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Re: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?

I was lurking and just wanted to post to reply to some comments I seen on this board. I had joined this forum because I love personal finance topics. After posting a few questions, and hanging around a couple topics I did feel this forum was very hostile to people on lower incomes and newbies. I ma...
by BL
Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?
Replies: 142
Views: 7921

Re: Tax Stupid Investment

Do you have any bonds in taxable that are not tax-exempt? Do you have your IRA filled with bonds? I would fill the IRA with bonds or as many bonds as are planned in the AA. If they all fit there, then I have no need for bonds in taxable and would sell them, assuming there are no huge capital gains ...
by BL
Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Stupid Investment
Replies: 13
Views: 1275

Re: Elder & I Seeking Advice for Elder's Plan

Price a SPIA (single premium immediate annuity) to cover essential costs beyond SS that would cover his lifetime. What would it cost to get, say, $25k-35k/year for his lifespan? How much would inflation-adjusted cost? The rest should be mainly in CDs or some in I-Bonds to be there for medical or lon...
by BL
Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Elder & I Seeking Advice for Elder's Plan
Replies: 3
Views: 277

Re: LifeStrategy Growth vs Three / Four Fund

What are your thoughts on the LifeStrategy Growth fund vs the normal three fund or four fund profile? Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX) ER:0.17% Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares 56.4% 0.17 Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Investor Shares 23.6% 0.22 Vanguar...
by BL
Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LifeStrategy Growth vs Three / Four Fund
Replies: 8
Views: 624

Re: Tax Stupid Investment

Do you have any bonds in taxable that are not tax-exempt? Do you have your IRA filled with bonds? I would fill the IRA with bonds or as many bonds as are planned in the AA. If they all fit there, then I have no need for bonds in taxable and would sell them, assuming there are no huge capital gains t...
by BL
Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Stupid Investment
Replies: 13
Views: 1275

Re: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?

I know a single elementary teacher who had 500k left for her nieces and nephews when she died, which impressed me very much.
by BL
Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?
Replies: 142
Views: 7921

Re: Ack! Bought a Dividend!

You don't need to feel so bad as most of those dividends in VTSAX are probably Qualified Dividends which are taxed at the same rates as Capital Gains (0% if within 15% tax bracket).
by BL
Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ack! Bought a Dividend!
Replies: 26
Views: 2357

Re: help! where to invest about 500k

And if your S&P 500 is at a loss, DEFINITELY sell it and replace it with the Total Stock Market. You'll get a tax loss for it, and save money on your tax bill. +1 Since you hesitate to go into investing your money quickly, consider more bonds ("age in bonds") to start. You don't want ...
by BL
Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: help! where to invest about 500k
Replies: 16
Views: 1130

Re: 3 Fund Portfolio Advice

Hello All, If Possible would you be able to offer any guidance with establishing a 3 Fund Portfolio. There is 435 K in a 401k to invest and 14k in a roth ira....Im 52 years old.... and read recently to determine the ratio of stock/bonds you should subtract your age from 120 and this should equal th...
by BL
Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3 Fund Portfolio Advice
Replies: 4
Views: 370

Re: Am I in over my head?

Lots of people your age haven't "found" themselves. Use this time to get experiences and sample various types of jobs. I believe a lot of technical colleges have mainly hands-on courses which may be what you prefer rather than studying from books. You are obviously mentally talented and it...
by BL
Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I in over my head?
Replies: 51
Views: 4371

Re: Roth IRA vs Mutual Fund. Inexperienced Investor

> Fourth, since you have a low income this year, and potentially large gains from your mutual funds, you should consider tax-gain harvesting. That is selling your mutual funds, and then purchasing them again later, thus realizing the "gain" and making it taxable. Then the clock starts aga...
by BL
Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA vs Mutual Fund. Inexperienced Investor
Replies: 11
Views: 572

Re: Am I in over my head?

