Search found 14702 matches

Go to advanced search

by grabiner
Sat May 23, 2015 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major issues with new HSABank.com website
Replies: 39
Views: 3620

Re: Major issues with new HSABank.com website

I was thinking of switching from GEHA HDHP this year. Then I would be able to transfer my HSA elsewhere, correct? You can transfer your HSA whether you stay with GEHA or not. However, if you stay with GEHA, any GEHA contributions go to HSA Bank because that is the bank that GEHA uses. If you switch...
by grabiner
Sat May 23, 2015 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confused [about bonds]
Replies: 11
Views: 1152

Re: Confused [about bonds]

Yes, I should have done that 'Lafder', thanks. Ages 75 & 76(her), both retired, Income: my non-COLA'd pension + his & her Social Security. If that non-COLA'd pension is a substantial part of your retirement income, then you have a significant exposure to inflation risk. This would make I-Bo...
by grabiner
Sat May 23, 2015 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalancing bands in taxable accounts
Replies: 8
Views: 376

Re: Rebalancing bands in taxable accounts

Here is what I have in my Investment Policy Statement: I will pay capital gains tax to rebalance in a taxable account only if a major asset class or subclass would otherwise be off by more than 5% of my total allocation, or a major asset class would be off by more than 25% of its own target allocati...
by grabiner
Sat May 23, 2015 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taking out a HELOC to invest
Replies: 16
Views: 1116

Re: Taking out a HELOC to invest

The tax advantage of mortgages is shared by margin loans, the case of stock index futures is more complicated (because they have less favorable tax treatment on the stock side, so to speak, if held in a taxable account, work best in tax deferred). For a tax-efficient taxable account, the tax advant...
by grabiner
Sat May 23, 2015 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major issues with new HSABank.com website
Replies: 39
Views: 3620

Re: Major issues with new HSABank.com website

Thank you for the correction....that HSABank in the institution chosen by GEHA...as I recall and will need to verify, GEHA may have been my only choice for an HDHP during the last enrollment season. I wonder if there a backdoor way around using HSABank if I stay with the GEHA HDHP...like setting up...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 10:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taking out a HELOC to invest
Replies: 16
Views: 1116

Re: Taking out a HELOC to invest

and the portion used to carry municipal bonds is not deductible. Thank you for this information! So what happens if you buy municipal bonds after you have a HELOC established, but not from HELOC funds. Is the write off still allowed? Just curious if you know how the IRS would look at that. Here is ...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high income, low interest CA mortgage
Replies: 2
Views: 470

Re: high income, low interest CA mortgage

Mortgage rate *(1-federal tax)*(1-state tax) = 2.875%*.604*.897=1.558% If you pay AMT, it would be mortgage rate*(1-federal AMT rate-state rate) since the increased state tax doesn't become a federal deduction. The ACA tax doesn't enter into the calculation because it is based on gross income, not t...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to go about paying down loans?
Replies: 8
Views: 661

Re: How to go about paying down loans?

Should I just skip paying the interest off on the GREAT Lakes loans for several months and pay the entire Navient loan off ($5554.45) and be done with it? Just making sure, both sets of loans are at 6.8%? If so, paying down any of the loans should be equivalent, i.e., you're saving 6.8% interest on...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major issues with new HSABank.com website
Replies: 39
Views: 3620

Re: Major issues with new HSABank.com website

HSABank is the institution the federal government uses for HSA accounts for federal employees. The federal government doesn't have any contract with HSA Bank. There are several different high-deductible health plans for government employees, and each plan chooses its own HSA provider; plans can cha...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 10:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investment Priority turned upside down?
Replies: 7
Views: 701

Re: Investment Priority turned upside down?

