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Re: Would you use TurboTax in this scenerio?

Some of the most confusing tax situations I've faced are partial year state taxes. I'd start there, either by looking at that part of the software or by looking for a tax pro who routinely deals with clients from your pair of states. These are also the most confusing to the software writers, becaus...
by grabiner
Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you use TurboTax in this scenerio?
Replies: 10
Views: 571

Re: Getting more $ from employer by taking $$ive insurance

This type of incentive is common. For example, the US Government subsidizes 75% of the cost of employee health plans, up to a limit. Thus, if you choose a more expensive health plan and the less expensive plan was below the limit, you get a bigger subsidy. This is why the US Government's high-deduct...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting more $ from employer by taking $$ive insurance
Replies: 5
Views: 485

Re: HSA thoughts and questions

IAlso I am a buy and hold investor so the whole concept seems a little odd as when would I decide to use the HSA or not? If I use HSA funds when the market is down I’m losing money on the deal. View all your investments as one portfolio. If you need to spend $5000 from the HSA and the HSA is all in...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA thoughts and questions
Replies: 2
Views: 458

Re: Would you use TurboTax in this scenerio?

Yes, use your tax software, but check the calculations yourself before filing. In particular, since you moved between states, you'll have to figure out how much you earned in each state. If you have an international fund, you can't even copy the dividends from Quicken by date, because of the foreign...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you use TurboTax in this scenerio?
Replies: 10
Views: 571

Re: Taxable Account Considerations

I see two "tax managed" Vanguard funds VTMSX and VTCLX. Since I like the long term track record of those funds anyway, would they be the two best options as far as minimizing tax implications or would some of the ETFs offer a better advantage? This comparison is discussed on the Wiki: Tax...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Account Considerations
Replies: 2
Views: 561

Re: VCADX alternative

My VG CFP recommended that I split my bond allocation between BND (in my 401k) and remaining in VCADX (in my taxable account). His reasoning was that I am in high tax bracket and so this would be a better choice in taxable account. He also claimed that the taxable bond yield after taxes is usually ...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VCADX alternative
Replies: 3
Views: 332

Re: is this a wash sale?

Bonus: Vanguard will automatically adjust your basis for any wash sale (at least they will if you're using average cost, not sure about other methods). Brokerages are required to track wash sales for identical covered shares in the same account, and will adjust your 1099 accordingly. There is no re...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is this a wash sale?
Replies: 12
Views: 548

Re: AA: How to invest from VMMXX to VTMGX?

The reason to DCA is to move a large amount of money into the stock market gradually; if you inherited a $500K bank account and want to hold 80% stock, you might not want to hold $10K in stock today (in your own IRA) and $410K tomorrow. Since you are already well invested in stock (you mention "...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA: How to invest from VMMXX to VTMGX?
Replies: 7
Views: 483

Re: Bond Distribution Yield and SEC Yield ?

The distribution yield is also relevant for tax purposes. If a bond fund has a 3% distribution yield, and you invest $10,000 in the fund, you will receive a $300 dividend on the fund and owe tax on it. If the fund has a 2% SEC yield and rates don't change over the next year, you also expect the bond...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Distribution Yield and SEC Yield ?
Replies: 8
Views: 500

Re: Help! HDHP HSA vs PPO

Our fed tax rate is 28% and DC state tax is 8.95%. Thankfully both our docs are in both networks. Still a no-brainer to do HDHP? Yes, that makes it a great choice. DC recognizes HSAs, so you'll get a 34.4% tax saving on anything you contribute to the HSA. It will cost you $3704 to contribute $5650 ...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! HDHP HSA vs PPO
Replies: 6
Views: 606

Re: Investment to non-taxable acct w/ more funds vs small Ro

So we'll get more overall gains by contributing to the smaller, tax-sheltered accounts than by contributing to the larger taxable accounts. Are we leaving money on the table by basically just allowing $70k to sit in the taxable account and putting our savings in the Roth? You are only leaving money...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment to non-taxable acct w/ more funds vs small Roth
Replies: 3
Views: 312

