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Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

I think the most interesting question here is why are we on a 5th page for this thread? Something must have clearly touched a nerve on a lot of people. A house is nothing more than a thing. It's an item that you've purchased. You can either pay cash for it or you can borrow to purchase it. Why is it...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 232
Views: 9723

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting Bonds??

Sure. Bonds were frequently TLHed back when increased rates were common. We've been in a bond bull market for so long that people have probably not thought much about it. If you're going to do this with a bond fund, you'll need to pay attention to wash sale rules, and you'll definitely need to pay a...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting Bonds??
Replies: 6
Views: 256

Re: International increase in Target Retirement & LifeStrate

Very interesting to see their reallignment. But if you're investing in these funds, you're relinquishing all control to Vanguard for asset allocation. You really wouldn't have any reasonable expectation for things never to change--if you want that kind of control, then you need to control your own a...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International increase in Target Retirement & LifeStrategy
Replies: 130
Views: 8975

Re: Anyone investing in Vanguard Global ex-U.S. Real Estate

I did use VNQI in the past but, in the general scheme of things, it didn't account for enough of my portfolio to really make any significant difference. You can figure out your asset allocation but a typical breakdown might be the following: 70% equities and 30% fixed income for a moderately aggress...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone investing in Vanguard Global ex-U.S. Real Estate ETF
Replies: 15
Views: 817

Re: Holding bond funds to average duration

Nobs, The reason you're having difficulty with this is because it IS difficult. Duration is not a guarantee. There is a misconception that "if you hold a fund for its duration," you'll reach "a point of indifference." While this is a guide, it's definitely not a guarantee. Durati...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Holding bond funds to average duration
Replies: 20
Views: 1453

Re: physicians [Frustrated, considering early retirement]

^ (above). Exactly. Your focus is right on target. You're employed by an institution, don't have to worry about administrative issues, are better at balancing personal and professional life, and you're young. If I were starting out, I'd do the same as you're doing.
by Artsdoctor
Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: physicians [Frustrated, considering early retirement]
Replies: 132
Views: 8815

Re: physicians [Frustrated, considering early retirement]

Yes, I'm sad to say that I'm winding down. I'm in private practice and have really loved it. But I can clearly see 60 in front of me, I've reached my saturation point with all of the increasingly cumbersome (and ludicrous) regulations; the cons now outweigh the pros. I've been on call every third we...
by Artsdoctor
Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: physicians [Frustrated, considering early retirement]
Replies: 132
Views: 8815

Re: Individual TIPS

Offshore: While some people don't mind the bookkeeping associated with TIPS in a taxable, most are happier holding TIPS (and REITs for that matter) in a tax-advantaged account. If you're new to TIPS, I would not recommend that you purchase them in your taxable account.
by Artsdoctor
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual TIPS
Replies: 13
Views: 711

Re: why do some people like Fidelity?

Fidelity's fixed income department offers more than Vanguard's. You can't buy initial offerings of munis at Vanguard, and at Fidelity you can. Fidelity's Donor Advised Fund is easier to use than Vanguard's. You can make much smaller contributions at Fidelity and the fees are similar. There may be mo...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: why do some people like Fidelity?
Replies: 67
Views: 6713

Re: Vanguard brokerage tax forms changed to late Feb. questi

Amended 1099s have been sent out before so even if you get your 1099 from your brokerage firm by late January, I would always wait until late February to use it. And even that doesn't guarantee you won't receive an amended tax form, but it decreases that risk. If you're going to use a brokerage acco...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard brokerage tax forms changed to late Feb. question
Replies: 90
Views: 6123

Re: Is this wash sale?

Fred, A wash sale is designed to prevent people from declaring a capital LOSS only to buy the same investment back within 30 days. When you declare a loss in your taxable account, the federal government will subsidize that loss in the form of decreasing your final tax bill. If you were to sell an in...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this wash sale?
Replies: 4
Views: 290

Re: Vanguard brokerage tax forms changed to late Feb. questi

Brokerage tax forms are always later than mutual fund tax forms. Vanguard is no different than many of the other brokerage firms. And even if you got your tax forms by the end of January, you'd be wise to hold out until the end of February at least because I've had amended 1099s in the past. In fact...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard brokerage tax forms changed to late Feb. question
Replies: 90
Views: 6123

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting

^ There is really no such thing as a "sure tax strategy." In case you haven't noticed, there is movement afoot to have heirs inherit the original basis of the asset at death! I don't think it'll come to pass, but I wouldn't assume anything as a sure thing . . . Tax-Loss Harvesting is extre...
by Artsdoctor
Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting
Replies: 13
Views: 790

Re: 401k or Taxable account in CA? + harvest gains

You're very smart to know the fees. Few people take the time to look at that. And yes, it's ridiculous that an index fund would have an ER of 1% but it's not that unusual for 401k's. You generally learn to say, "Never say never," but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you would NEV...
by Artsdoctor
Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k or Taxable account in CA? + harvest gains
Replies: 6
Views: 409

Re: why do some people like Fidelity?

