Search found 650 matches

by desiderium
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 distribution (1099Q) on parent or child's tax return?
Replies: 4
Views: 339

Re: 529 distribution (1099Q) on parent or child's tax return?

Any 1099-Q tax reporting is based on the destination of the funds. Only distributions to the owner are reported for the owner. Distributions to the beneficiary or direct payments to the school, off-campus housing, etc.. are reported for the beneficiary. Forms 1098-T and 1098-E are reported for the ...
by desiderium
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 distribution (1099Q) on parent or child's tax return?
Replies: 4
Views: 339

529 distribution (1099Q) on parent or child's tax return?

Please help with this scenario: 529 distribution to pay for college expenses in 2017. 529 owner was an educational trust in my daughter's name (set up by a relative), distributed directly to my daughter. Daughter is in college, financially dependent on me, but no tax deduction for me because of inco...
by desiderium
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking portfolio advice
Replies: 4
Views: 268

Re: Seeking portfolio advice

You are making this too complicated, IMO There is necessary complexity that comes out of having so many accounts. Also tax-inefficiency when you try to create an independent allocation in Taxable. You would benefit from thinking of it as one portfolio. Use index funds for the different asset classes...
by desiderium
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have a Japanese bath in your house?
Replies: 15
Views: 2512

Re: Do you have a Japanese bath in your house?

Yes, we have one
Don't use it very much
Would probably not use a regular tub much either, so unclear if it was an error.
by desiderium
Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Lease -- High Residual Value -- what am I missing?
Replies: 49
Views: 4396

Re: Car Lease -- High Residual Value -- what am I missing?

Thanks for the responses. A couple of folks have suggested renting a fancy car on the weekends -- not going to happen. I have a very busy and hectic job (usually work 6 or even 7 days a week) and do not have the time or patience to deal with car rentals. Moreover, we live in a very urban area and t...
by desiderium
Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New HSA provider Lively offers investments for $30/yr fee
Replies: 216
Views: 25503

Re: New HSA provider Lively offers investments for $30/yr fee

Fifth-Third initially told Lively it could be 30-60 days, but then Fifth-Third cut the check the next business day after receiving the form from Lively and mailed it promptly. And the second time was just as fast. It entirely depends on your transferring custodian, though. Their back office could s...
by desiderium
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.
Replies: 53
Views: 9205

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

UPDATE: ... He also recommends that with the new tax law and being at the 12% bracket we should convert some of our investments into Roth at a rate that keeps us at or below the 12% tax rate. I think this is where financial advice can be valuable. Last year I looked into partnering with an advisor ...
by desiderium
Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hydronic fireplace home heating
Replies: 6
Views: 680

Re: Hydronic fireplace home heating

Efficiency is high for both your pellet stove example and very high for modern natural gas boilers (energy captured/energy burned). The issue is fuel cost per unit of energy. There are several calculators online. Given how inexpensive natural gas is, my guess is that there are not great savings to b...
by desiderium
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Case for Bonds in Taxable?
Replies: 24
Views: 2737

Re: A Case for Bonds in Taxable?

Conventional wisdom says to but bonds in tax deferred since bond dividends are taxed as ordinary income at your marginal rate. At the same time, put stocks in Roth in order to maximize the value of stock gains. I get that. But let's say I am planning to retire early and wait until 70 to claim Socia...
by desiderium
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you donate less to Charity?
Replies: 109
Views: 7757

Re: Will you donate less to Charity?

No decrease, just rearranging the pieces. Will bunch 5 years worth of gainers to DAF this year, continue miscellaneous smaller donations throughout the year. Down the road, will again look to the most tax advantaged strategy for continuing our giving.
by desiderium
Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepay mortgage vs invest when itemizing in alternate years
Replies: 7
Views: 858

Re: Prepay mortgage vs invest when itemizing in alternate years

I have a 10 year fixed mortgage at 3%, due to be paid off in mid-2022. I am in a 44% marginal tax bracket (high tax state), and I have typically itemized, making an effective mortgage rate of 1.68% (3%*(1-0.56)). So far, I have not prepaid the loan. However, in 2018, I will take the 24k MFJ standar...
by desiderium
Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of america preferred rewards program
Replies: 16
Views: 3084

