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Re: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/ren

11.4% in the Washington, DC metro area (Northern Virginia). The rent is a flat amount and includes all utilities. Internet service is extra, and I've included it in the 11.4%. I will say that I live below the standards of many of my peers in the same age/income bracket, many of whom choose to rent i...
by M_to_the_G
Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/rent?
Replies: 155
Views: 8665

Re: What age do you guys plan to retire?

I've got about 15 or 16 years left. 50 or 51. I should be good to go at that point, with my pension (federal employee), supplemental annuity, and investment income.
by M_to_the_G
Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age do you guys plan to retire?
Replies: 143
Views: 8533

Re: The challenges of staying the course...

livesoft wrote:Hey, readers, don't forget that the OP wrote:
Serie1926 wrote:There is high praise for our FA on this site (big part of the reason we selected him), and my wife and I like he and his team a lot.


A FA that receives high praise here chose that mix of funds for the OP's portfolio?
by M_to_the_G
Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The challenges of staying the course...
Replies: 66
Views: 5197

Re: Help with AA and Financial Plan

Greetings from a fellow fed. Some federal employee Bogleheads abstain from the I Fund. It's not a bad fund, especially given the expense ratio (0.025%), but it tracks the MSCI Barra EAFE index, which excludes Canada and the entire developing world. In this way, it is somewhat limited.
by M_to_the_G
Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with AA and Financial Plan
Replies: 13
Views: 896

Re: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan

Vanguard can handle the transfer for you. I suggest having that telephone conversation today. In fact, I might not ever talk to the other guys again; sounds like a waste of time. It looks like your portfolio is basically what your wife inherited, and a few thousand here and there in money you two ha...
by M_to_the_G
Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice on Mediocre 401K plan
Replies: 16
Views: 1209

Re: The challenges of staying the course...

I still don't understand how people establish these inappropriate "friendships" with advisors. Nope, I don't understand how they establish such strong "trust" based on nothing but what the guy tells them. It's as if they don't want to learn that their advisor might be fleecing th...
by M_to_the_G
Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The challenges of staying the course...
Replies: 66
Views: 5197

Re: Portfolio Review Please

You don't have much debt and appear to have the income to pay it off soon. That should be your primary goal for this year. Put enough in the 401(k) to get the full company match, and then double down on those loans. You should be able to pay it all off (including the credit card debt) within a year ...
by M_to_the_G
Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review Please
Replies: 7
Views: 514

Re: 80% stock/20% bonds? Or 90% stock/10% bonds? (Age 28)

Either is just fine. Some would say they are both a little low on the bond side, but others would say you don't need bonds in the accumulation phase. I’m 35, and my AA is 80/20, for example. But I’d probably be just fine with 90/10 or even 100/0 for a few more years. Or with 70/30, for that matter! ...
by M_to_the_G
Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 80% stock/20% bonds? Or 90% stock/10% bonds? (Age 28)
Replies: 90
Views: 3520

Re: I don't understand how my pension works? (28 years old)

32k/yr at 65 from the private sector is not bad, at all!
by M_to_the_G
Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I don't understand how my pension works? (28 years old)
Replies: 9
Views: 638

Re: Help me respond to a colleagues question

Yes, that's what I needed. Thanks, guys! I actually knew all of this, of course, but couldn't wrap it up in a package and put it into words. It's like that sometimes when you (foolishly) engage in circular arguments with people who have strange notions about the world. Something will strike you as s...
by M_to_the_G
Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me respond to a colleagues question
Replies: 9
Views: 1225

Help me respond to a colleagues question

I had some difficulty wrapping my head around this one during a water cooler conversation this morning with a colleague. I was explaining to him that one’s TSP withdrawals in retirement are taxed at marginal rates, meaning that -- if one’s retirement income is composed of TSP withdrawals, pension pa...
by M_to_the_G
Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me respond to a colleagues question
Replies: 9
Views: 1225

Re: How much is a safe car worth?

Nobody admits that they paid $500 for a pair of jeans because they are a materialist. The companies that make those $500 jeans understand the psychology of the luxury buyer very well and provide him with all the justifications he needs: the fabric is far softer, the rivets are more rivetty, etc. Thu...
by M_to_the_G
Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is a safe car worth?
Replies: 170
Views: 8997

Re: TSP contribution limits clarification

And if you did not change your per-pay period contributions back in early December, then you're a few pay periods behind to maximize by making your contributions $693 now. You'll have to find out what pay period your contributions would effect if you changed them today, and then divide $18,000 by th...
by M_to_the_G
Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP contribution limits clarification
Replies: 10
Views: 718

Re: What was your costliest investment mistake?

