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Re: Failed Surgery - Doctor not volunteering discount

And doesn't insurance pay for most of this anyway, being that it doesn't not sound like a cosmetic procedure?
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Failed Surgery - Doctor not volunteering discount
Replies: 32
Views: 2113

Re: Wise move to move some $ to cash before bear market?

Because that would be blatant Market Timing , not more reasoned Tactical Asset Allocation... If we're talking moving to cash I think I'd call that market timing even at 30%. If he's talking about just being nervous with his current risk level and changing his stock/bond ratio to something more comf...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wise move to move some $ to cash before bear market?
Replies: 57
Views: 3648

Re: Retirement Strategy

My Dad is in the lowest tax bracket. Should be fine having a bond fund in taxable account then. Lowest non-zero bracket is 10%, up to $9,075 per year taxable income. But the 15% bracket goes up to $36,900 per year. I'd be OK with bond income in taxable up to around $37,000 total taxable income, no ...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Strategy
Replies: 7
Views: 543

Re: Retirement Strategy

The Wizard, Thanks for your reply. You will not have more than 50% of your bonds on TIPS because is to conservative or for another reason? Thanks It's just that in my limited experience, I don't think TIPS perform as well as nominal bond funds. Of course, we have low inflation presently, so I could...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Strategy
Replies: 7
Views: 543

Re: Retirement Strategy

Another consideration is tax bracket, since bonds in taxable generate normal taxable income.
If your dad is in the 15% bracket, that should be OK.
If in higher bracket, a municipal bond fund could be a better idea...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Strategy
Replies: 7
Views: 543

Re: Retirement Strategy

Option A with 80% TIPS seems way too conservative. I would not have over half of my bonds in TIPS at any time. Option B would be my preference of the two presented. Another option would be to put it all in Wellesley, which is 38% stocks, 62% bonds. Lots of people here like Wellesley in retirement, I...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Strategy
Replies: 7
Views: 543

Re: Wise move to move some $ to cash before bear market?

I knew I would get these responses. Market timing. But, it sure seems if somebody took out 30% and put it in cash at the right time, he would be sitting pretty. I know, at the right time... Why just 30%? Why not move everything into cash "at the right time''? Because that would be blatant Mark...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wise move to move some $ to cash before bear market?
Replies: 57
Views: 3648

Re: Worth buying a smart phone if you already have one for w

I'd find out what your company policy is for personal use of that smartphone, both voice and data usage. I use a decent amount of data on my smartphone when I travel, both cellular and (free) WiFi where available. If they don't object to you using extra gigabytes of data for personal use, then I'd j...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth buying a smart phone if you already have one for work?
Replies: 14
Views: 688

Re: Failed Surgery - Doctor not volunteering discount

Seems like the OP thinks that the surgery should be successful, or not pay. I am not sure that is a valid measure when no medical treatment has a 100% success rate. That's not what I inferred at all. I suggested he give him a discount since the doctor had the opportunity to re-insert a tube that ca...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Failed Surgery - Doctor not volunteering discount
Replies: 32
Views: 2113

Re: Ad Valorem tax on new car

The question is really whether that tax on the vehicle is a SALES tax or a PROPERTY tax. Here in MA, we pay a sales tax to the Registry at the time we register the vehicle for the first time and get a plate for it. Additionally, we pay a property tax (aka "excise tax") to the town we live ...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ad Valorem tax on new car
Replies: 8
Views: 734

Re: Has Consumer Cellular Discontinued Roaming?

Wizard - Thanks for the update. Did you have voice coverage in those areas? As mentioned, yes, voice coverage wherever I had a signal in that area and it was mostly 3 out of 5 bars or better. The coverage in that area is apparently via http://choice-wireless.com/, but I need to get some better app-...
by The Wizard
Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Consumer Cellular Discontinued Roaming?
Replies: 18
Views: 1780

Re: Has Consumer Cellular Discontinued Roaming?

