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Re: Drinking water

At the house I grew up in, the tap water was foul. Worst I've tasted anywhere on the planet. I think it was due to high calcium content; not sure. In any case, it was unpleasant even to brush your teeth with it. So my parents bought bottled water for 40+ years. All of the water we drank, plus the wa...
by House Blend
Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drinking water
Replies: 26
Views: 1497

Re: Preparing for RMDs

I recognize I'll get bitten big time by RMDs and will have to suffer the bite -- I'm just trying to minimize some of the teeth to this bite. Any thoughts? Good problem to have. To help mitigate RMD growth, you'd want the slowest growing assets in your portfolio in tax-deferred. (This applies to the...
by House Blend
Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for RMDs
Replies: 42
Views: 2553

Re: Preparing for RMDs

Donating to charity from an ira is the same as 100% tax. Many people with large estates (defined to mean more money than they or their heirs "need") and large charitable ambitions don't see it that way. If you don't want the money that is fine but it doesn't help you pay for health care o...
by House Blend
Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for RMDs
Replies: 42
Views: 2553

Re: Preparing for RMDs

Consider a HYPOTHETICAL single Boglehead with no children/grandchildren, and guaranteed income in excess of expenses. You have > $1M in tax-deferred accounts and > $1M in Roth. Why are you converting the tax-deferred assets to Roth if there is a 99% probability that you'll never spend those dollars...
by House Blend
Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for RMDs
Replies: 42
Views: 2553

Re: Roth IRA phase out calculator

It depends on 4 variables: MAGI, age, tax year, and filing status. I'm assuming the tax year is 2014. There's no way you could know what your MAGI will be for 2015 to any degree of accuracy. Example: if you are single, the phase-out range for 2014 is MAGI $114K to $129K. If you were 50+ in 2014, you...
by House Blend
Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA phase out calculator
Replies: 7
Views: 633

Re: How do I utilize a VG Taxable account?

^Yes, and the Bogleheads wiki has some helpful articles.
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Category:Tax_considerations

Maybe take a look at the article on Cost Basis Methods.
by House Blend
Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I utilize a VG Taxable account?
Replies: 15
Views: 1719

Re: Preparing for RMDs

I will receive a federal pension of 90k plus cola. Pension will cover my expenses and allow me to save 1000-1500 a month. I believe I will be in the 25% tax bracket once retired. A $90K pension with 1 exemption and standard deduction puts you maybe $10K below the start of the 28% bracket. (Perhaps ...
by House Blend
Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for RMDs
Replies: 42
Views: 2553

Re: Preparing for RMDs

House Blend: I will only have the 1 standard exemption/itemized deductions. I will not be eligible for SS. I have no dependents. My retirement fund is primarily to cover any unanticipated expenses that can't be covered by emergency funds. Beneficiaries may be in a lower tax bracket. OK, that clarif...
by House Blend
Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for RMDs
Replies: 42
Views: 2553

Re: Preparing for RMDs

I will receive a federal pension of 90k plus cola. Pension will cover my expenses and allow me to save 1000-1500 a month. I believe I will be in the 25% tax bracket once retired. A $90K pension with 1 exemption and standard deduction puts you maybe $10K below the start of the 28% bracket. (Perhaps ...
by House Blend
Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for RMDs
Replies: 42
Views: 2553

Re: How do I utilize a VG Taxable account?

2) which fund(s) should I put in my taxable account? 3) next year can I directly transfer money from this account into my Roth? Or must I cash out money from the taxable account and then fund the Roth? 4) I assume there is nothing much tricky about a taxable account but this is my first time utiliz...
by House Blend
Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I utilize a VG Taxable account?
Replies: 15
Views: 1719

Re: vwitx, vbtix, vt tax placement

Most(?) brokerages do not offer Admiral shares of Vanguard mutual funds.

The usual workaround is to hold Vanguard ETFs (same ER as Admiral), but in this case there is no ETF share class of Intermediate Tax-Exempt.

