Search found 7861 matches

by BL
Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Humble, respectful advice seeker for my Portfolio Questions
Replies: 18
Views: 1460

Re: Humble, respectful advice seeker for my Portfolio Questions

Since your spouse is doing the loan paying, there should be no risk of default affecting your credit standing so that is good news. If she quits paying, it sounds like you will still be able to handle things, so that takes care of the major problem. It would be upsetting, but could be handled. In th...
by BL
Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quick question: inherited real estate - how to get a tax basis?
Replies: 3
Views: 176

Re: Quick question: inherited real estate - how to get a tax basis?

No expert here, but that sounds like more than enough to me. You might go to the court house and find out about recent sales of similar property to get an estimate. Some areas have a fairly accurate number for value on property tax bills. I understand that others use numbers which are so far off as ...
by BL
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to board with Brighthouse Annuity question?
Replies: 20
Views: 1134

Re: New to board with Brighthouse Annuity question?

For general info, here is article from Wisconsin state which may be useful for understanding some terms. Insurance companies don't want you to understand the policy, so of course they make it difficult.
https://oci.wi.gov/Documents/Consumers/PI-214.pdf
by BL
Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering No 401K Contribution or Profit Sharing For 2018
Replies: 12
Views: 1045

Re: Considering No 401K Contribution or Profit Sharing For 2018

AFAIK,
A 401k contribution does not lower the SS/Medicare tax.
An HSA does.
Flex payments do.

You may want to consider the pros and cons of Roth 401k vs. trad. 401k. Certainly it is better to do Roth than skip it completely.
by BL
Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rookie Investor- Help Getting Started
Replies: 4
Views: 402

Re: Rookie Investor- Help Getting Started

You can contribute up to $18,500 each year to the 401k your employer offers. If the plan has reasonably affordable funds that might be a better choice than to start investing in a taxable account. There's a page on the Wiki about how to prioritize your investments: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/P...
by BL
Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Humble, respectful advice seeker for my Portfolio Questions
Replies: 18
Views: 1460

Re: Humble, respectful advice seeker for my Portfolio Questions

My spouse is also a co-signer of his friend's school loan ($20K at 6% interest). She has been paying on it since 12/2009. The original principal was $25k. This is not such a great $ amount, but it is troubling and potentially a problem. Are you saying it is the person whose loan it is is doing the ...
by BL
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total beginner to investing, need help with basic questions
Replies: 9
Views: 871

Re: Total beginner to investing, need help with basic questions

Figure out how much you need to contribute for remaining pay periods of this year and get going on filling 18.5k into your 401k this calendar year. (Company matching would merely be a bonus.) If you want help in choosing low-ER index funds (hopefully available) in your 401k, you could edit your OP a...
by BL
Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: In-laws financial advisor rip off
Replies: 35
Views: 3946

Re: In-laws financial advisor rip off

How to Make Your Money Last or Making the most of your money by Jane Bryant Quinn. She has an occasional article in AARP magazine and has written helpful columns for ages. Have the books on your coffee table or give it to them. Read first so you know and agree with them. Great easy to read books th...
by BL
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with a recent "windfall"?
Replies: 8
Views: 1271

Re: What to do with a recent "windfall"?

Sounds fine.

You could also pay off the other student loan (get a better guaranteed rate of return than the bond), then start adding your usual loan payment to taxable account instead.
by BL
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Continue investing?
Replies: 11
Views: 2137

Re: Continue investing?

Here are some investing basics in a 16-page nutshell: https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf The 3-fund portfolio is simple, diversified, and low-cost. The Total funds cover the market so you don't have to break it down into small parts. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-fund_portfolio Boglehead'...
by BL
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: wash sale rule on final disposition
Replies: 18
Views: 699

Re: wash sale rule on final disposition

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Wash_sale I believe you might want to sell all the stocks that created a wash if you want to " clean things up". I don't believe you understand it yet, and probably shouldn't be doing this until you do. IRS Pub 550 is the final authority on all of this, and is on the...
by BL
Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with an inherited Roth IRA
Replies: 10
Views: 1043

Re: What to do with an inherited Roth IRA

+1 on using RMD. This will let it grow without being taxed ever. They can always take out more if they wish, but there will always be a RMD each year. It can probably be set up automatically to send to the bank the RMD amount on a periodic basis. If it is not in a low-cost brokerage, it could be mov...
by BL
Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Analysis needed!
Replies: 15
Views: 1513

Re: Portfolio Analysis needed!