I think you have a very mature way of thinking regarding investing. Starting out fairly conservative is a smart idea. It wouldn't hurt to put some fraction in that portfolio and sit on the rest in CDs or I-Bonds for a while while you get educated on investing and also decide what to do with your lif...
by BL
Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I in over my head?
Replies: 51
Views: 4371

Re: Roth Conversion Caution

I did some number crunching several years ago taking into account how it affected the taxability of SS. I did this for several possible level of converted amounts. That's how I knew how much I could convert with an okay impact. One of the benefits of doing taxes via colored pencils instead of with ...
by BL
Sun Sep 14, 2014 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion Caution
Replies: 9
Views: 1162

Re: Roth Conversion Caution

I would double check it by using an actual tax program such as TurboTax. (Taxcaster might be similar to the link you gave.) Yes, you definitely want to check out the tax consequences of any such actions.
by BL
Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion Caution
Replies: 9
Views: 1162

Re: Investing $100

Here is another book (16 pages) written for beginners like you by Boglehead William Bernstein, If You Can: How Millenials can get rich slowly : https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/29031758/If%20You%20Can.pdf Or buy it cheap on Amazon Kindle. Save $1000 and invest it in a Vanguard Target Retirement f...
by BL
Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing $100
Replies: 15
Views: 1774

Re: Hearing aids - for those that use them

Do you have a disablity rating with the VA? If so, they may be able to help you. If not, see your county veterans service officer to see if you may be eligible (I assume you were describing military service).
by BL
Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing aids - for those that use them
Replies: 29
Views: 1614

Re: Help with annuity questions

I am no expert in this subject but I believe there is a difference between a spouse being able to roll it into her own IRA versus an inherited status (which has to be named exactly right) which may use a different IRS table. I believe you can ask the company for an "in-force illustration" ...
by BL
Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with annuity questions
Replies: 13
Views: 822

Re: Newbie: Is my 10 year plan going to work?

Have you considered having the higher income person delay SS until 70 or at least 67? That way you and spouse would have a higher COLAd income as long as one of you lives. The other spouse could start earlier and higher-income person could sign up for spousal at FRA (Full Retirement Age). We free f...
by BL
Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie: Is my 10 year plan going to work?
Replies: 35
Views: 3108

Re: Newbie: Is my 10 year plan going to work?

Have you considered having the higher income person delay SS until 70 or at least 67? That way you and spouse would have a higher COLAd income as long as one of you lives. The other spouse could start earlier and higher-income person could sign up for spousal at FRA (Full Retirement Age). We free fo...
by BL
Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie: Is my 10 year plan going to work?
Replies: 35
Views: 3108

Re: Helping widowed mother with finances

I believe there is a difference between inherited and spousal which may be important, so you may want to check that out soon. ( RMDs, to be specific, even Roths.)
by BL
Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping widowed mother with finances
Replies: 11
Views: 1180

Re: Roth Question

For married taxpayers filing a joint return, the phase-out begins at $110,000 Since you are able to do it, you should bring your AGI down below $110,000. Also do a dummy tax return to double check your numbers as there may be other moving parts. Only then consider whether you can do Roth IRA contri...
by BL
Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Question
Replies: 10
Views: 1095

Re: Beginner questions, don't shoot

This is my understanding, but I don't own any ETFs, just mutual funds. We do pay foreign tax (it is included in the NAV of funds so we don't have to do anything), but that amount can be credited to our income taxes. The difference in "cost" shouldn't make any difference. There is the bid a...
by BL
Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beginner questions, don't shoot
Replies: 10
Views: 1457

Re: Low Income Investor (Tax Concerns)

Thanks for all of the advice. I've already learned a lot in just my first post here. Would it be better to put $5,500 in Roth IRA vs. $10,000 in admiral shares of the VFIAX fund? I wasn't sure if it would be worth getting the lower expense fee with admiral shares.. or the tax benefits of the IRA ri...
by BL
Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low Income Investor (Tax Concerns)
Replies: 31
Views: 1835

Re: First post, Investment Questions

I have recommended this booklet by Boglehead William Bernstein for beginners. I suggest you read Getting Started in the Wiki, and read a recommended book such as Boglehead's Guide to Investing. Also recommend the new 16-page booklet by William Bernstein for beginners, If You Can: https://dl.dropboxu...
by BL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First post, Investment Questions
Replies: 31
Views: 1209

Re: Low Income Investor (Tax Concerns)

I suggest you read Getting Started in the Wiki, and read a recommended book such as Boglehead's Guide to Investing. Also recommend the new booklet by William Bernstein for beginners, If You Can:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/290 ... %20Can.pdf
or on Amazon.com.
by BL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low Income Investor (Tax Concerns)
Replies: 31
Views: 1835

Re: Low Income Investor (Tax Concerns)

