Search found 91 matches

by niagara_guy
Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal liability for filing complaint for financial adviser?
Replies: 46
Views: 3811

Re: Personal liability for filing complaint for financial adviser?

I think if your complaint is honest it won't be an issue (I am not a lawyer). FINRA and the SEC are there to protect investors.
by niagara_guy
Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Invest in career change to Accounting for 37 yr old? Would it be foolish?
Replies: 172
Views: 14013

Re: Invest in career change to Accounting for 37 yr old? Would it be foolish?

If you PM me (I think I know how to get a PM message but not sure) I will tell you about my computer career.
by niagara_guy
Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How Do I Untangle an Old Commingled IRA?
Replies: 13
Views: 1340

Re: How Do I Untangle an Old Commingled IRA?

I had some after tax contributions that I made a long time ago, didn't know I had to file 8606. So, about 5 years ago I filed 8606s for all the years I missed (I used copies of one tax year 8606 for all years) and added a cover letter. Now I include an 8606 each time I file (I am converting to Roth ...
by niagara_guy
Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of a personal real estate offer letter
Replies: 77
Views: 4797

Re: Power of a personal real estate offer letter

I had POA for a friend and I took the highest dollar offer for his house because I felt that was my obligation. When we reviewed the offer with the seller he decided (and he was competent then) to take an offer for less money based upon their letter. I am glad he got to make the final decision.
by niagara_guy
Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former employer won't change my employment status with 401k provider
Replies: 13
Views: 1081

Re: Former employer won't change my employment status with 401k provider

It might be time to write a letter to the president of the company.
by niagara_guy
Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with advising sister who's husband just passed.
Replies: 17
Views: 1810

Re: Help with advising sister who's husband just passed.

I am sorry for your sister's and your loss. I assume the life insurance will pay promptly and then it can be used to pay for any urgent bills. I don't think it's necessary to make decisions about the 401k in the short term. I am a fan of Vanguard (I have not used PAS but it might be an option for he...
by niagara_guy
Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How would you handle this? -- big utility company problem!
Replies: 68
Views: 4824

Re: How would you handle this? -- big utility company problem!

+1 small claims court. you can also contact the government body that regulates the utility. That might be better.
by niagara_guy
Sun Apr 11, 2021 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Spouse recently passed away. Please help me handle his financial matters]
Replies: 119
Views: 8848

Re: [Spouse recently passed away. Please help me handle his financial matters]

I too am sorry for your loss. I didn't read all the posts (glad lots of people chiming in) but I wanted to give you my input. There are lots of financial people who will want to 'help' you but are really going to take 1% to 2% of your assets every year if you let them, and they will probably provide...
by niagara_guy
Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Please Help: After tax - non Roth 401k?
Replies: 10
Views: 928

Re: Please Help: After tax - non Roth 401k?

I contributed both before tax and after tax money to a 401k; when I retired I moved the before tax (which also included the earnings from after tax) to a tira and the after tax money to a Roth.
by niagara_guy
Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: when dividends are paid by funds
Replies: 6
Views: 782

Re: when dividends are paid by funds

Thank you for your replies.
by niagara_guy
Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Life Savings in Cash--Need Advice
Replies: 27
Views: 4314

Re: Life Savings in Cash--Need Advice

I have made many financial decisions that in hindsight I didn't look very bright. I try to learn from these mistakes. And, I will continue to make a few bad financial decisions (but most decisions will be good). Warren Buffet always talks about his bad decisions in his annual report (maybe reading s...
by niagara_guy
Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Mom With Social Security
Replies: 9
Views: 1086

Re: Helping Mom With Social Security

here is one tool for modelling ss: https://opensocialsecurity.com/ I have not used it. I did get the book " Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security." It was helpful and I believe has a whole chapter on divorced couples. I also bought the modelling tool at https://m...
by niagara_guy
Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: when dividends are paid by funds
Replies: 6
Views: 782

when dividends are paid by funds

I have VFIAX (Vanguard 500 index fund) which pays dividends 4 times per year (every quarter). I also have SWPPX (Schwab 500 index fund) which evidently only pays dividends in December. I also checked FXAIX (Fidelity 500 index fund) and it pays 4x/year. It seems to me that getting dividends every qua...
by niagara_guy
Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pulling the Retirement trigger at the end of 2021 - Sanity Check
Replies: 3
Views: 975

Re: Pulling the Retirement trigger at the end of 2021 - Sanity Check

I think there is an advantage to working part of a year (instead of retiring at the end of the year). Your income taxes for the part of the year will be much lower (assuming you are not getting a lot of pension/ss/...). You can sign up for a large fsa if offered, spend the whole amount early in the ...
by niagara_guy
Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retire vs resign - Is there a difference?
Replies: 81
Views: 8151

Re: Retire vs resign - Is there a difference?

