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by BL
Mon May 25, 2015 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is it safe to share financial details with gf, future wife
Replies: 53
Views: 4068

Re: When is it safe to share financial details with gf, future wife

We each know an approximation of each other's net worth, debt, income, etc. but not much about specific accounts, exact amounts, etc. Unless she's been snooping behind my back. It has taken me a long time to find someone who is financially compatible...I think letting her know some specifics helps ...
by BL
Mon May 25, 2015 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation with large holding in single stock
Replies: 31
Views: 1694

Re: Allocation with large holding in single stock

The 40% is within a traditional IRA. Some choices here: -Bond Index, Tips, and cash -Target Retirement (or Fidelity freedom INDEX xxxx ) -Life Strategy Income (Fidelity equivalent? Freedom INDEX xxxx ) The regular Freedom funds have a higher ER. Perhaps they would be willing to exchange a bit of th...
by BL
Sun May 24, 2015 11:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My In-Laws Have a Financial Advisor
Replies: 7
Views: 1662

Re: My In-Laws Have a Financial Advisor

If they would like an adviser, the new adviser system at Vanguard may be a good low-cost solution at 0.3% and would help you avoid responsibility when the market crashes. These advisers don't have any incentives to put you in higher cost funds, and pretty much all of Vanguard's funds are low-ER with...
by BL
Sun May 24, 2015 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Uncertain health, portfolio advice
Replies: 6
Views: 646

Re: Uncertain health, portfolio advice

She could set aside one year's expenses in a higher-rate online savings account (1%?) and then invest the rest, perhaps 50-70% bonds or CDs/I-Bonds. An all-in-one fund such as Wellesley (60%), Life Strategy Conservative (60% bonds), or Target Retirement Income (70%) could also be used. It is too ear...
by BL
Sun May 24, 2015 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Taxes on Social Security
Replies: 22
Views: 1515

Re: Question about Taxes on Social Security

Thank You Folks. I will check the linkies. What I'm thinking of doing -- I haven't started taking Social Security yet, my FRA is July of this year. I may File and Suspend for this 2015 Tax Year. And make one last massive Roth Conversion, up to the 15% Bracket limit ( $74K ). Have you considered hav...
by BL
Sun May 24, 2015 12:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 457(b) questions with state pension
Replies: 14
Views: 978

Re: 457(b) questions with state pension

I would put everything toward the 8% loan and the credit card loan (especially if over 3%). Pick one and keep adding extra to pay it off quickly. You are paying a lot extra by having a high interest rate, which could be used for future savings. You would be earning a guaranteed rate of whatever the ...
by BL
Sun May 24, 2015 11:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth 401K vs Backdoor
Replies: 8
Views: 716

Re: Roth 401K vs Backdoor

Unless you have a pension or something similar that will use up your 0, 10, and 15% brackets, you will have some room for income to be taxed at those rates first. Perhaps those people live in countries which tax one on net worth, such as Norway. Yes, and their information is available to the general...
by BL
Sun May 24, 2015 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Taxes on Social Security
Replies: 22
Views: 1515

Re: Question about Taxes on Social Security

Here is a brief description: http://www.ssa.gov/planners/taxes.html You have the right idea on adding tax-exempt interest to other income, then add 1/2 of SS to that to get "combined income". Do not use SD or exemptions. But note that you DO subtract any "above-the-line" deducti...
by BL
Sun May 24, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Taxes on Social Security
Replies: 22
Views: 1515

Re: Question about Taxes on Social Security

Here is a brief description: http://www.ssa.gov/planners/taxes.html You have the right idea on adding tax-exempt interest to other income, then add 1/2 of SS to that to get "combined income". Do not use SD or exemptions. file a joint return, and you and your spouse have a combined income* ...
by BL
Sat May 23, 2015 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalancing bands in taxable accounts
Replies: 8
Views: 435

