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Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

letsgobobby wrote:Just like with a "get out of jail free" card in Monopoly, I suspect most of us would save it until we actually needed it.


I suspect you are right, but most people would pay less taxes and end up with more money if they used the voucher ASAP.
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 187
Views: 8046

Re: Placement of stock/bonds - tax-deferred vs. tax-free

I would recommend using a tax-adjusted asset allocation. Userdc - thanks for the response. Even with the tax-adjusted allocation in that hypothetical, I'm going to end up with less of an after-tax benefit if stocks outperform bonds than if I had put 100% stocks in the Roth. So if I'm willing to bet...
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Placement of stock/bonds - tax-deferred vs. tax-free
Replies: 4
Views: 189

Re: Placement of stock/bonds - tax-deferred vs. tax-free

I would recommend using a tax-adjusted asset allocation. So if you expect your tax rate in retirement to be 20% (to make the math easy), you effectively own 80% of that account and the government owns 20%. So your tax-adjusted account values are $5k for the Roth and $4K for the trad IRA. Using those...
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Placement of stock/bonds - tax-deferred vs. tax-free
Replies: 4
Views: 189

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

This discussion has been very helpful for me as well. To me, the two key assumptions for knpstr's analysis are: 1) you expect your lifetime HSA contributions/earnings to comfortably exceed your lifetime medical expenses. Essentially, you are putting extra money in the HSA with the intent of using so...
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 187
Views: 8046

Re: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds

How does one account for that drawback in determining whether EE or I bonds are more attractive? I have accounted for that by buying I Bonds and not buying EE Bonds. That continues to be one of the key reasons I struggle with EEs. But I'm running out of tax-deferred space for bonds, and I'm startin...
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds
Replies: 67
Views: 3853

Re: Poll: Do you contribute max to tax-advantaged before 529

I contribute max to all tax advantaged accounts except for 529.

For 529 I contribute up to the maximum state income tax break, and no more.
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Do you contribute max to tax-advantaged before 529?
Replies: 18
Views: 1039

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

I think it's good for everyone to run the numbers, and there are certainly scenarios where a taxable account beats a non-deduticble IRA (which I think is the appropriate comparison when we talk about whether we should spend 1,000 already in an HSA vs 1,000 in taxable). In many cases, this same analy...
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 187
Views: 8046

Re: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds

remember that government can change the rules at any time, like change doubling time from 20 to 30 years... this would be a disaster, and I would be out... so if you are planning on it, grab the opportunity while it still exists, don't procrastinate, I've learned my lesson with Tobyhanna CDs, first...
by Userdc
Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds
Replies: 67
Views: 3853

Re: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds

This might be the year I finally pull the trigger on EE bonds. My long term tax exempt munis have performed well the last year, but that means the SEC yield has dropped to 2.16%. So, right now EE bonds look attractive even if I remain in a high tax bracket 20 years from now. I still have trouble wit...
by Userdc
Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds
Replies: 67
Views: 3853

Re: Salary to Home Value/Mortgage Ratio?

i don't know if there's a good rule of thumb for this, it depends on so many factors, and gross salary is only one of them. To me, as long as you 1) can afford the PITI and still hit your savings goals AND 2) the cost to buy isn't way out of whack with the cost to rent AND 3) you plan to stay long e...
by Userdc
Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary to Home Value/Mortgage Ratio?
Replies: 50
Views: 5370

Re: Bad 401K or Taxable or Mortgage or Car Loan?

I'm definitely glad I did it but refinancing again at $99K and incurring a couple thousand in closing costs and extending the loan out 4 more years....I dunno. I might take a look at 10-year deals though. You aren't really extending the loan, you are giving yourself the option to extend the loan. I...
by Userdc
Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad 401K or Taxable or Mortgage or Car Loan?
Replies: 19
Views: 789

Re: Bad 401K or Taxable or Mortgage or Car Loan?

I think paying off the car loan probably makes the most sense, but a couple questions:

Do you have a Roth 401k option? Do you itemize or take standard deduction?
by Userdc
Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad 401K or Taxable or Mortgage or Car Loan?
Replies: 19
Views: 789

Re: Is my term life policy quote too high?

I have no idea if that is a good rate, but I would shop around.

