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by Christine_NM
Thu May 21, 2015 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apply Medical school advice
Replies: 17
Views: 1559

Re: Apply Medical school advice

You should let your son decide this for himself. This is like advising a relative on a portfolio -- suppose he takes your advice and you are wrong? IMHO his decision should depend on whether he has other, non-gaming extracurriculars to add as well. If not, I'd leave it out. If it balances nicely wit...
by Christine_NM
Thu May 21, 2015 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Not your father's Total Bond Market Fund anymore
Replies: 60
Views: 6447

Re: Not your father's Total Bond Market Fund anymore

http://i1277.photobucket.com/albums/y487/robertrb/Rolling%20returns%203-years_zpstguzxssg.jpg Thanks, Rob. I clicked on the chart and added MFF (my favorite fund), Balanced Index Admiral. It steers nicely between Total Stock and Total Bond. To my biased eye it captures most of the upside and avoids...
by Christine_NM
Wed May 20, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living on last months income.
Replies: 33
Views: 3270

Re: Living on last months income.

I don't fully understand this. So if you bring home $6k each month, and you live on last month's income, then you would have ~$6k in checking at all times? That is similar to what happens with me. Everything comes into checking on the 1st of the month or the week before, representing payments for t...
by Christine_NM
Wed May 20, 2015 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: On a Scale of 1 - 10.. [Portfolio evaluation]
Replies: 34
Views: 2271

Re: On a Scale of 1 - 10.. [Portfolio evaluation]

I would not have the CD ladder and a mortgage larger than my investment portfolio. Use the CDs as they mature to make principal payments on the mortgage, especially if pre-paying principal gives you a break on the current payment amount. In 5 years the mortgage will have shrunk considerably and hope...
by Christine_NM
Mon May 18, 2015 2:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to investing with questions
Replies: 5
Views: 487

Re: New to investing with questions

Have you considered the Total World Stock Investor Shares (VTWSX) or ETF if you can get free trades? This seems like an ideal starter fund for a small taxable account with a 50/50 US/Intl allocation built in. Minimum is $3,000 for the fund. ER is higher than TSM and Total Intl but you are not invest...
by Christine_NM
Sat May 16, 2015 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter from IRS (I think they are wrong)
Replies: 21
Views: 2715

Re: Letter from IRS (I think they are wrong)

The latest case: this year, I get an IRS notification that I had calculated my 2014 taxes incorrectly, and that I owed several thousand in additional income tax. It took me about 2 minutes to diagnose their mistake: they calculated my tax bill as if Line 9b on my Form 1040 (i.e., qualified dividend...
by Christine_NM
Fri May 15, 2015 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k - Vanguard mutual funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1381

Re: 401k - Vanguard mutual funds

More tweaks please -- omit the 10% play account if this is not long term investing. Do you consider your CDs to be bond-equivalents or are they part of an emergency fund? Is your 401k your only long term investment? If you are just starting out with a small amount in your 401k you could do worse tha...
by Christine_NM
Fri May 15, 2015 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k - Vanguard mutual funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1381

Re: 401k - Vanguard mutual funds

Does the 401k only offer these Vanguard funds? Vanguard Target Date funds or Life Strategy funds would make it easier for you to set up a portfolio.
by Christine_NM
Fri May 15, 2015 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How bad is Wellesley for taxable?
Replies: 37
Views: 2811

Re: How bad is Wellesley for taxable?

The dividend part of a distribution would be taxable at qualified dividend rate, which for me are the same as capital gain rate. The bond income portion of each distribution is taxable at your ordinary income rate -- this is the rub. However, if you are in the 15% bracket this should not hurt too ba...
by Christine_NM
Wed May 13, 2015 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a dumb thing to do? [Pied-a-terre to share with daughter]
Replies: 41
Views: 4879

Re: Is this a dumb thing to do? [Help daughter purchase condo]

rikki - Would you buy a pied-a-terre just for yourself, if your daughter lived far away? I'm familiar with the area you live in and with traveling to Boston and Cambridge. It is not that far to travel to justify the prices. Ah for the days when you could buy a studio for $400,000. Cambridge is full ...
by Christine_NM
Tue May 12, 2015 12:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your networth progression
Replies: 201
Views: 37393

Re: Share your networth progression

6/1965 - BA 12/1965 - working but $0 net worth 12/1966 - $300.00 .. fast forward to 12/1980 $30k including an IRA and some stocks in a taxable account, 401k added in 1983 12/1987 finished MBA while working full time 12/1995 $120k 12/1998 $350k 12/1999 $500k 12/2004 $800k - retirement 12/2007 $1.2m 1...
by Christine_NM
Sun May 10, 2015 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lecture me about "too much house"
Replies: 49
Views: 5314

Re: Lecture me about "too much house"

