Search found 2898 matches

by neurosphere
Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to get local currency in France and Italy
Replies: 14
Views: 1679

Re: Best way to get local currency in France and Italy

Before my trip to europe this summer, I opened a checking accout with First Republic Bank. For a $3500 minimum account balance I got an ATM card which would reimburse ALL ATM fees, and charged no fee for foreign transaction. I opened the account over the phone, and the customer service was wonderful...
by neurosphere
Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The tax outlook for 2013: Still more questions than answers.
Replies: 17
Views: 1306

Re: The tax outlook for 2013: Still more questions than answ

The original article on Vanguard's website (https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insights/article/tax-outlook-09172012) is not political and doesn't really discuss pending (i.e. not already signed) legislation. It provides an easy to read comparison of the current law, and describes what WILL happen IF ...
by neurosphere
Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA contribution rules for spouses in all situations
Replies: 12
Views: 4194

Re: HSA contribution rules for spouses in all situations

We picked second option and that have worked really well for last 6 years: Cost less monthly, more free money from employer.... And yes you can use either HSA for all family members, no matter whose name on account. Hope It helps. Yes it helps! We have no children. It seems that as long as I am wil...
by neurosphere
Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Backdoor Roth IRA A No-Brainer?
Replies: 31
Views: 4244

Re: Is Backdoor Roth IRA A No-Brainer?

Can all my after-tax money accumulated over years in my IRA be lump sum converted to a Roth IRA, or just this year's contribution? Is it too late to convert past years' money? All the after-tax money can be converted in total, at the same time, regardless of when the initial contributions were made...
by neurosphere
Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Backdoor Roth IRA A No-Brainer?
Replies: 31
Views: 4244

Re: Is Backdoor Roth IRA A No-Brainer?

It may be several steps and a bit of effort to do the back door ROTH though; don't you have to conduit it through a 401K? The Backdoor Roth is really very easy. Here's how it works at Vanguard. 1) Contribute to a your traditional IRA. If the IRA is already open, this is a 2 minute process. You do n...
by neurosphere
Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA contribution rules for spouses in all situations
Replies: 12
Views: 4194

HSA contribution rules for spouses in all situations

Hi all. Today I received a notice from my HR department notifying me that their will be big changes to our health insurance options. It mentioned that they would be adding an HSA plan and to "Stay tuned!" for new information to be given during open enrollment. Currently, we are both covered under a ...
by neurosphere
Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another post about CD Rates
Replies: 15
Views: 2966

Re: Another post about CD Rates

If you have a shared financial situation with someone, and you and that someone cannot each slowly but accurately list, from memory, all the names of all of the financial institutions the other one has an account with, then you have too many. Ah, that's tougher. I'm not so sure about this. Yes, sim...
by neurosphere
Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Will You Respond to Bogle's Fixed Income Tilts?
Replies: 52
Views: 5555

Re: How Will You Respond to Bogle's Fixed Income Tilts?

My bond allocation has been 50/50 Short-Term Corporates and TIPS for about the past 9 years, roughly following Bernstein's "Sheltered Sam" portfolio from 4 Pillars. So I don't plan to make any changes, hopefully I'll be happy with my selections and keep them at least until retirement.

NS
by neurosphere
Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When husbands and wives are very different re: risk
Replies: 51
Views: 5435

Re: When husbands and wives are very different re: risk

Believe me, our differences in investment theory are as nothing compared to our attitudes toward NCAA football!! :shock: :sharebeer Give us a hint! Alabama/Auburn? Michigan/OSU? Army/Navy? Harvard/Yale? Duke/UNC (oops, wrong sport). NS (sorry, maybe I shouldn't be steering this thread off course 8-...
by neurosphere
Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I hate the Lazy portfolio(s)
Replies: 41
Views: 6023

Re: I hate the Lazy portfolio(s)

How about Occam's Portfolio? Although there are many variations of how the concept of Occam's razor is used, one common interpretation is that the simpler solution is more likely to be correct. Or as einstein is said to have said, "as simple as it needs to be, but no simpler". :D Or even maybe call ...
by neurosphere
Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Rebalancing forces you to buy low and sell high" is a Myth?
Replies: 13
Views: 1695

Re: "Rebalancing forces you to buy low and sell high" is a M

Dont forget, there is more than one rebalancing theory being discussed here. There is rebalancing between two asset classes with different expected returns (stocks/bonds) which will work to stabilize risk but decrease returns. But there is also rebalancing between asset classes with similar expected...
by neurosphere
Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: low earnings and traditional 401k - does it make sense?
Replies: 15
Views: 1719

Re: low earnings and traditional 401k - does it make sense?

