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Re: Prepaid Tuition Vs 529 plan

We have a similar program in our state and we bought in. I think your basic analysis is right. One thing to keep in mind is that there are a number of influences on tuitions at state schools (particularly state govt). In our state we went through a period of rapid tuition growth, and then a period w...
by Iorek
Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepaid Tuition Vs 529 plan
Replies: 12
Views: 869

Re: Buying life insurance online

Good topic and we are getting closer to buying life insurance as well. Don't mean to change the topic, but does anyone know the difference when it comes to alcohol use etc. We don't smoke, but like to have the occasional glass of wine. Will we not be considered preferred plus? Or does having a glas...
by Iorek
Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying life insurance online
Replies: 21
Views: 717

Re: Intuit Turbo Tax Refund

Intuit forced people that need Schedule D to upgrade to the Premier version and that was not well received. Now they are offering a rebate to those customers but you really have to question if they thought very much about this announcement. If you look into this a little further it turns out you mu...
by Iorek
Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Intuit Turbo Tax Refund
Replies: 23
Views: 2113

Re: Intuit Turbo Tax Refund

Note they just acknowledge they messed up the communications, not the fundamental strategy...
by Iorek
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Intuit Turbo Tax Refund
Replies: 23
Views: 2113

Re: EE bonds vs iBonds

I have both EE and I bonds for my emergency savings fund. Before 2011 EE bonds sold for 1/2 face value and were guaranteed to reach face value in about 20 years. Now the EE bonds sell for full face value. I can't find anything at treasurydirect dot com describing the guarantee of doubling your mone...
by Iorek
Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE bonds vs iBonds
Replies: 29
Views: 2424

Re: EE bonds vs iBonds

My wife and I are looking to purchase some EE bonds next week. The reason I like these bonds is the guaranteed double on your initial investment, and the exemption from state taxes. We are investing the full 20k, so our return after our 28% federal taxes should be 34,400 after the full 20 years. I ...
by Iorek
Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE bonds vs iBonds
Replies: 29
Views: 2424

Re: EE bonds vs iBonds

I think that's right, although don't forget you also can defer federal taxes on the i-bond interest.
by Iorek
Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE bonds vs iBonds
Replies: 29
Views: 2424

Re: Mortgage refinance: 15 year vs. 20 year vs. 30 year

Variants on this question come up a fair amount, so you might consider poking around the site. I don't think there's an obvious answer and I think you note the basic outlines of the issue-- pay a little more in interest expense in exchange for greater flexibility of cash flow and the opportunity to ...
by Iorek
Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage refinance: 15 year vs. 20 year vs. 30 year
Replies: 12
Views: 1306

Re: Is our taxable investment strategy logical or lame?

Personally, if it were me I would not invest in a Roth if I wasn't maxing out my traditional 401k (at least in those tax brackets). Whether to invest in a taxable account when you have room in a retirement account and aren't saving for a downpayment or e-fund is more a personal decision. One thing y...
by Iorek
Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is our taxable investment strategy logical or lame?
Replies: 12
Views: 1541

Re: Will young get social security?

There is no reason why SS could not be fully funded indefinitely-- whether it will or not requires speculation about future legislation.
by Iorek
Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will young get social security?
Replies: 13
Views: 1188

Re: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?

There was a time when I did no cost refis like that every 6-12 months for .25 -.5 %, so I would definitely do it. If you want to do a detailed payback analysis I think the mortgage professor website has good calculators.
by Iorek
Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?
Replies: 17
Views: 1020

Re: Using 529 Funds to prepay more than one year tuition

This probably is of no use, and I am not entirely sure it works, but I think if you have the cash to cover the upfront payment you could pay the school from other funds and then as you get tuition bills you could withdraw the amount of those bills from the 529 even if you did not have to send the 52...
by Iorek
Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using 529 Funds to prepay more than one year tuition
Replies: 8
Views: 763

Re: Declare inheritance from deceased relative this year or

Hopefully there is no tax due but for what it's worth, I believe if you received the check in 2014 then it belongs to the 2014 tax year-- the date you deposit or cash the check is technically irrelevant.
by Iorek
Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Declare inheritance from deceased relative this year or next
Replies: 13
Views: 1820

Re: My Christmas Message To You -- 70 Years Ago.

