Search found 22480 matches

by grabiner
Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: rule of thumb for using HSA funds?
Replies: 9
Views: 739

Re: rule of thumb for using HSA funds?

Follow-up question - at some point, the HSA funds should be spent for medical expenses. If they aren't used for current expenses, how do you determine when they should be used? After retirement, when you would otherwise have to withdraw from your tax-advantaged accounts, or sell stock for a capital...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPO vs HDHP....am I missing something?
Replies: 1
Views: 130

Re: PPO vs HDHP....am I missing something?

You can only contribute $6200 to the HSA, since your employer is already contributing $800. This reduces the tax savings to $1798. Also, the conventional plan covers some services even before you have met the deductible. If your 40 doctor visits cost $20 each under the conventional plan, that's $800...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Morningstar downgrades several Vanguard funds
Replies: 10
Views: 1894

Re: Morningstar downgrades several Vanguard funds

Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap Index (VFSVX) Downgraded to Bronze from Silver We lowered this strategy because it has big weightings in materials and energy--two of the most volatile sectors. That makes it more volatile than most of its peers. This is absurd. First, it's not true to any me...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good time to TLH and which Vanguard funds to avoid wash sale?
Replies: 11
Views: 428

Re: Good time to TLH and which Vanguard funds to avoid wash sale?

I've lost 1k of my 10.5k after tax investment at Vanguard. Currently, 5k in Vanguard Total US stocks and 5k in Vanguard Total Int. Stocks. Is now a good time to TLH? A good time to TLH is whenever you have enough of a loss to give a significant tax benefit. Even if you could time the market, it wou...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LTG & LTL does this strategy make sense?
Replies: 1
Views: 148

Re: LTG & LTL does this strategy make sense?

This is not a good strategy. It is better to sell your losers and keep those winners that you want to keep. (However, if you have capital gains on a stock or mutual fund you do not want to keep, then having huge capital losses makes it less expensive to sell it in order to switch.) One reason is tha...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: health savings account as federal employees
Replies: 30
Views: 10460

Re: health savings account as federal employees

I want to bump this thread since it hasn't been updated for quite a while. We're heading into open enrollment and I currently have GEHA standard deductible plan. I enjoy the flexibility of PPO so I want to stick with that. However, I am thinking of switching to HSA this year due to the tax benefits...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unique TLH question... maybe
Replies: 11
Views: 1003

Re: Unique TLH question... maybe

About a month ago I posted a question ( https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=259794&p=4135947 ) on minimizing old taxable accounts for simplicity, and due to higher than normal fees. For reference, I have roughly $6k in Vanguard Explorer long-term gains (VEXPX - ER 0.44) that I woul...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy during the last stock market decline
Replies: 44
Views: 4241

Re: Strategy during the last stock market decline

It is also appropriate for me to share another part of my IPS, which is particularly relevant in market declines: Reviewing This Statement This statement will be reviewed whenever there is a substantial change in my financial situation, and annually when I rebalance. If there is no substantial chang...
by grabiner
Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions on Credit Reports and Credit Scores
Replies: 13
Views: 759

Re: Questions on Credit Reports and Credit Scores

CK is constantly trying to get me to see how much they can save us on our mortgage (which currently at 1.74% on a 3/1 ARM, going up to 3.74% next summer). Part of the reason is that CK doesn't know the interest rate. My payment reported to the credit bureau includes escrow, which makes it look like...
by grabiner
Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what point does a life insurance policy not make sense?
Replies: 16
Views: 1705

Re: At what point does a life insurance policy not make sense?

What about an AD&D (Accidental death and dismemberment insurance)? I don't have a risky job, but I guess you never know. AD&D policies don't make sense. Insurance has a negative expected value (otherwise, insurance companies wouldn't sell it); the reason you buy it is to protect against losses you ...
by grabiner
Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividends and Tax Risk Adjustment
Replies: 9
Views: 375

Re: Dividends and Tax Risk Adjustment

I have two questions that I was hoping for input on. The first relates to dividend investing versus total return. The board clearly focuses on total return and the various reasons for it. One argument for dividend investing that I haven't seen addressed relates to timing of stock sales. For a total...
by grabiner
Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Muni Bond funds and Capital Gains
Replies: 11
Views: 1084

Re: Muni Bond funds and Capital Gains

Vanguard's estimated 2018 capital gains show that most of the long-term muni funds, both Long-Term Tax-Exempt and several state funds, are likely to distribute capital gains in 2018.
by grabiner
Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Year-End distribution estimates
Replies: 34
Views: 1047

