Search found 1362 matches

by SGM
Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retired & confused about making the right investment
Replies: 16
Views: 1552

Re: Retired & confused about making the right investment

You are not asking the right questions. You need to decrease your investment costs and get good diversification through a 3 fund portfolio. This can be done at Vanguard without an advisor. You need to know what is the optimal way to collect social security is for the two of you as it should make up ...
by SGM
Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Market levels and stock holdings
Replies: 24
Views: 1884

Re: Market levels and stock holdings

If you do a conversion, make sure it is in a separate Roth so that you can recharacterize that one conversion if it has lost value in the interim. Of course, you probably already knew that. My conversion in January has a paper loss :( and I may or may not recharacterize between now and October 15 of...
by SGM
Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Investors are fleeing once-popular emerging markets."
Replies: 50
Views: 5119

Re: "Investors are fleeing once-popular emerging markets."

I just sold some emerging markets for tax loss harvesting. I don't know if I will buy more EM funds or ETFs after the 30 day waiting period. I finally have an opportunity to TLH, but it is not particularly pleasant to see losses now that I am retired. If I were still accumulating I might dive into E...
by SGM
Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Market levels and stock holdings
Replies: 24
Views: 1884

Re: Market levels and stock holdings

Welcome back Victoria. Try what some have called an atomic conversion. Do 3 conversions into 3 different Roth accounts in 2015. You have until October 15 of 2016 to recharacterize 2 losers and keep one winner in a Roth or whatever combination works for you. You could recharacterize 1, 2, or 3 Roth I...
by SGM
Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement with a pension
Replies: 38
Views: 4497

Re: Early retirement with a pension

The additional 20k per year is too valuable to you and your family to give up. If you recently were promoted you are the low man on the totem pole and maybe conditions will change for the better. You will have a good well deserved pension at age 40 and your kids will still be young when you retire. ...
by SGM
Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why no diversification benefit for international in this week's crash?
Replies: 90
Views: 8060

Re: Why no diversification benefit for international in this week's crash?

I don't expect a diversification benefit when markets are changing rapidly. Over the long term prices have to reflect the value of the underlying businesses. In the long term there may be a benefit to holding both U.S. and International funds. I don't rebalance every year. I pretty much think it is ...
by SGM
Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment help [providing for spouse without pension]
Replies: 5
Views: 528

Re: Investment help [providing for spouse without pension]

You make no mention of your SS benefit. I assume you are not eligible for SS. She could also suspend her own SS at her full retirement age of 66 and restart her benefit at 70 when it would be 32% higher. This is a good tactic for people with expected longevity and who project a need for higher incom...
by SGM
Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Stop-loss" orders to automate TLH?
Replies: 8
Views: 601

Re: "Stop-loss" orders to automate TLH?

Stop-loss orders always struck me as a way to automatically lock in losses on a regular basis. :oops: I like to TLH and use the proceeds to buy a similar but not identical investment I want to own for the long term. I have certainly never used TLH without thinking through all the implications. I wou...
by SGM
Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Some HiLites of the Retirement Research Consortium Annual Meeting
Replies: 44
Views: 5244

Re: Some HiLites of the Retirement Research Consortium Annual Meeting

I am not very excited about reverse mortgages. I can see how they would be useful as a last resort and for those without a bequest motive. I think Paula Hogan and other financial advisors see a lot of people who are in danger of running out money in retirement or need to spend more than their portfo...
by SGM
Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Roth right for me?
Replies: 7
Views: 456

Re: Is Roth right for me?

You can contribute $6500 into a Roth in 2015 and up until April 15 2016. If you work in 2016 you can also contribute to a 2016 Roth up until April 15 2017. If you are going to be in the same or higher tax bracket in retirement it is generally a good idea to contribute to a Roth. Also generally you a...
by SGM
Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Review my investor policy statement / investment plan
Replies: 2
Views: 303

Re: Review my investor policy statement / investment plan

Your IPS might want to emphasize keeping costs low and a consideration for how you are planning to pay for college education of future children given you are expecting to be retired when they start college. Will you be gifting to future children or starting a 529 or will they depend on loans, schola...
by SGM
Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cheap copy of Lange's Retire Secure 3rd Edition
Replies: 55
Views: 5673

Re: Cheap copy of Lange's Retire Secure 3rd Edition

James Lange's previous books and radio show transcripts have been very helpful to me. He has a very good analysis of Roth conversions for people with various tax rate scenarios. I also liked using his tax card which is available on his web site and updated yearly.
by SGM
Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Some HiLites of the Retirement Research Consortium Annual Meeting
Replies: 44
Views: 5244

Re: Some HiLites of the Retirement Research Consortium Annual Meeting

Paula Hogan was exactly right when she discussed the recurrent theme of low income persons vs. high income persons for retirement planning policies. Regarding the presentation concerning catch up contributions titled, "Do Tax Incentives Increase 401(k) Retirement Savings", this seemed espe...
by SGM
Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting New York City this weekend. What pizza should I try?
Replies: 53
Views: 4044

Re: Visiting New York City this weekend. What pizza should I try?

