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Re: Portfolio advice for Mom at 86 years

OK I did a quick calc and her RMD divisor at 86 is 14.1, so her RMD is roughly $120K/14.1 or about $8500. Her "rent money", i.e. moneys needed beyond SS is $775*12=$9300. So the RMD and extra funds needed are pretty much in balance. Nevertheless, I would have her withdraw only the RMD each...
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice for Mom at 86 years
Replies: 13
Views: 784

Re: Portfolio advice for Mom at 86 years

So as an 86 year old female she has a life expectancy of 6 years. https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insights/retirement/plan-for-a-long-retirement-tool She needs $10K a year from her assets (what you call "rent money" except I could argue she pays for her rent with SS and buys food and othe...
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice for Mom at 86 years
Replies: 13
Views: 784

Re: Husband rear-ended, driver ignoring his insurance

I don't see what the problem is, you will be paid regardless. I wouldn't bother to show up for some stranger's court date.
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Husband rear-ended, driver ignoring his insurance
Replies: 29
Views: 2410

Re: New home worth the extra $$?

Another wrinkle is if you buy new your wife gets to pick all the cabinets and colors and carpeting etc. May cost a lot for all the upgrades and upsells but she will be happy.
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New home worth the extra $$?
Replies: 13
Views: 1186

Re: Best time to exercise stock options

In general if these are the typical 10 year NSO's that vest over 3 years, you should be waiting until years 8-9-10 to exercise. Some people who are risk junkies never exercise before Year 10. There are many things to consider, such as being overly concentrated in employer stock. I always exercise an...
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best time to exercise stock options
Replies: 6
Views: 463

Re: SP500 and recency bias

investingdad wrote:I keep trying to alter balance by shoving all our 401K money into bond funds but the increase in equity prices means our ratio isn't changing.


This, too, will pass.
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SP500 and recency bias
Replies: 20
Views: 1597

Re: My Wife's 401k is expensive.

Annually we are able to put away $15,000-$20,000 together between all of the accounts. We can't quite max them out yet. I keep coming back to "what problem are you trying to solve?" Put 4% into her plan to get the immediate 100% return on investment. Then fund your 401(k) to the match, th...
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Wife's 401k is expensive.
Replies: 23
Views: 1399

Re: My Wife's 401k is expensive.

SpicyUnagi wrote:She gets a 100% match on the first 4% of her savings. I have her contribute 5% for the time being.


You have nothing to complain about, have her drop her contribution to 4%. Fees or no fees, she is making out like a bandit with 100% match.
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Wife's 401k is expensive.
Replies: 23
Views: 1399

Re: My Wife's 401k is expensive.

What about livesoft's strategy of taking out the maximum loan she can apply for and reinvest in taxable?

How is she losing her match in fees? If they match 50 cents on the dollar it would take years and years of 1.5% fees to take her match.

Is one of the Federated options a GIC? What does it pay?
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Wife's 401k is expensive.
Replies: 23
Views: 1399

Re: Auto accident today

let the insurance handle it, it may seem like not a bad deal but you could get unlucky, the guy may accept cash from you and few weeks later mysteriously develop back pain, and claim in on the accident, if you don't report the incident to your insurance company they will want nothing to do with thi...
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto accident today
Replies: 33
Views: 2398

Re: Taxes on Roth conversion at retirement

If things worked like the OP originally thought, you would not have to pay taxes on TIRA withdrawals.

Steps:

1) Convert TIRA to Roth
2) Withdraw from Roth

Obviously not allowed! "Back Door TIRA withdrawal"
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on Roth conversion at retirement
Replies: 15
Views: 630

Re: What to do with individual stock I received?