The advantage of Fidelity's DAF is that minimum contributions are relatively low and subsequent requests for charitable contributions can be as low as $50.
by Artsdoctor
Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: why do some people like Fidelity?
Replies: 67
Views: 6713

Re: Best Sequence for Withdrawing Funds in Retirement

Check Christine Benz's most recent column at morningstar.com about this. It's one of her best columns and she covers a lot of ground that you'd find useful.
by Artsdoctor
Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Sequence for Withdrawing Funds in Retirement
Replies: 7
Views: 624

Re: 401k or Taxable account in CA? + harvest gains

The longer you stay at your job, the most expensive that 401k becomes. If you view this job as a stepping stone and only expect to be there a few years, you can hold your nose and contribute the maximum to your plan. The match will certainly help defray those costs although money is money. If you vi...
by Artsdoctor
Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k or Taxable account in CA? + harvest gains
Replies: 6
Views: 409

Re: why do some people like Fidelity?

Agree with Victoria above. Would also add that Fidelity offers new issue municipals at auction so you can avoid the secondary market altogether. Finally, the Fidelity Donor Advised Fund is more accessible than Vanguard's.
by Artsdoctor
Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: why do some people like Fidelity?
Replies: 67
Views: 6713

Re: Effect of Foreign Tax on Retirement Accounts

I agree with livesoft. It's nice to have the foreign tax credit on your 1040, but it's actually quite small from a percentage viewpoint. Livesoft's numbers are spot on. The other thing to remember is that most international funds have a reasonable percentage of non-qualified distributions. Add that ...
by Artsdoctor
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Effect of Foreign Tax on Retirement Accounts
Replies: 5
Views: 345

Re: 30 year tips auction: TBA 2/12 0.75% yield?

^ Very reasonable. But you're setting yourself up to "have" to sell something, potentially creating yet another taxable event. This is one of those situations that I can appreciate another person's viewpoint but it doesn't fit my needs to hold individual TIPS in my taxable account. One of ...
by Artsdoctor
Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30 year tips auction: TBA 2/12 0.75% yield?
Replies: 39
Views: 3304

Re: 30 year tips auction: TBA 2/12 0.75% yield?

^ For now. I've given up trying to predict the CPI for the foreseeable future. For me, I pick every transaction in my taxable account carefully because I don't want to be holding an investment in the future which creates a potentially significant tax liability. I personally don't want to be in a pos...
by Artsdoctor
Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30 year tips auction: TBA 2/12 0.75% yield?
Replies: 39
Views: 3304

Re: 30 year tips auction: TBA 2/12 0.75% yield?

I'll always have equities and nominals because I just don't have the space in my tax-advantaged accounts to build a gargantuan LMP, and this is something I view as a blessing and a curse. Check your math. Tax efficiency is the product of tax rate times the annual return. With 30 year TIPS returning...
by Artsdoctor
Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30 year tips auction: TBA 2/12 0.75% yield?
Replies: 39
Views: 3304

Re: 30 year tips auction: TBA 2/12 0.75% yield?

I've made my peace with low real returns. And I've also realized that trying to predict where rates are headed is futile. I thought TIPS were cheap in 2008 and expensive in 2011 when I started building my LMP. I was right about 2008 but wrong about 2011--I'd still be waiting if I held out for 2.4% r...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30 year tips auction: TBA 2/12 0.75% yield?
Replies: 39
Views: 3304

Re: A case for long term government bonds

Sure, if we could all know that we're approaching a prolonged deflationary environment, buying 30-year nominals would be the way to go. And we could indeed have some degree of deflation--the CPI-U certainly has been decreasing and not increasing. But can anyone really say how prolonged this will be?...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A case for long term government bonds
Replies: 40
Views: 3104

Re: Do you include an inflation estimate in your portfolio?

