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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: 6190

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: 6190

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: 6190

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: 6190

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: 675

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: 6190

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: 6190

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: 545

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: 545

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: 545

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: 2056

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: 2056

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: 2056

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: 2056

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: 2056

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: 1579

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: 1694

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: 4148

Re: Inherited IRA

4. Prefer to keep taxable distributions at a minimum? Put more of the slowest growing assets in your current allocation in the Inherited IRA, and keep more of the faster growing assets elsewhere. This is an excellent point. I inherited an IRA over 10 years ago. I included it as part of my AA. To me...
by markcoop
Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inherited IRA
Replies: 13
Views: 1159

Re: Buy PCRIX today?

Here's a link showing a comparison of various funds:
http://www.altruistfa.com/commodityfunds.htm
by markcoop
Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy PCRIX today?
Replies: 31
Views: 2839

Re: Buy PCRIX today?

I'm not sure I'm aware of all the issues with PCRIX compared to other commodity futures funds. If Larry switched his endorsement to the DFA fund, that doesn't mean PCRIX is not the next best fund available for those who do not have access to DFA.
by markcoop
Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy PCRIX today?
Replies: 31
Views: 2839

Re: Buy PCRIX today?

I bought PCRIX based on what I read from Larry Swedroe. Now even Larry no longer recommends this fund (although he supports owning CCFs in general). Also, I've read recently that Dr. Bill Bernstein is not in favor of CCFs. Bill makes some strong arguments. And of course we all know what Rick Ferri ...
by markcoop
Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy PCRIX today?
Replies: 31
Views: 2839

Re: Buy PCRIX today?

I did rebalance yesterday. Thanks.
by markcoop
Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy PCRIX today?
Replies: 31
Views: 2839

Re: Buy PCRIX today?

Thanks for the replies.

Tigermoose - I assume with new money at the beginning of the year? So you have no issues if prices were to go up and you missed a reblancing point solely based on the calendar?
by markcoop
Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy PCRIX today?
Replies: 31
Views: 2839

Buy PCRIX today?

My AA has 5% allocated to commodity futures. I bought PCRIX for this purpose. Looking at it today, I see I've crossed a rebalance band I use. So I will probably be buying today. I also see PCRIX is at it's all time low, dating back to 2003. I always prefer buying at all-time lows for a fund. Yet, fo...
by markcoop
Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy PCRIX today?
Replies: 31
Views: 2839

Re: Where to keep "emergency fund" and how much to keep in b

In addition to credit cards, a home equity line of credit can give you access to large amounts of money. I keep less money in the bank these days (I don't have a set amount) because I know I can always temporarily borrow from my HELOC while I get the money from other sources.
by markcoop
Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to keep "emergency fund" and how much to keep in bank?
Replies: 19
Views: 2835

Re: 11 years of college payemnts and asset allocation

Livesoft - I don't disagree with anything you said. I do have other options if I need - If I'm not working toward the last few years (who knows what life will throw at me at that point), I have some I bonds that I can use for education. I also plan to pay $4k/year to get the AOC education credit. Af...
by markcoop
Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 11 years of college payemnts and asset allocation
Replies: 2
Views: 287

11 years of college payemnts and asset allocation

I'm about to start 11 years of college payments for my 3 kids. Up to recently, I viewed my whole portfolio (primarily college + my retirement) as one big investment. This has worked out well. However, now that college payments are starting, I decided to separate my college savings money. I've been s...
by markcoop
Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 11 years of college payemnts and asset allocation
Replies: 2
Views: 287

Re: POLL: Do you have a dedicated REIT allocation?

I'd love if someone can explain the logic why someone already holding REITs should continue to hold them, but a new purchase would be ill-advised. I can understand if capital gains were involved. However, I believe most people hold their REITs in a tax-advantaged account where capital gains don't ma...
by markcoop
Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: Do you have a dedicated REIT allocation?
Replies: 123
Views: 8506

Re: POLL: Do you have a dedicated REIT allocation?

I believe Small Value contains a very healthy dose of REITs. So, many be holding more than they think.
by markcoop
Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: Do you have a dedicated REIT allocation?
Replies: 123
Views: 8506

Re: Hit our number, should we change our asset allocation?

50-50 does not mean getting out of the game. If you really hit your number, then something like 100% TIPS is getting out of the game. I would think 50-50 would be a good move giving the information provided.
by markcoop
Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hit our number, should we change our asset allocation?
Replies: 34
Views: 2920

Re: Retirement age for software engineers

A couple of posts mentioned save as much money as you can during your career. Always sound advice. I'd be curious what some people thought was a good nest egg in this field.
by markcoop
Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement age for software engineers
Replies: 94
Views: 10631

Re: Nevada's 529's website

I have New York's plan. I had to add the 529 plan in the "Outside investments—Linked online accounts" section. It sounds like for Nevada's plan you don't have to do that. Even if you have to do it, it is trivial and I see all my 529 accounts. Perhaps the only difference would be when the a...
by markcoop
Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nevada's 529's website
Replies: 4
Views: 354

Re: possible to have TOO MUCH in 401k account?

