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Re: The ultimate Boglehead exercise

chaz wrote:My exercise is a game of solitaire.

I prefer CrossWord puzzles, online ones, of course...
by The Wizard
Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The ultimate Boglehead exercise
Replies: 30
Views: 3561

Re: What after-tax income could you live on today?

I could live on half of what I do live on if I just sat quietly most days and did nothing exciting.
But the jackhammer & compressor I rented a few weeks ago cost a few bucks.
Similarly the 6000 mile road trip I'm in the middle of.
So I'm not fond of hypothetical queries...
by The Wizard
Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What after-tax income could you live on today?
Replies: 48
Views: 4910

Re: Asset Allocation At or Near Retirement?

pascalwager wrote:
...David Swensen recommends 100% cash upon reaching your time-horizon.

Can you explain this further please?
by The Wizard
Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset Allocation At or Near Retirement?
Replies: 51
Views: 4338

Re: Retirees - What % of your income is for basic essentials

Also, I took the percent of spending, not of taxable income. What percentage of your retirement income is being used for basic essentials? I read income as income; I just needed to decide what income was. P.S. I used AGI; taxable income is something else. Taxable income is much lower thanks to dedu...
by The Wizard
Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees - What % of your income is for basic essentials
Replies: 25
Views: 2197

Re: Having Doubts About My 60/40 Allocation

90% stocks from age 38 to age 58 sounds quite risky to me; it's OK for your 20's but not your 40's and 50's.
Perhaps focus more on increasing your savings rate.
It's fine to have a 50/50 AA as you approach and enter retirement...
by The Wizard
Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Having Doubts About My 60/40 Allocation
Replies: 43
Views: 3073

Re: Who will be the Vanguard of the annuity world?

TIAA-CREF doesn't offer an inflation-indexed annuity to participants, and I doubt they do to retail clients. They have something called a "graded payout option" which uses some incomprehensible formula based on an "assumed interest rate" which results in a payout that increases ...
by The Wizard
Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who will be the Vanguard of the annuity world?
Replies: 27
Views: 3640

Re: Retirees - What % of your income is for basic essentials

I'm not retired, but my reaction to your poll was: The true bare essentials in retirement are public knowledge: you can rent a room for $300, and can enjoy a basic healthy diet for $10 per day, etc. I'd stick everything else in the same "luxury" bucket, whether you spend an additional $1,...
by The Wizard
Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees - What % of your income is for basic essentials
Replies: 25
Views: 2197

Re: Retirees - What % of your income is for basic essentials

I made a semi-wild guess at something under 50%. This comes from my attempt to spreadsheet all my expenses in fine detail prior to retirement, including such categories as vehicle replacement and home "appliance" replacement, but not things like recreational travel. As I've related previou...
by The Wizard
Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees - What % of your income is for basic essentials
Replies: 25
Views: 2197

Re: Alpo risk in retirement: Overblown?

There's another concurrent thread/poll going on here about expected standard of living in retirement, for us Bogleheads, obviously. But what about the general population? There's a decently wide spread of standard of living among the non-retired pipulation. Will 90+% of those be able to maintain the...
by The Wizard
Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alpo risk in retirement: Overblown?
Replies: 41
Views: 2338

Re: In retirement you expect you standard of living to?

The standard of living metric is a bit tricky to figure. Back in my working years, I'd take a one litre thermos full of coffee into work and finish it most days. Now, I'm lucky to finish my 2nd cup most mornings, but I've upscaled my choice of coffee, experiementing with various Peets and Starbucks ...
by The Wizard
Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In retirement you expect your standard of living to?
Replies: 55
Views: 4510

Re: Retirement Chart, where are my flaws?

$30K per year income right now is a rather modest amount for a single person to live on if you expect to do much of anything with seven days a week to do it. And with inflation 10-20 years from now, you'd be pushing poverty level. So I'd wait another decade to let your lifestyle develop more before ...
by The Wizard
Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Chart, where are my flaws?
Replies: 14
Views: 2041

Re: "Invoice" sent when no order was put in - how to respond

This small business must be new, not accustomed to proper terminology.
I'd basically ignore it, but might follow up with a phone call advising them on the difference between a proposal and a bill for services rendered....
by The Wizard
Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Invoice" sent when no order was put in - how to respond
Replies: 6
Views: 611

Re: Retirement Chart, where are my flaws?

