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by markcoop
Wed May 13, 2015 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Teens and Investing]
Replies: 17
Views: 917

Re: TEENS AND INVESTING

I just talked to my 16-year old about how much I saved for college for him and how I did it. He was very interested because it actually had meaning to him. I doubt I can get him to read a book about it. I also opened a bank account for him and request he use it as often as possible. I find anything ...
by markcoop
Tue May 12, 2015 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 plans- Are they part of your overall A.A?
Replies: 22
Views: 1106

Re: 529 plans- Are they part of your overall A.A?

I used to do both. I track my finances on a spread sheet. I had an overall AA that included the 529 plan. This was basically one table in my spreadsheet. I also had separate AA's for my retirement money and the college education money. Basically a couple more tables. So, when I made any moves, I too...
by markcoop
Tue May 05, 2015 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs Traditional 401k
Replies: 15
Views: 722

Re: Roth vs Traditional 401k

Some points: 1) Although this probably does not apply to you, I chose to do a traditional 401K over a ROTH 401K due to the child tax credit. Every dollar that got switched from a regular 401K to ROTH 401K, meant I had more income that year. For my situation, the more income I had, the less of a chil...
by markcoop
Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another: retirement am I saving too much?
Replies: 18
Views: 2931

Re: Another: retirement am I saving too much?

You're aware you can access retirement accounts prior to age 59 1/2 without penalty, right? Here's a post I wrote a long time ago about it: http://whitecoatinvestor.com/how-to-get-to-your-money-before-age-59-12/ I believe if you retire from a company where you had a 401K type plan anytime after the...
by markcoop
Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for teenager
Replies: 52
Views: 2999

Re: Car for teen ager

I am wrestling with the same issue. Although I trust my children, I believe all people, especially young drivers, believe they are better drivers than they are. I also believe there are many bad drivers on the road today. It's hard to convey that it's better to be safe than right to a teenager. For...
by markcoop
Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I saving too much for retirement?
Replies: 27
Views: 4757

Re: Am I saving too much for retirement?

If you're denying yourself anything today in order to meet those savings rates, then I believe you're asking a valid question. Clearly you want the match in the 401K/TSP, so I think you wouldn't change that. You have access to your contributions in a ROTH IRA, so at least you're not doing anything t...
by markcoop
Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for teenager
Replies: 52
Views: 2999

Re: Car for teen ager

Livesoft - I always let my kids drive when it's just me and them in the car. I also try not to give too many driving tips, but limit what I say to a few good suggestions.
by markcoop
Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for teenager
Replies: 52
Views: 2999

Re: Car for teen ager

I am wrestling with the same issue. Although I trust my children, I believe all people, especially young drivers, believe they are better drivers than they are. I also believe there are many bad drivers on the road today. It's hard to convey that it's better to be safe than right to a teenager. For ...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius
Replies: 36
Views: 2843

Re: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius

This raises the question of how much more does a hybrid Camry cost than a regular Camry. Edmunds indicates that a 2012 hybrid LE is valued at about $3,500 more than a regular LE, so $400 a year in fuel savings would take nearly 9 years to recover, and even longer at 12k miles per year. Does a hybri...
by markcoop
Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius
Replies: 36
Views: 2843

Re: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius

I'm pretty sure that I'm going to go with the Camry. I've slowly convinced myself that I'm wiling to pay a little more for a better car, as long as the little more is reasonable. 3-year old Camry Hybrid with low miles (around 30K) for $18K seems reasonable and Boglehead-ish. Both are excellent cars...
by markcoop
Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rules on using IRA money for child's education?
Replies: 16
Views: 1303

Re: Rules on using IRA money for child's education?

Alan S. wrote:Payments on a student loan are NOT qualified expenses, but payments of qualified expenses with loan money IS.


