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Re: Where would you retire, if $ were no object?

One place for me that covers both categories: St. John, USVI, preferably in a hilltop villa with a view of Sir Francis Drake Channel.
Image
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where would you retire, if $ were no object?
Replies: 60
Views: 3159

Re: The reverse world of retirement investing

Leeraar wrote:My Easter resolution is not to post in threads about withdrawal rates.

I was hoping it would be about pension lump sums :wink: .
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The reverse world of retirement investing
Replies: 34
Views: 4008

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

mosu wrote:Two years ago he was making a bunch of money off of credit cards and his site hadn't truly blown up yet.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/ ... of-speech/

I really didn't have any opinion of him before, but I do now: definitely a hero...mixed in with some wonderful foolishness.
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?
Replies: 250
Views: 27643

Re: [Evaluate whole life vs. universal life insurance]

Although you didn't put enough detail to truly know, I bet your policy will lapse in time since with ULs, the cost of insurance rises over time. Or premiums will eventually rise. This seems like a very small policy. What is the approximate age of the insured? What is the face amount of coverage? Wh...
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Evaluate whole life vs. universal life insurance]
Replies: 4
Views: 301

Re: Is social security a good investment?

THX has it right. Social Security, when one has the option of how much to participate (i.e., owning a business and paying oneself and/or spouse a salary) is definitely an uncertain investment, and not a good one at the upper margins. Those most able to gain by "limiting" FICA taxes are the...
by Frugal Al
Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is social security a good investment?
Replies: 33
Views: 1422

Re: is whole life insurance a good investment?

He is being suckered by a pro and asking for help. Exactly. As another poster, Calm Man, points out, a $250k insurance policy does little to assuage the loss of a child. Therefore, to make the sale more palatable, the con (agent) tries to dupe the mark (client) into thinking it's really an investme...
by Frugal Al
Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is whole life insurance a good investment?
Replies: 17
Views: 1422

Re: High Yield Bonds as an Annuity?

true Defaults on SPIAs are almost unknown. Let's not act like there is no default risk to annuities. And even today, California only guaranties 80% of PV. http://articles.latimes.com/2002/apr/28/business/fi-execlife28 I understand the concept of "fairly priced," and I'm sure that at the a...
by Frugal Al
Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Yield Bonds as an Annuity?
Replies: 23
Views: 1696

Re: New TV or Sound bar?

I have read that the HDMI connection provides the highest sound quality. That is generally the case in components that are fully capable of processing the various codecs. In the case of a soundbar, for most it wouldn't matter. It also matters what tv we're talking about. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1...
by Frugal Al
Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New TV or Sound bar?
Replies: 38
Views: 2227

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

I know I could easily have gotten my prescription before, but having to actually ask for it is a tiny bit off-putting, and I found that I kept delaying asking so much that my prescription changed again and it wouldn't have been useful. I put this off as well, and I ended up using a year old scipt'....
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for Low-Cost Eyeglass Shop I can visit
Replies: 25
Views: 1494

Re: what should I do with my whole life policy

Meph, you don't have to get all serious on me. My post was partly in jest. However, if I gave my child a gift, and the "redeployment" or sale of said gift could have made their life better or more comfortable, yet they did not follow through because of sentimental reasons, then I would nev...
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what should I do with my whole life policy
Replies: 24
Views: 1890

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

A bit of a semantic difference. Their matching is less about verifying your data than it is about imposing their data if yours doesn't agree. I understand your point. However, in my "pleasant" experiences in dealing with them, I'm always amazed at what they don't know, and what they think...
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did not have fun this year doing my taxes- TT
Replies: 42
Views: 4048

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

Fun fact: the IRS could prepare a first draft of your taxes, which you could then check. You wouldn't have to fill in anything reported to the IRS I don't think we need the IRS preparing a first draft of anyone's taxes, because the next step will be refuting their numbers, instead of them verifying...
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did not have fun this year doing my taxes- TT
Replies: 42
Views: 4048

Re: Computer Speakers

I've been very pleased with my Klipsch 2.1 system. Very good sound quality for the price. I've had my Klipsch Promedia for about 6 to 7 years and I'm still very pleased with the sound. I've always wanted to try the Audioengine line. I think I'll go with the A5s if the Klipsch ever give out. Speaker...
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Speakers
Replies: 13
Views: 822

Re: what should I do with my whole life policy

mephistophles wrote:Also, it is a gift from your parents. The human element is extremely important in family finances.

