New Vanguard PAS Service?

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Rose
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New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by Rose »

We have discussed Vanguard PAS many times in this board. However recently their ad popped in my screen and they claim to cover:
When should I claim Social Security?
Should I take advantage of Roth conversions?
What withdrawal order makes the most sense for me?

This looks to be to good to be true. No need to model many permutations of Roth conversions and drawdowns. Has anyone with PAS tried any of these and willing to share their experience?

I checked previous bogleheads posts of Vanguard PAS and only age when to claim SS was covered recently.
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bertilak
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by bertilak »

Rose wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:01 am We have discussed Vanguard PAS many times in this board. However recently their ad popped in my screen and they claim to cover:
When should I claim Social Security?
Should I take advantage of Roth conversions?
What withdrawal order makes the most sense for me?

This looks to be to good to be true. No need to model many permutations of Roth conversions and drawdowns. Has anyone with PAS tried any of these and willing to share their experience?

I checked previous bogleheads posts of Vanguard PAS and only age when to claim SS was covered recently.
As a new PAS participant, I asked my advisor about Roth conversions. It is on the list of topics for our next conference call (about 3 weeks from now). He mentioned that Vanguard has a tool for evaluating this.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet
stan1
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by stan1 »

It's something that a modern automated tool would do. Maybe Vanguard has recently updated their PAS software tools. As with most things PAS, I suspect they will give a good answer for 95% or even 99% of situations. If you are in the other 1% or 5% where more customization is needed or you want optimization rather than a good answer then you might have to do it yourself or pay someone more than you pay Vanguard to do a custom model. I don't think anyone who wants optimization would be happy with PAS, it just isn't the service they generally provide for the fees paid.
tibbitts
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by tibbitts »

bertilak wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:07 am
Rose wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:01 am We have discussed Vanguard PAS many times in this board. However recently their ad popped in my screen and they claim to cover:
When should I claim Social Security?
Should I take advantage of Roth conversions?
What withdrawal order makes the most sense for me?

This looks to be to good to be true. No need to model many permutations of Roth conversions and drawdowns. Has anyone with PAS tried any of these and willing to share their experience?

I checked previous bogleheads posts of Vanguard PAS and only age when to claim SS was covered recently.
As a new PAS participant, I asked my advisor about Roth conversions. It is on the list of topics for our next conference call (about 3 weeks from now). He mentioned that Vanguard has a tool for evaluating this.
I would be shocked if the analysis was anything close to what Bogleheads routinely do for Roth conversions, although in theory it's a problem that can be solved by software for a given set of assumptions. But please report back when you've had that next call with PAS.
stan1
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by stan1 »

tibbitts wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:47 am
I would be shocked if the analysis was anything close to what Bogleheads routinely do for Roth conversions, although in theory it's a problem that can be solved by software for a given set of assumptions. But please report back when you've had that next call with PAS.
Maximizer vs. satisficer
https://www.psychologistworld.com/cogni ... ion-making

Additionally, some Bogleheads are humble thinking they are just ordinary people but actually have complex financial situations.
tibbitts
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by tibbitts »

stan1 wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:50 am
tibbitts wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:47 am
I would be shocked if the analysis was anything close to what Bogleheads routinely do for Roth conversions, although in theory it's a problem that can be solved by software for a given set of assumptions. But please report back when you've had that next call with PAS.
Maximizer vs. satisficer
https://www.psychologistworld.com/cogni ... ion-making

Additionally, some Bogleheads are humble thinking they are just ordinary people but actually have complex financial situations.
I'm not convinced that Bogleheads have more complex financial situations than the general population with similar demographics, but I believe that they're more likely to realize that their situations are indeed complex and are more likely to take a d-i-y approach to them (usually with unrealistic expectations for precision) vs. handing them off to someone else.
friar1610
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by friar1610 »

bertilak wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:07 am
Rose wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:01 am We have discussed Vanguard PAS many times in this board. However recently their ad popped in my screen and they claim to cover:
When should I claim Social Security?
Should I take advantage of Roth conversions?
What withdrawal order makes the most sense for me?

