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Re: You can lead a horse to water... [Giving financial advic

I'm surprised by so many responses that say these people can't change. Sometimes you have to hit bottom to change so I wouldn't automatically throw in the towel - or much more financial support. If/when they realize that they are largely responsible for their situation and want to change - then havi...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You can lead a horse to water... [Giving financial advice]
Replies: 49
Views: 4932

Re: paydown strategy for mortgage

If jobs are fairly secure and you have covered the insurance bases e.g. health, life, disability, homeowner/auto/flood/hurricane and umbrella insurance you have little risk in paying off the mortgage. If the higher the mortgage rate the better the payoff decision. Hating debt is a good thing. If the...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: paydown strategy for mortgage
Replies: 38
Views: 2167

Re: POLL: If Eligible For Social Security .....

I am delaying till 70 and have no regrets -- so far. I am fortunate to be able to delay and fund retirement expenses without my SS. I am also trying to do some Roth conversions so don't want to add SS income at this time. My portfolio today is much higher than when I retired 6 years ago thanks to a ...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: If Eligible For Social Security .....
Replies: 39
Views: 1600

Re: Does this strategy invite unnecessary risk?

He thinks that if you are relatively young and have many years to retirement, that you should have more equities and less bonds. He also believes that you should self evaluate your ability to withstand risk and market crashes while staying the course. He uses bonds as a stablizer to minimize that r...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does this strategy invite unnecessary risk?
Replies: 42
Views: 2507

Re: POLL: why carry cash?

Small purchases I use cash, larger ones credit card. Almost never use a debit card. I don't dig for pennies to give exact change - I feel your pain in that respect. In many cases using a credit card is as fast or getting close to as fast as using a debit card. Pretty soon using your phone will make ...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: why carry cash?
Replies: 167
Views: 4380

Re: POLL: If Eligible For Social Security .....

I'm not surprised. Waiting is probably best for most people who are healthy, married and can afford to wait. For those in that position I haven't heard many "experts" that I respect advising anything different. If circumstances change then you can collect earlier. It would be great to get ...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: If Eligible For Social Security .....
Replies: 39
Views: 1600

Re: Does this strategy invite unnecessary risk?

Is it a bit riskier? slightly. both are more risky than the norm. But with risk come potential greater rewards. US small caps have had a great run lately and emerging markets have not. A slight tilt toward either is not a very great risk or a very great benefit.
by Dandy
Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does this strategy invite unnecessary risk?
Replies: 42
Views: 2507

Re: Build Cash Reserves or Contribute to Taxable Account.

You haven't given much info. One key question is when do you plan to take SS? When I got close to retirement I kept a lot of "extra" money in cash. That was in 2008 so it was a wise? very lucky decision. I am using the "safe" money to fund some retirement expenses till age 70 for...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Build Cash Reserves or Contribute to Taxable Account.
Replies: 3
Views: 695

Re: Boglehead used car problem. Run It or ditch it?

As a former frugal car owner I would say replace it not for any insight on mechanical performance but for updated safety. In 9 years there have been major advances in car safety. I would get a new car or newer used car. Changes in safety have changed the equation for me. I used to enjoy getting the ...
by Dandy
Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead used car problem. Run It or ditch it?
Replies: 21
Views: 1427

Re: Bernstein retirement plan

I bet you can do the same thing using a 2% withdrawal rate. If you have more and take less risk with it, your money is more likely to last. I would focus on those who have enough to make the decision to focus their allocation a la Bernstein. i.e. those who have won the game. Bernstein suggests a ve...
by Dandy
Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bernstein retirement plan
Replies: 38
Views: 4947

Re: SS Strategy Metric

I want to maximize my retirement income. My goal is to take SS at age 70. The beauty is that if circumstances change I can take it earlier if I want. If the market didn't recover from the crash of 2008-9 maybe I would have taken it early. I think people spend too much time trying to do SS math e.g. ...
by Dandy
Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Strategy Metric
Replies: 55
Views: 3040

Re: Can you please convince me to get a credit card?

