Search found 10233 matches

by DSInvestor
Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: max TRAD IRA contribution 2017
Replies: 2
Views: 119

Re: max TRAD IRA contribution 2017

The max contribution to IRA is $5500 or $6500 if age 50+. Full contribution to Traditional IRA is allowed assuming you and your spouse has eligible compensation to support these contributions. Assuming you're a W-2 employee with no other types of compensation, your W-2 box 1 amounts must be greater ...
by DSInvestor
Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k access at 55 vs 59.5
Replies: 9
Views: 613

Re: 401k access at 55 vs 59.5

I believe you'd have to wait until 59.5. See the section on Tax on Early Distributions in this IRS page: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/401k-resource-guide-plan-participants-general-distribution-rules Tax on early distributions . If a distribution is made to you under...
by DSInvestor
Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self Employed Tax Strategy to Reduce FICA tax (using Solo 401k)
Replies: 1
Views: 248

Re: Self Employed Tax Strategy to Reduce FICA tax (using Solo 401k)

If you're an S-Corp, your W-2 salary is subject to FICA. Your contributions to solo 401k do not change FICA. If you're a sole proprietor, your self employment taxes are based on your net business income. I'm familiar with S-Corp. Solo 401k employee salary deferral of 18K reduces the W-2 Box 1 amount...
by DSInvestor
Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA or Traditional IRA Contributions
Replies: 3
Views: 208

Re: Roth IRA or Traditional IRA Contributions

Thank you VERY MUCH. I called Fidelity yesterday to see if I could contribute to an IRA this year and they said I could. Unfortunately, they gave me wrong information and I am not eligible to do this because my company has a retirement plan. I have been making contributions for my non-working spous...
by DSInvestor
Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA or Traditional IRA Contributions
Replies: 3
Views: 208

Re: Roth IRA or Traditional IRA Contributions

If you're covered by 401k and have 178K AGI, you're not eligible to deduct any Traditional IRA contributions. If not eligible for Traditional IRA deduction, you should check to see if you're eligible for Roth IRA contributions. If you have a spouse who is not covered by an employer plan, he/she may ...
by DSInvestor
Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive
Replies: 41
Views: 3198

Re: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive

I have driven across country several times with camping gear, bikes, and once for a move. When staying in a motel, I'd bring the bikes, laptops, iPads, cameras and important documents/files into the room with us. We have a Yakima cargo box so that gives us more storage outside of the cabin. We have ...
by DSInvestor
Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to harmonize a TSP and a Vanguard portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 553

Re: How to harmonize a TSP and a Vanguard portfolio

It just occurred to me that maybe I should have ALL my bond money in the TSP because it's a "tax advantaged" account, and make the money that's in Vanguard (and therefore taxable) 100% stock. I would maintain the total stock-to-bond ratio of 2/3 to 1/3 in the aggregate of the two accounts...
by DSInvestor
Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need new tires?
Replies: 25
Views: 1006

Re: Do I need new tires?

I think you can get a set of 4 tires for way less than $550. Costco.com shows many options under $500 and several under $400. If you're not a member of Costco, call your local Discount Tire (America's tire in California).
by DSInvestor
Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to harmonize a TSP and a Vanguard portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 553

Re: How to harmonize a TSP and a Vanguard portfolio

G fund will not lose money if rates go up. F fund is like Vanguard's Total Bond Market Index fund but with lower expense ratio.

Exchanging bonds for stocks will trigger capital gains tax events but your bond funds are unlikely to have significant unrealized capital gains.
by DSInvestor
Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mapping V-guard indexes to Fidelity - International
Replies: 7
Views: 307

Re: Mapping V-guard indexes to Fidelity - International

Fidelity Global ex-US Index fund FSDGX was a pretty good match for Vanguard's Total International.
by DSInvestor
Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mapping V-guard indexes to Fidelity - International
Replies: 7
Views: 307

Re: Mapping V-guard indexes to Fidelity - International

Q1: Yes, the Fidelity Total International Index fund's inception was 06/07/2016.

