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Re: Mistake on W2 question

Shouldn't my W2 for the 401k say 17500k for 2014 regardless of when I get paid? No, your W-2 should show the number of dollars in each category (salary, withholding, 401(k), Social Security, Medicare) which were paid during 2014. If you set up a 401(k) contribution of $673 per bi-weekly pay period,...
by grabiner
Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mistake on W2 question
Replies: 14
Views: 470

Re: Should I stay in TSP L2030 ROTH or move to L2040 or L205

Hello, TSP states I have to move it all at once, Can you link the page from the TSP that says this. I have done Interfund transfers in the TSP without everything. You can't do a scheduled transaction over time, but you can go to the TSP web site every month and make a gradual move. If you are switc...
by grabiner
Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I stay in TSP L2030 ROTH or move to L2040 or L2050
Replies: 5
Views: 273

Re: Loan Terms -- Helping a friend going through Divorce?

Check with the IRS rules whether you need to report the imputed interest, but I don't think you do on a loan of this size if the purpose is not investment and the money is not being used to earn income. Even if you do, it's a small enough amount that I wouldn't bother with it, or with charging inter...
by grabiner
Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loan Terms -- Helping a friend going through Divorce?
Replies: 1
Views: 184

Re: Filed your 2014 Federal Taxes yet?

I usually fill out my tax forms in February, but unless I have a large refund, I'll wait in case I receive a late correction. (I have had errors on some of my Vanguard brokerage tax statements.) And I set up my withholding to avoid large refunds; the only large refund I have received recently was th...
by grabiner
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filed your 2014 Federal Taxes yet?
Replies: 47
Views: 1991

Re: Mistake on W2 question

I maxed out both 401k and HSA but W2 shows numbers hundreds of dollars below. Thinking they messed it up because we get payed for last week in Dec in January biweekly. Roughly how much is this mistake costing me? This suggests that it is your error. 401(k) contributions are allocated to the year in...
by grabiner
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mistake on W2 question
Replies: 14
Views: 470

Re: TSP contribution limits clarification

To hit the $18k for your TSP/Roth TSP, you should contribute $693 a paycheck (don't go over - you won't get some of the government match at the end of the year). Hope this helps. Check your payroll schedule (which may depend on your agency); if there are 27 pay periods in the year, you should contr...
by grabiner
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP contribution limits clarification
Replies: 10
Views: 560

Re: When should you stop contributing to an HSA?

HSA's are great... if you have medical expenses. But outside of medical expenses, for a healthy person an HSA is oftentimes a poor substitute for a traditional IRA because the expenses and fees to administer an HSA are usually higher, and the investment options are usually poorer. This isn't much o...
by grabiner
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When should you stop contributing to an HSA?
Replies: 28
Views: 960

Re: Is there a point when your HSA balance is so large....

You should only stop contributing if you are almost sure you won't need it for medical expenses, and you can contribute to a 401(k) or IRA instead. An HSA not used for medical expenses is just as good as a deductible IRA while you are still alive, although not as good after your death as it cannot b...
by grabiner
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there a point when your HSA balance is so large....
Replies: 5
Views: 566

Re: Taxable or tax deferred

In regards to having a balanced fund in a taxable account: Don't balanced funds need to be... "re-balanced"? Triggering possible both long and short term capital gains you may not incur otherwise if the balanced fund was in a tax-deferred account? Yes; however, many balanced funds can reb...
by grabiner
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taxable or tax deferred
Replies: 7
Views: 528

Re: HSA: spend or not?

I max out my retirement accounts. Therefore, I gain more tax-deferred space by paying medical bills from my checking account; if I paid from the HSA, I would have less in the HSA and more in a taxable investment account. I recommend the opposite strategy if you don't max out your retirement accounts...
by grabiner
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: HSA: spend or not?
Replies: 6
Views: 441

Re: Should I stay in TSP L2030 ROTH or move to L2040 or L205

Welcome to the forum! Since you have a very large TSP, you have presumably been investing in the TSP for years. What was your TSP invested in when the market crashed in 2007-2009, and how did you react then? If you were in L2030 then and left the money there without too much worry, then switching to...
by grabiner
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I stay in TSP L2030 ROTH or move to L2040 or L2050
Replies: 5
Views: 273

Re: Poss TSP Roth to Traditional Repercussions?