There are certainly a bunch of concerns about people misusing their credit cards. If you don't see a value in a credit card then you probably wouldn't misuse it and get in trouble. I have used a credit card for about 50 years and I think I might have paid a late fee once or twice. I always pay it of...
by Dandy
Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you please convince me to get a credit card?
Replies: 93
Views: 5036

Re: Bernstein retirement plan

I think we need to remember this is a guideline/rule of thumb. If you have just enough for your number - 20 or 25 years safe might not be your best option. I think that a safe portfolio of short term bonds and an intermediate term CD ladder will tend to keep up with moderate inflation fairly well. I...
by Dandy
Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bernstein retirement plan
Replies: 38
Views: 4947

Re: 15 year vs 30 year fixed

Usually the shorter the term the less interest in dollars you will pay over the life of the loan. Nothing magic abut that. A 10 year mortgage will probably pay less interest than a 15 year - wait a 5 year will result in even less interest. If you can afford the shorter term without short changing ot...
by Dandy
Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 year vs 30 year fixed
Replies: 62
Views: 5760

Re: Bernstein retirement plan

I don't manage 2 separate portfolios but always do the calculation to make sure I have enough "safe" assets to fund 20-25 years of residual expenses. I am fortunate to have a decent "excess" over those "safe" assets. I don't know what I would do if my total assets were ...
by Dandy
Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bernstein retirement plan
Replies: 38
Views: 4947

Re: 15 year vs 30 year fixed

I would look to a lower 30 year. The lower required monthly payments gives you options e.g. pay down/off school loans, fund retirement, save for children's education, pay more than the minimum on the mortgage. You pay a bit more and likely for longer to have those options but I like having options.
by Dandy
Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 year vs 30 year fixed
Replies: 62
Views: 5760

Re: Was Wondering Why Windsor/Wellesley/Wellington?

Wellington and Wellesley are often given a "free" pass by many on this forum that usually pans active managed funds. Free pass may not do them justice since they do have very good track records and relatively low expenses/turnover. They do not fit the basic Boglehead model of low cost, bro...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Was Wondering Why Windsor/Wellesley/Wellington?
Replies: 28
Views: 3429

Re: Question about Bonds

Actually, in your mid 30" you biggest mistake would probably be being too conservative. That being said I would agree that lower equity allocation might make sense. You have plenty of time to ride out the dip in an intermediate bond fund due to rising interest rates. If the goal is for your fix...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Bonds
Replies: 4
Views: 654

Re: Bond Portion of Retirement Account

I like you bond fund choices. I would also consider adding some CDs. Vanguard currently offers a 5yr at 1.95%, a 7yr at 2.7% and a 10yr at 3.35% (check to make sure). Their shorter term CDs are not competitive. Since brokerage CDs pay out their interest you can decide to have the CD interest investe...
by Dandy
Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Portion of Retirement Account
Replies: 7
Views: 877

Re: Checking/Saving Account for Student

It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, Ally makes after their IPO and the US gov loosens up on some of it's restrictions. They were restricted on how much interest they could pay because banks that weren't bailed out were getting hurt when Ally paid leading rates. We will see what their...
by Dandy
Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checking/Saving Account for Student
Replies: 13
Views: 770

Re: Help in Allocating Vanguard Funds

Can you give me examples of how to rebalance without incurring taxes by having both equities and fixed income in tax advantaged and taxable accounts? If you have to sell equities and buy fixed income or vice versa to rebalance there are no tax implications if you do it in your IRA. You can also adj...
by Dandy
Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help in Allocating Vanguard Funds
Replies: 11
Views: 867

Re: Help in Allocating Vanguard Funds

Dandy, Thank you for the kind reply. Do you recommend using the 3 fund portfolio in both the taxed account and the IRA's? The usual rule of thumb is all the fixed income in tax advantaged and most of the equities in taxable. High dividend equities (e.g. REITs) are better off in tax advantaged if yo...
by Dandy
Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help in Allocating Vanguard Funds
Replies: 11
Views: 867

Re: Checking/Saving Account for Student

Not familiar with all of Capital One account features. I would check into Ally Bank. Pays interest, free checks, all ATM fees reimbursed, 24/7 service if those features are better. Both my adult children use it and are happy.
by Dandy
Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checking/Saving Account for Student
Replies: 13
Views: 770

Re: This time it's different?

You are right to point out that retirees like me had some excellent tail winds during much of our accumulation phase. Of course we both face what looks like less favorable conditions currently. The focus on living below your means and saving is a good approach at any time but especially now. Histori...
by Dandy
Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This time it's different?
Replies: 16
Views: 2459

Re: Help in Allocating Vanguard Funds

Welcome - I'm sure it will be difficult to go from so active to passive. I would suggest you do a limited number of funds so there won't be a temptation to play with them. The 3 fund portfolio is a good place to start: Total Stock Market, Total International Stock Market, and Total Bond Market. I wo...
by Dandy
Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help in Allocating Vanguard Funds
Replies: 11
Views: 867

Re: How often do you rebalance to maintain your AA

First I keep an eye on the major equity vs fixed income allocation vs looking at every sub allocation during the year. If that varies by a few percent I will usually step in. The hot equity market in 2013 resulted in a few reductions to equities. I try to avoid large rebalancing moves. That said my ...
by Dandy
Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you rebalance to maintain your AA
Replies: 35
Views: 1660

Re: Do I take the separation package offer?

