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Lion to myself

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  1. Typically you do not need to move an old 401k. Sometimes the company or its retirement provider may “kick” you out if its a small balance ($2500 or less). With that said it probably makes sense to move it to the new 401k or an IRA. Stbugs gave great advice on why to chose an IRA (unlimited investment options and lower costs most likely). The negatives of an IRA are no loan provisions and you lose the ability to withdrawal at 55 if your wife retires early (though there are ways to avoid penalties in IRAs for early w/d). It’s a good idea to explore the plan rules (loan provisions for exampl
  2. Cap Gains is determined by your income. $0-$80,800 (Married Filing Jointly) in income pays zero on Capital Gains for example. Not a tax guy though, just my understanding.
  3. What a nice space you created! The white under decking really brightens the space up.
  4. If you plan on tapping some of the funds in three years it would be prudent to move at least that amount to something conservative in my opinion.
  5. My understanding is that it’s $10k per beneficiary regardless of source. And I believe your thinking is sound, flexibility is a good thing
  6. Yes to your question. Tax Credits are a dollar for dollar reduction in your tax bill. Tax Deductions reduce your taxable income. I’m not a tax advisor but that’s my understanding.
  7. Correct. And to answer you other question, investing in index funds in a fidelity brokerage is a great idea. That’s my vote given you are taking advantage of the tax deferred plans, HSAs and Roth already. Build that after tax portfolio. Down the road you can get into individual stocks if you like.
  8. It’s on your account page somewhere but as gruecdr mentioned it’s going to be low given it’s Vanguard. It will not even be close to 1% and is most likely .15%. I’d still explore the brokerage option and hear what you advisor has in mind. But definitely consider the additional cost before making any decision. Nothing wrong with a set it and forget option like a Lifecycle fund.
  9. It’s worth looking into for comparison sake. You may be paying 1% for the lifecycle fund so a switch to the brokerage window could drop those costs considerably. Of course the advisor is going to charge you and you may end up back around 1% but with someone actively managing your money in a coordinated fashion. Or you could move it to the brokerage window and manage it yourself. I’m making a lot of assumptions here but worth a look.
  10. It is rebalancing. There would be only two ways to keep that target allocation. One is rebalancing and the other is using the inflows of new money. It’s doing both. Not trying to beat a dead horse here just hoping to educate the masses.
  11. The all in one portfolio will rebalance itself so it’s doing the same thing but I prefer the second approach of splitting the money into separate funds for more control of when the rebalancing takes place. HaFo mentioned TIPS for some of the bonds, I’d recommend them as well for what you are trying to accomplish. The fund Nutter Butter linked above is a good bond fund for the rest (or something similar).
  12. It’s ok to skip them if you want but 10% to 20% would be my suggestion. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance and buying assets when they are down is what you want to do.
  13. If there is no cap on how much the will match then sky’s the limit. Do what’s comfortable budget wise. I think 15% to 20% all in (employee and employer) towards retirement is a great place to be.
  14. I’d go with the American Fund’s Growth Fund of America in an effort to stay under 1% expense ratio. At least it’s actively managed so you can justify paying more. The State Street index fund would be fine too. But to your point, you are there for the “free money”.
  15. Your overall approach looks good to me. I’d put the 4% in to get the 2% from the employer regardless of expenses. You will be getting a 50% return on your money right off the bat. If it’s not too much trouble, take a picture of the expense ratios next to the fund names.
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