It's always hard to pinpoint what constitutes a true mistake, since the reason we make mistakes is sometimes because we don't know enough to realize we are making mistakes. I wish that every extra dollar I had in high school and college had been put into a mutual fund. I wish I had plowed extra mone...
by M_to_the_G
Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your costliest investment mistake?
Replies: 119
Views: 9757

Re: Use it, or lose it

Just had to comment on the 'persistence' of a learned-not-primary language. My SO is a native Spanish speaker who has been in the US several decades. He learned English after leaving school, in his late 20s, i.e. did not study it as a child. He uses his Spanish about 2-3 times a week (mostly speaki...
by M_to_the_G
Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bilingual households
Replies: 39
Views: 5150

Re: Mice in the house

fposte wrote:I'm not sure about the legality of releasing wildlife into state or federal parks, but even if it is legal, given the distance from me that's a lot more chauffeuring than I'm prepared to do for a mouse.



I don't know why, but I just laughed out loud at work when I read this. :mrgreen:
by M_to_the_G
Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mice in the house
Replies: 86
Views: 5311

Re: Mice in the house

They love peanut butter. I would do it on an evening. Set your traps, turn the lights off, leave the room. You should have a first catch shortly. Rinse and repeat, and you might get them all in the same night.
by M_to_the_G
Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mice in the house
Replies: 86
Views: 5311

Re: Bought more REITs today

From what I've read of investornewb's posts over the past few months he not much for the boglehead style of investing. The only thing that differentiates me from most Bogleheads is that I don't have bonds. And perhaps no plan. What is your target for REITs in your overall plan? He has no target, si...
by M_to_the_G
Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bought more REITs today
Replies: 48
Views: 4673

Re: Bilingual households

I speak a second language other than English. My wife also speak a totally different second language. My thought was wouldn't it be nice to teach each other and the kids each other's language. This may be a good time to do it when they are pre-Kindergarten. For Bilingual or even Trilingual househol...
by M_to_the_G
Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bilingual households
Replies: 39
Views: 5150

Re: Ever get 'Antsy' following BH

"Lethargy bordering on sloth remains the cornerstone of our investment style." - Warren Buffett, 1990 letter to Berkshire shareholders
by M_to_the_G
Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever get 'Antsy' following BH
Replies: 26
Views: 2725

Re: Dazed, Confused and Upset

Next time you visit your advisor in his stately mahogany office, do admire the woodwork and compliment him on it, as well as on his watch and his car. You could add a “You're welcome,” too. After all, you paid for all of it.
by M_to_the_G
Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dazed, Confused and Upset
Replies: 63
Views: 6351

Re: Bought more REITs today

17% is a very large percentage of a portfolio. I would repeat the question "why?" posed by other posters above. Maybe you have a very good reason. I am keeping my REIT allocation to 5% and, in fact, had to sell some recently in order to get it back down to 5% as it did pretty good last yea...
by M_to_the_G
Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bought more REITs today
Replies: 48
Views: 4673

Re: How to break up with an advisor

The mistake you made was in ever allowing the relationship to become anything that would make you hesitate for a minute to break it to him in simple, professional language. I would have told him the chocolates were inappropriate, frankly. I still don't understand how people get so emotionally enmesh...
by M_to_the_G
Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to break up with an advisor
Replies: 33
Views: 3225

Re: Selling mineral rights to land?

I was going to reply to the thread, based on the subject line, with something jokey like "That's a problem I wish I had." Upon reading all the above posts, however, I conclude that this is a problem that I do not wish I had.
by M_to_the_G
Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling mineral rights to land?
Replies: 55
Views: 6473

Re: Target Date Fund vs. 3 Fund Portfolio

3 Fund Portfolio: save a little money on the lower ER's, have a little more flexibility in managing tax consequences (bonds in tax-advantaged accounts, bulk of stocks in taxable, etc.), and have a little fun when rebalancing (if you are so inclined; I personally find it fun) Target Date: set and for...
by M_to_the_G
Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target Date Fund vs. 3 Fund Portfolio
Replies: 42
Views: 3935

Re: Just left meeting with my advisor....