But this prioritized order assumes full consumption of the assets during the lifetime of the retiree or spouse. Full consumption probably rarely occurs for Bogleheads. It rarely occurs if one follows a safe withdrawal rule. Because of the stepped up basis, prioritizing for inheritance may favor tax...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 9:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Land Values, Tax Deferral, Wealth Retention and Income
Replies: 7
Views: 679

Re: Land Values, Tax Deferral, Wealth Retention and Income

Farmland and real estate are not proper alternatives to investing at "interest rates" (CDs and bonds). They do have tax advantages, but they are also risky investments. Retirees who need income should not be putting more money into risky investments (including stocks). If so, why are so ma...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Quick question about tax harvesting
Replies: 9
Views: 450

Re: Quick question about tax harvesting

Question to those who TLH: when you sell doesn't it throw off your AA? Isn't it the case that you can't buy back in for 30 days, or else you'd have a wash sale? Do you just leave the AA out of balance for a month? You can't buy back the same asset, or a substantially identical asset, within 30 days...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 9:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taking out a HELOC to invest
Replies: 16
Views: 1116

Re: Taking out a HELOC to invest

I don't own a home (but intend to in the near future), so I can't answer the question posed in this post from personal experience. I would like to hear homeowners' answer to this question based on their personal experience. I often see the advice on here (and elsewhere) to not make any additional l...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 9:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me help my retired father -- preferred stocks
Replies: 19
Views: 1227

Re: Help me help my retired father -- preferred stocks

Don't know what tax bracket your father is in, but you will want to be sure of the tax implications before selling a bunch of long-held stocks to buy mutual funds. That could generate substantial long term capital gains and the tax bite could easily be much greater than any potential increase in fu...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 9:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: city selling 'mini-bonds' at attractive rates
Replies: 24
Views: 1663

Re: city selling 'mini-bonds' at attractive rates

For bonds that only pay interest at maturity, the IRS usually requires you to report the accrued interest every year as income even though interest is not yet paid. It is similar to inflation adjustment reporting on TIPS. However, muni income is federal tax exempt and thus no phantom income problem...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are ETFs better for tax gain harvesting?
Replies: 6
Views: 535

Re: Are ETFs better for tax gain harvesting?

The mutual fund workaround is to sell the mutual fund online, then write Vanguard a letter buying it back. You'll be out of the fund for just a few days. (And you need not be out of the market if you are harvesting gains in two different funds. You can sell A to buy B online, then sell your old shar...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 9:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dilemma on assert allocation: risk tolerance vs tax efficiency
Replies: 9
Views: 520

Re: Dilemma on assert allocation: risk tolerance vs tax efficiency

Wiki article link: Placing cash needs in a tax-advantaged account Your risk tolerance need not determine which account holds stocks, because you can move money between the accounts. If you decide to buy a house and need $50K for the down payment, and your taxable account is entirely in stock, you ca...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 9:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Move from Vanguard Equity Income to Growth Index fund?
Replies: 7
Views: 650

Re: Move from Vanguard Equity Income to Growth Income fund?

My 401k options are changing on June 1, though the fund I'm currently 100% in is staying. That said, would it be worth it to move the $40k of Vanguard Equity Income Investor Shares ( VEIPX ) to their Growth Index Admiral Shares ( VIGAX )? I would think the overall return on the Equity Income fund o...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 8:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Medical Student Loan Refinancing - Fixed vs Variable
Replies: 5
Views: 414

Re: Medical Student Loan Refinancing - Fixed vs Variable

-With my current provider, I pay about $1300/month towards my loans. This will probably be all I can afford with the refinancing. That leaves me with primarily the following two options that keep me in the ballpark of what I'm paying now. Fixed 20yr @ 6% ($1350/mo); Variable 15yr @3.26% (1325) -My ...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 4:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fund Roth IRA or pay student loans?
Replies: 13
Views: 894

Re: Fund Roth IRA or pay student loans?

With federal student loans, one important but overlooked feature is that interest accrues without compounding. In other words, during the negative amortization phase of your loan (where your payment does not cover interest), you are effectively accruing a 0% interest loan (the accrued interest is l...
by grabiner
Fri May 22, 2015 4:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortage with EJones and invest the rest?
Replies: 4
Views: 557

Re: Pay off mortage with EJones and invest the rest?

