Search found 416 matches

by John151
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I need to rebalance, but hate paying capital gains tax.
Replies: 41
Views: 3629

Re: I need to rebalance, but hate paying capital gains tax.

I’m in a similar situation as the original poster. In my case, my stock allocation is five percentage points above where I’d like it to be, all of that is in taxable accounts, and rebalancing would trigger a hefty capital gains tax. Fortunately I’m retired, I have a nice pension, and I have enough i...
by John151
Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon
Replies: 347
Views: 37461

Re: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon

Vanguard investors used to get TurboTax at a discount or for free, depending on the size of their Vanguard accounts. When Vanguard dropped that option, I moved to TaxAct, and when TaxAct increased its prices, I moved to FreeTaxUSA. With TurboTax, you can import your Vanguard investment information d...
by John151
Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who does your tax returns?
Replies: 103
Views: 6050

Re: Who does your tax returns?

For many years I did my taxes by hand. Then I used Turbotax when it became available at a discount for Vanguard investors. When Vanguard dropped that option, I moved to TaxAct, and when TaxAct raised its prices, I moved to FreeTaxUSA. I’ve used FreeTaxUSA for the last couple of years and plan to use...
by John151
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Discounts for 2019 version
Replies: 35
Views: 3468

Re: TaxAct Discounts for 2019 version

I used Turbotax when it was available at a discount or for free for Vanguard investors. When Vanguard dropped that option, I moved to TaxAct, and when TaxAct raised its prices, I moved to FreeTaxUSA. I’ve used FreeTaxUSA for the last couple of years and plan to use it going forward. I use the Deluxe...
by John151
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I bonds now a good buy?
Replies: 6
Views: 1889

Re: I bonds now a good buy?

I can’t accurately predict what the fixed rates will be, so I buy half of my I Bonds in May and the other half in November. That said, the fixed rates are so low that it doesn’t much matter when you buy.
by John151
Wed May 15, 2019 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashing in Paper Savings Bonds
Replies: 6
Views: 605

Re: Cashing in Paper Savings Bonds

I suppose I can set up an account at Treasury Direct, mail in my paper I Bonds, have Treasury Direct convert them to electronic bonds, then sell them, and have Treasury Direct deposit the proceeds into my local bank account. But it’s a very roundabout way of doing it, and it’s much more tedious than...
by John151
Wed May 15, 2019 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashing in Paper Savings Bonds
Replies: 6
Views: 605

Cashing in Paper Savings Bonds

I’m considering cashing in some of my paper savings bonds, and I called my bank to make sure that I could do it there. They said that I can cash in my paper EE bonds at the bank, but not my paper I Bonds. I’d have to do that through the mail. I realize that you can’t buy savings bonds at banks anymo...
by John151
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 36664

Re: How did you feel about your 2018 tax returns?

This year I used FreeTaxUSA for the second time. It didn’t take any longer than last year, the federal return was free, and the tax cuts shaved fifteen percent off my tax bill. I’m a happy camper.
by John151
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you check up on your investments?
Replies: 35
Views: 2601

Re: How often do you check up on your investments?

I check my investments on days that are especially volatile. Other than that, I check my investments once a week, usually on Saturdays, and record the results on the first of each month.
by John151
Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you check your accounts?
Replies: 53
Views: 3493

Re: How often do you check your accounts?

I check my account balances on days when the markets are highly volatile. Other than that, I check my balances once a week and record the results once a month.
by John151
Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you check your net worth?
Replies: 257
Views: 17672

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

I check my investments once a week and update my spreadsheet once a month.
by John151
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First “financial” thing you do in the morning
Replies: 80
Views: 6283

Re: First “financial” thing you do in the morning

Just for fun, and maybe so some better habits rub off on me, I’m curious what the first financial-related thing is that BHs do routinely in the morning. For many, I suspect the answer is nothing (tune out the daily news/noise re: the stock market). For me, it involves coming to this forum and readi...
by John151
Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What did wise people do with their investments in 2008
Replies: 101
Views: 8912

Re: What did wise people do with their investments in 2008

in late 2008 and early 2009, I harvested a tax loss in a stock fund that had gone south, promptly reinvested in a fund that was similar but not substantially identical, and bought enough shares to get my stock allocation back up to my target level. I was retired with a pension and investment income ...
by John151
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 36664

Re: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]

I’m a retiree with a pension and investment income. In January 2018 I estimated what my taxes would be for the year and adjusted my withholdings accordingly. I was pretty darn close, off by small three-figure amounts. I also estimated what my federal income taxes would have been using 2017 rates: th...
by John151
Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Offer: $5 per Return
Replies: 2
Views: 472

TaxAct Offer: $5 per Return

I’ve received an email offer from TaxAct to prepare my federal and state tax returns for $5 each. Has anyone else gotten this? I imagine it’s TaxAct’s attempt to win back customers who dropped TaxAct when TaxAct raised its prices last year. In my case, I left TaxAct for FreeTaxUSA, and I’m in the pr...
by John151
Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you are old, why bother with rebalancing!!?
Replies: 115
Views: 9972

Re: If you are old, why bother with rebalancing!!?

