Search found 8981 matches

by BL
Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Merrill Lynch charges high fees]
Replies: 43
Views: 3855

Re: [Merrill Lynch charges high fees]

Advisory fees. He's received zero professional advisory services for at least the past year. I suspect there is more to the story. I am willing to bet that your father's agreement with Merrill refers to more than "advisory fees." In my experience, agreements with brokers and other large financial i...
by BL
Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Target Retirement/Life Strategy vs 4 Fund DIY balancing
Replies: 24
Views: 3319

Re: Vanguard Target Retirement/Life Strategy vs 4 Fund DIY balancing

danceswithhammer, the fact is....it is not going to matter much. Either you have enough money or you don't. From a financial perspective, whether your money gets put into a Target Retirement fund or a LifeStrategy Fund or into 4 individual funds is completely irrelevant. All of those are reasonable...
by BL
Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stuck Planning Life Insurace+ Military Pension + Savings
Replies: 5
Views: 393

Re: Stuck Planning Life Insurace+ Military Pension + Savings

Unless you can get it cheaper, I would hang unto existing policies and just add others as needed. Not simple to figure it out, but SBP after retirement is a good COLA-enhanced security of up to 55% Children would be eligible for SS until age 18, and survivor parent if income from work is low until ...
by BL
Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Personal Finance is not taught in Schools in the US
Replies: 59
Views: 2213

Re: Why Personal Finance is not taught in Schools in the US

Perhaps it should be worked into math curriculum. Certainly math problems (or some of them) could be about financial problems. +1 Same goes for (formerly) Home Ec type classes, economics, etc. I don't have a lot of confidence in the teacher's knowledge nor study materials that may have a conflict o...
by BL
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment
Replies: 31
Views: 2427

Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Encourage her to:
Save as much as possible for future lack of income.

Start looking for work elsewhere. It is often easier to get a job when you have a job.

Find ways to counteract the stress: exercise, eat right, sleep enough, etc.
by BL
Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stuck Planning Life Insurace+ Military Pension + Savings
Replies: 5
Views: 393

Re: Stuck Planning Life Insurace+ Military Pension + Savings

Unless you can get it cheaper, I would hang unto existing policies and just add others as needed. Not simple to figure it out, but SBP after retirement is a good COLA-enhanced security of up to 55% Children would be eligible for SS until age 18, and survivor parent if income from work is low until c...
by BL
Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ferri? Or Vanguard PAS?
Replies: 45
Views: 3018

Re: Ferri? Or Vanguard PAS?

I believe the few that have been mentioned are mentioned because there are so few of them around that are respected and recommend a portfolio that won't have a conflict of interest. Until recently, PAS is the only one I would recommend. I know there may be other good ones, but the chances of finding...
by BL
Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Merrill Lynch charges high fees]
Replies: 43
Views: 3855

Re: [Merrill Lynch charges high fees]

$450/month on how much AUM? Number of transactions means nothing; the lower the better if they are just messing with them. I suggest you find out what Vanguard PAS would do for him. You would get a known portfolio, known costs (0.3% of AUM/year), very low-cost (low-ER) funds and no taking advantage ...
by BL
Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I start indexing NOW in current Market?
Replies: 26
Views: 3154

Re: Should I start indexing NOW in current Market?

Investing here generally means for retirement, not for needs of less than 5 years. You should be saving in CDs, money market or savings accounts that yield over 2% (now), but which are either guaranteed by FDIC (banks), NCUA (credit unions) or perhaps uninsured MM at Vanguard (Prime, treasury, or fe...
by BL
Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to calculate Capital Gain Taxes?
Replies: 6
Views: 594

Re: How to calculate Capital Gain Taxes?

In my Vanguard account, there is an option to set the cost basis method as Specific Id, which allows you to select the specific lots you want to sell. Each lot is the purchase you made on one day, which includes any re-investing you may do. It should show the "unrealized gains" for that purchase, wh...
by BL
Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on what cost basis to use to sell VTSAX
Replies: 10
Views: 1130

Re: Advice on what cost basis to use to sell VTSAX

Agree to set to Spec Id and sell as you planned. From the lots from 2012 to 1 year ago, sell the lots with lowest gains until you have enough. These are all COVERED shares and will have the gains reported by Vanguard to you and to IRS. This may very well include small lots of re-invested dividends, ...
by BL
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Switching from passive to active management
Replies: 100
Views: 6877

Re: Switching form passive to active management

I haven't done the math, but I expect a 60/40 balanced Vanguard fund (Balanced Fund, Life Strategy Moderate, Wellington (active), or other ones) would give you as good results as a "managed" active investment with "advisor" with more risk (70/30).
by BL
Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Would appreciate thoughts on investing IRA rollover
Replies: 8
Views: 419

Re: Would appreciate thoughts on investing IRA rollover

Just in case you missed it, you can give to charity with part or all of your RMD, or up to $100k/year with QCD (qualified charitable distributions).
by BL
Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Passive vs active for parent's retirement
Replies: 19
Views: 1156

Re: Passive vs active for parent's retirement

Here is a quick 16-page free pdf with lots of good info. Read hurdle #5 about those who want to handle your money:
https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf

Then read a couple books from recommended list in Wiki.
by BL
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Engineer to Potato farmer? What are retirement options?
Replies: 11
Views: 1595

Re: Engineer to Potato farmer? What are retirement options?