So my tax situation is more complicated that normal. I do itemize, but may not once the mortgage is paid off and student loan is now paid off. One tax person I talked to said that I should consider holding the funds in the credit union or other liquid instrument and then pay off Citimortgage in 201...
by grabiner
Thu May 21, 2015 9:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Not your father's Total Bond Market Fund anymore
Replies: 60
Views: 6104

Re: Why Total Bond Market Index Fund

Thanks for the history lesson, and sage opinion. Interesting that the duration of the Intermediate-Term Bond Index Admiral Shares (VBILX) seems to be longer (6.5 years) than the duration of the Total Bond Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (VBTLX) (5.6 years), for anyone concerned with the potential ...
by grabiner
Thu May 21, 2015 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for younger friend
Replies: 11
Views: 748

Re: Advice for younger friend

Choosing an allocation can be difficult for a new investor. Did your friend give any indication of his feelings on risk tolerance? If not, it's something you should discuss. For new investors who don't really have an idea, I suggest an AA of no more than 75/25. I agree with Grabinar that your frien...
by grabiner
Thu May 21, 2015 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Invest in Mutual Funds or Pay off house?
Replies: 7
Views: 471

Re: Invest in Mutual Funds or Pay off house?

If you are going to pay off a mortgage, does it make sense to keep it in a separate account until you have the balance? No, because you lose much of the benefit. If you make an extra payment on your 4% mortgage today, you earn a guaranteed 4%, and this rate is the reason you might want to make such...
by grabiner
Thu May 21, 2015 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling House Affect MAGI?
Replies: 2
Views: 364

Re: Selling House Affect MAGI?

After you have gone through the worksheet, if you have a reportable capital gain on selling your home (and don't have a capital loss to offset it), the gain is counted in your income; you will owe tax on it, and it will count as income for tax phase-outs such as Roth eligibility.
by grabiner
Thu May 21, 2015 6:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Not your father's Total Bond Market Fund anymore
Replies: 60
Views: 6104

Re: Not your father's Total Bond Market Fund anymore

The impact of '08 still continues after some eight years. Three year rolling return chart for Vanguard Total Bond Market fund compared to the category average: http://i62.tinypic.com/1zbvtxx.jpg Is this really what you want for one of your three funds? The question to ask: Why does it have these lo...
by grabiner
Thu May 21, 2015 6:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: suitability of Vanguard Target retirement funds
Replies: 9
Views: 1134

Re: suitability of Vanguard Target retirement funds

Thanks! Living in a small state like MN, it is easy to forget Muni bonds. There isn't a low-priced MN bond fund, and the extra cost of using a high-priced fund will cancel any tax savings. You might use TIPS for the bond holding in your taxable account; these bonds are exempt from state taxes, and ...
by grabiner
Thu May 21, 2015 6:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would a nervous self investor be better off with Wellington Fund?
Replies: 16
Views: 1595

Re: Would a nervous self investor be better off with Wellington Fund?

Neither the stocks nor the bonds in Wellington are similar to your index portfolio. That is neither right nor wrong, but electing Wellington would be a shift in investment style. Therefore, if you want a portfolio that manages itself (so that you don't have to think about rebalancing back into stoc...
by grabiner
Thu May 21, 2015 6:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for younger friend
Replies: 11
Views: 748

Re: Advice for younger friend

I would suggest waiting until he has $1000; while a Roth IRA is a great idea, managing a tiny brokerage account with ETFs is more work than is worthwhile. When he has $1000, he can put it all into Vanguard Target Retirement 2060. If he isn't a student, then he will get 10% back from the IRS on up to...
by grabiner
Thu May 21, 2015 6:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fund Roth IRA or pay student loans?
Replies: 13
Views: 894

Re: Fund Roth IRA or pay student loans?