Update: I've just finished a driving trip through southern Arizona and can report that Consumer Cellular does not have partner provided data coverage in a large area where both CC and AT&T show identical partner coverage for data. I have a Nexus 5 with data roaming enabled, to be clear. If you g...
by The Wizard
Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Consumer Cellular Discontinued Roaming?
Replies: 18
Views: 1780

Re: Where to retire in New England?

I'm definitely not an expert on Medicare plans in MA or anywhere. In my case, I have parts A and B from the Feds and something called Medicare Enhance from Harvard Pilgrim via my previous long term employer. I won't go any further OT on this since the OP (did he ever return?) won't be eligible for M...
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to retire in New England?
Replies: 101
Views: 7459

Re: Route to an $8 Million Portfolio Started With Frugal Liv

We discussed this back in the fall and it was OT and got locked then.
OT for the forum since discussing famous investors' success is neither personal nor actionable...
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Route to an $8 Million Portfolio Started With Frugal Living
Replies: 31
Views: 4864

Re: RMD

12/31.
They NEVER adjust on 1/1...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD
Replies: 6
Views: 452

Re: Can I have a tIRA & a Roth?

You can put new contributions in your Roth IRA for the previous year after you file your 1040 for that year.
That's what I did for 2014, once I knew my AGI for that year...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I have a tIRA & a Roth?
Replies: 19
Views: 1309

Re: Exploring the Florida Keys

OP is only going as far as Marathon, so forget about the Key West recommendations. I've been in that area 4-5 times, traffic not so bad once to Key Largo, worse between there and Homestead, and during weekend getaway hours. Spring Breakers in Key West, yes, but way fewer in the area OP is focusing o...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exploring the Florida Keys
Replies: 20
Views: 1763

Re: Do you have and auto loan?

A related question here should be, are people taking car loans from DEALERS or doing low cost loans thru a credit union, etc? A low APR dealer loan is subsidized one way or another, you know. I may do a partial auto loan later this year for my new truck. Which is better, a 1.49% loan from my CU or p...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Poll] Do you have an auto loan?
Replies: 63
Views: 3431

Re: 74% of car loans are subprime.

Good NYTimes article on this situation.
http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/dealboo ... s-to-poor/
Sounds like a good way to make $$ legally, if one has the right smarts...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 74% of car loans are subprime.
Replies: 29
Views: 1997

Re: 74% of car loans are subprime.

How is this actionable (other than not taking out a high interest rate car loan yourself)? There will always be lots of people doing financially stupid things. Ignore them. I agree. I don't think this news impacts too many regulars on the forum here. The smart thing to do is to pay a good percentag...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 74% of car loans are subprime.
Replies: 29
Views: 1997

Re: Definition of financial independence?

I like to think of FI meaning that one is able to carry on in roughly the same style (or better) as for the five years prior to achieving FI.
It doesn't matter where the sustainable income comes from going forward to do this...
by The Wizard
Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Definition of financial independence?
Replies: 52
Views: 4756

Re: maximum social security benefit

Just compare page two of your annual SS statement.
Pretty easy...
by The Wizard
Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: maximum social security benefit
Replies: 17
Views: 1892

Re: Having 1x salary by age 30-35, is this after-tax?

You could use your expected avg tax rate in retirement, yes...
by The Wizard
Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Having 1x salary by age 30-35, is this after-tax?
Replies: 11
Views: 2180

Re: Where to retire in New England?

fmzip wrote:Us New Englander's are not sane.....

Live here long enough, the winter's drive us all INSANE!

6 months would be ideal but it's too expensive here in CT. I'd move over one state to be close to the beach. Charlestown RI, taxes are low :)

I believe RI taxes SS benefits, if that matters...
by The Wizard
Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to retire in New England?
Replies: 101
Views: 7459

Re: Cruise.Com Bait and Switch Tactics

Several friends have taken river cruises with Viking and all have spoken highly of their experience. OK, but I think the question concerns pricing authenticity more than quality of the product. Viking is a bit suspicious on their so-called half-price sales: does ANYBODY actually pay $8000 per perso...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruise.Com Bait and Switch Tactics
Replies: 28
Views: 2930

Re: The financier and the secretary. A true story.

