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Re: Thinking of switching from Turbo-Tax

I've only every used TaxAct for personal and client returns, so I can't compare it to others. Yes, the interviews are always a little annoying, but I assume that's standard in every similar software package? But I usually fill the information directly into the forms first, and that gets me 95% there...
by neurosphere
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of switching from Turbo-Tax
Replies: 23
Views: 1309

Re: Choosing betwen funding emergency fund and Roth IRA

Roth contributions can be withdrawn any time for any reason. Thus, you could make a Roth contribution this year and invest it in a highly liquid fund that is very unlikely to lose value, such as a money market fund. If you need to then withdraw the money for an emergency, you can do so without penal...
by neurosphere
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing betwen funding emergency fund and Roth IRA
Replies: 7
Views: 692

Re: Employee fiduciary 401K Fund selection

You can either offer the simplicity and near fool-proofness of the TSP. Or you can offer all the good stuff found at Vanguard. There is very little middle ground and there would be no consensus on what that middle ground might be if you tried to find it. Only someone who knows investing would know ...
by neurosphere
Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employee fiduciary 401K Fund selection
Replies: 19
Views: 916

Quicken Social Security Optimizer $50 "Add-On"

I upgraded to Quicken 2015 the other day from 2012 (one one problem, it renamed a checking account from "Main Street Bank" to "Checking"). I noticed they are pitching a $50 Social Security Optimizer tool. Google tells me this product is from LifeYield? I don't have a current need...
by neurosphere
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken Social Security Optimizer $50 "Add-On"
Replies: 1
Views: 325

Re: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxe

Based on the stories I hear from my friend who is a part-time preparer, I expect a lot of additional errors come in prepared returns because the taxpayer's records are a mess and they don't provide all the information about their finances to the preparer. I'll bet the tax preparers on this board ca...
by neurosphere
Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxes
Replies: 40
Views: 4674

Re: Withdrawing Backdoor Money from Roth IRA

There are also two separate 5-year (tax years, not calendar years) waiting periods before your contributions become qualified. Before that waiting period is over, withdrawals on non-qualified contributions pay the 10% early-withdrawal penalty as well. Here are the two 5-year waiting periods: (https...
by neurosphere
Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Withdrawing Backdoor Conversions from Roth IRA
Replies: 33
Views: 2298

Re: Supreme Court to hear fiduciary duty/high cost funds cas

Now stop wasting time reading this thread and start drafting complaints against your former employers :) Hey! I resemble that remark! See this thread: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=155093 where I consider complaining to the HR department of my former employer about the hi...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Supreme Court to hear fiduciary duty/high cost funds case
Replies: 28
Views: 3650

Re: Google Chrome: is this a mega security problem?

Is there any way to disable Chrome remotely? That is, I can see in my history that i'm signed in elsewhere (a shared word computer), but don't know how to specifically disable that computer. I assume that people can see my bookmarks? There are relatively innocuous, but do give people an idea of what...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Chrome: is this a mega security problem?
Replies: 111
Views: 6556

Re: Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?

I think being overly narrow in only allowing index funds or certain fund companies may create problems for those running the plan, I'm waiting for lawsuits against the government's TSP plan (https://www.tsp.gov/investmentfunds/fundsoverview/comparisonMatrix.shtml) for being overly narrow. It only h...
by neurosphere
Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?
Replies: 34
Views: 2669

Re: Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?

People may be surprised to find that many 401(k) participants do NOT want to invest in index funds, but would rather have actively-managed funds instead. Actually, the majority of the funds in the plan WERE actively managed funds, from Vanguard. Perhaps people specifically really wanted the Blackro...
by neurosphere
Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?
Replies: 34
Views: 2669

Re: Just left meeting with my advisor....

WHL wrote:
hulburt1 wrote:so lets say you have 1m. at 1.8 every year you have paid 180,000 or for one of his kids to go to college.


Time for a new calculator...


1.8% x 7 years the OP said s/he was with this advisor is close enough to $180,000 in fees and opportunity costs. :wink:
by neurosphere
Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just left meeting with my advisor....
Replies: 57
Views: 7775

Re: Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?

If I understand correctly, you're not any worse off for this (as long as you stick to the fund lineup you originally had), you're just concerned for the other participants that could choose the more expensive funds without realizing? Either the company, the provider, or both are the ones benefiting...
by neurosphere
Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?
Replies: 34
Views: 2669

Re: Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?

Ask yourself this question...who benefits when an investor selects a fund that has a higher expense ratio, compared to a fund with a lower expense ratio? I think the answer is obvious, don't you? Well yes, I think the answer is obvious. 95% of the post was getting things off my chest. 5% was trying...
by neurosphere
Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?
Replies: 34
Views: 2669

Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?

