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

PS - don't use ETFs ever. Use mutual funds. Google what Jack Bogle says about ETFs. Googled it, couldn't find much. Care to give some footnotes? If you stick with Vanguard funds you can get some identical funds as admiral funds, index funds, and ETFs. Nothing wrong in using those equivalent ETFs or...
by BL
Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on AA for 35 year old (1st gen immigrant)
Replies: 10
Views: 623

Re: Take Two. New complicated member needs help in several a

Most folks who are in top tax bracket now will not have everything taxed at that bracket in retirement. Why not use the sure thing now to reduce current high taxes? You can save the additional amount (tax savings) in taxable retirement account. You don't say whether and how much basis (non-deducted)...
by BL
Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Take Two. New complicated member needs help in several areas
Replies: 22
Views: 930

Re: Take Two. New complicated member needs help in several a

You may want to look at rolling over your traditional IRAs to your work 401k to enable the backdoor Roth without pro-rated taxation: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Backdoor_Roth_IRA Most here look at pensions as an income stream that reduces the amount needed for retirement, like Social Security, r...
by BL
Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Take Two. New complicated member needs help in several areas
Replies: 22
Views: 930

Re: Help Choosing Survivor Pension Option (50% vs 100%)

There are various SS options available. She (if lower PIA) could start at 62; He could do spousal at FRA (66?) and his own at age 70 which she would inherit if he died first. This would require spending some retirement savings in order to buy this COLA-enhanced annuity, the best annuity deal possibl...
by BL
Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Choosing Survivor Pension Option (50% vs 100%)
Replies: 15
Views: 644

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

You can also do a Roth IRA for your spouse, and 18k this year in 401k.
by BL
Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on AA for 35 year old (1st gen immigrant)
Replies: 10
Views: 623

Re: Help with Inheritance

I am 39 and my wife is 37. We started saving late and have a little over 80k combined in 401k. We work for different employers but both match up to 6% which we are both taking advantage of. Figure out how much it would take to do the maximum and set that part of the inheritance aside to live on wit...
by BL
Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Inheritance
Replies: 13
Views: 972

Re: Leaving our financial advisor over a period of months

Asking your advisor to help you leave is like asking your wife to help you leave... "Honey, I'll be filing for divorce in a few months. But first could you wash and iron my clothes? Oh, and I also need some pants shortened too. And could you search around for a good moving company and help me ...
by BL
Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving our financial advisor over a period of months
Replies: 18
Views: 783

Re: Help getting rid of debt

Be sure not to use any credit card you are carrying a balance on, or you will immediately be picking up the high rate of interest on that as well.
by BL
Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help getting rid of debt
Replies: 56
Views: 2987

Re: Wifes 401K

You could do about a 4 to 1 ratio with 500 and extended.
So 72/18 or 70/20 % with 10% bonds would work.
by BL
Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wifes 401K
Replies: 11
Views: 401

Re: Help getting rid of debt

We aren't struggling to eat, and we aren't struggling to pay bills, we're struggling to reduce the debt because of the interest being charged. The payments we're making on the credit cards (about $500/mo) only prevent interest from raising the principal. If we could reduce the interest rates, we'd ...
by BL
Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help getting rid of debt
Replies: 56
Views: 2987

Re: Funds for stay the course 25 yr old

It is pretty hard to beat the 3-fund portfolio on a consistent basis. Don't re-think this and make it worse. Here is a nice little booklet just for her (and you): http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf First, she should fill 401k if available, with low-ER funds, usually index funds. https://www.bogleh...
by BL
Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Funds for stay the course 25 yr old
Replies: 9
Views: 617

Re: Help getting rid of debt

I use my phone a lot. I have a 70 mile commute during which I stream to podcasts. The data use is the biggest reason our bill is so high (yes, $140 a month for 2 devices). However, I've decided that it's not a necessity and I can live without it. My wife is pretty much confined to home and can use ...
by BL
Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help getting rid of debt
Replies: 56
Views: 2987

Re: Losing Sleep, Help with portfolio

Yes, you have the right idea.
by BL
Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Losing Sleep, Help with portfolio
Replies: 19
Views: 2574

Re: Help - Am I being stupid?

Yes. Fill your 401k and put the tax savings into your taxable plan, along with whatever else you can save. Fill the Roth IRA for you and one for your spouse before April 15, 2016, as you will never have a chance to fill that 5.5k space ever again. If you didn't have some emergency funds already, the...
by BL
Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help - Am I being stupid?
Replies: 16
Views: 1383

Re: RMD or QCD - Which has to come out first?