Ray's seemed to be ubiquitous in 1971. It was not bad, quick and cheap at least the one's I stopped at when I regularly drove all over Manhattan. Off topic: My concern is that scungilli is reportedly disappearing from Italian restaurant menus in NYC. Served with a spicy marinara sauce and near grani...
by SGM
Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle: retirees should focus on dividends
Replies: 157
Views: 15598

Re: Bogle: retirees should focus on dividends

Jack has made some interesting comments about dividends in retirement and has recommended corporate bond funds in tax advantaged accounts. His comments that dividends are real go against the grain of most comments on this site. While not against selling principal when necessary I really like spendin...
by SGM
Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hold on to pension or take one time lump sum
Replies: 7
Views: 678

Re: Hold on to pension or take one time lump sum

I would take the lump sum in an IRA and hope for a significant increase in the value of the portfolio over the next 20 plus years. At some point I would probably convert it to a Roth.
by SGM
Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle: retirees should focus on dividends
Replies: 157
Views: 15598

Re: Bogle: retirees should focus on dividends

Jack has said in the past that dividends are real and returns are illusory or words to that effect. In retirement you want multiple income streams. If you have enough income you can live off of pensions, SS, dividends or some other income stream. Spending dividends is in fact spending principal, how...
by SGM
Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding Estate Tax - My Fears
Replies: 12
Views: 2121

Re: Avoiding Estate Tax - My Fears

A Roth IRA can still be stretched over the lifetime of a beneficiary currently. Certain direct purchases such as tuition and health care costs also avoid taxation. A parent or grandparent could pay these bills directly and lower the value of their estates. 529s can be set up as part of the yearly gi...
by SGM
Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 23 year old with 50+ years to invest looking for advice
Replies: 31
Views: 2319

Re: 23 year old with 50+ years to invest looking for advice

I was pretty close to 100% stocks for many years. I was never much troubled when the market tanked, I just kept dollar cost averaging in with every paycheck and kept expenses low. I have lived through several bear markets and they can get pretty scary. If you have a family or a mortgage you might wa...
by SGM
Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your First Job
Replies: 113
Views: 6578

Re: Your First Job

Age 12 paper route by bicycle. I was amazed that some people tried to get out of paying at the end of the week. Papers weren't all that expensive then. Early W-2 jobs included working in the summers in HS and college for a temporary agency in factories, warehouses, and as a laborer.
by SGM
Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How would you invest if you were us? Beginner
Replies: 12
Views: 1473

Re: How would you invest if you were us? Beginner

At age 33 I invested money earmarked for retirement in stocks. I would dollar cost average into the total stock market and total international and leave it regardless of market swings. I might put 10 or 20 % in the total bond market fund, although when I was that age I was 100% in stock.
by SGM
Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does the Three Fund Portfolio need a roboadviser?
Replies: 83
Views: 6883

Re: Does the Three Fund Portfolio need a roboadviser?

The three fund portfolio does not need the additional expense of an advisor. The loss in future growth and dividends on an extra $7500 per year in expenses is significant. I pay expense ratios to obtain more diversity than I could with individual stocks, but I keep those fees to a minimum and do not...
by SGM
Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should i take furniture to consignment store?
Replies: 14
Views: 1276

Re: Should i take furniture to consignment store?

You could put the furniture up for auction and if it doesn't sell then send to a consignment shop. The consignment shop generally lowers the price after a certain period of time if it does not sell.
by SGM
Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Coworkers Ignorant to Retirement Savings and Investing
Replies: 41
Views: 4033

Re: Coworkers Ignorant to Retirement Savings and Investing

I tried suggesting lower cost investments to fellow physicians and a dentist I lunched with often. All were very happy with their high cost financial advisors and had no interest in changing. One pointedly asked me not to talk to him about it anymore. I have not been in a group 401K for 15 years. Th...
by SGM
Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Alternative to Vanguard Managed Payout
Replies: 1
Views: 299

Alternative to Vanguard Managed Payout

A Forbes article by William Baldwin suggests a fairly simple do it yourself alternative to Vanguard's Managed Payout. http://www.forbes.com/sites/baldwin/2015/07/29/how-to-get-3000-a-month-in-retirement/2/ The suggested $1MM portfolio includes: Total Stock Market 35% Total International 20% Total Bo...
by SGM
Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Convert to Roth if you have a lot to convert?
Replies: 15
Views: 1174

Re: Convert to Roth if you have a lot to convert?