Re: maximize investment priority - 401k, ira, hsa, lpfsa

As someone who is trying to figure out how the income limit for being allowed to contribute to a pre-tax 401k affects me... I am confused to the fact that you appear to earn a much better salary than me, but still you are allowed to contribute pre-tax and get matching? Can someone please explain to...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: maximize investment priority - 401k, ira, hsa, lpfsa
Replies: 22
Views: 1321

Re: 2015 Insurance For Family - PPO vs HDHP

Until someone gets sick and you have to pay the extra to reach the deductibles and out of pocket limits. I was always healthy, and used to pick the plans with the lower premiums and didn't worry much about the other potential out of pocket costs, until in 2012 I had surgery on my elbow (sports-rela...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2015 Insurance For Family - PPO vs HDHP
Replies: 12
Views: 1075

Re: shortest mortgage available

Family member has a problem, Because of a more than likley death a wife(widow) has 3 years left on mortgage .Payments will be too high, is it possible to get a refinanced mortgage of less than 10 years I showed the son this site so he can post all information.Just wanted to know if this is possible...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: shortest mortgage available
Replies: 14
Views: 1580

Re: Help! HDHP HSA vs PPO

I don't know your tax bracket, but the HDHP is likely to come out way ahead, and may even be better if your expenses are close to the deductible. If you have $5400 in expenses under the HDHP, you'll probably have about $1800 under Anthem, and you'll save about that $3600 in lower premiums, $1000 con...
by grabiner
Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! HDHP HSA vs PPO
Replies: 6
Views: 606

Re: PPO vs HSA (hsa seems too good to be true)

Do I run the risk of my employer changing the HSA terms in the future to make it less favorable once we don’t have the choice of a PPO anymore? This could happen, but you can continue to use anything you contributed to the HSA in the past. Why are the HSA terms so good they seem to be really pushin...
by grabiner
Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPO vs HSA (hsa seems too good to be true)
Replies: 23
Views: 2081

Re: Asset Location

Wouldn't you be better off paying a 40% ordinary tax rate on dividends in the IRA, in 10 or more years from now, rather than a 30% rate today. The earnings on the tax deferral should more than compensate for the rate differential. Yes, in isolation. However, if you choose to hold stocks in your tax...
by grabiner
Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset Location
Replies: 13
Views: 738

Re: If I am a LT investor, should I forgo a bond allocation?

If I am a long term investor (ie, 30+yrs time horizon), why should I even have a bond allocation (either taxable or tax exempt)? The bond allocation would reduce my return over that time period. I can understand if I had a shorter time horizon (ie, <10yrs) I should have a bond allocation. But as a ...
by grabiner
Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If I am a LT investor, should I forgo a bond allocation?
Replies: 28
Views: 2066

Re: Fund sales: Covered vs Non Covered question?

After reviewing Vanguard's cost basis numbers and how the new SpecID option was offered, that the expected way to handle non-covered shares is average cost (except for those who specifically chose otherwise), and covered is however way we selected. Nothing on the website indicated that our choice f...
by grabiner
Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fund sales: Covered vs Non Covered question?
Replies: 4
Views: 624

Re: Investment to non-taxable acct w/ more funds vs small Ro

It's always better to contribute to a Roth IRA than to a taxable account as long as you are eligible. Roth funds grow tax-free, and you can still take out the contribution at any time without paying penalties. The relative sizes of the accounts don't matter. If you contribute $5500 to a Roth IRA, an...
by grabiner
Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment to non-taxable acct w/ more funds vs small Roth
Replies: 3
Views: 312

Re: How to save tax for 401k in changing your jobs

Depending on the different plans' investment options and rules, you could: 1) leave it, or 2) roll it over into the new company's 401k, or 3) roll it over to a traditional IRA. None of these have a tax hit. And #3 is always allowed, even if you are over the IRS limit for contributing directly to a ...
by grabiner
Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to save tax for 401k in changing your jobs
Replies: 5
Views: 493

Re: Should I bite the bullet and sell my mining stocks?

