Search found 281 matches

by camillus
Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To those who avoid FICA with HSA payroll contributions
Replies: 40
Views: 6116

Re: To those who avoid FICA with HSA payroll contributions

Hi all, thanks for the replies and the ongoing discussion. 1) Has your wife crossed the first bend point yet? Aka, earning more than 317K and pay social security tax on that income? Hi KlangFool. No, my wife hasn't yet passed the bend point, but surely will if she works as planned. Given my example ...
by camillus
Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: clergy: which tax adv retirement (and college saving) vehicle should I prefer?
Replies: 9
Views: 1452

Re: clergy: which tax adv retirement (and college saving) vehicle should I prefer?

For those following this thread, I made a companion to discuss those who've thought about the implications of avoiding paying FICA on their HSA contributions, just to evaluate the relative worth of paying into social security. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=210839&p=3235985#p32...
by camillus
Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To those who avoid FICA with HSA payroll contributions
Replies: 40
Views: 6116

Re: To those who avoid FICA with HSA payroll contributions

I just made a spreadsheet and am convinced that even for those between the two bending points, avoiding SECA & FICA is worthwhile. My spreadsheet assumed a 6% rate of return on 403b contributions of only the 7.65% FICA savings, a 4% safe withdrawal rate, and a 15% marginal tax rate in retirement. On...
by camillus
Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To those who avoid FICA with HSA payroll contributions
Replies: 40
Views: 6116

Re: To those who avoid FICA with HSA payroll contributions

Hi KlangFool, thanks for your reply. I've noticed your comments on other posts on taxes related to retirement and found them helpful. I should clarify, I didn't mean not paying into social security at all, but purposefully exempting a portion of income from social security tax. Much like sending $55...
by camillus
Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To those who avoid FICA with HSA payroll contributions
Replies: 40
Views: 6116

To those who avoid FICA with HSA payroll contributions

Hi all, I'm wondering about the wisdom of "not" paying into social security. Is paying in to the social security system a better and less risky investment compared to taking the tax savings and investing that money myself? My wife and I have the ability to avoid paying into social security due to th...
by camillus
Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: clergy: which tax adv retirement (and college saving) vehicle should I prefer?
Replies: 9
Views: 1452

Re: clergy: which tax adv retirement (and college saving) vehicle should I prefer?

Thank you both for your replies. I'm left wondering about the 403(b) contributions and not paying into social security. I'm worried about harming my wife by decreasing her social security payment. Is it a sure thing that I can out-invest social security with the SECA tax savings? Thanks.
by camillus
Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: clergy: which tax adv retirement (and college saving) vehicle should I prefer?
Replies: 9
Views: 1452

clergy: which tax adv retirement (and college saving) vehicle should I prefer?

Thanks fellow bogleheads with your help on this one. I recently discovered some wrinkles regarding tax advantage and I'd like you folks to "check my homework" with my conclusions. I need help measuring the magnitude of different advantages and disadvantages. Let me begin by saying that I feel icky w...
by camillus
Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Clergy Retirement Investing: 403(b) vs. Roth IRA
Replies: 20
Views: 4246

Re: Clergy Retirement Investing: 403(b) vs. Roth IRA

I am resurrecting an old thread, I know. I just too discovered that as clergy, my 403b contributions are free from SECA (15.3%). I was about to plow my retirement savings into a Roth, but now I am going to max out the 403b instead. It seems like a slam dunk case, even with the difference in funds an...
by camillus
Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b9 over a Roth Ira?
Replies: 10
Views: 840

Re: 403b9 over a Roth Ira?

You need to find out if her retirement distributions qualify as housing allowance. If so, payroll contributions to a 403b would be tax free all the way around.
by camillus
Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trouble with LMCU transactions coming in as "bill pay"
Replies: 7
Views: 1181

Re: Trouble with LMCU transactions coming in as "bill pay"

My natural gas company works and accepts $5 payments
by camillus
Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b9 over a Roth Ira?
Replies: 10
Views: 840

Re: 403b9 over a Roth Ira?

One big question is: is she ordained?

If so, the clergy housing allowance may come into play which can mean that distributions from a 403b are tax exempt if used to pay for housing. (Yes, that's never-taxed money.)
by camillus
Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis for $4950, 56k miles - Good deal? Good car?
Replies: 49
Views: 4308

Re: 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis for $4950, 56k miles - Good deal? Good car?

This was my exact car for a few years, 2004 MGM. I sold it this year with 98,000 miles for $2900 on craigslist. I was surprised for how little I was able to get for it. There just weren't a lot of interested buyers. I liked the car. It was big and was lovely for highway trips (several cross country ...
by camillus
Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Suggestions: where?
Replies: 20
Views: 2344

Re: HSA Suggestions: where?

