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by SGM
Sun May 03, 2015 4:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too late for career change/worth it?
Replies: 33
Views: 3165

Re: Too late for career change/worth it?

Another yes vote here. I first went back to school at your age. For me it was well worth it.
by SGM
Sat May 02, 2015 9:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard governance and investor rights
Replies: 49
Views: 2663

Re: Vanguard governance and investor rights

There are Vanguard employees and retired officers who attend the annual conferences, often one or more is on a panel or gives a presentation. Also the conference comes to Vanguard on one night and there are opportunities to mingle with Vanguard employees and to visit various booths set up at Vanguar...
by SGM
Sat May 02, 2015 4:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard governance and investor rights
Replies: 49
Views: 2663

Re: Vanguard governance and investor rights

One rationale for non disclosure of compensation information is to avoid losing key personnel to competitors. I think Jack or others have addressed the question at a recent Phillie annual BH meeting. I don't lose any sleep over the compensation of key Vanguard officers.
by SGM
Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wait for Social Security or not?
Replies: 13
Views: 1110

Re: Wait for Social Security or not?

I would delay SS as long as possible. Whatever she takes out to cover $1500 a month from an IRA/401K and with only $10K in taxable she would be in the 15% marginal tax category. A part time job would be helpful. Any higher amount of SS would be indexed to inflation. As a female she generally has a h...
by SGM
Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Many Seniors Face Higher Medicare Surcharges
Replies: 4
Views: 902

Re: Many Seniors Face Higher Medicare Surcharges

Thanks for your comments Alan. I summarized a relevant point from the Kiplinger Tax Letter of April 24, 2015 referencing a particular effect of last weeks law on this middle tax bracket Modified AGI of $133,500 to $214,000 for singles and double that for couples. I think it is actionable for those s...
by SGM
Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Many Seniors Face Higher Medicare Surcharges
Replies: 4
Views: 902

Many Seniors Face Higher Medicare Surcharges

The law signed last week by President Obama for the doctor fix will create an issue when planning 2015 and 2016 for taxes for some seniors. The extra cost for singles making between 133.5K and 214K and couples with incomes between 267K and 428K might need to consider capital gains and Roth conversio...
by SGM
Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adequate alternatives to TurboTax?
Replies: 28
Views: 1822

Re: Adequate alternatives to TurboTax?

I switched to HR Block Taxcut about 8 years ago. One year TurboTax required some personal information and I refused to use the program after that. I did personal and s corp taxes with the premium program. I have had no significant problems with Taxcut. I can get TurboTax for free but decline to use ...
by SGM
Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA options when you can't contribute to it anymore
Replies: 12
Views: 1203

Re: Roth IRA options when you can't contribute to it anymore

I continued to contribute to a non-deductible traditional IRA before 2010 when I first became eligible to convert to a Roth. If you are expecting to be in a lower tax bracket, equal tax bracket or only slightly higher tax bracket you may be better off converting some of your IRAs to a Roth despite h...
by SGM
Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is tax loss harvesting that powerful ?
Replies: 44
Views: 3090

Re: Is tax loss harvesting that powerful ?

I think there would be no question of a wash sale if you sold the total stock market and reinvested it in the S&P 500 immediately. A relative had been advised against buying one company's version of the S&P 500 and reinvesting in Vanguard's much lower cost version of the S&P 500 as viola...
by SGM
Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is tax loss harvesting that powerful ?
Replies: 44
Views: 3090

Re: Is tax loss harvesting that powerful ?

I have benefited from both long and short term tax loss harvesting. I may not sell stocks with large long term capital gains as they can be inherited at a higher basis. I agree that short term tax loss harvesting is the better of the two. However, I have lots of LT cap gains.
by SGM
Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Who is Ameriprise? Got invitation from a financial advisor]
Replies: 32
Views: 2872

Re: [Who is Ameriprise? Got invitation from a financial advi

I had a visit from an acquaintance who tried to sell me an annuity through Ameriprise. The annuities were not appropriate. He was basically trying to sell to everyone he knew. I felt sorry for him, but of course did not buy an annuity. There are better ways to socialize with neighbors than to listen...
by SGM
Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your average monthly expense???
Replies: 85
Views: 7859

Re: What's your average monthly expense???

I don't really do a formal budget, but the first expense I paid was to myself for investment accounts.....retirement accounts and then taxable accounts when anything was left over. Monthly debt payments never seem normal to me.
by SGM
Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just got contact lenses. Should I buy backup glasses?
Replies: 22
Views: 1026

Re: Just got contact lenses. Should I buy backup glasses?

