Search found 20482 matches

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: 14
Views: 1972

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: 12
Views: 1039

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: 20
Views: 1559

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: 8
Views: 693

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: 13
Views: 1325

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: 564

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: 580

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: 8
Views: 570

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: 375

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: 34
Views: 2300

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: 34
Views: 2300

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: 160
Views: 12534

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: 34
Views: 2300

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: 34
Views: 2300

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: 18
Views: 2119

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: 24
Views: 3453

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: 1248

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: 1248

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: 160
Views: 12534

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: 452

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: 1
Views: 221

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: 3
Views: 341

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: 2102

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: 2102

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: 1237

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: 29089

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: 1237

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: 3382

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...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better credit or larger downpayment?
Replies: 17
Views: 1450

Re: Better credit or larger downpayment?

(You do not want to pay off the car loan before buying your house, as closing the car loan may hurt your credit score.) I had not heard that closing a car loan could hurt my credit score. I thought that it would make my credit score better because I would have a lower credit utilization %. Can you ...
by grabiner
Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is an investment account the best choice for me (new guy)
Replies: 84
Views: 3382

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

Would there ever be a reason to invest in Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Idx Inv instead of the Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX) ER 0.15%? Since the number 1 stock fund in VASGX is (VTSMX), when would it be apropriate to put money in VASGX instead of VTSMX? It depends on whether you want a portf...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Banking Receipts?
Replies: 1
Views: 284

Re: HSA Banking Receipts?

All HSAs work this way; the only reason you need receipts is to satisfy the IRS. You can tell your HSA provider, "I would like to withdraw $2000 from the HSA," and the HSA provider will allow this, without any verification. You will report on your tax form whether you used the $2000 to reimburse you...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What percentage in state municipal bonds?
Replies: 9
Views: 839

Re: What percentage in state municipal bonds?

I have half of my bonds, 12.5% of total portfolio, in CA munis. 78% AAA and AA. Grabiner is the forum member who I have read the most about munis and I hope he weighs in here. I believe he typically says no more than half of bonds in your state. I don't know if his opinion would take into account t...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: LifeStrategy Fund in Taxable account
Replies: 16
Views: 1409

Re: LifeStrategy Fund in Taxable account

Before they reach RMD age, they can reduce future RMDs by converting the some of the traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, and withdrawing from the traditional IRA to pay the taxes if they do not have spare money in their taxable accounts.
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA: Should I List Junk Bond Fund Under Stocks or Bonds?
Replies: 12
Views: 719

Re: AA: Should I List Junk Bond Fund Under Stocks or Bonds?

Bond. Historically it has acted more like a bond, and I would guess in today's interest rate environments this would be doubly so. Where are you getting your info that it acts more like a stock? I would break it out into its own catagoey before I would included it in equity. Look at the 2008 return...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paul Merriman: The One Fund Every Investor Should Own
Replies: 122
Views: 18225

Re: Paul Merriman: The One Fund Every Investor Should Own

If room for holding value funds is tight and you want deep exposure in one fund, it makes sense to hold RZV (Guggenheim S&P 600 Pure Value) at 0.35% expenses. This ETF has very deep value exposure, and is mostly micro-caps. It is also suitable for a taxable account because of its extremely low yiel...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paul Merriman: The One Fund Every Investor Should Own
Replies: 122
Views: 18225

Re: Paul Merriman: The One Fund Every Investor Should Own

So DES had a 3:1 stock split on 11-10-17. I had alerts popping up on my phone telling me DES was down 66% :shock: Even my brokerage told me I had those unrealized losses while showing 3x the shares and about the same dollar value as the day before. WisdomTree also added U.S. to the fund name, so it...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Rules When Put Options Bought to Hedge Index ETF
Replies: 2
Views: 233

Re: Tax Rules When Put Options Bought to Hedge Index ETF

Reference from Fairmark: Guide to Capital Gains In particular: Wash Sales and Options It appears from the discussion there that an out-of-the-money put is not treated as a short sale, nor is it substantially identical to a sale. (The tax law is not always logical, but logically, an out-of-the-money ...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virginia to New Jersey income tax
Replies: 20
Views: 2102

Re: Virginia to New Jersey income tax

Very simple. NJ is a gross income tax state. The only deductions allowed are 1500 for a taxpayer and 1k for dependents and real estate taxes (or 18% of rent) up to 10k, period. And medical expenses in excess of 2% of income. NJ also taxes some categories of income not taxed in most states: Medical ...
by grabiner
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better credit or larger downpayment?
Replies: 17
Views: 1450

Re: Better credit or larger downpayment?

