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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
Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savers Credit while Spouse is a Student
Replies: 7
Views: 399

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...
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: 586

Re: Sell funds vs. borrow from 401k - for short term need

This seems like a perfect use of a 401k loan. It has an immediate return and is short-term. Plus, you have the assets should you unexpectedly lose your job and need to repay it. If the alternative to the loan is to use the assets that you would use to repay the loan on short notice if necessary, thi...
by jmg229
Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell funds vs. borrow from 401k - for short term need
Replies: 3
Views: 306

Re: When to discuss finances with teens/young adults

I think that starting early with income/expenses is important. I always knew how much we made and helped with taxes and the like, but I wish I'd known more about the expenses side of things. Oddly, as I grew older, my parents (really, my mother) shared less. We talked investing philosophy once or tw...
by jmg229
Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to discuss finances with teens/young adults
Replies: 24
Views: 1805

Re: Make money selling a house in 20 years

I think this is a tool for the rent vs. buy calculator from the NYTimes. You have to live somewhere, and this will let you know, given your assumptions (including property taxes), if you are likely to come out ahead given a bunch of other assumptions. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/b...
by jmg229
Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Make money selling a house in 20 years
Replies: 3
Views: 651

Re: Debt payoff scheme

This is absolutely more risky. By looking at 5 year returns, you are cherry-picking from when we were climbing out of the 2008-2009 recession. That's not to say that you won't earn more than 5.9% over the course of a few years, but you could also lose money and then will be set back in your loan pay...
by jmg229
Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt payoff scheme
Replies: 11
Views: 1062

Re: Unneeded debit cards

I would just lock them up with my other important docs so that they are hard to access, but not destroyed just in case of extreme circumstances, where any easy access to cash could be valued.
by jmg229
Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unneeded debit cards
Replies: 3
Views: 456

Re: Got earthquake insurance?

In Utah we have it. It's about equal to the rest of our homeowner's insurance, but it is something I'd rather not self-insure for. We wouldn't be totally broke if we lost the house, but it'd be pretty devastating. To me, you self-insure when you can both financially and emotionally. We can do the fo...
by jmg229
Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got earthquake insurance?
Replies: 35
Views: 2063

Re: Joint emergency fund for a single person ?

I absolutely would. It can take a long time for things to settle out when a death occurs and if there is any chance she might need some money to handle your stuff while things are working out, then I would make sure she has access to it.
by jmg229
Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint emergency fund for a single person ?
Replies: 14
Views: 1399

Re: Landlord wants us to sign an entirely new contract!

The main things that are affected are the services provided. Rent would be unchanged, but in the current contract, lawn care, water, trash, and sewage are all part of the lease agreement. The landlord would remove those responsibilities in the "correct" contract. These are reasonable expe...
by jmg229
Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord wants us to sign an entirely new contract!
Replies: 51
Views: 7862

Re: Age 28, Short Term/Intermediate Term Financial Plan?

I echo what the others say, don't put off retirement savings until the mortgage is paid off. Being rather debt averse myself, I'd recommend you consider splitting the difference between mortgage and retirement savings.
by jmg229
Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age 28, Short Term/Intermediate Term Financial Plan?
Replies: 11
Views: 1856

Re: Tiny Vanguard Fees

Good to know. Thank you all.
by jmg229
Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tiny Vanguard Fees
Replies: 4
Views: 1323

Tiny Vanguard Fees

Ok, this feels like a really dumb question, but I can't find the answer anywhere (did a bunch of googling, searched all over Vanguard's website, but couldn't find anything). When I look through my transaction history, I find tiny commissions/fees on sales of my Vanguard ETFs in my brokerage account....
by jmg229
Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tiny Vanguard Fees
Replies: 4
Views: 1323

Re: Check my logic on Capital Gains, Losses, Dividends, etc.

Lifesoft and ogd , thank you for your quick responses. Loss would not be more than $3000, so offsetting future gains is not a concern. I also realize that this means that it is not a huge deal big picture, just looking for any additional little gains. Point well-taken about the Europe and Pacific. ...
by jmg229
Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Check my logic on Capital Gains, Losses, Dividends, etc.
Replies: 4
Views: 300

Check my logic on Capital Gains, Losses, Dividends, etc.