One side effect of mixing is that you cannot prorate your distributions. If you have a traditional and a Roth IRA, and happen to be in a low tax bracket in one year, you can withdraw from only the traditional IRA. If your TSP is half traditional and half Roth, then under current rules, any withdrawa...
by grabiner
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Poss TSP Roth to Traditional Repercussions?
Replies: 7
Views: 245

Re: Bonds vs. Some Utilities

Take a look at the historical performance. In the 2007-2009 bear market, Vanguard Utilities ETF (a good representation of the average utility stock) lost 45% of its value. This wasn't quite as bad as the whole stock market, but it was close.
by grabiner
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds vs. Some Utilities
Replies: 4
Views: 260

Re: POLL: Prepay car loan (1.75%)

It's always impossible to tell, but the odds are a consumer debt is less attractive than a home mortgage or a HELOC. I'd pay it off and go for a long walk. This is not a huge issue. The reason it is less attractive is that it is short-term. If you choose not to pay down your 15-year mortgage, you k...
by grabiner
Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Prepay car loan (1.75%)
Replies: 29
Views: 1359

Re: HSA not reflected on W2

My health plan makes a contribution to an HSA, but only if I am eligible; you are allowed to use the plan if you are ineligible for an HSA for some reason. The contribution is not reported on my W-2, because my employer just pays the health insurance and doesn't know what the health plan did. In add...
by grabiner
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA not reflected on W2
Replies: 16
Views: 829

Re: POLL: Prepay car loan (1.75%)

Effectively, you are buying 36 CDs, maturing in 1 to 36 months, each with a 1.75% return; this is an average duration of 18 months. 1.75% risk-free and tax-free with an 18-month duration is a great deal. The only reason not to do it is that you might have some better use for the money that was worth...
by grabiner
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Prepay car loan (1.75%)
Replies: 29
Views: 1359

Re: Foreign Tax credit and STATE Income Taxes

The wiki page on State income taxes does not have an exclusive list of states. It says that AZ allows a credit for foreign taxes, computed the same way as the credit for taxes paid to other states (which usually means that your foreign income is effectively exempt from AZ tax since the foreign rate ...
by grabiner
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign Tax credit and STATE Income Taxes
Replies: 34
Views: 3833

Re: W-4 - Change Marital Status?

If you and your spouse have about equal salaries, then "Married" withholding is likely to work even if you file separately. The tax code is set up so that a married couple filing separately with equal incomes owes the same tax as if they filed jointly; the bracket boundaries for filing sep...
by grabiner
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W-4 - Change Marital Status?
Replies: 7
Views: 515

Re: 2.875% mortgage pay-off financially justifiable?

Can you pay it all off at once? If you can, then you get a duration of six years on your 2.875% tax-deductible interest (since you eliminate it payments 0-12 years in the future, which is as good as the after-tax return on a portfolio of six-year municipal bonds, and has no risk. If you can only pay...
by grabiner
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2.875% mortgage pay-off financially justifiable?
Replies: 31
Views: 2819

Re: When to switch from Roth to Traditional?

Wiki article link: Traditional versus Roth If you can max out the Roth TSP, Roth IRA, and HSA (if appropriate; HSA-eligible plans are usually a good deal for federal workers), and expect to retire in VA (which will tax your TSP), it may be marginally better to use the Roth TSP in the 28% bracket eve...
by grabiner
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to switch from Roth to Traditional?
Replies: 6
Views: 740

Re: Renaissance tech vs EMH

Ten-sigma events happen a lot more often than would be predicted from the normal distribution. The standard deviation of daily stock market moves is about 1%. The Dow Jones Industrial average has been up more than 10% seven times and down more than 10% four times . If your model tells you that a 10...
by grabiner
Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renaissance tech vs EMH
Replies: 37
Views: 1834

Re: Relationship between PMI, Mortgage Rate, and Down Paymen

I had initially assumed that the best rate a bank would offer would be based upon having the highest credit score and putting 20% down. It turns out I was mistaken. I've been surprised at the number of banks that offer lower interest rates for exceeding the 20% LTV ratio. With that being said, why ...
by grabiner
Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship between PMI, Mortgage Rate, and Down Payment
Replies: 26
Views: 1900

Re: What do you drive, and why?

2007 Honda Civic bought new, 90,000 miles. Given used-car and new-car prices at the time, I figured that I would get more miles per dollar buying a new car and driving it 120,000 miles, rather than buying a used car and driving it 80,000 miles; also, for the first three years, I would have a new car...
by grabiner
Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you drive, and why?
Replies: 205
Views: 17358

Re: Refund from the IRS? Why?

ID theft isn't the only problem. I have three times had a state refund held up because of an error. Twice, it was the state's error; once, it was mine, as I paid the right amount of tax but copied an intermediate number wrong and the state computed the tax from the miscopied number. The longest dela...
by grabiner
Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refund from the IRS? Why?
Replies: 51
Views: 4846

Re: turbotax: foreign bank interest ?

