Search found 556 matches

by happymob
Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement plan “improvements” (Fidelity vs. TIAA)
Replies: 18
Views: 1091

Re: Retirement plan “improvements” (Fidelity vs. TIAA)

I know you are focused on Vanguard funds, but what is your access to TIAA funds, particularly TIAA traditional (and which version of traditional) and real estate (QREARX)? Both are available. I’m not really familiar with either one, but the real estate fund looks pretty expensive, with an ER of 0.7...
by happymob
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403(b) plan - did we over-contribute in 2018
Replies: 5
Views: 259

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

I should have done more Googling before posting. 1) Yes, it's an excess contribution 2) IRS has guidance on what needs to happen to correct this (and the correction needs to happen before April 15) https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/403b-plan-fix-it-guide-your-403b-plan-didnt-limit-elective-defer...
by happymob
Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403(b) plan - did we over-contribute in 2018
Replies: 5
Views: 259

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

I should have done more Googling before posting. 1) Yes, it's an excess contribution 2) IRS has guidance on what needs to happen to correct this (and the correction needs to happen before April 15) https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/403b-plan-fix-it-guide-your-403b-plan-didnt-limit-elective-deferr...
by happymob
Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403(b) plan - did we over-contribute in 2018
Replies: 5
Views: 259

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

Wife is under 50, so limit in 2018 was $18500. She traditional 403(b) option as well as a Roth 403(b) option. In the past, we have the contribution percent set such that she hits the max in November and payroll stops contributing at the legal limit, so the November paycheck is slightly larger and th...
by happymob
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BHers, what is your Roth IRA %?
Replies: 113
Views: 5271

Re: BHers, what is your Roth IRA %?

My tax-free balances are currently ~41% of my portfolio (Roth IRA, Roth 401k, and HSA). My goal over time is to end up with approx 1/3 each in tax-free, tax-deferred, and taxable, to provide maximum flexibility for managing tax liabilities in (and potentially beyond, i.e. legacy) retirement. 75% of...
by happymob
Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?
Replies: 158
Views: 8262

Re: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?

We spend too much on food. Cook at home. Some is premium ingredients (we don't regret those) and some food waste (we do regret that). But based on your criteria, retirement savings is the clear #1. Both adults fully max out workplace 401k/403b plans. Both adults additionally max out Roth/IRA plans. ...
by happymob
Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will you contribute the max to your IRA and then invest it all in equities for the first market day of the new year?
Replies: 159
Views: 7750

Re: Will you contribute the max to your IRA and then invest it all in equities for the first market day of the new year?

Our tax situation is somewhat fluid, so while I would like to contribute max to a Roth on day 1 of the new year, I end up contributing max to a Roth (usually) or traditional IRA (sometimes) on March 30th or so of the following year when taxes are done.
by happymob
Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adult Games / Board Games - Recommendations
Replies: 55
Views: 3573

Re: Adult Games / Board Games - Recommendations

Cards against humanity might fit your need.
by happymob
Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Purchase of 2018?
Replies: 255
Views: 19522

Re: Favorite Purchase of 2018?

Women's World Cup tickets. We went to 4 games in Canada in 2015 and the kids seemed to like it, so we kind of knew we wanted to go to France in 2019. The difference this time around is we're doing it bigger. Instead of 1 week, we're basically doing the whole tournament. 2 weeks in Grenoble seeing 5 ...
by happymob
Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lost value in 529 savings
Replies: 25
Views: 1993

Re: Lost value in 529 savings

Have you checked your 401k balance? Did it lose money as well? Would you stop contributing to that? You should treat your 529 plan like any other investment - invest in things that give you the best risk-adjusted returns with the appropriate overall level of risk. Given a shorter time-horizon on kid...
by happymob
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a 5-year CD closer in behavior to TIPS or IT?
Replies: 6
Views: 575

Re: Is a 5-year CD closer in behavior to TIPS or IT?

Coato wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:34 am
The reason I think it could work as a TIPS is that with a 2 month EWP I think I could always just roll it into a new offering as rates rose.
But that's not inflation protection. That's some (delayed) protection as rates rise, but that's not the same thing.
by happymob
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I sell?? 1,118.75% gain!!
Replies: 26
Views: 3922

Re: Should I sell?? 1,118.75% gain!!

