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Investment accounts don’t necessarily need to be joint accounts like bank accounts do if only one person is the one doing the investing. Unless your wife needs to access the account to do trades, deposits, or withdrawals, you’re probably fine just making her the beneficiary. There is nothing wrong with making it a joint account if you’d rather go that route, though. If you make the account joint, go into a coma, and she needs to get money out, it will be easier for her since it’s joint. Otherwise she’d have to get power of attorney over you and go through that whole process to get access.


Or you could link the account now to your joint checking for deposits and withdrawals and give her the online login info. Then she can go sell everything and move out the cash herself with no problems and no phone calls. Just another option.


We didn’t qualify for the principal reduction and are considering refinancing to consolidate debt and get rid of PMI (FHA loan). What’s the best calculator to crunch numbers? What in general happens when you refi and use some of the money to pay off debt? If we refi, should we do it through a bank, the many lenders on zillow, or our mortgage broker? When we bought our home, she found what I thought was the best loan for us at the time. She just contacted us letting us know that our LTV was good and we could refi. What’'s the best LTV calculator and how does that all all fit into a refi. I believe we are at about 73% ( I used Chase’s calculator and if I refi through them, I get a little cash back as incentive). Any help is appreciated.

If you refinance to consolidate debt, it’s usually a cash-out refinance (because your new loan is greater than your original loan, with the difference going towards paying other debts). Cash out refinance is slightly more expensive than no cash out or limited cash out refinance (limited means you pocket <= $2K).

LTV means Loan (mortgage principal balance) to (divided by) Value (appraised value). You don’t need a special calculator for this.

PMI is usually required when LTV > 80%.

You should go through whomever is offering you the best terms (lowest interest rate and closing costs). Not much harm in getting multiple estimates – multiple loan-related hard inquiries within a short time period are usually combined for credit scoring purposes. There’s a pretty good chance you’ll do better with the top Zillow lenders than anywhere else, including Chase. Chase might offer you a $1000 incentive (or maybe even 100K UR for CPC ?), but their costs can be > $2000 higher to make up for that.


I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know my old fatwallet finance user ID (my logon was my email account).

Are the old threads archived somewhere? If I could find them I could grabe one I know I contributed too and go find my entries…and thus my actual old username.

@Steve Try this:

And let me know if you’re stuck. Would like you to get your old User ID back.

DW has Fidelity 401k. Everything is in the 2050 target date fund FNSBX, but the expense ratio is quite high (0.64%). Should we reallocate to a 3 fund portfolio of total stock market index, international index, bond index that have lower expense ratios? When do these expenses actually get charged, is it a daily/monthly/annual fee?

Also I did a backdoor Roth IRA for her. I transferred $5500 from traditional IRA to Roth IRA, but a few weeks later the traditional IRA has 6 cents in it for some reason. Do I just leave it there?

Expenses on funds get accrued / charged daily. No way to avoid back ones, but no time like the present to switch to lower ones.

If you prefer different funds, just sell and switch as long as the commissions justify it (which they should for a buy and hold position that isn’t too small vs the fixed commissions). No tax concerns since it’s in your 401k

The $0.06 you can leave if you’ll use that account again next year, convert to Roth also (hardly worth the trouble), or take out as a distribution (don’t blow it all in one place; taxes will round down to $0). I’d just leave it; if you’re lucky there’s a chance they’ll sweep the interest over to the Roth automatically and they just couldn’t til it posted for some reason.


I have some ESPP shares that I can sell now as a disqualifying disposition on Computershare. I want to set a limit order of 74.00/share but I’m confused how they calculate the estimated long term gain (loss of 627.41) and ordinary income of 964.25.

FMV 78.91
Cost Basis per Share (after 10% discount) 71.02
Available Balance 122.20
Total 8678.33

Limit Order Price 74.00

Estimated Total Market Value 9042.47
Trading Fees 27.22
SEC Fee 0.21
Total Fees 27.43
Estimated Net Proceeds 9015.04

Reportable Proceeds 9015.04
Cost Basis 9642.45
Est Long Term Gain/(Loss) -627.41
Ordinary Income 964.25

How do they get the Est Long Term Loss and Ordinary Income? The cost basis appears to be 78.91/share x 122.2 shares = 9642.45, but I paid 71.02/share so shouldn’t it be 8678.33? I paid 8678.33 and want to sell for 9042.47, how is that a loss? Wouldn’t it be 9042.47 - 8678.33 = 336.71 gain of ordinary income? I realize that 964.25 - 627.41 = 336.71, is that the same thing?

