Search found 169 matches

by Constant Chaos
Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable Value funds in 529 Plans
Replies: 11
Views: 702

Re: Stable Value funds in 529 Plans

The DC 529 has a stable value paying 2.35% (that rate subject to change at the end of this month)
by Constant Chaos
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Passing the second SSA Bend Point - Reversible?
Replies: 13
Views: 1524

Re: Passing the second SSA Bend Point - Reversible?

I don't see how because it is based on your highest 35 years of earnings. Even if you never earned another penny, your highest 35 years is already in the books. But why would you want less SS? Passing the second bend point is not the same thing as having 35 years. It can be done, at least according...
by Constant Chaos
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did you end up overfunding a 529?
Replies: 13
Views: 1042

Re: Did you end up overfunding a 529?

My oldest is scheduled to start college next year and then younger sibling a few years later, so we have not actually spent our 529 funds yet, but I will chime in anyway. Right now, if both kids finish in four years we will have almost perfectly funded our 529s. Even if we do wind up having excess f...
by Constant Chaos
Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Concerned parent :(
Replies: 56
Views: 7360

Re: Concerned parent :(

Thanks everyone !! What I can hear from most of you are to open a 529 plan. My concern is if there occurs any urgent family emergency situation and I need money, then we should be able to take from this account. but with 529 plan, we can't right ? So that directs me to ask - What is your opinion ab...
by Constant Chaos
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation for 5% return
Replies: 65
Views: 5082

Re: Asset allocation for 5% return

Where did the 5% come from? Spouse has a cash balance plan and the crediting interest rate is very low, something close to 1% I think.
by Constant Chaos
Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 help
Replies: 22
Views: 1287

Re: 529 help

Can you get the illinois state tax deduction contributing to the Utah plan? No, you can't. Per the IL 529 Bright Start site: If you live in Illinois, you also get some added state tax benefits. Contributions to your Bright Start account are tax deductible. You’ll enjoy a deduction of up to $10,000 ...
by Constant Chaos
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 501
Views: 47873

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Big Dog wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:14 pm

only a few colleges superscore the ACT
Many schools superscore the ACT
https://www.princetonreview.com/cms-con ... blepdf.pdf
by Constant Chaos
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 501
Views: 47873

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

I believe SAT/ ACT charge $15 per school with the first four schools free. In terms of transcripts and grades, you type them in (to online App). The real copies are sent (I believe) after the Fall semester. (Of course, if you submit false info and are accepted to the school, when the real info show...
by Constant Chaos
Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to upgrade iPhones ?
Replies: 37
Views: 4031

Re: Cheapest way to upgrade iPhones ?

bloom2708 wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:21 am


The SE a Total Wireless is probably the best deal if you want the small SE.
Agree, $159 for a brand new SE and the Verizon coverage is great!
by Constant Chaos
Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College and Paying for it
Replies: 61
Views: 4710

Re: College and Paying for it

Whenever the topic of paying for college comes up on this board there are always lots if personal anecdote about who is paying what,which is of course interesting, but the hard facts are actually available at the Common Data Set for each college which spells out how many students are getting merit g...
by Constant Chaos
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it stupid to consider a defined contribution cash balance pension as part of my bond allocation?
Replies: 18
Views: 2027

Re: Is it stupid to consider a defined contribution cash balance pension as part of my bond allocation?

That is what we do with my spouse's cash balance plan. It is a very bond heavy allocation,so when we started contributing to it, we ceased putting new money into the hond fund in the 401k. There is some bond money still in the 401k so we can rebalance with that and/or buy equities in our taxable acc...
by Constant Chaos
Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low cost Roth IRA contribution
Replies: 13
Views: 1064

Re: Low cost Roth IRA contribution

Schwab requires 1k minimum to open Roth IRA,but will waive it if investor agrees to sign up for automatic monthly contributions of $100 Depending on what you want to hold in the IRA, Schwab has very low cost options. Their Total Stock Index, for example, can be opened with a $1 minimum and has an E...
by Constant Chaos
Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books not to read.
Replies: 155
Views: 13653

Re: Books not to read.

Anything by Jane Austen Gasp! And today the 200th anniversary of her death! I think Jane Austen was a very astute observer of the effects of money on people. Her chapter in Sense and Sensibility when the sister in law justifies a lower and lower amount of inheritance for her husband's sisters and s...
by Constant Chaos
Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are stock market returns doomed by the Baby Boomers?
Replies: 27
Views: 3371

Re: Are stock market returns doomed by the Baby Boomers?

