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Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

You really don't need to send a gift of any sort. I will get cards and emails from patients expressing gratitude and that is more than enough. Kind words go a long way, and nothing more is necessary. If there has been something extraordinary (a prolonged illness of a loved one where you feel your do...
by Artsdoctor
Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 58
Views: 2699

Re: Burton Malkiel Opinion in WSJ -- "Are Stock Prices ..."

I thought it was a good article, and quite free from sensationalism or prediction. In fact it was a good exercise in explaining why predictions may not be actionable even if they are correct. Agreed. Although I'd argue that some of the well thought out "predictions" on this forum and else...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Burton Malkiel Opinion in WSJ -- "Are Stock Prices ..."
Replies: 26
Views: 2944

Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Yes. Our deductible is 10% of the cost to rebuild (not the estimated worth of the house). The premium is about the same as our homeowner's premium. Each annual premium is about 0.1% of the worth of the house. I didn't get it to fix cracks in the driveway after the earthquake, I pay premiums in case ...
by Artsdoctor
Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 49
Views: 2557

Re: What documents should you never throw away?

Death certificates. You'd be surprised at how many institutions want originals. Having recently gone through this during my dad's funeral, we were offered five certificates for a small fee and another for free because of military service. I couldn't figure out why this was important until several fi...
by Artsdoctor
Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What documents should you never throw away?
Replies: 17
Views: 1629

Re: Frequent Flyer Miles:Transfer, Gift or what...

Every airline has its own rules so you'll have to check with a representative. I can tell you that I've been able to use my points on Delta to purchase tickets for others simply by logging into my Sky Miles account and using their names to get them tickets. I was a little skeptical about how easy th...
by Artsdoctor
Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frequent Flyer Miles:Transfer, Gift or what...
Replies: 12
Views: 701

Re: Pay cash for flight on sale, or use FF mileage quandry

Good responses above. For family reasons, I have had to travel A LOT over the past year. This has included emergencies and cancellations. The best advice I can give you is to look at ALL of your frequently flyer accounts that you've amassed over the years. If all you have is United, your job will be...
by Artsdoctor
Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay cash for flight on sale, or use FF mileage quandry
Replies: 29
Views: 1958

Re: Will you have to pay your parent's long term care costs?

Thanks for sending this over. This is clearly disturbing and as someone who is dealing with both in-laws in PA at the end of their lives (requiring nursing home care), this is timely.
by Artsdoctor
Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you have to pay your parent's long term care costs?
Replies: 57
Views: 3902

Re: Roth questions from an MD

Iceman, First, your MARGINAL tax rates are different than our tax brackets described. The only way for you to understand how much tax you'd pay on converting to a Roth is to calculate your marginal rates. Second, I would recommend that you not try a guess what federal and state rates might be in 25 ...
by Artsdoctor
Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth questions from an MD
Replies: 31
Views: 2755

Re: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD

Arthur, If you're a belts and suspenders guy and want maximal protection, you can buy prerefunded munis. The funds are secured in US treasuries (or the like) so you really don't have credit risk. The yield is less, of course, but you might come out ahead. You lose the liquidity of a treasury but you...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD
Replies: 98
Views: 9371

Re: Muni bond fund - MUB or ?

Zizi, I'm not a big fan of bond ETFs because of bid-ask spreads, the delayed reinvestment of dividends at impossible-to-comprehend prices, and the potential illiquidity issues should there be a run on the ETF. I believe there are no fees associated with the ETF at Fidelity but that's another conside...
by Artsdoctor
Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Muni bond fund - MUB or ?
Replies: 10
Views: 726

Re: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD

^ Nauseating = "such as to cause contempt, disgust, loathing." It is true that it is non-analytical. But I would resent paying taxes on an investment that has given me no money in my pocket. Being taxed on phantom income is something that I personally would avoid but others may feel differ...
by Artsdoctor
Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD
Replies: 98
Views: 9371

Re: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD

Arthur, From what I gather, you're now 40 and you'll be using the interest for spending. Therefore, I suspect this is not money that will be placed in a tax-deferred account. Therefore, TIPS are really not an option, as some posters have suggested. If you're really to build a true ladder, you're no...
by Artsdoctor
Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD
Replies: 98
Views: 9371

Re: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD

^ Lang, Unless you're in a very low federal and state income bracket, most people would find paying tax without any tangible return unpalatable. If I'm holding a 2032 TIPS bond and don't anticipate selling it until maturity, the idea of paying annual taxes for the next 18 years on the accrued princi...
by Artsdoctor
Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD
Replies: 98
Views: 9371

