Search found 3272 matches

by mhc
Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employee stock purchase plan and same day sale (tax treatment)
Replies: 5
Views: 364

Re: Employee stock purchase plan and same day sale (tax treatment)

Are any taxes withheld, or does your employer just add the difference between the sale price and purchase day price (presumably a positive gain) to your YTD income but no taxes taken out? The difference between the fair market value (FMV) and purchase price is added to your W-2. No taxes are withhe...
by mhc
Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying at Disneyworld
Replies: 22
Views: 1668

Re: Staying at Disneyworld

A few years ago we stayed in a hotel just outside the park. We flew into John Wayne, took a taxi to the hotel, and walked to the park. It worked very well. I think it was a Best Western. Much cheaper and pretty much just as convenient.
by mhc
Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to deploy cash now ?
Replies: 11
Views: 555

Re: Where to deploy cash now ?

People have been saying stocks are too high and bonds are too dangerous. If you can tell the future, you can make a lot of money. I can't tell the future so I keep investing according to my AA when the money comes available. I just dropped in a large lump sum. If you don't like bonds, you could use ...
by mhc
Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 529 changes - addition of international bonds
Replies: 4
Views: 393

Re: Vanguard 529 changes - addition of international bonds

I think 100% TSM.

When my children get closer to college, I may mix in TBM.
by mhc
Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 529 changes - addition of international bonds
Replies: 4
Views: 393

Re: Vanguard 529 changes - addition of international bonds

Not surprising. That is the direction Vanguard has been moving.

This is one reason I do not use age based funds.
by mhc
Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Deferred vs Taxable IRA's
Replies: 8
Views: 522

Re: Tax Deferred vs Taxable IRA's

I'm not familiar with a taxable IRA vs tax deferred IRA. It may help if you explain these further. All gains and deductible contributions to an IRA are taxed as income when they are distributed to the individual. Take a look at the wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Traditional_IRA There are link...
by mhc
Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Downtown Denver in late March without car.
Replies: 19
Views: 1059

Re: Visiting Downtown Denver in late March without car.

My family and I have stayed at the Hyatt by the convention center multiple times. Here are a list of close by activities: Easy walk 16th street mall: restaraunts, small Federal Reserve museum, free bus along mall area Capitol Art Museum Mint (need reservations in advance) Molly Brown House Byers-Eva...
by mhc
Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windshield repair gone wrong....
Replies: 19
Views: 2084

Re: Windshield repair gone wrong....

Replacing windshields is trivial. Almost everyone in Colorado has their windshield replaced periodically, especially if you drive much on the interstates.
by mhc
Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car for wife and what to do with old car
Replies: 48
Views: 2361

Re: New car for wife and what to do with old car

I bought a CR-V for my wife for our first child. She had a Civic. The CR-V was great. Large cargo area for all the baby gear needed while traveling. The cargo area also doubled as a play pen at stops during day trips. The distance from front seat to rear seat was great, because the passenger could e...
by mhc
Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does anyone have $0 in cash (except for bills), not even an emergency fund?
Replies: 45
Views: 2182

Re: Does anyone have $0 in cash (except for bills), not even an emergency fund?

I could go $0 cash, but I like having cash around. I think it makes life easier. I have 80/20 portfolio. I count my cash as part of the 20%. I keep 1.5% cash/18.5% bonds. I don't think I am losing out much by doing so. No dedicated emergency fund. I just make sure I have enough liquidity.
by mhc
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance philosophy
Replies: 8
Views: 540

Re: Insurance philosophy

Your thinking is correct. In general, a person will be better off if he can self-insure. Insurance is just one way to mitigate risk. Many people choose to self-insure instead of buying life insurance, collision/comprehensive for cars, long term care, disability, especially as their portfolios increa...
by mhc
Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner Here...where to buy?
Replies: 7
Views: 731

Re: Beginner Here...where to buy?

Welcome to the forum.

Since I hold only Vanguard funds in my non-work related accounts, I prefer to deal directly with Vanguard. I have been very pleased with Vanguard.
by mhc
Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help understanding W4 allowances
Replies: 14
Views: 1154

Re: Help understanding W4 allowances

If you don't want a refund, then increase to 3 or 4. Just be aware of the underwitholding rules and safe harbor rules.