Re: Rebalancing bands in taxable accounts

What a wonderful problem to have! Do not re-invest dividends and capital gains. Have them go to the funds needing more, assuming you don't need to spend them. Add any new money to the fund needing it such as bonds or US market if you have international going too high. Re-balance in tax-advantaged ac...
by BL
Sat May 23, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30 year old freelance musician who wants to catch up
Replies: 8
Views: 928

Re: 30 year old freelance musician who wants to catch up

I suggest doing some reading here and in the Wiki, along with a recommended book or two. Here is a 16-page online booklet written by Boglehead author, William Bernstein: http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf The 3-fund portfolio gives you a bit more control in buying and selling, as well as taxes, th...
by BL
Fri May 22, 2015 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SO left the employer. ESPP and 401K accounts.
Replies: 8
Views: 674

Re: SO left the employer. ESPP and 401K accounts.

AFAIK, sep and solo accounts are set up by owner of a small business. I don't see mention of you or her having a business. Maybe she could start a business, however. Do you have a 401k? All of the tax-advantaged accounts are Individual, and Backdoor Roth also follows Individual rules so you could ea...
by BL
Thu May 21, 2015 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to find a good international mutial fund
Replies: 4
Views: 286

Re: Trying to find a good international mutial fund

This Wiki page has recommended funds at several brokerages: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-fund_portfolio Recommend you review all your investments and decide what % stocks/bonds you want, and what % of stocks should be in international. It is usually recommended to do 20-40% of stocks in (to...
by BL
Thu May 21, 2015 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Age 56, Need Asset Allocation Advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1038

Re: Age 56, Need Asset Allocation Advice

Do you have any stock funds in 401k with lower ERs? If so, you could change things around. Do you have access to a separate brokerage account for your 401k? I am looking for access to either bonds or stocks with reasonable costs, but you may not have any.
by BL
Thu May 21, 2015 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teaching maths to a 4 year old
Replies: 30
Views: 2043

Re: Teaching maths to a 4 year old

As long as you keep it fun, keep it up. Don't do it very long at a time as their attention span is not great. Look for math in everything you do and include your child. Shopping, building, cooking, games, etc., can all involve math and the more you look for it, the more you will see. I prefer it to ...
by BL
Thu May 21, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for younger friend
Replies: 11
Views: 757

Re: Advice for younger friend

He could buy the Total stock market ETF in a Roth at V until he has $1k, then buy a Target Retirement Date fund with the $1k and keep adding to that up to 5.5k/year. Sign up for e-statements to avoid charges. Roth earnings will have to stay to avoid penalty, but there should never be a plan to withd...
by BL
Thu May 21, 2015 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculator to Determine How Much Income Retiree Can Make Before Paying Taxes
Replies: 9
Views: 1422

Re: Calculator to Determine How Much Income Retiree Can Make Before Paying Taxes

Besides the calculator, you could look at income and subtractions: SD = 15,100 (for couple over 65) Ex = 8,000 = 23,100 (a couple can make this and pay no tax. Does not include SS as SS is not taxable at this level.) Taxable Income Tax Bracket: $0-$18,450 10% $18,451-$74,900 15% The next 18,450 of i...
by BL
Wed May 20, 2015 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How far behind in saving are we?
Replies: 15
Views: 3040

Re: How far behind in saving are we?

Are you dealing with any student loans? I am thinking that some loan forgiveness might be in order based on the poverty income level. I am torn between urging you to consider a higher paying district vs. thanking you for serving these needy students who benefit most from your contributions. Perhaps ...
by BL
Wed May 20, 2015 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: keep advisor or do it myself
Replies: 59
Views: 4738

Re: keep advisor or do it myself

Is the tax advice part of the service you are paying for? That can be valuable. It does sound like you are getting value added with what you are paying for. Frankly, I doubt that the investment value will be greater than Vanguard, but it could result in higher income over some period of time. I am n...
by BL
Wed May 20, 2015 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any of these worth keeping?
Replies: 9
Views: 921

Re: Any of these worth keeping?

