Search found 43 matches

by jastevenson
Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help--protecting mother's joint assets from father with dementia?
Replies: 15
Views: 1357

Help--protecting mother's joint assets from father with dementia?

Hello, My parents have been married for 40 years. My father has been fighting progressive dementia, but my mother is mentally in great shape. Recently, my father's financial behavior has been paranoid and erratic. He opened several new bank accounts without telling my mother, to "protect his mo...
by jastevenson
Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Federal Employees with Aetna HDHP/HSA: monthly contribution amount?
Replies: 1
Views: 125

Federal Employees with Aetna HDHP/HSA: monthly contribution amount?

I opened the Aetna HDHP/HSA this year for my family. The annual limit is $6,850. The pass-through is $1,500. So that leaves $5,350. Aetna will pay me $100 for filling out surveys and stuff, so that leaves $5,250 (Aetna's prospectus said I could get $150 for filling out surveys, but on the website, i...
by jastevenson
Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance: higher limit with different insurance agent?
Replies: 2
Views: 134

Re: Disability insurance: higher limit with different insurance agent?

You're absolutely right. But my income should definitely support $6k/month (it would still only be a fraction of my normal income).

That is why I am wondering if it is an insurance agent issue rather than an insurance company issue.
by jastevenson
Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance: higher limit with different insurance agent?
Replies: 2
Views: 134

Disability insurance: higher limit with different insurance agent?

Hi! I recently had a child and decided to increase my disability insurance. I have insurance with The Standard, and have a "Future Purchase Option" of $4,000. However, my agent said "the underwriters" (not sure if this is The Standard or someone else...) would not approve more th...
by jastevenson
Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How come my VG S&P 500 index dropped more than the VG S&P ETF yesterday?
Replies: 6
Views: 600

How come my VG S&P 500 index dropped more than the VG S&P ETF yesterday?

I had always assumed that a Vanguard ETF and the equivalent Vanguard mutual fund had the same performance.

But on 12/18/15, the VG S&P 500 index (VFIAX) dropped 2.36%.

The VG S&P 500 ETF (VOO) dropped 1.86%.

What am I missing?

Thanks!
by jastevenson
Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP federal employees: how many pay periods are left?
Replies: 10
Views: 951

Re: TSP federal employees: how many pay periods are left?

My last paycheck was deposited Friday, Nov 20. Thank you for the calendar--what's confusing is that I have read there are 27 pay periods in 2015, rather than the usual 26: https://hr.od.nih.gov/benefits/extrapayday2015.htm "There will be 27 pay days in 2015! This is because the first pay day of...
by jastevenson
Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP federal employees: how many pay periods are left?
Replies: 10
Views: 951

TSP federal employees: how many pay periods are left?

I'm trying to hit $18,000 in TSP contributions next year, but I don't want to hit that number before the very last pay period. Otherwise, I'll lose my match. Anyone know how many pay periods (biweekly) are left so that I can calculate accordingly? I started working for the gov't mid-year, so I'm put...
by jastevenson
Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there any scenario where traditional plan is better than HDHP/HSA for 35% bracket?
Replies: 4
Views: 542

Is there any scenario where traditional plan is better than HDHP/HSA for 35% bracket?

In what scenarios would it be preferable to have a traditional HMO plan rather than an HDHP/HSA? The HDHP/HSA seems like win/win, but there are surely some scenarios where it would be a bad idea. Low tax bracket and very high medical costs, maybe? I'm 35% bracket and anticipate some significant medi...
by jastevenson
Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If I buy $20,000 of a fund, and sell it at $19,500, how much money have I lost?
Replies: 22
Views: 3312

Re: If I buy $20,000 of a fund, and sell it at $19,500, how much money have I lost?

Thanks everyone for the responses--the thoroughness of some of the posts on here is amazing! :)
by jastevenson
Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can you estimate your costs for a doc visit/procedure in an HDHP?
Replies: 14
Views: 1451

How can you estimate your costs for a doc visit/procedure in an HDHP?

I've always had an HMO. I don't have to think about how much a doc visit will cost, since I know it will just be my copay ($25 or so). My understanding is that with an HDHP, I pay straight out of pocket until I hit my deductible. But I don't know if my doc charges $100/visit or $1,000/visit, since a...
by jastevenson
Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If I buy $20,000 of a fund, and sell it at $19,500, how much money have I lost?
Replies: 22
Views: 3312

Re: If I buy $20,000 of a fund, and sell it at $19,500, how much money have I lost?

