Search found 531 matches

by happymob
Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you buy in Asian food stores?
Replies: 86
Views: 5673

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Vegetables I can't get in standard grocery stores around here (bok choy, garlic greens, etc) Vegetables that are significantly cheaper (shallots) Locally-made tofu Fresh (non-dried) Asian noodles Dried Asian noodles Rice Pork bellies Frozen ducks (head off, I'm not that bold) Gochujang paste (we go ...
by happymob
Tue May 16, 2017 6:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Has anyone sold TIPS prior to maturity
Replies: 21
Views: 1646

Re: Has anyone sold TIPS prior to maturity

We bought a slug of Tips in October 2008. The real rate was around 3%. At some point, the rate dropped below 1% and I sold about half the holding for a large gain. I thought the real rate of a TIPS was fixed for the life of the bond. Am I confused and/or misinformed? --vtMaps The rate is fixed, but...
by happymob
Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?
Replies: 83
Views: 8308

Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?

The intent of this thread is to spread the word about oddball tax situations that people may not know about to better plan for 2017. With that said, is there anything about your 2016 taxes that caught you off-guard? In my case, it was the retirement saver's credit. Our AGI was lower this year than u...
by happymob
Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do you expect to achieve with your Tilt?
Replies: 85
Views: 7329

Re: What do you expect to achieve with your Tilt?

Honestly, I may or may not achieve any actual improvement in returns.

What I expect to achieve is a little added entertainment as I see that small-cap value is up (or down) or emerging markets are up (or down). It's just more interesting than a 3-fund portfolio.
by happymob
Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Illusion of poverty/wealth
Replies: 166
Views: 27037

Re: Illusion of poverty/wealth

bigred77 wrote:The "illusion of poverty" is really prevalent amongst a subset of Bogleheads IMO...

An even more extreme case of this than Bogleheads is Mr. Money Mustache mustachians.
by happymob
Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this a financially viable way to use dividends over the next 40 years?
Replies: 8
Views: 1301

Re: Is this a financially viable way to use dividends over the next 40 years?

Since this is in an IRA anyway, I don't really understand the preference for holding a dividend fund (which, as indicated, will be somewhat concentrated in financials and utilities) over a total stock market or S&P 500 fund.
by happymob
Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep a Local Bank?
Replies: 76
Views: 5997

Re: Keep a Local Bank?

What about signature guarantee on financial documents? That isn't the same as a notary. Most banks will do this as a courtesy for non account holders. Regarding local bank- I would maintain one (or credit union) for a local account with a nominal balance. Occasionally (1-2) I need the local bank fo...
by happymob
Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any issue with too many tax lots/betterment
Replies: 8
Views: 796

Re: Any issue with too many tax lots/betterment

"Various" works. If I did my taxes by hand, I would avoid Betterment like the plague. With tax software, the burden is trivial.
by happymob
Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you buy this house in a flood zone? HELP!
Replies: 63
Views: 4744

Re: Would you buy this house in a flood zone? HELP!

Make sure you understand what is meant by flood and what flood insurance will and will not cover. Our story - We bought a house in a flood plain in 2006. The sellers told us at the time that the house hadn't flooded since 1985. This was consistent with how other people in town defined flood. What we...
by happymob
Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would it make sense for me to not max out my 401K?
Replies: 71
Views: 8305

Re: Would it make sense for me to not max out my 401K?

Regardless of your tax bracket, you should contribute to get the full match. Otherwise, if I were you, I would only contribute to the 401k until I was in the 15% tax bracket. Unless you have a lot of income other than salary, that would mean not maxing your 401k. Other people will tell you to alway...
by happymob
Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has a bank offered you a "Special" CD rate?
Replies: 16
Views: 2253

Re: Has a bank offered you a "Special" CD rate?

Yes. I've received changes from published rates and early withdrawal terms multiple times.
by happymob
Sat May 21, 2016 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is it worth it to add REITs to my simple 3 fund portfolio?
Replies: 24
Views: 1950

Re: is it worth it to add REITs to my simple 3 fund portfolio?

