Search found 167 matches

by informal guide
Sat May 19, 2018 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Year End Tax Forms
Replies: 7
Views: 676

Re: Vanguard Year End Tax Forms

informal guide wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 7:09 pm
I show my Vanguard tax forms available online going back to tax year 2012. I am confident if you had a pressing audit issue back beyond that time the you could get Vanguard to send earlier forms to you.
by informal guide
Sat May 19, 2018 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Year End Tax Forms
Replies: 7
Views: 676

Re: Vanguard Year End Tax Forms

I show my Vanguard tax forms available onliine going back to 2012. I am confident if you had a pressing audit issue back beyond that time the you could get Vanguard to send earlier forms to you.
by informal guide
Thu May 17, 2018 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: brokerage firm recommendations for CDs
Replies: 10
Views: 910

Re: brokerage firm recommendations for CDs

Typically, Vanguard and fidelity rates are very close; I'd encourage you to use the firm where your relationship is centered. New issue CDs are easiest and are usually at par; you may squeeze a few more basis points of yield out of CDs in the secondary market, albeit with the hassle of amortizing pr...
by informal guide
Wed May 09, 2018 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Custom suit needed for a wedding. Help me shop around!!
Replies: 30
Views: 2097

Re: Custom suit needed for a wedding. Help me shop around!!

I have had very good experiences with Indochino (online MTM suit-maker). Their suits are currently $369 plus a $75 alteration credit for a local tailor if needed. One time a suit came with an issue that couldn't be fixed by easy alterations (jacket lapels had gaps between them and the chest), and th...
by informal guide
Tue May 08, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can COBRA coverage be extended indefinitely?
Replies: 13
Views: 1286

Re: Can COBRA coverage be extended indefinitely?

My employer offered COBRA for 18 months and then a retiree health care option identical to the COBRA (and active employee) coverage options until I and my spouse both reach 65. My monthly COBRA costs for my spouse and me were around $550 per month a couple years ago. The retiree rates for my spouse ...
by informal guide
Sun May 06, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: For all ETF users "must read" [Morningstar: 5 Tips for Trading ETFs]
Replies: 4
Views: 790

Re: For all ETF users "must read" [Morningstar: 5 Tips for Trading ETFs]

One other comment I would suggest. Some brokers, including Fidelity but not Vanguard, publish an "indicative intraday quote." To find that on Fidelity's web site, get the ETF quote and then click, below the quote, "more quote info." This is only available if you have a Fidelity login. I have found t...
by informal guide
Sun May 06, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start 529 Plan?
Replies: 45
Views: 2046

Re: Start 529 Plan?

There is real money to gain if you use a 529. First, the Illinois state income tax deduction of $20K is worth $990 per year - -(at 4.95%) more valuable now that the Federal state and local tax destructibility is capped at $10K (our property tax alone is over that amount). Second the gain in portfoli...
by informal guide
Thu May 03, 2018 9:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity How to report tax lots
Replies: 7
Views: 597

Re: Fidelity How to report tax lots

I found this single report data on my Fidelity holdings across individual and joint registrations, no less - --but it was only because I also have a Fidelity Charitable account. In the Fidelity charitable workflow, after logon, click Contribute, then Fund Your Giving Account, then From a Fidelity Ac...
by informal guide
Thu May 03, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to finance new home-IN a hurry!
Replies: 22
Views: 1446

Re: How to finance new home-IN a hurry!

Thanks informal! That sounds risky if you don't time it right. So it seems like there in no way to borrow against an IRA, even a Roth one. It is risky indeed, unless you have a sure source of cash that you can use to repay. Also, margin borrowing is risky, particularly if you borrow close to the ma...
by informal guide
Thu May 03, 2018 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to finance new home-IN a hurry!
Replies: 22
Views: 1446

Re: How to finance new home-IN a hurry!

Can margin buying via a Vanguard/Fidelity account be done with an IRA? No under most circumstances. If I remember correctly, one can take an IRA distribution and repay it within 60 days, without it being taxable. But if it goes 61 days or more, all taxes apply, including penalties if you are under ...
by informal guide
Thu May 03, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to finance new home-IN a hurry!
Replies: 22
Views: 1446

Re: How to finance new home-IN a hurry!

