Search found 20602 matches

by grabiner
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax questions about moving taxable to lower ER options
Replies: 8
Views: 554

Re: Tax questions about moving taxable to lower ER options

grabiner - Thanks for that link; I had not seen it. "If the annual difference in taxes and costs is more than 10% of the tax you would pay, you should almost always switch." Yeah - definitely need to go through the worksheet to see where we stand. I am thinking this will affect my taxes. I think ou...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 FEHB HDHP Recommendations
Replies: 46
Views: 3637

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
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Concerns about investing abroad
Replies: 24
Views: 1596

Re: Concerns about investing abroad

I definitely prefer investing through the US intead of my local country (France) for two reasons: - I do not believe in the sustainablity of the EUR over the long term Whether you invest in funds in the US or France is irrelevant for this effect. If you buy a fund in France which holds US stocks, a...
by grabiner
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Costco/TrueCar auto shopping experience
Replies: 43
Views: 10675

Re: My Costco/TrueCar auto shopping experience

We live in the DC metropolitan area, so there are a lot of dealerships. All the chosen sellers were no where near my home despite the availability of nearby dealerships. The furthest was 45 miles away and the closest was 25 miles away. This is a matter of which dealers participate in the area. I am...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Choosing a Fidelity Bond Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 932

Re: Help Choosing a Fidelity Bond Index Fund

Good catch! Mmmm...maybe I should switch to the index fund, except that I like that the returns of FTBFX have been greater over the past 10 years. I do see though, like Mr. Larimore pointed out, that FSITX faired better around 2009. And that's what you would expect. FTBFX (Fidelity Total Bond) hold...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Current Research On Dividend Studies
Replies: 11
Views: 1136

Re: Current Research On Dividend Studies

Sorting based on dividends produced a 9.57% return premium from 1st quintile to 5th quintile, with 5.27% less volatility as measured by standard deviation!?! Forgive me if I don't believe that. Unfortunately, I can't quite spot what is wrong, but there is simply no way that is the whole story. http...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: investing in taxable accounts
Replies: 10
Views: 1487

Re: investing in taxable accounts

If you have an RMD you don't need to spend, then it makes sense to keep the same asset allocation. Since stock index funds are particularly good for investments you expect to leave to your heirs (no capital-gains tax will ever be due), you can take your RMD from a stock fund in the IRA, and buy Tota...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Concerns about investing abroad
Replies: 24
Views: 1596

Re: Concerns about investing abroad

I definitely prefer investing through the US intead of my local country (France) for two reasons: - I do not believe in the sustainablity of the EUR over the long term Whether you invest in funds in the US or France is irrelevant for this effect. If you buy a fund in France which holds US stocks, a...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How bonds would have been better in 2008 crash
Replies: 5
Views: 640

Re: How bonds would have been better in 2008 crash

I have the following in my 401K (Portfolio#1) VPMAX 35% Vanguard PRIMECAP Fund Admiral Shares VWENX 30% Vanguard Wellington Fund Admiral Shares (60% stocks /40% bonds) VWILX 15% Vanguard International Growth Fund Admiral Shares VITPX 8% Vanguard Instl Total Stock Market Index Fund Instl Plus VIVIX ...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Choosing a Fidelity Bond Index Fund
Replies: 19
Views: 932

Re: Help Choosing a Fidelity Bond Index Fund

I *believe* the stars from morningstar are indicative of the recent performance, compared to comparable funds. A passive, "total bond" type of fund would usually be at 3 stars. (Passive in bonds doesn't provide a lot of returns; just a lot of stability). --> although I guess you could go out on the...
by grabiner
Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSM vs High Dividend Yield if I never choose to sell?
Replies: 36
Views: 2164

Re: TSM vs High Dividend Yield if I never choose to sell?

The extra tax cost of a high-dividend fund is greater if you never sell than if you do sell. In funds which pay high dividends, the share price grows more slowly because more of the return is paid to you in a dividend. If you sell, you will pay tax on the return either way; receiving it as a divide...
by grabiner
Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSM vs High Dividend Yield if I never choose to sell?
Replies: 36
Views: 2164

Re: TSM vs High Dividend Yield if I never choose to sell?

