Search found 5334 matches

by BL
Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No 401k for 5 months
Replies: 11
Views: 957

Re: No 401k for 5 months

I meant 25% (my error) and I know TurboTax's effective tax rate had it lower than that after everything was entered. Anyway I am a little confused about the 30% phantom tax bracket. I plan to plug in my numbers in 2015 edition to see what I can do. It sounds like it is a good idea to set the money ...
by BL
Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting Interaction with Edward Jones
Replies: 30
Views: 1622

Re: Interesting Interaction with Edward Jones

In our small town, these guys and gals are very nice people and take part in many community events, so they are well-known and are the go-to persons if someone has some spare cash to save. I have seen some of their statements while doing free taxes for Seniors, and it seems like there was churning a...
by BL
Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No 401k for 5 months
Replies: 11
Views: 957

Re: No 401k for 5 months

I don't understand how you can be in the 28% tax bracket when the top of 25% bracket is $151,900 taxable income, unless you are looking at the Single numbers. I would use all the available deductibles: spousal IRA, any flex or other work related non-taxed items. Plan ahead to get the most in next ye...
by BL
Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of buying a house while active duty
Replies: 13
Views: 442

Re: Thinking of buying a house while active duty

You have certainly thought this through and it could turn out the way you wish. It could also happen that you get the tenants from hell who trash the house, and you need to pay a lawyer to evict and pay to fix up the place again. You could also get married to someone who wants something different in...
by BL
Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My first stab at Index Funds... please Help
Replies: 15
Views: 1828

Re: My first stab at Index Funds... please Help

NEW!!! 9. What should I do with my existing Chase Bank Investments? (A) Keep it as is, (B) Transfer funds/ETFs to Vanguard, (C) Sell it and Buy Vanguard. As suggested above, look at each fund and sell any with loss or low gain. (Invest cash from sales in a Vanguard account). C, depending on Capital...
by BL
Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New retiree seeking ideas for keeping portfolio proportions while minding taxes
Replies: 10
Views: 795

Re: New retiree seeking ideas for keeping portfolio proportions while minding taxes

I would consider waiting on higher SS until age 70 to be buying a COLA-enhanced annuity at best price possible. Not so clear on lower income spouse: 62, FRA, 70?? She could get 1/2 your PIA if she waits until her FRA, I believe, if you are drawing SS at that point. I would keep a current record of C...
by BL
Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No 401k for 5 months
Replies: 11
Views: 957

Re: No 401k for 5 months

It sounds like you will receive a W-2 with the box checked for retirement savings, so you won't be able to deduct any trad. IRA anyway. If you have it available for part of the year, you can't deduct with your salary. You might save what you would have put in 401k in bonds or CDs, and live on that n...
by BL
Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who should my wife and I see, a Financial Advisor, planner, etc.
Replies: 38
Views: 2363

Re: Who should my wife and I see, a Financial Advisor, planner, etc.

Jane Bryant Quinn helped me build up the "BS Detector" before finding Boglehead's.
by BL
Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me evaluate options re an old whole life mistake
Replies: 4
Views: 618

Re: Help me evaluate options re an old whole life mistake

Is the cash value the same as the surrender value? Have you requested an "in-force illustration" from the company? I don't think you need to talk to the salesman. Anyway, this should give you the guaranteed numbers to help in decision making. You have held it long enough that it may be rea...
by BL
Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who should my wife and I see, a Financial Advisor, planner, etc.
Replies: 38
Views: 2363

Re: Who should my wife and I see, a Financial Advisor, planner, etc.

Here is a direct link to the free pdf, IF YOU CAN mentioned above, also available at Amazon at low cost: https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf Especially pay attention to Hurdle number five for caveats on "planners". There are so many hurdles to finding someone with your best interest in m...
by BL
Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $1.2 million in cash [How to invest from Hong Kong]
Replies: 11
Views: 1245

Re: $1.2 million in cash [How to invest from Hong Kong]

If you don't get your answer here, perhaps the Canadian version of Bogleheads might be helpful as well: http://www.financialwisdomforum.org/ I would also search for Canada or Canadian to find more info on this site. The Wiki may have some info and there are threads here that may be helpful.
by BL
Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Conversion from 457 plan to roth ira?
Replies: 9
Views: 720

Re: Conversion from 457 plan to roth ira?

