Search found 615 matches

by icedtea
Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell ibonds? Or hold?
Replies: 15
Views: 1576

Sell ibonds? Or hold?

A few years ago I bought 5k in ibonds thinking it was a good move for when I have kids and they are ready for college. I later learned about the AGI limit for cashing ibonds for educational purposes. I make over the AGI and intend to keep it that way for some time -- I'm 34 now. Does it still make s...
by icedtea
Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax filing help!! standard vs itemized? passive or general category income?
Replies: 11
Views: 817

Re: Tax filing help!! standard vs itemized? passive or general category income?

Also keep in mind that the state tax deduction generally doesn't help you on state income taxes. Normally these are removed from itemized deductions on the state return. I would look at it both ways and optimize the total tax (fed+state). Thanks for the help. So in Tax Act, to figure out which appr...
by icedtea
Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax filing help!! standard vs itemized? passive or general category income?
Replies: 11
Views: 817

Re: Tax filing help!! standard vs itemized? passive or general category income?

Those withheld state income taxes are certainly deductible and you should look for other itemized deductions such as charitable gifts, mortgage interest and possibly medical deductions. Gill Thanks, am I able to deduct medical expenses even if they don't make up 10% of my AGI? I think my medical ex...
by icedtea
Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax filing help!! standard vs itemized? passive or general category income?
Replies: 11
Views: 817

Tax filing help!! standard vs itemized? passive or general category income?

Late filer here with some questions, hoping to get some help. I normally come close to 0 refund/taxes owed but this past year I was unemployed for a 1/3 of year and things were a bit out of the norm for me, so it looks like i may be getting back a big refund. 1. I'm using Tax Act and my 1040 as of n...
by icedtea
Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k contribution limits for highly compensated employees
Replies: 0
Views: 268

401k contribution limits for highly compensated employees

I've heard different things about these HCE limits for traditional 401ks. I can't find a full explanation on the IRS site though. My specific questions: - do limits pertain to the HCE starting with his or her first full year with the company? I was told by one 401k provider the limits kick in on the...
by icedtea
Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner's Resources
Replies: 2
Views: 180

Beginner's Resources

After I pushed for a while, my company has decided to get a 401k for its US staff. We're a small office of 10 and I've volunteered to give them a 101 on why they should invest in a 401k and how much they should invest. This is especially important for me because I'm considered a high income earner a...
by icedtea
Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?
Replies: 43
Views: 4924

Re: Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?

I checked TaxAct now that the NY state module is available and it says I owe NY $1700. I don't have all my forms yet so the numbers I inputted for the federal return are estimates, and likely a bit off. That said, it seems I can expect quite a penalty. I'm going to pay NY an estimated tax payment t...
by icedtea
Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?
Replies: 43
Views: 4924

Re: Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?

I checked TaxAct now that the NY state module is available and it says I owe NY $1700. I don't have all my forms yet so the numbers I inputted for the federal return are estimates, and likely a bit off. That said, it seems I can expect quite a penalty. I'm going to pay NY an estimated tax payment to...
by icedtea
Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

I did the exchange. Turned out I had about $11k in unrealized losses with Specific ID, selling all lots but the two with gains. I also changed my cost basis for VFWAX to Specific ID, though I'm curious about my last post and whether I am calculating unrealized gains/losses in non-covered shares corr...
by icedtea
Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

The cost basis of the 12/16/11 lot is the price you paid for that lot. So it is simply $17,384.56. Ok, I guess I have my terminology wrong. I mean to say the unrealized gain/loss. Is my calculation correct, and isn't this what I need to figure out in order to determine whether or not I should sell ...
by icedtea
Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

Sorry, another question. Here's my list of transactions for my VFWAX to date. 12/16/11: Exchange to VFWAX, $17,384.56 2/3/12: Buy VFWAX, 1,000.00 the rest of the transactions to VFWAX are dividends received which I had paid out to cash, not reinvested. Right now my cost basis is set to average cost,...
by icedtea
Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

Thanks I'll do the exchange today. I'll also change my cost basis for VFWAX from average cost to specific ID. I have some non-covered shares in there but I should be able to figure those out manually, and at least I won't have any problems exchanging the covered shares out of VFWAX at a later date, ...
by icedtea
Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

My account on Vanguard.com is now updated with Specific ID for my VTIAX shares. Almost all of my 30 or so lots are in the red, so should I just specify to sell all of them and exchange to VFWAX? Or should I just pick those that have share prices well over the latest market price (22.60) since things...
by icedtea
Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

Wait, I guess this means I have all covered shares in VTIAX. So I just switched to Specific ID for that fund, and am waiting on the results from Vanguard. Any idea how long this takes?
by icedtea
Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

If you did exchanges, then I infer that you sold shares in the past using Average Cost. Once you have selected Average Cost (implicitly by selling shares and reporting the average cost of shares sold on your tax return), then you cannot use Specific Identification for any shares purchased up to tha...
by icedtea
Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?
Replies: 43
Views: 4924

Re: Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?