Thanks for the replies everyone! The reason I ask is this: I own 20k of a Vanguard Life Strategy fund in my taxable account 3 weeks ago, which is now worth ~19.5k. I realize that I should have bought a 3-fund portfolio so that I can tax loss harvest if I need to (I'll skip international bond, althou...
by jastevenson
Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If I buy $20,000 of a fund, and sell it at $19,500, how much money have I lost?
Replies: 22
Views: 3312

If I buy $20,000 of a fund, and sell it at $19,500, how much money have I lost?

This may be a stupid question, but are there any fees or other transactional losses for the above? I know it's not a taxable event, since the investment is worth less than was paid for it. But is there any other loss? (i.e., more than $500, in this example)? Because for a stock (rather than a mutual...
by jastevenson
Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Shady behavior by Fidelity...sneaking sector funds into target date funds.
Replies: 35
Views: 3231

Re: Shady behavior by Fidelity...sneaking sector funds into target date funds.

I don't mean to imply that what Fidelity is doing is illegal.

However, I think they have their own interests, rather than the interests of investors, in mind.
by jastevenson
Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Shady behavior by Fidelity...sneaking sector funds into target date funds.
Replies: 35
Views: 3231

Shady behavior by Fidelity...sneaking sector funds into target date funds.

I have a 457b fund with a prior employer which is invested in a target date fund with a low ER: Fidelity Freedom Index 2045 Fund Class W. https://retiretxn.fidelity.com/nbretail/workplacefunds/composition/2773 98.6% of the fund makes sense...it's total US stock index + total int'l stock index + tota...
by jastevenson
Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did backdoor Roth now have $0.02 in traditional IRA. Now what?
Replies: 7
Views: 609

Re: Did backdoor Roth now have $0.02 in traditional IRA. Now what?

Thanks for the advice, everyone :)

I think I will just wait 'til Jan 1, add $5499.98 to the IRA, and then convert it all to Roth, which should zero out the IRA.
by jastevenson
Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did backdoor Roth now have $0.02 in traditional IRA. Now what?
Replies: 7
Views: 609

Did backdoor Roth now have $0.02 in traditional IRA. Now what?

I contributed $5500 to an IRA, waited 2 weeks, and then converted it to a Roth IRA. However, in the two weeks, I received 2 cents of interest, so now there is $0.02 in my IRA, and $5500 in my Roth. To keep the IRS happy, is there anything I should do with the 2 cents in my IRA? Do I need to close th...
by jastevenson
Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have FSA with money rolling over to 2016, but now want HSA. Possible?
Replies: 11
Views: 667

Have FSA with money rolling over to 2016, but now want HSA. Possible?

I have a traditional health plan and an FSA. I will have unused money in my FSA, and under the new FSA rules, it will roll over to 2016. However, I now want an HSA/HDHP rather than my current traditional health plan+FSA. Is this possible? Or would I need to forfeit the money in my FSA in order to en...
by jastevenson
Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Critique my updated 3M retirement portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 2553

Re: Critique my updated 3M retirement portfolio

If you are living exclusively off bond income, then your tax bracket is probably (relatively) low.

So why munis rather than traditional bonds?
by jastevenson
Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?
Replies: 13
Views: 1145

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

I agree about the social component. The thing is that if you retire at, say, 40, all of your friends are still working 8-5 pm. So you're basically going to be doing activities by yourself (or at best, with your spouse). For example, I love going to the lake and hanging out with friends. But when I w...
by jastevenson
Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?
Replies: 13
Views: 1145

Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

I'm curious whether people who are saving their pennies for early retirement have actually tried it out to see if they REALLY want it? Speaking personally, a few years ago I had a period of about 4 months between the end of my prior job and the start of my new job. At the beginning I really enjoyed ...
by jastevenson
Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best financial moves for a new one income household?
Replies: 5
Views: 905

Best financial moves for a new one income household?

My wonderful wife is a professional who could make a six-figure income, but has recently become a stay-at-home mom. We both agree this is the best decision for the time being, I'd like to hear any ideas on the best way to financially "optimize" this situation. Some of my ideas (not fully f...
by jastevenson
Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who do I hire to make sure I'm not missing out on tax breaks?
Replies: 16
Views: 1631

Who do I hire to make sure I'm not missing out on tax breaks?

