Search found 2760 matches

by JamesSFO
Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage APR 4.96% - too high?
Replies: 44
Views: 1988

Re: Mortgage APR 4.96% - too high?

Just to emphasize, the FOMO (fear of missing out; e.g. on rates/appreciating homes) is causing you to rush into the purchase when the right answer is likely to rent a bit more. After taxes you should be taking home on the order of $8-10K/month you need about $20-30K extra saved up this should be a m...
by JamesSFO
Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?
Replies: 18
Views: 951

Re: What criteria warrants a need for Living Revocable Trust?

What state do you live in?

For example, in California, probate fees can be quite high and the RLT avoids nearly entirely and/or entirely and is a big win potentially. In other states less so.
by JamesSFO
Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recording documents in California...Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney
Replies: 4
Views: 297

Re: Recording documents in California...Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney

California resident and attorney (not your attorney, not legal advice, etc). Short answer no. Never done it and never been advised to do so by the estate and trust attorneys I used for my own documents.
by JamesSFO
Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Millionaire Next Door" Net Worth Formula
Replies: 168
Views: 13582

Re: "Millionaire Next Door" Net Worth Formula

I would say home equity is very much a part of net worth.My home is paid off and worth about 750K.I believe that could be quite useful down the road if I wanted to sell it and rent or move to a low cost area. I've debated this internally, the book "Your Money Ratios" has a good discussion...
by JamesSFO
Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Millionaire Next Door" Net Worth Formula
Replies: 168
Views: 13582

Re: "Millionaire Next Door" Net Worth Formula

Again, it's a bit like BMI (body mass index), which is horrible... But also one of the easiest quick tools for assessing obesity and related health risks which is why it stays around. If folks don't want to try and use Firecalc (awesome but a bit unintuitive, http://firecalc.com/ ) or a similar mont...
by JamesSFO
Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Millionaire Next Door" Net Worth Formula
Replies: 168
Views: 13582

Re: "Millionaire Next Door" Net Worth Formula

Homer has provided wisdom and common sense for this useless formula.I just do not understand why anyone would put any value on this.I guess there is some human emotional need to measure ourselves against some quasi standard of success or to feel more successful if we meet the numbers. Everyone want...
by JamesSFO
Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Millionaire Next Door" Net Worth Formula
Replies: 168
Views: 13582

Re: "Millionaire Next Door" Net Worth Formula

I find these helpful for getting a quick calibration of "where am I at". I like the slightly more complicated ones from "Your Money Ratios" book that have the additional link of scaling based on age AND expected replacement income. For 80% replacement at age 65, the ratios are: A...
by JamesSFO
Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did I Buy Too Much Home?!?!?!
Replies: 42
Views: 4338

Re: Did I Buy Too Much Home?!?!?!

Sorry, I shouldve been clearer. By "too much home," I meant in terms of price of home, not size of home. Still no real way to answer. For example, in the Bay Area, if you are trying to live between SF and SJ, that's not much above a starter home which is $1.2M easily. From your current in...
by JamesSFO
Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did I Buy Too Much Home?!?!?!
Replies: 42
Views: 4338

Re: Did I Buy Too Much Home?!?!?!

Hard to say, you don't say how many bedrooms and how many kids you plan to have. ~$2M in parts of the SF Bay Area doesn't buy all that much house.
by JamesSFO
Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of Attorney Issue/Question
Replies: 62
Views: 3565

Re: Power of Attorney Issue/Question

afan wrote:So having the login information would not substitute for a DPOA.


Correct. It may be quite useful, but it is not a substitute.
by JamesSFO
Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of Attorney Issue/Question
Replies: 62
Views: 3565

Re: Power of Attorney Issue/Question

afan wrote:Is it true that everything you might ever need to do with retirement accounts can be done online with a login? Nothing that would require the participant's signature or other forms?