Re: Bank of america preferred rewards program

This one has simplified my life a good deal and I have been satisfied. Set and forget 100k in VG ETFs. ME is a competent brokerage with good customer service to the limited extent I need it. Local bank branch for my infrequent needs (wire, notary, cashier's check etc) BofA customer service is fairly...
by desiderium
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio questions
Replies: 9
Views: 1002

Re: Portfolio questions

OK, I'll re-evaluate the holdings in her 457, thanks. I'll aim for an overall 75/25 AA. Still wondering though, if I hold off on the backdoor Roth (which it sounds like would be recommended), where would be the best place to contribute? continue in the taxable? a non-deductable IRA? another option?...
by desiderium
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New HSA provider Lively offers investments for $30/yr fee
Replies: 216
Views: 25503

Re: New HSA provider Lively offers investments for $30/yr fee

I'm in the process of doing a transfer to Lively. They want a copy of my drivers license to verify my identity. I'm a bit uncomfortable with this. Has anyone else ran into a request like this? Did you freeze your credit information? No, my credit is unfrozen. The identification requirement comes fr...
by desiderium
Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?
Replies: 27
Views: 1735

Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

It is safe to skip Hallstatt. It is a beautiful little town that is completely over-run with busloads of tourists. You can enjoy it and get away on foot to some nice hiking, but is a bit out of the way not worth spending part of a short trip IMO. If you go to Salzburg, you could take a bus to nearby...
by desiderium
Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For those near retirement and rebalanced to Bonds...
Replies: 34
Views: 4210

Re: For those near retirement and rebalanced to Bonds...

With the way the market has been performing I wondered about people in this scenario. As one approaches retirement the general rule is to migrate from stocks to bonds. In this scenario, with the way the market has been doing this past year or so, and lets say you have 50%- 75% or more of your portf...
by desiderium
Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CFP vs DIY [Certified Financial Planner vs. Do It Yourself]
Replies: 5
Views: 662

Re: CFP vs DIY

I'm just a DIY investor with simple tax advantaged retirement accounts at the moment. I have learned many of the boglehead principles and have been applying them on my slow road to building a nest egg. I will read posts with windfalls and posters suggesting they get a fee only financial planner whe...
by desiderium
Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage instead of bond investment
Replies: 28
Views: 2423

Re: Pay off mortgage instead of bond investment

I have a similar time horizon to retirement and would suggest considering this: You want to retire in 6 years. In reality, your plans are not all that reliable--maybe you will get antsy and decide not to wait that long, or maybe someone else will make the decision for you. Your projected retirement ...
by desiderium
Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Rolex and The Boglehead
Replies: 274
Views: 12977

Re: The Rolex and The Boglehead

The comforting paradox of being a boglehead is that it can enable you to make choices, including those that have no utiltarian rationale--like owning a rolex
by desiderium
Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for 58 year old.
Replies: 23
Views: 2252

Re: Investment advice for 58 year old.

I think you would benefit from some professional financial planning, including -investment philosophy and vehicles -Tax strategy -Gifting to your heirs -Estate planning if you haven't addressed this. You could find an independent fee-only financial planner in your area. Allan Roth has been mentioned...
by desiderium
Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?
Replies: 22
Views: 2711

Re: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?

A couple of key caveats. The money can't come from a 529 because only the expenses in the year of the payment will be qualified. I actually did this, and paid the lump sum with 529 money. 2 years later I got a letter from the IRS. My accountant sent a letter explaining the situation along with a co...
by desiderium
Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Late starters trying to reduce skew between taxable & tax deferred
Replies: 21
Views: 2886

Re: Late starters trying to reduce skew between taxable & tax deferred

HSA is your best option if you are eligible.
There are a number of threads about saving receipts etc., and some controversy over this. However, future spending is going to include health care dollars, so utilizing this as a tax deferred savings vehicle would make sense for you.
by desiderium
Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?
Replies: 22
Views: 2711

Re: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?

