Search found 249 matches

by John151
Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good Service for Flagship Investors
Replies: 27
Views: 2655

Good Service for Flagship Investors

There have been a number of complaints about Vanguard’s customer service, including customer service for Flagship investors. I’d like to report exactly the opposite experience. So far this year, I’ve opened a new tax-exempt bond fund, taken my first required minimum distribution, changed from one Va...
by John151
Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Placement of TIAA Traditional and S&P 500
Replies: 7
Views: 580

Re: Placement of TIAA Traditional and S&P 500

My 403(b) is entirely in TIAA Traditional. I’d love to add to it, but I’ve recently turned seventy and have to take required minimum distributions. My advice would be to put as much as possible into TIAA Traditional and then invest in Vanguard stock index funds in your taxable accounts. Another poss...
by John151
Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone still buying I-Bonds these days?
Replies: 16
Views: 2135

Re: Anyone still buying I-Bonds these days?

I stopped buying when the fixed rate dropped below 1%. Happily, I have quite a few paying as much as 3.4% plus the rate of inflation.
by John151
Thu May 25, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing Emergency Fund
Replies: 33
Views: 3934

Re: Investing Emergency Fund

I keep an emergency reserve of about one year’s expenses in a Vanguard money market fund. It doesn’t bother me that it pays very little. I like knowing that it’s there if I need it.
by John151
Thu May 18, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for you high net worth individuals... [real estate investments]
Replies: 82
Views: 10693

Re: Question for you high net worth individuals...

Zero for me too. I bought my condo thirty years ago, and its value hasn’t kept up with inflation. My net worth is the result of frugal living and careful investing, mostly in index funds.
by John151
Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you file your taxes with Credit Karma?
Replies: 14
Views: 1336

Did you file your taxes with Credit Karma?

Credit Karma offered free e-filing of both federal and state income taxes for tax year 2016. Unfortunately, they didn’t support Form 1116 (Foreign Tax Credit), so I filed with TaxAct instead.

Did you try out Credit Karma, and if you filed with them, how would you rate their service?
by John151
Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is anyone decreasing % of bonds this year?
Replies: 91
Views: 7676

Re: Is anyone decreasing % of bonds this year?

I haven’t decreased my bond allocation, but I’ve shifted about half of my bond holdings from intermediate-term bond funds into short-term bond funds, and new money is going into my Vanguard money market fund. Is this a wise move? I don’t know, but I guess I’ll find out.
by John151
Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article--Vanguard's customer service takes a hit as it receives epic inflows of cash
Replies: 33
Views: 4503

Re: Article--Vanguard's customer service takes a hit as it receives epic inflows of cash

Perhaps I’ve lived a charmed existence, but I’ve been investing with Vanguard for over thirty years, and I’ve never had a service problem. The phone reps I’ve talked with have always been helpful, and all of my transactions have been processed flawlessly, including my first required minimum distribu...
by John151
Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you do your income taxes?
Replies: 96
Views: 5128

How did you do your income taxes?

I asked this question last year, and I’ve decided to ask it again: If you’ve done your income taxes, how did you do them? Did you do them by hand? Did you have a paid preparer do them for you? Or did you use computer software, and, if so, which software package did you use? I calculated my federal a...
by John151
Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying $20 to E-File State Return
Replies: 75
Views: 13338

Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

It can cost more than $20 to e-file a state return. For their online products, TaxAct currently charges $37 to e-file a state return, and TurboTax charges $39.99. As FYI - TurboTax only charged me $24.99 to e-file state. Maybe the $39.99 is the cost if you don't pay for the software or some other p...
by John151
Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying $20 to E-File State Return
Replies: 75
Views: 13338

Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

It can cost more than $20 to e-file a state return. For their online products, TaxAct currently charges $37 to e-file a state return, and TurboTax charges $39.99. As FYI - TurboTax only charged me $24.99 to e-file state. Maybe the $39.99 is the cost if you don't pay for the software or some other p...
by John151
Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying $20 to E-File State Return
Replies: 75
Views: 13338

Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

It can cost more than $20 to e-file a state return. For their online products, TaxAct currently charges $37 to e-file a state return, and TurboTax charges $39.99.
by John151
Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 228
Views: 24799

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

I was able to retire at fifty-five from a government job with health insurance for life. My cousin retired at the same age from a private-sector job with no health insurance at all. She was able to buy private medical coverage, beginning at around $450 a month, but the premiums skyrocketed before sh...
by John151
Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct still not importing stock data
Replies: 32
Views: 4113

Re: TaxAct still not importing stock data

As I wrote in a related topic, I filed with TaxAct Plus online in late January for $10.50 (federal) and $25.00 (state). Total price: $35.50. But TaxAct has raised its prices to $33.00 (federal) and $37.00 (state). Total price: $70.00. Since TaxAct didn’t import my 1099-DIV and 1099-B information, I ...
by John151
Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Has Raised Its Prices
Replies: 2
Views: 724

TaxAct Has Raised Its Prices

I filed with TaxAct Plus online in late January for $10.50 (federal) and $25.00 (state). Total price: $35.50. But TaxAct has raised its prices to $33.00 (federal) and $37.00 (state). Total price: $70.00. I’m glad I filed early.
by John151
Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saved too much? What do you splurge on?
Replies: 90
Views: 9804

Re: Saved too much? What do you splurge on?

Redecorate your house? New wall paint, new flooring, new kitchen, new bathrooms . . .
by John151
Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax is playing games again.
Replies: 52
Views: 10368

Re: TurboTax is playing games again.

I’m quoting TurboTax’s charges for their online product: Premier at $54.99, plus $36.99 for preparing and e-filing my state return. TaxAct charged $10.50 for my federal return, and $25.00 for my state return.
by John151
Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax is playing games again.
Replies: 52
Views: 10368

Re: TurboTax is playing games again.

I filed my federal and state taxes with TaxAct for $35.50. They’ve since raised their price to $60.00, a jump of 69%. But that’s still less than the $91.98 TurboTax would have charged me.
by John151
Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax is playing games again.
Replies: 52
Views: 10368

Re: TurboTax is playing games again.

As I said above, I sold some securities and will have to file a Schedule D. That means using the online version of TurboTax Premier at a cost of $54.99. My state return will cost another $36.99. Total cost: $91.98. TaxAct will charge me only $35.50. Granted, TurboTax will automatically import my inv...
by John151
Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax is playing games again.
Replies: 52
Views: 10368

TurboTax is playing games again.

If you sold securities in 2016 and need to file a Schedule D, the desktop version of TurboTax Deluxe will handle that. But if you’re using the online version, TurboTax will require you to upgrade to TurboTax Premier for another twenty dollars.
by John151
Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Fund Wash Sale?
Replies: 4
Views: 617

Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Fund Wash Sale?

Would selling Vanguard’s Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund at a loss, and then immediately purchasing Vanguard’s Short-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund, trigger the wash sale rule? Or are the funds sufficiently different to avoid a wash sale?
by John151
Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvesting muni bonds - are you still moving back?
Replies: 19
Views: 1472

Re: Tax loss harvesting muni bonds - are you still moving back?

Last week I tax-loss harvested most of my shares in Vanguard Limited Term Tax Exempt, leaving just enough shares in the fund to keep the fund open. After thirty-one days in a money market fund, the proceeds will go back into Vanguard Limited Term.
by John151
Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: How much cash do you keep?
Replies: 103
Views: 10318

Re: Retirees: How much cash do you keep?