I think this is an interesting question. In my case, I have about 90% of my money in tax advantaged (Trad'l, ROTH). I have felt a bit strapped at times. Between my income, HELOC and in an emergency the ability to tap into some of that tax-advantaged money (can tap the principal in the ROTH), I have ...
by markcoop
Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: possible to have TOO MUCH in 401k account?
Replies: 54
Views: 7704

Re: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015

I totally agree that the tax savings are meaningless in this case. I actually had another 529 question about using it for my child's gap year program. Don't want to go into those details here, but it's just frustrating when it's difficult to get answers. I like to understand these programs to get th...
by markcoop
Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015
Replies: 10
Views: 930

Re: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015

So no 1098t will be issued for the tuition deposit, but the college did say it is a pre-pay of tuition for next year. My hunch is any pre-pay, whether in December for the Spring Semester or May 2014 for the fall 2015 would be similar. But who knows?
by markcoop
Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015
Replies: 10
Views: 930

Re: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015

Thanks. Anyone know for sure?
by markcoop
Sat May 31, 2014 12:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015
Replies: 10
Views: 930

Re: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015

So I call my 529 plan and ask them this question. First response was no because the expense needs to be in the same year. I then respond that you can pay tuition in December of the current year for the next year and use 529 funds for the current year. He says true but it has to be an expense that is...
by markcoop
Fri May 30, 2014 11:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015
Replies: 10
Views: 930

529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015

I posted this question on another web board, but didn't get a satisfactory answer. My daughter paid a $500 tuition deposit this month to a college. She is planning to do a gap year program for the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015. She got a deferral from the college for one year. She will start the college...
by markcoop
Fri May 30, 2014 8:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015
Replies: 10
Views: 930

Re: What would be considered the best Boglehead car?

Thanks for all the replies so far. I was thinking a hybrid because most of my miles are not highway miles. I also like to do what I can for the environment. Livesoft - that's an interesting point. If I got a really good deal on a more expensive car, I'd probably be ok with that. May look into that. ...
by markcoop
Fri May 23, 2014 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would be considered the best Boglehead car?
Replies: 43
Views: 4278

What would be considered the best Boglehead car?

I'd be interested to hear anyone's opinion about what would be a good car for me to get. I am married with 3 kids (ages 17, 15, 11). I have always been a "car is to get me from point A to point B" person. It's not that I don't like nice cars, I just don't value them to spend more money on ...
by markcoop
Fri May 23, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would be considered the best Boglehead car?
Replies: 43
Views: 4278

Re: Your 529 Plan - Thoughts and Strategies

1. How old are your children who you're saving for? 17, 15, 11 2. Which 529 Plan do you invest in? NY 3. What's the current balance? $330,000 4. How much do you contribute and how often? How did you come to this number? I've been maxing out the NY deduction ($10k/yr) and maxing out Coverdell ($2k/yr...
by markcoop
Thu May 22, 2014 8:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your 529 Plan - Thoughts and Strategies
Replies: 39
Views: 3075

Re: 401(k) Loan make sense?

401K loans need to be evaluated from two separate perspectives. From the perspective of the retirement savings, you are getting an above average 4.25% fixed income payment. So that is good. From the perspective of the taxable account, you're taking out a loan with a fee and a rate higher than the ho...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401(k) Loan make sense?
Replies: 31
Views: 3723

Re: Tough college choice

I'm too late to the party to advise about the "which school" decision, but with a 22-year-old graduate for whom we made a debt-free education possible, I cannot imagine what life would be like now if she had debts to pay back. She's got a reasonable and relevant entry-level job, full-time...
by markcoop
Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 17021

Re: Tough college choice

Now that her decision is made, are you going to go ahead with her taking loans for the difference in cost between the schools? If so, did she factor that into her decision? I told her she only has to pay the amount of the Stafford loans. I believe that amount is $27K over 4 years. I also plan on pa...
by markcoop
Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 17021

Re: Tough college choice

Thought I should give an update. My daughter, with my agreement, decided to attend the University of Delaware. I did use alot of the suggestions mentioned above when doing the comparison. In almost every way, the University of Delaware came out to be a better school. I looked at graduation rates, po...
by markcoop
Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 17021

Re: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?

No one said it was a stupid question. However, as you discovered, the answer could be found by reading the form. One was clearer than the other, but to my mind the answer was there in both versions. As I mentioned, I have never filled out the form, but I read it because you asked the question. If I...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?
Replies: 66
Views: 5643

Re: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?

Perhaps some students were confused about what it meant when someone else paid their tuition. "Was that a bill paid on my behalf?" Duh! Well, they did feel the need to clarify. Especially the 529 point. Then you have the point about FAFSA versus other methods used. Then you have the quest...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?
Replies: 66
Views: 5643

Re: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?

I have never filled out a FAFSA, but I can read. Money received, or paid on your behalf, also includes distributions to you (the student beneficiary) from a 529 plan that is owned by someone other than you or your parents (such as your grandparents, aunts, and uncles) . You must include these distr...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?
Replies: 66
Views: 5643

Re: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?

I never heard about a grandparent's 529 being considered income on the child's following year FAFSA. How about if the grandparent contributes to a grandchild's education cost. For example, grandparent gives a grandchild $5K for education in year 1 of college. Does that $5K become part of the followi...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?
Replies: 66
Views: 5643
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