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Re: Helping my recently widowed mother

This is a poll of Boglehead AA's. Not many of us your mothers age are much above 60% stocks.
http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 2#p1224012
JW
by JW Nearly Retired
Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping my recently widowed mother
Replies: 11
Views: 607

Re: Helping my recently widowed mother

80/20 is pretty high. Wife and I are older than your Mom, and in a similar situation to what she will be in with the annuity.... i.e. not much need for the portfolio income. We are planning to keep the AA to 60/40 forever but not higher than that.
JW
by JW Nearly Retired
Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping my recently widowed mother
Replies: 11
Views: 607

Re: How to understand tax return

457 deferrals should be one of your W-2 box 12 entries. Read the "Instructions for Employee" on the back of the W-2 to see which entry is which.
JW
by JW Nearly Retired
Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Do 457 and extra pension contribs appear on tax return?]
Replies: 5
Views: 490

Re: Two Legged Stool [Figuring out when to take Social Secur

We are not from a long lived family (parents passed in late 70's early 80's) and my wife has more health issues than I. I'm really not asking when to take SS, I'm asking how is the best way to figure out when to take it! First of all understand what the different options are & mean. Maximum del...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Legged Stool [Figuring out when to take Social Security]
Replies: 20
Views: 2227

Re: Traditional IRA into Roth; when Income too High?

OP here, I don't think the individual can re-characterize to a Roth directly due to bumping up on income limitations for the Roth. The individual only has a few years left of employment, perhaps it's just best to file the Form 8606 and let it go? Last year was an off year in terms of expected incom...
by JW Nearly Retired
Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traditional IRA into Roth; when Income too High?
Replies: 8
Views: 423

Re: Capital preservation in retirement

Earthquake insurance here is very expensive. A $50k deductible policy would cost me in the order of $25k per year. At this point in life, if my home gets severely damaged, I'll probably just rent for the rest of my life. My parents ended up renting during their retired years (for other reasons). To...
by JW Nearly Retired
Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Capital preservation in retirement
Replies: 23
Views: 2576

Re: Is my income tax too high?

I got hit hard by taxes this year, in part because my deductibles did not add up to enough to be greater than the standard deductible, so itemization went out the window. This is largely because the amount of mortgage interest I pay has dropped due to Boglehead-like Aggressive Mortgage Paydown. :be...
by JW Nearly Retired
Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my income tax too high?
Replies: 8
Views: 1227

Re: WSJ Delivery Record - Dismal

Not exactly the same as your trouble, but I once got some action on a home delivered newspaper problem by filing a "harassment" complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
JW
by JW Nearly Retired
Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ Delivery Record - Dismal
Replies: 24
Views: 1604

Re: New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account

Excellent idea to roll IRA into the 401k to clear for your backdoor Roth. I don't see anything much better than VTTHX. What about spouse investments? You should coordinate the entire portfolio. JW My wife stays at home, has no accounts in her name and only works a part time job earning ~$4k/year to...
by JW Nearly Retired
Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account
Replies: 9
Views: 722

Re: New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account

I've also had a suggestion to roll my IRA _back_ into my 401k. (I wasn't aware this was possible.) It would clear the way for Roth backdoor conversions. A Roth would indeed be my next priority after getting the existing retirement accounts sorted out. So, assuming I'm going to have just a big 401k,...
by JW Nearly Retired
Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account
Replies: 9
Views: 722

Re: One single investment in a taxable account

Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX). 60/40 AA like you want and 30% of stocks are international.
JW
by JW Nearly Retired
Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: One single investment in a taxable account
Replies: 10
Views: 1162

Re: Bad 401(k) - advice

Are you certain there are not a couple of half decent funds in among all the junk? Many people start out here saying their 401k is horrible, but after we persuade them to list all the options we find there really is something to work with there. Also, read the 401k info carefully for the expenses. Y...
by JW Nearly Retired
Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad 401(k) - advice
Replies: 12
Views: 1090

Re: Suggest a good passive allocation 4 hi-tax-bracket inves

If your friend is in his late 70's, he is not eligible to contribute to tIRA any more. That ends at 70.5 if I remember correctly. I think he can contribute to the 401k if still working. And to Roth IRA if still working, but he'd have to use the back door which might not even be appropriate in his s...
by JW Nearly Retired
Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suggest a good passive allocation 4 hi-tax-bracket investor
Replies: 41
Views: 3320

Re: The one area I disagree with Jack

If Jack actually feels that a person with $500k in total investable assets converts his SS to $500k in fake "bonds" and therefore invests all his actual investable assets in equities and the result is a moderate 50/50 investment allocation - yes he is promoting it. If he is saying that th...
by JW Nearly Retired
Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The one area I disagree with Jack
Replies: 93
Views: 7292

