Search found 734 matches

by SRenaeP
Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I use United airline miles to buy a ticket for my friend?
Replies: 15
Views: 1207

Re: Can I use United airline miles to buy a ticket for my friend?

You need to ensure the name on the ticket matches your friend's passport. Some airlines also require you to enter passport number, expiration date, etc. If your friend has Global Entry or PreCheck, you want to enter their KTN as well.
by SRenaeP
Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Estimated taxes for 2018
Replies: 18
Views: 1934

Re: Estimated taxes for 2018

I created an Excel spreadsheet to calculate/track my tax liability. I simply update the formulas each year as the brackets, etc. change.
by SRenaeP
Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College freshman shopping—what don’t we need?
Replies: 45
Views: 3108

Re: College freshman shopping—what don’t we need?

Unless he is going to Deep Springs College there will be a Walmart within walking distance and an Amazon withing mailing distance, so everything is available locally when it is needed. I arrived at college with a backpack and a suitcase and still managed to take stuff I never used. The only things ...
by SRenaeP
Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tires: Where to Get? Warranty? And Questions?
Replies: 74
Views: 6556

Re: Tires: Where to Get? Warranty? And Questions?

I go to Mr. Tire. I guess they bought the Goodyear location near me. They have pretty good service although not as good as when they were Goodyear. They always price match from tirerack.com. I don't bother with tread warranty but I do get the road hazard coverage. In the past I've thought it wasn't ...
by SRenaeP
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes: e-file vs. paper
Replies: 51
Views: 4206

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 SRenaeP
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TAXES - How to handle Rental Income Loss
Replies: 10
Views: 742

Re: TAXES - How to handle Rental Income Loss

(1) Yes (2) Sort of. On a fully taxable sale, any suspended losses are "released." Since the suspended losses are ordinary, and the gain on the sale will likely be capital (including some recapture, max rate 25%), the result may well be better (but almost certainly no worse) than a simple offset of...
by SRenaeP
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes: e-file vs. paper
Replies: 51
Views: 4206

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 SRenaeP
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxable Investing vs Donor Advisor Fund vs ???
Replies: 9
Views: 480

Re: Taxable Investing vs Donor Advisor Fund vs ???

... Downsides: -Smaller charities cannot accept shares (therefore have to sell stock, then donate, facing capital gains?) Is this all? You can donate shares to a DAF then almost immediately have them issue a grant to the charity of choice. I have a Fidelity DAF that I utilize in this manner. This e...
by SRenaeP
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mac Office 2016 download on Ebay - how so cheap?
Replies: 23
Views: 2516

Re: Mac Office 2016 download on Ebay - how so cheap?

I wouldn't risk it. Too many red flags. If you or a family member either work for a megacorp or are a student, you can most likely get a legal version for ~$10 through Microsoft's Home Use Program.

-Stephanie
by SRenaeP
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we save for our son's college?
Replies: 96
Views: 9066

Re: Should we save for our son's college?

Take my opinion with a grain of salt since I don't have (or want) children. I wouldn't save for college until after you've maxed out all tax-advantaged accounts available (e.g. 401k, IRA, HSA, etc.). Your son can always borrow for college but you can't borrow for retirement.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CBP (INS) Global Entry program worth it?
Replies: 65
Views: 5465

Re: CBP (INS) Global Entry program worth it?

Just got my Global Entry card in the mail and activated it. Application and interview process was very easy. In fact, the interview was not much of an interview at all....only thing they asked was my address. Just a few questions: 1) I only need the card for land crossings for Canada and Mexico. Do...
by SRenaeP
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Back funding 401k or other retirement accounts
Replies: 3
Views: 278

Re: Back funding 401k or other retirement accounts

Check your 401k plan rules to see if you are able to take advantage of mega backdoor Roth contributions. This won't help you for the past but would allow you to supercharge your savings going forward.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Use Points.com Wallet
Replies: 4
Views: 439

Re: Anyone Use Points.com Wallet

I have an account that I don't bother with. I don't think I've ever been able to do an exchange I've wanted. I use TripIt Pro to keep track of my points/miles now.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay cash or go crazy (and take 2.5% loan and invest
Replies: 30
Views: 2556

Re: Pay cash or go crazy (and take 2.5% loan and invest

I'd pay cash for the sake of simplicity. One less thing to keep track of.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax software recommendation for CPA
Replies: 7
Views: 962

Re: Tax software recommendation for CPA

I'm not a CPA but I like Tax Act professional version. It does allow for a 'forms' view. I've never tried to use it in split screen showing both the questions and form at the same time though. For certain topics, such as Form 8606 IIRC, I have noticed it will show the form below the questions but th...
by SRenaeP
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Redfin implicit hidden costs.
Replies: 23
Views: 3550

Re: Redfin implicit hidden costs.

