Search found 337 matches

by FrugalProfessor
Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA best practices-tracking expenses for future reimbursement
Replies: 31
Views: 1714

Re: HSA best practices-tracking expenses for future reimbursement

It sounds like you are assuming that a person has an ongoing balance in an after-tax account. For many approaching retirement or retired early, the vast majority of assets are in: a) tIRA b) Roth IRA c) HSA I will suggest that taking a dollar out of an HSA in this scenario results in one additional...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA best practices-tracking expenses for future reimbursement
Replies: 31
Views: 1714

Re: HSA best practices-tracking expenses for future reimbursement

If you have low healthcare expenses, the benefit to saving decades of expenses is trivial and likely not worth the hassle of saving receipts. In contrast, if you hemorrhage money on healthcare every year like I do, then saving receipts can make a difference. I wrote a blog post investing this issue ...
by FrugalProfessor
Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I come out of retirement?
Replies: 66
Views: 7231

Re: Should I come out of retirement?

In regards to Roth conversions... If I convert my personal IRA to Roth, I would still need to take withdrawals from the accounts for spending money now and pay tax on the withdrawals. Would you suggest I use my brokerage account first? I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I agree that you're in ...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loan to friend. Secure with second mortgage.
Replies: 81
Views: 4831

Re: Loan to friend. Secure with second mortgage.

I "loaned" $10k over 10Y ago to a brother-in-law who is now a podiatrist making >$150k/year. When I asked to be repaid recently, his wife essentially called me the devil. I will never see that money again and the relationship is forever damaged. I'd strongly advise against making the loan....
by FrugalProfessor
Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VT Total World Stock ETF and the Foreign Tax Credit Pinch Out
Replies: 86
Views: 12998

Re: VT Total World Stock ETF and the Foreign Tax Credit Pinch Out

In that case, they shouldn't require any rebalancing at all once purchased. You just have to sit back and watch the decades-long underperformance of foreign equities, while every expected returns model says they will outperform. :twisted: This is painfully true! My target allocation is 70% domestic...
by FrugalProfessor
Sat Jan 30, 2021 6:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No Capital Tax Gain Dream
Replies: 11
Views: 1533

Re: No Capital Tax Gain Dream

$100k/yr tax free income in the US. More with kids:
https://frugalprofessor.com/5-kids-1698 ... e-0-taxes/
by FrugalProfessor
Thu Jan 28, 2021 11:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not 50/50?
Replies: 175
Views: 16990

Re: Why not 50/50?

I agree with your premise. 0/100 is not good enough: https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/members/35183-albums227-picture2326.jpg 100/0 is tempting and not that much more volatile than 0/100: https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/members/35183-albums227-picture2327.jpg I picked 50/50 because o...
by FrugalProfessor
Thu Jan 28, 2021 10:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not 50/50?
Replies: 175
Views: 16990

Re: Why not 50/50?

So bonds ironically provide "safety" by guaranteeing you a negative real return over the coming decade. The coming decade? It is guaranteed? Well, I guess I better sell my bond holdings. I can indeed guarantee you that if you invest in treasuries today and hold them to maturity, you'll ma...
by FrugalProfessor
Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not 50/50?
Replies: 175
Views: 16990

Re: Why not 50/50?

If there is no perfect asset allocation, and the two largest asset classes are stocks and bonds, why not just use a 50/50 portfolio and forget about all that theoretical stuff? I can answer the question if you tell me what you believe is the reason for me to have 50% of my portfolio in bonds. The a...
by FrugalProfessor
Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marginal Rate is increased 10%
Replies: 15
Views: 2054

Re: Marginal Rate is increased 10%

Same here (5% phase out region x 2 stimulus = 10% increase in MTR).

I'm used to wonky tax code implications so I realized this the moment I read about the first stimulus.