I'm with livesoft. It makes absolutely no sense to hold this stock. You are taking on uncompensated risk by doing so. You have three choices as I see it: 1) Sell and pay 15% LTCG tax on the gains (whatever they are - you have the grandparents' basis if there are gains) 2) Donate to charity directly ...
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with individual stock I received?
Replies: 36
Views: 1339

Re: Moving to Eastern PA - need advice

NJ has high property taxes and high progressive income taxes. But homes in South Jersey are much cheaper than in the nice parts of Southeastern PA. PA has a flat 3.07% income tax.
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Eastern PA - need advice
Replies: 24
Views: 1414

Re: 529 question for adult student

And am I correct in assuming that I can also contribute the college's qualified living expenses ($16,000) since I will not be living on campus? Careful with the language here. You can contribute whatever you want. You can withdraw moneys without paying tax and 10% penalty on earnings moneys for QHE...
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 question for adult student
Replies: 4
Views: 263

Re: 529 question for adult student

You are correct. I tell all my friends that in PA you can save 3.07% on college by laundering money through a 529. You can even take out a loan and deposit the loan proceeds in the 529 and take it out the next day. The deduction is limited to $14K per year per student on your PA 1040, $28K for marri...
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:29 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 question for adult student
Replies: 4
Views: 263

Re: Help with 401(a) choices for a new investor

Double check that the VALIC product is not a variable annuity, and that there are no Mortality and Expense (M&E) or Contingent Deferred Sales Charges or Surrender Fees.
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401(a) choices for a new investor
Replies: 16
Views: 652

Re: Portfolio analysis

Well, there are many respected posters here who bash the Vanguard Portfolio Analysis tool. I find it works well for Vanguard funds and MOST non Vanguard funds. Yes, you can add "Outside Investments" to your Vanguard home page and Portfolio Analysis will consider them in the mix. This is wh...
by dickenjb
Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio analysis
Replies: 3
Views: 208

Re: Fidelity and Vanguard Reps are they different?

Fidelity tools such as Retirement Income Planner are better than Vanguard's. Fidelity offers execs and retired execs from my former company something called FES (Fidelity Executive Services) which is excellent and free. They do complimentary analysis of my stock options and recommend when to exercis...
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity and Vanguard Reps are they different?
Replies: 6
Views: 695

Re: Old 401k (good) + new 401 (bad) asset allocation

I think your plan is an excellent plan for your wife if she were single. Do you not have any assets of your own? One family, one portfolio.

Having said this, her "old" 401(k) looks to have good options in every category so maybe not suboptimal.
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Old 401k (good) + new 401 (bad) asset allocation
Replies: 2
Views: 246

Re: My Wife's 401k is expensive.

Probably the best thing you can do as a couple is max your 401(k) at $17,500 and his and hers Roths for another $11,000. Plus her 401(k) to the match if there is one.

Most folks can't sock away more than that, but if you can, I would go for TSM/TISM in taxable.
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Wife's 401k is expensive.
Replies: 23
Views: 1399

Re: Roth IRA from Merrill Edge to Vanguard

ny_rn wrote: If sold, I assume this money would count towards my 2014 Roth IRA contribution.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


No, only contributions count as contributions. Did you contribute to this Roth in 2014?
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA from Merrill Edge to Vanguard
Replies: 4
Views: 287

Re: Trying to understand the 1040 Tax Table

Effective tax rate, while interesting, is useless for decision making. All decisions to recognize additional income or accelerate deductions are based on the marginal rate.
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trying to understand the 1040 Tax Table
Replies: 17
Views: 927

Re: Received bank statements for a business using our addres

Take a deep breath - maybe she (or the bank) transposed two digits of your address. Happens all the time.

I would try to contact the lady first.
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Received bank statements for a business using our address
Replies: 7
Views: 523

Re: Moving to Eastern PA - need advice

spat wrote:Having lived in Chester County, PA for many years, I would recommend West Chester, Exton, Chester Springs, Malvern as reasonably close to the PHL airport and great places to live..


BIL lives in Chester Springs. Nice but a little too rural for my tastes. Horsey country if that makes a difference.
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Eastern PA - need advice
Replies: 24
Views: 1414

Re: Moving to Eastern PA - need advice

I live in Montgomery County and would be happy to advise. Pm me or we can talk on the phone. I love Montgomery County. Bucks County as investingdad alluded is not homogeneous. In fact, the Philly Inquirer wrote how different it is - lower Bucks is Bensalem & Trevose, not nice. Central Bucks is D...
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Eastern PA - need advice
Replies: 24
Views: 1414

Re: Any good studies on active vs. passive BEFORE fees?