Not so much. Millenials/echo boomers are a larger demographic than the BBers and they have LOTS of earning years in front of them. Agreed. https://knoema.com/infographics/egyydzc/us-population-by-age-and-generation Yes, and the generation after the Millennials is just as large, or according to some...
by Constant Chaos
Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stop contributing to 529 on 50% chance grandparents pay
Replies: 42
Views: 3306

Re: Stop contributing to 529 on 50% chance grandparents pay

Talking about state of IL, they owe my kid $58 as out of state income tax refund. They still have not send the check. It is still being "processed". It has been months since feds and other states refunded the over-payment of the tax. It does look to me that IL is trying to hold on every single dime...
by Constant Chaos
Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stop contributing to 529 on 50% chance grandparents pay
Replies: 42
Views: 3306

Re: Stop contributing to 529 on 50% chance grandparents pay

I'll weigh in in opposition to some of the others here and say I wouldn't put another dime into it. The reason, I to am an Illinois Resident and I wouldn't trust my state with the money in my child's Piggy bank let alone their entire education fund. This was in 2012. I'm not sure if it has been ban...
by Constant Chaos
Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stop contributing to 529 on 50% chance grandparents pay
Replies: 42
Views: 3306

Re: Stop contributing to 529 on 50% chance grandparents pay

miamivice wrote:
College will probably run $130,000 per kid when they go to college. Are your in-laws really prepared to pay $250,000 for your kids to go to college?

.
The University of Illinois Champaign Urbana tuition room and board runs $30,000 + per year right now.
by Constant Chaos
Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Illinois Partial Year tax increase
Replies: 19
Views: 3175

Re: Illinois Partial Year tax increase

I am curious what rate they will use for 529 deductions. I know if you roll out of the IL529 they will recapture at the new, higher tax rate regardless of the fact that you only got to deduct the lower tax rate in the past.
by Constant Chaos
Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [News about changes to the Illinois 529 plan]
Replies: 10
Views: 2442

Re: [News about changes to the Illinois 529 plan]

Definitely good news re: fees. Received the transition brochure in the mail today and Index age based portfolios will range from .12--.13% and the Vanguard 500 Index will be .10% and the Vanguard Total Bond Index will be .11%.
by Constant Chaos
Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard restricts my account due to mail?
Replies: 41
Views: 3507

Re: Vanguard restricts my account due to mail?

Mis-delivered mail is not Vanguard's fault or your fault. It's just life. If you are so upset and just want to move your account, so be it. But what if Vanguard was so upset? Should they just drop you? Should they take it out on you? Maybe they think you are making it difficult for them! Why don't ...
by Constant Chaos
Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College admissions question - she got a "C"
Replies: 100
Views: 9996

Re: College admissions question - she got a "C"

Your choices are very sensible! Glad you have already discovered the Colleges that Change Lives. This is from a great blog post about how most schools outside of the very elite are scrambling to fill their classes each year: Schools: Desperately Seeking Students You might assume that a student with ...
by Constant Chaos
Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College admissions question - she got a "C"
Replies: 100
Views: 9996

Re: College admissions question - she got a "C"

I recommend http://www.collegeconfidential.com during this fraught time. Good luck. :sharebeer This is a great resource, but be careful which forums you read. There is A LOT of overwrought hysteria in many of them. Lots of "oh no, I got an A-, it's nothing but community college and minimum wage emp...
by Constant Chaos
Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Estimating Social Security Benefits
Replies: 9
Views: 899

Re: Estimating Social Security Benefits

I like the Finance Buff's blog on Social Security and retiring early: https://thefinancebuff.com/early-retirement-social-security-benefits.html Short summary: If you stop working after you reach the second bend point, even if your future earnings are zero, you are not losing much in Social Security ...
by Constant Chaos
Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [News about changes to the Illinois 529 plan]
Replies: 10
Views: 2442

Re: A Letter From the Illinois State Treasurer

I just received that email too, and while the lower fees are all to the good, I am aggravated that with all their new "options" there still is nothing beyond a money market account (that they will "try" to keep from going below $1.00) for money that is needed in the very short term. Other states' 52...
by Constant Chaos
Wed May 24, 2017 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Max a 529?
Replies: 8
Views: 1107

Re: Max a 529?