Thanks Taylor, for all you did then and all you've done since.
by Iorek
Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:03 am
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: My Christmas Message To You -- 70 Years Ago.
Replies: 58
Views: 5104

Re: Getting dual health insurance

You mentioned you will likely drop your coverage next year but are past your window. Your spouse gaining employment and benefits is a qualifying event and you should be able to modify your own benefit elections, including dropping your insurance or dropping your child from your insurance. +1 One is...
by Iorek
Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting dual health insurance
Replies: 13
Views: 765

Re: Getting dual health insurance

You should be able to do this (leaving aside any employer-specific rules). Basically, you should eligible for reimbursement if either plan would cover a given medical expense. Where both plans would cover the medical expense there is something called "coordination of benefits" which will g...
by Iorek
Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting dual health insurance
Replies: 13
Views: 765

Re: Federal Taxes - Sticker Shock (And how to reduce)

dbCooperAir wrote:
member wrote:Thats less than 15%. Am I missing anything?


Less than 15% is not a lot but $17,000 is still real money to me :wink:


Then the solution is either to make less or move to some place with a lower tax rate [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]
by Iorek
Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Taxes - Sticker Shock (And how to reduce)
Replies: 58
Views: 5457

Re: Transfer everything to TSP?

I have all my tax-deferred savings in my TSP, but I did pay to convert some IRAs to Roths (and I continue to fund a backdoor Roth). One advantage of rolling the funds into the TSP is it becomes cheaper/easier to do a backdoor Roth, if that's of interest. I am hoping they improve the withdrawal optio...
by Iorek
Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer everything to TSP?
Replies: 9
Views: 1061

Re: What "actively" managed funds do you own?

Oakmark Int'l and T Rowe Price REIT.

I used to invest with Dodge and Cox but moved everything out in the last few years, partly because I wanted to move out of managed funds and partly because they charge (or did then) an annual IRA maintenance fee, regardless of account balance.
by Iorek
Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What "actively" managed funds do you own?
Replies: 82
Views: 4796

Re: Quicken WillMaker - any users?

The above plain talk will raises an interesting point I had with Willmaker vs. local lawyer. The language used by both was quite different, both using obtuse legal wording for the most straightforward points, with (struggling to remember accurately here) the local lawyer being worse. It occurred to...
by Iorek
Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken WillMaker - any users?
Replies: 24
Views: 3230

Re: do people still steal portable GPSs from cars?

I had someone steal the charging cord when I left that in the car without the GPS, but I think I might have left the car unlocked (in our driveway). Anyway, I always put it out of sight, but don't really worry about leaving it in the car.
by Iorek
Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: do people still steal portable GPSs from cars?
Replies: 13
Views: 1963

Re: Best travel rewards card for my unique situation

The Sapphire Preferred is a good card (the Sapphire is similar but no fee, and not quite as good, e.g. I think it has a 1% transaction fee on foreign transactions), but FYI I think Chase discontinued the 7% bonus.
by Iorek
Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best travel rewards card for my unique situation
Replies: 11
Views: 1622

Re: Paying down mortgage vs maxing out retirement

Financially the question is whether you expect to do better than 3.75% over the comparable time horizon (13 years? 23 years?) for the amount you would be diverting. Aside from that, there is the psychological/emotional sides of things. Probably no wrong answer, but I would hope you could do better t...
by Iorek
Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying down mortgage vs maxing out retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 1463

Re: Retiree Health Insurance - Federal Employee

Not an expert but my understanding is that W can change plans, or change from self only to self and family either during any annual open season or at the time that H loses coverage.
by Iorek
Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiree Health Insurance - Federal Employee
Replies: 37
Views: 2419

Re: Vanguard Turbo Tax prices anounced

I used to do my taxes by hand, and I still like to review the printed forms, but I think Congress basically gave up a while ago on having a tax form simple enough to do by hand and now counts on people having access to tax software (whether through free file or otherwise).
by Iorek
Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Turbo Tax prices anounced
Replies: 88
Views: 14138

