

Re: start of a disability - how to prepare financially

1. A much larger emergency fund sounds like a very good idea. In such an up-and-down field as oil & gas, and with your health issues, I'd be pointed in the direction of 2 years of living expenses, including health insurance, and paying off (or selling) the house even sooner than planned. 2. Take tim...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No Vanguard Customer Support on weekends
Replies: 76
Views: 11108

Re: No Vanguard Customer Support on weekends

I'm curious what is so urgent that it must be done on a weekend, since all markets are closed. Most of the calls I make to Fidelity have nothing to do with the market being open - I'm not asking them to trade for me. - Questions about how the retirement income calculator is handling a particular as...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College application time coming soon. Can you recommend an SAT/ACT prep course? Or have other ideas?
Replies: 36
Views: 2778

Re: College application time coming soon. Can you recommend an SAT/ACT prep course? Or have other ideas?

Question: when is the optimal time to get this tutoring? Depends on the kid's ability. If you think s/he has a chance at National Merit for your state, then prepping after sophomore summer is ideal so s/he can ace the psat taken in the fall of Junior year. Better yet is to take the PSAT in fall of ...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help on handling 529 plan Withdrawal
Replies: 6
Views: 1444

Re: Help on handling 529 plan Withdrawal

Looking for some advice on how to handle the following 529 withdrawal situation. Received Spring 2017 Tuition bill in December 2016. Transferred full amount from 529 Plan to Student's account in December. Went on University Bursar's web site on Dec 20 and made electronic payment for them to withdra...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S Corp payroll co for single owner/employee?
Replies: 38
Views: 5526

Re: S Corp payroll co for single owner/employee?

I use Intuit Payroll as a single-member LLC taxed as S-Corp, and am able to report Employer HSA Contributions. It shows up on my W-2 in Box 12(a) with note "W". Atgard: I believe that S corp HSA contributions should be in W2 Box 14, not box 12 with code W. The latter makes the HSA contributions tax...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College application time coming soon. Can you recommend an SAT/ACT prep course? Or have other ideas?
Replies: 36
Views: 2778

Re: College application time coming soon. Can you recommend an SAT/ACT prep course? Or have other ideas?

Question: when is the optimal time to get this tutoring? Depends on the kid's ability. If you think s/he has a chance at National Merit for your state, then prepping after sophomore summer is ideal so s/he can ace the psat taken in the fall of Junior year. One three hour test could mean thousands o...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College application time coming soon. Can you recommend an SAT/ACT prep course? Or have other ideas?
Replies: 36
Views: 2778

Re: College application time coming soon. Can you recommend an SAT/ACT prep course? Or have other ideas?

For SAT, Khan academy has a free online prep course developed with College Board. For ACT, the test company sells a red ACT prep book and has online prep for a small fee. Testive is a recent startup that some people like. Tutoring and test prep companies are probably a waste of time and money if yo...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA Question
Replies: 7
Views: 1470

Re: FAFSA Question

Your graduate program probably has a financial aid office. Call them and ask what the process is to request professional judgment. Most people beginning full-time MBA programs will be in your situation since most will have been working for several years leading up to starting an MBA. FAFSA itself wi...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 671
Views: 70712

Re: Fidelity free Turbotax

We're not private clients. We are "Premier"
We do have >> 1MM in retirement accounts at FIdo, and less than $1MM in non-retirement accounts.
We trade, but perhaps 20 trades/year.

The free offer showed up on January 1. (I'd just bought TT on Amazon December 31t. :annoyed
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Younger people funding 529 Plans?
Replies: 109
Views: 10546

Re: Are Younger people funding 529 Plans?

A 20% tax credit seemed too good to pass up. So is that social engineering where a state government will try to have more customers to its public universities in the future that pay their own tuitions and expenses while costing said customer reduced retirement assets? Not sure if you meant it that ...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yellowstone Tours Vs. Self-Guided
Replies: 28
Views: 4914

Re: Yellowstone Tours Vs. Self-Guided

If you're staying in facilities outside the park allow LOTS of time for getting around. It is very slow going. You don't want to spend most of each day driving. I assume you'll bring a cooler with your own food for each day in the park? Food service is spotty and likely to be very challenging for th...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My niece got accepted to Georgetown and we may have to pay for it.
Replies: 58
Views: 8843

Re: My niece got accepted to Georgetown and we may have to pay for it.

Also, there is not a problem with you helping with soft costs - a computer, help with buying plane tickets,...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My niece got accepted to Georgetown and we may have to pay for it.
Replies: 58
Views: 8843

Re: My niece got accepted to Georgetown and we may have to pay for it.

