Search found 750 matches

by SRenaeP
Fri May 25, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I've never budgeted sucessfully
Replies: 59
Views: 5606

Re: I've never budgeted sucessfully

This will probably come off as arrogant, even though its not meant to, but it baffles me that anyone thinks its a lot of work or hard to do, or you need some fancy program. I have an excel spreadsheet that works the same every month (copy and paste), a checking account that pays all the bills on au...
by SRenaeP
Fri May 25, 2018 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need to reduce monthly debt payments? Auto + House
Replies: 10
Views: 1391

Re: Do I need to reduce monthly debt payments? Auto + House

$3500/mo free cash = $42k in a year. Buy one Honda for cash within the next 12 month. 170k miles isn't typically end of life for a Honda so drive that one until you have cash to pay for its replacement. Use the 'plenty of savings' for your down payment and quickly replenish with the $3500/mo free ca...
by SRenaeP
Wed May 23, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing SIM card WITH phone?
Replies: 10
Views: 943

Re: Purchasing SIM card WITH phone?

Been reading BH posts re: international phone usage & SIM cards for upcoming Portugal trip. Our flip phones won't accommodate SIM cards, & not interested in upgrading to an iPhone or Android (we don't text and use our flip phones infrequently). Is it possible to purchase a "throw away" phone with a...
by SRenaeP
Wed May 23, 2018 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken - Do you use it?
Replies: 59
Views: 4038

Re: Quicken - Do you use it?

I am interested in everyone's thoughts regarding Quicken and if they use (or don't use) the personal finance software. Why do you use (or not use) the program? What value does it bring? Do you use it for your entire financial picture or just your investment portfolio? I used to, but don’t anymore. ...
by SRenaeP
Mon May 21, 2018 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fractional Ownership [Property]
Replies: 33
Views: 4498

Re: Fractional Ownership [Property]

just got back from Maui, went to fractional sales pitch just to get the 25000 SPG points. Said no, but we did get suckered in to go back within two years to see if we changed out minds ~ 3000 for 8 days and we'll get another 25K points ;-)) $3000 for eight days at an SPG property in Maui?! That see...
by SRenaeP
Thu May 17, 2018 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any disadvantages to using Delta Skymiles for fare?
Replies: 34
Views: 3273

Re: any disadvantages to using Delta Skymiles for fare?

I'm wondering if there is any potential downside to using the miles for this trip. One possible downside of not paying cash: if you cancel due to getting sick or a funeral, travel insurance can compensate if you paid cash, but likely not if you bought with miles. I mention travel insurance because ...
by SRenaeP
Thu May 17, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recast mortgage?
Replies: 9
Views: 1000

Re: Recast mortgage?

If there's no fee, I would do it. It's nice to have the flexibility of a lower payment if you need it. We recast a few months ago for the same reason. We still pay extra but it's nice to know our fixed monthly spending has decreased.
by SRenaeP
Thu May 17, 2018 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash out Long term gains?
Replies: 9
Views: 818

Re: Cash out Long term gains?

I have over $20k in long term gains in my brokerage account. I don’t need the money, but I was wondering if I should sell my long term gains and then just rebuy back into the same fund? The gains are in Vanguard Total Stock Market fund. I know I would be taxed on the gains. I just don’t know if it ...
by SRenaeP
Wed May 16, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2924
Views: 576425

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Any thoughts on IHG devaluing the free night to just those under 30,000 points and I think the annual fee is going up to $89 from $49? Also, thoughts on changes with SPG starting 8/1? should you convert your spg miles before then? I'm okay with the IHG devaluation. 30k points is still a good deal i...
by SRenaeP
Thu May 10, 2018 7:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Question - Maxed 401k/ROTH - Now What?
Replies: 9
Views: 786

Re: Portfolio Question - Maxed 401k/ROTH - Now What?

[quote=XtremeSki2001 post_id=3921160 time=1525954875 user_id=996] [b]One other question, unrelated to the above. Say I convert my wife's 403b to an IRA ... she has no earned income so any contributions we make will have already been taxed. How do we avoid being taxed twice?[/b] [/quote] You can *rol...
by SRenaeP
Mon May 07, 2018 7:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mobile Deposit Gone Wrong
Replies: 19
Views: 2994

Re: Mobile Deposit Gone Wrong

Bogleheads - This has been one of my fears during the age of mobile transactions. I typically deposit a check (very rare do we visit our local bank) and then hold the check for the next few days or week to make sure it has cleared. One of the advantages of technology is the ability to check account...
by SRenaeP
Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charles Schwab international ATM (worth the hard credit pull)
Replies: 25
Views: 2369

Re: Charles Schwab international ATM (worth the hard credit pull)

I travel internationally a few times a year. The ATM fees are minimal ($10-15 over the course of the year) so I don't worry about it. I don't care to open/track a new account for such small potatoes. That said, I absolutely keep a CC with no foreign transaction fees.
by SRenaeP
Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about donating appreciated fund shares
Replies: 14
Views: 1499

Re: Questions about donating appreciated fund shares

I'm trying to give Admiral shares of a Vanguard fund to a charity that has an account at Fidelity. Vanguard said I have to change the cost basis method from specific ID to first in first out, then demote all the shares to Investor, then change the cost basis back to specific ID, then gift the lots,...
by SRenaeP
Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at age 40?
Replies: 158
Views: 18592

Re: Can I retire at age 40?

DanMahowny wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:36 pm
I retired at 42. "Sit at home" does not describe my lifestyle at all.
Out of curiosity, do you have children? I've noticed a lot (most?) of the very early retirees have children that largely occupy their time. Other than extensive travel, I'm wondering what childfree retirees do.
by SRenaeP
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Consulting income-how to manage taxes?
Replies: 11
Views: 1171

Re: Consulting income-how to manage taxes?

The max employer contribution to a one participant 401K is calculated as stated - 20% of net self-employment earnings (business profit - 1/2 SE tax). With earnings of $14,000, and no expenses stated, the SE tax will be $14,000 x .9235 x .153 = $1,978.14. You would pay this on your 2018 return. Note...
by SRenaeP
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could you support family on 1 income?
Replies: 88
Views: 6829

Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

Yes. When DH and I got married (2006), we agreed that we would live in a such a way that we only *needed* one income. You never know what life may bring. That said, I suspect it is much easier to do given that we don't have or want kids.
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: 1272

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: 2052

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: 3209

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: 6830

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: 4381

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: 783

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: 4381

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: 517

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: 2951

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: 9585

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: 5782

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: 300

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: 464

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: 2755

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: 1047

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: 3743

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: 1039

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: 1307

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: 16730

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: 502

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: 39515

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: 502

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: 835

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: 2380

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: 1213

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: 21071

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: 1291

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: 5026

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: 4147

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: 4147

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: 5026

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: 1794

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: 1794

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: 1296

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...