Hi all. This post has various questions sandwiched within this rant. I have funds in a 401k which I still have with a previous employer. The 401k made changes to its fund line-up. The 401k uses Vanguard as the custodian, and previously the fund options included life strategy funds, Target Retirement...
by neurosphere
Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?
Replies: 34
Views: 2669

Re: Tegretol - Expensive Drugs

My husband's new neurologist only wants him to take the Name Brand Didn't notice this statement prior to writing my prior post. It's a new neurologist? Has your husband has already been on generic and the neurologist wants to SWITCH to brand? In any case, the advice stays the same whenever there is...
by neurosphere
Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tegretol - Expensive Drugs
Replies: 7
Views: 750

Re: Tegretol - Expensive Drugs

This is why medical advice should not be given out on this board. Many epilepsy patients can be sensitive to even very small changes in blood levels. The biggest risk for generic antiepileptic drugs is that the manufacturer of the drugs you receive may change from month to month. This change may re...
by neurosphere
Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tegretol - Expensive Drugs
Replies: 7
Views: 750

Re: New Vanguard AMT-free National Municipal Bond Fund

The one concern I do have about the new fund is how much the duration will fluctuate over time. I like the managed funds because they target a very specific duration for each fund, so you know what risks your taking when you buy in. That's a very good point. A managed fund can manage the fund such ...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Vanguard AMT-free National Municipal Bond Fund
Replies: 58
Views: 5035

Re: American Funds

I am curious to know what you find out about this. My new employer also uses American Funds. I can't participate in the 401k until 10/15 , but I have a feeling that I am not going to like the ERs that I see judging by the responses that you have received above. Keep in mind that the rules for a 401...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds
Replies: 21
Views: 2503

Re: New Vanguard AMT-free National Municipal Bond Fund

IMHO it is more likely that Vanguard will expand its AMT-free series of muni index funds/etfs across the maturity spectrum since its present line-up of muni funds is exposed to the AMT . This will allow taxpayers subject to the AMT a Vanguard fund option. Interesting comment. I had always assumed t...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Vanguard AMT-free National Municipal Bond Fund
Replies: 58
Views: 5035

Re: New Vanguard AMT-free National Municipal Bond Fund

I'm also interested in this. I'm buying VWLTX in taxable recently, but would like to buy a blended duration. Am I correct in thinking that's the primary difference? If that's it, I'll also be watching until the transaction fee goes away. VWLTX has a duration of 6 years and an average maturity of 16...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Vanguard AMT-free National Municipal Bond Fund
Replies: 58
Views: 5035

New Vanguard AMT-free National Municipal Bond Fund

This may be of interest to some. I would invest in this mutual fund, perhaps after the purchase fee disappears. If history is any guide, the purchase fee of 0.5% won't be around long. This may be a good fund to use for TLH purposes, in conjunction with state-specific funds or Vanguard's existing lon...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Vanguard AMT-free National Municipal Bond Fund
Replies: 58
Views: 5035

Re: [Getting Sued for] Malpractice

You probably can't buy more if your group provides the insurance. If you have an individual policy paid for by yourself, then you can add more coverage. To the OP, unfortunately this is a unavoidable reality of our specialty. I'm currently going through a lawsuit, and it definitely taxes your emoti...
by neurosphere
Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Getting Sued for] Malpractice
Replies: 46
Views: 4871

Re: Long Term Disability Denied - Runner's Knees

My first application for disability insurance had two exclusions. 1) Any issue related to my ears. This was because 4 years prior to the application I went to an audiologist to get "music plugs" so I could go to concerts and decease the noise exposure to my ears. The notes mentioned that I...
by neurosphere
Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Term Disability Denied - Runner's Knees
Replies: 21
Views: 3579

Re: Index vs Hedge: Mr Bogle Low fee but Highly Risky manage

Performance during bear markets is usually better for active funds, maybe even better for many hedge funds, and is usually worse for bull markets. Hmm. I'd like to see some evidence for this. Let me look around and see what the data shows. :D Even if true, all I have to do is switch from active fun...
by neurosphere
Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Index vs Hedge: Mr Bogle Low fee but Highly Risky manager ?
Replies: 19
Views: 1646

Re: Index vs Hedge: Mr Bogle Low fee but Highly Risky manage

2. Index funds charge expense ratio of 0.1-1.0% to do 'Nothing'. That is very expensive in long range compared to 2/20 hedge manager charge. Several straw-man arguments in one sentence. 1) What index fund is charging 1.0%, for any widely used index. If there is one, why would anyone use it? That's ...
by neurosphere
Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Index vs Hedge: Mr Bogle Low fee but Highly Risky manager ?
Replies: 19
Views: 1646