The tax code is riddled with nonsense once you peek under the hood a bit.
by FrugalProfessor
Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity as a one stop shop
Replies: 1821
Views: 268992

Re: Fidelity as a one stop shop

Why does anyone use billpay? My Fido CC bill is auto drafted from my CMA. All my other bills autopay on the Fido CC. I have bills that require a convenience fee if paid by credit card. I never autopay utilities or credit cards. Too many double debits and other errors over the years. I do have credi...
by FrugalProfessor
Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Millionaire Parents: Do Your Kids Know You're Rich?
Replies: 194
Views: 11035

Re: Millionaire Parents: Do Your Kids Know You're Rich?

I heard a story maybe here or from a friend, can't remember now, but I will paraphrase. Child: "Are we rich?" Parent: "mom and dad have money, but you are piss poor." This reminds me of an old Bill Cosby show bit ( :oops: I know, I know, but it's still funny to me.) Daughter: &q...
by FrugalProfessor
Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mega backdoor Roth vs Taxable
Replies: 9
Views: 514

Re: Mega backdoor Roth vs Taxable

I’d invest in a taxable account after all tax advantage accounts are fully funded. That includes $58k to the mega backdoor Roth IRA. +1. That is what I do. I contribute to 401k+mega backdoor Roth, Roth IRA, and HSA before taxable. I am lucky enough to be able to save enough to max all these out and...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FreeTaxUSA first-time user
Replies: 31
Views: 3077

Re: FreeTaxUSA first-time user

Swimmer wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:48 pm Is there any reason I should not use FreeTaxUSA (I don’t have a back donor Roth)?
There is no reason not to use it. I've used it for years thanks to the recommendation of other forum members and it is fantastic. It handles backdoor roth contributions very well.
by FrugalProfessor
Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question
Replies: 59
Views: 5043

Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

A related question: do you withhold taxes for the conversion? I thought you weren't supposed to but it won't let me pay them now... Any help would be greatly appreciated. You owe taxes on any interest earned before you convert the non-deductible traditional IRA contribution. If you do the conversio...
by FrugalProfessor
Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

For a start, I would not say “that an index only menu is the only logical conclusion” even if you believed it. The brokerage windows that our family have been offered have always had additional costs, could not be automated, or had some other drawback. I like the approach taken by the current emplo...
by FrugalProfessor
Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

If a plan has a low-cost brokerage window, I would not be too concerned about the plan menu. I don't mind logging in to trade now and then. My dream plan would offer access to a fully liquid stable value fund that has a nice (>2% now) yield without taking a lot of risks, and low-cost funds that pro...
by FrugalProfessor
Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

OP instead of going on an index fund crusade, would it be better to go on a BrokerageLink crusade (if you're using Fidelity). That way you get access to basically all the ETFs. I think this is a sensible point. The initial purpose of this post was to see if some sort of bogleheads-approved consensu...
by FrugalProfessor
Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

If explicitly, is it $/head or %? An employer like the University of Washington might have an administrative fee or wrap fee of around 0.035%, the University of Vermont around 0.038%, Iowa State around 0.06%, Eastern Michigan around 0.085%, and Saginaw Valley State around 0.13%. Thanks for the info...
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

Give people choice, don't make decisions for them. I am paying 0.9% expense ratio on a fidelity fund but I made 40% on it two years in a row. Total market fund returned only 16%. To me 40% -0.9% is better than 16% - 0.01% but I'm no common core math wiz. Congrats on your fund-picking success! The t...
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

I do not agree that a 401k plan should be passive only and in fact I think it is reckless at best. It is a fantasy that outside the Bogleheads bubble that everyone believes that passive is better than active. A 40qk should offer both options. The actively managed fund industry agrees with your asse...
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

I am one of the administrators on our plan. The primary focus when developing and maintaining the investment fund lineup is fiduciary responsibility. In layman's terms, that essentially means pleasing everybody with reasonable investment choices that are in the best interests of the participants. I...
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

duplicate post
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

I do not agree that a 401k plan should be passive only and in fact I think it is reckless at best. It is a fantasy that outside the Bogleheads bubble that everyone believes that passive is better than active. A 40qk should offer both options. The actively managed fund industry agrees with your asse...
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

to avoid tilting at windmills here - a good plan is the plan that involves low cost options in expense fees. Plan could include both active and passive funds. - a consulting/advice should not be bundled but instead available as additional charge(s) for those you need that. This way people who do no...
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

