Author Topic: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?  (Read 10724 times)

vixenlyvenimous

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Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« on: April 13, 2015, 07:26:40 PM »
Hi Everyone,
My Name is Erin and I have been lurking on MMM for about a month or so (nowhere near caught up, still in beginning of 2012 posts), but I've been thinking about and researching something for a bit, so thought I would ask here.

Is there a good balanced fund that doesn't have a minimum? I know MMM himself has touted the benefits of VBINX through Vanguard, but currently $3000 minimum is out of my reach. I make about $12/hour and my husband is currently employed (we're both working on bettering the financial situation, but in the meantime, at least I have a job that pays the bills). So with that being said, I have about $50-100 month AFTER my 401k Contributions, Taxes, and our Roth IRA contributions to put in the NON tax advantaged account. I know that's not a lot, but I would like to get the money we DO have working for us as soon as possible and I like the idea of a fund that is balanced with stock/bond for help in the risk management side.

So are there any good options that DON'T have the hefty minimum start/maintain balances?  I use Sharebuilder because I have my checking at Capital one 360, so it makes it convenient to just transfer money over to the investment accounts, and while I would transfer the money I have every month, but would set up my automatic investing to buy shares once every couple months to reduce the amount of transaction fees (3.95 per trade adds up). Any suggestions on what I could put it towards?

If there is already a topic on this or this is somewhere else, please feel free to point it out.

Thanks in advance for the help!

MDM

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 07:30:41 PM »
The various Vanguard target date funds (e.g., https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0699&FundIntExt=INT) have a $1K minimum....

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2015, 07:40:45 PM »
That's good to know. But that's more for IRA, etc, right? I was looking more for the taxable account options.

Currently the $1000 minimum is also a bit too high for us. Until hubby finds a job,  we're running on a pretty tight amount and we're really just getting started in our investments. (Just opened ROTHs this year for us.) So we don't have a ton to throw at it, but wanted something to get us started with what we do have. ARE there any options for people like us in the $50-100 range?

MDM

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2015, 07:51:15 PM »
That's good to know. But that's more for IRA, etc, right? I was looking more for the taxable account options.
You can put a Vanguard fund into a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or a taxable account - no restrictions there.

Quote
Currently the $1000 minimum is also a bit too high for us. Until hubby finds a job,  we're running on a pretty tight amount and we're really just getting started in our investments. (Just opened ROTHs this year for us.) So we don't have a ton to throw at it, but wanted something to get us started with what we do have. ARE there any options for people like us in the $50-100 range?
Don't know if there are good options - might be.  Then again, given your situation, having a cash fund isn't the worst thing in the world.  E.g., you can get 1.05% at GE Capital Bank.

patricles

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2015, 08:10:26 PM »
The minimum to invest in an ETF is just the share price.  Vanguard balanced date funds are just combinations of their total stock and total bond indexes, so you could buy VTI (Vanguard total stock ETF) and BND (Vanguard total bond ETF).  If you open a brokerage with Vanguard there are no commissions to purchase their ETFs.  You could buy one share every month or two when you build up the cash to make a purchase, and then alternate purchases between VTI and BND to get roughly the risk profile you want.

kpd905

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2015, 08:25:07 PM »
Are you maxing out two IRAs and your 401k? If not, do that first. Then worry anout a taxable account after.

MDM

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2015, 08:55:32 PM »
The minimum to invest in an ETF is just the share price
That would indeed be about as low an entry as one might want.  Is the information at https://investor.vanguard.com/etf/fees, however, incorrect?  There it says:
Quote
Minimum investment requirements
   For a new brokerage account
     When you open your Vanguard Brokerage Account, you'll initially need to add at least $3,000 to your settlement fund.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2015, 09:21:12 PM »
I know nothing about it at all, but someone on another thread mentioned that put money into something called 'mango' money and got something like 6%...please don't ask me how. (I'm blond and doing good to remember my name tonight)

But that's the only thing that springs to mind that didn't seem to have minimums (from memory...I dunno maybe it does but probably not the 1k that most funds do).

Although if he's not working I think I'd want to have at least a few months in something easy to get out of, like savings and/or mango.

Good luck,  congrats and WELCOME.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2015, 06:07:55 AM »
Schwab has SCHB. It generally doesn't have very onerous minimums.

frugalnacho

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2015, 07:48:22 AM »
Schwab has SCHB. It generally doesn't have very onerous minimums.

SCHB is just a schwab ETF.  You still need $1,000 minimum to open a brokerage account with schwab though.  Same for vanguard. 

If your intentions are to open a brokerage account and invest in a broad based index fund, you are probably going to need to save up $1,000 before you can actually invest.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2015, 08:02:40 AM »
Schwab has SCHB. It generally doesn't have very onerous minimums.

SCHB is just a schwab ETF.  You still need $1,000 minimum to open a brokerage account with schwab though.  Same for vanguard. 

If your intentions are to open a brokerage account and invest in a broad based index fund, you are probably going to need to save up $1,000 before you can actually invest.

$1000 is a lot less than $3000. OP didn't say what she could do that I saw, just that she couldn't do $3000. Thanks for filling in how much the minimum is.

frugalnacho

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2015, 08:24:13 AM »
It looks like sharebuilder lets you purchase some mutual funds for no fee.  If you log in and click on the "research" tab and then "find investments" -> "investment screener" you can select based on certain criteria.  I did a search for funds with no transaction fee, US equity, open to new investers, less than $999 initial investment, and less than 1% ER.  It returned the following funds, all of which have a minimum investment of $250:

Symbol   Company   Open to New Investors   No   Asset Type   Gross Expense Ratio   Initial Minimum Investment
AFDIX   American Century Fundamental Equity Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   1   250
AFSIX   American Century Focused Growth Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   1   250
ALVIX   American Century Large Company Val Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.85   250
ASQIX   American Century Small Company Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.87   250
BEQGX   American Century Equity Growth Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.67   250
BIGRX   American Century Income & Growth Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.67   250
TWCGX   American Century Growth Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.97   250
TWCIX   American Century Select Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   1   250
TWEIX   American Century Equity Income Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.93   250
TWGTX   American Century All Cap Growth Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   1   250
TWHIX   American Century Heritage Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   1   250
TWVLX   American Century Value Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.98   250

You could buy one of those funds for $250, and keep adding to it until you have enough to meet the minimum requirements for vanguard.  Of course you will get hit with short term capital gains if you decide to liquidate the account once you hit the minimum for vanguard, but at least you could have it in the market until then.

