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Re: Check your HSA Bank Statement!

So no $3 fee on my statements (Jan, Feb), but a $3 fee on my March activity. I will let you all get this fixed for me. Thanks!
by livesoft
Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Check your HSA Bank Statement!
Replies: 6
Views: 508

Re: expat teacher no pension question about saving fo retire

I would not buy a home early.

You asked "Do/will we have enough?" Use the calculators at www.firecalc.com and www.cfiresim.com in order to help answer that question.
by livesoft
Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: expat teacher no pension question about saving fo retirement
Replies: 4
Views: 327

Re: 401k Tax Maneuver

Yes. Have no income for several years in a row and withdraw only enough to stay in the 0% income tax bracket. I learned a while ago that 47% of families pay no income tax. You could join them.
by livesoft
Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Tax Maneuver
Replies: 1
Views: 37

Re: Real estate frustration in finding a new home

I had a buyer's agent to which I gave an explicit list of features I wanted. I told her, "Don't send me anything that doesn't meet these criteria." I only looked at two homes. One, my spouse tricked me into looking at and I walked out in less than a minute after seeing lack of adherence to...
by livesoft
Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Real estate frustration in finding a new home
Replies: 5
Views: 246

Re: Wife tired of saving...

My spouse would play offense and get her sister and family to all switch to Toyotas.
by livesoft
Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife tired of saving...
Replies: 100
Views: 6174

Re: Emergency Cash Advice 2015

A tax-exempt muni fund may not make sense if your tax bracket is below 25%. Also retired folks do not need an emergency fund in order to replace lost wages. I just invest in my portfolio in the asset allocation I have selected. My asset allocation has more than 30% bond funds, so that's more than en...
by livesoft
Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Cash Advice 2015
Replies: 2
Views: 169

Re: Still no 1099

May I ask what is the hurry? Will life end if one doesn't file their tax return this week? One can always file now, then --if an amended return is needed-- one can submit that later, too. Perhaps it is a good exercise to file an incorrect return now and then file an amended return just to get the pr...
by livesoft
Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Still no 1099
Replies: 5
Views: 178

Re: Cost basis of stock

The OP said "oil stock" and not something like Digital Equipment Corp. My answer would have been different for something like DEC or F. :)
by livesoft
Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis of stock
Replies: 17
Views: 475

Re: S&P 500 Index Fund vs target date for 401k

So your combined portfolio doesn't have much in the way of fixed income (aka bond funds). What is your planned asset allocation? What have you got written down that you are trying to follow? Oooops, maybe that 403(b) Fidelity Spartan Index is the Fidelity Spartan Bond Index fund and you have lots of...
by livesoft
Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: S&P 500 Index Fund vs target date for 401k
Replies: 5
Views: 418

Re: Wife tired of saving...

Is this really a McMansion? Perhaps it is simply a well-built home on a nice lot in a neighborhood with good schools.

I always write that I live in a 3000+ sq ft McMansion with 4 toilets. My property taxes are about $7,000 a year though, but that more than utilities and insurance combined.
by livesoft
Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife tired of saving...
Replies: 100
Views: 6174

Re: Cost basis of stock

Who said the stock was XOM. That's just Livesoft's hypothesis. Gill Right. It is just an example so that we can point to this thread the NEXT time someone asks a similar question. We are not doing as well as I had hoped in working through the example though. rockylou has to come through with lots m...
by livesoft
Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis of stock
Replies: 17
Views: 475

Re: Wife tired of saving...

As for gas mileage, it is a huge diff. Camry gets 28 miles a gallon and RX350 gets 16/gallon I wonder why that is since we had a Camry and have an RX350. In suburban driving, they both are at about 20 mpg. Highway driving is better. I suppose your Camry may have a 4-cylinder engine? Our Camry was 3...
by livesoft
Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife tired of saving...
Replies: 100
Views: 6174

Re: Cost basis of stock

Also note that if you pay 15% long-term capital gains tax, that your savings over a cost basis of zero are just 15% of that cost basis. So a cost basis of $500, saves you $75.

You could probably give away a few shares and save more than $75 on your taxes. :)
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis of stock
Replies: 17
Views: 475

Re: Cost basis of stock

XOM didn't exist in 1970 which complicates things, too.
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis of stock
Replies: 17
Views: 475

Re: Cost basis of stock

Gill, I agree with you. In 1970, the web site I linked suggests that the price of a current "equivalent" share was about $1.75. I think if one went back another 10 years, the price might even get to under 50 cents. This is why I stated the cost basis was probably close enough to zero compa...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis of stock
Replies: 17
Views: 475

Re: Cost basis of stock

Let's use this thread to come up with a basis on our own then. I'll set the scenario: Let's say one has 900 shares of XOM that were given to one by their parents who purchased it a long time ago and do not know what they paid. Parents are 85 years old. Parents got married in 1955. What do you come u...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis of stock
Replies: 17
Views: 475

