Search found 12462 matches

by jebmke
Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?
Replies: 1051
Views: 47721

Re: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?

First Snowy Egret of the season showed up in the creek today. Great Egrets have been here for a while. Green Herons should be here soon as well -- we normally have a nesting pair each year.
by jebmke
Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How foolish is this? [Buying waterfront apartment in Florida]
Replies: 36
Views: 3092

Re: How foolish is this?

Have you reviewed the condo association balance sheet? The biggest risk could be lack of reserves for common expenses.
by jebmke
Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any arborists or people with green thumbs?
Replies: 11
Views: 721

Re: Any arborists or people with green thumbs?

I wouldn't water more than twice a week for trees. As someone said already, watering too much is worse than watering too little. A good soak twice a week is fine. A lot of people plant at the wrong time of year, also. Can't speak for the northeast but in mid-Atlantic, planting trees and shrubs othe...
by jebmke
Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any arborists or people with green thumbs?
Replies: 11
Views: 721

Re: Any arborists or people with green thumbs?

I don’t fertilize new shrubs or trees until second year. Then only a single dose of something like milorganite around the base in mid winter. Once established I cut back frequency, not every year. Some plants like boxwood I rarely feed because they don’t need it.
by jebmke
Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hoarding and Decluttering
Replies: 15
Views: 1356

Re: Hoarding and Decluttering

I have a rule now. If I acquire something (unless it is something that is deemed "emergency" as in a medical emergency, or similar) then two things have to go. I do the same with my files. If I file something, I have to remove two and shred/recycle. We also adopted a policy with immediate ...
by jebmke
Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?
Replies: 1051
Views: 47721

Re: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?

^^ I think the Arctic Tern migrates from the Arctic to Antarctica and back every year. One of the longest migration paths. A lot of shorebirds also migrate pretty far. They fly up to the arctic/northern latitudes, breed and leave right after the chicks hatch. Chicks are left pretty much to fend for ...
by jebmke
Tue Apr 13, 2021 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Multiple years of expenses in cash when starting retirement
Replies: 82
Views: 4823

Re: Multiple years of expenses in cash when starting retirement

I retired in 2007 at age 55 with almost no cash in portfolio. Never was an issue.
by jebmke
Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wells Fargo giving bad IRA contribution/tax advice?
Replies: 4
Views: 424

Re: Wells Fargo giving bad IRA contribution/tax advice?

Should be all spelled out in IRS Pub 590a.
by jebmke
Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-retirement checklist, what is on yours?
Replies: 77
Views: 9159

Re: Pre-retirement checklist, what is on yours?

One surprise for me was dental expenses. I have good retirement health coverage from employer and Medicare but oh those dental expenses are on me. I had 3 crowns in the first few years and my wife has major dental issues - the latest will cost about 20k. Make sure to get a dental checkup and tell t...
by jebmke
Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gross Income Definition
Replies: 22
Views: 1769

Re: Gross Income Definition

H-Town wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:47 am Other benefits of filing: stimulus check, Roth IRA contribution, ACA premium tax credit, saver credit, etc.
Also blocks someone else from filing (successfully) with same SSN
by jebmke
Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bird Repellent Methods
Replies: 15
Views: 1092

Re: Bird Repellent Methods

Maybe a cat?
by jebmke
Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone keep a separate phone for 2FA?
Replies: 13
Views: 1407

Re: Anyone keep a separate phone for 2FA?

Are you willing to keep paying for phone service for a phone that is rarely used? Do you really want everyone in your address book to have to change their records of what your phone number is? not that familiar with authenticator apps but perhaps it only needs home WiFi. I have an old phone that st...
by jebmke
Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking your reactions to tax situation.
Replies: 6
Views: 757

Re: Seeking your reactions to tax situation.

