Search found 641 matches

by happymob
Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?
Replies: 566
Views: 22627

Re: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?

Mississippi Kites showed up today in western OKlahoma. A few days earlier than normal. Other recent arrivals - brown thrashers (we've had a nest in our yard past couple of years), and a large group (20+) of cedar waxwings hanging out in our pecan tree. I should probably get the hummingbird feeder up...
by happymob
Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary Deferral Amongst CoVid
Replies: 11
Views: 1542

Re: Salary Deferral Amongst CoVid

Bird in hand... I assume company bankruptcy is a risk. Maybe a very small risk, but why take the chance?
by happymob
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are XLK (Technology Select Fund) and VGT (Vanguard Information Technology ETF) considered "substantially identical"?
Replies: 5
Views: 392

Re: Are XLK (Technology Select Fund) and VGT (Vanguard Information Technology ETF) considered "substantially identical"?

My personal standard is "do they attempt to track the index?". Different indexes are not substantially identical, regardless of holdings.
by happymob
Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are you going to use your stimulus money?
Replies: 222
Views: 13114

Re: How are you going to use your stimulus money?

Might go to our church (having online services and tithing, but I'm guessing that has dropped off some and we don't have a lot of margin for error in our budget) or to pay taxes on a larger than usual Roth conversion (though have to be careful not to push 2020 AGI into the phaseout for the stimulus ...
by happymob
Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will the Dow ever see 29500 again?
Replies: 86
Views: 8808

Re: Will the Dow ever see 29500 again?

I was promised Dow 40,000 all the way back in 1999. Still waiting on that one.
by happymob
Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS
Replies: 271
Views: 20621

Re: TIPS go Crazy!

Secondary market liquidity seems terrible right now. There are no bids on a 22-year TIP I own according to Fidelity (at least in the quantity I have). Maybe being so close to the auction is affecting liquidity of existing TIPS. Or maybe we're back to TIPS are simply a loss less liquid than nominal t...
by happymob
Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 20070
Views: 2745322

Re: U.S. stocks in free fall

In 2000, as a rather youngish (28 years old) who was far too aggressive in my investments (lots of QQQQ, now QQQ) during the height of the .com boom and bust), it was common for me to see daily movements in my portfolio that exceeded my daily salary. But hey, at least I was in an index fund, even if...
by happymob
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should we use the coronavirus drop to do Roth conversion?
Replies: 39
Views: 3271

Re: Should we use the coronavirus drop to do Roth conversion?

We do backdoor both conversions (https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=86262) every year when we pay our taxes. We get $10k/person state-tax-free on Roth conversions. We haven't paid our taxes yet (late K-1s means I have another month before we actually pay our taxes). I am very temp...
by happymob
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Deduction Recapture
Replies: 17
Views: 984

Re: 529 Deduction Recapture

OP, why not just leave the money in whichever state plan they are already in? You can open new 529s in your new state and start contributing there. Or am I missing something about 529s whereby you can only use one state/ vendor at a time? I understand the simplicity argument. But it's just numbers ...
by happymob
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Had a baby and received generous check from her great grandparents. Now what?
Replies: 157
Views: 11718

Re: Had a baby and received generous check from her great grandparents. Now what?

Having the grandfather fund the 529 directly is likely the best approach. It's the newborn's great-grandparents, which makes that option problematic, I think. They need to be both alive and cognizant (or have someone with power of attorney) to handle distribution 18 or more years from now. If they ...
by happymob
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Had a baby and received generous check from her great grandparents. Now what?
Replies: 157
Views: 11718

Re: Had a baby and received generous check from her great grandparents. Now what?

Having the grandfather fund the 529 directly is likely the best approach. It's the newborn's great-grandparents, which makes that option problematic, I think. They need to be both alive and cognizant (or have someone with power of attorney) to handle distribution 18 or more years from now. If they ...
by happymob
Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best concert you ever witnessed?
Replies: 434
Views: 31415

Re: What is the best concert you ever witnessed?

I'm probably an outlier here. And part of that is because I haven't been to a lot of concerts (<20 rock/pop concerts). But part is my choice. Public Enemy in fall 1992 at the University of Kansas. Poster Children, a punk band from Illinois, opened and couldn't have been a more inapprpriate opening a...
by happymob
Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Include 529 in overall asset allocation??
Replies: 24
Views: 1408

Re: Include 529 in overall asset allocation??

