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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 5:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going over gift tax limits
Replies: 20
Views: 1630

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
Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going over gift tax limits
Replies: 20
Views: 1630

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 2:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going over gift tax limits
Replies: 20
Views: 1630

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 24, 2015 10:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going over gift tax limits
Replies: 20
Views: 1630

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
Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: State 529 Plan - How much to contribute?
Replies: 32
Views: 2457

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 12:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Turbotax prices going up March 27
Replies: 5
Views: 619

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 10:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?
Replies: 121
Views: 12755

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 9:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?
Replies: 121
Views: 12755

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 9:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?
Replies: 121
Views: 12755

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 Mar 12, 2015 9:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: College Savings Plans -- 529s
Replies: 10
Views: 550

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
Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis
Replies: 15
Views: 1166

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
Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis
Replies: 15
Views: 1166

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 1:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis
Replies: 15
Views: 1166

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
Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis
Replies: 15
Views: 1166

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
Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax - verify how to add TIPS, Munis
Replies: 15
Views: 1166

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 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2439

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 4:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2439

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: 2439

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 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rooting for stock to go down to sell?
Replies: 22
Views: 1738

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
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: 1738

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
Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing Tickets For US Open
Replies: 7
Views: 437

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
Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1566

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 1:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1566

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
Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1566

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 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1566

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
Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1566

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 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1566

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
Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem importing Vanguard into Turbotax
Replies: 13
Views: 1566

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
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: 2846

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.
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: 5955

NYS law: Bank safe deposit box jointly owned/1 owner dies

Here's the situation: Bank safe deposit box jointly owned between spouses. One spouse passes away. Is the other spouse allowed into the safe deposit box? The bank is telling us no. The bank told us that NYS has a unique law to protect against will fraud and only allows the executor of the will or a ...
by markcoop
Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYS law: Bank safe deposit box jointly owned/1 owner dies
Replies: 13
Views: 1417

Re: Max 401k or HSA with Existing HSA Balance

I believe the order should be as following: 1) Fund retirement accounts up to employer match - Huge return right from the beginning. 2) Max out funding HSA - Potentially tax-free in and tax-free out. 3) Fund retirement accounts after employer match (this step would also include ROTH IRA contribution...
by markcoop
Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Max 401k or HSA with Existing HSA Balance
Replies: 4
Views: 443

Re: Very uncomfortable phone call w/Vanguard about Beneficia

ok...I made a mistake. I have multiple IRAs that have a MM in it. The first one listed is not the VBS linked one. However, in the second one listed I do see the MM account with the VBS account number. I guess I can argue that the rep should have been able to direct to me that, especially since he lo...
by markcoop
Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very uncomfortable phone call w/Vanguard about Beneficiaries
Replies: 37
Views: 6413

Re: Very uncomfortable phone call w/Vanguard about Beneficia

I have to say I'm amazed that some of you feel the way you do. On my beneficiary page, every account I have is listed except my VBS account. I see account numbers for every account. Again, except for the VBS account. However, when I call, I'm told the VBS is covered. And because of a system limitati...
by markcoop
Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very uncomfortable phone call w/Vanguard about Beneficiaries
Replies: 37
Views: 6413

Re: Very uncomfortable phone call w/Vanguard about Beneficia

I feel like the beneficiaries screen that lists the VBS account number makes it pretty dern clear to me. There's 0 question in my mind that it's included. I see the account number right there. I don't really know what else you'd like. I feel like what they display is completely reasonable and I don...
by markcoop
Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very uncomfortable phone call w/Vanguard about Beneficiaries
Replies: 37
Views: 6413

Re: Very uncomfortable phone call w/Vanguard about Beneficia

Unless you're a Flagship client ($1M in assets), you are limited to Vanguard's cookie cutter beneficiary options. Please explain. Do flagship clients have different options? ...a phone rep is not in a decision making position such that they can promise a fix. They are in a position to open some kin...
by markcoop
Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very uncomfortable phone call w/Vanguard about Beneficiaries
Replies: 37
Views: 6413

What do you do when you don't know the cost basis?

