Search found 534 matches

by harmony
Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Minimize Taxes: Family Selling Farm (Estate Planning)
Replies: 21
Views: 2528

Re: How to Minimize Taxes: Family Selling Farm (Estate Plann

MN Finance, those are excellent points. I appreciate that you added them to the discussion.
by harmony
Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telephone Calls! Help! [Stopping telemarketing calls]
Replies: 123
Views: 16350

Re: Telephone Calls! Help! [Telemarketing phone calls]

Century Link offers two services. With "Security Screen" the customer must block phone numbers in advance individually. Lots of telemarketers get through this system. It is a pain to continuously block calls, one at a time, and the effort to update this is time consuming since the number of telemark...
by harmony
Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Minimize Taxes: Family Selling Farm (Estate Planning)
Replies: 21
Views: 2528

Re: How to Minimize Taxes: Family Selling Farm (Estate Plann

Another factor to be considered is your grandparents planning for long term care. Even if they hang onto the farm for purposes of stepped-up basis, the land equity may be needed for long-term care and they would have to sell it sooner than they planned. Then stepped-up basis would be lost for their ...
by harmony
Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Minimize Taxes: Family Selling Farm (Estate Planning)
Replies: 21
Views: 2528

Re: How to Minimize Taxes: Family Selling Farm (Estate Plann

Sometimes in farm country where land values have skyrocketed, it ends up that the house and buildings are sold off and the land is retained for ongoing rental income and eventual stepped-up basis to heirs after the owners pass away. It may be easier to sell it this way because it may make it more af...
by harmony
Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Minimize Taxes: Family Selling Farm (Estate Planning)
Replies: 21
Views: 2528

Re: How to Minimize Taxes: Family Selling Farm (Estate Plann

Depending on the region of the country, farmland is selling at all time highs. If there would be some advantage to waiting to sell or bequeathing to heirs to obtain stepped-up basis, that advantage could be lost if the prices drop considerably before then. For some life-long farmers, the land can be...
by harmony
Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Receive Any Letters Approaching Age 70?
Replies: 22
Views: 2899

Re: Social Security - Receive Any Letters Approaching Age 70

A notice from Social Security arrived at our house 6 months prior to age 70 saying: "Since you will soon become age 70 and won't be able to earn any more special work credit, it is time to file an application for Social Security payments. You should contact us right away to apply for your retirement...
by harmony
Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: combined family maximum SS [Social Security]
Replies: 28
Views: 5746

Re: combined family maximum SS [Social Security]

That quoted reference was from legal ads that run in our area at least, but maybe not in other states. The implication is that when folks who apply are denied benefits, they should hire a lawyer to assist them. But I think if the applicant is diligent, in many cases it should be possible to come up ...
by harmony
Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: combined family maximum SS [Social Security]
Replies: 28
Views: 5746

Re: combined family maximum SS [Social Security]

I hear you, lizwoo. It does take patience and respect for our system that requires that whenever public funding is involved there needs to be careful accounting. Most likely SSA needs to have an update of your daughter's pay stubs, not to redetermine her basic disability, but just to see if her hour...
by harmony
Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How T-C members & family get TREA outside of employer plans
Replies: 20
Views: 2680

Re: How T-C members & family get TREA outside of employer pl

In our experience TC Investment Solutions IRAs (owned by several family members) accept regular Roth IRA contributions.
by harmony
Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LTC as part of Whole Life Insurance
Replies: 5
Views: 580

Re: LTC as part of Whole Life Insurance

A comparison we looked at of regular whole life insurance and whole life insurance with built-in LTC showed that the cash value hardly rose at all for the WL/LTC plan. The LTC built-in insurance didn't require very much underwriting, so we wondered if there would be a lot of fine print of things not...
by harmony
Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: combined family maximum SS [Social Security]
Replies: 28
Views: 5746

Re: combined family maximum SS [Social Security]

While CFM could be a higher benefit than the Family Maximum Amount for some couples, the DAC's benefit will be even higher once both parents are gone. So along with the surprise of losing the remaining parent, the DAC could lose other government benefits that were possible when the benefit was lower...
by harmony
Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: combined family maximum SS [Social Security]
Replies: 28
Views: 5746

Re: combined family maximum SS [Social Security]

This has been an intriguing post and set of responses. Sscritic has again done superb work dissecting the POMS. Thank you for helping us dig through them, even though disability affects a smaller group of us. I hope, lizwoo and DanVA, that you will continue to post so others may learn from your expe...
by harmony
Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell or rent my rental property?
Replies: 9
Views: 1356

Re: Sell or rent my rental property?

