Search found 487 matches

by Darth Xanadu
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....
Replies: 72
Views: 7374

Re: Do I need an Amazon Echo??.....

mptfan wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:34 pm
harrington wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:49 pm
QVC is selling the full size Amazon Echo for $74.95 and free shipping. That's an amazing price but do I need one?
No.
Also, no.
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fisher Investments
Replies: 10
Views: 1579

Re: Fisher Investments

It's kind of funny, I saw a Fisher Investment ad on tv this evening, and their tagline is something along the lines of "we do better when you do better". But of course that doesn't mean it's relatively inexpensive. It's a carefully vague expression. I mean, that logic would apply if someone said I'l...
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ally just raised Online Savings accounts to 2% APY
Replies: 31
Views: 1639

Re: Ally just raised Online Savings accounts to 2% APY

Marcus (Goldman Sachs) raised to 2.05% a few weeks ago. Ally's no risk CD is 2.2%. I have my emergency fund in it. Totally liquid after 6 days. Exactly. 2.0% is not the number. 2.2% is really what Ally is offering. Isn't Vanguard muni MMF a better option. 2.2% translates to 1.496% at the 32% tax br...
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Old VALIC annuity
Replies: 3
Views: 174

Re: Old VALIC annuity

I have a similar product from Valic in the form of an inherited account. Fixed 4.5%. I count this as part of my fixed income allocation and, aside from required distributions, I let it be.
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did I miss this? Roth 401K
Replies: 8
Views: 1358

Re: How did I miss this? Roth 401K

It's hard to know for sure what the tax rate will be in 7 years, let alone 10-20 or more. I'm close to retirement-- and I wish I had more in Roth. Very true that it's highly dependent on individual circumstances. I'm in the opposite boat: I wish I had moved from Roth 401k contributions to tradition...
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Update Re: Hubby soon to be laid off
Replies: 14
Views: 1329

Re: Update Re: Hubby soon to be laid off

This is great, I"m happy for you both!

I try to max out my 401k by June/July precisely for this kind of scenario.
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it worth doing a Roth conversion now to avoid future backdoor pro rata headaches?
Replies: 6
Views: 580

Re: Is it worth doing a Roth conversion now to avoid future backdoor pro rata headaches?

Since you guys are 36/42 based on a post earlier this year, that's a lot of future years that she won't be able to do a backdoor Roth if you can't move the IRA it into her 401k. When I think about how the tax cost to do the conversion is the same amount of drop or increase across a few days in the ...
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fisher Investments
Replies: 10
Views: 1579

Re: Fisher Investments

Artful Dodger wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:13 pm
I'll be happy to share my experience with Fisher.
Thanks for sharing, good post! :beer
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ally just raised Online Savings accounts to 2% APY
Replies: 31
Views: 1639

Re: Ally just raised Online Savings accounts to 2% APY

fortfun wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:35 pm
thatme wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:31 pm
Marcus (Goldman Sachs) raised to 2.05% a few weeks ago.
Ally's no risk CD is 2.2%. I have my emergency fund in it. Totally liquid after 6 days.
Exactly. 2.0% is not the number. 2.2% is really what Ally is offering.
by Darth Xanadu
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting Threshold
Replies: 3
Views: 240

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting Threshold

What is the percentage loss of the holding you want to sell? If it is small you may not have a loss to harvest next year. Then again, the loss might be larger. If you wait don’t you have the same risk of just offsetting capital gains next year? Cheers It's about a 6% loss, so you are right, it migh...
by Darth Xanadu
Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting Threshold
Replies: 3
Views: 240

Tax Loss Harvesting Threshold

What is the minimum loss you'd need to pull the trigger to harvest for tax purposes? I have a lot I can sell for a $400 loss, what considerations would you take into account? I have over $5k of long-term capital gains I've realized this year, so I'm thinking of waiting until 2019 to do any TLH so th...
by Darth Xanadu
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Treadmill - Proposition 65 Warning Label
Replies: 22
Views: 2025

New Treadmill - Proposition 65 Warning Label

My wife and I just purchased a treadmill to have at home. Nothing fancy. It arrived yesterday, and as I was catching my breath after lugging the box up 3 flights of stairs, I saw the Proposition 65 Warning sticker on the box. The listed chemicals were Acrylamide and Toluene. Now, I appreciate the fa...
by Darth Xanadu
Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)
Replies: 46
Views: 4385

Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Interesting thread! My folks paid for most (65%?) of my undergrad (I graduated with no debt). Spouse's folks paid for full undergrad, plus a new vehicle as a graduation gift. In-laws paid for 80%+ of our wedding. I've received several $10k-$15k gifts from my folks (probably close to $40k over the ye...
by Darth Xanadu
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with windfall
Replies: 34
Views: 2650

Re: What to do with windfall

Don't forget that you don't have to fund all of college beforehand -- assuming your income is still good and you're in a good position with retirement, you can keep paying off the student loans (in whoever's name they might be) after college is through. This is an excellent point, and one that some...
by Darth Xanadu
Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%
Replies: 86
Views: 7616

Re: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%

That was my understanding. The Treasury Direct website previously showed my composite rate as 2.52%, but for some reason now shows 2.62%. What Treasury Direct web page? In my TD account, when I click on my own individual securities, the I-Bond I purchased in November 2018, which up until a few days...
by Darth Xanadu
Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%
Replies: 86
Views: 7616

Re: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%

I don't understand why my Series I savings bond rate changed. I bought it in September so the composite rate shouldn't change for 6 months I thought? Likely, many other don't understand it either. A Series I Savings Bonds issued in September 2018 has a fixed rate of 0.3%. The composite rate for its...
by Darth Xanadu
Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%
Replies: 86
Views: 7616

Re: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%

I don't understand why my Series I savings bond rate changed. I bought it in September so the composite rate shouldn't change for 6 months I thought?
by Darth Xanadu
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are we in trouble?
Replies: 106
Views: 12682

Re: Are we in trouble?

The issue is not the relative price of the homes as much as buying any home at all before selling the previous one. This was my thought as well. I've never sold a house, but my family and I are considering moving out-of-state in the next year. If this happens, we will rent until our house is sold, ...
by Darth Xanadu
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Order of Operations - What to hit first...
Replies: 8
Views: 1536

Re: Order of Operations - What to hit first...

Questions: 1. Over the past few years, we've been heavily paying down student loan debt (original value $75k) while cash flowing an MBA program ($15k out of pocket + employee sponsorship) and in 2019 will for the first time have extra funds to contribute elsewhere. Should I stop putting post tax do...
by Darth Xanadu
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do people calculate savings rate on gross income?
Replies: 118
Views: 7348

Re: Do people calculate savings rate on gross income?

marcopolo wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:50 am
I used gross income plus my employer 401k matching in the denominator.
It also got added to the numerator, since i was saving all of it.
I like this approach. If I ever decided to calculate mine, this is the method I would use.
by Darth Xanadu
Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security Max Taxable Earnings
Replies: 12
Views: 1732

Re: Social Security Max Taxable Earnings

Clever_Username wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:05 am
I really should get a Social Security statement at some point, I wonder how many of my past years count as earnings towards this.
Yes, at a minimum, you should be reviewing your earnings record that the SSA has on file for you annually to ensure accuracy.
by Darth Xanadu
Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2019 Retirement Contribution Limits Announced
Replies: 54
Views: 7021

Re: 401k/IRA contribution limits rise for 2019...

Our plan is to achieve max contributions for my 401k, and both my Roth IRA and my spouses Roth IRA. My spouse is not currently eligible for a 401k so if she becomes eligible in 2019 we will at least hit up to any match for which she is eligible, but highly unlikely to be able to max out for her.
by Darth Xanadu
Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Visa Rewards - Do you move the cash out of Fido?
Replies: 47
Views: 3453

Re: Fidelity Visa Rewards - Do you move the cash out of Fido?

IowaFarmBoy wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:39 am
My taxable account is there so I just have it deposited there and invest it along with my new contributions.
Same here.
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is HSA for us?
Replies: 9
Views: 907

Re: Is HSA for us?

Head of household with dependent children. ACA premium is low because of low income, but deductible is through the roof - 15k OOP for family, 6k per person. I consider it a catastrophic coverage essentially. Is HSA for us? Two concerns - HSA account left behind is treated as income to children, in ...
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%
Replies: 86
Views: 7616

Re: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%

I use Ibonds as part of my E-fund. Previously, they were a better deal even when held for 1 year than any other option. That's not quite the case anymore, but I still see plenty of benefits. For my fund, I use a high yield savings account (1.9%) with same day ACH for the first $5k, Vanguard Prime M...
by Darth Xanadu
Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Major Medical Expenses under HDHP
Replies: 31
Views: 3090

Re: First Major Medical Expenses under HDHP

I would use your emergency fund dollars. HSA are the most valuable dollars between all accounts so I tend to horde those. Look at it this way, use your emergency fund dollars and keep the reciept, if a real emergency comes up, you still have the option to use the HSA dollars at any time in the futu...
by Darth Xanadu
Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it okay to use backdoor Roth if ultimately below income limits?
Replies: 20
Views: 1107

Re: Is it okay to use backdoor ROTH if ultimately below income limits?

