Search found 20504 matches

by grabiner
Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Planning for the final months of work
Replies: 47
Views: 3035

Re: Planning for the final months of work

This is not correct. If you have a 4% 30-year mortgage, then it is a 4% 2-year loan two years before it ends. On a $250k loan at 4%, the amount of interest paid over the first 19 payments is $15,624 and the amount of interest paid over the last 19 payments is $811. Not sure why you say that is not ...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High deductible health insurance with HSA for family of 5
Replies: 12
Views: 765

Re: High deductible health insurance with HSA for family of 5

2) What state do you live in? Several states (CA, NJ, and AL) don't recognize HSAs for state tax purposes, and others (NH and TN) tax earnings, though that's not as big a deal for right now.. Losing the state tax benefits are a pain. I do not believe either NH or TN taxes earnings. This has been re...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay capital gains now, avoid ACA cliff later?
Replies: 7
Views: 637

Re: Pay capital gains now, avoid ACA cliff later?

Some added info: I have $150k of unrealized gains on $250k of FDGRX in a taxable account. It generates a lot of capital gains. I would suggest getting rid of this fund now, whether it affects ACA or not. The capital gains generated by this fund are probably going to cost you more in the future, jus...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Accident- challenge getting funds for repairs by responsible party/insurer
Replies: 25
Views: 1035

Re: Car Accident- challenge getting funds for repairs by responsible party/insurer

Thanks DM. My hesitancy to file with Geico is that wouldn't this make my insurance rate go up, even though I was not at fault? And also, I suppose I'm reluctant to dish out $1k for the repair. Maybe I'm wrong, but after I pay the deductible, I'm thinking Geico (my insurer) might have less of an inc...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I deposit money into my HSA account, if I go on this PPO plan?
Replies: 1
Views: 180

Re: Can I deposit money into my HSA account, if I go on this PPO plan?

You have to check the plan documentation to see whether it qualifies as an HDHP under the IRS rules. An HDHP must have a high deductible, cover nothing except preventive care until that deductible is met, and have an out-of-pocket maximum. Your PPO is disqualified because it has a fixed co-payment f...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth transfer: Wait for December distributions?
Replies: 7
Views: 633

Re: Roth transfer: Wait for December distributions?

Alan S: This is a great summation of what I thought I understood ... "The total value of your Roth does not change from the distribution, it only changes due to market gains or losses. Therefore, your direct transfer of the Roth can be done either before or after." Having said that, I always though...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Request of Vanguard bond fund in SelectAccount HSA
Replies: 6
Views: 296

Re: Request of Vanguard bond fund in SelectAccount HSA

Why not just use Vanguard Target Retirement Income? That effectively puts 70% of your HSA in bonds. That seems to be the best choice if you are unwilling to go with Schwab. Yeah, a Vanguard Target Retirement fund could also work. I do prefer stand alone bond fund in that when market plummet, I can ...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: another refinance question (30 or 15 year?)
Replies: 11
Views: 582

Re: another refinance question (30 or 15 year?)

If you are likely to sell in 5-10 years, then the 15-year loan is better. The biggest advantage of a 30-year mortgage is that you lock in the rate for 30 years; you retain the option of paying it off early if rates stay low, or of borrowing for a long time at a very low rate if rates rise. Ten years...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Add international value?
Replies: 9
Views: 731

Re: Add international value?

I think the best diversifier is int small cap value. It makes sense as they would be more exposed to their home markets rather than global markets. Each slice of 10 doesn’t have the same diversification value. I’d think about just holding large cap blend and then more scv to tilt. I doubt small cap...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to weight Risk:Return for AA in Thrift G fund vs. F Fund?
Replies: 8
Views: 547

Re: How to weight Risk:Return for AA in Thrift G fund vs. F Fund?

Hello! Perhaps I'm reading the Thrift table wrong? Each year, the F fund seems to outperform the G fund by an average of 2%. Or does this include share price appreciation as well as interest rate return? The TSP funds do not pay out dividends, so all changes in investment value are reflected in the...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Planning for the final months of work
Replies: 47
Views: 3035

Re: Planning for the final months of work

I am late to this thread but just wanted to add one comment. The last 19 payments on your mortgage are almost all principal. I do not see any reason to pre-pay those. You can figure out how much interest it is, I'm guessing less than $100 per month. It is like a 19 month 0% loan at this point. This...
by grabiner
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spending Taxable to Zero during Retirement
Replies: 32
Views: 3164

Re: Spending Taxable to Zero during Retirement

Usually, it is better to spend taxable accounts before tax-advantaged accounts, because you keep the tax-deferred growth on the tax-advantaged accounts, while any further gains in the taxable account are immediately taxed (or you accept lower yields to hold municipal bonds). Taxes cost nothing in a ...
by grabiner
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using a donor-advised fund to minimize taxes
Replies: 34
Views: 2296

