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Re: Looking for Low-Cost Eyeglass Shop I can visit

I've used Warby Parker, which you can't visit but which will mail you at no charge a range of samples you can try on in the comfort of your home.
by Aptenodytes
Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for Low-Cost Eyeglass Shop I can visit
Replies: 24
Views: 1110

Re: What is your net worth

Been done in much more detail already. See this thread for details.
by Aptenodytes
Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your net worth
Replies: 36
Views: 4672

Re: Mother Of Bog! I'm Uncertain/Frightened To Buy Fund

"spending down the 21,500" is a red herring. Money comes in, returns are generated, expenses must be paid. It is all the same ball of wax. You can put 21,500 in a fund and take out what your need for expenses, or you can reserve what you need for expenses and put the remainder in in a fund...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I Really Would Appreciate Your Advice!
Replies: 72
Views: 2640

Re: Did not have fun this year doing my taxes- TT

This is my 2nd year with an HSA, and I had a bad time figuring out how to torque TT to handle the HSA information correctly. It was very unintuitive and confidence-draining. I don't understand how it can be so difficult since all the information is on the W2 which TT downloads from my employer. My e...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did not have fun this year doing my taxes- TT
Replies: 38
Views: 3194

Re: Save for 25 years = $1million?

The question is ill-framed. You don't want a plan to hit $1m at age 50. To do that you would have to start hitting the brakes with respect to risk in your late 30s, which for most people is bass-ackwards. You want to hit some rough target at the time you plan to retire, which for most people is beyo...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Save for 25 years = $1million?
Replies: 22
Views: 3954

Re: VTSAX: Does it eliminate the need for dividend funds?

It is a trick question, like asking if genomics eliminates the need for astrology. There is no need for dividend funds to start with. Your "long" lurking of 45 minutes seems to have led you to this conclusion. But you also say you are going to continue reading about dividend strategies -- ...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTSAX: Does it eliminate the need for dividend funds?
Replies: 7
Views: 915

Re: Mother Of Bog! I'm Uncertain/Frightened To Buy Fund

The way I read your numbers you have very low need for risk. A return of around 2% is probably enough to last you more or less forever. Taxes aren't likely to matter much at your income level. You shouldn't need to pay anyone for advice, because you don't need a complicated fund. One of the funds ta...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I Really Would Appreciate Your Advice!
Replies: 72
Views: 2640

Re: The Case for Dividend Stocks in Retirement (article)

dbr wrote:That article is probably more in the category of "not even wrong" than it is erroneous.

I had the same reaction. I saw the headline and read through to the end, waiting to see what the argument was. There was no argument, just mindless rambling, superstitions, half-truths and factoids.
by Aptenodytes
Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Case for Dividend Stocks in Retirement (article)
Replies: 27
Views: 2208

Re: I can't figure out my current asset allocation?

Most people would not include cash as part of the AA; you need cash, but to assign a percentage target to it is not very common. For the rest, you can pretty easily consult the online information and figure out what each fund you own has in each of your categories. Then you can convert your fund tot...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I can't figure out my current asset allocation?
Replies: 12
Views: 633

Re: I can't figure out my current asset allocation?

How does one use the Morningstar tools (say instant x-ray) with those TIAA-CREF things without a ticker symbol? I have never figured it out, so maybe I will learn some secret code from this thread. Without the M* tools, one can read the prospectus to decipher the asset allocation of CREF stock whic...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I can't figure out my current asset allocation?
Replies: 12
Views: 633

Re: I can't figure out my current asset allocation?

What are your asset categories? domestic Stocks, international stocks, Bonds and Real Estate? Or do you subdivide stocks into separate categories (e.g. value, small, etc); if so what are your categories? If it is the first, then you basically just total the four groups and divide by the gross sum. T...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I can't figure out my current asset allocation?
Replies: 12
Views: 633

Re: Passport, TSA Pre-Check, and Global Entry

I do not have global entry. Even the global entry folks without checked luggage had to get in the line after baggage claim to turn in their kiosk ticket. Even I had to get in that line with only my carry-on luggage and my kiosk ticket. I spent maybe 1 extra minute talking to immigration officer aft...
by Aptenodytes
Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport, TSA Pre-Check, and Global Entry
Replies: 58
Views: 2419

Re: Should I take SS at 62 or increase my burn rate ?

Bustoff wrote:Aptenodytes - What are trying to solve ? Are your posts are addressed to me ?

Please note, I did not omit the pension in the OP.

