Search found 611 matches

by masteraleph
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 403b: worth it or not?
Replies: 18
Views: 1957

Re: 403b: worth it or not?

My pension has been in Critical and Declining Status for years and shows no signs of going the other way. Pension is an anger-provoking word to me. Don't understand: I already have a Vanguard Roth IRA, which I have maxed out every year: how can I have a Roth 403b, too? Thought I can only have one R...
by masteraleph
Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi extenders vs Mesh network
Replies: 54
Views: 4459

Re: Wifi extenders vs Mesh network

Still a fan of the Orbis. Bottom line: extenders are a headache, often have reduced bandwidth, and typically don't handle handoffs correctly (handoffs being when your device switches access points because the signal from AP#1 is low and the signal from AP#2 is good). Mesh networks are set up to do a...
by masteraleph
Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Former bond king Gross says chances of beating the market 'much less' now
Replies: 19
Views: 2590

Re: Former bond king Gross says chances of beating the market 'much less' now

He’s basically saying that there used to be more ways to exploit inefficiencies in the market, and now that it’s been well studied, there aren’t. That shouldn’t be shocking to anyone, but it’s nice to see someone who was involved in active trading (of bonds) acknowledge that. This who are still in t...
by masteraleph
Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving 401K to Vanguard: Seeking Advice
Replies: 3
Views: 333

Re: Moving 401K to Vanguard: Seeking Advice

I'm 61 years old and took a separation package from my company. I'm looking at rolling 75% of three 401k's into a single Vanguard IRA. The other 25% will be moved into Vanguard IRA's with more risk reward potential. It sounds to me like you're a little confused about your terminology. An IRA is an ...
by masteraleph
Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer to Vanguard and medallion signature guarantee
Replies: 28
Views: 4187

Re: Transfer to Vanguard and medallion signature guarantee

I believe the only time I’ve needed one was signing up for a Treasury Direct account.
by masteraleph
Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Making sense of 403b with no match
Replies: 13
Views: 751

Re: Making sense of 403b with no match

1) You don't specify whether or not you're married or whether that's possible in the future. That would obviously have an effect on your tax bracket- perhaps drastically, if you're the higher earner. 2) For most people, even if they end up in a higher tax bracket in the future, a non-Roth 401k/403b,...
by masteraleph
Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife does not hold job but still invested question
Replies: 13
Views: 1479

Re: Wife does not hold job but still invested question

One note- you’re totally right and he’s wrong. But it’s worth noting that she can’t claim the Saver’s Credit, which is restricted from full time students- it’s possible that’s what the professional was thinking of?
by masteraleph
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article recommending Boglehead books
Replies: 0
Views: 198

Article recommending Boglehead books

Slate.com has a new article featuring 13 personal finance related book recommendations. Amongst the recommendations are both The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing and Bogle’s The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. Article can be found at https://slate.com/human-interest/2019/02/best-personal-financ...
by masteraleph
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax law expiring in 2025
Replies: 22
Views: 2223

Re: Tax law expiring in 2025

Fill in your HSA too- basically, anything that can come out tax free. Remember that HSAs can be used to pay Medicare premiums tax free in addition to saving receipts. Also, it’s not relevant now, but to the degree that things revert to more itemized deductions available and lower standard deductions...
by masteraleph
Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport Photos ?
Replies: 85
Views: 4318

Re: Passport Photos ?

Our local CVS was really, really good about taking pictures of our daughter. She was 2 at the time, and has some special needs that make it very hard for her to sit still and focus directly on something, but she was still subject to the various rules (no smiling, etc). They probably spent 15 minutes...
by masteraleph
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard website help? Opening IRA specific.
Replies: 2
Views: 173

Re: Vanguard website help? Opening IRA specific.

Wouldn’t she need to have her own online account? I believe it’s possible to grant some control over some accounts to other online accounts, but her accounts almost certainly need to be under her access, not yours.
by masteraleph
Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 Pro Activation Keys [Inexpensive keys for sale]
Replies: 21
Views: 2123

Re: Windows 10 Pro Activation Keys [Inexpensive keys for sale]

No, they're not legal.

Of note, though: Windows 10 now attaches to the account, rather than to the hardware. So an OEM version (which used to be attached to the motherboard) can now be legitimately move from computer to computer forever.
by masteraleph
Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing Vanguard or American Funds via TIAA-CREF
Replies: 22
Views: 1385

Re: Investing Vanguard or American Funds via TIAA-CREF

As others have mentioned, you might want to look into Traditional as a possible substitute for some of your bonds. The advantage is a guaranteed interest rate for the year and no loss of principal, whereas in a bond fund, your interest rate could go up (and therefore your principal would go down), o...
by masteraleph
Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptops - swapping hard drives
Replies: 18
Views: 828

Re: Laptops - swapping hard drives

One addendum to RickBoglehead- Windows 10 installations SHOULD now be tied to your account. But make sure they are before switching them over, if possible.
by masteraleph
Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Really need help with new computer purchase!
Replies: 89
Views: 4365

Re: Really need help with new computer purchase!

