Search found 109 matches

by leftcoaster
Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: good day for international TLH?
Replies: 1
Views: 277

good day for international TLH?

VXUS and VEU are both down about 2.1%
by leftcoaster
Sun May 24, 2015 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Don't come to Europe with a new chip and sign credit card
Replies: 62
Views: 9909

Re: Don't come to Europe with a new chip and sign credit card

Do the terminals support NFC? Then you can use ApplePay, which is EMV (chip+pin) + tokenization. And you can load even a magstrip card into ApplePay.
by leftcoaster
Fri May 22, 2015 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high income, low interest CA mortgage
Replies: 2
Views: 537

Re: high income, low interest CA mortgage

Mortgage rate *(1-federal tax)*(1-state tax) = 2.875%*.604*.897=1.558% If you pay AMT, it would be mortgage rate*(1-federal AMT rate-state rate) since the increased state tax doesn't become a federal deduction. The ACA tax doesn't enter into the calculation because it is based on gross income, not ...
by leftcoaster
Fri May 22, 2015 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high income, low interest CA mortgage
Replies: 2
Views: 537

high income, low interest CA mortgage

What's the formula for computing the yield on mortgage prepayments, for the purposes of comparing to other taxable investments? Relevant factors: 2.875% mortgage 39.6% federal + both ACA taxes 10.3% california (CA gives interest deduction equal to the federal one) deductions on mortgage interest are...
by leftcoaster
Fri May 22, 2015 6:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Post tax investing or Pay off 2.95% Mortgage?
Replies: 39
Views: 3932

Re: Post tax investing or Pay off 2.95% Mortgage?

I notice that you are in California, where earthquake insurance is expensive and not very comprehensive. Some friends observed that a big mortgage can be an excellent alternative....
by leftcoaster
Tue May 19, 2015 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question for muni investors
Replies: 6
Views: 739

Question for muni investors

Can you please walk me through your decision making process that led to purchasing munis instead of muni funds? The issues that I'm aware of: Muni ladder pros: * guaranteed return of principal at a known yield cons: * default risk * no participation in rising yields * duration varies unless ladder i...
by leftcoaster
Sat May 16, 2015 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 all at once
Replies: 3
Views: 949

Re: 529 all at once

niceguy7376 wrote:It is at calendar year level and not one single day.



Thanks. Do you have to do the acceleration all in one year? Could one do 5y accelerated spread over 2y?
by leftcoaster
Sat May 16, 2015 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 all at once
Replies: 3
Views: 949

529 all at once

When making a 5y gift to a 529, does it have to lump sum in all on the same day or can I spread it out across the year? It would be nice to DCA it.
by leftcoaster
Wed May 13, 2015 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth: Schooling my CPA and getting charged for it!
Replies: 134
Views: 10316

Re: Backdoor Roth: Schooling my CPA and getting charged for it!

Tell him you expect a percentage of the profit he earns from apying your example on other clients.
by leftcoaster
Sun May 10, 2015 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional question
Replies: 18
Views: 938

Re: TIAA Traditional question

I love this group.

Thanks all!
by leftcoaster
Sun May 10, 2015 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional question
Replies: 18
Views: 938

TIAA Traditional question

My spouse has a $100K Solo 401(k) at Fidelity and I'm thinking of rolling that into TIAA-CREF, where her employer's 403(b) is managed. Does anyone here know if rollover funds would be eligible for the (higher) employer crediting rates at TIAA-CREF, in the Traditional annuities? Also, what's the gene...
by leftcoaster
Sun May 10, 2015 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do banks take loose coinage?
Replies: 55
Views: 3913

Re: Do banks take loose coinage?

I use Coinstar to get an iTunes or Amazon card, for which there is no fee charged.
by leftcoaster
Tue May 05, 2015 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AQUAPEX, a good idea ???
Replies: 8
Views: 795

Re: AQUAPEX, a good idea ???

It is used extensively in radiant hearing systems, passing warm water in tight loops under permanently installed flooring. So that's hot water at sharp angles with no expectation of degradation.
by leftcoaster
Sun May 03, 2015 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you buy self-driving car?
Replies: 235
Views: 10506

Re: Will you buy self-driving car?

