Search found 240 matches

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: 3477

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: 10793

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: 10793

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: 10793

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: 101
Views: 9561

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: 3347

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: 627

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: 8890

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: 9642

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: 9642

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: 9642

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: 9642

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: 541

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: 1339

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: 9529

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: 121
Views: 13778

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: 551

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: 1619

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: 1619

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: 1619

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: 2084

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: 2084

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: 2158

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: 811

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: 4608

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: 813

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: 6950

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: 3388

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: 9942

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: 1809

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: 11717

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: 1593

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: 3166

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: 3166

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: 3392

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: 7001

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: 13803

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: 7379

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: 4880

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.
by John151
Fri May 06, 2016 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?
Replies: 152
Views: 16981

Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

In a typical month, I spend about $30 in cash, and that’s roughly what I keep in my wallet.
by John151
Wed May 04, 2016 3:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many funds in your portfolio?
Replies: 99
Views: 8475

Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

I have a local checking account, TIAA Traditional, and U.S. Savings Bonds. All of my other investments are in Vanguard funds: a money market fund, four bond funds (split between taxable and tax-deferred accounts), and two stock index funds (one domestic and one international, both of them in taxable...
by John151
Sun May 01, 2016 5:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Fund > Ally Bank?
Replies: 14
Views: 2410

Re: Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Fund > Ally Bank?

I keep a bit over two percent of my savings in a Vanguard money market fund in case of emergencies. I also have about eight percent of my savings in Vanguard’s Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund. I consider it to be emergency money, but I haven’t had to draw on it so far, and I’ve had the fund for se...
by John151
Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help getting out of a tiaa traditional
Replies: 22
Views: 1305

Re: Help getting out of a tiaa traditional

TIAA-CREF offers a number of stock and bond funds, some with higher fees than Fidelity funds. But TIAA Traditional is considerably more stable, and the yield is net of expenses. In other words, you get the full 3%. I’d keep it all in TIAA Traditional. In fact, that’s what I do.
by John151
Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help getting out of a tiaa traditional
Replies: 22
Views: 1305

Re: Help getting out of a tiaa traditional

I count TIAA Traditional as a bond, and it forms about 25% of my bond allocation. I’d add to it if I could, but I can’t, because I’m retired. And I wish I didn’t have to start taking required minimum distributions from it, beginning next year. It has a very good and very dependable yield, and with v...
by John151
Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?
Replies: 43
Views: 5098

Re: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?

Picking up on something ladders11 said, you should try to find out how many units in the association are owner-occupied and are likely to stay that way. Mortgage lenders may shy away from associations where over half of the units are rentals. This might not be a problem when you’re buying, but it co...
by John151
Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?
Replies: 43
Views: 5098

Re: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?

I've lived in a condo association for over thirty years, and I've spent some of those years as a board member. Board members are almost always well-intentioned, but they're unpaid volunteers, and there's a limit to how much they're willing to do. For example, in my association, the board is required...
by John151
Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell ibonds? Or hold?
Replies: 22
Views: 3271

Re: Sell ibonds? Or hold?

I had some I Bonds with a fixed rate of less than 1%. I sold them last year. Fortunately, I had bought a lot of I Bonds when the fixed rate was considerably more than 1%, and I’m hanging onto those. Money that I might have invested in new I Bonds is going into a tax-exempt bond fund instead.
by John151
Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Refund (Where Did It Go)
Replies: 21
Views: 1681

Re: Tax Refund (Where Did It Go)

I usually arrange my withholdings so that I’ll owe a small amount to the IRS. It’s been several years since I received a refund.

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