Search found 281 matches

by camillus
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to Invest Emergency Fund
Replies: 11
Views: 1301

Re: Where to Invest Emergency Fund

Two separate thoughts: 1) If you aren't maxing out your retirement accounts, use those. See this link to the wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Roth_IRA_as_an_emergency_fund Note, if you are maxing out your Roths, increase your 401k/403b contributions while still treating Roth contributions as yo...
by camillus
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rolling old Roth IRAs to 529s
Replies: 22
Views: 970

Re: Rolling old Roth IRAs to 529s

There may be a small benefit if you have a 529 state income tax deduction and you withdraw contributions only (avoiding paying the penalty & taxes). Let's say $12k of the $30k are contributions. If you were to withdraw that $12k and contributed it to a 529, and then the next year used that $12k to p...
by camillus
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To those who avoid FICA with HSA payroll contributions
Replies: 40
Views: 6154

Re: To those who avoid FICA with HSA payroll contributions

Hi all, I just wanted to update this thread with a link to Kitces.com, where he discusses the "ROI" of paying social security taxes: https://www.kitces.com/blog/social-security-fica-self-employment-taxes-return-on-investment-roi-irr/ Kitces goes through different scenarios explaining the relative be...
by camillus
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car recommendations needed for growing family
Replies: 34
Views: 2471

Re: Car recommendations needed for growing family

I did not read much of the thread, but has anyone yet recommended a Honda Odyssey? That's what I drive. :mrgreen: I also have two kids. Most of the time we ride around with the third row folded down in "man van" mode. Part family hauler, part home improvement project hauler. One great feature of min...
by camillus
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to fund non-employer HSA
Replies: 6
Views: 766

Re: Best way to fund non-employer HSA

The easiest thing to do is to manually fund Lively out of your checking account. Another thing you could do is have payroll deductions go to HealthEquity, thus bypassing 7.65% payroll tax (social security & medicare) - effectively giving you an immediate ~7% bump to your contribution. Yet, some wise...
by camillus
Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best HSA (2017)
Replies: 190
Views: 40358

Re: Best HSA (2017)

alerya wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:01 pm
LMCU vs. Lively
To keep it simple, Lively seems to be the best HSA available right now. The new offerings from LMCU seem to be a happy development for bogleheads already connected to LMCU because of it's rewards checking account.
by camillus
Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best HSA (2017)
Replies: 190
Views: 40358

Re: Best HSA (2017)

Re LMCU Here's the fund lineup: https://hsainvestments.com/fundperformance/?p=LMC Many Vanguard funds in admiral class, no minimums - though nothing easy like total stock market, etc. Fee total seems to a flat $30/year I first learned of this from tbradnc on this thread: https://www.bogleheads.org/f...
by camillus
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lake Michigan CU HSA - New investment options
Replies: 4
Views: 764

Re: Lake Michigan CU HSA - New investment options

tbradnc,

Sorry, that was a typo! I was meaning to write $30/yr. I was also meaning for my post to come off as sarcastic.

This new offering from LMCU seems to be among the best, if not THE best, HSA available.
by camillus
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lake Michigan CU HSA - New investment options
Replies: 4
Views: 764

Re: Lake Michigan CU HSA - New investment options

Some lovely admiral class Vanguard funds there. If there's no wrap fee, this could be a very good option.

Edit: I did some looking around on the LMCU FAQ and elsewhere, and it seems there are no wrap fees. Just a flat $30/mo for admiral class Vanguard funds.

Nothing to see here folks.
by camillus
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is paying down the mortgage the right choice?
Replies: 16
Views: 1905

Re: Is paying down the mortgage the right choice?

What is the rate on the mortgage? :D
by camillus
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 plan in tax free state, dont do it?
Replies: 5
Views: 662

Re: 529 plan in tax free state, dont do it?

