Author Topic: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?  (Read 7358 times)

Emergo

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Hello, I was just wondering if there is a good Samaritan out there who would be patient enough to answer my investment questions through phone. Posting on this forum is great, but there's just another dynamic when you're having a conversation with someone and you're able to ask all the questions you want to ask when you're talking to them directly.

If anyone is willing, please let me know.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2016, 05:19:00 PM »
You mean... actually talking on it? How old ARE you?

Emergo

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2016, 05:23:55 PM »
You mean... actually talking on it? How old ARE you?

Um... what? I'm 27.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2016, 06:10:37 PM »
Which areas of investing are you looking to discuss?

Quite frankly, reading is a superior medium to learn about advanced topics. Unless it's simple, how do I get started-type questions.

An alternative is to look for investor groups in your area.

Bruinguy

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2016, 06:20:41 PM »
To piggy back off what Paul der Krake said, people may feel comfortable providing their thoughts/guidance via phone on some areas but not others.  You may be more likely to find a taker if you summarize your situation and generally what you are interested in learning.

Although, one benefit of the forums is that if one person gives clearly wrong information, its likely that others will chime in.  Essentially, you would get the benefit of multiple perspectives using the forums, which you won't get on a one-on-one call.

Cheers!

MDM

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2016, 06:37:53 PM »
You might check http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/one-(investing)-question-at-a-time/ - either for already answered specific questions, or a general idea of how such an online conversation might go.

jawisco

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2016, 07:11:30 PM »
Go to Bogleheads.  Read the wiki and if you have further questions, ask on the forum.

Emergo

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2016, 08:24:01 PM »
Which areas of investing are you looking to discuss?

Quite frankly, reading is a superior medium to learn about advanced topics. Unless it's simple, how do I get started-type questions.

An alternative is to look for investor groups in your area.

I'm in the started-type questions. Even though I've posted multiple topics already. I find myself going back to square one because I end up not being 100%.

Emergo

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2016, 08:31:14 PM »
For example, HSA is still unclear to me if I should get it or not. It isn't offered by my company, which means I'll have to go and find one that offers it. In turn, it means it won't be pre-tax account so... what's the point of me getting it? Ugh.

Here's my latest thread:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/some-roth-vs-traditional-ira-questions/

deborah

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2016, 09:35:34 PM »
I looked at that thread. I think you are asking about everything at once, rather than doing what scrubbyfish did, and working out exactly where you are getting stuck, and asking one question just about that. You are also asking as if you understand a lot, and just want confirmation.

As someone who is not from the US, I can't answer about HSAs.

bacchi

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2016, 09:42:53 PM »
For example, HSA is still unclear to me if I should get it or not. It isn't offered by my company, which means I'll have to go and find one that offers it. In turn, it means it won't be pre-tax account so... what's the point of me getting it? Ugh.

First, do you have an HSA eligible health care plan (aka an HDHP (high deductible health plan))?

Second, if you do have an eligible health care plan, you're partially right. Any HSA contributions you make won't be FICA exempt but they will be income tax exempt.

Emergo

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2016, 09:53:11 PM »
For example, HSA is still unclear to me if I should get it or not. It isn't offered by my company, which means I'll have to go and find one that offers it. In turn, it means it won't be pre-tax account so... what's the point of me getting it? Ugh.

First, do you have an HSA eligible health care plan (aka an HDHP (high deductible health plan))?

Second, if you do have an eligible health care plan, you're partially right. Any HSA contributions you make won't be FICA exempt but they will be income tax exempt.

HDHP is basically a health insurance plan where the deductible is over a certain amount, right?

If so, we had three options at work, and I chose the one with the highest deductible. I am assuming that's what the HDHP is.

With what you said, is it worth it going for the HSA at HSAadmin or HSAbank?

Emergo

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2016, 09:54:22 PM »
I looked at that thread. I think you are asking about everything at once, rather than doing what scrubbyfish did, and working out exactly where you are getting stuck, and asking one question just about that. You are also asking as if you understand a lot, and just want confirmation.

As someone who is not from the US, I can't answer about HSAs.

It is probably because I am impatient and I just want to have all my inquiries cleared up vs waiting a day for an answer. I'm sorry... :(

bacchi

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2016, 10:03:31 PM »
For example, HSA is still unclear to me if I should get it or not. It isn't offered by my company, which means I'll have to go and find one that offers it. In turn, it means it won't be pre-tax account so... what's the point of me getting it? Ugh.

First, do you have an HSA eligible health care plan (aka an HDHP (high deductible health plan))?

Second, if you do have an eligible health care plan, you're partially right. Any HSA contributions you make won't be FICA exempt but they will be income tax exempt.

HDHP is basically a health insurance plan where the deductible is over a certain amount, right?

If so, we had three options at work, and I chose the one with the highest deductible. I am assuming that's what the HDHP is.

Mostly. There's both a minimum and a maximum deductible. See http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/benefits/articles/pages/2016-hsa-limits.aspx and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-deductible_health_plan.

