Search found 806 matches

by Iorek
Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic
Replies: 39
Views: 2219

Re: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic

fundseeker wrote:Oh, and while we are here discussing these things, I assume you will be maxing out the FSA?


Maxing out a healthcare FSA is not necc. a good idea.
by Iorek
Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with asset allocation!
Replies: 12
Views: 791

Re: Help with asset allocation!

My favorite concept portfolio is below. It assumes that 401k or IRA has been maxed as well as Roth....... 401k or tIRA - 25 % bonds and 25 % stocks ROTH - 25 % stocks Taxable - 25 % stocks Your mileage will vary. Do this as well : Asking Portfolio Questions Just curious. I can see some logic for th...
by Iorek
Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic
Replies: 39
Views: 2219

Re: Federal Blue Cross Standard versus Basic

I also struggle with this every year. We have stuck with std on the theory that we are insuring against the worst case but tbh I would guess we are spending more than necessary.
by Iorek
Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience selling car to Carmax?
Replies: 32
Views: 2644

Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

You might want to check out Vroom-- they are like carmax but internet based. We sold a car through them recently and it was both really easy and they gave us a better price than carmax. We just took some photos of the car and answered some questions on their website/app and we had a quote very quick...
by Iorek
Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Determining the Cost Basis of a house, from 1966 ?
Replies: 22
Views: 2570

Re: Determining the Cost Basis of a house, from 1966 ?

Is the sale price not recorded with the county? This is not tax advice but if what you have is just the price it was offered at I would just take a conservative approach -- knock 10 or even 20% off that. (Not sure if you have any additions to basis from permanent improvement, or how you are handling...
by Iorek
Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: To Roth or not to Roth that is the question
Replies: 18
Views: 2514

Re: To Roth or not to Roth that is the question

Another vote here for traditional with a Roth IRA (probably about the same effect on take home pay as 100% Roth).
by Iorek
Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Matching children's Roth IRA contributions
Replies: 41
Views: 3713

Re: Matching children's Roth IRA contributions

My parents have given my family cash gifts without strings (but making clear we should not count on them from year to year, which means our budget has to work without them). The outcome is that we can afford to both fund Roth IRAs (on top our employer retirement saving) and travel more than we could...
by Iorek
Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Matching children's Roth IRA contributions
Replies: 41
Views: 3713

Re: Matching children's Roth IRA contributions

Your money is yours to spend however you wish, but I would suggest if you don't trust your kids maybe you shouldn't give them large sums of money, and if you do then monitoring their statements is unnecessary.
by Iorek
Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good read on mutual fund investing needed.
Replies: 10
Views: 645

Re: Good read on mutual fund investing needed.

brought me to the conclusion that my first investments to be held in a Roth IRA will be index funds. That being said, I'd like to learn all I can about investing in mutual funds The reason nobody talks about this is that index funds are better. This is all you need to know about actively managed mu...
by Iorek
Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Next Weekend Car - Dodge Viper to What?
Replies: 65
Views: 5161

Re: Next Weekend Car - Dodge Viper to What?

You might want to check out EV possibilities-- they are naturally high in torque (leave aside Tesla and its "ludicrous mode"-- IIRC even the EV version of the Chevy Spark has 300+ ft-lb) and are a lot of fun to drive.
by Iorek
Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Federal employee seeking more ways to save for retirement
Replies: 8
Views: 1134

Re: Federal employee seeking more ways to save for retirement

I would investigate i-bonds and (given low rates and low expected inflation) EE bonds-- those are are good tax-deferred ways of investing in fixed income (many of us use i-bonds as a place to store an emergency fund). I would also get consider (and get more confortable) with long-term investing in a...
by Iorek
Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are Bogleheads Buying I-Bonds 2016?
Replies: 87
Views: 14281

Re: Are Bogleheads Buying I-Bonds 2016?