Can you explain what you mean in the second half of this sentence?
by markcoop
Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius
Replies: 36
Views: 2843

Re: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius

Thanks to all who have responded. Surfstar - I don't currently drive a ton of miles per year. I've been averaging about 11K per year. However, I anticipate that average going up with one kid starting college and another looking at colleges. My guess is about 15K/year going forward. sls - I hear you ...
by markcoop
Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius
Replies: 36
Views: 2843

Re: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius

My life is too valuable to drive a car as light as a Honda Fit. At least the 2015 was an upgrade from the 2013 in crash testing. http://www.iihs.org The Camry was rated poor in small overlap, that year Prius wasn't tested, I'm sure it is poor as well. In 2014 the Prius received an upgraded structur...
by markcoop
Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius
Replies: 36
Views: 2843

Re: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius

Thanks for all the input. To answer why not just go with the car I thought drove better, it's simply a matter of cost. I think I have ruled out option 2. Spoke to some friends and the value add just isn't there. I don't use a GPS too often and I do own a TomTom for when I need it. So, let's narrow t...
by markcoop
Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius
Replies: 36
Views: 2843

Re: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius

DS - That's basically my opinion about Navigation systems as well. I have 3 kids (1 in college, 1 a junior in HS). We do have a minivan. That is used to move anything we need to move. So that's not such an issue. But flexibility is always good. One advantage of a sedan is my smelly gym clothes do no...
by markcoop
Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius
Replies: 36
Views: 2843

Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius

I'm a big fan of buying 3 year old or so used cars. In general I'm always looking to get the best deal. I've decided to but a hybrid and have narrowed it down to these options: 1) 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid with 30K miles for $18,000 2) 2012 Toyota Prius 3 with 28K miles for $17,000 (this model has a ...
by markcoop
Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grantor trust taxable interest - where to report?
Replies: 4
Views: 336

Re: Grantor trust taxable interest - where to report?

I spent some time searching on the web. At this point I'm pretty sure that interest from such a trust (the company's name is PrePlan) is simply reported as interest income like a 1099INT. I found a few sources talking about taxes on these prepaid funeral trusts. Every source indicated it's paid as i...
by markcoop
Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grantor trust taxable interest - where to report?
Replies: 4
Views: 336

Re: Grantor trust taxable interest - where to report?

Thanks RJ. There is an Income section and a deductions section. In the income section, under Gross Taxable Interest there's an amount and a comment that says "REPORT THIS AMOUNT ON YOUR TAX RETURN". Just doesn't say how to do it. Not being familiar with a K-1, I took a look. I guess I coul...
by markcoop
Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for childrens' college
Replies: 121
Views: 8178

Re: Paying for children college

Question, we work in public sector, when the time comes, can we borrow the money for them to go to college then apply for public service loan forgiveness program? To my knowledge, you cannot do that. Parents can borrow the money, but I am unaware that parents can apply for loan forgiveness. I may b...
by markcoop
Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grantor trust taxable interest - where to report?
Replies: 4
Views: 336

Grantor trust taxable interest - where to report?

Hopefully a quick tax question. Helping family member with their taxes. Person has a prepaid funeral trust. They received a statement showing Gross Taxable Interest. This seems to be interest earned on the money in the trust. Where would this be entered on the taxes? It sounds like interest but it's...
by markcoop
Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going over gift tax limits
Replies: 20
Views: 1744

Re: Going over gift tax limits

Let me slightly rephrase the question. Assuming a check was already cut for greater than $14K to one individual but the intention was to spread to gift among two married people, has the annual federal gift tax exclusion been exceeded (and therefore a gift tax return is needed)? I understand it is de...
by markcoop
Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going over gift tax limits
Replies: 20
Views: 1744

Re: Going over gift tax limits

I have another question. If a parent wants to gift to her married child, I know she can gift $14K to the child and $14K to the spouse of the child. Does it need to be two separate gifts. For example, can the parent write a check for $28K made out to their child and the child just deposits the check ...
by markcoop
Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going over gift tax limits
Replies: 20
Views: 1744

Re: Going over gift tax limits

Thanks for the replies. For some reason I just assumed it would be just another form on your yearly taxes and not a separate return. I guess I never saw a question for it in the past, so it's not surprising that it would not be in Turbotax at all. So, I guess it is a little bit of deal. You can pay ...
by markcoop
Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going over gift tax limits
Replies: 20
Views: 1744

Going over gift tax limits

It seems alot of effort is made to not go over the annual federal gift tax exclusion (currently $14K). Assuming one is not close to having an estate large enough for estate taxes (currently $5.34 million), is it really a big deal to file a gift tax return? I haven't played around in Turbotax for thi...
by markcoop
Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: State 529 Plan - How much to contribute?
Replies: 32
Views: 2655

Re: State 529 Plan - How much to contribute?

