Search found 781 matches

by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CalSTRS 457(b) options
Replies: 15
Views: 516

Re: CalSTRS 457(b) options

Perhaps so, but I'm with facepalm on this. That 0.25% bugs me too! Our previous 457b vendor used to be TIAA-CREF and they charged 0.33%. So it's gone down some since they converted from TIAA-CREF to CalSTRS Pension 2. I'd be just fine if it went down a tad further. I'm not holding my breath for thi...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CalSTRS 457(b) options
Replies: 15
Views: 516

Re: CalSTRS 457(b) options

The .25% irks me, though. I guess it is worth it when you consider the tax savings. That's a very reasonable plan charge. The funds are low cost and probably don't have revenue sharing. The costs of operating employer-based plans (statements, loans, compliance, etc.) have to be paid by somebody, an...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CalSTRS 457(b) options
Replies: 15
Views: 516

Re: CalSTRS 457(b) options

I'm a teacher in California and have both Vanguard and CalSTRS Pension 2 as available vendors in a 403b. Prior to starting contributions to a 403b, I already had a 457b with CalSTRS Pension 2 so I opened a 403b with them as well. It makes things really easy to manage since both accounts show up toge...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your threshold for paying down debt?
Replies: 89
Views: 5739

Re: What is your threshold for paying down debt?

Two part question: Why are Bogleheads so afraid of debt and what is your threshold between aggressively paying it down or redirecting those payments into investments? I won't make an attempt at the first part of your question but can try for the second. For me, there isn't a "threshold" in terms of...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1644

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

I'm unclear on why a $5,500 Roth contribution converts to a $5,500 403b contribution. At a 30% tax rate a $5,500 Roth contribution consumes $7,857 of gross income, so it is equivalent to a $7,857 403b contribution. However, the $7,857 is not accurate because a portion of the gross income falls into...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1644

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

Another important consideration: How good is your 403(b)? If you have to pay 1% per year on your investments (an issue with many 403(b) plans), that is a greater cost than any tax savings from using a traditional rather than a Roth account. If it is with a low-cost provider such as Vanguard, Fideli...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sign Up Bonuses/Offers
Replies: 4
Views: 514

Re: Sign Up Bonuses/Offers

You may want to check out Doctor of Credit https://www.doctorofcredit.com/best-bank-account-bonuses The site does a decent job of providing all the terms of the various offers. We (wife and I) have done the following during 2017 though I’m sure some of the offers have expired: BBVA checking account:...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1644

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

Another important consideration: How good is your 403(b)? If you have to pay 1% per year on your investments (an issue with many 403(b) plans), that is a greater cost than any tax savings from using a traditional rather than a Roth account. If it is with a low-cost provider such as Vanguard, Fideli...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1644

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

It seems that most of the feedback so far is that it would be a good idea to divert Roth IRA contributions to my 403b next year. That's helpful info. Thanks so much, everyone. I really appreciate your input.
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1644

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

Anyone else have thoughts on my situation as well? Maybe. I don't see the $2k Child Tax Credit mentioned in there. However, I'm not sure where it goes so maybe your numbers are right. Even if your numbers are right, would diverting the $5,500 from His Roth IRA to His 403b actually pull you into the...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1644

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

Unless I am missing something I would contribute enough to tax deferred to get all income back into the 12% bracket. I would then continue the balance of contributions to ROTH. From my understanding he wants to know where to put the 5500 he is currently putting in a Roth IRA. I checked his math, it...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1644

Re: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

Sounds good. I had expected more discussion but if it's as clear cut as that, it makes it nice and simple. Thanks!
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 1644

Tax Bracket going from 15% to 22%. Should I change type of account to invest in for retirement?

Our tax bracket is changing from 15% to 22% and I’m wondering whether it makes sense to stop contributing into a Roth IRA and direct that money into a 403b instead. Ages: 43 and 43 2017: Gross Income: $154,400 Above-line Deductions: $40,700 (10.5k pension contributions, 1k dental premiums, 18k 457b,...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we downsize?
Replies: 42
Views: 3064

Re: Should we downsize?

I sort of relate to your situation. My wife and I are 43, we have a 3 year old, and we live in a VHCOL area. We live in a 4 bedroom/4 bathroom house that's a bit bigger than we really need. We owe about $370k on our mortgage and our housing cost (including principal, interest, HOA, property taxes, a...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Late 30s, I think I’m doing everything right but would like a once-over
Replies: 14
Views: 2498

Re: Late 30s, I think I’m doing everything right but would like a once-over

You seem to be doing really well! If possible, I would consider working less overtime. I'd also slow down in paying off the mortgage and direct some of those funds toward taxable investment accounts (after maxing out retirement accounts) but that's just my personal preference. You're saving a lot so...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to use up my FSA account?
Replies: 13
Views: 1160

Re: How to use up my FSA account?