I'd assume that a company would offer an HDHP plan and not some catastrophic plan. Is HDHP in the plan name? If it's not obvious, either look in the plan documents or ask HR.

Quote
With what you said, is it worth it going for the HSA at HSAadmin or HSAbank?

Either one. I invest in the Wellington fund with HSAadmin. HSAbank offers Vanguard ETFs, from what I understand.

deborah

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2016, 10:16:23 PM »
I looked at that thread. I think you are asking about everything at once, rather than doing what scrubbyfish did, and working out exactly where you are getting stuck, and asking one question just about that. You are also asking as if you understand a lot, and just want confirmation.

As someone who is not from the US, I can't answer about HSAs.

It is probably because I am impatient and I just want to have all my inquiries cleared up vs waiting a day for an answer. I'm sorry... :(
It is just very confusing trying to work out what you are actually asking.

Lnspilot

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2016, 10:23:15 PM »
Justin at Root of Good offers Early Retirement Lifestyle Consulting if you're willing to spend a little money.


http://rootofgood.com/early-retirement-consulting/

Emergo

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2016, 07:59:28 AM »
Justin at Root of Good offers Early Retirement Lifestyle Consulting if you're willing to spend a little money.


http://rootofgood.com/early-retirement-consulting/

Holy smokes. 90$ for one hour... very anti mustachian...

deborah

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2016, 10:41:53 AM »
Justin at Root of Good offers Early Retirement Lifestyle Consulting if you're willing to spend a little money.


http://rootofgood.com/early-retirement-consulting/

Holy smokes. 90$ for one hour... very anti mustachian...
Depends. It IS mustachian to be paid what you are worth.

Calvawt

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2016, 11:02:00 AM »
Emergo-  I might be able to discuss some things with you.  If you could send a couple of the questions to me, I would know if they are ones that I can answer in a sufficient manner.  Send me a message if you like.

jawisco

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2016, 06:31:13 PM »
Justin at Root of Good offers Early Retirement Lifestyle Consulting if you're willing to spend a little money.


http://rootofgood.com/early-retirement-consulting/

Holy smokes. 90$ for one hour... very anti mustachian...
Depends. It IS mustachian to be paid what you are worth.

I was surprised it was that cheap.  I am not that familiar with "Root of Good", but he seems like he could add a lot of value to a budding early retiree in the beginning stages for $170.  One good idea alone could easily be worth it. 

There just aren't many folks with this kind of expert knowledge who offer consulting services.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2016, 10:12:16 PM »
Second, if you do have an eligible health care plan, you're partially right. Any HSA contributions you make won't be FICA exempt but they will be income tax exempt.

Your employer would withhold it, but you should still get the money back if you file your taxes correctly.  A quick google search shows there's an IRS publication and forms specific for it.

kite

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2016, 06:31:10 AM »
I looked at that thread. I think you are asking about everything at once, rather than doing what scrubbyfish did, and working out exactly where you are getting stuck, and asking one question just about that. You are also asking as if you understand a lot, and just want confirmation.

As someone who is not from the US, I can't answer about HSAs.

It is probably because I am impatient and I just want to have all my inquiries cleared up vs waiting a day for an answer. I'm sorry... :(

Do you interact with old people in your day to day life?
In my twenties, I had several coworkers who were ladies in their early sixties.  They had an endless supply of wisdom to impart that got me on the road to investing.  In a grandmotherly tone they let it be known that opting out of an IRA and 457 plan simply wasn't acceptable. 
I had all the hubris of youth with the certainty that I really did know better, but eventually their wisdom sunk in.  I enjoyed it so much, I gravitated towards a job in the Finance sector.  By age 30, I was working with the pros and realized they aren't actually smarter than those ladies who took me under their wing. 

Get yourself a mentor.  Make sure it's a mutually beneficial relationship.   Your new older buddy won't know all the best answers to every question, but he or she has wisdom about how to arrive at the right answer.  Whether he or she has successfully avoided or fallen into traps is immaterial, there will be wisdom to gain from their experiences.

You want all your questions answered, but this is a life long process.  You don't even know all the questions yet, my friend.   

ooeei

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2016, 07:30:02 AM »
My vote is not to worry about the HSA if you're not already maxing out your 401k and IRA options and still have money you don't want to spend in the next few decades.  It's kind of a weird "backdoor" investing option, and therefore is not as simple as a 401k or IRA.  It's worth the hassle if you don't easily understand it.  It also has a low annual limit, so you're not missing much by not doing it.

arebelspy

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2016, 04:37:27 AM »
Justin at Root of Good offers Early Retirement Lifestyle Consulting if you're willing to spend a little money.


http://rootofgood.com/early-retirement-consulting/

Holy smokes. 90$ for one hour... very anti mustachian...
Depends. It IS mustachian to be paid what you are worth.