Nice chart, but I don't understand your growth factor starting at 5% and steadily decreasing down to 1%. I also think it's unrealistic to project earnings and contributions all the way out to age 85, but additional rows in a spreadsheet are cheap. Looking at more serious issues, you have contributio...
by The Wizard
Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Chart, where are my flaws?
Replies: 14
Views: 2041

Re: Payoff Car For Best Credit Score

Sometimes the answer might depend on how "thin" the person's credit history is. But with a credit score that high, her history can't be too thin. Has she been paying credit card bills on time for a few years already?
If so, she already has proof of credit responsibility...
by The Wizard
Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payoff Car For Best Credit Score
Replies: 21
Views: 1432

Re: Do you set financial goals annually?

As a recent retiree, my financial goals each year are somewhat different. Each mid-December, I run Taxcaster using updated income tax rates and determine my Roth conversion amount based both on what it does to my net tax due and on how much spare change I have laying around to pay the tax due on the...
by The Wizard
Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you set financial goals annually?
Replies: 44
Views: 2385

Re: How are you doing through the first half of 2014?

I'm retired and withdrawing money from my 403(b) accounts. But they have nonetheless grown almost every month this year.
I'm not going to compute a percentage amount compared to 12/31/2013 because it would serve no purpose...
by The Wizard
Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are you doing through the first half of 2014?
Replies: 91
Views: 9313

Re: How to admit/should I admit alcohol problem to employer

Yes, I agree with RM about being ambiguous about the specific problem. Apparently under FMLA, the doctor's statement can also be patient confidential and should be adequate proof to your employer's HR department that you are following the legally permissable path.
So good luck with all this!
by The Wizard
Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to admit/should I admit alcohol problem to employer
Replies: 97
Views: 10221

Re: The Truth Hurts: CNBC

- This must be the new 1 percent! Who needs $280K annually to be able to retire today? Well, it all depends on what your "needs" are :-). Needs or better yet, "lifestyle" prior to "retirement". But this isn't an actionable thread since we have no way to get further inf...
by The Wizard
Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Truth Hurts: CNBC
Replies: 17
Views: 3496

Re: The Millionaire Next Door: Are You One?

Thanks to being a boglehead all these years, I'm worth a lot more than most of my peers, but THEY HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA. Money changes everything. My DW doesn't know. The only person who knows I'm a MND is my Vanguard Flagship representative. No offense, but how does gouldnm know the net worth of...
by The Wizard
Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Millionaire Next Door: Are You One?
Replies: 187
Views: 22186

Re: Hitting "The Number" too early

livesoft wrote:Right. Raise your number or start donating lots more to charity. Be sure to tell all your neighbors, too.

Tell them what?
Your charitable contributions, or the "number" you hit?
by The Wizard
Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hitting "The Number" too early
Replies: 49
Views: 5369

Re: Hitting "The Number" too early

Almost everyone who posts about hitting "the number" reveals that there is in fact no "number." At some point we should abandon references to it. I tend to agree with this. I think it's fine to become Financially Independent at age 50 and then base further employment (self or ot...
by The Wizard
Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hitting "The Number" too early
Replies: 49
Views: 5369

Re: Bucket Strategy for Retirement. Please comment

What about setting up an automatic monthly transfer from bucket 3 to 2 as well as from bucket 2 to 1? This eliminates the need to try to guess when bucket 3 $ should be transferred to bucket 2. If you like to play with buckets, then this strategy is as good as any, I suppose. Regardless, a bucket s...
by The Wizard
Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bucket Strategy for Retirement. Please comment
Replies: 34
Views: 3785

Re: what is my tax bracket after retirement

...How rich one has to be, or how much one has to spend, in order to hit higher than 15% tax rate in retirement? What am I missing? It's a function of your various income streams in retirement, especially your tax-sheltered amounts. A $Million in tax-sheltered is going to give you $36,496 of taxabl...
by The Wizard
Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what is my tax bracket after retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 1527

Re: Help for my sister

$300 a month for expenses is simply not credible. For example, I budget more than $300 a month for motor vehicle replacement alone... I take it you have a German car? No, I have two Fords. I'm planning on $30K for the new F-150 before long, so that's 100 months of $300 per month savings in round nu...
by The Wizard
Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for my sister
Replies: 21
Views: 1904

Re: The Millionaire Next Door: Are You One?