Re: Cost basis of stock

The cost basis is probably close enough to zero that it would not make sense to use any other value. But you could perhaps tell us what the lowest price possible for purchase in your parents' investing lifetime was. Also, you can give away some of the shares, too. If you have kids, give some shares ...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis of stock
Replies: 17
Views: 475

Re: Ulysses Contract

Any good ideas? Make web site like HSA Bank's web site: Non-functional, but very slow so that one cannot detect non-functionality right away. It takes months to get anything done on the web site. Make login like TreasuryDirect: You need to get a signature guarantee to reset your login credentials. ...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ulysses Contract
Replies: 7
Views: 681

Re: Whether to Max Out HSA Before Wife Leaves Job

Have you read the IRS publication on HSAs? Have you looked at the reporting done with your taxes?
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whether to Max Out HSA Before Wife Leaves Job
Replies: 11
Views: 696

Re: Initial Portfolio Setup Question

i helped my teenage son start his Roth IRA at Vanguard. The total time to get it going was less than 5 minutes. One is not locked into any investment choice made at first and can switch easily. So this idea of travel and not enough time is weird. In the time it takes to read this message, you pratic...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Initial Portfolio Setup Question
Replies: 6
Views: 278

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

No.

And already asked, so check it out: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=129263
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proactively replace water heater?
Replies: 14
Views: 779

Re: S&P 500 Index Fund vs target date for 401k

Probably not unless you have all your other bases of asset allocation covered by your other investments which you didn't tell us about.

The difference in expense ratio of 0.06% is so close to zero that the diversification of the target date fund is worth quite a lot more than that.
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: S&P 500 Index Fund vs target date for 401k
Replies: 5
Views: 418

Re: How To Invest in Index Funds

Also, the S&P500 index fund is in all the books, but it has been supplanted by the Total Stock Market Index fund. So I think you should investigate whether the Total Stock Market Index fund or another fund is better for you. For instance, a LifeStrategy Moderate Growth fund or a Target Retiremen...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How To Invest in Index Funds
Replies: 6
Views: 651

Re: Wife tired of saving...

So in the past 3 years, you had a 7-figure income. What did you do with all of it?
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife tired of saving...
Replies: 100
Views: 6174

Re: Question about Beneficiaries on IRA's

Wow, I didn't know that "Spouse" could be used for these things at all. All our accounts have named beneficiaries. We don't even do the "per stirpes" things.
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Beneficiaries on IRA's
Replies: 1
Views: 171

Re: How is your Betterment Account performing?

Rob reports that a Betterment 1099 is downloadable and timely:
viewtopic.php?p=2402917#p2402917
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How is your Betterment Account performing?
Replies: 17
Views: 1359

Re: Wife tired of saving...

We bought less as we got older.
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife tired of saving...
Replies: 100
Views: 6174

Re: Betterment 1099, timely? correct? downloadable?

Thanks! For a contrast, I get several 1099s and here is how many pages they are: Vanguard 0.5 page (yes, the other half of the page is blank) TDAmeritrade 8 pages with 6 pages of fluff such as name & address and "this page intentionally left blank" WellsTrade 8 pages with 4 pages of fl...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Betterment 1099, timely? correct? downloadable?
Replies: 2
Views: 329

Re: Recent College Grad Needing Advice

My oldest is a new college grad and I keep asking her if she has a budget. I think she doesn't because because she spends too much. She does use mint to track her spending, so you might look into that. I do not use mint. Here are some things missing from your budget, but maybe you have them in Misce...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recent College Grad Needing Advice
Replies: 12
Views: 657

Re: Fidelity Fixed Income

Michael Lewis wrote a book about bond salesmen: "Liar's Poker"
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Fixed Income
Replies: 10
Views: 820

Re: How is your Betterment Account performing?

I kind of figured that folks in Betterment wouldn't be able to figure out a benchmark to follow, but maybe a Vanguard TR fund with same stock:bond asset allocation is something to look at. Since the portfolio is made up of index ETF's, isn't your actual portfolio already the benchmark? This stateme...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How is your Betterment Account performing?
Replies: 17
Views: 1359

Re: "Americans Aren't Saving Enough for Retirement"

^No. There have been several articles about how pension plans have not been that prevalent even in the past. You might go look and find out how many retirees are actually covered by pension plans over time. For instance, see Mountain Man's link below: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Americans Aren't Saving Enough for Retirement"
Replies: 41
Views: 4160

Re: Whether to Max Out HSA Before Wife Leaves Job

OP here. Looks like I misread the regulations the first time around. As it stands, it looks like some of what was contributed to the HSA will be reported as income for 2015. Thanks for setting me straight. The excess contribution should be removed and reported as income. It wasn't clear to me that ...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whether to Max Out HSA Before Wife Leaves Job
Replies: 11
Views: 696

Re: What would YOU want from a financial advisor?