If inflation picks up and exceeds expectations then at least theoretically REITs should do better than stocks and conventional bonds. Greater correlation with inflation. It's a bit more complicated than that. The underlying real estate holdings should do ok with inflation, but inflation tends to br...
by happymob
Sat May 14, 2016 7:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Intra-Family Mortgage INSTEAD of Investing
Replies: 27
Views: 2794

Re: Intra-Family Mortgage INSTEAD of Investing

While your mom could get a tax deduction, you will have to recognize it as income and pay taxes on it. You don't really come out ahead. If you're mom wants to transfer money to you, just have her give it to you as a gift. She could give you and your husband each 14k a year tax free plus another ~$5...
by happymob
Fri May 13, 2016 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 10 Year TIPS Auction
Replies: 14
Views: 1604

Re: 10 Year TIPS Auction

If this is in taxable, and I hadn't maxed out I-bond purchases for the year, I would prioritize that over the 10-year TIP. Similar yields, but taxes are deferred and you have a lot more flexibility with the I Bond. If you were planning to buy in tax-deferred accounts, but have money in taxable, I wo...
by happymob
Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How many financial accounts to maintain?
Replies: 30
Views: 3743

Re: How many financial accounts to maintain?

My wife and I currently have 20 savings and investment accounts (so no credit cards in that number). That is more than I would like and we are actively consolidating, but in a perfect world, we would still end up with: Rewards checking account Taxable brokerage 2x Roth IRAs 2x Workplace 403b 2x TIAA...
by happymob
Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Learning Quest (Kansas) Investment Options
Replies: 3
Views: 427

Re: 529 Learning Quest (Kansas) Investment Options

There's no real reason to invest in the KS Learning Quest 529 - KS gives a deduction for any state's 529 plan. Shop around for lower expenses.
by happymob
Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non-coverd vs Covered Shares
Replies: 7
Views: 767

Re: Non-coverd vs Covered Shares

Jenmke, regrettably, I have one of those "vintage" taxable mutual funds my parents bought for me in the late 60's. Long before computers could keep track. Were I to sell today, neither I nor the IRS would have a clue how much LTCG tax I might owe. My solution: keep it in the estate and le...
by happymob
Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non-coverd vs Covered Shares
Replies: 7
Views: 767

Re: Non-coverd vs Covered Shares

Jenmke, regrettably, I have one of those "vintage" taxable mutual funds my parents bought for me in the late 60's. Long before computers could keep track. Were I to sell today, neither I nor the IRS would have a clue how much LTCG tax I might owe. My solution: keep it in the estate and le...
by happymob
Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy for Investing Inheritant Money
Replies: 15
Views: 2724

Re: Strategy for Investing Inheritant Money

Thanks all! @rmelvey I already maxed out retirement accounts every year since I'm also at the highest tax bracket now . To sum up, a reasonable strategy would be: 1. Read, learn and investigate to find a low cost index-based allocation that I'm comfortable with. 2. Invest 20% of the money each mont...
by happymob
Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529
Replies: 9
Views: 1424

Re: 529

thanks for the replies......I'm the custodian of the account. It is for my 2015 taxes. Its through Vanguard's 529, therefore through Nevada's apparently. OK, so there is no MI tax advantage for you. Which is not a bad thing in the long run. Who is the owner of the account? You? Your granddaughter? ...
by happymob
Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandson working for me-Child labor law?
Replies: 35
Views: 2815

Re: Grandson working for me-Child labor law?

Ron wrote:No different than a "child" working on a family farm, much younger in age.

Except, legally, it might be different. Exemptions to family farms likely wouldn't apply to family construction business.
by happymob
Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ESPP - help talk me into selling
Replies: 8
Views: 1042

Re: ESPP - help talk me into selling

The standard Bogleheads response for ESPP (and for many at my workplace) is "sell it as soon as you get it" for the instant ROI, but this stock has also kept me above water for the past year. Economy tanks. Stock market tanks. Your company's stock price tanks. You are laid off. This is ab...
by happymob
Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning For Future Estate Taxes
Replies: 18
Views: 1837

Re: Planning For Future Estate Taxes

Is there any chance of selling the development rights to the State/ This has worked very well to preserve farmland in CT. They can continue to live there but can sell at any time or leave it to their heirs. The only subsequent use would be for agricultural purposes. (no housing developments, malls,...
by happymob
Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Online/Distance Graduate Degrees Respected?
Replies: 28
Views: 6743

Re: Are Online/Distance Graduate Degrees Respected?

Ninnie wrote:Of course, avoid the for-profits (U. Phoenix, Capella, SNHU, etc.)

SNHU is non-profit, for the record. There are some other, mostly online, non-profits, like Excelsior College, Thomas Edison State, Western Governors University, and Charter Oak State.
by happymob
Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Large amount of CDs maturing....what to do?
Replies: 162
Views: 21337

Re: Large amount of CDs maturing....what to do?