Simple math tells us that if all passive funds match the market performance before costs, all active funds must also on average match the market before costs. Because considered together, all active investors plus all passive investors are the market. I guess I was thinking more of active funds vs ...
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any good studies on active vs. passive BEFORE fees?
Replies: 10
Views: 927

S&P500 over 2000

Woohoo. A far cry from those dark days back in March 2009 when it was in the 600's.
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S&P500 over 2000
Replies: 64
Views: 4299

Re: Any good studies on active vs. passive BEFORE fees?

Simple math tells us that if all passive funds match the market performance before costs, all active funds must also on average match the market before costs. Because considered together, all active investors plus all passive investors are the market.
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any good studies on active vs. passive BEFORE fees?
Replies: 10
Views: 927

Re: New Investor- Am I making sound investments?

I don't like the hodgepodge of funds that Goalmaker has chosen. I would go Three Fund and choose the low cost option(s) in 401(k) and complement elsewhere. I would also divest company stock as soon as allowed.
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Investor- Am I making sound investments?
Replies: 22
Views: 2508

Re: Help with son-in-law's new 401k

What income tax bracket do they expect to be in? The LFG fixed option for the 403(b) might not be so bad - often pays 2 even 3% and no M&E charge. Her 403(b) could be their "bonds" and his 401(k) their stocks. I will echo the other poster - is either eligible for employer match? That c...
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with son-in-law's new 401k
Replies: 4
Views: 559

Re: Retirement beneficairy question and IRS

THe information we have relates to the IRS dictating the amount received by the non spous beneficiary. We do not the reduction in payments to the retiree is around 40%. Ahh, that makes sense. The IRS doesn't want the payments to stretch out too long, as they are impatient to get their tax due. Kind...
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement beneficairy question and IRS
Replies: 5
Views: 588

Re: Why don't utilities get any praise

I like Utilities. I also like Basic Materials, Consumer Goods, Consumer Services, Financials, Health Care, Industrials, Oil & Gas, Technology, and Telecommunications. I own them all at market weight through my investment in VTSAX. Millions of people, who collectively are far smarter than I am, h...
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't utilities get any praise
Replies: 39
Views: 3661

Re: Newbie roth ira question

Yes a Roth IRA is a good idea and if over 50 the limit is $6500 as others noted. Hope you are putting $17,500 + $5500 into 401(k) and not $175,000 as you typed. I think it would be a good idea to roll the late husband's 401(k) into your own IRA, especially if he was older as you will then get to del...
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Newbie roth ira question
Replies: 3
Views: 402

Re: Retirement beneficairy question and IRS

It has absolutely nothing to do with the income of the beneficiary. Probably more related to life expectancy of the beneficiary. If daughter is much younger, and they will be therefore paying out much longer, it should really whack your MIL's benefit. Dumb idea to go joint life with daughter IMHO. I...
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement beneficairy question and IRS
Replies: 5
Views: 588

Re: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a we

The compressor life probably hasn't been appreciably affected. Compressors are generally pretty robust and perform well even when mildly abused by short cycling or extended run times. My concern would be the condenser. If the system ran so much that an ice block formed, it could have damaged the co...
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a week?
Replies: 31
Views: 2613

Re: Builder Mortgage Company "Colluding" with another lender

I can say from my experience working in a commercial role in corporate America, the antitrust and collusion laws were drilled into us once yearly. No way they are going to risk a jail term to earn another 50 basis points on one crummy residential mortgage.
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Builder Mortgage Company "Colluding" with another lender?
Replies: 2
Views: 385

Re: Buy & Hold Forever Blue Chip Stocks???

Still another argument against owning individual stocks - I knew people who had big blocks or IBM or AT&T or whatever that were family legacies, hubby or Grandad worked there, etc. When it became pretty clear that the market tides were turning against these companies the widows wanted to sell bu...
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy & Hold Forever Blue Chip Stocks???
Replies: 73
Views: 3526

Re: Why don't utilities get any praise

The result is that there are only two Vanguard sector mutual funds--Vanguard Health Care and Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining, and this probably "explains" why Vanguard Health Care gets preferential attention. Vanguard does have a line of sector ETFs. Never thought I would get to corre...
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't utilities get any praise
Replies: 39
Views: 3661

Re: Newbie nervous and just invested 55k with Vanguard

The first rule I gave you was don't check your balance every day or week or month.

