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by Levett
Fri May 22, 2015 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling Insurance
Replies: 4
Views: 119

Re: Traveling Insurance

Travelguard provides both medical and medevac.

https://www.travelguard.com/travelinsurance/products/MedEvac.asp

That's why we use them.

Lev
by Levett
Fri May 22, 2015 1:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gross Thinks the End Is Near
Replies: 18
Views: 923

Re: Bill Gross Thinks the End Is Near

"This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper
."

Memorable conclusion to a memorable poem.

Lev
by Levett
Fri May 22, 2015 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling Insurance
Replies: 4
Views: 119

Re: Traveling Insurance

Over the years we have used Travelguard for overseas travel.

Doubtless, other names will be mentioned.

Lev
by Levett
Tue May 19, 2015 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questioning a Dentist?
Replies: 43
Views: 3668

Re: Questioning a Dentist?

Two essentials in life: a good dentist and a good plumber. Seriously.

Neither is easy to find these days.

Lev
by Levett
Tue May 19, 2015 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do Bogleheads (in general) plan to finance their healthcare for later life?
Replies: 34
Views: 3438

Re: How do Bogleheads (in general) plan to finance their healthcare for later life?

Clearly, coverage varies with the individual. Am on Medicare now, backed up by employer health plan. Yes, I purchased LTC in my late 50s (with 5% compounded rider). So far, no premium hikes. Have some dental insurance provided by former employer, but no optical. Having much younger sons, I well unde...
by Levett
Mon May 18, 2015 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement and Proximity to "Teaching Hospitals"
Replies: 15
Views: 1503

Re: Retirement and Proximity to "Teaching Hospitals"

I'm sure we all have stories of many kinds, but here's two that go to your mother's point. Several years ago I was walking in a northern Michigan resort town with a friend. He suddenly grabbed my arm and said he had fierce pain shooting up his left arm (years before he had been treated for a heart a...
by Levett
Sun May 17, 2015 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 158
Views: 9203

Re: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?

Freddie, I don't want to go near politics, but there is a sense in which Social Security is "means tested." We pay tax on 85% of the Social Security we collect and have done so since we retired. That's the way it is. Similarly, at a certain MAGI level, there is an additional increment paid...
by Levett
Sun May 17, 2015 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Richard Thaler coming to Town Hall in Seattle
Replies: 5
Views: 459

Re: Richard Thaler coming to Town Hall in Seattle

There's a good review of Thaler's book in the Weekend Wall Street Journal.

Should be an enjoyable evening in Seattle.

Since he's a Chicago guy, I hope he does his thing closer to home.

Lev
by Levett
Sun May 17, 2015 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 158
Views: 9203

Re: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?

I don't want to distract from your original post, Tamales, but I would urge interested readers to read all the content in the link.

Context provides meaning to raw numbers.

Lev
by Levett
Fri May 15, 2015 3:28 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Happy Birthday Mr. Bogle
Replies: 40
Views: 1864

Re: Happy Birthday Mr. Bogle

I'm late to the party, but Happy Birthday John Bogle!

Lev
by Levett
Thu May 14, 2015 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share the life lessons that you learned in your 30's.
Replies: 27
Views: 2633

Re: Share the life lessons that you learned in your 30's.

What was my major "lesson" in my 30s?

Some people don't make it out of their 30s.

Take absolutely nothing for granted.

Lev
by Levett
Tue May 12, 2015 6:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice: Especially with TIAA Real Estate
Replies: 21
Views: 930

Re: Portfolio Advice: Especially with TIAA Real Estate

" I’m starting to think I have less of an exposure to stocks than I should, given that 10% of my stocks are in TIAA Real Estate. Thoughts?" As others have commented, the TIAA Real Estate Account is not "stock." But, speaking as one who owns the Account, I treated it as roughly 50...
by Levett
Mon May 11, 2015 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Father Passed Away - Helping Mother Manage Accounts
Replies: 9
Views: 987

Re: Father Passed Away - Helping Mother Manage Accounts

If you are going to have a will drawn up, why not see an estate planning attorney--preferably a firm with an impeccable reputation? Ideally, the attorney might recommend an accountant who can guide you through potential tax ramifications. If it were me, I would not quickly move money to any financia...
by Levett
Fri May 01, 2015 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CREF Stock R3 Fund - Variable Annuity?
Replies: 16
Views: 722

Re: CREF Stock R3 Fund - Variable Annuity?

