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Re: Near infinite marginal tax rate?

It's correct, though it is a bit hyperbolic; after all, we're only talking about around $100 of extra taxes for your hypothetical family due to this provision, and of course that ~10000% marginal rate only applies to that one last dollar. But in general, yes, any time rounding happens there are boun...
by rock_marmot3
Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Near infinite marginal tax rate?
Replies: 10
Views: 1338

Re: google.com/flights

Google Flight Search is only an airfare search engine, like Kayak, RouteHappy, Hipmunk, or ITA Matrix, which means that you don't buy directly from them, you just use them to find fares and then buy the ticket from the airline (or your travel agent, or whatever). They do have a button at the bottom ...
by rock_marmot3
Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: google.com/flights
Replies: 14
Views: 1584

Re: Roth or Traditional IRA?

If your income is over $116k, you're not allowed to deduct the contribution to a Traditional IRA anyway, which is almost certainly the case for you: http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Plan-Participant,-Employee/2014--IRA-Contribution-and-Deduction-Limits---Effect-of-Modified-AGI-on-Deductible-Contr...
by rock_marmot3
Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth or Traditional IRA?
Replies: 1
Views: 129

Re: Should Roth be 100% in stock?

It feels a little weird to me for you to be laying claim to this money and investing it as if it were yours while your mother is still alive. If this is just money that she's keeping around in case of an emergency and which she doesn't need to draw down to live on, then it should be invested like an...
by rock_marmot3
Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should Roth be 100% in stock?
Replies: 33
Views: 3065

Re: Anyone been To St. Maartin?

It's lovely down there. The Dutch side is a lot rowdier than the French side--between the casinos, strip clubs, and discount jewelry shops, it was a little too "in your face" for my taste. But there's a lot of great beaches there and great resorts. Plane-watching at Maho beach is a must. O...
by rock_marmot3
Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone been To St. Maartin?
Replies: 16
Views: 1258

Re: Pay raise for young engineer

I think he should let the new company make the first offer. If it's not within the expected range, then he should come prepared to ask for more with all the facts and arguments listed here.
by rock_marmot3
Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay raise for young engineer
Replies: 18
Views: 1850

Re: Max out Roth IRA (after-tax conversion) or I bonds

Well first of all, you should choose an investment whose risk/return profile matches your goals. If the choice is between investing in equity in your Roth 401k and buying I-Bonds, then that choice should be determined by whether you actually want to buy stocks or bonds. Assuming that the choice, the...
by rock_marmot3
Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max out Roth IRA (after-tax conversion) or I bonds
Replies: 2
Views: 315

Help my 64yo mom retire!

Hello Bogleheads! I've been promising to help my mother sort out her finances for a couple years now, and so I'm going to finally try and follow through. After more than twenty years teaching in the public schools, she is very much tired of working and ready to retire. The goal is to find a way to m...
by rock_marmot3
Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help my 64yo mom retire!
Replies: 13
Views: 1308

Re: student loan repayment schedules

Yeah, they are federal loans with no prepayment penalties.

Thanks for the response!
by rock_marmot3
Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: student loan repayment schedules
Replies: 2
Views: 325

student loan repayment schedules

Quick question about student loans. My fiancee just finished graduate school and has to make a choice of repayment schedules for her two student loans. She can pick between a 10 year or 25 year term, and for either term, can pick either a fixed constant payment, or a graduated payment which increase...
by rock_marmot3
Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: student loan repayment schedules
Replies: 2
Views: 325

help me get some extra 401k match

So I've just accepted a new job offer, starting in September, at a new company which offers a very generous 401k match, which applies at the same rate to all contributions I make to it. My current employer does not match 401k contributions. I've already contributed $8500 to my 401k for 2012, and pla...
by rock_marmot3
Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: help me get some extra 401k match
Replies: 5
Views: 814

