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by DSInvestor
Sun May 24, 2015 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Taxes on Social Security
Replies: 15
Views: 836

Re: Question about Taxes on Social Security

One thing on TaxCaster -- I noticed that Pensions and IRA distributions go into the same "box" on TaxCaster. Is this where I would report a T-Ira to Roth conversion withdrawal ?? The taxable amount of Roth conversions goes in that same box for Pensions and IRA distributions. I say taxable...
by DSInvestor
Sun May 24, 2015 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2011 Tax Error
Replies: 4
Views: 359

Re: 2011 Tax Error

In March 2011, I converted $47,350 in tIRA funds to Roth IRA. At the time, this IRA contained only after-tax (non-deductible) IRA contributions. Therefore, I thought that I wouldn't incur any taxes on the conversion. Did you have $47,350 in IRA basis in 2011? If your tIRA was worth 47,350 as a resu...
by DSInvestor
Sun May 24, 2015 1:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American living in Taiwan
Replies: 16
Views: 957

Re: Passive vs Active

since I am in the lowest tax bracket, all of the funds u mentioned is fine? If you're in the lowest tax bracket, tax efficiency is not much of a concern. There may be little need to hold a tax exempt bond fund. A diversified taxable bond fund like Total Bond Market Index may be fine for you. If you...
by DSInvestor
Sun May 24, 2015 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Individual 401k vs SEP IRA if I cannot do the backdoor Roth
Replies: 3
Views: 189

Re: Individual 401k vs SEP IRA if I cannot do the backdoor Roth

If you switch to a Solo 401k plan that accepts inbound rollovers from IRA, you can use the backdoor into Roth IRA. Vanguard's Individual 401k does not accept rollovers from IRA. Fidelity's Self Employed 401k does accept rollovers from IRA and you can use Spartan Index funds in there. Have you been c...
by DSInvestor
Sun May 24, 2015 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any solo retired RVer's out there?
Replies: 2
Views: 491

Re: Any solo retired RVer's out there?

I did a 6 month trip in 2013 where I visited 20+ national parks in the US in WA, OR, CA, MT, WY, UT,AZ, NM, CO, TX, FL. I did not do it in an RV. I'm not a fan of RVs. I would maybe consider doing it in a VW Westfalia which can pretty much go anywhere. I did it in a car (Toyota Camry) with a Yakima ...
by DSInvestor
Sat May 23, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most effective wifi upgrade for range/speed?
Replies: 17
Views: 1146

Re: Most effective wifi upgrade for range/speed?

I noticed a big improvement in video streaming when I swapped out my G router with a newer N and later an AC router. I did not change any wireless adapters at the various devices. 2.4GHz has have better range than 5Ghz. The AC routers can be configured for separate SSIDs for each frequency or you ca...
by DSInvestor
Sat May 23, 2015 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SEP or Solo 401k
Replies: 7
Views: 332

Re: SEP or Solo 401k

As an employee, I make the maximum allowable contributions to my 403(b), 457(b) and Roth IRA. I have just been presented with a significant consulting opportunity and am wondering whether I should just make the maximum allowable employer contribution to my SEP or whether I could contribute more (an...
by DSInvestor
Sat May 23, 2015 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taking out a TSP loan to fund Roth IRA
Replies: 13
Views: 682

Re: Taking out a TSP loan to fund Roth IRA

I vote no. The deadline for 2015 Roth IRA contributions is April 15, 2016. That gives you some breathing room to rebuild your emergency cash reserves and/or save for your Roth IRA contributions. If you're planning on retiring at age 50, are you also contributing to taxable accounts or have investmen...
by DSInvestor
Sat May 23, 2015 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA distribution question
Replies: 8
Views: 769

Re: IRA distribution question

I have copies of the 8606 forms filed for 1994, 1996, and 1997. Should I be getting copies of the forms (signed) that were submitted to IRS from IRS? I plan to do this in the next month - 2015 is my rollover/conversion year. Thank you. The key is to have those forms handy when you prepare your 2015...
by DSInvestor
Sat May 23, 2015 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: iPhone with or without contract?
Replies: 10
Views: 966

Re: iPhone with or without contract?