After a windfall this past winter, we began taxable investing this past February and now I am trying to wrap my head around a little bit of the strategy. I think I have it, but could use another few sets of eyes. We put all of our international investments into taxable, which combined makes up about...
by jmg229
Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Check my logic on Capital Gains, Losses, Dividends, etc.
Replies: 4
Views: 300

Re: Approach to student debt advice

I would just like to point out that in lululu's response, she called buying a house a money sink, while in your response, you mentioned feeling like renting was "throwing money away". I think the truth is somewhere in between, but early on, I tend to agree with lululu. When we bought our f...
by jmg229
Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Approach to student debt advice
Replies: 32
Views: 4404

Re: Supreme Court Blues

I would suspect that the ACA insurance without subsidy would continue to exist in one form or another going forward. If you can afford it without subsidy or live in a state with a state exchange, I wouldn't let it change my plans.
by jmg229
Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Supreme Court Blues
Replies: 34
Views: 2211

Re: Does Jack Bogle really advocate against reblance?

Rebalancing is unlikely to improve returns, since over time you will be selling higher-returning stocks to buy bonds. However, stocks are also more volatile than bonds so portfolio volatility will likely increase if you don't rebalance because the allocation to stocks has drifted higher. If you're ...
by jmg229
Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Jack Bogle really advocate against rebalance?
Replies: 54
Views: 5287

Re: Your opinion of mint.com

I used to use it before I was married, but DW is uncomfortable with it and now I am more so, essentially following nisiprius's concerns. Now I do this by hand every week in a custom spreadsheet. Takes half an hour or 45 minutes a week to reconcile all accounts, but I get the benefits of mint (tracki...
by jmg229
Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your opinion of mint.com
Replies: 38
Views: 3384

Re: Do you consider your Roth as part of your EF?

To me, it depends on how it is invested. My Roth IRA is invested 100% in my retirement AA, which is pretty aggressive given my young age. So no, not a part of the EF. When I was counting it as a part of the EF, it was invested much more conservatively (breakable CDs and the like). EF is about access...
by jmg229
Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider your Roth as part of your EF?
Replies: 30
Views: 1938

Re: Funding a Down Payment

While I don't disagree with what Phineas said (and I appreciate his or her rational tone) can someone help me understand real estate? I make almost the median income in Massachusetts, but median home value in this state is $100,000 higher than the home I'm trying to buy. If what Phineas says is tru...
by jmg229
Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funding a Down Payment
Replies: 11
Views: 1586

Re: Tax gain harvesting in grad school?

I would not cut it so close anyways. We had about $5 in interest income last year that was unexpected. Also unexpected was about a thousand dollars of some other income from an estate of a dead person. You never know where some taxable money might come from. Hmm now you're scaring me. At first I qu...
by jmg229
Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax gain harvesting in grad school?
Replies: 24
Views: 1392

Re: Dip into IRAs to pay off CC debt?

If those numbers are right, I have trouble seeing why you would sell the rental. If it is actually netting you almost $1000 a month and you have good tenants willing to sign on for 2 more years (after the next 6 months), I would think that working on selling one of the cars, as you indicated you wil...
by jmg229
Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dip into IRAs to pay off CC debt?
Replies: 28
Views: 2165

Re: Term Life Rate vs. Age

Your wife should buy term life before she gets pregnant because she may develop conditions during pregnancy, e.g., pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure) and gestational diabetes, that will forever affect the price she pays for insurance. Women who are perfectly healthy and not overweight before becom...
by jmg229
Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term Life Rate vs. Age
Replies: 4
Views: 459

Term Life Rate vs. Age

I was looking for some quick confirmation of my understanding of the way that term life insurance tends to be priced. My understanding was that it is fairly continuous (if not linear) with age, meaning that there aren't any huge jumps from one age to the next. This seems logical. The difference betw...
by jmg229
Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term Life Rate vs. Age
Replies: 4
Views: 459

Re: Help/Advice reReal Estate Negotiation

I would figure out how much of a premium you're willing to pay for the memories of that particular lake, add it to the offer you'd make on the other house, and put that in. Hopefully it starts a negotiation, but worst case it tells you that you can't get that house at a reasonable price.
by jmg229
Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help/Advice re Real Estate Negotiation
Replies: 10
Views: 945

