Search found 283 matches

by jmg229
Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any reason why I shouldn't accept this student loan refinancing offer?
Replies: 12
Views: 1367

Re: Any reason why I shouldn't accept this student loan refinancing offer?

They also offered me the rates below. I'm only interested in 5 or 10 years refinancing. Can pay the whole thing off in 5 years or less but would like to have some flexibility for emergencies and save to buy a house. Any other suggestions? I'm worried LIBOR might go up and I end up paying more in in...
by jmg229
Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does Property Tax factor in home purchase?
Replies: 36
Views: 2564

Re: How much does Property Tax factor in home purchase?

While property taxes are definitely important, as they are an on-going expense, I think that you may be beyond the point of it being helpful. Property taxes depend on 2 things: Taxable value and Rate. The Value will depend on your purchase price. It doesn't matter what it is assessed at now, just wh...
by jmg229
Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to predict state taxes to help decide where to live
Replies: 20
Views: 1954

Re: How to predict state taxes to help decide where to live

Just one more possibly useful resource from the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy. It is from 2015 and talks about overall tax burden, taxes by type, and taxes by type by income quintile by state. http://itep.org/itep_reports/2015/01/who-pays-5th-edition.php#.VZSPyhNViko ETA: found 2015 ed...
by jmg229
Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NJ state pension
Replies: 39
Views: 2767

Re: NJ state pension

How underwater is the pension plan? Funding ratio of 54% in 2013. State is putting in 30-35% of its newly agreed upon amount (from a deal in 2010 or 11). So it's in rough shape. At the same time, I wonder about the likelihood of cuts to current retirees; it seems so politically unlikely, yet the st...
by jmg229
Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: buying a home with daughter and son in law
Replies: 17
Views: 3129

Re: buying a home with daughter and son in law

It is better tax wise to not put your daughter on the deed in ownership as a joint tenant owner while you are alive or she gets the cost basis at the purchase which would be more capital gains tax if she ever sold it once you are gone. I am questioning this logic. If PA has a 4.5% inheritance tax, ...
by jmg229
Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Fraud [Understanding fraudulent returns]
Replies: 6
Views: 915

Re: IRS Fraud

Tax return fraud occurs when someone uses your SSN and fake income/withholding info to collect a return. This happens early in the year because the IRS isn't set to match up self-reported info against W2s and such that early, but they want to get returns out quickly. The reason why this is less of a...
by jmg229
Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with tax-gain harvesting
Replies: 11
Views: 1010

Re: Help with tax-gain harvesting

As far as Vanguard giving choice, it depends on how your cost basis accounting is set up. If you sell with Specific ID, you should be fine, just sell the shares with the LT Gain. As far as other impacts, just be aware of a potential impact on state/local taxes. This caught me off guard for a second ...
by jmg229
Sun May 24, 2015 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real cost of a Masters (in the US)
Replies: 39
Views: 3304

Re: Real cost of a Masters (in the US)

If the son with the interest in education is interested in teaching K-12 (especially HS Science), there are funded MEd and MAT programs that pay tuition and a stipend in exchange for committing to teach in a certain geographical area for a certain amount of time. This is typically useful if the unde...
by jmg229
Sun May 17, 2015 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 Checking
Replies: 23
Views: 2727

Re: Capital One 360 Checking

We have had really good experience with CapitalOne360. We started back when it was ING, but the transition hasn't been too terrible. The interest rate isn't bad, customer service is still pretty good, and I really like the ability to have multiple linked accounts and multiple sub-accounts for target...
by jmg229
Mon May 04, 2015 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance Tax Question...
Replies: 3
Views: 593

Re: Life Insurance Tax Question...

Why not just handle everything after tax (adjust line 2)? I would imagine the taxes in line 7 could include things like on-going property taxes.
by jmg229
Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers: 9 or 12 month salary?
Replies: 26
Views: 3910

Re: Teachers: 9 or 12 month salary?

One other thought, which depends on your labor situation, is that to me it would depend on which summer the 12 month covers. I would rather get 9 months ending in June than 12 months ending in September. This would be due to a concern about that last year, especially if it ended up being short for s...
by jmg229
Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using PivotTables for Schedules B&D for useful info
Replies: 9
Views: 781

Re: Using PivotTables for Schedules B&D for useful info

As to posting: I like keeping my spreadsheets in Google Sheets already, but I tend to have a copy that is a clean template, free of personal info with dummy info instead. Then I make this copy public and can share the link. If you were willing to do that here, it would be really convenient for some,...
by jmg229
Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Where's] a Family to Live in New York?
Replies: 22
Views: 3173

Re: Where a Family to Live in New York?