Sometimes you have to follow your dreams. But I have the same mentioned concerns as well as seeing that you have debts to clean up: 2 cars, HLOC, as well as most of your mortgage. So none of you have backup funds for emergencies. Borrowing money would be the only option. Remember, rates could eventu...
by BL
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to invest 180 k in cash - special circumstances
Replies: 15
Views: 1243

Re: Best way to invest 180 k in cash - special circumstances

I have set up my Vanguard MM with checks, so all I would have to do is write a check for that money. Also sending directly to your bank (linked) should take a couple days, so probably that would work just fine. Allow a couple extra days for safety.
by BL
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 34yo, baby on way, leaving expensive financial advisor... Please Help!
Replies: 27
Views: 2529

Re: 34yo, baby on way, leaving expensive financial advisor... Please Help!

I may have missed it but I didn't see anyone specifically mention that low-cost means low-ER (Expense Ratio). Anything below 0.20% might be considered low-ER. I think the Vanguard 3-funds are between 0.04 and 0.11% ERs. Here is a Wiki page with suggestions for the low-ER 3 funds in Vanguard, Fidelit...
by BL
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Multiple Beneficiaries on a bank account
Replies: 17
Views: 1183

Re: Multiple Beneficiaries on a bank account

I think you should ask them. At Vanguard you can have Primary and Secondary beneficiaries. I know you can have multiple secondary or you can use : "to my children who survive me per stirpes" which I understand to mean it goes to that child's kids if child has died and his/her share only goes to the ...
by BL
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Expense ratio 3 fund vs TR
Replies: 6
Views: 581

Re: Expense ratio 3 fund vs TR

Noticed the combined ER of my 3 fund with admiral shares is .20%. VFORX has a ER of .14% using the same 3 funds plus Int. Bond. What gives? Newbie question I'm sure. You don’t go by a combined ER. It is the weighted average ER. +1 The average ER is never higher than the highest ER of the 3, which p...
by BL
Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial planning now that retired
Replies: 49
Views: 6846

Re: Financial planning now that retired

thank you! Yes, I agree it has gone on too long with EJ. Over 20 years I think. I am reading, Bogle book just arrived today. Don't want to go from the fire into the frying pan. look into Vanguard also. Now that retired, can spend time on this. I like to chime in on these type of threads but will li...
by BL
Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA Withdrawal Choice
Replies: 7
Views: 687

Re: Roth IRA Withdrawal Choice

I don't know where you are investing, but I use Vanguard and there are no fees (if you take on-line reports/statements when they are below a certain $ amount) whatsoever. Funds are between 0.04 - 0.11 - 0.3% for most things. Total Stock Market, is about 0.04% ER (Expense Ratio). No account fees. No ...
by BL
Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA Withdrawal Choice
Replies: 7
Views: 687

Re: Roth IRA Withdrawal Choice

I hope the amount of withdrawal is below the amount of contributions. Only contributions, not gains, are penalty-free. Both have the same yearly management fee. Ouch! I prefer to avoid management fees, loads, and higher Expense Ratios (ER), and buy index funds at a brokerage like Vanguard. Look arou...
by BL
Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Planning Advice Please
Replies: 21
Views: 1447

Re: Tax Planning Advice Please

Have you asked Calvert (or carefully checked their financial statements) about the cost basis? Since it probably has been with them the entire time, they may very well have the data. If dividends were reinvested, that means you have a bunch of separate purchases with each reinvestment, and hopefully...
by BL
Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree with no retirement accounts
Replies: 34
Views: 4059

Re: Retiree with no retirement accounts

I think "simplicity" should be the key word here. Make it easy for her to manage (to the best of her abilities) and understand. I know I would like it this way myself, if I had to lean on someone to help. Look at expenses and current income. Does she need more than SS + pension? If so, I really like...
by BL
Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To avoid state taxes which fund is better Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX) or
Replies: 7
Views: 919

Re: To avoid state taxes which fund is better Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX) or

AFAIK, the treasury MM would not have state taxes.
The federal may vary with states and not be 100% exempt.
by BL
Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: transferring money from an IRA acct into a new IRA acct. with a check
Replies: 24
Views: 1323

Re: transferring money from an IRA acct into a new IRA acct. with a check

I would ask my bank to do a "pull" from Vanguard ASAP to the account (IRA) you set up. Hopefully they would do it and might credit you with the money even before you receive it. Sorry, I have only gone the other way, V pulling from bank, or PenFed pulling from bank, so don't know how this specific b...
by BL
Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bad 401K or Roth IRA for a 12% tax bracket couples?
Replies: 18
Views: 1012

Re: Bad 401K or Roth IRA for a 12% tax bracket couples?

