Search found 110 matches

by cowbman
Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is it worth it for me to start backdoor Roth-ing?
Replies: 1
Views: 29

Re: Is it worth it for me to start backdoor Roth-ing?

OP, There are a few things to consider. You can convert your traditional IRA(s) into a Roth, but you could also make a non-deductible contribution to your IRA this year and either leave it or convert it. You do NOT have to convert the amounts you have in your existing accounts, but when you do, you ...
by cowbman
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 'Roth Contribution" into Savings Plus 401K
Replies: 14
Views: 1061

Re: 'Roth Contribution" into Savings Plus 401K

I'm thinking of accepting a position with California that uses Savings Plus as the administrator of the 401k/457. Does anyone here have knowledge if they allow after-tax contributions into either account? I looked through the documents, which seem to indicate rollovers to Roth are allowed (Part 2 o...
by cowbman
Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4343
Views: 834653

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Any opinions on the Southwest cards? They increased the bonus as of yesterday: Earn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account...
by cowbman
Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit cards to get with no current credit score and websites to track credit score?
Replies: 35
Views: 1159

Re: Best credit cards to get with no current credit score and websites to track credit score?

As others have suggested, Discover is a good first start. Also, banks you bank with like Bank of America or Chase are more likely to approve you, if you have funds with them.
by cowbman
Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:49 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?
Replies: 191
Views: 17101

Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Great question. I thought about this as well. I wouldn't want to be too far away from my family so it has to be in Europe. I want to be able to speak the language, so it has to be a Dutch / English / German speaking country. Life and taxes have to be reasonably cheap, so that removes The Netherland...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Requesting Assistance Choosing...
Replies: 5
Views: 691

Re: Prioritize the Roth. Keep it simple.

Prioritize the Roth. Period. You are a Medicine Fellow for goodness sakes, your salary is about to quadruple over the next 5 years when you become attending staff. Maybe 8x for some specialties and even more than that 20-30 years out! Your taxes will be (much) higher in the future. Having a Roth ac...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Requesting Assistance Choosing...
Replies: 5
Views: 691

Re: Requesting Assistance Choosing...

I have a hard time following your post. You have what seems to be a lot of extraneous info comparing last year and this year and different account types that essentially offer the same tax treatment. But nowhere do I see the actual amount of money under consideration. I think your question is: I'm ...
by cowbman
Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Requesting Assistance Choosing...
Replies: 5
Views: 691

Requesting Assistance Choosing...

To the BH Community: I appreciate any help and realize this topic is often discussed, but I wish for help with my individual situation. The upcoming 2020 year, will be an odd year for us. I will be finishing a medical fellowship, but we are uncertain where we will be afterwards. We are currently in ...
by cowbman
Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I getting bumped into reduced Roth IRA contributions?
Replies: 16
Views: 1404

Re: Am I getting bumped into reduced Roth IRA contributions?

pidgeon wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:53 pm
Thank you all!

Sounds like it's about time to look into backdoor.
Some years I'm low enough to do a Roth, but most I'm not. I just do backdoors to avoid worrying about it.
by cowbman
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FIRE Drawdown Plan
Replies: 62
Views: 7110

Re: FIRE Drawdown Plan

What high yield savings account is making 5% Have money socked away in many, many accounts. About 25k in insight cards and netspend cards. Some in t-mobile accounts and the rest tied on in Bank bonus accounts, e.g. depost 5k for 90 days for $300. I keep moving this money around for FDIC insured ret...
by cowbman
Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Primer on Paying Taxes With a Credit Card
Replies: 85
Views: 12879

Re: Primer on Paying Taxes With a Credit Card

I have not tried this before since I was using a 2% travel card (CapitalOne Venture) and so the 1.87% fee didn't provide much of a rate spread. But now I have the BofA Premium Rewards card with the 2.625% cash back. The problem is that my federal + state quarterly tax payment is about three times m...
by cowbman
Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it ever worth paying a 2.35% service fee on a 7k tax bill?
Replies: 16
Views: 1285

Re: Is it ever worth paying a 2.35% service fee on a 7k tax bill?