Re: Somewhat High Income 401k vs traditional IRA

My wife and I combined make around $220k a year in the Midwest. As we stand now we only have about enough disposable income to do the 6% then about another $10,000 in something so I'm looking for advice. ............... My question is this. Are we better off maxing out our 401K with pre-tax dollars...
by JW Nearly Retired
Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Somewhat High Income 401k vs traditional IRA
Replies: 9
Views: 775

Re: Newbie - roth IRA question

Newbie question here: I am wanting to contribute the max amount to a Roth IRA (backdoor) for 2014. Unfortunately, I just started investing seriously and have never contributed to or opened a 401k account. Can I still contribute to a Roth IRA (backdoor) for the 2014 tax season? Everything I have rea...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie - roth IRA question
Replies: 3
Views: 368

Re: Should I recharacterize my Roth conversion?

I've also been contributing to and maxing out a Roth 401k as well. Should I be changing this to traditional? Not sure whether my income will go up or down in the future, but I do live in California so my total tax rate is quite high right now. Yes, in a high bracket +CA you should definitely be usi...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I recharacterize my Roth conversion?
Replies: 10
Views: 736

Re: Overcontributed to Roth IRA

see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_IRA From that page: "With a Traditional IRA, one always has an option to convert to a Roth IRA; whereas a Roth IRA cannot be converted back into a Traditional IRA." It sounds like what that user did isn't possible, unless I am missing some...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overcontributed to Roth IRA
Replies: 7
Views: 426

Re: Should I recharacterize my Roth conversion?

I've also been contributing to and maxing out a Roth 401k as well. Should I be changing this to traditional? Not sure whether my income will go up or down in the future, but I do live in California so my total tax rate is quite high right now. Yes, in a high bracket +CA you should definitely be usi...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I recharacterize my Roth conversion?
Replies: 10
Views: 736

Re: 401k or Vanguard Star?

here2learn, Where did you get the expenses for these funds? It's unusual for 401k funds to have loads. You can't look at the retail versions of the funds on the internet to get expenses. I would guess your BlackRock stock fund is perhaps the institutional version of the fund (MAFGX) with an ER of 0....
by JW Nearly Retired
Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k or Vanguard Star?
Replies: 7
Views: 417

Re: The one area I disagree with Jack

My spouse and I will each have a defined benefit, indexed pension, along with Social Security. Together, those streams of income plus a paid-off house will take care of our needs and most of our wants. That leaves me willing to shoulder more risk with equities; we are at roughly 80:20 allocation de...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The one area I disagree with Jack
Replies: 93
Views: 7292

Re: How to extricate after-tax money from mixed IRA

Well I went through the 8606 and I guess you are right - it's not as involved as I thought. I was mostly concerned with having a spreadsheet that tracked how much I put in when and what I withrdrew already, etc. I lose track of stuff like that easily and forget how I did it the prior year, etc. I s...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to extricate after-tax money from mixed IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 498

Re: The one area I disagree with Jack

For whatever it is worth, my take is that being able to count on Social Security might allow a retiree to be somewhat more aggressive. Perhaps 10% more in stocks than what such an investor would normally have. But that is about as far as I would take it. I would not take the present value of my est...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The one area I disagree with Jack
Replies: 93
Views: 7292

Re: IRA advice needed

IMO, it's kind of important to dredge up the real information and not just take a guess. You don't know if you deducted the contribution on your taxes but the IRS does from your tax return. The IRS also gets a yearly 5498 form from the IRA trustee stating how much you contributed in the year (if you...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA advice needed
Replies: 8
Views: 738

Re: The one area I disagree with Jack

How about this. If I were to follow age in bonds, I would be 30/70. If I were to capitalize SS and annuities to age 90 and follow age in bonds, then I would invest my liquid assets at 70/30. Since I actually invest at 50/50, it appears that I agree and disagree with Mr. Bogle to equal degrees on th...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The one area I disagree with Jack
Replies: 93
Views: 7292

Re: Timing for taking RMDs

We have a fairly aggressive 60/40 retirement portfolio so waiting until year end would be expected to yield lower percentage RMD withdrawals on average. However, I do the RMD at the first of the year anyway for reasons mentioned above. Plus, I see the RMD as a short term commitment so it's better to...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing for taking RMDs
Replies: 18
Views: 1671