I keep between two and three percent of my investments in a Vanguard money market fund. Everything else is in stocks and bonds. It doesn’t bother me that the money market fund is paying very little. I like knowing that it’s there if I need it.
by John151
Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct pre-purchase discount
Replies: 142
Views: 19324

Re: TaxAct pre-purchase discount

The same thing happened to me—right after I praised TaxAct in a different post. Oh well. Maybe I’ll take a look at FreeTaxUSA.
by John151
Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Pricing
Replies: 2
Views: 601

TurboTax Pricing

I filed my taxes with TurboTax for many years, until their bait-and-switch pricing led me to switch to TaxAct. Today I received an email from TurboTax asking me to come back, with a notice that I could file my federal and state taxes for “Absolute Zero.” So I logged on to TurboTax and discovered tha...
by John151
Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?
Replies: 12
Views: 1739

Re: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?

Thank you, dratkinson. I don’t mind price fluctuations in my stock funds, or in bond funds in my tax-advantaged accounts. The problem with my tax-exempt bond fund is that it’s earmarked for emergencies and major unplanned purchases, so I’d like to keep it as stable and as liquid as possible. And sin...
by John151
Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?
Replies: 12
Views: 1739

Re: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?

Thanks to everyone for your advice. I’ve decided to harvest a tax loss by selling half of my shares in Vanguard’s Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund, with the proceeds going into Vanguard’s Short-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund. It has a slightly lower yield with slightly less volatility.
by John151
Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?
Replies: 12
Views: 1739

Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?

I’m invested in both the Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund and the Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund. As of December 2, the year-to-date return on the money market fund is 0.43%, while the return on the tax-exempt bond fund is -0.55%. So would I have been better off in the money market fund?...
by John151
Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your bank charge for paper statements?
Replies: 26
Views: 2427

Re: Does your bank charge for paper statements?

I’ve had a checking account at my local bank for decades, and for the last several years I’ve done almost all of my banking online. In July, without any prior notice, my bank started debiting my account two dollars a month for paper statements sent to me through the mail. Is this common? Why would ...
by John151
Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your bank charge for paper statements?
Replies: 26
Views: 2427

Does your bank charge for paper statements?

I’ve had a checking account at my local bank for decades, and for the last several years I’ve done almost all of my banking online. In July, without any prior notice, my bank started debiting my account two dollars a month for paper statements sent to me through the mail. Is this common?
by John151
Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Losses in a muni bond fund
Replies: 9
Views: 2255

Re: Losses in a muni bond fund

But the wiki also says this: Note that most Vanguard Tax Exempt funds (and others like them) are not subject to the preceding 6 month rule because of the way they accrue and pay out interest (dividends). The 6 month rule for tax exempt interest comes from 26 U.S. Code § 852(b)(4)(B), but there is an...
by John151
Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Yields on Money Market Funds
Replies: 5
Views: 841

Yields on Money Market Funds

If investors shift from prime money market funds to government money market funds, will yields on prime money market funds rise a bit, and yields on government money market funds fall?
by John151
Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you stop yourself from checking your balances?
Replies: 66
Views: 5021

Re: How do you stop yourself from checking your balances?

I check my account balances whenever I add to them, and that’s usually once a month. I add to whichever asset class is below my target range. I don’t rebalance my accounts through exchanges unless they have drifted well out of their allocation bands, and that happens only rarely.
by John151
Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: November I-Bonds
Replies: 2
Views: 836

Re: November I-Bonds

We can’t be sure what will happen in November, so why not invest $5,000 now and $5,000 in November?
by John151
Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogleheads: Asset-Allocation and Rebalancing
Replies: 74
Views: 7402

Re: Bogleheads: Asset-Allocation and Rebalancing

My stock funds are slightly above my bands, but all of my stock funds are in taxable accounts, and selling shares to rebalance would cost me a lot in capital gains taxes. So I’m practicing what I think of as “passive” rebalancing. I’ve stopped adding to stocks, and I’m putting new money (including m...
by John151
Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to address a college professor with a PhD (Dr. or Prof.)
Replies: 60
Views: 3632

Re: How to address a college professor with a PhD (Dr. or Prof.)