As others have pointed out, it certainly could. I'd highlight the Bank of America Premium Rewards with the Preferred Rewards program. If you hold top tier status, it will pay out 2.625% which is > 2.35%. It does take 3 months to have your status bumped up though. Another option is the Discover miles...
by cowbman
Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free
Replies: 224
Views: 13535

Re: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free

rkhusky wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:59 am
cowbman wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:35 pm
If I said 0:0:100 would I win? :greedy :moneybag
Not if you paid 35% to get it into Roth, when you would be withdrawing it at 12%.
At the time my marginal rate was 24% + 3.8% ACA, no state tax. Roth was after maxing out pre-tax space.
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Merrill Edge is Going Commission-Free
Replies: 20
Views: 2237

Re: Merrill Edge is Going Commission-Free

I have been ~100% Vanguard for a very long time. They are close to getting my business. Between the free trades, signup bonus, and credit card rewards, I'm nearly there. EDIT: Of course, considering how addictive credit card churning is, I'll probably get addicted to brokerage churning too. Brokera...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money can retirees really save by moving to a state without income tax?
Replies: 143
Views: 11431

Re: How much money can retirees really save by moving to a state without income tax?

I lived in upstate New York and the highest property tax in the nation for a few years and moved to Illinois with the 3rd highest or so. I was able to get 1.5x the house for the same price. I also save on income and sales taxes by a few percent. So I save more money, have a nicer house, and have mo...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money can retirees really save by moving to a state without income tax?
Replies: 143
Views: 11431

Re: How much money can retirees really save by moving to a state without income tax?

A few states do not have an income tax, but they may have other taxes (property tax, sales tax, etc.) to offset that. So it is not clear how much money a retiree or a retired couple may save by moving to a state without an income tax. I am particular interested in Florida (e.g., Tampa) and Nevada (...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money can retirees really save by moving to a state without income tax?
Replies: 143
Views: 11431

Re: How much money can retirees really save by moving to a state without income tax?

If I win the lottery I will head to one. Better move BEFORE you buy that winning ticket. In general, states will tax lottery income based on where you purchased it (or possibly where you were living when you purchased it.) But I guess moving would help with any eventual estate taxes down the road. ...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money can retirees really save by moving to a state without income tax?
Replies: 143
Views: 11431

Re: How much money can retirees really save by moving to a state without income tax?

Hypothetically, consider a retired couple with an annual income around $100,000 with a moderate house worth around $300,000. Assume that their current state has a flat income tax of 6% and a property tax 1.2%. I am in Georgia in a suburb of Atlanta where there is a retirement income exclusion of $6...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free
Replies: 224
Views: 13535

Re: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free

If I said 0:0:100 would I win? :greedy :moneybag Yes: 1. If it was true; and 2. If the 100 percent in tax free was a substantial amount. MichDad It's not true, but I'm still relatively young, plan on retiring early, and have most in Tax deferred, with a sizeable amount in Roth. My taxable amount ha...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free
Replies: 224
Views: 13535

Re: Tax Deferred : Taxable : Tax Free

If I said 0:0:100 would I win? :greedy :moneybag
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Merrill Edge is Going Commission-Free
Replies: 20
Views: 2237

Re: Merrill Edge is Going Commission-Free

Merrill Edge is one of the worst large brokerages. They block many ETFs and funds labeling them "active funds" like - Vanguard factor funds - NTSX Wisdomtree 90/60 ETF - SWAN ETF - new Avantis low cost ETFs and funds But you could buy 3X ETFs like UPRO, TMF and NUGT and inverse ETFs. Their Fund tra...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What return is Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund returning?
Replies: 21
Views: 1713

Re: What return is Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund returning?

whodidntante wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:08 pm
cowbman wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:04 pm
I'm a huge fan of the spreadsheets put together by another blogger. He even had the good sense to add NJ, NY, & CA, which is 1/5 in Americans!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
Your link is broken.
I fixed it. Try again.
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to hold cash/emergency fund money?
Replies: 23
Views: 3132

Re: Where to hold cash/emergency fund money?

I apologize as this is probably a repetitive question but I’m planning for the new year and wondering if there is a better option on where to hold cash? Currently I have a CIT Bank savings account earning 1.80% and I’m planning to build up (automatically contributing funds every month) my cash rese...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What return is Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund returning?
Replies: 21
Views: 1713

Re: What return is Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund returning?

I'm a huge fan of the spreadsheets put together by another blogger. He even had the good sense to add NJ, NY, & CA, which is 1/5 in Americans!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Last minute inexpensive air fares?
Replies: 8
Views: 1355

Re: Last minute inexpensive air fares?