We max out our 401k, do backdoor Roth, and have an automatic monthly debits from our bank account with 1/3 going to i-bond, 1/3 going to EE bonds (should be in retirement in 20 years) and 1/3 going to VTSAX (taxable). I consider the savings bonds to be tax-advantaged savings-- would rather have I bo...
by Iorek
Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Data heavy sim card for Europe trip
Replies: 18
Views: 1096

Re: Data heavy sim card for Europe trip

FYI, T-mobile doesn't ever charge for data in Europe, but they say they will limit speeds (that's why the promotion is free LTE speeds). In my experience, you can usually get free 3G speeds, with speeds sometimes being faster and sometimes slower. Three of us traveled with tmo phones, both before an...
by Iorek
Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance
Replies: 69
Views: 5688

Re: Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance

... The increases for Federal Employees are similar to the increases everyone else has already been seeing. Nothing new. ... _D_ I admit I don't have hard data but as I tried to say above, I disagree with this in the sense that fed employees had a similar increase a few years ago and should have an...
by Iorek
Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Italy - 3 weeks in 2017, advice appreciated
Replies: 85
Views: 5774

Re: Traveling to Italy - 3 weeks in 2017, advice appreciated

In Tuscany you could look at the Val D'Orcia. Lots of smallish towns that could be base for daytrips to other small towns (might try to find a place with a pool, so you do shorter day trips combined with afternoons at the pool). Thinking of places like Montalcino, Montepulciano, San Quirico, Bagno V...
by Iorek
Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacationing in the Caribbean
Replies: 26
Views: 2794

Re: Vacationing in the Caribbean

Vieques.
by Iorek
Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: when refinance is worth it?
Replies: 5
Views: 884

Re: when refinance is worth it?

I find the calculators at the mortgage professor to be very good, but my answer is to always look for a no cost refi, where the lender offers you a slightly higher rate plus a credit against closing costs (in effect, a negative point-- instead of you paying them to lower the rate, they pay you to ra...
by Iorek
Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance
Replies: 69
Views: 5688

Re: Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance

For what it's it worth, I think it's important for feds to distinguish LTCi generally and the fed offering. There are lots of questions about whether to get LTCi generally, but then there additional questions about whether, if you want LTCi, you should get the fed version or your own policy. Note th...
by Iorek
Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How important to hold EM?
Replies: 13
Views: 1148

Re: How important to hold EM?

I am not retired (10-15 years out) but fairly conservative and spent some time thinking about this because most of our assets are in TSP which has no EM. I would be fine holding EM in an index but I decided not to try and fill in the TSP for two reasons. One, as you point out, is that it doesn't tur...
by Iorek
Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your refinance threshold?
Replies: 8
Views: 1465

Re: What is your refinance threshold?

mikep wrote:For no cost refinancing I would always do it for 0.25%. I would not pay $2500 closing costs though, more like $0.


Agree. Amerisave usually has a good variety of options that allow you to do a no cost and then you have no sunk costs if you want to do another (or move).
by Iorek
Sun May 29, 2016 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does the $5.45M exemption from estate taxes change your estate planning
Replies: 36
Views: 3551

Re: Does the $5.45M exemption from estate taxes change your estate planning

... The reason I created the Trust was Estate Taxes. My estate was larger than the $600k exemption in the '80's. ... Including a credit shelter trust in your Will or in a revocable trust may save estate taxes. However, creating a revocable trust won't save (or cost) any estate taxes. I don't quite ...
by Iorek
Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to deal with possibly uncertain retirement date?
Replies: 15
Views: 1755

Re: how to deal with possibly uncertain retirement date?

Might consider refinancing to a fixed rate mortgage-- either 15 or 30 yr just for the certainty. I don't think there's anything wrong with carrying a mortgage in retirement, esp. if you've got a pension plus SS, but I wouldn't want to have to deal with a floating rate in retirement. OTOH, if she wan...
by Iorek
Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to deal with possibly uncertain retirement date?
Replies: 15
Views: 1755

Re: how to deal with possibly uncertain retirement date?

Need to start with what is her cash flow now and what is her expected cash flow in the future. I have an older relative who I thought was pretty aggressive (at 50/50) but it turns out she manages to love on SS and a small pension, which makes a big difference in how you see things. For similar reaso...
by Iorek
Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?
Replies: 101
Views: 5762

Re: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?

