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Re: Is spouse eligible for SS benefit without ever contribut

I am not a SS expert (!) but I think nonworking spouses are generally entitled to benefits on the working spouse's record (50% at FRA, less before, unless caring for a child who has a benefit). This is the basis of the "file and suspend" strategy (which, as I understand it, allows the nonw...
by Iorek
Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is spouse eligible for SS benefit without ever contributing?
Replies: 12
Views: 1110

Re: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?

In London if you want clean cheap newish no frills and centrally located then I would look into Premier Inn (they have a couple locations-- Blackfriars and County Inn are a couple of them). They are almost like a grown up hostel/dorm-- not a lot of charm (although friendly service) but perfectly ade...
by Iorek
Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?
Replies: 27
Views: 850

Re: TSP Contribution

Personally I expect that I (and most people) will be in a lower tax bracket at retirement so I would max out your traditional TSP before investing in Roth (that said, I think it's a good idea to have some money in a Roth).
by Iorek
Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Contribution
Replies: 7
Views: 709

Re: lost 8606 from years ago - am I in trouble?

I don't really get why it matters. If you have a basis of $600 but claim no basis on withdrawal, what's the problem?
by Iorek
Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: lost 8606 from years ago - am I in trouble?
Replies: 16
Views: 1675

Re: Bonds in taxable or tax advantaged?

I have seen enough debates about this (e.g. is tax advantaged space more valuable for stocks because of their greater growth potential or for bonds because they may spin off more income per year) that I generally aim for a balanced approach. That said I do look at ways to keep my taxable bonds to a ...
by Iorek
Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds in taxable or tax advantaged?
Replies: 9
Views: 843

Re: Anybody ever reduce term coverage amount?

FWIW, I went ahead and bought the full policy thinking I could always cut back, but for some reason I think the cost difference wasn't that much for us.
by Iorek
Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody ever reduce term coverage amount?
Replies: 16
Views: 822

Re: Siren song of increased stock allocation

I consider my lifecycle funds to be my lashings, and that's why I dislike when people suggest they are inappropriate for experienced investors. As the Delphic oracle said, "know thyself".
by Iorek
Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Siren song of increased stock allocation
Replies: 38
Views: 2898

Re: I Bonds - Best redemption strategy

I don't generally sell assets that are doing well to avoid having to pay taxes on my gains. I suppose the result is that I could end up in a higher tax bracket but I don't want to let the tail wag the dog.
by Iorek
Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds - Best redemption strategy
Replies: 13
Views: 1381

Re: Refinance ARM to 15 year fixed with 5 years left?

I would at least shop rates. $4500 for a reissue on title insurance is outrageous. Check out Amerisave, maybe get a no cost refi. Personally I am a fan of fixed mortgages unless you know you will move soon, and paying them off, but there are plenty of arguments for taking longer mortgages and invest...
by Iorek
Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance ARM to 15 year fixed with 5 years left?
Replies: 8
Views: 788

Re: Supreme Court to hear fiduciary duty/high cost funds cas

The order granting cert is here . Briefs are here . The question presented is as follows: Whether a claim that ERISA plan fiduciaries breached their duty of prudence by offering higher-cost retail-class mutual funds to plan participants, even though identical lower-cost institution-class mutual fun...
by Iorek
Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Supreme Court to hear fiduciary duty/high cost funds case
Replies: 13
Views: 1352

Re: Best place to park my emergency funds

There are lots of threads on this. Personally I like i-bonds, although you'll want to phase in your purchases partly because of the annual purchase limit and partly because they are not redeemable in the first year.
by Iorek
Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best place to park my emergency funds
Replies: 16
Views: 1885

Re: Fed: Do I need long term disability insurance?

That would be my way of looking at it. Others may disagree, but I think that is the way to go. Once you have the protection you really need for the next 12 months or so, you have plenty of time to study and decide whether it is worth it to keep it once you under full FERS benefits. People can throw...
by Iorek
Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed: Do I need long term disability insurance?
Replies: 9
Views: 533

Re: Fed: Do I need long term disability insurance?

