Search found 3267 matches

by cherijoh
Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: is a 401k loan always terrible?
Replies: 51
Views: 2991

Re: is a 401k loan always terrible?

401k loans are perfectly fine, depending on how you're using them. This is a classic case of framing bias. Two years ago if you had decided you were going to save that money in a taxable account for a home renovation, you would have sacrificed the tax-deferred 401k space and could not get it back. ...
by cherijoh
Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is that gas / fume smell from furnace?
Replies: 15
Views: 774

Re: What is that gas / fume smell from furnace?

Questions: 1) WHAT IS THIS SMEll??? Both the HVAC guy and our landlord think I'm crazy. I do have an extremely sensitive nose but something is there. We used to live in Calif with an ac/furnace and never smelled an odor of any kind. 2) Where is this smell coming from and why? 3) Who do I call to ge...
by cherijoh
Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Value of House in Planning for Retirement
Replies: 46
Views: 2980

Re: Value of House in Planning for Retirement

You are either cherry picking your data or you are quoting a NOMINAL return not the REAL (inflation-adjusted) return. Do you expect your home to increase in value but everything else to stay at 2017 prices? Yes, nominal return. I thought that was obvious. You clearly missed my point. The rest of yo...
by cherijoh
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: wisdom of converting most TIRA to Roth
Replies: 9
Views: 1060

Re: wisdom of converting most TIRA to Roth

As part of my plan going forward - early 60s and already retired - I'm in the process of Roth-converting almost all of my TIRA holding. It's seemed like a no-brainer to me, since I'm able to do $20-30K per year and still stay within the 15% marginal federal-tax bracket. Included in this is my TIAA-...
by cherijoh
Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard on finding a dead person's password
Replies: 43
Views: 3286

Re: Vanguard on finding a dead person's password

On a page entitled "Dealing with a loved one's death", Vanguard says: Ideally, you (or a family member, friend, advisor, or attorney) know where your loved one stored this information, along with financial account numbers and passwords. You may have to put on your detective hat and search...
by cherijoh
Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flagship Reps
Replies: 59
Views: 4250

Re: Flagship Reps

I think Vanguard is getting so BIG now that it no longer cares about any customer with asset levels below $5 million. Maybe Vanguard just wants to run off all such pathetic small investors because they are nothing but money losers and pain in the neck. Excuse me, but that statement is totally unsub...
by cherijoh
Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flagship Reps
Replies: 59
Views: 4250

Re: Flafship Reps

Say good by to a dedicated rep unless you have 5M or greater in the account. 1M is no longer enough as they are raising the bar. Just another notch down in customer service. How often did you talk to your specific flagship rep anyway? I think the move a few years ago to lower the minimum account va...
by cherijoh
Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Value of House in Planning for Retirement
Replies: 46
Views: 2980

Re: Value of House in Planning for Retirement

My 3% figure is a low estimate of historic norms over the long haul. Obviously there's no way to know...but I need some sort of placeholder figure and 3% is as good as any. FWIW in the nine years we've owned the house annualized appreciation has been over 3.5%. We bought prior to the crash, rode ou...
by cherijoh
Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Value of House in Planning for Retirement
Replies: 46
Views: 2980

Re: Value of House in Planning for Retirement

My house is paid off. I will always need to live somewhere so I don't consider my house when doing retirement planning. I think about how much money I will need if I live in a paid off house or condo. At some point I will probably sell my house and buy something without stairs. That might cost a co...
by cherijoh
Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off HELOC instead of having an EF?
Replies: 11
Views: 693

Re: Pay off HELOC instead of having an EF?

I don't keep much cash by choice. I have a HELOC, a margin credit line, and credit cards. All of which may not be there when you need them or at least not a reasonable cost. ⋅  If your home value drops your HELOC credit line may be cut ⋅  If stock prices drop your available marg...
by cherijoh
Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off HELOC instead of having an EF?
Replies: 11
Views: 693

Re: Pay off HELOC instead of having an EF?