The extra tax cost of a high-dividend fund is greater if you never sell than if you do sell. In funds which pay high dividends, the share price grows more slowly because more of the return is paid to you in a dividend. If you sell, you will pay tax on the return either way; receiving it as a divide...
by grabiner
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best FEDVIP dental insurance for braces/orthodontics
Replies: 7
Views: 454

Re: Best FEDVIP dental insurance for braces/orthodontics

Isn't this a type of risk many on the board would suggest self funding with money from savings? It's an inconvenient expense but not in the catastrophic category. Even with losses that can be life changing many people want to save the fixed insurance cost to save for longer term objectives. How doe...
by grabiner
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's International Growth / Value / Explorer funds
Replies: 4
Views: 614

Re: Vanguard's International Growth / Value / Explorer funds

These are all fine funds if you hold them in an IRA. International Growth and Value aren't that strongly growth- or value-oriented; if you want a strong value bias, you will need to use a non-Vanguard ETF. International Explorer is a small-cap fund, which you could use as a non-index alternative to ...
by grabiner
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Traditional vs Roth IRA at high tax brackets?
Replies: 6
Views: 724

Re: Traditional vs Roth IRA at high tax brackets?

In the 35% tax bracket, you can presumably afford to max out the Roth 401(k). Therefore, your choice is between investing $18,000 in a Roth 401(k), or $18,000 in a traditional 401(k) and the $6300 tax savings in a taxable account. If you retire in a 25% tax bracket, then $18,000 in a traditional 401...
by grabiner
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSM vs High Dividend Yield if I never choose to sell?
Replies: 36
Views: 2164

Re: TSM vs High Dividend Yield if I never choose to sell?

The extra tax cost of a high-dividend fund is greater if you never sell than if you do sell. In funds which pay high dividends, the share price grows more slowly because more of the return is paid to you in a dividend. If you sell, you will pay tax on the return either way; receiving it as a dividen...
by grabiner
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2000-09 worst decade for large cap stocks in 109 years
Replies: 44
Views: 2966

Re: 2000-09 worst decade for large cap stocks in 109 years

I gave it a quick run with the Simba spreadsheet , where we can easily assemble rolling returns charts in real or nominal terms, for a given portfolio. Click (once or twice) to see a larger version of the charts. https://i.imgur.com/KEWQ2h6l.jpg So 1965-1974 was the worst ten-year period. The DFA d...
by grabiner
Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Roth TSP for active duty military
Replies: 9
Views: 631

Re: Question about Roth TSP for active duty military

I believe that military service members pay into Social Security, correct me if I'm wrong. If you do, you may want to wait until age 70 when you would get the maximum SS amount so you could use your TSP money up until then. My understanding is that you will get 100% of your SS benefits at full reti...
by grabiner
Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down loans or invest
Replies: 14
Views: 1065

Re: Pay down loans or invest

Are you single or married? If you are single, you can't deduct your loan interest, so you get a risk-free 3.77% return on any loan prepayment, and that is a very good deal at current rates. I would probably recommend putting enough into the 401(k) to get the employer match; investing in your Roth IR...
by grabiner
Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Impact of Withdrawal from Non-Qualified VTCLX
Replies: 2
Views: 202

Re: Tax Impact of Withdrawal from Non-Qualified VTCLX

The best way to find this out is to use your tax software. Add $433 of short-term gains and $22,985 of long-term gains, and see what happens to your taxes. The reason to use the software is that there are many phase-ins and phase-outs in the tax code; for example, if you have two or more children an...
by grabiner
Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did I make an irrevocable IRA mistake?
Replies: 6
Views: 626

Re: Did I make an irrevocable IRA mistake?

Welcome to the forum! One thing you can do with the traditional IRA is transfer it to your 401(k), if your 401(k) accepts such transfers. This is only worth doing if you have low-cost funds in your 401(k). If you do, then you can simplify your portfolio, and you will be able to use a Backdoor Roth I...
by grabiner
Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard year end distributions - updated estimates
Replies: 42
Views: 4228

Re: Vanguard year end distributions - updated estimates

Why do the institutional total stock market funds have 100% QDI whereas the rest (admiral, investor, etc.) have 94%? Don't they follow the same index? They follow the same index, but they are not share classes of the same fund; each fund computes its own QDI. Dividends can become non-qualified if t...
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?
Replies: 64
Views: 4353

Re: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?

A credit score is based only on your credit report. If you have a good credit score, this means that people with credit reports like yours are likely to repay their loans. But the underwriting decision is based on other factors as well, such as the relationship of the loan to the collateral and to y...
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing for a loss??
Replies: 10
Views: 768

Re: Rebalancing for a loss??

