Search found 487 matches

by mesaverde
Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: value of a low cost government 457b
Replies: 4
Views: 712

value of a low cost government 457b

I currently max out a government 457b each year, and contribute to a Fidelity total U.S. stock market index fund in it (expense ratio .07%). I realize this is a valuable benefit that many employees do not have. I am 40 and hope to use this as a strategy for retiring at age 45-50 without incurring an...
by mesaverde
Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 457(b) vs 403(b) vs Roth IRA Question
Replies: 6
Views: 1842

Re: 457(b) vs 403(b) vs Roth IRA Question

I've contributed to all three types of accounts but am currently maxing out a 457b each year as your wife is doing. To me the 457b is clearly superior because the $ can be withdrawn at ANY age upon separation from service, penalty free. Her 403b may not have low cost funds. If it does not have low c...
by mesaverde
Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: .....
Replies: 74
Views: 5798

Re: Favorite National Parks

My favorite experience is a long backpacking trip through the Grand Canyon in the wintertime, which I've done twice. It's the low season, so there are very few people... you feel like you almost have the canyon to yourself! It's also warmer in the canyon than many other places. On the rims, there's ...
by mesaverde
Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: invest in VG taxable account or Fidelity 403b?
Replies: 3
Views: 520

Re: invest in VG taxable account or Fidelity 403b?

One thought: do at least some 403(b) thru age 50. Then roll to Trad IRA and start Roth IRA conversions which will be ideal since you'll have low or no income. After 5 years you can withdraw conversions without penalty (up to age 59.5 then no penalty). Do this every year. By the time you hit 55 you ...
by mesaverde
Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: invest in VG taxable account or Fidelity 403b?
Replies: 3
Views: 520

invest in VG taxable account or Fidelity 403b?

Currently I'm maxing out a government 457b each year (low cost index funds with Fidelity) and investing ~$1,200/month in a Vanguard taxable account. I'm in the 25% federal tax bracket. I'm 40 and my goal is to retire at age 50, when my mortgage (3.25% fixed) will be paid off. I will have a generous ...
by mesaverde
Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vgpmx down 40%, time to buy?
Replies: 36
Views: 8431

Re: Vgpmx down 40%, time to buy?

William Million wrote:Noteworthy how poorly this managed fund lags its benchmark, suggesting inept fund management.
According to the numbers on Morningstar.com, this fund (VGPMX) has outperformed stocks in its category for most time periods.
by mesaverde
Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: pay off .9% car loan with lump sum or invest?
Replies: 4
Views: 595

Re: pay off .9% car loan with lump sum or invest?

Thank you for the feedback. I'm leaning towards keeping the loan. Perhaps I'll just put it on autopayments so it's less hassle and forget about it. It's a good feeling knowing the loan can be paid off at any time, while earning more than .9%.
by mesaverde
Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: pay off .9% car loan with lump sum or invest?
Replies: 4
Views: 595

pay off .9% car loan with lump sum or invest?

I recently bought a new Honda Fit and plan to drive it "until the wheels fall off" (as I did with my last car, which I drove to 272,000 miles). I have the cash to pay for the car in full, sitting in a Vanguard Prime money market account. But at the last moment I decided to finance the car ...
by mesaverde
Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing - when to pay down principal?
Replies: 7
Views: 1397

Re: Refinancing - when to pay down principal?

hello, I also had a 30 year fixed FHA loan that began in 2010, at 4.75%. In late 2011, I was able to do a no cost refinance to a 15 year fixed loan @ 3.25%. I paid the 30 year FHA loan balance down (adding additional principal to an online payment) to avoid mortgage insurance on the new 15 year loan...
by mesaverde
Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Frustrated with the 403b options at my [NJ] school district
Replies: 36
Views: 6840

Re: Venting: Frustrated with the options at my school distri

hi eschaef, I am a teacher and went through the same thing you are going through years ago. This is what I did: 1. went and spoke at a school board meeting about adding low cost 457b and 403b vendors, and showed them in diagrams/statistics just how damn expensive the annuities are. 2. followed up wi...
by mesaverde
Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Affirm my logic - 457 over a 403b
Replies: 19
Views: 4437

