Search found 792 matches

by Iorek
Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Italy - 3 weeks in 2017, advice appreciated
Replies: 60
Views: 2756

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: 22
Views: 2141

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: 717

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: 48
Views: 3248

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: 1042

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: 7
Views: 959

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: 3301

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: 1666

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: 1666

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: 5198

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: 5011

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: 1557

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: 373

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: 3688

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: 16547

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: 8357

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: 689

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: 689

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: 3519

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: 3246

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: 12048

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: 3519

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: 20872

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: 20872

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: 618

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: 20872

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: 618

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: 1469

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: 318

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: 901

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: 658

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: 658

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: 1236

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: 6367

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: 1111

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.
by Iorek
Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employee FSAFeds Question
Replies: 3
Views: 479

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: 2461

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: 963

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: 5784

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: 5784

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: 5093

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: 2383

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: 811

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: 329
Views: 28882

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: 8025

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: 2250

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: 16923

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: 4430

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: 1401

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...

Go to advanced search