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2015, 09:27:32 AM »
That's good to know. But that's more for IRA, etc, right? I was looking more for the taxable account options.
You can put a Vanguard fund into a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or a taxable account - no restrictions there.

Quote
Currently the $1000 minimum is also a bit too high for us. Until hubby finds a job,  we're running on a pretty tight amount and we're really just getting started in our investments. (Just opened ROTHs this year for us.) So we don't have a ton to throw at it, but wanted something to get us started with what we do have. ARE there any options for people like us in the $50-100 range?
Don't know if there are good options - might be.  Then again, given your situation, having a cash fund isn't the worst thing in the world.  E.g., you can get 1.05% at GE Capital Bank.

You could be right on that. I currently  get 0.75% interest on both checking and savings with the 360 accounts at capital one (formerly ING Direct), so it's a few dollars here and there.  :)

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2015, 09:34:26 AM »
The minimum to invest in an ETF is just the share price.  Vanguard balanced date funds are just combinations of their total stock and total bond indexes, so you could buy VTI (Vanguard total stock ETF) and BND (Vanguard total bond ETF).  If you open a brokerage with Vanguard there are no commissions to purchase their ETFs.  You could buy one share every month or two when you build up the cash to make a purchase, and then alternate purchases between VTI and BND to get roughly the risk profile you want.

That's interesting information. I may have to look into it. I currently use sharebuider, which has no minimums, and have been buying shares of SPY in our Roth IRA. But if there are actually no minimum (or small minimum) options, I will research them. Thank you.

frugalnacho

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2015, 10:13:30 AM »
The minimum to invest in an ETF is just the share price.  Vanguard balanced date funds are just combinations of their total stock and total bond indexes, so you could buy VTI (Vanguard total stock ETF) and BND (Vanguard total bond ETF).  If you open a brokerage with Vanguard there are no commissions to purchase their ETFs.  You could buy one share every month or two when you build up the cash to make a purchase, and then alternate purchases between VTI and BND to get roughly the risk profile you want.

That's interesting information. I may have to look into it. I currently use sharebuider, which has no minimums, and have been buying shares of SPY in our Roth IRA. But if there are actually no minimum (or small minimum) options, I will research them. Thank you.

I'm pretty sure you still need to meet the requirement of $1,000 to open the account in the first place.  I could purchase a single share of vanguard ETF since I already have an account that is above the minimum, but if you don't have an account you need the $1,000 minimum.

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2015, 10:45:28 AM »
Are you maxing out two IRAs and your 401k? If not, do that first. Then worry anout a taxable account after.

Oh, goodness. No. We don't make nearly enough to come even close to maxing them out at the current levels of $5500/year each. But you do bring up a valid point. I could just transfer that extra $50-100 a month to our Roths and work on that. I think my line of thinking was that I wanted to have it in a taxable account to grow because I wanted to be able to take it out at my own leisure (once it's grown, not anytime soon) without being restricted by the gains having to stay in the roth. But logic dictates that if we can't afford to pay the taxes on gains in a taxable account, we can't afford to invest in the taxable account in the first place. (Yet.)

I do contribute 15% to my 401k, but have been considering lowering that percentage because I don't get a company match at all. When I joined, I decided even without the match, it's a good deal to reduce tax liability, etc. Being unemployed, My Husband doesn't have a 401k, but we do both have (some) money in previous employers' 401k that we need to figure out how to roll into our current IRA accounts so we can actually keep track of them.

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2015, 10:47:19 AM »
I know nothing about it at all, but someone on another thread mentioned that put money into something called 'mango' money and got something like 6%...please don't ask me how. (I'm blond and doing good to remember my name tonight)

But that's the only thing that springs to mind that didn't seem to have minimums (from memory...I dunno maybe it does but probably not the 1k that most funds do).

Although if he's not working I think I'd want to have at least a few months in something easy to get out of, like savings and/or mango.

Good luck,  congrats and WELCOME.

Thank you for the welcome. ;)

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2015, 11:03:02 AM »
Schwab has SCHB. It generally doesn't have very onerous minimums.

SCHB is just a schwab ETF.  You still need $1,000 minimum to open a brokerage account with schwab though.  Same for vanguard. 

If your intentions are to open a brokerage account and invest in a broad based index fund, you are probably going to need to save up $1,000 before you can actually invest.

$1000 is a lot less than $3000. OP didn't say what she could do that I saw, just that she couldn't do $3000. Thanks for filling in how much the minimum is.

I am currently able to throw about $50-100/month to things AFTER my 401k, taxes and roth contributions. We know we won't be this low forever, just a setback since we were both laid off last year in November and he hasn't found anything yet. (I took the job [call center] I have now to keep us afloat but will be looking for something else once he has something.) But I think I may actually throw that extra funding toward our IRAs instead for the moment.

