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Re: Your Minimum Annual Expenses

Loss of a job during the accumulation stage could mean pretty severe cutback on expenses. Eating out less, cut back on clothing purchasing, cutting back on phone/cable type expenses, cancelling magazine subscriptions, eliminating vacation, less wine, elimination of services that you can perform e.g....
by Dandy
Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your Minimum Annual Expenses
Replies: 18
Views: 1627

Re: RMD withdrawals.

Since stocks, over time appreciate more than bonds that would favor leaving the RMD until the end of the year so you would possibly squeeze more growth out of your IRA. With only a 35% equity allocation, that mutes this potential benefit a bit. I haven't reached the RMD requirement yet but one thing...
by Dandy
Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD withdrawals.
Replies: 43
Views: 3179

Re: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with

At 67 and with enough to fund retirement. My plan is to be at 40% equities at age 70 - currently at 42%. But there are two things that could affect that: 1. My final assets, income and expenses when I collect SS at age 70 and complete Roth conversions. 2. My primary goal is to have enough safe asset...
by Dandy
Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with
Replies: 26
Views: 872

Re: Refund from the IRS? Why?

At one time, when money market rates were 5% or more getting a big refund was somewhat financially painful. With safe interest rates usually under 1% that is much less an issue. The new downside is the possibility of fraud - someone claiming your refund. It makes sense to avoid a large refund. But s...
by Dandy
Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refund from the IRS? Why?
Replies: 45
Views: 4264

Re: Adopting

Not adopted and didn't adopt - had 2 children.

I think adopting a child is one of the greatest thing a person/couple can do. I wish there were more people who would open their hearts and home for this noble act. I think is great for the parents, child and society. Best of luck with your decision.
by Dandy
Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adopting
Replies: 29
Views: 2326

Re: New car safety features

I'm sure that new safety features will improve as will our ability to use them properly. e.g. it is great to have a back up camera but after 40+ years of driving I have to remember to look at it - old habits are hard to brake. I think the main points should be: 1. Newer (not necessarily new cars are...
by Dandy
Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car safety features
Replies: 70
Views: 3583

Re: New car safety features

A LOT of people who I get in a car with now do NOT look behind or side to side when reversing. a lot of people refused to use seat belts. I'm sure some still do. There is a learning curve and some common sense involved. Used properly you aren't going to run over your child's bike or your child. Whi...
by Dandy
Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car safety features
Replies: 70
Views: 3583

Re: New car safety features

The difference in safety between different vehicles is smaller today than it was in the past Agree. But the next generation of safety e.g. going from air bags to blind spot monitoring, back up cameras, etc I think is another leap in safety - maybe not as big as no air bags to air bags but significa...
by Dandy
Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car safety features
Replies: 70
Views: 3583

Re: New car safety features

I agree that for almost everyone paying up for better safety is a wise move. Gone are the days of saying "my car is 10 years old and has 150k miles on it and I plan to drive it another 100k". That made frugal sense for many years - been there done that. Today it is penny wise pound foolish...
by Dandy
Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car safety features
Replies: 70
Views: 3583

Re: Success stories of NOT buying more/too much house

I have a modest 3 bedroom ranch in a nice neighborhood since 1974. As the sole breadwinner with two children I was careful about extending ourselves. When the kids were in their early teens I was able to pay off the mortgage. With college not to far away I resisted the urge to sell and buy "bet...
by Dandy
Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Success stories of NOT buying more/too much house
Replies: 65
Views: 5920

Re: Marotta's Gone-Fishing Portfolio

I wouldn't go fishing with this portfolio. Too many funds and many small allocations. How is that tilt toward energy going? Seems like someone was overthinking investing.

I don't agree that the 3 fund portfolio is the be all and end all but it is a lot better fishing portfolio than this one.
by Dandy
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Marotta's Gone-Fishing Portfolio
Replies: 12
Views: 1453

Re: Best short term investment options

"investing" short term and safe are concepts that don't go together. Relatively safe might be a short term bond fund. But, with interest rates so low and the talk about rising rates, makes holding short term bond funds for a year or so a bit more risky than usual in my opinion. So, hold yo...
by Dandy
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best short term investment options
Replies: 11
Views: 673

Re: Retirement Check

You have 9 years worth of funding to get to SS at age 70. That is almost $600k. Have you thought about how you will fund this? And what the draw will be after that? I face the same challenge and decided to make sure that I have enough in relatively safe products to get to age 70. Short term munis, C...
by Dandy
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Check
Replies: 31
Views: 3307

Re: Should I sell tax inefficient mutual funds?

