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Re: Student loan payments not being applied correctly?

They probably paid accrued interest on BOTH loans first, before applying remainder to principal on the higher rate loan...
by The Wizard
Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student loan payments not being applied correctly?
Replies: 4
Views: 265

Re: Is social security a good investment?

If you have a choice between a job with social security and a job with a 401a or pension (in lieu of SS), then you have a choice whether or not to have social security. There is plenty of actionable information pertaining to SS. Remember that some jobs with no contribution to SS (such as teaching) ...
by The Wizard
Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is social security a good investment?
Replies: 33
Views: 1310

Re: Mel's Unloved Mid-Caps Finally Getting Some Respect

As a young investor, I do want to begin tilting towards small/mid caps more within my Roth IRA. To me it looks like there are three good funds for this: Vanguard Mid Cap Index Vanguard Small Cap Index Vanguard Extended Market My issue with the Mid Cap fund, is it doesn't include any small caps, whe...
by The Wizard
Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mel's Unloved Mid-Caps Finally Getting Some Respect
Replies: 38
Views: 2702

Re: Is social security a good investment?

...Another factor that I’ve never seen addressed in the hype comparing it to investments is that at full retirement age social security will give a spouse who has never worked or contributed to social security at all half of the amount that is being given to their spouse as their retirement benefit...
by The Wizard
Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is social security a good investment?
Replies: 33
Views: 1310

Re: Is social security a good investment?

And another thing, and this one IS actionable. Right now (2014) we have low interest rates, especially for SAFE investments such as Treasury securities. So choosing to let your SS retirement benefit grow by using Delay Retirement Credits is a "good investment" in the eventual annuity payou...
by The Wizard
Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is social security a good investment?
Replies: 33
Views: 1310

Re: Is social security a good investment?

Yeah, it'll probably get locked around 4PM or so. This comes up every so often, the THEORY about the retirement component payback vs putting the same 15% total money aside on your own. And the answer is: because of the Bend Points, the SS payout is a much better deal for low to mid income folks vs t...
by The Wizard
Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is social security a good investment?
Replies: 33
Views: 1310

Re: Luxury you can afford? Regrets?

For the last ten years or more, I've been tending to upgrade whenever I need a new tool or appliance. Not usually The Most Expensive model out there but definitely Better Quality stuff. I'd hesitate to call most of this Luxury that I Can Afford. That will have to wait until the Moonroof and Leather ...
by The Wizard
Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury you can afford? Regrets?
Replies: 8
Views: 1551

Re: POLL: what's the deal with Tuna Fish?

In Hawaii they call tuna ahi. And they make a spicy raw dish called POKE (po-kay) out of it. I liked it...
by The Wizard
Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: what's the deal with Tuna Fish?
Replies: 44
Views: 2672

Re: POLL: If Eligible For Social Security .....

Nyc1967 wrote:Curious how the spousal collecting works - meaning collecting spousal then start collecting your own? Does the spouse have to be deceased?

No.
The spouse can just be divorced.
I plan to claim (relatively modest) divorced spouse benefits from age 66 (FRA) to age 70....
by The Wizard
Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: If Eligible For Social Security .....
Replies: 71
Views: 3087

Re: Where to put RMDs in budget?

ss has a point, but the reality is: a transfer out of tax-sheltered smells, looks and feels like income, especially to the IRS.
Now it might be Excess Income relative to your immediate needs, but that's nothing new for many of us...
by The Wizard
Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to put RMDs in budget?
Replies: 16
Views: 832

Re: Where to put RMDs in budget?

MathWizard wrote:Income and expense both

You are paying yourself and
the IRS set a minimum wage just for you

Actually, it's just income. And it's only a bit different than if you were doing a 4% SWR on that accumulation...
by The Wizard
Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to put RMDs in budget?
Replies: 16
Views: 832

Re: Pot-smoking tourists to Colorado??

I suppose you could compare it to Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands where you can either seek it out or not. It was generally rather contained over there.
Unclear at the moment just how Colorado will deal with this, zoning and all. I may check it out briefly in July...
by The Wizard
Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pot-smoking tourists to Colorado??
Replies: 9
Views: 908

Re: Golfer's elbow treatment

I go to my orthopedic guy, definitely not an Internet forum, especially not one where Medical Discussions are disallowed...
by The Wizard
Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Golfer's elbow treatment
Replies: 7
Views: 452

Re: Can you put after tax RMD withdrawals into ROTH?