I think a little debt is a great motivator. My former financial advisor said that $300/month was all we should contribute, and we are a high income family. $3600/year, turns into $115,000 over 18 years with that aforementioned calculator, which covers most state undergrad college costs. I don't wan...
by markcoop
Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Turbotax prices going up March 27
Replies: 5
Views: 667

Re: Turbotax prices going up March 27

I assume this is not true if you bought the desktop version but haven't filed yet. That what I did. I have 3 returns to fill out. I've completed 2 of them but wasn't going to complete the third till after that date. I assume there will not be an extra fee (?) for that return.
by markcoop
Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?
Replies: 121
Views: 13651

Re: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?

I personally believe people should have 2 numbers. The first number is the minimum they want to retire with. This amount should be enough to be ok in retirement. The second number should be the amount you really want to retire with. This amount will be enough to do just about everything you want to...
by markcoop
Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?
Replies: 121
Views: 13651

Re: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?

you reach the first number, I believe that money should be invested conservatively. Why conservatively after you reach the first number? Seems you would be in a better position to handle risk. Why risk this amount when it is your min goal to retire. If you lose that money, you may not be able to re...
by markcoop
Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?
Replies: 121
Views: 13651

Re: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?

I personally believe people should have 2 numbers. The first number is the minimum they want to retire with. This amount should be enough to be ok in retirement. The second number should be the amount you really want to retire with. This amount will be enough to do just about everything you want to ...
by markcoop
Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: College Savings Plans -- 529s
Replies: 10
Views: 600

Re: College Savings Plans -- 529s

A couple of points: 1) Although I agree you should contribute to your own retirement before contributing to a 529, I don't necessarily agree that every retirement plan and HSA offered to you should be maxed out before contributing to a 529. My wife and I both work. We have always maxed out my 401K b...
by markcoop
Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis
Replies: 15
Views: 1248

Re: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis

Just to confirm, if one had $1000 of dividends from Vanguard's limited term tax-exempt fund, one would enter $1000 * (1 - .14.11% - 0.13% - 0.19% - 0.02%) = $855.5 (rounded to $856?) on line 20 of IT-201 ? I believe that is correct. No, because New York requires that 50% of the assets of a fund be ...
by markcoop
Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis
Replies: 15
Views: 1248

Re: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis

TIAX wrote:Just to confirm, if one had $1000 of dividends from Vanguard's limited term tax-exempt fund, one would enter $1000 * (1 - .14.11% - 0.13% - 0.19% - 0.02%) = $855.5 (rounded to $856?) on line 20 of IT-201?


I believe that is correct.
by markcoop
Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis
Replies: 15
Views: 1248

Re: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis

It has been pointed out to me that difference between the charts is assets vs income. The appropriate chart to use is income.

Thanks again.
by markcoop
Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis
Replies: 15
Views: 1248

Re: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis

Thanks. I was a bit surprised to learn that many bond funds had some investment income from U.S. Gov't obligations. For example, short-term inv grade bond fund had 2.93% of such interest. I understand the point about 99.85% being virtually 100%. As far as the muni funds, is that second link, showing...
by markcoop
Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis
Replies: 15
Views: 1248

Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis

I'm doing a few new things this year in Turbotax and want to verify I'm doing a couple of things correctly: 1) Vanguard TIPS fund - On the 1099 DIV, I check the box that says: "A portion of these dividends is U.S. Government Interest". I then use the Vanguard table to determine the amount....
by markcoop
Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2554

Re: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"

scone - I bet there are alot of people (even bogleheads) out there that share your desires. I have certainly learned over the years (I'm 48) that everything takes longer to do than expected. Sometimes a simple tax item takes hours to figure out. I remember when I used to buy company stock at a disco...
by markcoop
Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2554

Re: "Muni bonds are overused" ?

