Search found 526 matches

by billfromct
Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on annuity & other retirement ideas
Replies: 6
Views: 402

Re: Thoughts on annuity & other retirement ideas

Would it be better for you to wait to collect SS at age 70 when it would be about $1,500/month (just a guess) so your younger spouse would be able to collect much higher SS survivor benefits at her full retirement age (67)? When she is 67 you would be 99. Of course it would depend on her SS work rec...
by billfromct
Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Retirement planner limiting my TIRA contribution - why?
Replies: 4
Views: 349

Re: Fidelity Retirement planner limiting my TIRA contribution - why?

I guess it doesn't realize you want to do a non-deductible IRA contribution in order to fund a "back door" Roth IRA.

bill
by billfromct
Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PLEASE HELP: Setting up new individual 401k
Replies: 13
Views: 529

Re: PLEASE HELP: Setting up new individual 401k

To open your Individual 401k with Vanguard will take a few days because, if my memory serves me correctly, you have to sign some paperwork & get it back to them. My daughter opened up a Vanguard I 401k 3 or 4 years ago. Vanguard sent her the paperwork via E-mail, then walked her through the process;...
by billfromct
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP 401k Contribution Question
Replies: 17
Views: 966

Re: TSP 401k Contribution Question

I believe that most private companies (401k retirement), automatically stops 401k contributions at the 401k contribution limit, $18k for 2017, and $6.0k for "catch-up".

My company does this.

I would imagine the Federal government does the same thing.

bill
by billfromct
Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Variable Annuities / REITs
Replies: 11
Views: 779

Re: Vanguard Variable Annuities / REITs

Variable annuities are the best way to turn long term capital gains (probably 0%-15% tax bracket) into ordinary income (probably 15%-25% tax bracket, possibly even higher). With that said, I've bought 3 Vanguard variable annuities. One for my wife in the early 1990s when she was a stay at home mom (...
by billfromct
Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap tablet just for internet surfing
Replies: 38
Views: 3129

Re: Cheap tablet just for internet surfing

I bought a 10" RCA tablet from HSN for $129, 3 or 4 months ago.

It's great for surfing the internet. I don't use it to open any of my financial websites (Vanguard, bank, 401k, etc.). I use my laptop for that.

I see them now for $99; check out the HSN website.

bill
by billfromct
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which type of 401K rollover?
Replies: 10
Views: 507

Re: Which type of 401K rollover?

You don't say how much is in your 401k that you are thinking about rolling into a traditional pretax IRA or your Roth IRA. That information is critical to determine if the income will bump you into a higher tax bracket. Is your current income from a university stipend? What will your gross income be...
by billfromct
Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Tool to Model Cost Basis before you sell?
Replies: 7
Views: 404

Re: Fidelity Tool to Model Cost Basis before you sell?

If you're in the 15% Federal tax bracket, LTCG would be taxed @ 0% if the LTCG doesn't bring your taxable income over the $75.9k figure.

You may want to do some "what ifs" calculations using a tax estimator like TaxAct based on some different LTCG amounts.

bill
by billfromct
Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSM vs High Dividend Yield if I never choose to sell?
Replies: 36
Views: 2320

Re: TSM vs High Dividend Yield if I never choose to sell?

Qualified dividends (most U.S. company normal dividends) & LTCGs are taxed at the same Federal tax rate, 15% if you are in the 25% Federal tax bracket; 0% if you are in a 10% or 15% Federal tax bracket. The advantage of the TSM fund is that if you do keep the TSM fund until you die, your heirs will ...
by billfromct
Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Roth TSP for active duty military
Replies: 9
Views: 662

Re: Question about Roth TSP for active duty military

I believe that military service members pay into Social Security, correct me if I'm wrong. If you do, you may want to wait until age 70 when you would get the maximum SS amount so you could use your TSP money up until then. My understanding is that you will get 100% of your SS benefits at full retir...
by billfromct
Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth for my 16 y.o. child ??
Replies: 11
Views: 800

Re: Roth for my 16 y.o. child ??

You can open a Vanguard 2065 Target Retirement Fund, 90% domestic/international stocks & 10% bonds moving to 50% stocks/50% bonds in 2065, with a $1,000 contribution. Once the Roth IRA gets up to $3,000, you can move it over to a 100% stock fund, like the Total (U.S.) Stock Market Fund which would b...
by billfromct
Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to convince DW that high miles used car is OK
Replies: 106
Views: 6671

Re: How to convince DW that high miles used car is OK

I have a new car for trips and an old car for around town, recycling center, etc. My "old" 17 year old car with 211,000 miles just ruptured the brake fluid line & I lost my brakes; in my driveway. So I junked it. My new car (5 years old, 65,000 miles), which I use to drive to work, 70 miles round-tr...
by billfromct
Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Changing Retirement Mutual Funds - Advice?
Replies: 8
Views: 666

Re: Changing Retirement Mutual Funds - Advice?