I'm definitely interested. A few thoughts on the technology and its future: Machines will have a policy of "failing over" to a human when need dictates. As drivers become less skilled (16 year olds won't have as much practice if the car drives most of the time), this policy will make less ...
by leftcoaster
Sun May 03, 2015 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: reverse generational gifting + capital gains
Replies: 5
Views: 613

Re: reverse generational gifting + capital gains

littlebird wrote:Have you taken into account the NYC income tax?
http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/servi ... income-tax :(


Yes even then there's a 5% difference in total tax.
by leftcoaster
Sat May 02, 2015 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: reverse generational gifting + capital gains
Replies: 5
Views: 613

reverse generational gifting + capital gains

I'm sitting on shares of stock that have appreciated quite a lot. I'm in the 39.6 tax bracket and so have a 20% LTCG rate + another 10% from my state of residence. Grandma lives in New York City and is in the 25% tax bracket, so has the 15% LTCG rate and a lower state rate as well. Normally we think...
by leftcoaster
Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: new i-bond rate?
Replies: 28
Views: 5014

new i-bond rate?

Has anyone worked out the CPI-U for the upcoming rate announcement in May? Still likely to stay at 0?
by leftcoaster
Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with Apple Pay?
Replies: 32
Views: 2613

Re: Experience with Apple Pay?

The only thing about Apple Pay is it uses your default card that you configure in the native Passbook app. If you add multiple cards, it will still use the default card; it will not ask which card you want to use. This might be a disadvantage for folks who have certain rewards card they use at one ...
by leftcoaster
Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with Apple Pay?
Replies: 32
Views: 2613

Re: Experience with Apple Pay?

You do not have to unlock and open passbook. Just present the phone to the NFC sensor and you will be asked for a print from Touch ID. Could not be easier. It is more secure than even a chip and pin card. An attacker can get your pin and card. They cannot get your phone and a print with nearly the s...
by leftcoaster
Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting continental Europe (first time) with kids
Replies: 20
Views: 2068

Re: Visiting continental Europe (first time) with kids

We visited Germany last summer and did the Romantic Road in reverse. Consider doing just the parts nearest Munich. Neueschwanstein and Hohenschwangau are amazing castles, the former being the one the Disney castle is modeled after. Also close to Munich is the Alpine town of F├╝ssen, 5km from Austria....
by leftcoaster
Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching a responsible teen about money
Replies: 12
Views: 1156

Teaching a responsible teen about money

I'm fortunate to have a teenager who is instinctively thrifty and so not prone to requesting excessive purchases. Hearing that a t-shirt costs $60 does not result in whining - she seeks out alternatives. She receives an allowance, but it's a mostly invisible to her transfer into a savings account. I...
by leftcoaster
Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: excess cash flows - to mortgage?
Replies: 10
Views: 1026

excess cash flows - to mortgage?

401ks, IRAs, HSA, 529, I-bonds (including his, hers, trust, and tax refund) are all fully funded. I'm fortunate enough to have additional cash to deploy. I'm 3 years into a 15y fixed mortgage at 2.875%. Marginal tax rate (fed+state) is just shy of 50%. Capital gains (incl. qualified dividends) at 20...
by leftcoaster
Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foodsaver use
Replies: 27
Views: 1899

Re: Foodsaver use

When it comes to vacuum sealing i skipped over the Foodsaver devices and went to a low end chamber device. Specifically a VacMaster VP112. I made this decision because i wanted to seal soups and sauces without the freezing steps needed for the food saver style devices. The bags cost a whole lot les...
by leftcoaster
Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: California GO munis
Replies: 0
Views: 206

California GO munis

California is having some GO issues in the next weeks. Is there any way to predict the duration and likely yields for these bonds?
by leftcoaster
Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foodsaver use
Replies: 27
Views: 1899

Re: Foodsaver use

We found the higher end foodsaver models are a little more tolerant of liquid. If we want to use some 'liquid' for marinade we freeze it first, and the put it still frozen into the bag just before sealing. At first we used a metal pot with the Anova, but now use a insulated picnic cooler to save on...
by leftcoaster
Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade
Replies: 30
Views: 2958

Re: iPhone upgrade

The 6 Plus is a terrific device. I thought at first that it was going to be over large, but it is really great. The battery life is much better and my aging eyes appreciate the larger screen. Also there are some UI enhancements on the 6 Plus only in apps like Mail and Calendar that I really apprecia...
by leftcoaster
Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foodsaver use
Replies: 27
Views: 1899

Re: Foodsaver use

jvclark02 wrote:
LowER wrote:And they are great for sous vide.