Heloc is 100k and stocks are 1M+ Guess I did borrow for stocks since I bought enough stock in the last 5 years could have retired the loan but have gained 10% return above the loan rate. Probably 13% return vs 3% interest My HELOC Interest only is $3600/year and my qualified dividends are $18k/year...
by cherijoh
Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay in paid-off starter house vs. dream house+work a few more years
Replies: 51
Views: 3053

Re: Stay in paid-off starter house vs. dream house+work a few more years

OP here. Thanks for the insights so far. To answer a few questions. We have 2 children. Our current house is four bedrooms, which leaves us with 1 guest bedroom, but about 1800 sf. I grew up with a family of six in a similar-sized house, so I know it's doable, but is it desirable? We also don't hav...
by cherijoh
Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement"
Replies: 117
Views: 9894

Re: "Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement"

This is my favorite part: "Among plan changes BlackRock suggests: higher default rates for employee contributions, requiring employees to contribute more to get the full match, auto enrolling older workers in “catch-up” programs that allow them to save more tax deferred, and making loans and e...
by cherijoh
Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities in Roth part of portfolio?
Replies: 19
Views: 2052

Re: 100% equities in Roth part of portfolio?

MickeyBoy wrote:Would not the Roth part appreciate more reliably if 100% equities? And would not the regular IRA part generate less income tax on withdrawal if it contained more bonds? I'll keep the 50/50 balance I have had for years.


:confused 50/50 balance in what?
by cherijoh
Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio complexity: the wrench and angst it adds...
Replies: 11
Views: 1919

Re: Inheritance: the complexity wrench and angst it adds...

In the meantime, we have updated the recent changes and discoveries we have made in the past few days as we learn and uncover them. TIAA plan now has 4 low cost Vanguard Funds Admiral available. Deferred Annuity at Fidelity has been rebalanced into the lowest cost Index Fund within that instrument....
by cherijoh
Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mea Culpa - Reminder to Stick to your IPS
Replies: 5
Views: 786

Re: Mea Culpa - Reminder to Stick to your IPS

Okay, I'll be the one to ask the dumb question. What is an IPS? Googling, I found "Investment Policy Statement" as a possibility but that says it's an agreement between a financial adviser and client so that doesn't sound right. Actually that is correct - for do-it-yourselfers you are act...
by cherijoh
Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verifying pension election for deceased pensioneer
Replies: 22
Views: 977

Re: Verifying pension election for deceased pensioneer

I thought you had to have spousal consent in writing if you were married and opting not to take at least a 50% survivor benefit. But I'm single so I could be wrong on this point or it could be state specific.

Did your FIL save any benefit projections that would show his benefit amounts?
by cherijoh
Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unique 401k situation after company merger - could really use some advice
Replies: 13
Views: 731

Re: Unique 401k situation after company merger - could really use some advice

1. The current employer 401k plan we have is through Principal and it offers a dollar for dollar match up to 3%. I had to wait a year to enroll and I've been in this position for about a year and a half, so I've only been contributing for six months or so. The plan booklet says I am always 100% ves...
by cherijoh
Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tight Budget Noobie help with Retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 1750

Re: Tight Budget Noobie help with Retirement

Hi Autopeep, 2. At this point the most important factor is savings rate. You should be saving at least 15% of your pre-tax income. I understand you are saving for a downpayment, and I would count that towards the 15%. But once you purchase your house, I would not count the mortgage payments towards...
by cherijoh
Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tight Budget Noobie help with Retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 1750

Re: Tight Budget Noobie help with Retirement

Questions : 1. Should I roll my current Traditional (rollover) IRA into my Roth? (I'm expecting a similar tax rate in retirement FYI) <-- It rarely makes sense to do a Roth conversion unless you have the cash for taxes available outside of tax-advantaged accounts. You don't even have an emergency f...
by cherijoh
Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: sell some stock to purchase more home?
Replies: 18
Views: 1628

Re: sell some stock to purchase more home?