The anecdotes in that article are of no interest to me. The issue is whether Financial Literacy can be taught to people effectively. It may depend on whether people select to learn themselves or not. If all high school seniors have a FL module mandated, for instance, I'd expect only a few to benefit...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The financier and the secretary. A true story.
Replies: 39
Views: 6015

Re: Confused with Social Security website calculation.

Spirit Rider's answer may be correct for some people, but not others.
Your highest 35 years of inflation indexed earnings are what count.
Some people have 35+ years of income exceeding the SS annual limit, so they get max benefit at 70 even if they quit working in early 60s...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confused with Social Security website calculation.
Replies: 5
Views: 596

Re: Improving the Lifestrategy Funds

Cumulatively is never the issue.
Nonetheless, folks with $100k or more in a LS fund should really get the lower ER...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Improving the Lifestrategy Funds
Replies: 63
Views: 5267

Re: Improving the Lifestrategy Funds

The admiral share class might be tricky to implement in the LS funds. I suppose they could have an algorithm that switched to you to admiral in the TSM portion of a LS fund once the percentage split got to >$10,000 for a period of time. But maybe your bond funds would still be investor class, depend...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Improving the Lifestrategy Funds
Replies: 63
Views: 5267

Re: Capable to do taxes myself?

Taxact is good and cheaper than turbotax.
If no fundamental changes from 2013 to 2014, then just start now with doing your 2014 taxes.
Take your copy of 2013's return out for comparison.
It's not rocket surgery...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capable to do taxes myself?
Replies: 9
Views: 810

Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

A very good outline for a presentation, yes.
Some might quibble with the 20x annual spending and 5% withdrawal rate...
Also, I'm not sure that Most renters reach retirement with little or no net worth is correct...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If I Knew Then What I Know Now
Replies: 51
Views: 7260

Re: Pre-retirement question

I also got paid for accumulated vacation when I retired two years ago. 8 or 10 days I think it was. Healthcare through end of month regardless.
It was a minor drop in my bucket so I didn't worry about it...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-retirement question [Take vacation time or pay?]
Replies: 23
Views: 2579

Re: Edward Jones - A Detrimental Option for Investors

How can you ignore whether this is a taxable account? You'll need to determine the basis of all items in a taxable account for capital gains determination. Regardless, no one here likes EJ. I seem to recall from other discussions that yes, they do have account closing fees, $95 per account. They get...
by The Wizard
Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones - A Detrimental Option for Investors
Replies: 13
Views: 2452

Re: Best structure for setting aside 10 years of travel expe

This seems a very odd way of approaching a situation.
Are you retiring in 2017?
First priority is basic expenses.
Recreational travel can generally be adjusted up or down as needs or whims dictate.
How much have you been spending in this area the past few years??
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best structure for setting aside 10 years of travel expenses
Replies: 13
Views: 1311

Re: Cleaning my back yard?

Pressure washer could disturb whatever is between those bricks, sand or mortar, hard to tell.
Get moss killer at Home Depot or wherever.
Comes in a quart bottle with hose end connection.
Either that or the bleach recommend...
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning my back yard?
Replies: 35
Views: 3766

Re: Understanding Your Net Worth

I agree with Leonard.
Don't mash different categories together.
I can think of at least three:
1) liquid investment assets
2) non-liquid investment assets, such as rental property
3) personal property, such as living quarters, vehicles, power tools
4) income entitlements, such as SS and pensions...
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding Your Net Worth
Replies: 25
Views: 3484

Re: Post removed or moved?

was it a naked link?
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:53 am
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Post removed or moved?
Replies: 12
Views: 1227

Re: How to Really Drive Across the U.S. Hitting Major Landma

I've done a driving excursion from the Boston area out to New Mexico and back the past two summers and will again this July. 6000 miles, more or less. I have a group event out there that consumes one week and then I plan 8-10 day driving routes both to and from, so close to four weeks total. I usual...
by The Wizard
Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Really Drive Across the U.S. Hitting Major Landmarks
Replies: 21
Views: 2087

Re: Wireless Internet Question

I added a second router downstairs, slaved to my primary modem/router in the attic. They both work fine but I found it useful to assign different SSIDs to them, net1 and net2, for instance. I like to use my Android WiFi Analyzer app to observe their signal strength, and especially the weak overlappi...
by The Wizard
Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wireless Internet Question
Replies: 31
Views: 2402

Re: Should Vanguard Offer A Low Minimum Fund?