After all, one has to do special things with tax-exempt interest when it comes to taxation of Social Security benefits Can you elaborate on this point? I am helping someone out with their taxes and they do have tax-exempt interest and SS. We just started working on the taxes, but I'd be interested ...
by markcoop
Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2554

Re: "Muni bonds are overused" ?

After all, one has to do special things with tax-exempt interest when it comes to taxation of Social Security benefits Can you elaborate on this point? I am helping someone out with their taxes and they do have tax-exempt interest and SS. We just started working on the taxes, but I'd be interested ...
by markcoop
Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rooting for stock to go down to sell?
Replies: 22
Views: 1799

Re: Rooting for stock to go down to sell?

Thanks for the replies. I agree with everything said. And of course I don't really want the market to go down to have a loss. Let me present this a different way. Imagine the following cases: 1) Stock currently at a loss - no problem selling it and buying TSM. 2) Stock at or close to break even - Ag...
by markcoop
Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rooting for stock to go down to sell?
Replies: 22
Views: 1799

Rooting for stock to go down to sell?

If you own individual stocks that you'd prefer not to have (assume you acquired the stock pre-boglehead days), but still want that money invested in stocks (say, TSM), I seem to be conflicted as to what I prefer to happen. If I have a negative cost basis, then I can sell, take the tax loss, and then...
by markcoop
Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing Tickets For US Open
Replies: 7
Views: 448

Re: Purchasing Tickets For US Open

If you want to really experience the US Open, I would go during the first weekend. There are many matches going on. You get to see many good players (not the top ones) playing on the outside courts. I personally don't even like going into the main stadium. It is way to big. My favorite day to go is ...
by markcoop
Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1680

Re: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax

So I eventually figured out my problem. It was the firewall. I did initially check the firewall, but did not realize there were multiple entries in the firewall for Turbotax 2014. One of the entries was not checked. I don't think I mentioned this above, but I was able to download Turbotax updates an...
by markcoop
Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1680

Re: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax

I had the same problem and researched it on TurboTax Help. I found there that importing won't work if you use special characters in your Vanguard password. I changed my Vanguard password to one without special characters and it worked. MarkS That was not my case. Something on my computer is causing...
by markcoop
Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1680

Re: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax

I was able to get this to work by downloading TT on another machine (even though they wouldn't give me the download on the call). So, the problem is with the computer I'm using (or perhaps TT is not handling something on my computer).
by markcoop
Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1680

Re: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax

All I have to say is WOW to TT customer service. Here was the experience: 1) I knew I was in for trouble when the rep asked me if Vanguard was one or two words. 2) Everything I said she text-ed to her boss who responded. Many times asked I was put on hold for a minute. 3) I explained how I tried it ...
by markcoop
Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1680

Re: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax

I have not been converted. I have done this in previous years. The only thing that has changed, other than using Premier this year, is that I have become an agent on another person's account. Wild guess is it's trying to download info from the agent account and sees a different social security numbe...
by markcoop
Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1680

Re: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax

Thanks. I assume that also includes stuff not from a brokerage account (VBS and mutual funds).
by markcoop
Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1680

Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax

I have problems importing my Vanguard data in Turbotax. I did some searches and have seen others in previous years have problems. I'm doing everything that was suggested in those cases (making sure it's Vanguard mutual fund download, verifying my userid/password, rebooting my machine). I have tried ...
by markcoop
Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Do you contribute max to tax-advantaged before 529?
Replies: 38
Views: 2962

Re: Poll: Do you contribute max to tax-advantaged before 529

Depends how you define max. I have a 401K, 403B and 2 ROTH IRAs available to me. I max out the 401K and 2 ROTH IRAs. I decided not to contribute to the 403B because of fees and because I felt I saved enough with the other options. I also contribute to a 529. In my mind, I'm maxing out the plans I wa...
by markcoop
Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to stop driving for 85 yo MIL
Replies: 89
Views: 6393

Re: Time to stop driving for 85 yo MIL

When the time was right, I went the route of an independent evaluation. It was not easy for my dad at the time, but when he failed the test pretty bad, he understood it was the right decision. The people at the evaluation were very helpful.

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