Search found 381 matches

by OutInThirteen
Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP Participant Account Balances
Replies: 72
Views: 19604

Re: TSP Participant Account Balances

In DC at least, there's a lot of rotation between public and private sector. Could be that people work for five years in gov, go to private sector, and keep the TSP. That could affect balances. Or come to government service as a second career. Wife has over $1M in retirement assets, but not all wit...
by OutInThirteen
Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Closed my Roth IRA due to political uncertainty - mistake???
Replies: 102
Views: 8937

Re: Reopening Roth after a panic move - need advice on investment

Thanks for the advice. I realize I have blundered and am doing all to remedy it. This world is brand new to me and I'm doing this completely on my own. I don't have family, etc to point me in the right direction. While I appreciate your advice, I could do without your tone. No one likes to have the...
by OutInThirteen
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP Inheritance count toward MAGI (Obamacare)
Replies: 5
Views: 834

Re: TSP Inheritance count toward MAGI (Obamacare)

The problem here is not the non-spouse part. The problem is that the inheritor cannot pass the TSP account on to another inheritor. The only choice the second inheritor has is to receive a lump sum distribution. That's how I understand it anyway. Not sure this is well known. I've had a TSP account ...
by OutInThirteen
Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fresh Look at the "Larry Portfolio" from Portfolio Charts
Replies: 125
Views: 23452

Re: Fresh Look at the "Larry Portfolio" from Portfolio Charts

Is the Larry Portfolio even implementable if the vast majority of one's bond portfolio (low- to mid-6 figures) is in the Thift Savings Plan G Fund? I would say yes. The main idea is that a big percentage of your portfolio is in a relatively safe asset class, while the risky portion is in higher exp...
by OutInThirteen
Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fresh Look at the "Larry Portfolio" from Portfolio Charts
Replies: 125
Views: 23452

Re: Fresh Look at the "Larry Portfolio" from Portfolio Charts

Is the Larry Portfolio even implementable if the vast majority of one's bond portfolio (low- to mid-6 figures) is in the Thift Savings Plan G Fund? All retirement expenses, including discretionary, are covered by 3 pensions (2 are COLA'd, mostly with 100% survivor benefit) and 2 SSs, so the portfoli...
by OutInThirteen
Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social security benefits when worked in non covered job 32 years ago?
Replies: 8
Views: 1652

Re: Social security benefits when worked in non covered job 32 years ago?

You may need to review the windfall elimination provisions of social security. Your wife may be exempt if she has 30 or more years of social security earnings. If she does not then she would be subject to actuarial reduction of her PIA based on her lump sum benefit. Here is a brief review of windfa...
by OutInThirteen
Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the prediction of future long-term returns for your portfolio?
Replies: 64
Views: 8482

Re: What is the prediction of future long-term returns for your portfolio?

In my Excel spreadsheet I assume 6% for stocks and 4% for inflation, resulting in 2% real. However, the information isn't particularly useful to me. COLA'd pensions and SS cover all expenses, with investments set aside for medical and/or long term care expenses. Whatever's left will go to the childr...
by OutInThirteen
Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Costs of the TSP? is it self-sustained?
Replies: 33
Views: 4564

Re: Costs of the TSP? is it self-sustained?

Why would you roll back into the G Fund if the withdrawal options suck? I ask because my wife's funds are in TSP and always figured we would roll out of TSP into vanguard come retirement time. Not something I have to do right away. It's an option. One concern is that Congress may change the G fund'...
by OutInThirteen
Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Form 2210 questions
Replies: 17
Views: 2676

Re: Form 2210 questions

If the instructions for a tax form lists conditions for which the form is to be filed, and those conditions are not met, then don't file the form. This is a good general rule. After all, why make your tax return more voluminous than it needs to be. There are, however, some situations where I think ...
by OutInThirteen
Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I being given needlessly complicated advice?
Replies: 31
Views: 4748

Re: Am I being given needlessly complicated advice?

FSTVX (total market) and FTIPX (total international) are all I have in my Fidelity traditional and Roth IRAs. For bonds, I use the Thrift Savings Plan G Fund.
by OutInThirteen
Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Maximum Withdrawal
Replies: 8
Views: 1740

Re: Social Security Maximum Withdrawal

Here's the answer from the ssa.gov site: https://faq.ssa.gov/link/portal/34011/34019/article/3735/what-is-the-maximum-social-security-retirement-benefit-payable The maximum monthly benefit at age 62 of $2,102 from the link above is for a worker (retiring in 2016 at age 62) whose 35 highest years' s...
by OutInThirteen
Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Deduction SEEMS Too good to be true - What am I MISSING!?
Replies: 37
Views: 8673

Re: Mortgage Deduction SEEMS Too good to be true - What am I MISSING!?