This looks to be to good to be true. No need to model many permutations of Roth conversions and drawdowns. Has anyone with PAS tried any of these and willing to share their experience?

I checked previous bogleheads posts of Vanguard PAS and only age when to claim SS was covered recently.
As a new PAS participant, I asked my advisor about Roth conversions. It is on the list of topics for our next conference call (about 3 weeks from now). He mentioned that Vanguard has a tool for evaluating this.
I’m an even newer PAS member than Berilak. Based on exchanges we’ve had, we appear to have similar motivations for joining.

My VG advisor did an overview demo of the Roth tool when I first signed on. I either didn’t take good enough notes at the time or am otherwise technologically inept and have been unable to use it on my own since then. I’m going to ask for a phone meeting fairly soon and getting another demo is one of the several items on my growing list of things to discuss. I recall that the rep’s earlier demo recommended that I Roth convert a LOT more than I would have concluded on my own, so I really need to drill down on that.

I have played with a couple of the other on-line tools. So far they seem fine but not overwhelmingly sophisticated.
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tibbitts
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by tibbitts »

friar1610 wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:34 am
bertilak wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:07 am
Rose wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:01 am We have discussed Vanguard PAS many times in this board. However recently their ad popped in my screen and they claim to cover:
When should I claim Social Security?
Should I take advantage of Roth conversions?
What withdrawal order makes the most sense for me?

This looks to be to good to be true. No need to model many permutations of Roth conversions and drawdowns. Has anyone with PAS tried any of these and willing to share their experience?

I checked previous bogleheads posts of Vanguard PAS and only age when to claim SS was covered recently.
As a new PAS participant, I asked my advisor about Roth conversions. It is on the list of topics for our next conference call (about 3 weeks from now). He mentioned that Vanguard has a tool for evaluating this.
I’m an even newer PAS member than Berilak. Based on exchanges we’ve had, we appear to have similar motivations for joining.

My VG advisor did an overview demo of the Roth tool when I first signed on. I either didn’t take good enough notes at the time or am otherwise technologically inept and have been unable to use it on my own since then. I’m going to ask for a phone meeting fairly soon and getting another demo is one of the several items on my growing list of things to discuss. I recall that the rep’s earlier demo recommended that I Roth convert a LOT more than I would have concluded on my own, so I really need to drill down on that.

I have played with a couple of the other on-line tools. So far they seem fine but not overwhelmingly sophisticated.
Of the conversion tools I've tried over the years, all of them have recommended converting far more - and on a far more aggressive schedule - than would be intuitive. That doesn't mean they're wrong, just that the results are different from what you might guess without actually doing any calculations.
livesoft
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by livesoft »

Rose wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:01 am We have discussed Vanguard PAS many times in this board. However recently their ad popped in my screen and they claim to cover:
When should I claim Social Security?
Should I take advantage of Roth conversions?
What withdrawal order makes the most sense for me?

This looks to be to good to be true. No need to model many permutations of Roth conversions and drawdowns. Has anyone with PAS tried any of these and willing to share their experience?

I checked previous bogleheads posts of Vanguard PAS and only age when to claim SS was covered recently.
My question would be: Why should I trust Vanguard PAS to figure out the best answers to those questions for me? I think that there are multiple good answers. I suspect they will do some handholding and discuss lots of options that cannot be differentiated, but maybe they will have some psychological mind tricks to make one think they are the Wizard of Oz?

OTOH, maybe they can predict the future?
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marcopolo
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by marcopolo »

tibbitts wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:50 am
friar1610 wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:34 am
bertilak wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:07 am
Rose wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:01 am We have discussed Vanguard PAS many times in this board. However recently their ad popped in my screen and they claim to cover:
When should I claim Social Security?
Should I take advantage of Roth conversions?
What withdrawal order makes the most sense for me?

This looks to be to good to be true. No need to model many permutations of Roth conversions and drawdowns. Has anyone with PAS tried any of these and willing to share their experience?

I checked previous bogleheads posts of Vanguard PAS and only age when to claim SS was covered recently.
As a new PAS participant, I asked my advisor about Roth conversions. It is on the list of topics for our next conference call (about 3 weeks from now). He mentioned that Vanguard has a tool for evaluating this.
I’m an even newer PAS member than Berilak. Based on exchanges we’ve had, we appear to have similar motivations for joining.

