Thanks for the response @my4mainecoons . I’m hoping the points go through soon. I hate calling especially since these card companies use overseas call centers with the exception of Discover that I know of.
I have a Bluebird card in addition to my bank account and when I first applied for it I got rejected online because I had a Serve account (didn’t have a card or anything since I hadn’t done anything with the Revolution Account it was previously) I didn’t know about.
AE had acquired the company that they turned into their Serve card. When I called the Serve Customer Service to close that so I could get approved for the Bluebird the overseas person apparently had no idea what they were doing and I had to fax in stuff to prove my identity just to get them to close the account. That made me hesitant about calling AE for anything since I had another issue with a Bluebird rep misconstruing why I called once.
I just received another $600 offer and noticed that the fine print has changed:
“You can receive only one new checking and one new savings account opening related bonus every two years from the last enrollment date …”
I was impacted by the Equifax 2017 cybersecurity incident and enrolled in.
TrustedID® Premier. What happens now?
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I have several months left on my TrustedID Premier subscription, but I am receiving this offer for Experian services now. Will I still receive two full years of credit monitoring?
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My spouse received an email that their TrustedID Premier product was expiring; why aren’t they being extended?
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You can close out a VAN/VCC at-will so that even if the merchant who’s permitted to charge to it hasn’t fully used up its allocated CL, the merchant won’t get any more successful CC auth’s to the VAN/VCC once closed.
While diggler is 300% correct, one key thing is the elimination of AMT. AMT was neutralizing the exemptions, personal property taxes, state tax deduction etc. Even though I live in CA, my taxes are lower with the new tax laws versus the old one. I think the main reason is that I don’t own a mansion just to get the tax breaks.
First, the lady was right in advising you to get an estimate. In fact, I would advise that you get at least two estimates. If it were me, I’d get 3 estimates. Ask each contractor what they would charge if you decided on changes. Do you have a firm remodeling plan sketched out on paper? What would need to be removed? What needs to be moved to a different location? Are you adding or removing windows or a door? Are you making the kitchen larger? Where the support beams are located makes a huge difference in cost when you are moving all or part of a wall. Will you be moving plumbing? Where do you want the electrical connections? What type of lighting? What materials do you want for the sink and the countertops? Do you want an island? Will the flooring need to be replaced? All of that and more will help the contractor give you a knowledgable and fair estimate. If you just figure you’ll spend up to X and stop, you’ll have to make your choices based on the available amount.
Now, as to the lady’s proposal that you apply for more money than you need…I’d find another lender very quickly. It’s wrong, to begin with, and whatever lender you use will base the amount they lend you on the appraised value of the property. The lender will run through your ability to pay, then have a qualified appraiser give them a current market valuation for the property. That is what the lender will go by, and only a dishonest appraiser will add another $25,000 to the appraisal so you can get more than the property is worth, give the extra along with the purchase price to your grandparents, and then have your grandparents kick back the extra to you.
That said, if your grandparents wish to sell the property to you for X (the purchase price, which should be about the market value or a bit less so it’s not a “sweetheart deal”), and they then decide to gift you with $25,000 because you are their beloved grandchild or they wish to loan you $25,000 at current interest rates or a bit lower because you are their beloved grandchild, that might fly. Depends on whether you have other family members who might get irate that you’re getting $25,000 and they’re not.
The main thing is to be very careful to keep the purchase of the property separate from your grandparents gifting or loaning you the remodel money. The bank is investing in the property, and they expect that their loan will be for less than they could get if they foreclose and sell the property, if necessary.
As far as a remodeling loan, if you are getting a loan for less than the appraised value of the property (i.e., property valued at $200,000, purchase price is $180,00 and loan is for $150,000, somewhere along the line the lender is going to want to know where the other $30,000 of the purchase price is coming from - is it a gift from your grandparents or are they loaning you that money. Or are your grandparents selling you the property for well under market value, and why. The bank will not go along with a property valued at $200,000, purchase price is $225,000, and loan is for $225,000) The bank might easily go along with your grandparents selling you the property for $150,000 although the appraisal is $200,000, and they then loan you an additional $25,000 for remodeling purposes since you would have $50,000 in equity in the property because you paid a lot less than the appraised value.
Talk with an attorney, talk with other lenders. it is entirely possible you could obtain a remodeling loan if you will have some equity in the property after closing, depending on how the initial purchase is structured.
I am not an attorney or a loan officer or involved with any lender. I have worked for title companies as a mobile notary public for some 24 years and have dealt with lenders, title companies and borrowers, talking with loan officers and with borrowers at the table, and I do my best to stay informed about the industry.
The question is, what return can you get with the available cash? If it can earn more than 3.75%, then don’t pay off the mortgage. Also remember, when you pay off the mortgage, that money will be difficult to access versus say being in the stock market. This is always a difficult decision and it comes down to: what makes you feel more comfortable?