It sounds like you have been using the standard deduction instead of itemizing. If your state income taxes are more than the standard deduction, then you should have been itemizing. Review Schedule A. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040sa.pdf How will this affect your state taxes? If your state a...
by OutInThirteen
Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Civil/Struct Engineers. Public Vs. Private Employment
Replies: 21
Views: 8436

Re: Civil/Struct Engineers. Public Vs. Private Employment

I'm a retired structural engineer, with 35 years of experience under my belt. However, I only spent my first 5 years designing structures (oil and gas drilling and production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico), including this one (not my fault, I swear!): http://www.opednews.com/articles/NEW-PHOTOS-Ma...
by OutInThirteen
Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401K Fidelity Investment Options
Replies: 3
Views: 1140

Re: 401K Fidelity Investment Options

I'd suggest limiting your investments to those funds with expense ratios less than or equal to 0.20%. You've got some good choices: an S&P 500 fund and mid cap and small cap funds, which can be combined to approximate the total US equity market. You've also got a good total bond fund. And don't ...
by OutInThirteen
Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I be investing in a 457b plan offered by my job
Replies: 26
Views: 3496

Re: Should I be investing in a 457b plan offered by my job

If you have any desire to retire early, 457(b) withdrawals (from a government 457(b)) never invoke early withdrawal penalties, at any age (you don't have to wait until the year you turn 55 to separate from employment and you don't have to wait until age 59-1/2 (IRA)). So it provides some flexibility...
by OutInThirteen
Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds and TSP - 3 questions
Replies: 5
Views: 982

Re: Bonds and TSP - 3 questions

My plan is to finish converting the rest of my traditional IRA and 403(b) balances to my Roth IRA before RMDs in seven years. All I will have left will be the G Fund. My RMDs, which the TSP will calculate for me, will cover my entire Federal tax liability, with a little left over. So I'll have the T...
by OutInThirteen
Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k loan for downpayment
Replies: 15
Views: 2752

Re: 401k loan for downpayment

I appreciate all of your help. Looks like the home is headed to a bidding war. We don't stand a chance with limited funds and a contingency. Goodbye dream home! On the plus side, we'll probably end up in something a bit more fiscally responsible. Thanks again! Overall, I think you're taking the bes...
by OutInThirteen
Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What investment firm for small investors?
Replies: 14
Views: 1801

Re: What investment firm for small investors?

(Fidelity spends way, way too much on advertising/marketing for my tastes - compare their column inches and full-truck displays in NYT, WSJ, etc. with VG, Price, Columbia, others. Somebody has got to pay for all those expensive ads, eh :shock: The people paying for them aren't the index customers. ...
by OutInThirteen
Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD and Tax questions
Replies: 8
Views: 1152

Re: RMD and Tax questions

1. Taxable in 2017.
2. Don't have the answer to this off-hand.
by OutInThirteen
Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have experience with plumbing issues or any Plumbers here?
Replies: 30
Views: 3321

Re: Anyone have experience with plumbing issues or any Plumbers here?

If repairing, the new piping must be CPVC, the same as the rest of your plumbing. In my part of Nevada, PVC piping inside a dwelling was not permitted per the building code, it had to be CPVC.
by OutInThirteen
Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing advice for recently widowed 62 yr old Man
Replies: 7
Views: 1328

Re: Investing advice for recently widowed 62 yr old Man

Re: mortgage interest deduction and "effective" mortgage rate - how much headroom does your father have in his standard deduction without considering the mortgage interest deduction? In other words, if his other itemized deductions (state income tax, property taxes, etc.) are less than the...
by OutInThirteen
Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing Taxes for the First Time....
Replies: 7
Views: 1334

Re: Doing Taxes for the First Time....

I've done mine with pencil (draft)/pen (final) and paper, by hand, since 1975. About ten years ago I built an Excel spreadsheet to capture information throughout the year, and to use as a cross-check when finalizing my return. I thinks that's the best way to truly understand what's behind the numbers.
by OutInThirteen
Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Load up on cash - it might be one of your best investments
Replies: 53
Views: 11689

Re: Load up on cash - it might be one of your best investments

Houses, cars . . .? This can't be serious. When the market had its down tick in 2009, we significantly increased our spending in 2009 and 2010 because the prices of goods and services - mainly travel and home renovations. Our spending rate dropped back after that - I think 2012 was a low point. If ...
by OutInThirteen
Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What monetary value has your education provided you?
Replies: 107
Views: 8757

Re: What monetary value has your education provided you?

Using IRR, and approximate figure, I calculate my ROI for my degree at 27% per year. For my wife it will be about 9% per year. The idea of ever getting a 100x ROI from just a bachelor's degree honestly seems preposterous. You must include opportunity cost of the lost earnings from going to school t...
by OutInThirteen
Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why nobody understands importance of high-deductible insurance?
Replies: 115
Views: 13565

Re: Why nobody understands importance of high-deductible insurance?