LOL, yes, the insurance policy looks so nice on the dresser right beside his dad's old Rolex.
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what should I do with my whole life policy
Replies: 24
Views: 1890

Re: High Yield Bonds as an Annuity?

If annuities are fairly priced from low risk providers they represent the most "financially risk free" lifetime income you can buy. A lot of implied assumptions there, including that the annuity be priced at free market interest rates, and that the provider remain credit worthy for perhap...
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Yield Bonds as an Annuity?
Replies: 23
Views: 1696

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

I just went through this. I purchased online from Coastal, as for me they had a better frame selection than Zenni. Zenni has much better pricing, though. It did require some effort and measurement and analysis. I knew my wife would have none of this for her glasses, so she went to Sam's Club. We the...
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for Low-Cost Eyeglass Shop I can visit
Replies: 25
Views: 1494

Re: My financial advisor doubt

BigJohn wrote:... I don't think anyone would argue that paying 1%/yr just to access DFA is not a prudent step.

If one wants an advisor it might be prudent, but just for access to DFA it would not be prudent. Did you get tangled up in double negatives, BigJohn?
by Frugal Al
Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My financial advisor doubt
Replies: 28
Views: 3176

Re: Help deciding to surrender Variable Annuity or not

These are generally lousy and confusing products, some of which were made good, for a time, due to the insurer's unsustainable promises; promises which they later reeled back in where they could. Here's a good article by Kitce's about strategy suggestions: http://www.kitces.com/blog/strategies-for-e...
by Frugal Al
Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help deciding to surrender Variable Annuity or not
Replies: 22
Views: 1095

Re: Help with Whole Life Insurance (Parents Purchased)

It might be worth it to request an in-force illustration to see what future cash value growth looks like. Even at the low (net) price of about $45/year, this seems like expensive insurance for $19,600 net coverage (total death benefit - total cash value). Term is a better value at the OP's age, unle...
by Frugal Al
Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Whole Life Insurance (Parents Purchased)
Replies: 15
Views: 1052

Re: Costa Rica?

For those of you who have traveled there, is the place overrun with US tourists? My wife and I both speak Spanish and part of the fun of a vacation to a place like Costa Rica is the ability to interact with locals. I would avoid Puerto Vallarta for that reason. I don't think that's any reason to av...
by Frugal Al
Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costa Rica?
Replies: 14
Views: 1397

Re: New TV or Sound bar?

I have read that the HDMI connection provides the highest sound quality. That is generally the case in components that are fully capable of processing the various codecs. In the case of a soundbar, for most it wouldn't matter. It also matters what tv we're talking about. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1...
by Frugal Al
Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New TV or Sound bar?
Replies: 38
Views: 2227

Re: Annuities

I agree with the rest of the post, but this is not so clear (if you mean a commercial oil change) At least at my shop the oil change includes a professional "once over" of the car. Well worth it. :happy Sadly, the quality of the person doing the once over of your vehicle at a commercial o...
by Frugal Al
Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuities
Replies: 59
Views: 3931

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

With the rest of the details about your lump sum and the legacy lump sum calculation, this becomes an even easier decision to take the lump sum. I'm a little surprised, given the low funding levels (around 63% if I understood you correctly), the plan is allowed to offer 100% lump sums. Maybe they go...
by Frugal Al
Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 62
Views: 3242

Re: Annuities

Because Al and others didn't cite their sources for "returns," it's not possible to independently verify them, but ordinarily SPIAs aren't quoted with respect to investment returns. Probably because if they quoted returns even fewer people would buy them. The 3.73% return noted above is f...
by Frugal Al
Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuities
Replies: 59
Views: 3931

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

From a risk mitigation point of view, i might still lean towards the annuity for the longevity protection i mentioned earlier. I say that because I think it is difficult to find good longevity protection outside of an annuity. I think a 2% to 2.5% withdrawal rate is pretty good longevity protection...
by Frugal Al
Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 62
Views: 3242

Re: Annuities

They are just a tool. If used properly they (SPIAs) can be great. One of the problems right now is, because of the low interest rate environment, they are not a very compelling financial instrument. Kind of like locking in a long term bond for 30 years with very low rates. Don't be fooled by seeming...
by Frugal Al
Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuities
Replies: 59
Views: 3931

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

Now I am not saying that your investments are going to be any better or worse than that of a pension fund - but one thing I am saying is that the risk is certainly much greater on a number of fronts... Dave, I don't think you can say that with any certainty. Within reason, I'd rather rely on my own...
by Frugal Al
Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 62
Views: 3242

Re: New TV or Sound bar?