If you are severely near sighted you probably want a pair of eyeglasses at your bedside.
by SGM
Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for GFs school - any way to help myself?
Replies: 76
Views: 4697

Re: Paying for GFs school - any way to help myself?

You can pay tuition directly to the school and it has nothing to do with gift tax. Wealthy grandparents sometimes pay tuition directly and avoid any gift tax at all.
by SGM
Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Solo 401K a no-brainer over company 401k?
Replies: 11
Views: 887

Re: Solo 401K a no-brainer over company 401k?

Although I rarely qualified for a deductible tIRA I always contributed to a non-deductible tIRA. I converted after the 2010 tax law changes. A back door conversion to a Roth comes with little or no taxes due. It has the benefit of never being taxed and lowering the amount in taxable accounts. Having...
by SGM
Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preparing for the Minimum Required Distribution
Replies: 41
Views: 3057

Re: Preparing for the Minimum Required Distribution

Your Medicare part D and part B supplements help with payments for doctor's visits and medicines, but do not pay for long term care. If you have high expenses due to having to live in a nursing home then the tax on RMDs will be lower and maybe zero. But people generally don't go into long term care ...
by SGM
Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement expenditure concept
Replies: 46
Views: 3572

Re: Retirement expenditure concept

LTCI is a very problematic product. Many insurers miscalculated and got out of LTCI business. Those who bought through them were out of luck. Other insurers have raised rates to the point of the insurance becoming unaffordable. One buddy of mine responded by opting out and losing the benefit of his ...
by SGM
Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement expenditure concept
Replies: 46
Views: 3572

Re: Retirement expenditure concept

Regarding the reasons for enthusiasm for delaying SS vs. less enthusiasm for annuities are multiple. I am not sure it has as much to do with covering expenses as with the things like safety, payout, etc. Most annuities are sold not bought. I think those on this site that like annuities mostly like S...
by SGM
Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement expenditure concept
Replies: 46
Views: 3572

Re: How many baskets for your eggs?

Simplicity is good, but do you have to have it for RMDs? Can't you take the full RMD out of one account or provider and calculate it for yourself? If that were not the case then I would combine the IRAs to one provider. I am recently retired and am not anywhere near the simplicity I would like to ha...
by SGM
Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to sell actively managed funds in taxable acct
Replies: 21
Views: 1724

Re: When to sell actively managed funds in taxable acct

I would sell the ones with the highest ERs first a little each year. I have individual stocks with capital gains that I have been selling slowly over several years, but at least they don't have an ER to pay each year. I am so glad I never had a financial advisor.
by SGM
Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle for tall people/Spouse wants 50k car help!
Replies: 77
Views: 5576

Re: Vehicle for tall people/Spouse wants 50k car help!

There is not enough leg room in the passenger seat of an Odyssey for me. The air bag gets in the way of the knees. Sitting in the driver's seat is fine. I often sit in the back seat if going on a long trip. I drive a Nissan Xterra and have enough head and leg room in the driver's seat. When I am in ...
by SGM
Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: At my age & tax bracket, is a Roth smart?
Replies: 24
Views: 2462

Re: At my age & tax bracket, is a Roth smart?

1) I don't have a tIRA, only a 401k. I assumed I don't qualify for an IRA deduction because deduct my 401k, am I missing something? 2) are you saying muni bonds count as income in retirement? Are these not tax free bonds?! Thank you for helping.[/quote] 1) You can establish a tIRA today or tomorrow ...
by SGM
Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: At my age & tax bracket, is a Roth smart?
Replies: 24
Views: 2462

Re: At my age & tax bracket, is a Roth smart?

You don't list any traditional IRAs so you could put $6500 into a traditional IRA through April 15 for 2014 and then convert it to a Roth without an issues. For a couple it is $13,000 a year. I would not hesitate to do a backdoor Roth if I had no tIRAs. I would call my brokerage, bank or MF provider...
by SGM
Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I incorporate stop loss into this investment philosophy?
Replies: 31
Views: 1597

Re: Can I incorporate stop loss into this investment philoso

I have always thought of stop loss orders as a way of locking in losses. In 35 years investing I have never used a stop loss order. I have also thought that a stop loss order may cause me to sell at a very low price if a stock or the market is in free fall. If I wasn't comfortable with an individual...
by SGM
Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hypothetical End Game Scenario w/ 5M retirement account
Replies: 74
Views: 7376

Re: Hypothetical End Game Scenario w/ 5M retirement account

I would ask what is the most likely outcome. What are the worst and best outcomes? What would I tell a colleague if he had a similar question? The answers I imagine would go a long way to resolving any lingering anxiety about retirement prospects especially the answer to what is the most likely outc...
by SGM
Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: do you own individual international stocks?
Replies: 25
Views: 1739

Re: Poll: do you own individual international stocks?