Darth Xanadu wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:29 am
Sell $1k-$1.2k, keep the rest?
I get that idea if you are really into the stock (cover the cost basis and let the rest ride), but the OP basically abandoned this account. There's no real attachment. Sell it. Close the account. Pay the taxes (or offset it with capital losses).
by happymob
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandparent funding 529 and almost immediate withdrawal
Replies: 9
Views: 1840

Re: Grandparent funding 529 and almost immediate withdrawal

If you get a state deduction, laundering money through a 529 plan is smart, even if you don't take advantage of the tax-free growth. The biggest downside is expenses paid through a 529 are not eligible for other higher ed tax credits, so you typically don't want to pay 100% via 529 as the tax credit...
by happymob
Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did YOU choose your career?
Replies: 149
Views: 9007

Re: How did YOU choose your career?

Mine was accidental, or perhaps you could say out of necessity. Coming out of high school, I wanted to be a theoretical particle physicist. Yep, you read that right. I wanted to be the next Richard Feynman or Robert Wilson or Leon Lederman. I was really excellent at math. Rather than going pure math...
by happymob
Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell Stock or Student Loans for Grad School?
Replies: 13
Views: 705

Re: Sell Stock or Student Loans for Grad School?

Where tax brackets are you in? If you are going to school full-time and not working, you can pay 0% on a lot of capital gains. Of course, in that scenario, you could still borrow the money and take the opportunity to "tax gain harvest" and perhaps diversify some out of Google.
by happymob
Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employeer taking vacation days on public holidays - is this legal or normal?
Replies: 99
Views: 7544

Re: Employeer taking vacation days on public holidays - is this legal or normal?

Do PTO days have to be approved? It seems to me that the alternative policy, which in many ways is worse, is for the employer to simply deny PTO before and after holidays. They need staff for those days. They seem to be aiming for a middle ground between allowing PTO whenever the employee wants it (...
by happymob
Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two I-Bond questions (strategy and withdrawal)
Replies: 7
Views: 1091

Re: Two I-Bond questions (strategy and withdrawal)

On question #1 - The downside is you pay the taxes on the interest this year rather than continuing to defer them. Now, if you also contribute to a 529 plan and are under certain income levels, you can avoid taxes on the interest as well.
by happymob
Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation question: How to include farm rental income in my model?
Replies: 9
Views: 610

Re: Asset allocation question: How to include farm rental income in my model?

Half of our net worth (and about 30% of our income) comes from inherited farmland and grassland. That's set to increase once my parents pass, even though we continue to add aggressively to our equities every year. We don't include it in our asset allocation at all. But it does create a couple effect...
by happymob
Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do bogleheads save in 529?
Replies: 79
Views: 4777

Re: How much do bogleheads save in 529?

Targeting 2 years total cost at Flagship State U. Why only 2 years? 1) There's a reasonable chance 1 child or the other doesn't' go to college or drops out. Yes, they are smart. But I'm seen too many smart kids (including myself) flame out of college due to a variety of issues (mental health issues,...
by happymob
Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Game Changing Inheritance of Stocks! Now what?
Replies: 75
Views: 7182

Re: Game Changing Inheritance of Stocks! Now what?

2) Your new part-time job is to pay as little tax as possible. That means maxing out 403(b)s and IRAs and potentially front loading the 529, considering possible state income tax deductions and limits. Set these accounts to auto-contribute to the max, and sell taxable if you are running low on cash...
by happymob
Wed May 02, 2018 6:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%
Replies: 62
Views: 9464

Re: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%

According to Bloomberg, 5 year TIPS have a yield of 0.72%. Why would I sign up for Ibonds at 0.3%. If I intend to hold longer, 30 year TIPS yield 0.94%. 5 year TIPS look pretty good to me, perhaps better than a 3% CD. Flexibility on choosing when to sell (though no flexibility in the first year) wi...
by happymob
Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: better? Lowering taxable income to 12%, go below 63k to collect Savers credit, or max all Roths
Replies: 35
Views: 3429

Re: better? Lowering taxable income to 12%, go below 63k to collect Savers credit, or max all Roths

I'd go with Roth as well to the top of the 12% bracket, unless you have other tax credit considerations, such as the Premium Tax Credit.
by happymob
Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Board game for 3 year old
Replies: 36
Views: 2355

Re: Board game for 3 year old

Sequence for Kids involves some strategy (though the 3 year old can just play whatever) and it's easy for parents to deliberately throw the game if they choose without making it obvious to the kid that you are throwing the game.
by happymob
Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Reform - Revised Kiddie Tax
Replies: 70
Views: 9190

Re: Tax Reform - Revised Kiddie Tax

If parents are in the new 12% bracket, it seems like trust rates for the kids will very quickly exceed the parents rate.
by happymob
Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad bond options in 403B
Replies: 15
Views: 1035

Re: Bad bond options in 403B

We also have terrible (well, not quite as terrible as yours, but non-indexed and near 1.0% ERs) bond options in our 403b plans, while simultaneously having great equity options (Vanguard Institutional Total Stock, Small-cap value, REIT, etc at Vanguard's cost, so sub 0.1% ER). We just find other pla...
by happymob
Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you buy in Asian food stores?
Replies: 98
Views: 9098

