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by The Wizard
Fri May 22, 2015 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Nashville during the summer
Replies: 34
Views: 1592

Re: Visiting Nashville during the summer

Umm, June Carter Cash was Johnny's WIFE, not sister...
by The Wizard
Fri May 22, 2015 12:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gross Thinks the End Is Near
Replies: 26
Views: 2541

Re: Bill Gross Thinks the End Is Near

Time will tell.
As for me, I'm staying the course...
by The Wizard
Fri May 22, 2015 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are we doing enough?
Replies: 7
Views: 833

Re: Are we doing enough?

That 40% savings rate is huge, so their expenses have to be well under control. OP's total portfolio size seems modest for your age and savings rate, so perhaps they were late starters. No matter since things are going well now. Also need to know projected offspring/college timeframe, all done in si...
by The Wizard
Fri May 22, 2015 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA Tax question
Replies: 4
Views: 285

Re: Roth IRA Tax question

You should be fine. It's probably a 5498 form...
by The Wizard
Fri May 22, 2015 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confirming that I should not use my 401k
Replies: 18
Views: 1029

Re: Confirming that I should not use my 401k

Sounds correct to me.
Can you find a better employment situation elsewhere, closer to a regular 40 hour week?
That might be a better target to aim for...
by The Wizard
Fri May 22, 2015 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole life or term life?
Replies: 23
Views: 1395

Re: Whole life or term life?

At 55, I had a decent investment portfolio size.
Self insurance is feasible at some point, especially if the other spouse makes a decent income as well.
Life insurance isn't necessary for everybody and especially not to retirement age...
by The Wizard
Thu May 21, 2015 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole life or term life?
Replies: 23
Views: 1395

Re: Whole life or term life?

Term life, no brainer...
by The Wizard
Thu May 21, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Put money down on new car, dealer wants color change
Replies: 48
Views: 3024

Re: Put money down on new car, dealer wants color change

To the OP - buying cars sucks so don't feel bad if you are not able to get all of your money back. You've learned a lesson about giving a dealer money before the purchase, consider it tuition. Everyone on this board has paid this kind of tuition in various walks of our financial life. That's why we...
by The Wizard
Thu May 21, 2015 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Put money down on new car, dealer wants color change
Replies: 48
Views: 3024

Re: Put money down on new car, dealer wants color change

This is why its better to do a Factory Order when possible.
Not sure if that's feasible with a Pathfinder.
Where's it made?
by The Wizard
Thu May 21, 2015 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay cash or finance a brand new car? And why?
Replies: 13
Views: 975

Re: Pay cash or finance a brand new car? And why?

My gut tells me I should finance, because I don't want $33k gone from my bank account and "stuck" in a car... If you don't want $33k stuck in a car, it seems that you're really not comfortable buying a $33k car. A lot of people rationalize by saying they're 'making money' by financing bec...
by The Wizard
Thu May 21, 2015 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay cash or finance a brand new car? And why?
Replies: 13
Views: 975

Re: Pay cash or finance a brand new car? And why?

I would not spend ALL of my savings on a new car, no.
If you have an Emergency Fund, you need to keep that.
Being retired, I've no EF, just a checking acct cash buffer...
by The Wizard
Thu May 21, 2015 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Parks to visit between TX and PA?
Replies: 23
Views: 714

Re: Parks to visit between TX and PA?

Consider canoeing the Buffalo River for a day in northern Arkansas.
It's supervised by the National Park Service...a National Scenic River.
If this is too close to home base, then file it for next time...
by The Wizard
Thu May 21, 2015 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friends/Family that don't invest!
Replies: 55
Views: 4310

Re: Friends/Family that don't invest!

Nope, never had that happen. Can we assume you have? Actually, I should probably retract that. I have a certain family member + partner that are largely Financially Irresponsible and probably not interested in saving, just spending. But I've lost touch in recent years and can't be expected to worry...
by The Wizard
Thu May 21, 2015 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friends/Family that don't invest!
Replies: 55
Views: 4310

Re: Friends/Family that don't invest!