They have a mountain of paper to process.
by jebmke
Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gross Income Definition
Replies: 22
Views: 1769

Re: Gross Income Definition

That is correct. Gross proceeds is counted as income for purposes of "need to file" Correction. Gains are counted but not losses. I'm not sure what the IRS WOPR would do it it had a 1099-B with a large gross proceeds on non-covered shares that exceeded the filing amount. It doesn't know t...
by jebmke
Sat Apr 10, 2021 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withdrawal Frequency in Retirement
Replies: 22
Views: 1732

Re: Withdrawal Frequency in Retirement

I kept a fairly steady allocation for the first 10 years; Once I started my pension I have shifted my plan to only withdraw dividends (this is a micro sale of equity) and sell bonds, if necessary to raise cash. In other words, I have no plans to ever sell equity again. I will re-balance on the downs...
by jebmke
Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend in retirement compared to before? Did you budget enough?
Replies: 13
Views: 1776

Re: How much do you spend in retirement compared to before? Did you budget enough?

I don't know the exact amount - I didn't retain my analysis of spending prior to retiring. If I had to guess, I am spending less. Major differences would be taxes (income and property tax) with other minor differences like travel (we travel much less than we did when I was working) and health care (...
by jebmke
Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is Tax slayer tax software correctly dealing with ACA tax credits yet?
Replies: 4
Views: 199

Re: Is Tax slayer tax software correctly dealing with ACA tax credits yet?

According to a notice I received yesterday, TaxSlayer Pro is doing this correctly. I don't know if the retail version has been updated yet. Is the TaxSlayer Pro what some paid tax preparers use? We use it for AARP TaxAide. Not sure but I think Vita uses it. Don't know how widely it is used in the p...
by jebmke
Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is Tax slayer tax software correctly dealing with ACA tax credits yet?
Replies: 4
Views: 199

Re: Is Tax slayer tax software correctly dealing with ACA tax credits yet?

According to a notice I received yesterday, TaxSlayer Pro is doing this correctly. I don't know if the retail version has been updated yet.
by jebmke
Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Real Return Fakers & Quitting Investing For Good
Replies: 51
Views: 5253

Re: Real Return Fakers & Quitting Investing For Good

I solved this whole problem by not trying to predict investment returns.
by jebmke
Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: People with Covid-19 vaccination record cards: where are you keeping them?
Replies: 163
Views: 13957

Re: People with Covid-19 vaccination record cards: where are you keeping them?

H-Town wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:48 pm The card is too easy to fake and should hold no water as far as a "passport to travel".
I’d really be surprised if other countries accepted it.
by jebmke
Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How is it not QE when the Fed buys treasury bills?
Replies: 23
Views: 2552

Re: How is it not QE when the Fed buys treasury bills?

They might be shortening their maturities in order to have the flexibility to roll off their balance sheet later if the economy continues to improve and inflation picks up.
by jebmke
Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Portfolio Watch has a new look
Replies: 98
Views: 7691

Re: Vanguard Portfolio Watch has a new look

Just happened to look at Portfolio Watch this morning (curiosity). It reports that I have 16% in international bonds but the only funds I hold that have any non-US bonds is Investment Grade (short and intermediate) and the fund report shows that international is < 5% for those funds alone; my total ...
by jebmke
Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions for 10+ year retirees
Replies: 21
Views: 2926

Re: Questions for 10+ year retirees

retired since 2007. (1) no; expenses jump around mainly due to "capital" items (home improvement/replacement) and income taxes but no discernible downward trend (2) pension is about 45% of expenses but didn't start until 2018 so too early to tell.
by jebmke
Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA Saying I Have Excess HSA Contribution
Replies: 32
Views: 2089

Re: CPA Saying I Have Excess HSA Contribution

The CPA has entered the information into the software and is just going with what the software says. I would do not consider it an unforgivable mistake to assume the software default is correct. I do consider it unacceptable that when you explained the problem and the solution, he did not research ...
by jebmke
Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA Saying I Have Excess HSA Contribution
Replies: 32
Views: 2089

Re: CPA Saying I Have Excess HSA Contribution

BD w/ Kung-Fu Grip wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:03 am Option C, drop the CPA now and don't pay him for a job not done?
This. I train non-professional volunteers with no accounting background to prepare taxes and this is standard stuff.
by jebmke
Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: COVID airline travel
Replies: 9
Views: 901

Re: COVID airline travel

No plans any time soon. Even before the pandemic we avoided flying.
by jebmke
Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: So when are taxes actually due?
Replies: 5
Views: 990

Re: So when are taxes actually due?