Thanks again for all the great help. What a great community. This has been a great experience for a newbie. Please review my situation. I followed the template as best as I can. Starchild Emergency Funds/Cash on hand: App. $900,000 (recent house sale, looking to relocate in the next year or two). I...
by BL
Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What To Do With Active Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 574

Re: What To Do With Active Funds

If 9k CG is of no consequence to you, then you can simplify by selling everything. The other cost is Vanguard's fee to sell, so you might want to know ahead of time. The above advice is good, but it depends on your circumstances. Putting bonds into tax-advantaged accounts or munis if appropriate wil...
by BL
Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Take tax losses now or wait??
Replies: 8
Views: 847

Re: Take tax losses now or wait??

Both my targeted funds for TLH are Intermediate term Tax Exempt munis. If I purchased Short Term T.E. funds, would those be good TLH partners, per the rules of the IRS? Nobody knows for certain, but I'd be very comfortable doing that. Those would be funds with very different holdings (and different...
by BL
Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?
Replies: 84
Views: 4004

Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

New widow here. My husband was wonderful about keeping the car going and filled with gas. Wednesday was the first day I ever put gas in my 2012 vehicle. But as I was driving on the highway, I realized that, without my husband, I have no clue what to do if I have a flat or a breakdown or an accident...
by BL
Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Take tax losses now or wait??
Replies: 8
Views: 847

Re: Take tax losses now or wait??

Good idea to use those short-term losses, at least if you will be above the 15% (now 12%) tax bracket without the losses. If you have losses later in the year, you can sell those as well. If not used up off-setting CGs, they can off-set your income up to 3k/yr and any unused remainder carries forwar...
by BL
Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much can mom spend on a house?
Replies: 11
Views: 1714

Re: How much can mom spend on a house?

Life after 70 can change on a dime; a home becomes more difficult to manage with age and more and more services may need to be hired as time passes. What seems easy at 70 may be quite difficult or impossible by age 80. That is tying up a lot of her money in a house, whether it has a mortgage or not....
by BL
Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newborn- essential financial steps
Replies: 20
Views: 1726

Re: Newborn- essential financial steps

Life insurance should be term insurance. Check term4sale.com for an idea of cost at various choices. Also consider using a local independent insurance agent who can shop for the best policies for you among several high-rated companies.
by BL
Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which 3 are recommended?
Replies: 9
Views: 1213

Re: Which 3 are recommended?

Newbie here.. have been learning a lot in the BH forum. I have been invested in Vanguard target date 2040 fund in my 403B and 457B funds. I would like to transition to the famed 3 funds in order to reduce the risk going forward. I could figure out 2 from this list (Vanguard Total Intl market fund V...
by BL
Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please evaluate my 401(k) allocation and weighted Expense Ratio
Replies: 3
Views: 192

Re: Please evaluate my 401(k) allocation and weighted Expense Ratio

Also get your emerging market in your IRA or taxable if you really want it. You can balance over all accounts: select best ones available in 401k and fill in as needed at Vanguard.

To get better advice, list fund, ticker, and ER for each available fund in 401k.
by BL
Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forgot AMT on taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 694

Re: Forgot AMT on taxes

Save him the stress of dealing with the IRS.
by BL
Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expense ratios calculations
Replies: 9
Views: 324

Re: Expense ratios calculations

I would say they are insignificant enough you should make your decision based on other factors.
by BL
Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relative Never Took RMDs on Inherited IRA From 2004
Replies: 19
Views: 2379

Re: Relative Never Took RMDs on Inherited IRA From 2004

Great advice everyone, thank you so much. It seems the consensus is to make a one-time RMD at least of the value of the historical sum of missed ones, and file a single 5329 form as part of an amended return this year. Right? You need to file that year's Form 5329 for each missed RMD. There is no n...
by BL
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car at 80
Replies: 59
Views: 4204

Re: car at 80

I am in my mid 80s and, fortunately,almost any auto is fine with me. (Although I sold my 1960 MGA two years ago.....getting harder to get out of.) My wife is "only" 78, a kid indeed, but she has some mobility problems and has difficulty getting into my 2010 Ford Edge (I am keeping this one for anot...
by BL
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did I just mess up?
Replies: 9
Views: 1515

Re: Did I just mess up?

Whether it is deductible or not depends on your Modified AGI. Here is a link to a table: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/2017-ira-deduction-limits-effect-of-modified-agi-on-deduction-if-you-are-covered-by-a-retirement-plan-at-work If your AGI is below 99k, no problem, if you don't have other in...
by BL
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Help for a New Investor!
Replies: 7
Views: 358

Re: Portfolio Help for a New Investor!