Re: Using a donor-advised fund to minimize taxes

Oddly, the marginal tax rate (& thereby the DAF tax savings) tends to be higher for bogleheads in the 15% bracket than those in the 25% bracket. How can a marginal tax rate be higher for those in the 15% bracket than those in the 25% bracket? :confused If you're in the 15% bracket, the deduction re...
by grabiner
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Opinions and Tax Efficiency
Replies: 11
Views: 1068

Re: Portfolio Opinions and Tax Efficiency

If I am looking for a place to put a bond fund, would it be better to do this in a traditional TSP verses a Roth TSP? Or should I stick with the Roth and seek to put the assets expected to have the most growth in them? If you have both traditional and Roth TSP, you are forced to have the same alloc...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?
Replies: 37
Views: 2373

Re: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?

I keep supporting documentation for 6 years after the due date of the last return it could affect, but the actual returns forever because they may be needed for future records. I needed information from my 1997 W-2 to file my 2011 and 2012 NJ state taxes. (NJ does not allow a tax deduction for 403(b...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: sell fidelity index mutual fund and replace with etf index for tax benefit?
Replies: 21
Views: 1706

Re: sell fidelity index mutual fund and replace with etf index for tax benefit?

Grabiner - Thanks for taking the time to write an incredibly clear reply. If my understanding is correct, the reported after-tax returns for ITOT may be worse than they are in reality because the people are reporting the after-tax return may be making worse-case (and likely inaccurate) assumptions....
by grabiner
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations
Replies: 40
Views: 2787

Re: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations

I am ignoring the effect of payroll deduction on Social Security taxes, because this is close to break-even; you lose about as much future value in Social Security taxes as you save in payments. Thank you for your post and for updating your analysis - I've seen it on other threads and every time I ...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains timing
Replies: 11
Views: 939

Re: Capital gains timing

Argh. Apparently my brain has been fried (I blame my 2-yr-old). Rechecking the tax brackets, our gross lands us at the border of the 28/33% and AGI lands solidly in the 28%. In any case, you're all right that capital gains are taxed at 15% and not ordinary income levels - for some reason I got conf...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond fund in a ROTH
Replies: 28
Views: 2163

Re: Bond fund in a ROTH

This might be a stupid question, but I'll ask anyway. After reading this thread....it's opened my eyes on a few things. However, the question I have is this: If you do not hold bonds in your ROTH, how do you rebalance? If I hold bonds in my ROTH, I could sell them to buy TSM. If my Bonds are in my ...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: sell fidelity index mutual fund and replace with etf index for tax benefit?
Replies: 21
Views: 1706

Re: sell fidelity index mutual fund and replace with etf index for tax benefit?

Could someone simplify this one more level and dumb.it down? I do my own taxes, understand well capital gains and quality dividend rates, etc, but 100% sure I follow FSTVX vs ITOT comparison. "I suspect that Fidelity doesn't know about qualified dividends for ITOT. ". What does that mean? All funds...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond fund in a ROTH
Replies: 28
Views: 2163

Re: Bond fund in a ROTH

You don't actually need to sell equities low, because you are required to take the RMDs, but not required to spend them. If you have an RMD you don't need to spend, you can take the RMD from a stock fund, and invest it into a stock index fund in your taxable account. And if you have an RMD from an ...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is treating all accounts as one bucket really simpler
Replies: 21
Views: 2665

Re: Is treating all accounts as one bucket really simpler

Traditional versus Roth is almost irrelevant for asset location. If you retire in a 25% bracket, you will get exactly the same value from $40K in a traditional IRA or $30K in a Roth IRA if invested the same way; if the market doubles or halves, you will get $60K or $15K either way. This is only tru...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is treating all accounts as one bucket really simpler
Replies: 21
Views: 2665

Re: Is treating all accounts as one bucket really simpler

I talked about the placement table without showing it. I will list it below. the preferred location for each investment type in order of most preferred location to least preferred location according to US tax laws: REIT: Roth IRA, traditional IRA, taxable bond: traditional IRA, Roth IRA, taxable in...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: sell fidelity index mutual fund and replace with etf index for tax benefit?
Replies: 21
Views: 1706

Re: sell fidelity index mutual fund and replace with etf index for tax benefit?