Q2: Vanguard's Total International Stock Market Index fund includes Emerging Markets. Fidelity's International Index FSIVX does not include emerging markets. Fidelity Total International includes emerging markets.
by DSInvestor
Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rechargeable AA & AAA Batteries:NiMH or Li-Ion?
Replies: 25
Views: 1167

Re: Rechargeable AA & AAA Batteries:NiMH or Li-Ion?

My new purchase is all Eneloop But here is the problem. My old rechargeable batteries are NIMH but not eneloop. So I lost the charger that came with the old batteries and I stick these old batteries to eneloop charger and it did not charge. My eneloop charger came with the batteries from Costco The...
by DSInvestor
Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TLH and effect on MAGI
Replies: 4
Views: 288

Re: TLH and effect on MAGI

Net capital gains are included in AGI. If you realize 30K capital gain and 25K capital loss, you have a net capital gain of 5K. Your AGI is increased by 5K in this example. If you realize 30K capital gain and realize 50K capital loss, you have a net capital gain of -3000 and a 17K capital loss carri...
by DSInvestor
Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEP-IRA and 1099 Income
Replies: 12
Views: 469

Re: SEP-IRA and 1099 Income

Self employment tax is handled by Schedule SE. THis form takes your SS wages from your main job into consideration.
https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040sse.pdf
by DSInvestor
Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Turbotax Backdoor Roth brain fart
Replies: 3
Views: 516

Re: Turbotax Backdoor Roth brain fart

Yes. Enter your 2016 Traditional IRA contribution into your 2016 tax return. If your contribution is non-deductible (covered by employer plan and high income), Turbotax will add form 8606 to track your IRA basis ($5500). This basis will carry forward to line 2 of the next years 8606 form and allow y...
by DSInvestor
Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Forcing myself to take a true vacation this year
Replies: 7
Views: 909

Re: Forcing myself to take a true vacation this year

Do you take advantage of the beautiful things that are relatively close to Seattle? Mt Rainier NP and surrounding areas, Mt Baker (Artist Point), Enchantments, San Juan Islands, North Cascades NP. You should take some time this spring,summer and fall to visit these places. Take a day off this spring...
by DSInvestor
Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to figure whether its good to move all IRA into 401k to do backdoor Roth
Replies: 26
Views: 940

Re: How to figure whether its good to move all IRA into 401k to do backdoor Roth

Do you or your spouse have any self employed income? If yes, you can consider opening Solo 401k plans and then transferring your IRA assets into it. Fidelity has a low cost Self Employed 401k plan where you can invest in low cost index funds.
by DSInvestor
Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEP-IRA and 1099 Income
Replies: 12
Views: 469

Re: SEP-IRA and 1099 Income

I agree with other posters that Solo 401k is better than SEP-IRA if you need to use backdoor into Roth IRA. Unfortunately it is too late to set up a Solo 401k and make contributions for tax year 2016. The deadline to establish a Solo 401k for tax year 2016 was 12/31/2016. At this time, SEP-IRA is th...
by DSInvestor
Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: newbie's question about bond etf (BND)
Replies: 11
Views: 638

Re: newbie's question about bond etf (BND)

Hi DSInvestor, I buy and sell stocks for a while. But just last year, I came across ETFs. And I was totally sold. So I want to build a portfolio with ETFs for growth and retirement. There's a few hiccups but I think I am on the right track. I have 10% cash in my portfolio, no debt. Home currency em...
by DSInvestor
Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Review of tax software for trusts and estates
Replies: 20
Views: 1163

Re: Review of tax software

I use the download version of Taxact and can preview the entire return.
by DSInvestor
Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: newbie's question about bond etf (BND)
Replies: 11
Views: 638

Re: newbie's question about bond etf (BND)

From your post above, 10% of your portfolio is in cash. You're looking to invest that 10% in bonds but are nervous about what would happen if interest rates rise. Stocks can drop 50% pretty much at any time. If the rest of your portfolio (90%) is in stocks, 50% decline in 90% of your portfolio is a ...
by DSInvestor
Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Form 8606 - Backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 6
Views: 578

