Search found 208 matches

by leftcoaster
Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 safety
Replies: 3
Views: 356

529 safety

My teen's 529 just crossed into 25% stocks and 75% bonds with two years to go until college. If this were retirement with a long period to recover from falling bond prices and rising yields, I'd be less concerned. But under current conditions it seems like a large bond holding with a withdrawal rate...
by leftcoaster
Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child
Replies: 114
Views: 5986

Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Remember that you are responsible for your child throughout the flight. If you fall asleep and he is kicking the seat in front of you, you are responsible.

Leave the kid at home until s/he reaches the age of reason if you can.
by leftcoaster
Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage?
Replies: 107
Views: 6957

Re: Pay off mortgage?

Suppose I do buy the muni fund. How would you account for that in the overall portfolio allocation? As a bond fund, but then you should account for the mortgage as a negative bond. If you have a mortgage which requires a payment every month for the next 84 months, and a bond portfolio which makes a...
by leftcoaster
Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage?
Replies: 107
Views: 6957

Re: Pay off mortgage?

@grabiner, so bottom line, you'd recommend just paying it off? I think it is a close decision if you are in a very high CA and federal tax bracket. You said that Vanguard CA Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt has a 3.8% tax-equivalent yield. Since the current yield on Admiral shares is 1.98%, that implie...
by leftcoaster
Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: different 401(k) matches for different employees
Replies: 6
Views: 883

different 401(k) matches for different employees

Is it legal/possible for an employer to offer a particular employee different matching terms?

Scenario: employee uses spouse's health insurance. Can the employee negotiate an additional 401(k) employer contribution in lieu of the money that would otherwise go to insurance?
by leftcoaster
Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage?
Replies: 107
Views: 6957

Re: Pay off mortgage?

@grabiner, so bottom line, you'd recommend just paying it off?
by leftcoaster
Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage?
Replies: 107
Views: 6957

Re: Pay off mortgage?

I have about 7 years left on a 15y @ 2.875% and could pay it off tomorrow. Or I can open one of those 3.01% FDIC insured 7 year CDs. These are not comparable Paying off the mortgage is equivalent to buying a portfolio of 84 CDs maturing in 1 to 84 months, since you get the benefit every month. And ...
by leftcoaster
Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage?
Replies: 107
Views: 6957

Re: Pay off mortgage?

I struggle with this too. I have about 7 years left on a 15y @ 2.875% and could pay it off tomorrow. Or I can open one of those 3.01% FDIC insured 7 year CDs. Or I could invest in the CA intermediate muni fund for a tax equivalent yield of 3.8% with some more risk. I have maxed everything I can thin...
by leftcoaster
Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long after a transition birthday to see 529 plan shift portfolio?
Replies: 1
Views: 191

How long after a transition birthday to see 529 plan shift portfolio?

Vanguard 529 moves to a more conservative age based portfolio at specific threshold ages. My kid had a birthday last month. When would I expect to see the portfolio shift?
by leftcoaster
Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard "upgrade" = downgrade!
Replies: 2
Views: 1152

Vanguard "upgrade" = downgrade!

Went through the upgrade and got a nasty surprise - an exchange that used to have a same day transaction now has to be performed in two steps over two days. When doing an RMD to the same fund in taxable this adds a day of market fluctuation to the puzzle. I spoke to a flagship representative and lea...
by leftcoaster
Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapskate for not flying business class?
Replies: 81
Views: 6087

Re: Cheapskate for not flying business class?

rkhusky wrote:Perhaps buy 3 tickets in coach so that you have an empty seat next to you?


How do you actually check in that extra seat?
by leftcoaster
Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:07 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads is back!!!
Replies: 83
Views: 8044

Re: Bogleheads is back!!!

How many people panicked and transferred all of their vanguard holdings into gold, a single stock, or an annuity with a giant commission?

:twisted:
by leftcoaster
Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: compound yield for Vanguard funds
Replies: 3
Views: 400

Re: compound yield for Vanguard funds

triceratop wrote:Does the SEC yield for money market accounts not already take expenses into account?


According to Investopedia, it does. Case closed!

