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Re: Starting out

Also, I looked into the Target retirement funds and they do basically invest in all the vanguard index funds I was looking at. However, if I invested in the index funds separately my expense ratio would be a lot lower than if I invest in a Target fund. Of course they will do the rebalancing for me,...
by BL
Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting out
Replies: 26
Views: 2938

Re: Charitable Contribution from IRA

We may also do as last year and wait to have checks made out at the end of December for some of the charities we planned to give to in the next year, since we don't know if QCD will be available next year. This also lowers the RMD for next year. So let's say I give $100 per month to some charity. C...
by BL
Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable Contribution from IRA
Replies: 31
Views: 949

Re: Charitable Contribution from IRA

AFAIK, the one year tax extension bill passed the House and Senate and is now waiting on the President's signature. That would extend QCD for 2014 only.... And it's not retroactive so any contributions you made before the passage don't count. That's absolutely false. The extender applies to QCDs ma...
by BL
Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable Contribution from IRA
Replies: 31
Views: 949

Re: First I Bond Purchase

Yes, do it ASAP in case you have problems.
by BL
Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: First I Bond Purchase
Replies: 13
Views: 1528

Re: Invest in Taxable vs vanguard tax-deferred annuity?

Taxable.

In the inherited 401k, do you have any Spartan funds or Retirement Freedom Index funds available?
by BL
Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest in Taxable vs vanguard tax-deferred annuity?
Replies: 6
Views: 615

Re: Help me understand taxes with non-retirement accounts

If their taxable income including 1/2 of SS is more than $32k, some of SS may be taxable.

You must file taxes if 2014 income (including CG) exceeds:
65 or older (both spouses) $22,700


You could earn over 90k before you have to pay more than 0% CG tax.
by BL
Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me understand taxes with non-retirement accounts
Replies: 25
Views: 1825

Re: Looking to move inheritance from high-fee advisor

Give Vanguard a call and see what they advise.

Keep enough out for emergency funds and to fund 401ks and Roth IRAs every year.
by BL
Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking to move inheritance from high-fee advisor
Replies: 18
Views: 1471

Re: Investing advice for retired MIL

With her low income, she probably doesn't owe any tax. I wouldn't worry about bonds (TR Income) in a taxable account. Will you claim her as a dependent? A CD ladder also sounds good. She earns too much to be able to claim as a dependent. Your parent must not have a gross income of $3,950 (in 2014) ...
by BL
Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing advice for retired MIL
Replies: 11
Views: 753

Re: Investing advice for retired MIL

With her low income, she probably doesn't owe any tax. I wouldn't worry about bonds (TR Income) in a taxable account.

Will you claim her as a dependent?

A CD ladder also sounds good.
by BL
Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing advice for retired MIL
Replies: 11
Views: 753

Re: What do you do when you don't know the cost basis?

If you can't find anything, IRS expects the basis to be zero (or 50% in widow's case if she was a joint owner). If it is not sold until her death, it should be the value at that date. If she is in the 15% tax bracket, there may be some room for 0% tax on some of it. If you have all the tax returns o...
by BL
Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do when you don't know the cost basis?
Replies: 5
Views: 662

Re: HCOL/work longer vs. LCOL/early retirement?

If you could be happy there, it sounds like you need to research career opportunities there.

It doesn't sound like you have time to enjoy all the great things available where you live. It sounds like your child will not see much of you. If you really love your life now, then your decision is made.
by BL
Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HCOL/work longer vs. LCOL/early retirement?
Replies: 6
Views: 568

Re: How do we sell stock in retirement?

Capital gains are counted in your AGI and taxable income. The worksheet figures out what tax you actually pay on CG.
by BL
Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do we sell stock in retirement?
Replies: 5
Views: 720

Re: Charitable Contribution from IRA

AFAIK, the one year tax extension bill passed the House and Senate and is now waiting on the President's signature. That would extend QCD for 2014 only. Direct broker to make check out to a qualified charity and they (Vanguard) will send it to you to deliver (some brokers send it directly). It will ...
by BL
Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable Contribution from IRA
Replies: 31
Views: 949

Re: How do we sell stock in retirement?

