Search found 761 matches

by Iorek
Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth TSP questions
Replies: 7
Views: 529

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: 529

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: 1090

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: 5454

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
Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employee FSAFeds Question
Replies: 3
Views: 350

Re: Federal Employee FSAFeds Question

My understanding (for whatever it's worth!) is that the $500 carryover is simply that-- you start the year with $500 more than you asked to be set aside out of 2016 payroll deductions. I think you can always push an elective event to the following year to pay for it out of next year's funds, and be ...
by Iorek
Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Guardian as best online news source for American?
Replies: 23
Views: 2241

Re: The Guardian as best online news source for American?

I like the Apple news app and find I read a lot of stories on the Independent (I added it because I used to like to read in when I lived in the UK).
by Iorek
Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asking for a friend.... E and EE savings bonds beyond final maturity
Replies: 12
Views: 813

Re: Asking for a friend.... E and EE savings bonds beyond final maturity

I would cash the bonds and then see what you get as a 1099-G. It may be that the Treasury just issues a 1099-G in the year they were cashed, even though that's not technically correct. If that is what would happen, I would just pay tax on what appears on the 1099. Note that I think you may need to l...
by Iorek
Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Espresso Machine Recs
Replies: 67
Views: 4761

Re: Espresso Machine Recs

Looks like DW prefers "volume" for the AM commute. Would a super auto producing an Americano be the way to go? We have a drip coffee maker, but she would switch over to an Americano. The regular espresso(s) would be made on the weekend or perhaps once or twice on weekdays. We have a saeco...
by Iorek
Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Espresso Machine Recs
Replies: 67
Views: 4761

Re: Espresso Machine Recs

I think Seattle Coffee Gear is a great place to shop-- tons of helpful info on their site, nice people and very good prices.
by Iorek
Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Termite treatment
Replies: 31
Views: 4226

Re: Termite treatment

Ordered Termidor and treated exterior of 2800sf home and detached stroage garrage 5 years ago...Lots cheaper do it your self if your up to the task. Not impressed with Companies selling services...contracts, reinspect, bait stations...Lots of info on DIY sites. Leaving aside other issues, it's a vi...
by Iorek
Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: White House tours. How to book?
Replies: 18
Views: 2154

Re: How do you get a White House tour?

Small cameras, including smart phones, are now allowed (still photos only).
by Iorek
Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional or Roth
Replies: 9
Views: 749

Re: Traditional or Roth

Unless your wife has bad investment options, I tend to think you should max both your and your wife's traditional TSP/401k and then do a backdoor Roth if there is money left over for retirement savings.
by Iorek
Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Northwest FCU 3-year 3.04% Add-On CD
Replies: 327
Views: 25422

Re: Northwest FCU 3-year 3.04% Add-On CD

I've opened my CD and am just waiting for it to be debited from my funding account, like some others on here. Thank you to Kevin and others for all the invaluable information that has been provided. Anyway, I'm new to investing, so please excuse me if this is a really stupid question. While looking...
by Iorek
Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New investors: how did your first correction go?
Replies: 100
Views: 7208

Re: New investors: how did your first correction go?

I have seen the headlines but tuned them out as noise. Then I opened a statement and saw a decent drop for the quarter and told my spouse it was time to stop opening statements again. We are about 10 years or so from retirement and feeling ok about our AA.
by Iorek
Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: misusing 529 plan
Replies: 19
Views: 2103

Re: misusing 529 plan

I think the way 529s work is that you have an amount that you are eligible to withdraw without owing additional tax based on your expenses for the year. There is no specific tracing requirements that specific withdrawals need to be spent on specific expenses. My understanding is you could pay tuitio...
by Iorek
Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VW stock goes from 170 to almost 100 and falling, good time to buy?
Replies: 169
Views: 15605

Re: VW stock goes from 170 to almost 100 and falling, good time to buy?