It doesn't sound like you do your own taxes. If that is true, I would like to suggest you do a tax return now without sending it. Usually you can do it online without cost (just don't submit it!) You can learn so much about taxes by doing "what-if" calculations. Even better is to look at P...
by BL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low Income Investor (Tax Concerns)
Replies: 31
Views: 1835

Re: Where can I get a [toddler-friendly weekend] job? Update

I would call that 3 full time jobs when you include some child care and homemaking. Will you ever sleep and will you ever see your husband? It sounds like he has 1 1/2 jobs as well. I can't imagine this ending well unless it is for a really short-term time span. Perhaps look around at your governmen...
by BL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where can I get a [toddler-friendly weekend] job? Update
Replies: 33
Views: 3580

Re: Vangaurd STAR

How about a Life Strategy fund for $3k? You can get Aggressive (80% stocks/20% bonds), Moderate (60/40 like Star), Conservative (40/60), or Income (20/80). They are made up of Total Stock Market, Total International Stock Market, Total Bond Market, and an international bond fund. No need to re-balan...
by BL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vangaurd STAR
Replies: 31
Views: 1898

Re: Vangaurd STAR

Star is just one of the funds that only requires a $1k to start plus you can add $100 any time you choose (or more or less). All of the Target Retirement funds are also $1k, and they contain Total Stock Market, Total International, and bonds in various combinations so they basically cover the entire...
by BL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vangaurd STAR
Replies: 31
Views: 1898

Re: Besides pay and mobility, great job: What to do?

a Federal gov't job or something.


This might be just the ticket to working in law or related work if she is interested!
by BL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Besides pay and mobility, great job: What to do?
Replies: 11
Views: 1126

Re: How much value can an advisor add for the average invest

EvelynT, Thank you for sharing in detail the benefits you received from an honest, smart, helpful adviser. I think you were both smart and fortunate to find this person. This is the kind of person we hope people can find, but usually they are stuck with someone who is looking out for himself. I hone...
by BL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much value can an advisor add for the average investor?
Replies: 71
Views: 4283

Re: Some questions on my financial health and AA

I have settled on keeping it simple as follows: 50% TSM, 20% TISM, 10% REIT, 20% TBM I have $400K spread across 6 different accounts as follows: My 401K = $175K Her 401k = $32K Her (old, not rolled over) 401K = $153K My Roth IRA = $16K Her Roth IRA = $11K My taxable Account = $0 (plan on funding $1...
by BL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some questions on my financial health and AA
Replies: 23
Views: 1921

Re: $1000 to Invest - Need Help!

You are very smart to have started a TR fund at Vanguard already. Just continue to add to it as you can, I believe you need to add $100 or more at a time or $50 minimum if you automate the deposit. I assume it is in either a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. Just remember that there will be a down-turn...
by BL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $1000 to Invest - Need Help!
Replies: 17
Views: 1118

Re: Besides pay and mobility, great job: What to do?

Could she work in some volunteer work in her field? I keep hearing about Legal Aid for the poor. If she is licensed to practice law where you live, perhaps she can check around some more if she is interested in working in her field. Otherwise it does sound like she has an ideal job.
by BL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Besides pay and mobility, great job: What to do?
Replies: 11
Views: 1126

Re: Rather macabre but necessary question

I would apply for widower's benefits as soon as your income allows. Then you can think about when to take your own SS at any month between age 62 and 70. So it isn't a decision you have to make right now. You might think about file and suspend at full Retirement Age so you can go back to that date i...
by BL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 72
Views: 5341

Re: Roth conversion question

Your withholding last year is of no consequence, only your Tax on your 2013 1040. The Safe Harbor rules lets you avoid penalties if you withhold at least that much this year (or 110% of it if higher income, ?150k) for 2014 taxes. Also if you have withheld at least 90% of this year's total tax, no p...
by BL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion question
Replies: 16
Views: 1101

Re: Roth conversion question

Your withholding last year is of no consequence, only your Tax on your 2013 1040. The Safe Harbor rules lets you avoid penalties if you withhold at least that much this year (or 110% of it if higher income, ?150k) for 2014 taxes. Also if you have withheld at least 90% of this year's total tax, no pe...
by BL
Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion question
Replies: 16
Views: 1101