Here are some things an advisor could help with: Asset allocation is typically one thing. Asset location is another along with how to invest very tax-efficiently. How to get the lowest possible fees/expenses on my investments (no commissions, sub 0.10% expense ratios). Tax advice such as how to pay ...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What would YOU want from a financial advisor?
Replies: 11
Views: 780

Re: "Americans Aren't Saving Enough for Retirement"

I always chuckle when I read the statement that is the thread title. Americans keep retiring despite that statement. So what's wrong with that?
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Americans Aren't Saving Enough for Retirement"
Replies: 41
Views: 4160

Re: How is your Betterment Account performing?

Anybody get a 1099 from Betterment for 2014? Was it timely and accurate? Or are you still waiting? As for performance of Betterment, international equities were up 7-8% from their lows in early January by last weekend. US equities were up 5+%, too. I kind of figured that folks in Betterment wouldn't...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How is your Betterment Account performing?
Replies: 17
Views: 1359

Re: Getting back in Market after TDA-VG Cash Transfer

So, equities are no longer at the market high. Did you start making your investment moves?
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting back in Market after TDA-VG Cash Transfer
Replies: 5
Views: 391

Re: Thinking of going with VSMGX

You asked if this was a good strategy for you. I will just focus on SS. Generally, one should delay SS benefits until age 70 if they have other means to pay expenses. You seem to have other means to pay your expenses, so I would carefully look to see if getting SS at 62 is unwise. One spouse can tak...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking of going with VSMGX
Replies: 6
Views: 925

Re: Trapped!!!! 401k plan question

These funds are probably variable acccounts and not collective investment trusts. Whatever they are called, these just roll the dividends into the price. BTW, the Ohio 529 plan does the same thing.
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trapped!!!! 401k plan question
Replies: 6
Views: 744

Re: Thinking of going with VSMGX

I use VSMGX (LifeStrategy Moderate Growth) as a benchmark for my portfolio. While my portfolio does not have DFA funds, it is a small-cap and value-tilted portfolio that DFA advisor-types like to put their clients in. I think a benchmark DFA fund that also has a 60/40 allocation is DGSIX. I use it a...
by livesoft
Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking of going with VSMGX
Replies: 6
Views: 925

Re: Holdings that shouldn't be in taxable, but now have gain

VTSAX is quite tax-efficient, so it is a darling fund for taxable accounts.
by livesoft
Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Holdings that shouldn't be in taxable, but now have gains
Replies: 5
Views: 701

Re: How to check overpayments were applied to 2015 returns.

Have no fear about that. One year TT did some inappropriate rounding and I got a letter from the IRS that they reduced my overpayment applied to next year by $1. Of course, I had to remember that letter a year later when I started working on that return and adjust the number pulled in from the previ...
by livesoft
Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to check overpayments were applied to 2015 returns.
Replies: 5
Views: 382

Re: How to check overpayments were applied to 2015 returns.

I looked at a transcript. It certainly has the overpayment applied shown.
by livesoft
Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to check overpayments were applied to 2015 returns.
Replies: 5
Views: 382

Re: What if you already have a couple million?

Then add "Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes" by Gilovich and Belsky to your list of books. Legacy and sentimentality are pitfalls when it comes to investing. However, many folks are sentimental to a fault and disagree with this. :)
by livesoft
Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What if you already have a couple million?
Replies: 42
Views: 6226

Betterment 1099, timely? correct? downloadable?

Does anybody use Betterment in a taxable account? Was the Betterment 1099 timely and correct? Is it downloadable in tax software?

How about the 1099s of any other roboadvisor?

What was the final scuttlebutt on tax-loss-harvesting by these places in 2014? Worth it? Nightmare with tax forms?
by livesoft
Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Betterment 1099, timely? correct? downloadable?
Replies: 2
Views: 329

Re: Best strategy bridging into retirement

If paying the mortgage off reduces monthly expenses such that reduced cash-flow means a lower AGI, then one may qualify for more tax credits and come out way ahead.
by livesoft
Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best strategy bridging into retirement
Replies: 30
Views: 2295

Re: What's your average ER? [Expense Ratio]

The online tools shown in this thread calculated not only averaged weighted expense ratio, but also asset allocation, 9-box style grids, lots of other things about your portfolio.
by livesoft
Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's your average ER? [Expense Ratio]
Replies: 104
Views: 4851

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting Bonds??

Why would one need a different strategy?
by livesoft
Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting Bonds??
Replies: 7
Views: 461

Re: Vanguard eft portfolios

Why shouldn't I simply create a portfolio using every one of the Vanguard EFTs and just create balance by mirroring the allocation of an 8 or 10 fund portfolio? Wouldn't this give me a greater diversification? Currently we are in a 70/30 blend of equity vs fixed. Probably should be 60/40. We're ret...
by livesoft
Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard eft portfolios
Replies: 8
Views: 697
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