Search found 256 matches

by NightFall
Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Maximum Tax Deferral
Replies: 30
Views: 2915

Re: Maximum Tax Deferral

Assumptions: married couple, both employed at a single job, under age 50. Using government retirement accounts, the 415c limit is $55k this year per person. That doesn't matter where the money comes from in a 401k or a 403b. in addition, some employers offer 457's which are outside the 415c limit. Y...
by NightFall
Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: In retirement
Replies: 22
Views: 2394

Re: In retirement

You could always pay taxes in 2018 to reduce your bill. There was a tax break over last year. 66K of income - 24K standard deduction - 3.2K over 65 deduction = 38.8K income 12K is qualified dividends that should be taxed at 0% at these tax levels. So 26.8K of taxed income. That's $2,835 of tax with ...
by NightFall
Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't I read about this strategy more? It seems reasonable and pretty straight forward.
Replies: 68
Views: 8618

Re: Why don't I read about this strategy more? It seems to beat everything else

Sounds like momentum investing. It relies on the assumption that past performance predicts future returns. In this case, past has a short definition.
by NightFall
Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security vs. pre-tax savings
Replies: 6
Views: 635

Re: Social Security vs. pre-tax savings

My impression is that retirement account contributions do not affect social security tax. There are few ways to escape this tax with W2 income.
by NightFall
Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware
Replies: 40
Views: 2189

Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

I've gotten many of these phone calls. In the last one, I told them that I only had a mac. They claimed that there was a windows computer connected to my wifi. I started cussing and saying that my no good neighbor was stealing my wifi again. I told him to hold on while I got my neighbor and the poli...
by NightFall
Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [How do I include inflation in my pay raise?]
Replies: 29
Views: 1749

Re: [How do I include inflation in my pay raise?]

Example, say your salary is $100,000. You take home $80,000 but your marginal rate is 35%. If inflation is 2%, you need $80,000 = $81,600 to maintain your same standard of living. You will need an absolute raise of $1,600/.65 = $2461. That is a raise of 2.46%, which is precisely the amount that I s...
by NightFall
Sun Sep 02, 2018 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [How do I include inflation in my pay raise?]
Replies: 29
Views: 1749

Re: [How do I include inflation in my pay raise?]

You got it. You do bring up an interesting point that our progressive tax system does tend to require higher than inflation increases just to maintain the same standard of living. I hadn't thought about that before your post.
by NightFall
Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [How do I include inflation in my pay raise?]
Replies: 29
Views: 1749

Re: [How do I include inflation in my pay raise?]

Example, say your salary is $100,000. You take home $80,000 but your marginal rate is 35%. If inflation is 2%, you need $80,000 = $81,600 to maintain your same standard of living. You will need an absolute raise of $1,600/.65 = $2461. That is a raise of 2.46%, which is precisely the amount that I sp...
by NightFall
Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [How do I include inflation in my pay raise?]
Replies: 29
Views: 1749

Re: [How do I include inflation in my pay raise?]

No. Your raise is not measured in terms of your expenses. If you want to measure things in terms of your expenses, you should not measure raises as a percentage of salary. You can use your reasoning to figure out the absolute amount your salary should increase, but it should be less than the value y...
by NightFall
Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [How do I include inflation in my pay raise?]
Replies: 29
Views: 1749

Re: Inflation, raises, and taxes.

I disagree. If your marginal rate is X and your effective rate is Y, then you you need (1-Y) x 2% / (1-X) to maintain the same spending power. Your formula assumes that your effective rate is 0. In reality, things get even more complicated with the different deductions and such if they're not indexe...
by NightFall
Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice needed on final house negotiations
Replies: 37
Views: 2543

Re: Advice needed on final house negotiations

I had this exact same situation happen to me... except I was the seller. From my perspective, the buyer agreed to the price of the house as listed. We had no appraisal clause in the contract, but anyone could walk away at any point (buyer might lose the earnest money though). The appraisal came in $...
by NightFall
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unexpected early retirement - requesting advice
Replies: 56
Views: 6976

Re: Unexpected early retirement - requesting advice

meemow, This is what I used when I was unemployed. I am a consultant. I am in between projects. Are you looking for a consultant to work on some of your projects? This tends to stop all other questions. KlangFool Yes but then they might try to hire me - and frankly I am just exhausted There was a t...
by NightFall
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two retirement plans contribution limit : 403B and 457
Replies: 4
Views: 547

Re: Two retirement plans contribution limit : 403B and 457

Note that if you're in the ORP plan, you also have a non-voluntary contribution of something like 6.65% of salary plus the employer's contribution, which is somewhere between 6-8%. So your contribution could be something like $37K + 12.65% of salary.
by NightFall
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I think I am in trouble...way behind where I should be
Replies: 22
Views: 2630