If you have significant stocks, bonds and/or mutual funds in a brokerage account, consider applying for margin and using margin borrowing. The rates have gone up recently, but it is very convenient! One can apply online at Vanguard. Here are the Vanguard rates; Fidelity and Schwab are similar. Curre...
by informal guide
Tue May 01, 2018 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Berkshire Hathaway B
Replies: 65
Views: 6340

Re: Berkshire Hathaway B

(Stupid question?) If I’ve mutual funds of total stock market (like VTSAX), does it also mean I have Berkshire H shares? Asking mostly, if I can use this logic to get some Geico discount :D that's not a stupid question at all. I have Geico and VTSAX (but no BRK.B) and was thinking of asking Geico m...
by informal guide
Tue May 01, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Berkshire Hathaway B
Replies: 65
Views: 6340

Re: Berkshire Hathaway B

My father gave me grief in the 1980's for buying a high priced stock when I bought 2 shares (class A). More recently I did a Class B conversion and have used some in charitable gifts over the years. I got more class B when Burlington Northern was acquired by BRK, but used that for charitable giving....
by informal guide
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vangaurd Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%
Replies: 76
Views: 7409

Re: Vangaurd Municipal Money Market VMSXX 1.39%

This month there may be one other impact that is seasonal - -it is tax payment month and many muni money fund holders liquidate some of their muni mm funds to pay Federal income taxes. (Although I am not in this fund, I certainly have a large tax bill to pay within the next few days!) Five out of th...
by informal guide
Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For i401k, Vanguard does not allow investment into Admiral Shares
Replies: 16
Views: 627

Re: For i401k, Vanguard does not allow investment into Admiral Shares

If they can open the i401k as a brokerage account, you can simply buy the ETFs and gain the expense advantage of Admiral shares (but I am not sure it can be done)
by informal guide
Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard: Transition to our new investment platform
Replies: 26
Views: 4732

Re: Vanguard: Transition to our new investment platform

Overall, I find the new platform better for me (I hold individual securities and ETFs as well as Vanguard funds). However, I know a number of smart folks who work for broker dealers and have a regulatory problem with the move. Oftentimes other broker dealers will not permit their employees to hold b...
by informal guide
Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NY 529 and K-12
Replies: 19
Views: 999

Re: NY 529 and K-12

The most common situation is for NJ or CT residents (nonresident NYers) who work in NY - - they clearly get to deduct NY 529 plan contributions up to the $5,000 or $10,000 threshold on their NY state income tax return (assuming they make that much income in NY). I don't know of any reason why an ind...
by informal guide
Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NY 529 and K-12
Replies: 19
Views: 999

Re: NY 529 and K-12

I am not a tax professional, but here is my interpretation of the NY law above for NY taxpayer, as well as the law in other states that do not conform state income taxation to Federal income taxation. The relevant element her is whether you are a NY state income taxpayer, whether you live in NY or a...
by informal guide
Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help - what's your Favorite muni fund and why?
Replies: 20
Views: 1790

Re: Help - what's your Favorite muni fund and why?

I have around 20% of my muni bond portfolios in VWALX, High Yield tax-exempt Adm. bond fund, for the extra yield pick-up (3.17% vs. 2.30% 30 day yield for VWIUX, Tax exempt interm. Term Adm). Some folks don't believe in taking risks in the bond portion of their portfolios, but I am comfortable with ...
by informal guide
Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Value of an Elite MBA
Replies: 58
Views: 5743

Re: Value of an Elite MBA

The scholarship situation and funding at top 10 schools is bizarre, IMHO. My child, several years out of college with ample resources available between child and parents, applied to 4 full time top 10 programs a year ago, got into three with one wait list. With no request or financial aid forms subm...
by informal guide
Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Increase in margin borrowing rates at Vanguard
Replies: 2
Views: 396

Re: Increase in margin borrowing rates at Vanguard

I guess I should read my e-mail before posting. I just received the following form e-mail from Vanguard - -disclosure of the new margin rates. Important information about your margin account The annual Vanguard Brokerage margin account disclosure is now available. The notice, which you can read by s...
by informal guide
Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Increase in margin borrowing rates at Vanguard
Replies: 2
Views: 396

Increase in margin borrowing rates at Vanguard

I was just looking at info on Vanguard.com regarding margin borrowing in a brokerage account (margin borrowing is certainly not something most Bogleheads do). I just ran across a page describing margin borrowing interest rates and discovered that Vanguard brokerage is increasing those rates on March...
by informal guide
Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: transfers and funds available to trade in brokerage account
Replies: 7
Views: 562

Re: transfers and funds available to trade in brokerage account

thanks, does margin capability require a credit check? I have frozen all my credit reports due to the Equifax breach and it's going to be a real pain to unfreeze/re-freeze etc. I just don't want to bother with that. I don't believe they do a traditional credit check. Rather, they ask you about your...
by informal guide
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: transfers and funds available to trade in brokerage account
Replies: 7
Views: 562

Re: transfers and funds available to trade in brokerage account

I believe there is a difference in using newly added funds to settle trades vs. using them to pay checks, ACH transfers out, etc. Vanguard will allow one to immediately use the newly added funds to settle a brokerage or Vanguard fund purchase. Occasionally I would move funds to Vanguard and then imm...
by informal guide
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safe to file taxes now?
Replies: 57
Views: 4964

Re: Safe to file taxes now?

