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Expat life / Re: Taiwan Investment Visa
« Last post by manhattan on October 19, 2020, 09:57:17 PM »
That would be much appreciated.
Journals / Re: Retirement in the rearview mirror
« Last post by gocurrycracker on October 13, 2020, 07:16:59 PM »
>I was really busy and had no trouble filling my time in retirement.

Living the dream!

There are so many interesting things to do, I can't really figure out how I ever had time for a job
Journals / Re: Retirement in the rearview mirror
« Last post by LK in WA on October 13, 2020, 01:37:23 PM »
Well, it has been a while since I posted.  Turns out I was really busy and had no trouble filling my time in retirement.
Today is a blustery rainy day so I am hanging out inside and trying not to mourn the loss of summer and dread the upcoming season of gray and drizzle.  Winters are so hard around here.  During my working years, we would make a point of traveling somewhere warm and sunny about every 2-3 months just to break up the monotony and gain some valuable natural vitamin D.

This year, we have a few trips planned to sunny areas and we are keeping our fingers crossed that it is safe for us to travel there when the time comes.  Also we are keeping our air travel to the US west coast to minimize time in the air and multiple legs/multiple airlines that might have different cleaning and distancing standards than our beloved Alaska Airlines.

So, how did I spend my summer?
I did my best to take advantage of activities outside.  This wasn't hard to do because summer is the best season in the Pacific Northwest.  I worked on projects at home some...I did a lot of hiking, gold prospecting, rock hounding, exploring local and almost local nature attractions, and camping with family and friends in my small social(distancing) bubble.

The gold prospecting and rockhounding were both a great deal of fun.  I managed to get my niece and nephew interested in the hobby so that makes for a nice bonding experience for all of us.  I have been toying with the idea of monetizing the hobby.  I think I could make a decent amount by selling what I find on Ebay or some other platform(maybe my own website?-so many things to learn about!!).  I haven't dug into the details yet of what turning it into a business would be like but I think I will at least explore that possibility.  I am thinking that I may be able to find a sweet spot from an income and tax perspective and still have it be casual enough that it is fun and interesting to me. 

Well, that's all for now...the rain stopped so I have to go outside now.  :)

Expat life / Re: Taiwan Investment Visa
« Last post by gocurrycracker on October 03, 2020, 06:39:36 PM »
I have met 2 people who have used the investment visa or business visa for Taiwan residency, but I don't know much about it myself.

I will ping one of them and see if they are open to answering questions.
Expat life / Taiwan Investment Visa
« Last post by manhattan on September 24, 2020, 02:23:08 AM »
Hi all,

Pretty specific question but this seems as good as any place to ask - have you experience or encountered anyone that's in Taiwan on the investment visa? Believe it's a ~200k USD investment requirement. I've been looking into it as a possible option but there's not a whole lot of "testimonials" out there. I believe the investment must be either into your own company that you form, or into a small non-listed company. For the latter, I wonder how risky this could be.

Anyway, I've been reading the blog for just a short while and have a lot of past posts / discussion to catch up on. I'm also a US expat (in Macau - married to a Macau local) and am looking at (hopefully) FI in the next 3.5-4 years. Taiwan seems a very attractive destination and I'm glad I have this as a resource to study up on it as a possibility.

Expat life / Re: If I only knew then...
« Last post by gocurrycracker on September 22, 2020, 10:10:31 PM »
I don't have much to say on this, sorry...

pick a place that you want to live - pay the greater of the taxes in that location or US taxes (do you see double taxation as being a common issue?)
General Discussion / Re: Traditional vs Roth vs split the gray area
« Last post by gocurrycracker on September 22, 2020, 09:28:35 PM »
A Roth isn't bad. It is just often confused as being better than it really is.

When you withdraw from a Traditional pre-tax 401k in 25 years, how will it be taxed?

Using 2020 numbers / adjusting for inflation / filing taxes as married filing jointly:
The first ~$24k is taxed at 0% (standard deduction)
The next ~$20k is taxed at 10%
The next ~$60k is taxed at 12%

If you withdraw $80k, you'll have a marginal tax rate of 12% and pay about $6200 in total tax (effective tax rate of <8%.)

By contrast, today you would save 24% for pre-tax Traditional 401k contributions.