In order to get Admiral shares, you'd need a Vanguard account.
by House Blend
Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: vwitx, vbtix, vt tax placement
Replies: 3
Views: 503

Re: When/how to invest monthly savings into taxable?

I'm wondering if there is a recommended way to route savings into a Vanguard taxable account. Probably there are as many good ways of doing it as there are Bogleheads. I make one monthly purchase in taxable, manually. It has to be manual, because the amount available depends on what else is happeni...
by House Blend
Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When/how to invest monthly savings into taxable?
Replies: 32
Views: 2769

Re: Some help with Roth vs pre-tax

I guess I don't see what you mean. The AGI is the AGI. It does not go up if I sock money away after tax. While I am at the upper end of the 28% bracket, I am not at 33% before any Roth contribution, and therefore I am not at 33% after any Roth contribution. The after tax contribution is immaterial ...
by House Blend
Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some help with Roth vs pre-tax
Replies: 11
Views: 646

Re: Some help with Roth vs pre-tax

The data doesn't add up: If you are at the top of the 28% bracket, and you move the dial from more tax-deferred to more Roth, say hello to the 33% Federal bracket. So your current tax-deferrals *are* keeping you in a lower bracket. For most Bogleheads under most circumstances, tax rates will go down...
by House Blend
Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some help with Roth vs pre-tax
Replies: 11
Views: 646

Re: Boglehead Beer

I love this thread. My current favorite beer is oatmeal stout. You must try Founder's Breakfast Stout. Amazing stuff; I've never had anything that tops that. Purists may quibble that it doesn't qualify as a "true" oatmeal stout; in any case, it has oats, chocolate, and coffee. Somewhat re...
by House Blend
Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 475
Views: 66836

Re: Is a Traditional Annuity ever worth it?

Selfa, It's important to understand which flavors of Traditional your employer is offering. It is common for employee contributions to go into an SRA or GSRA contract, and for employer matches to go into an RA or GRA. The SRA and GSRA contracts allow transfers out without penalty or delay (and pay l...
by House Blend
Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a Traditional Annuity ever worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 1368

Re: why did my portfolio perform so badly in '14 ?

1. If you have the option of rolling tIRA dollars into your T-C RA contract, that would certainly be an easy way to increase your allocation to TRAD. I like that way of doing it better than my suggestion of opening a T-C IRA for holding TREA. (This is all assuming that you want/need a higher allocat...
by House Blend
Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: why did my portfolio perform so badly in '14 ?
Replies: 13
Views: 3270

Re: TIAA CREF International Choices

I think the best option is to open a Vanguard IRA and use it to buy Total International.

Failing that, I agree that you have identified the two best options, and their plusses and minuses. (Another item for consideration is that CREF Stock is not an index fund.)
by House Blend
Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA CREF International Choices
Replies: 1
Views: 242

Re: Adjusted Livesoft Income (ALI)

Counting tax-deferred contributions into retirement accounts leads to double counting of income: once when it goes in, and a second time when it comes out. If you modify ALI to include Roth withdrawals, then it can be triple counted: contribute; Roth convert; withdraw. AHBI (Adjusted House Blend Inc...
by House Blend
Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adjusted Livesoft Income (ALI)
Replies: 31
Views: 3012

Re: why did my portfolio perform so badly in '14 ?

The only reason I have cash in my Roth is that my only under-weight category is bonds, and there's the issue of what's a good fixed-income investment these days. OK, but CDs in a Roth are clearly better. When you (House Blend) mention "the liquid form of Traditional at 3%" you're talking ...
by House Blend
Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: why did my portfolio perform so badly in '14 ?
Replies: 13
Views: 3270

Re: Poll: What Percent of TIPS in Taxable Account

Suppose you are in the 15% Federal bracket, and don't have enough room in tax advantaged space for all of your bonds. Which would you rather put in your taxable account, the VG TIPS fund, or TBM? While you may prefer TBM for the steadier income stream, the main tax factors affecting this decision ar...
by House Blend
Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: What Percent of TIPS in Taxable Account
Replies: 27
Views: 1654