Re: POLL: Mortgage as a negative bond

This muddies the waters between what belongs in retirement accounts and what does not. Houses are definitely an investment, but they are not the type of investment that belongs in a retirement portfolio. This is my logic. Right or not, I view my house as a place to live that I will continue to have...
by jmg229
Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Mortgage as a negative bond
Replies: 89
Views: 3191

Re: When to offer on house: Starting New Job

Talk to your lender. I started a new job August 1st of a year, had an offer written 3rd week of July, closed 4th week of August. Lender was happy with contract, phone confirmation from new employer, and evidence of having worked in the field for the prior year.
by jmg229
Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to offer on house: Starting New Job
Replies: 8
Views: 753

Re: New home purchase: credits/repairs question

How old is the house? I think this matters because if it is an older home, I think the sellers could reasonably have expected you to consider that there will be some wear and tear when making the offer. When we bought our "vintage" (in the words of the inspector) home, we focused on one bi...
by jmg229
Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New home purchase: credits/repairs question
Replies: 11
Views: 875

Re: When to get an appraisal to remove PMI

Did your contract really say that they had to remove PMI if you asked for it? I kinda doubt it. Not sure where I stated that I could get out of PMI just by asking, I think I outlined my situation pretty clearly (or where I had a problem with paying for an appraisal, for that matter). My contract ha...
by jmg229
Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to get an appraisal to remove PMI
Replies: 16
Views: 1705

Re: When to get an appraisal to remove PMI

Whatever you do, make sure to get it in writing do you are not out $300 and your time I would second this. Despite what our contract said (USAA loan), when I went to do this, we were told that because it was now a Fannie/Freddie loan (USAA sold it), the rules were different, despite never having re...
by jmg229
Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to get an appraisal to remove PMI
Replies: 16
Views: 1705

Re: To HSA or not to HSA

Doing the same analysis as asif with the new numbers, your new breakeven on 2 and 3 is $5800. Less than that, 3 is better. More, 2 is better. For plan 1, your minimum payment before getting any benefits is 5856 (4356 premiums, plus 1500 deductible (if family deductible must be met, unclear if that i...
by jmg229
Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To HSA or not to HSA
Replies: 12
Views: 1572

Re: When to get an appraisal to remove PMI

Whatever you do, make sure to get it in writing do you are not out $300 and your time I would second this. Despite what our contract said (USAA loan), when I went to do this, we were told that because it was now a Fannie/Freddie loan (USAA sold it), the rules were different, despite never having re...
by jmg229
Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to get an appraisal to remove PMI
Replies: 16
Views: 1705

Re: Medical plan and dependent care

Not sure what penalties you are referring to, but if it is ACA-related, there is no penalty for a gap less than three months.
by jmg229
Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical plan and dependent care
Replies: 7
Views: 300

Re: Inherited IRA-calculating RMD

Maybe this helps (From Page 40 of Pub 590): Multiple individual beneficiaries If as of September 30 of the year following the year in which the owner dies there is more than one beneficiary, the beneficiary with the shortest life expectancy will be the designated beneficiary if both of the following...
by jmg229
Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited IRA-calculating RMD
Replies: 10
Views: 780

Re: Retirement Goal Calculation

I am completely confused!! Are you stating using the 4% withdraw means I need approximately (of course this is ball park figure) $830K when I reach the age of 62? If so, how is this possible? What about inflation? How can $830K today be the same 27 years from now? I am not understanding when you wr...
by jmg229
Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Goal Calculation
Replies: 31
Views: 5233

Re: Timeline for buying a house + Q about central Jersey

1: Timeline: We now live in California. Our plan is to visit NJ some time in mid-July - early August, see as many houses as possible, and make an offer. We know the area well, so that helps a bit (but see my question below). If we find a house during our visit, and our offer is accepted, is it at a...
by jmg229
Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timeline for buying a house + Q about central Jersey
Replies: 28
Views: 2523

Re: Financing graduate school

One way to think of this is how you would fund these accounts with extra cash. It sounds like if you had student loans, you would pay them off, so don't take out any new ones. Would you pay down a mortgage, pay down cars, add to HSA, add to Roth, or add to 529 first? What about last? Whatever the la...
by jmg229
Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financing graduate school
Replies: 9
Views: 755