Re: Form 8606 - Backdoor Roth IRA

If you're contributing to Traditional IRA for 2016, your 2016 8606 will only show the contribution for 2016. Assuming you did not do any conversions in calendar 2016, the IRA basis (non-deductible contribution) added for tax year 2016 will carryforward from line 14 to the 2017 8606 form line 2. The ...
by DSInvestor
Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Buying Struggle
Replies: 6
Views: 967

Re: Vanguard Buying Struggle

Pick the LifeStrategy fund that most closely matches your desired asset allocation. Here's a link to Laura's post on Investment Planning:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6211
by DSInvestor
Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: newbie's question about bond etf (BND)
Replies: 11
Views: 638

Re: newbie's question about bond etf (BND)

LangleyBC, Your name and other thread suggests that you may be Canadian or a resident of Canada. If so, I'd suggest holding a Canadian bond fund instead of BND ETF. If you have an account at TD, you can consider something like TD e-series funds. TD Canadian Bond Index - e has MER=0.50% which his hig...
by DSInvestor
Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: tax for backdoor Roth
Replies: 7
Views: 469

Re: tax for backdoor Roth

Ah, looks like I missed the window to have tax only on the non-deductible portion :( No, conversions done in calendar 2017 are handled by the 2017 tax return and 2017 form 8606 which will ask for IRA balances as of 12/31/ 2017 . So you can contribute $5500 for 2016 now and another $5500 for 2017 wh...
by DSInvestor
Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I minimize the Tax Torpedo and future Medicare costs?
Replies: 27
Views: 2139

Re: Can I minimize the Tax Torpedo and future Medicare costs?

I like Dale's suggestion to place bonds in Traditional IRA. 30K pension and some investment income may put you in a low tax bracket now. Run some numbers for how much it would cost to do some Roth conversions now before you have social security income and RMD. Compare the cost of Roth conversion now...
by DSInvestor
Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k to Roth IRA transfer
Replies: 4
Views: 204

Re: 401k to Roth IRA transfer

Can I transfer funds out of my 401k to fund the Roth for both 2016 and 2017 with no penalty. Both my accountant and broker back off an answer citing the fact that they are not investing accountants and aren't sure, which I find odd since the subject seems to be one they probably deal with on a regu...
by DSInvestor
Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA or SEP-IRA?
Replies: 4
Views: 173

Re: IRA or SEP-IRA?

SEP-IRA is an employer plan which has implications on your eligibility to take the Traditional IRA deduction. See IRS Page on IRA deduction limits: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ira-deduction-limits If you're a single filer and covered by an employer plan, you can fully deduct your Traditiona...
by DSInvestor
Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Self-employed retirement plan and traditional IRA
Replies: 3
Views: 266

Re: Self-employed retirement plan and traditional IRA

Yes, SEP-IRA, Solo 401k and SIMPLE-IRA count as employer plans for determining TIRA deduction eligibility. The easiest way to get the max tax deduction for retirement contributions is to max out your Traditional Solo 401k. Employer profit share contributions to Solo 401k are always Traditional. Empl...
by DSInvestor
Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional Salary + Wife 1099 >200K Income, how to save tax defered
Replies: 19
Views: 1732

Re: Traditional Salary + Wife 1099 >200K Income, how to save tax defered

One last question, why is everyone favoring tax-defered over tax-free growth? (I was always under the impression to give the best flexibility for retirement that a mix-between the both would be best or all ROTH such that you avoid taxes all-together) With Roth 401k, you've paid taxes in advance to ...
by DSInvestor
Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What investments do you invest in a Taxable account for Retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 1077

Re: What investments do you invest in a Taxable account for Retirement

We aren't eligible for any type of Tax advantaged IRA due to high income. My husband contributes to the max in his 401K. I don't work, so don't have any opportunities to invest in 401K. Backdoor Roth isn't an option as previous employer Rollover IRA is a sizable amount. So, I would like to invest a...
by DSInvestor
Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Undo a recharacterization
Replies: 12
Views: 464

