Search found 489 matches

by danaht
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Roth conversions a no-brainer for me?
Replies: 9
Views: 748

Re: Are Roth conversions a no-brainer for me?

If it wasn't for the state taxes - I would say it probably does make sense to convert at 12%. But even with the state taxes it might make sense. I reside in a no income tax state (TX) - and may retire in a high income tax state (CA). Because I'll probably be in a higher tax situation later - I am co...
by danaht
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get 2nd number on smartphone?
Replies: 22
Views: 2043

Re: How to get 2nd number on smartphone?

If your using Android - Google Voice (also accessible via Google Hangouts) is the easy and "free" option to get a 2nd number. It seems to be free for most domestic US calls and there is no monthly fee. Google will assign you a free local number - or you can a pay a little fee to transfer another num...
by danaht
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: REIT placement... Why not a Roth? Why tax-deferred?
Replies: 25
Views: 1538

Re: REIT placement... Why not a Roth? Why tax-deferred?

Due to recent tax reform - taxable is not a bad place for an individual REIT stock since you now get up to a 20% tax deduction. It's still preferred to put all REITs in a tax advantaged account because REITs pay large dividends. Also, if your buying a REIT index fund (or ETF) like VNQ - definitely p...
by danaht
Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe:Don’t Go “Mad Money”
Replies: 22
Views: 3107

Re: Larry Swedroe:Don’t Go “Mad Money”

If people invested in the "FAANG" stocks the day Cramer created the acronym - they probably would have done much better than the S&P 500 index - since technology has been the #1 sector the last couple of years. Having said that - he also gets picks wrong too. So - stay the course and invest in mostl...
by danaht
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is HSA Bank + TD Ameritrade still the best HSA choice?
Replies: 81
Views: 15764

Re: Is HSA Bank + TD Ameritrade still the best HSA choice?

I have an HSA through Optum Bank as required by my employer to receive their contribution. You're not required to keep the money there, though. The cash drag on $5,000 earning 0.2% is something over $100 per year, depending on what other fixed income you compare it to. I just got a new job where th...
by danaht
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AT&T Stock?
Replies: 17
Views: 2015

Re: AT&T Stock?

I have some AT&T stock. Still prefer to buy indexes - but I will buy individual company stock as well. AT&T is a dividend aristocrat - but that alone does not mean they will be able to keep on paying and raising the dividend. AT&T has made a few mistakes recently - and so the stock price has suffered.
by danaht
Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Index-ish fund that lacks FAANG?
Replies: 42
Views: 4059

Re: Index-ish fund that lacks FAANG?

I believe FAANG are all in the large cap indexes. Just buy a medium or small cap index fund (VBR). That should exclude your FAANG stocks. Also foreign indexes like VEA, and VWO would exclude FAANG stocks. Although - VWO might have similar Chinese FAANG stocks like Alibaba and Tencent.
by danaht
Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property tax + deductions
Replies: 25
Views: 3103

Re: Property tax + deductions

Yes, $10,000 is the limit per year for state and local taxes (including property taxes). I will no longer be able to bunch my property taxes starting with 2018. On the positive side - I have decided to convert more to a Roth - because income brackets are a little lower for the next 6 years. Although...
by danaht
Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: massive Roth conversion
Replies: 39
Views: 3250

Re: massive Roth conversion

Another consideration would be whether or not you wish to make Roth contributions, since the phase-out limits would limit how much you can convert. :confused ... It is my understanding that a Roth conversion has no effect on how much you can contribute to a Roth - since Roth IRA conversions are not...
by danaht
Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: transferring funds from individual 401k to T Ira?
Replies: 6
Views: 323

Re: transferring funds from individual 401k to T Ira?

Vanguard can easily rollover the 401k to a IRA. But, since that is a solo 401k - you are probably "closing" the 401k by rolling it into a traditional IRA. If that is the case - then be sure to file all the tax forms. One of the forms I believe is the 5500 EZ - and it needs to be completed soon after...
by danaht
Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on IT Certification program
Replies: 93
Views: 4042

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

Another approach is to become the main (or only) IT support person at a small 20 to 50 person company. It's easy to get this type of job - because it doesn't pay much. Do this for a year - while also getting certificates in areas that you would like to work on (networking, programming, etc.) After a...
by danaht
Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in real estate with Roth IRA
Replies: 8
Views: 834

Re: Investing in real estate with Roth IRA

If you want to invest in real estate in a Roth - i would just buy shares of VNQ instead of trying to do something as complex as you mentioned.
by danaht
Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord Maintenance at 3 Years - Am I Getting Hosed?
Replies: 95
Views: 5613

