Search found 468 matches

by dsmil
Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes - Am I Covered by a Retirement Plan at Work?
Replies: 17
Views: 1428

Re: Taxes - Am I Covered by a Retirement Plan at Work?

Raiddinn wrote:They might not be contributing if you haven't setup an account and contributed at least a little bit to get it started.


The account is setup and my employer did contribute to it in 2015.
by dsmil
Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes - Am I Covered by a Retirement Plan at Work?
Replies: 17
Views: 1428

Taxes - Am I Covered by a Retirement Plan at Work?

My company offers a 401k that I don't contribute to because there is no match and high fees. They do kick in around 2% of my salary regardless of my contributions. My W2 DOES NOT have the retirement plan box checked (box 13). Is this a mistake? Do I need a revised W2? It seems like it should be chec...
by dsmil
Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What 55" TV to Buy
Replies: 51
Views: 4475

Re: What 55" TV to Buy

I like using TheWireCutter.com for my electronics reviews. They recommend the Samsung UN55JU7100 (see link).

http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-tv/
by dsmil
Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I leave Ameriprise?
Replies: 56
Views: 5358

Re: Should I leave Ameriprise?

Even I could tell that Ameriprise was slimy when I was in college. They invited me to a seminar and one of their salesmen was going to drive 2 hours to my hometown to sell financial products to my family friends. The whole situation was very weird.
by dsmil
Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: perfectly happy with cable
Replies: 131
Views: 10001

Re: perfectly happy with cable

I will pay whatever it takes to make my sports viewing experience as convenient as possible (but I don't tell Comcast that when I'm haggling with them every year).
by dsmil
Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pay for exercise?
Replies: 222
Views: 17362

Re: Do you pay for exercise?

With a 1 year old, I'm not getting a gym membership anytime soon, and I like the convenience of working out at home. In the last few years, I've spent a couple hundred on P90x, P90x2, Body Beast (all craigslist and came with equipment), and some dumbells with plates. I can get a pretty good workout ...
by dsmil
Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you use the service of a CPA or you do your tax yourself?
Replies: 88
Views: 7672

Re: Do you use the service of a CPA or you do your tax yourself?

I'm a CPA and if it weren't for reading personal finance books and using sites like this, I'd know nothing about taxes. Your situation doesn't seem too complicated so Turbo Tax should be fine.
by dsmil
Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:53 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Hope everyone is well [Preparing for Eastern US blizzard]
Replies: 102
Views: 7287

Re: Hope everyone is well [Preparing for Eastern US blizzard]

I'm in the DC area and did nothing to prepare, other than replace my broken shovel. Rather than do our weekly grocery shopping on Sunday, we'll probably do it on Monday. We plan on making the mile walk to our favorite breakfast spot on Sunday, and enjoying the snow. :sharebeer
by dsmil
Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tapping the emergency fund
Replies: 12
Views: 1717

Re: Tapping the emergency fund

Either way works because in this case, you're able to re-build your savings in only two months. If you had a $10k need, and you are only able to re-build your savings at $500 per month, I'm definitely draining the "general savings" account before the emergency fund. Same would go for a job...
by dsmil
Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are college costs really expected to go up in the future?
Replies: 19
Views: 1445

Re: Are college costs really expected to go up in the future?

I could see the gap between in-state and out-of-state tuition closing, since more students are probably choosing to stay in-state to save money. Is there an inherent reason why schools charge more for out-of-state students?
by dsmil
Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your % pay raise?
Replies: 100
Views: 8888

Re: What was your % pay raise?

9% for me this year. I've been lucky with my pay basically doubling since graduating 6 years ago, but I know that annual 3% raises are going to be the norm very soon (unless I switch jobs).
by dsmil
Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where does the "need" to max out all retirements accounts come from?
Replies: 55
Views: 6108

Re: Where does the "need" to max out all retirements accounts come from?

OP, if you are on track to replace 100% of your income in retirement, than you are doing well and shouldn't feel pressure to put every penny into retirement accounts. Many Bogleheads max everything out because they have very high incomes, but saving between 10-20% of income for retirement is usually...
by dsmil
Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are 529s the best vehicle for college savings?
Replies: 51
Views: 4333

Re: Are 529s the best vehicle for college savings?