When you sell your house, the cheaper house will sell much faster. I would be inclined to keep it small for now, and plan to move up only when you can afford a 20%+ down payment. And once you put money into home equity do not cash it out with refinancing. There will always be prettier neighborhoods ...
by Christine_NM
Sat May 09, 2015 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stop contributions to retirement accts due to future RMDs
Replies: 77
Views: 5390

Re: Stop contributions to retirement accts due to future RMDs

I will be forever thankful to whoever responded to my query on Morningstar's Already Retired Forum over 15 years ago. I asked in general about how to plan for retirement spending (not a common topic then) and one person replied, Do not neglect your taxable accounts . I already had my suspicions abou...
by Christine_NM
Sat May 09, 2015 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Math for Retirees and the 4% Withdrawal Rule
Replies: 89
Views: 9774

Re: New Math for Retirees and the 4% Withdrawal Rule

And furthermore, if you are in a situation where you have an income stream from pensions or annuities which are fixed (not inflation adjusted), a low-interest / low inflation environment is just what the doctor ordered. I think a lot of people are in this situation, with a mix of fixed income strea...
by Christine_NM
Thu May 07, 2015 6:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: McNabb op ed - possible 8% cash requirement
Replies: 33
Views: 2988

Re: McNabb op ed - possible 8% cash requirement

Both the op-ed and the ICI comments are worth reading. Apparently, out of all the world's mutual funds, FSB finds that 14 US-based mutual funds might be SIFIs. Any fund designated SIFI would not be worth an 8% headwind, or even a 5% headwind. If you would not pay a load, you would not invest in thes...
by Christine_NM
Thu May 07, 2015 4:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: McNabb op ed - possible 8% cash requirement
Replies: 33
Views: 2988

Re: McNabb op ed - possible 8% cash requirement

Silence Dogood wrote:Is there any way to read this op-ed without having a WSJ subscription?

I tried to Google the article but I hit a pay wall.


Try highlighting the headline and dragging it into a Google search box. Works for me, anyway.
by Christine_NM
Thu May 07, 2015 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Round Numbers in Portfolio Allocations
Replies: 49
Views: 2896

Re: Round Numbers in Portfolio Allocations

What does "investment savvy" have to do with round numbers? I don't see how this addresses the issue at all.
by Christine_NM
Wed May 06, 2015 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit union question
Replies: 16
Views: 1580

Re: Credit union question

Look up the credit union on bankrate.com.
by Christine_NM
Wed May 06, 2015 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aging parent not interested in setting up POA etc
Replies: 26
Views: 2822

Re: Aging parent not interested in setting up POA etc

I was an only daughter and my Mom had lined up all the health and financial POAs, but it turned out not to be necessary. Everyone just took my word as the only person who sent her to the ER, showed up at the hospital and later at hospice. This was not too long ago. If there is no one else around wit...
by Christine_NM
Tue May 05, 2015 11:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Diversifying beyond Vanguard Target Date Fund
Replies: 45
Views: 4384

Re: Diversifying beyond Vanguard Target Date Fund

netra - When you do this, just call it scratching an itch and don't try to tell yourself that it is something important that must be paid attention to and done right. Target Date fund is where your future security lies. Sometimes I have bought a fund thinking it is important, only to discard it in a...
by Christine_NM
Sun May 03, 2015 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tea bag recs for making iced tea please
Replies: 17
Views: 1203

Re: Tea bag recs for making iced tea please

Republic of Tea makes Passion Fruit Papaya Pineapple - http://www.republicoftea.com/passionfruit-papaya-black/p/V00589/ I have not tried it but I like all their teas. I have about a dozen kinds on hand, they all make fantastic iced tea. I ream a lemon or a lime onto the ice cubes while the tea is br...
by Christine_NM
Sun May 03, 2015 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wellseley VWINX - for a conservative investor mid 30s.
Replies: 16
Views: 1879

Re: Wellseley VWINX - for a conservative investor mid 30s.

CW - Wellesley has mostly corporate bonds so they will behave differently not in direction but in degree -- when Treasuries sink (like last Friday) Wellesley's NAV was unchanged. The stocks went up and bonds went down, and Wellesley stayed even. This fund however is awfully conservative for 30s-40s....
by Christine_NM
Sat May 02, 2015 11:56 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Polls Disabled
Replies: 60
Views: 3564

Re: Polls Disabled

^^^ The root problem here is that the word "poll" means many things. Call it something else -- an opinion survey, but snappier than that. I would have thought that everyone understood the limits of self-selected polling. And for those who haven't figured it out yet, where better to learn s...
by Christine_NM
Sat May 02, 2015 11:17 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Polls Disabled
Replies: 60
Views: 3564

Re: Polls Disabled

Can you add some automatic boilerplate as a footnote to each poll, something about our polls being unscientific, don't change your life based on a poll (or a post, for that matter), proving nothing, reader beware -- whatever you want. We live in a checkbox/radio button world. Might as well learn to ...
by Christine_NM
Sat May 02, 2015 10:50 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests
Replies: 202
Views: 9091

Re: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests

To the forum gods -- A private message sent to me on April 23 has reactivated itself (since the upgrade) and is showing as a new message no matter how many times I read it. I don't want to delete it, I just want to see "zero PM" on the banner heading when there are no new messages. Thanks....
by Christine_NM
Fri May 01, 2015 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What sort of MBA is right for me?
Replies: 13
Views: 1079

Re: What sort of MBA is right for me?