Re: Paying Down 6-Figure Student Loans vs Investing in 401k

Given your income level, I wonder if you're not missing the forest for the trees with this question. I obviously don't know the details of your budget, but it seems to me like you should be able to pay off the debt much sooner than 9-10 years and still continue to max out your 401k.
by rock_marmot3
Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Paying Down 6-Figure Student Loans vs Investing in 401k
Replies: 31
Views: 2570

Re: The USA Will Collapse in 2017-18

Oh no! We'd better buy whatever that site tells us we need to, and fast!
by rock_marmot3
Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The USA Will Collapse in 2017-18
Replies: 14
Views: 3412

I don't want to subsidize her financial mistake and getting a mortgage for my paid for house is something I find unnecessary. Wow. If you want financial advice, dm200 got it exactly right in the first response to this post--between you, you have more than enough assets to recover from the loss in t...
by rock_marmot3
Sun May 01, 2011 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage when you own two houses in a bad housing market?
Replies: 137
Views: 10629

It sounds like Seattle is where you and your family want to be, and that you have a secure financial situation. Do it. The point of making money is to live the life that you want to have.
by rock_marmot3
Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Move To Seattle?
Replies: 42
Views: 4560

I don't agree with the "cover your fraction of the costs" rule. While you might enjoy your time there, the money that the bride, groom, and/or their parents spend on the wedding is definitely not being spent "on you". Wedding travel costs are probably the biggest line-item in my ...
by rock_marmot3
Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to give at a wedding?
Replies: 114
Views: 10954

House Blend's proposed allocation looks right to me. The only thing I'd suggest is that you try and boost your savings rate, if possible... 25K/year on income of $150k-$200k is a bit shy of the 20% people typically advise around here. And unlike "Optimistic", I wouldn't pay down debt unles...
by rock_marmot3
Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation Help with Vanguard & TIAA-CREF
Replies: 10
Views: 1959

That plan looks reasonably sound, but it's way more complicated than it needs to be. I'd go with something much simpler: taxable: (25k) $14000 total stock market $9000 total international roth: $6250 total bond $19846 vanguard target retirement 2030 401k: $26268 vanguard target retirement 2030 The t...
by rock_marmot3
Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Help: Turning 25 & Confused
Replies: 3
Views: 1713

It's a shame that that article gets cited so much on this board, because William Bernstein's writing is so good, and this is the one example where he's just wrong, and it causes people here a lot of confusion. The example I like to use is this one--suppose that the tax rate on your traditional IRA w...
by rock_marmot3
Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you consider tax adjusted asset asset allocation?
Replies: 32
Views: 3485

I'd go with the American Fund for the emerging markets exposure.

But it's not a decision I think you need to lose a lot of sleep over.
by rock_marmot3
Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: pay .60% ER for an index fund???
Replies: 7
Views: 1230

I'd go with exactly the portfolio suggested by Beantown85. Nice and simple. At some point you'll probably have to rebalance into some bonds in your 401k, but that's an easy plan for future contributions at least.
by rock_marmot3
Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting Started, Need Help With 401k
Replies: 6
Views: 670

You're talking about two months here... it doesn't matter, and you should let the choice be dictated by convenience.
by rock_marmot3
Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to implement AA
Replies: 9
Views: 932

This is about as clear a presentation of the question as I've ever seen:

http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Paying_d ... _investing
by rock_marmot3
Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Help with Bad 401k Options
Replies: 16
Views: 2212

Here's a very quick sketch of how I might structure this portfolio. First of all, I'd pay off your outstanding car loans right away. Doing that is a guaranteed 5% return for the life of the loan, which is a great deal. I'd also think about using your taxable holdings to pay down the mortgage. Otherw...
by rock_marmot3
Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Help with Bad 401k Options
Replies: 16
Views: 2212

Is that loan tax-decuctible? Have you looked into refinancing it at a lower rate?