I'm not sure how I can save up $400k over 18 years through a Roth IRA if I can only pull out contributions? If Roth limits go up with inflation, that will help. $11k x 18 years puts you right around $200k, which would be the current price for 2 kids. If you're short on contributions, you could figu...
by dsmil
Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are 529s the best vehicle for college savings?
Replies: 51
Views: 4333

Re: Are 529s the best vehicle for college savings?

Other than the name, what advantage is the OP getting by shoving money into a 529 versus a ROTH? Yes you get access to the earnings but that is a cash flow issue that doesn't seem unworkable. The downside is that you have a FASFA asset and if you end up with money not needed for college, you end up...
by dsmil
Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are 529s the best vehicle for college savings?
Replies: 51
Views: 4333

Re: Are 529s the best vehicle for college savings?

OP, I don't see anything wrong with you using a 529. Sure, you could come out ahead with using other methods, but there is something to be said about simplicity. As you said, you feel like you're on track with retirement and maxing out all tax-advantaged retirement space is not necessary for your re...
by dsmil
Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traditional 401k versus Roth 401k
Replies: 219
Views: 13020

Re: Traditional 401k versus Roth 401k

Even after tax deductions/exemptions, aren't a lot of people in the 15% bracket or close to it simply from social security? I am not collecting SS until more than 10 years from now, so I have some time to do Roth conversions before then. Good point! I didn't think about the early retirement angle.
by dsmil
Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traditional 401k versus Roth 401k
Replies: 219
Views: 13020

Re: Traditional 401k versus Roth 401k

FiveK wrote:This leads to a 0% marginal rate and would thus suggest that some contributions should have been traditional.


Even after tax deductions/exemptions, aren't a lot of people in the 15% bracket or close to it simply from social security?
by dsmil
Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your company 401k contribution
Replies: 105
Views: 6568

Re: What's your company 401k contribution

Technically discretionary but it usually comes in at around 2% of salary, and has nothing to do with employee contributions.
by dsmil
Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Decisions: Eliminate PMI, Max 401k, or Pay Student Loans?
Replies: 14
Views: 1728

Re: Decisions: Eliminate PMI, Max 401k, or Pay Student Loans?

After getting your 401k match, I'd go after the student loans. It's always debatable whether investing should take priority over debt reduction, but you are doing well with your investment balance at your age and income level.
by dsmil
Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which Retirement Account to Max Out First?
Replies: 11
Views: 1376

Re: Which Retirement Account to Max Out First?

Definitely get the match, and then I'd try to max out your IRA before adding more to the 401k. An IRA with Vanguard most likely has better choices and less fees than your 401k does. I'm guessing that you're in the 25% bracket which makes the Roth vs. Traditional choice difficult. I generally like th...
by dsmil
Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs Traditional + Taxable vs ...
Replies: 50
Views: 4057

Re: Roth vs Traditional + Taxable vs ...

I will say that one should use their effective tax rate in retirement on the funds they withdraw from their retirement accounts and NOT their marginal rate with this calculator. That reflects the actual taxes one pays on their retirement withdrawals. It doesn't matter if one pays 50% tax on the las...
by dsmil
Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings % Target 2016?
Replies: 168
Views: 11808

Re: Savings % Target 2016?

We're shooting for 20% of gross in 2016. 10% for retirement and 10% for extra payments on student loans.
by dsmil
Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you organize your finances? Do you use Mint.com?
Replies: 86
Views: 11131

Re: How do you organize your finances? Do you use Mint.com?

Excel for us as well. We have a budget in excel and type in all of our monthly spending. It's tedious of course, but it keeps us on track. I also track our net worth at the end of every month in excel.
by dsmil
Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Incorporating your home into networth calculation
Replies: 108
Views: 7558

Re: Incorporating your home into networth calculation

Yes, definitely include your house and mortgage into your net worth calculation. To be conservative, you could subtract 6% (closing costs) from your home value to get the true value if you had to sell.
by dsmil
Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Share your current asset allocation?
Replies: 94
Views: 7878

Re: Share your current asset allocation?