To All 2. RE:monitor - I hadn’t given thought to my existing monitor (purchased in 2009) and hook up to a new computer! Hope this isn’t a problem. My monitor is an HP2009m 20” 16.9 LCD monitor. W/VGA & DVI-D connections. 4.Thank you for the advice regarding SSD vs standard on an older computer. The...
by masteraleph
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Really need help with new computer purchase!
Replies: 89
Views: 4365

Re: Really need help with new computer purchase!

A few comments: 1) Others have noted the advantages of a Costco warranty/service. 2) Microcenter is quite good too- they're well known for offering very nice prices on some things in store, and are a definite step up in terms of equipment and knowledge vs. Best Buy. I don't know to what extent they ...
by masteraleph
Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I contest a medical bill with doctor's office if insurance says it's not covered?
Replies: 29
Views: 2786

Re: Can I contest a medical bill with doctor's office if insurance says it's not covered?

CF testing would make sense as part of blood work- if nothing shows, then there's no concern; if your wife was a carrier, they'd probably recommend testing you, and if you were a carrier, doing CVT or amniocentesis. Given that genetic diseases don't necessarily manifest themselves in family members,...
by masteraleph
Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me understand Google Drive
Replies: 17
Views: 1869

Re: Help me understand Google Drive

Ideally you want to have Drive ("Backup and Sync" I think it's called now) installed on all your PCs. That will duplicate all of the files in Drive on those PCs and in the cloud, and you'll be able to access it where and when you want. If you save the Publisher file somewhere else on your computer, ...
by masteraleph
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone affected by the government shutdown?
Replies: 35
Views: 3129

Re: Anyone affected by the government shutdown?

Not directly yet. But there are a lot of people, in addition to those in this thread, who may need to start planning- people used to getting their tax refunds as soon as possible (especially those who need the money), for example. I'm sure that customs enforcement will start slowing down at some poi...
by masteraleph
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I bother with 529s?
Replies: 36
Views: 2881

Re: Should I bother with 529s?

It’s page 14 in pub 970- no double benefit allowed (a 529 is a QTP).

Note that you can claim the AOTC and use a 529 if your expenses are high enough- if you had to pay $10k, for example, you could pay $5k out of pocket and claim the AOTC and $5k out of the 529 tax free. You just can’t double dip.
by masteraleph
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 403b rollover help -- time limited?
Replies: 4
Views: 195

Re: 403b rollover help -- time limited?

1) The 60 day limit is if they send a check to you. You wouldn't want them to do that anyways- you want them to transfer directly to the new custodian. In general, when you leave an employer, you can leave the money in their 401k/403b indefinitely. 2) I know that they can refuse to accept rollovers ...
by masteraleph
Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 non-qualified withdrawal penalty and tax question
Replies: 10
Views: 830

Re: 529 non-qualified withdrawal penalty and tax question

I'd also note that the words "graduate school" haven't popped up here anywhere- another way to spend down a 529.
by masteraleph
Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Vanguard Total World instead of VTI and VXUS.
Replies: 10
Views: 2430

Re: Why Vanguard Total World instead of VTI and VXUS.

Some people like to tilt more towards the US than current market weight- some because they think the US is in a better place overall, some because the US is their home country and therefore lacks currency risk for Americans. Also, it’s easier to tax loss harvest with separate funds.
by masteraleph
Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 12414
Views: 2147556

Re: U.S. stocks in free fall

The algorithms are confused. Two point swing in an hour for no reason. VTI is selling at a premium. Smart money says buy. That's probably not algorithms, actually (or not exclusively). Traders were betting that the Fed was going to include language in their statement that made future rate increases...
by masteraleph
Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High Expense 403B
Replies: 24
Views: 1079

Re: High Expense 403B

It's a public K12 school. There are other 403 providers, but they are through life insurance companies/annuities. I will try to check into the 457B option. It wasn't on the list of offerings I was given, but sounds like something I should check into, If you can list all of the providers, that would...
by masteraleph
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who is buying SCV, EM, Intl SC
Replies: 41
Views: 3054