This is a week old, but did anyone see Aswath Damodaran's take on VW's valuation? http://aswathdamodaran.blogspot.com/2015/10/putting-price-tag-on-scandal-sturm-und.html I only skimmed it but he lost a lot of credibility with me when he concluded it was worth paying a premium to have a say in corpo...
by Iorek
Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How the Superwealthy Plan to Make Sure Their Kids Stay That Way
Replies: 20
Views: 4301

Re: How the Superwealthy Plan to Make Sure Their Kids Stay That Way

If I made enough money that my kids didn't have financial pressures and could find something meaningful to do with their lives without having to worry about paying the bills, I wouldn't consider that a bad thing. I think the issue is when money ceases to become a tool that enables you to do somethin...
by Iorek
Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Condo Conundrum: Rent it out or Sell?
Replies: 17
Views: 1214

Re: Condo Conundrum: Rent it out or Sell?

I think your post really answers itself with the "keeps me up at night" statement. For whatever it's worth, I will say that we were in a similar situation a few years back and we sold, because I had first hand experience with DC's tenant-friendly laws (basically a tenant has the right to l...
by Iorek
Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions wanted: Pay off loans or invest
Replies: 22
Views: 2140

Re: Suggestions wanted: Pay off loans or invest

At a fed tax rate of 25% I would stop using a Roth TSP, and that gives you some extra cash to put towards the high interest loan, and if you are going to further prioritize the student loan payments, I'd take those funds from the Roth IRA or the HSA, not the TSP. Max out the HSA; you get an IRS sub...
by Iorek
Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions wanted: Pay off loans or invest
Replies: 22
Views: 2140

Re: Suggestions wanted: Pay off loans or invest

At a fed tax rate of 25% I would stop using a Roth TSP, and that gives you some extra cash to put towards the high interest loan, and if you are going to further prioritize the student loan payments, I'd take those funds from the Roth IRA or the HSA, not the TSP. I can't see any justification for pa...
by Iorek
Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone avoiding TLH in favor of simplicity (automatic investing)?
Replies: 42
Views: 2910

Re: Anyone avoiding TLH in favor of simplicity (automatic investing)?

Respectfully, reporting purchase dates as "various" on avg cost is not "just like" reporting them as "various" on spec id. When I go to sell mutual fund shares on avg cost basis I don't really need to know when I purchased those shares, I just need to consider the prior...
by Iorek
Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone avoiding TLH in favor of simplicity (automatic investing)?
Replies: 42
Views: 2910

Re: Anyone avoiding TLH in favor of simplicity (automatic investing)?

People can make the choice whether to TLH or not, and whether to use spec id or not (and it's possible to TLH using avg cost basis, although perhaps not quite as thoroughly) but personally I don't see any way the spec id is "easier" than avg cost. Nor is avg cost some sort of conspiracy of...
by Iorek
Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gross: cash is your best investment right now
Replies: 63
Views: 8794

Re: Bill Gross: cash is your best investment right now

Looks like Mebane Faber's tactical asset allocation model has also gone 100% cash. Last time 2007-2008. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-01/the-most-downloaded-ssrn-paper-ever-is-all-about-market-timing Thanks for posting that. That, and his blog post (http://mebfaber.com/2015/08/24/w...
by Iorek
Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculating value of mortgage interest deduction
Replies: 13
Views: 1230

Re: Calculating value of mortgage interest deduction

But conceptually (leaving aside the details cash-flow, the Pease provision, AMT, marginal tax rates, tax liabilities, etc.), OP is correct that for a marginal tax rate of 33%, if you pay $1,000 in deductible mortgage interest, the mortgage interest deduction reduces your federal taxes by $333, and t...
by Iorek
Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If stocks dropped 30% next Monday, would you rebalance?
Replies: 103
Views: 6735

Re: If stocks dropped 30% next Monday, would you rebalance?

The bulk of my retirement savings is in lifecycle funds precisely to eliminate any need for me to make these decisions and take these actions-- if the market is doing badly I can just throw out the statements unopened if I want to.
by Iorek
Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garmin maps for Italy?
Replies: 18
Views: 1948

Re: Garmin maps for Italy?