I retired the day I turned 65. There were several benefits of substantial value that I would have lost if I left earlier. Make sure you know what your benefits are.
by niagara_guy
Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop portable power bank
Replies: 20
Views: 1352

Re: Laptop portable power bank

I have an RV, so I use a cigarette lighter inverter that I plug my laptop into. I use my laptop frequently using the inverter but the RV has big batteries. If you are using a car with a small 12v battery the inverter may run the battery down in a few hours if the car isn't running. I just checked, m...
by niagara_guy
Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relocating from Austin to Galveston
Replies: 34
Views: 3404

Re: Relocating from Austin to Galveston

I am going to add a second post. I like Galveston as a tourist. I like tourist towns and the ocean and have visited Galveston many times with my RV. After the 1900 hurricane they raised the east end of the island about 20 feet so a deadly storm is now unlikely (and weather prediction gives several d...
by niagara_guy
Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relocating from Austin to Galveston
Replies: 34
Views: 3404

Re: Relocating from Austin to Galveston

google this: galveston hurricane 1900. Worst natural disaster in USA. Weather there is cooler that inland because of the gulf (may only get into high 80s). Lots of tropical storms even if they aren't hurricanes with lots of rain. I would not own a house on the island because of hurricane risk. Gulf ...
by niagara_guy
Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on how to ease the anxiety of deciding to retire.
Replies: 91
Views: 10532

Re: Advice on how to ease the anxiety of deciding to retire.

I convinced my employer to let me work 20 hours per week and did that for almost a year before I fully retired. I did lots of math to determine if I had enough money to fully retire. I should have worked half time for several years instead of one.
by niagara_guy
Tue Mar 23, 2021 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Managing investments for an elderly relative
Replies: 61
Views: 4236

Re: Managing investments for an elderly relative

If I were in your shoes I would ask the financial institution to provide an itemized list of all charges (including but not limited to AUM fees, 12-1b fees, load fees, ...) for the last year in writing. They may decline to provide this but I think if they do it will help you make a decision of wheth...
by niagara_guy
Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pre-retirement to-do list
Replies: 31
Views: 3553

Re: Pre-retirement to-do list

consider working for a few months in 2022. you will probably be in a lower tax bracket. and, if you contribute to a fsa (flex spending account) in 2022 you can spend the whole year's amount in January. try to understand your company's benefits beforehand so you don't miss out on benefits (my bonus w...
by niagara_guy
Fri Mar 19, 2021 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Voya 401K account portfolio advice
Replies: 9
Views: 797

Re: Voya 401K account portfolio advice

Use the search box on bogleheads and type in voya. Also google 'voya sucks.' Lots of bad comments. Are you getting a company match? Fees are high, service is terrible. You probably won't be able to get your money out until you leave the job. If no match, use an ira instead (either Roth or traditiona...
by niagara_guy
Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Saver with a late start - Mission 2040
Replies: 29
Views: 3554

Re: Saver with a late start - Mission 2040

at 40 we didn't have 2 nickels to rub together. started saving, stayed frugal, today comfortably retired with enough. You are doing great. I made lots of mistakes early on and learned from some of them (some mistakes I had to make multiple times).
by niagara_guy
Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Donate stock to a college
Replies: 8
Views: 634

Re: Donate stock to a college

I have chosen a college. I own this stock directly, not through a broker. The stock is held here: shareholderonline.com which I assume is not a broker in the traditional sense. The college accepts stocks (they show DTC information on their website, whatever that means). I don't have the cost basis f...
by niagara_guy
Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Donate stock to a college
Replies: 8
Views: 634

Donate stock to a college

I have about $1,000 of Comcast stock that is in an account at shareholderonline.com. I want to donate it to a college, what is the most cost effective way to do this?
by niagara_guy
Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Quick Decision to Sell?
Replies: 18
Views: 1604

Re: Quick Decision to Sell?