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2015, 11:06:44 AM »
It looks like sharebuilder lets you purchase some mutual funds for no fee.  If you log in and click on the "research" tab and then "find investments" -> "investment screener" you can select based on certain criteria.  I did a search for funds with no transaction fee, US equity, open to new investers, less than $999 initial investment, and less than 1% ER.  It returned the following funds, all of which have a minimum investment of $250:

Symbol   Company   Open to New Investors   No   Asset Type   Gross Expense Ratio   Initial Minimum Investment
AFDIX   American Century Fundamental Equity Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   1   250
AFSIX   American Century Focused Growth Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   1   250
ALVIX   American Century Large Company Val Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.85   250
ASQIX   American Century Small Company Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.87   250
BEQGX   American Century Equity Growth Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.67   250
BIGRX   American Century Income & Growth Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.67   250
TWCGX   American Century Growth Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.97   250
TWCIX   American Century Select Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   1   250
TWEIX   American Century Equity Income Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.93   250
TWGTX   American Century All Cap Growth Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   1   250
TWHIX   American Century Heritage Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   1   250
TWVLX   American Century Value Inv   Yes   No   U.S. Equity   0.98   250

You could buy one of those funds for $250, and keep adding to it until you have enough to meet the minimum requirements for vanguard.  Of course you will get hit with short term capital gains if you decide to liquidate the account once you hit the minimum for vanguard, but at least you could have it in the market until then.

Wow, interesting. Thanks for the info. I use the fund finder tab sometimes and then get overwhelmed and just log out. That whole analysis paralysis thing. I'll look into these options as well. Thanks!

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2015, 11:13:30 AM »
The minimum to invest in an ETF is just the share price.  Vanguard balanced date funds are just combinations of their total stock and total bond indexes, so you could buy VTI (Vanguard total stock ETF) and BND (Vanguard total bond ETF).  If you open a brokerage with Vanguard there are no commissions to purchase their ETFs.  You could buy one share every month or two when you build up the cash to make a purchase, and then alternate purchases between VTI and BND to get roughly the risk profile you want.

That's interesting information. I may have to look into it. I currently use sharebuider, which has no minimums, and have been buying shares of SPY in our Roth IRA. But if there are actually no minimum (or small minimum) options, I will research them. Thank you.

I'm pretty sure you still need to meet the requirement of $1,000 to open the account in the first place.  I could purchase a single share of vanguard ETF since I already have an account that is above the minimum, but if you don't have an account you need the $1,000 minimum.

Yeah, I have seen that when looking around through the sharebuilder account. We may just have to wait it out for a bit. We/I just wanted to get the money that we do have working for us, but it's a little harder to do with minimums. Oh well. C'est la vie. We'll keep plugging along though.

MDM

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2015, 11:14:51 AM »
I think I may actually throw that extra funding toward our IRAs instead for the moment.
+1

Based on your descriptions, this seems a good choice.

frugalnacho

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2015, 11:23:20 AM »
Are you maxing out two IRAs and your 401k? If not, do that first. Then worry anout a taxable account after.

Oh, goodness. No. We don't make nearly enough to come even close to maxing them out at the current levels of $5500/year each. But you do bring up a valid point. I could just transfer that extra $50-100 a month to our Roths and work on that. I think my line of thinking was that I wanted to have it in a taxable account to grow because I wanted to be able to take it out at my own leisure (once it's grown, not anytime soon) without being restricted by the gains having to stay in the roth. But logic dictates that if we can't afford to pay the taxes on gains in a taxable account, we can't afford to invest in the taxable account in the first place. (Yet.)

I do contribute 15% to my 401k, but have been considering lowering that percentage because I don't get a company match at all. When I joined, I decided even without the match, it's a good deal to reduce tax liability, etc. Being unemployed, My Husband doesn't have a 401k, but we do both have (some) money in previous employers' 401k that we need to figure out how to roll into our current IRA accounts so we can actually keep track of them.

Call vanguard, they will guide you through rolling over your previous 401ks into your tIRA.  It's easy, you will just have to find out who holds the previous 401k accounts, and probably sign some paperwork to enable vanguard to do their thing and roll it over.

If you don't get a match on your 401k you are almost certainly better off putting that money into a traditional IRA.   Your fees and expense ratios will be lower in an IRA (especially if you use vanguard and low cost index funds).

If I were you I would open an IRA at vanguard (for you and your spouse) and contribute the first $11k you can invest for retirement in those accounts.  After that you can put money into your 401k.

Money you put into a roth ira can be taken out at any time.  You cannot take out the growth without penalty, but you can take out your initial contribution with no penalty (other than losing that investment opportunity and using your roth contribution - if you put $5.5k in today, you can take out $5.5k at any point in the future, but you obviously lose the future growth potential, and you cannot replace that money - if you take that out you don't get your contribution limit back, it's gone once you initially put your money in).

I don't know how much you make, but it might make sense to skip the tax deferred contributions in part, or in whole, depending on your income.

For example if you are married, and you make $32k/year (both you and your spouse combined) the standard deduction and exemption will bring you down to $12k "taxable income", which will all be in the 10% bracket meaning you owe $12k * 0.10 = $1.2k in taxes.   Putting $2k into an IRA would reduce your income by $2k and qualify you for a tax savers credit worth $1k.  This reduces your taxable income to only $10k, which means taxes would be $1k, and you have a $1k credit meaning you pay $0 federal income tax.   In this scenario you should stop contributing to an IRA and put the rest of your money into a taxable account.

To further clarify about taxable accounts:

If you are in the 15% tax bracket or lower (after adding in your dividends and capital gains as income) then dividends and long term capital gains are taxed at 0%. 

Capital gains are generally only realized when you sell the asset.  If you invest $5k into taxable, and it shoots up to $100k within a few years, you don't need to pay capital gains taxes until you sell it.   Of course if you are in the 15% tax bracket or lower you could always sell the appreciated asset (to the point that you are still in the 15% tax bracket or lower) and lock in those capital gains at 0%.

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2015, 11:26:34 AM »
I think I may actually throw that extra funding toward our IRAs instead for the moment.
+1

Based on your descriptions, this seems a good choice.