My VG advisor did an overview demo of the Roth tool when I first signed on. I either didn’t take good enough notes at the time or am otherwise technologically inept and have been unable to use it on my own since then. I’m going to ask for a phone meeting fairly soon and getting another demo is one of the several items on my growing list of things to discuss. I recall that the rep’s earlier demo recommended that I Roth convert a LOT more than I would have concluded on my own, so I really need to drill down on that.

I have played with a couple of the other on-line tools. So far they seem fine but not overwhelmingly sophisticated.
Of the conversion tools I've tried over the years, all of them have recommended converting far more - and on a far more aggressive schedule - than would be intuitive. That doesn't mean they're wrong, just that the results are different from what you might guess without actually doing any calculations.
Almost all of the tools touted to do this analysis that recommend aggressive conversions have what I would categorize a serious flaws.

I recall when MANY threads here relied on I-ORP. I think people believed it because it gave very thorough and detailed answers that seemed authoritative. It was essentially useless for evaluating Roth conversions in almost any realistic scenario.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
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yankees60
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by yankees60 »

stan1 wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:50 am
tibbitts wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:47 am
I would be shocked if the analysis was anything close to what Bogleheads routinely do for Roth conversions, although in theory it's a problem that can be solved by software for a given set of assumptions. But please report back when you've had that next call with PAS.
Maximizer vs. satisficer
https://www.psychologistworld.com/cogni ... ion-making

Additionally, some Bogleheads are humble thinking they are just ordinary people but actually have complex financial situations.
I like to think that I am a maximizer in the bigger things And the satisficer In the smaller things. But I could be deluding myself.

I did go to the article that you have above which offered a quiz to determine who you were which I was going to take. However You have to join something to be able to take the quiz so I did not take the quiz.

One of the additional values I have found to buying used items On top of the great prices you get is that I only have to decide to just buy that item or not and not review The endless choices Available in the New items. market
Above provided by: Vinny, who always says: "I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats." AND "I'm a more-is-more person."
tibbitts
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by tibbitts »

marcopolo wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 12:56 pm
tibbitts wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:50 am
friar1610 wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:34 am
bertilak wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:07 am
Rose wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:01 am We have discussed Vanguard PAS many times in this board. However recently their ad popped in my screen and they claim to cover:
When should I claim Social Security?
Should I take advantage of Roth conversions?
What withdrawal order makes the most sense for me?

This looks to be to good to be true. No need to model many permutations of Roth conversions and drawdowns. Has anyone with PAS tried any of these and willing to share their experience?

I checked previous bogleheads posts of Vanguard PAS and only age when to claim SS was covered recently.
As a new PAS participant, I asked my advisor about Roth conversions. It is on the list of topics for our next conference call (about 3 weeks from now). He mentioned that Vanguard has a tool for evaluating this.
I’m an even newer PAS member than Berilak. Based on exchanges we’ve had, we appear to have similar motivations for joining.

My VG advisor did an overview demo of the Roth tool when I first signed on. I either didn’t take good enough notes at the time or am otherwise technologically inept and have been unable to use it on my own since then. I’m going to ask for a phone meeting fairly soon and getting another demo is one of the several items on my growing list of things to discuss. I recall that the rep’s earlier demo recommended that I Roth convert a LOT more than I would have concluded on my own, so I really need to drill down on that.

I have played with a couple of the other on-line tools. So far they seem fine but not overwhelmingly sophisticated.
Of the conversion tools I've tried over the years, all of them have recommended converting far more - and on a far more aggressive schedule - than would be intuitive. That doesn't mean they're wrong, just that the results are different from what you might guess without actually doing any calculations.
Almost all of the tools touted to do this analysis that recommend aggressive conversions have what I would categorize a serious flaws.

