Search found 321 matches

by informal guide
Sun May 24, 2020 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity
Replies: 11
Views: 862

Re: Annuity

Friends, I have the opportunity to settle an fixed income annuity product that I bought 27 years ago. It had a minimum interest rate of 3.5%. It grew to about $113K over the years. Since I have the opportunity to settle, I decided to add another $110K to the investment and settle for $1370 per mont...
by informal guide
Wed May 20, 2020 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why no HSA at Vanguard?
Replies: 19
Views: 1378

Re: Why no HSA at Vanguard?

My guess is that HSA recordkeeping costs would swamp any additional revenues generated by the additional assets generated (think of a $4500 account generating $4.50 in revenue per year). Unlike IRAs and 529 plans, where there are some 6 to 7 figure accounts to offset the many small accounts, there a...
by informal guide
Sun May 17, 2020 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: BH for a year now; what to do with new $ from a real estate Sale
Replies: 22
Views: 1791

Re: BH for a year now; what to do with new $ from a real estate Sale

The other thing I'd consider is whether you wish to dollar cost average into whatever you choose (say over 6-12 months), particularly if equities - -there are divided opinions on this but the one thing it does do is reduce the possible regret of putting an important part of your wealth into at what,...
by informal guide
Thu May 07, 2020 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Money Market Fund Dividends
Replies: 5
Views: 447

Re: Money Market Fund Dividends

Money market dividends are declared daily and paid monthly. Using your example, if the monthly dividend is $0.00193, a typical declared daily dividend could be $0.00193/30 = $0.00006433 per share (it varies day-to-day). All the declared daily dividends are added up and paid out once a month. At lea...
by informal guide
Wed May 06, 2020 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No tax return after >10 weeks?
Replies: 46
Views: 3072

Re: No tax return after >10 weeks?

I e-filed my Federal return on April 18 (first time I e-filed) through Turbotax and received a five figure refund ten days later - I am feeling flush!
by informal guide
Wed May 06, 2020 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Munis: Hold or Sell
Replies: 31
Views: 2269

Re: Munis: Hold or Sell

Quite recently New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority went to the bond market as they have debt coming due, lower revenues and are getting less aid. The authority agreed to pay a yield of 5.25% on some of the new bonds, compared with the roughly 2% investors demanded to own comparable deb...
by informal guide
Wed May 06, 2020 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do Early Retirees Pay for Medical
Replies: 132
Views: 9729

Re: How Do Early Retirees Pay for Medical

I retired at 63.5 and used COBRA from my large but benefit friendly former employer for my spouse and me until I hit the Medicare threshold at 65. My spouse is younger so is using a retiree plan from my former employer for about $800 per month until turning 65 - -I checked the ACA offerings but this...
by informal guide
Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deferred Compensation - Tax Management
Replies: 13
Views: 2663

Re: Deferred Compensation - Tax Management

My mandatory NQ plan grew to be more than 100% of my significant w-2 income. The return on the plan was a short term bond fund return - -in essence my total assets had a large bond asset with no accompanying tax liability until payout (my company was financially strong). Net net, I liked that; I cou...
by informal guide
Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: File tax return electronically
Replies: 64
Views: 2531

Re: File tax return electronically

It is the data theft most seem to fear. In my case, I am reluctant to e-file because I cannot see exactly what is being filed as I can with paper filing. Yes, I can have the program print out the forms that would be submitted to the IRS with paper filing, but I can't verify that the electronically ...
by informal guide
Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interest only mortgage: the conservative choice?
Replies: 87
Views: 7536

Re: Interest only mortgage: the conservative choice?

My ARM adjusts each month based on 1 month LIBOR; next month my rate will likely be around 1.75%. I've never heard of a product that has these attributes -- there's isn't a floor or cap on interest rate adjustments? Was this a loan made by an FDIC-insured bank or made by a mortgage banker? The loan...
by informal guide
Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interest only mortgage: the conservative choice?
Replies: 87
Views: 7536

Re: Interest only mortgage: the conservative choice?