I actually read The Millionaire Next Door book a year ago. I recall it being rather repetitious and annoying. The author whines about pretenders who TRY to appear rich by purchasing upscale vodkas and BMWs, which they buy over time or lease, not with cash. Whereas the ACTUAL rich folk tend to unders...
by The Wizard
Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Millionaire Next Door: Are You One?
Replies: 187
Views: 22186

Re: The Millionaire Next Door: Are You One?

A millionaire isn't what it used to be anymore, with house lots selling for $300K and more and practically ALL of my recent co-worker retirees with well over a paltry $1,000,000 in tax-sheltered savings.
So it's quite easy to answer YES to the OP's question...
by The Wizard
Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Millionaire Next Door: Are You One?
Replies: 187
Views: 22186

Re: Help for my sister

$300 a month for expenses is simply not credible.
That's hardly enough to pay for food much less utilities.
Come back with Real Numbers and we'll talk then.

For example, I budget more than $300 a month for motor vehicle replacement alone...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for my sister
Replies: 21
Views: 1904

Re: Who to contact for RMD strategy?

For the first decade or so, RMDs aren't that much different from following the 4% SWR.
So to some degree, just relax and enjoy your excess income, you've earned it.
And then look at strategies for dealing with taxable investment accounts properly...
by The Wizard
Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who to contact for RMD strategy?
Replies: 18
Views: 1412

Re: How do you afford to travel?

A fair amount of my travel is repetitive, back to the same area again because we like it there: Bonaire 7 times, Curacao 4 times, Jamaica 8 times, Grand Cayman 3 times, etc. Similar to a degree in the US to a number of places I won't bother mentioning. But then there's adventure travel to new places...
by The Wizard
Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 68
Views: 6182

Re: Who to contact for RMD strategy?

Consult the Bogleheads for good advice. Have you been moving increments of money from your IRA to a Roth IRA each year for the past few years? If not, why not? And do you know where you are in your marginal tax bracket? And we'll need some numbers to fine tune any advice. How much in tax sheltered a...
by The Wizard
Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who to contact for RMD strategy?
Replies: 18
Views: 1412

Re: Best Road Trip Vehicle

I like my Mustang with the top down for road trips with one or two people. It's OK for backpacking style camping otherwise get something bigger.
I'm planning a 4wd f-150 for my upcoming Alaska trip before too long...
by The Wizard
Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Road Trip Vehicle
Replies: 35
Views: 2723

Re: favorite mid/low-priced Caribbean locale?

Part of the answer depends on your activity style. If you're into scuba diving, I might recommend Bonaire although the Caymans are easier to get to. But for an all-inclusive resort, Jamaica is a good choice. I go to Hedonism II and tend to recommend that but the Couples resorts are quite good also (...
by The Wizard
Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: favorite mid/low-priced Caribbean locale?
Replies: 30
Views: 3257

Re: Am I Nuts?

You'll have property taxes and insurance as well, but you'll get a break on your income taxes via deductions.
So yes, I'd go a full calendar year in the new place first to see how the finances work out before expanding...
by The Wizard
Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I Nuts? [Purchased "forever house," planning addition]
Replies: 34
Views: 2731

Re: Dollar cost averaging to invest a windfall?

Don't be chicken. Adjust your AA based on your new-found wealth and go for it tomorrow. I suggest less than 50% stocks to keep regrets to a minimum. I'd suggest the Wellesley Income fund except for tax efficiency issues in taxable. If you had a bundle in tax sheltered accounts, I'd convert it all to...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dollar cost averaging to invest a windfall?
Replies: 11
Views: 1073

Re: Why is lump sum payout for pension so low?

I believe a lump sum is TAXABLE in the year received.
Would be nice if it could be rolled over into your IRA, but I don't think that's possible.
If taxable, a lump sum of a few or several hundred thousand dollars would not be a smart strategy for most people starting retirement...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is lump sum payout for pension so low?
Replies: 20
Views: 1771

Re: Variable Annuity For My Mom?

Livesoft's point is especially true for someone who is knowledgeable about how investments work (the average Boglehead).
Someone who says that out of ignorance might be offered the option of learning.
But if that's the bottom line, then put that person in CDs and perhaps an SPIA...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable Annuity For My Mom?
Replies: 17
Views: 1381

Re: Retirement Goal Calculation

35 is still on the young side of one's working and accumulation career. While it's good that you're thinking about this, I would not spend too much time on this until age 50 or older. Instead, I'd ponder more on how to get your long-term savings/investment rate up to 20%, 25%, 30%. This will give yo...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Goal Calculation
Replies: 31
Views: 4111

Re: Why is lump sum payout for pension so low?