Is it a 401(k) or a 403(b) plan? I'm not sure if different regulations might apply. Personally I'd just push for the target dates funds to be switched to index funds, as opposed to eliminating the possibility to invest in an active fund if one wants to. Remember that Vanguard has plenty of low-expe...
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

Active versus passive is more of a religious war. And OP, you are going to lose that war when you get outside of the friendly confines of Bogleland. Just looking at the Fidelity Freedom funds you mentioned - pretty much every one of the more expensive, actively managed funds has outperformed its in...
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

If I see low-cost funds that provide exposure to the types of assets I want to own, I'm happy as a participant. I wouldn't get hung up on active versus passive as long as costs are low. Low costs clearly benefit participants and you can't walk very far without tripping over evidence of this. Active...
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Re: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

to avoid tilting at windmills here - a good plan is the plan that involves low cost options in expense fees. Plan could include both active and passive funds. - a consulting/advice should not be bundled but instead available as additional charge(s) for those you need that. This way people who do no...
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads approved 401k menu?
Replies: 32
Views: 1811

Bogleheads approved 401k menu?

My university is in the process of auditing their retirement plans. I think a likely outcome of this audit is that our menu and recordkeeping fee structure will be drastically changed. With 191 fund offered on our current Fidelity menu (including actively managed funds with ER's as high as 1.31% and...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question
Replies: 59
Views: 5043

Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

I looked back at my records from 2020 and I was able to transfer from my taxable Fidelity account to my Fidelity Traditional IRA and then to my Fidelity Roth IRA all on the first business day of the year, January 2, 2020. I was also able to invest those funds immediately with a mutual fund purchase...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question
Replies: 59
Views: 5043

Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

I had the problem with attempting the conversion immediately after my TradIRA contribution. the menus got me through the process with all options... but the last screen was missing the "Do It" button for execution. I got through to customer service, and they indicated that the holiday and...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question
Replies: 59
Views: 5043

Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

It does not work for me. I just tried it Like you said it gets hang up at the last step If you get through to them please share what do you learn and thank you in advance Bummer. I was hoping someone here had an easy fix that could save me from spending an eternity on hold with CS. I'll do my best ...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question
Replies: 59
Views: 5043

Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

It does not work for me. I just tried it Like you said it gets hang up at the last step If you get through to them please share what do you learn and thank you in advance Bummer. I was hoping someone here had an easy fix that could save me from spending an eternity on hold with CS. I'll do my best ...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spreadsheets - Out of here!
Replies: 237
Views: 25198

Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Thank you for these. Have built my own NW sheet using your ideas! Just a quick question RE the NW tracking sheet. In the annual cost of living section under housing (row 130) the housing costs do not include mortgage principal but only the interest. Why? I understand that only the interest impacts ...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question
Replies: 59
Views: 5043

Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Resurrecting an old thread.... Is anyone having a Trad=>Roth conversion problem at Fidelity this year (in Jan 2021)? In prior years, I have been able to instantly convert from Trad to Roth, albeit with the caveat mentioned above that it only worked without hiccup with the "partial" convers...
by FrugalProfessor
Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spreadsheets - Out of here!
Replies: 237
Views: 25198

Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Didn't read the whole thread, but I saw something about nested IF's and got excited. Here's one from my tax calculator that calculates a baseline tax liability before I make more sophisticated adjustments: =IF([@[Taxable Income]]<=0,0,IF([@[Taxable Income]]<$G$24,$H$24*[@[Taxable Income]],IF([@[Taxa...
by FrugalProfessor
Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: projecting checking account balance
Replies: 33
Views: 1332

Re: projecting checking account balance

Excel. Helps me a lot. I aggressively manage cash flow to never have more than a grand of cash rotting away.
by FrugalProfessor
Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do bogleheads optimize credit card rewards?
Replies: 70
Views: 5487

Re: How do bogleheads optimize credit card rewards?