Besides looking at ERs, I would gather the cost basis for these funds; perhaps you have already done it, but it is usually easier to check and print out before moving or selling the funds. Compare the costs of selling where they are now with the cost to do it if tranferred "in kind" to Van...
by BL
Wed May 20, 2015 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Benefits of Active Management for Investors
Replies: 17
Views: 1502

Re: The Benefits of Active Management for Investors

I read a couple of articles @ Oppenheimer on Active Management and wanted to get some other comments on these. I read them quickly and didn't see any mention of the high front end load fees. The articles seemed to lump things together and not give a clear picture on gains over time for the same fun...
by BL
Wed May 20, 2015 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review for 32 year old
Replies: 9
Views: 991

Re: Portfolio Review for 32 year old

The Wellesley is meant to be a single solution so not so helpful in taxable unless that is dedicated to a single nearer future need. You don't define the account as for retirement. Other than perhaps switching to Spartan funds (especially including bond fund), I would look at the family portfolio be...
by BL
Wed May 20, 2015 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How far behind in saving are we?
Replies: 15
Views: 3040

Re: How far behind in saving are we?

Since you are probably in the 15% federal tax bracket based on your gross income, personal exemptions and standard deduction, I would continue to fund a Roth IRA. You have 30-35 years for your Roth IRA to grow tax free and have distributions come out state & federal tax free when you retire if ...
by BL
Tue May 19, 2015 10:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ed Jones wants American Funds moved under their Name
Replies: 9
Views: 1231

Re: Ed Jones wants American Funds moved under their Name

This is the first time I know of that anyone has asked about moving towards EJ! Usually it is how to get out of the high cost of investing at EJ. I just Googled "bogleheads EJ" and a bunch popped up.
by BL
Mon May 18, 2015 5:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30 years old, baby on the way, just starting out advice...
Replies: 16
Views: 1723

Re: 30 years old, baby on the way, just starting out advice...

I would suggest you do some reading here in the Wiki, videos, and recommended books. Here is a 16-page quick book for young investors: http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf There is a website, term4sale.com that gets mentioned here. Their term insurance is sold by independent insurance salesmen rathe...
by BL
Mon May 18, 2015 6:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement and wealth management fees
Replies: 28
Views: 2569

Re: Retirement and wealth management fees

I would expect to be "sold" more insurance and/or annuity products, as well.
by BL
Sun May 17, 2015 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home buying strategies for mother-in-law?
Replies: 9
Views: 729

Re: Home buying strategies for mother-in-law?

Is exiting the house a problem? Can she reach the garage from outside? I have seen stackable washer & dryer placed in a bathroom. Is that a possible future move? Does she have railing to basement and safety rails in other places such as bathroom? Does she consider her home a problem or is it you...
by BL
Sun May 17, 2015 9:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: move money in merrill edge roth ira to vanguard?
Replies: 3
Views: 238

Re: move money in merrill edge roth ira to vanguard?

I expect it will cost you $50-100 to close your account but I think it will be worth it in the long run if you like the Vanguard funds (I do).
by BL
Sun May 17, 2015 8:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off student debt by selling off taxable account assets
Replies: 16
Views: 747

Re: Pay off student debt by selling off taxable account assets

I do have a $4000 net loss thus far on a high risk capital investment I made in a small startup company four years ago when I was single and had less responsibilities. I believe I can use $3000 of that loss to off-set the potential $8000 in capital gains for 2015. I think you should be able to use ...
by BL
Sun May 17, 2015 6:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IBond/TIPS Or Not
Replies: 37
Views: 3810

Re: IBond/TIPS Or Not

Also, we each have an IRA. Most of the International Equity is in the IRA of the older person. Should this be a cause for concern? The advice on this forum is generally to view the accounts of both people as a single portfolio. However, I don't know the regulations about inheriting an IRA, so I'm n...
by BL
Sun May 17, 2015 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Determining Cost Basis
Replies: 6
Views: 316