+1 Fantastic for perfectly cooked steaks :beer



What about in cases where you have liquid in the bag? Is there a foodsaver option that will work well in that case or do you have to go with a (much more expensive) chamber vacuum sealer?
by leftcoaster
Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reverse engineering The Standard's fee structure
Replies: 8
Views: 661

Re: Reverse engineering The Standard's fee structure

Welcome to the Standard, they are HORRIBLE. My wife has both her 403(b) and Profit Sharing accounts with them courtesy of her employer. I'd almost want her to quit her job for a day just for the chance to yank out all her money and roll them into Vanguard. Not only are they larded with fees, their ...
by leftcoaster
Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reverse engineering The Standard's fee structure
Replies: 8
Views: 661

Re: Reverse engineering The Standard's fee structure

In-service withdrawals look like a bad option: $50 fee per event! The document I found says that their 86 BP fee includes 25 BP for record keeping, with the balance going "for consulting." I have no idea what consulting could possibly mean here. In a separate section, they say Plan Adminis...
by leftcoaster
Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reverse engineering The Standard's fee structure
Replies: 8
Views: 661

Re: Reverse engineering The Standard's fee structure

@Ralph, the comparison is to the SAME fund held at Vanguard and held at The Standard, so any differences due to an index does not matter. Correct -- it's the exact same fund. They even publish the correct ER from vanguard (0.09) alongside their 0.86% markup. You know how some organizations will eng...
by leftcoaster
Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reverse engineering The Standard's fee structure
Replies: 8
Views: 661

Re: Reverse engineering The Standard's fee structure

Well, I found a fee sheet after all. For the Vanguard funds they add on 86 basis points across the board. Some of the non-Vanguard funds are a bit less, presumably because they get a management fee directly from the fund. Still doesn't explain the more than 86 BP 1-year performance difference in the...
by leftcoaster
Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reverse engineering The Standard's fee structure
Replies: 8
Views: 661

Reverse engineering The Standard's fee structure

My spouse's employer provides a benefit with employER contributions made to an account held at The Standard. The plan offers a few investment choices, including several Vanguard funds. Expense markup by The Standard is not disclosed anywhere that I can see, including the prospectus. There are some p...
by leftcoaster
Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Appreciated assets => UGMA => Private School Tuition
Replies: 5
Views: 216

Re: Appreciated assets => UGMA => Private School Tuition

No problem with what you suggested. Once overall a small threshold, children pay the same taxes on investment income as parents, don't they? Ah, yes -- the Kiddie Tax prevents this except for $2k/year. After that they have to pay at the parents' top rate. It's not clear whether "top rate"...
by leftcoaster
Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Appreciated assets => UGMA => Private School Tuition
Replies: 5
Views: 216

Re: Appreciated assets => UGMA => Private School Tuition

PS There is no hope of financial aid eligibility for college, so I am not thinking of a FAFSA. In fact, I think her dependent deduction may be phased out at this point and so when the time comes, I may not declare her a dependent and let her take her own deduction on her return. With next to no inco...
by leftcoaster
Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Appreciated assets => UGMA => Private School Tuition
Replies: 5
Views: 216

Appreciated assets => UGMA => Private School Tuition

My child is 14 years old and thinking of attending a private high school. Ouch, but she's an excellent student and it is an excellent school, so I'm not really complaining. I've been funding her 529 for college since she was born and am in pretty good shape there. Now my question: I'm sitting on ass...
by leftcoaster
Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opening Solo 401K with ETrade
Replies: 3
Views: 2090

Re: Opening Solo 401K with ETrade

I think they now have ach but call and ask.
by leftcoaster
Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: timing employer match
Replies: 6
Views: 528