Some people like refunds. One reason is some tax software will let you buy Amazon gift cards at a discount with your refund. I think some use the refunds to buy Ibonds.
by mhc
Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Upgrading a VBS Advantage account to new unified account
Replies: 1
Views: 197

Re: Upgrading a VBS Advantage account to new unified account

I would recommend asking your account rep these questions since Vanguard is pushing you in this direction.

You may also want to search this site because there have been numerous threads on this topic.

I am holding off on upgrading.
by mhc
Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to file income tax
Replies: 12
Views: 1542

Re: When to file income tax

I had to file an amended return a few years ago because I received a corrected 1099 in April. I'm in no hurry to file. I'll probably wait until March or so.
by mhc
Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are you changing your AA based on current events?
Replies: 68
Views: 3205

Re: Are you changing your AA based on current events?

No.

Looking out my window at work, I only see a sunny blue sky. I don't see the sky falling. Things look pretty normal to me.

Try tuning out the noise.
by mhc
Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Fund options
Replies: 23
Views: 1436

Re: Doner Advised Fund options

I chose Vanguard Charitable because my taxable account is at Vanguard. I have been very pleased with VC. With just a few clicks I can donate from Vanguard to Vanguard Charitable.

The minimums are no problem for me, but it is something to consider.
by mhc
Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Claiming Exempt on W4 and filing estimated taxes?
Replies: 6
Views: 543

Re: Claiming Exempt on W4 and filing estimated taxes?

I learned my lesson about 15 years ago playing with withholdings. I am on an IRS blacklist for the rest of my life unless Congress changes the law. Not a big deal, but I have to jump through a few extra hoops to change my W-4.
by mhc
Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset Allocation - considering a change
Replies: 18
Views: 1554

Re: Asset Allocation - considering a change

If you change to 60/40, are you going to change again when you see another compelling article or video? I would just stay at 50/50 and stay there. I understand what you are saying. Our consideration of a change was not driven by that video. It was just one of many pieces of information we added to ...
by mhc
Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset Allocation - considering a change
Replies: 18
Views: 1554

Re: Asset Allocation - considering a change

If you change to 60/40, are you going to change again when you see another compelling article or video? I would just stay at 50/50 and stay there.
by mhc
Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with $100K I might need in 3 months?
Replies: 44
Views: 2981

Re: What to do with $100K I might need in 3 months?

Just leave it where it is since you need it in 1-3 months.
by mhc
Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 75 gallon hot water heaters
Replies: 40
Views: 2404

Re: 75 gallon hot water heaters

It's possible they are just misinformed and did not intend to lie.

I would bet they had 50 gallon tanks at their shop, and they had no 75 gallon tanks. They were just selling what they had.
by mhc
Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: turbo tax - sold rental real estate
Replies: 2
Views: 187

Re: turbo tax - sold rental real estate

15 years ago I switched from doing taxes by hand to TT Premier when I started renting out a condo. About 5 years ago, I sold the rental, and TT Premier handled it with no problems. It was really easy. There was hardly any info that needed to be entered.
by mhc
Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Vanguard why? (Donating to Donor advised Fund)
Replies: 20
Views: 1742

Re: Why Vanguard why? (Donating to Donor advised Fund)

I know this may not help, but I use Vanguard Charitable. The first time I did a transfer, I had a very specific request. I called Vanguard Charitable on how to handle it. The rep conferenced in a Vanguard rep, and the three of us worked it out. The transfer went through without a hitch. Since then, ...
by mhc
Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiree health care premium before reaching medicare age
Replies: 17
Views: 1242

Re: Retiree health care premium before reaching medicare age

Given that the ACA is about to be repealed and we have no idea what will replace it, what people are paying now will not be particularly helpful to you going forward. It is impossible to predict healthcare costs even a few years out at this time. Agree. Last year I went on my state's exchange to de...
by mhc
Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?
Replies: 171
Views: 9751

Re: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?

