Search found 1642 matches

by archbish99
Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transfering money from a 401 k to ROTH
Replies: 6
Views: 699

Re: Transfering money from a 401 k to ROTH

No way to avoid it being taxed eventually, but you can control the timing to some extent. Do the math on whether doing a partial conversion (401k to Roth IRA) each year makes sense -- if they're in a lower tax bracket despite the income, it may. If they're in a higher tax bracket, it may not, especi...
by archbish99
Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k max contribution
Replies: 8
Views: 1382

Re: 401k max contribution

You also hit the $49k limit if you're self-employed and you are the employer. You're inclined to be very generous to your employees when they are you. :)
by archbish99
Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k, Roth, or Mutual Funds?
Replies: 8
Views: 766

Re: 401k, Roth, or Mutual Funds?

I'll go out on a limb and say the (X:Y) funds are balanced portfolios comprising X% stocks, Y% bonds. Definitely don't need more than one of those -- if you want to go that direction, pick the one that most reflects the asset allocation you want. You'll particularly want to know the expense ratios o...
by archbish99
Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Investment options through JPMC
Replies: 11
Views: 1052

Re: HSA Investment options through JPMC

You might see whether you have the option for a lump-sum payroll contribution from your first paycheck(s). If so, you could then move the money to a different bank as soon as it's deposited and still get the tax benefit.
by archbish99
Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Refinance from a fixed to an ARM
Replies: 10
Views: 1353

Re: Should I Refinance from a fixed to an ARM

Okay, being more precise now. Assuming that your loan amount is $190k either way, and you intend to pay $1363 in P&I each month either way. (The minimum of $763 for the ARM + $600, assuming the remainder of the amount you mentioned is for T&I.) We'll compare the 5/1 ARM at 2.625% with a max ...
by archbish99
Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Refinance from a fixed to an ARM
Replies: 10
Views: 1353

Re: Should I Refinance from a fixed to an ARM

In general, I would side with fixed vs. ARM. However, let's do some back-of-the-envelope math.... 5/1 ARM: $24k in interest during first 5 years (actually less, with your principal prepayments), then interest goes to max of 7.625% Fixed at 4.625%: $44k in interest during first 5 years (again ignorin...
by archbish99
Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping store receipts - an addiction?
Replies: 23
Views: 1913

Re: Keeping store receipts - an addiction?

We go through the receipts roughly weekly, matching them up to downloaded transactions. After they've cleared online, we recycle them. We do run into the occasional mischarge -- a $20 meal with a $20 tip, for example. Mostly, though, it's just to simplify keeping Quicken up to date -- if something h...
by archbish99
Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help choosing Trad 401(k) vs. Roth 401(k)
Replies: 4
Views: 594

Re: Help choosing Trad 401(k) vs. Roth 401(k)

A couple options to consider: Most 401k plans allow former employees to remain given that they have a certain minimum balance. At my employer, that's only $3,000. Check the plan rules for this. No new contributions, obviously, but existing money gets to stick around. You may have to pay a maintenanc...
by archbish99
Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Alternatives to Quicken
Replies: 15
Views: 5608

Re: Alternatives to Quicken

I have heard good things about YNAB (youneedabudget.com), however, they don't track investment accounts -- they're strictly focused on cash flow. I think I'd be okay with that, since I tend to keep track of my investments in Excel anyway -- your needs may be different.
by archbish99
Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I understand HSAs correctly?
Replies: 21
Views: 2293

Re: Do I understand HSAs correctly?

Basically, there are a couple options for getting money in: Employer contribution - you get the money as part of your health plan; defrays your deductible. Completely tax-free compensation, but counts toward the maximum HSA contribution for the year (i.e. reduces how much you can put in) Payroll ded...
by archbish99
Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many years of Cash Needed ?...........
Replies: 22
Views: 2510

Re: How many years of Cash Needed ?...........

You may want to consider a little more. You shield yourself a good bit from downturns by having enough cash on hand that you need not sell things at a loss. In good times, sell to rebalance and provide your living cash. In bad times, don't sell anything and draw down cash while the market recovers. ...
by archbish99
Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ESPP - Timing the transaction for optimal gains?
Replies: 8
Views: 738

Re: ESPP - Timing the transaction for optimal gains?