Age 62 is better than 63 in terms of avoiding a supplemental premium for Medicare at age 65. There is a look back of your MAGI for two years to determine whether you pay the $104 a month vs. some multiple of that for part B. Also part D will be higher too. If you make a large conversion at 63 it wil...
by SGM
Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Giving Financial Advisor Benefit of Doubt or Pull the Plug
Replies: 26
Views: 2796

Re: Giving Financial Advisor Benefit of Doubt or Pull the Plug

You will need to recharacterize any Roth contributions you were not eligible to make. You can later convert back to a Roth. You can manage your money yourself if you study up a little bit. You need to know enough to ask the right questions even if you use an advisor. Check the wiki. A variable annui...
by SGM
Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pfau: Why Bond Funds Don't Belong in Retirement Portfolios
Replies: 119
Views: 10844

Re: Pfau: Why Bond Funds Don't Belong in Retirement Portfolios

Article confirms a theory I've been working on for the past six months: that a portfolio of stocks + annuities will provide higher expected utility and higher sustainable income than a portfolio of stocks + bonds. This is made possible through the miracle of risk-pooling, which you don't get under ...
by SGM
Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pfau: Why Bond Funds Don't Belong in Retirement Portfolios
Replies: 119
Views: 10844

Re: Pfau: Why Bond Funds Don't Belong in Retirement Portfolios

I would not get an SPIA at 65 but might buy laddered annuities starting at 70 or later. I am concerned about inflation eroding the value of an SPIA and am also reluctant to wait so long for a cost of living adjusted annuity to catch up to the payout of a unadjusted SPIA. How do the calculations work...
by SGM
Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees: Questions you hate being asked
Replies: 117
Views: 11258

Re: Retirees: Questions you hate being asked

I retired early (50) and am asked, "I can't image being retired, I would be so bored". My sense is that those who ask are jealous. Actually, that comment is a big part of the reason I am still working at 70, although I can afford to retire. I haven't figured out anything I could do in ret...
by SGM
Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Research Conference in DC in August (free)
Replies: 7
Views: 820

Re: Retirement Research Conference in DC in August (free)

Thanks Bob,

I have always enjoyed and learned a few things at these Retirement Research conferences and will attend August 6. Does The VictoriaF Fan Club count as an affiliation for registration purposes?
by SGM
Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allan Roth Says Not to Load Up on Muni Bonds
Replies: 101
Views: 8493

Re: Allan Roth Says to Avoid Muni Bonds

I am happy to see that Allan Roth is okay with low cost muni bond funds. I had the impression from a conversation at BH 13 that he was only in favor of treasuries. I have seen the falsely high return of individual muni bonds in a relative's portfolio. It is much as described in the piece above. Unfo...
by SGM
Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: solo 401k employer contributions mid-year
Replies: 8
Views: 593

Re: solo 401k employer contributions mid-year

Beacon Capital Management has a handy solo 401K calculator. The limits for profit sharing are greater for a corporation vs. a sole proprietorship but you can figure it out either way with the calculator. Apparently an LLC can be taxed as either a corporation or a sole proprietorship per the calculat...
by SGM
Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do when approaching retirement and 90% is in taxable account
Replies: 8
Views: 1814

Re: What to do when approaching retirement and 90% is in taxable account

She should look into a spousal SS benefit if she was married 10 years or more. At some point she could qualify for a higher widow's benefit. I would put REITs and Tips in tax deferred accounts. I would probably have all bonds in taxable account in muni bond funds.
by SGM
Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another look at dividend paying stocks
Replies: 57
Views: 5569

Re: Another look at dividend paying stocks

I wonder how the total stock return of companies that buy back shares compares to companies that pay dividends. Of course there are many companies that return profits to share holders by both strategies. A reason companies like buy backs is that decreasing buy backs does not get the same negative pu...
by SGM
Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Independent Contractor (IC) vs. Regular Employee (RE)
Replies: 11
Views: 768

Re: Independent Contractor (IC) vs. Regular Employee (RE)

I chose to be an IC with a part time position. I was already had a private business set up as an S corp and the hours were so few that there would not be any health insurance benefit. I was able to deduct many expenses that I would not have been able to deduct as an employee. I also could hire famil...
by SGM
Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shopping for lowest price of a SPIA
Replies: 2
Views: 256

Re: Shopping for lowest price of a SPIA

USAA has a high credit rating and I believe anyone can buy an annuity through them. I don't know what their prices are. I intend to ask them for a price as well as Vanguard should I annuitize.
by SGM
Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting For 2016 Medicare Part B Increase
Replies: 63
Views: 4459

Re: Budgeting For 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Medicare bases the premiums on what the IRS gives them from two years before. The premiums keep going up and I thought I saw an article where it will hit those with lower MAGIs. You can inform them of changes in your income goes down in the meantime. I think you are stuck with the Roth conversion am...
by SGM
Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping Mom - I'm Concerned About Her Advisor
Replies: 24
Views: 1929

Re: Helping Mom - I'm Concerned About Her Advisor

Sheep are there to be sheared. It is always an eye opener to see these ERs and loads. If your mother had any financial sense she would get rid of this advisor today. Get low cost Vanguard funds and keep it simple. She does not need an advisor, but if she wants one then Vanguard is the way to go.
by SGM
Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?
Replies: 196
Views: 13805

Re: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?