You might want to check out Orange County. Across the river, but not terrible commute (for that area). Much cheaper than Westchester and includes some good school districts (like Monroe-Woodbury).
by jmg229
Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adjusted Gross Income / Solar Power Question
Replies: 1
Views: 261

Re: Adjusted Gross Income / Solar Power Question

I can't quite tell for sure, but isn't the limitation the lesser of 30% * cost = $3000*5 (federal) or 35% * cost = 750*5 (state)? It is the credit that you would get that you should be comparing to your tax liability, not the total system cost, right? To your actual question, I should think that tha...
by jmg229
Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance Debacle, need advice...
Replies: 35
Views: 2998

Re: Health Insurance Debacle, need advice...

You might also want to look into PPACA's changes to the law regarding rescission. I'm sure that non-payment is a valid reason to cancel insurance, but retroactive rescission seems like a whole other matter and it seems like you likely should've at least received a 30 day notice. I'd go straight to t...
by jmg229
Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?
Replies: 124
Views: 9337

Re: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?

I might be a little bit contrarian here, but I think it is unwise to entirely ignore it. I wouldn't let knowledge of a future inheritance decrease my retirement saving, but I would still consider that it may be there and impact my life. Consider life both with and without and then use those possible...
by jmg229
Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking Finances
Replies: 6
Views: 1040

Re: Tracking Finances

This is about where I am. I am in my late 20s and would say this looks a lot like my routine, except that a lot of my year-end work happens in the summer (academics/educators with salary changes happening around that time). I would say I adjust my retirement spreadsheets and look for rebalancing ban...
by jmg229
Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take union pension now & invest, or wait for higher payout?
Replies: 14
Views: 1165

Re: Take union pension now & invest, or wait for higher payo

There are others who are better that this kind of analysis than I am, but here's a stab at it. You say you you can save up $40,000 from taking the lower payment early. How much could you get from an annuity at age 65 for $40k? Probably not $468 a month (the difference in what you will be making mont...
by jmg229
Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we continue with CPA for filing taxes?
Replies: 17
Views: 1300

Re: Should we continue with CPA for filing taxes?

I recommend the tax software. It's not just filling out the forms. They take you through an interview process and decide which forms you need. L. I would argue the opposite, actually. With the prior years' returns, you should be able to figure out which forms you need. And if you are paying the CPA...
by jmg229
Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young Couple Need Advice
Replies: 21
Views: 2302

Re: Young Couple Need Advice

I would say that the last thing that you need in your life if you are in med school while working part time is a house. Enjoy paying someone else to deal with the broken water heater and leaky roofs. I'd go with the car or nothing. Does your gas guzzler serve a specific need? If not, I'd consider se...
by jmg229
Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another online banking thread
Replies: 11
Views: 924

Re: Yet another online banking thread

I have had my checking/savings at Capital One (formerly ING) and CDs at Ally. I like Capital One's interface better, though that may just be my being used to it. I found that customer service was easier to reach and very quickly got me to a human being who treated me like a human being at Capital On...
by jmg229
Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: spousal or partner frugality comparison poll
Replies: 18
Views: 2029

Re: spousal or partner frugality comparison poll

Our situation is that my spouse is better at not spending money, but would hide it all under the bed. I need a budget to keep me on track, but once we have money set aside feel more confident in knowing what to do with it. Works nicely.
by jmg229
Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing Calculation
Replies: 25
Views: 2335

Re: Rebalancing Calculation

Is relative or absolute bands better - or does it really matter as long as you take the emotion out of the mix and just rely on the numbers. As others have mentioned, it probably doesn't matter. There is so much debate on this board about rebalancing or not, that deciding when exactly to rebalance ...
by jmg229
Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newly Engaged - Time to Talk Finances with Fiancee
Replies: 25
Views: 2932

Re: Newly Engaged - Time to Talk Finances with Fiancee

We were pretty in agreement on a lot of the more philosophical bits (being pretty frugal, our risk tolerances are similar, etc.), so I was able to come up with some longer term plans and float them by her. The big thing we did though was grab a white board and make our budget. We also update our bud...
by jmg229
Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing my taxes by hand
Replies: 64
Views: 5345

Re: Doing my taxes by hand

If you do intend to do it by hand, I suggest at least using FreeFillableForms. But it should be simple enough for someone with your education.
by jmg229
Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for low cost cell phone plans...
Replies: 47
Views: 4871

Re: Looking for low cost cell phone plans...