You have some good ideas and plans for saving money. However, I suggest you at least read that free pdf, If You Can, mentioned above. It is an excellent starting point. The Boglehead's book on Investing is another good one and the Wiki articles and videos are also good. Agree that a Roth IRA is the ...
by BL
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to board with Brighthouse Annuity question?
Replies: 20
Views: 1134

Re: New to board with Brighthouse Annuity question?

You might contact the company to get an "in-force illustration" to show guaranteed numbers going forward. The numbers might be more accurate than what you get from your "advisor". They are required to give you this. Possibly consider whether to contact Vanguard annuities to see what they suggest, as...
by BL
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relative Never Took RMDs on Inherited IRA From 2004
Replies: 19
Views: 2379

Re: Relative Never Took RMDs on Inherited IRA From 2004

Don't forget to amend the return she just filed and include the 13 years of missed RMDs. You can include the 5329 with that. As for reason - I would just say she was unaware of the RMD requirement. +1 Don't bring your CPA into this contact with IRS, but maybe CPA could give you the numbers if you c...
by BL
Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child in college w/$500 income on W-2 - File taxes?
Replies: 27
Views: 2275

Re: Child in college w/$500 income on W-2 - File taxes?

Anyway, thanks for the replies. Given the limited time left, I'm not sure how much participation I'll be able to get from my daughter, but if I can use my version of H&R Block Deluxe to file her taxes as well, I'll plan to do that so she can get the $2 back. Scott, I agree with others that this is ...
by BL
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my mom's investments, please.
Replies: 27
Views: 2033

Re: Help with my mom's investments, please.

I mentioned to her the notion that she should also consider gifting some money to us, as she said, she'd rather enjoy it now, as she is a relatively healthy and young 73 year old. I told her, that obviously it is her decision to do so, but it serves a logic in reducing the taxes we would face on an...
by BL
Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my mom's investments, please.
Replies: 27
Views: 2033

Re: Help with my mom's investments, please.

She could place it into the Prime Money Market fund, for example, while she decides what to do. There is one tax-managed stock/bond fund which is close to 50/50 U.S. stock/bond: Vanguard Tax-Managed Balanced Fund Admiral Shares VTMFX if she has higher income and chooses to pay lower tax (muni bonds ...
by BL
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?
Replies: 31
Views: 5469

Re: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?

With a non-COLAd pension, I would strongly advise waiting as long as possible for the higher-amount SS, so that the longest-lived of the 2 of you has a high COLA SS payment for life. It is like buying an inflation-adjusted annuity at a bargain cost, and is worth investing some of your retirement sav...
by BL
Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decisions on a Two Car Strategy
Replies: 24
Views: 2067

Re: Decisions on a Two Car Strategy

Another thought is that as inbox says if your wife just wants another can and you can afford it (not sure what your financial situation is) and if she is worried about safety features (and to be fair there have been a lot of new features in the last several years) happy wife happy life (if you can ...
by BL
Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Free 2017 Tax Software Suggestions
Replies: 12
Views: 433

Re: Free 2017 Tax Software Suggestions

If you don't get it figured out today, you can file an extension with a form available on IRS website. Then you won't have to feel rushed for April 17 deadline. If you owe money, they want you to send that in on time.
by BL
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "guaranteed" 6% return vs index fund investing
Replies: 30
Views: 2796

Re: "guaranteed" 6% return vs index fund investing

Just a couple comments:

Sounds like paying off/down the mortgage would give you a tax-free 4.5% return (yes, there are other considerations here).

What rate can they get from a bank loan?

For how long would the money be tied up? Is it lump sum or would you be adding to it regularly?
by BL
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Benefits of using CPA for taxes
Replies: 14
Views: 1690

Re: Benefits of using CPA for taxes

It does sound like there is value added to simply preparing your taxes here, so that is something to keep in mind. Still, it wouldn't hurt to spend a bit for the proper level program to see how it works and maybe get some clues or play "what if" on some business decisions that may affect taxes. Look...
by BL
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2018 Tax Planning Help - New to US - Couple in Their 30s
Replies: 11
Views: 811

Re: 2018 Tax Planning Help - New to US - Couple in Their 30s

You might look at the funds generating high dividends to see about selling them. You could buy municipal bonds which have no federal taxes instead of holding taxable bonds. High taxes from dividends or capital gains when you didn't sell anything is not ideal.
by BL
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifts to grandkids of different ages
Replies: 13
Views: 1313