Find out what your employer thinks of online MBAs. Your company would probably prefer the local U. An online degree may be a waste of time. As for specialty, do the basics and specialize in whatever appeals to you. I would have chosen operations research, but to get fully subsidized by my employer (...
by Christine_NM
Fri May 01, 2015 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do you consider "cash"
Replies: 32
Views: 2385

Re: What do you consider "cash"

Cash is what has no market price -- currency markets aside.

CDs are cash with conditions and some risk that FDIC insures against, but CDs do not have shares that fluctuate every day, so they are cash with strings.

Money markets pretend to be cash but we will see how that goes in the next RBYear.
by Christine_NM
Fri May 01, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation Ideas out west
Replies: 42
Views: 3081

Re: Vacation Ideas out west

Those are three great national parks. For other interesting places I would just keep eyes peeled for out of the way stuff that is different from home. Spend plenty of time at each place you like and you will enjoy it more. Don't rush to see the easy tourist attractions that every park has and then l...
by Christine_NM
Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wait for Social Security or not?
Replies: 13
Views: 1170

Re: Wait for Social Security or not?

Seems like she should see what happens one year at a time. Too many unknowns to make a hard and fast plan now. Wait to take SS as long as possible, but she may not be able to wait till 70. Most of the wait-till-70 advice involves taking spousal benefits earlier so the term "wait till 70" i...
by Christine_NM
Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with transporting oversized art piece?
Replies: 7
Views: 545

Re: Experience with transporting oversized art piece?

Maybe this is not a DIY job. I once bought a couple of paintings online from Sotheby's in London. Not sculpture, but still, they were packed by a firm contracted by the seller and arrived in perfect, bulletproof condition. The shipping cost 25% of the paintings' value. Look for a company that does t...
by Christine_NM
Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is a Boglehead?
Replies: 55
Views: 2945

Re: What is a Boglehead?

Stocks, bonds, cash. :moneybag
by Christine_NM
Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why the big difference in my intl managed vs index funds
Replies: 8
Views: 672

Re: Why the big difference in my intl managed vs index funds

Debit - I remember ARTIX and DODFX from the 90's as always being top funds. I charted them just now compared to Vangd Total Intl and the index looks pretty poor. However, then I added to the chart the first foreign fund I owned long ago, Templeton Foreign Fund A (TEMFX). It was flying high with your...
by Christine_NM
Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring August 31, Company terminating pension plan
Replies: 16
Views: 2546

Re: Retiring August 31, Company terminating pension plan

Another data point -- my pension has been paid to me monthly in the form of an annuity from Prudential since I retired 10 years ago. Thankfully I had no lump sum option or I might have been tempted to take it. However, PBGC still lists my employer as eligible for coverage. It's a nonprofit funded mo...
by Christine_NM
Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Work adjustment options
Replies: 19
Views: 1460

Re: Poll: Work adjustment options

OP - Have you considered that with option 4 and 5, part-time work, your pension benefit will not accrue fully for the time you spend working. The pension is based on hours worked, not years worked. I considered most of your options for myself and they seemed like less pay for the same commitment, if...
by Christine_NM
Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TX, MT, CO, and NM Comparative Tax Burden
Replies: 37
Views: 2314

Re: TX, MT, CO, and NM Comparative Tax Burden

RandomP - CityData says mean price of "Detached houses: $433,458" in Santa Fe. To me, that means I made a pretty good guess at a starting price of $500k for a house you would want to move to from wherever your current location is. When Santa Fe first became a celebrity destination it cause...
by Christine_NM
Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TX, MT, CO, and NM Comparative Tax Burden
Replies: 37
Views: 2314

Re: TX, MT, CO, and NM Comparative Tax Burden

Not sure what you're looking for or your preferences, of course, but I think you'll have a hard time finding a decent house in Santa Fe for $275k. Maybe a townhouse in the city or a house out in Rancho Viejo or Eldorado or in one of the cookie cutter Centex subdivisions, but in general, $275k doesn...
by Christine_NM
Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your average monthly expense???
Replies: 85
Views: 8303

Re: What's your average monthly expense???