Also a huge fan of republic wireless. $10 for text and talk plus wifi data. $25 for cell data and you can switch between plans twice a month. We usually keep 1 phone on each plan and then switch the $10 up to $25 temporarily if the data is needed and we aren't traveling together.
by jmg229
Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with my Vanguard Roth IRA?
Replies: 12
Views: 1239

Re: What to do with my Vanguard Roth IRA?

Not sure why no one else has jumped in here, but welcome to the forum. A good place to start is with an IPS ( http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investment_policy_statement ). Begin thinking about your desired stock/bond ratio and the like. Then post the question using this format: https://www.boglehead...
by jmg229
Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing My Taxes With Free File Fillable Forms?
Replies: 8
Views: 1075

Re: Filing My Taxes With Free File Fillable Forms?

I have used free fillable forms for a number of years with great success. Always works without a problem for me. I can't bring myself to pay to file taxes and use my own spreadsheets for forecasting. I almost bought TT this year with the Amazon bonus, but didn't. I just like looking at the actual fo...
by jmg229
Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not sure about Inlaws' Financial Advisor. What ?s to ask?
Replies: 12
Views: 1498

Re: Not sure about Inlaws' Financial Advisor. What ?s to ask

You could start by asking for account statements and reading more about what they are invested in. Maybe with a string of statements you can see if not where, then at least that, money is being funneled off somewhere.
by jmg229
Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Organizing family accounts/info for emergency use
Replies: 13
Views: 1937

Re: Organizing family accounts/info for emergency use

I like this document: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=119346 I keep it electronically and a paper copy in our safe. Attached at the bottom is important how-to steps for things like immediately after an incident, things to consider a week-month after, things to consider 6 mont...
by jmg229
Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fun stock market simulator - educational
Replies: 13
Views: 1756

Re: Fun stock market simulator - educational

I think that these can cause more harm than good. By dumb luck you will occasionally get some massive wins and the last thing that a teenager needs is evidence that they are amazing at this thing that the adults in their life was a sucker's bet. In my mind, it's like giving a class of HS students $...
by jmg229
Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fun stock market simulator - educational
Replies: 13
Views: 1756

Re: Fun stock market simulator - educational

I think that these can cause more harm than good. By dumb luck you will occasionally get some massive wins and the last thing that a teenager needs is evidence that they are amazing at this thing that the adults in their life was a sucker's bet. In my mind, it's like giving a class of HS students $1...
by jmg229
Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's Personal Advisor Recommendations
Replies: 22
Views: 5152

Re: Vanguard's Personal Advisor Recommendations

For those who are confused, here is Vanguard's page about the different levels of service offered. It seems that BetaTracker is talking about the 3rd level - "partner with me". https://investor.vanguard.com/what-we-offer/investing-help/choose-the-help-thats-right-for-you What is confusing...
by jmg229
Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-tax Retirement Accounts and Pensions in Networth
Replies: 24
Views: 2493

Re: Pre-tax Retirement Accounts and Pensions in Networth

I would discount pre-tax assets by an estimated tax amount and I would stick only with contributions in the pension as that is what I would be confident in getting back. Honestly, the pension is so complicated I would just account for my payments into it so that paying into a pension didn't decrease...
by jmg229
Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's Personal Advisor Recommendations
Replies: 22
Views: 5152

Re: Vanguard's Personal Advisor Recommendations

My father used this service and they recommended their target date funds for him. This was a simple recommendation, but he has a simple situation. It was also a very welcome recommendation as he had another "advisor" telling him to consider whole life insurance and variable annuities with ...
by jmg229
Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Test drive new vehicle without sales pressure?
Replies: 60
Views: 5468

Re: Test drive new vehicle without sales pressure?

