Search found 617 matches

by happymob
Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we start saving in Roth accounts?
Replies: 5
Views: 594

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: 937

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: 1293

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: 2069

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: 5720

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: 5032

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: 8790

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

Beehave wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:39 pm
Savings 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: 30135

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: 5264

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: 568

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: 7299

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: 24509

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: 10373

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: 484

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: 1023

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: 8228

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: 1657

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: 8504

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: 8504

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: 8504

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: 3299

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: 1245

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: 1505

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: 6538

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: 956

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: 1505

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...
by happymob
Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Gambling with "fun money" (Penny stocks, other ideas?)
Replies: 43
Views: 3646

Re: Gambling with "fun money" (Penny stocks, other ideas?)

Absent true insider information, I would be more comfortable betting my fun money at the racetrack on ponies than on penny stocks. And I'd have more fun too.
by happymob
Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help needed thinking through issues re: child’s disability
Replies: 22
Views: 2046

Re: Help needed thinking through issues re: child’s disability

staythecourse wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:35 pm
8. I wouldn't over invest in 529 plan until you figure out all the above.
The account mentioned was a 529 able account, which I would over invest in. They have tremendous flexibility compared to purely educational 529 plans.
by happymob
Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did I read this correctly? SS and your AA
Replies: 36
Views: 4373

Re: Did I read this correctly? SS and your AA

Rather, it’s because as wealth grows, Social Security — which mimics the role of bonds in providing an income stream — represents a shrinking percentage of total income. It follows that wealthier people need to replace that missing fixed-income exposure with bonds within their financial portfolio. ...
by happymob
Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The capital gains cliff (27% tax)
Replies: 35
Views: 3599

Re: The capital gains cliff (27% tax)

I try to go to the top of 12% with Roth conversions, but try even harder to not go over for this very reason. It's not capital gains that are an issue (still working off great recession carrover losses), but have $3000 or so in qualified dividends each year that I would very much prefer to be taxed ...
by happymob
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it bad to have nothing in taxable when you retire?
Replies: 62
Views: 7120

Re: Is it bad to have nothing in taxable when you retire?

Excluding farm and ranch land and other illiquid assets, 15% of our liquid investable money is in taxable. We've kept that very consistent throughout the years. It's a nice cushion if we want to buy a new car or move somewhere where housing is more expensive (we haven't had a mortgage in 12 years an...
by happymob
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Those who view everything as one portfolio - how do you determine allocations and how "funded" different goals are?
Replies: 28
Views: 2356

Re: Those who view everything as one portfolio - how do you determine allocations and how "funded" different goals are?

Cash flow is key for us. We set our 401k/403b/457b contributions. Everything else goes into our bank account. Once a year, a large lump sum goes out for traditional or Roth IRA contributions. Sometimes taxes create an additional outflow; rarely, it's an inflow. If the bank balance is roughly the sam...
by happymob
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Selling Series I Bonds
Replies: 43
Views: 4524

Re: Selling Series I Bonds

If you have kids (in college or below) and meet the income requirements, be aware of the tax deduction for qualified tuition plan.
by happymob
Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pension math - stay in or move to retirement account
Replies: 6
Views: 846

Pension math - stay in or move to retirement account

So I became vested in the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System. While I kno longer work there, I finally have gotten around to looking at what to do with that money. As of now: Age: 46 (male) Vested in plan with 5 years of service. That allows me to "retire" at age 65 and draw 10% of my salary ($440/...
by happymob
Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal tax refund? What are you doing with it?
Replies: 54
Views: 2747

Re: Federal tax refund? What are you doing with it?

Paying my states taxes :D

In practice, we wait to fund IRA/Roth for the previous year until we finish our taxes. Which means we had $11,000 leaving our bank account right before we would get any refunds. So the refunds, if any exist, simply partially replenish the bank account.
by happymob
Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 35158

Re: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]

Finally finished ours. Higher income because I started working again in May and therefore higher effective tax rate, despite our marginal rate dropping from 15% to 12%. 3 big surprises: 1) Some of our taxable Fidelity index funds (small cap index - FSSNX and extended market index - FSMAX) spun off s...
by happymob
Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get cash quickly
Replies: 102
Views: 7436

Re: How to get cash quickly

So why didn't you withdraw from your margin account via a wire transfer? That's how I would do it if my local bank account didn't have enough money. We don't frequently use margin on our taxable Fidelity account (the rates aren't good), but it's nice to be able to cash out some money without sellin...
by happymob
Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What would be your perfect personal bond allocation
Replies: 15
Views: 1277

What would be your perfect personal bond allocation

Where to put bonds? Vanguard total bond? Treasuries only? Corporates only? Long duration only (something like EDV)? Does junk have a place? Does international have a place? Ginnie Maes? More exotic instruments? I'm not asking about % bond allocation here. I'm also assuming that you have theoretical ...
by happymob
Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Voya 403b
Replies: 7
Views: 669

Re: Help with Voya 403b

Another vote for getting international exposure from another account. If you need to go 100% international in an IRA (Roth or traditional) and 0% in the 403b plan, that is ok. Whatever makes things mostly balance.
by happymob
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many companies have you worked for?
Replies: 125
Views: 7897

Re: How many companies have you worked for?