Totally agree with Nisi. Planning in nominal returns is distracting. Numbers can look huge but they're relatively meaningless. I also use estimated real returns because those numbers mean something to me and I can relate to them. Neither is perfect, but figuring calculations in terms of real returns...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you include an inflation estimate in your portfolio?
Replies: 17
Views: 1338

Re: Cap Gains & Divs killed me this year

PS: This is one of those "turning lemons into lemonade" opportunities. No one is born with the ability to manage money efficiently. It is learned. Everyone here has made mistakes and the best one can hope for is that mistakes are made early in life and are not too costly. There are many th...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cap Gains & Divs killed me this year
Replies: 61
Views: 5904

Re: Tax Exempt Investing

My taxable account is 100%. I have no non taxable accounts. If I invest all funds in tax exempt funds do I pay no federal tax accept for social security and pensions which I have or does IRS have something else to catch me on? The only other "stealth tax" I know of is that muni income is ...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Exempt Investing
Replies: 11
Views: 1138

Re: Annual costs for a $1M+ house

Of course the mortgage will vary a lot so you'd have to do the math at the time of purchase--and the terms you'd want. Generally speaking, you can think about maintenance cost being in the 2% range (2% of the value of the house). That would include real estate taxes, upkeep, utilities, and--to some...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual costs for a $1M+ house
Replies: 17
Views: 3124

Re: Annual costs for a $1M+ house

Of course the mortgage will vary a lot so you'd have to do the math at the time of purchase--and the terms you'd want. Generally speaking, you can think about maintenance cost being in the 2% range (2% of the value of the house). That would include real estate taxes, upkeep, utilities, and--to some ...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual costs for a $1M+ house
Replies: 17
Views: 3124

Re: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.

Shouldn't meal time be enjoyable? I also tried to justify going to pharmaceutical dinners years ago and then came to my senses; I stopped that over a decade ago and now equate food with pleasure. I've noticed that pharma reps arrive bringing food at my doctors' offices lately. Only if your doctors ...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.
Replies: 100
Views: 8174

Re: Higher tax bracket means different bond fund?

^ But it's pay as you go. I agree totally with you in the global sense. And if you ultimately want to get rid of your taxable bond fund, do it. But the question is how quickly do you want to do it: do you want to pay that 11% capital gain in one year or two?
by Artsdoctor
Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Higher tax bracket means different bond fund?
Replies: 9
Views: 1023

Re: Bill Gross warns about bonds. Are you worried?

...And interest rates will definitely go up eventually... They probably will, I think they will, I expect them to, so does everyone else... but they do not have to. I don't see any logical reason why they couldn't stay low... forever. More to the point, which people don't seem to get, if interest r...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gross warns about bonds. Are you worried?
Replies: 38
Views: 5127

Re: Is it time to give-up on TIPS?

You will always have to ask yourself what you're hoping to accomplish when you're buying TIPS (individually or in a fund). And most importantly, when are you going to sell that investment? While some people are devising a legacy portfolio, most people will ultimately want to sell investments to live...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it time to give-up on TIPS?
Replies: 75
Views: 9083

Re: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.

^ Lol! Yes, and that explains why Fidelity offers quite a few funds with reasonably high expense ratios! Several years ago, a charity I was thinking about supporting took us out to a VERY nice restaurant with a multi-course meal complete with wine-pairing. As you might imagine, the bill was signific...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.
Replies: 100
Views: 8174

Re: Higher tax bracket means different bond fund?

You can't make the assumption that capital gains would be small. Going forward, you're probably right. But we've just had a large bull market in bonds and if you've been investing in a bond fund in a taxable account over the past 15 years, you're sitting on an awful lot of capital gains. Hopefully, ...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Higher tax bracket means different bond fund?
Replies: 9
Views: 1023

Re: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.

Shouldn't meal time be enjoyable? I also tried to justify going to pharmaceutical dinners years ago and then came to my senses; I stopped that over a decade ago and now equate food with pleasure.
by Artsdoctor
Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.
Replies: 100
Views: 8174

Re: Is it time to give-up on TIPS?

Nobs, So TIPS are made up of an inflation component and an interest rate component. So you can't really say that "TIPS pretty much return exactly the level of inflation." The inflation rate is also limited to the CPI and not YOUR inflation rate, which can be different. TIPS, like any inves...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it time to give-up on TIPS?
Replies: 75
Views: 9083

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

You can never know where the best result will be until after the fact. An HSA is yet another tax diversification tool. The whole idea is to be able to pick and choose whichever account you want to draw on later in life once human capital (i.e., your salary) has long passed. You can absorb an awful l...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 203
Views: 10025

Re: Bill Gross warns about bonds. Are you worried?

