I'm surprised, though, that such a thorough treatment of tax-efficient retirement investing did not mention HSAs. If I was retiring today, I'd much rather have my last $200k sitting in an HSA than a traditional retirement savings vehicle, including the much-venerated Roth.
Maybe HSAs often go unmentioned because many are not eligible for them and/or the future of health-related legislation is murky?
I'm not eligible to have an HSA...so I don't know much about them. I think the big drawback is locking the money up for health care specific costs, especially when you can probably fly under the radar and just pay the "tax" for ACA. Time will tell. But, I only see healthcare in the US becoming more "socialized" or "subsidized" rather than VV.
Also planning on opening a Roth IRA for my wife (I assume this is the best choice, unless there's a reason she should have a traditional). Had two questions about that.. we're not at the 2012 contribution deadline, right? My IRA is fully funded for 2012, but I could grab $5k from savings and quickly fund the one we're opening for her if there weren't any gotchas. We've already filed our 2012 taxes, if that makes a difference.
Second IRA question - we've decided as a couple what our risk tolerance is, equity/bond ratio, etc. -- should I just duplicate my Roth investment (currently 100% VTIVX) or purposely choose something else to diversify a bit?
Lastly, regarding my wife's 403b - I looked further into it and they do have mutual fund choices. I moved 100% of the ~4k into OAAAX, simply because it had the lowest expense ratio (all of their funds are front-loaded at 5.75%). We're only contributing $150/mo at this point - I'm not sure if this is worth putting more money into (or even diverting the $150 elsewhere). Thoughts?
You can make 2012 IRA contributions until 4/15. Assuming you didn't put your wife down for any other IRA contribution, contributing to a Roth will have no impact on your tax liability. You could file an amended return, I would just hold on to the 5498 once it is sent to you and let the rest ride.
Since you have your AA, I fill in the holes else where. Rebalancing becomes kind of tricky across multiple accounts, so I try to have some overlap (a fund held in at least 2 accounts). I have modified Bernstein's Coward's portfolio and keep the slice and dice towards small cap value, reduce bond allocation percentage, sliced bond beyond "short-term", sliced and diced REIT to include VNQI and upped my exposure to international closer to 35%. The Boglehead wiki has articles on "slice and dice" and "lazy portfolios."
In a long winded way, I hold a lot more of my "riskier" investments in my Roth accounts. REIT's (VGSLX& VNQI), value tilts, small caps etc. Of course, it isn't all risky, just a toned down version (e.g. small exposure to bonds). I'm fortunate enough to be able to hold admiral funds for whatever I do and definitely once that is true, I would kick the target date fund to the curb.
I would skip your wife's 403b. a 5.75% haircut at the start is tough to grin and bear.
"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."
Good to see you back, I was starting to miss your incisive commentary!