Search found 49 matches

by masterofinvesting
Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare costs and self funding
Replies: 96
Views: 6232

Re: Healthcare costs and self funding

I've found that reading discussions about ACA almost always degrades into partisan bickering and name calling, but the Bogleheads are a refreshing change. I've learned quite a bit of new stuff about ACA that I didn't know about before reading this thread. Let's keep going ... I have one question tho...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance my mortgage?
Replies: 9
Views: 1075

Re: Should I refinance my mortgage?

Thanks for your replies. I was only able to view them now that the server is finally back ! Some responses to questions below: When did you get the mortgage? 12/2014 1. How far are you into your current mortgage? 2. What's your current home value relative to your mortgage amount? 3. Would you be abl...
by masterofinvesting
Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance my mortgage?
Replies: 9
Views: 1075

Should I refinance my mortgage?

Hi, I currently have a 30-yr 5/5 ARM mortgage with ~$500K balance. The current rate is 2.875% until 2020 and it can go up 2% every 5 years with a max rate limit of 7.875%. It was offered with zero closing costs and no fees. Normally I would just stay put and wait until the end of my first 5 year per...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frustrated Losing Weight!
Replies: 131
Views: 7236

Re: Frustrated Losing Weight!

Cycling is great, but the "fat burning zone" is a myth. Yes, you will mostly just burn fat when you exercise at low intensity. But high intensity exercise burns off your glycogen stores, which must be replenished with energy from somewhere. Exercising intensely for the same period of time...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frustrated Losing Weight!
Replies: 131
Views: 7236

Re: Frustrated Losing Weight!

116 posts... and no one mentioned biking? IMO, riding a bike is an awesome way to lose fat (and hence weight) because of the following reasons: ⋅  Biking is fun and hence people tend to do it much longer than other activities (like running, or even walking). This is especially true if the ...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paycheck tax calculation help
Replies: 13
Views: 1154

Re: Paycheck tax calculation help

Yeah I did read the disclaimer. Here's the thing though, the ADP calculator matches exactly what my paycheck shows, down to the penny, for both federal and state. So both paycheck and calculator agree but I'm slightly off when I do my own calculation. I am trying to do the same thing and I am encou...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA in CA (things to consider?)
Replies: 13
Views: 1370

Re: HSA in CA (things to consider?)

Thanks for your replies, curmudgeon and grabiner. I put my CA HSA investment into an S&P500 index fund. A low cost option, and fairly tax-efficient. ... then a US stock index fund has a low tax cost. This is the part I don't understand. While S&P500 is tax efficient for federal tax purposes,...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA in CA (things to consider?)
Replies: 13
Views: 1370

HSA in CA (things to consider?)

My employer recently switched to a HDHP, and we now have an option to invest up-to $6.6K/year into our HSAs (the provider is Connect Your Care). I live in CA, so HSAs are taxable for the purposes of state tax. I am trying to find out the best way to take advantage of our HSA. Basically, I see two pr...
by masterofinvesting
Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CEA Earthquake Policy ...
Replies: 6
Views: 768

CEA Earthquake Policy ...

Hi, As I understand it, having a CEA earthquake policy is better than having a non-CEA one because of their higher claim paying capacity. Is this correct? But, unfortunately, I have homeowners insurance with a carrier (GEICO/Travelers) that is not in the list of participating insurers in the CEA (ht...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k or not? (Plan Administrative Fees)
Replies: 11
Views: 614

Re: 401k or not? (Plan Administrative Fees)

Yes. 0.215% is an ANNUAL fee. It is explicitly stated in the plan disclosure document. There are other mentions of "asset-based fees" which is basically the mutual fund ERs and "Individual fees" which are for 401k loan processing, portfolio advisory service etc., none of which we...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k or not? (Plan Administrative Fees)
Replies: 11
Views: 614

Re: 401k or not? (Plan Administrative Fees)

What are the ERs on the fund choices that you have? There are quite a few funds, but the ones that we are interested in are all Vanguard index funds (so excellent ERs): 1. Vang S&P 500 - 0.05% 2. Vang Total Intl - 0.12% 3. Vang TBM - 0.06% Really, the only concern is the plan management fees (+...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k or not? (Plan Administrative Fees)
Replies: 11
Views: 614

401k or not? (Plan Administrative Fees)

My wife recently started working for an employer who is offering a 401k plan with Fidelity. The plan itself is quite good (several Vanguard admiral index fund choices + option to use BrokerageLink), but the down side seems to be the plan level fees which are deducted from her account per quarter (no...
by masterofinvesting
Sun May 01, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Couples: Are you and your significant other on the same page financially?
Replies: 65
Views: 6459

Re: Couples: Are you and your significant other on the same page financially?