24% is more than 8% or 12% -> 100% Traditional is the mathematically superior choice

>how do you feel now about your blog on why traditional 401ks are better given the difference in tax brackets from 2015 to 2020
The tax system is still structured the same - progressive marginal tax rates that start at 0%.

>looking at tax brackets ... I feel ... they will most definitely be going up. 
Would have to triple taxes on people who make <$80k/year to get to a 24% effective tax rate. Can't squeeze blood from a stone.

If you are doing $12k in backdoor Roth and $19.5k Traditional 401k, you will already be at a 60/40 Traditional/Roth split
General Discussion / Traditional vs Roth vs split the gray area
« Last post by Sham on September 22, 2020, 05:32:45 AM »

I just opened a Safe Harbor 401k for my small business and will be able to start investing in a 401k for the first time ever and have been doing some research into what is best for me Traditional vs Roth vs split for myself.  I had followed a link from a finance group on facebook about this topic that brought me to your blog from January 2015 about why Roth is bad.  It was a good read and not sure how you feel about it now since it has been 5 years and taxes have changed.  I have read some more of your stuff and find that you can really break complex things down to make it easier to understand, so thank you for that.

  My dilemma is I know the difference in Roth vs Traditional  (pretty much) and the general rules but I believe I am in the gray area.  It is my understanding that generally if you are young and you think you will be earning more later you should definitely do a Roth.  However I am 43 so not that young and pretty sure that I am near my max earnings (or won’t ever make enough to jump to the next tax bracket which for me is the 32% tax bracket).
I make around 225k (24% tax bracket) a year but probably live on around 100k a year (I’m a saver but unfortunately not an investor…yet).  I have about >100k in taxable account but no 401k or IRA’s. 

So it seems I should do the traditional, but the more I dig the more I realize we are at historic lows as far as taxes go (looking at tax brackets from years past adjusted for inflation) and I feel given the direction of the country they will most definitely be going up.  If I retire on perhaps 80k/year in 25 years (or sooner perhaps) if is very possible that 80k will be around 24-25% tax brackets (or higher?).  So its quite possible I will probably be in similar tax brackets in which case which would be better Roth or Traditonal?

The 401k I decided to go with (which by the way is entirely made of low costs vanguard index funds) had an article that said if you are in the 22% tax bracket you should be 25% traditional/75% roth and in the 24% tax bracket which is where I am you should allocate 50%trad/50%roth.  However they even made a statement that many high earners are doing Roth’s now because of where the tax brackets are at the moment.  I think I may do 50/50 split just to hedge my bets so to speak, or maybe 25% traditional/75%Roth.  Of course I plan to reinvest my tax savings from the traditional which is important.  I suppose I can do a Roth ladder with my traditional part of my 401k at some point.  I also plan on doing a backdoor roth IRA for myself and my wife (12k total, 6k each). 

But I wanted your thoughts of how do you feel now about your blog on why traditional 401ks are better given the difference in tax brackets from 2015 to 2020 and if you still feel that way now.  And, more importantly, for some one like me where I am in my forties at near peak earning years however in an environment with historically low tax brackets where would you allocate your ratio of traditional/roth 401k?
As I said I stumbled upon your site from a link and have been reading some forum posts and I know this is a FIRE blog but I feel a lot of the principals that you explain so well can be applied for many people not just in the FIRE community.  Thanks
Expat life / If I only knew then...
« Last post by MajorFI on September 18, 2020, 07:28:29 AM »

I am writing my Master's research paper on retiring abroad with a particular focus on the tax implications of living abroad.  If you were doing it all over again, what do you wish you had known about before packing up and retiring abroad?  Or what do you wish you knew more about while you are deciding where to retire abroad? 

I intend on focusing on how to avoid double taxation, potential impacts on military and other veteran benefits (my audience is mainly military personnel), active vs. passive income abroad, and potential issues with property ownership (either maintaining a US property, having an income property, or owning property abroad).  I know health care is likely another consideration, and while that will get some mention, the main focus on the paper is really on tax implications.  I basically want to create an easy source for a military retiree (or someone advising a military retiree) to use when evaluating if they can or should retiree abroad, and the things they may want to consider before making their decision.

Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Other / Re: Retirement account
« Last post by gocurrycracker on September 16, 2020, 09:06:00 PM »
seems reasonable
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