Have you consulted a CPA? I am not a CPA, but I have recently read that it is ill-advised to rent below fair market value because then depreciation would not be allowed as a rental expense deduction. Later if/when the property is sold for a capital gain, the IRS will recapture the depreciation deduc...
by harmony
Sat May 31, 2014 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Bogleheads Offer to Pay Cash for Services?
Replies: 26
Views: 2500

Re: Do Bogleheads Offer to Pay Cash for Services?

Deanbrew, thank you for your observation. Doing business is more than doing quality work and pleasing customers. There are rules such as employment of workers, unemployment tax, and state-regulated practices such as being bonded, or having adequate liability insurance. Businesses can cut corners wit...
by harmony
Sat May 31, 2014 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Bogleheads Offer to Pay Cash for Services?
Replies: 26
Views: 2500

Re: Do Bogleheads Offer to Pay Cash for Services?

An independent contractor once did a chimney repair for us. I asked for the bill, but he said he would take a couple hundred dollars off the bill if he didn't have to write up a bill. So I paid him without the benefit of a bill. Later when I realized how this could have benefited the contractor's ta...
by harmony
Sat May 24, 2014 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would be considered the best Boglehead car?
Replies: 43
Views: 7257

Re: What would be considered the best Boglehead car?

Rodc, the current crack in our Accord bumper cover is from parking in front of a snowbank which included some frozen ice chunks that snowplows had pushed up into mounds at the edge of a parking lot. We left it cracked for the rest of the winter. This week we had it appraised. The body shop guy offer...
by harmony
Fri May 23, 2014 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would be considered the best Boglehead car?
Replies: 43
Views: 7257

Re: What would be considered the best Boglehead car?

So with three kids in the back seat from time to time and they might still be growing, then back seat head height might be an issue.
by harmony
Fri May 23, 2014 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would be considered the best Boglehead car?
Replies: 43
Views: 7257

Re: What would be considered the best Boglehead car?

Our Honda Accord, for all of its good long life, has ended up requiring frequent bumper cover repairs, ususally not covered very well by our insurance. The body shop owner tells us that more of the bumper and under-skirting repairs he does are for cars such as Accords, Camrys and Kias. He thinks it ...
by harmony
Wed May 21, 2014 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care and Medicare premiums
Replies: 12
Views: 1605

Re: Long term care and Medicare premiums

Great question. Does any of the information at these sites help answer your question? http://longtermcare.gov/costs-how-to-pay/what-is-covered-by-health-disability-insurance http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/resources/disability/about-disability/how-does-ssi-disability-work- http://www.medicare.gov/w...
by harmony
Tue May 20, 2014 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I have too much for retirement???
Replies: 35
Views: 6515

Re: I have too much for retirement???

What are your plans for long-term care?
by harmony
Sun May 18, 2014 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eyeglasses Help
Replies: 12
Views: 5245

Re: Eyeglasses Help

Round frames might be out of style/demand at Costco and many optical stores, but there are many round men's frames at Zenni. There is a problem with the online photo try-on in that you can't assess how comfortable the frames will feel on your face. Since OP feels that a full frame would work best, i...
by harmony
Sat May 17, 2014 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parent in financial mess. General and SS timing advice
Replies: 72
Views: 10172

Re: Parent in financial mess. General and SS timing advice

So maybe a good first place to start would be to find out if any of the helping professionals offered through your job can help you set a direction. The support professional should be able to help you decide how much leverage can safely be used to convince your mother to get an evaluation. Since you...
by harmony
Sat May 17, 2014 12:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting new Motif Investing product
Replies: 10
Views: 2050

Re: Interesting new Motif Investing product

Yes, there it is "commission free" and I read a whole white paper looking for the information. I wonder if this a "loss leader" strategy, since ETFs typically don't have 12b1 fees. Some online discount brokers offer free trades for some of their mutual funds because they know they will get paid via ...
by harmony
Fri May 16, 2014 11:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting new Motif Investing product
Replies: 10
Views: 2050