I’m seventy-one. I have more than enough in bonds to see me through to the end of my days, so it really doesn’t matter what happens to my stocks. I rebalanced in 2008-2009, but I haven’t rebalanced since then, and I don’t plan to rebalance going forward.
by John151
Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you keep in checking?
Replies: 135
Views: 12280

Re: How much do you keep in checking?

About three months worth of expenses. Anything over that goes into my Vanguard money market fund.
by John151
Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Season Tax Options
Replies: 39
Views: 4132

Re: Tax Season Tax Options

Another vote for FreeTaxUSA. I used it last year with no problems, and I’m using it this year too.
by John151
Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Were you 100% debt free at retirement
Replies: 163
Views: 12257

Re: Were you 100% debt free at retirement

I was debt-free at fifty, and that's why I was able to retire at fifty-five.
by John151
Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax cannot import Vanguard 1099
Replies: 39
Views: 3351

Re: TurboTax cannot import Vanguard 1099

For many years I had enough tax withheld from my pension to avoid a penalty and to get a refund when I filed my taxes. That made me want to file my taxes as early as possible. For the last couple of years I’ve reduced my withholdings so that I’ll owe a modest amount, just enough to avoid a penalty. ...
by John151
Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:19 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: How Did You End Up Here?
Replies: 65
Views: 6166

Re: How Did You End Up Here?

I joined in 2007 after reading about the forum in Money magazine.
by John151
Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your first Vanguard fund or ETF?
Replies: 72
Views: 5404

Re: What was your first Vanguard fund or ETF?

Vanguard Prime Money Market and Vanguard 500 Index in the mid-1980’s. Last year I switched from Prime Money Market to Federal Money Market, but I still have Vanguard 500 Index, and in the very same account.
by John151
Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Tax 2018 Forms Now Online
Replies: 65
Views: 5613

Re: Vanguard Tax Forms Now Online

Vanguard’s 2018 Foreign Tax Paid statement has now been posted, and it shows almost the same numbers as the 1099-DIV, in my case with just a few cents difference in QDI eligible foreign income.
by John151
Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Tax 2018 Forms Now Online
Replies: 65
Views: 5613

Re: Vanguard Tax Forms Now Online

Vanguard has posted a Form 1099-DIV and a Form 1099-R for my accounts, but as of this afternoon not a statement of my Foreign Tax Paid. My records show that last year the Foreign Tax Paid statement was posted about a week after the Form 1099-DIV. Maybe TurboTax and H&R Block can’t import information...
by John151
Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Will Your Bank Cash In U.S. Savings Bonds?
Replies: 4
Views: 574

Re: Will Your Bank Cash In U.S. Savings Bonds?

I think they must have known about I bonds. I just asked them if they cashed in “U.S. Savings Bonds,” and they were the ones who made a distinction between EE Bonds and I Bonds. They also said they don’t cash in HH Bonds.
by John151
Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Will Your Bank Cash In U.S. Savings Bonds?
Replies: 4
Views: 574

Will Your Bank Cash In U.S. Savings Bonds?

I have an EE Bond reaching final maturity, so I called my bank to see if they’ll cash in U.S. Savings Bonds. The rep I spoke with checked with another rep, and the answer is that they’ll cash in EE Bonds only. They won’t cash in I Bonds. Is this common?
by John151
Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 302
Views: 43633

Re: TurboTax Prices

Some people posting on a related topic back in 2016 said that they’ve used FreeTaxUSA for four years, and one says he’s used it for eight or nine years.

viewtopic.php?t=185995#p2822176
by John151
Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 302
Views: 43633

Re: TurboTax Prices

I was the poster who originated this topic over a year ago, and I’ve followed it with great interest. Last year I e-filed my federal return with FreeTaxUSA. My return included Schedule B (Interest and Dividends), Schedule D (Capital Gains and Losses), Form 1116 (Foreign Tax Credit), and Form 8606 (N...
by John151
Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why did you decide to change your asset allocation?
Replies: 45
Views: 2460

Re: Why did you decide to change your asset allocation?

I followed the “age in bonds” approach, gradually reducing my stocks allocation as I got older. I’m in my seventies now, and I have about thirty percent of my investments in stocks. I’m comfortable with that.
by John151
Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax preparation software for 2018 returns
Replies: 18
Views: 2111

Re: Tax preparation software for 2018 returns

OAG wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:53 am
FreeTaxUSA is up an running NOW for advance use on 2018 taxes. Won't accept for filing until 1/2/19 and then will be held until 1/21/19 when IRS is scheduled to open the door for 2018 personal returns. All online system but works fine the past 2 years for me.
+1
by John151
Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 314
Views: 30379

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale

Opaque pricing and short-lived deals are why I stopped using TurboTax and H&R Block. FreeTaxUSA charges only one price: zero. If you want to e-file a state return, it’s $12.95.
by John151
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State retirement pensions thoughts?
Replies: 46
Views: 5718

Re: State retirement pensions thoughts?