Re: Determining Cost Basis

You will have to determine cost basis the old-fashioned way. Those terms are only for when you are keeping the funds, not for selling them. Bonds don't usually have large CGs, so maybe it won't be too bad. The balanced one is half stocks, so you will have to check carefully on that.
by BL
Sun May 17, 2015 7:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help me with my 401k 31 year old single male
Replies: 15
Views: 1326

Re: Please help me with my 401k 31 year old single male

The separate funds are fine. However if you like the idea of an adviser, the target funds are managed so you definitely don't need an adviser. Take a look at Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Fund (VTTHX), which has 17% bonds and will gradually but slowly increase that % as you approach retirement. If...
by BL
Sun May 17, 2015 7:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on AA for 35 year old (1st gen immigrant)
Replies: 12
Views: 1142

Re: Advice on AA for 35 year old (1st gen immigrant)

His 401K 41% VANG INST INDEX PLUS (VIIIX) (0.02%) 11% VANG EXT MKT IDX IP (VEMPX) (0.06%) 20% VANG INFL-PROT SEC (VIPIX) (0.07%) VIIIX tracks S&P500 right and VEMPX (everything not included in S&P500). What should the ratio's for these be. Am I over indexing on the S&P. Should these rat...
by BL
Sat May 16, 2015 9:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help me with my 401k 31 year old single male
Replies: 15
Views: 1326

Re: Please help me with my 401k 31 year old single male

Agree that the target retirement fund would be a great choice. Either use the date (only 10% bonds) or choose a nearer date if that is too aggressive. Later you might want to break things up into 3-4 components such as listed in the following booklet. Here is a great little booklet just for you by W...
by BL
Thu May 14, 2015 11:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which is most tax efficient balanced fund in taxable
Replies: 22
Views: 1979

Re: Which is most tax efficient balanced fund in taxable

"It was my understanding that there would be no math." Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford. :beer Seriously, I am trying to think about some books that would be interesting enough for your son to read. Obviously, the Bogleheads' Guide to Investing is great, but might not hold the interest of a you...
by BL
Thu May 14, 2015 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SPIA for mom?
Replies: 33
Views: 1806

Re: SPIA for mom?

I don't see enough information on the SS she is now taking. Presumably she is eligible for both Widow and her own SS. I believe these are separate, unlike the spousal/self decisions others may make. Is hers high enough to get more by switching at age 70? I would think it is worth checking to find he...
by BL
Thu May 14, 2015 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for Significant Others 401K Portfolio
Replies: 17
Views: 712

Re: Advice for Significant Others 401K Portfolio

I just looked up 1 year returns on her old portfolio and the new spartan one and FGRIX which had a 12.73% 1 year return and and FDVLX with a 11.83% return. I then took a look at the Spartan 3 fund portfolio combined and the return performance was actually lower? Am I not seeing that correctly? If y...
by BL
Thu May 14, 2015 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cheaper version of Total International Stock Index Admiral Shares (VTIAX)
Replies: 10
Views: 952

Re: Cheaper version of Total International Stock Index Admiral Shares (VTIAX)

johnubc wrote:
mhc wrote:Investor shares will automatically be converted to admiral shares once you hit $10k.


Is that true? In other funds, I need to ask for an exchange to take place.

I would read "automatically" as "sooner or later". IOW, do it yourself for immediate satisfaction.
by BL
Thu May 14, 2015 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $50 charge to switch IRA from Fidelity to Vanguard
Replies: 14
Views: 1521

Re: $50 charge to switch IRA from Fidelity to Vanguard

Is $50 so much that it is worth going through the hassle of two transfers to avoid? If you don't like Fidelity and want Vanguard just move the money once, pay the fee and move on. (just my humble opinion) +1 I agree. Why increase the chances of something going wrong? Just get it done if you wish to...
by BL
Tue May 12, 2015 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Account Help Needed
Replies: 11
Views: 1126

Re: Taxable Account Help Needed

Anything in a bank should be in an FDIC account and not other expensive investments. Make a plan to put in a certain % per month and stick to it no matter what. You have seen what happens when you wait. No one knows whether it will go up or down nor when. Get rid of expensive funds and individual fu...
by BL
Tue May 12, 2015 4:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retired and putting some Lifestrategy CG fund in Taxable?
Replies: 3
Views: 398

Re: Retired and putting some Lifestrategy CG fund in Taxable?