Wondering if anyone has filed their personal income taxes for 2017. Has Vanguard ever issued a corrected 1099 for their brokerage? I don't want to file then receive a corrected 1099 and have to amend. Thanks I received at least 8 corrections on last year's Vanguard consolidated form - -the last one...
by informal guide
Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 vs. custodial account for my kids
Replies: 11
Views: 735

Re: 529 vs. custodial account for my kids

The multiple tax benefits of a 529 plan make it a no brainer in my estimation. Those benefits include (1) (in 30+ states, including New York, PA, Ohio, Illinois) some state income tax deductibility for contributions,(2) no Federal or State income taxes on gains in the account, as long as funds are w...
by informal guide
Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safe to file taxes now?
Replies: 57
Views: 4964

Re: Safe to file taxes now?

Wondering if anyone has filed their personal income taxes for 2017. Has Vanguard ever issued a corrected 1099 for their brokerage? I don't want to file then receive a corrected 1099 and have to amend. Thanks I received at least 8 corrections on last year's Vanguard consolidated form - -the last one...
by informal guide
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxing First-in-First-out
Replies: 7
Views: 425

Re: Taxing First-in-First-out

No, FIFO did not become part of the law. You still have lot flexibility

I am glad because I am a DRIP investor too.
by informal guide
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis and long/short cap gains
Replies: 26
Views: 1219

Re: Cost basis and long/short cap gains

Specific ID gives you the most flexibility when selling in taxable accounts. I use it for all my Vanguard taxable accounts, both funds and individual securities (where I frequetly dividend reinvest). However, at Vanguard there is one downside to specific ID -- -you have to choose the lots in a way t...
by informal guide
Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trip cancellation insurance
Replies: 47
Views: 2522

Re: Trip cancellation insurance

a couple years ago we booked a trip that included a 5 figure adventure cruise and we independently booked expensive airfare to get there. We bought insurance. A month before the trip, the cruise line canceled the cruise because the ship was damaged. The insurance paid the entire non-refundable airfa...
by informal guide
Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?
Replies: 41
Views: 2540

Re: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?

My child and I have separately had correspondence audits on this over the last 6 years. A 20 minute time to write a letter and include copies of 1098-T and details (but not back-ups of tuition room & board) have closed these inquiries without further hassle.
by informal guide
Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?
Replies: 41
Views: 2540

Re: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?

Another complication that invites an IRS inquiry is that many times the qualified withdrawal and therefore tax reporting goes to the parent - -not matched with the 1098-T issued to the student. So parents should keep a copy of the student's 1098-T if they got the qualified withdrawal payment. My app...
by informal guide
Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?
Replies: 41
Views: 2540

Re: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?

Here is a CNN money story on this that was just published. http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/23/pf/529-private-school-taxes/index.html?iid=hp-stack-dom Remember, too that a state income tax impact is much smaller thatn Federal tax impact, unless there is a recapture of a prior state tax deduction. For ex...
by informal guide
Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?
Replies: 41
Views: 2540

Re: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?

When you take a 529 plan withdrawal, the plan administrator asks you (online or when you call or send in a form) whether it is qualified or not. That data is reported on a 1099 filed by the administrator - sent to the account owner or the beneficiary and also to the Government. One can pay the expen...
by informal guide
Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare plan G supplement costs?
Replies: 15
Views: 918

Re: Medicare plan G supplement costs?

In addition to the premiums, in your planning do remember that if your taxable income is above $85K single or $170k married filing jointly, you are subject to an additional premium (income related monthly adjustment amount, or IRMAA, in social security administration speak) of up to $294.60 for Part...
by informal guide
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?
Replies: 41
Views: 2540

Re: Can a 529 plan be used to pay for private tuition?

There are two interrelated questions as to State tax treatment of withdrawals used for the Federally acceptable private tuition. First question is whether State income tax treatment conforms to Federal income tax treatment - -i.e., if the gain for Federal taxes is not taxable, will a state also view...
by informal guide
Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Insurance Association Guarantee Limit for Annuities
Replies: 1
Views: 196

Re: Insurance Association Guarantee Limit for Annuities

The risks of a life insurance company that writes income annuities going into "rehabilitation" (insurance speak for bankruptcy) are low, but not zero, due to state regulations of insurance company investments. I am aware of two US life insurance companies of size that went into rehabilitation within...
by informal guide
Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity American Express Card discontinuance
Replies: 10
Views: 1563

Re: Fidelity American Express Card discontinuance

I am another long time Fidelity/Amex Gold card holder who got the letter. These days I use the AMEX Card primarily to get cash an doccasionally for a charge. My guess is that Fidelity would not let AMEX cross-market a replacement card, either because they wanted to get folks to use their VISA debit ...
by informal guide
Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New HSA Account
Replies: 7
Views: 705

Re: New HSA Account

In addition, if I remember correctly, employer contributions to HSA accounts occur before social security and Medicare payrll taxes, another clear benefit. That savings does not occur if you contribute to the HSA outside the payroll function.
by informal guide
Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Antarctica [anyone traveled there?]
Replies: 34
Views: 3142

Re: Antarctica [anyone traveled there?]