I collect a pension from the state of Illinois, which has one of the most underfunded pension systems in the nation. The state government tried to reduce its obligations by cutting the COLA, but the state supreme court ruled that state retirees’ benefits are protected by the state constitution, whic...
by John151
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing taxes by hand
Replies: 82
Views: 5756

Re: Doing taxes by hand

I did my taxes by hand from the 1970’s into the late 1990’s. It was easy, because my taxes were fairly simple: salary, interest, dividends, and occasionally a capital gain or loss. I switched to TurboTax when Vanguard offered it at a discount or for free, depending on how much you had invested in Va...
by John151
Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much is too much in savings account?
Replies: 17
Views: 4415

Re: How much is too much in savings account?

I like to keep five percent of my investments in cash, defined as a savings account, a money market fund, or short term CD’s. That’s my emergency fund, and it also serves as ballast when stocks and bonds decline. With today’s rising interest rates, bond funds can drop in value, but cash doesn’t drop...
by John151
Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FreeTaxUSA.com now has 2018 Return available.
Replies: 36
Views: 5452

Re: FreeTaxUSA.com now has 2018 Return available.

Does FreeTaxUSA support 1099 imports from Vanguard, Schwab and Merrill Edge? It didn’t last year, but if you have electronic copies of your investment information, it’s easy to copy and paste. And FreeTaxUSA easily handled my capital loss carryover, my Form 8606, and my foreign tax credit. I was ha...
by John151
Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: anybody sell I Bonds to buy something else?
Replies: 49
Views: 5810

Re: anybody sell I Bonds to buy something else?

I haven’t sold any I Bonds, but I stopped buying them about ten years ago, when the fixed rate dropped below one percent. I’ve been investing in a tax-exempt bond fund instead.
by John151
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties
Replies: 22
Views: 2071

Re: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties

When she asks me if she should put more into stocks, I ask her how much she has in stocks already—not the dollar amount, just the percentage of her assets—and she’s vague about that, saying that she has “very little” or “not a lot" in stocks. I don’t know whether she thinks how much she has in stock...
by John151
Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties
Replies: 22
Views: 2071

Re: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties

She’s a widow with two children who live out of state. I’ve encouraged her to talk to her children about her investments, since her children have a stake in what she does financially. One of her children isn’t at all interested. The other gave her a list of stocks to buy, most of which I’d never hea...
by John151
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties
Replies: 22
Views: 2071

Re: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties

Great suggestion! I have the impression that my friend is pretty well off. I think she’s just trying to squeeze the last nickel out of her investments, without really needing to.
by John151
Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties
Replies: 22
Views: 2071

Re: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties

Many thanks to all of you for your advice. I don’t want to advise my friend to buy stocks in her nineties, and her aversion to investing online pretty much rules out Treasury Direct and online banks. She’s also averse to money market mutual funds. So I’ve scouted around and have found two local bank...
by John151
Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties
Replies: 22
Views: 2071

Investment advice for a friend in her nineties

I’ve inadvertently become someone’s investment adviser. A dear friend who’s in her nineties calls me up and asks me if this is a good time to buy stocks. I always tell her that I don’t know where the stock market is heading, and that anyone who claims to know is either lying, stupid, or crazy. She a...
by John151
Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: So who's rebalancing stocks to bonds right now?
Replies: 38
Views: 5016

Re: So who's rebalancing stocks to bonds right now?

My stock investments are all in taxable accounts, so I can’t rebalance within accounts that are tax-advantaged. Currently my stocks are about five percentage points above my target, but rebalancing by selling shares would cost me a hefty amount in capital gains taxes. So I’ve decided not to sell. I’...
by John151
Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Managed International
Replies: 32
Views: 3716

Re: Tax Managed International

When I opened an account with Tax-Managed International back in 2011, all of my dividends were qualified. But now that the fund has morphed into Developed Markets Index, only 71% of my dividends are qualified, and the foreign tax credit has dropped as well. So I’m paying more in taxes than I was pay...
by John151
Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency fund size
Replies: 72
Views: 9787

Re: Emergency fund size

I handle it somewhat differently. My preferred asset allocation is 5% in cash, 60% in bonds, and 35% in stocks. My cash allocation is my emergency fund. It’s invested in a money market fund, and it’s enough for me to live on for several years. It isn’t paying very much, but I like knowing that it’s ...
by John151
Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is Treasury Direct worth the hassle?
Replies: 52
Views: 7469

Re: Is Treasury Direct worth the hassle?

Vanguard offers a couple of inflation-linked bond funds: Vanguard Short Term Inflation Protected Securities (duration of 2.8 years) and Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities (duration of 7.8 years). Their net asset values fluctuate and are reported each weekday. I Bonds are more like a stable valu...
by John151
Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is Treasury Direct worth the hassle?
Replies: 52
Views: 7469

Re: Is Treasury Direct worth the hassle?

I’ve had a TD account for fifteen years, and I’ve never had a problem with it. The maximum purchase for I Bonds is $10,000 a year per social security number, and I’d invest more than that if I could.
by John151
Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retirees: Timing your withdrawals
Replies: 45
Views: 5131

Re: Retirees: Timing your withdrawals

I’m very fortunate in that my pension covers all of my usual living expenses. If I need to buy something major, like a new car, I can draw on my investments, but I seldom need to do that.