At $17,000 income she'll pay at a very low tax rate. I would start with a Roth IRA (assuming there is no match), and then if she still has money to invest, do the 401k. With the Roth she can choose her own provider, such as Vanguard, which will (likely) have significantly lower fees than the 401k. NS
by neurosphere
Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashing out a tiny Roth 401k for simplicity?
Replies: 17
Views: 6202

Re: Cashing out a tiny Roth 401k for simplicity?

I believe Roth 401k accounts can be rolled over into a Roth IRA. This should be almost as "simple" as cashing out the Roth 401k portion and reporting the taxes/penalties. $1500 is not a lot now, but may be well worth your time in the long run. If this were to be a true orphan account, sure, cash it ...
by neurosphere
Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wacky FICO scores
Replies: 30
Views: 3036

Re: Wacky FICO scores

It's mildly curious how small actions seem to have big effects. BUT, what are the consequences of going from a score of 809 to 785? Also, you opened two new accounts, which dropped your score somewhat. I wonder, would the score stay permanently lower because of the extra accounts? Or with time, can ...
by neurosphere
Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: After Tax 401(k) rolled into Roth IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 1702

Re: After Tax 401(k) rolled into Roth IRA

Is there a reason I do not see this promoted as relentlessly here as other tax advantaged strategies? Just this week we made our first after-tax contribution request with plans to transfer that to a Roth. I learned about the procedure here on Bogleheads. In fact, I find that there are LOTs of threa...
by neurosphere
Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do monthly SS payments change when you retire?
Replies: 8
Views: 908

Re: Do monthly SS payments change when you retire?

SS payments are based on the top 30 earning years. Nitpicking: it's the top 35 years. http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10070.html Many people wonder how their benefit is figured. Social Security benefits are based on your lifetime earnings. Your actual earnings are adjusted or “indexed” to account for chang...
by neurosphere
Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When husbands and wives are very different re: risk
Replies: 51
Views: 5435

Re: When husbands and wives are very different re: risk

I need to research how to get I-bonds in a tax-advantaged account (if in fact this can be done), because he seems like the guy for whom I-bonds were invented. I-bonds cannot end up in a tax-advantaged account. They already act as a non-deductible IRA of sorts: no deduction on the front end, but no ...
by neurosphere
Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After tax 401k-->Roth for use as a Reserve fund?
Replies: 24
Views: 3006

Re: After tax 401k-->Roth for use as a Reserve fund?

In summary there is no way to avoid one of these inconveniences: 1) Too many $25 fees 2) Too high taxable earnings resulting from reducing the distributions/rollovers 3) 20% withholding if the earnings buildup is more than you want to have taxed. I don't think I mind paying an occasional $25 fee, o...
by neurosphere
Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV commercial volume reduction device
Replies: 20
Views: 3118

Re: TV commercial volume reduction device

Broadcasters must implement the CALM act provisions by December 1st, 2012. So perhaps you can hold out until then to see if your problem has been mitigated somewhat? I share the same concerns as the OP with annoyance at the volume during commercials. I frequently watch television while doing chores,...
by neurosphere
Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need a new browser
Replies: 53
Views: 4565

Re: I need a new browser

Agreed. This isn't like keeping an old car running. A Win2K machine is a problem, and will become more of a problem. There is simply no getting around it. Agree as well. So lets help the OP install an older version of a browser that will work in Win2K, and then we can help him USE the web through t...
by neurosphere
Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sudden vs Gradual Changes in Interest Rates
Replies: 28
Views: 3961

Re: Sudden vs Gradual Changes in Interest Rates

Our choices are (a) stay in an intermediate-term bond fund or (b) invest in short-term fixed income, say rolling 1-year CDs. In either case, whether it's a 5% increase for 1 year or 1% increase for 5 years, you are better off rolling 1-year CDs. As brad_g said above, however, with rebalancing the s...
by neurosphere
Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After tax 401k-->Roth for use as a Reserve fund?
Replies: 24
Views: 3006

Re: After tax 401k-->Roth for use as a Reserve fund?