If you like your current plan and just want to change your phone, go with an unlocked phone. Going with a subsidized plan on 2 yr contract may mean switching telco or higher monthly charges. Some telcos like T-Mobile tack on an extra fee/month to pay off the phone and once paid off, the your month f...
by DSInvestor
Sat May 23, 2015 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New jobs...advice on IRA and TSP rollovers?
Replies: 6
Views: 253

Re: New jobs...advice on IRA and TSP rollovers?

If her legacy 403b would accept an inbound rollover, that would be great if you wanted to use backdoor into Roth IRA. If that plan offers Vanguard Target Retirement or LifeStrategy funds, those may have lower expense ratio than similar allocations of TSM/TISM/TBM. Vanguard's funds of funds hold Tota...
by DSInvestor
Sat May 23, 2015 12:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American living in Taiwan
Replies: 16
Views: 957

Re: Passive vs Active

Tax advantaged accounts are great for tax inefficient and tax efficient investments. Taxable accounts should hold tax efficient investments if you're in a high tax bracket. If you're in a low tax bracket, tax efficiency may not be much of a concern. Passive funds can be tax efficient like Total Stoc...
by DSInvestor
Sat May 23, 2015 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA distribution question
Replies: 8
Views: 769

Re: IRA distribution question

Yes. That sounds like the best way to go. I will rollover to Roth the basis amount ($5000) then rollover the remaining amount to TSP. Neither action affects the contribution limits for my Roth for 2015 or my TSP for 2015. Right? Thanks for answering my questions. Rollovers or Conversions to Roth IR...
by DSInvestor
Sat May 23, 2015 2:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA distribution question
Replies: 8
Views: 769

Re: IRA distribution question

Thank you for explaining that. I tried to fill out the 8606 form but didn't understand about the prorating aspect before I posted my question. Is a rollover of my traditional IRA in part or whole into the Federal TSP possible given the mix of tax deductible and non-deductible contributions? I have ...
by DSInvestor
Fri May 22, 2015 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Distribution question for 401K, IRA , ROTH IRA
Replies: 1
Views: 135

Re: Distribution question for 401K, IRA , ROTH IRA

The withdrawals at age 55 show not eligible to withdraw. You are allowed to withdraw from 401k and Traditional IRA before reaching age 59.5. Withdrawals will be taxable and subject to 10% early withdrawal penalty unless you qualify for an exemption. If you retire from your job at age 55, I believe y...
by DSInvestor
Fri May 22, 2015 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-deductible Contributions to SEP question
Replies: 9
Views: 292

Re: Non-deductible Contributions to SEP question

Alan S - Back to my confusion, are you saying that someone could make a non-deductible after-tax contribution to a before-tax SEP-IRA? Assuming one could, why would someone do this instead of opening up a Roth IRA? Wouldn't the co-mingling of deductible and non-deductible funds complicate the distr...
by DSInvestor
Fri May 22, 2015 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-deductible Contributions to SEP question
Replies: 9
Views: 292

Re: Non-deductible Contributions to SEP question

DSInvestor - Are you sure that someone can put $5.5K into a Traditional/Roth IRA as well as maxing out an SEP-IRA? I have looked at this, and it seems there is an AGI limit of $191K for opening up a Roth IRA. Yes, the rules permit contributions to SEP-IRA and to Traditional/Roth IRA. I have done it...
by DSInvestor
Thu May 21, 2015 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA distribution question
Replies: 8
Views: 769

Re: IRA distribution question

No you cannot cherry pick the basis on distribution. If you take a partial distribution and have IRA basis, you must prorate the basis. Keep in mind that IRS treats all of your assets in Traditional IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP-IRA and SIMPLE-IRA as one big Traditional IRA. So if you have 500K total in th...
by DSInvestor
Thu May 21, 2015 11:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are ETFs better for tax gain harvesting?
Replies: 6
Views: 546

Re: Are ETFs better for tax gain harvesting?

You can avoid triggering frequent trading restrictions on Vanguard mutual funds by using automatic transactions (i.e. schedule a sell of your VG mutual fund shares for tomorrow instead of today).