Re: Gifts to grandkids of different ages

Their estate attorney should be the one to help them with their objectives.
by BL
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifts to grandkids of different ages
Replies: 13
Views: 1313

Re: Gifts to grandkids of different ages

Perhaps you can suggest they put 5500 into Roth IRA and set aside 18.5k to live on while they put 18.5k of their wages into a 401k. That would leave about 6k for spending, investing, or saving for travel,etc. I don't think you should get fancy about taking over their money as it is theirs, not yours...
by BL
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military retirement +/- HSA?!
Replies: 5
Views: 304

Re: Military retirement +/- HSA?!

Since you are not paying for health insurance, you wouldn't have HSA now. In a second career it might be possible. In retirement you will have Medicare Part B payments to make and perhaps dental, eye, and ear (at least for spouse) costs in retirement. Otherwise HSA can be used just like an IRA which...
by BL
Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting Taxable Account vs. Increasing 403b
Replies: 17
Views: 1282

Re: Starting Taxable Account vs. Increasing 403b

I would also check into the possibility of a 457, or is it 457b? Most states have it and it is often not well known to teachers, etc. The 457 allows you to withdraw after employment without penalty. Is the 403b available as a Roth? Not sure if that would help or not if rolled over to Roth. I think y...
by BL
Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which fidelity funds?
Replies: 29
Views: 1707

Re: Which fidelity funds?

See the 3-fund portfolio page in Wiki; farther down it has some recommended Fidelity funds and ETFs. Simple, low-ER, and diversified index funds is the way to go. Avoid a collection: it may not be tax-efficient or low-ER, and may be costly (Capital Gains) to simplify later. https://www.bogleheads.or...
by BL
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security survivor benefit
Replies: 11
Views: 736

Re: Social Security survivor benefit

SSI or SS? SSI is state dependent and may have different benefits depending on the state of residence. It is not to be confused with the federal SS program. You state SS in the title, but then you reference SSI in your comment. - Ron Yes, my guess it is SSDI, but need to verify as SSI is very diffe...
by BL
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Benefits of using CPA for taxes
Replies: 14
Views: 1690

Re: Benefits of using CPA for taxes

Why not pick up a 2017 tax program (Amazon often has them on sale, maybe after tax deadline) and run through the program with the info you furnished the CPA? Then compare results, and decide if it makes sense. As they say, No one cares about your finances as much as you do. Not sure which level you ...
by BL
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Consequences of Rolling a Traditional 401k to Roth IRA
Replies: 7
Views: 617

Re: Tax Consequences of Rolling a Traditional 401k to Roth IRA

There can be a hump in the % you pay at certain incomes. Seems like I have seen something like that on a graph with Social Security income. I will leave that question for someone else.

Standard Deduction would make the first 12,000 @ 0%, IIRC.
by BL
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Buy Back into Retirement Fund. Math experts.
Replies: 5
Views: 629

Re: Should I Buy Back into Retirement Fund. Math experts.

Age 85 is more like an average life span for your ages. It does not consider the probability that at least one of you would/could live much longer than that.
by BL
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review - Replacing Vanguard Target Retirement & Extra Cash
Replies: 9
Views: 930

Re: Portfolio Review - Replacing Vanguard Target Retirement & Extra Cash

There are no tax consequences for exchanging funds within tax-advantaged accounts, as long as they stay within the account. I would try to stay within the 12% tax bracket by using the tax-deferred 401k, at least as much as it takes to keep it there. Since the CTC reduces taxes but does not change th...
by BL
Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any advice for 1st time landlord
Replies: 42
Views: 3254

Re: Any advice for 1st time landlord

I'm renting out my old house this month. Thought I'd give it a shot for a year or two to see if I have the stomach for dealing with the headaches. I've pretty much figured out all the basic stuff, but I'm sort of struggling with the accounting part, especially the idea of deducting depreciation and...
by BL
Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review - Replacing Vanguard Target Retirement & Extra Cash
Replies: 9
Views: 930

Re: Portfolio Review - Replacing Vanguard Target Retirement & Extra Cash

Agree to max your 401k at $18.5k and both Roth IRAs. The Roth can be a back-up emergency fund if really needed, as contributions (only) can be withdrawn without tax or penalty. Agree that your new Target Date is just fine. So is breaking it down, but it does lead to temptations. If I did break it do...