It's good that you're relating a personal situation then.
Education is what they need.
But it can't really be forced upon the unwilling.
They need to be receptive to learning.
If they are, then we have a number of simple resources here for them to start with...
by The Wizard
Thu May 21, 2015 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friends/Family that don't invest!
Replies: 55
Views: 4310

Re: Friends/Family that don't invest!

Nope, never had that happen.
Can we assume you have?
by The Wizard
Wed May 20, 2015 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ATM fraud minimization steps
Replies: 15
Views: 836

Re: ATM fraud minimization steps

What's the advantage of ATM only with no debit functionality?
Don't you need to enter your PIN for either?
If they steal the $$ as cash or as goods, what diff does it make??
by The Wizard
Wed May 20, 2015 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just used my chip credit card for the first time!
Replies: 44
Views: 2922

Re: Just used my chip credit card for the first time!

mptfan wrote:https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=163654

This link has nothing to do with using a chip card in the U.S....
by The Wizard
Wed May 20, 2015 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just used my chip credit card for the first time!
Replies: 44
Views: 2922

Re: Just used my chip credit card for the first time!

Same thing here at Walmart.
I swiped my chip card first but then the screen message said to insert it, so I did. Something on the mag stripe tells it I'm a chip card.

Emboldened, I tried the chip slot at Home Depot the next day and it worked there also. Did not a month ago...
by The Wizard
Wed May 20, 2015 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Whats up with Vanguard?
Replies: 2
Views: 676

Re: Whats up with Vanguard?

You are seeing market fluctuations LIVE, in real time.
Nothing really to comment about...
by The Wizard
Wed May 20, 2015 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Budgeting Help ASAP!
Replies: 42
Views: 1924

Re: Need Budgeting Help ASAP!

What is your long-term retirement savings percentage at present? It should be at least 10%, but no need to push over 15% right now, with those law school loans. And do you have a decent emergency fund? Or at least a decent buffer in your checking account so that sudden expenses aren't emergencies? A...
by The Wizard
Tue May 19, 2015 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Budgeting Help ASAP!
Replies: 42
Views: 1924

Re: Need Budgeting Help ASAP!

More details needed, definitely...
by The Wizard
Sun May 17, 2015 4:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 160
Views: 9403

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

The old 3 legged stool, income is about one third each-investments, pensions, and SS. I have a 1-legged stool. Zero percent social security. Zero percent pensions. One hundred percent investments. That's not an assumption. That's reality. That's odd. Because most people who do not pay into SS durin...
by The Wizard
Sun May 17, 2015 3:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorce and Marriage
Replies: 21
Views: 2544

Re: Divorce and Marriage

Its a tough topic. I got divorced after 22 years of marriage at the ex's request. I'm not going to pretend I have any idea how to make things work. Money wise, it's better to have a spouse who is gainfully employed within a factor of two of where you are. This makes alimony less likely if there's a ...
by The Wizard
Sun May 17, 2015 3:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 148
Views: 6530

Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

The answer to the OP i s of course yes. Most studies show that the three major improvements to car safety are 1 Airbags 2. ESC 3. ABS. Everything else is crap. It alarms me that we have people who can't drive without cameras and sensors. Should add, that if you've seen your ABS activated more than ...
by The Wizard
Sat May 16, 2015 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chasing the Big Dogs
Replies: 16
Views: 2185

Re: Chasing the Big Dogs

I assume the numbers in the Scott Burns article are per person, right?
So the thresholds for combined assets of a couple would be double the numbers in the table, for what little it matters.

Edit: ooops, no, I'm wrong.
It says households.
So I guess an individual could be half the numbers given...
by The Wizard
Sat May 16, 2015 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard's Web Site So Bad?
Replies: 64
Views: 4954

Re: Why is Vanguard's Web Site So Bad?

celia wrote:If we are supposed to be buy and hold investors, why are some of us logging in so frequently?

(If you don't log in, the website won't bother you.)