In one of my early careers a fellow engineer saw us driving a beater to a social event and accused us of being eccentric and rich. That was a little embarrassing to be accused of being rich. I pleaded poverty but the engineer didn't believe me. We drove several beaters for a while. We drove several ...
by SGM
Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Merton - DC Pension Plans Need to Simplify
Replies: 5
Views: 783

Re: Merton - DC Pension Plans Need to Simplify

TIAA-CREF always gives an estimate of how much monthly income one could expect at retirement given the current contributions. My son's 401K also has an estimate of retirement income based on continuing contributions and upping contribution percentages. From what I have read most T-C retirees are hap...
by SGM
Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Solo401K recommendation
Replies: 34
Views: 2140

Re: Solo401K recommendation

I don't know that Fidelity had as many of the lower cost Spartan funds when I started my 401K. And I recall at one time that a Fidelity Spartan fund had a higher ER than the comparable Vanguard fund. It looks as if that has changed. My error. I still don't like the company for the other reasons I me...
by SGM
Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Solo401K recommendation
Replies: 34
Views: 2140

Re: Solo401K recommendation

When I worked I had a Fidelity solo 401K. It offered no additional protection against law suits than an IRA. In that respect a 401K with a large firm would have been more desirable. Fortunately I was never sued. Prior to complete retirement I made in-service transfers to a Vanguard IRA. Fidelity ref...
by SGM
Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worst financial book you have read (or will admit you have read)
Replies: 94
Views: 9907

Re: Worst financial book you have read (or will admit you have read)

I cannot recall the names of the books, but there was one by Fisher who has a column in Forbes and one by Ray Lucia on buckets and he recommends non-traded REITs. So do you throw these books away or donate them to a library or thrift shop so someone else will get suspect advice?
by SGM
Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Liquidating [funds in UTMA account]
Replies: 15
Views: 1212

Re: Liquidating [funds in UTMA account]

VTI is considered a long term core holding by most people on this web site. It has a rock bottom expense ratio and is a broad index fund. If you have any earned income you might consider a sale of one of the other two holdings and starting a Roth IRA. If your other income is low enough you might qu...
by SGM
Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I consider Social Security Benefits as Assets
Replies: 44
Views: 2865

Re: Should I consider Social Security Benefits as Assets

I do not consider SS benefits as an asset. However, if you have multiple income streams that cover your expenses then you might consider having a higher allocation to stocks . SS has the advantage that no more than 85% of it will ever be taxed. Some states do not tax SS. SS has a cost of living adju...
by SGM
Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Liquidating [funds in UTMA account]
Replies: 15
Views: 1212

Re: Liquidating [funds in UTMA account]

VTI is considered a long term core holding by most people on this web site. It has a rock bottom expense ratio and is a broad index fund. If you have any earned income you might consider a sale of one of the other two holdings and starting a Roth IRA. If your other income is low enough you might qua...
by SGM
Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pros and cons of adding Roth Option to 401K Plan
Replies: 94
Views: 5646

Re: Pros and cons of adding Roth Option to 401K Plan

One of my children has a 401K plan without the Roth option. His tax bracket will be a lot higher in the future and during retirement. His Roth IRA is maximized every year, but he is missing out on tax free compounding in his 401K for the next 30 or more years. An employer has no idea what the future...
by SGM
Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuities-when and why?
Replies: 43
Views: 4189

Re: Annuities-when and why?

If I annuitize it will be laddered SPIAs purchased from a taxable account beginning at 70. DW has a TIAA-CREF retirement plan. She and her former employer contributed to it for 4 years. It has since grown for 30 years, doubling every 7.2 years. It can be annuitized tomorrow and would give her a nice...
by SGM
Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I Really Need a Financial Advisor?
Replies: 44
Views: 3151

Re: Do I Really Need a Financial Advisor?

One of the fallacies that help advisors is that 1% may not seem all that high - until you consider that they are taking that based on the amount of the investment - NOT the amount that the investment earns. So if you earn 10%, you are giving up 10% of your return to your advisor, if you earn 5% you...

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