I just wanted to chime in with this: keep it simple. I recently opened an account at HSA Bank to invest with TD Ameritrade's trade-free ETFs. My employer's mandatory HSA provider wasn't very good. The week after I opened accounts with HSA Bank and TD Ameritrade, my employer switched providers to som...
by camillus
Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help: Drowning in Debt
Replies: 60
Views: 7173

Re: Need Help: Drowning in Debt

Edit: Yes, we are being trolled. Congrats OP.
by camillus
Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter car safety kit?
Replies: 46
Views: 3771

Re: Winter car safety kit?

I make a few emergency kits for my cars several years back. They took up space in the trunk. That's all they did. Then I realize I drive less than 3000 miles a year mostly through residential areas and I'm a AAA member. The bags now sit on a shelf in my garage. I keep my gas tanks full and my cell p...
by camillus
Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for kids college
Replies: 55
Views: 5054

Re: Paying for kids college

I just wanted to chime in about the not apparently obvious drawbacks of using deception as a parenting strategy.
by camillus
Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to start
Replies: 13
Views: 2054

Re: Where to start

Hi Beginner, Things to do: Pay off student loans rapidly Set a budget Establish yourself in your career Read voraciously about investing, especially the wiki here, If You Can, The Millionaire Nextdoor, etc Google "golden handcuffs" Investigate early retirement / financial independence, visit Mr Mone...
by camillus
Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tackling Student Loan Debt v. Saving and investing
Replies: 25
Views: 2715

Re: Tackling Student Loan Debt v. Saving and investing

If I opt to consolidate with a private lender, if I get a substantially lowered rate with a variable rate loan would anyone recommend the variable rate? I think a big part of that question has to do with your commitment to increase the amount you are going to pay regularly. If the rate resets and y...
by camillus
Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tackling Student Loan Debt v. Saving and investing
Replies: 25
Views: 2715

Re: Tackling Student Loan Debt v. Saving and investing

Sorry friend, but I'm guessing that nearly everyone here will tell you to 1) decrease your standard of living and 2) rapidly pay down your alarming amount of student debt. Some things to look into: student loan consolidation/refinance, YNAB, Mr Money Mustache, Financial Peace University, The Million...
by camillus
Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easy $300 bonus- Key Bank
Replies: 28
Views: 5761

Re: Easy $300 bonus- Key Bank

I went in for a deal like this a month ago. I regret it as I have to keep the account open for another 5 months. Just a hassle. Simplicity has an immeasurable value.
by camillus
Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision time for young healthcare couple on $ use?
Replies: 6
Views: 781

Re: Decision time for young healthcare couple on $ use?

I suppose I agree with Watty that bumping up your cash reserves (currently 3 months expenses) to include a car replacement fund seems like a good idea. As far as everything else goes, it looks like you are doing everything right. The 6.8% is the best bang for your buck. The most important factor you...
by camillus
Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 243
Views: 28985

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

Hi Andrew, Your family's situation is what Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University was designed for. You mentioned your wife's spending. Sounds like she hasn't had the awakening that you've just recently had. I think the only way forward is to get on the same page. Highly recommend Dave Ramsey. Peace
by camillus
Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Investor Needs Advice
Replies: 7
Views: 968

Re: Young Investor Needs Advice

1) You all have more experience than I do. Am I delusional to think we could retire fairly early if we keep this up? 2) Am I doing the right thing by prioritizing maxing both of our Roth 403b and IRA accounts before anything else? I know the investing guide suggests this, but is this really the rig...
by camillus
Sun Oct 09, 2016 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off Loans vs. Investing and Capitalization of Debt
Replies: 6
Views: 750

Re: Paying off Loans vs. Investing and Capitalization of Debt

I'm guessing about 2/3 of those on this board would advocate paying off your loan at 6.8% before funding retirement accounts (except 401k match).
by camillus
Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got myself into some trouble.. [Use emergency fund for credit card debt?]
Replies: 48
Views: 7590

Re: Got myself into some trouble..

RyeWhiskey wrote:clearly incapable
It's not just that. Why leave the door open to a place that you've struggled so hard to be free from?
by camillus
Sat Oct 08, 2016 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: experience with non qualified Roth withdrawal?
Replies: 4
Views: 320

Re: experience with non qualified Roth withdrawal?