That is NOT true. Some items may require signatures and/or other forms.
by JamesSFO
Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I Bonds & Revocable Living Trust
Replies: 2
Views: 240

Re: I Bonds & Revocable Living Trust

Based on prompting from prior threads ~3-4 years ago here, I have found that as a practical matter my trust and personal accounts @ Treasury Direct can each purchase $10K each of I/EE bonds. E.g. JamesSFO Individual Account can buy $10K I and $10K EE And JamesSFO Recovcable Trust Dated 1/1/2015 Acco...
by JamesSFO
Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who holds Vanguard and/or iShares at TD Ameritrade?
Replies: 8
Views: 626

Re: Who holds Vanguard and/or iShares at TD Ameritrade?

I use Vanguard and hold my funds there, no problems with tax reporting. Basically hold 3 fund portfolio + about $10-15K that I very occasionally trade individual stocks with.
by JamesSFO
Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can COBRA be frozen on the account of travel to outside of Country
Replies: 5
Views: 369

Re: Can COBRA be frozen on the account of travel to outside of Country

sure, if HR will allow it, or if the Plan is designed that way (which would be extremely rare). I'm not sure why (even if allowed by ERISA/COBRA) any employer would so design their plans? Employees that pick continuation coverage through COBRA are often sick(er) than the general population and can ...
by JamesSFO
Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just laid off - what to do
Replies: 71
Views: 8919

Re: Just laid off - what to do

Assuming your finances can afford it make sure to take a small bit of down time, it can be stressful being laid off but it also can be a rare opportunity to get a bit of a break from the grind. I still treasure the ~60 days I was able to take off between two jobs ~10 years ago and take some once in ...
by JamesSFO
Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: should i payoff mortgage early?
Replies: 17
Views: 1612

Re: should i payoff mortgage early?

+2 on never met someone who regretted. You can also go part way. Eg pay say $50k extra a year for 3 years while preserving liquidity.
by JamesSFO
Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Underestimated Lease Mileage - Options
Replies: 2
Views: 372

Re: Underestimated Lease Mileage - Options

Worrying about ~$1,500 now for something that might or might not happen in ~3 years seems pointless. As you get further into the lease you'll have a better sense of how real that amount is and can either save for it, manage usage downward a bit, etc.
by JamesSFO
Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free ynab? [You Need A Budget]
Replies: 20
Views: 1993

Re: Free ynab? [You Need A Budget]

Here's a somewhat recent Reddit thread asking the same question: https://www.reddit.com/r/ynab/comments/527wiv/ynab_alternatives/
by JamesSFO
Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US expats abroad: should I buy health insurance even though I'm covered by employer?
Replies: 24
Views: 1175

Re: Should I buy health insurance even though I'm covered by employer?

Could you edit the Subject Header to include something like "[in Singapore]" so that everyone knows that from the start? Otherwise, there is a lot of wasted time thinking about how to help you, regardless of whether it then gets posted or not. Thank you. RM Ok, I edited the subject to spe...
by JamesSFO
Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US expats abroad: should I buy health insurance even though I'm covered by employer?
Replies: 24
Views: 1175

Re: Should I buy health insurance even though I'm covered by employer?

bluejello wrote:Ok, thanks. So when you change employers, the new healthcare plan will always cover any pre-existing conditions you have?


Correct, if there is no gap in coverage.
by JamesSFO
Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US expats abroad: should I buy health insurance even though I'm covered by employer?
Replies: 24
Views: 1175

Re: Should I buy health insurance even though I'm covered by employer?

Does anyone else buy a health insurance plan even if they are currently covered by their employer? Does it make sense to buy into such a plan young and then keep the same plan for decades? Any other insights or advice on this? No it does not make sense unless your employer plan is atrocious. Even t...
by JamesSFO
Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's Happened to Vanguard Reps?
Replies: 17
Views: 1977

Re: What's Happened to Vanguard Reps?

This forum is a clear zone for people frustrated with VG customer service to complain to. If you look at say Consumer Reports, VG ranked well on customer service.

