Search found 20470 matches

by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations
Replies: 22
Views: 1612

Re: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations

I'm chiming in with more questions than answers, but hopefully won't sidetrack the thread. Same situation. My research suggests that both GEHA and CF BCBS HDHP are excellent options to have. No judgment/knowledge of the others you list. Both GEHA and CF seem to have ~95% of the same doctors I've be...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations
Replies: 22
Views: 1612

Re: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations

I'm a new fed and am currently enrolled in the GEHA HDHP, and I'm planning on keeping that option for 2018. My wife and I aren't sure if we're going to try for another kiddo, but we'll probably need/want to decide by late next year or early 2019. The GEHA HDHP covers maternity 100% *after* the dedu...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anti-Index Fund Arguments - Help staying the course.
Replies: 9
Views: 1179

Re: Anti-Index Fund Arguments - Help staying the course.

Welcome to the forum! Will the wiser Bogleheads help me dispute some of these points so that I may continue to stay the course. I will organise the points under bolded headings. The dot points are not my beliefs, it is my attempt at summarising points I have seen. Index Funds Buy High/Sell Low Detra...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down a 3.25% 15-year mortgage?
Replies: 23
Views: 3102

Re: Pay down a 3.25% 15-year mortgage?

Paying off the rental mortgage will improve the cash flow, but it won't really improve the economic situation. Cash flow is not profit or loss, since it includes principal payments which increase your equity in the property. If you don't want to sell the rental, then the fact that the mortgage is on...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing priority
Replies: 16
Views: 1045

Re: Investing priority

Normally, an HSA is preferable to any other investment. But if the saver's credit reduces your tax to zero, the tax deduction on an HSA contribution is worthless. This makes a Roth IRA financially just as good, as both grow tax-free, and the Roth is better in practice because you can withdraw contri...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing priority
Replies: 16
Views: 1045

Re: Investing priority

In particular, it appears you (employer matches don't count, and as a student your wife is ineligible for the credit) should contribute $2000 to a traditional account (either 401k or IRA) to get a $1000 saver's credit. If he's filing jointly, Roth vs Traditional shouldn't matter for the saver's cre...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 141
Views: 10858

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

Whether to pay cash or finance depends on what is the best use of your money. I have bought three cars, and that was the basis for my decisions. In 2001, my taxable investment account was all stock, with large capital gains. Therefore, it made sense for me to finance my car (through my credit union)...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with my Taxable Equity Portfolio to be used as a Bridge in 3 Years?
Replies: 6
Views: 427

Re: What to do with my Taxable Equity Portfolio to be used as a Bridge in 3 Years?

View everything as one portfolio. If you want to sell bonds, you can still do that even though your taxable account is all stock; sell the stock, and move an equal amount in your IRA from bonds to stock. You keep your stock exposure, just as if you had the bonds to sell. You also don't need the brid...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inherited Annuity...smartest choice?
Replies: 1
Views: 191

Re: Inherited Annuity...smartest choice?

Welcome to the forum! Since you don't need an annuity, the only reason to keep any annuity is the tax advantage. If you do a section 1035 exchange to a low-cost annuity, you can defer taxes on the gains until you receive the payments. But even low-cost annuities are fairly expensive; Vanguard's Tota...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:24 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Notifications
Replies: 3
Views: 306

Re: Notifications

I was under the impression that if you start a thread you are automatically subscribed to receive notifications, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Did something change or was that never the case? You aren't automatically subscribed; you need to use the options at the bottom to subscribe to a th...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virginia to New Jersey income tax
Replies: 19
Views: 1926

Re: Virginia to New Jersey income tax

Your state tax on the RMDs will be lower; NJ treats all IRAs as non-deductible, so unless your IRA was a rollover from a 401(k) (which has been deductible in NJ for years), you will pay tax only on the gains. Similarly, are you drawing payments from the TSP? NJ does not allow a deduction for TSP co...
by grabiner
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virginia to New Jersey income tax
Replies: 19
Views: 1926

Re: Virginia to New Jersey income tax

I'm just beginning my research, but I still should have added in: am single, retired with a federal pension. am taking RMDs, have Vanguard dividends and capital gains which I've been automatically reinvesting , PROBABLY will rent rather than own, and would likely be somewhere between Tom's River [O...
by grabiner
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell stocks in brokerage account to fund IRA?
Replies: 15
Views: 1211

Re: Sell stocks in brokerage account to fund IRA?