Wise to sell a few shares, to purchase a home that I may like a bit more?? I am going to sell my home after the new year (March or so), and buy a smaller home because of my circumstance. I would like to live a nice neighborhood with a few amenities (for my kids and me). Is this just one investment ...
by cherijoh
Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nearing Retirement's Horizon - Advise Please
Replies: 14
Views: 1279

Re: Nearing Retirement's Horizon - Advise Please

Portfolio Questions Retiring in 2 years. Have saved enough to meet projected expenses, but no more. Upper 6 figures. Retirement home Washington State – 460K; 319K (3.875%) owed (28 years left of a 30 mortgage); Currently renting which pays interest, I pay principle. Current home Illinois – 150K; Ow...
by cherijoh
Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Denied Checking Account by Citibank
Replies: 15
Views: 1848

Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Do you have a credit freeze on your Equifax info? If so, I suggest a temporary lift of that freeze and reapply. Now that you mention it -- I do have a credit fraud alert on my account- -- but I opened an AMEX credit card even with that. it just required Amex to call me back when a credit request is...
by cherijoh
Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [403(b) Fidelity or TIAA Cref allocation, and do I want one?]
Replies: 136
Views: 4807

Re: EJ not [costing me as much as] others?

Well then you haven't been killed on taxes on cap gains distributions … yet. :) But you would've noticed on your tax returns that you didn't pay any taxes, so what's up with that? That's a good question. Are they short term capital gains taxes? My only ordinary income is from my job, and it is $26,...
by cherijoh
Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [403(b) Fidelity or TIAA Cref allocation, and do I want one?]
Replies: 136
Views: 4807

Re: EJ not [costing me as much as] others?

If you pay a 1% AUM this is based on your total account value NOT just on the earnings. This may not seem to be a big deal to you if the stock market returns double digits, but what happens if the return is barely positive or even negative for the year? You would be giving your advisor most of your ...
by cherijoh
Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Bad was 2008, really?
Replies: 187
Views: 11520

Re: How Bad was 2008, really?

2008 was a lot different than your normal bear market since since it was a mainly a financial crisis and the impact to the stock market was a secondary affect. There was a very real fear that the financial system would come to a grinding halt and things would basically collapse and things like ATM'...
by cherijoh
Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turned 30! Women's advice for skin care??
Replies: 60
Views: 2796

Re: Turned 30! Women's advice for skin care??

For men only: Grow a beard which will protect your soft rosy baby cheeks from weathering. Then in your 60's when your beard turns white, shave it off and look young again! I was out walking the dog with a friend a mine of about the same age. Another acquaintance walked up and asked me to introduce ...
by cherijoh
Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: To those with a pension...
Replies: 52
Views: 5828

Re: To those with a pension...

Did you (if retired) or do you (if still working) either: A) reduce your retirement contributions by some percent or dollar amount based on the fact that you will have a guaranteed stream of income in addition to social security; or B) reduce your bond allocation and increase your stock allocation?...
by cherijoh
Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question re: Inherited tIRA RMD tules
Replies: 3
Views: 372

Re: Question re: Inherited tIRA RMD tules

I am 72, and began taking my own RMD's in 2015. My mom passed away at the age of 90 in July, 2015. She had already taken her 2015 RMD. I was the beneficiary on her tIRA. It was transferred to me as an inherited IRA. The account was at Chase bank. I took my RMD for 2016 in April, then transferred th...
by cherijoh
Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4 Months Abroad - what to do before we leave?
Replies: 32
Views: 1833

Re: 4 Months Abroad - what to do before we leave?

I second disconnecting the water from the washing machine and dishwasher. We had a flood one time due to a connection in the dishwasher failing. We now shut off the water at the point it enters the house, and turn the hot water heater down to vacation. Regarding taxes, make sure to ballpark your po...
by cherijoh
Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spousal IRA -> Backdoor Roth IRA, and Spousal Income
Replies: 6
Views: 403

Re: Spousal IRA -> Backdoor Roth IRA, and Spousal Income

I read something recently on the forums that got me a bit confused. Here's my situation: 1) I contribute $5500 for my tIRA and then backdoor it to Roth IRA. All good here. (I don't deduct the tIRA) 2) I also contribute $5500 to my spouse's tIRA and then backdoor it to Roth IRA. (I don't deduct the ...
by cherijoh
Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What should be our third exercise machine?
Replies: 42
Views: 2219

Re: What should be our third exercise machine?