My understanding is that your cost basis is the stock price on the day the person died that you inherited the stock from, not that person's cost basis. And, if you are in the 15% tax bracket your taxes if this is a long term gain (not sure how LT gain is determined when you inherit stock) then your ...
by niagara_guy
Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: interstate movers recommendation
Replies: 19
Views: 1006

Re: interstate movers recommendation

More than 10 years ago I needed a mover to go 1,000 miles. I used U-Pack (part of ABF trucking). They dropped off a 28 foot trailer, I had 3 days to load it, they delivered it to the destination and I had 2 days to unload. I paid by the linear foot and the price was similar to what I would have paid...
by niagara_guy
Wed Mar 10, 2021 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Work College
Replies: 2
Views: 330

Work College

I know someone who is a student at a 'work college,' where the student works a few hours a week and pays very little to no tuition. There are about 8 of them in the US, here is their website: https://workcolleges.org/. This has worked very well for this student and he probably wouldn't be in college...
by niagara_guy
Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unloading Massive Collection of Classical Music
Replies: 42
Views: 3970

Re: Unloading Massive Collection of Classical Music

The National Music Museum is a stunning museum. Not sure if they would be interested or not.

http://nmmusd.org/
by niagara_guy
Sun Feb 28, 2021 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need new tires?
Replies: 106
Views: 4682

Re: Do I need new tires?

I also bought Michelins at Costco. Great tires. a few pointers: at 5-6 years old the tires are no longer safe. Make sure the tires you buy are no more than 6 months old. Here is a link that shows how to determine when the tire was made: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=11 ...
by niagara_guy
Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: what are the correct RMD rules for 403b?
Replies: 5
Views: 432

Re: what are the correct RMD rules for 403b?

Thanks everyone for your help. This makes me appreciate more the other financial houses (Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab) that I have a relationship with.
by niagara_guy
Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: what are the correct RMD rules for 403b?
Replies: 5
Views: 432

what are the correct RMD rules for 403b?

My wife still has her small 403b at Voya Financial. She just got a letter from Voya saying the IRS requires a RMD by April 1st 2021. I thought that her first RMD would be in 2022, but Voya says otherwise in this letter. Didn't the Secure Act change the RMD date to the year you turn 72 for those born...
by niagara_guy
Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renegotiate assisted living bills for parent?
Replies: 26
Views: 1469

Re: Renegotiate assisted living bills for parent?

I had a friend in ALF and I was a POA. We hired a fiduciary to help with his finances (great guy!). He knew how to negotiate with ALF and was able to reduce friend's bill. I believe it more than paid for his fees (We hired him for other financial reasons).
by niagara_guy
Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to approach cross-country move
Replies: 20
Views: 7542

Re: How to approach cross-country move

I also used ABF freight (aka u-pack) and it worked great. They give you an empty trailer, you put your stuff in at the front and you pay by the foot. They don't serve every zip code so it may not work for you. The truck rides harder than a moving van, so use plenty of blankets. I think I had 3 days ...
by niagara_guy
Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Experts: Asus X512DA laptop only boots to bios
Replies: 17
Views: 908

Re: Computer Experts: Asus X512DA laptop only boots to bios

if it's not under warranty, you can try booting from a usb thumb drive. here is a link to build a linux thumb drive:

https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/linux/c ... -easy-way/

you will have to change bios to boot from it. if it boots up it's probably a ssd issue.
by niagara_guy
Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Brokerages with restrictions on outgoing transfers
Replies: 8
Views: 544

Re: Brokerages with restrictions on outgoing transfers

At both Vanguard and Fidelity I have had them stop disbursements. I believe they will require a medallion signature to remove this. I also blocked web access at both (they said most fraud comes in via web). I sleep better.
by niagara_guy
Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Cd coming due ???
Replies: 7
Views: 575

Re: Cd coming due ???

and, what are the government backing limits for the institution where the cd is? is 500k covered?
by niagara_guy
Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Cd coming due ???
Replies: 7
Views: 575

Re: Cd coming due ???

check the cd early withdrawal penalty. Some are only 90 days of interest, so if interest rates go up it might be cost effective to take the penalty. keep a copy of the rules when you buy the cd.
by niagara_guy
Thu Feb 04, 2021 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DO I renew Microsoft office 360 again?
Replies: 25
Views: 2057