The more you log into the VG website or mobile app, the more conversant and familiar you become with it...
by The Wizard
Sat May 16, 2015 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single best investment 5/10/15 years for car
Replies: 7
Views: 1188

Re: Single best investment 5/10/15 years for car

I'm using a combo of high yield saving + int term bond fund for my new vehicle fund. I'm closing in on a purchase for late this year, so I don't really want stocks in there. If and when this fund gets "big enough" for the NEXT vehicle, I'll probably put it more into TSM like normal people ...
by The Wizard
Sat May 16, 2015 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How bad is Wellesley for taxable?
Replies: 37
Views: 2798

Re: How bad is Wellesley for taxable?

If you are saving for a vehicle or a house down payment with a five year timeframe, then a short to intermediate term bond fund in taxable MIGHT be OK, assuming you understand what happens when interest rates start increasing. But for the long term, better not to have bonds in taxable if 25% fed bra...
by The Wizard
Sat May 16, 2015 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Networth question
Replies: 54
Views: 4249

Re: Networth question

Your Net Worth and your Financial/Investment Assets are both valid concepts worth pondering.
Just don't confuse one with the other...
by The Wizard
Sat May 16, 2015 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds - Picking up Nickels in Front of a Steamroller?
Replies: 50
Views: 4883

Re: Bonds - Picking up Nickels in Front of a Steamroller?

To be fair, my observation would be that low volatility investments accomplish a result that is not accessible by trying to combine various high volatility investments. Well, I guess that's kind of my point though. I have trouble seeing how bonds of any longer duration could be considered "low...
by The Wizard
Sat May 16, 2015 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8472

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

coolguy954 wrote:1/3 of your gross salary

OK, so that gives us a lump sum: with a $60k gross income, spend up to $20k on a car.
So put $10,000 down and finance the remaining $10,000 over 24 months, a payment a bit less than $500 a month...
by The Wizard
Sat May 16, 2015 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 160
Views: 9403

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

Let's say I have a cool $2 million in my investment portfolio and I am assuming a SWR of 3.3% or $66,000 a year. Now also assume my SS benefit is $25,000 a year. So my total annual income is $91,000 of which SS is 27.5%. To me 27.5% is significant. So I would imagine unless you have a sizable pensi...
by The Wizard
Sat May 16, 2015 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 160
Views: 9403

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

Nothing presently at age 65 since I'm delaying until 70 if all goes well. But that's nothing in present dollar amounts; it does add some confidence to my retirement situation knowing that it's there if I need it early.

At 70, current projections show SS making up around 30% of my taxable income...
by The Wizard
Fri May 15, 2015 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8472

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

Problem with affordability as percentage of income is ridiculous seven year loans.
We need a Boglehead affordability statement.
All cash may be unrealistic for younger folks.
How about 50% down and pay off balance in 12 months?
by The Wizard
Fri May 15, 2015 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Asset Allocation if you've "won the game"
Replies: 86
Views: 8351

Re: Best Asset Allocation if you've "won the game"

I need to learn more about this Sharpe ratio business...
by The Wizard
Fri May 15, 2015 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I a Millionaire???
Replies: 53
Views: 6315

Re: Am I a Millionaire???

If I counted our investments + home equity, my husband and I would be over $1 million. But it doesn't feel like we are millionaires. Maybe after we get there only counting our investment accounts? The reason it doesn't feel like much is that it's 2015, not 1955. Especially for a couple, $1M is just...
by The Wizard
Fri May 15, 2015 10:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Asset Allocation if you've "won the game"
Replies: 86
Views: 8351

Re: Best Asset Allocation if you've "won the game"

Somewhere around 50/50 seems optimal to me...
by The Wizard
Fri May 15, 2015 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8472

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

How about buying a car that is not more than a certain percentage of your net worth? You decide what that percentage should be, that you are comfortable with. Let's say, 3 to 4%. So, if you have a $1 million net worth, you could probably splurge on a car worth $40K at the most. Just don't do this e...
by The Wizard
Fri May 15, 2015 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I a Millionaire???
Replies: 53
Views: 6315

Re: Am I a Millionaire???

