Search found 1485 matches

by BigJohn
Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Income tax software, "Tax Slayer".
Replies: 16
Views: 1538

Re: Income tax software, "Tax Slayer".

jebmke wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:22 pm
I use the Pro online version for TaxAide. It would not be my first choice for tax software.
I'm a TaxAide volunteer as well. I'll keep buying TurboTax to do my family's taxes.
by BigJohn
Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 886
Views: 51158

Re: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]

Given the alternative under forum rules, which was no discussion allowed at all, I think this was a nice compromise by the site's owners. They have borne the cost (less donations) and admin hassle of running this place for 10+ years. Give them a break, and your thanks. +1 and my thanks to the site ...
by BigJohn
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 886
Views: 51158

Re: Tax Bill Omnibus Thread

Exemption is different from standard deduction. No more exemption is my understanding. If I recall correctly the extra exemption for over 65 was eliminated several years ago and replaced with an increased standard deduction. Since the new rules keep the incremental standard deduction for over 65, t...
by BigJohn
Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 886
Views: 51158

Re: Tax Bill Omnibus Thread

I have no idea how existing and/or unused AMT tax credits will be handled under the new law, but my suspicion is that the unused credits simply go "poof" and disappear, much like they would if you couldn't use them all up in time (say, for example, in regards to unused foreign tax credits). If you ...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question re: Funeral
Replies: 18
Views: 2173

Re: Question re: Funeral

I feel like option 1 could also yield minimal participation since it's somewhat anonymous. My sympathies for your loss. Having just gone through this I'd mention the following. I worded #1 as "In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to....". This was how others I saw were worded and comes acr...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1761

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

Whether or not this is actually an issue in practice is another discussion. If these bonds are part of a balanced and rebalanced portfolio of stocks and bonds from which one is withdrawing, it probably doesn't matter very much. This is the case so I think we are finally on the same page. I apprecia...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1761

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

Thanks longinvest, I always learn something from your posts. If you don't mind, I'd appreciate your perspective on the following. For reasons I won't go into, I really don't want to construct and manage a non-rolling ladder of individual bonds. I also agree with your comments about the irreversible ...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1761

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

I guess we're talking past each other, I've already agreed there is no interest rate risk in the long duration bonds in Bernstein LMP approach. While they are not identical (per discussion in wiki article), I'm just not sure how a fund with an average duration at or shorter than my long term liabili...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1761

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

dbr, I'm not trying to be difficult and I understand the use of a TIPS ladder in an LMP. I also understand that if held to maturity, the the long bond interest rate risk is neutralized. What I'm trying to understand is this comment A TIPS fund does insure against inflation but not against real inter...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1761

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

dbr, I understand the concept of interest rate risk. I'm just not sure how a TIPS ladder can be a lot different than a TIPS fund holding similar securities. In many cases, I can see the TIPS ladder might have more interest rate risk. For example, if I have a ladder out 20 or 30 years, I've invested ...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1761

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

A TIPs fund could lose value so it cannot insure effectively against unexpected inflation, IMO. Not sure I agree with this. Same argument is often maybe for other bond funds vs individual bonds and I don't see TIPS as any different. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Individual_bonds_vs_a_bond_fund A ...
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: using Roth 401k funds to pay taxes on conversion
Replies: 4
Views: 446

Re: using Roth 401k funds to pay taxes on conversion

Earl, I agree that the effect is the same. Either way the taxes are being paid from inside the IRAs rather than from taxable investments. As a result, the impact on Roth conversion economics is also the same.
by BigJohn
Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?
Replies: 26
Views: 1761

Re: TIPS and / or Total Bond Fund in AA?

Now, inflation seems not to have been a major concern for the last ten years or so. TIPS protect that part of your portfolio from the risk of unexpected future inflation so in my mind what has happened in the past is immaterial. It's a bit like all insurance, you pay a premium and then if you don't...
by BigJohn
Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: using Roth 401k funds to pay taxes on conversion
Replies: 4
Views: 446

Re: using Roth 401k funds to pay taxes on conversion

Either way you end up with less in Roth.... That being said, I would use outside money to get the most in Roth. I think everything I've read on the benefits of Roth conversions assume that taxes are paid from funds outside the IRAs. The issue with your approach is that you do end up with less in th...
by BigJohn
Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: too much $ in my company of work?
Replies: 51
Views: 4298

Re: too much $ in my company of work?