Re: Vanguard Preliminary Estimates for Capital Gains

The 2018 preliminary estimates have been posted on the Vanguard website: https://advisors.vanguard.com/iwe/pdf/Preliminary_distributions_102018.pdf An interesting note: the LifeStrategy and Target Retirement funds are all distributing capital gains, because the rising market has forced them to sell...
by grabiner
Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs. Traditional for low tax bracket
Replies: 10
Views: 953

Re: Roth vs. Traditional for low tax bracket

Looking at reducing taxable income to the point of receiving the saver's credit might be a stretch. My income subject to taxes (before deductions, etc.) for next year will be $98,960. Standard deduction, kids, and maxing a traditional TSP would get me down to around $52k. That looks like I could ge...
by grabiner
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VGTSX/VTSAX or Just The VTWSX?
Replies: 6
Views: 833

Re: VGTSX/VTSAX or Just The VTWSX?

The quick version is: I have a Roth that is dedicated to aggressive experimentation. I will have, in the beginning of 2019, a combination of the VGTSX and VTSAX giving me Total US and Total International exposure. Or is it better to just VTWSX, even though there isn't an Admiral option at this poin...
by grabiner
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TLH Timing - IXUS to VXUS
Replies: 7
Views: 471

Re: TLH Timing - IXUS to VXUS

I think where my understanding breaks down is I'm not sure if it's an ordinary or qualified dividend, or how to look it up, so I'm having a hard time figuring out which example to follow. Check with the fund company; it should have a link to "Tax information by fund" or something similar. (You will...
by grabiner
Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs. Traditional 401k
Replies: 90
Views: 3606

Re: Roth vs. Traditional 401k

<<I am currently in the 22% tax bracket (and making over 50k a year)>> <<and expect that I will probably be in that bracket in retirement as well.>> Your expectation is wrong. To be at 22% tax bracket, your gross income at retirement needs to be 50K. Let's assume that your social security income is...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay capital gains taxes now or defer till 219?
Replies: 6
Views: 898

Re: Pay capital gains taxes now or defer till 219?

Wrt to offsetting ordinary income, is this not limited to $3k of ordinary income? It is, but the excess can be carried over for years. If you might have $21K in capital gains either this year or next year, and happen to have $21K in capital losses next year, taking the gains this year would cost yo...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs. Traditional 401k
Replies: 90
Views: 3606

Re: Roth vs. Traditional 401k

You are currently in the 24% bracket. It takes ~$2.5 million in traditional accounts for a 4%/yr withdrawal rate on those alone to get out of the 12% bracket. Until you expect to reach that amount, putting 100% into the traditional 401k is likely best. Could you explain this? For 2018 the 12% tax b...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Take taxes into account when rebalancing?
Replies: 44
Views: 2187

Re: Take taxes into account when rebalancing?

For investment asset allocation, what matters is not what the asset is worth now, but what it will produce in spendable income. I thought that you buy an asset for an expected total return...income AND capital appreciation? And that stocks, especially since the 1950s, have most of their return from...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?
Replies: 7
Views: 490

Re: Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?

Suppose that a stock index is at $2000. A fund could hold $2000 in stock, or it could hold $1000 in cash and an option to buy the index at $1000. Either way, the fund will track the index. If the market rises by 10%, the value of the stock will rise to $2200, and the value of the option will rise f...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Take taxes into account when rebalancing?
Replies: 44
Views: 2187

Re: Take taxes into account when rebalancing?

I understand what you are saying, but I never heard of reducing an asset’s value due to the taxation of the income it produces. To me the asset is the asset and the income is net of taxes. For investment asset allocation, what matters is not what the asset is worth now, but what it will produce in ...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United MileagePlus - Confused and looking for cheaper options
Replies: 26
Views: 2009

Re: United MileagePlus - Confused and looking for cheaper options

Hi folks, I have just under 50K miles in my Mileageplus account. I need to book two tickets (1 adult and 1 child) for a round trip flight (total of around 64000 miles) within the next couple of days. United is asking for almost $600 for the additional 14000 miles after using my 50K miles. I am very...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay capital gains taxes now or defer till 219?
Replies: 6
Views: 898

Re: Pay capital gains taxes now or defer till 219?

The advantage of selling the stock this year is that, if you have any capital losses in 2019, you will be able to offset ordinary income with them; this will result in a lower tax bill. If you wait to sell until 2019, your capital losses will offset capital gains taxed at 15%, rather than ordinary i...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Take taxes into account when rebalancing?
Replies: 44
Views: 2187

Re: Take taxes into account when rebalancing?