I am in my mid sixties, overweight (fat, but fitter than I look), type 1.5 diabetic (insulin dependent, was fit and active when the wheels started coming off in my late 20s). Because of flat and diabetic feet, running is not a good option, and I am no longer comfortable riding a bike outdoors. My w...
by cherijoh
Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W2 vs. 1099
Replies: 6
Views: 539

Re: W2 vs. 1099

PleAse help. I have a choice. I can either have my employer pay me as w2 or 1099. I have a 401k with 3% match and a employer profit sharing which is about 5-6k some years 3k. It varies. I also have health insurance and medical malpractice insurannce ( that comes out to 20k each) I make in the high ...
by cherijoh
Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card Advice for Large Purchase
Replies: 10
Views: 1069

Re: Credit Card Advice for Large Purchase

Is the contemplated travel domestic or international? Some credit cards charge a surcharge for foreign transactions. Fidelity, for example, has a 2% Rewards Visa, but they charge 1% surcharge on anything international, which cuts your cash reward in half, and which makes a card which returns 1.5% c...
by cherijoh
Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College application time coming soon. Can you recommend an SAT/ACT prep course? Or have other ideas?
Replies: 36
Views: 1599

Re: College application time coming soon. Can you recommend an SAT/ACT prep course? Or have other ideas?

These tests are 100% crammable. I don't know about the "courses", but your daughter would definitely get a good ROI from spending some quality time with a prep book. The other thing that makes a difference is whether or not she is a "good" standardized-test taker. Some students ...
by cherijoh
Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The funk - gym clothes
Replies: 46
Views: 3900

Re: The funk - gym clothes

I didn't see a thread about this anywhere .... Similar thread here: Getting the stink out ... Another thread has: As for stink, I wash my clothes in hot water and dry on hot. The heat kills any bacteria and fungus that contribute to potential smell. Even my bike and running clothes are washed in ho...
by cherijoh
Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you negotiate trading fees with Fidelity?
Replies: 16
Views: 1557

Re: Can you negotiate trading fees with Fidelity?

I am considering moving part of my assets to Fidelity. However, I prefer index funds over MF and there are certain classes, such as Small-cap Value where Fidelity does not offer any good low-cost index fund options. Have you looked at the commission-free ETFs Fidelity offers? They have iShares Smal...
by cherijoh
Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College application time coming soon. Can you recommend an SAT/ACT prep course? Or have other ideas?
Replies: 36
Views: 1599

Re: College application time coming soon. Can you recommend an SAT/ACT prep course? Or have other ideas?

Starting 2016, there is a "new" SAT with scoring out of 1600, rather than the old 2400. Scoring and requirements have changed some, so take note. Now, only 4 choices rather than 5 responses. Take a look at the College Board or Kaplan books, as well as flash cards. You can get quite a sele...
by cherijoh
Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: W2 Contractor Position Without a 401k
Replies: 13
Views: 997

Re: W2 Contractor Position Without a 401k

You say contractor and W-2. Usually contractors are 1099, and employees are W-2. Please clarify. Ralph I believe there are companies in some industries (e.g., IT) that hire you as an W-2 employee then contract out your services to larger companies with whom they have built relationships. They take ...
by cherijoh
Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Conversion of Inherited Home into Primary Residence worthwhile?
Replies: 13
Views: 882

Re: Conversion of Inherited Home into Primary Residence worthwhile?

snackdog wrote:Uh, do you actually have an interest in living there? I assume you aren't going to upheave just to minimize taxes.


