Search found 161 matches

by Horatio
Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation for 529 accounts
Replies: 11
Views: 1230

Re: Asset Allocation for 529 accounts

The bummer is, to get any kind of merit-based aid, you still have to fill out the FAFSA forms. My son got a couple of grand his freshman year, now we have decided screw it, we are not going to bother any more. I have just transferred the beneficiary of a 529 from child 1 who decided not to go to co...
by Horatio
Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation for 529 accounts
Replies: 11
Views: 1230

Re: Asset Allocation for 529 accounts

You should check who is the owner on the accounts. You? The kids? The grandparents? There are some quirks with gift taxes and with financial aid. Yes, you are right. In our case the kids probably won't qualify for financial aid. These accounts are big enough to cover a lot of expenses, depending on...
by Horatio
Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation for 529 accounts
Replies: 11
Views: 1230

Re: Asset Allocation for 529 accounts

This is an under appreciated area of concerned that really depends on many factors including how large the account, what percent of the college expenses is expected to come from the 529 (versus other sources), expected returns, whether you continue add funds, etc. Personally, I have my 10th grade s...
by Horatio
Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation for 529 accounts
Replies: 11
Views: 1230

Re: Asset Allocation for 529 accounts

Thank you. It's this: a set investment allocation whereby you need to make the rebalancing moves? I'd rather reset them myself, pretty easy to do. I could mimic the age-based ratios but thought it worthy to think it through first. It is the NY State plan: https://www.nysaves.org/content/investments....
by Horatio
Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation for 529 accounts
Replies: 11
Views: 1230

Asset Allocation for 529 accounts

Would appreciate some input on determining asset allocation within 529 accounts. There are four children with expected college start dates of 2020 (two), 2024, and 2025. These accounts are well funded (from grandparents) and are expected to cover a significant chunk of their educational costs. Right...
by Horatio
Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller financing newbie
Replies: 11
Views: 774

Re: Seller financing newbie

In this case the buyer would be doing extensive renovations and planning to resell it. What happens if they default? We get the house back but it's gutted?
by Horatio
Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller financing newbie
Replies: 11
Views: 774

Re: Seller financing newbie

Thanks travellight. How well did you know the buyer? How much due diligence did you do on his/her credit worthiness?
by Horatio
Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller financing newbie
Replies: 11
Views: 774

Seller financing newbie

Helping my Mom with the sale of our family home. The house is unusual and in need of renovation. On the open market it would be an "as is" sale, and finding a buyer might take a long time. I have long imagined that when the time came, the best buyer would be a contractor. We have someone interested ...
by Horatio
Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you officially designate a date to change residences
Replies: 15
Views: 1236

Re: How do you officially designate a date to change residen

Horatio , your mom shouldn't make the switch at year end. She should make it a month or so in. Then the next year she files the IT-203 Nonresident and Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return using her Florida address as both mailing and permanent address. The form specifically asks for the date you mo...
by Horatio
Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you officially designate a date to change residences
Replies: 15
Views: 1236

Re: How do you officially designate a date to change residen

Thanks for the comments and for helping me think this through. State A is New York and we too have heard that they can be very difficult and aggressive. I like the idea of officially notifying them that she has left-- I will ask her accountant and attorney about that. The problem is that for a while...
by Horatio
Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you officially designate a date to change residences
Replies: 15
Views: 1236

How do you officially designate a date to change residences

My Mom is moving from State A to State B. She currently owns homes in both places. She goes back and forth and technically really lives in both places right now but intends to eventually live 100% in state B. Both states have income tax. Things we are trying to plan for include current muni bond inc...
by Horatio
Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do monthly SS payments change when you retire?
Replies: 8
Views: 925

Re: Do monthly SS payments change when you retire?

Another question: She won't be earning a paycheck anymore, but she has some sizeable RMD's from her IRA. Does this count in MAGI and that mean she is going to be surcharged for part B? Also, she did a Roth conversion in 2010 and is paying the taxes on her 2011 and 2012 returns-- is that going to cou...
by Horatio
Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do monthly SS payments change when you retire?
Replies: 8
Views: 925

Do monthly SS payments change when you retire?