1) You don't have to use the 529 in your state. You can use a low-fee Vanguard-based 529, like Utah or Nevada (not exactly sure). 2) You don't actually have to hold the an asset allocation designed to meet your "mid-range" (10 years) needs within the 529. You can be 100% aggressive in your 529, and ...
by camillus
Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent Care Credit vs FSA in 12% bracket
Replies: 4
Views: 524

Re: Dependent Care Credit vs FSA in 12% bracket

Thanks all for your replies, especially grabiner for his expertise with social security. I wrote my OP to illustrate that Dependent Care FSAs are not very advantageous in lower brackets, especially given TRJA. For me, I hope I can weasel my way out of participating in my FSA. Otherwise, with biweekl...
by camillus
Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent Care Credit vs FSA in 12% bracket
Replies: 4
Views: 524

Dependent Care Credit vs FSA in 12% bracket

Formerly, in the 15% bracket, Dependent Care FSAs could make for a modest gain (15% + 7.65% FICA = 22.65%). Now, in the 12% bracket (12% + 7.65% = 19.65%), a Dependent Care FSA is slightly worse than the Dependent Care Credit of 20% up to $3000. I'm going to try to use this rationale to un-enroll in...
by camillus
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help me optimize new snow tires
Replies: 30
Views: 1818

help me optimize new snow tires

Hi all, The family van was riding on nearly bald tires. I discovered this a few weeks ago during the first big snowstorm :oops: Anyways, I had read the recent thread about snow tires and got myself a set of 4 blizzaks - discarding the tread-less all seasons. My van is now very trustworthy in winter ...
by camillus
Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Cities that don't interest you
Replies: 187
Views: 13438

Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Moscow & St. Pete

There’s plenty to see, but my midwestern self had a hard time with endless, cold, impersonal crowds. Walking on the sidewalk, no one smiles or makes eye contact. Russians only seemed to warm up to you behind closed doors.

My least favorite color is yellow.
by camillus
Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you donate less to Charity?
Replies: 109
Views: 8511

Re: Will you donate less to Charity?

We give about 10% of gross. I prepaid most of next year’s giving just now.

We’ll give about the same going forward - and I am glad that I don’t have to keep track of things for tax time!
by camillus
Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using 529 for grade school- help with strategy
Replies: 45
Views: 4425

Re: Using 529 for grade school- help with strategy

It seems to be that Coverdell ESAs have mainly become irrelevant. There’s nothing an ESA can do that a 529 can’t post TCJA, and the 529s have higher limits. Just wanted to chime in to see if soneone can prove otherwise: Michigan has a provision where contributions are only state tax deductible minus...
by camillus
Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The extended bull market
Replies: 53
Views: 4685

Re: The extended bull market

Preface: I am a novice.

I am considering abandoning my mirror of vanguard target date fund 2045’s AA of 10% bonds for age-ish in bonds (30%).
by camillus
Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com
Replies: 21
Views: 2680

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

I'd say stick with Mint. And I say this as a YNAB evangelist. YNAB does require a monthly fee and is "high touch." Mint gets around the monthly fee by providing ads. Mint also requires a little bit of setting up and maintenance, but not nearly as much as YNAB. If you want neither ads, nor maintenanc...
by camillus
Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best 401k Employer Match Structure
Replies: 115
Views: 10401

Re: Best 401k Employer Match Structure

My 403(b)

50% match up to 4%, plus 100% of 2% of salary. (So most employees start with 8% of salary.)
That second part scales up with years in the organization. For example, at 4 years it goes to 3%.

Vesting is 3 years, healthcare.
by camillus
Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Thank you Admins
Replies: 28
Views: 3050

Re: Thank you Admins

Thank you admins! Sometimes I have the urge to speculate or talk about politics, but rarely do these things have any real outcome other than getting me worried or increasing my blood pressure. I really appreciate the mods on this forum and the policies they enforce. As all the maleffects of social m...
by camillus
Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting with significant other
Replies: 26
Views: 2601

Re: Budgeting with significant other

Which comes first: "me" or "us"? Some people get paid into individual/private accounts and then contribute into mutual accounts. Money starts as "mine." Other people get paid into joint accounts and then designate certain equal amounts as discretionary spending. Money starts as "ours." We live accor...
by camillus
Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best practice re: Savings?
Replies: 11
Views: 1824

Re: Best practice re: Savings?

