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Re: Allocation review and advice for better use of "cash"

^However, it appears that you have no IRA accounts. Did you know that you can withdraw your Roth contributions at any time and any age without penalty? I think it is close to a no-brainer that you should be putting $5.5K + $5.5K into his and hers Roth IRAs every year until you have no more excess ca...
by House Blend
Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation review and advice for better use of "cash"
Replies: 5
Views: 1167

Re: Allocation review and advice for better use of "cash"

Our household is pretty conservative with money, no debt, decent retirement portfolio and regular contributions, a little bit of speculative sideline with essentially experimental (play) money, and mostly everything else has simply gone into standard FDIC-insured accounts. I've let that grow too la...
by House Blend
Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation review and advice for better use of "cash"
Replies: 5
Views: 1167

Re: Apple TV

I watched the entire World Cup on the Apple TV via the WatchEspn App. Between that and broadcast channels, I don't need cable anymore. Hate to break it to you, but unless you actually have a subscription to ESPN (via your cable provider, usually), you can't access WatchESPN. Until you can pay separ...
by House Blend
Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple TV
Replies: 43
Views: 3597

Re: Anyone using TIAA-CREF Brokerage Svcs? Just curious.

Anyway that was seven years ago. It seems odd to me that I've heard absolutely nothing about TIAA-CREF brokerage services in this forum. It is pure, pure curiosity on my part but I'd like to know how it's doing, what it's like. Is anyone familiar with it? My $0.02. I don't know much about their bro...
by House Blend
Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone using TIAA-CREF Brokerage Svcs? Just curious.
Replies: 4
Views: 460

Re: I think I might have too much saved in a 401k

At any rate the reason I mentioned it in the first place was to give some context to how I grew my 401k and why I felt concerned that continued similar performance going forward could result in RMDs becoming a problem. You keep saying that future RMDs might be a "problem". Maybe, in the s...
by House Blend
Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I think I might have too much saved in a 401k
Replies: 40
Views: 4185

Re: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?

It's definitely not worth it, but I do it anyway.
Democracy does not function well without eyes on (local) government.
by House Blend
Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?
Replies: 86
Views: 6227

Re: POLL: What is your weighted average duration in FI?

However, I would say that the TIAA traditional annuity variants which require 10-year payouts actually have a 4.5-year duration. Your reported dollar balance has no interest-rate risk, but the dollars you can actually take out of the account do have this risk. If you withdraw $100,000, you are actu...
by House Blend
Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POLL: What is your weighted average duration in FI?
Replies: 16
Views: 1012

Re: investing/personal finance as competitive sport

This is a male disease.

IMO the essence of maleness is that you can't tell if you are happy unless there is a way to keep score.
by House Blend
Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: investing/personal finance as competitive sport
Replies: 17
Views: 1415

Re: ROTH - Convert or Not

In your case, I think the main reason not to Roth convert is that there is not much point in pre-paying income tax on money that is destined for charity. (And it does look like pensions+SS+taxable account could cover your living expenses for the rest of your life.) If at age 70.5, you have a huge RM...
by House Blend
Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ROTH - Convert or Not
Replies: 6
Views: 493

Re: Help with 85 y.o. parents' retirement portfolio

Here's my question. I'm downloading all the files before my SEP IRA account closes at the place that used to have my money (I moved mine to Vanguard, after reading all the advice here). I found a link to "realized gains/losses," from 2002 to date. It's showing short-term "realized ga...
by House Blend
Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 85 y.o. parents' retirement portfolio
Replies: 53
Views: 4548

Re: Article: Conversation with John Bogle

Liked this quote Indexing may be boring, but do me a favor: Never open one of your 401(k) statements from the day you start work to the day you retire, 40 or 50 years later. When you open that last statement, never having looked at it along the way, you are not going to believe how huge it is. You ...
by House Blend
Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article: Conversation with John Bogle
Replies: 15
Views: 1894

Re: Tax Bracket Management at 15%/25% Boundary

^Maybe.

But when harvesting gains, you aren't actually reducing any current taxes. You are (optimistically) reducing future capital gains. If those future gains are subject to a 0% LTCG rate, or are erased when your heirs receive the step-up in basis, you haven't accomplished anything at all.
by House Blend
Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket Management at 15%/25% Boundary
Replies: 33
Views: 3270

Re: [Poll] How many brokerage firms do you use for investing

TIAA-CREF has a brokerage, TIAA-CREF Brokerage Services, but I don't think your 403(b) uses it. https://www.tiaa-cref.org/public/products-services/brokerage-services FWIW, I think T-C has been expanding its brokerage services into their DC plans (401(a), 403(b), 457(b)). With absolutely zero fanfar...
by House Blend
Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] How many brokerage firms do you use for investing?
Replies: 43
Views: 2039

Re: Tax Bracket Management at 15%/25% Boundary

^Yes, looks like a typo to me. Maybe a cut-and-paste job from the 2013 numbers.