OP, your question is not clear to me. Are you retiring? The top of 15% tax bracket is 75.3k for MFJ in 2016, but that is after exemptions and deductions are subtracted from AGI. I am assuming you are filing jointly but not sure about that either. So you may want to figure that out and then decide ho...
by BL
Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Mutual Funds [choosing based on past performance]
Replies: 21
Views: 1189

Re: Fidelity Mutual Funds [choosing based on past performance]

Check the Wiki's 3-fund portfolio which has recommendations on how to get there with Fidelity as well as other companies.

Or search for Fidelity INDEX funds for low-ER funds.
by BL
Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: convert mutual fund to index fund
Replies: 29
Views: 1952

Re: convert mutual fund to index fund

For 2015 I had $1066 in long term capital gains, had $663 in management fees. Got robbed. I really need to get out the fees for better long term gains. With losing 2 percent each year for 30 years or so I would end up giving up potential profits of almost half all the gains. Good for you for invest...
by BL
Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement, House, Kids - How to afford all three?
Replies: 61
Views: 4712

Re: Retirement, House, Kids - How to afford all three?

Edit: Don't forget the Earned Income credit with one child when income is below $44,651, much lower by maxing 401k for getting several thousand back. It is definitely worth studying and playing with a tax program to get the most back by putting the most you can afford into 401k. Seems like the sweet...
by BL
Sat Jul 23, 2016 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement, House, Kids - How to afford all three?
Replies: 61
Views: 4712

Re: Retirement, House, Kids - How to afford all three?

You are eligible for Saver's Credit if your AGI is under 61k (10%) and 20% if under $39.5k. You should put at least $2k into 401k (or IRA), hopefully more. Spouse should put at least 2k into tIRA (reduces AGI) or Roth IRA (contribution available non-taxed as backup emergency fund if needed) Play wit...
by BL
Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dump $5500 to Roth IRA on Day 1 of every year or split contribution to 12 months?
Replies: 32
Views: 2935

Re: Dump $5500 to Roth IRA on Day 1 of every year or split contribution to 12 months?

If you have the money and know you will qualify either for the direct contribution or "Backdoor Roth", just put the money into the appropriate account as soon as you have it. If you really want to space it out, go ahead. If there is some doubt about how much and whether you are qualified, ...
by BL
Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My first stab at Index Funds... please Help
Replies: 15
Views: 1828

Re: My first stab at Index Funds... please Help

I would look at each fund at Bank separately and see if any have total losses or low gains. Would, after selling funds with low-gain and Capital Losses, turn off any re-investment so you don't keep buying these mostly sector funds. The most tax-efficient way would be to put Total Stock market and To...
by BL
Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Discussing investing with spouse
Replies: 39
Views: 2366

Re: Discussing investing with spouse

Have you considered simplifying the accounts as much as possible and perhaps suggesting she consider a single balanced fund when/if she becomes a survivor? Perhaps turning over management of her Roth IRA, for instance, and letting her manage it without you looking over her shoulder would be a good l...
by BL
Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Brand new to vanguard roth ira and investing. Seeking advice.
Replies: 2
Views: 257

Re: Brand new to vanguard roth ira and investing. Seeking advice.

Here is a booklet (pdf) online written just for you: https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf The highly recommended author, Dr. William Bernstein, wrote this for his adult children, AFAIK. The most important thing right now is to save as much as you can. Do you have a 401k available? You might get a 1...
by BL
Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Grad/Investor: Need advice on retirement portfolio
Replies: 6
Views: 562

Re: New Grad/Investor: Need advice on retirement portfolio

Here is a nice little pdf with good investing and other advice written just for new investors:
https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf

Keep it simple, diversified, and low cost!
by BL
Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard 401k vs Merrill Lynch 401k
Replies: 5
Views: 373

Re: Vanguard 401k vs Merrill Lynch 401k

I currently have about 125k in a self directed ml account I do not have time to manage. If you have a self directed account, who made the investment decisions in that account the last time? I would recommend that you consolidate this account with VG and follow a simple three fund portfolio. +1 3-fu...
by BL
Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Installment Loans to help FICO?
Replies: 22
Views: 1059

Re: Installment Loans to help FICO?

You can obtain free copies of your 3 credit reports from https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action annually. This is the official site as required by the FTC. This is not for free credit scores.See info here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports
by BL
Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A Newer Portfolio
Replies: 22
Views: 2053

Re: A Newer Portfolio

The car loan rate is pretty high, and could be lowered, at least if you have a decent credit score.
Places to look might be PenFed.org (2-2.5% for used, 3-4yr) or Navy credit union. Perhaps a local CU might have a good deal also.
by BL
Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft's latest "force Win10" tactic?
Replies: 22
Views: 2471

Re: Microsoft's latest "force Win10" tactic?