Re: Affirm my logic - 457 over a 403b

hello NHRATA01, I've been maxing out a government 457b plan (as opposed to 403b) for years because of the clear advantage of the 457- one can withdraw penalty free at ANY age upon separation from service. Translation= as soon as you think you have enough saved, you have the option of retiring, perha...
by mesaverde
Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VG high yield tax exempt vs. USAA VA bond fund
Replies: 13
Views: 1137

Re: VG high yield tax exempt vs. USAA VA bond fund

Thank you everyone for the feedback. I'm leaning towards the Vanguard fund because: 1. I don't have an account with USAA or T Rowe Price, and buying their funds through Vanguard "fund access" involves more red tape than buying the Vanguard fund directly ($20 purchase fee for the T Rowe Pri...
by mesaverde
Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VG high yield tax exempt vs. USAA VA bond fund
Replies: 13
Views: 1137

Re: VG high yield tax exempt vs. USAA VA bond fund

Bob's not my name wrote:
mesaverde wrote:I itemize
5.75% * (1 - 25%) = 4.3%
hi Bob's Not My Name,
Could you explain this math? Thanks!
by mesaverde
Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VG high yield tax exempt vs. USAA VA bond fund
Replies: 13
Views: 1137

Re: VG high yield tax exempt vs. USAA VA bond fund

livesoft wrote:Is this a trick question? It seems one fund will be better by 5.75% times the yield, but I am not going to tell you which one.
Thank you for the feedback livesoft... my main concern is the difference in expense ratio (the Vanguard fund is at .20% and the USAA fund is .55%)
by mesaverde
Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VG high yield tax exempt vs. USAA VA bond fund
Replies: 13
Views: 1137

VG high yield tax exempt vs. USAA VA bond fund

hello, I am trying to decide whether to invest in the Vanguard high yield tax exempt fund (VWAHX) or USAA Virginia bond fund (USVAX). I am in the 25% federal tax bracket and pay 5.75% in Virginia state taxes. In comparing the two funds, they both appear to have similar yields and their credit qualit...
by mesaverde
Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 Year Refi For Young Cople
Replies: 13
Views: 1612

Re: 15 Year Refi For Young Cople

I had the same FHA 30 year loan you have and refinanced to a 15 year loan at a much lower interest rate. It's a win-win situation: you won't waste any more money on PMI AND you will pay much less interest. But don't take anyone's word for it... run the numbers for yourself! Here's perhaps the best c...
by mesaverde
Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: which bond fund (to pay mortgage in the future)
Replies: 20
Views: 1617

Re: which bond fund (to pay mortgage in the future)

I would like to invest in a bond fund (in a taxable account) with the goal of using these funds to pay down/off my mortgage sometime in the future. I am in the 25% federal tax bracket and pay 5.75% in Virginia state taxes. The mortgage I have is a 15 year fixed @ 3.25%. There are 14 years left on t...
by mesaverde
Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: which bond fund (to pay mortgage in the future)
Replies: 20
Views: 1617

Re: which bond fund (to pay mortgage in the future)

JDCPAEsq wrote:Why don't you just make principal payments on the mortgage rather than putting the money in a bond fund?
John
I prefer to have the money in a liquid state. I know this is a personal choice which is often discussed on this forum.
by mesaverde
Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: which bond fund (to pay mortgage in the future)
Replies: 20
Views: 1617

which bond fund (to pay mortgage in the future)

I would like to invest in a bond fund (in a taxable account) with the goal of using these funds to pay down/off my mortgage sometime in the future. I am in the 25% federal tax bracket and pay 5.75% in Virginia state taxes. The mortgage I have is a 15 year fixed @ 3.25%. There are 14 years left on th...
by mesaverde
Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Extra $- Roth IRA conversions or pay down mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1349

Re: Extra $- Roth IRA conversions or pay down mortgage?

