Search found 1175 matches

by markcoop
Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is anyone waiting until after the election?
Replies: 163
Views: 14811

Re: Is anyone waiting until after the election?

At times I think we tend to lump all market timing strategies together. Someone moving 100% out of stocks is very different than someone holding off on some contributions that they will make at some point this year. For me, I am waiting for a good opportunity to shift some 401k money out of stocks a...
by markcoop
Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Multifactor fund VFMF has had a bad year
Replies: 93
Views: 4823

Re: Vanguard Multifactor fund VFMF has had a bad year

I have considered switching my tilt to VFMF from SV but would be uncomfortable doing it in a year where VFMF, although having a bad year, has outperformed SV. I have tilted toward small value for about 20 years. I think the only scenario where I would make such a switch were after a period where SV...
by markcoop
Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Multifactor fund VFMF has had a bad year
Replies: 93
Views: 4823

Re: Vanguard Multifactor fund VFMF has had a bad year

I have considered switching my tilt to VFMF from SV but would be uncomfortable doing it in a year where VFMF, although having a bad year, has outperformed SV. I have tilted toward small value for about 20 years. I think the only scenario where I would make such a switch were after a period where SV ...
by markcoop
Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth to relocate for retirement?
Replies: 140
Views: 13293

Re: Is it worth to relocate for retirement?

What I have wondered about is living in multiple locations. We live in the NY and probably still want to be in this area some of the time in retirement. I am considering moving to Florida and living there half the year plus 1 day and spending the rest of our time in other places - probably 3-4 month...
by markcoop
Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much are your 529 Contributions
Replies: 133
Views: 7468

Re: How much are your 529 Contributions

So I have 3 kids and started funding 529s since they were created. I have been taking a $10K state tax deduction every year since the late 90s. In addition, I would say there is a decent amount of gains that grew tax free. I did not max out all my retirement accounts. I had multiple goals (retiremen...
by markcoop
Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much are your 529 Contributions
Replies: 133
Views: 7468

Re: How much are your 529 Contributions

If your family is eligible for the American Opportunity Tax Credit, then that is a better deal than 529 plan: Pay $4,000 a year and get $2,500 a year back. You cannot use 529 funds to do that, but need to use taxable income for the $4,000 . That's like a 2500 / 4000 = 62.5% return on your money in ...
by markcoop
Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Timing the market for Roth Conversions. Sin?
Replies: 18
Views: 940

Re: Timing the market for Roth Conversions. Sin?

I'm sort-of doing something similar. I've been on a quest to get more stock into my Roth and less stock in traditional. I'll be making a neutral move between traditional and Roth (I do tax-adjust my AA, so assuming the tax-adjust is accurate, then it truly is neutral. Of course, it will never be 100...
by markcoop
Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Favorite 529 plan these days?
Replies: 21
Views: 1656

Re: Favorite 529 plan these days?

Does anyone know if 529 distribution rules are applied from the state you live in or the state the 529 is in? For example - If your 529 allows K-12 private school tuition payments, but the state you live in doesn't. Would K-12 be a qualified distribition? You should look at your state's tax forms. ...
by markcoop
Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tips on investing play money
Replies: 37
Views: 2078

Re: Tips on investing play money

Thanks for the responses. 1) For those that don't approve, I appreciate you trying to steer me in the right direction. I can only say that I have been following the Boglehead way for over 20 years and am quite satisfied. This play money in no way detracts from my investing beliefs. It is more akin t...
by markcoop
Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tips on investing play money
Replies: 37
Views: 2078

Tips on investing play money

I fully subscribe to indexing and many of the core investing principles often discussed on this forum. I am thinking about taking a certain amount of money and designate it as play (gambling) money. It would strictly be invested in stocks. Looking for any tips, websites or anything that would help.
by markcoop
Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion Strategy with Loss of Stretch IRA
Replies: 21
Views: 1619

Re: Roth Conversion Strategy with Loss of Stretch IRA

I plan to convert to the point where there are no IRMAA considerations (Currently $174k). This is also below any NIIT considerations for MFJ. So, that is not to the top of the 22% bracket, but close enough. Hopefully that will put enough of a dent so that RMDs and issues like the loss of the stretch...
by markcoop
Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [How does one fight the urge to make simple things more complex?]
Replies: 82
Views: 5086

Re: [How does one fight the urge to make simple things more complex?]