I had similar stats when I got my $2 million 20 yr policy, and i pay under a hundred a month.
by Userdc
Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my term life policy quote too high?
Replies: 39
Views: 2410

Re: Grandfather wanting to transfer portfolio to kids. Ques

I'm 80, and I have all my money in a simple 3-fund Vanguard portfolio... I want to give my money to my kid now, and I tried to explain why the 3-fund portfolio was simple, easy to manage, generates a decent return, and is less volatile. My daughter (and her son-in-law) told me that they have no int...
by Userdc
Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grandfather wanting to transfer portfolio to kids. Question
Replies: 67
Views: 3071

Re: Help with Refinance Options (ARM vs Fixed)

Anyone can join penfed online. If you make a small donation (less than $20 if I recall) to a specific organization that supports military families, you will become eligible.

The details are on their website.
by Userdc
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Refinance Options (ARM vs Fixed)
Replies: 7
Views: 591

Re: Real 3% (CPI plus 3% guaranteed)

I'd probably put my entire asset allocation in to a government guaranteed real + 3%, it's just a fantastic return that has a pretty good chance of beating out a diversified stock/bond portfolio over the long term with zero volatility. Obviously this is something quite different given you are relying...
by Userdc
Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Real 3% (CPI plus 3% guaranteed)
Replies: 21
Views: 1811

Re: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?

Good whole bean coffee costs much more than 10 cents a cup. You might get 30 eight ounce cups out of a pound of coffee, so that's easily 20 cents to 40 cents a cup depending on bean quality. And that's assuming no waste, which is probably not a good assumption for many people given how quickly fresh...
by Userdc
Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?
Replies: 67
Views: 4748

Re: Help with Refinance Options (ARM vs Fixed)

Have you looked at the PenFed 5/5 at 2.75%? That gives you a lower starting rate and better rate protection for years 6-10 with a cap of 4.75% for those years. Assuming your current mortgage payment is ~$2,700, and you continue to pay that much every month, your mortgage balance in 10 years will be ...
by Userdc
Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Refinance Options (ARM vs Fixed)
Replies: 7
Views: 591

Re: calculating roth vs taxable

I think the only way a taxable can beat roth is if you have capital losses in excess of interest/dividends.
by Userdc
Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: calculating tax deferred vs taxable
Replies: 11
Views: 604

Re: Should I use zero interest CC checks for emergency cash?

That seems reasonable to me as a short term patch until you get the proceeds from the sale of the rental property. But I would continue to pursue the other ideas in case you run into a snag with the sale so you can pay off the balance transfer notes before they start accruing high interest. Along wi...
by Userdc
Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use zero interest CC checks for emergency cash?
Replies: 11
Views: 1242

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 Userdc
Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE bonds vs iBonds
Replies: 29
Views: 2483

Re: Leaving job, 401k options

Assuming the ERs in the 401k are reasonable, I'd just leave it where it is. You can always roll it over later, and leaving it there preserves some options with no downside. My wife and I have accumulated 5 different 401k accounts, all of which happen to be at fidelity. They are all decent plans, and...
by Userdc
Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Leaving job, 401k options
Replies: 14
Views: 1283

Re: Buying Call Option to Fund 2015 & 2016 IRA

I don't understand how you are using the call option to fund your IRA.

You are buying a speculative call on the index.

Separately you are planning to invest in the index in the future.

These are two separate trades, so I would evaluate them independently.
by Userdc
Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Call Option to Fund 2015 & 2016 IRA
Replies: 18
Views: 498

Re: "Nanny Tax" Questions (Part-time babysitter)

I am way above the threshold so you might not be in the same boat as me, but here's what I have to do: 1) withhold federal income tax, unemployment and FICA. This is paid on schedule H when you file your federal taxes, so you may need to adjust your own withholding or pay estimated tax payments to a...
by Userdc
Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Nanny Tax" Questions (Part-time babysitter)
Replies: 13
Views: 1246

Re: Doing my taxes by hand

I think one can still use software to do their return "by hand". In fact, I recommend it. The software will guide one, but one should still read the IRS instructions for the tax form that the software is filling out. And even better, one should read the IRS publication(s) related to the t...
by Userdc
Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing my taxes by hand
Replies: 64
Views: 4722

Re: POLL: Homeowners Ins cost $/month per $100k home value?

I pay about $15/month with USAA. But a lot of my home value is actually land value so I suspect those of us in high COL areas will be appearing to pay less on this metric even though we really aren't. Edit: it was pointed out to me that I misread the question. I believe my insured value is about hal...
by Userdc
Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Homeowners Ins cost $/month per $100k home value?
Replies: 42
Views: 3136

Re: what to do with soon-to-be vested company stocks

This sounds like restricted stock. The vesting of the stock is a taxable event which generates ordinary income based on the market value on that date and establishes your basis. So if the stock is worth $100/share and 1,000 shares vest, you will have $100,000 of ordinary income and your company will...
by Userdc
Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what to do with soon-to-be vested company stocks
Replies: 7
Views: 478

Re: anyone ever go to spring training?