Re: Which of 7 cost-basis methods? (Poll)

Average works ok for those who are willing to pay more tax than necessary and unwilling to learn about the alternatives. Specific ID for everyone else. Edit : LGUT fails when you are donating shares. There, what you want are the lowest cost long-term shares. Another failure mode: tax gain harvesting.
by House Blend
Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which of 7 cost-basis methods? (Poll)
Replies: 11
Views: 870

Re: Asset allocation & taxes

^Many Bogleheads do not tax-adjust their asset allocation. Among those who do not, I think the most common (rational) justification is that if tax-adjusting says that your "true" risk exposure is 55/45, whereas your IPS dictates 60/40, then your odds of long-term success are still going to...
by House Blend
Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation & taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 644

Re: why did my portfolio perform so badly in '14 ?

Apologies in advance for serving up some unsolicited comments: 1. Why hold any cash whatsoever in the Roth? 2. What kind of contracts do you have at T-C? Any GSRA or SRA? The liquid form of Traditional at 3% is in my opinion a far better bargain than (a) cash, (b) short bonds, (c) CDs earning <= 3%....
by House Blend
Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: why did my portfolio perform so badly in '14 ?
Replies: 13
Views: 3270

Re: 1099-DIV error(?)

or am I missing something? Foreign taxes (for international funds) for one, and dividends from bond funds in which the share price does not reflect accrued dividends. If you buy shares of such a fund in mid-month, you won't get the full dividend. For vetting a 1099, I would compare with your end-of...
by House Blend
Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 1099-DIV error(?)
Replies: 14
Views: 1450

Re: Investment product idea: Splitting up Total US Stock

Why doesn't a mutual fund company offer 2 mutual funds, which together sum up to a Total US Stock Market Index fund? Apologies for chiming in late; I missed this thread the first time around.... This idea seems to get rediscovered here on Bogleheads once a year or so. FWIW, I gave some thought to t...
by House Blend
Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investment product idea: Splitting up Total US Stock
Replies: 20
Views: 2102

Re: How much food to you really keep?

There's probably 4-5 pounds of various kinds of pasta, and 2-3 pounds of rice. That's enough for 28 servings or so to at least put off starvation. Maybe another 20 servings of cereal. That plus other random stuff packed on the shelves could probably sustain two people for one month or so. But probab...
by House Blend
Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much food to you really keep?
Replies: 57
Views: 4151

Re: How Important Is SC To Portfolio?

Does it really matter? Do you think 5-10% of an extended market index will make much difference over a lifetime? The advisor is arguing that it won't. No and I think the advisor is right. But I overweight Small and Small Value slightly anyway, because I am interested in watching the long term behav...
by House Blend
Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Important are Small Cap stocks To Portfolio?
Replies: 4
Views: 687

Re: Rollover to Roth from 401K, IRA - sequence of moves

Are you over 59.5? Many employers do not allow rollovers out of their plans except for those who are either former employees, or over age 59.5. But some do. If your current employer allows after-tax contributions--which is not the same as a Roth 401(k) contribution--and allows transfers/rollovers ou...
by House Blend
Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rollover to Roth from 401K, IRA - sequence of moves
Replies: 2
Views: 439

Re: Expense Ratios Comparison Total Stock 2008 vs. 2013

For more fun with funds, our wiki does have some linkage to help guide you into the EDGAR database, where all of the old Annual Reports are archived. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Category:Vanguard_SEC_filings I used it to locate the December 2007 Annual Report for TSM. Here's the sequence of ERs ...
by House Blend
Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expense Ratios Comparison Total Stock 2008 vs. 2013
Replies: 9
Views: 805

