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Re: 2014 Commuter Transit Benefit Raised Retroactively to $2

fina fits department to fix this, so they don't cause you to lose potentially hundreds of dollars in additional tax savings for a third time when this happens again next year. It seems to me that your benefits department are not the people who caused this and are not the only ones that need to be l...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2014 Commuter Transit Benefit Raised Retroactively to $250
Replies: 6
Views: 519

Re: Hard time calculating exactly how I've invested into my

Statements from the period should show contributions. Did you save them or do you still have access to Fidelity statements? Worse case both Fidelity and Vanguard will send you a copy of 5498 in May or June showing your contributions. At that point cleaning up any excess is painful, but since the 549...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hard time calculating exactly how I've invested into my ROTH
Replies: 4
Views: 351

Re: Laptop as a hard drive [Laptop as a desktop]

The main disadvantage is you end up paying for two screens; two keyboards; a battery, touch pad, camera and some speakers you don't use; and maybe a few premium parts needed to squeeze things into a laptop. I've tried various docking ports over the years and have never found one that works well, alt...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop as a hard drive [Laptop as a desktop]
Replies: 20
Views: 758

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA conversion for 2013 in 2014

Sounds like you did 2013 correctly. This year you only need to file one 8606 (and another for your wife). Enter your non-deductible contribution for 2014 on line 1. Carry forward the 2013 non-deductible contribution on line 2. The two conversions (one in early 2014 and one later) are combined on lin...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA conversion for 2013 in 2014
Replies: 3
Views: 230

Re: 1 rollover per year?

The IRS has a very specific meaning for the term "Rollover". A trustee-to-trustee transfer is actually NOT a rollover. So the report is technically correct, but most people use a broader definition for a rollover than the IRS. Yes and no. Some trustee-to-trustee transfers are rollovers, s...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1 rollover per year?
Replies: 17
Views: 877

Re: A perfect profession

You also get packaging changes for technical reasons. Look at Coke Cola cans and bottles from different decades. There's been a lot of engineering to save a few grams per container. There's a bit of technical detail in a paper board boxes. I also remember being (thankfully) a bystander during a thre...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A perfect profession
Replies: 61
Views: 6204

Re: Gaming PC for son, buy or build?

Somewhat simplified. A PC is as fast as it's slowest bottleneck. Before a PC is mass produce some effort goes into making all the bottlenecks the same size. This requires engineering, since there are sometimes non-linear, non-obvious or down right counter intuitive issues. If you build a PC from a d...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gaming PC for son, buy or build?
Replies: 48
Views: 2197

Re: Don't be tempted to buy your teen a cheap (old) car, par

A link to the study and not a report of the study: http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2014/12/02/injuryprev-2014-041401.full.pdf+html The thread title perhaps comes from reports of the article (perhaps the ScienceDaily.com site). If the thread title had been "Your teen should drive ...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't be tempted to buy your teen a cheap (old) car, parents
Replies: 66
Views: 4448

Re: questions about my Roth IRA & the IRS

I started my Roth in March 2011 when I realized none of my tIRA contributions were reducing our 2010 taxes. I think it was because my husband had retired and I was contributing so much to my 401k that our income was real low. I called Vanguard and they suggested I recharacterize my 2010 contributio...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: questions about my Roth IRA & the IRS
Replies: 13
Views: 886

Re: In my ETrade DRIP account -- Small amounts of cash pop u

I once had something similar when the broker lent my shares (to a short seller),

Dividends were reinvested, but "payments in lieu of dividends" were not.
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: In my ETrade DRIP account -- Small amounts of cash pop up??
Replies: 7
Views: 708

Re: State tax deducation & AMT

The problem as I see it is the example that I gave of a $2000 deduction creating a $1 tax benefit. Whether it is a caused by rounding calculations, other calculations under AMT such as the capital gains portion, the way the IRS form works, or the way tax software does the computations. The way Turb...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State tax deducation & AMT
Replies: 31
Views: 2781

Re: Theoretical maximum tax deduction

Treating this as a puzzle. His and hers 457(b): 2 * 18,000 His and hers educator credits ??? If over age 50 there are catch up contributions His and her 401(k) catchup 2 * 6,000 His and her IRA catchup IRA 2 * 1000 403(b) catch up ??? not sure how this works. Do we allow foreign earned income exclus...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Theoretical maximum tax deduction
Replies: 3
Views: 453

