Search found 12306 matches

by Mel Lindauer
Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Japanese TV producer doing story on post-election gains
Replies: 0
Views: 226

Japanese TV producer doing story on post-election gains

Hi Everyone: A news producer for a Japanese TV Network, Nippon TV, is doing a story on the stock market gains that people have made since the new administration came to power. Ideally, they want to interview people (ideally Mom and Pop type investors in the US) who have made money since the new Pres...
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:06 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Any Albany, NY Bogleheads out there?
Replies: 10
Views: 1031

Re: Any Albany, NY Bogleheads out there?

OK, Albany Bogleheads. evarrr stepped up and agreed to be the Local Chapter coordinator, so you now have an official Bogleheads Local Chapter. I'll be adding your group to the Local Chapters Map so others can find and contact you. The email address for the group is AlbanyBogleheads@gmail.com. You ca...
by Mel Lindauer
Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using 25-30 year old EE bonds to fund 529
Replies: 12
Views: 1004

Re: Using 25-30 year old EE bonds to fund 529

Recall this topic being discussed before, but don't remember where. Wiki? Forum? Only remember this from that discussion. The allowed (tax-advantaged) educational spending items is more limited with savings bonds, less limited with 529 plan. So to expand allowed educational spending items, roll sav...
by Mel Lindauer
Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:04 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Any Albany, NY Bogleheads out there?
Replies: 10
Views: 1031

Re: Any Albany, NY Bogleheads out there?

Looks like there's enough interest to get an Albany-area Local Chapter started. All we need is for one of you to agree to be the Local Chapter Coordinator and I'll add your group and contact info on the Local Chapters Map so others can find you. The Coordinator doesn't have to be a financial guru. R...
by Mel Lindauer
Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Planning if you don't care to leave an estate....
Replies: 32
Views: 2601

Re: Planning if you don't care to leave an estate....

Or you could just keep it simple and have a single portfolio designed to survive higher withdrawals in the short term then lower withdrawals once Social Security hits. This is my current plan, a few years away from retirement. Other than a difference in risk, is there any advantage/disadvantage of ...
by Mel Lindauer
Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Planning if you don't care to leave an estate....
Replies: 32
Views: 2601

Re: Planning if you don't care to leave an estate....

Or you could just keep it simple and have a single portfolio designed to survive higher withdrawals in the short term then lower withdrawals once Social Security hits. This is my current plan, a few years away from retirement. Other than a difference in risk, is there any advantage/disadvantage of ...
by Mel Lindauer
Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Online group meetings via web conference? [Virtual online chapter]
Replies: 31
Views: 2285

Re: Virtual boglehead meeting?

Wow, my 4 year old post got some new life today! Since there seems to be some interest, I would be interested in working on this. I use webex daily for work, but that's not something I want to pay for. Others mentioned free tools. What are the best free tools for webex-like web conferences? dan Wou...
by Mel Lindauer
Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Planning if you don't care to leave an estate....
Replies: 32
Views: 2601

Re: Planning if you don't care to leave an estate....

Thanks all! I do like the idea of a SPIA -- our advisor dismissed them out of hand, arguing the poor return, but they seems as reasonable as anything, and would allow any balance to remain in equities: ie, the SPIA could work as the 'bond' portion? No, an SPIA is insurance, specifically against the...
by Mel Lindauer
Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: [Interested in starting a] San Antonio Chapter?
Replies: 13
Views: 870

Re: [Interested in starting a] San Antonio Chapter?

OK, there's more than enough interest in getting a San Antonio Chapter started. All we need now is for someone to step up and agree to be the Coordinator. That person doesn't have to be an investing guru; they just communicate with the members about meeting dates, times, locations, agendas, etc. And...
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bonds for a 30s couple?
Replies: 20
Views: 1982

Re: I-Bonds for a 30s couple?

I think I-bonds could make sense for your situation. All interest earned is tax-deferred, and for qualifying education expenses they are tax-free. So they make a great risk-free savings vehicle for education for your child. Remember, I Bonds can only be used tax free for qualifying educational expe...
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bonds for a 30s couple?
Replies: 20
Views: 1982

Re: I-Bonds for a 30s couple?

I think I-bonds could make sense for your situation. All interest earned is tax-deferred, and for qualifying education expenses they are tax-free. So they make a great risk-free savings vehicle for education for your child. Remember, I Bonds can only be used tax free for qualifying educational expe...
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bonds for a 30s couple?
Replies: 20
Views: 1982

Re: I-Bonds for a 30s couple?

Or they can be used to compliment your long-term bond holdings in a 401k or tIRA (in which case you'd add them to your fixed-income allocation and hold less bonds in 401k/tIRA). Oh, I always thought I could only buy it through TreasuryDirect.gov or tax returns. I don't believe he's saying you can b...
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bonds for a 30s couple?
Replies: 20
Views: 1982

Re: I-Bonds for a 30s couple?