It may be a great plan. At worst, there are many worse more costly plans. How much room do you have in the 15% bracket? Will this additional regular (interest) income boost you into the 25% bracket? Will you be in the 25% bracket when only one survives in the future? There could be more tax cost but...
by BL
Tue May 12, 2015 7:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help managing mother's money
Replies: 5
Views: 679

Re: Need help managing mother's money

Only 50% bonds is pretty radical change for someone mostly in cash. "Age in bonds" is the most aggressive I would suggest. Can she buy a Vanguard Life Strategy Conservative or Target date fund at Schwab? A one-time cost wouldn't be too bad if she refuses to move any money out. I don't know...
by BL
Tue May 12, 2015 6:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitized so much already ... doubting value of delaying S.S.
Replies: 19
Views: 1807

Re: Annuitized so much already ... doubting value of delaying S.S.

Since it sounds like you have enough either way, this is not a critical decision. You can easily pull whatever you want from savings to have the spending ability now that you want. She may as well draw at 62, in my opinion, but again it really doesn't matter. If you are a very conservative investor,...
by BL
Mon May 11, 2015 11:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions on Fidelity Freedom Index 2020 fund?
Replies: 5
Views: 398

Re: Opinions on Fidelity Freedom Index 2020 fund?

If you only want 15% bonds, the Fidelity® Four-in-One Index FFNOX may suit you. Otherwise the other target date Index funds according to the amount of bonds you prefer would work fine. No one knows what amount will let you sleep at night. What is your age? The old "age in bonds" might be a...
by BL
Mon May 11, 2015 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newcomer to Investing - Looking for Help
Replies: 4
Views: 363

Re: Newcomer to Investing - Looking for Help

Here is a little online booklet written just for you:
http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf
by BL
Mon May 11, 2015 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: i have no idea where to start
Replies: 4
Views: 468

Re: i have no idea where to start

In addition to the above, here is a little online booklet written just for you: http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf It is also available on Amazon. Do you pay taxes to the US on your wages overseas? If so, you are eligible for IRAs and possibly your work 401k or similar account if available. If not...
by BL
Sun May 10, 2015 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Philosophies of frugality.
Replies: 60
Views: 5800

Re: Philosophies of frugality.

Is your income greater than your expenditures? Do you pay yourself first (emergency fund, savings in 401k, IRA, saving for fun events)? Are you paying >5% interest anywhere? If yes, yes, no, then go ahead and enjoy the rest. Decide what gives you good pleasure value and spend on that. If you have sp...
by BL
Sun May 10, 2015 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just transferred from Ameriprise to Fidelity, need help
Replies: 11
Views: 1065

Re: Just transferred from Ameriprise to Fidelity, need help

There is no advantage to making it complicated. The links above will guide your way to a simple, diversified, low-ER portfolio. The main thing you need to decide is the AA (Asset Allocation), ie., what % of bonds do you want? If undecided, you could start with "age in bonds". Although &quo...
by BL
Sat May 09, 2015 9:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just transferred from Ameriprise to Fidelity, need help
Replies: 11
Views: 1065

Re: Just transferred from Ameriprise to Fidelity, need help

Scroll down on this Wiki page for suggested Fidelity funds: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-fund_portfolio I suggest you read Getting Started in the Wiki here and a couple suggested books. Here is a nice online booklet with some great info on investing for younger people: http://www.etf.com/do...
by BL
Sat May 09, 2015 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are short nursing home stays tax deductible medical expenses?
Replies: 25
Views: 1649

Re: Are short nursing home stays tax deductible medical expenses?

Thank you, Harmony, for checking the Lasser guide. A local library may have this reference book, as well as amazon.com. I was able to read it online by Googling: lasser tax nursing home so that I could read the paragraph on nursing homes. "on the direction or suggestion of a doctor" does i...

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