Some options: Contact lens solution, blood pressure monitor, bandages, sunscreen.
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Questions 2017 (Not all the crazy new stuff)
Replies: 16
Views: 1391

Re: Tax Questions 2017 (Not all the crazy new stuff)

Yes the first 4 deduction items are straight off the paycheck. 401k/403b/FSA/Premiums. The rest are itemizations and the medical does not double include premiums and only includes the portion over 7.5%. This still doesn’t seem likely to get me to 110k if the Charity, medical expenses, preoperty tax...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Implications of tax bill on residential real estate (house prices)
Replies: 62
Views: 5645

Re: Implications of tax bill on residential real estate (house prices)

From all angles right now, it appears just a few states will be really hit, and hit hard, California, NY, NJ and Connecticut. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my friends at Diehards. LynnC Close to a quarter of the U.S. population lives in these states, though, so if these areas slump, it ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are Roth IRAs overrated?
Replies: 77
Views: 7240

Re: Are Roth IRAs overrated?

Personal circumstances and the unknown future tax rates are factors in the answer to your question. My best guess is that they are underrated.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Not investing through your 30's
Replies: 60
Views: 5626

Re: Not investing through your 30's

Compound interest is powerful. Small savings early on can grow into large sums. There isn't one formula to success but just be aware of the trade-offs. Save a little now or a lot more later. Either way will work.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating Items Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1246

Re: Donations Question

What I do, is prepare a list of what the donation consists of, where it went, add the date, and staple it to whatever receipt the charity provides. I never made huge donations, but the real issue is whether there will be an audit when you need to provide "adequate" proof. OP here. I do the same as ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating Items Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1246

Re: Donations Question

Got it. Thank you!
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating Items Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1246

Re: Donations Question

Thanks for the response! If it's $500 per day, that would be great. Before I start rummaging through the garage and all the closets in my home, could someone else please verify this is how it works? Much appreciated.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating Items Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1246

Donating Items Questions

Since we won’t be itemizing as of next year, I’m planning to go through the house and donate stuff before the end of the year. I can take pictures of everything, compile a list of items being donated, and look up fair value online but don’t want to deal with having to get appraisals or filling out a...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Early retirement pros and cons:
Replies: 58
Views: 6713

Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

I wouldn't retire even if I didn't need the money. My job is fun, challenging, and fulfilling. I save because I may not always feel the way that I do currently and realize that I may not always be able to work. I've greatly enjoyed my job for a number of years and would like to keep things going as ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?
Replies: 260
Views: 19942

Re: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?

We'll save about $300. Despite going up from the 15% bracket to 22%, we will no longer be in the phaseout for the child tax credit and most of the money we will be taxed on will now be at a rate of 12% instead of 15%. However, the last $10k of our income will now be taxed at 22% instead of 15%, canc...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 878
Views: 48550

Re: Tax Act Omnibus Thread

I tried out this calculator. It says that I'd be better off taking the standard deduction of $24k since my itemized deductions add up to $22,500. It says that my total tax due will be $8,297 and that the tax reform bill will save me $349. If I were to itemize, I'd pay $8,656 in federal tax, which w...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 878
Views: 48550

Re: Tax Act Omnibus Thread

This was shared in the previous thread for some basic playing around with AGI and how the deduction/exemption/credit/rate changes affect the total federal income tax: http://taxplancalculator.com/ I tried out this calculator. It says that I'd be better off taking the standard deduction of $24k sinc...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lunch Ideas
Replies: 44
Views: 4338

Re: Lunch Ideas

This week is sort of typical: Monday: Today's lunch was a Greek Orzo Salad (bought from the deli section at a grocery store yesterday), blueberries, grapes, mixed nuts, and a granola bar. Tuesday: Tomorrow's lunch will be left over spaghetti from tonight's dinner. Wednesday: Taco salad leftovers (to...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do Bogleheads save on eyeglasses?
Replies: 85
Views: 4840

Re: How do Bogleheads save on eyeglasses?

Some things I've done to keep costs down:
-make use of a flexible spending account
-keep old frames and replace only the lenses
-buy a basic pair of glasses at Costco (no tinting, etc.)
-keep glasses for a long time
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?
Replies: 155
Views: 10489

Re: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?

My wife and I are both 43. I'm a public school teacher and she works for a small business. Neither of us have a 401k available but here are some contributions toward retirement we had in 2017: 457b: $18,000 403b: $4,900 Roth IRAs: $11,000 Taxable Brokerage Accounts: $4,300 Brokerage Bonuses (for acc...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Concert Decision and Advice
Replies: 41
Views: 2387

Re: Concert Decision and Advice

I think you should go. If you do, you’ll quite likely have a great time and be glad you went. If you don’t, you may regret missing the opportunity. Tom Petty’s been mentioned a few times above. I saw him perform several times over the years and loved his shows, the last of which I caught just shortl...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your big-picture ‘rules of life’ —financial or otherwise?
Replies: 123
Views: 12789

Re: What are your big-picture ‘rules of life’ —financial or otherwise?