It's probably better to purchase the car with cash, and make a smaller down payment. You will have the same debt either way, but the effective rate on comparable car debt is higher because it is not deductible. (Note that a 3% 5-year car loan has a higher effective rate than a 30-year mortgage which...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for repaying wife's law school loans
Replies: 23
Views: 1947

Re: Strategy for repaying wife's law school loans

You make 200K per year. Be done with this in 12 months. Why bother playing the loan forgiveness game? You've bought a wedding and an expensive house. Time to pay your debts. Buckle down and knock it out in two years and move on with your lives. So true. I would play this slightly differently. As lo...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement
Replies: 14
Views: 1679

Re: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement

I wonder why the Institutional and Institutional Plus Total Market Index funds are throwing off CG distributions, and the Admiral and Investor share classes are not. When it comes to mutual funds versus ETFs, there really shouldn't be any differences in CG distributions if they're the same (VTSAX v...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement
Replies: 14
Views: 1679

Re: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement

I wonder why the Institutional and Institutional Plus Total Market Index funds are throwing off CG distributions, and the Admiral and Investor share classes are not. When it comes to mutual funds versus ETFs, there really shouldn't be any differences in CG distributions if they're the same (VTSAX v...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Max my TSP or
Replies: 14
Views: 1033

Re: Should I Max my TSP or

Tsp now allows you the option to invest post tax dollars into tsp. I starting doing half and half since I didn't know what would be better. But now that I can max out the Roth IRA for the yr it's a mute point. Which is better depends on your tax bracket; see Traditional versus Roth on the wiki. Sin...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Decision
Replies: 15
Views: 1038

Re: Refinance Decision

I have an escrow account now, and yes the new loan will require one. The current loan has 313 months left, the new one will be at 360 so I may lose out in the long run which is why I posted here for assistance. You can choose to pay off the new loan under the old amortization schedule. If so, you w...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Top tax bracket in CA - Bonds all muni?
Replies: 11
Views: 1023

Re: Top tax bracket in CA - Bonds all muni?

Assuming an investor is in the top tax bracket in California and will be for the foreseeable future, does it make sense to have his/her complete bond portion of a portfolio in a CA Muni fund like VCADX? Or should some bond diversification still be present? I'm no expert in this, but VCADX has a hig...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Max my TSP or
Replies: 14
Views: 1033

Re: Should I Max my TSP or

Tsp now allows you the option to invest post tax dollars into tsp. I starting doing half and half since I didn't know what would be better. But now that I can max out the Roth IRA for the yr it's a mute point. Which is better depends on your tax bracket; see Traditional versus Roth on the wiki. Sin...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ran out of space for bonds in tax-deferred accounts. Now what?
Replies: 17
Views: 1904

Re: Ran out of space for bonds in tax-deferred accounts. Now what?

Vanguard has several muni funds, usually with 0.19% expenses on Investor shares ($3K minimum) and 0.09% on Admiral shares ($50K minimum). Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt has a similar risk level to Total Bond Market, so it is the usual default choice; as with taxable bond funds, you can trade off risk...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are You Comfortable With State Specific Muni Money Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 707

Re: Are You Comfortable With State Specific Muni Money Funds

My normal recommendation is to put no more than half your bonds in a single-state fund. If half or more of your bonds are in a 401(k), then you can hold all your taxable bonds in a muni fund for your state. If all your bonds are taxable, then I recommend half in Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt, and...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA w high medical expenses: Still worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 1307

Re: HSA w high medical expenses: Still worth it?

Not to hijack this thread (but it is somewhat related), but when doing these calculations on what plan to choose, should one also take into account not just the value of the tax deduction from an HSA account, but also (the presumed) value of tax free earnings on the HSA account over some future per...
by grabiner
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ran out of space for bonds in tax-deferred accounts. Now what?
Replies: 17
Views: 1904

Re: Ran out of space for bonds in tax-deferred accounts. Now what?

I’m in the 33% bracket. Which muni funds are good alternatives for total bond index? Vanguard has several muni funds, usually with 0.19% expenses on Investor shares ($3K minimum) and 0.09% on Admiral shares ($50K minimum). Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt has a similar risk level to Total Bond Market, ...