Sorry, I'll stop. I was answering Victoria's question about what the withdrawal rate was going to be at age 70.
by Aptenodytes
Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take SS at 62 or increase my withdrawal rate ?
Replies: 27
Views: 1528

Re: Should I take SS at 62 or increase my burn rate ?

... My apologies if my OP didn't make it clear that my pension reduces my current 40K expenses. Not sure how you came up with 3M but that's not even close. My annual expenses do not equal my withdrawal rate because some of those expenses are covered by a pension. So my current withdrawal rate is 1....
by Aptenodytes
Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take SS at 62 or increase my withdrawal rate ?
Replies: 27
Views: 1528

Re: AA question regarding taxable and inheritance

If she is certain she will leave all of it to her heirs, then what matters is the preferences of the heirs. If the heirs are going to spend the money when they inherit it, then you want to put the AA on a glide path to get more conservative over time. If the heirs are going to maintain the inherita...
by Aptenodytes
Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA question regarding taxable and inheritance
Replies: 4
Views: 244

Re: Should I take SS at 62 or increase my burn rate ?

If you delay taking Social Security until the age of 70, what your portfolio withdrawal rate would be at that time? If it's still 2-2.5%, it's worth delaying. Victoria Ah, but the OP has already told anybody who remembers middle school algebra the answer. Sort of. Current portfolio = c. $2.9M (aver...
by Aptenodytes
Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take SS at 62 or increase my withdrawal rate ?
Replies: 27
Views: 1528

Re: AA question regarding taxable and inheritance

If she is certain she will leave all of it to her heirs, then what matters is the preferences of the heirs. If the heirs are going to spend the money when they inherit it, then you want to put the AA on a glide path to get more conservative over time. If the heirs are going to maintain the inheritan...
by Aptenodytes
Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA question regarding taxable and inheritance
Replies: 4
Views: 244

Re: Should I take SS at 62 or increase my burn rate ?

No two people look at these things the same way. But if I had your withdrawal rates I would see no good reason to take SS earlier than age 70.
by Aptenodytes
Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take SS at 62 or increase my withdrawal rate ?
Replies: 27
Views: 1528

Re: Passport, TSA Pre-Check, and Global Entry

Global Entry is a lifesaver for me. The US Government charges something like $100 for it, valid for several years. If Global Entry rights were auctioned off, the price would be more like $500. For me, this is a rare free lunch that I'm happy to pocket. How valuable it is to you depends on how often ...
by Aptenodytes
Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport, TSA Pre-Check, and Global Entry
Replies: 58
Views: 2419

Re: KeePass vs LastPass

I'm a LastPass user. I only have LastPass installed on my own computers, so I don't have direct experience with your scenario. But if I were you what I would do is set up a user account on her computer, with a password, and then install LastPass on that computer, under that account. With a little go...
by Aptenodytes
Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: KeePass vs LastPass
Replies: 97
Views: 4938

Re: 54 year old new investor with no retirement savings

My first thought was that you should plan to work more or less forever. Sounds like your job is a labor of love which helps. I'd think about investing a portion of your Savings in business training. Turning your small profit into a larger profit will make a bigger difference than how you invest you ...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 54 year old new investor with no retirement savings
Replies: 14
Views: 2416

Re: Do you think the biotech sector will be hurt long term?

I agree with what's been said. But the question is moot. Even if you thought biotech was going to underperform over the long term there's little practical you could do. Creating a TSM minus biotech portfolio would be more hassle than it could possibly be worth. So you are blessed with a concern that...
by Aptenodytes
Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you think the biotech sector will be hurt long term?
Replies: 32
Views: 1637

Re: How often do you rebalance to maintain your AA

Hardly ever. I am about 10 years away from retirement and saving like hell, so am able to stay on track by directing new contributions to the underperforming assets. Every once in a while I do a very modest rebalance, but I don't think I could make a strong case that it was ever really necessary. I ...
by Aptenodytes
Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you rebalance to maintain your AA
Replies: 35
Views: 1632

Re: What to do with Win computers?