The OP has indicated he will have no income for the first fifteen years of retirement. He has also said he's not sure he'll be in a lower bracket then. Those statements are incompatible. We must be missing an essential piece of information. I'm maxing out a government 457b each year to have as a pe...
by mesaverde
Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Extra $- Roth IRA conversions or pay down mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1349

Re: Extra $- Roth IRA conversions or pay down mortgage?

If I begin to use the extra $1,000/month to pay down the mortgage to the point where I would not need to pay PMI any longer, it will take 12 months to reach that point, and I would only save $500 or so in PMI (actually less, because I can deduct PMI from income taxes). If I use the extra $1,000 a mo...
by mesaverde
Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Extra $- Roth IRA conversions or pay down mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1349

Re: Extra $- Roth IRA conversions or pay down mortgage?

Here's what I would do with the extra $1K a month if I were you: 1. Pay down the mortgage until you no longer have to pay PMI. 2. Save enough in taxable to pay taxes on the $55K conversion. 3. Split the rest. Half paying extra on the mortgage and half in taxable for retirement. Do you have an emerg...
by mesaverde
Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Extra $- Roth IRA conversions or pay down mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1349

Extra $- Roth IRA conversions or pay down mortgage?

e


I'll also be able to start drawing a full pension starting at age 65, which will be ~$37k/year, increasing each year with inflation. I'd probably be able to defer social security until a late age.



Any feedback/thoughts would be much appreciated!
by mesaverde
Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do about bad 457(b) plans?
Replies: 39
Views: 9843

Re: What to do about crappy 457(b) plans?

I was in your shoes, maxing out a Valic 457b with the expectation that I would continue to do so for the next 10 years. However, with some prodding my employer just added Fidelity as a 457b option and this week I transferred the Valic 457b to a Fidelity 457b. Are you investing directly in mutual fun...
by mesaverde
Tue May 22, 2012 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: contribute to Valic Gov. 457b or Fidelity 403b??
Replies: 5
Views: 670

Re: contribute to Valic Gov. 457b or Fidelity 403b??

have you run any sorts of numbers to see when you could start drawing your pension and how much you'd get at various ages? Retiring at 50 is pretty aggressive, you may need to contribute to BOTH funds... it obviously depends on how big your portfolio is now.But I don't really study up on early reti...
by mesaverde
Mon May 21, 2012 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: contribute to Valic Gov. 457b or Fidelity 403b??
Replies: 5
Views: 670

contribute to Valic Gov. 457b or Fidelity 403b??

My employer recently added Fidelity as a 403b option. After contributing the maximum amount to a Vanguard Roth IRA each year, I’m able to contribute the maximum amount- $17,000, to either a 403b or government 457b. There is no employer match in either plan. I’m currently contributing $17,000/year to...
by mesaverde
Fri May 11, 2012 4:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: contribute to Roth IRA or 457b?
Replies: 15
Views: 3133

Re: contribute to Roth IRA or 457b?

Quick comments based on little information: VSTIX Valic S&P 500 index fund (ER .38%) <--not bad VMIDX Valic mid cap index fund (ER .39%) <--not bad VCSLX Valic small cap index fund (ER .44%) <--not too bad, can probably do better VCCBX Valic core bond fund (ER .77%) <--can almost certainly do b...
by mesaverde
Thu May 10, 2012 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: contribute to Roth IRA or 457b?
Replies: 15
Views: 3133

Re: contribute to Roth IRA or 457b?

Quick comments based on little information: VSTIX Valic S&P 500 index fund (ER .38%) <--not bad VMIDX Valic mid cap index fund (ER .39%) <--not bad VCSLX Valic small cap index fund (ER .44%) <--not too bad, can probably do better VCCBX Valic core bond fund (ER .77%) <--can almost certainly do b...
by mesaverde
Thu May 10, 2012 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: contribute to Roth IRA or 457b?
Replies: 15
Views: 3133

Re: contribute to Roth IRA or 457b?

livesoft wrote:Use your emergency fund money to contribute to a Roth and invest it conservatively since it is your emergency fund. In other words, your Roth will hold your emergency fund.
Yes, I'm doing this already... in fact, the majority of my emergency fund consists of Roth IRA contributions.
by mesaverde
Thu May 10, 2012 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: contribute to Roth IRA or 457b?
Replies: 15
Views: 3133

Re: contribute to Roth IRA or 457b?