I'm thinking I could further reduce my EFC by selling $11,000 in my taxable brokerage account and making a Traditional IRA contribution for both of us with the proceeds. It looks like I would get more back on federal taxes than I will lose with 6% state capital gains tax. Are you under the limit fo...
by grabiner
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:18 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Master thread for Washington DC Area Bogleheads
Replies: 114
Views: 28975

Re: Master thread for Washington DC Area Bogleheads

I would prefer dinner after the meeting rather than before. Since I am speaking (likely an hour with questions), I would like to use the hour before the meeting to go over my presentation.
by grabiner
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell stocks in brokerage account to fund IRA?
Replies: 15
Views: 1211

Re: Sell stocks in brokerage account to fund IRA?

When figuring the Expected Family Contribution for College, are cash and taxable brokerage accounts treated the same? Yes, except for the income they generate. If I sell in my brokerage account, there is no federal capital gain but I will pay 6% Missouri tax on that. And if you are already in a yea...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is an investment account the best choice for me (new guy)
Replies: 84
Views: 3334

Re: Is an investment account the best choice for me (new guy)

The Admiral share class is better than the Investor share class of the same fund; it has the same holdings, and thus participates in the same market movements, but with lower expenses. If you start with $10K in the fund, you will immediately get Admiral shares; if you have less than $10K, but the b...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better credit or larger downpayment?
Replies: 13
Views: 1068

Re: Better credit or larger downpayment?

(You do not want to pay off the car loan before buying your house, as closing the car loan may hurt your credit score.) I had not heard that closing a car loan could hurt my credit score. I thought that it would make my credit score better because I would have a lower credit utilization %. Can you ...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is an investment account the best choice for me (new guy)
Replies: 84
Views: 3334

Re: Is an investment account the best choice for me (new guy)

Would there ever be a reason to invest in Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Idx Inv instead of the Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX) ER 0.15%? Since the number 1 stock fund in VASGX is (VTSMX), when would it be apropriate to put money in VASGX instead of VTSMX? It depends on whether you want a portf...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Banking Receipts?
Replies: 1
Views: 275

Re: HSA Banking Receipts?

All HSAs work this way; the only reason you need receipts is to satisfy the IRS. You can tell your HSA provider, "I would like to withdraw $2000 from the HSA," and the HSA provider will allow this, without any verification. You will report on your tax form whether you used the $2000 to reimburse you...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What percentage in state municipal bonds?
Replies: 9
Views: 826

Re: What percentage in state municipal bonds?

I have half of my bonds, 12.5% of total portfolio, in CA munis. 78% AAA and AA. Grabiner is the forum member who I have read the most about munis and I hope he weighs in here. I believe he typically says no more than half of bonds in your state. I don't know if his opinion would take into account t...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LifeStrategy Fund in Taxable account
Replies: 16
Views: 1386

Re: LifeStrategy Fund in Taxable account

Before they reach RMD age, they can reduce future RMDs by converting the some of the traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, and withdrawing from the traditional IRA to pay the taxes if they do not have spare money in their taxable accounts.
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA: Should I List Junk Bond Fund Under Stocks or Bonds?
Replies: 12
Views: 704

Re: AA: Should I List Junk Bond Fund Under Stocks or Bonds?

Bond. Historically it has acted more like a bond, and I would guess in today's interest rate environments this would be doubly so. Where are you getting your info that it acts more like a stock? I would break it out into its own catagoey before I would included it in equity. Look at the 2008 return...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paul Merriman: The One Fund Every Investor Should Own
Replies: 122
Views: 18168

Re: Paul Merriman: The One Fund Every Investor Should Own

If room for holding value funds is tight and you want deep exposure in one fund, it makes sense to hold RZV (Guggenheim S&P 600 Pure Value) at 0.35% expenses. This ETF has very deep value exposure, and is mostly micro-caps. It is also suitable for a taxable account because of its extremely low yiel...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paul Merriman: The One Fund Every Investor Should Own
Replies: 122
Views: 18168

Re: Paul Merriman: The One Fund Every Investor Should Own

So DES had a 3:1 stock split on 11-10-17. I had alerts popping up on my phone telling me DES was down 66% :shock: Even my brokerage told me I had those unrealized losses while showing 3x the shares and about the same dollar value as the day before. WisdomTree also added U.S. to the fund name, so it...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Rules When Put Options Bought to Hedge Index ETF
Replies: 2
Views: 228

Re: Tax Rules When Put Options Bought to Hedge Index ETF

Reference from Fairmark: Guide to Capital Gains In particular: Wash Sales and Options It appears from the discussion there that an out-of-the-money put is not treated as a short sale, nor is it substantially identical to a sale. (The tax law is not always logical, but logically, an out-of-the-money ...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virginia to New Jersey income tax
Replies: 19
Views: 1926

Re: Virginia to New Jersey income tax

Very simple. NJ is a gross income tax state. The only deductions allowed are 1500 for a taxpayer and 1k for dependents and real estate taxes (or 18% of rent) up to 10k, period. And medical expenses in excess of 2% of income. NJ also taxes some categories of income not taxed in most states: Medical ...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better credit or larger downpayment?
Replies: 13
Views: 1068

Re: Better credit or larger downpayment?