Re: Liability Matching Portfoloio

^ I suspected that you had a hand in that. And I'm grateful to the others as well. Extremely well-written. The references were also great. I've used Paula Hogan's site for information as well. I agree that the way it's been presented here is user-friendly and practical. Only later did I realize that...
by Artsdoctor
Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Liability Matching Portfoloio
Replies: 36
Views: 3201

Re: Liability Matching Portfoloio

^ Very, very helpful to discuss. If assets are even moderately large, discretionary spending is extremely flexible. After all, you do that intuitively: will you vacation locally or internationally, will you travel for one week or four weeks, will you buy a BMW or a Honda. Even the "necessities&...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Liability Matching Portfoloio
Replies: 36
Views: 3201

Re: Liability Matching Portfoloio

Very very helpful, and pretty much the way I've evolved to think about it. Everyone's situation is different. I'm 55 and would anticipate working another 10 years but I could be wrong. That's Plan A, anyway. I've already placed as much into TIPS ladders as I can: the 2043, 2042, 2041, 2040 bonds hav...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Liability Matching Portfoloio
Replies: 36
Views: 3201

Re: Liability Matching Portfoloio

dbr, It can be confusing. It's only started sinking in with me during the past year with Bill Bernstein's e-books and then following up with some of his references (in particular, Zwecher's book). Life-cycle investing is a relatively new way of looking at financial management. To me, I like the conc...
by Artsdoctor
Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Liability Matching Portfoloio
Replies: 36
Views: 3201

Re: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD

Arthur, From what I gather, you're now 40 and you'll be using the interest for spending. Therefore, I suspect this is not money that will be placed in a tax-deferred account. Therefore, TIPS are really not an option, as some posters have suggested. If you're really to build a true ladder, you're not...
by Artsdoctor
Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD
Replies: 98
Views: 9371

Re: Liability Matching Portfoloio

So let me pose a question to those who are using a TIPS ladder for a lifestyle floor (a LMP). Once you've built your TIPS ladder and you've essentially funded that LMP, do you take that ladder out of your asset allocation altogether? Since it's really like having your own annuity (a term annuity), o...
by Artsdoctor
Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Liability Matching Portfoloio
Replies: 36
Views: 3201

Re: Physician Long term Disability- Premium pre or post tax

With the tax structure being so unpredictable, I would strongly urge you to pay your premiums with post-tax dollars. If you're really going to be on disability, you're not going to want to be bothered with having 1/3-1/2 of the disability policy income taxes (see above post).
by Artsdoctor
Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician Long term Disability- Premium pre or post tax
Replies: 19
Views: 969

Re: Legality of sending personal information via email

Dodeca, You're right: your hyperlink was indeed written by a third year law student. She summarizes the most recent ABA stance that I could find (2011): http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/YourABA/11_459.authcheckdam.pdf Within the past year, it seems that the ABA has put out &qu...
by Artsdoctor
Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Legality of sending personal information via email
Replies: 38
Views: 2019

Re: Legality of sending personal information via email

Dodeca, First, thank you for the providing the ABA piece above. If you take a look at the last two paragraphs, you'll see that the ABA is actually questioning whether or not the legal profession needs to take encryption software more seriously. It might be the norm to send sensitive documents over t...
by Artsdoctor
Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Legality of sending personal information via email
Replies: 38
Views: 2019

Re: Legality of sending personal information via email

Calm Man, It is true that email makes things awfully efficient. But encryption services abound and it is so easy nowadays to encrypt email that there's no legitimate excuse to not do it. Just because a large chunk of the legal world doesn't do it doesn't make it acceptable. As I noted above, we've b...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Legality of sending personal information via email
Replies: 38
Views: 2019

Re: [If over 50] Do you prepare for long term care

^ Browser: I agree. When I reviewed it with my mom a few months ago, I couldn't believe it and I told her that they don't even write policies like this anymore. In fact, I was skeptical enough that I got on the phone to speak with a representative with my mom, and she confirmed everything. I was STI...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [If over 50] Do you prepare for long term care
Replies: 43
Views: 2113

Re: [If over 50] Do you prepare for long term care

My parents' maximum doesn't have a financial cap. Genworth will pay for 10 years of long-term care and they can split it anyway they want (8 years for Mom, 2 years for Dad, for example). It's indexed to inflation. Right now, Genworth will pay $275 per day and then that is indexed to CPU (and don't a...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [If over 50] Do you prepare for long term care
Replies: 43
Views: 2113

