Search found 1129 matches

by CAsage
Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: job loss, portfolio and retirement advise
Replies: 39
Views: 4685

Re: job loss, portfolio and retirement advise

You really cannot count on pulling out 5% of the portfolio and living on that. Collect your thoughts, and you and your wife need to find job(s). Something, anything for a few more years (like 10). 5% of $716K is less than your estimated annual expenses. Won't work, find plan B. Take your time, but t...
by CAsage
Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanning Photos
Replies: 2
Views: 662

Re: Scanning Photos

I am facing that same daunting task with my parents' family photos, plus all the ones for my children. I asked my 15 year old son - how many pictures of Mom (me) growing up do you really want to see? He said, like two. I think the heavy lifting is going to be thinning and down-selecting, to get to t...
by CAsage
Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with portfolio
Replies: 11
Views: 1613

Re: Help with portfolio

For your Roth at Fidelity, how about considering their rock-bottom-cheap index funds? Switch to 80% stock 20% bond (or 75/25) with these super cheap funds, you could do a lot worse! For your 401k, either do all Target (set and forget) or pick 3 cheapest funds and split it (stock, foreign stock, bond...
by CAsage
Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Interest Deduction
Replies: 23
Views: 3038

Re: Mortgage Interest Deduction

Go to http://www.google.com. Type in "Home office deduction IRS rules" and then click on whichever (pick more than one) of the links that google finds for you on the subject. Or, hit your local bookstore and buy a tax guide. Or, go to the IRS website and search for home office deductions. Note that ...
by CAsage
Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Freedom
Replies: 8
Views: 1900

Re: Financial Freedom

If you like living where you are, having a paid for home in 25 years in Monterey Ca would be most people's idea of heaven! While it's not ideal to have all your capital tied up in your home, it worked great for my mother. She retired with nothing but a paid for home in San Diego coastal area and Soc...
by CAsage
Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS coming after mother for deceased father's payment plan
Replies: 25
Views: 3167

Re: IRS coming after mother for deceased father's payment plan

What assets does she have that can be sold? You mentioned vacant land $180K in another post. I am guessing your mother is responsible for that debt, and any asset in your father's estate would need to be sold and that IRS debt paid off. While her income may be low, you did not elaborate on your fath...
by CAsage
Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork
Replies: 32
Views: 7969

Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Need expert legal advice from Guru Bruce on this one... Speaking from experience with my parents, having a good estate plan, where everything transfers via POD/TOD or beneficiary, avoids probate and wills. You can do anything you want with the will, if everything passes before it comes into play! Bu...
by CAsage
Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help: Drowning in Debt
Replies: 60
Views: 7398

Re: Need Help: Drowning in Debt

Deleted - TROLL.
by CAsage
Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help: Drowning in Debt
Replies: 60
Views: 7398

Re: Need Help: Drowning in Debt

Deleted.
by CAsage
Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving $ to Vanguard PAS, what makes sense
Replies: 3
Views: 470

Re: Moving $ to Vanguard PAS, what makes sense

You only pay capital gains once, when you sell things with a gain, so I was confused by your statement of paying it twice (not correct). You should decide whether you want to continue to hold the D&C or stocks at all, it would certainly simplify things to sell them and roll that into another (total ...
by CAsage
Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion/Recharacterization - how many accounts?
Replies: 11
Views: 1317

Re: Roth Conversion/Recharacterization - how many accounts?

Ok... I read the Kitches link, and see the Treasury regulation. I will now go ask my Vanguard Dude why the form implies something that they cannot do? Would hate to get this wrong if I go through all the trouble to convert more than I need..... And I read the instructions! Form 220 states: "The IRS ...
by CAsage
Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion/Recharacterization - how many accounts?
Replies: 11
Views: 1317

Roth Conversion/Recharacterization - how many accounts?

I do Roth conversions annually, and have recharacterized to reduce income for tax bracket issues.... And am now considering trying the "horse race" Roth conversion for 2017. I have read several prior posts that are adamant that you should convert into a new Roth account, and (even uglier...) if you ...
by CAsage
Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security and Medicare Tax Different for Last Paycheck
Replies: 6
Views: 897

Re: Social Security and Medicare Tax Different for Last Paycheck

Got gift cards you can't use? Donate them and write it off. They are just like cash (same value), so if you know how much they are ... pass them on. Or, there are websites that will sell them for 90% or so of face value.... i often pass these onto school fundraiser auctions, or small ones for teache...
by CAsage
Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: [Quitting] Target Date fund
Replies: 18
Views: 3650