I own a few ADRs of non US companies. The purchasing costs are the same low fee as buying domestic stock.
by SGM
Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delaying SS for tIRA conversions
Replies: 13
Views: 1468

Re: Delaying SS for tIRA conversions

I recently retired and am no longer reinvesting dividends in taxable accounts. Delaying SS to make Roth conversions is generally a good idea as long as you pay taxes out of your taxable account. You have up until October 15 of the following year to recharacterize Roth conversions if the investment t...
by SGM
Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mailing tax returns
Replies: 56
Views: 3787

Re: Mailing tax returns

I send 1040 and 1120S by certified mail. It is a small price for peace of mind. I like to have proof that I sent the forms in. We have met with some unimpressive IRS agents in the past. How about helping an elderly relative audited for a onetime large cash donation and having to prove to the supervi...
by SGM
Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max out all retirement accounts?
Replies: 9
Views: 1186

Re: Max out all retirement accounts?

The Roth IRA will never be taxed. If you keep all medical receipts and pay your medical bills out of taxable accounts while allowing the HSA to grow tax deferred you may be able to use it essentially as another Roth. At the very least it will grow tax deferred. The 403B and 457 are tax deferred tax ...
by SGM
Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EmergDoc on the James Lange Program
Replies: 17
Views: 3377

Re: EmergDoc on the James Lange Program

I have read James Lange's and James Dahle's books. I recommend both of them. I always used James Lange's yearly tax card as a quick reference when I had my own business. I acted on Lange's advice regarding Roth conversions over the last 5 years. I had been maximizing 401k and non-deductible IRAs for...
by SGM
Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EmergDoc on the James Lange Program
Replies: 17
Views: 3377

EmergDoc on the James Lange Program

I just noticed that BH contributor EmergDoc, James Dahle M.D. was interviewed on the James Lange radio show. To read the show or listen to it enter: http://www.paytaxeslater.com/radioshow_ ... icians.php
by SGM
Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage
Replies: 209
Views: 16908

Re: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mort

Jonathan Clements has a few thoughts on the subject of paying off mortgages. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/3-dubi ... 2015-01-10
by SGM
Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Solo 401K - closed s-corp
Replies: 1
Views: 264

Re: Solo 401K - closed s-corp

I closed both my solo 401ks when the business closed. There isn't really any advantage in protection against law suits for a solo 401k as there is in a 401k if you work for a larger corporation. You might keep the solo 401k if you are considering conversions of your traditional IRAs to Roths. Also a...
by SGM
Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to start taking pension payments?
Replies: 11
Views: 1045

Re: When to start taking pension payments?

We are delaying one pension to FRA or possibly 70. We don't need the money now although we are both retired. The payout will be higher at age 70 than at 66. As was discussed at a recent local BH meeting the comparison to TIPS returns is appropriate when you are comparing SS delay. I do not think ris...
by SGM
Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering Doing My Own Investing...but I'm not sure I shou
Replies: 49
Views: 5040

Re: Considering Doing My Own Investing...but I'm not sure I

I have always successfully managed my own investments. You have the advantage of purchasing a BH guide and one of Jack's books before starting to do it on your own. I wish these books were available when I first started investing many years ago. Fortunately I always knew that costs matter and to pay...
by SGM
Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring Before Age 66
Replies: 21
Views: 4014

Re: Retiring Before Age 66

You might want to check out http://www.i-orp.com to look at what it suggests about Roth conversions. If you have earned income you could continue to make traditional IRA contributions. You could later make conversions or if your income is low enough you can directly do a Roth. I used the time when I...
by SGM
Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions on Tilting/Slice and Dice
Replies: 27
Views: 1886

Re: Opinions on Tilting/Slice and Dice

I don't think there is anything wrong with your AA. Small cap value, Reits, high yield corporate and total bond funds are not particularly tax efficient so I would not put them in a taxable account. I would put small cap value and/or small cap index in a Roth and/or small cap tax managed fund in tax...
by SGM
Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage
Replies: 209
Views: 16908

Re: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay dow mortg

I paid off my mortgage as early as possible. The last mortgage was for 15 years. Interest rates were a lot higher then. I increased my dollar cost averaging into the stock market immediately after the last mortgage payment. As for Edelman, on his radio show he often sets up straw men and ridicules t...
by SGM
Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many of you invest in individual stocks?
Replies: 70
Views: 4907

Re: How many of you invest in individual stocks?