For family of 5, dinner usually runs $80-100, no alcohol. We live in an average cost of living city. Last time I was in Dallas for work, I took two people out to dinner to an average cost restaurant. Two of us had a beer a piece. No appetizers or desserts. With tax and tip, the bill came to $150. I ...
by mhc
Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Update on mix in DAF for long term?
Replies: 9
Views: 447

Re: Update on mix in DAF for long term?

Your numbers don't add up to 100%. I have similar goals to you in my DAF. Mine is at Vanguard Charitable. I use: Growth (all in one option) Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund 20% Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund 55% Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund 25% I think 80/20 AA is good ...
by mhc
Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Amazon Prime card, no annual fee, 5%(!) back on Amazon purchases
Replies: 72
Views: 6905

Re: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

I just got the Amazon Store Card for the 5% because the Amazon Visa was only giving 3%. Now the Amazon Visa will give me 5%. :x :x :x
by mhc
Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do you keep your emergency fund?
Replies: 80
Views: 6428

Re: Where do you keep your emergency fund?

There are lots of threads on this.

If you want a dedicated EF, then an online savings accout can get you about 1%. You could ladder CDs or use a short term bond fund. If you have a large portfolio, a dedicated EF is not necessary.
by mhc
Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ICMA retirement transfer to Vanguard [457 plan administrator]
Replies: 6
Views: 379

Re: ICMA retriement transfer to Vanguard

I'm a gov't employee with a pension, 457k plan, and roth ira all through ICMA. From reading on here, it seems that switching my roth ira from ICMA to vanguard is the best thing for me. Is this complex to with a roth ira from one company to vanguard? TIA I'm pretty sure my DW had a ICMA IRA when we ...
by mhc
Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you make contributions to your portfolio?
Replies: 15
Views: 1034

Re: How often do you make contributions to your portfolio?

I make contributions whenever I have a cash available above a certain minimum threshold. I add it to the fund that needs it most. This occurs probably 6-8 times a year. I have a spreadsheet to show me where to make the contribution. I probably only spend a couple hours a year doing this. I wish it t...
by mhc
Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you avoid aggregators? Best expense tracker for manual entry?
Replies: 13
Views: 866

Re: Do you avoid aggregators? Best expense tracker for manual entry?

I use excel to track expenses. It take me less than an hour a month. One sheet per year. One column per month. One row per item. I track each bill I pay, atm, donations per charity, .... I do not break out credit card spending into categories. I just leave them as one item. I believe my credit card ...
by mhc
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is CreditKarma legit?
Replies: 11
Views: 1495

Re: Is CreditKarma legit?

I believe they are legit. They make money by looking at your info and recommending products that may benefit you. The tax software is free but limited at this time. I believe I saw they do not handle Foreign Income Credit or something like that. There is a couple different ways for recouping foreign...
by mhc
Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need life insurance?
Replies: 18
Views: 1206

Re: Do we need life insurance?

If you don't need the insurance, then don't buy it. It is usually more cost efficient to self insure.

Insurance is to manage risk. If you are not at risk, then no need for insurance.
by mhc
Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I wasting time with additional funds
Replies: 30
Views: 2074

Re: Am I wasting time with additional funds

I would probably only have one fund per account. I follow the 3-fund, but I wouldn't worry about the exact AA until you hit $50k. Your saving rate is more importatant at this point. I believe in keeping it simple.

VTI in one account
VXUS in the other
Done
by mhc
Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?
Replies: 18
Views: 1276

Re: Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?

Never heard of that before.

I would not have picked it up. I would have contacted Amazon and told them to deliver it to the door or refund the purchase. If I want to drive to get a microwave, I can more easily stop at Walmart and get one.
by mhc
Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Classifying "Other" investments in Vanguard Portfolio Watch
Replies: 4
Views: 434

Re: Classifying "Other" investments in Vanguard Portfolio Watch

As far as I can tell, the feature went away when the new aggregator came. I have the same problem. My 401k uses CITs that show up as other. I have given up on Portfolio Watch. I never really found it that useful in the first place, so I don't mind losing it. Thanks. What do you use in place of Port...
by mhc
Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Classifying "Other" investments in Vanguard Portfolio Watch
Replies: 4
Views: 434

Re: Classifying "Other" investments in Vanguard Portfolio Watch

As far as I can tell, the feature went away when the new aggregator came. I have the same problem. My 401k uses CITs that show up as other. I have given up on Portfolio Watch. I never really found it that useful in the first place, so I don't mind losing it.
by mhc
Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help evaluate new job offer with no 401k match
Replies: 14
Views: 866

Re: Help evaluate new job offer with no 401k match

The new job sounds better because the opportunity to advance. That is probably worth much more than the match.