Re: I think I am in trouble...way behind where I should be

First, calm down. You have plenty of time and income to fix the situation. Don't take dumb risks to try and fix the situation. The most important thing is to become a saver. The fact that you don't have much in retirement accounts for your age is irrelevant. You are not required to use retirement ac...
by NightFall
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Going unemployed but has a TRS- Teacher retirement system of Texas
Replies: 5
Views: 660

Re: Going unemployed but has a TRS- Teacher retirement system of Texas

You should really talk to HR before leaving about this. That's what they do. If you don't do that, there are plan documents for TRS you can read. My understanding: 1. You can keep it in TRS. When you reach the age of retirement, which is usually years of service + age = 80, you can start to draw you...
by NightFall
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on only putting money into a 457 and 403(b). Does anyone do it?
Replies: 18
Views: 866

Re: Thoughts on only putting money into a 457 and 403(b). Does anyone do it?

I was under the impression that I would only pay income taxes on the taxable accounts when I retire. You're saying I also pay ST/LT capital gains taxes on the year I use them? Good to know... I don't recall paying taxes on dividends in my deferred comp every year? I put money in and it simply sits ...
by NightFall
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on only putting money into a 457 and 403(b). Does anyone do it?
Replies: 18
Views: 866

Re: Thoughts on only putting money into a 457 and 403(b). Does anyone do it?

I would read more about the advantages of retirement accounts. A 403b is similar in nature to a 401K. In many ways, it is similar to your 457 as well. There is a difference though. The assets of your 457 are held in trust by your employer. If your 457 is a governmental one, you should be fine. These...
by NightFall
Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Houston Safety
Replies: 13
Views: 1406

Re: Houston Safety

You'll be fine at least during the day. At night, don't walk alone. Even if you do, you will likely be okay. I lived around that area for years. Someone I knew was robbed at night usually at gun point about once a year. Usually they were by themselves and not paying attention to their surroundings. ...
by NightFall
Tue May 22, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disputed HOA billing
Replies: 21
Views: 2093

Re: Disputed HOA billing

People like to make the HOAs sound evil, but imagine being your neighbors and live next to this pile of "stuff" your tenant left every time they go out of the house. HOAs are evil. In what sort of a world does putting stuff on the street outside your house lead to a foreclosure on your house? The H...
by NightFall
Sat May 05, 2018 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: most compelling TV character ever
Replies: 260
Views: 25573

Re: most compelling TV character ever

Tyrion. An immensely complex, self-deprecating but very witty character. Received the gift of intelligence that his siblings lack yet physically deformed and so rejected. Mother died during birth for which he has been punished and has punished himself his whole life. Deprived of love and then sought...
by NightFall
Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building/House Plans
Replies: 26
Views: 1964

Re: Building/House Plans

Thank you for all the replies A little more information, lots are normally around 30 x 120. Plan is for ~ 3000 sq ft 4 bedroom house. We have an infant and will probably try to have a second in the not too distant future. What are your setback limits? Your lot is only 3600 sqft. At a 2ft setback, y...
by NightFall
Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Self employed- Roth vs. Traditional
Replies: 14
Views: 876

Re: Self employed- Roth vs. Traditional

We have graduated tax brackets. For example, the first $24K with MFJ currently is taxed at 0%. If all of your income is Roth in retirement, you're effectively giving away free money unless your marginal tax bracket was 0% when you contributed the money to your Roth account. I typically assume a con...
by NightFall
Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft tech support scam - how to recover?
Replies: 39
Views: 5967

Re: Microsoft tech support scam - how to recover?

I thought this group got shut down. I got lots of calls like these years ago. I told one of them that I only had Macs. He said that he could see a windows machine connected to my wireless network. I started cursing about how that $&%^! neighbor was stealing my wifi again. I told him that I was going...
by NightFall
Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Self employed- Roth vs. Traditional
Replies: 14
Views: 876

Re: Self employed- Roth vs. Traditional

The question is whether you think you tax bracket in retirement will be higher or lower than you current tax bracket. Keep in mind that you start at the 0% tax bracket in retirement (at least under current law). So it's useful to have traditional accounts to fill lower tax brackets. Thank you for t...
by NightFall
Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Self employed- Roth vs. Traditional
Replies: 14
Views: 876

Re: Self employed- Roth vs. Traditional

I think most would suggest you go traditional at this level of income. The question is whether you think you tax bracket in retirement will be higher or lower than you current tax bracket. Keep in mind that you start at the 0% tax bracket in retirement (at least under current law). So it's useful to...
by NightFall
Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Are 457 contributions counted toward the 55k maximum?]
Replies: 9
Views: 793

Re: [Are 457 contributions counted toward the 55k maximum?]