All with Vanguard

44% Total U.S.
17% Developed International
10% Emerging Markets
9% Small Cap Value
10% REIT
10% Total Bond Market
by dsmil
Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Biggest lucky break in your personal finances?
Replies: 160
Views: 15124

Re: Biggest lucky break in your personal finances?

I could call my luckiest break both a positive or a negative to our personal finances. I changed companies in order to have more family time, and figured that I would be giving up some pay. Fortunately, I've gained the family time as planned, and the company has paid me more than I expected. The hig...
by dsmil
Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on groceries?
Replies: 109
Views: 9245

Re: How much do you spend on groceries?

$600 for everything that we buy at the grocery store for 2 of us and a baby, another $150 for dining out.
by dsmil
Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Ultimate Rewards - redeeming for Hyatt Hotel stays
Replies: 21
Views: 1917

Re: Chase Ultimate Rewards - redeeming for Hyatt Hotel stays

I transferred the points to Hyatt and then booked with them. Don't listen to anything that the Chase rep is telling you. You'll generally find the best "value" at the most expensive destinations. Of course you could argue that the actual "value" is whatever replacement price a no...
by dsmil
Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Ultimate Rewards - redeeming for Hyatt Hotel stays
Replies: 21
Views: 1917

Re: Chase Ultimate Rewards - redeeming for Hyatt Hotel stays

I redeem almost all of my Ultimate Rewards with Hyatt and it's worked out very well. I got 3 cents per point for a stay in Paris and 2 cents per point in Charleston, SC.
by dsmil
Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verizon Cell Phone Plans
Replies: 23
Views: 2921

Re: Verizon Cell Phone Plans

When I calculated it for my wife and I, if we upgrade every 2 years, than the new plans and old plans are basically even. If we decide to wait longer than 2 years and pay the full price for the phones, we come out ahead. We chose to go with the new plan, paying $40 less per month, and will eat the f...
by dsmil
Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1288
Views: 212136

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

I'm basically at 0% YTD. My worst performer is the emerging markets fund which is down 13% and is 10% of my portfolio.
by dsmil
Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too much in tax-advantaged accounts?
Replies: 115
Views: 13226

Re: Too much in tax-advantaged accounts?

There is definitely such thing as having too much in tax-advantaged accounts. Most people don't need to max out every tax-advantaged account in order to have a comfortable retirement. Maxing out multiple 401k's, IRA's, etc. is a ton of money. I think that retirement money should definitely go into t...
by dsmil
Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacing non-vested 401(k) match as part of salary negotiations?
Replies: 2
Views: 319

Re: Replacing non-vested 401(k) match as part of salary negotiations?

It's basically like asking for a signing bonus. Hopefully there isn't any harm in asking, anything is negotiable.
by dsmil
Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional or Roth 401k for GF?
Replies: 12
Views: 945

Re: Traditional or Roth 401k for GF?

Her gross income is at the very top of the 15% federal bracket. We aren't married yet. I'm in the 25% bracket, and together we would be in the 25% bracket. Keep in mind that tax brackets are determined by taxable income, not gross income. At a minimum, your taxable income includes the standard dedu...
by dsmil
Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you hit $100,000?
Replies: 136
Views: 21439

Re: What age did you hit $100,000?

Fingers crossed, we should go from $85k to $115k next year from savings and debt repayment, in our upper 20's
by dsmil
Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead cell phone strategy
Replies: 143
Views: 18878

Re: Boglehead cell phone strategy

The new strategy of not subsidizing phones is perfect for Bogleheads. Instead of paying $40 per month, I'd much rather pay $20 per month and be able to decide if it's ever worth getting a new phone. It seems like you'll come out the same by waiting 2 years, but will come out ahead by waiting more t...
by dsmil
Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead cell phone strategy
Replies: 143
Views: 18878

Re: Boglehead cell phone strategy

The new strategy of not subsidizing phones is perfect for Bogleheads. Instead of paying $40 per month, I'd much rather pay $20 per month and be able to decide if it's ever worth getting a new phone. It seems like you'll come out the same by waiting 2 years, but will come out ahead by waiting more th...
by dsmil
Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Effective placement in Roth vs Traditional tax advantaged space
Replies: 9
Views: 1614

