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Re: Beginning Teen Investor

With earned income, invest in a Roth IRA. A target-date retirement (TDR) fund is simplest option. You want to begin investing in your Roth IRA as soon as possible because you only get one allocation per year, and missed allocations can not be made up. While this may not be an issue now, it will beco...
by dratkinson
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginning Teen Investor
Replies: 11
Views: 1138

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

No snow here... this time. When I played with tractors, spent a lot of time on this old tractor forum: http://simpletractors.com/club2/portal_content.asp With every snowstorm (Under: Discussions > Tractor Discussions > Show & Tell), you could always count on pictures/videos of someone using thei...
by dratkinson
Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 64
Views: 4566

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

... Great. Just great. Thanks guys, never knew hand warmers existed for snowblowers until I read this.... If your gloves don't keep you warm (waterproof ski gloves should), suggest trying the thin-packet chemical hand warmers (Walmart, REI,...). Insert into your gloves/boots. Depending upon variety...
by dratkinson
Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 64
Views: 4566

Re: Do any young investors use Only fixed income?

I was that young FI investor. Owned CDs from 1980-2000. What a monumental waste of compounding time. Was afraid to invest in anything else. Didn't find the lazy portfolio concept until 2005, and this forum in 2007. Wish someone had shown me the way sooner. Equities have been like the difference betw...
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do any young investors use Only fixed income?
Replies: 35
Views: 3232

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

My neighbor hires someone to clear their driveway. Always seem to be hiring a new guy because the old guy doesn't do it right or in a timely fashion. They start early to get a jump on the storm, but that means some drives must be plowed twice in a long storm. My neighbor doesn't like paying for plow...
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 64
Views: 4566

Re: Tax efficiency ignoring capital gains

Your example of selling assets every couple of years to generate LTCG is less tax-efficient than just holding the assets. No need to pay taxes if they can be postponed. (Unless you are doing a Roth conversion.) What if you're going to sell the assets at some point anyway, say for retirement or to b...
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax efficiency ignoring capital gains
Replies: 6
Views: 829

Re: Tax efficiency ignoring capital gains

I'm trying to understand the concepts of tax efficiency and tax aware asset allocation, and I have a question so that I can make the best decisions for my portfolio: are tax efficiency benefits and recommendations, such as putting bonds in IRAs and international stocks in taxable accounts primarily...
by dratkinson
Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax efficiency ignoring capital gains
Replies: 6
Views: 829

Re: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxe

If I must pay for a mistake, I want the mistake to be mine. Was doing my taxes by mail with a distant CPA. Busy, noticed I was getting money back, so signed and mailed return to IRS. Later studied my copy of return. Notice "interest paid" on a small loan had been listed as "interest e...
by dratkinson
Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxes
Replies: 40
Views: 4674

Re: What do you drive, and why?

Could you not upgrade the tires? There's being frugal, and there's being cheap. Cheap is where you damage the use or enjoyment of something by going for the lowest cost. In the case of snow there is *safety*. The are only 4 small bits of rubber between you and death or severe injury. Of conversely ...
by dratkinson
Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you drive, and why?
Replies: 202
Views: 16802

Re: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxe

... Can we hear about some of the stories here? I haven't done my taxes myself the last 2 years due to the tempo of my job, but I will be doing them again this year. Just curious to hear what some pitfalls people have experienced. FWIW, I'm single, no dependents, in the military (no state taxes &am...
by dratkinson
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxes
Replies: 40
Views: 4674

Re: What do you drive, and why?

1990 Mitsubishi Montero. Best headroom of any current vehicle I've researched. Keep it for that reason, and because of its all round utility in mountains/winter. And its paid for. Was by a MB dealership recently and test sat in G500. May have been unwise, as I now know its a great fit for me. Just d...
by dratkinson
Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you drive, and why?
Replies: 202
Views: 16802

Re: How to Know You're Saving Enough?