Re: timing employer match

I've thought about this some more and think that there's no way to get an edge here. It's 6% of each check, up to the maximum eligible compensation for the year, which is $255K. Unless one were to earn enough that contributing at a 6% rate caused one to hit the $17,500 annual limit in under a year, ...
by leftcoaster
Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: timing employer match
Replies: 6
Views: 528

timing employer match

My employer match gets stepped up based on years of service and I am due for an increase toward the middle of next year (2014). At present I get 50% of contributions up to 6%. After mid-year, I will get 75%. My question: would it make sense to lower, or even eliminate contributions for the beginning...
by leftcoaster
Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Options Level 1 & Level 2 - revoke?
Replies: 32
Views: 2777

Re: Options Level 1 & Level 2 - revoke?

Risk goes up with each level.
by leftcoaster
Wed May 01, 2013 11:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I bond composite rate for May, 1.18%
Replies: 6
Views: 1397

Re: I bond composite rate for May, 1.18%

I already maxed both the I bond ($10K + $5K tax return) and the EE ($10k) in April. I think they are two of the "least worst" fixed income options now, as long as you have a 20 year time horizon. Even if inflation starts to pick up in a few years, it is surprising how much return spread y...
by leftcoaster
Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Downloading movies to Ipad and Ipad mini
Replies: 15
Views: 3327

Re: Downloading movies to Ipad and Ipad mini

Definitely use iTunes.
by leftcoaster
Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury direct trust account
Replies: 2
Views: 260

Re: Treasury direct trust account

I see that treasury direct supports accounts for trusts. Is it possible to purchase 10k in an individual account plus 5k in IRS refund plus another 10k in a trust account? Or are the trust and individual accounts mutually exclusive if under the same SSN? The trust is a separate entitly so it's enti...
by leftcoaster
Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury direct trust account
Replies: 2
Views: 260

Treasury direct trust account

I see that treasury direct supports accounts for trusts.

Is it possible to purchase 10k in an individual account plus 5k in IRS refund plus another 10k in a trust account?

Or are the trust and individual accounts mutually exclusive if under the same SSN?
by leftcoaster
Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Savings Bond Wizard and Mac
Replies: 11
Views: 3569

Re: thanks

Thanks for all of the help. I'll try these ideas. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. I was getting spoiled thinking a Mac can do everything. There's also the Spotted Snake savings bond software. I'm not sure it's being upgraded any more, and once when I tried it it was buggy. --...
by leftcoaster
Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleveland Clinic
Replies: 31
Views: 3159

Re: Cleveland Clinic

This is my hometown, though I haven't lived there for many years. Dad was a physician at UH and, as a college student (Case), I worked in the predecessor to the Intercontinental. You should stay there, without a doubt. The hotel restaurant is probably very good -- it was a destination when I worked ...
by leftcoaster
Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ibond calculator
Replies: 26
Views: 3032

Re: Ibond calculator

For the mac, there is Savings Bond Tracker, of which I am the author.

Trial version available here:
http://spottedsnake.net/
by leftcoaster
Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Back door Coverdell ESA?
Replies: 4
Views: 439

Re: Back door Coverdell ESA?

I know I am not answering you question, but ... Once I could not directly contribute to my children's Coverdell accounts, I opened 529's. A lot of the reasons why I initially opened Coverdells are no longer in effect. The 529's seem just as good and serving my purposes just fine. 529s are not usabl...
by leftcoaster
Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Back door Coverdell ESA?
Replies: 4
Views: 439

Back door Coverdell ESA?

ESA contributions are subject to an income phase out. However, I recently read of a workaround and am curious if anyone here has implemented it. You gift the 2k to the child, subject to annual maximums before gift tax. The child opens the ESA for herself and funds it with your gift. I know that ESA ...
by leftcoaster
Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Job Change - what to do with cash balance plan
Replies: 3
Views: 323

Job Change - what to do with cash balance plan

I'm changing jobs (a good thing) and am trying to decide what to do about the money I've accumulated in a Cash Balance Plan at my old employer. It's about 7% of my retirement portfolio. If I leave the money in place, I'll continue to earn interest based on the 30-Year Treasury Constant Maturity Rate...

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