From IRS publication 590 under conversions: Required distributions. You cannot convert amounts that must be distributed from your traditional IRA for a particular year (including the calendar year in which you reach age 70½) under the required distribution rules (discussed later in this chapter). D...
by The Wizard
Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can you put after tax RMD withdrawals into ROTH?
Replies: 25
Views: 1116

Re: Can you put after tax RMD withdrawals into ROTH?

And to a first approximation, RMDs for the first decade look approximately the same as a 4% SWR, the difference being that it's "required", not discretionary. So you could just use the RMD for expenses that are sure to come up, the replacement vehicle, etc. There are lots worse problems to...
by The Wizard
Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can you put after tax RMD withdrawals into ROTH?
Replies: 25
Views: 1116

Re: Can you put after tax RMD withdrawals into ROTH?

Wizard said: ....set up a separate additional Roth conversion, perhaps using your RMD funds to make an estimated tax payment on that conversion. Good idea. In the early RMD years when the percent withdrawal is lowest, this would be possible. I think there may be a point where it would be counterpro...
by The Wizard
Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can you put after tax RMD withdrawals into ROTH?
Replies: 25
Views: 1116

Re: Can you put after tax RMD withdrawals into ROTH?

2retire wrote: Only if you or you spouse is still working and have earned income up to the amount you want to put in. I was thinking of a ROTH conversion, not an earned-income type ROTH, but your answer leads me to think once the RMDs are taken out of the tax-sheltered account and taxes are paid, t...
by The Wizard
Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can you put after tax RMD withdrawals into ROTH?
Replies: 25
Views: 1116

Re: Can you put after tax RMD withdrawals into ROTH?

2retire is correct. For most of us, RMD proceeds are regular unsheltered money forever more. But what you CAN do is plan ahead for the following year better. In addition to and after taking your RMD, set up a separate additional Roth conversion, perhaps using your RMD funds to make an estimated tax ...
by The Wizard
Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can you put after tax RMD withdrawals into ROTH?
Replies: 25
Views: 1116

Re: Otar - Tactical Asset Allocation

Tactical AA is fine, if you want to shift your stock percentage between 40% and 60% of your portfolio, depending on conditions.
But no, I don't think it's widely practiced here and there are certainly no guarantees of outperformance going forward...
by The Wizard
Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Otar - Tactical Asset Allocation
Replies: 7
Views: 809

Re: Asset allocation over time

How many of you include SS and pension as a fixed income equivalent in AA and what discount rate do you apply to these payment to estimate value? Packer I'll venture a guess that almost none of us do that, especially after pondering it a while. Other thread go on about this topic in excessive detai...
by The Wizard
Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset allocation over time
Replies: 23
Views: 1230

Re: Asset allocation over time

I think that once over 40 or so, you could just go 50/50 for life. It is easy to do and probably just fine. Yes, the OP should give some thought to what his end-point stock allocation should be. Almost none of us really plan to continue tapering stocks at 1% per year indefinitely. 50% stocks is a p...
by The Wizard
Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset allocation over time
Replies: 23
Views: 1230

Re: Where are the Opportunities now ?

I thought that even Bogleheads were allowed to treat 5% of their portfolio as Play Money and invest it on whims, in individual stocks or sector funds.
So why are we getting all judgmental here?
by The Wizard
Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where are the Opportunities now ?
Replies: 28
Views: 1983

Re: Live Now, Live Later?

You definitely have options to ponder. I'd start by understanding your BASIC expenses first and how they compare to that $150K taxable pension income. The goal here is to determine how much EXTRA income you might have per month after paying all routine expenses. You have a good decade to bridge befo...
by The Wizard
Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Live Now, Live Later?
Replies: 37
Views: 3584

Re: Help looking for ways to get to 50-50

I don't understand the OP comment on avoiding CDs to keep things simple. Anyhow, put $100K of that cash into taxable TSM index fund; keep the remaining $50K cash as an emergency fund in laddered CDs perhaps. In the tax-sheltered side, she has $150K in Target Retirement 2015? Move roughly half of tha...
by The Wizard
Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help looking for ways to get to 50-50
Replies: 19
Views: 1423

Re: 2014 BOGLEHEADS CONFERENCE SOLD OUT

Perhaps each year they go to a bigger venue?
Capable of holding 3000 instead of 2000?
One way of dealing with it ...
by The Wizard
Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2014 BOGLEHEADS CONFERENCE SOLD OUT
Replies: 10
Views: 1150

Re: Does this strategy invite unnecessary risk?