Spring training can be a lot of fun. Feb/Mar is a great time to visit Florida, it's usually dry and much warmer than up north. It doesn't really matter when you go from a weather perspective, but a few things to consider are: Spring break - there are some weeks that are busier than others and that c...
by Userdc
Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone ever go to spring training?
Replies: 7
Views: 1018

Re: Getting Married - Want advice merging Portfolio & Taxes

Not sure I'd bother moving her 401k to VFORX at VG to reduce the ER from 0.24 to 0.18%. In many states 401ks offer a little more protection to things like bankruptcy than IRAs. Also, if it is moved to VG IRA it probably should be a separate account from whatever she might contribute to in the futur...
by Userdc
Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting Married - Want advice merging Portfolio & Taxes
Replies: 24
Views: 1942

Re: Social Security and Pension Question:

I would not look at it this way as your pensions and SS are really not investment assets that you can use to rebalance and/or modify to control risk. I'd look at it this way.... after pensions and SS how much do you need to withdraw from your investment portfolio? Use this answer and the equivalent...
by Userdc
Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security and Pension Question:
Replies: 36
Views: 3586

Re: What's in your car emergency kit?

My kit:

-Well maintained vehicle
-cell phone
-car charger for cell phone
-live and drive almost exclusively in major metro area
by Userdc
Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's in your car emergency kit?
Replies: 52
Views: 4014

Re: Cancel Homeowner's Insurance?

OP - what is your tax bracket? In a high tax bracket, I find that my health insurance is virtually free. I pay $2,700 for a $5,000 high deductible family plan. Those premiums save me the following on taxes: 6.85% state marginal tax 38.08% federal marginal tax (+39.6% marginal, +1.19% pease, -2.71% l...
by Userdc
Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cancel Homeowner's Insurance?
Replies: 106
Views: 6607

Re: 'Post-Tax' / Non-Deductible 401k Contributions

I haven't checked your math, but I've run the numbers in the past and come to the same conclusion - you could end up in a slightly lower tax bracket and still end up better off with a Roth because you are effectively raising the limit by contributing post-tax. But ultimately we are speculating on an...
by Userdc
Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 'Post-Tax' / Non-Deductible 401k Contributions
Replies: 16
Views: 1273

Re: 'Post-Tax' / Non-Deductible 401k Contributions

Thanks all. I thought this might be the same analysis as roth 401k vs traditional 401k, but I wanted to confirm as it seems less commonplace to make only post tax contributions to a 401k plan. As I am constrained in the amount of tax-advantaged capacity available to me (and taking into account my v...
by Userdc
Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 'Post-Tax' / Non-Deductible 401k Contributions
Replies: 16
Views: 1273

Re: How to make a long bet on Crude Oil

The market also expects oil prices to rise - oil futures 5+ years out are $10-15 a barrel high than current spot prices.

So if you go long oil, prices will have to rise more than that for you to make money.
by Userdc
Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to make a long bet on Crude Oil
Replies: 28
Views: 2604

Re: 2014 Commuter Transit Benefit Raised Retroactively to $2

For the record, I'll never understand why parking benefit is so high while those of us that take public transportation have a much lower benefit. I'd guess its as simple as there are more congressional districts with voters who pay >$130/month for parking than for mass transit. Bahh..... My employe...
by Userdc
Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2014 Commuter Transit Benefit Raised Retroactively to $250
Replies: 6
Views: 734

2014 Commuter Transit Benefit Raised Retroactively to $250

I havent seen this get much press because it doesn't affect that many people, but as part of the funding bill signed by Obama last week, the limit for pre-tax fringe benefits for mass transit was raised from $130/month to $250/month for 2014. Notably, this is a one year fix only, and the limit will ...
by Userdc
Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2014 Commuter Transit Benefit Raised Retroactively to $250
Replies: 6
Views: 734

Re: Dealing with pressure for "social donations" at work

I don't understand the problem here. Is it possible that it's just OP's first time working in a highly compensated job, so OP is unfamiliar with general business culture? I've worked in business/finance my whole career. I have never had a job at which the highly compensated employees, of which I am...
by Userdc
Sat Nov 15, 2014 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with pressure for "social donations" at work
Replies: 173
Views: 12630