The 55K limit is probably referring to the 415c limit for 2018. My understanding is that 457 contributions do not count against the 415c limit.
by NightFall
Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I unwind this Wealthfront mess?
Replies: 75
Views: 11131

Re: How do I unwind this Wealthfront mess?

I see 125 different holdings in taxable. Just as a clarification, did Wealthfront do this to you?
by NightFall
Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CPA recommends to NOT contribute to SEP IRA
Replies: 15
Views: 2241

Re: CPA recommends to NOT contribute to SEP IRA

It depends. If his marginal tax rate now is less than his expected marginal tax rate in retirement, it's not bad advice at all. It depends a lot on his current tax situation as well as how much he has saved for retirement. EDIT: To clarify, it's not bad advice to contribute the same amount to a ROTH...
by NightFall
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I saving enough?
Replies: 34
Views: 3816

Re: Am I saving enough?

I might suggest the OP pays some attention to tax optimization. $110K (income) - $15K (deductible retirement contributions) - $24K (standard deduction) = $71K taxable income. That's solidly in the 12% bracket. However, with another $8K in deductions (traditional IRA contributions should be deductibl...
by NightFall
Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What tax bracket?
Replies: 11
Views: 1111

Re: What tax bracket?

You have received some very accurate information about how to calculate your tax bracket. You can, of course, estimate your tax bracket easily. I understand that you are married with one kid from your previous posts. Assuming $52K is the entire income from your household and we're estimating 2017 ta...
by NightFall
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?
Replies: 59
Views: 5297

Re: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?

Option (a) has a payback period of 21 years. Option (b) has a payback period of 14 years assuming all of your numbers/estimates are correct. I would pick (b), especially given that you have a preference for it. However, I might ask how long such systems last. This feels a bit like buying a bond that...
by NightFall
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement Math - What I am not thinking of?
Replies: 26
Views: 4673

Re: Early Retirement Math - What I am not thinking of?

If you will really draw 60K-75K from 5.4M per year, you should be golden. I don't know India's support structure very well, but (in the US) healthcare is an unknown expense that would be the most worrisome piece... although still not that worrisome at this level.
by NightFall
Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Majority of assets in retirement accounts
Replies: 5
Views: 1121

Re: Majority of assets in retirement accounts

Once you are drawing from a pension and SS, there is not that much you can do. I think that many here plan on retiring before drawing from either source (if a pension is even available). During that time period, they would perform roth conversions at low tax rates and live off of any taxable account...
by NightFall
Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toys R Us online order warning
Replies: 23
Views: 2816

Re: Toys R Us online order warning

I had a very similar experience last year with them. Ordered a toy on Black Friday. Was supposed to come a few days later. It went out of stock just a few days after we ordered it, but it still said our item would ship. Everyday the estimated ship date got pushed back. We waited forever, tried conta...
by NightFall
Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Second Opinions on my Current Allocation 21y.o.
Replies: 10
Views: 1609

Re: Second Opinions on my Current Allocation 21M

I read 21M as your assets and not your age. It sounds like you are invested in alternative investments, individual stocks, and looking to get into real estate. Most here would avoid the first two, and some would avoid all three. To get to 1M from 0 in 9 years requires saving just over 72K/year at 7%...
by NightFall
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does this make sense (457B)
Replies: 5
Views: 539

Re: Does this make sense (457B)

Check your plan documents. If the $20K is paid as W2 wages, then there's a chance that you may be able to defer it into your 457b. I'm pretty sure I've seen one set of documents that explicitly stated that at least a portion of unpaid vacation could be placed in a retirement account upon retirement....
by NightFall
Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Savings
Replies: 3
Views: 539

Re: Roth Savings

Some employers also allow for ROTH contributions from the employee, regardless of income level, into plans like 401k's, 403b's, or 457b's.
by NightFall
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Holiday Recipes
Replies: 48
Views: 5117

Re: Favorite Holiday Recipes

gretah wrote: ↑
Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:23 am
I made up this recipe and took the cake to a holiday dinner last year. It was a big hit!