No. There was a near 100% likelihood of consumption. I don't put it in our AA because I don't include it in our portfolio. It will exist for only a short (relatively) period of time. Essentially I view(ed) education costs as a sunk cost. I question the near 100% likelihood of consumption. I know a ...
by happymob
Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your most luxury/expensive hobby.
Replies: 264
Views: 20590

Re: What is your most luxury/expensive hobby.

Food. Definitely a foodie. The good news is we have no good restaurants in our rural-ish town of 10,000 people. So we almost never eat out at home (and we both like to cook). However, when traveling, we can go slightly nuts. In 2.5 days in New Orleans, we ate 4 meals that cost over $100 for 2 people...
by happymob
Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Include 529 in overall asset allocation??
Replies: 24
Views: 1408

Re: Include 529 in overall asset allocation??

No. There was a near 100% likelihood of consumption. I don't put it in our AA because I don't include it in our portfolio. It will exist for only a short (relatively) period of time. Essentially I view(ed) education costs as a sunk cost. I question the near 100% likelihood of consumption. I know a ...
by happymob
Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone here paid college tuition w/ i Bonds AND still claim AOTC?
Replies: 10
Views: 862

Re: Anyone here paid college tuition w/ i Bonds AND still claim AOTC?

If you get a 529 deduction in your state (that you aren't otherwise using), it might make more sense to launder the I Bond money through a 529 plan and immediately withdraw it to pay for college expenses. How would this work? Would you first have to redeem the iBond and then deposit the proceeds in...
by happymob
Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone here paid college tuition w/ i Bonds AND still claim AOTC?
Replies: 10
Views: 862

Re: Anyone here paid college tuition w/ i Bonds AND still claim AOTC?

If you get a 529 deduction in your state (that you aren't otherwise using), it might make more sense to launder the I Bond money through a 529 plan and immediately withdraw it to pay for college expenses.
by happymob
Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you mentally process stupid ways of losing money?
Replies: 84
Views: 7583

Re: How do you mentally process stupid ways of losing money?

Problems that can be solved with money aren't real problems. But they are to people without money. I don't handle multiple simultaneous problems well. I tend to lock up, stick my head in the sand, and ignore both problems until they become even bigger problems. Since I've had a real job, I deal wit...
by happymob
Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Traditional IRA purchase with intent to Roll it over into a Roth
Replies: 6
Views: 361

Re: Traditional IRA purchase with intent to Roll it over into a Roth

We do this, but it is to save on state taxes, not Federal. Only works in certain states. Here's the original thread on the "backdoor both" trad->Roth to save on state taxes. And there's no reason to wait a year. We contribute to a traditional IRA and then convert it as soon as the money hits the acc...
by happymob
Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does this sound like a solid idea to pay for college?
Replies: 54
Views: 4020

Re: Does this sound like a solid idea to pay for college?

I would not assume your kid won’t get scholarships and financial aid. Especially as a math major, a field dominated by guys. My guess is she’ll be a hot commodity when it’s time to apply. Math isn't particularly dominated by guys these days at the undergraduate level. CS still is. Physics still is....
by happymob
Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why all the angst about RMDs and taxes?
Replies: 177
Views: 13119

Re: Why all the angst about RMDs and taxes?

The result was eye-opening. Our real income is projected to be 40% higher at age 72 than it is now. 24% vs 22% tax bracket is no huge deal. However, if I die first, while we lose the SS and very small pension), wife will find herself in the 32% tax bracket. Retire sooner? We could retire now at age...
by happymob
Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why all the angst about RMDs and taxes?
Replies: 177
Views: 13119

Re: Why all the angst about RMDs and taxes?

It's all about the rate. I always assumed that retirement tax rate would be lower, but this didn't factor in 1) pensions, 2) removing the $35,000/year in deduction that we currently get for maxing out 2x traditional 401k plans, and 3) the runup in the market leading us to have far more in pre-tax re...
by happymob
Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Now is a good time to start tracking your net worth.
Replies: 123
Views: 11582

Re: Now is a good time to start tracking your net worth.

I'll update single records in my spreadsheet anytime I log into one of my accounts. I only do the official check every account thing once a year (sometime in late December - I don't care that it's not on the exact same day every year). Takes me about one hour. We have too many accounts, in general, ...
by happymob
Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I sell my farmland and buy stocks?
Replies: 65
Views: 5424

Re: Should I sell my farmland and buy stocks?

I would list it for say 1.1 million or a pretty bold price and if it sells then take the gains and invest. The rent is way off for the value and I cant imagine it barely covers the property taxes and then you are taxes on the gain from there so it may not even break even. The run up on value had a ...
by happymob
Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we start saving in Roth accounts?
Replies: 25
Views: 3334

Re: Should we start saving in Roth accounts?