My two cents having managed through a concentrated stock position. First, don’t let the tail wag the dog. In your case the tail is taxes and the dog is the risk you are taking with a concentrated stock position. In your shoes I’d pick a target (say 10% of total stock allocation) and then sell as nee...
by BigJohn
Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion ... Timing
Replies: 19
Views: 1747

Re: Roth Conversion ... Timing

retiredjg wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:05 am
Forbes is talking about eliminating the opportunity for taxpayers to recharacterize Roth IRA conversions.
I agree but isn't Roth conversion what this whole thread is about? Hence the warning to the OP that a strategy of overconverting and then recharacterizing back to optimum might be at risk.
by BigJohn
Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax management: taking full advantage of AMT sweet spot
Replies: 15
Views: 1976

Re: tax management: taking full advantage of AMT sweet spot

I’ve looked for and found the AMT sweet spot when trying to decide how much Roth conversion to do but.... like our tax code it’s really complex. I tried a few simple estimators and got different answers depending on how much and what simplification was included. Ultimately I had to do a fairly rigor...
by BigJohn
Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion ... Timing
Replies: 19
Views: 1747

Re: Roth Conversion ... Timing

Retiredjg, Without discussing pros/cons of pending legislation, see the second paragraph for why this is being considered.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebel ... e626a21cba
by BigJohn
Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct and alternatives
Replies: 109
Views: 9035

Re: TaxAct and alternatives

Is anyone familiar with TaxSlayer? https://www.taxslayer.com/ It appears that this is for online use only with no downloaded application available. Is that correct? Has anyone used it who may have some comments about it? I prepare tax returns as part of the IRS volunteer program (VITA/TCE). Last ye...
by BigJohn
Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quantity of places to hold assets
Replies: 11
Views: 972

Re: Quantity of places to hold assets

I'm in favor of keeping the number of institutions we deal with to a low number. I appreciate the simplicity. I'm in this camp for the reasons stated. I place a high value on simplicity as I get older both for my benefit and for the potential headaches that complicated investment strategies can cau...
by BigJohn
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which to do - Roth conversion or LTCG?
Replies: 21
Views: 1082

Re: Which to do - Roth conversion or LTCG?

While this is the one that catches a lot of people, there are many other jumps and discontinuities in the actual incremental tax rate you can see. Here are a couple of discussions on this topic https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2645133#p2645133 https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop...
by BigJohn
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Factoring in value as a strategy
Replies: 10
Views: 1046

Re: Factoring in value as a strategy

I don't tilt but lots of people here do. I agree with comments above that you really need to understand and believe in the tilts before you invest. Even proponents of tilts will tell you that you need to be prepared for years (sometimes many years) of under performance while waiting for the benefits...
by BigJohn
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Input on HSA Providers
Replies: 4
Views: 474

Re: Input on HSA Providers

I'm guilty of not searching for prior discussions before I posted. My thanks to all for the help.
by BigJohn
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Input on HSA Providers
Replies: 4
Views: 474

Input on HSA Providers

One of my children is looking to open an HSA account. He needs to choose a provider but this is not something with which I have any experience so would appreciate feedback from this group. All input on good or bad experiences with specific providers welcome, thanks.
by BigJohn
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Complete Beginner to investing, 24 years old
Replies: 15
Views: 1600

Re: Complete Beginner to investing, 24 years old

Great advice and reading material from ruralavalon.
by BigJohn
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A " Bond Tent" During the "Retirement Red Zone?"
Replies: 59
Views: 5962

Re: A " Bond Tent" During the "Retirement Red Zone?"

My concern is .... now...a decade into early retirement.... I'm just not that comfortable decreasing my bond allocation..... emotionally .... I feel the sequence of returns risk is always in front of me. If you take an LMP approach to your bond allocation it will slowly drift down over time. Of cou...
by BigJohn
Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard customer service reps need some training
Replies: 66
Views: 7256

Re: Vanguard customer service reps need some training

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:21 pm
Phone calls are always my last resort, as the electronic trail isn't as certain (unless you record your own calls).
+1 on phone calls as last resort. In addition to electronic trail, it’s jus too prone to miscommunication and/or misunderstanding.
by BigJohn
Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A " Bond Tent" During the "Retirement Red Zone?"
Replies: 59
Views: 5962

Re: A " Bond Tent" During the "Retirement Red Zone?"