Re: What does this mean? [Muni bond question]

Log on to EMMA and use the CUSIP number. You'll get all of the information you'll need.
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What does this mean? [Muni bond question]
Replies: 3
Views: 379

Re: Vanguard computer security

RM,

There are no tokens required for Schwab. In fact, I'm not even asked a security question from Schwab when I log on to my account from a computer I've never used before.
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard computer security
Replies: 67
Views: 3654

Re: HSA Strategy for high income earners

^ Good point. Although there is legislation afoot to make all non-spouse inherited IRAs distribute total balances within 5 years of death. Whether or not this will come to pass is anyone's guess. The way Congress is currently operating, there will be no decisions made anytime soon (about much of any...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Strategy for high income earners
Replies: 79
Views: 5560

Re: [If over 50] Do you prepare for long term care

This is a topic very close to home. My spouse and I have decided to "self-insure" because we think we'll be able to do it. But I'm a bit nervous because of what I'm being hit with right now with my dad and both in-laws. My mom and dad have a Genworth plan that was written 12 years ago and ...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [If over 50] Do you prepare for long term care
Replies: 43
Views: 2113

Re: Vanguard computer security

I can definitely understand concern here, but to some extent, the accountholder has to accept some responsibility. When you log on to vanguard.com, the site will know if you're logging on from a verified site because of a cookie that's been left. If it doesn't find the cookie, it will ask you a ques...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard computer security
Replies: 67
Views: 3654

Re: Legality of sending personal information via email

I cannot speak to the details of the law, but I have to say that this gives me pause. First, my accountant always sends me my forms by a password-protected document. If I'm uploading any documents with my SSN on it, I use SecureDrawer which has been set up for me by my accountant. Second, although t...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Legality of sending personal information via email
Replies: 38
Views: 2019

Re: What does this mean? [Muni bond question]

LOL. Crow: Why on earth are you asking? If you're interesting in buying something, the site from which you obtained the information is bound to have more information than what you're going to find here. I'm going to guess that you didn't provide all of the information. I could guess that these are r...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What does this mean? [Muni bond question]
Replies: 3
Views: 379

Re: HSA Strategy for high income earners

Ultimately, this is a personal decision and as long as we all stick to the confines of the law, I don't think there are any right or wrong answers here. It is loosely analogous to a typical tax-deferred account, such as your work 401k. You may start taking withdraws as early as age 59-1/2 or you can...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Strategy for high income earners
Replies: 79
Views: 5560

Re: HSA Strategy for high income earners

Dodeca, I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. My parents (not my in-laws) have an amazing LTC policy through Genworth with cannot even be written nowadays. My mom has just started using it for my dad (home care), and I cannot tell you the peace of mind that it gives our family. I would p...
by Artsdoctor
Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Strategy for high income earners
Replies: 79
Views: 5560

Re: Short term vs Intermediate term bond funds

If I'm going to invest in a bond fund, I will use a fund's duration to guide me. In another words, I will not invest in a fund which has a duration longer than when I will need the money. If I anticipate that I will need the funds within the next few years, I'll use a short-term fund; if I don't an...
by Artsdoctor
Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short term vs Intermediate term bond funds
Replies: 27
Views: 2537

Re: HSA Strategy for high income earners

Perhaps I am viewing HSAs from a different angle. I don't view them as tax avoidance vehicles and it's never occurred to me to think of them as tax evasion alternatives. My mother-in-law is spending $10,000 per month in her nursing home. If she had had HSAs available to her when she was in her 50s, ...
by Artsdoctor
Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Strategy for high income earners
Replies: 79
Views: 5560

Re: HSA Strategy for high income earners

^ Yes. I noticed when I logged on to my HSA account recently that there is a nominal fee for using the debit card or even having them cut a check. The only free way to get the money out of the account was to just arrange for an electronic transfer of funds. In the above example, the OP could easily ...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Strategy for high income earners
Replies: 79
Views: 5560

Re: Why should a portfolio get safer as one ages?

In retirement, your investment portfolio is essentially your income. There's no human capital left. I have never talked to a retiree that disliked the certainty of his/her social security check. Once your paycheck stops, you will have to get your money from somewhere. You'll need to differentiate ne...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why should a portfolio get safer as one ages?
Replies: 30
Views: 2796

Re: Would you use a HELOC to invest in VTSAX?