I finally decided to go with it last night. It took quite a while as it downloaded last night and installed it this morning, but it is back to normal appearance with default Chrome and a few other defaults. Hopefully they have most of the bugs taken care of by now. :sharebeer
by BL
Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A Newer Portfolio
Replies: 22
Views: 2053

Re: A Newer Portfolio

I would like to suggest a small PDF booklet which is free online and a quick read, written just for young investors like yourself by a recommended author, Dr. William Bernstein: https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf I like your Roth TSP, which is especially smart if you are deployed and/or if you ex...
by BL
Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with a bit of extra money each month?
Replies: 40
Views: 2634

Re: What to do with a bit of extra money each month?

403b When child tax credit no longer available, and if you are still in 15% bracket, Roth 403b This assumes these are low ER funds. +1 I like that you are gathering up information and opinions so you can make what feels like the best choice for you. No one is always going to make the right decision...
by BL
Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My 16 year old son wants to open a Roth IRA this year. Income minimum?
Replies: 17
Views: 1493

Re: My 16 year old son wants to open a Roth IRA this year. Income minimum?

I would prefer him to open his account at Vanguard. I thought the IRA's had only a $1000 minimum for any fund? The Target Date funds for out-years have 90% equity so are quite aggressive, diversified, simple, low-ER, and a very good life-time choice; you could start with that and switch after a few...
by BL
Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mortgage vs investing
Replies: 43
Views: 1873

Re: mortgage vs investing

The 3-fund portfolio page in Wiki has suggested funds for Fidelity as well as several other companies: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-fund_portfolio Definitely look into refinancing mortgage. Just as an example I looked at PenFed.org and found a lot of choices between 5/5 ARM (2.5%/up to 4.5%...
by BL
Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My 16 year old son wants to open a Roth IRA this year. Income minimum?
Replies: 17
Views: 1493

Re: My 16 year old son wants to open a Roth IRA this year. Income minimum?

As far as I am aware, the only funds you can get there for $1k are Star or one of the Target Retirement funds (all good). I believe you could get the substantially equivalent ETF for your desired fund at a much lower minimum than the $3k you need for most funds. In his case I am guessing gross incom...
by BL
Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with a bit of extra money each month?
Replies: 40
Views: 2634

Re: What to do with a bit of extra money each month?

I would consider adding enough to 403b to get full Child Tax Credit if that is a possibility.

If 403B has Roth option, that should work great for the rest.
by BL
Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint Term Life Insurance
Replies: 12
Views: 751

Re: Joint Term Life Insurance

Check for estimates on term4sale and also if you like, talk to a local independent insurance agent. Do not let them sell you anything but simple plain term insurance. They may try since they make more money that way!
by BL
Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm Term Life
Replies: 14
Views: 1014

Re: State Farm Term Life

Yes, check online for something like term4sale to see what the lower costs can be. You might check with an independent agent (even my small town has several) locally that can check with several companies rather than one as in State Farm to see what is a good rate with a well-rated company.
by BL
Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dividing large sum among several banks - mechanics
Replies: 11
Views: 780

Re: Dividing large sum among several banks - mechanics

Your bank may be able to guarantee a larger amount through CDARS:
http://www.cdars.com/home/faqs/
by BL
Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Help for a Naive Newer Investor
Replies: 8
Views: 609

Re: Portfolio Help for a Naive Newer Investor

I would think that putting everything possible in your 457 tax-deferred accounts might help lower your income for your loans. Do you have any index funds available? They may have a lower ER than the 0.73% you have now, which probably is a decent fund. I wasn't smart enough to look for them back when...
by BL
Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 26 y/o with ~$175,000 inheritence
Replies: 40
Views: 6956

Re: 26 y/o with ~$175,000 inheritence

Good suggestions above. If after studying and asking here you still want an advisor, consider the Personal Advisor at Vanguard. They would add a cost of 0.3% to your portfolio, but with their funds costing less than 0.2% ER, you would still be far ahead of using an advisor who puts you into funds ar...
by BL
Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two fund Portfolio Review
Replies: 6
Views: 1097

Re: Two fund Portfolio Review

Lovely! I wouldn't let the bonds fall much below 10% since that is so low already. Hopefully you are prepared to see your portfolio nearly cut in half in a bad year; Only 10% bonds seems quite aggressive although that is what the Target funds do. They do diversify with International so that could zi...
by BL
Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: convert mutual fund to index fund
Replies: 29
Views: 1952

Re: convert mutual fund to index fund

You talk about free trades, but you can buy any Vanguard fund or ETF free at Vanguard. So you can get the best low-ER funds/ETFs at no cost. Signing up for e-statements means there is absolutely no cost. There is no fee to hold an IRA at V. There is no cost to leave V, although I would guess there w...
by BL
Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity four-in-one index fund lower ER, invest everything in it?
Replies: 27
Views: 2361

Re: Fidelity four-in-one index fund lower ER, invest everything in it?