Re: Undo a recharacterization

The money is now in my Roth IRA (transferred from trad IRA w/Vanguard), I was taxed 20% of the total from TIAA as they thought I was moving the money into a Vanguard Roth Rollover, but it was moved into a a trad IRA. Thanks for the advice! It seems to me you will have issues with the tax treatment ...
by DSInvestor
Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Undo a recharacterization
Replies: 12
Views: 464

Re: Undo a recharacterization

Sorry, I'll clarify. I have a Rollover IRA and I recharacterized a portion from this account to a my Roth IRA. Can I 'undo' this and move back to my Trad IRA? This sounds like you did a Roth conversion from Rollover IRA to Roth IRA. If this is the case, you can re characterize the conversion to und...
by DSInvestor
Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Undo a recharacterization
Replies: 12
Views: 464

Re: Undo a recharacterization

I made a mistake according to my accountant. I recharacterized a portion of my trad rollover to Roth IRA this year. Can I undo or cancel this transaction since it took place on Feb 28, 2017 or do I have to wait a year? Please clarify what you did. If you did a Roth conversion on Feb 28, 2017 and yo...
by DSInvestor
Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional Salary + Wife 1099 >200K Income, how to save tax defered
Replies: 19
Views: 1732

Re: Traditional Salary + Wife 1099 >200K Income, how to save tax defered

If you make traditional 401k contributions instead of Roth, and your wife opens a solo 401k and contributes $18k to it, your income will be below the Roth IRA contribution limit ($186k for married filing jointly) and you won't need the backdoor. This is true for 2017 tax year. Unfortunately it is t...
by DSInvestor
Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional Salary + Wife 1099 >200K Income, how to save tax defered
Replies: 19
Views: 1732

Re: Traditional Salary + Wife 1099 >200K Income, how to save tax defered

For 2017, your wife should open a Solo 401k. Fidelity has a great Self Employed 401k that accepts rollovers from IRA and has low cost index funds. If she had established a solo 401k before 12/31/2016, it would have allowed ~32K in contributions on 75K net business income. Solo 401k allows for two ty...
by DSInvestor
Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2016 contributions before tax deadline. Confused!
Replies: 7
Views: 487

Re: 2016 contributions before tax deadline. Confused!

Note that if you were covered by an employer plan like 403b, there are income limits that may affect your eligibility for the Traditional IRA tax deduction. For more details, see IRS page on IRA deduction limits: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ira-deduction-limits For tax year 2016, single fil...
by DSInvestor
Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco tire - Michelin vs Bridgestone
Replies: 20
Views: 1953

Re: Costco tire - Michelin vs Bridgestone

Once you get your quotes from Costco, give Discount Tire/America's Tire a call. I did this when I bought my winter tires (set of 4) and Discount Tire beat Costco's price. Costco's price after $70 off was $440. Discount quoted me $400 plus $100 cash card. In California, Discount Tire is called Americ...
by DSInvestor
Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond index funds too high ratio for portfolio. Suitable ETF?
Replies: 9
Views: 406

Re: Bond index funds too high ratio for portfolio. Suitable ETF?

I suggest going with a balanced fund. Something like Fidelity Four-In-One Index fund which has 85/15 stock/bond mix. Another option would be to use a Fidelity Freedom Index fund with a 90/10 stock/bond mix.
by DSInvestor
Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hands free music for the home - Amazon or something else?
Replies: 7
Views: 640

Re: Hands free music for the home - Amazon or something else?

Echo Dot has an audio output (3.5mm) that can be plugged into a Sonos Play 5 which has a 3.5mm input. Sonos Play 1 and Play 3 do not have this input. I don't know about playbar, sub or the new playbase.

Echo Dot supports bluetooth but I don't think Sonos supports bluetooth.
by DSInvestor
Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion taxes - sell after-tax or borrow from HELOC?
Replies: 4
Views: 297

Re: Roth conversion taxes - sell after-tax or borrow from HELOC?