Welcome to the forum! Paying down student loans at 6.8% is a risk-free 6.8% return, which is much better than you can get on your investments, and it will last several years because of the time it will take to pay off the loans. You do lose the right to get tax-deferred growth in your Roth IRA/Roth ...
by grabiner
Thu May 21, 2015 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: OTC market mystery
Replies: 3
Views: 305

Re: OTC market mystery

Presumably, what happened is that an ignorant investor was willing to buy at any price (and something similar happened in December when an investor was willing to sell at any price); the only offer to sell was well above the fair value. This sometimes happens when trading low-volume stocks and ETFs ...
by grabiner
Thu May 21, 2015 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Medical Student Loan Refinancing - Fixed vs Variable
Replies: 5
Views: 414

Re: Medical Student Loan Refinancing - Fixed vs Variable

I would assume that the bank knows what it is doing, and considers the higher interest rate on the fixed-rate and longer-term loans a fatr charge for the interest-rate risk it is taking. (That is, for the 20-year loan, the bank runs the risk that you will still have a large loan balance 10 years fro...
by grabiner
Thu May 21, 2015 5:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confused [about bonds]
Replies: 11
Views: 1152

Re: Confused

(fund names inserted) I have $300k I want to invest in an intermediate term bond fund. (We're in the 28% marginal tax bracket.) I'm considering two options: 1.) Within my IRA, move $300k worth of VBIAX (Balanced Index Admiral) to VBTLX (Total Bond Market Admiral), and simultaneously buy $300k worth ...
by grabiner
Wed May 20, 2015 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To refinance or not to refinance
Replies: 13
Views: 1174

Re: To refinance or not to refinance

You don't need to accept the 15 year loan. Tell them you want a 13 year loan or if you can afford the payment go to a 10 year loan. Lot of times they they don't tell you that you can create a loan for any duration. You can also just take a 15-year loan and make extra principal payments to pay it of...
by grabiner
Wed May 20, 2015 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maryland Income Tax Ruling
Replies: 3
Views: 520

Re: Maryland Income Tax Ruling

Sounds like the OP was a part year resident. In that case the calculation may be different than a MD resident working in another state. Most, but not all states charge PY residents on the portion of income earned in the state and there are no credits. Not sure how Maryland does it though. Part-year...
by grabiner
Wed May 20, 2015 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any of these worth keeping?
Replies: 9
Views: 914

Re: Any of these worth keeping?

Is there an "international muni" version ("sovereign bonds"?)? I'd wager that there are, but I seriously doubt they would be free of US tax. US muni's are only tax free because the federal government wants to encourage people to invest in local governments. In theory, they could...
by grabiner
Wed May 20, 2015 9:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to compare Vanguard fund tax-efficiency?
Replies: 6
Views: 698

Re: Best way to compare Vanguard fund tax-efficiency?

For a better estimate, use Vanguard's tax data, not M*'s; M* doesn't always know about qualified dividends. You will then have to make some adjustments for your own situation. Vanguard assumes the highest federal tax rate and no state taxes, and thus 39.6% on ordinary income and 20% on capital gains...
by grabiner
Wed May 20, 2015 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortage with EJones and invest the rest?
Replies: 4
Views: 557

Re: Pay off mortage with EJones and invest the rest?

Welcome to the forum! Paying off that 6,25% mortgage is a risk-free 6.25% return; even if it is tax-deductible (you live in WA, with no income tax, so you might not be itemizing deductions), that's a great deal, so it makes sense to sell your taxable account to pay it off. You will pay capital-gains...
by grabiner
Wed May 20, 2015 9:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Head scratcher? why do these funds differ in performance?
Replies: 10
Views: 1094

Re: Head scratcher? why do these funds differ in performance?

Thanks for the suggestion. If the different returns are tied to exchange rates, which seems like the only logical answer, would placing equal amounts in each fund hedge exchange rate variances? The only issue is exchanging money from the UK to the USA incurs costs and if it were to be placed in a t...
by grabiner
Wed May 20, 2015 9:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Account Help Needed
Replies: 11
Views: 1103

Re: Taxable Account Help Needed

I am fairly comfortable with the guaranteed 3% in my tax deferred account, my mutual fund alternatives there aren't great and have high fees. In my taxable account I am leaning toward the VG tax managed balanced as it is roughly 50/50, and or go with 50/50 in total U.S. stock index and Calif interm...
by grabiner
Tue May 19, 2015 11:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expense ratio question
Replies: 5
Views: 638