Basis will be subtracted from your sale price. Basis includes price at date of death, and reinvestment price. I think Gill may have the right idea in selling it off partly this year and partly next year and be done with it. Turn off re-investing because anything held less than one year is taxed at y...
by BL
Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do we sell stock in retirement?
Replies: 5
Views: 720

Re: First time TLH harvester - help please

You are selling everything in that fund, right? Turn off the auto-invest of dividends and any other purchases of that fund (or it's ETF) today! Then you should be OK, AFAIK.
by BL
Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First time TLH harvester - help please
Replies: 13
Views: 495

Re: Would you invest $2500 or ?

I would definitely not send him money. Maybe an indirect contribution such as rent or other things less likely to be converted to cash, rather than buying him tools that could easily be sold. It is good that you have some contact with his family as they probably know more about the situation. It is ...
by BL
Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you invest $2500 or ?
Replies: 21
Views: 1624

Re: Whole Life: Let dividends cover or offset premium?

Take a look around the Wiki here and read a recommended book such as Boglehead's Guide to Investing.
Investing in low-ER funds such as index funds and not paying for management and loads to buy funds can save a lot of money over the years.
by BL
Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole Life: Let dividends cover or offset premium?
Replies: 9
Views: 518

Re: Early 30's active duty - new to investing seeking help

5. On your Vanguard Balances and Holdings page, look at the links above your (non-IRA) account: Buy and sell Order status Transaction history Cost basis More Click on cost basis. I have it set to Specific ID rather than Average Cost, so I can get the per purchase detail line to see each cost. (If yo...
by BL
Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early 30's active duty - new to investing seeking help
Replies: 7
Views: 847

Re: Whole Life: Let dividends cover or offset premium?

Keeping old whole life policies is often the best idea. I have read that buying paid-up insurance with the dividends is a good idea. If you need or want the $1500, that would work, too, but it wouldn't be increasing as much. It depends on where you are in life and what the purpose of the policy is. ...
by BL
Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole Life: Let dividends cover or offset premium?
Replies: 9
Views: 518

Re: Is my calculation of cost correct?

Is it worth spending your time to save a little? Only you can answer this, but you already have low ERs. If you were paying over 1% then I would definitely do this.
by BL
Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is my calculation of cost correct?
Replies: 7
Views: 509

Re: Should I surrender my annuity and whole life policy?

Six years later it is now worth $16,500. Is the above the surrender value or just what they say the value is? I suggest you get an "in force illustration" from the company and then look at the guaranteed numbers. There is a lot of confusion (on purpose) otherwise. The company is required ...
by BL
Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I surrender my annuity and whole life policy?
Replies: 17
Views: 1236

Re: Help with IRA to Roth IRA Conversion

Welcome to the forum, Andres! Your post is well written. You might consider only converting enough this year to stay in the 15% marginal tax bracket. Using your figures this would be about $47,000. If you have another low income year, you can convert the balance then. Amount Total Extra Marginal Co...
by BL
Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with IRA to Roth IRA Conversion
Replies: 12
Views: 916

Re: FSA: how much do I fund?

From this link: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p969/ar02.html#en_US_2013_publink1000204174 You do not pay federal income tax or employment taxes on the salary you contribute or the amounts your employer contributes to the FSA. Babies often need more health care. How good is your insurance? What tax...
by BL
Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA: how much do I fund?
Replies: 16
Views: 556

Re: Early 30's new to investing seeking help

1- Would I be better off to pay down one of the debts or invest that extra money? I have read the wiki page on it, but it seems we have low interest debts so the decision is not totally clear to me. If I am way off the mark on something please let me know. I would do some of each. Start paying extr...
by BL
Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early 30's active duty - new to investing seeking help
Replies: 7
Views: 847

Re: How FINRA saved my Grandma's bacon

Thank goodness you (and Mom) were there for Grandma!
by BL
Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How FINRA saved my Grandma's bacon
Replies: 21
Views: 2007

Re: Managing a windfall & fixing my high-fee portfolio

Why not give Vanguard a call and find out what they can do for you? With that amount they should be very happy to spend some time with you, probably without extra cost. You could bounce it off here, just to get different opinions. I wouldn't limit to dividends, just look at total gains. Even so, wit...
by BL
Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Managing a windfall & fixing my high-fee portfolio
Replies: 18
Views: 2414