You don't mention anything about your wife's retirement accounts. If she doesn't have a Roth IRA, you may want to open a Roth IRA for her. You can open a Target Date Retirement Fund for $1,000. Subsequent contributions can be as little as $1. I opened a Vanguard Variable Annuity for my wife in the e...
by billfromct
Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treatment of lump-sum for unused sick time
Replies: 10
Views: 868

Re: Treatment of lump-sum for unused sick time

I believe that if you contribute to a Roth 401k, the Roth 401k contribution amount will show up in Box 1 of your W-2 as earned income. This may be the best of both worlds as you will be able to fund both Roth retirement accounts while staying in a low Federal tax bracket (15%?) since you will only b...
by billfromct
Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Severance Payout/Taxes/Rebalancing Portfolio
Replies: 5
Views: 462

Re: Severance Payout/Taxes/Rebalancing Portfolio

Yes you should open an Individual 401k. My daughter opened one 3 or 4 years ago with Vanguard. It was pretty easy & Vanguard will walk you through it. I believe you need to open the I 401k before the end of the calendar year but have until you file your taxes in 2018 to finalize your 2017 contributi...
by billfromct
Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Increase 401(k) contribution or fully fund IRA
Replies: 6
Views: 524

Re: Increase 401(k) contribution or fully fund IRA

The ability o fund a tax deductible IRA starts to phase out when a married couple's modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) hits $99k, if you are "covered" by a retirement plan at work. With a gross income of $180k, it would be very difficult to get your MAGI down to $99k. You don't mention anything a...
by billfromct
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Solo 401k - Roth vs Less Efficient Funds?
Replies: 11
Views: 812

Re: Solo 401k - Roth vs Less Efficient Funds?

As BolderBoy said, Vanguard does offer a Roth Individual (Solo) 401k. My daughter opened one 3 or 4 years ago when she was an independent contractor. As you indicated, Vanguard does not offer Admiral shares in their I 401k but for 10 or 20 basis points, I would rather have all my investment accounts...
by billfromct
Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about how pre-tax health insurance and IRA contributions effect taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 466

Re: Questions about how pre-tax health insurance and IRA contributions effect taxes

Does your company have a health care reimbursement plan? This is where they take pre-tax money out of your paycheck then you can use that pre-tax money to pay for co-pays, eye glasses, dental expenses, etc. If you don't use the money during the year you lose it unless your plan allows you to roll ov...
by billfromct
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds or Money Market?
Replies: 13
Views: 1731

Re: Bonds or Money Market?

Depends when you need the money & the duration of the bond fund or funds. In my rollover IRA, which I will start RMDs in the next year or so, my bond allocation is 40% of the total. It is short term (2.5 year duration; 40% of my bond allocation) & intermediate term (5.5 year duration; 60% of my bond...
by billfromct
Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Roth IRA @Vanguard, 80/20, which funds to choose?
Replies: 16
Views: 1317

Re: New Roth IRA @Vanguard, 80/20, which funds to choose?

You can use the Vanguard Life Strategy Growth Fund (VASGX) which is 80% stocks (domestic & international)/20% bonds (domestic & international) with a $3,000 minimum.

bill
by billfromct
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with 360k for an old man
Replies: 30
Views: 3105

Re: What to do with 360k for an old man

You said that "He receives nearly enough from Social Security (his own plus survivor's benefits) to cover the costs of his independent living center, but...." I was under the impression that one could collect their own SS benefits or survivor benefits from a deceased spouse, but not both. If he has ...
by billfromct
Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take Pension or Lump Sum payout?
Replies: 12
Views: 1190

Re: Take Pension or Lump Sum payout?

You don't give a lot of important information: -Will you get SS? -Do you have any retirement savings? (403b, IRAs, etc) -What is your age? I had a company pension of about $1,800/month but took the cash value of about $200k-$250k (if my memory serves me correctly) @ age 66. I took the cash value & r...
by billfromct
Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where did you first learn about investing?
Replies: 98
Views: 5220

Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

While working as a ski bum in VT in the early '70s after college, I was a bell hop at a ski area hotel & I had to sit in the lobby waiting to take care customers when checking in or out. There were various newspapers in the lobby for guests to read positioned around the fireplace, including the NY T...
by billfromct
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: early retirement, attending university, funded by 529
Replies: 3
Views: 452

Re: early retirement, attending university, funded by 529

I don't think 529 plans cover all international universities. I believe that 529 plans cover foreign universities that are affiliated with U.S. universities such as "junior year abroad" programs. I think that the Department of Education has a list of U.S. educational institutions & foreign universit...
by billfromct
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: consolidating accounts
Replies: 7
Views: 850

Re: consolidating accounts

With the "various IRAs", you would want to convert them to cash in each IRA account then do a "trustee to trustee" transfer. Your present brokerage should make the check out to "VFTC FBO veeba" for each separate IRA. Abbreviations are: Vanguard Fiduciary Trust Company & For Benefit Of. The check wil...
by billfromct
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is my employers 3rd party administrator correct about VG expense ratios?
Replies: 9
Views: 788

Re: Is my employers 3rd party administrator correct about VG expense ratios?