Re: Effective placement in Roth vs Traditional tax advantaged space

If you are using both Roth and Traditional options, keep as many bonds in the Traditional space as possible. You want the least amount of gains in Traditional since everything gets taxed eventually.
by dsmil
Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car vs used car
Replies: 26
Views: 3056

Re: New car vs used car

I would say buy new if you are going to run it into the ground, buy used if you will be selling it after a few years. The depreciation hit in the first year doesn't matter if you are running it into the ground anyway.
by dsmil
Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 23 year old wanting to retire before 50
Replies: 44
Views: 8364

Re: 23 year old wanting to retire before 50

For most people, your projected portfolio size would be large enough for some type of early retirement, but it's all about controlling your expenses. Retiring at 45 might mean living off of $30k per year for the next 45 years. Retiring at 60 might give you $100k for 30 years. Keep investing and keep...
by dsmil
Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How One Calculates 25 Times Income for Retirement Needs
Replies: 12
Views: 2288

Re: How One Calculates 25 Times Income for Retirement Needs

25x annual retirement expenses is what you'd need. Basing retirement needs on income doesn't make much sense once you're near retirement, because two couples can be at vastly different income levels, but have the same retirement needs based on expenses.
by dsmil
Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Parents and Members of the 15% Club - Planning Future
Replies: 15
Views: 2791

Re: New Parents and Members of the 15% Club - Planning Future

Next year it appears that you are adding $8 - $9K to 401k and $6K of NEW money to Roth IRAs. Does your spouse plan to return to work at some point? Otherwise, I think you will find it challenging to overfund your retirement to the point that it will cover both retirement and college. No, we aren't ...
by dsmil
Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Parents and Members of the 15% Club - Planning Future
Replies: 15
Views: 2791

Re: New Parents and Members of the 15% Club - Planning Future

But in any case, if you use your retirement funds to pay for college, what are you going to use for retirement? You can get loans for college but not retirement. My hope is that we overfund these "retirement" accounts, so I'm not actually using funds needed for retirement to pay for colle...
by dsmil
Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Parents and Members of the 15% Club - Planning Future
Replies: 15
Views: 2791

Re: New Parents and Members of the 15% Club - Planning Future

The PMI is expensive, how much does that cost you each year and what would it take to get rid of it? It's about $3k per year and we're about $50k in principal away from getting rid of this. Normal mortgage payments would get rid of this is 7 years. You averaged out the student loans so you must hav...
by dsmil
Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Parents and Members of the 15% Club - Planning Future
Replies: 15
Views: 2791

Re: New Parents and Members of the 15% Club - Planning Future

2. I think you are confusing your ability to withdraw your own contributions for your Roth IRA with options for a Roth 401k. The problem with trying to use your Roth 401K for college education is that Roth 401k rules are very similar to traditional 401K rules and only give you limited options to ta...
by dsmil
Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting a bonus this year?
Replies: 75
Views: 9900

Re: Getting a bonus this year?

Everyone at my company gets a holiday bonus of some sort, although I have no idea how "the man" comes up with the amount. I'm expecting something around 3% of my salary as usual. Straight to the emergency fund it goes.
by dsmil
Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Parents and Members of the 15% Club - Planning Future
Replies: 15
Views: 2791

Re: Plans Going Forward for New Parents

1. What do you expect your tax bracket to be when you retire / withdrawal the money? 2. I like that idea myself. 3. One thing to consider is if you're jumping the gun paying all the taxes now. People can do very well in retirement and withdraw pre-tax money at close to 0% - https://www.bogleheads.o...
by dsmil
Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Parents and Members of the 15% Club - Planning Future
Replies: 15
Views: 2791

New Parents and Members of the 15% Club - Planning Future

Bogleheads, We've recently moved to a one-income household after our first child was born, and will enter the 15% tax bracket in 2016, where we should stay for awhile. We've historically contributed 10-15% of our income to retirement, and I'd like to build on this while starting to save for our son'...

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