I think column 1 should be $62,500.
by House Blend
Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket Management at 15%/25% Boundary
Replies: 33
Views: 3270

Re: Best Fixed Income Investment - Morningstar article

Plenty of stable value funds are paying more than 2.2%, so I don't agree with the headline.

In any case, I wouldn't touch CDs unless I had room for them in an IRA.
by House Blend
Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Morningstar article] the best fixed income investment
Replies: 55
Views: 3767

Re: best way to compare your investment ROR to a benchmark?

On the same spreadsheet, you could maintain a phantom portfolio consisting of a single LS or TR fund. Each time there is a flow into or out of your "real" portfolio, you would also make the same dollar purchase or sale from your phantom portfolo. Rebalancing moves on your real portfolio wo...
by House Blend
Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: best way to compare your investment ROR to a benchmark?
Replies: 2
Views: 220

Re: [Poll] Did you tax loss harvest in the past?

Probably 5 or 6 times. Plus a few other occasions where I was killing two birds with one stone, and TLH was the second bird. One example: moving assets to Vanguard in the mid 2000s, when I wasn't completely recovered from the '00-'02 crash. Exiting resulted in a small loss to claim on my taxes. One ...
by House Blend
Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] Did you tax loss harvest in the past?
Replies: 17
Views: 906

Re: How do I calculate my capital gains tax?

When I look at my account online, there is a column that says "Cost basis: $97,000." Is this the cost basis I would use to calculate my capital gains? The account is worth about $112,000. So would my capital gains be $112,000 - $97,000 = $15,000? I doubt it can be that simple. Yes, it can...
by House Blend
Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do I calculate my capital gains tax?
Replies: 7
Views: 646

Re: [Poll] Do you use automatic investment?

No. I invest whatever cash is leftover each month. I use it to buy whatever asset is most underweight at that moment. This month, two rather large dividend distributions will be part of the bundle of leftover cash. Some other month, property tax or income tax might be due. Too much variability on bo...
by House Blend
Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] Do you use automatic investment?
Replies: 30
Views: 1243

Re: Tax Bracket Management at 15%/25% Boundary

^Yes, this is counter-intuitive and pops up every few months. Here is a long recent thread in which Kevin M rediscovered it... http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=132597 I'll try to be brief. The cutoff between 15% and 25% for MFJ in 2014 is a taxable income of $73,800. Say you h...
by House Blend
Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket Management at 15%/25% Boundary
Replies: 33
Views: 3270

Re: How compelling is the TIAA Real Estate fund?

I apologize in advance for beating my drum once again on the topic of Traditional in an RA. With that disclaimer out of the way, don't make Trad/RA 100% of your fixed income allocation, unless your rebalancing strategy is to never rebalance from fixed income to equity. Combine it with Traditional i...
by House Blend
Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How compelling is the TIAA Real Estate fund?
Replies: 85
Views: 4508

Re: Tax Bracket Management at 15%/25% Boundary

Welcome to the forum. (Interesting that your first post comes two years after joining.) IMO there are too many variables involved to give good advice, or even determine whether Peter Foley's comment is relevant for you. The key variables include: expected/desired annual spending in retirement, size ...
by House Blend
Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket Management at 15%/25% Boundary
Replies: 33
Views: 3270

Re: How compelling is the TIAA Real Estate fund?

My current AA is 46% U.S. Stocks, 24% Intl. Stocks, 12% VG Total Bond, 10% TREA, and 8% VG High Yield Corp. Bond. Based upon the discussion I'm thinking of bumping up my TREA allocation. Also thinking of moving my bonds to TIAA TRAD in my RA (been hesitant to go the TRAD/RA route, but I'm slowly ta...
by House Blend
Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How compelling is the TIAA Real Estate fund?
Replies: 85
Views: 4508

Re: "Bad Timing Costs Investors 2.5% a year"

The finance buff did a nice post about how meaningless these comparisons are. +1. Comparing dollar weighted investor returns against fund returns makes no sense. (Unless the goal is to trick people into thinking that investing is too hard, and so you should hire an Investment Professional (tm) to d...
by House Blend
Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Bad Timing Costs Investors 2.5% a year"
Replies: 14
Views: 1798

Re: Schwab inherited IRA RMD question

Schwab doesn't calculate rmds on inherited iras. I don't think many brokerage companies do. Some annuity or mutual fund companies will but it's very product dependent (ie, liability dependent) Perhaps one reason for that is that in order to compute the non-spouse inherited IRA RMD correctly, you ne...
by House Blend
Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab inherited IRA RMD question
Replies: 20
Views: 944

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

ESPN3 used to simulcast virtually every thing from ESPN and ESPN2, but that stopped a long time ago. ESPN went around it by creating WatchESPN which requires a cable TV subscription rather than internet subscription. I can't imagine they care much if they lose some replay viewers, most people watch...
by House Blend
Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 63
Views: 4418

Re: How compelling is the TIAA Real Estate fund?