I highly recommend the TCI (Touring Club of Italy) maps (for Tuscany @1:200,000) as a supplement to whatever you use ( you can buy it from Amazon , or once you get there). I like having Garmin, but one thing I've found is it calculates time based on what it thinks the max speed limit is, and if that...
by Iorek
Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Admiral Shares
Replies: 6
Views: 824

Re: Admiral Shares

lower fees
by Iorek
Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Backdoor Roth: How Long To Wait For Conversion?
Replies: 14
Views: 1748

Re: Backdoor Roth: How Long To Wait For Conversion?

I wait at least a month, sometimes several of I am waiting to sell on a dip. I freely admit that there is a de minimis risk the IRS will start enforcing step transaction doctrine retroactively against individuals. That said, I like having a month because that's how long the IRS says to wait to avoid...
by Iorek
Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recent windfall - Currently 95% of assets in single stock - Tax and asset allocation advice appreciated
Replies: 79
Views: 5624

Re: Recent windfall - Currently 95% of assets in single stock - Tax and asset allocation advice appreciated

You might also look into the possibility of buying options on the stock, as a form of insurance against price drops.
by Iorek
Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar energy in new england
Replies: 32
Views: 2113

Re: solar energy in new england

CT has some great solar incentives too.
by Iorek
Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on moving holdings to Vanguard Personal Advisor Services
Replies: 9
Views: 1066

Re: Advice on moving holdings to Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

My recollection is it's like a $50 fee to Schwab to move over your holdings in kind (but no charge if you liquidate and close the account)? For $50, I would move things over and then decide what do to with your holdings. No need to feel pressure to make decisions before you've even talked to an advi...
by Iorek
Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beach getaway recommendations please
Replies: 45
Views: 3718

Re: Beach getaway recommendations please

Might look at Puerto Rico (including Vieques). Beautiful beaches, kayaking at night in the bioluminescent bay.... Viequez - isn't that the US Navy warzone and practice range for artillery shelling and bombing? I would build a sand castle and be blown sky high! The Navy gave it back to Puerto Rico, ...
by Iorek
Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beach getaway recommendations please
Replies: 45
Views: 3718

Re: Beach getaway recommendations please

Might look at Puerto Rico (including Vieques). Beautiful beaches, kayaking at night in the bioluminescent bay....
by Iorek
Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying a used leaf to save on transportation costs
Replies: 31
Views: 3419

Re: buying a used leaf to save on transportation costs

A true boglehead would not purchase an electric car (nor would an enthusiast for that matter), which only leaves people who have an axe to grind/message to send (celebrities and politicians), who have a false sense of the impact they're having on the environment (Californians) and people who are ba...
by Iorek
Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How aggressive are you in Taxable?
Replies: 37
Views: 3418

Re: How aggressive are you in Taxable?

We are about 2/3 equities in retirement and 2/3 bonds in taxable. However, our taxable is a fraction of retirement, and most of the bonds are i-bonds. We got in the habit of stashing extra cash in i-bonds and managed to build up a decent emergency fund that way.
by Iorek
Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Caribbean vacation recommendations
Replies: 33
Views: 3846

Re: Caribbean vacation recommendations

Broadly speaking, Caribbean islands tend to be either mountainous, with beautiful scenery (like St. Lucia, Dominica) or flatter with nicer beaches (like Aruba, Anguilla). Of course there will be beaches and scenery on both types islands (and some places don't fit, esp. if they are large like Puerto ...
by Iorek
Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FatWin and Dealer "Challenge"
Replies: 6
Views: 3313

Re: FatWin and Dealer "Challenge"

I once got a call at work telling me I had won a contest and I tried to get off the phone as quickly as possible but stopped just short of hanging up on the person and it turned out I really had entered some online contest to win a trip and while I hadn't won the grand prize I had won a pretty decen...
by Iorek
Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?
Replies: 220
Views: 27311

Re: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?

There seems to be a paucity of people who rebalanced into equities to get back to their stated asset allocation during this time. Recalling the chart I posted earlier in this thread, equities were down 20% in 2008 before the drop in October and they were down more than that in October and again fro...
by Iorek
Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?
Replies: 220
Views: 27311

Re: What was the 2008 crash like in real time?