There is no hack around it. How do you report other interest that doesn't have a 1099-INT? TubboTax doesn't tell me. :annoyed And TaxAct says that you have to make out a fake 1099-INT to report interest that wasn't reported on a real one. It requires an override to make an entry directly on Schedul...
by grabiner
Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: turbotax: foreign bank interest ?
Replies: 13
Views: 648

Re: Renaissance tech vs EMH

Why not? The failure of LTCM was calculated to be a "10-sigma event," yet it happened. I'll defer to what another smart poster said about LTCM a while back: "LTCM consisted of smart professionals. Clearly, they underestimated the risk of what they were doing. Well, maybe it's not cle...
by grabiner
Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renaissance tech vs EMH
Replies: 37
Views: 1834

Re: VNQ & VNQI

I have 5% of my portfolio in each of them in my Roth IRA. (I hold Admiral shares, not the mutual fund class.)
by grabiner
Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VNQ & VNQI
Replies: 9
Views: 992

Re: VXUS and VTI names

I would love to read some inside account of just how the process does work. The PIMCO Total Return Bond ETF started out life as TRXT, and then a month later it was changed to... BOND. How the heck did Gross snag that little bit of primo real estate? And if BOND was available, why did Vanguard settl...
by grabiner
Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VXUS and VTI names
Replies: 14
Views: 955

Re: How to set up an HSA account? (for a first time user)

Your plan sounds fine to me. Some think that HSA investing should come before 401(k) because it is payroll tax free. If it were me, I'd probably contribute to my match in the 401(k), then max out the HSA, then fill up my Roth, then finish my 401(k). The key isn't that the HSA is payroll tax free, b...
by grabiner
Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to set up an HSA account? (for a first time user)
Replies: 7
Views: 672

Re: Payoff Mortgage with investments in taxable accounts

Would you have a large tax bill for selling the taxable investments? If you would, you have to subtract the capital-gains tax from the risk-free return on your mortgage payoff. (From your other post, I believe the answer is no.) Do you itemize deductions, and if so, at what tax rate? If you are in t...
by grabiner
Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payoff Mortgage with investments in taxable accounts
Replies: 22
Views: 1640

Re: Short Term Bonds in Taxable

I'm in the 33% tax bracket (9.3% CA), and based on this I believe that the short term is actually better in terms of yield when factoring the tax rate, but I'm not sure if I'm overlooking something important. I'd like to consolidate into just one of these funds, but am not sure which one I should c...
by grabiner
Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short Term Bonds in Taxable
Replies: 6
Views: 1027

Re: Portfolio review / paying debt vs investing with a windf

Debt: Mortgage of $400k at 3% interest. 10 years remaining. Tax Rate: 39.6% Federal, 0% State Therefore, you get a 1.79% return after tax from paying down that mortgage. If you pay part of that mortgage, so that you clear it in six years rather than ten, that is equivalent to investing in a bond fu...
by grabiner
Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio review / paying debt vs investing with a windfall
Replies: 9
Views: 749

Re: Is VIGIX diversified enough?

What are the options in the 401(k)? Growth Index is not as well diversified as other indexes; it holds only large-cap growth stocks, not small-cap or value. Therefore, if you have Growth Index, you might want to offset it with a value fund, such as Small-Cap Value Index in your IRA if the 401(k) doe...
by grabiner
Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is VIGIX diversified enough?
Replies: 8
Views: 1299

Re: Able to 'roll over' an OH teacher tax-deferred retiremen

I used to teach at a university in Ohio. Since my position was temporary, I chose not to use the pension system, and instead made a contribution to the Optional Retirement Plan, which was a 403(b) plan with TIAA-CREF. After leaving the Ohio position, I was allowed to roll the plan over to an IRA, wh...
by grabiner
Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Able to 'roll over' an OH teacher tax-deferred retirement?
Replies: 7
Views: 570

Re: Cap-weighted international

You will not quite stay at the cap weighting with this strategy, because of companies being added and removed. If you own one billionth of every company in the world, you have the world cap weighting. You can do this with the appropriate amount of Total World Stock Index, or the combination of Total...
by grabiner
Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cap-weighted international
Replies: 1
Views: 232

Re: Slice and Dice with Etf and Admiral?

I slice and dice with ETF and Admiral shares. My US holdings are all Admiral shares, except for RZV (Guggenheim S&P 600 Pure Value), which is an ETF without Admiral shares; I hold it in my HSA. For international, I hold Emerging Markets Index as a mutual fund, but Developed Markets (because the ...
by grabiner
Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Slice and Dice with Etf and Admiral?
Replies: 8
Views: 638

Re: How much umbrella insurance do I need?

I'm trying to sort out how much umbrella insurance I need. They usually say that you should have enough to cover all your assets and in my case $1 million is way more than my assets. I don't understand why people recommend that your amount of umbrella insurance be related to the assets you have. Ge...
by grabiner
Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much umbrella insurance do I need?
Replies: 19
Views: 2127

Re: Android or iPhone? Which do you like, and why?