Re: Help Needed ETF Picking: Tax Implications

5. In the future, if you feel you must get rid of VV, IJH, and IJR, then you may have opportunities to do so without paying taxes on them: d. If you are (or get) married and family income stays at the 90k level you may have a few thousand of 0% capital gains tax. e. You may have a low income year (...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Needed ETF Picking: Tax Implications
Replies: 3
Views: 335

Re: Don't be tempted to buy your teen a cheap (old) car, par

In a newer car, they're more likely to have Bluetooth and voice activation for phone calls. ... There is the fact that certain risky behaviors increase in counterintuitive ways. It's been pretty convincingly demonstrated that hands free phones are not safer. The limitation is not that we only have ...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't be tempted to buy your teen a cheap (old) car, parents
Replies: 66
Views: 4448

Re: Don't be tempted to buy your teen a cheap (old) car, par

But as far as the article goes I'm not convinced. This seems like this is not particularly thorough research if you look at the source material. Who knows what kinds of confounding factors are out there. Not saying it's wrong, just that this is pretty surface level research. If the conclusions do n...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't be tempted to buy your teen a cheap (old) car, parents
Replies: 66
Views: 4448

Re: Gas Prices ($1.99) in North Texas

I've never understood this "I want a V8". Power, torque, acceleration, quarter mile time; wanting those I can understand, but geometry, and its not even stellated dodecahedron! Seriously if you want a V8 put one of these in a moped.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Prices ($1.99) in North Texas
Replies: 45
Views: 2699

Don't be tempted to read articles by people who can't reason

In order to determine if older cars are more dangerous you need four pieces of information: 1) Number of accidents in older cars. 2) Number of accidents in newer cars. 3) Exposure (number miles driven or similar) in older cars. 4) Exposure in newer cars. They could at least try but no, they only gat...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't be tempted to buy your teen a cheap (old) car, parents
Replies: 66
Views: 4448

Re: Effect of 0.79 correlation: fantasy vs. reality

nisiprius wrote:Your portfolio has a market value, and that market value is described by return and standard deviation.

Well that's one theory.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Effect of 0.79 correlation: fantasy vs. reality
Replies: 52
Views: 3560

Re: Performed backdoor Roth and accountant did not file 8606

In other words, if an annual statement, 1099R or 5498 is correct, do I have to keep it? L. The IRS's view is below. I am not sure of the status of the IRS instructions. There may be gross overreach here, but how would a taxpayer know for sure? If you're well organized you will not want these record...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Performed backdoor Roth and accountant did not file 8606
Replies: 51
Views: 3534

Re: Performed backdoor Roth and accountant did not file 8606

I'm not so sure because I can't think of a convenient method to allow the conversions in one case and not allow them in the other . Different rules for taxable and non-taxable part of the conversion; maybe an AGI limit that would convert a non-taxable conversion to a taxable one, something like set...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Performed backdoor Roth and accountant did not file 8606
Replies: 51
Views: 3534

Re: Charitable Contribution from IRA

In 2013 the extender allowed QCD made in early 2013 to count for tax year 2012. Did anything similar happen this time?
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable Contribution from IRA
Replies: 39
Views: 1367

Re: VWINX declining, any ideas why?

If you don't believe dividends matter, then you don't believe Mr. Bogle's future TR= initial dividend + growth of dividend + speculative return (PE expansion/contraction) Can you give a cite for that? I can believe Mr. Bogle said that, but he either didn't mean it literally or he has changed his mi...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VWINX declining, any ideas why?
Replies: 42
Views: 3738

Re: Correlations of Risk Factors in Down Markets

Select the times that all of them go down, and calculate the correlation for those periods. Well then you will certainly get a higher correlation, but that is because you specifically chose periods where they were highly correlated. :confused Exactly. A crisis defined as a time when every thing goe...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Correlations of Risk Factors in Down Markets
Replies: 22
Views: 1431

Re: Home battery storage

So I decided to try the 9v battery firestarting technique - went to the garage and got some steel wool, intending to walk out to the driveway and set it on fire. It's a good fire starter, but I don't think it will light a driveway. You need LOX for that. :twisted: Edit to add: I guess we won't get ...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home battery storage
Replies: 21
Views: 2085

Re: Trad IRA --> Roth in anticipation of backdoor Roth, or w

If your future income is higher than todays, it's not likely your future tax rate will be lower, and it's possible it will be higher. That suggests that if you intend to do a backdoor Roth after your income increases, then converting now may be better, and shouldn't be worse, than converting later.
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trad IRA --> Roth in anticipation of backdoor Roth, or wait
Replies: 4
Views: 376

Re: myRA up and running, but worth it?