I was almost in the exact situation several years ago. I planned to retire at 62 and was offered a nice package at just past 60. The other key factor is I really didn't have a choice! But if I did I would have taken it. You are almost being paid until your target retirement age, but don't have to ac...
by Dandy
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I take the separation package offer?
Replies: 50
Views: 4549

Re: Investment amount instead of allocation percentage

Not exactly. I do think people tend to look at risk in percentage terms rather than dollars. In the accumulation stage I had a certain dollar target for my stable value fund and put excess mostly into equities. In retirement I tend to have a base dollar amount "safe" and then put excess mo...
by Dandy
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investment amount instead of allocation percentage
Replies: 21
Views: 1527

Re: Delaying Social Security - best long-term investment?

In this post I think the use of term best Investment is a bad way to look at when to take SS. It focuses on the breakeven point when taking SS at 62 vs 66 (or 70). Yes if you take it at 62 and die at 75 or 80 you probably will have done better dollar wise rather than delaying SS. Whether your surviv...
by Dandy
Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Delaying Social Security - best long-term investment?
Replies: 78
Views: 3658

Re: Best option for high interest earning no fee checking?

I have a no interest no fee local checking account. I also have a savings account at Discover Bank (Ally, Barclays would be great also). Once set up it is easy to move money between Vanguard and either bank. Just a few clicks and a few days. You aren't going to get rich with the less than 1% interes...
by Dandy
Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best option for high interest earning no fee checking?
Replies: 19
Views: 1629

Re: Why pay off your house?

I could earn 3.10% after tax if I invested the money in Long-Term Tax-Exempt, and that's good compensation for the slight credit risk. Bonds and bond funds have credit and interest rate risk. Agreed not necessarily lose your shirt risk. Paying off a mortgage has no risk. Why not take out more loan ...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay off your house?
Replies: 119
Views: 8530

Re: Why pay off your house?

Assuming you have decent liquidity and are on track for retirement savings having a mortgage rather than paying it off is not always logical. Sure you can invest the money and it may or may not grow. Paying off the mortgage is a sure thing. There are no safe "investments" that pay more tha...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay off your house?
Replies: 119
Views: 8530

Re: Financial question about a Doctor’s Visit

Doctors have many conflicts of interests from recommending certain medicines to ownership participation in testing labs, surgical centers, medical buildings etc. Two examples: 1. My eye doctor is an equity partner in an eye surgery center. It is very efficient, they have the process down to a scienc...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial question about a Doctor’s Visit
Replies: 77
Views: 3573

Re: Delaying Social Security - best long-term investment?

I don't focus on SS investment return or what age the payback would be the same by waiting until 70 vs taking the SS at 62. Many people don't have the luxury of waiting and some do. For those that do, if they are in good health, have good genes and can live comfortably without taking SS early I thin...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Delaying Social Security - best long-term investment?
Replies: 78
Views: 3658

Re: Cold Feet Investing

I always try to remind people that there is no safe place to put your money. "Safe" places like bank accts or CDs usually don't keep up with inflation so you lose purchasing power, bonds have default risks and lose value when interest rates rise, stocks? that is where most people feel the ...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cold Feet Investing
Replies: 9
Views: 1257

Re: Why pay off your house?

Liquidity is important so I wouldn't leave myself short to pay off the mortgage. With a paid off house you have freed up years of extra monthly income to invest and protected yourself somewhat from losing your home in a bad economy/job loss. Having debt just to maintain a tax deduction for the inter...
by Dandy
Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay off your house?
Replies: 119
Views: 8530

Re: Max out Roth or continue to build emergency funds?

