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by 2retire
Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need tax breaks for this year?
Replies: 19
Views: 1169

Re: Need tax breaks for this year?

Please clarify. What your proposing makes absolutely no sense.

You have the ability to take out $115K HELOC or you already have taken out $115K? If the later, why?
by 2retire
Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Short term disability
Replies: 15
Views: 997

Re: Short term disability

Do you have an emergency fund? This is exactly what emergency funds are for.
by 2retire
Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Probability question for math wizzes
Replies: 7
Views: 1377

Re: Probability question for math wizzes

Thanks for the answers so far. It looks like I have some reading and research to do. I figured I might need to do some, but I had no idea what terms I even needed to Google on. Hopefully, I can find some Khan Academy videos that will explain some of this. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions. E...
by 2retire
Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Probability question for math wizzes
Replies: 7
Views: 1377

Probability question for math wizzes

I have a couple of probability questions I'm trying to learn how to solve. Since there seem to be so many people good with math here, I thought I'd pose it to you. Person A states: 75% chance of A happening 25% chance of B happening Person B runs a test 100 times and comes up with: A happened 98 tim...
by 2retire
Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD
Replies: 6
Views: 500

Re: RMD

Neither.

Wait until your year end statements are ready and use those values. You have a whole year to take the money out, there is no rush.
by 2retire
Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Contrafund
Replies: 37
Views: 5297

Re: Fidelity Contrafund

I have held it even longer. It is about 5% of my portfolio right now. Since the early 90's, my XIRR is 11.14%. It has really become a closet index fund. Here is a telltale chart of its performance. http://morning-wave-7809.herokuapp.com/#fcntx/VTSMX A large part of the run up in the 2000's was becau...
by 2retire
Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Separate Phone for Business?
Replies: 14
Views: 560

Re: Separate Phone for Business?

You also need to think about security, if the phone will be used to synch to corporate mail servers. Most companies can wipe phones remotely in the event a phone is lost, stolen, or they are terminating an employee. There have been cases where employees have been terminated and their phone wiped bef...
by 2retire
Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: not sure about my adviser
Replies: 68
Views: 6002

Re: not sure about my adviser

If you are paying loads, then remember that every time they convinced you to sell one fund and buy another, they just took some percent of your money. Example: Start the year with 100,000 Market is up 10% You now have 110,000. They convince you to switch funds to one that has 5% load. Adviser takes ...
by 2retire
Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon
Replies: 34
Views: 2620

Re: Grand Canyon

As for going down, that's not important. It's Going Up that's the kicker - just remember to calculate "6 times as long up as down". This can't be overstated. This is where most people get in trouble in the canyon. They start the hike down and don't think it is a big deal until they have t...
by 2retire
Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to Austin, TX in March. What should we be doing?
Replies: 24
Views: 1532

Re: Going to Austin, TX in March. What should we be doing?

If you're not from a major metropolitan area, and have never been to a Brazilian steakhouse, you might want to give one a try. Although not special to Austin, they tend to only be located in major metropolitan areas due to their swankiness. It is a fixed price menu, usually about $55 to $75 per pers...
by 2retire
Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security COLAs
Replies: 13
Views: 639

Re: Social Security COLAs

According to the interview recently done by Morningstar with the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration. http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=684071 The COLA adjustment doesn't start until your 62'nd birthday. Everyone aged 62 and above gets the COLA adjustment, whethe...
by 2retire
Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon
Replies: 34
Views: 2620

Re: Grand Canyon

Is rim to rim to rim even possible (for your average human)? When I last went, you were only allowed two nights in the canyon. I suppose you could wait at the North Rim until a walk-up permit became available.
by 2retire
Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon
Replies: 34
Views: 2620

Re: Grand Canyon

lthenderson wrote:[snip] When I got off the river, the guides offered me a job a raft swamper for their next trip and I declined and went back to my nine to five job. It was the worst decision I ever made!

http://www.grandcanyonwhitewater.com/wh ... a-swamper/
by 2retire
Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VWENX huge hit today! [Vanguard Wellington Admiral]
Replies: 40
Views: 3999

Re: VWENX huge hit today! [Vanguard Wellington Admiral]

When things like this happen, it is best to go and look at the fund's top 25 holdings on Morningstar. If you do that you'll see they have large positions in Finance and Energy. Stocks in both were down quite a bit today. Their top 25 holdings in those sectors were down over 1.5% today.
by 2retire
Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Over the long-run, are there any poor-performing sectors?
Replies: 13
Views: 1055

Re: Over the long-run, are there any poor-performing sectors

I seem to recall reading somewhere that airlines have been terrible investments.
by 2retire
Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to do "what if" accounting for periodic contributions?
Replies: 4
Views: 326

Re: How to do "what if" accounting for periodic contribution

It really only affects things in the early stages. Once the amount you have saved dwarfs the contributions, the effect is minimal. Think about it this way. At the beginning of every year, all of the dollars you already have invested are earning what the "growth of 10K" chart shows. Only th...
by 2retire
Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth tax chaos; did my F.A. lead me astray?
Replies: 36
Views: 2244

Re: Backdoor Roth tax chaos; did my F.A. lead me astray?

