Search found 175 matches

by Constant Chaos
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy for non-retirement funds in light of looming college bills
Replies: 8
Views: 677

Re: Strategy for non-retirement funds in light of looming college bills

Is it better to sell individual stocks and mutual funds now before college? If we did, our taxable income would obviously be much higher. Would this negatively affect our chances of receiving any financial aid? The individual stocks were gifted and we don't really want to be in them (i.e., the answ...
by Constant Chaos
Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I make sure IRS receives my manual tax return ?
Replies: 89
Views: 6505

Re: How do I make sure IRS receives my manual tax return ?

Most people who file by mail just stick a stamp on it and drop it in the mailbox. Is there something special about your return where that’s not good enough? You haven't actually mailed anything in a while, have you? Stamps haven't been "lickable" since 1974. Where did I say anything about licking? ...
by Constant Chaos
Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unaffordable prescription drug
Replies: 42
Views: 3958

Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

Sawhorse, have you checked whether there are online forums/ chat groups for your condition? My son was on extremely expensive medication and those online groups were where I got all my useful information for dealing with insurance denials, alternative meds etc.
by Constant Chaos
Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me help my niece (College costs, financial aid, etc)
Replies: 41
Views: 2908

Re: Help me help my niece (College costs, financial aid, etc)

feehater wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:23 pm


if it is truly an elite liberal arts college (Swarthmore, Williams, top 20, etc)
OP said it was an established liberal arts school, not an elite one. Swarthmore and Williams and their ilk are at 66, 67k per year.
by Constant Chaos
Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me help my niece (College costs, financial aid, etc)
Replies: 41
Views: 2908

Re: Help me help my niece (College costs, financial aid, etc)

I would go read the Financial Aid and Scholarship section of College Confidential and post your question there. Two issues I see: 1. Does her school allow her to "stack" any outside scholarships she gets on top of the aid and grants the school gives her? According to what I've read on CC, some schoo...
by Constant Chaos
Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation for large sum
Replies: 35
Views: 2602

Re: Asset allocation for large sum

I am really confused about Asset Allocation. I know what it is - a mix of equities and bonds BUT when I go to some of these bond funds or balanced funds I see them performing very poorly compared with say the S&P500 but at the same time (I checked the 2008 crash period) they fell the same amount as...
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: 1042

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: 1745

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: 1276

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: 8043

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: 5972

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: 1500

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: 626
Views: 69642

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: 626
Views: 69642

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: 4819

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: 5779

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: 2211

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: 1302

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: 15553

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: 3746

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: 3622

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: 3622

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: 3622

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: 3646

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: 3033

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: 4185

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: 11504

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: 11504

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: 1252

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: 3033

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: 1247

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: 95
Views: 9727

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: 6180

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: 5124

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: 2352

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: 3000

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: 3000

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: 21465

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: 21465

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: 1207

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: 5196

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: 1239

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: 5947

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: 33020

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 l...
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: 10454

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: 2531

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: 1279

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: 9799

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: 653

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: 4394

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...