Re: Expense ratio question

Currently I am on a mission to sell funds, move funds and reduce expense fees as much as possible. I will have to contact Fidelity again this month when the regular Spartan Funds in other IRA's exceed 10,000. Curious as to why Fidelity does not automatically process within a few days like Vanguard....
by grabiner
Tue May 19, 2015 11:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for new investors, 401k versus taxable
Replies: 7
Views: 602

Re: Help for new investors, 401k versus taxable

Funds available in her 401(k) John Hancock Mid-Cad Index Fund (JECIX)(1.16%) Declaration Total Bond Market (US) Fund (JTBMX)(1.17%) John Hancock Small Cap Index Fund (JESIX)(1.26%) International Equity Index Fund (JIEQX)(1.22%) These four allow you to make the best of a bad deal. They will cost you...
by grabiner
Tue May 19, 2015 11:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Timing to shift funds in 401k?
Replies: 2
Views: 267

Re: Timing to shift funds in 401k?

Welcome to the forum! Since you aren't making a significant change in the risk level of your portfolio, switching all at once makes sense; the new portfolio will perform about the same as the old portfolio. You are moving from 85% stock (assuming Vanguard Employee Benefit Index is a stock fund) to 9...
by grabiner
Tue May 19, 2015 10:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thrift Savings Plan and three-fund portfolio...
Replies: 22
Views: 1443

Re: Thrift Savings Plan and three-fund portfolio...

This quote is from the March 23, 2015 minutes of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board: "Ms. Weaver reported that the committee report accompanying the House resolution offered examples of how such savings could occur, which included increased contributions to the defined benefit port...
by grabiner
Mon May 18, 2015 11:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thrift Savings Plan and three-fund portfolio...
Replies: 22
Views: 1443

Re: Thrift Savings Plan and three-fund portfolio...

The TSP G fund is better than any bond fund Vanguard offers, either domestic or international. Comparing the G fund 10 year return of 3.19% to VBTLX at 4.72%. Every other Vanguard Index Bond fund that is 10 years old or older beats 3.19%. Why do you say the G fund is better? (Honest question) All i...
by grabiner
Mon May 18, 2015 11:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing in long bonds if close to buying an SPIA ?
Replies: 5
Views: 504

Re: Investing in long bonds if close to buying an SPIA ?

It would make more sense to use long-term TIPS rather than conventional bonds for this strategy, as the TIPS ensure that your portfolio will keep up with inflation. If inflation is high between now and the date you buy the annuity, you will have a larger annuity to compensate for the larger living e...
by grabiner
Mon May 18, 2015 11:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Index fixed income?
Replies: 2
Views: 391

Re: Index fixed income?

Welcome to the forum! The primary issue with a bond index is that it is weighted by the amount of outstanding debt of each issuer. Therefore, bond indexes tend to have a lot more government debt than general-purpose bond funds. 63,4% of Total Bond Market Index is guaranteed by the US government (43....
by grabiner
Mon May 18, 2015 11:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thrift Savings Plan and three-fund portfolio...
Replies: 22
Views: 1443

Re: Thrift Savings Plan and three-fund portfolio...

FYI I have decided that an asset allocation of 60% equities(36% domestic/24% international) and 40% bonds(28% domestic/12% international), with an 8-10 year window, suits my particular situation best. Currently my investable assets break down as follows: 40% TSP, 10% Roth IRA, 5% Traditional IRA an...
by grabiner
Mon May 18, 2015 11:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NOSIX vs NOMIX
Replies: 5
Views: 395

Re: NOSIX vs NOMIX

I see these 2 funds as the cheapest options in my 401k plan when I start working in August. NOSIX (S&P 500 index fund) has a ER of 2 basis points, while NOMIX (Mid-Cap 400 S&P Index) has a ER or 3 basis points. However, NOMIX has pretty substantially outperformed NOSIX for the past 15 years...
by grabiner
Mon May 18, 2015 11:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do I do with my muni bond fund interest?
Replies: 9
Views: 821

Re: What do I do with my muni bond fund interest?

Also, like you, we are in the habit of "waiting it out" with cash and cash equivalent assets. This is not market timing, it is just common sense. ... We are seriously committed to tax-free munis, but for funds awaiting investment during the next major correction, we use VBIRX because shor...

Go to advanced search