IMO mutual funds are easier to work with.
by DSInvestor
Thu May 21, 2015 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stupid COBRA question
Replies: 12
Views: 844

Re: Stupid COBRA question

COBRA can be a nasty beast as well. If you are ever on COBRA make sure people know about it and you have funds accessible for them to pay your premium should you become incapacitated. My wife used to administer COBRA for a company and she has several heartbreaking stories. One woman had stage 4 can...
by DSInvestor
Thu May 21, 2015 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-deductible Contributions to SEP question
Replies: 9
Views: 292

Re: Non-deductible Contributions to SEP question

SEP-IRA contributions are made by the employer or your self employed business and are an expense of your business. These contributions are deductible (pre-tax). If you want to convert your SEP-IRA contributions to Roth IRA immediately after contribution but the conversion is taxable which essentiall...
by DSInvestor
Thu May 21, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Citi Price Rewind
Replies: 2
Views: 274

Re: Citi Price Rewind

I have used it as well and it works. If you find a lower price than the prices found by the citi price rewind service, you can download a form and submit a printout of ad, web page and your purchase receipt to submit a claim.
by DSInvestor
Thu May 21, 2015 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited money and Roth contributions
Replies: 6
Views: 496

Re: Inherited money and Roth contributions

If your parents are not maxing out their 401k or 403b plans for 24K each, they should do so as well as maxing out their Roth IRA. Traditional 401k/403b contributions will help them reduce their AGI and MAGI for Roth IRA purposes and stay under that 183K limit.
by DSInvestor
Wed May 20, 2015 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rollovers/Back door Roth
Replies: 1
Views: 154

Re: Rollovers/Back door Roth

Your new 401k has some good low cost investment options (index funds) and assuming there are no extra fees, it would be a good place to hold the assets from your rollover IRA. Are you both contributing to Traditional 401k or Roth 401k? Traditional 401k would help stay under the MAGI limits for Roth ...
by DSInvestor
Wed May 20, 2015 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ways to fund an early retirement?
Replies: 40
Views: 2353

Re: Ways to fund an early retirement?

If shooting for early retirement without a pension, you should consider maxing out Traditional 401k/403b at work then Roth IRA via backdoor if necessary, then investing in taxable accounts paying attention to tax efficiency. This maximizes your tax deductions each year and gives you tax diversificat...
by DSInvestor
Wed May 20, 2015 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Head scratcher? why do these funds differ in performance?
Replies: 10
Views: 1101

Re: Head scratcher? why do these funds differ in performance?

Just bring up a chart of USD GBP exchange rates. In order for the funds to have identical performance, the exchange rates would have to be exactly When comparing two USD domiciled US stock market funds there is no foreign exchange issue. To bring up a chart showing exchange rates, visit yahoo finan...
by DSInvestor
Wed May 20, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Head scratcher? why do these funds differ in performance?
Replies: 10
Views: 1101

Re: Head scratcher? why do these funds differ in performance?

Just bring up a chart of USD GBP exchange rates. In order for the funds to have identical performance, the exchange rates would have to be exactly When comparing two USD domiciled US stock market funds there is no foreign exchange issue. To bring up a chart showing exchange rates, visit yahoo financ...
by DSInvestor
Wed May 20, 2015 11:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEP IRA Question
Replies: 12
Views: 595

Re: SEP IRA Question

Now final question, and you all have been a big help, expense wise is there that big of a difference in having the IRA with a broker like Scottrade using Vanguard Index funds, or opening it directly with Vanguard? I know Vanguard charges $20 per fund in the account vs. $7 for each trade or purchase...
by DSInvestor
Wed May 20, 2015 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a DVR device for antenna TV (Simple.TV?)
Replies: 32
Views: 2125

Re: Looking for a DVR device for antenna TV (Simple.TV?)