I'm sure many of us have made the same mistake. I know I did. The good news is you choose pretty good funds. I would make sure the distributions are not reinvested and make them the first taxable investments to sell when/if you need taxable money. Otherwise I'd just hold on to them and instead of be...
by Dandy
Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I sell tax inefficient mutual funds?
Replies: 22
Views: 1465

Re: What about this withdrawl strategy?

There are no set it and forget it retirement withdrawal strategies. None. People tend to fool themselves that based on prior history that they have such a plan. If you start with 1 Million 840k in equities and 160k (amounts adj for simple math) and in staring year 4 you have 40k in bonds and still h...
by Dandy
Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What about this withdrawl strategy?
Replies: 23
Views: 2056

Re: Vanguard's Process for Closing Funds

It is responsible for mutual fund companies to close funds. There are often partial closings e.g. no new individual accounts but allowing existing customers and 401k plan participants to continue. while responsible I view fund closures as a heads up to investors. It is a strong signal that the fund/...
by Dandy
Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's Process for Closing Funds
Replies: 6
Views: 1007

Re: Young Couple Need Advice

I don't think you are ready for a house and all the debt, expense and time that it usually requires. I'd upgrade you old Toyota to a safer, newer used car. I wouldn't worry about the gas hog car especially since the price of gas has made that less of a problem, at least for the short term. I would f...
by Dandy
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young Couple Need Advice
Replies: 21
Views: 2138

Re: Silly to consider buying a home because of interest rate

Owning a home is often time consuming and expensive. There is some truth to the old saying that the home owns you. If you are single and a renter you may not appreciate the pros and cons of renting vs home ownership. Don't expect a home to be a great investment either. There are booms and busts but ...
by Dandy
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Silly to consider buying a home because of interest rates?
Replies: 29
Views: 2774

Re: Newly retired, seeking wisdom

You have $800k or more of retirement expenses to fund to reach age 70 and collect SS. Is all of this coming from your investments/savings? If so, you need to think how you will structure funding your retirement expenses until age 70. If the plan is funding from you 401k account then there would be a...
by Dandy
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly retired, seeking wisdom
Replies: 10
Views: 1513

Re: Trying to understand index funds

In a responsible index fund the management team has a focus on selecting a representative sample of the stocks in the index e.g. industry, size etc. That is quite different that the focus of most active fund management which is trying to pick winners or avoid losers based on their research/expertise...
by Dandy
Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trying to understand index funds
Replies: 14
Views: 1202

Re: “How Does Aging Affect Financial Decision Making?”

You have to fight aging by staying mentally active. Great - I'm sure that is very helpful vs sitting around looking at TV. Likely to keep you sharper for longer. But, eventually you will be in mental decline and the study indicates you will not be aware of it. That is the scary part to me - that yo...
by Dandy
Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: “How Does Aging Affect Financial Decision Making?”
Replies: 54
Views: 2760

Re: IRA CD experiences or precautions?

I have taxable CDs at online banks Ally and Discover - no problems and great service. Rates are decent and it is easy to move money to and from your regular checking account or Vanguard. I have not used them for TIRAs but my guess is that it would be pretty much the same. I also have a large allocat...
by Dandy
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IRA CD experiences or precautions?
Replies: 8
Views: 977

Re: “How Does Aging Affect Financial Decision Making?”

It is scary. The decline and inability to recognize it makes a case for simplicity e.g. setting up one fund (one of the balanced fund choices) and perhaps an automated withdrawal/RMD process. But that won't cover all the health/financial/tax issues that you need some metal clarity to tackle. Even th...
by Dandy
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: “How Does Aging Affect Financial Decision Making?”
Replies: 54
Views: 2760

Re: Honda Civic vs Fit Safety Question

Biggest reason we are buying a new car is to improve safety for both of our vehicles with a newborn on the way. Initial hope was that the second vehicle can be more affordable, but if safety is the biggest concern, an Accord may be worth it. User avatar oneleaf I agree with your priorities. Safety,...
by Dandy
Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Civic vs Fit Safety Question
Replies: 55
Views: 3332

Re: $50,000 to invest, want little to no risk. CDs? Silver?