Or they can be used to compliment your long-term bond holdings in a 401k or tIRA (in which case you'd add them to your fixed-income allocation and hold less bonds in 401k/tIRA). Oh, I always thought I could only buy it through TreasuryDirect.gov or tax returns. You're correct. I Bonds cannot be hel...
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:06 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Online group meetings via web conference? [Virtual online chapter]
Replies: 31
Views: 2285

Re: Virtual boglehead meeting?

Would there be interest in a Virtual Local Chapter? Who would be the coordinator and who would handle the technical end? Remember that the word "Bogleheads" is a registered trademark/service mark and cannot be used without permission. I'll need to hear more from those who propose to run th...
by Mel Lindauer
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Church Development Funds?
Replies: 13
Views: 915

Re: Church Development Funds?

I've searched the archives, but not much information here regarding investment in church development funds. I was not even aware of their existence until our pastor promoted a particular fund from the pulpit during a financial-health-based sermon. When I got home and started looking at some of thes...
by Mel Lindauer
Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reporter doing story on tax-prep firms selling financial products
Replies: 0
Views: 169

Reporter doing story on tax-prep firms selling financial products

Hi Everyone: A known reporter, Laura Saunders of the WSJ, asked me to post this for her. If you fit the profile, contact Laura directly. Note the deadline is the 19th. ***************************************** The average income tax-refund is now about $3,000, and tax-prep firms are increasingly ser...
by Mel Lindauer
Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-bonds
Replies: 41
Views: 5322

Re: I-bonds

Understood. Just wanted to confirm the limits were in play. 5 years is a lifetime when planning for college as it would mean making the determination while the kids are in middle school so I wouldn't know much about college at that point. Would be great if buying IBonds were a qulifUse expense out ...
by Mel Lindauer
Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-bonds
Replies: 41
Views: 5322

Re: I-bonds

I think it's worth noting that "qualified educational expenses" for I-bond purposes are very limited (tuition and fees) versus 529 qualified educational expenses, which include tuition, room and board, and more. Here's another rarely-mentioned thing to keep in mind. If you buy I Bonds, pl...
by Mel Lindauer
Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone sorry they used bonds when starting out
Replies: 94
Views: 6695

Re: Anyone sorry they used bonds when starting out

The only bonds I purchased when I was younger was about 15-17 years ago and they were all 3.0% to 3.6% I-Bonds (thanks again Mel!). So my answer would be a resounding "NO". :sharebeer Glad you got your I Bonds when the getting was good. Those were the "good old days". :moneybag
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable annuity inside of a 457?
Replies: 8
Views: 568

Re: Variable annuity inside of a 457?

Thank you all for your input and thank you Mel for the link. My 457 plan recently dropped all vanguard target date funds (which I had planned on utilizing), and placed me into an array of funds that I am less than satisfied with. However, due to my inexperience in this area, I am reluctant to make ...
by Mel Lindauer
Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable annuity inside of a 457?
Replies: 8
Views: 568

Re: Variable annuity inside of a 457?

Here's a link to a Forbes column I did some time ago on this topic titled "Variable Annuities Don't Belong in retirement Plans".

https://www.forbes.com/2010/07/02/varia ... dauer.html
by Mel Lindauer
Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possible to reinvest this annuity?
Replies: 8
Views: 379

Re: Possible to reinvest this annuity?

Based upon personal experience I am very optimistic that you can move this IRA based annuity to Vanguard and place it directly into an IRA rather than performing a 1035 annuity exchange. To find out for certain in your circumstance just give them a call. Good luck. Yes, that's correct. You can tran...
by Mel Lindauer
Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possible to reinvest this annuity?
Replies: 8
Views: 379

Re: Possible to reinvest this annuity?

Based upon personal experience I am very optimistic that you can move this IRA based annuity to Vanguard and place it directly into an IRA rather than performing a 1035 annuity exchange. To find out for certain in your circumstance just give them a call. Good luck. Yes, that's correct. You can tran...
by Mel Lindauer
Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What assets in a Vanguard variable annuity if you are stuck with one
Replies: 18
Views: 1172

Re: What assets in a Vanguard variable annuity if you are stuck with one

Even when/if there are still surrender fees, it often still makes financial sense to swallow the surrender fee and move on if you're not planning to terminate the annuity anytime soon. Since you'll be enjoying the new lower-cost VA at a place like Vanguard, the payback period could be very short. It...
by Mel Lindauer
Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What assets in a Vanguard variable annuity if you are stuck with one
Replies: 18
Views: 1172

Re: What assets in a Vanguard variable annuity if you are stuck with one

I couldn't tell from your post. Is this VA inside a tax-deferred retirement plan or was it purchased with after-tax money? If it's in a tax-deferred plan, you can convert it to a Traditional IRA with lower-cost mutual funds rather than pay for the insurance wrapper. It was purchased with after-tax ...
by Mel Lindauer
Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What assets in a Vanguard variable annuity if you are stuck with one
Replies: 18
Views: 1172

Re: What assets in a Vanguard variable annuity if you are stuck with one

I couldn't tell from your post. Is this VA inside a tax-deferred retirement plan or was it purchased with after-tax money?