The QCD will count as RMD if you haven't taken any/all of the RMD yet.

We don't know what the law will look like exactly until it happens. I figure December is a safer bet for QCDs just in case. But it is money we planned to donate anyway.
by BL
Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMD or QCD - Which has to come out first?
Replies: 7
Views: 481

Re: Investment made for emotional reasons--do they work out?

Thank you for letting us know how this turned out for now. It sounds like you have no financial worries so this is an act of love. You seem to be aware that there may be additional expenses as time goes on. She is very fortunate to have someone who is both willing and able to help her live out her d...
by BL
Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment made for emotional reasons--do they work out?
Replies: 11
Views: 1077

Re: Retiring in two months - what to do with TSP?

Social Security can be tricky to get the best benefit. If possible, higher earner (higher PIA) could delay as long as possible up to age 70 to "buy" a COLAd "annuity" for the life of longest living survivor, the best annuity money can buy. Higher earner could apply for spousal at...
by BL
Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring in two months - what to do with TSP?
Replies: 11
Views: 1273

Re: 30 Years Old/Backward Earnings Advice

You do have an "odd" combination of conservative attitude toward the stock market vs. jump on insurance products, alternative investments, etc. Remember the tortoise/hare race? Perhaps it serves you well in your current occupation. Good job saving and paying down debt. Do some reading of s...
by BL
Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30 Years Old/Backward Earnings Advice
Replies: 6
Views: 777

Re: 401K Pre Tax, Roth 401k or After tax 401K??? HELP!

I would like some recommendation on how to manage the ever complexing world of taxes and how to reduce overall taxes paid. I am 37 yrs old, single mom, make $110K + bonus so am unable to contribute directly to Roth. See backdoor Roth in Wiki. I do believe that taxes when I retire in 25 years will b...
by BL
Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K Pre Tax, Roth 401k or After tax 401K??? HELP!
Replies: 14
Views: 910

Re: Help me retire in 10 years

Max your 401k now. Sell off company stock as early as you can. How many of your 35 Social Security years will be zero? It is ok to dream but be a bit realistic and enjoy life now as well. Are you both as determined or is it just you? It definitely takes two to achieve unusual goals such as this. Des...
by BL
Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me retire in 10 years
Replies: 27
Views: 3714

Re: Losing Sleep, Help with portfolio

Chances are the funds you had at EJ weren't so great, either, but you just didn't pay attention to them as much. It would be helpful to list all available funds in 401k, etc., with ERs and ticker symbols if you want help in selecting the best choices. ERs (costs) matter, and you don't have to have e...
by BL
Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Losing Sleep, Help with portfolio
Replies: 19
Views: 2574

Re: How do Traditional 401k vs Roth 401k withdrawals work?

I would plan to max out all available tax-advantaged accounts, so if that means all trad. 401k, so be it. Also lowering your taxes now is a sure thing, who knows what the future will be. It is nice to have some of each, so would encourage filling both of your Roth IRAs. If you don't have any non-Rot...
by BL
Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do Traditional 401k vs Roth 401k withdrawals work?
Replies: 9
Views: 695

Re: When to sell a mutual fund?

Perhaps you can find some useful information on investing in this free booklet online:
http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf

You won't find much encouragement for individual sectors here.
by BL
Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to sell a mutual fund? [Also, when to buy?]
Replies: 15
Views: 995

Re: Losing Sleep, Help with portfolio

You show a good fund in 401k (24% U.S. Stock Index .02% er) and good funds in the other work account (sorry, I don't speak symbols) She has a set and forget target retirement fund in her work account. I would consider moving the rest to Vanguard. If interested give them a call with totals to move an...
by BL
Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Losing Sleep, Help with portfolio
Replies: 19
Views: 2574

Re: Help Requested: How many ETFs & Index Funds is too much?

You can pick up Total international in Vanguard Roth IRA or taxable. If this is the same fund, here is data from Morningstar: BlackRock LifePath® 2050 Instl STLFX Type % Net % As of 03/31/2015 Cash 4.59% US Stock 56.65 % Non US Stock 36.45 % Bond 1.39 % Other 0.91% Plenty of international, but short...
by BL
Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Requested: How many ETFs & Index Funds is too much?
Replies: 32
Views: 1688

Re: Help Requested: How many ETFs & Index Funds is too much?

BTC LIFEPATH 2050 L (Blended fund) - No ticker symbol | ER = 0.09%

This may be all you need here.