When I first bought a smartphone, I tested out the features in the store. One of my tests was the web site I am most likely to use the smartphone to browse: the bogleheads.org forum. It didn't zoom well on the iPhones I tried, and that was a good reason for me to go with an Android instead. This is ...
by grabiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android or iPhone? Which do you like, and why?
Replies: 40
Views: 1848

Re: $1 and $2 foreign tax paid - file? refundable credit?

I agree with this, and I want to add the point that you potentially might not be able to actually use the carryover foreign tax credits in future years. Let's assume you had $2,000 in qualified foreign dividends and paid $300 in foreign taxes (not sure if this is realistic....foreign dividends may ...
by grabiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $1 and $2 foreign tax paid - file? refundable credit?
Replies: 6
Views: 582

Re: WHAT EXPERTS SAY ABOUT

Taylor , I know you have a " house that Jack built " I have a nice " portfolio that Taylor built " In addition to the peace of mind that comes from following the wisdom of the bogle heads Happy Birthday and God Bless ! Happy Birthday! I also live in a House that Jack Built, insp...
by grabiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Experts Say [about various investing topics]
Replies: 51
Views: 3329

Re: rebalancing after an inheritance

Since you live in Montgomery County, MD and are in the 25% federal bracket, you have a 7.95% state and county tax on your investments. Vanguard doesn't have a Maryland tax-free fund, and the extra cost of T. Rowe Price's fund isn't worth the tax savings compared to a Vanguard national muni fund. I-B...
by grabiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: rebalancing after an inheritance
Replies: 7
Views: 725

Re: Long term cap gains tax rate for 15% bracket

There are also other rates that can apply, if the capital gains affect an income-based phase-in or phase-out for some other tax provision. For example, if you are receiving Social Security and are in the phase-in range for Social Security taxation, $1 of capital gains might be taxed at 0%, but it mi...
by grabiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Long term cap gains tax rate for 15% bracket
Replies: 17
Views: 1730

Re: Should I sell tax inefficient mutual funds?

Toons wrote:Do not let the tax tail wag the dog :happy


Yes, but it's fine to turn the dog around. If you already have an asset allocation but have the tax-inefficient funds (such as Wellesley) in the wrong place, it's worth fixing; you can save on taxes without significantly changing your allocation.
by grabiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I sell tax inefficient mutual funds?
Replies: 22
Views: 1470

Re: Tax efficiency ignoring capital gains

Tax efficiency depends both on avoiding taxable gains and on paying the lowest taxes you can on the gains which are taxed. Funds which pay non-qualified dividends or short-term capital gains are less tax-efficient than funds which pay only qualified divdends and long-term capital gains. Dividends on...
by grabiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax efficiency ignoring capital gains
Replies: 6
Views: 838

Re: Varying returns with different sites

Check the end dates. Some sites will give returns as of yesterday, while others will give returns as of the last day of the month or quarter. Morningstar gives all three. Total Return is the return of a dollar invested in the fund over the whole time period; it indicates how well the fund did. Inves...
by grabiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Varying returns with different sites
Replies: 4
Views: 361

Re: Total Bond: 23 years of SEC yield and distribution yield

Besides recent rates, there can be the issue of when bonds were purchased, which will be different for Total Bond Market Index and other bond funds. If Total Bond Market bought a 30-year bond at original issue 21 years ago, the distributions today on the 9-year bond will still be based on the coupon...
by grabiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond: 23 years of SEC yield and distribution yield
Replies: 39
Views: 3581

Re: Do you have an EF & Taxable Account?

I don't have a separate emergency fund, because I have a large taxable account and hold a virtual emergency fund in my retirement account. If I need to spend $10K and don't want to sell any stock, I can sell $10K in stock, and move $10K from bonds to stock in my retirement account. I believe that ha...
by grabiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you have an EF & Taxable Account?
Replies: 20
Views: 1471

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

Both aged 39 15% tax bracket Spouse’s 401K is bad with no match. I won’t list all of the funds and expense ratios because they are all bad and I know it. Instead I’ll just say that the “least bad” choices are: 1) Mutual of America Equity Index Fund ER 1.39% 2) Mutual of America Mid-Cap Equity Index...
by grabiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad 401K or Taxable or Mortgage or Car Loan?
Replies: 19
Views: 800

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

Every person who paid of their mortgage early should make the following calculation: - take 80% of the equity in their home as of the date that mortgage was paid off, - invest in 30/70, 50/50, or 70/30 US_Stocks / Int_Bonds fund. Mortgage carrying cost can be assumed at 1% above the prevailing HELO...
by grabiner
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 306
Views: 37326
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