Those would be considered "qualified". I don't mean to split hairs, I should not have even used the term unqualified, but technically, I believe it is correct: http://www.mymoneyblog.com/can-i-really-withdraw-my-roth-ira-contributions-at-any-time-without-tax-or-penalty.html Does anyone have experie...
by camillus
Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: experience with non qualified Roth withdrawal?
Replies: 4
Views: 320

experience with non qualified Roth withdrawal?

Hi all, I'm considering using a Roth IRA as an emergency fund as outlined here: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Roth_IRA_as_an_emergency_fund I was wondering if anyone here has anecdotal experience with making a "nonqualified" withdrawal of contributions from a Roth, especially through Vanguard. How...
by camillus
Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Struggling with "Live like a Resident" versus "Keeping up with the Joneses"
Replies: 139
Views: 24011

Re: Struggling with "Live like a Resident" versus "Keeping up with the Joneses"

I'm wondering how others resist lifestyle creep when everyone around them is spending. To answer this question concretely, I have an audible (audiobook) account. I cultivate a small library of personal finance books. I listen to to The Millionaire Next Door at least once a year, doing dishes or whi...
by camillus
Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie investor at 40 [UK]
Replies: 4
Views: 523

Re: Newbie investor at 40

Hi Pusser,

It would be helpful if you could list your debts separately with interest rates.
by camillus
Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target Retirement 2030? Something else?
Replies: 16
Views: 1848

Re: Target Retirement 2030? Something else?

How crazy is this idea: an S&P500 index with a CD ladder. You would have to establish a glide path of your own and draw down the index fund into CDs as the home purchase approaches.
by camillus
Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 or Mega Backdoor Roth?
Replies: 7
Views: 1841

Re: 529 or Mega Backdoor Roth?

The only thing I can think of here is if your state provides a tax deduction for a 529 contribution. That deduction would be capped at some amount. So if, for instance, the deduction was capped at a $5K contribution, it might make sense for you to make a $5K contribution to your 529 and then put th...
by camillus
Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving From Quicken: Moneydance, YNAB, GnuCash or other?
Replies: 38
Views: 10027

Re: Moving From Quicken: Moneydance, YNAB, GnuCash or other?

I don't mean to hijack the thread. I don't think YNAB fits the needs described here. I just wanted to respond: The disconcerting thing for me with YNAB is the need for training sessions. I hestitate to use something that may be so non-intuitive. I suppose intuition depends on how your brain works an...
by camillus
Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving From Quicken: Moneydance, YNAB, GnuCash or other?
Replies: 38
Views: 10027

Re: Moving From Quicken: Moneydance, YNAB, GnuCash or other?

Some say that the YNAB budgeting method begins to resemble a religion. I am one such YNAB evangelist. YNAB is for folks for whom their savings rate is the most important metric. For the OP's purposes though, YNAB might not cut it. I would question though the reason to print monthly reports. One pro...
by camillus
Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use the Sallie Mae MasterCard and transfer the cash back to upromise
Replies: 3
Views: 370

Re: Anyone use the Sallie Mae MasterCard and transfer the cash back to upromise

I have the Sallie Mae card. I've always just gotten a statement credit, which takes 2-3 days. You could also then contribute 30 bucks to your kid's 529.

Upromise is notorious for poor customer service. Avoid them.
by camillus
Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what would be best websites to research for investment
Replies: 15
Views: 1741

Re: what would be best websites to research for investment

I recommend holding a single fund, a vanguard target date fund, ideally inside of a Roth IRA.

Single stocks are a hobby at best, and at worst a complete waste of time and money.
by camillus
Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New 403(b) help would be appreciated…
Replies: 7
Views: 744

Re: New 403(b) help would be appreciated…

Comparing yourself to some of fidelity's milestones might be helpful: https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/how-much-money-do-i-need-to-retire You'll notice that at 40 years of age, Fidelity thinks you should have 3x your annual income saved. If you are significantly behind, it is probably ...
by camillus
Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need some helpful advice to plan financial future
Replies: 20
Views: 2392

Re: Need some helpful advice to plan financial future

I suppose what I would do in your situation first is resolve my vehicle situation. Which is your daily driver? Which is your toy? It doesn't matter to me if the Jeep is the one financed. An auto loan is an auto loan and you have two cars. You have to accept that you have a 20k loan on a toy, otherwi...
by camillus
Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Matching children's Roth IRA contributions
Replies: 41
Views: 4970

Re: Matching children's Roth IRA contributions

Process-wise, I'm thinking to ask them to send me their Roth statement at the end of each quarter, so that I can check where they are with their contributions for the year, and then match. And yeah, I'll admit that it's also a way to double-check that they didn't do anything stupid (e.g. withdrawal...
by camillus
Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need some helpful advice to plan financial future
Replies: 20
Views: 2392