Bill Gross has been warning about bonds for years. He has been so wrong, so opinionated and so full of himself that it has been a very sobering, gratifying experience watching him self-destruct over the past 12 months. Everybody has been "warning about bonds." And interest rates will defin...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gross warns about bonds. Are you worried?
Replies: 38
Views: 5127

Re: Is it time to give-up on TIPS?

TIPS threads are ALWAYS useful when #cruncher weighs in!
by Artsdoctor
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it time to give-up on TIPS?
Replies: 75
Views: 9083

Re: Call risk--worth it?

So doesn't it depend on what you're going to do with the bond when it matures? If you're going to roll it into another bond or spend it? If you're going to buy the bond with the intent of spending it on maturity, it's difficult to plan accordingly with callable bonds which are so disparate in call a...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Call risk--worth it?
Replies: 9
Views: 936

Re: 2.875% mortgage pay-off financially justifiable?

That interest rate is very attractive, and I suspect that you're itemizing which makes it even lower. You mentioned "investing in cash." Do you have the mortgage balance in cash? Or would you have to generate a capital gain to pay off the mortgage? How secure is your job? How much of an &q...
by Artsdoctor
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2.875% mortgage pay-off financially justifiable?
Replies: 35
Views: 3869

Re: When to take a HSA distribution for past medical costs

The Medicare premium is based on your MAGI. Although the base rate might be $1200 it can easily cost three times that amount if you're working. And that premium is based on your previous 1040, for what that's worth (so if you and your spouse are high-income earners at ages 63 and 64, you'll be payin...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to take a HSA distribution for past medical costs
Replies: 25
Views: 1879

Re: Where to hold $ for less than 1 year

It's hard to imagine making a lot of money on a one-year investment which you're going to keep safe. An online savings account is going to be your best option. The Ally rate of 0.9% isn't all that much lower than Barclays or Citi but you'll be able to find something that's FDIC-insured for 1% and ch...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to hold $ for less than 1 year
Replies: 4
Views: 725

Re: Get 17% in russian savings account?

So this "investment option" is about as far away from the Bogleheads as you're going to get, but why not walk through the logic one step at a time. Fixed income is generally an investment vehicle which is considered safe. "Bonds are for safety." I think that we can all agree that...
by Artsdoctor
Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Get 17% in russian savings account?
Replies: 49
Views: 4550

Re: When to take a HSA distribution for past medical costs

^ Sure, that's possible. But many of use are using an HSA as an investment account, not a savings account. If invested properly, you benefit from tax-free gains from pre-tax assets and ultimately from tax-free withdrawals. If you can afford it, don't touch it for many, many years and let it grow.
by Artsdoctor
Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to take a HSA distribution for past medical costs
Replies: 25
Views: 1879

Re: When to take a HSA distribution for past medical costs

So, if you were to die without emptying out your HSA, the HSA will pass to your spouse as long as your spouse is named as the beneficiary (you really want to check to make sure this has been done). Your spouse will then be able to use it as his/her HSA. If there is no spouse or if your spouse dies, ...
by Artsdoctor
Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to take a HSA distribution for past medical costs
Replies: 25
Views: 1879

Re: TIPs, what do they really add

Every year, from age 65 to age 85, I will have $X maturing with individual TIPS. This will not be the full portfolio payout, but it's awfully nice knowing that I'll have a certain amount without significant regard to inflation. I realize that one person's inflation rate is different than another's, ...
by Artsdoctor
Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPs, what do they really add
Replies: 33
Views: 2900

Re: Poll: Locating deceased person's assets

When my dad died, we found that he had made everything fully accessible and there were no surprises. It was a major gift and I'll always appreciate him for that--and I'm doing the same.
by Artsdoctor
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Locating deceased person's assets
Replies: 33
Views: 2316

Re: When to take a HSA distribution for past medical costs

A paycheck is a very powerful thing. I'm not touching my HSA until the paychecks stop or unless I'm diagnosed with an illness which will chew up an awful of medical expense. We will be "penalized" tremendously with Medicare premium "surcharges" once we become eligible for Medicar...
by Artsdoctor
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to take a HSA distribution for past medical costs
Replies: 25
Views: 1879
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