Re: Honda Accord Maintenance at 3 Years - Am I Getting Hosed?

brake fluid dirty: $169.95 most likely not necessary with only 8,000 miles. engine air filter dirty: $57 - you can easily do this yourself for about $8 at Autozone or Walmart a/c cabin filter dirty: $99.99 - you can easily do this yourself for about $8 at Autozone or Walmart tires rotation: $27.95 -...
by danaht
Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to obtain older ROTH contribution #'s
Replies: 20
Views: 2571

Re: Best way to obtain older ROTH contribution #'s

Simple solution: just don't withdraw from the Roth until you're wife is 59.5 years old. Use (or build up) your emergency fund if/when you need cash.
by danaht
Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: View Vanguard account within Schwab (connected accounts)
Replies: 17
Views: 1364

Re: View Vanguard account within Schwab (connected accounts)

I am hoping that these brokerage firms will start allowing us to create "robo user id's" that have limited access to your account. Then I would feel more comfortable about entering the user name, and password for these sites. Until then - I am just keeping track of all my investments on Google Drive.
by danaht
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to put international?
Replies: 35
Views: 3550

Re: Where to put international?

I like to put the international funds that produce mostly unqualified dividends in my tax advantaged accounts (emerging markets ie VWO, SCHE) For the international funds that produce mostly qualified dividends (ie developed international VEA, or SCHF)- I like to place in a taxable account. note: som...
by danaht
Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 212
Views: 13534

Re: What are your property taxes?

In NJ (Monmouth County), my taxes are ~$10,000/yr. I was recently hit with a $2,000 increase in 2017. In NJ, there is a law on the books that the "rate" can only increased no more than 2% annually without special approval by the state. However, in my area they actually re-accessed the land and stru...
by danaht
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA question
Replies: 13
Views: 1041

Re: HSA question

There can be no general health insurance coverage before the minimum HSA plan type deductible is met: There can be no co-pay or co-insurance plan payments even if just for prescriptions. Actually you, can have a HSA qualified plan that bypasses the deductible on prescriptions that are "preventative...
by danaht
Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new thinking under 2018 tax law?
Replies: 21
Views: 3376

Re: new thinking under 2018 tax law?

The 24% tax bracket is the bracket with the highest percentage savings with an almost 4% difference from the old rates. I'm using this opportunity to do Roth conversions every year. I stop converting once I reach the 32% bracket. <i'm using the single bracket>
by danaht
Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?
Replies: 46
Views: 4768

Re: Has Anyone Tried Youtube TV?

You Tube TV is the best. Allows you to record, fast forward, and rewind live-tv. Most other streaming services charge a great deal of extra $$$ for this as an add-on.
by danaht
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: converting some traditional IRA to Roth
Replies: 45
Views: 2562

Re: converting some traditional IRA to Roth

Until I reach 60% deferred, and 40% Roth among my IRA/401k accounts - I will keep converting as long as the tax brackets currently stay in place. 60/40 is a great hedge on any future outcomes. I don't think I'll have enough time to finish converting - since I probably will only have 6 years for this...
by danaht
Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Existing Roth IRA
Replies: 15
Views: 779

Re: Existing Roth IRA

please do not do partial conversions. you backdoor the entire amount each year. otherwise you are paying unnecessary taxes and complicated your returns. If your in a situation where you only have the after tax contribution in your IRA (like most people doing a backdoor Roth) - then I agree that you...
by danaht
Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Existing Roth IRA
Replies: 15
Views: 779

Re: Existing Roth IRA

You can just leave your Roth the way it is - you just can't contribute to it directly. You can, however, still contribute to a traditional IRA on an after tax basis. When you do this - just be sure to keep track of your after tax basis (the total money you contributed to all your IRAs after taxes). ...
by danaht
Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Holding REITs in 401k- Brokeragelink
Replies: 4
Views: 366

Re: Holding REITs in 401k- Brokeragelink

Might be a good strategy - if you are good at picking stocks to hold for the long term. A lot of people do not like to buy individual stocks because individual stocks require constant monitoring and can be unpredictable - even after doing a lot of research. Using a brokerage-link to buy a REIT ETF l...
by danaht
Mon May 28, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index vs 500 Index
Replies: 18
Views: 3531

Re: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index vs 500 Index

If I had a choice - I would pick total stock market - since you get small and mid cap exposure too. My 401k only offers the institutional Vanguard S&P 500 fund - as the only index fund. So, I happily pick that one too, if given no choice. No complaints here.
by danaht
Mon May 28, 2018 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career planning in IT/software development when over 40
Replies: 118
Views: 11092

Re: Career planning in IT/software development when over 40

If you stay with a company for too long - sometimes they can take advantage of your situation. It sounds like you have enough experience to have that "senior" title. You might consider changing employers for a couple years - and if you really like your current company - go back and get re-hired as a...
by danaht
Thu May 24, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have a side biz: Should I transfer and then close my biz checking account?
Replies: 11
Views: 830

Re: Have a side biz: Should I transfer and then close my biz checking account?