Re: Quieting TD fund

It appears you are working very hard at redesigning complex portfolios, multiple times. Observation on this one: Age-20 in bonds is sporty (i.e. risky). Why add TIPS at age 80 or so? Inflation generally not a risk with fewer years to live! And dropping to 5% stock - really low. Short term bonds migh...
by CAsage
Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Withholding calculator with Monthly pay
Replies: 1
Views: 352

Re: IRS Withholding calculator with Monthly pay

I am not sure your question is clear. Withholding for a paycheck is done by the employer based on whatever direction you give them (number of exemptions, for example). The Withholding is done the day the check is issued. If you your wife is paid once a month, then she should get 12 checks per year. ...
by CAsage
Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1st time Refinance - Should these fees be included?
Replies: 3
Views: 700

Re: 1st time Refinance - Should these fees be included?

After getting gouged by what I thought were excessive and never pre-announced fees, I only went with no-cost, no fee refinance loans. Now, you know they still have expenses, but then it becomes in THEIR best interest to keep them low. You compare loans strictly on rate. I have not found escrow compa...
by CAsage
Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with ~$50k (My In-laws)
Replies: 7
Views: 942

Re: What to do with ~$50k (My In-laws)

What do you mean by "protect it"? Is that you can keep it instead of spending it on their care? so then who pays? Generally, you should only invest in stock if you can afford to lose some of it, since returns are unpredictable. A CD ladder, short term bond fund, or just an online bank with 1% might ...
by CAsage
Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Helping my parents in bad shape
Replies: 15
Views: 1563

Re: Helping my parents in bad shape

Disconnect your phone, or get caller ID and don't answer. I'm only half kidding - there are no good solutions for people who are unwilling to help themselves and now want to drag you down. If they don't really see the problem, you can't save them. Suggest family counseling - make an appointment? Get...
by CAsage
Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to work a minimum wage job, retire a multimillionaire, and leave your grandchildren multibillionaires
Replies: 17
Views: 3104

Re: How to work a minimum wage job, retire a multimillionaire, and leave your grandchildren multibillionaires

At what age you having these children? If you leave them assets at 70, they probably won't live 50 years after that! An average generation is closer to 30 years. Far less in some cultures/neighborhoods....
by CAsage
Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalance: Current Distressed Asset Class(es)?
Replies: 8
Views: 1052

Re: Rebalnce / Current Distressed Asset Class(es)?

A mix of stable value and bonds is a good choice. You should match your bond investments in quantity to your desired asset allocation (e.g. at 40, consider 30% overall assets) and the duration of the bond to when you need it (e.g. long term or intermediate are good for retirement, not your new car f...
by CAsage
Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I correct in my calculation for saving on a simple interest loan(see below details)
Replies: 3
Views: 565

Re: Am I correct in my calculation for saving on a simple interest loan(see below details)

The "savings" are simply due to your making the second payment a month early, and that drops the average balance. The best way to save interest on a simple interest loan is to make bigger payments, sooner. Model it in Excel, you can do it daily or at any duration.... Note that most loans don't have ...
by CAsage
Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation For Two Accounts (1 taxable, 1 IRA)
Replies: 2
Views: 657

Re: Allocation For Two Accounts (1 taxable, 1 IRA)

The answer is not the same for every situation, or tax bracket. If you are in a high tax bracket, it makes sense to put your "capital gain" type things in a taxable account, and your bonds in the tax-advantaged account. If you are in a low tax bracket, put the most-likely-to-grow asset in your Roth....
by CAsage
Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Long Term Roth fund
Replies: 2
Views: 409

Re: Long Term Roth fund

No one can tell which part of the stock market (large, mid, small, value, inter'l) will do best over any particular year or decade. For your long term Roth, spread your money as widely as possible and as cheaply as possible - go with some kind of index (cheap) total stock fund or total world stock f...
by CAsage
Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cancelling Credit Cards
Replies: 9
Views: 1341

Re: Cancelling Credit Cards

I would never want to be without several credit cards, and from different bank/credit unions. You might want to make sure you have at least one card solely in each name, so there won't be an issue when one of you passes. Five is not an unreasonable number for two people, especially if they are all n...
by CAsage
Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest $100K inheritance
Replies: 23
Views: 2828

Re: How to invest $100K inheritance

Sounds like you are heading in the right direction! Bravo! Suggest spending some time reading some of the Wiki pages on this site, they have general advice. I would NOT go see a financial planner who charges just yet, as they are likely to part you from some money now, and more over time unless you ...
by CAsage
Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help - 401k Investment Options
Replies: 2
Views: 352

Re: Help - 401k Investment Options

Without any information on your other assets, you are higher in International than most people would be (not bad, just different). I am surprised that you say a mix of S&P 500, Small Cap, and Mid cap seems to be better than Total stock! How did you calculate that - did you properly weight them (as i...
by CAsage
Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Portfolio Review
Replies: 2
Views: 532

Re: Financial Portfolio Review

1) AA looks good. 35% bond-things for a 47 YO is quite reasonable! 2) 401k contributions impressive! Consider a backdoor Roth, you can sort of view that as an emergency fund. If you are getting peanuts on your savings, pay off the car (not deductible). A HELOC makes a good emergency fund - unless th...
by CAsage
Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab retirement quote on 4 mil. Advice??? Can I do better?
Replies: 29
Views: 5621

Re: Schwab retirement quote on 4 mil. Advice??? Can I do better?