Spouse can do all the fixed income needed + any equities and you can do S&P 500. Figure out the grand total % you want and then split it up to where it fits the best. Roth is good but so is saving on taxes now so you can put in more $ now with the savings in tax. Unless you have a pension, you may b...
by BL
Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preparing my wife for financial life without me.
Replies: 95
Views: 10570

Re: Preparing my wife for financial life without me.

I suggest everybody should be setting up password access for both parties. It may not be legal to use another person's password, especially to make financial changes, such as at Vanguard. We have set up things so each has access and authority to make changes, but would each do it with our own passwo...
by BL
Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transitioning from advisor selected funds to Vanguard funds in Taxable
Replies: 13
Views: 585

Re: Transitioning from advisor selected funds to Vanguard funds in Taxable

A lot of Bogleheads only use the international bonds if they use certain balanced funds or have funds managed by PAS at V. Maybe check their tax-efficiency before buying. Agree that taxable bonds may work better than munis for now but keep checking that. Have you considered keeping your bonds in ret...
by BL
Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Getting Rid of Roboadvisor
Replies: 4
Views: 856

Re: Getting Rid of Roboadvisor

I would sell and start over at a brokerage like V. I would not pick Total World just for TLH wash sale avoidance. If it satisfies your wishes otherwise then it is fine. A Wash sale is not illegal. If you expect to sell, just turn off reinvestments and hold off on buying the same funds. There are TLH...
by BL
Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Money Market for Savings
Replies: 9
Views: 1390

Re: Vanguard Money Market for Savings

There are minimums on some MM funds so check for that. Also see if taking statements online will avoid low balance fees. There may not be a big difference in interest with some Ally bank offerings, for example.
by BL
Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I'm 50, should I open a Roth or a Traditional IRA
Replies: 18
Views: 1727

Re: I'm 50, should I open a Roth or a Traditional IRA

I suggest you save money in savings or money market until you have done your taxes early next year, then invest in Roth or trad. IRA based on what you find out. Maybe even do a trial 1040 in December and decide where to put it. Even if it is possible, I just don't like trying to change them after it...
by BL
Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing a windfall when the market is at “an all-time high?”
Replies: 33
Views: 3691

Re: Investing a windfall when the market is at “an all-time high?”

If you are scared, it doesn't make sense that your alternative is to put it all into stock fund. Maybe stick with your current AA for now, and change to all stock later "when stocks fall". No harm in dollar cost averaging if it makes you feel better. Set it up automatically if possible, kick in extr...
by BL
Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Might be/probably am trying to time the market? Need help.
Replies: 5
Views: 538

Re: Might be/probably am trying to time the market? Need help.

I'm 31, don't know what I'm doing and don't have much money. But I dutifully put about 30% of what I make into a wealthfront traditional ira every month. It looks like this: ASSET CLASS TARGET CURRENT RETURN U.S. Stocks 21% 21.9% 6.5% Foreign Stocks 14% 13.7% -1.2% Emerging Markets 4% 3.9% 4.1% Rea...
by BL
Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Any other options to reduce AGI / taxable income?
Replies: 30
Views: 1540

Re: Any other options to reduce AGI / taxable income?

747driver wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:32 pm
ChinchillaWhiplash wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:56 pm
Donations
+1. Donate to charity, especially your highly appreciated shares in your taxable account. Cheers.
+1
and consider a donor-advised fund (DAF) donation of several years worth of donations to bring it up to being worth itemizing.
by BL
Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DAF grants to public radio "state agency" org.
Replies: 12
Views: 611

Re: DAF grants to public radio "state agency" org.