Did you use Turbo Tax last year and import your data for this year's taxes?

Did you do it like this:

http://thefinancebuff.com/how-to-report ... botax.html
by 2retire
Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.
Replies: 100
Views: 8844

Re: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.

Thanks for posting these reviews. I was surprised they didn't give people alcohol in order to lower their guards a bit, on the other hand, you seem to be the only one in the room with any guard whatsoever. That may be why they don't. They don't want anyone claiming they sold them something while un...
by 2retire
Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: More evidence that we are dopey investors
Replies: 19
Views: 2104

Re: More evidence that we are dopey investors

It sounds like you are in the same plan as this person that posted earlier today:

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=157949&newpost=2370302
by 2retire
Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: small-caps only 3% in retirement portfolio?
Replies: 5
Views: 1002

Re: small-caps only 3% in retirement portfolio?

By chance, when you look at the performance of the funds offered, does that fund have the highest return over the last several years? My guess is it does and people in the plan have been throwing all their money at it. It sounds like they are taking fiduciary action and making sure people understand...
by 2retire
Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $10,000 lump sum into VTIAX?
Replies: 19
Views: 1395

Re: $10,000 lump sum into VTIAX?

I would do it. I myself am saving up at the beginning of this year to put a lump sum of $10K+ into VTIAX instead of VTGSX. I don't consider the free conversion a moot point, since the number of shares you own can change. It happened to me when an account went from from VTSMX to VTSAX. Since I like t...
by 2retire
Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking advice on learning computer science
Replies: 40
Views: 2092

Re: Seeking advice on learning computer science

You don't really want to learn computer science, but it sounds like you have already come to that realization. Computer Science programs actually deal with a lot of things that your typical programmer never needs to know or care about, things like which sort method you should use for optimal sorting...
by 2retire
Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to respond when someone asks how much money you make?
Replies: 107
Views: 10931

Re: How to respond when someone asks how much money you make

Depending on the context, I don't have a problem with telling people my salary. It is all in how the question comes up and why the person might be asking. For example, I don't have a problem discussing salaries with other people in my line of work or close family, but I wouldn't go discussing my sal...
by 2retire
Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Actual Return on Fidelity and Vanguard
Replies: 6
Views: 547

Re: Actual Return on Fidelity and Vanguard

For me, it is under Summary / "Year-To-Date Change", then Your Personal Rate of Return from 01/01/2015 - 01/28/2015 This may only exist for things like a 401(k). Okay, make sense. I also have that available for my 401(k) which is housed at Fidelity (through their NetBenefits site, which i...
by 2retire
Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Actual Return on Fidelity and Vanguard
Replies: 6
Views: 547

Re: Actual Return on Fidelity and Vanguard

Where are you guys finding your annualized % return? When I log into my account, there is a tab for Portfolio Positions; it only shows % gain on the entire account, so it is something like 320%. I don't see anywhere to get the equivalent of XIRR().
by 2retire
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FIFO/Specific Share question
Replies: 3
Views: 179

Re: FIFO/Specific Share question

Yes, each account can use a different method. Unfortunately, some companies force you to use the same method for all accounts with them.
by 2retire
Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Morningstar Instant Xray
Replies: 5
Views: 769

Re: Morningstar Instant Xray

This is the only thing I know of. http://portfolio.morningstar.com/rtport/reg/xray_landingpage.aspx Perhaps you can tell us what you're having trouble understanding. The vast majority of the information on that page is just that, information about what makes up the particular fund(s) you asked it ab...
by 2retire
Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iceland
Replies: 16
Views: 1696

Re: Iceland

There is a pretty easy hike/stroll between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. If you are a scuba diver, you can even swim between them.
by 2retire
Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short term bonds in rising interest rates?
Replies: 26
Views: 2882

Re: Short term bonds in rising interest rates?

I will take a look. Thanks! Am I correct that Bernstein's position is to only utilize short term bonds in a portfolio? That is all I have ever read him endorse. However, the problem with Bernstein's recommendation is that using the word short term doesn't really tell you what he means. I think that...
by 2retire
Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good for property value ?
Replies: 20
Views: 2051

Re: Good for property value ?

Depends on his/her personality, although a buyer of your home might not find out until it's too late. In a neighborhood where I used to live, we had a cop move in. He was a total jerk with a control-freak personality, he started frivolous boundary disputes with all 3 of his neighbors (including me)...
by 2retire
Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I fund Vanguard purchases with my Target REDcard?
Replies: 40
Views: 4343

Re: Can I fund Vanguard purchases with my Target REDcard?

Good to hear, Victoria....my RedCard is in the mail, and I'm a little anxious about loading it. To the OP, even if you could transfer the money to Vanguard, why would you want to? If you put $5,000 on your RedCard from your credit card, you now have a $5,000 credit card bill to deal with. Why not j...
by 2retire
Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A mortgage prepayment puzzler
Replies: 15
Views: 1696

Re: A mortgage prepayment puzzler

How are you guys coming up with 4 years and 5.9 years being knocked off? Is there something I can do in Excel to see how you guys are coming up with these numbers? For the last few years, we have been adding extra principal to our payments. I've been looking for a calculator or spreadsheet that woul...
by 2retire
Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A Big Birthday? [IRA Catch-up Contributions]
Replies: 4
Views: 690

Re: A Big Birthday?