" Things got more flexible in the 1980s, but the annuity terminology stuck... " The annuity terminology "sticks" because TIAA-CREF is fundamentally an insurance company (hence the importance of maintaining its insurance ratings). TIAA was basically coerced by congress to get into...
by Levett
Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees - What would you have done differently?
Replies: 48
Views: 6533

Re: Retirees - What would you have done differently?

Biggest payoff (in order of importance): family, friends, career satisfaction.

Only thing that's changed is retirement satisfaction replaces career satisfaction.

Lev
by Levett
Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who's holding cash?
Replies: 86
Views: 6463

Re: Who's holding cash?

"there's a human tendency to overestimate risk, and this is a very good argument for sticking with a set asset allocation over the long-term to avoid human psychology influencing your returns .."

In my lifetime, I have seen a much greater inclination toward human overconfidence.

Lev
by Levett
Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Balanced Index from Cradle to Grave
Replies: 32
Views: 3308

Re: Vanguard Balanced Index from Cradle to Grave

Mr. Bogle has often praised the Balanced Index fund.

Lev
by Levett
Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Peter Bernstein's 60/40 solution
Replies: 32
Views: 4438

Re: Peter Bernstein's 60/40 solution

Well said marc: "More equities means more expected return. It should be made clear that more return with more equities is not the only possible outcome."

The key, as Keynes noted, is to stay solvent! :wink:

Lev
by Levett
Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Peter Bernstein's 60/40 solution
Replies: 32
Views: 4438

Re: Peter Bernstein's 60/40 solution

Munir,

I had not seen Rick Ferri's essay before you mentioned it, but once again Rick makes good sense to this (15 year) retiree.

I am a bit higher on the equity allocation than Rick's recommendation, but I genuinely respect his prudent counsel.

Lev
by Levett
Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your LTC carrier do this?
Replies: 6
Views: 749

Re: Does your LTC carrier do this?

Yes, I receive a notice asking if I want to update who it is that should be notified if payment is not received. No, I am not asked for a check. The monthly premium is automatically taken out of my credit union account. As for the value of the coverage (I have the 5% compounded rider), I must ask fo...
by Levett
Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best (Available)Red Wine for under $15 preferrably under $10
Replies: 64
Views: 5371

Re: Best (Available)Red Wine for under $15 preferrably under

BahamaMan, $40 is crazy. Have you ever tried WTSO (Wines til Sold Out) online? I got both the wines for about $16-$18 per bottle through WTSO (free FedEx shipping with a minimum order of 4). Our Kroger also sells Meomi Pinot (a knockout blend from three vineyards) for around $18 a bottle if you buy ...
by Levett
Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Account Activity Alerts
Replies: 26
Views: 2278

Re: Vanaguard Account Activity Alerts

Thanks for the heads-up. The service is much appreciated.

It's an interesting coincidence that Vanguard's service became available on precisely the same day my credit union notified me of a similar service.

Lev
by Levett
Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best (Available)Red Wine for under $15 preferrably under $10
Replies: 64
Views: 5371

Re: Best (Available)Red Wine for under $15 preferrably under

First, under $15 (usually around $12 in my area): J Lohr Paso Robles Cab and/or 7 Deadly Zins (from Lodi, CA). Now let's get serious! :wink: The OP wrote: " Wimpy Pinot Noirs need not apply" What this tells me is that you have not had Russian River Valley Pinots. Try these: MacMurray Ranch...
by Levett
Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage and splitting expenses
Replies: 112
Views: 7512

Re: Marriage and splitting expenses

My views are largely those of cheese_breath, but I sense the OP's initial comment is being overlooked--e.g., " I've been with my spouse for some time, but we've never lived together." I've never been involved in a commuter marriage, but it's not difficult for me to see that if folks have b...
by Levett
Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recommended stock to bond ratio??
Replies: 15
Views: 1716

Re: Recommended stock to bond ratio??