Thanks much
by leftcoaster
Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: compound yield for Vanguard funds
Replies: 3
Views: 400

compound yield for Vanguard funds

The Finance Buff has an article on selecting a MMF at Vanguard in which he shows screenshots from vanguard's fund overview section that include Compound Yield -- the SEC yield adjusted for expenses. That no longer appears on the site. Does anyone know why and/or how to calculate it? link: https://th...
by leftcoaster
Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vitamix Worth It?
Replies: 63
Views: 6458

Re: Vitamix Worth It?

I have yet to identify a need that my hand blender cannot fulfill. I do not make my own nut butter.
by leftcoaster
Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The coming municipal bond crisis
Replies: 51
Views: 7644

Re: The coming municipal bond crisis

The greater concern is for those of us who live in places where this has been going on for so long. As with the citrus district, most agencies will not default. This means that money for needed services will not be available. My city's budget is steadily diverting more and more funds toward pensions...
by leftcoaster
Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?
Replies: 247
Views: 39954

Re: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?

What retirement age are we assuming?
by leftcoaster
Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High deductible [health] insurance behaviors
Replies: 10
Views: 1148

High deductible [health] insurance behaviors

Have BHs who have HSA + High Deductible insurance noticed any behavioral changes in their approach to medical costs? This was one of the stated goals of such plans - expose costs to the consumer - and while in an emergency we are not going to asking many questions, I find that routine matters are a ...
by leftcoaster
Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Apple employee seeking advice on 401k and general investments
Replies: 26
Views: 3841

Re: Apple employee seeking advice on 401k and general investments

Your RSUs [stock] are going to trigger more taxable income. RSUs stack, so in time you will be vesting multiple grants in a year. That will probably push you out of direct roth territory and into backdoor roths. I didn't see you mention participation in the ESPP, which is a guaranteed 15+% return. I...
by leftcoaster
Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eating Healthy/Meals for One
Replies: 65
Views: 4933

Re: Eating Healthy/Meals for One

Others have mentioned freezing portions. I'd like to add that a Food Saver can be a useful tool as well. First, you can cut up fish, chicken, meat and seal it for longer conservation in the fridge or freezer (no freezer burn). Second, you can get a jar lid attachment and vacuum seal mason jars. This...
by leftcoaster
Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance & LI under negative interest rates
Replies: 10
Views: 870

Insurers struggle in low interest world

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/14/business/why-some-life-insurance-premiums-are-skyrocketing.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news Summary - insurance companies wrote policies when today's low...
by leftcoaster
Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mortgage refi question
Replies: 6
Views: 626

Re: mortgage refi question

Unrelated to the question you asked, but you should check how the bi-weekly payments are applied. I used to pay bi-weekly, but stopped. The mortgage company just held the payment until I made the 2nd payment in a month, then applied it as a single monthly payment. The only advantage was that every ...
by leftcoaster
Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mortgage refi question
Replies: 6
Views: 626

mortgage refi question

I have roughly 11y to go on a 15y fixed mortgage @ 2.875. I owe about 215K on it. I was looking at a refi into a 10y @ 2.5, which would cost me 1.14 points and about $4k in closing costs. Monthly cost would be nearly the same. I have been paying down on a biweekly schedule, so I'm a bit ahead on the...
by leftcoaster
Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How best to take little kids sightseeing?
Replies: 37
Views: 2547

Re: How best to take little kids sightseeing?

Buy two notebooks and two packs of colored pencils. Form teams of one parent, one child Head off in different directions in the museum, with a meeting time of 30m to 1 hour pre arranged. Child member of team chooses a painting, object, or detail of a painting. Together, you sketch it on the notebook...
by leftcoaster
Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Oliver covers retail investment industry on Last Week Tonight
Replies: 114
Views: 16142

Re: John Oliver covers retail investment industry on Last Week Tonight

It was entertaining and informative but less actionable than one would like. Many people would say, OK I will fire my FA, avoid active management, and not buy annuities. What next? That's the hard part for most people. Bogleheads are outliers among the outliers. The Suze Orman material is fascinatin...
by leftcoaster
Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mortgage prepay vs munis - impact of medicare supplemental taxes
Replies: 10
Views: 820

Re: mortgage prepay vs munis - impact of medicare supplemental taxes

Regarding cap out on CA deductions. Indeed, I have been cut back to the standard deduction. All itemized deductions tossed out.
by leftcoaster
Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mortgage prepay vs munis - impact of medicare supplemental taxes
Replies: 10
Views: 820

Re: mortgage prepay vs munis - impact of medicare supplemental taxes

grabiner wrote:
However, the cap-out effect may make only 20% of the CA deduction usable; that is the .123*.02 above.