To be clear, unlike an IRA, you can not solely withdraw principal or gain from a 529. Each withdrawal is made up, pro rata, of each.
by Constant Chaos
Tue May 23, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what point to buy new car for safety
Replies: 74
Views: 6314

Re: At what point to buy new car for safety

I test drove a new car with all the newest safety features earlier this year and found it completely distracting and annoying, especially the lane departure warning and intervention systems. With narrow roads and curves, I found it signalling quite often when I wasn't in any danger of leaving my la...
by Constant Chaos
Sat May 20, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shocking car insurance quote
Replies: 39
Views: 5642

Re: Shocking car insurance quote

Take a look at Amica, and when you compare prices, take into account that you get a dividend refund once a year. They do not screw over their customers. Was also a 20 year Allstate customer who had never submitted a single claim and the switch to Amica was shocking; I think it was almost 50% cheape...
by Constant Chaos
Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "I don't want to wait till I'm 59.5
Replies: 28
Views: 4826

Re: "I don't want to wait till I'm 59.5

This blogger does a nice job of analyzing all the different ways to access retirement funds early, including the "radical" idea of just paying the penalty:

http://www.madfientist.com/how-to-acces ... nds-early/
by Constant Chaos
Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab False Ad (4X Cheaper than VG)
Replies: 20
Views: 2106

Re: Schwab False Ad (4X Cheaper than VG)

I think it's good that Vanguard still has competition in this arena. Investors are the benefited party in this race to the bottom of ERs. Agree, vanguard and Schwab have both been lowering ERs and that is a tremendous boon to investors. I do give Schwab props for having lower minimum initial invest...
by Constant Chaos
Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Target Index Funds Investor Shares drop (.08%)
Replies: 21
Views: 2442

Re: Schwab Target Index Funds Investor Shares drop (.08%)

Do you know when this goes into effect? The Schwab website still has the 0.13% ER. It looks as though the minimum investment for the institutional shares, which has been .08 all along, dropped its minimum initial investment to $100. That is what I am seeing on schwab.com. There is a thread on reddi...
by Constant Chaos
Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Target Index Funds Investor Shares drop (.08%)
Replies: 21
Views: 2442

Re: Schwab Target Index Funds Investor Shares drop (.08%)

Excellent news! My teenager has his Roth IRA in their 2060 fund, both because of Schwab's low $100 initial investment to open and because even before this latest drop, their ER was the lowest. Schwab is positioning themselves very attractively for young people IMO.
by Constant Chaos
Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security for Millennials
Replies: 159
Views: 19774

Re: Social Security for Millennials

I'm a 1962 baby-boomer and turn 70 and intend to start collecting in late 2032 just a little over a year before the forecast trust fund depletion. A very tail-end baby-boomer (born late 1963) who intends to optimize their SS payout will start collecting in late 2033, a few months or weeks before th...
by Constant Chaos
Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security for Millennials
Replies: 159
Views: 19774

Re: Social Security for Millennials

Am I a millennial? I'm 38. Millennials are equivalent to Generation Y, the old moniker for the same people. Usually, they are defined as those born between 1977 and 1994, so yes, you're a Millennial. I haven't ever seen Millennials defined as starting that early. I think Pew Research's standards ar...
by Constant Chaos
Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife Getting PHD. Should I open a 529 Account
Replies: 6
Views: 1067

Re: Wife Getting PHD. Should I open a 529 Account

I would consider not putting money into a 529 Account, because the benefit of the tax deferred growth is so small, compared to the fact that the 529 account will take away your freedom to spend the money on some expenses that might be significant. The poster is not wanting to put money into a 529 f...
by Constant Chaos
Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why buy short-term bond funds when you can get 1% in savings acct?
Replies: 29
Views: 3921

Re: Why buy short-term bond funds when you can get 1% in savings acct?

CppCoder wrote:I keep all of my fixed income (other than my emergency fund) in tax deferred accounts. Last time I looked, an Ally savings account is not part of my 401k.
+1
by Constant Chaos
Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withdrawing principal in 529 plan
Replies: 6
Views: 848

Re: Withdrawing principal in 529 plan

A 529 is not like a Roth where you can distinguish principal from earnings when you make a withdrawal. Every dollar taken out of a 529 will be made up of contribution and earning, pro rata. if it is not for qualified education expenses, then the part that is earnings will be subject to tax and penal...
by Constant Chaos
Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I am in US equities and cash. Am I an idiot?
Replies: 43
Views: 5640

Re: I am in US equities and cash. Am I an idiot?