Fig, almond, cardamom, cognac cake
Is that a 9in round pan?
by NightFall
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Holiday Recipes
Replies: 48
Views: 5117

Re: Favorite Holiday Recipes

Too bad there hasn't been more replies here. I was kind of looking forward to it. I guess it takes a good amount of work to find the recipe and type it in. I like the recipe on the back of the Baker's coconut bag for coconut macaroons. Except I have an old version of the recipe. My version (and I ke...
by NightFall
Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is 15,000 new gift tax limit=Higher 529 contribution?
Replies: 6
Views: 1162

Re: Is 15,000 new gift tax limit=Higher 529 contribution?

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-17-58.pdf Page 20 indicates that the annual exclusion for gifts is $15,000 for 2018. I don't have a definitive answer on the 529 question, but my understanding is that the limitation is based on the gift exclusion amounts. That would mean that the 5 year election ...
by NightFall
Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Home in a 500 year Flood Plain
Replies: 32
Views: 2530

Re: Buying a Home in a 500 year Flood Plain

Allison and Harvey were both extraordinary events in Houston. If the house survived both without flood damage, I would feel more confident foregoing it. However, as someone else pointed out, further development changes flood patterns. The fact that the street has flooded is not that surprising. Hous...
by NightFall
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Isn't a Roth IRA and Backdoor Roth Equally Advantageous?
Replies: 24
Views: 3671

Re: Isn't a Roth IRA and Backdoor Roth Equally Advantageous?

The reason I ask is that I am having trouble prioritizing contributions to 403b (#5), 457b (#5), and 401a after tax, which is rolled over immediately to a Roth (#6), which I think is comparable to a Roth IRA (#4)? Many 403b and 457b accounts allow for direct roth contributions. If so, I don't see t...
by NightFall
Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trash dumped on curb (need advice)
Replies: 60
Views: 7567

Re: Trash dumped on curb (need advice)

I referenced a dispute with new next door neighbor, a single old lady, who built a drainage rock creek that went onto my property. it looked fine, but I had several specific concerns. I asked her about it, she asked me to talk to the landscaper that did it. I talked to him, but after a while the co...
by NightFall
Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trash dumped on curb (need advice)
Replies: 60
Views: 7567

Re: Trash dumped on curb (need advice)

What is the point of your HOA if they don't/won't deal with giant piles of trash on the curb for weeks? Seriously, I've never been subject to one. HOA's do not exist to be useful. They are a way for a minority of homeowner's to control their neighbors and a source of harassment and taxes. Seriously...
by NightFall
Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Selling Taxable to Top of Bracket: What does it mean?
Replies: 33
Views: 4269

Re: Selling Taxable to Top of Bracket: What does it mean?

Sorry Nightfall. Wasn't my intention to bombard the forum I thought my two questions were independent so decided to post 2 different threads. Your advice to consult Wiki is a good one and I tried to observe etiquette by consulting first Wiki and past forum discussions. I couldn't quite find or unde...
by NightFall
Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which Taxable Lots to Sell during Retirememt?
Replies: 10
Views: 1989

Re: Which Taxable Lots to Sell during Retirememt?

I am in retirement, in withdrawal phase, and not taking full SS until 70.5 Is it 'best'to maximze Captial Gains by selling my 'winners' from my taxable accounts or obtain maximum proceeds from sale of my 'losers' In my Taxable Investments? Thanks in advance for your help. Typically you would want t...
by NightFall
Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Selling Taxable to Top of Bracket: What does it mean?
Replies: 33
Views: 4269

Re: Selling Taxable to Top of Bracket: What does it mean?

It depends. Short terms capital gain = yes. If your gains are long term, that would back taxed at 0% in that bracket. Your other posts indicate that you are around 66 and will not take SS until 70. It's not clear what RMDs you are talking about. You can continue to take gains up to the top of the 15...
by NightFall
Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $3.6 million at age 25 - need investment advice
Replies: 44
Views: 6545

Re: $3.6 million at age 25 - need investment advice

First suggestion: make sure you pay taxes on your gains. With that much in taxable, I would suggest deferring as much income in tax sheltered accounts as possible. You need to learn about the tax code as well so that you make informed decisions about income. With that much money, the dividends alone...
by NightFall
Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Automate Savings
Replies: 5
Views: 692

Re: Automate Savings

Also a 401k question: I know you are allowed to contribute the max (18k or so) yourself (and then the employer can contribute more). In that case, is the amount the employer contributes tax deductible? Or does it depend on the employer? Just to be clear, the employer contribution is not added to yo...
by NightFall
Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New salaries, baby on the way, getting finances in order
Replies: 9
Views: 1226

Re: New salaries, baby on the way, getting finances in order

Truly impressive salaries. However, at that level of income ($1.1M/year), you really should consider using traditional rather than roth contributions in your 403B. You don't state what your expenses are, but your monthly income will exceed the average yearly income in the US. So, unless you're livin...