Even if you're stuck with the 6.55%, I'd still absolutely stick with the minimum payment--that extra $6K/year is extremely generous, and I'd want to remain eligible for it as long as possible.
by rock_marmot3
Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Student loan v. Roth... with a twist, courtesy of Uncle Sam
Replies: 3
Views: 556

Payday loans can have effective APR's an order of magnitude worse than this one.
by rock_marmot3
Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there a worse "legal" loan than this?
Replies: 6
Views: 1445

I believe that the annual limit is set to $15,000 times the inflation rate between September 2005 and September of the prior year.

Unless I'm way off, then, it's going to be $16,500 again, since the September '10 CPI was less than the Sept. '08 number, when they set it to $16.5K for '09.
by rock_marmot3
Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2011 401(k) Limits Announced Yet?
Replies: 22
Views: 5287

I have about 5% of my portfolio in Europacific in an old 401k. It's done very well, but should I see performance dropping off more than I like, I'll replace it with an index fund. However, you could simply invest in it and monitor its performance, comparing it to other funds, such as Vanguard Total...
by rock_marmot3
Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds EuroPacific Gr R4
Replies: 10
Views: 2364

I count 401(k) at 80% of face value.

I don't really understand why people don't adjust. It's clearly wrong not to. How hard is it to multiply by 0.8 once or twice a year?
by rock_marmot3
Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you adjust your AA for the government share?
Replies: 30
Views: 2595

I venture that most people will vote for whatever their current commute time is plus ten minutes.
by rock_marmot3
Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Long is Too Long Commuting?
Replies: 35
Views: 4004

Here's what I do. Let's say you made $50K and put $6K in a 401k. That's 12% of your available money saved. Your remaining gross pay was $44K; let's say that of this, after taxes, your paychecks actually totaled $40K. If you put $5K in your Roth, you saved 12.5% of that $40k. So you saved 12%, plus a...
by rock_marmot3
Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percentage of my income am I saving?
Replies: 27
Views: 3653

I typically just ask, "now, would we be just dating, or would we be 'Vanguarding'"?
by rock_marmot3
Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finding a compatibly frugal mate
Replies: 54
Views: 7521

Here's a link to their actual data: http://news.morningstar.com/PDFs/spy0810.pdf It seems to me that the data makes more of a case for active management than the article does (though maybe it’s just because of my Boglehead prejudice that I read it that way). What I see in the data is: - Expensive fu...
by rock_marmot3
Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: Low fees are best predictor of a mutual fund's success
Replies: 27
Views: 4908

I would disagree (quibble?) that the "house fund" needs to be kept in something risk-free. Risk-free would be appropriate if a fixed amount of money was needed at a fixed date, but with a home purchase, you can afford to take a little risk, since you can always delay the home purchase or g...
by rock_marmot3
Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing Advice - 2 retirement accounts
Replies: 28
Views: 2417

One would imagine that people on this forum would tend to be more affluent (and thus would be able to buy earlier) but more debt-averse (and thus would prefer to save and buy later) than the population as a whole... IMHO, houses are not investments , and therefore the time of purchase is not primar...
by rock_marmot3
Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age At First Home Purchase?
Replies: 66
Views: 8126

It looks like you have some good options there, and people on this board will probably encourage you to look for the lowest-cost options. It's hard to give specific advice, though, since you don't provide much of a picture of your situation. If you post in the format at (http://www.bogleheads.org/fo...
by rock_marmot3
Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k investing advice please
Replies: 3
Views: 612

Interesting question. One would imagine that people on this forum would tend to be more affluent (and thus would be able to buy earlier) but more debt-averse (and thus would prefer to save and buy later) than the population as a whole; I'll be interested to see how the distributions compare. The ans...
by rock_marmot3
Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age At First Home Purchase?
Replies: 66
Views: 8126

As long as you can afford the mortgage and expenses associated with the new house, it looks like a no brainer to me. It's not much more expensive, certainly not extravagant, and after all, the point of making money in the first place is so that you and your family can be comfortable and happy.
by rock_marmot3
Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth it? Expensive house, better schools, shorter commute?
Replies: 48
Views: 6328