A different choice is to use just the Vanguard funds and complete the portfolio in Roth IRA.

Total stock, total International and maybe bonds (muni if higher income) in taxable.
by BL
Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Requested: How many ETFs & Index Funds is too much?
Replies: 32
Views: 1688

Re: Minimizing penalties when transferring funds

Try to find out the basis and capital gains on your taxable now, before moving. Turn off re-investing to avoid more short-term capital gains. It is important to figure out your actual tax bracket. If income less SD less exemption less t401K contributions less any other tax exemptions = less than $37...
by BL
Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Minimizing penalties when transferring funds
Replies: 12
Views: 892

Re: Vanguard Portfolio + Tax Concerns

Others will likely have other input, but here's mine: In your traditional IRA, the Vanguard S & P 500 and Vanguard Total Stock Market indexes are pretty much the same thing. Me, I would ditch the 500 fund and merge the $117k with the $145k (Total Stock Market). Overall, you can simplify a bit b...
by BL
Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Portfolio + Tax Concerns
Replies: 13
Views: 842

Re: 29 y/o Financial Situation/Portfolio Suggestions

Congratulations! Suggest you read a couple of the recommended books here and follow Getting Started in the Wiki. Here is a little book written just for you: http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf Don't forget that the Total funds include the sectors that you are interested in as well, and give you a w...
by BL
Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 29 y/o Financial Situation/Portfolio Suggestions
Replies: 6
Views: 916

Re: should I add Gold Fund to my portfolio?

I'm new to investing. Just opened a couple index funds last month with Vanguard. I'm 38 years old. MY allocation is 38% S&P 500, 16% International Stock, 32% Bonds, and 15% REIT's. Wondering if i should add Gold/Mining Fund that Vanguard has, to further diversify? gixxer: Welcome to the Boglehe...
by BL
Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: should I add Gold Fund to my portfolio?
Replies: 21
Views: 1679

Re: Help Requested: How many ETFs & Index Funds is too much?

List the choices in 401k with ERs and ticker symbols.

Read a recommended book or two and watch the videos in Wiki.
Here is a good short booklet for newbies to get you going. It has lots of good ideas.
http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf
by BL
Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Requested: How many ETFs & Index Funds is too much?
Replies: 32
Views: 1688

Re: Roth IRA options when you can't contribute to it anymore

Name/Inception Date Asset Class Category Gross Expense Ratio** Shareholder Fees SPTN TOT MKT IDX INS (FSKTX) 11/05/1997 Stock Investments Large Cap 0.07% SPTN EXT MKT IDX ADV (FSEVX) 11/05/1997 Stock Investments Mid-Cap 0.07% VANG TOT BD MKT INST (VBTIX) 12/11/1986 Bond Investments Income 0.07% You...
by BL
Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA options when you can't contribute to it anymore
Replies: 12
Views: 1177

Re: 35 year old, looking for AA - Completely confused.

Maybe the easy way is to put the target fund in each place: Vanguard Target Retirement Funds , 0.11%. I own the. Vanguard Target Retire 2045 II in my 401k Perhaps the Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Fund (VTTHX) with 18% bonds is closer to your 80/20 choice. You could put the target fund in your 401...
by BL
Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 35 year old, looking for AA - Completely confused.
Replies: 8
Views: 1663

Re: Investment advice for 69-year-old

There is also a Vanguard Tax-Managed Balanced Fund Admiral Shares (VTMFX) at about 50 US stocks/50% bonds if you want a single fund in taxable account, or you could do bonds in IRAs and stock funds in taxable.
by BL
Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for 69-year-old
Replies: 11
Views: 1287

Re: Looking for advice on Bene IRA

Yes, municipal bonds if in higher tax bracket. 25% is the toss-up. Oh, you are in an IRA, so no tax benefit to munis at all.
by BL
Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for advice on Bene IRA
Replies: 49
Views: 1680

Re: Looking for advice on Bene IRA

I suggest you do some of the recommended reading at this site. Unless you understand it, you are just as likely to give up and sell when "something better" comes along or the stocks crash, which they will. Here is a PBS Frontline video with a lot of good information on costs: http://www.pb...
by BL
Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for advice on Bene IRA
Replies: 49
Views: 1680

Re: Question regarding annuity for my parents

It might be worth considering whether delaying SS until age 70 (or as long as you can up to that age) would be a better use of some of that money. If they are already drawing, I believe you have 1 yr to change minds and pay back. Buying the SS "annuity" gives you the extra in COLA'd return...
by BL
Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question regarding annuity for my parents
Replies: 9
Views: 789

Re: 2 million dollar mistake meeting with MIL's financial gu

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Whole life, or any life, is not an investment.
by BL
Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 million dollar mistake meeting with MIL's financial guy
Replies: 23
Views: 4977

Re: what should MIL do with "windfall"?