I have a general rule in life that seems to apply to most situations: 80% of the gain comes from the first 20% of the effort. I do believe owning the 3-fund portfolio will get you very good returns and is appropriate for many people given the amount of time they will spend caring for their portfolio...
by markcoop
Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Scenario: Roth IRA Taxes
Replies: 28
Views: 1712

Re: Scenario: Roth IRA Taxes

Is there a way to easily determine the exact amount paid in fed/state taxes on the roths? If you used tax software, the *easiest* way to determine how much you have saved in taxes by contributing a given amount to a deductible 401k instead of to a Roth IRA is just to use your tax software to do wha...
by markcoop
Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: You cant time the market...but, can you use the data to support your timing?
Replies: 31
Views: 2409

Re: You cant time the market...but, can you use the data to support your timing?

I don't think one should make any major moves based on trying to time the market. I have warmed up to small movements based on extreme situations/valuations. This is all recent thinking, but I decided to have a very mild dynamic asset allocation. I am fairly conservative with a base AA of 50/50. But...
by markcoop
Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: After-tax AA and shifting money between traditional and Roth
Replies: 7
Views: 526

Re: After-tax AA and shifting money between traditional and Roth

To stick with your current tax-adjusted AA strategy, consider mirroring your asset placement and allocation across all your accounts. I have never even considered doing a mirror strategy, although I can understand how it makes re-balancing easier. I read the link but don't think it is something tha...
by markcoop
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: After-tax AA and shifting money between traditional and Roth
Replies: 7
Views: 526

Re: After-tax AA and shifting money between traditional and Roth

Backing up a bit, why would you shift assets (stocks to bonds in Trad, and bonds to stocks in Roth) anyway? So here's my situation. I have always tax-adjusted my AA. I know people have different views about whether this makes sense, but it has always made sense to me. Given that I do that, I have n...
by markcoop
Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: After-tax AA and shifting money between traditional and Roth
Replies: 7
Views: 526

After-tax AA and shifting money between traditional and Roth

If I do my AA on an after-tax basis, then I think moving money around becomes a neutral event. For example, if I use a 15% tax rate, then I could shift $100 in my traditional from stock to bond and correspondingly shift $85, or 85%, in my Roth from bond to stock. That would keep my AA in the exact s...
by markcoop
Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds in Traditional or Roth?
Replies: 14
Views: 1153

Re: Bonds in Traditional or Roth?

I would say one of the bigger mistakes I have made in the past was putting bonds in my Roth. I am in my 50s and am trying to figure out how to lower the balances in my traditional accounts because, after doing some retirement projections, they will adversely affect SS taxation and higher taxes when...
by markcoop
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds in Traditional or Roth?
Replies: 14
Views: 1153

Re: Bonds in Traditional or Roth?

I would say one of the bigger mistakes I have made in the past was putting bonds in my Roth. I am in my 50s and am trying to figure out how to lower the balances in my traditional accounts because, after doing some retirement projections, they will adversely affect SS taxation and higher taxes when ...
by markcoop
Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with early retirement and inherited assets; thanks in advance :)
Replies: 10
Views: 1700

Re: Help with early retirement and inherited assets; thanks in advance :)

I'm sure others will chime in, but just a few quick points/questions: - You can get an estimate of SS if you stop working now by going to ssa.tools and entering the information. - I think it would help if you told us a little bit more about your expenses and medical insurance. - How much money do yo...
by markcoop
Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does it make sense to convert Trad to Roth at this point?
Replies: 14
Views: 1128

Re: Does it make sense to convert Trad to Roth at this point?

You should consider postponing SS until later - this gives you more "room" and time to do Roth conversions and increases your SS payments in your older age. I have heard this advice a number of times and I wonder if everyone means the same thing. I can think of two possible scenarios: 1) Both spous...
by markcoop
Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is the stock market up? [thread multi-merge]
Replies: 521
Views: 21556

Re: How is this possible -- stock market continues to soar.

I expect more than usual volatility over the near (till we have a vaccine) future. That means up and down as we chart our way through uncharted territories. Does that mean we will hit new lows this year? I doubt it. But if we dropped 15% from here I wouldn't be surprised. Of course, it may be a less...
by markcoop
Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Roth IRAs “Pay taxes once and never again” really best?”
Replies: 131
Views: 11029

Re: Are Roth IRAs “Pay taxes once and never again” really best?”