I think you mean 0.2 ?
by leftcoaster
Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mortgage prepay vs munis - impact of medicare supplemental taxes
Replies: 10
Views: 820

Re: mortgage prepay vs munis - impact of medicare supplemental taxes

Also, especially if OP is in 12.3% CA bracket, the CA limitation might actually be capped out, in which case its impact at the margin would fall on the effective return of mortgage prepayment instead of the after-tax return of alternative taxable investments. Modifying the example, 2.875*(1-.396)(1...
by leftcoaster
Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mortgage prepay vs munis - impact of medicare supplemental taxes
Replies: 10
Views: 820

Re: mortgage prepay vs munis - impact of medicare supplemental taxes

Above that, the cap limits the tax effect of a marginal change in mortgage interest paid and therefore the after-tax return on prepayment, as illustrated in the last line of my earlier post. If the OP is really in the 12.3% CA bracket, then they may be capped out, so this effect may be pertinent. F...
by leftcoaster
Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mortgage prepay vs munis - impact of medicare supplemental taxes
Replies: 10
Views: 820

mortgage prepay vs munis - impact of medicare supplemental taxes

I have about 12 years left on a mortgage @ 2.875% and am comparing prepayments vs. vanguard's CA intermediate tax-exempt fund. No need for a bunch of posts about the psychological effects of paying off the house. I believe I need to calculate the tax equivalent yield of the SEC yield of the fund (1....
by leftcoaster
Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Saw Blade to Purchase for this DIY
Replies: 32
Views: 1882

Re: Best Saw Blade to Purchase for this DIY

Portable bandsaw with a fine tooth blade is the way to go.
by leftcoaster
Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pea gravel as paver patio alternative
Replies: 28
Views: 3002

Re: Pea gravel as paver patio alternative

I have pea gravel fixed in place with a product called Klingstone Paths. Works well. Stays put. Drains better than decomposed granite.
by leftcoaster
Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard converting mutual fund accounts to brokerage?
Replies: 400
Views: 74801

Re: "Vanguard converting mutual fund accounts to brokerage?

obafgkm wrote:I might have missed it in this thread, but what is the benefit to Vanguard for starting these conversions? Why are they doing this? Whenever I'm told that something will benefit me, I always wonder about the other side.


Simplified systems is my guess. They have two and it's quite awkward.
by leftcoaster
Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fraud detection algorithm for Capitol One credit cards
Replies: 17
Views: 1312

Re: fraud detection algorithm for Capitol One credit cards

Could be that a merchant you shop at has been a higher fraud risk location, either because: 1) fraudsters are cashing out there, converting stolen cards into physical goods; or 2) an employee has been skimming cards from customers. Could also be that there were some failed AVS checks -- did you get ...
by leftcoaster
Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: must do/sees in Beijing and HangZhou
Replies: 13
Views: 887

must do/sees in Beijing and HangZhou

Business trip, limited time. I'll visit the Summer Palace (forbidden city closed the day I have available).

Other quick hits for a short visit? Unique restaurant recommendations would be nice too.
by leftcoaster
Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard converting mutual fund accounts to brokerage?
Replies: 400
Views: 74801

Re: "Vanguard converting mutual fund accounts to brokerage?

I got an invitation for this service today and was told on sign on that none of my accounts were eligible. You'd think their analytics department would know this and that I wouldn't have received the email... Same old same old except my invite was some 18 months ago. :D It's not that they don't kno...
by leftcoaster
Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard converting mutual fund accounts to brokerage?
Replies: 400
Views: 74801

Re: "Vanguard converting mutual fund accounts to brokerage?