It is incumbent upon you to understand your investment philosophy and to know how to pick an advisor that matches that philosophy. The paradox is that -- to paraphrase Bernstein -- once you know how to pick an advisor, you no longer need one.
by M_to_the_G
Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just left meeting with my advisor....
Replies: 57
Views: 7838

Re: New AA [Asset Allocation]

Hi M_ The only part of your earlier stated plan that I disagree with is taking Social Security at 62. Most here believe that it makes more sense to delay Social Security to age 70 if possible while taking higher distributions savings withdrawals due to the large yearly increases for deferring the s...
by M_to_the_G
Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New AA [Asset Allocation]
Replies: 22
Views: 3244

Re: Help me to understand time shares

Apologies for resurrecting a thread from the dead, but it was my post to begin with, and I’ve been thinking about this subject recently. You see, I spent this past Christmas with my aunt’s family in New Hampshire, and I learned that they have a timeshare. They use it religiously every year on the sa...
by M_to_the_G
Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me to understand time shares
Replies: 58
Views: 5419

Re: Any art "investors" here?

I was about to post a similar thread. I moved to Lisbon a little over a year ago and there is a lot of street art here that I really like. There is one artist in particular that I like that goes by the name Vhils. He does these really cool portraits on buildings that are almost sculptural as he use...
by M_to_the_G
Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any art "investors" here?
Replies: 69
Views: 6012

Re: Any art "investors" here?

What I have learned is this: There is nothing wrong with collecting assets that appreciate, even if they don't appreciate as much as stocks, if they give you enjoyment... so long as you are not banking your future on those investments. fixed that for you. :mrgreen: Yes, collect whatever you want as...
by M_to_the_G
Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any art "investors" here?
Replies: 69
Views: 6012

Re: Long time lurker, ready for advice.

That's a great savings rate! And congratulations on acquiring an income source at 29 that is evidently über-secure. Perhaps you could edit your ***original*** post to include a bit more information .... Are you single or married (filing status)? Fed/state tax rates? What's in your 401(k) currently ...
by M_to_the_G
Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Long time lurker, ready for advice.
Replies: 7
Views: 1485

Re: What to expect from fee based adviser?

Was it William Berstein who said if you know how to pick an advisor, you don't need one? I've never had a financial advisor, although I seriously considered it several years ago before I became a Boglehead because I was confused and concerned about retirement investing. In the ensuing period, I've r...
by M_to_the_G
Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to expect from fee based adviser?
Replies: 11
Views: 1208

Re: New AA [Asset Allocation]

packet wrote:Inspiring!

Keep it up and keep updating...

:beerCheers,
Packet



Thanks! 15 years to go! :mrgreen:
by M_to_the_G
Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New AA [Asset Allocation]
Replies: 22
Views: 3244

Re: What do you drive, and why?

2002 Honda Accord EX V6. $5,000 cash. Purrs like a kitten, and looks okay if I may say so myself. As for "why," every dollar extra I would have spent on a nicer car is future dollars that won't be available to my old self to live in retirement. That's the way I look at it. Besides, I like ...
by M_to_the_G
Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you drive, and why?
Replies: 205
Views: 17744

Re: Questions from a clueless Marine

I wouldn't shy away from the TSP just because you don't get a match. You don't get a match for your Roth IRA either, do you? The TSP has the lowest expense ratios available (0.024% roughly on average) except for a few institutional funds available to some 401(k) holders. You didn't mention debt. Do ...
by M_to_the_G
Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Questions from a clueless Marine
Replies: 13
Views: 1484

Re: New AA [Asset Allocation]

Contributed $5,500 to my Roth IRA for 2015:
$5,500 VFIAX

Updated and rebalanced today.
by M_to_the_G
Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New AA [Asset Allocation]
Replies: 22
Views: 3244

Re: Ex-landlord won't return deposit

I went through this recently. I was renting in VA. The only recourse in that state is small claims court, and no lawyers can be present. Additionally, the court basically just agrees with you and officially says, "Yup, she owes you your deposit back." But they won't throw her in jail or fo...
by M_to_the_G
Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ex-landlord won't return deposit
Replies: 29
Views: 3202

Re: Help with Portfolio Plan

Young, follows the Boglehead advice, has a real emergency fund (and not some weird concoction of investment that he calls an emergency fund), has a reasonable AA plan with a bond position despite his age, and a fed on top of it all? You're not real. You're a troll, admit it. :) Seriously, though, ku...
by M_to_the_G
Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Portfolio Plan
Replies: 7
Views: 865

Re: Bogle Advises Investing No More Than 20% Outside U.S.

