Search found 137 matches

by marcos123
Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 228
Views: 25675

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

Great thread. A few folks here have suggested moving abroad for the sole purpose of retiring early with affordable health care. I would advise against letting the healthcare cost tail wagging the overall move - or ER - dog . Having said that, if you otherwise intend to live in a particular region, o...
by marcos123
Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wiki (?) - Investing as an expat (US citizen living abroad)
Replies: 56
Views: 6591

Re: Wiki (?) - Investing as an expat (US citizen living abroad)

Ok, Marcos, I'd really love your replies to a few questions: 1. Can you confirm that the text on M2M in the new wiki page makes sense? It looks good to me, from a user perspective, but I hasten to add that I am not a CPA or tax lawyer. 2. Did it get complicated with lots of spreadsheet entries? (I ...
by marcos123
Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wiki (?) - Investing as an expat (US citizen living abroad)
Replies: 56
Views: 6591

Re: Wiki (?) - Investing as an expat (US citizen living abroad)

Looks really nice. Now I'm hoping to find someone who has actually done this, before I plunge in I've been doing this (MTM option). And (get this) I'm actually doing it inside a locally tax-advantaged account (not recognized as such of course by the IRS), so that the underlying funds are not yet ta...
by marcos123
Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wiki (?) - Investing as an expat (US citizen living abroad)
Replies: 56
Views: 6591

Re: Wiki (?) - Investing as an expat (US citizen living abroad)

Looks great, and thank you Lady Geek. I would just like to further clarify that the possibility of ordinary taxes on unrealized capital gains is actually within the underlying fund (as opposed to the investor's not having sold shares himself and thus having recognized a capital gain via an eventual ...
by marcos123
Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wiki (?) - Investing as an expat (US citizen living abroad)
Replies: 56
Views: 6591

Re: Wiki (?) - Investing as an expat (US citizen living abroad)

Looking good. Under Mark to Market ,since both realized and unrealized capital gains are subject to ordinary income taxes each year, I would just recommend the following underscored revision. Each year the gains - whether realized or unrealized - are treated as ordinary income. I would suggest maint...
by marcos123
Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation
Replies: 15
Views: 2027

Re: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation

A couple different observations: 1. When calculating US taxes, I thought they let you subtract any tax you paid another country on the same income . For example, if you owe Japan $5,000 in taxes, the US would not expect you to pay anything if your US taxes was less than that. If the US taxes were m...
by marcos123
Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation
Replies: 15
Views: 2027

Re: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation

Problems: 1. To invest my money where I want it, I'm going to need to bite the bullet and liquidate the contents of the IRA and pay a huge Japanese tax bill (I think 2-3 months' salary at least) on it, eating into my emergency fund since I can't very well take the money out of the IRA to pay it. 2....
by marcos123
Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation
Replies: 15
Views: 2027

Re: US citizen in Japan - Advice for my painful tax situation

My Inherited Traditional IRA: JP takes 20% of dividends and 20% of capital gains, then US smacks me around and taxes me again like it was normal income when I take it out. This is again the clear loser. Can you cash out the Trad. IRA in the same year that you take the capital gains, and claim the J...
by marcos123
Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Index vs American Funds?
Replies: 45
Views: 20921

Re: Vanguard Index vs American Funds?

In a recent post Larry Swedroe had the following to say about AF: ....American is very disciplined in sticking with their asset classes, no style drift, and low turnover and relatively low costs. So in some ways closer to passive than many active funds. Also don't rely on "star managers"--...
by marcos123
Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Index vs American Funds?
Replies: 45
Views: 20921

Re: Vanguard Index vs American Funds?

Note there's a way to reduce the American Fund's sales load, which I taught the adviser: Invest cash in the short term bond fund at 2.50%. Now re-balance into a 5.75% fund, and no extra fee applies. This^^^^. If one happens to invest in AF A shares (and has less than $1MM in a taxable account): no ...
by marcos123
Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does janus add value, continuing my series on the performance of the leading active fund families
Replies: 15
Views: 2287

Re: Does janus add value, continuing my series on the performance of the leading active fund families

I always use the lowest cost versions available, so loads would not have been included. American is very disciplined in sticking with their asset classes, no style drift, and low turnover and relatively low costs. So in some ways closer to passive than many active funds. Also don't rely on "st...
by marcos123
Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does janus add value, continuing my series on the performance of the leading active fund families
Replies: 15
Views: 2287

Re: Does janus add value, continuing my series on the performance of the leading active fund families

Very interesting that the only fund family outperforming both Vanguard ( by a whopping +1.1%) and DFA (by a slim +0.1%) is American Funds. Certainly an impressive relative performance, at least according to this analysis. Wondering though about the treatment of the front-end load, and if the institu...
by marcos123
Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ex-pat opening a Global Vanguard account
Replies: 30
Views: 2397

Re: Ex-pat opening a Global Vanguard account

As tempting as suggesting potential solutions is at this point, I'd suggest by starting out with the basics and establishing your investment framework. An investor policy statement (IPS) is a great place to start (again, check the wiki). Think through things like asset allocation, risk tolerance, e...
by marcos123
Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to become a "U.S. citizen residing overseas"?
Replies: 26
Views: 4218

Re: How to become a "U.S. citizen residing overseas"?