I am in the same boat as OP, but we are at least 20-30 years away from retirement. My wife absolutely despises budgets (no amount of allocation to "Clothing - Casual" will satisfy her). The differences in approach towards saving/spending was initially frustrating, but I've learned to adjus...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about deducting real estate taxes ...
Replies: 1
Views: 293

Question about deducting real estate taxes ...

Hi, I recently bought a home (in 2014) and I am bit confused about deducting real estate taxes on Schedule-A. My county sends a tax bill that covers the period from July 1st of the current year to June 30th of the next year (for example, last year I received a bill that covered 07/01/2015 - 06/30/20...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Clarification needed on Mega backdoor Roth
Replies: 15
Views: 2040

Re: Clarification needed on Mega backdoor Roth

Thank you retiredjg for the detailed explanation. I checked with my Fidelity rep (401k administrator) and he mentioned I can just convert the after-tax contributions + earnings without touching anything else (so, it seems account based as you pointed out).
by masterofinvesting
Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Clarification needed on Mega backdoor Roth
Replies: 15
Views: 2040

Clarification needed on Mega backdoor Roth

Hi, My employer recently started offering the option to make after-tax 401k contributions along with the choice to convert the after-tax to either Roth 401k or a Roth IRA. I was thinking of taking the Roth IRA option as it will allow me to move the after-tax contribution + earnings into my existing ...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to buy a decent Windows laptop ...
Replies: 17
Views: 2193

Re: Looking to buy a decent Windows laptop ...

Thanks a lot for the helpful links and advice ! XPS13 definitely seems interesting. I'll check it out.
by masterofinvesting
Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to buy a decent Windows laptop ...
Replies: 17
Views: 2193

Looking to buy a decent Windows laptop ...

It has been a while since I bought my last Windows laptop. I am looking for something in the price range of < $700, and with Core i5 or i7 and a SSD (at least 128G), and good quality. Normally, I would just go to the Dell website and just order something that fits in my price range, but they seem to...
by masterofinvesting
Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is TLH too much work for you?
Replies: 32
Views: 3259

Re: Is TLH too much work for you?

2) Exchange $100 from other funds into the prime money market fund. Wait a few days for the money to be transferred. Then, try again. It will work this time since the prime money market fund has $100 aka more than zero. The above doesn't work either. Vanguard complains that the fund has a minimum i...
by masterofinvesting
Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is TLH too much work for you?
Replies: 32
Views: 3259

Re: Is TLH too much work for you?

I'm careful not to do my TLH within the 30 day window Shouldn't it be 60 days? (~31 days on either side of the dividend reinvestment - assuming we can predict when the dividends are distributed/reinvested). If we are making contributions to IRAs as well, then there are several months that are black...
by masterofinvesting
Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is TLH too much work for you?
Replies: 32
Views: 3259

Re: Is TLH too much work for you?

For folks who follow the three fund portfolio (TSM, TISM, BND), wouldn't you also have these funds in your IRAs? If so, do you reinvest the dividends within the IRAs? Wouldn't those be a wash against the TLH you do on the corresponding taxable accounts? If so, how to handle this? [One thing I tried ...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wash Sale Situation - Am I doing this the right way?
Replies: 0
Views: 294

Wash Sale Situation - Am I doing this the right way?

Hi, I am having a tricky Wash sale situation across my ESPP & RSUs. Using an example, I am summarizing below what I did to handle this situation based on my knowledge of Wash Sale Rules. Is it possible for someone to help check if my interpretation is correct? I greatly appreciate your help. Thi...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TLH pair choices (VTSMX<->FSTMX) and (VGTSX<->FSGDX)?
Replies: 6
Views: 537

Re: TLH pair choices (VTSMX<->FSTMX) and (VGTSX<->FSGDX)?

I fixed the title and added more information to my OP - my 401k is in Fidelity and I would be purchasing the Spartan funds every pay-check (sorry for not mentioning this earlier). So, still interested in known whether or not it is safe to sell VTSMX and VGTSX and not trigger a wash against Spartan f...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TLH pair choices (VTSMX<->FSTMX) and (VGTSX<->FSGDX)?
Replies: 6
Views: 537

TLH pair choices (VTSMX<->FSTMX) and (VGTSX<->FSGDX)?

Hi, I am trying TLH for the first time and I am wondering if I can use VTSMX (Vanguard Total Stock Market Index) and FSTMX (Spartan Total Market Index Fund) as TLH pairs? I have accounts at both Vanguard and Fidelity. They seem to follow different indices: ⋅  VTSMX - Tracks CRSP US Total M...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Jun 20, 2015 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Banff & Jasper with 1.5-yr old daughter.
Replies: 24
Views: 4130

Re: Banff & Jasper with 1.5-yr old daughter.