Yes, FSTVX is not as tax efficient as ITOT. What's not clear to me is that, if one comes ahead of the other when you sell them, why does it matter? For example, according to Fidelity, the average annual returns after taxes on distributions and sale of fund shares are: 1Y 3Y 5Y 10Y FSTVX 10.92% 8.21...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond fund in a ROTH
Replies: 28
Views: 2163

Re: Bond fund in a ROTH

Now in retirement (or soon to be for a 2nd time) I wanted to have the flexibility to withdraw from a ROTH account when the market was down and thought that having a bond fund in our ROTH would give us that flexibility. similarly, if you have to take RMDs from an inherited Roth and one holds all equ...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Opinions and Tax Efficiency
Replies: 11
Views: 1068

Re: Portfolio Opinions and Tax Efficiency

If you hold any bonds, they should be in the TSP G fund. The G fund is a better bond fund than anything you can get at retail, while the other TSP funds, while they are very good, have comparable alternatives at Vanguard.
by grabiner
Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refinance 30yr to 15yr mortgage?
Replies: 31
Views: 2625

Re: Refinance 30yr to 15yr mortgage?

OP, Why would you prepay principal on a rental property? A) If it is cash flow positive and you are making money out of it, why would you put more money into it? B) If it is not cash flow positive and you are not making money out of it, why would you keep the property? If you have extra money, inve...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: To buy or not to buy tax-exempt bonds?
Replies: 6
Views: 684

Re: To buy or not to buy tax-exempt bonds?

Yes, I am in NC, and the expense ratios for NC tax-exempt muni mutual funds are awful. And unfortunately, there isn't an option for a Vanguard NC tax-exempt fund... It's not worth buying a non-Vanguard NC fund; the NC taxes you pay on a Vanguard fund will be less than the extra expenses you pay on ...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard admiral shares vs. ETFs - tax cost differences
Replies: 2
Views: 685

Re: Vanguard admiral shares vs. ETFs - tax cost differences

Hello, It has been my understanding that Vanguard's mutual funds and ETFs should be equally tax efficient due to Vanguard's dual share structure. According to Morningstar there seem to be differences in tax cost ratios between the MF/ETF shares of Vanguard funds. Am I incorrect to assume that the t...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains timing
Replies: 11
Views: 939

Re: Capital gains timing

If you make large donations to charity, then you could use this stock for your donations, rather than making donations with cash. You would be able to deduct the full value of the stock, and avoid the capital-gains tax. (If the capital gains are only $12K, and it is a very-long-term holding, it's pr...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable annuity trading costs?
Replies: 16
Views: 444

Re: Variable annuity trading costs?

Sidebar: I find your question kinda fascinating in an odd way. The most basic question that BH has with Indexes, asset allocation of available Indexes is, "What is the Market risk of the Index(s)?" The most basic question for annuities is, "What are the fees within the annuity?" What people need to...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations
Replies: 40
Views: 2787

Re: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations

I am giving a presentation to the DC Bogleheads on a related topic, so I redid my comparisons for FEHB HDHPs versus conventional, and the HDHP is almost a guaranteed winner (as long as you won't be deterred from seeking necessary care due to the potential bills). I use GEHA in this comparison, as i...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations
Replies: 40
Views: 2787

Re: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations

I am giving a presentation to the DC Bogleheads on a related topic, so I redid my comparisons for FEHB HDHPs versus conventional, and the HDHP is almost a guaranteed winner (as long as you won't be deterred from seeking necessary care due to the potential bills). I use GEHA in this comparison, as it...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 14590

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

Personally I don't get the folks who turn down a 0% loan because they don't want a monthly payment. Put the money in the bank earning 1.3% and set it on autopay. If you have monthly bills for various utilities (total of 5 for me), insurance, cell phone, streaming service, etc. what's one more. Even...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations
Replies: 40
Views: 2787

Re: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations

I'm chiming in with more questions than answers, but hopefully won't sidetrack the thread. Same situation. My research suggests that both GEHA and CF BCBS HDHP are excellent options to have. No judgment/knowledge of the others you list. Both GEHA and CF seem to have ~95% of the same doctors I've be...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations
Replies: 40
Views: 2787

Re: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations

I'm a new fed and am currently enrolled in the GEHA HDHP, and I'm planning on keeping that option for 2018. My wife and I aren't sure if we're going to try for another kiddo, but we'll probably need/want to decide by late next year or early 2019. The GEHA HDHP covers maternity 100% *after* the dedu...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anti-Index Fund Arguments - Help staying the course.
Replies: 19
Views: 2459

Re: Anti-Index Fund Arguments - Help staying the course.

Welcome to the forum! Will the wiser Bogleheads help me dispute some of these points so that I may continue to stay the course. I will organise the points under bolded headings. The dot points are not my beliefs, it is my attempt at summarising points I have seen. Index Funds Buy High/Sell Low Detra...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down a 3.25% 15-year mortgage?
Replies: 25
Views: 3849

Re: Pay down a 3.25% 15-year mortgage?