I tend to run my old computers into the ground even more severely than my cars, which means they are worth almost nothing on the resale market once I'm done with them. For $100 I would not bother with cleaning the hard drive and dealing with ebay. My sysadmin at work has always counseled a drill bit...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with Win computers?
Replies: 51
Views: 2093

Re: Livescribe Smartpen - which model? For searchable noteta

Could trying scanning and OCR, but that seems cumbersome and time consuming. With the right equipment and software, and reasonably decipherable handwriting, this doesn't have to be true. I scan and OCR my handwritten notes. I use a scansnap scanner and evernote. The OCR from evernote isn't perfect,...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Livescribe Smartpen - which model? For searchable notetaking
Replies: 6
Views: 327

Re: Livescribe Smartpen - which model? For searchable noteta

I've seen people start using these, but nobody continue using them. The idea is attractive in principle, but there's got to be some reason usage over time is low. Unrelated: I think many users abuse the recording feature. It is not ethical to record people without their consent. Rarely do smartpen u...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Livescribe Smartpen - which model? For searchable notetaking
Replies: 6
Views: 327

Re: Anyone else very reluctant to buy right now?

If you fret over the short-term fate of $500, you are going to be doomed to a lot of anxiety in your investing life. You build new habits through repetition. Just keep the contributions on autopilot, treat whatever happens as a learning experience, and start building the capacity to shed anxiety. Wh...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else very reluctant to buy right now?
Replies: 124
Views: 11486

Re: Inexpensive Win7 laptop that will support 2 to 3 monitor

You want win 7 but don't want win 7. You want new but are looking at refurbished. You want to spend less than $500 but are looking at gaming laptops (which are expensive). That's a lot of contradictions to sort through. I would start with the 3-monitor requirement. Figure out what you are going to u...
by Aptenodytes
Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Inexpensive Win7 laptop that will support 2 to 3 monitors?
Replies: 21
Views: 1027

Re: 15 year vs 30 year fixed

You haven't given any cash flow numbers, but you've indicated that you know what to look at. Compare the cash flow in the two scenarios and see how it affects what you direct to student loans and savings. Making some plausible guesses, I'd find it hard to conclude that the 15-year isn't the better o...
by Aptenodytes
Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 year vs 30 year fixed
Replies: 48
Views: 4654

Re: I accidentally discovered a coworkers salary... now what

Good grief. Forget about it and move on. If she's put in 20 years more than you and earns only 18% more, and your company rewards longevity, you are ahead of her, not the other way around. The obsession you are feeding will be your undoing if you aren't careful. Starve it, don't feed it. Who knows, ...
by Aptenodytes
Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I accidentally discovered a coworkers salary... now what?
Replies: 59
Views: 5420

Re: New bond funds in HSA - should I switch?

@grabiner, I think I understand now. It sounds like you are assuming the HSA is after-tax, but I'm assuming it is pre-tax. So for you $4000 = $3000 but for me $4000 - $4000. Aptenodytes: read the tax-adjusted allocation Wiki more carefully. There are actually two components to the question of tax-f...
by Aptenodytes
Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New bond funds in HSA - should I switch?
Replies: 16
Views: 637

Re: New bond funds in HSA - should I switch?

@grabiner, I think I understand now. It sounds like you are assuming the HSA is after-tax, but I'm assuming it is pre-tax. So for you $4000 = $3000 but for me $4000 - $4000.
by Aptenodytes
Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New bond funds in HSA - should I switch?
Replies: 16
Views: 637

Re: New bond funds in HSA - should I switch?

@grabiner, why compare $4,000 in a 401(k) to $3,000 in an HSA? If I withhold $8,000 from my paycheck and direct half to one and half to the other, I have $4,000 in each account. And from that starting point, I end up with more net if I invest the HSA in high-return assets. I agree that there's a ris...
by Aptenodytes
Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New bond funds in HSA - should I switch?
Replies: 16
Views: 637

Re: New bond funds in HSA - should I switch?

The tax advantages of an HSA whose proceeds you anticipate spending mostly on tax-free medical expenses suggest you favor high-return assets over low-return assets. In other words, a not-so-good stock fund in the HSA might be better than a good bond fund. If I were you I'd take a fresh look at the ...
by Aptenodytes
Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New bond funds in HSA - should I switch?
Replies: 16
Views: 637

Re: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"

Have you read the book? I haven't, but I've found Lewis to be a pretty good explainer in his past writings.

I caught the tail end of Felix Salmon on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC this morning; he was evidently trying both to explain the issues as well as put his own spin on things.
by Aptenodytes
Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"
Replies: 164
Views: 8153

Re: Reaching $1M in Total Assets

When you're age 45: $ ./z.py 32 260400.0 33 302820.0 ... 45 1011784.73235 46 1091773.96896 That's assuming your investments return 5% real - perhaps optimistic with the house being a large part of the initial portfolio, that your salary/spending/taxes are constant in real terms, and a lot of other ...
by Aptenodytes
Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reaching $1M in Total Assets
Replies: 35
Views: 5853

Re: Reaching $1M in Total Assets

The answer will be driven by your salary. If I were you I would set aside the question you have posed and bear down on your career.
by Aptenodytes
Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reaching $1M in Total Assets
Replies: 35
Views: 5853

Re: New bond funds in HSA - should I switch?