As for a particular investment choice question from the OP, I'm not sure the reps are allowed to provide advice.
by JamesSFO
Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mixing Roth 401k and 401k funds
Replies: 4
Views: 170

Re: Mixing Roth 401k and 401k funds

Also: you could do $18K Roth 401K + $11K backdoor roth in the same year. Though at your income levels traditional 401K is probably a better choice.
by JamesSFO
Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mixing Roth 401k and 401k funds
Replies: 4
Views: 170

Re: Mixing Roth 401k and 401k funds

No problems whatsoever!
by JamesSFO
Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard opens special offices for $1 million clients
Replies: 64
Views: 10403

Re: anguard opens special offices for $1 million clients

Van wrote:I'm Flagship and meet the 1 M qualification metric, but I've heard nothing from Vanguard about this service. What about others out there?


Given that it is just making its way to the press as a future plan I doubt you would have heard of it yet...
by JamesSFO
Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying at Disneyworld
Replies: 30
Views: 3135

Re: Staying at Disneyworld

Disneyworld has options at most price points, what price point are you looking for per room night?
by JamesSFO
Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the big things to get right?
Replies: 90
Views: 10914

Re: What are the big things to get right?

Big things, keep you priorities straight (Suze Orman-esuqe, people then money then things), spend less than you earn, know that it's ok to use your money to further your happiness just plan for it, and ignore all of the noise from CNBC and the like.
by JamesSFO
Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Lousy] 401k vs. Taxable Account and Some Tax Questions
Replies: 6
Views: 414

Re: [Lousy] 401k vs. Taxable Account and Some Tax Questions

That's a pretty painfully bad 401K, it may pay to stop contributing without a match and if you expect to be there a while (1%+ ERs + 1.87% per anum fee = really bad). If you think you might leave in next 2-3 years then keep building it up.
by JamesSFO
Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099s Up for Brokerage
Replies: 5
Views: 427

1099s Up for Brokerage

I had my 1099 consolidated late last night at Vanguard for my new-style brokerage account, still waiting on Fidelity...
by JamesSFO
Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Closed my Roth IRA due to political uncertainty - mistake???
Replies: 102
Views: 5828

Re: Closed my Roth IRA due to political uncertainty - mistake???

Sounds like good progress. Take your time you've got plenty of time to make changes, sticking with a bond-heavy fund for a while will likely make it easier for you to stay the course.
by JamesSFO
Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Closed my Roth IRA due to political uncertainty - mistake???
Replies: 102
Views: 5828

Re: Closed my Roth IRA due to political uncertainty - mistake???

... The OP said there were no earnings - that the amount in his account was less than what he contributed. Therefore there would be no tax/penalty. That may be true, but I think people posting are trying to make the point that the OP still should make sure this was designated a rollover rather than...
by JamesSFO
Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with filling in Form 5500 for Solo 401k
Replies: 10
Views: 609

Re: Help with filling in Form 5500 for Solo 401k

Thanks, did not know that piece.
by JamesSFO
Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Closed my Roth IRA due to political uncertainty - mistake???
Replies: 102
Views: 5828

Re: Reopening Roth after a panic move - need advice on investment

Just got off the horn w/ Vanguard. All set. This wasn't/isn't employer sponsored, so it's going in as a contribution. I went with TRF 2015 for now. Thanks again for all the input. This is wrong. If it came out of an IRA of any type (and wasn't a RMD) it's rollover eligible. If you don't intend to c...
by JamesSFO
Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with filling in Form 5500 for Solo 401k
Replies: 10
Views: 609

Re: Help with filling in Form 5500 for Solo 401k

Well, they had me fill in two qualified plan setup forms, one for the trad 401k and one for the Roth 401k. Seems like two plans to me. I'll have them confirm. Thanks again for your help! Seems bizarre, do you really have two plan #s? Anyhow if that's the case, you might not be at the $250K limit un...
by JamesSFO
Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with filling in Form 5500 for Solo 401k
Replies: 10
Views: 609

Re: Help with filling in Form 5500 for Solo 401k

Thanks! The provider is Hedgeable, and Folio Client actually holds the 401k. No advice given (although I might ask). They did have me open 2 separate accounts for the Roth and Trad which confuses me. I do know that you have to file a 5500 for each plan if the aggregate is over 250k, even if individ...
by JamesSFO
Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis of fractional shares for ACAT transfer?
Replies: 8
Views: 408

Re: Cost basis of fractional shares for ACAT transfer?