Re: WHY is retirement enjoyable / something to look forward

forgive me if something similar has been mentioned already up-thread... But when I give financial planning lectures to younger people, I tweak the definition of retirement for them: "Retirement is NOT the day you stop working, but is instead the day you COULD stop working if you wanted". I...
by neurosphere
Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WHY is retirement enjoyable / something to look forward to?
Replies: 237
Views: 20046

Re: Medical Necessity and the Insurance Appeals Process

I've never had a clients claim denied after getting a letter of explanation from the physician recommending treatment. Does it happen? Probably, but I've been in the business almost ten years with hundreds of clients and never had a problem case like that. I suspect the percentage of claims denied ...
by neurosphere
Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Necessity and the Insurance Appeals Process
Replies: 15
Views: 1163

Re: Medical Necessity and the Insurance Appeals Process

Usually the insurance company will approve an appeal if they receive a written letter from the physician stating that the recommended treatment is medically necessary. Not true at all. "Medical necessity" is an insurance term, not a medical term. The insurance decides what is "medica...
by neurosphere
Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Necessity and the Insurance Appeals Process
Replies: 15
Views: 1163

Re: Medical Necessity and the Insurance Appeals Process

No offense, you must either practice in academics or have back office staff handle your paperwork without you looking at it. EVERY piece of PA for ANY test or procedure clearly states at the bottom that this does not guarantee payment. Ha, no offense taken at all, I indeed work in academics, and wo...
by neurosphere
Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Necessity and the Insurance Appeals Process
Replies: 15
Views: 1163

Re: Social Security maximum earnings limit question.

In other words, in the calculations does one year of $118k earning make up for several years of early earnings when maximum was like $36k? In an nutshell, no. One year of earnings which is exactly at the earnings limit, is worth the same (in terms of your benefits) regardless of when it was earned....
by neurosphere
Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security maximum earnings limit question.
Replies: 11
Views: 751

Re: Humidifiers?

I love my venta airwasher (https://www.venta-airwasher.com/). But it is expensive.
by neurosphere
Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidifiers?
Replies: 14
Views: 1006

Re: Medical Necessity and the Insurance Appeals Process

If there was written proof that the insurance company authorized the testing then i would have the patient take his/her case to the state insurance commissioner. Agreed. In this case, the insurance company incorrectly authorized test. That is, they gave pre-approval for a test which was not covered...
by neurosphere
Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Necessity and the Insurance Appeals Process
Replies: 15
Views: 1163

Medical Necessity and the Insurance Appeals Process

Hi all, I've written a couple of blog posts which may be of interest to some folks here, as it relates somewhat to the cost of medical care, and the potential of health care services being denied. These posts were prompted by experiences I have had with patients getting coverage denied for decisions...
by neurosphere
Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Necessity and the Insurance Appeals Process
Replies: 15
Views: 1163

Re: Debt payoff scheme

An EE bond should not be treated as liquid; yes, you can cash it in after one year, but you'll lose the 3.5% interest accrued, which is a huge cost. I bonds (three-month penalty after one year, no penalty after five years), TIPS, or municipal bonds would be more suitable as safe, liquid investments...
by neurosphere
Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt payoff scheme
Replies: 11
Views: 1098

Re: Debt payoff scheme

Let's phrase your question another way. Would you consider buying a bond today which paid a risk-free guaranteed, after-tax 6%? Just about anyone would jump at such a chance include such bonds in the bond portion of their portfolio. In one sense, paying down your loan is equivalent to buying such a ...
by neurosphere
Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt payoff scheme
Replies: 11
Views: 1098

Re: Roth IRA is not completely free of tax considerations?

runner 9 is correct. So can you clarify for us, that 1) you have an existing Roth IRA, in which you own the SP500, and that 2) you wish to sell this fund in order to buy individual stocks also within the Roth IRA 3) Vanguard told you that this sale would trigger capital gains tax? If 1 and 2 are tru...
by neurosphere
Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA is not completely free of tax considerations?
Replies: 19
Views: 2503

Re: Bogleheads.com and FPL Capital Management

As long as we're on the topic, what's the deal with the common misspelling "vangard.com"? Registered to VG, but not redirecting? I think it's a reasonable thing to buy variations/typos and NOT have them redirect. It forces one to ensure they type things correctly and/or use bookmarks. Bec...
by neurosphere
Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:56 pm
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads.com and FPL Capital Management
Replies: 30
Views: 3599

Bogleheads.com and FPL Capital Management

If one uses ".com" instead of ".org" for the bogleheads website you get taken to the site FPL capital management. Now, I don't know much about this advisory firm, but I sure as heck wouldn't recommend anyone use them, simply because I think it's poopy that such a firm would hijac...
by neurosphere
Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads.com and FPL Capital Management
Replies: 30
Views: 3599

Re: Does contributing to 457b make sense in my situation?