But I think you're missing something.... As far as I understand it, the ESPP discount is always taxed at the marginal rate, no matter how long you hold it. If you hold out until it's a qualifying disposition, you're eligible to reduce the discount to the amount of your capital gain if the stock went...
by archbish99
Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New fee schedule at HSA bank
Replies: 53
Views: 13356

Re: New fee schedule at HSA bank

I think what MoneyOCD is proposing the same thing I intend in the future. Not closing the account, but moving funds from an employer-sponsored account (no fees, but poor investment options) to somewhere with better investment choices. Particularly makes sense if your employer allows a lump-sum inves...
by archbish99
Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: openning a a roth ira
Replies: 7
Views: 816

Re: openning a a roth ira

And if your tax situation is less simple, there are more complicated worksheets. :wink:

My wife and I claim 11 exemptions on my W-4. Nothing illegal about it, so long as I don't owe much come tax time.
by archbish99
Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $54K Tax Advantaged Space Per Year
Replies: 25
Views: 3950

Re: $54K Tax Advantaged Space Per Year

I wish I had this option in theory, but our plan doesn't allow in-service withdrawals. I could do this the year I know I'm quitting, since I could theoretically do the roll-over as soon as I've left the company. Wouldn't work so well to contribute all along and wait until I leave, since I'd be accru...
by archbish99
Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Questions regarding marriage, taxes, and Roth IRAs
Replies: 7
Views: 595

Re: Questions regarding marriage, taxes, and Roth IRAs

Don't know much about the Foreign Earned Income, but I believe the answer is yes to both. A non-working spouse can make IRA contributions based on the working spouse's income, and you are married so will qualify will for the married brackets. While there are situations where it happens, it's rare fo...
by archbish99
Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Complete beginner question
Replies: 5
Views: 650

Re: Complete beginner question

You sound like you might be interested in the Early Retirement Extreme blog. The gist of his plan is that of you cut expenses drastically and invest 75% of your after-tax income, you can invest very conservatively and get enough return to maintain that lifestyle indefinitely. Whether you want to mai...
by archbish99
Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New fee schedule at HSA bank
Replies: 53
Views: 13356

Re: New fee schedule at HSA bank

Well, I admittedly have a slight advantage in that the max contribution per year is $1,250 greater than my HDHP's max out-of-pocket for the year. If we max out the account, I'm guaranteed to accrue at least $1,250/year that we won't need for immediate expenses. That $1,250 is investible, in my eyes....
by archbish99
Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New fee schedule at HSA bank
Replies: 53
Views: 13356

Re: New fee schedule at HSA bank

And for those of us who are also paying expenses out of the HSA, it seems like we'd need enough that we still end the year at $5,000 too. Yuck. My hope was to keep our out-of-pocket maximum in cash and invest the excess. This sounds like I should keep the OOP max plus $5,000 , or at least close enou...
by archbish99
Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fund Options in UMB HSA
Replies: 2
Views: 483

Re: Fund Options in UMB HSA

We at least have the option of making our contribution as a lump-sum out of the first paycheck. That would help with doing a rollover. Probably won't do it this year (want to keep the max OOP in cash, won't have much to invest on top of that), but I'll definitely look at that next year if the fund o...
by archbish99
Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Impact of Aging on Financial Mgt.
Replies: 24
Views: 2039

Re: Impact of Aging on Financial Mgt.

Yeah.... This is exactly the bane of my family. If I look over the last 15 years of my investing I see that there have been a lot of down turns That I’m trying to avoid now so I stay agile and trade a lot, besides I enjoy trying to beat the market. I think that over the long run the IBD approach is ...
by archbish99
Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing for a 5 million dollar trust
Replies: 21
Views: 2322

Re: Investing for a 5 million dollar trust

You may want to look at Vanguard's trust services -- there's an option where they'll handle all the paperwork and investments, leaving the actual decisions on distributions to you/your successor trustees. https://personal.vanguard.com/us/LiteratureRequest?FW_Activity=ViewOnlineActivity&litID=221...
by archbish99
Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP health insurance for chronically unhealthy
Replies: 19
Views: 2459

Re: HDHP health insurance for chronically unhealthy

No -- FSAs are different. They used to have either a really high limit, or the limit was set by the employer. The government is now limiting how much you can set aside that way.