Re: Somewhat High Income 401k vs traditional IRA

Max out the 401k. Your 401k contributions will be tax deferred, ie. will reduce your taxable income. Any trad IRA contributions you can make will not give you any tax deduction because you make far too much money.
http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/IRA ... ion-Limits
JW
by JW Nearly Retired
Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Somewhat High Income 401k vs traditional IRA
Replies: 9
Views: 775

Re: Setting up Roth for clueless sibling

I don't know that they will accept money from a checking account with a different name. I did not try that. However, you can mail in a check to Vanguard. So it would be easy for you to write a check to your sister, then have her write a check to Vanguard and mail it in. I wonder if they'll accept a...
by JW Nearly Retired
Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Setting up Roth for clueless sibling
Replies: 25
Views: 1174

Re: Does your CPA/Tax Person help with reducing your taxes?

I used a CPA only one time long ago and it soured me on them forever. It was for an estate tax return and he filed it making one choice about whether to apply the estate income to the estate or heir's tax returns. Then after it was all done he came back in a month and said he had found a way to save...
by JW Nearly Retired
Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your CPA/Tax Person help with reducing your taxes?
Replies: 58
Views: 4721

Re: Do I have to mail in all my personal info again !!!

I want to add my wife's name to my Vanguard account. Vanguard said I have to submit another Brokerage Account Application. Me: you already have on file my SSN, DOB, bank account info, etc. Why do I have to mail these information to you again and risk someone stealing the mail? Vanguard: Nope, you h...
by JW Nearly Retired
Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I have to mail in all my personal info again !!!
Replies: 12
Views: 1176

Re: Save on capital gain tax

One strategy is don't realize so much yearly gains that it jumps you from the 15% cap gains bracket to 20%. That happens when you get to the 39.6% on ordinary income.
JW
by JW Nearly Retired
Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Save on capital gain tax
Replies: 5
Views: 614

Re: Kotlikoff: When Should you Take Social Security?

One important point that Kotlikoff makes is that Social Security apparently will NOT give information to surviving spouses about their late spouses' earnings records. According to Kotlikoff, this can make it hard for the surviving spouse to plan the best filing/claiming strategy. Recalling some of ...
by JW Nearly Retired
Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kotlikoff: When Should you Take Social Security?
Replies: 220
Views: 19867

Re: Do you still use currency or have you gone all-plastic?

I typically use cash if it's less than $30 or $40. Cash means merchants don't need to pay the cc tariff and I don't have so many obscure entries to scan for fraud on my cc statement. Good for both of us. The minor downside is the big bowl of coins in change accumulated because I dislike carrying any...
by JW Nearly Retired
Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you still use currency or have you gone all-plastic?
Replies: 47
Views: 3208

Re: Question about IRA for Parents

Can tell us the rough size of your mom's ira? If not too large it might be worthwhile to convert it to a Roth and pay the tax, making her future annual $5500 backdoor Roth contributions all tax free. Also, see if it's possible to roll dad's IRA into his 401k. That would hide it from the pro-rata tax...
by JW Nearly Retired
Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about IRA for Parents
Replies: 3
Views: 355

Re: Financial Advisor Put Together This Portfolio - Thoughts

1. If one can create a diversified portfolio with three index funds, why don't advisors adopt this strategy? Obviously the brokers that are commissioned would never do that, but what about the advisor, like my family friend, that just charges a fee based on AUM and does not collect trading fees or ...
by JW Nearly Retired
Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Advisor Put Together This Portfolio - Thoughts?
Replies: 27
Views: 2184

Re: maximum social security benefit

She's not married. She has worked longer than I have by about 4 years; however, I don't think if she is making around $80K NOW, and that doesn't count what the Firm takes out for health care - I don't THINK it's possible for her to get $3,500 in around 3 years. From what I understood, maximum earni...
by JW Nearly Retired
Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: maximum social security benefit
Replies: 17
Views: 1894

Re: Edward Jones - A Detrimental Option for Investors

Is this typical for Edward Jones? I'm seeing this person tomorrow, and will just keep it simple. I'm not well versed in investments, but this is pretty bad. The high fees are very typical. If the client thinks the EJ person is a nice man/woman that would also be typical. The single stock and only 5...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones - A Detrimental Option for Investors
Replies: 13
Views: 2454

Re: Backdoor IRA - Can you do it each year?