There may be a community foundation in your area that functions as an umbrella organization for several groups.
by BL
Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Requesting a retirement consultation
Replies: 7
Views: 1075

Re: Requesting a retirement consulation

One way to compare lump-sum vs. annuity is to see what you could buy with the lump sum at a place like ImmediateAnnuities.com. That would show you what you could buy with the lump sum (even if you don't actually buy it.) There is a lot to be said for a lifetime coverage of a pension. Is there any CO...
by BL
Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I'm 50, should I open a Roth or a Traditional IRA
Replies: 18
Views: 1727

Re: I'm 50, should I open a Roth or a Traditional IRA

My first reaction was do a Roth IRA. However, you are in a spot right now where low income credits might need to be considered. The Earned Income Credit ($519 credit maximum for a single filer) would be one to consider, to see whether lowering income with a traditional IRA would give you a credit, a...
by BL
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New to investment
Replies: 15
Views: 805

Re: New to investment

You need to know that Roth IRA allows you to withdraw contributions, but not gains, with no tax or penalty. I think there may also be more for first time home purchase but forget. Anyway, it is best not to withdraw, but good to know it is possible. Some even use it as a secondary emergency fund. Any...
by BL
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement planning for my mother
Replies: 10
Views: 652

Re: Retirement planning for my mother

Age 65 = Sign up for Medicare Part A (and part B if not covered from work) Also does she qualify for Tricare for Life at 65? (married to ex-spouse while on 20-years active duty, IIRC). Would probably sign up at 65 even if still covered at work for supplemental coverage. Would pay for Part B if not w...
by BL
Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any insurance beating USAA?
Replies: 42
Views: 3059

Re: Any insurance beating USAA?

My husband always used USAA, citing that he’d seen them go above and beyond for an insurance claim. (His family is all military, mine is civilian, so I had no experience with it). I used Sate Farm, Allstate or similar, mostly based on rates. After researching and finding complaints on USAA, we opte...
by BL
Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I cash out I-bonds? (And other questions.)
Replies: 9
Views: 1331

Re: Should I cash out I-bonds? (And other questions.)

If you wait until Dec. 1, 3 of the 4 will be 5 years old so no loss of 3 months interest on those 3.
Probably small enough cost to just get it over with though.
by BL
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retired: Don't want to outlive my funds
Replies: 62
Views: 6588

Re: Retired: Don't want to outlive my funds

There is no rush to make final decision on your money. Just park it in a comfortable place where you can get a bit of interest on it, maybe 2+%. It is recommended that one should delay unnecessary decisions for up to a year after events such as a death in family; there is already enough stress so th...
by BL
Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy a condo in Chicago?
Replies: 52
Views: 5279

Re: Should I buy a condo in Chicago?

If I were a single person, I would not be in a rush to purchase. There can be advantages to a couple purchasing together and making a life there. Otherwise one is just "moving in" with the other, and has basically no say in many of the choices. To me it would limit my freedom, unless I were just dyi...
by BL
Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Questions about bonds in taxable because maxed-out in non-taxable
Replies: 8
Views: 928

Re: Questions about bonds in taxable because maxed-out in non-taxable

Will look for calculator you mention that customizes options for determining when to take SS. Are programs you mentioned that consider future taxes cited somewhere else on BH Forum or Wiki? Many thanks for your input! :happy Just thinking about using HRBlock, TurboTax, or other tax prep programs to...
by BL
Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Questions about bonds in taxable because maxed-out in non-taxable
Replies: 8
Views: 928

Re: Questions about bonds in taxable because maxed-out in non-taxable

Buying a COLA'd annuity (SS) by delaying SS might be a good investment as it is the best annuity you can buy with COLA. Spend some of your other money instead while waiting. This might depend on if you have a higher life-expectancy due to health or genetics. There is a recommended calculator for thi...
by BL
Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question re: my Eclipse Indexed Univ Life Policy
Replies: 4
Views: 343

Re: Question re: my Eclipse Indexed Univ Life Policy

White coat investor describes this here: https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/5-reasons-not-to-buy-indexed-universal-life-insurance/ Kitces may have useful info as well: https://www.kitces.com/blog/why-cancelling-an-existing-whole-life-or-universal-life-policy-may-be-a-bad-idea/ These things are so com...
by BL
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The problem in retirement we rarely discuss [what to do with stock funds]
Replies: 58
Views: 6096

Re: The problem in retirement we rarely discuss [what to do with stock funds]

You might search for IRA conversion to Roth IRA, as in each case you are increasing your income. For example, between retirement and starting SS at age 70, many have a lower income time when it makes sense to do either which increases income. Some will do it any time to the top of their tax bracket....
by BL
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liquidating inherited IRA, donating to DAF
Replies: 12
Views: 582

Re: Liquidating inherited IRA, donating to DAF

Are you using all the tax deferrals in retirement accounts (assuming you are still working)? If not, you could put money into that and withdraw that amount from your inherited IRA. You could spread out the withdrawals over a few years: for example, 10k for each of 3 years, if that would have less ef...
by BL
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Contribute to an ira after returement
Replies: 11
Views: 1025

Re: Contribute to an ira after returement

One of the spouses must be working at least a bit in order for either to contribute anything, because total contribution is limited by compensation or $7000 each (if over age 50), which ever is lower.