So I know your mileage might vary, but we had such a horrible experience with Redfin that I would never recommend them. Part of the problem was that our agent was inexperienced and made a number of mistakes (making us lose out on offers for three homes), but also I noted that other real estate agen...
by SRenaeP
Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: On-line rent payment rec's?
Replies: 10
Views: 1001

Re: On-line rent payment rec's?

I use Cozy as well. I like the fact that tenants have the option to pay via bank account or CC. IMO, allowing CC payment means I'm more likely to get paid even if they run into cash flow issues for some reason.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Pre-approval needed 3+ credit card accounts to show credit history
Replies: 17
Views: 1245

Re: Mortgage Pre-approval needed 3+ credit card accounts to show credit history

This is why I’ve kept my first two credit cards that I opened in 92 and 93, and run a few bills through them (e.g., Netflix) and set them to be auto-paid each month. This benefits me in terms of my average age of accounts, a perfect credit history, multiple *different* types of credit (in conjuncti...
by SRenaeP
Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?
Replies: 183
Views: 15859

Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Not much. Whatever I need for the current month's expenses plus ~$200. However, my checking account is linked to a 'slush' savings account where I keep a few thousand. This is for unplanned expenses, etc.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: i401k plan - what happened when started as sole proprietor and now forming LLC?
Replies: 6
Views: 483

Re: i401k plan - what happened when started as sole proprietor and now forming LLC?

vinyasa168 wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:11 am
It will be a single member llc
You should be able to contribute to the same i401k. You may need to update the name on your EIN to the LLC name vs your personal name.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ Digital Subscription - a bargain!
Replies: 114
Views: 36596

Re: WSJ Digital Subscription - a bargain!

I apologize if this is common knowledge here, but I just found out a few months ago that the Washington Post gives free access for anyone who verifies with .gov, .mil, or .edu email addresses. Hope that helps someone else. +1. I take full advantage of my .edu alumni address. jhfenton, can you share...
by SRenaeP
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: i401k plan - what happened when started as sole proprietor and now forming LLC?
Replies: 6
Views: 483

Re: i401k plan - what happened when started as sole proprietor and now forming LLC?

Being an LLC and a sole proprietor are not mutually exclusive. Will the LLC still be a sole proprietorship or are you adding members?

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying for expedited credit card replacements?
Replies: 16
Views: 797

Re: Paying for expedited credit card replacements?

AmEx has overnighted replacement cards to me for no cost. I also had Chase to expedite a card to me overseas at no cost. Of course the card arrived mere minutes before I checked out of the hotel but at least they tried.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Insurance...Is it worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 2261

Re: Travel Insurance...Is it worth it?

Check your credit card. The Chase Sapphire Reserve has trip delay, baggage delay, trip cancellation, trip interruption, and emergency medical up to $2,500 if you purchase your fare with the card. When I travel to remote locations, I typically purchase medical evacuation insurance separately from th...
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get travel insurance?
Replies: 8
Views: 1155

Re: Should I get travel insurance?

I don't ever bother with travel insurance. The one or two times I've had to cancel or change plans due to an emergency, I've found most, if not all, of the travel providers were willing to work with me and provide a credit for future travel, waive change fees, etc. That said, I do carry travel *medi...
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: For BHs who actually like cars - [what car do you drive every day?]
Replies: 280
Views: 20125

Re: For BHs who actually like cars - [what car do you drive every day?]

2004 BMW Z4, 6 speed manual

I was thinking about replacing it with a newer model in a few years. However, with talk of impending nieces or nephews, I'm considering getting something with a backseat.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $300 Cash Card - Can I Sell It, or Should I Use It for a Large Purchase?
Replies: 13
Views: 1218

Re: $300 Cash Card - Can I Sell It, or Should I Use It for a Large Purchase?