This is just "tilting" and it's not idiotic so long as you know why you are doing it and use low-cost funds to do it (not individual stocks)... The idiotic part is the reference to "slight." OK, I agree with that. Putting 2% or 3% of your total lump into a tilt position really i...
by The Wizard
Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does this strategy invite unnecessary risk?
Replies: 42
Views: 2562

Re: Does this strategy invite unnecessary risk?

This is just "tilting" and it's not idiotic so long as you know why you are doing it and use low-cost funds to do it (not individual stocks)...
by The Wizard
Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does this strategy invite unnecessary risk?
Replies: 42
Views: 2562

Re: Let's compare 2013 effective tax rates

I thought "effective tax rate" was income tax, in the sense of federal, state, and local income tax, and nothing else, not even other income-based taxes like Social Security and Medicare, or Friendly Neighborhood Enforcement Protection Money, or Whatever. The outcome would be cleaner if i...
by The Wizard
Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's compare 2013 effective tax rates
Replies: 46
Views: 2149

Re: TIAA TPA rollover to Roth?

Sure you can, but it will be a multi-step process. First of all, set up the TPA to keep all the funds within the shelter of your GRA 403(b). That is, have the transfers go from TIAA Traditional to CREF Money Market, for instance, NOT to your checking account as taxable income. Then each year, conver...
by The Wizard
Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA TPA rollover to Roth?
Replies: 10
Views: 236

Re: etf help needed

The two Vanguard dividend funds have quarterly or semi-annual distributions, so they don't meet your needs...
by The Wizard
Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: etf help needed
Replies: 1
Views: 170

Re: SS Strategy Metric

rkhusky wrote:Also, does/did anyone factor in that by delaying SS one could convert more tax-deferred savings to a Roth at lower rates?

Poor people (80%+ of the population age 62 to 70) don't have much tax-deferred $$ to worry about...
by The Wizard
Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Strategy Metric
Replies: 55
Views: 3097

Re: Let's compare 2013 effective tax rates

Just use your AGI at the bottom of Form 1040 page 1 as your denominator.
And then total tax after credits from line 55 as your numerator.
Don't try to make life difficult...
by The Wizard
Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's compare 2013 effective tax rates
Replies: 46
Views: 2149

Re: Baby Boomers: Top 10 Movies

Nine of the ten listed were good solid films; Dazed and Confused I'm not so sure about.
I'd put Midnight Cowboy in there instead...
by The Wizard
Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Baby Boomers: Top 10 Movies
Replies: 44
Views: 2746

Re: Aio Wireless

contender wrote:@The Wizard,
is consumer cellular more expensive than Aio?

w/r
contender

It depends on how much voice & data you use in a month. They are roughly comparable; check details online...
by The Wizard
Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aio Wireless
Replies: 23
Views: 1239

Re: What is your net worth

The serious thread on 2014 Net Worth is the other one, with the big spreadsheet, by bobblehead and bigfoot.
This thread is just for joking around...
by The Wizard
Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your net worth
Replies: 37
Views: 5409

Re: Aio Wireless

I've had Aio wireless on my Nexus 5 since January, $40 a month for unlimited everything but 2.5 GB of high speed data per month which is usually enough for me. It works fine around occupied parts of New England plus California & Hawaii. I was even able to tether my tablet off my phone without is...
by The Wizard
Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aio Wireless
Replies: 23
Views: 1239

Re: TIAA-CREF is buying Nuveen?

So far the ratings score is 2 -1: Fitch and A. M. Best have reaffirmed TIAAs current AAA rating, while Moody's is considering a downgrade. Lev Moody's is the gold standard in credit ratings. Fitch is eh-eh, A.M. Best is eh-eh. I'd take a Moody's write-up over S&P any day of the week, and give l...
by The Wizard
Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA-CREF is buying Nuveen?
Replies: 44
Views: 2460

Re: Should I be using standard or itemized deduction?