No pension of pensions. Do you get one? Or is it just a defined contribution plan in lieu of pension and SS?

Edit - also, do either of you have enough quarters of contributions from previous jobs to get some SS in retirement even without further contributions?
by happymob
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where should I park my HSA contributions (Employer vs Fidelity)?
Replies: 8
Views: 1113

Re: Where should I park my HSA contributions (Employer vs Fidelity)?

Any reason not to contribute to the employer plan and move the balance to Fidelity once every year?
by happymob
Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Paying for college
Replies: 12
Views: 1432

Re: Paying for college

-We have ~100k in 529s and 130k in an inherited ira that we have designated for purpose. Should we drain the inherited ira to pay for school or reduce contributions to retirement accounts and cash flow their tuition/board? We currently put just under $60k into tax deferred retirement accounts (403s...
by happymob
Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me figure out why REITs are not higher % of AA
Replies: 31
Views: 2254

Re: Help me figure out why REITs are not higher % of AA

Thanks for the replies. I guess I meant stable as "people need a place to live" so the rents would still be coming in. Like I said, Im novice at this haha It's been a while since I looked at this, but take a look at the top 10 or 20 holdings of the REIT fund and see what business they are in. It's ...
by happymob
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finance or Accounting Degree?
Replies: 81
Views: 6558

Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

I would be wary of any finance degree that didn't involve a lot of math. Look at the pre-requisites for the courses. Some finance degrees are very serious. Others are glorified undergraduate business management degrees with just a smidgen more math (of course the best undergraduate business degrees ...
by happymob
Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ideal income bracket target?
Replies: 49
Views: 5498

Re: Ideal income bracket target?

This is a hypothetical question. If a higher net worth person in the decumulation stage has equal money in tax deferred, taxable and Roth, and therefore could literally pick any income level as a target by pulling from the appropriate accounts, what would that target income be? Would it be the inco...
by happymob
Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy
Replies: 150
Views: 9607

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

Beehave wrote: Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:39 pmSavings bonds (check to see if I-Bonds have that "untaxed if used for education" feature) and 529 savings thus seem prudent.
Not at the OP's income. I-bonds follow the same rules as EE bonds for education, FWIW.
by happymob
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area teacher saving half my income – why the doubt? (and asking more questions)
Replies: 508
Views: 34846

Re: Bay Area teacher saving half my income – why the doubt? (and asking more questions)

You are eventually (well, age 70.5) going to get hammered on taxes with RMD + pension + SS, particularly if one of you dies and is filing as a single filer. That said, given the health care situation, it probably makes sense to do what you are doing as the premium tax credit is worth a ton of money ...
by happymob
Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can this girl "go wild?"
Replies: 33
Views: 5523

Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

You need to live, if not now, then when? If you don't spend it, someone else will. So long as your outflows do not exceed your inflows, you should be good to go. Enjoy your retirement. I like looking at cash flow. We don't track expenses or budget. If our bank balance goes up, we stayed within budg...
by happymob
Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxes if maxing out Roth IRA & Roth 403b
Replies: 9
Views: 600

Re: Taxes if maxing out Roth IRA & Roth 403b

Seriously considering this ourselves. We can get to the 12% tax bracket with a lot of traditional contributions. But it is becoming increasingly clear that we will be in higher tax brackets in retirement (particularly after 70.5 or if one of us dies before then). The smart move may be Roth and conve...
by happymob
Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: One bad decision - examples?
Replies: 67
Views: 7675

Re: One bad decision - examples?

one of my parent's friends inherited a lot of money which took years of prudent investing. This person's husband talked her into investing in a golf course in Puerto Rico and the investment wiped out that accumulation. More generally, one could sum that up with "all eggs, one basket". Doesn't matte...
by happymob
Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Explain why long-term bonds aren't awesome
Replies: 120
Views: 25682

Re: Explain why long-term bonds aren't awesome

Personally, I like long-term treasuries for the following reasons: 1) Treasuries don't have the default problems (hopefully!) of corporates during recessions. . Therefore, they should be less correlated with equities than treasuries. 2) Long-term has a higher yield (usually!) than intermediate. Why ...
by happymob
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DAF for church offering? [Donor Advised Fund]
Replies: 81
Views: 11421

Re: DAF for church offering?

leonard wrote: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:34 pm Why not just do a single donation a year and let the church manage the monthly budgeting out of the cash flow?