Re: Investing Magazines

I think the core problem is that you can probably learn what you need to know in one, or maybe two, issues of a magazine, but of course they need to publish many more so the possibilities are that they tell the useful stuff they've already told you, or they tell you stuff that is not helpful (either...
by Iorek
Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing Magazines
Replies: 29
Views: 2303

Re: Help Me Pick Insurer - Safeco - Erie - AAA

I have heard Erie, USAA, and Amica are the best for auto insurance, and Erie, Chubb and Firemans are the best for the home insurance. If they are competitive on price I would go with Erie.
by Iorek
Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Me Pick Insurer - Safeco - Erie - AAA
Replies: 25
Views: 2184

Re: Vanguard Turbo Tax prices anounced

Flagship Services and Asset Management Services clients will receive complimentary access to the Federal: Basic, Federal: Deluxe, and State: Basic products. Looks like it's free for Flagship folks once again. Last year the TT Deluxe edition handled Schedule D which was free. It appears this year on...
by Iorek
Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Turbo Tax prices anounced
Replies: 88
Views: 14138

Re: Bonds for taxable

Don't forget about i-bonds (and/or EE bonds) too. There are purchase limits, but they can be a nice option for at least a chunk of your taxable bond portfolio.
by Iorek
Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds for taxable
Replies: 15
Views: 1252

Re: A simple coffee maker

1) If money is no object, the best coffee makers are made by Technivorm, starting at around $300. "Best" is based on reviews by coffee snobs. 2) If you want to economize but still want reliable, high-temperature brewing, Bonavita makers can be had for about $150. The coffee snobs consider...
by Iorek
Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A simple coffee maker
Replies: 38
Views: 3238

Re: Online legal documents

I am also a lawyer and I would not discourage anyone from hiring a lawyer for their will, but I do think its possible to overstate the importance of a lawyer for a simple will, and I think generally following Nolo accurately will be better than no will at all (which is often the alternative). In par...
by Iorek
Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online legal documents
Replies: 5
Views: 889

Re: Online legal documents

user5027 wrote:Used Nolo Willmaker.


+1. I liked Willmaker better in part because I trust nolo more and because there isn't another person involved in entering my info, so if there's a mistake it's my mistake.
by Iorek
Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online legal documents
Replies: 5
Views: 889

Re: A simple coffee maker

I highly recommend a coffee maker with a thermal carafe-- either the zojirushi or the bonavita (the bonavita is more expensive but not as expensive as the technivorm).
by Iorek
Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A simple coffee maker
Replies: 38
Views: 3238

Re: Bumped out of first class at boarding - compensation?

Agree with FlyerTalk. The fact that you were flying award travel on USAir with United miles is going to make this a little more complicated for them to sort out. You'll have to be persistent and patient. It sounds like the gate agents and flight attendants did the best they could for you so I would...
by Iorek
Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bumped out of first class at boarding - compensation?
Replies: 61
Views: 8727

Re: Is this 529 abuse?

You don't have to worry about exceeding a reasonable amount in a 529; the 529 will do that for you. All 529s have upper limits after which growth may continue but no additional funds may be added. That number is typically around $400,000 per beneficiary. The bigger issue as others have said is the ...
by Iorek
Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this 529 abuse?
Replies: 9
Views: 1549

Re: Bumped out of first class at boarding - compensation?

I would ask over at flyertalk-- they are very knowledgeable about all the rules/practices. Look for either the USAir or the United FF forum.
by Iorek
Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bumped out of first class at boarding - compensation?
Replies: 61
Views: 8727

Re: A friend asked about about resignation timing, but IANAL

This is not legal advice and I have no experience in these areas, but I would have thought that the meaning of "vest" is that it's his no matter what happens after that. Now whether they can make it difficult as a practical matter might be a different question.
by Iorek
Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A friend asked about about resignation timing, but IANAL
Replies: 13
Views: 1589

Re: Good books on Law to give to a teenager?