What's annoying about Standard vs Itemized is that if you are 65 or older (or blind), they just increase your Standard deduction by some amount. They do NOTHING to benefit older folks who are still itemizing deductions due to large property tax and/or state income tax payments. Or have I missed some...
by The Wizard
Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I be using standard or itemized deduction?
Replies: 10
Views: 692

Re: Lost $10K in my investments past few months

Yeah, someone with $5M in a diversified investment mix is going to see dollar fluctuations ten times the size of someone with a $500K portfolio, similarly diversified. But note: many of us do NOT have a significant percentage of assets in sector funds; so expect to see more volatility in those if yo...
by The Wizard
Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lost $10K in my investments past few months
Replies: 36
Views: 4355

Re: The slackening...

Education matters for the younger generation. And I don't just mean basic college, but graduate school to the extent of obtaining a PhD or Professional degree. While one cannot "fake" the smarts needed to obtain these higher degrees, there can be a 4-8 year time period beyond one's bachelo...
by The Wizard
Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The slackening...
Replies: 61
Views: 6488

Re: What does "invest in the market mean"

Ignore that article.
Mutual funds are a FINE way to invest in the market, especially for investors with less than a million or so in stocks.
Just go with low-cost total market funds from Vanguard and you'll be in good shape...
by The Wizard
Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What does "invest in the market mean"
Replies: 11
Views: 875

Re: Trip to Jamaica

I go to that part of Jamaica every year or two and we drive by that Riu enroute to Hedo. I doubt I'd ever stay at a Riu, but it's probably an OK place if Trip Advisor reviews are good. And the beach in that area (Bloody Bay) is quite good. I'm looking at Couples Negril next door for next time, actua...
by The Wizard
Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Jamaica
Replies: 9
Views: 1030

Re: How to invest $1k a month

...Forget some of my more exuberant language and let's move on to some more modest expectations given my budget--thanks. OK, good to get that out of the way. Usual recommendation is to max out your tax-sheltered options first. So perhaps you could tell us where you stand with this. What does your e...
by The Wizard
Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest $1k a month
Replies: 16
Views: 2065

Re: the President's savings rate

*helping turn the key on the locking mechanism...*
by The Wizard
Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: the President's savings rate
Replies: 19
Views: 2625

Re: How to invest $1k a month

Chip,
We're not about maximizing your investment excitement here.
Super-conservative, no. You're welcome to go 75% stock and 25% bonds/CDs. But we like low-cost diversified mutual funds, not risky schemes that promise the moon...
by The Wizard
Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest $1k a month
Replies: 16
Views: 2065

Re: the President's savings rate

Why would he save anything at all? Probably because he truly has nothing to spend it on at the moment. Actually the President is billed monthly for personal expenses -- food, clothing, toiletries -- but not salaries for butlers, maids and chefs, which are considered White House employees. The Secre...
by The Wizard
Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: the President's savings rate
Replies: 19
Views: 2625

Re: the President's savings rate

JonnyDVM wrote:...Kids guaranteed free entry to any college of their choice...

Guess I missed the memo; where does THIS entitlement come from?
by The Wizard
Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: the President's savings rate
Replies: 19
Views: 2625

Re: less you need social security, earlier you should claim

...This discussion can occur without any reference whatsoever to future tax rates or policy. The primary question is whether one should consider the likelihood of receiving earned benefits in their entirety in the decision about when to claim. The primary answer then is NO; ignore any likelihood < ...
by The Wizard
Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: less you need social security, earlier you should claim
Replies: 39
Views: 2799

Re: the President's savings rate

Ex presidents and other significant federal officials get nice pensions and healthcare, if I'm not mistaken.
They're different from you & me...
by The Wizard
Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: the President's savings rate
Replies: 19
Views: 2625

Re: less you need social security, earlier you should claim

The Social Security taxation thresholds are fixed, not indexed to inflation. So over the next few decades, more & more recipients will be taxed on 85% of their SS income, same as I will be when I start taking it. This is a "creeping" effect, not a "cliff" effect that one coul...
by The Wizard
Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: less you need social security, earlier you should claim
Replies: 39
Views: 2799
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