$0.08 would be one day's interest, but that's not how the calculation works. When mailing a tax return, extension payment, or estimated tax payment, there is a working principle known as "timely mailed is timely filed." This means if you mail the payment on time, there is no penalty or in...
by icedtea
Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

You simply copy the number on the statement listed in dollars and cents for each purchase into your spreadsheet. That is the cost basis for that purchase. I brought up all my buys/dividends received/exchanges/conversions into VTIAX in the last 10 years on Vanguard's site, and dropped the data into ...
by icedtea
Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

Yes, though I would make sure you change to Specific ID. Depending on when the shares were bought you might not have to Exchange them all (just those with a loss). I have uncovered shares so I'd been told before I wouldn't be able to do this. So I think I have only the option of exchanging them all...
by icedtea
Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

Yes, though I would make sure you change to Specific ID. Depending on when the shares were bought you might not have to Exchange them all (just those with a loss). I have uncovered shares so I'd been told before I wouldn't be able to do this. So I think I have only the option of exchanging them all...
by icedtea
Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?
Replies: 43
Views: 4924

Re: Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?

In you're case there is nothing magical about Jan 15. The NY penalty is simple interest calculated at 7.5% per year. If you make a $400 payment on Jan 16th rather than Jan 15 it will cost you at most $0.08. Since you have not paid the earlier three installments paying on Jan 14 rather than Jan 15 c...
by icedtea
Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds in a taxable account instead of keeping cash on sidelines
Replies: 8
Views: 1269

Re: Bonds in a taxable account instead of keeping cash on sidelines

All my cash besides immediate needs is in an online savings account now making 0.90%. I've kept it there for the last 3-4 months, was a little unwilling to lock it in CDs in case the market dipped and I wanted to go into equities. But so far this didn't really work out for me, too hesitant to go in ...
by icedtea
Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

OP here. I didn't make that TLH exchange from VTIAX to VFWAX before since it was for such a small unrealized loss by the time I understood I would need to exchange my entire shares since I was using avg cost basis. Now, since the little drop the last few days I have a $9000 unrealized loss in VTIAX ...
by icedtea
Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds in a taxable account instead of keeping cash on sidelines
Replies: 8
Views: 1269

Bonds in a taxable account instead of keeping cash on sidelines

I have an EF in an online savings account, and some additional cash that's been on the sidelines. I know it's not normally a good move to hold bonds in a taxable account due to tax inefficiency, but would it make sense to put the additional cash in Total Bond Market in my taxable account for now, wi...
by icedtea
Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?
Replies: 43
Views: 4924

Re: Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?

OP here. I went through Tax Act to estimate if I'll have a penalty. I didn't know how to fill everything in for my income (W2s, dividends, interest on savings account, unemployment payments) but I think I came close. It says I'm expecting a $4400 federal refund, which surprised me a bit, but given I...
by icedtea
Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?
Replies: 43
Views: 4924

Re: Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?

I'm not sure about all New York State provisions (or NYC provisions, for that matter), but yes, the fourth quarter estimated payment applies to 2015 taxes if made by the deadline. You may want to have a look, in advance, at underwithholding penalties in general. Unless you can show you had lots of ...
by icedtea
Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?
Replies: 43
Views: 4924

Can I pay estimated tax ONLY in January?

The last two years I came close to owing NY state tax and both years I withheld some additional money from my paychecks. This year I suspect to have about 20% less taxable income than last year since I took some time off from working. I've been having additional money withheld from my checks this ye...
by icedtea
Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

livesoft wrote:Analysis paralysis.


Well, I don't think I had analysis paralysis earlier this week. I honestly didn't know what to do.