Really interesting thread as I've been wondering about the state tax issue if I retire abroad. My situation is a little different from that of OP. I live and work in NY, and am looking at moving to Latin America in a couple years when I retire (by "retire," I mean when I'm eventually part...
by marcos123
Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: if permanently move abroad
Replies: 13
Views: 2363

Re: if permanently move abroad

Just make sure you sever ALL ties with NJ. That means: no storage facility with your stuff in it, no snail mail address of any kind, do no renew your drivers license, do not have any online accounts with any NJ address in it (your banks for example). You must sever ALL ties with NJ to stop paying t...
by marcos123
Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Take SS at 62 or wait ?
Replies: 74
Views: 8811

Re: Take SS at 62 or wait ?

I retired at 61.5 and took SS at 62 and for a very good reason. Most of the analysis of this decision I have seen ignores the time value of money. Without getting into the political aspects of SS, using the IRR (Internal Rate of Return) function in Excel allows one to take the time value of money i...
by marcos123
Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US Expat in Indonesia
Replies: 57
Views: 5121

Re: US Expat in Indonesia

For years I put a U.S. address on my 1040 and my foreign address on Form 2555 where I claimed bona fide residence. I know many others who do this as well. I've never heard of anyone having any problems with the IRS over this. Seems to me you have a legitimate reason and clear explanation for using ...
by marcos123
Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing as an American living in Japan
Replies: 16
Views: 2270

Re: Investing as an American living in Japan

Thanks Karamatsu. Here in Brazil there is, inexplicably, given the high levels of bilateral commerce and investment, still no tax treaty (although there is a Tax Information Exchange Agreement, which doesn't seem to help individual taxpayers on either side, only their governments!). Given the simila...
by marcos123
Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing as an American living in Japan
Replies: 16
Views: 2270

Re: Investing as an American living in Japan

Apparently next year they will start offering individual inflation-indexed bonds, which would interest me, but there seems to be no real benefit to holding the normal bonds right now. I am currently thinking about investing in individual local-currency denominated inflation-indexed bonds in my home...
by marcos123
Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your favorite country to possibly retire to?
Replies: 88
Views: 8093

Re: Your favorite country to possibly retire to?

Brazil. For the people, the climate, the culture, the beaches (outside of urban centers), the mountains. Don't move however for a COL reduction. Learn the language for a meaningful experience. Be sure to have budgeted for a private health plan (may be local with rider for international travel), as M...
by marcos123
Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Alarming Morningstar Article - Are Custodians for Inherited IRA's Really this Bad?
Replies: 5
Views: 1297

Re: Alarming Morningstar Article - Are Custodians for Inherited IRA's Really this Bad?

Thank you for your responses, I was actually hoping that those who did respond would respond! I certainly did not mean to call into question Ms. Choate's street cred - I was really just looking for a reality check, particularly on point #4. I was not aware of this issue and indeed am "alarmed&q...
by marcos123
Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Alarming Morningstar Article - Are Custodians for Inherited IRA's Really this Bad?
Replies: 5
Views: 1297

Alarming Morningstar Article - Are Custodians for Inherited IRA's Really this Bad?

Morningstar posted the following alarming article today: "Inherited IRA Owners: Watch Out for These Plan Administrator Snafus." Author is Nathalie Choate. m Point #4 seems particularly disturbing. Note: the other points do not seem problematic as they relate to lack of familiarity of the t...
by marcos123
Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign Tax Credit - how use it before expiry in eight years
Replies: 22
Views: 1849

Re: Foreign Tax Credit - how use it before expiry in eight years

Thanks ... credit is from passive activity ... not an expat. Understood - those examples however pertain to passive income. Generally, such locally tax-advantaged transactions are available to local residents. Still, to the extent you qualify for certain foreign tax breaks as a non-resident that th...
by marcos123
Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign Tax Credit - how use it before expiry in eight years
Replies: 22
Views: 1849