The status quo is fine.
$1000 for the STAR fund is a modest sum over the course of several months or a year.
Middle schoolers with summer jobs may not make it. :(
Most working people should be able to make the $1000 minimum with any sense of priority...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should Vanguard Offer A Low Minimum Fund?
Replies: 31
Views: 2331

Re: When to cash in your chips?

You are doing OK.
You need to track your LIQUID net worth as time goes on, not including your residences.
$11,000 a month is a bit high for expenses, but your income is high also.
I don't see a big problem as time goes on...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to cash in your chips?
Replies: 32
Views: 3886

Re: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?

HomerJ wrote:...A $100k income family will probably get $30k a year in SS (assuming two spouses)...

I once pondered the idea of having two spouses concurrently, but people kept telling me it would never work...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?
Replies: 121
Views: 12702

Re: Stock Market going south what's next?

The great bond crash of '15 could happen next, I suppose.
Or maybe not...
by The Wizard
Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stock Market going south what's next?
Replies: 31
Views: 4001

Re: What internet speed is fast enough?

Google average internet speed and they give you South Korea with 23 Megabits per second in 2013.
But that's way old.
Try for 30Mbps in 2015...
by The Wizard
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What internet speed is fast enough?
Replies: 51
Views: 4382

Re: What internet speed is fast enough?

20 megabits per second is fine for one or two people...
by The Wizard
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What internet speed is fast enough?
Replies: 51
Views: 4382

Re: How do you use your email?

My high school daughter recently informed me: "Dad...NO ONE uses email anymore. It's only for writing to teachers and Grandma." She also says the basically the same thing about Facebook. As a teacher I have found that to basically be true. The only thing most students use email for these ...
by The Wizard
Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you use your email?
Replies: 16
Views: 1354

Re: TIAA Traditional Annuity as sole fixed income component

RM asks if there is more info available. Yes, there is, especially if you're close to retirement. For the Trad payout annuity, best to contact your WMA and get a vintage specific estimate. But the variable annuities are all the same in some ways. You can use the Retirement Income Planner on the webs...
by The Wizard
Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional Annuity as sole fixed income component
Replies: 36
Views: 1966

Re: TIAA Traditional Annuity as sole fixed income component

Okay... massive confusion setting in... Are you *annuitizing* CREF and/or TREA? ??? RM It can be confusing, yes. I presently have payout annuities with T-C in three of their different vehicles: TREA (60%) TIAA Traditional (20%) CREF Stock (20%) The percentages above are approximate, but you get the...
by The Wizard
Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional Annuity as sole fixed income component
Replies: 36
Views: 1966

Re: TIAA Traditional Annuity as sole fixed income component

...How do T-C Trad Annuity ANNUITIZED rates compare with SPIA's purchased elsewhere (assuming reasonable screening)?... It's not an SPIA. In fact, TIAA invented the "variable annuity." The payout is calculated according to a method that was explained to me once, that I thought I understoo...
by The Wizard
Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional Annuity as sole fixed income component
Replies: 36
Views: 1966

Re: TIAA Traditional Annuity as sole fixed income component

RM inquired about annuitizing TIAA Traditional. I went back and took a look at my numbers from two years ago when I annuitized a bunch of my plans at T-C at the start of retirement, age 63 and 2 months approximately. I annuitized for a single lifetime with a 10 year guarantee. One plan had a small a...
by The Wizard
Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional Annuity as sole fixed income component
Replies: 36
Views: 1966
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