I felt it would require too much stock sell off just prior to retirement, and too much realized capital gains' For some of us, much of our equity position may be inside a 401K or similar plan...we can reallocate without triggering taxable events, particularly during the last few years of retirement...
by BigJohn
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A " Bond Tent" During the "Retirement Red Zone?"
Replies: 59
Views: 5962

Re: A " Bond Tent" During the "Retirement Red Zone?"

Are you saying those things have an effect on when a bond tent does and does not work? That is, it works with some withdrawal rates but not with others? And it works with some withdrawal strategies but not others? That makes it sound pretty fragile, like anyone on Bogleheads who ended up doing it, ...
by BigJohn
Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A " Bond Tent" During the "Retirement Red Zone?"
Replies: 59
Views: 5962

Re: A " Bond Tent" During the "Retirement Red Zone?"

AlohaJoe, a couple of questions about your cases for the graphs. What withdrawal rate were you using for those case? Also, what withdrawal strategy was assumed (ie equal withdrawal from stocks and bonds at all times or bonds only during downturn or ??)?
by BigJohn
Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A " Bond Tent" During the "Retirement Red Zone?"
Replies: 59
Views: 5962

Re: A " Bond Tent" During the "Retirement Red Zone?"

Retired just over two years ago and am following an approach similar to this based on Bernstein’s Ages of the Investor and LMP (liability matching portfolio) approach. There are several variations on this theme to manage sequence of return risk in early retirement.
by BigJohn
Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have you moved to ETF's? Why or why not?
Replies: 33
Views: 2848

Re: Have you moved to ETF's? Why or why not?

I use only mutual funds. As usual, Nisi covers all the bases as to why.
by BigJohn
Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Complete Beginner to investing, 24 years old
Replies: 15
Views: 1600

Re: Complete Beginner to investing, 24 years old

Welcome to the forum! For someone just starting out I'd suggest reading William Bernstein's "If You Can". It's written by a very well respected author, it's only 16 pages long and it's specifically written for people just starting out. Best of all it's available for free here http://www.etf.com/docs...
by BigJohn
Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treatment of lump-sum for unused sick time
Replies: 10
Views: 937

Re: Treatment of lump-sum for unused sick time

Retired from my MegaCorp about 2.5 years ago and received a lump sum payment for unused vacation a few weeks after I retired. It did show up as regular income on my W-2 so should qualify for IRA contributions. However, I was unable to use it as the basis for additional contribution to my 401(k) as a...
by BigJohn
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Multiple Roth's merged into one
Replies: 10
Views: 946

Re: Multiple Roth's merged into one

I have two Roth accounts. One master account for the conversions that are past the recharacterization date and the other for last year's conversion. After the recharacterization deadline (around 10/15), I move last year's conversion into the master account then do this year's conversion into the new...
by BigJohn
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much to convert to Roth without raising tax bracket
Replies: 12
Views: 1671

Re: How much to convert to Roth without raising tax bracket

I use previous year's TurboTax to do this estimation and it works well. If your taxes aren't increasing, I suspect you are entering the conversion incorrectly. Is your AGI going up consistent with the amount converted?
by BigJohn
Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!
Replies: 222
Views: 37775

Re: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!

Long bonds are not usually recommended in a typical stock/bond portfolio except for some high equity positions when long Treasuries may be beneficial. Doc, I'm confused. The int term index fund doesn't contain long bonds, as least by my understanding. Everything is in the 5-10 year range. On the ot...
by BigJohn
Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!
Replies: 222
Views: 37775

Re: Bonds - Throw it all on the table!!!

If I were only allowed to have two funds in my portfolio the bond part might be a Total bond Market Fund although I would prefer a Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Intermediate Government/Credit Bond Index fund which seems to be more in keeping with Bogle's current thinking. The fact that Vanguard does not ...
by BigJohn
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VG wants everyone to transfer to a brokerage account?
Replies: 110
Views: 12505

Re: VG wants everyone to transfer to a brokerage account?