One thing that we all need to keep in mind: We currently have the lowest federal income tax rates on high to moderately high incomes in the last 100 years. Under current law, the rates are due to snap back up in a few years. This should influence our analyses of our plans. Ralph That should be a co...
by markcoop
Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet Another When to Take Social Security Thread
Replies: 17
Views: 1448

Re: Yet Another When to Take Social Security Thread

Between sequence of returns risk and the value of delaying SS, the optimum strategy for many retirees is to delay SS, spend down from from portfolio with reduction coming from bond side, use extra 12% tax bracket space for Roth conversions, then take SS at 70 with supplements from remaining portfol...
by markcoop
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does it really matter when you claim Social Security
Replies: 109
Views: 9370

Re: Does it really matter when you claim Social Security

Although I plan on starting SS at 70, I have wrestled with the best time for my wife to start SS given that we plan to do Roth conversions till 70. If she takes it at 62 when we are doing conversions, the max (85%) of her modest SS will be taxed. If she takes it at 70, I believe there's a good chanc...
by markcoop
Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I be doing ROTH conversions?
Replies: 19
Views: 2369

Re: Should I be doing ROTH conversions?

You can look on Line 5 of your 2019 Form 1040 to see what the total benefits are and how much was taxed. It should either be 0%, 50% or 85% of the SS benefit is taxed. Agree on looking at Line 5, but it doesn't work the way you described. It's a continuum from 0% to 85%, not 3 discrete values. I be...
by markcoop
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using 529 to buy laptop for college for graduated HS senior
Replies: 8
Views: 634

Re: Using 529 to buy laptop for college for graduated HS senior

I believe a university that uses the CSS Profile will look at a child-owned 529 plan and decide 100% of that money belongs to them which is perhaps different than a university that only uses a FAFSA. So parent-owned and child-owned 529 plans may be treated differently. Even though it is not really ...
by markcoop
Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

Did you mention that both of you might defer SS until 70 so that you can convert more before SS? That may not be optimal. Usually the lower SS benefit should start before age 70. If one of you is collecting SS benefits before the other, and if the 40.7% marginal bracket is narrow enough, it doesn't...
by markcoop
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 account usage
Replies: 2
Views: 422

Re: 529 account usage

As long as A and B are family members (there are rules as to what constitute a family member), then you can change beneficiaries. The second part of the question can be done regardless of the first part. Maybe explain what you are trying to achieve.
by markcoop
Thu May 28, 2020 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

My goal, if I understand the posts above, should be to get the range of RMDs below the 40.7% range for all cases. Not all cases. I gave an example earlier in this thread about having a high income year (passing through the hump) in order to have low income years that largely avoid the hump. Did you...
by markcoop
Thu May 28, 2020 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

I constructed a few tables similar to the wiki and also played around with my wife delaying SS till 70 so I can convert more (which I now believe will be optimal). Our SS benefit will be $68,894. The heat map is probably sufficient for planning purposes, but I prefer the exercise of computing the va...
by markcoop
Mon May 25, 2020 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

I think you should convert up to the top of the 22% bracket. That means converting now at 22% to avoid paying 22% later. The reason to do this is because you are married. Look what happens to the tax hump after one of you dies, and the single survivor, with just a survivor SS benefit, has a RMD of ...
by markcoop
Sat May 23, 2020 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

Given the "...in my spreadsheet" comment, you might find the personal finance toolbox Excel spreadsheet useful for comparing your results to its, or taking some of its formulas for use in yours, etc. Thanks you guys for all the help and the tip on this calculator. I love to do everything in a sprea...
by markcoop
Fri May 22, 2020 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

No. With SS = $58k, if you are past the hump, you are past the 12% tax bracket. Thanks for pointing that out. My exact amount of SS in my calculations is $58,459. I computed that I am past the hump at other income greater than $66,171. So, taxable income = .85 * 58459 + 66171 = $115861 which is gre...
by markcoop
Thu May 21, 2020 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

Let me try to make my point a different way. My amount of non-SS other income needed to make the maximum 85% of Social Security taxable for my SS amount of $58K is around $66K (if my wife takes her SS at 62) or around $71K (if my wife takes her SS at 70). So if I have that much non-SS other income, ...
by markcoop
Thu May 21, 2020 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

I've been giving myself a crash course on SS and Roth conversions the past few days. Some of the info here (the wiki as well) has been great. I thank anyone who has made contributions. I do understand the SS hump in essence caused by your next dollar of income bringing in more taxable SS income. For...
by markcoop
Wed May 20, 2020 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

