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Re: Travel Insurance

I generally don't but I have once in a while-- for example sometimes we like to rent a beach house during hurricane season. While I could self-insure, I'm happier to take a bit of the savings from renting that time of year and put it towards trip insurance.
by Iorek
Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel Insurance
Replies: 20
Views: 1153

Re: Schwab Intelligent Portfolios [now live]

I wonder about the auto-TLH. In a world where Roth conversions already give taxpayers significant control over when to time their income I expect this is small potatoes, but I wonder how the auto-TLH works, and whether having auto-TLH as a feature offered on investment accounts will prompt the IRS t...
by Iorek
Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Intelligent Portfolios [now live]
Replies: 255
Views: 17923

Re: Asset allocation when using target retirement funds

Some people argue for bonds in tax-preferred to avoid paying tax on ordinary income gains, others argue for stocks in Roth to shelter the asset with greater growth potential. I tend to split the difference by putting my Roth into an aggressive lifecycle fund, so I certainly think that's a viable opt...
by Iorek
Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation when using target retirement funds
Replies: 8
Views: 815

Re: Choosing between learning a language/learning martial ar

Opening your thread I was going to recommend a martial art because of the health benefits of being in shape (I think Taekwondo is a pretty good all-around exercise, with some aerobic activity, and also some emphasis on core strength and flexibility). However, when I read that you were looking at it ...
by Iorek
Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Choosing between learning a language/learning martial art
Replies: 20
Views: 977

Re: Vanguard PAS vs. Portfolio Solutions?

If you have $5m I think the relevant comparison is to VG Flagship services, which are mostly free, isn't it?
by Iorek
Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard PAS vs. Portfolio Solutions?
Replies: 11
Views: 1065

Re: Disability insurance + life coverage

The long answer is of course that you should sit down and figure out how much you need to meet your family's needs in the event of those contingencies. It's hard to provide much advice without more info about ages of the family, other wage earners, etc. That said, I think the short answer is that fo...
by Iorek
Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance + life coverage
Replies: 2
Views: 299

Re: Ulysses Contract

I invest in target date funds partly because for this reason-- both for the automatic rebalancing and for the gradual shift away from a mostly equity portfolio.
by Iorek
Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ulysses Contract
Replies: 12
Views: 1260

Re: Vanguard becominng more assertive with boards WSJ

Vanguard does not have a good record on shareholder activism-- I think it is the biggest problem with the index fund model. Here is a recent example-- http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/busin ... opics&_r=0
by Iorek
Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard becominng more assertive with boards WSJ
Replies: 9
Views: 1873

Re: Costs of loyalty to employer

If you like your job, your coworkers and your commute then I would suggest you not underestimate the value of that. Another way to think about it is, what would you do with the extra money? For what it's worth, in my career I once took a 25% pay cut to a job that required about 25% fewer hours becau...
by Iorek
Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costs of loyalty to employer
Replies: 14
Views: 1671

Re: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL pla

I think the poster was using HCOL as a shorthand for "likely to be in a higher combined state/fed tax bracket". Technically of course that is not always the case, but I think it's often true that HCOL areas have higher salaries and higher state taxes.
by Iorek
Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL place?
Replies: 85
Views: 3289

Re: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL pla

NeutrinoPerson wrote:I am in the 25% tax bracket (I make $70k/year).


are you maxing out your 401(k)? In other words, if you don't contribute to a Roth, what will you do with the money?
by Iorek
Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL place?
Replies: 85
Views: 3289

Re: Treasury Direct (no TIPS or Series I) and taxes

I personally have chosen not to operate with the addition of TD as another agent holding assets just to be able to carry individual treasury bonds. I didn't like their approach to account management and customer interaction. Maybe they are different now but when they mailed out that plastic card gi...
by Iorek
Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury Direct (no TIPS or Series I) and taxes
Replies: 9
Views: 1071

Re: 529 Breakeven math; quick question

Some recent posts and a revisit of the Wiki have me thinking... Let's assume a high ER state plan that has a nice state tax deduction. When deciding whether to invest in this plan or the cheaper no state tax benefit alternative, shouldn't breakeven calculations grow the annual state tax savings? So...
by Iorek
Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Breakeven math; quick question
Replies: 4
Views: 704

Re: Preparing for 2 months incommunicado

Victoria, FYI, if you have (or setup) a gmail account, and if you turn on 2 factor authentication, then you need to print out a series of one-time passwords from gmail's site to let you log in at internet cafes abroad (but if you do that, you should not have problems). Sounds like a great adventure-...
by Iorek
Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preparing for 2 months incommunicado
Replies: 142
Views: 6662

Re: Have 20k to invest.. trying to time it.

No one has any idea where the market is going and in the long-term (which is hopefully the time frame you are looking at) it seems unlikely that anything that happens in the next couple weeks is going to matter. If you will feel regret if the market moves down after you buy, then you could consider ...
by Iorek
Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have 20k to invest.. trying to time it.
Replies: 7
Views: 1046

Re: Understanding Cost Basis and Form 8606.

One way that might help to think about it is basis represents the amount you have already been taxed on, and which will be subtracted from proceeds in calculating taxes. For a simple stock transaction, basis is the amount you paid out of previously taxed income to purchase the stock (including trans...
by Iorek
Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding Cost Basis and Form 8606.
Replies: 20
Views: 1049

Re: what to do with 529 if you earn a scholarship?

3feetpete wrote:
I think if she marries someone with outstanding college debt she could even pay it off with the 529 money. That's a question I have. Someone check me on that.


I don't think student loan debt counts as a qualified tuition expense. No one gets a 1098-T for their student loan payments.
by Iorek
Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what to do with 529 if you earn a scholarship?
Replies: 22
Views: 2099

Re: what to do with 529 if you earn a scholarship?

529 Withdrawals to cover qualified expenses that are covered by scholarships are penalty free, but they are not tax-free. Withdrawals in those circumstances are taxed as ordinary income. Good point, although I guess if we changed it from a scholarship to an inheritance/gift earmarked for education ...
by Iorek
Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what to do with 529 if you earn a scholarship?
Replies: 22
Views: 2099

what to do with 529 if you earn a scholarship?

So this is somewhat hypothetical for me at the moment, but I was wondering what you would do if you found that your only child had been awarded a $20,000 scholarship for her last year of college and therefore did not need the $20k you had set aside in a 529. Assume you don't need the $20k and want t...
by Iorek
Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what to do with 529 if you earn a scholarship?
Replies: 22
Views: 2099

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: 923

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: 743

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: 2190

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: 2190

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: 2610

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: 2610

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: 2610

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: 1389

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: 1618

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: 1220

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: 1053

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: 809

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: 1874

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: 5297

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: 805

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: 805

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: 5535

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: 1119

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: 5003

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: 3375

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: 1981

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: 1669

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: 1495

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: 2429

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: 89
Views: 15071

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: 2336

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: 2263

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: 89
Views: 15071

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: 1286

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: 3278
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