Re: DO I renew Microsoft office 360 again?

open office is a free alternative to MS office. It does not do everything perfectly (and may not read all MS files) but it's good enough for me. I have used it for about 10 years.
by niagara_guy
Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a cheaper cell phone plan
Replies: 79
Views: 7107

Re: Need a cheaper cell phone plan

6 people in my family have used Republic Wireless for 5+ years, they are great. my plan with 1gb/mo of data is $20/mo and includes unlimited talk and text. I did try to help a person bring an iphone to Republic and it did not go well (I have a motorola phone from Republic that cost me $150 to buy). ...
by niagara_guy
Sun Jan 31, 2021 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ira conversion?
Replies: 1
Views: 185

Re: Ira conversion?

I converted some dollars to Roth in March of 2020 (I got lucky, converted at close to the bottom of the market drop). I model my taxes using the prior year's tax software, so I only convert enough to keep my taxes low (best to model fed and state taxes).
by niagara_guy
Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quadruple-layered approach to securing Vanguard accounts
Replies: 14
Views: 1950

Re: Quadruple-layered approach to securing Vanguard accounts

I sent a letter to Vanguard several years ago to turn off internet access and to stop any redemptions. I believe I will have to send Vanguard a medallion signature guarantee to reverse the redemption stop; it will be several years before I need to do this so I am not sure of the details for the meda...
by niagara_guy
Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on Filing for Social Security at Age 70
Replies: 44
Views: 4263

Re: Advice on Filing for Social Security at Age 70

Get what's yours, the secrets to maxing out your social security is a book I have. I also used their modelling tool (cost maybe $30) to model before I retired. Also had Fidelity run their model, they were very close.
by niagara_guy
Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Convert to Roth or stay in tax deferred?
Replies: 56
Views: 9128

Re: Convert to Roth or stay in tax deferred?

I converted some money to a Roth from a tira before I retired and in hindsight I think it was a mistake, because I am in a very low tax bracket now (waiting to take ss at 70). In 2020 I converted just enough to have to pay a small amount in fed taxes and will continue to do so. I use last year's tax...
by niagara_guy
Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Showers and Shower faucets
Replies: 60
Views: 3643

Re: Showers and Shower faucets

I put in a Kohler shower faucet about 15 years ago. It failed a month ago, I called Kohler. They were able to identify the model and send me parts at no charge to fix it. The downside is that it took the parts 2 weeks to arrive. I now have spare parts for this faucet.
by niagara_guy
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Company allow after-tax contribution, but can I convert it to Roth IRA when I leave the company?
Replies: 24
Views: 1634

Re: Company allow after-tax contribution, but can I convert it to Roth IRA when I leave the company?

I did this a few years ago. My company allowed after-tax contributions to the 401k (but did not have a 401k roth). I contributed pretax and after tax money to my 401k, when I quit I rolled over the pretax amount and all the gains to a pretax ira and the after tax contributions to a Roth IRA. ( I bel...
by niagara_guy
Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 60 Year Old Couple Relocating from Illinois to Florida - Need Input on Best Way to Move Household
Replies: 52
Views: 4390

Re: 60 Year Old Couple Relocating from Illinois to Florida - Need Input on Best Way to Move Household

I used U pack about 10 years ago for a long move, worked very well and was about the same as a rental truck for cost but I didn't have to spend days driving, including meals and rooms. The truck does not ride as well as a moving van, so it can scratch items. use plenty of blankets for padding. They ...
by niagara_guy
Sat Dec 26, 2020 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Travel Experiences
Replies: 178
Views: 12953

Re: Favorite Travel Experiences

1. Kruger Park (South Africa)
2. Australia (3 times, thinking about 4th)
3. Alaska, including almost every ferry
4. Niagara Falls (couldn't resist!)
by niagara_guy
Fri Dec 25, 2020 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security benefits from deceased EX-Wife?
Replies: 26
Views: 2768

Re: Social Security benefits from deceased EX-Wife?

I didn't read all the replies; I recommend this book: Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security. It has a chapter on divorce. I believe the authors also have a modelling tool that I used before making a decision (Fidelity has a modelling tool too, the two models agreed).