Another thought of something that worked for us: We went with the 2nd or 3rd closest dealer to us for the test drive. This was mostly a consequence of who would respond to emails the fastest, but really worked out for us because when the salesperson learned where we were from, they often asked why w...
by jmg229
Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogleheads 2015 Hedge Fund Contest
Replies: 178
Views: 23940

Re: Bogleheads 2015 Hedge Fund Contest

Bravo PP Holdings

Long
TSLA
AMZN
GLW

Short
DG
ZNGA
PEIX
by jmg229
Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Test drive new vehicle without sales pressure?
Replies: 60
Views: 5468

Re: Test drive new vehicle without sales pressure?

Today I was refused a test drive at one of the dealerships because I said I wasn't buying today. At the second dealership I played along, got the test drive, but had to listen to the sales crap. I would do all of my negotiations online, if possible. This worked for us recently as we made some progr...
by jmg229
Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Confused about tax advantaged Asset allocation on wiki
Replies: 6
Views: 428

Re: Confused about tax advantaged Asset allocation on wiki

I deduct a rough estimate of my expected taxes from all pre-tax investments before making AA comparisons. I think this is what you want to do to mitigate the issue you are bringing up, if I understand it properly.
by jmg229
Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard REITS
Replies: 4
Views: 628

Re: Vanguard REITS

You could always use the ETF and avoid this issue.
by jmg229
Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping parents with retirement investing, generous pension
Replies: 6
Views: 1112

Re: Helping parents with retirement investing, generous pens

I would also wonder about an SPIA given the risk tolerance. Probably better than cash and might make them feel more comfortable having more money coming in each month, although $6k a month is quite a lot. I would ask them how much they would need to feel comfortable and then focus on what they would...
by jmg229
Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International in Tax Deferred
Replies: 13
Views: 1069

Re: International in Tax Deferred

It turns out that an International Index fund is not the most tax-efficient fund for a taxable account in 2014 because they paid out more dividends than a US index fund AND the dividends were not 100% qualified. And that's even after applying the foreign tax credit. In other words, the conventional...
by jmg229
Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do commodities provide a real return?
Replies: 25
Views: 1181

Re: Do commodities provide a real return?

mindbogler - After generally high fees that means you are looking at not keeping up with inflation. So is the only point of having commodities is for diversification? Would that fact that they move differently then other assets provide a return after re-balancing? This is why some, like Rick Ferri ...
by jmg229
Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Car is Best?
Replies: 73
Views: 6989

Re: What Car is Best?

We are in love with our Subaru Crosstrek. Easily fits 4-5 adults with stuff. Can even tow 1500lbs. And its gas mileage is in the low 30s. Just did a few hundred miles through ice and snow and averaged 33mpg, which is pretty great for an AWD vehicle. Plus, I think its a pretty good mix of stylish and...
by jmg229
Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is my capital gains tax rate?
Replies: 8
Views: 1253

Re: What is my capital gains tax rate?

Also, don't forget state tax on capital gains, if applicable.
by jmg229
Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tipping for take out
Replies: 74
Views: 8992

Re: Tipping for take out

I spent the first few years of my working life sweating in a kitchen and never got jack for a tip. If the person throwing the food down on your table at a sitdown dinner deserves a tip, the guy making your carryout deserves a buck or two. that has always bothered me. the cook is certainly more impo...
by jmg229
Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please help: Cap Gains or Ordinary Income Tax?
Replies: 9
Views: 1111

Re: Please help: Cap Gains or Ordinary Income Tax?

Quick response based on my understanding: 1. Yes, this is correct (because it was held for >1 year) 2. Also correct, again, assuming held for over 1 year 3 + 4. You may want to read about ordinary vs. qualified dividends. Below are a couple of resources to start with (including one that may help wit...
by jmg229
Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savers Credit while Spouse is a Student
Replies: 9
Views: 965

Savers Credit while Spouse is a Student

I just wanted to get a quick gut check from the board to see if my interpretation of the Saver's Credit makes sense to you all. I am a part-time graduate student with a full-time job and my SO is a full-time graduate student employed by the university. Our AGI is somewhere around 50-55k. We max out ...
by jmg229
Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lifetime Learning Credit for two tax years
Replies: 9
Views: 678

Re: Lifetime Learning Credit for two tax years

Can you give an example of when a $4,000 deduction would be worth more than a $2,000 credit for a taxpayer with income low enough to qualify for both? Edit: Came up with one myself. If you had only $4,000 of eligible expenses the LLC would be $800 while the $4,000 deduction might be worth $1,000, d...

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