Dear Bogleheads: We have started booking the trip, and so far, I have come up with the following itinerary (but still have a few blanks to fill, marked with ??). I would greatly appreciate your help and guidance with this - esp from people who are familiar with the area. Are there any "must-see...
by masterofinvesting
Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Banff & Jasper with 1.5-yr old daughter.
Replies: 24
Views: 4130

Re: Banff & Jasper with 1.5-yr old daughter.

Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I'll plan to add more days in Jasper given the comments (probably, Banff + LL: 5, Jasper: 3). For air travel with small kids, which of the following is a better option? ⋅  Carry the car seat with us on the plane, and use it with the rental car at the dest...
by masterofinvesting
Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Banff & Jasper with 1.5-yr old daughter.
Replies: 24
Views: 4130

Banff & Jasper with 1.5-yr old daughter.

Hi, We are planning a trip to Banff & Jasper in early September with our 1.5-year daughter. This is our first overseas vacation since our daughter was born. I am planning to take one-week off (meaning 9 days total including weekends). I just checked out a couple of books on the Canadian Rockies ...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on forfeited Dependent Care FSA funds.
Replies: 0
Views: 336

Question on forfeited Dependent Care FSA funds.

Hi, I had some unused funds in my 2014 Dependent Care FSA which cannot be carried over to the next year (and are hence, forfeited). From this Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexible_spending_account#Use_it_or_lose_it), I see that the forfeited funds are taxable should be added back ...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VBMFX vs FSITX - Wash Sale?
Replies: 4
Views: 946

Re: VBMFX vs FSITX - Wash Sale?

Thanks for all your replies. I am now inclined to report what comes in 1099-B - given that it is easy to make a case that VBMFX and FSITX are not substantially identical (in_reality has outlined some very good points here). I will save the prospectii and relevant fund data of these two funds from mo...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VBMFX vs FSITX - Wash Sale?
Replies: 4
Views: 946

VBMFX vs FSITX - Wash Sale?

Dear Bogleheads, Last year, I sold off my bond holdings (VBMFX - Vanguard Total Bond Market Index) in my taxable Vanguard account as a move to clean up my investments across all accounts. Since I was selling VBMFX at a capital loss, I was careful to ensure that I didn't purchase any VBMFX 31 days be...
by masterofinvesting
Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ominous letter from IRS re: Roth conversion!
Replies: 9
Views: 2104

Re: Ominous letter from IRS re: Roth conversion!

I did my very first Roth conversion in 2014, and I have been using TurboTax for the past two years (I plan to use it this year as well). I would really appreciate it if you can provide some details about what to watch out for given your experience. Would a review of the final tax forms generated be ...
by masterofinvesting
Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on creating a budget which accounts for taxes.
Replies: 5
Views: 713

Re: Question on creating a budget which accounts for taxes.

Thanks a lot for your responses, folks. I have started reading some AMT literature and I will try to come up with a spreadsheet that I can use to estimate my full taxes. I will keep my current spreadsheet and will use the new one every 1/2 yr as Bill M suggests. I know you are not interested in beco...
by masterofinvesting
Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on creating a budget which accounts for taxes.
Replies: 5
Views: 713

Question on creating a budget which accounts for taxes.

Dear Bogleheads, I am trying to come up with a simple monthly cash-flow budget (XX income/month, XX spent on Taxes (incl Prop Taxes), XX spent on Mandatory Expenses, ...), and I would like to get some validation of the method I used. Here's some background. My total income is the sum of fixed salary...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Calculate Annualized Returns from a Portfolio
Replies: 12
Views: 1212

Re: Calculate Annualized Returns from a Portfolio

I'm doing this because I want to keep track of my actual, total year-by-year annualized returns, but my investments are with various brokerages and not all of them will even show me what my returns were (in terms of %, they do in terms of $), so I want to be able to calculate that. Using Quicken wo...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard offers login security code
Replies: 124
Views: 23406

Re: Vanguard offers login security code

Quick Question: Has anyone used this feature with Quicken desktop yet? I am planning to sign-up, but not if my Quicken access will be blocked.

Thanks.
by masterofinvesting
Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Requesting 529 Plan Review + Some Questions.
Replies: 0
Views: 294

Requesting 529 Plan Review + Some Questions.

Dear Bogleheads: We have a 2-month-old daughter and we are looking to start a 529 plan to save for her college expenses. I browsed through some of the forum posts and some financial blogs, and I have come to the conclusion that the Utah plan (UESP) is among the best in terms of ER and possible custo...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to security freeze your credit?
Replies: 25
Views: 2893

Re: How to security freeze your credit?