Yeah, for now. Sometimes we all get so caught up on thing that we don't see forest through the trees, so to speak. It was someone's question about if we were maxing out the roth that made me think about it again.

But I'll keep all of this in mind. I'm still thinking about the balance in the roths though. They currently only have shares (partial shares) of SPY, which is stock only. Does this matter, or should I be still looking for a stock/bond option?

Thank you so much for the input everyone. I really appreciate it! I have always been good at the frugal/saving part, but investing is a whole other beast that I am slowly learning

frugalnacho

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2015, 11:30:24 AM »
The minimum to invest in an ETF is just the share price.  Vanguard balanced date funds are just combinations of their total stock and total bond indexes, so you could buy VTI (Vanguard total stock ETF) and BND (Vanguard total bond ETF).  If you open a brokerage with Vanguard there are no commissions to purchase their ETFs.  You could buy one share every month or two when you build up the cash to make a purchase, and then alternate purchases between VTI and BND to get roughly the risk profile you want.

That's interesting information. I may have to look into it. I currently use sharebuider, which has no minimums, and have been buying shares of SPY in our Roth IRA. But if there are actually no minimum (or small minimum) options, I will research them. Thank you.

I'm pretty sure you still need to meet the requirement of $1,000 to open the account in the first place.  I could purchase a single share of vanguard ETF since I already have an account that is above the minimum, but if you don't have an account you need the $1,000 minimum.

Yeah, I have seen that when looking around through the sharebuilder account. We may just have to wait it out for a bit. We/I just wanted to get the money that we do have working for us, but it's a little harder to do with minimums. Oh well. C'est la vie. We'll keep plugging along though.

Just to clarify, the ETF usually has no minimum, but the brokerage accounts do.  In your case you already have a sharebuilder account (no minimum required, they will just ding you with transaction costs), and you can buy just a single share of an ETF, but you will get dinged with a transaction fee which will be large enough to negate your entire plan.  Different funds that you can invest in also have their own minimum requirements which are separate from the brokerage requirements.   Even though sharebuilder lets you have an account with no minimum, some of the funds available to you require minimum amounts (like some vanguard funds).  Sharebuilder offers some mutual funds with no transaction fees though (those are the ones I posted - they offer more, but I filtered it down to what I would look for in a fund) and they only require a minimum of $250 to invest in.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 11:31:58 AM by frugalnacho »

Cromacster

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2015, 12:02:59 PM »
The minimum to invest in an ETF is just the share price
That would indeed be about as low an entry as one might want.  Is the information at https://investor.vanguard.com/etf/fees, however, incorrect?  There it says:
Quote
Minimum investment requirements
   For a new brokerage account
     When you open your Vanguard Brokerage Account, you'll initially need to add at least $3,000 to your settlement fund.

There are ways around this.  I don't remember exactly how I did it, but I helped my nephew setup a Brokerage account with Vanguard buying ETF's with only $900.  I also started my first brokerage with vanguard with only $400.  It has something to do with how you bring the money into vanguard.  I will dig around and see how it's done.

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2015, 12:10:00 PM »
Are you maxing out two IRAs and your 401k? If not, do that first. Then worry anout a taxable account after.

Oh, goodness. No. We don't make nearly enough to come even close to maxing them out at the current levels of $5500/year each. But you do bring up a valid point. I could just transfer that extra $50-100 a month to our Roths and work on that. I think my line of thinking was that I wanted to have it in a taxable account to grow because I wanted to be able to take it out at my own leisure (once it's grown, not anytime soon) without being restricted by the gains having to stay in the roth. But logic dictates that if we can't afford to pay the taxes on gains in a taxable account, we can't afford to invest in the taxable account in the first place. (Yet.)

I do contribute 15% to my 401k, but have been considering lowering that percentage because I don't get a company match at all. When I joined, I decided even without the match, it's a good deal to reduce tax liability, etc. Being unemployed, My Husband doesn't have a 401k, but we do both have (some) money in previous employers' 401k that we need to figure out how to roll into our current IRA accounts so we can actually keep track of them.

Call vanguard, they will guide you through rolling over your previous 401ks into your tIRA.  It's easy, you will just have to find out who holds the previous 401k accounts, and probably sign some paperwork to enable vanguard to do their thing and roll it over.

If you don't get a match on your 401k you are almost certainly better off putting that money into a traditional IRA.   Your fees and expense ratios will be lower in an IRA (especially if you use vanguard and low cost index funds).

If I were you I would open an IRA at vanguard (for you and your spouse) and contribute the first $11k you can invest for retirement in those accounts.  After that you can put money into your 401k.

Money you put into a roth ira can be taken out at any time.  You cannot take out the growth without penalty, but you can take out your initial contribution with no penalty (other than losing that investment opportunity and using your roth contribution - if you put $5.5k in today, you can take out $5.5k at any point in the future, but you obviously lose the future growth potential, and you cannot replace that money - if you take that out you don't get your contribution limit back, it's gone once you initially put your money in).

I don't know how much you make, but it might make sense to skip the tax deferred contributions in part, or in whole, depending on your income.

For example if you are married, and you make $32k/year (both you and your spouse combined) the standard deduction and exemption will bring you down to $12k "taxable income", which will all be in the 10% bracket meaning you owe $12k * 0.10 = $1.2k in taxes.   Putting $2k into an IRA would reduce your income by $2k and qualify you for a tax savers credit worth $1k.  This reduces your taxable income to only $10k, which means taxes would be $1k, and you have a $1k credit meaning you pay $0 federal income tax.   In this scenario you should stop contributing to an IRA and put the rest of your money into a taxable account.

To further clarify about taxable accounts:

If you are in the 15% tax bracket or lower (after adding in your dividends and capital gains as income) then dividends and long term capital gains are taxed at 0%. 