My spouse and I went a year ago on a similar Ponant ship - Le Soleal. It is truly an amazing experience and adventure. We are travel junkies and this is truly a highlight of all our trips! Our trip was a charter much like Tauck, but run by a specialized travel agency, Gohagan & Co out of Chicago. It...
by informal guide
Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ever drink Chartreuse?
Replies: 16
Views: 1663

Re: Ever drink Chartreuse?

Decades ago, my father introduced me to the green version, drunk neat - -herbal and strong! I enjoy it, but very rarely. Since then, i've also enjoyed the less strong yellow (80 proof, rather than the 110 for green). Here's the marketing description: The original recipe dates back to 1605, when it w...
by informal guide
Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?
Replies: 88
Views: 19640

Re: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?

In December 2016 ago we replaced an old Ford Explorer with a '17 Pilot. We chose the Pilot over the Highlander because we liked the feel of the engine/transmission better and, more importantly, we liked the third row legroom (great for three adult couples as well as just younger kids. We liked the x...
by informal guide
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor
Replies: 71
Views: 7276

Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

My first experience with it was at a wedding two years ago and the liquor folks also asked about it too, for planning quantities. B&G each identify a drink they like; it makes it easier for the bartenders too. We're planning a small posterboard next to the bar identifying the drink and its contents.
by informal guide
Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor
Replies: 71
Views: 7276

Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

I am now in the midst of doing this. the liquor pro recommended Red Bull and huge amounts of Vodka (Tito's). We're cutting back some on the vodka and adding more tequila as the signature drink of the bride is tequila-based. Neither the Bride nor groom believed the Red Bull necessary, so we're cuttin...
by informal guide
Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle Is Worried About U.S. Pensions
Replies: 85
Views: 9082

Re: Jack Bogle Is Worried About U.S. Pensions

This is becoming routine, every week I see articles about John Bogle worrying about something. Stop worrying, just visit the nearest Mexican restaurant and enjoy some hot menudo aka breakfast for champions. Merry Christmas, and thanks for reading. Ah, menudo, aka Tripe soup - -cures what ails you, ...
by informal guide
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any reason not to rollover 403b to IRA?
Replies: 6
Views: 967

Re: Any reason not to rollover 403b to IRA?

Rolling the 403b over will indeed simplify things; also, direct Vanguard investments are certainly less expensive than VALIC, even if the VALIC investments are Vanguard funds. Two cautions: 1) he should be sure the beneficiary designations on the IRA are what he wants; it wwill apply to both amounts...
by informal guide
Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Los Cabos - do I need to have Pesos?
Replies: 12
Views: 1401

Re: Trip to Los Cabos - do I need to have Pesos?

The Tourist taxis in Cabo quote their prices in USD. Even in dollars, the prices differ significantly, so I urge you to agree on a fare before you start your trip. To be sure things are legit, ask your hotel concierge what the fare is to a given destination. The taxi fares from the airport tend to b...
by informal guide
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer/dryer suggestions?
Replies: 43
Views: 4695

Re: Washer/dryer suggestions?

For what it is worth, here is the latest review that I just received on washers from The Wirecutter. They favor an LG Front loading model, the WM 3770HWA https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-washer-and-dryer/?utm_source=Wirecutter&utm_campaign=59a60d74ec-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_11_21&utm_medium=em...
by informal guide
Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Donor Advised Fund costs
Replies: 45
Views: 3127

Re: Donor Advised Fund costs

I have had a Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund account for 18 years. I really like the ease of contributing, the tax reporting, and the choice of investments. I like the smaller minimum to open, the smaller minimum gift, and the greater automation versus the Vanguard Charitable Gift fund. Above all, I l...
by informal guide
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oregon makes you save, unless you object. NYT article
Replies: 50
Views: 4232

Re: Oregon makes you save, unless you object. NYT article

Agreed! Schwab, Fidelity, Vanguard etc. cross subsidize small new accounts with the larger established accounts - -in IRAs, big rollovers from 401k plans pay lots of bills. Moreover, those in Oregon with more interest and knowledge will likely take the IRA route, meaning that there will be "adverse ...