I recall when MANY threads here relied on I-ORP. I think people believed it because it gave very thorough and detailed answers that seemed authoritative. It was essentially useless for evaluating Roth conversions in almost any realistic scenario.
The consensus on the forum at the time seemed to be that I-ORP results were reasonably consistent with, for example, RPM, once you provided the same return assumptions for all your account types. I recall I-ORP was limited though in not factoring in all tax types (it's been years so I've forgotten which ones were omitted) and it's been unsupported and not valuable (even when it was working) for years now. Maybe there were other problems I don't recall. But even today when I experiment with a current tool like Right Capital, it recommends very aggressive Roth conversions unless you make efforts (through assumptions or constraining conversions to a certain tax bracket for example) to avoid that. Not that it's necessarily wrong, just seemingly aggressive.
gavinsiu
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by gavinsiu »

I am very curious to know if the tool that Vanguard PAS provide gives a more accurate estimate than a DIY tool lIke New Retirement.
stan1
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by stan1 »

gavinsiu wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 3:48 pm I am very curious to know if the tool that Vanguard PAS provide gives a more accurate estimate than a DIY tool lIke New Retirement.
I guess one way to evaluate this would be how Vanguard handles TCJA sunset at the end of 2025 and any assumptions someone wants to make about reductions in Social Security benefits. To me more accurate would mean a toggle that lets the user see what the impacts of either are. I'm not sure that assuming the status quo assumptions will never change is more accurate than assuming a change will occur. "Accurate" is a difficult word to use when predicting the future. Predictions will almost always be wrong.
marcopolo
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by marcopolo »

tibbitts wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 3:06 pm
marcopolo wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 12:56 pm
tibbitts wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:50 am
friar1610 wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:34 am
bertilak wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:07 am
As a new PAS participant, I asked my advisor about Roth conversions. It is on the list of topics for our next conference call (about 3 weeks from now). He mentioned that Vanguard has a tool for evaluating this.
I’m an even newer PAS member than Berilak. Based on exchanges we’ve had, we appear to have similar motivations for joining.

My VG advisor did an overview demo of the Roth tool when I first signed on. I either didn’t take good enough notes at the time or am otherwise technologically inept and have been unable to use it on my own since then. I’m going to ask for a phone meeting fairly soon and getting another demo is one of the several items on my growing list of things to discuss. I recall that the rep’s earlier demo recommended that I Roth convert a LOT more than I would have concluded on my own, so I really need to drill down on that.

I have played with a couple of the other on-line tools. So far they seem fine but not overwhelmingly sophisticated.
Of the conversion tools I've tried over the years, all of them have recommended converting far more - and on a far more aggressive schedule - than would be intuitive. That doesn't mean they're wrong, just that the results are different from what you might guess without actually doing any calculations.
Almost all of the tools touted to do this analysis that recommend aggressive conversions have what I would categorize a serious flaws.

I recall when MANY threads here relied on I-ORP. I think people believed it because it gave very thorough and detailed answers that seemed authoritative. It was essentially useless for evaluating Roth conversions in almost any realistic scenario.
The consensus on the forum at the time seemed to be that I-ORP results were reasonably consistent with, for example, RPM, once you provided the same return assumptions for all your account types. I recall I-ORP was limited though in not factoring in all tax types (it's been years so I've forgotten which ones were omitted) and it's been unsupported and not valuable (even when it was working) for years now. Maybe there were other problems I don't recall. But even today when I experiment with a current tool like Right Capital, it recommends very aggressive Roth conversions unless you make efforts (through assumptions or constraining conversions to a certain tax bracket for example) to avoid that. Not that it's necessarily wrong, just seemingly aggressive.
exactly my point.
Who has exact same returns in all account types?
The point of Roth conversions is better tax efficiency.
If you don't do tax efficient tax allocation, and account for all types of taxes, including indirect impacts, you get useless answers.