Are the shows that you want to watch available on apps like PBS or Hulu? PBS app on Roku is free and you can some good stuff there - NOVA, Frontline, Nature, Masterpiece, American Experience. Hulu Plus costs 7.99/month and you wouldn't have to deal with recording anything as long as the show is avai...
by DSInvestor
Tue May 19, 2015 6:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Big change in AA
Replies: 6
Views: 465

Re: Big change in AA

VTMGX is Tax managed international. Was this 350K invested in international stocks at the FA before the transfer to Vanguard? If yes, just buy 350K right away and get back to your target AA. No...the 350K was not in international. I only have 4% of my portfolio now in Int'l....so it's a new allocat...
by DSInvestor
Tue May 19, 2015 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Big change in AA
Replies: 6
Views: 465

Re: Big change in AA

VTMGX is Tax managed international. Was this 350K invested in international stocks at the FA before the transfer to Vanguard? If yes, just buy 350K right away and get back to your target AA.
by DSInvestor
Tue May 19, 2015 3:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Turned 40, time to figure out a long-term plan
Replies: 13
Views: 2176

Re: Turned 40, time to figure out a long-term plan

For asset allocation, I think I can figure out the stock portion. I'm less certain about what fund we should use for our bonds. Total Bond Market in Vanguard Roth? one of the TIAA-Cref bond funds? F or G fund in TSP? I plan to read more about the differences, but is there one that is an obvious cho...
by DSInvestor
Tue May 19, 2015 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEP IRA Question
Replies: 12
Views: 595

Re: SEP IRA Question

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rollover_chart.pdf Yes, but a SEP can't be rolled into a SIMPLE. Why do you need it to rollover to SIMPLE-IRA? You can stop contributing to the SEP-IRA, rollover to Traditional IRA, terminate SEP-IRA and then start a SIMPLE-IRA or another type of plan that would be a...
by DSInvestor
Tue May 19, 2015 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEP IRA Question
Replies: 12
Views: 595

Re: SEP IRA Question

SEP-IRA can be rolled over into Traditional IRA or Roth IRA pretty much immediately after the contribution. Rollover from SEP-IRA to Roth IRA is a Roth conversion and would be taxable. Rollover to Traditional IRA would not be taxable.
by DSInvestor
Tue May 19, 2015 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help understanding SEP-IRA
Replies: 9
Views: 477

Re: Need help understanding SEP-IRA

I used to use SEP-IRA when I was self employed as an S-Corp. When organized as a corporation paying a W-2 salary, SEP-IRA contributions are made by the employer and can be 0-25% of W-2 salary. The percentage contributed to each employee must be the same. If I want the S-Corp to contribute 25% for me...
by DSInvestor
Mon May 18, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expense ratio question
Replies: 5
Views: 640

Re: Expense ratio question

A prorated amount of the expense ratio is taken each day. The NAV reported each trading day is after expense ratio has been taken out.
by DSInvestor
Mon May 18, 2015 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EIN for individual 401k
Replies: 5
Views: 251

Re: EIN for individual 401k

First time posting! I am trying to open an individual 401k with Vanguard. The registration form demands an EIN which can not be my social security number. Although it seems easy to obtain this number on the IRS website for free and apparently quickly, is there any downside to doing this? Anything i...
by DSInvestor
Sun May 17, 2015 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage or Mutual Fund
Replies: 7
Views: 525

Re: Mortgage or Mutual Fund

I did a little of both after I maxed out all tax advantaged contribution space. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.
by DSInvestor
Sat May 16, 2015 8:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: non deductible traditional ira options
Replies: 12
Views: 422

Re: non deductible traditional ira options

kavijj wrote:I keep calling an IRA, but it's a traditional 401K at work.
sorry, I told you I was confused.

Traditional 401k contributions are pre-tax (tax deductible) no matter how high your income.
by DSInvestor
Fri May 15, 2015 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: passport card faster than passport?
Replies: 32
Views: 1974

Re: passport card faster than passport?

Enhanced Drivers License or Enhanced ID would work great to cross border into Canada by land. I believe OP is a resident of Washington, and they issue enhanced DL/ID. It should arrive in less than 30 days. I think I got mine in less than 2 weeks in WA state. Enhanced DL also allows access to Ready ...
by DSInvestor
Fri May 15, 2015 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: passport card faster than passport?
Replies: 32
Views: 1974

Re: passport card faster than passport?