If it's in a tax-deferred plan, you can convert it to a Traditional IRA with lower-cost mutual funds rather than pay for the insurance wrapper.
by Mel Lindauer
Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bonds vs CD
Replies: 24
Views: 1818

Re: I-Bonds vs CD

I currently have 125K and saving up an extra 75K in the next 3-4 yrs before putting a down payment on my first house! :) My question is, is it better to invest in I-Bonds or CD's or both with my money? I currently have my money spread out like so: 25% in US/International index funds 25% in short an...
by Mel Lindauer
Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 27 yrs old. Reading Bogleheads guide to investing. Still need help.
Replies: 24
Views: 1895

Re: 27 yrs old. Reading Bogleheads guide to investing. Still need help.

You have gotten great advice, just wanted to throw out there that Schwab has Target Retirement Index funds too, and the ER is lower than Vanguard's. The minimum to open one at Schwab is also only $100 (no need to save up for the $1000 minimum at Vanguard) which is the main reason my son's Roth IRA ...
by Mel Lindauer
Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 27 yrs old. Reading Bogleheads guide to investing. Still need help.
Replies: 24
Views: 1895

Re: 27 yrs old. Reading Bogleheads guide to investing. Still need help.

clicobb: Based on your opening post, I believe the appropriate Vanguard Target Retirement Fund in a Roth IRA for you and another for your wife could be ideal. This is a link: https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/target-retirement/#/ Best wishes. Taylor You've come to the right place to get he...
by Mel Lindauer
Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Betterment just raised their costs.
Replies: 189
Views: 15624

Re: Betterment just raised their costs.

The tone of the conversation is becoming a bit heated and bordering on disrespectful. Please phrase comments more directly to the subject (Betterment increases fees). Otherwise, the thread will be locked.
by Mel Lindauer
Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?
Replies: 31
Views: 2029

Re: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?

I wouldn't call this a "stunt". There is no such thing a free lunch, Mel. Mailing out 1099's or any other statements costs money. If companies can efficiently charge this cost to those benefiting from it, I consider it a good thing. Otherwise the cost is implicitly paid by all customers i...
by Mel Lindauer
Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?
Replies: 31
Views: 2029

Re: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?

Pen Fed charges for mailing out anything, including the 1099's. Boy, talk about nickel and dIming customers. I refuse to deal with outfits that pull stunts like that. All of my banks and financial institutions mail them at no charge and always have. While Vanguard offers the option to download your...
by Mel Lindauer
Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?
Replies: 31
Views: 2029

Re: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?

Wouldn't it make more sense to simply email folks their 1099 rather than send them an email telling them to go online and print it out? Makes no sense to me to require multiple steps when one would do. It is very common for financial institutions of all kinds (not just Treasury Direct) to email me ...
by Mel Lindauer
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Using Ibonds to build cash reserves
Replies: 28
Views: 3280

Re: Using Ibonds to build cash reserves

Faulty argument. If you bought a 20 year Treasury, you'd get the yield to maturity for the entire duration of the issue, 20 years. The I bond currently yields 2.76% for the first six months of purchase, after that, your guess is as good as mine. The point is you don't get the same yield as a 20 yea...
by Mel Lindauer
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay ibonds taxes on interest now or later?
Replies: 22
Views: 1301

Re: Pay ibonds taxes on interest now or later?

I need to keep my MAGI low now to take advantage of Obamacare subsidies/cost sharing, then will have that pending income spike later. So my current plan is to extend the draw down from 2025 - 2031, and may be even 2020 - 2031. Notice that these I bonds were purchased in 1998-2001. Long before the A...
by Mel Lindauer
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?
Replies: 31
Views: 2029

Re: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?

WARNING about the 1099. Upon redemption, TD DOES NOT send you a 1099; you have to remember to go online and print it out yourself. That's somewhat dangerous. I wish TreasuryDirect would at least notify us of the existence of 1099-INTs by email. I wonder how many taxpayers did not remember to check ...
by Mel Lindauer
Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?
Replies: 31
Views: 2029

Re: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?