I think it begins with envisioning what you want so that you can begin to shape things. Personally, I wanted to be able to spend lots of time with my family and have dinners together every evening, work at a job that I enjoy, have lots of time off work, live in a nice neighborhood with good schools,...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay
Replies: 79
Views: 5985

Re: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay

Define take home pay. Define mortgage payment. My take home pay would certainly be higher if I didn’t contribute to 401k or HSA. Is someone who makes less money than me but doesn’t contribute to their 401k therefore having a higher net paycheck able to afford a more expensive home? Mortgage payment...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Target Gift Cards are 10% Off Today (Sunday 12/3/17)
Replies: 17
Views: 2012

Re: Target Gift Cards are 10% Off Today (Sunday 12/3/17)

Thanks for the reminder! Just purchased it online.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What did you do right?
Replies: 96
Views: 9696

Re: What did you do right?

Here are a few things: I work in a job that I like doing. This makes it so I’m not interested in early retirement and have greater time to save and invest. The job also provides a pension that should cover retirement expenses. I save a decent percentage anyway. My wife and I share similar views on h...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are average incomes for luxury vehicle purchases? Will help me decide
Replies: 57
Views: 3828

Re: What are average incomes for luxury vehicle purchases? Will help me decide

I think you may wish to examine why you want to buy a luxury car. If you really like a particular car, looking at your overall financial picture to determine whether it's affordable makes sense. Personally, to me, it would mean you have a very manageable level of debt, are able to pay cash for the c...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you budget for vacation?
Replies: 94
Views: 5992

Re: How much do you budget for vacation?

We spend about $1500 or so a year. This covers things like meals, ground transportation, and small purchases. We're a family of three and are visiting Disneyland, Las Vegas, and Hawaii in the next six months. Flights, hotels, and amusement park tickets were purchased using points. Our income is $150...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A penny saved is NOT a penny earned ..
Replies: 16
Views: 2413

Re: A penny saved is NOT a penny earned ..

For this reason, I tend to be more focused on the spending side than the earning side. We’re at the top of the 15% federal bracket so are not exactly high earners. This is what would happen to each additional dollar we earn: 25% federal tax, 8% state tax, 5% tax increase for falling into the phaseou...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA Worth the Hassle?
Replies: 11
Views: 1427

Re: FSA Worth the Hassle?

I wouldn't bother in your situation. There is some risk with FSA accounts in my opinion since there is the chance you could put in more than you end up needing. There is also the hassle factor. If the difference in savings between the FSA account and the child care tax credit were big enough, I'd go...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year
Replies: 150
Views: 13767

Re: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year

Age 43 and 43. We contribute enough to stay in the 15% tax bracket. 457b: 18k 403b: 6k Roth IRAs: 11k Pension Contributions: 10.5k Total: 45.5k Other Contributions: SEP IRA: 7k (wife's employer) Pension Contributions: 15k (my employer) Pension Contributions: 9k (state) Total: 31k My pension and wife...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dependent Care FSA Question
Replies: 4
Views: 418

Re: Dependent Care FSA Question

Thanks. I just wanted to avoid the possibility of having a problem getting the funds out. It sounds like that shouldn't be an issue.
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dependent Care FSA Question
Replies: 4
Views: 418

Re: Dependent Care FSA Question

Thanks for the response. It's helpful.
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dependent Care FSA Question
Replies: 4
Views: 418

Dependent Care FSA Question

My open enrollment period is coming up. I put $5k into a dependent care FSA account this year and was planning to do the same thing next year. If I do that and dependent care FSA accounts are eliminated at some point next year, what would happen to the money that’s being put into the account each mo...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: we bought a house - are we housepoor now?
Replies: 195
Views: 10068

Re: we bought a house - are we housepoor now?

I'm in the Bay Area (and own a townhouse here) so the $900k price tag of your home doesn't shock me. You're in excellent shape. Once you have kids, things may become more expensive but you have room in your budget to absorb that. You may also get raises in the years ahead and inflation over time wil...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay down some credit card debt?
Replies: 19
Views: 1371

Re: Should I pay down some credit card debt?

Those rates are high. I would use the emergency fund and completely pay off the credit cards and use the funds the roommate provides to begin to slowly replenish the emergency fund. Another option is to transfer the balances to a 0% or low-interest card. If that isn't possible, paying off this high-...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: loosening the purse strings a bit at 37?
Replies: 30
Views: 4171

Re: loosening the purse strings a bit at 37?

It's a pretty good work/life balance. <40 hrs per week for me. Wife is SAHM. This is good, in my opinion. I think you should actually try to save a tad more if possible. Spend time with your family rather than money. You have two young kids. They need you, not fancy vacations and meals. It sounds l...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: loosening the purse strings a bit at 37?
Replies: 30
Views: 4171

Re: loosening the purse strings a bit at 37?

How much do you and your spouse work?