I don't have a view on this (although my wife works for a major mining company :happy ). I would read up on the "Swiss Gold Initiative", the national vote is November 30th. Luzi Stamm has brought this forward, anyway worth looking at. Make your own decision , but it might be a good idea n...
by grabiner
Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I bite the bullet and sell my mining stocks?
Replies: 16
Views: 1260

Re: maximize investment priority - 401k, ira, hsa, lpfsa

The HSA should come right after any 401k match amount. You save on FICA taxes doing this which is significant. Is this really that big of a deal? I calculated out some rough numbers and it came to something like 300 saved if I was able to max out my hsa contribution. The FICA isn't the main benefit...
by grabiner
Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: maximize investment priority - 401k, ira, hsa, lpfsa
Replies: 22
Views: 1321

Re: Expected Tax Drag of a Taxable Account

If you are in the highest tax bracket, you pay 23.8% tax (including ACA surcharge) on qualified dividends, 43.4% on non-qualified. In Maryland, the top state tax rate is 5.75% (income over $250K single/$300K married), plus a county tax which is 3.20% in many counties, but it is deductible from your ...
by grabiner
Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Expected Tax Drag of a Taxable Account
Replies: 7
Views: 1086

Re: Another PPO vs HDHP thread - enrollment closing...

Given that the savings from the HDHP exceeds the deductible, I can't see a situation in which the PPO is better. If you use up the whole deductible, you might have had very low costs under the PPO, depending on what they were for, but you'll still come out ahead. Once you meet the deductible with th...
by grabiner
Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another PPO vs HDHP thread - enrollment closing...
Replies: 13
Views: 1279

Re: Help with moving from lifecycle to index funds

16% Total International in Roth IRA (with $3K minimum, you may need to wait until next year to add this) - Does the 500 Index only contain domestic stock? Is this why the Total International Fund is recommended? Yes, that is correct. The 500 Index tracks the S&P 500, an index of most of the lar...
by grabiner
Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with moving from lifecycle to index funds
Replies: 11
Views: 1255

Re: Lower Expenses vs Consolidation

Yes, lack of emerging markets and small caps was my aversion of the TSP I. Her access to Vanguard Total International attracted me to choosing it. I like the idea of supplementing TSP I with Emerging Markets Index and FTSE All-World Ex-US Small-Cap in an IRA. But what percentage of each? 1/3 split ...
by grabiner
Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lower Expenses vs Consolidation
Replies: 7
Views: 973

Re: I moved, so my credit score dropped by 50 points

BahamaMan, my concern is that, if I were to apply for a new credit card as I had been planning to do, my credit score would drop further, which could complicate things if I decide to apply for a mortgage in the next year or so, which I've been thinking about doing. You'd probably be fine applying n...
by grabiner
Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I moved, so my credit score dropped by 50 points
Replies: 14
Views: 1826

Re: Rebalancing question [Currency exchange rate differences

The question is what to do when the market price of a USD fund drops, but the overall value of that fund stays the same in NIS, because the dollar went up against the shekel. And the answer is nothing. If you want 10% of your portfolio to be in that fund, then the fund is 10% of both the dollar val...
by grabiner
Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing question [Currency exchange rate differences]
Replies: 12
Views: 730

Re: Vanguard High Yield Fund for Roth IRA

That is exactly what market timing is: changing your weights for different assets based on information which other investors also know (and have taken into account in the prices at which they are willing to buy and sell). You should set your target allocation, and then change it based on changes in...
by grabiner
Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard High Yield Fund for Roth IRA
Replies: 9
Views: 1040