You are well ahead of where I was. But you could be doing more if you choose to. How? Besides savings for short-term goals, you could also begin long-term taxable investing. As your salary increases, more of it will flow to your taxable account. Find/read the Wiki topics on the (1) three fund portfo...
by dratkinson
Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Know You're Saving Enough?
Replies: 24
Views: 3036

Re: How long did it take your net worth to go from $1.5M to

Not a contender, but the rule of 72, assuming 7% growth, says ~10 years.
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did it take your net worth to go from $1.5M to $3M?
Replies: 22
Views: 4554

Re: Life-Teaching Topics for my Kids

Use of Excel to track stuff (camping/travel budget, savings,...) and solve problems. I love this idea. When I went to business school to pursue my MBA, I had never used Excel before. I felt quite foolish during the first group project when we were expected to use the program, and I did not know how...
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life-Teaching Topics for my Kids
Replies: 42
Views: 2721

Re: Life-Teaching Topics for my Kids

Use of Excel to track stuff (camping/travel budget, savings,...) and solve problems. I love this idea. When I went to business school to pursue my MBA, I had never used Excel before. I felt quite foolish during the first group project when we were expected to use the program, and I did not know how...
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life-Teaching Topics for my Kids
Replies: 42
Views: 2721

Re: [Purchasing a] shopping cart

Since this is only temporary, could let someone else bring in your groceries.

A quick search for "grocery home delivery" implies WalMart and Safeway offer this service. Didn't look further.
by dratkinson
Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Purchasing a] shopping cart
Replies: 22
Views: 2317

Re: How much food to you really keep?

I'm one of those people who can (and does) eat almost the exact same thing, every single day. I know what you mean because I'm like that too! But i am trying to diversify now. Apparently eating different colors is good. I had some red, green and blue yesterday. Today I am having some yellow and pur...
by dratkinson
Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much food to you really keep?
Replies: 57
Views: 4183

Re: Why invest in International funds? It's a mystery

Why invest in international funds? It gives a novice a place to invest while the US market is high. Makes me think I'm buying low, so less resistance to investing more... after I get past the under-performing-market-sector mental argument.
by dratkinson
Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why invest in International funds? It's a mystery
Replies: 121
Views: 10506

Another Idea: Pay Yourself First.

Interesting idea. Never heard it before. Could also try this: "Pay yourself first." I believe it to be much less work. Option. Set up a direct deposit salary allotment to go to your MMkt (VMSXX?) fund. Option. Set up a Vanguard salary-date based recurring automatic MMkt purchase from your ...
by dratkinson
Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-Taxing - my personal savings encourager
Replies: 15
Views: 1320

Re: Looking for advice on generating stable passive income

... Pardon my ignorance but what do "OI" and "OP" stand for? :?: ... the only sure thing I know is that I will be swapping one residence with another is a sunnier climate. That most likely will happen within the next five years. If things go bad, I still have 3M invested separat...
by dratkinson
Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for advice on generating stable passive income
Replies: 14
Views: 3246

Re: Looking for advice on generating stable passive income

... Your tax estimate is insanely high. ... Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Yep, ignoring lower bracket benefits is a worst case swag. Not having OP's numbers/tax bracket, didn't even try, just assumed worst case. Understood OP was looking for options. When he runs their tax simulations, the...
by dratkinson
Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for advice on generating stable passive income
Replies: 14
Views: 3246

Re: Life-Teaching Topics for my Kids

Extend vehicle/map skills to become a navigator. Use of map, mile markers, watch, and calculator to compute rate of travel, estimated time to turn, estimated time of arrival,... from D=R*T and map distances. Compute vehicle fuel consumption, and time/distance to refueling. Use map/compass, to practi...
by dratkinson
Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life-Teaching Topics for my Kids
Replies: 42
Views: 2721

Re: If you can hold only Cash or Total World Stock.

Assuming we're not allowed to hold bonds, but have enough cash in EF, the only option is 100% TW. Holding less TW, more cash, just increases EF size without calling it that.
by dratkinson
Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you can hold only Cash or Total World Stock.
Replies: 6
Views: 572

Re: Looking for advice on generating stable passive income

... So in theory, if I were shooting for a *minimum* 150K of income, and 45K of this is already taken care of, then the 4M windfall (3M + 1M seed) will need to generate 105K post tax annually. Incidentally, I live in a state with no State tax. ... That sounds logical. Could try this. Learn about SP...
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for advice on generating stable passive income
Replies: 14
Views: 3246

Re: Filling Tax Bracket Graphic?

dratkinson I like the version you posted as it is more self explanatory. The only thing missing is the unique taxation of SS Benefits. Perhaps that is better illustrated in a separate chart. When taxed, believe SS is taxed as ordinary income, so it fills in existing tax brackets. If SS kicks us int...
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Filling Tax Bracket Graphic?
Replies: 13
Views: 2510

Re: Doing my taxes by hand

scrabbler1 wrote:... I do my taxes by hand, with the aid of homemade spreadsheets ...