I may be wrong but, I think the sound bars work best with TV's that have an ARC hdmi port. ARC is Audio Return Channel. You need ARC compliant hdmi cables also. All HDMI 1.3 and higher compliant cables have ARC capability. Most soundbars have a variety of ways to connect, including RCA connector an...
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New TV or Sound bar?
Replies: 38
Views: 2227

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

This post I wrote a while ago helps to explain why. Six reasons one should think twice about annuitization (especially if dealing with long time horizons) of a pension or other structured non-COLA financial instrument: 1) Inflation risk; 2) Credit risk; 3) Taxation; 4) Legacy; 5) Flexibility; 6) Li...
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 62
Views: 3242

Re: New TV or Sound bar?

I agree with others, a new tv isn't the answer. And it seems mfrs assume the bigger and better the tv, the more likely the buyer is going to have a sound system with it. The sound on my 42" Panasonic plasma is better than on my 60" plasma (I prefer plasma too, sscrictic). I've been looking...
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New TV or Sound bar?
Replies: 38
Views: 2227

Re: Car recommendations - Mazda6, accord, Prius

+1 what Jack said.
by Frugal Al
Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car recommendations - Mazda6, accord, Prius
Replies: 23
Views: 1792

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

It's interesting that you think you can do a better job pricing an annuity than an insurance company. Maybe you're in the wrong line of business? I happen to think that receiving a quote from several annuity providers is an excellent way to gauge the market value of the pension. I'll TRY to ignore ...
by Frugal Al
Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 62
Views: 3242

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

The first question is, will the lump sum buy the pension? Check out http://www.immediateannuities.com Although this can be beneficial, it becomes less so the longer removed we are from potential annuitization, especially with non-COLA pensions. It's just the valuation of the cash stream at a moment...
by Frugal Al
Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 62
Views: 3242

Re: How do I value my business?

I don't think we have enough info. We don't know how much actual industrial space you have, or the complexity of the process and equipment. Does the process require a doctorate to get right? Is there a real process or is it mainly a blending/compounding operation? Where are we in the life cycle of t...
by Frugal Al
Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I value my business?
Replies: 6
Views: 698

Re: Lump Sum vs annuity

ubermax wrote:PJM8083 , I would recommend that you do a "forum search" by the author g$$ , very good responses to other posts of this general topic - no need to reinvent a wheel that's already spinning :D

Although a list of reasons to take a pension is useful to have, every case is different.
by Frugal Al
Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs annuity
Replies: 17
Views: 1105

Re: Charities selling or sharing our data?

livesoft wrote:...I was a dirtbag with no money.

And now you have money, but... :wink: Good story, livesoft.
by Frugal Al
Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Charities selling or sharing our data?
Replies: 15
Views: 727

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

I'm sure you've checked all the angles. Will you be getting SS or other income? Depending upon deductions it wouldn't take much between the growth of the IRA rmd's and taxable SS to get you into the 25% bracket. Taxation is subject to change. I'm assuming the pension is the bulk of your retirement i...
by Frugal Al
Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 62
Views: 3242

Re: Lump Sum vs annuity

This is analogous to the question of delaying SS or not, and the logic and conclusions are the same. Delay unless you have very high confidence in an early death. Not really. SS isn't available as a lump sum, and it IS indexed for inflation, thereby removing one of the main risk components of a reg...
by Frugal Al
Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs annuity
Replies: 17
Views: 1105

Re: Lump Sum vs annuity

Actually the law was passed in 2006. Part of the reason for the change to corporate bond rates was to offset another mandate in the law, the use of newer mortality tables, which increased pension liabilities. The use of a "risk free" discount rate that is a product of manipulated markets t...
by Frugal Al
Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs annuity
Replies: 17
Views: 1105

Re: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plu

I'm not a fan of those valves - great idea in theory, bad idea in practice in my experiences. Due to the valve body still being in the drain hole while draining, they generally leave more oil in the bottom of the pan than just removing the plug. Flow rate is also lower, reducing the flushing effect...
by Frugal Al
Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plug"
Replies: 40
Views: 1780

Re: How important are Int'l Bonds?