Capital gains are generally only realized when you sell the asset.  If you invest $5k into taxable, and it shoots up to $100k within a few years, you don't need to pay capital gains taxes until you sell it.   Of course if you are in the 15% tax bracket or lower you could always sell the appreciated asset (to the point that you are still in the 15% tax bracket or lower) and lock in those capital gains at 0%.

Whoa. My  head is spinning. :)

Currently, I make $12/hour, which is approx. $24,900 or something annually/gross. Between Federal and State (Oregon) taxes, it works out to be something like 25%, so I believe it is 15% Federally. Hubby brings in roughly 200/week after taxes (not sure of the gross since the after tax is just direct deposited to checking) with his unemployment benefits, but that will be ending eventually and we'll be on a tighter budget for a bit. (Though he is about to go to staffing agencies, so we may get lucky and he'll have a regular income.) Before we were laid off, we were making ~40,000 as a couple, so we expect to be AT LEAST at that level when he is fully employed again, and if I remember right, it seemed to be about the same tax RATE when we made that.

So it sounds like, from your opinion, we may be benefitted from skipping the roth, etc..... Do I understand that correctly?

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2015, 12:29:28 PM »
The minimum to invest in an ETF is just the share price.  Vanguard balanced date funds are just combinations of their total stock and total bond indexes, so you could buy VTI (Vanguard total stock ETF) and BND (Vanguard total bond ETF).  If you open a brokerage with Vanguard there are no commissions to purchase their ETFs.  You could buy one share every month or two when you build up the cash to make a purchase, and then alternate purchases between VTI and BND to get roughly the risk profile you want.

That's interesting information. I may have to look into it. I currently use sharebuider, which has no minimums, and have been buying shares of SPY in our Roth IRA. But if there are actually no minimum (or small minimum) options, I will research them. Thank you.

I'm pretty sure you still need to meet the requirement of $1,000 to open the account in the first place.  I could purchase a single share of vanguard ETF since I already have an account that is above the minimum, but if you don't have an account you need the $1,000 minimum.

Yeah, I have seen that when looking around through the sharebuilder account. We may just have to wait it out for a bit. We/I just wanted to get the money that we do have working for us, but it's a little harder to do with minimums. Oh well. C'est la vie. We'll keep plugging along though.

Just to clarify, the ETF usually has no minimum, but the brokerage accounts do.  In your case you already have a sharebuilder account (no minimum required, they will just ding you with transaction costs), and you can buy just a single share of an ETF, but you will get dinged with a transaction fee which will be large enough to negate your entire plan.  Different funds that you can invest in also have their own minimum requirements which are separate from the brokerage requirements.   Even though sharebuilder lets you have an account with no minimum, some of the funds available to you require minimum amounts (like some vanguard funds).  Sharebuilder offers some mutual funds with no transaction fees though (those are the ones I posted - they offer more, but I filtered it down to what I would look for in a fund) and they only require a minimum of $250 to invest in.

Oh yeah, I am aware of those $3.95 (or $6.95 if not on auto invest) transaction fees. I have been buying partial shares of SPY with the funds we have been able to put into the roth accounts, on auto invest, and have recently decided to, at the very least, change to every couple months to save some of those transaction fees themselves. I will have to look into the funds you mentioned.  I just get overwhelmed with trying to pick something,  ha. My approach so far while learning has been the Arnold Schwarzenegger approach---best to just jump in, and make mistakes and get better than to never start at all. :)

frugalnacho

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2015, 12:34:51 PM »
So it sounds like, from your opinion, we may be benefitted from skipping the roth, etc..... Do I understand that correctly?

Pretty much. I don't really see the advantage of a ROTH IRA unless you have very high income, or plan to have very high income in the future (because if your money is in a taxable account, and your income pushes you into the 25% bracket, then your dividends and capital gains are no longer "free" in a taxable account). 

This lists the tax brackets and deductions:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2014/10/30/irs-announces-2015-tax-brackets-standard-deduction-amounts-and-more/

Since you are married and filing jointly, you have a $12,600 standard deduction, and 2 personal exemptions of $4,000 each  ($12,600 + 2X$4,000 = $20,600).  So take the amount of gross income you and your husband will earn in 2015, then subtract off $20,600.  What you are left with is your "taxable income" and you can compare it to the second table in that link.  With the numbers you provided you could be in the 10% or the 15% bracket (really doesn't matter much).  At those income levels the first $50,000 or so of dividends and capital gains will be taxed at 0% for you, so you shouldn't worry that investing in a taxable account is going generate taxable income, because it won't.  You might have to pay state taxes on that though, i'm not sure.

The big benefit to a 401k or traditional IRA to you is going to be reducing your taxable income.  If you put $5k into an IRA (or 401k) that money comes right off the top and you won't have to pay taxes on it (until you withdraw it in the future).  This reduces your tax bill right now and allows you to put more money into investments rather than sending more money to uncle sam. 



« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 12:36:29 PM by frugalnacho »

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2015, 12:38:31 PM »
The minimum to invest in an ETF is just the share price
That would indeed be about as low an entry as one might want.  Is the information at https://investor.vanguard.com/etf/fees, however, incorrect?  There it says:
Quote
Minimum investment requirements
   For a new brokerage account
     When you open your Vanguard Brokerage Account, you'll initially need to add at least $3,000 to your settlement fund.

There are ways around this.  I don't remember exactly how I did it, but I helped my nephew setup a Brokerage account with Vanguard buying ETF's with only $900.  I also started my first brokerage with vanguard with only $400.  It has something to do with how you bring the money into vanguard.  I will dig around and see how it's done.