If you had a HELOC with a fixed rate at 1.99% for two years, would you use it to: 1. Pay off your mortgage? (Owe $322,000-28 years left) 2. Pay off your rental? (Owe $137,000-27.5 years left) 3. Invest in Total World Stock Market? 4. Invest in Municipal Bond Fund? 5. None of the above I would use t...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you use a HELOC to invest in VTSAX?
Replies: 22
Views: 1378

Re: Bond Funds

Bill McNabb wrote today on the Vanguard website " One reminder for long-term investors: There's a silver lining to rising interest rates. If your time frame is longer than the duration of the bonds you're invested in, you actually want interest rates to rise. Even though your fund's share pric...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Funds
Replies: 3
Views: 517

Re: Un-matched 403(b) vs. Roth IRA

Chicago, Don't downplay the value of "tax diversification." There will be plenty of time for tax-deferred accounts later (403, 401, etc.), but you will find it hard to make easy contributions to Roths later (your salary will be too high and even if you wanted to transfer from a 403 to a Ro...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Un-matched 403(b) vs. Roth IRA
Replies: 6
Views: 352

Re: HSA Strategy for high income earners

^ I'm surprised you'd consider it tax avoidance. The tax law is very clear about what is and is not allowed regarding HSA maintenance and investing your annual allocations so that you can pay for medical expenses when retired seems like a pretty sound--and entirely legal AND ethical--investment stra...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Strategy for high income earners
Replies: 79
Views: 5560

Re: Short term vs Intermediate term bond funds

If I'm going to invest in a bond fund, I will use a fund's duration to guide me. In another words, I will not invest in a fund which has a duration longer than when I will need the money. If I anticipate that I will need the funds within the next few years, I'll use a short-term fund; if I don't ant...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short term vs Intermediate term bond funds
Replies: 27
Views: 2537

Re: Will global entry or TSA Precheck help me?

We have been part of the GOES system since it was first initiated and have found it invaluable. Sometimes, it's actually embarrassing--there can be HUGE passport control lines at Bradley International here in LA and we go around the corner and have never waited more than a minute to go through. We'v...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will global entry or TSA Precheck help me?
Replies: 27
Views: 1701

Re: How do you document your HSA "stuff?"

I keep all receipts in an accordion file but before filing, I enter the transactions in my HSA Quicken file. I've been doing this for many years and, like the OP, intend to use the HSAs in my old age. However, if I'm diagnosed with something terminal, I'll probably reimburse all of those expenses fr...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you document your HSA "stuff?"
Replies: 38
Views: 2180

Re: TIPS Ladder Spreadsheets in General & Two in Particular

^ Erwin, When you consider building a TIPS ladder for retirement, you are assuming that you will spend the bond at the maturity date. You would not be expected to live off of the coupons. The cash flow each year is made up of the maturing bond and the coupons generated from the longer bonds as well....
by Artsdoctor
Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS Ladder Spreadsheets in General & Two in Particular
Replies: 48
Views: 5823

Re: How to w/d from taxable until SS/RMD time gets here?

^ I am guilty of being presumptuous. For some reason, most likely because of your moniker, I thought you were less than 64 years old and were contemplating taking social security "early," at 62. Then you do indeed have options ahead for you. Dividends will clearly be helpful, as Grabiner p...
by Artsdoctor
Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to w/d from taxable until SS/RMD time gets here?
Replies: 29
Views: 2120

Re: How to w/d from taxable until SS/RMD time gets here?

Taking Social Security early will reduce your payout by quite a bit and you will be left with that reduced payout for the rest of your life. If it applies to your family, spousal benefits will be reduced forever as well. There's no point in putting everything in cash because that's not necessary. If...
by Artsdoctor
Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to w/d from taxable until SS/RMD time gets here?
Replies: 29
Views: 2120

Re: How to w/d from taxable until SS/RMD time gets here?

If you're going to rely on your taxable account to support your lifestyle, the taxable account should provide a predictable stream of income. You mention that the account is about $400,000 now and you'd like to spend it over 7 years. If the Total Stock Market fund drops 20%, how will that affect yo...
by Artsdoctor
Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to w/d from taxable until SS/RMD time gets here?
Replies: 29
Views: 2120

Re: How to w/d from taxable until SS/RMD time gets here?

If you're going to rely on your taxable account to support your lifestyle, the taxable account should provide a predictable stream of income. You mention that the account is about $400,000 now and you'd like to spend it over 7 years. If the Total Stock Market fund drops 20%, how will that affect you...
by Artsdoctor
Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to w/d from taxable until SS/RMD time gets here?
Replies: 29
Views: 2120
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