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Re: Avoiding lifestyle creep

I'll be contrary (as usual?) and say that there's nothing wrong with a Certain Amount of lifestyle creep, so long as you stay on top of things financially. I have no idea what the OP's recreational palette looks like, so I won't comment further in that area. But for now, I'd probably keep the extra ...
by The Wizard
Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding lifestyle creep
Replies: 13
Views: 1005

Re: How to transfer money from bank to vanguard automaticall

I think "automatically" is overrated here.
It's incredibly simple to use the Vanguard app on my smartphone to transfer money from my linked checking account to either my Roth IRA or my personal (taxable) account while I'm watching the news or whatever.
It's not like the bad old days...
by The Wizard
Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to transfer money from bank to vanguard automatically?
Replies: 9
Views: 1483

Re: Do you use a phone book?

stevep001 wrote:No. The ones I receive go directly into the recycle bin.

Many of the book providers do have a way to opt out.

Checko, the recycle bin...
by The Wizard
Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you use a phone book?
Replies: 51
Views: 1868

Re: 23 year old... Can I afford a Rolex?

Does it possibly tell you something that you are hearing from people who could probably afford hundreds of Rolex watches and they all think it's a bit nuts for you to own one? I'm quite confident that most of us who have a few years on you, would be confident you will come to regret such a purchase...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 23 year old... Can I afford a Rolex?
Replies: 157
Views: 9058

Re: 23 year old... Can I afford a Rolex?

downshiftme wrote:Much more economical would be a fauxlex: http://www.madebystore.co.uk/store_faux_wat.html

OK, but is a fauxlex good to 150 feet deep in seawater like many Casio's are???
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 23 year old... Can I afford a Rolex?
Replies: 157
Views: 9058

Re: POLL: Do you personally own a cell phone?

Yes, recently bought a smart phone. Still, trying to figure out why. Told my friend at work that I now have one of those little boxes.....now I don't have to talk to him anymore. Most people look like idiots staring at those little boxes, vs interacting with those around them. OK...maybe it's just ...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: Do you personally own a cell phone?
Replies: 52
Views: 2729

Re: Computer Challenged [Downloading instead of Viewing file

I'm able to view PDF files OK on my PC but sometimes printing doesn't work right.
So I download and open in Adobe and all is well...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Challenged [Downloading instead of Viewing files]
Replies: 7
Views: 728

Re: 23 year old... Can I afford a Rolex?

I'm not a big fan of watches, especially nowadays. I do have a Casio watch with a black plastic wristband that I've had for close to a decade now. I wear it when scuba diving and when traveling to and from, as a backup to my smartphone, I guess. But I don't like it so much. It does NOT adjust automa...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 23 year old... Can I afford a Rolex?
Replies: 157
Views: 9058

Re: POLL: Do you personally own a cell phone?

um, I thought a "flip phone" was one of those phones sort of like a clam-shell, and the top "flipped up" (hence the name). What's "flippy" about a phone without a touch screen? And is ONLY a "touch screen" phone a "smart phone"? RM the Dinosaur :? Y...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: Do you personally own a cell phone?
Replies: 52
Views: 2729

Re: Home equity loan as an asset?

$77k with a paid off house sounds like some pretty darn high expenses. How about starting there? This depends on whether the $77k is gross income or after tax. Also depends on whether it covers just the basics or includes a bunch of discretionary expenditures. But yes, it's not too safe to try to a...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Home equity loan as an asset?
Replies: 26
Views: 1365

Re: Home equity loan as an asset?

Regardless of the semantics debate between PE and LB, one can seldom borrow their way to prosperity, the exception often being the initial mortgage loan to purchase a home...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Home equity loan as an asset?
Replies: 26
Views: 1365

Re: Home equity loan as an asset?