The only thing to aware of is that some 401k administrators charge a monthly or quarterly fee.

My 401k administrator, Fidelity, charges $8.50/quarter record keeping fee, but I only have 1 fund. I believe the $8.50/quarterly fee covers multiple funds if you have more than 1 fund in your 401k.

bill
by billfromct
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking portfolio advice, 30 y/o programmer
Replies: 7
Views: 1391

Re: Seeking portfolio advice, 30 y/o programmer

Being in the 28% Federal tax bracket, you may not qualify to fund a regular Roth IRA. When your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) hits $118k, the ability to fund a regular Roth IRA begins to phase out. Of course you can do a "back door" Roth IRA contribution since you don't mention having a tax ...
by billfromct
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Investor Help
Replies: 5
Views: 342

Re: New Investor Help

If you move your old 401k into a rollover IRA, it will be very expensive to execute a "backdoor Roth IRA" due to the "pro rata rule". If you don't have a traditional tax deductible IRA, why not just do a "backdoor Roth IRA" now to establish some tax diversity in your retirement accounts.

bill
by billfromct
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is an investment account the best choice for me (new guy)
Replies: 89
Views: 4041

Re: Is an investment account the best choice for me (new guy)

Stipends are generally considered earned income & you will receive a W2 from the university. If that is the case, that earned income will allow you to open a Roth IRA. That's the way it works for my daughter who is in graduate school & receives a taxable stipend. Vanguard requires $1,000 to open a T...
by billfromct
Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: transferring from Edward Jones to Vanguard question
Replies: 5
Views: 544

Re: transferring from Edward Jones to Vanguard question

Why wouldn't you just liquidate the EJ funds into an EJ money market fund within your Roth IRA & transfer the cash?

That makes it easy for you & Vanguard.

bill
by billfromct
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 plan questions
Replies: 20
Views: 1722

Re: 529 plan questions

Also if she goes to grad school, could she use the 529 to pay for living expenses as well as any fees not covered by the "tuition waiver"? I believe one can use 529 funds for room & board up to the costs listed in the college's "cost of attendance" figures. I would imagine this would apply to grad s...
by billfromct
Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to take more risk: 401k or Roth?
Replies: 32
Views: 2957

Re: Where to take more risk: 401k or Roth?

My daughter (26 & in grad school with 40 years until retirement) is 100% in stocks in her Roth IRA (started at age 16) & 100% in stocks in her Vanguard Annuity, started by her grandmother at age 6 or 7. Over the long run, stocks will out perform bonds, especially at such low bond interest rates now....
by billfromct
Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding the lifetime gift tax exemption
Replies: 12
Views: 1305

Re: Understanding the lifetime gift tax exemption

Boston Barry, if your user name is any indication of your residence (Massachusetts?), I believe that the Mass state estate tax exemption is $1,000,000. For estates over $1M, the estate tax can be as high as 16%, but you may want to check with the State of Massachusetts to be sure. I saw (on "the Goo...
by billfromct
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I can take $15k out of my trad IRA with no taxes - should I?
Replies: 37
Views: 3331

Re: I can take $15k out of my trad IRA with no taxes - should I?

Once your taxable income (including LTCG) hits $37,950, as a single filer, any additional LTCG above the $37,950 level is taxed at 15%, not 0%. I ran a couple scenarios in TaxAct Tax Calculator, as a single filer: -taxable income $37,950 including $1,000 of LTCG, the Federal tax was $5,080; the $1,0...
by billfromct
Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parent question: does it pay for them to stretch to max 401k last year of working?
Replies: 17
Views: 1551

Re: Parent question: does it pay for them to stretch to max 401k last year of working?

You don't mention if they have Roth IRAs.

If they don't, it may be a good idea to have some tax diversity in their retirement accounts.

bill
by billfromct
Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth fund choices
Replies: 8
Views: 608

Re: Roth fund choices

My Vanguard Roth IRA is equally in:

-Small Cap Value Index
-Mid Cap Value Index
-International Value
-Health Care Fund
-Dividend Growth Fund (Dividend Appreciation Index would be an alternative)

I will leave this to my heirs. It should have 10-20 years to grow.

bill
by billfromct
Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New bond fund 401k
Replies: 13
Views: 737

Re: New bond fund 401k

According to The Wall Street Journal, FEPAX yield is 2.21% & YTD return is 3.46% as of 10/30/2017.

