Displaying 1 - 10 of 271 Forum Posts1 2 3 4 5 Next
  • May 21, 2019 12:11 PM
    Last: 5d
    68

    I do think it will effect voter turnout. But my guess is it will just increase voter participation and not necessarily change or effect the outcome, at least when it comes to the Presidential election. Same won't be true for the state to state congressional elections. I do think those will be greatly effected.

    But I think you outlined the logic as to why the Presidential race won't be tipped one way or the other, just from this single issue. Its because it feels to me those FOR and AGAINST these changes to abortion laws (and where the country is headed on the issue) are equal in representation across the country.

    So.. higher turnout in numbers. But in essence they will cancel each other vote. Just a guess though. Maybe I am buying into the narrative too much of just exactly how equally divided we are as a country. But when it comes to the electoral college divisions and how that translates into votes, I think its a pretty close 50/50 division, on this issue and a few others.

  • May 15, 2019 01:55 PM
    Last: 11d
    151
    JaredS Wrote:

    I'm someone who questions Buttigieg's staying power and the skeptic in me tends to think the media is hyping him up just a little bit because he has a unique life story. I'd say the same thing for Beto O'Rourke.

    I agree with you on Beto. Being from Texas, I have been largely disappointed with his tendency to talk in platitudes. I think maybe now more than ever you can't just talk like a prototypical, robotic politician and hope to make waves. Too many choices. He lacks authenticity and I think a lot of people see that for what it is.

    Perhaps you are right on Buttigieg. I need to pay more attention to him. I have seen a few speeches but not much. Any exposure to him you recommend?

  • May 15, 2019 01:55 PM
    Last: 11d
    151

    Polling numbers for the Democratic Presidential Primary race is the best indication we have to tell how well the candidates are doing, and who has the best chance to win. And with 20+ candidates already announced and possibly more to enter and drop out regularly until the main primary election, its worth looking at the numbers as they are now and where we think they will be headed over the course of the campaign season.

    Its also important to note where this information is coming from, as not all polls are created equal. For the sake of this forum and in an effort to keep things as unbiased as possible, I'll be showing numbers from RealClearPolitics and I'll just provide the link to FiveThirtyEight polling for an additional reference.

    Real Clear Politics shows aggregate data from all the major polls and also shows the average of all the collective polling data. 538 does aggregate poll data from slightly different sources, though they do not average them so its less helpful here.

    Current polling snapshot from Real Clear Politics:

    Joe Biden - 39.8%
    Bernie Sanders - 16.3%
    Elizabeth Warren - 8.3%
    Kamala Harris - 7.7%
    Pete Buttigieg - 6.8%
    Beto O'Rourke - 4.2%
    Cory Booker - 2.3%
    Amy Klobuchar - 1.3%
    Julian Castro - 1.0%
    Kirsten Gillibrand - 0.8%
    Tulsi Gabbard - 0.8%
    Andrew Yang - 0.8%
    Jay Inslee - 0.7%
    Tim Ryan - 0.5%
    John Delaney - 0.3%
    John Hickenlooper - 0.2%

    The other candidates not in the top 16 for polling are: Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock, Wayne Messam, Seth Moulton, Eric Swalwell and Marianne Williamson. Currently, that info courtesy of CNN.

    So now you get a clear picture of everyone running and where the current standings are in the polls. Clearly Biden has a commanding early polling lead. But keep in mind, we haven't even had our first debate yet. So expect these numbers to change quite a bit over the coming months.

    Begs the question, where do you think this race is headed? How much do you think this current snapshot will change once campaign season really begins? Can Biden hold and grow his dominant support or will someone seriously challenge him for the Democratic ticket?

    I have two predictions, one based off of what I expect to happen, taking out emotions. And the other on what I want to happen, understanding what is reasonable:

    1) Obvious - early polling doesn't change much at all and the party picks Biden. And he chooses the most popular female candidate as his VP pick.

    2) Biden gaffes too many times and slips down in the polls and you see a 3-4 race at the finish line between Biden, Bernie, Buttigieg and Gabbard. Of the 2 more unknowns I just have a feeling they have the most staying power and will shine the best under the debate stage lights.

    What are your predictions of how the polls will change leading up to the Democratic Presidential Primaries?

  • May 14, 2019 11:48 AM
    Last: 11d
    143

    Biden and Sanders are the clear front-runners to me. So hard for others to differentiate themselves in this crowded field. I think a big part will be how Trump interacts with these candidates throughout and down the stretch. And how they respond to what will 100% be him dogging them. That will catapult some of others if they do well. And Trump will undoubtedly end of the others campaigns, sad to say. As they will appear weak and a bad candidate to run against him in the general.

    I would say Biden and Sanders are the only locks. But I'm rooting for others.

  • May 07, 2019 05:08 PM
    Last: 13d
    354

    If you're getting close to retiring and looking for the most affordable places in the US to retire to (or already retired but feel like the place your living could be cheaper) this could help.

    Some of the most important factors for determining the cheapest states for senior retirement are tax rates for retirees, the cost of living (specifically for seniors) and of course health care costs. Granted you can't always just look at these 3 factors alone, but just by that metric the 3 cheapest states as of a recent Kiplinger study are:

    Alabama, Arizona and Arkansas.

    1) Alabama ranks at the top because most pensions and Social Security benefits are tax-exempt from state income tax. Also homeowners 65 or older don't have to pay state property taxes, with the added benefit of also getting numerous bonuses on country and local property taxes. The one catch the note is sales taxes are higher than average (a comined 9.15%), and food costs are not exempt from sales tax like in most states.