What's important to remember is that there is no such thing as a backdoor Roth. Sigh....really? And less than helpful. He has a legitimate point. There is no 'Backdoor Roth' account with requirements that differ from a TIRA or RIRA at each respective step. Its a strategy not an account. No, he has ...
by Darth Xanadu
Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it okay to use backdoor Roth if ultimately below income limits?
Replies: 20
Views: 1107

Re: Is it okay to use backdoor ROTH if ultimately below income limits?

What's important to remember is that there is no such thing as a backdoor Roth. Sigh....really? And less than helpful. He has a legitimate point. There is no 'Backdoor Roth' account with requirements that differ from a TIRA or RIRA at each respective step. Its a strategy not an account. No, he has ...
by Darth Xanadu
Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else feel giddy every time VXUS gets creamed? [Vanguard Total International]
Replies: 69
Views: 6229

Re: Anyone else feel giddy every time VXUS gets creamed?

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:28 pm
I wouldn't use any term similar to "giddy" to describe our feelings to anything about "the market", up, down, sideways, short-term, long-term...

RM
I concur. No more or less giddy than looking outside before heading out and noting that I need an umbrella, or sunglasses.
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high yield savings account for windfall
Replies: 17
Views: 1641

Re: high yield savings account for windfall

You said 6 months max? I wouldn't sweat it too much, go with what you feel comfortable with, the important decisions are yet to be made.

Edit, Disclosure: I use and like Ally.
by Darth Xanadu
Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly written IPS - looking for ideas and insight
Replies: 2
Views: 305

Re: Newly written IPS - looking for ideas and insight

Overall a very good start for your IPS. Hope you find my comments helpful. I did indeed find them very helpful, thank you for taking the time to read and provide your thoughts, I appreciate it! Retirement Goals Earliest of (i) 62 years old, (ii) $6M of assets (excluding real estate), or (iii) 50x a...
by Darth Xanadu
Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child
Replies: 16
Views: 1843

Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

If you are doing daycare in 2019, explore the option for Dependent Care FSA through work. You can get up to $5k tax-free towards child-care. You might have open enrollment starting soon so see if it makes sense for you before enrollment ends.
by Darth Xanadu
Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly written IPS - looking for ideas and insight
Replies: 2
Views: 305

Newly written IPS - looking for ideas and insight

Please critique my (brand new!) Investment Policy Statement, in particular please let me know if a) anything I've written is unclear or does not make sense, and, more importantly, 2) if there are any glaring omissions. I know some folks get to significant detail and I'm willing to add to this if oth...
by Darth Xanadu
Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Questions about saving for retirement - need basic advice
Replies: 15
Views: 1197

Re: Questions about saving for retirement - need basic advice

If you are married and your spouse earns any income (even part-time) you can set aside another 5,500 in their name. That's what I am currently doing. Whether you decide to go traditional or Roth is based on your situation. Hope this helps! I don't think there is a requirement for earned income for ...
by Darth Xanadu
Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For those who paid off house - how did you do it?
Replies: 97
Views: 7700

Re: For those who paid off house - how did you do it?

Question for those who are making extra payments towards principal. We are now almost 7 years into our 30 year mortgage (payment #81 out of 360). Due to extra principal payments over the last 6 years, the mortgage balance is now at what it would have been at payment #125, roughly $50k less than it ...
by Darth Xanadu
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-bonds or CDs
Replies: 10
Views: 2081

Re: I-bonds or CDs

If you do another CD I wouldn't buy a 5-year term for 3%, you can get a 1 year CD for not much less yield.
by Darth Xanadu
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Too Much Apple [AAPL] Stock
Replies: 55
Views: 5890

Re: Too Much APPL Stock

My portfolio consistes of approximately 22% of Appl stock. Is this the point to sell some of it? Is there a general rule of thumb for a maximum holding for a individual company? Not really, it's a very personal decision. However, the title of your post leads me to believe you think it's time to sel...
by Darth Xanadu
Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cross-country trip via Amtrak
Replies: 58
Views: 5645