Re: 34 year old new to investing - help please

YTD from my Watch List as of 12/12/14: Total Stock Mkt Idx Adm VTSAX 9.15% Tot Intl Stock Ix Admiral VTIAX –5.47% Emerging Mkts Stk Idx Adm VEMAX –2.00% International has not done well YTD. Purchasing during the year would have different results. I would determine my AA and not worry about it as the...
by BL
Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 34 year old new to investing - help please
Replies: 69
Views: 8911

Re: Social Security maximum earnings limit question.

I downloaded the AnyPIA calculator from SSA a couple of years ago. I entered my data, I believe I had something like 37 years with at least some credit at the time but most years the income exceeded the appropriate annual maximum FICA taxable limit. Several of the early years were part-time work wh...
by BL
Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security maximum earnings limit question.
Replies: 11
Views: 722

Re: Convert T-IRA to Roth - in Tax steps ?

I would suggest that you print out the 8606 for this year (or next year) and follow instructions to fill it out completely with the above plan. I think you will get a better idea of what you are doing and the resulting tax. This is not to send in, just to understand.
by BL
Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Convert T-IRA to Roth - in Tax steps ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1021

Re: Roth IRA is not completely free of tax considerations?

Note that no one is encouraging you to buy individual stocks.

I expect there was a misunderstanding somehow.
by BL
Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA is not completely free of tax considerations?
Replies: 19
Views: 2466

Re: Helping Wife After I'm Gone

Vanguard may not have the answer to all her questions but they won't lead her to expensive funds that are not in her best interests. Could you suggest she try Bogleheads as an alternate choice to bounce ideas onto. It is not likely that anyone here would gain from any suggestions someone might make....
by BL
Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Wife After I'm Gone
Replies: 14
Views: 2710

Re: Master degree in Math

Have you checked the exact requirements at the community college? You might not need the math Masters degree, depending on their rules. I would encourage you to start with the calculus at the CC anyway and then decide. A Master's in Education with a major in Math might be more doable. Have you consi...
by BL
Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Master degree in Math
Replies: 43
Views: 3581

Re: Should I convert to Roth or take capital gains?

I can take additional income this year without paying any taxes. I could either (A) convert a regular IRA to Roth, or (B) I could sell and rebuy more mutual funds to raise the basis. Either way, I'd owe no tax this year. Any thoughts on circumstances which would make either (A) or (B) better? A bit...
by BL
Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I convert to Roth or take capital gains?
Replies: 7
Views: 957

Re: Totally Stressed. Husband lost job.

It sounds to me like you are going through stages of grief which can affect your (and your family's) health and state of mind. Anger is a normal part of this, but it is also destructive to you and your family. I don't have any magic solutions, but perhaps you can find some ways to cope with this: so...
by BL
Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Totally Stressed. Husband lost job.
Replies: 28
Views: 6349

Re: Starting out

You could even do them all in a target retirement fund, especially since it is available so cheap in future 401k. Then re-look when you have filled all retirement accounts and are ready to start taxable retirement investing.
by BL
Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting out
Replies: 26
Views: 2938

Re: Advice Long term disability insurance and mental health

While I understand the importance of disability insurance, I can also say that I don't know anyone with income under $100,000 (except maybe residents, etc, who will have a high income in the future) who has bought DI unless it was available at work. I understand good DI is very expensive on the open...
by BL
Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Long term disability insurance and mental health
Replies: 8
Views: 812

Re: Spliting 18,000 Between My Company 401K and Rollver IRA

Do you have even one low-ER index fund in your 401k? This is probably where you can get the tax deferred benefit.
by BL
Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spliting 18,000 Between My Company 401K and Rollover IRA
Replies: 2
Views: 254

Re: Pension Help

According to the above numbers, it looks like the pension is either a better deal, or at least an equivalent deal, than taking the lump sum. I would rather have a guaranteed annuity and consider it guaranteed fixed income so that I could afford to invest slightly more aggressively with the rest of ...
by BL
Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Help
Replies: 22
Views: 1285

