Search found 363 matches

by crit
Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: views on "Empower Retirement" as a 401k provider? fees? ease of use etc?
Replies: 30
Views: 1400

Re: views on "Empower Retirement" as a 401k provider? fees? ease of use etc?

My spouse had empower when we first merged finances. In 2015, I found that the $42k of contributions made between 2005 and 2007 had sat in a money market fund (ok, not their fault) since 2008 and had diminished to $38k through their fees. I did not look deeply into what those fees were exactly, but ...
by crit
Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A half year at full pay or a full year at half pay?
Replies: 49
Views: 4617

Re: A half year off at full pay or a full year off at half pay?

I cannot believe that a percentage of the money I send to my kid's college is being given to professors who are "taking a year off with half-pay and full benefits". You're getting some kickback on this line of thinking, for many reasons. At a straightforward level, it is part of a compensation pack...
by crit
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 315
Views: 23010

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I changed the batteries in our front door combination lock.

Oh wait, oops, I didn't, even though I suspected it sounded like the batteries were dying.

You all know what a locksmith costs, right?

Don't be me. Change the batteries. Much cheaper.
by crit
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A half year at full pay or a full year at half pay?
Replies: 49
Views: 4617

Re: A half year at full pay or a full year at half pay?

Academic here, who is planning on the whole year. The thing that gives me qualms is the doubled housing costs. But still. Remember that universities are, generally, quite generous with retirement contributions. You're likely a bit ahead of the game for that reason. My spouse gets nothing from his co...
by crit
Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help my backdoor Roth IRA process better next year
Replies: 15
Views: 909

Re: Please help my backdoor Roth IRA process better next year

Well, my "unavailable" shares in Roth are $5500.19 in MMF so ... interest happens? I would guess the only improvements you could make next year would be to check whether you can convert 2 days later, which you should have been able to do. You still have to contribute, wait 2 days for the ACH transfe...
by crit
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help my backdoor Roth IRA process better next year
Replies: 15
Views: 909

Re: Please help my backdoor Roth IRA process better next year

In step 2, you should have CONVERTED via a button on the Vanguard page that says "Convert to Roth". About your $1.27, are you a new Vanguard customer? Did you fund the contribution online, or through talking to a rep? I made my tIRA contribution on 1/2 (via transfer from a linked bank account), and ...
by crit
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Identity Theft - Social Security Claim & Green Dot Bank Debit
Replies: 13
Views: 1343

Re: Identity Theft - Social Security Claim & Green Dot Bank Debit

The two other places to freeze your credit are Chex Systems and Innovis.
by crit
Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cryptocurrency Exit Strategy
Replies: 52
Views: 4443

Re: Cryptocurrency Exit Strategy

We did not buy our crypto, and thus have not yet been registered on any exchanges. As I said above, we are unable to register now. We will have to wait out this bubble and its volume. It would have been, well, nice, and we're very frustrated, and I think you can understand why I have to view it as a...
by crit
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cryptocurrency Exit Strategy
Replies: 52
Views: 4443

Re: Cryptocurrency Exit Strategy

Sell. Sell now. We own some crypto that we got early last summer, and cannot get out because all of the exchanges are backed up indefinitely in processing new users. Or that's the story I am told. I frankly don't buy it. I think it's all fictional, the whole thing. I don't think anyone is trading an...
by crit
Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth conversion - Am I too late?
Replies: 3
Views: 505

Re: Backdoor Roth conversion - Am I too late?