Wonderful post, as usual, Nisi.

Few people make more effective pedagogical use of Morningstar data than you.

Lev
by Levett
Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 828
Views: 116103

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Over the weekend I saw Wild Tales in Miami.

It's a unique and unusually creative Argentinian film.

Loved it. :thumbsup
by Levett
Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another TREA question
Replies: 6
Views: 464

Re: Another TREA question

I treat it as a very inexpensive private equity fund. To me, it's a bargain. Any comparison with REIT expense ratios is silly in my view.

(I would note that TIAA makes it clear that the expense ratio could rise to 2.50 + TIAA can liquidate the fund at its discretion.)

Lev
by Levett
Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Cruises
Replies: 29
Views: 1815

Re: European Cruises

Gerry, We did the reverse with Road Scholar (Adventures Afloat): a few days in Paris, the train to Provence, and then pick up the boat (they prefer you say "ship"). Absolutely lovely in every respect. The boat/ship sometimes has bikes so you can ride along the bike path as the boat/ship ma...
by Levett
Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2015 net worth survey
Replies: 20
Views: 2986

Re: 2015 net worth survey

Here is some actionable advice. Set your goals and execute your plan, whatever it may be.

Make it your plan, and avoid comparisons with anyone.

Lev
by Levett
Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you wish you retired earlier?
Replies: 28
Views: 3695

Re: Do you wish you retired earlier?

Nope.

It was the right time and I went out the right way and I've never looked back. :thumbsup

Lev
by Levett
Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Real Estate Crowdfunding
Replies: 16
Views: 1486

Re: Real Estate Crowdfunding

If you like trouble, you got it.

Check out the problems with private REITS for a clue.

Classic overreaching.

Lev
by Levett
Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifts to take to Scotland.
Replies: 33
Views: 2232

Re: Gifts to take to Scotland.

We had friends who lived in Juniper Green (outside of Edinburgh) for many years. Their favorite gift was American bourbon! And, of course, when they came to the U.S. our favorite gift was single malt Scotch. :thumbsup And, yes, there are safe containers for your luggage should you choose to bring a ...
by Levett
Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting married-do I really need a will?
Replies: 26
Views: 2071

Re: Getting married-do I really need a will?

Nisi wrote: " I think we systematically overestimate the probability that the older of two people will die first." That's been my observation over many years. I think many also assume that it's the children who will outlive their parents. Sadly, that's not what I've seen on several occasio...
by Levett
Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Household Gross Income Poll
Replies: 134
Views: 12827

Re: Household Gross Income Poll

Ron,

I'm gonna double your thumbs up for dodecahedron.

Two thumbs up for her wisdom plus two thumbs up for her humanity.

:thumbsup :thumbsup + :thumbsup :thumbsup

Lev
by Levett
Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: do you own individual international stocks?
Replies: 25
Views: 1777

Re: Poll: do you own individual international stocks?

Hey. Looks like I am the first to vote!

I do not own a single individual stock since I retired. :thumbsup

Lev
by Levett
Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's "Robo Advisor" In Today's WSJ (04/07/15)
Replies: 3
Views: 1031

Re: Vanguard's "Robo Advisor" In Today's WSJ (04/07/15)

Ms. Risi rejects the notion of "robo." She says it's "hybrid." Maybe it's captcha. :wink:

Lev
by Levett
Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Is Morningstar Losing Relevance In An Indexing World?"
Replies: 25
Views: 2445

Re: "Is Morningstar Losing Relevance In An Indexing World?"

I open M* every morning.

There are some very bright posters at multiple sites, and they listen just as well as they speak.

I have no idea how indexing, as a topic, will displace the many discussions of finance and investing at Morningstar.

Lev
by Levett
Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds — The U.S. As a High-Yielding Country?
Replies: 21
Views: 2410

Re: Bonds — The U.S. As a High-Yielding Country?

Your thoughts?

One (stolen from a Buttonwood commentary a week or two ago).