I will grossly generalize, and perhaps one of the most knowledgeable DI bogleheads will chime in to correct me, but for most Feds a private disability policy is not worthwhile (or at least not a good value), because they will subtract from your benefit the amount of FERS disability you get, so in ef...
by Iorek
Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed: Do I need long term disability insurance?
Replies: 9
Views: 533

Re: You may want to rethink the odds of ever needing LTCi

I'd be very interested in seeing how often LTCi actually pays when it is needed. I've seen quite a few (admittedly anecdotal) stories about people who paid for LTCi for years and then when it was needed all sorts of roadblocks and denial of claims came from the insurance company. If someone who is ...
by Iorek
Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You may want to rethink the odds of ever needing LTCi
Replies: 89
Views: 9179

Re: Touring Spain

FYI, Spain has a great high speed rail network, and cheap tickets can be had with advance planning. In addition Vueling is a low cost airline, if you want, say, to go from Seville to Barcelona.
by Iorek
Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Touring Spain
Replies: 13
Views: 854

Re: Inflation Bonds - Staying the Course?

I did not that the Vanguard Total International Bond Fund is now larger than the Intermediate TIPS fund. That did not take long. How times have changed. I'm not sure what you mean exactly, but I expect (warning: WAG) the growth in the total international bond fund is driven almost entirely by Vangu...
by Iorek
Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inflation Bonds - Staying the Course?
Replies: 43
Views: 3194

Re: Australia and New Zealand

Well I'll be slightly contrarian and say that 3-4 weeks is a reasonable amount of time to see both countries. Of course you won't see everything, but I expect that would be true even if you spent 6 weeks in one country. For example, in NZ you might want to consider only visiting the South Island. I'...
by Iorek
Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Australia and New Zealand
Replies: 36
Views: 3117

Re: Anyone use Legal Zoom for LivingTrust?

I don't have very much data to back this up, but FWIW I trust Nolo more than Legal Zoom-- partly because I think Nolo has less of profit-oriented motive, but also because you are the person answering questions and entering data in the software.
by Iorek
Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use Legal Zoom for LivingTrust?
Replies: 75
Views: 5101

Re: 10 days in Thailand

One possibility would be to split it between Bangkok, a beach in the south or else possibly Chiang Mai (depending on interests), and Siem Reap, Cambodia. That would be a lot of moving around for 10 days, so it depends on your travel style, whether you expect to get back there anytime soon, etc. (but...
by Iorek
Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 10 days in Thailand
Replies: 2
Views: 346

Re: [Symantec anti-virus] Norton Auto Renewal

I'm no expert, but I think the recent versions of Norton run pretty well.
by Iorek
Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Symantec anti-virus] Norton Auto Renewal
Replies: 21
Views: 1154

Re: Cord Blood Banking

I don't think it's the worst way in the world to spend your money but I certainly wouldn't (and didn't) do it if it's a significant sum for you. Think about what the blood was intended for - the baby. I wouldn't clamp the cord prematurely just so I could store that blood for some future unknown use...
by Iorek
Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Blood Banking
Replies: 17
Views: 1237

Re: Cord Blood Banking

I don't think it's the worst way in the world to spend your money but I certainly wouldn't (and didn't) do it if it's a significant sum for you.
by Iorek
Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Blood Banking
Replies: 17
Views: 1237

Re: Trip to the Caribbean - Suggestions

Since we are on the topic... My gf is wanting to book a vacation to the Caribbean in Jan. Right now we are heavily looking into Punta Cana due to the ease of getting to (direct 4-5hr flight from Chicago, VS. multiple stops to St Johns and ect). We have been to Mexico multiple times, but she is look...
by Iorek
Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to the Caribbean - Suggestions
Replies: 39
Views: 2721

Re: Trip to the Caribbean - Suggestions

Visited Vieques recently and it is fantastic if you want beaches and clear blue water (but, like St John, limited lodging options aside from house rentals).
by Iorek
Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to the Caribbean - Suggestions
Replies: 39
Views: 2721

Re: Fee-Only Advisor Cost?