Re: Free credit score for Cap One Quicksilver cardholders

I just noticed today that the Capital One Quicksilver card (mine is MC) offers something called Credit Tracker for free. It's unlimited access to your Transunion credit score. Yeah, I know there are almost infinite varieties of credit scores with each agency, not just one, but this looks like an ac...
by jmg229
Sat May 03, 2014 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Free credit score for Cap One Quicksilver cardholders
Replies: 13
Views: 993

Re: Should I be concerned: auto vs. umbrella insurance

I'm not seeing where the concern about being underinsured is. Instead of having 500/500 and a 1 million umbrella, they want you to have 250/500 and a 1 million umbrella. So, either way, you are covered up to 1 million. In the latter case, you have a lower auto premium due to lower limits. This is go...
by jmg229
Sat May 03, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I be concerned: auto vs. umbrella insurance
Replies: 34
Views: 3558

Re: Secured or Unsecured?

Is the $95 fee only on the second option? In which case, interest on the 10% will likely be lower.
by jmg229
Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Secured or Unsecured?
Replies: 9
Views: 909

Re: Family Financial Health Check and Advice

The big concern that sticks out to me here (besides the <10% a year retirement savings) is the 10k cash on hand. Where is the emergency fund? What happens if you end up with a major unexpected expense? You have a lot of debt which means a lot of cash flow needs, what happens if your job ends up bein...
by jmg229
Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family Financial Health Check and Advice
Replies: 17
Views: 1966

Re: Trying to clean up personal finance

The Roth IRA could also be considered a back-up emergency fund (for those very unlikely occurrences) so it is good to have. Because of this, I'd recommend splitting the difference between debt repayment (avoid CC interest rate going up, rest to loan) and Roth IRA contributions. Not only will IRA co...
by jmg229
Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to clean up personal finance
Replies: 17
Views: 2021

Re: I'm on a mission for more security

To me, your step number 1 is accurate, and I highly recommend 1Password. Just make sure to set it so it locks out frequently and change your master over time. Multistep authentication is a good big one, too.
by jmg229
Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm on a mission for more security
Replies: 15
Views: 1770

Re: deferred comp plans

It is sometimes hard to grasp (I know it took me a while to get my head around it), but gains in either an after tax then tax free (think Roth) or pretax then taxed account (think 401(k) or Deferred comp plan) are not taxed at all assuming equal tax rates at time of contribution and withdrawal. can...
by jmg229
Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: deferred comp plans
Replies: 20
Views: 1891

Re: Calculate effect of mortgage-interest deduction

I think that the moral of the story, get back to the OPs second point, is that in seeking and giving advice on issues related to tax-adjusted mortgage rates, assumptions cannot be made and either the poster needs to provide information on whether or not they itemize and if all or part of the interes...
by jmg229
Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculate effect of mortgage-interest deduction
Replies: 11
Views: 914

Re: Graduate School Loans

So no matter my income in the future, you're saying as long as I pay the minimum, in 25 years it will all be paid off? I found this page talking about it, ( http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-based ) but I'm not sure if I would qualify as I'd ideally be making more money i...
by jmg229
Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Graduate School Loans
Replies: 13
Views: 1339

Re: Graduate School Loans

Are any of these federal loans that qualify for IBR (Income Based Repayments)? Before you borrowed so much money, did you consider how much the payments would be compared to the income you might expect? It's going to be very difficult to pay them off any time soon with that income. What are the min...
by jmg229
Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Graduate School Loans
Replies: 13
Views: 1339

Re: Moving Advice: How do I make my move economical?

I've now done 3 cross country moves with questionable vehicles using your first option. Media mail is great. Put everything else on the car, get the best AAA membership you can, and take it slow. I have found that Uhaul, Penske, and the like are prohibitively expensive. Buying a new car in Indiana i...
by jmg229
Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving Advice: How do I make my move economical?
Replies: 16
Views: 1001

Re: somoene filed a return with my spouses SSN?

I seem to miss here something, but is there nobody at the IRS checking a SSN against the correct name and address? Or are they shipping that money to any name, address, bank account not associated with that SSN? Then IRS would be at fault. I have heard through a friend who works in the field that t...
by jmg229
Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: somoene filed a return with my spouses SSN?
Replies: 22
Views: 2466
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