If you have been maxing out your Roths since 1998 then you should have $98,000 as a couple. Have you withdrawn contributions in the past? We have been maxing them out since 1998*, yes. I said we had MORE THAN $60,000, only to illustrate that there were more than enough of original Roth contribution...
by neurosphere
Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sudden vs Gradual Changes in Interest Rates
Replies: 28
Views: 3961

Re: Sudden vs Gradual Changes in Interest Rates

Nisiprius, I wish you were running the economy! Because you're right, gentle rises are better for everyone's peace of mind, versus the gut-wrenching swings we're forced to live with. I found this chart of U.S. interest rates over the last 222 years. I have to go lie down now, it's giving me a fit o...
by neurosphere
Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After tax 401k-->Roth for use as a Reserve fund?
Replies: 24
Views: 3006

Re: After tax 401k-->Roth for use as a Reserve fund?

One question is whether your fellowship will be considered "earned income." My grad school and post-doc fellowships weren't. If it isn't then the situation gets quite a bit more complicated. Brad Thanks for the warning, the word fellowship has no standard definition. In my case, it's a clinical fel...
by neurosphere
Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After tax 401k-->Roth for use as a Reserve fund?
Replies: 24
Views: 3006

Re: After tax 401k-->Roth for use as a Reserve fund?

All that's left is her non deductible TIRA contribution and conversion.... Well, the IRA finally make it into the i401k, and we made the non-deductible IRA contribution with plans to convert to Roth. But I have some additional questions. First, some people recommend waiting for some period of time ...
by neurosphere
Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confused about HSAs and High Deductible Plans
Replies: 12
Views: 1342

Re: Confused about HSAs and High Deductible Plans

I'm a little sensitive to SS taxes - it's unbelievable to me how the maximum taxable earnings keep rising as they do. Inflation has risen 25% from 2000 to 2010 but the maximum taxable earnings have risen over 40% during that same time. It all depends on how you define inflation. The social security...
by neurosphere
Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dad gave me E savings bond from 1978
Replies: 28
Views: 3976

Re: Dad gave me E savings bond from 1978

I believe the 1099 will be issued for the year the bond was presented /cashed in. The bond may have matured and stopped earning interest in 2008, but since the owner did not actually receive the interest until 2012, that's the year it should be reported on the 1099 and subsequently reported on the ...
by neurosphere
Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax gain harvesting or conversion from tIRA to Roth
Replies: 16
Views: 1326

Re: Tax gain harvesting or conversion from tIRA to Roth

I'll answer for livesoft...ahem...[livesoftvoice] You should tax gain harvest. That will increase your chances of having taxable losses you can harvest in future, and those are very valuable! Besides, why convert your TIRA into a ROTH? Chances are you will be able to make withdrawals in the future f...
by neurosphere
Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: off site backup - physical
Replies: 39
Views: 7843

Re: off site backup - physical

I found the forum, thanks. I think my remaining question is about the 250MB (raised to 500MB I believe) limit on "web restore." I think, but am not certain, that the 250MB is a FILE SIZE limit for restoring data via a web-app type browser application. If you want to restore individual files which a...
by neurosphere
Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k and i401k Contributions in Same Year?
Replies: 9
Views: 840

Re: 401k and i401k Contributions in Same Year?