I took out a 10 year I/O 30 year jumbo ARM in June of 2001 - for me it has been one of my best financial decisions ever. In years when i got a big bonus or had excess cash, I paid down some prinicipal; in other years, when bonuses were more modest or I had big school expenses for my kids. I did not....
by informal guide
Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: In your experience, what is the credit card with the best customer service?
Replies: 36
Views: 2038

Re: In your experience, what is the credit card with the best customer service?

Here is another angle. The customer service difference between the best customer service and the worst is not material enough to choose a card that has lower rewards over one with higher rewards and worse customer service. Odds are, these days, outside of Discover and Amex on a good day, if you hav...
by informal guide
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: accessing tax-advantaged accounts in early retirement
Replies: 7
Views: 532

Re: accessing tax-advantaged accounts in early retirement

Another option to explore is a health savings account, although to contribute, you and your spouse need to have a high deductible health plan. We contributed the max each year and were able to pay for our deductible costs out of our current income. Now, in retirement, we are withdrawing when needed ...
by informal guide
Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Beneficiary Annuity - 1035 exchange options - help for relative newbie
Replies: 20
Views: 521

Re: Beneficiary Annuity - 1035 exchange options - help for relative newbie

One other thing - -I just reviewed the link to the product. Like the Vanguard Variable Annuity it has no surrender charges. https://www.transamerica.com/financial-professional/what-we-offer/products/annuities/investment-options/ In a classic fashion, under investments for this product, Transamerica ...
by informal guide
Fri Apr 24, 2020 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Beneficiary Annuity - 1035 exchange options - help for relative newbie
Replies: 20
Views: 521

Re: Beneficiary Annuity - 1035 exchange options - help for relative newbie

If you choose to do a 1035 exchange, you may want to look at Transamerica's new offering, announced earlier this week. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/transamerica-debuts-a-new-low-cost-variable-annuity-301043530.html?tc Reading between the lines, it sounds exactly like the Vanguard variabl...
by informal guide
Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Only option for 403b is a Metlife Var Annuity
Replies: 23
Views: 809

Re: Only option for 403b is a Metlife Var Annuity

Unless there is some sort of match (highly unlikely), my strong vote is for the Roth IRA. Unlike an annuity, a Roth has no surrender charges or limitations and much lower expenses and offers an almost limitless choice of investments. The usually appropriate and easiest investment choice is a target ...
by informal guide
Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VMMXX Vanguard Prime MM Fund
Replies: 15
Views: 3222

Re: VMMXX Vanguard Prime MM Fund

One other thing that is worth noting. All money market funds are now required to calculate and disclose the market value in terms of net asset value (NAV), out to four decimal places on a daily basis, as well as disclose liquid assets as a per cent of the fund, and also daily net cash flow.. For Pri...
by informal guide
Sat Apr 18, 2020 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Northwestern Mutual 3.5% on Inherited Cash
Replies: 51
Views: 3743

Re: Northwestern Mutual 3.5% on Inherited Cash

Northwestern Mutual is the strongest Life insurance company in the Country, rated at the top by all rating agencies, so I wouldn't worry about financial solvency. In 2012, I received the proceeds of a life policy from them (five pay whole life bought in 1952) and used this feature for about a year, ...
by informal guide
Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 7% Yield on High Yield Corporate > EM Debt
Replies: 62
Views: 4457

Re: 7% Yield on High Yield Corporate > EM Debt

Another popular High yield fund is FAGIX, Fidelity Capital & Income, with over $12 billion in fund assets. It has been around for decades, with a unique feature that serves it well in good times, but..... Its assets consist, as of 2/28/2020, of 20.7% equities; 14.8% of bond assets are rated CCC and ...
by informal guide
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Understanding Bond ETF Discounts
Replies: 65
Views: 4177

Re: Understanding Bond ETF Discounts

This would make sense if the discounts from NAV decline. If this ETF bond discount to NAV becomes a more lasting fixture of ETF pricing, the gains would be minimal. On the other hand, if the discount grows (think closed end funds in the 80's and 90's or a regulatory tax on brokerage sales but not m...
by informal guide
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Understanding Bond ETF Discounts
Replies: 65
Views: 4177