Re: Master degree in Math

It appears like you may have more of a math background than you first indicated. If it sounds right, go for it!
by BL
Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Master degree in Math
Replies: 43
Views: 3581

Re: Master degree in Math

It seems a bit odd to me to go for a math BS without having the calculus background to know if you might like it or succeed in it. Just being smart doesn't cut it. Are you in a college setting now where a math position might become available? Perhaps a MS in Education would not be quite as challengi...
by BL
Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Master degree in Math
Replies: 43
Views: 3581

Re: Little Help with Tax Loss Harvesting

I already realize that I used 'Tax Harvesting' in the incorrect way. So the harvesting was when I sold TFI with the loss. Most people say that I shouldn't sell appreciated assets just to offset the loss. But in your example - may be reseting the basis to a lower point would make sense for me? Since...
by BL
Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Little Help with Tax Loss Harvesting
Replies: 6
Views: 468

Re: Little Help with Tax Loss Harvesting

What tax bracket are you in? If in the 15% bracket, there is 0% tax on capital gains so don't waste it by selling for no good reason. You can take the loss off your regular income, which usually is higher than LTCG, so again don't sell gainers for no good reason.
by BL
Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Little Help with Tax Loss Harvesting
Replies: 6
Views: 468

Re: Employee Stock Purchase Plans - What are your thoughts?

I would max the entire 401k plus a Roth IRA first.
by BL
Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employee Stock Purchase Plans - What are your thoughts?
Replies: 23
Views: 1557

Re: Pension Help

According to the above numbers, it looks like the pension is either a better deal, or at least an equivalent deal, than taking the lump sum. I would rather have a guaranteed annuity and consider it guaranteed fixed income so that I could afford to invest slightly more aggressively with the rest of m...
by BL
Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Help
Replies: 22
Views: 1285

Re: Newbie portfolio and ? re. house sale proceeds

I suggest you each contribute $5500 to Roth IRA. The I stands for individual so they are totally independent. You would each probably have the option to fund and deduct a traditional IRA instead. If you are expecting a huge increase in income that might not make sense.
by BL
Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie portfolio and ? re. house sale proceeds
Replies: 5
Views: 760

Re: How to invest with little capital?

You could also consider a Target Retirement fund or Life Strategy Aggressive, both of which have the above-mentioned fund in this all-in-one fund. Set it and forget it. If you have taxable wages, you can put that amount up to $5500/yr into a ROTH IRA, which will grow tax-free. Use your time for stud...
by BL
Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest with little capital?
Replies: 16
Views: 2276

Re: Cash Back Credit Cards

Military can get PenFed Defender Card (free) which pays you 1.5% each month automatically. Amazon Chase Visa? gives you points at Amazon automatically (there are other options.) I used a Chase Freedom for 5% Amazon purchases just to keep it current, but I am not sure I will ever see those points if ...
by BL
Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash Back Credit Cards
Replies: 28
Views: 2706

Re: Retiring soon.

I would also consider some I-Bonds (10k/person/year) since they follow inflation. It is not paying much currently. Will the higher-SS earner delay up to age 70? That would guarantee the highest income adjusted for inflation for the survivor. Using some of your cash to live on while delaying SS could...
by BL
Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring soon.
Replies: 10
Views: 2164

Re: should my wife contribute to her 403b one more year?

Are you planning to at least delay SS for the higher earning person? That would guarantee the higher COLA-adjusted SS for the survivor. Yes, take the tax-advantaged contributions. Do you have any IRAs? A person with no IRAs can do a non-deductible tIRA contribution and then convert to Roth (Backdoor...
by BL
Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: should my wife contribute to her 403b one more year?
Replies: 10
Views: 775

Re: Want to do backdoor Roth but 8606 house not in order

Here is the IRS rollover rule:
http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/IRA-One-Rollover-Per-Year-Rule

Trustee-to-trustee transfers between IRAs are not limited
Rollovers from traditional to Roth IRAs ("conversions") are not limited
by BL
Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to do backdoor Roth but 8606 house not in order
Replies: 39
Views: 2375
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