I’m a retired university professor with a Ph.D. I prefer to be addressed as “Your Eminence,” but I’m willing to settle for “Professor.” I would never ask anyone to call me “Doctor,” because I don’t know anything about birthing babies.
by John151
Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reliving the Nightmare of the Crisis
Replies: 119
Views: 11022

Re: Reliving the Nightmare of the Crisis

I added enough to stocks to maintain my stock allocation. I also thanked God that my stock allocation was fairly modest (35%), and that my stock investments were all in index funds. I have a cousin who was about 90% in stocks, and most of that was in the stock of just one bank. The bank went bust, a...
by John151
Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mac Computer
Replies: 21
Views: 1982

Re: Mac Computer

Not sure I understand the question. I have a Mac, and I process transactions on my Vanguard accounts using a web browser called Firefox. You can download Firefox for free. It's a general, all-purpose web browser, and I'm using it right now.
by John151
Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International stocks in free fall
Replies: 118
Views: 12364

Re: International stocks in free fall

Why would anybody sell in a down market, unless it’s to harvest a tax loss? Even then, one should buy back in, choosing something that’s similar but not substantially identical.

At the moment, I don’t have any losses to harvest. I’m planning to buy instead.
by John151
Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you track your own purchases?
Replies: 19
Views: 1704

Re: Do you track your own purchases?

I keep careful records of all of my investment transactions and have done so for many years. This is relatively easy, because I’ve limited my Vanguard investments to two stock funds, four bond funds, and a money market fund. I receive a statement from Vanguard annually, and I compare it to my own re...
by John151
Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund now tracking new FTSE index."
Replies: 22
Views: 3336

Re: "Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund now tracking new FTSE index."

I agree, Rob. I bought the fund when it was tax-managed because I wanted a tax-managed fund. Now that it’s no longer tax-managed, my taxes have gone up, and I’m trapped in the fund because of capital gains. Some time ago, Vanguard asked me to take part in a customer satisfaction survey. I praised Va...
by John151
Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund now tracking new FTSE index."
Replies: 22
Views: 3336

Re: "Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund now tracking new FTSE index."

rob wrote:I wish I had never bought into this fund.... Vanguard's style drift on this one is disgraceful!

+1
by John151
Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How persnickety are you with your rebalance bands?
Replies: 39
Views: 3583

Re: How persnickety are you with your rebalance bands?

For many years, I faithfully rebalanced to keep my allocations within five percentage points of my targets. In recent years, though, my stocks have risen to seven or eight percentage points above my target, and I’ve decided to leave them alone. All of my stocks are in taxable accounts, and if I reba...
by John151
Mon May 30, 2016 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retiree feelings about nest egg
Replies: 36
Views: 7220

Re: Retiree feelings about nest egg

I retired fourteen years ago and haven’t had to draw on my nest egg at all. I’m single, I don’t have a family to provide for, my wants are fairly simple, and my pension more than covers my expenses. I’d have to dip into savings to buy something major, like a new car, but I’m happy driving the same c...
by John151
Thu May 26, 2016 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you retire before normal retirement age?
Replies: 93
Views: 14437

Re: Did you retire before normal retirement age?

I retired from academe at 55 with a state pension and enough in savings to see me through to the end of my days. I’ve never regretted retiring that early.
by John151
Wed May 18, 2016 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct 2015
Replies: 54
Views: 7636

Re: TaxAct 2015

I think TaxAct is a better bargain than TurboTax and H&R Block. I used TaxAct this year, and I’ve locked in for next year too.
by John151
Fri May 06, 2016 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: Who's not changing their AA, ever?
Replies: 46
Views: 5076

Re: Retirees: Who's not changing their AA, ever?

I’m in my late sixties and have about 30% of my investments in stocks. I don’t plan to change that, unless the market changes it for me. And even then, I probably won’t make any changes myself. I’ll just let my stocks stay wherever they are.

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