Taxes? Spreadsheet? Have you seen this? https://sites.google.com/site/excel1040/

I've only used it for quick fed tax simulations, but it was accurate when I compared it to my last filed tax return as a baseline.
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing my taxes by hand
Replies: 64
Views: 4722

Re: Filling Tax Bracket Graphic?

From my off-line notes. Maybe this? http://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-eK-fA0GC3Yo/UOTWUKixvsI/AAAAAAAAApM/61z7DhLpbG4/s640/qualified-dividends-capital-gains-fiscal-cliff.png From here: http://thefinancebuff.com/fiscal-cliff-deal-and-dividends-and-capital-gains.html Seem to recall my interest at the ...
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Filling Tax Bracket Graphic?
Replies: 13
Views: 2510

Re: Vertex42 Excel Stock Quote Template stop working

Suggest using gummy's yahoo CSV Excel macro. Easily found by searching. Has worked for me since ~2005. Suggest "symbol" be first returned parameter. Why? Yahoo returns a null string if it doesn't return fund/symbol parameters. Cause confusion, unless you notice this. Use conditional format...
by dratkinson
Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vertex42 Excel Stock Quote Template stop working
Replies: 39
Views: 4462

Re: New to site and seeking asset allocation advice!

A little difficult to follow your particulars. But as long as your asset allocation is ~50/50 or 60/40 at this stage, and your tax inefficient assets are in tax-advantaged space, then you should be good to go. Should not have cash in tax-advantaged space: causes cash drag (no growth and loses to inf...
by dratkinson
Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to site and seeking asset allocation advice!
Replies: 6
Views: 961

Re: Looking for advice on generating stable passive income

Congratulations on your success. Your's is a good problem to have. ( edit ) The short answer. I don't believe 150K/year from 4M is doable, without tapping principle. The long answer. I don't understand, you say you have hard assets: two residences and a commercial building. Does the 45K/year come fr...
by dratkinson
Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for advice on generating stable passive income
Replies: 14
Views: 3246

Re: rebalancingact.com

The "how it works" demo says we only enter our number of shares owned for each asset, desired target AA, and drift (rebalance bands?). It then checks market prices and notifies us (too) when our portfolio drifts out of balance. It looks harmless enough... except for the unwanted marketing ...
by dratkinson
Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: rebalancingact.com
Replies: 5
Views: 804

Re: should I stop 401K contributions as I ready to retire?

Let me be clearer. ROTH 401K is not an option in our current employer(s) retirement accounts. ROTH IRAs are not an option as we are above the MAGI limit. The only ways to take advantage of ROTH benefits is via a back-door conversion. In order to be able to contribute to and utilize a back-door conv...
by dratkinson
Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: should I stop 401K contributions as I ready to retire?
Replies: 24
Views: 2414

Re: Excel spreadsheet software programs

It's simple to roll your own... it's just target AA percentages applied to the total value of your investment. Can even add rebalance bands and conditional formatting to highlight out of tolerance assets. Pretty....
by dratkinson
Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Excel spreadsheet software programs
Replies: 4
Views: 781

Re: Poll: Do you own I Bonds?

Yes. But I don't own any with a decent fixed rate. So thinking of redeeming them for a home project, or the better tax advantage (higher fed vs. lower state) and simplicity of a muni fund.
by dratkinson
Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Do you own I Bonds?
Replies: 62
Views: 5458

Re: should I stop 401K contributions as I ready to retire?

The short answer. More tax-advantaged space is better than less. No RMD (Roth IRA) is better than required RMD. The long answer. http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Retirement-Plans-FAQs-regarding-Required-Minimum-Distributions What types of retirement plans require minimum distributions? The RMD ru...
by dratkinson
Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: should I stop 401K contributions as I ready to retire?
Replies: 24
Views: 2414

Re: Anyone else reluctant to put new money in bonds right no

No. They don't fluctuate that much in value. With your good CD rate you get to hassle with this $70K decision again in 91 days? Or buy the IT muni today with an equivalent yield and be done with it? I'd pick the muni. Have you looked at LT's (VWLUX) higher yield? I've only bought that since 2009, ev...
by dratkinson
Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone else reluctant to put new money in bonds right now?
Replies: 27
Views: 3428

Re: I-Bonds purchased monthly can be redeemed when?

Here's a very useful IBond Excel calculator and portfolio tracker. Of course, I learned about it on the Boglehead Forum. http://eyebonds.info/downloads/pages/IBondPortfolioCalculator.html ... Thanks for the idea. Will test it to ensure it produces the same results as SavingsBondCalculator (paper) a...
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-Bonds purchased monthly can be redeemed when?
Replies: 10
Views: 750

Re: If you have more than one bank....