OP is pondering a do it yourself Reverse Mortgage that might get repaid when the stock market comes roaring back, or might not. Given their ages, I suppose this could be a backup plan but I would try to avoid it...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Home equity loan as an asset?
Replies: 26
Views: 1365

Re: Thinking about retiring next year

Property taxes of $12k per year or more seems high. Plus your mortgage balance seems high going into retirement, around twice your projected annual income. These are yellow flags. Do you have any plan to downsize to a less expensive housing solution? It's good to have excess income in retirement to ...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking about retiring next year
Replies: 16
Views: 2000

Re: A week in Tuscany: April 2015. Suggestions?

Thank you all! Please keep the recommendations coming. I have a brand new GPS, and will be sure to get the European maps for it before we go... You could probably use a decent smartphone for this as well, and reduce the number of gadgets to keep track of. I've already loaded maps for a two-week tri...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A week in Tuscany: April 2015. Suggestions?
Replies: 22
Views: 1428

Re: Storing/Organizing Memory Sticks

USB memory sticks are too easily lost or broken.
They are handy, but I use them only for file transfers or other temporary uses, not long term...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Storing/Organizing Memory Sticks
Replies: 25
Views: 1415

Re: Life purpose revisited

Having an IRA at Vanguard is happiness. Some people define happiness as a Vanguard coffee mug. Victoria To each, his/her own. Not everyone has his/her own Vanguard coffee mug, yet. Victoria My Vanguard "coffee mug" is impractically large. I shall use it as a vase... As to life's purpose a...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life purpose revisited
Replies: 55
Views: 7427

Re: GAO Concerned your IRA may be too big!

There is too much snarky political comments and opinion in this thread, if that is all you have to add then don't bother. Now, I checked the dubious claim that: Large individual and employer contributions sustained over decades and rolled over from an employer plan would be necessary to accumulate ...
by The Wizard
Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GAO Concerned your IRA may be too big!
Replies: 25
Views: 2764

Re: RMD taxes

Thanks for the very helpful replies. My situation is actually quite complicated. I expect to work until my early 70's. The RMD will be required from a 403(b) with a previous employer. This particular accumulation cannot be transferred or rolled over, because it is invested in the TIAA Traditional A...
by The Wizard
Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD taxes
Replies: 17
Views: 1561

Re: What were your biggest financial emergencies?

I've had a number of $1000 to $3000 short notice expenses over the years, but one needs to expect stuff to fail over time. Biggest financial hit was the $50,000 the Soon To Be ex-wife requested for down payment on the house she was planning to buy. I borrowed most of that from my 403(b) in a timely ...
by The Wizard
Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What were your biggest financial emergencies?
Replies: 39
Views: 3779

Re: Does investing in a 401k actually save any money?

I've explained this before, the issue of having a good base amount in tax-deferred 401k and IRA accounts, enough to fill up low brackets in retirement using a 4% or RMD safe withdrawal rate. That tax deferred balance might be between $1M and $3M for many individuals, so that your marginal tax bracke...
by The Wizard
Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does investing in a 401k actually save any money?
Replies: 47
Views: 3741

Re: What doyou splurge on?

Two areas: travel and vehicles.

Travel of various types, seldom luxury, but certainly adequate. Typically warm destinations with scuba diving, but expanding my scope now in retirement.

And I like to keep both a convertible and a pickup in my inventory. I alternate buying them new every so often...
by The Wizard
Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you splurge on?
Replies: 136
Views: 7569

Re: Europe off-season (late Jan), 11 days, $3K budget

VictoriaF wrote:You can go to Moscow. Ruble is down and Aeroflot is cheap.

Victoria

Temperatures could be down also in late January...
by The Wizard
Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe off-season (late Jan), 11 days, $3K budget
Replies: 19
Views: 1445

Re: GAO Concerned your IRA may be too big!

a dual-professional couple who aggressively saved and invested in qualified 401k (with full employer contributions) beginning upon departure from school is in serious danger of running afoul of the 5,000,000 figure that is a recurring theme of the GAO report. In a country of over 300,000,000 people...
by The Wizard
Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GAO Concerned your IRA may be too big!
Replies: 25
Views: 2764

Re: smartphone over wifi - still possible?