In attempting to provide "rule of thumb" advice, Fidelity came up with retirement benchmarks: ie, how much you should have saved for retirement by age. For some, saving 15% for retirement would be okay. For many others, catching up would include saving a much higher percent of income. https://www.fi...
by camillus
Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PRIMECAP Fund
Replies: 63
Views: 4110

Re: PRIMECAP Fund

PRIMECAP mitigates the worst parts of active management with a 1) low fee, and 2) limiting new money. I assume "new money" is one of the causes of successful funds reverting to the mean. If a manager finds a good strategy, his/her fund will typically grow in size until the strategy doesn't work anym...
by camillus
Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What Type of Account to Save for Kid's 1st Car?
Replies: 29
Views: 1618

Re: What Type of Account to Save for Kid's 1st Car?

Plot twist: Don't save for your kid's car. Save for college or your retirement instead and cash flow the car when the time comes.
by camillus
Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA vs clergy 403(b) bad ERs, 15% tax brkt
Replies: 7
Views: 690

Re: Roth IRA vs clergy 403(b) bad ERs, 15% tax brkt

I really appreciate all the expert opinions here! One thing that I will be doing is trying to influence my wife's workplace to improve the 403b by offering some better funds. To be clear, the 403b is offered through TIAA - not an institution that specializes in divinity schools. I believe the attach...
by camillus
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA vs clergy 403(b) bad ERs, 15% tax brkt
Replies: 7
Views: 690

Roth IRA vs clergy 403(b) bad ERs, 15% tax brkt

Hi all, I recently had more confidence in my decision to choose to invest retirement contributions in my wife's 403(b) over a Roth IRA, but I'd like some second opinions. Some stats : -Married, mid 30s -State tax 4.25%(?) -Wife is clergy. This get technical, which is distracting on these threads. Sh...
by camillus
Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing. [15 years old]
Replies: 14
Views: 1100

Re: Investing. [15 years old]

Hi David, I thought I'd give some unrequested advice and say that you should look in to your "human capital." How can you invest this $2500 to improve your happiness and wellbeing (and income) over the course of your working career? You are about to embark on one of the most expensive seasons of lif...
by camillus
Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2 in Daycare -Sell Taxable to Max 401k?
Replies: 46
Views: 3451

Re: 2 in Daycare -Sell Taxable to Max 401k?

Just dropping into this thread without reading much. Just thought I'd mention that the OP should check out if he or his wife's work offers a dependent care FSA. Some tax savings to be had here.
by camillus
Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Heading to ER, surprise bills [update: home again]
Replies: 44
Views: 6229

Re: Urgent! Heading to ER, surprise bills

There are very few things worth more than your sight. If someone I loved went blind in one eye and went to an urgent care center instead of the best ER in town, I would be extremely upset with them. Put a value on your sight. A million? 10 million? Your condition could also indicate a problem with y...
by camillus
Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing. [15 years old]
Replies: 14
Views: 1100

Re: Investing. [15 years old]

I am ancient at 34 years old. I'm of the opinion that if you would like to start investing and this money is money you could lose and still accomplish other goals, like cars & college , then it would be great to learn about investing. I wouldn't mess with a Roth IRA at this point. A Roth IRA is a re...
by camillus
Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is HSA Bank + TD Ameritrade still the best HSA choice?
Replies: 61
Views: 12541

Re: Is HSA Bank + TD Ameritrade still the best HSA choice?

I am surprised to learn that so many HSA custodians use a brokerage window at TD Ameritrade. My employer just switched to HealthEquity, which offers Vanguard funds with an administrative fee and a $2000 cash minimum. If you make frequent trades (monthly or per paycheck) or hold a lot of funds, Healt...
by camillus
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best thing to use to hang pictures?
Replies: 34
Views: 3012

Re: What is the best thing to use to hang pictures?

THANK YOU for your entry/comment. You are welcome. You likely have plaster walls, which people typically shred with screws & nails. The very nice thing about picture rails is you can literally reorganize all the artwork in your home without any major tooling or lasting scars. It makes your house fe...
by camillus
Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best thing to use to hang pictures?
Replies: 34
Views: 3012

Re: What is the best thing to use to hang pictures?