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Vegetables I can't get in standard grocery stores around here (bok choy, garlic greens, etc) Vegetables that are significantly cheaper (shallots) Locally-made tofu Fresh (non-dried) Asian noodles Dried Asian noodles Rice Pork bellies Frozen ducks (head off, I'm not that bold) Gochujang paste (we go ...
by happymob
Tue May 16, 2017 6:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Has anyone sold TIPS prior to maturity
Replies: 21
Views: 2073

Re: Has anyone sold TIPS prior to maturity

We bought a slug of Tips in October 2008. The real rate was around 3%. At some point, the rate dropped below 1% and I sold about half the holding for a large gain. I thought the real rate of a TIPS was fixed for the life of the bond. Am I confused and/or misinformed? --vtMaps The rate is fixed, but...
by happymob
Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?
Replies: 83
Views: 9326

Did anything surprise you in your 2016 taxes?

The intent of this thread is to spread the word about oddball tax situations that people may not know about to better plan for 2017. With that said, is there anything about your 2016 taxes that caught you off-guard? In my case, it was the retirement saver's credit. Our AGI was lower this year than u...
by happymob
Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do you expect to achieve with your Tilt?
Replies: 85
Views: 8637

Re: What do you expect to achieve with your Tilt?

Honestly, I may or may not achieve any actual improvement in returns.

What I expect to achieve is a little added entertainment as I see that small-cap value is up (or down) or emerging markets are up (or down). It's just more interesting than a 3-fund portfolio.
by happymob
Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Illusion of poverty/wealth
Replies: 166
Views: 29939

Re: Illusion of poverty/wealth

bigred77 wrote:The "illusion of poverty" is really prevalent amongst a subset of Bogleheads IMO...
An even more extreme case of this than Bogleheads is Mr. Money Mustache mustachians.
by happymob
Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this a financially viable way to use dividends over the next 40 years?
Replies: 8
Views: 1518

Re: Is this a financially viable way to use dividends over the next 40 years?

Since this is in an IRA anyway, I don't really understand the preference for holding a dividend fund (which, as indicated, will be somewhat concentrated in financials and utilities) over a total stock market or S&P 500 fund.
by happymob
Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep a Local Bank?
Replies: 76
Views: 6891

Re: Keep a Local Bank?

What about signature guarantee on financial documents? That isn't the same as a notary. Most banks will do this as a courtesy for non account holders. Regarding local bank- I would maintain one (or credit union) for a local account with a nominal balance. Occasionally (1-2) I need the local bank fo...
by happymob
Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any issue with too many tax lots/betterment
Replies: 8
Views: 876

Re: Any issue with too many tax lots/betterment

"Various" works. If I did my taxes by hand, I would avoid Betterment like the plague. With tax software, the burden is trivial.
by happymob
Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you buy this house in a flood zone? HELP!
Replies: 63
Views: 6597

Re: Would you buy this house in a flood zone? HELP!

Make sure you understand what is meant by flood and what flood insurance will and will not cover. Our story - We bought a house in a flood plain in 2006. The sellers told us at the time that the house hadn't flooded since 1985. This was consistent with how other people in town defined flood. What we...
by happymob
Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would it make sense for me to not max out my 401K?
Replies: 71
Views: 9290

Re: Would it make sense for me to not max out my 401K?

Regardless of your tax bracket, you should contribute to get the full match. Otherwise, if I were you, I would only contribute to the 401k until I was in the 15% tax bracket. Unless you have a lot of income other than salary, that would mean not maxing your 401k. Other people will tell you to alway...
by happymob
Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has a bank offered you a "Special" CD rate?
Replies: 16
Views: 2478

Re: Has a bank offered you a "Special" CD rate?

Yes. I've received changes from published rates and early withdrawal terms multiple times.
by happymob
Sat May 21, 2016 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is it worth it to add REITs to my simple 3 fund portfolio?
Replies: 24
Views: 2514

Re: is it worth it to add REITs to my simple 3 fund portfolio?