Re: Understanding Bond ETF Discounts

Seems like it would be advantageous to sell your bond mutual funds and buy an etf equivalent right now (tax considerations aside - and assuming your account will let you do it with unsettled funds so you aren't out of the market very long) - if the etf analogue was trading at enough of a discount t...
by informal guide
Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Understanding Bond ETF Discounts
Replies: 65
Views: 4177

Re: Understanding Bond ETF Discounts

If the ETF is trading at a discount to NAV on a day when you feel like selling, and if gates and redemption fees are not in effect, then you will get more money out of the mutual fund than you would have out of the ETF. Apparently, as much as 6.67% more in Vanguard Total Bond if you happened to pic...
by informal guide
Wed Mar 18, 2020 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: "Why do you want to cancel?" - Vanguard
Replies: 10
Views: 2565

Re: "Why do you want to cancel?" - Vanguard

Is your account a brokerage account or a mutual fund account? If I remember correctly, one may cancel a brokerage order but may not cancel a mutual fund order. I even vaguely remember verbiage on this on the confirmation screens and Representative telephone conversations. Historically, Vanguard was ...
by informal guide
Wed Mar 18, 2020 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury extends [tax payment date 90 days, filing deadline still April 15]
Replies: 80
Views: 2914

Re: Official IRS statement on tax payment due date

This cold certainly help individuals and small businesses handle diminished cash flows. However the value to individuals in financial terms is modest. If one defers $10,000 for three months and earns 1.5% per annum on it(quite generous vs. the current yield on 3 month treasury bills, 0.01% per Vangu...
by informal guide
Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Bond ETFs Face Toughest Liquidity Test Yet 3/12/20]
Replies: 42
Views: 2561

Re: [Bond ETFs Face Toughest Liquidity Test Yet 3/12/20]

I presume the arbs are looking very closely at bond ETF opportunities. Here are two striking examples in Vanguard bond funds. Prices are from Vanguard web site this morning: 1) Vanguard short term corporate: NAV 80.27, closing price 78.62; discount to NAV 2.06% 2) Vanguard long term corporate: NAV 9...
by informal guide
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone buying oil/energy sector?!
Replies: 56
Views: 5067

Re: Anyone buying oil/energy sector?!

Over the last five years,I've made a number of trades to capture tax losses in energy related stocks and Vanguard funds. In particular, I've been able to trade between VGELX (Vanguard Energy Fund Admiral) and VDE (Vanguard Energy ETF) without worrying about wash sale rules. Today looks like another ...
by informal guide
Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Inherited 401k unknown to me until 7 years later...
Replies: 33
Views: 4131

Re: Inherited 401k unknown to me until 7 years later...

One other comment that may be of help regarding taxation. If the account is still structured as an IRA and you take your distribution, you may want to consider doing significant tax withholding from the account distribution. IMHO, doing Federal (and if appropriate, state) tax withholding is easier t...
by informal guide
Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard: Your data are not available at this time. Please try again later.
Replies: 23
Views: 1355

Re: Vanguard: Your data are not available at this time. Please try again later.

It would be nice if it always worked flawlessly! However, there is a solution if you get the "FIFO cost basis" notification, rather than stew and sit in a phone queue. You make the trade online and simply notify Vanguard of the correct tax lots to use before the trade settlement date by phone, e-mai...
by informal guide
Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Researchers Compared Vanguard And Fidelity Funds. Here's What They Found"
Replies: 41
Views: 4614

Re: "Researchers Compared Vanguard And Fidelity Funds. Here's What They Found"

Today, doing my taxes, I discovered another tax efficiency for Vanguard vs. Fidelity, applicable only to taxable accounts - -affecting those of us who live in state with a state and perhaps local income tax. I hold both Fidelity and Vanguard money funds The Fidelity default retail brokerage money ma...
by informal guide
Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuity recipients - how does the payer know when you die?
Replies: 7
Views: 1022

Re: Annuity recipients - how does the payer know when you die?