She could set aside enough to pay for 401k and a Roth IRA each year (live on this money while contributing max to 401k.) This will essentially transfer some of her money into tax-advantaged funds. She could pay down enough to avoid PMI and possibly refinance. It sounds like she has too much house. S...
by BL
Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what should MIL do with "windfall"?
Replies: 12
Views: 1295

Re: Is this a reasonable request for broker?

Perhaps he is afraid you are planning to leave and disrupt his retirement plans.
by BL
Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this a reasonable request for broker?
Replies: 13
Views: 1120

Re: Coming to terms with low risk tolerance

I suggest you also read Dr. Bernstein's little booklet for Millennials: http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf Choose an AA that lets you sleep at night. No one knows what will happen in the future. Young people are forgetting or haven't lived through the severe drops of 2008-9. One thing I would sugg...
by BL
Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Coming to terms with low risk tolerance
Replies: 46
Views: 3460

Re: 72 year old converting traditional IRA to a roth?>

It sounds like two unrelated ideas. Yes, it could be a good idea to convert the trad. IRA to a Roth IRA, if he has money outside of the IRA to pay the tax. As stated, he must do the RMD before the conversion. Does he know that he might (if congress again passes the law) be able to use some/all of th...
by BL
Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 72 year old converting traditional IRA to a roth?>
Replies: 3
Views: 408

Re: 26 year old asking advise on the next steps to take

I used this site to determine the 28% tax bracket. Bank Rate. I apologize number mean a lot and in this case my actual salary is 91,814... putting me right into the 28%. If my understanding of the table is correct. If this was your taxable income (not your salary) this would be true. However, you g...
by BL
Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 26 year old asking advise on the next steps to take
Replies: 15
Views: 1117

Re: Roth 401k and Target Date Funds

I am at 25% rate and will estimate that I will probably stay there between now and through retirement. So traditional 401k would make more sense then or do my 401k match and the rest in a Roth IRA with vanguard? The other reasoning I had in staying all in my plan was to keep all the money in one pi...
by BL
Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth 401k and Target Date Funds
Replies: 6
Views: 522

Re: Newbie - Help with Vanguard funds

Here is a nice little booklet for you: http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf written by William Bernstein. Go to the Wiki here and click on Getting Started. Read, watch videos, read some recommended books. Read about the 3-fund portfolio (similar to the 4 recommended funds you list, as well as the Ta...
by BL
Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie - Help with Vanguard funds
Replies: 5
Views: 476

Re: Roth 401k and Target Date Funds

What tax bracket are you in? Unless you expect your bracket to be higher when you retire, I would definitely use the traditional 401k. Put as much as you possibly can into retirement funds, after emergency fund and debts are taken care of. You can get more into trad 401k, since the government will b...
by BL
Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth 401k and Target Date Funds
Replies: 6
Views: 522

Re: 401K and Taxable Account Advise

Is this tax status correct (married filing separately) or the one on you other thread (which I assumed to be married filing jointly)? It does make a difference for various things such as whether you can have a Roth IRA and tax brackets.
by BL
Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K and Taxable Account Advise
Replies: 19
Views: 1501

Re: How to allocate inheritance proceeds?

Besides above suggestions, here is a little booklet for you:
http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf

Take your time and avoid serious mistakes. I think you are well on your way.
by BL
Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to allocate inheritance proceeds?
Replies: 16
Views: 1246

Re: Should I make Roth contributions to 401k?

Yes, to your first point. You are saving by not paying taxes 25% of the amount you put in traditional, so you could be putting in more and ending up with the same paycheck. To your second point: if we flip the script and put me in the 15% tax bracket now and 25% tax bracket at retirement, then the R...
by BL
Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I make Roth contributions to 401k?
Replies: 28
Views: 1915

Re: 26 year old asking advise on the next steps to take

You are off to a great start. Don't count on pension until you are vested or have been there many years. Life has a way of throwing curve balls. Here is another little booklet written just for you (besides the Wiki here and watching their videos): http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf Single funds ha...
by BL
Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 26 year old asking advise on the next steps to take
Replies: 15
Views: 1117
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