Is this a government 457b plan? It has to be a government 457b plan to allow withdrawals early if you retire at 50. Also, are there other investment choices in the 457b plan? Yes, it's a government 457 plan (I am a public school teacher). There really aren't any other low cost investment choices......
by mesaverde
Wed May 09, 2012 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: contribute to Roth IRA or 457b?
Replies: 15
Views: 3133

Re: contribute to Roth IRA or 457b?

How much do you have in your portfolio already? If you aren't able to max both of those at your age, are you saving enough to make your goal of retiring in approximately ten years? That's a very aggressive plan. Brian The reason I posted this is because it will be a challenge to contribute to both ...
by mesaverde
Wed May 09, 2012 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: contribute to Roth IRA or 457b?
Replies: 15
Views: 3133

contribute to Roth IRA or 457b?

Hello, I'm able to contribute to either a Roth IRA or 457b through my employer, but not both. I have a sufficient emergency fund already. The benefit of contributing to the 457b is that I could retire earlier... there are no penalties for withdrawing the money at any age after retiring from my emplo...
by mesaverde
Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: bond fund to invest in (as opposed to paying down mortgage)
Replies: 2
Views: 386

bond fund to invest in (as opposed to paying down mortgage)

hello, I recently refinanced to a 15 year fixed mortgage, with an interest rate of 3.25% . After federal and state tax deductions, the effective interest rate is just 2.3% . Each month I am making significant extra cash that could be used to pay down this mortgage. I am already contributing 25% of m...
by mesaverde
Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: financial situation: girlfriend/boyfriend moving in together
Replies: 5
Views: 821

financial situation: girlfriend/boyfriend moving in together

hello, My girlfriend & I are in our 30's, have stable professional careers, are fully committed to each other for a long term relationship, and are deeply in love. We've both been married and divorced once, and don't really plan to get married again or have kids (neither of us has kids). We both...
by mesaverde
Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Both 403b and 457?
Replies: 9
Views: 2171

Re: Both 403b and 457?

Based on your advice, I will definitely add a 457 and perhaps reduce my cash/emergency fund even more, especially considering that I will have access if I lose my job. I would like the implement the idea from the wiki about placing cash needs in a tax-advantaged account. FYI, the NYS Deferred Compe...
by mesaverde
Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Both 403b and 457?
Replies: 9
Views: 2171

Re: Both 403b and 457?

If your expense ratios are anywhere close to equal in the 403b and 457b plans, the 457b wins hands down. It's pretty simple: the more you're able to contribute to the 457b, the earlier you should be able to retire. That's because there's no 10% early withdrawal penalty on a 457b (as there is with a ...
by mesaverde
Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-nup?
Replies: 205
Views: 25002

Better yet, don't get married unless you have a specific reason to do so. Couples can be committed, faithful, and completely in love without being married. Marriage is a legal contract with potential negative results if things go wrong and it ends in divorce.
by mesaverde
Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pimco's Gross Acknowledges 'Mistake' On Treasurys Bet -FT
Replies: 54
Views: 7823

The perfect example of manager risk.
On top of that, those who invest in this fund pay a higher price for manager risk!
by mesaverde
Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do so many in US choose 30 year fixed rate mortgage?
Replies: 55
Views: 8200

For someone young, in their 20's or early 30's, a 30 year mortgage often makes sense because of the lower payments and mortgage interest deduction. For many young adults, they may be stretching it just to make payments on a 30 year mortgage. Also, many (most?) countries outside the U.S. don't allow ...
by mesaverde
Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Three refi quotes, which mortage dealer to choose?
Replies: 3
Views: 1007