Re: Vanguard High Yield Fund for Roth IRA

Hi grabiner. The reason Total Int'l is so high is because I sold out of the SP500 Fund in early October and reallocated to be Int'l heavy; however, I do see the big mistake you have pointed out. When it comes to goals, can I change my AA targets based on macroeconomics that make up the core asset c...
by grabiner
Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard High Yield Fund for Roth IRA
Replies: 9
Views: 1040

Re: Need Help! Sell My Condo or Rent It

I dont see anywhere on the IRS link where there is an income limit to declaring losses on rental property cost or upkeep, or using depreciation on the property. Yea it's a tough call, kinda what i been struggling with. If you have a "passive activity" (as defined by the IRS), you cannot d...
by grabiner
Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help! Sell My Condo or Rent It
Replies: 11
Views: 1041

Re: Help with moving from lifecycle to index funds

Welcome to the forum! Tax Rate: 17% Federal, 4.78% State Please post your marginal tax rate, not your average tax rate, because that is what affects your investments. If you are in the 28% tax bracket, contributing $1000 more to your 401(k) will save you $280 in taxes, regardless of what your averga...
by grabiner
Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with moving from lifecycle to index funds
Replies: 11
Views: 1255

Re: Vanguard High Yield Fund for Roth IRA

Before buying anything, you need to have a plan. The two funds you listed, while both are good funds for many investors, don't make a sensible portfolio as they stand; Total International (VTIAX) should not be 78.5% of a portfolio even if the portfolio is all stock. Once you have a plan, and have de...
by grabiner
Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard High Yield Fund for Roth IRA
Replies: 9
Views: 1040

Re: I moved, so my credit score dropped by 50 points

Since the FICO 04 score can be significantly lower than the FICO 08 score even given the same credit history, perhaps the OP's credit monitoring service is pulling the FICO 04 score for the one credit agency and the FICO 08 scores for the other two agencies. That would be another reason why one sco...
by grabiner
Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I moved, so my credit score dropped by 50 points
Replies: 14
Views: 1826

Re: anticipating tax rate in retirement

Someone suggested LT Cap gains and dividends would elevate my effective tax rate for RMDs, but frankly this does not make obvious sense to me. For instance: If I have $100,000 income generated from LT Cap Gains/Qual dividends, does this increase my federal tax rate on RMDs??? It can increase the ac...
by grabiner
Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: anticipating tax rate in retirement
Replies: 14
Views: 1629

Re: BlackRock Strategic Income Opportunities Fund

After reading what you all think, that is enough to convince me to stay out of this one. The only reason why I looked into it is because they are replacing the bond fund I was in with the BlackRock US Debt Index Fund (Comingled Investment Trust), and this was added as a new fund, so I looked into i...
by grabiner
Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BlackRock Strategic Income Opportunities Fund
Replies: 14
Views: 1426

Re: Rebalancing question [Currency exchange rate differences

You can convert either way, as long as you are consistent. Say that you have USD 400K and 400K NIS, and the exchange rate is 4 shekels to the dollar. You can convert everything to USD so that you have USD 500K, and invest 10% of your portfolio in a fund worth USD 50K. If that happens to be an Israel...
by grabiner
Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing question [Currency exchange rate differences]
Replies: 12
Views: 730

Re: Asset allocation in inherited IRA's

What are you doing with the money in the inherited IRA? If you are taking the RMD out of the inherited IRA and contributing it to your 401(k), then the fact that you have an RMD is irrelevant, as the money is staying tax-deferred but just being reinvested somewhere else.
by grabiner
Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation in inherited IRA's
Replies: 11
Views: 704

Re: HSA account with the lowest cost: HSA bank or Vanguard?