I was wondering the same thing - especially since OP mentioned it is in a different state. What would you do with your current residence and your job (since you aren't retired yet)?
by cherijoh
Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to dress for winter vacation in Alberta
Replies: 45
Views: 2262

Re: How to dress for winter vacation in Alberta

We will be snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. A bit of hiking, too, I hope. Do we need those ski pants to stay dry? I guess just plain jeans won't work. (I'm from Texas, and this is my first winter vacation not at a beach, LOL. I've never skied before either.) Just saw this post, so I'll add the...
by cherijoh
Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taking Some Money Off the Table
Replies: 22
Views: 2266

Re: Taking Some Money Off the Table

You can go the estimated tax route, but you can avoid that hassle if you have taxes withheld from IRA or 401(k) or pension or SS payments at ANYTIME during the year. The IRS treats these as evenly withheld throughout the year, so as long as you have enough total withheld, there is no penalty. Ralph...
by cherijoh
Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with my Bali/Singapore/Malaysia itinerary
Replies: 4
Views: 368

Re: Help with my Bali/Singapore/Malaysia itinerary

Please help with our plan for our upcoming trip in early Feb. 2017. 1. Go to Sydney (Australia) to visit relatives---this portion is well planned 2. Sydney->Bali (about a week in Ubud/Sanur) 3. Bali->Singapore--3 days in Singapore 4. Train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur -- stay in KL for a couple o...
by cherijoh
Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska cruise - Help me convince my family
Replies: 57
Views: 3638

Re: Alaska cruise - Help me convince my family

I want to do an Alaskan cruise this summer or maybe next, but my wife and kids and other family members are not very interested. (1) It's quite a bit more expensive than a Caribbean cruise (2) It's a not a warm Caribbean cruise So those of you who have done it, tell me how amazing it is, so I can f...
by cherijoh
Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing a 2.75% Mortgage Rate?
Replies: 16
Views: 2950

Re: Refinancing a 2.75% Mortgage Rate?

Have you calculated what your rate would increase to when if it were to reset right now? I would consider refinancing into a 15 or 20 year when the rate resets, if you can get a lower interest rate than on your ARM and the payment is still fine. So long as the rates are less than what you could get...
by cherijoh
Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth through Rollover IRA
Replies: 32
Views: 998

Re: Backdoor Roth through Rollover IRA

Oh boy, I think I'm in a bit of a pickle now, I did a Backdoor Roth IRA conversion of the $5500 in 2016, when I had a Rollover IRA already. You need to amend your 1040 and pay the extra tax. Per discussion below you will also need to either fill out an 8606 for the first time or fix the one you fil...
by cherijoh
Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!
Replies: 176
Views: 28762

Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

... I had an attorney client years ago who was married with a picture perfect home and family. He started getting late with the mortgage payments every month; then he requested a small loan "to pay property taxes." When he applied we saw his latest tax returns and credit report and realiz...
by cherijoh
Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using alternative valuation for a stepped up basis in a revocable trust after grantor's death
Replies: 7
Views: 406

Re: Using alternative valuation for a stepped up basis in a revocable trust after grantor's death

Many thanks for the condolences and the thoughtful replies. It has been a tough year. I understand now that we cannot use the alternative valuation as the estate was not large enough for estate taxes. Now there is an entirely new problem. We have divided the living revocable trust equities and tran...
by cherijoh
Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of upgrading primary residence, do you recommend?
Replies: 29
Views: 2078

Re: Thinking of upgrading primary residence, do you recommend?

Besides the increase in property taxes and mortgage payment, don't forget to consider the increase in utilities. Will any of these increased expenses impact your ability to save for retirement and college for the goals? And home owner's insurance. Plus you know that your wife will want to spruce up...
by cherijoh
Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard goof up on contribution to IRA?
Replies: 25
Views: 1796

Re: Vanguard goof up on contribution to IRA?

I'm surprised Vanguard took a third-party check. My memory (in my limited experience) is that mutual fund companies don't accept third-party checks. I think the exception is when they are a transfer from another qualified plan - which totally explains the mistake on VG's part relative to crediting ...

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