Sounds like fun! Time to do some homework. Yes, they would LOVE to help you, and take a big bite of your long term return in exchange. If you are unfamiliar with investing, I would suggest you spend some time reading the really good articles on the Bogleheads Wiki on asset allocation, and also the t...
by CAsage
Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living Trust vs Transfer on Death [Suze Orman Protection Portfolio]
Replies: 23
Views: 4362

Re: Living Trust vs Transfer on Death [Suze Orman Protection Portfolio]

It sounds to me like there are two things at play here. One, what does it cost in your state/county to change the grant deed/title of property (to either a TOD or into the trust). For that, check with your local County Courthouse or whatever.... In Los Angeles, there is a modest fee on the order of ...
by CAsage
Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books (real or digital)
Replies: 40
Views: 2190

Re: Books (real or digital)

I adore my Kindle! I still like reading hardbacks, very few purchased new, mostly borrow from the library. But my kindle is dramatically better at storing many, many books in a tiny package. Fabulous for travel. Very lightweight so you can hold it with one hand; backlit so you can read at night with...
by CAsage
Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring in a Decade after Graduation
Replies: 131
Views: 18161

Re: Retiring in a Decade after Graduation

You also mentioned a "two year live in and flip". If that means you will buy a house, fix it up a little, and then sell it in two years - you are making a big assumption that it will appreciate more than the 10% it will cost you (nominally, broker, escrow, title etc etc) to sell. Real Estate does no...
by CAsage
Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Starting Mom's IRA at Age 70 - Advice?
Replies: 15
Views: 2487

Re: Starting Mom's IRA at Age 70 - Advice?

You might consider something like an IRA Balanced Fund. I think Vanguard has one that is 50/50 Total Stock & Total Bond. (and there are other companies with similar). Expense ratio is low. If you set it up so that the RMD are withdrawn each year, it nicely distributes the income over her life. Would...
by CAsage
Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finance recordkeeping
Replies: 7
Views: 1463

Re: Finance recordkeeping

Never keep checking, credit card, utility statements - once paid, I consider it over. I keep annual statements of investments for several years in with my tax files. And I have beneficiary designations on absolutely everything that can be handled that way - checking, savings, IRA, Roth, and my car! ...
by CAsage
Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice on how to go about selling my mom's house
Replies: 37
Views: 3573

Re: Need advice on how to go about selling my mom's house

Can you get the house completely emptied? It' may be unsaleable (except for flipper) until you do. With houses around 50 years old, many of the nearby houses may (or not?) have had kitchens and bathrooms redone. If you have time, check out local houses for sale and compare their actual condition. Ca...
by CAsage
Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "High risk colonoscopy", cost shift. Any recourse?
Replies: 19
Views: 3698

Re: "High risk colonoscopy", cost shift. Any recourse?

If you expect any medical expenses next year, defer it to 2017 so you can at least hit your deductible and "bundle" your costs. Get a second opinion on whether and when you should do it? If this is your only option for medical insurance, you are kind of stuck with their cost structure. With medical ...
by CAsage
Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Simplify Portfolio With Balanced Funds
Replies: 6
Views: 1774

Re: Simplify Portfolio With Balanced Funds

I would choose the one Balanced fund and be done. Total stock, total bond - all in one! You might have a savings account on the side to hold the withdrawals or a small cash cushion, and set it Vanguard to pay you XXX dollars every month. The BIG question is whether those are in an IRA (then dump it ...
by CAsage
Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deducting your own labor for a tax credit?
Replies: 5
Views: 858

Re: Deducting your own labor for a tax credit?