Re: roth ira funds help

Be sure to get e-statements so you avoid an annual fee while you have low amounts invested there. I haven't felt a need nor desire to have ETFs in either type of account. I wouldn't like having a few cents left over when investing in whole shares of ETFs, while I could invest round dollar amounts in...
by BL
Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: roth ira funds help
Replies: 19
Views: 734

Re: roth ira funds help

You can automate the deposits if you stick to mutual funds:
Additional investments into an existing fund account
$50 when buying shares through an automatic investment.
$100 when sending money by check or electronic bank transfer or when moving money between Vanguard funds.
by BL
Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: roth ira funds help
Replies: 19
Views: 734

Re: Life insurance with a smoking spouse

You might want to check on how much SS your children would be eligible for until about age 18, and mother's SS until last child turns 16, if within income limits.
by BL
Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance with a smoking spouse
Replies: 38
Views: 1280

Re: Do I invest or pay higher mortgage downpayment?

We don't even know what tax bracket you are in or anything else about you so it is pretty hard to give an answer in a vacuum. Best advice is if you choose to give information in the Asking Questions format. If you are in a higher bracket, you might choose to lower your AGI to avoid being phased out ...
by BL
Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I invest or pay higher mortgage downpayment?
Replies: 55
Views: 3237

Re: Variable annuity 100k in fees help (UPDATE)

. Certainly I made more money than if it was sitting in a bank account those 10 years, even though I have to deal with a tax headache now. You don't have to deal with the tax headache now if you don't choose to do so. The fact that you only want 5% in bonds makes me think that you may still be too ...
by BL
Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable annuity 100k in fees help (UPDATE)
Replies: 45
Views: 3112

Re: Variable annuity 100k in fees help (UPDATE)

I think you may need a tax adviser (not just a tax preparer) to work with you on this before you sell anything. There are differences on the tax prepayment requirements on high incomes. (For lower incomes, if you withhold at least as much as you were taxed the previous year, you wouldn't owe penalti...
by BL
Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable annuity 100k in fees help (UPDATE)
Replies: 45
Views: 3112

Re: RE' Advestment advisory services?

Check out the 3-fund portfolio: http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/3-fund_portfolio Put your taxable fixed income in tax-exempt bonds. Simpler yet is a single fund such as life strategy, no rebalancing but slightly higher tax cost than a very tax-efficient plan though many expensive managed plans are no...
by BL
Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RE' Advestment advisory services?
Replies: 10
Views: 650

Re: I-bonds: Automatic Investments

From: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ibonds/res_ibonds_iredeem.htm#time How much can I redeem at one time? Electronic bonds in your TreasuryDirect account No limit. However, each redemption must be in a minimum amount of $25 redemption value, with additional one-cent increments...
by BL
Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-bonds: Automatic Investments
Replies: 14
Views: 1807

Re: Some questions on my financial health and AA

Just one opinion: 1. Should I change to 70%stocks/30%bonds for my age? I am fairly aggressive considering a stable financial situation and 30 yrs to retirement. Your choice is reasonable. Go with whatever is more comfortable. 2. Within domestic stocks, should I stick to total stock mkt index fund OR...
by BL
Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some questions on my financial health and AA
Replies: 23
Views: 1921

Re: Where to invest after 401k & IRA are Maxed

It is not clear to me exactly what in dollars this means: and 401 contributions won’t be effective until November. (Plan is to contribute at least 20%) I would find out how close to all pay (after required deductions such as SS) can be put into 401k in November and December and max that out, even if...
by BL
Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to invest after 401k & IRA are Maxed
Replies: 8
Views: 737

Re: Portfolio advice for parents: Vanguard ideas?

As for funds, a single Life Strategy fund (80/20, 60/40, 40/60, or 20/80) could be chosen according to AA choice. Any other variation of the 3-fund portfolio (search Wiki here) would work as well. Looking for higher interest CDs, or other fixed income at banks and credit unions would be fine for the...
by BL
Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice for parents: Vanguard ideas?
Replies: 2
Views: 184

Re: 1st Post: Contributions & 401k Fund Questions

You have some good index funds in your 401k. I would get rid of any fund over 0.5 and maybe over 0.4% ER. If you later have an extra $3k in your IRA to devote to small/value fund, I would get that Vangaurd index then. Having the same TR funds makes sense to me. Each is well-diversified. Pick date na...
by BL
Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 1st Post: Contributions & 401k Fund Questions
Replies: 7
Views: 488
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