It's probably better to purchase the car with cash, and make a smaller down payment. You will have the same debt either way, but the effective rate on comparable car debt is higher because it is not deductible. (Note that a 3% 5-year car loan has a higher effective rate than a 30-year mortgage which...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for repaying wife's law school loans
Replies: 23
Views: 1931

Re: Strategy for repaying wife's law school loans

You make 200K per year. Be done with this in 12 months. Why bother playing the loan forgiveness game? You've bought a wedding and an expensive house. Time to pay your debts. Buckle down and knock it out in two years and move on with your lives. So true. I would play this slightly differently. As lo...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement
Replies: 14
Views: 1667

Re: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement

I wonder why the Institutional and Institutional Plus Total Market Index funds are throwing off CG distributions, and the Admiral and Investor share classes are not. When it comes to mutual funds versus ETFs, there really shouldn't be any differences in CG distributions if they're the same (VTSAX v...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement
Replies: 14
Views: 1667

Re: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement

I wonder why the Institutional and Institutional Plus Total Market Index funds are throwing off CG distributions, and the Admiral and Investor share classes are not. When it comes to mutual funds versus ETFs, there really shouldn't be any differences in CG distributions if they're the same (VTSAX v...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Max my TSP or
Replies: 14
Views: 1016

Re: Should I Max my TSP or

Tsp now allows you the option to invest post tax dollars into tsp. I starting doing half and half since I didn't know what would be better. But now that I can max out the Roth IRA for the yr it's a mute point. Which is better depends on your tax bracket; see Traditional versus Roth on the wiki. Sin...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Decision
Replies: 15
Views: 1033

Re: Refinance Decision

I have an escrow account now, and yes the new loan will require one. The current loan has 313 months left, the new one will be at 360 so I may lose out in the long run which is why I posted here for assistance. You can choose to pay off the new loan under the old amortization schedule. If so, you w...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Top tax bracket in CA - Bonds all muni?
Replies: 11
Views: 1017

Re: Top tax bracket in CA - Bonds all muni?

Assuming an investor is in the top tax bracket in California and will be for the foreseeable future, does it make sense to have his/her complete bond portion of a portfolio in a CA Muni fund like VCADX? Or should some bond diversification still be present? I'm no expert in this, but VCADX has a hig...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Max my TSP or
Replies: 14
Views: 1016

Re: Should I Max my TSP or

Tsp now allows you the option to invest post tax dollars into tsp. I starting doing half and half since I didn't know what would be better. But now that I can max out the Roth IRA for the yr it's a mute point. Which is better depends on your tax bracket; see Traditional versus Roth on the wiki. Sin...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ran out of space for bonds in tax-deferred accounts. Now what?
Replies: 17
Views: 1887

Re: Ran out of space for bonds in tax-deferred accounts. Now what?

Vanguard has several muni funds, usually with 0.19% expenses on Investor shares ($3K minimum) and 0.09% on Admiral shares ($50K minimum). Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt has a similar risk level to Total Bond Market, so it is the usual default choice; as with taxable bond funds, you can trade off risk...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are You Comfortable With State Specific Muni Money Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 697

Re: Are You Comfortable With State Specific Muni Money Funds

My normal recommendation is to put no more than half your bonds in a single-state fund. If half or more of your bonds are in a 401(k), then you can hold all your taxable bonds in a muni fund for your state. If all your bonds are taxable, then I recommend half in Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt, and...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA w high medical expenses: Still worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 1297

Re: HSA w high medical expenses: Still worth it?

Not to hijack this thread (but it is somewhat related), but when doing these calculations on what plan to choose, should one also take into account not just the value of the tax deduction from an HSA account, but also (the presumed) value of tax free earnings on the HSA account over some future per...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ran out of space for bonds in tax-deferred accounts. Now what?
Replies: 17
Views: 1887

Re: Ran out of space for bonds in tax-deferred accounts. Now what?