I have accumulated about $80K in I-Bonds, and since they have all passed their 1-year anniversary, I consider them as liquid as a savings account. It is my E-fund, savings for my next car purchase, etc... Redemption is simple, just log in and redeem to your checking account via ACH, and if you do, ...
by Mel Lindauer
Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single-Payment Annuities
Replies: 11
Views: 888

Re: Single-Payment Annuities

Depending on your current age, here's a Forbes column I did some time ago, describing a risk-free way to build your own annuity that may be suitable for your needs.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/theboglehe ... a6d6817ba3
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?
Replies: 31
Views: 2029

Re: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?

Still, now I'm questioning whether Uncle Sam *really* wants me to loan him money after all... You're not the only one wondering about that. Here's a Forbes column I did on that very topic, suggesting that Treasury was doing lots of things that made it appear they weren't very interested in selling ...
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single-Payment Annuities
Replies: 11
Views: 888

Re: Single-Payment Annuities

Greetings Bogleheads: My wife and I are considering the wisdom of purchasing a 5-year immediate annuity (SPIA) as a hedge against sequence-of-return risk in the first years of our retirement. The 5-year SPIA would cover annual withdrawals from taxable accounts that we would otherwise take to supple...
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Using Ibonds to build cash reserves
Replies: 28
Views: 3280

Re: Using Ibonds to build cash reserves

1. I think I an answer this one, but I do not see any advantage to add I-Bonds to a tax-advantaged account --e.g. 401K or IRA. I can foresee adding extra taxes if I cashed an I-bond within a 401K and withdrew the proceeds. 2. Would anyone consider an I-bond a good sink to put any unneeded RMD withd...
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?
Replies: 31
Views: 2029

Re: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?

2% real return bonds guaranteed by Uncle Sam?! I would love those; my pessimistic 'assumption' for retirement planning purposes is only getting 2% real return on my entire retirement portfolio. I missed out of them, although they must have been pre-Recession (and my adulthood) issue I guess. You sh...
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?
Replies: 31
Views: 2029

Re: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?

[ Several other benefits: 1. They're tax deferred. 2. They're free from state and local taxation. 3. They can be used, tax-free, for qualifying educational expenses. Agree with first 2; last one is conditional, based on income. I unfortunately found that out the hard way when we saved for education...
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?
Replies: 31
Views: 2029

Re: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?

Chuck wrote:I would definitely tap 2% I-Bonds last, and I wouldn't consider them at all to be in the E-fund category.


Agree. Can't think of any other tax-deferred, tax-free, risk-free investment with a current yield of 4.76%.
by Mel Lindauer
Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?
Replies: 31
Views: 2029

Re: I Bonds: time-delayed Emergency Fund or down-payment?

I just learned that I Bonds exist, so forgive me if my understanding is incorrect. Pro: I Bonds pay a minimum 0% real return . If inflation is positive, they pay the small fixed interest rate, determined at issue, on top of that. The interest is not subject to state and local income tax. Con: Canno...
by Mel Lindauer
Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Treating I-Bonds as Long-term Bond Holdings
Replies: 19
Views: 2041

Re: Treating I-Bonds as Long-term Bond Holdings

That's exactly my view. After the first year, an I-Bond is as liquid as cash, but it can also be viewed, and used, as an inflation-indexed 30-year Treasury bond, but one which has no market-fluctuating share price and whose value never declines from its current accrual-since-issue. Mel, on quite a ...
by Mel Lindauer
Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Selling Managed Mutual Fund for Index Fund, But Big Tax Hit
Replies: 10
Views: 744

Re: Selling Managed Mutual Fund for Index Fund, But Big Tax Hit

Do you avoid capital gains tax if you do a fund exchange within a fund family in a taxable account, or am I misunderstanding how you would save taxes? No. Exchanging between funds is a sale and does not avoid capital gains. I don't understand Mel's suggestion either. (A share class conversion, from...
by Mel Lindauer
Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issues with LastPass not loading
Replies: 6
Views: 504

Re: Issues with LastPass not loading

Just a long shot, but some similar programs require you to log back in with your master password from time to time (after a computer restart, for example).
by Mel Lindauer
Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Treating I-Bonds as Long-term Bond Holdings
Replies: 19
Views: 2041

Re: Treating I-Bonds as Long-term Bond Holdings

To me the coolest thing about I-bonds is that (after the first year is up) I can treat them as having any term I like, any maturity I like. The final 30-year maturity is just a nuisance. The big thing about I-bonds that offsets the low rates is the absence of interest rate risk. In between purchase...
by Mel Lindauer
Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ibonds
Replies: 12
Views: 1691

Re: Ibonds

Buy in May because of a possible increase in the fixed portion of the rate. It is currently 0%. Somewhere about april 15 the 6 month inflation rate is known It will probably be mentioned on this site. At that point you can buy before or after May 1. To clarify, only the variable portion of the new ...

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