I messed up my 401k contributions. Instead of contributing $18000, my contributions are around $13500. I have 25% company match. I guess, I messed up my calculation. I also joined later in the year. Is it possible to add extra contribution to reach my 401k max limit for 2017.

According to a google search I just performed, employer-sponsored 401(k)'s must have contributions withheld from your wages, and any late contributions (assuming it is possible) must be done through payroll and may not be tax deductible (ref1, ref2). I couldn’t find a direct reference on irs.gov that spells this out in detail.

I wouldn’t bother fixing it for 2017 if I were you. Learn from this and do the calculation correctly for 2018.

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If you have already opened a Traditional IRA, and if your income falls below the phase out you could put some money into that right now and mark it for 2017. Limits are low so might not work, an not quite the same if your 401k has really good options but still worth considering.

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I’m just guessing here as I’m no expert and always have a hard time nailing these down – I think it’s because the ESPP discount is considered ordinary income if you sell within 1 year: ($78.91 - $71.02) * 122.20 = $964.16.

Your gain(loss) = ($74 - $78.91) * 122.2 - $27.43(fees) = -$627.43. Approximately :smile:.

It’s not exactly the same thing as a $336.73 gain, because ordinary income and investment gains and losses are reported in different fields and used in different calculations. For example, losses are limited to $3K/yr, so if you had other gains or losses, you’d count $627.43 against it, but not $964.16. If you don’t have any other gains/losses, you’d probably end up paying the same exact income tax as if you simply had a $336.73 short term gain. This is assuming that the ordinary income is subject only to income taxes and not, say, FICA taxes as wages (I don’t know).


Seems a bit high…


Hello, my name is new but I was a member of the old site.

Multiple BT Offers on a card : I got a 0% for 18 months last year on a cc which expires 6/18, this weekend I got a new one in the mail for till 6/19. No checks, it must go directly to an cc/loan/etc/Payee. I haven’t done a BT since 2010 and I know things have changed since then so I want to confirm:

  1. If I use BT 2 offer today, can I directly payoff the 1st offer before 6/30 OR will all my pmts going forward be split btw the 2 offers?
  2. Prior to 2008/9, we could send a large payment amount to another card like Citi/Chase and get a refund but I think banks discontinued/changed the rules on this…am I remembering correctly? If not, is there an amount that will fly under the radar?

Sorry that my answer doesn’t really answer your questions, I’m posting because I think it’s better to hear something than nothing at all. Hopefully someone else has better answers.

  1. Your card agreement or T&C should describe in detail how payments are applied. There were changes (I think in the CARD Act) about applying payments towards highest interest first, but I don’t recall how it works with promotional rates that have expirations.

  2. I remember reading that overpayments and refund requests are both red flags and could even trigger account closure. I don’t have any more info than this or know where to find it… maybe flyertalk?

Thanks scripta.

  1. I called them and they said I can call and payoff the 1st offer specifically. I wanted to check first with the board since I trust FWF…oops FD is probably more well versed on BT matters.
  2. I’ll check flyertalk., hopefully someone here has some insight.
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Thanks scripta.

  1. I called them and they said I can call and payoff the 1st offer specifically. I wanted to check first with the board since I trust FWF…oops FD is probably more well versed on BT matters.
  2. I’ll check flyertalk., hopefully someone here has some insight.

We really need a “real estate investment thread”, but for now I’ll ask here.

Rental needs a new water heater. Should I go tank or tankless? SoCal so no issues with freezing. There’s no filter and the water is a little hard, not sure if that’s an issue for either.

I would think that for a rental, a tank is more economical. When I looked a few years back, the tankless were significantly more expensive, and required a fair amount of electrical work to install it. If your rentals are upscale, the tankless may be a selling point, but it’s probably pretty far down the list of desired features.

As for the tanks, as long as you check the anode every 4 or 5 years, they can have decent lifespans.

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Unless you have some compelling reason, like a big rebate or you pay the utility bills and can save with one over the other, I’d replace it with whatever was there before. Less installation cost as it should just be a simple swap out.

Also, an electric tankless water heater requires a significant electrical upgrade that can cost as much or more than the heater itself.

I do miss the RE investment tread!

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