OP, If you really mean that the college money is in cash, have you looked at tax breaks for contributing to a 529 in your state? In our state, we can deduct however much we contribute to the 529, which can be a several percent savings, which probably beats a CD's rate. I live in Illinois where my t...
by Constant Chaos
Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 228
Views: 28897

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

The blogger at Root of Good is an Early Retiree who discusses his family's healthcare costs in great detail. Here is a recent post:
http://rootofgood.com/december-2016-financial-update/
Basically, they control their income to be just over the poverty line for maximum ACA subsidies so they pay very little.
by Constant Chaos
Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't things "feel" bubbly?
Replies: 76
Views: 9929

Re: Why don't things "feel" bubbly?

I did not mean to imply bubble as in potential crash. Just that there is too much bullishness and complacency. An 8 year bull market will do that. A 5% or 10% correction, the more the better, would be a nice reset before marching higher. I am not sure a board of generally fully invested investors i...
by Constant Chaos
Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 27 yrs old. Reading Bogleheads guide to investing. Still need help.
Replies: 24
Views: 2365

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 i...
by Constant Chaos
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help With Roth Ladders
Replies: 9
Views: 1033

Re: Help With Roth Ladders

The Root of Good blog has a write up on Roth conversion ladders:

http://rootofgood.com/roth-ira-conversi ... etirement/
by Constant Chaos
Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?
Replies: 120
Views: 8887

Re: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?

I echo the comments above that owning a big dog is quite different from owning a small dog. I think this is a bigger issue than the shelter vs. breeder issue. I say this as someone who has had a dog from a shelter and dogs from a breeder, and as someone who has had big retrievers and little dogs.
by Constant Chaos
Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Invest Grad School Savings With Withdrawal Date of Aug 2018
Replies: 5
Views: 564

Re: How to Invest Grad School Savings With Withdrawal Date of Aug 2018

You could put it in the Colorado Stable Value 529 and earn 2.59%, tax free, if it's definitely all for grad school.
by Constant Chaos
Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying at Disneyworld
Replies: 30
Views: 4046

Re: Staying at Disneyworld

OP, I suggest you become familiar with the process of renting points from a DVC owner for accommodations of the type you have referenced. I suggest once you know what the concept is, you visit the rent/trade board at mouseowners.com to deal directly with an owner. There are also DVC point brokers w...
by Constant Chaos
Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "With $15 Left in the Bank, a Baby Boomer Makes Peace With Less" -- A cautionary tale
Replies: 37
Views: 5609

Re: "With $15 Left in the Bank, a Baby Boomer Makes Peace With Less" -- A cautionary tale

I commend the subject of the piece for realizing she needed to retrench. I have a parent living in a somewhat HCOL area (not anywhere near CA standards) in the Midwest who is desiring a better climate and much lower property taxes. We are grappling with the trade offs-- lower cost of living and warm...
by Constant Chaos
Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely
Replies: 155
Views: 26323

Re: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely

Interesting! I had noticed the google trick wasnt working this week, and it did indeed drive me to subscribe to the WSJ. I received a special renewal offer in the mail yesterday for $178 for 12 months (that was paper and digital) and went with that. I had subscribed via some reseller on amazon for m...
by Constant Chaos
Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Benefit to Start 529 as an adult, for Med School
Replies: 9
Views: 1180

Re: Benefit to Start 529 as an adult, for Med School

If you could receive a state tax deduction for a 529 contribution, you might want to consider opening a 529 to "pass through" your med school payments: m The other benefit a 529 offers to short term savers is access to somewhat higher paying fixed income options, such as Colorado's Stable ...
by Constant Chaos
Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ Digital Subscription - a bargain!
Replies: 75
Views: 18886

Re: WSJ Digital Subscription - a bargain!

I had a pop up ad from WSJ for a president's day sale. $1 for 2 months digital print or both. I would have bitten but the fine print said 180 days since the last subscription. Was pondering this too...but it's $32 per month after the first two months expire. I do want to support a professional pres...
by Constant Chaos
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?
Replies: 116
Views: 7343

Re: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?

This has been my recent experience as well - you fill out FAFSA, your kid qualifies for loans at 7%, the college tells you your loan money is available and you need to fill out a form telling them you don't want it because you either don't need a loan or can get better rates on your own. Thank you ...