The advice for fed retirees used to be price out life insurance for a spouse at retirement and compare the cost of that to the cost of a survivor pension. Haven't looked into it closely to see how well it works.
by Iorek
Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fee-Only Advisor Cost?
Replies: 26
Views: 1505

Re: Bad(?) advice given about Target Date Retirement funds

if someone disagrees with the fund managers' assumptions about risk tolerance and appropriate AA at age 30 or 35, there is no reason to expect that the disagreement over risk tolerance and AA would automatically disappear at age 60 or 65 simply because of the passage of time. Right, That is why you...
by Iorek
Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bad(?) advice given about Target Date Retirement funds
Replies: 103
Views: 6623

Re: Bad(?) advice given about Target Date Retirement funds

[quote="bertilak It ia a fact (not an assumption) that if the investor picks a target date that does not match his actual date of retirement the glide path will be inappropriate for that investor, per the fund managers' design.[/quote] Perhaps this is the source of the disagreement, because I d...
by Iorek
Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bad(?) advice given about Target Date Retirement funds
Replies: 103
Views: 6623

Re: Bad(?) advice given about Target Date Retirement funds

A couple of points (from me, the OP): ⋅ I never said buying and holding a TR fund was bad advice. I actually said it was good advice for some investors. The bad advice is in recommending that the investor ignore the target date. This advice is bad because it puts one on the wrong part of ...
by Iorek
Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bad(?) advice given about Target Date Retirement funds
Replies: 103
Views: 6623

Re: Fee-Only Advisor Cost?

FWIW, this guy is very index investing-friendly (not sure if he posts here or not).

http://www.rwinvestmentstrategies.com/ (blog here http://rwinvesting.blogspot.com/)
by Iorek
Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fee-Only Advisor Cost?
Replies: 26
Views: 1505

Re: What are you up YTD?

No idea :)
by Iorek
Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are you up YTD?
Replies: 141
Views: 11803

Re: Fee-Only Advisor Cost?

You could look into the Vanguard CFPs as well-- might be free or low cost depending on how much you have/move to VG.
by Iorek
Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fee-Only Advisor Cost?
Replies: 26
Views: 1505

Re: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a we

Thanks for all the information and advice!
by Iorek
Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a week?
Replies: 31
Views: 2861

did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a week?

So I returned from a very pleasant week long vacation to discover that my fairly new fridge was beeping at me to tell me the door was open. The good news is that after cleaning it out and leaving it alone for a day it seems to be back to normal. However, I am wondering if anyone has any idea whether...
by Iorek
Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: did I damage my fridge by leaving the door open for a week?
Replies: 31
Views: 2861

Re: Bad(?) advice given about Target Date Retirement funds

To me a glide path is an important reason why I like lifecycle funds, and an important reason why I recommend them to people for simplicity. I think on average a person needing basic advice is better off picking a lifecycle fund and then rebalancing later, vs. picking a life strategy fund and rebala...
by Iorek
Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bad(?) advice given about Target Date Retirement funds
Replies: 103
Views: 6623

Re: Tell Vanguard they need 2 factor authentication

I thought they had a version of 2 factor-- it's just that you don't notice it because trusted computers have a cookie on them (but logging in from a new computer would trigger it)?
by Iorek
Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell Vanguard they need 2 factor authentication
Replies: 52
Views: 2549

Re: T. Rowe Price study says Roth generally better - thought

If you are maxing out at Roth 401(k) you are investing more money than if you max out a regular 401(k) because of those extra taxes you are paying now. In a sense, a Roth 401(k) allows you to invest more than the $17,500 maximum. :moneybag Even if your tax rate goes way down in retirement, those ta...
by Iorek
Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: T. Rowe Price study says Roth generally better - thoughts?
Replies: 14
Views: 1161

Re: An 'Inversion' Deal Could Raise Your Taxes

columbia wrote:Do these companies move from TSM to TISM?