Re: Foreign Tax Credit - how use it before expiry in eight years

If you were an expat, then I would suggest availing of any of a series of potential asymmetries in the foreign tax code vs the US tax code for a given investment, transaction, or vehicle. For example, if there is a locally tax-exempt investment that generates substantial yield or capital gains that ...
by marcos123
Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about Ally Bank
Replies: 16
Views: 3099

Re: Questions about Ally Bank

Eye opening... My wife has had ING Direct Orange (now Cap One 360) for over a decade and had no idea We will look into this, and transfer out accordingly if this is the case FWIW they do allow for revocable trust accounts, for both checking and savings, and, at least in the case of ING Direct, acce...
by marcos123
Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you trade-up your credit cards?
Replies: 14
Views: 3232

Re: Can you trade-up your credit cards?

As it is sometimes tricky for expats to apply for new cards, especially if they rely on an overseas income stream and/or do not maintain a US-based address, trading up may well be the only practical option. You forego the short-term bonus, but long-term you get the card you want without placing your...
by marcos123
Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Expat concern: Common Reporting Standard
Replies: 7
Views: 1045

Re: Expat concern: Common Reporting Standard

On a lighter note. If Fiji taxed your IRA and you paid wouldn't you get a corresponding Foreign Tax Credit on the other side so you are not double taxed anyways? No. Nor in the case where: - If the US taxed your Fiji IRA and you paid wouldn't you get a corresponding Foreign Tax Credit on the other ...
by marcos123
Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat: Vanguard declines to give advice. Move to Schwab?
Replies: 16
Views: 2889

Re: Expat: Vanguard declines to give advice. Move to Schwab?

I am a US citizen living abroad with a US mailing address service and I maintain a skype-based US phone number. For all of my financial relationships with American companies, I operate on a "don't ask, don't tell" basis when it comes to my living abroad. If the issue comes up (for instanc...
by marcos123
Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Open IRA before moving abroad (to Brazil)?
Replies: 6
Views: 1125

Re: Open IRA before moving abroad (to Brazil)?

Since Brazil does not have a tax treaty with the U.S., does anyone know how they might treat this IRA contribution? I actually know this, as when I became a tax resident down here, I invested in the services of a Big Four accounting firm, for planning purposes. And the answer is: Brazil tax law, no...
by marcos123
Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living Overseas, Currency Risk, and International Funds
Replies: 14
Views: 1564

Re: Living Overseas, Currency Risk, and International Funds

As an expat based in Brazil who ER'ed here just over a decade ago, I have had around half of my portfolio invested here and the other half in the US. I aimed to, similar in concept to a LMP, hedge my local currency expenses with local currency income, especially since the overwhelming portion of my ...
by marcos123
Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: noise-blocking headphones
Replies: 39
Views: 7811

Re: noise-blocking headphones

I've had an old version of the bose noise canceling over the ear headphones. the black ear pieces disintegrated over time.? The mid-2000s Bose over-the-ear headphones indeed had a problem where the plastic over time became brittle and disintegrated (I've seen many held together by zip-ties and duck...
by marcos123
Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I e-file? Form 8938 and 3 foreign accounts?
Replies: 5
Views: 1421

Re: Can I e-file? Form 8938 and 3 foreign accounts?

It seems TaxACT will work for me next year. Marcos, what version of TaxACT did you use that let you e-file form 8938 with multiple continuation statements? I use Deluxe Federal (currently $12.99) just for ease in importing previous year's data. However, given their service model (not based on numbe...
by marcos123
Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I e-file? Form 8938 and 3 foreign accounts?
Replies: 5
Views: 1421

Re: Can I e-file? Form 8938 and 3 foreign accounts?

TaxAct permits e-filing with Form 8938 including continuation page with multiple foreign accounts.
by marcos123
Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite chocolate candy
Replies: 51
Views: 5981

Re: Favorite chocolate candy

Ghirardelli Dark with Caramel

Lindt 85%
by marcos123
Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury Direct (no TIPS or Series I) and taxes
Replies: 9
Views: 1491

Re: Treasury Direct (no TIPS or Series I) and taxes

bump - Could one of the fixed income experts just confirm my understanding above? Many thanks in advance.
by marcos123
Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury Direct (no TIPS or Series I) and taxes
Replies: 9
Views: 1491

Re: Treasury Direct (no TIPS or Series I) and taxes

Many thanks for all the responses - very helpful. With amortization, you would want to amortize any premium as that is most advantageous from a tax perspective. Understood. But just for simplicity sake, instead of amortizing the premium: - I could still opt to use the default option, right, with the...
by marcos123
Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury Direct (no TIPS or Series I) and taxes
Replies: 9
Views: 1491