Re: Speeding in CT with NY license

I got the exact same ticket a couple years ago. After a little research, I concluded that there are certain jurisdictions in eastern Connecticut along I-95 that target out of state drivers to generate revenue. The tickets are basically extortion - they expressly say that if you pay up promptly, they...
by Userdc
Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Speeding in CT with NY license
Replies: 14
Views: 1337

Take the money and run? (Pension Buyout Offer)

I recently received an offer from a previous employer (large multinational corporation) to buy out a small pension. The pension is not COLA adjusted, and is due to pay $825/month starting about 30 years from now. The two offers I got were: Immediate Annuity of $90/month Lump Sum of $20K My marginal ...
by Userdc
Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take the money and run? (Pension Buyout Offer)
Replies: 15
Views: 2187

Re: Rent Question

It can't hurt to ask, especially if you are willing to walk away and spend more time and effort finding another place.

I'd simplify the request and just tell the owner that if they pay all of the broker fee you will sign the lease today.
by Userdc
Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent Question
Replies: 12
Views: 1810

Re: Help me evaluate two different job offers

It doesn't sound like you are in love with either opportunity. If you were to wait for other opportunities, might you find something more to your liking?
by Userdc
Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me evaluate two different job offers
Replies: 10
Views: 1025

Re: Does the principal payment on a mortgage even matter?

Repaying principal on any debt is not a cost. It can be a convenient shorthand for depreciation of the asset, and it's probably close enough for the typical person who buys a new car every 3-5 years and will always have a mortgage. If you want to get really precise about the cost/benefit of home own...
by Userdc
Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does the principal payment on a mortgage even matter?
Replies: 15
Views: 2333

Re: Solar panels, are they worth it?

Maybe OP could clarify, but when I read that they use 6100 to 6500 for the summer months, that means they are using approx 2000 per month in the summer. Which seems a lot more reasonable and fits in with some of the other facts.
by Userdc
Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar panels, are they worth it?
Replies: 53
Views: 5898

Re: Fair market value of a non profit dinner

For such a low dollar amount, I'd have trouble convincing myself I paid more than FMV for the goods and services. its a rounding error, so I'd take the easy way out and deduct zero. I do deduct a portion of the cost in similar situations when the non-profit tells me how much is deductible, but those...
by Userdc
Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fair market value of a non profit dinner
Replies: 12
Views: 916

Re: Paying household employee taxes

I cant speak generally on this as I'm not an expert, but for my own situation: 1) I pay all of my Federal taxes and withholding (FUTA, employee/employer Medicare/SSI, and Fed Income withholding) annually on 1040 Schedule H. I do check my W2 withholding on my income periodically to make sure I'm havi...
by Userdc
Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying household employee taxes
Replies: 5
Views: 386

Re: 529? What if they don't go to college

This is an interesting question for me given I have young children and the compounded tax savings can really add up. I haven't thought a lot about it because I'm so worried about UNDERFUNDING my 529, as I currently maximize all my other tax-advantaged options. I'm currently putting in $10K/year, wh...
by Userdc
Sat May 31, 2014 11:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 529? What if they don't go to college
Replies: 70
Views: 6343

Re: 529? What if they don't go to college

This is an interesting question for me given I have young children and the compounded tax savings can really add up. I haven't thought a lot about it because I'm so worried about UNDERFUNDING my 529, as I currently maximize all my other tax-advantaged options. I'm currently putting in $10K/year, whi...
by Userdc
Sat May 31, 2014 8:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 529? What if they don't go to college
Replies: 70
Views: 6343

Re: An easy way to save money: Avoid the $300,000 car.

I agree with the sentiment, but these ways of quantifying things always bother me because you're talking about $300,000 in 30 years. In the headline, I see $300K and I think how much money and how much money that is because I'm used to thinking about dollars in terms of the 2014 version of the dolla...
by Userdc
Thu May 01, 2014 9:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An easy way to save money: Avoid the $300,000 car.
Replies: 152
Views: 19116

Re: New job, 401(k), and help with planning

Your overall plan is sound. Depending on how long you plan to stay at your job and the vesting period for your company match, you may be better off just devoting 100% of your efforts to the credit card debt, but both the debt and 401k to the match should be your primary goals. Don't worry so much ab...
by Userdc
Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New job, 401(k), and help with planning
Replies: 10
Views: 2003
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