Never worried about it.
by dratkinson
Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have more than one bank....
Replies: 5
Views: 1038

Re: Tax-exempt muni bonds: calculating the trade-off

... I'm struggling with actually making this comparison, because it's not working out all that clear-cut. I have ~10 state-specific muni funds available, and ... I can't find a corporate bond fund that matches very closely .... I'm a novice investor and can't address risk nuance issues. For me &quo...
by dratkinson
Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax-exempt muni bonds: calculating the trade-off
Replies: 17
Views: 2170

Re: Where does someone in their mid-20s with $5000 start?

Investing in individual companies is not recommended... too risky. Think: Borders Books, Enron, General Motors, .... Assuming you are employed and the $5K is earned income, open a Roth IRA (at Vanguard) and put it in a target date retirement fund with minimum bonds. That's the best advice you'll get...
by dratkinson
Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where does someone in their mid-20s with $5000 start?
Replies: 30
Views: 2583

Re: Tax-exempt muni bonds: calculating the trade-off

I've used Excel to run after-tax income simulations. --Federal return. I used excel1040.com. It's easy/quick and the results plug into state tax return. --State return. Simple to duplicate return math and compute after-tax income. I started with my last fed/state tax returns as a baseline to demonst...
by dratkinson
Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax-exempt muni bonds: calculating the trade-off
Replies: 17
Views: 2170

Re: New investor. Doesn't qualify for Roth. Help

Short answers. Tax-advantaged space. Invest in a backdoor Roth. A target-date retirement fund is a simple choice. Taxable space. Invest in the 3-fund portfolio, but substitute intermediate-term national muni bonds for total bond market, unless you could benefit from a state-specific muni fund. Set b...
by dratkinson
Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New investor. Doesn't qualify for Roth. Help
Replies: 29
Views: 2112

Re: Professor Dumpster, a really tiny house.

Sounds like he aspires to live in half a college dorm room. It's already been done. All he needs to do is move in and start cleaning the common areas. Would cut the school's janitorial budget, unless he expects someone else to do that for him. Chinese proverb. There is no one to sweep a common hall.
by dratkinson
Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Professor Dumpster, a really tiny house.
Replies: 18
Views: 2472

Re: Best watch for around $5,000?

I think it is an age or cultural difference. One tends to forget how difficult it is to learn to "tell time" ... +1 Can also add the confusion about the third analog hand being named the "second" hand. I too better know the time with an analog watch. No math involved, it's just ...
by dratkinson
Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000?
Replies: 906
Views: 173234

Re: Snow blower maintenance and repair

Just be careful out there! I have a general surgeon friend who won't own a snow blower. Says he's worked on too many hands that have been caught in one. 2b2 Supposed to use a push stick to clear chute. I attached two broom handle clamps (from ACE) across top width of auger housing and mounted push ...
by dratkinson
Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow blower maintenance and repair
Replies: 26
Views: 2378

Re: Snow blower maintenance and repair

Several years ago fixed my neighbors small single-stage Honda snowblower after it would not start the previous year. It was their custom to leave old gas in their machines. Found carb was full of waxy substance that plugged holes. It was easy to clean out, but $40 for repair manual telling how to ta...
by dratkinson
Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow blower maintenance and repair
Replies: 26
Views: 2378

Re: Once in a lifetime moment

Congratulations on selling your house. And thanks for the smile.
by dratkinson
Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Once in a lifetime moment
Replies: 12
Views: 2446

Re: New Boglehead Seeking Advice

In your Wiki readings on tax efficiency, there is another asset placement (minority) opinion expressed as only 1-2 lines embedded inside a paragraph supporting the opposite view, so it's easy to overlook. It's called "shoot for the moon in your tax-advantaged space". It advocates populatin...
by dratkinson
Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Boglehead Seeking Advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1720

Re: New Boglehead Seeking Advice

Bonds are for safety. Un-hedged international bonds introduce additional risks (currency, sovereign debt,...). Hedged international bonds introduce currency safety at a higher price. Better to use only US bonds: safer and cheaper. Suggest 3-fund portfolio: total US stock market index, total internat...
by dratkinson
Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Boglehead Seeking Advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1720

Re: Bad idea to put TBM in taxable?

Search Wiki for "taxable equivalent yield". If your muni candidate produces greater after-tax return in lower tax bracket than TBM, then no reason not to start with muni bonds.
by dratkinson
Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad idea to put TBM in taxable?
Replies: 17
Views: 1323
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