I would *not* use it for a large purchase. I would rather have the protections (e.g. extended warranty, etc.) that a CC provides. Just use it for day to day purchases such as groceries.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking through Paying Down the Mortgage
Replies: 58
Views: 4897

Re: Thinking through Paying Down the Mortgage

Don’t pay it off if you will be moving in less than 10 years. You want to have cash readily available to you rather than having it tied up in a house. I just went through this when we unexpectedly moved and I had a paid off house (over 200k cash). All that money sitting in the house and I was kind ...
by SRenaeP
Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Long For Mortgage Term?
Replies: 36
Views: 3900

Re: How Long For Mortgage Term?

askerdu wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:03 pm
chevca wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:38 pm
What's your mortgage rate now? A refi still may not be worth it if you move soon. It would depend on costs and break even point.
4.37%.
Check out the 5/1 ARM at Third Federal. It should be at least 1% lower than your current rate.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Long For Mortgage Term?
Replies: 36
Views: 3900

Re: How Long For Mortgage Term?

If you're planning on selling within five years, why buy at all? Renting may be the better choice financially. Transaction costs on both ends will eat up a lot of any possible gains.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking through Paying Down the Mortgage
Replies: 58
Views: 4897

Re: Thinking through Paying Down the Mortgage

with 10 years to go With only ten years left the situation is a lot different than if you had a 30 year mortgage since you would not have the low interest rate for a long time anyway. Five years from now it will be about halfway paid off anyway. Two things I would look at are; 1) Are you maxing out...
by SRenaeP
Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After Tax 401K, 401a Limits
Replies: 17
Views: 1693

Re: After Tax 401K, 401a Limits

Just read through example 1 in the linked publication: Example 1: Greg, 46, is employed by an employer with a 401(k) plan, and he also works as an independent contractor for an unrelated business. Greg sets up a solo 401(k) plan for his independent contracting business. Greg contributes the maximum...
by SRenaeP
Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After Tax 401K, 401a Limits
Replies: 17
Views: 1693

Re: After Tax 401K, 401a Limits

What does your inclusion of 401k and 401a in the title mean. Are the two plans both 401k plans or a 401k and a 401a plan? 401a pre-tax contributions are considered mandatory contributions and are not included in the employee deferral limit. There is a separate annual addition limit (2018 = $55K) fo...
by SRenaeP
Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W2 Vs Last Pay Stub
Replies: 6
Views: 1257

Re: W2 Vs Last Pay Stub

Hi We usually get our W2's during the end of January from our employer. That is when we key in our numbers in some online tax service providers and get an estimate as how much refund/owe from IRS. Wondering instead of waiting for the W2, can we use our last pay stub from 2017 and use that as well t...
by SRenaeP
Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State tax credits that can be bought/traded
Replies: 11
Views: 1664

Re: State tax credits that can be bought/traded

Unfortunately I do not psteinx. I've only on my 4th year and the firm has been doing it his way for a long time. I'm sure there is some sort of authority for the position, I just do not know it. Most of our clients purchase credits and have been audited and to my knowledge, this treatment has not b...
by SRenaeP
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any real estate lawyers here?
Replies: 13
Views: 1054

Re: Any real estate lawyers here?

Thanks Steph. This is helpful. Would you think I'm best served to try to negotiate buying the land with the buyer, or to buy the lien and wait things out? I imagine it depends. Now that this has been filed with the courts, does everything have to go though the courts now, or can the court mess be a...
by SRenaeP
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any real estate lawyers here?
Replies: 13
Views: 1054

Re: Any real estate lawyers here?

Disclaimer that I'm not a real estate lawyer. That said, I suspect the court is notifying you so that you can purchase the tax lien if you'd like. The timelines/process vary per jurisdiction but in general, purchasing the lien means that you pay all the back taxes. The current owner has a certain am...
by SRenaeP
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay extra on Mortgage or save for car? Need Advice, Please!!
Replies: 29
Views: 1488

Re: Pay extra on Mortgage or save for car? Need Advice, Please!!

will the dealer even agree to a measly 5k loan? Probably not. We were in a similar situation when we purchased our last vehicle. The dealer's loan minimum was $15k. Therefore, we put down less of a down payment to hit the $15k. Once the loan was official/set up online, we made a lump sum payment of...
by SRenaeP
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating shares from Vanguard
Replies: 17
Views: 1297