I don't know, but I did see someone say they thought inversions were a good thing for VG shareholders because they diversified their portfolios, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
by Iorek
Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An 'Inversion' Deal Could Raise Your Taxes
Replies: 14
Views: 1178

Re: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip

I was just trying to sell my family on a train trip to Glacier-- looking forward to more reports!
by Iorek
Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip
Replies: 78
Views: 10256

Re: An 'Inversion' Deal Could Raise Your Taxes

Yes, that's true, but only because, in the example the WSJ made up, shares you bought for $10 have been sold for $40, and since it's an acquisition agreed to by enough people you have no choice but to sell. The Journal cautions against being in such a position because the payment isn't in money but...
by Iorek
Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An 'Inversion' Deal Could Raise Your Taxes
Replies: 14
Views: 1178

Re: Which car would you choose?

Assuming the cars are equally nice to start, it seems the cost of ownership is a steady $2k/yr. In that case I would go with the 15 year one because in another 15 years chances are technology will have changed enough that I'll be happy to buy a new car.
by Iorek
Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which car would you choose?
Replies: 13
Views: 732

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

And I just don't see how a state or federal taxing authority can stick its nose into internal management and demand higher rates that would produce a tax liability. This is really a normative argument. I don't know state tax law, so maybe it's possible, but it would be an odious policy at best. The...
by Iorek
Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 187
Views: 22130

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

But, if Megacorp fully owned ABC, Inc. and XYZ, Inc., it could cause them to do whatever it wants, because it is beholden to no other shareholders, and all three entities would file one common tax return. I'm not sure what you mean by "all three entities would file one common tax return" ...
by Iorek
Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 187
Views: 22130

Re: Stop Passing Up This Great Deal - In Money Magazine

Looked at the first page of the T Rowe Price study the article cites and it appears they used a very lazy (and Roth-favorable) way of estimating taxes on the taxable account (where the savings from a tIRA were invested): " a 25% tax is subtracted annually from the taxable account during the yea...
by Iorek
Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stop Passing Up This Great Deal - In Money Magazine
Replies: 80
Views: 11500

Re: Assistance Requested! First Time to US + NYC/DC

A lot of DC is very much unsafe. What tourist attractions do you know that are in unsafe areas? It's not that they're in unsafe areas... it's that they're unsafe-area-adjacent. A block or two in the wrong direction is a huge mistake (not unlike many other cities... just that in DC the unsafe areas ...
by Iorek
Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Assistance Requested! First Time to US + NYC/DC
Replies: 15
Views: 1008

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

ASUGrad, I may be wrong but I don't think the funds themselves have any employees. AIUI, the people who do all the day to day management of the funds are employed by Vanguard.
by Iorek
Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 187
Views: 22130

Re: help me sell my i series bonds

Here's an algorithm to help in answering this type of question, manuvns: ⋅ Enter I Bonds one year or older into my I Bond Portfolio Calculator . (To simplify the display, in your case I combined ones with the same purchase month.) ⋅ Run the macro to compute the redemption values...
by Iorek
Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: help me sell my i series bonds
Replies: 4
Views: 1022

Re: Stocks: losing money for 20-30 years not uncommon

Am I reading the chart wrong? It looks like the US worst case for 20 years was not loss, as the OP suggests, but a 19% gain?
by Iorek
Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks: losing money for 20-30 years not uncommon
Replies: 43
Views: 4436

Re: Was ready to pull plug on Janus..until

Janus-- that's a blast from the past. I have to say in the 1990s I did very well with them, but not so much post-2000. I am a total buy and hold investor but they were one of the first and only investments I ever sold, because I lost confidence in how they made investment decisions. Anyway, there ar...
by Iorek
Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Was ready to pull plug on Janus..until
Replies: 66
Views: 4225

Re: Bank accounts: POD or Trust?

I would do POD if you want it passing outside the will (or rely on the terms of the will to put the money into trust if you don't want it going to minors).
by Iorek
Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank accounts: POD or Trust?
Replies: 2
Views: 522

Re: Annuities and asset allocation

I think the issue is very similar to the question of how to treat SS, so while there may be reasons to differ on how to treat SS for purposes of AA, I can't really think of a reason to treat an annuity differently from how you treat SS for purposes of AA?
by Iorek
Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuities and asset allocation
Replies: 32
Views: 1556
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