Just logged on and you are correct. Was there ever a time where you had to use the settlement fund or have I just been misinformed for 10 years? I think when VG first had brokerage accounts this was the case but they have added capability since then. For a long time I resisted upgrading for just th...
by BigJohn
Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Illinois Income Taxes Online
Replies: 11
Views: 1023

Re: Filing Illinois Income Taxes Online

bob60014 wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:04 pm
Very straightforward and no issues especially if you don't have any special circumstances.
I've helped my parents do theirs and agree although their return is very straight forward.
by BigJohn
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spending Taxable to Zero during Retirement
Replies: 42
Views: 5367

Re: Spending Taxable to Zero during Retirement

Retired three years ago at age 58 and my plan to age 70 is much like yours. I'm a firm believer in having diverse investment types so I'm doing efficient Roth conversions with intent to be about 50/50 tIRA/Roth at age 70. This gives me flexibility to optimize giving and inheritance based on children...
by BigJohn
Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you include the sale of your home as part of your retirement planning?
Replies: 91
Views: 5516

Re: Do you include the sale of your home as part of your retirement planning?

I do not include it. I sort of consider selling the house as my self-insured LTC policy. However, I think there are valid arguments to go either way.
by BigJohn
Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does Vanguard hunt down overseas investors?
Replies: 8
Views: 1595

Re: Does Vanguard hunt down overseas investors?

"US Financial Institutions are going to great lengths to track their customers and to protect their businesses." I was under the impression that they are a huge organization without the time for this kind of thing, but I could be wrong... Hmmm.... it's a matter of legal compliance and companies are...
by BigJohn
Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Improving returns on total bond market without changing the risk profile
Replies: 8
Views: 1349

Re: Improving returns on total bond market without changing the risk profile

The composition of TBM has moved around a lot so not sure comparison to a static mix is valid. See this post for details
viewtopic.php?p=2652414#p2652414
by BigJohn
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: In-plan roth conversion and NUA
Replies: 2
Views: 306

Re: In-plan roth conversion and NUA

newportcoug, I have some experience with NUA but unfortunately none with respect to the impact of Roth conversions so I can't be of much help. I will say that I believe the wiki is incorrect in saying that NUA can only be done using pretax dollars. I and many others at my giant mega-corp have extrac...
by BigJohn
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:03 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Suggestions for the Wiki
Replies: 401
Views: 209175

Re: Suggestions for the Wiki

I was reading this discussion which quotes the wiki on NUA treatement viewtopic.php?f=1&t=232202 . The wiki says you have to use pretax money for NUA but I don't believe this is correct. I worked for a giant mega-corp and extracted my NUA shares using after tax dollars about 2.5 years ago. This is o...
by BigJohn
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POAs may not be that powerful
Replies: 94
Views: 5679

Re: POAs may not be that powerful

I did it online for my folks awhile ago. Many years ago you could in fact setup full agent authorization on-line at VG but they changed that some time ago. Now you can set-up only a very limited authorization on-line. For full authorization you have to use their paper form and get the signatures no...
by BigJohn
Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POAs may not be that powerful
Replies: 94
Views: 5679

Re: POAs may not be that powerful

They say is 2 different ways. "Do not share" and "This protection does not apply to unauthorized activity caused in whole or in part by your fraudulent, intentional, or negligent acts or omissions, including activity by a person whom you have intentionally or negligently permitted to transact in yo...
by BigJohn
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POAs may not be that powerful
Replies: 94
Views: 5679

Re: POAs may not be that powerful

and for this, let's try to ignore Vanguard's peculiar treatment of PoA's (as in, refusing to recognize them; let's assume they are operating within PA law, and DO recognize a DPoA, etc., for this) ResearchMed, did you see my post above about the changes VG has made? https://www.bogleheads.org/forum...
by BigJohn
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POAs may not be that powerful
Replies: 94
Views: 5679

Re: POAs may not be that powerful

2. How full is full agent authorization? For instance, there appears to be no way to set up phone alerts or set up a secondary mailing address of a statement or change other account settings online. I wonder if that can be done in some other way? I have full agent authorization on my wife's IRA acc...