I have been playing around with using after-tax values for rebalancing. Roth funds need no reduction so the after-tax multiplier factor is 1 For tax-deferred, the factor is about 0.7325 for me. That's assuming a 22% federal marginal tax plus my state tax rate. For taxable, the factor is about 0.9 w...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing taxes by hand
Replies: 83
Views: 4734

Re: Doing taxes by hand

I use software (usually TaxACT), but then check the calculations myself. Software and humans have different advantages. Software usually prevents errors from miscopying data or entering numbers on the wrong line. The first time I filed a Schedule D by hand (back when you used Schedule D to compute y...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Take taxes into account when rebalancing?
Replies: 44
Views: 2187

Re: Take taxes into account when rebalancing?

I'm not sure that "tax cost is the least of a person's concern" is correct. It guess it depends on the amount of tax involved, the person's overall wealth level and the investment time horizon. But I stand by my assertion that probably, for most upper middle class and above savers, paying tax to re...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Take taxes into account when rebalancing?
Replies: 44
Views: 2187

Re: Take taxes into account when rebalancing?

I have been playing around with using after-tax values for rebalancing. Roth funds need no reduction so the after-tax multiplier factor is 1 For tax-deferred, the factor is about 0.7325 for me. That's assuming a 22% federal marginal tax plus my state tax rate. For taxable, the factor is about 0.9 w...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TLH Global Wellington Fund
Replies: 4
Views: 586

Re: TLH Global Wellington Fund

It would likely work fine, but you will be out of the International market for the 31 days. It may work better to use the Vanguard Balanced Index fund which will still hold foreign stocks. Probably won't matter for 31 days, but if you had to hold the acquired fund due to capital gains the Balanced ...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Consideration for Asset Class in Roth and Regular IRA
Replies: 2
Views: 270

Re: Tax Consideration for Asset Class in Roth and Regular IRA

Welcome to the forum! If you adjust for the fact that the IRS owns part of your traditional account, it doesn't make much difference; see Tax-adjusted asset allocation on the wiki. Putting more dollars in stock in the Roth IRA gives higher expected return, but also higher risk, which may not be a be...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy during the last stock market decline
Replies: 44
Views: 4241

Re: Strategy during the last stock market decline

I would like to create a statement to follow and include it in my IPS. If you have written such an IPS statement on market declines and would be willing to share that statement, I would appreciate it. Here is what my IPS says about rebalancing; this part of the IPS has not been changed for years. I...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy during the last stock market decline
Replies: 44
Views: 4241

Re: Strategy during the last stock market decline

My bond allocation was 10% at the time, with a tolerance of 7.5%-12.5%. I hit the band limit in October 2008; and sold some bonds to buy more stock. I continued to put new money into bonds at the regular rate during the recovery, which prevented me from needing to rebalance out of stock into bonds d...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NJ Deferred Comp 457 - Help with Allocations
Replies: 3
Views: 174

Re: NJ Deferred Comp 457 - Help with Allocations

You could use a mix of 80% Equity and 20% Small Cap Equity for your US stocks. If you have a Roth IRA (and you should) you could put a low-cost international index fund there to reduce the international in the DCP. The Roth IRA is particularly important in NJ. NJ does not give a state tax deduction...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I invest in HSA? help analyzing options
Replies: 2
Views: 348

Re: Should I invest in HSA? help analyzing options

I've been maxing 401k and roth ira every year and plan to continue that even though i just bought a house and have higher expenses with remodeling, etc. 24% federal tax rate and 3.07% state tax (PA). Does this make my marginal tax savings % = 27.07%? Yes, unless you itemize deductions and are under...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA How do I invest?
Replies: 8
Views: 1020

Re: HSA How do I invest?

Last year, I opened up an HDHP from GEHA (I'm a federal employee). I was contributing $75 a pay period last year while my employer contributed as well. I have about $2k sitting in the HSA Bank. My deductible is $1500, so if I do have an unforeseen medical expense, I can cover the deductable from my...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Move savings to Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX)
Replies: 55
Views: 7208

Re: Move savings to Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX)

Can anyone confirm if a portion of the prime mm is deductible for state tax returns? I thought a portion of it was federal and eligible to be deducted on state returns. This depends on your state. Some states require that 50% of a fund's holdings be exempt from state tax in order to get any state t...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?
Replies: 7
Views: 490

Re: Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?

I hold only index funds, which have no cash drag; any cash they hold is offset by futures or options so that they can track the index Can you educate me on this? Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund Admiral for example has around 3% cash per morningstar.com. So from a perspective of rebalancing, wou...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs. Traditional 401k
Replies: 90
Views: 3606

Re: Roth vs. Traditional 401k

Here is a simple rule to follow: if you make <50k (individual) or <100k (jointly), direct your contributions to roth 401k (or roth ira). If you make more than that, go traditional. Here are the rules of thumb from Traditional versus Roth on the wiki. If your current marginal tax rate is 15% or less...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?
Replies: 7
Views: 490

Re: Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?