I use this here Nexus 5 smartphone on Consumer Cellular with two separate billing components: voice and data. I could disable data on my Nexus and select zero data on my prepaid plan starting next month if I wanted to save a few bucks. But I don't want to. I use WiFi whenever possible, but it's not ...
by The Wizard
Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smartphone over wifi - still possible?
Replies: 31
Views: 2350

Re: Buying a lasting vehicle

OP questioned whether to spend 90% of savings on this new vehicle.
If you have a separate emergency fund, then maybe do it, yes. Otherwise borrow a few thousand at low rate and pay it off in a few months...
by The Wizard
Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a lasting vehicle
Replies: 33
Views: 4207

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2014!

aeronina wrote:Retiring Dec. 7, 2014. Mixed feelings.

Mixed feelings are normal for some of us. Forty years getting decently good at what I do, and now I quit?
It helps to have a bunch of alternate pursuits that are being strangled by the time commitment to your full time job...
by The Wizard
Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2014!
Replies: 240
Views: 23193

Re: GAO Concerned your IRA may be too big!

Good find, Alan.
And this is a factual report, not rampant political speculation...
by The Wizard
Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GAO Concerned your IRA may be too big!
Replies: 25
Views: 2764

Re: Do I really need a car?

If you're still a full time student or if you're older and in assisted living, no car is needed.
Otherwise, yes, you need a fast car to participate fully in the American experience...
by The Wizard
Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I really need a car?
Replies: 11
Views: 1037

Re: When do your account returns dwarf your contributions?

Some people MIGHT stop saving for the long term if they loved their job, but cut back to part time basis the last few years prior to quitting entirely.
40% of normal income could be enough to live on nicely but without a surplus to fund savings...
by The Wizard
Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When do your account returns dwarf your contributions?
Replies: 51
Views: 5726

Re: When do your account returns dwarf your contributions?

It's not just "returns", it's fluctuations from one day to the next, when stocks change by one percent or more. But older folks are more likely to max out contribs at a higher level than younger people. So it's just an amusing thing when your account's $10,000 one-day drop in value equals ...
by The Wizard
Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When do your account returns dwarf your contributions?
Replies: 51
Views: 5726

Re: Bob Brinker portfolio

Yes, but I suspect that Bob Brinker has gotten decently wealthy by churning out market timing advice over the past several decades.
And really, that's the whole point to his game, right?
by The Wizard
Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bob Brinker portfolio
Replies: 40
Views: 6482

Re: Does anyone here make "fun" purchases.

The whole concept of Fun purchases, the extent of them, might be more a function of whether one is financially independent and/or retired vs still striving at a younger age.
Just saying...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone here make "fun" purchases.
Replies: 111
Views: 6529

Re: "Downgrading" to a Porsche

I asked my pal JM, an authentic car expert, what he thought about the OP's situation. Below is his reply: it's stupid to ask for car advice on a money board. Unless you desperately need to get out of an expensive payment/insurance/fuel consumption/maintenance money pit situation, the car you own is ...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Downgrading" to a Porsche
Replies: 39
Views: 6191

Re: Transition from Saving to Spending

I was pondering PE's assertion that some Bogleheads are continuing their frugal nature and continuing to save more in retirement RATHER than spend. This is not true in my case, a case in which 90+% of my investments are in pretax 403(b) accounts. My withdrawals from those accounts for 2014 will yiel...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transition from Saving to Spending
Replies: 37
Views: 3918

Re: Deciding When to Retire

My former job was "interesting" much of the time and allowed me additional time off w/o pay. Not much stress but I think I raised the bar month to month on how increasingly interesting it had to be to keep me there.
Soon, the right thing was to quit...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding When to Retire
Replies: 47
Views: 4974

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2015!

For those of you who plans to retire soon, what do you define as retirement: - stop working in your regular job? - or something else? As a Class of 2013 retiree, I'd define it as stopping work in any/all regular paying job. I have gone back to my previous employer part-time one to three partial day...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2015!
Replies: 21
Views: 1831

Re: Bogleheads not found easily in Google

I'm in Jamaica and the same investment forum search using google.com.JM returns Bogleheads at the top of page six...
by The Wizard
Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:52 pm
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads not found easily in Google
Replies: 30
Views: 2921

Re: Should I have even $1 in Bonds?