I'm in the process of refinancing also. Today I filled out an online application with First Internet Bank. There are some positive comments about them here on Bogleheads. You may want to do a search and read up on them.
by mesaverde
Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why such a negative view on mortgage insurance?
Replies: 9
Views: 1360

I understand the arguments against paying PMI. In my particular situation, I am paying $100/month in PMI. In my Roth IRA with Vanguard, I could withdraw the contributions in order to bring the loan to value ratio to 78% and stop paying this PMI. But I like the peace of mind of having the $ there eit...
by mesaverde
Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why such a negative view on mortgage insurance?
Replies: 9
Views: 1360

Why such a negative view on mortgage insurance?

I've read this forum for years and have read time and time again that one should put 20% down when purchasing a home (in order to avoid mortgage insurance). As if this applies to everyone, in every situation. For many lower/middle class incomes, saving a 20% down payment can be a difficult task, per...
by mesaverde
Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning Spanish?
Replies: 58
Views: 8378

I'm a gringo and have learned Spanish pretty well. I often travel to Latin America on my own; in that way, I am constantly speaking Spanish in a variety of situations. Ideally, immersion is the best, but you said that isn't possible so here are some suggestions: 1. If possible, make friends whose 1s...
by mesaverde
Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My 457
Replies: 5
Views: 1235

Re: My 457

I'm so glad I found this site. I've been funding my 457 plan with Metlife (varaible annuity product) for the last several years and, in my opinion, paying excessive fees. I was in their cheapest s&p index fund ( actually it's called a sub account) and still paying over 1.6%. I just switched my ...
by mesaverde
Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: which bond fund to invest in?
Replies: 4
Views: 767

Could you not open a Roth-IRA outside this plan, and then use whichever bond fund you like? Yes, but I hope to retire at age ~50 and will depend on this plan for ~10 years before reaching age 59.5, when penalty-free distributions can be made from other retirement accounts. Given that, a bond fund i...
by mesaverde
Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: which bond fund to invest in?
Replies: 4
Views: 767

which bond fund to invest in?

Hello, I contribute to a 457b. For stocks, I'm only investing in index funds. But there are no bond index funds. The lowest cost intermediate bond funds (load waived) are: PTTAX Pimco Total Return .90% ER, 430% turnover VCCBX Valic Core Bond Fund .77 ER, 82% turnover VCGSX Valic Government Securitie...
by mesaverde
Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone here NOT like traveling?
Replies: 153
Views: 17423

I'm a public school teacher. For 15 years I've traveled outside the US several times a year. I can honestly say that, despite the hassle and high cost, spending periods of time outside the US has overall been an enriching and educational experience. It helps to satisfy my curiosity about other cultu...
by mesaverde
Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: pay .60% ER for an index fund???
Replies: 7
Views: 1689

Re: pay .60% ER for an index fund???

In my employer's government 457b plan, the international fund offerings are not so great . The two best options appear to be: REREX American Funds Euro Pacific Fund (ER .86%) DIISX Dreyfus International Index (MSCI EAFE) fund (ER .60%) There appear to be pros and cons for both funds: REREX pro : Ha...
by mesaverde
Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: pay .60% ER for an index fund???
Replies: 7
Views: 1689

pay .60% ER for an index fund???

In my employer's government 457b plan, the international fund offerings are not so great. The two best options appear to be: REREX American Funds Euro Pacific Fund (ER .86%) DIISX Dreyfus International Index (MSCI EAFE) fund (ER .60%) There appear to be pros and cons for both funds: REREX pro : Has ...
by mesaverde
Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: increasing # of federal allowances
Replies: 14
Views: 5130

increasing # of federal allowances

Hello, In 2010 I purchased my first home. I will be itemizing deductions for 2010 taxes. From the mortgage interest deduction alone, I will be receiving a refund of ~$2,400. During 2010 I had claimed 2 federal allowances on form W-4. So, perhaps I can avoid getting such a large refund by claiming mo...