My mother, who has been employed full time for decades, is retiring from her job at age 79. She has already been receiving SS payments for a number of years. She will now need Medicare part B. If I understand that right, the premiums will be subtracted from her monthly SS payment. Does anything else...
by Horatio
Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where do you keep your kids' money?
Replies: 54
Views: 8978

There are different philosophies about where to put the money: 529's vs UTMA account vs "bank of mom and dad." All have their pros and cons. As a parent of 9 year old twins I will add one other angle to consider: I would not recommend investing them in different funds/ETF's. Invariably they will gro...
by Horatio
Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion in 2010
Replies: 15
Views: 2607

Re: Roth Conversion in 2010

My reason for the conversion would not be so much for my future income but rather to be able to "stretch" the IRAs for my heirs upon my demise - estate planning. [/b] My Mom is converting a piece of her IRAs for similar estate planning reasons. These are funds that she doesn't expect to ever need. ...
by Horatio
Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VWITX, How Safe are these Munis?
Replies: 19
Views: 4287

Well, I feel your pain. I have a 90/10 split of taxable/tax-deferred savings and therefore any reasonable allocation to bonds involves putting some of the taxable money to work. For the past 10 years I used munis, but I unwound the last of my ladder last year out of concern for the deteriorating cr...
by Horatio
Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation for children's inherited IRA's
Replies: 8
Views: 1646

Appreciate the comments so far.

Anyone else have inherited IRA's for kids? How did you decide the asset allocation?

Thanks.
by Horatio
Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation for children's inherited IRA's
Replies: 8
Views: 1646

Asset allocation for children's inherited IRA's

Been having trouble deciding on appropriate asset allocation for inherited IRA's. These are accounts of my children and niece/nephew. Because they are so young (single digit ages) the RMD's are small. Still, I worry about having to take RMD's on values that may be fluctuating quite a bit. The goal o...
by Horatio
Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CFP financial plan from Vanguard and others
Replies: 5
Views: 1145

I would suggest that a person with assets in excess of $10M should seek fairly thorough advice on all aspects of estate planning, tax management, and investing far beyond simply the devising of an asset allocation. At the same time great care is needed to prevent stealing of assets by unscrupulous,...
by Horatio
Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CFP financial plan from Vanguard and others
Replies: 5
Views: 1145

CFP financial plan from Vanguard and others

Some of you may remember me, I have been helping my Mom with her 8 figure portfolio since we lost my Dad a few years back. She has accounts at Vanguard as well as a couple of other places. She feels most secure keeping eggs in more than one basket. We have decided to take advantage of the "free" CFP...
by Horatio
Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charles Schwab or Fidelity
Replies: 36
Views: 15726

I have accounts at both places. Differences are minor. Fidelity offers better funds. For trading (including ETF's) we currently pay $8.00 at Fidelity, $8.95 at schwab. On a few occasions, I have noticed Schwab executed my limit order when Fidelity did not, even though they were entered at the same t...
by Horatio
Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What is "TIAA traditional annuity"?
Replies: 34
Views: 7964

livesoft wrote: Some people compare it to the G fund of the TSP.
What is this?
by Horatio
Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What is "TIAA traditional annuity"?
Replies: 34
Views: 7964

Re: What is "TIAA traditional annuity"?

Theres nothing more complicated about this than any other investment in the market except that it's not regulated by the same oversight of a mutual fund and therefor information is disclosed differently. My father has most of his $$ in this investment and a 5 minute call to his advisor answered 100...
by Horatio
Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: consolidation advice for 94 year old
Replies: 24
Views: 3084

Re: consolidation advice for 94 year old

itsf8 wrote:I may get nervous with all the signatures though she agreed to consolidate. I figure, upon her demise, it will be easier to settle her affiars.
You'll be more nervous upon her demise. Trust me.
by Horatio
Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: consolidation advice for 94 year old
Replies: 24
Views: 3084

GG et al., in your experience what financial institution was the most "executor-friendly"? Which one was the least executor-friendly? In my personal situation, I found Schwab to be excellent. They have a whole "estate" department. I believe those folks are in an Indiana office. You might want to ca...
by Horatio
Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What is "TIAA traditional annuity"?
Replies: 34
Views: 7964

What is "TIAA traditional annuity"?