It makes sense to do this, particularly if you have a spreadsheet to make the computations easier. Many funds cover multiple asset classes, particularly if you break down stocks into categories such as large/small, growth/value, or developed/emerging. In a spreadsheet, you can say that the XYZ Growt...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?
Replies: 35
Views: 3014

Re: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?

The actuaries who do the math aren’t stupid. The prices are based on the insurance company’s actual risk. +1 Actuaries work for the insurance company and don’t take into account incentives the federal government may offer to individuals to opt for a HDHP with HSA over a PPO. If someone will contrib...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me pick a fund for my HSA in California
Replies: 18
Views: 2153

Re: Help me pick a fund for my HSA in California

One consideration is that they don't send you anything to help you track your basis etc. so to the extent you can make your life easier with Treasury investments (incl. TIPS) and they are any part of your AA - that's why people recommend it for your California HSA. You still have to track your basi...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good explanation of how bond funds don't get crushed in rising rate environment
Replies: 64
Views: 6071

Re: Good explanation of how bond funds don't get crushed in rising rate environment

Noob question. All else being equal. If you are hoping to make money in an intermediate term bond fund, are you hoping for the price to go up or the yield to go up? The yield. If you gain from the price going up, this implies that you intend to hold the fund for less than its duration, which you sh...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b has been sorted out. Now an HSA?
Replies: 10
Views: 1582

Re: 403b has been sorted out. Now an HSA?

OP here. Yes this thread is 1.5 years old. I am still somewhat paralyzed by making a change for some reason. The math seems clear especially from Grabiner's post. The tax situation has changed a bit, but not that much. With the new tax laws, you may now be in a 22% tax bracket, but you no longer de...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good explanation of how bond funds don't get crushed in rising rate environment
Replies: 64
Views: 6071

Re: Good explanation of how bond funds don't get crushed in rising rate environment

Interest-rate risk is minimized when the bond duration matches the investment horizon. Long-term investors, therefore, REDUCE their interest rate risk by choosing long-term bonds over short-term bonds. Nominal bonds do potentially leave the investor exposed to inflation risk, but that doesn't mean ...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Debunking Bonds in Taxable
Replies: 99
Views: 10314

Re: Debunking Bonds in Taxable

There are so many great options that are best or only available in taxable space such as account signup bonuses, i-bonds, and VWALX/VWAHX that I see no need for the ordinary options here or regret for holding bonds in taxable. A small portion of treasuries in tax sheltered accounts for rebalancing ...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: difference going long on a leveraged etf and short on its inverse?
Replies: 14
Views: 915

Re: difference going long on a leveraged etf and short on its inverse?

What would be the difference with going long on e.g. SSO and going short on SDS? Should they give me the same returns? If not what is the difference? The daily returns will be the same, but your exposure will change, so that the multi-day returns will be different. If you put $1000 into a long 2x l...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me pick a fund for my HSA in California
Replies: 18
Views: 2153

Re: Help me pick a fund for my HSA in California

Realize this is an old thread, but just got my first HSA and I'm in California. I appreciate the advice to invest in relatively higher weight of Treasury bonds in the HSA to avoid state tax (and compensating with other retirement accounts to preserve total asset allocation), however, I am wondering...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Debunking Bonds in Taxable
Replies: 99
Views: 10314

Re: Debunking Bonds in Taxable

So. at the end, do we have to compare 15% * stocks return vs marginal-tax% * bonds return to decide where to allocate? No, because the return on the stocks is deferred. If you have $100K in stock with an 8% return, you now have $108K, but your tax cost is not $1200. If the dividend yield is 2%, you...
by grabiner
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTSAX VS FSKAX [Vanguard vs. Fidelity Total Stock Market]
Replies: 7
Views: 914

Re: VTSAX VS FSKAX [Vanguard vs. Fidelity Total Stock Market]

I own both funds (FSKAX in a Fido workplace 403(b) account, VTSAX across several Vanguard accounts). Fidelity customer service has been phenomenal to work with in dealing with all the nuances with 403(b) transfers, and their IT is generally more reliable. I did find there was one evening last week ...
by grabiner
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Purchase Questions
Replies: 7
Views: 922

Re: Home Purchase Questions

See Paying down loans versus investing on the wiki. Putting more money down is a risk-free invetment, earning the mortgage interest rate, with a duration equal to the weighted average of the mortgage payments. For example, a 15-year mortgage with a 4% APR has a 7-year duration, so putting more money...