That is good to know. Although this may be the way it is supposed to work, however, unless a claim is filed (for under the deductible) I would wonder how well the insurance company pricing is really applied by the provider. By definition, if a provider has a contract with the insurance carrier, the...
by OutInThirteen
Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Vanguard 401k to TSP Transfer
Replies: 3
Views: 969

Re: Help with Vanguard 401k to TSP Transfer

When I wanted to transfer some funds from my 403(b) plan (administered by Fidelity) to the TSP I ran across a similar issue. In my case (employed by a Federal contractor), the contract had recently been recompeted and awarded to a different contractor, so the new contractor didn't yet have an IRS Le...
by OutInThirteen
Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Correcting Social Security earnings record
Replies: 19
Views: 3034

Re: Correcting Social Security earnings record

Just did the math. Based on her record as shown on her statement, as compared to what it would be if the omission were fixed, correcting the data should result in her grossing another $25 per month at retirement. Not an earthshaking amount, but every little bit helps. Definitely worth a short appoi...
by OutInThirteen
Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: t-IRA to Roth conversions..the rest of the story
Replies: 24
Views: 2487

Re: t-IRA to Roth conversions..the rest of the story

@Good Listener, my spouse still works full-time, so her salary is better than most people's pension. But without presenting a photocopy of our tax return, let me suggest that you may be surprised. Let me give a ball-park example with rough numbers: +$90K Spouse #1 gross salary -$24K Spouse #1 401(k...
by OutInThirteen
Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Options for parents' Social Security
Replies: 21
Views: 2477

Re: Options for parents' Social Security

It is not just your father's longevity, it is your mother's as well. It is very likely that one of them will live into their late 80's or early 90's. The survivor's benefit is 100% of the HIGHER of the two benefits, so your mom will get 100% of your Dad's benefit (if, as you say, he has the higher ...
by OutInThirteen
Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: t-IRA to Roth conversions..the rest of the story
Replies: 24
Views: 2487

Re: t-IRA to Roth conversions..the rest of the story

Now of course, this is just one case study, to give a sense about the concept. I was recently speaking to somebody who is ready to retire in his early 60s, and 100% of his savings are in tax-sheltered accounts (401k-like). Roth conversion made zero sense for him. It only makes sense if you have a s...
by OutInThirteen
Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Looking to retire at 55 (4 years) - Questions on current direction
Replies: 10
Views: 2125

Re: Looking to retire at 55 (4 years) - Questions on current direction

If you leave your job at age 55, you can withdraw from your 401k without early withdrawal penalty. Just make sure you don't rollover to IRA. IMO, you should continue to max out your 401k and you should use the backdoor into Roth IRA. Max out your retirement plans before college savings. Minor clari...
by OutInThirteen
Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Maxing out SIMPLE IRA
Replies: 7
Views: 1393

Re: Maxing out SIMPLE IRA

The Fidelity SIMPLE IRA plan through my employer allows changes to employee salary reductions only quarterly. The form I sent in several months ago to reduce my salary reduction (in 2017 I wanted to earmark most of my salary for my 2017 TIRA contribution instead of the SIMPLE IRA) was to take effect...
by OutInThirteen
Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Whats your number to walk away?
Replies: 360
Views: 58259

Re: Whats your number to walk away?

as pensions and SS more than cover our expenses. Must be nice. It does let us sleep better at night, especially knowing our savings/investments can be set aside for late in life medical/long term care expenses if needed. But to get to the point of having decent pensions, there were significant fina...
by OutInThirteen
Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing taxes for the first time--Please help!
Replies: 33
Views: 3690

Re: Doing taxes for the first time--Please help!

May I suggest an even bolder proposal? Can you do your taxes by reading the Form 1040 instructions and filling out the return with a pencil? That is really the only way you are going to get your first benefit about learning. IRS Publication 17 will get you started. irs.gov has all the forms and ins...
by OutInThirteen
Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What monetary value has your education provided you?
Replies: 107
Views: 8757

Re: What monetary value has your education provided you?

Two engineering degrees, BS and MS, mid-'70s. Total cost of education (five years), including room and board, books, tuition <$10,000. First year's salary (big oil) recouped twice that much alone. Ending salary after 35 years in the workforce was eight times higher than starting. Total W-2 earnings ...
by OutInThirteen
Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Whats your number to walk away?
Replies: 360
Views: 58259

Re: Whats your number to walk away?