A couple of key caveats. The money can't come from a 529 because only the expenses in the year of the payment will be qualified. I actually did this, and paid the lump sum with 529 money. 2 years later I got a letter from the IRS. My accountant sent a letter explaining the situation along with a co...
by desiderium
Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Retail banks - switching from Chase
Replies: 23
Views: 2631

Re: Best Retail banks - switching from Chase

I moved from my longtime credit union for BofA a few years ago because I need the infrequent services of a large wire transfer, international wire, cashiers check etc and they can handle this competently at a convenient local branch. I keep a bit over 100k in vanguard index ETF investments parked at...
by desiderium
Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review
Replies: 13
Views: 1446

Re: Portfolio Review

Wish I was investing and saving so intelligently at your age. Congrats and good luck.
by desiderium
Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?
Replies: 198
Views: 19559

Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Look seriously outside your current area Seattle is great. Hot job market, your wife should be able to find something Schools are generally ok, with some districts fantastic Housing may not seem high to you Given your concerns about the viability of your current path this is a good time to make the ...
by desiderium
Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Personal Investment help - New user
Replies: 6
Views: 797

Re: Personal Investment help - New user

Thanks for the advice, I know 6 months is the recommendation by most for an emergency fund; the reason I only have three is because I have started to move my emergency fund contributions into my vanguard taxable account and investing it in bonds/securities for the better return then the 1.15% the b...
by desiderium
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Simulate SS with TIPS for Early Retirement
Replies: 6
Views: 592

Re: Simulate SS with TIPS for Early Retirement

SCV Lawyer These calculations are perfectly reasonable but they have baked in assumptions about portfolio stability and health care costs that are really hard to rely on for such a long interval. I think the best way to mitigate these unknowns is to maintain some of your human capital. Are you an ac...
by desiderium
Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Montreal visit in September
Replies: 11
Views: 1315

Re: Montreal visit in September

Montreal has a good city bike program and an excellent system of bicycle lanes, often separated from traffic. They are very well used. It is a great way to explore neighborhoods beyond the usual guidebooks.
by desiderium
Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro
Replies: 13
Views: 1507

Re: Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro

Soca river valley
The small museum at Kobarid is remarkable and one can spend the afternoon walking the hills and old WWI trenches to get a remarkable on the ground feel for that chapter in history. Read Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" at the same time.
by desiderium
Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self insuring LTC
Replies: 15
Views: 1619

Re: Self insuring LTC

This may be uncomfortable to think about, but one's personal actuarial calculations for LTC include (or imply by default) one's own choices about health care in the setting of mental or physical disability that precludes living with your family. Medical care has a substantial impact on the average l...
by desiderium
Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just married - start a joint taxable account?
Replies: 18
Views: 1676

Re: Just married - start a joint taxable account?

Taxable investing is for retirement or other long term goals. Before you do this, what are your short or medium term goals? After all, you just got married. Are their kids or a home purchase or even a dream vacation in your future? If so, or if you are not sure, then maybe a joint savings account is...
by desiderium
Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSAs and "Saving Medical Receipts"
Replies: 96
Views: 9805

Re: HSAs and "Saving Medical Receipts"

What EOBs have you been unable to obtain? This cannot possibly be a serious question. It is absolutely a serious question. All of my medical expenses (Dr. visits, drugs, tests) are submitted to my insurance company. After they process them, they send the provider an EOB and also post it to my onlin...
by desiderium
Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?
Replies: 91
Views: 11231

Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

This is caring for your human capital. Dressing well, with good fit and attention to details shows respect for your professional role. People notice. Your clothes will last, particularly the shoes.
by desiderium
Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Carreer advice MD/PhD - private practice or academia
Replies: 4
Views: 795

Re: Carreer advice MD/PhD - private practice or academia

This is an important crossroad, and it is difficult to provide advice, as we are talking about what will make you happy in your future. Do you still love the hunt in the research world? Longer term, with your child, you will be worried about security. In the academic track, what does security look l...
by desiderium
Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?
Replies: 51
Views: 44374

Re: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?

There is a significant difference in optical quality. I have a favorite optical shop. Lenses are Pentax, but now they use another high end lens of equivalent quality. The shop is very stylish and expensive but it is a major appearance and vision spend and an infrequent purchase. So I went to Costco...
by desiderium
Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement Approaches (forced) - review my situation?
Replies: 42
Views: 7899

Re: Early Retirement Approaches (forced) - review my situation?