HSAs have a limit which, like the IRA and 401k limits, goes up with inflation each year.
by archbish99
Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2012 Health Insurance Increases Thread
Replies: 32
Views: 4444

Re: 2012 Health Insurance Increases Thread

How much they pay, don't know yet. How much we pay, none. They're actually expanding benefits (adding opposite-sex domestic partners and their children as eligible dependents). Of our three plans: The PPO plan changed from "major changes coming in 2013, possibly including termination" to &...
by archbish99
Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP health insurance for chronically unhealthy
Replies: 19
Views: 2459

Re: HDHP health insurance for chronically unhealthy

Exactly -- the HDHP is required to have a total out-of-pocket and pay 100% beyond that. Many HMOs or PPOs will continue to charge co-pays on some things forever, with no actual cap on how much you pay. If you use hardly any healthcare, the HSA wins hands down. If you know you'll max out the HDHP, it...
by archbish99
Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRA Necessary when 401k is at Vanguard?
Replies: 9
Views: 1004

Re: IRA Necessary when 401k is at Vanguard?

If the 401k has all the funds you want, stick with it until you hit the limit. You're actually likely to be getting Institutional share classes with similar or better ERs than Admiral class, but with no minimum from you. Take it! You'll want an IRA if: You exceed the 401k limit and need more tax-adv...
by archbish99
Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TreasuryDirect Wakes to 21st Century
Replies: 34
Views: 7211

Re: TreasuryDirect Wakes to 21st Century

I log in rarely enough that every time I do, I lock myself out and have to call to unlock my account.

That's the most secure option -- you have to call, speak to an agent (during east coast business hours, of course) and verify your identity before signing in online. That's the ticket!
by archbish99
Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fund Options in UMB HSA
Replies: 2
Views: 483

Fund Options in UMB HSA

We're considering whether to switch to the HDHP/HSA plan our employer offers next year. While the main consideration is increased health care costs vs. tax savings on the cash we can shelter, the other thing that makes me a little nervous are my investing options within the HSA. While I know that I ...
by archbish99
Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are you doing YTD?
Replies: 68
Views: 5447

90% stocks, 10% TIPS, -1.9%. Not too bad, given the year we've had.
by archbish99
Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: company stock as part of my AA?
Replies: 21
Views: 1569

I have two forms of stock-based benefits: The ESPP, I invest in as much as I can and sell almost immediately when I get the shares. I take the (known, independent of the stock price) 11% profit each quarter and get it to better-diversified investments. To the best of my understanding (the rules are ...
by archbish99
Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A few tax questions
Replies: 1
Views: 361

If they have capital gains, they distribute the gain to the shareholders and report the distribution on form 1099. Most ETFs, however, are able to minimize such distributions based on how ETFs are structured.

Moving from country to country can get tricky -- I'll stay out of that one.
by archbish99
Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to shorten the life of a mortgage
Replies: 35
Views: 4378

Watch the interest rate on high-yield CDs (5yr is currently 1.98% at Ally). When that's above your mortgage rate, take out a CD every month (or quarterly or whatever) with the money rather than paying down your mortgage. When it's below your mortgage rate, as it is now, pay down principal with that ...
by archbish99
Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: To Roth or Not?
Replies: 13
Views: 1436

Thanks for the diverse perspectives here.... My effective tax rate is generally 6-8% from previous years (maybe increased a bit due to the Roth contributions this year). If my retirement income is semi-comparable to what I make and spend now, minus the mortgage interest deduction, it doesn't seem un...
by archbish99
Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement options for low-income self-employed spouse?
Replies: 1
Views: 480

Retirement options for low-income self-employed spouse?

The bulk of our income comes from my salary, and the bulk of our retirement savings has been in my 401k at work. However, we're going to be opening a retirement account for my wife in the next month or so. She's self-employed, no employees, with comparatively low income compared to mine. A regular I...
by archbish99
Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: To Roth or Not?
Replies: 13
Views: 1436

You're correct that withholding on bonuses is a flat 25% regardless. The bonus that gets taxed at 15% but withheld at 25% just boosts our refund. (We keep upping our exemptions to capture it, but keep getting big refunds. Nice problem, I guess.) Some estimating last night suggests that switching fro...
by archbish99
Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: The very best use of an HSA?
Replies: 10
Views: 2013

If you don't max out your retirement accounts each year, you can pay medical expenses out of pocket, reimburse yourself for the expenses out of the HSA, put the reimbursement into a Roth. It's a back-door way to make all your medical expenses deductible, rather than subject to the 2% of AGI floor. ...
by archbish99
Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: To Roth or Not?
Replies: 13
Views: 1436

:) yb, that would be the best of all possible worlds, I agree. :) The reality is that the balance of our savings is going to build up our emergency fund until the end of the year. At that point, we'll be diversifying it, probably into more 401k, a Roth IRA, further boosting the mortgage prepayment. ...
by archbish99
Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: To Roth or Not?
Replies: 13
Views: 1436

Yes, but the issue is that your withdrawals spread the whole spectrum -- not taxed (exemptions, deductions), lowest bracket, and on up -- while your deposits are coming from your highest bracket. It's skewed a little more than that by such issues as Social Security taxation and such, but it's starti...
by archbish99
Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: To Roth or Not?
Replies: 13
Views: 1436

To Roth or Not?