Bonuses are where the money can be made. Hit Capital One and Chase first because they won't open anything for you once your credit report starts to rack up recent accounts. AmEx and Citi don't mind if you've been around the block. As far as everyday spend, you won't go far wrong with the BoA system...
by FrugalProfessor
Tue Dec 08, 2020 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards
Replies: 768
Views: 173306

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Quick summary is that BoA sent out a survey asking about potential changes to the Preferred Rewards program, and one proposed change is to reduce the Platinum Honors multiplier from 1.75x to 1.5x. That means that Cash Rewards categories could fall from 5.25% to 4.5%, and Premium Rewards cashback on...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards
Replies: 768
Views: 173306

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Has anyone else heard whether BofA is reducing their preferred rewards program? https://www.doctorofcredit.com/survey-bank-of-america-might-eliminate-75-platinum-honors-bonus-2-62-5-25-etc/ Quick summary is that BoA sent out a survey asking about potential changes to the Preferred Rewards program, ...
by FrugalProfessor
Sat Dec 05, 2020 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: backdoor Roth IRA pro rata rule
Replies: 38
Views: 1711

Re: backdoor Roth IRA pro rata rule

pingpong, how long do you expect to be at this job? Do you have any side income? If yes, you might be able to open a Solo 401k and roll the pre-tax portion of your tIRA into the Solo 401k. I am hoping to move within the next couple of years. Again, I do not know how the new employer's plan will be....
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Dec 04, 2020 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I've had it with TaxAct. Tell me about switching to H&R Block for 2020 taxes
Replies: 12
Views: 1320

Re: I've had it with TaxAct. Tell me about switching to H&R Block for 2020 taxes

Give FreetaxUSA a shot. . If you have experience doing your own taxes and all forms are covered I would not bother paying for premium. There is probably a way to upgrade during the process if you get stuck. +1 i use taxhawk, which is the same company. i used to use taxact when they were cheaper. th...
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Nov 27, 2020 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you handle Christmas presents with your spouse?
Replies: 41
Views: 2563

Re: How do you handle Christmas presents with your spouse?

No gifts for us. Gifts have never made sense to me.

If I want something more than money, I buy it. If not, I don't. Therefore, if I don't already own something, I've demonstrated through my actions that I prefer the equivalent amount of money.
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confused by which TurboTax product is best for me
Replies: 10
Views: 946

Re: Confused by which TurboTax product is best for me

I've used FreeTaxUSA since 2016, thanks to the suggestion in this forum. Prior to that I was with Turbotax for a decade. I'll never go back to TurboTax. FreeTaxUSA is free for federal and very reasonably priced for state. E-filings included. From what I can tell, it handles self-employment stuff eas...
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Nov 06, 2020 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's the benefit of paying out-of-pocket with HSA?
Replies: 24
Views: 2139

Re: What's the benefit of paying out-of-pocket with HSA?

1.) CC rewards (pretty trivial, but what's not to like about a free 2.625%) 2.) Less taxes (and consequently, more wealth) I wrote a blog post to quantify #2 here: https://frugalprofessor.com/paying-out-of-pocket-for-healthcare-rather-than-raiding-your-hsa/ It's not as big of a benefit as I would ha...
by FrugalProfessor
Sat Oct 31, 2020 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 5102
Views: 962771

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Here is the best but most complex plan I can think of: Hold the chase sapphire reserve for the 1.5% return on points. Groceries: Chase flex for 7.5% back for the next year Amazon: chase ink amazon gift cards bought at Office Depot 7.5% Flights: chase flex for 7.5% When booked from chase portal buyi...
by FrugalProfessor
Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC quotes (Replace both or just one unit??)
Replies: 37
Views: 2147

Re: HVAC quotes (Replace both or just one unit??)

One of my AC systems died a couple months ago. It was 18 years old, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. I'm a cheapskate (probably the understatement of the century). I opted to replace both HVAC systems for $11.5k because we were given a modest pricing discount to do them both. The main uni...