One of the best ways to mitigate portfolio risk given your age is to maintain your human capital. I assume with your IT background and long experience you could do some freelance/consulting. It will improve portfolio survival, and you could tune the intensity to financial and social needs. This may ...
by desiderium
Sat May 20, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?
Replies: 51
Views: 44374

Re: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?

There is a significant difference in optical quality. I have a favorite optical shop. Lenses are Pentax, but now they use another high end lens of equivalent quality. The shop is very stylish and expensive but it is a major appearance and vision spend and an infrequent purchase. So I went to Costco ...
by desiderium
Mon May 01, 2017 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of Estate Planning
Replies: 33
Views: 4970

Re: Cost of Estate Planning

I believe something missing here is the value of the long-term relationship with an estate planning attorney or firm. My initial encounter with my attorney was because we needed a will. 5 or 6 years later, our assets had changed and we went in for a review. We made a few adjustments and received a d...
by desiderium
Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Power of Habit
Replies: 15
Views: 4023

Re: The Power of Habit

Here is an attempt to reform the most difficult habits


https://pavlok.com
by desiderium
Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Should I get an advisor?]
Replies: 14
Views: 1545

Re: [Should I get an advisor?]

I am at a similar point in my career and have recently suffered a crisis of confidence in my amateur personal financial management, and I thought I might need an advisor. I think the value of an advisor for you is probably more in how to manage spending and taxes, rather than how to construct your p...
by desiderium
Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar panels for residence economics
Replies: 10
Views: 1616

Re: Solar panels for residence economics

The most important calculation, IMO, is your payback period. Look carefully at the net metering provisions to make sure you don't lose any credit, say when a certain date rolls around. Also, I would be careful about factoring in utility rate increases, since energy prices have not increased as proje...
by desiderium
Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Goodbye, Wells Fargo, and hello, BECU!
Replies: 17
Views: 3967

Re: Goodbye, Wells Fargo, and hello, BECU!

Ok, sorry for necro'ing my old thread but I'm frustrated. I know I'm overthinking things a lot but I don't have much else to do (sad, I know), so I've been continuing to tinker with my accounts and can't decide how I want to go forward. I definitely value simplicity but after making some decisions ...
by desiderium
Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement Calculus
Replies: 31
Views: 8015

Re: Early Retirement Calculus

This is a lot of calculating work when all of the variables are uncertain and the duration of retirement is so long. Health care and downturns have been mentioned. Unlike your portfolio, your human capital can feed you in a down market or if your wife is sick. Nothing wrong with early retirement, bu...
by desiderium
Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO)
Replies: 8
Views: 1350

Re: Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

My ACO experience has been negative re patient care. As TX hold em said, the ACO gets a fixed amount of money from Medicare to take care of a group of patients. If the patients don't use medical resources, more profit to the ACO. Therefore, there is a strong discentive to deny care or minimize use ...
by desiderium
Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie needs a hand
Replies: 3
Views: 729

Re: Newbie needs a hand

You will definitely be better off in the long run if you learn to manage your own portfolio. The long term impact of fees and paid financial advice starting at your age is truly sobering. Take the time to read the WIKI and a couple of the recommended books. Start simple, you have the basic idea alre...
by desiderium
Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Device/Pharma Sales Reps?
Replies: 10
Views: 1464

Re: Medical Device/Pharma Sales Reps?

This area is changing and perhaps shrinking as medical care delivery becomes more consolidated around large health care companies. These companies aggressively cut costs by making purchasing decisions for their hospitals and clinics. The retail vendor rep to doctor relationship creates unwelcome int...
by desiderium
Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hit my # for retirement, how do I protect it until ready to quit?
Replies: 15
Views: 2663

Re: Hit my # for retirement, how do I protect it until ready to quit?

Good luck timing the market. That may be the only useful advice anyone can give If you don't want to see any losses, put everything in a CD ladder and hope that it keeps up with inflation. Otherwise, try to imagine what kind of losses might be tolerable. Then adjust your equity allocation accordingl...
by desiderium
Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some Credit Cards Make You Spend More?
Replies: 69
Views: 5065

Re: Some Credit Cards Make You Spend More?

I think the cash vs credit card debate is maybe 10 years out of date. Money is made of plastic for most people. Cash stays in my wallet practically forever. Look at the checkout line in any store. How many people are actually using cash anymore? Fiscal discipline is challenging in a consumer society...