You would know if it is taxed as a S-corp - because you would have to file a 1120s (usually one month before personal taxes are due). There are very big fines if you forget to file it. Also, you would need to run payroll, and file 940, 941, and a state unemployment tax forms for yourself as an emplo...
by danaht
Fri May 18, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving taxable investments...tax-free?
Replies: 17
Views: 2153

Re: Moving taxable investments...tax-free?

This depends on the brokerage you are transferring to - if they can accept (and can hold) your mutual funds. If the mutual funds you are moving are Vanguard funds - then Vanguard should be able to hold those. If the mutual funds are Fidelity or some other brand of fund - then Vanguard may not be abl...
by danaht
Sat May 12, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TD Ameritrade user? Question regarding selling Free ETFs
Replies: 55
Views: 6482

Re: TD Ameritrade user? Question regarding selling Free ETFs

It certainly would be nice if TDAmeritrade WARNED clients just before they clicked on "Confirm" if the order they were submitting would result in a fee along with the exact amount of the fee. And that means no mushy words like "There may be a fee." As it stands, if one doesn't investigate on their ...
by danaht
Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon to raise Prime membership in US to $119 from $99
Replies: 145
Views: 11784

Re: Amazon to raise Prime membership in US to $119 from $99

If you search for deals - you can probably still keep Prime for $99 or less: 1) Student prime membership is substantially less 2) Ibotta and other coupon sites - usually have a "save $20 / or get a $20 gift card" offer on Prime membership deal. The only reason I subscribe to Prime is for Amazon vide...
by danaht
Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Solo 401k Questions
Replies: 22
Views: 1761

Re: Two Solo 401k Questions

According to Rover.com - it gives you some protection (up to 1,000,000). So I would continue to use Rover.com, if your assets are under 1,000,000. I think it only makes sense to stop using Rover.com - if you plan to create a business with many employees. In that case - creating the LLC, and getting ...
by danaht
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I continue to hold REITs?
Replies: 53
Views: 5440

Re: Should I continue to hold REITs?

REITs tend to be cyclical. We are in a down cycle right now due the rapid rise in interest rates, and to a lesser extent the brick and mortar "retail apocalypse" fear. If you are not comfortable holding during this down cycle - then definitely sell . I like to buy during these times - so I will be b...
by danaht
Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Transfer Index Fund from Fidelity To Vanguard
Replies: 13
Views: 1220

Re: Help Transfer Index Fund from Fidelity To Vanguard

Sorry to disappoint, but you'll have to sell the funds (FSTVX?) for the equivalent VG VTSAX and that will trigger capital gains. You may be able to hold Fidelity in VG however my impression is you want to go all Vanguard funds. That's why I no longer buy non-Vanguard mutual funds in taxable account...
by danaht
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is Megacorp?
Replies: 62
Views: 5054

Re: What is Megacorp?

I would consider most large cap companies mega corps. Usually these have large HR departments, and a large bureaucracy.
by danaht
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Large Single Stock Position - Can't Sell - Retirement Account
Replies: 45
Views: 3495

Re: Large Single Stock Position - Can't Sell - Retirement Account

Count it as part of your stock equity. Vanguard will even classify it for you as small cap / medium cap / large cap and the type of sector (real estate, energy, technology, retail, etc) Everyone who holds the S & P 500 index is already overweight with Apple, and other fang stocks - so it's just one ...
by danaht
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I invest in an HSA even though I don't go to the hospital much?
Replies: 18
Views: 1951

Re: Should I invest in an HSA even though I don't go to the hospital much?