My mom is a college professor and she has this account. Despite our diligent efforts, we do not really understand what it is. We've essentially ignored it. It is funded regularly, mostly by her employer and a little bit through her payroll deductions. I will figure it out eventually, but if any of y...
by Horatio
Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Adviser Boston Area
Replies: 10
Views: 2363

joelsg- I don't have any suggestions but am interested in hearing about financial advisors in the Boston area too. Been looking but haven't been able to find the right individual. I want someone I can meet with in person, for an hourly fee, who can look over my Mom's entire portfolio, help us make a...
by Horatio
Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Purchasing Bonds
Replies: 12
Views: 2751

We buy individual muni bonds in Massachusetts. Only new issues, for which pricing is the most transparent.
by Horatio
Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Lowers Commission on Stock Trades
Replies: 30
Views: 5407

Big deal. I already pay $8.95 at Schwab and think it's too high relative to the competition.
by Horatio
Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you tip before or after tax in a restaurant?
Replies: 55
Views: 10216

Some restaurants seem to be automatically adding tips, especially for larger (>6) parties. When they do, it's usually 18%.
by Horatio
Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schwab New ETFs: What's the Catch?
Replies: 16
Views: 4370

I too have wondered about the "catch" with the Schwab ETF's. One issue some have pointed out is that they might be thinly traded, in which case their price may deviate too far from NAV. Nonetheless, I have some at the moment. Like MnD, my impression is that Schwab's service seems to be getting bette...
by Horatio
Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are ER's higher for Vanguard funds in 529 accounts?
Replies: 18
Views: 3075

Also if you transfer the funds from the NY 529 plan to another state program you will have to pay NYS income tax on the amount in the plan. See NY State tax return instuctions for non residents, IT-203 line 22 A-11. Do you know the answer to this one: If my children are not NY residents and attend ...
by Horatio
Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are ER's higher for Vanguard funds in 529 accounts?
Replies: 18
Views: 3075

Also if you transfer the funds from the NY 529 plan to another state program you will have to pay NYS income tax on the amount in the plan. See NY State tax return instuctions for non residents, IT-203 line 22 A-11. Oh cripes. That's why I love this site, I am always finding new angles I hadn't con...
by Horatio
Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are ER's higher for Vanguard funds in 529 accounts?
Replies: 18
Views: 3075

Looks like it's time for me to shop this around. My father started these 529's for my children and I inherited them as successor owner. I don't live in New York, he did. I don't plan to make additional contributions, at least for a while since they seem sufficient. So it seems to make sense to move ...
by Horatio
Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are ER's higher for Vanguard funds in 529 accounts?
Replies: 18
Views: 3075

Why are ER's higher for Vanguard funds in 529 accounts?

New York's 529 plan Vanguard funds' ER's are all 0.49%.

I'm sure it's been discussed before, but why are they so high compared to the ER's if one holds the same Vanguard funds directly? I did a search but couldn't find the answer.
Thank you!
by Horatio
Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Step-up cost basis for inherited stocks?
Replies: 1
Views: 1460

Step-up cost basis for inherited stocks?

I understand step-up in cost basis for inherited stocks in most circumstances. But does this also apply to spouses? Does it matter whether they have joint accounts or separate ones? My own example: my father held individual stocks in his trust. After his death, the entire content of his trust was me...
by Horatio
Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What are the arguments NOT to convert to Roth?
Replies: 60
Views: 9248

Case B) Leave as is. You have 4K in TIRA and 1K in taxable. In some number of yrs, investments double. You now have 8K in TIRA and somewhat less than 2K in taxable (since it is not perfectly tax efficientJ). But TIRA may not have 8k because of the mandatory distributions out of it. That's a questio...
by Horatio
Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What are the arguments NOT to convert to Roth?
Replies: 60
Views: 9248

