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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
Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young Couple Need Advice
Replies: 21
Views: 2122

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 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another online banking thread
Replies: 11
Views: 781

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
Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: spousal or partner frugality comparison poll
Replies: 18
Views: 1811

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
Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing Calculation
Replies: 25
Views: 2145

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
Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newly Engaged - Time to Talk Finances with Fiancee
Replies: 25
Views: 2697

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 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing my taxes by hand
Replies: 64
Views: 4715

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
Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for low cost cell phone plans...
Replies: 47
Views: 3965

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 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with my Vanguard Roth IRA?
Replies: 12
Views: 1079

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 10:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing My Taxes With Free File Fillable Forms?
Replies: 8
Views: 883

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 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not sure about Inlaws' Financial Advisor. What ?s to ask?
Replies: 12
Views: 1427

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
Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Organizing family accounts/info for emergency use
Replies: 13
Views: 1742

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 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fun stock market simulator - educational
Replies: 10
Views: 1140

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
Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fun stock market simulator - educational
Replies: 10
Views: 1140

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 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's Personal Advisor Recommendations
Replies: 14
Views: 2932

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
Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-tax Retirement Accounts and Pensions in Networth
Replies: 24
Views: 2376

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 10:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's Personal Advisor Recommendations
Replies: 14
Views: 2932

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
Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Test drive new vehicle without sales pressure?
Replies: 46
Views: 3418

Re: Bogleheads 2015 Hedge Fund Contest

Bravo PP Holdings

Long
TSLA
AMZN
GLW

Short
DG
ZNGA
PEIX
by jmg229
Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogleheads 2015 Hedge Fund Contest
Replies: 112
Views: 9765

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 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Test drive new vehicle without sales pressure?
Replies: 46
Views: 3418

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 2:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Confused about tax advantaged Asset allocation on wiki
Replies: 6
Views: 378

Re: 2015 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST REGISTRATION

2157.72
by jmg229
Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2015 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST REGISTRATION
Replies: 556
Views: 19738

Re: Vanguard REITS

You could always use the ETF and avoid this issue.
by jmg229
Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard REITS
Replies: 4
Views: 603

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 8:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping parents with retirement investing, generous pension
Replies: 6
Views: 1057

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 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International in Tax Deferred
Replies: 13
Views: 979

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
Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do commodities provide a real return?
Replies: 25
Views: 1010

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 5:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Car is Best?
Replies: 73
Views: 6275

Re: What is my capital gains tax rate?

Also, don't forget state tax on capital gains, if applicable.
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: 1173

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 11:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tipping for take out
Replies: 74
Views: 8541

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 28, 2014 10:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please help: Cap Gains or Ordinary Income Tax?
Replies: 9
Views: 1040

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: 9
Views: 844

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: 624

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: 329

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: 1904

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: 664

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: 1098

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: 462

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: 2109

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: 16
Views: 1842

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: 10084

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: 1881

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: 1333

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: 1333

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: 305

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: 305

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: 4836

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: 2223

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: 5897

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: 3433

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: 1962

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: 1600
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