I think I once read something about self employment accounts have lower/waived minimums, but that wouldn't apply to us currently, but if there are other options for it, I would love to get some info so I can do some research. Thank you. :)

frugalnacho

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2015, 12:43:25 PM »
Oh yeah, I am aware of those $3.95 (or $6.95 if not on auto invest) transaction fees. I have been buying partial shares of SPY with the funds we have been able to put into the roth accounts, on auto invest, and have recently decided to, at the very least, change to every couple months to save some of those transaction fees themselves. I will have to look into the funds you mentioned.  I just get overwhelmed with trying to pick something,  ha. My approach so far while learning has been the Arnold Schwarzenegger approach---best to just jump in, and make mistakes and get better than to never start at all. :)

No doubt you are better off just jumping in and learning rather than doing nothing, but those transaction fees are going to eat your earnings alive.  Especially if you are only investing $100 at a time.  You'd have to earn a 4% return just to cover the cost of that transaction fee.  I think you would probably be better off just setting that money into a savings account until you have the $1,000 minimum required for some funds at vanguard, especially since you already have a balance in your roth account.

neo von retorch

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2015, 12:46:35 PM »
I got an invite to wisebanyan.com, and I don't believe they have any minimum. It's kind of like Betterment - they have a portfolio they invest in. No fees. I think they're still figuring out how to make money, but I think it's kind of like PersonalCapital.com - they give you some free services, but get some whales to buy investment advice from them.
https://www.wisebanyan.com/account/faq/fees/how-does-wisebanyan-make-money
(If you want to try this, I think I can invite you to skip the waiting period.)

Also, when I was first learning, I had a Fidelity account. They have some iShares which are free to trade and come in some varieties that are diverse. I don't believe they have "hidden expense fees" but then I didn't have a lot in them, nor did I hold them for a particularly long time. So they might be worth researching.
https://www.fidelity.com/etfs/ishares

Good example is this 0.07% expense ratio "Total U.S. Stock Market" fund - https://screener.fidelity.com/ftgw/etf/goto/snapshot/snapshot.jhtml?symbols=ITOT
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 01:45:23 PM by neogodless »

oldladystache

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2015, 12:49:00 PM »
From TD Ameritrade:

What is the minimum amount required to open an account?
There is no minimum to open an account; however, a $2,000 deposit is required to be considered for margin and options privileges, regardless of any promotional offer. For more information on options see our Intro to Options video.

And you can buy lots of good ETFs without commissions.

mtn

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2015, 12:53:24 PM »
Do you have an emergency fund? Maybe it would be better not to be contributing more to the IRA/401k/other investments until you have an emergency fund built, if you don't already.

Otherwise, without a match the Vanguard IRA is almost certainly better than the 401k. Not definitely--for instance, my old 401k was entirely in Vanguard at a cost of .07, but in general the 401k will be more expensive. So with that in mind, stop contributing to the 401k and contribute solely to the IRA until it is maxed out for the year.

Roll hubby's old 401k into tIRA, same assumptions as above.

frugalnacho

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2015, 01:00:45 PM »
Do you have an emergency fund? Maybe it would be better not to be contributing more to the IRA/401k/other investments until you have an emergency fund built, if you don't already.

Otherwise, without a match the Vanguard IRA is almost certainly better than the 401k. Not definitely--for instance, my old 401k was entirely in Vanguard at a cost of .07, but in general the 401k will be more expensive. So with that in mind, stop contributing to the 401k and contribute solely to the IRA until it is maxed out for the year.

Roll hubby's old 401k into tIRA, same assumptions as above.

Was your 401k administered by vanguard?  Often 401k plans have an administrative fee that is separate from the individual funds ER.  I can purchase low cost vanguard funds in my 401k, but the plan provider still shaves 1.2% straight off the top.   I can't imagine a scenario where the 401k is a better option unless it's run by vanguard themselves, and they don't charge anything (beyond the funds ER) to administrate the plan.

mtn

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2015, 01:09:08 PM »
Do you have an emergency fund? Maybe it would be better not to be contributing more to the IRA/401k/other investments until you have an emergency fund built, if you don't already.

Otherwise, without a match the Vanguard IRA is almost certainly better than the 401k. Not definitely--for instance, my old 401k was entirely in Vanguard at a cost of .07, but in general the 401k will be more expensive. So with that in mind, stop contributing to the 401k and contribute solely to the IRA until it is maxed out for the year.

Roll hubby's old 401k into tIRA, same assumptions as above.

Was your 401k administered by vanguard?  Often 401k plans have an administrative fee that is separate from the individual funds ER.  I can purchase low cost vanguard funds in my 401k, but the plan provider still shaves 1.2% straight off the top.   I can't imagine a scenario where the 401k is a better option unless it's run by vanguard themselves, and they don't charge anything (beyond the funds ER) to administrate the plan.

No, administered by an HR outsourcing company. But my employer paid all admin fees outside of the actual fund fees, and since the company is a giant (you probably have their products, or have had at some point) they were able to get into an incredibly low cost fund option.

But the match was lousy (a static number for everyone, worked out to less than 3% at my low salary level). Six of one...

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2015, 01:17:38 PM »
So it sounds like, from your opinion, we may be benefitted from skipping the roth, etc..... Do I understand that correctly?

Pretty much. I don't really see the advantage of a ROTH IRA unless you have very high income, or plan to have very high income in the future (because if your money is in a taxable account, and your income pushes you into the 25% bracket, then your dividends and capital gains are no longer "free" in a taxable account). 

This lists the tax brackets and deductions:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2014/10/30/irs-announces-2015-tax-brackets-standard-deduction-amounts-and-more/

Since you are married and filing jointly, you have a $12,600 standard deduction, and 2 personal exemptions of $4,000 each  ($12,600 + 2X$4,000 = $20,600).  So take the amount of gross income you and your husband will earn in 2015, then subtract off $20,600.  What you are left with is your "taxable income" and you can compare it to the second table in that link.  With the numbers you provided you could be in the 10% or the 15% bracket (really doesn't matter much).  At those income levels the first $50,000 or so of dividends and capital gains will be taxed at 0% for you, so you shouldn't worry that investing in a taxable account is going generate taxable income, because it won't.  You might have to pay state taxes on that though, i'm not sure.