FedGuy raises a good point. Investments in a 401(k) or tIRA are LIGHT green in color due to tax obligation. But funds in a Roth IRA and my bank accounts are DARK green in color, meaning fully spendable. So I agree that we should upgrade the millionaire definition to require >$1M in dark green cash e...
by The Wizard
Fri May 15, 2015 3:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8472

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

How much can you spend? Check how much your portfolio went UP today. That's the amount you can spend on a car: Basically a one day gain in your portfolio on a great day. US total market went up by about 1% today. Using that as representative portfolio gain for the day, the livesoft rule of thumb is...
by The Wizard
Fri May 15, 2015 2:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard's Web Site So Bad?
Replies: 64
Views: 4954

Re: Why is Vanguard's Web Site So Bad?

I use both the Vanguard and TIAA-CREF websites. There were a lot of complaints about the latter as well a while back. I also use both the Vanguard and TIAA-CREF mobile apps on my smartphone. I've almost always been able to get done what I needed to get done. Now some things are going to work better ...
by The Wizard
Fri May 15, 2015 1:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I a Millionaire???
Replies: 53
Views: 6315

Re: Am I a Millionaire???

I'm in the investable assets camp.
Plus you have joint assets with your wife.
So you need combined total of $2,000,000 to be considered millionaires.
Appears that right now you have around $600,000 which is a good start.
Sorry, them's the rules...
by The Wizard
Thu May 14, 2015 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Hate Vacations
Replies: 113
Views: 9101

Re: I Hate Vacations

I pretty much feel the same as the OP. Vacations are a hassle. I've always been self-employed which makes it almost impossible to get away. I think I've had maybe two vacations in the last 50 years and one of them was my honeymoon. :happy So if there's no problem, then there's no need for a solutio...
by The Wizard
Thu May 14, 2015 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Executor of Will ignores instructions in will!
Replies: 21
Views: 4341

Re: Executor of Will ignores instructions in will!

IANAL, but this is evolving into a real Perry Mason page-turner...
by The Wizard
Thu May 14, 2015 12:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your Safety Net
Replies: 31
Views: 3598

Re: Your Safety Net

And another thing, not everyone's retirement income derives 80%+ from their investment portfolio.
SS plus pensions plus annuities can cover the bulk of one's expenses.
In that case, managing one's portfolio and worrying about a safety net become much less of an issue...
by The Wizard
Thu May 14, 2015 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your Safety Net
Replies: 31
Views: 3598

Re: Your Safety Net

That is, I will sell these bond funds in order to buy more equity funds. I will not freeze like the proverbial deer in the headlights and do nothing. Doing nothing is better than panic selling after a correction. Rebalancing is better than doing nothing if it is done using cold arithmetic and not h...
by The Wizard
Thu May 14, 2015 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Networth question
Replies: 54
Views: 4249

Re: Networth question

I don't often compute NW, since I don't need it for anything other than getting a quick sense of how I'm doing relative to last year. That said, while you have to live somewhere, we don't have to live in our current house forever, a 5 BR / 6 BA house in a NJ suburb of NYC. I'm pretty sure that if w...
by The Wizard
Thu May 14, 2015 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculating Net Worth
Replies: 8
Views: 777

Re: Calculating Net Worth

jsl11 wrote:
The Planner wrote: What is the rationale for counting something like life insurance as part of your net worth?

You could convert these things to cash, if you wanted/needed to do so.

Or you can become deceased and the executor of your estate will liquidate things.
That's the bottom line utility of Net Worth...
by The Wizard
Thu May 14, 2015 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Networth question
Replies: 54
Views: 4249

Re: Networth question

Net worth includes everything.
It might even include life insurance proceeds, if you have that in force.
Now what is the UTILITY of figuring your Net Worth?
Not much, really...
by The Wizard
Thu May 14, 2015 7:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA to Roth questions.....
Replies: 25
Views: 1397

Re: IRA to Roth questions.....

Thanks for the reply..... I am basically just converting a Vanguard Mutual Fund to the Same Vanguard Mutual Fund in a Roth. As I understand it, for instance If I wanted to convert $50 Grand, I would sell $50 Grand worth of that mutual Fund in my Regular IRA and then Buy $50 Grand in the same Fund i...

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