I’m in the 33% bracket. Which muni funds are good alternatives for total bond index? Vanguard has several muni funds, usually with 0.19% expenses on Investor shares ($3K minimum) and 0.09% on Admiral shares ($50K minimum). Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt has a similar risk level to Total Bond Market, ...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is an investment account the best choice for me (new guy)
Replies: 84
Views: 3334

Re: Is an investment account the best choice for me (new guy)

I am completely and utterly NOT familiar with the "kiddie tax," but ... Is the "kiddie tax" a potential issue here with OP selling the stock and realizing capital gains? The Bogleheads wiki on "Kiddie Tax" ( https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Kiddie_tax ): [Kiddie tax] applies if child is <24, still a...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any red flags all stocks no bonds...
Replies: 64
Views: 2642

Re: Any red flags all stocks no bonds...

Are you prepared to see your portfolio drop by 50%? That could happen in a bear market. Lotsa people think they can handle the volatility, until the market tanks.... I think so, even though I have never gone through that before. I feel better knowing I have the pension. If the main threat is my emo...
by grabiner
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I can take $15k out of my trad IRA with no taxes - should I?
Replies: 37
Views: 3230

Re: I can take $15k out of my trad IRA with no taxes - should I?

I have another related question: Can I make a sizeable Roth conversion at the beginning of 2018 and pay the taxes (or most of them to avoid underpayment) throughout the year but upping the withholding on my monthly pension check? Or does the IRS want to see the taxes payed in the same quarter as th...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP with supplemental health insurance
Replies: 6
Views: 546

Re: HDHP with supplemental health insurance

Welcome to the forum! Accident and hospital indemnity insurance isn't a good deal, because it provides partial coverage; you'll have more money if you get into an accident or need surgery, but less money if you develop a disease treated with outpatient procedures, lab tests, and prescription drugs....
by grabiner
Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security - general question
Replies: 44
Views: 4944

Re: Social Security - general question

Most of the "research" on break-even ages, including that by SS, completely ignores the time value of money. (Of course if I am even one day late in making a payment to the IRS, those boys and girls, from the very same government that does the SS calculations, know all about the time value of money...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HMO vs HDP w HSA
Replies: 15
Views: 1306

Re: HMO vs HDP w HSA

The tax benefit is $1652 ($5900*.28); I think you included CA tax by mistake. Don't HSA contributions avoid FICA? They may, if you use payroll deduction. However, I don't consider that a clear benefit, as you lose about as much in future SS as you save in FICA. (Sinece the OP is in the 28% bracket,...
by grabiner
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell stocks in brokerage account to fund IRA?
Replies: 15
Views: 1211

Re: Sell stocks in brokerage account to fund IRA?

I was skipping the Roth to fund the 529. Should I skip the 529 contribution to fully fund the Roth? I can still use the Roth for education without penalty? Any advantage for financial aid going this route? It's better to fund the Roth because it is use-or-lose; you can put more in the 529 next year...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did I earn an extra hour of interest last night?
Replies: 56
Views: 3931

Re: Did I earn an extra hour of interest last night?

On a barely-related note, which I believe legitimately falls into this consumer issues subforum, years ago I traveled most of the train-accessible US on Amtrak. Not by design, but with interest aforethought, one segment of one trip took place on the night DST ended. We pulled onto a siding, and sat...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HMO vs HDP w HSA
Replies: 15
Views: 1306

Re: HMO vs HDP w HSA

Worst case scenario calculations: HSA Annual premiums: ($2,316) Out of pocket max: ($6,400) Employer contribution: $1,000 Tax benefit of maxing HSA: $2,056 Cost: ($5,660) The tax benefit is $1652 ($5900*.28); I think you included CA tax by mistake. HMO Annual premiums: ($3,492) Out of pocket max: (...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA or Traditional Health Insurance - Need Insights
Replies: 17
Views: 1197

Re: HSA or Traditional Health Insurance - Need Insights

Monthly Premium : HSA = $1,500/mo Traditional Health Insurance = $1,600/mo. You live in NJ, which does not recognize HSAs. Thus your only tax savings will be on the federal tax. Assuming a 25% bracket, the $6900 HSA contribution will save you $1725 in tax, and the $100 monthly premium difference wi...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP with supplemental health insurance
Replies: 6
Views: 546

Re: HDHP with supplemental health insurance

Welcome to the forum! Accident and hospital indemnity insurance isn't a good deal, because it provides partial coverage; you'll have more money if you get into an accident or need surgery, but less money if you develop a disease treated with outpatient procedures, lab tests, and prescription drugs. ...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: does it make sense to realize capital gains to max out 529?
Replies: 2
Views: 264

Re: does it make sense to realize capital gains to max out 529?

When are you planning to use the 529? If you are relatively far out (~5-20 yrs), I'd go ahead and do it. If b/t 0-5, I wouldn't. The capital gains tax are almost irrelevant given that you will be hit with those at some point regardless. In 529, if you are definitely going to use it, then you are pr...