Georgetown generally gives very good financial aid. Before getting too worried, please ask her to share her financial aid offer letter. Note that funds you provide to her may reduce the amount of Georgetown's offered financial aid in a subsequent year. Depending on the gap between Georgetown's costs...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax Deluxe on sale at Amazon
Replies: 49
Views: 8073

Re: Turbotax Deluxe on sale at Amazon

Just AARGH.
I bought TT last night on Amazon with the sale.
Today. TODAY! my fido account suddenly has a free Turbotax premier offer. It was not there Friday afternoon.
:oops:

(We're "premier" clients with Fido, though the accounts aggregate to >>$1MM)
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Caring of an Ageing Parent if She Outlives Me?
Replies: 4
Views: 1126

Re: Caring of an Ageing Parent if She Outlives Me?

A term life insurance policy on your life with the proceeds dedicated to providing support to your mom could be helpful and relatively inexpensive.

If you and your spouse agree, building up a special mom-support fund little by little could be a big help when she eventually does need help.
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DAF for church offering? [Donor Advised Fund]
Replies: 81
Views: 10918

Re: DAF for church offering?

GreenGrow, There's something very wrong with a charity that complains about the extra paperwork required to extract money from donors. If a charity is going to host an event with a $50,000 table, as described in the article, they can afford to employ a decent VP of Gifting who knows what he's doing...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DAF for church offering? [Donor Advised Fund]
Replies: 81
Views: 10918

Re: DAF for church offering?

Churches are by their nature tax-exempt. They may or may not have formal 501C3 paperwork, but the last time I encountered this was many years ago, and a Fidelity DAF was able to contribute to our small, not 501C3-documented, synagogue, for several years till I stopped using DAF. [Just checked IRS P...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DAF for church offering? [Donor Advised Fund]
Replies: 81
Views: 10918

Re: DAF for church offering?

Consider asking your church whether they have received donations from a Donor Advised Fund. Some DAF's have gotten very picky about the paperwork that has to be supplied by the charity before they will release the donation. Two last year wanted us to obtain a legal opinion that would have cost us $4...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating Appreciated Stock (securities)
Replies: 7
Views: 1243

Re: Donating Appreciated Stock (securities)

I handle these donations for a charity. We give the donor our DTC and account number at our brokerage. When the shares show up, we then send a thank you for XXX shares of ABC Common Stock received on <date>. On that date, the average of opening and closing price was $142.93. We are not able to accep...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Grandparent wants to max gift 529, but Im confused.
Replies: 20
Views: 2676

Re: Grandparent wants to max gift 529, but Im confused.

Grandma can contribute $14K this year if she moves quickly. On January 1st or after she can make a 5 year contribution of 70K. That boosts it to $84K.

And...she can contribute more than that if she uses some of her estate tax exclusion.
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Outbacks - any owners here?
Replies: 36
Views: 5104

Re: Subaru Outbacks - any owners here?

Mine is an oldie (2000) -- but even with two newer cars in the driveway, the Outback is the one we choose when the weather is nasty. It feels more under control than any other car I've driven in snowy conditions.
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warm winter jacket for tall folks who are cheap?
Replies: 32
Views: 4098

Re: Warm winter jacket for tall folks who are cheap?

My husband uses Lands' End Squall Jacket in Tall and stays nicely warm. If you sign up for emails (use a junk account you can access) you will get a 40 or 50% discount offer on one item within a week.

If it is for a tall woman, I don't have any suggestions.
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust fund for under 100k [finding a trustee]
Replies: 9
Views: 1097

Re: Trust fund for under 100k [finding a trustee]

Might want to check with several local credit unions to see if they would handle something that small. Still, there would be fees and possibly tax filings. Alternatively, could the funds be put in a Uniform Trust for Minors Account (UTMA) with a third party (say, a lawyer or the parent who is schedu...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sort of a new question on college funding
Replies: 15
Views: 1502

Re: Sort of a new question on college funding

Would you likely be funding total college expenses, or simply contributing a chunk each year? Would any of the families likely be eligible for significant financial aid? There are some nasty gotchas for students who apply for financial aid who have received funding from someone who is not the custod...
by GreenGrowTheDollars
Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FLA Tour: St. Pete/Tampa/Sarasota/Cape Coral
Replies: 9
Views: 1290

Re: FLA Tour: St. Pete/Tampa/Sarasota/Cape Coral

We were just in that area last week and had a great lunch at Acropolis Taverna in downtown St. Pete. A bunch of family members did the swim-with-the-manatees in Crystal River, and said it was fun but that they got cold despite the wetsuits. We liked St. Pete better than Tampa. Stayed out on Treasur...