Read the Reverse Mortgage paperwork. There are NO payments due, ever, period. That’s the purpose of an RM. Once the mortgage company gets their pound of flesh via the upfront fees and charges (taken out of the money due the elderly person or persons), all that happens is interest accumulates…and accumulates…and accumulates. When the last person on the RM dies, the heirs have a choice of paying off the balance due on the RM OR letting the mortgage company have it. Period. I would not call it “foreclosure” since NO money is owed by anyone living or by the estate. Given the circumstances, go with 2 and just get it done. (I’ve conducted a fair amount of RMs over many years as a Mobile Notary Public working for title companies, so I am familiar with the wording and terms on typical paperwork for these.) I can’t think of any “risk” unless the heirs take out fixtures that are part of the real property (no removing the furnace or central H&A, for example) or they damage the property in the course of removing the personal property. Make sure you clarify with the mortgage company the status of the property insurance and responsibility for securing the property and protecting it during the transition and also access for the heirs to remove said personal property.
This is like retiring just for the sake of retiring. Even though I can retire, I want to do it in style. Few more years of work and use the money to upgrade to a home with a really nice view, big windows etc. Then travel at least 3-4 times a year and when at home, enjoy sitting in the nice view room goofing around on the stock market. But I am also using my financial freedom to make sure that I like the job - the day I don’t like it, I will quit.
If somebody does want to retire early, they should maximize their IRA’s, 401K etc and then when they have no income, they can tap into it. Sure may be there is a penalty but hopefully much lower taxes.
The other things to take advantage of - if the company offers it is things like unqualified retirement plans and non-deductible Roth 401K. And don’t forget the HSA.
It is amazing how much effect compounding can have on the money that you didn’t pay to the IRS and keeps growing for you.
What would be the tax treatment for home inspection fees paid before purchase of a rental property?
Am I able to amortize or deduct as expense?
“Closing costs on an investment property may fall into one of three tax categories:
Deductible as a current expense – These amounts are deductible in full as a rental expense in the year the property is purchased
Amortized over the life of the loan – These amounts must be deducted evenly over the total number of loan payments required at the beginning of the loan
Added to the cost basis of the property – These amounts must be added to the cost basis (i.e. the purchase price) of the property and must be depreciated”
Fees for your inspections add to your cost basis of the property.
Cost basis = the original purchase price + closing costs (e.g., legal fees, recording fees, title-search fees, home inspection…), and is used to offset capital gains when selling the property.
According to the IRS:
“Generally, deductible closing costs are those for interest, certain mortgage points, and deductible real estate taxes.
“Many other settlement fees and closing costs for buying the property become additions to your basis in the property and part of your depreciation deduction, including:
Charges for installing utility services
Any amounts the seller owes that you agree to pay (such as back taxes or interest, recording or mortgage fees, charges for improvements or repairs, and sales commissions).
I would find more about the current law. I believe it changed quite a bit since Keebler’s day so it may no longer be doing what you are hoping it would and also, may not be your best option.
I would also add it’s very very unlikely that you will be criminally charged.
The most notable Bankruptcy reform occurred in 2005 (BAPCA) and mine was a few years AFTER that so the new rules already applied. I haven’t heard of any newsworthy change since then.
In fact, I remember seeing graphs showing the number of bankruptcies spike before the law changed and then slowly rise back of from nearly nothing right after the law changed. The number of Bankruptcies before-and-after were virtually unchanged!
Back then I participated in a Bankruptcy forum and learned tons about the Bankruptcy process before I did it. There’s ways to do it wrong and there’s ways to do it right.
Contrary to popular belief, Bankruptcy isn’t for avoiding financial disaster – its for cleaning up after financial disaster.
The best advice that I got was to start living your post-Bankruptcy life before you file for Bankruptcy. In this regard, you reform your finances first and learn to live within your means. Then you use Bankruptcy to avoid having creditors interfere with the recovery that you’ve already put in to motion.
Very generally, you stop paying anyone who’s going to be discharged in the Bankruptcy and you start living paycheck to paycheck. Spend every penny and stop ignoring all the important stuff. Maintain your house and your car. Spend money on your health instead of ignoring it. Get your teeth taken care of. Buy clothing. Spend every penny of your paycheck on reasonable living expenses and don’t leave anything out. Your goal is to demonstrate – by example – that you’re spending every penny of your paycheck on all the reasonable living expenses that normal people have. Don’t skimp out on anything. Keep good records and do it for at least six months (longer if you can).
The Bankruptcy filing will rely on your six months (or more) of history to demonstrate that your living expenses actually consume 100% of your income and therefore you have no money left to repay creditors. This is Chapter 7.
If you manage to have money left to repay creditors, you’ll end up Chapter 13 and you’ll spend the next three to five years repaying what you’ve demonstrated is available.
Far too many people go in to Bankruptcy having skimped and scraped to get by. They neglect healthcare and car maintenance and they live on Ramen noodles. Well, guess what? You’ve demonstrated that you can live on almost nothing and the court will happily put you in to Chapter 13 where you’ll be living on Ramen noodles and skipping car repairs and dental care for FIVE YEARS wile you struggle to repay creditors.