I'm sitting right at the border of the 15%-25% tax bracket. We've adjusted our W-2 so that our number of exemptions pretty well maps to our expected deductions. My salary (and thus my regular withholding) land squarely in the 15% bracket. However, my employer is pretty bonus-heavy -- roughly 15% of ...
by archbish99
Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: The very best use of an HSA?
Replies: 10
Views: 2013

Max out the HSA, definitely, assuming you have decent investment options inside. First, the numerically-optimal strategies: If you don't max out your retirement accounts each year, you can pay medical expenses out of pocket, reimburse yourself for the expenses out of the HSA, put the reimbursement i...
by archbish99
Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: .
Replies: 6
Views: 1581

More generally, never seek a home for the mortgage interest deduction. Seek a home because you want to live there. If the mortgage plus property tax minus tax savings is substantially less than the rent of an equivalent house (enough to cover maintenance) or close enough to be worth it to you to be ...
by archbish99
Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Payoff Flub
Replies: 5
Views: 1196

If the account was closed (not just idle), you might also be able to talk to the bank about reversing the NSF fee -- they shouldn't have processed a debit for a closed account.

(I have heard of banks treating a debit on a closed account as an implicit request to re-open it, which boggles my mind.)
by archbish99
Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cobra coverage while switching jobs
Replies: 8
Views: 3968

Also check how your new job's coverage treats pre-existing conditions. Many will waive pre-existing conditions if you've had coverage within a certain period of time. If you have pre-existing conditions you know about, you may need to purchase COBRA if your gap goes beyond that period.
by archbish99
Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: pay off 2nd mortgage with retirement IRA?
Replies: 3
Views: 565

If you're in a lower tax bracket, you might consider withdrawing up to the top of the 15% bracket from the IRA and making a large principal payment each year. You don't want to do it as a lump sump (from a Traditional IRA, at least), because that will push you into a very high tax bracket. If you ha...
by archbish99
Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why no Roth 401K for a 25%/6% Tax Bracket?
Replies: 23
Views: 3229

I lean toward the Roth 401k, because other options on my list are pre-tax regardless. Employer match is pre-tax, regardless of your contribution. That means you're always going to have a decent share of your 401k waiting to be taxed, whatever you choose. My employer is moving us to a HDHP in 2013, a...
by archbish99
Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:09 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Forum Policy [was Roths only for the rich]
Replies: 11
Views: 2303

We can reframe with no reference to any particular private citizen who might or might not ever see his/her views enacted into law. As a hypothetical exercise, how would it change your investment strategy if the temporary 0% capital gains rate were made permanent and applied to another tax bracket or...
by archbish99
Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Contribute new money via AA% or to lagging asset class?
Replies: 7
Views: 1254

I actually do a little bit of a hybrid -- I have two bands. If I'm within 2.5% of my AA, I just contribute based on the AA. That's close enough to just be market gyrations. If I pass the 2.5% band, I start focusing on the lagging class(es) until I'm back inside. If, despite that, I pass a larger ban...
by archbish99
Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much should cat tooth extraction cost?
Replies: 47
Views: 70439

We're also in the Seattle area, and I say count yourself lucky it's so low. Our cat needed all her teeth out (except four canines, two top and two bottom), and the extraction bill came to around $2,000. :? On the other hand (pragmatic side emerging), ours was for a four-year-old cat with an otherwis...
by archbish99
Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: No Taxes From My Pay
Replies: 34
Views: 3250

Incidentally, do not take my word for this, check with your tax advisor. But I don't believe you're allowed to fib on your W-4 form. If filling out the worksheets with correct answers results in your being overwithheld, I think you're supposed to grin and bear it. The form's instructions say that &...
by archbish99
Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do valuations influence future returns, and are they useful?
Replies: 42
Views: 4249

Based on some recent discussions around PE10, I've decided to include it in my asset allocation. My allocation is a function of my age and current PE10 (of the S&P 500). Age sets a target equity allocation; PE10 skews it up if less than 12, down if greater than 20. Between 12 and 20, the age-bas...