I got an invitation for this service today and was told on sign on that none of my accounts were eligible. You'd think their analytics department would know this and that I wouldn't have received the email... Same old same old except my invite was some 18 months ago. :D It's not that they don't kno...
by leftcoaster
Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard converting mutual fund accounts to brokerage?
Replies: 400
Views: 74801

Re: "Vanguard converting mutual fund accounts to brokerage?

I got an invitation for this service today and was told on sign on that none of my accounts were eligible.

You'd think their analytics department would know this and that I wouldn't have received the email...
by leftcoaster
Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Bond Refund gotcha
Replies: 11
Views: 1489

Re: Savings Bond Refund gotcha

Leftcoaster, Did you fill in the routing number and account number for your treasurydirect account on the direct deposit section of form 8888? Per https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/articles/res_invest_articles_tax_refund_1208.htm : "You can request the IRS or your state tax departm...
by leftcoaster
Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Bond Refund gotcha
Replies: 11
Views: 1489

Re: Savings Bond Refund gotcha

Oh, and I was promised a return call from a supervisor. None came.

I called my congressperson.
by leftcoaster
Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Bond Refund gotcha
Replies: 11
Views: 1489

Re: Savings Bond Refund gotcha

I filled everything out correctly, as I have in past years.

Only difference was trying to title as a trust.
by leftcoaster
Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Bond Refund gotcha
Replies: 11
Views: 1489

Re: Savings Bond Refund gotcha

This is a gotcha? Can't you just take your refund and purchase savings bonds yourself? If I ask for my refund in Krugerrands, I wouldn't imagine they would comply either. Maybe I'm missing something here... There is an opportunity to get up to $5K in savings bonds with your tax refund. This does no...
by leftcoaster
Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Bond Refund gotcha
Replies: 11
Views: 1489

Savings Bond Refund gotcha

I requested that part of my refund be issued in savings bonds, but the IRS did not honor this request. The phone agent was unable to find any specific reason but said that a letter will be forthcoming in a week's time. There was an automated message that enumerated 3 possible reasons, none of which ...
by leftcoaster
Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mega backdoor Roth and Roth 401(k)
Replies: 3
Views: 453

Re: mega backdoor Roth and Roth 401(k)

Other differences between Roth 401k and Roth IRA: 1) More favorable distribution tax rules for non qualified distributions from Roth IRA (Roth IRA earnings come out last; Roth 401k earnings come out pro rated with contributions) 2) If you convert to the Roth IRA and the market tanks, you can rechar...
by leftcoaster
Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mega backdoor Roth and Roth 401(k)
Replies: 3
Views: 453

Re: mega backdoor Roth and Roth 401(k)

Reading wikipedia, the only difference I can discern is Unlike Roth IRAs, owners of Roth 401(k) accounts (designated Roth accounts) must begin distributions at age 70 and a half, as with IRA and other retirement plans. which would seem to be mitigated by Employees can roll their Roth 401(k) contribu...
by leftcoaster
Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mega backdoor Roth and Roth 401(k)
Replies: 3
Views: 453

mega backdoor Roth and Roth 401(k)

I have one of these 401(k) plans that permits after tax contributions and also non-hardship in service withdrawals, so I can do a mega backdoor Roth iRA. The program administrator says that I can also put those funds into a Roth 401(k) in the plan. The plan has very attractive pricing -- Vanguard's ...
by leftcoaster
Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Security on the phone
Replies: 7
Views: 659

Re: Security on the phone

cbeck wrote:Tell them you'll call them back and then used the published number to do so.


Right. My point is that there needs to be a way to get back to that person and not random agent 52.
by leftcoaster
Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Security on the phone
Replies: 7
Views: 659

Security on the phone

In recent weeks I've had contact with financial institutions where there was a follow up call initiated by them. The agent then wants to ID me with personal info: DOB, SSN, etc. I say, yeah but how do I know that YOU are really calling from (wherever)? Because that is exactly what a phishing attack ...
by leftcoaster
Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The psychology of high deductible health plans
Replies: 103
Views: 9287

Re: The psychology of high deductible health plans

Public radio did a story about https://www.vitalssmartshopper.com/ Which helps patients find less expensive providers. They give cash incentives for using less costly options. My insurance company uses another program - hcestimator.com, with no incentives. For a colonoscopy with polyp removal I can ...

Go to advanced search