Instead, you should learn what the court thinks are reasonable expenses and live your life fully within those guidelines while you save receipts and establish your pattern. Even if you end up in Chapter 13, you’ll know it well ahead of time because you’ve gotten yourself on a sustainable budget. The best part is that it’ll give yourself the best chance of surviving long-term.
If you can prove that there’s no money left at the end of the month to repay creditors, you’ll be Chapter 7 and you’ll start your new life debt-free and penniless.
Well, over the past couple of weeks I’ve been shedding my Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum coins. It was quite a ride. Maybe it will recover, but I can’t risk riding it all the way down. I read the forums on Reddit for Bitcoin, and there’s a whole bunch of “HODL,” “HODL,” “HODL.” For those unfamiliar with the term, it basically means “Hold on for dear life.” It may be an investment technique, and has worked well for long term stock investors, and may work here, but what if it doesn’t? It will be too late when I find out Bitcoin is back down to some really low amount. As far as percent profits, I do have the most in Ethereum. I bought it all at about $10 and watched it shoot up to over $1,000. That got me nervous. Anyway, I may jump back in, but not now. I’m not a market timer.
Are you an employee or contractor? If an employee, your deduction for unreimbused expenses is (i) contingent on your itemizing (vs. standard deduction) and (ii) only for the amount in excess of 2% of AGI. If you are a contractor, these limits /conditions do not apply, deduct on Schedule C.
@dangeruss In all the years I’ve been married I never knew FSA funds could crossover to the spouse. I thought that a spouse with their own insurance plan and their own FSA account was locked in to only using their own FSA funds. From what I can determine from various webpages that is not true. FSA funds can be used for spouses. Thank you for the tip.
A good place to start would be to look at local college for a job there. Many of them offer some limited class hours as a benefit of employment. Take probably varies per school and state. When I worked for a university it was 12 hours per semester that was covered. You still had some extra book/etc. expenses but getting the hours covered was huge in the cost of my education.
@richard Not what you asked but… a few years ago I received a letter from my State Tax Dept notifying me that a return had been filed in my name that they didn’t think was real. I confirmed that I hadn’t yet filed my taxes. State advised me to notify the IRS but before I had a chance to do that, the IRS notified me that a return had been filed in my name that they didn’t think was mine. Of course the false returns were looking for large refunds. This happened nationally, to thousands of folks.
So, I would just have in hand the documents they mentioned. They might want you to read a line entry from a previous return so they can confirm its really you.
When my SS# was mis-used I was in the process of re-financing. The lender wasn’t able to get a copy of my previous year’s return because of all this. So I had to call the IRS. I was on “hold” for literally an hour.
My advice for when you call them? Empty your bladder, pour yourself a cup of coffee, grab some snacks and get comfortable.
Depending on how spread out your dental payment will be, you could apply for a credit card or two to easily make ~$500-$1000 in promotional bonuses. For example, Chase Sapphire, BOA premium rewards card etc.
I recommend Alliant CU for those who do bank churning and use it as main hub for direct deposits. IME, it has also been very user friendly since I have their 3% Visa signature card which I use mainly for manufactured spending. They also gave me a huge credit line to work with. I’ll give 5 stars for this CU.
Your state plan (Bright Start) offers a good array of funds, at reasonable expense ratios. These include both passively managed funds (referred to as Index) and some actively managed funds – these include some Vanguard funds, such as an S&P index fund at 0.10% annual investment management fee.
Your 4.95% state tax deduction will likely more than offset your investment fees, if you simply spread the 4.95% over an average 10-year holding period since your child is now age 10. So that will basically provide 0.50% per year.
Note it appears that TODAY is the deadline for funding the account to get the 2017 state tax benefit based on the information shown in the Tax Center on that site.
When Yahoo trashed their portfolio, I set up a spreadsheet in my Google Drive to pull in current quote, day change, etc. Google offers various functions such as: =GOOGLEFINANCE(“AAPL”,“price”). List of all functions here: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/3093281?hl=en
I have found that it’s not always 100% reliable, e.g., the date function is a day off, some quotes are off a penny or two, etc.
IRS says many who prepaid property taxes may still face cap on deductions
Not surprised - those were kind of the rules before and IRS and is just clarifying the rules. Even before this hysteria started, you were always allowed to fudge on the payment for a bill received - e.g. pay billed 2018 property tax in 2017, pay spring semester tuition in Dec, early payment of Jan mortgage. All this existed before and was all kosher.
It is amazing to see how many people (including people with 500K income) have absolutely no clue about the tax system and they are leaping to do stupid things/following their neighbors and friends like lemmings and then asking questions. I had one person asking me if he should be prepaying the property taxes when he is squarely in the AMT region and he had already paid it. And then there are people who want to pay mortgage for the next 3 years.