On this issue, I trust Jack Bogle more than the current thinking at Vanguard. My allocation to international stocks is at 20%.
by M_to_the_G
Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle Advises Investing No More Than 20% Outside U.S.
Replies: 106
Views: 13230

Re: Emergency Funds

The difference is in the goals and thus the strategy for each. They are fundamentally different pots. The goal of having money invested is for retirement (or whatever purpose). The goal of having an emergency fund is to have immediately-available liquid money that can cover six months to one year o...
by M_to_the_G
Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Funds
Replies: 33
Views: 3430

Re: portfolio question: All TR funds or individual funds?

Target date funds are fine. Those of us who mix-and-match have decided that we know enough to know how to create a portfolio with very specific asset allocations at the lowest possible costs. It's a little more work, but it's worth it to us. But most of us could probably just as easily pick a good l...
by M_to_the_G
Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: portfolio question: All TR funds or individual funds?
Replies: 9
Views: 1109

Re: Emergency Funds

The difference is in the goals and thus the strategy for each. They are fundamentally different pots. The goal of having money invested is for retirement (or whatever purpose). The goal of having an emergency fund is to have immediately-available liquid money that can cover six months to one year of...
by M_to_the_G
Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Funds
Replies: 33
Views: 3430

Re: New AA [Asset Allocation]

Contributed $11,000 to my taxable:
$11,000 VTIAX

Updated (but not rebalanced) today.
by M_to_the_G
Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New AA [Asset Allocation]
Replies: 22
Views: 3244

Re: Newbie - Please critique my portfolio - suggestions welc

Nothing new to add to comments already made, but I think it's worth reiterating: 6 months of emergency savings and pay off the car loan. Come back when this is completed, and let us celebrate with you. :beer
by M_to_the_G
Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie - Please critique my portfolio - suggestions welcome
Replies: 14
Views: 1586

Re: A financial “guru” for world travelers?

Besides, people like that are often even less interesting than the khaki-clad business guys. Just a hunch but I think that trader keeps wandering in order to stay ahead of Interpol. Some real gems here. :D Keep 'em coming! Haha! Ok, so the consensus is that this is completely baloney and essentiall...
by M_to_the_G
Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A financial “guru” for world travelers?
Replies: 18
Views: 2148

Re: Dave Ramsey still defending 12% and still angry at "nerd

DR's followers become apologists (such as yourself) and meanwhile he makes a mint. [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek] Which is why it is a very apt term to use here. I think there's nothing else to see here, folks. I suspect that these people are defending David Ramsey for reasons that go much,...
by M_to_the_G
Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey still defending 12% and still angry at "nerds"
Replies: 194
Views: 24777

A financial “guru” for world travelers?

In my years of overseas travel as a young adult, plus my years in the Foreign Service, I’ve run across a lot of global travelers -- often the colorful, adventurous, personable, and hopelessly directionless type. They wouldn’t have it any other way… and maybe I wouldn’t have them any other way. I’d m...
by M_to_the_G
Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A financial “guru” for world travelers?
Replies: 18
Views: 2148

Re: Dave Ramsey still defending 12% and still angry at "nerd

This is a straw man. It's already been established earlier in this thread by Nisiprius that 12% is possible. ETA: This also actually supports my Example 2, above. When a bear market hits, the average investor is more likely to stay "in the market" (and earn the returns of the market) with...
by M_to_the_G
Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey still defending 12% and still angry at "nerds"
Replies: 194
Views: 24777

Re: Dave Ramsey still defending 12% and still angry at "nerd

Sorry, but good deeds leading up to a royal fleecing is not 9/10ths of anything. If his investment advice was better and not completely self-serving then it would be hard to argue. BTW, how exactly is Dave Ramsey out there with his boots on? As far as I can tell he does a radio show and a number of...
by M_to_the_G
Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey still defending 12% and still angry at "nerds"
Replies: 194
Views: 24777

Re: Dave Ramsey still defending 12% and still angry at "nerd

Its just crazy... next thing you know, the founder of one of the largest fund companies in the world is going to talk about how they are there to help the little guy, and yet profit off of that very same advice... the outrage! Vanguard is mutualized. Further, Jack Bogle's net worth is in the low 8 ...
by M_to_the_G
Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey still defending 12% and still angry at "nerds"
Replies: 194
Views: 24777
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