Re: Who is buying SCV, EM, Intl SC

We'll probably do some contributing to Total International (which obviously includes Intl SC and EM) in January when we contribute to our IRAs. Looks to me like most of our overvaluation is actually in S&P, though with the current drops, who knows where we'll be in a month? I am expecting that, desp...
by masteraleph
Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for Home Printer
Replies: 41
Views: 2288

Re: Recommendations for Home Printer

I'm another person who will suggest Brother (and specifically the L2340DW). Wifi on a printer is very nice.
by masteraleph
Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: “The Worst Kind of Bear Market”
Replies: 23
Views: 4898

Re: “The Worst Kind of Bear Market”

I'm very, very suspicious of any article about the bond market in real terms that starts its analysis in 1940. Why? Because despite the author's claim regarding inflation, there was significant inflation during the 1940s and early 1950s, initially due to the war effort, then due to the relative lack...
by masteraleph
Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flattening yield curve
Replies: 55
Views: 5402

Re: FLATTENING YIELD CURVE

Possibly, but in the longer term. That is, I wouldn't expect a recession in the next 12 months, but it also wouldn't shock me to see one in the next two years. Spikes in real estate prices and higher mortgage rates and corresponding decreases in demand and increases in inventory point in the same di...
by masteraleph
Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did Jeff Bezos just pull a Henry Ford?
Replies: 32
Views: 2834

Re: Did Jeff Bezos just pull a Henry Ford?

Amazon just raised the minimum wage for its employees, about 250,000 affected workers, to $15 an hour. The company said it would also lobby Washington to raise the federal minimum wage, which has been set at $7.25 for almost a decade. Amazon actually did a relatively similar thing on sales tax- the...
by masteraleph
Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why TIPS only for unexpected inflation?
Replies: 27
Views: 2815

Re: Why tips only for unexpected inflation?

If inflation turns out to be 5%, the real yield on the bonds would be -2%. What would the real yield on TIPS be? Still 1%? Yes. That's the point- you're exchanging nominal guaranteed returns for guaranteed inflation protection. It's worth noting that the yield is taxable (federally) regardless. Tha...
by masteraleph
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card spending $20000
Replies: 10
Views: 2039

Re: Credit card spending $20000

Hi BHs- Looking for a CC advise with 1) excellent cash back or air miles 2) any signing up bonuses and 3) preferably No foreign transaction fees 4) ofcourse no annual fee unless free first year and no restriction to cancel 2nd year Will be spending $15-20k in 1-2 months..most on airlines tickets he...
by masteraleph
Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BlackFriday Shopping - what do you usually buy? (other than Christmas gifts)
Replies: 36
Views: 2832

Re: BlackFriday Shopping - what do you usually buy? (other than Christmas gifts)

Previously decided against smart switches, but might go for it if good ones are on sale again. Considering building a new computer- I'll see if any of the components I might want are on sale at that point.
by masteraleph
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wolters Kluwer announces 2019 Inflation Adj
Replies: 5
Views: 1254

Re: Wolters Kluwer announces 2019 Inflation Adj

Thesaints wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:07 pm
Looks like standard deduction would only increase 1.67% vs. a CPI inflation of ~2.5%...
That’s the “Chained CPI-U mentioned above.
by masteraleph
Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 529 Withdrawal of Basis
Replies: 13
Views: 929

Re: 529 Withdrawal of Basis

The 10% penalty is also waived if the 529 funds are disbursed b/c the parent needed to use own funds in order to take advantage of AOTC. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something, but is this true? Things I've read indicate a person can't disperse 529 money to pay for qualified educational expenses an...
by masteraleph
Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Varying college costs across kids in the same family
Replies: 92
Views: 5541

Re: Varying college costs across kids in the same family

This really depends on your reasons for paying for college and the relationship you have with your kids. If you're paying for college because you want them to go debt free into life, and you treat college as a learning process, then you should probably pay full ride regardless. If you're trying to u...
by masteraleph
Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another W4 Tax question...
Replies: 9
Views: 649

Re: Yet another W4 Tax question...

Okay thank you! You broke it down the way I needed too. Ill give you my information to maybe help the numbers a bit better. I live in Illinois, and earn 60,363.00 a year. I get paid semi monthly and have a gross check of 2525.10. With the way I have it setup now, Im seeing 1495.96 per check (401k a...
by masteraleph
Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another W4 Tax question...
Replies: 9
Views: 649

Re: Yet another W4 Tax question...