The big benefit to a 401k or traditional IRA to you is going to be reducing your taxable income.  If you put $5k into an IRA (or 401k) that money comes right off the top and you won't have to pay taxes on it (until you withdraw it in the future).  This reduces your tax bill right now and allows you to put more money into investments rather than sending more money to uncle sam.

Hmmmmm. Interesting. You know quite a lot about this. I would venture a guess that you're either a tax preparer, or through years of practice have figured it all out.  :)

I was under the (apparently, mistaken) impression that even if you didn't withdraw from it (left it "unrealized"), that gains would incur taxes that had to be paid in the same year, and that sort of freaked me out.  But it sounds like we have the potential to be in a good position while we're in the 10-15% range. I will have to think on this and see what may be doable.  Now if things were easier to choose and jump into, I'd be all set. Seems like the more I read, the more I am like "ahhhhhhhh!!!" But I know I will find something that works for me with some persistence...

MDM

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2015, 01:22:23 PM »
Whoa. My  head is spinning. :)

Currently, I make $12/hour, which is approx. $24,900 or something annually/gross. Between Federal and State (Oregon) taxes, it works out to be something like 25%, so I believe it is 15% Federally. Hubby brings in roughly 200/week after taxes (not sure of the gross since the after tax is just direct deposited to checking) with his unemployment benefits, but that will be ending eventually and we'll be on a tighter budget for a bit. (Though he is about to go to staffing agencies, so we may get lucky and he'll have a regular income.) Before we were laid off, we were making ~40,000 as a couple, so we expect to be AT LEAST at that level when he is fully employed again, and if I remember right, it seemed to be about the same tax RATE when we made that.

So it sounds like, from your opinion, we may be benefitted from skipping the roth, etc..... Do I understand that correctly?
The tax code is complex, and the "best thing to do" very much depends on one's personal situation.

There are some web pages that will help evaluate some "what if?" options:
http://www.paycheckcity.com/calculator/salary/ or
http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/tax-planning/1040-form-tax-calculator.aspx or
https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/calculators/taxcaster/.

You could also do a case study here, or use the spreadsheet linked in the case study sticky to evaluate "what if?" options in private.  E.g., using that spreadsheet for a $40K gross income (no other deductions, etc.) one finds that putting $4,000 into a traditional IRA provides a $2000 Saver's Credit, resulting in $0 federal tax liability for 2015.  But putting only $3,999 into the tIRA drops the Saver's credit to $800 and a $740 federal 2015 tax.  YMMV.

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2015, 01:23:43 PM »
Oh yeah, I am aware of those $3.95 (or $6.95 if not on auto invest) transaction fees. I have been buying partial shares of SPY with the funds we have been able to put into the roth accounts, on auto invest, and have recently decided to, at the very least, change to every couple months to save some of those transaction fees themselves. I will have to look into the funds you mentioned.  I just get overwhelmed with trying to pick something,  ha. My approach so far while learning has been the Arnold Schwarzenegger approach---best to just jump in, and make mistakes and get better than to never start at all. :)

No doubt you are better off just jumping in and learning rather than doing nothing, but those transaction fees are going to eat your earnings alive.  Especially if you are only investing $100 at a time.  You'd have to earn a 4% return just to cover the cost of that transaction fee.  I think you would probably be better off just setting that money into a savings account until you have the $1,000 minimum required for some funds at vanguard, especially since you already have a balance in your roth account.

No doubt. It sounds like that may be our path for a while. Technically we have money in savings (about $2000), but that is our emergency/buffer so until the hubby has a job, obviously we're not going to throw that at investments yet.

frugalnacho

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2015, 01:28:42 PM »
So it sounds like, from your opinion, we may be benefitted from skipping the roth, etc..... Do I understand that correctly?

Pretty much. I don't really see the advantage of a ROTH IRA unless you have very high income, or plan to have very high income in the future (because if your money is in a taxable account, and your income pushes you into the 25% bracket, then your dividends and capital gains are no longer "free" in a taxable account). 

This lists the tax brackets and deductions:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2014/10/30/irs-announces-2015-tax-brackets-standard-deduction-amounts-and-more/

Since you are married and filing jointly, you have a $12,600 standard deduction, and 2 personal exemptions of $4,000 each  ($12,600 + 2X$4,000 = $20,600).  So take the amount of gross income you and your husband will earn in 2015, then subtract off $20,600.  What you are left with is your "taxable income" and you can compare it to the second table in that link.  With the numbers you provided you could be in the 10% or the 15% bracket (really doesn't matter much).  At those income levels the first $50,000 or so of dividends and capital gains will be taxed at 0% for you, so you shouldn't worry that investing in a taxable account is going generate taxable income, because it won't.  You might have to pay state taxes on that though, i'm not sure.

The big benefit to a 401k or traditional IRA to you is going to be reducing your taxable income.  If you put $5k into an IRA (or 401k) that money comes right off the top and you won't have to pay taxes on it (until you withdraw it in the future).  This reduces your tax bill right now and allows you to put more money into investments rather than sending more money to uncle sam.

Hmmmmm. Interesting. You know quite a lot about this. I would venture a guess that you're either a tax preparer, or through years of practice have figured it all out.  :)

I was under the (apparently, mistaken) impression that even if you didn't withdraw from it (left it "unrealized"), that gains would incur taxes that had to be paid in the same year, and that sort of freaked me out.  But it sounds like we have the potential to be in a good position while we're in the 10-15% range. I will have to think on this and see what may be doable.  Now if things were easier to choose and jump into, I'd be all set. Seems like the more I read, the more I am like "ahhhhhhhh!!!" But I know I will find something that works for me with some persistence...