That is such a broad request, but I'd say two you might consider are A Civil Action and The Buffalo Creek Disaster, which are both stories of lawyers fighting mass torts. My recollection is that Buffalo Creek Disaster is more readable but Civil Action is more modern/realistic (although both are cons...
by Iorek
Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good books on Law to give to a teenager?
Replies: 12
Views: 1097

Re: A week in Tuscany: April 2015. Suggestions?

You might check out the Fodors boards-- at least of a couple of years ago they had some active posters who very knowledgeable about Tuscany. We rented a villa in the Val D'Orcia a few years ago, outside of Montepulciano and had a wonderful time. It's south of Florence, and a long (but possible) dayt...
by Iorek
Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A week in Tuscany: April 2015. Suggestions?
Replies: 22
Views: 1764

Re: GAO Concerned your IRA may be too big!

a dual-professional couple who aggressively saved and invested in qualified 401k (with full employer contributions) beginning upon departure from school is in serious danger of running afoul of the 5,000,000 figure that is a recurring theme of the GAO report. In a country of over 300,000,000 people...
by Iorek
Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GAO Concerned your IRA may be too big!
Replies: 25
Views: 5289

Re: Land Trust "investment" for tax deduction

I have no idea how the OP's deai is structured, but I would just note that I find it very hard to believe that one could invest $50k in a deal and generate $250k in tax deductions. Presumably whatever one purchases the land for is its FMV and the FMV of the easement cannot be more than the FMV of th...
by Iorek
Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Land Trust "investment" for tax deduction
Replies: 14
Views: 6904

Re: When do your account returns dwarf your contributions?

It's taken me about 20-25 years. It is a little bit of a good news/bad news situation that when I run retirement projections the results don't seem seem to change very much based on contributions for the next 10-15 years.
by Iorek
Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When do your account returns dwarf your contributions?
Replies: 51
Views: 7791

Re: Should I have even $1 in Bonds?

You want to know your portfolio risk, in approx +10 yrs, that is excess of your needs. SS and pensions will be sufficient for your living needs. Is this correct? If this correct, then I say that bonds are not needed. Bonds could be drag on returns or even increase risk. I am curious what you mean b...
by Iorek
Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I have even $1 in Bonds?
Replies: 34
Views: 4422

Re: Estate planning - big firm or solo practitioner?

I think going through the Nolo Willmaker book is a very good way to prep for a discussion with a lawyer. It costs about $30 and will start you thinking about issues and give you understanding of some techniques like a bypass trust. I was quoted substantially larger fees for a will from the firms I c...
by Iorek
Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning - big firm or solo practitioner?
Replies: 22
Views: 2317

Re: Should I have even $1 in Bonds?

Noting but leaving aside for now the question of what constitutes your minimum expenses, I think in the end this comes down to the question of whether, if you have your minimum expenses covered, is that an argument for taking more risk or less risk with the rest of your portfolio. I don't think ther...
by Iorek
Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I have even $1 in Bonds?
Replies: 34
Views: 4422

Re: Question about Vanguard total stock market

I think they will pay another quarterly dividend around 12/20.
by Iorek
Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Vanguard total stock market
Replies: 8
Views: 1277

Re: Tax Question

Basis of the rental property will be the lesser of actual basis or fair market value when converted to a rental.
by Iorek
Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question
Replies: 14
Views: 1785

Re: Basic investing/tax related question

IIRC, your losses will first reduce your gains (long-term then short-term) and then what's left over can be deducted against ordinary income (up to $3k/year).

So, if you have no capital gains then you should be able to deduct the losses.
by Iorek
Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic investing/tax related question
Replies: 6
Views: 463

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA - some specific questions

I assume each of us have to do individual 8606’s? As a married couple, if you file jointly I believe each person's basis IRA contributions are reflected on the same 8606 and, like many lines on the return, are identified as "T" for Taxpayer and "S" for Spouse. At least, that's h...
by Iorek
Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA - some specific questions
Replies: 7
Views: 902

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA - some specific questions

Turbotax is just as easy for two as one-- it will simply ask you all the same questions for you and then for your spouse, and then generate two forms.
by Iorek
Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA - some specific questions
Replies: 7
Views: 902
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