    2) Arkansas has a very low cost of living, coming in at 7.5% below the national average. And even better, the average cost of buying a home in Arkansas is far below the national average. So you can set yourself up with a home and perhaps some land and live well within a fixed budget far easier vs most any other state in the US. Whats more is Social Security benefits are not taxes in AR but again the sales taxes are higher, so thats the one trade-off.

    3) Arizona makes the list because the cost of living for seniors is about 4% lower than the national average. So when you are living on a budget that is a top consideration. They also mention great weather with lots of sunshine and mild winters, granted it is a hot state so its a personal preference there.

    Those are the top 3 states, but other states coming in just behind them are:

    Colorado, Florida, Georgia and Ohio. All those states are great choices if you factor in cost of living, taxes, home ownership costs and health care expenses vs any other state.

    Then it comes down to the more personal considerations like climate, how close you are to your friends and family and how important that is to you and what amenities, hobbies, activities and things you want to be surrounded by. All those things will factor in and may have you crossing some of these places off your list. And I'm sure other considerations like country vs city living, the culture of the state, etc.

    Lastly, the cheapest cities in the US for the seniors to retire:

    1. Birmingham, Alabama
    2. Detriot, Michigan
    3. Jackson, Mississippi
    4. Memphis, Tennessee
    5. Toledo, Ohio
    6. Brownsville, Texas
    7. Augusta, Georgia
    8. Cleveland, Ohio
    9. Akron, Ohio
    10. Montgomery, Alabama

    Curious to me that 3 of the top 10 are in Ohio. So I would say that would make Ohio a top consideration.

    As this post is meant to help and inform seniors looking for the cheapest places to retire, think this study left any places of the list you would suggest? If so please post here and explain why they are great places for the cost to retire to.

  • May 07, 2019 04:23 PM
    Last: 13d
    285

    Interesting. I also heard they will be dividing up the candidates into different debates, so you won't see 20+ candidates on the same stage. Instead you'll get 2 or 3 stages of candidates. Wonder if they will be the exact same debates with the same questions? Will they happen on the same day? Also will they try and balance out the big names, like will Bernie and Biden be on the same stage or will they split them up to even out the draw?

    Seems like things will be pretty complicated until the field is narrowed down. Appreciate any insight you and anyone else here can provide on how exactly they plan to execute all this.

  • Mar 05, 2019 08:24 AM
    Last: 1mo
    2k
    bryce28 Wrote:

    8. Paying someone to do your taxes.

    Don't pay a tax accountant to file your taxes if you are like a majority of Americans and only have a w-2 to file. That's simple enough and can be done for free from TurboTax, H&R Block or any number of filing services. If you need to file a more complicated return, I would still advise trying to file electronically yourself. The fees are much cheaper than going to a brick-and-mortar store and you can pay a little extra and get audit protection. (That's what I did this year.)

    Unfortunately this one is pretty important for self-employed people or independent contractors. Gets real complicated when you start trying to write stuff off yourself. So it pays to have someone do it for you, at least once so you see it done to full compliance with the tax code. And then you can do it yourself thereafter, but again ideally with tax software and audit protection.
  • Mar 12, 2019 05:52 PM
    Last: 1mo
    987

    The only times I would ever consider paying a tax debt with a credit card is if I could pay it off under a promotional 0% interest fee. (or if the interest fee was lower than the govt's, which almost nobody's cards are). So if it's not in that 12-18 month promotional 0% intro period don't do it. Just makes more sense to accrue less interest with the govt. Last I checked its like 5-7% vs 17%+ with credit cards.

    The only other time it would be a consideration is like you said in the original post, if you have the cash and can pay that card off in the same month BEFORE any interest accrues on the card. That way you can earn 1-2% cash back if you have some kind of rewards card.

    But even then, just consider this: I believe it's more expensive to pay your tax debt with a credit card vs a bank account. Meaning there is a credit card service fee. Whatever that fee is, say its $10-30, you have to weigh that added expense vs what you will get in credit card rewards. 1-2% cash back is pretty small. So your tax debt would have to be several thousands of dollars for it to even make sense.

    So really I wouldn't ever do it unless I did not have the money but I had a credit card with 0% interest with many months to pay the debt without interest and I knew I could pay it off in full before that card's intro rate disappeared.

  • Feb 24, 2019 03:01 PM
    Last: 3mo
    764
    JFoster Wrote: They definitely did this on purpose, perhaps to cover some sort of oversight in 2018. I would say that it's truly a possibility. Either way, it goes to show how much the government can really be a money pit for tax payers, especially for those who are put between a rock and a hard place such as this. No telling how many people this caught off-guard. Having no anticipation for such a thing could really make or break you during tax season.
    I mean, I get the penalty. They enforced it as a stop gap to pay for the ACA for those that didn't want to enroll like myself. If you could simply opt-out with no penalty, it wouldn't work. Which makes me real curious to see how the ACA fairs going forward with Trump pulling the provision.
  • Feb 26, 2019 05:14 PM
    Last: 3mo
    3.1k
    JFoster Wrote:

    So what can you do? Check your health care drug plan options each and every year. Switch plans whenever it makes sense. Remember, Medicare open enrollment is from October 15th to December 7th of every year. Staying on top of this may save you a lot of money in the future.

    Higher Premiums Don't Bring Better Specialty Drug Coverage.

    This article leads me to assume that if your Medicare D coverage for specialty drugs starts to go up, or even if it doesn't, seriously consider changing over to a Medicare Advantage plan. They are more restrictive in some ways, but way cheaper monthly on average. All depends on the certain drugs you need covered, and where you live.