Forget Silver - Buy 5 CDs each with a 5yr term. That way you will get a higher rate (for now) and if you need some money you won't have to redeem the whole 50k - just the amount you need. You can get about 2.25% if you search. Make sure you know the early withdrawal penalty before you buy.
by Dandy
Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $50,000 to invest, want little to no risk. CDs? Silver? Etc?
Replies: 37
Views: 3458

Re: Treasury Direct Question

They don't even send you a 1099 INT you have to go to the web site and find it and print it out. Apparently, I agreed to that as part of the sign up?
by Dandy
Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Direct Question
Replies: 6
Views: 536

Re: Tilting to Corp. Bonds

I'm one of the few that favors fixed income diversity especially in this interest rate environment. Total Bond doesn't include TIPS or CDs so I've added them. I also have some legacy HH and EE bonds (4% is looking pretty good). Total Bond has about 45% Treasury bonds - I'm not sure how that compares...
by Dandy
Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tilting to Corp. Bonds
Replies: 36
Views: 2932

Re: A quick poll--pension annuity vs. lump sum

have 2 pensions had a partial lump sum option for the smaller one. Went with full pension with both with 50% survivor benefit for my wife. Waited till the age when both would pay the maximum pension benefit rather than taking them early. I was fortunate to have enough savings to fund the wait to tak...
by Dandy
Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A quick poll--pension annuity vs. lump sum
Replies: 62
Views: 3677

Re: Poll: Your Max. REIT Allocation

Of course I'm not counting any REITs in Total Stock Market etc -- just the REIT fund. 5% seems right for me now - though I will soon probably go to just have the REIT allocation in the Total Stock market fund as I try to simplify my portfolio in mid to later retirement.
by Dandy
Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Your Max. REIT Allocation
Replies: 54
Views: 4035

Re: How do I retire?

You seem to be a very conservative investor. You might like Wm Bernstein's approach of having 20-25 years worth of drawdown/income needs in "safe" products e.g. short term bond funds, CDs etc. The excess can be invested anyway you want from 100% in equities to 0% in equities. You basically...
by Dandy
Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I retire?
Replies: 53
Views: 4719

Re: Reporter doing story on Turbo Tax Fracas

Not interested in being interviewed. Hate the Turbo Tax revenue schemes to raise income. I get that there in business to make money but their approach is annoying. I'd rather pay a modest charge than have ongoing product creep. What I don't understand is why governments, especially states, don't pay...
by Dandy
Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reporter doing story on Turbo Tax Fracas
Replies: 52
Views: 7113

Re: How would you invest $1.2 million?

Here are the products I'd consider - that allocation to product depends on the risk you need or want to take

VG Total Stock market
VG Total International Stock market
VG Inflation Protected Securities
VG Total Bond Fund
VG Intermediate Treasury Fund
VG Brokerage CD ladder
by Dandy
Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How would you invest $1.2 million?
Replies: 28
Views: 4034

Re: What was your costliest investment mistake?

I have usually been a fairly moderate to conservative investor. I guess my "mistake" was not being more aggressive with investments for the last 30 years or so. If I had it to do all over again - without knowing the outcome I think I would probably make the same "mistake". Living...
by Dandy
Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your costliest investment mistake?
Replies: 119
Views: 9603

Re: Mice in the house

Wow - lots of mice/mammal fans out there. Are Walt and Mickey are doing a great PR job or what?. Seriously, killing anything is a bit cruel. I applaud those who make the effort to be as humane as possible - wish all the mankind were that nice to the rest of mankind -- it would be a much nicer world.
by Dandy
Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mice in the house
Replies: 86
Views: 5113

Re: Balanced fund advice

Target Retirement vs Life Strategy - If you want 30% equities Target Retirement Income is the fund. Life Strategy Income is 20% equities and Life Strategy Conservative is 40% equities.
by Dandy
Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Balanced fund advice
Replies: 12
Views: 1245

Re: Mice in the house

If humane traps are every bit as efficient as inhumane ones (and in my experience they are), WHY would you not opt for humane ones? You don't have to be a "tree hugger" to not want to kill mammals when there is no benefit to doing so. I just don't get it. Fair question. I guess it depends...
by Dandy
Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mice in the house
Replies: 86
Views: 5113

Re: Balanced fund advice

Since you want a single balance fund with a 30% equity allocation the VG Target Retirement Income fund would fit the bill.
by Dandy
Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Balanced fund advice
Replies: 12
Views: 1245

Re: Dazed, Confused and Upset

We usually learn little about investing in school. The media often makes investing seem exciting, challenging and kind of leads us to use a professional. For some even the basics of investing seem hard -- but you really don't need a degree in finance to invest wisely -- just some time a patience. Th...
by Dandy
Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dazed, Confused and Upset
Replies: 63
Views: 6284

Re: Chief hand wringer frets over Bond Allocation

posted by Kevin M -IMO, what you do with your fixed income is more important if you have a high fixed income allocation, as you do. If your allocation was 80/20 stocks/fixed, I probably wouldn't have replied this way to your post. I think a 3-fund portfolio using TBM (or even 1-fund portfolio using...
by Dandy
Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Chief hand wringer frets over Bond Allocation
Replies: 15
Views: 1867

Re: Should pension plans be relied upon for retirement?