If your IPS calls for your AA to be 100% stocks, then avoid bonds, correct...
by The Wizard
Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I have even $1 in Bonds?
Replies: 34
Views: 3986

Re: Does anyone here make "fun" purchases.

There's the related issue of impulse purchases or convenience purchases vs those that are planned for over a time period.
As for me, yes, a fair amount of cash goes to fund my few months of travel each year...
by The Wizard
Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone here make "fun" purchases.
Replies: 111
Views: 6529

Re: Transition from Saving to Spending

I went through this about two years ago. I transitioned with approximately with about the same net income as when I was employed, which I thought was a good start. Bulk of my investments were tax sheltered, so all taxable in retirement. So I'm saving a modest amount most months now in a taxable acco...
by The Wizard
Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transition from Saving to Spending
Replies: 37
Views: 3918

Re: Plan

A Good Wife is fun but an IPS, written or not, is better.
A good IPS has you buying undervalued funds and possibly selling overvalued ones.
What could be better???
by The Wizard
Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Plan
Replies: 6
Views: 556

Re: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income

Annualized cost is hard to compute except in retrospect, that's why...
by The Wizard
Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income
Replies: 93
Views: 6002

Re: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income

I have two vehicles, both purchased new, for $20k in 2004 and for $25k in 2009.
So I used $45k in the numerator to get my ratio as high as possible...
by The Wizard
Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income
Replies: 93
Views: 6002

Re: War on Debt

It's not just a "stupid stock market game" Laura. Another poster mentioned the Payments mentality. It's only $200 a month, YOU CAN AFFORD IT! I totally agree that the key is to look at total cash commitments as much as possible. Younger folks may need to borrow for some things, but we need...
by The Wizard
Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: War on Debt
Replies: 247
Views: 26187

Re: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars

Oklahoma has a stupid toll system on I 44. Exact change it said, $1.25, but then when I got to the machine, it said coins only. Too bad, I threw a dollar bill and a quarter in the basket and steamed onward. Note, I do have an ez pass nailed to the front of the Mustang, but OK is still living in the ...
by The Wizard
Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars
Replies: 20
Views: 1078

Re: Dealer wants my 2011 Prius, what should I do?

The Boglehead ideal is to pay cash for a new car.
So pay cash for a new Prius and then three years later respond to a dealer offer and get a new Prius for no additional charge?
Umm, no, I don't think so...
by The Wizard
Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer wants my 2011 Prius, what should I do?
Replies: 16
Views: 2033

Re: Travelling Companions or small groups

I have a friend who travels with a sister or other groups of friends and they've been happy with both Rick Steves and Rhodes Scholars. Me? I research and book all travel myself and go alone. It's way cheaper than a tour if you know how. Same here, I avoid organized tour groups, though I often take ...
by The Wizard
Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travelling Companions or small groups
Replies: 32
Views: 2445

Re: Visitor Info Scam

"Scam" may be over-stating it.
There's no money really involved here, unless you have your heart set on buying a timeshare to begin with.
I don't, so if I encounter this sort of thing, I just shake my head and walk away, maybe say "No thanks".
Pretty simple...
by The Wizard
Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visitor Info Scam
Replies: 12
Views: 1691

Re: War on Debt

I think some of you are too hung up on the student loans. My concern is the consumer debt. Once that is tackled, then the other debt can be addressed. We both have pensions and I saved up a sizable nest egg for retirement. So that is the least of my concern right now. Is any of that next egg in a t...
by The Wizard
Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: War on Debt
Replies: 247
Views: 26187

Re: Travelling Companions or small groups

Similar to me, yes. I try to do one dive trip a year with my son, age 29 now. It's partly in return for him staying current on repaying his educational loans...
by The Wizard
Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travelling Companions or small groups
Replies: 32
Views: 2445
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