Federal tax returns for 2020 are due May, 17 unless you file for an extension.

The first quarterly Federal estimated payment for 2021 taxes is due April 15.

States vary; mine rolled everything out to July 15.
by jebmke
Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: walking shoes with wide toes?
Replies: 48
Views: 2895

Re: walking shoes with wide toes?

I have a need for a fairly wide toe shoe as well. I've been happy with Saucony. They were recommended by a former podiatrist/shoe store owner after I had a podiatrist visit (practicing) referral. He spent a fair amount of time watching my gait and feet from front, back and side as I walked. Recommen...
by jebmke
Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much do you spend annually in retirement?
Replies: 112
Views: 10481

Re: How much do you spend annually in retirement?

To calculate this for yourself, go onto your state’s ACA website, and plug in your location and look at the plans. A good proxy for your expenses would be the cost of the premiums, plus the full deductible. ACA plan premiums vary widely across the country. Also remember that as you age, the ACA pre...
by jebmke
Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS 2019 tax return not yet processed - Weird??
Replies: 13
Views: 836

Re: IRS 2019 tax return not yet processed - Weird??

probably, yes. They have a lot to do this year in addition to the backlog and I suspect that the processing centers are slower than prior years due to safety protocols.

I always recommend people e-file unless there is some specific reason why they cannot.
by jebmke
Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxSoftware - Worksheets before actually filing
Replies: 8
Views: 414

Re: TaxSoftware - Worksheets before actually filing

You have to pay for them. They are not a free service.
by jebmke
Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those retired or FI, how much do you spend annually?
Replies: 170
Views: 20164

Re: For those retired or FI, how much do you spend annually?

It’s always interesting to me that people are surprised at how other people spend their money. Some (certainly not all) of that may be that some people end up spending money quite differently in retirement than they expected to when they were still working. I know for us, there are a couple of cate...
by jebmke
Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TLH how to keep track of carryover
Replies: 18
Views: 852

Re: TLH how to keep track of carryover

I have used up my carryover losses but my tax software used to produce a worksheet that showed the carry over from this year to next year. When I prepared a new return for the next year, if I used the same software it would pull this from the prior year file along with a host of other useful stuff.
by jebmke
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Evernote worth coming back to?
Replies: 5
Views: 613

Re: Evernote worth coming back to?

I've been using Evernote for several years now. Lately I've been unhappy with it. I use it across platforms and they seem to frequently have replication conflicts now. I am actually considering ditching it if I can figure out what to do with all the stuff I already have in Evernote.
by jebmke
Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: binoculars advise
Replies: 29
Views: 1710

Re: binoculars advise

Once I narrowed my choice to a probable candidate, I asked to take the binocular outside for a "test drive." Agree; have to take outside. We went to a Leica shop in downtown DC. I gave them my DL and a credit card and they handed me a $3,500 spotting scope and directions to the nearby park.
by jebmke
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Receipts
Replies: 16
Views: 1435

Re: HSA Receipts

When we were still using our HSA plans I had our major providers give me an annual statement that listed all the charges and payments. You can also produce an annual report from your pharmacy. That cuts down a lot on the volume of receipts to retain.
by jebmke
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maryland Pension Income Subtraction
Replies: 3
Views: 306

Re: Maryland Pension Income Subtraction

rick51 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:40 am Does the CSRS federal pension qualify for the pension exclusion for Maryland income taxes?
yes it does, if you meet all the other criteria.
by jebmke
Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amending an amended tax return
Replies: 3
Views: 333

Re: Amending an amended tax return

This is one of the reasons why I never file early.
by jebmke
Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adjusting tax basis in a rental property that was a former residence
Replies: 3
Views: 391