General question: what kinds of transaction are people able to make in their HSAs. Can you only buy and sell mutual funds, i.e. exchange mutual funds for cash, or are you also able to dirctly exchange one mutual fund for another mutual fund? What about something more complicated like exchanging one...
by grabiner
Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA account with the lowest cost: HSA bank or Vanguard?
Replies: 16
Views: 1803

Re: I moved, so my credit score dropped by 50 points

Right now, the computer formula can't tell whether you have four inquiries because you attempted to open a lot of new accounts and are going on a spending spree, or because you moved, so the computer-generated score is lower. If you ever have to deal with a human underwriter, the human will know or ...
by grabiner
Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I moved, so my credit score dropped by 50 points
Replies: 14
Views: 1826

Re: anticipating tax rate in retirement

As an early retiree for the last 6 years, I have investment income taxed at many different rates (and don't forget that your state may tax income types differently than the Feds do). I have the following types: (1) stock fund dividends (2) taxable bond fund dividends (3) tax-exempt bond fund divide...
by grabiner
Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: anticipating tax rate in retirement
Replies: 14
Views: 1629

Re: RMUCX

Thank you for all the responses... It's interesting I posted this question right before getting a notice on this fund that there is a group litigation because of the drop in NAV around the time of the market crisis in 2008. I may have a way to repair the damage done to the value of this, but it's u...
by grabiner
Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMUCX [Oppenheimer Rochester Fund Municipals, C class]
Replies: 7
Views: 806

Re: anticipating tax rate in retirement

... If you have high income, 85% of your Social Security will be taxed as ordinary income. ... From the SS worksheet in the 1040 instructions, believe that is 85% of 50%-of-SS-income. You are confusing two things. 50% of SS is counted as income when determining how much SS is taxable. (This makes s...
by grabiner
Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: anticipating tax rate in retirement
Replies: 14
Views: 1629

Re: So you think you're a Risk-taker?

From my side of the keyboard. This is another good article by Jason Zweig, and I like this part. "“What did I do in 2008 and 2009?” Your memories of cowering under your desk or being glued to financial television have probably faded. So the only way to tell for sure is to dig up your old accou...
by grabiner
Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So you think you're a Risk-taker?
Replies: 36
Views: 3795

Re: What kind of index funds did Vanguard have 1976-1992?

A check of inception dates at Vanguard's web site shows 500 Index with an inception in 1976, Total Bond Market Index with inception in 1986, Extended Market Index with inception in 1987 (making total-market investing possible), Europe Index and Pacific Index with inception in 1990. Thus, in 1990, it...
by grabiner
Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What kind of index funds did Vanguard have 1976-1992?
Replies: 9
Views: 1244

Re: are pension plans disciplined investors?

I also note from the article that pension plans are subject to behavioral effects. The market alone drove down the stock allocation of pension plans in 2008-2009. But a plan which didn't rebalance would have had the same allocation in 2011 as it had in 2004 (since the stock and bond markets had equa...
by grabiner
Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: are pension plans disciplined investors?
Replies: 5
Views: 897

Re: are pension plans disciplined investors?

http://www.etf.com/sections/index-investor-corner/23615-swedroe-investor-mistakes-writ-large.html They have reputation for disciplined rebalancers, but is it true? There is nothing stopping an individual from rebalancing by buying stocks when they are down a lot, but how can a large class of instit...
by grabiner
Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: are pension plans disciplined investors?
Replies: 5
Views: 897

Re: Process of buying my ETF.

I don't really don't care about the spreads anymore but all I buy is large/big/very active traded funds like TSM so the spread is mostly a non issue. Vanguard publishes historical bid/ask spreads for its ETFs, and ETF.com also publishes spreads. If an ETF normally trades at a 10-cent spread and is ...
by grabiner
Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Process of buying my ETF.
Replies: 4
Views: 757

Re: Yield vs. Duration

Have you thought about constructing a yield curve with the x axis as duration instead of maturity. I think Fido has all the data needed in their quotes. I think all the "outliers" will disappear with this presentation. I can do that. But I'll do it from the WSJ quotes, since there is more...
by grabiner
Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So do we care more about change in bond price or bond yield?
Replies: 178
Views: 13429
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