Search found 29 matches

by James1
Mon May 08, 2017 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent or Buy Considerations
Replies: 7
Views: 995

Re: Rent or Buy Considerations

It sounds like you have two competing things going on: you like to move (so maybe change jobs a lot or are self employed?) and now have school age kids. The former is not necessarily conducive to the latter. Kids need stability. Putting all the financial comparisons aside, you should carefully exam...
by James1
Mon May 08, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent or Buy Considerations
Replies: 7
Views: 995

Re: Rent or Buy Considerations

I want to point out that the 1% rule was coined when average int rates were 6-8% and it will NEVER work for most environments that have nice houses that are growing. Also it was intended as a "should I buy this property for investment" aid NOT a does it make more sense to buy or rent. 1% ...
by James1
Mon May 08, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, passive income, and standard deduction
Replies: 10
Views: 954

Re: Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, passive income, and standard deduction

You can also use your standard deduction space to convert tIRAs to roths and pay no tax on the conversions. +1 You might even consider converting significant tIRA holdings (if you have them) to Roths; up to the 10% or 15% marginal tax rate limit. Take full advantage of this situation. You only want...
by James1
Mon May 08, 2017 4:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, passive income, and standard deduction
Replies: 10
Views: 954

Re: Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, passive income, and standard deduction

You can also use your standard deduction space to convert tIRAs to roths and pay no tax on the conversions.
by James1
Sun May 07, 2017 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent or Buy Considerations
Replies: 7
Views: 995

Re: Rent or Buy Considerations

Finance-MD, Thanks for the insight. It confirms that renting might be the better financial option. We live in a no income state in an area with rapid growth. Although zillow only estimates home values to increase 1-2% for the next year. So maybe the smallest down payment would be the best (if we dec...
by James1
Sat May 06, 2017 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent or Buy Considerations
Replies: 7
Views: 995

Rent or Buy Considerations

I need an outsider's view to help us decide whether to rent or buy! I'm sure we're missing some obvious factors. Some days it seems like renting is better and some days buying seems like the obvious choice. In the last 10 years, we've rented 2 places and bought/sold 2 houses. The longest we've ever ...
by James1
Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No Stress Chess board game for 7 year old
Replies: 13
Views: 1300

Re: No Stress Chess board game for 7 year old

We joined a chess group and my 6 & 8 yr olds love it. They have an entire story that explains the board set-up that really engaged the kids. They also have them play using pawns and 1 or 2 pieces at a time to learn how that piece(s) move(s). Even though they can play full games together, playing...
by James1
Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimating income for ACA and HSA contributions for a partial yr plan
Replies: 3
Views: 426

Re: Estimating income for ACA and HSA contributions for a partial yr plan

Yes, the foreign income will qualify for the FEIE. Does that matter for HSA contributions or ACA income estimates?

So as long as I have an HSA eligible plan in December, I can contribute the full amount. What would the testing period entail for 2018?

Thanks for your help!
by James1
Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimating income for ACA and HSA contributions for a partial yr plan
Replies: 3
Views: 426

Estimating income for ACA and HSA contributions for a partial yr plan

I will be moving back to the states in a month and I need to estimate my income for the year for an ACA health plan. If the plan starts in June, will I be able to contribute the full amount? To estimate my income I planned to do the following: Income from overseas + US income -18k (401k contribution...
by James1
Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance Options - family with 1 part-time job
Replies: 16
Views: 1243

Re: Health Insurance Options - family with 1 part-time job

That's a good point. If you buy plan directly through an insurer instead of the exchange, you cannot get a subsidy regardless of what your income winds up being. I always thought basing the subsidy on future income was odd. The OP probably has to play with the numbers for their state/zip. It may tu...
by James1
Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance Options - family with 1 part-time job
Replies: 16
Views: 1243

Re: Health Insurance Options - family with 1 part-time job

"You indicated that health coverage is available through your or your spouseā€™s job. In general, people who are offered insurance through work are not eligible for financial help through the Health Insurance Marketplace." This is what I was thinking and it puts me in a bind. I can get medi...
by James1
Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepaid debit card to use in Europe?
Replies: 5
Views: 669

Re: Prepaid debit card to use in Europe?

Have them set up a schwab account. Their atm is perfect for traveling. There are no transaction fees and they even reimburse atm fees. My relatives use PayPal to send us money while we're overseas (for birthdays and such). This alows everyone's bank information stays private. Here's what we do: 1. R...
by James1
Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Fund vs cash for taxable account
Replies: 6
Views: 980

Re: Bond Fund vs cash for taxable account

When do you plan on spending this $25K? If you plan on spending it soon, then keep it in cash. If longer term, maybe a ST bond fund would work or a muni-fund. You get to decide what "soon" means. I consider it part of my long-term/retirement savings. I don't have plans to spend it anytime...
by James1
Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Fund vs cash for taxable account
Replies: 6
Views: 980

Re: Bond Fund vs cash for taxable account

Are your tax advantaged accounts already filled with bonds? If not, perhaps you can exchange 25K of stocks for bonds in your 401k and use the 25K to buy tax efficient stock funds in taxable.