U.S. Treasuries offer "reward-free risk!" :wink:

Lev
by Levett
Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: News article: Vanguard Bets Big on Financial Advice
Replies: 24
Views: 3202

Re: News article: Vanguard Bets Big on Financial Advice

Thank you for posting this highly informative piece, Barry.

It gives me a good feel for where Vanguard is heading.

Lev
by Levett
Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can consumers assess the value of life annuities?
Replies: 7
Views: 819

Re: Can consumers assess the value of life annuities?

" The short answer is NO! " I doubt you are surprised, Bob. The 401K mentality coupled with SWR silliness prevent lots of folks from even considering (not to say valuing) an income stream. The great push is for people to find the infamous "NUMBER," meaning a pile of money, rather...
by Levett
Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernanke's Blog: why are interest rates so low?
Replies: 52
Views: 7134

Re: Bernanke's Blog: why are interest rates so low?

This single blog post by Ben Bernanke tells me why he must be a great teacher.

Lev
by Levett
Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice - retiring at end of year & need help!
Replies: 10
Views: 1192

Re: Advice - retiring at end of year & need help!

"Basic problem is I basically have no clue what to do!
Any advice?"


You should see a fee-only planner.

If your 401K is with Vanguard, use their planning service.

It's just way too late in the game, in my view, for you to do it yourself.

You need a professional plan.

Lev
by Levett
Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's Week In Review
Replies: 19
Views: 2201

Re: Vanguard's Week In Review

If you are a contrarian, you will embrace Vanguard's Eye on the Economy (unless, of course, you think Vanguard knows what's not yet in the market :wink: ).

Lev
by Levett
Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Smartest Financial Move You Ever Made
Replies: 139
Views: 14409

Re: Smartest Financial Move You Ever Made

Getting a good education. It's the basis for everything that came after.

Lev
by Levett
Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. cash pouring into international
Replies: 23
Views: 2580

Re: U.S. cash pouring into international

And guess who just bought big time in the U S of A.? Can you say: the Oracle of Omaha? 8-) http://finance.yahoo.com/news/9-5b-kraft-heinz-buffett-120526263.html With KRFT up over 40% (currently), owners of Vanguard Total Stock, Vanguard 500, and Wellesley Income will see some benefit at the close of...
by Levett
Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Happens When Vanguard Owns Everything?
Replies: 19
Views: 5070

Re: What Happens When Vanguard Owns Everything?

Archie wrote: "If Vanguard were designated a SIFI, it might actually be a good thing for investors."

I agree.

Lev
by Levett
Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Happens When Vanguard Owns Everything?
Replies: 19
Views: 5070

Re: What Happens When Vanguard Owns Everything?

First, it won't as the M* article makes clear. Second, beware of SIFI. I quote an excerpt about BlackRock (and Vanguard) from a Fortune article dated 7 July 2014. " So here we are, with a problem that’s playing out in the Treasury. One of its arms, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, has...
by Levett
Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Michael Lewis puts his money into Vanguard index funds
Replies: 12
Views: 3257

Re: Michael Lewis puts his money into Vanguard index funds

I understand and appreciate your point market timer as it pertains to holding index mutual funds (which have restrictions). But then again I worry about the impact of index ETFs on their mutual fund mates. For example, Mr. Bogle published a blistering editorial in the Financial Times on the Ides of ...
by Levett
Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Michael Lewis puts his money into Vanguard index funds
Replies: 12
Views: 3257

Re: Michael Lewis puts his money into Vanguard index funds

Have you read Flash Boys? If so, it seems odd to me that Lewis actually believes index funds aren't themselves subject to the same "dark pools." Here's Gus Sauter, Mr. Indexer himself, defending what Lewis, in his book, finds appalling: " Vanguard’s Sauter noted that high-frequency tr...
by Levett
Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How important is an international allocation?
Replies: 66
Views: 5248

Re: How important is an international allocation?

"increasing exposure to international equity and fixed income certainly seems to be the word of the day. Whether, in the long run, it turns out to be good advice will be determined by more things than any of us can imagine. Good luck! Lev" "False. Don't confuse strategy with outcome....

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