Enhanced Drivers License or Enhanced ID would work great to cross border into Canada by land. I believe OP is a resident of Washington, and they issue enhanced DL/ID. It should arrive in less than 30 days. I think I got mine in less than 2 weeks in WA state. Enhanced DL also allows access to Ready L...
by DSInvestor
Fri May 15, 2015 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roths or get rid of mortgage insurance?
Replies: 7
Views: 717

Re: Backdoor Roths or get rid of mortgage insurance?

Also, FWIW, we already max out a 403b and 401k (and those contributions would not be impacted), have minimal debt, fully-funded emergency fund, etc etc. The mortgage is a 30-year fixed at 3.375%. Are your 401k and 403b contributions Traditional or Roth? If Roth 401k/403b, switching to Traditional 4...
by DSInvestor
Thu May 14, 2015 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: solo 401k while employed
Replies: 12
Views: 569

Re: solo 401k while employed

The 18K employee contribution limits for 401k is shared across all 401k plans. If you'll max out 18K at your w-2 job, you'd have no room left for employee contributions into solo 401k. You can still make the employee profit share contributions which is roughly 20% of your self employed net business...
by DSInvestor
Thu May 14, 2015 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: solo 401k while employed
Replies: 12
Views: 569

Re: solo 401k while employed

I've been contributing to my 401k this entire year. Am I limited in my solo 401k contributions with my new IC job? The employee contribution limit of 18K is shared across all 401k plans. If you contributed 10K to the 401k at the W-2 job, that leaves 8K of contribution room for employee salary defer...
by DSInvestor
Thu May 14, 2015 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: solo 401k while employed
Replies: 12
Views: 569

Re: solo 401k while employed

Currently work full time as MD for large hospital system. Have a 401k/403b which I fund to max every year. I'm now doing some ind contractor work on side. I would like to invest this money and am wondering if it would be better to just add it to my current taxable account or start a new solo 401k f...
by DSInvestor
Thu May 14, 2015 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting Town home--How to analyze?
Replies: 7
Views: 774

Re: Renting Town home--How to analyze?

You may need to notify your mortgage company that you're renting out the home. Check your mortgage docs. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/need-notify-mortgage-company-rent-out-house-39695.html Mortgagees are mortgage lenders who give money to homebuyers to make their home purchases. In return for the mo...
by DSInvestor
Wed May 13, 2015 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA to Roth questions.....
Replies: 25
Views: 1403

Re: IRA to Roth questions.....

Waiting until the end of the year to convert doesn't save you any taxes necessarily unless the market goes down at time of conversion. You just make the estimated tax payment later in the year. If the market goes up towards the end of the year you would pay more in taxes. Thanks for the reply..... ...
by DSInvestor
Wed May 13, 2015 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Make my iPhone switch from WiFi to mobile data when WiFi signal is low
Replies: 10
Views: 873

Re: Make my iPhone switch from WiFi to mobile data when WiFi signal is low

Does your router support dual band and is it setup for two SSIDs one for 2.4GHz and another for 5Ghz? If your iPhone is currently connected to the 5GHz SSID, maybe try to connect to the 2.4GHz SSID. 2.4GHz tends to have longer range than 5Ghz. Is there anything around the router? One of my neighbors...
by DSInvestor
Wed May 13, 2015 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some capital gains/losses questions (and a couple of other general tax questions)
Replies: 9
Views: 630

Re: Some capital gains/losses questions (and a couple of other general tax questions)

Shares are short term if they've been held for less than 1 yr. Shares are long term if they've been held for 1yr or longer. Long term capital gains tax rate applies to the capital gain realized when selling shares that have been held for 1yr or longer. Fairmark.com has some great information on capi...
by DSInvestor
Wed May 13, 2015 11:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Total Bond ETF vs Total Bond Admiral Fund
Replies: 10
Views: 931

Re: Vanguard Total Bond ETF vs Total Bond Admiral Fund

If your accounts are at Vanguard, use admiral shares. If at other firms where Total Bond Admiral is not available, consider the BND ETF shares.

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