Re: Expense Ratios Comparison Total Stock 2008 vs. 2013

I remember that thread. I was the one (maybe others too) who specifically brought up the trend in ER for Admiral shares of TSM. Indeed, the data I got was from the last Annual Report--that gives you the last 5 years of ERs. I also happen to have a prospectus for TSM dated April 2006 handy (in electr...
by House Blend
Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expense Ratios Comparison Total Stock 2008 vs. 2013
Replies: 9
Views: 805

Re: Taxable account options

Welcome to the forum. The only factor that might argue for taxable investing is if you have a 401(k) that belongs in the Hall of Shame. ( Edit : I'm responding to your first post, not your latest.) Between your IRAs and 401(k), can you build a reasonable portfolio in which all of the funds have an E...
by House Blend
Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable account options
Replies: 25
Views: 2095

Re: Cost Basis mistake

Vanguard is famous here for not allowing cancellation of pending transactions. (Other fund companies allow this.) If the sale is pending for close of business today, I think it would be worth at least a phone call to see if they would allow you to change the identification of which shares will be so...
by House Blend
Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost Basis mistake
Replies: 3
Views: 632

Re: Questioning the conventional logic on dividend reinvestm

But again, why even worry about the wash sales? They seem to be very easy to correct in case they do happen, but many people here treat them like the devil. Am I missing something? Wash sales that involve your IRA are evil--they cannot be "corrected". Wash sales entirely in taxable are me...
by House Blend
Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Questioning the conventional logic on dividend reinvestment
Replies: 24
Views: 2207

Re: Is the Vanguard TIPs fund Active or Passive?

For example, in 2014, the error for Admiral shares was +0.33% (better than the index). House Blend, your +0.33% seems to be the difference between the returns Vanguard reports for VAIPX (3.97%) and the Barclays US Trsy Inflat Prtcd Index (3.64%) on this web page for the year ended 12/31/2014. Howev...
by House Blend
Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the Vanguard TIPs fund Active or Passive?
Replies: 15
Views: 1408

Re: Questioning the conventional logic on dividend reinvestm

And automatic dividend reinvestment is always going to be faster than manual, if only by one day Manual can be as fast or faster. My taxable account contains TSM and TISM (and sometimes, their TLH partners). In the last few years, Tax-Exempt Bonds have been added to the mix. All dividends are sent ...
by House Blend
Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Questioning the conventional logic on dividend reinvestment
Replies: 24
Views: 2207

Re: Accidentally withheld 10% from Roth withdrawals

You will get the $460 back as soon as you file your 2014 tax return. Or, you could get it sooner if you are an employee having taxes withheld from your 2015 paychecks. Reduce that withholding now, and if necessary, redirect $460 of your 2014 refund toward your 2015 taxes. If you want to put $460 bac...
by House Blend
Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Accidentally withheld 10% from Roth withdrawals
Replies: 2
Views: 444

Re: Is the Vanguard TIPs fund Active or Passive?

It never deviates too much from the index in terms of the actual portfolio. Because the TIPS market is relatively less liquid, I think it's believed that you can pick up a few basis points of return by managing the timing of transactions. Has it shown to pick up these few extra basis points? In som...
by House Blend
Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the Vanguard TIPs fund Active or Passive?
Replies: 15
Views: 1408

Re: Doing my taxes by hand

Every year someone posts about doing taxes by hand. Why? Would someone attempt to wash a big load of laundry by hand? Cut a big yard every week with a pushmower? I get it that taxes are a once a year thing. But with all the cheap software, why do it by hand? What's the point? Why does anyone cook m...
by House Blend
Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing my taxes by hand
Replies: 64
Views: 4711

Re: Accidentally contributed to Roth IRA

what a mess. I assume Vanguard will make the proper calculations? Yes. This is Vanguard's problem to worry about. In my one experience with recharacterization I made a phone call to Vanguard, and they connected me to a recharacterization specialist. I explained which/how much of my contribution on ...
by House Blend
Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Accidentally contributed to Roth IRA
Replies: 25
Views: 3814