I have the majority of my retirement account in the TSP. If I rebalance when stocks are down, doesn't that "lock in" losses? Example: If all of my TSP funds are down 10% and I rebalance my entire account, aren't those 10% losses locked in because TSP will sale my shares in order to rebalance? Rebal...
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard year end distributions - updated estimates
Replies: 42
Views: 4228

Re: Vanguard year end distributions - updated estimates

Total Stock Market includes medium and small caps, S&P500 does not. It is not a matter of efficiency, but of being different funds. QDI have a 61-day holding rule. Could that be the reason why VTSAX only declares 94% as such ? It is true that you can't compare the funds perfectly although the corre...
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard year end distributions - updated estimates
Replies: 42
Views: 4228

Re: Vanguard year end distributions - updated estimates

Also, we tend to think of the FTSE ex-US fund as being a perfect TLH equivalent fund for the Total International fund but dividends for that fund ar e 72% QDI whereas the latter is only 66%. Last year I thought they were just 1% off. Wonder why Total International is so much less this year. Total I...
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The International Index and the Relentless Rules of Humble Arithmetic
Replies: 8
Views: 1111

Re: The International Index and the Relentless Rules of Humble Arithmetic

Dunn's Law is not the issue with Total International. Total International is actually less style-pure than its peer group; it holds more in emerging markets (17%) than the peer-group average (7%). Thus, when emerging markets do badly, as they have in recent years, Total International will underperfo...
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mortgage Payoff Question in HCOL area
Replies: 12
Views: 1395

Re: Mortgage Payoff Question in HCOL area

Hi Everyone, I'm close to retiring student debt and am now thinking about what's next. After having read the board and running some numbers, I'm definitely onboard with paying off the mortgage. Accelerating payments will allow me to save $150K - 200K in interest if I pay off in the next few years. ...
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation across accounts: Twist?
Replies: 23
Views: 1254

Re: Asset allocation across accounts: Twist?

Hi everyone. I've identified my asset allocation and am now implementing it across my many accounts (401k, IRA, Roth, 529s, taxable). I understand the concept of asset allocation across one's portfolio and tax-efficiency. However, I have one concern. Out of all of my accounts, only the taxable acco...
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to investing: Tax efficient fund placement???
Replies: 10
Views: 440

Re: New to investing: Tax efficient fund placement???

Short term bond: BSV (Efficient) This is efficient because of its low yield, but if you are in a 28% or higher tax bracket, you might prefer a muni fund instead, such as Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt. Intermediate bond: BIV (Mod. inefficient) (401K) Probably the least tax-efficient fund on your ...
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Analyzing Expense Ratios
Replies: 39
Views: 2137

Re: Analyzing Expense Ratios

At my work (and previous jobs I've had), I have been told that a company match is "free money". Before putting my money into Vanguard's Target Retirement 2055 fund, I've spent time reading various Bogle books, reading posts on this forum, learning about my taxes and my income, understanding expense...
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do you save during the year for your next backdoor.. ?
Replies: 10
Views: 827

Re: Where do you save during the year for your next backdoor.. ?

I have a large taxable account, so I keep my December dividends there for an IRA contribution, rather than reinvesting them immediately. This means that the money is already in my money-market fund on January 2, ready to be contributed.
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax questions about moving taxable to lower ER options
Replies: 8
Views: 554

Re: Tax questions about moving taxable to lower ER options

See Paying a tax cost to switch funds on the wiki. It's usually worth switching even if you pay a tax bill, because you will make up for that tax bill in lower expenses, and in a lower capital gain when you sell the replacement fund. If you have a huge capital gain, check how it affects your taxes; ...
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help choosing bond fund for nontaxable work acct
Replies: 6
Views: 359

Re: Help choosing bond fund for nontaxable work acct

What are the stock and bond funds in your 403(b)? If the stock funds are less expensive (for example, if you have a low-cost S&P 500 index, which is a common situation), then you should hold stock in the 403(b) and bonds in your other accounts. Stocks and bonds have about equal cost in a Roth IRA, s...
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Quick Question
Replies: 4
Views: 410

Re: HSA Quick Question

To become eligible for an HSA, you would have to decline your employer insurance, and buy an HDHP on the private market. This is not likely to be a good deal, as the private plan will probably cost much more, wiping out any benefit from the HSA. Another way to become eligible is to marry someone who...
by grabiner
Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California HSA or 401k
Replies: 8
Views: 778

Re: California HSA or 401k

That are you opinions on paying for Medical expenses out of pocket, Submitting for reimbursement, and moving that money to a Roth IRA. This effectively produces the same results as an HSA(For Investment purposes) without the taxation of growth in CA. This (or equivalently to write checks on your HS...
by grabiner
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay
Replies: 79
Views: 5668

Re: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay

No more than 2x your gross annual salary for the size of your mortgage. I like this rule. It prevents you from becoming house poor. If this was a universal standard, realtors would need to survive on cat food. Let's look at the Top 25 Metro Areas per US Census and compare median household income, m...
by grabiner
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please check my HSA math (payroll deductions vs. non-payroll + FICA)
Replies: 8
Views: 618

Re: Please check my HSA math (payroll deductions vs. non-payroll + FICA)