Although it depends upon the current plan offerings and the sophistication of the plan participants, I fail to see how an Int'l Bond Fund would be necessary or appropriate in most 401k plans. Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. I'm not sure this type of additional offering reall...
by Frugal Al
Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How important are Int'l Bonds?
Replies: 44
Views: 3800

Re: Sustainable wage increases over the long term?

nisiprius wrote:It is difficult to discuss causes within the bounds of forum policy, but I don't think it's controversial to point out that labor unions have been experiencing a steady decline in membership and influence

You would think wrong. You are implying cause and effect--quite a stretch.
by Frugal Al
Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sustainable wage increases over the long term?
Replies: 20
Views: 1172

Re: Need advice! Retirement Plan offers Lump-Sum Payout

This is market timing. Or rather, interest rate timing. I would hardly call it "arbitrage". I'm not trying to predict when interest rates will go up or how much, but over years there will be some reversion to more normalized rates, and it has already started as we know. Moreover, the IRS ...
by Frugal Al
Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice! Retirement Plan offers Lump-Sum Payout
Replies: 31
Views: 2218

Re: Need advice! Retirement Plan offers Lump-Sum Payout

In my case, the lump sum was 2/3 of the amount needed to buy my pension. In other words, the lump sum would have to be increased by 50%. I have never seen a lump sum option that will buy the pension. NEVER. (Sorry to shout.) Now you're shouting, why? :D There's more to the calculation than just the...
by Frugal Al
Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice! Retirement Plan offers Lump-Sum Payout
Replies: 31
Views: 2218

Re: Need advice! Retirement Plan offers Lump-Sum Payout

Now, why on earth would the company offer you a lump sum if the pension/annuity is cheaper for them? In other words, unless it is a bad deal for you? Leeraar, you and others continue to say this but it's just not true. It need not be a zero-sum game. It is not necessarily a bad deal for the prospec...
by Frugal Al
Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice! Retirement Plan offers Lump-Sum Payout
Replies: 31
Views: 2218

Re: Anyone experienced problems with Honda V-6 VCM engines?

The problem just manifests differently in Honda vehicles I suppose. Ask a Subaru owner, I am sure they will say that that much oil burning is pretty standard :wink: This doesn't sway me from Hondas though. I bought a CRV recently and it remains to be seen if its as good reliability-wise as my Nissa...
by Frugal Al
Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone experienced problems with Honda V-6 VCM engines?
Replies: 36
Views: 1805

Re: Variable Annuities with GLWB

jimbob2232 wrote:My parents have been seeing a financial advisor (who works for one of the big insurance companies - problem #1...but not one I need to solve here)

Big Oil said it very well. The financial advisor is the wrong financial advisor. That is indeed the primary problem to solve.
by Frugal Al
Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable Annuities with GLWB
Replies: 13
Views: 903

Re: Anyone experienced problems with Honda V-6 VCM engines?

You mean just Honda Pilots, correct? Again, the VCM problem has not been an issue with any other models but Pilot and RDX. OscarGuy, a US District Court says otherwise: http://www.autonews.com/article/20131022/OEM11/131029975/american-honda-settles-class-action-suit-over-oil-burning-claim http://ww...
by Frugal Al
Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone experienced problems with Honda V-6 VCM engines?
Replies: 36
Views: 1805

Re: Opinion on pension options

The 3 fund portfolio is fine for this purpose, at either your 50/50 allocation or even a bit lower on the stocks, if necessary. When you say you "mostly" do the 3 fund portfolio, however, it's important to know how it might vary. It's good that you are in low expense funds. Other alternati...
by Frugal Al
Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opinion on pension options
Replies: 7
Views: 559

Re: Anyone experienced problems with Honda V-6 VCM engines?

...if I had to pay for the major engine work I would probably have a different opinion. But there is a simple alternative. I would just replace the spark plugs every 25,000 miles and not do the repair. It would be great if it were that easy, and for some owners it may be. For others the VCM problem...
by Frugal Al
Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone experienced problems with Honda V-6 VCM engines?
Replies: 36
Views: 1805
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