Re: Accidentally contributed to Roth IRA

Is the recharacterization as simple as paying income tax on $11 each? Or is there some pro-ration which occurs? The latter. Yes, there is proration. Example: You contribute $5K to TSM in a Roth. The Roth now consists of $10K in TSM and $10K in VWO. Three weeks later, you have $9.8K in TSM and $10.4...
by House Blend
Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Accidentally contributed to Roth IRA
Replies: 25
Views: 3814

Re: How much is too much for tax deferred investing

I currently invest around 59K in tax deferred savings (Employer's optional retirement, 403, 457, spouse's IRA). Stable job that I enjoy, and I intend to stay in this till retirement (between 66yrs - 70yrs old). If I keep saving at this rate (and assuming 7% annual returns (nominal)), I estimate tha...
by House Blend
Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much is too much for tax deferred investing
Replies: 23
Views: 3005

Re: TLH and Potential Wash Sale [Tax Loss Harvesting]

Does anyone know if a Roth conversion is a purchase or a sale for purposes of the wash sale rule? I'd guess it's not either because Vanguard shows the cost basis of the shares in the Roth IRA to be what the cost basis was in the traditional IRA. Also, the transaction type is listed as "transfe...
by House Blend
Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TLH and Potential Wash Sale [Tax Loss Harvesting]
Replies: 9
Views: 955

Re: Frequency of contributions question.....

recently read a comment/article/post/???? that implied that more frequent purchasing produces better results? Making purchases as soon as the money is available produces better results (on average). No way I would purchase anything on a daily basis. Even weekly is too often for my taste, but that m...
by House Blend
Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Frequency of contributions question.....
Replies: 10
Views: 667

Re: Spousal IRA contributions

Situation. I have high income (too high for any IRA deduction or front door Roth eligibility). My spouse has no income. I am interested in a spousal IRA. We do file jointly. 1) What is the advantage of the spousal IRA vs just investing in a taxable account outside an IRA? Without the deduction up f...
by House Blend
Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spousal IRA contributions
Replies: 16
Views: 2054

Re: Does anyone here collect currency?

I have a few... I collect currency with images of great scientists. Unfortunately that leaves out US currency. Au contraire, I think Ben Franklin FRS qualifies. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/28/US-%24100-FRN-1928-Fr.2150-G.jpg/250px-US-%24100-FRN-1928-Fr.2150-G.jpg
by House Blend
Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone here collect currency?
Replies: 30
Views: 1942

Re: Paper Statements

I prefer paper end-of-year statements.

Cannot get those now from VG without getting paper quarterly statements, so that's what I do. I also get paper annual reports, for stocking the bathroom reading shelf.
by House Blend
Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paper Statements
Replies: 68
Views: 3391

Re: what to do with actively managed funds in taxable accoun

1. If any of the particular shares you bought have losses, for sure sell those right away. Watch out for wash sales. If you sell VG Health Care in taxable at a loss, and buy the same fund in an IRA within 30 days, you will have a wash sale, and will not be able to claim some or all of the loss. 2. T...
by House Blend
Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what to do with actively managed funds in taxable accounts
Replies: 5
Views: 1016

Re: New equity funds in TIAA plan; please help w/allocation

I don't care for the T-C lifecycle funds; they are pricey and a dog's breakfast of actively managed funds. (Their Lifecycle Index Funds are not bad--both simpler and cheaper.) Sounds like a fine plan, using TSM/TISM in your preferred 60:40 ratio in your VG Roth IRAs, and (sorta) mirroring the same a...
by House Blend
Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New equity funds in TIAA plan; please help w/allocation
Replies: 3
Views: 531

Re: Employer added equity funds, please help with allocation

Is this the only account you have? If not, then the "best" answer will depend on the relative sizes of those other accounts, and the funds available there. If it is your only account, given your stated preference for a market-weight sort of equity portfolio, I would stick with CREF Stock. ...
by House Blend
Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New equity funds in TIAA plan; please help w/allocation
Replies: 3
Views: 531
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