Re: Need some helpful advice to plan financial future

A few quick clarifying questions: 1) You have loans on two vehicles and you are single? 2) Do you know what funds you hold in each of your investment accounts? 3) Importantly, what is your marginal tax rate? A few observations: 1) The rates on your loans are quite low, so you would have to be very d...
by camillus
Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calling all Boglehead's: Please help me maximize my future
Replies: 15
Views: 2114

Re: Calling all Boglehead's: Please help me maximize my future

Regarding question #4, the difficult thing is that you have to pick. The smartest thing to do for your own self-interest is to invest as much as possible. But many here, contrary to pure math, would zap that 6% loan as fast as possible and continue paying down other debt. Helping with college is dif...
by camillus
Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got myself into some trouble.. [Use emergency fund for credit card debt?]
Replies: 48
Views: 7590

Re: Got myself into some trouble..

Perhaps the most important advice someone in your situation can hear is this: stop using credit cards. Destroy the physical cards that you have, close the accounts, and don't open any other ones.
by camillus
Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: recommendations for a good budgeting program
Replies: 4
Views: 578

Re: recommendations for a good budgeting program

Since you mentioned " budgeting program" then I recommend YNAB above. YNAB has helped my wife and I focus on savings goals on a concrete, monthly basis. We have paid off all of our student loans and are on-target to pay off the car in a few months. My wife also has become a completely equal partner ...
by camillus
Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Comprehensive discussion on holding/trading mutual funds, ETF, and stocks in Chase (for those who values CPC status)
Replies: 101
Views: 15474

Re: Beginner's guide to not getting con'd by Chase

Good for you, sir. I am a recovering schemer myself. Got the companion pass x2 with Chase, etc. The 5/24 rule helped me quit the game.
by camillus
Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Comprehensive discussion on holding/trading mutual funds, ETF, and stocks in Chase (for those who values CPC status)
Replies: 101
Views: 15474

Re: Beginner's guide to not getting con'd by Chase

I see that there is an option for VANG INST TR 2045 (VITLX), with a 0.10 fee. Is Vanguard usually more dependable? This fund is solid gold. The only way to do better is to hold three funds: total stock, international stock, and total bond. That might bring your total portfolio expense ratio down to...
by camillus
Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Comprehensive discussion on holding/trading mutual funds, ETF, and stocks in Chase (for those who values CPC status)
Replies: 101
Views: 15474

Re: Beginner's guide to not getting con'd by Chase

I think the important thing to do is have a benchmark of what the 100k could reasonably be doing for you elsewhere. I'd say 5%/year is a fine (though conservative) benchmark. So, as was said, if the work that you're doing is making you less than 5k a year, you should stop immediately and get another...
by camillus
Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AAAAAH-employer plan switching to VOYA - HELP! 3-fund portfolio challenge
Replies: 9
Views: 1351

Re: AAAAAH-employer plan switching to VOYA - HELP! 3-fund portfolio challenge

Yes, I still use the Vanguard funds. Charging folks 0.20% to hold superior funds from another company makes me upset. It would also be better if the administrative fee were capped or flat annually.
by camillus
Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AAAAAH-employer plan switching to VOYA - HELP! 3-fund portfolio challenge
Replies: 9
Views: 1351

Re: AAAAAH-employer plan switching to VOYA - HELP! 3-fund portfolio challenge

Just thought I'd chime in. I have a VOYA 403b and I am charged a 0.20% administrative fee on any Vanguard funds I hold. You may want to check to see if this is the case for you.
by camillus
Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby
Replies: 100
Views: 6708

Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Here's what I recommend. Understand I work nights as an RN and am superhuman. Load the kids into the car wearing their PJs right after they take a bath during their bedtime routine. Drive through the night. Get a good nap beforehand because you'll be the only one awake with coffee and 1 earbud in wi...
by camillus
Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which financial program to get? Quickbooks vs YNAB vs others
Replies: 52
Views: 7646

Re: Which financial program to get? Quickbooks vs YNAB vs others

I see YNAB's two primary strengths as: 1) Increasing and maintaining a high savings rate, and 2) increased shared ownership of the budget by both spouses. It can do tax stuff, but not as well as other things. I submit that the two strengths are more important than other things you would want softwar...
by camillus
Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creating a Budget
Replies: 24
Views: 2993

Re: Creating a Budget

Another vote for YNAB! When we started using the program, our savings' rate increased and we paid down student loans within 1 year. We didn't have this goal in mind beforehand. It turns saving into a game that you play month after month, and makes you goal oriented.