Search found 176 matches

by leftcoaster
Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pea gravel as paver patio alternative
Replies: 28
Views: 2507

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: 70324

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: 1121

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: 750

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: 70324

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: 70324

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: 70324

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: 1340

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: 1340

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: 1340

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: 1340

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: 1340

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: 350

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: 350

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: 350

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: 593

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: 593

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: 8254

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 ...
by leftcoaster
Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitization late in life
Replies: 13
Views: 892

Re: Annuitization late in life

I am not an expert, but why are beneficiaries of the trust paying income tax? Shouldn't the annuity turn into cash that goes into the estate (tax free assuming under the estate limit) and then payouts from the trust will be tax free until gains start accumulating? You should be getting approximatel...
by leftcoaster
Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitization late in life
Replies: 13
Views: 892

Re: Annuitization late in life

You also need to watch New York's estate tax. While the federal exemption is high, the state exemption is not. I think it's currently around $3M and continues to climb each year. But adding up the value of the real estate, the IRA, the taxable account, and the annuities and you might be close. The ...
by leftcoaster
Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitization late in life
Replies: 13
Views: 892

Re: Annuitization late in life

Her desired lifestyle is being met by SS + $5K/monthly draws from taxable (delivered in the form of RMDs). Did you misstate that? She is getting her RMDs from taxable? And wants to stop so heirs can benefit from the step-up in basis on the taxable accounts? I'm calculating the RMD divisor for 80 ye...
by leftcoaster
Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitization late in life
Replies: 13
Views: 892

Re: Annuitization late in life

The reason for thinking of life + 5y guarantee is to hedge against the (unlikely) event that something happens in <5 years.
by leftcoaster
Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitization late in life
Replies: 13
Views: 892

Re: Annuitization late in life

Do not annuitize the taxable investments - at death, the heirs will receive assets at the stepped up basis; no income tax. I have no opinion the flexible annuities. It doesn't seem that any additional income is needed at this time, so I'd be inclined to let it ride until you actually need the money...
by leftcoaster
Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitization late in life
Replies: 13
Views: 892

Annuitization late in life

Hello bogleheads, Mom is turning 80 next year, a widow. She is in good health and active. Her mother lived to 91; her father to 85 and there were (thankfully) no extravagant medical interventions in either case. She has: ⋅ social security ⋅  owns her home in a desirable part of M...
by leftcoaster
Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: disclaiming an IRA
Replies: 5
Views: 868

disclaiming an IRA

Suppose the following structure: IRA Owner 4 primary beneficiaries, equal shares, all living at time of Owner's passing. 1 of the four wants to disclaim her share of the IRA and have her child receive+stretch it. Am I correct that designating "primary per stirpes" is the way to go? I think...
by leftcoaster
Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor advised funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1703

Re: Donor advised funds

gardemanger wrote:We can't all afford Vanguard's minimums, for starters.



Good point. It's a significant jump from 5 to 25k.
by leftcoaster
Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor advised funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1703

Re: Donor advised funds

Regarding pledges and Donor Advised Funds: We use Fidelity, and have done so for many years. On the DAF side (in our case Fidelity) when we first set up the account, the language and warnings were very strong (almost threatening) about not being able to fulfill a pledge with a grant request. In fac...
by leftcoaster
Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor advised funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1703

Re: Donor advised funds

What is the advantage in pledging anyhow? What's wrong with just making the donation when you want to? There's no advantage to the donor. The recipient organization likes to use pledges (sometimes multi-year) to plan their cash flow. It's also useful to them for capital campaigns and for motivating...
by leftcoaster
Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor advised funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1703

Re: Donor advised funds

You can do whatever you want but this seems pretty silly to me. You're implying that market changes work against you. And that you controlling the timing more precisely is somehow better for everyone. If you step back, you'll see how off the mark that is. Plus, I can't imagine your control really i...
by leftcoaster
Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor advised funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1703

Re: Donor advised funds

You may wish to check how quick Vanguard does things then. I would suggest transferring 100% of the shares to a real broker who makes same day transactions while you sit in their office. Then you can gift whenever you want. It sounds like this is how it would unfold: a) partial ACAT to vanguard b) ...
by leftcoaster
Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor advised funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1703

Re: Donor advised funds

You can do whatever you want but this seems pretty silly to me. You're implying that market changes work against you. And that you controlling the timing more precisely is somehow better for everyone. If you step back, you'll see how off the mark that is. Plus, I can't imagine your control really i...
by leftcoaster
Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor advised funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1703

Re: Donor advised funds

livesoft wrote:How about not worrying about the price? :)


A thousand dollar difference is kind of meaningful to me.
by leftcoaster
Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor advised funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1703

Donor advised funds

Situation I gift appreciated stock to charity My broker transfers shares to the charity which then sells them. Market volatility means that there's little predictability in the pricing. The transfer and sale can take a week or more and a lot can happen in that time My employer stock plan broker does...
by leftcoaster
Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Build Your Own Annuity
Replies: 157
Views: 15134

Re: Build Your Own Annuity

Hi Everyone: This Forbes column was inspired by a recent discussion on the forum about building your own annuity. I incorporated some of the ideas from that discussion and combined them with some of my own thoughts. http://www.forbes.com/sites/thebogleheadsview/2013/03/01/build-your-own-annuity/ Sa...
by leftcoaster
Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the point of a Flagship Representative?
Replies: 69
Views: 8460

Re: Flagship service

Crow Hunter: I contact my representative (I've had two) perhaps once a year. I have always received excellent service. If I'm switched to another person in the office I don't mind a bit. I recently contacted my representative ( [real name removed by admin LadyGeek] ) about a wealthy friend of mine ...
by leftcoaster
Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIA AMEX -> fidelity 529
Replies: 2
Views: 245

FIA AMEX -> fidelity 529

Amounts put in the 529 from FIA rewards go against the annual limit, yes?
by leftcoaster
Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: when does Flagship pricing for TurboTax typically appear?
Replies: 7
Views: 1659

Re: when does Flagship pricing for TurboTax typically appear?