If dividends are not sufficient and you have to sell, specify the tax lots with the highest cost basis when selling to minimize the capital gain realized. Or, borrow from the HELOC and avoid the NIIT on the gains entirely? If the Roth conversions you're considering are large enough to trigger NIIT ...
by DSInvestor
Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use ROTH IRA to pay down Rental Property Mortgage?
Replies: 16
Views: 676

Re: Use ROTH IRA to pay down Rental Property Mortgage?

You're 39/41 so there are at least 9 years before you retire at age 50. You're maxing out 401ks and save 40% of your income. You should be able to knock off 65K quite quickly without withdrawing from your Roth IRA. Are 401k contributions Roth or Traditional? Will you get pension starting at age 50?...
by DSInvestor
Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use ROTH IRA to pay down Rental Property Mortgage?
Replies: 16
Views: 676

Re: Use ROTH IRA to pay down Rental Property Mortgage?

why have you decided that you want to pay the mortgage off? Is it because you want to retire soon and have more cash flow to live off of? Yes, we are contemplating retiring from our 9-5 at age 50 and then freelancing at will. You're 39/41 so there are at least 9 years before you retire at age 50. Y...
by DSInvestor
Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion taxes - sell after-tax or borrow from HELOC?
Replies: 4
Views: 297

Re: Roth conversion taxes - sell after-tax or borrow from HELOC?

Are you reinvesting dividends in your taxable account? These are taxed and subject to NIIT whether you reinvest or take in cash. Taking in cash would be better than HELOC. If dividends are not sufficient and you have to sell, specify the tax lots with the highest cost basis when selling to minimize ...
by DSInvestor
Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your cell phone bill?
Replies: 263
Views: 24831

Re: How much is your cell phone bill?

I am a volunteer mentor for an Afghan refugee family of 6 who just arrived to the US January 19. Their older children are 16, 14 and 12, and each go to separate schools. What would be the most economical way for the family to get a 5 phone plan, so they can coordinate plans with each other? Thanks ...
by DSInvestor
Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Utah, besides the national parks?
Replies: 21
Views: 1688

Re: Utah, besides the national parks?

Check out the drive from Bryce Canyon up Route 12 to Teory UT - one of the very best in the US and there is a 4 star restaurant at the end of the drive (El Diablo). Capital Reef NP is just a few minutes due east, great hiking. Utah 12 is a great drive. We enjoyed our meals at Hell's Backbone Grill ...
by DSInvestor
Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Utah, besides the national parks?
Replies: 21
Views: 1688

Re: Utah, besides the national parks?

Monument Valley. This is a Navajo Tribal Park. Valley of the Gods is near Monument Valley. Drive the Moki Dugway near Valley of the Gods. http://bluffutah.org/mokey-dugway-muley-point/ Lots to see around Moab outside of Arches and Canyonlands NP. Dead Horse Point State Park. https://duckduckgo.com/?...
by DSInvestor
Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to make large auto loan payment, Chase doesn't accept credit cards
Replies: 13
Views: 1093

Re: Want to make large auto loan payment, Chase doesn't accept credit cards

Heard anecdotally all the time of people racking up credit card points by paying bills. Never looked into it before now. Can you pay other bills with your credit card? I use credit card to pay for my insurance (home, auto, umbrella, health), cable bill, cell phone bills etc. I am not charged extra ...
by DSInvestor
Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable
Replies: 100
Views: 6933

Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Hi again all, OP here. Would 10 mbps internet be adequate? Our house is just my wife and me, with a baby on the way, so at any one time the most devices we'd have streaming is two. You can always try with what you have. Do you have any streaming devices right now? If you do not have a Roku or simil...
by DSInvestor
Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Form 1098 (Mortgage interest) discrepancy
Replies: 4
Views: 269

Re: Form 1098 (Mortgage interest) discrepancy

I believe that mortgage balance number will be used by IRS to determine how much of the debt can be treated as home acquisition debt for the purposes of the mortgage interest deduction. See IRS.GOV Pub 936 - Home Acquisition Debt: https://www.irs.gov/publications/p936/ar02.html#en_US_2016_publink100...

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