Re: Interesting new Motif Investing product

OP, do you have link that says motifinvesting's Horizon product trades and rebalances for free? If true, that would make it different from other cost information I have read about motifinvesting, i.e. $4.95 to buy or sell an individual security and $9.95 to rebalance.
by harmony
Fri May 16, 2014 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parent in financial mess. General and SS timing advice
Replies: 72
Views: 10172

Re: Parent in financial mess. General and SS timing advice

Thank you for posting so honestly. It isn't selfish to want find the wisest course to take for your mother whom you obviously love. You didn't say this, so I will ask: When you give her emergency funds, do you pay it directly to the vendor? If it goes directly to her, would she perhaps tell you that...
by harmony
Fri May 16, 2014 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Pay for College?
Replies: 24
Views: 2837

Re: How to Pay for College?

For a young person who has the ability and is emotionally up to the challenge, it might work out to consider the “part-time job” during the school year to be working on academics. This is not such a socially risky thing to do in a high school with a lot of other high acheivers who support each other...
by harmony
Thu May 15, 2014 1:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eyeglasses Help
Replies: 12
Views: 5245

Re: Eyeglasses Help

I went through something similar recently. I didn't want to get my glasses from an online store, but it just wasn't possible to see what they looked like in the optical store because everything looked fuzzy. So I uploaded a photo to Zenni and tried on frames that way. I picked the exact size frame a...
by harmony
Wed May 14, 2014 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance for Early Retirement?
Replies: 3
Views: 1021

Re: Health Insurance for Early Retirement?

One of us is already getting Medicare, the other not yet. A former employer, a state university which self insures it's employees and retirees, provides health insurance for both of us. Medicare is figured in for the one of us who gets it. For the one who does not get Medicare yet, the former employ...
by harmony
Tue May 13, 2014 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ideas for a 6 year old who is now without a father
Replies: 8
Views: 2874

Re: Ideas for a 6 year old who is now without a father

With high functioning autism, needs can change dramatically as the young person becomes an adolescent. While the person may lack social understanding, at the same time he can be intensely aware of the widening gulf between himself and his classmates. This can progress to chronic mental illness and s...
by harmony
Mon May 12, 2014 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Intrafamily loan to help young adult child's business
Replies: 10
Views: 1427

Re: Intrafamily loan to help young adult child's business

If I had more than just one child and I were to loan/give money to any one of them before I die, I would make efforts to ensure that after I am gone, the other children would feel that they had each been treated fairly. My father made a plan to engift each of his children a certain amount before he ...
by harmony
Mon May 12, 2014 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Germany!
Replies: 34
Views: 2976

Re: Germany!

I lived in Germany for several years in the seventies, mostly in Heidelberg and in a village in Bavaria. I visited Dachau, the Black Forest, the cathedral in Cologne and Neuschwanstein, among many others. More than the places I visited, I treasure most the memories of people I met. With just two wee...
by harmony
Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Social Security Decision
Replies: 25
Views: 3021

Re: Help with Social Security Decision

We actually used SSCalc.net to come up with our options. There were quite a few charts generated showing different options, as I recall. They still have the calculator online. I just looked at it to refresh. You can put in both spouses' birthdates. The output doesn't separate the amounts for each sp...
by harmony
Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Social Security Decision
Replies: 25
Views: 3021

Re: Help with Social Security Decision

You're right, sscritic. The chart is not complex enough to show more than a two-year age spread. I suppose one could come up with an average number of years of retirement by going halfway between the two ages. It would take a bigger chart to show all of this.
by harmony
Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Social Security Decision
Replies: 25
Views: 3021

Re: Help with Social Security Decision

HIinvestor, thank you for posting that link. It does cover a wide variety of situations and it is written in very readable language. I was especially impressed with Table 3 on page 12 which charts the average years of retirement for couples of varying age differences.
by harmony
Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Social Security Decision
Replies: 25
Views: 3021