The tax advantages of an HSA whose proceeds you anticipate spending mostly on tax-free medical expenses suggest you favor high-return assets over low-return assets. In other words, a not-so-good stock fund in the HSA might be better than a good bond fund. If I were you I'd take a fresh look at the w...
by Aptenodytes
Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New bond funds in HSA - should I switch?
Replies: 16
Views: 637

Re: Lump Sum vs annuity

This is analogous to the question of delaying SS or not, and the logic and conclusions are the same. Delay unless you have very high confidence in an early death. Not really. SS isn't available as a lump sum, and it IS indexed for inflation, thereby removing one of the main risk components of a reg...
by Aptenodytes
Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs annuity
Replies: 17
Views: 1085

Re: GPS with "favor interstates" option?

Starting to sound like your GPS may be defective. Even if the flaws are features, not bugs, almost any new GPS unit will avoid them. Recalling all these problems reminds me why I decided years ago to use the phone and ditch the dedicated navigator. It shrinks the innovation cycle enormously. For exa...
by Aptenodytes
Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GPS with "favor interstates" option?
Replies: 37
Views: 1327

Re: Lump Sum vs annuity

This is analogous to the question of delaying SS or not, and the logic and conclusions are the same. Delay unless you have very high confidence in an early death.
by Aptenodytes
Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs annuity
Replies: 17
Views: 1085

Re: Tree stump removal

My tool of choice for this job, which I've done a lot, is the mattock.
by Aptenodytes
Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree stump removal
Replies: 25
Views: 1724

Re: HSA Restructure

1) Are your HSA contributions made through a pre-tax deduction from your paycheck? If so, many people here would recommend that you first max out the HSA and then max out the other retirement vehicles, not the other way around, unless you get a match on the retirement contributions. I have no compa...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Restructure
Replies: 12
Views: 606

Re: POLL: Do rebalance bands matter?

I set up 5% rebalance bands but hardly ever hit it. I've been stock heavy by about 3% for a while. Should I just go ahead and rebalance the next time I check my AA? In such a situation, here is what I have done: I look at the total value of my portfolio. If the total value has rolled over to a new ...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POLL: Do rebalance bands matter?
Replies: 20
Views: 1254

Re: Reading room chair - what to pay and where to purchase?

Most new chairs in that price range are going to be bad. There's likely some new chair in that price range you personally find OK. Perhaps go to Ikea and sit in all the sub-$300 chairs. You might find that the Poang with good upholstery and matching footstool meets your needs. Or you may hate it. A...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reading room chair - what to pay and where to purchase?
Replies: 29
Views: 2355

Re: Reading room chair - what to pay and where to purchase?

Most new chairs in that price range are going to be bad. There's likely some new chair in that price range you personally find OK. Perhaps go to Ikea and sit in all the sub-$300 chairs. You might find that the Poang with good upholstery and matching footstool meets your needs. Or you may hate it. As...
by Aptenodytes
Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reading room chair - what to pay and where to purchase?
Replies: 29
Views: 2355

Re: HSA Restructure

1) Are your HSA contributions made through a pre-tax deduction from your paycheck? If so, many people here would recommend that you first max out the HSA and then max out the other retirement vehicles, not the other way around, unless you get a match on the retirement contributions. 2) I don't know ...
by Aptenodytes
Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Restructure
Replies: 12
Views: 606

Re: Anyone overbalance like the Finance Buff?

You are describing a practice of under balancing. Weird to label it the opposite of what it is.
by Aptenodytes
Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone overbalance like the Finance Buff?
Replies: 33
Views: 2444

Re: How/do you change asset allocation with time?

Ambiguities are likely to cloud results. The verb in the question is in the present tense, but the subject of the question has to do with something over time, covering past and future. So it isn't clear what time period you want people to refer to. If I pay attention to the "over time" por...
by Aptenodytes
Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How/do you change asset allocation with time?
Replies: 18
Views: 1135

Re: Healthcare & HSA Math Assistance

Your math seems right but your logic seems weird. You are asking if +$815 is good or bad, and appear to be leaning toward thinking it is bad. In my book +$815 is good. Long-term capital gains are usually better than income taxes, but you seem to act as if the opposite were true. I'm taking your prem...
by Aptenodytes
Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare & HSA Math Assistance
Replies: 3
Views: 261
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