When I came to know that there is an option to freeze my credit (it wasn't advertised very well), this was how I saw it: [*] Credit Freeze: Lock the barn before the horse leaves, and unlock it when you want to take the horse for a walk. Very cheap. [*] Credit Monitoring: Setup a way to monitor the h...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to security freeze your credit?
Replies: 25
Views: 2893

Re: How to security freeze your credit?

Given all of the problems noted by posters if your credit is frozen, what benefit do you get from freezing your credit that out weights the problems resulting from freezing your credit? Quoting from http://www.oag.ca.gov/idtheft/facts/freeze-your-credit: A security freeze can help prevent identity ...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on House Affordability.
Replies: 25
Views: 2118

Re: Question on House Affordability.

Thanks a lot everyone for providing your useful insights. I definitely feel a lot more enlightened now than I was before I started this thread. For now, I am setting myself a maximum of $575K (30% housing cost) and will very carefully consider any additions to the max price. Of course, I understand ...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on House Affordability.
Replies: 25
Views: 2118

Re: Question on House Affordability.

You still haven't told us what price point you are looking at for a house that would meet your need of having good public schools so we're still guessing on half of the problem. The price point seems to be largely variable based on inventory availability. For example, when I ran a search on redfin....
by masterofinvesting
Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on House Affordability.
Replies: 25
Views: 2118

Re: Question on House Affordability.

Aren't they guidelines that lenders use? Maybe there's some leeway, but there's really 2 questions, can you afford it (and I agree with your point about high earners being able to afford a higher percentage) and will I be approved. I haven't gotten a mortgage yet so I have no idea, but I've heard d...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on House Affordability.
Replies: 25
Views: 2118

Re: Question on House Affordability.

Thanks everyone for the helpful replies/comments. A few comments/answers: 1. I will research a little bit more on home and earthquake insurance/rates (ask around people I know who are homeowners). 2. I will try to come up with a reasonable estimate for additional maintenance expenses and add this to...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on House Affordability.
Replies: 25
Views: 2118

Question on House Affordability.

** edited post to add income specifics ** Dear Bogleheads: My wife and I are looking to purchase a new home (in San Diego, CA) and I am trying to find out what price range we can afford. This is what I have come up so far (based on some googling and research). - Let's say the home price is $h. - Ass...
by masterofinvesting
Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do about "Stock Awards"?
Replies: 29
Views: 1869

Re: What to do about "Stock Awards"?

1. Sell immediately, take the 10% as income & pay marginal tax rate on them, and move the funds into your regular AA 2. Hold on to them for 1 year, then take the gains as long-term capital gains, and move the funds into your regular AA 3. Hold them indefinitely, violating your IPS and Boglehead...
by masterofinvesting
Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie - Requesting Portfolio Review.
Replies: 7
Views: 1193

Re: Newbie - Requesting Portfolio Review.

A few updates: I asked around and found that there is a way to automate purchases of Spartan index funds in BrokerageLink (just like regular 401k funds, but needs a call to a Fidelity representative). I put more thought into AA. A few things I found: ⋅ I gave up on overweighting REITs - ha...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best asset allocation book to read?
Replies: 21
Views: 5733

Re: Best asset allocation book to read?

I am a newbie to AA myself, and I liked "The Intelligent Asset Allocator", by William Bernstein.

I'll probably check out the other books listed above as well ...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie - Requesting Portfolio Review.
Replies: 7
Views: 1193

Re: Newbie - Requesting Portfolio Review.

Thanks for your response, LALearning ! Emergency Funds: > 2 yrs (saving to buy a home next year or so) - all in banks/money market accts. --Keep in mind CD's and for longer term IBonds. Thanks for the advice regarding CDs and I-Bonds. I will look into this. In fact, I really should correct "nex...
by masterofinvesting
Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie - Requesting Portfolio Review.
Replies: 7
Views: 1193

Re: Newbie - Requesting Portfolio Review.

Reply to Duckie's Post: Thanks a lot Duckie for your response! I would probably need some more time to process the information you have provided, and develop a plan, but I do have some quick comments/answers to your questions. ⋅  Thanks for the Spartan fund recommendations in his 401(k) - ...
by masterofinvesting
Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie - Requesting Portfolio Review.
Replies: 7
Views: 1193

Newbie - Requesting Portfolio Review.

Hello There, Just finished reading "The Intelligent Asset Allocator", and it has given me a fresh new perspective on investing. It also helped me realize that my investments are all over the place (I did know about the benefits of index investing, but never paid much attention to asset all...

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