Contributions are limited-time events, per year.
Conversions are a separate event, and you can do those anytime.
by crit
Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Max It Out Tomorrow [your IRA]
Replies: 164
Views: 17515

Re: Max It Out Tomorrow [your IRA]

I was waffling about it because it'll reduce our cash buffer right as spouse's 401k gets front-loaded and our take-home is reduced, but ... we do have the money so I pulled the trigger on the first step of the backdoor Roths today.
by crit
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 23387

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

A question - I am thinking of prepaying. Our property taxes are paid through escrow by our mortgage holder. How do I coordinate that with them? When I've accidentally paid the insurance bill when it showed up, the mortgage holder ends up sending us a repayment check a month later (because that is es...
by crit
Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing of rolling IRA into 401k & initiating a back door Roth conversion
Replies: 6
Views: 452

Re: Timing of rolling IRA into 401k & initiating a back door Roth conversion

It was a VG to VG custodial transfer and i was not able to see the money in my account only for about a 36 hours (which is good since it was a very large number and even 36 hours that made me nervous.... :? ) I'm still in 'nervous'. Spouse's tIRA went from mid-5 figures to zero on 11/10, and I'm .....
by crit
Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing of rolling IRA into 401k & initiating a back door Roth conversion
Replies: 6
Views: 452

Re: Timing of rolling IRA into 401k & initiating a back door Roth conversion

I just posted about doing this ... I'm -almost- there but really should wait for the balance to show up in the 401k. You're good to go. Look at the 8086: Line 6 asks what the balance of your pre-tax IRAs is as of 12/31. That's all the IRS cares about. Do the backdoor this week, and make sure your ba...
by crit
Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which Target Date Fund?
Replies: 13
Views: 1150

Re: Which Target Date Fund?

They are really quite similar funds overall; but for your case, the transaction fee means Fidelity wins hands-down.
by crit
Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it safe (to backdoor Roth) yet?
Replies: 2
Views: 380

Is it safe (to backdoor Roth) yet?

Half of the reason for this post is to share the shudder of satisfaction of simplifying: Now that his company changed 401k providers and we thus have the chance, I have finally finally gotten my spouse's rollover IRA into his 401k ..... almost. The transfer is from VG to Fidelity. The VG balance sho...
by crit
Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mechanics of tIRA -> 401k
Replies: 7
Views: 497

Re: mechanics of tIRA -> 401k

I wanted to update my findings so that these details are searchable by someone else looking. There are several options for getting an IRA distribution check from Vanguard. Online, you will find a "Do it Online!" button. Following this option, they can distribute it to another fund/account within Van...
by crit
Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvesting in shared brokerage account?
Replies: 6
Views: 606

Re: Tax loss harvesting in shared brokerage account?

I believe this falls under the same umbrella by way of 'married filling jointly'. Vanguard doesn't care - they just issue the 1099b forms - but the IRS cares. As long as you're filing together, the losses will cancel the gains.

But make sure you've got the mechanics of avoiding wash sales straight.
by crit
Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mechanics of tIRA -> 401k
Replies: 7
Views: 497

Re: mechanics of tIRA -> 401k

Thanks very much, Alan!
by crit
Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mechanics of tIRA -> 401k
Replies: 7
Views: 497

Re: mechanics of tIRA -> 401k

bump -- can anyone answer question #1, about tax reporting of tIRA to 401k rollovers?
by crit
Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boston area Relocation...major decision points
Replies: 34
Views: 3216

Re: Boston area Relocation...major decision points

The advice above about the 93/95 interchange is the standout. I would strongly advise you to live on or within whichever quadrant of that interchange your work is on, so that you don't have to cross it or even drive past it to get to work.
by crit
Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Problem with back door roth ira on taxact
Replies: 24
Views: 1577

Re: Problem with back door roth ira on taxact

I had problems initially with TurboTax too. When I erased the previous forms and started over by reporting the contribution first, and then the 1099 conversion later, it filled in the 8606 correctly. But it was key to have worked through the 8606 on paper first, to see what TT did wrong. I knew I wa...
by crit
Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion questions
Replies: 7
Views: 612

Re: Roth conversion questions

Nope - the I in IRA is for Individual. It will be two sets of forms.
by crit
Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mechanics of tIRA -> 401k
Replies: 7
Views: 497

Re: mechanics of tIRA -> 401k

The whole balance is pre-tax: the contribution was deducted from taxes that year, making it pre-tax. The rollover is also pre-tax.
by crit
Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion questions
Replies: 7
Views: 612