The payor checks the SS death records frequently. The payor will request any payments erroneously made after the death of the annuitant.
by informal guide
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Protection Against Home Intruders
Replies: 387
Views: 27263

Re: Protection Against Home Intruders

Just a couple of suggestions: You may want to check with your homeowner's insurance provider to see if they have a discount if you use SimpliSafe and if not, what the discount would be for a centrally monitored system. I found that the insurance discount through my carrier more than pays for the mo...
by informal guide
Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My Highest ER Fund = Prime MM. WTH?
Replies: 39
Views: 2748

Re: My Highest ER Fund = Prime MM. WTH?

And yet, Vanguard's Prime MM fund beats everyone else's on the market. Sure but it seems kind of irrelevant when they don't offer any banking features and a bank significantly beats them in yield. Like why would you use it? VG will honor a same day purchase from your bank into a mutual fund Money m...
by informal guide
Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My Highest ER Fund = Prime MM. WTH?
Replies: 39
Views: 2748

Re: My Highest ER Fund = Prime MM. WTH?

I sorted my funds today by ER and realized something I never noticed before: VTI, US TSM = .03 VEA, ex-US TSM = .05 VTIP, Short TIPS = .05 VGLT, Long Treasuries = .05 VWO, Emerging Markets = .12 VMMXX, Prime Money Market = .16 My most expensive fund isn't one of my stock or bond funds, not even my ...
by informal guide
Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VG Brokerage tax Statement - received
Replies: 14
Views: 1169

Re: VG Brokerage tax Statement - received

Similar to Fidelity, the timing of the 1099 statements is a function of what securities (and possibly the trading) you hold in your brokerage account. If you hold just funds (maybe just in-house Vanguard or in-house Fidelity funds), the tax forms come out in late January. If you hold individual secu...
by informal guide
Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Schwab's growth threaten Vanguard's domination (article)
Replies: 100
Views: 5472

Re: Does Schwab's growth threaten Vanguard's domination (article)

I have profited from Schwab - -owning its stock since the early 1990's - -and profited from Vanguard, owning its funds and, more recently, custodying (is that a word?) the majority of my assets there, beginning with owning funds there in the mid-1980's. As long as Vanguard stands up for its owners (...
by informal guide
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:52 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Happy Birthday Taylor! 96 years young!
Replies: 139
Views: 4021

Re: Happy Birthday Taylor! 96 years young!

Taylor, I learned about you from a good friend in the mid-1990's when you were a fixture on M* message boards. Little did any of us know in the 1990s how important your leadership, humility, and personal giving style would become - -and your influence and longevity on Bogleheads is legendary. But eq...
by informal guide
Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on moving to Pennsylvania
Replies: 53
Views: 4338

Re: Advice on moving to Pennsylvania

other items relating to taxation: 1) be sure you are aware of real estate transfer taxes - -they are very significant, sometimes amounting to more than 2% each to both buyer and seller, levied by school districts, townships, and municipalities. 2) HSA account contributions are deductible for PA inco...
by informal guide
Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual travel insurance
Replies: 21
Views: 1694

Re: Annual travel insurance

My wife and i have combined the Chase Sapphire coverage with the Chubb Passport 360 coverage, which we buy annually for less than $400 pp. We had one claim, which was handled well when we provided documentation. We began buying it 4-5 years ago, even though it doesn't cover more than $10K per person...
by informal guide
Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: is QCD like a DAF (but better) ?
Replies: 53
Views: 2509

Re: is QCD like a DAF (but better) ?

Right; the case for doing QCDs before age 72 is much less compelling. My thinking is that a QCD between 70 1/2 and 72 has advantages like a Roth conversion with no taxes owed - -and because of it we will use the standard deduction. The economic cost of using the QCD is the potential for further app...
by informal guide
Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:49 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Rental property in Mexico - anyone experienced?
Replies: 18
Views: 1602

Re: Rental property in Mexico - anyone experienced?