The Roth vs. Traditional debate is better illustrated by equations than examples. For a tIRA, you defer all tax, so your account value is: V = G * (1+AR)^n * (1-T) where G is the starting gross amount, AR is the annual return (e.g., 7%), n is the number of years invested, and T is your tax rate (e....
by Horatio
Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What are the arguments NOT to convert to Roth?
Replies: 60
Views: 9248

As the OP, I appreciate all the comments and don't mind at all if some of them seem irrelevant to this particular situation. They are all interesting. This is really a tricky decision. (the rest of this may be boring, you can skip it) When we were losing my dear father, 2+ years ago, he was very met...
by Horatio
Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What are the arguments NOT to convert to Roth?
Replies: 60
Views: 9248

4) Your Mom may be in a high bracket, but her heirs are likely in peak earning years and will pay high taxes on the RMD's from the inherited tIRA, which start immediately. But heirs may also be in low tax brackets. It should be easy to figure out. Some of the heirs are currently young children, in ...
by Horatio
Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What are the arguments NOT to convert to Roth?
Replies: 60
Views: 9248

Not-Bob,

Your points are the kinds of things that have been swirling through my head as Mom and I have been discussing this.

About converting all in 2010-- not to be morbid, but isn't it still true that there is NO estate tax in 2010? In that case I believe it makes sense to wait til 2011.
by Horatio
Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What are the arguments NOT to convert to Roth?
Replies: 60
Views: 9248

It sounds like the amount of money involved is large enough that it would be silly to try decide what to do without professional estate and financial planning. Yes. The accountant calculated the amount of tax she would owe. Also suggested she move to a lower-tax state before doing the conversion (s...
by Horatio
Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: .....
Replies: 12
Views: 2984

In settling my Dad's estate, I discovered that most places have a written policy stating they need certified copies of the death cert for each account. In reality, they accepted one copy to cover all accounts at each institution, and they accepted Faxed copies. So I just faxed the same copy to multi...
by Horatio
Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What are the arguments NOT to convert to Roth?
Replies: 60
Views: 9248

Taxes being the same, I'd prefer to pay the taxes later. The conversion would have to be near-complete to reduce income taxes. But there is the issue of estate taxes. Heirs pay estate tax on the whole IRA, then pay income tax on the withdrawals after that. Tax on the part that's going to be taxed a...
by Horatio
Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What are the arguments NOT to convert to Roth?
Replies: 60
Views: 9248

What are the arguments NOT to convert to Roth?

Been thinking and analyzing with my Mom regarding possible conversion of her IRA's to Roth next year. She is older than 70 1/2. She seems to meet the standard criteria that people talk about in converting to Roth: 1) She doesn't anticipate needing the IRA funds to live on. 2) She has funds outside t...
by Horatio
Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Just Married! Help with New Wife's Wachovia Account (MUNI)
Replies: 19
Views: 3447

I'd be inclined to keep the bond. I would start by doing some research on the issuer. Are they financially sound? Is there any reason to think they are at risk of default. Not by the credit rating, but by what you are able to find out about the school district and the surrounding community. I wouldn...
by Horatio
Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift taxes
Replies: 33
Views: 6915

Technically yes, you need to file a return to report your gifting over the $13,000 limit for the plane ticket. But in practical terms I think most people simply ignore it. The odds of being "caught" are very low, but it could turn up if your return was audited for some reason or if heaven forbid you...
by Horatio
Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab ETFs - Looking Beyond Fees
Replies: 33
Views: 7056

Thank you so much for this topic! I have been wondering what the disadvantages of the Schwab ETF's really are. My family has accounts at Schwab and we have been DCA'ing into the market lately so they seem to be an obvious choice. Because these are IRA's, the tax part is not an issue, but I've been w...
by Horatio
Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Growing old without kids or younger caring relatives
Replies: 123
Views: 28008

I find it interesting that none of you has mentioned non-relative friends who can help you. I have a dear friend, a single man who does not intend to ever marry or have children. He is very healthy and we are only in our 40's. He has a brother but no one else in his family whom he trusts if somethin...
by Horatio
Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shopping for handyman
Replies: 19
Views: 3088

Neverknow: where is your husband's business located? I'd hire him!