You definitely should save in a HSA. (if you are eligible to do so). Even if you stay healthy and never use it - you can still withdraw the money as if it were a traditional IRA later. But chances are - your medical expenses will be your biggest expense when you get older. Using a HSA to pay for med...
by danaht
Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor recently burglarized- Suggestions for home security
Replies: 101
Views: 9690

Re: Neighbor recently burglarized- Suggestions for home security

I find that having a big dog that stays in the house most of the time helpful. Any big dog will work. Even a big friendly golden retriever with a loud bark will deter a lot of potential thieves. Of course you should like dogs before you get one.
by danaht
Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comparison of grocery prices?
Replies: 47
Views: 4445

Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

I pick up items in different places usually - (because I like different items at Target / Kroger / Walmart / Aldis / Sprouts) - everything is in Dallas / Fort Worth This is what I usually get every week: Target 1 gallon milk - $1.98 32 oz "light" non fat vanilla yogurt - $1.79 organic celery stalk -...
by danaht
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ROTH Conversion and 1040ES estimated tax
Replies: 14
Views: 993

Re: ROTH Conversion and 1040ES estimated tax

The easy way to take care of estimated taxes if your employed - just increase the withholding from your pay checks. You can usually tell your employer you want to issue a new W4 and have them take out an extra $500 per period. Of course this only works if you did the conversion in the early part of ...
by danaht
Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merrill Edge sold my ETFs without my consent, SEC, FINRA, CFPB?
Replies: 89
Views: 8629

Re: Merrill Edge sold my ETFs without my consent, SEC, FINRA, CFPB?

Sorry about Merrill Edge/Bank Of America closing your accounts. If I ever get a letter that one of my accounts is being closed - I would probably transfer all my accounts with that provider (not just one). So next time - close (or transfer) all your accounts before they do! Also you might consider c...
by danaht
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Solo 401k As Strategy For Backdoor Roth
Replies: 2
Views: 317

Re: Solo 401k As Strategy For Backdoor Roth

[*]Finally, fully understand the Form 5500-EZ reporting requirements. You are required to file the form when the year-end balance exceeds $250K. Such as when you rollover a large IRA balance that came from a 401k. The filing date for this is 07/31 of the following year and has nothing to do with yo...
by danaht
Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Job Expenses for contract job. Should I take W2 or 1099
Replies: 24
Views: 1499

Re: Job Expenses for contract job. Should I take W2 or 1099

Three big advantages for 1099: 1) 1099 gives you the ability to put more money in a solo 401k or SEP 2) 1099 gives you the ability to deduct your healthcare premiums (if you do not qualify for a subsidy) 3) Self employed can "expense" some business expenses which will reduce your taxes. 1099 disadva...
by danaht
Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Benefit of after tax 401k contribution?
Replies: 14
Views: 1368

Re: Benefit of after tax 401k contribution?

When you leave your employer - you can usually rollover the after tax contributions to a Roth, and all the earnings it generated to a rollover IRA. So - it's a huge benefit. I wish I had this option in my 401k!
by danaht
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to short the equity market
Replies: 93
Views: 5617

Re: Best way to short the equity market

You can always open a margin account and open a short-sell order for an ETF like VOO, or VTI. I would not recommend this - you will probably lose an unlimited amount of money!
by danaht
Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lost My Way - Advice Needed
Replies: 44
Views: 4951

Re: Lost My Way - Advice Needed

Hang on a second. Some folks are suggesting that you should take the loss and start over. I wouldn't be so quick to do that, personally. If I'm reading correctly, you managed to create a $75K portfolio in 4 years flat. You're about 31 years old, so your time horizon is long and your best earning ye...
by danaht
Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Shifting from Roth to Traditional worth it ?
Replies: 11
Views: 1043

Re: Shifting from Roth to Traditional worth it ?

At 28 and with the new lower income brackets - I would still focus on the Roth. Every dollar that goes into a roth is more powerful than the same dollar that goes into a traditional IRA.
by danaht
Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Toyota Yaris
Replies: 13
Views: 1219

Re: 2018 Toyota Yaris

I am a former owner of a 2008 Toyota Yaris. The Yaris in general is a great car. But I have some issues with the 2018 version that would prevent me from buying one (ranked by most important factor first): 1) There is no manual drive configuration - only automatic is widely available. note: you can g...
by danaht
Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sams Club vs Costco
Replies: 78
Views: 6982

Re: Sams Club vs Costco

Both are great. I prefer Sam's Club only because it's much closer. Sometimes Walmart, Target, and and even Kroger are cheaper than both Sam's Club and Costco. For instance, a gallon of milk is usually a lot more expensive at both Costco and Sam's Club than it is at my local Walmart. Just because it'...
by danaht
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Alternative
Replies: 86
Views: 8254

Re: Amazon Alternative

I try avoid Amazon like the plague. First of all, my own personal solution to almost any shopping question is that I don’t need it. But if I actually do need it, lately, I find myself ordering electronics at Best Buy or sometimes Staples and having items delivered to a nearby store for pick up. I p...
by danaht
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 3133

Re: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance

USAA is not usually the cheapest -but I found they usually take care of you a lot better than other companies do when something does go wrong.