Re: Help with Social Security Decision

I concur with the previous posts pointing out the requirement to wait until age 62 unless there are other qualifying circumstances. I don't want to unnecessarily complicate your post, but have you compared having your husband taking benefits at age 62 to delaying benefits to age 70? This is a more s...
by harmony
Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turbo Tax Accuracy Guarantee Experience
Replies: 4
Views: 1224

Re: Turbo Tax Accuracy Guarantee Experience

What you describe or something very similar happened to us a few years ago. We found the error before filing because we always do a paper version to verify what TT is doing. When we found the error it was still early enough that we could get the money back that we had spent on TT software. (Their mo...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3628

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

One wouldn't put all risk-managed investments in the same vehicle. Though our whole life insurance company is rated very highly (it's a fraternal organization providing insurance to it's members),we also have other fixed income investments in various other places. In the current environment, fixed i...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3628

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

When you invest the difference you're assuming your moment of need won't occur in a year like 2009 and right before retirement. That's what I mean about disversifying risk. We were already investing the maximum through work in addition to what was required.
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3628

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

A 30-year term policy would have just expired when we had needed it the most. Our major wage earner had to find different work about then, at age 59. This was around the time that our son was a college undergraduate, thus lower income qualified for financial aid. Yes, we should encourage folks to ge...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3628

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

We would not have continually renewed our term life, not knowing how long the child's disabling condition would last. We also likely would not have had term life insurance when one of us had to take early retirement. Term life premiums rise quite bit as one gets older, yet chances of career-changing...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3628

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

Whole life is not a popular type of investment here. We would not buy any new today, but would not necessrily discourage young people from steering so far away from it either. Whenever at any point in the now distant past term life insurance or whole life was purchased, it was the best investment th...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3628

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

After more than a half century of owning whole life insurance and term life insurance, we have begun to see the PUAs as sort of extra term life insurance piggy backed on top of whole life insurance. When the term in which the PUA is needed is over, we rid ourselves of it. We always considered the ca...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3628

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

It is important for each policy holder to understand what is possible with their policy, but the agent isn't likely to tell anyone that their cost basis can be taken out tax-free. That's why all the data needs to be scrutinized and questions asked at appropriate places.
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3628

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

Removing cost basis did not affect the face amount death benefit. It did indeed affect the death benefit of the paid up additions, which we deemed not to be needed as insurance anymore. I'm not suggesting any free lunch, just where to park your lunch. Anyone considering removing cost basis needs to ...
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3628

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

Taking cost basis from the policy did not require us to take a loan from our policy. It did decrease our cash value, however. I'm not
not saying that would be true in all cases. One needs to study the annual data summary sheet and ask questions of ins. headquarters.
by harmony
Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 3628

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

Since OP has health issues and his wife isn't working, the life insurance provides some extra cushion. Waiting to make a change until several years past retirement will provide a better cushion in case the market drops severely around retirement age. Some recommendations are to be most conservative ...
by harmony
Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I drop my whole life policy?
Replies: 15
Views: 2095

Re: Should I drop my whole life policy?

Growth within whole life insurance is best compared to earnings on fixed income or stable value accounts, not to equities. If you want a little fixed income as a young person, the whole life policy is an alternative means to get it in the current environment. Our whole life insurance accounts have b...
by harmony
Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net Worth Calculation
Replies: 37
Views: 5791

Re: Net Worth Calculation

The very practical use of net worth statement is to keep track of changes, positive and negative. Years ago, when we were still working, we used to track our income and expenses. Invariably, we didn't include all of the expenses. Though we practiced LBYM, we still wondered what we could have missed....
by harmony
Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Puzzle
Replies: 19
Views: 2495

Re: Social Security Puzzle

Please note that the Affordable Care Act does not pay health insurance for someone who already qualifies for Medicare. The wording of the original law spells this out. I recently had this verified by a supervisor in the agency that administers Medicaid in my state. So even in a state where Medicaid ...
by harmony
Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Edward Jones ignores do-not-call lists
Replies: 20
Views: 2634

Re: Edward Jones ignores do-not-call lists

The bath and shower re-do solicitor that called our house yesterday claimed that our phone # would only have been found on the national do-not-call registry if I had paid to get on the registry! Hung up on that one. Another time the solicitor said that what they were doing was not soliciting because...