Just in case you are not aware of them, F has the whole series of Target date INDEX funds for a similar price, maybe 0.13%. Here is a Morningstar PDF with info: [url]news.morningstar.com/pdfs/STUSA04U4U.pdf[/url] Google: Fidelity Freedom Index Target-Date Fund Series Report - Morningstar or STUSA04U...
by BL
Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell Condo to pay off Student Loans?
Replies: 112
Views: 4664

Re: Sell Condo to pay off Student Loans?

Perhaps writing down (not here) what you spend (everything) and how you could cut, save, and/or earn extra would be a useful exercise. Many here have found that using a program for keeping track of spending has been a big help, although I am not really familiar with that. There are many things that ...
by BL
Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement/Savings plan
Replies: 6
Views: 848

Re: Retirement/Savings plan

Thanks. I need to figure out the TSP investment stuff still. I've read about investing in a mix of S and C funds for the most part, but I still need a lot of research into that stuff. My current and soon to be old employer has a mix of vanguard index funds (would need to look into it closer). The W...
by BL
Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New: need help with unpredictable capital gains and other issues
Replies: 151
Views: 10361

Re: New: need help with unpredictable capital gains and other issues

Congratulations on the new job! It is great that it is something you have wanted. There is a page in the Wiki about work plans, including "How to campaign for a better 401k plan", if you are asking for a better plan at work. However, if you are in a non-profit work-place, 403b seems to be ...
by BL
Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Converting 1/2 of an IRA to Roth this year and 1/2 next year?
Replies: 20
Views: 1022

Re: Converting 1/2 of an IRA to Roth this year and 1/2 next year?

Her Medicare Part B may double or more as well, but you may not think that important.
by BL
Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole-Life Insurance Information Source?
Replies: 15
Views: 1168

Re: Whole-Life Insurance Information Source?

You should be able to ask the company for an "in-force illustration" to get the facts (guarantees) and information about your specific policy. Ownership has been up to the person who bought it, and it may be in their name or yours. Whenever I see mephistophles reply, I pay attention, as he...
by BL
Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Critique My Portfolio (age 26 for 2016 taxes)
Replies: 7
Views: 624

Re: Critique My Portfolio (age 26 for 2016 taxes)

A lot of times those with 403b also have a 457(b) available and didn't know it, so it might be worth double-checking as it just may have some lower-cost funds.

Good luck! You are doing well.
by BL
Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filed Flexible Spending Account Late - Being Denied $5K spent
Replies: 20
Views: 2037

Re: Filed Flexible Spending Account Late - Being Denied $5K spent

I am not sure if this will work, but read up on the Form 2441 (Child and Dependent Care Expenses) and see whether it fits so you can file an amended return and get tax credit for these expenses, at least. It seems like you ought to be able to, but laws are not necessarily logical. https://www.irs.go...
by BL
Tue Jul 12, 2016 5:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I contribute to my 403b this year?
Replies: 16
Views: 1552

Re: Should I contribute to my 403b this year?

I believe you can stop the contribution later in the year if you find that you are already at the zero point. I do like taking advantage of the Roth IRA, especially for someone who expects to be in a much higher tax bracket later.
by BL
Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income
Replies: 40
Views: 5160

Re: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income

I would personally have trouble selling the refund anticipation check service (this translates into a high interest rate short duration loan). Make sure you'll be comfortable selling whatever the company sells before picking a tax preparation company. I took the HR Block course about 10 years ago a...
by BL
Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edwards Jones to Vanguard
Replies: 14
Views: 1311

Re: Edwards Jones to Vanguard

AFAIK, there are no charges at V if you take electronic paperwork instead of paper (not needed for large deposits). You could transfer in-kind to V and then decide later whether you want to sell and buy V funds or not. EJ will charge you to leave, but you will make that up if they are charging you a...

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