You can certainly do it each year.....or break the $5500 up into several times a year if you wish. Remember, there is no such thing as a "Backdoor IRA". It's just independent IRA non-deductible contributions and IRA to Roth conversions. I'm pretty sure is no IRS limit to the yearly number ...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor IRA - Can you do it each year?
Replies: 4
Views: 400

Re: Yet Another Roth/Trad 401K Thread

cmublitz, I'd hedge my bets and go 50/50 Roth/Trad 401k (if that is possible) for now. IMO, given your high salary, frugal ways, and probably a doctor wife, it's quite possible you will be in the 28% or higher bracket when you retire. You don't expect a pension but I'm thinking a doctor wife more th...
by JW Nearly Retired
Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet Another Roth/Trad 401K Thread
Replies: 15
Views: 1336

Re: Help sought with 401k fund choices

SSgA S&P 500 Index Securities Lending Series Fund - Class IX ER 0.71 I vote for that one too. Seems you do have a fairly high expense 401k but an ER of 0.71 is plenty low enough to use. You can put small cap & international & bonds somewhere in your other accounts if they have better ex...
by JW Nearly Retired
Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help sought with 401k fund choices
Replies: 5
Views: 263

Re: Dip? What Dip? Did you catch it?

Title says it all. For those waiting for a dip in the market to invest, did you catch it? The dip has come and gone. It was incredibly actionable. Thanks for the reminder Livesoft. Hoping your dip is not all gone I just went with one of the once in a while contributions we make to grandkids 529s. I...
by JW Nearly Retired
Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dip? What Dip? Did you catch it?
Replies: 121
Views: 10468

Re: Help sought with 401k fund choices

We need all the expense ratios in the 401k to choose funds. You stopped after listing ER for just two
JW
ps: the ERs will not be those we can find for retail versions of funds. 401k ERs are usually higher. You need to look in your 401k information.
by JW Nearly Retired
Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help sought with 401k fund choices
Replies: 5
Views: 263

Re: Edward Jones Account Closing Fees

I am most annoyed that EJ knowingly phrases their account closure sentence to be ambiguous and misleading - and that the financial advisor refused to combine the accounts I wanted her to combine or convert or rollover (it doesn't matter the term, just the end result) because I was planning on movin...
by JW Nearly Retired
Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones Account Closing Fees
Replies: 90
Views: 6905

Re: Edward Jones Account Closing Fees

I have no experience but good luck with trying. You did have 4 different accounts. Their fee schedule gives a $95 fee for "Total transfer or termination of an account". IMO, best to concentrate your head on the vast sum in future fees you will be saving once you have escaped from EJ. Welc...
by JW Nearly Retired
Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones Account Closing Fees
Replies: 90
Views: 6905

Re: Edward Jones Account Closing Fees

I have no experience but good luck with trying. You did have 4 different accounts. Their fee schedule gives a $95 fee for "Total transfer or termination of an account". IMO, best to concentrate your head on the vast sum in future fees you will be saving once you have escaped from EJ. Welco...
by JW Nearly Retired
Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones Account Closing Fees
Replies: 90
Views: 6905

Re: 401k: To Roth or Not to Roth

bobf, Pre- & post-retirement marginal bracket is what counts. You really can avoid making some kind of guesstimate of your tax bracket on the 401k withdrawals in retirement if you want to make a reasonable choice between Roth 401k or traditional. You know what your bracket is now. Unless your bo...
by JW Nearly Retired
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k: To Roth or Not to Roth
Replies: 23
Views: 1583

Re: Pension vs. Lump

I want to look at this one more time, especially since the lump has gone up alot and interest rates look to rise shortly and perhaps both stock and bond markets will not provide as large returns as it has recently. I have done a few NPV calcs on the pension but am unsure about a reasonable interest...
by JW Nearly Retired
Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension vs. Lump
Replies: 58
Views: 3102

Re: Protecting pension

Do you have the option of taking your pension as a Lump Sum payment? If so, then you could consider taking the Lump Sum amount and purchasing inflation-adjusted annuities. That is how I am dealing with it. Wouldn't turning this into a pension with a cola this way be fairly certain to make the initi...
by JW Nearly Retired
Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Protecting pension
Replies: 15
Views: 1036

Re: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

......... This plus the lack of disclosure may not imply evil intention on Intuit's part, but the company is obviously lacking in transparency, responsibility, and software design that values customer privacy and security. These alone, I think, in an environment of only partial information, are ade...
by JW Nearly Retired
Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 73
Views: 7608

Re: How long did you stay in your starter home?

If you don't count rentals, we are still in our "starter home" after 40+ years. We did some additions and renovations so it's near perfect for us now. It got just a little crowded for a short time before the kids left.... but then they left. The neighborhood has gone from young families wi...
by JW Nearly Retired
Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did you stay in your starter home?
Replies: 87
Views: 4625
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