If you by chance live in an older home, you might have a picture rail or a rail built into your crown molding. Google "picture rail." Cool vintage look.
by camillus
Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help! - New Believer and overwhelmed
Replies: 20
Views: 2739

Re: HALP! - New Believer and overwhelmed

1) Move everything to one brokerage house, probably fidelity.
2) The most important single item is setting an annual budget.
3) The most important lever in your asset allocation is stocks:bonds. I'd get some sanity around that.
4) Who has durable power of attorney?
by camillus
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to Improve TIAA 403b R1
Replies: 15
Views: 1339

Re: Best way to Improve TIAA 403b R1

Hi all, Sorry to resurrect this thread. My wife and I are going to be possibly maxing out this 403b this year, and so I am very anxious to see if I can work with HR to improve this plan. I'm trying to imagine what obstacles I could encounter with my HR person. Why wouldn't they want to make these ch...
by camillus
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Trouble [NY Times: TIAA pushes clients to high fee products]
Replies: 50
Views: 5602

Re: TIAA Trouble [NY Times: TIAA pushes clients to high fee products]

My main complaint with TIAA is the tiered fee approach to 403b's. Our 403b has funds with fee averages at 0.70% because we are an R1 institution. :annoyed
by camillus
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use wife's traditional IRA to pay off house?
Replies: 3
Views: 832

Re: Use wife's traditional IRA to pay off house?

People sometime do crazy things in order to remove one row (or one account) from a spreadsheet. Don't fall into that trap, unless you want to for simplicity's sake. From a pure math perspective, the likely solution is to leave things where they are - which is hard to do.
by camillus
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Moving From Debt to Wealth
Replies: 6
Views: 1546

Re: Help Moving From Debt to Wealth

Who is going to pay for a wedding ceremony? How much of a ring do you want?

I hear Northpointe Bank, in LMCU's neighborhood, gives 5% up to $10k.
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?
Replies: 58
Views: 4864

Re: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?

If all else is equal, it is slightly better to hold bonds in your HSA because this decreases the chance that your HSA will become too large for your medical expenses and will become taxable. Correct me if I am wrong, but I the event that HSA money grows too large, and the person is old enough (65) ...
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax (and other) Planning with first child due Dec 28th
Replies: 6
Views: 643

Re: Tax (and other) Planning with first child due Dec 28th

About a week before the baby is due, start doing everything you can to induce labor. The difference between a birth in 2017 and 2018 is likely a few thousand dollars of net worth. What a rare circumstance on bogleheads where advocating for vigorous sex may have a real, tangible financial effect. Neo...
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?
Replies: 58
Views: 4864

Re: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?

bluerafters wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:03 pm
Interesting approach.
I have this bad habit of editing immediately after I publish. I kept writing a bit after you quoted.
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?
Replies: 58
Views: 4864

Re: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?

Keep in mind that money is fungible across investment accounts. Much of the thinking in the thread above represents illusory "mental accounting." Say your HSA holdings are 100% stock. You incur a health related expense of $1000. Sell $1000 of stock in your HSA to pay for your expense. Immediately tr...
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First time investing--Roth IRA
Replies: 6
Views: 949

Re: First time investing--Roth IRA

I recommend Vanguard's Target Date Funds (edit: or a Lifecycle fund mentioned above). Say, for math's sake, you invest $10,000 this year between you and your wife's Roth IRAs. The expense ratio on such a fund is 16 basis points (0.16%), or $16 for the year. Optimizing funds and fees more than that w...
by camillus
Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Three-fund portfolio: Robo-adviser or 3 funds?]
Replies: 13
Views: 2410

Re: [Three-fund portfolio: Robo-adviser or 3 funds?]

There are other options that are equal or better in terms of simplicity and cost: target date funds and lifecycle funds. It can't get much more simple than owning one fund.

I am jealous of Betterment's interface though. Betterment looks really cool.
by camillus
Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paternity/Maternity Leave & Its Influence on Career Trajectory
Replies: 23
Views: 2189

Re: Paternity/Maternity Leave & Its Influence on Career Trajectory

I am about to take a few weeks off with FMLA when my second son is born. Take some time off! Do it for me and all the other dads without paternity leave (and for your family, I guess)...
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash in a local bank or credit union
Replies: 54
Views: 4491

Re: Cash in a local bank or credit union

We keep $30k at the local credit union earning 3%. Wife likes round numbers.
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I could use some advice on my IRA situation. Not sure what to do.
Replies: 15
Views: 1706

Re: I could use some advice on my IRA situation. Not sure what to do.

I think you need to take the anxiety down a few notches. There's nothing to "cringe" about. This is all stuff you can learn about in a short time and take care of with a few phone calls and time at the computer. We here just need a bit more information to help you out.