Re: Adjusting tax basis in a rental property that was a former residence

Does the cost of the kitchen renovation matter? In 2018, when it became investment property you would have declared the market value for depreciation purposes. That is the basis you use when you eventually sell. Not an expert but my understanding? I think it is the lesser of the FMV at date of conv...
by jebmke
Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: binoculars advise
Replies: 29
Views: 1710

Re: binoculars advise

I second others' recommendation that it's ideal if you can visit a store that has a bunch of brands to try them out side by side. There is really no substitute for trying different brands. The specs can be enough different on critical items like eye-relief and inter-pupilary distance that a perfect...
by jebmke
Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying pantry items in bulk
Replies: 22
Views: 1921

Re: Buying pantry items in bulk

Coffee and chocolate
by jebmke
Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: binoculars advise
Replies: 29
Views: 1710

Re: binoculars advise

one added thought. If you plan to be hiking much distance and the light levels are fairly normal (not overcast, early or late in the day), consider trying some that are more compact like 8x32; the weight can make a difference on longer treks. Make sure to get a harness in any case, walking with bino...
by jebmke
Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Call number [Looking for Vanguard's phone number]
Replies: 4
Views: 441

Re: Call number

"vanguard 800 number" - Google Search

[link formatted by admin LadyGeek]
by jebmke
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: binoculars advise
Replies: 29
Views: 1710

Re: binoculars advise

Leupold is another good brand but it might be above your price range. I use these for birding. Very fast focus control, excellent optics and good close-focus. When we compared these with, say, Nikon in the $400 range the difference was noticeable; the Nikon's were good but they demonstrated a sligh...
by jebmke
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Atlantic: The Autopilot Economy -- Economists ... are Worried That Index Funds are Hurting Markets
Replies: 28
Views: 3424

Re: The Atlantic: The Autopilot Economy -- Economists ... are Worried That Index Funds are Hurting Markets

Wouldn't their power be to vote for board members who support their viewpoint? Wouldn't a potential board member be more than willing to do the bidding of an anonymous fund manager if it means their election to the board is guaranteed? Perhaps; but your interests may not be the same as my interests...
by jebmke
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: binoculars advise
Replies: 29
Views: 1710

Re: binoculars advise

complicated subject. For general use I would stick with 8x42. There are a lot of good bransds but the specs vary and the only way to make sure they work for you is to try them. I've found a broad range of specifications on eye-relief and some work and some do not - it is a bit like fitting a shoe. V...
by jebmke
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Browser/Website Issues: Where do you get help?
Replies: 18
Views: 1178

Re: Browser/Website Issues: Where do you get help?

For radar, I've found that MyRadar Win10 app is the best solution.
by jebmke
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Atlantic: The Autopilot Economy -- Economists ... are Worried That Index Funds are Hurting Markets
Replies: 28
Views: 3424

Re: The Atlantic: The Autopilot Economy -- Economists ... are Worried That Index Funds are Hurting Markets

Badly run companies, indolent boards, excessive CEO compensation packages to loss making enterprises, Funds needs to speak on my behalf because the Fund is investing my money. This is going to become a more relevant issue as Funds become the largest shareholders of many corporations. The problem I ...
by jebmke
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Browser/Website Issues: Where do you get help?
Replies: 18
Views: 1178

Re: Browser/Website Issues: Where do you get help?

Very few sites that I use don’t have alternatives. If something dot com goes wonky, I shift to something else dot com. Some exceptions like bank, Vanguard but I don’t need them daily so it usually resolves itself. I have five browsers installed so chances are good I can switch browsers and get it to...
by jebmke
Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Incredible stock market gains the past year - probably due for a major pullback
Replies: 89
Views: 10813

Re: Incredible stock market gains the past year - probably due for a major pullback

We just had a correction a year ago. That isn't very long ago in the scheme of things. And one in 12/2018. I have no idea what that means. Are we due for a V shaped crash every year or so? Does it mean the market prices are pretty accurate? I hate the market. It feels like it is 1999 or worse again...