Not sure how much money we are talking about or where you are, but we have found that multiple local banks (in the Midwest) have been willing to change their normal terms (for large CDs) for us. We have been offered better than advertising rates and/or better than advertised early withdrawal penalti...
by happymob
Fri Dec 25, 2015 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual Bonds vs Bond Funds
Replies: 12
Views: 1454

Re: Individual Bonds vs Bond Funds

Defaults happen. I don't mind buying individual treasuries, but I want diversity in corporates.
by happymob
Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Treehouse in Backyard - Liability Question
Replies: 30
Views: 3744

Re: Treehouse in Backyard - Liability Question

+1 to Umbrella policy. Costs are reasonable for coverage over home and Autos. Peace of mind is definitely worth it! Not reasonable to expect friends won't want to go in treehouse. It's there for fun...kids are kids and things happen. If it does, your Homeowners policy will cover and Umbrella will b...
by happymob
Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to take advantage of 15% tax bracket?
Replies: 37
Views: 5574

Re: How to take advantage of 15% tax bracket?

We still have ~$30K of carryover capital losses, so tax-gain harvesting isn't ideal at this time. What we currently are doing is rolling over traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs. Once that is finished, we will shift some money currently going into a traditional 403b plan into a Roth 403b plan. If we can m...
by happymob
Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE Series Saving Bonds 1987 & 1989
Replies: 9
Views: 1586

Re: EE Series Saving Bonds 1987 & 1989

My understanding is that tax is owed at year 30, whether they redeem them or not.
by happymob
Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing disagreements with spouse
Replies: 86
Views: 9629

Re: Investing disagreements with spouse

I wouldn't even try to convince her. After all, trading individual stocks is a lot more work but the expected value of her traded portfolio is about equal to the expected value of the S&P 500 (assuming she is trading large-cap stocks). I'd split the portfolio and let her manage her half the way...
by happymob
Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandparents with custody of child receiving SSA
Replies: 15
Views: 1784

Re: Grandparents with custody of child receiving SSA

It should be noted that if the child does not have significant other assets via inheritance, they could choose to pay interest on savings bonds annually (pre-redemption), which would make them tax-free up to kiddie tax limitations.
by happymob
Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandparents with custody of child receiving SSA
Replies: 15
Views: 1784

Re: Grandparents with custody of child receiving SSA

But buying savings bonds could satisfy the ssa requirement and have tax exempt interest if used for qualifying education expenses . I understand that a minor can be the account holder and beneficiary of a 529 account if there is a adult custodian of the account but I haven't found anyone to describ...
by happymob
Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Questions about part-year HDHP/HSA
Replies: 1
Views: 415

Questions about part-year HDHP/HSA

- I left my job at the end of May 2015. - I had health insurance through the end of June. - I was without coverage in July and August, though I could have signed up for COBRA had something serious happened. - I have been under a HDHP through the marketplace since September 1st ($6000 deductible, $60...
by happymob
Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Difference in risk between S&P 500 dividend and CD?
Replies: 38
Views: 2895

Re: Difference in risk between S&P 500 dividend and CD?

Perhaps you can find some research on the likelihood of losing dividends on stocks vs. interest payments on CD's in a given 5 year period. In 2008 the S&P 500 paid $32.18 in dividends while in 2009 the payout was $24.73. The payout didn't recover until 2012 at $32.43. For 2014 the payout was $4...
by happymob
Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Vanguard Unveils Two International Dividend Funds]
Replies: 26
Views: 3842

Re: Two New Vanguard Dividend Funds

Some (perhaps 20-25% based on Vanguards other international index funds) of the dividends won't be qualified.
by happymob
Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: prepaid phone less than $50 with Android Lollipop 5.0
Replies: 10
Views: 1549

Re: prepaid phone less than $50 with Android Lollipop 5.0

The emulator is slow in the best of circumstances. Do you want a 45s compile-test cycle or 120s cycle? The former is still painful for my style of programming, but I can't tolerate the latter at all. Buy the cheap phone. Don't fret the 5.0 issue.