I would encourage you to explore the area and potential property on Redweek.com and to rent before you buy. There are lots of scams and much misinformation on Mexican resorts. Redweek provides a good marketplace for both rentals and sales. I have used it several times with good success in Cabo San L...
by informal guide
Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traveling to South Africa - money tips
Replies: 14
Views: 819

Re: Traveling to South Africa - money tips

I just returned from a trip to South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana in early November In Zimbabwe, the currency used most places was either the US Dollar or sometimes the South African Rand - -cash much preferred. Flying into Zimbabwe, US dollars were required for an entry Visa (cash only, in crisp ...
by informal guide
Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transition at Vanguard
Replies: 41
Views: 5245

Re: Transition at Vanguard

One other benefit of transitioning (if you don't have a Vanguard brokerage account yet) is the ability to buy the slightly less expensive ETF shares (using limit orders if you want to try to save a few bucks) in funds like Total International ETF (VXUS) at 0.09% expense ratio vs. Total International...
by informal guide
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing between 529 Plans
Replies: 22
Views: 927

Re: Choosing between 529 Plans

I chose the Vanguard Nevada Plan for convenience - to keep things simple. Plan balances are shown on your Vanguard.com logon and statements and they count for earning Vanguard Flagship or Voyager status (whatever that is worth)
by informal guide
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 3 fund portfolio v dan wiener model portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1368

Re: 3 fund portfolio v dan wiener model portfolio

Also, if the Dan Wiener portfolio is held in a taxable account, the tax burden from capital gains distributions on funds like Capital Opportunities, Dividend Growth, and International Growth would be much more substantial than from a three fund portfolio (where I believe Total Stock and Total Intern...
by informal guide
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 Schedule D tax worksheet revised by IRS!
Replies: 7
Views: 1297

Re: 2018 Schedule D tax worksheet revised by IRS!

I am aware of someone who was affected by this revision. the return was filed in April; then the IRS in July recalculated taxes with correct form and sent a bill for balance. (I think the issue had to do with depreciation recapture upon sale). However, the person called the IRS to inquire about the ...
by informal guide
Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling truck on Craigslist
Replies: 42
Views: 2140

Re: Selling truck on Craigslist

I have sold 4 cars on Craigslist,, being cautious as others mentioned. Three months ago, I sold an 8 year old compact SUV and listed it on a Sunday on both Craigslist and on AOL Marketplace. I got an equal number of responses from both (about 8 each within 6 hours, 1/2 of which sounded legit), but I...
by informal guide
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Gnarly defaulted Puerto Rico muni bond cost basis question
Replies: 3
Views: 650

Re: Gnarly defaulted Puerto Rico muni bond cost basis question

Thanks for the replies! Based on more research I just did, I anticipate that further payments will be made, FGIC annually revalues its situation and has historically adjusted upwards its claim paying. I just found that on Monday they announced going to go to paying 43.5% of claims from the prior 38....
by informal guide
Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Gnarly defaulted Puerto Rico muni bond cost basis question
Replies: 3
Views: 650

Gnarly defaulted Puerto Rico muni bond cost basis question

A family member in 2013 had the misfortune to buy a Puerto Rico muni bond in the secondary market (at around 90 cents per dollar of bond) that was scheduled to mature last July. All Puerto Rico bonds defaulted in early 2017 and stopped paying both interest and principal. The good news was that the b...
by informal guide
Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?
Replies: 20
Views: 2316

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

I am neither a lawyer nor a recruitment person. But I have moved jobs several times. Assuming this is a mid to larger sized employer, all questions like you listed are on the table; you should ask them without hesitation before signing any The recruiter is, at least in part, judged on acceptance rat...
by informal guide
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited Annuity question(s)
Replies: 37
Views: 2949

Re: Inherited Annuity question(s)

My quick take is to take a look at your 2019 tax situation and withdraw at least the amount to the top of your current tax bracket. Then I'd withdraw the rest in January 2020. That saves the hassle of a 1035 annuity move to Vanguard or Fidelity. If your income is in the $400k range, and you're marr...