Those of us invested with TIAA-CREF call that fund TREA for short. And yes, it's a compelling asset class, much less volatile than REITs. I have 29% of my T-C portfolio in TREA and 53% in various T-C stock funds, so TREA is my most significant non-stock holding. Checkout the T-C forum on Morningsta...
by House Blend
Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How compelling is the TIAA Real Estate fund?
Replies: 85
Views: 4508

Re: How compelling is the TIAA Real Estate fund?

As many of the responders probably expect, I say there is nothing compelling about the TIAA Real Estate fund. I have owned if for about 30 years. Uhh, the inception date on this fund is 1995. That written, I am slowly divesting my TIAA-CREF portfolio of TREA where it composes 65% of my 403(b) asset...
by House Blend
Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How compelling is the TIAA Real Estate fund?
Replies: 85
Views: 4508

Re: How compelling is the TIAA Real Estate fund?

TREA is a nice to have, along with TIAA Traditional, but certainly not necessary. If she doesn't want to spend the time now getting up to speed with all the quirks of TREA and Trad, there's absolutely nothing wrong with going 3-fund. And she can change her mind later. One thing I would not recommend...
by House Blend
Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How compelling is the TIAA Real Estate fund?
Replies: 85
Views: 4508

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

Biggest issue I had with cutting the cord, which I've tried twice, is live sports...I miss them. A lot. In my area (NH), you can't get the Red Sox, Bruins, or Celtics over the air except if one of the broadcast networks has a national game. Instead I often threaten to cancel my cable package, which...
by House Blend
Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 63
Views: 4418

Re: possible to have TOO MUCH in 401k account?

2) What if taxes are higher when you retire? http://taxfoundation.org/article/us-federal-individual-income-tax-rates-history-1913-2013-nominal-and-inflation-adjusted-brackets for example, in 1983 the tax rate for income exceeding $34,100 (~80k in todays dollars) was 40%. Historically speaking, our ...
by House Blend
Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: possible to have TOO MUCH in 401k account?
Replies: 54
Views: 7231

Re: Taxable account allocation question

^Typically what you should do is settle on an AA first. Then look for the cheapest way to achieve that AA, given the account size and menu constraints. And yes, that often means things like loading up on the S&P500 index in your current 401k. Saving 50bp/yr in fund expenses on $800K is way more ...
by House Blend
Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable account allocation question
Replies: 7
Views: 712

Re: Taxable account allocation question

Either one is good. I would prefer VTSAX in taxable for three reasons: 1. In recent years , it has had a significantly lower dividend yield than VTIAX. In your tax bracket, the FTC is not enough to overcome the increased tax bill. The difference in Federal taxes is not huge--a few basis points, and ...
by House Blend
Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable account allocation question
Replies: 7
Views: 712

Re: 1.1 million Americans joined 2 comma club in 2013

Bad news for Vanguard Flagship Reps. Their workload is going up.
by House Blend
Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 1.1 million Americans joined 2 comma club in 2013
Replies: 11
Views: 1368

Re: Switching mutual funds with unrealized gains in taxable.

I am puzzled as to why she was taxed so much last year. The taxable fund in question resulted in an ~15k elevation in her AGI last year and her current earnings do put her in the 25% bracket. Would seeing the 1099 tell me if the taxable gain was from STCG due to fund turnover? What is the ticker sy...
by House Blend
Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Switching mutual funds with unrealized gains in taxable...
Replies: 18
Views: 1134

Re: Switching mutual funds with unrealized gains in taxable.

She is not repurchasing into those funds (we've taken care of that at least). Current tax rate is near the bottom of the 25% margin federal bracket. I expect it to stay there in retirement with the amount of social security she will be receiving. And unfortunately, charitable donations do not seem ...
by House Blend
Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Switching mutual funds with unrealized gains in taxable...
Replies: 18
Views: 1134

Re: TV show recommendations?