It is easiest to treat everything as indexed to inflation; this is what is done in Payroll deduction on the wiki. A $420 payroll deduction reduces your AIME by $1. If you are above the second bend point, reducing your AIME by $1 reduces your PIA by 15 cents, and thus reduces your benefit by 15 cents...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California HSA or 401k
Replies: 8
Views: 778

Re: California HSA or 401k

The CA tax on a TIPS fund will be zero unless the fund distributes capital gains. And any capital gains will be only the result of small price changes caused by changes in TIPS rates; the inflation adjustment is taxed as a dividend which is CA tax exempt. Just checking: the CA tax exempt quality re...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California HSA or 401k
Replies: 8
Views: 778

Re: California HSA or 401k

"CA_taxable_Growth" is similar to "Growth", except the Future Value is decreased by the tax drag on annual dividends and withdrawn capital gains. HSA is better if CA_taxable_Growth / Growth > 0.724. For investment growth due primarily to capital gains not taxed until withdrawal, in practice this wi...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 182
Views: 11310

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

It will also appear as a corresponding refund of state taxes on my 2018 filing increasing my liability for next year. Rather than a refund (bad, avoid) how about just designating that to be applied to your 2018 estimated taxes? The IRS does not get a copy of my state tax return, though the state do...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning a baby through IVF around Feb 2018: which insurance plan to go for HSA or HRA?
Replies: 5
Views: 478

Re: Planning a baby through IVF around Feb 2018: which insurance plan to go for HSA or HRA?

Welcome to the forum! The benefit of the HSA is that you can contribute $5900 more to it, and that gives you a tax savings which depends on your tax bracket. If you are in a 25% bracket with no state tax (or you live in AL, CA, or NJ, which don't recognize HSAs), that's a tax savings of $1488. (It'...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California HSA or 401k
Replies: 8
Views: 778

Re: California HSA or 401k

I have seen many post about HSA vs 401k, but still can’t seem to understand which is better in California since HSA doesn’t get a state deduction. Scenario 1 Contribute 15k of Income to 401k and max out HSA Scenario 2 Max out 401k and non in HSA. From a California perspective when would HSA ever be...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning a baby through IVF around Feb 2018: which insurance plan to go for HSA or HRA?
Replies: 5
Views: 478

Re: Planning a baby through IVF around Feb 2018: which insurance plan to go for HSA or HRA?

Welcome to the forum! The benefit of the HSA is that you can contribute $5900 more to it, and that gives you a tax savings which depends on your tax bracket. If you are in a 25% bracket with no state tax (or you live in AL, CA, or NJ, which don't recognize HSAs), that's a tax savings of $1488. (It's...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 182
Views: 11310

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

It will also appear as a corresponding refund of state taxes on my 2018 filing increasing my liability for next year. Rather than a refund (bad, avoid) how about just designating that to be applied to your 2018 estimated taxes? The IRS does not get a copy of my state tax return, though the state do...
by grabiner
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare
Replies: 159
Views: 10872

Re: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare

A correction on the GEHA HD employer contribution. If you have the HDHP and are retiring from federal service, you can continue on the HDHP, and GEHA no longer contributes $750 to an HSA, because the law does not permit you to continue funding your HSA (but you still have your HSA funds from up to ...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mutual Funds or alternates that don't force income
Replies: 10
Views: 1064

Re: Mutual Funds or alternates that don't force income

We have some cap loss carryforward so always take the $3k, am I correct that if we had more gains in mutual funds that we could use those carry forward losses to offset LT capgains before the MAGI is calculated? This is correct. Your MAGI includes the net capital gain or loss, so you can take gains...
by grabiner
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest or pay off mortgage?
Replies: 77
Views: 6033

Re: Invest or pay off mortgage?

IMO, folks play far too many mental gymnastics with their house and mortgage (not a rental). It's a purchase. Yes, probably the largest purchase we will make. Hence, we take a loan out on it. I also don't see how one gets a return on the money they paid to finish paying off their purchase. Paying i...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest or pay off mortgage?
Replies: 77
Views: 6033

Re: Invest or pay off mortgage?

I would go for the investment while paying the mortgage in instalments. If the investment goes well it shouldn't be a problem to pay the mortgage off in few yrs If municipal-bond rates are higher than your after-tax mortgage rate, one way to do this would be to invest the extra money into a municip...
by grabiner
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adjusting ROTH IRA contribution because of severance
Replies: 8
Views: 859

Re: Adjusting ROTH IRA contribution because of severance

This happened to me as well this year. Fidelity has an IRA Return of Excess Contribution form you can fill out online and they will process it for you. It also has the option of calculating any gains you made on those contributions as you must take those out as well. You can chose to specify the ga...