Thanks for the replies. I will stay away from 457 at least for now. Hi katnok. I've been reading all of the non-gov 457b threads with interest, because I'm contemplating a job change where I would have access to one for the first time. For many years I have counselled friends and clients to avoid t...
by neurosphere
Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does contributing to 457b make sense in my situation?
Replies: 8
Views: 963

Re: Who to Use: CPA, Financial Advisor, Someone Else?

In fact, their philosophy is so close to mine , their analysis of our current portfolio showed that. My total expense ratio for our entire portfolio is 0.38% (I think he was a little bummed about that, since they won't be able to reduce that much to compensate for their 1% fee). He told me that our...
by neurosphere
Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who to Use: CPA, Financial Advisor, Someone Else?
Replies: 65
Views: 7116

Re: Vanguard launches new offering ...

lululu wrote:That ceramic mug is big enough to make a casserole in.


Or it's just big enough for a 12 oz soda with ice. Or ice coffee. It's good for hot or cold beverages I would assume.
by neurosphere
Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard launches new offering ... [Vanguard merchandise]
Replies: 115
Views: 15845

Re: AA canceled flight: premium seat fee not refunded

Here's a tip: Don't ever pay for a premium seat, but still sit in a premium seat without paying. Here's how I do it: I buy my ticket for cheap seat, then the day before the flight, I look online and change my seat assignment to a premium seat at no charge. What airlines does this work on? I know it...
by neurosphere
Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: canceled flight on AA: premium seat fee not refunded
Replies: 30
Views: 2393

Re: Resident- Disability Insurance

...This is an actuarial question I cannot answer - how many residents apply for claims in their disability policy? My experience - none that I am aware of and likely very few altogether. .... I saw it twice at my institution. One was my chief resident who had open heart surgery for valve replacemen...
by neurosphere
Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resident- Disability Insurance
Replies: 9
Views: 1396

Re: Solo 401k with after-tax contribution option

With a Solo 401k, you can defer taxes on $17,500 as the employee, but doesn't the employer (also you) get a tax benefit by filling up the rest of the $52k? Maybe that is why you haven't found one with an after-tax sub account? Where have you checked? Yes, the limit is $52,000, but the employee/empl...
by neurosphere
Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo 401k with after-tax contribution option
Replies: 10
Views: 1022

Re: Solo 401k with after-tax contribution option

Does anyone have or know of a SOLO 401k with an option to make after-tax contributions as described in the following link?? I haven't checked extensively, but I haven't been able to find a solo 401k account which allows for after tax contributions. If such a solo 401k existed, I would expect it to ...
by neurosphere
Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo 401k with after-tax contribution option
Replies: 10
Views: 1022

Re: Why are 401k plans expensive?

Basically, you should understand that this is one of the largest tax deductions a company can take and therefore, it is heavily regulated. Companies have to pay money for expertise to ensure they are in compliance with federal regulation. Yes, sure, there is a cost. But why is there up to a ten-fol...
by neurosphere
Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are 401k plans expensive?
Replies: 39
Views: 3251

Re: advice on a surface pro 3

What is the battery life like on a Surface Pro 3? What is the boot time? Is it possible to use it all day on standby mode like an iPad? I have a slate but the short battery life and long boot time and weight and heat makes it not practical for whole day of meetings and use on the run. I have the Pr...
by neurosphere
Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: advice on a surface pro 3
Replies: 28
Views: 3039

Re: Crazy asset-based fees in my 401K!

Here's my question: am I crazy or this "advisor/consultant" taking my employer and all it's employees for a ride all these years? Perhaps it's not an either/or question. The 401k plan is taking you for a ride. Separately, you may be crazy. :D While your 401k may indeed charge fees near th...
by neurosphere
Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Crazy asset-based fees in my 401K!
Replies: 49
Views: 2679

Re: When must I fund my solo 401k?

Am I correct in understanding that I can fund my 2014 solo 401k in the early part of 2015 (as I do with my Roth), so long as the solo 401k is opened in 2014? Thank you My understanding is the employee part must be funded during the calendar year but the employer match by April 15 the next year or w...
by neurosphere
Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When must I fund my solo 401k?
Replies: 11
Views: 679

Re: Creating a 401k for my company through Employee Fiduciar

Why did you decide to include SCV and ST corp bond? Just in case the employer was interested in tilting that way? Yes, just in case the owner wanted to tilt in the future, but the chances of that are low. Mostly I wanted to see how easy it would be to make changes to the plan, so I added a couple o...
by neurosphere
Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creating a 401k for my company through Employee Fiduciary
Replies: 85
Views: 11093
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