Rent/mortgage, insurance, rental insurance, etc: home items & upkeep/yr = $600/month Phone + Internet: $200 Electricity + gas, water: $200 Auto Payment: $0 Auto Insurance: $90 Gas: $10 Grocery: $250 Foods (eating out, office lunch, etc): $0 Entertainment, shopping, movie, etc: $500 Debt: $0 Misc...
by Christine_NM
Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 722
Views: 104814

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Faceless Killers, by Henning Mankell

I missed the whole Wallander series on PBS and never read any of the novels, so thought I'd try the first one, from 1990. I liked the Martin Beck series and the Stieg Larsson series, and in style this one falls somewhere in between the two.
by Christine_NM
Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Evaluating Federal Job Offer
Replies: 28
Views: 2796

Re: Help Evaluating Federal Job Offer

Birraj - Take it. I can't believe you are hesitating. It is a slightly different culture, but that is nothing compared to poor job security. Just realize that the real bosses are in Wash DC and they are paying the bills. They have their reasons for the strange things they want to do. I started at a ...
by Christine_NM
Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does 3-funds offer higher returns or lower risk?
Replies: 42
Views: 5939

Re: Does 3-funds offer higher returns or lower risk?

I have another question. The state of Florida has a program called "Future Advisor". They highly recommend the Vanguard Index Funds. For an indexing approach they also recommend a 3 fund approach using Domestic Stock (Vangiard Total Stock Market Index), Vanguard Total Bond Market index an...
by Christine_NM
Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD and paying taxes
Replies: 12
Views: 1303

Re: RMD and paying taxes

Yes, but.. You have already paid ordinary income tax on your taxable account. Now you owe capital gains tax if you sell at a profit. The money in a 401k or deductible IRA has never been taxed. All you owe are taxes at ordinary income rate when you take your RMDs. Looked at another way, you are avoid...
by Christine_NM
Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 16387

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

^^Wow, Confused, you are a fantastic writer. Please let me know if you ever get the time to self-publish for Amazon Kindle. I'd buy an e-book of yours.
by Christine_NM
Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift limit and Charitable Donations
Replies: 31
Views: 1255

Re: Gift limit and Charitable Donations

Boarder - I used to get $10,000 a year from one parent back when that was the allowed amount for no record keeping. I'd also have charitable deductions. I never considered Mom as paying in particular for charitable contributions. I would send her gift to Vanguard. One year I think I even gifted appr...
by Christine_NM
Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 16387

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

EmergDoc wrote: I'm genuinely curious why a household would "settle" for an income of $30K. I am enjoying reading this whole thread but with nothing much to offer on the original topic. But I had to post when it occurred to me that the annual safe withdrawal rate on $1 million is just abou...
by Christine_NM
Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Withdrawing from balanced funds when stocks are down
Replies: 30
Views: 1780

Re: Withdrawing from balanced funds when stocks are down

I like to avoid these issues and withdraw only from money market accounts. I would not call it good to sell shares of anything for living expenses -- but I know lots of BHs would disagree with me. You are kidding yourself. Setting aside money to spend so that you can pretend you are not withdrawing...
by Christine_NM
Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Withdrawing from balanced funds when stocks are down
Replies: 30
Views: 1780

Re: Withdrawing from balanced funds when stocks are down

Let me take a stab at this. She is right but she is not telling the whole story. In a downturn, a balanced fund's NAV will decline, but (obviously) less severely than a stock fund's NAV. Bond funds may do anything in a stock downturn, go up, down or stay the same, but usually bonds are up or unchang...
by Christine_NM
Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why bonds?
Replies: 13
Views: 1552

Re: Why bonds?

...my approach above already has regular equity withdraws... Seems like this is the problem, not low bond returns. According to my approach, I have cash and bonds so that I do not have touch equities. At the rate I am going I will die with my last I-bond clutched in my hand and a portfolio of 100% ...
by Christine_NM
Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implications of Marriage - she with debt and low income (WI)
Replies: 71
Views: 7092

Re: Implications of Marriage - she with debt and low income

^^Dulocracy -

Since your company required a prenup at least for itself, it takes some of the sting out. But were there terms added by you that the company did not require, and does your wife know that and how does she feel about it?
by Christine_NM
Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VWENX or VBIAX for long term
Replies: 7
Views: 994

Re: VWENX or VBIAX for long term

VWENX has 7.76% invested in foreign stocks, VBIAX is domestic only. VWENX has slightly more equities at 65/35, VBIAX is 60/40. Of course the expense ratio of VBIAX is .10% vs .18% for VWENX. Both are fine options IMO. Small correction - VBIAX ER is .09, half of VWENX. When you have a large amount t...
by Christine_NM
Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Index Funds Warning
Replies: 5
Views: 1074

Re: Index Funds Warning

The article does not mention that most non-Vanguard managed funds hold stock positions so briefly that they have no influence on management at all. To them, a stock is a commodity and the only important thing is price. They could care less about management -- and that is probably a good thing. At le...

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