I am worried that I am missing out on tax breaks and money/investment structuring that is costing me money. If I am missing out on 1% in tax breaks (for example), it is costing me more than hiring someone to make sure I'm not missing out. I do NOT want someone to pick stocks/funds for me--I'm an 80/...
by jastevenson
Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP participants cannot use the mega-backdoor Roth, right?
Replies: 2
Views: 446

TSP participants cannot use the mega-backdoor Roth, right?

I'm a gov't employee with a TSP. My understanding is that we cannot do the MEGA backdoor Roth because we can't make after-tax contributions to the TSP. However, I just want to be certain, since I don't want to find out in 10 years that I could have done it! Anyone want to verify that it's not possib...
by jastevenson
Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Post something you/someone did that made you money (investment, business idea, etc).
Replies: 27
Views: 2859

Post something you/someone did that made you money (investment, business idea, etc).

Let's post some things that we (or someone we know) did that made them/saved them money. It can be anything. For example, my friend purchased a 2 bedroom condo in an area of LA near a university in 2012. By purchasing near a university, he ensured constant demand for rental housing. It was a top flo...
by jastevenson
Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Frequency of contributions for best return: daily? weekly? monthly?
Replies: 16
Views: 1172

Frequency of contributions for best return: daily? weekly? monthly?

If you're making contributions to your investments (in my case, an after-tax account), are there any recommendations on the frequency of the contributions? For example, is it better to invest: $200/daily $1000/weekly ($200 * 5 days) $2000 biweekly $4000 monthly Can't seem to find hard info on this.....
by jastevenson
Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max TSP or Diversify Elsewhere?
Replies: 21
Views: 3750

Re: Max TSP or Diversify Elsewhere?

I get a significant match on my TSP contributions...I assume you do too?

If so, TSP all the way.
by jastevenson
Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will upcoming rise in interest rates affect your AA?
Replies: 30
Views: 2520

Re: Will upcoming rise in interest rates affect your AA?

jastevenson: the confusion is between the "interest rates stuck at zero", by which you must mean Fed overnight rates, and "bond yields", which are definitely not zero and they move to anticipate the former by roughly the term of the bond or the duration of the fund. Thank you (a...
by jastevenson
Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will upcoming rise in interest rates affect your AA?
Replies: 30
Views: 2520

Will upcoming rise in interest rates affect your AA?

I think most people would agree that interest rates won't be zero forever, and that they day is coming (perhaps 12 months from now?) when we'll start seeing some upward movement. Will you be adjusting your asset allocation as a result? I have money in REIT and bond funds, and am wondering if they ar...
by jastevenson
Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do the performance metrics for bond funds include dividends?
Replies: 3
Views: 321

Do the performance metrics for bond funds include dividends?

Mutual fund (or dividend-yielding stock) listings describe performance over a given time period (e.g., YTD -0.2%, 1 year performance +3.5%) Do these numbers include dividends? Or does the performance number have to be adjusted upwards to account for dividends? In other words, if 1 year performance i...
by jastevenson
Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do account transfer fees come out of account balance?
Replies: 3
Views: 269

Do account transfer fees come out of account balance?

I'm planning to consolidate my investments at Vanguard (currently some are at VG, some are at Fidelity). I know that there is typically an account transfer fee that will be charged by Fidelity. Doo the fees come out of my precious IRA / Roth IRA balance, or can I simply write them a check (or pay wi...
by jastevenson
Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dumb question: where does the commission come from?
Replies: 10
Views: 966

Re: Dumb question: where does the commission come from?

Agree with all the above statements :)

Thanks for the info--I actually want to sell some individual stock that I have so that my portfolio can be 100% mutual funds.

However, it sounds like I'll lose some of my precious Roth IRA money in the process. :(

Should've discovered BH earlier in my life!
by jastevenson
Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dumb question: where does the commission come from?
Replies: 10
Views: 966

Dumb question: where does the commission come from?

This may be an incredibly stupid question, but: when buying/selling stocks or funds, where do trading commissions (e.g., "$7.95 per trade") come out of? If I can only put $5,500 into my Roth each year, I don't want the commissions to be taken out of my Roth account! Instead, I'd rather pay...
by jastevenson
Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invstments better in taxable than tax-favored accounts?
Replies: 3
Views: 575

Invstments better in taxable than tax-favored accounts?