Re: Cross-country trip via Amtrak

it looks like the cost for a round-trip, reserving a sleeping compartment, would be around $1800 - $2000. I know next to nothing about it, but it might be worth exploring Amtrak-branded rewards cards. I know in years past, friends have gotten decent bonuses (like maybe $500 worth of Amtrak points).
by Darth Xanadu
Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 5% ESPP
Replies: 16
Views: 1211

Re: 5% ESPP

5% off average (not lowest) is pretty bad, that could easily be higher than the current market price at the time of purchase. Between that and the 14-day minimum hold, I would probably skip and just invest normally. If you had a better ESPP (10% or 15% off, or even 5% off lowest) would probably sug...
by Darth Xanadu
Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with variable annuity at retirement age?
Replies: 8
Views: 546

Re: What to do with variable annuity at retirement age?

So it seems like this is the tradeoff: In selling the variable annuity, we'd pay tax on accumulated gains and lose future tax deferral. In exchange, we'd save over 0.4% in annual expenses and increase future tax efficiency (with future gains in the taxable account treated as qualified dividends and...
by Darth Xanadu
Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have you annuitized some of your money?
Replies: 67
Views: 5847

Re: Have you annuitized some of your money?

If the 401(k) money is pretax, then all annuity payments will be fully taxable because you have not paid taxes on the money. In addition, the amount annuitized will be removed from your 401(k) balance because you no longer own that money. This thread has been enlightening! Do most people pay with p...
by Darth Xanadu
Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids and Money
Replies: 38
Views: 1875

Re: Kids and Money

staythecourse wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:04 pm

The only real answer is there is no answer
Well, in that case we can close the thread anyway :wink:
by Darth Xanadu
Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend lost job, getting a lump sum severance... What should we do next
Replies: 36
Views: 3149

Re: Girlfriend lost job, getting a lump sum severance... What should we do next

But my current bigger concern is , assuming she is out of job for 3-6 months; what are the things i should be aware off? 1. Health insurance? How expensive can Cobra be? 2. What to do with the severance package? Should we save this in the emergency fund? Anything else , we should be aware off? 3. w...
by Darth Xanadu
Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with inheritance
Replies: 17
Views: 2464

Re: What to do with inheritance

I wouldn't go quick in the mortgage. Your rate is good. And looking better by the day. Considering maxing retirement is smart. Just you with 401k? (Wife doesn't have any access as public employee No 403b or 457b?). That could put you near 12% bracket? Agree with others about 529. Don't be in a hurr...
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth if income is in phase out range
Replies: 13
Views: 688

Re: Backdoor Roth if income is in phase out range

There are no income restrictions on making a non-deductible IRA contribution and then converting to a Roth IRA.

Edit: So, to more specifically answer your question, you can wait until next year and know for sure and mess around with the math, or just do the back-door for the full amount.
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax saving/investing tips for onetime bonus
Replies: 10
Views: 559

Re: Tax saving/investing tips for onetime bonus

I agree (except I think the $15k should go to me).

Throw it into taxable if the other options are addressed. Simple, boring, and effective!
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Divorced -- Need Help [looking for new credit card]
Replies: 73
Views: 7263

Re: Just Divorced -- Need Help

While these comments are true, OP did state the he would be getting a bonus in March and would (presumably) pay off the debt then. So the 0% is really to bridge the gap.
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: To Roth IRA or Not
Replies: 13
Views: 1028

Re: To ROTH IRA or Not

Maximize all retirement accounts, if possible, before taxable investing. If your income is too high to directly contribute to a Roth IRA, you can use the two-step Backdoor Roth method (only problem is if you have a large Traditional (non-Roth) IRA). I agree with this. Lots of advantages of a Roth t...
by Darth Xanadu
Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: anybody sell I Bonds to buy something else?
Replies: 38
Views: 3598

Re: anybody sell I Bonds to buy something else?

I think that there is a good chance that I will sell some/all to buy college educations for my kids over the course of the next few years. Same. I'm building my I-Bonds now, and the purpose of this part of my portfolio is fluid. For the next number of years, this will serve as 2nd tier emergency fu...
by Darth Xanadu
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 7837
Views: 1608522

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

Simply bleeding cash. :annoyed

Edit: But, refreshingly indifferent about it :beer