Re: Roth conversion questions

The important date is Dec. 31, that your tIRA balance is zero on that date. Take a stab at the 8606 forms in pencil yourself - they are the best way to see how it works. Yours should be a straight backdoor - you only convert your recent contribution, not the $30k. Your wife's will be a bit different...
by crit
Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mechanics of tIRA -> 401k
Replies: 7
Views: 497

mechanics of tIRA -> 401k

My spouse has a tIRA at vanguard that is 90% rollover and 10% deductible contribution. His company just switched to Fidelity as 401k provider, and they will accept a rolled-in contribution (thus opening the backdoor Roth for him). I have two questions about the mechanics: 1. How does the tax reporti...
by crit
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid EX-L???
Replies: 15
Views: 1184

Re: 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid EX-L???

Not a screaming deal, no. I would not bite. Two things about the 2017 hybrid accord: the back seat does not fold down due to the placement of the battery (this was a dealkiller for me), and the controls are ALL touchscreen. Even the volume "knob" is virtual. I did not like that very much, and I read...
by crit
Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3 fund portfolio review - married, mid to late 40's
Replies: 3
Views: 1080

Re: 3 fund portfolio review - married, mid to late 40's

Why do you have total bond in your taxable, but hold total stock market in her IRA? Unless the gains on the bond funds are prohibitive, you could almost evenly swap those positions.
by crit
Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much liquid Cash to Keep in Savings
Replies: 35
Views: 5450

Re: How much liquid Cash to Keep in Savings

We're pretty similar to you. I have an academic job which is, all things told, pretty stable. Spouse works for a startup, so less stable. No kids. Only a mortgage, well within one income. Assets are roughly split between tax-advantaged and taxable. I try to keep us at $10-20k in checking, and make p...
by crit
Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 10166

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

To keep this actionable, my question is, should I replace my Prius for "fun" with an updated BEV or PHEV? When and what type. Should I replace my wife's 17year old luxury SUV and if so, when and what type. Requirements: We do 3-4 long 6-12hr roadtrips each year for the in laws and safety is vital. ...
by crit
Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have rental application, which service to use to run background check
Replies: 16
Views: 1523

Re: Have rental application, which service to use to run background check

Once upon a time, I used nail-usa.com and they were fine. You'll need to establish yourself as a user with them first.
by crit
Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 10166

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

We got a 2016 prestige plus with sports and tech packages for ~$38k. Sticker was $45k or so for that set of options/model. Then the $4500 fed rebate, and I got $1000 from our state, means it was a pretty straight comparison to the Accord even in price. I'm not sure how you'd seek out the dealer demo...
by crit
Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 10166

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

Hello I have about a year before I will be selling back my Audi A3 TDI to VW/Audi due to emissions scandal. I'm seriously considering an EV option and will look at Tesla Model 3 ( deposit made), the 2018 Leaf and the GM Bolt. Have you looked at the A3 e-tron? We traded in my A3 TDI for the e-tron a...
by crit
Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA or Backdoor Roth?
Replies: 22
Views: 1947

Re: Roth IRA or Backdoor Roth?

To the OP, I'd just do the backdoor already. There's no cost to doing it even if you do end up under the Roth threshold. To the poster above me, with the 8606: Turbotax indeed did it wrong first (good thing I looked). What worked for me was skipping ahead in the program to report the contribution fi...
by crit
Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new 401k options
Replies: 7
Views: 578

new 401k options

My spouse's company moved their 401k recently to Fidelity (yay!). Looking at what is available, there are: - a few large caps, all with ERs higher than 0.5. They are weird - no Spartan, no S&P. - good small caps - here they offer Fidelity and Vanguard small cap funds with ER of 0.05 or so. - expensi...
by crit
Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thanks for Mobile Passport App
Replies: 20
Views: 1856

Re: Thanks for Mobile Passport App

I do not have Global Entry, so i was initially shunted into the regular line. However, I had already submitted my report, so they had me skip the long line of people waiting to have their declarations checked, I went straight to the exit of that room and (no checked luggage) straight out.
by crit
Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thanks for Mobile Passport App
Replies: 20
Views: 1856

