Search found 523 matches

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: 3277

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: 62
Views: 5541

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: 1969

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: 1440

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: 2245

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: 1307

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: 3166

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: 334

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: 638

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: 638

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: 2501

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: 1220

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: 2207

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: 848

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: 1681

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: 3016

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: 19105

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: 1210

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: 3213

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: 4839

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: 1139

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: 8690

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: 1647

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: 1647

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: 314

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: 2526

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: 3432

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: 1318

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: 557

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: 5678

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: 910

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: 561

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: 18974

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: 3623

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: 2680

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: 7141

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: 20377

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: 2582

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: 31
Views: 3843

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: 1409

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: 495

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: 2042

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...
by happymob
Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CO 529 Stable Value Fund 3.09% for 2015
Replies: 2
Views: 474

Re: CO 529 Stable Value Fund 3.09% for 2015

Even with 10% penalty on non-qualified withdrawals, that is a really nice tax-deferred, fairly safe return.
by happymob
Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How much $ for childcare?
Replies: 20
Views: 2922

Re: Poll: How much $ for childcare?

<$450/child for 2 children for 5 days/week day care.
by happymob
Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best CD Inside a 529 College Savings Plan?
Replies: 5
Views: 772

Re: Best CD Inside a 529 College Savings Plan?

Colorado's plan has a stable value fund with a 2% minimum currently paying 2.64%

https://www.collegeinvest.org/our-savin ... value-plus
by happymob
Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I BONDS
Replies: 8
Views: 1353

Re: I BONDS

If I understand things correctly, you could also pay taxes on the accrued interest to date now (rather than defer) at the 15% rate while continuing to hold the bonds, though you would then be stuck paying interest annually for as long as you hold the bonds.
by happymob
Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New 457 plan - how much and how should I contribute?
Replies: 8
Views: 706

Re: New 457 plan - how much and how should I contribute?

Definitely in the 15% tax bracket. With $35,000 in traditional 403b contributions, the standard deduction, and exemptions (2 children) we get there. We do have very low expenses (own an energy efficient home, no mortgage or other debt, low property taxes are big factors). There are no extra fees on ...
by happymob
Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New 457 plan - how much and how should I contribute?
Replies: 8
Views: 706

New 457 plan - how much and how should I contribute?

The (government) employer of both myself and spouse recently added a 457 plan option (Roth and Traditional) to our existing 403b options (Roth and Traditional). It seems like we should contribute to the 457 plan, but wanted the expertise of the forum. Our situation: Marginal tax bracket: at the top ...
by happymob
Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My 30-day trial experience with Betterment
Replies: 84
Views: 18376

Re: My 30-day trial experience with Betterment

Do I understand correctly that Betterment uses pairs of ETFs that for most purposes can be considered almost interchangeable, and does tax-loss harvesting by doing massive switches from one into the other? I've read that isn't any definitive statement by the IRS of what constitutes a wash sale, and...
by happymob
Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Once Again 529 or Roth IRA
Replies: 5
Views: 871

Re: Once Again 529 or Roth IRA

Other possibiilities are taking out a 401(k) loan later. That loan could either be used to pay for college or could be used to invest in a 529 plan ithen. Appreciate your prompt response livesoft. What you said make sense. The only point I didn't understand in above was when you said "invest i...

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