Fidelity's Self Employed 401k will accept inbound rollovers from IRAs. Vanguard's Individual 401k does not accept inbound rollovers from SEP-IRA. I wonder, why don't people rollover SEP IRAs and other IRA to a Fidelity solo 401k FIRST, and then roll over that solo 401k to Vanguard? I have a solo 40...
by neurosphere
Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Musings on 401k fee disclosure
Replies: 7
Views: 2584

Re: Musings on 401k fee disclosure

First off, let's just accept at face value that ANY true disclosure of fees is a good thing. That is, a mutual fund with an ER of 0.5% and no other fees is better than a mutual fund of .4% and .2% in hidden fees. So it's a GOOD thing that TOTAL fees are in SOME way disclosed (whether asset managemen...
by neurosphere
Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k and i401k Contributions in Same Year?
Replies: 9
Views: 840

Re: 401k and i401k Contributions in Same Year?

You can make employEE contributions to as many 401ks as you like, provided you do not exceed $17,000 in total employEE contributions for 2012.

In addition, you can still make employER contributions to your i401k as per usual, which is not affected by your new company 401k.

NS
by neurosphere
Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After tax 401k-->Roth for use as a Reserve fund?
Replies: 24
Views: 3006

Re: After tax 401k-->Roth for use as a Reserve fund?

One thing that stresses me out about all this is the tax reporting. This is already a "complicated" year for me: Me: -Opened a solo 401k for my wife and me -Rolled over a 403b into the solo 401k -Rolled over another 403b into the 401k -Made a non-deductible IRA contribution and, -converted that into...
by neurosphere
Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401(k) and 403(b) fee disclosure
Replies: 10
Views: 6044

Re: 401(k) and 403(b) fee disclosure

Just got the disclosure information from my employer. I've been there for 7 years, am well informed on financial matters, and yet I had no idea that there was a 0.13% administrative fee being charged all participants. The new transparency is definitely a good thing. How is the 0.13% administrative ...
by neurosphere
Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After tax 401k-->Roth for use as a Reserve fund?
Replies: 24
Views: 3006

After tax 401k-->Roth for use as a Reserve fund?

Hi all. 2.5 years from now I will likely accept a short-term fellowship which will pay me significantly less than my current salary. So as not to have to lower our spending, and also to continue maxing out our available retirement accounts during a time of lower salary, my wife and I have planed to ...
by neurosphere
Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: financial advisor fee and converting a nondeductibe IRA into
Replies: 7
Views: 2076

Re: financial advisor fee and converting a nondeductibe IRA

Another thing this financial planner/advisor suggested was that I convert my non-deductibe IRA accounts (which are in mutual funds) into a Roth-IRA by purchasing an annuity. I'm fairly certain that there is no way to "convert" into a Roth by using an annuity as a mechanism. What I SUSPECT is happen...
by neurosphere
Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: July CPI-U Released; I-bonds
Replies: 8
Views: 1965

Re: July CPI-U Released; I-bonds

I am quite sure that the IBond fixed rate will be zero for this fall. And since currently the inflation adjustment will likely be around zero or negative, total/composite rates for newly purchased I-bonds will also be zero. It will be harder to convince folks to buy I-bonds when one is buying a gua...
by neurosphere
Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: July CPI-U Released; I-bonds
Replies: 8
Views: 1965

July CPI-U Released; I-bonds

Forgive me if this has already been discussed, but the July CPI-U has was released this week. Here is a discussion at savings bond advisor about the implication for I-bond rates: http://www.savings-bond-advisor.com/cpi-inflation-update/ Also, we have one more month of data to try to predict what the...
by neurosphere
Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you received new 401K fee disclosures at your company?
Replies: 33
Views: 4016

Re: Have you received new 401K fee disclosures at your compa

We just got ours..... Asset-Based Fees. The annual Investment Management Fee, which is determined based on the aggregate amount of the Plan assets and is charged to your account pro-rata, will be approximately 0.70% of your account balance.... Plan Administrative Fees. The Plan pays outside service...
by neurosphere
Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Strategy Question
Replies: 20
Views: 2521