Far from it, I just have an interest in maximizing my investments and minimizing my taxes.  Ashamedly I didn't really start optimizing my finances and taxes until 2014.  Thank god I was not a consumer sucka and was pretty mustachian to start with, so I started in a good position.  This website (specifically this forum) has been a tremendous help.  Other sites I have found through this have helped too (mad fientist, gocurrycracker, bogleheads, a few others i'm forgetting). 

The tax code is complex, but once you understand how it's calculated, and you can apply it to your personal situation, you can really optimize your own situation.  It's difficult for us to tell you EXACTLY how you should do your stuff, because we don't know EXACTLY how much you make, what you qualify for, etc.   

Being on this site and asking these questions automatically puts you ahead of 90% of the population.  You'll be doing fine.

frugalnacho

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2015, 01:30:19 PM »
Whoa. My  head is spinning. :)

Currently, I make $12/hour, which is approx. $24,900 or something annually/gross. Between Federal and State (Oregon) taxes, it works out to be something like 25%, so I believe it is 15% Federally. Hubby brings in roughly 200/week after taxes (not sure of the gross since the after tax is just direct deposited to checking) with his unemployment benefits, but that will be ending eventually and we'll be on a tighter budget for a bit. (Though he is about to go to staffing agencies, so we may get lucky and he'll have a regular income.) Before we were laid off, we were making ~40,000 as a couple, so we expect to be AT LEAST at that level when he is fully employed again, and if I remember right, it seemed to be about the same tax RATE when we made that.

So it sounds like, from your opinion, we may be benefitted from skipping the roth, etc..... Do I understand that correctly?
The tax code is complex, and the "best thing to do" very much depends on one's personal situation.

There are some web pages that will help evaluate some "what if?" options:
http://www.paycheckcity.com/calculator/salary/ or
http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/tax-planning/1040-form-tax-calculator.aspx or
https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/calculators/taxcaster/.

You could also do a case study here, or use the spreadsheet linked in the case study sticky to evaluate "what if?" options in private.  E.g., using that spreadsheet for a $40K gross income (no other deductions, etc.) one finds that putting $4,000 into a traditional IRA provides a $2000 Saver's Credit, resulting in $0 federal tax liability for 2015.  But putting only $3,999 into the tIRA drops the Saver's credit to $800 and a $740 federal 2015 tax.  YMMV.

Exactly.  And if you get tripped up on anything you can always come and ask the forum.  This place is overflowing with useful information.

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2015, 01:36:31 PM »
Do you have an emergency fund? Maybe it would be better not to be contributing more to the IRA/401k/other investments until you have an emergency fund built, if you don't already.

Otherwise, without a match the Vanguard IRA is almost certainly better than the 401k. Not definitely--for instance, my old 401k was entirely in Vanguard at a cost of .07, but in general the 401k will be more expensive. So with that in mind, stop contributing to the 401k and contribute solely to the IRA until it is maxed out for the year.

Roll hubby's old 401k into tIRA, same assumptions as above.

We have about $2000 as a buffer/emergency fund.  IRA is not likely to be able to be maxed out at the $5500/year each but we could put more toward it than we are now if I wasn't contributing to the (useless) 401k. I actually, until February when I opened the 401k, had those funds going to the emergency/savings automatically, so I am thinking at the very least, I'll go back to that while I figure it all out.

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2015, 02:19:42 PM »
Whoa. My  head is spinning. :)

Currently, I make $12/hour, which is approx. $24,900 or something annually/gross. Between Federal and State (Oregon) taxes, it works out to be something like 25%, so I believe it is 15% Federally. Hubby brings in roughly 200/week after taxes (not sure of the gross since the after tax is just direct deposited to checking) with his unemployment benefits, but that will be ending eventually and we'll be on a tighter budget for a bit. (Though he is about to go to staffing agencies, so we may get lucky and he'll have a regular income.) Before we were laid off, we were making ~40,000 as a couple, so we expect to be AT LEAST at that level when he is fully employed again, and if I remember right, it seemed to be about the same tax RATE when we made that.

So it sounds like, from your opinion, we may be benefitted from skipping the roth, etc..... Do I understand that correctly?
The tax code is complex, and the "best thing to do" very much depends on one's personal situation.

There are some web pages that will help evaluate some "what if?" options:
http://www.paycheckcity.com/calculator/salary/ or
http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/tax-planning/1040-form-tax-calculator.aspx or
https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/calculators/taxcaster/.

You could also do a case study here, or use the spreadsheet linked in the case study sticky to evaluate "what if?" options in private.  E.g., using that spreadsheet for a $40K gross income (no other deductions, etc.) one finds that putting $4,000 into a traditional IRA provides a $2000 Saver's Credit, resulting in $0 federal tax liability for 2015.  But putting only $3,999 into the tIRA drops the Saver's credit to $800 and a $740 federal 2015 tax.  YMMV.

Exactly.  And if you get tripped up on anything you can always come and ask the forum.  This place is overflowing with useful information.

It sure is. Just in here people have been so helpful. I like to look at other forums on here randomly as well. Very interesting.

And thank you for the links to run simulations for. I will be looking into those.

vixenlyvenimous

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Re: Good Balanced Fund with no minimum investment?
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2015, 02:28:12 PM »
And I wanted to say, I just changed my contribution to 401k to 0% online, so depending on the processing time, that change will take effect either on my paycheck on the 24th, or on the 1st. (I get paid weekly.) So that will add some extra money to savings while I am figuring this all out, and that $575 that's in the 401k can just sit there and grow until the point I leave this job and roll  it over to an IRA. So, one action step taken.