Way less admin for you.
Agree with this. Once a year should be easier for everyone, unless the church is really struggling with cash flow.
by happymob
Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Red flags in my 401k plan
Replies: 3
Views: 515

Red flags in my 401k plan

My workplace recently pulled money out of my 401k for employer matching that I wasn't eligible for (matching starts at 1 year anniversary, but they had started to match before that). Fine. But looking at the transaction history, all sorts of other stuff begins to look suspicious. We switched 401k pr...
by happymob
Thu May 23, 2019 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PA 529 thoughts
Replies: 13
Views: 1203

Re: PA 529 thoughts

I'm pretty sure that PA (along with MO and KS that I know of) doesn't restrict you to PA 529 plans for the tax deduction. 0.15% and 0.20% ERs are very good, so you might want to stick with PA anyway, but I don't believe you have to.
by happymob
Sat May 18, 2019 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to calculate exactly how much money you'll have by retirement?
Replies: 75
Views: 8587

Re: How to calculate exactly how much money you'll have by retirement?

I use a 3% return as well. Based on history, it'll be higher. Based on current market valuations, who knows? A steady 3% annual real gain seems reasonably conservative to me over the next 25 years. A lot of our income is pretty well set regardless of market performance. I know* what SS says each of ...
by happymob
Fri May 17, 2019 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What "other" tax advantaged accounts should one know about?
Replies: 7
Views: 1714

Re: What "other" tax advantaged accounts should one know about?

529a ("able") accounts if you have a special needs child.
by happymob
Thu May 16, 2019 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited ranch
Replies: 97
Views: 8672

Re: Inherited ranch

Another way to view this; its worth,according to real estate sales, about 480000 max to 400000. Rent payment is 3500$. Which they (pissy family members) paid twice over the last 7 years. I would rather the neighbors bought it. They're good people. So below market rent, which they can't even be both...
by happymob
Sun May 12, 2019 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited ranch
Replies: 97
Views: 8672

Re: Inherited ranch

If the family member can't get financing and you are really interested in keeping it in the family, rent it to them at market rate (can be hard to determine) and hold onto it. That might be tough to get everyone to agree to that (though other family members are free to sell on a 20-year 0% loan) wh...
by happymob
Sun May 12, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited ranch
Replies: 97
Views: 8672

Re: Inherited ranch

I would offer to sell it to the family member at market value - they are responsible for obtaining financing. Shouldn't be that hard if they start with 75% loan-to-value unless they are already deep in debt. Otherwise, sell at auction. If the family member can't get financing and you are really inte...
by happymob
Sun May 05, 2019 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Useful wedding gift you didn't expect
Replies: 26
Views: 3411

Re: Useful wedding gift you didn't expect

Nice roasting pan with roasting rack gets used ~30 time/year since marriage.
by happymob
Sun May 05, 2019 5:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Factor investing worth it?
Replies: 9
Views: 1424

Re: Factor investing worth it?

I'll let you know in 20 years.
by happymob
Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: HSA AA/Location - What you do and Why ?
Replies: 18
Views: 1623

Re: HSA AA/Location - What you do and Why ?

Yes, it's part of the overall AA. Yes, it's more aggressive (100% equities) because we expect to actually spend it later in life than some of the traditional 401k money and yes, we treat the money in a very similar manner as we would Roth money. It's a lot like Roth money, in that you want to captu...
by happymob
Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Colleague salary comparison
Replies: 54
Views: 6681

Re: Colleague salary comparison

If you work in an environment where you can view your colleagues' salaries do you? And if so, do you do anything with that information? Sure. When I worked in a public information environment, I also had no problem sharing my salary with colleagues either. And (as I was a college prof), I had no pr...
by happymob
Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to handle Real Estate in AA, esp w/r/t international
Replies: 13
Views: 1024

Re: How to handle Real Estate in AA, esp w/r/t international

I would take the real estate investments out of your mix of stocks/bonds for asset allocation purposes. This is what we do (though in our case the real estate is farm and grassland). It's part of our net worth calculations. It certainly provides income. But it doesn't factor into our AA for the res...
by happymob
Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: HSA AA/Location - What you do and Why ?
Replies: 18
Views: 1623

Re: HSA AA/Location - What you do and Why ?

Yes, it's part of the overall AA. Yes, it's more aggressive (100% equities) because we expect to actually spend it later in life than some of the traditional 401k money and yes, we treat the money in a very similar manner as we would Roth money. It's a lot like Roth money, in that you want to captur...