I was surprised it was that cheap.  I am not that familiar with "Root of Good", but he seems like he could add a lot of value to a budding early retiree in the beginning stages for $170.  One good idea alone could easily be worth it. 

There just aren't many folks with this kind of expert knowledge who offer consulting services.

I am familiar with RoG, and I'm shocked it's that cheap.

---------------------------------------------------------

On topic, I have had several phone conversations with forum people who wanted to pick my brain about real estate, but it's a time consuming thing (I think I spent at least 1.5 to 3 hours talking to each one, plus answers to followup emails and such).

Firing off a quick answer, especially with a quick link to more info, is a lot less time consuming for people, and then they aren't duplicating work (i.e. the answer is already out there, linking to it and having you read it is much quicker than then explaining it all to you over the phone).

I agree with deborah--putting too much info and questions at once can be overwhelming for someone willing to answer/help, and then they might just skip it.  Start with a single question, get it answered, ask any followups until you're clear, then move on to the next one.  Yes, it's slightly slower, theoretically, but if you get quick answers, it doesn't have to be.
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RootofGood

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2016, 11:20:53 AM »
I was surprised it was that cheap.  I am not that familiar with "Root of Good", but he seems like he could add a lot of value to a budding early retiree in the beginning stages for $170.  One good idea alone could easily be worth it. 

There just aren't many folks with this kind of expert knowledge who offer consulting services.

I am familiar with RoG, and I'm shocked it's that cheap.

Thanks for the kind endorsement, ARS!  :) 

I've debated about jumping into the discussion for fear it would drive too many clients my way (and force me to raise prices to quell demand).  But you guys are right.  You would typically pay a lot more than $90/hr for a CFP level consult with a person who understands early retirement and the interaction between taxes, investments, ACA and other subsidies and their phaseouts and who has also executed on all the FIRE wisdom in their own life. 

I have to say my typical consulting session results in easily actionable take away items that will save the client $1000 to $10,000 and sometimes much more (not to brag; that's just my observation). 

I wish I could provide help for free to everyone, but that would quickly become a full time job. Imagine if MMM provided a detailed response to every inquiry tossed his way.  Then divide by 20 and that's how busy I would be. :) 

In the meantime, I've found that charging a token amount (much more than zero; much less than a full CFP/CPA rate) weeds out the people who haven't done the background reading and research or are just curious and bouncing around a few ideas.  Instead, the typical client is well prepared, does their homework, knows what issues they need to discuss and economizes on the use of my time (funny how paying by the hour tends to encourage that :) ).


bacchi

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2016, 11:47:00 AM »
Second, if you do have an eligible health care plan, you're partially right. Any HSA contributions you make won't be FICA exempt but they will be income tax exempt.

Your employer would withhold it, but you should still get the money back if you file your taxes correctly.  A quick google search shows there's an IRS publication and forms specific for it.

From my reading of the OP's situation, the employer won't withhold pre-tax HSA contributions as part of a cafeteria plan. It'd have to be after-tax, as a regular payroll deduction, which would be FICA taxable but also an "above-the-line" deduction for AGI.

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p15/ar02.html#en_US_2016_publink1000202328

Rocketman

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2016, 11:28:03 PM »
As long as you have a HDHP, you can contribute to it directly from your checkbook, then when you do you taxes, you will get to deduct that money from your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income).
 
You don't have to do it from Payroll if you company doesn't offer it (if they offer it you also save on FICA) Ask the HR department about looking into it.  It took me 3 years but my company got a Roth 401(k) option because I kept asking about it.

TomTX

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2016, 07:58:50 AM »
Justin at Root of Good offers Early Retirement Lifestyle Consulting if you're willing to spend a little money.


http://rootofgood.com/early-retirement-consulting/

Holy smokes. 90$ for one hour... very anti mustachian...

That's a very cheap rate for someone with RoG's level of knowledge. Professional time like that on an a-la-carte or as-needed basis typically is at least $200/hr.

nawhite

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2016, 08:57:35 AM »
While I agree with Root of Good that charging makes people come prepared, you guys are being ridiculous. OP, I PM'd you my contact info and if anyone else wants to talk about this stuff on the phone or Skype, feel free to pm me.

Yes all the answers are out there either on the forums or on blog posts but if you just started it is a bear to find some of it without help. Or if you learn through conversations better than through reading the internet is a tough place.

arebelspy

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Re: Is there anyone willing to help me with my questions through phone?
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2016, 09:40:55 AM »
While I agree with Root of Good that charging makes people come prepared, you guys are being ridiculous. OP, I PM'd you my contact info and if anyone else wants to talk about this stuff on the phone or Skype, feel free to pm me.

Nice, that's awesome of you.

I definitely think if people are willing to share a bit of their time, helping someone like this is awesome. Like I mentioned, I've done it several time for real estate.

Just that it's also not unreasonable at all for Justin to be paid a bit for his time, especially under the idea that people will get more use out of it by being prepared.

Good for you nawhite!  Thanks for stepping up.  :D
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
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We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.