The amount of "space" in a tax-favored account is limited....somoneone might have $100K in a Roth and $200K in a taxable account, for example. What types of investments should be avoided in tax-favored investment accounts rather than taxable investments accounts? And vice versa? For exampl...
by jastevenson
Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Difference between after-tax contrib to 401k vs. Roth 401k?
Replies: 3
Views: 519

Difference between after-tax contrib to 401k vs. Roth 401k?

So I know we can contribute $17,500 to a 401k. I understand that after that $17,500, you can elect to contribute more--up to $50,000. My question is: what is the difference between after-tax contributions and a contributions to a Roth IRA (which has a $5,000 limit)? In both, you've already paid the ...
by jastevenson
Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keep employer-specific mutual funds after 401k->Roth?
Replies: 5
Views: 406

Re: Keep employer-specific mutual funds after 401k->Roth?

I'll certainly look into it.

Btw, why would doing a 401k->Roth conversion be a bad idea in my tax bracket? I am still pretty young and all signs point to taxes going up rather than down in the future, so I figure it is a wise decision.
by jastevenson
Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keep employer-specific mutual funds after 401k->Roth?
Replies: 5
Views: 406

Keep employer-specific mutual funds after 401k->Roth?

Hi all, Quick question: I had money in my old employer's 401k (University of California system, via Fidelity). Some of my funds are "institutional class," which means they are basically identical to normal Fidelity funds, but have lower expense ratios. For example: My UC FSKTX is basically...
by jastevenson
Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Add $5k to Roth IRA today, but income ends up > 125k?
Replies: 9
Views: 1962

Re: Add $5k to Roth IRA today, but income ends up > 125k?

Did a search with some different terms and figured it out: Basically, if you contribute to a Roth and later realize you are over the income limit, you can "recharacterize" the Roth IRA to a tIRA using an IRS form. However, since this sounds like a pain, I think I will just create a tIRA, c...
by jastevenson
Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Add $5k to Roth IRA today, but income ends up > 125k?
Replies: 9
Views: 1962

Add $5k to Roth IRA today, but income ends up > 125k?

Hi! Quick question for the amazing folks on this board (really, people out here know a lot!): If I add $5,000 to my Roth IRA today, but then discover at the end of the year that my income is greater than the $125,000 limit for contributing to a Roth, what happens? I'd like to put money in the Roth A...
by jastevenson
Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETF's with free trades (e.g. iShares): What's the catch?
Replies: 12
Views: 1473

ETF's with free trades (e.g. iShares): What's the catch?

So I've been reading about ETF's lately. I know mutual funds make their money by charging a management fee. But ETF's such as iShares charge no trading fee, and there is no management fee. Which sounds great, but then, how do ETF's make money? "If it's too good to be true it probably is".....
by jastevenson
Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can you fund a TSP by writing a check?
Replies: 4
Views: 883

Can you fund a TSP by writing a check?

Hi! I have a Roth TSP. The limit is $17,000 / year. Money is deducted from my paycheck and goes directly into the Roth TSP. Can I add money to the TSP by just writing a check and depositing it into my TSP account (as you might do to fund a savings account)? Or can you only add funds to the TSP as a ...
by jastevenson
Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Had 401k, put 7k in, now have Roth TSP, how much can I add?
Replies: 6
Views: 742

Re: Had 401k, put 7k in, now have Roth TSP, how much can I a

Thanks for the replies thus far, folks! To answer your question: my former employer only offered 401k as an option, so I had no choice but to go with it. My new employer offers the TSP and Roth TSP. What makes matters complex is that they actually will match 5% of my salary, but they force you to pu...
by jastevenson
Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Had 401k, put 7k in, now have Roth TSP, how much can I add?
Replies: 6
Views: 742

Had 401k, put 7k in, now have Roth TSP, how much can I add?

Hi all, I know that if I contribute $17,000 to a 401k, I can also contribute $5,000 to a Roth IRA. But what about a 401k and a Roth TSP? I had a 401k at my old job earlier this year, and contributed $7,000 (PRE-tax dollars) since January 2012. Switched jobs and now have a Roth TSP (limit is $17,000)...

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