I'm guessing it's because that state has an unfunded pension liability and doesn't really have the requisite lump sum themselves, hoping to make it up with tax revenue during the retirement timespan...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is lump sum payout for pension so low?
Replies: 20
Views: 1771

Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Milano wrote:6 blocks from the beach (now called Silicon Beach thanks to Google in Venice) $245,000 in 1998. If I sell I cannot move back in the neighborhood.

Why?
Your neighbors have blackballed you for some reason???
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California
Replies: 109
Views: 6832

Re: Please review my portfolio and help new cash invest

What is the easy way to maintain & rebalance AA? Should I set up Rollover IRA and taxable account to be target allocation and then set up new tax advantage contribution to be target allocation? I don't quite understand your second question, but the easy way to rebalance toward your target AA is...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please review my portfolio and help new cash invest
Replies: 5
Views: 485

Re: Variable Annuity For My Mom?

Agree with the others about firing that CPA. Now, having done that, we still need to address the OP's mom's financial situation. She's only age 60, so how feasible is it for her to manage her own finances, with a bit of start-up help. And then the bigger question: what IS her financial situation aft...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable Annuity For My Mom?
Replies: 17
Views: 1381

Re: Investment for retirement & Entry strategy

The question comes down to deciding on an approximate split between stocks & bonds (your AA) and then whether to manage it yourself using a mix of mutual funds or whether to use a balanced fund or target fund that keep you on track automatically. Another question I have: was any of this $$$ prev...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment for retirement & Entry strategy
Replies: 3
Views: 299

Re: Just retired need Help

So we've had some discussion here.
Has the OP's question been answered?
Have you been able to define a split between stocks & bonds that you can live with, including getting through the next crash?
And have you chosen some low-ER funds to implement your strategy with?
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just retired need Help
Replies: 28
Views: 2721

Re: Just retired need Help

I'm not sure we need to know the names and ERs for all thirty(!?!) mutual funds the OP has.
The goal here should be to define a suitable asset allocation by percentages and then simplify holdings down to no more than four funds, at a low-cost provider...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just retired need Help
Replies: 28
Views: 2721

Re: Discover card asking me to update my income

I haven't have had any queries for active cards, but I think that was one of the questions when I applied for a new Capital One card a year ago. Still, what is the negative aspect of telling them your approximate income? Specifically, what would the difference be between telling them $50K per year v...
by The Wizard
Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discover card asking me to update my income
Replies: 9
Views: 949

Re: Poll: Retirement tax bracket?

523HRR wrote:Poll instructions are conflicting. Effective tax rates and marginal tax rates are different things entirely. Asking for either of these rates in the same survey is not meaningful.

Aside from that, the poll is for 2011...
by The Wizard
Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Retirement tax bracket?
Replies: 24
Views: 2660

Re: Question about divorce & settlement

Long term marriages often have an equitable 50/50 split of assets when divorce happens. Mine did, but we both started with minimal assets after college. If you had a pre-nup or can otherwise establish that certain assets (the house) were brought into the marriage by you, they might be exempted from ...
by The Wizard
Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about divorce & settlement
Replies: 39
Views: 2098

Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Many Bogleheads hail from CA.
And as retirees, you can live out further, not having to commute anymore.
Still, I have no personal expertise on where to look for nice $250K home properties...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California
Replies: 109
Views: 6832

Re: RMDs and Roth Conversions

Someone else proposed my original scenario on a different forum and I wasn't sure of the answer. I'm not old enough for RMDs yet though I have done Roth conversions of my VG tIRA. When the time comes, I'll probably do my RMDs, Roth conversions (from TIAA-CREF and Vanguard) and tax-withholding or est...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMDs and Roth Conversions
Replies: 14
Views: 590

Re: RMDs and Roth Conversions

My guess is that the $5k (which is based on the entire tIRA) is not to be considered part of the conversion, so it goes to the IRS. And 25% of that $15k you're converting also goes to the IRS. But, what do I know? Haven't done it yet. That can't be right. You don't owe your entire RMD as income tax...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMDs and Roth Conversions
Replies: 14
Views: 590
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