Re: Donating shares from Vanguard

OP may still have time to open a donor advised fund with VG shares, but I think that has a $25k minimum (although once you open the account you wouldn't have to contribute the entire $25k in a single year or to a single organization). This is why many people, including me, opt to open a Fidelity DA...
by SRenaeP
Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off Mortgage as a Gift
Replies: 11
Views: 1323

Re: Paying off Mortgage as a Gift

Could you use middlemen (friends/family) to gift to that gift the money to the parents? I think you're looking at tax evasion charges if you get too creative. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=218481 To be clear I was asking for legal ways to minimize the tax. Please keep responses f...
by SRenaeP
Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences
Replies: 136
Views: 28095

Re: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences

It's my preliminary understanding that we, as small business landlords, are in the category of passthroughs and that the tax in this category is capped at 25%. Can anyone confirm? I have not seen anything definitive but my understanding is the opposite. As a landlords (Schedule E income), we are *n...
by SRenaeP
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Mega Backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 424
Views: 155714

Re: The Mega Backdoor Roth IRA

Oscarguy, do not put this 401k money into tIRA followed by a conversion - that will require pro-rating with any other IRAs. The caveat is to this is you can do it *if* your 401k plan will then allow you to roll the tIRA money back into the pre-tax 401k. That way, you will have $0 basis in the tIRA ...
by SRenaeP
Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LLC - accounting and taxes for 2017
Replies: 10
Views: 926

Re: LLC - accounting and taxes for 2017

From some windfall in this year - 2017 , I have formed an LLC and funded with some capital. LLC has a broad charter from commercial real estate to angle investing. However at this point, I am still not actively operating the LLC as I am in a research phase. I have a few questions. 1. Do I need to h...
by SRenaeP
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about donating appreciated fund shares
Replies: 14
Views: 1356

Re: Questions about donating appreciated fund shares

So, our taxable fund has more than doubled, and I really want to give some of these fund shares to charity instead of using cash, but it seems like such a pain! I am trying to use VG's form for donating securities, but apparently I must have a brokerage account to pull this off. I have filled out t...
by SRenaeP
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recast mortgage as part of a pay down strategy
Replies: 60
Views: 3735

Re: Recast mortgage as part of a pay down strategy

Given that you're committed to paying the original amount of the mortgage payment or more, I see little benefit to recast every year. If your financial situation changes and you need a lower payment to make ends meet, you can recast as needed for no fee. +1 I am in a similar situation and actually ...
by SRenaeP
Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental properties, legal structure
Replies: 4
Views: 545

Re: Rental properties, legal structure

My wife and I have w2 wages about 200k, we max 401k, we max Roth as allowed by income, and I have sep-ira from a small/part time side company I own. We have 15yr @3% mortgage. We own 3 rental properties all with modest mortgages. Right now all 3 are owned only be me(deeded my name only) and reporte...
by SRenaeP
Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: QUESTION ANSWERED NO HELP NEEDED - mortgage escrow payment added to principal balance and charged interest each month
Replies: 18
Views: 920

Re: mortgage escrow payment added to principal balance and charged interest each month

My statements work like this: November principal balance is 100,000 and my interest rate is 3.875% monthly payment total: 2000 monthly interest: 322.92 escrow: 450 principal reduction: 1,227.08 principal balance after payment: 98,772.92 (you see here they add the interest AND the escrow amount to g...
by SRenaeP
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2721
Views: 541941

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Anyone have suggestions for a good sign-on bonus? The flights I want are $1500 in May on either Delta or Air France. For whatever reason, Delta doesn't have any award tickets so I need a card with points vs SkyMiles. I was thinking about the Amex Platinum but it would only save me ~$500 on the airfa...
by SRenaeP
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side Hustle Taxes
Replies: 18
Views: 2608

Re: Side Hustle Taxes

I don't think the business aspect makes any changes to taxes. One would still file Schedule C as a Sole Proprietary whether one had called it a business or not, right? For instance, a solo 401(k) can be used by that sole proprietorship without registering the business anywhere. Anecdotal data says ...
by SRenaeP
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2721
Views: 541941

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I write a big rent check every month. My apartment management accepts credit cards @ 2.25% for Visa, 3% for Amex. I'm not angling for any bonuses right now, but trying to think of a scenario where it might be a net gain to pay by credit card. I have Amex Blue Business, but that would a loss I think...