Paying off the rental mortgage will improve the cash flow, but it won't really improve the economic situation. Cash flow is not profit or loss, since it includes principal payments which increase your equity in the property. If you don't want to sell the rental, then the fact that the mortgage is on...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing priority
Replies: 17
Views: 1285

Re: Investing priority

Normally, an HSA is preferable to any other investment. But if the saver's credit reduces your tax to zero, the tax deduction on an HSA contribution is worthless. This makes a Roth IRA financially just as good, as both grow tax-free, and the Roth is better in practice because you can withdraw contri...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing priority
Replies: 17
Views: 1285

Re: Investing priority

In particular, it appears you (employer matches don't count, and as a student your wife is ineligible for the credit) should contribute $2000 to a traditional account (either 401k or IRA) to get a $1000 saver's credit. If he's filing jointly, Roth vs Traditional shouldn't matter for the saver's cre...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 14590

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

Whether to pay cash or finance depends on what is the best use of your money. I have bought three cars, and that was the basis for my decisions. In 2001, my taxable investment account was all stock, with large capital gains. Therefore, it made sense for me to finance my car (through my credit union)...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with my Taxable Equity Portfolio to be used as a Bridge in 3 Years?
Replies: 6
Views: 476

Re: What to do with my Taxable Equity Portfolio to be used as a Bridge in 3 Years?

View everything as one portfolio. If you want to sell bonds, you can still do that even though your taxable account is all stock; sell the stock, and move an equal amount in your IRA from bonds to stock. You keep your stock exposure, just as if you had the bonds to sell. You also don't need the brid...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inherited Annuity...smartest choice?
Replies: 2
Views: 367

Re: Inherited Annuity...smartest choice?

Welcome to the forum! Since you don't need an annuity, the only reason to keep any annuity is the tax advantage. If you do a section 1035 exchange to a low-cost annuity, you can defer taxes on the gains until you receive the payments. But even low-cost annuities are fairly expensive; Vanguard's Tota...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:24 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Notifications
Replies: 5
Views: 525

Re: Notifications

I was under the impression that if you start a thread you are automatically subscribed to receive notifications, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Did something change or was that never the case? You aren't automatically subscribed; you need to use the options at the bottom to subscribe to a th...
by grabiner
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virginia to New Jersey income tax
Replies: 20
Views: 2139

Re: Virginia to New Jersey income tax

Your state tax on the RMDs will be lower; NJ treats all IRAs as non-deductible, so unless your IRA was a rollover from a 401(k) (which has been deductible in NJ for years), you will pay tax only on the gains. Similarly, are you drawing payments from the TSP? NJ does not allow a deduction for TSP co...
by grabiner
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virginia to New Jersey income tax
Replies: 20
Views: 2139

Re: Virginia to New Jersey income tax

I'm just beginning my research, but I still should have added in: am single, retired with a federal pension. am taking RMDs, have Vanguard dividends and capital gains which I've been automatically reinvesting , PROBABLY will rent rather than own, and would likely be somewhere between Tom's River [O...
by grabiner
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell stocks in brokerage account to fund IRA?
Replies: 15
Views: 1274

Re: Sell stocks in brokerage account to fund IRA?

I'm thinking I could further reduce my EFC by selling $11,000 in my taxable brokerage account and making a Traditional IRA contribution for both of us with the proceeds. It looks like I would get more back on federal taxes than I will lose with 6% state capital gains tax. Are you under the limit fo...
by grabiner
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:18 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Master thread for Washington DC Area Bogleheads
Replies: 115
Views: 29177

Re: Master thread for Washington DC Area Bogleheads

I would prefer dinner after the meeting rather than before. Since I am speaking (likely an hour with questions), I would like to use the hour before the meeting to go over my presentation.
by grabiner
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell stocks in brokerage account to fund IRA?
Replies: 15
Views: 1274

Re: Sell stocks in brokerage account to fund IRA?

When figuring the Expected Family Contribution for College, are cash and taxable brokerage accounts treated the same? Yes, except for the income they generate. If I sell in my brokerage account, there is no federal capital gain but I will pay 6% Missouri tax on that. And if you are already in a yea...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is an investment account the best choice for me (new guy)
Replies: 84
Views: 3457

Re: Is an investment account the best choice for me (new guy)

The Admiral share class is better than the Investor share class of the same fund; it has the same holdings, and thus participates in the same market movements, but with lower expenses. If you start with $10K in the fund, you will immediately get Admiral shares; if you have less than $10K, but the b...