Hmm, I've had ACAT transfers into Vanguard and my recollection is that they transferred the fractional shares over with all of the correct cost basis information. Mutual funds or ETFs? I've never had fractional shares of ETFs transfer, but MFs it's typical. I may be mixing I did both mutual funds a...
by JamesSFO
Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis of fractional shares for ACAT transfer?
Replies: 8
Views: 408

Re: Cost basis of fractional shares for ACAT transfer?

Hmm, I've had ACAT transfers into Vanguard and my recollection is that they transferred the fractional shares over with all of the correct cost basis information. Mutual funds or ETFs? I've never had fractional shares of ETFs transfer, but MFs it's typical. I may be mixing I did both mutual funds a...
by JamesSFO
Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with filling in Form 5500 for Solo 401k
Replies: 10
Views: 609

Re: Help with filling in Form 5500 for Solo 401k

Each 5500 is for one EIN/Plan #. E.g. EIN ##-1234567 is your S-CORP and ##-7654321 is your other one. The Roth/Traditional is a red herring, you have a single plan for each in which there are different types of balances. E.g. S-Corp Plan #1 has both Roth and traditional balances. I believe the 5500 ...
by JamesSFO
Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis of fractional shares for ACAT transfer?
Replies: 8
Views: 408

Re: Cost basis of fractional shares for ACAT transfer?

Hmm, I've had ACAT transfers into Vanguard and my recollection is that they transferred the fractional shares over with all of the correct cost basis information.
by JamesSFO
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k Record Keeping Fee
Replies: 87
Views: 10575

Re: 401k Record Keeping Fee

Another question on whether our 401k account is getting ripped off on fees. Small publishing company, based in New York City. Approximately 80 employees, total 401(k) assets in the region of $900,000. We switched our fund administrator from MassMutual (ranked dead last for 401(k) plan sponsors) to ...
by JamesSFO
Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare Spending Account Newbie- Help with rules...
Replies: 6
Views: 480

Re: Healthcare Spending Account Newbie- Help with rules...

Others more knowledgable then me may step in, but I believe that HSA-compatibility is an insurance company determination that is not solely based on the deductible. This page explains why you are likely not eligible: https://www.benefitresource.com/participants/health-savings-account-hsa/hsa-basics/
by JamesSFO
Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $600 annual fee for 401K??
Replies: 15
Views: 1790

Re: $600 annual fee for 401K??

Wow, that's a crazy amount to pay for a solo 401K plan, it should be free or almost free. Vanguard, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and others will do this for free.
by JamesSFO
Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wow, Vanguard Flagship service is bad. Really bad.
Replies: 150
Views: 20899

Re: Wow, Vanguard Flagship service is bad. Really bad.

Fair point. Question should have been: Are others seeing this or is it just bad luck on my part? As with any process dependent on people, Flagship representatives can vary. I've had 2 good ones and 1 that I didn't care for over the last ~18 or so years. My current one is fantastic. If you aren't ha...
by JamesSFO
Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard lifestrategy vs. Target Date Funds
Replies: 4
Views: 767

Re: Vanguard lifestrategy vs. Target Date Funds

I believe most companies that default to a LS-type fund just pick one default, e.g. 60 stock/40 bond. Your plan administrator should have some perspective on this. Since the LS fund will not "glide", picking a default that someone who forgets about it can stick to is important. I also woul...
by JamesSFO
Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To add total intl bond or not?
Replies: 7
Views: 492

Re: To add total intl bond or not?

Thanks for the pointers, somehow I missed the recent Jan 22 thread for example.
by JamesSFO
Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To add total intl bond or not?
Replies: 7
Views: 492

To add total intl bond or not?

So I hold a 3 fund portfolio (70 equity/30 bond; equity split 70 US/30 intl); for 2017 total intl bond became an option in my 401k. What are folks doing a year or so in to the availability of total intl bond?

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