Google Flights has what you want. Click explore destinations and make sure your starting point is correct. You can manipulate the dates too and it will show you prices to multiple destinations. Enjoy! https://www.google.com/flights PS: This is also one of my all-time favorite uses of airline miles. ...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Merrill Edge is Going Commission-Free
Replies: 20
Views: 2237

Re: Merrill Edge is Going Commission-Free

Presumably most BH's aren't trading with high frequency, so commissions would've been minimal. Even prior to the $0 stock/ETFs, many firms had select ETFs that traded for free. Merrill Edge did not, but if you had Platinum or higher status you received free trades. Merrill doesn't have the most fund...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ally APY vs others
Replies: 23
Views: 2429

Re: Ally APY vs others

Ally is usually competitive, but rarely the best.
by cowbman
Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best card to complement 2% cash back?
Replies: 31
Views: 4723

Re: Best card to complement 2% cash back?

What I decided to do was I moved $100k to Merrill Edge, but I won't be eligible for premium rewards until 90 days. Then I applied and was accepted for both: BOA Cash rewards ($1000/3mo spend required for $200 reward, 3% cash back on one category, 3% FTF). This will replace the Uber card for everyda...
by cowbman
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moved states and both are claiming that I owe personal property tax for my vehicle.
Replies: 29
Views: 1734

Re: Moved states and both are claiming that I owe personal property tax for my vehicle.

Nor does Texas or many other states. Ohio has plenty of not good taxes on income and property, which I personally find not to my benefit. It also has this white stuff that falls from the sky! I've heard Texas has very high property taxes though, do you think it's still a significant tax savings to ...
by cowbman
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions for Roth investments
Replies: 18
Views: 1436

Re: Suggestions for Roth investments

What do you mean that you "are converting a cash balance plan (19k) into a Roth"? Since you are a "a high income earner", you & your spouse may not be able to contribute to a Roth IRA directly. The ability for MFJ to contribute directly to a Roth IRA starts to phase out when your MAGI hits $193k fo...
by cowbman
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity FZROX distribution and capital gains x2???
Replies: 9
Views: 1341

Re: Fidelity FZROX distribution and capital gains x2???

carmonkie wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:07 pm
Love this forum. Always learn something new. I never considered portability and that it throws Capital Gains.
Most mutual funds do. Vanguard is special about their mutual fund/ETF architecture, so they give off less. In general I advise mutual funds in tax advantaged space, and ETFs in taxable.
by cowbman
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex cost to restaurant
Replies: 41
Views: 4475

Re: Amex cost to restaurant

Stores don't take AMEX because people want to use it. Stores take AMEX because AMEX customers spend more money than Visa/Mastercard/Discover cardholders. That said, while your local bank Visa card may have lower fees than AMEX, if you're walking around with a Visa Signature, Visa Infinite, or World...
by cowbman
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moved states and both are claiming that I owe personal property tax for my vehicle.
Replies: 29
Views: 1734

Re: Moved states and both are claiming that I owe personal property tax for my vehicle.

Come to Ohio. We don't have a personal property tax. My auto registration cost is $59.50 per year and does not depend on the value of the car. That cost includes the registrar's fee and the extra county tax. Nor does Texas or many other states. Ohio has plenty of not good taxes on income and proper...
by cowbman
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Limited Term Tax-Exempt make sense in 12% bracket?
Replies: 18
Views: 1272

Re: Vanguard Limited Term Tax-Exempt make sense in 12% bracket?

OP, I was going to suggest a MMF too because of better Sharpe Ratio. VMSXX is definitely better than VMLUX at 0.01% difference. 51 days duration vs. 2.6 years. Much better capital preservation. A MMF may indeed be the right solution, but it would be Prime, not VMSXX for reasons just discussed. It i...
by cowbman
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 397
Views: 26586

Re: Retirement Friendly States

It makes a difference, but you likely need to have several businesses/chain of restaurants/7 figure income for it to be 40k/year. However, a particularly striking example is California vs. Nevada. If you are in a lower income group your choice of state is probably better decided by subsidies to tho...
by cowbman
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Limited Term Tax-Exempt make sense in 12% bracket?
Replies: 18
Views: 1272

Re: Vanguard Limited Term Tax-Exempt make sense in 12% bracket?