The second rule I will give you is don't listen to CNBC or read Money magazine or listen to any of the pundits. None of them know anything but they will get your knickers in a twist.
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie nervous and just invested 55k with Vanguard
Replies: 20
Views: 2196

Re: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a we

I would not be concerned. My refrigerator compressor normally runs at close to 50% duty cycle. So perhaps you shortened the life by 1 week, which is negligible compared to mean-time to failure (expected life). That is how I was thinking. Even if the compressor normally runs at a 10% duty cycle, you...
by dickenjb
Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a week?
Replies: 31
Views: 2613

Re: Newbie nervous and just invested 55k with Vanguard

Your portfolio is very sensible. I would however switch to Admiral shares where possible.

Now for the hard part - DON'T PEEK. Don't go online every day or every week or every month to check your balance. Maybe look at your statements quarterly.

Let the markets do their work.
by dickenjb
Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie nervous and just invested 55k with Vanguard
Replies: 20
Views: 2196

Re: Driving Trip Planning

You might be able to use Google Maps for this. First, plot directions for your entire trip from point A to point B. Then, use the + symbol to add a destination; you will have to use a bit of trial and error to get to your 8 hour target, but you should be able to figure it out. Add as many interim d...
by dickenjb
Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving Trip Planning
Replies: 45
Views: 1611

Re: International allocation

30%. Good enough for LS and TR funds, good enough for me. Have thought about bumping it up to 40%. Will probably think about it for another year or two then act. Or not.
by dickenjb
Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International allocation
Replies: 56
Views: 2740

Re: Buy & Hold Forever Blue Chip Stocks???

One word (or ticker really) - VTSAX. That is what I have my kids invested in.
by dickenjb
Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy & Hold Forever Blue Chip Stocks???
Replies: 73
Views: 3526

Re: Should I fix a "totaled" car

Do not fix the car. My wife was T boned in her Acura MDX (not totaled), each repair will uncover more things that need to be repaired and it still cannot be aligned perfectly.

My guess is your body shop will uncover more things and the repair bill will escalate from the initial estimate.
by dickenjb
Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I fix a "totaled" car
Replies: 26
Views: 1713

Re: SS Benefit Amounts

What you really need to calculate is your PIA, from that you can calculate your benefit at any age whatsoever.
by dickenjb
Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Benefit Amounts
Replies: 6
Views: 1078

Re: Pay cash for flight on sale, or use FF mileage quandry

turns out the equation got simplier, as instead of PI Air, and comparable cheap flight on United popped up, so bought that one for cash. and then now it's a matter, of to convert to a Free UA card or not, can someone tell me the pros/cons of the free UA card, mostly I just want the miles preserved,...
by dickenjb
Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay cash for flight on sale, or use FF mileage quandry
Replies: 29
Views: 1922

Re: Pay cash for flight on sale, or use FF mileage quandry

I'm just curious, how do you all manage to find seats available with your miles? Seems like the last few years every time we want to use our miles on United or AA there are no seats available unless we want to use even more miles to waive the restriction and that's with planning far in advance. Use...
by dickenjb
Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay cash for flight on sale, or use FF mileage quandry
Replies: 29
Views: 1922

Re: Pay cash for flight on sale, or use FF mileage quandry

BA Avios are a unique currency due to their distance based award chart. Also using them on BA itself is a mistake due to ridiculous fuel surcharges. The 4500 mile one way Avios deal on short trips is a bargain. PHL-ORD is also under 750 miles, as is PHL-BOS and a number of other routes that can be e...
by dickenjb
Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay cash for flight on sale, or use FF mileage quandry
Replies: 29
Views: 1922

Re: using the 15% tax bracket

There is a whole 'nother angle that occurred to me. If I get preferential tax treatment (0% + state) on $10,000 of LTCGs, and re-buy the fund thereby simply increasing my basis by $10K, that's ALL I get; when I go to sell that fund, my LTCGs will be $10,000 lower than they would have been. BUT, if ...
by dickenjb
Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: using the 15% tax bracket
Replies: 42
Views: 4217
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