Thanks for Mobile Passport App

Someone on this forum mentioned the mobile passport app for clearing US customs. I used it yesterday. Plane landed at 5:15 and I was in the car at 6 pm, with a very fast walk through customs. It was so fast and easy. Many thanks to whoever mentioned it!
by crit
Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humid basement
Replies: 39
Views: 3125

Re: Humid basement

An outside possibility: is there a leak in your unfinished portion, or crawl space, that you can't easily access? When we bought our house, it had a pretty humid basement. No obvious leaks on inspection. Some water in a crawl space reported by inspector who crawled back there, but it had poured the ...
by crit
Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cryptocurrencies
Replies: 50
Views: 5104

Re: Cryptocurrencies

We acquired a position involuntarily that I'm not happy about, and it has gone down ~30% since that event. Yay.
by crit
Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unwise to contribute to the same equity index fund in both taxable and IRA account? [Preparing for TLH]
Replies: 17
Views: 1630

Re: Unwise to contribute to the same equity index fund in both taxable and IRA account? [Preparing for TLH]

You're -almost- there. What you need is a third fund, because in taxable you will TLH between two funds - selling whatever's down -into- other fund, and the positions of the two funds alternate. I have this type of thing going on in our portfolio. I didn't set out to do it -- it arose because of ava...
by crit
Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 101
Views: 6813

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

If my realtor forwarded my email to the seller's realtor without my express permission, my next stop would be a lawyer.

Doubtlessly that realtor made you sign papers, and those papers said something about fiduciary responsibility. To you.
by crit
Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Dealer Cost/Invoice does one use?
Replies: 20
Views: 2053

Re: Which Dealer Cost/Invoice does one use?

I agree there's only one dealer invoice number. I do not agree; I strongly suspect that the terms "invoice" and "dealer cost" have become just different marketing terms, now that everyone knows or can find them. Most recently, I have read that deals are expressed in terms of % markdown from MSRP, a...
by crit
Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads: Please help me pick a new car
Replies: 81
Views: 8601

Re: Bogleheads: Please help me pick a new car

Same here - I really enjoyed that post. Thanks for writing it. Hope you enjoy your new car.
by crit
Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mediator for ownership division of primary home
Replies: 46
Views: 2155

Re: Mediator for ownership division of primary home

It's an aside, but can you comment a bit more about how he was able to take a heloc without her knowing? I'm going to have trouble sleeping until I know that's a rare exception .... Actually, maybe it's less of an aside, really: he leveraged his access to that money, into his business. I would argue...
by crit
Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 101
Views: 6813

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

If the seller's agent really, truly wants to get the deal done, he/she will offer part of their commission to reduce the price of the house, especially if he/she is playing dual agent. It doesn't seem like you're close enough, at least yet, but that could help you close the gap. I agree with the 'wa...
by crit
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bonus, in bitcoin
Replies: 21
Views: 2485

Re: Bonus, in bitcoin

Without going into detail, the company has very, very compelling reasons to stay on the legal and documented side of things, so we do not expect that this is shady.
by crit
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking 401k rollover advice
Replies: 5
Views: 490

Re: Seeking 401k rollover advice

Yes, your new 401k looks to be a very good choice with low-cost options, and rolling it into the new 401k (as opposed to a rollover IRA) leaves the backdoor Roth as an option for you.
by crit
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bonus, in bitcoin
Replies: 21
Views: 2485

Re: Bonus, in bitcoin

We speculate that the reasoning is to give spouse "skin in the game" of the company's product, which is related. Company is very up-and-up (and salary is in USD, properly reported, etc), we are not anticipating bad behaviour at all. I just want to make sure I'm asking the right questions to take car...
by crit
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help with this portfolio
Replies: 10
Views: 771

Re: Please help with this portfolio

Fifth, find out what the capital gains are for each of the funds in the taxable account (I assume the "Joint Tenants" account is a taxable account). The good news is that the majority is in IRAs, and can be liquidated or exchanged for reasonable things like a target-date fund or a Wellesley or balan...