Been using turbotax for a long time but I prefer to print out my return and mail it-- cheaper and I know -- and have a copy of-- exactly what information is going to the IRS.
by Iorek
Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying the most expensive house on the street?
Replies: 34
Views: 5162

Re: Buying the most expensive house on the street?

You buy the house that makes you happy, as long as you can afford it, period. This. As a side note, I never agreed with people who choose a house based on expected resale, but maybe it's because I've never lived someplace with a really slow RE market. I figure if a house has a feature that makes it...
by Iorek
Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Offer
Replies: 18
Views: 1675

Re: Refinance Offer

In general I would do it-- pretty much anytime I can lower my rate by .25% or more at no cost to me I will do it, but just to compare rates I would check Amerisave and see what a no cost refi would be with them.
by Iorek
Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target retirement funds dividend
Replies: 3
Views: 396

Re: Target retirement funds dividend

I think bond funds pay monthly as a courtesy/convention because they assume fixed income investors are more interested in current income than long term investing.
by Iorek
Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: email from Amazon: Critical Update for your kindle e-reader
Replies: 28
Views: 3828

Re: email from Amazon: Critical Update for your kindle e-reader

One of mine updated but one never did so I manually updated it (following instructions from Amazon).
by Iorek
Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRAs Could Cost Some Investors at Tax Time
Replies: 30
Views: 16939

Re: Backdoor Roth IRAs Could Cost Some Investors at Tax Time

I recently came across this article which discusses yet another issue regarding the backdoor roth -- the step transaction doctrine. In all these years of reading recommendations for how to participate in the backdoor roth, this is the first article that points to a risk. https://www.kitces.com/blog...
by Iorek
Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I don't have anyone else to brag about this to [debt free]
Replies: 77
Views: 8744

Re: I don't have anyone else to brag about this to

Congrats!

I will admit when I get that mortgage statement every month I want/wish I could pay it off even though it's a very low rate and we are saving plenty.

:sharebeer
by Iorek
Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 - Maryland or Utah
Replies: 11
Views: 748

Re: 529 - Maryland or Utah

I would probably suggest going with MD and if they get to the point where they have a substantial amount ($50-60k) then they can decide to roll it over to Utah. MD does not (as of now at least) have any recapture provision for people pulling money out that was previously deductible. This. Start wit...
by Iorek
Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 - Maryland or Utah
Replies: 11
Views: 748

Re: 529 - Maryland or Utah

I would probably suggest going with MD and if they get to the point where they have a substantial amount ($50-60k) then they can decide to roll it over to Utah. MD does not (as of now at least) have any recapture provision for people pulling money out that was previously deductible. One thing to be ...
by Iorek
Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Recommended 529?
Replies: 33
Views: 3763

Re: Recommended 529?

I trust you've done some web research here - Kiplingers, Morningstar, etc. all have ratings of various plans. From what I recall - the Utah and NY Plans (which others have mentioned) are both typically at the top of rankings for good plans at good prices. I don't think you can go wrong with either....
by Iorek
Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Duct cleaning
Replies: 36
Views: 3432

Re: Duct cleaning

I reccommend reading the EPA information on this before proceeding.
by Iorek
Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For Parents Who Have Given a Child Money For Home Down Payment
Replies: 158
Views: 12764

Re: For Parents Who Have Given a Child Money For Home Down Payment

I think earlier intergenerational wealth transfers make a ton of sense if you are comfortable with it. Not really sure why some people see a stigma against it. I will confess I benefited because my parents gave me excess college savings when I graduated (back in the day, I guess, when there was such...
by Iorek
Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Recommended 529?
Replies: 33
Views: 3763

Re: Recommended 529?