355 is chilling. The first few minutes talking about the money pool and chasing returns because of the "low 1%". If 1% was bad for a few years, whats 0-0.25% for 7 years do? Makes you wonder. I'm listening to it right now...chilling is a good word. I think it was in the second episode whe...
by Iorek
Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing 11 Million Dollar Gift
Replies: 80
Views: 13154

Re: Investing 11 Million Dollar Gift

Maybe I missed something, but if OP wants to spend $250k a year after tax, and lives in NY, then he could easily be in a 40% tax bracket, and would be at/over a 4% withdrawal rate to get $250k after taxes. Now maybe that's fine, but it doesn't seem helpful to describe it as an easy 2.5% withdrawal r...
by Iorek
Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice on Disability Insurance
Replies: 7
Views: 896

Re: Need advice on Disability Insurance

You might want to look at what emergdoc a/k/a the white coat investor has to say on the topic-- I haven't read these particular posts but IME/O he is very much worth reading-- http://whitecoatinvestor.com/tag/disability-insurance/page/2/ I think there are DI agents on Bogleheads who may be able to w...
by Iorek
Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark
Replies: 82
Views: 10753

Re: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark

Some things to note. 1) This is a 39 month lease for which you will be responsible for paying the 4th year's registration cost even though you will only drive it for 3 months. 2) Do not underestimate the increase in your electricity bill. Their savvy marketers use general nationwide avg. to calcula...
by Iorek
Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark
Replies: 82
Views: 10753

Re: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark

We ended up leasing one of these, and I have to say it's a small car, and the interior certainly says "economy" but it's a blast to drive. Really happy with it, and with essentially no fuel or maintenance costs the cost is almost negligible. We are usually a one car family but we didn't t...
by Iorek
Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark
Replies: 82
Views: 10753

Re: $139 lease for EV, $0 down, 39 month lease Chevy Spark

We ended up leasing one of these, and I have to say it's a small car, and the interior certainly says "economy" but it's a blast to drive. Really happy with it, and with essentially no fuel or maintenance costs the cost is almost negligible. We are usually a one car family but we didn't tr...
by Iorek
Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Banff & Jasper with 1.5-yr old daughter.
Replies: 24
Views: 3735

Re: Banff & Jasper with 1.5-yr old daughter.

There is a nice book called "walks and easy hikes in the Canadian Rockies" you might want to check out. We did this with a smaller child and elected to skip going all the way to Jasper because it was too much driving with an infant, but we still had a great trip. ISTR we stayed in/near Ban...
by Iorek
Thu May 28, 2015 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Raleigh
Replies: 18
Views: 1758

Re: What to do in Raleigh

I like Durham a lot. One thing I didn't see mention is the Durham Athletic Park-- home of the Durham Bulls (of Bull Durham fame, although this park is not the one used in the movie-- that's the "historic DAP" which they only use occasionally now).
by Iorek
Sat May 16, 2015 7:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging Markets: Yes or No?
Replies: 75
Views: 8162

Re: Emerging Markets: Yes or No?

I wish the TSP included EM at market weight, but I have decided I don't really have the stomach to try and "fill in" that part of the index. So I would say, in theory yes, but for me, not really.
by Iorek
Sun May 10, 2015 9:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Financial Plan Under the New [ 0.3% ] Fee
Replies: 33
Views: 5752

Re: Vanguard Financial Plan Under the New [ 0.3% ] Fee

What does the Vanguard Personal Advisor service do or suggest if someone has non-Vanguard accounts? I haven't used this exact version of the service, but I did use the CFP consultation in its prior incarnation and I can say that they collected information on all of your accounts and offered advice ...
by Iorek
Fri May 08, 2015 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dishwasher service plan
Replies: 18
Views: 1131

Re: dishwasher service plan

I will say that while I am sure that overall extended warranties are not a good deal for the consumer, and I don't usually get them, I did get one for our KA dishwasher because I had heard from too many people that their KA dishwasher had issues in the 2-5 year range, and where I am one service call...

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