No, you don't have to wait. You can also start funding your 401(k) the extra 6,000 too this year.

Edit: Some on this forum recommend that you don't actually fully fund your Roth until you have at least earned enough qualified income for the year, just in case.
by 2retire
Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Appalachian Trail thru-hike in retirement?
Replies: 49
Views: 4511

Re: Appalachian Trail thru-hike in retirement?

I've hiked neither, but have spent time looking into both. Based on the reading I have done, the PCT is by far a prettier walk, but the AT is more doable by your average person. Perhaps tbradnc can weigh in on what I have seem to have found: ⋅ Due to the population density on the East coas...
by 2retire
Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k contribution deadline
Replies: 7
Views: 823

Re: 401k contribution deadline

It will be interesting to hear what people with more knowledge have to say on this. However, I can tell you that my employer doesn't make my final deposit of the year until January. My W-2 always shows the money as coming out in the previous year though. I believe it gives the employer flexibility i...
by 2retire
Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tablet (something simple) for after a stroke?
Replies: 16
Views: 1577

Re: Tablet (something simple) for after a stroke?

Does your relative still attend therapy? Do they have an occupational therapist (OT)? If so, I would raise the issue with their therapist. In this day and age, I would have to believe that OTs are using tablets. You could have them do an evaluation on your relative and provide a recommendation.
by 2retire
Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Appalachian Trail thru-hike in retirement?
Replies: 49
Views: 4511

Re: Appalachian Trail thru-hike in retirement?

That is also number one on my retirement list. I'm still many years away though, I'm hoping to do it around age 58. Since your portfolio's performance and spending are very important your first years of retirement, I figure it is also a good way to limit my spending during the initial years. If it g...
by 2retire
Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is considered to be a good 401k match?
Replies: 74
Views: 4635

Re: What is considered to be a good 401k match?

This information is actually very easy to get. Every year, Vanguard produces a report called How America Saves. You can download it here.

https://institutional.vanguard.com/VGAp ... aSaves2014

The information you want begins on page 11.
by 2retire
Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What causes NAV to fall?
Replies: 5
Views: 453

Re: What causes NAV to fall?

I'm actually surprised we made it this far into December without one of these posts.

Answer: Year end capital gains and dividend distributions.

If you think 14% is bad, I had one of my active funds distribute over 21%.
by 2retire
Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 1279
Views: 249145

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

Bungo wrote:S&P 500 down 0.11% as I write this. That's a rounding error, not a selloff.

I'm not sure what you use as your source for the markets, but it opened at -0.3 and hasn't gotten higher than that all day.
by 2retire
Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: login security questions, using false answers
Replies: 13
Views: 1099

Re: login security questions, using false answers

Since all my passwords are different, and in a password safe to begin with, I just use the password safe's random password generator to generate fake answers for the security questions as well. If I lose my password safe I'm screwed, but it is backed up in several places. Whenever I've had to answer...
by 2retire
Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite TED Talks
Replies: 26
Views: 3840

Re: Favorite TED Talks

corner559 wrote:

The Gladwell talk is one of my favorites of all time.

I also liked how it intersected with Victoria's selections.
by 2retire
Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to transfer money from bank to vanguard automatically?
Replies: 19
Views: 2677

Re: How to transfer money from bank to vanguard automaticall

I'd be very surprised for you to find something like this. It is never in a bank's interest to have you take money out of their accounts, so why would they willingly do it for you. Actually it's quite easy to set up recurring withdrawals from a bank account for many purposes for instance my loan pa...
by 2retire
Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to transfer money from bank to vanguard automatically?
Replies: 19
Views: 2677

Re: How to transfer money from bank to vanguard automaticall

I'd be very surprised for you to find something like this. It is never in a bank's interest to have you take money out of their accounts, so why would they willingly do it for you. If you look at the link the other person posted, they simply transfer the money around within their bank to another acc...
by 2retire
Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Excel Webservice function
Replies: 5
Views: 951

Re: Excel Webservice function

Only available in Excel 2013 and newer (online version excluded).
by 2retire
Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, tell me about your 40's?
Replies: 103
Views: 20497

Re: Bogleheads, tell me about your 40's?

Not really financial related, but be prepared to need glasses to read things. It doesn't matter how great your far vision is, even if it is better than 20/20, as reading doesn't seem to figure into those numbers. The font size and lighting conditions make a big difference in your reading capabilitie...
by 2retire
Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable account for early retirement?
Replies: 19
Views: 3006

Re: Taxable account for early retirement?

@bluejello hit the nail on the head. You need to first save for a regular retirement before you save for an early retirement. For someone in their twenties, that means about 15% of your gross salary. Since the company is giving you a 3% match, you could cut your contribution to 12%. However, the oth...

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