As for now, I think they're fair questions coming from a guy who doesn't really know this stuff very well.
by icedtea
Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

OK, I suggest something different: What do you want to do with the existing VFWAX? Have you ever sold shares? If not, change to Specific ID. Are all the shares covered? (Unlikely since you bought in 2009), then change to Specific ID and after that is accomplished, then exchange from VTIAX to VFWAX....
by icedtea
Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

Your loss is about 3% of the value of your holdings. If you have never sold any shares of your VTIAX, then I would switch from Average Cost to Specific ID especially if you have only "covered" shares. Then select only the lots to sell at losses. If you have non-covered shares, then I woul...
by icedtea
Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Re: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

No. $3891 is the amount of unrealized loss on your VTIAX position. What is the value of of the shares that have that unrealized loss? For example if you have $15000 of VTIAX with 3891 unrealized loss where every tax lot shows a loss, you'd exchange all shares of VTIAX to VFWAX to realize that loss ...
by icedtea
Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard
Replies: 40
Views: 1928

Basic TLH help to do an exchange with Vanguard

I now have $3891 in losses in my VTIAX in my taxable account, $3500 are long-term losses. I'm going to TLH from VTIAX to VFWAX, which I also already hold from my last TLH in '09. Do I just execute an 'exchange' on Vanguard's site of the $3891 from VTIAX to VFWAX? Pretty sure that's the case but I'm ...
by icedtea
Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keeping cash on the sidelines?
Replies: 6
Views: 929

Keeping cash on the sidelines?

I was out of work for half of the year, and I started a new job about 5m ago, yet I haven't been able (emotionally speaking) to contribute to my taxable account since mid 2015. I know it's foolish to wait, thinking share prices will go down. Is this just analysis paralysis? Or is it ok keeping some ...
by icedtea
Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Waiting Periods: Do dental insurance companies really check your history?
Replies: 2
Views: 671

Waiting Periods: Do dental insurance companies really check your history?

My dentist told me I should get a replacement crown in my molar due to a small crack. I got my crown 6 years ago. At that time I was seeing a different dentist and had different insurance. My current dental insurance covers crown replacements at 50% if the previous crown is 8 or more years old. Do i...
by icedtea
Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with My Credit Card Strategy
Replies: 11
Views: 1660

Help with My Credit Card Strategy

I could use some guidance on my credit card strategy. I haven't checked my score in a few years but last I checked, I was around 730. I always pay off my balance in full by the due date. I have two cards, a Capital One Visa and an Amex. I put about $1000/m on the Visa and actually haven't used the A...
by icedtea
Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TLH $4k during a year with relatively smaller income
Replies: 2
Views: 289

TLH $4k during a year with relatively smaller income

I have about $4k in losses in VTIAX now, and was planning to TLH to FTSE All World Ex-US. Before I do, a general question. This year I was out of work for a few months so my total income for 2015 will be about 25k less than in 2014 and 2016. Does this have any bearing on whether I should TLH and tak...
by icedtea
Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvesting VTIAX for FTSE All World ex US
Replies: 1
Views: 234

Tax loss harvesting VTIAX for FTSE All World ex US

I have 4k in losses in VTIAX -- mainly long term losses -- and I plan to sell and buy FTSE all world ex US. About six years ago I sold my then shares of VTIAX for a loss and bought FTSE. Does this have any impact on my ability to sell VTIAX again for FTSE?
by icedtea
Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HCEs and 401ks: Safe harbor options, what next?
Replies: 16
Views: 1131

Re: HCEs and 401ks: Safe harbor options, what next?

Thanks and my mistake on the quote. I was on my cell and it's tough to read. I'll keep in mind this option when speaking up the chain. Three more questions. 1) Since half of our office is international people who likely won't be interested in a 401k, how would that impact discrimination testing res...
by icedtea
Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HCEs and 401ks: Safe harbor options, what next?
Replies: 16
Views: 1131

Re: HCEs and 401ks: Safe harbor options, what next?

Also, make it a Safe Harbor 401k. The company can adjust salaries appropriately to account for the match. EF said the IRS won't allow salary reductions to offset the safe harbor contributions. Are they mistaken? The quote should not be attributed to spirit rider. EF is correct. I think the meaning ...
by icedtea
Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HCEs and 401ks: Safe harbor options, what next?
Replies: 16
Views: 1131

Re: HCEs and 401ks: Safe harbor options, what next?

Spirit Rider wrote:

Also, make it a Safe Harbor 401k. The company can adjust salaries appropriately to account for the match.