OP, look at the attached sheet, I updated it to show your marginal rates. VMSXX beats VMMXX by a mile for your purposes. your overall analysis is correct, choose the right fund type for your duration/risk needs, but then choose the most tax-efficient version in that class. As of today, VMMXX ATY fo...
by cowbman
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 397
Views: 26586

Re: Retirement Friendly States

Presumably, the horse has already left the barn on the decision of where to live during working years. For others, careers leave little choice, or compensation more than makes up for added taxes. So, not unusual to think (ask) about different state during retirement when possibly unencumbered by ot...
by cowbman
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 397
Views: 26586

Re: Retirement Friendly States

Much irony in this thread. Thank you for the laughs. The one thing that I feel is backwards is that people look for "retirement-friendly" tax states. You'd be much better off to look for "working-friendly" tax states. Save an average of $5,000 or $10,000 a year in taxes during your working career a...
by cowbman
Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 397
Views: 26586

Re: Retirement Friendly States

I'd like to know more about property taxes going from $3/day to $46/day. That's an enormous increase. Has much to do with assessor... (and if you make him angry by protesting annually in State Appeals process) Mine seeks highest possible value and uses 'Sweet spots" (High dollar sales) as comps. Us...
by cowbman
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 397
Views: 26586

Re: Retirement Friendly States

I'd like to know more about property taxes going from $3/day to $46/day. That's an enormous increase. Has much to do with assessor... (and if you make him angry by protesting annually in State Appeals process) Mine seeks highest possible value and uses 'Sweet spots" (High dollar sales) as comps. Us...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 397
Views: 26586

Re: Retirement Friendly States

... Lots of the FIRE crowd/bloggers are choosing Camas, WA. Funny thing, when I a youth, I was really into Geography. I was trying to find out where to live to minimize taxes, and I quickly narrowed it down to Vancouver, WA for the reasons outlined above. Enjoy! Camas / Vancouver, WA... 10 min to G...
by cowbman
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Not choosing Vanguard for kid's Roths due to minimums?
Replies: 32
Views: 1947

Re: Not choosing Vanguard for kid's Roths due to minimums?

I personally like Fidelity, but to each his own. FZROX solves your issue.
by cowbman
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 397
Views: 26586

Re: Retirement Friendly States

... Lots of the FIRE crowd/bloggers are choosing Camas, WA. Funny thing, when I a youth, I was really into Geography. I was trying to find out where to live to minimize taxes, and I quickly narrowed it down to Vancouver, WA for the reasons outlined above. Enjoy! Camas / Vancouver, WA... 10 min to G...
by cowbman
Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 397
Views: 26586

Re: Retirement Friendly States

We actually did the opposite of many here and migrated north towards colder climate, thinking long term about climate change and where we wanted to set up a family "homestead" for our kids and possible grandkids down the road. My wife's career had brought us to Central Texas a decade earlier althou...
by cowbman
Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homebuying in Los Angeles - Advice Needed
Replies: 77
Views: 7888

Re: Homebuying in Los Angeles - Advice Needed

I'm thinking about accepting an offer in Norwalk. I'm not used to traffic (Have had long commutes, but they were against traffic, and quit that job after 3 years). DW and I aiming to have children soon, so schools will be important. I've looked at South Pasadena, Rossmoor/Los Alamitos/Seal Beach, a...
by cowbman
Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 397
Views: 26586

Re: Retirement Friendly States

I moved to outside Raleigh NC this spring. It was the culmination of a ten year process (started on my 45th birthday, put my Illinois house in the market on my 55th). I'm still working, but most of my family, friends, and co-workers are amazed at how I did this. It is all about understanding your o...
by cowbman
Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homebuying in Los Angeles - Advice Needed
Replies: 77
Views: 7888

Re: Homebuying in Los Angeles - Advice Needed

I'm thinking about accepting an offer in Norwalk. I'm not used to traffic (Have had long commutes, but they were against traffic, and quit that job after 3 years). DW and I aiming to have children soon, so schools will be important. I've looked at South Pasadena, Rossmoor/Los Alamitos/Seal Beach, an...
by cowbman
Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 397
Views: 26586

Re: Retirement Friendly States

TX real estate taxes are high. And they're forever!...even though you get some mild relief at 65. Yep. There was a proposal a few years back to lower property tax and make up the funding with a 3% income tax. The math showed most Texans would pay less in tax, but you can imagine how Texans felt abo...
by cowbman
Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question to BofA Preferred Rewards members
Replies: 5
Views: 511

Re: Question to BofA Preferred Rewards members

Yes, but you may need to ask.