Real jobs (as opposed to high school/summer college jobs)... 6 at age 46. 1) IT networking/general hardware firm for 1 year 2) IT consulting firm for 6 years 3) Programming for a major college for 1 year 4) Teaching at a directional state college for 4 years 5) Teaching at a different directional st...
by happymob
Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 evaluation tools?
Replies: 21
Views: 1468

Re: 529 evaluation tools?

Because you are allowed one 529 rollover per beneficiary per year, we contribute to the Maryland 529 plan each year in order to claim the deduction and then roll the balance over to a lower cost plan (Michigan in our case, but I think NY is even cheaper) to minimize ongoing expenses. Note that some...
by happymob
Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of Vacation Experiences with Big Fam & Young Kids
Replies: 75
Views: 4860

Re: Value of Vacation Experiences with Big Fam & Young Kids

Once the first one is in school, you're locked into school breaks and suddenly all your options and prices are worse. This is one significant advantage of living of living in flyover country where schools get out by Memorial Day - traveling in very early June while most east and west coast schools ...
by happymob
Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Claim 529 deduction in 2 states? Tax question
Replies: 6
Views: 373

Re: Claim 529 deduction in 2 states? Tax question

Hi I work and have income in 2 states. I currently claim 529 deduction in one state - the state of residence. Can I 'double' claim the deduction in the second state also? Probably not but thought I should ask! Thanks It depends. First, at least one of the states needs to allow you to deduct in any ...
by happymob
Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?
Replies: 72
Views: 8713

Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

I personally didn't bother holding individual treasuries until recently, and I can see myself living without them in the future. I originally opened a Treasury Direct account primarily to buy TIPS at auction. Then I found out I could do this on Fidelity easily. Then Vanguard offered the same on the...
by happymob
Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: how much is $49K contribution limit worth?
Replies: 13
Views: 1301

Re: how much is $49K contribution limit worth?

Since it is a 403b I don't contribute to Social Security. I don't have enough points from previous employers to get SS and even if I did, I know I cannot "double dip" and take full pension and getfull SS benefits, but my understanding is I would get a little something from SS if enough points. Many...
by happymob
Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403(b) plan - did we over-contribute in 2018
Replies: 11
Views: 689

Re: 403(b) plan - did we over-contribute in 2018

Voya is the 403/457 vendor Yikes, my wife is a teacher in NC, and also has Voya as the vendor for 403 / 457. The fees are quite high - luckily there is a third option - Prudential 401k which has more reasonable fees. Good on you for savings lots but is there a way to reduce fees? Our fees are actua...
by happymob
Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403(b) plan - did we over-contribute in 2018
Replies: 11
Views: 689

Re: 403(b) plan - did we over-contribute in 2018

So it took 39 days for HR to decide they had to do something about it. They hadn't it off to the financial advisor (who works for a company I have never heard of - Voya is the 403/457 vendor and this guy works for some other firm - weird, but whatever), Is it TSA Consulting Group? They handle a lot...
by happymob
Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403(b) plan - did we over-contribute in 2018
Replies: 11
Views: 689

Re: 403(b) plan - did we over-contribute in 2018

So it took 39 days for HR to decide they had to do something about it. They hadn't it off to the financial advisor (who works for a company I have never heard of - Voya is the 403/457 vendor and this guy works for some other firm - weird, but whatever), who is requesting that the Roth 403b contribut...
by happymob
Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA for 5 Year Old
Replies: 8
Views: 1083

Re: Roth IRA for 5 Year Old

Long before your child was born, thousands thought they to could pull one over on the IRS. No, you can't do this. Wait until you child has a legitimate job. Instead, as a smart parent, setup a 529 and fund it. And if you really want the money to be in their name, there is nothing wrong with a taxab...
by happymob
Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite youtube channels?
Replies: 81
Views: 8146

Re: Favorite youtube channels?

Hot Ones. Host interviews celebrities while eating increasingly hot wings. The premise is ludicrous, but somehow it works.