FWIW, I do primary development on a Moto G.
by happymob
Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing Roth vs Traditional 401k in TurboTax
Replies: 5
Views: 634

Re: Comparing Roth vs Traditional 401k in TurboTax

Thanks. My wages amount shows as identical in the Social Security wages and Medicare wages box as well. If I change it in all three places, I get a warning from Turbotax that my SS and Medicare wages were overwithheld. My tax refund changes as well as a result of this. To accurately represent the s...
by happymob
Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla to start making Batteries for Home Solar
Replies: 61
Views: 6192

Re: Tesla to start making Batteries for Home Solar

Why not just use the grid? During the day when the sun is out, sell your PV power to the local utility company, and then after dark you buy it back, or at least buy back some of it. They are the battery. It is silly for everyone to have their own home batteries. There are variations on this system ...
by happymob
Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Scholarships
Replies: 7
Views: 1033

Re: College Scholarships

Keep in mind that you can withdraw money from a 529 plan penalty-free if your child receives a scholarship. You have to pay taxes on the withdrawal and you have to withdraw it that year (so the tax situation may not be ideal), but this helps ease my own mind that I am over funding 529 plans. As to s...
by happymob
Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DRIP and Wash Sale Rule
Replies: 3
Views: 630

Re: DRIP and Wash Sale Rule

If you sell everything, you'll be ok as long as you don't repurchase within 30 days.
by happymob
Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your dumbest financial decision?
Replies: 172
Views: 21111

Re: What is the worst financial decision that you've made?

Lots and lots of QQQQ (before it was QQQ) before it crashed. Hey, it was an index! Surely, it was safe! I mean, it wasn't all dot coms. It had Cisco and WorldCom and Microsoft, in addition to the dot coms!
by happymob
Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Planet Money" is shorting SPY
Replies: 26
Views: 3818

Re: "Planet Money" is shorting SPY

There were many comments about unlimited losses and borrowing, or lack of margin account for IRA. While I don't practice this, one could buy Put options on S&P 500. If you feel you know a specific timeframe the market will fall, you only risk the premium. OTOH, you can write calls, have potenti...
by happymob
Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds vs. Some Utilities
Replies: 22
Views: 3251

Re: Bonds vs. Some Utilities

Look at Ameren (AEE). Look at Hawaiian Electric (HE). These are two of several utilities that cut dividends around 2008. They got hammered and you lost half the income.
by happymob
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What age did you move out?
Replies: 117
Views: 8284

Re: What age did you move out?

For good? 28. I went to college at 18. Struggled with depression, flunked out, moved back with my parents for about a year at age 25. Got a real job, lived on my own, and then moved back with my parents for another year or so at age 28. In that case, my job had me on the road (at the peak) 50 weeks ...
by happymob
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you hit $100,000?
Replies: 136
Views: 23086

Re: What age did you hit $100,000?

28 or 29. Worked in IT and earned big bonuses in 1999 and 2000. Unfortunately, a bit too much of that first 100k of savings went into QQQQ (now QQQ) rather than SPY.
by happymob
Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bored when market is closed
Replies: 28
Views: 2873

Re: Bored when market is closed

It should be open 24/7/365. Once humans aren't really needed (and we might be there now), this will happen. Right now, we have physical exchanges with human traders (including those who are "making the market"). This all can be automated. Much of it has already been. When it all is, I wou...
by happymob
Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE bonds vs iBonds
Replies: 39
Views: 6104

Re: EE bonds vs iBonds

And the I Bonds can be tax-free if used for qualifying educational expenses for your or your children. As can be the EE Bonds! Treasury Direct on Using Savings Bonds for Educational Expenses I should have been clearer. Newly purchased EE Bonds do qualify, but some older ones don't. Only EE Bonds is...
by happymob
Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 and Roth IRA withdraw and financial aid
Replies: 12
Views: 1874

Re: 529 and Roth IRA withdraw and financial aid

Keep in mind that different posters come from two very different places - 1) financial aid isn't going to happen or 2) financial aid considerations matter. In the first case, the Roth is almost always better (if it is truly a choice between the two). In the latter case, gaming FAFSA gets pretty comp...
by happymob
Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need to make estimated payment on Cap Gains windfall?
Replies: 2
Views: 553

Re: Need to make estimated payment on Cap Gains windfall?

Yes, if you are withholding enough this year to cover last year's taxes, you will be safe and not need to pay estimated taxes this year and have no federal penalty. Be wary of state rules now as they often have different rules. Be wary of federal rules for the following year even though you should b...
by happymob
Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Using 529 Stable Value Fund for non-college savings
Replies: 11
Views: 2286

Re: Using 529 Stable Value Fund for non-college savings

I'm not buying the fraud idea - after all, who is being defrauded? The 529 administrator makes their money. You pay (deferred) taxes, plus an extra 10% penalty, so the federal government can't be too upset. Most (all?) states that allow a deduction will claw back the state tax deduction on a non-qua...