Just started The Wire (from Netflix).Thanks to those who recommended it Wow, I was not hooked until I got into the 2nd season. In the first season, I could barely comprehend what was going on, mainly due to the difficulty of understanding both the words of the dialog and their meaning (lots and lot...
by House Blend
Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 304
Views: 119859

Re: Estimating LTCG Tax Drag

Sorry, it is unclear to me what you are trying to model or hoping to accomplish. If you are trying to learn about tax-adjusting your asset allocation, there's a wiki article about that. Aside from cap gain distributions (which are likely to be rare with a fund like VTIAX), LTCG tax is a drag only af...
by House Blend
Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Estimating LTCG Tax Drag
Replies: 2
Views: 297

Re: I Learned a New Term Today: "Dominated Funds"

Speaking of dominated funds, I have a hard time understanding why VG Prime MMF still has $130B AUM. Sure, some folks are required to have a MMF in their brokerage account, but why keep more than the minimum in it except for brief periods in the middle of trades? Edit : Maybe the big shareholders are...
by House Blend
Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Learned a New Term Today: "Dominated Funds"
Replies: 19
Views: 1321

Re: Allocation Glide Path

russellh, My glide path says: reduce equity target 1% every year until personal circumstances dictate a need for review. Marriage, divorce, inheritance, retirement, and paternity suits are all examples of "personal circumstances" that might call for a change in allocation. No sense in tryi...
by House Blend
Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Glide Path
Replies: 13
Views: 773

Re: Calculating Dividend Tax Drag

There's no single answer such as "TISM has less tax drag than TSM" that's right for everyone. And the right answer can change from year to year. But looking at historical trends, don't you think you could make some recommendations to the "which fund in taxable question" that is ...
by House Blend
Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Calculating Dividend Tax Drag
Replies: 23
Views: 1583

Re: Venting about our complicated tax code

...It would be interesting to know if anyone in the higher tax brackets who has to consider more of these issues regularly has created a guide or had particular methods they use to deal with these issues (other than posting on here!)... Those higher tax brackets, above 28%, come with Certified Publ...
by House Blend
Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Working with] our complicated tax code
Replies: 25
Views: 1181

Re: [Working with] our complicated tax code

year 1: You sell equities that give you the least amount of gains and tax loss harvest if possible. But you take enough out to last you for 2 years with year 2 withdrawals. Year 2: You sell equities with the most amount of gains, but stay below the 15% tax bracket. Therefor pay 0% in capital gains ...
by House Blend
Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Working with] our complicated tax code
Replies: 25
Views: 1181

Re: GE Capital Retail Bank 5-Year 2.3% CD

I have access to TIAA Traditional account which yields 3.0% with no withdrawal restrictions OR 3.75% with withdrawals as annuity over 11 years after retirement. I stuck to 3.0% with flexibility of cashing it out if needed for 50% or my fixed allocation, am I making a mistake? Should I take higher i...
by House Blend
Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GE Capital Retail Bank 5-Year 2.3% CD
Replies: 75
Views: 7855

Re: Calculating Dividend Tax Drag

Foreign Tax Credit: 2.7% x .057746 = .156% This number changes from year to year. In 2010, it was 0.087870. 67% of dividend income is qualified This number also changes from year to year. In 2011, it was 70.74%. Tax Drag: (.027 * 0.67 * .21) + (.027 * 0.33 * 0.31) - .00156 = 0.5% This is misleading...
by House Blend
Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Calculating Dividend Tax Drag
Replies: 23
Views: 1583

Re: Calculating Dividend Tax Drag

This is a wonderful analysis. Thank you. Take home message. At current dividend yields, TISM has meaningfully more tax drag than TSM and it is worse at lower tax rates (you can get 0% dividend rate in the 15% federal bracket). That's wrong. Run the calculations for someone in the 15% Federal bracke...
by House Blend
Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Calculating Dividend Tax Drag
Replies: 23
Views: 1583

Re: 15% bracket: convert IRA or tax gain harvest?

If you have carryover losses, then you can't tax gain harvest without erasing those losses first. That's almost certainly a mistake.

Much better to continue getting a discount of $450 on your Federal taxes (15% of $3000) and filling the bracket with Roth conversions in the meantime.
by House Blend
Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 15% bracket: convert IRA or tax gain harvest?
Replies: 36
Views: 2444

Re: TIAA Traditional RA/GSRA Question

I am looking to move a larger portion into this and use this as my bond allocation - but do folks think I should take the higher interest rate and just deal with the 9 year withdrawal issue when I am close to retirement? Or sacrifice .5% interest to be able to move it out of this fund at any time? ...
by House Blend
Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional RA/GSRA Question
Replies: 11
Views: 655

Re: possible to have TOO MUCH in 401k account?

Sunnyday's example misses my point. Yes, spend the first 30 years putting money into regular tax-sheltered 403(b) or 401(k) accounts. This ensures that in retirement, you are able to withdraw funds to fill the 10%, 15%, and 25% brackets using $$$ that would have been taxed at 25% and 28%. But THEN,...
by House Blend
Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: possible to have TOO MUCH in 401k account?
Replies: 54
Views: 7231

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting Question

What is the most commonly used method to avoid wash sales when holding the same investment in both taxable and tax deferred accounts? For example, I have vanguard small cap value (VSIAX/VISVX) in both taxable and my Roth IRA. I have all my taxable funds set to NOT reinvest dividends and capital gai...
by House Blend
Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting Question
Replies: 15
Views: 851
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