Turbo Tax always been made available by Vanguard in mid December. However the free / reduced rates were for the Deluxe version which does not include Schedule D for investment transactions. Turbo Tax made this change in 2014. You now need the Premiere version at an additional charge. This is not tr...
by leftcoaster
Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: when does Flagship pricing for TurboTax typically appear?
Replies: 7
Views: 1659

when does Flagship pricing for TurboTax typically appear?

I'd like to run some scenarios before the end of the year.
by leftcoaster
Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spatchcock [aka Butterfly] Your Turkey?
Replies: 15
Views: 1399

Re: Spatchcock [aka Butterfly] Your Turkey?

On the topic of interesting poultry recipes: I recently tried a chicken that I had the butcher completely de-bone, yet leave whole, in the skin. I then made a mushroom duxelles stuffing and tied it with twine (recipe on Youtube somewhere) and then roasted. It was fabulous and you simply carve slices...
by leftcoaster
Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spatchcock [aka Butterfly] Your Turkey?
Replies: 15
Views: 1399

Re: Spatchcock [aka Butterfly] Your Turkey?

Yes, it was much better spatchcocked because evenly cooked. You can do it on a rack over a sheet with vegetables to catch the drippings. Good for chicken too. You will need poultry shears.
by leftcoaster
Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Munis
Replies: 10
Views: 1047

Re: Munis

I have an NWFCU CD and am planning to use Munis to extend into a ladder. The CD is 3y, so I would add 4y, 5y, and 6y for a duration of around 5y. I'll keep adding rungs at the end. I did consider the vanguard fund, but I'd rather not experience NAV fluctuations. The yield there is lower than what I...
by leftcoaster
Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Munis
Replies: 10
Views: 1047

Re: Munis

Higher tax-equivalent yield probably means higher risk, although if in fed tax bracket higher than 25%, could be a bit better on risk-adjusted basis. Thinking individual bonds avoids price fluctuation is an illusion if you roll your bonds into the long end of your ladder when they mature. Rolling b...
by leftcoaster
Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Munis
Replies: 10
Views: 1047

Munis

I am thinking of using in-state muni bonds as an alternative to i-bonds. I've done the tax-equivalent yield math and like what I see. I have an NWFCU CD and am planning to use Munis to extend into a ladder. The CD is 3y, so I would add 4y, 5y, and 6y for a duration of around 5y. I'll keep adding run...
by leftcoaster
Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: multi-year 529 contributions
Replies: 10
Views: 1002

multi-year 529 contributions

I know you can put up to 5x the annual limit for a 529 in at a time. You're then "done" for those 5 years. Does anyone here know the rules if you want to do this somewhat incrementally? For example, can you do something like this? year 1: 40K year 2: 5K year 3: 30K ? Or does it have to be ...
by leftcoaster
Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your 2 retirement numbers?
Replies: 260
Views: 27149

Re: What are your 2 retirement numbers?

Oddly I have never given this much thought.

Are people with numbers planning on lots more travel? Paying for kids' weddings?
by leftcoaster
Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brokered CDs
Replies: 17
Views: 1094

Re: Brokered CDs

For others who have not yet dealt in brokered CDs or individual bonds in a taxable account, note the possible amortization of the premium for tax purposes to help offset the higher yield. Say more please? See IRS Pub 550, Ch3, section "Bond Premium Amortization": https://www.irs.gov/publi...
by leftcoaster
Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brokered CDs
Replies: 17
Views: 1094

Re: Brokered CDs

saltycaper wrote:
For others who have not yet dealt in brokered CDs or individual bonds in a taxable account, note the possible amortization of the premium for tax purposes to help offset the higher yield.


Say more please?
by leftcoaster
Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brokered CDs
Replies: 17
Views: 1094

Re: Brokered CDs

In my case, bought brokered 4-year CD at rate 2.1% through Vanguard for my TIRA.. I don't have a taxable account. If that doesn't make financial sense, someone let me know! Well you could get a 3-year CD for 3.04% if you were willing to get one directly from NWFCU, which would involve money transfe...
by leftcoaster
Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brokered CDs
Replies: 17
Views: 1094

Re: Brokered CDs

Sidney wrote:The FDIC insurance covers the face value of the CD. If it is trading at a premium, the premium is at risk since in a bank default the FDIC would only return the face value to you.


Aha, that makes sense. Thank you.
by leftcoaster
Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brokered CDs
Replies: 17
Views: 1094

Re: Brokered CDs

I'm not sure why the new issues have yields much lower than secondary. Possibly in part because some people prefer to buy at par due to a psychological crutch of sorts, while others don't want to pay a commission (new issues are often commission-free). Also, since any premium is not FDIC-insured, p...

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