Not only does taking SS early use up some of the room that Roth conversions would use in the same tax bracket, but the conversions MAY make more of the SS be taxed. Paying more tax because of the SS is the same as getting SS minus that increase in tax. That would completely change your Open Social ...
by markcoop
Tue May 19, 2020 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

Oddly enough, if I enter the max income for a Roth conversion of $103,350 ($78,950+24,400) to max out the 12% bracket, Turbotax comes out with a total tax of $9,092 which would be $6 more than what the top of the 12% bracket should be. Because tax tables go in chunks of $100, so $103,350 is rounded...
by markcoop
Tue May 19, 2020 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

When I run Open Social Security, I get me filing at 64 and DW (higher earner) at 70. Changing the death dates or discount rate just a little results in me filing at 62 - which is what it said in previous years. So, right now the default discount rate is -0.26%. Maybe that's the best estimate for th...
by markcoop
Tue May 19, 2020 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

I haven't planned this all out yet, but I would imagine I would convert to the top of the current 12% bracket (AGI $78,950 MFJ) per year for 10 years (or whatever that tax bracket turns into when I retire). That is well below the Medicare high-income surcharge (IRMAA) currently at $170,000 for MFJ....
by markcoop
Mon May 18, 2020 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

For example, if my 401K is large enough and my RMDs will generate a decent amount of taxes, perhaps taking her SS and 62+1month would be better overall since it will lower our taxes a bit when those RMDs start to come in. Or perhaps delay her SS by several years so more traditional to Roth conversi...
by markcoop
Mon May 18, 2020 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security is an asset....yet again
Replies: 129
Views: 5882

Re: Social Security is an asset....yet again

Maybe I didn't notice but did the author include the 20%+ reduction in benefits that will occur in the early 2030s? Is this the currently projected shortfall or something specific that is already slated to change?? Just started looking a bit further out at retirement issues so this is of interest.....
by markcoop
Mon May 18, 2020 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

For example, if my 401K is large enough and my RMDs will generate a decent amount of taxes, perhaps taking her SS and 62+1month would be better overall since it will lower our taxes a bit when those RMDs start to come in. Or perhaps delay her SS by several years so more traditional to Roth conversi...
by markcoop
Mon May 18, 2020 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

Sounds to me this calculator is more complicated than I originally thought (especially if it assumes when you start SS early, you will invest that non SS money). I am beginning to understand the impact of the death rates for the married couple, who dies first and who earns more money. Thank you Mike...
by markcoop
Sun May 17, 2020 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Re: Open Social Security strategy results question

Thanks for the replies. I am just starting to look into SS. So, let me back up a bit and ask how this works in general. My hunch was my death date, according to the tables, was the break even point. In other words, no matter when I started to take SS, if I died on that day I would have received the ...
by markcoop
Sat May 16, 2020 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Open Social Security strategy results question
Replies: 59
Views: 4394

Open Social Security strategy results question

I was playing around with the Open Social Security calculator to understand my optimal strategy. I have made a decent amount more than my wife. The optimal strategy was for her was to start taking her benefits early (Age 62 and 7 months) and for me to wait till as late as possible (age 70). I unders...
by markcoop
Wed May 13, 2020 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: after tax 401k contribution or taxable brokerage
Replies: 33
Views: 1532

Re: after tax 401k contribution or taxable brokerage

If you don't somehow move it into a Roth, then I'm not a huge fan. If you invest in a taxable account in stocks, you will pay capital gains when you sell and you have the option of selling whenever you want. If you invest in the after-tax 401K in stocks, you will pay ordinary income taxes when you w...
by markcoop
Mon May 11, 2020 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age do you use for retirement end date?
Replies: 68
Views: 4357

Re: What age do you use for retirement end date?

Even though my parents died in their 70s, I plan to stay active well past that point playing tennis, basketball, bike-riding, kayaking, paddle-boarding, roller-blading, hiking and I hope many more activities I haven't even tried yet. Use it or lose it. I personally put down 100 when asked.
by markcoop
Sat May 09, 2020 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Would you go with a bond index fund or a 3% Guaranteed fund?
Replies: 54
Views: 4645

Re: Would you go with a bond index fund or a 3% Guaranteed fund?

There are a group of these kind of funds, they do have differences, that seem to go by slightly different names such as stable value funds and others. In general, trading some liquidity for a higher rate seems like a good deal. The one in my 401K has a 10 year average of 3.13% (5.77% over it's life)...