Once a Roth opportunity passes you can't get it back. Since in an emergency you could use the funds in the Roth (as a last resort?) then I would fund the Roth.
by Dandy
Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max out Roth or continue to build emergency funds?
Replies: 4
Views: 509

Re: Frugal Fatigue

You need to treat yourself to something nice once in awhile. It is all about balance. Have a nice dinner out on occasion, take the train when there is bad weather, etc. Sometimes the hardest thing for hard core frugal people is to loosen up a bit. It gets into your DNA and if you don't implement a b...
by Dandy
Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal Fatigue
Replies: 96
Views: 9804

Re: passive versus active

The better return from passive investing comes from lower cost and avoiding bets that are not in line with the market allocation. Most bogleheads believe that low cost broadly diversified index funds will generally outperform the higher cost actively managed funds. You can twist yourself into a logi...
by Dandy
Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: passive versus active
Replies: 25
Views: 1211

Re: John Bogle, Index Icon, Accused of Timing Market

People throw around the negative "market timer" too easily just like they do other labels. As noted a classic market timer thinks he knows more than the market and usually makes huge bets moving assets from one investment to another very frequently. I ran several mutual fund call centers t...
by Dandy
Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle, Index Icon, Accused of Timing Market
Replies: 44
Views: 4949

Re: Bogleheads/Paul Merriman

Total Stock and Total International Stock funds provide great diversification and low cost. Almost any equity fund you add will not make much difference and in fact will be making bets that one segment will do better than the other. e.g. add REITS and you end up with more REITS than the market becau...
by Dandy
Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bogleheads/Paul Merriman
Replies: 33
Views: 3111

Re: Keeping track of expenses, early retirement?

I track monthly expenses in about 20 categories. each credit card is a category and all payments go through my checking account. other categories are for each type of insurance, ATM withdrawals, utilities, cable, lawn care, loan repayments etc. I keep it at a high level but look at each credit card ...
by Dandy
Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping track of expenses, early retirement?
Replies: 32
Views: 3530

Re: Bogle: Tilt To Corporates For More Yield

If you are going to tilt toward corporates it is better to do it when the economy is in recovery (albeit slow) and to do it on the high rated bonds. Some of the intermediate CD rates look competitive and tend to offset the default risk of corporates. Why not a tilt to a little of both to supplement ...
by Dandy
Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle: Tilt To Corporates For More Yield
Replies: 60
Views: 5659

Re: PenFed rates

CDs are a commodity (almost) so don't get too fixated on Pen Federal. If you search you can find better rates rather than wait for Pen Fed to offer another teaser. Barclay's Bank was offering a 2+% 5yr CD recently. Vanguard offers some competitive brokerage CDs at the longer end which I have used in...
by Dandy
Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PenFed rates
Replies: 3
Views: 734

Re: Time and benefits vs. money.

These are tough hours and add a relatively long commute. Depending on the nature of the job and how much you enjoy it that can be hard to keep up as you age. If you have a family you are often too tired to enjoy them much. If you enjoy your current job you may not enjoy the different environment at ...
by Dandy
Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time and benefits vs. money.
Replies: 21
Views: 1572

Re: Individual Stocks vs Vanguard ETF's/Mutual Funds

However, for some reason I like the thought of buying monthly increments of individual stock such as JNJ, PG, KMB, etc while utilizing a DRIP. "For some reason" is not a good reason. Individual stocks, even those considered blue chips, have much more risk than a diversified, low cost equi...
by Dandy
Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual Stocks vs Vanguard ETF's/Mutual Funds
Replies: 29
Views: 2891

Re: Cash in Roth

If you keep any equities in your IRA or Roth I would advise keeping all or most of them in the Roth. While in the accumulation phase you are focused on growth but in your retirement you want to have the growth be more in your Roth than IRA since it will tend to reduce your RMD. Even with a nice IRA ...
by Dandy
Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cash in Roth
Replies: 12
Views: 1575

Re: The Boglehead Car -- What is It?

I think the Boglehead philosophy is mostly about investing and saving enough mostly by living below your means. If you do that it doesn't matter so much what you spend your money on. The purpose of accumulating money, deferring gratification and living somewhat below your means is that you will have...
by Dandy
Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Boglehead Car -- What is It?
Replies: 150
Views: 10503

Re: Anyone ever send their car via autotrain?

Did it twice a long time ago. As I recall it took a long time to load up the cars on the train. Once on the train it was nice to relax and not drive. The kids seem to enjoy it a bit since they weren't cooped up the car. Forget about sleeping - it is better to assume your are not going to sleep - the...
by Dandy
Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone ever send their car via autotrain?
Replies: 4
Views: 516

Re: The Boglehead Car -- What is It?

I'm not much of a car person. Was very (too) frugal in the past e.g. drove a 1972 Pinto for 10 years!! I didn't put enough emphasis on quality or resale value. When I had children my focus also became safety. As a retiree in pretty good financial shape I added some emphasis on comfort. I recently tr...
by Dandy
Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Boglehead Car -- What is It?
Replies: 150
Views: 10503
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