I thought you could deduct the cost of materials for energy credit, in cases where you install it yourself. Like attic insulation? I have. After all, it says "material and labor", his labor just happens to be zero cost!
by CAsage
Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Answer Me This: RMD CONUNDRUM>
Replies: 5
Views: 1072

Re: Answer Me This: RMD CONUNDRUM>

You mentioned your IRA holdings, but did not mention any other assets. Usually, one would want some good chunk (30~80%?) of overall assets in stock funds, and the rest in bonds (20~70%). Either stocks or bonds can go down in any given year, and taking your RMD from a short-term bond or cash-like fun...
by CAsage
Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Math on pre-paying a loan
Replies: 11
Views: 1736

Re: Math on pre-paying a loan

You are "saving" it for the remaining term of the loan, which of course will be going down (shorter) faster. For example, if you start at 5% for 5 years, you know your last payment is at month 60. But, if you pay extra, you are reducing the term and the next overpayment may only be against 58 months...
by CAsage
Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reasonably cheap reading glasses with different strengths?
Replies: 20
Views: 8412

Re: Reasonably cheap reading glasses with different strengths?

I know the cheap store readers (which I used happily for several years before they made the print too small....) run $10 or less. But if you need to buy two pair, you are at $20. I buy my son (teen) a perfectly fine custom prescription set of glasses at Costco for about $100. I get my own reading gl...
by CAsage
Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DIY Wills - Who to use?
Replies: 24
Views: 2918

Re: DIY Wills - Who to use?

A friend of mine who works as a Tax agent and financial adviser told me that he thought anyone doing their own taxes was like doing your own surgery. I thought that was absurd. In my educated consumer (not CPA or lawyer, just engineer!) viewpoint, IF you can explain your desired will in about three ...
by CAsage
Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: date range for short-term gains after disclaimer
Replies: 3
Views: 758

Re: date range for short-term gains after disclaimer

I think your initial assumption is incorrect. I think that the step up new basis is the value as of the date of the decedent's death. The IRS very kindly treats the sale of that asset any time after that date as a "long term capital gain/loss". Regardless of when you got it... Income taxes on that a...
by CAsage
Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What should the target amount to save up for college be?
Replies: 13
Views: 2561

Re: What should the target amount to save up for college be?

I expect my children to get a Bachelor's degree at a minimum, and am willing to foot the bill for a Master's degree if they wish. Why? Because both parents have Master's degrees, 3 between the two of us. Why not? Though, at 5 years old you really cannot tell whether your child will have ADD or rebel...
by CAsage
Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of Attorney for my father
Replies: 2
Views: 478

Re: Power of Attorney for my father

Wills do not take affect until after someone passes (and generally are not notarized or filled, laws vary by state but usually witnessed and signed). Any assets in his name SHOULD be used for his care. No, you are not liable for any of his unpaid bills even if you kindly pay off any minor ones (e.g....
by CAsage
Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:07 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Foreign old-age pension for US citizen & resident?
Replies: 8
Views: 1843

Re: Foreign old-age pension for US citizen & resident?

Friends of my Mom who worked in Denmark for several years before immigrating here applied for the Danish equivalent of Social Security and are getting a monthly stipend from Denmark... Not sure about the tax details, but it was worth doing (~200/month?). Family friends, they are 80 years old, so wor...
by CAsage
Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shrinking CU Co-Op Network? [Credit Union]
Replies: 6
Views: 1766

Re: Shrinking CU Co-Op Network? [Credit Union]

It is possible the changing nature of banking has made this service less popular or necessary. For example, with deposits by phone, fewer people need ATM to deposit at all, much less care which ATM or branch they can physically reach. Also, you can deposit easily to one institution, and link it to t...
by CAsage
Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Finally Left Wealthfront for Vanguard
Replies: 2
Views: 1607

Re: Finally Left Wealthfront for Vanguard

What nice problems to have! I would suggest you read the Wiki on this site about tax-efficient investing. I find it informative, lots of different conditions of current vs long term taxes. Also, research "back door Roth". In your situation, I would suggest you stuff your IRA(s) with the stock portio...
by CAsage
Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepaying 2017 state/local taxes before end of 2016
Replies: 25
Views: 6409

Re: Prepaying 2017 state/local taxes before end of 2016

I will add that the FTB.CA.GOV website provides a selection to designate online payments for the 2017 tax year.
(Edited to remove all opinions, and just leave that note).
by CAsage
Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home remodel - all at once or in stages?
Replies: 16
Views: 3528

Re: Home remodel - all at once or in stages?

I think it depends on whether you can move out or not. If you want or need to stay in your house, you absolutely need to keep one bathroom functional while the other is being redone. Having done a kitchen and a bath separately at my house recently, I can say doing a bathroom is much faster, primaril...
by CAsage
Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An IRS correspondence mess
Replies: 45
Views: 5101

Re: An IRS correspondence mess

If I were in either of your shoes.. I would be suspicious that you don't ever really know what the IRS has on file. You can request copies of the last few years' returns and a tax transcript. You can get the transcript online, might be interesting to see what their records show. Note it is possible ...