If inflation picks up and exceeds expectations then at least theoretically REITs should do better than stocks and conventional bonds. Greater correlation with inflation. It's a bit more complicated than that. The underlying real estate holdings should do ok with inflation, but inflation tends to br...
by happymob
Sat May 14, 2016 7:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Intra-Family Mortgage INSTEAD of Investing
Replies: 27
Views: 3108

Re: Intra-Family Mortgage INSTEAD of Investing

While your mom could get a tax deduction, you will have to recognize it as income and pay taxes on it. You don't really come out ahead. If you're mom wants to transfer money to you, just have her give it to you as a gift. She could give you and your husband each 14k a year tax free plus another ~$5...
by happymob
Fri May 13, 2016 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 10 Year TIPS Auction
Replies: 14
Views: 1741

Re: 10 Year TIPS Auction

If this is in taxable, and I hadn't maxed out I-bond purchases for the year, I would prioritize that over the 10-year TIP. Similar yields, but taxes are deferred and you have a lot more flexibility with the I Bond. If you were planning to buy in tax-deferred accounts, but have money in taxable, I wo...
by happymob
Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How many financial accounts to maintain?
Replies: 30
Views: 4054

Re: How many financial accounts to maintain?

My wife and I currently have 20 savings and investment accounts (so no credit cards in that number). That is more than I would like and we are actively consolidating, but in a perfect world, we would still end up with: Rewards checking account Taxable brokerage 2x Roth IRAs 2x Workplace 403b 2x TIAA...
by happymob
Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Learning Quest (Kansas) Investment Options
Replies: 3
Views: 473

Re: 529 Learning Quest (Kansas) Investment Options

There's no real reason to invest in the KS Learning Quest 529 - KS gives a deduction for any state's 529 plan. Shop around for lower expenses.
by happymob
Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non-coverd vs Covered Shares
Replies: 7
Views: 839

Re: Non-coverd vs Covered Shares

Jenmke, regrettably, I have one of those "vintage" taxable mutual funds my parents bought for me in the late 60's. Long before computers could keep track. Were I to sell today, neither I nor the IRS would have a clue how much LTCG tax I might owe. My solution: keep it in the estate and let the kids...
by happymob
Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non-coverd vs Covered Shares
Replies: 7
Views: 839

Re: Non-coverd vs Covered Shares

Jenmke, regrettably, I have one of those "vintage" taxable mutual funds my parents bought for me in the late 60's. Long before computers could keep track. Were I to sell today, neither I nor the IRS would have a clue how much LTCG tax I might owe. My solution: keep it in the estate and let the kids...
by happymob
Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy for Investing Inheritant Money
Replies: 15
Views: 2860

Re: Strategy for Investing Inheritant Money

Thanks all! @rmelvey I already maxed out retirement accounts every year since I'm also at the highest tax bracket now . To sum up, a reasonable strategy would be: 1. Read, learn and investigate to find a low cost index-based allocation that I'm comfortable with. 2. Invest 20% of the money each mont...
by happymob
Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529
Replies: 9
Views: 1577

Re: 529

thanks for the replies......I'm the custodian of the account. It is for my 2015 taxes. Its through Vanguard's 529, therefore through Nevada's apparently. OK, so there is no MI tax advantage for you. Which is not a bad thing in the long run. Who is the owner of the account? You? Your granddaughter? ...
by happymob
Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandson working for me-Child labor law?
Replies: 35
Views: 3244

Re: Grandson working for me-Child labor law?

Ron wrote:No different than a "child" working on a family farm, much younger in age.
Except, legally, it might be different. Exemptions to family farms likely wouldn't apply to family construction business.
by happymob
Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ESPP - help talk me into selling
Replies: 8
Views: 1346

Re: ESPP - help talk me into selling

The standard Bogleheads response for ESPP (and for many at my workplace) is "sell it as soon as you get it" for the instant ROI, but this stock has also kept me above water for the past year. Economy tanks. Stock market tanks. Your company's stock price tanks. You are laid off. This is about risk. ...
by happymob
Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning For Future Estate Taxes
Replies: 18
Views: 1905

Re: Planning For Future Estate Taxes

Is there any chance of selling the development rights to the State/ This has worked very well to preserve farmland in CT. They can continue to live there but can sell at any time or leave it to their heirs. The only subsequent use would be for agricultural purposes. (no housing developments, malls,...
by happymob
Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Online/Distance Graduate Degrees Respected?
Replies: 28
Views: 8336

Re: Are Online/Distance Graduate Degrees Respected?

Ninnie wrote: Of course, avoid the for-profits (U. Phoenix, Capella, SNHU, etc.)
SNHU is non-profit, for the record. There are some other, mostly online, non-profits, like Excelsior College, Thomas Edison State, Western Governors University, and Charter Oak State.
by happymob
Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Large amount of CDs maturing....what to do?
Replies: 162
Views: 23754

Re: Large amount of CDs maturing....what to do?

Not sure how much money we are talking about or where you are, but we have found that multiple local banks (in the Midwest) have been willing to change their normal terms (for large CDs) for us. We have been offered better than advertising rates and/or better than advertised early withdrawal penalti...