Relative passed away. Had been buying stocks for the past 50 years and has collected a sizable amount in numerous companies but did not keep any records. Spouse now owns the stock with a 50% step-up basis (but since don't know the basis, 50% doesn't do much good). What does one do in such a situation?
by markcoop
Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do when you don't know the cost basis?
Replies: 5
Views: 719

Re: Very uncomfortable phone call w/Vanguard about Beneficia

Thanks for the replies. I will call back at some point. It's good to know that my VBS accounts are probably covered. I'm not going to be satisfied till I see it listed. "This is how their software works" is really not an acceptable excuse. If the information being presented is not accurate...
by markcoop
Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very uncomfortable phone call w/Vanguard about Beneficiaries
Replies: 37
Views: 6413

Very uncomfortable phone call w/Vanguard about Beneficiaries

I just had what I believe is the worst phone call with Vanguard I have ever had. Here is my issue. I wanted to make sure my beneficiaries were set up properly for all my accounts. I had set them up years ago, but in helping out a friend, I noticed something odd. When I look at the beneficiaries on t...
by markcoop
Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very uncomfortable phone call w/Vanguard about Beneficiaries
Replies: 37
Views: 6413

Re: No wash sale when you sell all shares?

Thanks to all. I understand. I did believe I did not have a wash sale, but thought I'd confirm. And then I got a bonus of learning about the specific ID way of avoiding a wash sale in certain situations. That's why this board is awesome.
by markcoop
Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No wash sale when you sell all shares?
Replies: 8
Views: 582

Re: No wash sale when you sell all shares?

I believe a wash sale can be triggered by buying the same stock 30 days before or after the sale. For my question, assume that I don't buy the stock back after it is sold.
by markcoop
Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No wash sale when you sell all shares?
Replies: 8
Views: 582

No wash sale when you sell all shares?

It's my understanding that if you would incur a wash sale, the amount of the wash sale gets added to the remaining shares. So I assume if you sell all your shares, then there is no wash sale. Is this true? Specifically for my case, if I own three separate international funds (Europe, Pacific, EM) an...
by markcoop
Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No wash sale when you sell all shares?
Replies: 8
Views: 582

Re: HSA vs 401K

I would claim option (a) is much better. After thinking about it a bit, I take back the claim. I think it's easier to think about option (b) with putting the money in a ROTH IRA. In both cases, you have access to the original $4,850 at any time. With a ROTH, you can withdraw your principal contribu...
by markcoop
Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA vs 401K
Replies: 22
Views: 2387

Re: HSA vs 401K

In situation like yours, if you have a pot of money available for savings, then you allocate the incremental dollar like this: 1. Keep adding to 401K until you have fully utilized the match, 2. Next, start and keep adding to HSA, until HSA fully funded, 3. Then, continue adding to 401K until Federa...
by markcoop
Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA vs 401K
Replies: 22
Views: 2387

Re: HSA vs 401K

2. There are receipt-keeping requirements, especially if your HSA grows 10x as your example indicates. Coming up $5500 in medical is not usually a problem, but if your HSA grows to $55,000 for every year you're in, well, you might not survive the medical intervention :oops: The receipt-keeping does...
by markcoop
Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA vs 401K
Replies: 22
Views: 2387

Re: HSA vs 401K

asif408 wrote:I would agree with you unless you get a match in your 401k. With a match you are getting free money (basically a 100% return, if I am thinking about this correctly), so any 401k money up to the match would trump HSA contributions.


Yes, I agree. I would going to mention that, but didn't.
by markcoop
Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA vs 401K
Replies: 22
Views: 2387

HSA vs 401K

I'm considering enrolling in a health plan with an HSA in 2015 for the first time. From what I'm reading, an HSA has the following benefits for me when I use payroll deduction: 1) Tax-free going in 2) No FICA going in 3) Tax-free going out (as long as used for medical) That being the case, this mone...
by markcoop
Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA vs 401K
Replies: 22
Views: 2387

Re: ETF's instead of index funds?

Are ETFs slightly more tax-efficient if purchasing in a taxable account?
by markcoop
Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ETF's instead of index funds?
Replies: 24
Views: 1659

How to buy a used car

I'd be interested if anyone had any recommendations/tips on how to buy a used car. I have never bought myself a new car. I usually buy a 2-4 year old car. I prefer for it to have under 30K miles. Over the last 30 years I have bought 4 cars. The most recent one I bought 12 years ago and I'm ready to ...
by markcoop
Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to buy a used car
Replies: 16
Views: 1763

Re: 529 or not

Undergraduates students will qualify for unsubsidized/subsidized stafford loans. The amount qualified for increases each year but I think as it stands right now students who max out these loans each year are graduating with around 30k in debt. That's my plan with my daughter. She decided to go to a...
by markcoop
Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 or not
Replies: 38
Views: 4285
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