EF said the IRS won't allow salary reductions to offset the safe harbor contributions. Are they mistaken?
by icedtea
Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HCEs and 401ks: Safe harbor options, what next?
Replies: 16
Views: 1131

Re: HCEs and 401ks: Safe harbor options, what next?

Unless you are the owner, I assume there are other HCEs. Anyone who owns greater than 5% of the company, regardless of compensation, is an HCE. If they don't make contributions, that could be a valuable asset to testing results. It's an international company. There's another guy at my office who wo...
by icedtea
Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HCEs and 401ks: Safe harbor options, what next?
Replies: 16
Views: 1131

Re: HCEs and 401ks: Safe harbor options, what next?

Safe harbor plans require 100% immediate vesting in addition to the matching or non-elective contribution percentages. Another consideration is a SIMPLE IRA which has lower administrative costs and is safe harbor by design. It has a lower max contribution (2015 = $12.5K vs. 401k $18K), but has lowe...
by icedtea
Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HCEs and 401ks: Safe harbor options, what next?
Replies: 16
Views: 1131

HCEs and 401ks: Safe harbor options, what next?

I just learned about the IRS rulings on HCEs and 401ks. I just joined a new company without a 401k and am rallying to get a 401k added, but I doubt the company will be willing to put up a safe harbor contribution. We're a small office of about 10, and only 5-6 would likely participate in a 401k. The...
by icedtea
Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost of a 401k for an SMB employer
Replies: 2
Views: 601

Start-up co. 401k w/ Employee Fiduciary

Thanks, I spoke with Employee Fiduciary and the pricing is clear and seems very reasonable. Does anyone on the forum have experience with this provider either as a 401k admin or participant?

Iced Tea
by icedtea
Sat Jun 27, 2015 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost of a 401k for an SMB employer
Replies: 2
Views: 601

Cost of a 401k for an SMB employer

I've been out of the job market for a while and I'm now considering some roles at smaller companies, all of which don't currently provide 401k plans. These companies have between 8 and 30 US employees. If I ended up getting an offer and going with one of these companies, I'd formulate a plan to try ...
by icedtea
Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old 401k provider overpaid my match, need tax help
Replies: 1
Views: 364

Old 401k provider overpaid my match, need tax help

My old 401k provider sent me a letter stating they overpaid my match by $250 in 2013 so I mailed them a check for the amount, as requested. Edit: The check will likely arrive Monday. It hasn't been cashed by the provider, and I just read some similar threads on other forums that I shouldn't pay up. ...
by icedtea
Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lost job, should I contribute heavily to 401k?
Replies: 18
Views: 1686

Re: Lost job, should I contribute heavily to 401k?

I gave this some more thought, and since I have the taxable account as a last resort, I am going to elect a 70% contribution. I re-calculated my emergency fund and I expect it to cover 9.5 months. I can't tell the future but I plan to start looking for new work in about a month.

Iced Tea
by icedtea
Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lost job, should I contribute heavily to 401k?
Replies: 18
Views: 1686

Re: Lost job, should I contribute heavily to 401k?

Be careful of the 15% 401k Contribution rule. Your severance may put you over the 15% for which you will not be notified by the company's 401k administrators/auditors until 3 years after the fact. You are liable for the over contribution and penalties. BTDT :oops: Is this the rule you mean? You can...
by icedtea
Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lost job, should I contribute heavily to 401k?
Replies: 18
Views: 1686

Re: Lost job, should I contribute heavily to 401k?

Another option: is your 2015 ROTH IRA still unfilled? Put $4k into the 401(k) and save $5.5k for future use. --If you find another job before the end of the year, use the $5.5k to fill the ROTH IRA. --If you go out of work longer than expected, use the additional $5.5k to extend your ER fund. Gives...
by icedtea
Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lost job, should I contribute heavily to 401k?
Replies: 18
Views: 1686

Re: Lost job, should I contribute heavily to 401k?

Let me play devil's advocate: If you're out of work for 10 months, or 12 months, or 15 months, are you going to wish you had that 401k contribution back? Will there be any difference between having an 8 month ER fund and a 9 month one if it takes 15 months to get a job? The unstate part is what are...
by icedtea
Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lost job, should I contribute heavily to 401k?
Replies: 18
Views: 1686

Re: Lost job, should I contribute heavily to 401k?

OP here. Thanks for the comments. I think I'll go with 45% into the 401k. It's a 9500 paycheck including vacation days. This way I have a 401k bump and some more savings. I think it's a good balance.

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