Treasury Direct (no TIPS or Series I) and taxes

I am thinking about diversifying my US portfolio with individual USG notes and bonds (no TIPS or Series I) with semi-annual interest payouts via Treasury Direct. This would be in my taxable account, and my other key objective is to absolutely continue to keep my US tax reporting simple. My question ...
by marcos123
Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: forgoing foreign tax credit
Replies: 8
Views: 1193

Re: forgoing foreign tax credit

But if one is faced with the issue of which to put in taxable and which in tax protected, and one has the choice, all else being equal, one should put the domestic in tax protected and the foreign in taxable The problem is that not all else is equal. The foreign funds right now have higher yields a...
by marcos123
Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why buy total international and not each country?
Replies: 21
Views: 2999

Re: Why buy total international and not each country?

I am an American retired in the Philippines. I keep about 4% of my portfolio invested in the Philippines country ETF (ishares:EPHE) and that is the only country ETF that I own. So this is about 6% of my equity holdings. This is an overweight of about 20x relative to the country's portion of global ...
by marcos123
Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did/do/will foreign banks issue form 1099INT?
Replies: 8
Views: 1332

Re: Did/do/will foreign banks issue form 1099INT?

Very unlikely as the report you reference is not mandated by the Fatca reg's! Which of course is not very helpful for you or any fellow expat's on this board (like myself) with such accounts who would simply like to ensure matching of their, vs. their local bank's, reporting to the same US entity. N...
by marcos123
Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: retirement spending covered by SS
Replies: 34
Views: 3026

Re: retirement spending covered by SS

I can't speak for the OP, but he appears to be using social security's own definition of retirement age.

Which is "the age at which you begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits."
by marcos123
Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D
Replies: 223
Views: 41636

Re: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D

TaxACT, which has long since replaced TurboTax in my case. Does a great job with the foreign capital gains reporting related to individual stocks/bonds in my local brokerage account as well.
by marcos123
Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A week in Tuscany: April 2015. Suggestions?
Replies: 22
Views: 2364

Re: A week in Tuscany: April 2015. Suggestions?

Leeraar wrote:If one is a fan of fresh (unaged), dry, un-oaked, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, what would you choose in Tuscany?

L.


Orvieto Classico. Whose namesake comune /hill town in neighboring Umbria would be well worth exploring in its own right.
by marcos123
Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EverBank
Replies: 13
Views: 3491

Re: EverBank

Have been a customer for just over 10 years. Their MM and CD rates are no longer as competitive as they once were, and my balances there clearly reflect that fact. The rates on their 5-year CDs continue to be very competitive; however the EWP is WAY above market at 15 months. Customer service is exc...
by marcos123
Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mutual Funds vs. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)
Replies: 37
Views: 3836

Re: Mutual Funds vs. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

I wanted to report an experience today with a marketable limit order while it is still fresh in my mind. Today I received some bond ETF dividends which I wanted to reinvest. I wanted to try this "marketable limit order" thing discussed in the Vanguard article linked previously by Obliviou...
by marcos123
Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Account [Automatically Closed] due to inactivity
Replies: 29
Views: 4299

Re: Credit Card Account [Automatically Closed] due to inacti

I live overseas, and for this reason I make it a point to utilize US-issued credit cards at least once year (with a nominal couple hundred dollars in charges) usually on trips back to the US. This has worked over the past decade. I mainly utilize locally-issed credit cards where I live. Bank account...
by marcos123
Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most Hated Brokerage Firm? [or one that you love]
Replies: 95
Views: 14431

Re: Most Hated Brokerage Firm? [or one that you love]

Citibank's brokerage ("Personal Wealth Management") also currently caters to US expats (mutual funds as well as ETFs). Interesting. Do you have a link for this? I just checked their site, and it stalled on asking for my US State of residence (which I don't have, being an expat). No link, ...
by marcos123
Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most Hated Brokerage Firm? [or one that you love]
Replies: 95
Views: 14431

Re: Most Hated Brokerage Firm? [or one that you love]

I'm now at Schwab, which I selected from the list of brokerages that support American expats. They're the only firm on that list as far as I know Citibank's brokerage ("Personal Wealth Management") also currently caters to US expats (mutual funds as well as ETFs). In fact, per my previous...
by marcos123
Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most Hated Brokerage Firm? [or one that you love]
Replies: 95
Views: 14431

Re: Most Hated Brokerage Firm? [or one that you love]

I have had a brokerage relationship with Citibank for several years and would consider them about average in terms of offerings, fees, and service levels. However this is just to qualify for one of their excellent (US-based) Expat banking platforms (Global Executive Banking, International Personal B...