What are the ER for current 401k? The lower ER at Vanguard may make up for losing the match over the long run . Also, with advancement, you may be able to save more.
by mhc
Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Backyard Chefs out there? Do you have any specialties?
Replies: 54
Views: 3349

Re: Any Backyard Chefs out there? Do you have any specialties?

A smoker opens up the ability to do many things, but lately my family has been craving my yogurt marinated chicken. I cut the chicken breast into one inch cubes and put into a one gallon bag with Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and cumen. I let it marinate for several hou...
by mhc
Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift bag recommendation $5 to $15
Replies: 18
Views: 1409

Re: Gift bag recommendation $5 to $15

$5-$15 gift card to local coffee shop or some other business.
by mhc
Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancun / Playa de Carmen – transportation issue with infant and toddler
Replies: 11
Views: 1080

Re: Cancun / Playa de Carmen – transportation issue with infant and toddler

Have you considered a baby bjorn for the infant and a backpack for the toddler? These may be better than a stroller.
by mhc
Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fridge Water Filter Cartridges...A Scam?
Replies: 26
Views: 2674

Re: Fridge Water Filter Cartridges...A Scam?

I have never replaced mine in over 5 years. My city has good water. I don't know what it would filter out. It seems like an unnecessary feature for me. In some parts of the country, it might be a nice feature. Your city may have good water at the source, but how's the condition of the pipes between...
by mhc
Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fridge Water Filter Cartridges...A Scam?
Replies: 26
Views: 2674

Re: Fridge Water Filter Cartridges...A Scam?

I have never replaced mine in over 5 years. My city has good water. I don't know what it would filter out. It seems like an unnecessary feature for me.

In some parts of the country, it might be a nice feature.
by mhc
Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Planning Net Worth & Income/Expense Form
Replies: 3
Views: 546

Re: Retirement Planning Net Worth & Income/Expense Form

Since you are going to review the information with Vanguard and Fidelity, I would ask each of them for their forms. This way you can present the information they are looking for.
by mhc
Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Portfolio Watch -- quick question
Replies: 6
Views: 559

Re: Vanguard Portfolio Watch -- quick question

I linked the accounts via Yodlee so they pull in automatically whenever I login. The valuations are accurate and up to date but to my surprise the software does not seem to recognize what type of MF's they are. If the funds are in your 401k, they may not be mutual funds. They may be collective inve...
by mhc
Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shouldn't Gain/Loss Calculations Account For Inflation?
Replies: 18
Views: 905

Re: Shouldn't Gain/Loss Calculations Account For Inflation?

Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:Thank you for this reply, mhc
mhc wrote:The key is to never sell. Then when you die your hiers get a stepped up cost basis
1. does this apply to both index funds as well as real estate?
2. do you yourself follow the spirit your maxim?
thank you


Yes, but I will never know if I actually carry it out.
by mhc
Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shouldn't Gain/Loss Calculations Account For Inflation?
Replies: 18
Views: 905

Re: Shouldn't Gain/Loss Calculations Account For Inflation?

I can't disagree, and have always thought that some kind of indexing of gains is called for. It would, however, make tax forms even more complicated. I guess the reduced tax rates on long-term gains is an (imperfect) attempt to account for it. TomatoTomahto, The more I think about it, the more I th...
by mhc
Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting with VTSAX and VFIAX
Replies: 7
Views: 800

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting with VTSAX and VFIAX

OP, sounds like the only mistake you made was not having the expectation that you may hold VFIAX for a very long period of time. I did the same thing a number of years ago. My gains are so large now that I do not want to ever sell those shares. I donate a portion of my VFIAX every year and then use ...

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