1) First of all, the actual W-4 is just the bottom half of the first page. You'll note, if you look at it, that there is nowhere on there that says "dependents"- line 5 is Allowances. The way the W-4 works is that when you check off the married box, your employer withholds a certain amount of money ...
by masteraleph
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 403b rules and advice
Replies: 8
Views: 567

Re: 403b rules and advice

Hi all, Long time lurker, appreciate your time and advice. I was promoted this past month with a raise in salary (yay) and I now have access to 403b/457 plans with some great devices (including most if not all of the Vanguard low ER institutional funds). I am fully vested and have a plan for AA, bu...
by masteraleph
Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What kind of medical events that may ruin your retirement?
Replies: 73
Views: 6042

Re: What kind of medical events that may ruin your retirement?

My mother was diagnosed with MS at 60. She very quickly lost function- her last vacation was a year later, her last visit to family a year and a half after that, and by three and a half years in basically spent every day in a specialized recliner, occasionally being hoisted into a wheelchair to go o...
by masteraleph
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvest int. Muni fund vanguard question
Replies: 2
Views: 231

Re: Tax loss harvest int. Muni fund vanguard question

The 6 month rule is not applicable with most Vanguard muni funds (including VWIUX, which I think is what you're referring to). It is applicable on the Tax Exempt Bond Index Admiral Shares. The key difference that you're looking for in the statutory prospectus or the annual report is that the dividen...
by masteraleph
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feedback requested on plan to lower income to qualify for ACA Subsidy
Replies: 17
Views: 1469

Re: Feedback requested on plan to lower income to qualify for ACA Subsidy

Regarding the discussion of Silver plans- It looks like the OP is in California, which played some games with the loss of CSR payments (often call the "Silver switch" or "Silver switcheroo" depending on what source you use). Basically, all of the additional costs that insurers face from the loss of ...
by masteraleph
Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +
Replies: 191
Views: 30782

Re: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +

About halfway there ($430k in retirement accounts and HSA, 510 if you count spouse's IRA- spouse is a perpetual grad student). About to turn 34, entering my 12th year, 11 full time. I'm in a private school in the NYC area, earning about $100,000 (for reference, teachers with roughly equivalent educa...
by masteraleph
Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family HDHP & HSA
Replies: 4
Views: 558

Re: Family HDHP & HSA

tfb is correct. But to source it: " Family HDHP coverage is an HDHP covering an eligible individual and at least one other individual (whether or not that individual is an eligible individual)." "Any eligible individual can contribute to an HSA. For an employee's HSA, the employee, the employee's em...
by masteraleph
Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is maxing Out an IRA, 403B, and 457B Along with a Pension Too Much Saving for the Future?
Replies: 19
Views: 2851

Re: Is maxing Out an IRA, 403B, and 457B Along with a Pension Too Much Saving for the Future?

I'm a teacher in NY. My expected pension at 30 years in is 60% of 3 year final average salary. Most of my co-workers don't put aside much and are depending on their pensions. NYSTRS is well funded compared to most plans, but you never know. I'd rather have the problem of having saved too much than ...
by masteraleph
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best MacBook Value
Replies: 40
Views: 3597

Re: Best MacBook Value

We have 3 MacBook Airs and the screens seem perfectly fine to me. For what we do, the screen is great. We've had ours for about 4 years and I've had absolutely no complaints. Have you looked at the screen on a Macbook Pro? It's lightyears ahead of the one on the Air. The MBA has a resolution of 144...
by masteraleph
Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Credit Cards Actually Convenient?
Replies: 91
Views: 7704

Re: Are Credit Cards Actually Convenient?

Regarding the slow chip reading, does anybody use Google/Apple pay? I'm finding it to be the next level of convenience anywhere I personally use the pay terminal, such as gas pumps and checkouts. I don't know why, but it seems much faster than the chip. And supposedly it uses a virtual card which i...
by masteraleph
Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best MacBook Value
Replies: 40
Views: 3597

Re: Best MacBook Value

At the moment, I'd suggest the low end Macbook Pro, as others have suggested- primarily for the screen. The screen on the Macbook Air is basically the same as the screen on your computer, while the screen on all of the Pros is a very significant step up. Caveat: There are a lot of rumors flying arou...
by masteraleph
Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iphone purchase
Replies: 19
Views: 2386

Re: iphone purchase

To me, the question of fingerprint vs face ID comes down to a question of inconveniences. On the one hand, face ID seems slightly more likely to fail, and does require a relatively straight on view, which can be a problem with a dash mount (as someone noted previously), if you tend to check the phon...
by masteraleph
Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?
Replies: 43
Views: 2650

Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

As others have said, a Chromebook will be fine for now, and will be cheaper than the alternatives available. In a few years, depending on her interests and school requirements, she may need something more substantial, but it's quite hard to know what the computer ecosystem will look like in a few ye...