I like Utah-- Vanguard and DFA funds and you can design your own age-based portfolio if you want. IIRC NY has some odd provision on changing beneficiaries, but you could always roll out of NY if you needed to.
by Iorek
Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Michael Kitces says IRS auditors disapprove of Backdoor Roth IRA's
Replies: 154
Views: 21981

Re: Michael Kitces says IRS auditors disapprove of Backdoor Roth IRA's

If people want to make a judgment that the likelihood of the IRS challenging their specific transaction is exceedingly low, and the issue will be addressed (if ever) by legislation, then I am not going to argue with them. However, when people say that they have made a judgment that the step transac...
by Iorek
Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Michael Kitces says IRS auditors disapprove of Backdoor Roth IRA's
Replies: 154
Views: 21981

Re: Michael Kitces says IRS auditors disapprove of Backdoor Roth IRA's

I think it's very telling that the people who are most certain about the application of the step transaction to backdoor Roths are not lawyers, much less tax lawyers. I have a lot of respect for WCI, but I would no more rely on him for legal advice than rely on a tax lawyer for surgical advice. I'm...
by Iorek
Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tenancy by entirety for bank account?
Replies: 4
Views: 670

Re: tenancy by entirety for bank account?

It depends both on state law and on the institution. Not sure if it's worth researching state law or local banks (small enough that they don't have to worry about cross-state conpliance but large enough to want to offer different forms of ownership)?
by Iorek
Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Michael Kitces says IRS auditors disapprove of Backdoor Roth IRA's
Replies: 154
Views: 21981

Re: Michael Kitces says IRS auditors disapprove of Backdoor Roth IRA's

I think it's very telling that the people who are most certain about the application of the step transaction to backdoor Roths are not lawyers, much less tax lawyers. I have a lot of respect for WCI, but I would no more rely on him for legal advice than rely on a tax lawyer for surgical advice. Subs...
by Iorek
Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tenancy by entirety for bank account?
Replies: 4
Views: 670

Re: tenancy by entirety for bank account?

You should be able to do elect joint tenants with right of survivorship (not as tenants in common) which for most purposes is the same as tenants by the entirety. I think TBE has some additional protections againt creditors of one spouse but I also think it's only available for real property.
by Iorek
Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do Nanny taxes affect pay
Replies: 11
Views: 1549

Re: How much do Nanny taxes affect pay

I don't cut my own grass, so I totally get that you may decide it's just not worth your time. That said, we did it ourselves and it was not that hard at all. Took a couple hours to get things set up, and then maybe 20 minutes a quarter (but YMMV depending on your state). The federal taxes can all be...
by Iorek
Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you TLH with a target date fund?
Replies: 2
Views: 335

Re: Can you TLH with a target date fund?

There was some discussion of the OP's question recently-- https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=184833 I haven't really come to a conclusion on this. I think if you really think about the rationale behind the wash sale rule it shouldn't matter whether you hold the funds in a target fund o...
by Iorek
Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working part time in retirement - 1099 vs W2?
Replies: 15
Views: 966

Re: Working part time in retirement - 1099 vs W2?

I have never seen circumstances where the worked could legally and legimitately choose whether to get paid by 1099 or W2-- the paperwork is determined by the nature of the employment not vice versa.
by Iorek
Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth TSP questions
Replies: 7
Views: 684

Re: Roth TSP questions

Thanks-- I think this confirms what I've been thinking, which is we should consider leaving TSP when we retire but if we don't we might as well skip the Roth.
by Iorek
Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth TSP questions
Replies: 7
Views: 684

Roth TSP questions

We have been following a strategy of maxing out our traditional TSP and doing backdoor Roth in IRAs. We are getting closer to the time when we could do catchup TSP contributions and I've been wondering whether we should try to use that as an opportunity to increase our Roth balances. From looking ar...
by Iorek
Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I-bond vs. cash question
Replies: 8
Views: 1290

Re: I-bond vs. cash question

Is 3% the fixed rate on the i-bond or the accumulated/current composite rate?

Also, are these my only investment assets?
by Iorek
Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your house worth?
Replies: 71
Views: 6905

Re: How much is your house worth?

Zillow has a reasonable estimate for us-- would like it if that's accurate but probably high by maybe 5-10%. Redfin's estimate is way high-- 50% higher than Zillow.
by Iorek
Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How long to or do(did) you wait(ed) to backdoor non-deduct T-IRA to R-IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 1182

Re: How long to or do(did) you wait(ed) to backdoor non-deduct T-IRA to R-IRA

I usually wait about a month or so, but I think I am the exception.

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