My experience is that most tools that give really aggressive conversion recommendations fall prey to one or more of these issues.
Last edited by marcopolo on Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
tibbitts
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by tibbitts »

marcopolo wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 7:46 pm exactly my point.
Who has exact same returns in all account types?
The point of Roth conversions is better tax efficiency.
If you don't do tax efficient tax allocation, and account for all types of taxes, including indirect impacts, you get useless answers.
I agree in the sense that probably the correct way for software to handle this is to attach individual return guesstimates to each individual investment in all the IRA, taxable, and other accounts - but I don't know if any software encourages, or even allows, that. So if you do a conversion it can prioritize moving specific investments from deferred to Roth, and adjust the return projections based on the remaining investments in each account accordingly.
marcopolo
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by marcopolo »

tibbitts wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:02 pm
marcopolo wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 7:46 pm exactly my point.
Who has exact same returns in all account types?
The point of Roth conversions is better tax efficiency.
If you don't do tax efficient tax allocation, and account for all types of taxes, including indirect impacts, you get useless answers.
I agree in the sense that probably the correct way for software to handle this is to attach individual return guesstimates to each individual investment in all the IRA, taxable, and other accounts - but I don't know if any software encourages, or even allows, that. So if you do a conversion it can prioritize moving specific investments from deferred to Roth, and adjust the return projections based on the remaining investments in each account accordingly.
Even that is probably not sufficient.
I manage by asset allocation/location to maintain a relatively constant risk profile. So, the mix of assets in any type of account may change as I do conversions and spend money
So, the forward expected return changes over time as money is moved around, and asset mix is changed.

It's a tradeoff. The more accurate you want the results, the more complex the modeling becomes.

I think people often fail to differentiate between precision and accuracy. Many of the tools provide very precise answers, but they are mostly not very accurate. Often, egregiously wrong.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
tibbitts
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by tibbitts »

marcopolo wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:05 pm
tibbitts wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:02 pm I agree in the sense that probably the correct way for software to handle this is to attach individual return guesstimates to each individual investment in all the IRA, taxable, and other accounts - but I don't know if any software encourages, or even allows, that. So if you do a conversion it can prioritize moving specific investments from deferred to Roth, and adjust the return projections based on the remaining investments in each account accordingly.
Even that is probably not sufficient.
I manage by asset allocation/location to maintain a relatively constant risk profile. So, the mix of assets in any type of account may change as I do conversions and spend money
So, the forward expected return changes over time as money is moved around, and asset mix is changed.

It's a tradeoff. The more accurate you want the results, the more complex the modeling becomes.

I think people often fail to differentiate between precision and accuracy. Many of the tools provide very precise answers, but they are mostly not very accurate. Often, egregiously wrong.
Yes, one missing piece after associating an asset with a projected return would be correcting for the remaining taxes owed: for example, $100k in specific fund in a Roth shouldn't show as an equal amount to $100k in the same fund in a tIRA. So if the $100k is converted that can change the overall portfolio asset allocation (also depending on where the tax payment came from) even though the same amount of dollars might be in the same fund.
Topic Author
Rose
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Re: New Vanguard PAS Service?

Post by Rose »

Thank you for all responses.

bertilak and friar1610, looking forward to hearing your experience!
friar1610 wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:34 am
bertilak wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:07 am
Rose wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:01 am We have discussed Vanguard PAS many times in this board. However recently their ad popped in my screen and they claim to cover:
When should I claim Social Security?
Should I take advantage of Roth conversions?
What withdrawal order makes the most sense for me?

This looks to be to good to be true. No need to model many permutations of Roth conversions and drawdowns. Has anyone with PAS tried any of these and willing to share their experience?

I checked previous bogleheads posts of Vanguard PAS and only age when to claim SS was covered recently.
As a new PAS participant, I asked my advisor about Roth conversions. It is on the list of topics for our next conference call (about 3 weeks from now). He mentioned that Vanguard has a tool for evaluating this.
I’m an even newer PAS member than Berilak. Based on exchanges we’ve had, we appear to have similar motivations for joining.

My VG advisor did an overview demo of the Roth tool when I first signed on. I either didn’t take good enough notes at the time or am otherwise technologically inept and have been unable to use it on my own since then. I’m going to ask for a phone meeting fairly soon and getting another demo is one of the several items on my growing list of things to discuss. I recall that the rep’s earlier demo recommended that I Roth convert a LOT more than I would have concluded on my own, so I really need to drill down on that.

I have played with a couple of the other on-line tools. So far they seem fine but not overwhelmingly sophisticated.
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