I have several large holdings from my dividend reinvesting plan days. I have accumulated large capital gains so I continue to hold a significant amount. However, generally any new money, sales and many dividends have gone into index funds. The cost of holding individual stocks passively is zero but ...
by SGM
Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mother's trust fund for retirement: Crazy allocation, etc.
Replies: 10
Views: 1162

Re: Mother's trust fund for retirement: Crazy allocation, et

I agree that 55% equities is reasonable at age 73. With a management fee of 3.7% and additional fund expenses the fixed income portion can't even tread water if you consider inflation and low interest rates available. Removing a trustee can be difficult or impossible. Years ago an uncle set up a tru...
by SGM
Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Minimizing income taxes in retirement
Replies: 54
Views: 5173

Re: Minimizing income taxes in retirement

If I thought I would be in a higher tax bracket after taking SS then I would be converting traditional IRAs and 401ks to a Roth each year prior to taking SS at least up to the 25% tax bracket and possibly the 28% bracket. Pay the additional taxes out of a taxable account. At 70 1/2 you will need to ...
by SGM
Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 666
Views: 94797

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

In the Kingdom of Ice The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides. This is an exciting piece of history previously unknown to me. Never give up. Never despair. Nil desperandum.
by SGM
Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo 401k [Creating an EIN for solo practice]
Replies: 7
Views: 536

Re: Solo 401k [Creating an EIN for solo practice]

Are you receiving other benefits from the w-2 income? I created an EIN for a solo practice s-corp that had income. I had a second part time contract for which I received a w-2. I was receiving little benefit from receiving the w-2 as opposed to paying the s-corp directly (no 401k, no liability insur...
by SGM
Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your CPA/Tax Person help with reducing your taxes?
Replies: 66
Views: 5848

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

Are my taxes reduced? Definitely my stress is reduced. He encourages me to take all the deductions I am entitled to. Business returns and payroll is a bit more complicated than just a personal return so his help is quite valuable. Getting the business return out of the way helped me to max my profit...
by SGM
Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Software
Replies: 23
Views: 1218

Re: Tax Software

I have used tax software for 30 years. I import last years data and generally do not do the interview except for a few topics that I want to learn more about. Otherwise it is the form mode I use. However, this year HRBlock and apparently other software per my accountant put in a default no for wheth...
by SGM
Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legal for Doctor to Cover Insurance Co-pay?
Replies: 40
Views: 3032

Re: Legal for Doctor to Cover Insurance Co-pay?

I sent a collection letter, but never refused to see a patient because they or their relatives wouldn't pay the copay or the deductible. Some insurances would not pay any physician outside of their system. I treated them anyway as no physician who came to the nursing home participated in their plan....
by SGM
Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax programs default to no insurance coverage
Replies: 1
Views: 212

Tax programs default to no insurance coverage

I just met with my accountant and he alerted me to the default position on the ACA with most or all tax programs. The default position for most if not all programs is that one is not covered by a health plan. The best thing is to go through the interview and manually put in that you are covered if t...
by SGM
Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:27 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: DC Bogleheads next meeting is this Sunday the 22nd
Replies: 4
Views: 678

Re: DC Bogleheads next meeting is this Sunday the 22nd

Was the above referenced paper presented at the 2014 social security sponsored retirement research conference in DC? I remember a discussion of framing. I am definitely waiting until 70 to start collecting and future consumption ability identifies why I prefer waiting for 132% of what would be comin...
by SGM
Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Age Did You First Ponder Financial Independence?
Replies: 74
Views: 7279

Re: What Age Did You First Ponder Financial Independence?

Probably in elementary school when I had a paper route and read Ben Franklin's aphorisms.
by SGM
Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring soon ... help with setting up income stream?
Replies: 9
Views: 1702

Re: Retiring soon ... help with setting up income stream?

Above comments are excellent. If you will be in a low tax bracket in retirement you could convert some of your traditional accounts to Roths over a period of several years. You will need to pay the taxes out of your taxable account for it to get the greatest benefit from conversions. If I were footl...

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