There's no opportunity to let it sit there once it's full. Correct. In order to keep the myRA account for the maximum amount of time, you would have to stop contributing to the myRA well before reaching the $15,000 limit. Of course, the cap could always go up later, so there is always that. You can...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: myRA is now open
Replies: 31
Views: 1916

Re: Tax Loss Carryover Schedule D

If you used tax software last year (a) the worksheet may be there and printable and (b) the carryover amounts should roll forward to this year's return. The carry forward to 2014 does not appear explicitly on the IRS's 2013 worksheet. It's certainly possible for a tax preparer to add value with a p...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Loss Carryover Schedule D
Replies: 8
Views: 702

Re: Home battery storage

be very careful with 9 Volt battery storage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnVDayI-gwI Why is it only "9 Volt batteries that have this problem"? I can see more likely, but not only. Sure, but in this case "more likely" may be a couple of orders of magnitude. A large enough qua...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home battery storage
Replies: 21
Views: 2085

Re: Replacement Car Savings

The cost of car maintenance and the life span of a car are not always directly related to mileage. Some things wear out from time rather than use. Reducing mileage from small to tiny may not save anything. What does help is reducing usage that is hard on the car such as short trips (that don't allow...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacement Car Savings
Replies: 11
Views: 1543

Re: Correlations of Risk Factors in Down Markets

I agree with nisiprius. Look at it this way. A crisis is defined as a time when everything goes down. Even if everything is an uncorrelated random walk then by chance sometimes everything will be down at the same time. If you only look at the periods when everything goes down, you'll find that durin...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Correlations of Risk Factors in Down Markets
Replies: 22
Views: 1431

Re: A puzzle about Social Security

I think this is more a matter of personal taste in programming. With faster computers, I can code the MC and run it faster than you can construct your big matrix and with enough points to make the stat noise negligible. I totally agree with your matrix approach, but also assume that we might after ...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A puzzle about Social Security
Replies: 46
Views: 3528

Re: myRA up and running, but worth it?

Note that it's only available to those ... whose employers do not offer their own retirement plan, like a 401(k) or 403(b). Where do you see that? (The rest I agree with). It says "it is a good option for people without access to employer-sponsored retirement savings plans" but I can't se...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: myRA is now open
Replies: 31
Views: 1916

Re: myRA up and running, but worth it?

Whoa, I thought $15k was the max total in principal, but that it could still grow past it... but now I see the max balance is $15k, which means we need to regularly do IRA transfers? I dunno. Does not sound worth the hassle to me. So just put in $14k. It'll take several years at present rates befor...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: myRA is now open
Replies: 31
Views: 1916

Re: Tax Loss Carryover Schedule D

The carryover isn't on any one line of the prior years return, but it is calculable by combining several. Use the Capital Loss Carryover Worksheet in the Schedule D instructions. I don't think the 2014 version is out yet, but the 2013 version should be close. Even if line numbers have changed you sh...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Loss Carryover Schedule D
Replies: 8
Views: 702

Re: Yahoo mail

So ... bottom line, changing an e-mail address is out of one's control. Now, I check TWO e-mail addresses. Those who e-mail me at Yahoo don't hear back from me (or don't hear back from me in time). But that does not appear to be impacting the Yahoos who mail me there :oops: Set the Yahoo account to...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yahoo mail [problems]
Replies: 29
Views: 2033

Re: myRA up and running, but worth it?

There will be a few bogleheads who use this to put $14,500 in the G fund. That's probably worth a few hundred a year over the alternatives. We see plenty of cases of jumping through smaller hoops for a lot less.
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: myRA is now open
Replies: 31
Views: 1916

Re: Effect of 0.79 correlation: fantasy vs. reality

It's not of much practical interest for individual investors, but in theory there is no reason to restrict an allocation to the range 0 to 100%. Plotting the rest of the curve shows shows if the arbs should get to work. A correlation of 1 with different returns is a perfect arbitrage. It's quite val...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Effect of 0.79 correlation: fantasy vs. reality
Replies: 52
Views: 3560

Re: Ski questions from a Southerner

For one day, I would buy long johns and wear jeans over them. Besides that, I would not even go the first time for one day. One will need good gloves or mittens, good hats and probably good goggles in addition to one's blue jeans. Anything but jeans, more generally anything but cotton. If you wear ...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ski questions from a Southerner
Replies: 34
Views: 2443

Re: Social Security implications when dividing up income

For the OP, at this point in your lifecycle, I think splitting income is wise, as SS uses the highest 30(?) years of income as a basis for benefits. SS uses the 35 highest (index adjusted) years to calculate retirement benefit. This brings an interest wrinkle. If you work for say 40 years then 5 of...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security implications when dividing up income
Replies: 17
Views: 1930

Re: What desktop should I buy.