Sure, it's easy! To "move" your bonds to your IRA, simply sell them in your taxable account, and use the proceeds to buy stocks in your taxable account. Then take the same dollar value of the stocks you already hold in your IRA, and transfer them to bonds in your IRA. You don't have to wor...
by rock_marmot3
Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possible to "move" tax-inefficient bonds out of ta
Replies: 10
Views: 1212

Asset location is not that important, and shouldn't drive asset allocation decisions. You should invest in bonds, even if that means paying taxes on them. If you make your stocks taxable, you pay a low rate on a high amount; if you put your bonds in taxable, you pay a high rate on a low amount. Whic...
by rock_marmot3
Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset location with portfolio makeover
Replies: 11
Views: 1392

There's really two issues at work here, and a lot of people are getting confused by the interplay between them. (1) How much is it worth to you to not have liabilities? (2) How low would bond rates have to be in order for you to want to increase your target stock allocation? Suppose that OP hadn't s...
by rock_marmot3
Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: At what rate would you borrow to invest in the market?
Replies: 51
Views: 5824

Re: taking out 3% loan to invest

As usual, Grabiner's analysis is right on, and bears repeating. OP acknowledges that it wouldn't make sense to take this loan and invest it in bonds, since their return wouldn't likely be high enough for him to come out ahead. But he already holds bonds, so if he took out this loan and bought more s...
by rock_marmot3
Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: taking out 3% loan to invest
Replies: 147
Views: 11122

I think the rule of thumb around here would be to give 93% stocks and 7% bonds.
by rock_marmot3
Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help with anniversary present
Replies: 23
Views: 2034

I just did a whipped-together monte carlo simulation of rebalancing vs. not rebalancing, and found no statistically significant difference in either return or risk--actually, rebalancing caused a slight increase in risk.

Not that I think these results mean much...
by rock_marmot3
Fri May 28, 2010 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing within the Portvolio vs Adding New Money
Replies: 20
Views: 2111

As others have said, you can with only minimal difficulty get your principal back from your Roth, so why don't you set up an IRA savings account at your local bank, and put your emergency fund there? That way you've got your money where you don't need to worry about losing it, and you've also taken ...
by rock_marmot3
Tue May 25, 2010 8:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Investor - Emergency Fund vs. Roth
Replies: 9
Views: 1449

Generally I agree; going out of your way to save a couple cents on gas is the very picture of penny wise and pound foolish. I don't really see what that has to do with the efficient market hypothesis, though. I'm not an economist, but motorists aren't buying gas to resell it, they're buying it to co...
by rock_marmot3
Mon May 03, 2010 8:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Market timing gas prices for fill-ups
Replies: 35
Views: 4017

Agree with both of the comments so far. Another idea might be to use the american funds balanced, which is 35% bonds, to get some bonds into your 401(k). Something like this ought to work: 401(k), ~85%: 50% amer funds balanced r4 20% amer funds euro pacific r4 10% vanguard short bonds 5% vanguard to...
by rock_marmot3
Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Making the Best of my 401k (your comments appreciated)
Replies: 4
Views: 1475

Re: tax-adjust AA for 401(k), IRAs? i'd say don't (but ask

in this example, what if the bonds are switched from the 401k to the roth ira after 29.9 years? account balances stay the same (say, $250 and $750, roth and 401k, resp) but now bonds have swung over to the 401k and it's all equities in the roth IRA. same market exposure. no taxes due on this rebala...
by rock_marmot3
Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: tax-adjust AA for 401(k), IRAs? i'd say don't (but ask why)
Replies: 24
Views: 2692

How many financial institutions do you have accounts at?

Since I've started reading this forum, the number of accounts that I've had has proliferated, and I wonder what passes for normal around here. For the purposes of this poll, both savings and debt count, but different accounts at the same bank only count as one--basically I'm interested in how many w...
by rock_marmot3
Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many financial institutions do you have accounts at?
Replies: 21
Views: 2937
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