Archive for the ‘General’ Category.

Christmas Tree

We are very happy with the living, potted tree we are fostering from Forever Green Christmas Trees. This is the second year we took Fiona into our home and we’re happy we did it. Explaining to Abigail about the living nature of the tree has been a joy. The highlight is that over Memorial Day weekend we visited our Christmas tree near Mount Shasta at a camp-out weekend! The owners, Patrick and Laura are the best!

Their last delivery dates for this year are Dec 16 & 17. You can use a promo code for $10 off. “FACEBOOK1” for new Fostering Families to receive $10 off.

Our Christmas Tree

We are very happy with the living, potted tree we are fostering from Forever Green Christmas Trees. This is the second year we took Fiona into our home and we’re happy we did it. Explaining to Abigail about the living nature of the tree has been a joy. The highlight is that over Memorial Day weekend we visited our Christmas tree near Mount Shasta at a camp-out weekend! The owners, Patrick and Laura are the best!

Their last delivery dates for this year are Dec 16 & 17. You can use a promo code for $10 off. “FACEBOOK1” for new Fostering Families to receive $10 off.

Manual for our Washer Dryer

Here is the manual for our new GE Unitized Spacemaker Washer Dryer
Model: GUD24ESSJ0WW
GE Washer Dryer GUD24

Retail Sucks

We took the family to Michael’s Crafts looking for fun crafts for a little party we will be hosting for Abigail.
It took 45 minutes to travel each way. It’s usually 25 minutes but there was lots of traffic. Megan beat us there by 20 minutes, went to Panera Bread and had a terrible salad. Michael’s smelled like the inside of a chemical incense candle factory, several of their overhead flickering with nausia-inducing intensity, and the checkout line snaked to… I couldn’t see the end, it was like a 30 minute line. Apparently they were having a big sale. When Abigail arrived, Megan had already toured the store for our shopping list. All she found on our list was a headache. No, wait, that wasn’t on our list but that’s all she got :-(. I was much faster at shopping and got a headache in just the five minutes we were in the store for.

So we fled and went to Toys R Us. We found a couple things for xmas but totally not what we were looking for.

So we fled yet again and looked at some fish and birds at a nearby pet store to calm down.

The retail experience so completely sucks. Amazon, take my money.

Cloud Drive

I’m thinking of getting a cloud drive (NAS drive…) and want some advice. I want use a Macbook and PC to access my huge photo collection while at home and on the road. Can I set up a cloud drive to “just work” as a network drive both when I’m home and away? Like, can I view photos on the cloud drive through iTunes? Suggestions?

Thanks!

 

 

Borrowing from your Roth IRA to pay for college / pay for your kids college

If you need to take out loans for school, a good place to borrow from is your own Roth IRA! You can take out as much money as you’ve put in without any penalties!

For instance, if you put $5000 into your Roth IRA a few years back and now there is $7000 in the account, you can withdraw up to $5000 scott free if it’s for school. When you do it, make sure you note it on your taxes or the IRS will think you had 1) an early withdrawal and a penalty, 2)additional income for the year. It’s important to note that a regular IRA doesn’t have this magical tax advantage.

Turbotax caught this detail and my (rather expensive) tax preparer missed it, despite me reminding him about it. After amending our returns for the last two years, Megan and I now have >$5k in refund checks coming!

(In Turbotax, in the section “Traditional and Roth IRA Contributions” there is a section that starts out “Withdraw from Lee’s Roth IRA Before 2016?”. You say “yes” and go from there. Of course, this means you have to figure out exactly how much you’ve contributed vs how much is in the account, which is a complete PITA. But it’s taxes, of course it’s a PITA!)

Here’s an article that talks about taking money out of your Roth IRA for education.

In addition, if you are planning on saving for your kids college with a 529 plan, that article and a few others I saw say that it’s better to use a Roth IRA instead! The trouble is, if you put money into a 529 plan and your kid doesn’t go to college, you are S.O.L.! But that’s not an issue with a Roth IRA. We haven’t started saving for Abigail’s college in earnest yet but 2018 is the year!