Thanks for all the replies. I'm not very tech-savvy so I cannot build my own desktop. Our current laptop is slow, though still works marginally ok. My major hassle with it is that it takes forever to connect to the internet (wireless connection) and most times require 2 or 3 reboots. And I think mo...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What desktop should I buy.
Replies: 36
Views: 2576

Re: SS Delay Question

Because of the the COLA pension, I'd check if the Government Pension Offset or Windfall Elimination Provision applies.

Does the pension come from a job that was not covered by SS?
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Delay Question
Replies: 14
Views: 1599

Re: Odds of portfolio survival = 90%; odds of my survival =

Portfolios don't have an infinite projected life. They have an increasing failure rate as the planning horizon increases. A portfolio with an expected 10% failure rate at the 30-year mark will reach 20%, 30%, 40%, etc., failure rates at longer horizons. Victoria I see we crossed in the post, above ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Odds of portfolio survival = 90%; odds of my survival = 0.1%
Replies: 167
Views: 9698

Re: Which is the better option: 457 or Taxable ETF?

You just mentioned tax brackets. One of the advantages of tax deferred is that it allows you to arbitrage tax rates -- taking a tax deduction at say 25% and paying 15% later. The fact that you have a low effective rate is only partially information. It suggests that you may have a low marginal rate ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which is the better option: 457 or Taxable ETF?
Replies: 11
Views: 695

Re: Planning next year Roth conversion (child tax credit)

I believe EITC is also in play in your situation. One child MFJ, the AGI limit is ~$44k. Sorry can't help with the details. Because the savers credit is higher with the lower AGI, a mere $6k difference in AGI results in a $1k difference ... Looks like shooting for $36,600 AGI is the best scenario! I...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning next year Roth conversion (child tax credit)
Replies: 10
Views: 700

Re: Odds of portfolio survival = 90%; odds of my survival =

A portfolio may have a 10% failure rate for a 30-year duration and, say, a 40% failure rate for a 50-year duration . The latter case is consistent with a combination of a healthy economy and health advances. Delayed Social Security, I-Bonds, TIPS, inflation-indexed pensions and SPIAs significantly ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Odds of portfolio survival = 90%; odds of my survival = 0.1%
Replies: 167
Views: 9698

Re: Paying Estimated Taxes, Due Date, Paying Monthly/Online?

I've got online accounts set up at both the federal and state IRS. When I do my yearly taxes, I go ahead and figure out what my minimum withholding will be to avoid a penalty for the next year, log on to the IRS online accounts, and set up 4 quarterly withdrawals from my bank checking account to th...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Estimated Taxes, Due Date, Paying Monthly/Online?
Replies: 17
Views: 1684

Re: Paying Estimated Taxes, Due Date, Paying Monthly/Online?

For those who set up automatic quarterly payments what dates to you use, middle of the quarter etc.? It was pointed out to me that if the payment is due lets say by Sept 15th for the Jun-Aug quarter and you pay on Sept 1 that payment could mistakenly be applied to the Sept-Dec quarter and thus you ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Estimated Taxes, Due Date, Paying Monthly/Online?
Replies: 17
Views: 1684

Re: Odds of portfolio survival = 90%; odds of my survival =

1. Some risks are in my control, and some risks are not. I can control my asset allocation, including shifting some of my assets to income. I cannot control the solvency of the American government or natural disasters. 2. For the risks that are in my control, I want my Liability Matching Portfolio ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Odds of portfolio survival = 90%; odds of my survival = 0.1%
Replies: 167
Views: 9698

Re: Got Stock option with a new job - Is it good ?

I'll recommend "Consider your options" by Kaye Thomas. Probably more than you need to know but certainly everything you need to know. Available through the Amazon link at the top of the page. ^
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Got Stock option with a new job - Is it good ?
Replies: 9
Views: 1201

Re: What desktop should I buy.

Unless you've changed what you use it for a 3 or 4 year old laptop should not be slow. I suspect there is something particular wrong with it*. It's hard to diagnose at a distance but there is a decent chance that a clean install of windows (or Linux) would make it quite usable. If this is the case t...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What desktop should I buy.
Replies: 36
Views: 2576
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