The WSJ doesn't give the expense ratio for this fund.

bill
by billfromct
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help selecting Vanguard Funds
Replies: 9
Views: 889

Re: Need Help selecting Vanguard Funds

And the "3 that seem to look good" are..........
by billfromct
Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 28 year old investing advice needed
Replies: 12
Views: 1317

Re: 28 year old investing advice needed

You may want to fund a Roth IRA (normal or backdoor depending on your modified adjusted gross income, MAGI) in order to build some tax diversity in your retirement accounts. I invested in my tax deductible IRA & 401k throughout my career & maxed out my Roth IRA every year when they became available ...
by billfromct
Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Planning Mom's Finances after Dad Passed
Replies: 27
Views: 2399

Re: Help Planning Mom's Finances after Dad Passed

I think if you start to collect SS before your full retirement age (FRA) & work, SS will reduce benefits if you earn over $16,920 (for 2017) per year. SS will reduce your benefits $1 for every $2 earned over the $16,920 base. I believe your future benefits are adjusted once you hit FRA based on how ...
by billfromct
Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max Tax Deferred Contribution in 1 Year
Replies: 18
Views: 1456

Re: Max Tax Deferred Contribution in 1 Year

So your $18k tax deductible 401k contribution & your wife's $18k tax deductible 403b contribution ($36k total) doesn't bring down your modified adjustable gross income (MAGI) down to $186k or lower? That's the MAGI number where the ability to contribute to a normal Roth IRA starts to phase out for m...
by billfromct
Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with parent’s portfolio
Replies: 24
Views: 1340

Re: Help with parent’s portfolio

Could she be collecting SS survivor benefits after your father died based on his record?

Then she could collect her own higher SS benefit (increases 8%/year) at age 70 as others have suggested.

bill
by billfromct
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Funds Help (27 years old)
Replies: 15
Views: 1172

Re: 401k Funds Help (27 years old)

Daedalus, The 15% fixed income of financial assets for my 2 twenty something's, is more of a supercharged emergency fund to cover grad school expenses for one & a new/used) car to replace his 12 years old Camry, for the other. Also seeing others who have not saved anything for emergencies & are unde...
by billfromct
Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turning 65, and choosing not to take Medicare Part B
Replies: 37
Views: 3678

Re: Turning 65, and choosing not to take Medicare Part B

Medicare.gov says in reference to enrolling in Medicare Part A & B: "I have employer coverage and: I'm Over 65 In most cases, you don't need to do anything until you (or your spouse) retire or lose employer coverage. If you didn't enroll when you were first eligible, the size of the employer determi...
by billfromct
Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Funds Help (27 years old)
Replies: 15
Views: 1172

Re: 401k Funds Help (27 years old)

If I were 27 years old with 35-40 years until retirement, I would be 100% stocks in my retirement accounts. I would have my fixed income allocation in my taxable accounts where you can get at if you need it. Stocks will give you the best long term return. You just need to "stay the course" & not pan...
by billfromct
Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k limit changes being considered- how likely is it and how much of an impact?
Replies: 28
Views: 3431

Re: Lowering 401k limits

Other stories have indicated that that this lowering of the 401k contribution limits would be for tax deductible 401k's & not Roth 401k's. If true, this would increase current Federal tax revenue but limit future tax revenue, 20-30 years out. Higher tax revenue now to enact other tax cuts in order t...
by billfromct
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lump Sum Pension Guidance
Replies: 9
Views: 1065

Re: Lump Sum Pension Guidance

I rolled over my company pension, administered by Fidelity, to my Vanguard rollover IRA about 2 years ago. Fidelity would not send the check directly to Vanguard, but did make out the check to "VFTC (Vanguard Fiduciary Trust Company) FBO (For Benefit Of) bill", sent it to me & I forwarded it to Vang...
by billfromct
Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is my prudential account worth the fees?
Replies: 24
Views: 2054

Re: Is my prudential account worth the fees?

The Vanguard Institutional Index is the S&P 500 index with an expense ratio of .12%. Probably a good place to start. Then you can research the other funds available or round out your asset allocation through your Roth IRA. With you probably being in the 15% Federal tax bracket & 35-40 years until re...
by billfromct
Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Giving Less in Dividends than Competitors?
Replies: 13
Views: 2247

Re: Vanguard Giving Less in Dividends than Competitors?

As sport has explained, compare the 1, 5 & 10 year total return to make the most meaningful comparison.

Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future returns.

bill
by billfromct
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie investor - Roth IRA Account Set UP Timing?
Replies: 3
Views: 319

Re: Newbie investor - Roth IRA Account Set UP Timing?

As you noted, Vanguard "investor" funds require $3,000 to open but the Target Retirement funds can be opened with $1,000. The Star Fund also requires $1,000 to open as well.

Why not just dollar cost average (DCA) each month after the initial opening deposit?

bill