Back in late 2008, shortly after starting my new Federal job, my number was 5, the number of remaining years I needed to work before locking in a second (albeit small and deferred) COLA'd pension. My dollar number was essentially 0, as pensions and SS more than cover our expenses. What we have accum...
by OutInThirteen
Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein on Bonds...wow
Replies: 31
Views: 5975

Re: Bernstein on Bonds...wow

I'm glad I have some I bonds (unfortunately not the older, higher fixed rate bonds) and access to the TSP G Fund :-).
by OutInThirteen
Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Roth conversion - when is taxable value established?
Replies: 19
Views: 1231

Re: Fidelity Roth conversion - when is taxable value established?

This would work as well, but then my money is out of the market for one to two days. I don't like that. :annoyed I have my TIRA and Roth IRA at Fidelity. At the end of 2016, when I did just what livesoft does (sell in Traditional to cash, then convert to Roth), on the same day I executed an interfu...
by OutInThirteen
Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Rollover IRA question
Replies: 3
Views: 453

Re: Rollover IRA question

I converted some of my Fidelity Rollover IRA balance to my Fidelity Roth IRA late last week. With Fidelity you can choose to not have any taxes withheld.

BTW, why not keep both of your accounts at Fidelity?
by OutInThirteen
Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy for consolidating retirement accounts
Replies: 23
Views: 1944

Re: Strategy for consolidating retirement accounts

* Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) from previous (gov't) job - all contributions pre-tax <--Keep One downside to keeping the TSP is that the inheritance rules for a TSP are a lot less favorable then IRA inheritance rules. https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/bulletins/14-04.html The details are complex but as I unders...
by OutInThirteen
Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering Tax Benefits of 401k when you have existing debts...
Replies: 8
Views: 1104

Re: Considering Tax Benefits of 401k when you have existing debts...

Agressively paying down the debt, especially to the point of eliminating the debt entirely, frees up future income to expand the 401(k) contributions beyond just enough to obtain an employer match. If your timeframe is long enough, you'll have plenty of opportunity in future years to play catch up, ...
by OutInThirteen
Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I help settle my father in law's estate without an attorney?
Replies: 44
Views: 4699

Re: Can I help settle my father in law's estate without an attorney?

We met with the attorney and I pressed him on the fee. He shortly went from 1% of probate to assets, to 0.5%, to a $200 hourly charge estimating the total fee should not be "more than $2500 or $3000". If it were me I probably would have gone looking for another attorney but my mother in l...
by OutInThirteen
Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity 401k
Replies: 3
Views: 700

Re: Fidelity 401k

Details on the specifics of the Invesco fund should be available from your 401(k) plan administrator. It sounds like a Collective Investment Trust, common in 401(k)s, not a traditional fund.
by OutInThirteen
Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security question
Replies: 9
Views: 1825

Re: Another Social Security question

The SS earnings test is based on gross earned income, so that won't help. The actual mechanics of how SS reduces benefits for earnings over the limit are complicated. If your girlfriend cannot truly predict her 2017 income reliably in advance she could estimate $16,920 when applying and she would re...
by OutInThirteen
Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track your finances?
Replies: 79
Views: 10383

Re: How do you track your finances?

Custom-built Excel spreadsheet for all finances, with the exception of Quicken to balance the checking account. Now that we're transitioning to online banking, I'll have to see if Quicken is still needed for that. Taxes are also done on Excel spreadsheets, with numbers transferred to paper returns (...
by OutInThirteen
Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity ERs - Look Into Your Crystal Ball
Replies: 21
Views: 2269

Re: Fidelity ERs - Look Into Your Crystal Ball

The other reason for switching to Fidelity would be so my IRA is with my 401k. Again, not that it really matters, but it can't hurt. And I've always wanted to "play" with stocks in a very small taxable account...so wouldn't Fidelity be better? When my 403(b) and 457(b) went to Fidelity fo...
by OutInThirteen
Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS coming after mother for deceased father's payment plan
Replies: 25
Views: 3298

Re: IRS coming after mother for deceased father's payment plan

If the deceased agreed to a payment plan then the debt would seem to have been clearly accepted and acknowledged. The presumption would likely be that if there were joint returns and no separation of households then whatever taxes the deceased may have deferred payment on would have benefited the s...
by OutInThirteen
Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Simple Math but wanted verification
Replies: 7
Views: 1249

Re: Simple Math but wanted verification

None of your Dad's SS is taxable (for Federal income taxes), so Mom could take out a lot more if needed, subject to how much in early withdrawal penalties she's willing to pay.
by OutInThirteen
Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones to Vanguard - about to make the move
Replies: 46
Views: 7011

Re: Edward Jones to Vanguard - about to make the move

Have you considered consolidating your accounts at Fidelity? I did that a number of years ago when my employer contracted with Fidelity to administer their 403(b) and 457(b) plans. Sure makes it a lot easier. Yes I have, but a couple of things are steering me toward Vangaurd: 1. Lower Expenses. 2. ...