My tira/401k's are already filled with bonds.
by James1
Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Fund vs cash for taxable account
Replies: 6
Views: 980

Bond Fund vs cash for taxable account

I have 25k in a savings account that is earning 1.05% interest. It is already considered part of my 20% bond/cash allocation. With the drop in bond fund prices, I was thinking of moving it into bonds. However, I would have to move it into a taxable account (there's no more space in my tax advantaged...
by James1
Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Depending on stability of ACA marketplace for next 8 years?
Replies: 40
Views: 3670

Re: Depending on stability of ACA marketplace for next 8 years?

OP, I believe ACA is only available to low income families who have "income" that is at least at poverty level. So depending on your income in "early retirement" you may or may not be eligible for ACA subsidies. Remember you can still buy medical insurance without using ACA. [/q...
by James1
Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Free Money [what to do?]
Replies: 12
Views: 1484

Re: Tax Free Money [what to do?]

Not positive on this, but I suspect you aren't eligible for the IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts we talk about here, especially if you are eligible to save money without paying taxes on it already. If you have income above the foreign earned income exclusion limit, then you would be able to c...
by James1
Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Free Money [what to do?]
Replies: 12
Views: 1484

Re: Tax Free Money [what to do?]

Do you already have an investment account? Or do you have a permanent US address you can use to open one? It might be very difficult to open one while living overseas.

Otherwise, I would do a lot of reading in the "New to Investing? Start Here" area of the site.
by James1
Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling to rent, where to put cash?
Replies: 17
Views: 2807

Re: Selling to rent, where to put cash?

We sold our house last year so we could move overseas for a job opportunity (and lots of travel!). We decided to DCA the money into our taxable account over 6 months because I was too chicken to put it in all at once. It is now considered part of our retirement funds and will not be needed for 20+ y...
by James1
Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Plan Edited question
Replies: 11
Views: 1883

Re: Retirement Plan

Why do you think you will have limited access to your accounts? Online: You will want a cell phone with data anywhere you travel and you can use it as a hot spot for your computer. Phone:There are many ways to call companies for free from overseas so it will appear that you are calling from the US (...
by James1
Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many Vanguard (or equiv) accounts do you have?
Replies: 16
Views: 1647

Re: How many Vanguard (or equiv) accounts do you have?

We're working on consolidating ours, but we will always have too many.
2 adults and 2 kids
2 joint taxable
5 roth iras (kids too young to manage theirs)
2 tIRAs
1 simple
2 401k
1 sep
1 hsa
2 529
+ misc savings and checking accounts.
16+ accounts to manage!
by James1
Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do I do now? Maxing out
Replies: 13
Views: 2106

Re: What do I do now? Maxing out

Don't forget that you will be taxed on your marginal rate. Look at the foreign earned income tax worksheet to understand how it works. Here's a simple example. Foreign income: 175k Other income (dividends, interest, conversions): 25k Gross total income: 200k Standard deduction and exemptions: 30k* 4...
by James1
Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversion from Singapore
Replies: 2
Views: 283

Re: Roth conversion from Singapore

As long as I stay under the standard deduction and exemption amount (we're a family of 4, so approximately 30k), I don't think it matters. Here's how I thought it worked( #'s used are for simplisity)... Foreign income: 99k Other income (dividends, interest, conversions): 30k Gross total income: 129k...
by James1
Tue May 31, 2016 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversion from Singapore
Replies: 2
Views: 283

Roth conversion from Singapore

We just moved to Singapore and would like to convert some of our tIRAs to Roths while we are here. We plan to use the foreign earned income exclusion for our income and convert up to our standard deduction + exemptions - any dividends or interest + child tax credits (approximately 30k). We have no i...
by James1
Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opening A Roth For My 5 Year Old?
Replies: 42
Views: 6055

Re: Opening A Roth For My 5 Year Old?

My dad had a similar strategy for me. He started contributing to a SEP for me (this was before Roths existed) when I started working around the office at 10. To get around child labor laws (WA), he had to bring paperwork for my principal to sign once a year showing that I wasn't being overworked and...
by James1
Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time ACA - do I understand income rules?
Replies: 3
Views: 1009

Re: First time ACA - do I understand income rules?

These blog posts might be helpful for you. They discuss the best income levels for both taxes and the ACA. Other than the premium subsidy, there is a cost sharing reduction subsidy to factor in for households between 100% and 250% of the FPL.

http://www.gocurrycracker.com/obamacare ... etirement/


http://www.gocurrycracker.com/obamacare ... imization/
by James1
Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Working abroad and new to investing
Replies: 6
Views: 594

Re: Working abroad and new to investing

Many companies limit the sale of mutual funds to people living abroad. It might be easier for you to invest in ETFs while living in asia. m Any investment income will not be covered by the foreign earned income exclusion, so you will pay taxes on it. While it might currently be taxed at 0%, you woul...
by James1
Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds SIMPLE IRA
Replies: 12
Views: 1128

Re: American Funds SIMPLE IRA

Have you verified that the load fees apply to you? We are in a similar situation and found that the fees are based on the account value. With a simple plan, the account value includes every account in the simple plan. Depending on how many people participate in the simple plan, it's not hard to reac...
by James1
Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
Replies: 3
Views: 568

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

If you choose to take the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion(FEIE), does it have to apply to your entire income? Can you apply it to only some of your income? For example: You qualify for the FEIE and made $80,000. You want to contribute to an IRA and cannot use excluded income. Can you only apply the ...