Re: HSA Strategy Question

A good strategy is to keep one year's out-of-pocket maximum in the HSA in cash, and then invest the rest as if it were a Roth IRA (since you expect to withdraw the money tax-free in the future). I agree with this. This is a great "rule of thumb" which will be useful for the majority of HSA owners. ...
by neurosphere
Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing - Title Insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 1949

Re: Refinancing - Title Insurance

I have heard that you can get title insurance from the same firm which originally provided the insurance on your home purchase. This should be much cheaper than going with a new firm. So I would start there. I think it's called a "reissue" rate. I found this article from the trade group REALTORS: ht...
by neurosphere
Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do wine aerators really work?
Replies: 24
Views: 4229

Re: Do wine aerators really work?

However, I do notice I always like the second glass from the same bottle better. Have you tried a blind test where glass #2 was the first pour from a NEW bottle of the same wine, compared to a second pour from the previous bottle? Because that's what I find. Particularly when drunk with food, the s...
by neurosphere
Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another student loan vs 401k/Roth question.
Replies: 16
Views: 1795

Re: Another student loan vs 401k/Roth question.

At 6.8% guaranteed, I would pay down that loan aggressively unless you need liquidity.

So yes, 401k up to the max, then pay down the 6.8% loan, and then after that is paid off in a few years, reassess the situation.
by neurosphere
Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: long term HSA use as an IRA like savings vehicle - reciepts?
Replies: 11
Views: 2047

Re: long term HSA use as an IRA like savings vehicle - recie

Alan S. wrote: Not exactly sure re the 20 year reference...........I am not aware that the reimbursement feature is limited to any specific time frame.
I took the OP to mean he was perhaps 20 years away from when he might need the use the documentation, i.e. when he anticipates needing to take withdrawals.

NS
by neurosphere
Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Paying Off Student Loans vs. Starting a Roth IRA
Replies: 60
Views: 5228

Re: Paying Off Student Loans vs. Starting a Roth IRA

On the other hand, if you don't fund your Roth IRA for this one year, that is not going to affect your retirement significantly. I agree that it doesn't much matter. However, imagine $5000 invested for 30-60 years, and being tax-free upon withdrawal. That "one year" could turn into something signif...
by neurosphere
Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Paying Off Student Loans vs. Starting a Roth IRA
Replies: 60
Views: 5228

Re: Paying Off Student Loans vs. Starting a Roth IRA

There are no right answers. But I would fund the Roth, and continue to pay down the loan as fast as you can. It does not appear as if this 6% interest rate loan is going to be on your balance sheet for very long, thus it represents "short-term borrowing" to fund the Roth. Are Roth dollars worth a 6%...
by neurosphere
Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Increase - To Move Or Not To Move
Replies: 28
Views: 2994

Re: Rental Increase - To Move Or Not To Move

Stay where you are. The stress to savings ratio in this situation is WAY too high (in my opinion, of course!) to consider moving. One part of being a "super saver" is the saving part, which you are doing of course, and looking to continue to do by moving to a cheaper place. But the OTHER half of bei...
by neurosphere
Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ibond calculator
Replies: 26
Views: 4301

Re: Ibond calculator

I didn't say to specify a $2500 bond. I said I know how to multiply by 100 (move the decimal point two places), so I would enter one $25 bond and move the decimal two places when the answer pops up. Spreadsheets are good at multiplying if you are keeping track of your bonds in one and the multiplie...
by neurosphere
Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ibond calculator
Replies: 26
Views: 4301

Re: Ibond calculator

Forget a setting. The basic unit is the $25 bond. Put in a $25 bond and multiply the result by 100 to get the value of a $2500 bond (or two $1000 bonds and one $500 bond). I'll have to verify this, but in both the on-line version and on the savings bond wizard desktop version, I don't believe this ...
by neurosphere
Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ibond calculator
Replies: 26
Views: 4301

Re: Ibond calculator

It's frustrating that the web-based TD calculators and the Savings Bond Wizard still insist that you enter from a handful of denominations which correspond to paper bonds. I have may I-bonds I have purchased online, and some are in 'odd' denominations, i.e. $2500, and thus I have to enter it as 3 pu...