Pensions and retiree health plans are increasingly being subject to change - not for the benefit of retirees. As one firm in an industry does something like change a normal pension plan to a cash balance plan - the pressure and rationale to do the same transfers to others in the industry. The same i...
by Dandy
Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should pension plans be relied upon for retirement?
Replies: 35
Views: 3102

Re: Doing my taxes by hand

The only advantage of using a pencil and paper to do your taxes is you get a real feel for how income tax works. I would advise you that that benefit may not be worth it considering the time and chances of making errors in calculation or IRS rule interpretation. If your taxes are simple you may not ...
by Dandy
Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing my taxes by hand
Replies: 64
Views: 4728

Re: Chief hand wringer frets over Bond Allocation

I understand your concerns re the fixed income side of you portfolio. Your allocation seems fine to me. Don't forget to consider a CD ladder as part of the mix - Total bond, TIPS fund, short term bonds fund and CD ladder is what I use as my 60% fixed income alloction at age 66.
by Dandy
Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Chief hand wringer frets over Bond Allocation
Replies: 15
Views: 1867

Re: Mice in the house

The problem with the poison - is some of them may die in the walls. The idea is they get very thirsty before they die and leave the premises to find a water supply. When I owned a small business with my Dad, one died in the walls and the smell was beyond bad. Unfortunately, it took us two weeks to ...
by Dandy
Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mice in the house
Replies: 86
Views: 5113

Re: CD's beat bond funds?

Cd's, long considered the retreat of the little old ladies who didn't know enough about investing deserves some consideration especially as part of a conservative retirement investor. They are unloved and often overlooked by experienced investors. Extremely low interest rates have made them somewhat...
by Dandy
Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD's beat bond funds?
Replies: 9
Views: 1590

Re: Mice in the house

1st really cold day a week ago wife saw a mouse in the kitchen. She screamed - I thought an axe murder was in the kitchen. Called the exterminator, they set a few traditional mouse traps and a black box with poison that eventually clogs up the mouse's blood. Got two hits on the traditional traps tha...
by Dandy
Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mice in the house
Replies: 86
Views: 5113

Re: Whole life insurance paid up as a child, should I still

the longer the policy is in force usually the more valuable it becomes. You should compare the dividends and their growth to the cash value and the growth in cash value. Also, should understand any tax exposure on cashing in the policy. Also, what is happening with the dividends? usually a policy ta...
by Dandy
Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole life insurance paid up as a child, should I still cash
Replies: 12
Views: 1148

Re: Is a Sub-4% SWR a Boglehead Quirk?

the 4% "rule" is not a bad starting point for someone in their 60's. It assumes a certain equity allocation and that withdrawals will be adjusted for inflation each year after the first year. You make those inflation adjusted withdrawals - no more - no less each year no matter what the mar...
by Dandy
Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a Sub-4% SWR a Boglehead Quirk?
Replies: 177
Views: 10660

Re: Do you use lifestrategy/ asset allocation funds?

Hello Dandy, There are balanced funds with non-60/40 allocations... check out the following (ordered from most to least conservative): Thanks - I'm aware of that. My poorly worded post is the cause of the confusion. VG's Balanced Index Fund has a 60/40 allocation. It uses an index of the total us s...
by Dandy
Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you use lifestrategy/ asset allocation funds?
Replies: 36
Views: 3075

Re: What is the international portion of your portfolio and

I have about 10% of my portfolio in international equities. Since my overall equity allocation is currently 42% it is slightly less than 25% of my equities. That is a pretty low allocation to international equities. Being retired I want to have moderate risk and international equities are a bit more...
by Dandy
Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the international portion of your portfolio and why?
Replies: 131
Views: 9773

Re: Best online checking account

I've been tempted to use online bank checking but when I figured the amount of interest I would get vs a bit more hassle I didn't think it was worth it. I have a no fee checking at a brick bank and any excess I transfer to either Vanguard, Ally or Discover Bank. The online bank CD/savings/money mark...
by Dandy
Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best online checking account
Replies: 52
Views: 4899
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